Thursday, May 14, 2009

I Realize I'm a Filthy, Disgusting Pig-Person, But C'mon...

So I went to the nail salon tonight to get a pedicure. To say "it's been awhile" would be a gross understatement and an insult to the word "awhile." After my pregnancy, I had to have toe-surgery on both feet (don't ask, just know that pregnancy truly did screw up every square inch of my body, and my extremities are no exception) so I have not been allowed to paint my nails for about 6 months. Also, it's been winter, which means dry skin, and I have some serious hatred for feet in general (yes, even my own) so I don't pumice them or do any of that tomfoolery that other women do to keep their feet looking perfect all year. I could make excuses all day for the condition of my feet, but the truth is that they are jacked up, and in serious need of a pedi.

Hubs, Little Man, and I are leaving for North Carolina tomorrow morning for a cousin's wedding. I needed my pedi in a hurry so I went to a place that is close by (I've been there several times before) and that allows walk-ins. The lady took one look at what a desheveled mess I am and immediately yelled for the little mousy woman in the back to come help me. I saw a few women sitting around (it was obviously a slow night) that had worked on me before, and done a good job, but she picked the mousy, super-old looking one with the excessive green eye-shadow, messy hair and only wearing one shoe (God only knows...) I picked out my nail-color, and took a seat in the big massage chair. This next part is where it gets interesting. Homegirl shuffles over (she was shuffling of course because she was wearing one shoe with a 4 inch heel and nothing on the other side), picks up my foot, stares at it with disgust for what seemed like about eight minutes, then starts shaking her head and yelling (yes, actually yelling) in Korean. I can only imagine what she was saying. She clearly wasn't thrilled with the hostess for seating this filthy mess of a human being at her station. I suppose there is a chance that she was just talking loudly about the weather (while shaking her head and shaking my foot at the hostess), but it is unlikely. It's times like these that I wish I knew Korean. Just enough to say "I know what you're saying about me and it's not very nice" or even just "I'm sorry I'm gross." I know French. I know a little Spanish. I learned some Mandarin Chinese last year because with the current state of our world it seems like it may come in handy some time. I have great aspirations of learning ASL this fall even. But Korean is not a language that I typically find myself wishing I know. Until I have some crazy Korean woman shaking my foot threateningly at another woman and yelling what I can only imagine are terrible, terrible things about me.

The remainder of my appointment was rather uneventful. The woman eventually settled down and (after a great sigh, and I mean a really HUGE sigh) shook her head a little and went to work. I pretended not to be insulted. I even tried my little "kill it with kindness" approach that tends to work on around 78% of the retailers, restaurant servers, etc that I manage to offend with my very presence. I complimented her on her pretty shirt (which was dreadful, btw) and she smiled fakely in response. She did my nails, cleaned my feet up a bit, and then sent me away. It got a little dicey when I went to pay and saw the sign that said "Please do not attempt to tip with credit card." I don't EVER carry cash, so I looked apologetically at the woman and explained that I didn't know. I was fairly certain by the look on her face that she was about to lose it, but the manager stepped in front of her and explained to me that I could tip on my card if I needed to, they just ask that people try not to because then the manicurist won't get it for two weeks, until pay day. I tipped her well (about 40%) and acted like I was sorry but seriously, why shouldn't she have to wait? I always had to wait two weeks between providing a service and being paid for it at any of my jobs. And this way she is sure to pay taxes on that tip. Yeah, that'll teach her! I'm going to go now...hang my head in shame and possibly learn a little Korean.

The Finished Product. Slightly less heinous than before.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Yummy New Recipe

I am the pickiest eater in the world. In the entire world! You may think that your four year old is pickier than me, but I guarantee you she is not. Bring it on, four-year-olds! I'm not sure what's wrong with me, but I could be perfectly happy eating bland baked chicken with some green beans and a little orzo on the side every night for months. My husband, however, is pretty much the polar opposite when it comes to eating. I can count the foods that he doesn't like on two fingers. Hubs requires a little more variety so for the past 7 years, I am constantly searching for new recipe's to add to our repertoire that I will actually like. Last night I found one (Hooray!) I will share it with you, but I must warn you that it's not going to be the most healthy meal you've had. We've been trying to eat healthier, and while this recipe does have some veggies and chicken in it, it also involves mucho olive oil and a little cheese as well. I wish I had a picture, but we dug into it before I thought to do so. If I make it again, I will probably use softer pea pods, and possibly add a little more garlic and a tiny bit of salt. It was pretty good though. Enjoy...


2 Tbsp olive oil
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 2-inch cubes
2 cups fresh pea pods (chose pods with a softer skin, such as sugar snap peas...the ones I chose were a little tough)
1 small suzzhini, cut diagonally into 1/4-inch slices
1 red bell pepper, seeded, cut into 1/4-inch strips
1 (9-oz.) pks. spinach ravioli (I used an organic spinach and artichoke ravioli that was tasty)
1 (7-oz.) pkg. prepared garlic pesto sauce (or you can make your own, like I kinda did)
1/4 cup (1-oz.) freshly shredded Parmesan cheese

*In large skillet, heat olive oil over med-high heat until hot. Add chicken; stir-fry 5-6 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink in center.
*Add pea pods, zucchini and bell pepper to skillet; stir-fry an additional 5 minutes or until vegetables are crisp-tender.
*Meanwhile, in med. pot, cook ravioli according to package directions. Drain and add to chicken and vegetables. Add pesto sauce; toss until well mixed. Springkle with Parmesan cheese.

Makes 4 servings

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mommy's Day!

First (official) Mother's Day= Success!

To start the weekend off (yes, it was a whole-weekend long affair) I received a flower delivery on Friday. I almost didn't answer the door (due to the nondescript white van with no visible markings on it in front of my house and the semi-creepy man pacing at my doorstep) but then I saw the flowers. Truly beautiful lavender flowers.

I know that flowers are expensive and they die after a week or so, but I SO love receiving flowers every now and then. Having fresh, fragrant flowers in my home puts a smile on my face every time I walk by them! The fact that Hubs (Mr. Frugal-Fanny/orders-everything-off-the-internet-because-he-hates-shopping Himself) actually went out of his comfort-zone to a local florist, picked out a bouquet himself, and paid full-price for it was a BIG deal!

On Friday night, Hubs came home early from work and he and Little Man took me out to my favorite restaurant, Tripps, for a nice steak dinner. I heart Tripps! All of their food is made fresh on site daily, and they get their steaks from the same place as Ruth's Chris Steakhouse, so it's top quality but much lower price than a Ruth's Chris or a Morton's. Anyway, I could sing their praises for hours... So we had a lovely dinner out, and on the way home Hubs had one more surprise in store for me. He took me to the paint store and told me to pick out any paint I wanted and the HE would paint the basement and the upstairs hallways (I've been wanting to do this for about a year). This was a truly impressive gift (not to mention selfless) because while Christopher is a hard-working man who is incredibly handy around the house, the man would rather shove his thumb through his right eye than pick up a paint brush. Painting is his Everest, so the thought of him signing up for a whole weekends worth of painting nearly caused me to pass out. It was such a sweet gesture, but Hubs underestimated his wife's level of perfectionism. He didn't realize that I've spent months pouring over colors and had not quite found the right hue of Cappuccino for the "accent wall" in the basement family room. So we agreed that I'd take a rain-check on the painting (as he breathed a sigh of relief) and he decided that instead he would clean the entire house for me, and spend the weekend taking full responsibility for the baby, so that I could spend the weekend relaxing. It was glorious!

On Saturday morning I woke up just long enough to feed the baby, then went back to sleep until 11:30! I spent the entire day relaxing while Chris took care of Little Man and cleaned the house. I still got to feed and play with my baby, I just didn't have to be "responsible" for him. I even got to make a run to Whole Foods and Trader Joe's and take my time grocery shopping. This may not seem like fun to some of you, but I truly love a leisurely stroll through the supermarket (which I have not experienced since Spencer was born) and there is something about those two stores that makes me feel all healthy and good about myself. It was truly an awesome day! Sunday was more of the same, only he made me breakfast and gave me the sweetest card, and a present (I LOVE presents!) Apparently "Spencer went to Jared" (you know, like the commercials?) and bought me a beautiful necklace with his birthstone in it. It's a simple, understated (just how I like my jewelry) opal set in white gold.

So pretty. Spence did a great job of picking it out ;-) To cap off the day, we took all three children (Spence and the two dogs, of course) to Krump Park to stroll around in the sunshine.

A perfect ending to the perfect first Mother's Day.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Hate is a Very Strong Word...

But I actually HATE Gladiator sandals. What moron fashion designer had the cocaine-induced brilliant idea "Hey, I know what I could invent, a sandal that looks like what the ancient greeks wore, that will look ugly on everyone alive, and will make even Heidi Klum look like a frumpy mess." Sheer brilliance.

I actually feel violent toward this shoe, and you know I love me some shoes. So I know you're thinking "If you hate them so much, what's the big deal?" The big deal is that I recently bought a dress for an upcoming wedding that we're attending (my cousin Matt and his oh-so-adorable fiance, Ashley), and it's one of those Maxi dresses. I feel certain that you've seen them everywhere. These things are hot. I originally wasn't so sure I liked the Maxi either, but after trying one on I realized that they are the perfect weight for summer, can be dressed up (say, for a wedding perhaps) or down for a picnic with the fam on Belle Isle. They also hide a multitude of sins (can we say post-cesarean belly?) and can be easily taken in as I continue to lose this dreadful pregnancy weight. It's a cute dress, but EVERY single ad I see for ANY Maxi dress (any style, any color, any pattern) features a woman wearing it with Gladiator sandals. It's almost as if there's a rule. I asked a friend if I could get away with pairing it with some Espadrilles or a cute strappy sandal with a low heel and she laughed at me. Her response:

"Look, I hate the Gladiator sandal movement too. Everyone does. But you just have to do it. Put on your big-girl panties and deal with it. The Maxi dress has love for only one style shoe."

What to do???

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Here Comes the Rain

I love love love rain. I love the way it sounds, I love the way it smells and feels, and I love taking any excuse to wear my adorable polka-dotted rain boots. I know it's not an opinion shared by many others, but there is something so very beautiful about watching a good rain. As I write this, I am sitting on my comfy couch under a warm, soft blanket (given to me by my best girl, Angela), watching the rain fall out my back windows. The entire back wall of my house is full of windows, facing a huge wooded lot so all you see is trees upon trees upon trees, giving that feeling of bringing the outdoors in and making you feel one with nature. I sit here watching the raindrops hit my deck, each droplet bouncing a little as it hits. As the drops trickle down through the trees, they make the most refreshing sound. There is something very cleansing about watching a good rainfall. Not to mention the fact that the sound of it hitting the roof makes for the most AH-MAZE-ING nap ever...and I do love me a good nap!

I know there are times that we hope/wish/pray for beautiful sunshiny weather, and curse the folks at for forecasting rain during our planned trip to the amusement park, our family picnic, wedding day, etc. I personally was planning to meet a friend at the (outdoor) mall today to take our babies for a stroll and possibly do a little shopping. Now, since our 6/7 month-olds most-likely wouldn't appreciate a cold, wet stroller ride and the indoor malls around here are mostly rubbish, we probably won't be able to go. I was so disappointed for a minute, and then it's almost as if God said "Hey you, look outside for a minute and see that the rain was put there by Me, and therefore it is both necessary and beautiful." God is good at that, you know, thumping me over the head from time to time.

I've been praying now for months that God would somehow show me what my "purpose" is on this earth (or at least my purpose for the immediate future.) I want Him to show me what that purpose is, but only if it doesn't involve any "rain." For example, I'd love for Him to tell me to go serve on a medical missions team in South Africa for 2 weeks, that would be amazing. But what if He wants us to pack up and MOVE there and be full-time missionaries? That's a little too much "moving of my cheese" for my likings. Or what about hearing that Hubs and I should join the Big Brothers/Big Sisters program and help some troubled inner-city youth feel loved and be a good adult influence in their lives. I would be very open to that! But, what if God instead decides to ask us to become foster-parents, and to take one of these troubled children into our home and our neat little lives and try to parent them, then what?

I know that God's plans always end up greater than ours. I do know that. I know that the few times in my life when I clearly heard the voice of God call me to action, I followed him and was blessed IMMENSELY for it. But it's still human nature to want to avoid the rain. "I'll just stay in my cozy house on those rainy days and pray that tomorrow will be sunny." We tend to like it cozy. Who wouldn't? But watching the rain this morning I am becoming more and more aware that rain (both real and metaphorically speaking) is both good and necessary. We are going to go through a whole lot of "rainy" days/months/years in our time on this planet. Why not embrace it? Know that the rainy days will come whether they are invited or not, and live our lives doing what we are called to do (I'm speaking metaphorically here, people, keep up now). I think it's time for me to stop praying with contingencies and start opening my life up for God to use me, no matter how uncomfortable the changes may be. The only time we ever see a gorgeous rainbow is after a good rain.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

It's Cinco de Mayo! Whatever that means...

Hubs and I were invited tonight to join a few friends at a local Mexican Restaurant to celebrate Cinco de Mayo. I've never been entirely certain why it's such a popularly celebrated holiday among the gringos here in the U.S., although I have a feeling it has something to do with half-priced Margarita's. I suppose I should wiki it sometime and learn the real origins of this holiday, rather than contentedly celebrating a holiday of which I have no clue the origin, like an ignoramus. (note to self: search Wikipedia today for "Cinco de Mayo")

So we headed out (in the torrential downpour) to Plaza Guadalajara, and had a great time. Chris' coworkers and their wives have quickly become some of our closest friends. They are so much fun, and have been such an unexpected blessing in our lives. We had a few laughs, ate about 12 times more food than any human ever needs to consume, and let the baby dance on the table to some fun Mexican tunes. I mad my first "Bahama Mama" (verdict: it's okay, but next time I'll just take a Pina Colada) and left with about a pint of liquid cheese in my stomach from the irresponsible amount of chips and queso that I consumed.

Later, my friend Angela came over to watch a few DVR'd episodes of our new fave show, Monk. If you haven't watched this show, you need to. This guy is seriously hilarious. Also, the slightly perfectionistic OCD control freak in me can relate to Mr. Monk in more ways than I care to admit.

Now it's time for both me and my massive tummy ache to go to bed. Maybe after wiki-ing Cinco de Mayo...