Sunday, January 25, 2009

I Am Still a Simple Woman

The other day, Sonny asked if I was wearing a Fruit Loop necklace. Naturally I quickly responded that it was Turquoise and Coral and that I had made it. So yesterday, Chris asks if I like my "Fruit Loop" necklace, and answers my quizzical look with, "well, I've noticed that you wear it a lot." Ok?... but then he expounds and points out that it's one of the reasons that he loves me and that I am his Pioneer Woman. He has been reading the Little House on the Prairie series with Isabelle and Abigail, and shares a story about the father coming home with some beads that he got from a traveler or something, and how the wife stays up and proudly strings them together to make herself a necklace. And Chris points out that this, among other things is why I'm his pioneer woman. I'm not wearing my string of pearls or my diamond pendant, I wear my bead necklace that I made with my Dad. Since, I've frequently thought about why (or why not) I am a simple woman, this caught my attention.

I like to tease Chris when he points out a beautiful woman, that they would be too high maintenance for him, and that he is lucky to have me. Sure, I like to feel pretty, and every once in awhile I even make an effort, but here is the dish. I am a jeans and t-shirt (winter- comfy sweater) girl all the way. I never have the latest trend and can rarely even tell you what the latest trends are! It's been recommended to get my hair cut every six weeks, I'm lucky if it's every six months! I do my own mani-pedi's, and usually with Express Nail polish that dries in a minute (yes, Jodi, I know they are not good for your nails). My newest fashion purchases are always off the Clearance racks, and I can't remember ever paying retail (Thanks Mom and Dad for that curse and blessing!). Almost all of my cute shoes have been given to me by my parents, and since Chris thinks I have a lot of shoes, he has obviously never seen another woman's closet! I put on makeup probably once, maybe twice a week. I know I should wash my face at night, but frankly, I'm just too lazy... But for all my lack of fashion sense- there are a couple rules I know and follow- 1. Absolutely NO Mom jeans for me! And a good fitting pair of jeans can work wonders 2. A good Bra goes a long way, always support the girls! And that's about it, I'm out.

And while I'm thinking about how not high maintenance I am... I love to tell Chris how lucky he is, in that he couldn't handle a normal woman ;) I try to tell him that normal women have hormones, and cry, and are irrational - well, at least a lot more often than I am. He really doesn't know what is coming his way with a house full of girls though- hahaha!

While I may have a healthy collection of well, everything in my kitchen (but anyone that has eaten at my house knows, that I make good use of it all ;). I would consider myself to be rather practical when it comes to money and budgeting, and how and where to spend my money- which is a handy skill in this economy. Eating out for example, my reason for enjoying a meal out is usually that I didn't have to make it, and more importantly that I didn't have to clean it up. But having said that, more and more, lately especially, I find that when we eat out I'm usually disappointed- I can cook most anything we would order (and sometimes better). And by the time you pay $10 for a hamburger and fries, or a TexMex salad, it just doesn't seem worth it.

My sister is shaking her head and saying, No, Heidi likes nice things. My take is that I'm trying more and more to only buy and keep the things that I love and that I need, and sometimes things that just make me smile (that's important too). I'm getting to the point where I would rather spend a little more on that thing that I really love, and will use, and will last than throwing my money (and time and talents, etc.) on lesser things that take up space and energy or will easily be consumed and wasted. I'm trying to put a more conscious effort into how I spend the valuable resources in my life- time, money, energy, space, love, creativity, etc.. Sometimes more successfully than others, but at least I'm trying.

And one more funny, random thought. I found out this week that two of my friends fear that I hate them. I guess the reason that is comical to me is that I honestly can't think of one person in my life that I truly hated! And more than that, there aren't even very many people in my life that I dislike all that much- there are some I want to be around more than others, but I try to see the good in people more than the bad, so, even when I don't want to make them my personal best friend, I can see why someone else would, if that makes sense. And even though Chris thinks I'm a wimp that can't say "No", the truth is that I would rather be a person that is not afraid to say "Yes" when I can. If I can help make another person's life easier, than why shouldn't I say "Yes?" And I don't think it's a bad quality to not want to hurt someone else's feelings. AND.... I tease that they are going to have to try harder to offend me, or get me to hate them. They must not know me that well. Some people are simple, they say they hate everybody equally. I'm simple, I try to look for the best in people, and TRY to ignore the little flaws, everyone has them! If I can't look past the little flaws in people around me, how can I expect them to look past mine?

So I will choose to acknowledge my own flaws, analyze them once in awhile- so that I can try to make adjustments, and hopefully I will get a little better and do a little better each day. That's all I can ask (even though as many of you know, I expect a lot more) That's my real hope, that I'm getting better and wiser and more valuable to those around me that really matter. So I will keep trying, some days more successfully than others, to get closer to reaching a little higher and being a little more to the people around me that I love. And, I will keep wearing my "Fruit Loop" necklace simply because it makes me smile.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

It's ALL I Can Think About!

So, you know how when you are planning on having a baby, or building a house- thoughts and plans for those events consume every waking moment of your thoughts... Well, now that our Mediterranean vacation is booked- it is ALL I can think about. I'll just warn all of you right now, it's probably all I will talk about too for the next, I don't know 6 months, maybe longer! Sorry, but that's what you get when I'm planning the trip of my life (so far that is ;). I'm so dang excited I can hardly stand it, and the only reason that I'm not wishing it was sooner is that the anticipation and planning is fun too!
Earth and Water by blurredfoto / Aron.

I have to force myself to get off the computer to clean and do my normal responsible duties, because I'm having so much fun researching our cruise ship, and our different ports of call, and where to eat in Barcelona, and what to do in Rome, and how to avoid pickpockets in Naples, and what to pack, and chocolates in Amsterdam, and even the Mall of America in Minneapolis (we have a couple hours layover), museums in Florence, bakeries in Cannes, if excursions to Nice or Pompeii are worth it, etc. etc. etc.

Mediterranean food spread (IMG_11398) by One Finger Snap.

I'm even driving Chris crazy with the newest travel blog that I've found about Catalan bread, and the guy that says the seafood in La Boqueria is amazing, but the mushrooms at 16 euro aren't worth it. You get the idea. But the funny thing is that while I'm obviously excited about the museums and architecture and culture- Chris and I of course are most excited about the FOOD! Food, glorious food! I'm excited about 24/7 food on the ship, I'm excited about Tapas in Barcelona, I'm excited about Bistros and Bakeries in France. I'm excited about Pasta in Italy, pastries and chocolates in Amsterdam, thick Hot Chocolate at Dulcinea, finding the Bistros, and cafes down the alley full of locals and not tourists, fresh food in the open markets, bread, cheese, chocolate, pastries, seafood, pastas, mmmmm, yummy! My plan is to eat my way through this entire trip and I don't even care how many pounds I put on because of it. I'm going to figure out how to train myself to not sleep and eat constantly for this trip!
Brunch at Top of the Mark by Sutanto.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Christmas Day

Bros- Sonny and T... Christmas is all about family and it was wonderful to have so many family and friends around us, even though we missed the rest of our California family terribly! But it was so nice to have a nice relaxing Christmas day complete with good food, family, friends, and fun!
The dining room is almost ready for our big feast! Yummy!
We hosted our family Christmas morning brunch at our house this year- naturally the Shelbys' were here, but soon Sonny and Patty and Caitlyn joined us and the DeSantiago's- our adopted family. Here, I put Nicole in charge of setting the table (apparently that is a daunting task at my house and Nic, Patty, and Ivana were afraid I was going to be upset that they were doing it wrong- I thought that was funny)
Naturally, we ate great- we always do when we get together, we had a fabulous Brunch complete with Crepes and Berries and Cream, Brown Sugared Bacon, Sausage, Scrambled Eggs, Roasted Red Potatoes, Banana Walnut Muffins, Juice Bar, Yummy! I told everyone if they didn't get fat and happy at my house- it's not my fault!
You sing it T
It was so nice to have such a relaxing and chill Christmas, we all just played and talked and ate and rotated on RockBand marathon Christmas day... and I loved converting people to my new addiction, muwahahaha
Our favorite Christmas day activity- this little band rocked the house!
TJ quickly became great on the guitar and was an easy convert... Caleb was not a good helper though. ;)
I am the drummer- it's not a secret that I've become a RockBand addict- but I have to say that I actually do rock on the drums- and it was great having bandmembers to play with ;)
Sonny is my RockBand buddy... I've converted him, he liked Bass and Guitar most though.

Christmas Morning

So fun- I love Christmas mornings.... ours may have started early, but it was great! And it was fabulous having the Shelby's here to share it with us.
All the cute kids (minus Caleb) in their new jammies waiting to come downstairs.
Santa was good to us this year- EVERYONE was spoiled rotten- nice!
Here is the traditional shots of the Christmas tree as it looks before we all annihilate everything underneath it.Apparently I didn't get a good pic of it (don't know why) but Chris and T were cute because Chris got Superman PJ's and TJ got Batman PJ's and they only got out of them all week when we had to (ie going to Tucano's for lunch, and TJ's interview). But they were excited about them.It was KILLING the kids that Zach kept coming downstairs (when they all understood the rule to stay upstairs until we were ready)- that is also why our morning started very early- about 5:00 am, the kids were FREAKING out because Zach had gone downstairs and gotten into some of the stockings... OOPS! So we were all up and getting started by 6:00 am, pretty good considering they were all up about 4:30 am, YIKES!
Here are the kids watching and (patiently?) waiting for us to get everything ready from our bridge.
This was probably Zach's favorite Christmas toy- he now carries them everywhere, and even wants to sleep with this Toy Story set. Good job "Santa!!"

Hannah... so fun to have the cousins together.
Adam is such a great kid- he cracks me up!
TJ was doing pretty well considering he hadn't slept much- they drove all night to arrive at about 6:00 am on Christmas Eve, and then Caleb kept them up all night while they were here.
Give me more, give me more- Hannah was a good sport when she didn't have quite as much to open since she had already had two Christmas's with her Grandma and Grandpas.
Abigail was happy to get a new Nintendo DS, just like Isabelle. But they all played with the Nerf dart guns all week- big hit!
Claire--- got a new bike, and if it ever stops snowing, we'll teach her how to ride it ;)
It was an early, and fun morning of family, fun, and of course presents galore!

Christmas Eve!!

I know it's late, but you know the saying, I've been promising to share some of these photos, see here is a (late) glimpse into our fantastic Holidays!

It was Hannah and Adam's first time playing in or even seeing Snow- too bad we all get sick and couldn't play in it more... guess you guys will have to come back soon ;)
Here's Adam getting all bundled and ready to play.
Uncle Sonny... love ya Bro!
I swear Adam did this to himself- but it's too bad we didn't have a pair for all the kids! ;)
Nicole and Caleb, waiting for dinner- which was fabulous- Tamales, Posole, and all the fixins'!
Chris reading the traditional Night Before Christmas!
The kids all lined up on the couch- listening intently to Chris' rendition...
Our friends and adopted family- Frank and Ivana!
The kids were all lined up on the couch- too cute!

Chris is still just one BIG KID!
It was so great to have the Shelby's here to celebrate Christmas with us.
Zach wasn't feeling very well that night, and was pretty crabby- but loved when we started opening presents!
Cute Cousins! They had so much fun together- we need to get them together more often!