Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Bah Humbug

Every year it's the same story.  I get all jazzed for the holidays.  I LOVE this time of year!!  I plan when we are going to get the tree - making sure I bring my camera for the photo.  I make plans for Christmas eve dinner at a family friends house, when we drive through Madrid to see the town decked all in lights, Christmas carols are constantly playing as well as holiday movies.  While I am joyous and bubbly, JP is moody and well...the grinch. 

You see I always felt a magic in the air this time of year.  I looked forward to curling up next to a crackling fire, the aroma of mulled cider, hot cocoa, and baked goodies wafting in from the kitchen.  An evergreen standing tall, lights twinkling with all my childhood ornaments lovingly hanging from its branches.  Outside large snowflakes drift down, blanketing the world white - perfect for bringing that special snowman to life.

This year however, I find myself lacking the spirit.  Here it is 4 days until Christmas day and I haven't done a single thing.  There is no tree (one of my most favorite traditions) standing proudly in my living room - we never got one or haven't gotten one yet.  I never sent out holiday cards wishing everyone a merry Christmas.  Even when people have been wishing me one, and I back - my heart isn't in it.  We threw our family photo time out the window. 

We did do a bit of Christmas shopping for Logan and Aslyn - Logan is getting old enough now to understand.  This left me feeling even less spirited and disgusted.  Disgusted by the herds of people pushing and crowding to get this or that.  Children screaming and throwing tantrums because their mom and/or dad said they couldn't have something (this is another thing I am soooo very proud of Logan about.  He took a toy horse off a shelf and showed it to JP and me.  He carried it around and looked at it.  When we told him to go put the horse back, he did just that, then walked off on his merry little way.)  All I wanted to do was go home.

I have done everything I can think of (besides get the tree) to bring myself out of this blahness.  I've baked, listened to Christmas music, watched my favorite holiday movies, we looked at the lights in Madrid - nothing has worked.  Then I start feeling worse looking at Logan and how having two scrooge parents isn't fair to him.

All of this reminds me of an article I saw the other day titled, "Christmas - It's the Most Stressful Time of Year."  Below this it read, "Remember when it used to be the most wonderful time of year?"

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Holiday Recital

Today marked the last day of school for Logan until January 3. To celebrate, Cibola House Preschool put on a little holiday recital for the parents. The kids all lined up in the East room while the parents gathered in the West. Soon the kids came in ringing bells, searching for their Moms and Dads with big grins on their faces.

You may have noticed a hole where a kid should be as well as a missing little boy.  There are actually two kids missing - both the youngest in the group.  As the class piled in the two younger ones decided that they would prefer watching rather than participating (I think it was all just a little bit too much for them.)  So, Logan sat on my lap smiling and cheering on his classmates.

  Of course that soon ended when the singing was over and it was snack time...

As the kids gathered around the table, the parents stood nearby socializing.  (Beware - bragging about to take place.)  I had parent after parent approach me and tell me how much they have heard about Logan.  Apparently it is always, Logan this and Logan that.  One couple approached me and told me how their daughter -Thora- came home and said she "liked a boy at school named Logan, he's two and rides horses."  Her parents and older brothers told her she was making Logan up, there is no two year old who rides horses.  After the teachers of the school heard this, they were adament on having Thora's parents meet Logan and his parents.

I also heard over and over how much Logan is a joy to have around and how much everybody adores him.  I'm so proud of my little guy!!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Operation Tiger Rescue

Logan likes to haul things around.  Yesterday it was a tree branch, a plastic container where some of his toys are suppose to be stored (he was carrying it around empty), and his toy tiger - I have no idea where this tiger came from; but Logan likes to carry him around and hang things off of his tail - such as Aslyn's pacifiers.

So Logan was hauling these items around, when I put him in the car and drove him to school he was still hanging on to them.  When we got to the preschool, I told him he does not need to bring them in, that they can stay in the car and they will be here when he gets picked up.  Of course this threw him into a fit.  He ran off crying, tried to get in the car on the other side and so forth.  I told him we could compromise and he can bring in one item - the tiger.  Well, that was not good enough for him; he wanted them all so he threw the tiger.  Fine, I said now you can't bring anything.  I carried Aslyn in one arm and dragged Logan - who in his fuss became a limp noodle - into the school. 

I figured that I would pick the tiger up on my way back out.  However, in my haste to get back home (as posted in my earlier blog, yesterday was our NHTC audit) I forgot all about Logan's tiger until I was halfway home.  JP asked me how dropping Logan off was and I informed him about the tiger laying out in the middle of the parking lot.  He called the school while I ran off to work.

When I went to pick Logan up, I was told that "Operation Tiger Rescue" was a success.  Sir Eric (one of the other little boys there - he dressed up as a knight for Halloween and his winter hat looks like a knights helmet) and Miss Debbie (one of the teachers) searched the parking lot and rescued Logan's tiger bringing him back to safety and into the hands of his relieved, delighted owner.  Sir Eric then informed everyone, "To call on him again!  He not only rescues tigers, but also people and puppies!"

I was giggling as I listened to Miss Allison (the other teacher) relay the story to me; picturing every moment.

On another note: All the kids were out on the "big" playground when Logan shouted "Ella!"  Well, Ella (a little girl in the class) heard Logan shout out her name and went running to see what he wanted.  Everybody was so excited at this event that now, according to Miss Allison, the whole world knows when Logan called Ella.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Time For a Time Out

We all have had them.  Everything is going somewhat smoothly, your daily routine has fallen into place, work is at a steady pace so your "to do" pile is getting completed daily.  Then it happens.  A whirlwind of things come blowing your way.

First it was work.  I received an e-mail - the livestock insurance had to be updated that day because the original company is no longer handling this type of insurance and it will lapse tomorrow.  Two other e-mails came in from Breedplan in Australia marked "urgent."  1. Our recip cow information needed to be updated - 2008 animals were fine but 2009-2010 needed attention.  2. They are coming out with a new breedplan report so update all cattle information ASAP!  Phone call: it is time for our NHTC audit, scheduled for Thursday (hence make sure a whole year's worth of ration records, movement records, drug inventories, cattle shipping records, and compliant/non-compliant information is updated and available for our auditor.)  JP comes in and says he needs this information typed up in numerological order with cane code numbers and grouped by Wednesday.  In waltzes the manager, "you need to send this e-mail and make this phone call and when you are done with that I have another couple of projects for you.

Of course this is all happening when I lose a day of work.  Wednesday - doctor's appointment so I will be out of the office.

The American Wagyu Association is converting registrations over to a new system, another e-mail - make sure all registrations are in by December 15, as the new system will cause a few weeks delay for proper training.

Second, home:  JP: why haven't you sewed up my pants yet?  When are you going to start working out?  You need to wash all the bedding down to the mattress - including sleeping bags and pillows (he was/has been sick).   The carpet needs to be cleaned.  Phone call: Shelly, this is so and so from ABQ Health Partners revenue department- did you know that you have an outstanding balance of $972.00?  When can we expect this paid?  Me to ABQ revenue:  No I did not know, please put me on a payment plan and why have I never received a bill from you guys?  I tell this to JP, he says:  You should call the insurance company and see what is going on (we are now paying on three separate hospital bills - Sheridan Children's Hospital, Lovelace Women's Hospital, and now ABQ Health Partners.)  Another phone call: so have you started training yet (for my next marathon?)  Me: No, I haven't done anything.

I do a short meditation.  I think I need a time out, some quality R & R.  A day or even a few hours of absolute nothingness.  Just me and maybe a good book -  (which is another thing JP has gotten on to me about - Him: What you don't like reading anymore? 
Me:  Of course I like reading!  I just haven't had a chance to sit down and absorb myself in a good book lately,) - put on some Miles Davis, maybe Tchaikovsky, light a few candles, grab a cozy blanket and curl up on the chair.  Of course in order to do this, I'll have to kick JP and the kiddos out... 

Something I don't see happening in the near future.  But doesn't it sound like absolute bliss?

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Cold Winter Mornings

As I awake, the sky is still dark; the wooden and tile floors cold beneath my socked feet while I tiptoe through the kitchen, trying not to wake my family (Aslyn is awake which is why I am tiptoeing throughout the house.) I'm bundled up in a sweatshirt as I make a pot of coffee and watch the sky as the sun rises.

As JP and Logan sleep soundly in their beds, nestled beneath warm blankets; I quietly talk with Aslyn. We power up the computer to check e-mails and the weather report. Aslyn finishes eating, gives me a drowsy smile, and falls back asleep; she wiggles herself closer to me and buries her face in my sweatshirt. I sit here, savoring the moment knowing that all too soon, both my children will be grown and won't want to cuddle up with mom anymore. After a while, I put Aslyn down, wash the dishes and fold some laundry.

I hear JP hop in the shower, I begin making his breakfast and me another cup of coffee. He says he loves me as he runs out the door. Soon I hear the pitter patter of little feet running to me. Logan is now awake and wanting to snuggle up with mom. 

However, the snuggling is short this morning as he wanted to check on Aslyn...

And so our morning continues.  There is laundry to do, the house to pickup, lots and lots of playtime, and then it's off to work.  Logan is on Thanksgiving break so he will be spending the next few days at home with mom, dad, and Aslyn. 

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Halloween 2010

It's hard to believe that Halloween has already come and gone!  We did our usual - carved pumpkins and then trunk or treat at the local churches.  They both have carnivals; one church changed their trunk or treat; you had to attend the carnival and play the games for your candy. 

This year's costume for the kiddies - a garden gnome and a toadstool.  I constructed the costumes myself which I was super excited about.  Logan's was the easiest; a pair of sweatpants, his snow boots, a henley shirt, and a beanie.  I sewed the belt on the shirt and got some fake fur at the fabric store, cut out a beard, add an elastic band and wallah!  A perfect gnome!  Aslyn's "stem" was one of those halo sacks that I got as a gift from the hospital.  Her mushroom cap took a little bit of thinking.  I  wanted the mushroom shape but also needed it light enough for  her little neck.  So....a bit of cardboard, a take out container, lots of  bubble wrap, some fabric and I had my little toadstool.

Logan's preschool had a big Halloween party.  JP and I were not going to attend at first; but after he heard a line in a song "Life is not the breath you take, but the moments that take your breath away" he decided to drop everything and go.  Everybody else here at already left anyway.  He came to the office where I was - not concentrating very well (I had just received some bad news) and asked if I wanted to go.  Now usually it takes me ten minutes or so to save, send and shut everything down - I was ready in less than a minute.  I'm glad we went; almost all the other kids' parents were there so we got to meet and mingle with them.  The kids put on a costume parade (Logan's teacher said he had the perfect build for a gnome!), they  made cup cakes for their parents, though the two Logan made; only one made it to JP and I.  JP ate the whole thing  - sheesh.  Different activities were around the room; paint a pumpkin, make a ghost out of paper plates and streamers, pumpkins made out of tortillas and orange cream cheese, etc.  It was fun to see all the other kids' in their costumes.  Such a variety!  There was Superman, Spiderman, Iron man, a princess, Daphne from Scooby Doo, and so on.

Pumpkin carving this year was mainly JP and Logan - Aslyn was hungry...again.  JP and Logan sat on the kitchen floor while Aslyn and I sat in the living room where we could see.  Logan kept us updated on their carving progress by after every step bringing the pumpkins to Aslyn and I so we can see.  First it was before anything was done, JP cut off the top of the pumpkins - Logan brought them both over and said,  "See?"  After the "guts" were taken out, Logan brought the pumpkins over to show us.  An eye, then both eyes, the nose, the mouth; he carried the pumpkins over.  I guess he didn't want us left out.  Of course we lit them and ooohed and ahhed.  Logan, "Woooww." 

Now--what to make for next year's costumes?....

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Date Night

Have you ever seen the movie "Date Night?" - - - ha, ha, ha; oh anyway (wipe tears away.)

JP and I recently celebrated our wedding anniversary (yay!)  Lily - the woman who watched Logan and Aslyn when we went to the Zac Brown concert last month - came out to spend another evening with my beautiful children.  Our plan was to just go out for dinner; but Lily said we needed to make it a real date and see a movie too.  She even brought with her the paper with the movie listings in it!

We decided to try Vernon's Hidden Valley Steakhouse for dinner.  The atmosphere is fashioned after the Prohibition era; the talk is "speak easy" which let me tell you most of what was said flew right over my head - I did get no tommy guns and no squawking, but everything else - whoosh!   I don't think I would make a good gangster.  At first we drove right by the place (good thing we had an address); the restaurant is unassuming and hidden behind a black door through a nondescript entry.  In fact while we were outside before giving our password to get in; another couple came walking by us and kept looking back - probably wondering what we were doing!

Taking the password.
Dinner was fabulous!  JP enjoyed a wet aged rib eye and I a dry aged; a half bottle of red wine (I don't remember what it was called but it was good - and I am usually more of a white wine drinker.)  The waiter asked JP and I if we were celebrating anything and we told him our anniversary.  He then asked how long we've been married.  After telling him seven, I felt like we should have been celebrating a much larger milestone number.   Has it only been seven years?  The waiter brought out the restaurants signature dessert for us (equipped with a candle) and wished us many more years of happiness.  Oh my gosh...the dessert...JP and I shared it, I scraping the plate of any last remaining morsels; in which JP teased me about.  I told him he was lucky I didn't just pick up the plate and start licking it! 
While leaving the doorman told JP that he better be back or he'll send Vinny out to break his knee caps.  Nice!

The evening was wonderful; more than I have ever spent on dinner in my life but worth every bite.  Upon Lily's request we went to the dollar theatre and picked whatever movie was showing at that time, The Sorcerer's Apprentice - it was cute.

I came home, stomach happy, tired, and ready to cuddle with my kiddies.  However, Lily had them both fast asleep in their beds, so we just told her about our evening, asked how things went with her,  and made our way to bed ourselves.

The next morning JP took Lily out horseback riding (her payment for watching kids).  She reminded us again and again that she is more than willing to come out once a month to babysit while JP and I have a date night - ha, ha, ha - seriously that movie makes me laugh every time I think of it.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Two Days

The days and nights are getting colder. Especially the nights. I have been in fleece pajamas, a hoodie, wool socks; bundled inside my down sleeping bag and barely getting my body comfortable with that. Of course the fact that JP likes to sleep with the windows open do not help.

It has now been two days since I've slept. One reason is because of the colder weather. But it is not necessarily the cold keeping me up - it's a darn mouse! Either I have become a lighter sleeper or this is just one noisy little critter. I hear him (or her - I don't know) scraping through Biscuits dog bowl and gnawing on his food. Okay, I thought after tossing and turning for a couple hours listening to this; I'll solve that problem. Dog bowl outside. Wrong! Now he is in the stove.

Yesterday I opened up the stove and removed any dog food he had hidden in there. I also found dog food in my fabric supply and in a hood of one of Aslyn's outfits; who knows where else that bugger is hiding it.

After another sleepless night listening to my dear friend, I awoke - coffee calling my name to wake me up - and all over my stove was mouse droppings! I swear this mouse is aggravating me on purpose. Now it is war!!

Reason number two for my lack of sleep (although this one is worth it.)  Don't let that innocent face fool you!  She is little miss party from 3:00 am - 4:30 am!  Isn't she adorable though?

JP's solution to my insomnia.  Go to bed earlier.  Both nights I was in bed by 9:30,  so I asked him, how much earlier?  He said as soon as I get home...6:00?!  That's a little too early if you ask me!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Hey, It's OK!

Every month Glamour magazine has a page devoted to little amusings that women may feel insecure about or are not likely to do (such as actually getting the dressing on the salad instead of on the side) So, I came up with my own list on things that I have learned or am working on.

Hey, It's OK!
...to ask for help.

...to curl up with my kids in bed and sleep in an extra hour even if it means not making JP breakfast (hey, he knows how to work a toaster.)

...to stand up for myself.

...to splurge on me once in a while without feeling guilty.

...to want to run away from it all somedays.

...to squander the day away playing with Logan and Aslyn instead of doing household chores.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010


Logan took this picture of Aslyn himself!
He loves his sister!
Aslyn was not too happy with Dad putting her in his boot.
What a face!

Logan on his excavator. He always wears his helmet backwards...

Thursday, September 23, 2010

The Arrival of Aslyn

I am quite late in posting this but still trying to get acquainted with being a mom of two! (Eek)

At 9:26 am on August 21, Aslyn Grace was born. The events leading up to her birth were quite amusing and just showed that no matter how much you try, you are never fully prepared.

I started getting labor pains around one in the morning; with my in-laws in town I tried pacing around the house quietly - it was more comfortable to walk around then to lie in bed - I stubbed my toe on a chair and tried not to swear too loud, got on the computer to look up the hospital information, and then thought to myself - maybe I should start timing these contractions.

My mother-in-law awoke at three and asked me what I was doing. Now Logan's whole labor took less than six hours, since the second child usually comes faster, my midwife had told me that as soon as labor starts get to the hospital (I live an hour away) - you can already tell how well I listen!

After my mother-in-law took over timing contractions and after much discussion between her and I (as well as giggling - why do early mornings make one giggle so much?) I decided to call the hospital to see whether I should come in. The first phone call, I was transferred. After being on hold for ten minutes I hung up and tried a different number. This second phone call, I was told to call another number. So, I hung up again. The third phone call; they'll call me back. Finally, I got a hold of the midwife on duty and told her what was going on - contractions 3-4 minutes apart, I live out in the boonies, etc. - should I start heading in? Her response was so hazy - (in a dreamy type voice): "Oh, well, you can come in if you want too. Or you can have some breakfast then come in. Whatever you feel like doing." Um...is that a yes?

I figured at 4:30 in the morning, I should probably wake JP up. "Hey JP, you feel like taking a drive to the hospital?" His response: "Are you in labor?" No, I just feel like doing a practice run.

JP flew out of bed - "Dad, get dressed! We're going to the farm!" The house was turned upside down as James and JP ran around getting ready and tore out of here in the pick-up. I looked at my mother-in-law - what just happened?

As the guys were at the farm, us girls decided to pack up the car with overnight bags; we awoke Logan and got him ready, then drove out to the front gate and waited for the guys to come back. I walked laps around the car yelling at my mother-in-law when to start and stop timing.

Headlights appeared from the north and the pick-up sped it's way into the drive where we were waiting. JP jumped out of the truck and yelled at his mom to get out of the way, she handed him my cell phone (what we were timing contractions on) and got out of the car. JP took my cell phone and threw it in the pick up where his Dad, Mom, and where I was moving Logan too. Then it was off to the hospital - now 5:45 am.

All the way to the hospital, JP was worried about the farm and work (the manager was away on vacation until that afternoon.) "If only you could have waited another couple of hours." he kept telling me. Oh, geez.

We arrived at the hospital around 6:45 am. We signed in and got situated in our room. JP immediatly began phoning all the ranch workers. While he was doing that, the nurse came in to check me. It turned out we had a little more time. So, she brought me a "clear" breakfast - jello, popsicles, and so forth and we turned on the Saturday morning cartoons. Without TV at home, this was a treat for us. However, it soon became annoying as I was going through stronger contractions, and JP, my "coach" was too busy watching the cartoons. He would stand by my bed during a contraction, eyes glued to the television set, until finally I clicked the power button.

Of course, by now I was so irritated and tired that nothing JP did was good. He tried to talk to me, I told him to be quiet. He tried to help me to the bathroom, I told him to leave me alone. When he tried to rub my back during a contraction, I told him not to touch me. He started laughing, and I yelled at him for that too.

I asked JP to get someone to come in. The nurse on duty had walked in and set the midwife was going to be there soon to see how far along I was. That was 25 minutes earlier. The pain was so bad I begged JP to find someone. His response: "They have other people to work with, it's not all about you." WHAT!

After pushing the nurses button and telling them that someone needed to get in my room NOW; was when the midwife showed up. And guess what, Aslyn was ready to be welcomed into this world. The midwife went on and on about how fast everything was for me, I know, I told them all that; it's in my charts. She even said that she should have read my chart more closely. Good thing I was in too much pain right then to give her a piece of my mind - and fist (just kidding! - about the fist.)

Aslyn arrived at 9:26 am with no complications. After being checked out she was given back to Mom (me) where I introduced myself and her father to her. My sweet baby girl.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Weekend Getaway

Nestled in the foothills of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains is the historic inn, Casa del Gavilan. This was one place we stayed on our weekend getaway before becoming four. And let me tell you I absolutely loved it here!

Our room (below) is named the Phillips room; with two windows that opened to the courtyard and the "Tooth of Time" ridge on the mountains.

A library, breakfast, and nature trails were just some of the other "perks" that came with staying here.

Even Logan seemed to fit in well; he chased the birds and cats through the courtyard, flirted with the housekeeper (who was from New Zealand), and of course scoped out and played with everything in our room.

The inn is located six miles outside of Cimarron, NM and one mile outside of the Philmont Scout Ranch where JP went at 15 for a backpacking trip. (View of Philmont ranch below.)

Several hours we toured the Philmont Scout Ranch and the town of Cimarron. A stop in an old fashioned soda shop for ice cream cones and milkshakes (we were waiting out the current rainstorm) a few conversations with the boy scouts attending camp. I quickly realized why JP fell in love with this part of New Mexico.

The next day took us through the winding mountain roads to Red River. This town was faster paced and full of tourists. A few people we talked too have come here every year for years for their family vacations. However, I prefer the quiet, slowness of the Cimarrons (I think Logan did too - here he was fussy, wouldn't listen, and driving Mom absolutely crazy!) A two hour wait for dinner didn't help either.

JP says it only took him 17 years to return to the place he loved (the Cimarron's.) Hopefully we don't wait that long for another little trip to this area. This time, maybe I won't be 37 weeks pregnant and can hike more. :)

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Just A Few Pics

My girlfriend usually posts a blog - oh, about once a week or so, that she calls "This week in pics." I love the idea! So I am going to copy her (Hey - copying is the best form of flattery right?)

PLUS, it forces me to use my camera more! :)

Logan dressed himself here.

Picnicing in the Sandia's. Not sure what he is looking for, but he had to be in the trees to find it.

Helping Mom in the garden.

Grandma sent these visors - one horse, one dinosaur, and one elephant. Logan insists we all have to wear our visors while hanging out.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Discount Sales

It's seven in the morning and I have already cursed a half dozen things (swollen feet, swollen ankles, coffee grounds in the pot so I had to make a new one, burnt toast, dishes, etc.) Perhaps it is starting out this way because of another late night...

Last night was the quilt shops garage sale. JP having been out late the night before due to a fire here on the ranch; I told him that if he just wants to stay home and rest, that's okay with me. We can hit the garage sale next year or I can go without him. He, of course, jumped up and said no we're all going.

I remember last year arriving about 45 minutes after the sale had started, so the majority of the people must have cleared out. This year however, we arrived a few minutes before the start time of 6:00. The line to get in the store was working it's way down the strip. JP and Logan decided to go look at tools (there is a tool store right next to the quilt shop) while I got a place in line. I stood there, listening as women were coming up with their game plans. Not having made a plan (I had all intentions of gathering my list of projects I need to work on and making a list of fabric needed, but never got to it) I stood there mindless. Finally deciding that I was going to look for some pretty fabric to make myself a pillowcase for the hospital when I give birth - the nurses and midwives always tell you to bring a pillow without a white pillowcase so the hospital does not mistake it for one of there's and take it.

The doors to the store opened and the women began scrambling in. When I finally got to the door, it was madness! Women were piled on top of each other trying to get to the bolts of fabric they found and liked. I stood there, my big belly (hard to navigate upon wild women at a sale) got knocked around a couple of times with bolts of fabric, another woman was trying to get a bolt from a top shelf and almost had the whole shelf topple upon my head! I desperately looked around, where were JP and Logan? I need reinforcements!!

I spotted my little Logan standing on the steps inside the quilt shop watching wide eyed; Dad behind him. I waved and they made their way through the masses to reach me. JP asked, "What do you need, tell me and I'll get it." I told him my pillowcase plan. He said that we have four pillows at home and only two pillowcases; both ratty, so I need enough fabric to make four. He weaseled his way amongst the flying bolts and women and picked out ones he liked for him and Logan. Now me. I looked and found a green and brown paisley one; there were many other ones I liked as well, but was ready to get my fabric and get the heck out of there.

After picking out fabric, JP and Logan headed out the door and sat on the curb outside while I paid. I joined them, Logan immediately grabbing Mom's hand to sit down next to him and Dad. As we walked to the car JP said that we all needed milkshakes after that. I whole heartily agreed.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Oh How I Despise...

Men who act "macho."

Ever been out with a group of people (friends, family, etc.) and the guys immediately start puffing up their chests, acting like roosters, and trying to outdo the other in their "machoness?" Really, it's disgusting and quite the turn off.

Last August we went on a short family trip to California to celebrate my Grandmother's 80th Birthday. One night we drove out to JP's cousin's house to stay the night. Her boyfriend was lounging on the couch; until we walked in. Then it was the old time guy's game of trying to prove how he is the top dog among men.

I see it all the time being mainly around men; everyone picking at each other to be the alpha male. Especially during sale time, when other guys come out to help. Some will use swearing (hello...small children learning to talk around) to prove their machoness; or discuss how much they could drink, their past women, or how many fights they've been in. And this isn't just the young roosters; some of the older guys are the worst!

One thing I absolutely love and adore about my husband is how he doesn't feel like he must be the alpha in the pack of wolves. However, when pushed or threatened, he won't sit idly by either. I've seen him come to the aid of others (whether it be on the side of the road or by defending someone being trashed talked.) Yet, he patiently strolls through rows and rows of fabric (the things I've heard husbands say to their wives in the fabric store - they should be ashamed!) or doesn't mind having afternoon tea with me.

JP and I were discussing over dinner the other night what defines a man. Some say it is the fact that he works hard and provides for his family. In so many cases people believe that what a man does for a living defines who he is. When really isn't who he is define what he does?

To me, a man is not what he does or how much finances he can provide. A man is defined by the person he is inside. It is his unselfishness to others, his love for his family and friends. He does not act above and beyond those around him, but treats everyone with respect. A man has integrity, is courageous, and honest. A man is the kindness and gratitude he gives his wife and children.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Anniversary Party

So I wrote about Saturday's afternoon tea we all had; however, our day did not end there! We ran some errands afterwards and then headed out to the Civic Center in Moriarty where we waited to surprise Earl (one of our ranch hands) and his wife Jennifer for their 40th wedding anniversary party; hosted by their daughters and grand children.

Earl and Jennifer arrived around a hour after we got there. Both surprised by the room full of people there to share their many years together. The maid of honor and best man from their wedding 40 years ago presented rings and Earl and Jennifer renewed their vows. We ate dinner, Earl and Jennifer cut a wedding cake, and then the dancing began. Earl and Jennifer glided around the floor to the "bride and groom's first dance" then the rest of the guests were invited up to party down.

Logan watched the colored dance floor lights mesmerized. He watched as guys led girls out to the floor and swung them around. Then he hopped down off his chair, took Mom's hand and led her out to dance. We twirled around for a few minutes before Logan decided that Dad needed to be out there as well! He ran back grabbed Dad and the three of us danced around the room.

It wasn't until after nine before we decided to call it a day; after all we still had a 45 minute drive back home. Logan passed out in the back seat, JP and I blared the air conditioning and rock radio to keep ourselves awake until we got home. A phone call to my sister (it was her birthday) then JP and I crashed into bed.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Afternoon Tea

Every weekend it seems we are running around doing errands for the house or getting JP and Logan needed items. JP finally pushed me enough to make a reservation at the St. James Tearoom in Albuquerque...

We arrived dressed up - well, dressed up to the best of our ability at the moment anyway - and patiently waited to be seated to our "room." Every month they have a different theme; this month's theme was Lewis Carrol's Alice in Wonderland. Thus, the tea cozy placed upon our tea pot (to keep it warm) had a sign on it stating "Drink Me." The three tiers of food (top tier, savories - such as chicken blueberry salad, curiouser and curiouser quiche, Tweedle Dee and Tweedle dumpling, etc. Second tier, scones and bread; third tier, sweets - Queen of Hearts Cherry Tarts, Cheshire Cat Chocolate Mint, and Wonderland Tea Party Cake.)

Our room - Highwood. The country estate home of William Wilberforce, a British statesman and philanthropist. His efforts in Parliament helped pass the Slave Trade Act of 1807 and the Slavery Abolition Act to end slave trade in the British Empire in 1833.

You are alloted two hours in which time you receive three pots of tea. (I'm not much of a tea drinker but I was outdoing JP on all of these different teas - excited to try the next one!) The first pot we received was a traditional black tea called "Lady Londonderry". Next pot was a blueberry black tea, and the third pot an orange oolong that was delightful!

Of course, (as a mom always does - well I do anyway) I wondered how my active little two year old boy was going to behave having to sit two hours around fancy tea cups. He was GREAT!!! He thought moving the sugar with the sugar tongs was pretty amusing (there were two sugar bowls, one sugar in the raw with a small spoon in it and one with lumps of brown and white sugar with sugar tongs). He drank his tea with his tea spoon, ate a few savories, went back and forth from one couch to the other (our room had two victorian style couches with a table in between) and talked to Mom and Dad about very important two year old things.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Independence Day

Every year we say we are going to go up to the crest (top of Sandia Mountains - which is above 10,000 feet) to watch the fireworks. Because it is so high up you are able to see all the fireworks being set off in Albuquerque. We've been asked on several occasions whether we had gone up there yet during the 4th of July. Well, this year we finally did.

We packed the car with sleeping bags, beanies, hooded sweatshirts, warm jackets and headed out at nine o'clock. We stopped at the nearest gas station to grab a few drinks and then wound our way up the winding mountain road. I was getting a little worried because more cars were coming down then going up. I kept wondering if it was just too crowded up there, is there no room? Did we miss the show? - It just got dark!

We reached the top around 9:30, bundled ourselves up and blindly (it's dark remember and we didn't bring flashlights) walked our way up to the look out point. The cold wind whipped at our faces as we tried to make out fireworks from the mass of glowing city lights. Little Logan was none too happy. He didn't fuss or anything but you can just see he was miserable.

The way everyone talked about it, I had this great firework show in my head. Thousands of fireworks lighting the dark sky as we oooh and ahhh. Balloon Fiesta park always has a huge show every year, but even from that height (and all the other people) it was difficult to see. All in all it was pretty disappointing. We went back to the car and drove our way back down (we had been up there a total of 20 minutes.)

We discussed how next year, maybe we'll break down and head to Balloon Fiesta park; maybe get some sparklers for the kids to play with at home.

Either way, it was nice to have a little family outing.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Clothespin Apron

Remember hearing about the days when Grandma or Mom would sit down with their grand-daughters/daughters and teach them how to sew? Well, that was not me. I'm learning as I go...

Okay, so I have been trying to branch out from quilting. Not that I don't like making quilts, I do! I just thought it was time to try my hands at other things. So I sat down and finally made something for me {gasp!!}

I found this clothespin apron tutorial on another blog and had to make it! Right now I use my Williams Sonoma cooking apron to keep my clothespins and wear while I'm hanging clothes out on the line. This one is pretty cool because the flower print is all one huge pocket. Pretty neat huh?

AND it was kind of a family project (okay maybe not, but I'm saying it is) because JP and Logan helped pick out the fabric! {faint.}

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Ballooning up

My husband came into the office the other day and asked if he could get on my computer for a few minutes. Needing a break and to get up and walk around a bit I happily complied. He looked down at my feet and noticed I was barefoot.

"Where are your shoes?" he asked me. I told him that I had kicked them off under my desk. When he asked why I said, "Look at my feet!! They look like Miss Piggy's especially in my Mary Janes!"

Another morning I was eating my piece of toast and talking to my husband, clenching and unclenching my hands.

"What's the matter with your hands?" he asked me. I told him, "Look at them, they look like Shrek's hands!"

He laughed and said "Yes, you look like an animated character." Thanks.

Another hot stuffy day; I laid on our bed with the fan blowing at full speed in front of me.

"What are you doing?" my husband asked me. I explained that it's hot and I'm trying to cool off. Then I said, "Man, I feel like a beached whale right now."

My husband's reply, "You don't look like a whale, a walrus maybe, but not a whale."

Logan being born in the winter (the coldest day of the year in fact), I never swelled up. With this little one, and the 85-102 degree heat, I am just ballooning up. I think of "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" when Violet eats the piece of gum that gives you a three course meal. At dessert (blueberry pie) she expanded and swelled until the oompa-loompas had to roll her out of the room. That's how I feel, but without turning blue!

Ahhh, pregnancy bliss.