Archive | November, 2012

It’s Like I Don’t Even Know Him Anymore.

“But Mom! The thunder will come down, and then the smoke will come up. And you will be dead, yes, Jesus, you will be dead. And then? You THROW UP.”

Um, Tony? I don’t think ..

“It’s okay, Mom. It’s okay, because we will see each other again. In Heaven, I mean. But we’ll be only faces, no bodies.”

Okay, yes. We will. But, buddy ..

“And Friday will be there, right? He will give me lotsa head bonkins, oh, Jesus, yes! And Pippin will be there too! I bet Pippin and Friday are already friends up there, in Heaven.”

Buddy, we don’t say “jesus”.

“YES WE CAN BECAUSE HE’S FROM GOD, MOM.” Cue dramatic, four year old sigh, with an eye roll so loud I can hear it.

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What I’ll Be Cooking for Thanksgiving

Do you guys have round-the-table Thanksgiving traditions? Where someone makes you do something really lame, like making everyone say one thing that they’re thankful for? And you thought it was really lame until you had kids of your own, and now you make them do the same thing?

Thanksgiving was always memorable growing up, but more because every year seemed like an exercise in Who Can Be Most Like The Griswolds? and man, we took that shit seriously. It didn’t seem like a holiday until at least two people were crying and someone was shouting at the top of their lungs “GODDAMNIT, THIS IS A HOLIDAY!”

I say that with love and laughter, because we’re italian. That’s kind of how we do family holidays. (I am thankful for my lineage and family heritage.)

Thanksgiving now is a different deal because, well, time and all that jazz. We’ve now got lots of family, where before it was just my immediate family; we all now like to cook, where before it was just on my poor mother’s shoulders; and we’re all now actually thankful at the dinner table, instead of seeing who could be the most crass when it was our turn to give thanks.

We split up the cooking based on who is the most occupied that year, and most years, I try and bring at least three dishes. Mostly because I really, really like my own cooking. (I am thankful for my own cooking.)

This year, here’s what I’m bringing, linked to where I’ve found the best recipe:

Wild Mushroom & Sausage Stuffing – This has been my go-to for my Thanksgivings than I can count, and it always ends up GONE in the first round. It’s amazingly easy, but packs some great flavor without overwhelming you with any of the main ingredients. (Example: even if you’re not a mushroom fan, this stuffing is still delicious.)

Cornbread Stuffing with Chestnuts – I don’t have a link to this one because I found it in a flyer somewhere, except I can’t really find that now, so I’m gonna wing it. It’s your basic cornbread stuffing with chestnuts, dried cherries, and bacon. This doesn’t seem like something even I can screw up.

Sweet Potatoes – I can’t remember the last time I didn’t make these for a family gathering. I’ve linked to Pioneer Woman’s original recipe, but don’t be afraid to branch out a bit in trying new ways. (For instance, I use coconut cream instead of milk, and I top with crushed ginger snaps instead of pecans.)

Green Bean Casserole – I can’t link to this because this recipe was created when Jesus was a baby. I’m a traditionalist when it comes to green bean casserole, and I SWEAR ON ALL THAT’S HOLY YOU KEEP THOSE DAMN FRIED ONION THINGS AWAY.

Cranberry Sauce a la Slow Cooker – if you want the sappy backstory for my love of cranberry sauce (not to mention lots of great recipes!), head over to the Rocket City Mom round-up. But for now, just know that this is my favorite dish to make because 1) CRANBERRY SAUCE and 2) man, it makes your house smell like HEAVEN. I usually double the batch because everyone wants to take cranberry sauce home. (It’s AMAZING on biscuits the next morning!)

Possible Dish:

Pecan Pie Cheesecake – there is no reason for me to make this, AND YET. IT APPEARS TO BE MANNA FROM HEAVEN.

So here’s my question: Do you have any staples that are crazy easy that I should be making? Link me up in the comments – I’m especially stumped about rolls/bread this year.

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Luck Be a (Redhead) Lady Tonight

I just wanted to tell you some things, really quickly.

Last week was AWESOME. Well, I mean, parts of it weren’t, but I’m starting to just roll with things and realize that sometimes life hands you lemons and sometimes life rams lemons down your throat, and either way, boy don’t you smell fresh and summery?

Last Thursday, my mom and dad kept Tony. Until Saturday. UNTIL SATURDAY. I had already scheduled to take Friday off (for schoolwork)(I look fondly on the days when I would burn vacation days for, say, VACATION), so I had days – multiple, plural – where I had no children to look after. Y’all, it was AMAZING. I had no idea how wound up I had been until I finally – FINALLY, around Friday night – began to unwind.

Last week brought an incredibly gorgeous weather spell to our valley, where we could walk in short-sleeved shirts at night and not feel a bit chilly. Bryan and I treated ourselves to a gourmet meal at The Melting Pot on Friday night and then we saw Skyfall. Guys, I can’t even remember the last time we saw a movie on opening night. It was crazy. We felt hip. We felt cool. We also felt really, really tired.

(And I? Honestly? Missed having a drink. This is going to be a loooooong # of months.)

(I could not tell you how many months I’ve still got to be pregnant. I seriously cannot compute it. I will say something ludicrous like Ten months to go! and Bryan will get upset that I’m not taking this seriously and HEY, I’M GROWING A HUMAN OVER HERE.)

But Saturday morning, we got up around NINE AY-EM and then we went and had a leisurely breakfast. I ATE FOOD WHILE IT WAS STILL HOT. Oh, I so needed all of this. Because man. Turns out I was a little stressed.


So then, Saturday. Saturday was the day that we realized we are really going to have to move. So we started house hunting.

Dude, I don’t care what any news outlet says: home prices are doing JUST FINE here. Of course, we’re also having to shop for 4+ bedrooms. OH GOD I JUST STARTED HYPERVENTILATING.


Sunday, we did something crazy. We spent an OBSCENE amount of money on a new bed.

We had agreed to get ourselves a new mattress when we had the money, since the mattress we’re sleeping on currently is abooooout 10 years old. Every other bed in the house has a mattress that’s less than a year old, and we’re all decrepit and suffering. We decided to see what the fuss was about SleepNumber beds.

Unfortunately, the only store in our area is in the Scary Mall. So we braved it.

I lay down on their bed for my fat-ass analysis – which is not their scientific name or anything – and SURPRISE! All of my stress and weight is in my hips. “Are your hips bothering you?” asked the gentleman. A LIGHT BULB WENT OFF.


And I literally cried when he found my SleepNumber, because everything felt better.

Needless to say – we bought one. We’ve been dreaming about it ever since. (We’re expecting it to be delivered around Thanksgiving.)


So many, many thanks to my mom and dad, who gave me a break when I really, really needed one.

Also, thanks to Aunt Gee, who has been religiously getting Tony once or twice a week, which gives me time to catch up on work or school or what have you.

Thanks to my husband, who has been UNBELIEVABLY PATIENT with me while dealing with his own stuff.

I? Am a lucky, lucky lady.

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Blah Blah Blah, pt. 574

Boy, I had a banner week last week, right? Like, TWO posts? I feel my Voice of the Year nod coming in ANY day now.


I am kind of in a funk lately. There’s a manifold of reasons why, and not all of them are interesting. However, I have a blog with available bullets, so let me subject you to my minutiae:

  • You know that “blog conference” I go to? That was in New Orleans this year? That I look forward to every year? Yeah, not going. Timing just ended up being not good, and finances needed to be put in a different avenue, and a million other grown-up bummers. It’s just hit me today that I would be heading out tomorrow evening. Instead, I’m .. not.
  • I’m tired. Sure, it’s pregnancy-tired, but it’s also work-stress tired, and school-overload tired, we’re-still-dealing-with-ADHD-issues tired, and not-consistently-sleeping-in-a-bed tired.
  • My house – more specifically, my bedroom – is a wreck. I am one of those folks who is actually impacted by the condition of my environment, and my current disarray is reflective in my mental state. I was trying to change wardrobes from Summer to Winter when I realized I was expecting, so now I can’t wear any of it, really, and I’m living from piles of clothes in the floor. Clothes are EVERYWHERE. I don’t blame Bryan for hating me over this.


Hey, but this. This makes me laugh so hard I’ll pee a little.

Try not to realize that, um, they’re probably fighting to the death, though, okay? Total buzzkill.


So we actually – against our initial judgement – stayed glue to the tv last night as election coverage rolled in. This election was interesting for me, as a Democrat in Alabama. Because I think I’m not really a Democrat in the grand sense of the word. I actually lean more Libertarian than anything else, but in Alabama, my main core beliefs are simply not conservative, so I’m a Democrat.

Because I’m a Dem in a red state, I don’t often talk about politics at work. I think that stuff is for your kitchen table or maybe your church luncheon. In general, we can happily have peaceful discourse, but I’m not looking to be “converted” nor am I looking to convert. But folks aren’t always receptive to that, and sometimes, they look to pick a fight.

I am also the first to admit that the two candidates were both human .. i.e. – they have flaws.

I walked in this morning and someone asked me if I had watched the coverage. I said yes, and they asked me how I voted. While I would NEVER ask someone this question (it rubs me as if they had asked my weight), I answered honestly. His explosive response surprised me. (Mostly because this guy gets major respect from me and I genuinely like him.) And I got a lot of that all day. It was “[my] fault” and “[my] people did this” and they “hope [I] get what [I] deserve”. Um. Really?

You know what’s most awesome about our country? The diversity and how we designed it to have a million checks and balances along the way. Even though I support Obama, he admittedly was not as effective as I would like because of said checks and balances. So I firmly believe – and did even Tuesday afternoon, before the votes were tallied – that there is not enough room in the Presidential office to allow any one man to completely break our nation over the course of four years.

“Well, what about eight years?” they spat at me.

“Dubya sure tried his damndest, didn’t he?” I responded.

Can we please just cross the aisle and make this all work already? We have BCS rankings to argue about.


There is no silver lining to this post yet and it feels like such a downer and I apologize. You’re probably now filling your bathtub so you can take a soak with a toaster after reading it. Please blame me in your note.


Okay, I leave you with this. This will still make me do a spittake but it is .. explicit. Funny, but explicit.

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