Year of the Horse

Happy New Year friends. Hope you did exactly what you wanted last night.  We went to a grown-up party – I slapped on some make-up and everything. It was loads of fun.  In fact, fun is what we’ve been having since Thanksgiving. Eating, drinking, merriment making fun *burp*.

This was the sky when we finally headed out of the house today. Well…this was the sky after a couple of filters but you get the point. 

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2013 was a year of change for our family – and we rocked it.  In the moment the changes seemed scary and jarring – but looking back they were exactly what we needed. We shook off the negative to make room for the positive. Was it perfect? No. But that’s how we like it. Perfectly imperfect.

I have no idea what this new year will hold for me or my family. I’m sure there will be successes, failures, laughter, tears, music and fun. There will be a 16th birthday, an 11-year-old boy in the house,  a new driver’s license, family gatherings, an 18th wedding anniversary and two adults sinking deeper into their 40s. How will it all go down? I dunno. But I promise you one thing. I promise you that I’ll blog every step of the way.

Thank you so much for the year behind us and here’s a toast to our year ahead! Together. Whether you like it or not. Ahem.

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The hippie and the banana

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No – That isn’t some tricky baiting title to get you to read this blog….it really is a hippie and a banana.

(the banana wanted to be a trash can, but then the hippie found the banana right next to her dreads in the costume store – where else would you be if you were a banana costume – and the rest is history. Or science. Or psychology.)

Happy Halloween!

Babes With Books (BWB)

Last night I hosted the monthly meeting of a book club I joined this past year. I know I’ve told you about it before (This ain’t no Oprah’s Book Club ). Did I mention the name of our club? BWB. Oh roll your eyes all you want, it’s cute.

Each month the host of the meeting also picks the book we all read. For October, it was my turn. I picked, “Where’d You Go, Bernedette?”

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Have you read it? Did you love it like I loved it? Here’s the Amazon blurb:  Bernadette Fox is notorious. To her Microsoft-guru husband, she’s a fearlessly opinionated partner; to fellow private-school mothers in Seattle, she’s a disgrace; to design mavens, she’s a revolutionary architect, and to 15-year-old Bee, she is a best friend and, simply, Mom. Then Bernadette disappears. It began when Bee aced her report card and claimed her promised reward: a family trip to Antarctica. But Bernadette’s intensifying allergy to Seattle–and people in general–has made her so agoraphobic that a virtual assistant in India now runs her most basic errands. A trip to the end of the earth is problematic.To find her mother, Bee compiles email messages, official documents, secret correspondence–creating a compulsively readable and touching novel about misplaced genius and a mother and daughter’s role in an absurd world.

It’s funny. It’s quirky. It’s heartbreaking. My three favorite things to be. I adored Bernadette. She and I would be fast friends. Who doesn’t love a woman that outsources her daily life? Here’s some of my favorite quotes from the book,

Your mission statement says Galer Street is based on global “connectitude.” You people don’t just think outside the box, you think outside the dictionary!

…And I’m going to let you in on a little secret about life. You think it’s boring now? Well, it only gets more boring. The sooner you learn it’s ON YOU to make life interesting, the better off you’ll be.

…I’d say I never considered myself a great architect. I’m more of a creative problem solver with good taste and a soft spot for logistical nightmares.

I’m seriously adding the last line into my resume, “I don’t consider myself an event planner. I’m more of a creative problem solver with good taste and a soft spot for logistical nightmares”.  You should steal it too.

In the book, Bernadette gets derailed from something she was passionate about, and it almost destroys her. Without being overly dramatic, I can say that I totally relate. I’ve moved further and further away from everything I loved about event planning.

It’s natural, I guess, to become a bit more cynical as you progress in your career. But it’s been a bummer. I spend more time on conference calls debating headcount than I do debating flower or menu choices. Actually I spend zero time on the latter. I blame the corporate environment! I blame the economy! I blame the man! Just kidding. There’s no man to blame. It’s marketing after all. It’s an island full of amazon women who look normal on the outside, but inside – they’re trained mercenaries trying to outdo one another.  Just kidding again. That’s the island Wonder Woman is from.

What I’m trying to say is… I love event planning and I miss my old event planning self. Where’d you go?

So in honor of Bernedette – I pulled out all the stops to last night’s meeting.

Individual appetizers were served in a ridiculous but awesome tray/cup contraption. There were enough chips and dips to make an 80’s housewife proud. There was even a cheese platter with cutesy little ceramic signs and decorative table coverings. Decorative table coverings!! Who’s got time for that? Not me. But I did it anyway. And it made me so happy. (If you are wondering how I had all this stuff – a good friend who knows the buried planner inside me gifted them to me last Christmas)

Here’s a picture of the lovely ladies. This was taken about a minute before we pulled up twerking videos on YouTube and one of these BWBs, not sayin’ who, got up and tried the move. Take that Diana Prince.

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You had me at cilantro

It’s hot here. It feels like a 100 degrees in the shade.

Yesterday we were invited to a BBQ in our neighborhood by this adorable couple (second relationship for both. They met while she was on vacation with her daughter in Italy. He came over to be with her. An amazing love story).

I met her through a book club that I joined (although I haven’t actually made it to any of  the meetings, ahem.)

Anyway. We were invited. We went. We had enough sangria to fill a pool. Good times were had by all.

Here’s a perfect salad to bring to a BBQ – especially on a hot, sunny day. No mayo. No diary. And it only gets better as it sits on the buffet (and you drink the sangria).

Here’s all you need  – black beans, whole kernel corn, cilantro, jalapeno, 2 peppers the color of your choice, an English cucumber, lemons, limes and some kosher salt.

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It’s all about the prep and dice. Drain the beans and rinse. Add the corn.

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Dice the peppers about the same size as the corn and beans. The jalapeno should be seeded and diced even smaller. I thought I would need 2 but these were lethal so I only used 1.

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Next, seed the cucumber with a spoon. Dice and add to your other stuff. I know English cucumbers are “seedless” but there are still some watery seeds that I like to get out. You can skip this part if you think I’m nuts. Which I am.

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Now comes the good stuff. My world could be made of cilantro and I’d be a happy camper. If you don’t like cilantro, made another salad. This one’s not for you. And neither am I. Just kidding. Not really.

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Add lemon and lime and some salt and you are done baby! If you are organized and have your shit together, make this the night before and let it sit. If you are like me, make this frantically right before you have to take it/serve it and smell like cilantro and corn for the party.

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A smaller quantity of this with red onions added can also be a spectacular salsa. Add diced avocado and top a taco or fill a burrito.

Happy hot Sunday.

Dysfunction Function

What happens when your family gets together?
Is it fun and stressful and crazy?
Do you debate which family vendetta to support and which to avoid?
Which side to pick in the fight du jour?
No? Just me?
In the last two weeks we’ve celebrated two big milestones.
My son’s communion and my daughter’s confirmation. A Catholic religious rite of passage, squared.
This is particularly interesting because I’m not Catholic and my husband is what I would consider a fair weather Catholic. Christmas time, he’s in. Easter mass? Ditto. Other than that? It’s a crap shoot.
Nevertheless, this was important to him. And I like to make him happy and ensure he and my children go to heaven. I plan on being reincarnated until I can finally live a life without Spanx – so they won’t see me for a bit in the afterlife.
Anyway it was two weekends full of fun. The kind of fun that could break out into a fight at any moment. The kind if fun that requires alcoholic beverages.
But it was also the kind of fun where you remember why you love your parents, uncles, aunts, sisters and cousins. You remember that you’re related to these loonies because you are a looney too. In fact you may be the king of the loonies.
God is good.

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Peace out 2012

It’s been a year hasn’t it?  I won’t go into a list of resolutions (because I don’t have any) or  tell you about the happy, tragic, ridiculous things that have happened in the world this year.  You can google those.  But personally, for me and my fam, this year has been full of change. We leapt into high school, turned 40, let a teenager join Facebook, agreed to let a 9 year play football, saw the Eiffel tower, mended some broken fences (literally and figuratively), discovered gel manicures, skipped Fall Ball and did not feel guilty about it, and oh yeah – started a blog.

I  needed a hobby, something besides eating. Last year, around this time, I started thinking about WMEP.  In all honesty, I started the blog to write about event planning. After all, it’s what I do, it’s what I love. But then I began thinking about blog titles – and defining myself as just a planner didn’t fit. Something was off.  I read a few blogs on how to start blogs.  Then, like the true spaz that I am, I read blogs on how to blog successfully. What kind of blog did I want to be? Funny? Informative? Personal? Lots of pressure. I didn’t tell anyone about it at first, but eventually I owned up to my husband.  I told him that in order to make it interesting – I may have to put some personal family stuff out into the universe. With photos. Because I’m convinced people need a visual. Or is that just me? He told me to go for it (with a few caveats).  And so I did. It took me a few months to get my act together, to get back to writing, to do something that was literally just for me.  And I loved it. I love it.

In the beginning I wrote every day – or tried to. It’s been harder the last few months, work and stress and life seem to be taking up all my time. But it’s the start of a new year, I’ve been writing since last April. 178 posts. Over 16,000 views. Almost a 1,000 comments. I’m hooked!

So maybe I will make a resolution for 2013. I resolve to blog every day. Or at least every other day. Every week at the latest.

I resolve to write something in 2013 at some time.

See how tough I am?

We toasted the New Year in last night with shrimp and champagne. Hope you were toasted too.

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Can we stop celebrating now please?

*burp*

It’s been a month full of festivities.  Last weekend we kicked-off the fun by inviting some family and friends to ring in the Fall.

My sister-in-law took this shot of my hubby and his pals.  She always gets these shots of him. Not just smiling, but literally giddy. Some spirits were involved.

Here’s a shot of my boy and some of his pals from that same get together. Please notice the can of soda that was imbedded into his hand the entire night. A good time was had by all.

Cut to this weekend.

We were invited to Staten Island to go to a local Oktoberfest – how could we refuse? I like this picture because it masks all my problem areas and was taken at a slight angle down – not to mention the photog was miles away from us. Perfect.

This morning we hosted my baby’s 9th Birthday party a few days early. Glow Golf anyone? Because I’m so together and organized I forgot to take my camera and had to rely on my phone, which did the job but everyone has evil eyes.  And yes, I could fix them all, but I’m tired!

There are a few more fun weekends ahead.  Then I plan on getting into my winter cave and not coming out ’till the New Year. Just sayin’.

Sorry the posts have been so far apart. It’s hard to do things and think and write. For me anyway.

Sick, Twisted and Funny – to me

We’ve had some really freaky weather lately.  Have you noticed? You know what I notice? Now that I’m 40, I talk about weather all the time.  All of a sudden, weather is primary in my life.

Anyway, we’ve had some storms.  These storms made me think of last year’s storms.  A couple of them were strong enough to wreak havoc and mayhem.   During a particularly bad night – we woke up to find our backyard a mess.  Another umbrella dead, table upside down, chairs turned over. Pier One cushions torn from chairs – it was ugly. You get the picture – but just in case, I took a picture.

A few months later, we had a nice little family BBQ in the backyard.  It was loads of fun. One of our good friends couldn’t make it – and because I think I’m hilarious – I sent her the below.  Yes it’s two different seasons, didn’t care. Still funny. Well, to me.

Here’s a text by text:

Me:  So sorry you missed the fun – here’s a before and after shot from the party!! xoxo!

Her: What’s wrong with you?

Me: I’m a loser

Her: A big one

Mista Mayor

Photo Circa 1994. Me and then newly minted Mayor of NYC , Rudolph Giuliani. We were at the Pen & Sword Honor Society dinner at my college, he was the keynote that night, and an alum.  It took me all night to work up the nerve to go meet him… when I finally did, all I could say was,” My birthday is May 28th too!”. He just smiled and laughed. I think a security guard moved in closer and someone took the picture. That was it. Not sure how I got into the honor society. Here’s my main observations about this photo:

  • I rocked that tuxedo top I borrowed from my roommate.
  • Those earrings weren’t even close to being the biggest ones I owned.
  • See that hair…that’s my pre-marriage, pre-babies, frizz free, never-touched-a-flat-iron hair. I would trade one of my kids for that hair now.
  • Not sure why I felt the need to wear white eye shadow – maybe to draw extra attention to my unkept brows?
  • What I remember most about the night is that I was too chicken to tell the waiter I didn’t eat chicken – and since I wouldn’t eat anything on the plate with the chicken I hid in the bathroom until dessert was served.

Good times.

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