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Stuttering Shell: November 2009

Monday, November 30, 2009

I can't help but smile...

...when I hear this song. I like the Montgomery Gentry version of it, but nothing beats some Robert Earl Keen.

Feliz Navidad, y'all.

Psst...don't forget to get on my Ho Ho Ho list. You have until Thursday, December 10th because I plan on putting my holiday cards in the mail that weekend. If you're lucky, you just might get a little gift with your card {I'm going to have my children pick two names out of a hat!}.

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Sunday, November 29, 2009

south america.

my son came bursting into our bedroom this morning.

"mom, i just went pee and you know what?"

with one eye open & the rest of me snuggled nice and warm in our new 700 thread count sheets & fuzzy blanket {i love you, target}, i replied, "um...what son?"

"you know the bubbles?"

"what bubbles?"

"the bubbles you make when you pee."

"um, okay..."

"mine just made the shape of south america."

such is life with a very imaginative six year old boy in the house...i just hope he flushed & washed his hands.

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Saturday, November 28, 2009

coffee. it's what adults drink.

we went to target today {it was my 3rd trip since friday morning} and on our way out i stopped at starbucks to replace one of our "to go" mugs that was broken yesterday AND to get me a little pick-me-up. i settled for a venti peppermint white mocha frappucino - no whip. as we were leaving target, i asked aidan if he wanted a sip of my drink.

"um, no thank, mom. it's coffee."

"yeah, you're right son. it's coffee. and you probably don't need any."

"no, adults drink coffee, mom. it's what keeps them awake. if they don't drink coffee, then they have to sleep for a few more hours."

so true, son, so true.

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Friday, November 27, 2009


Thanksgiving came & went and now I'm reeling in the aftermath of leftovers, cleaning {again!} and bouts of laziness. I'll blame the laziness on the leftover turkey.

We had the most wonderful Thanksgiving. We celebrated with friends whom we consider family. This was the first year that Adam & I did not spend any time with our own families. Everyone was either out of town or working. It was nice to have friends {and even some family of friends} stop by for some food, fellowship & fun. Even better was the fact that our meal was sort of done "pot luck" style...we just split the responsibilities amongst ourselves. Everything turned out great. Naturally, we got stuck with the leftovers & Thanksgiving dinner {round 2} took place this evening. Fortunately, the hubs & I have built up a tolerance to the tryptophan and are still up & running {although, the hubs DID pass out - face first, I might add - in bed shortly after 7pm last night}.

Today was a long day. I was awake by 3am - much to my dismay. Between my son's coughing & the wind howling, I had a hard time falling back to sleep so I decided to bite the bullet and head out for some Black Friday fun. My goal was to zip into & out of Target. Zip in, I just took a bit longer than I expected to zip out of Target. I managed to get the items I intended on buying {thank goodness for doorbuster deals!} and I scored a few more great finds. All in all, it was a very successful Black Friday trip for me especially considering this was the first time in a l-o-n-g time that I've ever gone out in the early morning hours the day after Thanksgiving.

I had to work today. The hubs did, too. But, our employer was gracious enough to allow the both of us {we work together, remember?} to only work a half day. That was a blessing in disguise considering I had two kids with me at the office! Fortunately, it was quiet and we left shortly after lunch. Adam took the kids home and I went....wait for it....back to Target. Yep. I am a glutton for punishment! I managed to get a couple more gift items & some things we needed around the house.

We've got a busy weekend in store. The Christmas tree & all of our holiday decorations came down from the attic this evening. The kids have matching holiday pajamas {thank you, Target, for the $5 deal!} and we will attempt to take our yearly "kids looking all cute & matchy-matchy in front of the Christmas tree" photo. I'm hoping to order our holiday cards this weekend, too. {Can you believe that I already received a Christmas card in the mail?? I'm impressed.} I am also hoping to wrap up our holiday shopping. I did some shopping online & I'm anxiously awaiting to see what Cyber Monday brings.

How was your Thanksgiving? Are you already over the leftovers?

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the shake.

"Mom, mom! Come look. Frisco is shaking me. He gets on my back and just starts shaking. He's so silly!"

I was mortified.

Poor Aidan.

And, poor anyone or anything else that he can latch his front legs around.

Such is life with a 5 month old puppy that is ready to be neutered.

{Don't worry, the appointment will be scheduled once we get through the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.}


black eye friday

i should still be in bed...all warm & cozy.

i should be dreamin' sweet dreams.

i should be a bit more sane than i am.

but, i'm not.

instead, i'm out. on friggin' black friday. at, of all places, target. good thing it's only five minutes from the house.

there's no rhyme or reason. i'm just there. to see what i can see. to score what i can score. &duck from a flying elbow if necessary.

after all, i do have to work today, so my day should start with a little excitement. thank goodness there is a starbucks at target, too. {because if not, i would be the one with flying elbows.}

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Wednesday, November 25, 2009


i really should be cleaning the house or getting a jump start on my baking. but, no, i'm here. the hubs is out with a close family friend, the kids are content & the dogs are barking {we've got my parents dog, no-no, right now since they're out of town}. i blame my temporary lack of domestic desire on the hubs who, when he left, he handed me a freshly made sailor jerry & coke. ohhh. who cleans while sippin' on some liquor? not me. besides, the hubs DID unload the dishwasher and take out the trash before he left.


i hope that each & every one of you has the most wonderful thanksgiving ever. whether you're home, far from home, with family or with friends...please be safe, enjoy the day and worship & love - with all of your - the people around you. cherish the moments. relish in the memories. listen with your heart. be thankful.

it's been kind of a rough year just due to the extenuating circumstances that surround my immediate family. betrayal. lies. deceit. sadness. death. but, there's also been joy. love. laughter. respect. happiness. it seems like such an odd me, it is...but i am thankful nonetheless. i'm especially thankful that this year has enlightened & matured me.

i am forever thankful.

happy thanksgiving to you wonderful friends! i can't wait to get back online on friday to read about your stories of carb overload, leftover turkey creations & black friday scores!

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thankful for the l, p & h.

Lies, paranoia & hypocrisy.

Today is that last day that I put up with, give into or believe in all of the crap listed above. Enough is enough already.

Granted, all three will {at some point} be a part of everyone's lives...but I'm ready to make sure that they are no longer a major part of mine.

The truth hurts. It's never fun have to second guess someone you love or, even worse, yourself. And, it's ridiculous to assume that you're better than anyone else. That you can do or say anything, but when {as cliche as it sounds} the shoe shoe is on the other foot...

Enough is enough.

Today I'm through with it. I'm not 100% as strong as I'd like myself to be. Certainly not. But, from here on out, I am going to do my best to keep that backbone of mine from breaking. No longer will I be fodder for trivial bullshit. No longer will I worry about what someone thinks of me.

I will not. I will not. I will not.

Lies, paranoia &'ve messed with me long enough. There IS a confident woman trapped in this body of mine. There IS a fighter. There IS a human being inside of me who is absolutely at the breaking point. No more. I am ready to break free. I am ready to break free of the lies, paranoia & hypocrisy. They do not describe me. They are not me, but they helped to make me. To make me into a better grow & to realize that I'm better than what most would think.

And, for that, I am thankful for the lies, paranoia & hypocrisy.

This is my last twisted thankfulness post because I really am done with it all. I can't harbor any more negativity within my being because it is, quite literally, eating away at me. It's not fun to be so angry. It's not fun to be so hateful at times. I'm not always optimistic, but damn, this is ridiculous. Besides, there's more to life than letting someone else's drama fester in me. Really.


happy, happy, joy, joy

Molly Lou is one of my favorite gals & I'm totally stealing her post idea. With the way things have been lately, I need happiness in my life...even if I have to force it upon myself {and, well, upon you, too}.

Technically, Molly Lou was tagged by a fellow blogger & then she tagged everyone, so I'm considering myself part of the 'everyone' and I hope that you'll do the same because, guess what, I'm tagging everyone too. Ha!

So, here we go...TEN things that make me happy:
  1. Starbucks. Need I say more? OK, I will...venti peppermint mochas, cafe lattes, their morning bun and their gift cards. Everything about Starbucks makes me happy. My bank account? Not so much.
  2. My kidlets. They are my pride & joy. They are my legacy. They were created out of love between the hubs & I. They truly ARE my heart beating outside of my body.
  3. Playa del Carmen, Mexico. I wish I was there right now. If you've been there, you should know why it's a happy place. If not, you need to go. White sand, crystal blue water, good food, culture, romance...
  4. My parents & my sister. MY family. Aside from the hubs, these three people are the only three people in the world who will love me, support me and be there for me 100% of the time...without a doubt. Blood is thicker than water, people.
  5. Pedicured toes. And, sadly, my feet have not indulged in a pedicure in a long while. It's time to change that.
  6. A good sale. It's no surprise...I lve to shop. 'Nuff said.
  7. My fur babies. With three cats and one puplet in the house, there is no shortage of squeaky toys, shedding hair or messes to clean up...but the purr of a happy kitty or the smell of puppy breath is worth it. So worth it.
  8. Wine. Lots of it. Even though drinking it gives me one yowsa of a headache the next day...well, it all depends on exactly how much was consumed...but it's so worth it. {No, I'm not an alkie.}
  9. The hubs. He takes care of me. He cooks for me. He hugs me when I'm sad. He is my rock. Our relationship hasn't been perfect, but it's our kind of perfect. I can't imagine my life without him. Although, it would be nice if he stopped snoring.
  10. Myself. As conceited as it sounds, I make myself happy. I stand tall {not always strong} with my convictions. I make no apologies for the things I've said or done. I am who I am...take it or leave it. If mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy.

So, what makes you happy? One thing? Ten things? Tell me.

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Where in the World Wednesday...

I follow the Prep-E Girl's blog and she was talking about WITWW...what a fun idea! I have to play along!

Here's some info about Where in the World Wednesday -- who created it & how to play along:

Classy in Philadelphia is the brains behind the fun {I'm following her blog now, too! Yay!} Basically, if you want to participate, just grab the button above {you know, right click & "save picture as"...} and create a new blog post. In that post, put the WITWW button AND a picture of you somewhere in the world. Don't feel as if you need to post a pic from some fabulous vacay. I mean, seriously, next week's WITWW pic could be you getting ready to duke it out with someone over a Black Friday sale item. Seriously. It's called "Where in the World" for a reason. Besides, Black Friday sales ARE like an excursion. But, I digress...anyways, the photo can be from any of your travels...small, big, near, far. Then, you gotta go BACK to Classy in Philadelphia's blog & comment on her WITWW post & make sure you link back to her website in your comment so she can check out YOUR WITWW photo.

Ready? OK, let's play...

This is an old one! That's me & the hubs way back in 2002 {can you see the date in the photo?}. April 2002, to be exact...about a month & a half after we were married. Gosh, we were thinner back then. So much younger, too. Anyways, this is a pic of us {taken on a 35mm camera!} taken on the tender that took us from the Carnival Destiny to the port in St. Lucia.

Go play! Let's see YOUR "Where in the World" pictures...

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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

thankful for words.

Since I'm on my quest to look on the bright side of things, let's continue my twisted thankfulness, shall we?

Today, I am thankful for words. Not just any words. But the bad words. No, not the kind that get you beeped on the radio or TV when you say them {although I DO say my fair share of them}...I'm talking about the kind that hurt. Mean words. False words. Dishonest words. Dare I call them lies? Hmm...probably not because then that would catapult this blog post to a whole 'nother level.

Let's just stick with words. The not-so-nice words.

I've been called a user, an abuser and a straight up loser. {I like how that rhymed & yes, I thought about this line while driving home today from work.}

Accusations, if you will, but to me they are simply words. Words straight out of the mouths of people who can only spit and not speak. Words that really hold no value...especially when spoken about people who are the exact opposite of the words used to describe them...especially when spoken to people who are not easily swayed.

People who choose to say mean things about someone else are usually only doing it to make themselves feel better about some shortcoming in their lives. I mean, misery loves company, right? I include myself in this generalization. I'll admit it...yes, I've been "that" girl before...the one casting stones because I can be catty & gossipy with the best of them. However, things that come out of my mouth are not said in jest. I speak the truth...even when it hurts.

On the flip side, I know what it's like to be hurt by words. Granted, they are just words, but it hurts even more when the words are coming from someone you thought you had the utmost honor & respect for. It's a shame, really. But you know what? It's those very words...those not-so-nice words...that serve as a very firm & {often times} painful reminder that we are all human...we are all not perfect.

And, it's those words...those not-so-nice words {whether said or heard}...that I'm thankful for.

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Monday, November 23, 2009

thankful for drama.

It's already been one of those's probably going to be one of those weeks. That's just how the cookie crumbles around here. And, in the spirit of Thanksgiving, I figured I would focus on something not so positive & talk about why I am thankful for it.

Strange, huh? Yeah, I thought so. But, this is also {negative} me trying to be more optimistic & positive {so please humor me a little, 'mkay?}.

Today is Monday & I am thankful for all of the drama that surrounds my life. A certain someone told me that I have a crazy life {and that she loves it...really? 'Cause you can have it! Ha!}. I got to thinking about this...

I do have a crazy life. Well, maybe not my life in particular, but everything surrounding my life is. Without going into too much detail {because I don't need any further accusations about myself circulating around out there}, we are - this family that I am married into - the epitome of why there is fun in dysfunction.

What I have witnessed these last couple of years has really opened my eyes as to how things shouldn't be. I am all the more wiser & knowledgeable because of the short-comings, struggles & foolish shenanigans I have seen take place. I feel most fortunate to have grown up in an environment that was the complete opposite of what I'm currently semi-living through. I feel that I am a better person because I now realize & understand how ridiculous & petty crap can be erroneously mistaken for someones good intentions. I have learned that I have been quite naive in the past. Naive to the point of being walked all over...but not anymore. I also feel that I've grown as a parent & have learned some very strong & beneficial lessons of how not to be/act as a caregiver.

The drama is crazy. The drama is usually pure bullshit. But, the drama is drama. It's going to be there no matter what. Sure, I may bitch about it. I may cry about it. But, at least I've learned from it.

And, for that, I am thankful.

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Sunday, November 22, 2009

Do you hear what I hear?

{Not to be confused with this similarly titled post that was written not so long ago...}

I woke up this morning in a panic. A panic panic. It wasn't one of those "sit upright in bed & wonder why you're still there because you think you've overslept and are late to work but it's really the weekend" type of things. No. It was worse than that. And, honestly, it probably would have been better if it were that.

You see, I woke up this morning and heard the strangest thing. It was enough to wake me from a nice slumber. The sound sent chills down my spine. For a moment, I was absolutely terrified.

It was my husband.

The sound coming from his mouth had me worried & a bit confused at the same time.

The man was whistling. And, he wasn't whistling just anything...the man was whistling Christmas carols. More specifically, he was whistling "Silver Bells."

It was shocking. I mean, this is a man who firmly believes in having one holiday at a don't mix them, you don't start celebrating one before the don't do anything Christmas-y before Thanksgiving.

But, still, he was whistling "Silver Bells." Later on, the kids & I were serenaded with his rendition of "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus."

This just confirms that the holidays are - indeed - upon us. I blame the woman at the bank on Friday evening for jump-starting my panic reminding me that once Thanksgiving comes & goes, well, Christmas is a mere three weeks away. And, I blame my Christmas carol whistling husband for reaffirming that.

Needless to say, our 'ho ho ho' things will be coming out of the attic this coming weekend. We may still be comatose from the turkey, but you had best believe that the hubs will be stringing lights on the roof and I'll be shuffling around our living room furniture to make room for the tree. I'll also begin stressing out about how I haven't searched high & low for THE perfect matching PJs for the kidlets to wear {as they have every year...except for one year when I completely snailed on the whole matchy-matchy Christmas PJ thing} for our holiday card.

Oh, speaking of cards, don't forget to get on my holiday card list {I'm checking it twice...really, I am, because two of you will receive a lil' something extra!}...I'll be mailing out holiday cards the 2nd week of December.

Is it just me or does it seem as if the holidays come faster & faster every year?

Saturday, November 21, 2009

half a dozen.

adam outdid himself {again} this morning. he fixed us a wonderful breakfast of chilaquiles served with chorizo & eggs. he made pancakes for the kids.

as he was cooking the eggs, he asked the kids {who were already eating their pancakes} if they wanted an egg. both said yes. malia told us she only wanted one egg. aidan, on the other hand, wasn't so easy to please.

adam - "aidan, how many eggs do you want?"

aidan - "fried, not scrambled."

adam - "no, i asked how many eggs do you want..."

aidan - "oh, um, six, please."

adam looks at me & we both start to chuckle.

adam - "that's too many, bud."

malia - "yeah, aidan, you can't have six eggs. that's too much!"

aidan - "well, it's an even number!"

obviously, my little first grader has been working very diligently in school & is paying attention during the math lessons. conversations like the one above don't even surprise us anymore. i mean, the boy really does ask for ridiculous amounts of eggs whenever we are having breakfast - whether we're at home or enjoying a meal out. what can i say...the boy likes his protein in the form of, well, an egg...preferably, half a dozen eggs.

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Friday, November 20, 2009

full of thanks.

i have been such a hateful mess lately. really, i have. it's awful. i can feel the rage just a-swirlin' inside of my gut. it's not a good feeling, i tell ya. it's actually quite ridiculous because i have so much to be thankful for. but, seeing as how i'm an eternal pessimist, getting me to "look on the bright side" is no easy feat.

with that being said, i suppose it is time for the obligatory "what i'm thankful for" post. granted, it's a wee bit early considering thanksgiving isn't until next week, but we all shouldn't be thankful for things just once a year, right??

so, here goes nothing...
  • i am thankful for my health & for the health of my friends and family. i'm especially grateful that breast cancer did not take my mother away from only showed me just how strong of a woman she is & how much more special i am because i have a survivor for a mother.
  • i am thankful for my husband...even though he irritates me to no end sometimes {especially when i have to go up to the bar to pay for his tab and get him home because he's a little too inebriated. yes, it happens sometimes.} but, he's a good man. he's a good father. and, he's good to me {even though i don't always recognize it}.
  • i am thankful for my children...even though they irritate me to no end sometimes, too. but, what child doesn't, right? my children are beautiful & bright & bring me endless amounts of joy. my life is all the better because of them.
  • i am thankful for having a job...even though my job irritates me to no end sometimes. {oh, boy, i see a pattern forming...blame that on the pessimist in me!} i feel guilty when i complain because i have very close friends who are unemployed. i feel selfish when i bitch & moan about work. well, sometimes. but, you know what i mean.
  • i am thankful for having a roof over my head. my house may be small & modest, but it's a home. a home that's filled with love.
  • i am thankful for my vehicle. it's dirty as hell. it squeaks. the paint is scratched. but, it's mine...all mine. not the bank's. not nissan's. nope, that bad girl is all mine. {so i'm very thankful for not having a car payment.}
  • i am thankful for wine. every friday it's wine o'clock with my lovely friend, katie. she's pretty damn awesome. and, if katie & i are really lucky, our friend, maria, joins us, too. maria is busy with school, though. but, i am thankful for the nights that the three of us can get together & decompress.
  • i am thankful for this blog. without this blog, i would probably be a paranoid schizophrenic by now. i'm not making jokes about mental illness, really, i'm not. in all seriousness, if i didn't have an outlet for my random thoughts & emotions i would probably be a complete {train} wreck by now. i'm just sayin'...
  • i am thankful for my bloggin' guys are all like my sistas from other mistas!
  • i am thankful for my fur babies...even though they irritate me to no end sometimes {yes, i went there, again!}. having three cats & one dog in the house means i vacuum a lot. i also spend a lot on food, toys & other pet-related items. i also spend a lot of time cleaning my carpet and furniture. oh, and i pick up a lot of poo, too. ew.

there's a lot more that i'm thankful for...a whole lot more. but, that will come at a later time. this is a good start for now.

what are you thankful for?


Monday, November 16, 2009

after the five day weekend...

well, the kids had a five day for me, it was just four days. yeah, just four. four lovely, soggy, wind blown days. at least the sun finally came out on sunday. and, thank goodness the sun is still shining today {and it's actually on the warm side, too!}.

we survived the nor'easter. we survived the 12+ hour power outage. we survived driving the roads the day after. and, we survived the yard clean up. thank goodness the mall was open on friday - i got some much needed retail therapy and the kids got a hot meal courtesy of mcdonald's. friday night it seemed like we were getting ready to go through round two of the nasty weather -- seriously, it was raining sideways again -- but at least i was able to enjoy a $1 mojito with dinner & then drank some delicious barefoot pinot grigio with my favorite ladies.

saturday the girl & i headed out to get my hair cut and then we strolled around home goods and enjoyed vietnamese chicken noodle soup for lunch. later that evening the whole family headed to wal-mart for some unnecessary grocery items {and a new comforter for our bed} and then adam & i proceeded to make our version of chilaquiles for dinner. the tooth fairy also paid us a visit...aidan lost another bottom tooth. he woke up sunday morning two dollars richer & grinning from ear to ear.

sunday was a day of cleaning. adam spent the entire day {really, he did} raking the yard. twenty yard size trash bags later {all filled with pine needles}...he was finished. we woke up this morning to find that they were already picked up by someone {probably by someone with a farm or horses or both}. i spent my sunday cleaning the inside of our home & doing as many loads of laundry as i could bare.

unfortunately for me, i never got around to the floors so a fate of vacuuming & mopping await me when i return home. joy.

we're no worse for wear. the storm blew us around a lil' bit, but that's about all. i have some video & some pictures which will eventually get posted. promise.


Friday, November 13, 2009

the aftermath.

As I type this on my Crackberry, all I can hear is the hum of the generator and the screeching sound of sirens. The only news updates I get are by way of tweets that the City of Virginia Beach and the Virginian Pilot put out on Twitter. Oh, and from the phone calls I receive from my parents who live just south of Washington, DC.

We are still without electricity. Its been this way for over 12 hours now. The electric company is hoping to restore power by 10pm on the 15th. Um, that's is only Friday (the 13th, too, no less).

I can't complain too much...the generator has kept our refrigerator and deep freeze running, its allowed me to make coffee and its charging my cell phone. And, while it sucks that the yard is a mess and I can't use my hair dryer today or watch QVC, at least I know my family (and friends) are safe.

Its still breezy and the sky is still spitting rain...but the remnants of Ida turned nor'easter is nothing compared to storms I've been in...storms some of you all have been in...

But, somethings gotta give. While I am grateful to be at home again today (my mental health really needed it), let me just tell you that being stuck at home with two kids and a puppy has not been a walk in the park. We are only on day two and cabin fever has set in. I am tired of breaking up fights about flashlights. I hate how the kids are trying to be louder than the generator -- and its outside! I think they are being silly when they won't go to the bathroom because its dark.

Thank goodness I have my lifeline...this Crackberry...and cold beer in the fridge (and, no, I am not drinking right now...what do you think I am, an alcoholic?!).

I wonder if the mall is open?? I could use a little retail therapy right about now, too.

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Thursday, November 12, 2009

africa & electricity.

you know that nor'easter we're currently at the mercy of? well, it's kicked up some pretty fierce winds. we've been experiencing some pretty strong & steady gusts of much so that my six year old son says this to me:

"mom, those are some pretty powerful winds outside, aren't they? they're so strong they could blow you to africa. well, maybe not to africa. that can't happen. that only happens in the movies."

our electricity is currently flickering off & on, too. well, not completely off, but just enough to make me want to make about six more cups of coffee & completely charge my cell phone {for internet access, people, not for emergency purposes...although, lack of internet access would be an emergency, right?}. well, the flickering lights triggered another anecdote from my son:

"mom, remember when i was three {it must have been a good year} and the electricity went out? it got dark and i screamed like a girl because i thought monsters were in the house?"

oh, the imagination of that boy.

i had better go brew some more coffee & charge my phone -- just in case the electricity does go out & the monsters come and the wind takes me away to africa.

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hot mess.

Atlantic Assault.

November Nor'easter.

Call it what you will -- it's soggy, rainy, windy & plain icky outside.

I'm telling you, the weather this time yesterday morning was NOTHING compared to this. Today is supposed to be the worst of all the Ida leftovers slash nor'easter action. Let's hope so.

I'm surprised my pine trees still have needles on them - the wind is howling out there!

The floor in my laundry room is wet. {it used to be part of the garage...}

The kids are out of school today {thank you, VBCPS, for the 5am wake-up call}. And, in true "bored kids on a rainy day" fashion they are already plucking my nerves. I need more coffee.

The fine folks on the Weather Channel are comparing this storm to Hurricane Isabel from six years ago. That's a pretty good comparison if you want my honest opinion. And, poor Mike Bettes...he's a trooper braving what a news anchor from one of our local stations called the "exfoliation station." In other words, he's been reporting live from the Virginia Beach oceanfront -- wind, surf, rain...blowing sand! Wanna see? Click here.

Roads are flooded. Offices, schools, courts, colleges...closed. My front door...closed, too.

All we can do is wait. Wait for the wind & rain to stop. And, hopefully the sun will come back out and dry things up because I am NOT looking forward to cleaning this:

or this:

The pics were taken around 7:45am with my Crackberry while I walked around my yard like a fool in my pajama pants. I know, I know...

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Tuesday, November 10, 2009

No ho ho?

How appropriate, huh? I mean, considering how quickly the holidays are approaching & how ridiculously screwed up the economy is right now.

Honestly, I've seriously considered telling my children that Santa had to do a massive layoff so he's only down to two elves and one reindeer this year. But, I'm sure they would just look at me like I was crazy and still demand something extravagant from the Toys 'R Us catalog.


This isn't about layoffs, toys or even me or my children...this is about YOU! I am sending out holiday cards {um, in December, of course!} and if you are interested in receiving a lil' ho ho ho from me in the mail, then please put yourself onto my snail mail list!

All you need to do is email me at shell {at} stutteringshell {dot} com - be sure to give me your name & address.


TWO lucky snail mail friends will receive a lil' holiday-inspired sumthin'-sumthin' from me!

Did I really just bribe you all to get on my holiday card snail mail list? Yes, I think I did!

Here's the fine print:
  • holiday cards will be mailed the second week of December {give me time, people, this is a huge undertaking for me!}
  • international addresses are a-ok!
  • addresses must be sent to the email address listed above - please don't put your addy in a comment {there are pervs & sickos out there!}
  • the two lucky recipients will be chosen at random {we will be pulling a name out of a bowl}
  • the two lucky recipients will receive a surprise as well as the promised holiday card
  • the gifts for the two chosen will be something picked out & paid for by me - nothing will be donated or given to me or blah, blah, blah
  • the only compensation I am getting out of all of this is spreading some holiday cheer to my bloggy friends
  • the only way you'll get the aforementioned holiday cheer out of me is by participating...just kidding...but, seriously, if you didn't put yourself on my snail mail list, then you cannot be mad at me for not sending you a card.

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Monday, November 9, 2009

bloggin' buddies.

Two Fridays ago, I spent an evening with a group of really fabulous ladies:

{from L to R: Whitney, Lis, NCF, Rachel, moi & my friend, Katie}

Any guess as to where we ate dinner??

We had an amazing night of wine sippin', food munchin' & non-stop chatterin'.

I cannot wait until we can all get together again.

Lis & I have met up quite a few times - usually for coffee & a quick jaunt through the mall. I got to visit with Lis again this weekend & I also met her friend, J. After a much needed morning meeting at Starbucks, we went to a holiday craft show benefiting our local children's hospital. We also went to see Whitney who was one of the many vendors at the show. {Um, if you need some good ideas for holiday gifts, please check out Whitney's store. Seriously.}

Ugh. What an unflattering picture of me, but we just HAD to get a pick next to Whitney's pink Christmas tree!

We had a lot of fun at the craft show! There were so many vendors to visit & so many raffles to enter! Lis & I were both thrilled to receive phone calls later in the evening letting us know we won. Lis won a set of holiday-themed Tervis tumblers {her favorite!} and my lucky dog, Frisco, made out because I won a gift basket full of doggy goodies:

Meeting your blogging friends is pretty exciting & amazing all at the same time. I know for some that it's just plain weird to even fathom meeting someone who 'lives in your computer.' But, you know what? I encourage you to. You won't be disappointed. In fact, I'm sure you'll be quite thankful you did.

**The first two pics are totally hijacked from Lis. :)

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the newest member of the family.

My sister & brother-in-law {who just celebrated their first wedding anniversary yesterday} are the proud new parents of:

Bruin the Newfoundland

Bruin the Newfie joins big sister, Moxie the Bernese Mountain Dog. From what I've heard, Moxie is a bit apprehensive around Bruin. I've also heard that Bruin is quite the little beast...he's 17 pounds and only nine weeks old.

I cannot wait to meet the lil' guy!

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huevos rancheros.

we love mexican food.

we love visiting mexico.

we didn't get to spend any time in playa del carmen this year, but thank goodness my husband - who speaks pretty good spanish & also loves to cook - created this plateful of yumminess for us to indulge in on saturday morning.

i bring you mi familia's version of huevos rancheros:

{sorry for the pic quality...i blame it on the crackberry.}

adam didn't follow a recipe...the only inspiration for HIS recipe was visions of the huevos rancheros we ate at las cazuelas in playa del carmen back in 2008:

{shameless plug...las cazuelas is located right across the street for our favorite hotel in pdc, the luna blue. in fact, the review for las cazuelas linked above was written by the luna blue's hotel owners, tony & cheri. check out their blog. hell, get to playa del carmen and check out their hotel!}

the kids opted for caramel rolls, but i have already asked adam to make huevos rancheros again this weekend.

if we can't make it to mexico, the least we can do is enjoy a little bit of mexico in our home.

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Wednesday, November 4, 2009

ohh, i...i will survive!

be thankful - very, very thankful - that you cannot actually hear me singing 'i will survive' because, well, honestly, um...yeah...your eardrums wouldn't survive.

there is cussing in this post, if you have sensitive eyes then i suggest that you read something other than this post.


my BFF is stress. at least it has been lately. stress at work {and that's all i'm sayin' because certain inquiring minds out there want to know too much and, well, everyone gets stressed at work} has been increasing. increasing stress at work has trickled into my home life. into my parenting life. into my life. ick.

so, i was chatting with a wise friend today and she suggested that i create a survival pack. nothing special...just a lil' something i could keep, oh, in my purse or desk drawer that is customized for me & my BFF stress.

the contents of my 'stressed out at work' survival pack would include...

  • chocolate {'nuff said}
  • a couple of smokes {i know, i know}
  • ear plugs {i wonder where my green pair for the nascar races is...}
  • cough syrup - because my friend's reasoning is this: you can't drink liquor {at work} but cough syrup might do the trick
  • a rape whistle - again, my friend says that i could just blow it loud when people want to talk to me {just in case the ear plugs don't deter people}
  • a face mask this way people will be like, "oh, you really are sick." {yeah, sick in the head!}

    and, last, but not least...

  • my son's electronic whoopie cushion {don't ask} because, as my friend says, nobody wants to deal with a loud, gassy bitch -- and the bonus of this's got a remote control. yeah.

sooo...if you, too, found yourself in a similar stressed-out position as i am currently in, what would your survival pack include?

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i owe, i owe...

I took a look through my camera the other day. Holy moly. There's a lot on that stinkin' camera from the last couple of months!

We're talking pics from our long weekend in Bah-ston, video of the pup meeting my sissy's dog, Moxie, randoms of the kids, events & things, last weekend's bloggy buddy dinner session and, of course, Halloween.

I guess my evening {after the kids are tucked nice & snug in their beds} will be partially consumed by downloading about a hundred or so photos. Go ahead and get some re-wetting drops out because you're going to be bombarded with pictures in the very near future.


Tuesday, November 3, 2009

the vote.

Today was Election Day. Election Day means that the schools are closed, so the kids were at home today {and I took a much needed day off from work}.

As soon as I woke up this morning the kids wanted to know, "When are we going to vote?"

Sheesh. Give me a chance to get up and pee, will ya??

We made it through breakfast...barely. I think I was asked once or twice an hour about when we would go to the poll or if I forgot that today was the day to vote. Good to know that my 6 year old and 8 year old are on top of Virginia politics.

Just before lunch, we head to the poll at an elementary school close to our home. The first thing out of Aidan's mouth is, "Remember when we came to vote & they wouldn't let me use the bathroom?" We were in a 2+ hour line last year during the Presidential election and the people at my polling place would not let my son use the bathroom. The people around us in line rallied, complained & held my spot in line as I whisked my children into the school to use the bathroom.

I told Aidan that there would be no peeing at the polling place this year.

Malia was more interested in when SHE could vote. Ten more years, sweetie...ten more years. Wow.

As we walked to the school Aidan noticed the signs for those running for sheriff. HE wanted to vote for sheriff. Instead, he had to settle on pamphlets.

Once inside, however, we were all quite pleased to find: no wait, no line AND a special voting booth set up especially for the little people of non-voting age.

If you're curious to know, here is just a sampling of who the children voted for:
President - Thomas Jefferson
Commissioner of Transportation - Amelia Earhart
Commissioner of Comic Relief {I really think this should be a REAL political office} - Carol Burnett
Commissioner of Literature - William Faulkner

I don't remember who else they voted for as I was busy casting my own real votes. But, what a nice set-up for parents and what a great way to introduce how voting works to the kids.

In the end, all three of us walked out with "I voted" stickers on and both of my children were quite pleased that they did not miss out on the vote today.

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