Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Turkey Day 2010

Our second Turkey Day was another success! This time I cooked for 11 adults, and one little one. Everyone brought something to the table and almost everything was a hit. We’ve got to work on the circle of thanks a little bit, but we’re getting there.

The Mr. prepping the turkey

The turkey 10 hours later

I was super, super proud!

The tables groaning under the weight of the excellent food

The pies (corn syrup free pecan pie!!)

The guests

After the feeding frenzy, the semi conscious guests on the couch.

Thanks everyone for coming!


Saturday, November 27, 2010

The First 3-0 Is In The House

I celebrated the mystical turn into the big 3-0 recently with tons of chili, peanut butter cookies with chocolate chips, and friends dear and near. It was a good party and I thoroughly enjoyed my entry into the next decade.

I was expecting 30 to be good; I recall when both my mother and my youngest aunt hit 30. Back then a new decade seemed like a good thing, like life got somewhat easier (gimme a break - I was 10 when I mom celebrated her birthday and across the ocean when my aunt did). In reality, their lives didn’t magically get easier and mine didn’t either...but there is something to be said about 30.

30 found me with a partner-in-crime and in life that I enjoy being around and respect; good relationships with my core family members; a network of people that I care about and that care about me all over the world; and a property owner with enough money to finance the life we’re living and still save. And importantly 30 didn’t find me filled with that searching, that yearning that defined my teens and 20s. That yearning was necessary to get me to where I am today and it is still here, within me but it isn’t the core of my emotional platform. Instead my life is based on feeling good about myself with all of the stuff that maybe other people would like to change and feeling good about others with all of that stuff that maybe I’d like to change.

Long story, short: I’m not so wobbly anymore.

Thanks to the family and the friends who helped celebrate my special day. I thought Facebook might crash or the neighbors would call the cops. I’m lucky and I’m thankful I get to share my life with you.

The theme: It took me 30 years to look this fabulous.

The Chili - 3 flavours: spicy, spicier, spiciest. All three pots were gone before the night was over.

The Friends

The Fresh 30-Year-Old


Saturday, November 13, 2010

Introducing the Style Queen

An excellent friend celebrated her special day this past week. As always, she did everything with Style, and, yes, with a capital S. First, she looked stunning as always.

Second, she invited us to sushi. As in all-you-can-eat(-so-starve-yourself-all-day) invited us and 18 other good people. If that’s Style, I just really don’t know what is.

Third, her theme was “accessories me”. Throughout dinner we, the guests, grabbed sushi plates from the conveyor belt and added our gift to the belt for her to open one by one. Naturally the Style Queen has friends with style and it was a lot of fun to watch her open each well considered and lovingly wrapped gift.

Happy birthday Style Queen!


Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Ba-ba-ba-ba ba-ba-ba-ba ba-ba-ba ba-ba-ba-ba

We've been married for 18 months today.

18 months - it feels like a decade based on everything that has happened to both of us since May 9, 2009. Its been a hell of a ride and I wouldn't exchange it for anything. We are many things and one of them is Happy Together. The song is from the 60s; somethings never get old.

The pictures of the special day are here.


Sunday, November 7, 2010

Memories of Spain – Happy Birthday

I spent a semester in Spain my sophomore year of college. Many, many excellent stories and life experiences are rooted in my time in Spain. Spain was where I first wrote articles for publication and realized just how happy writing regularly makes me. It was also my first experience leaving the US and without it, I wouldn’t have had the guts to move to Germany three years later. One could successfully argue that my semester in Spain was the first step on the excellent path my life would take throughout my 20s.

Yet, Spain was also home of one of the strangest living experiences I have had so far. The first two months I lived in a sprawling flat in one of the nicer areas of Madrid. The host, Maria, was um, strange. And I think that I’m being polite here.

All in all we were an old collection of flat mates: four American students from three different universities; Maria; Maria’s grown daughter; Maria’s two grandchildren; and at some very strange period of time the host’s not-quite-as-dead-as-she-described-to-us ex-husband. That flat was just big enough for us all (without the not-dead ex-husband) but not what one would call comfortable. The warm water always ran out during showers; breakfast was a rather rushed experience; and dinner took place in shifts.

But the true strangeness was the ‘cleansing of clothing ritual’. Since Spain I have traveled quite a lot and experienced a number of clothing cleansing approaches; this one remains the strangest of all. For the first few weeks, we Americans just couldn’t figure out why our clothes starting to smell of ham and, well, ourselves. It took a little while to figure it out and we only slowly built a full picture of the root cause. This is what we discovered:

Maria did not use soap to wash our clothes. From what I can remember, Maria argued soap wasn’t healthy for the skin. Oh, but wait, it gets better. Maria would then hang our clothes out to dry in the freezing winter air of Madrid, next to the ham.

Yes, you just read the correct. Our still dirty, wet clothing slowly dried right next to our diner ham. No wonder we stank.

I moved out a few weeks later and Spain never smelled better. This all rushed into my memory when two images popped up on Facebook: a reminder that my American roommate from this shared experience has a special birthday coming up and this image:

Happy Birthday Former Roomie! Thanks again for introducing me to excellent chick music and giving me the courage to ask lots and lots questions. I continue taking both forward in my life.


Saturday, November 6, 2010

Happily Married - Small Things

The Mr. suprised me with a little somethin-somethin this morning: a heart shaped bread roll. Never underestimate the power of a little special something on a random day.


Thursday, November 4, 2010

Forgotten Camera

I forgot our camera at a friend's 30th birthday party over a week ago. When we finally picked it up again, it had a few extra pictures on it. Looking at these, I think I've gotta start leaving my camera places more often. Adorable!

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