Names have been changed to protect the innocent...and my husband...and me...but not the dog. His name is Dexter.

Monday, April 26, 2010

When I'm A Grown Up

Late last summer, Real Simple magazine advertised an Essay Writing Competition they were having. Looking back, I realize that I had completely lost my mind when I decided to submit an essay. Because I don't actually know how to write essays. But whatev. I still wrote a little something and submitted it. Shockingly, I didn't win. But I'm sharing it with you today because, well, I can't think of anything else to blog about today. Here is the winning essay, if you're interested.

When I was a child, I used to daydream about when I would be a grown up. I looked forward to the day that I would finally know everything. Grown ups were never wrong and they always knew what to do in every situation. All the stupid things that I said and did on a daily basis would be in the past. I longed for the day when I could walk confidently into the room and know that everything was going to be fine because I was a grown up.

The years flew by and I was startled to find that I was not, actually, getting smarter. Not only was I not getting smarter, but with each passing year I was learning how much I really didn’t know. Things were not turning out how I expected.

I graduated from college and was married just a few months later. Almost three years later we had our first child. A beautiful baby girl. And if there were ever a time where I realized how not grown up I was, that was a good example. You would think that the 30 hours of labor would have convinced me of my grown-up-ness, but it really just left me dazed and confused. Although I knew all along that none of the hospital staff would be coming home with us, I was still alarmed as the nurse packed us into the car to leave and then walked away! Sending us home to take care of that tiny little infant. By ourselves!

The addition of another beautiful little girl a couple of years later didn’t really change my adult status either. It just convinced me even further that I had no idea what I was doing. When exactly was the “all knowing adult” part going to kick in?! I needed it!

Last year, as I was showering with my four year old one night something happened that I knew would change my life forever. As I washed my face, she was rolling hot pink scented soap all over my badonkadonk butt and singing “Tell Me The Stories of Jesus” in her most serious four year old voice. And I couldn’t help but laugh. No, life would never be the same again. But I’m not sure that it was heralding my entrance into adulthood.

Now, I’m a 30 year old wife and mother to the two most adorable girls ever. We have a mortgage, cars, mountains of laundry, even a dog. We have all the trappings of real grown up life. And yet….

In the spare moments that I do occasionally have, I find myself daydreaming about when I will be a grown up. I long for the day when I will walk confidently into the room and know that everything will be fine because I am a grown up.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Friday Favorite-Earth Day

Making Earth Day cookies.
Ironically, since I was running so ridiculously behind schedule, we drove around the neighborhood to deliver a few plates of cookies. To celebrate saving the Earth.
This post was brought to you by Mountain Dew. Lots of Mountain Dew.
Happy Friday Everyone!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Recipe Swap Wednesday-Tex Mex Tortilla Casserole

I first tried this recipe last winter, shortly after Thanksgiving, because it uses turkey. It's a recipe that I got from Notes From The Trenches. Honestly, of all the recipes of hers that I have tried, they have all been fabulous. I usually half the recipe from the beginning because she has 7 children, including many boys, and I don't so obviously halving the recipe is the first place to start. And then, since I just have to mess with every recipe I try, I change or add or whatever and that's the recipe I'll share today. You can find the original recipe here.

Tex-Mex Tortilla Casserole
2 cups (cooked) cubed turkey, shredded chicken, or ground beef (I usually use chicken)
1 16-oz. jar of salsa
1 can of corn, drained
1 can of black beans, drained & rinsed
1/4 cup sour cream
1.5-2 cups crushed tortilla chips
Cheddar Cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine turkey(or chicken or beef), salsa, corn, black beans and sour cream and pour into casserole dish. Bake for 25 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle top with crushed tortilla chips and cheese. Bake for 5-10 more minutes. Serve over rice. And with avocado because that goes with everything. Makes 4-6 servings.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Green Living

So, we all know I'm a bit of a hippie. Maybe more of a wanna be hippie. But I do my pathetic best at living an environmentally friendly life.

Tonight's Twitter GNO at Mom It Forward is about green living. And I'm going to be a panelist. I know! Can you even believe it?! But I'm sure I'll be carefully supervised by Jyl so I shouldn't be able to cause too much damage.

Wanna come play? All you have to do is have a Twitter account and RSVP here. And there's a fabulous giveaway that you can also enter to win here.

Come! Chat! Watch me make a fool of myself! It will be a full evening.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Disneyland...As Promised...Finally

I don't know why it has taken me so ridiculously long to post Disneyland pictures. I'm normally so punctual about everything in my life. I got my New Years Resolutions up for Groundhog Day, so I guess I'm actually ahead of my usual timing. Go me.

Part of the problem is the amazing digital revolution. How many pictures did I take, you must be asking yourself. Over 650. Yes, OVER 650 PICTURES! And somehow, I still feel like I didn't get every moment like I wanted to. The mind boggles. Really? 650 pictures aren't enough for me?! In my defense I was trying to take pictures of the fireworks and get a picture of Tinker Bell flying by the castle so I used the sport shot mode on my camera. Sport shot mode translates roughly into 200 pictures of fireworks taken in about a minute. There were also the light saber pictures. At least that's my excuse.

I've been trying to come up with a clever way to show the pictures like maybe a Princess post and Toon Town post and Bug Land post and a Light Parade post and, and, and. Then I thought to myself, "Self, do all 5 of your readers really want to see all those pictures and hear every last painful detail?". And, since most of you are related to me, the answer was an obvious yes. And yet, I will refrain from the virtual "vacation slide show" that so many are subjected to. Instead, you'll get the Highlight Reel! It'll be fun! No really, it will be! Okay, well, at least my kids are cute so there's that at least. And this post is ridiculously long so you might want to get a snack or something.

First Impressions. Not bad.
Toon Town. With Babs eating a sucker the size of her head. That thing didn't leave her hand until all that was left was a gnawed on piece of cardboard resembling a stick.
Bug Land! With a caterpillar roller coaster, spinning Lady Bugs, miniature bug-like hot air balloons and other fun things.
Not limited to Lolly getting to take a picture of CG.
Baby's First Bumper Car
And then there was the Light Saber. Yes, that's my husband waving his light saber around in public. Ha ha ha....sorry, I just HAD to go there.
And some more light saber fun. Also called "Light Saver" at our house.
The Light Parade!
This was the closest we got to Cinderella. **sigh**
And so begins the Princess Mania.
This is Babs calmly telling me that she doesn't want her picture taken right now.
Just a little bit tired. In this picture Babs was Sleeping Beauty instead of Cinderella.After standing in line for 2 hours we saw these princesses.
After standing in line another day for 2 more hours to see different princesses (specifically Cinderella, for obvious reasons), we saw these...
Tinker Bell! Yes, that little glowing dot is her! Thank you Nikon for Sport Shot and Awesome Zoom.
CG having fun on the Tea Cups.
The rest of us, not as much. We're more into twirling than spinning.
Yep, I'm pretty. And really don't do well with Tea Cups anymore. ;o) My head finally stopped spinning about an hour later. Note to self: Don't try to take pictures while spinning. And the Peter Pan ride. One of my personal favorites.
And the Dumbo ride, of course. It was a big hit with our girls.
King Tritan's Carousel. My girls got the be the Princesses and were welcomed over the loud speaker before the ride began. So cute.
Can't forget a photo shoot with the 3-D glasses.
We were a little tired by the end.
Actually, a lot tired...
We had a four day pass and I honestly thought that would be plenty of time to see everything. I just didn't realize that the main attraction at Disneyland was standing in line. So, next time we go it'll be off-season and another four days at least.

I can't wait!!!
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