Sunday, October 6, 2013

The Nostalgic Burrito

Today has been the perfect fall day. A hoodie, fuzzy shoes and binging on Sister Wives on Netflix. I'm also looking forward to 19 Kids and Counting and What Not To Wear marathons in the near future. The last time I watched those shows regularly was when I was in college, and cable was a given in the dorms. Of course, back then, there were "only" 17 Duggar kids. WHAT.

I've also been watching this part of Enchanted on repeat:

It speaks to me because it perfectly sums up my relationship with Henry Cavill. I mean, he doesn't know it, but that just makes our love story all the more beautifully tragic.

I have also engorged on candy, Cherry Coke and pizza, and even though I should be having 64 ounces of water for dinner to flush it all out, I just got back from a Chipotle run. I think what I'm trying to say is that I miss eating like I'm in college, even though that was so seven years ago.

I also miss my old place. Most of my stuff is in storage. I sleep on the spare twin-sized bed in my mom's "Spare 'Oom." All I have in this house is my TV, dresser and clothes. More than many people have, I know, and I'm not complaining. I just miss hanging out in my own house, surrounded by my own things, my preciouses.

One of the reasons for my Chipotle run was that Once Upon a Time was on tonight. When I lived alone, and even before my last roommate moved out, I/we would often grab Chipotle and hunker down with OUAT, which I desperately used to try to fill the Lost-sized hole in my heart. It's silly, but it was a comforting routine, one I looked forward to every week. So basically, I bought a nostalgic burrito because I miss my couch.

Nostalgic burrito
Make your own Nostalgic Burrito: White rice, peppers and onions, steak, tomato/mild salsa, a little bit of corn, and cheese. If I'm feeling feisty, I'll add guac, chips and/or salsa on the side.

What are your favorite TV rituals?

Just to set the story straight, no one asked me to sing Chipotle's praises. It's just that good, and my gushing is unsolicited.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Stuck in my Head Sunday: Do you hear the people sing?

Well, it took me four whole Sundays before I offered you a selection from Les Miserables. I'd say this is a sign of growth!

I have too many several versions of the Les Miz soundtrack. The 10th and 25th anniversary editions are regulars on my playlist and I unashamedly downloaded the 2012 movie soundtrack as soon as it became available on Amazon.

One of my favorite tracks on the 10th anniversary edition is the 17 Valjeans. Valjean portrayers from all over the world share a 17-part version of "Do You Hear the People Sing?", each belting the lyrics in the language of his home country (Starting with Norway, I believe it segues into the main chorus of the finale version. Hearing friends, correct me if I'm wrong!). It's not uncommon for me to keep this on repeat during my work commute. By the time I get to the office, I'm ready to vive la France like the French student revolutionary I am, natch.

When I was listening to this last week, I wondered, "Is this what heaven is going to sound like?" (Not that I think I can take Les Miz with me to be with the Lord, but a girl can dream.) I was struck by the imagery of these 17 men -- each singing in his own language but expressing the same hope, the same call to stand, the same view beyond the barricade -- and what a picture that must be of what it will be like when we are Home.

After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. And they cried out in a loud voice:

“Salvation belongs to our God,

who sits on the throne,
and to the Lamb.”
Revelation 7:9-10 

On a side note, the dream I dream would be to find (or develop) an all-sign version of Les Miz. Will you join my crusade? :)

Happy Sunday (night), friends! Be brave this week, and if you're going back to school, remember, Cherry Coke is your friend.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Stuck In My Head Sunday: I love you most of all because you're you

Happy Sunday, friends! I was on "Tutu" (aunt) duty this weekend, watching my two-year-old nephew while his TWIN SISTERS were busy being born! Since I work during the day, I usually babysit him in the evenings, and am well-versed in the bedtime ritual. Naptime, however, is a different story, and I was at a bit of a loss yesterday when he kept begging me to sing "Mommy's Song." I stalled for a little bit by telling him, "Well, we're going to sing um, a few Grandma songs and then we'll sing Mommy's song." I frantically texted my mom and sister-in-law to find out what "Mommy's Song" was, and went through a few hymns I knew my mom sings to him (she, unlike me, knows all about naptime), as well as a few of my own. FINALLY, Grandma clued me in that he was probably looking for: "I love you, Samon/Oh, yes I do/I love you most of all because you're you."

How I didn't think of what can only be described as the family anthem on my own is beyond me, but I was finally able to usher him into the land of Nod with the right tune!

Today, at the hospital, I realized I'd been holding one of my nieces for an exceptionally long time (I'm a shameless baby hog. I admit it.) and offered her to my dad, whose arms were empty. "Oh, no," he assured me. "I'm just fine." I ignored him and placed baby Maggie into his arms and whaddya know? Papa melted into a puddle and almost immediately started crooning,

I love you, Maggie,
Oh yes, I do
I love you most of all
Because you're you

We love our sweet Grace, too!
Oh yes we do
We love you most of all 
Because you're you!

My brother and sister-in-law had told me that Mommy's other song is "You Are My Sunshine," so armed with the right music, I put my nephew down for another nap after lunch. Now listen, this is a kid who, for the better part of a year, has decided that he's done being rocked to sleep. After story and/or song time in the rocking chair, he slides off the lap and heads straight to bed. He can put himself to sleep, thankyouverymuch

Today, however, he curled up with me in the chair and I sang a mashup of "You Are My Sunshine" and "I love you most of all because you're you" until he fell asleep... in my arms. And friends, I'm not afraid to tell you I cried a little. And held him much longer than I needed to, because he's getting so big and I knew it was probably our last time to do that together. It was too dark in the room to get a good picture of us, but here's one of him from almost two years ago (!!!):

I love you, Samson
Oh, yes, I do
I love you most of all
Because you're you

I leave you with a montage of me trying to get a picture with all three kids. Hilariously unsuccessful.

Be brave this week, friends, and remember, you're loved because you're you!

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Stuck in My Head Sunday: Sonnet 60

(I want to say this is a picture I took from the plane when it stopped in Albuquerque on my way home from visiting my cousin in Vegas a few years ago... but don't quote me on that.)
Happy Sunday, friends! I can't believe it, but I am loving this cool, rainy day in August. Truthfully, I'd been dreading this part of the summer, as the temperatures around this time last year were not playing nice. I realize things could still change, but for now, I'm reveling in the novelty of enjoying a day of the eighth month in the year of our Lord 2013.

Then again, I just got back from a massage, so maybe the post-rubdown euphoria just hasn't worn off yet. ;) Does anyone else think too much during their massage? Like, why is she spending so much time on my neck? Don't forget, you need to write that email when you get home. Should I stop to get gas tonight or in the morning? Finally, I told myself to just stop with all the thinks and enjoy the dang massage! So I let my mind wander on its own and it led me to one of my favorite Shakespearean sonnets:

Sonnet LX
By William Shakespeare

Like as the waves make towards the pebbl'd shore,
So do our minutes hasten to their end;
Each changing place with that which goes before,
In sequent toil all forwards do contend.
Nativity, once in the main of light,
Crawls to maturity, wherewith being crown'd,
Crooked eclipses 'gainst his glory fight,
And Time that gave doth now his gift confound.
Time doth transfix the flourish set on youth
And delves the parallels in beauty's brow,
Feeds on the rarities of nature's truth,
And nothing stands but for his scythe to mow:
And yet to times in hope my verse shall stand,
Praising thy worth, despite his cruel hand.

After that, I was able to appreciate the rest of the massage sans annoying mental reminders from my "to do" list!

Be brave this week, friends, and cherish your moments!

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

I even strike out in my dreams

Guys, this is so embarrassing, I almost don't want to tell you. Almost worse than the time I peed my pants at the grocery store when I was 10. I reallyreallyreallyreallyreally had to go so I thought maybe I could just let a little slip out to relieve some pressure and, well, it went downhill from there.


(I should be way more embarrassed about that, considering I was, you know, 10, and supposed to have more control over my bodily functions. Instead, I'm sitting in front of this here blog cackling away at the hilarity of it all. Hindsight. It's a beautiful thing.)

ANYWAY, the real Embarrassing Fact About Me:

At age 30, I have never been:

In a relationship
or even....
On a date!

I know, right? To answer your imaginary questions, I don't know what's wrong with me, I do not bat for the other team (I like boys. Boys boys boys boys boys. Sorry, dad) and sure, we can talk about you setting me up with your best friend's brother's classmate's cousin's neighbor.

Before all you more experienced folks launch into (not so) helpful diatribes like, "Well, at least you never wasted your time with the wrong person!" or "It's better to be single than with the wrong person!" or "Just wait, the right person will come along when you stop looking for them!" (Here are my replies in order: "So true!" and "Amen, sir!" and "WHAT does that even mean?!")

As my mom pointed out the other day, if being single is so great, why aren't all the married folk (usually the dispensers of the sage advice above) single?

BOOM, roasted. And THAT'S why we don't mess with mamas. They know of which they speak.

Part of the reason for my singleness has to be my generous awkwardness with the opposite sex. I am oblivious, for one thing. I am pretty sure if some guy asked,

I would answer brightly, "Oh, just fine! How are you?!"


I even strike out in my dreams. I had this dream the other night that I got pulled over by a rather handsome cop, who fell somewhere between

Mike Vogel - source

Taylor Handley - source
Which is weird, because I don't normally go for blondes, but Subconscious wins this round. So, a little irrelevant but nonetheless quirky back story: In real life, whenever I get pulled over (I don't mean to imply that I get pulled over constantly. In fact, I only recently broke my 10-year streak of not getting pulled over. True story), I always feel compelled to put the officer at ease and over-explain what I'm doing. "Oh, you want my license? OK, it is in my purse, which is on the floor, so I'm going to reach over and get it." You know, so they don't think I'm about to pull a gun on them. Obvs.

Back to my dream. I was pulled over for speeding and Officer Handsome saunters up to my door. I roll my window down and he asks to see my license, which prompts me to begin my over-explaining ritual. I hand him my license and then say, "And my registration is in the glove box. I'm going to lean over and get it from the glove box now."

He glances at my license, likes what he sees (of course) and interrupts me. "Oh, ma'am," he says, grinning, "I don't need to see your registration."

Startled, I repeat, "You don't need to see my registration?!"

"Oh no," he says. "In fact, you're free to go." Flirty smirk. And hands me back my license.

Meanwhile, he has a criminal locked up in the back of his squad car, who has been watching the whole thing go down. Also, the squad car is parked in front of me, instead of behind, so clearly Officer Handsome has mad pulling-over skills. The criminal rolls his eyes and sputters, "Oh, just ask her out already! You clearly want to get together!"

Awkward laughter all around!

"Welllllll, ma'am," Officer Handsome offers smoothly, "do you date police officers?"

"Well, that depends, Officer," I murmur slyly, flirtatiously stroking my hair, totally unaware of how quickly I'm about to nosedive. "Do you date.... uhhh..... ummm..." Brain freeze. "... citizens?"


This was followed by another dream a few nights later that included one Mr. Channing Tatum. Oh, and not just any Channing Tatum. A version of him with FROSTED HAIR:

"Werk, Boi" says the source. "What is even happening," says Lucy.
He was only present for about .062 seconds before my dream took off into a series of unfortunate events that ended with me frantically texting my college friends, "If I don't make it back in time, just leave without me!" while being chased through a European villa/mall by a mobster. The highlight of Channing's cameo consisted of me asking him to have my picture taken with him and breathlessly complimenting him on his performance in White House Down, while he politely, albeit boredly, thanked me and moved on with his life.

So to recap, in a fantasy world where I can do anything I want with Channing Tatum, the best my imagination could conjure up was, "Hey, take my picture?" with Frost Hair (a fad that not even Mr. Tatum can redeem). Really? REALLY?

My love life is doomed, I tell ya! Both my consciousnesses (regular and sub) are working against me! RUDE.

What's your worst/most hilarious dating story? Or feel free to share an embarrassing "pee your pants" story. We all have them, right?

... RIGHT?

Uh, guys?

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Nutella Toast with Strawberries

Listen. This is not a rocket science recipe. It's barely even a recipe; more like a feeble attempt to health-ify Nutella (anything whose first ingredient is sugar needs some justification). But if you love Nutella and strawberries, here's an idea to jazz up your breakfast or snack, or for those nights where you don't really feel like eating a dinner dinner, y'know?

You will need:

One or two slices of bread, depending on how hungry you are
Some strawberries, chopped

Toast the slice(s) of bread to desired darkness
Spread Nutella
Scatter chopped strawberries atop Nutella
Chomp and enjoy!

Now about this photo. Part of me feels obligated to apologize for its poor quality. Another part of me is like, "Meh, we can't all be photographers." The best I can do is make sure there's enough light (even if it means I have to put the photo subject in some wonky places) and remember the rule of thirds when I can. I know I said not to do everything half-baked, but a corollary to that would be, "It's OK to not be an expert at everything." In fact, if you try to master every single task, you will be mediocre at all and excellent at none. I've wasted time comparing myself negatively to bigger and better and prettier and well-photographed blogs out there... only to realize that I'm me, not them. And I'm come to terms with the fact that me is not a professional photographer, and me's OK with doing the best I can. ;)

So be brave, non-photographers! Post your crappy camera phone pics, your slightly blurry photos, your not-enough-light subjects. They're your memories to enjoy... so enjoy them!

Keep Calm and eat Nutella toast with strawberries.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Stuck in My Head Sunday: A Psalm of Life

I can't promise "Stuck in My Head Sunday" is going to, well, stick. (See also: TV Thursday) But it's what spoke to me, so I'm going with it today. YOLO, amirite?

Happy Sunday, friends! What did you do this weekend? I spent a gift card and kicked some arse in Mario Kart, as 30-year-olds do.

I get songs stuck in my head from time to time, as do we all. Does anyone else also get literary passages, poem stanzas or even Bible verses stuck on repeat?

Here's what I've had stuck in my head this weekend, as if to prove I really am capable of thoughts deeper than, "MOVE FASTER, Mario!" or "Out of my way, Princess Peach!" (except I didn't say "peach." It sort of rhymed, though).

A Psalm of Life
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
which I have had to memorize once or twice through high school and college and will forever have a special place in my heart

What The Heart Of The Young Man Said To The Psalmist.

Tell me not, in mournful numbers,
   Life is but an empty dream!
For the soul is dead that slumbers,
   And things are not what they seem.

Life is real! Life is earnest!
   And the grave is not its goal;
Dust thou art, to dust returnest,
   Was not spoken of the soul.

Not enjoyment, and not sorrow,
   Is our destined end or way;
But to act, that each to-morrow
   Find us farther than to-day.

Art is long, and Time is fleeting,
   And our hearts, though stout and brave,
Still, like muffled drums, are beating
   Funeral marches to the grave.

In the world’s broad field of battle,
   In the bivouac of Life,
Be not like dumb, driven cattle!
   Be a hero in the strife!

Trust no Future, howe’er pleasant!
   Let the dead Past bury its dead!
Act,— act in the living Present!
   Heart within, and God o’erhead!

Lives of great men all remind us
   We can make our lives sublime,
And, departing, leave behind us
   Footprints on the sands of time;

Footprints, that perhaps another,
   Sailing o’er life’s solemn main,
A forlorn and shipwrecked brother,
   Seeing, shall take heart again.

Let us, then, be up and doing,
   With a heart for any fate;
Still achieving, still pursuing,
   Learn to labor and to wait.

Have a brave week, friends, and may tomorrow find you farther than today.