Tuesday, December 23, 2008

BEST Christmas Present EVER! Part 6....

The very best Christmas gift I ever received came a week before Christmas 2003.

I found out I was pregnant with Darling.

Handsome and I decided in Nov. of 2003 that we had been together for a little over 7 years, been married for a little over 1 year....it was finally time to try to have a baby.

We both figured I'd get pregnant sometime after the first of the year, so we should start practing (wink) at "optimal days" but, nope, we got pregnant right away.

Not that I could get the results immediately (took me about 4 pregnancy tests to get a positive/conclusive reading over the course of 3 excruciating days).

I'll never forget getting the positive reading (FINALLY) and after sitting there for a minute, with my whole body shaking, went in to wake up Handsome and tell him the good news.

I just told him, "Good morning, Daddy" and I'll never forget the way his face just lit up.

We panicked of course because it happened WAY sooner than we thought it would, and "Ohmigod! We're going to be parents!!" but we both had wanted to be parents for SO long, that it was truly the greatest Christmas present EVER!

Morning sickness is no fun during the holidays and it was so hard to keep it from everyone (especially his brother that lived with us), but we told everyone Christmas morning after all the gifts were opened.

I remember sitting in church Christmas Eve and how the whole story of the Nativity hit me in a completely different way than it ever had.

I remember thinking, "Merry Christmas, baby" and thanking God for giving us such a wonderful Christmas gift....

BEST Christmas Present EVER! Part 5....

This is dedicated to my handsome hubby....

So, Christmas, 1996....I had been dating Handsome for a few months and we were on Christmas Break. I didn't actually get to see him on Christmas. But of course I got the "Oh my God, I miss you so much, Merry Christmas, I love you!" call that night as I spent it with my family, but missing my new hot boyfriend so much!

We actually got to see each other the day after New Year's. My family had never met him at this point and he drove up from Possum Holler to be my date at a wedding that was to be held right after New Year's. We were to exchange presents at this time. So, Handsome experienced his first forray into my family (God help him) and after asking him repeatedly what he wanted for Christmas, he told me "Whatever, it doesn't matter". Well, knowing he was a music major, at that time, I got him some CD's of classical music. (I'm the crappiest gift giver, I know, but he liked them.)

What he got me turned into a family heirloom. He bought me this beautiful statue of the Holy Family that was actually a San Fransico Music Box Company music box that plays "O Holy Night" which he didn't even know was my favorite all time Christmas hymn. (If you want the PERFECT gift/card, expect it from Handsome, he has a sixth sense of the perfect thing to get people. I'm kinda jealous of this talent).

At some of the hardest times over the last 12 years, I've pulled that music box/statue down and wound it up and listened to it's song. In a lot of ways, every time I hear it play, I hear his beautiful voice singing that song (and he doesn't cop out on the challenging notes like Josh Grobin. Handsome is hardcore Michael Crawford style with that song) It's like a choir of angels. He's that good!

I'm never really able to put that statue/music box away after Christmas, I'm not sure why...

Moxie's New Favorite Cookie

I have always been a big fan of Dana at The Homesteading Housewife. She posts wonderful recipes that I would actually cook (and have!).

But she has really taken the cake (pun sort of intended) with her Chocolate Covered Cherry Cookies.


Make these!

It was like an orgasm in my mouth and I don't care how that sounds. They are THAT good.

I had to make two batches because between Darling and I, we almost scarfed a dozen without blinking (I know, oink, oink, right?) My only caveat is half the coating mixture. We had tons left over.

Check out some of her other recipes. The ham/spinach/mozzerella stuffed meatloaf is awesome and I'm intrigued by the Stuffed Zucchini and the Corn Dog Bake.

BEST Christmas Present EVER! Part 4....

The subtitle to this post should be: "The Trojan Gift"

So, Santa is sassy. He sometimes uses creativity in his gift giving. If I'm to be true to the Best Christmas Present EVER! I can't ignore my dad. When I started high school, "Santa" got a crazy idea. He started giving my 4 sibs (2 bros, 2 sis) a "Trojan Horse" gift.

Christmas was quite regimented affair in my family. Every Christmas morning we would line up, youngest to oldest, process down the stairs after the video camera and my parents were set up, and Christmas morning would ensue.

We would all rush our gifts and tear them open and then eat Christmas breakfast. Well, one Christmas, Santa changed things up. We opened everything with our name on it, but there was one box with ALL our names attached. My parents insisted that Santa wanted us to enjoy our individual gifts, eat breakfast and then open the joint "Trojan Horse" gift.

The first year, we didn't know what to expect. We scarfed our breakfast in record time. We couldn't figure out what the huge, weird shaped box in the living room was....

Once we opened it, we realized it was like a pinata. The one "Oh my God, I have to have it!" gift was concealed in the horse/U/bizarrely wrapped box.

It was basically my parents' way of prolonging the Christmas anticipation. The box, no matter how many years we encountered it, was always an agonizing mystery. There was always a gift in it that we were really hoping for, but maybe not the one we expected.

No matter how many times the "Trojan Horse" gift appeared, usually about 6' long and oddly shaped (my dad worked in a body shop so weird shaped boxes were abundant), we never really knew what it contained. It was the last ditch effort for what we REALLY hoped for.

We received everything from our first Nintendo (Super Nintendo if I remember right), to our first DVD player, to our first family computer, to my very first CD player, to a microwave (which I still think my dad bought for himself and not my mom, no matter what he says) to a camcorder.

God bless the '80's and '90's....so many things, so much mass consumerism, so much fun.

I miss "Duck Hunt" and "Super Mario Bros" and how thrilling it was to beat "Tetris" on the first go....

Monday, December 22, 2008

Facebook What Ifs

Lately, I've had a rash of high school era friends (can you even call them friends when you haven't talked to them in over 10 years?) "friend" me on Facebook.

Some of them I actually wondered what happened to them...

Others, I'm ambivelent towards in that "Wasn't that the guy who sat 3 seats back and 2 rows over in junior year math class?" sort of way...

And then I found him. Or rather a friend suggested that I add him.

You know, the one.

The guy from high school that was completely dreamy and your mom always wanted you to marry (I know, in HIGH SCHOOL!) but he was THAT dreamy.

Smart. Dark curly hair, blue, blue eyes. Tall, dark, all-American handsome.

We were friends since 4th grade when he moved to the area. He went to a different school than I did, but we went to church together.

We always liked each other in that friend sort of way, but when we got to high school, something weird happened. All of a sudden our friendship was awkward.

We ended up on again/off again dating and even went to prom together one year. Nothing serious ever happened between us, but still, ya know, a lot did.

When I told my mom I was going to marry Handsome she begged me not to. That he wanted to be an actor and that he never would be able to support me (like I'd EVER like to be a stay at home mom!)and "WHY? Why can't you marry someone like [Insert High School Guy's Name Here]?!"


Because he was a Peter Keating. (Guy from the "The Fountainhead"). Handsome was a toned down Howard Roark, much more my type.

Sure, Peter looks good on paper: great looks, great career options for making lots of money, but no dreams, no spine.

I told my mom this, which she of course didn't understand, but it made perfect sense to me. I'm just not one to marry for money.

I have a single friend of mine who says she loves hanging out with Handsome and I because we are "living a traditional life in an untraditional way". Weird but true, I guess. We both have good jobs that mostly pay the bills, but also have something that we are passionate about (theatre/history). Realistic dreamers is how I look at it.

So, as I'm clicking thru the pictures of "Peter" and his wife and kid (they're expecting another one soon), I'm not really jealous. Handsome, Darling and I have the same things they do. We're happy, challenged, settled.

But I'm a horrible "What Ifer". I can't help myself.

And, I think I'm a lot happier than I would have been had I listened to my mother.

Wouldn't trade in my Handsome and Darling for anything.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Best Christmas Present EVER! ~ Post 3

Maybe you've heard this legend before. If so, bear with me, I'm the product of superstitious Catholics (ask me someday about my Ukrainian great grandmother who REALLY believed in fairies and pixies). Anyway, legend has it that if someone shows up on your doorstep on Christmas Eve, you shouldn't turn them away because they could be Mary and Joseph/Angels/Baby Jesus/Shepards/Wisemen (pick a holy traveler) in disguise.

Christmas Eve 1991, we came home from Mass and hear meowing at our back door and our cat, Socrates, is going crazy. Perplexed, we open the door and sitting there on the sidewalk is an adorable gray, black and white tabby cat. He gives us an impertinent "Meow" (translated from the original dialect, I think it was "Where the hell have you been, I'm freezing!") and just walks right in the door like he's always lived at our house.

He proceeds straight to Socrates' food and water and starts chowing down. Surprisingly, Socrates seems ok with this and licks his ears. Being superstitious, suckers, and animal freaks, my family quickly adopts our little stray Christmas Eve Kitten and name him Plato.

To add to the whole "Christmas Eve Visitor" bit, another legend. Check out a tabby cat's face. On every tabby cat I've ever known, you will see a distinctive letter "M." According to cat lore (and my mother) the reason for the "M" is because a tabby cat hopped in the manger to keep Baby Jesus warm. Mary, wishing to thank the kitty, kissed his forehead and blessed all tabbies forevermore.

As an historian, I'm not really sure this is true, if you know what I mean.

But, then again I haven't researched cat migration patterns around first century Bethlehem, either. All I do know is that he's turned out to be the best damn cat I've ever known.

Plato was "my" cat. I was his goddess. I fed him, cared for him, he would sleep on my neck, go fishing with me, wait by the door for me to come home from school, the whole nine yards. He took it pretty hard when I left for college, but fickle feline that he is, he quickly adopted my youngest sister as his new idol/personal assistant.

It's hard to believe that he's about to celebrate his 17th Christmas Eve with our family (by far the longest time we've had a pet. Many have come and gone since then). My sister, who was 7 at the time, really believed that Santa left him outside and came back later with the rest of our presents. Seventeen years later, she's still sure of it. Maybe Santa's also a psychic, because Plato arrived 2 months before Socrates died. Maybe he knew how hard it would be losing our pet so he gave us Plato to help ease that pain.

I'm really dreading the day that Plato passes away. I saw him a few weeks ago and he's slowing up. The lithe, sassy little ball of energy who accidentally took a trip to Oklahoma in the back of a sailboat (that's another story) is looking more and more like Old Deuteronomy each time I see him…

Friday, December 19, 2008

Kansas City Star, Biotches!!!

No thanks, Omaha, thanks a lot...after all the stuff that's happened in KC over the last few months, I'm dedicating this gem to Mark Funkhouser, Gloria Squitiro and her smudge stick (who thinks she's the Queen of KC), the murder rate, the Dept of Sanitation, Union Station, and the Board of the Negro Leagues...

Oh, yeah, and to all the writers who were laid off last month at the KC Star. I'll miss you guys...

From the WTF Files . . .

Have you ever ran across stories and you're sure they're made up because they are just too "wacky"?

Well, I do.

Just today, I ran across the article about Bristol Palin's future mother in law getting busted for drugs. Makes me wonder two things: A. What the hell is up with those Palins in Alaska?!?! and B. I'm suspicious of Al Gore's mother in law. What do we know about her, REALLY?

Second story: Apparently, Santa's reindeer could be castrated. Dilemma: How to explain to Darling why Rudolph flies a little funny?

KC Museums in Upheaval

Wow! There's been a lot of talk around town about museums in our area. Including 2 of my favorites:

The Negro Leagues Baseball Museum: Joe Posnanski and Jason Whitlock are in an uproar over the new head of the Negro Leagues Museum.

I don't know either of the candidates, but I truly adore JoPo. He's one of the best sports columnists in the country and a really nice guy in real life (I met him at the KC Sports Commission Baseball Kick Off Luncheon last spring.) If Joe says Bob Kendrick was the right guy for the job, then he is. Especially if he was Buck O'Neil's choice.

I think it's a shame that politics and an anti-Buck surge is happening. What about what's right for the museum? I know from experience that if the person in charge isn't head over heels passionate about the museum it will flounder.

The Negro Leagues Museum is incredible. If you've never been there, YOU NEED TO GO! The first time I ever went there, I got my program signed by Buck O'Neil himself. He shook my hand and gave me a big smile and thanked me for visiting. Of any "celebrity" autograph that I've ever gotten, his is my most cherished.

The Negro Leagues Museum is too important to lose. It's the only one of it's kind and it is the bedrock of the incredible 18th and Vine area. I hope it doesn't leave.

If you haven't already done so, read JoPo's book The Soul of Baseball: A Trip Through Buck O'Neil's America. It's incredible.

Ah, yes...The other big KC museum news for the week. Union Station/Science City/Kansas City Museum is getting a new director, former American Royal CEO George Guastello.

I used to work for the KC Museum (and grudgingly US/SC). I think this is the fifth director they've had since 1999. I've never been impressed with any of them, but Andy Udris takes the cake for trying to steal the KCM's collections.

I wish the best of luck to the new guy and I hope like hell he continues the improvements on KCM/Corinthian Hall. I love that house!

I'm not holding my breath about the guy, but some really positive things are happening up on Gladstone Blvd and I just hope they continue.

Monday, December 15, 2008

I didn't know Santa was an architect and an interior designer...


What the HELL did we get ourselves into?

Sorry that all has been quiet on the Moxie front the last couple of weeks. Things have kind of been busy. I might post pics of our shenanigans, I might not get that far.

Now that most of the Holiday Have to Do's for work/Darling/theatre/museum is over, Handsome and I can concentrate on Christmas for Darling.

I had the brilliant idea of building her a dollhouse for her really big Christmas gift.

Stupid me.

This has turned into the Project from Christmas Hell.

Handsome, being handy dandy as he is, decided to say screw it to the snap together flimsy kits, he's building this bad boy from scratch.

First, he downloaded plans from the internet of something we kind of liked.

Then my mom, who was supposed to take Darling last weekend so Handsome could morph the Man Cave into Santa's Workshop, bailed on us.

It's 10 days til Christmas and nary a board has been cut.

How Handsome is supposed to accomplish this magical feat of getting this built before Christmas morning? I don't know. She's always there when he's there and he refuses to go to an alternate location to build it.

This is nearly impossible. Even the lady at the dollhouse supply store was dubious of whether it can be done. Apparently building one from scratch is hard or something.

I wonder if Ty Pennington would swoop in and pull off an Extreme Home Makeover: Dollhouse Edition if we asked?

Darling is going to love the dollhouse. We have one at the museum that is "playable" and she begs to go play with it. When I was a girl, my dad built all 3 of us girls and our mom dollhouses from those pre-fab cutout kits. They are all gingerbread and spindly stairs; beautiful, but not play-sturdy. More of the collector of trinkets kind.

I'm sure it will get done. Handsome and I are both great under pressure. I'm just freaking at a Christmas Def-Con Level 5 today.


Taking Kruschev's Shoe a little too far

Everyone knows some Iraqi d-bag reporter threw a shoe at soon-to-be ex-President Bush.

The first thing I thought about was "Where's the Secret Service?!" Seriously? The jerk threw not one, but two shoes before he was subdued. I would hope the Secret Service would be a little more on their toes when the Prez is in a part of the world where there's a darn good chance of someone trying to do something to him.

Don't get me wrong, Bush could probably use a couple of whacks upside the head, but the incident was a scary reminder how easy it is to assassinate a public figure. What if the guy somehow snuck in a gun? I don't even want to think about that.

I've never been a fan of President Bush (either one) but it kind of gets my patriotism in a knot by the fact that a d-bag from another country showed such disrespect for our "leader". (Yes, I know, we pulled Saddam out of a spider hole and pretty much handed him over to his death, but at least Bush hasn't killed off thousands of American citizens just because they didn't agree with him.)

I don't care what his background was, he had no right to do that. As a journalist, he needs to report, not use his accessories as weapons.

KCBlueBlog says it better than me...

Can you imagine the international uproar that would be caused if Bill O'Reilly threw a shoe at Hugo Chavez?

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

I Wonder What Ever Happened To....

So, Strollerderby has some stuff that's great, some stuff that's crap. One of my favorites of theirs is "Rich or Rehab: Whatever Happened to (Insert Famous Kid Star's Name Here)"

Since it's the holidays, check these out.

Ralphie from "A Christmas Story" definitely made out better than poor Zuzu (Osceola, MO native) from "It's a Wonderful Life."

Crazy Obama Conspiracy Theory

Remember how I told you I'm fascinated by conspiracy theories? The crazier the better?

You don't? That's fine. Just know, the more insane, the better!

Yep, this one, even though it's a total farce, is scary in the fact that there are really people who think this way. The probably live next door to you, too!

The red-necked American, delusional mind is a terrible thing to waste....

Go curl up with your assault rifle and check this out:

The Real Reason Obama Can't Be President...

Monday, December 8, 2008

BEST Christmas Gift Ever ~ Part 2

Ok, Part 2!

Another BEST Christmas Present EVER! that I received was circa 4th grade. Or 5th grade...it's kinda fuzzy in my old age...it was somewhere around 1986-87....

I had had a radio of my very own for quite sometime, (KC'ers, remember when Q104 was a pop station?) but what I DIDN'T have was a cassette tape player. I stole the Sunday paper from parents and scoured the circulars, searching for the perfect one so I could clip it out and send it's picture to Santa with my letter (by this time, I was jaded and didn't believe in him anymore, but I've since changed my mind. There is a Santa Claus.)

Anyway, I finally found THE one I wanted. Wrote my letter, inserted clipping, licked and sent envelope.

I didn't get the one I wanted.

I got one that was way RADDER!

It was a hot pink and purple metallic dual-deck "ghettoblaster" (hee hee, remember when you could say that with a straight face?). Oh it was so awesome. Santa obviously had better taste than I did.

Not only did I get the coolest ghettoblaster on the planet....I got the cassette tapes I was SO wanting too. Are you ready?

Belinda Carlisle
Debbie Gibson

How absolutely cool was I? The coolest. I was expecting maybe one, maybe two, nope. I got the trifecta. I remember having heated playground debates about who was better, Tiffany or Debbie, each of us girls drawing a line in the pea gravel under the slides and defending our diva with vehemence. (I was a totally Tiffany gal, probably because of her remake of the Beatles "I Saw Him/Her Standing There").

I remember many years of happy use, hitting the "Record" button the second my latest and favoritest song came on the radio. It was with a bit of sadness that I put that hot pink wonder away when I got my first CD player. Sigh...It was such a valuable tool in embracing '80's pop culture. I listened to Kasey Kasem religiously on that radio....and discovered Dr. Demento, but it was on so late I had to turn the volume WAY down so my parents wouldn't hear it.

Fun...Darling's had a CD player since birth...Handsome insisted on playing Baby Einstein for her and she has quite the collection of kiddie music now...sad she'll never know the glory of receiving her first ever radio/cassette player...

Happy holidays, Constant Reader, and stay tuned for more BEST Christmas Present EVER! installments.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Eating Spaghetti Naked

Oh... Kay...

So, Handsome, Darling and I went to a restaurant tonight. Darling ordered the spaghetti kids meal...

Once it came, she proceeded to try and take off all her clothes...

Let me explain...

Spaghetti is a usual occurrence in our household.

It's one of the only foods Darling will eat without a fuss...

We always tell her to take off her shirt and pants when she eats it...She's messy, we accept it.

I hate Stain Fighting...

She knows the drill...

I'm surprised she choose spaghetti over chicken nuggets, but, well, it's her choice and I let her make it...

This usually precludes "Bath time"...

So, we're in a restaurant tonight and she starts to strip...

Maybe we should have the "Clothing Boundaries" discussion with her before she goes to Kindergarten...

Ya think?!

The Best Musical Number of the Season

So everybody else in the world has linked to this today, so Moxie's hopping on the bandwagon. If you've skipped over it before, just watch it so you can keep up with your friends and neighbors.

See more Jack Black videos at Funny or Die

Here's my thing as a VERY "Lax About Some Things Catholic"...If you're a Christian (or any other religion, yes Islam too) and, at the core of your faith, you believe that God is love, when you reject a gay relationship that has love then you reject God Himself.

That's the religious side of it. On the pure democratic side of things, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights was written with ONE purpose in mind. Self determination with the personal freedoms to pursue your own happiness. It also protects your personal property rights as a US citizen.

Handsome and I have 2 very close friends who have been together about the same time Handsome and I have, 12 years or so. We'll call them the Brookside Gays here because that's what we call them in real life. They have a lovely home in Brookside and an awesome dog. They've both built a life together that is comparable to what Handsome and I have (we have a kid, they have the dog, and their house is way more faa-bu-lous! than ours.)

What freaks me out is let's say one of them gets sick. The other one has NO legal rights to make decisions for his life partner. One of their families hates the other partner and would completely shut them out of any life or death decision making.

That is completely wrong.

If life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness is the right of all Americans, why shouldn't gays have those rights when it comes to their own happiness. The Brookside Gays have just as a strong a bond as Handsome and I, why can't they have the same rights as us?

And that's all I have to say about that....

Monday, December 1, 2008

BEST Christmas Present EVER ~ Part 1

So, Darling really "gets" Christmas this year. She's already talking about Santa and if I watch "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer" one more time I'm going to puke (though it's an enjoyable respite in some respects from the usual Curious George-athon at our house). I'm actually really excited since we're going to have copious Family Fun this season (Crown Center/Union Station, here we come!)

This year, more than any other year, as the best mom I can be, I've got to create a little Christmas magic. She's already locked and loaded, firing off things she wants for Christmas (My Little Ponies and Barbie Diamond Castle is top of the list). Damn consumerism (said in my crotchy, cranky old fart voice)...So as every good mom, I hit the ads and search for her material dreams come true.

Which got me to thinking about a *wow* gift. I'm horrible about picking these out, but thank God Handsome is the master at choosing the *perfect* gift/card/flowers/anything. I've accused him of working secretly at Hallmark before because he can always find a card that EXACTLY states what sentiment it needs to...anyway...I digress....

I thought about all of the REALLY cool Christmas gifts I got as a kid....

You know the one on your list that you really really wanted Santa to bring....so, until Christmas approaches, I think I'll periodically post "BEST Christmas Gift EVER" posts.

I'll start with the year I was in second grade (circa 1984). I wanted my very first Cabbage Patch Kid. It seemed like EVERY girl in my class already had one and that was all I really really wanted that year. So, Christmas Eve was particularly sleepless for me. Cabbages, not sugar plums danced in my dreams.

So, on Christmas morning, my siblings and I race down the stairs, tear into all our presents and while I got a lot of really neat, but now forgettable stuff, ... after there appeared to be nothing else left to open, my eyes started welling up with tears. I was SO sure Santa was going to bring me a Cabbage Patch doll...I just knew it. I wrote him such a great letter, how could that jerk refuse me?!?

But she wasn't there.

I sat, sadly under the twinkling lights of the tree and my Dad asked me if I liked everything I got.

I told him yes, it was all really great.

He told me I looked sad, and that's when I think the tears started flowing. I told him I had really wanted a CPK doll. He asked me if I was sure that I didn't get one.

I told him that I had opened everything already. He told me I should look under the tree a little closer.

That year our tree was in front of the staircase leading to our downstairs living room. The tree was placed in the corner and blocked a little door under the stairs.

When I looked under the tree again, I noticed the door was slightly ajar. You wouldn't have been able to see this unless you were literally under the tree. Suddenly, excited, I dove under the tree (almost knocking it over...nice catch, Dad) and opened the little door and there she was....


a blue eyed Preemie Cabbage Patch Kid.

Even though she was the first in the line of about 10 CPK's in my life...

well, if you were a little girl in the '80's, you'll always remember your first.....

I still have Allison and I love seeing Darling play with her now....

Many years later, I found out how my father had braved a blizzard (he was exaggerating) and searched and searched, well into Christmas Eve for Allison.

It was the Cabbage Patch Quest of '84...

CPK's were THE big thing that Christmas and he went to at least 8 different stores searching for her so his little girl wouldn't be disappointed on Christmas morning.....

I don't think that ever really sunk in until I became a parent.

So, there it is Part One....I need a kleenex...stay tuned for more.

Warm & Fluffy For the Holiday Season

So, despite my better, inner Grinch nature, I'm going to periodically post "The BEST Christmas Present EVER" series over the next 25 days.

Enjoy, or don't...

but I hope you do...

Thanksgiving came late this year and we didn't even know it

Oh. Hai! It's you, Internet! Guess what I've been doing since Friday?

A big, fat NOTHING. I didn't even get out of my pjs (except to bathe) from Thursday night until Sunday afternoon.

You don't know me IRL, so the amazingness of this is lost on you. One of my personality flaws, besides not being able to play well with others that I can't stand, is the flaw of not being able to sit still very well. I'm always busy, I always take on more than I can handle and I thrive on stress. I'm crazy like that.

So 3 days of doing nothing was an amazing feat.

I had to actually put on real clothes Sunday afternoon to go up to the museum for a meeting, and as a surprise, Handsome got home around the same time and Darling was still out/being babysat by her aunt.

This afforded Handsome and I the opportunity to have a candlelit dinner of leftovers. It was really nice not to be trying to force Darling to "eat just a little more" or "be brave and try new foods" It was lovely grown up time.

So, I'm thankful for that.

I'm also thankful for being able to go up to visit my Grandpa on Thanksgiving. None of my family was going up to see him that day (they were coming on the weekend) and I wasn't invited to my parents' house (big fat long story there) so I'm glad he wasn't alone and got to spend time with me, Handsome and his only great-grandchild. Darling adores him and thinks he's just the bee's knees. Which, objectively speaking, he is.

I'm also thankful I didn't screw up my first attempt at cooking an entire turkey. Never in 31 years of life has life required me to cook one and that's just not something I was willing to try unless I had to. But I did it! YAY!

Know what I'm SUPER-EXTRA-ESPECIALLY thankful for?

This morning at Handsome's work, 12 people (of around 32) were laid off.

Handsome was not one of them, praise God, Jesus and fluffy bunnies.

Thank God.

I'm sorry for all of the employees that lost their jobs, but I can't even tell you how thankful I am that Handsome wasn't among them. I promise to quit bitching about money for the rest of the week.

Handsome works in the corporate offices of an internet company in a "recession-proof" industry. The economy is getting really scary. His department was literally cut by 2/3. Thankfully, Handsome shares my industrious nature and has been a top performer in his department.

I was scared to death first quarter this year about being laid off when the axes were falling at my job. Marketing departments are notorious for being the first to go. I survived, thankfully (yet again).

I hope you had a great extended weekend and a happier Monday, filled with less drama than my Monday seems to contain.