Wednesday, December 22, 2010

An Ode to Betty

To my dearest Betty Crocker,

How do you do it? Prepare delicious looking and tasting meals all wrapped up in your little gingham apron? And why do you feel it necessary to throw out those jabs about, "this is not what it should look like," in your up-to-date newlywed cookbook.

Here I am, all newlywed, ready to sport my gingham apron - okay striped, gingham isn't really my thing and I'm just going to let you know that maybe you should think about updating your wardrobe - and try my best to create that one-of-a-kind meal for my hard working husband.

And then this comes out:

Ah yes - I hear you laughing Betty.  It's most likely a petite, dainty laugh that you can cover up easily with a slight cough or precious sniffle. But I hear you - mocking me. I even got pretty dishes to cook on - and registered for ones I still have no idea what to do with.

But I'm not letting you keep me down. You may have gotten me once with that little trickery about confectioners sugar (lesson learned, actually powdered sugar) - and almost ruined our Thanksgiving treats, but I've got it this time.  Oh yes - this time I actually looked for the word confectioners while shopping for my next challenge, I mean baking experience.

Alight, it might have helped that my sister told me what confectioners sugar was, but those are minor details.

They probably should make 'confectioners' a little more legible
At least my family had the great knowledge that my "Betty Crocker" skills do not match yours and put me in charge of the bread. You know that I make dinner rolls multiply like Jesus does loaves and fishes!

(Side note, I hope to not offend anyone-I believe that my man J was able to preform this miracle and blessed me with the knowledge to buy more dinner rolls for Thanksgiving than anyone else could possibly eat.)

However, as many challenges recipes as you are going to throw at me, Betty, I'm ready. More ready than you could ever know - I still have kitchen tools that are begging to be used. Try me with those spinach and ham quiches, your double delicious chocolate cake - hey, why don't you go ahead and throw in a few more crock pot recipes.  I've got all day Betty (but if you could actually limit your recipes to fewer than 30 minutes to prep, prepare and cook, I'm short on time these days).

I'm up for the challenge Mrs. Crocker, and nothing you throw my way will defeat me. It might cause problems for the people I cook for, especially Tony, which is why he may be offering to cook more, whatever.

So here's to all of your Holiday Cookie Exchanges and Get togethers, to your precious little pictures and of course that little gingham apron - may the best chef win!

Yours truly,

P.S. I just want to let you know that I have been watching a lot of Top Chef lately, so if you want to bring on any of those fancy knife skills you got - like 'julianning' - bring it - I'm a fast learner. I also wear steel gloves while prepping.

Road Rage

I would like to think that before the wedding my little amount of stress caused my abnormal road rage when driving. However, it seemed to seep over to after the wedding. And now it even ventures over into Tony.

I'm a pretty good driver too - minus the minor hitting a big white van incident, I've only had two other accidents - both which were not my fault (no really, I got rear ended, promise!), and one speeding ticket, I'm a decent driver. I obey the law, look backwards while reversing the whole time and use my turn signals. What can I say - I was taught by the Maj - who made sure I never went 47 mph in a 45 mph zone.

True story.

Anyway - given that I drive a ginormous tank right now - I have even been more cautious, so 1. my husband won't be mad if something gets scratched or 2. so I won't scratch his new wheels - yes, I'm really a ruff rider, didn't you know. However, I get slightly annoyed at those who speed up right behind me while I am driving, those who slam on their breaks for no reason or the dilly dalliers, who just take their time to see the sights. Sorry people - you might be getting a big honk from me and my tank.

While my road rage is really vulgar - you know calling people turd buckets or turd heads (sorry mom, I know you hate the T word) - or mostly loud sighing, I've realized that I need to stop. Mostly because I come home annoyed and vowing never to drive again, and because I don't want to get pulled over.

The Maj would not approve.

So please try not to cut me off and be sure to use your blinker - or you might just be called a turd bucket.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Adventures in Babysitting

We all know what an awesome move it was, in fact, I may look it up to watch it again. Digressing....Tony and I had our own adventure when we took on the Martinez Men - and it did not involve any balloons.

Yes - they sound ferocious, all 2 years, and 8 months of these faces: 

 Luckily we didn't have anyone coming after us nor did we have to drive a sweet station wagon. However, Tony did get a lesson in putting a kid in a car seat - which is the first reason we are not ready to have our own kiddos. Yes, lucky for us we have 5 nephews who give us training in teething, laughing, diapers and sometimes inappropriate questions.

So you're probably thinking - "you guys have it easy, two adults to two kids, one who is only crawling!" Oh how you think it's easy - oh silly you - we are not built for kids. Tony actually used the phrase, "It's real simple" to a 2 -year old.

Really? Every other question out of his mouth is "Why?" - so it's quite doubtful he'll understand a phrase like that.

But alas, we survived, the kiddos are still alive and I'm pretty sure they still like us - and Tony got to play Wii, so all in all, it was a good night, however we've never been so tired. Some highlights of the evening:

  1. I didn't have to feed Teo any bananas
  2. Both boys got jammied and matched pretty well
  3. Luca: "Where Tyson?"
  4. Tony: "He's at home, in his bed."
  5. Luca: "Uncle Tony, you going caca? Why?"
  6. Luca: "Uncle Tony, you go pee pee? YAY!!!"
  7. Repeat of numbers 3 & 4 - times 10.
  8. Luca & Tony bonded over throwing a frog on the ceiling. Sorry Court.

Are there books out there in the "Dummies" series for parenting? We might need those.

Wrigley just creepily staring
Playing Wii - or just watching Uncle Tony play Wii

He may be dirty, but he's oh so cute.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Let's Take A Walk

Today marks a pretty important day. Exactly a year ago, and in a few hours, Tony asked for my hand in marriage.  Alright, well we aren't that formal - he did get down on one knee though.  And while I could probably tell you the entire story by heart - I went back to my first To-Do on - setting up our wedding site and did a little copy and pasting.  I figured it was fresh then and probably even a little funnier than what I could come up today.

So for your reading pleasure, Our Proposal.

I will have to start by saying Tony is quite the secret keeper, at least from me.  After a year and a half of dating, Tony and I both knew that we wanted to get married, especially to each other.
So Tony, wanting to make sure that he had picked out the perfect ring for me and something that I would cherish for the rest of our lives, would ask me questions about what I liked.  After showing him a picture in a magazine and a picture on-line in July 2009, we didn't talk about it too much.
Little did I know, he was keeping track of those little hints I would give him.  Smart man.

Then the month of December arrived.  Our good friends Jerred and Kristen wanted to have drinks one night with us, since Kristen was done with a semester of dental hygiene school, we thought it would be fun to celebrate. Tony picked me up and was in a rather good mood, but it was Friday, so I thought he was just glad it was the weekend.  We made plans to meet them at the Intercontinental on the Plaza and have some drinks in the bar, The Oak Room.

As the first to arrive, Tony and I sat down and soon got a call from Jerred saying they weren't able to make it. Background, J & K have a little girl Madison, who had been sick earlier that week.  So Jerred put on a show on the phone and said that Madison wasn't feeling good, they would try and meet us out a little bit later.

Bummed, we thought we would just enjoy our drinks and then go and meet some friends down at Baja 600. As we finished, Tony suggested we walk down to the restaurant because the lights were on. Me, not having it - I was in a dress 3 1/2 inch heels and didn't bring a coat, and it was about 25 degrees - but I was convinced it would be fine to walk. Gullible me. 

(Side story, as we walked out the door, the doormen at the hotel said, "That girl is going to freeze her buns off." Awesome)

So we started walking outside and Tony kept taking his time, claiming he had a foot cramp, had to tie his shoe, thought the lights were pretty, etc.  Me, being my cold, bratty self, tried to make him put a little quick in his step.  But the shoe tying was the last piece of oddness, before he stopped, gave me a big hug while we were on the bridge crossing Brush Creek.  

From there he told me he loved me and got down on one knee.  Tears ensued, from both of us, and of course I said yes! (As a big metro bus drove by, ahh, the romance)

After the initial shock, which barely wore off, we stared walking (faster) to Baja and I started the drilling of questions.  How long have you been planning this? Who all knows about it? I can't believe you planned this! I don't even care that it's cold anymore!

As we entered Baja, we immediately went toward the party room, thinking we were saying hi to the general manager, whom we were meeting for drinks, and there he had all of our family waiting.  Cameras ready like the paparazzi. 

And so began the wedding planning!

Aw, yes. I remember the cold day like it was yesterday. Hard to believe it's already been a whole year, we're an old married couple now and Tony's been the one to get skinny. Dang it.

Right after Tony told me no one knew...paparazzi in Baja

Me in shock with  my brand new bangs
Happily Engaged!

See...I married a skinny man!
Side note, and nothing to do with our proposal, but kind of. Anyway - apparently Tony and I should not have our important moments at Mexican restaurants anymore - our first date: Margaritas, moved, but was shut down for a while, and our engagement party - Baja also shut down. It's more sad because I love Mexican food.

Oh and also for the workers - it's not a great thing for them either.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

A Quick Trim

Since you've had the opportunity to see and hear/read about my haircut, I figured I could tell you about the next big hair cut coming up in the Ginestra world.

Tony's balding.

Alright, well according to him his peaks are growing.  Not really - well maybe, but they've haven't gotten bigger since I've known far. However, those peaks are going to disappear for good soon.

No, he's not getting "Just For Men" hair implants, or starting to comb his hair in a new way. Although if you see him wearing a hat, ask him to take it off for a pure giggle. Let's just say flashback to his 5th grade school picture....with more facial hair. (Side note: as I was writing this, a Hair Club for Men commercial just came joke.)
Soooo natural, right?

Anyway, I digress. (Yes, I realize I use that word a lot in my posts...however I quite enjoy it and it's better than saying um a lot) I've lost all train of thought....oh right.

Tony's in for a new do'. He's been sweetly coerced encouraged to give back to the KC Community through the American Cancer Society's Shave to Save, by me - his ever loving, encouraging wife.

Luck would have it, that I've also witnessed Shave to Save first hand and think it's one of the coolest events we have in the Kansas City area. The event is a fundraiser for the American Cancer Society's Hope Lodge.  It's a place for cancer patients to come and stay for free while they are receiving treatment- a home away from home, where they don't have to worry about bills, yard work, or traveling back and forth many miles to get the life-saving treatment they need.

Let me tell you, I have been lucky to witness how much the Hope Lodge has helped countless families while they are in the fight of their life. And while I could make this posting very emotional for you while standing on my soap box, all I am going to say is, you need to check it out. The Lodge serves as more than just a free home - it's a place for patients and their families to talk with others who are living the same experience, make lasting friendships, and get better.

Now on to the part of why Tony is getting involved.

Cancer sucks.

Plain as that. It's a disease that not only affects our family and friends, but so many people who live everyday lives and never expect to get sick. Tony lost a good friend from college to cancer. I lost my aunt to a brain tumor. We've lost time to spend with them and future memories that we could have had if it had not been for cancer.

Cancer sucks even more right now because this post is making me cry. Stupid cancer.

Anyway...I'll try to make this get a little bit more upbeat. Talk about Debbie Downer.

So because of cancer, Tony's getting a new haircut. He's going BALD.

Bald like John Travolta - yes, he'll get to keep his eyebrows and go-tee thing. Bald like Demi for GI Jane, but without the training for the NAVY Seals.
So he will go bald like her, but I will get guns like

Yep - on May 12 he's getting the haircut to remember. It's more than just shaving his head, it's more like a really expensive at $5,000 haircut. And that $5,000 haircut is going to the Hope Lodge. I'd say it's a pretty good price.

And why now you ask? Well, it's the 10th Anniversary of Shave to Save, so that's pretty neat-o. But we've talked about getting more involved in our community and giving back because we have been pretty blessed in our lives. Raising money for something that helps people who've been affected by cancer seemed like a pretty good reason.

Plus, I think he just wanted an excuse to shave his head. Let's just hope his noggin is less conehead and more normal.

It's also a relief that he won't feel like he needs to pull a Brit Brit and do it himself.

But I hope you will join us on our quest to raise money for T's haircut. We've got a ways to go, but I think we can meet the $5,000 goal and really give back to our community. If you would like to help us get to our goal, here's Tony's link to his page - CLICK HERE - tell your friends, your postman, your boss, your dog, help us get the word out as we raise money for the American Cancer Society Hope Lodge.

If nothing else, maybe we'll have a fundraiser for who can come up with what to do with Tony's bald head afterward.

Tattoo anyone?
Hey, Oh, You Lookin' at Me? (Yes, an Italian accent was used to write this caption)

Husband Vs. Wife: The Thought Process

Tony: Did you hear Cassel had to have an appendectomy?

Me: Oh no! The TV character Castle?
Meanwhile, in my head: Oh how sad, how did he hear about the actor that played Castle? I should really read that book he wrote. Ooo, maybe we can watch the latest episode tonight.

Tony: Like the football player Cassel.

Me: Oh.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Oh Sparky...

The holidays are here - and this year, being our first married holidays together, we've decided to go all out. In decorating that is.  Tony has the Christmas spirit, which included putting up lights on the house, updating the ornaments and drinking eggnog.

Okay, well not the eggnog and really not putting up lights on the house, but researching the best price for someone else to do it. Oh yes, we are those people.  And when you think about our luck with handy work around the house: Tony stabbed by a piece of glass while removing a friends' mirror, I dropped the side of a shelf on my ankle -and other various um, 'accidents,' it's best if we admire the work of someone else.

And wa-la! Lights on our house - which almost sent Tony into a tizzy, trying to look up the just right lights and settling on LED ones. I'm pretty sure he spent at least 20 minutes just staring at the light section before asking someone at Home Depot which lights are best, luckily for me, I was at work. And yes, now that they have been up for at least three weeks, Mr. Griswold drives slowly by the house - creeper style - to make sure all the lights are on, which ones aren't bright enough and to see if they are all hanging low.

There is also analyzing done as we drive by other houses to compare brightness of the lights.

We might have a Light Freak on our hands people. Next year we might have blow up snowman or moving reindeer in our yard. And when I mentioned that one year my dad had moving reindeers in our front yard (poor Mom), he did ask if Dad still had them around.

Sadly, I don't have any pictures - but imagine our house looks like one on Ward Parkway.  We like those houses and are currently looking for a place to put up a very lodge wreath. I know, apparently the Clark bug has hit me too.

But onto the inside of the house, and the photo shoot. I once read on another blog that a person's blog is pretty much a narcissists dream. Well...dream on people - here is our holiday decor photoshoot!

Making sure the placement of the ornaments is just right.

Our Black Friday decorating supplies...Thank you Target!

Because a self-portrait is absolutely needed

Tyson the Holiday Dog

Because decorating for the holidays wouldn't be complete without a jester hat.

Oh wait, I mean the elf hat...Tyson wanted to eat it.

Ty man putting on ornaments....or trying to eat them

Our completed tree!

Black Friday Tree Decorating=Not so cute pictures

Because trying to do a second shot is always a good idea.

So happy holidays to you and I hope your decorating was as festive as ours!

Sidenote: Neither of us were injured in our decorating extravaganza!

Monday, November 29, 2010

The Great Wedding Chop

Let it be known that there is a secret "To-Do" on every list for brides. A little past the 'Enjoy your day and enjoy your honeymoon' and even past the "write your millions of thank you notes." Oh yes, it's there in secret writing: chop off any hair that you may have grown since you got that rock on your finger.

It's the great wedding chop.

I assume (and you know what assuming does...) that most brides choose to do the GWC because it may feels like a huge weight lifted off your shoulders when all your wedding is done. Or maybe it's because they were never ones who felt right with long hair.  Or in my case, they were tired of it getting caught in your armpits while putting on deoderant or caught in your bra or panties (yes panties) leaving you with random hairs to pull out at the most convient times.

Stringy pony no more.
Either option of reasoning they choose, it all comes down to a fateful meeting of hairdresser and former bride. And one big chop.
Is that a rat tail? Nope, just a bunch of ratty hair.

 Yep... I went in, with thoughts of just a few inches off and maybe some bangs. Nothing too big...I really didn't want to be that bride who just went in and chopped it all off. Um....

And I was also instructed by my husband that he doesn't like hair any shorter than the shoulders.
It doesn't go back on....I tried.

Well, it kind of touches my shoulders...

And obviously a change this big needs a photo shoot.
However, I do now have a super cute pony.

Tyson didn't know what to think of the old pony.

And he decided he wasn't that interested.

And he really didn't want me to pretend it was his pony.

However this face makes me wonder if he would have really eaten my hair.

Proof that it's not tucked in the back of my shirt....and obviously my model face.

Because one picture wasn't enough.
So I may not have followed Tony's instructions to the T. However the former ratty tail is being donated to Locks of Love. Which I feel great about - and my hair will regrow.

For now, I'll stick with my cute little pony that doesn't sneak it's way into my armpits and work with this sassy do. Even better: I won't have to wash my hair for a few more days....BONUS! And I can finally mark off that final To-Do on the

In other news: I'll probably need to re-work this little title now that I can no longer call myself a bride, in public, Tony will be losing all of his hair in May, and we have been having a little "Clark Griswold" moments at our house.

Did I grab your attention? I just have to remember to write about all those things.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Toilets and Stairs

Our road trip was a success.  The actual race, is still TBD. I will say that we are at least all alive and I'm moving somewhat. However, I have developed two new nemesis' after this weekend. Toilets and stairs.  Oh yes, something as simple as sitting on a toilet to do your business or flying up the stairs because you forgot something now seems to be laughable.

The very thought of doing any action that resembles those two simple tasks could bring on tears of frustration, hand shaking (similar to fist pumping but without the excitement), and a very strained face that is not photogenic, nor appealing to the naked eye.

And what do we have a lot of in our house? Stairs. Even at work, stairs. Everywhere I turn - and then every time I realize I have to use the loo, I revert back to my opinion of adult diapers.  Could they really be so bad? I mean, the mere thought of squatting could be worth the sagging pants and swish swish sound of the plastic.

However, I also realize that sounds crazy coming out of my head and while I did have the thought, it will actually never happen. Unless I earned $500 to do so...and then maybe I would think about it. that I've thoroughly grossed out all 3 of my readers, on to why I detest two very simple, yet needed products in the human life.

5.9 miles. Very slow, very windy miles. Oh yes, asthma be dammed, I ran, jogged, barely lifted my feet one in front of the other to get those 5.9 miles done, all to earn a medal.

We survived - and all had a defining moment: training would have made this run a little better. Unless you're Jen - who somehow blew our minds and sprinted into the finish line - I think she's been training and not telling us.  Or her long legs really do take her miles further than the rest of our short legs.

Any how - we all have medals, some of us can't walk (ok, just me) and we'll probably all do it again next year. But now onto pictures and a little road trip re-cap.

*Editors note: My pictures are all wack-a-doo and somewhat out of order. Use your imagination and pretend they are in the correct order. Please and thank you.*

Guido Tony ready for the car ride.
 And me, being a cheeseball.

 We "carb-loaded" the night before, Tony even joined in and had some huge meatball. *Insert 6th grad humor here*

Fast (Wanda) Sara sprinting by....

 The girl in the green shirt I thought was Sara - every time she passed. I might have yelled out, very loudly, THERE SHE IS! And yet it was not her.

 Pre-race Sara, with her running fanny pack.

The girls, pre-race and accessorized. Okay, so that was only Jen -but we are colorful.

 FYI: Drinking coffee in the dark on Tulsa bumpy roads might lead to coffee spillage.
The first hand off- which Sara sped by and started running Lauren's leg...Silly Sara.
My medal! Which I will now frame and hang in our house as artwork or as if I ran in the Olympics and won the silver.

Pre-hand off - can't you see my excitement.

Lauren doing some figure 8's or handing me the sweaty tracking device.

Moving quite slow - but my calf muscles look good.

Trying to find the girls - it was all a blur of people - but then I saw Jen waving wildly

Jen putting on the sweaty ankle tracking device and a nice picture of my booty and very spasm-y legs.

Only in Oklahoma would there be a McDonald's on top of the highway.

Our "We'Re off like a Prom Dress" Relay Team - and a sweet shot of me in lots of pain.