Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Oriental Chicken Salad

Recently, my husband and I recalled a funny thing that happened to us about two years ago.To set the stage I need to tell you that, if you don't already know, my husband is Japanese. With that info you would naturally conclude that our children are half Japanese.

With that said...

I was quite pregnant with our daughter and not feeling up to cooking dinner. So, Todd suggested we go to Applebee's. I am not a huge fan of Applebee's, but it was better than waddling around the kitchen. We get there and place our orders. Todd decides on the Oriental chicken salad. I order our son a grilled cheese sandwich and then decide I will get a half order of the Oriental chicken salad.

We eat our meal with the usually flurry of crayons and spills that accompany dining with a toddler. The bill comes and I open the little fancy folder and burst out laughing. Todd looks at me funny and grabs the bill and he also starts laughing. The bill read...

1 Oriental
1 1/2 Oriental
1 Grilled Cheese

I guess I was the grilled cheese!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Sir Lukas

My nephew is 3 years old, going on 40! He is insanely adorable. He has big blue eyes and golden yellow hair. He is an absolute riot! His vocabulary reaches further than his comprehension of words so, in addition to very profound statements, he says the funniest things.

A couple months ago I was running errands with my mom and we had Lukas with us. Writing this now, I wonder were my kids were? Anyhow, I was strapping Lukas into my son's car seat. Luke reaches down to were the seat straps comes out and comes up with a fistful of old cereal, goldfish crackers, you name it. Before I can stop him, the whole fistful goes into his mouth. He chews with glee and then swallows the mess and says, "Wow! Mitchell sure has some tasty treats in here!"

Lukas calls me Aunt Jenny which I adore. I have a Great Aunt Ginny and I am honored to be the second...even though the spelling is off a bit. I love when Luke wants my attention and says, "Aunt Jenny? Can you come down here so I can tell you something?"

He is a little mister and I love him to pieces! He and Mitchell are best buddies and Lukas says that Ellie is, "Alright." I can't ask for more than that!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Read the Instructions Completely First

I just received a CD in the mail from the company I work for. It contains a bunch of files that we need to install before our national sales meeting which is next week. So, I open the envelope and immediately follow the directions to get the thing installed. Since I am reading as I go I fail to notice the part in the instructions that says it could take over an hour to install everything. Now I feel really silly. I have completely locked up my company computer with this installation while a mountain of work sits and stares at me. I don't dare interfere with the downloading of who knows what. That is just asking for computer woes. But, as I sit here, I see that I am tethered to my laptop for work. I am very limited in the work I can get done without it. How frustrating is that? I am so technically tethered to work that one glitch or goof-up can befuddle my whole afternoon. I think I need a garden...

Saturday, July 26, 2008

You can put the princess in a dress...

but you can't take her out of the dirt!

And the prince? Well, boys just love dirt!

The Shack

I just finished reading The Shack by William P. Young. I recommend it to everyone who struggles with their faith from time to time and to people who wonder why things happen to good people. It will renew your spirit! It is an incredible story about a man who goes through an intense loss, but with the help of three amazing friends finds his happiness and purpose once again. It is a fictional work...but after reading it you realize how true it is.

Running with J-Dog

My brother and I have a standing running date on Saturday mornings. We have had times when we have cancelled on one another, but, for the most part, we can be found at Woodward Park trotting out some miles in the coolness of a Saturday morning. I love these runs!

My brother is two years older than me and we both have families of our own now. It is so nice that we have this time to hang out and catch up on life in general. We talk about raising toddlers; childhood memories; our pets; our parents; our jobs. We even venture into politics and religion. My brother has an open-mindedness that allows me to see all sides of an issue. And, he has a whit that can make me laugh until I have tears in my eyes.

Siblings are blessed with the opportunity for incredible relationships. Who knows you better than a sibling? Who went through your childhood right along with you? My brother and I have laughed so hard our stomachs hurt while reminiscing about life in our household growing up. We were fortunate to have great childhoods and, now we even laugh about the times we got in trouble. Seriously. We remember Dad's lecture verbatim about how we should not fight over Cheerios which are nothing more than little oatmeal circles.

My brother once noted that he and I were as closely related as two people can be. We are the only two people created by our parents. I have always liked this thought and think of it when I look at my two children. They are inseparable by their very DNA. I wonder also, if my children will be as different and my brother and me. My brother is artistic and soulful. Me? Not so much. I cannot draw or play any musical instrument. I cannot carry a tune. I love to write though. And, I try to remember to stop and smell the roses but I am a bit antsy. But, regardless of our differences, my brother and I are friends.

I have to admit that I am happy he doesn't refer to me as "The Troll" these days. And, I am not sad that "Jennifart" is a label I have lost. I am just so thankful to have a brother that I truly enjoy hanging out with. So, with that, we run. We logged four miles today and there is no one that I would rather pound the pavement with.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Words of Wisdom

Yesterday was a particularly challenging day as a parent. It was one of those days when the kids seemingly team up against the parent until the parent collapses in exhaustion. In the late afternoon, I stood at the kitchen sink scrubbing dishes with ferocity.

My son came in and said, "Mommy?"

To which I replied, "What Mitchell?"

He looked at me and put his hand on my leg and said, "You know Mommy, sometimes things just happen."

Aw! I felt like mud! I knelt down and told my son that he was very smart and that I appreciated him sharing his wisdom.

Birthday wishes!

Miss Ellie turned 2 on July 3rd! We bought her a princess dress and some bling. My husband's only comment was, "And so it begins!"

Mitchell got a slick new bike for his 4th birthday. His birthday was July 5th though we had a dual party for him and his sis on the 4th! It was a small, family party, but it was fun-filled, firework affair! I aged also. On the 2nd of July I turned 35! How did this happen! My mom made me my favorite dinner of spaghetti, salad and garlic bread. My sweet hubby bought me an ice cream cake!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Bad Travel Juju

I spent a week on the east coast for work. Inevitably, when I make this trek, something goes awry. It once took me 22 hours to get from Fresno, California to Washington D.C. This time, things went extremely well until the final leg of my journey. I was even awarded an exit row seat which allowed me to stretch my legs rather than contort them into fitting under the seat in front of me around my carry-on bag.

I landed in Denver, CO with 52 gates separating me from my flight home. I had less than 10 minutes to make my connection. I am a runner but running in the mile high city weighted with my carry-on bag and my laptop briefcase was anything but easy. I rounded the final curve in the terminal overjoyed to see my plane still at the gate. It hit me quite suddenly that the plane's door was closed. My flight was closed. I pleaded with the attendant at the gate to let me on the flight but there was simply nothing she could do. I felt tears escape my eyes as I saw my options dwindle.

As it turned out, my luggage made the ironic! So, I was stuck in the airport with the clothes on my back. No toothpaste, no bottle of water, not even a stick of gum. It was already after 10pm and all of the shops and services in the airport were closed. I decided to just hang out at the airport rather than sleep for a few hours in a hotel and head back.

I learned that the Denver airport is a decent place to rest you head at night. The night crew directed me to the safest place to park myself and help me and other stranded passengers locate pillows and blankets. It wasn't long before I gave up on the chairs and sacked out on the floor. It seemed like just a moment and I found myself waking up to the sound of voices. A family with two children had just woken up. I sat up and saw on a clock that is was 5am. I had made it! I looked around and saw that at some point in the evening a number of other passengers had converged on the same area. It was like a camp out!

I gathered up my gear and headed to the bathroom to "freshen up". There was no freshening up to be done. I was beyond scary looking. I looked like I had been raised by wolves in the deep forest. Bags under my eyes indicated a briefness of sleep. My skin was broken out from fatigue. My hair was limp and greasy. I longed for a shower! I longed for clean underwear!

I found a Starbucks and slurped down a Venti coffee and treated myself to a second. Before long I was on my way home to see my husband and kids after a week away. The woman in the seat next to me complained that she woke up too early and just couldn't get a grip on the day. I told her I slept at the airport. She looked at me like she was trying to think of anything that could compete with my statement. I turned my face towards the window and proceeded to sleep the entire flight home.

Once in Fresno I found a skip to my step. I went to claim my bag that had arrived the night before. I was moving quickly to avoid being seen by too many people. As I was claiming my bag I heard a familiar voice behind me. I spun around expecting to see a friend but instead saw Brooke Shields. Yes, in Fresno. I have no idea why she was visiting our small town but I was keenly aware of ragged appearance. I have to say that Brooke Shields is as beautiful in person as she is on television. And, am happy to report that the people of Fresno did not glom onto her as she made her way outside. She got a few stares but no one approached her...least of all me in my troll-like state!

So that ended my adventure in Denver and beyond. I have another trip coming up in August. My destination is Baltimore but I am fearful of where my bad travel juju will take me.