Sunday, November 30, 2014

Christmas is Up

My husband and I are very proud of our eclectic Christmas tree.   Right after we got married, my husband's mother gave us all of my husband's Christmas ornaments she had purchased for him over the years.  When my late grandmother stopped putting up a big tree at Christmas, she gave us several of her non-precious ornaments.  When my parents stopped putting up a Christmas tree too - they gave me all their ornaments.

For example, we have my first Christmas ornament from 1980 hanging on our tree...
And one of my favorite Christmas decorations is my late grandmother's ceramic Christmas tree, which is adding classy Christmas magic to the dinning room.
Although we can't be too classy because I enjoy a gaudy Christmas most.  I have a plastic snowman and a five foot santa greeting you in the front of the house.  My husband wrapped all twelve of our columns with red ribbon too, which gives the house that little something extra.  We're having a lot of fun this year.

A Great Week

My husband and I did something we rarely do.  We jumped off the high-speed-train that is our life for one whole week.  I ignored work as much as possible for one week.  My husband did the same- he tried really hard not to work.  Together we slowed down.  You'll notice I didn't blog for the week either.  I was trying to unplug and recharge my batteries.  Surprisingly, it took several DAYS for me to decompress.  I'm more relaxed today, on the eve of returning to the corporate grind, than at any other point in the week.  I think that's a good thing.

I enjoyed seeing these beautiful red leafed trees across the 'sac this week. It was a magical view out of my front door.   I hope you had a great week too.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014


What's better than starting your day with a ridiculously strong cup of black coffee (no cream, no sugar)?  I think I really might be addicted to coffee - is that a problem?  The coffee becomes extra delicious on cold mornings.  It's a cold morning.

I'm planning to take the entire week of Thanksgiving off, and I cannot get there soon enough.  It's exciting.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

A Man Called Ove

Very rarely do I devour a book, but this book came so highly recommended by my mother, my father, and my husband's mother that I am making time to read this interesting novel.  In fact, we have a little family ritual; if my mother and father read a book they both find exceptional/worthy of my time, then they'll send me a copy in the mail.  It's fun.  It encourages me to read for fun.  It also spoils me.  My novels are vetted before they arrive in my home.

We don't always agree; my parents enjoyed The Girl with A Dragon Tattoo series; I found it thrilling but way, way, way too disturbing.  I stopped after the first book.  

I'm already charmed by the first few chapters of A Man Called Ove.

I love me a good curmudgeon.

I don't know where this book is going, but I can tell I'm going to enjoy the trip.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Bailey McCarthy Is Back

Allllll hellllll YES!!  I have a multi year "friendship" with someone I've never met in person, never spoken to live - she's my friend because I've been a passionate follower of Bailey McCarthy's blog Peppermint Bliss and her start up Houston store Biscuit Home.  I feel like I know her.  In fact, I made Dooley take me to Bailey's store when we were in Houston last - my husband got a kick-ass wallet, and Dooley picked up some nice earrings.

Bailey's youngest son had health issues in the summer so she backed away from her blog.   I was disappointed she went away, rightfully so, because I missed seeing Bailey's genius in action.  For example:

I just noticed this week that Bailey is back to her blog; her son is okay.  I'm so excited for her.  I would love to engage her and her team to help whip our house into shape, but our architect friend said executing my high vision for our house will require $100K to $300K cash...I guess nothing is happening soon...but Bailey is young we have time!


I discovered something last night while waiting on my husband to get home from the office; making cornbread from scratch is a nice way to unwind from a busy week.  Working in client service as a consultant with a 20+ team gets me all worked up into an intense-ness, and since I don't drink and I don't do drugs it's hard some times for me to come down from the battle zone when I get home.

Cooking might be the answer.  It worked last night.


Monday, November 10, 2014

The Power of Love

Ted, who was one of my college BFF's, got married this past weekend to Kristin, a love he found while they were getting their Ivy League MBA's. Ted's life and my life have gone in many different directions since our undergraduate days; however, when we're together, we pick up right where we left off. In undergrad, Ted and I were a part of a close foursome of friends with Clint and Logan. All three of those guys are straight, and in the first couple years of college I was still pretending to be straight.

Early on, Ted knew I was gay, unbeknownst to me because we never talked about it, and as college progressed, Ted wanted me to be okay with being gay—I was terrified. My concern was whether Clint, Logan, and Ted would still be friends with me if they knew I was gay. It was a very real fear of mine at the time.

Ted, along with Clint, Logan, and many more friends, organized a night out at the gay bars in Austin one night. They invited everyone, and our only destination was a bar called "Boyz Cellar." The night had a ton of great moments because there was a group of thirty of us together that night (mostly girls and our foursome), but one of the sweetest moments I will always remember happened that night on the dance floor. At one point Ted pulled me onto the dance floor, and we danced together like we were both gay! The dance floor continued moving fast, and the music was loud, but the two of us slowed down, and talked in the middle of sweaty dancers. Ted looked me in the eyes and said it was okay if I was gay. I was scared, but at this point he had his arms around me, and he reassured me it was okay. I think I told him not to tell anyone one. He assured me he wouldn't. He told me he loved me. He wanted me to be okay with being gay because he was okay with me being gay. At some point we went back to dancing like we both were gay!

The following week I freaked out for telling Ted. Ted continued to check in on me (he was straight, and he really didn't have any answers) because he knew I needed help figuring it out after my freak out. So he just kept reassuring me any time it came up that it was okay to be gay. We scheduled "Mondates" at lunch every Monday. It was chance for us to talk it out one on one.

That was such an important moment in my life. It was important because his friendship helped me fully accept myself. It was a process, and I had many different helpers, but Ted's contributions were significant.

I'm happy I was out of the closest 11 years ago this fall because that was the first time I met the love of my life. When I first met my future husband 11 years ago this October, he was in a relationship, but when that relationship fizzled, I pounced at the opportunity to scoop up that gem of a man. Eleven years ago this December my husband and I went on our first date. That's the moment where it really all began for me, but before that there was a network of friends pushing me along so I could get ready for that moment to meet my future husband as the best version of myself...which is gay.

Sunday, November 9, 2014


It's fall y'all.  At least it feels like and looks like fall in Nashville, which is where we spent a lovely weekend to see The Uncles and attend a wedding with friends.  Fall in Texas is never predictable; some years I recall brilliant fall leaves on the Chinese Pistachios, Bradford Pears, and Sweet Gum trees around the neighborhood, but mostly I notice fall in Texas when I feel the cooler weather and see the leafless trees in our yard.  The leaves go from green to ground without the color changing finale to their leaf life cycle.  This year when we flew into Nashville I could see the speckled red and yellow trees in the rolling hills.  In Nashville it looks and feels like fall.

On Friday night we watched My Uncle and his community theater company perform Michel Marc Bouchard's play Lillies.  This play is worth your time if you ever get a chance to see the work performed on stage by talented actors.  It's complicated and multi layered and makes you think about the plot long after the show.  It's like a good book.  It entertains and makes you think.  Of course, my uncle was the best actor in the company!  After the show we ate fried pickles, cheese fries, burgers and talked about our theater experience.

On Saturday,  after a fat kid breakfast followed by a walk through the park with The Uncles, we drove to a historic 1836 farm where my college friend Ted married his love Kristin in a very elegant and sophisticated wedding.  Every single moment was so thoughtful from the wedding to the reception - it was beautiful.  I loved dinning in the cloth draped tent, which was a new experience for me.

This wedding had a ten-piece band that was the best wedding band ever.  They performed the classics early in the evening, and then after a break they jammed to the pop hits from Beyonce to Katy to Bruno to Taylor.  They even performed Outkast and Garth Brooks and some rap.  I used to always be a fan of wedding DJ's, but now I'm a fan of 10-piece wedding bands that can sing everything!

On Sunday, we were greeted in Dallas by my husband's parents who had been taking care of their grand-dogs.  We had lunch together, and after they left my husband and I took an afternoon nap with the fall wind blowing our chimes outside our bedroom window.

It was a great weekend. I love fall y'all.

Friday, November 7, 2014


"Try to say nothing negative about yourself for three days, for forty-five days, for three months.  See what happens to your life."

-Yoko Ono

Sunday, November 2, 2014

One Year of Being Legal

Although my husband and I clocked eight years in May since our wedding in Austin, Texas (May 13, 2006).  Today we just clocked one year of being legally married.  One year ago today, in the shadow of the Santa Barbara Courthouse, on November 2, 2013 my husband and I legally were married.

This date will always be significant.  My husband's parents, my husband's sister & her men, my husband's aunt and uncle, my parents, and our beloved BFF Del made a fun weekend of the significant event.

Thank you California.  Thank you U.S.A. Thank you for recognizing that my husband and I are equal to (not less than) any other married couple in this country.

Sunday Night is Steak Night

Tonight my husband and I dined on filet, baked potatoes, and (wait for it-) creamed spinach!  I've searched for a creamed spinach recipe and I finally landed on the Barefoot Contessa's Spinach Gratin as my go to starting point.  (Note to self: what the hell does the word "gratin" mean?) I made a few modifications to Ina's recipe, because when cooking (not baking) you must always follow your taste buds.  First, I fried up some diced bacon and then I cooked my onion with the bacon bits and bacon grease instead of butter.
I added much more freshly ground pepper.  I increased the nutmeg, and I may have added a little bit more cheese...
The end product was delicious - even my husband (who's never met an onion he liked) ate this dish (onions and all).


I'm 34 years old.  I'm overweight.  I've got a bald spot on my head the size of a salad plate.  And, I'm in Taylor Swift's fan club.  I own it.  I wonder if she knows guys like me are touched by her and her work?  The girl can write a song!

Her 2012 Red album is freakin' brilliant from the very beginning to the very end.  One of my all time favorite songs is All Too Well track 5 on Red; sometimes while I'm sitting in traffic on my way home from work I put "All Too Well" on repeat and I jam the whole way home.

Swift's 1989 album that came out last week is very nice; I like it a lot.  Last night I was the designated driver of my husband's SUV ("the party bus") and I only played 1989 in the car.  I'm trying to turn our straight guy friends onto the power of T. Swift- they like her when they're drunk is all I can say for sure!

If you only listen to one song on 1989, then you have to listen to "Style."  It's about a love affair based in passion not based in reality.  It's Scarlett and Rhett, it's Liz and Dick, it's thrilling/it's sexy.  It's sex, sex, sex! It's my new jam the whole way home from work.

Candy Land

To get ready for Halloween, my husband and I purchased the variety package of chocolate candy.  For fun, in between trick-or-treaters, we independently ranked in order of favorites to least favorite the candy in the variety package.

If you look at the above photo on the top row I've ranked my favorite to least favorite candy, and on the second row my husband ranked his favorite to least favorite candy.  I find it interesting that three of my top four choices are his least favorite; notice the large gap between the Milky Way and his bottom three.  I suppose that makes us a good match?  I will never have competition for Reese's, Almond Joy or Peanut M&M from my husband.  Opposites attract?

On Halloween night we were invited to a epic costume party with hundreds of people in attendance.  It was an open bar with a DJ.  I did not want to go.  I had a hard stressful week at work and I wanted to stay at home and decompress, and I'm not really in to large parties.  My husband really wanted to go because he's the fun one in our marriage - so we went.  (Opposites attract.)  It was a last minute invitation, which means we didn't have time for an innovative costume.  We went as baseball players - a catcher and a pitcher - so many straight guys and girls thought our costume was hilarious.  People wanted us in their photos.
In the end, the party/the night was a lot of fun.  I'm so glad my husband prodded me along on Friday night to join in on life.  Plus, I took a lot of my stress out on the dance floor with my white guy dance moves.  Watch out!

It's true what they say, "life begins where your comfort level ends..."  My husband makes me a more interesting person.  My first response to a new situation is always, NO!, but my husband turns my "no's" into "yeses," which is why I love him (need him)!