Tis The Season For an Aidan


How was your Thanksgiving? Mine was really good. My favorite part, of course, was that Aidan was here. We had a LOT of fun! We hung out, we watched Christmas programs, we braved the crowds on Black Friday and did some shopping, and I got in a lot of laughing and cuddling and good times. I suck them up now because I know they will end sooner than I’m ready.

I didn’t take photos of the spread, but we had turkey that Adam had brined in a solution from the Spice House (the turkey was good on Thanksgiving, but it was AMAZING Friday night). We had stuffing, cornbread dressing (gotta have my dressing; stuffing just doesn’t do it for me), corn, mashed potatoes, macaroni and cheese, cranberry sauce (homemade by Adam and awesome), and apple pie. Jeff and Deborah brought over a tart and some sweet potato fritters–I didn’t even get a chance to try them. Jen bought over a plate full of yummy rolls. We had sparkling blueberry juice and sparkling cranberry apple cider to drink, as well as the cranberry Sierra Mist. Everything was wonderful. We let our food digest while watching Twilight with RiffTrax before tackling the dessert. Good times.

Friday, Aidan and I went back and forth about whether or not we wanted to go out. He finally said “I want to go shopping.” He said he’d never been Black Friday shopping before and he thinks his dad won’t take him. So, we bundled up and headed on out! (And NOT to Walmart. Hell no.)

Heading out for Black Friday fun!
aidan and me on the way to state street
we’re waiting on the train, which came really quickly for once
so i had to rush and take this photo
that’s why i look crazy. lol.

I told him that we needed to go to shop for other people, not for him. But he talked me into getting him a stuffed Wreck It Ralph anyway. Hmph. Oh well.

We made our way to Macy’s. He didn’t really want to look at the store windows this year (Although he made sure I was OK with that. I was.). He did write his letter to Santa, though. Macy’s has a table set up every year and they donate money for every letter sent. :)

Thinking of what to Write to Santa
thinking hard.

Letter to Santa Mailed!

We made our way through Holiday Lane, which I like to do every year, but we didn’t go see Santa. I didn’t even try–figured the line would be too long, and besides, Aidan was getting hungry.

Aidan, Nutcracker, Me
aidan and me at holiday lane
he was cranky and hungry
at least, until we made our way to the toy aisle

We also went up to see the Great Tree, which he and I called the “BASST”. Short for Big Ass Tree. But really an excuse for me to cuss. ;)

Aidan and the Big Ass Tree

We actually had a good time shopping. We didn’t head out til around 230pm, so I figured most of the insane deal hunters would be home and sleeping. Most of the stores we went into had really cheerful workers (the ones in Old Navy seemed to be running on pure adrenaline or drugs or something) and also cheerful customers. There was only ONE store with a pissed off cashier–I didn’t take it personally though. Only one of the stores was so crowded I started to freak out, but the others were manageable. One wasn’t crowded at all.

We spent Saturday evening having a Christmas program marathon. We started with Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer (where we tried to figure out what was going on with the doll on the Island of Misfit Toys), moved on to Frosty the Snowman and Frosty Returns, then plopped in another DVD and watched Santa Claus is Coming to Town and Mr. Magoo’s Christmas Carol. I could have kept going, but Aidan turned the TV off LOL.

I had so much fun with Aidan. This will be his LAST CHRISTMAS in single digit ages; he turns 10 on December 30! Hard to believe that I have a kid who’s about to be 10. Holy cow. But let me tell you why he is so amazing.

Last night, even though he’d had dinner, he decided that he wanted spaghetti. At 10:48pm. (He’s a night owl like me and on vacation time, I let him stay up.) I really didn’t want to cook that late, but I decided I’d show him how to get it started. I told him how to fill up the pot 3/4 of the way with water (he hasn’t learned fractions yet so he was like “WTF Mom”), and then he broke the noodles into the water. I added the butter and salt and oil, and he stirred the noodles. It was a team effort. I made enough for him to have a serving and a half. When I fixed his plate, I asked if he wanted everything in the pot, and he said “No.” And you know why? He told me that he wanted to make sure I got some even though he could have eaten all of it.

He is the kindest, most compassionate kid I’ve ever met, and I’m really truly hoping the teenage years don’t steal that away from him completely.

The next time I see him will be Christmas Day. 29 Days! In the meantime, I get to make Christmas. That will keep me busy and happy until then.


Time to Rest….


Happy Thanksgiving! It’s a day early, but I am not sure how much time I’ll have tomorrow to write. We’re hosting an early dinner this year and we’re going to have four guests. Plus, Aidan is here! I’m so happy!

It’s been a busy few days for me! (I’m sure Mommy Bags is thinking “what else is new?”) but the next few days, I will get to RELAX and enjoy the holiday with my friends and family!

No More Curls!
It’s Aidan! No more curls!

Here’s the lowdown on what I’ve been up to since the last time I made a real update!

I got asked to be a workshop manager at Moksha! This is a big deal, you guys. It’s a lot of responsibility, and they don’t ask just anyone. It’s a big commitment, but I accepted because I knew I had to. Five sessions a month, I’ll get to make sure the workshops are running smoothly. In return, I get great experience, more time with the master teachers, and free workshops. Plus, I get to wear a BLUE Moksha tee-shirt. I wore a purple one for my video review, I have a white one for work study, and a pink one that I just bought for fun a long time ago. I’ve already done my workshop training, next I have to do my front desk training. Then I’ll be ready to rock and roll. Rock on! :)

I finished the Tias Little Anatomy of the Chakras intensive workshop. I got a LOT of information. Right now, it’s all residing in my notebook which is now in my bedroom. I’m just taking it easy, letting my mind take in what it wants and moving from there. It was really amazing, and one day I’d love to go study with him at his center in Santa Fe. I don’t know… he has a really golden soul.

I went downtown to do some Christmas shopping and I went up to visit the big tree at Macy’s. :)

The 2012 Macy's Tree

I worked one day (today, actually) at Tris3ct, one of my favorite freelance clients to work for. They are so awesome. Such a nice atmosphere and I got to leave early today because of the holiday. :) I always enjoy helping them out when I can. They make me feel welcome and valuable. Really wouldn’t mind working for them part-time or full-time (but only after I’ve gotten my teacher training certification). Yeah…. I would really be OK with that.

I finally got a KitchenAid stand mixer! I got the red one, the Classic Plus. I haven’t sent in my rebate form yet, but once I get that $30 check back, the total cost (not counting tax) will be $179.99. Considering that the mixer’s retail value is $379.99, I’d say I DID PRETTY DARN WELL. I’ve wanted one for years. It arrived today and I used it for the first time tonight–OH MAN it is awesome.

It's Here!!!

I finally got a The North Face jacket. I actually got two. Not the big, fancy winter coat, though. Not yet. I got a yellow venture jacket and a magenta salathe fleece jacket from Nordstrom Rack (so the prices in the links are NOT the prices I paid). I’m very happy with both of them. :)

I got a makeover! Well, sort of. The day that I was downtown shopping, a girl from the Benefit counter asked me if I wanted to try some stuff on and I told her sure, as long as the look was natural. This was me in the morning, waiting on the train:

Just Me, Waiting on the Train

I usually don’t wear any makeup except face powder and moisturizer. She used moisturizer, a pore minimizer, some foundation, some eye shadow, light blush, light lip gloss, a bit of eyeliner, and some crazy mascara that made my lashes look a million miles long.

This was the result:


What do you think? I kinda dig it. I got the pore minimizer and the mascara (they had a little bottle on sale) because I liked looking/feeling more polished and smoothed out. I also got a sample of the foundation, but I didn’t buy any of the colors because I very rarely wear that kind of makeup.

I don’t have to go anywhere tomorrow! It’ll be the first day since sometime last week that I get to stay home. It won’t be a pajama day, but I don’t have to leave the house if I don’t want to. Considering the high is supposed to be 63F, though, I might want to leave the house.

So many stores are opening tomorrow night… I’m not sure how I feel about that. It just seems like there should be one day where we’re not thinking of going out and buying more stuff… but you know, that’s me. Other people don’t feel that way obviously. Hell, I barely feel that way. I’ve shopped on Thanksgiving before–I’ve gone to Garden Ridge on Thanksgiving before. And it IS tempting to go and REALLY immerse myself in the Christmas shopping experience, get all the deals, stuff like that… but I’ll probably get most stuff on like I always do. We have prime again this year, which is truly a godsend. I’ve never been one for the door busters (like I’m going to get up), so I doubt anything changes this year. Although Adam’s gone to some of the *ahem* less popular stores and not had a problem with crowds… and Aidan is asking to go to Toys R Us (GOD HELP US ALL). So I guess we’ll see!

I’m thinking of putting the tree up this weekend while Aidan is here. It’ll be fun to have him help decorate. :)

I am so grateful for so many things! :) But most of all, I am grateful for the opportunity to relax tonight, sleep in a bit tomorrow, and spend Thanksgiving with my family and friends.


Thanksgiving 2011

As promised, here is the long-awaited (tee-hee) entry about my Thanksgiving, only 1000 years after everyone has posted theirs! :) To be fair, I did have an extended holiday, starting off Tuesday evening when Aidan arrived! He spent that night here playing and playing. Then he spent Wednesday playing and playing. Good times.



Thursday, we headed to our friends Jeff & Deborah for our annual Thanksgiving meal. Good food, and good times. Even when Aidan didn’t eat the yummy Yukon Gold potatoes. Hmph. After dinner, we went for a little walk, and I modeled my new coat:

New Coat

Deborah and I also looked cute for the camera.

Deborah and Me

THEN it was off to the airport. It was SO NICE to fly on Thanksgiving evening during dinner time. The airport was so quiet, and the plane MAY have had 50 passengers total on it. It was so peaceful and smooth, and we arrived in Atlanta 50 minutes ahead of schedule!

Because Adam and I flew in Thanksgiving Day, we held off until November 25 to celebrate…..

The epic holiday combining Christmas,
Thanksgiving, and Family Portrait Day.

My Mac and Cheese
This happened. You’re so jealous. Just admit it.

Rich and a Turkey
Adam’s dad doesn’t look too proud of this turkey,
but HE SHOULD because it was DA BOMB DOT COM.

Good food was consumed, along with wine. Games were played, conversations had. Then it was PICTURE TAKING TIME!

Piggy Back

Cute Lola

Family Pictures



Lola Shows Stuff to Grandpa Rich

After pictures, we sat around and talked until the sun went down. Then it was time for Thanksmas to start!

Thanksmas Gifts

Thanksmas was awesome. I got some really neat things. But I had to leave them there because we flew Airtran and had our carry-on bags already packed to bursting (too cheap to pay baggage fees, ha). So Adam’s parents will ship all the big stuff to us.

World's Best Person.
His statue says “Best Person.”
It came from the Tacky Gift Exchange.
Aidan likes it.
I wanted the Justin Bieber toothbrush
but my cousin Annie got it instead.


Next day was stocking stuffers, naps, a morning of THIS cuteness:

Lola and Aidan

and a visit to see……

YAY Santa!


Oh, and more pictures.

We're a Family!


Gotta love that Atlanta in November is warm enough to go coatless. Back in Chicago now–we got back Tuesday afternoon. Another awesome Thanksmas!

Til next time! :)


The ABCs of Thanks

Finding Joy | The ABC's of Thanks
…a simple act of gratitude.

Write a list using the alphabet and then list one item that you are grateful for that starts with the given letter. Don’t forget to link up at Finding Joy when you’re done.

Here’s mine.

AAidan and Adam. Need I say more?

High Five!

BBooks. Because reading is AWESOME. Beaches, because they smell like sand and sun and sunscreen. Babies, because they are a nice way to start people. Bananas. They’re funny.

cCats, even when they are bratty, or stinky, or naughty. Cupcakes from Molly’s Cupcakes. Chocolate chip cookies. Mmmmm. Christmas. My favorite holiday.

DDisney World! And for being blessed enough to visit six times so far!

It's Us!

EEmail. It’s my choice way of keeping in touch with people!

FFamily. ‘Cause I love them. Friends, too.
In the Animal Kingdom


Three Generations

GGreen, for the color of grass and leaves in the summertime.


HHugs. They never fail to make me feel yummy inside.

IInternet. I’ve made so many friends and learned so much thanks to the Internet being around. It’s integral in my life. Also, I am grateful for incense. It makes the place smell so good and it makes me *feel* good.

JJuice. Especially 100% cherry juice. Delicious.

KKirtan. Beautiful call and response chanting. It’s non-denominational, and the music of my soul.

LLibraries. A free way to feed my reading addiction.

MMoney. It helps me get the things I need and sometimes even extra things I just want. Also, Moksha Yoga. The community there is the best. I’m honored to be a part of it.

NNice people. They make the world so much better.

OOpportunity. To work from home, to make friends from all over the world, to live in a cool city (even when it does get on my nerves/cost too much), to do yoga, to meet my favorite authors, to meet celebrities, to eat good food, to have a warm home, to wear skinny jeans, to improve my life every day, to be creative. To love. To live.

PPandernoodle. My favorite teddy bear ever.

Q – My favorite letter to sneak and push on people’s keyboards while they are frantically typing. Qs just make everything quirky. :)

RRonica. My name.

SSushi. It’s delicious and good for me. Sun, because it’s beautiful and warm. Skinny jeans, which I vowed I’d never wear. Until I started wearing them and loving them with boots.

TTrees. I am a real life tree hugger. I don’t hug trees in the city because dogs pee and poop on them. But let me loose in an arboretum? Good times.

UUnconditional love. There is a lot of it in my life.

VVacations. Especially to Disney World.

WWater. I love water. I love to drink it, I love to shower in it. I can’t swim in it, though, and I don’t like it when it’s falling the sky in the form of any sort of rain. But I do like water because it’s what keeps me alive. And it tastes so good! No calories or fat! Perfect.

XXP points in those stupid games I play on Facebook. I should quit all of them. Maybe I will one day.

YYoga. It has changed my life. For real.

Wheel/Upward Facing Bow Pose: Urdhva Dhanurasana

ZZoos that have giraffes.