Thursday, December 30, 2010

What NOT to Watch Part I

What has happened to television lately? Seriously, here lately it seems like every time I turn my TV on I'm left asking....what the hell is this crap I'm watching? Here is a brief rundown of the shows that (in my opinion) we should all stay far, far away from. And I mean FAR. There haven't been any studies that prove these shows really do lower IQs and cause brain cells to die a slow, steady death, but I AM totally convinced these shows aren't really adding anything productive to our society.

Warning! Before reading this, let me put my little disclaimer out there first and foremost: Some of you are not going to agree with me on these choices. It's nothing personal and I am not calling you stupid for watching them (because hello, I had to have watched them at some point to comment on them here). And secondly, just because I detest these shows, for some reason they are like a car wreck--the outcome is terrible yet for some reason I just can't look away. Don't say I didn't warn you first.

Sarah Palin's Alaska--Now, those that know me know I am not a fan of Mrs. Palin. I personally think she is corny, fake, and not-that-smart. Although I will admit she is awfully pretty! I'm not sure if there is an actual point to this show other than to prove that she can indeed fire a shotgun and catch a fish. (But let me add that her clothes look like they were bought at the local North Face retailer about 10 minutes before taping began. No outdoorsman I've ever seen has clothes that clean.) She constantly complains about privacy and the flack her children get from HER political career, yet she parades them on national television for a paycheck? Hello kettle. It shows her kids and grandkid, yet we never see the newest addition with Down Syndrome. In my opinion, a reality show would be a wonderful opportunity to showcase just how special children with DS are and how their lives can be productive and even somewhat normal. But no...let's leave little Trig locked in a closest somewhere, or out on the porch with the nanny who's still looking for Russia. And don't EVEN get me started on the episode with Kate Gosselin and her litter! Note to TLC: Let's stick to "19 Kids and Counting" and "Toddlers and Tiaras".

Chelsea Lately--Dear Chelsea Handler, I'm on the fence with this one. I tend to catch this show simply because there isn't anything else on at 10 pm (other than How I Met Your Mother reruns that I've seen a million times). It starts out funny. I laugh, I'm entertained for a moment. But I can't for the life of me figure out WHY a funny blond needs a Hispanic little person/midget/vertically challenged (I don't know the PC term for this) person as a sidekick. He isn't funny. And secondly...why are you so mean Chelsea? Just when I think I've started to become a fan, you say something so terribly mean it makes me cringe and change the channel.

Bridalplasty--While I'm on the E! bashing, let me continue with a show that has absolutely no good points whatsoever. This show is terrible and one that I will not watch ever again. These poor girls have the lowest self esteem and continue to degrade themselves week after week for the world's viewing pleasure. I'm not totally against plastic surgery, but I am against this show. And I'm against whomever does the programming for E! because "Wild Girls", "Married to Rock", and "Spin Crowd" need to disappear forever into the land of forgotten television series, never to be aired in syndication again.

Extreme Couponing--This show is sad. While I'm impressed that these women and men can manage to get $1000 of groceries for $8, I am also sad for them. Who has that much time to collect, cut, and use that many coupons? (Seriously, they said the typical couponer had thousands on hand at any given time) Obviously their local grocery store is nothing like mine because I want to get in and out as soon as humanly possible--not spend 6 hours of my life hassling the check-out clerks. Get a life, folks. Or better yet....get a job. When you work 40 hours a week, you have no desire to spend your precious few leftover hours looking online so you can buy 80 sticks of deodorant, 37 toothbrushes, and 1000 boxes of cereal for .37. Trust me--your local Winn-Dixie cashier will thank-you for not following in these people's footsteps.

And now....last but not least:

Bama Belles--I love Alabama. We are a beautiful state full of beautiful, intelligent people. Yet for some reason, TLC has found the dumbest bunch of redneck hussies East of the Mississippi. Apparently no one bothered to inform TLC executives what constitutes a Southern Belle, because let me be the first to tell you it is not a bandana and a pick-up truck. First of all, that white-trash Dakota (bless her bandana-clad heart) is a hot mess. Who cheats on her husband then proudly struts around the local bar like a celebrity because she has a low-budget television crew following her around? Secondly, I'm all for Yankees coming to town to learn a little about Southern culture, but if you don't like it Ms. Thang From NYC, well you can hop back on that horse and trot right on back to the big city for all we care. Thirdly, I have lived in the South my entire life, make that the Wiregrass basically my whole life, and I have never once been to a lawnmower race or to a party with sombrero-wearing donkey. (and I consider myself pretty darn county!) And newsflash: not all Southern ladies like to sit in a deer blind and pretend to hunt with their loudmouth friend, either. Last but not least (okay, not last because I could go on for days about the ridiculousness of this show) but since when did Dothan become so rural?!?! Last time I rode through the Circle City, I saw new-fangled notions like shopping malls, state-of-the-art hospitals, and by-golly...even one of them thar motorized horse and buggies!

Next time (in case anyone made it past the Palin Show-bashing paragraph without leaving me forever) I will give my "thumbs up" list of what to watch. If you care. And you probably don't, and that's okay, too--it's just for tits and giggles!

Now get your panties out of a wad and have a Happy New Year,

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Christmas Recap

Whew! Christmas is finally OVA, and I must admit...I always hate to see it go. I imagine Christmas is somewhat like post-partem depression. I look forward to it for months and months, the anticipation building with each passing day. Then, C-day arrives and all of that excitement fades away as reality rears its ugly head. People tend to lose that spirit of Christmas way too quickly. Back to work, early morning alarms, no more smells of Christmas trees and cookies baking, no more presents to wrap or open, no more festive parties to attend....sigh.

But this year, the new year holds something pretty darn exciting for us, and the day after Christmas didn't seem quite so hollow. I was almost happy to see the 26th roll around simply because it means we are one day closer to meeting the newest addition to our family of 4 (cause of course I count our first-born fur babies, too!)

But enough sap, let's get down to the good stuff!

We had a super busy Christmas holiday, starting with our Eve of Christmas Eve dinner with H's mom. Since we all get so tired of the typical Christmas menu, she decided to do a potato soup buffett and it was delish! Let me suggest that to anyone who wants to do something a little different next year. She made a big pot of regular potato soup, then placed a plethora of toppings out for us to choose from: bacon, cheese, ham, onions, broccoli, carrots...and biscuits for good measure. She completed the meal with a delicious homemade spiced cider of which legends are made. had orange peels in it and was unbelievable.

Holly, who I have mentioned is a fabulous local artist, bartered her goods for some gifts, and no one was disappointed. I got a lovely Mardi Gras mask that I will certainly put to good use as I "let the good times roll" in a few months. Although I will be VERY pregnant by then, I refuse to let it ruin my revelry. Sorry I can't post pics...I must remain "en costume" or you will know who I am as I toss you beads from my lofty throne!

On Christmas Eve day we headed over to Perdido Beach to my Aunt Lynda & Uncle Ronnie's house. They have five grandkids and another on the way (not counting my bun in the oven), so it is always a lot of fun watching all of the kids tear into their presents. Plus, I love all of my cousins' wives so it's nice to actually have some girls around nowadays. Apparently the boy gene is awfully strong in our family-I'm the only girl of 5 boys on my mom's side, and the only girl on my dad's side, too. There are currently four grandsons (plus one on the way) and one granddaughter on my dad's side. I wonder what ours will be--but I guess we have a long way to go before we find out!

Anywhoo...after a lunch of seafood gumbo, pork tenderloin, and various other tasty treats, we packed up and headed Northeast to good 'ol Kinston.

It struck me on more than one occasion that this would be our last Christmas morning in Kinston, which makes me more than a little nostalgic. Next year I definitely want to have Christmas morning at our house since we will have a 6-month-old by then! (Yikes!) I am adamant about our family traditions starting early, plus I don't want to be lugging toys, clothes, and baby crap all over the Southeast. I'm sure Santa will still be able to find me...I mean, us. :)

Overall, Christmas was wonderful. It's such a magical time of year, and being with those I love the most makes it even better. Each year I am amazed at how awesome my family is (and just ask us, we'll tell ya! Haha!) and I realize how blessed I am to have such a close-knit, loving, and funny group around me.

And now....for a list of the Top 10 Best Foods I ate over the Christmas Holidays:
10.) Potato Soup-it hit the spot and was the perfect "something different" I was looking for
9.) Taco Bell yesterday although it gave me some INTENSE indigestion
8.) Chocolate Covered Ritz with Peanut Butter-'nough said
7.) My mother-in-law's spiced cider
6.) Aunt Lynda's crawfish dip
5.) Butterfinger Cake
4.) Camp Stew the day after Christmas
3.) Steak-we decided against the typical Christmas dinner and had steak instead. Great decision!
2.) Granny's Red Velvet Cake
1.) Granny's Dumplings. God bless you Granny!

Now...after eating all of that in a span of 4 days, WHY IN THE WORLD did I schedule a doctor's appointment today when I knew I would have my first weigh-in of the second trimester?!?!?!

Monday, December 13, 2010

A Tale of Christmas Past

Kelly's Korner Blog is having another "Show Us Your Life" theme and today's theme is holiday decor. Please pardon the photos, they were taken with my crappy camera from last year. I would love to say that our historical home's halls are decked and festive this year, but the baby (which seems to suck the energy out of me faster than a Thanksgiving turkey) has made it a little more difficult this year. So....please enjoy the photos from Christmas 2009, when we were full of holiday cheer and decorating gumption.

Actually, I'm still full of cheer, just not so full of energy. I keep hoping a wonderful elf (or husband, or mother-in-law) would magically appear, but apparently I haven't been good enough this year to warrant that type of goodwill toward men.

And in my defense, we did a TON of holiday entertaining last year that actually warranted some serious holiday decorating. We hosted our second annual Tacky Christmas Sweater Party, the appetizer leg of our street's Progressive Dinner, and the Christmas Bunco/Dirty Santa/Wine-Induced Gymnastics in the Front Yard Extravaganza. Ahhh...good times. Since we (technically I since it's a No Boys Allowed Event) are only hosting the Bunco Christmas Party this year, I figured the girls will just have to understand my situation.

I'm pooped. Every day, all day.

But please....enjoy the ghosts of Christmas Decorating Past!

This is a picture of our kitchen, plus little Lois. When you are the lucky owner of these lovely wreath-green cabinets, it makes it VERY easy to decorate for Christmas! And, just for a funny little side note--the Christmas mat you see at the base of the sink was from The Dollar Tree. You know, the store where everything is $1. And let me tell ya, folks, you get what you pay for. This mat read "Mery Christmas!"

My fabulous, artistically-blessed mother-in-law made the two arrangements for me last year (see above and below). As with all things in my life, we like to ball on a budget-even at Christmas. These are made of Dollar Tree ornaments, random Mardi Gras beads we caught the previous year, and real branches I stole during our afternoon dog walks. (Minus the Lenox candleholders, which were NOT cheap but a lovely wedding present that we use quite often.)

Here is a view of the living room (if you were standing in the dining room). I am a Christmas-tree Natzi. I insist on a real tree, every subsitutions...and I refuse to even hear talk of the fakes. No offense to those who pull theirs down from the attic the weekend after Thanksgiving, but that boat won't float in the Hysterical District. The smell is the best part! It's even better than the fun we have driving to the hood to buy it from the local charitable organization. And it's definitely H's favorite part of Christmas! (If there was such a thing as a sarcastic font, I would have just used it for that last sentence.)
Merry Christmas!
And yes, if anyone wants to take pity on my and come pick out, purchase, drag home, set up (straight), decorate, and eventually take down on or shortly after January 2---by all means c'mon! I'll even make you some shrimp n' grits as a thank-you!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Christmas is Here!

Christmas is right around the corner! Woo hoo!!! Excitement abounds, at least for me. H doesn't get into the spirit of the holidays quite as much as I do, but most men tend to keep their excitement under wraps about things such as this and I've accepted that fact after almost 4 years of marriage.

I love the holiday season and (almost) everything about it. I love the feeling of goodwill that most people seem to have in abundance this time of year. I love holiday parties with friends and family, warm fires, champagne cocktails, carols, and the smell of a Christmas tree. I love family traditions and the excitement of finding the absolute perfect gift for a loved one. Ahhh....there is nothing like this time of year.

I try my best to not forget the real meaning of Christmas, the birth of Jesus Christ. I know this holiday is about Him and the ultimate gift, but sometimes it's easy to get caught up in the wordly aspect and commercialization of Christmas.

Don't get me wrong--I LOVE getting presents. I love the anticipation of waking up Christmas morning and not knowing what's wrapped in the big, beautiful boxes under the tree. And I have been known to get disappointed when I didn't get exactly what I wrote on my wish list (I'm only human). But in the end, I know the real meaning of this joyous holiday. It's about the birth of our Savior, giving unselfishly, and surrounding yourself with family and friends.

I hate to get all sentimental here, but I will blame my emotional post on pregnancy hormones. :) This year is our last Christmas without Baby C--next year at this time we will have a 6 month old! Besides that being absolutely nutso, it makes me more than a little weepy thinking about all of the traditions I hope to pass down to the wee one and all of the memories we will build as a little family. I hope he or she will find this time of year as magical as I do.

I have to thank my parents for making Christmas so amazing. I remember us doing so many wonderful things. They would host Christmas parties for me and my friends, and my mom would spend countless hours shopping and making goodies for us to eat. Hayrides, scavengar hunts, and even a mid-December Polar Bear Swim in our pool. They would always take me (and usually multiple friends) to Christmas City in Ariton. I also remember riding around the nicer neighborhoods in Dothan and Enterprise looking at the beautiful Christmas decorations, going to pick out the perfect live Christmas tree, and wrapping presents and decorating the house with my mom. I was so blessed to never worry about being cold, hungry, or present-less on Christmas day. I have only wonderful Christmas memories--and I hope my child will be able to say that one day, too.

I'm not sure if it was the Glee Christmas episode last night on TV or the pregnancy hormones-but either way I am a happy gal today with St. Nick on the brain. I hope you and yours enjoy this wonderful time of year--don't forget the REAL reason we celebrate, but don't get too serious on me and forget to enjoy some hot cocoa and a nice present either!

Merry Christmas lovelies!