cranberriesTo cranberries, that is.  My favorite recipes contain them. I find any excuse to use them. I love drinking their juice. I love the tartness. I love them, plain and simple.

My favorite crock pot meal?  Cranberry Apple Pork Loin. My new favorite cookies? White chocolate cranberry cookies. (Substitute vanilla extract for the brandy if you don’t have it, still good.) My favorite sandwich? My own concoction called the Leftover Sandwich, with turkey meat, lettuce, tomato, red onion, mayonnaise, and whole cranberry sauce. I’ve been known to eat cranberry sauce just as a snack.  Must have can lines.

This is my ode to the cranberry. The sweet, tart, delicious cranberry.

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I haven’t been around.  I know.  I miss me too.  I promise I’m coming back.  Life has yet again gotten in the way of my blogging.  HOW DARE THAT HAPPEN?!  🙂

But I come back bearing a peace offering.  SAVINGS!  We are going to be spending our Christmas in Nashville with SuperDad’s sister and her family.  Seeing as how we barely get snow here, I did not own a proper winter coat.  Well, that’ll change once I get this delivered:  Nine West Women’s Nylon Zip Front Jacket With Faux Fur.  And the best part?  Due to a credit I had with Amazon, I’m getting it free!  Woot!  Can’t beat that.

But as part of their Deal of the Day, you can get a bunch of coats, some of them even under $30!  So if you need one, go forth and save.

And yes, I am very much dreaming of (and praying for) a White Christmas.

Alright, y’all, who broke into my house and switched my little girl with a full blown toddler?   She’s a BIG GIRL now.  That wasn’t supposed to happen.  I made a deal with God that she would stay wee for a long time.  At least three years!  *looks at the calendar*  Oh, yeah.   It has been almost three years, hasn’t it?   My bad, y’all, my bad.

SuperDad showed me a video of CityGirl when she was about 7 1/2 months old.   She was furniture surfing and she said “bye bye”.  I looked at the toddler sitting on her fold out couch on the floor in front of me and said, “When the heck did that happen? When did she grow up?”   I feel like I blinked for a really long time and she grew up quick like.

I’ve told SuperDad this many, many times.   I feel like I’ve missed way too much with CityGirl. Being a working mother, I missed a lot of firsts with her.   I was thankfully there for a few of them, like her first steps.  (Which, by the way, were deliberately to me as I sat down after coming home from work.  Aww.)  I remember watching those and asking SD if she had taken steps while I was at work and when he assured me she hadn’t, I thought he was lying to make me feel better. Seriously.  But he wasn’t, and God had saved that little moment for me, so I wouldn’t go out of my mind with sadness and regret.

And now I get to be here for BittyGirl’s firsts.   And SuperDad might be the one missing them if things change and he’s no longer working from home.  And I’m going to hurt for him, as I know how it feels to miss them.  I’d better get in some practice with the camera so I can record some of them for him!

And then I remember growing up with SisterFriend and I think, “Great, I’m also going to be here for the first fight.”  See, I’m not sentimental ALL the time, I’m a realist too!  And if my girls are anything like we were, I think I should invest in some body armour for them now.  Do they make that stuff in toddler sizes?

No, I’m not about to tell you some sordid tale of my run ins with the law.  Amazingly enough, there are none. Shocked?  (Those who knew me as a teenager probably are!  🙂 )

I’m not talking about those kind of convictions.

con⋅vic⋅tion [kuhn-vik-shuhn]
–noun
1. a fixed or firm belief.
2. the act of convicting.
3. the state of being convicted.
4. the act of convincing.
5. the state of being convinced.

So, what are your convictions? What do you stand by/for? What is a never changing theme in your life? Have your convictions changed as you’ve matured?

There was a time when I swore up and down that I’d never get married. And if I did get married, I’d most certainly never marry a man who’d been married before. And if he had a child? Oh, he was most certainly out of the picture. Ahem. *glances furtively at SuperDad* See? Convictions change. But if they do, were they ever really convictions? Part of me thinks I made my grand protestations as part of my rebellious youth. I did love making waves, after all.

I’ve just gotten a bee in my bonnet lately on this subject. Why say one thing and then do another? Why say you stand for something and then take a seat when it really comes down to brass tacks? STAND UP AND KEEP STANDING. If you are truly moved by a movement, be a part of it. Own it. Live it. If you believe it, don’t be afraid to tell people. OWN YOUR CONVICTIONS.

And for the love of all that’s holy, don’t spout off about something just to turn around and do something else. Don’t say you would “never” do anything. My Granny and Mom both taught me that “never” is a “God Word”. Only God knows what will never happen. (They said the same thing about “always”, for the record.) And when you get caught straying from your convictions, OWN UP TO IT. No one lies a waffler and I’m not talking about a waffle iron. (I find those to be quite useful, actually.) It’s ok to change your mind, but it is not ok to act like you didn’t take the other side at some point in time.

And heck, if I’m going to take a stand on this, I might as well start listing some of my own:

  1. Kids should be free to make their own choices and mistakes and learn from them. Uhm, yeah.  And then I became a parent.  This is all well and good in some situations, but kids need rules and structure.  They need a moral compass with which to make those choices, and you have to provide those from the beginning.
  2. Love makes a marriage work. Love is not enough.  It takes work.  HARD WORK.  But lots of love makes that work less of a chore.  🙂
  3. A career makes your life satisfying. AHAHAHAH.  No.
  4. Money and the accoutrements it brings make life satisfying. Again, no.
  5. And the list goes on and on…

So, anyone else want to step up to the plate?

SuperDad and SuperTeen are at a father/son camping trip with church. So that leaves me home alone in a way. BittyGirl is down for the night and CityGirl is enjoying an evening snack. The house is quiet except for the soothing sounds of “Blue’s Clues” and whichever other Noggin shows are on. Even the dog is being quiet, which is surprising.

I’m trying to find ways to entertain myself and Scramble on Facebook just ain’t cutting it.  So here, you get a blog.  😀  I think I’m going to do Four Things, in honor of the four hour nap.  I’m so totally stealing this from SisterFriend.

FOUR JOBS I’VE HAD:
1.  Telephone survey operator.  Yes, I was the annoying person calling you at dinner time to ask your opinion.
2.  Jewelry store sales associate.  I got to sell the bling.
3.  Activities Director at a nursing home.  Party planning at its finest.  You should have seen the residents during Happy Hour.  No alcohol, just near-beer and sparkling grape juice, but some of them still got “drunk”.
4.  Most recently, personal banker.  Hallelujah and amen, no more of that.

FOUR MOVIES I COULD WATCH OVER AND OVER:
1.  Elf.  Our family’s go-to Christmas movie.  “Smiling’s my favorite!”
2.  Aladdin.  Much to the family’s chagrin, I can pretty much quote this beginning to end.
3.  Steel Magnolias.  And I will cry. every. single. time.
4.  Spanglish.  Another one that will make me cry.  And laugh.  Chooka-chooka-chooka.  (I think only SisterFriend is going to get that reference.)

FOUR PLACES I’VE LIVED
1.  Where I was born
2.  Where I lived for a few months
3.  Where I live now
4.  No #4 because that’s it!

FOUR TV SHOWS I LOVE:
1.  Project Runway.  Oh, I love it.  Tim Gunn rocks my world.  Make it work!  Flotsam and jetsam!
2.  Grey’s Anatomy.  Which, by the way, last night’s episode made me cry.
3.  Chuck.
4.  Entourage.  Although they could do away with Kevin Dillon’s character and I’d love it even more.

FOUR PLACES I’VE VACATIONED:
1.  Gatlinburg, TN
2.  Charleston, SC
3.  Orlando, FL
4.  Nashville, TN

FOUR OF MY FAVORITE FOODS:
1.  Chili.  More specifically, MY chili, which isn’t like a lot of other chilis.
2.  Cranberry Apple Pork Loin Roast.  Seriously one of the best meals I’ve ever made and super easy.  Try it, you’ll like it.
3.  Really good, thick, creamy grits.
4.  Meals I don’t have to cook.

FOUR FAVORITE DRINKS:
1.  Coke.
2.  Fresh lemonade.
3.  Pink lemonade.
4.  Sweet tea, the only way to drink tea in the South.

FOUR SITES I VISIT DAILY:
1.  Facebook.
2.  LiveJournal.
3.  WordPress.
4.  Online banking.

FOUR PLACES I’D RATHER BE RIGHT NOW:
1.  In bed.
2.  Visiting my family (two more weeks)
3.  Did I mention my bed?
4.  Bed sounds really good right about now.

I woke up this morning to a world where I focused on the important things: my family.  SuperDad and I took the girls to the library.  We checked out some books and DVDs for CityGirl.  I wandered around the stacks with BittyGirl in my arms and found myself in the cookbook section.  I grabbed a couple to bring home.  One is a cookbook with recipes from the Charleston area, The Boathouse: Tales and Recipes from a Southern Kitchen.  We vacationed there a little over a month ago and I fell in love with the grits I had during a spectacular lunch at the Southend Brewery & Smokehouse.  I’m determined to perfect my own.

I also picked up Jessica Seinfeld’s Deceptively Delicious, which I think will be good since CityGirl has been refusing vegetables for a good bit. And heck, if the rest of the family gets more veggies, who am I to complain? They had The Sneaky Chef by Missy Chase Lapine and I’ll check that out next time to compare.

While I was perusing the stacks, I came across Billy Blanks’ Tae-Bo Cardio. Yes, I checked it out. Let’s see if the thing ever makes it into the DVD player!  🙂  When we visit my family this month for Thanksgiving, we’re having some family pictures done and I’m determined not to be fat.  Now, I know I’m not seriously overweight, but I could do better.  And I’m going to, come hell or high water.  I want to be what SisterFriend likes to refer to constantly – a hot mom!  I had Tae-Bo videos before and let me tell you, Billy Blanks KICKS MY BUTT AND I LIKE IT.  That man puts out a good workout video.  I’m looking forward to trying this one and working up a sweat.  Let’s just hope I don’t trip on a toy and kill myself.  😀

I forgot how much the library rocks.  I am glad I get to enjoy it more now!

Today I woke up, got myself presentable, loaded up BittyGirl (since CityGirl was still asleep and SuperDad didn’t have to work until 3pm), and headed to my local polling place.  I put BittyGirl in the sling and headed to the line.  It took me about an hour but I did my thing.  BG was the picture of perfection, just looking around at all the people and the pictures of the wall.  (Our local polling place is the elementary school.  Kids get the day off school for elections.)

I did it.  I voted.  And if my guy win or not, life is going to go on.  Things may or may not change.  But my family will still be here.  God will still be in control.  And that’s what I’m focusing on.

printelect-i-voted-today

I have decided to participate in National Blog Posting Month because I appreciate a challenge.  Let’s see if I can keep this up.  You might get some useless trivia about me, but hey, at least I’ll be posting.  But for today, I have an actual post…

I enjoy doing graphic design as a hobby.  I’ve designed wedding invitations for friends and family.  Heck, I designed, printed, and assembled the invitations and programs for my own wedding.  And these aren’t just your typical, ordinary invitations.  Our wedding had a 1950s theme and I had to do it just so.  Our programs were a throwback to the Playbills from older Broadway shows, complete with a cast listing and shout out to the costume designers!  I designed the website, tickets and programs for my high school reunion.  Could I have done something simple and less time consuming?  Of course.  But I can’t do simple.  It isn’t in me!

Why do I bring this up?  Well, it’s to make a confession.  I am a font nerd.  It’s about time I owned up to it.  I can design images quickly, but I will spend hours searching out the perfect font for a project.  It has to fit the mood and theme of what I’m working on.  My computer is littered with fonts I may never use that I’ve come across during my hunting expeditions.  I might need them for some other project in the future!  I must have it!  It’s a sickness, people.  I just may need an intervention.

I had slacked off on the font collecting for a good bit.  But now that I’m not working, I was thinking about trying to do more freelance graphic design.  And with that, the font collecting begins again.  So, if you need me, I’ll be over on the font websites, hunting down the perfect font to type up my grocery list this week…

Those who know me in real life know about the Clue-by-Four.  I speak of it often.  What is the Clue-by-Four? Well, let me tell you about it…

When God is trying to tell you something, teach you a lesson, or just get your attention and you aren’t being receptive, I like to say He sometimes whacks you upside the back of your head with the Clue-by-Four.  Most recently, I got this particular brand of revelation with the loss of my job.  Then I got another one when I went grocery shopping this week.

Just three short days ago, I wrote the first post of this blog.  Two days later, I took BittyGirl shopping with me while SuperDad stayed home with CityGirl.  As I was making my way around the grocery store, BG started getting fussy in the infant carrier.  I am not one of those mothers who can spend much time listening to her baby cry and I still had a good bit of my list to get.  So I decided to take her out and carry her.  I held her up on my shoulder while using the other arm to steer and push the now heavily laden shopping cart.

As I walked down an aisle, a woman passed me and said, “Now that’s a super mom!”  Seriously. I stopped in my tracks, looked up towards the heavens and whispered, “Ten-four good buddy.”  I get it.  I so get it.  This is what I’m supposed to be doing.  These girls are my life’s work, the lasting mark I will leave on this earth.  Loud and clear, God, loud and clear.

I’m still haivng some issues adjusting, but it will come with time.  I still won’t be perfect, but this is some of the best on the job training I have and will ever get.

Halloween has come and gone.  I finished my costume an hour before we had to leave for the Hallelujah Fest at our church.  Oh yeah, I love me some procrastination!  CityGirl and BittyGirl looked stinking adorable in their poodle skirt outfits.  SuperDad, gracious man that he is, didn’t point out how dumpy I looked in mine until after he had posted pictures to his Facebook and I made a comment.  He replied with, “Yeah, that wasn’t the most flattering outfit on you.”

I think it also bears mentioning that as we came home from his parents’ house to show off the girls’ costumes, we were headed upstairs to change clothes.  He gently tells me, “Yeah, I guess you didn’t notice that your skirt is see through.  I could see your checkered underwear.”  NICE ONE!  No, I didn’t realize that the thick felt I had used for our skirts would be see through.  And I also didn’t realize that my loving husband wouldn’t tell me before we left the house.  He swears he didn’t notice it until we were at his parents’ house at the end of the night.  I have my doubts.

I can’t say I’m the most stellar observationist either.  While we were at the shindig at church, one of our friends came up to me and said, “So, how do you like the new clean shaven look?”  I looked up at him, a bit bewildered, as he was sporting his usual goatee.  He noted my confusion and said, “Your husband?  He shaved?”  I said, “No he didn’t.”  He pointed him out in a game line with CityGirl and I buried my face in my hands.  There stood SuperDad, minus his usual facial hair.  I SO FAIL.  I was even up close and personal with that face while I was helping him slick his hair back for his 50s ‘do.

Seriously, do married people just stop looking at each other at some point?  I’m starting to think that’s the case!

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