Friday, April 29, 2011

A Royal Wedding Rant…

What an exciting day!  Last night, G and I spent hours channel surfing like a bunch of royal wedding crashers.  We watched a documentary on Princess Diana which was so very sad.  It’s hard to believe that it has already been more than a decade since she left us.  We spent the remainder of the evening watching one pre-wedding special after another on BBC.  For a short time, we played with the idea of pulling an all-nighter and watching the ceremony live... but then we came to our senses and went the DVR route.  

Although this is such an exciting event for us (and a couple billion other people), it’s been my observation that most Americans (many people I know anyway) could care less about this historical day.  Not only could they care less about it, but many are visibly disturbed that the event has even received as much media attention and hoopla as it has.  I’ve read comments written where people have literally cursed the event… some have called those who planned to watch the wedding stupid… while others have referenced war, poverty and crime as things we should all be much more concerned with.  Well duh!  Of course war is more important than a wedding…. I believe this goes without saying.  Here is what I have to say about these comments --- for the love of God, lighten up people!  For one day, shelve your negativity and cynicism and just enjoy the damn wedding.  This is after all something that only comes around every 30 years or so.  Of course there are more concerning things going on in the world.  Yes we are still entrenched in what feels like an endless war.  Yes the economy is struggling and money is tight, but guess what – all these things are still going to be here on Saturday so let’s just be happy for this young man who lost his mother at such a young age and now has the chance to create a new family of his own.  For 24 hours, let’s celebrate a young girl whose family came from very humble beginnings and yet here she is a Dutchess!

I think the reason these attitudes and comments bother me so much is that while I too see the glass half-empty at times, people who are habitual dooms day(ers) drive me nuts!  The sky is not always falling.  It’s okay to stop and smell the roses once in awhile.  A generally negative attitude and outlook on life causes pre-mature wrinkles – and here I thought everyone’s mother taught them this?!   

Missy and I have been talking about this wedding all week.  I sent her the picture below this morning of me wearing a little princess tiara to work in the spirit of the royal wedding!

Here’s the funny thing….she text back a picture of her wearing a bird in her hair and pearls in celebrations of the nuptials.  What can I say – we are cut from the same cloth :)

I’m looking forward to watching the wedding tonight while drinking a little English beer!  I can’t believe I’ll be nearly 60 years old the next time I watch another royal wedding of this significance…Cheers to William & Catherine! 

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Bucket List #12: Have a picnic in an ABQ park I’ve never visited

For Easter this year the fam changed things up a bit and picnicked at Harnett Park in Los Ranchos.  The park was beautiful and my mom was able to reserve half of it just for us!  My brother and Ang brought their camping stuff, we laid out our tarps and tables and with my mom’s RV, we were hooked up and ready to celebrate.  Georgia’s mom, aunts and cousins joined us as well as some of my cousins, Angela’s family, and a few friends!  Domonic was able to get a Sponge Bob Square Pants jumper for the kids so they were pretty much occupied all day.  I didn’t dare step foot in the "jump  jump" for fear that I wouldn’t make it out alive.  If you’re taller than 4 feet, those things are a broken arm waiting to happen!  Luckily the kiddos were free of injury and had a blast :) 

Georgia made the most amazing shrimp ceviche and her legendary chipotle chicken, while I made my mom’s cucumber salad for the first time.  Everyone brought a different side dish and they were all SO GOOD (especially Anna’s chocolate layer cake)!  Due to all the yummy food we basically ate for about 5 hours – no joke.  It’s a good thing there was a lot of kite flying, horse shoe playing, frisbee throwing and egg hunting going on, because I would like to think that playing all day had to have burned some calories….hopefully! 

Here are a few pics of our Easter in the park.  It was a beautiful day that reminded us all just how important family is and how truly blessed we are to have each other.      

God bless you all on this beautiful day :)   

It was nearly impossible to get 4 kids to sit for a photo before busting into their candy!  This was the best I could get…lol!   

Here’s a little video of the jump, jump!

#5, #15 and #12 on the bucket list are done!  27 to go!

We also celebrated Teenie’s birthday this weekend ~ here are a few pictures of our night at Camp Teenawana!


Happy birthday Teenie!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

A Very Merry Un-Birthday!

This year Georgia requested that we keep it “low key” for her birthday.  She didn’t want to go on a trip…she didn’t want to have a party…and she really didn’t feel like painting the town red.  Well as you can imagine, this left me with few options.  You must understand that for me, my birthday is not just the day I was born, but rather a week long celebration and my favorite time of year!  Because of this, I had a hard time wrapping my head around the idea of us treating her birthday like any other day – no way Jose!  For years, G has begged me to take her to Hinkle Family Fun Center to play…and for years I’ve found ways to avoid going to that place!  Whenever I heard the word Hinkle, thoughts of kids running around like crazy, snotty noses, long lines, germs and the smell of playground dirt always came to mind.  For these reasons, I’ve found ways to change the subject whenever the topic of Hinkle came up.  This year I thought – what better way to cure G’s birthday blues and to see what all the fuss is about, then to finally take her there!  As it turns out…Hinkle is pretty damn fun – who knew!

I wanted to keep things low key as G requested and I wanted it to be a surprise so I invited a few friends to join us early Friday afternoon (during work hours to avoid the crowds!) to play a little laser tag, go carts and miniature golf!  Georgia had such a great time!  I really did love watching her run around the arcade like a 13 year old with a smile from ear to ear, and I feel I should let you all know that although she did beat me at miniature golf – I kicked her but at laser tag!

Thank you to everyone that helped to make G’s birthday so special and on Georgia’s behalf – thanks for all the Blu-rays!  Since breaking in her new Blu-ray player and watching a few discs, she’s since gone out and gifted herself with a new home sound system because as she put it, “you can’t have an amazing picture like this without an equally amazing sound”….I think we’ve created a monster ;)

Happy birthday Lolita Chiquita Bananna!   

Going out for a little birthday lunch! 

Sunday, April 10, 2011

The Makings of a Craft Closet

I first got the idea to turn a closet into my own little crafting corner from my auntie Maine.  A few months ago when I went over for a visit, she showed me the awesome photo center she’s made out of the closet in her guest room.  It was the coolest thing!  She had all her albums displayed and her supplies organized for easy access.  Since that visit, I did some research and found that there are all types of things you can do with closet space aside for the usual clothing storage.  The closet I’m turning into my crafting space isn’t as vast as auntie Maine’s, but none the less I still have BIG plans for my small area!

I came across some pictures of a craft closet I’m going to model my space after while browsing my favorite DIY blog – The DIY Showoff.  This is just one of many ideas that have been inspired by the great stuff I come across on Roeshel’s blog so be sure to check it out when you have some time.  I’ve posted some before pictures of the closet in question below and I feel the need to include a small disclaimer…this is by far the most ridiculously unorganized closet in our house.  This closet is in the office which has always been the room we put things that don’t have a place anywhere else (I think we all have a room like this – right)?  This is also the room we’re currently transforming into an office/guestroom/craft room combo.  As you can imagine, we are having to move mountains to get everything that was once in two rooms to now fit into one…hence the reason my office is now moving into the closet :) 

Here’s the dreaded before picture…yikes!

Here is another photo that shows some progress and a sneak peek of the new guestroom and carpet!  I think we’ll be finished and ready for the big reveal in a week or so!  I know it seems like we’ve been working on this room forever (which we have) but really it’s just taken this long because we’ve been dragging our feet…   

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Salad Season: Kristin’s Chicken Salad

As you may have guessed, Crock Pot season has come to an end (sad face).  The good news is that summer is upon us which means that it’s almost lake, camping, grilling and swimming time – YES!  As much as I dislike the heat, I do love the summer!  This year we are going to take the camper to a national park!  We haven’t decided which park to visit but we’re leaning towards Carlsbad Caverns.  They have a really nice RV park where we can set up camp and then Jeep over to check out the caverns.  This summer’s vacation schedule is going to be a little different then past summers.  With gas prices going up EVERY month it seems, our lake and camping trips are going to have to be less frequent – so we need to make them count!  What do you all have planned for the summer?

Anyway, I digress…back to chicken salad.  I’ve been making chicken salad since high school because I love it.  The recipe is pretty basic and it changes all the time.  This round I went with a healthier option that had fewer calories.  G and I are watching our cal intake and it’s amazing how quickly a recipe can climb in calories when mayo is involved!  The salad came out pretty tasty, so if you are looking to make a quick meal this summer – give it a try!   

The goods:

·         4 cups reduced fat canned chicken
·         5 scallions thinly sliced
·         1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh dill
·         2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
·         2 celery stalks, cut into 1/4 inch diced
·         3/4 cup reduced fat mayo with olive oil
·         2 teaspoons lemon juice
·         1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
·         1 teaspoon kosher salt
·         Black pepper to taste


In a large bowl, mix together chicken, scallions, celery, parsley and dill.

In a small bowl, whisk mayo, Dijon mustard, lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste.  Add to chicken mix and stir until completely combined.  Refrigerate 30 minutes before serving.

Health tip: using my awesome Net Diary app, I was able to enter this recipe and calculate the calories for the sandwich pictured below!  The croissant was 275 calories and 3/4 cup of chicken salad came to 285 calories.    

* Serve on crackers, with sliced tomato and lettuce or sandwich style in a croissant as pictured.  Enjoy!  

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Rudy Turns Ten

Rudy: Auntie Kristi, can you believe I’ve been alive a decade?

Me: Umm, no.  I really can’t.

Rudy: I have, it’s been10 years, that’s a decade!

Me: You’re getting old Rudo…you’re going to have to start wearing deodorant soon!

Rudy: I already wear deodorant, everyday.

Me: What?!

Rudy: I do…here smell (puts arm pit right in my face)

Me: Ahhh!  Okay, I believe you!!!

When I told Rudy that I couldn’t believe that he’s been alive a decade – I was NOT joking!  Where did the time go?  I feel like it was just yesterday that I was at UNM heading to class when Domonic called me.  There I am in the middle of the most densely populated student area on campus, when I hear for the first time that I’m going to be an auntie!  I dropped my bags and let out a ridiculously loud scream, scaring the crap out of my sorority sisters standing next to me.  Everyone stopped and stared…and I mean everyone.  I feel like that sunny afternoon on campus was just yesterday.  Yet here we are 10 years later.

I remember when Rudy was just a little stinker.  I would often lay him on my chest and he would fall fast asleep.  He smelled so good and smiled all the time.  He had jet black hair that stood straight up no matter how much you tried to brush it.  I feel so lucky that I lived with my Mom during his early years, because it gave me the opportunity to see him all the time.  My mom would often send him in to wake me up after a late night of college partying.  He would walk up to the edge of my bed, climb up and get right in my face and say “auntie Kristi up, auntie Kristi up”!  My mom’s no fool…she knew exactly what she was doing.  It worked every time!  Since those early years I’ve watched him learn to walk, talk and say my name.  I’ve watched as he went to school and made friends for the first time.  I’ve taken cupcakes to his class and cheered him on in football, basketball and baseball.  I’ve listened to his stories and marveled at just how smart he truly is and as much as I loved baby Rudy, 10 year old Rudy is pretty wonderful too.          

I am grateful for Rudy for so many reasons, but mostly because he brought our family together.  He healed us.  He helped to fill a big hole in our hearts that we never thought could be filled.  He made us want to see each other more and truly enjoy each others company.  He gave me the chance to see a new and incredible side of my mom, brother, sister and Ang that I didn’t know until he came.  He made Christmas, Halloween and every other holiday so much better.  He made an auntie out of me and showed me what it meant to unconditionally love someone.  He gave all of us an excuse to play outside, cuddle, watch cartoons again, discover and learn.

The day Rudy was born I thanked God and my dad for sending us such an amazing gift.  Georgia and I are so very blessed that he is our nephew. 

Happy birthday Rudo.

Ox wanted some cake too!

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