The year is waning fast, and while my general sentiment regarding that particular reality is "hey 2008--don't let the door hitcha where the good Lord splitcha!", I don't seem to have enough hours in the day to get everything done that I wanted to get done before Baby New Year pops his head in (...or out, maybe. Whatever.). But because I am so devoted to you (I know, warm fuzzy, yes?), here's the latest around here this week.
An important thing happened here at FMFO headquarters on Saturday afternoon. While knee-deep in holiday baking, we had surprise visitors - it was my good friend E, with the twins (who are so big now it's a little bit frightening and surreal, considering that just 9 years ago I was talking to them through a belly-button microphone) - they were in the neighborhood delivering Angel Tree gifts and decided to stop by. We chatted for a while, did a mini-catch up session in the kitchen while the kids sampled cookie bark, and then they went on their way and I dove back into baking.
Why was this an important happening? you ask. I'll tell you. I have known E for...let's see...15 1/2 years now? Yeah - long time. We were even roommates for a year, so we know each other pretty darn well. But in recent years our visits are almost always planned out in advance, and when we meet here, it gives me the chance to do that dance we all know and love called "the house cleaning 26-step". This causes E, each time she visits, to say "You always say your house is trashed on your blog, but it's always clean when I come."
Yes, E, yes it is. And what you saw on Saturday when you walked through the door is precisely WHY we plan our visits and I do the dance before you come.
I had been baking for two days, and doing little else. Any of you with a husband, dogs, and kids (or any combination) knows what happens when you don't clean for two days with everyone in the house. Big "dog-hair-dirty-socks-legos-and-barbies-candy-wrappers-lunch-dishes-on-the-table-at-3-pm-sippy-cups-bills-on-the-table-dishes-piling-up" ole' mess. I blushed as we laughed about the tumbleweeds of dog hair in the corner. She was gracious, and if it had been anyone but her it would A) NOT have been funny and B) I would have probably run around cleaning up the whole time she was there. As it is, I know she loves me in that "just by your being YOU" Mr. Rogers way, and we just had a good chuckle about the experience of her getting to see my house in its natural state. (The state of disaster.) E, you are welcome any time, messy or clean. Except stop looking so hot and 24-ish when you come. Look your age already, would you? It's kind of pissing me off. But thanks for stopping by! Love you.
Dogless Bark and Cookies As Far As The Eye Can See
Holiday baking is in full-swing around here, and I need to finish up the teachers' gift baskets today or tomorrow. Chocolate-oatmeal no-bakes, rice crispie treats (with holiday sugar), strawberry bars, cookie bark (my own recipe*), holiday Kisses and other candies, all wrapped up in decorative tins - am I ambitious or what? And our families are getting group gifts this year - one to a sibling and their families. I highly recommend this gift and Greg gets all the credit for thinking of it (and why Blockbuster doesn't package this stuff I have no idea):
Blockbuster gift card
One "theatre-style" candy box per person
Two or three packs of microwave popcorn
Holiday-colored bowl for popcorn
Put holiday paper shreds in the bottom of the bowl, stand up the candy and popcorn on their ends, put the gift card in front, and wrap it all up in clear holiday cellophane and tie with a bow. Viola! A group gift that fits nearly anyone. Christmas has never been this simple, and I am so glad for it. And they are damn cute if I say so myself. See?
*Cookie bark: one layer chocolate bark, one layer colored vanilla bark, crushed holiday Oreos, and topped with more bark. So cute, and so good:
Anywho, the baking will go on another day or two. And if I don't stop tasting as I go, I'll be sorry. There is no cookie bark on South Beach, let's put it that way.
Greg and I, in an attempt to spend some grown-up time together, are playing video games on the Wii after the kids are in bed at night. Right now we are in the middle of Alone in the Dark, Wii version. We found a decent walk-through online, but realized it stopped. As in, was not completed. Not completed starting RIGHT about where we are now. Driving this "car" out of the park is im-fucking-possible, and Greg gets so mad at the thing that we have to stop. It only irritates me because, back in the day, there WAS no game that could beat me. No game. Period. (Fine, whatever, dork alert.) So apparently I am getting old in every area of my life, because this game is kicking our collective ass. Makes me want to splurge and go find the actual player's guide. If there is one. Maybe the assholes who made the game didn't even finish it once they got stuck in the park with the alchemists following close behind and a car that runs like shit, with an irritating little fucker running his mouth in the passenger's seat.
OK, fine. SUPER dork alert. Whatever.
And finally, some random factoids for you on this fine Monday in December:
Two-year old boys' fingernails are gross. Cutting them, also gross.
Some people talk too much.
-27 windchill feels like -227.
Big sisters pick on little brothers.
Little brothers learn to hit back.
Chocolate oatmeal no-bake cookies are addictive.
Time waits until you stop to check email or write a quick blog, and then it runs away from you.
Children are incapable of hearing the words "Get OFF OF THE DEEP FREEZE!" no matter how loud you say it.
Blogs do not write themselves.
Dishes do not do themselves.
Little girls' bangs do not cut themselves.
One little girl will be late for school if I don't get this posted and get my butt in gear.
Have a wonderful Monday, and a great week-before-Christmas!