Saturday, December 31, 2011


"Wasted" - Carrie Underwood

I realize the title of this post - along with today's date, might have led you to believe I'm sitting here typing with a bottle or two by my side...getting my party on a little early.
But the truth is, I'm on the couch.  In my slippers and Steve's pajamas.  Drinking a diet root beer and enjoying the quiet of the house.  The Mr. is snoozing after a grueling game of  "Batman" on the XBOX and I am quite content with just letting him nap for the moment. 

The night is young.  And I see a comfy, relaxing night ahead with the Mr.

I plan on giving a healthy visit to 2011 and welcoming 2012 in my first post of the new year. 

For now, here are some photos of the last couple days of our year...

Thursday was a very full day.  You can't go wrong - starting your morning with a lil' Kelly.  She came over with a bag of eggs and bacon. And us amazing chefs...
We whipped up a mighty breakfast.
We sat down.  Spooned some scrambled eggs onto our plates.  A dash of pepper.  A little cheese.
 I was lucky enough to get the secret prize!!
One of Kelly's lustrous locks. 
That's my first bite of eggie hangin' from it! I didn't want to hurt her feelings.  I totally would have eaten it. If that ain't love...
Laughing til tears.  Tears til laughing.
We always fit so much emotion into our time together.
And I wouldn't have it any other way.

I forgot to mention this day revolved around food.  Food and friends. 
I met my friend, Jessica, for lunch.
We caught up over paninis and calzones.
And gabbed through the afternoon.
Food and friends are always a great combo.

Then came dinner.  It was time to celebrate Ed's birthday.  He and his lovely lady, Jessica, came over for dinner and dessert.

Jessica is fabulous at catching me in my element.
And always offers such positive feedback once we review the photos she took. 
I'm pretty sure she said this one was "just hideous!"
I think she's right!
What can I say, I was excited about surprising Ed with his cheesecake and makeshift birthday candle.

Happy Birthday to Ed!!

Make a wish, fella!

While grocery shopping, I discovered Hershey's now makes dark chocolate syrup.  It's yum!

The word of the night was - "Bologna"

Jessica asked me to write her a special message.
We are Cinnions 4 eva.
Steve likes his cheesecake plain.  Shame, because I had the perfect message for his slice.

The next photo was also shot by Jessica.  She dared me to put it on my blog.
here it is.

HIDEOUS doesn't cut it.
How old am I? 29 or 5?

We found Mr. Twinkie pooped out on the chair.  His belly was about to explode after 6 pieces of cake.

Ed and I love being immature and silly.  Apparently, we LOVE our new picture frames too!

Buzzy n' me
I heard people were pickin' on my Mr, calling him a bumble bee! HA!!

Like I said, Cins 4 eva.


Last night, I was headed upstairs when I saw Twinkie, scared as anything, with what looked like a pink collar around his neck.  It majorly freaked me out.  He sped by me and ran to the basement.  It didn't take me long to realize, Mr. Tubby Twinkie had been snoopin' in his Christmas treat bags under the tree.
BAD ME!! I never should have left his treats out.  Especially somewhere the fluffies could try and get to them.  Steve lured him from a spot behind the couch in the basement with what else, but
more treats.

Poor guy.  I can just imagine him.  Digging in the bag.  Accidentally getting his head stuck in the handle.  Running around the house with a gift bag attached to him. :*(
I learned a lesson.  And so did he.


We went to my brother, Nicholas', gig last night.  We were happy to get our favorite "front row" seats.
Nicholas rocked as always.

My Mom and Vanessa. 
 We were so happy she made it out.  Vanessa is one cool lady!

Goodnight, Friday.


Last night, before heading to bed, the kitties were going crazy.  There was a fly zipping around the house. Twinkie, Krimpet, and Muffin were on the prowl.  They wouldn't take their eyes off it.

This morning...
We were greeted with this. 
 I don't know how they managed to catch Fred the fly. 
But, they did.  And I'm sure it would have been fun to watch.


It's December 31st.  There's less than 5 hours left of 2011.

Whatever you're doing tonight,
may you be in the presence of love.

I, (including Muffin)
Wish you a...

Waste some time.  Learn some lessons.  Live your life through it all.

I'll be back next week. In 2012.  Reflecting.  Remembering.  Ready.

Each day has been a gift.

New Year's Eve Lovin',

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The First Noel

 "The First Noel" - David Archuleta

This is the scene at this very moment...
Twinkie, right beside me.  Covered up with Muffin curled up in a deep, deep sleep above him.
The shimmer and lights from the tree keep catching my attention.  Causing me to lose focus on the computer and instead, stare to my right. 

Our beloved kitties.  Our Christmas tree. 
They add to the stillness and peace of tonight. 
I'm soaking it all up.  For the feeling of Christmas lasts well after the day comes and goes.
I think once all the hustle and bustle settles down - that is when it really seeps in.

Christmas Eve day was an eventful one.  As we were just about to cross off the very last (minute) item from our list, our car decided not to start.  In a shopping complex.  Thankfully, there was a *Tire's Plus* seconds away.  A nice man came out to our rescue, jumped the battery, and we were on our merry way.  For a whole .24 miles.  It wasn't the battery.  It was the alternator.  Within a minute, we were put put put-ing down a back road until our car completely stopped.  Steve didn't even give me time to say something smart-assed.  Without notice, he put the car in neutral, got out, went to the trunk and started pushing with all his might.  Screaming, "STEER TO THE RIGHT, STEER TO THE RIGHT, MARIA!!"  I don't know what was funnier - seeing Steve's beet red face in the rear view mirror, grunting and looking angry as ever as he attempted to push our 5,299 pound suv up a hill...
Or me, laughing hysterically-my hyena cackle, as I "steered to the right"- knowing I totally looked like I was in a scene from a really bad movie - the kind where there's a canvas behind the car and a very obvious fake road...and you know - that car ain't goin' nowhere. I watched as all the passerby's heads kept turning to the left, looking at us like, "Merry Christmas, suckers!!  Thanks for the laugh!"
It wasn't long before I stopped "driving" and told Steve this ain't gonna work.
Our amazing friend, Adam, took time out of his day to come and save us.

While him and Steve jumped the battery for the first of 3 times in order to get it to somewhere safe (ie - Kelly's house, since she is awesome and we were in her neck of the woods.)

I practiced my best Grinch faces.

Last night, I picked this up.
Well, Merry Christmas, hunny!! A brand new shiny alternator!!


Friday night, the kitties and I stayed up late again.  Putting lots of love into gifts for 2 special ladies.

Muffin...always keepin' an eye on me.

Back in October, my super talented, ever so crafty friend, Jessica, and I got together for a *make a wreath date.*  You can see - HERE.
I have to give her major thanks.  She taught me the ropes and inspired me.

I set myself up on the floor with a blanket and all the goods. A cup of coffee.  A cinnamon candle. The kitties.  Of course, a few LMN movies.  Lotsa yarn.  Trusty glue gun.  Doodads galore....

I made this one for my Nani.

She's a fellow crazy cat lady.  So, the winter kittens were a must!

And this one, for my Mom.  She loves her some country tunes too! 

Ohhh, Mr. are amazing.  I was feeling the same by the time I was done.

Christmas Eve night.


Christmas morning, we headed to my Dad's house (in our pjs) for gifts, coffee, and cinnamon rolls.
Elmer pup and Gibson pup were anxious to wish us a Merry Christmas...
Muddy paws and all.

Would you just look at those faces!!!  Elmer is totally smiling!

Brigid and Dad

Dad Me Steve and Nicholas

Remember the rocking chair I wrote of in THIS emotional post...
That's my Dad sitting in it Christmas morning.

While we were opening presents, he told me he wanted me to have it.
I can't explain what it means to me - my Dad's words...that old rocking chair and all the memories it carries.
Such a special gift. 
I get teary-eyed thinking about it...for many reasons.  I hope know it will be a huge part of the years to come.


When we came home, it was time for the kitties to open their presents.

They loved their catnip mouseys.

With all the excitement, Krimpet and Twinkie needed an afternoon nap.  Steve and I decided that wasn't such a bad idea.  Mr's back wasn't feelin' too hot after all the suv pushing he did the day before.  And my stomach muscles were sore from all the laughing and cackling.  So, we took a Christmas nappy.

And when we woke up, we found this...

Poor blue mousey...torn to shreds.  He lived a short but exciting life.

(This was blue mousey's last happy photo.)  And this fancy toy -all for $4.19...a wind up ball that spins a rod with feathers at the end of it.  They are in love with it.

We visited my Nani.  She wasn't feeling too well earlier this month. 
She's getting better each day.


Christmas night at our house

I spot a Muffin.

Merry margaritas

We kept it nice n' simple.  Fajitas, rice, and beans. 

Look who I found in my chair!

Muffin says, "Let's get this party started!!"

Nicholas and Mom began our annual tradition of opening gifts.  We all sit in a circle and go around until there's a bag full of wrapping paper and bows (and kitties pouncing and sleeping on tissue paper and in boxes).

So very thoughtful of my Mom...who do these guys remind you of?
I have the perfect spot for this beautiful gift.

(Twinkie was about to bust loose! HA!)

I learned a long time ago - not much in this life is flawless.  So many of us want things to be "perfect."
Time is precious.  You can use it wisely.  You can squeeze the most out of every minute...
And still, there might be a few missing checks off your list.
But, I find, rarely do those missing checks go noticed...
If you surround yourself with the ones you love - the ones who love you back - who love you good...
None of those little empty boxes matter.
Forget about those "things" you wish you had time to do.
And always remember,

"The best things in life aren't things."

Our car broke down on Christmas Eve.  I didn't bake those sugar cookies I wanted to.  We were all tired.
But ya know what, our car will be fixed.  Sugar cookies can be baked another day.  And Christmas...
Well, it still feels like it.  As I sit here, comfortable, in one of my many "crazy cat lady" pajamas from my Mom, eating way too much candy for this time of day, typing the last few sentences to this post...
I'm thankful that...

It was a good one.

I scratched one of the lottery tickets in our card from my Mom before going to bed, Christmas night.
We won $25.  Not too shabby.  But besides the extra loot,
It's message was loud and clear...

I am lucky.

I am blessed.

We all are.

There's still a few days of 2011 left on the calendar. 
Wishing you GREAT days ahead.

I'll be stopping by one more time before the close of this year.

Merry Wednesday,
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