Sunday, December 27, 2009

2009 Facebook Status Updates

In case you're from Mars and have no idea what Facebook is all about, here is a recap of my 2009 status updates. Unless otherwise noted, "Macey Highberger" is the beginning of each sentence. Hope you enjoy.

January trying to figure out the facebook thing and wondering if I really have the time and energy to keep this up.

February looking at the clock and realizing I'm already late getting in the shower! starting to make super bowl party food! going to bed (and totally excited about the Killers concert!) so sleepy, but has to watch Idol before I'll be singing in my dreams! soooo happy to be home from Houston! wishing she took more pics at the Killers concert and in Houston! happy she uploaded her pics, but now sad she's tired. giving up on OSU basketball and starting Idol. quickly finishing Idol, rushing Gavin to bed, turning off the lights, using potty, getting blankie and getting mentally ready for the best show in the world. weighing the options: guitar hero, movie, or beddy bye...hmmmm... ready for it to be Monday. feeling blllaahhhhh...sniff, sniff. mad at Kathryn for bringing chocolate to work...but it's soooo good! willing to pay someone to buy her groceries and do her laundry. thinking another cup of coffee sounds divine! hoping tonight's sleep is better than it has been. actually considering the fantastic "car deals" going on this weekeend! happy OSU won (I know, it's sad) and ready to BBQ Bevo!

...bbq'ed pork instead of bevo and will be doing cardio for it tomorrow! about to start the 2nd chapter of a book to be read by Tues. Yikes! bummed there is no Idol tonite (Sean said get the guitars ready...whoo hoo!!!!).

...has three words: Everlong on EXPERT!!!!!! cracking up at Zoey who's "judging" the Idol singers. "Momma, she not sing good!" now E15!!

...mad at Mathis Brothers. letting out a big sigh of relief.

...likes to talk. prepping food with Kristen for the party! amazed...Gavin just lost his first tooth! already missing that dls hour!

...wishes 5 yr old boys listened to their mothers. wondering WHAT IS GOING ON??????? about to enjoy some homemade buttermilk buscuits and sausage gravy! making chocolate chip cookies. trying to determine what Zoey's Mickey Mouse cake will look like. (gulp!)

.is now moving off the couch and into the kitchen to work on corning some beef? Is that how you'd say that? Ha ha. sad that tomorrow will be the last day of corned beef, cabbage, and colecannon. :'( But is very happy that LOST still ROCKS! :o) trying to figure out the best ratio of icing to color black, copper and red for Zoey's cake. Hmmmm.... thinking party clean up should happen tomorrow. probably fully caught up on her sleep...until her body yells at her tomorrow for not getting her full 10 hrs plus a 90 min nap!! Dang, I should've been in bed 30 minutes ago!

April soooo ready for LOST, I could pee my pants. Ok, not really, but I'm super excited!!! :0P thinking that i need a lock on my pantry and fridge that only opens when it knows I'll make good, healthy decisions!

...thinks today was a TERRIBLE day to walk Gavin to school...we froze. sooooo excited about her lil silver present coming home soon!!!
(my new car) trying to on food vs. eat food vs. do taxes vs. go to bed early vs. have a drink vs. go drive around. :o)

...Bring. On. Lost!!!!

...LOVES storms...well, the thundering kind, not the 'naders kind. Mmmmm, welcome spring!!!

...thinks house hunting is exhausting!

...sat down on the couch with a bowl of ice cream, got situated, looked in my bowl, and found NO ice cream!
(That was probably my favorite post of the year!)

...Just got taco meat on the stove to slow cook all day and is headed to work! Vamenos!

...ís having warsteiner and classic corned beef and cabbage with K,M&S. wondering: to move or not to move? That is the question! about to tee off!! Gotta love Monday golf! woo hoo

...WOW! Wow!! WOW!!!!! going to bed. Something is making me super sleepy! zzzzzz

...tomorrow night, first game, 2 man, on the beach...wish us luck! 1-0. LOVING Adam...oh wait, no, Kris. No. Adam! NO! Kris!! I can't decide!!! So, I'm happy either way!! wondering if the 4 of us really have to match for our family photo?? Really?!?! Can't we just photoshop sumtin cute instead? headed to Stalewater, OK for two days of glorious golf! having a really hard time with all of the orange. This university is confused...and has one letter too many! stuffy. cookin for tomorrow! plum tuckered! packing!! officially on vacation!!!

... is thinking Miami is HUMID!

June so ready to see her babies...and seriously needs to re-condition herself to portion control!!! nervous!! nervous no more. wrist did great. getting 2man down and rocked 4man tonite with a W!! woo hoo! way to go "Shut It Down"! a seepy bear. (yes, seepy) swimmin with the fam. thanks m and d!!

...I need a website that allows me to QUICKLY and EASILY upload and edit my pics, share them (including posting on FB), and order prints when necessary. Any suggestions? waiting to see the orthopedist.

...I'm wondering if I answered the "Are you claustrophobic?" question correctly. grrrr, zzzz, sigh, ugh.

...needs to go to the store but is having too much fum swimmin'!

...I'm enjoying the AC and prepping food and the house for dads' day celebration. I love you, dad and Sean!!

...I think that the 99+ degree temp+running to bball, playing for an hour, running back, then playing beach vball on the SMOKING hot sand = too much for my poor, overheated body.

...Has decided it is my new goal to become part of a music video, preferably the lead.

...Ugh. I'm awake. :(

...Did anyone clean my house and do my laundry while I was gone??

...I'm thinking 95 feels pretty darn good!

...Ah man, doc just said the "s" word. Maybe I can change his mind! Boom Boom Pow!

...Happy Birthday, Dad!!!!! Now let's box!

...Sittin, waiting for Gavin to take the stage.

...Who has a inexpensive paella pan??

...Does anyone know if BA has plans to make 209th a thru street from 61st to 51st?? I want straight access to the new, ginormous Wally!!

...Going to NOM, NOM, NOM!

...I am...

...I'm Wicked!!!!

...BLT's, naps, laundry, & vitamin K.

...and Kristen BOOM BOOM POW'D ourselves to a win in 2. Woo Hoo!!!

August thinking about going Paleo...maybe? Try it? Maybe?? I JUST WANT TO BE HEALTHY AND MAKE GOOD FOOD CHOICES!! (I'm yelling at my sugar-high-fat-dairy-all-together-junk-craving self! It's not you, it's me.)

...meeting the teacher today.

...Dinner? Check. Baths? Check. Laundry? Check. Oh yeah, and it's only 7:45!!

...Feels strangely empty and free at the same time.

...The devil is in the details. To pass along info without verifying the details makes you the devil.

...Why does football on tv make me want to cook chili, search for pumpkins, and think it's 40 degrees outside???? Oh I love it!!

...Tomorrow is TUESDAY...tomorrow is TUESDAY...tomorrow is NOT Monday, no matter how many times I think it is, it will sitll be TUESDAY!

...Has an uncureable headache!!!! Ugh.

...Is thinking this weather is go-jus! a dancing queen.

...Thinks you can never really be there. As soon as you get there you're here. Right??

...So, where does the red brick road go?

...Sometimes it's hard being a witch. (sighs)

...One to go.

...Just needs to vent about how much I hate Walgreens' pharmacy. Soooo frustrating. I will never return. And I'm telling anyone who will listen!

...Have we suddenly been transported to Seattle? Looks like Tulsa. Smells like Tulsa. Feels like Seattle!

...What doth that bright light that shine forth the heavens?? I think they call it a "sun"!!

...Ok. I think it's about time to actually start the job hunt process...any recommendations? Suggestions? Offers? :D (References available upon request.)

...What's up with my boat/water/fear/problem dreams???? It's getting ridiculous!

...thinks that sitting on the couch and watching the biggest loser while eating chocolate chips cookies is just wrong. With my mouth shoved full, I told the boys I wanted Jillian's body...Gavin immediately said, "Nooooo mom, then you'll be MEAN!". Ha ha...that's right Gavin, now hand me another cookie!

...Gavin was working on his -am words this morning: ham, ram, Sam and then got confused on 'bam' and kept telling me "yuh huh mom, it says 'dam'!".

...Body Combat + Body Pump = 1200 calorie burn!! (plus the after burners!)

...needs some sniffling, sneezing, coughing, aching so you can rest medicine.

...Is it possible to OS (over sparkle)???? I think not!!

...You want a holiday gift basket full of MUNCHies by Macey...don't cha?!?! You know you do! Salsa, chocolate covered oreos, lemon blossoms, cake balls, or your very own cookie cake perhaps?!?!

...Everyone!!!! Come to 2126 S. Jamestown....RIGHT NOW!!!

...I am FREE!!!

...Loves good friends and good food. Thank you.

...Seepy bear going to find a den at the lake with momma bear and baby bear cubs.

...Do you love your job?

...wants a small, indoor, cuddly, non-yippy dog. Any suggestions?

...You need to come shopping tonight in downtown BA or skip it all and come see me at On The Corner 123 W. Commercial. Super cute stuff, plus MY baskets, salsa, and MUNCHies!! And...SANTA'S COMING!!!

...Is feeling the peace that comes with the assurance of hope.

...Is at the doctor with Miss Zoey.

...Dinner party success!! Thanks guys. You guys rock!

...I'm thankful y'all hit "accept" and not "ignore". :) Yet another successfully stuffed Macey's Thanksgiving Day Parade. (You thought I was just gonna say day, huh?!)

...Nana's left over white cake has magically morphed into cake balls!

...Gimme an "S"!

...Do you have a blog you love to follow? If so, I'd love to check it out. I'm looking to add some awesome ones to my blog (one, because I'm just curious about what's too good to miss and two, because I need some comments/followers!!!!) :D

...If I have to suffer thru Santa Baby one more time I'm gonna scream! And screaming seems likely since it's only Dec 4.

...The Living Christmas Tree is tonight: I LOVE sitting in a room full of people dressed in their "holiday fancy pants", the smell of "it's a church program so we better wear our nice perfume", surrounded by my favorite people on the planet (even though you won't be there), all enjoying some of the best songs and stories of the season. I can't wait.

...Makin' Cake Balls. Tryin not to sample too many.

...Christmas music? Check. Christmas apron?check. Hot chocolate? Check. Check. Yep, it's tree decoratin' time!


...Zoey said for Christmas she wants to be a white girl with pretty shoes. Not sure what that means...but I like it.

...Zoey just told me "Girls make dinner and laundry." I like it! I need my boys to do my laundry.

...Referral needed: awesome heat and air dude. (or dudette)

...Mollee!!!. Noooooooo. Oh a plague upon this house for not voting!!! (Not really. We don't need any extra plagues around here!!)

...Please tell me how you do it. How do you tackle laundry successfully? Let it pile up and then do it all and put it all away? Or do a little at a time all the time? Tell me. I need the secret to not letting it take over my life!!

...Dear wind, I hate you. Love, Macey

...Does anyone know of a fun, hip place to have a drink, possibly food (not required), that possibly has entertainment and is kid friendly?

...Please pray for the recent loss of a dear family food processor. The holidays will be rough this year.

...If it snows 7" then I owe all the Highbergers $7. So here's hoping I don't have to break my piggy bank.

...Anyone know of an awesome resort in Playa del Carmen that you'd recommend? That's also good for the kiddos?!

That's it! I can't believe it...another year has escaped me. I turned 29, Zoey turned 3, Gavin 6, and Sean 32. I met some amazing, new people who have changed my life, went on a fabulous vacation, and lost some important parts of my life, only to fill those gaps with more family and fun time. I couldn't have asked for a better year. My family is healthy and our smiles are bigger than ever. We are continuing to learn to be respectful, appreciative, giving people who love our God more than ourselves.

Here's a goodbye chest bump to 2009 and a welcoming bear hug to 2010.

Until next time. Mwah!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

I'm here, I'm here...You can all relax now.

Many of you have been asking if I'm still alive. (Ha!!! Not one person has asked, but in the dream world that I live in, people were concerned. They were very concerned.) Well, last time I checked, my pulse was normal and my breathing was even, so for all of those living a concerned life in my dream world, worry no more for I am alive.

During the last few weeks the word "daily" has been haunting me. Every time I peek over at my laptop it beckons me to tickle its keys. Yet instead of sitting down to write, I cover my eyes and pretend that eye contact really didn't just happen. (You know what I'm talking about. Like when you see someone in the store who you just really don't feel like talking to at that very moment? Uh huh, we've all been there. You cautiously duck into another aisle, you put the box of cheerios in front of your face as not to be noticed, or you flat out run away. I know, you've done it too. I just hope it wasn't because you saw ME in the store!) Well, rather than writing, I instead chose to knock out my things to do list. And yet through all of my "daily" angst, I am realizing that it's not about posting "daily". It's about writing about my "daily" experiences, the parade that is my life, which (newsflash) doesn't have to be done "daily". I can do a little something called summarize!

Thank you English class!

So for the past few weeks life around this house has been hectic to say the very least. If Christmas shopping, working out, stay-at-home-mommying, house cleaning (only my own), basket-creating, salsa-making, party-attending, grocery shopping, and everyday living weren't enough, we try to shove a little more of everything into each day. We've even started turning down requests just so we can have some time to simply breathe. But with BOTH kids being out of school for the next couple patients and mothering skills will be tested to the max!

Last week I finished up a big snack basket order for a mommy friend of mine to deliver to her business clients. I think they turned out lovely and we've had some really good feed back so far. It's nice to hear that people are enjoying the fruits of my labor. I've been busy with orders for the holidays and honestly, I'd rather be crazily busy than sanely bored. Which is the real reason why I gave in to my beckoning computer tonight. I'm all caught up for the evening, it's now just after midnight and instead of going to bed, I decided to shove one more thing into my crazy day...or technically, my tomorrow.

So for at least today, be tickled ole computer keys for who knows what the rest of today will bring. Sibling rivalry? Of course! Regrets about not going to bed earlier? Definitely. Threats of Santa not bringing presents for bad behavior? Absolutely inevitable. But it is my life. It's my "daily" parade. And I wouldn't have it any other way.

Until next time. Mwah!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Breathe, Macey, Breathe

I get a strange sense of satisfaction and accomplishment when I'm able to take my writing utensil and cross off an item on my To Do list. Like you, I'm sure, I have about a billion things currently NOT marked off of my list. Most of them to be completed by Friday. (Don't panic, Macey, don't panic. Besides, sleep is for sissies.) One task in particular is to read through some blogs that I enjoy in order to gain some ideas of how I want mine to look and where exactly I'd like it to go. Anyway, I came across this post, and I encourage you to read it. It's beautiful. I hope it blesses you as it has me.

Birth stories

Monday, December 7, 2009

Raindrops on Roses and Whiskers on Kittens...And Big Yellow Trucks?

I can't say that I agree so much with Julie Andrews and HER favorite things. (Or possibly they are Rodgers and Hammerstein's favorite things.) However, it got me thinking about a few of MY favorite things. Heck, Oprah's got her list. I might as well make mine. Here are a few of my favorite (and not-so-favorite) things...about Christmas: (Listed in no particular order)

1. The sheer craziness of Christmas. How all of a sudden it's totally normal for the entire population of Oklahoma to end up on 71st street each weekend from Black Friday through January 1. I don't take to fighting crowds too often, however, it somehow makes me feel festive when I see nothing but cars from Garnett to Memorial.

2. Interior illumination provided only by Christmas tree lights and the fire burning through the fake logs in the fake fireplace that was turned on by the flip of a switch. Mmmmm, cozy.

3. The adventure of picking out the "perfect" Christmas tree, bringing it home safely* (see note #10 below), and enjoying the house-filled scent of pine needles.

4. The endless supply of Christmas music on the radio. Even though I swear they play the same 12 songs over and over and over. Really, how many versions of White Christmas do we need, people?

5. Big, red poinsettias. (pronounced poin, like coin, set, uh. Don't say'll sound like a snob.)

6. Parties, parties, parties. I mean if you can get people together with food, drinks and cheerful music, what's not to love? Those are a few of MY favorite things...any time of year.

7. Christmas Programs. I loved being in these as a child and now it melts me into a puddle of gushy mommy goo to watch my own children recreate the story of Christmas (the Jesus one, not the Santa one.)

8. Tacky Christmas sweaters. Some have gone so far as to have tacky Christmas sweater parties. But truth be told, Christmas embellishments should be left for trees, garland and candles, not anything apparel related. Glue guns + Christmas sweaters = big no no.

9. The idea that we get to "threaten" our kids with "Do you want me to call Santa?" and "Ok, I guess you will be getting coal in your stocking this year" as our toughest negotiation tactics. Santa has even been known to call the house.

10. Christmas cookies, candies and snackie poos. (I hope to take pics of the kids making our favorite cookies, so I will post those later.)

11. Shopping. As if I needed an excuse, now I get to do it because I HAVE to...awesome.

12. The fact that our neighborhood is pulling about a 93% participation rate for hanging outdoor lights. I LOVE IT!

13. Making each gift a beautifully wrapped package with a matching, original, hand-tied (and probably sparkly) Macey bow.

14. Getting to listen to "Mary Did You Know" and "O Holy Night". I love them. Someday I will sing these before an audience. Chances are that audience will be my dogs or perhaps a deaf audience, but I'm gonna do it. Mark my words.

15. To be reminded about the incredibly outrageous gift of God becoming man through a virgin birth in order to pay the ultimate price for sin so that we don't have to fear death and we can be in the presence of the Almighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace. I am so proud and honored to be his princess.

Now a few of my Not-So-Favorite Things.

I Do NOT Love:
1. Vacuuming up pine needles for months on end after removing the Christmas tree from the house. (Although it seems when in operation the vacuum always gives us a nice poof of pine scent until about March.)

2. Getting the boxes BACK down from the attic, packing up all of the decor and then making a New Year's resolution to get the boxes back UP into the attic before July. Then realizing that we REALLY need to organize the attic...ahhh, we'll do it next year.

3. The fact that it seems to get to about 33 degrees each December. We rarely get snow. If anything it's a cold rain, or ice.

4. Bell Ringers. I'm sorry. I know, I'm going to Christmas jail. I'm not trying to be cold hearted, but really I should give a quarter to all of them that I see, then everyone's happy. Salvation Army gets my donation, kids get a candy cane and I don't feel guilty for walking past the next 40 ringers because I gave to the first one of the season.

5. Having to fight the traffic to get to the mall to stand in line with other children who are hot, cranky and tired just to have 2 seconds on Santa's knee and pay $25 for a photo where both kids aren't even looking at the camera or smiling. "Kids, did you tell Santa that mommy wants some patients for Christmas...or maybe some sedatives?"

6. Trying to honestly teach our kids that Christmas is NOT about getting gifts. It's about giving and telling people how much you love and appreciate them. I feel bad for all of the movies we watch, but if we barrage them with Christmas DVDs then at least they're not being bombarded with the gotta-have's of target marketing!

7. The impossibly hard plastic packaging that is even scissor resistant.

8. Trying to figure out where to store all of the new toys, realizing we are a totally spoiled family, and finally deciding to hide 1/2 of the kids' toys to re-gift them as brand new gifts next year. (Ha ha. Kidding!)

9. Having the great "box" debate with Sean each year. I try to convince him that every Christmas I always need boxes for wrapping presents, so bagging them up and storing them in the attic for me all year is the smartest and cheapest way to go. :D

And finally...

10. Not bringing our Christmas tree safely* home.

One year, one fateful Christmas season...our tree and almost our family, did not make it home “safely“. (Pause for dramatic effect) This is still hard to talk about, but the truth begs to be revealed and maybe if one person or one tree is saved, then I've done my part.

A couple years ago, Sean was working long holiday hours at the golf course. Gavin, I believe, had just turned 1 and we were setting out to get our annual Highberger Family Christmas tree...Griswold style. That's right, we headed to Home Depot. (What? You think we're dragging our baby out to the (not) snowy pastures of Oklahoma to cut down our own tree? You must be kidding.) Time had somehow escaped us and we were later into the season than normal for tree hunting. Not only was it late in the season, but for some reason we chose the coldest, wettest, nastiest day of the year to pick out our newest addition. I remember standing at Home Depot, dodging rain drops, looking for just the right tree. It didn't take too long, there were about five left.

Sean paid for the tree while Gavin and I went to the car to escape the weather. As we warmly waited it started to pour. Sean got to the car and started to put the tree on top of our SUV. I leaned my head out of the door and asked if he needed my assistance, as any good wife would, but secretly hoped he'd say no. And to my fortune, he told me he could get it. I remember watching him heave the tree on to the top of our SUV as it landed with a thud.

I also remember the tie down process: two bungee cords strapped across the tree in a crisscross formation. After it was sufficiently secure, my rain-soaked, and pretty annoyed husband entered the car, mumbling under his breath. This was NOT the Christmas spirit I had hoped for. We started our journey back home, discussing how we'd have to leave the tree in the garage to dry out before we could decorate it. Ugh. Pouty face. We made our way from one highway to another when I heard a terrible noise, like the roof was being ripped off. I looked at Sean to see if he shared my same concern, when I noticed his squinted eyes were staring straight into the rear view mirror. His look of curiosity changed quickly to astonishment as he said, "We just lost the tree!"

My mind did a quick double take...was this the same "we just lost the tree" joke that my dad pulled on me when I was young? After the whole family (all three of us) had gone outside, he told me as he simultaneously faked the front door being locked, that we were locked out?? Was this the same "we just lost the tree" joke as I experienced as a kid being told that there was something on my shirt and when I looked down, the other person would flick my nose? Was I to fall for this again? Do I look only to be met with a "Gotcha!"? Or, was that terrible noise that I heard from the roof, ACTUALLY our tree falling off. Too many clues pointed to the truth. I turned my head and looked out the back window of the SUV to find our Christmas tree, bouncing down the highway behind us. It HAD fallen off.

Sean slowed down and pulled over on the side of the road. Now multiple fears dashed through my mind: tree + highway = how the heck do you get something like that out from the middle of the highway?? Sean + highway = high anxiety for the wife sitting in the SUV!!! Will our sob story get us a new tree from the teens working at Home Depot? (Like a dropped ice cream cone at Brahm's!) Can we just leave it there?? Should we run?? Flight or fight and I'm ready to fly! Sean started to open his door as I stopped him, "Wait. What are you going to do?" "I'm going to get our Christmas Tree, Macey!"

If you've never noticed the shoulder of the highway is NOT very wide. I was, however, the super helpful wife and aided my husband with my verbal cues for the number of cars quickly approaching at 70+ mph, and that it wasn't safe "yet", when I saw it coming up over the horizon. It was a scene straight from an old western movie where the antagonist makes his appearance over the slow motion. I think I even heard Darth Vader's Imperial March playing in the background as I noticed a large, monster-type, yellow truck QUICKLY approaching OUR tree. "Sean!!!," I exclaimed to make sure we were seeing the same thing. Every other car on the highway that day saw our tree, and maneuvered safely to another lane to avoid it. But not this yellow truck. As God (and Sean) is my witness, that (expletive) yellow truck ran over our beloved Christmas tree...and before our very eyes, our Christmas tree literally blew up.

I can't remember exactly what words came from my mouth, but I know they were released at a high volume and probably included some verbal diarrhea that was not acceptable for my child in the backseat. I couldn't believe it. I watched the whole thing unfold before my eyes...that truck never even TRIED to move out of the way. He took it out. He blew up our Christmas tree and if I wasn't mistaken, I could have sworn the driver was a little green, fury guy whose heart was two sizes too small.

After the explosion, Sean ran from the car to gather the aftermath. I was picturing a few broken limbs, a handful of pine needles, and a proper burial. Even if we didn't safely bring home our tree that day, we were able to come away with a pretty amazing story. After all, our brave little Christmas tree didn't blow up in vain. In fact, we were able to bring it home in decent, albeit highly damaged shape. At least enough for decorating. It had suffered a huge gunshot wound on one side and many broken limbs displaying raw, freshly snapped edges and more than a handful of missing needles. But we loved it as if it was our own...because it was.

We lived in a house with a huge picture window in the front and we placed our tree on proud display for all passersby to witness the blessed event of the season. I secretly wished that yellow truck would drive by and see that yes, he had given our tree some battle wounds, but he hadn't blown up our Christmas spirit. Neither rain nor snow, nor grumpy husband, nor fallen tree, nor Grinch in a yellow truck driving over and blowing it up ever will.

Until next time. Mwah!

Friday, December 4, 2009

But Wait...It Wasn't ME, It Was the One Armed Man!

Thank you Zoey, for thinking that I resemble a Swedish super model, however, no, I am not Tiger Woods' poor wife, Elin Nordegren.  Although, since she met the golfing guru, she has never been "poor", at least monitarily.  Unfortunately, we all know the news that's sprung up lately and my heart breaks for Elin and their precious children. 

But to combat any media frenzy this might cause, I am not, and have never been, Elin Nordegren.  Any further questions must be directed toward my publicist.  Although I did see Tiger one time in Tulsa at Southern  Hills Country Club.  I saw him, that is...from afar. 

Until next time.  Mwah!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Readers' Guide to How We Celebrate Christmas*

*but didn't care enough to ask.
Disclaimer: This Q&A was taken from  No worries Mr/s. Plagiarism Police, she said I could have it!  (She's a giver.)  So :P (that's a smiley with his tongue out for all of my +40 crowd.)

1. Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate? Both.  Although both are highly caloric (especially the REALLY good ones), one glass of egg nog per year is a must.  Plus, calories are kinda out the window for holidays, right?  Unfortunately, my jeans would not agree.

*Now picturing a recent conversation I had with Zoey, while putting on my jeans. It went as follows:
Z: Mom, why are you jumping and kicking like that?
Me: (Breathless) Because...(breath)...this is how we women do it.
Z: (Bewildered) Ohhhhhh.

Having a mug of hot chocolate after braving the ridiculously cold, north Oklahoma wind can be a life saver (and a possible tongue scorcher).  I remember the best hot chocolate I ever had was from Barnes and Noble.  I swore they made it so good by melting a chocolate bar right into my drink.  In fact, they probably did.

2. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree?  Santa is a funny man around this house.  He gets confused every year.  Which presents are from mom and dad and which presents are from Santa?  But he's starting to get the hang of it.  Smaller (a.k.a. boring) presents (like clothes) are usually from mom and dad and wrapped in cute, coordinating gift wrap.  And the big, tada, of a present is from Santa.  It usually sits unwrapped, close by the over-stuffed stockings...that is, if it will fit in the house.  

3. Colored lights on tree/house or white? This one varies per ornaments used. As a child we always had colored lights on the tree, so that's what I wanted when I got married and started doing my own tree.  Now I think the monochromatic white lighted trees are beautiful.  But I have come to the conclusion that I like white lights best when done with a monochromatic ornament theme, which is the case for our "pretty" tree that is displayed in the front window of our house.  It looks fancy pants.  As for the good ole homemade ornaments that my husband and I have from our childhood, and the ole obligated-to-hang-on-the-tree-this-year-because-the-kids-just-made-them-at-school ornaments, we put those on our real (as in alive) Christmas tree with colored lights...just like when I was a kid. 
As for the house, I'm currently seeking therapy because my dad wouldn't ever put lights up outside (still won't).  So, to even out the lack of lights from my childhood, we go "Griswold" when it comes to exterior illumination.  (Yes, Griswold is also a verb.)  Ok, maybe not that extreme, but Sean and Gavin do a great job putting them up.  They're mostly white, but our neighbors down the street have some that are red, green, and white and I have been coveting thy neighbor's lights. 

4. Do you hang mistletoe?  No.  I have two kids...don't need any more.

5. When do you put your decorations up? They are up!  All 'cept for the tree.  Decorating does not begin until the official sign of Christmas has appeared...the unveiling of the Christmas apron.  Once the aforementioned apron is adorned, decorating commences.   The digital music Christmas station gets turned up loud, I put on my apron, place tape, straight pins and scissors in my fancy pocket and get to work tying red bows on anything that will hold still.  Since we get a real tree (for the aforementioned homemade ornaments), and since it never seems to drink any decent amount of water to make it more than a couple weeks, and since we aren't real keen on the idea of burning down our house, we usually wait a while longer to get the tree.  NOTE: I am a stickler for decorating anything Christmas related until AFTER Thanksgiving.  One holiday at a time, please.  No need to jumpfrog the holidays.

6. What is your favorite holiday dish? All of them.  Just the idea that it's ok to snack ALL day long, even if you're not hungry.  I love it.  Ok, that is an outright Christmas lie with all the trimmings (thank you Merry Madagascar).  Christmas Eve dinner is da winner, hands down: the biggest crab legs you've ever seen, dad grills out filets, we have baked potatoes (you know, the kind with kosher salt on the outside, baked until the skins are just a bit tough...yum!!!), burgundy mushrooms, and a fabulously delicious Caesar salad. 

7. Favorite Holiday memory as a child?  Opening up presents on Christmas Eve night, then anxiously going to bed, hoping I could actually fall asleep before Santa would catch me awake and fill my stocking with coal.  Then, waking up in the middle of the night, not knowing if he'd been there or not, and trying to quickly fall back asleep just in case he hadn't.  Finally, waking up and it being Christmas morning, slowly making my way down the stone hallway to peer around the stone corner to find a bunch of wood in the living room.  Going to my mom and dad's room and telling them, "Santa brought me a bunch of chairs!" and not knowing whether to be totally excited or totally mad for being ripped off.  And finally discovering those chairs were really the parts to my brand new waterbed!


Crying on Christmas day because my dad and uncle were hogging MY new Nintendo and wouldn't allow me to play...Mario Brothers! (Another cause for today's therapy need.)

8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa?  The year I wrote Santa a letter on my white wash board and realized when he wrote me back it looked an awful lot like mom's handwriting.  That was last year.

9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve?  Oh heck yeah.  And I officially petition to start earlier and earlier each year!

10. How do you decorate your Christmas tree?  Usually take my childhood ornaments, put a hook in 'em, then place 'em approx 5'8" above the ground.

11. Snow! Love it or Dread it? Love it.  At least for a couple days, then it gets boring to be cooped up in the house, cabin fever sets in quickly and it seems like it's always the days that I know we can't get out that I want to get out the most.  "Hey, let's GO rent a movie.  Oh wait, we are snowed in...never mind (pouty face)".  And the weird thing is we never GO rent movies...ever.  But I always have the desire when I know we can't go.  So I, instead, opt for some homemade hot chocolate (bereft the chocolate bar).

12. Can you ice skate?  I can.  You should see my triple sow cow. 

13. Do you remember your favorite gift? See #7.  Oh but now that I'm reading back on this, I would probably be put in wife jail if I didn't say the marriage proposal I received in the snow, one blustery Christmas Eve night.  (true story)

14. What's the most important thing about the Holidays for you?  I think it's considered blasphemy of the Christmas Spirit if you don't answer the birth of our Lord, Jesus Christ, right?

15. What is your favorite Holiday Dessert?  Hmmm, probably overly decorated and iced Christmas sugar cookies. 

16. What is your favorite holiday tradition?  See #6

17. What tops your tree?  Nobody's tree tops my tree.

18. Which do you prefer giving or Receiving?  I prefer for people to give me gifts and I prefer to receive them.  (I know it makes people feel good to give gifts so really, that's my gift to them, they get to feel good.  And you can't buy that at a store.)

19. What is your favorite Christmas Song? Mary Did You Know...gets me every time.  And not as much until I became a mother.  How could she have known?  "Mary did you know, when you kiss your little baby, you've kissed the face of God?"  "Mary did you know, that sleeping child you're holding is the GREAT I AM?"  Wow.  Goose bumps as I type.  Powerful.  Coming in at a close second is I Want A Hippopotamus for Christmas.

20. Candy Canes: Yuck or Yum?  Only good for decorating with and giving to my children as pacfiers.  They are crazy yummy smashed on top of my chocolate covered oreos though!

21 Favorite Christmas Show?  Elf.  Hands down.  I wish everyone was that happy and innocent all year long.  "Do you need a hug?"  "You're so pretty, you should be on a Christmas card."  Seriously.  Who wouldn't love to be told that?

22. Saddest Christmas Song?  Christmas Shoes.  It's my most hated song too.  Whoever wrote it ONLY did so to jerk tears out of innocent Christmas shoppers.  Who wouldn't ball over a child who's only Christmas wish is to buy their dying mom a pair of Christmas shoes so she looks nice when she meets Jesus?  WHAT?!  That is UNNECESSARY and UNCALLED for!  You can't have my heart strings!!  I turn off the song every time it comes on.  Besides WHO wears Christmas shoes??  And if this is the new trend, I want some!  (Then you can see my new Christmas shoes and be happy for me.  See?!  I am a giver.)

Until next time.  Mwah!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Don't Sweat the Small Stuff

I decided to write a quick (ha! is it ever quick?) note about fitness and nutrition.  And the first piece of advice (or soapbox, whatever) about fitness includes the fact that I am a firm believer in sweating!  Sweat is a WONDERFUL thing to produce.  It cools your body and eliminates junk (yeah, that was scientific sounding).  But its main process is to cool!  You have a built in AC unit in your body!  Why do we need to be cooled?  Because your body is working hard enough to need a cool down!  Like a fan to a hot engine, your body should be working hard enough to need to be cooled off, thus to sweat.  It is in my non-expert opinion that if you are a normal food consuming individual (say, not a rabbit) and you are consuming more than 1200 calories a day, then you should do some sort of physical activity at LEAST three times a week that produces, at the very least, a nice wet, cheek pinkening glow. 

When taking advantage of my (now former) workplace fitness center one Sunday afternoon I found an older couple "working out".  I don't want to cast stones upon anyone's fitness style or discourage a single person from getting physical exercise, but this display danced on the edge of pathetic.  The lady occupied the treadmill, and I kid you not, it was set on a speed of 1.8 mph.  That is barely moving, practically sedentary!  And after an exhausting 15 minutes, she was spent.  While the tortoise plugged away on the treadmill, her husband occupied a recumbent bike and although I didn't see his rpm's, I can assure you it was practically sedentary as well.  Plus, he was pedaling in his house shoes.  You KNOW I'm not kidding.  I couldn't even make this stuff up. 

I applaud them for getting out and working out.  I do.  And if that's the only exercise they can get, then let me be the first to high-five their non-sweaty hands, but my fear is that they go home and think, "Honey, we just worked out, now we can eat whatever we want!"  Which really couldn't be further from the truth. 

When it comes to diet and exercise, if you're trying to lose weight, maintain what you're currently working with, or gain weight, it all boils down to simple math.  Input versus Output.  Technology today on aerobic equipment has made it very convenient to calculate output.  Numerous websites also offer loads of information about caloric needs based on your specific body type.  And digital heart rate monitors quickly display calories burned.  So it's very easy to calculate how many calories your body requires to function and how many calories you're burning during exercise.  All nutritional information is posted on packaging or with a few mouse clicks is easy to research.  Within a week or so of doing all of the math, it becomes second nature to know how many calories is in 1/2 cup of cooked broccoli. 

My quick, overall point tonight (without getting into too many details) is this:  Input vs. Output.  Calculate it.  It's easy.  If you are constantly taking in too many calories, then you will gain weight.  So you either have to lower your intake or up your output.  And my point for output is this:  if you're not sweating, you're not working hard enough.  Put your body to can handle it.  It was made to work hard.  Get sweaty.  And feel good that you're doing something good for your heart, for your lungs, for so many other functions of your body that I won't even name them all (or could I), and for your waistline!!!!

So if you're working off your turkey and potatoes from Thanksgiving, surrender the house shoes, pick up a towel and use it to wipe your pretty, little, sweaty face!  I'm sure I'll have more to talk about on this subject at a later date.

Until next time.  Mwah!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Thanks Be to God

The holiday seasons always have a way of sneaking up on me.  They're always here before I know it and each year I can be heard saying "I can NOT believe it's almost (insert holiday here)!"  It blows me away how quickly each year flies by.  And each time I say it outloud I can always bet on an older person warning me that it will only get faster.  I'm not sure that's possible.  Is there anything faster than warp speed?  I constantly beg my kids to stop growing.  I try to take time to stop and look at them, watch them, absorb their every move, breath and word into my memory bank, to see them how they are right at that very second.  I hope to never forget those captured moments.  But I do.  Looking back on old family pictures my heart swells to see my children as babies.  It wasn't that long ago, but I forget so easily.  I wish I didn't forget.  (Note to self: need to purchase video camera.)

But with each day flying by at warp speed I am thankful for the holiday seasons because I can bet on at least one day of rest and reflection.  All of the preparation comes with stress and chaos as we decorate the house for fall and eagerly anticipate Thanksgiving day, then tear is down and start over for Christmas.  We are very fortunate because each year we go to my mom and dad's house for Thanksgiving and my in-laws graciously join us.  Sean and I couldn't be luckier to have two sets of the world's greatest parents...and they all get along!  Ha!  Anytime someone asks what we do for holidays, I mention that we were all together and I'm always asked, "Oh, so both sets of parents get along?"  I'm usually surprised by this question, but we hear so many stories of people our age having to go to 2, 3, and sometimes 4 different dinners to be able to see all of the families!  We are so blessed to be able to share our holidays with our families joined together.  We're one, giant, crazy, laughing family.

And then with the passing of Thanksgiving, Christmas lurks around the corner.  I love this time of year.  I absolutely LOVE this time of year:  Christmas music on the radio, people decorating their homes inside and out, malls over-stuffed with people, Salvation Army bell ringers making me feel guilty that I don't donate to every single one of them, each department store's ads boasting they have the best sales, Christmas candies, Christmas parties and more time with friends and family. (As if I needed an excuse!)  I love my family.  Even if I see them every day to once a week or once a year, I absolutely enjoy getting to see every single-crazy-one of them. 

I love having people in the house and getting ready for parties and everyone wearing their Christmas best!
I love decorating our house with pine garland and being able to smell it when I walk in the house and to illuminate our living room with only the twinkle lights from the Christmas tree.  It feels like a special time of year because it is a special time of year.  It's the one time of year that we get together with my parents on Christmas Eve and eat the fattest, juiciest, plumpest, jumbo king crab legs you've ever seen.  If that wasn't filling enough we wash down the crab legs with a thick, beautiful filet, stuffed baked potato, burgandy mushrooms and Caesar salad.  If I ever had to have my "last meal" or if I get to eat whatever I want in heaven, that's my choice right there.  Every Christmas Eve I thank God profusely for creating the king crab.  Sean swears I was a sea creature in my formal life!

Pastor Gary said something during a prayer once that really stuck with me.  He prayed for God to allow us to feel again.  It struck me as odd, but I realized how heart hardened people have become that they can hear about staving children but can't fathom what that actually means.  I think a lot of people take Thanksgiving for granted.  Yes we say all the right things, we are thankful for our families and our friends, and the roof over our heads and for the military fighting for our freedom, but do we really FEEL it?  Feel it in the pit of our stomachs and the depths of our hearts?  I join Pastor Gary in praying that we, as super-busy-material-lusting-bargain-shopping Americans will be able to actually FEEL thankful for what all we've been given, and mean it.

So this holiday season I am making it a point to slllloooowww doooowwwnnn.  A familiar scripture keeps popping into my head lately, "Be still, and know that I am God."  And I usually laugh.  Be still?  I'll be still when I'm dead.  But I've been called to be still, to know God, and maybe through taking a step back I will be able to better FEEL the thankfulness and love that I have for all of the wonderful people and things that I have in my life. 

I'm thankful for the two hands that I have to be able to type out my words and publish them to the world.  I'm thankful for the heart that so strongly beats in my chest.  I'm thankful that I have two functioning legs and feet so that I can get out each day and work my body to a sweat to keep it healthy.  I'm thankful that I have loving, supportive parents who raised me and gave me away to a man who does the same for me every, single day.  I'm thankful for two strong, healthy kids who take me to my wit's end then completely fill me with joy and pride in the next second.  I'm thankful that even though I'm currently jobless God has given me a gift that I'm able to share with others to bring a little more cash into the home and that not running off to work has allowed me to spend more time with my children.  I'm thankful for friends who can laugh with me and at me all in the name of love.  I DO have a lot to be thankful for...and I'm not just saying it.  I know it.  I feel it.

During this Thanksgiving break it took me three days to get down all of the fall decor.  Not that I actually had SOOO much decor, but because we have been visiting with family and resting when we can.  I've also been feeling guilty for not writing on my blog.  (gulp)  So now, it's Sunday evening and I'm all caught up.  Now I will get the Christmas boxes from the garage and bring them into the house.   If we're lucky, maybe a few things will actually get put out!  Baby steps, people!

Until next time.  Mwah!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

My Not-Really-A-Post Post

With Thanksgiving break upon us, that means Gavin is out of school (he's actually out from Wednesday through Monday!).  So tomorrow I will have both kids, plus menu planning and Thanksgiving grocery shopping to do.  Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining.  In fact, I'm excited.  I'm going to have the kids help me with the food and do a project mom has requested, so it should be a fun-filled day.  With that being said, I'm not going to rant about anything tonight.  I'm already tired from Sean's not-really-your-birthday-yet birthday celebration.  So I'm saving my topic for tomorrow. 

But two things I did want to mention (completely unrelated): Firstly, I LOVE when the Food Network does specials based on the current holiday.  Talk about getting into the festive spirit?!  I love this.  And secondly, did you notice I got my page figured out?  With my blog title nicely centered in the header of my choice?  Uh huh, that's right, I mastered me some HTML.  Ok, not really.  The header was done in Publisher but the post divider lines totally WERE html!!!  Woo hoo for me.  I can follow directions!  And now I'm directing my self to bed. 

Until next time.  Mwah!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Well, Isn't That Sweet?!

During our last supper group we found ourselves on the topic of candy.  I mentioned that I was an anal-retentive candy eater.  I explained how I have a very systematic approach to how I devour my confections.  Here's a short run down on the OCD nature of my candy popping habits:

SKITTLES:  I open the bag and divide each piece into groups based on their color, then eat them in color order from least favorite flavor to my favorite, which is: green, purple, yellow, orange, red.  I actually will suffer through the green and purple ones just be able to make it to my favorites. 

MnM's:  Since these little chocolate morsels coated in a colored candy shell do not have different flavors based on their color, I don't separate them like I do the skittles.  But I will take 1-3 at a time and just let them hang out in the warm jacuzzi environment of my mouth.  And just when they've steamed long enough I crack the tender shell with my tooth and let the warm chocolate ooze out. 

REESE'S CUPS:  I'm talkin' about the regular cups that come 2 to a pack.  I take one out at a time and eat around the entire cup, just nibbling off the ridged edge, then pop the remaining chocolate and peanut butter patty into my mouth for delicious consumption.

OREO'S:  If I have access to a cup of milk, then the oreo gets dunked until it's just about to fall apart, then I suck all of the milk out of the cookie and pop the whole thing in my mouth.  If I don't have any milk, then I tend to separate the cookie.  Now if I'm alone and feeling crazy I'll eat the chocolate wafers, scoop out the middle and pile it up for one mouth watering ball of creamy center at the very end.  If there are actually other people around and I feel the need to act half way civilized I'll twist off one chocolate wafer, lick off the creamy center and eat the wafers last. 

Basically anything with a chocolate coating gets sucked on until it has melted to a nice creamy consistency.  Any type of hard candy just gets sucked on.  Nothing really ever goes in for immediate chomping.  I take my time, savor the flavors and enjoy my candies. 

So as I was explaining my anal, systematic nature with sweet treats to my supper group one guy pipes up and says he does the exact same thing!  Wow!  Maybe I don't need therapy after all!  Maybe I AM normal!!  And the more I think about it, the more I realize what other strange food habits I have.  I used to eat everything on my plate one group at a time; green beans, then the potatoes, then the meat (or whatever I decided was the best part of the meal). I always save the best for last.  I never mixed and matched, bouncing around from a bite of green beans, then a bite of potatoes, then back to the green beans, next to a bit of ham, then back to the pototoes.  I didn't function like this.  And I actually noticed at our last supper group I did the same thing!  I ate each food group all gone before moving to the next thing on my plate.  I have to cognitively think about what I'm doing in order to implement the "mix and match" style of eating.

Anytime I have corn and mashed potatoes I can't help but put my corn right inside of the "gravy hole" in the mashed potatoes.  I know!  That's where the gravy is SUPPOSED to go, but not with me.  That's where the corn goes.  Then they get mixed together.  I know this is just CRAZY to some people who have a thing about their food touching.  Really, I wouldn't even have to eat on a plate...I could just layer everything up in a bowl and mix it all together.  It drives me NUTS when at the end of the meal little pieces of meat and veggies are left lonely on my husband's plate just sitting there hanging out with the meat drippings.  I always tell him, "That's the BEST part of the whole meal...just scoop it all together or get some bread and lather that good stuff up!"  I know he thinks I'm crazy.

But really, this all comes with how we were raised.  My family loves food.  It's entertainment to us.  Vacations and holidays are planned around the days' meals.  I eat at noon because that's lunch time, whether I'm hungry or not!  Sean used to come home starving because he forgot to eat.  WHAT?!  You forgot?  Like, it just slipped your mind???  That's nuts.  While cleaning up from one meal I'm already thinking about what I'm going to have at the next one!  Food is not only delicious, it's fun.  Sorry Dr. Phil but those mashed potatoes DO love me back!  And this is why I go to my 2 hour workout classes.  If food is going to be entertainment so does working it off!

Sean grew up totally different.  He had 3 other brothers to battle for food.  I swear the man can down a Big Mac faster than I can get my meal out of the bag.  I've accused him of throwing it out the window before because I'm amazed at how quickly it's gone.  He doesn't think about it.  He doesn't savor it.  He inhales it  It's not entertainment it's survival!  Must eat Big Mac fast so man not steal it from me.  (to be read in a caveman voice) 

I think I was in college when I realized I used to never set my fork down when I ate.  It was at the Highberger family meals that they would set down their fork, pick up their glass of wine to drink and they'd talk and listen and enjoy each other's company, then pick up their forks again and have another bite.  Meals were long and enjoyable and always filled with stories and laughter (and slowing down long enough to actually set your fork down).

Anyway, so I guess I am normal. People have weird food habits, whether it's systematically eating your candy, filling your mashed potatoes' hole with corn, or not allowing your food to touch.  I guess the bigger picture is that we should all just be thankful that we have a hot meal to eat and candy to treat ourselves with.  Feel free to comment and share some of your strange food habits with me. I'd love to hear them.

Until next time.  Mwah!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Why Didn't I Take More Computer Classes in School?

Today I attempted to do something that I try to do a me. I thought with the limited number of template options, that the rest of the world would probably have something pretty close to my blog's template and I wanted to be different. I wanted to be ME. So I went searching for a new background, ways to add a little spice to my blog. Add little touches that make it more original. So, if you're reading this anywhere close to the actual post date, you can clearly see...I failed! :D

So I got the background to work...but my header is messed up. The name of my blog doesn't fit nicely in the open square provided, so I've been reading about this and reading about that and I am ashamed to say, hours upon HOURS later, I am no where closer to creating the look that I'm after than when I started. OK, not totally true because I was able to change the background, but I tried to change it for a second time to a holiday background...and I did it the exact same process as the first background and guess what? It's not there! Imagine that.

Ask my hubby, I am not computer savvy. Actually, I can figure some things out, if given enough time, but especially if he's around, my personally given time allowance of trial and error is shortened dramatically. I usually end up sighing, "Sssseeeeeaaaannnnnn, can you fix my stupid layout? I can't get it to work!" And he usually answers me with a mimicking sigh, "MMMmmaaaccceeeyyyy, why do you and computers not get along? Yes, I'll take a look at it."

Well, since he's waking up earlier than normal he hit the hay early tonight and I've been trying to figure all of this out. I found some really cool websites (of which I will post a link to some day!) with free fonts, free backgrounds, free info, free everything! But OMG, once I started reading the directions for adding a new font, I almost passed out. That whole process would take me 1/2 a day just to add...and I can almost guaran-dang-tee you that when I hit my "View Blog" won't be right! I'm not an HTML genius.  Heck, I'm not even a novice; I'm still in diapers! I sort of remember my MIS class at OU. And I just remember getting super frustrated with the entire HTML code and thinking there HAD to be a better way to communicate with software!

So, I anticipate more hours upon hours of trying to figure this stuff out. I actually opened up my Publisher tonight, thinking I'd create my own header..and had to wait while it configured the settings since it has never been opened before. Another sigh. But fret no more, I see a future of cute backgrounds, inticing fonts, and due props attached for all the help I find out there on the world wide web...or just after consulting "The Google". I beg you to stay tuned and offer any advice you might have learned through your time with HTML codes! I will listen with open ears and try to keep my sighs to a minimum.

Until next time. Mwah!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Something Like Wal-Mart...Kinda

There's one reason and only one reason I like Wal-Mart: it is THE place to go for low-price-one-stop-shopping.  I can get the oil changed in my car, a gallon of milk, new socks for the kids, a prescription filled, toilet cleaner, AND get my nails done, my hair cut, my bank deposits deposited, and eat at McDonald's all in one mega-store.  Wow!  (I don't actually do even half of those, but maybe I should.  Maybe it should be the new place for women to have Girls' Nights Out!)  That's the only thing I like about Wal-Mart.  There are probably a million things I don't like, but that's not my point here.  (Did you know you can't take pictures inside of Wal-Mart?  Try it.  Like with a camera, not a phone, and see what happens. :D)

One stop shopping is definitely one thing...convenient.  I don't have to run all around town (which I actually end up doing anyway), getting everything I can at Aldi, then going to Wal-Mart for the things that Aldi doesn't carry (cilantro), or quickly running to Reasors (for meat) or Sam's for larger volumes.  I wish more things were one stop shopping.  For instance, a computer+tv+cable+internet+phone+answering machine+alarm in one convenient hand held device, but I'm probably a little ahead of myself.  Oh be the day that I look back and say, "OMG, remember when we used to watch shows on our DVR?!?!  That was soooo 2009!"

No, what I really want is an all encompassing website where I can upload pictures, easily edit them, tag them, share them, and order prints w/in an hour that I can pick up w/in 61 minutes.  I need the convenience of online storage, so I don't bog down my computer.  I want to be able to easily share them, certain ones with the world and certain ones with family.  I know what you're thinking, "Oh Macey, there are tons of options out there that offer all of that."  Yes, and no.  I like to talk.  (NEWSFLASH!  Shocking, I know!)  So this blog is perfect for me to be able just to talk (even if no one is really listening).  I can post pictures here and talk, but can't fix them, or print them.  I can use sites like flickr, but don't have the ability to talk or print and pickup pics within an hour. 

What I need is a combo of facebook, flickr, a blog, and Walgreens all combined with faster than lightening speed.  I don't want to wait forever for it to upload.  I want easy editing tools. I take more than half of my pictures vertically (sorry, dad!) and I want smart websites that recognize this and flip it!  I want it to auto correct red eye. Simply put, I want to upload my pictures, have a smart system auto correct them (can we say "Al"?), allow me to tag them and send them to who I want and when I want.  And when I snap my pictures I want certain ones printed off and put into lovely picture frames hanging on my walls.  Ok, maybe not that part.  Oh, and if my camera could instantly upload to this new, magical site, then that would be even better!)  So Santa, if you're listening, for Christmas I want a photo-editing-sharing-blogging-instant uploading-website, an all in one...kinda like Wal-Mart.   Is that too much to ask?! I think not.

Until next time.  Mwah!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Mommas Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys...Or Maybe So

Monday afternoon I called the Tulsa County Health Department and spoke with a woman who could not have been less helpful. Here's the summary of our conversation:

Me: Hi, I was wanting to get some information about selling homemade food products.
HD Lady: Well, you can't sell food items you make at home.
Me: (Already having read a lot online I pretty much already knew this, but she wasn't offering up any information.) Ok, then what do I need to do to sell homemade food products?
HD Lady: You have to get a license and make them in a licensed commercial kitchen.
Me: Aren't most churches licensed commercial kitchens?
HD Lady: No
Me: Oooooook. What does it take to get a license?
HD Lady: $350
Me: (starting to get a bit smart with her) So, it's that easy, huh? Anything else I should know?
HD Lady: If you find a kitchen that's licensed you'll also need a sales tax permit and we can give you a license.
Me: (thinking to myself that she has been even less helpful than the shlew of info I found on the web) Thanks.

After my underwhelming amount of help and info she gave me, I had an idea. I live in Wagoner County, I'm calling the Wagoner County Health Department. It was here that I talked to Robert, who was a WEALTH of information. We spoke for a long time, then he gave me the name of the low acid canning expert (did you know there was such a person in Wagoner County? Me either!). Eddy Lockhart was my savior. He told me everything (and more) that I needed to know. And then he gave me the name of Dr. McGlynn at the Oklahoma State's Food & Agricultural Products Center. I waited until today to call him.

OSU? Really? I've heard you can send your food there and they will test it and can tell you all sorts of scientific funness about it, but what I didn't know is that I would actually get to speak with Dr. McGlynn himself! He wasn't just a legend, or an answering machine. He was a real live, talking, breathing, informative man! And I got to talk to him. As I sat in the parking lot of Old Time Pottery, while Zoey played with my sunroof, I jotted down the notes that the good doctor told me. He was incredibly helpful (unlike Tulsa HD lady!). He told me that he has only seen a couple salsas ever not quality as "shelf stable". And those salsas were dumb. OK, he didn't say that, but they were filled with corn and black beans, which shouldn't even be given the name "salsa", yet I digress. He said if it is a "normal" salsa and doesn't have anything unusual in it, then it will be shelf stable. YIPEE!!!! At last I find someone with an answer!

The good doctor went on to tell me that if I wanted them to sample it, they could test to see what category it fell under. Huh? Category? Like "Good Salsa" or "Not Good Enough To Be Called Salsa Salsa"?? It seems the FDA is picky. And certain papers must be filed and certain records must be kept if your salsa is unlucky enough to fall into that category. Wow...really, FDA? Really?! (Why do I feel like it's just another way to cover themselves from stupid lawsuits?) I also asked the good doctor if the process of canning my salsa (since canning involves boiling it) would change the taste. He said it was possible. Gulp! He said that we didn't have to can it, that we could sell it as a refrigerated item to preserve the freshness. NOW we're gettin' somewhere. I asked him how long after it's made will it stay good in the refrigerator and do you want to know what he said?? If you consult the FDA's website about refrigeration periods, you have to look at a chart, find your ingredient and kind of guess what your recipe falls under. It suggests a week. And you know what the good doctor told me? 30-60 days! He said it's not going to grow anything in the fridge that would make you sick! I love this man.

So, mommas...maybe it IS okay to let your babies grow up to be Cowboys. They grow up and help us Sooners figure out the shelf life of a jar of salsa! Wonderful. I am going to send the good doctor my salsa and my recipe and have it tested. Even if I don't ever end up selling it to some mass producer, how cool will it be to know exactly what's going on with my lovely jar of deliciousness! Thank you, Dr. rock!!

And an update on my Zoey status. We made our chocolatey chip choochie today. See what you think!

If you know nothing about Twilight, like me, this choochie cake is for a girl who loves the movie and will be going to see the new next movie in the series, "New Moon".

And I'm going to post some pictures of some other snacks I've made recently.

These (above) are my cake balls. I cover them in either white or milk chocolate, then drizzle milk and dark chocolate over the white chocolate covered ones and white and dark chocolate over the milk chocolate covered ones. So far, these things have been a HUGE hit. Probably because the average Betty Crocker makes them with canned icing. Barf! I make mine with homemade icing and I think it makes a huge difference. But then again, I am an icing nazi. I roll my eyes about these little boogers, but they are starting to grow on me. In fact, I'm glad people are buying them because I can't keep them in the house. They're way too easy to eat!

And these beautiful babies are my chocolate covered oreos with crushed peppermint on top, pure heaven in a little bite!

THIS, my friends, is why I have to work out every day. Because when I make these little treats, the chef has to taste test for quality! Maybe I'll send Dr. McGlynn some.

Until next time. Mwah!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

I need a raise!

     Stay at home moms (and dads)...(and grandparents) have to be the hardest working and lowest paid people in the world.  Today I was ready for dinner at 4pm and ready for bed at 2pm.  I'm exhausted.  And I'm ashamed to say I've even had help the last two days!  One 3.5 year old asks more questions during her awake time than I even knew were possible.  And if you think, for just one second, you can ignore just one little question, it ain't possible.  No way.  That only means that same question will now be repeated, louder and louder and even louder until it's finally answered. 

     I think Zoey  has watched the Wizard of Oz every day at least twice.  She is beginning to think she IS Dorothy.  I obviously need some kind of curriculum.  Maybe I'll take everything that Gavin brings home from kindergarten and "undo" it for Zoey.  Ok, tomorrow's plan: the letter "Z" and the number "2".  It's going to happen.  (Said to convince myself, not you.)  AND I have a chocolately chip choochie cake to make.  Zoey will also be learning about baking!  Wow, she will be the smartest girl in her 4 year old program next year.  And she will dazzle all the kids with her baking skills.  Ha!  Ok, maybe not.  Besides, she doesn't have to be the smartest, or the most liked kid...just normal,...a normal kid with a desire to learn. 

    Gavin, on the other hand, is reading like a mad man.  We're getting to the point where we can't spell words around him anymore.  In fact the other day I told Sean, "Wow, well, that lady is sure proud of her b.o.o.b.s., but we don't need to see them!"   And Gavin takes a second, spells it to himself out loud, sounds it out, "o. o. says ew"..."bu..eeeww..bu..ssss", and then excitedly exclaims, "BOOBS!  That lady is proud of her boobs!!!".  Darn it kindergarten class for teaching him to read!  Note to self: next time try pig latin.  :D

     Until next time.  Mwah.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

What's In a Name and In a Closet??

A very important part of this blog's title hit me today. As I was cleaning out the house, touching up and sending out my resume, and delivering my salsa, I was thinking about this blog and about where I want it to go, the things I want to share, and who I want to share it with when it hit me..."daily". Oh my...I did say daily, didn't I? Well, by all means, daily is what you, mister reader, are going to get (at least for now). My life truly is a's a daily parade. And I guess I hope to share it with whoever in this crazy world finds it interesting enough to read, to connect to, to realize that there are other people who go through the same crap...(oops, we've decided to say "tar" instead of "crap")...other people who go through the same "tar", and maybe to find a smile and if we're lucky enough, maybe even a nice, little, honest laugh out loud every now and then. So daily it is. Buckle up. Here we go. Day 2.

After almost four years of living at our house it is absolutely astonishing how much...uh..."tar" we have accumulated in that short period of time. The day we moved into our home I told myself, "We are the first family to ever live here and we won't be the last. Macey, work hard to keep it as nice on the day you move out as it is today." I have to say, it's a LOT easier to keep a house clean that you know was never cleaner than the day you moved in. I know that every nick in the wall and every pile of dirt is MINE. And that's usually enough motivation to get me to fix the wall (or beg Sean to) and sweep up the pile of dirt. I take pride in keeping a clean house.

The motivation to clean has been constantly present for the last four years. But as mega consumers, we have stuffed this house and attic and backyard and every inch of spare space full of "tar". Closets full of clothes that are barely worn, toys rarely played with, and last season's "gotta have's" that now sit, taking up space. It's actually pretty sad. How much happiness did that stuff bring us? Not enough to avoid the ultimate fate of the black hole closet. I wonder if this is how the rest of America lives? I fear it is.

I guess the solace I find in cleaning out closets jammed packed with consumerism is that not only do I have a cleaner, more organized (and I feel freer breathing) house but that maybe by donating our barely used items we can help someone who doesn't have but a fraction of what this house holds. Let me be the first to admit, I love to shop. Even Gavin, when questioned about what mom's favorite thing to do was replied "to shop". It's true. The thrill of bringing home something new is intoxicating. But that high was cut off real quick after losing my job. Suddenly the impulse buying was quickly combated by an immediate image of myself shaking my own finger at myself , "Uh, uh, uh, don't you do it".

I think shopping, like sugar, is addictive (addicting??). It's a warm, fuzzy feeling that is short lived and only retained by continuously getting and having more. But losing a job and cutting it out cold turkey was exactly what this shopping junkie needed to realize that I don't need "stuff" for a warm fuzzy. I have an amazing family that gives me that same feeling every single day. And some times I don't even recognize it. Even if I'm ready to pull my hair out from whiny and argumentative kids, watching Zoey run through the house with her pants falling off of her lack of a butt and unknowingly displaying her crack is enough to forget all the hard times as I "crack" up laughing.

Losing a job just might be the reality check this family needed, especially me. During this recession (I realized how much I hate that word) and with the impending holidays makes me appreciate my friends and family even more. The reality is I don't need anything in this house. Nothing in my closets is ever going to love me back. But my family and my God always will. This I know for certain. I hope to emit that kind of love to everyone I meet. And I hope the day this family sees two incomes flowing into our bank I remember the over-stuffed closets, the pseudo happiness that the "stuff" brings, and that I will always appreciate the "stuff" I have that wasn't purchased at a family and my friends.

I love you all.

Until next time. Mwah!


These are the blogs that I enjoy reading when I should be sleeping.

Enjoy them. Love them.

A Cherry On Top Photography...
A Family of SEVEN
All Pain ~ No Gain
all these things...and a mom
Baby Bangs
Big Mama
Bless Our Nest
Buns In My Oven
God Speaks Today
It's Almost Naptime!!
Torres Tidbits


Here are some pictures of my MUNCHies by Macey.

*You can't order through this blog, so you'll have to email me if you're interested in an order.


This little jar of goodness is what got this whole thing started. My friend, Suzanne suggestion that I call it Crack Salsa because she swears I put crack it in since so addicting. No worries though, it's drug free!
A pint size jar of this famous salsa is $7.

These little beauties were all the rage this holiday season. They are little cake ball bites of heaven and the flavor combinations are endless: yellow cake with homemade chocolate icing covered in milk chocolate, perhaps? Or maybe red velvet cake with homemade cream cheese icing coverd in white chocolate? My BIL's personal favorite is a white cake with homemade buttercream icing covered in white chocolate. It should be called the "Jason". But they are delish, and also quite addicting. They also became a Highberger breakfast staple. (Doh!)
A dozen of these homemade cake balls are $10.

These bite-size treats were also quite the hit. Who doesn't like cream filled chocolate wafers covered in white chocolate, then topped with crushed peppermint? Really, all the cool kids LOVE these things.
$8 for a dozen.

Here are some samples of some of the Cookie Cakes I've done. These are all chocolate chip, custom decorated. Prices vary, $12-$20.

No need to travel somewhere over the rainbow to find just the right MUNCHies you're looking for. If you don't see something you'd like, just ask.

I also make gift baskets that can be loaded up according to your price range with MUNCHies or other gifts. Chip & Dip sets loaded with Salsa and Chips all ready to go is the perfect hostess gift.

Happy MUNCHing!

Monday, November 16, 2009

About Me

1 John 3:1
See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called sons and daughters of the King!

Anytime I give someone my name, the next question posed is usually, "Oh, like the parade?". My response is always the same. "Yes, like the parade, but with an 'e'." My life mirrors the annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in many ways. I don't have large scale college bands marching through my living room, numerous Broadway musicals hitting their marks in my kitchen or huge helium-filled balloons floating around my ceiling, but we do have our fair share of singing, drama, and balloons (normally birthday in nature). Our lives have brought numerous characters waltzing through our door, some clowns and some beautiful parade king and queens. And although my parade is a daily event, not held just once a year, you can bet you'll always find a lot of people huddled together with their faces adorned with huge smiles as they witness the chaos and fun that this parade brings. Macey's Daily Parade.

I am a very active daughter, wife, mom and friend. I thoroughly enjoy spending my time with friends and family: laughing, playing, enjoying one another, and usually eating. Did I say laughing? We laugh a lot. Well, we eat a lot too! My family and I lead a very hectic life, but I wouldn't have it any other way. I love staying busy and feel like I'm not doing anything if I'm not doing anything...doh! I love meddling around the kitchen. I love grilling out, being outside and around water when it's warm. I love shopping (even if it's not for myself). I love breaking out into a nice dripping sweat. I love sparkles and the color pink. And I love taking care of the people I adore. Music moves me and I dream about one day being discovered. I'll either be a rockstar or a moviestar...or quite possibly both. (Even though I have no talent for either!) I love this crazy life that I get to call mine. It is a parade. And I am blessed.

But most of all, this princess is in total awe that I get to be called a daughter of the King.

This I Believe...

I believe in miracles.
I believe in impossibilities becoming possible.
I believe in the impossibilities of a virgin birth.
I believe that God sent himself to earth as a baby.
I believe that He lived a humble life on earth.
I believe that the only Son of God offered himself as a perfect sacrifice.
I believe that sacrifice was a ransom for the sin of all those who accept him.
I believe in the impossibility of a man being raised from the dead.
I believe that He now sits at the right hand of the Father God.
I believe I am part of a new covenant with God.
And I believe that He will come again to judge the living and the dead.
I believe that impossibilities only become possible through God.
I believe in miracles.

This I believe.

In the beginning...

I said I would never do it. I would never color my hair. I would never wear capri pants. And I would never write a blog. Who does that anyway? Only people who have time to, that's who! And I don't! Well, after numerous boxes of hair color, many pairs of capri pants, I am now, officially, beginning my life as a bloggest...uh hem...blogger. Watch out world! Here I come.

Today was a big day for the H'bergers (well, 3/4 of us). Zoey and I walked Gavin to school. And when I say "walked" I really mean, we drove 80% of the way there, then got out and walked him as far as we could. Hey, it was FREEZING outside this morning! The plan is to walk him there and back. That's the plan. We'll see if it actually ends up happening. But he was very excited for mommy and Zoey to take him to school. He wanted to know what Zoey and I would be doing today. I said I might go work out and take Zoey to the Kids' Club for a while. Gavin told me, "Yeah, I think that would be good for her." Well, thanks for your affirmation Gav! But he was right. After a bit of acting like a slug stuck to my leg, I pealed her off, and left her to play. She did better than I did. I was worried she would be unhappy and I was sad that I couldn't strap her on my back and do a little Body Step with Zoey in tote. But she did do great. Gavin knew she would.

I've been researching information lately about the necessary (and legal) steps to take in order to make and sell a homemade food product. Let's just say this...IT'S NOT AN EASY PROCESS! I want to can and sell salsa. (RMT (random Macey thought): I have a problem saying "can" when it's going in a "jar", but whatever.) Well, first I need to know the Ph level of the salsa to make sure it's safe for jarring...uh hem...canning. And to do that, I have to send it to Oklahoma State to be tested. (eye roll) Upon testing I can find out if my salsa will be shelf stable once canned. If not, then they will recommend to add things such as vinegar to increase the acidity, thus make it safe to can, thus shelf stable. I stand firm. I will NOT add vinegar to my salsa! And unlike wearing capris, this one I'm sticking to!

After finding out if my salsa is shelf stable, (RMT: I better not send OSU my recipe on my OU stationary...who knows what they will say is in my salsa!) then I am one step closer to producing it...but not so fast. I need a commercially licensed kitchen to produce my salsa, not my kitchen. Ugh. It's not like you can just throw it all in the food processor and then poof, sell it. I have to make it, jar it, and can it (seal it). And anyone who knows anything about canning, knows it's a time consuming process all in itself.

After finding a commerically licensed kitchen (who will probably charge me to use their facility) I have to get my own license. So kitchen must be licensed, I must be licensed and my product must be sustainable. Now for labeling...the FDA requires certain information to be on the label of any food item that is sold to someone outside of your immediate family. (I guess your immediate family knows whether trust your food/decision making skills or not.) The product must list the weight, the name of the product and on the back must list the ingredients, any allergens, and the name and address of the company. (Sigh) I'm not asking for Wal-Mart to carry my salsa...come on FDA...seriously?! And we haven't even sniffed marketing and sales yet!!!

So many questions. So many hoops and loops and inspections to hop through. Believe me, I don't care to give anyone botulism (well, maybe there are a few I can think of), but the process of allowing the regular ole Mr. American to get his product from his kitchen to the market is insane. Honestly.

And I just might be crazy enough to try it.

Until next time. Mwah!