Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Surprise Family Time = Good Times

Had some fabulous family fun during the last couple of weeks. No big vacations or trips to amusement parks, but fun nonetheless. My sister, Reginald (not her real name), and her family moved down to Phoenix last week. Definitely NOT the fun part of this post (nothing more than a poor life decision if you ask me, which they didn't). But she and the fam DID surprise us by making a visit down here first.

I love hanging out with my family even when we don't do much. We always talk, laugh, and game, which are three of my favorite things in life. Combined with my favorite people in life makes for some pretty good times.

It was hard to say goodbye to Reg and her family (I won't get to see her again until November), but it was helped by the fact that one week later my only brother came down here for is own surprise visit.

I have never felt like I get to see Garrett enough. Even though he only lives 300 miles away, we have never been able to hang out with him as much as Reg, due to work conflicts, mostly. And Incubus concerts. His, not mine. So every time, I do get to see him it's always fun. He always makes us laugh, and he has a calming presence for the rest of our sometimes high-stressed family.

LOVE when my family is together,even though Holly didn't come around enough. (That's right, Simmons. I'm calling you out via blog. Who lives in Hurricane? Really?!) Good times all around. Rook games galore. And, of course, desserts abundant when the brother is around (courtesy of our Pectol mother). Which is what makes it even worse that my sister has moved.

I heart me some Reg time. Her moving is really the worst. news. EVER. Word on the street is that she flies for free so we'll still get to see them, but I'm not buying it (yet). My sister isn't what you would call the world's greatest flier. Sub-par flier or not, though, all I've got to say is that she better START flying cause you KNOW I'm not driving eight hours, with a bambino who doesn't sleep in the car, to a city that's even hotter than the one I already live in.
Well, probably not anyway.

Friday, August 12, 2011

The Help

Finally. Finally! My faith in movies based on best-selling novels has been restored. Well, not completely restored. Little Women pretty much made that an impossibility (I expected more from you Mr. Bale). But, The Help, is slowly but surely bringing me back.

I can’t adequately express my anticipation for this movie. But it was anticipation laced with a bit (or more) of trepidation. I read The Help last year (and again this summer), and loved it. We’re talking, moved it up to my Top 5 Favorite Reads list loved it. I heart that story. Hard. With all that love, though, comes a price. That price is a $6 matinee movie ticket. Any hard core reader/movie lover out there knows that you can pretty much count on one hand the number of movies based on hugely popular novels that have been anything shy of utter disappointment at the box office. Don’t get me wrong. I LOVE movies. But, it’s tough to convey all a book has to offer in 120 minutes. –All Harry Potter fans can just pipe down right now. I’ve heard that the movies are amazing. That the visuals are stunning. The movies make you glad to be alive. Etc. Quite simply, I don’t care. You will never get me to watch an HP movie. So stop trying.—Having loved the book The Help as much as I did, I went into the movie hoping for the best, expecting the worst, and for once I got what I wanted.

I’m not going to pretend the movie was as good as the novel. It wasn’t. But if you’re expecting it to be you need to reevaluate your expectations in life ‘cause it may be a rough road. The movie was, though, everything I hoped it would be. I loved Aibileen, I hated Hilly, I wanted to be Skeeter. I laughed out loud, cried (though I didn’t admit it at the time since my sister made fun of my mom for tearing up), and completely loved it. Don’t judge my sister too harshly, my mom is an incredibly loud crier. Real sniffly.

And though it’s a bit corn dog, one other bit I loved about the movie was the company I saw it with. I got to go with my mom and Holly. And trying to fit a movie into our three schedules was nothing short of ridiculous, but it was worth it. They are two of my favorite chicks in the whole world even though one of them goes through an entire Kleenex pack and the other sings along with the soundtrack.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011


You know those days when everything you've worked toward comes together? When all the hard work, blood sweat and tears, you’ve put into something finally pay off? Perhaps, in preparation of a loved one’s (say, a husband’s) 28th birthday? You wake up the morning of and know that this day, his day, is going to be perfect because you (his loving, adoring wife) have planned it to be.

Yeah. Didn’t have one of those days. Not even kind of. This was, officially, the worst birthday Brant and I have “celebrated” since we began dating eight years ago.

A). He had to work. And that doesn’t mean he was scheduled to work. It means someone asked him to trade weekend shifts, and he failed to realize his day o’ birth fell within the aforementioned weekend, which in my opinion is way worse than just being scheduled to work in the first place.

And 2). Because we’re on a budget he only got one gift. And it was a gun (lame). And he picked it out himself (lamer). And he was fully aware that he would be receiving it on his birthday (lamest).

Finally C). His birthday fell on a Sunday. Boooo**. Work and church on your birthday!? No gracias!

And to top it off, I forgot to get him balloons. I was so caught up in the “his gift/birthday are already taken care of, what with the gun and all,” mindset that I completely forgot to buy any awesome balloons, or even make a Happy Birthday banner. Enough of the verbal onslaught I can feel radiating through my monitor. I’ve already given myself Worst Wife Award.

So that’s it. Brant’s sad birthday tale. I’m hoping things will go better next year, but I already have the watch he picked out and subsequently ordered for himself for next year’s birthday in my top dresser drawer. Oh, well. Here’s hoping.

**To be read the way the scary old lady yells “Boo” at Princess Buttercup when PB dreams she’s already married Prince Humperdinck. You know what I’m talking about. And if you don’t , then immediately go rent/download/purchase it because not having seen it makes you un-American. Or a Communist. Or both.

Monday, August 1, 2011


Played Taboo with Mom, Marisa, and Holly last night, and I haven't laughed that hard in a long time. After hanging out with the fam for the bulk of the day, I ran the bear home to get bathed and put to bed, then hurried back to Mom and Dad's house. All the cousins were there, and the plan WAS to have them bathed and ready for bed so the adults could game. As soon as I drove up, however, I realized my sisters had not followed up on there end of the deal. I found eight small cousins, dirty and sweaty, playing basketball in the driveway. Anxious to get my game on, I decided I would take charge, and proceeded to bathe the four smallest children. Did someone say Aunt of the Year?

The rest of the kids fell in line, and all the cousins ended up in the play room watching a movie. That left me and the ladies (plus Ni Ni, who decided she wasn't digging Free Willy) to play. We were there until midnight, and it truly could not have been more fun. My Taboo skills were sharp as ever and everyone fought to be on my team, but no surprise there--I'm awesome. Holly kept telling the rest of us that she is "hilarious," and managed to be on the team whose turn it was the entire time. And Mom and Marisa mostly did the ice cream and cake.

It was a ridiculously fun night. I love my mom and sisters! And I love that we're all good times.

Ice cream and cake! Do the ice cream and cake!