The Excellent Adventures of Kim and Kev

Friday, May 29, 2009

Packed and Ready To Go?

Here is the sitch.. folks! See, I've got this amazing brother. Dave. He is a Marine stationed in San Diego. But basically lives in Iraq. Don't even get me started about that. This is not the time or place for me to get riled up.

This IS the time and place, however, for me to scream from the highest mountain ( or ant hill... it is flat out here in the country) that my bro is coming home in June. I haven't seen him in about a year. And even then, he was handcuffed to my Mother. Because that is the Switzer creed. If you choose to live far away from your Mom then you have to be cuffed to her upon your visit home. That is why I stay so close. I hate hand cuffs. They give my wrists blisters.

But here is the point of my post...... Not only is he coming home in June. But he has requested a Switzer family reunion at the beach. And he has done everything in his power to ensure that we could all be there. Together... just like old times.

And I don't think Pawley's Island will ever be the same again.

It will be like a Sunday dinner times 14. Because that is how many meals we will be eating together. Not to mention the constant mayhem, looting, bra burning, and shenanigans that will take place during the week.

I am doing my very best to plan, organize, schedule, and create the best Switzer reunion ever. Except for this will be the very first one. So, I don't have an expectation to live up to which means that just about anything that I do will be good. I LOVE situations like this.

Kev has already finished packing. He has purchased only the necessities for this trip.

Head phones. To tune out the squealing, sneezing, and constant "women folk" voices. He hates loud noises.

A dominoes set... otherwise known as "bones". For the guys to play when they need sanctuary from the girls.

And the ultimate party tent. For hot chicks. I guess that means that I will be sitting under this tent.

And I think that I just realized his plan. He puts up a tent for the "hot chicks" knowing that we would all fight to get under it. Then the guys can go play "bones" in peace. Without having to wear the head phones.
Kev is an evil mastermind of trickery. A sweet, cute, and loving evil mastermind.
Words cannot express how much I am looking forward to this trip. And I will do my best to share every highlight ( and maybe even some embarrassing "low lights") to the best of my ability.

Thursday, May 28, 2009


So much time and thought is put in to a name. How to spell it. How the first, middle, and last names sound together. What do the initials spell? If you put the name in to the "name game" song... will it result in a curse word being sung?

Yep. A lot of thought goes in to a name. And then you meet me and all of your parent's time and planning was for nothing.

Because I LOVE nicknames. And I give them to just about every body.

Sometimes it is a play on your name. Sometimes a description of your personality. And sometimes it is the first word that comes out of my mouth at the moment that I am starting to speak to you.

Sometimes I cannot even control what comes out of my mouth. It is a surprise to me as well. Which is why you should not be offended if I call you a "lady of the night", a "weirdo", or a "butt head". It means I like you.

There are some people that I call the same nick name every single time that I see them. But then there are some that I like to change it up now and then. I might take the first letter of your first name and come up with a word that starts with it. It's pretty bad if you are working a four hour shift with me. You have to stay on your toes and know that I am talking to you. I don't have time for explanations or to repeat myself.

I'm impatient like that.

I hear my name SO much every day. From clients. From people I work with. From construction workers looking for a lunch date. From the FBI. Some days I hear my name so much that I throw up a little bit in my mouth.

Which is why I love to be called nick names too. It changes things up a bit.

Kev understands my name issues and has not uttered my name in 25 years. Actually, I don't even think he knows my name. He calls me many different things. Some of them he probably doesn't ever say out loud. For his safety. And sometimes he calls me to do chores and I pretend I can't hear him regardless of how cute the nickname is.

And I LOVE that my family still calls me Kimberley. It makes me feel young and innocent and loved. Innocent? I haven't been innocent since I was born.

And then there is this little guy......He is my BABY nephew. Mason. Except for I don't think I have ever called him that. It is usually "baby may", "Mase", or "puddin' pants". But on Sunday this little cutie got a new nickname from me....

Office Max.

Because he fell off of the top of some bleachers. And received 6 staples in his head..... (maybe I should have called him "staples")

And as horrible as the situation was. "Office Max" was as brave as can be. Because everyone in my family is resilient.

Going forward, though... I have decided that every child that enters my home will be wrapped in bubble wrap and placed in a padded box. For safety. Children seem to get hurt too often and too easily for my liking.

Even if it does result in them getting a cool nickname!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

My Favorite Things - Special Edition.

My favorite thing is obvious this week. No doubt in my mind. No question about it. And it is SO important that I will devote an entire post about it.


Now I may not have the freedom to eat a meal without wearing a bib or paint my toenails directly on the wood floor or go a day without showering or touch the remote without washing my hands.

BUT I do have the freedom to LIVE in this country. The key word being LIVE. LIVE life to it's fullest. And for that I am so thankful.

And I owe that to the incredible men and women of the MILITARY.

So, actually my favorite thing this week is the MILITARY.

I spend so much time trying NOT to think about everything going on in this world. It just flat out makes me angry. I HATE war and I HATE that so many people have lost so much over war - past and present.

But if you talk to these soldiers.....

And this Marine......

They will assure you that they are doing what they are meant to be doing and what they signed up to do. And they take it very seriously.

I read an article the night before Memorial Day. An article that really hit home with me. And spent Memorial Day remembering all of the men and women who have sacrificed their lives for my freedom. Because that is really what Memorial Day is all about. And I truly appreciate every one of them.

How To Get Fit in 90 Days

Well, I don't know if you will be completely fit in 90 days. It depends on where you started. I am no fitness expert or doctor. So, read this at your own risk.

About 20 posts back... I mentioned some things that I wanted.... for Kev's benefit. He needs (wants) to know these things so he can surprise me with them. And if you remember correctly, I wrote that I may not get them that week, that month, or even that year. But I'll more than likely get them (unless it is truly outrageous... like getting me someone that will take my baths for me so I don't have to) because he never forgets. He is like an elephant that way. Except for I don't know how WE know that an elephant never forgets. Is it because he knows right where to go to get his food every day? Because I can do that. Is it because he remembers who is momma is? Because I can do that too. Or did someone shout out their phone number and the elephant was able to dial that number months later? Actually, I can do that as well. I have a weird memory for phone numbers - I have to because I don't know how to save them in to my phone.

I'm starting to freak myself out and question my ancestry.

My point is that I had listed a Wii Fit as one of my wishes. Simple enough. Except for every place in my home town was out of them or they would sell the last one right before we would get there. Just to spite us. It really became quite frustrating. I was so jealous of every one around me who had one. They would laugh and tell stories of how much fun they were having with it. They were getting good workouts. They were feeling and looking great.

Out of anger towards the Wii "people".... I decided in protest to not work out again until I had this glorious piece of equipment in my home. It wasn't easy to stick to my plan as working out is my FAVORITE thing to do. But I succeeded. Until now....

I came home from work. I was told to SIT DOWN, SHUT UP, and CLOSE YOUR EYES. Except for Kev didn't really tell me to shut up... and he didn't yell it at me. I tend to exaggerate when telling a story. It is how I was raised? or I do it for fun. Who knows.

I want to state for the record that I am NOT a good "eye closer". And I felt like I should tell you this in case you ever want to surprise me with something. From the day I was born, I would just squint my eyes as tight as I could and still be able to see what was going on. It is a talent... thank you very much... and one that I worked hard at mastering. I am impatient! And I should have written that in all caps because I am very impatient and I like to scream it out at the top of my lungs just to get my point across. I do NOT have time for closing eyes and waiting for something to happen to me.

But I closed my eyes tightly. For real this time. Because Kev asked nicely and he promised cheese in exchange for my cooperation.

The glorious Wii Fit was placed in my lap.

And then the hours of fun (and sweat) began.

*caution* I must warn you that the following pictures may be inappropriate for some viewers....

This is a pic of me before I even started playing. This is my current posture. Supposedly, milk and exercise will cure this. Either that or I will have to move to the local bell tower and start a new career.

This is me "airing out" from all of the sweating I did just opening the box.

This is a new yoga pose called "pooping in the woods". It has come in handy... once or thrice (which means three in hillbilly).

And before I start receiving endless emails requesting the store that you can purchase these classy, cute, flattering, and stylish pajamas. I will let you in on a little secret. I made them. With paint. And grime. And lots of unflattering fabric. They are Kev's favorites. He says they remind him of how lucky he is to be my husband.

Then Kev had to get on. To show me how it is done.

He sure is tall. And physically fit. And coordinated. And happy almost all of the time.
Opposites attract... you know.

His tongue helps him with his balance.
Ultimately, this game is tons of fun..... if you can get past the honesty and bossiness that it provides. Who knew that a video game could be good for you? Well, I did. That is why I have been wanting it for so long.
And for those of you who already have it. Just know that I am a hula hoop SUPASTAH!!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Thirty Candles For Kristen

How can this be? I have three siblings now in their thirties? My parents have FOUR kids that are in their mid-life? Impossible! It is especially impossible to believe when you look at this beautiful face.......

That's right folks. She turns 30 today! By the time I turned thirty.... I already looked like I had been left out to pasture for too long, I had been rode hard and put away wet, I was headed to the glue factory. I basically looked, smelled, and ate like a horse.

Thank goodness Kev likes horses. I think.

Kristen Marie was born on May 25, 1979. She was the fourth child, fourth daughter, and my third sister. She was the tiniest little "mouse" and had to be kept under a heat lamp for a couple of days. The size in which she was born proved to affect her life in positive ways.

#1 She earned the super cute nickname "mouse" or "Krismouse" or "KrustyKrisaliciousMouse"or really just about any variation of the word mouse. That nickname was regarded as lucky as I was associated with "horse", "beaver", and "woodchuck".

#2 She has a permanent dark healthy tan. From the heat lamp.

#3 Look how cute she looks in this dress. I'm sure this has something to do with her being born tiny. And not because she is a healthy vegetarian who works out regularly. Have I mentioned how much I loved her dress. I might ask to borrow it. I could wear it on my arm.
#4 And how about these delightful earrings? Certainly the fact that she looks great and is dressed so darn cute has to do with her heat lamp nap.

Things we HAVE in common:
SHARING A ROOM- We shared a bedroom when Kristen was about 4 and I was 11. It would be bedtime ( it was 8pm - which is when I start cooking dinner these days)... lights out... prayers said... I would close my eyes to go to sleep... and Kristen would start singing. Random childhood songs. Every night. I would tell her over and over to be quiet and she would just keep right on singing. Until she fell asleep. Which may or may not have taken at least 15 minutes. It used to drive me crazy but now is one of my fondest memories of her as a youngun'.
HAIR MAINTENANCE- We are the only two GIRLS in the family to have had Brazilian waxes. (I've never asked the guys - so, I'm not sure if any of them have or not) However, now that I think about it.... Kristen is actually the only one to COMPLETE a wax as I chickened out half way through and asked to be released from the horror. I walked in circles for weeks due to my lopsidedness.
FOOD- We have love for the same foods. Like Greek, Mexican, Italian... and more specifically spinach dip, mexican dip, and sangria. Basically we love party foods. Oh... and sushi. Kristen introduced me to sushi at her bachelorette party. Yum!
Things we do NOT have in common:
ATHLETICS - Kristen was a cheerleader and excelled at dance, softball, gymnastics and hula hooping. She excelled in anything she attempted to do athletically. Even darts. We all know from previous posts that I excelled at just about nothing - except for being cranky, bossy, and being able to sing every song from every video that was ever put on Mtv.....up until 1990. After that it pretty much became a reality show.
CLEANLINESS/ORGANIZATION - Her house is spotless at all times. Not a speck of dirt, a bunny made of dust, or a sparkle of glitter. Every inch is organized. Every part of her life planned. Now, I'm not saying that my house is dirty... mostly... but there may be some stacks of mail, baskets full of laundry, tea bags sitting on the counter, and a pile of empty water bottles sitting next to me .. as we "speak"... on the couch. Typing makes me thirsty.
MOTHERHOOD - She has the most incredible, intelligent son. He is such a joy to be around and I love spending time with him. I consider Elijah one of her greatest achievements!
Now for the festivities.....

We had originally planned to go to the lake for her birthday party. But then it started to rain. and it rained. and rained. I've realized lately that if I have the day off ... it is going to rain. No worries, though, because my Mom's back up plan worked out wonderfully. We just partied at the parents' house. Kristen's good friends, Jana and Ryan, came to help celebrate. It was tense for a second as we tried to "mind our manners" and "behave appropriately".... but anyone who has experienced us knows that we can't contain ourselves for long. So, ultimately, it was a rip-roaring, helluva good time. Dirty jokes included.
Here is the happy couple......

Here is Kristen with all of her loot. She got everything that she needs to have an amazing time at the beach. And at Kohls.

Here is her greatest achievement...... Elijah. Showing the hula hoop who's boss. Just like his Mother.

Kristen, we hope you have an incredible 30th year!! Happy Birthday! We love you!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

The Things You Do For Love

All I wanted was a steak. A thick, juicy, well seasoned steak. And Kev was willing to give me what I wanted. No matter what.

It all started when I found a blog named The Pioneer Woman. It has become my new addiction. It is about a woman who lives on a ranch in Oklahoma with her husband and her four children. She is not only an extremely entertaining writer and an excellent photographer... but she is an amazing cook. She creates food that is right up our alley... and by "right up our alley".. I mean we love every bit of it. Or should I say bite.

I had been collecting her recipes all week. Recipes for a cook out. And I was starving.

But then it started POURING rain. And by pouring... I mean it was raining so hard that I couldn't even see outside. Except to take this picture ......
I felt defeated. The cookout was off. The delicious meat that I had been marinating for hours would never be grilled. Then Kev told me to "knock it off" and to stop feeling sorry for myself. He donned a poncho and LAUGHED in the face of the rain. He was determined to give me my cookout.
You can barely see him... it was a monsoon by now. That or my camera struggled taking these pics in the dark. He is the orange silhouette in the pool house that is scratching his back with the grill scraper/cleaner. That is how he exfoliates. He learned it at the Gaston spa.

Then he called 911 to tell them that he had handled an emergency. The emergency of the cookout that almost wasn't. His wife's empty stomach would be filled soon... and her crankiness would be cured.

Meanwhile... inside the dry, warm, and cozy house. I was fast at work preparing the sides for my glorious steak. Parmesan roasted broccoli. Crash hot potatoes. Crushed red pepper butter for our grilled corn. All made the healthy way... for those of you who are wondering.

And just when I thought I couldn't wait any longer..... the meat arrived. I forgot to mention earlier that he was also grilling chicken. Which I made in to chipolte chicken quesadillas two nights later.

Now for the steak of my dreams......

A glorious flank steak marinated perfectly and grilled to perfection. By my hero... the grill master... The Kevin. This meal will go down in history as "one of my all time favorite meals of all time". It was just that good. There is nothing better than creating an amazing meal together... except for maybe eating banana pudding in the bathtub.
I am really looking forward to Summer this year......

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

My Favorite Things

I betcha thought that I wouldn't keep my promise of posting a "favorite things" story each week.

Well, you might be right. I mean it is only week two and all.

And before you shake your head in disbelief over my picture taking in this post ( and every post before it). Just know that I do the best that I can. I try to take it seriously and even hold my tongue a certain way right before I snap the shot. I will be more than happy to accept donations towards my photography lessons and my fabulous new dream camera that I've just decided that I have to have.

I want to take some sewing classes too... in case you are feeling extra generous.

For now you will just have to suffer through. And without further adieu.... here are my favorite things for the week.....

#1 My steamer. What on earth did my clothes look like before Kev got me this thing? I mean I'm a pretty disheveled person. I consider five wrinkles or less to be presentable. And I'm not talking about my face - I know that is what you were thinking. I do NOT iron and I really don't even know how. Even though my Mom tried to show me a million times. One time I laid my shirt on the linoleum floor and tried to iron it. Part of the floor melted in to my shirt and it was ruined forever. I managed to "cover up" the messed up floor and never told any one about this ridiculous mistake until this day. Hi Mom! Thanks for loving me despite all of my faults.

Anyway... this is the exact same steamer that we use at work. Kev googled the name of it and SURPRISE! ordered it for me. Either he was tired of me looking like a hobo, my boss called and complained to him about my appearance, or he was worried that I would ruin the floor. All I know is I got a steamer and my life hasn't been the same since. The even greater thing about it is that I can pull a weeks worth of outfits.... put them on a rolling bar.... and steam them all at the same time. It is amazing how much time it saves in the morning. When I know exactly what I am going to wear to work, I don't waste time playing silly games in my closet in order to pick an outfit.

I'm sure you are wondering what I wear when I don't have to work. Pajamas. All day. And if I have to run errands I just put on a ball cap. I don't carry a driver's license. So people don't know who I am. It would ruin my reputation.

#2 FEBREZE! I cannot say enough wonderful things about this product. I'm addicted to it and should attend an anonymous group. I have this thing with my nose. I LOVE to smell. And I'm pretty good at it. Kev calls me the hound dog. If he is ever trying to figure out where a smell is coming from he puts me to work. I associate smells with memories and with people. And the smells are not always good ones. You know who you are. But that is ok. Smelling things no matter how good or how bad... is a hobby for me.

That being said... you can imagine my delight when Febreze starting making air scents. I had been using the fabric spray for a while... sometimes even for deodorant ( I am very hot natured). But then I was given the option to spray my house with amazing smells. And then they came out with "special edition" scents. Like Christmas tree, sugar cookie, pumpkin, etc. Sometimes I carry around my bucket of Febreze and spray different rooms with different smells. It is like an obstacle course for my nose.

Here is a small sampling of my collection.....

#3 Crushed Red Pepper. I have to do a food item every week. I just have to. I don't think you have any idea how much I love spicy food. And this bottle of spicy delight does just the trick. Except for some reason I never measure these beautiful red bits of yum... and I sprinkle a TON in the food I make. I saw Kev's head start to sweat once. With my very own eyes. It was magical. Not to mention the manners we maintain while blowing our noses constantly throughout the meal. Another reason why we don't go out much.

My favorite thing to eat these peppers on.... PIZZA! My favorite thing about this post.... the excellent quality of this picture.....

Well folks... that wraps up week two. I hear if you do something 22 times, it will become a habit. I have a long way to go.

Monday, May 18, 2009


May 18, 1986. The day my Mom had the last of her litter. At this point, I was living at the hospital .... on the Labor and Delivery floor. It just made it so much easier to already be there when my new sibling was born. I was in the hospital cafeteria when I heard the sound... the sound of my Dad playing the triangle. That meant a new sister or brother had been born and I immediately ran to my Mom's room to meet the new baby.

It was a girl... my fourth sister... Bethany Susan Switzer.

My life has never been the same since.

Bethany came at a strange time in my life. I was an obnoxious teenager wrapped up in music, fashion, hairspray, and boys. That didn't leave much time for babies. Don't get me wrong... I enjoyed having her around. She was as cute as a button ( I don't really know what that phrase means... a cute button? weird)... and the sweetest child you will ever meet. She was one of those babies that was always happy. I mean... she was just plain "glad" about everything. A real life Pollyanna.

She sure didn't get that from me!

But I was wrapped up in my own life and really didn't start having a relationship with her until we moved to Columbia... when she was five. I had moved back in with my parents and helped out with her while my Mom was in school. Thus began an unnatural friendship between sisters 13 years apart.

Does it make you feel any better that I do not act my age?.... well, neither does she... so I guess that doesn't make a difference.

One year for Christmas, she made me this awesome photo album with pictures that document our lives together. Some of these pics make me laugh every single time that I see them.......

Have I fallen asleep while holding her? Why do I have so much hair and should it really be pulled so tightly in to a side ponytail (pic #2)? Must I look like I'm miserable and my Mom has shoved her in to my arms for the pic? Why on EARTH am I wearing Guess overalls (pic #2) with a t-shirt underneath that has "faux" hot pink overall straps? Don't you love how I take pictures of pictures instead of scanning them in?

Here is one of my favorite pics of us (even though it looks a little blurry here). It is the typical shot that we get every time we go to Magic Kingdom. She works there.... you know. Because I'm sure I've told you a million times.

And now for the usual... "things we have in common/things we don't" .... that I love to post about when a family member has a birthday. Actually, I do this with every one that I meet..... in my head... as they are introducing themselves to me. It helps me to understand my shortcomings.

Things we have in common:
#1. DISNEY. How freaking obvious can I get. I LOVE Disney, Bethany LOVES Disney, Disney LOVES Disney ( Not sure what that meant... just trying to make a point).... Everyone LOVES Disney... at least I pretend that they do even if they don't. It is in our blood....because of the kool aid my parents made us drink. I LOVE Kool aid and am always glad to drink it. Some of our (me and B ) best memories are of us at Disney. I can't say anymore about it or I will be up all night "too excited to sleep".

2. KIDS. We sure do love our neices and nephews. TONS! Bethany REALLY loves kids... all kinds.. even if they are not blood related. That is weird. I mostly like kids.... if they are cute and well behaved.... and/or blood related. I've got some sweet babies in my family and spending time with them is so much fun!! Of course, I can't call a 13 year old and almost 16 year old babies. Well... I can... but only because it makes me feel better about my age. Where does the time go....
This is Bethany and Elijah at the Animal Kingdom....

#3. We LOVE LOVE LOVE Mexican food and everything that comes along with it... specifically Fiesta Margaritas... which I have mentioned on a previous post... and that I have officially named the most delightful drink to ever touch my lips (after tea and a caramel frappacino). We also LOVE appetizers and dinners made up of all appetizers. We LOVE any dip that involves cheese or spinach or both.

#4. SHARKS. We hate them.

Things we do NOT have in common:

1. TRAVEL. Bethany has traveled the world. Seen many amazing sights. Experienced many incredible adventures. Yes, I have been a couple of places... even to Mexico and Canada. But that is pretty much where my travel stops. Unless you count my visits to the bathroom multiple times during the night. She even lived in London for a summer while teaching school.....

2. ROYALTY. She is a Princess. At least that is what she tells me. I'm more like the evil queen. Grouchy, wrinkled, and afflicted with Reflux.
3. AMUSEMENT PARK ATTIRE. I would never wear a formal Cinderella gown around the Magic Kingdom. Because I would have to wear spanx which would prohibit me from having any fun. Also, I would never look this good in it.....

#4. VELVEETA. I LOVE it.... she does NOT! Such a shame!
#5. VOLUME. She is very loud. And by VERY, I mean I can only be around her with ear muffs on and ear plugs in. And then... and only then... can my ear drums handle her voice.

And I will stop there.

Because I could go on and on about our similarities and differences.... and you all know that I like to ramble... but bottom line is it is Bethany's birthday.... and I wish her a VERY HAPPY one!
Happy Birthday B!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Say Hello To Your Motha For Me.....

The title of this post is a shout out to Kev who does an incredible impersonation of Mark Wahlberg aka Marky Mark. I thought it was fitting since #1 It was "Motha's" Day and #2 I felt the need to tell you that Kev is quite the entertainer. You should see him on family talent night. His best impersonations are of Donald Trump, James Brown, and me. However, imitating me is pretty easy.... you just walk hunched over dragging your hands on the floor behind you, mumble curse words, and spill food on your shirt. It is quite a sight to see.... and one that I'm sure any husband would want to experience.

So this post is about everything else that happened on Mother's Day.

Starting with the "How many kids can take down Kev" wrestling tournament. It was free admission... and well worth the time spent to watch it.

Kev just loves these kids.... and loves showing them who is in charge....

Even my 15 year old (almost 16) nephew joined in. That is him on the bottom with all of the curly hair.

They were having so much fun... and look like they are working so hard. Kev didn't even break a sweat. This is what it is like at home. I can use every ounce of strength and come at Kev full force. He just stands there like a wall... never flinches... and drinks his lemonade out of a breakable tea cup without ever spilling a drop. Sometimes I even get the "good try" pat on the head. That is why it is fun for me to be a bully to everyone else.

So the end result of this wrestling competition..... 4 kids ages 5, 7, 8, and almost 16... lost the battle against one adult. But look at how much fun they had....

And now to the part about me.... It should be no surprise to you that everything always has to involve me in some way. Even on Mother's Day.

My Mom started it by giving me a Bath and Body Works treat bag. As a "thank you" for organizing Mother's Day dinner AND for taking care of Kev. Except for that every one knows it is actually Kev who takes care of me. Yes, it is very important that I provide good meals and keep the kitchen stocked with food and treats. And yes, I am sure that if I wasn't around.. Kev would never be able to feed himself and would just wither away to nothing. So, ok... I'll except my gift even though I am not a mother.

But then... Kev got me a couple of gifts as well. For keeping his belly full, making him laugh all the time and for being a good wife! Except for that he didn't say all of those things.... but I'm sure he meant to.

The first gift was a bird feeder. I had been eyeing this feeder at Lowe's for some time now. We have an amazing amount of birds in our back yard and I wanted to show my appreciation to them. It is ok to feed feral birds.... just not cats. Except for I can't seem to get them to eat from my special feeder filled with the most delicious bird seed that money can buy. Believe me.... I know these things .... because I tried some in my attempt to show the birds they were welcome to it. I glued a couple of feathers to my back, climbed a ladder, and ate with my hands behind my back. Or maybe I'm just thinking of the themed dinner we had last week.... anyhoo.. no bird has dared to eat the food. Maybe I will make a sign that says "free food" (but then my parents might show up with plastic bags and empty out the feeder - my parents nick names are "free food".)

And then there was this other glorious gift that he surprised me with..... a bread maker. I have been wanting a bread maker since I came out of the oven in 1972. You would not even believe the delectable things that I will be able to make with this delightful kitchen appliance. Well, you might believe it... when you get to try some.

Not being a mother really paid off for me this year.

I DO hope that all of you Mothers out there had an incredible day!! You definitely deserve it!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

A Celebration of Mothers

Mother's Day is a very busy time of year for me and Kev. There is nothing like giving your Mom a new outfit with a set of diamond encrusted brass knuckles...or a power saw. I personally would be thrilled to get a set of brass knuckles. I would teach a Rooster a thing or two. But since I am not a mom.... this post is NOT about what I would want. For once.

So, the point that I am trying to make is that I usually do NOT get to take Mother's Day off. Not only is it super busy, but I work with a LOT of mothers. And I truly believe that every mother should have this special day OFF for all that they have gone through in labor and in life to raise a child.

That being said.... I do have a Mother. A Mother that would love to spend time with her children (for some strange reason). So, it is always difficult to figure out what to do on this day. I was able to pull a couple of strings this year and triple-crossed my fingers that all would work out. And by triple-crossing... I mean that I called my store every hour to check in, bit my fingernails, and kept my phone in my hand at all times. Sounds annoying? Try spending the day with me - it is worse than annoying.

Ultimately, I had an incredible day and was able to spend Mother's Day with both of our families. And here is how it all went down.....

We started our celebration of Mother's Day at an early breakfast. And by early... I mean 8:30.... which is early if you are normal , don't have to work that day and like to sleep in.

But where on Earth would you go for breakfast to celebrate your Mother in style?

Shoneys Buffet. Of course!

It's true. We have celebrated many a Mother's Day at this delicious (?) place. Apparently, Shoney's thought it was pretty early for breakfast too... because their buffet was filled with the previous night's left overs. Chicken fingers, shrimp jambalaya, nachos. Ok... so maybe there wasn't actually nachos... but the other stuff was there. And Kev got it on his plate and that was really weird. He also ate sausage links - not patties but links (the kind that look like a dog left them behind). Now, Kev is not a big sausage eater... yes, he loves breakfast sausage casserole and sausage balls... but that is about it. So you better believe that I had a couple of comments to say about that. I didn't eat - not because I have a thing against Shoneys but because I'm trying to be super healthy on my quest to win The Biggest Loser - and I thought it was silly to pay buffet price for me to eat fruit (which may or may not be covered in chicken finger grease from the night before). Unfortunately for Kev, the only time that you can shut me up is when I am eating.... which means that I spent the whole morning running my mouth and commenting on every thing on Kev's plate. He loves taking me places..... or not. Maybe that is why we don't go out much.

I forgot my camera.... so, this pic will have to do.

That is Kev's Mom - Mary and Dad- Glenn. At Christmas. With their dogs. Don't ask. Apparently, puppies want to meet Santa too.

Anyway, we had a great time and got to see lots of family members that we hadn't seen for months. There were three mothers at the breakfast. Kev's Mom, Aunt Kim, and Cousin Krystal. Happy Mother's Day Snyder family......

At this point, I was fresh as a daisy. Kev smelled like sausage links and needed a nap. Celebrating is exhausting. And our day had just begun.....

Next was church and then to my Mother's house.

Now let me just stop the story right here to tell you that my pictures are my prized possessions. Seriously... If I had to run in to my house and only had time to grab a couple of things it would be the following (in no particular order) my picture albums, my jean jacket, Kev, and my Wonder Woman cape. (Ok.. so, I do have some very sentimental items that mean the world to me... but they would make the story serious and not funny and hopefully I would never actually have to run in to the house to grab a couple of things so there is no need to mention them)

However, the pictures would be a DEFINITE. I could literally spend hours upon hours looking through them. I owe all of that to my Mom who ensured every single moment was captured. EVERY SINGLE MOMENT! Head gear drool, my "lioness" hairstyles and jean jacket suits (yes, I used to wear matching jean jackets with my jeans - get off my back!). It is all there - and I wouldn't trade these memories for the world. I'm also thankful that Kev loves me no matter what he sees in pictures. Some photos from my past could ruin a reputation. Especially in Gaston.

My point here is that I was looking around my house that morning and noticed all of the family pics that I have in frames. And all of the mothers that are the reason for such amazing family pictures. And just because I have chosen a life of peace and quiet and "I can do whatever I want whenever I want" attitude (some call that selfishness... and it is true), I have so many amazing people to share my love and time with. I am so thankful for all of the selfless mothers in my family that have added to and shaped my life.

Here are a couple of my favorites.....

(Unfortunately, the only framed picture that I have of Kev's family is the "Dogs meeting Santa" one from above. I do have some amazing photo albums and frames of Kev's childhood that Mary has made for me over the years. My goal this year is to get more family pictures taken and framed. )

Ok - enough about pictures. This post is about how we celebrated Mother's Day...
So, church is over.... we arrive at my parent's house.....we enter through the front door.... and I realize that....

You absolutely can NOT celebrate a holiday without decorating the stairs with festive beanie babies. In this case - Mother's Day beanies. I had to take a picture of this to prove to you that it is real.

The daughters (Shannon, Kristen, and I) chipped in to create a delicious meal for Mom. We had shrimp and wild rice casserole, mac n cheese, steamed broccoli with cheese, garlic cheese biscuits, a fruit salad and corn. Did I mention that we had cheese with our meal? For dessert we had blueberry crumble cake with vanilla ice cream. A Paula Deen recipe that I will definitely be making again.
A picture of the Mothers.... my Mom, Shannon, and Kristen. All dishing up some grub. ( I think that Shannon is looking at all of the food and slapping her forehead saying "I shoulda had a V-8!)
Our meals are always filled with so much laughter, story telling, and tom foolery. It is something you should truly get to experience in your lifetime. A meal with the Switzer family. Priceless!
At this point... it is only 1pm. The day is still young and there is still stories to tell... but I will go ahead and post this as I am a week behind!!
Up next.... "Say Hello to Your Motha For Me"

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

My Favorite Things

Girls in white dresses with blue satin sashes, snowflakes that play on my nose and eyelashes, brown paper packages tied up with strings.... these are a few of my favorite things. Except for girls in white dresses with blue satin sashes. First of all I like red sashes better and second of all I am indifferent to girls in white dresses. I don't really care either way. Unless the girls were bringing me caramel apples, popcorn, or blueberry pie. Regardless... the above song lyric IS from one of my FAVORITE songs. From the movie The Sound of Music... one of my all time FAVORITE movies. That reminds me... I knew a family of eight once who all dressed in matching sailor outfits and performed a song from The Sound of Music for a talent show. I wish I could remember their names because you better believe I would be using the video tape for black mail.

Anyway, there are SO many things that I love - more than one million (said with my pinky finger up to my lip and a smirk on my face). In fact, I am SO in love with so many things that my favorites change from day to day ... week to week. I decided to start doing a "My Favorite Things" post weekly which is better than Oprah's -who does hers once a year. Not that I watch Oprah. I just know these things. And not that I think there is anything wrong with watching Oprah - I just work all the time and have to be very picky about what I watch.

Moving on....( why is it so hard for me to stay focused.... try having a conversation with me... it will drive you nuts! I promise. )

And now for the first post of "My Favorite Things"

Ok. Raise your hand if you know about my absolute OBSESSION with denim - specifically denim jackets. Clearly you have not just one... but two hands in the air right now to show how overwhelmingly obsessive I am about these amazing jackets. My collection is extensive. I have blazer style, one-button, cropped, 3/4 sleeve, full sleeve, sleeveless (yes - I really have a jean vest), and every size that you can imagine. Surprisingly though, my collection was never quite complete. I always felt that there was something missing. And then one day at work it happened. I figured out what was missing. A WHITE DENIM JACKET! Why have I never had one before? I don't have time to sift through my past to figure that one out. Instead I grabbed my size, bought it immediately, and then ran out in to the streets screaming with joy about my amazing purchase.

I was asked to leave the mall parking lot. By mall security. To which I made my hand in to a fist and said "boo" and they ran off in to the woods.

Now, I'm sure you are wondering how in the world I will be able to keep this jacket clean. Keeping my clothes clean is not my specialty. Especially white clothes. The minute I even think of wearing something white - one of the following happens:
1. A bird poops on my article of clothing.
2. I slip on a banana peel and fall in to a bowl of spaghetti.
3. I decide to go work outside in the yard. In the dirt.
4. I laugh so hard that tea shoots out of my nose.

So, I've come up with a plan. I'm going to wear a clear rain poncho over my jacket. That way you can see it in all of it's glory but it will stay pristine. And don't worry about my fashion expertise... I've been given the "I guess it will work" go ahead from a fashion expert that says it is ok to wear a white denim jacket with blue denim jeans. I could even wear my denim shoes - (yes, I really have some). Now if I could only find a denim beret.

Here is the jacket in it's new home....... ooooooh aaaaaaah.......

Next up is a food item. Yes, there will probably always be a food item because eating is my favorite sport. It is Kashi pizza. I have been a LONG time fan of Kashi - but only in cereal form. Everything about it is wonderful. It is super healthy and tastes great. Then a friend of mine told me about these delicious new Kashi pizzas ( found in the freezer section). They are full of vitamins, healthy foods, whole grains, and are low in fat. Let me just tell you that I HAVE NOT FOUND A KASHI PIZZA THAT I DIDN'T LIKE! We have tried EVERY single flavor out there and they are ALL incredible. Every new flavor becomes my favorite. This is where Kev would usually have a pepperoni pizza and I would eat the healthy one.... but Kev actually loves them too! These are the two that I made this week......

This is the Mediterranean one..... OUT OF THIS WORLD!

And the newest one.... The Mexicali Bean! OMG... can I just tell you that it is DELISH!! We put a little bit of guacamole on it and slapped it in our faces.

Don't think that eating healthy has to be boring. Especially if pizza is one of your favorite foods and you are used to having it once a week. These pizzas will definitely do the trick! (I'm not sure what that means.... can a pizza really do a trick?)

And last but not least.... I experienced an incredible sight this week. One like I have NEVER seen before. The most glorious rainbow. In Gaston of all places. This picture does not do it justice!

Every color could be seen so clearly and it was huge. I searched and searched until I found the end of the rainbow. And then realized how much times have changed. Instead of a pot of gold... I found Palmetto Gold and Pawn. I did get a nice gold nugget dollar sign charm for my necklace... so it was worth it.