Thursday, February 21, 2013

California, here I come

...right back where I started fr....well, okay, I didn't start from there, but I'm sure gonna enjoy the visit!

It's travel season! Right around this time of year, the bestie and I get restless as the cold air and wanderlust settles into our bones. This is the first year in several that we haven't headed to New York City, but let's face it, it's too damn cold in New York right now. We need sunshine and 70° temps to bring us out of this hibernation.

Iowa's giving us a proper send off, too. We're about an hour away from getting hit with a pretty big snowstorm. I don't care if I have to shovel the runway myself while AM sprays the plane with de-icer, we WILL take off tomorrow afternoon!

We haven't got any set plans yet, which is how we roll. We'll meet up with friends, take in the sights and probably hit the Grove, but with the Oscars going on (a complete coincidence, btw), we'll avoid Hollywood Boulevard, if we can. We're all for coincidental celebrity sightings, but I don't do "tourist" and avoid those who do, so the traps that attract them aren't on our agenda.

This is the first time I've actually felt like going anywhere since my hysterectomy last year. Yes, I cruised in June, but the majority of the trip is a fog. It'll be nice to actually remember this vacation. Don't worry, kids...we'll TwitPic, Telly and document our trip along the way so you won't miss out on the fun. Rumor has it, some friends might join us, too. Been a while since we've seen 'em, so we're looking forward to it. 

Enjoy the snow, Iowa....we out!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

This Valentine's Day hype

Valentine's Day seems to be one of those things you either love or hate. Single people see it as a reminder of the fact that they don't have a sweetheart. Couples seem to use it as a reason to spoil their loved ones. Some people see it as a day of conspiracy between card companies, florists and candy makers to commercialize something that should be done on a daily basis. I look at it a little differently.

I've been married for over thirteen years to the love of my life. He's a supportive husband and a loving father. He's always there for us whenever we need him, works hard to provide for us and is my best friend.

And I'm terrible about telling him how grateful I am for him. When he gets home from work, I'm usually busy helping my daughter with school work or trying to get dinner on the table. Dinner leads to dishes, dishes lead to catching up on each other's days (work, bills, kids, etc) and all that leads to bedtime. By the time we lie down at night, we're lucky to mumble an "I love you" and steal a kiss before the lights go out.

After thirteen years, romance is something we have to plan, not something that comes naturally. The honeymoon is over, kids. So when Valentine's Day rolls around, it's the one day each year (aside from our anniversary) when we're reminded to stop and say "I appreciate you" to our partner.

We don't usually buy into the typical Valentine's day commercialism (flowers, cards, candy, etc). In fact, when we got married, I told my husband if he ever spent $50 on roses for Valentine's day, I'd kick his ass. The expense seems absurd. But at one point or another during the day, we stop and take five minutes to send a text or an email. This morning, I left homemade chocolate covered strawberries for my hubby and daughter. It wasn't expensive or commercialized, but it did show them that I was thinking about them and love them.

THAT is what Valentine's Day should be about. Buy flowers, don't buy flowers. Buy cards, don't buy cards. Buy chocolates, don't buy chocolates. It doesn't matter. What does is saying "I love you" to the people you care about.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Oh, how times change!

In September 2011, I wrote a blog about how I had, so far, avoided the growing e-reader trend.

Then, the following January, I borrowed my niece's Kindle on a trip so I could read The Hunger Games trilogy. From that point on, the e-reader drug had me hooked like a junkie. A couple months later, my husband and I bought our own Kindles and the first one was passed onto my daughter. Since then, I've bought, borrowed or downloaded 350+ books.

Guess an old dog can be taught new tricks.