Monthly Archives: November 2010

Turkey Day/Weekend Recap

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Hello everyone! I hope you had a fabulous Thansgiving, filled with family, food and football – I know I did!

My wonderful family came in for Thanksgiving – yes, mom, Kourt, Payton, Papa, Jeanette and even the three dogs – and we enjoyed a DELICIOUS Thanksgiving meal prepared by yours truly. Everyone cleaned their plates, so I’ll take that as a job well done! We continued to eat the leftovers until they were all gone, much to my relief – I didn’t want all of that food sitting around for just me to eat! After we ate, we watched football for the rest of the day – it doesn’t get much better than that. Well, it would have been better had Texas won, but I’ve given up on those jerks this year.

On Black Friday, my mom, sister and I ventured out to Target at 4 a.m. My crazy sister got there at 2:30 so she could get some crazy deal on a giant TV. It was 30 degrees outside, so you can bet that I was NOT in any kind of line for hours before the already insane 4 a.m. shopping time. She did NOT get the TV and was VERY angry about it. Crazy woman. But I will say that I got all of my holiday shopping done (with the exception of a few gifts) in just an hour, so when I retreated back to bed at 6 a.m., I was a happy gal.

After a loooong nap, we ventured out to the mall around 1 p.m. It was my turn to be the gift recipient, and mom graciously let me choose the watch and perfume of my choice! Happy to say that come December 25, I will own a fancy, sparkly new Fossil watch and a giant bottle of Daisy by Marc Jacobs – not to mention some yoga pants/shirts from Victoria’s Secret and other items :) Thanks mommy! Chad also got to choose his Christmas present from my mommy – a fancy new pair of running shoes, which he also has to wait to receive. (Yes, I realize our presents are not a surprise, but it’s okay – we’re adults. Plus, mom will throw in a few unexpected items any way, so there will be *some* element of surprise on Christmas Day!)

Saturday was family picture day, and I’m pretty sure Chad was really excited to get a break from our chaos :) We met up with him for lunch then went back to the mall for a few more items before taking the little guy to an outdoor ice skating rink here in Little Rock. Chad, being the ice-hockey-playing Michigander that he is, scoffed at the tiny, less-than-impressive rink, but the little guy enjoyed it very much :)

Sunday was Chad’s big day – he was baptized at our church! In front of my family, our Immanuel family and God himself, Chad followed Jesus in obedience through believer’s baptism as I cried like a baby, beaming with pride. I’m always proud of him for being such an outstanding man of God, but my cup literally runneth over on Sunday! I am SO proud of him and cannot wait for the wonderful life that’s to come for us both.

After church, the family packed up and headed back to Houston as Chad and I settled in for some much-deserved peace and quiet – and of course, more football :) I’m happy to report that I am once again a finalist in the Garneau family NFL pool – although my chances of winning are slim. I need San Francisco to win by at leat 4 and the final total point score to be 38-40. Yeah, it’s that hard. SIGH.

But all in all, an amazing weekend! I love my family so much!

Happy Thanksgiving!

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Today is Thanksgiving, and I’d like to take a moment to say what I’m thankful for:

  1. Salvation through the blood of Jesus – I don’t deserve it, but He gives it freely. Thank you, Lord!
  2. The love of my boyfriend, family and friends – You all have been there for me through thick and thin, and now across state lines. I love you more than words can say!
  3. Starbucks holiday lattes – You were especially good to me this morning at 5 a.m. :)
  4. A job I love – Thanks for challenging my comfort level (moving) and presenting me with lots of opportunities every day.
  5. Football – You entertain me for weeks on end, even if you suck – Longhorns, I’m talking to you.
  6. Chad – Because you understand my particular breed of OCD crazy, yet love me anyway :)

HAPPY THANKSGIVING EVERYONE!

Cool Kids Read

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This post is inspired by Cheryl, my fellow lover of Texas, margaritas, queso, two-stepping and the Houston Texans. Did I mention we met our men the same week, in the same way? It’s true. I believe Cheryl and her now-hubby Ross went on their first date July 3 or 5 (I know this because we talked about it at Brittany’s Fourth of July Party), 2007, and I met Chad on July 7. Cheryl and Ross were made for each other like peas and carrots, chips and queso or peanut butter and jelly – take your pick – and I love those two kids. (Cheryl and I have a mutual blogging relationship, the men are okay with this.)

ANYWAY

Cheryl posted a list of 100 books that the BBC reported were some of the most popular/prominent, then said that the BBC reported most people had only read six, yes SIX of these classics. Being the avid reader/nerd that I am, I decided to follow in Cheryl’s footsteps and post the list of 100 books, bolding those I’d read.

I am happy to report that I’ve read far more than six of the books listed below (51, to be exact) – and many others are on my intended list of items to read (while others still I have never heard of and am unsure whether or not I should be ashamed of this fact). I would like to thank all of the English teachers I’ve ever had for teaching me the importance of reading, to appreciate good literature/writing and for encouraging me to read as much as I could.

1. Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen

2 The Lord of the Rings – JRR Tolkien

3 Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte

4 Harry Potter series – JK Rowling (UMM, OBVIOUSLY!)

5 To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee (7th grade Pre-AP English, who doesn’t love this?)

6 The Bible

7 Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte

8 Nineteen Eighty Four – George Orwell (excellent)

9 His Dark Materials – Philip Pullman

10 Great Expectations – Charles Dickens (I feel asleep approximately every 3 words, but I made it)

11 Little Women – Louisa M Alcott

12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles – Thomas Hardy

13 Catch 22 – Joseph Heller

14 Complete Works of Shakespeare (LOVE LOVE LOVE)

15 Rebecca – Daphne Du Maurier

16 The Hobbit – JRR Tolkien

17 Birdsong – Sebastian Faulks

19 The Time Traveller’s Wife – Audrey Niffenegger

20 Middlemarch – George Eliot

21 Gone With The Wind – Margaret Mitchell (LOVE)

22 The Great Gatsby – F Scott Fitzgerald (11th grade AP English)

23 Bleak House – Charles Dickens

24 War and Peace – Leo Tolstoy (wow I hope you have plenty of time on your hands for this one)

25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams

26 Brideshead Revisited – Evelyn Waugh

27 Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoyevsky

28 Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck (11th grade AP English)

29 Alice in Wonderland – Lewis Carroll

30 The Wind in the Willows – Kenneth Grahame

31 Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy

32 David Copperfield – Charles Dickens

33 Chronicles of Narnia – CS Lewis (5th Grade GT English – DISLIKE)

34 Emma – Jane Austen

35 Persuasion – Jane Austen

36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe – CS Lewis (Also disliked from 5th grade GT English)

37 The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini

38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin – Louis De Berniere

39 Memoirs of a Geisha – Arthur Golden

40 Winnie the Pooh – AA Milne

41 Animal Farm – George Orwell (LOVE this – thank you, 8th grade Pre-AP English)

42 The Da Vinci Code – Dan Brown

43 One Hundred Years of Solitude – Gabriel Garcia Marquez

44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney – John Irving

45 The Woman in White – Wilkie Collins

46 Anne of Green Gables – LM Montgomery

47 Far From The Madding Crowd – Thomas Hardy

48 The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood

49 Lord of the Flies – William Golding (very excellent, thank you 10th grade AP English)

50 Atonement – Ian McEwan

51 Life of Pi – Yann Martel – on my must read list very soon

52 Dune – Frank Herbert

53 Cold Comfort Farm – Stella Gibbons

54 Sense and Sensibility – Jane Austen

55 A Suitable Boy – Vikram Seth

56 The Shadow of the Wind – Carlos Ruiz Zafon

57 A Tale Of Two Cities – Charles Dickens

58 Brave New World – Aldous Huxley

59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time – Mark Haddon

60 Love In The Time Of Cholera – Gabriel Garcia Marquez

61 Of Mice and Men – John Steinbeck (AP English, not sure which year)

62 Lolita – Vladimir Nabokov

63 The Secret History – Donna Tartt

64 The Lovely Bones – Alice Sebold

65 Count of Monte Cristo – Alexandre Dumas

66 On The Road – Jack Kerouac

67 Jude the Obscure – Thomas Hardy

68 Bridget Jones’s Diary – Helen Fielding

69 Midnight’s Children – Salman Rushdie

70 Moby Dick – Herman Melville

71 Oliver Twist – Charles Dickens (AP English, not sure which year)

72 Dracula – Bram Stoker

73 The Secret Garden – Frances Hodgson Burnett

74 Notes From A Small Island – Bill Bryson

75 Ulysses – James Joyce

76 The Bell Jar – Sylvia Plath

77 Swallows and Amazons – Arthur Ransome

78 Germinal – Emile Zola

79 Vanity Fair – William Makepeace Thackeray

80 Possession – AS Byatt

81 A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens (who hasn’t?)

82 Cloud Atlas – David Mitchell

83 The Color Purple – Alice Walker

84 The Remains of the Day – Kazuo Ishiguro

85 Madame Bovary – Gustave Flaubert

86 A Fine Balance – Rohinton Mistry

87 Charlotte’s Web – EB White (4th grade GT English in Splendora – what’s up!)

88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven – Mitch Albom

89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

90 The Faraway Tree Collection – Enid Blyton

91 Heart of Darkness – Joseph Conrad (AP English, not sure which year. This is really good and like 3 pages long – seriously, get on it)

92 The Little Prince – Antoine De Saint-Exupery

93 The Wasp Factory – Iain Banks

94 Watership Down – Richard Adams

95 A Confederacy of Dunces – John Kennedy Toole

96 A Town Like Alice – Nevil Shute

97 The Three Musketeers – Alexandre Dumas

98 Hamlet – William Shakespeare (12th grade AP English & Mrs. Moreau invited our whole class over for a cookout/pool party/movie watching party the night before the AP test so she could “review” the story/elements because it’s always on the AP test in the essay section – she wanted to make sure we were prepared. We all collectively flipped to the essay section first to check the question and list of books/plays we could write about – it was – and you literally heard all 50 of us squeal with joy. We probably also wrote identical essays :) LOVE!)

99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Roald Dahl 

100 Les Miserables – Victor Hugo

On Etiquette

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As you know, I’m a fan of manners/etiquette/common sense/basic human decency. Call it what you want, but there is a standard set of behaviors that is appropriate for any time and place, and it is our job not only to adhere to those standards, but also to teach them to the future generations.

I’ve touched ont he subject of chivalry, and how I do believe that it is still alive today but that the women’s lib movement is doing its very best to kill it. (Seriously, ladies – a man opening a door for you, pulling out your chair and ordering for you in a restaurant [after you’ve made your own choice, he’s just telling the waiter] is NOT setting us back 100 years – IT’S FREAKING NICE.)

Today, I would like to discuss movie theatre etiquette. I’m a fan of Harry Potter and Twilight, and I understand that with this kind of taste interaction with tweens is inevitable. HOWEVER, those tweens need to be taught Movie Theatre Etiquette 101:

1. You do not have to squeal/shriek/scream every time your favorite character walks on screen/takes off his shirt/kisses a girl. THEY CANNOT HEAR YOU. I promise.

2. TURN OFF YOUR FREAKING CELL PHONE. AND STOP THAT TEXTING. STOP IT RIGHT NOW.

3. Each scene does NOT require a discussion with your next-seat-neighbor. (Or for that matter, the person 5 people down from you.)

4. The movie theatre is not your bedroom, and you’re too young to even know what that is – much less be doing it. I’m going to leave it at that.

And that is my rant for this morning. (If you couldn’t tell, I did not have my coffee today and am taking it out on the youth of America. They deserve it any way.)

HP7 Question to You

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Did anyone else think HP7 was scary at times? I totally did! I know the movie got a PG-13 rating, and it definitely deserved it. There were a lot of little kids in the theatre, and I couldn’t help but think “This movie was NOT appropriate for that 7 year old.” I’m no mother, so I can’t really say that I’m an expert in child rearing. Heck, if my kid wanted to go see HP, I’d probably have gladly taken him/her along (partly for selfish reasons – because I would have wanted to see it for myself.) But then I probably would have had to have dealt with the aftermath – fear of snakes, bad manicures, wormlike men and noseless villians, just to name a few.

So what did you think? Was it scary? Too scary for a young child? Would/did you take a child?

Harry Potter: A Love Affair

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It should come as no surprise to you that I, like every other red blooded American of my generation, love Harry Potter. Although I was a late bloomer into the HP fanclub (special thanks to my BESTIE, Lindsay, for “convincing” me to put off studying for finals the last semester of college by having a Harry Potter movie marathon of movies 1-4), I’ve now read every book and have seen every movie made to date.

It’s no secret that movie #4, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, has been my hands-down favorite – mostly due to its inclusion of my beloved Cedric Diggory. I know Lindsay loves #5 (right?) and others have their own reasons for their personal favorites, but I must say – after seeing Part 1 of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows yesterday – I believe I have a new favorite!

DISCLAIMER:IF YOU HAVE NOT READ THE BOOKS OR SEEN THE MOVIES, STOP READING NOW. SPOILERS AHEAD!

Here are my reasons for loving/hating each HP film:

1. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone: This was the original. The kids – Harry, Hermione, Ron, Neville, etc. – were so young! It’s crazy. You can’t hate the first movie – it was the beginning of an era.

2. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets: I believe this is where I began to fall in love with Severus Snape. I knew from the very beginning that Snape was a “good” guy, and Alan Rickman plays him like a GENIUS. Oh, and when the letters came up on the screen that went from I AM TOM RIDDLE to LORD VOLDEMORT, I almost fell out of my chair. AMAZING.

3. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban: A crazy murder is on the loose, and then we find out he’s Harry’s Godfather and neither crazy NOR a murderer? AWESOME. Also, werewolves are amazing.

4. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire: Two words: Cedric Diggory. He was handsome, funny and smart – therefore, they killed him off. Jerks. (And let the record show that I loved Cedric LONG BEFORE he was an angsty sparkly vampire.)

5. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix: Is there a more hated villian thatn Dolores Umbridge? I think not. This movie also gave us a greater picture of Bellatrix Lestrange – played by Helena Bonham Carter – who is TOTALLY CRAZY (I’m talking about Bellatrix AND HBC here), and does such an amazing job. When Sirius Black dies at the end, it kills me – I mean really, is it not bad enough that Harry’s mom and dad died, now his Godfather too? PS – Dumbledore’s Army FTW.

6. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince: I must admit, when reading the book I was like WHO IN THE WORLD IS THE HALF-BLOOD PRINCE?! Then when I found out it was Snape I was like YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME! How did I not see that coming? I dunno. Also, Harry and Ginny start dating – thank God she got pretty (I was worried from the earlier movies). And the end – oh, the end. RIP Dumbledore – you are amazing and I love you.

7A. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1: Wow. Just…wow. I am so glad they made a five-hour-long movie, I just wish the two parts had come out together! The movie was EXCELLENT – I especially liked the shadow-telling of the story of the Three Brothers. However, when Dobby died at the end, I was a hot mess. I mean REALLY. I love that little house elf and his allegiance to Harry. I cried in the book, and I cried again in the movie. BRAVO.

7B. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2: I haven’t seen it yet (obviously), but I anticipate much crying and FINALLY – vindication. I really hope they do an “after the credits” type thing that shows Harry and Ginny’s wedding and their kids. DO IT, WARNER BROTHERS.

Thanksgiving Menu!

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You know I love me a good holiday – friends, family, food and fun, all under one roof?! Sign. Me. Up.

For the past 3 Thanksgivings, I made a full-on meal for Chad and his TV station friends to enjoy. (The poor TV children don’t get to go home for the holidays that often, so I like to bring a taste of home to them.) Last year, I even made the turkey and a few other dishes for my own family’s giant Thanksgiving, though it is largely pot luck due to the MASSIVE (think: 60-80 people) size of our bunch. This year, I’m making EVERYTHING, since my mom, sister, nephew, grandpa and his wife are driving all the way in from Houston on late Wednesday night.

So, I set out to create the best Thanksgiving menu yet – and this is what I came up with:

Appetizers:

  1. Vegetable tray
  2. Souther sausage balls

Entrees:

  1. Apple and garlic roasted turkey (my signature dish)
  2. Spiral cut honey-baked ham

Side Dishes:

  1. Homemade 4-cheese, twice-baked macaroni and cheese
  2. Homemade old fashioned sweet potato casserole
  3. Bacon green beans
  4. Spinach salad with blueberries, mandarin oranges, feta and walnuts
  5. Croissant rolls

Desserts:

  1. Homemade pumpkin pie
  2. Homemade apple cinnamon pie

Drinks:

  1. Southern sweet tea

I’m hungry (and a little stressed) just thinking about it! I can’t wait to start cooking and for my family to be here!!! It will be our FIRST Thanksgiving with my immediate family and Chad – who, by the way, has Thursday-Sunday off of work for the first time since we started dating!!! I. AM. SO. PUMPED.

I’m even excited to go home and start cleaning my house, in anticipation of everyone’s arrival. I already have my fall decorations out (and have since October), but this really is the culmination of the season.

Even better – my Day-After-Thanksgiving ritual: psychotically early shopping with my mom and sister, then coming back home to decorate my house with my Christmas decorations and put up my Christmas tree!!! I’ve already purchased mine and Chad’s ornament for this year :)

HAPPY HAPPY DAY!!!