Valentine’s Day in the Suburbs

When Dave and I were dating we used to celebrate Valentine’s Day on the 13th. On our first Valentine’s together he had a convention on the 14th (convenient, right?) so we went out the night before instead. We liked the quietness of the restaurant – no crowds or “special” (overpriced) menus – and carried on the tradition of February 13th for years after.

We gloated a bit in our cleverness. We had Valentine’s down!

One  year early in our marriage Dave was heading out of town Valentine’s morning, most likely to that same convention, and casually asked me if I still made the bed when he went out of town.

“Of course,” I told him.

“Have fun  making the bed,” he said as he kissed me and headed out the door.

I found a white-ribboned blue box that made me squeal with delight hidden in the tangled sheets. Inside was a silver necklace. Or maybe it was a bracelet earrings. To be honest I can’t remember. I used to get a lot of jewelry in blue boxes back in those days.

On Saturday night I posted this photo on Instagram and Facebook:

Valentines Dessert
Valentine’s In the suburbs

Our Valentine’s dessert after a dinner of sweet hot mustard chicken thighs (a recipe I’d been wanting to try that I knew Dave and I would like, but the kids wouldn’t), asparagus and roasted potatoes.

Please don’t assume that because I made something the kids wouldn’t like that we dined alone. I made their chicken plain and the four of us enjoyed a lovely dinner together.

After dinner we told the kids they had to watch a romantic comedy with us. We chose Music and Lyrics with Hugh Grant and Drew Barrymore. As a lover of 80’s music (and former 80’s sort-of-groupie), it’s one of my favorites. Marley lasted three quarters of the way through before tapping out (that girl has no taste), but Chandler liked the movie and watched the all way through. He says he still can’t get the song Pop Goes My Heart out of his head.

It is pretty catchy in all of its fake-80’s fabulousness.

(By the way, if you’ve never seen Music and Lyrics you must first watch this spectacular video and then do whatever you have to do -cable, Netflix, your local library- to watch it. You will totally thank me because it’s awesome. So I will preemptively say, “You’re welcome!”)

 

I made a homemade Valentine with a printed someecards & taped it to a dark chocolate bar and stuck it under Dave’s pillow.

someecards Valentines Day
This was not his card, but it’s pretty appropriate for this post.

 

Yeah, I go all out. Dave said he thought we agreed that we weren’t doing Valentines this year. Uh… no. But perhaps after (almost) 21 years of marriage that agreement is implied. If I told you that his neglect of a forced Hallmark holiday hurt my feelings I’d be lying. In fact I’d have been shocked if he had done something. And now I get to eat the chocolate I gave him (conveniently the kind I like) without guilt.

Hmmm… a recipe I’ve been wanting to try, a good bottle of wine, one of  my favorite cheesy romantic comedies and  my husband’s dark chocolate all for me? Turns out I’m still pretty clever when it  comes to Valentine’s Day.

The Three Best Things on the Internet This Week (According to Me)

Hello. Yes, it’s been a while.

Not much, how ’bout you?

Oh sorry, I haven’t been blogging much lately and that song just popped in my head.

Little known fact: I once sang I’d Really Love to See You Tonight in a middle school talent show. Which when I think about it is really strange because (1) it’s kind of a song about hooking up with an ex for a one-nighter (only not kind of) and (2) I really, really can’t sing.

By the way, if you recognize this song (and those hair/facial hair styles) you’re old. But I’m old too, so at least you’re in good company.

But I digress (once again).

I have no stories to tell (actually, that’s not true, I have lots of stories to tell, but they’re all about my kids and since my kids are teenagers I’m not allowed to tell them) so instead I will tell you what I enjoyed most on the internet this week. Just in case you were wondering.

Incarcerated, written by Susan Swicegood Boswell on her blog Girl From Goat Pasture Road about her brother serving time in jail is heartbreaking and beautiful and MUST be read. Seriously, read it! NOW.

I’ll wait.

That wasn’t very nice of me was it? I mean, it was awesome, and her writing is so beautiful, but it kind of got you thinking about your own life and how you really need to step it up and start living life to its full potential didn’t it? So maybe it was nice of me. Actually, you should be thanking me for making you read that because now you are going to make your life so much better. You’re welcome!

Alright, enough introspection. Ready to laugh? Then read I Went to a Spa for my Uterus and This is My Story by Laura Hooper Beck. My friend Kim suggests that you not read it when kids are around if you have the type of kid who reads your laptop over your shoulder. I don’t think there are any bad words but it is after all a post about a spa treatment for her lady business. I say don’t read it at work because you’ll be howling so loudly that your boss will definitely know you’re not working. (Not that I know anything about reading things that aren’t worky on the internet at work.)

And since I made you read so much I’ll keep this short and sweet (for me anyway). This made me laugh because it’s so true.

Kale-chips
Do kale chips come in sour cream and onion flavor?

 

Thank you someecards!

What was the best thing you saw on the internet this week?

 

 

 

 

Random Things that Made Me Laugh Today

Random things I think are funny…

This. Is a real TV ad…

 

So is this…

 

Childish humor always makes me snicker

In-your-pants
Mine is “And the Mountains Echoed In Your Pants.”

 

Madonna is now sporting a grill.

madonna grill
Why, Madonna, why?

 

I would say that she’s rockin’ a grill,except that she’s not. Rockin’ it that is. Is she unaware that she’s 54?

Look, I do lots of silly things to make myself look younger. I poison my head color my gray roots every 3 or 4 weeks, I participate in an activity that I do not enjoy 4-5 days a week, and last night I drank water with my dinner instead of wine. And I really, really wanted wine. But a grill? Seriously? Does she look in the mirror and think she looks hip? Looks young? Looks cool?

What’s wrong? Were her sinewy yoga arms no longer garnering her enough attention?

Oh Madonna, Madonna, Madonna, I will forever love the 80’s, 90’s and even early 00’s you, but you’ve got to start aging a little more gracefully my friend. And speaking of friends – that grill? So not yours.

And in parting, I have this very special wish for you…

someeards-facebook

 

Have a great weekend. (And whatever you do, please don’t get a grill!)

Photo credits: someecards, Carina Press, XposurePhotos

Just Lose It: What It’s Really Like to Join a Six-Week Weight Loss Competition (Week 5)

I am five weeks down with only one to go on my Biggest Loser-style Just Lose It fitness challenge at Stevenson Fitness.

someecards.diet

At one of our 5:30 AM workouts the other morning, one of my teammates (you don’t get to know which one, I’m discreet that way) said, “I feel terrible. I was very naughty last night.”

“Did you have wine?” I asked excitedly, my eyes widening and the corners of my mouth starting to form just the tiniest bit of drool.

“No, I ate two fist fulls of Smart Start cereal. And then I felt so guilty. I don’t even know why I did it.”

smart-start-cereal
This doesn’t look very naughty to me!

You know a nutrition plan is tough when you feel guilty about “binging” on whole grain chock-full of antioxidants cereal. (If you could call two fist fulls a binge!)

But the truth is the eating plan isn’t tough. It’s just restrictive. The food is getting a little boring.

We’re coming into the home stretch. Just a week until our final weigh-in and I won’t lie, the 5th week has been the hardest so far. At least for me.

I’ve had a few stressful nights where I really could have used a glass of wine (or two fist fulls of gluten-laden carbs). 

And worst of all I’ve hit a plateau with my weight loss. I was actually up point two pounds last week. Up! Point two! And yes, I know it’s only two tenths of a pound, and that’s nothing, but trust me, I’d be just as upset if I lost only point two as well. How in the hell did I gain weight (even the teeniest tiniest bit of weight) when Phil has us running around the building four times and doing these impossible push-up-pike combos with our feet on some wheelie board? And don’t you dare tell me it’s muscle. I just want to see that number on the scale drop. Dramatically.

And look like Linda Hamilton in Terminator 2. Yes, in six weeks. Is that too much to ask?

It is?

Oh.

If I’m honest (with you and with myself) I will admit that while I haven’t “cheated,” little habits have started to slip back. Licking the cream cheese for Marley’s bagel off my finger. “Tasting” food as I cook. Putting a bigger serving of carbs on my plate than I should. Using more than a teaspoon of olive oil on my salad. I mean a teaspoon?! Come on!

Healthy-Dinner-Biggest-Loser-Style
Too much salad dressing and too many delicious roasted rosemary potatoes. (But I did pull the skin off my chicken. Just so you know.)

Oh, and I never did give up my one cup of morning coffee with cream and sugar. (Oops.)

So this week, my last week, I’m pumping it up a notch. Goodbye beloved delicious so-full-of-cream-it’s-practically-white coffee. Hello black tea with lemon. Goodbye balsamic vinaigrette. Hello salads with lemon juice and a teaspoon of olive oil. Hello measuring cup. Hello food scale. And Marley? You can make your own damn bagel.

I have one more week with this Just Lose It program and I am in it to win it! I want to lose at least two pounds this last week and I know I can do it.

Even if it kills me.

Be sure and check back next week for my final week and final weight loss results. And if you missed a week, you can catch up here: Week 1, Week 2, Week 3, Week 4.

Picture credits someecards (They’re funny!) and Kellogs.com.