Wednesday, April 13, 2011

A Backyard Picnic

With a clean house fit for moving and showing to potential renters, the kitchen has been added to the list of rooms that are "off limits" for messes. Thus, this mama is getting a break from cooking dinner! Mr. Wonderful had stumbled upon a 2003 bottle of Merlot at our local grocery store, so we decided it would be a wonderful time to order Chinese food and have a backyard picnic.
I'm really going to miss this view of the trees from out my back door...
I think this was an artistic shot attempt that came after drinking the fabulous bottle of wine.
Mr. Wonderful and Bug... exploring our yard. (If you didn't know any better, you could almost guess this photo was taken in the 70s!)

Little Pup... Being cute in his Bumbo...
The ever so handsome (even if he has given up on shaving) Mr. Wonderful!
Bug. Exploring.
The best Chinese food ever! If you are ever in the lowcountry, look up Dragon Express in Summerville, SC. Mr. Wonderful and I swear it is the best we've ever had... and he's spent time in Hong Kong!
Bug loves those trees!
"Have a drink!"
Such a busy boy...
"Why do you keep taking pictures of me?!?" (Mr. Wonderful is shy... can you tell?)
My favorite photo of them all.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Why My Life Isn't a Reality TV Show

I think it is the ex-claims adjuster in me that finds TruTV so entertaining. I mean, why else would someone watch a show about auto repossessers who find anal beads and sex toys in then trunk of a car? Not that I am into those things... But the strange, twisted things people do around/in/with their cars is highly amusing to me.

Which also makes me wonder, what other twisted things do people find amusing? How strange would it be to be on a reality television show, with all of the things you do just floating out there in the open for everyone to see?

While I'm sure that kind of attention is what people like, I think they'd be rather confused if they viewed what was going on around the Wonderful household.

For example, Mr. Wonderful and I were having a discussion comparing our hometowns of Tucson and Tulsa to each other. He mentioned that Tulsa was the "belt buckle of the Bible Belt", to which I agreed.

"Tucson and Tulsa aren't that much different," I added. "I mean, except for the fact that instead of religion and tornadoes, we have margaritas and cacti."

It is these random, almost comical conversations that we have on a daily (if not hourly) basis that make sense to us, but would confuse the general public. Granted, I think blogging is a small snippet of a reality show to the public. But when I ramble on about how Bug somehow got stuck under Pup's crib, you can just scroll past it and quit reading. Instead of watching the whole thing play out with dramatic background music and pauses for commercial interruption.

Besides, have you ever stopped to think about how clean you would have to keep your house on a consistent basis if there was a camera crew following you everywhere? Cluttered is cute if you are Jessica Simpson circa early-2000s, but spaghetti from a toddler's dinner tantrum last night crusted to linoleum isn't so adorable.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Tales from McDonalds

Most of the day around the Wonderful Household was spent packing. You know... with visions of this...
And this...

And since we were foolish enough to get the living room carpet of our rental house cleaned a full week ahead of our move, the space is off limits to muddy boots and toddlers. (Hey, I've got to keep that awesome stripy pattern in the carpet for final inspection!)

The kiddopotamus' were getting a bit antsy by lunchtime. Since it was a gazillion degrees with a gazillion percent humidity, the park was way out of the question. (How DO you Southerners' do it? I mean, it explains why Scarlet O'Hara's kin in their massive dresses were always fainting... But, damn!)

Being the doll that he is, Mr. Wonderful decided to scoop us all up and head over to the air-conditioned McDonald's playground for lunch.

Pup looking cute in his high chair.

Bug happily munching on his Happy Meal.

"Whaaaattttt?! We're out of fries???!? Say it ain't so!!!"

"Hand over the fries, and nobody gets hurt."

Oh... and to the lady in the purple top... wherever you are...

Yes, I know Mr. Wonderful is de-lish. Yes, I know that it is totally hot and sexy that he can play with a toddler at the top of the playground equipment looking handsome (even though I rushed him out of the house today before he had a chance to shave). Yes, I know that he's got such a sweet Oklahoma drawl and a smile that makes women go weak in the knees.

No, sticking out your chest while you try to engage in conversation is NOT okay. Especially when you can blatantly see his WIFE sitting six feet away with their other child.

Seriously mamas... hitting on men at McDonald's? NOT COOL!!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Channeling My Inner Tulsa

Another day of packing. However, this time was a bit different. It was the first real day since Mr. Wonderful had been back from his house hunting trip to Oklahoma. While he was gone, I had the luxury of being able to pack in my own haphazard way, picking and choosing items to carefully be placed in boxes as I pleased. With him home, however, our styles of organization are clashing. His is more Marine Corps Boot Camp. And mine? Dory from Finding Nemo.

Nonetheless, he eventually turned his attention to matters regarding yard work. Our property management company had requested that we trim the lawn and edge the concrete patio before we leave next week. Thank goodness, as it gave me a break from his ever booming interference in my careful observation of items I hadn't seen in six months. (Or, longer.... Have I mentioned how incredibly unorganized my office space is?)

I flipped on a Tulsa country radio station via my iPhone. I figured while I was at it, I would throw on a faded Oklahoma state tee shirt and belt out Reba, Trisha, and Carrie with as much gusto as I could muster. Three songs in, Garth Brooks' Rodeo began to play. Memories of college karoke nights filled with Jack Daniels and handsome cowboys who'd never even ridden a horse flooded my mind. Back then, all I wanted to do was move to Oklahoma, go to college, and live out my party days. I never did either... life interfered, marriage happened, and so did two incredibly adorable babies.

From the window, I saw Mr. Wonderful in the yard, breaking a sweat as he raked pine needles from our lawn. Yep, life is funny sometimes in how it comes full circle. But, I'm so glad it did.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Five Favorite Things (of the Moment)

I have decided that taking random photos of packing tape and the mountain of boxes in my garage just really doesn't make for great blog posting. What does, however, is a quick list of my five favorite things of the moment.

1: Black Heels to Tractor Wheels by Ree Drummond

I downloaded this book on my iPhone for those moments in which I can't wrap my brain around packing or job hunting or house finding anymore. I absolutely LOVE it! Ree's story reminds me of a few times in my life *cough*datingcowboysincollege*cough* and the adjustment it took to get used to their slower paced way of life. (Hell, Mr. Wonderful is a country boy, and I'm STILL trying to slow down enough to match his pace!)

Anyway, this is my favorite read of the moment. So, pick it up.

2: King Ranch Chicken... Or Ranch House Chicken... Or (as Mr. Wonderful calls it) Chicken Enchiladas

I learned how to make it from an ex in college's grandmother. (Yes, he was a cowboy, too.) A few years passed before I made it for my own family, and now it is a once a week treat.


  • 1 (3 pound) chicken, boiled and deboned OR chopped chicken breast
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) package tortilla chips
  • 1 (10 ounce) can diced tomatoes with green chile peppers
  • 1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of chicken soup
  • 1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 cups shredded Cheddar cheese


  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C.)
  2. Layer the chips in a 9x13 inch casserole dish.
  3. Combine the tomatoes, chicken soup, mushroom soup and onion. Pour half of mixture over chips. Layer the chicken pieces, half of the cheese and the remaining soup mixture.
  4. Bake at 300 degrees F (150 degrees C) for 20 minutes. Top with the remaining cheese and return to the oven until the cheese is melted.
(Photo and instructions from All Recipes)

3: Live a Little, Love a Lot by Kenny Chesney

I've literally been singing this song at the top of my lungs anytime I am in my car. I mean, the lyrics say it all:

"Live a little... Have some fun... Spend some time... Waste it on #1..."

It screams "Mom's Night Out", doesn't? Er... maybe not. But it is still a fun song.

Find out the story behind the song and take a listen here.

4: The OPI Texas Collection

When we finally get moved, I'm treating myself to a pedicure. And I'm thinking that the OPI Texas Collection is it. With cute names like Suzi Loves Cowboys *cough*whichcouldbenamedMamaElleLovesCowboys*cough* how could I pass this up?

5: Cuptakes iPhone App

is seriously the most must-have iPhone app for girly girls. I LOVE IT! In fact, I've changed my backgrounds on my phone with every single one of my recent moods. (That's A LOT!!!) Right now... zebra print. Yesterday? Green paisley. Tomorrow? Who knows!

What are your favorite things (of the moment)?

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Back to Blogging & Leaving Charleston

It has been a long time.

As a writer, the last thing I generally want to do at the end of the day is scrawl out a blog post. Frankly, even looking at words on a screen is enough to make me crave a glass of wine.

But, the blogging and Twitter arenas did introduce me to a world of loving friends, whom I miss dearly.

So... Here I am.

Last I left off, we were relocating to Charleston, South Carolina. Thanks to the wonderful economy and Mr. Wonderful's job ending, we are now packing to move... Again. This time, we are headed to Tulsa, Oklahoma. (The in-law family and several old friends are there.)

Charleston has not been without it's charms, however.








These photos are from Magnolia Gardens, a nearby plantation from the early 1700s. I could wander the grounds for hours, gazing at the gorgeous statues and lush landscapes. (Of course, I edited them with various iPhone apps to make them look vintage. Love!)





We also visited the Angel Oak, recently. That is Mr. Wonderful and Bug standing under one huge tree! Every branch you see is from the same trunk, not multiple trees. Isn't that amazing?

So, as we leave this charming Southern town, I know that it will forever leave it's mark on my soul.