Thursday, December 31, 2009

Ten Things

I'd be better served to pick ten things that didn't make me smile, because it was THE MOST wonderful month, but Emmy doesn't call it Ten Million Things :) Here goes

Ten Things about December that made me smile

Knowing in my heart that the greatest gifts are given, not received.

Watching my children make memories with their friends

Christmas cards!!!

Being married to THAT guy who cracks me up!

AND late night foosball tournaments in the family room

Candy cane tea and pumpkin bread for breakfast

Hosting our family at home and filling our days and nights with laughter and love

Not setting an alarm for days and days

The Blind Side
I heart Michael Oher and the Tuohy Family

Ending a year with no regrets and a heart full of hope for what's to come

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Honeymoon's Over - or something like that . . .

My kids have been out of school for twelve days already and they have four more to go.  We've had a house guest since last Monday and we seem to be running out of space.  The lights on the Christmas tree aren't sparkling quite as brightly as they were earlier in the month.  I'm afraid the Merry has gone out of our Christmas.

The holiday hangover is starting to subside.  Starting.  And I hardly drank during the holidays.  But I've consumed more than my weight in sugar cookies, hot chocolate and pumpkin bread.  Salads have been safe from me for days!!  It's a thing of the past.  All of the cookies, the cake, the candy - gone.  In the trash tonight.  And I'm gonna clean my house and get back to my blog.  Aaaah, I feel better already.

To my Summer ~ I've missed you too.  Let's catch up soon.  In real life.  Love you
Click to play this Smilebox scrapbook: Peace and Happiness
Create your own scrapbook - Powered by Smilebox
Make a Smilebox scrapbook

Monday, December 21, 2009

Something to Hold Onto

We’ve been thoroughly focused on the real Reason for the Season at our house for weeks now. We talk about Santa, but not a ton.

To the Athlete: “Have you thought about what you want Santa to bring you this year?”

To the Princess: “Is there ever going to be a time that we don’t have to bribe you with sugar to sit on Santa’s lap so we can take a photo?”

BTW – not even the promise of ice cream, hot chocolate or candy would get her near the big guy this past weekend. The girl is having none of it and says he knows what she wants anyway and she doesn’t have to sit on his lap. Well alrighty then.

In the back of my mind I’ve had a sneaking suspicion that The Athlete doesn’t really believe in Santa and is just patronizing us. He’s clever like that and always looking out for someone else’s feelings. But this time I am DELIGHTED to be wrong.

This was the week that the official Letters from Santa came in the mail. My prior doubts about my oldest child believing in Santa are all gone now.

He was over the moon. Over.The.Moon. The letter was addressed right to him and was on Santa CLaus letterhead.  Santa knew about his Italian customs project and his book reports. He told him he was proud of him. He mentioned the gift item that my son wants the most and said he would do his best to make sure he gets it.  The Pope himself couldn’t have touched my son more.

It was refreshing to see that my super sophisticated, thoroughly thoughtful, reads at a fourth grade level in 2nd grade guy, is still my little boy. He slept with the letter one night and I’ve caught him more than once reading it at breakfast. Be still my heart.

If you haven’t seen Christmas through the eyes of a child lately, I highly recommend it. The magic is absolutely breathtaking.

My Christmas wish for you is that you believe in something that you hold onto .  . . even in your sleep

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Letters to Someone - Secret Santa Edition

Every Thursday is Letters to Someone. Today I'll just have to say that I am better late than never. We'll go with that. I'm writing today in honor of the super fantastic Secret Santa Soiree hosted by Georgie and Amy.  These ladies worked hard to organize more than 100 participants for an exchange.  Thank you so much!

Dear Secret Santa ~

Will you marry me?  You really outdid yourself and I am so, so grateful for your generosity and thoughtfulness.  I realized AFTER I ripped open your package like a six year old on my birthday carefully examined my parcels that you really took the time to find out what makes me smile.  Everything in the box was perfect.  Perfect.  And I was delighted.  You even sent something for my deranged dogs.  That's too sweet!  Even my dogs love you now. 

I opened this first and I would have been OK with this all by itself.  Such salty sweet perfection.

Then I opened this.  They smell terrific.  I heart candles.  But you knew that.

And for the dogs.  You are amazing.  Kate and Kramer say thank you!

And if I weren't madly in love already, I opened this . . .
Did I tell you I love you?
Personalized stationery is the way to my heart.  You permanently live there now

Merry Christmas, Santa!  I'll see you at the altar.
There won't be any letters next week.  I will be in a bliss coma and loving Christmas day with my family.  God Bless you and your families for a blessed holiday and a happy, healthy New Year.

Mrs. Montoya

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

I Love Secret Santa!

I am overdue on a post, I'm sorry.  You can read here, here and here about how I am buried at work right now.  Seriously. Buried.  I do, however, need to say THANK YOU to my Secret Santa.  I got an amazing, thoughtful, generous, beautiful, totally unexpected gift this week.  I just love it.

Wanted you to know I got it.  I love it.  I took photos.  I'll post ASAP.  Now back to work for me.

xoxo, Mrs. Montoya

Decisionally Challenged

Monday, December 14, 2009

Could Santa Lend an Elf or Two?

'Tis the season to be completely overwhelmed and freaking out, right?  Please say yes so I am not alone.  Right this minute I am face to face with the biggest to do list you have ever seen, a miniscule reserve of free time and just a smidge of money.  Not such a favorable equation for the perfectionist in me.

When I am not blogging, I work.  Full time.  And travel.  And I'm really good at it.  Well, maybe I made that part up.  But I am a career girl by choice and the vast majority of the time I think it's a terrific idea.  After more than a few days at home with my kids I remember that I work because it's easier than staying at home.  Social services would have visited by now if I didn't have a job.  I am certain of that. 

BUT, being the call your own shots girl that I am, there are times when it's inconvenient to be painfully busy at work.  Like summer vacation.  And now for example.  I have some shopping to do.  Some cards to address.  Some beautiful ribbons to tie.  And I am in the office well after the time that I'd like to be in the office.  My prospects for tying, shopping and addressing are quite slim this week.  It's threatening to drag me under and I am trying to find Santa's number to see if I can get some help.  His number doesn't seem to be listed . . .

Rather than letting that get to me, I am going to take a deep breath and remember the joy that I have in my life and why I love the holidays so much - professional crisis or not.

I am the mother of a darling donkey and a cheeky little angel.

My home is warm and full of little people who are making memories together and celebrating traditions

I am deeply loved even if I don't tie the ribbons or finish the list

I could not ask for more

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Letters to Someone

Dear Loony Bin ~

My name is Kim.  I work about 60 hours a week, write a halfass blog and am a basketball widow to two elementary school children who have a Christmas pageant this week.  My shopping's not done, my house is not clean and I could work an extra 60 hours this week and still not be done.  Do you think that I could get a free trial pass to your fine establishment?  You know, test the padded walls and the special attire - no strings attached?  I can be there tomorrow and would like to cut a deal with you before I am shipped there without recourse.  Give me a call.  You can reach me at 555-LOST

Most Sincerely,
Miss May Need Meds Soon

Dear Darling Boy ~

Your candor is one of my favorite things about you. Mostly.  But we'll need to start working on your censor button and timing during the holiday break.  Like when I was filming you during your customs presentation and your teacher was extolling the virtues of your Grandpa making your ceppo by hand and how nice it was that you could spend time with him and work on your project.  You didn't HAVE TO SAY "no, he made it by himself while we were out shopping."  Timing and censorship, sweetie.  And we don't really need to send back our Christmas cards.  The printer didn't "mess up our faces".  That's an outdoor glow on our cheeks.  And sweat.  Remember the ten mile hike? And how it looks like we're sitting in the tops of trees because we WALKED THERE!!!!!  You are precious, but you gotta learn how to zip it.  We'll work on it together.

I Do Love You,
Your Mama

Sweet Angel Girl,

Have I gotten through to you at all that the Christmas pageant in the sanctuary is a religious event?  And you being an angel shouldn't be a total facade . . .  I appreciate that Mrs. Nelson thinks a simple costume is best and that we can add garland to an old tee shirt.  However, just because my smallest tee shirt has some give in it for you, there's no reason to go poking your shoulder out of the neck and trying to turn your performance into Flashdance.  I think it's charming that your halo is slightly crooked, but you're really starting to get to me.  You're five and you're going to stay five for as long as I can keep you there.  There must be a one in front of the five for you to act like this.  And there's not.  You're mine.  Straighten up.

Break A Leg and Sing Like An Angel.  A Tiny, Innocent Angel.

Dear Christmas Tree ~

I love you.  You make me unconditionally happy amidst all the other chaos.  Thank you for being with us again this year.  We are very, very lucky.

Just Shy of a Scrooge

Letters to Someone happen around here every Thursday.  You can visit Shortmama to be part of the fun.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Merry SITSmas

Our friends over at SITS are hosting a Christmas card exchange today and I am oh so honored to be a SITSTA.

Especially from me, to you and yours, is my wish that you will always want what you have.

This year has been particularly hard for a lot of people near and dear to my heart and some of you, too.  I've come to understand that getting what you want isn't nearly as special as just wanting what you have.  Cherish good health, a meal on the table and the kiss from a loved one.

God Bless you during the holidays and all through the New Year

Mrs. Montoya
E & K
The Princess (5) & The Athlete (7)

Sunday, December 6, 2009

To Celebrate or Wait - Part II

First, I want to be sure to say Thank You to my bloggy friends for your brilliant holiday suggestions and your unconditional support of my desire to wear reindeer ears.  There are days when your comments alone make my world go round.  Wednesday might have been one of them.  Anywhoo . . .

I'm concerned that I wasn't quite clear on the reason for my struggle with festive vs. faithful.  I am 143% into festive and don't have an issue with it.  Eggnog for breakfast anyone?  HOWEVER, my children attend private Catholic school and the formal teachings of the church don't mesh with eating sugar cookies for dinner and changing the outgoing message on the answering machine to Christmas carols.  Thus my dilemma and maybe a little background.

I was raised as a Southern Baptist.  When I moved to California there weren't an abundance of baptist churches and I attended Catholic mass with E.  There was a certain comfort to me in the tradition and formality of the Catholic church that I hadn't been exposed to before.  E never pushed me to convert to the religion and it was never an issue for us.  I just kept taking my Baptist self to the Catholic church and folding my arms at communion.

When I was pregnant with The Athlete it became SUPER important to me to unify our faith.  I was terrified to bring a child into in a world full of missing morals and misplaced values and religion was something tangible for me to give our family.  I went through catechism while I was pregnant and was confirmed several weeks after The Athlete was born.  Attending religious education as an adult was life changing for me and something I cherish deeply.  For all the things I do wrong as a parent that one thing feels so right.

Back to the issue of festive.  When we went to mass on Sunday night (last week, first Sunday of Advent) there was a newly fashioned sign in the Sanctuary that reads "Vigilant Anticipation". The church strongly encourages us not to get wrapped up in the commercialism of the holiday but to stay focused on our preparations for the celebration of Christ. Heavy stuff.  For some reason this season it is particularly important to me to be sure that our holiday traditions are firmly rooted in the right place. Not just in our letters to Santa and decorating the tree, but identifying how the true meaning of the season impacts us.  Both as a family and as faithful parishioners.

I've spent a few days reviewing material that's come home from school and doing some independent research on religious traditions of Advent.  I will have to compromise.  I simply cannot go along with decorating our tree on December 19.  Can't. Won't.  Not gonna do it.  I am also not waiting to complete our Nativity Scene on December 23.  But we have begun saying our bedtime prayers in front of it and are saying a special Christmas prayer for those in need when we light our Advent wreath each night.

Will we do it again next year?  I honestly don't know.  But I do believe that trying to do the right thing is better than none at all.  And I learned from you that even the important lessons can be taught when wearing reindeer ears.  Thank you, my friends.  I do look better in the glow of the Christmas tree . . .

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Happy Birthday, Nanny

Today would have been my Nanny's 90th Birthday.  I'm more than a little sad that she's not here, but so happy she is well and content in heaven.

The last big birthday we celebrated together was her 80th.  E and I flew home to surprise her at a party in her office.  Yeah, her office.  She still worked full time when she was 80 and her colleagues and friends were thrilled to honor her.  It was such a nice occasion and she so deserved the hoopla.

I am smarter, happier and better in every single way because she loved me.  I know she's watching and I know she knows how much I love her.  I'll say Happy Birthday here anyway.

Happy Birthday, Nanny.  I miss your face.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Letters to Someone

It's Thursday.  That means Friday is tomorrow.  Can I get a hallelujah??  It has already been quite a week aned Letters to Someone are such a nice way to blow off a little steam.  Enjoy and then head to ShortMama's to see her letters and her friends letters', too.  You can even join in the fun.  You'll be hooked.

Dear Auto Manufacturer ~

I drive a mid-sized SUV, with third row seating and a big engine.  It gets us where we need to go and sometimes we bring friends. I like it.  But there's this one thing.  Why on earth does a car that size have a horn that sounds like it's coming from a child's toy?  I don't use it enough to think of it much, but when there's a much bigger SUV coming my way fast I am hoping for a fog horn.  You let me down.  I will say on the bright side that I am grateful that the other drivers are looking for the moped on the Freeway instead of flipping me off, but still can't quite bring myself to say Thanks.  It just doesn't fit.

With a Tiny Toot Toot,
The Lady and her Kids who will Never Save Themselves by Horn Alone

Dear Beaujolais Noveau ~

Only released on the third Thursday of November, really?  I never knew until now and I am positively hooked.  Thank goodness you are only available in limited quantities.  That may be just the thing saving me from a one way ticket to a habit kicking program.  Well, that combined with the fact that the weekend makes me more apt to seek out your cousin, the Grey Goose.  I am certain that mixing it up disqualifies me from addiction.  For now I will love you deeply and when you're gone I will remember you fondly.  Thank you for the warmth you're bringing to my midweek evenings.


Dear Business ~

You are a babe when you're booming, but I'd like to negotiate a little on your timing.  It's Christmas time you see and I am busy.  I've got some shopping to finish online and at lunch every day this weekend and here you come trying to take charge and commanding all my time. It HAS been a tough year and I should be happy to see you return.  And I am.  I would just like to see you later.  Four weeks later to be exact.  Please.  You can't even imagine the reception I'll give you.  In January.  After Christmas.  You see where I'm going, right?  Have your people call my people.

Happy Holidays,
The Chief Executive of Jingle Dingle

Dear Bloggy Friends,

Go fast, fast, fast over to Menopausal New Mom to see her un-freaking-believable giveaway.  I still can't quite figure out why she is giving away something so gorgeous, but sometimes I am a little dense.  I am SURE there's a good reason.  I hope when I win she tells me.  I mean, I hope when you win you tell me.  Naw, that's a lie.  I hope I win.  They're stunning.  But you should go enter.  Every lady deserves a little holiday sparkle.  Maybe it's you.  I hope it's me.

Best of Luck,
Mrs. Montoya

p.s.  I need to give credit where credit is due.  I swiped the term "Jingle Dingle" from Kelly at Speaking from the Crib.  I couldn't resist.  I hope she doesn't sue.  I'm NOT selling the earrings :)

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

To Celebrate or Wait?

The holidays are upon us and I am beyond delighted.  I am absolutely as shameless as any 5 year old. I want to sit on Santa's lap and tell him the 87 things I'd LOVE to have and eat sugar cookies for dinner for the next 23 nights. 'Tis the season, baby!!!

Unfortunately, I know better. And the joining of festive and reverent are not coming easily for me.

Today is the fourth day of Advent.  The first purple candle was lit on Sunday and Monday nights with the appropriate prayers being said.  I begged off on cooking dinner last night and the tradition is suffering already.  I am not proud.

I know that you can't spell Christmas without Christ, but have no idea how to translate that message meaningfully to my children. The expectations are high, but our traditions aren't solid.  I am looking for answers and not finding them.

If I am struggling with how to balance the waiting and vigilant preparations then what are my kids thinking?  They are looking to me to set the example and, like always in my parenting career, I just don't know how.  How can I possibly be a role model when I want to wear reindeer ears everyday?  If you know the answer, please reach out.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Ten Things

November was a month full of fantastic things and I never forget to give thanks for every one of them.  Ten things at the top of my list this month . . .

Moments that are more gorgeous than anyone ever expected, and cherished all the more because of it

Cousins who create their own club and only give Grandma the password to enter


Helping the kids choose gifts for their family

Spending time with my precious niece, Bridget

Going to the library with The Athlete and seeing him develop a love for books

A suite at the Beverly Wilshire and someone fabulous to share it with

Stuffing, Sweet Potato Casserole and Pecan Pie

God's perfect grace shining in the eyes of my son

Sharing the joyful anticipation of Christmas with a family I adore

God Bless you and yours this Advent season.  Family and fellowship with friends are our most beautiful gifts.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Randomly Blue

All of my thoughts today are wrapped up in family, the Thanksgiving holiday and Christmas shopping.  There is an errant thought about business or if I'll have time to vacuum tonight, but otherwise I am in full time holiday mode and the rats are running a million miles an hour in my head.

For the last several days I have been more than a little blue about not going to Tallahassee for Thanksgiving.  I need to stand at my Mom's kitchen window and watch the squirrels play in the yard.  I need to see my Dad in his recliner with his cup of sweet tea.  I need my family in the oddest way that I haven't in a long time and I can't get to them just now.  I am not so happy about that.  I'm just gonna have to deal.

I'm supposed to work for a while tomorrow, but I am thinking I won't.  We're having a little soiree at my house at 3 and I'd rather spend the morning with my girlfriend drinking coffee and watching the kids play than to drive to the office and act like I care for a few hours.  Do you think I can only take a 1/2 day vacation since there's no way I was planning to work any more than that anyway?

Everyone in LA this weekend had on skinny jeans tucked into their boots.  I'm loving that look and desperately want some new boots to wear to Thanksgiving.  Again.  Just gonna have to deal.

Just can't decide if I want to do the Black Friday sales or not.  There are some serious deals to be had, but I feel like I am going to come home with $400 worth of cashmere sweaters for myself because they were such a great deal and still have to shop for gifts.  Sorta defeats the purpose, I think.

Read With Girlfriends is having a giveaway today and it's from me.  I offered some of my garage sale goodies to my friend, Mimi and that just didn't work out.  I was shopping for my Secret Santa and happened upon the cutest, most fun little treat for a Girlfriend who is suffering through this month's book pick.  Click over and comment and you'll be entered to win.  The polish is super, super pretty.  I won't be bummed if you don't win.  It will look good on me!

Happy, Happy Thanksgiving Bloggy Friends.  If you're with your family this week hug them tight.  Even when they drink too much, snore in the recliner after dinner and call your guests the wrong name.  They're yours.  They love you.  You're lucky to have them.  I wish I could hug mine.


Monday, November 23, 2009

And Then There Were Two

For two days and two nights I was his wife.  I was not their mother.  I was not the housekeeper, grocery shopper and list maker.  I was me.  The one who loves him unconditionally.  The more charismatic, less frenzied version of myself.

He wasn't Coach E. He was not the guy who writes the checks, mows the law and takes the dog to the groomers.  He was my husband.  The one that kisses me on the forehead and winks at me across the table.  The endlessly charming, less anxious version of himself.

We went to the spa. He watched sports in the bar and I read. We listened to live music and lingered over dinner and drinks. We tasted wine together and selected beautiful cheese to share. I let him sleep in while I drank coffee.

Nine years ago I said "I do".  And I still do, but even more.  Every single day.  But some days are to be cherished.  The days we're just Mr. & Mrs.  I am so thankful.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Food For Thought

I've got so much to say, but I am earning a living today and need to stay focused.  I AM compelled to share that I am joining Lysa TerKeurst for 37 Days of Kindness.  Her message came to me at the right time and for the right reason.  I am oh so grateful it did. 

As we gear up for holiday shopping, and decorating, and cooking, and baking . . . let's also throw ourselves into loving each other and giving Thanks for our gifts.  The gift of home, family and health.  E and I are going away this weekend and my kids are beside themselves to go to their Grandma's house.  I could easily have thrown them a wave them this morning and let their sleepover bliss carry them through until I see them again.

But I didn't.

I stopped them both in their tracks (much to The Athlete's chagrin) and kissed them firmly and said "I love you like crazy".

If the Lord decides that I won't get the chance to see them again I want to be sure that is what I leave them with.

Are you leaving your mark on the world?

Is it a good one?

Go love someone more than they want to be loved and have a great weekend.

"Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain."
1 Corinthians 15: 58

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Letters to Someone

Everyone loves Letters to Someone.  Go see Shortmama and her links for what everyone's saying to someone today.  You know you love it - xoxo

Dear Perspective ~

Welcome back.  I didn't even realize how much I've missed you.  I am a kinder, more interesting person when you're with me and I am sure my family and friends will appreciate your return, as well.  You always help me stay focused on being rather than doing and I can definitely use some assistance right now.  I'm glad you're here.

With Much Love,
Your Renewed Companion

Dear Dusty Bunnies & Dog Hair ~

Do you think you could find somewhere else to party?  It's obvious that you don't much care about your impact on my family, but I am over you.  That fat little dog got a hair cut and I have been going at it with my Swiffer sweeper in an effort to get rid of you.  But you still keep joining together and multiplying like, um, bunnies.  I've got some decorating to do and I only want to spell out M E R R Y with my cute little blocks.  Not my finger on the console.  A holiday in Rome for all of you . . .  Whaddya say?

The Lady that's Taking Your Name off the Guest List

Dear Sweet Peas ~

I hope y'all have a great weekend with Grandma and Grandpa.  I know it's proper parent protocol to hesitate when I send you out the door and say how much I'll miss you.  But everyone knows I ain't proper.  See ya!  Daddy and I will be back sometime Sunday.  Maybe.

With all the Love I can Muster Between my Fits of Excitement and Daydreams,
Your Mama

Dear E ~

The flowers were beautiful, thank you.  And now for the weekend.  Two nights alone and a day at the spa . . . oh my.  I'm looking forward to showing you what a happy wife I am. Who knew 9 was your lucky number??!

Your Smitten Other Half,
Mrs. Montoya

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Mr. & Mrs. Montoya

Today is our 9th Anniversary and I am simply delighted.  E and I are going away this weekend for some R&R and a chance to celebrate sans our favorite little people.  Woo hoo!  Marriage has absolutely been the greatest blessing in my world and I can hardly wait for the next 9, and 19 and 90 together.

Happy Anniversary to my amazing husband!  My world is so much better with you in it. 

Forever Yours,

Mrs. Montoya

Monday, November 16, 2009

Thank you, friends and everything you never wanted to know about me

I have been the biggest blog slacker lately. Somehow traveling, my full time job, kids' projects and managing our household have gotten in the way.  I'll let all that slide again soon ~ trust me!!  But in my unexpected time away, my bloggy friends have been kind and generous and still making me laugh and cry every time I click around.  It's crazy what goes on in every corner of the world, but yet we're all so much the same.  Without further adieu, many thanks for my new awards.  The blog world is a slightly funnier, more heartfelt version of my real life and I'm thrilled to be here.  Thank y'all for thinking of me.

Thank you, Rose.  You crack me up and getting this award from someone as honest and humble as you is a special treat.  Honest Scrap's rules are that you pass it on to 6 friends and tell ten truths about yourself.  Aren't you lucky to hear all my dirty details :)

Ten Truths About Me

(1) I am homesick most of the time.  I miss my family and my hometown more than I am ever willing to admit.

(2) When I win the lottery, my first big splurge will be on a full time hairdresser.  Having good hair days forever would be my idea of perfect.  I'd keep most everything else the same, but I'd be more than happy to take leave without pay while I travel!!

(3) Maui is my favorite place in the world.

(4) Being happily married is the thing I am most proud of.  Growing up I didn't have good role models for relationships and assumed that being part of a couple would always be a struggle.  To be married to someone that I love so much and enjoy spending time with is the most unexpected treasure of my life.

(5) Raising thoughtful, gracious children matters more to me than anything in the world.

(6) My dream job would be as a gift concierge.  I love choosing the perfect gift and would adore being able to spend money that wasn't mine to make someone so happy.

(7) I talk to my Mom on the phone every day and we both know automatically if there's something wrong with the other one based on the opening of that conversation.  One of us usually brings up something the other one is thinking.

(8) I'd rather get up at 4 AM to finish something than to stay up until midnight.

(9)  I don't like to gamble.  I think it's a waste of time and would rather lose money shopping.

(10) My life is a million times better than I ever imagined it would be.  I am thankful for every single thing I have and don't take any of it for granted.

From Sweet Emmy came this little jewel. Not only do I think it looks super cute, but I appreciate so much that someone I look up to as much as Emmy would think of me.  Thank you!  This is required to be passed along, also and comes with a single word Q&A.  Single words are hard for me, but here we go.

1. Where is your cell phone? Car

2. Your hair? Brown

3. Your mother? Sweet as Pie

4. Your father? Brilliant

5. Your favorite food? Hot

6. Your dream last night? Painful

7. Your favorite drink? Coffee

8. Your dream/goal? Happy Kids

9. What room are you in? Kitchen

10. Your hobby? Blogging

11. Your fear? Loss

12. Where do you want to be in six years? Right here

13. Where were you last night? Home

14. Something you aren’t? Boring

15. Muffins? Nah

16. Wish list item? Tropical Vacation

17. Where did you grow up? Tallahassee

18. Last thing you did? Dinner

19. What are you wearing? Slippers

20. TV? Nope

21. Your pets? Two

22. Your friends? Life long

23. Your life? Amazing

24. Your mood? Tired

25. Missing someone? So much

26. Vehicle? Highlander

27. Something you’re not wearing? Makeup

28. Your favorite store? Costco

29. Your favorite color? Red

30. When was the last time you laughed? Ten minutes ago

31. When was the last time you cried? Last week

32. Your best friend? Carrie

33. One place that you go over and over? School drop off

34. One person who e-mails me regularly? I dunno

35. Favorite place to eat? PF Changs

Thanks again, ladies.  I am proud to be your friends.  And to do the awards justice I am giving them both to my six favorite flavors right now.  I know you'll develop a taste for them, too.

JennyMac from Let's Have a Cocktail - I am madly in love with this girl.  Not creepy stalker like, but read her every day and love it a lot.  She is witty, well~spoken and has some of the most outrageous subject matter ever.  If you haven't been there.  Go.  You won't be disappointed. 

Mimi from Living in France ~ I heart Mimi for a million different reasons.  Most recently, she told Dora to suck it.  Are you kidding?  In her defense she was hopped up on prescription medication, but I just love, love, love that she said it.  And when she's not all strung out we share taste in books and loving our kids.  She's one of my favorite reasons to blog.

Tyne from The White House ~ Oh, sweet Tyne. If this were a yearbook, I would vote Tyne most likely to be invited over for dinner and conversation.  She is humble and honest and writes so beautifully about things that the rest of us just gloss over.  I am inspired by her faith and her constant willingness to share it in print.

The Whispering Writer from Airing my Dirty Laundry ~ Wife of Tom, Mom to Tommy and Natalie she is seriously hilarious.  I think I mostly dig her is because of her obsession with shopping for her 2 year old daughter and her unbelievable ability to make a family dinner funnier than any sitcom.  A new post from her is a true treat and I am just smitten with her darling little girl.  She posts photos all the time and I know you'll agree.

Tori from I'm Not in Kalamazoo Anymore ~She's barely blogging this month and I still seek her out.  She may be a role model for me (ooooh, sorry Tori!) because she's reached a point with her kids that I haven't gotten to yet and she does it with a great sense of humor.  She's always got good photos and never forgets her cute puppy, Ace.  Go visit her.  And say hi to Ace for me!

Jen at Buried with Children ~ Jen and her hubby have triplets and one older son. Bless. her. heart.  I'm not sure if I need to say anything else.  You can't even imagine what fodder that provides.  But she's also super charming and loves those babies like crazy.  I can't say anything bad about someone who loves their kids so much and is still sane.  Jen's good people.

Have a great week!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Letters to Someone

It's Thursday again.  Unbelievable!  If you like my letters you should head over to Shortmama's and see what she and her other bloggy friends have to say in their letters today.  You can link up, too if you have something to say to someone special.

Dear Starbucks ~

Although I don't even remember what life was like before you came along I must end the affair.  I long for you in the wee hours of the morning and calculate how far I can get on my projects before I need you again.  And don't think that I didn't notice you sneaking in the holiday flavors again.  You always know how to lure me to you and I am so smitten that I can't resist your advances.  I am not sure if there's a latte rehab, but I may very well be a candidate.  Why do I love you so?

Undercaffeinated and Overspent,
Your Best Customer

Dear Bargain Shoppers ~

Come on over!! I have been cleaning and emptying away and have tagged lots of goodies for you.  I do need to establish some rules, though. Well, really only one.  Absolutely no haggling.  I believe that $1 is more than a fair price for a designer sweater with the tags on it.  Please do not even consider asking if I will take $1 for it and three others like it.  I won't.  Then I'll be mad and won't let you buy anything and we'll both be disappointed.  That's no fun.  I am keeping my fingers crossed to unload enough stuff to head to the Coach store on Sunday.  I love it when everyone's happy!

Play Nice and You'll Get the Good Stuff,
The Stingy Lady on the Driveway

Dear Holidays ~

Whoa Nelly!  I am super excited for your arrival, but am a little alarmed by how rapidly you're approaching.  My deal is to address Christmas cards over Thanksgiving weekend, but seeing as I haven't even ordered cards yet I may have a problem.  I am so enjoying my harvest decor and it's almost time to haul out the nativity scene.  Please slow down just a little.  Come to us nice and easy and let my family and me enjoy the season.  You are pure magic to us and I don't want to miss a single moment.  I promise we'll savor it and make you glad you came.

With Love,

Dear Blog ~

I know you're lonely and feeling unloved.  I'm sorry.  I have big, big plans to spruce you up and fill you with witty, meaningful words again.  Soon.  Right now I lack clarity of thought and don't have much nice to say.  That doesn't really make for good material to share with the world.  I hope you understand. I'll be back and you'll be my favorite hobby again.  Keep the keyboard warm for me.

Mrs Montoya

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Happy Veteran's Day!

This nation will remain the land of the free only so long as it is the home of the brave ~ Elmer Davis

From my safe, cozy home in the greatest country on Earth, THANK YOU to our US Military past and present.  Happy Veteran's Day

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Random Tuesday Thoughts


Oh my ~ I am just not sure that the world is prepared for my randomness today. I am overwhelmed, uninspired, buried past my eyeballs with stuff and generally about to lose my mind. Enter Random Tuesday Thoughts. Buckle up kids. This one might be bumpy. BUT  before I go off on a tangent get started, I must wish a VERY HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my Dad and my Mother in Law. I am so damn lucky to have them both and wish I had the time, money and resources to celebrate them to the degree which they deserve.

Happy Birthday, Daddy.

Happy Birthday, Laura.

I love you both so much.

And now about me :)  My life is seriously kicking my ass lately. Can I say “uncle” and make it all go away? Someone comment please and say yes. And include instructions. I give.

First there’s the Princess who refuses to talk to me for several days after I’ve traveled. I had to redeem myself over the weekend with a special lunch date at the restaurant of her choice, an afternoon with me all to herself and her very own cookie at Disneyland. I do love spending time with her, but it’s truly exhausting to have to win her affections over and over again. I’m beginning to wonder when it will be worth it to me for her to love me. The dogs and my Mama love me unconditionally and that may have to be enough for right now.

The Athlete is almost perfect, but he’s got his own wee bag of issues. He’s the MOST aggressive kid on any court or field, but he’s also the smallest. Beefing him up is a hobby of mine and it is serious work lately to get him to eat anything other than sourdough toast. When I am not busy trying to be the perfect Mom I generally don’t care what they eat as long as they’re taking their vitamins and they eat something. But holy smokes!! If it’s true you are what you eat we need to slap some butter on that kid. And the homework – good lawd!!!! Last night we had to study for a science test and a spelling test. He had a social studies worksheet and a reading worksheet. We need to practice our math facts EVERY night and tomorrow he has a project summary due for Christmas customs in Italy. WTF?!?! I am not sure who’s learning more here, but I have a sneaky feeling only one of us will be cursing over the ceppo some time very soon.

E is traveling this week and I can’t sleep. That sucks. I even let the dog climb in bed with me last night to snuggle up, but somehow the canine gas and snoring offset her warmth. By the time my handsome husband makes it home I should be quite a sight. Just today the bags under my eyes would no longer qualify as carry-on luggage. Oh vay.

Work is completely off the charts right now in terms of unwelcome chaos. Personnel changes, contract negotiations, lots of hurry up and wait, miles and miles and miles of notes . . . I walk away every night and say “Thank you, Lord for a job that I love.” And then I crack up laughing! If I weren’t so excited about Christmas shopping for my family I might just call it a day. There’s something about the lure of my salary and medical benefits for my young children that keeps me coming back for more.

I really could go on and on about traffic school, cleaning the garage for our garage sale this weekend, First Communion Meetings and 6 AM Conference Calls, but I won’t. Random Tuesday Thoughts is absolutely the definition of my life right now. I linked up with Unmom today and the other Random Tuesday revelers and it’s so nice to know I’m not alone. Crazy should be it’s own zip code. I’ve elected myself as Mayor. Happy Tuesday all!

p.s. I have received a couple of awards lately and want to say THANK YOU to the ladies who deemed me worthy of them. I will get to that post this week and properly convey my gratitude. Promise!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Letters to Someone

Holy cow!  Thursday already and that means Letters to Someone.  Time DOES fly and it's been a busy week.  Be sure to cruise over and say hi to Shortmama and see who she's writing to this week.  I'm never disappointed.

Dear Domestic Air Travel ~

I don't mind being among your ranks.  The opportunity to sit in an exit row for 3 hours and read a book without interruption is reason enough to enjoy the club.  But there are some things that we should work on.  A flight that leaves at 8 AM on a Sunday should never be allowed.  Ever.  And a 44 minute connection is a little tight.  Well, a lot tight.  But mostly, the seats.  Has someone come to you raving about how comfortable they are in their claustrophobic nest of Seat 14C?  I didn't think so.  The poor man next to me couldn't even exhale and the tall lady across the aisle looked like her femur might crack momentarily.  It's just not right.  We're paying for blankets, headsets, luggage and crackers - please give us enough space to turn the page without elbowing our neighbor in the nose.

The Cramped Lady in Coach

Dear Brand New Boss ~

This is going to be hard, isn't it?  I'm going to try and help you.  You don't need to "pose a question to my esteemed colleagues" fourteen times in the same meeting.  You're the CEO.  We're not your colleagues.  And we would have gleaned that you were posing a question when you ended your self promotion with a question mark.  We're quick like that.  And, no.  This is not our first rodeo.  It's yours.  We know how to do this.  Really well.  And under budget.  You sit back, pretend like you get it and we'll make you look good.  It's our job.

Keeping My Fingers Crossed,
Overqualified and Underinspired

Dear E and Gorgeous Babies ~

I've missed you.  Lots.  I don't call because I can't afford the distractions and there's not much I can do to help you if you're having a tough week.  I'd sprout wings myself if I felt like you really needed me, but I'm so grateful you're such a hearty crew.  Not seeing your faces for a few days just makes me love you that much more. I missed the way your hair smells at bedtime and reading with you in bed.  I missed rocking out to your songs in the car on the way to school and everyone chatting about their day in the kitchen while I'm making dinner.  But, I'm back. I'm safe.  You're safe.  And tomorrow's Friday.  I can't wait to spend some time with all of you and hear about your week.  Thank you for letting me be yours the best way I know how.

With All My Love,
Your Wife and Mama

Dear Weekend ~

Please come soon, we can't wait to see you.  We are going to love you and cherish you and hold on tight while we've got you.  Do you think you could stop by and pick up your friends sunshine and clear skies on the way?  We'd love to see them, too.  We can all play outside together and share the love.  I'll even make dinner for all of you and include you in some family photos this weekend.  Don't be late.  We're thrilled your coming.

Me & My Gang

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Ten Things ~ October

Every month offers me a million things to love.
October was no different.  Some of my favorite things this month .  .  .

Hot coffee on brisk mornings

Babysitting my sweet niece, Bridget

The Athlete doing his thing, and loving it!

Isabella's 8th Birthday & Michelle's Baby Shower on the same weekend.

Going to the library with the kiddos and helping them fill out their applications for their own libary cards

Being Mom to a kooky girl who hearts me

Eating a giant bucket of popcorn for dinner at the movies with E

Making holiday plans

A surprise box of goodies from Grandaddy and Nana Lana

a real compass

a sweet new baby named Lily Grace

Going to bed every night knowing that I am loved

Friday, October 30, 2009

Happy Halloween

Snow White & Yosemite Junior Ranger


Happy Haunting!!!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Letters to Someone

Dear Cold & Flu Season -

Get lost! I certainly welcome the cooler weather and the opportunity to wear cozy sweaters and boots, but I think you suck. In addition to from taking out my family one by one and making the rest of us miserable I am blaming you entirely for our collective loss of spunk and the disasterous state of our home. I truly believe that Lysol pays you and this season you're getting a hefty bonus. Well move along and go infect someone else. We're scrubbing, spraying and sanitizing for dear life and could easily make it through the holidays without you visiting again. Scram!

Just Not Loving You,
 Worn Out and Wearing a Mask

Dear Bunco Crew -

I can't wait to see you fun ladies! I am super excited to have a scheduled night out AND I the invite says "wear your favorite PJs". OMG, seriously?!?! I so need a cocktail AND I don't have to dress up. Thank you. Thank you.  Thank you.

Hugs & Kisses,

Dear To Do List -

Go ahead and get comfortable on my desk. It looks like you're gonna be there for a while. Lucky for you there are new items joining your party every day. Woo hoo! Y'all go ahead and have a good time together. I'm going to spend the weekend loving on my family before I fly away to work elsewhere. I know where to find you when I get back.

Still Organized, but Ignoring You

Dear E -
It's just been one of those weeks. I'm so sorry. I know you're not well and my defense is that I am thoroughly used to you being everything for us. This is me waving my white flag.  Let's have a little fun with our babes this weekend and enjoy Halloween. I promise I'll steal the kids Hot Tamales if you'll forgive me for whatever I did. Not loving on you is not good for me. I don't want to fly away sad. Please kiss me soon.

Forever Yours,

Head over to Family of Shorts to see who else has Letters to Someone this week.  Go on.  You know you want to . . .

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Simple Blessings and Funny Boys

The Princess is super sick.  Her eyes are hollow and she's frusrated that she can't sleep.  She is clingy and really sweet and wants her Mama.  I'm grateful to be her Mama and able to lie in bed with her and rub her back.  In my haste to leave the office yesterday when school called I forgot to bring home my computer. I'll view that as a blessing.

My amazing in-laws took The Athlete to dinner last night and let him sleepover.  He went into orbit when he heard he could spend the night on a school night.  The Princess stopped vomiting for a little while and stood in the doorway to say hi to her Grandparents.

The athlete said goodbye to her. Actually he said this.

"Thanks for throwing up for me, Princess! See ya!"

The love of a sibling at it's very best.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Random Tuesday Thoughts

Oh goody! It's Random Tuesday and I am just overflowing with randomness. Big surprise, I know.

Today is one of those days when I think I'd be better suited to work in the shoe department at Nordstrom. I just love the subject matter and wouldn't mind the hard work.  I think it would be lovely to clock out and leave the madness behind. No strategy, no political position and backstabbing. Just work. Sounds so nice. And unrealistic. I know the grass isn't always greener, but a girl can dream.

My daughter is a darling child. If she's never given you the evil eye then you think she is innocent and charming. She's not. I told her today that there are some Mommys who hurt their children and sometimes she makes me understand why. She just stared at me like I was the one with a problem. Aarrrrggggghhhh - she has the MOST disarming way of getting under my skin. I have been irritated with her for hours on end now and she is happily playing at school with her friends. Maybe I AM the one with the problem. Actually I am sure of it.

There was a box on our doorstep last night from my Dad and Stepmom. I got some seriously gorgeous pearl earrings. They were so unexpected and such a fabulous treat on a Monday night. The Princess got a baby doll that she immediately named Lily Grace and carried her around feeding her and patting her back until it was time for bed. Lily Grace slept with her very proud new Mama. The Athlete got a super fancy compass, a navigation guide and a Swiss Army knife thingamabob. He was beyond thrilled. Beyond. We all think unexpected gifts are the very best. Thank you Daddy & Lana. We heart you.

E went to Vegas over the weekend and brought home some kind of sick. He was sick ALL night on Sunday night and kept me up with all of his carrying on and being ill. I hate that he's sick, really I do, but there's a certain level of graciousness that's expected when you're the one that needs help. Ya know - like when I was in labor and was sweet as pie to all the nurses even though they wouldn't give me any pain medication. Sweet Talk 101, Sir. It should sound like this.

"I know you worked hard all day with very little sleep and have cared for my children single handedly since I left on Friday morning, but may I please have some toast? I'd really appreciate a cold drink and a snack. I'm sorry I have been infecting our spotless bedroom for 24 hours and creeping you out. I'll make it up to you very soon."

Yeah, it should sound like that. And it's a little odd that you slept soundly through all of last night's chaos of dinner, baths and homework as well as the morning preparations but then you are up and at em less than an hour later and headed to an overnight in LA. I'm not really a suspicious girl, but the last time I peeked in you were barely conscious. I'm just sayin' . . .


Cruise over to see what Randomness the Unmom and her friends have come up with today. It's guaranteed good.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Technical Difficulties ~ Please Stand By

I write a blog because (1) my parents like it when I brag about their grandchildren, and (2) I like to write and typing is easier than handwriting.  Now ya know.

Somehow, while I was sharing funny stories and photos of my cherished offspring I got sucked into the swirling vortex of the blogosphere. I've spent hours browsing free blog layouts and debating on whether or not I should pay for something more beautiful and custom.  I learned how to embed a link and highlight it.  That was a big day.  I intermittently spend a fair amount of time trying to keep up with the Blogging Joneses.  However, I am not a model citizen of this planet.  I've got technical issues.

A blog friend of mine recently created a meme and other blog friends complimented her in her comments.  TRUE CONFESSION - I don't know what a meme is.

I comment on SITS roll call almost every day. I browse sites of other roll callers at random and comment on the featured blogger.  I think their rules say I am supposed to comment on the post before and after mine or something.  TRUE CONFESSION - I don't.

Comments from blog friends are cool.  It's a little like chatting with your girlfriends, but no one is paying for cocktails and the kids can still be in the room.  I dig that.  I like to think I am a good commenter because I am considerate that way.  Sadly though I don't know how to keep up with comments left on my page and get back to everyone.  I think there's an unwritten rule somewhere that you're supposed to go back and comment on all of your comments.  TRUE CONFESSION - that seems a lot like another part time job I can't fit into my schedule.

There are lots of blog writers that feature their current posts through their Twitter page.  I follow their tweets on my Twitter account so I can stay current.  TRUE CONFESSION - my Twitter account has been idle for weeks because I gave up.  TMI at it's pinnacle.

I was awarded twice recently by fellow bloggers.  That really is an honor.  It means that someone I've never laid eyes on read something I wrote and liked it.  Woo hoo!  I've gotten a couple of other awards in the past.  There are rules attached to the awards that say you're supposed to share the love and pass along those same awards to other bloggers.  TRUE CONFESSION - I've never done that.  But I will this time.  For reals.

Thank you to Amanda and Emmy for the Dragon's Loyalty Award.  They both awarded this to me in honor of my loyally following and commenting on their blogs.  And with good reason.

Emmy over at Emmy Mom is the sweetest girl and spends an awesome amount of QUALITY time with her kids. I admire so much the time she puts into life with her children and the faith that she shows through her writing. She's the inspiration behind the monthly "Ten Things to Smile About".  Her positive vibe never fails to put me in a good mood and make me want to try a little harder.

My friend, Amanda, at Family of Shorts is ridiculously funny and I always enjoy her posts.  She's the brains behind "Letters to Someone" and has saved me some cash on therapy, no doubt. She loves her husband and kids and makes the time to be grateful for the little things.  If you don't know already, I dig that sort of thing.  AND she has a food blog with some crazy good recipes that she makes with her daughter, Rhiannon.  I'd make her a Malibu cocktail and have some fun in the kitchen if we lived in the same state!!

So, of course, there are rules for this award!

1) If you have a blog, post it on your blog with a link back to the site who gave it to you.

2) Leave them a comment on their site, email, etc. to let them know.

3) If you don't have a blog but have a website, Facebook, MySpace, Twitter or other type account, post there with a link back.

4) Pass this on to 3-10 loyal fans.
'kay, here goes and I do mean this.  Thank you so much to my bloggy friends who follow me and always stop by to comment even when I don't have anything nice to say.  I love reading what you're thinking about what I'm thinking.  Seriously.  Thank you.
Mimi - Living in France
Georgie - Decisionally Challenged
Rose - Desert Rose Moments
Tyne - The White House
And then Amanda gave me another award.  And this one really touched me.  The caption with it was so dang sweet.  I am not always complimented on my honesty :) Thank you very much, friend. 
Host unlimited photos at for FREE!

I am going to pass along the little teacup which is the warm and cozy for those blogs that make you feel like a cup of coffee on a cool night. These blogs make me cozy whether through sweet words or honesty or pure laughter.

I am sure that there are some other rules that I have ignored overlooked and I will try to do better.  G'night Big Blogosphere.  I'm happy to be here.


Related Posts with Thumbnails