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


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