The Fairy Tale Thanksgiving.

19 Nov

Thanksgiving is right around the corner and I have been daydreaming about the picture perfect day.  Mine goes something like this:

 

All the prep work has been done days in advance, and all I have to do is baste the organic, free range turkey that I have NEVER been able to afford in the past.

 

My children are neat, well-groomed and sit nicely at the table. When they are finished with their meals, they play quietly and kindly in the living room, so the adults can finish their meals in harmony. My three year old eats all his veggies, and my 18 month old doesn’t attempt to re-drywall the ceiling with mashed potatoes.  And if she does, I find the mess THIS year, instead of my insanely clean mother-in-law finding it NEXT year.

 

My step-children show up on time, exclaim that they are sooooo excited to be here and are delighted to try some new veggie side dishes, because suddenly their picky eater mentality has disappeared. Turns out, they shutter at what their lives were like before me, roasted brussels sprouts and green bean casserole (made without the can of heart stopping grey slime) and would never want to go back.

 

My husband, after watching the turkey carving video almost 1000 times, manages to PERFECTLY dismember our beautiful, juicy turkey. He also is actually home for Thanksgiving, instead of working at the fire dept.  I also remembered EVERY ingredient so I don’t have to send him across town for poultry seasoning, milk or a frozen pie crust to replace my botched homemade ones.

 

I am not sweating like a pig from being in the kitchen all day.  My hair isn’t in a frizzy bun on top of my head, but straightened and there is not a single GREY hair to be found. When the table is set with my Versace china, Waterford goblets, and SILVERware, I simply get to untie my vintage apron and sit down with my family. My chic Banana Republic ensemble is stain-free and lacking in soggy armpits because no one needs to know how nervous I am about doing a good job.  Once seated, I don’t have to get up from the table twenty times, to get little things that I have forgotten, and so of course, my meal stays hot and delicious.

 

While I am eating my HOT meal, we go around the table and say what we’re thankful for, suddenly – each of us has an epiphany!!!  We change our lives for the better, serve humanity, and improve our relationships with each other and God.

 

I have managed to make enough gravy this year.  Without lumps.

 

My entire out-of-town family suddenly knocks on the door, surprising me because I am sooooo homesick for them over the holidays.  AND I have enough food, chairs and gravy to accommodate them all.

 

Somewhere a magical “dishes elf” has come while we were peacefully eating and has done Alllllllllllll the dishes,  AND packed up the leftovers in neat rows in my fridge.  The elf however, leaves a note and says that its okay for me to take the credit for the sparkling clean kitchen he left for me.

 

 

My photography skills have instantly become professional grade and our family photo is so good, that I can upload it to tiny prints (for which I downloaded the Groupon, got an insane deal, and remembered to use it BEFORE it expired) and make our Christmas cards EARLY.

 

Coffee and dessert are served later that night without the pressure of having to camp out at stores for Black Friday.  Because for once, I have already done all the Christmas shopping and for twice, we stayed within budget so we don’t have to stand in line for the best deals.

 

My in-laws are so overwhelmingly grateful that they volunteer to come up a couple of days early to help with the cooking and cleaning, next year.

 

And finally,

Everyone feels well-fed, loved and appreciative for all the things they have. 

My Thanksgiving will probably never be this perfect, but hopefully we can achieve this end result all the same.  I hope that everyone who reads this post has a wonderful Thanksgiving with the people they love.  Please, please, please remember the BRAVEST of us, who have forfeited the holidays with their loved ones, to keep us safe.  God Bless the Troops!

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

 

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How to make FRIENDS – part one.

13 Nov

For some reason, when I was ages 0-19, I was terribly lonely.  As a kid, my parents were constantly trying to find the “better” education (really the problem was me) and so I was in and out of schools all through my childhood.

4 schools in elementary, 3 schools for middle school, and 2 schools for high school.  Needless to say, I was pretty lonely.  Not quite “imaginary friend” lonely, but close. I invented imaginary lives so if anyone did approach me, I would have this cool life to wow them into being my BFF.  I know, I know.  I’ll cover that stuff in therapy as soon as we get closure on my shopping issues.  🙂

Then I joined the military. (GO NAVY!) Something about ACTUALLY getting through boot camp gave me so much confidence, that I ACTUALLY started to believe that people would WANT to be my friend. I became determined to never be lonely again.  I still moved around a bunch, that didn’t change.  The thing I changed the most about being able to make friends, was my actions.

Now, wherever I go, I ACTIVELY seek out groups with similar interests.

Example #1: When I was stationed in Jacksonville, I joined the “Multi-Cultural” committee.  I am not sure WHY we need a committee dedicated to promoting other cultures, the military is a culture in itself, race was hardly an issue. However, I wasn’t in touch with my “culture” and I figured SOMEONE must know what it’s like to be a lonely Mexican-Italian woman in a strange world. NOPE!!! I was wrong.  Turns out, there aren’t that many people out there with my special “cultural blend” that genetically and historically causes me to be addicted to carbs. BUT!!! I made two friends!   Suddenly the challenge of finding a friend in 4000 people – YIKES – became easier when I chose a group of 10.

Example #2: When I was stationed in Norfolk, VA, I joined a command led beach running group.  Again, the command size was about 500, but the running group had 12 members.  I sucked at running, still do, but it was a great way to meet people who cared about being outside, being healthy and having fun!

Example #3: When I was stationed in Oak Harbor, WA, I went religiously to the dog park. Dog park people love the outdoors and taking care of their animals similar to children!  (Caution: Sometimes it can be a teensy bit weird to see people making out with their dogs.) Think “play dates” for pets!  The people I met there turned me on to a local dinning and wine club and poof!  I had friends!!!!!!

See the pattern?  Gosh, I hope so because I am running the risk of losing you at this point…

Narrow your focus wherever you are!  Don’t move to a new city or new job and spend time feeling lonely. Feeling lonely is a WASTE of time!

YOU ARE COOL ENOUGH TO BE SOMEONE’S FRIEND!!!

I currently live in Stuart, FL.  It’s a smallish city,  CHOCK-full of people who have grown up here.  That was REALLY intimidating to me at first.  Doubt started to creep in…… I began to ask myself why in a city full of people who had the same friends since high school, would they want to get to know little ‘ole me?!  But because I had an infant son and became a SAHM, (stay-at-home-mom) I was going to go crazy without some adult interaction!!!!! So I joined a little group known as Stroller Strides, and that lead me to another little group called MOPS and that led to me joining Junior League of Martin County! Before long, I discovered that I had a CORE group of friends that I could trust with the REAL ME!!!

So, think about what you’re into and google a group in your city.  Reading? Search for book clubs. Excercise? Search for groups like Stroller Strides. Food and Wine? Search for a local wine shop and start going to tastings! Volunteering? Seek out a Junior League! Love Jesus? Find a church and join a small group!

BE BRAVE!

BELIEVE THAT GOD MADE YOU AWESOME… JUST AS YOU ARE!! 

THERE IS SOMEONE OUT THERE WAITING TO MEET YOU!

In part two we’ll cover the dreaded, “Saying Hi.” 🙂

Good luck!

Blunders, Obama, beautiful kids

7 Nov

SOooooooo. I have been writing all these blogs on my tablet, thinking that I was posting them. Oooopps. Turns out they were just being heldup in cyberspace until I published them from my desktop. My bad, I know you all were dying to hear my thoughts from the last 4 months. Hey, I am new to this whole thing, please forgive me.

Anyway, let’s just skip to today.

Election day is over. President Obama won, the House and Senate stayed the same and I think we are in for another four years similar to the last. If you are happy about that, then I am happy for you.

MUCH more importantly, my kids were absolutely adorable for Halloween!!!

A dinosaur and a flamingo.

They were really into it this year and we went with a group of friends and had a wonderful time. This year, being different from the others, in that my son discovered CHOCOLATE.

Lucky him. His life will be better for it.

My Creed

7 Aug

There’s  a loving God who created us and this world. My God is not exclusive, he loves us equally and unconditionally. Jesus’ life is a perfect example of true love, mercy and forgiveness and we should all endeavor to become more like Him. There are two parts of the Bible which are equally important and will lend wisdom, comfort, and guidance to its reader. A person’s identity is not in their income, race, sexual preference, nationality or ability. It is instead found in a relationship with God. He above all things, requires us to LOVE one another, even our enemies.

Unfortunately, Christians do a lot to turn people away from God. This makes my heart ache. Somehow, many Christians today get lost in the public denouncement of other’s lives when they should be over flowing with love. It is NOT our jobs to judge another’s choices!! Instead, we should focus on building relationships, community, and helping others.

I hope that if you are a person who has had a negative view of Christianity, you will be encouraged by my Truth. Even further, open a Bible and read for yourself about God’s love for you. I can promise that the deepest part of your soul will resound with joy!

“John 15:9-17 As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full. “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you. These things I command you, so that you will love one another.”

Destin, FL

7 Aug

We decided to spend the week in Destin, since Husband was up here working. Summer is the tourist season for Destin, and people from all the Southern states come here to vacation. So it is crowded. VERY VERY crowded. Like wait in line for 3 hours no matter where you want to eat crowded. Like travel time for 3 miles is 45 minutes crowded. VERY VERY crowded.

After the initial shock of the mass mania here, I decided to suck it up and enjoy our time together. (Sometimes, I get into funks.) So we went to a couple of restaurants and on a couple of outings that we really enjoyed. Here was our itinerary and my ratings.

Monday: Dinner at the Back Porch. Yuck. (1 out of 5 stars) Mass pandemonium, I almost felt like the food was being thrown at us because the server was so busy. Here’s the catch, the view is great. So I recommend going there for drinks only and hanging out under the umbrellas right on the beach. Kids are running around like maniacs there, so don’t let your kids keep you from going. In fact, pack some beach toys and let them dig in the sand while you drink.

Tues:Breakfast at hotel. Lunch at Chick-fil-A. Dinner at Maguire’s Irish pub. The food was good! (3.75 out of 5 stars) I had a steak and Husband ordered the Shepard’s pie. Both entrees were delicious and had huge portions, so we took a lot home for lunch the next day. I didn’t get a chance to order the iced coffee for dessert but I read an article that reported it was delicious. If you go, order one for me and let me know how it tasted! (I must report that it was very very crowded. But I had already adjusted my attitude and so it didn’t make me moody.) This restaurant is HUGE!!!!!!!!!!! So despite the fact that the line was out the door and we had to start WW3 for a parking spot, we only waited for 30 mins for a table. The kids were entertained by all the stuff on the walls i.e moose heads, a million dollars in dollar bills (yep, $1 bills) and the penny squisher machine.

Weds. Breakfast at the hotel. Lunch was leftovers from MacGuire’s. Dinner at Old Bay Steamer. Dinner was YUMMY. (4.25 out of 5 stars) I highly recommend this place if you’re a shellfish lover like me. We ordered the basic steamer which was a giant stainless steel bowl of steamed shrimp and snow crab legs. It came with a simple garden salad which was made with romaine lettuce and yummy carrots, cucumbers and tomatoes. The house salad dressing was delish too. Our main dish came out piping hot and well seasoned, I was in heaven. Snow crab legs are one of my all time favorite things to eat, so please don’t think I am raving about these lightly. But they were the third best I have ever eaten in my life. (first, a little place in Orange Park, FL and second in Seattle, WA.)

Thurs. Breakfast from the Donut Hole bakery. We ordered plain glazed donuts and I ordered a banana nut muffin, but when I opened the bag, there was a carrot something muffin in there, which I ate. I am not picky. At all. I will eat anything except for five particular items. I’ll blog about later, just to keep you reading. So anyway, the donuts and muffin were okay (3 out of 5 stars). I really wanted to try the key-lime filled donut but they’re the first to sell out. Skipped Lunch. Dinner at Marina Cafe. Food was pretty good but I might have enjoyed myself more had my children not been causing a ruckus the ENTIRE time. We went there on a friend’s recommendation, and let me warn you, DO NOT TAKE YOUR YOUNG CHILDREN there. The view was nice, the decor was fancy, and the food I couldn’t taste because I was so aggrevated at my kids. Husband however, got the grouper and loved it.

Activities:

Gulfarium: worth it. mostly shaded so don’t let the heat keep you away. Think mini- Sea World but friendlier staff!

Destin Commons Mall and Outdoor fountains: worth it

Outlet Mall: worth it Tip: military discount at the Kids Stride Rite store

Destin Beaches: WORTH IT! Sand and water were beautiful!!! Be prepared with cash to rent an umbrella and chairs though, we had a hard time finding a beach that didn’t require you to rent a spot. I’m sure with a little research, they’re easily found.

First Entry! Yay!

18 Jul

Welcome to my blog! I’m Cecilia and I am truly tickled you are reading this!

I’m completely over the moon about it!

I’ve been wanting to start this for a while now but just haven’t had the chance. What takes up my time? I’m so glad you asked, their names are Husband, Son, and Daughter. They are my life – most times I love it!

Other times…….. Well, I still love it but it can feel good to whine.

This is Husband. He’s great, he’s mostly perfect, and he’s the ultimate family man.

Plus, he’s a Hottie.

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This is Son. He’s three and a half.  He’s a handful.  Well, more like two handfuls and if I had three hands, they would all be full of him.

He’s funny, smart as a whip, and beautiful. And LOVING. And KIND.

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This is Daughter. She’s made of sugar, and like her Daddy, she’s easy-going and sweet-natured.

I’m so glad to be her Momma.

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Since this is my first entry, I want to keep it simple and short. I hope to post blogs about my life and my thoughts. I love food, so hopefully you’ll see some recipes on here. I love fashion and makeup and I want to share tips that I have picked up along the way.

My biggest hope for this blog is to throw my thoughts out there into cyberspace and possibly entertain those who read it. Let’s create an online community where we share and make each other laugh. Please don’t criticize or demean anyone, I will not hesitate to delete comments I feel might be hurtful.

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