Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The Dark Side

Confession...I did it. I have officially turned to the dark side.  Meet my new companion.

I have two feelings about this.  My first feeling is that I feel that I am cheating on my books.  This is my infidelity.  I have been so loyal for so long, that they probably hate me.  I can feel them staring at me from their reusable bag just judging me and ridiculing me.  I was that person that said I love a book in my hands and yet I have somehow turned to the dark side....very easily I might add.  In fact, on Saturday night as I was standing in my genre section at Barnes and Noble typing every author I could imagine into my phone to search for later, I had little excited butterflies in my stomach that were yelling....YIPPEE!!!! 

My second feeling is fear.  How much "bleeping" money is this going to cost me.  Because I used to have another addiction, it was called an every other day trip to Starbucks and luckily I was able to break that.  I'm not getting over my book addiction and this is going to have to be my new splurge.  The days of going into Tom's Used Books and dropping fifteen bucks for nine books is over.  Maybe not over, but less likely.   

I will confess that the main reason I bought it is because we are going on vacation in June and when I realized I was not checking luggage and that there would be no room for my books, panic set it.  I told Rich that there is NO WAY ON GOD'S GREEN EARTH THAT I AM LEAVING FOR A VACATION AND NOT HAVING A STACK OF BOOKS WITH ME.  He said to do something about it and so I did.  He may just eat those words!

I'm off to swipe a page!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Napa Weekend

What do you get when you have a friend's birthday near a three day weekend?  A good enough excuse to get out of town!  There is nothing better than a weekend designed for our husbands to spend some extra quality time with their offspring.  Who am I kidding....GIRL'S WEEKEND BABY!!!!

To celebrate Kelly's birthday, we headed to the wine country.  We occasionally partake in a sip or two of vino, so we thought this was the perfect location.  Bags, snackies, and drinkies packed...we were set to go.

We stopped first in Sonoma.  I love Sonoma and the little town square with all the shops and great restaurants.  The shops have little unique gifts and all things wine and chocolate, so what is not to love?  We ate at this restaurant that kicked off the our "Oh My God, The Food Was So Great" weekend. 

At the end of the square was the mission of Sonoma.  Here are the two of Reese's finest representing for the fourth grade for mission reports.  I know what your thinking...Can we write this off as a working business weekend???  Probably not, seeing as if they sat in front of the sign long enough to snap this picture and that was the extent of the mission seeing. 
I love downtown Sonoma!!!

Aren't these girls darling!
After shopping and lunch, we headed to our room.  The absolute best part of our room was the full kitchen and full living room.  Because we like to sit and gab, munch and gab, and drink and gab.  We're pretty much gabbing the whole weekend and it suits us.  When we opened the refrigerator, there was a complementary bottle of wine that was opened approximately 43 seconds later. 

Okay...ready for the CRAZIEST PART OF THE WEEKEND?????????

Friday night we head down to the lobby where there is a complementary wine tasting.  (We enjoy all things complementary)  Kelly and I are in line for wine tasting number two, when a nice gentleman walks up and we start chatting.  His wife soon joins and the chatting continues and that is when it happens...

Me:  So, where you guys from?

Nice Man:  We live up in Auburn.

Me:  Oh, not too far.

Nice Man:  How about you guys?  Where do you live?

Me:  We are from Lodi.

Nice Man:  Oh, you have a bit of wine country yourself.

Me:  Yes, but this isn't home, so we like it here now.

Nice Lady:  I actually grew up in Stockton.

Me and Kelly:  Oh!  Wow!  Small world.

Nice Lady:  Well, we grew up in Stockton and my mother actually taught in Lodi at a school called Erma B. Reese Elementary.

Me and Kelly:  OH MY GOD!!!!!!!!  WE TEACH AT REESE!!!!!!!!!!!!!  (Now, you get that we are two glasses of wine into the night and this is pretty much the craziest thing that could have happened)

After we go back and tell Lynn and Kristin all about our new friends and the whole story, they are as shocked as we are.  A little while later, Nice Lady comes back and asks to take a picture with us so that she can show her daughter that she met these girls who taught at the same school her grandmother taught at.  Pictures are being taken, small talk has started again and all of a sudden Kelly finds out that Nice Lady went to school with her dad AND Nice Lady and Nice Man have a niece who went all through elementary school with Kristin!!!!  HANDS DOWN, CRAZIEST CONVERSATION EVER!!!!!!!!!! 

Later that night, Kelly and I are laying down trying to go to sleep and I turned to her and say....What if we were just set up?  What if that was planned?  We fell right into their trap telling them all about us and they ate it up!  This is exactly the kind of thing that would land us on Dateline.  And then Kelly turns and says, "And they took pictures of us!!!!"  As I started laughing hysterically, it dawned on me...too many glasses of wine, combined with too many murder mystery books, equals delusional girl who can't hold her alcohol.

The next day we went outlet shopping and then went out to lunch at this fantastic bakery called Sweetie Pies.  The food was so good, but the cupcakes that Kelly bought were not fantastic, so if you go there, order the lunch!  What was so fun, and incredibly rude, was us eves dropping on a couple who sat at the table across from us and they were doing a tasting for their wedding cake.  I could basically tell you what the three types of cakes she had them taste, along with their filling, and icing choices.  At one point, I was ready to ask them which one they chose because I had made my decision and wanted to know if it was the same.  Kelly said she would pay me forty bucks to go pull up a chair with my fork and give my two cents.  I would have done it, for fear of peeing myself from laughing so hard.  
Here is a picture of downtown Napa.  I had never really been downtown before, but I was a little surprised it looked like this.  I had an entire look in my head as to what to expect and this wasn't it.  I guess streets lined with grapevines is too much to ask for.

That night we had BIG PLANS!!!  I had given Kelly a magazine that had this whole spread about Yountville in it and it had listed all of these "must go" places and restaurants.  She found this restaurant called The Brix and the write up was fabulous so she decided that's where we would have her birthday dinner.  You have to understand, our other girl weekends never included dresses and heels before, so we were excited to toss the casual wear and get dressed up for the night.  Listen, if you tell four mom's that they can have a long, uninterrupted meal, with drinks and no sitter waiting at home....we are going to jump all over it.

So, that afternoon as four women shared a bathroom to get ready for the happened.  The news of Whitney Houston's death came over the TV.  I was in the bathroom just about ready to hop in the shower when I heard screaming from the living room.  I ran out to the girls telling me that she had died.  Just heartbreaking and shocking.  Please understand that I used to go to bed with her cassette playing in my cassette player that sat on my waterbed headboard right next to me head so I wouldn't get in trouble for it being too loud, night after night.  The news was devastating to take....not sure why.

Here we are right before dinner.

Kelly and Lynn.

Me and Kristin.

And now....the meal.  I told the girls, prepare yourself, I will be taking pictures of all the plates, it's what I do.

Here is Kristin's beet salad.

The table's tempura veggies. 

Kelly order the pork belly.  She said she just had to try it because she had seen it on so many food network shows.  We all tried it, except Lynn, and it was actually good.  Not something you could make a meal out of because it was so rich in flavor, but it was good.

Kristin's porcini dusted atlantic scallops.

Kelly's braised beef short rib.

Lynn and I's fried chick pea panisse frites.

The desserts...maybe the best part of dinner.

The left...duo of chocolate--molten lava cake with chocolate thyme gelato and a espresso anglaise.

The right...meyer lemon cheesecake--vanilla chatilly, candied hazelnuts, and a huckleberry coulis.


Me and the birthday girl.

A BIG SHOUT OUT TO ANTHONY, who got us the room for the weekend!  Thanks Anthony!
Happy Birthday Kelly, hope you had a great weekend!

Thursday, February 2, 2012


Look who I registered for Kindergarten yesterday....

You know, I wasn't sad when I walked into our office at school, three years ago, with Matthew's kindergarten papers.  I think I was more excited than anything because he was so excited about not only going to school, but being at my school with me.  And I felt the same.  It was this little milestone that spoke volumes of how far he had come, and far I had come.

And yesterday when I walked into the office, I had to take a deep breath before I could say, "I'm here to sign Ryan up for Kindergarten!"  Lump in my throat, praying tears would not show, I lined all his papers up on the counter for Kathy to go through them.  She smiled and said, "He's all set."  I kind of wanted to say, "Really?  You don't think he should wait a while more? Maybe one more year?"  Because his mom is not ready. 

Ryan, quite frankly, couldn't be more excited.  He asks me daily, "How many more days until I am at your school?" And I smile and answer him, knowing that me being sad is silly when he is so excited.  But screw it...I'm allowed my pity party.  He is the last "First, first day of school."  There is no doing this again and somehow five years just went by like five minutes.  How in the hell did that happen?

178 days until he is a Reese Roadrunner.