Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!

From our family to you and yours!

Luke 2: 9-14
An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloth and lying in a manger.”

Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Fun At The Hartford Children's Science Center.

On one of the rainy, yucky days in Connecticut (ok, let's be honest...it rains there like 99.9% of the time), we took Alex to the Hartford Children's Science Center. Kelli and David had heard great things about it, but I was nervous that at only 20 months, Alex might be a little young.

Boy was I WRONG!

We had an absolutely incredible time. Each level (there were 6 total) had a different theme. His favorites were the water room, the "engineering" floor and the nature exhibit.

Fun in the water exhibit!



These were cool race cars that you placed different
weights on to race down the track. He LOVED it.


This was a fun air game - you had to point the air
coming out of the cone at a beach ball and try to
move it through a hoop.
I was the only one to actually do it. Snaps.

The big boys playing a racing game with sailboats.

Fun in the erosion exhibit.
Chalk that one up to "things I never thought I'd say."

He was looking through the glass at the ant farm &
my Mom asked him what they were and he said, "Bugs."
I about died. HOW DOES HE KNOW THESE THINGS?!?!

Loves fish, just like his Daddy.



It was such a fun day spent making great memories. If you have kids and you're traveling to new places, be sure to check out the local attractions. We even were able to snag a deal on tickets by purchasing them online in advance. Culture = good.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

When Football Takes Over Your Life, Part 3.

...and so, it continues. Here's Joey's response to Dad's response to Joey's original request. I die.
________________________________________________

Dear Staffing Specialist at Casa de Talicska:

It is not often during these busy times that one experiences such generous hospitality.

Per your invitation below, I have created a small list of modest and humble yet very much essential requirements to ensure my stay at Casa de Talicska will be nothing short of spectacular.

1. I anticipate spending most of my football watching time in the basement. That said, should I be so moved to venture upstairs, I request that the living room TV remain in a constant state of NFL watching readiness.
2. I believe a chocolate fountain with all the accoutrements will help stave off any sweet cravings while providing a nice ambiance.
3. Fresh cut flowers would be a nice touch.
4. Some aroma therapy would be sublime…perhaps you could provide a fresh locker room scent or maybe the fragrance of fresh cut grass to enhance my football watching experience?
5. I would like a “beer guy.” You know, someone who will randomly appear yelling, “Ice cold beer…get your ice cold beer here!”
6. Concessions would be appreciated. Nachos, hot dogs, popcorn…
7. A fuzzy blanket should it get chilly.
8. Fluffed downy pillows.
9. My own personal bathroom. I do not want to miss any big plays waiting in line to use the head.
10. A giant foam finger so I can raise it high in the air and chant, "We’re number one! We’re number one!" as my team fights for victory.

Thank you for your generous reception. I very much look forward to my afternoon of football watching.

Merry Christmas,
Team Owner and President of “The” AJ’s Wippos

When Football Takes Over Your Life, Part 2.

This was my Dad's response to Joey's Fantasy Football email.
________________________________________________

Dear Joseph,

I can only think of one response and that is...upstairs in HD or downstairs on the big screen?

Please let me know at your earliest convenience so the proper arrangements and staffing can be made. We are booked quite heavily that weekend, but I"m sure we can accommodate your special request.

Sincerely,
Your Staffing Specialist

P.S. - Should you require any other special assistance, please do not hesitate to call us at 1-800-FOOTBALLFANTASYWEEKENDATTHETALICSKA'S. If you can't get through on the 1st dial, please keep trying...someone will be with you shortly.
________________________________________________

I love my family.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

When Football Takes Over Your Life.

I may or may not have previously mentioned that Joey is a rabid football fanatic. Like, whoa. He participates in multiple fantasy leagues every year...and as it turns out, he's made the playoffs this year in the league with his crazy fraternity brothers, the BHFFL.

And this was the email he sent out to my family today, prepping them for the activities (or lack thereof) around this weekend's football schedule. Read. Laugh. Enjoy.
________________________________________________

Dear family,

The purpose of this email is to inform you of the following proclamation regarding my status for Sunday, December 26, 2010.

My Fantasy Football Team is in the BHFFL Super Bowl. The championship game of my fantasy league. The pinnacle of weeks and weeks of arduous losses and compelling victories. The Big Game! The Hot Tamale. The “IT” of 2010.

Therefore, I hereby decree beginning Sunday morning 11:00 AM through Sunday evening 11:00 PM I will be unavailable for any activities that do not involve sitting in front of a television watching the greatest show on earth, the National Football League.

Activities including but not limited to: shopping, cleaning, organizing, driving (unless for the sole purpose of getting ice cream), shoveling, eating (unless in front of a television), visiting with guests, making small talk (unless about the status of my fantasy football team), bathing (that’s right, I just may stay in my PJs all day), performing errands, decorating, moving furniture, packing, unpacking, reading (unless it’s the Sunday paper and predominantly the sports section), caroling, moving heavy things, talking on the phone and hard jobs are strictly forbidden.

You are welcomed and encouraged to participate in some or all of the following permissible activities: eating and drinking (within view of the television), surfing the internet, snuggling (with Kristi and Alex only), texting, napping, yelling at the TV after unfavorable plays, jumping up and down in excitement after favorable plays and doing the good luck mojo dance.

In advance of this momentous day of pure NFL enjoyment, I express my extreme appreciation for your tolerance of my football addiction and encourage any efforts you may make to ensure it is nothing short of wondrous.

Thank you,
The President and Team owner of AJ’s Wippos
________________________________________________

And you wonder why he's perfect for me? Pffft.

Oh, and someday I will explain the good luck mojo dance to you. It's ridiculous, but has a 100% effective rate.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Alex Loves His Cousin.

"Is the baby in here, Aunt Kelli?"

"Listen here, baby. You might be the newest,
but I'll always be the first!"

Oh, and Caitlin, Jamie and Holly: please pardon the U of M jammies. They were a gift. Also, we like to weave "Michigan" into Kelli and David's subconscious as much as possible. You can't blame me for that!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Merry Christmas From the VeeDubs!

In case you're not on the short list for Mr. Postman to deliver one of these gems direct to your mailbox (forgive me, stamps are getting expensive!), here's the e-version.

From our home to yours...Merry Christmas!!!


Christmas 2010.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

For The Love Of Family.

We're back safe and sound from CT, despite the massive snow dump over pretty much the entire Midwest last weekend. I have many pictures to post and stories to tell, but those will simply have to wait until I come back up for air and have the wit and brain function to do them all justice.

In the meantime, I will be spending 7 hours and 49 minutes in the car this weekend to drive 419 miles for various family and holiday functions. Le sigh.


Also? My basement almost flooded this morning. As if I needed another reason to love Fran...she called me at 8:30 am to tell me that the load of sheets I left for her in the washing machine was spewing all over my linoleum. In a moment of superhero genius, she unplugged the machine and turned off the water until Joey could scamper home to fix it. Bless them both, because without them Alex might be getting a basement cleverly designed as a swimming pool for Christmas.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Hilarity Ensues.

I'm in CT visiting the Kelli, the David and the Niephew. As such, I have little to no time to entertain you this weekend.

But being the resourceful and benevolent blogger that I am, I've crafted a Plan B, which really just means that I read something today that I loved and will hyperlink it below for your ease of clicking and reading. Odds are good you might honestly pee yourself when you read it. The captions stole it for me.

Click here to laugh until it hurts.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Showered With Love.

Mom, Jill and I hosted Kelli and David's baby shower the weekend of Thanksgiving. And for a girl that loves themed events, this might have been one of my best yet.

K & D had a bird theme at their wedding, so I took the graphic from their invitations (created by the incredibly talented Jackie at blue soleil design) and added a little nest to it. INSTANT THEME.

"The Turners are expanding their nest!"



Mom took the rest and ran with it to create the perfect "shabby chic" look we were going for. We lined the tables with brown paper and cute green and white polka dot wrapping paper and placed crayons around so our guests could doodle on the paper.



We also placed "tweet" bags at each place setting filled with birdseed for guests to take home for the birdies in their neck of the woods. The menu was soup in bread bowls, so the spoons were placed in a glass canning jar at each table.


Some of the tables had canning jars filled with birdseed with twig branches coming out of them. On the branches we hung small glass bird ornaments, also for the guests to take home.



On the appetizer and dessert table we had some yummy snacks and cuppycakes with toasted coconut and M&Ms on top to look like little bird nests. Oh, and look closely at the plates - can you BELIEVE we found those to match everything? Hobby Lobby rules.

We also placed white onesies at each table in varying sizes with fabric markers. Each table got artistic and created special and unique onesies for lil' niephew. It turned out to be a lovely day and niephew got LOADS of new stuff. (S)he is very loved!

And if you ever needed a reason to not hire Joe and me to bake the desserts for your next function...


Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Sans Pants Pam.

I have a new friend and her name is Pam. She's an absolute delight. We share a love of Frill, fabulous shoes, snark, proper grammar/spelling and sparkly accessories.

Recently, I've learned that Pammy Pie has a nickname on the streets of Detroit. She's known as "Sans Pants Pam" to those in her circle. At first, I thought this nickname was merely a reference to pranks played on a drunken college night involving a Sharpie, warm water and some Cool Whip. However, it's recently come to light that this is, in fact, a literal nickname.

She owns NO pants.
Zilch. Zero. Nada. Not one pair. No sweats. No jeans. No slacks. No pantalones. Whatever you want to call them, she a'int got none. How about that proper grammar, hmmm?

At first, I thought she was throwing me some super sized hyperbole. You know, like she prefers to wear dresses and skirts and only busts out the jeans and sweats on the weekends. FALSE. She literally owns ZERO pants.

This spurred the following back-and-forth interrogation. All the while, my jaw was on the floor.

"How do you lounge?"
- Cotton maxi dresses

"Shovel snow?"
- Warm tights with Uggs. (Yeah, I'll have to circle back on the whole Uggs thing...)

"Outdoor activities?"
- Garden and mow the lawn in a dress.

"Work out?"
- Work out and walk on the treadmill in a dress. (I can't even imagine the chafing!)

"Ice skating at Campus Martius Park?"
- Sweater tights with a mini.

This went on for the better part of thirty minutes until I had literally thrown every pants-requiring scenario at her and was consistently shut down. I honestly cannot believe she owns not one pair of pants. Not even a single pair of Mavis that make her ass look like a dream.

Sans Pants Pam, you are an anomaly to me, but I love you in spite of it.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

A Day That Will Live In Infamy.

A poor historical reference, no?

Anyway, Happy Birthday to myself. Joey hit the grand slam today with a Vera makeup bag in the new Baroque pattern. J'Adore. My "signature" pattern is Peacock, but it has sadly been retired.


No epic plans for tonight...a quiet night at home my boys, pizza and a movie is all I need. However, on my list is the burning desire to try Rojo, a new Mexican restaurant in Rochester. Chips and salsa, I will meet you soon. And margaritas, natch.

With a hint of sadness, I bid BDBC 2010 and year 27 adieu. Onto 28 and 2011!!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Six.

This morning's spreesprise was placed on top of my makeup bag. Joe Van Resourceful got me new Studio Fix from MAC. It should be noted that his list this year consisted of...well, nothing. I didn't even give him one idea. Snaps for Joe! Oh, and my card is redeemable for a night of stress-relieving margaritas...aka, a designated driver.

And, it should also be noted that my parents pulled through and got me the Glee CD. IT IS SO AWESOMESAUCE I CAN'T EVEN STAND IT.

Tomorrow's the big day, kids. The big two eight. Eeeep!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Four, Five & The Fat Man.

The bar is now nearly unreachable. That's how high Joey has set it with his BDBC activities this year.

On day four my spreesprises were wrapped and hanging on the tree. They were little jingle bell ornaments with the names of each of my siblings on it--so they can be "with me" each year on Christmas. There was one for Alex, too. J'ADORE. (<---I'm learning that this is the new interwebs trend for the often overused "LOVE" sentiments. See? I'm cool!) My card is redeemable for a back massage....mmmm.

And this morning, Alex helped me open a garlic press! I know it sounds uncharacteristically domestic for me, but I've really wanted one for awhile. When I do cook, I like to use fresh garlic and I loathe chopping it. I get that weird, sticky feeling on my hands and they smell of garlic for at least a full day afterward. It's a unitasker, which Alton Brown strongly advises against, but I do not care. My card is redeemable for one late night food run. Fan-freakin-tastic. This man truly knows my heart.

In unrelated news, we took Alex to see the Fat Man yesterday. You might remember the tradition started last year of FREE pics at Bass Pro Shops? Well, we carried the torch proudly into 2010 and I must once again give mad props to the outdoorsy people @ BPS. The free activities for kids, snack bar, giveaways (Silly Bandz and candy canes) as well as the totally authentic Santa are just fantastic.

Without further adieu, here's the trepidatious AJ with the jolly ol' St. Nick. No tears, just a bit of apprehension and confusion.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Merry Gleemas!

I asked for the Glee Christmas CD for my birthday and (not to be greedy) I would like to put it out there to y'all that I really, really, really hope someone got it. If not, please just tell me right here and now so I can haul my caboose to Target and buy it ay-sap. I've already got my car keys in hand. Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?

I'm jamming to XM23 The Holly at my desk and nearly every other song is from that CD. I'm dy-ing. The fabulousness is stunningly beyond anything I could have ever imagined.

I love music. I love Christmas. I love Glee. I pink puffy heart with sparkles the combination of all three.

Day Three.

'Ello, loves. Day three is turning out to be a fab little Friday.

It started with my card (redeemable for a trip to get ice cream) and spreesprise (this brush from MAC) from Joey. So far, his BDBC treats are exceeding all expectations. Yay for me.

The only thing that has potential to ruin this day is The New Guy nail clipper, who is currently misinterpreting the "trimmings" of the Christmas season AS HIS NAILS. You may recall that I previously outed him as a Friday afternoon clipper. Sometimes it's scary just how accurate I can be.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

It Has Arrived.

Birthday Bootcamp is here! It technically started yesterday, but since I was travelling for work I didn't have time to update.

I was out the door by 5 a.m., but Joey left me a lovely present and card for Day 1. I got this Hallmark handprint ornament kit and can't wait to have a fun craft day with Alex and his wittle hands. I can also redeem a coupon in my card for one 10 minute foot massage!

Today's spreesprise was another lovely card (which I can redeem for one night of not picking, thinking about or cooking dinner!) and Starbucks Via of the Christmas Blend varie-tay. The best coffee, evah. I'm excited to see if the Via meets my standards.

I also still owe you pictures from Kelli and David's baby shower and a few pics of our of Christmas tree. My house has been infested by the Christmas garland monster. (and I love it!)

Monday, November 29, 2010

Why Laundry Can Be Fun.

The other night as I was buzzing around at warp speed doing various household chores (go ahead, let that mental image of me in 4" heels, a pink apron and feather duster in hand burn into your brain), Alex expressed extreme interest in moving the clothes from the washer to the dryer.

"Heh-wulp," he said as he reached his little hands over his head.

And so, I handed him each piece of wet laundry (one by one) and he delicately placed each one in the dryer. When it was all said and done, he helped me close the door and I lifted him up to hit the start button. He squealed with delight when it beeped back at him and started tumbling.

Life lesson: I go too fast, and when attempting to maximize every waking minute I also run the risk of missing out on making sweet little memories like this one. And who cares if it takes me 10 minutes to switch the clothes? I had fun doing it...and so did Alex.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Respect The Turkey.

There are a few things that Joey has a very strong opinion on. No white socks with dark dress pants. The kitchen sink must always be clean. Phones clipped to belts look stupid. Saturn drivers are, in general, horrible. And Respect the Turkey.

And so, from today until Saturday, we will be respecting. I will respect until my pants are too tight and my eyes are heavy from tryptophan and Sam Adams. I will respect until I can respect no more. And then on Sunday, we're putting up the Christmas tree!

...and then do you know what happens like two days after that? Birthday Bootcamp!!!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Amsterdamnit.

This is the last of it, I promise. And I'm mostly documenting all this for selfish purposes, because someday when a neighbor goes Palin-crazy on me and spies on my family to write my life story, I would like to make it easier on said neighbor. I'll hang a banner in my front yard that says, "Read le blog." And that's all they need to know.

Anyway, my flight pattern on the way home was Munich --> Amsterdam --> Detroit. Upon arrival in Amsterdam, we were dropped in the middle of a parking lot and unloaded from the plane onto a bus. The bus took us to the terminal where I had to use my life survival skills (thank you, Discovery Channel) to get myself to the gate on time and alive.

Little did I know this would require approximately four hundred and eighty seven miles of walking and three (yes, three) security checkpoints. The first was simply passport control to get into the international terminal, at which the kind (read: big, scary and wielding a gun) officer looked at my passport and said something to me in Dutch. I mentioned that I only spoke English and he very loudly said to me, "But your name is Van Voooormah." I told him that was my married name, at which point he looked at me like I was a seven eyed monster and said, "You have a Dutch husband and you don't speak DUTCH?!?" I mean, really.

At security checkpoint two, I received the invasive pat-down and nakie x-ray treatments that are all the rage all over the news. I sort of felt like a schmoke and a pancake when it was all said and done. They do not mess around in Amsterdam, let me tell you...

Before I made my way to the gate (which was security checkpoint 3, stay tuned), I toured the airport. It was decorated for Christmas, which I love, love, loved. I also bought Alex the cutest pair of wooden shoe slippers and ate the most delicious McFlurry of my LIFE. It had a candy called "Lion" in it...kind of a toffee flavor. Mmmmm....


Oh yes. A casino.

Security checkpoint 3 came as a bit of a surprise - it was actually at the gate. I had to meet with a customs officer and scan all my carry on luggage before being escorted to a big, glass room with no way out except to get on the plane. Once you're in, you're in. There was a bathroom and about 200 chairs for all 300+ people on the plane. Annoying.

Anyway, I obviously made it home safe and sound. I loved Germany--its people, its beer and its pretzels, mostly. I can't wait to go back...perhaps in 2012!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Sonntag.

Sunday in Munich was technically my "day off," but since Sundays are religious days in most of Europe, everything was closed. And by "everything," I mean all of the lovely shops that I wanted to buy things at!

Regardless, it was a lovely day. Two of my new fave colleagues took me around the city for some adventures and sightseeing. Munich did not disappoint.


This used to be the town hall. It was incredible.
I've never, ever seen anything like it.

Up in the main tower there was a clock with figures that
danced around when the clock struck certain hours.


This was the crowd gathered for the 11 a.m. "show."
It was SO neat!

A cool building we saw walking around.

A REAL maypole!
For those that get the reference,
Miss Linda would be SO proud!


I thought this was funny.
The building was under construction,
so they put a graphic of a church in front
of the scaffolding.

Inside the HofbrÀuhaus. AWESOME.

Next, we took the Subway to Olympia Park.
Munich hosted the Summer Games in 1972.
We went to the top of that tower and got to
see a 360° view of Munich!
A view of Olympic Village
(where the athletes stayed) from the tower.

See the Swiss Alps? :)

We finished a long and awesome day of sightseeing
with dinner and drinks at Schneider Weisse Brauhaus,
where I had the most delicious bowl of pretzel soup.
Yeah, you read that right.
I also had a lot of beer, but that goes without saying.

Also? Sorry this recap is taking eleventy years. I have a katrillion pictures to go through and it's been seriously overwhelming to select just a few for le blog. I don't have much more to share, since Monday and Tuesday were "work" days, but I do have some fun pics and adventures from my layover in Amsterdam. Preview: I was violated by a customs officer and laughed at for not speaking Dutch. Because, you know, I have a Dutch husband or something like that.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

A Fun Comparison.

As you may recall from a recent announcement, my sister is expecting my first niephew (niece+nephew because they are not finding out the sex) on or around Feb. 14, 2011. She's 27 weeks as of now, so I thought it might be fun to see me at 27 weeks with WIP and her at 27 weeks with niephew.

Kelli is a shortie pants, so I think she's carrying niephew much higher than I carried WIP. What do you think?

 Me 'n WIP.

Kelli 'n niephew.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Better Late Than Never.

We interrupt this horribly delayed Germany briefing to bring you copious amounts of cuteness from Halloween 2010. I realize my efforts to be timely blogger in the recent past have been interrupted by a jet lag-induced coma, but try to stick with me, mmmkay?

Our little Mickey was ah-dooooor-able come the eve of October thirty one. See for yourself:

His pre-costume. It glows in the dark!
Talk about freaky when you wake him up from a nap
in his dark room...

 A quick stop at a cider mill.

 "Pun-kin, Momma! Pun-kin!" 

Suit up, Mickey!

Minnie ♥s her Mickey.

Minnie, Mickey and Pluto.
Yes, we're that family.

His first official trick-or-treat at Aunt Jane's house.

"Well, well, well...what do we have here?"
And yes, his pumpkin even had ears.
My mom found it in Connecticut!

"Thanks for the loot, Aunt Jane, but I've got more candy to get!"

He was truly a man on a mission the entire night. He didn't start to get the "concept" of trick or treating until we had about 3 houses to go, then he would charge straight up to the door and scream "tweeeeeeeeet" until the homeowners had no choice but to hand over their sweet "tweets" to my little Mickey.

Sadly, there wasn't a single Butterfinger in his bucket for me to steal. Tragic.