Sunday, September 28, 2008

Margaritas and Martina

A few weeks ago, "The Tracy" invited me to go see Martina McBride at "The Pavilions"... an evening no kids and adult conversation?!?! Heck yeah, sign me up!

So last night Trace and I braved the monsoons and headed out for the night. We met at El Agave in Warrenton, and can I just recommend to stay away from the Salad Soup... or Taco Salad as they like to call it. Our salads were lacking a key ingredient.... UHHH SALAD! But it didn't damper our spirits any - we just filled up on margaritas and headed on our way!

As we were leaving Warrenton the skies were lighting up and the thunder was definitely rolling. But we were determined, come hell or high water... we were not turning back! We made it to the Pavilion and the skies were still holding back.

Trace parked us in some far off field and we started our journey. Now keep in mind, when getting dressed for the event earlier that evening, I picked high-heeled boots over my much more comfortable and practical Mommy flats... Why do you ask? Well because Trace is always in cute boots and I wanted to look the part. I mean damn, I hadn't been on a date in I don't know how long and I thought my boots would get me a little booty!! :) So there I am, stumbling over the gravel in my boots up to the Pavilion.

Our first stop, security... they thumb through our bags and we sneak by with my smuggled camera. Second stop - MORE MARGARITAS. We order these fantastic, ridiculously tall swirled strawberry margaritas. The souveneir cup kinda resembles something between a bong and a penis. Again, doesn't slow us down a bit!

We get to our seats - thank the Lord and the rolling skies above - they are under the Pavilion. The stage is decked out with a big Jason Michael Carroll banner - who da hell? Neither of us know who he is, but we sit back and enjoy the show... And then Jason comes out on stage... hmm... not too bad to look at. Then he opens his mouth and this deep rumble of a voice comes out and...oh my my my my my. JMC is my new favorite country singer.

If you are like Trace and I and have no clue who he is, he sings "Alyssa Lies", "Living Our Love Song", and "I Can Sleep When I'm Dead". If that doesn't ring any bells - check out his web page...

Tracy had an issue because he was wearing entirely too much jewelry... I really didn't care if he was in a tutu - man could sing and was cute as a button with his little soul patch on his chin!

About midway through Jasons set the God's let loose and the monsoon is upon us. Luckily Tracy and I are snug and dry as can be in our little Pavilion seats - the lawn seat ticket holders, not so much. The fools were mudsliding and dancing in the rain. I can't think of a single act (not even JMC) that would keep my ass sitting outside in a torrential downpour! It rained for well over an hour, and those crazy ass people still sat through it. I was miffed at the mist blowing in from outside that was frizzing my hair. I am definitely not designed for the elements!

So out next is Jack Ingram - again, who? Tracy and I decided next concert we should really do our homework. A few of his songs sounded remotely familiar, but we had a hard time paying attention because he talked so damned much. Ten minutes into his set we started calling him preacher man, because he never stopped running his mouth. His ramblings were incoherent and we quickly came to the conclusion that preacher man had fallen off the wagon and was most definitely sloshed. His only saving grace was his rendition of "Lips of an Angel", although the Hinder version is MUCH MUCH better!

We didn't think the man would ever shut up - between his babbling and his sales pitch trying to sell "Jack Packs" to the whole crowd and promoting his every appearance in the next 10 years... it went on and on and on.

Finally... FINALLY... it was time for the woman we all came to see. Martina hit the stage and she was SENSATIONAL! That girl can blow... she can hit the notes and hold them into next week.

Her performance of the night was "Broken Wing"- it was UNREAL! I think she still may be singing that last note!

Martina's songs are so powerful and positive. She really shut it down! (oh BTW - I am quoting my new Bravo television addiction, The Rachel Zoe Project)

Concert over - Trace and I made the trip back to the car and I stumbled along the way - not sure if it was from the jumbo Margarita, the gravel or the fact that my feet were hurting so damn bad from my cute boots... We made it out of the parking lot in RECORD time and Tracy almost got me home for my 11:22 curfew :)

So ladies night out was a definite success - we are planning the next one already!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Mom Of The Year

Ok - this goes out to those who are responsible for nominating Mom of The Year awards...


I have decided that I am not going to go for the title this year, and probably not next year either.

I had a moment Wednesday night - I will call these moments of "mom clarity" a Momiphany (this word will later be copywrited, so don't try to snatch it) It is something like an epiphany but occurs to moms in the midst of all the mayhem - when you have a brilliant idea that is sure to put a smile on your little one's faces.

It had been a very busy and rushed week - I had been stuffing pop tarts and cereal down my girls throats in the last few moments before they had to run out to catch the bus. (No, my kids don't get bacon and eggs and pancakes for breakfast... are you kidding me? They get up at 6:30, bus at 7:15 and somewhere in that time frame I have to drag my self out of bed and attempt to become human so I don't frighten them.)

So I decided I would surprise them with a Micky D's breakfast (yes, again, another breakfast of champions) I told them Wednesday night that they had to be downstairs, ready and waiting no later than 7am - all slackers would be left behind.

Sure enough they meet their goal and I even manage to make it downstairs with a smile on my face. They just think they are getting a ride to school, and Skylar pipes in as we are loading up, "Mom, what about breakfast." Poor thing.

So we are heading down the road... and I am at the light ready to turn onto Main Street when a cop pulls up behind me and turns on his lights.

Shit. Yeah, I said it - out loud and everything.

I had no where to go because I was in the turn lane, so I just sit there... kinda like a sitting duck. The girls are giggling and a quick death glare in the rear view quiets them down. The cop gets out of the car and I roll down my window -

Cop - "Ma'am, do you see I have my lights on? You need to pull over."
Me - "I'm sorry, I knew you were there, but I didn't know where to go."
Cop - "When the light changes, pull up in that parking light"

So the light changes and I pull up into the parking lot (Where the bail bondsman is, no less).

Long story short - Sperryville Pike goes from 45, to 35, to 25 MPH and he caught me right past the 25MPH sign going a whopping 37MPH. I claimed stupidity, that I had no clue it changed there and I thought the whole stretch was 35. (In all actuality, I thought the whole stretch was 45 and its a miracle he didn't clock me going at least 55!)

He lets me off with a warning, but not without a citation for not wearing my seatbelt. And to add salt to the wound, the girls proceed to tell me how a seatbelt could save my life. Another death glare shuts them up.

We get to McD's and I am so frazzled and annoyed at this point, my patience and desire to do something nice for someone else is completely gone.

The kids eat breakfast - all the while bitching about their food (shit, its McDonalds, not breakfast at the Ritz). Gena graciously dumps her drink in her lap, so I rush all the kids out so we have time to go back home for a change of clothes.

And not one of them... not a single solitary one of the three that should definitely know better says thank you.

So - My Momiphanys have been permanently stifled and I am giving up my running for Mom of the Year.

Here brat, have another pop tart.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Monday, September 15, 2008

Marshall Mafia Strikes Again

"Once in the family, you stay in the family...."

And boy am I happy I am still an upstanding member.

Before I moved to Culpeper, I was in deep. I handled the books for "the family", so I played a vital role in our affairs.

The family being the Claude Thompson PTO and the books being treasurer duties.

From the first moment that I heard Susan McCorkindale's Jersey accent, I knew that the PTO was going to get a whole new name!

Let me introduce you to the crew :

First there is our PTO's Prez - Susan McCorkindale - self-proclaimed shop-aholic and the most talented author out there!!

*** Check out and preorder her book on - Confessions of a Counterfeit Farm Girl

She called me just before school was letting out two years ago to let me know she was taken over the Presidents position and to invite me for a quick, informal meeting at her house. I had to wipe the phone down after I hung up because it was oozing energy and enthusiasm.

Suz is one of those people you just can't describe, or replace. You have to "experience" her. She is this tiny little platinum blond ball of fire that literally bounces when she talks. She certainly doesn't blend in with the crowd, so between her fashion sense and bigger than life Fran Drescher voice, you can't miss her! And who would want to??

She has sent me weekly messages since my move to Culpeper... "Please come back". If I ever mysteriously disappear, you will know where to find me. Held captive somewhere on Suz's cattle farm, plugging away at the family's books.

Then there is our VP Wendy. She lured me into the PTO a few years back when she was the President and I immediately fell in love with her witty and dry sense of humor. She is one of those super creative, super talented and overall supermom types... BARF - overachiever :) I was so impressed with her cool, calm demeanor at the first few PTO meetings and knew that we would be friends for a long time to come.

Next we have "The Tracy"... who lives in "The Marshalls" and shops at "The Blooms". Tracy has been in the Simpson circle since I started coming around, so I have known her for a while. At family reunions and company BBQ's I remembered her for her big mouth... and I love her for it still! She is one of those fantastic people you just love being around because you can be loud and silly... because the louder you get, the louder she gets. This girl busts ass for the PTO and can pull off some amazing things in no time at all. You give her a task, and consider it done.

Then we have the newest member to the family - Christen. I met Christen a while back when our girls were in classes together and did cheerleading. Christen is the long lost sister I never knew I had. We are so much alike as far as sense of humor and parenting, it is scary. Our youngest daughters are the best of friends and we basically use them as an excuse to get together. I talked Christen into joining the PTO last year... as my kinda parting gift when I announced I was moving to Culpeper.

"Hey ladies... I'm leaving, but in my absence, please take my friend Christen as a consolation prize... " haha, she is definitely a prize! (and who knew I was a PTO pimp?!?!)

Then there is Terri - TP as I so lovingly refer to her as. Although she was absent from the dinner party, I still love her. I don't think she has forgiven me yet for leaving the family, and she denied me her presence as punishment. Terri is absolutely hilarious... I don't know where she comes up with some of the stuff she says, but she should be on a stage doing stand up somewhere. My fondest memory of Terri would be an evening at Suz's house, after too much J Lohr... and somewhere, somehow, she stuck her tongue in Suz's ear... ok, so not really, but her claim to was funny as hell!

So its quite a crew that we have running the Claude Thompson PTO - we were so tight knit and with our head Gambino straight from Jersey, my husband started lovingly referring to us as the Marshall Mafia...

And it stuck... so much in fact we have shirts made - all blinged out in brown and pink.

So my girls came up Friday night to see the new digs and catch up...

My girl Tracy brought me some gorgeous flowers and Suz an adorable mum... and all came in tow with quite a few bottles of wine!

So on the menu for the evening:

Spinach Dip and Homemade Pita Chips
Baked Brie
Romaine Salad with Avocado Dressing
Spinach Artichoke Lasagna
Cheesy Onion Bread
Cappuccino Mousse Trifle

I gave the girls the grand tour and we popped open some bottles of wine to start our evening. Suz had a little mishap with the corkscrew and Wendy got to chew her red wine for the rest of the evening thanks to the tasty bits of cork floating in it. Suz has been officially stripped of her de-corking duties indefinitely.

My husband, being the creator of the "Mafia" brand, was invited to stay and actually eat the dinner her had been smelling since earlier that morning.

So the ladies tell me the food was great... they are either fantastic liars or I have miraculously gained culinary skills overnight.

We drank, we chatted, we reminisced. It was just like old times. After all our bellies were full of dinner and wine, we decided to top it off with dessert (with more alcohol in the form of Bailey's, of course)

It was such a great night and it made me miss my girls so much! We use to do this monthly, sometimes more. I think we all secretly used PTO affairs as an excuse to get away and get together and drink and eat way too much.

My fantastic hubs even cleaned up the dishes as we all tried to wind down and sober up. Christen had to cut out early because she was on call and we enjoyed an hour or so of talking about her. I heard later that evening her ears spontaneously caught on fire... you are in our thoughts Christen :) Those bandages are great for the dating scene!!

Here is most of our gorgeous gang Friday night....

So I may no longer be a member of the Claude Thompson PTO... I may no longer live in Fauquier County, but I am still most certainly part of the family. Friends like these you just can't get rid of!!

Here are the recipe links...because you all know I didn't come up with that stuff on my own -
(Don't forget to sub 1/2 cup of milk for 1/2 cup of Baileys... or more if you're a lush like the Mafia girls!)

Friday, September 5, 2008

From Squad Car to School Bus

This week has been a very exciting T.V. week for the Simpson House. Our TiVo has been worked to the max and it has taken very creative timing and planning to make sure everything gets recorded...

Tuesday night Ken was scrambling to get the four conflicting showtimes all worked out so that we could watch AND record... (and yes, I have come to the conclusion that I watch entirely too much T.V.)

Two much awaited premiers and some old favorites caused all the conflict Tuesday night. We have been following America's Got Talent for the last couple of weeks and I am rooting for my tubby and lovable favorite, Neil E. Boyd. Man, this guy has got my heart and brings me to tears every time he performs!!!!!

If you haven't had the pleasure, check out this You Tube clip - - be sure to have the tissues handy if you do though!

Up to this point, Neil has remained a strong contender - and I have made a solid commitment to boycott the show if he is ever voted off!

The next show I am a little ashamed to admit I am watching.. The Secret Life of An American Teenager seems like an after-school special gone bad. I love this show although it scares the hell out of me. I can't imagine that my three girls are only a few years off from some of the characters on this drama. And if this is a true portrayal of typical teenagers, I am running out and buying the chastity belts, birth control and shot gun right now! But I can't help but watch it, and cringe through the whole thing. I am also carefully shielding my kids from the show in fear that the sight of a pregnant teenager might lead me to the same fate as Molly Ringwald.

I was originally drawn to it because Molly Ringwald plays the mother to the poor teen that gets "knocked up" at the age of 15. I love Molly and its funny to see one of the Brat Pack play Mommy! She is still cute as hell! The storyline of this show definitely works, scary as it may be! And its not too far off from the For Keeps movie Molly starred in 20 years ago!

Previews of the final season of The Shield having been teasing and taunting my husband and I for months. This year the show is a bit of a bitter pill, as it is definitely a favorite, but we know it is all going to come to and end in a few short months. The Simpson house without Vick Mackey will just not be the same. Everybody needs a little grit in their life and this show certainly offers buckets full of it!

You know when the show kicks off and this symbol appears :

Followed by L, S, V - for language, sexual content and violence.... its gonna be a good night! The FX network and its shows certainly push the envelope for cable TV and I have to admit, I LOVE IT! It is my guilty pleasure!

Michael Chiklis went from playing the lovable Tony Scali in The Commish to a hard-core, hard-ass, ball-bearing BAD COP in The Shield. Vic Mackey and his Strike Team will stop at nothing to get he job done on the tough Farmington, CA streets! The characters in this show are so strong and so addictive you can not pry yourself away!

Finally, the fourth show is the kicker. I had been humming the theme song all day long. It was a reawakening of an era that I grew up with. It was a second family that I had become a part of... A zip code where I knew I belonged...

IT'S BACK!!!!!!

Go on now, I know you wanna hum the theme song too.. its ok, I promise I won't tell. Just do it quietly so the people in the next cubical don't find out your secret.

I have been biding the last couple of years of the 90210 hiatus with made-for-TV movies starring my former Beverly Hills buddies and more recently, my addiction to Tori and Dean - Inn Love and Home Sweet Hollywood.

So when I got wind that the gang was coming back, I was MORE than excited. Unfortunately, only a select few of the gang has returned and it is an entirely new cast of Beverly Hill Brats. The two-hour premier was entertaining, although I found myself twiddling my thumbs a bit and anxiously awaiting the next glimpse of Jenni Garth or my fave - Shannen Doherty.

I guess I am holding on to the past a bit... I mean the kids couldn't stay in school FOREVER. But oh how I miss those high-waisted jean and big hair days of my old 90210.

I had to attend a PTO meeting at our new school Tuesday evening... and I had a hard time staying focused on budgets and committees. I knew there was a plethora of television for me to enjoy that evening.

So after all the kiddies were bathed and put to bed, Ken and I began our race to play catch-up with the TiVo.

We started our marathon a little after 9pm. First we blew through America's Got Talent just in time to catch The Shield and watch it live (although I'm not a big fan of live T.V. these days - who has time for commercials?!?)

The Hubs is not into The Secret Life... (maybe because he has three daughters) so that was skipped all together to be enjoyed by me during naptime on Wednesday.

Then we went from the back of the squad car to the front of the school bus and I had to keep from jumping out of my seat as the intro theme song began for 90210.

It was a whirlwind television evening, and we didn't make it to bed until almost 1am. And although I was cursing the alarm clock the next morning, it was certainly worth it.

So to all friends out there... Tuesdays is definitely T.V. night. Please take into consideration and avoid all unnecessary phone calls and interruptions... because we will be GLUED to the T.V.!

*Gotta give credit where credit is due - Ken came up with the title, good job Honey!