Saturday, January 23, 2010

New Blog Host

Hi All!

Trying something new... we'll see if it works. Check out this week's blog here.


Friday, January 15, 2010

Adventures of the Newlyweds

This past Thanksgiving marked the first official holiday Anthony and I shared together as Husband and Wife.

(As I have said before - technically, it is the second holiday... I seem to remember spending 4th of July with him... ;-) But I still don't count that as our first official Holiday together, seeing as how we were celebrating our Marriage that afternoon, rather than INDEPENDENCE Day!)

I was so happy to be in Carson City, NV with my mother's side of the family. Don't get me wrong - I loved Thanksgiving last year with Anthony's Family. It was a blast and I learned a lot! But I missed and longed for my own family and our homegrown traditions (as I'm sure Anthony expeirenced this year).

Thanksgiving is so wonderfully predictable and dependable at my Grandmother's house. Cooking starts at 9am. The Parade is on - if you don't like it, go away. Dad BBQ's the Turkey. Mama and Granny rule the kitchen - what they say goes. What they ask for (nicely, of course!) gets done. The "Kids" set the table. Everyone contributes something. This year I did the ham, but usually I do the Jello Salad. New Tradition this year = Anthony contributes, too!!! He brought one of his favorite family traditions to us. Every year his mother makes cardamom bread for Thanksgiving. It is Anthony's favorite. Anthony learned how to make it this year from her! He made it and brought it for everyone to try. Everyone loved it! He has been told he is expected to provide it from now on. That made him smile. A little part of him is now officially part of us.

"Dinner" is really "Supper" as we eat around 4:30pm. PopPop says the prayer. Dinner always lasts a rediculously long time as we are all eating and talking and laughing, and eating some more. Clean up is a team effort - everyone has a job. The table and kitchen are 85% clean before dessert is served (always several types of pie and hand made whip cream, which I got to make this year).

I LOVE our Thanksgiving. It is one of the few times a year I get to see my Mom's side of the family, and I always miss them more when I have to go home. But this year, it was so special - Anthony was no longer "The boy Jen brought" or "Jen's Friend." He was just Anthony. And more importantly, a member of the family. Not that he hadn't been welcome or anything before now - he was! Everyone loves him! But this year was different. The jokes were no longer "inside jokes" as he was in on them. He participated, rather than obverved. And, as always, he made me feel incredibly lucky to have him by my side.

(Ok, everyone, all together now - Awwwwwwww.)

Oh - and Anthony and I got to share a bed this year! Thanks to Alyse being gracious enough to give up the sofa sleeper, Anthony and I didn't have to sleep on the air matress and non-fold out couch (respectively). So Thank you, Bug! It made our first Holiday together that much more special. 

Now to my favorite part of T-day weekend. Seriously people, the BEST part of Thanksgiving weekend for me has NOTHING to do with Thanksgiving. True, I love T-day and all of its traditional glory. But Black Friday - now THAT is something we do right. Shopping, you say? NO WAY!!! Dude, after all that tryptophan, we sleep! We wake up no earlier than 9am. This year I slept till 10! Lunch is left overs. YUM. Then, the family - the WHOLE family, Granny and PopPop included - goes bowling. Joey, my 3 year old cousin, loves to bowl. And we all have a blast watching him. Let's face it, we know my dad is going to win, closely followed by my Uncle John. But we play! And we cheer each other on, and have a grand old time. Black Friday rules in my fam!

Ok - Time-out must be taken this year to adress "The Bet."

My father is a logical, level headed, incredibly smart man. But every now and again, he does something totally out of left feild that ends up biting him in the butt. This is one of those times.

My dad was observing my cousin Alex bowl. Alex ended up with 2 pins, close together, but not next to each other. My dad said he'd give Alex $10 if he could knock down both pins. My father knew that the chances were VERY slim, and that $10 wasn't that big of a loss, if somehow he did make the shot. As my father predicted, Alex didn't make it. "Awwwwww," we all said. "Good try, Alex!" Then, Alyse went up to bowl. After her first turn, she ended up with a 7/10 ish kind of split. Super difficult shot. Dad said, 'Whoa! That is a $50 shot. If you make that, I'll give you $50."

Guess what happened...

She made the shot. And Dad had to pony up. One of those stories we'll be telling for a while...

Anywho - after we are done bowling, the whole gang treks back to Granny's house for Taco night. Let me tell ya, peeps - I don't care how good that Mexican place is down the street. These are the BEST tacos you'll ever have. Period. We love Taco Night. Pan fried corn tortilla tacos, lightly salted, with perfectly seasoned ground beef. Add the "fixings" to your liking and dip in home made green or red sauc. Have some authentic Mexican rice (also home made) on the side, and you've got a recipie for the best dinner on the planet.

Mine always looks a little bland - all it is in there is meat and cheese... but still soooooo good!

Taco night ends our festivites. We go home on Saturday so we have Sunday to rest before the world goes back to normal on Monday. It was truly a wonderful holiday filled with family, fun, and amazing food. Can't wait to do it again in 2011. Now onto Francis Family Thanksgiving this year! Woot!

Oh yea - did I mentioned it snowed while we were there?

Love it.


Thursday, January 7, 2010

Chocolate Brown

As many of you may have noticed, my status for the last couple of hours as been simply, "Chocolate Brown." You may have also noticed that I'm not the only one out there who has some sort of color as their current status.

If you haven't been let in on the secret yet, here it is: "Chocolate Brown" is the color of the bra I am currently wearing.

Yup. You read that right. I'm wearing a chocolate brown bra right now. What color are you wearing?

I was so curious as to why all my girlfriends had colors up as their status. I come to find out that someone late yesterday/early today started sending out a message to girl's Facebook Inboxes saying something to the effect of "let's take over facebook" and put our status as the color of our bra to 'confuse the guys."

Apparently this silly idea didn't go very far. I mean, who cares? I have better things to do with my time than try and confuse boys. I can do that just by being a woman. BUT when someone decided to add purpose to this little endeavor, it EXPLODED. That purpose?


Who wouldn't want to jump on that bandwagon!? Of course, you get your naysayers out there who ask, "how on earth can that help? How stupid." Well Mr. Negative Nelly - I'll tell ya what purpose it serves! The "secret" element to it all compelled people figure it out - to be "in the know." In essence, to do some research. Because of this phenomenon, people have been stumbling across blogs like this:

Go on. Read it. I'll wait.

You done yet? Good. How great was that? So well put.

Ok, Ok. Let's face it. Negative Nelly is right - Letting the whole world know what color my bra is has ZERO effect on breast cancer research or even awareness. But when my color, combined with everyone else willing to participate encourages flow of information and ideas, it has a HUGE impact. People get information they didn't have. (Did you know that men can get breast cancer, too? Did you know that, according to the CDC, 41,116 women and 375 men died from breast cancer in 2005? Did you know that breast cancer is the 7th most common cause of death among women (Also CDC)? Bet you didn't. See? You just learned something.) This silly crazy exercise obviously draws attention to breasts in general. My fellow blogger is right - while your down there checking out that awesome color, give yourself a breast exam.

Instructions for giving a self-exam can be found here:

I felt compelled to blog. Cancer has touched my life in the cruelest of ways over the years. Fierce battles that have been fought hard and finally lost. But they fought to live because they had the chance. They got help because they could. It makes me SO angry when I hear stories of people who die from this disease, but could have been saved with early detection. I have been giving myself a "Self breast exam" from the age of 16. Once a month, EVERY month. No exceptions.

And ladies - a tip for you. Let's be honest - no one knows your knockers like your boyfriend (or girlfriend)/fiance/husband (or wife), right? Let them give you the exam. They may notice something you won't. And they'll think you are SO COOL for letting them do it. ;-)

I lost my Grandmother to breast cancer in 2002. We lost her sister, my Aunt, just last month to the same. Enough is enough. We have the power to take action. For all the naysayers out there who said "this is dumb - wouldn't donating to research be more helpful?" I say yes! It would be more helpful! Get off your butt and do it instead of picking on those who are trying to make a difference! To those who are aware that breast cancer runs in your family - be responsible! Self exams starting right this second! Annual exams without relenting! To everyone on the whole planet (because it isn't just breast cancer - it is all cancer) Educate yourselves. Knowledge is power.

In the meantime, I am proud to tell you that it's Chocolate brown. All day. Tomorrow will more than likely be black.

I will get off my soap box when every man on the planet knows they are subject to this too. I will get off my soap box when every woman does monthly self exams, annual paps, and regular mammograms when the time comes. Until then, I'm never going to stop talking about it. I'm never going to ease up. I'm never going to let it slide. We can change the future. We can change the outcome. But just like this little exercise, it can't just be me. It's gotta be everyone. EVERYONE has got to get in the know.


Monday, January 4, 2010

Blogs, blogs, blogs!

I have so much to blog about and so little time!!!

But I always tell myself, Jenifer! You are NEVER going to simply HAVE the time. You have to MAKE the time.

I don't make New Years Resolutions. I find them a little hollow - we say we will do something just for the sake of having something to do! So no, I don't make resolutions. I set goals.

Goals in my life are really important. They keep me going. They keep me challenged. So one of my goals this year is to blog, at least once a week, every week in 2010. Starting with this one. (That will = no less than 52 blogs this year. But I think I can do it!!!)

Like I said - I have so much to blog about! Right now, I am working on a 2 blogs from November (Friend's wedding and Thanksgiving), 1 blog from December (Christmas), and 2 blogs for January (New Years and San Fran Trip).

Also, as promised, the start of the new year will mean the re-start of the Cupcake blogs!!! I won't be doing them as frequently as I used to (every week!!!) But more like once a month. We think we can handle that. I will be writing a blog soon with a list of the projects to come so if you want to jump in and help on one, you are more than welcome!!!

I must apologize to Miss Miranda D'Angelo. She and I were supposed to start our "Wreak This Journal" Journey back in September and it never happened. I PROMISE we will start that before the end of January. But, that will mean that you need to start your own blog, missy!!! Hop to it! ;-)

And lastly, Anthony and I fully intend to take CherryTree Threads to the max this year. We are in the works to become an official Company. Anthony has already designed a logo and is helping me with a website (shout out to showit sites that Bree Shepard introduced me to! They rock!) So I will be making frequent updates about CherryTree as we grow and find our way in this crazy world. Wish us luck!

2010 looks to be shaping up quite nicely! We really are enjoying married life and our jobs. We are so thankful for everything we have coming into this year and feel truly blessed. We hope that our (or rather, MY) goals inspire you to create some of your own. And if you haven't already, start a blog! I'd love to keep up with you by reading your daily adventures!

Happy New Year everyone!!!