Wednesday, December 31, 2008

another one bites the dust

Whoa.

Wasn't it, like, yesterday that I was (allegedly) drinking too much champagne, resolutioning off reality TV forever, and crooning Auld Lang Syne into Hubs' ear?


(And maybe nibbling on it, too. I do weird things when I've been drinking.)

Seriously, though, that expression about time flying while having fun? Complete malarkey. Time bolts out the window whether you're having fun, bawling your brains out or eating mass amounts of Bon Bon's on the couch for six hours straight.

(I'm not saying I do that. I was just using an interesting analogy. Ahem.)

Anwyays. I have also discovered that the number of days in 2008 are not at all relative to the amount of life changing moments I experienced in a year.

2008 has brought me more joy, fear, love, drama and unrelenting edge-of-my-seat thrills than I ever thought I could handle. In fact, I think I'm ready for my own reality show.

(Besides, I already imagine on a daily basis that I have cameras following me anyway. Like, sometimes when I'm in the car alone, I might just say out loud to the invisible camera in the passenger seat, "So...we're headed to the grocery store for dinner essentials. I'm feeling a little out of whack today, we'll see what happens.")

Anyways.

You all know I love lists, so let me give you a snapshot of what happened to me/the family over the glorious year of 2008.

2008 Year in Review


...I watched my best friend pack up and move to Dallas...eight hours away. But not so far that I can't still call her and have her ignore me. We text instead.

...Vampire's became the new Superman. Stephanie Meyer and her vivid imagination caused me to have some seriously naughty dreams about hot vampires.

...A few times I considered changing my name to Bella Cullen and straightening Hubs' hair. Just for kicks.

...I watched as Hubs summoned all his strength and officially kicked cigarettes. (He's past 10 weeks, people! You should buy him a drink. Except drinking makes him want to smoke. Maybe just buy him some ice cream.)

...I witnessed my oldest step-daughter's basketball game and cheered like a frenzied hyena as she made her very first basket.


...I said a very difficult good-bye to the woman I used to think of as a second mother.


...I celebrated the day I said "I do" to the most amazing man on the planet. (And then got a tattoo.)


...I was published in a magazine that wasn't for authors under the age of 12.

...I started my first novel, re-read the first six pages, and threw it away. (Maybe 2009 will be the year of the bestseller for me.)

...I finally learned to use my time wisel

...I started this blog and forgot how to use my time wisely.

...I locked myself out of the house. 2 times.

...I made the kick-assest "8" birthday cake in the history of kick-ass "8" birthday cakes.

...I didn't lock myself out of the car AT ALL. No, I'm serious. Not even once. There should be a parade in my honor.

...I turned 27 and managed not cry.

...I acquired, kept, then lost baby fever.

...I voted.

...I became very familiar with Southwest's flight schedule to and from Las Vegas.

...Great Wolfe Lodge became one of my top destination vacation spots.

...I fought the urge to being tight rolling my pants again. (This also happens to be my favorite blog post of 2008.)

...I gave up soda. For 4 days.

...I learned to maintain my appearance in forthcoming 2009. Hubs will call me on it if I let myself go.


________________________


There it is. It isn't perfection, it isn't Days of Our Lives...but it's mine. All mine.

I will say this for 2008. I will always remember the joy of sitting down at my computer in February to begin this blog. What started out as a way to keep family informed of goings on and important milestones has turned into a daily (okay,not always daily) journal of my life.

Through this blog, I have met new people, connected with old friends, and occasionally wondered, "Who IS this person in Chickasaw, Alabama that's on my blog eight times a day? SHOW YOURSELF!!!"

This year has blessed me in more ways than I could ever hope to count. I hope you all had a wonderful 2008, and are looking forward to 2009.

I'm off to watch reality TV. 2008's resolution didn't take. Clearly.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

this just happened...

Setting:

Me: sitting at kitchen table working quietly.
Hubs: in living room playing Golf on the Wii. Duh.
____________________________

Aaaaand action:

Hubs: (cursing at his double bogie) Babe, what are you doing in there? Come play golf with me.

Me: I'm blogging really quickly to say I won't be blogging for the next week. And I'm finishing up some emails.

Hubs: Or you're on Facebook.

Me: (screaming) I am NOT on Facebook. (quickly logging into Facebook and updating status.)

__________________________________

BANG, CLACK, CLICK, BANG BOOOOOM!
___________________________________

Me: (seeing that a knife that was balanced on the kitchen counter has fallen onto the floor. All by itself.) HOLY SHIT!

Hubs: What was that?

Me: (laughing) A knife!

Hubs: (Looking at me accusingly) Did you just THROW a knife across the kitchen?

Now hold on, let's back up the truck. Remember that I am SITTING IN A CHAIR while this is happening. I am a good 10 feet away from the kitchen. A loud noise occurs, and Hubs assumes I have taken a knife and THROWN IT.

Me: (sarcastically) Yes, Hubs. For no reason, I picked up a knife from a table where there is no silverware, and threw it across the kitchen. How ridiculous are you? I have to blog about this right now.

Hubs: Go right ahead. I'm sure your bloggers know all about your temper.

Me: I DO NOT HAVE A TEMPER! I DIDN'T DO ANYTHING!

______________

Anyways...this has nothing to do with anything. I just found it amusing.

And now Hubs is mad at me.

warm wishes

Hello, bloggies!

I didn't die, I didn't catch a disease, I didn't fall off the planet.

I became addicted to Ninento Wii.

(But we'll talk about that later.)

I promise after this weekend to up-date you on all the comings and goings in my life.

Cuz you're dying to hear about it.

Or not.

I wish you all the happiest of happy Christmases. When I return, I will have the following lists to share with you:

...Why I loved 2008

...Why I despised 2008

...A list of my fave posts from 2008 (feel free to nominate your faves.)

...What I got for Christmas

(I could technically post that list right now. Hubs and I already opened presents, which is subsequently Reason #4464 it is soooo cool to be an adult. Waiting until December 25th to open my loot? Hells no.)

Anydoodle, I hope you all have a merry Christmas and drink lots of spiked eggnog. If you need me, I'll be passed out under the Christmas tree in my new comfy warm robe, muttering sweet nothings about Robert Pattinson.

(Seriously, though. Hubs did so awesome picking out my robe. I want to wear it out in public. Like, to dinner. People wear their pants around their ankles and look like flaming jackasses, so who says I can't wear my robe? As long as I wear my heels, I think I'll go relatively unnoticed.)

(Reason #3535 to love being married: Hubs will still love me when I go off the reservation and wear my robe to dinner in public.)

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!

Friday, December 19, 2008

happy posting!

I forgot to mention that yesterday was my 200th post. Wheee!

(This hasn't been a great week for me, so any good news is worth celebrating.)

That's all. This post is basically about nothing. Not feeling it today. I suppose that happens from time to time.

(Sorry, sometimes writers have bad days, kiddos.)

I'm hoping the weekend will recharge my batteries and get me back to a happy place.

Oohhhhmmmm....oohhhmmmm....


Oh, but on a happy note, my first magazine article is being mailed to me today. I'll get to see my by-line in just a few short days. Now that's something worth celebrating.

Where's the vodka?

Thursday, December 18, 2008

don we now our gay apparrel

For real.

There were many ridiculous sweaters at the party last night, but I feel quite confident in saying that mine took the cheesy taco.


Are you going to argue with me on this? The thing LIT UP. My sweater actually had a BATTERY PACK in it. What if it rained? Would I have been electrocuted?


(You too can own a battery pack lime green catastrophe for $14.99 at your local JC Penney outlet store.)


(If those things sell out tomorrow, I should make Penney's give me a portion of the proceeds for pimping it.)



If you really do love my sweater, but don't want to buy it, I am willing to rent it to you for a mere $5.00 per night. But no copying! The brilliant design and pattern are Copyrighted. So much so that the company felt it necessary to make this disclaimer on the tag.


(Because, you know, so many people are DYING to copy this pattern.)


Anyways.


Alissa put on a fabulous party and we had loads of fun playing games and exchanging tacky ornaments. I never knew such horrible Christmas decorations could be manufactured. It's just plain scary.

Enjoy the pics from the party. I must go. Lots of work to do today.

(Or catching up on the Real Housewives of Orange County to do. Either one.)




Playing "Pictionary Movie Phone". (I made up that name, so don't Google it. You won't get anywhere.) Such a fun game, perfect for a group of designers who should know how to draw.



Concentrating on drawing...



Alissa and a beautiful drawing of "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles"



Showing off the results of Pictionary Movie Phone.








You're probably all wondering what in the blazes of Christmas this game is that we are playing. Maybe I will get bored tonight and create a post for how to play. It is literally the funniest game on the planet.

(Contrary to the pictures, it is not necessary to have alcohol to play.)

(Although it certainly doesn't hurt.)









The tacky ornament I won in the exchange. Keep in mind I had to drive home all alone with this thing starting at me in the dark. Halfway home I tossed it in the back seat so I didn't have to look at it.


Tuesday, December 16, 2008

the winner's circle

It's official. For the Christmas party at Alissa's tomorrow, I have the single greatest Ugly Sweater this world has ever seen.

I'm so proud of it that I won't even tell you where I found it. Can't risk you buying it.

(There's only one thing worse than an ugly christmas sweater. And that is having the same sweater as someone else. It's as bad as wearing a couture gown twice in the same decade.)

When I saw this monstrosity in the store, I literally stopped in my tracks and felt my stomach surge. It's tacky, commercial, and most importantly, polyester.

Now I just need a horrible Christmas ornament for the ornament exchange.

Surely K-Mart has one. Or fifty.

Pictures tomorrow!

my stork can take a very, very long detour


First things first...

Baby Lisbona has arrived! Bryan and Kristin don't have the picture up yet, but I can assure you that she is one of the cutest little bambino's I have ever seen.

(Yes, I say this about every single newborn baby I come in contact with.)

You would think that due to this new arrival I would be all OVER Hubs about "when can we have one" and "the IKEA cribs are so cute!" and "I promise to clean all the vomit up myself!".

And I would be saying those things....if a certain conversation hadn't happened about a week ago that knocked me on my ass. It went something like this.

*********
Walking through Target looking at Christmas decorations:

Me: Ahh, Hubs. Our Mexican vacation in paradise is only a few months away. (Light bulb goes on over head.) Damn. I really need to get on the treadmill.

Hubs: (rolling eyes dramatically) We're going with family. Who are you needing to impress?

Me: (looking at a glossy entertainment magazine showing a post-baby Jessica Alba in all her toned glory) No one. I mean, obviously I'm not going to pick up on anyone in Mexico. But I'll be standing next to Nicole (sister-in-law) a lot and she runs marathons and is skinny minny! I have no excuse. I should start running 8 miles a day. Can we get this nativity set? It's on sale.

Hubs: (grunts) No. It's ugly. And I've gained 10 pounds since quitting smoking. I think I have more to lose than you.

Me: It is so not ugly. It's quaint. And, baby, you quit smoking!! There's a REASON you are a little heavier. I'm just a lazy slob. Ooh! Am I crazy or is that wreath over there to die for?

Hubs: Whatever, Kim.

Me: (brooding silently and looking at ugly ornaments)

Hubs: (casually) Do you still want to try and have a baby in Mexico? Because if we did, it'd be a December baby.

Me: (turning to look at Hubs, mouth hanging open) Uhhh...uhhh....uhhhhh.

Hubs: I mean, I would think you'd want to get pregnant in late summer, because then when you're, er, getting bigger, it'd be winter and you can wear comfy clothes all the time.

Me: (beads of sweat breaking out over forehead) Ummm..uhhh....uhhhhh..um...welll....um...

Hubs: I'm just sayin'. I would think we'd want to try in like, July. Then we'd have an April spring baby. Wouldn't that be fun?

Me: (wiping sweaty palms on jeans and trying to smile convincingly) Um...well, yeah.

(My inner monologue: Ho. Ly. Shit. We're talking about trying for a baby. WE are. Not just me begging. Like, for real, we are talking about it. Right here, in this Target.

If we're going to try in July...that's only...carry the 1...SEVEN MONTHS away. Holy crap. In seven months we could be one of those awful couples who go to parties and say, "We're trying!" like we're talking about taking a poop. And if we're going to try then I can't drink any alcohol or have caffeine. For a very, very long time.

And if we're trying, that means after we've...you know...I will intentionally not be using birth control. How will I stop the knee jerk reaction of calling my friends and saying, "Last week we TOTALLY didn't use birth control! And my boobs really hurt. Do you think I'm preggers? WHAT WILL MY PARENTS SAY!!!?"

How will I stop myself from running to Walgreens at 2:00 in the morning and screaming at the pharmacist, "I NEED THE MORNING AFTER PILL. STAT!!!!"

What if I have the worse documented case ever of morning sickness? What if I get so fat my ankles explode? What if I wait too long for an epidural like in "Knocked Up" and I feel EVERYTHING. What if the baby comes out and immediately hates me? Where will we have our first Christmas with the baby? What if it has that weird syndrome where it has both boy and girl parts and we have to DECIDE WHAT GENDER IT WILL BE!!!????)

Hubs: Why are you making that face?

Me: What? Huh? Where am I?

Hubs: (smirking) Are you all right?

Me: Totally fine. I mean, yeah. Good. It's just....

Hubs: It's weird to talk about it for real, isn't it?

Me: I need a Dr. Pepper.

*****

I mean, in all seriousness, I knew this day would come. I knew that someday Hubs was going to open up the lines of communications about a baby. But I didn't think it would happen so fast. I mean, one second he's listing hundreds of reasons not to try, and then, voila, we're talking about what month to start trying!!

And by the way, what does it mean that I totally had a panic attack the second he brought it up?

(Am I like Carrie Bradshaw in that episode of SATC when she freaks out after trying on a wedding dress?)

(I love the idea that I could be anything like Carrie Bradshaw, by the way.)

All this time that I've been on Hubs about baby time, I've always known in the back of my head that he's not going to sign on, so I'm really quite safe oogling over onesies and car seats and baby bedding.

It's kind of like saying you're sick of your job and want a new one. In all honesty, you're pretty happy with your employer and you're probably not going to really go out there and look. It's just fun to bitch. But then, one day the economy takes a big fat dump and you find yourself wondering if you'll have a job tomorrow. Then your current job looks pretty darn appealing.

Same with babies. All this time I've been begging Hubs to consider expanding our family, I've known that we probably aren't really going to do it. And now...it's out there. The idea of trying. And we can't take it back.

I'm. Flat. Out. Panicking.

My good friend Bess has a theory. She says Hubs was so tired of hearing me ask for a baby that he decided to call my bluff, just to see what I'd do.

I mean, she could be right. I do talk about babies an awful lot. Maybe Hubs got sick of it and wanted to find out how I really feel about it.

I'm pretty sure my almost passing out in Target gave him his answer.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

making the cut?

I had a lot to say today about something, but couldn't summon the energy to write it all down. So it will have to wait.

Instead, I will simply inform you that I am considering cutting my hair.

(Ooooh! Aaaahhh! This is news why?)

(It isn't news, really. This is a total cop out post. But I thought you should know.)

But seriously, hair is not a huge deal. To a man.

(Wash, dry, apply gel, burp, leave the house.)

To women (and I'm assuming most of my readers are of this variety) getting a hair cut requires more thought, preparation and consideration than starting a business.

There are strict rules a woman must follow when deciding to cut her locks more than 1/2".


Rules for Considering a Significant Hair Cut/Style Change:

1. E-mail husband/boyfriend/lover/best friend/roommates/Mom that you are considering a hair cut. Request opinions about your current hairstyle.

(And waiting until the lunch hour to submit their feelings is too long. You need answers now. Work can wait.)

2. E-mail pictures of what you're considering doing to your hair. Label as "HIGH IMPORTANCE."

Subject line: Can I Pull This Off?

3. Pull hair back in pony tail and "puff" out some hair to examine a make-shift chin bob. (Or stick your hair down the back of your shirt and do the same thing. You know exactly what I'm talking about.)

4. Get significant other's opinion. "It'll look fine" is not an acceptable answer.

5. Wash hair and make sure you will not miss the feel of the length while conditioning it in the morning.

(I'm totally serious. I've had my hair cut before and cried when I felt the difference in the shower.)

6. Look at pictures from when your hair was different than it is now. Write down thoughts. In detail.

7. DO NOT go to the salon the day you first think you might want a haircut. Impromptu cuts always end badly.

(Unless you just got dumped. In which case, do whatever the hell you want.)

8. Try on your entire closet, including shoes. Will your new style make your toes look fat?

9. Buy ridiculous amounts of those glossy "HAIR!" magazines.

(Or just read them quickly in the Walgreen's magazine aisle. I'd rather be seen buying porn than teen hair magazines.)

10. Briefly consider bright red streaks of red through your new bob. Then (hopefully) change your mind.


After compiling this list, I realize I have only done 2 of the required rules.

Excuse me, I've got some shoes to try on. Must see if my toes will look chub-o.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

reason #212 to love being married


#212: Lots and Lots of Practice in Damage Control

(Last night, after work. Hubs enters front door.)

Hubs: Hey, babe.

Me: Hi, honey!

Hubs: So, I was kind of hurt by your blog today.

Me: (Acting shocked) Really?

Hubs: Yeah. It started really nice. I thought it was going to be about how I told you in the car that you looked super hot in your sunglasses and puffy jacket.

Me: (Wincing. He totally did do that. I am such a bitch.)

Hubs: And then I read the whole post.

Me: (inner monologue.) Shit.

Hubs: I'm okay with it, I just kind of think it makes me look bad.

Me: (looking for something to say that makes me look less like a jack ass.) I'm sorry! Everyone knows how great you are and that you always do nice things for me! I'll post a nice one about you tomorrow!

Hubs: (sighs) No, it's okay. I don't mind. I know it's just a blog. I'm here to provide material. I love you.

Me: (mentally adding the extra number of Christmas presents this damn blog is costing me.) I love you, too.

___________

So, based on last night, I feel compelled to share my awareness that 90% of the stories I post about Hubs make him totally sound selfish, unappreciative, ridiculous and stubborn. He is not any of those things.

(Except stubborn. He's like a donkey standing in molasses. I mean, seriously. We cannot have a Christmas wreath on the front door? But we can have Iowa State Cyclone twinkle lights lining the door frame instead? Whatever.)

(I am choosing not to talk about how stubborn I am. Let's just say my scenario would be a donkey nailed to the floor with his tail super-glued to the wall. And covered in molasses.)

Moving on...

My stories about Hubs really only showcase the way he acts about 3% of the time. Kind of like reality TV. The thing is, his actions during that small 3% of the time makes for AMAZING writing material. I just can't pass it up!

(And, let's face it. If I'm having writer's block about my own life stories, I'm going to default to the next best thing for inspiration. That's Hubs. It's in our pre-nup.)

(We don't actually have one. But if we did, I'd totally put in it: Husband allows wife to make fun of him on blog. Whenever she wants.)

In conclusion, let me remind you that Hubs is fantastic to me. Yes, I probably make him sound a little ridiculous at times, but it's all in good fun. Hubs is an amazing man, and he's seriously the one person that makes everything better in my life. Sooo, maybe in the future I'll try and be nicer.

If he lets me put up a Christmas wreath.

_________

And, you know, for the record, I say nice things about Hubs all the time.


Monday, December 8, 2008

reason #39 to love being married

Brutal Truth.

(Sitting at a stop-light. Saturday afternoon.)

Hubs: (Stares intently at me, glazed over look in his eyes.)

Me: (smiling and sticking neck out slightly.) What is it, babe?

Hubs: (squints heavily and leans toward me)

Me: (shocked at how Hubs is admiring me) What? What are you thinking about?

Hubs: (raises one eyebrow) It's been awhile since you've used that white upper lip cream, hasn't it? The hair on your lip sparkles in the sun.

Me: (rolling eyes) I'll get right on it.


...after one year and five months, the honeymoon's officially over.

Friday, December 5, 2008

the power of prayer

Remember the tree I wanted but couldn't afford? Well my friends, it could be mine tonight.

Lowe's decided to put the sucker on super crazy out of this world delicious sale.

(I'd like to think it's because they read my blog and were inspired to help a sistah out. Most likely though, no one was buying the effing trees at $300 a pop.)

For whatever reason, my perfect tree is now HALF price. Only $150 for a tall, green, gloriously fake Christmas cheer foilage.

(O Christmas tree, O Chrismtas tree...how lovely is thy discount!!!)

Problem is, Hubs and I went to purchase the thing last night, only to find our tree was already gone.

(Something tells me all the assisted living homes in KC bought them out yesterday morning. It's so unfair. Half the residents can't even see anyway...my home is more important!)

(I know I sound bitter, but really. Does there need to be a Christmas tree in every room at the rest homes? Aren't trees in the lobby, dining, and TV room adequate? The chapel, bathrooms and gaming areas are just fine sans tree.)

Therefore, this weekend will consist of hundreds of miles on the car as we journey to every Lowe's in the KC metro area.

But we'll have saved loads of money on the tree once we find it!

(Until I buy ornaments and lights and garland and tinsle. Shhh...don't tell Hubs. The less he knows, the better.)

will write for food...or money

A journalist (by definition) is someone who writes for a newspaper or magazine, or who continually writes in a diary.

I used to only consider myself a journalist because of the latter half of this definition.

Not anymore.

I just got paid for my first magazine gig. Awhile back I told you about this and was super pumped for it. Now it's all over and done with. I can officially look back and go over all the things I should have done differently.

Because this was my first "real" assignment, I had some anxieties throughout the process. A few times (okay, the whole time) I felt like an amateur, over-caffeinated fish out of water.

Seriously, you should hear the tape from my interview. I sound:

a) nine. Apparently my voice jumps three octaves when I'm feeling less than confident.

b) ridiculously nervous. You can actually hear me chewing on my nails while I interviewed the article's subject. So professional. And hygenic.

(Oh, and at one point, I totally thought I had accidentally erased the entire interview. Talk about a gut check moment. Turned out I was just using the recorder completely incorrectly.)

Thankfully, despite all of my self-esteem issues and paranoia about screwing up, my darling Hubs was there to give pep talks and reassure me that, no matter what, I was pretty.

(That's really all a girl ever needs to hear, right?)

Overall, this was a fantastic experience. I've dreamed about getting a writing assignment for a newspaper/magazine since I could crawl. I used to sit in my room at my lap desk (greatest invention ever) and write story after story, hoping that someone would want to read them.

Now, my first magazine story (and hopefully not last!) has been submitted. It will appear in Shawnee Magazine sometime this month.
And the whole world will see it.

(By whole world, I mean the residents of Shawnee county that subscribe to the magazine. Just let me dream a little, here.)

AND...as extra gravy, I totally got paid for doing something I love to do anyway.

I would tell you that I maturely took my journalistic earnings and placed them in a secure Roth IRA a la Suzy Orman.

But I already spent it. On my new Coach bag. Three weeks ago.

(Hey, if I know money's coming, it's going to get spent. Quickly.)

So, here it is, my first ever check received for journalist services rendered.
I guess my lap desk desk dreams finally came true.


I don't know all the rules on what I can or can't show, so I just axed all indications of how much I was paid. Money isn't the point anyway.


Thursday, December 4, 2008

move over charlie brown, there's a new block head in town

It's possible that I have neglected this blog for the last week. What can I say? I had a holiday, I traveled all over with Hubs and the girls, and I got a little sidetracked.

But no need to fear, I have returned. And I am ready for full on bells-and-whistles holiday mode.

Except I don't have a Christmas tree.

Our country is officially in a recession (like, duh) and after seeing the killer Black Friday ads last week, I assumed that finding that holiest of holy Christmas items would be:

a) super easy
b) crazy cheap

(I trust I don't have to tell you what happens when I assume.)

Yes, my mother-in-law did graciously offer to give us her beautiful (and practically new) 7' artificial tree. But I just knew I could find one on my own.

(I'm really like a cave man. It's the thrill of the hunt. The splendor of finding the item you want, adding up all the discounts and bringing it home, slung over your shoulder like a prize deer. Ew. Never mind. I'm not like a cave man at all. Maybe just a screw-loose shopper who thinks like a cave man?)

I ignored Hubs' tree-shopping hesitations, forced him into his coat, and we were off.

And we found loads of trees ripe for the buying.

(Unfortunately they all vaguely resembled green caterpillars on a bad hair day.)

Truth be told, I probably could have settled for an ugly, cheap tree. But inside me beats one of the most idealistic (and unrealistic) hearts you'll ever see.

Our family Christmas tree simply cannot be sub par.

After all, the Christmas tree is where all of the magic happens!! It's where our daughters will receive their favorite gifts of all time. It's where our family will gather and grow and share memories each year.

(It's where my picture will be taken each time I try on my new diamond earrings/bracelet/necklace. I can't have ugliness behind me. It would ruin the moment.)

Ahem.

Anyways, after two hours and four stores, only one tree truly fulfilled my holiday desires. It was lush and green (and pre-lit. Yay!), tall and majestic, and somehow even somewhat familiar to me. Like I'd seen it before. Maybe in my dreams?!

(Too bad it came complete with a nightmare of a price tag.)

I could have my perfect family Christmas tree for $300.00.

Excuse me? Hell no.

I fervently attacked the display model. I sniffed around the tree like a drug dog, searching for the big tag that would break down my discounts in easy-to-understand mathematical pictures and phrases. Something like:

ORIGINALLY $299.99
In-store Rebate- $50.00
Mail-in Rebate- $30.00
Customer loyalty rebate- $40.00
"We're in a Recession" discount- $30.00
New Credit Line discount- $20.00 (I am more than willing to open a new credit card if I get savings. That's just good business.)

You pay: ONLY $129.99

I found no card. It was really $300.00.

FOR A FAKE TREE!

(Should I make a list of all the fabulous consumer goods I could buy with $300.00? Like, I could get a camcorder and record us (meaning Hubs) chopping down a for real tree...and have money left over! Granted, there would be pine needles all over our carpet, but I could use the left-over money to have the carpets cleaned...)

Anyways.

After my fruitless search for the discount tag ended, I admitted utter and complete defeat. But Hubs was there to console me. And to pick up the pieces of my sad, idealistic heart.

And also remind me that I had turned down his mother's offer to give us her Christmas tree 48- hours prior. And not just any tree.

The exact one I just picked out.

Then, Hubs graciously picked my jaw off the floor, placed it back on my face, and took me home.