Happy Thanksgiving!!

George worked until 3:30 pm on Thanksgiving so we had a later-than-usual Thanksgiving. But because that idiot wasn’t bothering me all morning, I had time to set up our tree!

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And the salt ornaments I made last year are still good!  That saved me about 75 3 hours

After G finished working, we drove to my mom’s  house for dinner.  Dinner was great and completely crazy.  All those kids running around like monsters angels is exhausting.  After dinner, we posed for pictures. It took about us about 100 attempts…this one was the best.

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Yes, Em’s family all wore flannel.  Kai and Kaz wore flannel too (not planned).  G wore fluorescent green Seahawks t-shirt, but I made him take it off for the picture.  Thankfully, he had that black tank underneath. Although, a family picture with a half-naked G would have been a more accurate reflection of him.  Maybe for our next holiday card.

Hope you all had a great Thanksgiving!!!

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A Bunch of Birthdays

My sister’s family has three birthdays in the same effing week!  And we celebrated them all yesterday.  As you may remember, Kennedy ruined arrived on my sister’s birthday two years ago, on November 20th.  Elijah, my sister’s step-son, was born on November 25th.  It just makes sense to have one major clusterf*ck of a birthday party.

These fools were game to party:

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As you can tell, Kennedy was pretty happy about the whole thing.

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Is it just me or is she adorable?!  And her personality is hilarious.  She’s just like my sister: loud and not scared of anything.  At one point, she was standing in her high chair, singing (which sounds a lot like yelling) to everyone.

Of course we had to have three cakes:

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And the best part of the day was when Kennedy called George over to have their picture taken together.

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And that was before she had any cake.

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Minor Mishap in Paris

Let’s take a trip to Paris today!  I love Paris.

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When we planned our trip to Europe, we tried to save as much money as possible.  We still spent a billion $$, but I think we saved a bunch as well.  To reduce our lodging costs in Paris, we decided to rent an apartment through AirBNB.  Best decision ever.  We also rented apartments in Venice and Rome and I think we got some pretty good deals!

In Paris, I looked for a 2 bedroom, 2 bath apartment near public transportation.  Oh and I wanted to make sure we had an elevator because my mom and Tim were joining us and I wanted to make it as easy as possible on them.  Fortunately, we found an incredible place within walking distance of Sacre Couer.

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We were on the second floor (which is the third floor to us dumb Americans):

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Hi George.

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It’s on a tree-lined street with tons of restaurants, bakeries, cafes, and grocery stores nearby.

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And, on a couple of nights, we saw a dog that looked just like Max enjoying the beautiful weather and outdoor seating at the restaurants.

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So, G and I arrived the night before my mom and Tim flew in.  We met my mom and Tim at the airport, but we didn’t take any pictures because…well, my mom looked like death (sorry mom).  She got incredibly sick on the flight over and I wasn’t even sure we’d make it to the apartment.  Great.

Fortunately, Tim was still in good spirits and we managed to get everyone (and their luggage) onto the train and back to the apartment.  When we got to the apartment, mom got into the elevator with her suitcase and I ran up the stairs to meet her.  We didn’t ride together because the elevator was really damn small.  It was probably  12 inches deep and maybe three feet wide.  I met mom upstairs and helped her get settled in.  She felt horrible, but was so thrilled to see her nice room!

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She loved the curved walls and doors throughout the apartment.

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The apartment has floor to ceiling french doors throughout and a wrap around balcony.  There was so much natural light…

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And so much space.  The kitchen had everything we needed and more french doors!

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Sorry, I got a little sidetracked.  We just really loved the apartment!

Back to the minor mishap.  I was helping my mom get settled in when I heard G yelling from downstairs.  Yes, from three floors below.  He yelled, “Marni!!  Marni!!  Call the owner, Tim’s stuck in the elevator!!”  My reaction:  umm, WHAT THE F*CKING F*CK?!!!  I tried to call the owner, but the phone wouldn’t stay charged long enough to place a call.  Once I told G I couldn’t get through on the phone, he (being a very loud American) started banging on random doors in the building.  One unlucky man answered his door and G somehow communicated to him that Tim was stuck in the elevator.  The guy called the handyman for us!!!

Once my mom was settled, I ran ran downstairs to see what the hell happened.  Then I ran upstairs to get a camera.  You’re welcome.

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Yes, that’s Tim in the elevator with his suitcase.  And no, those two items didn’t exceed the weight limit of the elevator.  Apparently, the elevator went up 18 inches and stopped.

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Those are G’s feet in the picture.  He sat and talked to Tim while waiting for the handyman.  At least the doors were glass so we could see and talk to him.  Tim said it started to get pretty hot in the elevator.  Scary.

The good news is that the handyman arrived within 20 minutes and no one got stuck in it the rest of the trip!!  We never found out why it stopped, but I think it was Paris’ way of saying “Welcome to Paris, Tim!!”

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Scenes From Salema

I don’t know if you’re tired of reading about our trip to Europe, but I have so much more to share.  And I finally have some time.  I had surgery (don’t worry, all is well) a couple of weeks ago and I haven’t been released by my doctor to return to work as a pizza delivery driver…so I only have one job right now!!!  Totally party time.

I know it’s only been a month and a half since we got back from vacation, but I want to go again.  Especially to Salema.  I miss it.  We barely did anything while we were there.

Every day, we sat on the beach.

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I stayed under the umbrella and G sat in the sun.  It was beautiful.

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While the water looked warm…it was not.  Here’s a picture of George when he first felt it:

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Umm, yeah. It was cold.  He is also a big baby.  But I’m proud to say that we both made it into the water by the end of the trip…and it wasn’t that bad.  Especially since it was so damn warm out.

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Blurry G peacing out.

Oh and G found a sand heart for me!

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So romantic.

I miss the narrow, colorful streets of Salema.

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And the cats!

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Doesn’t that cat look just like Bing?!  And there were kittens too!

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When I first saw the cats, I was a little sad because they lived outside.  BUT, in Salema, the people take care of the cats.  The fishermen give them fish and people give them scraps of food or buy food for them at the market.  I loved it.  The cats own the place!

One night, we went to a “jam session” with a our friends, Scott and Jo Alice.  None of us knew what to expect and it turned out to be a lot of fun!!

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We all had instruments.  There were a few guitarists and the rest of us picked up percussion instruments.  All of us sang.  Oh and I played the shruti box.

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It’s a box with these buttons or knobs that you can move and they change the tone.  I don’t really know, all I had to do was open and close the back part of it.

This was not the only jam session we had that week.  The following night, Scott and Jo Alice hosted a party and there was more guitar playing and seeing.  Very fun!  I think that was to warm us up for karaoke on Friday night.  While I love karaoke, I’d never actually participated.

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Until that night.  I sang ABBA’s Dancing Queen, Salt ‘n Peppa’s Push It (only because Shoop was not an option…and I learned that I don’t know the words to Push It) and for my grand finale…Vanilla Ice’s Ice Ice Baby.  Seriously, so much fun.

Time to plan a return trip.

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Trust Me, I’m Lying

A couple of weeks ago, Lea and I attended a book launch for a local author.  And the author is actually the wife of one of our friends!!  I was pretty excited because I’d never been to a book launch and I was also excited for the book!

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Because I’m not a writer, I’ll let the book jacket do the talking:

Julep Dupree is good at telling lies.  She has to be if she wants to stay at St. Agatha’s, the swanky private school where she runs petty scams that earn her tuition money.  Luckily, deception is just part of the family business.

But when Julep comes home to a ransacked apartment and her con artist father missing, things get serious fast.  Tyler Richland, a senior with a hotness factor approaching solar levels, offers his help, and suddenly Julep’s life gets even messier.  She has to follow a trail of clues through a maze of creepy stalkers, hit attempts, and family secrets.

Julep is in way over her head…but that’s not going to stop her from using every trick in the book to find her dad before his mark finds her.  Because that would be criminal.

I’ve read a lot of young adult literature recently and I loved this book!  I’m also excited that it’s part of a series.  Word on the street at the book launch is that the second book will be released next year!  I bought a few books and had them all signed by Mary Elizabeth (gifts for Christmas!)!!

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Oh and then there were a couple of games to participate in too!  One of the games involved disguises.  There were a bunch of hats, glasses, and wigs to wear.  You were supposed to take a picture of yourself in your disguise and then tweet, Facebook, Instagram it with the hashtag #trustmelaunch.  Once you did that, you were eligible to win a prize.  Of course, Lea and I participated:

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While I didn’t win a prize, I think I found my next hairstyle!  The launch was a lot of fun, I loved the book and I can’t wait for the next book to be released!

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