30 September 2012

Rainy Day

Mommy's safe at home, Emi's basketball tournament is over (they took 2nd place) and David's soccer game has been canceled. We've been given some unexpected down time (hallelujah!). We sorted through goodies that I brought back from my trip - fake moustaches, watermelon twists, whoopie cushions, astronaut ice cream and Stars Wars Mad Libs. (We finished the Ube bread with breakfast and it was thoroughly enjoyed.)

Morgan Staches

Morgans Rock the Moustache
Gracie didn't want to wear her 'stache...

Morgans Rock the Moustache
You burned the souffle?

My Little Jokesters

Lost Marx Brother

28 September 2012

Sleepless in Sacramento

Well, not exactly Sacramento, but I'm staying close, and I have been sleepless on occasion. I've been in Elk Grove for a week long class. I didn't get a car so I'm limited in my foraging for food. Luckily for me, there's a BJ's Brewhouse across the parking lot of my hotel.

I finally got to try watermelon and feta in a salad together! Friends, I've had this salad 3 days in a row!! Not too bad for $2.95. It's under the Snacks and Small Bites section of the menu.

Fresh Watermelon and Feta Salad
 It is sooo refreshing and yummy with the cool watermelon, arugula, mixed greens, pickled red onions, mint, parsley, honey vinaigrette and FETA! I will definitely be concocting this at home even though it's so cheap to have at BJ's.

This has also been a repeat offender in my meals this week.

Crispy Fried Artichokes with lemon and Garlic Aioli (only $3.95)

The first time I got the 2 above featured snacks, I also ordered another item from the snack menu...

Gourmet Mac and Cheese

This was truly comforting to me - rotini pasta with three cheeses, chipotle and garlic and topped with seasoned bread crumbs and Applewood smoked bacon. I had a few alpha state-inducing bites before I packed up the rest of it and the fried artichokes for later and moved on to something else that was very comforting...

Oktoberfest Nirvana

Dessert was not even part of the plan, but I was there with my friend (and co-worker) Christina, talking, laughing and being away from work and kids and It. Just. Happened! I make no apologies but I enjoyed every last mother grabbing bite of that cinnamon beignet, smothered in apples and caramel and ice cream, etc. Thank goodness they left off the candied almonds or I'd be searching for bigger pants right now!

Speaking of nirvana, I attained it again after we ventured over to a nearby Asian Mart that specializes in Filipino food. Note: I feel bad that I did not get any of the hot food from their cafe (it just didn't call to me like my family's food does), but I did pick up some Ube bread (so good!).

Ube is a purple yam and I first became aware of it when my mom brought some Ube ice cream to my home and Emi and her cousins couldn't get enough of the bright purple treat. I even had some Ube vines growing in my back yard a couple of years ago. (Will have to get back on that horse again someday!)

While the Ube bread was really good (still is!), this bottle is what helped me reach another level of coconut heaven.

I am an easy sell when it comes to coconut items and anyone who knows me or reads my blog knows this. I like coconut everything and this stuff just blew my mind. There were roasted coconut slices in this yummy bottle of roasted young coconut juice. I think there was definitely truth in this advertising...

 And last night a kind Singaporean classmate took pity on me in my wheels-less state and chauffeured me and Christina up to Sprouts and we entered yet another level of heaven. Ok, so maybe that's an exaggeration, but my body has been craving apples and healthier foods so I was glad to be somewhere where healthy food is abundantly available. BJ's has been nice but ...

That first glass of red wine is for the health benefits, the rest are for my witty comebacks and flawless dance moves*
* ganked from one of those hilarious cards circulating around FaceBook. ;.)

I got some produce and some wonderful chipotle salsa, bleu cheese and bacon potato salad and sundried tomato orzo salad. I had a healthy smorgasbord all to my self. Speaking of smorgasbord, does anyone remember a place called Duff's Smorgasbord? I recall eating at this buffet place as a child when I lived in Florida and I was disappointed to learn that there was no Duff's in OK. I guess I got over that because I haven't thought of Duff's in years!

Today I'm cleaning out my hotel fridge for lunch and missing my man. We have been married for 16 years today and this trip is the longest we have been apart. It. Has. Been. A. Long. Week. And I am ready to get back to my home and my family.

Home Away From Home

I have learned a lot while being here (which is good because that was the goal!) and I've made new friends and connections. I've enjoyed the weather and the food - which, thankfully I've had to walk to retrieve - and I've had some much needed solitude to take care of work things and some reading (I plan to finish Hunger Games by the time my plane touches down in OKC tomorrow)...but I am so ready to come home.

Happy Anniversary, Baby! I love you and I will see you soon!

P.S. Yes, I've probably "put some weight" as my mom would say... oh well!

27 September 2012

Earth Shaking

While in class today I felt the building move a little and I turned to ask my co-workers if that was an earthquake. One was quick to say it wasn't an earthquake - the building's been doing that all week,  and the other pulled out her iPhone and confirmed that it was an earthquake 77 miles away. Two, in fact. The one with the correct answer lives where many of the earthquakes occur back home in Oklahoma. The other one must be smoking crack or on the same cough meds I was on last year. The dude from California didn't even notice the building moving...

26 September 2012

Brush with Fame

Back in the late 80's/early 90's my friends and I frequented a little club called Yucatan Liquor Stand. I don't know how we fit clubbing in with such a full schedule of classes and work but if you make something a priority, you find the time, right?

Anyway, one night I was there with my first roomie, Stacy, and she pointed out "Zeke" from Saved by the Bell.  I wasn't familiar with him because I didn't watch the show, but I was intrigued that someone famous was among the regulars at our watering hole. He was sitting with his body guard when we came over to introduce ourselves. My friend asked him if he was "Zeke" and he corrected her and said he was "Zack", then he told us he was Mark-Paul Gosselaar.

I recall him being too young to drink, but he bought me a Long Island Tea (actually his body guard did for him) so I hung out for a while and chatted. He looked uncomfortable being out in the hot Oklahoma summer night and his body guard kept the girls from getting too close to him.

Before you ask, no I didn't mug down with him (he seemed like such a kid!) but I did ask for his autograph....2 times apparently. First, he signed a dollar bill for me with crayon and after I examined it closely (in the dark lit club after a LIT) I decided it wasn't good enough for proof and had his bodyguard give us a pen and he signed a napkin.

After that night I did watch Saved by the Bell a few times just to see his work and then I promptly forgot about him.  But a few years ago I saw a preview for a new comedy series, Franklin and Bash and wondered where my long lost autographs went. It wasn't enough to prompt a search though.

So I found these in a box of old pictures and stuff this past weekend (I was looking for a mouse for my laptop!).

So what does one do with items like these? Suggestions?

24 September 2012


Back in February when we were in the midst of "build season" at work (a special time period when software builds are requested in quick succession for testing and eventually fielding), my new co-worker and I were discussing work tasks and skillsets and she mentioned that the task we were discussing was a good one to have in the "wheelhouse". My mind automatically translated "wheelhouse" into "toolbox" or "arsenal" and I agreed (although I cannot recall which specific task/skill we were discussing). I posted a draft blog entry with the subject line and never looked back.

6 months later and I can see so many skills that are nice to have in the old wheelhouse, and I have luckily acquired (or am in the process of acquiring) many of them.

wheelhouse  - n. an English language idiom derived from baseball jargon meaning "area of knowledge".

Scott reminded me that we'd been in an actual wheelhouse a few years back when we stayed on the Queen Mary.

Wheel House
The wheelhouse on the Queen Mary, April 2008
Wheel House

Wheel House
Another View
Funny how there are no pictures of me in the wheelhouse but there is one of Scott.

Now, that was a great trip! Here's to many more trips like that and also, adding things to the wheelhouse!

21 September 2012

Birthday Wishes

Last week when I asked David what kind of cupcakes he'd like to share with his classmates for his birthday, he said without hesitation that he wanted blueberry cupcakes. Maybe he was recalling 2 years ago when he requested blueberry waffles for breakfast. Whatever motivated him to want blueberry cupcakes, I obliged and found a really good recipe to help me get to what David wanted.

Blueberry Cupcake

I am not a baker (I don't like to have to be so precise... I need more wiggle room in my cooking) but I can follow a recipe pretty well. I followed this recipe almost to a tee but I did not have any cake flour so I had to make my own. You use regular flour in the full amount called for and then subtract 2 TBSP flour from each cup used, replacing it with 2 TBSP cornstarch. It worked for me. This recipe indicated that it would make 24-30 cupcakes and I ended up with 40 mini cupcakes and 18 regular sized cupcakes. Also, the frosting called for 2 pounds of confectioners sugar (!) but I only used 1 cup. (I didn't want David's teacher to put me on a special list for getting the kids all hopped up!)

I sent all of the little ones (minus the tasting ones) and 2 regular cupcakes to David's class this morning and the tray came back empty so I guess they were a hit. David also brought regular snack which for us is veggies (grape tomatoes, snap peas, baby carrots) and ranch dip to keep things on an even keel.  I love how his teacher has us bring the same thing each time it's David's time to provide snack...that makes it that much easier on us!

Blueberry Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

He opened up gifts from his grandparents and great grandparents who live out of state.

Happy Birthday to my sweet little David!

Birthday Cupcake (1st one of the day)

19 September 2012

Hippie, Hippie Feet

Our yearly trek to the music festival was this past weekend and I've got the feet to prove it.

Just kidding. My feet are already rough and in need of a pedicure most days so I'm not sure this weekend made much of a difference..

We survived a few days of camping and the festival!

Scott and the Little Ones (wouldn't that be a cool band name?) went up Wednesday and Emi and I came up the next day. We got one night of peace and quiet and chilling out at home just me, Emi and Gracie. We dined on Ray's BBQ and watched The Family That Preys. We also did laundry and packed and cleaned house...

When we left Norman Thursday around lunch, it was raining fairly hard and it kept up until late Friday afternoon. I was considering cutting my wrists it was so dark and dreary.

It was brutal with the cold, fat rain drops falling constantly and our tent leaking here and there. When it was time for bed, I took comfort in my Angry Birds pajamas.  [Note: I am not an Angry Birds fan - sorry!- but I will pay $18.47 for adult size footed pajamas in whatever design available to survive a camp trip.] 

The next day was filled with clouds and on again off again rain and I threatened to drive back home if the weather stayed rainy.  The ground was so soggy and the dirt roads turned to mud. It was a good thing we packed our rain boots.  


We didn't get out to the stages much as a family, me and the kids mainly hung out around the camp site, but we did get out to see Mountain Heart play. Actually, I didn't get to see much as I was keeping an eye on the Little Ones and the floppy frisbee they were tossing around... trying not to catch it with the side of my head...

Daddy and David

And Saturday night, the Dizzy Pickers came to our camp to play for us.  That was so great to have our own private concert. They are from our home town so we need to get to The Deli to see them sometime.

Click and listen to them and try not to just love Tracy's voice.

Dizzy Pickers at Our Camp!
Enjoying some red wine and the Dizzy Pickers (That's what she said!)

You can listen to some of their musical stylings and watch my cute little man drum the heck out of some towels at the same time below. Isn't technology amazing?

Saturday night I got a chance to get away from the kiddos to check out the music from the surrounding camps. It's so cool that you can just walk into another camp site and join in or just listen to the beautiful music.

David, Sherita and Emi
Happy Smiley!

Asian Chicken
I just threw this together...Asian Chicken (for Lettuce Wraps)

Peace from the RV Storage Area
These guys went straight from "hobo" mode right into "stowaway" mode when Leta opened up her RV storage area!
We also had a game going on constantly where whenever someone said "That's What She Said!" everyone had to take a drink of their drink. It's gotten pretty bad in our circles because people always say things that can be applied. I was smart enough to take small sips...

The trip did make me think hard about learning to play a musical instrument. Maybe when the weather gets colder and I run out of homework and chores....hah!

I was ready to get home though. It was a long week at work and I could have used some solitude. Hanging out in the tent while the kids slept is not the same thing... Plus I missed my Gracie Girl!

We're hoping to put together another family camp trip this fall and I'm looking forward to that!

15 September 2012

What's for Scupper?

scup·per    [skuhp-er] 

verb (used with object) British 

1. Military - to overwhelm; surprise and destroy, disable, or massacre.
2. Informal - to prevent from happening or succeeding; ruin; wreck.

** See also the Morgan house 5 minutes after the kids wake up...or 17 seconds after we arrive to any given event **

14 September 2012

Word of the Day


n. a sudden, passing sensation of excitement; a shudder of emotion; thrill. A brief, intense reaction, usually a feeling of excitement.

13 September 2012

09 September 2012

Blowing Through the Jasmine in My Mind

This weekend was filled with lots of kiddo things. Emi decided to played the cello (and I love this!) so we had to find her an instrument.

Beautiful Things
And Emi and David both had their first soccer games of the season on Saturday.

David's Soccer Team
Too Freakin' Cute

And tonight we finally got to go to a Summer Breeze concert as a whole family and it was a good one - we even brought little Gracie along... 

Bubble Gum Sno Cone
Look at that sweet Gracie Boo Boo, I mean Gracie GuRu...

08 September 2012

Community Involvement

I was looking through a box in our office today and found (along with my framed college diploma) a couple of guides from way back. One guide was for a Community Producer program (anyone remember Multimedia Cablevision?) that Scott and I joined to gain some experience in producing television shows. If you were of legal age and a resident of Norman and you completed the workshop, you too could have free access to the studio and air time and have your own show back then.

I can't recall the name of the show (something political) that we worked on for public access but I do recall learning how to pan and truck and switching between camera 1 and camera 2 and working on lighting. That was back around 1997-98. I wish I'd kept anything more than this guide as a memento.

The studio store room had a picture inside of the way things were supposed to look when properly put away after a show. I remember thinking how neat and helpful I thought that was. Maybe it's time to employ that simple idea here at home?

The other guide was from our old church, for updating the church website. We were so involved in that church back then. We took turns hosting/leading or being in a small home study group,  did photography for special events/website/brochures, worked in the Community Care ministry (this was cool as our church hosted a room at the local homeless shelter) and helped keep up the website. I gained a lot of good experience, friends and networking back then.

Of course that was before Emi came along. During that time of busy-ness we were busy with work and extra stuff and we were also going through IVF and Frozen Embryo Transfer trying to start our family. After the last lost following our FET back in 1999, we gave it completely over to God and 2.5 years later, Emi joined the family.

With the mommy duties, my extra community involvement was sidelined for a bit until I contacted our old high school reunion person about the 20 year reunion and updating my contact information. That was when Emi was 2. I got roped (willingly obviously) into organizing our reunion that followed 2 years after that phone call. THAT was an amazing experience.

I loved the technical work of setting up our alumni website and contact database; I loved meeting with the other committee members to design the signs and t-shirts and doing the fundraising thing. I especially loved hunting down the rest of my high school class to invite them to reconnect online and at the reunion.  I was definitely very involved in that effort.  Of course when the 25 year mark came along, I was not quite as interested in helping....maybe for the 30? (I am truly grateful for the friends I made and reunited with for my high school reunion and so glad we still keep in touch.)

[Other books found in that box:  Business Statistics (sadistics), Organizational Behavior Readings (Fall 1994) and Problems & Models in Operative Management (from a MGMT class I took in 1993).]

I am still involved with the community but not at the same depth as I was before (and will be again).

We have a little neighborhood watch (so we know our little community) and we are thickly networked in our children's activities/lives....and that's enough...for now.

06 September 2012

Going With It

Scott was foolish enough to leave me to my own devices yesterday and this is what I did:

1) Painted the 3rd bathroom.

Loved the orange (Ralph Lauren's Villa Torlonia) but it had to go...

I was looking for Silver but ended up with Subtle Touch (hint of gray - just like me)

We hung up those white frames and pictures 3 years ago to lighten up the room but we're moving on...

Clean Slate

Keeping the Leopard Toilet for now...

2) Started spray painting the patio furniture.

Reminds Me of the Tin Man

It was really in need of something - possibly just new cushions - but I had access to silver spray paint so I went with it... Will I finish? Not sure...I thought I should wait this one out to see if the Tin Man coloring is the right choice...

3) And planted some sweet potato vines.

I have been wanting to plant the light green sweet potato vines that I have seen everywhere this summer but I found this and a darker version at Home Depot and went with it...

I've enjoyed the past 2 days of walking the kids to school, domestic chores and enjoying some yard work...

Let's see....what ELSE can I do before the Mister gets home?

04 September 2012

That Family

Today we jumped off a cliff and became "that family". That family that has to be in multiple places at the same time because of kiddo activities. We've coasted by for the past couple of years as Emi's extra-curriculars changed up because the Little Ones were too young for team sports. Now our worlds have been rocked because the energy-packed David finally has his own soccer team!

First Soccer Practice
Soccer or Kick Boxing? Who cares? As long as these boys have some sort of outlet, right?

I'm so happy for the little guy too because he has needed his own thing. He is smart and coordinated and strong and energetic; and those characteristics need to be channeled into something good (vice hanging out on the Devil's Playground). I asked his coach to run him ragged and I think he succeeded because during dinner last night, David told Daddy that was was tired. What? I have NEVER (in 2.5 years) heard that boy admit that he's tired.

So this week officially begins the roller coaster ride of getting each kid to their corresponding activity/event/game/party/practice. Can you imagine how CRAZY it will be next year when Aubri starts up with soccer and Emi is in middle school? I'm trying not to panic about it too much in advance.

Emi's on 2 sports teams and in chorus (of course!) and she also wants to be in Science Club and Robotics Club. Luckily she can fit it all in but there may be days where things overlap. I am so proud of my little girl who has all of the confidence in the world. She is loving being a 5th grader and frequently talks about college. I am not sure I even knew what college WAS when I was in the 5th grade (although I spent a lot of time at OU computer labs playing with the card readers back then).

David is on the cusp of reading, if he could just focus. Aubri may be reading before him because she CAN focus. I can relate to David because my mind races too, but I enjoy the opportunity to plop down with a good book. He likes to ask us for made up words in the hopes that he might accidentally spell something sweet or fun.  Can I have an A-O-O-F? Nope, fresh out, buddy!

On a related note: in an effort to help the Little Ones learn more words we've posted lots of words in upper and lower case letters on every day objects. It's working!

Words Around the House
Recognizing words... not so much their messes...
I guess with 2 in soccer now I can't escape becoming a "Soccer Mom" now, huh?

03 September 2012

What's Growing On

Well...we had a very relaxing laid back Labor Day weekend.  Scott and I were able to gain some ground with Mad Men (on Season 4 now and with each passing episode I find myself squinting and feeling a bit more depressed... but still still LOVING the ladies' dresses and hairstyles). We also got to spend time with my parents and my sister for a bit on Sunday. Earlier today we made a quick trip to Kohl's to spend the $50 we got in credit when we went Back to School shopping a couple of weeks ago. I'd long forgotten about the Kohl's money until I mentioned that we needed to get Aubri some Crocs and earrings (and some flip flops too).  We were able to grab those items and a few more for FREE....so that was nice!

Also, nice was a surprise asparagus spear and a handful of tomatoes from the garden.



I am looking forward to a short work week this week after a couple of real doozies...

Hope you had a nice Labor Day too!