Thursday, December 22, 2011

Hang a Shining Star

Business as usual at our house, as Mom and Dad put the finishing touches on the Christmas tree.

Merry Christmas from our family to yours!

Friday, December 2, 2011



1. I don't like caroling at a houses where I don't know the owners. I remember doing this in 7th or 8th grade and being mortified on the inside. I have no problem on stage, but stick me in another setting and I want to crawl under a rock.

2. I still can't fall asleep on Christmas Eve. Maybe this will change after I turn 30.

3. My favorite Christmas songs are "Joy to the World" and "Silent Night." I love the hushed tones of one and the pipe organs blasting on the other.

4. Have you seen the new Justin Bieber and Mariah Carey music video for "All I Want for Christmas?" It's... um... I don't get it. I don't understand it at all. Maybe you will. "All I want for Christmas is a mob, a Nintendo DS, and a scantily clad songstress?"

5. We are slightly addicted to hot chocolate with peppermint or cinnamon this year. DE-lightful.

6. I would love to have this in my house for next year... and all the holidays to come!

Source: via Ginger on Pinterest

7. If and when our family... shall we say... expands in coming years- I want a Jesse Tree to be a part of our yearly traditions!

Source: via Ginger on Pinterest

8. If you haven't heard the Shane and Shane Christmas Album from 2008 "Glory in the Highest" - you might want to give it a listen. I have it on repeat... often.

9. I'm excited to attend the Christmas Eve service at our church for the first time ever... I'm going to try and forget that there's no pipe organ! I love me some pipe organ at Christmas!

10. My theme verse for this season: "Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, so that he might save us. This is the LORD for whom we have waited; let us be glad and rejoice in his salvation." Isaiah 25:8-9 (You better believe it's going up on the chalk board!)

Joyous Noel, Blessed Advent, and Happy Christmas!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Top 10 Best Thanksgiving Episodes (Ever.)

Happy Thanksgiving, Bloggie Friends!

Being a lover of television, I decided to put together a list of my the Top 10 Best Thanksgiving Episodes.

These are OBVIOUSLY the best episodes out of EVERY TELEVISION SHOW ON THE EARTH, because I have seen them ALL. Obviously.

Just so we're clear.

10. Grey's Anatomy, “Thanks for the Memories”
Izzie assists Burke with the meal in the kitchen as if it were a surgery, George goes hunting with his dad and brothers (with disastrous results), and Meredith and Christina hide from the holiday by working in the hospital. Ah, Thanksgiving! But this is pretty much typical for the insane staff of Seattle Grace. Oh well- we love them anyway! Most of the time...

9. Alias, "Color Blind"
Okay, so at first glance this may not be the most obvious choice, considering Sydney is trapped in an insane asylum in Bucharest for much of the episode. And then she finds out who killed her fiance. And then SD-6 suspects they have a mole. BUT the episode does end with Thanksgiving dinner, a proposal, and Sydney even brings some leftovers to her estranged dad at work. It's sad but adorable, so of course I had to include it. Besides, Thanksgiving episodes could all use more spies and espionage, amiright?

8. The New Girl, "Thanksgiving"
I know, I'm even surprising myself by naming such a new episode on this list. But I find the show so endearing and hilarious that I just had to include it. This episode follows traditional Thanksgiving television tropes fairly closely- problems with cooking, wacky hijinx, new people invited over for dinner, etc.- but puts a fresh spin on each of them. I love Jess, I love the boys, and I love to see them welcoming Justin Long's Paul (as well as the kazoo he carries around with him). Plus, they put a TURKEY in the DRYER. Come on.

7. How I Met Your Mother, "Slapsgiving"
What can I say? This is a CLASSIC, not just among HIMYM fans, but for television fans. The Slap Bet is practically famous in its own right, so an episode that incorporates it into the plot so brilliantly must be mentioned. Seeing Marshall slap Barney's face off at the end of the episode? Major win. (*salutes* "Major Win!")

6. The OC, "The Homecoming"
I think this is a classic Thanksgiving episode. I do. I love that so many random bits of family and friends up at one house altogether. I love that Seth has lady drama for the first time in his life when BOTH Summer and Anna show up at his house. There is football, traditional Thanksgiving food, and time with family. But there is also a trip to Chino, Julie Cooper acting ridiculous, a Thanksgiving BLIND DATE, and the aforementioned lady drama. My love for this show is undying and eternal.

5. Friends, "The One Where Underdog Got Away"
Not everyone loves the early seasons of Friends, but I absolutely do. This episode is a great introduction to the yearly tradition of great Thanksgiving episodes on this show, and I think it holds up almost 20 (GAH!) years later. Here we learn about Chandler's distaste for all Pilgrim holidays, get to see Monica masterfully prepare four kinds of potatoes, and share in Rachel's excitement for a ski trip with her family. Of course, one Macy's Day Parade float gets away and everyone's Thanksgiving is ruined. At least they're all together, and as Chandler says over their meal of grilled cheese sandwiches, "I'm very thankful that all of your Thanksgivings sucked."

4. Cougar Town, "Here Comes My Girl"
I've already spilled enough virtual ink on the fact that this show isn't what you think it is, so let's just all move on, shall we? The simple premise for this episode is that Jules' son Travis brings his girlfriend over for Thanksgiving, so naturally things get supremely weird, which naturally means hilarious. Add in an over-the-top basketball game the guys play with some neighbor kids and Laurie changing clothes every few minutes (to top Katy Perry's costume changes at the MTV awards, OF COURSE) and you have a winner of an episode.

3. Friday Night Lights, "Thanksgiving"
The only episode on this list that is also a season finale, "Thanksgiving" is none-the-less an incredibly gripping episode, so meaningful, so weighty, so Texas. This episode finds the Taylors preparing to have plenty of company over for Thanksgiving dinner, because what sane person would not want to spend the holiday with the Taylors? For some reason, though, that company includes Buddy Garrity, who plans to come and fry his own turkey. As poor Tami laments to Coach, "Buddy Garrity is coming to MY house and bringing a turkey AND a fryer? When I'm MAKIN' dinner? Does that make any sense?" (You gotta love Tami!) Through it all, Coach Taylor has his eyes focused on a huge hometown rivalry game. During a Thursday practice an assistant coach reminds him, "It's Thanksgiving." "No, it's practice." Tell him, Coach!

I really wish I could find a video of the end of the episode where Tami comes home to find her family decorating the house for Christmas (true to Texas form) the day after Thanksgiving, as well as the accompanying montage. Because it's beautiful, as most everything on Friday Night Lights is. But alas, the internet has let me down, so instead just come borrow the DVDs from me!

2. Friends, "The One Where Ross Got High"
For my money (although really I only have like twelve dollars), this is the BEST Thanksgiving episode of the series, hands down. As much as I love The Ones With Chandler in a Box, All the Football, and All The Thanksgivings (not to mention Brad Pitt's episode), you just cannot beat one thing: Rachel's traditional English trifle. "It’s got all of these layers. First there’s a layer of ladyfingers, then a layer of jam, then custard, which I made from scratch, then raspberries, more ladyfingers, then beef sauteed with peas and onions, then a little more custard, and then bananas, and then I just put some whipped cream on top!"

Add in Phoebe's bizarre crush on Mr. Gellar, Joey's tutorial on how to look happy and make yummy noises, and Ross's exclamation that Rachel's trifle "tastes like feet" and you have a gem of an episode. And if all that weren't enough, we get a rapid-fire outpouring of information to top everything off, including the confession that comprises the title of the episode. All of these exclamations and realizations lead to a hilarious monologue by Mrs. Gellar, addressing everyone's outbursts, including: "Rachel, no you weren’t supposed to put beef in the trifle. It did not taste good."

1. Gilmore Girls, "A Deep-Fried Korean Thanksgiving"
Said in my best Stefon voice... Television's best Thanksgiving episode is "A Deep-Fried Korean Thanksgiving." This episode has everything: not one, two, or three, but FOUR Thanksgiving dinners, Tofurkey, Cat Kirk and Human Kirk, deep-fried turkey (and mashed potatoes) (and pickles) (and a napkin), Grey Gardens, headless chocolate turkeys, and Joseph Stalin jokes.

Seriously though, this is an amazing episode, not only for the series but also as far as Thanksgiving episodes go as a whole. The basic plot comes down to Lorelai and Rory over-committing to Thanksgiving dinners and strategically planning how they are going to make it to all of them. Hijinx ensue! It has a brilliant mix of family time, interesting (and slightly off-kilter) Thanksgiving dinners, and classic Gilmore wit. I'm so happy it's part of my Thanksgiving tradition!

"You know what this means, don't you? We didn't have to skip the rolls."

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Type About All The Things!

On the menu for the rest of this month: a 5K, two birthday parties, a trip to Houston for Thanksgiving, getting a new boss. NOT on the menu: getting a massage, seeing a Broadway show, going to the beach, meeting Kyle Chandler and/or Greg Grunberg. (But anything's possible, right?) (Believe in your dreams, kids!)

Gosh, y'all. Why do I love Pinterest so muuuuuuuch? And why do I so rarely actually do anything that Pinterest gives me ideas for???

A bunch of people gathered in New York to protest the fact that Bradley Cooper (Will Tippin!!!) was named People Magazine's Sexiest Man Alive over Ryan Gosling. I find this absolutely hilarious (and right on the money, if we're being honest.)

Last night I had plans to Do Things and Run Errands and Go Places and instead I watched "Mean Girls" and "America's Next Top Model." Because that's just the stuff that needs to take priority every once in a while, you know? "Don't let the hataz stop you from doin' ya thang!"

I love love love LOVE Christmas. I cannot wait to get out my decorations and listen to Christmas music non-stop! But... it's not Christmastime yet. It's Thanksgiving. And for me, celebrating now would take away some of the joy and specialness that comes with the actual Christmas season. It's a bit like peeking at your presents before it's time to open them- kind of ruins it! So for now, I will keep Christmas packed away, and know that the wonder and glory and sparkles of Christmas are still yet to come.

Most Boring Story Ever: After a recent morning shower, my hot water would not turn off all the way. I called my apartment manager, but it didn't get fixed until the NEXT day, meaning my apartment was niiiiiiiiiice and steamy all that day while I was at work. But now it's fixed (as mentioned previously- guess there should have been a spoiler alert up there) and my apartment is no longer a steam room. THE END.

Now that it gets dark all crazy early, my drive home from work is nothing more than a series of turning my brights on and off, on and off.

New Fall TV Show Round-up:

"Suburgatory" - One of the main reasons I keep up with this show is the extremely charming and Juno meets Veronica Mars-esque lead character Tessa Altman, played by Jane Levy, who feels like a younger version of Emma Stone. (Enough references for you?) Plus having Ana Gasteyer, Alan Tyduk, Jeremy Sisto, AND Cheryl Hines round out your cast certainly doesn't hurt.

"The New Girl" is adorable. It makes me laugh, and I want every episode to be at least twice as long. Three cheers for hyper-adorable Zooey and her hilarious roommates!
"Hart of Dixie" - I'm sticking with this one because it is mindless fun, cute and frothy and mild. I have hopes that it will get better- more compelling, richer character development, funnier jokes that I don't see coming a mile away, and the toning down of certain ridiculous characters named after fruit. I have these high hopes because: 1) Summer Roberts 2) Jason Street 3) Josh Schwartz (creator of "The OC" and "Chuck")
"Up All Night" - Meh. This is a good show to have on in the background while I curl my hair in the morning, but it's really nothing special. I think it's surprisingly sitcom-y, and I have a hard time liking Christina Applegate's character. Don't even get me started on Maya Rudolph's.... I should probably just go ahead and delete it from my DVR, but at the same time: WILL ARNETT!
"Unforgettable" - I'm not usually a police procedural-type person, but this premise (detective who has a super enhanced memory), solid storylines, and likeable lead character have me getting excited for each new episode that pops up on my DVR.

On a related note: COMMUNITY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Song I'm listening to Right Now:

Okay bye.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

I'm Full

I'm full as in thankful.

Whenever I feel creatively fried I tend to pull out my old journals and hope for something that will inspire a post or two. Today I pulled out the journals from 2006-2007. A lot can change in five years.

Five years ago this week I pulled into the city of Phoenix with my parents. My dad was driving the rental truck and my mom and I (in my silver Elantra) had spent the majority of New Mexico and Arizona listening to a book on CD about the Galveston Hurricane of 1900. I think I will always remember a lot of details from that book when I remember driving to the desert.

As I look back I can't help but be thankful for the odd and winding road that brought me where I am today: sitting at a kitchen table in Arizona, writing for a living, and planning for the trip my husband and I will take to Mexico for another clinic this weekend.

How did this happen?

Today I'm thankful for:
-A breakup that caused me to finally hear You say, "It's time to move on."
-Carey, whose own brave steps encouraged me to follow her lead!
-Parents who not only encouraged my dreams, but literally helped me to move them across the country.
-A job that allowed creative freedom and challenged me to develop all sorts of skills.
-Uncomfortable first steps that led to great relationships in unexpected places.
-Days of loneliness that taught me there was only One place to turn.
-Strict studies at BSF that brought wonderful friendships.
-Rejection that taught me to question whether I believed that God really loved me and if His love was enough.
-Broken cell phones, dead car batteries, fender benders, and broken appliances that reminded me that stuff doesn't matter.
-Challenging work experiences that forced me to confront situations rather than run from them.
-Texas connections in the middle of Arizona.
-A no letter regarding an internship in Uganda.
-Two months in a really uncomfortable housing situation.
-Things that I wanted and asked for that never came to fruition.
-Trials that drove co-workers and friends even closer together.
-Visitors who flew in just to remind me they cared.
-Countless bouquets, plants, letters, packages, and phone calls so that home never felt too far away.
-Experiences I wouldn't have chosen.
-Countless "firsts"! (auditioning for local theatre, on-line dating, moving everything into storage, writing a musical, running a 10k, eating Indian, Thai, and Ethiopian food, travels...)
-That nothing happened in my timing.
-Blog friendships!
-The lesson to get out of the car even when I felt like driving home.
-Opportunities to try new things.
-The huge addition to my family.
-Lots and lots of tears.
-Lots and lots of love.
-The gracious provision of a Heavenly Father who writes the best life stories!

May your thanks be full this month and year!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Concerning Hobbits (and Creepers)

I had an impromptu movie date this evening with my friend Lauren. We went to see "In Time," and now I have the strange compulsion to run everywhere I go, and drive really fast and cool-like. Aaaaand also to hang out with people that look like Justin Timberlake and/or Cillian Murphy.

Tips for Running Faster
1. Turn to look at creepy guy you just passed, in case you have to describe him to someone. (A sketch artist, perhaps.)
2. See that he has also turned back to look at you.
3. Run faster.

You know, I see this picture

...and all I can think is: WHY AM I NOT AT THAT TABLE?!

My costume for a Halloween party last Sunday night was Holly Golightly from "Breakfast at Tiffany's." On Monday I dropped everything for an impormptu viewing of "12 Angry Men" at a friend's house. Thursday night I got to see "The Sound of Music" on the big screen thanks to our new theater downtown. Yes: I DO need more old movies in my life, as a matter of fact, thankyouverymuchforasking.

On my way home from "Sound of Music" I got pulled over for one of my headlights being out. I seriously had no idea, and was grateful I only got a warning. I panicked a bit, though, when I realized I would have to figure out how to fix this before it got dark again. No time to put it off for THIS procrastinator! Luckily sometimes people are just AWESOME, though, and a friend helped so much that I never had to worry or try to figure out or even go to Walmart or ANYTHING. So thank you, Lord. For awesome people.

Guys, I'm really worried about Lindsey Lohan. I mean, sometimes I look at pictures of what she used to look like, then see her crazy, whacked out, rotted teeth self now and I think, "LiLo, what HAPPENED to you?" It's just SO sad. I think she's really going to die. And it's so sad.

If you've seen me at all in the last week or so, the odds are good that I've been wearing these boots.

These are my new 'I don't need a job*, I don't need my parents**, I've got great boots***' boots!

*Yes I do.
**Yes I do times every number ever.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Tis the Season

We've hit 80 degrees in Phoenix, so by all accounts we've successfully welcomed fall. I still don't actually have any fall decorations, but I am doing everything I can to get my *Girl Scout "Martha Stewart" Badge.

Bloggie, meet Ben Starr's Carrot Pumpkin Cake. I wish I could tell you that I cooked this tower of goodness all by myself. Instead I will simply remain content in my role of sous chef to my husband's role of master chef in our house.

You can find the recipe for this super dreamy dish here.

We decided to tackle another one of our fall favorites by making homemade butternut squash ravioli in a brown butter sage sauce. It was calorie free AND amazing. Go figure.

I did make ONE fall purchase this year... too bad they won't last to see another season. For now they keep me from being the only autumn Grinch on the culdesac.

Watch out world, I started using a hot glue gun. Although I no longer have prints on two of my fingers, I am proud to say that I MADE something. I looked up several tutorials for making a cork wreath and then modified it for my level of skill and patience.

And no. We did not consume all of those bottles of wine! If you ask tasting rooms for extra corks most will happily oblige for free.

I felt guilty that all my decor was on the outside of our home... so I did the only thing I know to do. I lit a candle and made it smell like fall.

Baby steps, people. Baby steps.

(*I do not believe I can actually earn this badge... even though I am a card carrying lifetime member of the Girl Scouts. You betcha.)

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

And Then She Got Married

This past weekend I had the honor, the privelege, and the delight of attending my cousin Hilary's wedding in Houston.

It was SO much fun, full of laughter, cousin time, and then also some more laughter.

Hilary is the closest relative in age to me (even closer than my sister), and I can recall many special memories of just the two of us, including times spent singing "Barbara Ann" at the top of our lungs in the shower at Grandma's house!

It was also SO wonderful to spend time with Grant, who is still recovering but basically kicking this whole medical speed bump in the rear.

I'm so glad everyone was able to go, and that the entire weekend went so smoothly and so fun-ly. Hurray and Huzzah!

Congratulations, Hilary!!!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

So this one time...

I might have thrown my flip phone on the ground and snapped it in half the summer of 2009. Even though I couldn't see the screen or hear the other side of the conversation, I could still dial and make calls. I broke my phone around 9:00pm on a Saturday night. I was working at the church the next morning and planned to head straight to the Verizon store once I was off. It seemed like a great plan until...

Sometime around 6:15am on Sunday morning my alarm went off. I was tired and still half asleep when I tried to turn off the noise by hacking at my cell phone instead of my alarm clock. Apparently I hit the 2... and somehow made a call to speed dial #2 - my parents house.

Two minutes later the little bottom half of my phone started ringing. I was confused as to why someone would be calling me so early in the morning, so I answered. I had no way of telling who was on the other side or how much they could hear from my end of the conversation. I think it went a little something like this...


Hi! This is Ginger but something happened to my phone and I can't hear you. I CAN'T HEAR ANYTHING YOU SAY. So if you are talking, I can't hear anything you are saying to me. I don't know who this is. I don't have a way to figure that out. I guess if you have my e-mail address you can try and send me a message. If not... uh, sorry! That's all. Uh... bye."

I hung up and made some coffee and started up my computer. That's when the messages started coming...

From: Mom
To: Ginger
Date: Sunday, June 28, 2009 at 6:27am
Subject: can you get this?

WE are at home. I'm worried about you. Is it your phone that is having the problem or is it you?

From: Ginger
To: Mom
Date: Sunday, June 28, 2009 at 6:33am
Subject: Re: can you get this?

I threw my phone last night and the screen broke from the keys. Therefore I cannot read messages or hear anything other than the phone ringing. Beautiful, right? I can try and call you back as soon as I get to work. You can write me back here in the meantime. I'm here for the next hour.

From: Mom
To: Ginger
Date: Sunday, June 28, 2009 at 6:42am
Subject: Re: can you get this?

Dare I ask why you threw your phone??? My guess is that you are very much due for a new one. Dad's last phone cost us $0. You may need to stop on your way home from church. This doesn't sound good. We're going to Bible class and will leave here at 9:30 our time - 7:30 yours, which is probably when you'll be leaving. We can communicate like this until then. SO sorry. -m.

From: Ginger
To: Mom
Date: Sunday, June 28, 2009 at 6:59am
Subject: Re: can you get this?

I threw my phone after someone made a sarcastic comment. Stupid on my part. I can hear it ring or hear that it receives a text, but cannot see the screen or hear the person talking. Did I accidentally call you this morning? I couldn't figure out why someone would be calling me that early... unless it was an emergency. That's not the case, right?

From: Mom
To: Ginger
Date: Sunday, June 28, 2009 at 7:14am
Subject: Re: can you get this?

Yes, our home phone rang and I picked it up and saw it was you but you had hung up...then, I called you back on my cell...strange conversation...was wondering if you had been afflicted with instant deafness but knew things would be okay.. after all, Marlee Matlin has done pretty good as a deaf actress but though it might be a problem if you couldn't hear your musical accompaniment in 'Camelot'...I am relieved since I purchased our air tickets yesterday

I am sorry you inherited that gene from me...many a tool including weed eaters have been tossed by your father.

I only wish I coulda been there. -Dad

From: Ginger
To: Mom
Date: Sunday, June 28, 2009 at 7:21am
Subject: Re: can you get this?

HAH. Whew. I will try and call after work.

- - - - -
I TRIED to call after work, but had some problems.
1. Even though I paid for my own phone it was actually part of a family plan under my mom’s name. The store required my mom’s social security number in order for me to get a new phone.
2. I called home but my mom uses caller ID and didn’t recognize the store number. I hung up instead of leaving a message.
3. I could only remember one other phone number and my grandmother did not answer.
I drove to another Verizon store across town because let’s face it, it seems like there are different policies for each store. Again I was denied but given the option that I could bring in a phone and have my account transferred to it. I wasn’t up for a free new phone for a few months and frankly, I couldn’t afford one at the moment. Luckily a friend had offered up her husband’s reject phone that morning at work. I still had the option to drive to their house and pick up a phone. But I decided to check in at home first.

I didn’t have a land line so I hopped back on-line and tried to catch my sister on G-chat. Success.

Here was the set up: I had her on google video chat and she had my mom on the phone. She was our go-between. Only there was one small problem: her mic didn’t seem to be working… thus the typing.

Good news: I borrowed a phone for 3 months until my contract was up and then finally got my “new every two.” I still have that same phone phone. THIS PHONE with the sliding keyboard. I’m up for a new one this month.

Yes, please.

Monday, October 3, 2011

If It's The Beaches

Hey, remember that one time I peaced out and headed to the beach, and totally abandoned this blog?

Well, here is a video of that time:

Song: "Artists Are Boring" by the Kingdom Flying Club

But hey! I was at the very beach that indirectly gave this blog it's name, so... it all comes full circle? Or something? Hmm. Anyway, I'm sure this TOTES AMAZING video made up for said abandonment.

Hope you enjoyed!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

And this is funny?

I don't think it will be much of a shock when I admit the following. After all, we've all got a freak flag and mine is flown fairly high each day.

1. The other night D and I were falling asleep and I started laughing. At first I tried to be quiet, not wanting to wake him if he was close to drifting off. But soon I couldn't control the volume. Of course He wanted to know what was so funny.

Me: "I was listening to NPR today on my way home from the grocery store..." (Trying to catch my breath.)
David: "And this is funny?"
Me: "...and Talk of the Nation came on, with Neil Conan... it was a really interesting story. I can't remember all the details but I remember thinking, this is going to be great for the next 5 minutes that I'm in the car..."
David: "And this was funny?"
Me: "AND... then the theme music started. (I try to hum/sing the all instrumental intro.) All I could think was CUE BOREDOM. The music just made me want to change the channel, all 11 seconds of it. You know what else does that to me? The Weekend Edition show also has really boring music. I feel like someone said, let's make people remember they are listening to public radio. That's all."
David: ". . . . . . you're laughing at 11:15 at night about instrumental music from Talk of the Nation? You are talking about Neil Conan at 11:15pm?"
Me: (Hysterical laughter)

2. I often make "That's what she said" jokes at times when I know they will make no sense. I find this to be very amusing.

D: "Thank you for cooking dinner."
G: "That's what she said." (Hysterical laughter.)

D: "We need to stop by Home Depot today."
G: "That's what she said." (Trying to stifle laughter.)

G: "Knock Knock."
D: "Who's there?"
G: "That's what she said."

Don't worry. In my opinion this never gets old.

3. IF there was a live video stream from my house all day, I think I would have a lot less friends. I work from home and it's been a big step to change out of my pajamas before lunch. I'm on a new schedule and it's helping, but I still spend a lot of time dancing and singing through my day. Like a lot. A lotalotalotalotalot. Sometimes I still have remnants of it when D gets home. He still acts surprised when I pirouette in the kitchen. He'll learn.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


Five minutes ago:

A big, creepy bug
Just flew into my t-shirt
And down my sports bra


Adventure at a former job:

I should know your name
Cleverly ask the spelling


Today's happiness:

The hospital said
"Grant, you get to go home now"

(Too many syllables.)

Monday, September 12, 2011

Dear California.

Hey there, Cali. We had a swell time! Thanks for the cooler temps, the gorgeous scenery, and time away from the piles of work sitting on the dining room table. Love, Ginger

D and I have been planning our trip to California for over a year. He went to school in the Bay area and has wanted to share his favorite spots with me. We flew into SFO and then headed SOUTH (that's for you, mom) to Monterey. We were able to eat some great food and catch up with some old friends. I wore a jacket every day on this vacation. It was glorious. It felt like March in Phoenix.

D wanted to show off Napa and Sonoma. I had never experienced Wine country and found the setting to be gorgeous! The grapes weren't bad either. ;)

From Napa we made our way back to the Bay for two days of very tourist-y activities: cable car, sight seeing, shopping, eating. (Catching a theme?)

We stopped at The Stinking Rose for a garlic laden meal on the last night. Yes, that is a vat of garlic for eating.

We spent a chilly final morning out on the Berkley pier. I really thought my camera was going to blow off into the ocean. Obviously... it didn't.

I'm heading back to Texas for work in a few weeks, but other than that - we only have one more trip scheduled for the year. It's to Texas - SURPRISE. We are heading to my cousin's wedding in Houston and then plan to stay somewhere fairly close to celebrate our 1st anniversary for a day or two. We've tossed around San Antonio, Fredericksburg, Galveston, New Braunfels and the like. Any recommendations? We don't need any fancy activities, but a B&B or hotel decorated sometime in the last 10 years would be awesome.


p.s. My pics would be cooler if they were taken on Valerie's phone.

Thursday, September 1, 2011


Hey so this one time yesterday I got an iPhone.

I KNOW. Finally. In fact, one of the first texts I received upon getting the iPhone welcomed me to the 21st century. A-hem.

I am still a bit overwhelmed by... everything, including the garganuanly huge number of apps currently available. (Speaking of-- do you have a favorite? I want to know!)

A great way to avoid getting overwhelmed in said app store is to pretend apps don't exist, and instead spend all available time playing with Instagram. Somebody get me an ironic scarf and some thick rimmed glasses- I am now one step closer to being a hipster.

You didn't really want anything more out of this blog than to watch me document mundane details of my evening, did you? Okay, good. Because it is now time for INSTAGRAMANIA!!!

Driving home from work. (I was into driving when it was still underground.)

My grandparents' house is too mainstream for me now:

Grandma made Tostados for dinner! You've probably never heard of it.

Me, five minutes ago, wondering when my Hipster Membership Card will arrive.

Okay, I am SO over blogging.

Sunday, August 28, 2011


The Good Lord gave doubly when it came to the 28th of August. My dad and sister share the SAME birthday... TODAY!

Happy Birthday to my sister who is stylish, caring, inventive, imaginative, witty, and hilarious.

Happy Birthday to my dad who is generous, intelligent, charming, creative, hard-working and hilarious.

BAM. Double Birthday!! Wish I could be there to celebrate with both of you! Much love...

Saturday, August 27, 2011

So Many Birthdays, So Little Time

Too many wonderful people to celebrate this month. I mean really, people. Let's try to spread them out next time!!

Happy Birthday TODAY to my wonderful mother-in-law, Nancy! (Woman!)

Happy August 21st and 24th to mi amigas, Whitney and Becca!

And Happy August 1st to my own fabulous mom! Love you! (POLLUTION!)

And Happy August 4th to the Siren- Annie, August 8th to the Game Boss- Ross... and all of August to everyone else in the world... apparently. Oh don't worry - more birthdays to come tomorrow. ;)

(You think I'm joking... I'm not.)

Friday, August 26, 2011

Happy Birthday, Baby

This morning, I walked into a fantasyland.

A fantasyland that looked an awful lot like Stars Hollow, the fictional dreamland of a town that one of my most favoritest shows of all time, "Gilmore Girls," is based in.

There were quotes from the show everywhere I looked, pink balloons, Luke's Diner, and my friends even dressed up as characters! I was immediately adorned with a "Happy Birthday" crown and a pink feather boa, which is exactly what Rory Gilmore wore on her season one birthday.

I don't know what I did to deserve this wonderment!

Waffle's very happy.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Favorite Things (A few of my)

1. Grant's condition.
We can't thank you enough for your prayers for our cousin Grant. We are awaiting a 4th (and hopefully) final surgery today. Every day his condition takes baby steps forward (although he is still in critical condition) and we all lean a little harder into our Father God. Please continue to pray for healing!

2. A California trip on the horizon!
D and I are flying to Cali over Labor Day weekend and we are looking forward to some days away from technology and the tyranny of the urgent. We're spending some time with my college roomie, Joy and her sweet family.

3. Master Chef.
We fell in love with this random reality show and now find ourselves cooking "the most amazing, most delicious, most succulent" whatever and trying to break down our dishes like the professionals. While our favorite, Ben (and former ACU Wildcat) didn't make it to the finals, we still enjoyed almost every minute of the show. (Minus all the whining. If I'm ever on a reality show tell me that I am not allowed to whine about the other contestants.)

I don't want to let the cat out of the bag, but Val has become quite the inspiration when it comes to diet and exercise. I'll let her be the one to tell you about her INCREDIBLE SUCCESS- but suffice it to say, "Lose it" has been part of that success. We had a long chat last week about the app that she uses. I've used other weight loss sites before, but the accountability of having someone else you know ON the site is making all the difference. If you join it, find me. :)

5. Honey Bunches of Oats with Almonds
Valerie has talked about her favorite cereal before. I can't match her writing or advertising skills, but I can tell you that if you check my food log for "Lose it" you will find cereal listed every day and sometimes this one twice in a day. Addicted.

6. Making lists.
This shouldn't surprise you. We even have a label for posts entitled "lists." My calendar and journal are FULL of them. Today I'm sharing one of mine and asking you to share yours.

TOP 5 boardgames (or just games):
4. Mexican Train Dominoes
3. Speed Scrabble (play w/out the board)
1. Pit

These are my personal favorites to play in a group setting. We are ALWAYS on the lookout for fun games. Care to share which games make your family/friends shout/laugh?


Tuesday, August 16, 2011


My life is richly, richly blessed. One area of my life that God has seen fit to bless is my insanely fun, spontaneous, close-knit cousins. There are 11 of us.

We all grew up spending time together at the beach house in Galveston, visiting each others houses, and celebrating Christmases together at my grandparents' house. Playing The Roach, watching "Hot Shots," shooting off fireworks, putting on Christmas "pageants," running around at the Balloon Festival together, building forts on the beach, camping out at Grandpa's farm, and laughing at each other. (Lots of laughing at each other).

Even now, we cross paths frequently, enjoying our Smorby Christmases, traveling together to weddings, meeting up at Grandma and Grandpa's house, and staying up late laughing at the beach house.

For the past year and a half, I've been blessed to live in the same city as two of my cousins, Carter and Grant. We eat dinner at Grandma and Grandpa's every Wednesday night, discussing movies, planning our "Family Feud" team, and laughing about our crazy family. They've come to my apartment several times this summer to cool off in the pool, and invited me over to their house for steaks. They come to church with me, and afterward we always go out to lunch (Oliveto is a favorite).

This past Saturday morning my day came to a crashing halt with one phone call.

Grant was in an accident. He's in the hospital. He's critical.

He was hit by a car in a parking garage late Friday night. The driver didn't stop to see if he was okay. God sent an angel in the form of a med student who found Grant almost immediately and not only called 911, but also found Grant's phone and called my aunt and uncle.

Grant has severe internal trauma to his abdomen- particularly his liver. He's already had two surgeries, and is set to have a third tomorrow.

And yet.

And yet the Lord is doing SO MANY great things. Bringing SO MANY people together in prayer over Grant. We continue to hear stories about more and more people who know of Grant. Stories that prove the world is a very small and well-cared for place. I am overwhelmed.

It's hard to hear about him being in in this condition. This young, healthy, Crossfit-rocking guy. Unconscious. My responsible, hilarious, polite cousin. Sedated. I was just at his house watching movies. We were just laughing about our grandparent's aversion for normal sized boxes of Saran Wrap, instead opting for giant reams of the off-brand stuff that lasts for years. I was just bringing him a bomb pop at the pool because it is SO HOT these days, and who doesn't love a bomb pop??

Thankfully Grant seems to be taking a turn for the better today. Just this afternoon, his sister Hilary shared this on Facebook: "Just went into see him and said "Hi Fatty" (nickname i have for him) and he started nodding his head. Sweet Granty!"

And shortly thereafter: "
A Pastor in Fort Worth just came up to the hospital to pray with us. Went into the room with Grant and my parents to say a prayer and my Dad said Grant was nodding his head and could tell he knew the Pastor was in there praying for him! God is at work here!"

Oh, He is at work alright! I am so amazed that I am called to serve such a benevolent Jehovah Rapha. God who heals.

God who won't give up on me.

On you.

On my cousin.

Thank you. Thank you for your prayers.

Thursday, August 11, 2011


Having a four day "staycation" was a fabulous way to break up the past months of travel and work. Between the two of us, it's rare to find a day when at least one of us isn't working. We watched movies (I FINALLY saw "Ferris Bueller's Day Off"), pretended to be chefs, played racquetball and finished up some projects that had been on our list for months. Below is a random sampling of said "staycation."

So three cheers for COLOR in our room. It's just a start, but it's one of the first pieces of printed fabrics that we have BOTH agreed on. He always wants stripes. I always want something less masculine. He asked for no flowers, so I simply pressed for plant life. This is our mighty compromise. :)

The ancestor photos are slowly being printed and framed. We are so blessed to have so many amazing examples of faithfulness and love in marriage.

A Ciminello weekend wouldn't have been complete without lots of eating and lots of cooking. We even went so far as to go to a sausage factory to pick out and purchase some meats for the weekend. Seriously. On the menu for the weekend: brisket, pizza, short ribs, spaghetti sauce, colossal breakfast creations... you get the idea.

What's that on the plate? I'm so glad you asked. Braised short ribs, cheese grits, and a cherry glaze. I don't know if these pictures will do this meal justice. I want to eat it every day. I want to go to there.

More than anything, I think I'm just enjoying living in the now. I'm not worried about next year. I'm not even making plans for November yet- a rarity for me! I'm learning about living and loving right here... right now. I hope you are too. :)

p.s. Making plans with the neighbors again. Praying they accept our invitation and that we continue building relationships right here... right now.