Gobble, gobble

People are constantly complaining about how Christmas is crowding other holidays out.

“Turkey before tinsel!”

“It’s too soon!”

“One holiday at a time.”

I believe I have stumbled upon the reason for this increasing encroachment of sleigh bells into your cranberry time……

Lack of ascetically pleasing Thanksgiving decoration in the marketplace.


I rest my case.






Not to brag or anything, but we are a pretty spectacular zoo here in good ol’ O-town.  Every year I gladly fork over my $100 to renew our membership and in return we receive 365 day access to the greatest zoo around.  (Yeah, yeah, yeah.  You’re zoo’s good too, but mine’s better.)

Since we can go anytime we want, on any day we want, we go often.  Sometimes we’ll pack a lunch and make a day of it.  Sometimes we’ll just swing in for an hour to visit a few favorite friends.

Whenever we go, there are a couple of exhibits that are a must see.




Hippo (My FAVORITE!)



Two-toed sloth….lazy SOB



Big A$$, angry Gorilla



And a trip is never complete without a little monkey business.

Aww the monkeys.  I could sit there all day and watch their antics.  As I watch them goof around, entertaining us lemmings, this is what I envision……

“I hereby call the 8 am meeting of cage 5 to order.  Roll call!  Steve!”





“zzzzz, hmmm, What??? Oh, here.”

“Let the record show all four of us were present and accounted for this morning.”

“Larry, is this really all necessary?  We live in a cage.  We can’t get out.”

“It’s all necessary Bob.  One can never be too careful.  Now boys, today is Monday, typically a slower day, but I need to remind you that it’s Memorial Day, so I think we need to on full assignment today for the anticipated higher crowds.”

“Seriously Larry?!?!  Do you really think it’s necessary?”

“Yes, Bob.  We’re still in the running for ‘Most Entertaining Exhibit’ this month and I’m not going to lose to those darn polar bears….again!   Steve, you’re on creepy smile.”


“Aye aye Captain!”

“Jim, you’ve on butt patrol today.”



“Bob.  You know what that means.  You’re on orange duty.”

“AGAIN!  How come I always pull the short peel?”

“You know why Bob.  The rest have tried and they just can’t kill it like you do….




….plus you already have the orange stains.”






Technology to the rescue

The Infamous Peter is very good at remembering holidays, birthdays, anniversaries, special occasions.  What he is not good at is planning for them ahead of time.

IP owns and runs his own business of which he is the sole employee.  When all the work begins and ends with you, you are on the clock 24-7, ever minute of nearly everyday is spent attached to a client or a project.  I know, I know, it’s going to be hard for you to believe, but I have been known to pout at times due to the lack of attention I receive compared to his keyboard, but I couldn’t be more proud or supportive of my successful hubby.

He’s never lacking in love, caring, and thoughtfulness….what he’s missing is time.

During his 90+ hour work week, IP regularly forgets to eat, so planning ahead to shop for a special occasion never makes it into the iCalendar.  Now, remember I said that he never misses an occasion, so he’s usually ‘that guy’ rummaging through the picked over shelves the day of a holiday, grumbling over not finding what he is looking for, settling for something he is less than thrilled with, all the while trying to come up with a convincing story as to why check-out lane candy and a set of bath towels is the epitome of an excellent present.  (No really, that was a mother’s day gift one year.  He sold me on the idea it was a ‘spa package’ present.)

On Valentine’s Day last year, he tried to do something different.  He dropped into a business the morning of V-Day to order an edible arrangement.  Surprise, surprise, he was too late to get an order in for that day.  Hello rock, meet hard place.  He put the order in anyway, for a delayed sweet treat (good man), and then went the tradition route.  In between meetings, he ran to a floral shop and picked up a quick bouquet, dropping it off himself on the way to a shoot.  Valentine’s Day saved.

~Sidebar~  Men, please be careful when choosing your floral arrangements.  A co-worker received these at work today.  I wonder what he REALLY wants for Valentine’s day…..

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This year, technology and the modern world collided to create a fantastic Valentine’s Day for me and score major bonus points for IP.

When IP’s alarm goes off in the morning, he turns on Mike and Mike in the morning, transitioning from peaceful slumber to crazy work day with the soothing sounds of a little sports talk in the AM.  Apparently, on Monday morning, Mike and Mike set out to rescue their viewers from a potential Valentine’s Day dog house by offering an on-air special.  By ordering through a specific website and using a designated promo code, a husband could get free, expedited, guaranteed by Valentine’s Day delivery on an order.  IP, being the smart man that he is, jumped on that offer and let Valentine’s Day come to him this year…and saved money in the process.

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IP wins major props today.  If anyone needs me, I will be in a chocolate strawberry wine coma.  I will see you all tomorrow….maybe.


It’s like a heat wave

So far, we have been having a pretty manageable winter in this neck of the woods.  We had one decent snow storm right before Christmas, leaving everything glistening like a Hollywood movie, letting us enjoy a true White Christmas.

Since then, the weather has been average really, hanging in the 20s and 30s, allowing the snow to linger and the kids to get great usage out of their sleds, snowpants, and boots.

A miraculous thing happened a few weeks ago.  We had an unseasonable January warm up, melting the snow piles and bringing neighbors out of hiding.  A true Nebraskan knows that this is just a mirage and the harsh reality of a midwest winter can resurface at any moment, so we have to get, while the gettings good.  The temperature gauge hits 40 and people leave their coats at home, shorts replace pants, the bikes come out and runners clog the sidewalks.  We know these days are rare gems and to squeeze out all the enjoyment we can.

Then Mother Nature reminded us where we lived.  Winter snapped back into existence with a stretch of days where the high, yes the HIGH, was 9*.  When you wake up and the newstation graphic says 3*, it just puts you in a different mood.

And apparently the switch from unseasonably warm to polar plunge, sent my daughter into a tail spin.  She does not enjoy the cold weather, not at all.  When the mercury dropped, it effected her brain….

Yesterday’s my husband stepped in the front door of the house and exclaimed, “It feels gross in here.”  And he was right.  Despite the cold winter temps outside, the house was unusually warm.  Quickly, I went and checked the thermostat.


76*!!!!  Holy Crap!  My first thought was, ‘Great, the heater is broken!  How much is this going to cost us?’

I looked at the settings.




Paige looked up at me, “I did.”

“Um, why?”

“I was cold.  I don’t like being cold.”

“It’s January.  Put a sweatshirt on.  Changing the thermostat is above your pay grade.”

She didn’t stand a chance

Three days and six hours.  That’s how long we made it before we had a Christmas gift casualty.

We all knew it was bound to happen.  Every parent out there knows that, despite all the saving and planning that goes into Christmas, one of your little darlings is going to break one of their brand new presents before the week is over.  The Soby family clock stopped at 3 days and 6 hours.

Now, why am I handling this so well you ask?  Well, because the culprit here is my furry four-legged child, and I’m only out about eight dollars.

This is Lampchop.  She is a cute little dog toy I found for our Yorkie-Poo, Maddie, as a Christmas present.

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Maddie was so excited to open Lampchop.  She ripped her out of the box and drug her directly to the living room.  We laughed and smiled at her enthusiasm.  It’s always nice to see that your gift was a hit!

Well today, as I was in the middle of a Downton Abbey marathon (I started watching the other day and I’m HOOKED.  I’m knee-deep in Season 2 as I type.), I looked up and found this.

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Just look at the guilty look on her adorable little face!

Bad News:  The stuffing did not survive her destructive ways.  I used to wonder why they sold stuffing-less dogs toys.  I now have my answer.

Good News:  Lampchop will not need to join a gym this year, she is starting 2013 as a new, slimmed down version of herself!

On the right side of the dirt

I love my birthday.  I think it’s the best day in the world.  Better than Christmas.  Better than Easter.  Better than the first day of the football season…and that’s saying a lot.

I turned 37 yesterday.  It’s all good.  I really don’t have an issue with aging…yet.  I do have an issue with still getting zits in my late 30s and when I figure out what department I can file that complaint with, I will, in triplicate.

Presents are the best part of birthdays.  One might say cake, but they’d be wrong.  You can get cake any day you want.  You can’t always make people buy you something.  I’m a lucky girl.  I have a group of people who really know me, really pay attention, and buy presents that really hit the mark.

We have four award winners this year.

My husband gets the award for listening.  He usually has my daughter ask me what I want, but then sometimes goes rouge from the list.  This year, he stayed on track.  I wanted a white Green Bay Packers hat.

Well done honey, well done.

The most awesome goes to my mom, well my parents, but we all know that mom does the shopping! 😉  My parents have gone to giving cash, so you can go shopping for yourself, but my mom has to have something for you to open or it wouldn’t be your birthday.  I don’t know how, but she always finds something incredible that you didn’t know existed.  Behold the newest member of my game day family…

Frozen tundra piggy!  It’s he awesome!!

My brother and sister-in-law get the award for paying attention and hitting the mark.  It has been a rough start to the school year and the edited version is this.  So far I’ve chased students, called the cops, been drooled on, creeped out, had my hair petted, and been kicked and punched.  Is it May yet??  This is what my loving bro and sis got me.

PERFECT!  Peanut M&Ms because I’ve literally put out daily stress calls for them.  Clorox wipes for the next time a student pets my hair and braids it into hers.  (Yes that happened.  Yes it totally grossed me out.)  Pumpkin coffee for that needed caffeine kick. Therapeutic bath salts for either aches and pains if I get kicked again or stress and tension relief if it’s one of those days.  And the piece de resistance, the thermal coffee mug that will keep hot things hot for 5 hours and cold things cold for 9 hours.  Whoever invented this is a genius!

But the ultimate “reality check” winner goes to my son.  He make this homemade card.

I like that he promised to walk the dog.  I’m bringing this out daily to remind him.  I am a little concerned that only him, I and the dog are in the card….

But the reason he wins is for the packaging.

Congrats to me!  I’m not in the obits this year!

A gentle reminder that I’m still on this side of the dirt and that it could always be worse.