Monday, December 24, 2007

Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas

...and that about sums it up.

I wish you all joy, and peace, and a holiday surrounded by those you love. Or at least can tolerate fairly well for one day a year.

And as Donkey from "Shrek the Halls" Christmas special so succinctly put it, "Christmas ain't Christmas til somebody cries!"

Merry Christmas, my dear friends.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

In Case You Were Wondering....

Moving stinks.

Packing stinks worse.

Discovering items you thought you couldn't live without and have kept for years only to realize you have not thought about them, looked for them, or needed them in the same number of years stinks worser.

Having a husband who is a packing pro smells nice. The packing pro part, not the actual husband. Well, sometimes he does too. Wait, that sounded wrong. Never mind.

Monday, December 10, 2007

No Title

Very original, isn't it? I just couldn't think of what I wanted to call this post, so after about three valuable minutes spent staring at the screen, I thought, "Forget it! I never stick to my topic anyway!" That is some very fine journalism going on over here at moreofawoman. All for you, baby, all for you.

My trip to California went very well. I worked in our main office (I am considered an independent contractor and work at home, but basically am still an employee--I reside in the netherworld between the two) and exhibited at a conference on health care fraud. Well, I didn't personally exhibit anything, my company did. (because I am just not that kind of girl). Anyway...this conference was very interesting in that I got to meet and spend time talking to alot of real, live FBI agents. Can I just tell you that out of the hundreds of agents that I saw, not any of them look like the heroes or heroines you see in the movies or read about in novels? None of the men, with the exception of about three or four, were drop dead gorgeous, with chiseled features and rock hard abs and eyes that bore holes through you. Nor were the women willowy visions of loveliness who looked as at home on a catwalk as they did on the firing range. And know what? It made me feel good. FBI agents gain weight, age, and fall into frumpiness just like we normal folks do.

The agents I spoke with were very kind and respectful, and it made me happy to know that our nation is being protected by people like them. I spoke with a few female agents and asked them how they liked the Academy. One said that she loved all of it except for the running portion, because she hates to run. I agreed that running because you have to would seriously stink, and I would probably fail out of the Academy my first day there. She was so kind because she said, "If I can make it through the Academy, you totally could too." I realize she was probably lying, but that did make my day. So all of you better watch it around me, because I could maybe possibly kick your keister if I ever were to go back in time and enroll in the FBI Academy after I completed the college degree I never got. That's right. You better be scared.

I was gone from Monday morning before the chickens got up until Thursday night at midnight. Then on Friday, we had a sleepover party for my son's birthday. His actual bday is in January and will happen about three weeks after we move to a different state, so we decided to let him have a party early before we leave here. Picture this: four boys between 9-12, cake, soda, pizza, Nerf guns, and a toddler. Welcome to my weekend. The boys had a great time and were just too funny to watch. But it does make me glad that this birthday thing only comes once a year for each kid.

My kid is the one in bright blue. I call this portrait Goofballs On Parade.

Speaking of birthdays, mine was on Saturday. I am now officially 37 years old. (Pardon me while I weep uncontrollably for my lost youth. Okay, done now.) I am having a hard time believing that I truly am only three years away from forty. Forty is so old! Or at least I used to think it was. Now I am beginning to revise my opinion on that one...

My good friend CC took me out to a nice brunch at a little Victorian tea room, and it was marvelous. Such a nice time of laughing and eating and talking and eating and visiting and eating. My husband bought me some wonderful smelling perfume from Mary Kay called Bella Belara. Yummyful! Very very nice and fresh. My son picked out a smores snowman ornament for me, and my daughter helped my husband pick out a pink Mossy Oak tshirt from Cabela's. I believe Hub said her contribution was pointing and saying, "Mommy shote! Mommy shote!" translation meaning, "I really think Mom would look great in that shirt, Dad. Why don't you buy it?" All in all, I had a great day. Now if I only wouldn't have stepped on the scale that day, then I could be in perfect denial....

On the moving front, we are getting our trailer delivered this Friday. We will have all weekend to load it, and they will pick it back up on Monday the 17th. This means that for at least a week, we will only have what we can pack in the back of our pickup. Sleeping on the floor, using plastic dishes, cooking out of one will be like camping, only with no woods, wild animals or beauty of nature. Good times. Depending on when the movers can deliver our stuff, and when we can actually get to Missouri, then we will either get our stuff on Friday the 21st...or not until Wednesday the 26th. Which means we could end up having Christmas with no stuff--well, except for the plastic dishes and one pot. In addition to all that, there are severe storm and ice storm warnings for part of the area we will be driving through next week. Yay. And here I thought the only thing we'd have to deal with while driving fortyfrillion miles across the country was a grumpy toddler.

I like to move it, move it. I like to move it, move it. And to ride hoe-seee.

Remember the old saying, "That which doesn't kill you makes you stronger"? By the time we move into our new house, I am going to be freaking Xena the Warrior Princess, baby.

Pray, y'all. Pray hard.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Venus and Mars at Thanksgiving

Do you ever feel like your life, if taped and aired on national television, would resemble a sit-com or a tragedy? This weekend, mine bore traits of both.

Wednesday afternoon, after the Zman got home from school, we left for the six and a half hour drive to my mom's house for Thanksgiving. I had packed, organized, and cleaned the night before so that all I had to do was put the food in the cooler and grab our kids and go. My husband had the great idea (and I am not being sarcastic) of listing our ATV on in my mom's town, since ATVs are big stuff in Central Oregon. He got a few calls on it, so we decided to tow it over there and hopefully sell the thing. The night before we left, we had this conversation:

R: Missie, where is the spare key to the ATV?

Me: Wha-? Honey, I have no idea. Where did you last have it?

R: I don't know where it is, that's why I am asking you.

Me: When did you last see it?

R: I remember seeing it in our old house.

Me: The one we sold in July?

R: Duh, what other old house did you think I meant?

Me: So you remember seeing it sometime before we moved in July. in four months ago. As in you haven't seen it in four months. And you are asking me where it is?

R: Did you put it somewhere?

Me: Honey, think...I have been on the ATV like five times since we bought it. I have never been around the thing without you. I have never taken it hunting or camping or anything. Why would I even know we had a spare key?

R: Well, help me find it!!!

Get the picture? Yeah, the conversation was going nowhere. So I started looking around everywhere I could think of where a key might possibly be. And since it's shiny and silver, OH AND LITTLE! it should be no problem finding it. Everywhere I looked, my husband would come behind me and say, "I already looked there. It's not there. Look somewhere else!" After about the fifth time of hearing that, I finally said, "It has to be somewhere. You asked me to help you look. Leave me alone and let me look!"

After about an hour of searching, we couldn't still couldn't find it. We decided that we would just let the new owner know that we had a spare key, and as soon as it was located, we would drop it in the mail. My husband then got the title, the maintenance info, instruction book, etc all together and laid it on our barstool in preparation for our trip the next day. (remember that...on the barstool..)

While packing up the last minute items on Wednesday, I grabbed the stuff from the barstool and told my husband through the bathroom door, "honey, I got all the paperwork and stuff from the stool. I am taking it to the car, okay?" to which he replied "okay". He came out to the car a few minutes later and asked me, "Are you sure you got everything?" to which I replied, "Yes, honey, I got all the stuff from the stool."

(Now, why am I boring you with this little piece of nothing from my life? Besides it's my blog and I can? To further demonstrate how it is such a miracle that men and women have been managing to meet, fall in love, get married, and STAY TOGETHER FOR THOUSANDS OF YEARS when incidents like this happen. Stay tuned...)

We arrived at my mom's on Wednesday night after fun filled trip with two children oh so happy to be in the car and our nerves frazzled. We had a nice restful night, and then were up early on Thursday morning to start preparations for dinner. I won't go into how I burned my forehead with cranberry sauce, or how I forgot my two favorite recipes at home and then couldn't find them online and had to wing it, or how my mom, who has about forty seven frillion jars of spices in her cabinet had NO POULTRY SEASONING, because all that's just not necessary.

My husband took the ATV down to the car wash to clean it all up before the guy came to look at it later in the morning. He was gone about ten minutes when I get this call...

R: Missie....where is the key to the ATV?

Me: (stirring sauce and burning my forehead) I have no idea.

R: Didn't you grab it yesterday?

Me: No, I did not. Where was it?

R: On the counter! With the title and stuff!

Me: No, the title was on the barstool.

R: You said you grabbed all the stuff!

Me: I did. From the barstool.

R: Why didn't you take the key?

Me: I didn't see the key. I didn't look for the key. I didn't think about the key. Why would I be looking for the key?


Me: Why didn't you have the key with the ATV since we spent all that time looking for the spare key last night?

R: Because I had the key on the counter so I wouldn't forget it! I was going to grab it when I got the other stuff, but you said you got the stuff and you picked up everything!

Me: I did grab everything. FROM. THE. BARSTOOL.

So, yeah, that made for some Turkey day stress right there. He was mad at me for forgetting to grab the key, and I was mad at him for being the goof who didn't put the key we did have with the ATV so we wouldn't forget it in the first place. After a $20 trip to a locksmith, R was able to turn on the ATV by flicking some dohickey with the engine dealie and could run it. Good times.

Anyway, we did end up having a nice time that day after tempers cooled and the comedy of errors was revealed. We decided that this whole marriage and procreation thing must have been a plan of God, because no way would men and women been able to successfully stay together without divine intervention. And no way would they then travel with their offspring during the holiday season without providential urging.

Nuff said for now. Will post in a few days about the rest of the trip. How was your Thanksgiving?

Someone save me from my parents.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Recipe Monday...because I said

This week promises to be crazy with a capital "Where Is My Prozac?"

I like to simplify things as much as possible during the wild holiday season, and one of my favorite ways to do that is with this recipe. I was surfing through a few years back and wanted a simple, delicious stuffing. I like mine moist but not wet, and full of flavor in every bite. I came across this recipe and it intrigued me because other than the initial sauteeing of vegetables, the whole thing cooks in the crock pot! How great is that? It frees up your oven and your time. You can add or delete any ingredients you wish, which is another great thing about this recipe. I usually chop up all the veggies the night before to get that out of the way. Then if I have time, I may sautee them the night before also, then just refrigerate until the next morning, assemble the rest, and plop it into the ole crockpot. My family absolutely raves about this stuffing, so if they love it, that settles it in my book.

So as my gift to you, here is the link to my favorite stuffing recipe of all thyme! (get it? cuz we're talking about cooking? and thyme is an herb? and I am certainly the only person in the history of ever to come up with that play on words? why aren't you laughing?)

Anyhoo....Happy Turkey Day, ebberbuddy (Ali word) and remember to count your blessings. Speaking of counting, calories consumed during the preparation and clean up of the Thanksgiving meal only count as half. ;)

In honor of the national holiday, here is my domesticated Turkey showing off his wild turkey.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Cutie Pie Friday

Just 'cause I wanted to share the adorableness with the world. No need to thank me.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Finally home...

Hey, y'all!

We made it back from Missouri in one piece, refreshed by the time away from the kids, but exhausted by the schedule we kept while there. We missed the chirrens something fierce, but in no time, they had us wishing we were going away again. (just kidding!)

I could bore you with all the details of what happened during our trip, but I care for your mental health more than that. Suffice it to say that we are most probably moving our family halfway across the country in less than 6 weeks. We have put an offer in on a house -- one of the TWELVE we saw in one day -- and are waiting to hear if it gets accepted or not. A house with a red bathroom, y'all. Red. Not marroon, burgundy, or merlot. Red. As in Would Look At Home On The Walls Of A Brothel red. So yeah. Envy me.

Anyhoo, I will post more later, as soon as I know something more definite. About anything. But rest assured I have learned one very important lesson the last few days....

Country Gravy + Chicken Fried Steak + Mashed Potatoes + Peppermint Milkshake + Yeasty Rolls + Fast Food Burger and Tacos = Pants that don't fit.

Just another service I offer here at Moreofawoman...all for you.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Leavin' On a Jetplane...

Hello, all. Sorry to the four of you who regularly check in here for the lack of posting, but things have been a little kah-rayzy around here.
I went to Chicago on Monday the 29th for a work related conference and returned on Thursday November 1st. Missed the family terribly but had a great time. I walked all over downtown, probably logging in about 3-4 miles during my trip. I shopped along Navy Pier and Michigan Avenue, ate at a Chicago establishment restaurant, sipped Starbucks while watching the masses hurry to their evening trains. I love Chicago, but would hate living there. I found out from a lady who lives downtown that I could pick up a one bedroom, one bath, 1600 sq foot condo for only $350-400,000. What a steal. I am writing my check as we speak.....
I flew back home on Thursday thinking that I had until Sunday before I had to leave for Anaheim for another conference. Guess what? Um, no. I had to leave on Saturday. Apparently I marked my calendar wrong all those months ago, and my trip was to begin on the third, not fourth of November. That sucked. I was home for less than 48 hours before getting back on another plane....bleh.
My flight from Boise to Salt Lake was to leave at 6:45am. So good girl that I was, I got up at 4:30am, got ready, and was at the airport by 6am. Because in Boise? You can allow 30 minutes to get your ticket, check your bag, and get through security. Even then, you'll have enough time to grab a coffee. Boise Airport, she is not too busy. Anyhoo, I get to the counter and am checking my bag when the attendant tells me, "Okay, your flight leaves at 9am from gate.." Now, I am pretty tired at this point, but was awake enough to do a "Huh, what? Nine?" She then explained that they cancelled the 6:45 flight and put me on the nine. When I asked why I wasn't notified, she said, "Sorry, you should have been, but really, it's your responsibility to double check your flights online the day before." And no, before you ask, I didn't jump over the desk and pummel her. I figured Homeland Security and the TSA wouldn't like me very much if I did. But she did manage to put me on an 8am flight instead, and on a connector to Orange County. I got here, only about an hour later than originally planned.
And lo, Missie was exhausted. Because could I sleep on the plane? Nerp. Did I have a very large man next to me on the very tiny plane? Yep.
But in case you were wondering about the safety of air travel, let me assure you. At O'Hare Airport TSA's checkpoint, they searched my bag very thoroughly. Which I didn't mind. I have nothing to hide. But apparently, I was a danger to all around me because of my lip gloss and my sample size Mary Kay handlotion. Because they weren't in a zip lock bag. I could have kept them if they were in a ziplock bag, but because they were instead in my SEE THROUGH MAKEUP BAG, I couldn't have them back. Now, these are the exact same items that I have carried in the exact same bag through Boise, Chicago, Las Vegas, Orange County, and JFK airports successfully without setting off any TSA alarms. I am all for carefully checking baggage. I am an experienced traveller. I know what I can carry onboard and what I can't. But apparently, there was some problem with my lipgloss and lotion being in my carryon without the protective benefit of the ziplock bag. Dang. I didn't realize ziplock made their bags so strong that it could actually affect the safety of an airplane. And here I was carrying those items around all willynilly on all those other flights, endangering myself and other passengers with my carelessness. I apologize to all those who may have been exposed to my items without the benefit of the plastic bags that are so necessary to our national security. The attendant was very helpful when she said, "Now I can ship these items home for you, but it will be about $19.00" Yeah, lady. I want to pay nineteen bucks to ship home my $6 lip gloss and my freebie lotion. Do people actually take them up on that?
So, I know, enough whine whine whine. I miss my family terribly and want to be in my own bed cuddling next to my husband. And good grief, it's not like I have been deployed to Iraq, so I just need to shut the heck up. But still....I miss my kidlets and my hub.
Alison has handled the separations remarkably well, which I don't know if I should be happy for or upset by. When she woke up yesterday, she looked for me. Roger said, "Mommy's at work," so the rest of the day, she would say, "Mommy wohke, Mommy wohke." Then when I spoke with her last night, she says, "Mommy home? Mommy home?" heart broke. She has been very happy and good for my husband, but still. She needs me there. I should be there. I keep telling myself that I am not harming her or Zachary by being away for just a bit, and they won't grow up to knock over 7-11s, but sheesh. This is hard.
Then next Sunday, Roger and I leave for about four days. We are traveling to a city far far away to check it out and see if we are going to move our family there. My mom is coming to stay with the kids, so they will be fine. But again....not with me. The way these last three weeks have worked out really sucks. But it will be the first time since 1999 that Roger and I have been away from our kids for more than one night, in a separate town, alone...together....just us. What ever will we do with ourselves? ;)
Okay, enough rambling for now. I am just lonely and homesick and sitting here in the lobby of my hotel at their "business station" (ie, one small computer and toy printer behind a privacy screen) listening to piped in Yanni music and ready to pull my hair out.
Thank you, de Internets, for letting me whine and vent and have free therapy.
So how are you all doing on your weight removal? Anyone want to share? Anyone have any good travel stories? Anyone get away with contraband lipgloss on a plane and live to tell about it? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? Anyone?

Monday, October 22, 2007


When my son was little, we invested in some Veggie Tale videos for him to watch. I loved that in addition to the cartoons being happy and clean, they also taught him Biblical ideals. If you've never seen a Veggie Tale video, you are really missing out. The stories and songs are very funny and sweet, and the tunes will get stuck in your head if you are not careful.

Alison now loves Veggie Tales as much as Zachary did. She is always running toward our video cabinet hollering, "BAH-LAH-LEDDY!" for Bob and Larry, the tomato and cucumber hosts of the shows. And when we bought her some Veggie Tale fruit snacks the other day at the store? You would have thought the child had went to sugar heaven. Now she runs to the pantry hollering, "Bah-Lah-Leddy Snack?!"

There is one particular video that has always been a favorite of mine, Madame Blueberry. It is the story of a very blue berry who is sad because her friends have much more stuff than she does. But lucky for her, a huge store opens not far from her house called Stuf-Mart. She goes on a wild spending spree there, but discovers that what she needed was not more stuff, but a happy heart. She passes a little girl sitting at a picnic table with her parents celebrating her birthday with only a piece of pie instead of a huge party. They do not have a huge tree house like Madame Blueberry, they only have a small home on the ground. Madame is surprised when she hears the little girl singing the following song:

I thank God for this day,

for the sun in the sky,

for my mom and my dad,

for my piece of apple pie,

for the love that He shares,

cause He listens to my prayers,

that's why I say thanks every day.

Because a thankful heart

is a happy heart.

I'm glad for what I have,

that's an easy place to start.

For our home on the ground,

for His Love that's all around,

that's why I say thanks every day,

that's why I say thanks every day!

Ali sings this song, or I should say tries to sing this song, and it is just adorable. I have been singing it with her to teach her the words a little better. And you know what? This song has really been speaking to my heart lately.

My attitude about certain things stinks. I should be happy for what I have. I AM happy for what I have. I have a wonderful boy, I have an adorable girl, I have fantastic friends, both here physically and on de Internets. I have a good job that lets me travel, I have a great family, I have a good home church. I have a God who loves me and takes care of me and keeps me from screwing up too badly. I have a roof over my head and food in my belly and clothes on my back. And when I crawl into my nice warm comfy bed at night, I am curling up next to my bestest friend and love of my life.

So the challenge for this week is to find stuff to be thankful for...and I bet none of us have to look too hard. Let's start noticing all the great and wonderful things that surround us that we are often too busy to recognize. Let's show our thankfulness to others and to God.

Then you too can be singing,

I thank God for this day, for the sun in the sky!

I thank God for all of you, and pray His best for your life. And if I could, I would send you all apple pie.

Why I say thanks every day...

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Change the words, change the mind...

This week's gem of wisdom comes from my friend, Lynn. (can I tell you about Lynn? She is so sweet, and pretty, and she EXERCISES. FREQUENTLY. Like daily, even. She runs...where there are hills. On purpose. Because she likes it. And does marathons. All while raising two kids and working from home and being a loving wife and a nice person.) Sidenote: The running thing is completely beyond me, because I will only run on purpose if there is some danger to myself or my family that would necessitate me moving that quickly.

At last Friday's Weight Watcher meeting, Lynn's leader said this:


Isn't that profound? I don't want to loooooooose weight, I want to remove it. As in having it gone forever. Never to return. Never to find me again. Never to have to re-lose or "re-remove" the same pounds!

So this week, your challenge is to change the way you talk about this here weight-removal journey. Just see if it doesn't put you in a better frame of mind.

REMOVE yourself from the kitchen! REMOVE the trigger foods from the pantry! REMOVE the unwanted pounds from your life!

Then, re-move yourself on over to my house and help with all this laundry. The end.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Sad News...

My friend Becki over at CookingWithWhine is going through one of the hardest times in her life right now.

She lost her dad.

Becki, we are praying for you and your family. May the good memories of your loving father sustain you through the dark times ahead.

As a gal who recently lost her dad in August, I understand some of what she is feeling now. My dad's 70th birthday would have been tomorrow. I am feeling rather...well, I don't know how to describe what I am feeling. My poor mom doesn't know what to do, should she mark it somehow or just act like it's another day without the love of her life?

When it comes to the death of a loved one, there are no right answers across the board.

Head on over to Becki's blog and leave her a nice message, will ya? It helps to know that people you don't even know are thinking about and praying for you.

And Becki? If you want to talk or vent or just..whatever, let me know.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Didya Miss Me?

I know, I know! I have already been nagged by Robyn about not posting for awhile and making those of you waiting with baited breath for my next piece of insightful wisdom pass out from lack of oxygen. But never fear, I am back. (I can hear the applause from all one of you.)

A few things happening in my life right now, in no particular order of importance, but just so you know are:

  • Waiting for husband to get back from deer hunting and hoping he bagged a big one.

  • Dealing with The Toddler and The TANTRUMS and The Potty Training...and feeling woefully inadequate.

  • Regaining approximately five, FIVE I TELL YOU, of the pounds I have recently lost due to traveling for business, family visits, and just plain not paying attention.

  • Trying to figure out how in the world to lose this five and another five before the rest of my business trips this fall which include...

  • (and this totally deserves it's own bullet point because...doggone!) Chicago for four days at end of October.....coming back home for three days, then going to Anaheim for four days.....home for eight days, then going to Missouri for a personal trip for four days.....home for about a week before traveling to Oregon for Thanksgiving with family....then home for three days before traveling back to Anaheim for another conference for three days....home for one whole day before my 37th birthday.

  • Trying to figure out if my husband and I should move our kids halfway across the country for an educational opportunity which could either be the greatest thing to hit our family ever...or give us the hugest most biggest unbelievably largest financial hit ever. But as long as there's no pressure, we should be fine.

  • Um, when am I supposed to sleep or exercise for the next three months?

Remember when I promised you guys that I would put recipes on this site? And then remember how I haven't done it yet? And remember how you guys thought I would? Wasn't that funny? Good times. No, seriously, today marks the inaugural post of RECIPE FRIDAY, and I have included some very good ones for you. (Now, keep in mind that RECIPE FRIDAY will not be every Friday, just whatever Friday I actually have a recipe worth sharing and the time in which to post it. And it may not even be on Fridays, because if I actually have a recipe AND the time at the same time? Then I am going to post it no matter what day, because...well, please refer to the bullet points above. Disclaimer Done.)

The first recipe is from a friend of mine that I have had forever, Kay. An interesting note about Kay, besides the fact that stuff happens to her that I have never heard of happening to another human being ever, and that she used to teach 4-H, so you know her recipes are good, is that she never calls me Missie. From just about the day we met, she has always called me Tilda. It started with her calling me Missie Matilda, then morphed to Matilda, then just Tilda. In fact, whenever she refers to me in a conversation with someone else who might know me, she has to stop and say, "Oh, I mean Missie." She is an absolute hoot and just a fun fun gal to work with and have for a friend.

This meatloaf is so good and easy to fix, that it should be a crime. This works great with any ground meat you have on hand. I have made it with combos of hamburger, ground turkey, ground elk, ground deer, Italian sausage, whatever you have on hand will taste great. And if you only have 1lb of meat, adjust your recipe accordingly.

Kay's Meatloaf

1 lb each hamburger and ground turkey

1 egg

1/2 cup ketchup

1/4 cup barbeque sauce

1 cup onion, chopped

1 cup oatmeal

Salt, pepper, and garlic salt to taste

Mix all ingredients in a large bowl. Add more oatmeal if it's too sticky. Form into a large loaf shape in 13x9 pan. Cover with foil and bake for one hour at 350 degrees. Remove cover, spread a little bbq sauce on top, and bake for about 5 more minutes. Let stand for 5-10 min before serving.

**you can also add chopped garlic for a little extra flavor. A little cheddar cheese on top would be delicious, too. The leftovers, if you have any, are great for lunch the next day.

This next recipe comes from my new friend, Geanne from New York. We met on a Weight Watchers chat room site and instantly hit it off. We started emailing each other pretty frequently, and the phone calls came soon after. She is just hilarious and I love love love her accent! Her husband was worried that she became such fast friends with some person she met online and said something like, "How do you know she's not a stalker and will show up at our door and kill you or kidnap our kids?" And yes, he is in law enforcement. When she told me that, I just laughed my head off, because seriously? I do not have the energy to regularly post on my blog, much less become a cross-country stalker. As far as her kids go, while they are incredibly adorable, thank you. I have two of my own that I would sometimes like to foist off on other people. I do not want to be adding any more to the tribe.

Anyway, this chicken recipe is so good that my husband has actually asked me to make it again. If any of you knew me well, you would know what a big deal that is. Because chicken? And me? Not such a good combo. I can take a perfectly good chicken and do things to it that make it dang near inedible. It's a talent...try not to be jealous. It strikes fear into the heart of my guys when they ask what's for dinner and I reply with "Chicken." I asked Geanne, who is part Italian and therefore should know how to cook well, if she had any good chicken recipes that wouldn't add 47 lbs to my rear after eating and be completely dork-proof, and she sent me this. I consulted with my friend Becki over at Cooking With Whine (see the linky over there on the right? Go check her out for she is hilarious. I want her to move by me and be one of my new best friends) who gave me some great ideas for add-ins to the filling. Make this for company and I guarantee they will think you were slaving in the kitchen all day. And then they will buy you better presents for your birthday. Moreofawoman--world peace and presents through chicken. Catchy, no?


1 pkg cream cheese, softened

1 pkg frozen chopped spinach (10oz) thawed, drained

1 1/4 cups mozzarella cheese, divided

6 tablespoons parmesan cheese, divided

2 cloves minced garlic, or more if desired

1 tsp salt, and pepper to taste

1 tsp Italian seasoning

6 boneless skinless chicken breasts, pounded out to 1/4 inch thickness

1 egg

10 Ritz crackers, crushed (about 1/2 cup)

1 1/2 cups spaghetti sauce, heated

Spaghetti noodles

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Mix cream cheese, spinach, 1 cup mozzarella cheese, 3 tbsp of parmesan cheese, garlic, salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning until well blended. Salt and pepper the chicken breasts, then spread the filling over chicken breasts. Starting at one of the short ends of the chicken breast, roll up chicken tightly. Secure with toothpicks or kitchen string, if desired. Set aside.

Beat egg in shallow bowl or pie plate. Mix remaining 3 tbs parmesan cheese and the cracker crumbs in separate pie plate. Dip chicken bundles in egg, then roll in crumb mixture. Place seam-side down in a 13x9 baking dish sprayed with cooking spray.

Bake for 35 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Remove and discard toothpicks, if using. Serve topped with spaghetti sauce and remaining 1/4 cup mozzarella cheese over noodles.

**Becki's Ideas for Additions were chopped sun-dried tomatoes. My friend Katie who is also a gourmet cook suggested artichoke hearts and feta cheese. I think she may have said pine nuts, too. Go ahead, get all crazy with it! Live large and in charge! Embrace the ingredients!

Moreofawoman--freedom through stuffed chicken breasts. Catchier?

This is some good stuff, people. Try it this weekend and let me know what you think.

Next week's recipe: Toddler In A Box

Monday, October 1, 2007

It's So Hard to Find Good Help These Days..

Sorry for the long pause between this post and last, my friends. I could bore you to tears with all the events that conspired against me getting time to blog, such as my Projectile Vomiting Toddler, my Ever Increasing Workload, my Never Done Laundry Pile, blahbittyblahblahblah, but you know the song just as well as I do.

It's really not my fault, though. It's my maid's. See, she hasn't been coming around here much for about the last fifteen years, so I have been forced to do all the housecleaning myself. I think she spoke to my personal assistant, because I haven't heard from her in a long time either. More like never. So all those pesky little errands that I had previously delegated to her? Now guess who gets to do them. Then there's my chef, the one who shops for, puts away, and prepares the healthy nutritious food my family and I require. She hit the road sometime around 1992. I think she ran off with my personal trainer. That's the only thing that can explain these love handles of mine. If he were here, they wouldn't be. And don't even get me started on my masseuse. Ungrateful little twit. And after all I'd done for her! Like think about hiring her! She wanted paid and a set schedule? What's up with that?

So, folks, I am sorry but it really really really isn't my fault. If you find these guys, let them know I am seriously ticked...and they are all fired.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Are You Gonna Eat That?

This week has been great...and not so much.

Great in that my mommy came over for a visit. We shopped til we dropped, we laughed, joked, had fun, played with the kids, and just all around had a great time.

Not so much in that we ate. And I mean ATE. If it wasn't nailed down or crawling away, I ate it this week. Think it wasn't so bad? Let me give you some examples: Fries, ice cream, cheeseburgers, breakfast burritos, soda, more fries, Orange Chicken and Rice from Panda Express, and still more fries. Oh, and part of a grilled cheese sandwich that my daughter wouldn't eat. Because I may have acted like a pig, but that sandwich could not be wasted! I am frugal! Where's my medal?

Anyhoo, how have you guys been? Doing well? Eating right? No? Well, join the club. But from this moment on, I am back on the wagon again. (that wagon must have great shocks for all the jumping on and off I am doing). I am going to go get a big ole glass of water with lemon and work on flushing all the preservatives and fats out of my system. I am going to get better sleep. I am going to exercise. I am going to be tired.

And also? I just found out I am going here, too:

The good thing is I am sure there will be absolutely NO fattening food there to tempt me. None whatsoever.

Question: Have you ever eaten so much that you wondered where you managed to put it all and why you still didn't feel satisfied?

Friday, September 14, 2007

Friday Weigh In

How'd everyone do this week? Meeting your goals? Drinking your water? Getting your exercise? Eating half of a large Chocolate Extreme Blizzard from Dairy Queen the night before you weigh in? Oh, wait. That was me. Never mind.

Any which way, today's numbers on the scale are 169.9, which is a 1.1 lb gain over last week. Well, wooo-hoooo for me. Of course I would gain following a week where I lost 4.2 lbs. What else would I do?

We interrupt this pity party to bring you more pictures of Missie's kids. And to shut her up.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

New Poll, New Poll!

Check out the soda pop poll over there on the right and 'fess up...How much of the stuff are ya drinkin'? Reaching for a soda when you know that it's water you need?

Yeah, me too. Guilty as charged.

I think of a tall icy glass of diet soda as a treat for being good all day. We can have it, but remember...everything in moderation.

Will have an actual post with words and thoughts and everything later in the week. Too much work to do now. Wah.

Will now go drink soda....

Mommy, should you really be bathing in that bubbly brown stuff?

Monday, September 10, 2007

Back in the Saddle Again

Happy Monday, Everyone! Say Cheese!

One thing I have always enjoyed about being on Weight Watchers was the realistic approach to eating and losing weight. When I first started WW, I assumed that they would meet with me and teach me how to reach my perfect goal weight, which was 133 pounds. Why 133, you ask? That is what I weighed when I got married many moons ago. That is what I weighed in the pictures where I look so young and happy and skinny. That, I thought, is what I need to be in order to have a nice looking body again.

Imagine my surprise when I joined WW and they didn't even talk to me about where I wanted to be at the "end" of my journey. Instead, they taught me to focus on losing 10% of my body starting body weight. Since I started at 187.2, that meant I had to lose 18 lbs before the leaders would discuss a more long reaching goal with me. At first I was confused because, didn't they WANT or NEED to know where I expected to be? What's up with that?

I realized that there was a method to their madness. WW figures that if you can lose the first 10% of your body weight, whatever it happens to be, then you are more likely to continue on your program. It might be hard to tackle the 54.2 lbs I wanted to lose all in one chunk, but I could handle 18. After 14 months on the program, 9 of which I didn't stick to it very well and basically stalled my own weight loss, I finally made my first 10% on Friday. I am now 168.8. Yippee! WW gives you a cool keychain with a 10 on it as a reminder of what you have achieved. I worked hard for that keychain, people, and it is happy I am to have it.

Since joining WW, I have become way more realistic in my goals and my view about my body. I will probably never see 133 again in this lifetime. And you know what? That's okay with me. I could possibly reach 133 again if I did nothing but devote myself to diet and exercise and worked out with a personal trainer and hired a chef to cook special meals and forbade my husband from ever bringing pizza into the house and brought on a nanny to raise my children and a maid to clean my house. In that instance, I am sure I could reach 133. But you know what else? I am choosing to live my life, not live to reach an almost impossible goal.

WW says a healthy weight for my age and height is 144. So that's my new long-range goal. Eleven pounds more than what my "ideal" was ain't bad, considering my ideal was fifteen years and two kids ago. My new immediate goal is 160. That is eight pounds away. Well, eight and change. I can do that. I can totally do eight pounds. And after that? I will set a new short term goal and reach that. I am in this for the long haul. Once I lose this weight, I do not want to see it again...and have to re-lose it again.

So here's today's challenge for those of you on the road to a healthy weight. Find a short term goal for yourself. Something that is attainable, but you may have to work a little to get there. Something not so easy that the attaining of it doesn't hold much value. Write that goal down and post it in a place you are sure to see it every day. Repeat to yourself, "I can do this. I can lose **pounds by November **" or whatever your particular goal is.

Remember to be realistic. If you have fifty pounds to lose, you are probably not going to do it by Thanksgiving, barring one of your appendages getting cut off in a freak farming accident. Health professionals say that a healthy weight loss is 1-2 lbs per week. Get a calendar out and figure how much you can lose if you are to diet alone. Then figure if you worked out 3 times a week along with diet, how much could you lose. Then make a plan and stick to it. It does more for our psyche and self-esteem and our will power if we are able to keep the goals we set for ourselves. You will actually be better at this weight loss thing the longer you do it, and the more goals you reach.

Remember that I am pulling for you. You can do this. We can do this. We can have the healthy bodies that God intended for us before the devil invented chocolate chip cookie dough.

Go forth and make a plan! Set a goal! Drink your water! And come do my laundry while you're at it!

If you feel comfortable doing so, tell me what your weight loss goals are. How can I help you? What kind of things would you like to see up on this site? Do you need the accountability of someone semi-nagging you to get you going? Because I totally have a Masters' in Nagging. Just ask my husband and children.
If you act like you're sleeping, my mommy will leave you alone.

Thursday, September 6, 2007


Someone stepped on the scale this morning and found out that she has lost about 4 lbs this week.

Someone hasn't lost 4 lbs in a week since the summer of 2006.

Someone hasn't seen the second number on her scale be this low since approximately 2003.

Someone is crying right now.

Someone wonders why weight is so hard to get off but so doggone easy to put on.

Someone does not think this is fair.

Someone is very very happy this morning.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

What's In a Name?

Some of you may be wondering where I got the name for this here blog. The story is kind of funny and it goes something like this...

One day about a year or so ago, my husband and I were looking at our wedding pictures. In one of them, you see a fresh-faced young couple with huge grins on their faces, about ready to cut the cake. My mermaid-style wedding gown looked very flattering on my trim body, and my husband stood tall and debonair in his tux. Roger looked over at me and said, "What ever happened to those people?" I replied, "Honey, we ate those people." I then went on to laugh about how I was so much mooooooore of a woman now than I was when we wed, meaning the thirty five additional pounds I had packed on between kids and sedentary office jobs. We laughed a good bit about that and the conversation was soon forgotten.

Recently, as I looked back on that same picture, I discovered that I am more of a woman in many areas than I was back then. I would like to think that the greatest change in me hasn't been my weight gain, but my personality gain. My empathy gain. My understanding gain. My love gain. I rather hope that I am also less of a woman, less self-centered, less impatient, less judgmental. I am more in mass, but less in self-consciousness. I am more in size, but less in unforgiveness. I am less of the servant of God than I want to be, but hopefully more like Him as time goes on.

That's what I am striving for, people. To be less and more at the same time. How about for today, we examine ourselves. Are we less in areas that are important, but more in areas that are temporal and don't really mean much? How about for today, just for today, we all try to be a little more understanding, and a little less hurried? A little more giving, and a little less taking. Let's move a little more, and talk a little less. Let's be a little more kind to those in our family, and a little less accomodating to those that we don't have eternal connections with.

Go forth today and be less...and more.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

You're Here! You're Really Here!

Hello? Is this thing on? Testing, one, two, three.... You can hear me? Okay, good! If everyone would just please grab your coffee or tea and find a seat, we can get started. What? What's that? The brownies are gone? I am so sorry. I was really nervous about our meeting today, so I ate one or two. Or seven. Or fourteen. Really, I am quite sorry. I promise to make more for next time. Now, please scoot over towards the middle of the rows so there will be plenty of seating for everyone. Great! Are we all comfy? Ready to go? Good!

First off, let me welcome all of you to my new blog, More of a Woman. This will be my own personal blog that will deal with life, marriage, mommyhood, and weight loss, not necessarily in that order.

Let me give you a little background...I have been married for fifteen years to my college sweetheart, Roger. We have two rugrats: Zachary, age 11, and Alison, age 2 (and boy, is she TWO! But that's fodder for other posts.) I work from home in the healthcare field. I do bookkeeping, marketing, and case review for a medical review company located in a different state. I get to travel for conferences and training several times a year, which I greatly enjoy. I am soon to be 37 (ouch. That was soooo hard to type!).

And for as long as I can remember, I have struggled with my weight. I am genetically predispositioned to have a weight problem. Women in my family? We are a rotund bunch for the most part. I have never been one of those naturally skinny women who can eat whatever and never manage to gain an ounce. (My sister in law is like that. She is also tall, beautiful, and just about the sweetest person I know. So yeah. I can't even hate her. How is that fair? ) I can walk by a bakery window and be up a pound the next day.

I began Weight Watchers in July 2006. So far on WW, I have lost about 14 lbs. Well, actually more like 18 lbs, but I am at a plateau where I keep gaining and losing the same five pounds since December 2006.

So, where am I going with all this and why do you need to know? A big focus of this blog is going to be health and weight loss. Now, I am sure after reading this for a week or two, you will see that in no way is this actually a HEALTH or WEIGHT LOSS blog as you would normally picture it. I am not a doctor, but I do play one on the Internets. I would like for this to be a place where we can all feel comfortable in our own skin, while we are trying to make that skin surround less mass. I want to focus on getting healthy, not just getting skinny. I know some very fit-looking people who are very unhealthy, and some very overweight people who are actually healthy. It is about more than the numbers on the scale.

If I can ever figure out how, I will have a place for recipes and weight loss tips and lots of other good stuff. If I can't, then those things will just be included in my postings.

And for those of you who came over from SC, you would not know this is my blog if it weren't for the pictures of my kids. I told my husband that one thing we manage to do really well is produce cute chirrens, and far be it from me to withhold said cuteness from the world. So you will get lots of that too.

I will try to post at least 3-4 times a week, but again, that is subject to work and life and other things I can't control.

Thanks for coming by and I hope you will become a regular. And speaking of regular....Today's health tip is DRINK YOUR WATER. Did you know that in one university study, one glasssof water shut down midnight hunger pangs for almost 100% of dieters? Lack of water is a large contributor to daytime fatigue. Most of the time when we think we are hungry, we are actually dehydrated. The next time you are in the kitchen between meals looking for something to satisfy you, try a big glass of water first. If you are still hungry five minutes later, then get something to eat. A friend of mine who began her own weight loss consulting business told me this several years ago and I have never forgotten it: "Water is the winning ticket in the weight loss lottery." You will never lose all the weight you want without drinking water. It's just a simple fact.

So instead of fighting water, let's embrace it! Toss a couple slices of lemon and orange into your water, add a dash of Splenda, and bang! You have a citrus-y drink that you didn't have to pay $1.99 for. If water isn't your thing, try upping your intake of herbal tea. Now I love a good soda just as much as the next gal, but this week, let's all try to limit our intake of soda to just one glass or can a day. Can we do that? Just that small step will get us one step closer to our goals.

Have a great day, everyone!