Making The Most Of A Christmas Gift

christmas 1

First of all, I hope you all had a very Merry Christmas!    For the first time in over 100 years, we had an actual White Christmas here in Dallas.     It snowed all day on Christmas Eve and on Christmas morning, it looked like this….

christmas 1

Christmas Day was fantastic.   Lots of good food, family and fun.   Possibly a little too much wine but that’s a story for another day.

(Also, by way of estimate, right now I’d say at the end of this week I will weigh approximately 10 lbs more then when this holiday started.   Some call it a muffin top,  I like to think of it as a holiday souvenir that will magically disappear on January 1st….I’m all about the optomism during the holidays.)

Now we are starting the really good part….a full week off to enjoy our loot from this year and kick back after the hussle and bussle of pulling Christmas off.    When it’s all said and done, I will have gotten to visit with  friends I don’t get to see on a regular basis, family that I need to spend more time with and most especially, I will have had a week with my husband and kids who I can’t get enough of.    I got a lot of great stuff for Christmas, but this week off was the best gift of all and I plan to use it to it’s fullest.

So, this is a long way of saying I’m taking the week off.   I mean really taking it off….no blogging, very little facebooking or twitter.     (I’d like to say no facebooking or twitter…but seriously,  let’s not get carried away here…)

I hope you all enjoy the rest of the holiday season and have a fantastic New Year celebration planned….be good, and if you can’t be good, be careful!



Christmas Card Comeupance

Christmas card 1

Christmas cards are a big deal around here. Each year I struggle with the picture selection, the theme and tone, the caption…my God, it gives me a nervous breakdown. Every year though I manage to pull it off and get calls from friend and relatives telling me they loved my card.

Witness the history here:

Christmas card 12003:   Merry Kissmas

2004:  Missing in action, though I distinctly remember it being cute…

Christmas card 32005:   Be Good!   You Never Know Who’s Watching!

Christmas card 22006 New Years Card (Because I totally missed the boat on Christmas…)

Tiny Bubbles

Christmas card 42007:   Joy to the World

I can explain2008:  Naughty or Nice?  You Decide!

This year was a real struggle.   I’ve been slammed at work with no time to think about Christmas and to be honest, work has not been all that much fun…which is to say, I found myself with sort of a Scrooge mentality facing the daunting task of holiday cards this year.   Until I remembered this picture which summed up the entire year for both me and the kids.

Presenting the 2009 Stiletto Family Christmas Card….

Christmas card 5

Heck yeah!  I thought for sure I had pulled it off again…the most awesome Christmas card expressing not only my feelings for the upcoming holiday but also providing a laugh and a look back at the type of year it had been.   Perfection, I tell you….perfection.

Until I got this:

Christmas card 6

Those two beautiful little girls are my nieces.   And the one in the middle?   Is Taylor Swift.     One more time, Taylor Swift. I can’t compete with that!   It was bad enough when my other beautiful little niece got to meet The Jonas Brothers

christmas 7

Trust me when I tell you I never heard the end of it from my two little angles when they saw this picture.    Between the Taylor Swift Christmas Card and the Jo Bros meet and greet, it would appear I need to step up my efforts next year in the tween stalking department.     Or, I just need to keep my kids away from pictures of their cousins who are obviously having a better time than they are….it’s a toss up to be honest.

I’m going to take the rest of the week off to focus on pulling the holiday together, lots of cooking, wrapping and possibly explaining left to do when my kids see that card.

Hope you all have a very Merry Christmas filled with great food, family, laughter and love!



Secret Santa Fail

secret santa

secret santa

A long, long time ago (20 years) in a land far, far away (Downtown Dallas) there was a young paralegal/legal secretary who had a particularly high sense of entitlement.

Okay, okay…I’ll stop here. You knew it was me already anyway, right? Right.

So you have the backstory, I was twenty nothing years old and worked in a law firm. I was so jealous of everyone who made more money than me. Nevermind that they went to law school and everything. Pfft…it was me that I was most focused on and how I could get the most bang for my buck in any given situation. Because without me? The entire legal system in North Texas would grind to a halt. I was Just. That. Important.

Secret Santa was the one time each year that I could count on getting something that at least hinted at a reward for all the hard work I put in each year. Well, that and the company ham/turkey that we received each year…which if you were following, I was 20 nothing years old and what the hell good did that do me? None. That’s how much.

But Secret Santa was a different story. The attorney’s would get the assistants and vice versa. At some point each day, a present would arrive to be opened to the squeals and delights of all of the minions in the secretarial pool. I personally had received lovely earrings, a leather bound planner and gift cards in years before.

Not this particular year. That year, I waited patiently in my small office that I shared with a girl that I really didn’t like. I waited and waited, and stared at the back of her head as I heard others opening their gifts. “OhMyGod!!!! It’s a new purse!!!” “NoWay!!!! Thank you Secret Santa for the wine!!!” And on and on…and on and on it went.

You know what I got? A candy bar, each day, another candy bar. You should know something here, I do not like candy bars. With the exception of the tiny candies on Halloween, you will perhaps see me eat an entire candy bar once a year. In fact, I made this clear to everyone around me by saying constantly in the lunch room, “Do you know how many calories are in that thing?” as my fellow secretaries munched on their treats. I would then toss my hair and teeter out on my heels having felt safe that I saved another person from unnecessary tight pants. I was their personal savior in my own mind. Honestly, those calories could be rightly saved for wine.

Priorities people.

So anyway, about the third day in I arrived to….you guessed it, yet another candy bar. At this point I lost my ever loving shit and proclaimed, “Man!!! My Secret Santa SUCKS!!!!” and threw the candy bar into the trash. Classy, I know. My office mate cringed a little at my outburst but I didn’t care, I didn’t like her anyway….what did she know of my righteous indignation when she was sitting there oggling her brand new walkman that could play cassette tapes? Nothing, that’s what.


Finally it was time for the Secret Santa’s to be revealed. I could not wait to see which six figure earning lawyer actually bought me exactly $2.00 worth of candy while all my friends got tons of goodies. It was going to be my moment to stand up for the little man, raise my fist in anger at the establishment….or more than likely, sit there and take it like the twenty nothing schmuck I was because I didn’t want to lose my job.

What I didn’t know was that that year there was a shortage in the number of attorney’s vs. assistants and I had actually had a secretary as my Secret Santa.


You can imagine the look on my face when my Secret Santa revealed herself to me. It was the same secretary I shared an office with that I did not like at all. The same secretary who had heard me proclaim my Secret Santa the suckiest of all Secret Santas in the history of EVER. Apparently, she liked me just about as much because as she gave me my final gift…wait for it…a candy bar….she said in sticky sweet tones, “I’m sooooo glad I could make your Christmas a little sweeter this year!”

I sat there with my mouth hanging open for a good five minutes as everyone laughed all around me. Apparently they had been in on it because let’s face it, is there anything more fun that torturing a self involved 21 year old and watching them go down in flames in front of the entire office?

No, there is not.

In the words of my very favorite author, the bitch had it coming.

So tell me, do you have any Secret Santa or gift giving horror stories to share? Go on, tell me, I promise I won’t tell anyone!

Happy Double One’s Mr C!

C texting

Dear Mr. C;

You joined us 11 years ago yesterday. I would have posted this on your actual birthday but I was too busy watching you frantically texting everyone you know on your new cell phone. God help me.

C texting

How did you grow up so fast?

I remember they day I figured out I was pregnant with you. I felt sort of strange and so I did some investigating. I have to tell you, your Aunt Traci knew you were on the way before your Dad did because I just could not believe how lucky I was and needed her to tell me I wasn’t crazy. Five pregnancy tests later and one trip to the doctor all within one day and I had my answer….I was going to be a Mommy.

When I came home that night, I remember exactly where your Daddy was standing. He was pulling something out of the oven and all I could think to say was “Mr. Man Lassos Stork!” because you were going to join us at Christmas and “It’s a Wonderful Life” is my very favorite movie of all time. Your Dad stood there in shock for just a minute and then gave me the very biggest hug I think I have ever gotten in my entire life. I had never to that point seen him so happy. We hugged and laughed and I probably cried a lot because that’s what I do, and we started to plan a life for you, even though you were months away from making an appearance.

And then you joined us on December 15th. I’ll never forget the look on your Dads face when he saw you and when he held you for the first time. I’ll really never forget the first time I held you. I knew for certain that my life would never be the same and that you made my life complete after having it shattered so many years before. You were my first real biological link to this world after not having any for so very long…and that my life would never be the same, but in a good way.

Not suprisingly, I have a million memories of every moment of your life.

One of my favorite memories is this….a picture taken the moment you burst into laughter for the very first time and simultaneously shot the binky out of your mouth. We played that little game for many more months before you got bored with it.

C Binky Spit

I remember you being my funny valentine, all snuggly and smelling of baby powder. You drooled a little but you were a great date.

C Valentines Day

Though we very rarely saw you in this state, this is what you looked like when you slept…

C Sleepy

You were good at a lot of things, but not driving that first year, the hydrangeas took a terrible beating.

C Bad Driver

To get even with you, sometimes we dressed you up like Bing Crosby…you didn’t seem to mind.

C Bing Crosby

I remember when we taught you to eat corn on the cob on your first birthday…

C Corn

…and we celebrated with your Grandma and Grandpa.

C Bday Dinner 1

And ten years later, we found ourselves in the same place, at the same table with the same people (plus one) to celebrate your birthday again. Aren’t we so lucky to all be together?


You are now 11 and I want you to know, I enjoy nothing more than talking to you and hearing your stories. I love the sense of wonder you have about the world and your sense of justice and righteous indignation when you perceive a wrong. I love looking at you when you read with your brows all furrowed and I love watching you sleep when you still look like the little boy I used to tuck in at night minus the chubby cheeks.

This is your last year in elementary school, I’m going to miss you yelling, “Mommmmmy!!!!” every time you see me and doing your adorable little run and hug move at me. I probably won’t be nearly as cool next year when you get into middle school And certainly not as cool in high school.

When you were little, you wanted to marry me. Now, you will never want to marry me again.

But that’s okay, because I am content to know you for the rest of my life and marvel at what a magnificent, brilliant, caring and funny little man that your Dad and I brought into this world.

Mr. C, you are the most awesome boy in the entire world and I love you more every single day.

You amaze me.


Dear Dr. Smile, You Make Me Terribly Unhappy

dr smile

Yeah, so I sort of fell of the face of the earth last week…not shocking given my propensity for diappearing for a week or so at a time though, right?    I can explain.

It started Wednesday, a little tickle in my nose, some sneezing during the day, a general feeling of “Meh”.   By Wednesday night, I had morphed into full on “kill me now honey before I sneeze and snee myself one more time….”   (He didn’t take me up on it fearing jail time, though at the time I’m sure it sounded at least a little tempting.)    I finally put myself to bed around 10:00 and woke up at 3:30 am with my throat swollen shut.

Because I am a five year old trapped in a 44 year old womans body the only thing that was going to make me happy at this un-Godly hour was an Orange sugar free Popsicle.     Dragged myself to the kitchen, stared blearily into the freezer only to find an empty box mocking me.   No popsicles.    Just a box…laughing at me.   I blew my nose a few times, sneezed some more, possibly cried a few tears of self pity, took a Benadryl and went back to bed. I drifted off around 4:00 am cursing those adorable little people I call my children for torturing me so and leaving me Popsicle-less.

You can imagine what went through my mind when I heard the familiar ping of my iPhone letting me know I had received a  text at 4:14 am.   I sat bolt upright in bed and then marched back to the kitchen wondering if somehow Tiger Woods has mistaken my number and added me to his ever growing list of texting buddies.

Turns out it wasn’t Tiger (who I could have made some money from), it was my dentist (who wanted money from me).   Witness:

dr smile

You know, okay…I’ll admit that perhaps I have neglected my choppers as of late.  I’ve been busy with work. And then some more work. And after that? More work. I’m just going to go on the record here and say that perhaps 8:14 am might have been a more appropriate time, or 9:14, or 10:14 or…you get my drift.

So Thursday am as I lay in bed trying to breathe, I began my personal jihad to find out exactly who at his office thought this was a good idea.    After about 10 attempts to get through, I finally got a live human somewhere around 10:00.

Her:    Good Morning!   Dr. Smiles office, how may I help you?
TSM: I’d like the office manager please. ::ah-choo!::
Her: Goodness, you don’t sound good.
TSM: You think? (blowing nose for extra classy effect)
Her: Well, I’m the office manager, how may I help you?
TSM: I’d like to know which one of you is the marketing genius that sent me a text message at 4:14 am.
Her: Oh my, did that happen to you? ::giggle giggle::
TSM: No, I’m making this up because I have nothing better to do. ::cough cough::
Her: Well, we’ve hired a company to do our texts and obviously that was a mistake.
TSM: Obviously.
Her: You should be glad you weren’t with the group of people who got texted at 3:00 am the day before! ::snicker::
TSM: There is always a silver lining isn’t there?
Her: Well, we are sorry. So would you like to book that appointment now?
TSM: Excuse me?
Her: I said (because I truly sounded like something might be seriously wrong with me) we are sor-ry. Would you like to book your ap-point-ment now.
TSM: Take my name off the list immediately, the next text I get, I’m tracking you and Dr. Smile down at home and calling you to let you know how unhappy I really am. Try me lady.


I spent the rest of the week in a Benadryl haze, sleeping with my mouth hanging open as I dozed on the sofa making gurgling sounds. (I like to make sure you get the full picture so you feel sorry for The Man…because you really should…it was not pretty.)

So tell me, think it’s time for me to find a new dentist? Or should I just pay back the favor and text him at 4:14 am? Maybe both…

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