November 30, 2008


(There's a story about these peaches!)
I had every intention of blogging before Thanksgiving, but in preparations for the Big Day, blogging fell by the wayside. We stayed with the mother-in-law all weekend, too, and her internet connection and I aren't friends, so here it is Sunday already. Funny how quickly those 4-day weekends go by.
So as you can see by the few pictures I've decided to post (there were only 157 after all), The First Annual All-Family Thanksgiving was a success.
I don't think I ever mentioned it on this blog, but this was a first for us this year. We kids decided that hopping from house to house to house and eating several meals in one day was NOT fun anymore. Since everyone seemed to get along so well (even the divorcees) at all the weddings there have been in the past year or so, we came up with the idea of just having everyone in one place. We figured it would either be the best idea or the worst idea ever conceived.
Luckily, it was great.
We had a huge turnout (around 50 people), and everyone brought something yummy to nosh on, so there was an ungodly amount of food. Everyone was pleasant and there was little to no drama (that I was aware of anyway, but I was holed up in the kitchen for the most part).
So the peaches...
Every year since the dawn of when I can remember, my Papa would always make those peaches and bring them to every family function. They're simply peach halves filled with a cream cheese and pecan mixture, and topped with whole pecans. I was always (and still am) allergic to pecans, so there were always a few with just the cream cheese in them for me. Funny thing is, I think they're incredibly gross actually!
So, even though Papa and Nana were both gone this year, we just had to have the peaches. It wouldn't feel like a holiday without them.
All in all, a year of many things to be thankful for:
  • Operaboy and I are married. Finally.
  • We have a house that we are slowly but surely turning into a home.
  • We have a steady income.
  • We have our health.
  • Our family members who are ill are still battling courageously.
  • We live in a country where we are free.
  • We are loved by a caring and compassionate and living God.
  • We have food in our bellies and a roof over our head.
  • We have a reliable means of transportation.

That list could honestly go on and on. I am so thankful and so blessed to be where we are.

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving as well, filled with many blessings.

Here's to the start of the 2008 Holiday Season!!!

November 25, 2008

The Wall of Mirrors is down!

And no, that's not a metaphor. Here are some pics of work we did at the OperaHaus this weekend:

The Wall of Mirrors. This has been a staple of the house for as long as I can remember. That's me in the front doorway. Hi!

Operaboy and my mom working on the mirrors (which were all very stubborn).

Me in the doorway again. Working hard, can you tell?

Stepmom going in and scraping all the black crap off so we could sand, texture & paint eventually.
About to take off the LAST MIRROR! This was an historic moment, let me tell you.
Pretty, huh? Yeah, I didn't think so either.

Look at what we found under the (nasty) carpet! Brown linoleum! Yay!

Operaboy being shown the proper way to roll up old carpet. Yeah you can tell he's excited.

As you can see even by this little glimpse into one room of the house, we have a lot of work to do. But, you can also see that we have lots of help! I'm excited to take all of you loyal readers (both of you) along this journey with us. Yay for home repairs!!

November 24, 2008

The Biggest Lie Ever Told?

"Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me."

Quite possibly the most harmful thing any parent could ever teach their child, or that any person could teach another person. It is, quite simply, not true.

When and if I am ever blessed to be a parent and shouldering the responsibility of raising another life, I hope to impart upon said child the truth, which is that words do hurt. Words can hurt us, and we can hurt others with our words.

I was reading through some blogs today, happy to be back in the blogosphere, and happened upon something that shocked me with it's vitriol. Vitriol that was, no matter how cleverly disguised, aimed at me. Yes, me personally. This shouldn't have come as a huge surprise, considering the source, but I truly was surprised.

And hurt.

I know that not everyone I happen upon will love me, or even like me. However, I am truly surprised to see that I could have ilicited such a negative and hateful reaction from someone. Normally this type of thing would have sent me barreling into a self-righteous rage, looking for any way in which to strike back at the offender.

However, in my recent attempts to be a better friend and a generally more positive person, I took a step back and tried to assess the situation (or non-situation, as some of my IRL friends wish I would keep it).

My response to this person, and to any others who might harbor similar feelings, is this: I'm sorry. No matter what I think of you (or "yous"), nothing gives me the right to make you feel as though you need to lash out at me (save for extreme situations such as running over my dog, or shooting my mom, you know). I'm sorry that I made you feel like the kind of person who can say and needs to say such hateful, hurtful things. I can't imagine you like feeling compelled to say them.

So for that, I apologize to you. I hope you can forgive me.

Take a Listen

I'm currently loving this song, "I'm Yours" by Jason Mraz. It just sounds so light-hearted and happy and it gets stuck in my head in the best way!


November 17, 2008

Survey Love

From the thought-provoking Smash.

Name: OperaWife

What book are you reading now? Twilight by Stephenie Meyer (finally)

What are your favorite books? Well I obviously can't get enough of the Harry Potter (Rowling) series, like any normal human being that I would associate with. I also have recently enjoyed The Exorcist (Blatty), The Mark of the Lion series (Rivers), Something Borrowed (Giffin) as well as Something Blue and Baby Proof by the same author (very easy reads), Nineteen Minutes (Picoult), and Digital Fortress (Brown). I'm always looking for something new, though, and I can't wait to read the rest of the Twilight series.

What foreign languages do you read? Um, none.

What 's the funniest book you ever read? Me Talk Pretty One Day (Sedaris)

What books have changed the way you look at the world or the way you live your life? Definitely the Mark of the Lion series by Francine Rivers, specifically An Echo in the Darkness

What books have affirmed what you believe about life or the way you look at things? See above.

What are some of the scariest books you've ever read? I read The Stand (King) a long time ago, and reading The Exorcist the other night didn't exactly give me rosy meadow dreams.

About how many books do you think you have you read in your life? I wouldn't begin to try to count.

About how many books do you own? Not a terribly large amount...maybe 50-75? If I know I'm not going to re-read it, I usually donate it.

How many books per month do you usually borrow from the library? I don't go to the library.

How much would you say you've paid in library fines in your life? Oh, probably upwards of $100....

Do you read in bed? Every night

Do you ever read while walking or driving? I've read while walking. I don't recommend it.

OK, let's get real. Where is the strangest place you've read a book? In the bathtub?

Do you listen to audio books? I never have, but I'm willing to give it a shot.

Has anyone ever read aloud to you or you to them? Yes and yes. I don't necessarily prefer it. It keeps me from completely immersing myself in the story.

Tell us more. What book was the most difficult to read? Anything by Jane Austen. I love love love her work, but man those are a tough read.

Do you read every word of a book, or skip parts that don't hold your interest? Every word, but I usually miss a lot the first time through, because I'm reading so fast. I always re-read a book immediately to catch all I missed. I just get so excited!

What books do you keep intending to read but put off? I want to read more Austen, but see a question or two above. I also keep telling my mom I'll read the Left Behind series, but I'm not really all that interested.

Do you buy new or used books, paperbacks or hardbacks, leather or collector's items? All of the above.

How do you feel about writing in books, dog earing, etc? I'm really trying to stop dog-earing. I never write in books (besides textbooks, but everyone does that).

What is the first book you remember reading? I think it was a Sesame St book

Do you lend your books? I won't anymore. A certain someone in Boston STILL has 3 of my HP books....

Ever had to hire Large Louis to get it back for you? I'm about to.

What were your favorite books when you were a child? Babysitter's Club, all the way. Wombat Stew, when I was very small. I have a copy now. :)

What children's books do you most enjoy as an adult? Harry Potter and the Twilight series, but really those are "young adult."

Do you ever read the ending first? no freaking way!!

Did you ever agree to read the book somebody was pushing on you if they would read one for you in exchange? I haven't, but I can see it happening...

What were the books? n/a

Have you ever read a book more than once? Oh my goodness, yes!

What frequently recommended books have you been unable to finish? Flags of Our Fathers. It's not that it isn't's just not that compelling.


Pretty sure even my 8-year-old niece knew this, Donovan.

Accompanying article found here.

This team needs a serious freaking overhaul. They suck.

Yet we keep going back for more...

November 14, 2008

Let's Call the Whole Thing Off

I say "Christian organization," you say "Gay Hate Group."

I just read this article on Perez Hilton's blog regarding Focus on the Family announcing layoffs.

Let me just offer up a small disclaimer that I only know a tiny bit about Focus on the Family from my years of listening to the Christian radio station way back in the day, so for all I know, they may be a "gay hate group" as Perez calls them.

However, I don't think that simply acting on their beliefs about Prop 8 because of their beliefs and interpretation of the Word (many of which I likely agree with) make them a hate group.

Hate is a strong word, Perez.

I personally don't think that it should have passed, because who am I to judge the action of men (or women)? Do I condone homosexuality? No. Do I hate homosexuals because of that? Absofreakinglutely NOT.

The two are mutually exclusive. Believe it or not.

Consider I condone the actions of a family member who was put in prison for several years for drugs and theft? Not in the slightest. Do I hate him? Of course not.

I subscribe to the Word of God, who considers all sins to be the same.

Strong action against what many think is a sin is not the same thing as "hate."

That just rubbed me the wrong way this morning, so I had to share.

Back later, with more better (and lighter) stuff.

November 13, 2008


That sweet little house up there was home to my Nana and Papa for 46 years. It was purchased new, as a surprise to my Nana.

Three times, they almost lost it because they couldn't afford the monthly payment of $69.50.

It was paid off with a final check of $1200, which only left them $15 in the bank. My Papa's comment when writing the check was, "I've had $15 in the bank before. But I've never owned a house until now."

My dad and my aunt grew up there.

My brothers and cousins and I used to stay there and play with the same ancient toys (kewpie dolls were in the mix, i believe) whenever our parents needed a night out alone.

My aunt got married in the backyard.

My Nana was a constant fixture in her blue recliner, covered with her Dallas Cowboys fleece blanket for as long as I can remember.

My Papa cared for my Nana in that house during the long 15 years that she was sick, until she finally passed away in December of 2007.

My dad and my aunt took care of my Papa in that house for the next 11 months, until he passed away last week.

Many Christmases, birthdays, anniversaries, and various celebrations have taken place in that house. There has been laughter and there have been tears.

And because of a blessing far greater than I am still able to comprehend even a week husband and I will continue to make memories in that house.

My father and my aunt, the executors of my Papa's estate, have offered the house to us for a minimal payment each month to cover taxes, insurance, and general upkeep and maintenance.

We will build our first home in this house. We may even have our first child.

I'm truly touched, blessed, and honored that we have been given such a gift -- to continue the legacy of this house, this home.

God never ceases to amaze me.

November 11, 2008

I give up.

I want to read the book.

I've seriously been avoiding this craze like the plague, just as I did the Harry Potter craze years and years ago. I'm nothing if not going against what is trendy or popular, so when everyone started into the Robert Pattinson as Edward Cullen craze, I backed off and said "No, thanks." I'll catch up later, right?

Well the only thing is, I have some friends, whose opinions and intelligence I greatly respect, who swear by the addictiveness (is that a word) of these books and the entertainment value of them. And now, there's a movie coming out in a few weeks based on Book 1, and as I'm ALWAYS one to read the book first (both because I hate spoilers and because the book is almost always better anyway), I must get my hands on a copy.

So hear I am, less than 2 weeks from the opening of the movie, begging my friends for a copy.

I never wanted it to be this way. Because you see, there is another problem....

It frightens me how easily the dormant screaming 13-year-old girl inside me rears her ugly head about pretty little things such as these:

Yum, right?

November 10, 2008


Just what every girl needs! Forget wearing uncomfortable thongs simply to avoid an embarrassing panty line! Just pick up some Nundies, and you're all set! They adhere to the inseam of your pants and are disposable!

What will they think of next??

A Giant disappointment

photo from Yahoo! sports

I love that Andy Reid is quite obviously saying "WTF?!" in this picture. Because I felt the exact same way after the Giants successfully challenged a flag for an illegal pass made by Eli Manning in the 3rd quarter of last night's game.

Dude. He was over the line.

Normally, I do not like to blame the outcome of a game on a blown call, because then it just looks like sour grapes. But seriously...even the announcers were on my side last night. It was a bad call. And it gave the Giants a touchdown that could've easily been the game-winner for them.

Now, I pride myself on being enough of an Eagles fan to say that there's a great possibility that, even had that call stood the way it was on the field, the Eagles probably still would've struggled and possibly even lost the game anyway.

But it makes one wonder.

Alas, the NFC east rivalry game was everything everyone thought it would be. Including those of us in the OperaHaus. We're never surprised to be disappointed. It comes with the territory. But, at least we expect it. We expect them to fail, so in that regard, they never let us down.

A friend of mine last night discovered that we liked the Eagles, and her comment was, "I don't even think people who like the Eagles actually like the Eagles, do they?" Too true...too true.

A lot of people give us a hard time about this, but I just say we're realistic. Nobody can snatch defeat from the jaws of victory quite like our Philadelphia Eagles. And at least we're honest when our team sucks, and we expect more from them (like, oh I don't know....touchdowns from the red zone occasionally). Whereas Tony Romo could light an orphanage on fire, and yet still Dallas fans would find a way to rationalize that those orphans had it comin' to them.

Somebody's gotta stop these Giants though. Perhaps the Ravens feel up to it?

Ugh...I've got a bad feeling about this. But, that's par for the course.

November 4, 2008

Gone from my Sight

I am standing upon the seashore. A ship, at my side,spreads her white sails to the moving breeze and startsfor the blue ocean. She is an object of beauty and strength.I stand and watch her until, at length, she hangs like a speckof white cloud just where the sea and sky come to mingle with each other.

Then, someone at my side says, "There, she is gone!"

"Gone where?"

Gone from my sight. That is all. She is just as large in mast,hull and spar as she was when she left my side.And, she is just as able to bear her load of living freight to her destined port.

Her diminished size is in me -- not in her.And, just at the moment when someone says, "There, she is gone!" There are other eyes watching her coming, and other voicesready to take up the glad shout, "Here she comes!"

And that is dying..

--Henry Van Dyke

I'll miss you, Papa.