Wednesday, December 31

Resolutions, anyone?

Oh, how I do NOT think I am perfect in any way.
But change?....I don't know about that.
I checked back to my blog post of a year ago to see
if I had written anything about making resolutions for the
incoming 2008 -
and that would be a big negative.

Thinking back though I have made some changes in '08.

I did join a gym in the prospects of getting healthy.
And except for the last three weeks of this year,
I went at least 5 days a week unless I was sick.
Not bad. Is my a$$ still as large as it was when I started?
But hey. One baby step at a time here. Now that I know I can be
committed to staying healthy by working out,
maybe this year, I'll stop topping off the gas tank,
when I'm not even a 1/4 of a tank low.
Or in the words of one of my favorite (sometimes explicit)
blog - Queen of Shake Shake,
stop eating like a f#$%ing a$$hole.

Albeit towards the end of the year,
I did make it a point to keep the earth a little healthier.
Reusable bags, recycling...
I have tried to bring interest to the kids -
we try to watch a lot of shows
and read about helping our earth.

Wow - that's a short list.

Things I didn't change this past year would include

still not shutting my mouth when I feel something needs to be said.
I'd have to say - that's a hard one to change. Not sure if that is
ever going to happen. I react on emotion and passion and for my
undying need to keep everything real and right (Right According To Gini).
Not always right to everyone else, but right to me, just the same.
At 43 though, those that know me, know that is completely me,
but on this list just because.

Carrying on,
there's been no change in
the amount of stress I probably bestow on myself regarding:
the untidiness of my house on most days,
the financial situation of this world and how it is/will be
affecting my family and our future,
the ever expanding size of my waistline,
(hey, didn't I just mention that in the last paragraph?),
my increased decline of organization in our daily life
due to the increased incline of activity...,

But all this stress has allowed me to:
concentrate on my family.
My husband and my children.

I think I have been a strong but sometimes opinionated
support system for my husband regarding his wants and
desires for his future and the future of this family.
I have tried to be a good listener and love that I am
part and parcel of his decision making.

Unfortunately, most time,
the attention leans a lot more towards
the children (sorry, Bill).

I have had more time to dedicate to making sure Garrin
grows into a wonderfully smart young boy, by fighting for our
rights for special education for speech. It's a fight I've fought before,
and know that the end results are worth all the time I spend
with the School District and Special Education people.

I've had more time to get more indepthly (is that a word?)
involved in my kids swim team. This is a commitment that both
of our kids have willingly made on their own - so whatever support
I can give them, I have been willing to do. In the interim, I have met a lot
of great people within the sport of competitive swimming, I have learned
a lot and feel really good about giving my time, love and support back
to, not just my own kids, but all of the kids on the team.

I have spent many long thoughtful moments, learning to cut the apron
strings with my daughter, who is becoming an even more independent young
girl, way faster than I ever intended!

My time has also allowed for more one on one with my son - who is living
the stereotypical middle child's life. It has been more in the forefront of
my mind, that I need to make a conscious effort to make him feel
special, loved and sometimes like he is the only object of my affection.
I am far from accomplishing all I want to as far as Connor goes,
but hey, that's what 2009 is for, isn't it??

Speaking of.
My thoughts so far.

I'm going to put this right out there. I miss my friend MaryBeth,
more than I ever thought I could miss a friend. I will make it a point in
one way or another to make our now - long distance - friendship, a priority.
It is not often you find a friend, poured from your same mold,
and what we had in each other on a daily basis, has diminished with the miles
between us now.

My family. Well, everyone is now ALL back on the East Coast, and
the five of us are going to make a concerted effort in visiting. We are
officially done with the excuse that Vegas is a fabulous place to visit -
so y'all should just come here.
Even one trip back a year is a good thing. with 5 people...
3 of them kids....
just kidding. My kids love to fly and we look forward to
doing this.

The rest of the extended family -
well, hello FaceBook. (which I hate by the way)
but it is a good thing. It gives me the opportunity to keep tabs
on my cousins and their kids, chat with them every once in a while,
(that online chat thing is fantastic....!). While I may not have
the opportunity to visit them or be a part of their lives,
keeping tabs works for me. I've come to know,
we all go our separate ways and life carries on. I love them
no less. The point is I need to make more time for the
ones that are a part of my life.

And here's another good one.
I need to let stupid shit stop bothering me so much.
I waste a lot of energy on crap like that. I think my sister told me
this once. "Things that don't impact your life on a daily basis, should
not be something you let 'get' to you." I might have to give that a shot.
I guess this all means that my house may NEVER be as clean as I'd like
it to be. oh well.

So farewell 2008.

I am truly thankful for Bill.
Though I don't show him enough,
I love him with all my being. Without him, my life would
not be full.

I am thankful that I have been given the gift of
my three kids. As much as I make it my life's dedication
to teach them to become honorable, trustworthy and loving
adults, they teach me things on a daily basis. They teach me
that I can always do better, love better, see better.

My friends. wow. All of my friends.
Jer - I have loved nothing more than getting our friendship
back to a better place. My life is better for it - I know. I love you
because you love me for me. You are my sounding board
and my support. Thank you.
Yo - I have enjoyed nothing more than getting to know you
inside and out. I love who you are and what you stand for. You are
funny and real and couldn't imagine my days without you.

And a shout out to all my other peeps.
Love you guys. Love you for letting me bring everyone
to party numerous times throughout the year!!! ha ha
If this big house is good for one thing and one thing only -
big enough to hold all of our friends!
cleaning it is my nemesis......

that was a long post.

Bill - this may mean
that though my intentions are good,
the laundry may still be piling high,
the house may be in disarray,
dinner may not be planned,
I will always try to be the best that I can be
which can only benefit you in the end.
(wink, wink)

Tuesday, December 30


here is a quick little tag
from a blogging buddy
the instructions were as follows:
go into your saved pictures folders,
go into the 4th folder,
pick out the 4th picture,
upload it to the blog,
give a description.
So that's what I did.
Here's where the problem comes in.
I start writing the description -
which turned out to not be very nice....
and then I started freaking out a little inside,
thinking that this little 'not nice' description
(shame on me)
might be seen by someone who knows this person
that I was writing about so...
I deleted it
and changed the parameters
of the tag.
I went into my 5th folder
and grabbed the 5th picture.

The picture was shot almost a year ago.
January 13th at 8:42 am.
Hannah was doing a warm up for a meet at the UNLV Natatorium,
annually known as the Last Ditch meet.
Most kids swimming this meet have one
"last ditch"
attempt to make Junior Olympic time cuts.
She is getting ready to swim this meet again
on January 10th.
So what does this all mean?
It means I need to get this YEARS WORTH
of photos downloaded onto some CD's
in case my computer crashes.
That's what it means.
Not tagging anyone.
Do it if you like.
It's quick it's fun.

Sunday, December 28


When did Garrin become old enough to
help mix pancake batter
for breakfast,
get really ticked off when I take his picture lately,
drink hot cocoa
like a big boy?

is it 2009 already??
another year for my kids to get
And while we are on the subject of

I have to absolutely

without a doubt

stop eating.


Until next Christmas.

Saturday, December 27

not sure what's more dangerous...

my daughter baking a cake in my kitchen
with her friend Rebecca......
or my kids riding motorized scooters
at full speed.
( idea to buy them)

Friday, December 26

It isn't Christmas until...

someone gets an eye poked out...
just kidding.

No one got an eye poked out.

But seriously, it isn't ANY holiday, as a matter of fact,
unless I get a nice

cold sore.
(no pictures, please...)

It also isn't Christmas until,
you get numerous presents home to wrap Christmas Eve
and discover the security devices still attached.

Here is the other part of Coach Debbie's
Christmas present. Sorry Deb!

Looks like it would probably keep her head toasty warm
while coaching outside on the pool deck this winter, doesn't it???

And how 'bout this one? Security device left on the Razor Scooter-
Motorcycle Thingy that SANTA left for Connor.
yeah.....ask me how I explained THAT one to him.....

And as I was taking out all the stuffing (dang, there's a lot of stuffing)
in the new handbag that I got as a gift
so as I could fill it right up with all my junk from my old one
look-ey here:

I beep enough as it is when I go into a store, from my cell phone I think,
this is all I need to be carrying around....


If you can't enjoy a white Christmas because you live in the desert,
why not enjoy an enormous

A true sign from God.
and ON Christmas Day.

Our Christmas this year.
Filled with love.
That's all you need.
Love for sports.
Love for trucks.
Love for The Christmas Story movie.
Love for each other.
Love for family.
Hope it was all you wanted it to be,
and more!

Thursday, December 25

december 25th

Wednesday, December 24

A new tradition.....maybe....

Today ranks right up there with one of the
most stress-free days of all time here at the Herbst
We spent today baking cookies and making a homemade
soup for tonight's Christmas Eve dinner.

Connor could not have been more happy to be spending the
day with his best friend Sam, and we are not sure which was
more fun for them - baking cookies or playing Playstation and Wii.
OK - it was surely the video games, hands down. But baking cookies
was a close second to tossing a ball around the house!
Everyone got their hands dirty.
Here are our Snowballs,
the only cookies I remember my mother
ever baking. I admit it is hard to remember much about
my mother, but the cookies stand out....

before and after......

Stand out, they did. They were outstanding!

My mother-in-law wanted an oatmeal raisin cookie.
So I found a recipe, albeit, a new recipe,
in Sunset magazine.

try a new cookie recipe
a. for your mother-in-law
b. when you want cookie baking to run smoothly.

So here is the "fancy" German Oatmeal Cookie:

And here are the good ol' GOT-THE-RECIPE-OFF-THE-QUAKER-OATS-BOX
recipe. Traditional is always better when

1. It's for your mother-in-law
2. You just want it done, and done right.

Always make you smile, don't they???

Especially when you are butt-nekkid.

Thanks for keeping your clothes on, Meme.......
Happy Christmas Eve.
Off to wrap presents......
Bring on the Starbucks.

Monday, December 22

for lack of words

I know what some of you are thinking.
It's making me cringe a bit,
'cause I know your saying -

"What, you, Gini, nothing to say...??"

My gosh,
that is how I feel about my holiday
party on Saturday night.
Pretty much speechless.

It was much more than just

and full.

This is always one of my most favorite parties
that we have. Mostly because I really make it a point
to plan everything out so I can actually spend time with
my friends and enjoy myself without having to worry about
too much of anything.

I order the food.

I rent dishes, silverware and wine glasses,
that are delivered on Friday and picked back
up the following Monday.

Being as we don't drink,
everyone knows by now, to
bring along what they like.

Which leaves very little for me to
have to make sure is done.
Water, soda, paper goods.
That's about it.

So we had about 125 RSVP's.
And all I could do was step back
Font sizeand watch it all unfold.

For the 6 or so hours that we spent with our friends
all I kept thinking was how blessed I am.
Blessed to have friends.
A lot of friends.
Blessed to be able to open my home and
share it with them.
Blessed to be able to bring everyone
soccer families, swimming families,
old neighbors, new neighbors,
school friends, work friends.
Blessed to have the opportunity
to laugh and joke,
eat and drink.
Blessed to stand back and just smile
knowing that no matter what any one of
my friends may be going through,
or dealing with,
in their immediate "life",

that night,
Saturday night,
was all about

and isn't this the best time of the year
to celebrate your friendships?

Sunday, December 21

last night


Friday, December 19

the calm before the storm

the night before the party
the boys are at a hockey game
hannah is in bed,
tired from just being hannah
(and everything social that goes along with being 11)
garrin is watching
The Santa Clause 2
(which I love)
i'm whipping up a few batches of
red velvet cupcakes
putting any finishing touches on the decorations
cleaning up before the cleaning lady gets here in the morning
hoping my mother-in-law's flight gets off the ground
with all the snow they've gotten today
happy to have done my costco run tonight
instead of in the morning
excited that i've discovered your own labels/schedule a pickup
for all the out of town packages to be sent
anticipating i will not be lighting candles tomorrow night
with the number of people that will be in my house
anxious to have all of our friends in one place
being together
missing those that are not able to be with us
i can't wait for this storm to hit!

Thursday, December 18

This never gets old......

Send your own ElfYourself eCards

....and either does this.

Send your own ElfYourself eCards

Things that should NOT have snow on them:

My truck
My palm trees
My house
My children
My flip flops
What the heck?

We live in the desert for heavens sake.
Can you say "climate change"??

Wednesday, December 17

Killing two birds with one stone

So while I sit on my butt thinking about "things"
and drinking a particularly awesome cup of coffee this morning,
I figured I might as well use my blog as a memo pad.

Now granted, my house is a decent size,
but I am expecting about 125 people that
RSVP'd to my Holiday Open House

in three days!!!

(now now -those of you reading this that are coming,
doesn't that sound cozy????)


This will be my list that I can refer back to,
to make sure it is all getting done.

1. Finish scrapbook for Connor's teacher.

2. Wrap and box up the 4 gifts that need to be shipped
to MA and CT. (those of YOU reading this, no I haven't
shipped yet, and the shipping charges are mounting each
day that passes.....)

3. Clean spare bedroom and bathroom to get it ready for Meme's
arrival on Saturday morning. (yes, she is coming in right before
the big party......what's one more person, right?)

4. Finish decorating the banister where the stockings need to be hung,
Fluff one more tree. Put tree skirts under those needing one.

5. Buy gift for Connor's teacher and then get down on my
knees and be VERY thankful that Hannah is in middle school
and we don't need to buy gifts for all THOSE teachers.

6. Buy gifts for two swim coaches. One by tomorrow night.

7. Order the food for the party.

8. Contemplate boarding the dogs a day earlier - they
are pretty much freaking out by now with all that is
going on.

9. Contemplate having a cleaning crew come in on Saturday morning
to ease my nerves and clean my downstairs - I mean really - with three kids,
three dogs and a fish - it will NOT stay clean if done anytime beforehand.

10. Mail additional Christmas cards to those that are coming in the mail
that I did NOT send out with the initial batch. I could say I was "waiting for
the address off the envelop" but the truth is - They sent us a card/
I send them a card. We all do it. I just admit to it.

11. Hit Costco on Friday. Hot cups, Milk, Water Bottles, Soda, Salad stuff,

12. Bake cupcakes because my very wonderful friend Yolanda "wants them"
regardless of how many other things I need to get done. (I do love you, Yo!)

13. Make cookies for Connors class on Friday for a cookie exchange.
and lastly for now:

14. I totally want to get the DVD that you pop in that plays holiday music
and shows a "movie" of a burning fire. I think that would be awesome
for my family room.

and just a side note:

Feel free to jump in
and tackle any number
of these items.
You know,
in between
sitting back with
your feet up on your
desk, checking your
Blackberry and your
Facebook and
my Blog
earning a living.

love love love

Tuesday, December 16

A little too close for comfort

uhhh, yeah.
that's snow.
and that's the Strip.

Monday, December 15

L@@K!!! It's Connor.

With all the "stuff" that is occupying my life right now,
(and I say occupying because that is what
more decorating
really is, to me right now. occupying my time.
I haven't started enjoying it all yet)

with all that stuff,
it is awesome when something happens
that you can just stand back and smile.
For instance.
Garrin drew his first real (recognizable) picture this weekend.
He told me it was Connor.

I mean - OBVIOUSLY it's Connor. Just look at the hair.
And here is one he drew of himself and Connor.

Apparently they are riding piggyback and Connor has SpongeBob Squarepants Legs!

Step away from the TV - Garrin.

Friday, December 12

ending the week

with a little holiday humor
courtesy of my friend, Jerry.