Captain Underpants and other things…..

As I mentioned in my last post, this last weekend I took my nephew to see the new Captain Underpants movie. He loved it but I think I loved it even more! While the movie has a lot for the little ones there is a good amount of talking and jokes that kids might not get. Either way, it was pretty much like they took the book and put in on the screen, every book nerds dream ever! The potty humor, the flip-o-ramas, the nostalgia, they were all there! After that we went back to his house and played outside, and had dinner with Tyler. Kendal decided to pass out at early, too early, but Tyler and I got some Buffy watching in. We let him sleep for an hour and half, woke him up, and played for a couple more hours before it officially became bedtime. We fell asleep watching the new Pokemon series, which I kind of enjoyed. Next to getting to spend quality time with Kendal, I got to spend quality time with Paisley. Paisley is a mini-schnauzer mix and she is the cutest girl puppy ever. I saw girl puppy because well have you seen Percy? He’s beautiful. Anyway, I got to play and cuddle and sleep with that adorable little girl and I wanted to steal her so bad. The next day Tyler made lunch for his family to celebrate his sister, Kim, returning from Greece. When I say made I really mean assembled because it was a charcuterie board. We had four different types of meat, three different types of cheese, two types of olives and rounded it with homemade pickled red onions. We made it home before dinner, we each made separate things, and spent the rest of the night lounging around not doing anything. Watching a four year old boy is tiring work!

This week I have been plagued by awful headaches so there hasn’t been much going on when I get home from work. I’ve just been cuddling with the boys, by boys I mean just Opie because cuddling is beneath Prince img_0623.jpgPercy and trying to stay awake while watching Buffy. Speaking of the boys, I haven’t really given much of an update since I started writing again. I’ll start with Opie since he is my favorite! A couple of weeks ago Opie was having some serious tummy issues, I mean he would not stop pooping! It started after Tyler tried to walk him more to help him with his weight issues. Opie has gotten very chunky. Anyway Tyler has since stopped taking him on his chunky walks and the diarrhea has stopped. I think it was Opie’s form of protest. Little does he know that we are planning to start a diet for him soon since the chunky walks didn’t work out. Percy is still Percy, weird, paranoid, easily scared but he has been hanging out with us a little bit more when he isn’t laying in the closet. It’s his new thing. If you enter the bathroom and he wants in the closet he follows you in and stares until you open it. What would I do without that beautiful little weirdo!

This weekend is going to be another big food weekend at the Ewen-Murphy household! We are doing a big seafood boil, even though Tyler is allergic, baked ziti, homemade chocolate croissants, chicken salad sandwiches, and beef and broccoli. Again I will try to remember to take pictures of all the food but we know how well that turned out last time. I’m going to start mixing up post types soon. These update posts have been getting me back in the groove and I want to write more! So expect posts about my job, history, food, pets, family, short stories and of course my life!

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Holiday Traditions and How Things Went Differently This Year

For as long as I can remember my family has done the exact same thing every Christmas. That is how traditions are made, you do them over and over again. As we have gotten older the traditions have changed slightly but still were mostly the same. But just like in my Thanksgiving post, this year was a lot different.

Let me start out by telling you how we traditionally spend our holidays in my family.img_0540

It all begins on Christmas Eve with a large dinner at my grandparents home. When we were younger the meal consisted of several courses all served by my Grammy and one of the older grandchildren, either my cousin Trent or my sister Emily. These meals were amazing, lobster, filet mignon, crab, if it was fancy we ate it. After dinner, the adults would gather and drink while the kids danced and played until it was time for presents. Then we would all take turns opening our presents, usually going by age. After presents, we would play with our new toys and eventually leave around 10 or 11.  When we got back to our house, we would open our Christmas Eve gift which has and always will be new pajamas. Sometimes we would watch a Christmas movie or just be too tired and go to bed. Except we kids would only pretend to go to bed and we would sit at the top of the stairs waiting for Santa. It was so much fun and those memories are the best ones I have Christmas.

As we got older this tradition began to change. Eventually we stopped eating a large fancy meal, but still good food that you served yourself and sat where ever instead of all of gathering around the large dining room table. It wasn’t as long of a night but we still left after dark. This only lasted a year or two, then it switched to mostly appetizers, everyone chipped in and brought something, but there was still at least one main food. And we got done fairly early. This year, there was an actual set schedule and we ended around 4 in the afternoon. It was still nice getting to see my family but it really did feel different. My sisters and I ended up at Kelsey’s house and spent the night playing  Santa for Kendal, helped him set out milk and cookies, and spread reindeer food on the front yard. He eventually crashed while we stayed up playing cards. We still opened our Christmas Eve jammies but this year we did all matching!

img_0539Usually on Christmas morning we would all be at our parent’s house rushing down the stairs to see what Santa brought us. As we got older there was less rushing and with Kelsey having a kid of her own we all didn’t stay at my parent’s. This year since we stayed at Kelsey’s, it was all about Kendal. We all watched him open his presents and play with all of his new toys. This kid is obsessed with Ben 10 and Santa brought him everything Ben 10.

Traditionally, after we open presents we go to my Grandma Imogene’s for lunch and family time. There is usually a huge spread of food including Grandma’s amazing noodles. We all gather in her tiny but cozy home and spend a few hours catching up and opening presents.

Well, this year I had to pass on Grandma Imogene’s due to my stomach issues. I had been up almost all night and only had an hour of sleep. So when everyone left for Grandma Imogene’s, I stayed at Kelsey’s house and set up Kendal’s new television and Xbox. I picked up the house a little bit, watched television, and took a short nap. I got to hang out with all of the dogs so I enjoyed that immensely. After Grandma Imogene’s, everyone (except me) went out to my parents so Kendal could open even more presents. The day’s celebrations ended with Kelsey and I watching How To Get Away With Murder.

Tyler had his own family traditions as well but even his were different. He spends Christmas Eve with his dad and then Christmas Day with his mom at img_0542his grandma’s. When he got done at his grandma’s on Christmas day around 7, we loaded up the car and headed back to Indianapolis. He made an amazing dinner of baked ziti and we opened our gifts to each other. I got him a comic book, a new apron, whiskey, and I made him a coffee mug that said, “I love you…more than you will ever know”. He got me a lot more than I got him! I received a new cookbook, a new paring knife, ink for my fancy pen, comic books, a novel, new headphones, and a video game!
img_0543It is amazing how much things can change as you get older. Christmas still has a little bit of magic to me but it is no where near as magical as it was when I was kid. Getting to watch Kendal open presents was amazing. He was so excited by all the gifts Santa brought him, even though he was still a little tired when he got up. It made me really excited for when I have my own kids and we get to start our own family traditions. Overall, I had a great time getting to hang out with my sisters and an even better time hanging out with Tyler on Christmas night. While, I don’t want things to change even more, I know things will be even more different in the years to come but I interested to see what those changes will be!

I hope everyone had a great holiday, know matter what or how your family celebrates! With Christmas over, it means my birthday is right around the corner!

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My Family! From Left to Right: Myself, Tyler, Kelsey, Kendal, Paisley, Emily, and Ryan!

 

Thanksgiving and It’s Aftermath

Oh Thanksgiving!

This year was a little different for me.

For the last several years, I have been having Thanksgiving by myself and then when Tyler came into the picture I made dinner for both of us. It is not that I don’t like my family, I do but the holidays are wonky.

First, there is Ferly Thanksgiving at my grandparents house. Ferly = fake and early. While it isn’t a fake meal, its totally real, we just call it fake because it happens early. Fancy word play I know! It usually comes two weeks or so early because my grandparents make a yearly pilgrimage to the the Gulf Coast for most of the month of November and December. So technically I do go to that Thanksgiving but not this year. This year my grandma had to have surgery on her cataracts and then they decided to just go down to the Gulf early. So one meal was knocked out of the running.

Second, is Thanksgiving at my Grandma Imogene’s. The food is good, the noodles alone are worth going for, but the house is too small for the amount of people on that side of my family. There are also a lot of children, ranging from 4 to 15, that run amuck the entire time. Being someone who is socially awkward and doesn’t like crowds or talking or being touched, it was always uncomfortable for me.

So my junior year of undergrad I decided I was just going to stay home with Opie and make my own meal. I usually made a scaled down version including a small chicken instead of turkey but keeping all the traditional sides.

I liked my method and it was much more fun with Tyler came into my life because I could go all out with the sides and what-nots. He has his own family thing that he goes to during the day but he always saves room for what I make.

This year, my sisters and I decided to do a sister’s Thanksgiving. It was myself, Emily, Ryan, Kelsey, Kendal (my nephew) and Paisley (Kendal’s puppy). Emily and Ryan, her manfriend, recently bought a new house with an amazing kitchen that was perfect for the event. We all split up our responsibilities and got together Thanksgiving day and made an amazing meal.

I was in charge of stuffing, corn casserole, mac and cheese and the turkey. I had never cooked an entire turkey myself before and was really nervous that I would fuck up the star of the show. I did a bunch of research like I normally d0 thanks to the nerd in me and decided on the Epicurious recipe for Roasted Turkey and Stuffing. I followed both recipes to a tee and made the most amazing looking turkey. It was perfectly browned, though the breasts could have been darker, and the meat was so moist on the inside. The stuffing had flavored the meat perfectly and it tasted amazing. Of course, no one remembered to take a picture before I cut into it so I have no evidence, you will have to take my word on it.

We had some delicious sides including Ryan’s homemade green bean casserole, Emily’s mashed potatoes, rolls, sweet potatoes wrapped in bacon, and Kelsey’s amazing cranberry fruit salad. My corn casserole was really good, so was the stuffing, and the gravy I made out of the turkey pan juices. The mac and cheese fell short but I think its because we made it too early. It’s hard to take your time when you and everyone else are super hungry!

The next day we hung out and started Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life. We got through two episodes together and they went downtown for the annual Christmas Lights festival and I went home to Tyler and our boys. We all ended up watching the last two episodes at different times throughout the weekend and we all agreed we needed more episodes and we needed to re-watch from the beginning.

The day of Thanksgiving we finally bombed our apartment for fleas. Opie went to Tyler’s mom’s house for the day and Percy came with me to Emily’s. He hated every minute of it.

So when we were finally all under the same roof it was nice to just veg out, eat leftovers, and be with my little family. Tyler has been working on Alien: Isolation and if you haven’t played it and you like survival horror I highly recommend it! He just finished the game last night and could not stop raving about how much he liked it. On Black Friday he went out and got a PS4 and Uncharted 4 so hopefully he will start playing that soon! I have really enjoyed watching him play the Uncharted series!

We are still treating for fleas but we think we are finally at the tail end of things. Percy is still itching his old bites like crazy but we are seeing less and less fleas. The boys are getting another bath tonight and then their monthly flea treatments tomorrow. I will be so happy when this scourge is over.

Well that’s all for our update. We finished the rest of the leftovers last night and tonight is Taco Bell night!

It’s Hard to Remember the Good Stuff.

I want to do some posts story posts about my life up until this post so that if readers ever do stop by, they can get so know more about the She of He and She. It’s strange though when you think back on your life. The stories that tend to stick out the most are the sad, depressing ones more than the happy. I’ve been wracking my brain trying to remember funny or heartwarming memories. I know they are in there somewhere, hiding behind the stacks of ancient history lessons and memorized song lyrics.

I guess I could tell you a little bit about my life in general and then tell the stories as they come along. I am the middle child for three girls. Emily is two years older than me and Kelsey is two years younger. Middle child syndrome has never been a problem for me, okay maybe a little bit. I have had the great fortune of being the smart one and felt I got enough recognition for that. Emily lives with the love her life, Ryan, in Indianapolis (they just bought their first house and it is freaking sweet) and is an elementary school teacher. We lived together for a few years too, there are some stories there I assure you. Kelsey lives in our hometown of Rensselaer, a small “city” in northern Indiana, with her recently turned four year old son, Kendal. They make the cutest little family and Kelsey is an amazing mother.

Our parents divorced when we were all still pretty young. We would spend some weekends with our dad who lived in an even smaller town about 45 minutes away. They both eventually remarried but my dad never really got over the bitterness of the divorce and it began to weigh on us girls. Eventually less and less time was spent at our dad’s and soon we rarely saw him at all. Again he took this as a slight and it was easier to just cut of all communication with him than to deal with it. My sister’s still see and talk to him every now and then, but I haven’t spoken to him since 2010.

My mom remarried the most amazing man, who became the best dad any kid could have asked for (Today is his birthday!). She has always been a good mom, though she has her ups and downs. You could always rely on her in the tough times and joke around with her in the good times.

As I said, I am from a small “city”. I say “city” because technically it is a city, based on population, but it’s more like a town. We bounced around a lot from apartment to house before my mom married my stepdad but when she did we settled down on his farm just outside of town. He grows corn and soybeans and used to raise cattle. I had a herd of goats for 4-H and we had barn cats coming out the ying-yang.

My immediate family and the way I grew up shaped the person I became and am still trying to become. Taking the time to write all of this out has actually helped me remember a couple of really good stories I will have to share! Stay tuned!