Dec 19

Happy Holidays vs. Merry Christmas

I'm definitely celebrating the holidays here. We put it in the window right next to our lit up tree - in hopes of spreading joy and smiles to passersby. It's festive. It's holly. It's jolly. But let's be clear - it's NOT Christmas.

I’m definitely celebrating the holidays here. We put it in the window right next to our lit up tree – in hopes of spreading joy and smiles to passersby. It’s festive. It’s holly. It’s jolly. But let’s be clear – it’s not exactly Christmas.

Last year, I tried to explain why as a Christian, I say “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas” I think it came across as a bit angry and defensive toward other Christians which, if you read that post, you’ll know was counterproductive to my entire message anyway. So, this year, I’m going to try again based on how I’ve ironed it all out in my perty little head.

When someone asks me if I’m ready for Christmas, I pause for just a second, and then just mutter “Yes”. The mutter of agreement is in lieu of speaking on behalf of the voice in my head shouting, “You mean, am I prepared for the celebration of the birth of my Lord and Savior?” I opt not to go that route for obvious reasons. Clearly I was asked if I was ready for THE HOLIDAY not so much CHRISTMAS. For the record, I’m ready for both. Continue reading

Dec 15

Funday Monday!

I’ve just been liberated beyond words by this video. I can’t wait to try this. I mean it. In case you miss the descriptor on it – this little girl had been begging to open her present a week early. So, they let her. These parents are genius for doing this, and for raising this kid.

Song of the day: May Every Day Be Christmas by Irma Thomas (One of my all time favorites)

Keep on Rockin.

Dec 09

Funday Monday (On Tuesday)

I wanted you to have my very important information about leg lamps and A Christmas Story – The Musical as early as possible, so that you could get your tickets. Which meant I posted it on Monday this week. Did you get your tickets yet? Go do it!!!

So, today, Monday Funday falls on Tuesday. And it’s funday…notice none of these kids asked for presents…

Dec 08

A Christmas Story – The Musical #proofthatGodlovesme

*Disclaimer – I was given preview tickets to review this show on the blog. Because I have a blog, and a leg lamp, and a mini leg lamp and appreciate all that The Rose Theater offers to my community, I sooooo did it. This is my honest review of my experience with my family at this show.

Don’t know if I’ve mentioned it, but I love LOVE LOVE A Christmas Story.
I mean, see here:

My Major Award.

My Major Award.

And here:

Happy Holidays from Mom On The Rocks

Happy Holidays from Mom On The Rocks

So, last year I heard A Christmas Story was on Broadway. Immediately I felt it my duty to drop everything, fore go my budget, and my kids’ college fund, or the fact that I’ve never been to NYC and certainly don’t know how to navigate to a Broadway show, to go see A Christmas Story, The Musical. But my voice of reason, also known as my husband, distracted me with something like, “Look, something shiny!” And talked me down off of Expedia. The next day I found my credit card in his sock drawer…so weird.

As usual, he was right. (Don’t tell him I said that, though.)

A Christmas Story – The Musical is now on national tour and playing here in Omaha at The Rose Theater. In a scheming effort to get my way, and since I control the happenings of the Advent Calendar, I  took the opportunity to put it in our Advent Calendar. Once the calendar is prepared and assembled, there’s no going back. I got this.

To be fair, my kids appreciate the movie A Christmas Story as much as I do. And so, last night, after a post-season middle school basketball game, we hustled over to The Rose Theater to see A Christmas Story – The Musical. We passed by a billboard sign on the way there and the kids asked, “Wait a second, how are they making it into a MUSICAL?”

Clearly I haven’t exposed my kids to the theater or the arts enough. “Well, that’s the fun of live performances, you can see the interpretation and transition from big screen to live stage performance…” But my very insightful response fell on deaf ears, they’d posed the question with no intent of listeing to a response. So, I texted them “Musicals are fun. You’re going to love it.”

"How are they going to make it into a musical?" Like this, kid. Duh!!!

“How are they going to make it into a musical?” Like this, kid. Duh!!!

And the musical at The Rose rocked their tween socks right off. We all giggled. Each song dug a little deeper into the character. I particularly appreciated Mother’s song, “What a Mother Does” which gave me some leverage at my own home, so thanks for that one. It was well performed, and beautifully written. Just perfect. So, listen for that one, kids.

The strangest thing happened, all four of us forgot we even had cell phones. It was a beautiful thing.

As always, I was so impressed by the professionalism of the kids on stage. It might be on their own merit, or it could be because I could hear my own two precious children fiddling and jacking around next to me. To their defense, they were discussing how they liked that they kept the good parts from the movie (the whole thing) the same. The musical did grab their attention, though, and they thought it was hilarious. Once the leg lamp dance – yeah, there’s an entire choreographed scene with leg lamps – once that happened, it commanded respect from our entire family.

Just some kids totally crushin it.

Just some kids totally crushin it.

There were several scenes and songs and choreography where kids and youth are up there on their own, totally nailing the performance. Ralphie, played by Danny Dennenberg, was a doppelganger to the original Ralphie – Peter Billingsley in every sense – particularly his delivery. But the kid can sing too. Every character nailed the physical comedy as well as their token lines like,  “Daddy’s gonna kill Ralphie!” Randy, played by Jude Glaser eeked out every whine and whimper perfectly.

It was a brilliant live performance with innovative songs while maintaining all of the perfect familiarities of the movie and characters.

When you see this scene live, you realize how amazing it is, the timing, the enunciation of words while your tongue is "stuck" all that. It's pretty impressive.

When you see this scene live, you realize how amazing it is, the timing, the enunciation of words while your tongue is “stuck” all that. It’s pretty impressive.

After the performance, we splurged and went out to eat while we continued to giggle and review our notes. Max and Lucy confessed that they thought since it was at The Rose, that it would be too “kiddish” but were happily surprised that they had so much fun. My kids want to grow up too fast. I just want to keep them kids for as long as I can. So, I think I won this tug-of-war. You’re never too old to go to The Rose!

A Christmas Story: The Musical is live on stage at The Rose Theater. Click here for show times and tickets. It’s even better than getting a Red Ryder BB Gun, I promise. It’s really a great show for kids of all ages, which is something I find is more difficult as the kids get older. Which is what makes this show so worth a holiday treat.

Keep On Rockin.


Dec 03

You’ve literally got goodness inside you. Give it.

I can pinpoint exactly to the moment that started me on the tract to being a Kidney Donor. (What you didn’t know I’m a kidney donor? Well read this or this or this.) Here’s the moment right here. You can watch the entire thing or forward to about the 9 minute mark when he talks to the point of how we can help his son.

I was sitting in the congregation at church when this man spoke so sweetly about his son. They had a Bone Marrow Be The Match drive for him after church. As he said, you can’t just go find a match. But what you can do is better his odds in finding him a donor by getting more people in the Be The Match Registry. Ricardo and I did the cotton swab on the inside of our cheeks, and filled out the paper work. We’ve been in the national registry for 4 years, and neither of us have ever been called.

It was just a year or so after we watched this man make a plea for his son that my friend ended up on dialysis. That’s why I went to get tested to see if I was a match. Had I not heard him speak, I’d have never even thought of the possibility of being a match for anything. So, even though I couldn’t help his son directly, I was able to help my friend. And I was prompted by that beautiful plea. Very few things stick with me. But this guy did.

When I donated a kidney I had no idea how fairly easy it was to be a match. Of course, its not a guarantee that if you need a kidney transplant that you’ll find a match as easily or as perfectly awesome as my kidney. I remember in an interview for a feature story the doctor saying that finding a match for a kidney is easier than finding any other living donor transplant match. I might have not heard exactly what he was trying to say because I was sensitive to the idea that he was generalizing my uniquely fabulous kidney and that I was a match. Of course.

I think what he was getting at is how easy as a potential donor it is to designate my kidney to my friend in need. My blood type is the universal donor type. So that was a match. And there are 6 markers they test (don’t ask me what they are – they’re too sciency) – Jen and I had one marker match which was all we needed to do the kidney swap.

Right now Max and Lucy have a friend whose dad has been diagnosed with Leukemia and is in need of a bone marrow transplant. As it turns out with bone marrow, you can’t just call up the transplant office and tell them you wanna get tested to see if you’re a match. Family can. For a hefty out-of-pocket fee. The other option is to go into the national bone marrow donor registry. By registering with just a 2 minute form and a cotton swab on the inside of your cheek – you can up the odds of every patient on the waiting list for bone marrow. You could potentially help someone feel better. But mostly you can help someone live. TO LIVE, y’all.

You have the opportunity every day to tangibly help someone LIVE.

teammikeflyerSo, I’m hoping if you’re here in Omaha, you can join us on December 13th for #TeamMike Bone Marrow Be The Match Drive. If you’re not in the area, please click here and look into what you can do for maybe someone you know, or simply just your community.

Max and Lucy have this Bone Marrow Drive on their advent calendar. (Don’t tell them – it’s not until the day of.)  It’s been such a joy to watch them do whatever they can to help. They are teaching me what kids can do to help kids with sick family members. For example, as it turns out – you can give them the gift of not reminding them their family member is sick. That’s foreign to me. But a valuable lesson.

So in this giving holiday season, please sign up for the bone marrow donor registry. While you wait, you can do something else – you can give platelets. Platelets can be designated to go to someone you know, or you can just give them. You can donate platelets about every 2 weeks, which helps a patient feel better. You can also give blood.

Please consider giving of yourself (quite literally) in this holiday season. And always.

Keep on Rockin.

Song of the Day: All I Want For Christmas Is You (Get it? That’s all I want for Christmas – is for you to nominate your body parts. Yay for plays on words and songs!)


Nov 24

Monday Funday

As y’all get ready for Thanksgiving – you know the half of a work week that you fake like you’re working, and then give thanks for it – well, enjoy.

Here’s a segment I did today on The Morning Blend about how to deal with obnoxious relatives at holiday gatherings. I was nervous to go in to this one – I figured it was my intervention. But they let me leave without agreeing to any kind of therapy! SUCKERS!

We’re hosting Thanksgiving dinner and this is my plan.

Love this one too. It’s a holiday week – so it’s a two-fer.

Nov 21

Cooking on the Rocks – The Elvis Oatmeal

I might have mentioned my affinity for food, warm food, and more specifically, warm sweet food. The answer to all of my affinities, first thing in the morning is The Elvis Oatmeal.

The Elvis Oatmeal. Perfect for rocking your socks off on a chilly morning.

The Elvis Oatmeal. Perfect for rocking your socks off on a chilly morning.

Make some oatmeal.

Peel a banana. With a fork, mash the banana in a bowl.

Hit that mashed banana with some cinnamon.

In the same bowl, throw in a tablespoon or however much you deem necessary of peanut butter. I’ve tried healthy peanut butter and almond butter. But the closest I can get to being healthy with peanut butter is “Natural” Skippy peanut butter.

Mash all that goodness together.

Pour or scoop, the cooked oatmeal on to that. Stir that up until you can assure your tastebuds that each bite will be as smooth and tasty as Elvis himself. If you wanna, top with a few pecans.

Eat it with joy.

Song of the Day: Jailhouse Rock by Elvis – sing it and dance in the kitchen while you make it.

Nov 19

Hair Cut – again

I blog half the time as a reminder to myself to do or not do stuff. So you’d think I’d remember to read the one where I warn myself to not cut my hair again. But I didn’t. I cut my hair. Again.

The last time apparently wasn't quite drastic enough. I think this might be like people who are addicted to tattoos or piercings. I just need the rush. I guess.

The last time apparently wasn’t quite drastic enough. I think this might be like people who are addicted to tattoos or piercings. I just need the rush. I guess.

I love it. And Ricardo loves that I love it. Max is a little not for it. And Lucy is totally against it. She apparently liked my hair long and old and stringy.

Continue reading

Nov 17

Monday Funday

I posted this on my personal facebook page the other day, but couldn’t resist sharing it with you as well. I think this puts same sex marriage into perspective. If you’re at work, you might want to watch this with your headphones on. And if the kids are around – put their earmuffs on for some minor sexual references.

I don’t understand how a state can vote for same-sex marriage and then the courts repeal it. But it’s happening. Clearly, this video involves some of those lawmakers idealogy.

Full disclosure – I’ve been to a same sex wedding. It was the most sincere, thoughtful, endearing moments I was blessed to be a part of. Can’t wait to go to more, and I’ll bring the skittles.

Rock your Monday’s socks off!