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Black Friday: Success or Complete Failure?

It's been a long standing tradition of mine to head out in the wee hours of the cold... and I mean COLD!... morning to fight the crowds on the day known as Black Friday. This year was not really different. I was determined to get out there yet again and see what kind of good deals I could score. The difference this year is that I have 2 kids to shop for now. In the past I was all about the DVDs and electronics. This year I had my eyes on toys.

Toys R Us opened their stores at midnight on Thursday night. I had no idea what I was getting myself into. I had no idea what I was dragging Josh into. He didn't want to go and I practically begged him until he gave in. Now I feel really bad...

Thursday night we dropped the boys off with my mom and then went home to sleep for a few hours. I think I only managed to get in 45 minutes of sleep. At 11pm Josh and I dragged our butts out of bed and went to the toy store. We should have been more prepared. At first glance the line didn't look that bad. What we didn't realize was that it wrapped around the building before getting to the front entrance. We were at the end of the line. At midnight they opened their doors and let in about 30 people at a time. It took us 90 minutes to get to the front of the line. When we finally got in there I spotted what I wanted! It was a Home Depot work bench that was regularly $49.99 marked down to $19.99. I grabbed it and started heading towards the checkout line. That's when all my high hopes were thrown to the floor and stomped on! A man standing next to us told me that the one in my hand was NOT the one that was on sale. This one was $59.99... not the $49.99 one. WHAT?! The other one was sold out. Okaaaaay.... So we headed to the next item on the list... A train table for $79.99. If you bought that you got an $80 train set for free. Of course they were all sold out too. We overheard a store clerk saying that it was sold out in the first 10 minutes of opening. We left. Toys R Us left us very disappointed and we promised ourselves we would NEVER shop there again. They should really take a page from Walmart's book and have plenty in stock of their sale items. TRU knew that they would have a huge crowd. They're the only one around for miles of where we live. I had planned to spend at least $200 there... as I'm sure many other people there were going to do. I have a feeling they lost out on a lot of sales...

So we pulled out of the parking lot. I was apologizing to Josh for dragging him out there for nothing. Just as we turned the corner to get on to the freeway a cop flashes their lights at us. Great. Let's just add to our fabulous night. She was pulling us over because Josh was wearing his seat belt under his arm and not over his shoulder. She was a total you-know-what... she gave him a ticket. Josh was pissed. As she was writing it up he says, "Is that why you work nights? Because you can't sleep?" Argh... That didn't help.

I dropped Josh at home. He was done after that ticket. I was still determined to get something good out of that night. It was about 1:45 am so I headed over to Old Navy. The line was short and they opened at 3am. They passed out wristbands to the first 50 (or so) people in line to get the Lego Rock Band Wii game for free if you spent $20. I got one! They stopped passing them out 2 people behind me. That was close.... I picked up some cute hoodies for the boys along with a few shirts for them and I got myself some awesome fitting $15 jeans. I was in and out within 10 minutes of them opening. Success.

I was done after that. I went home and slept until 7:30am... I had to pick the boys up from my moms. I was dead tired and I don't think staying up all night was worth all the trouble we went through. I still plan to shop Black Friday next year, but I'll be staying far, FAR away from any toy stores!

Thanksgiving and Starting New Traditions

Thanksgiving is tomorrow! I'm pretty excited because we get to spend time with family that we don't get to see everyday.

It's always been a family... ok MY... tradition to go over to my Grandparent's house for the holidays. Ever since I was a child we spent every year doing the same thing. When I was married to Ron he never argued with me about where to go because his family is spread out over several states. It worked for us at that time. Now I'm married to someone who has family here in town... Things are going to be a little different.

This year and next there's going to be a lot of firsts for both Josh and I. We just spent our first Halloween together... not really a big deal to us or our families. Next is Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years. We're going to have to figure out and establish our own traditions. New traditions. I think it's important for Josh, the kids and I to come up with our own. Next year we're planning to move to Missouri and we won't have our families around...

Maybe next year we'll figure out our own family holiday traditions. I think this year we'll just spread ourselves thin and try to visit everyone who wants to see us. We won't have the option next year so I think it will be worth it.

First stop for Thanksgiving will be Josh's parents house at noon. We'll eat just enough to hold us over for the next meal. After we finish up there we'll head to my grandparent's house around 2pm where we'll eat a little bit more and probably have dessert.

Next we'll head over to my mom's house for a quick hello and to drop the boys off with her. They're going to be spending the night with her so I can do some Black Friday shopping in the wee hours of the morning. (Wish me luck on that...) I'm still trying to convince Josh to come with me. He hates crowds and he hates shopping. Black Friday is not a good mix for him...

Now I'm off to make some pumpkin pies for tomorrow's feast!

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

You can now read the rest of this over on my old blog: The Divorced Mom. I will not be posting anything about my previous marriage in this one.

I've been doing some reading over at the blog, The Quest For T. Lately she's been writing about the affair that she had during her marriage to her ex-husband. Reading her words has really made me think about my own situation and what I went through during my marriage to Ron. There's a lot of stuff that I've never told anyone about. There's a lot that even my ex-husband doesn't know about. I'm sure he could say the same thing about me. Our marriage was pretty much doomed from the start. Looking back I can see that now.

At the time I was a naive 18 year old girl who had just graduated high school. He was a 21 year old United States Marine stationed here in San Diego. He had his own apartment... that he shared with his brother and his co-worker. Back then I thought the world of him. He had me fooled. He had us all fooled. I wasn't completely innocent though. That year I had made plenty of mistakes. Mistakes that would truly hurt my mother if she knew about everything I've done in my life.

When I was 17 I joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. That's a pretty hard time in any persons life to decide to change religions and join a church. It didn't last very long. I still believed in the church doctrine, but I just wasn't ready to fully commit myself to it. So yes, I'm Mormon. I'm very active in the Church now, but during my whole relationship with Ron I wasn't going to church... it was the furthest thing from my mind.

I think I'm ready to talk about everything that's happened. I think it will help me process everything and allow me to really move on with my life. I'm going to be writing about everything from the good times (which were few and far between), sex, our affairs, drugs, drinking... If that's something that you're not comfortable reading about then please don't read. I won't be writing about this stuff every day, but there will be a large portion of my blog that will talk about my past. It's not who I am today, but my past has helped shape me into the person I am now.

I'll type up a few drafts and when I'm ready to share I'll post them... I just thought I should give a fair warning of what may lie ahead.

Sundays

Sunday mornings in our household are the craziest!

Temper tantrums. Crying. Fighting. Complete Chaos.

I don't even know how they end up that way. We all get up at the same time we do every other day of the week... Ok, with the exception of Josh. We go through the same morning routine that we always do. Breakfast. Take the dog out to potty. Showers. Baths. Get ready for the day. The difference is that we actually have some where to be on Sundays! Church starts at 11am. I swear my kids are testing me. Any other day it will take us less than 2 hours to get our morning routine done. On Sundays it takes us 4+ hours!

I blame it on Josh being home. ;)

Ok that's not totally fair... He actually helped me out today. He put the dishes in the dishwasher, made me breakfast AND installed the baby proof stuff for the kitchen cabinets... that I have been asking him to do for about a month now.

I think next Saturday I'll just have to change my bedtime routine... Baths that night and lay out their clothes for the morning. Here's hoping that next Sunday goes a LOT smoother!

What's For Dinner: Asian Beef and Noodle

Last night I wasn't sure what to make for dinner. It's getting close to grocery shopping day and I'm running out of food. I have to make a lot of what ever I cook because Josh eats a lot and we're also having my best friend's husband stay with us for a few weeks.

I remembered a recipe from this book I have called, 5 Ingredients or Less. It's called Asian Beef and Noodle. It's pretty good when you're on a tight budget and need to be able to feed a big family. It's also super easy to throw together at the last minute.


  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 2 (3-ounce) packages Oriental-flavored instant ramen noodles, broken up
  • 2 cups frozen vegetable mixture, such as broccoli, carrots, red peppers, water chestnuts
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 tablespoons thinly sliced green onion
  1. Brown ground beef in large nonstick skillet over medium heat 8 to 10 minutes or until beef is not pink, breaking up into 3/4-inch crumbles. Remove beef with slotted spoon; season with one seasoning packet from noodles. Pour off drippings.
  2. Place noodles in skillet. Add vegetable mixture, 2 cups water, ginger and remaining seasoning packet; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer 3 minutes or until noodles are tender, stirring occasionally.
  3. Return beef to skillet; heat through. Stir in green onion.

    Makes 4 servings.


Recipe and photograph provided courtesy of the Beef Industry Council.

Meet Bella the Chihuahua

Josh and I broke down and adopted a dog about a week and a half ago. Her name is Bella and she's a 2-3 year old Chihuahua mix. We don't know much about her past other than her previous owner adopted her from the Santa Ana SPCA. She only had Bella since February 2009. She says she just didn't have time to spend with her any more and felt bad for keeping her locked up in the house alone all day. (Should have thought about that before adopting a dog!) Anyway, Bella is here to stay! Poor thing... doesn't know what it's like to stay in a home for more than a year.

Josh didn't like her at first because he wanted a big dog... a dog that we can't have living in an apartment. He was wanting a Boxer or a Rhodesian Ridgeback. Hmm... I think not. I think she's growing on him though. C & B absolutely love her! We got lucky because she's awesome with kids and she's well trained.

When we first got her our routine was messed up because now we had to fit in potty breaks during the day. I think we have a pretty good routine going now. B wakes me up at 5:30am (really hoping that ends soon!). I feed him a bottle and we all go back to sleep til about 6:30 when C wakes us up. By 7am we're all up. I make Josh's lunch. Give the boys breakfast. By 7:30 Josh is out the door on his way to work and the boys and I take Bella outside to go potty. It's been working for us on most mornings. Occasionally C will throw a fit because he doesn't want to wear a jacket outside. He gets over that quickly when he feels how cold it is.

I'm just looking forward to the day when I can sleep in again.... at least on weekends. It's going on about 3 years of getting up before 7am. I bet around the time that happens Josh and I will be expecting another baby. That's how it usually works, right?

My new blog home

I was formally known as the Divorced Mom. Since I'm no longer a divorced mommy (as of October 16th, 2009.) I felt like it was time to change blog names. I plan to leave up my old blog, but it will no longer be updated. From now on I'll be posting everything in here.

I chose the name Happily At Home because I'm a stay at home wife & mommy and this is where I'm happiest. Being at home, spending time with my husband, raising my kids, cooking dinner and cleaning. Just call me a modern day homemaker!

Now if only I can find the time to type out a whole post. SOOOOO much has happened in the past month.

More to come!