Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Risk Taking Analysis

Tonight, I changed the menu for New Years Eve and we ended up serving three dishes. They were (1) Chili, (2) Jambalaya (3) Chicken Noodle Soup. I decided to make the Chicken Noodle Soup since I had alot of vegetables in the house and I thought it would be a light alternative for those that didn't want a heavier meal.

James had several friends come and hang out and I expected overall the guys would go for the Chili and the girls would go for the Chicken Noodle soup. Not so much, almost everyone wanted the Chicken Noodle soup. It was a surprise to me but not so much to Jason who pointed out that Chicken Noodle soup is the safe choice.

It's true, Chicken Noodle soup is the safe choice. Chili would be the choice for the average person and Jambalaya would be the choice for risk takers. That got me thinking, is the Braun family really a bunch of risk takers? Or does the analysis even apply if we are looking at Southern folk. Maybe for Southern folk Jambalaya is the safe choice, Chicken Noodle soup is for the average person and Chili is for the risk takers. Who knows.

Bottom line, we have teenagers over who are making safe choices and that is a good thing. Still, I think they should at least try the Chili and Jambalaya. If you don't try it you will never know what your missing. Get out there and take a risk!

Are you a risk taker? Tell us what you would order. For me? It changes, just like my moods. Tonight I had a little of each!

P.S. For the record I think Jenn would order the Chili in a bread bowl

Ending 2008 with 8 Random Thoughts

(1) As much as I hate to say it, I am wondering if Jinjer should be moved to inactive.

(2) Sydney is the best gift ever!

(3) I love Facebook. Using it I have reconnected with so many people during the past year, it is the ultimate relationship management tool.

(4) I am grateful that Dedee is feeling so well and is in recovery. What an emotional and exhausting year 2008 must have been for her.

(5) I am blessed by my family. I love you all so much and I am thankful that you are always there to support me.

(6) HCBC-This has been the year of the HCBC! Many new members, great new blogs and wonderful friends.

(7) When I was getting a massage the other day I complained to the masseuse that my hands were constantly
hurting. She ended up telling me that my right forearm had the tightest muscles she had ever massaged. Who Knew?

(8) I wish David would paint our back gate white

Rose Parade Tomorrow

I want to apologize for not getting out my New Years Rose Parade Invitation to everyone at work. Last year I didn't send one because I was so sick (with those headaches) from the pregnancy but I had every intention of sending one this year but I didn't until Monday and that was just to those of you on Facebook.

Bottom line, If you are in So Cal and want to come please know that as in years past, you are invited.

Monday, December 29, 2008


Well, Sydney has been being called Dopey for awhile now. Those ears seemed to spring out of day they were just there, sticking out like something else. It is punishment for me who used to pull Andrew's ears out and say "DOPPPEYYYYY"-He would get so mad.

Saturday we got the best Dopey picture yet, Really could that ear stick out any further??????

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Shopping Problems?

First, Sydney was kicked out of her stroller at Disneyland in order to make room for all of our packages. Next we have the car after hours of day after Christmas shopping. (and this was before my second trip to the mall)

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Best Gift Ever!

I promise after the holidays my blog will return to "normal" but for right now I am having too much fun with sharing these holiday pictures. I had to buy this Baby Gap onesie because she seriously is the best gift ever!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

The Many Faces Of Christmas 2008

Stockings Are Hung By The Chimney With Care

At mom's house, the stockings are awesome! As you can see from the picture (sorry for the fireplace smoke) the stocking gifts extend to above them as well. They are the best! Mom does a fantastic job on them and we all enjoy opening them.

Elizabeth and Sydney loved their gifts (as you can see below) and if a gift card was opened Joshua would proclaim with great enthusiasm, "Wow, a postcard"!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Jane's Tongue

This is a post in response to this one: My Nephew Ethan

The following picture is the very first picture I saw of Jane. She had recently started in IT with our company and I had yet to meet her. We were celebrating our organization and successes and they did this huge slide show of people in the company (Mostly Candids) and it was pretty cool.

The slideshow kept running over and over and this picture kept drawing my attention.

All I knew about Jane was the two things I had heard through the grapevine: (1) She had never been in IT before (2) She was cool, I would like her

After the slideshow was over and I had seen this picture a dozen times I knew two more things: (1) She was probably funny (2) She had the biggest tongue I had ever seen.

About a month later, over lunch, the funny part was verified.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Happy Birthday To Me

Since our birthdays were 3 days apart Papa and I always shared our birthday parties. Sharing my birthday with Pop has always been a very special memory for me. I found these two pictures last week. The first one was from my 5th and his 63rd birthday. I think the second is from my 17th and his 75th.

Notice the cakes. They are the same! We always had the Mint Chip Ice Cream cake from Baskin Robbins. I still usually have this cake on my birthday, it's my favorite. Yummy!!!!!!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Christmas Movies Out of Control

While taking a break from wrapping Christmas presents and doing laundry I was flipping around the TV and became astounded at all the Christmas movies that are on today. What happened to It's a Wonderful Life? (BTW: I have never seen it. How is that possible?) Listed below are a few of the ones I found today (with their descriptions):

Moonlight and Mistletoe: Nick and his daughter Holly fight a real-estate developer to keep their Christmas theme park open.

A Boyfriend for Christmas: A strangely familiar man may be the answer to a 33 year old woman's long-ago holiday wish for true love

Our First Christmas: Complications arise when two widowed people and their children spend their first Christmas together.

An Accidental Christmas: Two children scheme to reunite their estranged parents during a school holiday

Deck the Halls: A boy tries to set up his mother with a man he believes is Santa Claus

Undercover Christmas: Assigned to protect a waitress, a workaholic FBI agent brings her to his parents home for the holidays.

Off Season: A 10 year old orphan spreads a rumor that an elderly man is really Santa Claus

Silver Bells: A teenage runaway connects his widowed father and a woman who lost her husband during a past Christmas holiday

Christmas at Waters Edge: A wealthy collegian and an angel-in-training work together to organize a holiday concert for a youth center

Crazy for Christmas: A limo driver tried to help a wealthy man find his long lost daughter on Christmas Eve

A Different Kind of Christmas: A family secret threatens to thwart the mayoral bid of a single mom whose father thinks he's Santa Claus

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Christmas Decorations At Moms (A History)

Over the years, mom's Christmas Decorations have evolved. I am going to do a more detailed review of mom's Decorations later but right now I take you on a journey as we compare several decorations from Christmas 1978 and Christmas 2008.

The Dining Room: Notice the little string of holly around the dining room entrance from 1978. Then notice the massive tree branches and ornaments in 2008.

The Nativity Scene: This hasn't changed much except now it's on the top of the entertainment center instead of the old TV.

The Christmas Tree: The 1978 tree is artificial and realitively tiny. The 2008 tree is real, huge and goes all the way to the floor. Also the garland has changed from store bought to kid created.

The Fireplace: The most dramatic change. Look at how peaceful the 1978 stockings look compared to the 2008 stockings. When Andrew and James get married we will have two more.....

Friday, December 19, 2008

If We Are Any Indication

What I said earlier this week is true, Sydney and Elizabeth will be best friends.
It looks like I didn't have my bike 10 minutes before I helped Becca get on it and ride. The second picture is so cute, I think it's one of my favorites.What great Christmas memories!

I Love You, Becca and I am so lucky to have you for my sister.

BTW: Rachel, had you been born we would have had you sitting on the handle bars! I'm just going to pretend you are there.

Flashback Friday (29)

This is a very special Flashback Friday on what would be my grandfathers 93rd birthday. He was such a great man, grandfather, father and husband. I miss you Papa!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

My Ode To Mervyn's

My first real job was at Mervyn's. They actually hired me when I was 15 1/2 and they hired me for the "Sportswear" department. I was not a regular Mervyn's shopper at the time and when I heard that I was in "Sportswear" I was so excited! I figured alot of boys must shop in "Sportswear" little did I know that at Mervyn's, "Sportswear" was the women's department.

I am sad to see that Mervyn's is going out of business. There is one pair of black shoes that is the Mervyn's brand and I love them. I must have bought them 5 times in a row. They are my standby shoes. Mervyn's is also a stop on our day-after-Christmas shopping tradition. Plus I still know alot of people that work there that will be out of their job. Goodbye, Sprockets, Hillard and Hanson, Cheetah and Ellemeno.

When I started at Mervyn's the big thing was to make it to become a "Blue Badge". To be a Blue Badge you basically had to be trusted to approve returns and large purchases. (They all had to be signed) A Blue Badge associate was identified by a thin blue strip under their name on their name badge. The day I became a Blue Badge I thought I was so awesome, especially since I made Blue Badge before most of the Christmas hires...and I was only 16. ;)

Everyone loved to be assigned to work "Stock". First if you were assigned to stock you were able to wear jeans. Second you worked in the back stockrooms and basically by yourself. In Sportswear we rotated the stock person but I remember in the men's department they always had the same stock person. Whenever I was the stock person I reorganized the areas. That was great!

The only thing that could beat out being a Blue Badge and working stock was being assigned to Fine Jewelry. The keys for Fine Jewelry had one of those little rubber key bands that you could use to put the keys on your arm or wrist. So not only were you in charge of the keys you got to publicly display the keys proudly on your arm so that everyone could see you had them. I loved responded to "Customer Service, Fine Jewelry". That was awesome. So with that I give this final Mervyn's Haiku:

I rocked as Blue Badge
Jeans was best dress for Stock Room
Nothing beat the keys

Monday, December 15, 2008

Sydney, The Bully

Lately, Sydney has been bullying Elizabeth. I have witnessed this personally and I do not like it at all! She grabs Elizabeth's pacifier, she takes Elizabeth's toys, she grabs her. I am just waiting for Elizabeth to let her have it, I am afraid it is going to happen soon.

A couple of weeks ago, I took the pictures below at Starbucks. In the first picture we see Elizabeth with the look "Please don't take it". In the second picture we see a determined Sydney to get it. I'm telling you, any day Sydney is going to get it.......

BTW: These two simply adore each other. Every morning when they get to Grandma's they hug each other and Elizabeth always leans in and gives Sydney a kiss. They couldn't be better friends but....Sydney is still going to get payback.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

"Sydney Swallowed Something Today"

A few days ago, when I was picking up Sydney from my moms, my mom said "Sydney Swallowed Something Today". That followed by a short story saying she almost choked and Becca felt something in her mouth but couldn't get it out before she started to choke. Since you are not supposed to try and get it out at that point Becca pulled her hand out and eventually Sydney swallowed the item. I say eventually because Becca told me the next day she was REALLY choking and she was 5 seconds from calling 9-1-1. (Nine, eleven-if you asked my grandmother)

The next morning I discovered this in Sydney's diaper:

It was acrylic and appeared to be some sort of Christmas tree. I decided to clean it off and spray some anti-bacterial cleaner on it and then show Becca and mom what she had swallowed. So the bummer part, is when I left for moms that morning I forgot the piece at home. Darn. So I decided to look for the the second half of the tree when I got there. I started didn't take long to find the other piece, note the missing branchs at the bottom of this Christmas decoration. Luckily for mom she has about 50 more of these trees. Luckily for Sydney this was one of the small ones.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Tamales and Traditions

I have never made Tamales. To tell you the truth, I'm a little afraid of them. There are so many pieces and steps and it all seems very overwhelming to me. Today, I visited four sisters who have a tradition of making tamales every year before Christmas.

Even four experienced cooks can run into problems while making tamales. In the short time I was there: A pot was burned beyond recognition (It was also cleaned while I was there), the wine was broken out of the cupboard (It was 10:30AM), and there was a rather large controversy over the amount of water that was in the burned pan, who put the water in there and when it was put in there......

They were making 3 different types of tamales, beef, chicken and chili/cheese. I would have loved to stick around and try the chili/cheese. It sounds really good! There are different styles. Kathleen noted that Sharon works on her tamales very gingerly not sloppily like everyone else. I wonder if Sharon's tastes better? Anyhow, after observing this entire operation I learned two things:

(1) Making tamales look as hard as I thought and the corn husks are really scary.
(2) My sisters and mom need to start an annual cooking today. Tamales would be a great tradition or cookies.

Thanks for inviting me! It was good to see you all!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

"Hi Kim, Stop!!!!"

When I walked in to the office today I entered on the 7th floor instead of the 8th. The elevator stopped on 7 so I decided I could take the stairs to my office on 8th. I was on a mission and didn't bother to stop and say hi to Angel and Clarinda, I was about to the stairs when I heard Clarinda say Hi Kim and ask me to stop. I stopped, walked over to her desk and Angel, Clarinda and I talked.

We discussed how busy I looked and as I stood there I noticed the Christmas tree for the very first time since it was put up. It was beautiful, I commented on it's beauty and then Clarinda said I should sit down and actually enjoy my Starbucks. So I sat down in the chair next to the Christmas and chatted for a few more minutes. I said I could work there all day.

Clarinda recognized that I was stressed, she knew that I needed to just stop and take a breath. She will have no idea how much I needed that. It was truly a great gift and I am so grateful that she gave it to me this morning.

My take away from this is to notice others today, think about how they are feeling and just be kind. Thanks, Clarinda!