Sunday, November 30, 2008

Back to the Future

This morning, like every morning, I went to check my Yahoo horoscope. I read it every morning, on my way to my email-- just a couple of lines that I never really take it too seriously. It's just a fun way to start the day. This is what I found today...
I was not sure what was happening. I tried a couple of things and it always came back to December 31, 1969. I thought maybe I was in the Twilight Zone and I woke up in 1969! Was this a sign? What happened on that day? Heck, I was only six years old. I wasn't checking my horoscope then, and certainly wasn't reading it online...on my laptop...with my BlackBerry in my hand. Nope, back then things were totally different!! I wasn't thinking about declining property values or the plummeting stock market, that's for sure. I wasn't focused on my mortgage payments or my daughter living in Africa or my son looking for a job at the worst time in history. And I certainly wasn't worried about crows feet and celulite and grey hair!
Man, life was totally easier then!!!

OK, I just checked back and everything is back to is November 30, 2008 and Yahoo astrology is back in working order.
Interesting thing horoscope said to laugh more and worry less today. And to try not take life so seriously.
In other words, pretend I'm six years old.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Sister Act Too!

Today was our family reunion!
Four out of five DiLallo sisters were in attendance!
My sweet Sunny...
Elijah rode the skateboard for hours!
My mother and her sisters, Mary and Kathy
Gina and our Dad
Tony and Sarah
With both my nieces, Sunny and Thea and
two out of four of my nephews, Sidney and Elijah!

Jonathon and Leesa
Yeah, sure...there were a lot of other people there too...
but none quite as good looking as these!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Sister Act

Tonight was a very special night. My sister, Sarah and I went out to dinner! I know, it doesn't sound that astounding, right? But here's the deal--Sarah and I could not remember EVER having had dinner alone together before. EVER! Perhaps it's because there are three other DiLallo sisters BETWEEN Sarah and me or of course there's the fact that Sarah now lives in Hawaii. We had a lot of catching up to do. And we did.
One thing that seems to have vanished is the difference in our ages--and we are nearly 13 years apart. Tonight we talked about money and homes and raising children and figuring out what we want for our futures. Sarah is so close in age to Allison, I think I have always related to her that way! Until tonight.
As we drank our martinis and talked about life over calamari and goat cheese and amazing ravioli--something seemed to click. While finishing off the evening with a delicious hot fudge sundae...we realized what it was. We felt like sisters. For the very first time.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

A Recipe for Gratitude

When I left my house about 7:30 this morning, it was POURING rain...I honestly did not see one other car on the road for at least a mile! I headed straight to Starbucks (LOVE to greet the other GREAT people in the world who have to work holidays) and treated myself to a Pumpkin Spice Latte!
We (the banquets team) had spent most of yesterday setting up the ballroom for today, so the morning was a breeze, just a few last minute things and we were ready to serve Thanksgiving Dinner to 400 people. (First we took a few pictures, of course...the guys on the set up crew -above- are my favorite people!)
OK, I just had to put this picture in here. I once made the mistake of telling Pablo that I had never had a man pick me up. Yeah, he pretty much does it every day now.
Our ballroom looked spectacular and we went non-stop all day long!
As we came back and forth from seating people, we played a little game with each other: "What are you thankful for?" Oh, the answers were great, "My spouse, my kids, my dog--chocolate, tacos, hot baths, shopping..." Me? Well, like most of the others I said, "Friends and family and good health." I was the only one who mentioned being thankful for the Dodgers having gone to the NLCS (STILL grateful for that!) But let me tell you the one thing we ALL agreed on: we are ALL so thankful for our incredible job. And, of course, for the amazing people we work with. It's joy every day (even every holiday!) to be part of this team.
Seriously, as exhausted as I am tonight...
I could not be more grateful.
Oh SO much to be grateful for today...and everyday!
Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Grateful Fed

Thanksgiving came a little bit early this year...
and what a JOY to spend it with my friend Laura and her beautiful family! She made a spectacular meal! Turkey and sweet potatoes and beet salad and fruit salad and Caesar salad and Hawaiian bread rolls...incredible!!!
Laura's sweet daughter, PaigeAnd her husband, Joshelin
Oh are ALL of Laura's children...Koben, Paige, Brittany and Jackie!
Oh dear God was this delicious...It is a Peruvian version of Flan!
Brittany loves this picture...and the pumpkin pie!Laura and I both GET to work tomorrow! Yeah!
And we enjoyed just a little bit of extra pie tonight because of that!
SO grateful for good friends!
Happy Thanksgiving!

Smiling today...

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Angie're a special lady!

Tonight we celebrated Aunt Angie's 85th birthday! Yes, this beautiful woman is FORTY YEARS older than me! She travels, does yoga, dances and drives a sporty new car! Talk about an inspiration...
I want to be just like her when I grow up!
At El Torito Grill (so delicious!)
with my mom and dad and cousin, Lynn.
I LOVE these people!

Afternoon Delight

After work yesterday, I walked down to the beach to catch this...
Have I ever mentioned how much I love where I work?

Monday, November 24, 2008

Claus for Alarm

This is a shot of me playing Mrs. Claus at our Associate's "Breakfast with Santa" last year. The costume I had on was a slightly-worn--and might I add somewhat out-dated--imitation velvet dress with faux fur, ric rac and pom-poms. Yeah. It was fine, but I vowed that if they ever asked me to be Mrs. Claus again, I would find a much cuter outfit to wear. They asked me. I started looking right away.
Seriously, there are literally hundreds of Mrs. Claus styles out there to choose from! Yet there's not much in between the "Mrs. Frumpy Claus" outfit I'm wearing above and--"Mrs. Claus does Dallas!" As you can see from the lovely accompanying photos, there IS quite a selection of the latter...There's "Sexy Plus Size Mrs. Claus" as well as "Ana(rexia) Claus" and just about everything in between!

I think that last one is "Pole Dancing Mrs. Claus." Talk about HO HO HO
And, for the love of God...what is with the EYEBROWS on the other one??--Is that Santa in drag?!

Ta-dah!! This is the outfit I bought today! I love the boots, the little gloves and the cape too! It's cute, conservative, yet kinda kicky...I just think it's much more "Mrs. Claus of the OC--Ms. Claus 2008" (aka "Santa's NEW wife") PS I'm not wearing the glasses this year either. Santa sprung for for lasik...
Honestly, I am really excited now!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Can't do that to me no you can't do that can't do that...

Yes, it's true! Dr. Mario is making a house call...
After finding the ORIGINAL Nintendo Entertainment System in my parents' storage, I was determined to find my FAVORITE game of all time ASAP!
My kids had Dr. Mario for Nintendo 64 when they were in their mid-teens. I remember this because I became addicted to correctly stacking up those falling pills on the nights I was waiting for them to get home! (I never went to bed til both of them were in the house!) As they got home, they would join me...I quickly became the Hibbard household champ, conquering 'level 17' on several occasions.
Though many tried to beat me, it was only Allison who gave me a run for my money...and I think it was Todd Cooper or Chris Glinski who eventually took my pill-stacking crown. They were incredible masters of this awesome game!
I can't wait to play again, but may need to practice before I am ready to compete again.
I'll let you know when the Doctor is in.

PS The title of this post is the song that I sang when we went with the music of the game. Eventually, we all sang it...
Yeah, I guess you had to be there...

Home Alone

I woke up this morning and--since I'm off today--just laid in bed for a while. And thought about being alone. About waking up alone and going to bed after day after day. Thankfully, this is my only day off this week. I do much better having to get up and out--and I LOVE being at work.
I laid there a little longer and thought kind of sadly, "I'm living alone." And suddenly, I turned into Kevin Mc Allister and I said happily, with a great big smile, "I'm living alone!"
I thought, "I can lay here all day if I want to, and NO ONE will say, 'Aren't you getting up today?' No one NEEDS me to get up! I don't have to do anything today if I don't want to!" I stayed there, snuggled in my big down comforter for another hour or so, drinking in the silence. It was delicious!
I finally got up, put on my sweats and my big wool socks (because I live alone and no one cares) and went out to make coffee. I was starving, but after perusing the breakfast selections in my fridge, decided to have a Lean Cuisine Pizza instead. Why? BECAUSE I CAN!
As I sat down to eat it I said out loud, "A lovely cheese pizza, just for me!" I thought of YOU, Allison!
Like Kevin says, after realizing how nice it actually is, "I'm living alone! I'm not afraid anymore!"
Of course I have a load in the washer, one in the dryer and the dishwasher is running. "Will & Grace" (and Jack & Karen) are providing a hilarious soundtrack to this lazy, yet somewhat productive Sunday morning. God knows I can only do nothing for so long. But I am sitting down, feet up, laptop in place, smiling and appreciating the fact (maybe for the first time??) that I don't have to do anything.
I think I'll have a bowl of ice cream--with Hershey's syrup! I know, it's only 10am, but why not?
You hear that? I'm eating junk and watching rubbish!!
When I grow up and get married...I'm living alone.
I'm not afraid anymore.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Wanna have a catch

At lunch yesterday, I explained to a friend that, after nearly three years of dating (sounds like a lot more dating than it's actually been, I assure you) I almost have it figured out. There are three significant loves in my life...and if they are significant to my date as well, then perhaps there is a chance that we may become significant to each other! There are three simple questions, and in the answers to the questions lie the possibility...well, lie many possibilities.

#1. Do you like baseball? The usual answers:
A. "No, it's boring, dull, I like football, ping pong, etc."
B. "It's ok, I don't really follow it, but I don't mind going to a game."
C. "Are you kidding? I love it!! "
I will spare you the story of the man who told me he visited his daughter in Boston and that she took him to Wrigley Field. Yeah. I told him it was a shame she didn't take him to Fenway, being in Boston and all...Painful. And bu-bye.
I need to have someone who is stoked to hear that I met Greg Maddux and Ned Colletti. And someone who can tell you where he was when Gibson hit the homerun. Yeah.
It is my love language and it turns me on more than just about anything else…
Music is a close second, so the next question is...

#2.What was the first concert you ever went to? Usual answers:

A. "I don't remember." (Ugh!)

B. "I think it might have been Garth Brooks." (I know this is cruel, but if there is even a possibility that you might have attended a Garth Brooks concert...yeah...sorry.)

C. If he says,(without pause) “The Police-February 1982--at the Forum"

Of course, that’s the answer. You like music, you like concerts, you value memories, and you'll appreciate the fact that I have seen the Police about a dozen times...and, well, it means you probably like Sting too. (Note: it does not have to be the Police or Sting...but it's AWESOME if it is!) Also, I have been to six or eight concerts this year. LOVE that...hopefully he does too.

#3. Have you been to Europe?

I am no snob, and I did not see Europe myself until I was 40, but I dreamed of it my whole life. I have been three times now and I can't wait to go again. Usual answers:

A. "Nope…never had the desire." (Seriously, a guy said those exact words to me.)

B. "Never been, but I' d love to go!!" (Good followup is, "I have been to Australia, China, etc...)

C. "I LOVE Europe, I ate my way through Italy!" (Yep, that's the answer...especially if he loves Italy...and eating.)

Easy questions. And, GREAT conversation starters regardless of the answers! I have to admit, sometimes he'll answer them all brilliantly, yet he just won't ask me out again. (Yeah, it took me a while, but I'm even getting the hang of THAT now.) One thing for sure, I am never again dragging a man to a baseball game, to a concert or across Europe. But I'm sure as heck not waiting for a man to do any of them either!

Of course the best answer of all is:

"Wow, this is amazing Julie Hibbard...I traveled Europe extensively for years on a traveling baseball league! Boy did we listen to some great music on those bus rides!"

That’s all I’m asking for…

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Teach your children well...

Through the amazingness of Facebook, I reconnected with my long-lost friend, Mrs. Sargent. Yep, she was both of my kids' teacher for 5th and 6th grade, so that's how I have always known her! (She actually insisted that I call her Marcia now--it just feels so wrong!)
We had lunch out on the patio of Sapphire Restaurant, which has a stunning view of the ocean in Laguna Beach, and we talked til almost sunset! (Oh yeah--it was a spectacular 78 degrees in Laguna Beach today!) Mrs. Sargent...I mean a writer now! And, she is encouraging me to become one too.
(Hmmm...what would I write about??)
After my extended lunch, I met my family for dinner...
guess who's in town?!
Little Elijah is SO adorable!! (My dad is too, huh?)So fun to spend time with Sunny and Thatcher
And my baby sister Sarah. I was almost 13 when Sarah was born and she was just 6 when Allison came along. I remember I made Sarah a shirt that said, "I'm the little aunt."

Sweet Logan
Seriously, Elijah never stopped smiling...
unless we were trying to get a picture.
Sarah, Tony and the kids will be here through Thanksgiving weekend.
We're grateful!

...and a half.

Today is my 1/2 birthday. I have always celebrated the day by remembering where I was 6 months ago (having sushi with Allison, Gina, the boys, Dillon, Francisco and my parents) and then imagining where I will be 6 months from today--May 19, 2009.

Just so you know, the Dodgers play the Mets at home that night--I sure wouldn't mind being there.

And, can someone please make this cake for me?

There's still only one alternative to getting older ya know...