Wednesday, December 9, 2009

So Many Emotions...

There have been a lot of changes in the Human household over the past 14 months. None of those changes have been as big or lifechanging as the one we were so pleasantly surprised with on November 30th...

The day actually started out quite sadly. We had learned on the day after Thanksgiving that my father-in-law had been diagnosed with stage 4 terminal lung or liver cancer. We decided to take dinner to my in-laws to talk and spend some time together. We had a really beautiful night with them, with a big heartfelt talk. It was overwhelming, really, but SO desperately needed. My husband's relationship with his mom and stepdad had been strained for several months. We were all just saddened that it took such a tragic event to bring us all together again.

During dinner, I wanted to break my suspected news to them, but knew that I couldn't until we were sure. Hope doesn't come easily when you're faced with certain death and we couldn't bear to break their hearts again.

Once we returned home, I ran to the bathroom with the bag from the pharmacy in tow. Peed in a cup, dipped the test stick... and almost immediately, we got a big fat "PREGNANT" result. I only remember screaming "Oh My God!" in a fit of sheer joy. I begged my husband to read the test to me, to make sure my eyes weren't playing tricks on me. In hindsight, I wish I could have been more creative or calm about telling him. Instead, I hugged him as tightly as I could and cried tears of happiness. I immediately regretted not having taken the test before we went to dinner.

To tell my son, I made a tshirt for him that reads "I'm Going to be a BIG Brother!" and a card. He opened the card and read it several times. His little jaw dropped and he asked me what it meant. "Who's going to be a big brother, Mom? Me???". I nearly bawled my eyes out as I nodded my head to confirm that he was finally getting the present he'd been asking Santa for over the past three years... he was getting a little brother or sister!

We're just six weeks pregnant today. I know that it's early and I pray hard day and night to make sure little one sticks with us. I used to be superstitious about revealing such news so early on, but I know we can use all the prayers we can get to help us make sure this pregnancy is healthy and successful. I had a really rough time when I was pregnant with my son, which makes me nervous about this one. But I've also found a faith in God that I never had before. I've stopped questioning the path that I'm on and have realized that He truly knows what we need and never gives us more than we can handle.

My husband has already started to show his saint-like qualities. My mood is swinging all over the place. I laugh, then cry, then laugh, then pout, then cry... it's a vicious circle. He's taking wonderful care of me and talks to our little one while we lay in bed. I can't wait until he's able to talk to him/her in person... August 4th is our estimated due date. I'm anxiously awaiting our first prenatal appointment on January 4th. In the meantime, I'm taking it easy and enjoying every moment with this little one... nausea, soreness, fatigue and all... In fact, nothing could make me happier!

Friday, November 13, 2009

No excuses

I could sit here and tell you that I have a million reasons why I haven't blogged in months, but they would likely be excuses or little white lies. Truth be told, I probably should have been blogging this whole time. Writing is a bit therapeutic for me, and I could've used the outlet.

Things are well in the Human home. Things have been a little rocky everywhere else, but such is life. I'm looking forward to spending Thanksgiving with our family, though I'm still shocked that it's now less than two weeks away. This year has flown by with the speed of Superman, I swear (except for those two months I was committed to my couch, those two lasted FOREVER!).

I have created a few new pieces for sale on my etsy site. I had a custom request for an eyeglass chain and made a few of them while I was at it. I haven't done a lot of creating lately, but hope to get back in the swing of it with the holidays approaching. Funny thing is that the creating isn't even the hard part - for some reason, getting my act together and actually getting the listing up on etsy has been my bane. I'm losing my motivation, but I'm working to find it again...

Until next time, peace and love...

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Where Did the Summer Go?!

So, admittedly, I missed most of the summer while I was laid up on my couch with a broken ankle. I just got out for the first time with some real walking - a little bit of hiking with my husband on a disc golf course. He was showing me his masculine prowess with a Frisbee while I was watching every footstep, scared to death of falling over! We actually had a great time and I realized how much I missed getting out and doing things. So much of my life over the past three months consisted of watching television or reading school books that I nearly forgot what the outdoors is like.

I wish I could say that my injury was the worst of the season. Unfortunately, that was not to be the case. After losing my job two weeks before I was slated to return from disability, I'm finally feeling a sense of peace from the whole ordeal. I'm grateful that I don't have to return, though the uncertain job market has put a huge lump in my throat. I'm buckling down and focusing on school, all the while knowing that this is what it will take to get my family on a more comfortable path down the road. I've managed to maintain my 4.0 GPA and am beaming with pride!

We've had triumphs and trials this year. Uncertainty plagues us, but I draw strength in the way we pull it all together. I take pride in our triumphs and learn more about myself through every single struggle. Someone once told me that our lives don't get easier, we just get stronger.

As the summer draws to a close, I can reflect and still smile. In the end, I have what matters most - a husband and son who love me dearly, an immediate and extended family that always has my back, and a few select friends who are always there when I need them. I'll be celebrating the end of the season with most of those people tomorrow, and I can't think of a better way to spend the last weekend of summer...

Sunday, August 9, 2009

What a wild ride it's been!

Hey there, readers! It's been some time since I last wrote, but so much has been happening that I feel like I haven't had a chance to catch my breath! There's been good, bad and ugly for sure! Fortunately, the hell that was my 30th year on this planet is officially over and who knew that 31 could feel so good?!

Let's rewind a bit before I get to the really good stuff... Update on my ankle: I'm only confined to an ankle brace (cast be gone!!), which isn't comfortable but at least it isn't big and bulky, plus I can take it off when I want! I see the doctor again this coming week, so hopefully everything will go smoothly and he'll find that the healing process is going well. I had outptient surgery about a month or so ago for kidney stones (yes, ladies - they really are worse than labor pains - that freaking pain doesn't stop, at least contractions give you some sort of break!). The surgery could have went better (if the doctor hadn't left packing material in a place where it shouldn't have been - can you say GROSS?!), but I recovered just fine.

I had been going to physical therapy three times per week to help me strengthen my muscles and get the elasticity back in my tendons, but that all came to a screeching halt on July 31st when I lost my job and health insurance. Yeah, not only did I lose my job, but the a-holes couldn't even be bothered to give me a few days' notice so I could reschedule my appointments under my health insurance before it stopped. I guess I'll have COBRA options, but none that we could possibly afford right now *sigh*

Anywho, the "fine" institution that I used to work for decided to reassign all of my duties and eliminate my position while I was on disability and couldn't do a thing to challenge them. I'm looking at it now in a positive light - I am free from the shackles of their entirely-backwards company politics and have realized that many of the wealthiest people among us are also the most wicked. No care whatsoever for the people they employ, especially if you challenge the HBIC (and, for the record - if you call yourself a human resources professional, you should at least know a thing or two about how to talk to people, or at least have some sense of compassion for people that weren't born with a silver spoon in their mouths). I also find comfort in knowing that karma is a bitch, and people always get what's coming to them eventually.

Now, on the positive side of things... My husband and I had been looking for his daughter for the past three years (he hadn't seen her since she was a baby and didn't even know where to look). A few months ago, we found her! We had taken it slow at first with emails and instant messaging, but were able to finally meet her in person yesterday. The pictures up top are from our meeting! I can't even begin to explain the joy in my heart. For Lexi, for my husband, for my son, and for me! It brings me so much pleasure to watch my husband fall in love all over again. My son was so touched by her in our short time together that he incessantly asks when we will see her again.

With everything that has happened, I'm treating my 31st year on this planet as a new beginning. I'm entirely grateful for every single soul who has held my hand through this past year. You know who you are. Some of you sent a card at just the right time. Some sent a quick email or message through social networking, just to let me know that we were in your thoughts. Some literally held my hand through some very tough moments. Some held me tightly as I wept and begged God to please give us a break. Each of you are an angel to me and I will be forever grateful for having you in my life. It's true, God really doesn't give you more than you can handle. You just have to get through the storm to find the rainbow waiting on the other side...

Much love,

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Getting better (and worse)!

The cast is off! Now I have a pneumatic aircast (like the one The Meanest Mom had hanging from a tree for some reason), which is nice since I can take it off to shower - though I feel like RoboCop or a Storm Trooper (insert Darth Vader theme here).Still confined to crutches, but I go back to the doctor on July 10th and they told me to bring my right shoe, so I'm taking that as a good sign.

Just when the ankle started to feel better, I got some nasty back and side pain on Thursday. It got bad enough that my hubby called my mom to come over and convince me to head to the E.R. Almost immediately after being situated in a room, I had to use the bathroom and they sent me with a sample cup. I was shocked to see the results - blood in the urine, and lots of it. Evidently, my pain had been caused by a kidney stone traveling through the course of my body. I'm taking antibiotics to fight off infection and waiting for "the passing", which is taking its own sweet time. Bummed that I've got another ailment to worry about, but I'm looking forward to the end of July and being semi-normal again.

My hubby went disc golfing today and brought poison ivy or oak home with him. Can we PLEASE just catch a little break now?! All in favor, say "aye!"

Speaking of my hubby, he'll be celebrating his 36th birthday on Wednesday. We're going to celebrate with dinner and cake with just the three of us. On Friday, we're having friends over to hang out in his mancave - which I admit is coming together pretty nicely. Black Label is bleeding all over the place, with memorabilia from our concert trips all over the walls. He found a Jager machine at a garage sale for $15 (these things usually run $300 - $400 brand new) and it's working like a charm. He's been calling his family and friends and gently informing them that all he wants for his birthday are fifths of Jager to fill it up - and that he knows where it's on sale, lol. I guess at least he's easy to please, ha!

I'm antsy and anxious to get out of the house. We'll be celebrating Independence Day with my family at my sister's house. The neighborhood men get together to put on a fireworks show and it should be a good time.

Hope you're all enjoying the summer! Stay safe!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Week 3 of Project Broken Ankle (aka This Summer Sucks!)

I've been pretty much confined to my couch in my living room since Memorial Day with a broken ankle. I go back to the doctor on Friday to have additional x-rays to see how the break is healing. God help me, I'm hoping that they'll at least give me a walking cast. The nice weather is beckoning me and I don't think I can take much more television to keep my own thoughts from driving me insane. That picture to the left? Yeah, that's been my vantage point for the past three weeks. Exciting view, eh?

I am doing better, making progress. My whole leg has stopped hurting, which means the ankle and hip sprains are ok. Instead of a constant throbbing around my foot, I can now feel the actual break - beasty little twinges of pain every now and again. I'm working to wean myself off of pain meds because the last thing I need is to become dependent on them.

God love my husband. He's been an angel to me these last few weeks. Waiting on me for everything - making my meals, helping me shower and dress, picking out my clothes on those rare days that I get out of my pajamas.

I'd be posting here more often but I don't have a laptop at home with me. I stopped bringing it home from work, so I guess that's what I get. So, I jump on our computer when I can stand to stay in a sitting position for any length of time. I've been using my phone for email, facebook, twitter and my google reader, but it's a little difficult to compose a lengthy blog post using the iPhone's touchpad interface.

Hope all is well with my readers out there! Let me live vicariously through you - how have you spent your first weeks of summer? Have you ever had a broken foot/ankle/leg? If so, how did you cope? Comment and tell me!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

A Memorial Day I Won't Soon Forget

Memorial Day weekend started out pretty normally. We hosted a cookout with friends and family on Sunday afternoon. On Sunday morning, my husband traded his 1966 Mustang for a fairly new motorcycle. He used to own a chopper, but it was a single-seater and he always felt guilty for not being able to take me along. So, after the festivities on Sunday, we decided we would make Monday a bike day. We left in the late morning and rode throughout the county and included a stop to visit his Grandma. The rain looked like it was heading our way, so we decided to head home. I couldn't tell you exactly what happened next because it all happened so fast, but here's my best recollection...

Our driveway is gravel. I thought my hubby was going to stop the bike behind my car, since he was just dropping me off and then riding it around to the backside of our home to put the bike in the garage. Instead of stopping, he started to turn and the bike started to slide. I freaked out a little and started to put my right foot down toward the ground. The bike kept moving and I hyperextended my knee. Then, to make matters worse, I fell with all of my weight on top of my rolled ankle. Results? Broken ankle, sprained knee, sprained hip. The ambulance took me to the E.R., where they put on a half cast and told me to follow up with an ortho doctor in a few days.

My doctor's appt this morning did not come with pleasant news. The break is on the interior side of my ankle - one that has a tendency not to heal very well. They put me in a full cast and instructed me to keep weight off of it completely until my next visit on June 5th. The kicker? Most injuries like mine end up in surgery with bone grafting. Yay me! Not only do I get to miss the best parts of summer, but I'll be doing it while sporting a black and hot pink cast while doped up on loritab. Not exactly how I was hoping to spend the warmest days of the year!

I'll be sure to post pics of my new fashion accessory once I get my hubby to take a few and upload them.

Hope your Memorial Day was spent celebrating the right way!

P.S. You can just call me "Grace" from now on ;)

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Memorial Day Weekend

Happy Memorial Day, everyone! We're not quite there yet, but I've been busy with preparations for a barbecue at our home with family and friends tomorrow. The house is company-clean... not spotless by any means, but I figure I'll be forgiven seeing as how half the guest list is under the age of ten.

I'm so excited to have the day off on Monday. No work on a Monday is like some sort of divine gift in my eyes. It's a day for me to relax and there's nothing better than returning to work and only having four more work days left!

I'm working on getting everything together for a Ladies' Night that I'm hosting next weekend. Fajitas and Margaritas - sounds like heaven, doesn't it?! There are a few close friends that don't live geographically close enough to make it, but I'll be toasting them with a cocktail next Saturday night all the same. Jackie and Robin - I miss you ladies and I hope we're able to make a trip out to see you both soon!

Wishing all of you a safe and happy holiday weekend!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

The Looking Glass

This feature is long overdue, and I apologize in advance to Laurie at The Looking Glass. I was browsing through last year and found this beautiful piece by Laurie in her etsy shop.

I quickly added it to my favorites (I have a love of ALL things fairy!) and mentioned how nice the piece would look in one of my windows to my husband. He told me to order it for myself for my upcoming 30th birthday and I was happy to oblige. I can't express how pleased I was when the beautiful suncatcher arrived in the mail.

Laurie's craftsmanship is astounding and I look forward to investing in more of her work to decorate my home! This beauty hangs in my office window, brightening my day as I'm browsing online, working on school assignments, or crafting a new jewelry piece.

Laurie, thank you so much! It's beautifully crafted and one of my favorite fairy treasures!

Friday, May 1, 2009

April Wraps & Stroke Awareness Month Begins!

As we begin a new month, I can't believe how much has happened in April!

Before I recap, I want to remind everyone that May is Stroke Awareness Month. Please, take it from me - it's more important to know the signs of a stroke and the proper response. Act F.A.S.T.!!! If you suspect that someone has suffered a stroke, do the following immediately:

F - Face. Ask them to smile. Note if one side of their face is drooped.

A - Arms. Ask them to raise their arms. Again, note if one side appears to be weakened.

S - Speech. Ask them to repeat a sentence. Note if they have any difficulty

T - Time! If the appear to have any difficulties with the tasks above, call 911 immediately! Note the time that the symptoms began to appear. This can help medical staff respond with the best course of treatment!

I'll talk more this month about stroke, statistics, prevention and treatment. For those of you who aren't aware, my husband suffered a stroke on October 9, 2008. He was an otherwise healthy 35 year old with an at-the-time unknown congenital heart defect called PFO. He has since made a full recovery, but preventing a secondary stroke is our main focus right now. As many as 42% of men and 24% of women who suffer an initial stroke suffer a secondary stroke within five years.

Now, back to my regularly scheduled message:
The month started out on a somber note for me as NBC aired the series finale of E.R. on April 2nd. I tell ya, it felt like I was losing one of my closest friends of the last 15 years. My mom and sister watched the event with me and we all teared up at one point or another! I haven't replaced my Thursday night viewing slot with a new show and I don't think I'm going to. Instead, Thursday evenings from 9-10pm are officially "Lisa Time".

Our first family gathering in our new home was a big success. We celebrated Easter with our family and everyone really enjoyed themselves!

My little sister got married on April 20th. It was a Monday ceremony with just close family in attendance. Her and her "new" husband actually kept their original anniversary date from 7 years ago. It's so refreshing to know that no matter what two people can go through together, especially the really hard times, that they can (if they try!) eventually find each other again. Congratulations, Mike & Wendy! I love you both more than you'll ever know and I'm so happy to have been witness to such a joyous event!

I finished my class on the New Testament this month with a final grade of "A". I'm really happy and feel really enlightened after taking that class. I've now moved on to Human Communications and have so much work to do - including an individual presentation on stroke awareness and a team presentation on modern communication and technology. Wish me luck! I'm just hoping to maintain my 4.0 GPA! (Yep, that's me tooting my own horn!)

To round out the month, my husband had dental work torture done. He had his second molar extracted earlier this week and he's finally starting to recover. The roots of the molar had started to grow together and they had to break the tooth in his mouth to get it out. Painful stuff! He also surprised me by getting his hair cut yesterday. He had been in Sampson mode since his stroke last October and refused to get his hair cut since then. He looks like a brand new man!

Hoping that all of the April rain we got here in NW Indiana really does bring us some pretty May flowers. Spring is here, but it's been so rainy that I'm thirsty for some sunshine!

By the way, isn't today MayDay? Aren't we all supposed to be prancing around a pole or something?! Maybe that's just at the "gentleman's" clubs these days... ;)

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Pay It Forward

I was reading through my blog reader blogs yesterday and found a great idea - a Pay It Forward for my readers! Here's how it works:

Brave People Make Things so get excited and make things….

The first five (5) people to respond to this post will get something made by me. This offer does have some restrictions and limitations so please read carefully:

1. I make no guarantees that you will like what I make. Whatcha get is whatcha get!

2. What I create will be just for you, with love.

3. It’ll be done this year (2009).

4. I will not give you any clue what it’s going to be. It will be something made in the real world and not something cyber. It may be weird or beautiful. Or it may be monstrous and annoying. Heck, I might bake something for you and mail it to you. Who knows? Not you, that’s for sure!

5. I reserve the right to do something strange.

6. In return, all you need to do is post this text on your blog and make 5 things for the first 5 to respond to your blog post.

7. Send your mailing address - after I contact you.

IMPORTANT: This offer is null and void if I do not see you post your own blog to pay this forward. This text was used from

Thursday, April 16, 2009

8 Things...

Sherrie over at Boogers, Screams, Headaches & Dreams (I just love that blog name!) posted this and I thought it would be fun to play along...

8 things I'm looking forward to...
1. My younger sister's wedding next week.
2. Real spring weather (like today, it's just gorgeous outside!).
3. The weekend - I live for my weekends... Weekdays are just a mishmash of chores with 8.5 hours of work at the beginning to mess everything up, lol.
4. BLS Bash in Grand Rapids on May 9
5. Our second wedding anniversary - hopefully we'll celebrate with a trip this year!
6. Trying for baby #2 ;)
7. Finishing my current college class and starting the next one.
8. Our next family gathering since Easter was so awesome!

8 things I did yesterday (in random order)...
1. Worked
2. Visited with some friends
3. Picked my cat Rambo up from the vet after he was neutered (poor little guy!)
4. Watched South Park with my hubby.
5. Worked on #6 above, ha!
6. Checked on my mom - she's battling a flair up of her rheumotoid arthritis and has a pulled hamstring to boot.
7. Wished my Mom & Dad a Happy 31st Un-Anniversary
8. Talked to my son about the importance of being a kind and compassionate person.

8 things I wish I could do...
1. Win the lottery!
2. Fast forward my education so I can finish my degree and move on!
3. Buy our home... it will happen, I'm just not a very patient person!
4. Take our family to Disney.
5. End my work day early and get outside to enjoy the sunshine!
6. Lose weight - I've been battling it for ten years now :(
7. Move my entire family to someplace where it's warm and sunny all year long.
8. Take a trip around the world.

8 shows I watch...
1. The Biggest Loser
2. Heroes
3. E.R. (sniff, sniff)
4. The Sarah Connor Chronicles
5. Jon & Kate Plus 8
6. Chelsea Lately
7. American Idol
8. The Mole (Bring it back!)

8 people I tag...
1. You
2. You
3. You
4. You
5. You
6. You
7. You
8. Yep, you guessed it - YOU!

If you do decide to post, be sure to comment below and let me know so I can check it out!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


I know I'm a few days behind the mark on this post, but I wanted to share our Easter celebration with all of you. My mom and sister helped me with last-minute things in the kitchen (and another round of deviled eggs after my first batch got ate up within the first ten minutes).

After we hid the eggs (which took thirty minutes), we lined the kids up to start the big hunt (which took all of five minutes!). We let the smallest kids out first to give them a bit of a jump start.

They had so much fun running around, finding eggs in high and low places, between fence posts and in our newly sprung daffodil patch (my dad even snuck outside and half-buried some of them, ha!).

After the hunt ended and while the kids were busy cracking open their plastic eggs to find the sugary treasures hidden within, my dad started to carve the ham while my mom, sister, and I finished the last-minute stuff for our meal. We enjoyed two hams this year - one that was baked with a brown sugar and pineapple glaze, and one that was smoked all morning long. To this moment I can't pick which one was my favorite - they were both just so yummy! We completed our meal with mashed potatoes and gravy, roasted sweet potatoes, deviled eggs (the second batch), corn, and rolls - pretty simple stuff, but all of it was delicious!
After dinner, we gave the kids their goodie bags. The bags from my parents included kites and since it was a beautiful and slightly windy day, we decided to make a trip to the schoolyard to give them a try. The kids weren't as successful in flying kites as we hoped, but their interest faded quickly and they made their way to the playground equipment. However, my father and husband can testify to the quality of the kites - they ended up being the ones playing with them! :)

After we left the schoolyard, we all walked across the street to visit my maternal grandparents. Now, I'm not sure what happened while we were there, but the entire house shook after a loud boom and pictures fell off the wall. We inspected the house, inside and out - and found nothing to explain what we all saw and heard. It was the most bizarre thing! So, after wreaking our havoc on my poor grandparents (all 13 of us!), we headed back to my house for dessert.

This is where the bunny cake comes in. The yummy bunny cake... I'm usually the baker in our family. Birthday cakes, desserts for family gatherings... you name it, I'm typically elected to make a bring it. My grandmother even made sure to stock me with most of my baking essentials early on so I wouldn't have an excuse, ha! Well, this year my Mom offered to bring dessert (score for me since I was busy with the rest of the meal). Then she told me she was making a bunny cake. I have to admit, I was skeptical at first, but when she arrived with that cake, I could not have been more proud. It was the cutest thing! My dad was beaming and so proud of her... it was one of those great family moments that we'll talk about for years to come - Mom making her first novelty cake at the age of 40-something (yep, MY mom is 40-something and I'm 30-something... you do the math).

Isn't it cute?!
All in all, it was one of my favorite holidays to date. No drama, no tantrums, no bickering - pretty amazing considering we had seven kids there, ages 10 and under! Great memories and I'm thankful for each and every one of them.
Peace and blessings to all of you,

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Easter Preparations

Now that my parents and siblings all live within about five blocks of each other, holidays are so much more convenient! Our first holiday in our new (to us) home is coming up this weekend and we're hosting an Easter Egg Hunt for the kids followed by a traditional Easter dinner with our family.

My sister and I went shopping last night to get the goodies for the egg hunt. We fill the plastic eggs with candy and coins and I'll be making little goodie bags for the kids to take home with them. I also picked up a kit to make a Bunny House from the same folks that manufacture the Gingerbread House that I fell in love with last year! I'm saving that for Saturday so that my son can help me and then we'll dye our Easter Eggs.

Easter dinner is a bit of tradition for our family. There are certain items that MUST be on the menu according to me, my mom and my sister. Those things include ham with pineapple, roasted sweet potatoes, corn and rolls - everything else is filler. Except this year. This year, my mom has added Polish sausage to the mix and I'm hungry already just thinking about it!

So tonight I'll be heading home after work to start filling all of the plastic eggs and get started on the house cleaning. My hubby is supposed to be making sure the yardwork is taken care of and I really hope he comes through for me. The thought of spending Saturday morning raking twigs and other assorted yard debris just doesn't sound like the way I want to spend my weekend :) I also have grocery shopping to do! Luckily, I'm also officially on break from school for a week. The downside to that is that I have a final to prepare for as soon as we start up again!

What are your Easter plans? Do you have any special traditions? Comment and tell me about them!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Still Recovering

WARNING: Not all of the pics in this post are completely PG - just flipping of the big bird, but I wanted to warn ya ahead of time. Another disclaimer: I HATE to have my picture taken. I was not blessed with a photogenic quality, so it's a pretty big step for me to post any pics of myself, especially these ones... And now, on to the post!

I think I'm still recovering from Mission: Bleeding Ears, even though my hearing was thankfully restored when I woke up on Saturday morning. The concert was awesome, though the real highlight was meeting Zakk Wylde and the guys from BLS on Friday afternoon. Let me tell you, Zakk is a viking of a man - he looks intimidating as hell, but he was one of the coolest guys I've ever met - they all were! He was sweet and smelled OH SO GOOD! All of us that were there for the meet and greet got to go up to the band and were greeted with handshakes, hugs and kisses.

After my first hug and kiss, my hubby struck up a conversation with Zakk while I talked to the rest of the band. JD and Nick went into ninja mode and had me cracking up.

Then we lined up for my picture with the band and I got a BLS manwich... yummy stuff, for sure!
Then it was my hubby's turn... He was like a little kid on Christmas morning and I'm not sure yet if he's fully recovered from meeting one of his idols! Yep, that's my hubby with the guys flipping the bird to the camera... Isn't he a saint?! LOL

I have to say, there was more than one occassion when I felt truly touched by this band. At the meet and greet, a set of parents brought a little boy that idolized Zakk. He had drawn a picture for Zakk, framed it, and gave it to him as a gift. No autographs were given during the meet and greet, except for this one:

I should mention that Zakk's heart is really with kids. All of the proceeds from the VIP events go to the St. Jude Children's Hospital, where he makes regular visits and is a faithful donor.

As I said before, the concert was amazing. Zakk's tribute to Dimebag Darrell was heartfelt and there was hardly a dry eye in the place, which says alot considering the fanbase. He's not only a guitar legend, he's also pretty damn good with a set of piano keys under his fingertips.

BLS fans are a breed all their own. The band itself is still pretty underground, and we like it that way. We feel like family and that's because we are. We met a lot of people that share out passion for music and the simple joys in life. We look forward to meeting more of our BLS family along the way and are grateful for the new relationships we've formed.

We had such a great time that we've decided to make a trip to Grand Rapids to meet the guys again in May. This time we'll get to see the ninja, JD, perform with his own band (Cycle of Pain) too! Mission: Bleeding Ears 2, anyone? SDMF!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Countdown to Mission: Bleeding Ears

The other day I drafted a pretty good "woe is me" post. I'd been feeling like crap for two weeks - down on my luck and ready for a pity party. I opted not to publish the post and decided to see how I felt this week. So here I am and I do admit that I'm feeling a little bit better. I'm still kinda pissed off at the world, but that's ok. I'll get over it.

So, what are we up to this week you ask? Well, even if you didn't ask, I'm gonna tell ya anyways because I'm pretty stoked about it! We're embarking on Mission: Bleeding Ears...

This week, my husband and I are spending the latter part of the week in Milwaukee. For Christmas, I purchased tickets to the Black Label Bash, headlined by Black Label Society (BLS). For those of you unfamiliar, BLS' front man is none other than Zakk Wylde who has been playing with Ozzy Osbourne for ages. He's a swearing, drinking viking of a man and I'm pretty sure my husband has some sort of man-crush on him. I've seen pics of Zakk in his earlier days and as long as he keeps his facial hair (I really am NOT attracted to baby-faced men, sorry), I'll even admit to my own crush on him.

Anyhoo... we're seeing BLS, Sevendust, Dope & Infinite Staircase at the Rave/Eagles Ballroom on Friday. Still not familiar? If you're not a fan of heavy metal, don't bother... otherwise, google them and tell me what you think. I'm not familiar with Dope & I.S, but this will be my second time seeing Sevendust and I'm pretty excited to see them again! Four bands, small venue - yep, I'm sure Mission: Bleeding Ears will be a succesful one. Hopefully, upon my return I'll have some cool pics to share with ya!


Monday, March 16, 2009

Happy Birthday Baby Boy!

Others will tell me that you're hardly a baby anymore! I miss the days that you called me "Mommy", now it's stictly "Mom". You used to rush up and give me hugs and kisses every chance you got, but these days you're quick to assess the witnesses around first, to make sure none of your classmates are watching. I'll learn to survive, just know that you'll always be MY baby boy!

I'm sorry that you're sick today and even sorrier that you won't be able to celebrate with your classmates until you return to school on Thursday. A diagnosis of Fifth's Disease sure seems like a kick in the pants on today of all days, but you're tough like me and along with the rest of your loving family, we'll make sure we celebrate extra tonight!

Happy 10th Birthday, Punkin!


Mommy :)

Friday, March 13, 2009

A Decade of Joy

Ten years ago today, I was enjoying my last days as a "free" woman. I was a young mother-to-be, anxiously anticipating my baby boy's grand entrance into the world. I was so bloated that my wedding rings had been cut from my fingers because I couldn't get them off. I was on ordered bedrest. I was mean and cranky, I'm sure. I was also terrifed.

I'm the oldest of four children and one of the oldest among a gaggle of cousins, so I'd been around a baby more than once and was always the number one choice for babysitter among my aunts and uncles. This, however, was entirely different. I knew that I wanted to be a great mom, but had no idea how much work that would be. I'm not talking about 2am feedings, or sick babies that somehow manage to sneeze, puke and poop all at the same time... I'm talking about how difficult it would be to become selfless, and I admit that I did a pretty crappy job for most of it. I'm still learning every single day what it takes to be a "good" mom.

Somehow, amid all of the chaos of the last five years, my son has turned into a charming, shy, smart-as-a-whip little mini-man. He has a great sense of humor, is compassionate, and has a good temper on him. He doesn't throw huge tantrums, but he'll argue his case like Johnny Cochran used to. He's this great combination of his mother's stubbornness and his father's laid-back attitude. He's protective and won't be bullied. He likes to be the leader, though he's not yet the first to step up to the challenge. He's reserved and cautious with strangers, but he's a hoot once he warms up to ya. He makes me laugh out loud over things like "where did the word 'nincompoop' come from, mom?". He's a pokemon-playing, country song-singing, basketball-throwing miracle of mine.

Tonight, we're celebrating his birthday with family. He gets to continue the celebration over the weekend with his school friends, and finish it off on Monday night with dinner of his choice. His request? Pizza! See how great he is?! I don't even have to cook! ;)

P.S. The picture above is from his 8th birthday, but it was all I had on my work laptop for some reason... I'm going to work to put together a slideshow of his first decade over the weekend (and yes, I'm the kind of mom that will make sure all of his school friends see it, ha!)

Thursday, March 5, 2009

A Great Day!

I awoke this morning to the most beautiful day. The birds were chirping and not a flake of snow in sight! The temperature is 54 degrees at 10:00 in the morning. I had almost forgotten what anything about 32 degrees felt like.

To top it off, I completed my inventory reconciliation at work two days ahead of schedule. To best even that, my total variance for the entire company (four plants plus corporate headquarters) was less than $90!! Mind you, when I took this position about nine months ago, the variance was over $1,000,000 (yep, I said MILLION).

The cherry on top of this morning? I scored a 98% for final grade in my Health & Wellness course. I started pre-reading for my next class, a survey of the New Testament, and am surprisingly extremely intrigued so far! I was raised in a Christian family, but we didn't really go to church - I was just brought up to believe without any of the real lessons from the Bible. So it's interesting to me to finally look at all of it in a historical context.

I think I'm going home early today to enjoy the sunshine rest, because I'm sick of being inside and cold suddenly feeling under the weather ;)

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Starting to Feel Like Home

The last two weeks have been pure madness around our household. The big move, no water, constant repair work, trips across the country for work, the list just doesn't seem to end. We finally got our water back yesterday. The landlord is still working, fixing our laundry room, ripping out carpet, painting, etc. I have to admit though, this place is starting to feel like home. I was able to get my bathroom set up last night - cute rubber ducky theme carried over from our previous home with some new additions.

I'm heading over to our old place today to clean and get the rest of our clothes and other items that were left behind. We have an appointment at 3:00 with a woman who is interested in buying it, so I'm hoping that goes well. She had already seen the place while we still lived there, so I hope she still likes it after all of our stuff is gone, ha! I do admit the place looks a lot bigger now that it's empty, now I just have to get it CLEAN! I'm so sick of scrubbing and wiping and scrubbing some more - my poor hands look terrible and they're so scratched up that I look like I had a wrestling match with Catwoman!

I plan to feature a few artists this week whose shops I frequent - be sure to check back this week to see who I'm talking about! One feature is long overdue and her work has been hanging in my window for some time. The other is the creator of a beautiful piece that I won at The Gift Closet.

Wishing all of you a relaxing weekend!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Mission Moving Day Accomplished!

First off, I'd like to thank all of you who left well wishes for a smooth moving day for us! The move is complete with the exception of a few small items that I couldn't fit into boxes and our fish (we're picking them up tomorrow... explanation below).

While we have internet, tv, and heat... not everything has gone smoothly. My husband was forced to work nearly 18 hours the day before our move, leaving him exhausted on the big day. He's still recovering and has a honey-do list a mile long, poor guy!

I had the entire weekend planned out - cleaning on Friday, moving small boxes in my car and more cleaning on Saturday, full move on Sunday. Easy enough, right?! Ha!

Well... I arrived on Friday to find that the water hadn't yet been turned on (not very convenient seeing as how I took the day off from work to clean the new home in preparation for our move). My husband located the main valve to the house and when he turned it on, the thing started GUSHING water! At this point, I was just grateful that we're renting for the time being (renting with an option to purchase after the first year). The landlord assessed the situation and determined that the leak was a city issue. So, the city came out on Monday (yes, we moved on Sunday without the luxury of running water), fixed the main valve and went through the house checking all of the faucets and drains. By the time he got back to the basement, our laundry room was flooded with two inches of water! Talk about panic attack! We called the landlord and he found the source of the leaks (yes, that's plural). There were four of them behind the laundry sink. So, out came the sink and all of the drywall. He worked on it for six hours today but still wasn't able to turn our water back on - evidently he needed a few more parts and had to go to his regular job. He'll be back in the morning to finish the job.

In the meantime, we're running back and forth to my mom's house to use her ummm, facilities for bathing and all of the other important things. We're living off of filled water jugs and trying to stay positive. The rest of the house needs work as well, but we certainly didn't anticipate anything like this! On the positive side, we're living rent-free for now and will continue to do so for at least another week. I just wish things could have worked out better. I'm hesitant to unpack everything until I can really clean the way I wanted to (i.e. my kitchen and bathroom - I'm a bit of a germaphobe that way and want to SCRUB them til my fingertips bleed).

Major props to my family and friends who pitched in a hand to help move and unpack. We're forever grateful and can't wait until we're really settled in to celebrate with all of you!

On that note, I'm working on the setup in my office/craft space (yay, I have MY own room in the house) and am trying to find a good workstation for my jewelry craft. If any of you readers out there have a suggestion, please leave a comment or email me!

Do you have a moving or house horror story? I'd love to hear it - after all, misery loves company! Leave a comment!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Moving Week

So this is the big week! I'm SO far behind on packing - far enough behind that I have no business taking a few minutes to post this quickie! I returned from Baltimore on a full plane with a very noisy neighbor in the middle seat, who didn't seem to care whether or not I had my headphones on with an open book in front of me... he was determined to strike up conversation!

Moving day is officially Sunday. All of our utilities have been switched over effective Monday, the mail has been forwarded, moving truck ordered, the troops have been assembled to help with the heavy lifting... everything is ready except for the packing. Trouble is that I don't have room for more boxes! It's one of those catch-22's, I suppose. It feels like every time I get a box packed, I realize that I have about a hundred more to go... how we accumulated so much crap in three years is beyond me!

Hope all is well - the next time you hear from me, it will be from my new home :)

Saturday, February 14, 2009

From Me to You!

Wishing you a day full of love and joy with the ones that bless your life...

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Random Thoughts From An Airplane

I've spent most of this week in Baltimore for my company's annual audit. It's been a hassle with so much going on at the homefront, but it's also been a bit of a break from daily life.

On my way to Baltimore, I put on my mp3 player and tried to read "Twilight". I got a few chapters in, but found myself feeling the need to write down my thoughts instead of immersing myself in a world of highschool vampires. For your reading pleasure, here are some of those thoughts:
  • The "Expert Traveler" lane at MDW rocks - I got through security in no time!
  • The islands of ice in Lake Michigan are breathtakingly beautiful.
  • Listening to "Summertime" by Sublime makes me want a mixed drink!
  • Ahhh, free drink for Business Select Travelers on Southwest...
  • Cranapple Blast is yummy!
  • Maybe not the best first meal of the day - Cranapple Blast, airline peanuts and Ritz cracker chips.
  • My first time flying with an all-male crew - I like them better than the women, I think.
  • The pilot mentioned we're flying over Detroit - how the heck is Detroit "on the way" from Chicago to Baltimore?! Isn't that a bit north of where we should be?! Who designs these flight patterns anyways?!
  • Flying above the clouds and seeing a horizon line where the clouds break into the most perfect shade of baby blue... it fades into a gorgeous shade of cobalt... THIS is why I must have a window seat!
  • Cranapple Blast is yummy - and strong! I'm going to be drunk by the time the plane touches down!
  • Oooh, "Sweet Angel" by Jimi Hendrix is playing... I love this song!
  • These mixed drinks from Southwest come with the cutest little heart-shaped stir stick.
  • I think the Bible-reading lady sitting next to me hates the smell of the vodka in my drink.
  • I think she hates it even more that I've got a vampire book on my lap while she's reading the Bible.
  • I hope she didn't die - she's sleeping in an awful funny position...
  • I already miss my "boys" at home...
  • Of course, the weather at home is supposed to be awesome while I'm away, and get back to freezing temps just in time for my return.
  • Bible Lady isn't dead... she's actually very sweet, but she must not realize that I can't hear her with my headphones on...
  • My flight is 25 minutes ahead of schedule - woot!
  • Did I mention that Cranapple Blast is yummy?!
  • We've landed... off to dinner at some Japanese Steakhouse...

Catch y'all on my return trip home!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Bummed By The Sims 3

A little geekery tidbit about me - I LOVE playing Sims games, especially The Sims 2 and all of its expansions. As a Christmas gift, my hubby pre-ordered The Sims 3 for me in October which had a release date of February at the time. At dinner last night, my sister informed me that the release had been delayed... by FOUR MONTHS! I jumped online to check it for myself today and was really disappointed to find this:

Nice, eh?

Oh, on the brighter side, my husband is picking up the keys to our new (to us!) house on Wednesday while I'm in Baltimore for our company's annual audit this week. Boo to the audit, yay to the keys! Guess I know how I'll be spending my time next weekend!