Search This Blog

Thursday, December 31, 2009

randomness

I'm seriously considering spending my Christmas iTunes giftcard on the whole Wicked album.

Caffeine is consuming me.  I have to cut back.

John got me Personal Trainer Cooking for the DS.  I cannot wait to use it.

He also got me a hair dryer.  I already have used it!

I would not make it through the winter without our kerosene heater.

My new license came in the mail yesterday.  I'm an organ donor so it has a cute little red heart on it.  I got a form to fill out if I would like to put any restrictions on what organs/tissue/etc. they can use.  Honestly, the thought of them using my skin grosses me out.  But then John reminded me it could be for a firefighter who was burned....so I agreed to it.  As long as they don't take it off my face or anything.  I would like an open casket.  (In case you were wondering...)

I still have ornaments and strings of lights around the living room that I need to pack away.  I'll be doing that when I get out of work early this afternoon.

I secretly feel special every time I park in our garage.

Three-day weekends make me feel like I can accomplish anything!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Wicked

So Monday night I got to experience one of my Christmas gifts.  John's Mom took me and his 2 sisters to see Wicked at Proctor's. 

Oh. My. Gosh.

It was incredible!!

I love music, I love singing, and I love shows.  I had no idea (except a very small, basic knowledge) what the story line was.  I didn't know any of the songs.  Didn't know any of the performers either.

The story was awesome.  The songs were so great.  The dialogue was hilarious.  The performers were a-mazing!  Elphaba was my favorite.  She was the Wicked Witch of the West!  I know, I know...but unless you've seen the show or read the book, you don't know the whole story!  The WW of the W got a pretty raw deal.  And Elphaba was very sarcastic in the show...I loved that.

Ga-linda (with a 'ga') the Good was actually the understudy.  You'd never know it.  She did an awesome job.  I didn't like her voice as much as Elphaba's, but she was very good.  I just prefer the more alto voice, I think.

There were quite a few tongue-in-cheek references to The Wizard of Oz.  And some not quite so tongue-in-cheek.  It was very funny, and I liked finding the little 'clues' that came from the original movie.  (The WW of the East having those striped stockings on was one I particularly enjoyed!)

I wish I could go again.  It was such a fabulous show.  And I wish everyone I knew could go see it!!  If I ever have the chance, I will for sure go see it again!!

Wicked Pictures, Images and Photos

yesterday was my birthday

The Christmas tree is down.  Yay!  I took all the ornaments off.  (They're still sitting on the table, I haven't had time to actually pack them away.)  I took the strings of lights off.  (They're casually strewn about the living room.  I'm trying to figure out a good way to store them so they don't get all twisted and tangled.)  I actually brought the naked tree out to the curb.  (John was impressed.  That's usually his job.)  I vacuumed up all the pine needles that dropped en route.  (There were a lot.)

Tonight I'll take care of the lights and ornaments.  I'll also start my thank you notes and (hopefully) pay some bills.  Actually, I'm gonna go pay a bill right now.  Because it's due today.  Today is work.  Blah.  Tomorrow is work, but only till 3pm.  Friday is a holiday!  I'm excited for another 3-day weekend.

I'm putting a lot of thought into my New Year's resolutions.  Trying to come up with some good ones, that I'll actually be able to stick to.  I love the 'fresh start' feeling.

I had an awesome birthday!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

perspective

Life is all about perspective.

My life seems pretty crappy.

Until I open my self-absorbed eyes and take a look around.

There are many people who have it a lot worse than me.  A lot.

Today, a child is dying.  A family is mourning.

Life is all about perspective.

"Never underestimate my Jesus...when the world around you crumbles, He will be strong, He will be strong." ~RelientK

Saturday, December 26, 2009

birthday list

I was blessed this Christmas.  Very blessed.  I got lots of great gifts, and much of what I got, was what I had asked for!

So, not to sound too greedy or anything...but yesterday I was asked what I wanted for my birthday.  So here's a small list.

  • A hair dryer.  I didn't get one for Christmas, and mine died this month, remember?
  • A ring clip.  I've heard you can get them at a jeweler, and it holds your rings together.  Mine are always getting twisted around.  I don't think they're too expensive.
  • A new Nalgene bottle.  Preferably one with a small opening, not the large one.
  • Clothes are still good.  Clothes are always good.
  • Gift cards are always good too.  Old Navy, iTunes, etc.
And while we're on the subject of my birthday...I'd just like the world to know that this will be my last official birthday.  Henceforth, birthdays (of mine) will not be celebrated.  I will stay in my 20's forever.


no pictures

*Phew*

Not to be all bah-humbugy or anything.  But I'm so glad that Christmas is over.  I'm fighting the urge to start undecorating right now.  The only reason the stuff is staying up is because my birthday party is tomorrow night and I want everyone to see our house all decorated!

I took no pictures on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day.  I don't know why.  I thought about it, but just didn't feel like pulling out my camera.  I'll have to beg, borrow and steal (from facebook!) pictures from my family. 

Christmas Eve we spent with John's family, eating a delicious dinner, opening our gifts and playing games.  We had such a great time.  Unfortunately, John had to work from 11pm until 8am.  He then went to a fire investigation while I had breakfast with my parents, grandma and Granny T on Christmas Day.  Everyone came to my parent's house around noon and we opened a mountain of gifts!!  We then had another delicious meal.  John left shortly after to try and catch a few winks before the Stone Family Christmas that evening.

All-in-all John got about 2, maybe 2 and a half hours of sleep yesterday.  And not all together!  He got home this morning around 7:30 and is now snoring away.  My poor baby.

Even though Christmas is over, the next few days are still chock full of stuff.  Party at 6 tonight.  Birthday party tomorrow night.  Wicked at 8pm on Monday.  Day off Tuesday (for my birthday!) but Nuzback Christmas get-together that night.  Wednesday night, nothing, but then Thursday is New Year's Eve already!

Today's plans are cleaning, laundry and relaxing.  I've been so busy the past several days I've had no time to just sit and enjoy the quiet.  Probably part of my breakdown on Christmas Eve night.  I did have a wonderful Christmas day though, so thank you all for the prayers.  I know that's how I got through!


Thursday, December 24, 2009

the night before Christmas

As I sit here in my dark living room, staring at the multi-colored lights of our Christmas tree, all I can do is cry.  I've had a good day.  Don't get me wrong.  It's only Christmas Eve and I've already been blessed with lots of presents and wonderful time spent with family.

Maybe it's because I'm over tired.  Maybe it's crashing from the massive caffeine high of the day.  Maybe it's the fact that John just left for work and I'm alone for the night.  Maybe it's just all the emotions and stress of Christmas getting to me.

But I know it's not.

It's the fact that right now, there should be a 5 month old baby sleeping in the other room.  Or maybe crying.  Maybe needing a bottle or a diaper change.  It should be my baby's first Christmas tomorrow.  Maybe there would be a special ornament to commemorate 'Baby's First Christmas 2009.'  For sure there would be lots of hugs, kisses and snuggles. 

Not only that, but I also should be 3 and a half months pregnant.  Over the morning sickness, past the worry of the first trimester.  Beginning to plan the nursery and maybe starting to wear maternity clothes. 

Sorry to be a downer, for anyone reading this.  But I'm just so sad right now I can hardly stand it.  The tears just won't stop.  I guess this time of year makes it harder.  I hate to say it, but I just want Christmas to be over.  I'm afraid that tomorrow, as my beautiful niece is celebrating her first Christmas, I'm not going to be able to hold myself together.  And I know my family understands.  But who wants to have to have an emotional basketcase bawling all over Christmas?

I feel like here I am, again, the exact same place I was last year at this time.  Spinning my wheels, not getting anywhere while the rest of the world keeps going.  Families are growing, but not mine.  The only thing I've ever truly desired has been given, then taken away.  Not once, but twiceI don't understand

Last year, I embraced the beginning of a new year with open arms, ready to put 2008 far, far behind me.  Now I face 2010 with dread.  Maybe that's wrong, but that's how I feel.  Like if I dare to be hopeful again, I'm just in for more heartache and pain.  Because truly, right now, my heart is breaking.  Over and over and over again.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Five Days 'til Christmas

December 20, 2009
7:12am
Location: my house

Me: (drying hair in bathroom)

John: "zzzzzzzz"

the hairdryer: *choke* (silence)

Me: (tiptoeing into our bedroom) "John?"

John: "grunt"

Me: "Did you get me a hair dryer for Christmas?"

John: "I don't know"

pause....

Me: "You don't know?"

John: "Ummm...I can't remember."

Me: "So that's a no?"

John: "Yeah, I don't think I got you one."

Me: (wrought with disappointment) "Okay."

Thus, the half wet/half dry hairstyle I'm trying out today for church.  Please don't laugh at me.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

my explanation

So, I still have other ornaments to blog about.  But I have to take the pictures, upload them (and I have no room on my computer) and actually do the blogging.  More than I have time for!

The season of busy is upon us.  Lots of shopping, baking, cleaning, wrapping, working, planning to do.  And eating, of course.  And parties!

I love this time of year, I hate this time of year.  For various reasons. 

Hormone levels are at 6.  Not sure precisely what this means for me, but I'll be talking to the midwife tomorrow.

Our new bed (the Vera Wang I blogged about awhile ago...) is incredible.  Just incredible.  So glad we made the investment!

On Friday John and I are doing Christmas shopping for, among others, our nephews.  I was going to shop for them when I was out by myself, but I resisted, knowing it's John's favorite thing to do.  I think he's more excited about buying for them then getting his own presents!

Oh, and Christmas cards.  I didn't do them last year because I was still in a bummed kind of mood.  I am now, too...but I really want to do them.  I'm thinking about just doing a picture, then doing one of those card things from WalMart and skipping the actual 'card' part.  To save a little time.  We'll see what happens, since we haven't even taken a picture yet!

Okay...I'm gonna go make a list of things to do.  Fun times.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Happy Christmas

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas around our house!  I absolutely love all the Christmas decorations, Christmas music and Christmas candles!  I won the battle (yet again!) this year, and we have another real tree.  To me, it's just not Christmas without a real tree.



Of course, it is always me who does the decorating.



But if John helped, I would probably just end up fixing rearranging it.  Instead, while I decorate John prefers to hide from my camera.



Zoe's always willing to lend a helping paw.



Ah, here's the table I unearthed a few days ago.  I love the little basket of shiny ornaments.  So proud of that one.



And of course nothing says Christmas better than chocolate covered peanut buttery balls!



Happy Christmas to all!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Vera

I now own my very first Vera Wang.


Eight & Nine

I know, I know, I missed yesterday! 


(John & I spent the evening playing volleyball at church, then hanging out at the Taylor's!)


So here are two ornaments, just to catch up.


This first ornament was a gift to John & I from his Mom.  I love it because you can hook a light onto the back and it glows through the fireplace.







This second ornament actually belongs to John, but I like it.  :)


It was a gift from my sister, to John, years ago.  Long before we were married!





I actually gave John the nickname "JohnnyMac" and it's stuck for years. 


And of course, John's a fireman.  So this ornament is perfect for him.


Especially if you notice the firebear is wearing yellow turnout gear.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Little bitty snowmen...

How cute is this snowman?



And I have 5 more of them.
They're itty bitty snowmen, of all different colors.
I bought them at Hallmark before our First Christmas together.
Before we were actually even married, I believe.
Some of my favorites, because they're so itty bitty and cute.
They look so adorable, just hanging in mid-air.
I really like this picture, too.
The end.

in our hearts

I was going to wait to post this as my final ornament.  Then I realized that would be on Christmas day.  And I know I'll be sad enough as it is this Christmas.  No need to add this to my torture.

So this is my ornament for December 6th, a day late.  I'll post my seventh ornament tonight.  Isn't this a beautiful angel?



This angel was a gift from Amy, Dave, Caleb & Zach.  They gave it to me last year at my parent's house a few weeks before Christmas.  As soon as I opened it, I knew its significance.  I immediately teared up.  I had wanted something to remember my baby by at Christmas.  It was a very difficult holiday season last year.  Definitely wish I wasn't repeating it this year.

Amy told me if it was too difficult to put it up last year, to not feel like I had to.  But she has an ornament in memory of her baby in Heaven as well. 

As soon as I got home, I put the ornament on the already-decorated tree.  It's so special to me. 

Last year, it was the last ornament placed on the tree. 

This year it was the first.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Christmas Ornaments, Days 4 & 5

These ornaments, while they are mine, don't live at my house.  They reside on my parent's (fake) tree. 

A little background: Each of us kids has our own first Christmas ornament.  We were all born on even years.  But since I was born after Christmas, my first Christmas ornament is the only one that doesn't correspond with my birth year.  I was almost a year old when I celebrated my first Christmas. 

As for the second ornament...my brother and I both made ornaments with our pictures when we were in elementary school.  Sarah & Christine, however, did not.  It was always a competition between Dave & I to have our picture ornament front and center on the tree.  Many times the picture ornaments would mysteriously move or disappear altogether...only to be found on the very back of the tree.

I guess my sisters were jealous, so my Mom made them their own ornaments with elememtary age pictures.



But I think know mine is the best.  :)

Me & the Boys!

No time to blog right now, my ornament post (for yesterday and today) will be coming later.  But for now, I'll just show you how I spent my evening yesterday, instead of blogging!


Thursday, December 3, 2009

Friday the 13th

Today is the 3rd day of December!  Ready for ornament #3?

Wondering why I'm talking about Friday the 13th?

On Friday, January 13, 2006, I received this beautiful ornament.  Can you guess what happened on that day???



If you guessed that we got engaged...you're right!  :)  More on that story in another post, with another ornament.  This ornament was given to me by my (future) mother-in-law on the very day my (then) fiance proposed.  Obviously, she knew what was going to happen on that chilly day in New York City, and was prepared with a gift when we returned home!

She also gave us a snowman pillow which has been well-loved, but still sits on my couch.

If any one is keeping track, that's 3 ornaments, 2 of them (so far) snowmen-themed! 


Wednesday, December 2, 2009

This is a test...only a test...

I'm using a new post editor...or something like that.  All well and good.  However....does anybody know how I can get different fonts?  I only have the option of, like, 7 fonts or something.  And not the one I prefer.  Oh well.  Wow, I just realized there's no spell check.  Guess I'll have to be extra careful.

My grown-up Christmas list!

Here's a small list of some of the things I want for Christmas. Just in case any one's wondering. :) In no particular order.

  1. A food processor. Not a massive one, but big enough.
  2. A new hair dryer. Mine is petering out.
  3. A George Foreman-type counter top grill.
  4. A video camera. Digital, no tapes.
  5. A new laptop. (Yeah, I know, keep dreaming.)
  6. Books. Any kind of books.
  7. Clothes. Any kind of clothes. (Mostly shirts and tops.)
  8. Household decorations stuff (candles, pictures, little shelves, knick-knacky things...I have no real 'style', so anything works!)
  9. Lovespell lotion/body spray from Victoria's Secret
  10. Scrapbooking stuff. I'm hopeful I'll have time to scrapbook sometime soon!
  11. A new washer and dryer. :D
  12. A new Nalgene bottle
  13. SOCKS!
  14. Gift cards: Old Navy, Target, iTunes, etc!!

Just some ideas to get you started... :) Merry Christmas all!

Twenty-three days to go!

Today is the second day of December. That means...my second ornament! This is actually a set of 2. No real story behind them, except that I love, love, love snowmen, and my Mom bought me these. Maybe at some kind of craft fair? I don't even remember. But I love them, and I always try to find the exact perfect place for them on our tree. Aren't they cute???

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The first day of Christmas

I got this idea from another blogger and decided to do this for something different! Each day, from now until Christmas, I'll show you a picture of one of my tree ornaments and tell you about it. To start if off, I'll begin with my newest ornament!

As you probably know, John and I made our first trip to the West Coast last month. Our tradition (well, it began as my tradition, but John has indulged me many times over) is to get an ornament everywhere we visit. I'm sure you'll see many of them in the days to come.

When you buy an ornament everywhere you travel, it's hard to find unique ones after awhile. I was glad to find this one because it has some sand, as well as mini sand toys and shells in it. We don't have any other ornament like this. We bought this at Seaport Village in San Diego with John's whole family. It was a great trip, with some great memories made!

Do you blog? Does this idea sound fun to you?? Post your blog address in the comments, and I'll be sure to read about your special ornaments too!

Guess what we bought!!!


Sunday, November 29, 2009

Cunniff Thanksgiving Photos

I promised Thanksgiving pictures, and here they are! The Cunniff Thanksgiving took place on Saturday, November 21, 2009.

The beautiful table! Mom did a great job decorating it. Each of the little kids got an ornament with their name on it, and Amy and I got blank ornaments in honor of our babies in Heaven. Amy got one, and I got two. Thanks Mom. :)

It was a semi-nice day, so after dinner we all went outside to take some pictures. Of course, the kids had to have some fun on the swingset first. Here's Caleb enjoying the slide. I also rode on the teeter-totter with him. Does anyone have a picture of that??
Zach on the swing! I love his scrunched up little smiley face. He also enjoyed playing in a pile of sticks over by the fireplace. Such a boy.
Olivia's swing was a tad crooked...but Christine said it was good enough for her kid. :) She loved the swing!
John & I. A little blurry, but still cute.Matt & Sarah, very cute picture!!Amy, Zach, Caleb & Dave. Such a good-looking family!
Olivia (with her tongue out), Shaun & Christine. I don't think Olivia had any turkey for her first Thanksgiving...
Caleb, Grampy, Olivia, Zachary & Grammy. In that order.
Dad & Mom. I love this picture, I think it turned out great!

All my photos, from now until I get a new computer (hint, hint) will be unedited. Unfortunately. You'll just have to take my family 'as is'.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Krause's

The beautiful red & green beckoned. The red box with the beautiful green bow. Was it a gift for someone? No. Did I need it? No. Not really. Did I really have the extra money to buy it? No. But buy it I did. And I filled it with what I like the best.

Peanut butter cups. Hazelnut truffles. Peanut butter logs. Creme brulee truffles. Walnut caramels. Almond toffee. Yum.

I did share. I shared with Sam at work, and I shared with John at home.

And now it's 9:20 on Saturday morning, and I'm about to share with myself. Again. Breakfast of champions!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

One year...and one week

Today is November 25, 2009. Today is a day I've been dreading for awhile. I struggled my way through Mother's Day. July 18th, which would have been my due date for my first baby, was an extremely difficult day. Today marks the one year anniversary of losing my first baby.

One year ago today I called the doctor and insisted on being seen because I was concerned. One year ago today I was sent for an ultrasound, then sent straight back to my doctor to discuss the ultrasound. One year ago today I heard the words "ectopic", "surgery" and "emergency". One year ago today I called my husband, parents and sister-in-law to tell them I was checking myself into Bellevue for surgery. One year ago today I cried more tears than anyone should have to cry in a lifetime.

One week ago today, I couldn't go to work. One week ago today, I spent the day in bed. One week ago today I was in pain, physically and emotionally. One week ago today I called my husband at work to tell him it had started. One week ago today the harsh reality that my heart was refusing to grasp became far too real.

Only God knows why this has happened. Only God can see the end result and know that this will all work together for good. All I can do is trust and believe. And trusting and believing is what I'm trying to do. What I'm striving for.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

sometimes I don't have the words

I'm not usually one for just posting lyrics. But I just came upon this song and it speaks my heart. It's called I Will Carry You by Selah.

There were photographs I wanted to take
Things I wanted to show you
Sing sweet lullabies, wipe your teary eyes
Who could love you like this?
~
People say that I am brave but I’m not
Truth is I’m barely hanging on
But there’s a greater story
Written long before me
Because He loves you like this
~
So I will carry you
While your heart beats here
Long beyond the empty cradle
Through the coming years
I will carry you
All my life
And I will praise the One
Who’s chosen me
To carry you
~
Such a short time
Such a long road
All this madness
But I know
That the silence
Has brought me to His voice
And He says…
~
I’ve shown her photographs of time beginning
Walked her through the parted seas
Angel lullabies, no more teary eyes
Who could love her like this?
~
I will carry you
While your heart beats here
Long beyond the empty cradle
Through the coming years
I will carry you
All your life
And I will praise the One
Who’s chosen Me
To carry you
~
November 25, 2008
November 18, 2009

Monday, November 23, 2009

Not Yet

I was going to attempt a 'thankful' post. I did one last year, around the same time. Remember? Not easy then, not easy now. And I've decided I'm not quite ready to write one yet anyway.

I don't know what the stages of grief are. I'm not sure the order, or if the order even matters. I do know that the feelings of sadness, anger and disbelief I feel are all normal.

The other night, I was tired. I'd done too much that day, went too many places and didn't have any rest. As I was waiting for John to come home from a fire investigation, I finally sat down on the couch and was struggling to hold back the tears. My body was hurting and my heart was hurting. Then I realized, why am I trying not to cry? I need to cry. Sometimes crying it out is the only thing that helps. So I cried.

I know I have lots to be thankful for. And I know it's good to 'focus on the positive' and 'find the silver lining.' But right now, it's too hard. So this is not my thankful post. I'm sure I'll be doing one soon. But not yet.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Early Thanksgiving

I know, it's not Thanksgiving yet. But today was the first ever (annual???) Cunniff Thanksgiving. While growing up, our family always traveled to Indian Lake for Thanksgiving. That was Thanksgiving to me. The first year John and I were married we went to Indian Lake. But since then, because of John's work schedule, we've had Thanksgiving with his family. Which is great! But I miss spending the holiday with my family too.

This year, my parents are the only immediate family members making the trek to Indian Lake. So my Mom decided to have a Thanksgiving today for our family. And it was so much fun! Everybody brought something and it was a great time together. We had turkey, gravy, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, glazed carrots, stuffing, rolls, cinnamon buns, apple pie and pumpkin pie. Delish. I left very full.

We also took some family photos while we were there. I'm just too exhausted right now to get my camera and upload the pictures, so I'll post them later.

I love when our family gets together. There's always lots of laughing and lots of fun. Lots of picking on each other, but lots of love.

This past week has been, let's be honest, pretty crappy. I've had my ups and downs, mostly downs. I've been frustrated, upset, angry and sad. But today was honestly just what I needed. A happy day with my family, which I'm so thankful for. Never will I take my family for granted, I know I'm so blessed to have them.

The only thing that could have made today really feel like Thanksgiving would have been football. There's something weird about having a huge Thanksgiving dinner, and not watching football. But Thursday is coming soon!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

What Could Have, Should Have, Would Have Been...

Oh, what this post could have been. It could have been happy, upbeat, exciting and full of hope. It should have been all that, and more. It would have been all those things, if only life went according to plan. My plan. Unfortunately for me (even though I know it's really fortunately, in the long run) God's plan isn't always aligned with my plan. Or, should I say, my plan isn't always aligned with God's plan.

We find ourselves now, for the second year in a row, entering into the holiday season suffering from the loss of a baby. Our second baby. We now have 2 children in heaven. Even as I write this, I find it hard to grasp. Even as we've been going through this for the past several weeks, I kept thinking to myself, "There's no way. God won't ask this much of me. There's just no way I'll have to give up another child." As if the choice were ours anyway.

I have many unposted posts. Beginning on October 3rd when I had my first positive pregnancy test. I may post those blogs at some point. They show the joy and happiness we had at the beginning of this journey. It was kind of a downward spiral, filled with ultrasounds that gave unclear answers, blood work that give distressing news and lots of nausea.

I've known for over a week that this pregnancy was not going to last. I've known, in my heart, for even longer than that. But today, when I would have been 10 weeks and 1 day, my miscarriage began. It sucks. There really aren't any other words. At some moments I can be positive. At others, I just cry and think about how much I hate this situation. Sometimes it feels like all hope has vanished, and other times I rest in the knowledge that God does have great plans for us.

Thank you to those of you who have known our situation and have been praying for me and my baby. Thank you to those who didn't know, but were praying anyway. I firmly believe that the only way we can get through this, same as last time, is to have people praying for us.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Vacation Photos

California photos. Shown in no particular order, all un-edited.

Self Portrait taken in Seaport Village:
Beautiful palm trees...Seaport Village:
Another self portrait in Seaport Village:
John's parents, our anniversary dinner at BJ's:
Amy, me, John & Kristen, anniversary dinner at BJ's:
Baby gorilla with his aunt...sucking on his finger:
Polar Bear, Polar Bear, what do you see??:
The beautiful panda decided to do some tanning:
John's favorite, the tiger:
Amy, me, John & Kristen in L.A.:
Hollywood!:
"I know in my heart than man is good, that what is right will always eventually triumph and there is purpose and worth to each and every life" -President Ronald Reagan:
At the Reagan Library:
Real piece of the Berlin Wall:
Beautiful palm trees and sunset in La Jolla:

West Coast, Baby!

We had 2 uneventful flights, from Albany to Cincinnati, then on to San Diego. I paid $3 for a small can of Pringles. I also had a small frappuccino. John had a Cinnabon.

Once in San Diego we got our luggage and rental car and headed to Amy's apartment. From there, we all loaded into the Durango and headed over to Junior Seaus' Restaurant. YUM! Delicious food (I had bruschetta and a Buffalo chicken sandwich) and every game imaginable on their many TVs. We watched the first half of the Giants/Chargers game. Unfortunately, it didn't end well.

After we left Seaus' we drove to La Jolla (say: La Hoya) where we got some great pictures of the ocean and the beach with all the seals. The palm trees were beautiful. It was like paradise walking through all the little shops and such. Great weather. Then Amy took us to this high point where we could take some great pictures of the view. It was incredible! And no one was there. It was definitely a spot only locals know about. Lucky us. :)

Monday, after breakfast at our hotel, we took the long drive (depending on traffic) up to Simi Valley to visit the Reagan Library & Museum. Incredible, breathtaking, amazing. I'm so glad we got the chance to go there. On the way home we stopped in LA. It was so much fun! We got delicious cookies at the Toll House shop, took pictures of the Hollywood sign, saw the red carpet for the premiere of Old Dogs and had fun walking around. We made it back to downtown San Diego in time for dinner at Sloppy Joey's. YUM. I had rotten nachos, which were not rotten in any way. And their bread sticks were delicious.

Tuesday was our anniversary! Three years! We had breakfast at The Eggery (I had the best smoothie ever) then John and I went to the Zoo with his parents while Kristen went to class with Amy. It was fun seeing all the animals. We took tons of pictures and I had a churro! I loved the pandas. That night John's family took us out to BJ's for our anniversary. They had such good food. I had Parmesan crusted chicken. SO incredible. For dessert they have...I think they're called Bazookie's. It's a freshly baked (huge!) cookie of your choosing, topped with ice cream. So imagine a warm cookies covered in cold ice cream...so yummy. John and I shared a chocolate chip cookie with chocolate ice cream.

Wednesday was ate breakfast at Cafe 222 in downtown San Diego. It was soooo good. Kristen had found them on Food Network because Bobby Flay loves their Peanut Butter & Banana stuffed French Toast. Kristen and I both got that dish, and it was so good!! We sat outside to eat, and it was lots of fun. Did I mention good food?? The rest of Wednesday was spent right in San Diego. We went to Coronado for awhile. (Gotta be rich to live there!) Then we went to Seaport Village. There is tons to see and do there. And buy and eat! We bought lots of stuff in the little shops, took lots of pictures and had fun hanging out. We took pictures of the USS Midway which is docked there, as well as the USS Ronald Reagan across the bay. There were lots of Veteran's day activities going on. For dinner that night we went to Tony Roma's. I had a yummy burger, John had ribs, of course. Since Amy was working, we stopped at Buca to say goodbye to her.

Thursday morning we left at 3:45 for the airport. It was a long flight from San Diego to JFK in NYC. They showed 2 movies and I napped a little. We had a 4-hour layover at JFK so we sat down and ate at Chili's. Once we boarded our little charter plane for Albany, we sat on the runway for about an hour and a half waiting for takeoff. One 35-minute flight later, and we were home.

We left Zoe with my parents. They had a pretty uneventful time. I know Zoe enjoyed spending time with Caleb and Olivia and all the piano students! We stopped on our way home from the airport and she was so excited to see us!! We were glad to be home, even though we had a great time on vacation. There will be pictures to come...


Thursday, November 5, 2009

Profitable Part-of-a-Day

Today was my day off. John is away at the fire academy for a few days. I woke up early (after staying up late to see the Yankees win!) I ran some errands. I've been holding on to a Colonie Center gift card for almost a year, and today I used it to buy some sneakers and dress shoes that I desperately needed.

I paid my late fees at the library and picked up some books. (Something to read on our upcoming trip to San Diego, as well as some Thanksgiving books for work.) Have I mentioned how much I love the library? Don't know why I stayed away for so long. My goal is to return these books on time.

Did a little shopping at Old Navy. I went looking for one shirt in particular that I'd seen a few weeks ago. A Giants t-shirt. Of course, it wasn't there today. So I bought a couple shirts and a sweater.

Of course, I stopped at my parents to spend some time with them and Olivia. That girl is sooooo stinkin' cute. My parents are going on a retreat so we won't see them until after our California trip. They're taking care of Zoe while we're gone. I hope she's a good girl. *fingers crossed*

On my way home I stopped at Subway. I downed a foot-long Spicy Italian sub, one bag of Doritos and 3 double chocolate chip cookies. That was about 2pm. No dinner necessary for me tonight!

Unfortunately, that's kind of where my ambition died out. I watched TV, scoured the internet and took a nap. I'm going to try to get the clean dishes put away before bed so the kitchen will be somewhat presentable. Hopefully John will be home when I get home from work tomorrow!

*On a funny note: I just discovered all the web tools that come with Blogger. My blog comes up in google search most when people type in "How to take care of a centipede." I find that funny. :)

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Favorite Things

I don't care for raindrops on roses. Bright copper kettles require too much cleaning. Woolen mittens are just plain itchy. But there are some things in life that simply make me happy. Here's some of them:

I absolutely love Sunday afternoons. Lunch with John after church, then football, or whatever is on, maybe a nap, maybe some reading, or possibly some crocheting. Nothing beats an afternoon of relaxing before another work week begins!

Crocheted blankets make me happy. My sister-in-law Amy gave me a big, comfy blanket she made for my bridal shower. It keeps me comfy on these chilly nights and I love it.

John may despise our new (to us) chair, and the fact that I made him go pick it up (even though we don't need it) but I love it! It gives us an extra seat (that's not a dining room chair) when company is over, and I think it adds a homey feel to our living room. Big thanks to Sarah's in-laws for the free chair!

I've gotta say it. I'm not trying to rub it in. But the Yankees winning makes me smile. I don't understand why Yankees fans aren't allowed to enjoy wins like other teams fans. Just because the other team had some errors and the Yankees benefited from them doesn't mean anything! This is baseball, people! It's the way it goes! And don't get all bent out of shape over a bad call. The Yankees have had their fair share of bad calls.

Okay, I'm off that soapbox.

It makes me so happy when John calls me from work. The fact that we've been married almost 3 years, together over 7, and he still calls me a couple times a night from work makes me feel special. It's not easy when he's working 2nd or 3rd shift, but he certainly makes an effort to show how much he cares for me. Or maybe he's just bored.

My family is awesome. Mine and John's. I love spending time with them, talking, laughing, crying, we've done it all. The support I receive from my family is priceless. I love nothing better than the times we're together, whether it be for birthday's, holidays or just a dinner together. Nothing is better than family.

A clean house makes me happy. My house isn't always spotless, but as long as it's picked up, dishes done and laundry under control, I'm happy. Even better is when my husband is the one doing the cleaning! (Like the vacuuming yesterday!)

Pumpkin carving, toffee, harvest candles, jalapenos, string cheese, indian corn, doritos, books, red leaves, pictures, US flags, Christmas movies, holiday traditions, babies, vacations & church. Among other things.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

In Remembrance

Today is Pregnancy & Infant Loss Remembrance Day. Today I'm remembering by name, each woman I know who has lost a baby. My prayers are with each of them. Some have gone on to have children. Some haven't. Some are trying. Some aren't. We all share a loss that no one else can truly understand.

So to any woman who has ever shared their story of loss with me, I'm thinking of and praying for you tonight. I lit a candle in memory of our babies, and I know someday we'll hold them in Heaven.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Some Days

I have nothing to blog about. Writer's block? I dunno. So I'm just going to mention some things that I'm thankful for lately.

  • My husband is the best, ever. I love him so much.
  • During a long car ride yesterday, I had lots of time to talk with my sister-in-law. It was great!!
  • Playing and singing at church...I just love it.
  • The nachos I had Friday night were amazing.
  • My niece and nephews are so incredible.
  • Grandma's wedding cake yesterday. Yum. Enough said.
  • I'm so glad for a warm house when it's coooold outside.
  • This morning was a great (part of a) day spent with my hubby. I love spending time with him, joking around and hanging out.

I'm tired. I'm gonna go watch the Yankees (hopefully) kick BUTT.

Friday, October 2, 2009

How to kill take care of a centipede

Or any annoying, disgusting, frightening bug. Most any.

Sorry Christine, about earlier. Maybe this will help you.

First of all, once you locate the trespassing bug, do not, I repeat do not walk directly under/near it. Surely the bugs can sense our fear, and would love to nest in our hair. Try to remain atleast 5 feet from said bug. If you must walk closer than that, hold your breath and run as fast as you can.

Keep a close eye on that thing. There's nothing (except what happened to my sister today) worse than losing sight of it and not knowing where it went. Do not attempt to whack the centipede with a shoe. Very uncertain outcome, and the most likely result will be the pest flying towards you and landing on your shirt. Do not use any type of tissue/paper towel/toilet paper method. I mean, really, why would you even want to? Any of those methods leave you much too close to the offending offender. And to have to squish it under your fingers....oooo, I have goosebumps thinking about it.

So what do you do? I'm glad you asked. Step one, go get your vacuum. I'm hoping you have a vacuum like mine: no bag, sucks up things ferociously and spins them around inside at speeds which induce, um, annihilation. Hook up that looooong hose end. Plug in the vacuum. You're ready.

Proceed to the spot that is currently housing the critter. Hope that it's still there. When you're close enough to suck it up, turn on the vacuum. It's now or never. No hesitation. (This is where I think you went wrong Christine.) Put the end of the vacuum hose directly onto the bug. Show no fear. Show no mercy.

Continue to run the vacuum for a minute or so, to assure death. We don't want them climbing out now, do we? If I can find a tiny pebble or something to suck up in the meantime, I'll do it. Can't hurt.

This process has been successfully used to eliminate spiders, centipedes and other small annoyances. I have been known to do this at 5am in our hallway before I let the dog out. I do not like bugs at all. If you couldn't tell.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Give & Take

It takes life, moments and memories that will never be made.
It takes family, friends, acquaintances and enemies.
It takes with, seemingly, no prejudice.
It takes without account of morals, integrity or decency.
It gives heartache, confusion and pain.
It gives uncertainty, doubt and disappointment.
It gives a lifetime of worry.
It takes parents, grandparents and children.
It gives fear. Lots of fear.
It takes, it gives, it takes.
~Rest in peace~ 9/24/09~

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Here I am, here I am...

I have not disappeared off the face of the earth.

I am still doing flylady. Kinda stuck where I am, but still doing what I've learned so far.

I have now worked at the same place for 10 years. Straight.

I made chocolate chip cookies today.

Friday was spent at the orchard with family.

New kids at work are pretty cool.

Zoe & Caleb are best friends.

My husband is the best ever.

The Hills is kind of addicting for me.

My table is now adorned with gourds and Indian corn.

Unsolicited is another word for unwanted. As in, advice.

I hate putting on eyeliner.

Sometimes I wonder where the money's gonna come from.

I'm really thirsty right now.

Crisp almost-autumn days make me happy.

Longing is one of the hardest things ever. For real.

I need a new computer.

I almost-cried about 8 times this week. Maybe more. Definitely more.

My house could definitely be cleaner.

I should blog more.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

How exactly?

How exactly is it that you forget your child at daycare?

Enough said.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Picture Hop!

It's another blog hop! This one began with Jamie over at Memories to Books.



Here are the rules!



Go to the place where you upload all your photos. If you don’t upload them online, just go to wherever you store your pics on your computer. Open the oldest album, and post the first photo. Tell the story behind it. Grab the MckLinky and post it on your blog. Check out all the other links, too!



Here's my photo:




I haven't had my camera all that long, so this picture isn't all that old. It's from December 2006. This is my sister Christine and my brother's dog, Hawkeye.


I still remember the night they got Hawkeye. My brother and sister-in-law were engaged and looking for a dog. They brought him home to my parent's house, and I was a little scared. Ok, a lot scared. I was never really a dog person. Which is funny, because now I am! Anyway, Hawkeye lived with us for a few months before their wedding. He was such a good dog, loved going in his crate and chewing bones.


This picture is the epitomy of Hawkeye. He loved to lay around, especially if someone else was laying around with him. He loved to be pet and loved on.

Now it's your turn!




Thursday, August 27, 2009

Thankful Thursday

Welcome to the blog hop!

Thankful Thursdays originated over at
The Nut House Go on over and check out what everybody's thankful for today!

Today I'm so thankful for a husband who works hard to provide for me. I'm also thankful that we both have jobs that we (usually) love. Some people aren't as blessed!

I'm thankful for the crazy motivation I've been gifted with this week! Being able to keep up with
FlyLady so well is not like me at all. I usually do something for about 2 days then give it up.

I'm so thankful for my family. I don't take for granted how wonderful my family is! They are the best.

On a much different note, I'm thankful that we started getting the paper a couple times a week. I didn't even realize how much I missed it.

And in light of my dinner tonight...I'm thankful for Subway. Nothing hits the spot like a spicy italian on italian herbs & cheese bread. Nothing.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

One Week!

My sink has looked like this for one week. I'm so proud of me!

When I leave for work in the morning, this is what I see.

When I get home from work in the evening, this is what I see.

It makes me smile.

And today, while I was at work, John made himself a PB&J. I know this because there was a paper plate with jelly and peanut butter on it in the trash. I would not have known this by looking at the sink. My darling husband (who I did not tell to wash every dish after he uses it like I do!) actually washed, dried and put away the knife he used to make the sandwich.

I'm so proud of him, too!

So Day Eight. The baby step today was to get a binder (luckily I found one upstairs) and put some paper in it (luckily I found some upstairs). Then I wrote down my morning and before bed routines. I guess I'm supposed to look at this each day! :)

My 'mission' today (still in the bedroom) was to declutter all the flat surfaces. I decluttered our night stands, dressers and the radiator. Then I dusted them. Our room is looking good!

On another note, I folded 37 pairs of white socks tonight. I hate folding white socks. Exactly 2 of those 37 pairs were mine. I'll leave you to guess who the other 35 belong to.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

FLYing

FLYing. Not sure if I've explained what this means. FLYing with FlyLady stands for Finally Loving Yourself. Just thought I'd throw that out there.

Day Seven. Here's what I've done so far: Left my sink shining this morning; Spent 2 minutes on a hot spot (coffee table) before work; Did the 'mission' for the day (see below) after work; Did what few dishes there were, dried them and put them away; Another 2 minutes on a different hot spot (butcher block in the kitchen) after work.

I really like doing the 2 minutes on the hot spots. I don't get them clean, but the second (ok, maybe third) time I hit it, it will be finished.

Ok, the missions. They're included in the daily schedule email. Yesterday I cleaned the ceiling and walls in the bedroom and bathroom. Today the challenge was to clean the 'edges' in those rooms. So I did! I straightened up anything that was clustered around the edges of our bedroom, then took the vacuum to it. I actually vacuumed the whole floor, as well as under the bed.

And finally (this seems like a lot, writing it all down, but honestly it doesn't feel like a lot!), today's baby step. Laying out my clothes. Part of my nightly routine now needs to include laying out my clothes for the next day. Which I've already done. (Go me!) I've done this in the past, never routinely, but I love having my clothes already picked out. Just makes the morning that much easier. I also have the coffee all ready to go. Another thing I used to do (sometimes) which will make my morning run that much smoother! I plan to make that a part of my nighttime routine as well.

One week so far!

What a Tasty Tuesday!

Yeah, baby.

John is working tonight. I usually don't eat very well on the nights John works. Sometimes it's take out (think Subway). Sometimes it's snacks (think chips). Sometimes it's nothing good at all (think chocolate). I hate cooking for one.

But while scanning the WalMart shelves on my break today, I remembered that I had fresh mozzarella at home. So I found these juicy, delicious tomatoes. (I forgot the fresh basil, darn!) As soon as I got home I sliced them up, topping them with coarse salt, freshly ground pepper, a little EVOO and some (dried) basil. Yum. I mean, seriously, YUM.

I was in heaven eating this. Best thing I've had in a long time.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Almost off the wagon...then back on again!

Ah, here we are at Days 5 & 6.

Day Five sucked. I was sick. Luckily the only thing to do that day was listen to the voices in your head, and squash them. The voices told me my head was full of snot, so I blew my nose. Ha!

Sorry, that's kind of a joke. But kind of not. I was so sick on Sunday, I didn't do anything. But luckily my sink was clean, and that fact made me feel that much better! Seriously, Day Five was listening to those nasty voices telling you that you can't do it, and it'll never become routine, and your house will always be a mess! Then you turn those thoughts around to positive ones. Ok. Done.

Day Six I woke up feeling much better. I still didn't get dressed to shoes because I was still kinda sick. And when I'm sick I just wanna be in my pj's. But as the day wore on I felt much better. So John and I got some shopping done (with gift cards!) and we even took a walk. We also made a yummy dinner, and the dishes are all cleaned and put away!

My baby step today was 'Hot Spots'. First you have to decide what your hot spots are (dining room table, radiator in bedroom, butcher block in kitchen) then you spend 2 minutes hitting one of them. Just 2 minutes. I cheated. I spent about 4 minutes on the dining room table. And it made a difference! I don't really understand the 2 minute rule, unless it's so you don't get burnt out. But I'm about to take another 2 minutes and hit the radiator in the bedroom that's covered with clean clothes!

Now, The FlyLady also does this email thing. Lots of emails. I almost didn't sign up for the emails, but then decided I didn't want to do this half....way. So I did. There are various emails throughout the day, some with testimonials, some with 'challenges' and some with the schedule for the day. For a few days I only read them, but today, being a new week, I decided to jump in and start doing what they said! (It helps that I have today off, and time to clean!)

This week's 'zone' is the master bedroom/bath/closet. And today's task was to clean the ceilings and walls. So I did! It hardly took me anytime too. I used the vacuum and a feather duster. We'll see what tomorrow brings...

Oh yeah, I did a couple loads of laundry too.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Days 3 & 4

I'm flying high with FlyLady! Here are the steps so far:
  • Day One - Shine your sink
  • Day Two - Dress to lace up shoes (also read 2 minutes of email reminders from FlyLady)
  • Day Three - Do what we've already done (just keep keeping on!)
  • Day Four - Write it down

So today was Day Four. Yesterday was easy. I even wore lace up shoes to work. And let me say my feet and legs felt much better. But back to today. Day Four. Let me just tell you...today was the real test for me. Because today is Saturday.

Here's my normal Saturday routine, if I don't have to go anywhere first thing.

  • Get up and pee
  • Make coffee
  • Let the dog out
  • Veg on the couch for 1, 2, maybe 3 hours watching TV and doing various online activities

Now, since I'm trying very hard to make this FlyLady routine stick, here's what my today (so far) looked like.

  • Got up and peed
  • Made coffee
  • Let the dog out
  • Got dressed (!)
  • Did my hair and makeup (!)

Now I'm vegging on the couch...but I've already read my email reminders like I was supposed to. I wrote out 'what we've done so far' on 2 post-it notes and placed them above the sinks in the bathroom and kitchen. I'm not wearing shoes, but it's too hot for that. Now I'm gonna go pry John out of bed and maybe do some laundry. Mount Washmore. Ha!

Disclaimer: FlyLady does not require multiple bulleted lists. I'm just in a list-y mood. But I don't know if FlyLady approves of lists or not. She's big on the daily journal, which has routine lists in it. So maybe. I guess I'll find out eventually.