Friday, December 31, 2010

#30 Blogging



Of course, blogging had to be in my "30" list! I wouldn't even have a "30" list if not for blogging :)
This has been a wonderful addition to my life & it has given me a much needed outlet. I am not always the most open person (until I get to know you & am comfortable with you anyway) in real life. I am not one to spill my guts about everything that is going on in my life. Oh sure, I'll listen to you spill your guts & sympathize & if I have something relevant to share-I will, but otherwise-my best friends & family are usually the only recipients of that benefit ;)
It's not quite the same when it comes to writing though. I can type or write the hardest feelings for me to verbalize & publish/share them at the drop of a hat. Why? I don't know, but I can. Do I always then like to talk about them out there in real life? No, I still mostly save that for a few select people, but at least I know it's "out there" in space & then it's fair game for anyone who wants to bring it up & talk about it with me, I guess.
I have also discovered through blogging-people who seem to be very similiar to myself when it comes to this. I have also discovered people who have shared similiar struggles. I have also learned that although, I do like reading the "lighter" "funnier" blogs/things-give me the "hard" "heartwrenching" stuff over it anyday. I'm the same way when it comes to books, as a matter of fact. Romance novel or story of the Holocaust? I'd take the Holocaust story each & every time. I don't think that I'm a glutton for punishment or anything-I just have come to realize that I want to "know" the story & "know" how people deal with things~even the most terrible things that one can imagine. I feel like it gives me perspective on the world & how to attempt to keep terrible things from happening, which in & of itself is impossible. Happy endings happen and are great to read about, but I know that many times they come after many a struggle. This may also be why I become frustrated by romance novels when they end up not having a happy ending~at least make it worth it for me when I do take a step away from the more difficult stuff! :)
I also feel like I have had my eyes pried wide-opened by the blogging world. There are so many different people & so many different viewpoints~if one doesn't become more open-minded, then one will be frustrated all of the time! Growing up in a rural area & still living in a rural area surrounded by people who are very similiar to myself in their beliefs, doesn't always make for broadening one's views of the world, but blogging at least gives me "snippets" of what other people, different people have to go through & deal with in life & that is always interesting to me!
I am so grateful for blogging & although 2010 was a bit of a "slower" year for me-I am still so happy to have the experience of being able to share my life with those who care to read it!
I made it! :) 30 posts to celebrate 30 years & just before this year ends too! ;) Thanks for sharing in just a portion of the things that make & have made my little world go round!

#29 Luke


My son!

You were the answer to many, many years of prayers & the end to many, many tears that were shed as a result of those unanswered (at the time) prayers!

You are an awesome little guy! I know it & I want you to know it~even if others don't always see it-know that your mother always does :)

I remember life before you were in it & I can honestly say it is sooo much better now that you are in it!

Parenting is HARD!!! You have taught me this.

I am constantly concerned about how my decisions & the decisions of others are affecting you.

You are smart & ornery~this is not always a good combination ;)

You are also still sooo young~only 3~I have to remind myself of this from time to time, especially when I am expecting more out of you than you're ready for at times.

You have taught me so much & brought so much joy (& worrying too) into my life! I have cherished these last few years & can't wait to see what the next 30 bring! :)

#28 Infertility/Adoption


Infertility turned my world upside-down. It robbed me of the chance to experience a child growing in my womb. It kept all of the experiences of pregnancy, giving birth & the effects those have on one's body from me. It has brought much heartbreak into my life. It affected everything about me-physically, mentally, emotionally, & even spiritually. It changed forever the way I see the world and how it operates.
Adoption brought me the gift of motherhood. It made me a parent. It has brought much joy into my life. It has allowed me to experience the births of two children alongside their birthmoms. It has also brought me almost unbearable heartbreak, but luckily before this it had already given me the gift of my son who helped to ease the heartbreak. It causes me to wonder how it has & will affect my son & his life in the future. It has also changed forever the way I see the world & will see the world during the next 30 years.
I can't say that I have always been "happy" about these two things being part of my first 30 years, but both have had a major influence on who I am today & how I view things that happen in my world today & I know that they will both be a part of me for the rest of my life~for better & worse.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

#27 The Little People...



my nieces & nephew!

What can I say? They make me very happy! :)

Yes, several of them can be wild & crazy at times, one of them can be a bit of a "mother hen" at times, most of them like to sing and/or dance, a couple of them never seem to stop smiling, a couple of them have very powerful sets of lungs, one of them is always sleeping (give her a break she's only a couple months old at this point!), a few of them are fairly ornery, a couple of them really like to wrestle with my child (if they get the chance AND can get away with it :) and all of them have made me laugh/smile at one point or another!

I wouldn't trade any of them for the world & I'm so happy that Luke has all of these wonderful kids to grow up & play with!

Thanks for bringing so many memories & joy to my first 30 years! :)

#26 Scott's Family


In-laws...the family one becomes part of once married...sometimes this is a good thing...sometimes this is a not so good thing...lucky for me~mine is a very good thing! :)

When Scott & I got married, I not only gained a whole other family to become a part of, but also a new set of neighbors. We live literally "right across a pond" from my mother & father-in-law. A year or so later, Scott's brother & sister-in-law built a house in the field behind ours. And when his other brother & sister have traveled "home" from their respective homes, they too stay at his parents' house so the "neighborhood" is full of in-laws at any given time :)

We all enjoy spending time together & it is not unusual to gather together on Sunday mornings after church (because we all belong to the same church too, believe it or not~hehe ;)

It is also not unusual to find any of us randomly showing up at my mother & father-in-laws' house, especially now that the grandchildren are in the picture.

Of course, as with every family as each new member of the family enters, some customs/traditions have had to change a bit or at the very least be adjusted & in the same respect, there were several new/different traditions that I became introduced to as well.

Scott's family has been a great addition to my life & I'm so happy to be a part of their family & to have been welcomed so warmly into it!

Thanks for making the last part of my first 30 years so memorable & here's to many more memories over the next 30 years! :)

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

#25 Scott


10 years together...7 1/2 of them married...who knew?

Well, actually, I did :) I had a feeling after that first date that things would work out this way, but, of course, until they do-no one can know for sure I guess ;)

He is my husband & he is one of my best friends.

He knows me way better than most of the people who know me.

He is loyal beyond belief.

He loves me very much.

He can also annoy me quicker than almost anyone else :)

He doesn't always clean up after himself.

He does like to talk about work WAAAAYYYYY too much sometimes.

And he does REALLY like to tell the same stories again & again.

but...

I wouldn't trade him for anyone else &...

he has made these last few years of my first 30 years wonderful!

Thanks hubby~love you! :)

#24 Beth



My sister...
when we were younger, I had to take you along with me & my friends whenever we were out someplace-very uncool to a junior high/high school age kid...
now that we are older, I willingly ask you to come along places & it's very cool! :)
when we were younger, we played together, but I was the older sister aka "the boss" so you pretty much had to go along with whatever I said...
now that we are older, you are your own person & instead of one of us being "the boss", we've become friends instead & neither one of us has to be "in charge" of the other
when we were younger, I had to "set a good example" for you because I was the oldest sister (even though I am only slightly 3 years older than you, which isn't really that much)...
now that we are older, I must have done a wonderful job :) because you set a great example for those around you!
So, thanks sis, for sharing (most of) these 30 years with me!

#23 Emily



My sister...
when we were younger, you were always right there at my heels or attempting to lead the way when I, the older sister, was too cautious to try something...
now that we are older, we're each making our own paths in life-different yet still very similiar too
when we were younger, we were either the best of friends or fighting like cats & dogs...
now that we are older, we very seldom fight anymore (maybe because we haven't had to live under the same roof for several years now ;) which leaves lots of room for friendship to continue growing as the years pass
when we were younger, I had to "set a good example" for you because I was the older one (even if only by 16 months)...
now that we are older, I must have done a super job :) because you set a great example for those around you!
So, thanks sis, for sharing (almost all of) these 30 years with me!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

#22 My Dad


My dad is awesome because...
*he raised me & loves me (& my family)...
*he loves my child & is a wonderful grandpa...
*being a farmer-we didn't see as much of him during the day as kids, but anytime one of us girls calls nowadays, you can bet you will be in for a longer telephone conversation...
*he never complains about helping out his own mother whenever she needs it...
*he enjoys spending time with his wife, my mother, especially if it means going to the casino boat together :)...
*he is probably my most loyal blog reader & is always asking about what the next post will bring (this one is yours dad ;)...
*he is one of the best people I know!
Thanks for giving me 30 wonderful years so far!

#21 My Mom


My mom is awesome because...
*she raised me & loves me (& my family)...
*she loves my child & is a wonderful grandma...
*she participated in many, many carpools to allow us girls to participate in the different activities that we got to do...
*when anyone asks her for help, she helps...
*she has always been there when I needed her most...
*she enjoys spending time with her husband, my dad, even if that does mean having to tolerate a trip to the casino boat every once in awhile ;)
*she is one of the best people I know!
Thanks for giving me 30 wonderful years so far!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

#20 Sports


Sports have always been a part of my life in one way or another...
As a younger child, I remember going to watch my aunts & some of the ladies from where I grew up play softball during the summer. In the winter, I would sometimes get to go along with my mom to her Tuesday night bowlng league games (which she is still doing.) I always thought that both of these were really neat to watch.
As a little bit older child, I got to start playing on a summer league softball team of my own. I think it was like 3rd-8th graders at the time that I got to join (the ages changed a bit not too long after this, I think). I remember really liking it, but also being fairly nervous around all of the older girls too.
As a junior high age child, I very briefly attempted basketball (it was not for me!), tried track for a couple of years, but found one of my main loves when I was introduced to volleyball in 6th grade. I also continued playing softball both in school & during the summer & at some point started playing on 2 different summer teams for several years. It was busy, but it was fun!
As a high schooler, I continued playing volleyball & softball. I was definitely had a more successful volleyball career & even "started" on varsity for parts of both my junior & senior years (there always seemed to be 3-4 of us vying for the same 2 spots), but even if I didn't "start" I almost always got to play part of the game (unless a sprained ankle had me sidelined.) My high school softball story was a bit sadder, except for my sophomore year on JV, I rarely got to play outside of getting to be a designated hitter for 1 game of a doubleheader. Summer softball was always more of a favorite for the sheer fact that I actually got to have some "field" time, plus it had the bonus that most of the people on the teams were my friends outside of the sport too!
As a college person/adult, I have really gotten away from my playing days A LOT! Oh, I'm still up for the chance to play anytime I can get it, but there just don't seem to be quite as many opportunities around my current area as there were in the area I grew up. Especially not for women, which really irks my inner "feminist" at times :) I have missed it, but I can honestly say that I haven't missed the "busyness" of that kind of year-round schedule.
Last year, though, I volunteered as a 6th grade volleyball coach & I LOVED it! The coaching angle is quite a bit different from the player angle, but it does still let me get that taste of it & occassionally I still get to "play" by having to teach the skills to the players ;) Well in the new year, I will begin my journey as an "official" coach since I was hired to be a 7th grade coach this past fall. I'm excited about the upcoming season, but terrified by the prospect that I will officially be "in charge!" But as I have learned from my first 30 years of sports experience, I'll just have to take it one step at a time, learn the ropes, and just remember to breathe! :)
I wonder how important sports will be to my next 30 years?

"Voicing" Laryngitis's ups & downs

Since this past Sunday, I have been suffering from laryngitis, which means that my voice comes & goes as it pleases & when it does come, it isn't very well. Here are some pros & cons I have been experiencing...

Con: I either can't talk or if I can, it is very forced & my throat ends up hurting anyway :(

Pro: Students think that they need to whisper because I am whispering :)

Con: I had to attempt working in a school with small children all day long :(

Pro: I only had 2 days of school this week & the schedules for both days were fairly lax due to the holidays :)

Con: My 3 year old does not understand why I can't talk at times or why I won't go along with his bedtime song request to "sing louder Mommy!" :(

Pro: Baking cookies with my 3 year old is one activity that does not require a lot of talking :)

Con: I HATE not being able to talk at will for however long I want :(

Pro: I at least still get to go to bed each night with the hope that my normal voice will have returned by morning~when there is nothing else, there is still always hope left, right?! :)

Here's to hoping it's mostly back to normal by Christmas!

Friday, December 17, 2010

#19 Birthdays


The number 19 will always make me think of my birthday, since that is my special date. Thus, the 19th edition of these "30 to celebrate 30" posts is simply just a celebration of birthdays!
I have been blessed so far in my life to have celebrated 30 birthdays, which I am well aware is many more than some ever get to & far fewer than others have gotten to & I am hoping that I still have many, many more left to celebrate.
No matter how hard the thought of getting older may seem at times, the thought of birthday cake never does get "old"! ;)

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

#18 Marriage



As of today, I have been married for 7 1/2 years! That is just a bit shy of 1/3 of my life at this point & already I can tell how it has morphed from the early days. It'll be interesting to see how much more it changes as I enter my next 30 years!
In the earliest days/years, I was often left wondering why people ever said "marriage is hard" & "marriage takes work" because those first few years were "easy" for the most part. I also scoffed at all of those people who said that "the first year of marriage is the hardest!" because ours was a "breeze."
In the middle years, I started realizing what "hard" felt like as we traveled the path of infertility & watched those around us whom we loved dearly getting that one thing that we were always left dreaming of/crying about the loss of. These were also the years where we really had to pull together as well because we could just have easily let it all fall apart and each gone our own way!
In these latest years, parenting has entered the mix & as the old cliche goes "children change everything." We don't go out as much as we used to...we think twice about doing something that will make us have to stay out late (because of an early wake up caller-unless he is spending the night somewhere!)...personally, I HATE having to be the one to line up a babysitter all of the time & am constantly left wishing that Scott would take on this task more often...I'm sure that he is not so happy about the fact that he can't & I can sleep through just about anything (yes, this means when Luke wakes up at night) because he is constantly left with this responsibility & probably wishes that I would wake up & take on this responsibility more often [for all of the "I just hear everything at night now that I am a mother & my husband sleeps like a log" mothers out there who might scoff at this, in my defense-I did hear everything when he was an infant/baby, but that changed for some reason around the 1-1 1/2 year mark!] Parenting=a million different little and major stressors & decisions that one has to endure 24 hours a day for many, many years probably the rest of one's lifetime. Add that into the mix with marriage & it can cause quite a bit of stress in a marriage, especially if anything gets "tough" in one or both of these areas at the same time. Lucky for us, even when we have become the most irritated with each other or when "tough" things have happened through the course of these past few years, we still know that there is no one else we would rather be irritated at or with than each other :)
No, there may not be as much of the ooey, gooey, mushy love/romance stuff anymore like the early days, but I wouldn't trade what our marriage has "grown" into for anything & I can't wait to see where it "grows" over the next 30 years! [I'll probably be left thinking just how naive I was at this time-just like I think now about the 'early' years ;) hehe]

Sunday, December 12, 2010

#17 College


Some people yearn for/talk about/wish (at times) they could go back to their high school days. NOT ME!!!
Some people despise/choose not to talk about/are glad that they never have to go back to their high school days (including reunions).
Once again, NOT ME!!!
High School was okay-I had lots of good memories & there were a few not so good. Basically, I remember a lot of homework & activities/sports, friends being the center of my world (but me not really going out all that much) & A LOT of obsessing over various things and people. I enjoyed it, but feel much better that that part of my life is over with, at least until a reunion pops up again once every 5 years. And, YES, I have enjoyed my class reunions very much-it's fun to catch up with everyone & see how we've all changed (and not in that "oooo I can't wait to get revenge/see so&so fat" sort of way!)
For me, the part of my life that I could go back to in a heartbeat is college (just as long as I could drag some of my friends along with me ;) Again, there were a few speedbumps along the way, but boy was it A LOT of fun too!
*Living out on my own (with many wonderful roommates along the way! I was very lucky in this respect-I had great roommates, for the most part, all throughout my college days.)
*Lots of fun was had both by going out & by staying in (& yes, many times there may have been a bit of liquor involved & sometimes it was just plain old nuttiness/probably stupidity on me and my friends' parts :)
*Classes that I loved & made me feel challenged. What can I say, I'm a "school" girl. I like it & I kind of always liked homework too-NERD ALERT, I know!
*My last 2 years were probably the best of them all because I had friends I could depend on/have fun with, Scott had entered my life at this point & I finally felt like I was headed in the "right" direction with life in general. The only people missing from my life at this point were the "little people" aka Luke & anyone else who has been born over the past 7+ years as well as a few other friends that I have made in that timeframe too :)
*Infertility had yet to turn my world upside down & inside out-completely changing the way I view almost everything in life.
Last, but definitely not least, was being an "adult" & being viewed as an "adult" without truly having to completely be the adult!!! :)
Awww, college, thanks for all of the memories, but no matter how much fun it would probably be to go back-I'll take where I am in life right now instead & continue hoping that 30 more years of memories will be just as fun to reflect on too!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Sugar Sprinkles

I thought that title sounded more fun than "tidbits" or "updates" or whatever other regular/kinda dull title I usually come up with :) plus 'tis the season for sugar cookies & of course sugar sprinkles so it works! ;)

*WHOOPS!!! Dec 1st came & I thought "this date seems important somehow, but why?" Alas, it was a Wednesday though (which is my busiest of the week usually) & between going to work, staying an hour later to tutor, picking up Luke then immediately dropping him off at Gram & Gramp's so that I could eat supper/prepare my lesson/then head up to church to teach PSR, then picking Luke back up since Scott (who usually does this on these nights) had chosen to work late on this particular evening, putting Luke to bed & finally just putting my own feet up for a bit & heading off to bed-(I'm going to pause here just to admire this super great run-on sentence that isn't quite done yet ;)-& then vaguely acknowledging Scott as he came home/to bed somewhere around 10:30, somehow just due to life, basically, I managed to forget that this was an important date! Sometime during a shopping day/date together this past Friday (the 3rd), my brain finally caught up with the rest of me & I remembered that Dec 1st is the anniversary of when Scott & I had our very first date...10 YEARS AGO! A whole decade. Longer than some marriages. Crazy. I can't believe it's been this long already (I know, how cliche, right?) We have had our share of many,many good times & of course, bad times too, but here's hoping that the next 10 years will bring plenty more good times than bad & that we're still smiling on the other end of it ;) hehe

*We have been celebrating Advent here by doing a little "Christmas" each day. Thus far it's mostly been decorating something each day with just a bit of baking tossed in recently. It's been nice not having to do it all at once. Next up...Christmas cards, baking & making candy, holiday parties, reading more of our Christmas books, etc.

*A batch of sugar cookies was made this past weekend. I had picked Luke up his own little rolling pin & he did such a good job rolling out his little ball of dough & then using the cookie cutters to cut out the cookies. He is one smart "cookie" though & quickly realized that one could eat the dough at the edges of what was rolled out without messing up his cookies.

*He ate so much dough-I kept thinking...this is going to be bad if we have to take him to an E-room ;) (He also reported that the dough tasted sooo much better than the actual cookies once they were all made!)

*There are only 9 more days of school until Christmas break begins! Usually this is means for rejoicing, but somehow this year it seems like it is going to be difficult to "fit" everything in before vacation arrives.

*Happy "Immaculate Conception" Day to all of my fellow Catholics out there! I'm not even sure if that is appropriate to say, but there it is. We went to church last night & Luke was really excited to be going to "Aunt Janet's" (not our regular parish) church. Luckily, she was there to say hello to afterwards & my apologies to all sitting within a 100 yard radius of us after the 'Sign of Peace'-if you were there, you know why :)

*Speaking of church, Luke does not like to wear his shoes in church. They are the first thing that comes off & yes, I am that mother. I have chosen my battle & this is not it...I just let him leave them off until church is done. I could force the issue, but I figure that I am happier knowing that he actually "pays attention" (even though it may not look like it to bystanders) & knows what is going on during the Mass. He loves watching Father & watching "what happens next" so I don't fight him on the shoes. Maybe if he is 8 & still not wearing them-then I'll pick this battle, but he's 3 & I'm not.

*Our priest is convinced that Luke will either be a wine presser or a Franciscan because neither of these jobs requires shoes. Either one sounds good to me-extra wine or extra prayers-both are needed to make it through life at times, right?! ;)

Hope you have enjoyed these "sugar sprinkles" & there should be several more posts coming up in the near future between Christmasish posts & finally wrapping up my "30" themed posts!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Reasons it's great to be me (well at least for today anyway! :)

1) I woke up & stepped on the scale where I was finally rewarded with seeing the number that means I have lost 10lbs!!! (since I first started 'trying' again in October)
This felt really good, especially since I wasn't quite expecting it to be this morning & because I had been hanging around the same pound or two for the last 2 weeks. The combination of calorie counting & running are finally starting to show their results-Thank Goodness! :)

2) I can easily say too that I'm confident that the changes I have been making are for good this time around & I have developed a phenomenal 'will power' as a result. Yes, that was me last week at the ALL DAY meeting (with the donut holes, M&M's, some sort of delicious looking homemade Mississippi Mud Cake brownie things, & other candies sitting on our tables the entire time) who didn't even have one little nibble of any of these things-ALL DAY LONG.

3) I was reading & discussing a book about the Pilgrims' First Thanksgiving with a group of 2nd graders today. The book mentioned how the Pilgrim children did not "go to school" during their first year in Plymouth, but that the children did learn things like manners. These manners included standing at the table to eat, wearing their hats while eating & not speaking unless an adult had spoken to them first. As one can imagine, my students found all of these quite preposterous ;) I singled out the one who I know has the hardest time "not speaking" & asked him if he would have liked being a Pilgrim child...he said "No, I don't think I would handle that very well. I like to talk!" then he proceeds to say..."But I would like to adopt a child someday so that I could teach it to be a Pilgrim child!" ;)

4) I was walking a kindergartener (who had gotten in trouble during lunch recess) inside to the cafeteria & on our walk (which he wasn't very happy about as you may gather) we had the following conversation...
Me: "Was yelling at the other kid a good choice?"
Kndgter: "No! I'm going to get some fertilizer and spread it all over you!"
Me (thinking how I had never yet been threatened with fertilizer): "Fertilizer, huh? Well what good would that do-fertilizer wouldn't help me any."
Kndgter: "I'm going to get some fertilizer and spread it all over you. You won't like it and it will be bad!"
Me: "Well, I just don't see what good that would do. I don't need any fertilizer & doing that won't help you out any...so that just doesn't seem like a very good idea now does it! Maybe we can come up with a better idea."
-Not sure that he cared about any different/new ideas, but at least he made it into lunch & I was still clean as a whistle! ;)

Friday, November 19, 2010

#16 Best Friends


I have had several "best friends" through the years. All of these friends were (& still are) good people. Some of them I still see somewhat on a regular basis & others I see hardly at all or have lost almost complete contact with them. Only one of these friendships ended on a 'sour' note, but even then God decided to teach me a lesson in irony when this friend ended up marrying one of my cousins several years later. Being family (in my mind anyway) means being friends or at the very least being friendly, so although that friendship is definitely not to the degree it once was-it has at least become a friendly friendship once again (which I can say does make me glad :) The other "best" friendships changed in status to more regular friendships or just mere aquaintances mostly due to growing apart/different circumstances in life or for the most part because I have finally realized as an adult (hindsight is such a good teacher, I definitely did not learn these lessons at the times the friendships were "changing") that, for the most part, these friends were always way more important to me than I was to them. Now don't get me wrong, they definitely viewed me as their "friend" and would even agree with me at the times of those "best" friendships on the opinion that we were "best friends", but it was never completely a two-way street.
How do I know this now you might be asking yourself?
In all of these friendships, I was the one doing most of the work to "keep in touch" with the other person...probably an 80/20 (meaning I made 80% of the contact/phone calls/arrangements for hanging out, etc). This is not completely all their fault-I now realize that I also tended to be a "needier" friend than they were too. I needed to be in contact more...I needed to hang out together more...I needed to have a "best friend" like I'd always seen in the movies/TV/read about in books (you know the ones-we've known each other most of our lives, we know each other better than anyone else knows us, friends are more important than any guy!) Which leads me to my next point...
Once a guy (or even a "better" person to hang out with in the moment) came into the picture, it was "Sayanora" for me-at least, until that guy or "better" person was out of the picture again. This was always very frustrating for me because I always held the friendship in such high regard & yet this was never quite reciprocated towards me. Inevitabley, this would be the factor that lead to the decline in all of these friendships. I would realize that I would never quite be a priority to them unless I wanted to exert 100% of the effort to keep in touch with them. And once I stopped trying so hard, you guessed it? The friendships pretty well came to standstills.
Looking back on the first 20+ years of my life & some of these friendships always makes me a little bit sad, but I am still, oh so grateful, for the many fun times/memories I have had with these folks. I am also grateful for the lessons I have learned from all of these friendships & the appreciation that I do have now for the two "best friends" I do have.
I have learned from them how wonderful it is to have friendships that aren't "one-way streets" & always enjoy when the phone rings & it's one of their names on the caller ID (even if it is just a phone call to bitch or moan about something ;) I love my 2 sisters dearly & wouldn't trade them for anything in the world, but I'm pretty sure that my current "best friends" are just "sisters" who had been misplaced for years & I'm so glad to have finally 'found' them! ;)

Friday, November 12, 2010

The Key to Running is...

knowing that you are just about going to die when you start each time...

and will never make it through to your goal for the day...

and that you will need to stop at any moment or you will fall down to die...

and then realizing that you've already put in this much effort...

and that you are so close to your goal that you will be utterly disappointed in yourself if you don't finish...

and then realizing at the end of the run that you have reached that goal so now you can start walking again...

and then being filled with one of the best senses of accomplishment you could ever have imagined because YOU DID IT!

This has been a big part of my life for the last month and I am very proud to say that I am now running 2 MILES at a time!!! :) (It's a slow 2 miles, but still it's 2 miles!!!)

My ultimate goal is 3 miles & with the plan I've been following, that means about 3 more weeks of training! My only setback has been the past week with the lack of evening daylight hours, but as always my brain is always strategizing for different ways to fit in some 'training' time so I have no doubt that I'll get it figured out soon I'm also not too big of a fan of trying to run while pushing a stroller uphill with a 35+lb kid in it, but can manage when it's necessary, luckily for me though that hasn't happened super often yet, but I guess it does make for a better workout! ;)

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Welcome to the World...

Rosella "Rose" Agnes

My sister & her husband welcomed another bundle of joy into the world today (#4!) & I'm excited to have another little niece to get to know, watch grow up & spoil! (For those of you keeping track this makes niece #7!)
Poor Luke! Looks like he's still sentenced to a life of Barbies & "babies" on my side of the family being he's the only boy in the bunch...at least he still has our (1!) nephew on Scott's side of the family to get some boy time in with because even the majority of our closest friends have only girls too! ;)
We love you & can't wait to meet you Rose!!!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

#15 The Ocean



only entered my life during the last decade-I had never been before then, but it has definitely made a lasting impression!

I love the sound of the waves crashing onto the beach and standing next to those very same waves always brings to mind just how "small" me & my big problems really are in the grand scheme of things.

My least favorite memory...
Scott & I were on vacation & decided to have a picnic lunch. He left the table for some reason & there was a slight breeze as there always is next to the ocean. This slight breeze decided to take a few of my potato chips with it & BOOM...

1,000,000 seagulls...

decided to join our picnic dinner!
Okay, maybe it wasn't quite that many, but, seriously, in 5 seconds flat we were surrounded by a bunch of these annoying birds & they stayed uninvited for the rest of it just hoping for a morsel of something else-the "rats of the ocean" as I now refer to them! Ugh!

My most favorite memory...
Occurred on my honeymoon. Lying on a beach chair. (get your minds out of the gutter now please ;) Listening to the (kinda) far off sounds of a tropical band in the background. With the night sky spread out above me. Just listening to the waves. And feeling the most relaxed I have ever remembered feeling in my life! Awww!

I'm just always left wishing it only took a few hours to get the beach instead of the 12-14 it always does :( I guess that's just part of me appreciating it that much more when I do get there :)

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

#14 My Grandma's House...



In town...
*meant getting to play outside in her really big "yard" (she actually did have a pretty big yard, but I never really understood that some of those areas were actually her neighbors' yards too-there were no fields/fences in between!) & getting to walk through her "yard" to get ice cream from the ice cream restaurant occasionally too

In the country...
*is where my sisters & I walked home from while carrying a shoebox containing our first 2 kittens in it-2 little white kitties named Bugs & Precious

In town...
*had sleepovers with my cousins on Thanksgiving weekends in which we stayed up all night long playing a version of hide-n-seek in the basement among all of her "depression era minded/pack rat tendency" boxes & then decorated for Christmas the next day

In the country...
*was just down the road

In town...
*had the yellow chair where she'd sit to watch "Days of our Lives"

In the country...
*had games to play with grandma & grandpa

In town...
*was where my sister & I were chasing our littler sister around causing her to fall & crack her head open-I remember thinking there was a lot of blood while my grandma & uncle held her at the sink

In the country...
*has always had M&M's on hand every time I have ever visited

In town...
*always had an aunt or uncle living there or staying there due to an out-of-town visit

In the country...
*is where you can visit & almost always expect to have the random aunt/uncle/cousin stopping by while you're there

In town...
*was never exactly the same to visit after my grandma passed away when I was 13, the day before Valentine's

In the country...
*had my grandpa's fishing boat & the bird houses that he would build out in the shed & which have been missed since my grandpa passed away in 1999 a few weeks after his 80th birthday

These houses & the grandmas were both different, but the things that I will always remember are all of the love, the laughter done, as well as the many hugs & kisses that have been given & received through the years from both.

Friday, September 24, 2010

#13 FRIENDS


"I'll be there for you..."
And they were, every Thursday night for 10 years...
Monica, Rachel, Phoebe, Ross, Chandler & Joey
to fill my world with laughter! This is still probably my all-time favorite show and I do miss getting to watch "new" stuff, but thanks to the wonderful world of technology-DVD's can bring them back to me at any time.
"when the rain starts to pour..."
This show & these "friends" have been part of some of my most fun memories (I'm thinking as a prelude to 'Thirsty Thursday' evenings in college! :)
This show has been part of some of my most not-so-fun memories (Scott & I purchased one of the season's on DVD to distract ourselves when we were down in Georgia after Luke had been born & things looked like they might not be turning out so well for us at that point. I give thanks every day that that didn't happen!)
"I'll be there for you..."
until one day they weren't going to be anymore because the show was ending...
"Like I've been there before..."
and then a DVD collection was purchased, so that they could be once more ;)
"I'll be there for you..."
because of all of the laughter you have brought into my little world & I still laugh each & everytime to this day.
"cause you're there for me too."
*kudos to the Rembrandts for such a catchy theme song & for parts of my blog post today :)

Thursday, September 23, 2010

#12 "You People"



I use this phrase all of the time & I know that it can be used/meant in a hateful way towards certain groups of people, but I guarantee you that I have never used this phrase in a derogatory way.
I use it with my family members, especially Scott & Luke....I use it with groups of students...I use it when talking with friends...I use it when talking in/with groups...I just plain use it all of the time...
I hear myself say it sometimes & think "hmmm...that could've come across a bit harsh sounding if my tone would've been different" but I have noticed that I'm not usually using it in a harsh way-so hopefully it never has.
I swear that if I ever "you people just need to..." you, please don't take offense to it because I don't when my grandma & her son (my dad) "you people" ME! :)
Now, all of "you people" just keep on checking back here from time to time ;)

Sunday, September 19, 2010

3-0!!!

It just sounds sooo "grown-up"!

I'm not usually too bothered by age & I don't really 'feel' any different than I did yesterday, but I can say that this birthday was just a bit different because...

it just sounds so grown-up!

Of course, I have had to be an adult/grownup for quite awhile now so that shouldn't really matter, but now that there is officially a 3 in front of my age...well you get the jist!

To cope/celebrate, [now channel your inner Prince & "Party like its 1999" voice] "last night I partied because I was still 29!" :)

Drinking beer from a bucket (literally)-keep in mind we were at an Okctoberfest like festivity & hanging out with some of my cousins followed by being serenaded at midnight as I became 30 was all very fun, but today because I am a 30 year old "grown-up" (who frankly can't do that 2 nights in a row anymore like I might have once upon a time during my college days), well today, I celebrated like a grown-up with cake & my families-both were good days & will be fondly remembered!

And now, I'm off to be a grown-up, I guess ;)

Thursday, September 16, 2010

#11 Soap Operas


I love them or to rephrase that I loved my soap opera & none could replace it. Unfortunately, it disappeared last year:(
I had spent a good portion of the first 29 years of my life with the families/characters of "Guiding Light" until they cancelled it last year after 72 seasons-that's like almost 4 generations folks!
I can say that I was very sad about its disappearance from the airwaves last fall, yes my DVR experienced much relief, but my heart felt quite the opposite.
Yes, Scott would refer to it as "that dumb show" but I do believe that he was secretly impressed too by the family/individual histories that I could give on the characters from having watched it over the years. (He will also never admit it, but he may even have enjoyed watching it too from time to time ;)
The characters were like members of my make-believe far away family-only I never had to worry about a long lost evil twin showing up, people never completely being dead & gone (they always made it back somehow), or having a child that I had forgotten/never knew existed. I could just revel in their chaos, which always made life seem that much better.
I reflect on it here now, partly, because I didn't at this time last year & partly, because I have been reminded of it yet again as another long time soap that I have watched on & off again through the year was cancelled this week. "As The World Turns" aired for the last time today after 54 seasons. I am the first to admit that my interest in this one has had its highs & lows through the years & I don't feel quite as connected to it, but since hearing of its impending cancellation about 6 months ago-I started watching it again just because. It makes me sad to hear of another long time show biting the dust, but this one won't be quite so traumatic for me (although I do know 1 or 2 people for whom it will be!) I haven't watched the last few episodes yet, but I'm sure they will leave me wishing that I could have my "Guiding Light" back! Alas, that will never happen...
So, to the Cooper's, Bauer's, Lewis's, & Spaulding's-thanks for all of the enjoyment that you brought to my life during the first 29 of my 30 years-you'll be missed over the next 30 I'm sure!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

#10 Books/Reading


I love books & I love reading them!
I love the feel of a new book in my hands & the anticipation of getting to read it.
I can remember lazy summer days spent reading books, as well as, too many late nights spent staying up waaaay too late to read just one more chapter.
I remember having challenged myself to read many books last year & then doing so even with a toddler in tow, yet falling way behind on that very same challenge for this year (unless you want to count a couple of resource books about teaching reading!)
I have learned NOT to read the book before watching the movie, if I want to continue to like the movie after they've "messed" it all up! :) I try to read them after the fact nowadays.
I love the many characters & places that have entered my little world in the last 30 years from having read about them/taught about them & can't wait to "meet" & "visit" many more over the next 30 years!

#9 Chocolate



Chocolate...

*with peanut butter

*covered peanuts

*brownies

*chip cookies

*milk

*ice cream

*syrup

*fudge

*candy

and last but not least...

Milk Chocolate all by itself!

What can I say-it has made my first 30 years so "delicious" on so many occasions. I'm so glad it was discovered :) but my butt may not say the same ;) hehe

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

#8 September!



It's the most wonderful month of the year & as I like to say, the most wonderful people are born during it too ;)

A little bit of summer,
a little bit of fall,
schedules (school's & our family's) start falling into place,
harvesting begins,
leaves start to show hints of what is to come,
my first weeks of motherhood began here,
wiener roasts & s'mores,
& my birthday too, of course,
All of these reasons & more
Are why September is the month I most adore! :)

#7 Teaching


Teaching is not only what I do, but it is what I love!

I love the kids, I love the work & I love that this is what I get to do with my life each day (& with summers off too, except for summer school! ;)

I may not have my own classroom full of my "own" students, but I do have the opportunity to call several different classrooms that I visit each day "mine." I know that I have not made a difference in every student's life that I have come into contact with, but as for the few that I know I have...it is an amazing feeling & one that can't really be explained.
It makes my job worth it!

I've always known that I wanted to help people in some way-for awhile in my early college days, I thought that meant the health field, but it just never felt completely "right." It was & still is something that I just couldn't quite explain, but something that I just "knew" even if it did take me a couple of years to figure that out for certain. Initially, I thought maybe I had just "settled" upon teaching when I decided to pursue it, but once I started classes-I knew I had found the path I was supposed to be on all along.

I have had my fair share of bumps & dashed hopes along the way, but in the end I know that I will have made a difference (at least to a few) & that those students have forever touched my heart as well & that hopefully, the world is just a little bit better place because of it too! :)

Monday, August 30, 2010

Can it be...3?

How can it be so?........My little man has turned 3!

"Yesterday" it seemed like he was scooting around on the floor babbling things that I couldn't understand.
And now, I can barely keep up with him as he runs all over the place telling me stories about things that I can't believe he's old enough to understand.

"Yesterday" he barely even knew what to do with a candle on his birthday cake.
And now, he blows it out (maybe with just a little extra spit due to enthusiasm!) and follows it up with "I made a wish!" & one of the biggest smiles you could imagine!

"Yesterday" he used tantrums to try to get what he wanted.
And now, even thought those terrible tantrums still exsist-somewhere in the last few weeks "manners" have finally started appearing more consistently-I love his 'please's' 'no thank you's' & 'OH thank you's' that are given really without much prodding from me at all anymore.

"Yesterday" he hardly knew what to do with the phone.
And now, he loves to hold a full conversation with anyone willing to talk with him on it.

"Yesterday" he was my little guy.
And now, he's still my 'little guy' but how & when did he decide to get so tall!

"Yesterday" he brought a joy I had never known before into my life.
And now, well I'm glad to say, that this is one thing that has not changed!
(Even if he does still like to supply me with plenty of "hair pulling" moments on occasion! ;)

Happy Birthday to my "little man"~Luke!
I just can't believe you're 3 :)

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

#6 Cards, anyone?


For as long as I can remember, I have always been around card playing. Whether it be playing UNO with my sisters as a young child or watching my mom & dad playing pinochle/solo/etc with family and friends at home or out & about or learning how to play some of those various card games as a kid and now playing them as an adult, cards have always been around (along with various board games too.)

The games I have played have taken many forms over the years & in some ways have come full circle...

"Slam" My sisters & I made this game up as kids (I just made this name up, since I don't think there was ever an official name for it :) Basically, it consisted of us throwing down playing cards & the winner was the first one to slam their hand onto the pile-it was our attempt at "playing cards" like the we saw the grown-ups doing ;)

"Old Maid" & "UNO" The first card games I learned to play also with my sisters (& probably mom to help us get started :) 'UNO' is one of those "full circle" games because it is now one I play yet again because it is a favorite with my nieces!

"Up and Down the River" This one came along in grade school & is one of the easiest games to learn & the first "official" card game I was taught by my Grandma & Grandpa. We girls were always wanting to play cards like the adults so they taught us this game so we could play 'like the adults'

Junior High brought along "Bullshit!" which was great because you had to cuss when playing it ;)

"Pinochle" I think this one came along in late junior high (at least that's when I remember finally really "getting it") This one became mandatory if one ever wanted/wants to participate in the marathon playing sessions that go on when my mom's side of the family get together. It's also pretty popular with my dad's side too so it's definitely a good one to know :)

"Euchre" came along in college when some of my friends taught it to me after they had been playing it a whole bunch at their college. It was handy to know once I started dating Scott, since it was his & his circle of friends' game of choice!

Drinking Games It was college & cards were usually always involved-enough said!

"Phase 10" came around after I was married & is definitely one of my favorites even though it can take several hours to play at times.

"Gin" is a game I haven't played much of lately & I have only ever played it with my brother-in-law, Brad, but we both agree that there is definitely some weird tie as to who wins & it is all dependant upon whether or not my sis-in-law, Mary, is present at the time...

"Solo" is yet to be learned, but my dad does try to break out the lessons every once in awhile for my sisters & me-maybe one of these days it'll be figured out, but then I'm never sure who I'd ever play it with :)

There are probably lots more that I haven't mentioned, but these are probably the ones that have the most memories associated with them, thus, they pop into my brain quickest.

Cards have been a big part of whom I have been over these past 30 years & I have a feeling that isn't going to change much over the next 30 years as I intend to keep right on playing whenever I'm given the opportunity.

Card game, anyone?

Monday, August 23, 2010

Tip for Cutting a Melon

My in-laws were generous enough to drop of a cantaloupe for Luke the other night, since they know he enjoys the stuff.

His mother on the other hand is not so much a fan of it :)

I decided to cut it up tonight so that Luke could enjoy some with his supper. He stood up at the counter on a chair to watch the job being done.

As I started to cut into it, I hear...

"Oowwwchie, that hurts!" [please use your best high pitched voice in a low tone, almost a whisper when reenacting this]

I looked over to make sure that he hadn't somehow gotten in the way without me knowing, but he was a fairly good distance away. All was good, so I started to cut again, when he made the same sound again...it was then I realized...

He was pretending to say what the cantaloupe would have been saying as I cut it if it could have...

Nice imagination, funny boy, but it's definitely not that helpful when actually trying to cut up the melon. Oh, the plant killing guilt...

Is there a PETA for plants, if so I think I might know a good spokesperson?! ;)

Thursday, August 19, 2010

One Month until...

the big 3-0!

Oh my!

I'm not sure I'm ready to be old... ;)

(Just kidding for all of you 30+r's out there!)
Unless you're my husband of course
! hehe ;)

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

I should be posting something worthwhile...

but instead, I'm hoping that after an hour of ushering my little guy back to bed (he waits about 5 minutes & then pops back out again), I'm hoping that maybe he is finally down for the night-fingers crossed!

I'm also hoping for Scott's schedule to simmer down just a bit here real soon too! Still waiting for him to get home at this point (I think he is at least on his way!)

My best opportunity only seems to be when he is home early enough to at least do the "ushering" with Luke at bedtime...maybe tomorrow night!

Until then, thanks for your patience :) & I'll try to remain sane as my husband is now walking into the house just as I'm pretty sure that Luke is finally asleep ;)

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Back to School...

Grateful: To have a job, especially after being a "casualty" of the budget cuts here in IL at the end of last school year

Dread: Of the uncertain "environment" we'll all be in because of those same cuts-teachers switching grade levels-some with only a week's notice, 'new' teachers to the building, teachers having switched classrooms over the summer-there are many changes to wrap one's head around

Excitement: To see all of the students & my returning coworkers

Anxiety: Because I finally found my groove for "staying home" with Luke right about mid-late July & now it's going to be over (at least until next summer anyway)

Glad: That Scott & I started working out our 'morning routine' for getting everyone out of the house again at the end of last week, hopefully, that will lead to a smoother transition tomorrow & next week

Hopeful: That despite all of these mixed feelings, this school year will get off to a great start & be one of the best yet!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

#5 Guilt...


The thing that never leaves, although it has taken several forms throughout my lifetime.

1. Good old Fashioned Guilt...umm, hello, I was raised/still am Catholic, so I tend to feel guilty about everything in general-whether I need to or not.

2. Guilt Trips...I am very good at attempting to give them...I am also slightly more susceptible to them (ahem, see #1 above!) However, I also tend to recognize when one is being given and find it very annoying so many times I just give one back...it's a vicious cycle :)

3. Mommy Guilt...I try very hard to NOT suffer from this too much, but it is still very good at creeping in (maybe because of #1 & #2.) I try to make the time I spend with him matter, so that when I do choose to do something for myself/go to work...I can feel confident that I don't need to feel guilt about it...I do fairly well, but as with everything, it's definitely a work in progress!

4. Infertility/Adoptive Mommy Guilt...this is in addition to #3. All mommies feel guilty about something, but add infertility into the mix where I had that dream withheld from me for a long time-one feels like she must do a good job to show that she deserved what others may have received without much of an effort (at least from my own viewpoint anyway.) Top that off with choosing to adopt and being blessed with the dream finally coming true because someone chose you to do it and others had to approve that you would make a fantastic parent, it can maifest itself as guilt very quickly when I don't live up to the standards (which are probably too high) that I have set for myself (or sometimes feel have been set for me.) It can be very nasty companion at times!

Guilt, old 'friend', I'm going to keep working against you, but I do figure that you probably plan on sticking around for as long as I do ;)

Friday, July 30, 2010

Naptime conversation

Here's the setup:

It was naptime & for one of his choices of naptime books, Luke had picked Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Suess for me to read to him. As I finish reading the book, this is the conversation you would have overheard one day this week...

Luke: "Watch Green Eggs and Ham on TV!"

(Note-The television show of this book exsisted in our DVR at one time, but then that particular DVR box broke down and unfortunately, as is life, the new DVR box sent by the TV company did not come with all of the things that we had recorded on the old one, thus Green Eggs and Ham the television show was lost...try explaining that to a 2 year old :)

Me: "We don't have that show anymore. It was on the black box that broke so we don't have it anymore."

Luke: "It broke?"

Me: "Yep, we don't have it anymore. We'll just have to wait until around Christmas time (when we had originally taped it the first time) and see if it is on TV again so that we can put it on the new box."

Luke: "I'm going to tell Santa Clause (wait for it.............it's not what you would think...................................he would be wanting to tell Santa Clause at this point in the conversation....................) that I rolled my tractors in my poop."

Me: (look of slight confusion followed by stifling a grin) "Do you think Santa Clause will like that you did that? Was that a good choice?"

Luke: "Oh, yes!"

I'm not really sure how this conversation took such a drastic change of direction right there in the middle. Christmas=Santa that I get, but Christmas=Santa=telling Santa about his antics with poop that I'm not so sure about! Unfortunately, he probably does think that playing with his toys in his poop is a wonderful decision each time he has done it, but unfortunately for him, his mother does not so each time it happens those toys disappear...maybe this is why he thinks the man in the big red suit needs to know about the tractors in the poop. ;)

Saturday, July 24, 2010

#4 Music


Music is a part of me.

Now, I could not tell you the difference between a C note & a G note just by sound alone-no I have to see the music to do that. And when the musician in a movie/show inevitably asks the singer/other musician "what key would you like?"-believe me when I say, I have no freakin' idea how they know what they are talking about. Oh yes, I know that they sound different & I might be able to tell you the difference between a minor key & a major key, but to be so specific about that stuff-please don't even begin to trust me with it! And don't even get me started on having to find a beat-oh, I can, but it's not always pretty. Trust me when I say that marching band was definitely not my strong suit! ;)

I do know, though, that music has always been a big part of my life. From the radio always being on in our house growing up, from all of the tapes & eventually CD's I listened to growing up, from the MP3's that eventually came blasting out of my computer in college, from my days of taking piano lessons when I broke my arm up through part of high school, from my days in junior high band playing the clarinet (I wanted to play in high school, but mom said it was too much "running" along with doing sports-at the time I didn't fully get that, but now I do :), from the days of dancing any chance I could get at various weddings/outings to these most recent days of hoping to instill a similar love of music into my own child. Music has & always will be a big part of my life.

It is the one thing that I know I can turn to when I am feeling stressed & know that after just a few well-picked songs (either listened to or played on my piano), I will be feeling better. It is also the one thing (besides having a good friend to share it with) that makes exercising seem easier. It is the one thing that is probably most tied to my memories. There are many songs that when I hear them, I am instantly taken back to a certain time/place/feeling in my life almost as clearly as if I was right there again-if only for a moment anyway. I could not even begin to imagine my world without music in it...in fact, when answering the question, "would you rather be blind or deaf?" I usually say blind because I would hate never getting to hear some of my favorite songs/sounds again & the voices of loved ones (which are like music to my ears-nice how I worked that in there, huh? ;)

So, over the next 30 years, music-I hope you & I will be hearing quite a bit of each other still! :)

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Time to Change...

the look of the ole blog that is.

I was receiving a message that my blog background would be disappearing on Friday, so what better time to change things up a bit. I loved the look of the old background, but with some of the changes that blogger has made (since I've really messed around with any of this kind of stuff-maybe last summer) I am actually pretty excited about it. Keep an eye out-I'm hoping to change a few more things over the next few weeks too.

And now for your entertainment (or in my husband's case, he'd probably view it as torture!), a video of those fabulous Brady's singing "Time to Change"-I know, clever, isn't it?! ;)

I know they're a bit corny, but I just love this show!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

For my dad...

who is always dutifully checking here for new information & has recently (yesterday) commented on the lack of blogging.

This will just have to do for now, but at least it will be something different to look at for the moment :)

He can also recently be quoted as having said, [insert sarcasm now] "You won't ever have to worry about anyone kidnapping Luke...they'd bring him back!" [it's okay to laugh now-I found this statement quite humorous! :)]

Hmmm....you think Luke kept him & my mom busy on his recent overnight stay! ;)
Luke is definitely, busy, that's for sure! But, boy, did I enjoy the break-even if it was only for a day!
Thanks mom & dad!

(And you all wonder why I'm tired all the the time & not blogging enough this summer?) hehe

Saturday, July 10, 2010

#3 My Weight


My Weight, you ask? Yes, my weight.

For almost as long as I can remember, it has been my constant companion/nemesis. I have always been a "big girl" & since a very young age, have always been self-conscious about it. I can remember being a little girl running around the house wondering why my belly stuck out when others' did not. Then came along school, where I was always at least a head or two taller than all of my classmates (& I was even one of the youngest in my class!) & along with that came being quite a bit heavier than my classmates too. I hated the seesaw because there was never anyone I could ride it with (or if they tried-it always took at least 2 of them on the other side for us to go up & down.) All throughout school, I always felt like I stuck out like a sore thumb (especially when I hit 6 feet by 6th/7th grade!) & always felt like I never quite "fit in" completely with anyone. Junior high was definitely the worst for this, let's just say that junior high boys can be especially cruel with the kinds of nicknames that they come up with & think are hilarious...thus, humor became my way of fitting in...I always remember hearing that it was a good way to defuse a bully, but I'm not really sure that it did the trick. However, I did figure out that I liked making people laugh (& still do to this day when I can) & that no matter how much you ignore them-words can still make a deep hurt.

Anyway, as the years have progressed, a huge chunk of me has always been focused on my weight, I never really dieted when I was younger, my thoughts always turned to exercising first instead, but I just never really stuck with anything outside of sports at school & softball during the summer. Even the year I joined an all winter volleyball program & actually slimmed down quite a bit, I still knew I was "fat"-even when others' kept telling me that I was looking "so good!" It wasn't until college when I happened upon some pictures from that era, that I thought "Wow, I looked pretty good then! If only I had realized it at the time..."

As an adult (& mostly since being married), I have now tried several different "diets." Most of them have worked, but the weight has eventually come back. About 3 or 4 years ago, I hit my highest point ever & realized that I needed to do something & make it stick. I can't even remember if I started out doing a specific diet, but I know that eventually what I was doing was combining aspects from the 3 or 4 that I had tried & basically doing my own thing (in a healthy way.) I ended up losing about 30-35 lbs, which eventually lead to me being able to maintain & keep off about 25 of those lbs for the last couple of years. My ultimate weight loss goal is to lose about 80-90 lbs from that high point I had hit, so I have about 2/3 of it left to go, but I also know that I have done better in the past hitting about that 30 lb mark & then taking a break from it for awhile to maintain that point that I reach.

So with 30 approaching very quickly, I am hoping to do that again by the end of the year, or at least be heading down on the scale instead of the "same old same old" numbers. I find it ridiculous to do this in an unhealthy way, so trust me when I say that I will be using healthy eating habits & exercise. And I hope that before the next 30 years have gone by, that I will have finally reached my "dream weight."

So, to my lifelong tag along, my weight, thanks (I guess) for all of the life experience you have bestowed upon me, but please don't be offended as I try to say "SO LONG" to part of you as the years go by! :)

Monday, July 5, 2010

Day 1...Part 2

As we enter the church, we find out that although we are ten minutes late for church-the Mass is only just beginning. Even if we were going to be late though, I was okay with the fact that no one would know us & that (although normally I try to dress "nice" for church, this time...) my "dumpy" looking tank top & jogging capri pants that I had been traveling in would be 'okay' just this one time. Boy, did I stand out like a sore thumb!

As we're walking in, we notice feathery white hats lining the aisle, which can only mean one thing in a Catholic church-the Knights of Columbus knights were there for Mass, which only means one thing-this was an important Mass! The next thing I see are individuals walking down the aisle followed by a priest wearing a tall hat, which means THIS MASS WAS BEING DONE BY A BISHOP & there I stood in my dumpy looking tank top & jogging capris! Hmmm...needless to say, I felt just a little bit conspicuous next to all of the very dressed up people who were there to celebrate CONFIRMATION! So the hope of a "short" Mass flew out the window as we walked out of church 1 1/2 hours later-I was just glad that Luke ended up napping through half of it, which helped to hide my dumpy looking outfit too :)

The bishop did a wonderful job & was interesting to listen to too-& it was interesting to note...that before he got started with things, he apologized for being late-his GPS had led him to the parking lot of the local Kroger's instead of to the church! Guess that answered my question from our trip to the church ;)

The only trouble we really ran into was at the end when we were walking out of church & Luke requested holy water. I took him up to the font, but as any good two year old will do who is in the throws of his "terrible two's", he stalled around & wouldn't dip his hand in the font so with people waiting behind us I just moved on out the door. I did not realize what an ordeal this would lead too! My child proceeds to throw a lovely tantrum while screaming "I WANT HOLY WATER!" as we head to the car. If I let him get it, am I caving into a tantrum? But then again, what parent wouldn't want there kid to have all of the holy water (as well as its blessings) that they could get? Maybe it would cure his terrilbe twoitis! :) We opted not to give in to the tantrum & we heard about it all the way back to the hotel & then again sporadically throughout the rest of the trip-we finally promised him that he could DEFINITELY get some holy water the next week at church.

All in all, it was a good experience & we made it back to the hotel to catch just a little bit of time in the pool before turning in for the night to rest up for Day 2 of driving!

P.S. Since, I have been a horrible slacker of a blogger lately & it now feels a little 'dated' to continue writing about a vacation from well over a month ago :) I'll probably include one more post with the "highlights" (& maybe some pics) & then try to move on from there ;) Maybe I can improve on my average of 2 posts/month over the past few months!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Day 1

We (actually more like me :) decided to split our 12-13 hour drive up into 2 days. We knew that we would be stopping after about 6-7 hours of driving and figured this would probably be the best plan with a 2 (almost 3) year old in tow. The driving went rather smoothly (with no electronic gadgets along for entertainment, I might add!) & we arrived with a few hours to spare before the evening Mass time that was scheduled at the local church that we were planning on attending.

We hung around our hotel room for a little while, but very quickly figured out that the aformentioned child would not do well with this plan for very long, so we decided to go get something to eat & then attempt to find the church. Supper went well & Luke got on fabulously with the older ladies sitting in the booth behind us (I think he even got food offerings from them if memory serves me correctly.) Then it was time to find the church...

We went back to the hotel since this was the point where our directions started...we had about 10 minutes to find the church (it was only supposed to take about 3-5 minutes to get there). We started driving, but being the "navigator," I noticed that none of the street names matched except for the one that was our hotel's driveway...hmmm.

We finally decided to go back & get directions from the hotel staff. They looked up the address & located it on a city map & we were on our way! As we drove, I wondered aloud whether or not a GPS would have been very helpful-probably not if they get their directions from the same major source that Scott looked ours up with. We got to the church about 5-10 minutes late...normally that would be a "tsk, tsk" but God must have been smiling at us on this day (or in my case laughing tremendously) because...

TO BE CONTINUED ;-P

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

What a difference a year (& a vacation) make!

One year ago...we were left reeling from having a new baby as part of our family for a couple of days & then having to take him back...

One month ago...I was really not looking forward to these last few days as they would mark the 1 year point since this had all happened & we still have not been able to add another member (even with a seemingly "real" possibility in our future at the time) to our family in that time frame...

What can I say? Vacation was a wonderful distraction & ours came at the most opportune time!

We had not purposefully planned it this way for this reason-it was based on work schedules, but it was nice timing to say the least.

It was not lost on me, though, that on the day we made it home-was the same day one year ago when I was able to watch a little being being brought into this world & how it filled my heart with joy & I was hopeful that wherever Baby E (who probably isn't much of a baby anymore :) was, that he was having a very happy birthday. He will always hold a special little piece of my heart even if he isn't part of our home & family. Happy Birthday Baby E!

Monday was the anniversary of taking him back, but luckily, even though I have a "mind for dates"-this date was forgotten at the time & wasn't as difficult to deal with :)

Vacation stories coming soon & maybe even some pics-WHAT???-I know, I rarely do pics so you'll just have to wait & see on that one :)

Thursday, May 27, 2010

May Tidbits...

I've not been around much lately and I've missed this! I've missed reading up on other peoples' blogs whom I have been following for quite a while now. I've missed sharing bits & pieces of my life here with all of you...but at the same time I have enjoyed my time away (for the most part) too. Very little blogging, very little email and even less Facebook time have been the way of life this month it seems and I'm thankful to have had the break even if I hadn't planned on taking it.

So, here are just a few things that have been happening in my little world, since I last posted...

*Mother's Day-I am so grateful for all of the wonderful women who have helped to shape my life & it was great being able to spend time with many of them on/around Mother's Day. Somehow, though, this holiday is still just not one of my favorites, in fact, if I could skip it completely-I would.
I don't like the "you have to do stuff for me just because I'm a mom" mentality, whether it's deserved or not. I don't like all of the hullabaloo made over this "one day"-shouldn't we celebrate our mothers (& fathers too) every.single.day.
Part of my dislike, obviously, stems from our IF/adoption struggles & just how completely tortuous this holiday was before becoming a mom & how even though I am a mother now-that doesn't mean that part of me doesn't still feel inadequate. The "ease" of other mothers' abilities to build their families/space their children, seemingly, without effort/emotional struggles/having to consider other options is something that I am very aware of on this one particular day of the year and it's just not all that pleasant for me...it's not anyone's fault, just my own need to want to crawl up in a hole on this one day each year & hide/cry, yet instead, being forced out to do just the opposite because I am now (& feel very much blessed to be so even if this makes me sound otherwise) a mother!

*On a different 'mother' rant, the phrases "I'm a mother of [insert whatever number of chidren you have-it just can't be 1]" and "family is complete" are two phrases that have been annoying the crap out of me lately. First of all, I don't think that most people really care how many children someone has, unless maybe it is 5 or more, okay, maybe 4. 1, 2 or 3 kids seems to be fairly typical, in fact, isn't the average 2.3 or something like that so saying "mother of [2 or 3]" just makes one normal. Some use the phrase to let people know just how 'busy' they are, which is fine & dandy too, but don't we all get busier as we add in more people to our lives (whether they live with us or not and whether or not they happen to be children). This phrase also bugs the crap out of me because I was a "mother of two" for just a few days, but then plans changed & here I sit, almost a year later...still only hoping that maybe someday this phrase can apply to me yet again, but permanently this time...
The other phrase has been used by several different people in real life & in the blog/facebook world. Some are 'super fertiles' as I like to call them :) & some are fellow IFer's with whom I have faced this journey with (& most of whom came face-to-face with it after we had already been in the trenches for a while.) I am thrilled for all of them-that their dreams have come true/are coming true, but yet (& yes, I am going to throw another pity party ;) here we sit feeling like we are only in the "beginnings" of building our family. It is just frustrating always feeling like you are watching everyone else move on, while we're still stuck closer to our starting goal rather than our ending goal...

*On a more positive note, school has been out for almost a whole week...our vacation-very much needed this year!-is approaching quickly (I can hear that ocean calling my name)...& I think my battle with some very pesky 6 legged pests may finally be swinging my way-THANK THE GOOD LORD!!!-not exactly how I planned on spending my first week of summer vacation ;)

Hope your summers are off to great starts & if anyone needs a pity party, just head my direction...I'm sure I could find one if you couldn't tell it from this post, but then again, that has pretty much been what May has been like in my head :)

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Need a little encouragement...

Yes, it takes supreme talent to be able to make up things like I did below, but please hold your applause ;)

Potty training here at our house has been an ongoing process for quite a long time now...it's been frustrating at times, but the biggest struggle has definitely been getting Luke to want to #2 on the potty. (Don't worry-he knows how to do everything & when he needs to go, he just doesn't want to go on the potty...he could be in underwear if he wanted too, but being the little boy that he is-it is soooo much more fun to "water" the rug, the side of the tub, the floor, or anything else he feels like when he wants to be ornery during bathroom time!)

The other night he had poopy pants, but I could tell that he still needed to go & after a few encouraging words about which muscles to squeeze, he managed to squeeze out just a little bit more! This was cause for great celebration on my part, as well as dad's :) We cheered, we praised, we loaded him up with M&M's ;)

So the next day, when we tried to have him try again, what can I say, the words just came out of me...

(chant it :)
"Butt Cheeks, Butt Cheeks
Squeeze, Squeeze, Squeeze!
Poop come out
Please, please, Please!"

No poop that time, but I'll take the sound of my little boy's laughter anyday!
(& hopefully poop in the pot someday!)

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

It's a Date!

With my DVR that is!

I LOVE this lady & can't wait to see how her Saturday Night Live gig goes.

It's a fabulous gift to be able to make people laugh like she does...enjoy this promo from hulu.com :)

Monday, April 26, 2010

A Night Spent with...

Friends = Mental clarity, Worries swept aside, Knowing they will always have my back if I need it & Feeling like myself again!

Thanks Girls!!! :)

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Supermarket Singing Star?

Over the past several months, we have been doing most of our grocery shopping together as a family. For the most part, it works out okay-it allows us to split up so that we can find things a bit quicker & it allows us each to take our time if we need to for some reason. When this happens & I am the one with Luke in the cart & Scott gets out of eyeshot, then every once in a while Luke starts singing...

First you need a little back story, for quite a long time now (at least a year), Luke & I have had a little game that we play every so often. Basically, he hides under the island in the kitchen & I walk around pretending that I don't know where he is while singing...

"Where, oh where, could my little Lukey be? Oh, where, oh where can he be? With his hair so short & his eyes so brown. Oh, where, oh where can he be?"
(to the tune of "Where, oh where, has my little dog gone?" just in case you didn't realize it :)

Yes, just like with words-I like to make up my own words to songs too ;)

Anyway, back to the grocery store, Scott is out of eyesight, & Luke starts singing...

"Where, oh where, has my daddy gone? Oh, where, oh where can he be? With his hair so short & his tail so long. Oh, where, oh where can he be?"

Scott does not, in fact, have a tail, but Luke's version of this song sure does bring out a few chuckles from me & the store employees :)

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Happy Blogoversary to Me! :)

Last year at this time, I could not believe that I had been doing this for a whole year already & now here it has become TWO years! If you'd like to take a look back, here is my very first post & here is last year's post.

The last two years have been full of many ups & downs & when I look back it is so hard to believe just how much life has changed over the past two years & just how much it has stayed the same as well. It has been an amazing journey & experience! It has definitely not always been the easiest journey, but even during the roughest times over these past two years-I have always been glad to have had this blog to turn to-to pour my heart/words out onto the screen. I have also been blessed to have had several of you kind enough to leave us words of encouragement, kindness, laughter, joy, sadness, etc based on whatever I may have written on any given day. This blog has been a wonderful experience & I am looking forward to seeing what this next year has in store for us!

Thank you for joining me on this blogging journey! :)