Thursday, December 31, 2009

2009 Year in Review

Thanks to Julie and Liz I have to fill this out again this year. So here goes my 2009 year in review!

What did you do in 2009 that you'd never done before?
Had a child live with me for the summer.

Did you keep your new year's resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I don't really make resolutions, I work on goals.

Did anyone close to you give birth?
A few friends.

Did anyone close to you die?
No one really close to me, but my BFF lost her dear grandmother and I loved her dearly. My cousin however just lost her son yesterday morning. I didn't know him because they live so far away, but from what I understand he was a wonderful young man.

What countries did you spend time in this year?
Mexico and USA

What would you like to have in 2010 that you lacked in 2009?
A better job.
A better understanding of myself.
And a ring for goodness sake. LOL

What dates from 2009 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
May 9th - LW and I celebrated one year of dating with a trip to Mexico.
June 6th - the day LW told me that Kassidy would be staying all summer with us.

What was your biggest achievement(s) of the year?
Learning how to parent someone else's child. It's such a tough job.

Being offered a position at work to lead the testing integration of an application. Beyond thrilled to be the lead for this project.

What was your biggest failure?
Letting myself go in the weight department.

Did you suffer any serious injury or illness?
Besides coming home from Mexico with Montazuma's Revenge, I can't think of anything.

What was the best thing you bought?
Stuff for the girls. Nothing makes me happier than buying stuff for Kassidy and Lauren.

For me personally, probably my Cricut.

Whose behaviour merited celebration?
I'd have to say LW. He has been so supportive and we have talked through everything together. I think he realizes just how much I do for him and the girls and how much I truly love the three of them. They are my world.

Whose behaviour made you appalled and/or depressed?
It makes me sad that my family, who all said they would stop smoking after my mom died, are still smoking. I wish they would quit.

Where did most of your money go?
Kassidy and Lauren! I'd buy anything for those girls. And crafting supplies!

Compared to this time last year, are you,
a) happier or sadder? The last part of the year was hard for me since I have to accept that I will be having a hysterectomy, but for the most part I was a happy girl.

b) thinner or fatter? Fatter. And I have no one to blame but myself.

c) richer or poorer? Neither rich nor poor.

What did you get really, really excited about?
Going on vacation with the family to Disney. There is something so special about seeing a 10 year olds eyes light up when they cross the gates into the Disney compound.

What do you wish you'd done more of?
I wish I would have gotten better at using my Nikon D40. I feel like I didn't spend enough time learning the tricks of using the camera.

Did you fall in love in 2009?
I fell deeper into love with LW. He's my world.

How many one-night stands?
LMAO um ya nope.

Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
I have zero hate for people. There is one person who I dislike, but I don't hate people.

What was the best book you read?
The Twillight Series!

What did you want and not get?
An engagement ring. I still got time right? LOL

What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I was stuck at work late working on a production problem, but then after that, LW took me to dinner at the Ocean Club. Then he slide a tiny blue box across the table. A beautiful pair of Tiffany earrings were inside.

What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Winning the lottery and spending it on family and friends!

Who did you miss?
My mom. It stinks that she will never meet LW.

Who was the best new person you met?
Amy - she makes me want to craft!

Tell us a valuable life lesson(s) you learned in 2009.
Life is about lessons. You must learn from them. Patience is key. Also never ever respond to an email that makes you angry. Walk away. Then write a response. LOL

What sums up this year? (a word, a quote... ?)
Happiness straight ahead.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Christmas 2009

So here we have it. My Christmas post. I'm slightly behind as I have been sick this past week. Wish I was closer to being on the mend, but I'm not. Hopefully by tomorrow I will be.

The Monday before Christmas I attended a cookie exchange. Below are the goodies that were shared. There were a lot of wonderful cookies. And I hate to say it, we still have left overs!



Next we had Christmas Eve at my niece's house. We had a wonderful time. Kassidy was unable to be with us for the party, but she did stay Christmas Eve at our house.



Of course on Christmas Eve we always get new PJ's. LW's were so funny. Not sure how well you can see them, but on his PJ bottoms are snowmen that are officials. Of course they are football officials, but none the less...they are officials! Kass and I couldn't resist.





Finally we have Christmas morning. Miss Kassidy didn't wake us up until after 7am. Talk about being in shock. She insisted that she would be waking us up at 5am! She told me she was up at 5am, but didn't wake us up. If I was her age, I would have been done opening my presents by 7am. We had such a fun time. I have never done the whole Christmas/Santa thing with kids before. It was tiring, but so worth it to see her face. I know this is her last year to believe, but I will never stop leaving surprises from Santa for the girls.

In one of the pictures below you will see Kassidy doing her iPod dance. That child was so thrilled to get an iPod for Christmas. It's always so much fun watching her get excited...and appreciate all that we do for her. That's the best gift ever.






For those wondering, NO LW did not propose. But that's okay he got me the two best gifts that I was dying for....black Ugg boots and a James Patterson book, "I, Alex Cross." And of course he threw in a beautiful diamond necklace. Imagine my face when I saw "he went to Jareds." I did have the best Christmas ever.

I will close with our family picture. Last year was our first Christmas together so I took a picture of all three of us together. I decided to make it an annual tradition. It's so fun to watch how we have changed. Especially Kassidy who is growing into such a beautiful young lady. I am so blessed!

Of course I can't forget our two furry family members...Boots and Boomer.





Happy New Year my friends. I'll see you in the new year.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Two years ago today...

I lost my Mom to lung cancer. It was a short battle for her as she was diagnosed early September, had surgery to remove part of her lung in October, and died in December.

It's been a long journey for my family. We have grown closer over the last two years. When my Mom died my oldest sister and I were not speaking (it has been 4 years since we last spoke). Now my oldest sister and I are spending more time together...not like we use to, but enough to feel good about it.

The grandkids all got older and every time I'm with them they talk about grandma, so it's nice to see that she will never be forgotten.

When my Mom passed I was single. Losing your parent is tough, losing your parent when you have no one to go home to to hold you and cry with you and tell you every thing will be okay, was down right depressing. I will never forget leaving the hospital after she has died. When I got home I walked into an empty, quiet, dark house. I laid on the couch for a bit crying, wishing for just one second I could have someone there to make it all better. And then, just as quickly as the tears came on, the anger took over and I tore down every last Christmas decoration I had put up, and hauled my fake tree to the curb, vowing to never celebrate another Christmas.

Last year, our first Christmas without her, was difficult and it's only because of LW that I put up a Christmas tree or any decorations at all. He said I needed to do this for us...for our family...for Kassidy...for my Mom. So this year it was easier to put up the Christmas tree and decorations for I had something positive in my life. I had LW, Kassidy and Lauren. I had a reason to celebrate. And there on my tree this year is an angel ornament that LW got for me. It's to represent my Mom and all she means to me. So every Christmas she will be with me.

The time will get easier I suppose. But today I'm allowed to grieve her loss. She meant more to me then she will probably ever know.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

So very sick.....

I'm too tired to write a big post about being sick, seeing friends this weekend and about the holidays. I hope I can get to it this week if I start feeling better.

My cold started in my head yesterday and has caused lots of issues with focus, my eye sight and headaches. I'm in so much pain and my face is swollen (right side). I thought I was getting better until I got up to put a load of laundry in. I'm now heading back to bed as I can't concentrate.

I hope everyone had a great holiday. Ours was fantastic and I can't wait to share.

I promise to get to everyone's blogs this week. For now I need to rest.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Cookie Exchange

Tonight I have a cookie exchange with 11 other girls. I'm so excited to taste their creations and just hang out with my girls. The guys will also be doing a beer exchange, which is funny when I look back. I told LW he had to bring 1 six pack of beer for every guy attending. Can you imagine bringing 11 six packs of beer to a party and going home with 11 six packs? Oy. Turns out, he has to bring 1 bottle of beer for every guy. Now that sounds better!!

My cookies leave much to be desired. I had perfect intentions and failed miserably. The instructions said that the dough makes 3 dozen cookies. So I doubled the recipe twice so I would have 12 dozen. Not too bad. When all was said and done I had 8 dozen cookies!!! :( I must have made some cookies far too big. I know some cookies bit the dust early on as these are very fragile cookies (peppermint candy canes).

Thankfully earlier I made white/milk chocolate chip cookies, so when I bagged my cookies for the exchange I bagged some candy cane cookies and some white/milk chocolate chip cookies. I suppose it's the thtought that counts, but boy did I royally screw up! Next year I'm going to stick with easy, less time consuming cookies. My hands hurt from scooping and twisting dough all morning.

At any rate, I can't wait to come home with 11 dozen cookies to share with my family this holiday.

However I just may steal LW's beer. I could use a drink right now!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Christmas Fun

We are beyond happy that Kassidy is spending the night with us on Christmas Eve. LW has always reserved Christmas Eve for Kassidy to be with her Mom and her Mom’s family on that day. So Christmas morning (very early) he would go pick up Kassidy and spend the day with her.

Well this year, Kassidy asked me if she could spend the night on Christmas Eve. The giddy little girl inside of me wanted to scream “YES!” But I told her she would have to discuss this with her mom and dad. She never talked to LW about it (I did and he was beyond happy) but apparently we found out she talked to her mom about it. Kassidy’s mom has NO problem with her staying at our house Christmas Eve but we have to pick her up after the festivities are over as Kassidy’s mom’s mom’s house…ha!

A little part of me cried when I found this out. The one thing I always wanted to be was a mom. I always wanted to put cookies out, always wanted to put the little one to bed and then sneak their presents downstairs and fill their stocking. It makes me beyond gleeful to know that I will be able to do this this year. While Kassidy does not believe in Santa, we have taught her to believe in the spirit of Christmas.

I can’t wait to put her to bed on Christmas Eve after our traditional evening of drinking hot coca or wine and watching “Christmas Vacation” lounging in our new Christmas pjs. I can’t wait to carry all of her presents downstairs from their super secret hiding spot and stack them so she’ll seem them first thing in the morning and fill her stocking to the very tip top.

I wouldn’t care if she was 10 or 20, I just can’t wait to see her face on Christmas morning. I have worked so hard to make this Christmas special for both of the girls. While Lauren can’t be with us, I made sure to spoil her rotten with a nice size package that will make it to her house just in time for Christmas Eve. Lauren even has her own stocking filled to the top with fun, silly, girlie stuff.

God had other plans for me in the mommy department. And it’s amazing. Every day I thank him for the family he gave me.

That is the best Christmas present hands down.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

2010 Goals

2010 is going to be full of change. I’ve decided to spend 12 months hunkering down on my finances and putting my physical health first.

My top 10 list of things I am truly going to try to attempt are:

1. Train to run a half marathon (race to be held in October 2012 – but wanting to shoot for October 2011). I’m going for distance, not time.

2. I’m going to have my nails removed. It’s an expense that is not needed. I love them but quite honestly I am too hard on them and I really just don’t have the time for maintaining them at the moment.

3. Take one vacation instead of two. I’m blessed that I can afford more than one vacation a year, but this coming year we decided to do a family vacation to Arizona for a week and a half to see LW’s daughter graduate. We’ll do some weekend get-a-ways but if we want to head to Paris in 2011 we must not dip into the savings for additional vacation fun next year.

4. Spend more time crafting gifts and cards. My goal is to make every birthday, anniversary, get well, sympathy, holiday card next year.

5. Take more classes to work towards my second bachelors degree. I have one down, 7 to go!

6. Not purchase a single pair of pants/shorts/capris (other than PJs – a secret obsession of mine) until I have lost at least 8-10 pounds. Weigh in day, January 2nd.

7. Spend more time in the gym with the weights.

8. Pack my lunch every day but once/twice in a month (we have team lunches or birthday lunches at least once a month). I’m pretty good at this now, but I want to see if I can cut back even more. Not only is it easy on the wallet, it’s good for your health!

9. Not purchase a new car! I want one so bad I can taste it. I have 15 months left to pay on my car and my goal is to get it paid off and drive it for 6/8 months after that. This is really hard for me because I have had my car for awhile and I so badly want a new one, but LW is teaching me the art of paying off a car and reaping the financial benefit. He’s so right! I can see dollar signs.

10. Track my spending. I use Quicken at home but I don’t pay attention to where the money is going. I’m saving, but not nearly enough. I can do better, so my goal is to double what I’m saving now and find a better way to make ‘do’ with what I have. If I did this for one year, think of the possibilities! I have a spreadsheet built and ready to be used starting in January. I have already listed my expenses vs my income vs my savings. I clearly see some change is needed!

So to track my goals, I plan to do a blog update at the end of every month. I am going to become accountable and find better ways of managing my money and managing my health. It’s not about being skinny, but being healthy.

January 2nd I will do a financial and physical weigh in.

Then it’s all up to me to make the necessary changes. I know I can do this. It’s what is truly best for me.

What are your goals/plans for 2010?

Monday, December 14, 2009

Missing Piece

I’m so lucky. I obviously don’t have children of my own, but LW has the greatest daughters. I talk about Kassidy all of the time, only because she’s here with us in Ohio. But Lauren, who lives in Arizona, hasn’t been home since LW and I had gotten serious. He’s been making the trips to Arizona to see her. So I have never physically met her.

But last night she texted me to talk about Christmas and the very last text from her made me cry. It said: “I appreciate it all. I was just telling Craig how awesome you are because you haven’t even met me yet and you treat me so well and you take care of me and you are here when I need to talk. It’s just so wonderful. Thanks Ms. Danica a lot.”

She’s dying to get me something for Christmas and I keep telling her to save her money for college (she graduates in May) and that all I need is to know she appreciates how much I love her. Those few words meant the world to me. She’s such a beautiful, smart young woman. She means so much to me. And I only wish that all four of us could be together all of the time. I know soon she’s going to grow into her own family, but I hope she never forgets us. I can’t wait to be a mother to those girls (and a grandmother some day!). While I wish I had my own children, LW has given me the most amazing gift…a family.

I am truly blessed!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Christmas Parties

This weekend is the start of several Christmas parties I'll be attending. I'm so excited to see old friends, meet new friends, and have just an all around great time.

Tonight I start off at a party with my local chat board girls. I'm so excited and so appreciative that Erin is opening her home to a gaggle of girls. Should be a fantastic time. Some of the girls attending have become such wonderful, special friends to me. I love them all dearly! I'm also looking forward to meeting new friends.

Tomorrow my neighbor is having her 2nd Annual James Christmas Bash. LW will not be able to join Kassidy and I as he will be in PA officiating a college basketball game. Kassidy and I will still have a great time though. All of the neighbor kids just adore her. It melts my heart to see Riley, who is 5, come running up to Kassidy for hugs every time she sees her. That's what Christmas is about...friends, family, love, respect, laughter.

Next week my team and I will be delivering goodies to our two adopt-a-families. We all worked so hard to pull off this event. Prior to the event though, our team is having our annual holiday pot-luck. I'm looking forward to mingling with my co-workers and spreading cheer to our adopt-a-families. I love the spirit of Christmas.

There are more parties to come and I'm sure I'll tell you all about them.

The days are drawing closer to the second year without my Mom. December 29th is the anniversary of her passing. It won't be an easy day, but in my heart I know she's in a better place. My sister saved the wreath I laid on her grave last year from us kids. I'm so happy she did so that every year we can go back and lay that very same wreath on her grave. This year though, my great-niece (yes I have a niece who has a daughter) and sister (her granddaughter is my great-niece) added additional decorations to the wreath and placed it on my Mom's grave the week after Thanksgiving. I'm anxious to see how it turned out. They took pine cones from my Mom's old tree in her back yard. This year the wreath will have an extra special touch. I love it.

In the spirit of the holidays I hope everyone takes time to remember those that are serving our country (my sister's step son is overseas in Iraq) and can't be with their families. I also hope we take time to give to those in need.....time, money, prayers, laughter, support, whatever you can do.

Happy Holiday Season friends!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Christmas Cards

This year I decided to hand make 61 Christmas cards. While I have done this in the past, this year I put a little more effort into them. Essentially I got serious!

So below are some of my favoites that I made. Some are one of a kind, some are out of a set of four I made at a craft meeting, and some I threw together, hated, but figured what the hell. I made it so I'll send it. At least I tried.

Happy Holidays!









Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Stocking Give Away!

A blogging buddy of mine, Tammy, is giving away a beautifully hand made stocking. If you would like to enter to win, please click on the link below:

CLICK ME

Tammy I'd love to add your button to my blog but for some reason it's blocked and I can't pull it down. It couldn't be because I am at work doing this, now could it?! :)

At any rate folks, pass this on. Tammy is a sweet, loving, kind person. You'll enjoy getting to know her.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Lauren

Lauren is LW's oldest daughter. This past week while he was in Arizona he shot some beautiful pictures of her. I am so blessed to have such a beautiful family. Lauren is a sweet, loving and kind girl. While I've never met her in person we have spoken on the phone, through text messages and through the Internet. She's a wonderfully talented young lady and I look forward to watching her grow up.

The young man in the picture is Lauren's boyfriend. LW seems very fond of him, so I hope he stinks around. :)

The other two girls with Lauren are her friends who were in the dance recital with her. Lauren dances to jazz and modern. LW said she did a fantastic job. He was so proud of her! She is also on her high school varsity basketball team. And we all know LW is happy about that!





Wednesday, December 2, 2009

LW is in Arizona for a few days.

Is it sad that I'm excited about that? :-) I love him and love spending time with him, but I have a lot of shopping to get done and cards to finish making, so I think it works out. I can stay up and out late as he won't be home until Saturday night. I always feel guilty doing my crafty stuff at home when he's home. I love spending time with him snuggling. But it will all be fine and I'll get my stuff accomplished while he's gone and he'll get some good ole quality time with his oldest daughter.

I miss him already though.

He's headed to see his oldest daughter compete in a dance competition. I made him take the camera so he can come home with lots of good pictures for me to share. I'm sad I couldn't go but I think it will be nice for him to spend some alone time with his daughter. I'm so excited for her though and wish I could watch her compete. Wish her luck!

Over the weekend Kassidy made Lauren a card and a pair of earrings to wish her good luck. It's so cute. I wish I could have snapped a picture of the card before she signed it, but oh well. I do have a picture of the earrings and will share those as soon as LW gets home (their on the camera!).

Here's to my first night alone...woot woot.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Kassidy makes me laugh!

That child is so funny. I swear if you knew us you would think she was my daughter. She has the same thoughts and feelings as me and she also has the same tender heart...always thinking of others. I can only hope that I am some kind of positive influence in her life.

But last night she called my cell phone (which LW never gave her my number so I can only guess that she got my cell phone number from Lauren - her sister) to ask me when my birthday is. She said she is doing a project for school. Really? She wanted to include me? That made me feel so good. Like we really were a family. Then no more than two minutes later she calls me back to ask me when Boots and Boomer's birthday's are. I could not stop laughing. She was so cute. She couldn't understand that I didn't know the days they were born, only the months and years. HA! She just loves 'her cats' as she likes to call them. She reminds me every time we have her how they are her cats. Makes me all warm and fuzzy inside.

I love being a family. I'm sad I can't have my own, but I'm grateful to have Kassidy and Lauren. Both of them remind me just how special life really is. I have so much to be happy about.

Life is good!

Monday, November 30, 2009

25 Days of Christmas

I got this from my fellow blogger, Simone. Stop by and pay her a visit. You're guaranteed to love her!


(1) What is your favorite Christmas movie?

Christmas Vacation! Hands down the best movie ever. I watch it every year on Christmas Eve. The very first time I saw it was with my Mom, so more so now it has special meaning to me.


(2) What is your LEAST favorite Christmas movie?

I'm not sure I really have a least favorite. Probably some of those random cartoons that make no sense.


(3) What is your favorite Christmas song?

O Holy Night sung by Celin Dion. I cry every time I hear it. It's my Dad's favorite song and it makes me miss him so much (he lives in Nevada). My dad has such a beautiful voice and I use to love to listen to him sing this song at church.


(4) What Christmas song(s) drives you crazy?

The Tweleve Days of Christmas. I can't stand it!!!!


(5) What is your favorite Christmas drink? (i.e. egg nog, hot chocolate)

Peppermint hot chocolate although I do drink it year round.


(6) What is your favorite Christmas memory?

The year my family was adopted by a group of people. They are the very reason why I give back to my community. It was strangers who gave us joy that year. Times were tough...we had no electricity and no running water at various times that year. The kindness of strangers allowed my parents to give us the most special Christmas of them all.


(7) What is the best toy/gift you've received on Christmas?

My parents saved like crazy to buy me a Cabbage Patch doll the year they came out. We had no money and that was the only thing I had ever wanted. My parents worked hard to be able to get me that doll.


(8) What is the worst toy/gift you've received on Christmas?

Flannel sheets by an ex-boyfriend. Really?


(9) What do you LOVE about the holidays?

I love helping people. I love giving to my community and I love the togetherness with family it helps create.


(10) What annoys you about the holidays?

People who think that Christmas is about how big of a present you get, or how much you spend. Christmas really should be less about gifts and more about Jesus and his birth. So many people forget that he is the reason for the season. And it really irks me the most when people write x-mas. Why is it so hard to write Christ???


(11) Do you prefer star or angel on top of a Christmas tree? Or something else?

A Boyds Bear angel.


(12) What is your family favorite recipe at Christmas?

We don't have one!


(13) Are you a Grinch or a Who at Christmastime?

I'm very much a Who. I wish people would stop buying gifts and going broke and just enjoy the season. The lights, the music, your family. Why must it be about a fancy car, or jewelry or video games?


(14) Christmas light displays - Love them or Hate them?

Love them. I love the beauty!


(15) Santas at the mall - Fun times or Creepy?

Creepy!! OMG I can't stand Santas at the mall. My parents did that to me once and I swore if I ever had kids they would not sit on that nasty man's lap!!! Seriously, do you know where that Santa has been?


(16) Christmas cards - do you send them, yes or no?

Yes and this year I made all 61 on them by HAND!


(17) What is the best thing about Christmas, in your opinion?

Church on Christmas Eve with my family. Nothing is more special then celebrating Jesus' birth.


(18) What is the worst thing about Christmas?

Putting up all of the decorations. It takes too long! LOL


(19) When do you put the tree up and take it down?

Put it up the day after Thanksgiving and take it down the day after Christmas.


(20) Out of the 12 days of Christmas, which day and item would you want your truelove to give to you?

None. I hate the 12 days of Christmas!


(21) Why do you think that Grandma got run over by a reindeer?

Because the reindeer weren't paying attention. HA HA Who knows but granny should get a move on it!


(22) Who is your favorite reindeer?

All of them. It takes team work to pull a sleigh!


(23) Do you believe in Santa Claus?

I believe in the spirit of Christmas, whether that be Santa or not. I believe in the magic of it all.


(24) What is your favorite smell at Christmastime?

Pine trees, sugar cookies, and that red plant that I can't think of at the moment!


(25) What would make you happy at Christmas this year?

Having one more Christmas with my Mom. She never got to meet LW or Kassidy and it makes me terribly sad she's not with us to see how happy I am.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Off for a few days.

So much going on with Thanksgiving that I will be taking a few days off from blogging or reading blogs (sorry).

I have 26 people to my house on Thanksgiving so I have to get some cleaning and cooking accomplished.

Been busy though. I got my hair chopped off today. Holy cow is it short, but it's the best haircut I have ever had. I'll post Thankgiving pics of it!

Talked to my Dad - he's admitted to me he is having trouble remembering things since his stroke (May 2008). So I need to make an emergency trip out (he's in Nevada I'm in Ohio) after the holidays to help him get the rest of his life in order before he is at a point that he can't communicate with me. I'm crushed. Saddened. Frustrated. But I will help him the best I can.

On a brighter note, LW and I are taking Kassidy to see the Rockettes on Weds. I'm so excited for that. It will be nice to all be together again. This every other weekend thing with her is tough. We love being with her all of the time.

I hope everyone has a blessed Thanksgiving.

I'm thankful for so many things, but the most important thing I am thankful for is LW. He (and his family) has taught me so much about myself. It's wonderful being in love.

Happy Thanksgiving friends!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Money!!!

If you don't know about my CEM mission (Cricut earning mission), then I must tell you! My friend Crystal and I started this project late summer I believe, where we would sell things to earn money to purchse our Cricut. Both of us cleaned out our homes to sell unwanted/unused items and of course Miss Crystal handmade some items too (check out her blog to see what she sells). I love her stuff!

Anyway, as luck would have it, I had sold some items and then the pot ran dry. No one was buying anything. At that point I had $192 put aside (however Crystal doesn't know this but I spent $81 of that stash because I didn't have cash on me a few days and I needed it because I just couldn't get to the bank - opps - but I've documented that I spent it and I owe it back to myself).

So last night LW handed me $200 in cash to complete the mission. BUT before you say, "You didn't earn it!", let me tell you this, I have earned EVERY penny of that $200 for driving his hiney all over town. See LW is without a car at the moment (very long story) so since AUGUST 16th we have been using my car only (thankfully we work together in the same building). So please, tell me I rightfully earned that money? I feel like I did because I have had to give up nights out with girlfriends (sorry I missed your birthday party Emily!), going to the gym, all so he could take my car and travel to basketball games that he was officiating. And some of those games were out of state so that meant that I spent Saturdays and Sundays home alone with no car and no where to go. In my mind, I earned that money!!!

The CEM has come to an end as of November 15th. That was our cut off. What that means was that if we didn't earn enough by that date that we would put the rest in the pot ourselves and just out right buy it. So that my friends is what is happening. On black Friday Crystal and I are heading to a local store to purchase it on sale (or so the BFA tells us!).

Wish us luck that we can find it on sale. Although I have enough to buy it now, I would sure like to buy it on sale and purchase a few cartridges with that money.

And just incase you don't know what a Cricut is....click here.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Mom Like

Saturday night Kassidy had a headache so I had to run to Target (of course right? because why would I go to Meijer next door and just get what I NEED?) to get her some kiddy motrin. While I was there we ended up with multi-vitamins for her and kiddy cough medicine because it is that time of year. I swear I felt like a new Mom standing in that aisle. What do I get? Will it be strong enough for her? Will it be too strong for her? Will she get a rash? Will it make her sick? OMG I had no idea. I'm parenting someone else's child who is living with me every other weekend and I need to make darn sure I'm taking the best care of her.

It was in that moment that I wish I could have called my Mom. But I stood there and read every label to make sure I was buying age appropriate medicine.

Kassidy was so excited. Really? Over medicine??? She said she has friends who take multi-vitamins but that she never has. I told her that will change at our house. We have a healthy household and I intend to try to keep it that way.

After the medicine aisle we picked out her Christmas PJ's. See in my house you get new PJ's every Christmas that you wear Christmas Eve. Kass is not suppose to be with us on Christmas Eve so I went ahead and got her PJ's anyway (we are mailing Lauren a set too!) for her to wear on Christmas night at our house (she'll be opening a special gift that night too).

So on the way home from Target Kassidy asked me if she could stay at our house on Christmas night. She said she loves how fun I am making the holiday for her and she loves the idea of waking up in her new PJ's. I told her I'd love to have her stay but that she will have to talk to her Mom and her Dad. Once I told LW he got so excited. So I'm crossing my fingers she'll be spending Christmas Eve night with us. Poor little thing has it all worked out in her head. She told me she could spend Christmas Eve with her Mom's family and that we could pick her up late Christmas Eve night after she has opened presents with her Mom and her Mom's family. Then she could get up Christmas morning and open presents at our house and then of course we'll head to LW's Mom for Christmas dinner. It was so funny how she had this all worked out. Little girl has been planning this for sometime I'm sure!

Keep your fingers crossed. It would be so fun to have her there on Christmas morning. I've never had someone wake me up and say "Santa has been here". Although Kassidy doesn't believe, I have told her to believe in the magic of the day. She doesn't have to believe in Santa but she should believe in Jesus and the beauty of celebrating such a wonderful day with family and friends. She told me she would have me up at 5am opening presents! I feel a nap coming on.

More to come on this I'm sure.

Monday, November 16, 2009

I found the reason.

On Saturday I found the reason why LW and I are suppose to be together. I don't believe in chance happenings in life. I believe that everything happens for a reason and I also believe that when we meet the love of our lives, we eventually know why we were suppose to meet.

For me, it was to find LW's Mom. I see my Mom through her.

Saturday LW had a basketball game in his home town of Springfield. So Kassidy and I piled in the car and headed to his Mom's. LW dropped us off at his Mom's and then he headed to the game early. Kassidy of course ran upstairs to see her cousin Michael (LW's Mom was babysitting him) so I headed to the basement to hang out with LW's Mom and stepdad. While in the basement I started talking with LW's Mom and the feeling just came over me. Every thing she did or said reminded me of my Mom. She dresses like my Mom, she praises our God like my Mom, she speaks of her past and her childhood just like my Mom, she put her Sunday best make up on and pearls on just like my Mom, the angels are ever flowing in her house, just like how they were in my Mom's house. It was so unbelieveable and virtually impossible to discribe.

I truly believe I was meant to meet LW so that I can always be reminded of my Mom (not that I would forget, but the physical presence is amazing). Just before we ended the conversation and had to leave to go watch LW, she told me how wonderful it was talking to me and getting to know me. Heck, she even fist bumped me in the car when I was telling her how I got school supplies for Kassidy on clearance after the school season had started. :-)

I told LW last night that in this life we have a twin. We may not physically look like that person, but we hold the same characteristics as that person. I have found my Mom's twin. While it does make me terribly sad that these two women will never meet on this Earth, I'm happy to know that while LW's Mom is here with us, I can forever be reminded of my Mom's love.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Family Photo Shoot

My friend Erin, who owns her own photography studio, photographed us back in October. I hate how I look, but Kassidy and LW look so cute. Why is it we are always so critical of ourselves? :)

Enjoy!








Kassidy

Sunday I took Kassidy to the pond over by our house for a quick photo shoot. While we had family photos last month (stay tuned I will post those this week as well!), I decided to take some outdoor shots of Kassidy since she just recently got her first hair cut in FOREVER.

She made for a great model and was more than willing to let me take her picture!

Enjoy!









The happenings around our house.

I'm gonna make this short and sweet since I don't have lots of time to be posting this at work! HAH HA HA HA

1. Lauren made the varsity basketball team! I knew she would. She's too much like her daddy.

2. Kassidy thinks I'm the greatest person since my friend Crystal cut her hair. She's been in dire need of a haircut. She can't stop talking about it or playing with her hair.

3. Kassidy picked out pictures from our Disney trip to scrapbook. She picked some of me alone, some of me and LW and some of me and her. She loves me!

4. I went to pick the photos to print and put in our Mickey Mouse frame and showed her the ones I picked: one of her and daddy, one of me and LW and then I couldn't decide on another one of her and her dad and his family. So what did she say? "Why don't you put one of just the three of us?" Really, she likes me!

5. Kassidy wants me to take her to see New Moon in the theaters. Aw

6. We had to drop off Kassidy at home today (before school) since she stayed last night with us because her Mom was at a concert late. While waiting on Kassidy to get out of the car and run up to the house, out walks Kassidy's Mom's boyfriend. OMG really? She traded LW in for THAT! WTF? There is a HUGE night and day difference. The guy is shorter. The guy is WAY rounder. The guy is white. The guy looks like Archie Bunker. OH-MY-GAWD. She traded down...way down. I figure if you're gonna cheat on your boyfriend (Kassidy's parents were never married but dated for something like 10 years)he better be hot, fantastic in bed and some kind of dream guy. Archie Bunker? Really? EW

7. I had a great time making cards this weekend. I attempted my Christmas cards. Not bad! I'm happy I'm learning a new craft. I scrapbooked for so many years and never had time for cards. While they are the same, they are very different, so it's been a challenge to learn but I'm getting the hang of it. I made my Christmas cards two years ago, but they are nothing like these ones! WOOT WOOT

8. My first husband's niece (she's now 16-17) found me on FB and asked me to friend her. It's so funny to watch the kids grow up. My first ex husband and I have a great relationship. I haven't seen him since my Mom died (he came to the funeral and the brunch). It's funny to get all caught up with the family. He's a great guy. We didn't work as partners, but we always were great friends. So it's nice to find my old family. I was with my exhusband for 11 years - 8 years married, 3 years dating.

9. Since my friend Crystal cut Kassidy's hair this weekend, I took Kass out to the pond in my development to take pictures. OMG I think they turned out great. I'll post those pictures along with the family pictures we had taken with my friend Erin back in October. I'm thinking I'm not too bad at this photography thing!

Okay back to work. I have to find an outline of a sympathy card to make for LW's best friend's wife's father. He passed away this weekend. Saddly she lost her Mom to lung cancer 7 years ago.

Oh and one last thing! Way to go Colleen!!! Congrats Irondiva. LW and I are so proud of you. Love to both you and Tom!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Baby Over Load

So it seems since I've decided to go forward with my hysterectomy that EVERYONE is either having their baby, about to have their baby or just announced that they are pregnant. It's like when you're single and all of your friends are either getting married, are married or found the greatest boyfriend ever (I remember those days!).

This weekend I have double baby over load. I will be attending a baby shower. Not ready for it emotionally, but you have to move forward when life throws you lemons. You gotta know how to make that lemonaide. And of course our neighbor just gave birth to baby number two, so we must stop over and coo at the baby and drop off gifts this weekend.

Does it hurt? You bet. Will I cry when I leave both events? Sure will. Will I survive? Yes because that's all one can do in my situation. Do I want people to feel sorry for me? Never. I just need to vent and blogging is a great place for that.

But I'm happy. I'm happy that Riley (she's 5 and cute as a button!) got a little brother (Welcome Wyatt - we love you!). And I'm happy that Staci is a few short weeks away from brining her baby girl into the world.

There IS a reason for this. While I'm still searching for that reason I can only think it has something to do with being there for Kassidy and Lauren. I couldn't have asked for two more beautiful, special girls in my life. And I look forward to being their step-mom one day. So for now that has to be enough. And it will be once I let myself.

Life is good. I am blessed. And soon I will be feeling so good! The whole purpose of the surgery is to remove the disease inside of me. For that moment, I cannot wait!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

What's your holiday tradition?

Lately I've been thinking....I'm still blessed even though I don't have my own children. I have LW and those two beautiful daughters of his. And that will be enough.

So with that said, I've been thinking about finding a holiday tradition that I can weave into our tiny little family. The only real tradition I have is on Christmas Eve I get together with my family. We have dinner, exchange presents and we go to my Mom's church. After church (church slacked off when my Mom was starting to get sick) I have always come home and watched Christmas Vacation. But now I need to find a tradition for Christmas with LW and Kassidy (and with Lauren when she comes home next year).

Currently on Christmas the only tradition I have had is to make pancakes after we open presents. But I'm looking for something fun and that can stay in our family for years to come.

What are your family traditions at Christmas time?

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Life has thrown me a few lemons.

Friday I sat in my OB's waiting room after having my ultrasound only 20 minutes earlier. I was sitting there feeling sorry for myself. There I sat amoungst a young couple who were smiling at their ultrasound picture, several pregnant women and their significant others, a young to be mother with her all too young boyfriend and what I assume to be her mother, and a few older people who were most likely there for the dreaded exam.

I was alone. And it was the saddest moment of my life and I shared that moment alone. I won't get into why LW wasn't there because clearly some things are more important than being with me while my insides are being discussed. It hurt. It's resolved with him...hopefully.

My doctor said because of the severity of the endo that she is reluctant to do the hysterectomy vaginially via a scope. So that means that I will be cut. Something I wasn't preparred for. I will be cut just like a woman who gets a c-section. I'm expected to be in the hospital for 3-4 days with a 6-8 week recovery period. Thankfully I'm doing it in January while the weather is horrible so I won't feel like I have to get out and about. It will be a very lonely time as LW can't spend 6-8 weeks home from work.

I'm starting to become more okay with it, and having less 'woah is me' conversations with myself. I can't change how sick I am. I couldn't have done anything different to stop myself from getting endo. I'm following in my Mom and my oldest sister's footsteps. My Mom and my sister had hysterectomy's due to endo in their 30's. I survived longer with it, by about 2 years.

I can only pray to God for more strength. I'm warned of the menopausal symtpoms and some of those include depression. I'm going to do my best to keep myself (and my brain) active during those long 6-8 weeks until I can get back to work and find some normalcy again.

The upside is that my pain should go away. Hallaluah!

Thank you for all of your well wishes over this journey. Everyone of you have been so supportive. It means the world to me. I'm blessed in more ways that I can count.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Marley came through surgery.

She is doing good. The surgery was long so she went into recovery around 10pm last night (she's at the Cleveland Clinic). She was moving her arms and legs which is a great sign. Let's keep praying that she doesn't lose her vision and that she recovers quickly and can get home and be a 9 year old again.

Thank you for all of your support!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

I'm all over the place!

Sorry my posts have been few and far between. I'm in my last week of school and the homework has been wretched. Thank goodness I'll be done on Monday and out until after the holidays. I actually cried on Sunday because the homework was more than I'm use to handling. Did I get old or what? I remember three years ago when I could take a class, work full time, had a husband, traveled, etc. Now I'm just O-L-D.

Things are well.

LW was accepted to do a Big Ten basketball scrimmage for Ohio State. He is OVER the moon and I couldn't be happier for him. Maybe one day you'll see my man on TV officiating a Big Ten game (GO BUCKS!). I'm so proud of him. The smile on his face when he told me was enough. It always is enough.

Friday I got to the doctor to find out if I have a tumor on my left ovary. UGH That ultrasound will determine if I have my hysterectomy this year or next. My goal is to have it in January so that I can get well before vacation in early May. Not looking forward to the surgery but I am looking forward to feeling better.

We went to a Halloween party last weekend. Will have to post pics. We had a lot of fun!

Today my brother's wife's brother's daughter (my extended family) is going in for brain surgery. It's a 9 hour process so we are patientaly waiting for any news. Word is she could be blind afterwards, so please please please pray with all that you have. Marley is such a good little girl and has a whole lot of life to live (she's 9).

For now that's what's been going on. I'm looking forward to some rest after school is over. It may take some convincing to get me back. I'm actually missing going to the gym more. HA

Happy Wednesday.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Miley Cyrus Concert and Kassidy's Halloween Sleepover

I'm so behind on posting pictures. ACK Leave it to we have so much going on and not enough time in the day.

So I'll start with posting the Miley Cyrus concert pictures. My BFF, Nichole and her daughter Victoria went with myself and Kassidy to the concert. We had 6th row floor seats!!! They were incredible. Of course I'm still learning how to use my Nikon D40 which is SO TRICKY and I can't really flip between the modes, so I set it on Auto most of the time.

The concert was actually good. I was suprisingly impressed!

Here are some of my favorite shots:










Last weekend I let Kassidy invite 5 friends over for a Halloween sleepover. One of the girls ended up leaving mid way through because she had another sleepover obligation so it turned out, only 5 silly girls kept me up until 1:30am. And here I thought it would be 3am before I got to bed!

At the sleepover the girls:

Painted pumpkins
Participated in a candy corn race
Bobbed for apples hanging on a string
Put together a Haunted Ginger Bread House
Watched three movies

Finally here are the shots from the Halloween sleepover: