About Me

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Trying to remember that there is always a reason, always something that makes you smile during the day- recognizing the event, person or situation that made you smile will make your day seem that much better.

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Goodbye to 2011

This is the last post of 2011.
It has been a year of ups and downs..
I finished school and got my Master's Degree
I applied for a new job that I would have been qualified for but didn't get
Had a great year at work as far as goals were concerned and stayed on top
We reached out a hand to a family member
Made some great memories with her and her kids in the short time they were here
But she walked away from the chance we gave her.
We made some improvements on the house
I knocked down some walls
Painted a few rooms
Created a new bathroom
Cleaned out some rooms
Worked together
We learned some valuable lessons this year.
Together we can make things happen
Not everything will turn out the way you want them to
There are people out there who won't chose the path you want them to
and looking at their backs as they walk away can break your heart.
My husband has been my rock, my sounding board, my balance and is still my best friend
I have lost a few very important people in my life,
some to illnesses and some completely unexpectedly.
It has been a whirlwind...
and no matter what, at midnight, the calendar will flip to a new year.
Who knows what the year will bring...
I do know that it will be wrought with challenges,
some to be faced head on
and some that will need sneak attacks
but at the end of the day,
the challenges will be met,
angels will walk next to me,
and this time next year, hopefully, I will be older, wiser and have some more accomplishments under my belt.
To all of you in the blog world,
thank you for taking this ride with me,
for reading,
for commenting,
for giving your opinions
and for always supporting me.
The year will bring more posts,
more smiles,
more tears,
more laughter.
hang on- cause the ride continues..and I thank you all for riding with me.
I wish you all peace and happiness this year.
I hope you are all safe in your celebrations,
I hope you find that dreams come true this year
and I look forward to sharing your smiles, your laughter and your tears with you.
Tonight, as the fireworks sparkle in the sky, I wish you peace, love, happiness and look forward to the year to come!!
From our house to yours- Happy 2012!

Friday, December 30, 2011

Opinions needed

Okay- so we have our national sales meeting in a month.  The theme for our awards dinner is Hollywood red carpet and I have been looking for a dress.  I have narrowed it down to a few different options- Can you let me know which one you like the best (or two).  Thanks guys!! I promise a real post soon!
Dress 1

Dress 2

Dress 3

Dress 4

Dress 5

Dress 6

all dresses and pics from http://www.nexteve.com/

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Monday, December 26, 2011

Some pictures

Some random pictures from the past few days....
Hubby and Nan

Aunt Gayle, My mother in law and the newest baby

Santa's little helper

Santa came to my inlaws house

My oldest nephew opening his present

My youngest nephew and his favorite present

Santa came to my house

Hubby opening his present

Me opening my new griddle (YAY)

Kitty enjoying the paper

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas

I hope that you all had a wonderful morning.
Wishing you all a very very Merry Christmas today.
Love and hugs...

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas Eve!!

The pitter patter of feet
Auntie, please
Unckie can I 
The unexpected snuggles and hugs
The sounds of kids in the morning
Wrapping of presents
One last present that no one could find
Walmart and the craziness there
Hanging out in comfy clothes
The excitement for Christmas morning
It's been full of smile..
Some tears today..
the magic is here....and I am grateful for these people, who sometimes drive me nuts, who have become family. 
My mother in law choked up last night as we were talking about the last few months and for the first time ever, I felt like she considered me one of her kids.
that my dear friends is an amazing Christmas present...and one that is so unexpected that just thinking about it makes me tear up.
Wishes of magic, love and laughter today and always.
Love and hugs from all of us.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Thursday's list

How is everyone on this longest day of the year???
Today was my last day of work for five whole days...I am pretty excited.
The person I had as a secret santa loved their gifts- which always makes me smile
Hubby and I spent the evening together, first eating dinner at one of our fav places and then we went to BJ's to get appetizers for the weekend...fun stuff..I tell you
My cats are all curled up and snoring quite loudly.
The last christmas gifts are wrapped and packed up to head up north tomorrow
We have the weekend with some kiddos who are awfully excited to see us, wanting to know exactly when we are going to be there..
I hope that you are all well and things are falling together for your holiday weekend..
i will check in when I can up north...hugs and love to you all.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Just stuff

This has been a crazy insane week and I can't even tell you how much i am looking forward to a few days off.
A break from the norm
Time spent with my family (inlaws)...
Kinda scary when I am actually looking forward to going up there...
I am craving the idea of family and somewhere in my head I have put away all the bad things that go on while we are there and romanticized that a little bit.
I always do it at Christmas time and then end up calling my mom and dad and crying because I am not with them on Christmas..
I have a renewed spirit of just enjoying the time that I have with the kids and my sister in law and ignoring all the rest of the drama.
I have nothing fun for my hubby for under the Christmas tree this year.
He doesn't understand why I worry about the perfect fun Christmas gift for him.
I laugh, because honestly it's not about the stuff...
It's about the whimsy of it...
I am not a material person, really, at all.
I can appreciate the spirit and the meaning behind Christmas, both the religious and cultural meaning, spending time with family and friends, together and if you are religious the beliefs of the birth of Christ.
I remember the magic of Christmas morning in our house.
We weren't allowed downstairs until after my parents had turned on the coffee and somewhere in my mom's closet is a picture from every single Christmas with us sitting at the top of the stairs in our pj's waiting.
The magic of walking downstairs and the belief that some magical being had brought presents- whether there was one or many.
I think part of me at Christmas time misses the feeling of magic.
I love the fact that we alternate years with the families
I love the look on the kids faces and sometimes just want to look at them and say soak it all in.
I love the Christmas tree that is lit in my living room right now, because for me that is a gift that is pure love...that is my husband knowing that no matter how much I say I don't want one and that it's silly to get one because we won't be here that I do want one....that I love to look at it and turn the lights on and know that it is part of what makes this house ours.
I think part of my melancholy this Christmas is that I actually thought that there would be kids here, in this house, celebrating the Christmas holiday with us.
That we would hear the laughter, see the smiles and somehow capture the magic of Santa right here...
So my Christmas wish for all of you is that you are able to capture some of the magic of Christmas again...that  you feel some of the whimsy of Christmas- with or without the materialism and consumerism of Christmas- but that you are able to capture some peace of the season, celebrate the religious part of the holiday if you choose to, and that for one moment, believe in the laughter, the smiles and the magic of the season.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Hubby came home on Friday night with a nine foot Christmas tree.  It was seven feet around.  A bit insane as it was the week before Christmas and I had insisted on not getting a Christmas tree this year because we aren't going to be home for Christmas- but like a good hubby- he didn't listen...and I love drinking hot cocoa by the light of the Christmas tree...some pics for you to enjoy!!
Putting up the lights- over 1100 of them

Close up- might be my christmas card next year.

Just a cute random picture of my cat who had found a left over boa from Halloween

The view from my dining room- just to give a bit of scale to the tree!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Friday, December 16, 2011

Power Button

Now many of you know that I work in sales
I am on the telephone every single day
I make usually over 50 calls a day to people
And I have found a disturbing trend as of late when it comes to cell phones.
Now cell phones have been around for many years, as a matter a fact, some people claim that radios that were used in the 1940's were the origin of the technology that cell phone were based on (quick google search is my source for this).
But over the last fifteen years, cell phones have evolved from bulky horrid phones to virtual computers in the palm of your hands.
The one thing that all of these phones and radios even have in common is the ability to be SHUT OFF.
I find that many people have an issue with turning off a cell phone.
There was a point in time when you couldn't get in touch with someone twenty four/seven
Where you weren't expected to be reachable at any point in time.
So, while calling people all day, I often hear "I can't talk right now, I'm in a meeting"
"I'm driving"
" I just got pulled over, let me call you back:
Okay...so not the ideal time to answer the phone but if the cell phone is the way you get your business I almost get it.
Lately, there have been some doozies
One of my colleagues called someone.
He couldn't talk
He was in the middle of a funeral
There is nothing that is that important
Tonight, my last call of the day
A guy that I have been trying to get signed up for our program for a few months
Called because I know that I can only reach him after business hours
He answered the phone
Hi Nicole
Hi, calling to check on the application
I was working on it but I am in the hospital
Oh no, I hope everything is okay
Yep, my wife is in labor, we are at the hospital and she will be having the baby soon. She's eight centimeters dilated
Yep, she's having our first child tonight- she went into labor this afternoon
Okay, well I will let you go
I am really working on the application- I will get it to you on Monday
Well, I think you have something more important than a gas card going on right now.
Well, I will definitely call you on monday- I can tell you if it's a boy or a girl and we can get this card program set up.
I got off the phone.
Chuckled a bit to myself and thought, if we are ever in that situation and my husband had the nerve to answer a cell phone call he wouldn't see the cell phone again until the child turned eighteen I would shove it so far down his throat.
Seriously people, I am all for modern convenience
I am all for being able to multitask and do more than one thing at a time
I am all for people being reachable and not tethered to a desk
but there is a power button for a reason.
Or, if you are really that concerned with a phone call you might miss while you are witnessing perhaps the most spectacular miracle of your life, put the phone on silent and call back after your wife has a baby.
I am truly thankful for all of the modern technology in this world, but I sometimes wonder if we are missing out on what's actually going on in life because we are so worried about missing something.

love and hugs to all of you...have a great weekend!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Thursday's List

I didn't think I was going to post tonight...
it was one of "those" days...
but I do have an entire post about when it is absolutely mandatory that you shut off your cell phone based on calls I made today....
But I got home tonight and hubby met me in the driveway and told me I "needed" to see this house that was decorated for Christmas.
So we hopped back in the car and we drove
and drove
and drove
until we got to this house
and drove past it
and turned around
and hubby realized that the radio station  that the billboard in front of the house was synced with the music
so we turned around again
and drove back
and sat and listened to the music and watched the christmas lights
It was pretty funny..
I mean we've all seen them on the internet but it was kinda cool seeing them in person
And then we went out for dinner
And then we went to a big box store that makes me want to scratch my eyes out most times and the year, especially this time of year because of the insanity yell loudly when I go in there.
And it wasn't crowded
And we got some more Christmas shopping done
And we got the cats the food they need
And then we came home.
It was one of those nights...that could have been just a continuation of my really crappy day...that turned out really great...
You must be sick of hearing about how wonderful my hubby is...but I think with all the upheaval in our lives lately I need to be reminded how wonderful he is...so by default you all get to hear it too :)
Sending out love and positive energy to all of you....hugs and peace tonight...

Sunday, December 11, 2011


It has been a quiet one around here this weekend...
we haven't gone anywhere or done anything exciting.
I got a bunch of christmas shopping done on Friday...
Not quite all of it but close..
Need to get stuff for hubby...he's always the hardest to shop for..
I ran out of tape or everything would be wrapped.
We should have gone to the grocery store...
We should have made it to the dollar store (at least for tape)
But instead we spent the weekend snuggled up on the couch watching movies
We have caught up on laundry and dishes
I had a Sunday afternoon nap and he watched his war movies...
Things are back to normal...
It's kinda nice...
Hugs and love to all of you....

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Thursday's List

It's been a rough week...
and I am still a bit rough around the edges...but it's getting better..
Smiles this week
All of you and your support.  I can't thank you all enough
Starting my Christmas shopping and still not stepping foot in a store (I LOVE the internet...although I will be shopping tomorrow in real stores)
A decent week at work...not spectacular but definitely okay
Coming home to a quiet house with just my hubby here
Watching grown up tv all week - no spongebob at all!!
My cats are back to their normal snuggly selves- spending time downstairs again instead of huddled up on the bed
Good talks with some great friends this week
Half day of work tomorrow to go brave the stores
My wonderful husband who supports me no matter what and deals with my emotional swings, who gets upset and angry and feels like he needs to defend my honor, who gives the best hugs in the world and always knows what I need..
It's been a pretty good week on all accounts.
I have remembered that everything in life happens for a reason- I don't know what it is right now but I know that there is a reason.  There are always lessons to be learned- and although my heart is hurt- I know that the lessons will be prevalent soon enough..
There are lots of readers who need extra hugs and positive energy right now- so I am mustering all I can for all of you.  Know that I am thinking about you and hoping that all works out well.  Love and lots of hugs!!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Monday, December 5, 2011


First of all...
thank you...
as always...
for being supportive...
for hearing what i am saying and being there anyway...
For letting me step out of my norm and write down my feelings..
And for making me feel better.
I know that we have done everything we can..
just hurts..
but I have picked myself up...with the help of you all
and my wonderful husband who has just held me
Who has gotten upset
Who has been by my side through all of this
My parents who have done nothing but try to make me feel better about all of it..
I know that you can't save everyone...
It's the letting go part of it that's so hard..
But she made her own choices and wouldn't take the life line that we offered..
other's made it too easy for her to leave...
because it's easier to just give in instead of towing a hard line
I am trying to put the pieces back together of my heart..
I am trying to slam the door shut
It will not be open again to her.
Not in the same way
If my husband had his way, it would never be open at all...
We have found out that she did a really good job of playing us while she was here..
She needs more help than we are able to give...
The things that we have found out about the relationships she had, the men she talked to and the number of people who, at the very least, knew where she was....honestly it makes my stomach turn a bit...
and it's time to let it go.
I know that we did the best we could...
I know that there was nothing else we could do...not for lack of trying but because she didn't want to change.
I will still cry
I will probably still write about it..
She took away a part of me that thought that everyone was savable...
that everyone given the opportunity would want to be better...
That everyone would put children first because they didn't ask to be born...
There was a part of me that honestly believed that everyone could be saved...
now I know that they have to want it...
Please bear with me for just a little while longer...
I am trying to reconcile all of that right now....
hubby did make me smile yesterday...
we went out to lunch and went to the movies- had a "normal" Sunday afternoon
It was nice...and was my reason to smile..he is my rock...
Love and hugs to you all...

Saturday, December 3, 2011

This may be what a broken heart feels like...

The kids just left...
Someone is picking them up to bring them back down..
I have been so good about all of this
It's for the best
She wants what she wants and there's nothing I can do...
They are her kids,
It's her life
It's her decision
Getting them ready
One last hug and kiss
maybe one more
I love you Aunt Nicole- see you in a couple of days
No you won't
Why not, mommy will bring us back
No, you are moving back there
Auntie Nicole- I love you
Auntie Nicole- thank you
Auntie Nicole- I will miss you
How do you pour every ounce of love into one hug
one kiss
How does a three year old understand why you can't tuck her in tonight
Or a four year old know that you won't see them next week
The nine year old understands and resigns himself to just one more person who was in his life and who he was taken away from
I knew that this was going to be hard-
I knew that this was going to break my heart
I can't believe that I didn't fight harder for them to stay instead of just accepting it
I can't believe that I am letting them leave without having somewhere to go
As I sit, trying to pull it together so I can stop crying, my brain knows that there was nothing I can do..
but my heart just broke into a thousand pieces..

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Another Month End and thursday's list

Another month is officially over at work...
I made goal by the skin of my teeth...
But we get to start with a clean slate tomorrow...
I haven't done a list on thursday in a while..
so my smiles..
Spending last week with my family...
Getting to talk with my mom
Spending time with my dad
laughing with my brother and seeing how happy he is..
Snuggles with my nieces and nephews
Spending time alone with my hubby...
knowing that there is an end in sight to the craziness at my house...
Finally relaxing enough to have fun..
Smile and laugh and snuggle with kids
Joke around and talk with my cousin
The emotions and feelings have been pushed aside for right now...
I am excited to get my house back...
Excited to come home from work and it just be the two of us...
I will miss the smiles
the laughter
the hugs
the giggles
the surprises
but there have been lessons learned and things discussed...
And one day...we will look back and know the reason and the lessons and the reasons...
Until then, smiles will come...in a hundred different ways...
Hugs, love and lots of peace your way tonight..

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Home Sweet Home

We are home...
Got in late last night...spent the night in a hotel and back to work today...
I was spoiled by my mom..
Got to be the fun aunt and listen to the kids giggles...
Spent his birthday with my nephew and went to see my niece at school..
The littlest one is growing up very fast..
It's almost the end of another month....which is always a huge sigh of relief...
Christmas shopping must commence after this weekend and I think a Christmas Tree might be on the agenda for the weekend..
Lots of changes coming up at our house..including the departure of our house guests..
it's for the best and we did everything we could...
Sometimes you just have to let go..
It was a great weekend with the family and I love spending time with my mom...
Never enough, but we were definately able to relax and gain some perspective.
More on that when there aren't people looking over my shoulders

Thursday, November 24, 2011

A day to be Grateful

Grateful for all that we have
A house
Food on the table
The ability to work
The ability to love
Grateful for my amazing family
Who, no matter what, support me, challenge me and pick me up when I fall
Grateful for my amazing husband
Who loves me, listens to me, calms me, riles me up, takes on things without me asking and who is my rock, my love, my life
Grateful for all the children in my life
Who keep me young, teach me everyday, provide countless snuggles, kisses, love
Grateful for all my friends, new and old
Who know me, get my sense of humor, listen, cry with me, laugh with me, challenge me and support me no matter what
Grateful for all of you
Who allow me to vent, cry, smile, laugh and share what I am happy for everyday
Who don't judge when I write something out the norm for me
Who comment with support
who send emails to check on me
Who, although we have never met, are among the people in my life that I turn to
I am grateful for all the smiles, the hugs, the tears, the laughter, the emails, the conversations..
Today is a day to remember,
Today is a day to give thanks
and remember all the good,
all the smiles
My heartfelt love, positive thoughts, hugs and best wishes to all of you out there.
Thank you for being part of my life!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

At mom's house

it is so nice to be out of my house..
We had a bunch of drama before we left and will need to deal with the aftermath when we get home...
But right now I am enjoying being at my mom's house..
We hung out yesterday...
Surprised my niece at school for grandparent's day
She made a quilt for her family tree...complete with pictures...
It was amazing
We got to be the fun aunt and uncle
So awesome
Then dinner with my parents and my grandmother who's here...
It is so nice to just be able to relax
Nice to be able to smile
Nice to be able to spend time with my family.
I hope that you all have an amazing day today
And that you enjoy your families
There is much to be thankful for...
and I count each of you as one of those things that I am extremely thankful for.
Sending smiles, love and lots and lots of positive energy to each of you!!
Hugs and love!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Heart to Heart

Sitting and listening
To the imaginations of children
To the sounds of them playing
and still here.
A heart to heart conversation was had the other night.
I was not nice,
I was frustrated, upset and needed her to realize her bad decisions could have disastrous consequences.
I laid it all on the line for her.
I did not sugar coat it
I did not make it into a pretty little box for her
I was a tad over dramatic, but within the realm of possibility.
I know she heard me
I don't know if it will  make a difference
We are trying to make it work.
In other news, I am super excited to be going to my parents house for Thanksgiving.
A whole week with my mom and dad
Smiles and snuggles with some of my favorite little ones
I am ready for a break..
I am ready for some quality time with my hubby
I am ready to be the fun Auntie who can spoil the kids,
who can wind them up
who can snuggle and have fun
and who doesn't have to discipline
Doesn't have say yes or no
Doesn't have to do bed time
Doesn't have to make decisions
I am ready for a break....and definitely ready to step back for a little while and rejuvenate

Friday, November 18, 2011


The smell of wood mingles with the smell of cigarette smoke,

Coffee, slightly burnt, from sitting in the pot all day

Always sanding with the grain

The smell of chemicals

The thrill of the hunt

The dusty antique shops

Up and down the street

In little towns

Searching for the next piece

Scarred and tattered

Look beyond,

Look at the potential

I looked at it this morning

I look at it every morning

Today I opened it

Read the note that you left for me

Like I do when I need to be reminded

When I need strength

When I need to feel you sitting with me

You made me smile when I left today

No wind, perfectly still

The chimes rang

The special ones

The ones you put in the hope chest

The hope chest that was scarred

The hope chest that wasn’t pretty

The hope chest that was your last piece

The hope chest that you picked out

The hope chest that you worked out the scars

The hope chest that you made pretty

The hope chest that you never saw me look at

The hope chest that makes me cry

The hope chest that moves with me where ever I go

The hope chest that reminds me of you,

That some mornings I can see you,

When the light is right

Leaning over

Buffing out the last imperfection

I remember you saying to me on that trip

Look beyond the scars and the imperfections

There are treasures to be found

Twelve years ago today,

You were taken from us

Scarred and imperfect,

But a treasure that is missing from our lives every day

Thank you for showing me how to look past the scars

Thank you for showing me that imperfections,

With a bit of work

Can lead to a treasure

Thank you for making me smile today when you reminded me that you were there, watching, listening and guiding my path.

I miss you every day Gramps- but remember the lessons, and know that you are guiding my path.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

I am not strong enough

and I may need to let go
I am not able to make you change
you need to make your own choices,
Choose your own path
I can guide you
I can help you
but in the end it is  you who need to be strong enough
Strong enough to think with your head
To think of your kids
To want for the better
Strong enough to take the steps
to walk away
I cannot will the strength to you
I cannot decide for you
I cannot cajole
or make you do it
I can't make you look at the gift you have
your three precocious but precious kids
the three lives who depend on you to make the right choices
who depend on you to be strong enough
It is your path
your choice
your life

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Time out for me..

It was an awesome weekend..lots of time spent with the nephews up north and a mad scientist birthday party for one of them....can't believe how big they are getting.
What I thought was just a nasty cold slammed into on Sunday morning...
Went to the doctors yesterday... pneumonia.  Not so good..
So for now, a second day off from work, a handful of pills, hot tea and peanut butter toast is on the agenda.
I will catch up when i can...love and miss you all..

Friday, November 11, 2011

There are not enough words.

To every young man who, at eighteen signs away his life for years, to serve our country

To every young woman who decides to ignore the stereotypes and put on fatigues

Every shot gun wedding the night before you leave

Every letter a young woman writes to her love countries away and every breath that I held hoping to get one in return

To every father who leaves their children to fight for our freedom.

For every Skype conversation that happens between a mother and child, father and son, every email written,

For every sacrifice that is made fighting for our freedom,

Thank you

Not just today,

Not just tomorrow,

But always.

To the brave men and women, past present and future who bravely sign a piece of paper to fight for our freedom,

Who are willing to sacrifice their lives for us,

There are no words to express how grateful, humbled and honored I am to be call you grandpa, uncle, family and friend.
My Grandpa Jack and Uncle Bob

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

where does the time go??

I can hardly believe that it is almost Thanksgiving and that the holiday season is almost upon us...
It's a bit crazy if you think about it.
It's been a crazy year and recent events have made it even crazier.
I appreciate all of the support that I get from you guys..
We are struggling a bit still...and probably will continue to struggle..
But I came home tonight to a relatively quiet house...
The kids and cousin and hubby had eaten already because it was a late night for me at work..
Hubby was excited because she had made Shepherd's pie which he loves and I do not...
I was perfectly content with the turkey sandwich that I ate...
The littlest one was excited to see me when i came home and told me all about her day and made a picture for the fridge cause i "shouldn't sit at the table all alone....I might get lonely"
The middle child is getting sick and running a low grade fever so she was snuggled up on the couch with hubby..
The oldest remembered that he had math homework and he was struggling so I got to try to figure out how to explain division to a nine year old....I am certainly not earning any teaching degrees but it was kinda fun to figure out a way to explain something to someone who didn't have a clue...
I am debating on how much I am going to sponsor him for the math-a-thon they are doing at school and parent teacher conferences are the first week of December and I want to be there to meet his teachers..
We are dealing with bullying for the first time ever and we need to figure out how to help him at home and make sure that the teachers are addressing it in an appropriate manner...
I remember trying to adjust to a new school when i was his age...at about the same time of the year...it was tough..but he will settle in and be okay...just need to keep working with him..
My cousin was better tonight...she wasn't on the phone all night as has been her normal for the last week or so...which is good..because that was driving me batty.
There are still dishes in the sink that I will need to go do before I go to bed...
Hubby is craving some alone time and we need to go up to see his family this weekend....
I am thinking that a hotel room may be appropriate for the night on Saturday....would be nice to have some quiet alone time..
I have tomorrow off and I am looking forward to spending some time with the kids...maybe working on an art project or two...
I am struggling with some jealousy issues from some of the other kids in my life....who I don't get to see all the time that know that there are kids living in our house....It is tough to make them understand why there are others that get to spend this much time with us when we don't get to see them very often...and I think that their mother is feeding them those lines (my sister) so i will need to take extra care to spend some real quality time with them when we are in Maryland in a few weeks...
I can't wait to see my mom...she is my rock, as many of you know.  She has listened to me yell, scream, cry and laugh through this whole process and I can't wait to be able to sit in the same room with her over coffee...or margaritas and just be able to talk about all of it...
I am actually looking forward to going north this weekend...the oldest nephew's birthday is Monday so we are having a mad scientist themed birthday party complete with science experiments on Saturday for fifteen of his closest friends...which always promises to be fun...and my sister in law is always a good sounding board for me and I know she will have some good advice for me...
Well, now that I have been all over the map with this post, I am going to go up and snuggle with my kitties- who have been hiding for the last two weeks in my bedroom- and my wonderful hubby and get some sleep...I haven't been commenting as much as I should and there's an award out there that I need to address...I am reading and commenting when I can and thinking of all of you often....I honestly don't know what I would do without your comments and encouragement...so thank you from the bottom of my heart...sending love, hugs and wishes for a night full of wonderful dreams for all of you.

Thank you

Thank you all for your words of support on my post yesterday....
I was tired when i wrote it and have since rethought it and pulled it down.
She has been through a lot and is processing everything...
I need to remind myself that.
I am off from work tomorrow so she can go to her DHS meeting and get things set up..
Hopefully tomorrow afternoon we will have a minute to work on her resume and find local resources for counseling and stuff.
I am working on my communication with her and not hedging things with her.
I am going to continue to work on it, enforce the rules and repeat myself.
Deep breaths and lots of counting to ten.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Things I have learned this week

Well I survived a whole weekend with the kids....
I have learned some things...
I have learned that grocery shopping is crazy expensive when you are buying for six people
But to hear a child say that something is the best they have ever eaten makes you forget how much it cost
Cutting coupons is a necessity no matter how much I hate it...
Yes, you are that person in the grocery store that buys eight loaves of bread when they are on sale.
Kids don't understand money...at all..and they still believe in money trees.
You can have a family game night and enjoy bowling with the kids on the wii.
Nine year olds don't EVER stop talking...they narrate everything...sometimes things come out of their mouths that will teach you a lot but you have to listen to all of it...
Nail polish remover doesn't work on walls but it does work on computer covers
Timeouts do calm a three year olds temper tantrum and the bath tub is a perfectly good place to have one.
Spongebob sucks brain cells out of your head
They are proud of the picture that they can hang on your refrigerator
Never assume you know what they are drawing
Little toys hurt when you step on them
Adults need timeouts too.
Kids will repeat everything you say
They crave structure
It is great to listen to them play outside.....they have amazing imaginations
It may be different when they are your own...but I am definitely not a patient enough person to have a child...
I am continuing to learn from them every day and we are all adjusting....some better than others..but we are adjusting and will continue to do so...

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Thursday Thoughts

This week has been a whirlwind of emotions…

I have wanted to laugh,



And sing all in the same breath

I have gotten frustrated beyond belief

I have felt the elation that only a child who trusts you completely can bring

I have walked into my house after a bad day and had it made all better by the singsong voices of a child

And walked into my house after a pretty good day and been deflated and frustrated/

I have alternated between being completely happy and completely disappointed

The extremes of my emotions have been tough for me to handle,

Made even worse because I haven’t been sleeping….too much to think about

It will be okay….there are hidden smiles in everything.

A little hand

A snuggle on the couch

A huge hug when I come in from work

Watching hubby with the kids

Eating dinner together as a family

I know that there is an adjustment period..

And I know that we are right in the middle of that adjustment

I am hoping for patience right now

Patience to teach

Patience to guide

Patience to respond appropriately

I am hoping for trust

Trust that things are being done the way I am being told

Trust that it will get better

Trust that it will work

I am hoping for understanding

Understanding that it is going to be different

Understanding that they don’t know better

Understanding that not everything goes the way we want it to.

I feel the mental shift, starting in the back of my brain.

I take a deep breath before speaking

I take a moment before going in the house

I take a break when I need to

I try to be patient,

I try to trust

I try to understanding.

I need to try harder to teach, to guide.

I need to try harder to concentrate on the smiles.

The big picture is there- I see it and know what it will look like- but right now- we are stuck in the minute details- and sometimes those details seem like they are going to overwhelm that picture.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


Things have been a bit crazy around my house...but that seems to be the new normal in our house :)
We won first place yesterday in our Halloween contest.
That means that there is going to be a donation made in the name of our department to a charity that provides resources to homeless teenagers...
Here are some pictures of our winter wonderland..hope you all enjoy!!

Here are both sides of the north pole- the nice and the naughty side.

I hope you are all doing well...hugs and lots of love to you!!

Friday, October 28, 2011

You know what they say about best laid plans....

they very rarely happen the way they are supposed to...
Today started very early this morning because David needed to be out of the house at five this morning.
Got up and started making lists to get organized for today's decorating.
Work was good this morning and I really felt like we had a good handle....we were providing lunch for the people who were helping to hold a meeting quick before we got started...
then the phone rang..
All I hear is crying and yelling in the back ground..
My cousin was on the phone...
Everyone was fine..
the rear tire and rim came off her car
At sixty five miles an hour on the highway...
The kids were freaking out
She was stuck on the side of the road
Tow truck was called..
Several cars pulled over
Helped her retrieve the tire 
the police officer drove her and the girls to the repair shop
the boy got to ride in the front seat of the wrecker...
I met her at the repair shop
Told the kids a story about an eagle, a mermaid and a bear
Buckled them in and brought them all to the office with me so that I could go supervise decorating.
I HATE when there are kids in the office and felt badly that others were having to deal with it..
But they were great with the kids and the kids had fun helping us...
They hung new pictures in my cubicle for me and gave all of my coworkers pictures too..
We got a lot accomplished and will finish it up on Sunday...after the five inches of snow we are supposed to get..
We all went out to dinner (a chinese buffet that I dislike immensely but the kids had fun...we will NOT be doing that again soon)..
Hubby is disappointed that we are missing out on our night alone tonight...
Everyone is grateful that the angels that walk with us were on her shoulder today and that everyone is safe..
I will gladly sacrifice  my night alone with my hubby for the hugs and the snuggles that I got and the ability I had to calm those children...
Tonight...there are special thoughts going to those who are watching over us....we know they are there and they reminded me today that while they don't walk with us physically anymore...they are always there when we need them...even if we don't know it..
hugs and love to you all...hope your weekend is full of fun and hopefully not the snow we are supposed to get!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Thursday smiles

Week of ups and downs..
Lots of smiles..
Lots of snuggles
Lots of Auntie Nicole and Uncle David
Math homework
Kitty snuggles
Anxious faces waiting at the door
pizza for dinner tonight...even though it was late
A lunch date with my hubby
Kids saying eww when David gave me  a kiss goodnight
Girl talk
Planning outings with the kids that we have always wanted to do because we haven't gotten around to it
Halloween excitement
Listening to lots of giggles,
Seeing lots of smiles
Sharing secrets
Bath time hugs
Watching hubby interact with the kids
Knowing that tomorrow night when I come home from work they won't be here and knowing that, although we will enjoy the quiet, we will miss them a little bit
Good first week..
Hectic first week..
A week of adjustments...
A week of little voices and little hands
A week of trying to figure out boundaries
It's been a whirlwind of a ride...but there have been a hundred smiles...lots of laughter, lots of noise that has filled up the house...
Hoping that your weeks have been good..I know that there have been some struggles...I hope that you have found smiles in places where they have been least expected...hugs and lots of love to you all.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Day Four

Yesterday was one of those days..
Stressful at work...crazy and insane..
Home to kids waiting at the door.
Deep breaths...
Hubby came home and was cranky..it was tough for him to adjust...tough for him to be home with the kids..
We took a lunch break today together...and enjoyed the fact that the we were alone with uninterrupted time.
We are in full swing of Halloween organizing and trying to come up with a game plan for decorating..
This is the only holiday that work celebrates and each department picks a theme...
Ours, as you know, is the North Pole- the nice side and the naughty side..
I have my costume in my head....I need to make a toulle skirt.  I am not sure when that is going to be done..but it will be...
I googled makeup tonight and my cousin has said that she will do my makeup for me- we are going to do a trial run on Sunday night....so that should be fun..
We are adjusting...and yes, we are all still smiling..
Hope that you are doing well...
Hugs and lots of love to you all...

Monday, October 24, 2011

Day 2..coming home from work

Work was good today...I hit goal for the month so it should be a pretty solid month by the end of it....makes me happy.
I got a phone call on my way home asking me when I was going to be home so that my cousin could have dinner ready..
I wanna talk..
Auntie Nicole- how was your day.
Auntie Nicole- blah blah blah and a bunch of stuff that I can't understand...
I will bring you upstairs and you can talk to sissy
Sissy gets on the phone- lots of talking I can't understand
Let me talk to mommy-
I'll be home in twenty minutes.
Dinner on the table when i get home...amazing..
Auntie Nicole how was your day
How was work
What do you do
Where do you work
I answered their questions and asked some of my own
What did you do today?
Went to school
Cool- I start on Weds
snuggles with me and the cats under the comforter
Uncle David came home
They were attached to his hip
He was good..but tired
They are supposed to be in bed
I hear their giggles
Their little voices
Not wanting to go to sleep
Uncle David is up there now- trying to go to sleep- I fully expect to go up to bed in a little while with the kids passed out..
Good day and a good night...feels like a family...and I love it!

Monday Morning thought

From Positive Inspirational Quotes ( PIQ)

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Chaos abounds

Well...it's Sunday night..
It still looks like a tornado has gone through some of my house...
I tripped over a shopping cart
Dropped a drawer on my foot
Cleaned up spilled popsicle, oatmeal, soda and brownies today
I picked up the same blanket five times
Almost hit a toy in the driveway
Wondered how the kids got outside
and chased a cat
I also got to hear Auntie Nicole called about fifty times in the cutest little voice and the smile that came back when I responded was priceless
I was told that my brownies were the best ever
I listened to the amazement in their voices as they realized that the stars in the ceiling glowed in the dark and listened as they found animals in the stars.
Had a shadow of a four year old who easily slipped her hand into mine all day today
I snuggled with the nine year old and looked at his binder from school last year
I saw the weight of the world lifted off my cousin's shoulders while we grocery shopped and meal planned
I watched my husband crouch down and talk with the kids
listen to them want to sit next to Uncle David at dinner
I watched him convince one of them to eat her potatoes
I listened as he riled them up and got them giggling after they got into bed.
I got after bath hugs and kisses and promises of snuggles and pictures tomorrow.
yes, my house is in chaos right now- but my brain feels better about the whole decision.
There are toys to be put away and a dresser that needs to be moved out of the hallway upstairs-
but my heart is happy, my soul is full and I know that there will be many more smiles, snuggles, hugs, kisses and giggles in my future...and there is nothing that is better than that.

Saturday, October 22, 2011


It is quite early here and I couldn't sleep...so instead of tossing and turning upstairs I came down to play on my computer...although i am really wondering where the ladder is so that I can go finish painting one of the upstairs bedrooms.
Day off yesterday was kind of a wash...had a ton to get done and didn't really have time to goof off as much as I wanted to...but still good to get it all done..
we went out for a lovely dinner last night...there was a place that we have been meaning to try that is on a farm- five course prix fix menu...it was yummy....I think hubby and I laughed more last night than we have in a while....we had wine and the ambiance was quite lovely..
I just wanted to drop by in case I get too busy to do so later...my cousin should be here with her kids probably around noon....wish me luck!
hugs and lots of love to you alll!!  Enjoy the weekend.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Thursday's List

This week has been full of things to smile about...and some not too..

I did a pretty good job of concentrating on the things to smile about despite some complications at work
My cousin is moving in on Saturday..
The cleaning lady came in today and the house is sparkly...literally....it is awesome
I decided at the end of the day today that I am taking tomorrow off for my last me day for a little while....I was going to take a half day but decided when I clocked out with my hours and then some that I am going to sleep in a bit and then get started with a pedicure...and then drop off all the bags of stuff to goodwill..
My mother is amazingly supportive....I don't know what I would do without her...especially as it is becoming especially prevalent to me that not everyone has that from their parents..
We ate ice cream for dinner last night after a particularly rough day where apparently the only other thing I consumed was a whole lot of water and a yogurt in the morning...that's how I justified the calories from the ice cream I ate....hubby had a gross day too so it was just fitting to share the pint of ice cream with him (although I didn't plan on sharing initially)...I love nights like that...
My hubby surprised me with dinner tonight...
it is cold out...not something to especially smile about but my cats are super snuggly when it gets cold..which is definitely something to smile about..
I just talked to my bestest and oldest friend for over an hour on the phone..makes me feel like she is close to me...even though she is over 500 miles and 10 hours away.
My plane tickets are purchased for the week we are spending at my parents house for thanksgiving..
I am getting closer and closer to goal...hopefully by mid week next week I will be there...which is awesome!
As we were going through stuff last week I found an entire bag of stuffed animals that hold special meaning to me and when I started to have the internal debate about whether to keep them or send them off to goodwill to find new homes my hubby looked at me and told me I was crazy for even thinking of getting rid of them...I love that he can ready my mind like that.
I figured out my Halloween costume for work....which doesn't involve me sewing and will be super fun...
Halloween, which is a huge thing for my company and I am in charge of for my department, is coming together nicely...will be a lot of work next weekend but I have a vision..
That's all I have for tonight...I am going to go snuggle with my hubby.,..I hope that you all had lots of smiles this week and that they helped you all through some of the tougher parts of the week...hugs and lots of love to you all!!

Monday, October 17, 2011


I know that I promised you all pictures from the wedding...so here are some random pics of hubby and I...my jewelry and some of the delicious food that was served and me at the end of the night in the whole ensemble...

Sunday, October 16, 2011


That is the sound of the breath I have been holding for a week and a half..
Bedrooms are mostly cleaned out- and it didn't necessitate throwing away anything that I will be unhappy I parted with...
The down stairs is at a point that we will be able to get it done with a few hours of work this week..
My bedroom....well we aren't discussing that...but it i tell you that I broke a toe or a leg...don't be surprised :)
It was a good weekend this weekend...
We got a lot done and had some great conversations..
I realized this weekend how much we have grown up...
We have been married for eleven years...now I know that for some of you it's a drop in the bucket...but we have been married since I graduated from college.
The first place I moved when i moved out of the dorm was into an apartment with my husband..
When I was 22 years old, we were going to have one of those marriages that we did things together but maintained our independence too.
We have been through good times, bad times and everything in between.
I have learned a ton from him, about him and some times in spite of him.
At 22 I was fiercely independent and although I was madly in love with this man- I wanted to be able to see my friends and go out and have fun too...
Today...there is nothing I would rather do than curl up on the couch and watch a movie with him....trading in plane flights and hotel rooms for yoga pants and the comfort of my own house.
It's a balancing act for sure...I still want and need to spend time with my girlfriends...just not as much as before...
We are all scattered and at different points in our lives...but it is okay for me to say that I can't do something simply because i want to spend time with my hubby...
I have loved every minute I have spent with everyone I have gone away with in the past few months...but I have loved coming home to him even more.
I have learned that "us" is part of me and who I am.
Without the "us" I am incomplete.
I have learned that it is okay to walk out of a room without fighting back and he will follow me when he is ready.
I have learned what buttons to push and when to push them and for the most part what the reaction will be.
We have learned how to coexist in peace (most of the time) and that we can give each other space while sitting on opposite sides of the couch.
He goes to bed super early....I am a night owl.
He hates naps...Sunday afternoon that's what I do.
He showers in the morning to get going..I shower at night to be able to fall asleep.
He never leaves the house without kissing me goodbye and i never go to bed without kissing him goodnight.
Sometimes, we can read each others mind and other times we think we can and we are way off base.
We have fights...sometimes we pick them with each other because that's the only thing that will make us feel better...but he wraps his arms around me and kisses me on the top of the head afterwards..
He concentrates on the little things, the towel racks, spice racks, bill filing, while I tend to tackle the largest part of the project first.  He can drive me nuts and make me wonder what he is thinking...but I know that when I dump out a whole bunch of stuff in the middle of a room it drives him batty.

This weekend, we talked about what makes us really nervous about all of this...and we have agreed that mostly it's losing the comfort of our routine...and losing part of what makes us work...
We also talked about what we need to do to make sure that we don't lose it...and what we will do if we start to.
I realized this weekend how much we have grown up and how much we have evolved as people.  I realized how much of that has been because of each other.  I found wedding pictures and honeymoon pictures that we reminisced over this weekend...at how young we looked...how in love we were then.  How that love has changed and evolved and gotten better.
I let go of the breath that I was holding, because I know that he is right next to me...holding my hand and holding me up.
He is my best friend, my love, my partner and my life....I knew that eleven years I wanted to be married..to have a life with this man...but also wanted to take the world by storm...be my own person with him as someone to come home to.....and this weekend...I realized that while I still want to be me, he is as vital as my lungs, my heart, my brain in me functioning every day.  I still want to take the world by storm- just with him next to me, working with me, instead of doing it all by myself.


We got a lot done today....despite a rocky start..
Ladies- sorry to exclude the guys who read this-do you ever have a project that needs to get done with your significant other and it seems like they focus on the smallest most insignificant piece of the project.
Many of my friends and family experience this..
My dad was installing a new bathroom- needed to get everything put back together for a party my parents were having...last twenty four hours and instead of installing the last three tiles and the sink- he was cleaning out the magazine rack...
My husband's project today was a towel rack....in the downstairs bathroom...in addition to the one that was already there....he kept asking me where he should put it and when I would tell him he would say okay and measure and remeasure and ask again...
I finally went upstairs, managed to clean out an entire closet and half the room before he gave up on the towel rack and came up to help!!
I love him to pieces but I am reminded that I married someone just like my dad often!!
We made really good progress- the one room was entirely cleaned out except for the bed and the second room will only take about another hour tomorrow.  We do have some work to do in the den to get that cleaned up so that we can bring some of the stuff down that we want to have accessible and put it in there...
We still had time to watch a couple of episodes of True Blood tonight too...we just finished season 2...it's a fun but pretty hokey show....good stuff to just veg out to.
Lots of smiles today going through old pictures and memory stuff...a few tears...it was a nice trip down memory lane..
Lots of stuff to go to good will and lots of clearing out..which is good for us....the back room tended to be a catch all room so there was a lot in there that needed to be tossed out...
It's always nice to feel as if we have accomplished what we set out to do....tomorrow will be a few hours in the morning finishing..a bit of cleaning and then the rooms will be ready for them to move in...
Like my hubby said we aren't going to magically get everything done but at least they will all have spaces to call their own..
Hope that you all had a fantastic day...hugs and lots of love to all y'all.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Thursday's List

Well ..after a few blah blog posts...how about my smiles for the week??
Halloween planning is going well.  We are getting stuff done so hopefully we will be in a good place before Halloween.
My husband is my favorite person in the world..
not only is he beyond supportive in many ways..
He listens when I go crazy
deals with my mood swings
and snuggles with me to make me fall back asleep at night.
He made time for lunch when he didn't think h e was going to be able to this week
He brought home my favorite for dinner tonight
He will work his butt off this weekend to help get rooms cleaned out this weekend..
he is pretty fantastic..
The leaves are changing and the picture taking will be great when the sun comes out...hoping to get out and take some pictures this week..
I came home today to some great goodies from a few of my bloggy friends- thank  you so much...I love magnets for my fridge and have some new ones to add...i will post pictures soon..
The weather is nice and cool...which I normally don't like but I love snuggling under my comforters to stay nice and warm
I hope that your corners of the world are happy and peaceful and that you are doing well....sending lots of thoughts and love on the back of the moonbeams tonight to all of you!! Hugs and love!


Just a quick note to say thank to those who commented on my post last night and/or sent me an email...
There is too much time for me to think right now and I am definitely overthinking the whole thing.
I use this blog as a way to dump my feelings and lately they have been scattered but I appreciate the sounding board that you all provide for me....I promise that there are smiles that I will post about later...

Hope all is well in your little corners of the world...love and hugs

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

brain dump

has been overtaken by the voices in my head at this point.
I look around my very comfortable house and I see things that kids can break
or hurt themselves on
Scheduling trips to go away makes me wonder what they will do....where they will be
My head is reeling with
What if it goes horribly wrong
What if this isn't best
What if the people that I care about the most are right..
Those people, who will always challenge me and make me think of things that I don't think about are telling me to stop and think..
that's all I am doing is thinking
In the middle of the day
In the middle of the night
I know the reasons why we are doing it
When I express them to those I love the most, they listen
and then there is always something else.
I love these people because they challenge me.
I love these people because they know that most of the time I think with my heart and don't wait for my head to catch up
I love that they have yet to bring up something that my mind hasn't thought of..
that I haven't obsessed over
that I haven't dissected and put back together.
I know that these are the right decisions we are making..
and I love those around me who may not agree, but will support me anyway..
My head and my heart are at the point that says..just get it done already..
Just move in
Just let us get adjusted.
There are a million things, a million adjustments and I am sure things that no one has thought of...
a million reasons to be excited for this new adventure...
you know what my biggest fear is??
That it isn't going to be enough..
that she is too far gone to come  back
I am scared that no matter what we do or how we try to help...we will have to turn her away because she won't take the help as an opportunity to better her life.
I am scared of becoming one of "them"
Those people, who in their own ways love her, but have had to walk away because she won't help herself.
As much as I wish I could say that I can make it all better, I can't...
she has to do it on her own..
I can only provide a safe place for that to happen...
I just hope it's enough.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Lacking Motivation

I have today off.
It is currently two o'clock in the afternoon and I have gotten nothing done.
After a great weekend with some good friends, much needs to be accomplished as we pushed the list of things to do aside for a weekend of fun.
I have gotten nothing done.
The bedrooms needs to be cleaned out
Storage unit needs to be acquired
Closets need to be cleaned
The house in general needs to be cleaned
Laundry needs to be done and put away
My closet needs to be switched from summer to winter
Lots of stuff and no motivation.
Not entirely sure why..
is it because I know the days of doing nothing are numbered?
Is it because I simply need to veg for a little while?
Not entirely sure what the lack of motivation is...but I need to find it..sooner rather than later..
Today's tasks are small- clean out the bathroom closets and drawers
Kid Proof the medicine cabinet
Make dinner
That's it..
But tt's two o'clock in the afternoon and nothing has been done yet..

Sunday, October 9, 2011