Tuesday, May 31, 2011


Today you're getting one very tired Nain.  Sorry there was no Motivation Monday post yesterday - we were en route back home from Michigan, and I never had the chance to pre-post one for Monday.  But thank you to Amber LaShell who is so dedicated she already wrote one!
So I don't do very well in long car rides.  Towards the end of them, I start to lose it just a little bit and get stir crazy.  So for me, this included:
Serenading T by singing into my ballpoint pen to the Pretenders song "I'll Stand By You."  Lyrics and expressive hand motions and all.
Trying to draw on T's arm while he was driving
Drawing on both of our McDonald's soft drink lids with said ballpoint pen.
Deciding that I was going to ride with my feet on the dash like all of the other drivers we saw out there, except I put both feet up.  Which just made me look like I was in stirrups at the gyno office.
Telling T that the person in the car next to us, who similarly had her foot up was my foot sister.  We shared a kindred bond. 
While driving along, a Dr. Dre old school song came on and I start singing along.  But when the lyrics "The doctor gonna check yo ass" came on, I suddenly jolted back to reality and go "oh shit, that reminds me!  I need to call my gynecologist!" 
Bothering T by getting fingerprints all over his new Droid phone, and when he acted like that bothered him, licking the phone just because I could. 
I'm sure I drove him crazy in many many other ways, and he'll get to enjoy it more because we're back up in Michigan in 3 weeks.  More long car rides - how am I ever going to be able to take it all?
Hope everyone had a fabulous holiday weekend!

Friday, May 27, 2011


I was quite fortunate in that the great majority of my family was present at our wedding this last fall.  As I sat there with my new husband looking out at our family from the altar, I felt so loved and so blessed.  And as I looked to the right of where we sat I saw a single candle sitting there next to where our aunts did our readings.  It was there in remembrance. Of those who couldn't be there with us, including both of my grandmothers, my paternal grandfather, T's maternal grandfather, and my Aunt Linda.
That day, I carried two handkerchiefs in my bouquet - one from each grandmother, but I also had on a very special piece of jewelry.   

You can't see it very well from here, but the name Linda is written on that bracelet.  I received it from my Dad's grandma shortly after my Aunt Linda passed away in 1994, and I have treasured it since.  I have always known in the back of my mind I would wear it on the day I got married, and I kept it for such an occasion. 
I hate to say that I'm not very close with my father's family.  We have grown apart throughout the years.  When I was a child, though, we did see them quite often, and the majority of that time, my siblings and I would spend with my Aunt Linda.  She was the youngest of the children on that side, and she had the spirit of a child.  You couldn't help but laugh when you were with her.  We'd sit and watch cartoons, we would make fun of things on TV, she would laugh at the stories we wrote about our families (it was a hobby my sister and I had as a kid, we made stories up of what our families would be like when we got older.)  She taught me how to needlepoint, and I would sit there for hours working on a needlepoint bookmark.  I'd always mess up, and she'd have to fix whatever knot I managed to make or hole I missed.  We had such fun.
We lived in Alabama, and she lived with my grandma in Indiana, so I wrote letters.  I wrote letters to her and my grandma and my other aunt from that side of the family, but I do remember writing letters.  All the time.  I found one of the letters I wrote to my grandma recently, and I really wish I could find one of the letters I wrote her. 
She died when I was just twelve years old.  She was in her early thirties.  It's so hard for me to think about, because I'm in my thirties.  They discovered she had ovarian cancer, and by the time they discovered it, it was in stage 3.  However, I was too young at the time, so my parents kept this from me until they felt I had no choice but to know.  They protected me as best they could.  I still remember how I found out....
One of my chores was often to clean out my desk drawers because they would always be so full of paper and just "stuff."  I was cleaning my desk drawer, and I found some extra valentines cards, so I decided, since it was around that time of the year, I'd make one for my aunt to cheer her up.  I had already given her one of my stuffed bears, a yellow bear she called "Mustard," so I wanted to send her something else to cheer her up.  My mom came into my room, and I excitedly told her I made Aunt Linda a card, and I couldn't wait to send it to her.  I can't imagine how hard this was for her, but she sat me down and said that this cancer...she wasn't going to get better from it.  And she had less than a month to live.  And I was crushed. 
We got a call two weeks later.  I will never forget that day.  February 26th.  She had slipped into a coma, and we were told to come quickly to say good bye.  I still couldn't fathom the idea of her dying.  No one I had ever loved had died.  I don't remember that day very well.  We walked into that hospital, and I remember seeing her there, and then I blacked out and they led me out of the room.
She passed away that night around 11:30.  I knew she was gone the next morning when I woke up.  I had a dream shortly after I fell asleep that night.  She was in her hospital bed and she kissed me good bye.  I woke up with this feeling in my heart I couldn't describe.  I had never felt it before.  A feeling of sadness so strong that I felt weighed down by it.
I don't remember her funeral.  I remember her best friend singing Amazing Grace, and I remember crying so hard and everything went black.  In my hand, I had her Valentine.  I was going to give it to her when I said good bye.  But when it came time to do it, I couldn't.  I couldn't say the words.  My Dad took the card for me and placed it in her casket for me.
As I write this post, I'm tearing up.  It's been so many years and so much has changed, but the pain of it still is there. And I don't know why it's on my mind today.  But it is.  I miss her as much today as I did back then.  But I know she was there on September 18th.  She was there, watching me marry the love of my life and she was smiling.  And having that piece of her with me, meant so much. 
Who knows...maybe someday, when our daughter gets married, I will tell her about my Aunt Linda, and she can keep this close to heart, too. 
I also have that bear, Mustard, and he, too, will be a part of my child's nursery some day.
God bless you, Aunt Linda.  Love you

Spin Cycle: Reunions

I am so happy!  The Spin Cycle with Sprite's Keeper is back!  I've missed it so much, and I'm glad that she has decided to bring it back.   And this week's topic?  Reunions. 

So my excitement stopped when I saw the topic (sorry, Sprite!)  Because I don't have much to say about reunions, but that has never stopped me from writing a post before, so why start now?  So here goes...

This past May marked five years since I graduated from law school.  It seems crazy that five years has already passed.  According to state standards, I am no longer a "new" lawyer.  You have to be within three years of practice to be considered "new," and I'm coming upon five this October.  Anyway, I digress...I got invited to my law school five year reunion.  And they don't send out real invitations anymore, they send out Facebook ones.  And without any hesitation I replied "no." 

Now don't get me wrong - I made some friends in law school, but honestly, the ones I made, I still keep in touch with.  And I say this without any hesitation that law school made the most miserable three years of my life.  Given the opportunity to do it again, there is no way in hell I would.  There is a reason that people say lawyers are jerks.  Because a lot of them are, and I'm sorry, some of those people I knew in law school, I have no desire to see them again, let alone act fake and nice.  So...I said no.  Would I really pay $75 to spend time and eat crappy food with people I have no desire to see?  Um....no. 

I also didn't go to my high school ten year reunion back in 2009.  For many of the same reasons.  God, I'm awful, aren't I?  I think the only reunion I would attend would be the Ernie Pyle School of Journalism reunion if and only if my Arbutus (yearbook) colleagues were in attendance.  I absolutely loved my time at IU, and I would go back there for a reunion without any hesitation.  But heck no to high school and law school. 

This last November, we did attend T's 10 year high school reunion.  And it was somewhat how I pictured mine would have been, except there was a cash bar.  (My school provided the drinks for free, in an attempt to get people to attend, I'm guessing.)  T and I ate dinner, had a glass of wine, and we left.  It was quite uneventful, and I think T wishes he had saved the money. 

So there you have it - my experience with reunions.  Am I the only one in thinking they aren't always the best, though well-intended?  Stop by Sprite's blog and see what others have to say about their "reunion experience." 

TGIF everyone!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Random Thoughts Thursday

Coherent thoughts aren't coming easily to me this morning, so....that means you get a random post!  Strap yourself in and enjoy the ride through my warped and relatively snarky mind:

I am packing for the second week in a row.  T and I are headed up to Michigan for his brother's bachelor party and for me to spend time with the fam-in-laws, which will be fun, but I hate packing so...I'm packing for the second time in a row in two weeks.  Blah. 

Trips out of town mean laundry.  I don't like laundry either. 

One of the down sides to living in the Midwest....tornados.  Granted, I grew up in Alabama, so I should be used to tornados, but seriously, we had warning after warning yesterday.  It got pretty scary.

I spent the day at home yesterday waiting on some warranty people to check out things at our house, so that meant I got lots of time to watch the different weather people on each station.  And they were on.  All day.

I find it amusing that news anchors now use Facebook as a way to report to us, meaning they read posts people have put on their station's wall as a part of their news cast.  Really?  You can't do better than that and actually talk to real people?

I find it even more amusing that people were upset with said news stations for interrupting Oprah's final show and Dr. Phil to let us know about tornado warnings.  Life or death?  Or watching Oprah preach to you for an hour about how wonderful her show was?  Hmmm...priorities...

I am very grateful that no one I know was seriously hurt or is homeless due to the weather and I send out my prayers and thoughts to those who were hit with damage or lost a loved one due to this horrific weather.  I also pray that we get a break from all of this.  Because we all seriously need it.

I have a card next to my desk at work that was made by my niece Roo for my birthday.  Inside it she wrote I love you and has a picture of me and her playing.  I just looked at it, and it made me smile. 

I'm looking down at my desk calendar and see this disgusting brown stain on the paper, and I wonder if its salad dressing or coffee.  Either way, it looks gross, but I can't remove it until June when I get a new page.  And I have random numbers written on the page, too.  Did I think at one point in time I would remember why I wrote them down?  Because, for the life of me, I have no idea what relevance they have to my work.

Paramore just came on my Pandora and I had to change it immediately.  I can't stand Paramore.  Almost as much as I despise Evanescence and John Mayer.

I think I'm going to end this post.  And I hope I get some inspiration to write about reunions for the Spin Cycle by Sprite's Keeper (it's back!!!)  Maybe all of these random thoughts will get that hamster running on the wheel in my head, and I can function at a normal level.  We'll see...

Hope everyone is safe and has a great Thursday! 


Wednesday, May 25, 2011

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday - Vegas edition

Sunset from our hotel:

The fabulous lights of Vegas (more specifically Paris)

Wine vending machines?  Um....yes, please!!!!


Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Coming home is a treasure

Happy Small Treasure Tuesday!  It's that special time to take a step back and appreciate those finer things in life with Chantel.  You know, those small treasures that make you appreciate life?

Well for me, that treasure isn't small, but it has to be mentioned.  My treasure was coming home to this:


Silly picture aside...seriously...being away from T from Tuesday until Saturday on my work trip in Vegas?  Sucked.  There was this time in my life where I was this independent woman who could be on her own, didn't need a man to be around her, liked being on her own....and while, yes, I'm still that independent woman and I can do just fine on my own, that's not the point.  The point is...I missed my best friend.   Sitting there in Vegas watching all of the crazies at the buffet line?  I kept thinking "If only T were here to make fun of these people with me..." or at the final party of the event on the roof of our hotel, watching the sun set on the strip, I thought "I wish T were here to see this, it's beautiful."  I missed watching stupid TV with him.  I missed laying in his arms at night.  I just missed him.  A lot.  And by Friday night, I was more than ready to come home and see my T.  In fact, I could hardly wait that next day as I waited for my flight at 2:45, and man, the 4 hours couldn't go fast enough.  It felt so good to pull into that garage, have T greet me at the door and share the longest hug I've had in a good long time. 

So he's my treasure.  Well, he's always my treasure, but coming home to my best friend?  How could that not be my treasure? 


Monday, May 23, 2011

Motivation Monday!

Motivation Monday

I'm back from Sin City!  And yeah...being in the city with endless buffets and drinks galore, I need some motivation and I need it in a bad way.  I sad to say that my working out last week...yeah, that didn't happen.  I do have to say I have good reason, though.  The gym at my hotel?  Not free.  Yeah, you pay $20 a day for that.  And it was crappy, too, so I just couldn't bring myself to pay that much to walk on a treadmill.  And the hotel floor?  You couldn't pay me to lay on that floor to do crunches.  I did find a walking path, though, and I skipped a session on Thursday and managed to work out.  And then negate my entire workout with dessert at the Bellagio buffet.  But...it was worth it.  The end result?  I'm sure I gained like 10 lbs the entire week.  And I feel completely like crap after all of it. 

So it's good to be home.  Home-cooked meals, my bed, my routine.  So this week I have to kick my own ass and get it into gear. 

My plan this week?  Try  my best to eat as well as possible and work out daily.  I did get to walk about four miles on Sunday and eat a nice dinner cooked by T.  And we have our personal trainer on Wednesday and Thursday.  And man, it's going to suck, but I need to get my butt kicked.  I can feel it. 

So that's my motivation this week:  to undo the damage done from last week.   What about you?  You know the drill...just write a post about what's motivating you this week, leave a comment with a link to your post, and I'll link you up!

Happy Monday, everyone!

Chloe @ My New Life as a Housewife
Robin @ Find Good in Every Day
Amber @ Amber LaShell Rants
Chantel @ My Thoughts and Treasures

Friday, May 20, 2011

Formal dinners

This is another one of my favorite rooms.  T and I make a point to have one formal dinner each week in our dining room.  Usually these are on Saturdays or Sundays, but the TV is turned off, candles lit, and we enjoy a good dinner and good conversation. 


Believe it or not, we actually hung this light fixture ourselves.  It wasn't easy, but it was easier than the ceiling fans, which are a whole other story for another post...

And over here, we have our bar....and no, we are not alcoholics....

And this is me getting creative with the decorating.  I love this frame and picture, and the plant has very special meaning to me, so it seemed the right place to have it. 

 Now all we need to do is have people over to entertain in our formal dining room!  Any takers?

Thursday, May 19, 2011

The heart of the home

A kitchen is the heart of a home, and ours is no different.  The kitchen was hands down my favorite part of designing our home, and I couldn't be more happy with the final results.  First, here's our eating area:

And here it is....my baby....seriously, I heart this kitchen so much:

T created our special coffee station with our Mr. Coffee and our Keurig.  Cute, isn't?

Our microwave and double oven:

Our awesome refrigerator:

Walk-in pantry...seriously, this thing is huge.  I love it!

And it's the finishing touches that matter.  T's mom gave me these two little planters from Target - one is going to be daisies, and the other will be parsley.  And the two blue birds?  One is one from my Grandma's home...I got it after she passed away, and she had it on her window so I have it on mine.  Then, for our wedding, one of my Grandpa's sister's gave me another.  So I like to think of them as my Grandma and me.  Cheesy, I know, right?

Hope you enjoyed the little tour of our kitchen - isn't it a thing of beauty?

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - T's palace

This post needs no explanation - this is our hall bath, also known as T's palace.  I try to use this as little as possible :-)


Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Welcome friends!

So I decided to start from the beginning, our front door.  We loved this house plan because it has a very spacious front entrance, and the front hall opens up to the second floor, too.  This is a picture looking down the hall to the front door:

If you look up, you see this huge light fixture our builder gave us, as well as the overlook for the second floor.

And since we're Irish, of course, one of the first things you have to see coming into our home is an Irish blessing:
We haven't had the chance to entertain family or friends yet, so you, my blog friends, are the first to view our home.  Enjoy!  I'll be back tomorrow with more pictures!
And because our new home is a treasure, I'm linking this up to Chantel's Small Treasure Tuesdays!


Monday, May 16, 2011

Motivation Monday

Happy Motivation Monday, everyone!  It's a special one, too, because this week I have a guest blogger!  Amber LaShell at Amber LaShell Rants.  She's a fellow writer, who has just self-published her first novel.  Show her some love and visit her blog (after you read her awesome guest post, too) 

I can't wait to see what everyone else has to share!  To participate just write your post, and comment on this one, leaving the link to your blog so I can link you up!  Without further ado....here's Amber LaShell!


Hello! In case you don't know me, My name is Amber LaShell and I run a little blog called AmberLaShell Rants over at amberlashell.com and even though it's hard for me to say this, I am a writer.

Isn't that wierd to say? When I think of a writer, I think of people like J.K. Rowling, Stephen King, Dean Koontz, and Nora Roberts. All people who make the New York Time's bestseller list, but being that I get paid to write, I am in fact a writer, even if I don't think of myself that way. In fact I have my first book up for sale right now and you can find all the information about it on my blog. (How's that for self-promotion?)

Now that you have a little background information, I can get to the Motivation part of Motivation Monday. I am working on a new book (will technically be my 2nd) and I need the motivation to work on it every single day. You see I have set a goal for myself to write at least 1,000 words every single day. That way I should be done with the first draft in a total of 2 months. This may sound easy, but is in fact quite hard and I need extra motivation for this. There are days when I don't want to write at all, but when I sit down and make myself, these end up being days I get the most done! 

If you are interested in how I do everyday, word count wise, run on over to Twitter and follow me, I keep my followers informed! My twitter name is @amberlashell and I need everyone to kick my butt and tell me to get writing and get off twitter! Besides, it's what all the cool kids are doing. I would like to thank Nain for letting me take over her blog for a day, and I promise to clean up after myself.

Amber @ Amber LaShell Rants 
Chantel @ My Thoughts and Treasures
Kristin @ the Spoiled Menagerie

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Viva Las Vegas!

So next week, I will be heading to the fabulous city of Las Vegas, Nevada!  Now before you get too  excited, it is for a work trip.  But it's still a trip to Las Vegas nevertheless.  So since I'll be super busy learning all sorts of good stuff about being a legal aid director, I won't have time to post.  But no worries, this week, after Monday, which will include a Motivation Monday post by a very special guest, I will finally post some pictures of the new house.  You guys have been patient, and I've promised, right?  So I am currently busy constructing posts for this week featuring different rooms of our new home!  (Now how's that for anticipation?)
Until then....Viva Las Vegas!
(Image courtesy of Google Images)


Friday, May 13, 2011

I think I've lost it....

FINALLY am able to get back on blogger today!  So yes, I am alive.  And no, I haven't really gotten the peace I've needed, but I am very well on my way.  I've had to make some really tough decisions at work this week and have been faced with challenges I've never faced before, but...I'm happy to report that...the week is over.  (Small blessings, right?)  Has the bad stuff come and gone?  Not yet.  And it will be bad when it happens, but...I'm praying that everything will work out right. 
Out of pure exhaustion there have been a few nights where I have lost my mind and found the oddest things funny...
Last night, for some reason, I kept singing that "Milkshake" song.  Over and over again.  I forget who sings it, but, it was in my mind.  I sang in the shower, I sang it while I was making the bed.  I sang it while T was getting ready for bed.  And I then interrupted him in conversation to say "Oh hey, guess what? My milkshake?  Yeah, it brings all the boys to the yard."  To which he responds "well, that's nice."  I told him I could teach him.  But I would likely have to charge. 
The moment where I know I've lost it was last weekend.  See, the weathermen in our area really hype up the severe storms.  And I mean really hype it up.  Dramatic music in commercials, kids woken up out of their beds in the middle of the night, frightened families huddled together in the basement.  And then comes the weatherman.  So I took to making it all gangsta..."Aw, yeah, it's Chris Wright in the mutha-effing house!  We've got some severe wizzeatha in this biznitch!  Tornadoes, what what?  With Chuck "My Pimp Hand is Strong" Loften and Nicole "I'll cut a bitch" Mizineck."  So I'm standing there in the kitchen making up these things while T is washing the dishes, the only person laughing is me.  And I kept laughing.  Until I couldn't catch my breath.  And honestly, as I write this now, I'm still laughing.  I've hit my wall people.  It's official.  I've lost my damn mind. 

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Needing some peace of mind

I am in serious need of some peace this week.  Too many storms surround me and I need some sort of reprieve before I reach my breaking point.  When I close my eyes, I take a deep breath, and I picture myself here:

God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.

Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world
as it is, not as I would have it;
Trusting that He will make all things right
if I surrender to His Will;
That I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with Him
Forever in the next.

--Reinhold Niebuhr


Treasuring the little things

It's Tuesday, so you know what that means?  Small Treasure Tuesdays with Chantel!  Unfortunately, I'm not feeling so cheery today so I'm not one for this big happy post.  (Sorry, guys...)  I have a few things on my mind with work and such, so I'm struggling with that today.  However, last week I talked about the small things that make my day, inspired by the guy who wrote "The Book of Awesome."  So rather than fake myself through a happy go lucky post, I'm going to remind myself of those things that, well....are pretty damn awesome in my book....

Watching Dancing with the Stars (I love this show)

Enjoying a nice walk outside in our new neighborhood

The sun actually shining for once (I'm tired of the rain!)

A nice glass of wine after a long day

Sleeping in (I hope to do this this weekend since the mini-marathon training is over)

Singing at the top of your lungs to a really cheesy 80s song while in the car.  (We're talking Chicago, Journey....you name it...)

A hug from T no matter how rough my day was

So those are the little things that are making me smile this week.  And they are the small things that keep me going, and that's all that matters.  Stop by Chantel's blog and see what other small treasures people have to share this week....


Monday, May 9, 2011

Mini Marathon Motivation Monday

Motivation Monday

 Happy Motivation Monday!  So here we are, at another Motivation Monday, and well, my motivation is more a celebration.  Because I did it!  I finished the mini marathon!  13.1 miles, folks, 4 of them actually in the rain.  I was super nervous, of course, and driving T crazy.  Can you tell from this picture how nervous I was?

Yeah, I was pretty much thinking "what the hell am I getting myself into?"  You can just see the trepidation in my eyes.  But I was bound and determined.

They line you up in corrals from A-Z, and I was in corral W.  It was crowded beyond belief.  Seriously, 40,000 plus people all getting ready to run/walk for the next 13.1 miles.  I'm not normally a crowd person, and it took me 30 minutes just to get to the starting line, but the race was off, as was I.

The first five miles?  Not too shabby.  However, the the rain hit around mile six, right around the time I hit the Motor Speedway.  And that....it's a lot bigger than you'd think.  We hit Mile 6, 7 and 8 just in the track alone.  And it started raining even harder.  It was one of those mental blocks you just have to push through.  I'm not going to say it was easy, and um, yeah...wet shoes and socks?  That equals blisters and bad ones, too.  It started to get sunny again right around Mile 10 and I just kept going.  It kind of sucked, but...my spirits were raised when I saw the downtown skyline again.  I at least saw the end in sight.  The last mile was deemed "Victory Mile" and was broken down in 1/4 segments counting down to the end.  I decided (based on total adrenaline or total foolishness) to run the last 1/4 mile.  And I finished!  (Yay!) 

And I got a medal!  Yeah, they give them to everyone who finishes, but it was still pretty bad ass.  And it was so great to have T cheering me at the finish line.  And to accomplish a goal I have been working towards since January?  Totally awesome.

And then what did I do?  Cleaned the shit out of my house for the rest of the day.  Because walking 13.1
miles is simply not enough.  If I'm going exhausted, I'm going super exhausted.  No half ass for me, folks!

I'm still motivated to keep going this week with my work out, but for now...I'm celebrating.  And it feels good.

So what about you?  What's motivating you this week?  You know the drill, just write a post and link up to mine by commenting to this post, leaving a link to your post, and I'll link you up!  And come back next week because we will have a guest blogger....exciting, no?