Thursday, October 31, 2013

The strength of love

I read this somewhere on Facebook the other day, and it really touched me.  I know people share these inspirational type of quotes all the time, but this one didn't seem so inspirational to me as it did seem real.
I've expressed my thoughts on marriage before.  Love is a choice, a choice you make every day.  When you marry someone, you marry them for good times AND bad.  You may say those words in the vows and just say them because they are there.  You may bolt at the first sign of trouble.  But that's not what a real marriage is.  It's work.  It's not always fun.  But it's worth it.
There's a quote from Runaway Bride, one of my guilty pleasure chick flicks that I've always loved.  I'll admit when I first heard it back when the movie first came out I don't think I really grasped the words.  It goes something like this:  
Look, I guarantee there’ll be tough times. I guarantee that at some time, one or both of us is gonna want to get out of this thing. But I also guarantee that if I don’t ask you to be mine, I’ll regret it for the rest of my life, because I know, in my heart, you’re the only one for me

I'll admit, in my single days I idealized marriage.  And I would convince myself that each man I "fell in love with" was THE one.  I'd marry him.  It's funny because looking back, I thank God that wasn't the case.   Because I hadn't found the one, my soul mate.  And I don't use that word in the sense of the word that this person is the one I'll never fight with, we'll wake up every morning, and it'll be all rainbows and ponies, and like the end of a Disney movie, we'll live happily ever after.  No, I'm talking about the person who will accept me for me, all of me, the good and the bad, the pretty and the ugly. And that's not always easy - for either of us.
I would look at relationships my friends had that seemed so perfect from the outside, and I'd say "damn, I wish I had that."  But after marrying T and talking with them more, I realize that it hasn't always been so easy for them either.  They fight.  They go through rough times.  They say hurtful things to each other than they don't mean but can't take back.  But they love each other.  They make it work because of that love and because they want to.  Because when they said forever, they meant forever.
I know there are days where both or one of us doesn't like the other, where every little bad habit rears its head and we just want to go crazy.   There have been moments in this past year when I know that at least one of us would have been fully justified in wanting out.  This year has tested us; it still is.  But we're coming out stronger.  Both of us are committed, and no matter what life throws at us there is that love.  It's stronger than any of the bad, any of the sadness.  
We know each other like the back of our hands.  Hell, we were just two questions off in a marriage game where we were tested on how well we knew the other.  (Winning first place, of course, which was a date night - damn right!)
He still makes me laugh even when I don't want to, those moments where I want to be mad at him but can't be because he's....well...he's him.  And he laughs at me as I do stupid things like sing "I'll Make Love to You" by Boys to Men, acting like a complete moron.  Or when I jump around the room dancing to Gangham Style.
Will it be rainbows and ponies some days?  Sure it will.  Will there be days where I don't want to be around T and vice versa?  Sure there will be.  Will there be moments when I look at him across the room, catch each other's eyes and feel the love between us without even saying a word?  All the time. And those moments are the ones that count.
When we said our vows over three years ago, I said "I do," and I meant it.  I did back then, I do today, and I always will.  We're in this journey together, and that's why I love him so.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Aubrey in the fall

I know how much some of you (cough, cough, Sarah...) like pictures, and I'm not always one to do that...mostly out of pure laziness in uploading them.  But, I do take pictures of my kid, I promise!  

Here are a few shots Mommy got with the pig tails....note she abandoned the butterfly on the step to tell me all about the pumpkins.  She tried her best to say pumpkin, and it took maybe 20 minutes for us to talk her off the porch.  We now go on the porch every day we get home and it usually ends in a meltdown with me carrying her into the house....

"Look, Mommy!  Someone left pumpkins on our porch!"

"I'm going to pick the big one....don't worry, I'll pick it up...."

Trying on her Grandpa's shoes and Mommy caught her.  As Aubrey says...."Uh-ohs"

Checking out the latest Mother, like daughter!

"Um, no, Mom....I don't need you to pull me in the wagon.  I can pull the wagon myself, thank you very much."

Aubrey channeling her inner 1980s child....all she is missing are leg warmers!

She's a crazy girl...I'm lucky when I get her actually looking at the camera, or when she does look at the camera she's usually trying to grab it.  Oh, silly Aubrey.....

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Cooking with Nain

Second Blooming
It's been quite awhile since I've participated in the Spin Cycle brought to you by Gretchen at Second Blooming and Ginnie Marie at  Lemon Drop Pie.  Sigh.  Such a bad blogger friend, I know.  I've become pretty slack at reading and commenting on other blogs, too.  See what happens when my world gets turned upside down???  Well, now that things are getting back to normal, here's hoping I can get blogging back to normal as well.  Anywho...this week's topic is one of my favorite things ever - cooking!  Well, cooking with love specifically.
They say the way to a man's heart is through his stomach...amongst other things that aren't as PG, but like Phil Robertson with Duck Dynasty says there is something to be said about a woman who knows her way around the kitchen.  I haven't always been that way, and it's taken several times of me screwing up even the most basic meals to get there, but I love cooking for T, especially on the weekends when I have time to make something special.
The very first meal I ever made for him was my baked spaghetti, a dish that he requests to this day.  It's super easy, but dammit it if it isn't delicious.  I change it up every now and then, but all you do is brown up some sweet Italian sausage and onions, mix in tomato sauce, and I like putting in spinach or spinach puree, which is what I tried last time and it came out amazing.  Boil penne noodles and I layer it - sauce/meat mixture, noodles, cheese, etc.  Then I top it with a ton of cheese and oregano and Italian seasoning.  Cook for 30 minutes until the cheese is nice and brown.  And it's damn good, if I do say so.
T's got his own meal he makes for me with love...the famous honey chicken stir fry.  That was something he made for me when we celebrated our very first Christmas as a couple, and he made it every month counting up to our wedding day after we were engaged.  And we have it on our anniversary and any other special occasion.  It's delicious.  Of course, I don't have the recipe to share, but still. 
I love cooking things I know T will love...on St. Patrick's Day this last year I made  homemade soda bread, Shepherd's Pie, and Bailey's brownies.  We don't always have a lot of money or time to go out on lavish dates so it's nice for us to just have a romantic meal in the dining room when the little one is asleep.  Hell, I might even break out the glasses for water instead of drinking from bottled water.  I mean, now THAT is fancy, let me tell you.
So that's my spin on cooking with love...stop by Ginnie's and Gretchen's and see what other people have to share!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Coming around to the obvious

Sometimes the answer you are looking for is right in front of your face.  Sometimes the answer we want isn't the one we are supposed to get.  Sometimes God has a plan for you, and it's not the one you wanted.  And then sometimes at the end of all of that, tears, worry, stress, fights, you name're like "Seriously, God?  Was that lesson necessary?"  

That's me right about now.  

I've had to make some tough decisions professionally lately, trying to figure out what I should do...switching careers, staying in what I'm doing and giving it my all despite challenges that the industry is's been tough.  I can't really go into all of the ups and downs that have come along, but I've been walking around trying to find what I'm meant to do, what is supposed to be my path...or whether the whole finding my "path" is crap and I just need to do a 9-5 and that's it.  Maybe working at Target to get my discount is what makes me happy?  (No, seriously, that probably would make me happy, but nevermind.)  Did I make the wrong choice going to law school?  Should I do something that doesn't involve as much pressure and stress for my health?  But is that what makes me happy?  Which is more important?  yeah, all of these questions have been going on in my mind and in my home.  

Turns out, I am right where I need to be.  It's taken me some time to get to it, but when it comes down to what makes me happy, where my passion lies, I'm already there.  Yes, we have some challenges coming up financially but...this is where I need to be.  

So God, what's the deal?  Couldn't we have bypassed this whole thing and just come to the end result the same way?  I mean, we did this earlier this year with T's job.  So let's stop this now pretty please.  

Sometimes you are where you've been meant to be all along.  You just need to recognize it.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Love and memories

The other day a few friends of mine shared this beautiful tribute that a man did for his wife as she battled (and eventually lost) her battle with cancer.  It showed her journey in pictures.  Against my better judgment (because I knew it would make me sad), I still looked at it.  I was hoping for a happy ending as I scrolled through the awful pictures showing her body deteriorate from the treatment and the disease, the last few of them showing her laughing and smiling, hoping that maybe it meant she was in remission.  But one of the last pictures showed an empty hospital bed, the next picture showing him in a car following the hearse and then the final one of her grave. 
October is a tough month for my family.  We lost my grandmother to cancer in 2000 after she battled the disease for years, eventually going to her resting place on Oct 17.  Her birthday is Halloween.  Her anniversary with my grandpa is today, Oct 24.  He's with her in heaven now, but watched him suffer, losing the only woman he ever loved and being so helpless along the way.  The night of her wake I sat there in the funeral home before the end, watching him kneel next to her casket and holding her hand not wanting to leave her. 
These pictures took me back to that time, to that time when we watched her be overtaken by this awful disease, leaving her only a shell of the strong woman she truly was inside.  It brought me back to when I was in 7th grade and we lost my Aunt Linda to ovarian cancer.  I remember all of those days so vividly even though my Aunt Linda has been gone almost 20  years now.  It all feels like yesterday.
In my office, one of my employees is now facing her own battle against cancer.  I just hate this disease so much.  It just isn't fair. 
If your heart can handle it, I would encourage you to view these pictures because no matter how tragic and sad it is, it also is a view of what true love is.  He stood by her through it all and obviously loved her so very much.  It shows just how powerful love can be even against something as terrible as cancer. 
It is weird to me because you'd think that missing my aunt and my grandma would get easier.  It's been 20 years since my aunt passed away.  But looking at these pictures and just thinking back to that day I found myself with tears welling in my eyes.  A day does not go by that I do not miss both of them.  I am not sure it ever does get easier.  I am reminded of it every October. 
I am proud that my Aubrey shares her middle name with my grandma, Leona.  I see parts of her when I watch Aubrey, especially the headstrong personality and beautiful heart. 
God bless you, grandma and Aunt Linda.  We miss you.  And God bless this man and his family.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

The Mom gene

I think I may be missing the Mom gene.  Or at least the Mom of girls gene.  Because you know, I'm really not keeping on it. 
I see all of these little girls coming to daycare in Aubrey's class with these cute little dresses and outfits and their hair done.  My daughter, on the other hand, comes to daycare in Target stretch pants, a knit shirt and her white shoes we got from Wal-Mart.  These are the only shoes she has.  No, she does not have cute shoes.  She has plain white, lace-up shoes from Wal-Mart.  And she destroys them.  In fact her shoes were getting so worn that they were almost worn down to her socks.  I'm sure her teachers thought she was that girl, the one whose Mommy couldn't afford nice things.
So I had bought her a pair of the same shoes in one size bigger accidentally before vacation.  I figured, she could wear them if they are a little big, right?  I thought maybe she'd fit them because her feet have grown.  So without trying them on she wore them to daycare this morning.  And tripped the whole way into her room.  Mom fail.
I immediately went out and bought her a replacement pair in the same size she had before and dropped them off at the daycare.  The ladies at the front desk laughed when I ran in there with the new shoes.  Yeah, yeah, yeah....and no, they were the same white shoes.  I feel kind of bad, too, because with the whole Mary Kay debt problem I can't really afford much nicer.  Most of her clothes come from Nana or Grandma.  We're like a charity case, but at least she's too young to know better or be embarrassed.
Only recently have I figured out I can actually do her hair.  I had no faith in that for awhile, but her daycare teachers pointed out that Aubrey was pulling other girls' hair, and she only did that to the ones that had pony tails or pig tails.  So she did her hair one day, and it was adorable...and wouldn't you know it, but Aubrey didn't pull hair anymore.  Augh.  So Aubrey wanted her hair like the other girls.  Bad Mommy.   I was supposed to know this already, right?  So I got some hair bands, and I have learned how to do her hair. 
I don't know how to braid.  I may need to take a tutorial on that before she gets much older. 
I should get the hang of this by the time she's 10, right?  Or maybe I'm just missing the Mom gene like I've suspected?

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Stupid dreams....

I am not a big fan of those dreams, normally pretty bad ones, where you wake up and wonder if what you dreamt about was really real.  I had a ton of them during my losing the baby, me dying during the C-section...these are never really rational dreams, but I don't think you could say dreams are, by nature, rational. 
I had one of the absolutely worst ones I could ever have on Saturday night.  I'm not sure why but the only dreams I ever really remember are the bad ones.  I'm sure I have good ones, but nope, all I remember are the bad ones, and the truly bad ones are so vivid.  This one was one of those. 
In my dream, I had cancer.  My human body in the dream was just a wreck, I was so sick, so thin, and in the dream, I had like days or weeks to live.  Aubrey was the same age that she is now, and I had to say good bye to her and come to terms with all of the things I wouldn't get to experience with her growing up.  I watched as T's brother and sister-in-law played with their daughter, thinking "I'll never get to do this with Aubrey."  I woke up shortly before I "died" in my dream but after I broke down kissing my girl. 
Wonderful dream, right? 
What the hell is wrong with me?
So of course, after waking up, I immediately went into Aubrey's room to check on her.  She was soundly asleep.  I kissed her forehead and went to sleep.  Twenty minutes later she woke up and cried for the next 45 minutes while I tried everything in my power to soothe her.  Mom fail. 
But wouldn't you have done the same thing?  I'm going to try to not read into this dream.  I know dreams usually stand for something or whatever, but I'm going to say this one was just a fluke and stands for absolutely nothing.  And that I'm not going anywhere and will be with my little girl for a good long time.  But don't think I wasn't hugging and kissing all over her on Sunday. 
Stupid dreams....

Monday, October 21, 2013

Motivation Monday!

Motivation Monday

I have not done a Motivation Monday for awhile, and yesterday my butt was kicked so badly that I had no choice.  Someone needs to get her butt out of bed in the morning and run.  Yep, that someone is me.

I got a little overzealous yesterday and thought "Oh, I'm going to go for a run outside!"  It was 50 degrees out, beautiful, so why not?  Yeah, totally wasn't ready for that  Cue asthma attack about 1/2 mile down the road.  But no, I kept going.  Running.  Walking.  Running.  Walking and then finally walking my butt home because if I kept running someone was going to be going to the E.R.

Seriously?  I was doing so well around this time last year, training for a mini, at least able to run for a mile straight if not more.  That last 5 mile race was hard enough a few weeks ago.  So yeah....

I think one thing that would help me is if we had more races planned so I had some goals set.  We have two the week of Thanksgiving so that is coming up.  So let's get ready for that!

It's tough when a certain toddler won't sleep through the night for some reason.  It's been happening for about two weeks now, and it's like she's 2 months all over again.  No sleep equals tired Nain equals Nain doesn't want to get out of bed when the alarm goes off at 5 a.m., but that is no excuse!  Maybe I need Billy Blanks to motivate me or something.

So it's time to hold myself a little accountable here and maybe try that run outside again in a few weeks and see just how much better I do.  I think I can do this....

Friday, October 18, 2013

Accepting things the way they are

If things are in a mess, accept that things are in a mess. Everything doesn't have to be worked out right now.  
- Mustard Seeds

I got this quote in one of the many inspirational emails I get daily in my inbox.  I don't always read them but there are days where I find I particularly need some sort of inspiration in the morning.  So Thursday morning I read this one, and it was like "wow, this is so me right now."  Seriously.  It was like this message from God saying "I know you want all the answers, and I know you want an immediate fix.  But live in the now and stop fretting so much about the future."

Easier said than done, right?  I am totally not the kind of person to just sit and trust that things will happen.  I try my best, albeit unsuccessfully to make these things happen.  It isn't currently working, by the way.  And that uncertainty is absolutely killing me.  I want change now, dammit.  I'm not a patient person!

I am not going to kid myself.  I'll likely continue to fret about what is going to happen and about my future.  But maybe when I do, I need to take a deep breath and just repeat this phrase in my mind.  All things have a way of working out in the end.  They did with T's job situation.  Perhaps they will do the same for me. Until then, prayers are always appreciated!


This weekend the Nain and T household will be taking it easy.  I am recovering from a cold/sinus infection and it seems it is rearing its ugly head towards T and Aubrey.  Ah, the changing of the seasons!  We are just a snotty, coughing mess.  But hey, accept that everything is a mess, right? :-)

Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, October 17, 2013


 So I have been busy this and writing and what not, so I thought, why not do a little random on this fine Thursday? 
I have been doing a ton of writing this week.  A little at ModVive if you want to check it out and at The Examiner, as well.  I seemed to have found a niche I'm not so sure I'm comfortable with but it's something I'm passionate about in preventing - child abuse.  It's unfortunate that I have so many stories to write about because it is just wrong, but if I can spread awareness that's what I want to do.
If you want to read something funny, though, this Ohio man was told he was still legally dead though being clearly physically alive in court.  Oh, the you can be so contradictory....
I have a problem with spilling things.  Food, coffee, and wine.  The last one is just tragic.  There is never a good reason to waste good wine.  I just about cried last night after knocking over the glass I poured with dinner.
Remember those Veggie Blend-ins I tried and blogged about?   Well, I was asked to participate in an online and then a phone survey and guess who got $75 in gift cards to grocery shop at Marsh?  This girl!  You have no idea how much that helps us.  And I loved the product, too.  Just used the spinach one to add into my baked spaghetti...and it was good.  Damn good, if I do say so.
So after we went to the apple farm this last weekend, T made one hell of an apple pie.  I mean this thing is good.  So much for that diet!
I just found out something that is an absolute travesty.  A&E will not be bringing back Hoarders.  I know.  Let that sink in.  I mean, what else will I watch now when I need to feel better about myself?  Aren't they thinking about that?  First What Not to Wear and now this? 
T and I just registered for a 5k coming up in November, and get this - it's called the Ugly Sweater Run.  I need to get me an ugly sweater, but you run 3.1 miles and end with a nice Sam Adams Winter Lager.  Um....yeah? 
Is it a bad thing that I finish a lot of races with booze?
So this is going to be one long cold and flu season...thanks to one of the snotty kids at Aubrey's daycare I have sinus infection #2 in maybe 3 weeks?  Coughing like a smoker and stuffed up beyond belief.  But I do have that sexy voice you get from having a cold.  It's hot, let me tell you.  Especially right after I snort a bunch of snot up my nose.  H.O.T.T. (I throw the extra T in there because it is just that hot.)
Okay, anyway, I've written enough about hotness.  Hopefully the weekend will bring some rest and relaxation and pray to God that neither Aubrey nor T catch this from me. 
Oh and IU plays Michigan this weekend.  I'm seeing some smack talk in my future with my father-in-law.  I mean, yeah, IU is going to lose, but still...
Ok, that's your random for the day!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Parent advocate

I try so hard to not be that mom.  I really really do.  However it is becoming harder and harder when situations present themselves.  Recently I blogged about following my gut instinct with Aubrey not adjusting to the changing in teachers in her classroom.  Well, they still have not replaced a teacher permanently.  Every day we have another substitute in there.  Sometimes it is consistent, sometimes it is not.  The room is chaotic.  
Tuesday I stayed home sick so T picked her up.  The room, again, was chaotic.  They still have not hired a permanent replacement teacher.  He gets 3 incident reports.  Two of them were from Monday.  Neither of them were given to me when I picked her up on Monday.  When I asked on Monday how her day went I was told she had a great day.  Um, she had two incident reports?  That's a great day?  One of them was her pulling some kid's hair.  The other really upsets me.  It was at 10:58 in the morning and she was climbing on a high chair in the home living area.  The chair falls back, she hits the hard floor, bumping her head and the chair falls on her, bruising her chin.  This incident was not told to me.  Nor was it told to T really.  He just had to sign the paperwork quickly.  I'm sorry, but this kind of incident is something that is somewhat important to tell the parent, say, when she notices a bruise on her daughter's chin and is like "hey, where did that come from?"

So Tuesday night, I wrote the director an email.  And calm down, before you all say "but Nain, you did that before and you got in trouble and had to eat crow!"  I did not write this email with my attorney hat.  In fact, it was very nice.  I expressed my concern as her mother and explained we were not happy with the environment she is currently in.  I do not want to withdraw her from the school because she has grown and learned so much.  I like the center.  I liked the teachers she has had so far, especially her infant teacher.  She was awesome.  But I'm not currently happy, and I'm not happy in any way for this incident not being disclosed to me.  Hell, I consider that something that would warrant a phone call, you know?  

I was not mean.  I was not throwing the "I'm an attorney" card around.  So I doubt this will cause some huge uproar, but I am her mom.  We are her advocates.  I leave my child in their care, trusting them with her safety and well-being.  At some point, I have to step up when I see something that is unacceptable, and that is what I did.  We will see what the response is.  I am hoping it is constructive and opens a dialogue.  

Because if we do not speak up for her, who will?  

And yes, I kissed her little boo boo, albeit two days late.  

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Where did the time go?

Wait, it's October already?  Seriously?  I had this realization the other day when I happened to noticed I hadn't changed the calendar on my office wall since July.  I'm really up on these things, people, let me tell you.  We're almost to Halloween, and as T and I were buying Aubrey's (over-priced) Halloween costume the other day (She's going to be a little bee.) I saw an aisle already dedicated to Christmas.  Has this year gone that quickly?
I know, I know, it's only mid-October, but seems like time passed way too quickly.  I started off the 2013 with so much in mind, so many goals I wanted to reach.  I had no idea how much would happen between then and now and no clue that the path I was originally headed on would completely change.  Or could completely change.  It all depends on things out of my control at this point.  Regardless, in some respect I feel like I've wasted the year.  We've gone through a lot of tough times this year and I feel like I've been focusing on those so much that I've missed the entire year. 
I know I cannot go back in time and change the fact that those days are past.  I know I can only live in the now.  That is why T and I are making every effort to do stuff with Aubrey this fall - we've taken 2 trips to the apple farm and pumpkin patch and plan to go down to Brown County this weekend.  We're making a point of not spending every weekend day at home doing errands or chores.  Sure, they need to be done, but if we use the weekends for "to do" lists only, every single weekend, we're missing out on so much.  It's not like we can truly utilize the week for quality time. 
Anyway, in addition to utilizing the time we have now, I have quite a few big decisions to make, ones that need to be made before the end of the year.  I know last year, I think, I wrote a post about being overwhelmed with all of the tasks I have taken on.  And I remember Lillian commenting about how maybe I needed to rid myself of some of those no matter how hard they are.  And I remember thinking "no way, I just need to organize myself better!"  And now I have learned that her words are more than true.  I have given up Mary Kay which has been the biggest burden lifted by far.  But now I'm facing a decision on what I truly want to do.  And whether I can do it.  Or whether the path I chose for myself years ago is the one I should still be on considering how my life focus has changed.  My focus is now on my family, my marriage and Aubrey.  Family life and work are competing, and I think I know which one will and needs to win in the end.  But I have to make tough decisions and ones that only I can make.  And never in a million years would I have thought I'd be in this position by the end of the year.  It's crazy how much things change when you aren't even thinking about it.
I feel kind of pressured now because it is nearing the end of the year, and here I am faced with just a few months left.  What have I wasted my time on when I let these items sit on the back burner?  How did I let my focus shift?

I'm thinking it's time to put my life back into refocus and to do so before the "new year" begins in 2014.  Screw resolutions, this is something that is bigger than that. 
But seriously, it's October?  Does this mean I need to start thinking about the holidays?
Oh and if that didn't make me feel like time has passed too my little girl is just 4 months shy of being 2.  Seriously?

Monday, October 14, 2013

Having fun

T and I actively participate in a marriage ministry through our church, which offers retreats and fun events without the kids.  On Saturday we went to one such event, and part of it involved a version of the Marriage Game from the 1970s.  There were three rounds of couples, four per round, and T and I won our first round and then, wouldn't you know it, we won first place overall, the prize being a bottle of wine and $50 for Olive Garden.  Apparently we know each other pretty well.  So looks like we'll have another date night coming up pretty soon!
Anyway, the couple who set the whole event up gave a little talk before the game about their marriage journey and part of it was that once they were married and life happened they stopped having fun in their relationship.  Things got routine and they were tied to schedules, work, and keeping  up with the children.  Eventually they came around to realizing that they needed to date each other again and bring fun back into their relationship.  And it was like a light bulb went off in both of our heads.
It is so true.  Over the course of three years so much has happened - marriage, built and moved into our home, had a baby, number of health scares, job problems, etc.  We barely have time to come up for air.  That is a ton if you really think about it.  This year has particularly been trying in that respect.  First it was T's job, now my own.  Not to mention the whole Mary Kay debt thing, me getting back into writing and well...we have a 20 month old that commands all of our attention while she is awake.  Sometimes we don't even refer to each other by our real names.  It's always "Mommy" or "Daddy" when we are around Aubrey, and it's sometimes embarrassing when we find ourselves calling each other that when she's not around.  Life has gotten the better of us. 
We are not always able to go out on date nights like this, considering paying a sitter and what not, but we have to take more time for each other.  We've forgotten how to have fun.  It's sad really, as we sat down Saturday night to make a list of fun things to do with each other (things that don't cost too much, of course).  It was truly sad.  What has happened to us?
We both admitted that this in and of itself is probably the root of any problems we have and why we argue.  Everything is so serious, always business.  We are focused on daily life, finances, work that we forget that life is too short to be so serious all the time. 
We recognize the issues so I suppose that is the first step.  Getting off of our computers, turning off the TV and tuning into each other is something we need to do more of.  That and stop taking everything so seriously.  Laugh every once in awhile.  And don't take each other for granted.  I've seen so many couples go down this route only to lead to heartbreak.  And I don't want  us to be one of those statistics. 
I realize the way we may "date" now will be far from what dating was when we were first together, but I look forward to getting back to that.  Because life is just to short.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Wine at the Line

I don't think I wrote about my race from last week...I thought I had, but maybe not.  Anyway, so I was set to run five miles last weekend and I wasn't sure if I would make it.  Honestly I hadn't trained much because of stress and just pure laziness.  And the one time T and I ran outside together, it kicked my ass and I thought I was going to die the whole time.  So I wasn't hopeful.  It didn't help that it was raining the entire day of the race and was muggy as all get out.  But....I signed up to do it, so by God, I was going to do it.  Or die trying. 
So what the race is - it's called Wine at the Line.  Mallow Run Winery, which is a winery just miles from our house, does this race every fall.  It includes a 5 mile race and 5k run/walk.  Last year I did the 5k.  So you run all throughout the country and end at the winery, and part of the finish line includes a free glass full of Mallow Run wine.  I mean, you can't beat that, right?
T's family came down for the race, as did my own.  T's dad ran it as well, and T's mom is not able to take care of Aubrey by herself due to physical limits so my parents came to help.  I was kind of freaking out by the time we got to the winery because it was so muggy and I did not want to do it by myself.  Luckily I actually connected with a friend of mine who runs at about the same pace as me, which thank God I did because she kept me going.  I think I would have quit had I not had someone with me.  The reason?  Aside from the muggy weather, the course is a huge square.  Go a mile or so down a county road surrounded by corn, turn onto another and stay straight on that for a mile, turn, etc.  I mean those roads were just brutal.  No scenery really other than farmland and usually with races you at least change roads more often.  Those straight stretches just kill you.  But we finished!  1:05, which is slow for me but I finished and that's all I have to say about that. 
The lesson learned?  I need to run more and maybe do more of these races so I can hold myself accountable.  We are definitely doing one on Thanksgiving morning called the Turkey Trot, but these races kind of give me a goal.  They don't all end with a glass of wine.  They should, though.
Speaking of running....positive thoughts this Saturday as my brother runs the Chicago marathon.  26.2 miles is pure craziness but he's been training like crazy and I have no doubt is ready for this.  Good luck, A!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Take a look, it's in a book

 I don't often get time to just sit down and read.  The only time I ever really do read is when I'm reciting Fox in Sock to Aubrey or reading her her nighttime story.  Reading for fun is something I have given up pretty much since I entered law school in 2003.  It is pretty sad considering my background.  I am a journalism major, for God's sake.  I love writing, I love or at least loved reading.  But there is never enough time, and honestly, if there is enough time, I am ashamed to say that I watch TV instead.  Shame, Nain, shame. 
I love that my daughter loves to read.  As a child, I was always reading.  I could go through books like nobody's business.  My books of choice were Babysitter's Club, Sweet Valley High, Box Car Children, and a variety of others.  I loved going to the library.  And you are talking to the nerd who helped her 5th grade teacher organize all of her books and created a library system for her rather than join fellow students at recess.  Yes, I was that kid.  And then at home, I created my own library.
While I will encourage Aubrey to go play with her classmates instead of cataloging her teacher's system of books, I will always encourage her to read.  I do not care how many times I have read about a fox in socks and chicks with bricks and blocks and clocks, I will keep reading to her when she hands me a book, backs her little butt into my lap and says "pweas?" 
I've committed myself to getting back to it  Reading, that is. I have taken the time when I can - when I'm exercising.  I am pretty proud to say I have made it through two books recently.  Go me!  Last night, as I was biking I could not stop reading the particular one I was finishing:  The Secret Life of Bees.  At the 30 minute mark of my ride when I was supposed to stop riding, I kept going because of the book.  I was so close to the finish, I had to see how it ended.  So I kept going until I finished about 15 minutes more than planned.  (It is a damn good book, btw.  Highly recommend it.)
The nerd in me has to say it was an amazing feeling.  I haven't been that immersed in a book in....well..I can't remember.  It was nice.  I'd like to keep that going.  So who knows?  Maybe my daughter opened that closed book for me.  I mean, I do want to set a good example, right? 

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

It can happen so easily....

The Elizabeth Smart story has been on the news a lot lately, as we're coming upon 10 years since her ordeal and the release of her new book. Personally, I am captivated by it. I remember when she was kidnapped and remember how happy I was, though I had no personal connection to her, when she was rescued. It's wonderful to see someone who has gone through such horrible events to be doing so well, so poised and strong.
Of course, against my better judgment yet again, I read the comments following a story. People are awful. "Why didn't she speak up? This story sounds fishy." Seriously? She was 14, threatened with her life and her family's lives. She was petrified. She was held captive for months, raped mercilessly and people are questioning this?
I came across a comment by one person who said that when they were 10 they were accosted by a man outside their school. She and her sister got away but the police brought him to their home to identify him, and they never recovered from seeing this horrible person in their home. And immediately it brought me back to an awful memory of my own.
It is easy to say what you would do in a certain situation, even if the situation involves a child. But unless you have been in a dangerous situation you do not know how you'd react. I was 11 years old when I underwent a situation similar to this commenter. On a summer afternoon, my best friend and I rode our bikes to our local elementary school to play on their playground. We dropped our bikes near the school parking lot and headed to the playground. Not too longer after that a man in a black car pulled up, took my bike and started wheeling it away to a cornered entrance to the school. I thought "oh no, my parents will kill me if I lose my bike." So I went after him to get it back.
He knew what he was doing by bringing that bike into a blocked-in area. Once I was there and tried to pick the bike up off the ground, he cornered me. I somewhat remember what he looked like - disheveled dirty blond hair, maybe 40 years old, wearing a ratty t-shirt and boxers. He pulled out pepper spray and asked if I knew what this was. I immediately turned away and began to cry. My friend had biked off at that point to get help, and honestly I'm not sure if it was me crying or something he saw that spooked him, but that was as far as it got. I remember him saying "I wasn't trying to scare you. I was just trying to teach you that you shouldn't just lay your bike like that and leave it." And he was gone. Like I said, I have no idea why he left. I've always thought it was because I started crying, but I don't know. The more I type this I get this sick feeling in the pit of my stomach that something spooked him and he left. God knows what could have happened. I could have just as easily become another statistic out there. That scares the hell out of me, but there must have been someone looking out for me because I was lucky.
We called the police when we got home, and they came to the house but I'm not sure where it went from there. I've never really asked my parents but I couldn't begin to imagine what they thought. All I was worried about at that moment when it happened was losing my bike and getting in trouble. In hindsight as an adult, that bike is not even close to being worth it. A new bike can always be bought. A life is irreplaceable.
This ironically wasn't the first time something like this had happened but this one was too close. The first incident was when I was much younger playing in our yard with my sister and our babysitter when a man in a car drove up looking for a barber shop. The babysitter started to walk towards him when she saw he had no pants on. We ran inside, and I just remember my dad drove around and around the neighborhood looking for the car. I can imagine what he would want to do if he found the man. I probably was six, maybe younger then.
It scares me now that I'm a mom. I don't know what I'd do if something happened to Aubrey. It happens so easily, too. When Aubrey was a baby, I took her to Kroger by myself, and I remember turning my back for one second and when I turned around this lady was in her face touching her. After that I made T come with me so that one of us could be watching her at all times. Never again would I make that mistake.
I don't want to raise my daughter to be scared of everyone who talks to her, but she already has no fear. Where is that fine line? How do you teach your children what to do in these situations without making them completely paranoid? And honestly, is that enough? Because if something did happen, like it happened to me and on a 100 times worse scale to Elizabeth, fear takes over. Would she feel strong enough to scream, run, do whatever she could to leave?
It's a scary world out there. And it's unfortunate, too, that there are so many people out there who would say the things that I read in those comments. She was a child, for God's sake. She could have been your child, people.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Just a day in the nuthouse!

Aubrey was in rare form this weekend...a good mood and crazy as usual, so I was taking it.  Her Nana and Grandpa were in town to visit so she was all about the entertaining.  Here's a day in the life of Miss Aubrey:

Just relaxing and kicking it up....

Let's read this book....come on mommy, put that camera down!

Darth Vader is getting ready to drive....

Oops...ran into the wall...I think she takes after her mommy...

Running from the scene of the accident...

I'm breaking outta here!

Playing with Nana and Grandpa

Wait, you took my picture?  Let me see that!

Okay, time for a break....need to hug my daddy!

Man, I'm worn out!

Snuggling with her butterfly best friend....

Seriously, the kid was in rare form this weekend.  So glad that we got some good memories with her grandparents this weekend.  And looking at these pictures, I can't believe how quickly she is growing.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

New perspective

So Friday's post was a bit dark, but I was kind of in a dark place.  I'm still stinging from rejection just a bit and mourning the picture I had in my head of what could be.  You know you are in a dark place when you respond to someone saying that I should pray by saying "what would that even do?"....but I'm trying to see the bigger plan.  Maybe that opportunity wasn't meant for me.  Friday whenever someone said that I wanted to hit them, but it's possibly true.  I have to keep hope.  As hard as it is. 
For the time being I'm trying to find the positive in life.  I'm not going to of lately, I've found myself in a pretty dark place.  I know I've been difficult to be around.  I know that I'm not happy.  Hell, the other day, T and I were watching The Soup on DVR and I was laughing pretty much the entire time.  I looked at him and said "I can't remember the last time I laughed like that."  And he said "neither can I." 
Depression is tough.  It just is.  It's that thing that never goes away.  You just learn to see the light through the clouds, and lately, I haven't been able to see that light at all.   I'm not always the best person to see the light.  But sometimes I need reminding to keep things in perspective.  It's not my strong suit.
I am blessed, I know I am.  I need to recognize it more often rather than seek out the things I want to change.  So many of us do that, right?  It has to be perfect.  Sure, I have a beautiful family, wonderful husband, lovely house, my health, etc.  But this part isn't perfect.  So let me focus on that part for awhile.  I think I have things a little out of perspective.
I'm not going to lie - I'm still kind of focusing on that part that isn't making me happy.  But I'm going to try to focus on the things that matter so much more than that.  And try just a little harder to see that light through the clouds.

Friday, October 4, 2013


This week has been a long one.  I've been all over the place, literally, and by literally I mean flying all over the place.  I've been working non-stop, trying to write when I can, and trying to do everything I can in my power to do what I need to do to make a necessary change.  Something has to change.  And tonight, I find myself...discouraged.  And well, there's no other way to put it - sad.
I feel like I'm missing out on something.  I see so many people so happy in life and so fulfilled, and it feels like I can never get there.  I'm always on the outside looking in.  I have never really been happy at what I do.  Not fully happy.  I just get up, do what I need to do, and well...that's it. 
This week I thought I had an opportunity to change that, but that opportunity didn't pan out.  And now, on a Friday night as I sit here listening to T talk to his parents who are in town, I just want to sink into the couch and hide.  What I wanted so badly didn't happen, and at the current moment, it's killing me. 
I can't really go into it in too much detail.  And it is what it is.  The funny thing is....I wonder to myself sometimes if I'll ever find myself fulfilled and happy in my life's work?  Or do I just need to find something that is enough to pay the bills?  Is it really possible to be 100% happy with what you do?  Or am I like others I know where I just wander from one thing to the next, thinking that I'll be happy with the next opportunity and never get there. 
I'm sure I've confused the hell out of all of you out there.  Suffice it to say tonight I'm in a bit of a dark place.  I wish I could say something more than that.  I wish I could paste a smile on my face and act like nothing is wrong with T's family here.  I wish for once in my damn life I could just be and be happy just being.  And I wish that things for just once would go my way.  Just once. 
Like I said, I'm sure I confused all of you out there, but I guess I'm just using my blog this evening as an outlet.  Because right now I'm feeling like a failure.  I know we all have those days, or maybe we don't.  For those who don't - man, I envy you. 
I could end this post with a swear word but I won't.  I just try to place faith in the fact that maybe God does have a plan after all for me.  I just wish I knew what it was, and I sure wish it were happening sooner.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

To a dear friend...

This post is dedicated to my dear friend, Kristen because it is her birthday today!

Kristen is my very first friend from IU.  I was petrified that first day when I moved into my freshman dorm, and my roomie had a boyfriend on campus at the time, so when all was said and done on the first or second day and I was alone in my room, I sucked it up and went down the hall to meet people.   And she was that first person.  "Hi, I'm Alaina!"I greeted her, and I invited her to the improv show that was going to be held in our cafeteria downstairs.  And a friendship was born....and well, 14 years later, I love that I still get to see her and stay in touch.  We most recently got to see her on our trip to Michigan in July.

She even got to meet Miss Aubrey, and they became quick friends, too.

It's funny how friendships form, and it's even funnier how you have certain friends who are just friends forever.  Not all friendships last, but I'm glad that this one has.  Happy birthday, Kristen!  We miss you down here in Indiana!

t  m vc nb (says Aubrey who is sitting with me as I write this)

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

A beautiful fall day

I love the fall, and one of the things I love the most are the fun things you can do in the fall.  As Aubrey gets older, it gets easier to do these things because she's a little more mobile (and curious) than in years past.  So this weekend we took the perfect opportunity to head to Appleworks, pick up some cider and apples and enjoy the day.  And of course, that does not come without pictures!  (These, of course, are for you Sarah!)

Aubrey and Daddy just hanging out on a log....

Crossing the bridge to the petting zoo with Daddy.....

"Moo!" Aubrey said to the cow, though keeping her safe distance as she wasn't too sure of the thing...

Same with the chicken - she would get close to the cage but then back away as soon as Mrs. Hen came her way.

Oh look, now we're brave!  But no chicken around here!  (And yeah, I sanitized the hell out of her hands after this...yuck)

And, of course, a photo opportunity with Mommy.  This was the only picture we could get before she squirmed out of my hands.  The funny thing was we chose this spot on purpose because...

Two years ago we took THIS picture.  This is Mommy and Aubrey in October 2011 when I was about five months pregnant.  Dear God how things change in just two of those things being me :-) Ha

It was a beautiful fall day!  We'll be going back next weekend to get some pumpkins with Nana and Grandpa when they come to visit.  Of course, I'll follow up with pictures, promise!