Month: November 2010

Christmas 2010 Opt3

Vintage Snowflakes Holiday
Christmas cards and holiday thank you cards by Shutterfly.
View the entire collection of cards.

Giving Thanks

I may complain and groan a lot over the Holidays; however, I’m not completely devoid of grace.

This year I am thankful.

I am thankful for:

  • A loving husband who puts up with a lot of crap and crankiness from me
  • A child who continues to amaze me whom I love with ever fiber of my soul
  • A big giant family who loves us all enough to fight for time with us during the holidays
  • A beautiful house that I have grown to love so much over the past 2 years. It is home. Finally. 
  • A small group of amazing and talented friends who I wish I could see more, but cherish the moments with
  • A job that affords me the extra cash to spoil our families during the holidays 
  • Food. Apparently I am so thankful for food that I gained 3 pounds this week 

This Thanksgiving, I chose to put away my scrooge hat and give thanks.

Wordless Wednesday: Girls’ Weekend Edition

What a girls’ weekend looks like:

Sisters In Law

Beer & Bar Bingo at small town bar = good times


A lucky Bingo table. These ladies won a combined $244.

Dauber Fingers

Despite a scary drive home, it was a super fun time and I can’t wait to do it again!

Ice, Injuries & Illness Oh My!

If there is anything that scares me more, it is driving in ice storms. Over the weekend, I had the pleasure of driving about an hour and a half up north to spend time with The Moopies (the women from my husband’s side of the family). We laughed, we shopped, we DRANK and had a fabulous time. That was, until I woke up on Sunday morning to learn that the Twin Cities was covered in ice. Immediately, my heart began to race. How am I going to get home? I have to go home! With a pounding heart, I began my fearful drive home. It was pretty frightening driving through the country roads- a LOT of water to slide into. When I made it to the highway, things were okay. I was even pleasantly surprised to find that the majority of drivers were incredibly cautious and respectful of each other. I never felt like anyone was driving way too fast for the conditions and not once did I get tailgated. When I reached the Twin Cities, the plethora of idiot drivers came out of the woodwork, but I very thankfully made it home safe and sound. Probably just a couple years shaved my life based on sheer fear.


If you have a toddler you understand. I’m not talking about HIS injuries. I’m talking about MY injuries caused by him! Most of the time it involves his giant noggin jacking me in the chin or an accidental head butt. Last night’s injury was just bad timing. He was picking up a toy and swung around at the exact same time that I happened to lift and turn my head towards him. Cue hard, plastic toy making a direct connection with my nose. This morning I was greeted in the mirror by a swollen nose and a nice little black eye. The good news? He felt terrible about it and gave his mommy a huge hug and kiss to make it all better. For the most part, the treatment worked. At least for my heart.

Today marks week #4 that I have been sick. It started with bronchitis and a sinus infection. For a brief moment in time I thought I was doing great, then the cough and nose stuff came back full force. My understanding is the bug that I have can last anywhere from 3-5 weeks. I hardly remember what healthy feels like and truthfully, I’m getting depressed and frustrated. I am so beaten down that I can’t workout. The cough keeps me up at night so I’m exhausted. Every morning I wake up just hoping that I will be feeling better. No such luck. I’m doing all I can to rest and not get stressed out. The holidays are upon us and I am just going to take a deep breath and try to relax.

The Week In Rant: Mixed Bag of Emotions

Welcome to Friday!

This week has been an emotional week on a couple different levels.

It took 2.5 years and a miscarriage before we miraculously conceived our son. It was the longest, saddest and most confusing 2.5 years of my life. Month after month after month of disappointments. Invasive fertility testing and drugs. We were at the point of giving up when that elusive 2nd line showed up on the test. It took a long time and many ultrasounds to be real. It took a long time before I was able to truly say, “I am having a baby!” I went through my infertile period alongside another couple my husband and I are close friends with. They were so gracious when we were pregnant, even though I know how much it hurt for them to be around us. I tried to hide my bump and avoid the subject, not wanting them to feel sad. I know how it felt to be around pregnant couples. I’ve been in that sad place watching co-workers and friends have babies and having no understanding why it couldn’t happen for me. It’s strange, I still get those twinges of jealousy now. Especially that we are trying for #2 and once again, experiencing month after month of BFN’s. Yet, they wanted to know how it was going and asked questions. They tried for 6 years for their baby, and after a 3rd and final attempt at IVF they found out they would not be able to conceive at all. I was so thrilled to find out that they were going to move to adoption. I completely understand how difficult of a decision it is to adopt (not to mention expensive). We wrote them a letter of recommendation and waited, following their story with great anticipation. Just a couple days ago, they got their wish and they are going to be parents to a beautiful baby boy. I have cried several times this week over their amazing news. What a lucky little guy to have them as parents! There are no words to describe how happy and thrilled we are for them and hope we can help out in any way possible!

On the sad side, my mom was laid off from her job this week. She had been with her company for something crazy like 25 years and was just a few short years away from retirement. She definitely needed those few years for their retirement fund. I was so sad when I heard the news. I knew she was likely not going to try and find another job, I mean, at 60 is there any reason to try? She is such a humble, meek and wonderful lady. I know she wasn’t beating down doors or climbing ladders, but I’m certain she worked her butt off. So gone are the days when working at a company for 25 years keeps your job safe and secure. Heck, gone are the days when people even STAY at a job for 25 years. Nobody has that kind of loyalty anymore and frankly, I find that kind of sad. I know she wasn’t quite ready to retire just yet, but I hope this is just a sign that it is time for her to let go and do something fun. Something for herself. I only hope we can keep her spirits high over the holidays this year.

Okay. I think I’ve officially reached my crying quota for the week!

Wordless Wednesday: School Picture Edition

We weren’t sure how a 2 year old was actually going to do at school pictures. We can barely get him to sit still to eat dinner so sitting still for a portrait? hahahahaha

I don’t know how they did it or what their secret to success is but Jack’s school pictures turned out incredible. Such a little man. Such a ham.

Why I Love Josh Groban’s Music

I’m not sure I am old enough (or oh no… maybe I am???) to call myself a Grobanite. I will confess that I am downright mesmerized by his music. I get a lot of eye rolls for this from my husband and many of my friends for this, but I’m not sure they entirely understand just why I love Josh Groban’s music so much.

His music was featured pretty much throughout my entire wedding:
Jesu Joy of Man’s Desiring was my processional
The Prayer was sung during one of the blessings
Our first dance was When You Say You Love Me
My husband’s mother/son dance was to You Raise Me Up

The song Remember When It Rained makes me cry every time I hear it because it makes me think of the baby I miscarried. His music is powerful. It moves and inspires me. It speaks to me.

I’ve been a classical singer since I was the wee age of 11, singing leads in Christmas Pageants and solos in choir. I started voice lessons as a freshman in high school and continued them through college. I also played piano and flute. My parents dropped a crapload of cash on my private lessons. I loved all of it. I love music. This is why I love Josh Groban. Classical singers are rarely successful, yet he has done amazing things in bringing this type of music into the mainstream. He is living the life that so many classical singers dream of. I am envious.

I recently sang in my brother’s wedding and my husband, upon hearing me sing for the first time in our 8.5 years together, asked me why I don’t make a living off my voice. The answer is rather sad. Late in my college career as I began exploring my musical job options, I realized that I would not be able to pay my student loans (not to mention move out of my parents’ house) if I pursued a career in music. I only needed to complete a couple extra classes to complete my Marketing Communications degree, so with a heavy heart, I abandoned my music degree. Do I have regrets? Sometimes. I am lucky to be in a job where I still have a sense of a creative outlet and definitely much less competition. I do hope that I am able to share my musical talents in the future and sing for more weddings and possibly even find a choir to join. Here’s a sample of the beautiful wedding I had the honor of singing and being in:

Josh’s music helps me remember my roots and where I came from. When I think of my childhood, I think of music.

I bought Josh’s new album Illuminations yesterday which is the perfect title for it. I love that it is a little bit different from his other work- a mix of folk and soul, beautiful orchestral sounds and my beloved foreign language pieces. I was truly entranced listening to it on my drive home yesterday- no tailgaters or people cutting me off could break the happy spell I was under.

If you have a deep appreciation and love for music, I promise his newest album will not disappoint!

Do you have an artist or type of music that moves and inspires you? 

Finding Time For Me

I’m just one of those people. The one that almost always puts herself last. The one that is more concerned about everyone else. The one whose best intentions don’t always come across the right way. The one who feels feels guilty when it is time to make time for herself.

My first example of this comes with finding time to go to the gym. I don’t go at night because I feel that I need to be spending the limited time I have available with my son. I haven’t been going over lunch because I feel that I’ll be missing something important at the office. I have found other ways to incorporate fitness- I have the EA Sports Active game for the Wii- it is actually much more challenging than one might think. We also have a treadmill at home as well as some hand weights. This is all great except for the fact that I bore of this stuff quickly, not to mention the sheer distractions that exist in my home. Going to the gym is the one and only way that I have ever been able to lose/maintain my weight, but I have a difficult finding and making the time for it.

My next example has to do with my plans for this weekend. The women from my husband’s side of the family like to get together a couple times a year. Think “guy’s weekend gone fishing” but for the girls- we even have a NAME for our group. We call ourselves The Moopies which was lovingly chosen from the name that Grandma (now 94 years old) called the name of her, um, girly parts when she was younger. We go and see shows, have overnights at someone’s house and this weekend, we are heading up to the family cabin for bingo (yes, I just said bingo), wine and Italian food. Sounds great, right? My mommy guilt meter is off the charts. My first reaction was to say that I would be up early Saturday morning so I could spend Friday night with my husband and the kiddo. All of the other ladies, all moms to young kids as well, are planning to go up on Friday night. If they can do it, why can’t I? Right? What is wrong with me?! I could leave work at 3:00 and be there by 4:30 (definitely before the sun goes down). I could claim my bed (or couch… or chair…). I could be relaxing with some awesome women and a glass of wine after an incredibly stressful couple of months.

So what is this pull that is yanking me back home? My son. I love him. I miss him when we are apart. I worry about him when I can’t be there. I confess, my intentions are selfish. I am a mom.

Maybe I just need someone to kick me in the ass. Quick! Someone tell me to take advantage of the free pass my husband is giving me and take this time for me that I have found.

Do you find it hard to let go of your work and parenting commitments and find time for yourself?

The Week In Rant: Mom Edition

Welcome to Friday and to The Week In Rant!

1.’s FAIL
2. Toddler Stomach Bugs
3. MN Weather

I’m a couple days behind in commenting on this, but felt the need to give it some attention. I, like so many other moms, were horrified to see the Pedophile book on I have a little boy. There is nothing, and I mean NOTHING okay with instructions on how to be a pedophile. Seriously, the very thought of this book makes me sick to my stomach. I was even more shocked that was initially unwilling to pull the book. What do you care more about as a company? Freedom of expression or the MILLIONS of customers who find this completely offensive that you stand to lose. I was one of those. If you are willing to stand up for the rights of a sicko, then it really does speak volumes for what kind of a company you are choosing to be. This isn’t just a political difference of opinion here, it is a book teaching something extremely illegal. There have been updates to this story, and you can find them here. I’m just happy the book is not being sold anymore and I really hope this guy hasn’t hurt any kids.

Is there really anything worse than having a sick child? Not only because it is exhausting, but because it breaks my heart to see him this way. My poor kiddo has had diarrhea for the past 3 days, yesterday being the worst of it. He was drinking a lot, but barely ate anything and his poor little bum… By the evening, he was screaming in agony with every diaper change because his rash was getting so bad. To top it all off, we experienced our first real volcano-like vomit. Exorcist style. I was in tears because he was in tears. He was so scared- he had no idea what was going on. Without a thought I pulled him into my arms, vomit covered and all and just hugged him, trying to calm his sobs. He must have felt a million times better after that because he launched right back into crazy, funny 2 year old mode. We played some football, he played with his toys… funny how a little barfing can make everything better. It amazes me how much becoming a mom has changed me. Before Jack was born, the very thought of stinky poop and projectile vomiting tested my gag reflex. I change diapers and hug my vomit covered child without a second thought now. Motherhood is amazing.

Of course… I somehow can’t seem to get the smell of diarrhea and vomit out of my nose today…

3. MN Weather 
I love being a Minnesotan. I couldn’t imagine living anywhere else in the world. Where else in the world is it close to 70 degrees in November on one day and getting text alerts for a winter storm warning the next. Man I love it here!

Wordless Wednesday

My brother’s wedding has pretty much occupied my time for the past two months, so now that the day has officially come and gone, here are some of the memories of a beautiful, special day.

Several of the pictures below were taken by NorthWorks Photography, my husband’s fast-growing photography company which he runs alongside his father. Their work is spectacular.

Photo Credit: NorthWorks Photography
Photo Credit: NorthWorks Photography

Photo Credit: NorthWorks Photography
Photo Credit: NorthWorks Photography

These photos are various snapshots from the ceremony and reception. A good time was had by all!

Family L-R Aunt Mary, My brother Mike, his wife Sarah, my sister Jen and me

Grandpa and Jack

Grandpa With the Boys

The Happy Couple


On a Ladybug Hunt

Cheers to New Sisters!

My new sister