Saturday, November 10, 2012

Blessing #9...My Grandparents

I feel so fortunate to have grown up directly next to two equally amazing people, my grandparents. Although I am close and appreciate all of my grandparents, there is a certain rapport one builds when they grow up 1/4 mile from their paternal grandparents.

My grandparents were there for me at nearly all of my sporting events growing up, fed me, sewed many pieces of my wardrobe, taught me about farming, about hard work, love, religion and family!

Grandma's house is the Clubhouse and all of the family are members. After an addition put on by my in-laws, the Clubhouse is now large enough to host all most of the family at once! Daily, there is always visitors dropping by to "hang out" and of course Grandma feeds them a meat and potato meal with some banana nut bread on the side and Grandpa invites them to try his homemade Strawberry Wine. This happens naturally as their five grown children live within a 5-mile radius of the Clubhouse. But also b/c they are the type to never turn anyone away, always have their door open and are hospitable. 

Grandpa is practically the mayor of our small town, after driving bus for decades and transporting generation after generation to/from school, sporting events and Cedar Point and Band Camps. Grandma is recently retired, yet still works nearly every day at one neighbor's greenhouse or farm; meanwhile, is a great grandma to a growing family.

After being "away" from home for six years now, I can attest that I miss these two people dearly.
Yesterday they celebrated 55 years of marriage...what a milestone!! I am so proud to call them Grandma and Grandpa!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Happy 15-month Birthday Lil' Girl

Today marks the 15-month milestone...we are just toddler-ing along, month-after-month.

And for my personal records so that I may update Miss L's baby book in the {hopefully} near future, I write the latest updates.

Miss L your smile is contagious and your giggles make me smile!
Current stats {unknown, dr appointment in about 10 days}
You definitely have been "filling out!" Milk does your body good

6 shiny white teeth, working on more
Enjoys grilled cheese, yogurt, granola bars, & milk
Chases after Mr. Cole, Carlos the monkey, & hugs her dolls
Loves to give kisses and high fives
Knows ears, toes, belly & more
Getting uber-cuddly as of late
Sleeping & eating well
Happy as always!

With that said, today I am thankful that I am a parent...but not a single parent. J doesn't travel routinely for work, but when he does {this week} it is a constant reminder of how difficult the job of a single parent is. I have a friend that holds the fort down while her husband travels week in and week out. I have a lot of respect for her. Thankful to be blessed with a great partner and most importantly, the ability to be a mommy!

Blessings #6 &!

Subject Line: Operation Minneapolis for Christmas

That is the subject line between an email exchange of my sisters and I. They are finding the best possible way to find their way 700 miles away to my home to play with their niece and visit us. They have sourced pricing on airlines, trains, buses, driving their own car, etc. A lot of work has been put forth trying to make this happen, and I am sooo thankful! I cannot wait to see them, hug them and spend quality time with them {we definitely do not get enough time together!}.

For the last decade, my brother and I have grown extremely close. In fact, I would call him my best friend, aside from J. And the cherry on top: J and my brother are also best friends, often texting about fantasy football, Detroit Tigers updates, and so on!

We felt really lucky when J's mom made her way out here in September to enable us to get away together {for work...and a little pleasure!}, a much needed and appreciated getaway!

Then, there is my mom who constantly hand-crafts items for Miss L: from "scarfs and shawls to a Halloween outfit" - it is always nice to get a package of made-with-love items.

And then there's my aunt, uncle and younger cousin that flew out to visit us this summer for their vacation!!! Yes, they vacationed in Minnesota. Although beautiful in the summer, I can think of other places to vacation in this beautiful world. They were so determined to see us, visit with Miss L, they spent their hard-earned money and precious vacation time to be with us. Quite a touching thought! And we had a blast!

I'm pretty lucky to have so many grandparents living still, and to have so many caring individuals in my life that I call family! More than just two days worth of blessings, certainly appreciated daily!

My siblings -JJ, JJ's gf Lauren, Lynnae & Jener - I heart them!

Monday, November 5, 2012


The ability to vote. I'm not super political, but I do exercise my opportunity to participate in democracy.

Right now, I have a love/hate relationship with I hate reading the hundreds of posts pushing their political viewpoint.

My take is that I love everyone the same, regardless of their political stop preaching to me. And if you don't vote, you cannot complain about our elected officials. I go to vote first thing in the morning...complete with my sample ballot!

I hope you will do the same!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Blessing...Day 4

Tonight, as I lay my Miss L down to sleep in the beautiful crib and on special bedding that I spent hours trying to find, I am reminded of how special this is. Not everyone has the ability to physically hold their baby, rock them to sleep, bath them or even lay them into their crib. I was thinking of this yesterday at about 5:30am, when she was coughing so much during a period of restless sleep. I went in her room, picked her up from her crib and held her upright for a while as I rocked her in her rocking chair. It was such a bittersweet moment, I wanted her to be free of coughing and back to sleep for both of us...but I loved her cuddles.

For one reason or another, many people are short one of their 5 senses. I feel so fortunate to just have the ability to hold her tiny body, smell her baby-scented hair, see her beautiful smile, touch her baby soft skin and taste her sweet {mostly sloppy} open-mouthed kisses! Our health and hers...I am very thankful for both.
Having fun picking out pumpkins!

Riding the wagon with pumpkins, mums, clay pots and more!

"Mommy says I'm Boo-tiful"

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Blessings Day 2 and 3

Okay, November 2nd came and now we're onto November 3rd and me writing 2 blessings at time...but that's okay, as that is life!

Today, I am thankful for my dear husband and that God blessed us with a little doll. I even said this outloud today as we were browsing a shop in the Cities called, Oh Baby! It is filled to the brim with adorable and over-priced baby everything from bedding to bows. When looking at some of the frilly, sparkly, adorable merchandise for my doll, it makes my eyes sparkle and my face light up. And I look to J and say, "I'm so glad God blessed us with a girl." It is not for everyone and by all means, I hope the next (future) baby is a boy...but I am loving our world with Miss L.

Nearly every day I am reminded how sweet and thoughtful my husband is, not only to me but to our daughter. He is my best friend, true love, partner in crime, motivator, and biggest cheerleader.

Here are a couple of photos from our adventures today, particularly the car seat aisle of Target (not one, but 2...and we didn't come home with a car seat)...

Having fun, playing in the boxes!

Where is Miss L?

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Blessing #1

With a lot of posts of Facebook illustrating a daily thankful post during the month of November, I decided to do a less subtle method here on my blog.

On this 1st day of November, I am thankful to have a job or jobs that I absolutely love. I am blessed to have found a paid job that I love and enjoy (for the first time in about 6 years!), and am VERY thankful for the best job in the world...being a mommy! Or as Miss L says, "mmmommmmma!" Lots of mmms.

Both jobs are challenging in their own right, and yet both jobs feel so natural and enjoyable to me.

Making a "kitty" pumpkin - Oct. 30th

Happy Halloween! October 31st
I must love this job, if they got
me to dress up as a Chicken!
Halloween Party for 550 people at the Club
October 26th


Monday, October 8, 2012

Happy 14-month to Miss L!

Wow, 14 months ago today we welcomed this burst of sunshine into our world. Not that our world wasn't already filled with optimism, blessings and joy...but Miss L's arrival took it to a whole new level.

These days, we are gaining confidence with climbing on anything and everything! Sometimes mom and dad are quick on the draw with the camera, other times, we just have enough time to grab her before trauma occurs.

We have six teeth (4 up, 2 down) and are eating most everything except peanut butter and honey. We recently have slowly introduced egg into her diet after a little rash on the day of her birthday party in MI. So far, so good! Her favorite foods include: cheese, yogurt (pumpkin, especially), pumpkin pancakes, oatmeal, milk, strawberries, grilled cheese, pasta and bread.

We point to everything, understanding that things have titles, exercising receptive language, and says dadda, kitty, and on occassion mmmmmomma. I love how she is particularly chatty after I pick her up from daycare daily.

We have been sleeping in like a teenager lately. Some nights this past weekend, she even sleept 13-14 hours! Definitely learning something or growing

Since we do not have a 14-month sticker to slap on a onesie, here is an assortment of new photos from the past week...

Sitting on the sound amp, we have even caught her standing on the it!!

Standing in the Bumbo

this makes me laugh...her newest "thing" is to furrow her brows...kind of embarassing sometimes when she does it to strangers, but usually follows it with a smile to recover. :)
She always wants to be part of the action...
sitting on the kitchen island while mom and dad make
pancakes (blueberry for him, pumpkin for us girls!)

Standing in her doll's stroller...
to look out the window for coyotes!

She loves her couch...and books! Look at that hair!!!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Slow Cooker Chicken Cordon Bleu

Today was our typical slow cooker Tuesday since we run from work to daycare to dinner, followed by ECFE class at 6:15pm. I must admit, my planning had a bit of a hiccup today. I neglected to re-set the outlet timer and I "thought" my crockpot was set to turn on at 2pm, when it actually turned on at 8am this morning.

Thanks to a very helpful neighbor whom works from home, she was able to rescue me mid-day so my chicken didn't overcook.

Anyhow, here is the recipe for Slow Cooker Chicken Cordon was amazeballs {I've been watching too much Guilianna & Bill}...

Six Sisters' Stuff: Slow Cooker Chicken Cordon Bleu

Monday, October 1, 2012

Yay Tigers!!

We are crossing our fingers for playoff baseball for our beloved Tigers and were fortunate to be a part of the action this past weekend when they came to Twins Territory!
Target Field is truly a masterpiece of a ballpark and is always a treat to attend a game there.
Miss L did great, despite no afternoon nap. She immediately zonked out in the car seat on the way home and stayed asleep all night! Mommy & Daddy stopped for some locally-made ice cream on this beautiful summer-like fall night. Soy Pumpkin with a small top scoop of salted caramel, with whipped cream...more posts to follow about my new interest in salted caramel.
As one of her Grandpas clevery put it: "She is quite the catch!"

Despite the English D, she was still loved by Twins fans

She just started this brow furrowing as of late. Case and point!
Tigers win 6-4 and after game 3 on Sunday, went up 3 games over the White Sox. The season after I was born, they won the World Series. I think this could be the year!

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Refreshed & Recharged

Last weekend, J and I were fortunate to getaway for about 4 days filled with leisure fun and professional fulfillment in Fabulous Las Vegas. Miss L was fortunate to have 4 days of bonding time with one of her grandmas.

Just as my previous post said, we drank a couple of cocktails on our Southwest flight out west. This, combined with numerous episodes of The League, that Jeremy uploaded to the ipad...and we laughed our butts off all the way there!

Shortly after arrival, we dined at Olives, a Todd English restaurant overlooking Lake Bellagio. This was a great suggestion from my boss, who suggested I go there to do some "market research." The view of the fountains was great, the ambiance-very romantic, and the food was divine! 

J's dish was a masterpiece of scallops atop mashed potatoes atop shredded short rib beef-
as well as avocados, beets and tons of other stuff!
Bellagio fountains

Of course, I could sit there and watch the Bellagio fountains for hours. We also went to a Cirque show, Ka, at MGM...which was an incredible and jaw-dropping performance. This was followed by lots of fun gambling until about 3am. We spent a couple of hours at the same roulette table, making friends and making memories! We were up for nearly 22 hours straight! I couldn't believe it.

Our favorite past-time of vacationing out west is getting up on Sunday morning to watch football while belly up at a bar - enjoying a breakfast and cocktail. So we did just Emeril's Sports Stadium. Breakfast menu had ceased by the time we got there...but we did find this amazingly large and delicious pretzel with cheddar beer dip - to hold us over until we went to our favorite fast food joint In-n-Out!
Mmm...In-n-Out Burger

My private club marketing conference started Sunday eve, at a resort in Lake Las Vegas...check out the view from our room...

The rest of the trip included lots of professional development for me...and J golfed 18 holes (shot a 34 on the front 9) and happened to be partnered up with the Madame of Rosie's Brothel...yep, funny stuff! He gambled more and just enjoyed some leisure time away from a very stressful work life right now.

LOVED the Fall decor throughout each casino!

Lobster tacos at Koi at Planet Hollywood -
delicious, but I should have ordered a double!!

All-in-all, it was the perfect time away from Miss L. We missed her, but not too much. And we knew she was doing well and in great care.

After our return, I felt so refreshed as a mom and wife, and recharged as a professional. It really was perfect! Oh, and I felt very blessed to come home to a clean house and happy baby!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Fun weekend ahead

I am blogging as we sit at the airport terminal waiting to fly to fabulous Las Vegas. I was planning a trip there for a work conference, and J decided to join my fun and we are heading out a day early.

We are nearly doubling our temperature from 50 to 90+, let's hope J doubles his money!!

This trip marks some big milestones, such as leaving Miss L for the first time overnight...or for 3 nights. I'm not worried about her or her grandma that came in to take care of her...but I know I will miss her like crazy. Thankfully, well kind of sort of, I will be busy at conference for most of the hours of my trip.

Also, this is our first flight in 12 months that we can relax, sleep, read, drink(!!) And basically, not entertain or hold an infant. Miss L is a great lil traveler, but as she gets older it is work to keep her entertained constantly.

Soo...we are off to sunshine with our iPad stocked with good TV shows, the nook charged, and plenty of Southwest drink tickets in hand!!

Enjoy the photo of Miss L at Barnes and Noble yesterday evening. She was having a blast on the stage, reading books and of course in great fall fashion with her baby Uggs and a beautiful, hand made poncho mad by my mom.

Friday, September 21, 2012

A Special Birthday Gift

{This post was drafted last month, but just now published...Ooops!}

One really fun perk of living hundreds of miles away is that our family and friends are uber-thoughtful and generously mail gifts to our home so that we don't have to fit in luggage, or ship it ourselves. I am really appreciative of this with every birthday and holiday that arises.

Miss L and I open the door to grab the said package and we dig in together! It is really fun! Some boxes have even been large enough for her to have fun with the packing bubbles while sitting/standing in the box. It is a dual-gift!

Today, we received a lovely bday gift from her Grandpa D. We even used the new gift to read prior to bed time tonight. Accompanying the gift was a special gift from D's nieces...two "dress-up gowns" for Miss L. I believe my mom had gifted these special gowns to D's nieces to enjoy and have fun playing dress-up with in the previous years. The first sight of these dresses brought tears to my eyes, as one dress (pink one) was the dress I wore for my Aunt Kaye Lani's wedding and the other (white one) was the dress I wore at my first communion. Both dresses were hand-crafted by my mother.

I do not wish for the days to fast forward for Miss L to be able to wear these...but I am excited to hold on to these special dresses for the years ahead.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

50 Strands of Gray

I remember it like it was yesterday. I was 23 and my {slightly older} assistant was exclaiming at the rightful age of 26 she had tons of gray hairs, and was required to color her hair routinely to keep her brunette locks, just that...brunette. At the time I thought she was exaggerating...boy did I have it coming.

Fastforward five years, and now I completely understand. Everyday I pluck about 20 gray hairs from mane. This has been on-going for at least two years, since our days in Chicago. And on the days I forget to pluck them in the morning, I find them in my rearview mirror en route to work and it drives me crazy. Talk about distractive driving - try plucking gray hairs {by hand} while driving!

I attest these pesky stand-out strands to my husband's job which has moved us 3 times in the past 6 years in 3 states. 

The problem is - I love my hair right now. The color is the closest thing to au naturel since about 1995 and I really don't want the expense or hassle of maintaining color. Plus, I am uncertain if color would help for more than a couple of weeks since most of my gray hairs seem to be always less than an inch or so!

Does anyone have any suggestions as an alternative to color? I need to research some ideas, but I am open to suggestions...

Day in the Life Of [Revised]

I've been back to work {full-time} for nearly 90 days {tomorrow} and boy has our world changed.
I honestly can say for the better. I went into the full-time work field with a littany of emotions -excitement, fear, anxiety, hope and nervousness. I must admit - a large part of me has never been happier.

I LOVE my job! I can say this for the first time since marketing Metropolis Mall in Indy in 2007-2008. My work days are filled with meetings {which I love, b/c we all know how much I like to fill my calendar}, challenges, rewards and fulfillment. I have a great set of colleagues, bosses and an amazing country club to market and sell memberships.

Without a doubt, I LOVE my mommy job even more. Motherhood has been great to me, surprisingly natural and of course tons of fun.

I can tell Miss L LOVES her daycare - the provider, the other kids and the activities. Seeing her get excited to play in the morning is comforting and watching her eyes light up when I pick her up warms my heart.

Our days have changed quite a bit, compared to the first "Day in the Life Of" blog post as featured on The Domestic Wannabe in late February.

6 o'clock hour | Daddy awakes, followed by mommy - sometimes we are getting ready at the same time which is fun. We wouldn't be "A Modern Family" without a TV in our Master Bathroom, so I watch the news and listen for traffic and weather.

7 o'clock hour | Once I am ready, my coffee is brewing and briefcase and diaper bag is placed in the car, I begin to wake up Miss L. She is so cute and cuddly, and immediately is ready to be lifted from her crib. We breastfeed, and then sometimes have breakfast together {we share interest in pumpkin pancakes, oatmeal and she loves Nutri-grain bars}, followed by change of clothes, fresh diaper and off to Daycare.

My day is filled with meeting here and there; an impromptu prospective member tour, sometimes a networking luncheon, lots of work on my computer and lots of strategic marketing and planning.

5 o'clock hour | We have pre-arranged for one of us to pick-up Miss L by 6pm; this is the biggest challenge of the day as we fight traffic, construction and random longer-than-usual commutes.

6 o'clock hour | Right now - pending the weather forecast, the 3 of us hit the trails outside our home for a 3.5 mile run/walk. Miss L LOVES every minute of this nature time.

7 o'clock hour | Dinner - we are trying to mix up our menus, here is this week's line-up:

            Monday - I make a bigger dinner, as I only work until 3pm in the off-season -
            Lemon-Garlic Chicken Roast {with green beans and baby red potatoes} #dinnerfail
            too much lemon

            Tuesday - I try to use the crock pot, since we have our ECFE class at 6:15pm
            Crockpot Salsa Chicken - thank you Pinterest - was delicious!

            Wednesday - OYO - On Your Own - I'm attending a young professionals networking soiree  
            on a boat on the Mississippi River

            Thursday - New recipe: Pasta fagiolle {sp?} Italian sausage and pasta soup

            Friday - maybe Italian Paninis {basil, asiago, proscuitto, chicken, & roast red pepper}

8 o'clock hour | More play time with Miss L, followed by a laundry list of to dos.

Last night, I did 4 loads of laundry {folded and everything}, scrubbed our wood floors in the Kitchen on my hands and knees, dishes, and took a shower.

Tonight, I did dishes, cleaned our office, filed paperwork, ordered checks, researched something for the IRS {yippee!}, and crossed a few thank you cards and notes off my list. Of course, this was after I arrived home at 6:13, to grab Miss L to attend ECFE class from 6:15-7:45. Thankfully, it is < 1 mile away! I also excitedly showed J this amazing events guide/brochure I made at work today. I am so proud of my work, just like I am proud of the mom I have become to Miss L. It is such a great feeling!

And that folks, is our new normal. J just realized it is 12:30am as we both work diligently on our individual to-do lists from the comfort of our respective couches and laptops. Off to bed..

All smiles in her jammies!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Happy Birthday Month!

Just like her momma...Miss L's birthday has been less centered around one particular day...and more about the entire month {of fun!}. This happened naturally as we hosted a cupcake-themed birthday party for our family in MI one weekend, followed by her birthday {on a Wednesday this year}, and finished up with a birthday party "Cupcakes & Cocktails" for our MN friends the following weekend.
Her {current} favorite past time: playing with our patio furniture cushions

To make matters worse {or "sweeter" rather}, we had her 1-year photos a couple of weeks prior to our MI trip, which also included a smash cake. After all of the celebrations, Miss L is certainly a pro at digging into the sugary good stuff.

It has been an amazing year being blessed with the presence of this little doll. She is so incredibly happy, easy and fun - we count our blessings! No one can properly prepare you for the joys of parenthood, but it is with elation and pure joy that we thank our Lord for Miss L. And the happiness and smiles she brings to her family that loves her dearly when they {on occassion} get to visit with her is a treat to watch and certainly something we treasure. Dare I mention the pure strangers that light up when they see her smiling face in the aisle of the grocery store or on the sidewalks near our home.

At the recent 1-year visit {which was the most difficult one thus far in my opinion...thank goodness daddy was there!}, we had an A+ check-up with the following stats:
  • Weight: 18# 10oz - 10th percentile
  • Height: 27 1/2" tall - 25th percentile
  • Head - 17 1/2" circ. - 50th percentile
Behavioral stats:
  • Eating...everything in site!  We breastfeed every morning, enjoy 2 {6oz} bottles during the day, and lots of big girl food - loves nutri-grain bars, oatmeal, rice, chicken, yogurt, and cheese
  • We have been introducing organic whole milk the past 2 weeks
  • Started trying to feed herself with a spoon
  • Sleeping well over night - 8:30pm - 7-8:30am, 2 naps daily of 4 hours
  • Playing with everything - especially books, Mr. Cole and daddy!
    {He knows just how to make us girls giggle}
  • Walking Running everywhere!
  • Tooth #5 was found on her birthday and #6 quickly followed behind
  • Gave the pacifier up at 7 months in exchange for her "silky" - the little lovey animals with a satin blankie attached - we have like 5 in our home
There are 11 days remaining in the big birthday month...of which we will keep her birthday party decor up around our home for every single one of them. This year flew right on by...having the decor up makes me savor this month, even if just a little while longer.

Coming soon: birthday party post{s}

Wednesday, August 15, 2012


I sure try to count my blessings daily, but it is nice to recognize them outloud. I have been blessed with three amazing siblings whom I love and admire dearly.

We had the fortunate opportunity to have a "(first annual) Siblings Weekend" back in June at my brother's place in Columbus, OH. We flew in from Minnesota, one sis drove north from Cincinnati and the other sis drove south from Michigan.It was filled with lots of relaxation by their pool, adult beverages, fun with Miss L and touring the sights around the beautiful area where they live. No plans or agenda...just casual fun.

I must admit living hundreds of miles away from my siblings is probably the most difficult challenge I face daily. I see how much joy Miss L brings to their lives. I know how much they miss her due to their constant flow of phone calls, texts, phone messages, cards, gifts and geniune love they each generously share. Although given our work ethic, career aspirations and passion for a great life - I don't foresee us four residing in the same city, let alone all in the same state. However, it sure would be nice to be within driving distance.

Last weekend, as we hosted a 1st birthday party in Michigan for our family there - it was so nice to have all of my siblings present. In fact, the party would not have been a success without the help of my two sisters. At times I felt like a slave driver, but they rolled up their sleeves and helped with anything and everything. One sis was even willing to clean my mother-in-law's bathroom (the host home). They truly would do anything for me, and likewise. I am incredibly thankful for my three siblings and their three significant others - all are great role models for Miss L and a HUGE part of her life, even if hundreds (nearly 1,000) miles away.

L to R: Aunt L, Uncle JJ, JJ's gf L, Auntie Jen (holding Miss L), me & J

Friday, August 3, 2012

Learning to Like Coffee

After some trials and errors, I have found a successful recipe for brewing a cup of coffee for the introductory coffee enthusiast.

I use "Cinnabon" flavored creamer in conjunction with Archer Farms Vanilla Cinnamon Nut flavored grounds and top it off with some sugar.

Basically, a little coffee + flavored milk + sugar....super healthy, right?

Since beginning my new full-time job about 6 weeks ago, the added daily routine of a caffeine injection has been very helpful.

I have expanded to using a Caramel Machiatto creamer on occasion. I feel that my palate is expanding and I am hopeful that this Fall, I truly may enjoy a pumpkin spice latte.

Any suggestions for your favorite flavored creamer?!!


Monday, July 30, 2012


I'm sorry for the lack of posts this month - we've had fun with visitors in town, the job is keeping me busy and we are enjoying summertime fun as a family...unfortunately, not without a little family drama.

Here is a {rare} very frank and honest post. Fair warning: nothing below is sugar coated by this usually forever-optimist...

I've never been one to declare myself a victim in the rollercoaster divorce of my parents. Some people chalk up their shaky mental state, relationship problems, daddy-issues, etc...due to the unraveling of their parent's marriage. Although my parent's marriage was tumultuous my entire lifetime, I don't think I have pulled the "divorce card" on any challenge I have overcome. I also do not think I have ever felt the pain of my parent's divorce...until yesterday.

I've felt many things over the past decade of the dramatic saga surrounding the ending of my parent's marriage - sadness, disappointment, frustrations beyond imagination...but sheer pain was felt yesterday when one parent emotionally hurt me from 1,000+ miles away.

I think this pain was apparent to me and extra deep because it involved my baby girl. You see, my parent's divorce has been anything but civil and has never quite "ended" due to money owed, unending court papers, a lack or morals and values, and basically two adults who act like teenagers. And now, one of Miss L's grandparent's informed me that they would not be attending her 1st birthday party...nor any birthday party in her lifetime, or graduation, 1st communion...basically, anything except a "wedding." For as long as the opposite grandparent is present, they would not be in attendance. I really cannot imagine this because it is too painful for me. Now, this divorce is affecting the next generation.

Ouch! As soon as I heard this via a phone call yesterday, my heart raced and tears flowed heavily down my cheek. I prayed hard last night, that they would have a change of heart and thoroughly listen to the horrible words coming out of their mouth.

This is the same grandparent that I planned the timing of our party around so that they could attend another special function that same day. But of course their decision was intended to "alleviate stress" on J and I. When in reality, it causes a wealth of stress...and pain.

Well, I am thankful this said grandparent had a change of heart and will be attending the big party after all. Unfortunately, this is only after I mentioned a competitive word, "winning." This phrase was the motivation to prompt a change of heart. Sadly, it didn't derive from the principle of missing their granddaughter's birthday...nope...but seeking an upper hand or a competitive edge. How comforting.

I didn't choose the situation God blessed me with, but I certainly try to make the best of it. Wait for's the optimist line: Although all of her grandparent's are a bit handicapped by life's difficult hand dealt to them, at least she is blessed with my 3 siblings who are wonderful aunties and uncle; plenty of 'great-grandparents' alive and full of love and a fabulous great aunt and uncle that just spent the last 5 days spoiling her as if she was their own grandchild.

Her little {well, BIG} smile erases every tear...

Monday, July 16, 2012

Tiny Dancer

It is no secret, Miss L loves music and loves to dance. Below is a video link to her dancing away to her "Pal Violet!" - she was cracking us up tonight!!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Grilled Salsa

After J rec'd a nice, shiny new grill for Father's Day 2012, we have been trying to grill more frequently and try some new recipes. Ironically, this morning we were having family time in our bed and watching some HGTV when we watched  $10 Dinners host make fire-roasted salsa.

Fastforward 8 hours, we are grocery shopping together for the week and we decided to make this fire-roasted salsa since we would already be grilling this evening.

Ingredients to grill:
Tomatoes, Serano Peppers, Onion, Shallot & Garlic

Check out this fun on the grill:

Once these veggies were perfectly charred, we put them in the food processor with fresh cilantro, salt, pepper and fresh lime juice.

Yummo! This tasted sooo good, we enjoyed it nice and warm! The leftovers are in the fridge now and I am certain the flavors are marinating and will be delicious on Tuesday - when we have Chicken Fajitas.

Friday, July 13, 2012

TGIF - Free Starbucks, anyone?

You can find me at a Starbucks near my work...sometime between 12 - 3pm today! Hope you can escape for a little Friday fun!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Monday Funday!

Mommy & Me!
We kicked off our work week with the anticipation of a family fun night, complete with takeout and splashing in the fun "Foot Ponds" in a neighboring downtown area. Miss L loved it...she truly is our lil' water bug!

We had so much fun, we are heading back for more this coming Monday!

It truly was a great way to start our work week, as we prepare for daddy traveling for work, followed by a great finish on Friday with Couples Golf Night/Date Night for us!
Daddy's Little Girl

Exploring our lil' hand prints