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!