Monday, December 29, 2008

Dentist thy name is Satan

Yet another dentist appointment. 2 goals. Put on a permanent crown and extract a precarious wisdom tooth. The former wasn't fun... the latter sucked a big one. As I was laying there with her standing (oh yeah, standing for good leverage) over me, I was thinking... am I really letting someone rip a tooth from my person.

As it turns out, yes I was.

So now I sit with a mouth full of gauze and a dull ache watching some mindless television. I hope this heals soon. If you find it in your heart to throw a prayer my way, I would be ever so grateful.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

About me... again...

I've been a little absent lately... sorry about that. It's not that I am busy... well, Adam did get a Wii and we have spent some quality time whooping up on each other... but really, I haven't been around because I just haven't been in a great mood. I was really bummed about dad and Stacie not being able to make it out... and it snowballed from there. I am a little on edge these days and that's not how I like to be. Anywho... just a slightly vague reason on why I haven't been around!

In the meantime I will post this about me, which I stole from my friend Mandi's blog.

A is for age: 30. I don't want to talk about it.

B is for burger of choice: mushrooms, caramelized onions and swiss cheese

C is for the car I drive: Jeep Grand Cherokee... which I love however it does not have heat so I am not thrilled with it right now.

D is for your dog's name: Riley the Wonderbeagle (Riley for short). I suspect he is wondering what happened to his nice quiet life.

E is for essential item you use every day: Computer or ipod... I use them daily.

F is for favorite TV show at the moment: The Big Bang Theory... smart writing, good acting and eerily reminds me of hubby.

G is for favorite game: Texas Hold'em. Haven't played in quite sometime but I enjoy the game.

H is for home state: Texas!

I is for instruments you play: Not musically inclined... in any way, shape or form.

J is for favorite juice: Apple... it was my first word.

K is for whose bum you'd like to kick: at the moment... no one.

L is for last restaurant at which you ate: Nola's... a great bistro in Frederick.

M is for your favorite muppet: Baby Gonzo!

N is for number of piercings: 6, 5 in ears (although one might be closed ;~) and one belly button (yes, I kept it through the pregnancy!)

O is for overnight hospital stays: does an overnight in the ER count? If so, 4... that's my best guess.

P is for people you were with today: Adam, Chase, MIL, FIL and Adam's grandma

Q is for what you do with your quiet time: check e-mail, watch a little TV, work on crafts/projects, play the Wii with hubby

R is for biggest regret: not doing a mother/daughter spa weekend with mom

S is for status: married

T is for time you woke up today: 7:45... woken by my human alarm clock

U is for what you consider unique about yourself: I wear my mother's wedding set

V is for vegetable you love: Spinach

W is for worst habit: I am with Mandi... procrastinating

X is for x-rays you've had: at least 4... probably way more than that

Y is for yummy food you ate today: Italian prosciutto eggs benedict at Nola's... very yummy but a little too much hollandaise sauce ;~) Oh and leftover potato and ham soup that hubby made from scratch!

Z is for zodiac: Virgo but that stuff is a bunch of whooey.

If you copy and repost, let me know so I can be sure to check it out!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008


my dad and Stacie won't be visiting for Christmas this year. Dad broke... nee shattered his ankle yesterday. He is going in for surgery today in order to repair it... complete with pins and metal. On so many levels this is sucky news. Please pray for him and Stacie.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Church Shopping

I am going to start by saying if I could move all of Bay Area Community Church to Hagerstown... I would. I miss Bay Area so much.

I miss the fellowship. I had been attending for about 14 years and I made some great friends there... I had history and I knew people.

I miss the physical structure. It was our new debt free building. It was large but yet remained simple and to the point.

I miss the feeling of belonging. Adam volunteered with the Bay Cafe (making coffee) and with Crossroads (doing the V part of AV). I was a nursery volunteer (with the exception of the year Chase was born ;~) We had places to serve.

Most of all, I miss Greg, the senior pastor. I had a connection with him that I will always treasure. He married my mom and step dad, he married Adam and I and he presided over my mother's funeral. Life altering moments and he was there. I also miss his sermons. Each and everyone got to me. He has the knack of knowing just what to say and how to say it. He was funny, entertaining, knowledgeable and poignant. It takes a lot to keep my attention and he always had it. I miss being fed by his sermons.

Have I gotten the point across that I miss my old church?

That being said, Adam and I have been on the hunt for a new church. Now with the background info you just learned... you can imagine I have pretty high standards. I struggle with each church... is it a good church and I am just not giving it a fair shake because of my prejudice or am I right to hold a church to this standard?

A couple of the churches have been nice... we just haven't felt the connection. I am not sure if that happens on the first or second try but I imagine it's a little like meeting the person you eventually marry. The moment I saw Adam I thought he was adorable and I got butterflies... I didn't know then that we would eventually be married but there was a spark. I think that is what should happen when I am in the right church.... I don't know if we will end up attending but there is a spark. Am I right to wait for that or is it an impossibility and I am shortchanging the church?

We have been to one church where we left knowing that we most definitely would not be back. I am not one for writing off anything quickly but almost as soon as we entered, I knew it wouldn't be the place for us. Unfriendly nursery staff, windowless nursery rooms, (IMO) an unhealthy attachment to Joel Osteen, a 'rock band' worship team with songs that were impossible to sing along to, a woman giving the sermon who had many anecdotes about her children but frightfully little scripture... and even more terrifying, a warped view on the difference between DNA and social issues. I digress... I hesitate speaking ill of a church but I was more than a little frightened.

So our search continues.

One of the most frustrating things about searching is the childcare. I won't leave Chase in a nursery when I don't know the people watching him, what the standards and rules are and what the atmosphere is like. So that means Adam and I have to keep an active 1 year old still for at least a solid hour. As you can imagine that doesn't happen very often. Usually I end up leaving the service and hanging out in the nursery... not a bad deal if you want to know more about the childcare. However, on one such occasion we were in the nursery/toddler room there was a 10 month old, Chase (1 year old), a 2 year old, a 5 year old and a 7 year old. I tried to do a little digging as to why there were so many different ages and the woman who was 'in charge' had to ask her daughter (14 years old)... who didn't understand what she was asking (in the daughters defense the mother was not being clear)... so really it was the 'who's on first' conversation of church childcare... and I never got my answer. The only thing I did find out... not one of the kids were related to each other, which would have made at least a little sense. In addition, I found a small bead (probably from a child's broken bracelet) on the floor. I am sure it was innocent enough but this is also a piece of plastic that could cause my inquisitive child to stop breathing and die.

Again, I am comparing these nurseries with Bay Area's nursery... and Bay Area's nursery was phenomenal. There were always at least 2 adults in each room... and on top of that at least 1 -2 helpers (teenagers). They followed Maryland code for the ratio of children to adults; 3:1 for babies and toddlers and 5:1 for 2's and up... usually far exceeding the ratio. There were sign in sheets, corresponding numbered bracelets, an 'in charge' person overseeing the whole Sunday morning operation... and my favorite, a numbering system that would discreetly let you know when your child was inconsolable and you were needed. Anyone that knows Chase knows that was necessary for us.

So these 'rinky dink' childcare operations scare me a little.

Anyway, I think I am just venting here. I know we will eventually find the place for us... it's just way more difficult than I thought. I never really worried about this before... I ended up at Bay Area because that is where my mom started going... this is my first church hunt as an adult ;~) Look at me grow!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Christmas Party

Tonight was our Christmas Party... 16 adults and 8 children! It was mayhem from the time we stepped in the door (20 minutes late... sorry again about that guys!)

Our big goal was to get a group picture of the kids...

This is the best picture from the photo shoot! From left to right... Anna, Jenna, Adam, Adrianna, Sadie, Chase, Laura and Jack (barely making it in the picture!)

Chase opening his present from Laura. What a difference a year makes... it's so much fun to see him so interactive... I can't wait until Christmas morning!

The fam!

We had lots of fun... good food, great friends and lots of toys! However, by the end of the night Chase was ready to go... I have a feeling he will sleep very soundly tonight!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Thursday, December 18, 2008

I am such an idgit

I want to make a public apology... I assumed the writer of was a guy when in fact she is a girl! I am really really sorry! As I wrote to her... what's the old adage... to assume makes an a$$ out of you and me! Lesson learned ;~)

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Nail on the head

I came across this poem on In all complete honesty, I could not believe how right on the nose this guy got it! Enjoy!

College graduation was approaching fast
And I heard the mantra, get a job at last
But, alas, jobs were few and far between
The hours were long and the pay was lean
And so, in a flash, the answer came to me
Can’t get a job… get an advanced degree

My family was supportive, with encouragement a plenty
But when it came to tuition, there was not one more penny
No problem there, the dream needn’t fade
Aunt Sallie Mae came to my aid
With nary a thought, I signed on the line
What was I thinking, I was out of my mind

I never thought to ask and they didn’t say
Just how much I would one day have to pay
So here I am, diplomma and all
Including a loan payment sure to be my downfall
The bill’s two thousand a month, my choices are few
Get a Big Firm Job- its the thing to do

But wait, there’s a problem that I never expected
Working sixty hours a week, my family neglected
Selling my soul to pay off this debt
Suddenly doesn’t seem like a very great bet
I want a job that I actually like
But I can’t tell Sallie Mae, go take a hike

Still got the payments, what are my choices
Plus, the country falls into a financial crisis
Banks get handed money, left and right
Meanwhile, I cut spending, my budget is tight
And as I pay and I pay, with nary a shout
But I can’t help thinking, where’s my bail out

We’re living back at home with mom and dad
At almost thirty, that seems a little sad
But paying our debt is the responsible thing
We don’t want our credit to have a big ding
Some day when the payments are finally gone
We’ll get to buy a home, and finally move on

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


We made it through the night! He slept 12 solid hours... no waking... no sickness... no throwing up!


He's been acting normal today and we've had no signs of sickness. I have to think that whatever he had was due to something he ate and not a viral thing. He never even had a fever!

All I have to say is THANK GOD! I mean if it happened again, I would have dealt with it but man am I glad that's over! Ick.

Oh and update on the ongoing family drama... M (mom's sister) actually called me on Thanksgiving to say hi and wish me a happy holiday. I guess I was wrong in this post (gasp, I know... it happens once in a great while). She plans on visiting sometime in January. We'll see how it goes! And I wrote David back and kept it very light and happy. I really didn't feel the need to be anything other than that... at least right now. Who knows what the future holds... maybe one day I will be able to ask him why her and not me? For now, I am just enjoying the holiday!

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

I'll spare you the gory details

but I now know what it's like to take care of a sick child. Not the sniffles or an occasional cough... not even the respiratory infection we have already dealt with... no, we are talking about the full on sick.

Now when Chase was a baby he would spit up... that was his 'thing'... and it was funny and annoying. This... this was not spit up. We have entered the world of vomiting... and it sucks. He threw up... not once, not twice, not 3 times... 4 separate times in 3.5 hours. I have never seen terror in his eyes like I did when he was in the middle of it... not even when he busted his lip. I wanted so bad to make it stop but all I could do was hold him and try to sooth him. It makes me shudder to even think about it.

Needless to say we are on a strictly bland diet with teaspoon fulls of Pedialyte. I am hoping and praying that he sleeps through the night without getting sick and wakes up good as new tomorrow... please pray with me ;~)

Monday, December 08, 2008

Writers Block

I am not sure why but I am having a hard time writing a post these days. It's not for lack of events and information...

I could talk about going to see the NY City Rockettes in Baltimore thanks to my best friend C...

I could talk about the boys "cutting down" our Christmas tree while the women watched the young one (and what Christmas tree cutting adventure would be complete without this picture?)...

I could talk about our attempt to see the Antietam Battlefield lit up with candles but as we watched the line of cars snake around for 3 miles we gave up and went home...

I could talk about baking sugar cookies with my hubby and what a great time we had and the terrific results...

I could talk about this phase that Chase seems to be going through (hopefully short) where he gets angry and cries so easily that I think my hair might fallout because the headaches are so bad...

I could probably spend hours talking about the perils of being sick and a stay at home mom to an ACTIVE 1 year old...

but for some reason nothing really ever materializes... so you are left with a slightly disguised bullet point post. Sorry about that. I hope the holiday spirit has hit you all!

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Livestrong Challenge

My dad is going to take the Livestrong Challenge... biking for 100 miles!

He has joined Team Fatcyclist... which was started by one of his favorite bloggers Elden Nelson.

Please check out my dad's site for the reasoning behind accepting the challenge and please please please, if you feel led, donate to his cause. Dad will be matching the total donation amount... and Google has agreed to match the total donation (up to $3,000) as well so really any donation is actually tripled! I am so very proud of my dad for doing this... please check him out and show your support!

Monday, December 01, 2008


  • It is long and wild.
  • Every morning it is heading in a different direction.
  • It can be tamed with some water but 10 minutes under a winter hat ruins it.
  • Pigtails have formed on either side of your neck but the middle remains short.
  • It has probably led people to mistakenly think you are a girl.
  • It is fine but thick.
  • It is the hair you were born with.

I cannot bring myself to cut it. I will be holding off as long as possible. It's just another reminder of what a big boy you are.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Gas price truth

Oh how I wish I could pay $0.38 a gallon every time I fill up. In actuality the gas was $1.78 and I had 140 bonus points at the adjoining grocery store... which translates to $1.40 off per gallon. Not too shabby when you consider you need groceries and gas!

Sunday, November 23, 2008


I have been thinking about this post for the past few days... how and what to write... in what light did I want to paint my life. Then I received a response from a friend, Adrienne, who, in the course of her email, said "I thoroughly enjoy your updates because I know you won't censor them. Thanks for being so honest about your struggles.....along with all the joys! I really respect that!" - So here it is. My honest feelings.

I am so disillusioned with families these days. As you know, I have been reaching out to particular people in my family... with varying results.

I have been exchanging emails with David (my biological father) for the past week or so.

Let me stop and provide a little background. When I was only months old, I attended David and my mothers wedding... presumably I was the reason for the wedding ;~) They stayed married for 7 years and I have a few memories... some good, more bad. When I was 7, David divorced my mom and my mom and I left the house. I visited him on weekends for about a year and then contact pretty much stopped. Around that time David married a former flame who had a daughter about 8 or 9 years older than me. I spoke with him on rare occasions... you could count on one hand from age 8 until 18. The last conversation I had with him ended poorly because I called too late... at 10.

Back to present day. The emails have been civil... your basic getting caught up kind of information. He even provided me with some medical background (he has cancer) so that I might keep it in mind for Chase when he is older. We have avoided any sticky topics of conversation... partly because we are on email and partly because... well, they're not pleasant to talk about. I was ok with things until his latest email. In previous emails he had stated that Laura was my half sister... which shocked me because I only ever thought she was a step. The last email stated that his wife corrected him and said she would be my step sister... not my half. Then he went on to say

"Neither Laura nor I like that term “step” because of the bad connotations it has so we have never referred to each other as step this or that. Laura’s biological father passed away several years after Aster and he were divorced."

I'm sorry... what? Bad connotations? What connotations does "abandonment" or "rejection" stir up for you? What about "fatherless"? Give you a warm fuzzy?

Now please don't get me wrong... I am of the opinion that if you feel close enough to someone, drop the step. I don't call my dad "stepdad" even though technically he is. Adam doesn't call his dad Joe "stepdad" even though technically he is... nor does Adam refer to Nick as a half brother because Nick is his brother, that's it. I am all for ditching the step or the half.

However, may I say "KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE" He's going to write that to me? Of all people? I am sitting here trying to figure out if he is stupid or uncaring... I don't know which I wish for.

Also, let me point out that I LOVE... and I mean truly LOVE when men take on roles to which they are not assigned. My 2 great examples are my dad and Adam's dad Joe. I love Adam's dad Joe because he fell in love with Sandy and then fell in love with her boys. He walked into an instant family and didn't look back. My dad did the same thing with my mom... and I was 17... and we all know how trying 17 year old girls can be! But he did it and with a glad heart I believe. He helped me through college, he saw me through (lots of) dating and he helped shape my perception of what a man is supposed to be. I love him for everything he has done and am so glad he continues to be in my life. So I get it... men stepping into roles they weren't assigned is a wonderful thing.

However, Laura loses a father and David steps in to play daddy to her? What about the actual blood related daughter that God assigned to him? I wonder if he ever, in all the years of being her 'father', once thought of me and wondered if I had a father? Again, I am trying to figure out if he is stupid or uncaring.

I haven't yet responded to him... quite obviously I am not sure what I will say. I do know that it won't make me bitter or hateful again. I spent years on that wasted emotion and I would rather not go back. I am hurt though and I am not sure how to deal with that. I am not sure if telling him is the way to go or just pushing it off would be better. It's a gray area that I am still trying to find my way through.

For all the frustration I feel right now, I am still glad I sent the announcement. In my emails with David, he put me in touch with his sister and her daughter (Aunt B and Cousin C) to which I am extremely grateful. I have very fond memories of my childhood with them and have often looked back at pictures wondering how they are doing. It has been wonderful catching up with them and I look forward to staying in touch and one day reuniting.

As for the other side of my family... even more turmoil. I received this email from M...

Oh Jess, I can't begin how happy I am to hear from you. My prayers have been answered, it's like a miracle. I have prayed to hear from you or your mom since this terrible thing happened years ago. I have so much to say and to catch up in this e-mail would go on for days. Your baby is so beautiful, hopefully, I can see him soon. My home #xxx-xxx-xxxx, my cell is xxx-xxx-xxxx,please call me! I really have something to be thankful for this Thanksgiving! With lots and lots of love, Mxxxxxxx.

At first glance it seems genuine and heartfelt but knowing what I know about the past, I was still extremely guarded. I decided to call her the next day while Chase was sleeping... which happened to be in the middle of the day. I did this because I knew she would be working and I didn't want this to be a long drawn out conversation... at least not the first one. I wanted to scope out her attitude and her real interest in me and then decide how far a friendship would go.

I called her and when she answered it was actually very movie like... her breath drew in and I sensed a shaking in her voice. She was definitely happy to hear from me. We exchanged the "hi, how are ya's" and spent a few minutes catching up. She was actually very close, within 30 minutes, to Hagerstown a few weeks prior. Turns out she has a friend that lives in Martinsburg and visits somewhat regularly. She was extremely excited that she would be able to see Chase and me on her next visit.

Now for you astute readers... you may have picked up on something that I noticed as soon as I read her email. "I have prayed to hear from you or your mom". I have spent the past 4 years wondering if M knew about my mother's death. I always assumed she did because so much of my mother's family knew... I thought that somehow, someway the news would have gotten back to her.

I was wrong. She then said "So how is mom?" I inhaled deeply and said "I am not sure how to say this but we lost mom 4 years ago." Again, her breath drew in and she was speechless. I filled in the silence by adding that it was actually 4 years ago yesterday, Nov 12. She sputtered and stammered for a moment... asked how... was it the cancer? Yes, it was the breast cancer... it had metastasized to various parts of her body and it got to the point where it was impossible to keep fighting it because it was in too many places... her head, her legs, her lungs.

I never apologized for not contacting her but I did say that I thought the news would have gotten back to her because parts of the family knew. She said that she often wondered if mom were ok but that cousin 3 would tell her "if something happened, someone would have contacted you".

We kept moving through the conversation and she seemed to react as well as I could have expected... especially in light of the curve ball I just threw her. She made sure she had my correct number, she wanted to call and catch up when she wasn't at work. She was sympathetic to me about losing mom. She still seemed interested in my life. Just before we got off the phone (I could hear them calling her for a meeting) I asked her which of the cousins had the baby... I knew she was a grandma and I wanted to know who had the baby. She hastily informed me that cousin 3 had a baby in Feb 06... a little girl. She, the baby and cousin 2 were living out of state but that she talks to them often and sees them when she can. She then told me that she, cousin 3 and cousin 2 were estranged from cousin 1. Apparently cousin 1 cut them out of her life... just stopped calling or taking their calls. Somehow M found out that cousin 1 had a baby boy around the same time I had Chase but that cousin 1 still won't talk to the family.

We hung up and I sat back and thought about their estrangement. My first thought (albeit not a nice one) was "karma's a b****, isn't it M". Hey, I said I would be honest. I quickly dismissed that thought because even with the bad blood between our families, I don't wish that for her.

I spent the next few days forgetting about all the family insanity and enjoyed myself at Rose's wedding. I can honestly say I didn't think about any of this stuff while I was there and it was wonderful!

When I got home, I discovered that I had received a return to sender birth announcement. Apparently I had an incorrect address for cousin 2 and cousin 3. Not related to the returned birth announcement... I started to get the feeling that I wouldn't be hearing from M. I had this sense that she was angry with me for not contacting her when mom died. I decided to use the returned announcement as an opening... I emailed her to get their new address. That was 5 days ago and I still haven't heard from her. Now I know, she may not check her email on a regular basis... she could be busy... she could be this that or the other thing. Any of those things could be true but I have the sneaking suspicion that she is angry with me.

I don't know how I will handle the situation moving forward but I do know that I will not apologize for not contacting her. It wasn't my responsibility to inform her of our life changes. I am sorry that she didn't know and that she wasn't there but that is the risk you run when you cut someone out of your life... especially someone with cancer. If she wants to be angry with me then I can't stop her but I won't let her anger rest on my shoulders.

Even though M and David have caused me some frustration and sadness, I am still not sorry I sent the birth announcements. I believe I made the right decision and I am still very happy and content with my life. I'm not sure what I will do with any of this... just ride it out and see where it takes me I guess! I just needed to vent here. Thanks for listening. I feel like I am living in a soap opera.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Florida Part 2

We got to the house around 11 and it was clear that there was still much to be done.  Again, we jump into the 'what can we do' mode.  I am not sure at what point I became the wedding planner but it definitely happened.  I think my keen sense of bossing people around took over and by the end of the night I was on a first name basis with the caters, buddy buddy with the DJ, and the go to person for questions and direction.  I basically just tried to follow the instructions in the coveted 'wedding binder'... God love you Rose for being so FREAKING organized!  

Finally the time came and Rose walked down the aisle... brick stone aisle that Nick's parents put in specifically so Rose and Nick could be married under the oak trees... 

It couldn't have been a prettier more perfect setting and it couldn't have happened to a better couple!   This picture is one of my favorites because the 3 of them form a heart shape... cheesy but cool!

A better view of the path and the trees where Rose and Nick were married.

My absolute favorite shot of the day... they are just so beautiful! 

MZ, Kara, Laura and I enjoying the reception... I think that was wine glass number 3 of 4.  I should have stopped at 3. 

With the happy couple!  BTW... totally want to move into Nick's parents house.  It was so gorgeous!

I stole the bride's shoes and tried them on... totally awesome aren't they!  Nick wore pink paisley socks with his suit so they matched!  

The entire day was fantastic... from helping get things rolling, to watching Nick and Rose exchange vows, to partying it up with good friends.  It was one of the best weddings I have attended!  

Round about the 4th glass of wine I decided (much to the happiness of those driving me home) that I should switch to water.  I downed 2 bottles at the wedding and another 3 glasses at OB's. Oh, what is OB's you ask... only the most rocking biker bar in town.  I am not sure how it was decided but MZ was on the hunt for a good Grey Goose drink so OB's is where we went.  I can't even begin to explain how much we stood out from the local crowd.  I made fast friends with a local yokel in the corner who informed me that he had been drunk for 40 years.  Awesome.  We enjoyed the scene for a little longer and then called it a night.

Thankfully the insanity next door and the Spanish wedding were no where to be found and we passed out as soon as we hit the room!  

The trip home was much less eventful than the way there... thank goodness!  
Dropping the car back at the rental place... good riddance to the PT!  

It was an awesome weekend and I am really so glad I could be a part of it... Rose and Nick, what do you say, same time, same place next year?  I'm game! 

Thursday, November 20, 2008

While I was gone

Chase took over 2 hour naps for daddy. Today, he took a 30 min nap. Seriously I want to rip my hair out. I don't know what I am doing wrong but now I officially know it is me.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Florida Part 1

Getting to Florida was interesting but once we were there... well, it continued to be interesting.

When I met up with Kara at the airport Mary Zane was sitting with her... apparently MZ missed her flight and had to take a later flight. I was happy... I thought she missed her earlier Southwest flight and just switched her ticket. Not so much... she missed her Air Tran flight and all the later Air Tran flights were full and they could only offer standby... which would have been fine if she didn't HAVE to be at the wedding. Oh did I mention, she was officiating. So.... she kind of had to be there. I feel that I have to mention she has NEVER missed a flight before... out of many many flights, never missed a flight. Never.

The 3 of us got on the plane and proceeded to bounce our way from Baltimore to Orlando. There may have been 10 minutes when that plane wasn't rocking.

Finally we arrive at Orlando, get to the rental car place and get our Ford Focus... only they upgraded us to a PT Cruiser. Ok, cool... this should be fun!

If you own a PT Cruiser, please don't read the next sentences. It was not cool... we started a list of things we do not like about PT Cruisers. For instance, there is no hatchback release in the car or outside the car... you have to use the key. So if you happen to stop somewhere, like a bank, and someone, say the driver, has to get into her bag in the hatchback... you have to stop the car, get out, key open the hatchback, do your thing, close the hatchback and then get back in and start the car up. Sounds easy enough but do it a few times and it's quite a pain. Oh and the child safety lock was engaged and we couldn't figure out how to disengage it... so someone had to let the backseat rider out each and every time. It's amazing how quickly you can forget to get that person. Oh and the screaming 4 horsepower... we LOVED that. I mean it literally took at least 45 seconds to go from 0 to 55. There are some blue hairs in FL that are still cursing our PT. I could go on and on but I digress... back to the story!

We got to Nick's parents house for the rehearsal a tad bit late... after we got lost only feet from their front door... yeah, that takes talent. Regardless, we got there. Immediately we jumped into 'what can we do' mode. There was still quite a bit of things to get done... as with any wedding!

We do that for a few hours and then head to the hotel to check in and decompress before the rehearsal dinner get together.

At the rehearsal dinner someone mentions they are about to launch to the space shuttle... naturally I thought we would watch it on the TV bolted to the ceiling... but alas, we are in FL only mere miles from Cape Canaveral... we can watch it live! The natives figured out where we needed to be standing for the best view and we stood there and watched the sky go from pitch black to a brilliant pink and purple and then a blast of fire through the sky. It was very cool to be standing there watching the space shuttle live.

Once back inside the 3 old farts took off for bed. I mean hell, we made it to 9:30... longer than each of us thought we would!

Kara and I were sharing a room and Mary Zane was far away down the other end of the hall... a stroke of luck she should still be thanking her lucky stars for. Kara and I finally settled down to get some sleep (only after finishing our wedding assignment... yep, there were take home projects!) around 10:30/11. Not 15 minutes after we lay down and JUST as we are starting to fall out does the loudest, rowdiest group of people I have ever heard, start walking down our hallway. Then they stop, what sounds like right out side our door... even better, they enter the room next to us. Just a paper thin wall away there is a ludicrous amount of shrieking and yelling, rap battles taking place and WWF body slamming going on.

I do my best to fall asleep... to no avail. I am going to have to be that person. At this point I think Kara is sleeping so I quietly call the front desk and ask them to tell the room to quiet down. As soon as I hang up I hear a muffled, exasperated "thank you" from Kara. Now we can commiserate together. For another 5-10 minutes the noise gets no better... it may have even gotten worse. I am gathering my nerve to go beat down the door and be the old fuddy duddy. I look out the peep hole to see if I can spot them coming and going from the room and who do I see but Rose and Nick! I open the door just in time to hear Rose say "the entire hotel is complaining about you guys! You have to be quiet" Nick looks over at me and says "Oh God, you 2 are next to these guys??" Apparently Nick, nice well mannered Nick, has some extremely rambunctious (and I won't use the words I really want to use to describe them since Nick is a good friend) friends. At this point, genius at the door to the loud room is saying "I am sorry, I am not the one making the noise" Oh. I. Lost. It. "Are you in the room? Then you are part of the problem! I just want to sleep... I get one night away from my son and this is what I get stuck with???" and SLAM. Now there may have been an expletive that came out... I can neither confirm nor deny. Also, in my defense, that door was a heck of a lot lighter than I thought it was... so it made a much louder sound than I was anticipating. Whatever, it shut them up long enough for Nick to convince them the cops were on their way and they had to leave the hotel. It worked. They all filed out and went to some local guys house. Can I ask this... WHY WOULDN'T THEY HAVE GONE THERE IN THE FIRST PLACE? Why would you risk angering an entire hotel and putting your friends (the bride and groom at that) in an awkward situation when you could just as easily go to some stand alone house and make all the noise in the world?

Regardless... I have now slammed the door on Nick and Rose inadvertently (for which I am still sorry guys!) and my blood pressure was through the roof. Kara and I spend another half hour calming ourselves down so we can get some sleep.

Not 5 minutes after we closed our eyes to fall asleep do we get a light knocking on our door. It is a older Spanish woman from the other wedding party staying on the fourth floor... she apologizes profusely when a very bleary eyed me answers the door. I grimace and close the door. 10 minutes later... same knocking. Different person, same wedding. I grimace harder and close the door. 10 minutes later... same knocking. I fling the door open and stand in the hallway... "You have to be kidding me, can I help you with something?" The same Spanish woman from earlier is at my door with other members of the wedding party. Apparently they are mistaking our door for one of their doors... before you ask, YES, they do have numbers on them... I don't know why they can't see that. The response I got to my exasperated question... "So sorry, the father of the bride and her grandmother were in a horrible accident on the way home from the wedding." Well now don't I feel like a schmuck... I apologize and close the door yet again. I turn to Kara and tell her what a schmuck I feel like but that I also think they should go to the hospital and stop knocking on our door! Another half hour of some lame lifetime movie to zone us out and we FINALLY fall asleep.

Now when we were going to bed at 11 I had every confidence that one of us would wake up at a decent time... we both have one year olds and are constitutionally incapable of sleeping in. However, now that it is 1:30 in the morning I feel it is necessary to set an alarm... which we do... for 8 am. I kid you not when I tell you that at 7:30 in the morning we hear the same knocking on our door... I jump out of bed and see the same Spanish woman standing in the hallway. Seriously, are we on candid camera? Sadly, no. She just got the wrong room again. I throw the door closed and flop back in bed. By this time it's too late... we are up and have started our day.

It's going to be a great day though... because we are watching Rose and Nick get married! Stay tuned for the rest of the story!!!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Long and short of it...

Chase has a respiratory infection (bronchitis). I thought he was doing better after the doctors yesterday (fever broke RIGHT before we went in, of course) but this morning the fever spiked back up and he was just absolutely miserable. Good ole Amoxicillin to the rescue. I am hoping it kicks in soon although the doc said it could take a couple days.

I am still planning on going to the wedding tomorrow (barring anything life threatening popping up) but I would SO like to see him feeling just a little bit better before I board a plane. Saying my prayers now... if you feel so inclined, I would love to have your prayers as well.

In the ongoing olive branch news... I received an email from my aunt yesterday. She was very excited to hear from me and that it was an answer to prayer. I want to put it out there that I am approaching this very cautiously. First, anyone can use the phrase 'answer to prayer'... I am not assuming she is a God fearing Christian ready to make ammends for all past wrongs. Second, I am vaguely aware of why she was so angry at my mother and I feel the same way my mother did... so, if things continue the same way, I won't stand for it. That being said... I am glad to have heard from her and I hope things are different.

What a bizarre journey.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

4 years today

It's hard to believe it's been 4 years since my mom passed away. Sometimes it seems like just yesterday and other times I feel like it's always been this way... on rare occasions I forget she is gone. I miss her tremendously and I still (and will always) have days or times when I cry thinking about her missing out on stuff. I will always feel a hole in my life that she once occupied. I will always smile and cringe simultaneously when I see mothers and daughters shopping together. I had a wonderful life with her and I will treasure every moment and memory. It's only because it was so wonderful that it hurts this bad. With great love comes great loss.

Adam and I chatted about how you are supposed to feel on these days... I always want to feel angry, mad at the world, pissy and just a general 'leave me alone' attitude. I want to but I rarely do. I get caught up in the day and what needs to be done. I (now) look at my son and think 'what needs do I need to fulfill for him?'. I go about my day content and generally pleased with my life. This really crappy thing happened 4 years ago on this day but truly my life is good. I have a great husband, a wonderful son, family beyond measure and friends any which way I look.

Here are just a few pictures:

Mom's High School graduation 1969!

Easter 1984

Christmas 1989

No particular holiday... just a family shot... around the 95 - 96 era. BTW, I still miss those sandals... totally wore them into the ground!

So like I said, I get caught up in the day. Today is about packing for one of the best weddings I will ever attend, grocery shopping and making food so daddy has an easier time with Chase this weekend and taking Chase to the doctor. Oh yeah, forgot to mention... little man has been running a fever since Monday. That coupled with some other issues... mama suspects infection. We shall see. If you think about it, please say a quick prayer around 2ish! Thanks!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


I asked Chase what he thought about me going to FL for Aunt Rose's wedding without him...

The response is obvious.

What he doesn't know is how much fun he will have with daddy all weekend!

I, on the other hand, am ecstatic about my trip to FL! Kara and I leave in 4 days!

On another topic... remember this post? Which refers back to this post? Well I did it. I sent a birth announcement to my Aunt, 2 of my cousins and my birth father David. Unbelievably, David wrote me back. In all honesty, he was the last one of the 3 I expected to hear from... let alone the first. He was very pleasant and said nice things about Chase. He asked questions about my life and mentioned that he had other grandchildren (which meant that he acknowledged Chase as his grandchild). All in all it was a nice email and I will respond to him at some point... soon... when this settles in a little more.

I am off to start packing for the weekend!

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Sign me up for my John Deere

Adam and I spent the afternoon cleaning the backyard!

That blower was SO much fun!

Even Chase got in on the act.

Adam conquering his pile of leaves!

There's always time for a little fun... can you spot the husband?

My favorite picture of the day!

It was actually a lot of fun! Of course I don't know if I will feel the same way when leaves have covered the yard by next weekend!

Also, if you think Milk Chocolate Rainbow Non Nonpareils taste like Dark Chocolate White Nonpareils... you'd be wrong.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Not Again...

Busted lip number 2... and this one was worse than the first. I turned around just in time to see his face... specifically his mouth... hit the floor. There wasn't even a pause... straight to screaming. My poor little man. On the upshot (and probably an explanation) he has been really trying to walk on his own today... favoring walking over crawling... balancing himself mid-step... testing his ability. It's been great to watch but this is the downside... his adventurous spirit may turn me prematurely gray.

It couldn't have scarred him too badly... he wolfed down a plate of beef stew, part of a banana and a kiwi. Then it came time for bath and it was as if the fat lip never happened.

As if it never happened...

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

We Voted!

Chase has participated in the Democratic process! Mommy, daddy and my MIL went to the polling place together after Chase's second nap. We weren't sure what to expect in terms of waiting... turns out we had nothing to worry about. For those of us that can go during the day... easy peasy! We were in and out in 15 minutes.

Chase and I at our voting booth! Only he and I know who I voted for!

The change we need is in my diaper!

Stand up and fight for shorter naps!

(Obama/McCain commentary credited to daddy)

Monday, November 03, 2008

What am I doing wrong?

I got a recipe for Beef Stew from my friend Diana and decided tonight's the night... I am cooking again!

Getting prepped...

Since the house is small and Chase proofed, I can cook in the kitchen while letting Chase roam around the apartment... in theory...

It starts off cute and happy and switches to frantic pretty quickly...

In an attempt to pacify him I give him one of these...

To which he munches on and loves for the 2 minutes it takes him to polish it off.

Before you know it he is back to this...

So I relent and hold him... which makes it virtually impossible to cook but you can see how happy it makes him!

So when it's time for mommy to 'cook' again, Chase goes on the other side of the fence... and this is what mommy gets.

The entire time I felt like I was ignoring him and that made me feel horrible. So please, someone tell me... how am I supposed to cook dinner and adequately take care of my child? My next resort is buying a baby backpack and wearing him while I cook!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Want an easy way to lose $10?

Do this...

Happy Halloween!!

Chase wishes everyone a Happy Halloween! We will be celebrating by staying home and handing out candy!

Thursday, October 30, 2008


I am in the process of making good on this post. Wish me luck.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Another video!


Love Love Love This

From the Ron Clark Academy...

Presidential Politics RCA Style

Students from The Ron Clark Academy are studying politics in a unique way. In addition to hosting mock debates during their global studies class and discussing all the latest issues, they’re also rapping about the upcoming Presidential election.

Sixth and seventh graders from the Academy recently joined Mr. Clark at a breakfast speech for the Coca-Cola Scholars Program at the Omni Hotel. While there, students performed their latest song You Can Vote However You Like, putting their own lyrics to the background music of T.I.’s Whatever You Like. A video of their performance made its way to YouTube.

Here are the lyrics... there are a couple verses missing near the beginning so stick with it and the lyrics will catch up...

The Lyrics

Obama on the left
McCain on the right
We can talk politics all night
And you can vote however you like
You can vote however you like, yeah

Democratic left
Republican right
November 4th we decide
And you can vote however you like
You can vote however you like, yeah

{Missing Lyrics}

I want Obama
Stick wit McCain you gonna have some drama
Iran he will attack
We gotta vote Barack!

Obama on the left
McCain on the right
We can talk politics all night
And you can vote however you like
You can vote however you like, yeah

Democratic left
Republican right
November 4th we decide
And you can vote however you like
I said you can vote however you like, yeah

(McCain supporters)
McCain's the best candidate
With Palin as his running mate
They'll fight for gun rights, pro life,
The conservative right
Our future is bright
Better economy in site
And all the world will feel our military might

(Obama supporters)
But McCain and Bush are real close right
They vote alike and keep it tight
Obama's new, he's younger too
The Middle Class he will help you
He'll bring a change, he's got the brains
McCain and Bush are just the same
You are to blame, Iraq's a shame
Four more years would be insane

Lower your Taxes - you know Obama Won't
PROTECT THE LOWER CLASS - You know McCain won't!
Have enough experience - you know that they don't
STOP GLOBAL WARMING - you know that you won't

I want Obama
Stick with McCain and you're going to have some drama
We need it
He'll be it
We'll do it
Let's move it

Obama on the left
McCain on the right
We can talk politics all night
And you can vote however you like
You can vote however you like, yeah

Democratic left
Republican right
November 4th we decide
And you can vote however you like, I said
You can vote however you like, yeah

I'm talking big pipe lines, and low gas prices
Below $2.00 that would be nice

But to do it right we gotta start today
Finding renewable ways that are here to stay

I want Obama
Stick wit McCain you gone have some drama
Iran he will attack
We gotta vote Barack!

Obama on the left
McCain on the right
We can talk politics all night
And you can vote however you like, I said
You can vote however you like, yeah

Democratic left
Republican right
November 4th we decide
And you can vote however you like, I said
You can vote however you like, yeah

I could just hug each one of them... they are so cute! I wish all teachers had this kind of enthusiasm!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Sting at Google

Last week my dad went out to his storage unit to get his bike and go for a ride. Unfortunately someone beat him to the punch.... they had cut the lock and stolen all 3 bikes that were in the unit. 2 were dads and 1 was Stacie's. One of dads and Stacie's bike were very expensive but replaceable... the 3rd one... not so replaceable. It was a custom built bike for dad over 25 years ago. This was a one and only bike and some schmuck just came in and took off with it. I believe he knew what he was doing because there were several other units unlocked with bikes still in them. My dad doesn't do hobbies lightly and this schmuck figured that out and went for the good stuff.

Super sleuth Stacie suggested dad check Craigslist to see if the bike was listed anywhere... would you believe it was? Now I won't divulge how the bike was actually worth but it wasn't anywhere close to the $250 price tag this guy had attached.

Not to mention this schmuck had to replace the front tire because dad's front tire was in the apartment being repaired. I am just imagining my dad walking out to the storage unit, front tire in hand and no bike to attach it to! The schmuck also had to replace the handlebar tape... all this and he only sells it for $250. Dumber than a bag of rocks.

As soon as dad saw the ad he called and expressed interest in buying the bike. They set up a meeting at Google (where my dad works) for noon. Dad called the police and as soon as he mentioned that the sting was already set up, they jumped into action. Unfortunately, the police couldn't be there until 1:30, so dad calls back the guy that has stolen his bike and changes the time to 1:30. Schmuck agrees and calls my dad when he arrives on the Google campus. The cops pose as my dad while he, Stacie and many other googlers watch from the windows. Someone snapped this picture...

The guy in the stripes is the schmuck (obviously, he is the one being arrested!) My dad is the one in blue in the foreground.

Currently the police have bike but he should be getting it back soon. As far as my dad can figure, the other 2 bikes were newer and probably ended up in a used bike shop in the mission district. Oh well... at least he got the irreplaceable bike back! This entire event happened in less than 8 hours.

Lesson of the story... there are some computer guys you just shouldn't mess with!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Is there a reason you're moving?

I loathe going to the dentist... with an all consuming fiery passion. As it turns out, with good reason. I won't admit how many cavities I have or crowns that I need but I will say that I have teeth that are prone to cavities so it's really no surprise. Basically I can't get away with doing the status quo... I have to be the 'over the top flosser, rinser, brusher after every meal'. Which I will gladly be from now on if it keeps me out of the dentist office.

How am I prone you ask? Apparently if you have an extremely high fever when you are between the ages of 4-6 your molars could end up malformed and thus prone to cavities. Who knew? I can't say for sure because my mom is the only person that would know that but I do remember some childhood instances that landed me in the hospital so maybe one of them led to my lovely malformed molars. Add to that I was recently pregnant... did I mention I have a son? I try not to dwell on him but I may have mentioned him once or twice here. Anyway, pregnancy has a way of weakening teeth and leaving them more susceptible to problems...

Enter my day at the dentist... which has gone from appointment 1 of 2 to appointment 1 of 4. Color me thrilled.

Here I am on the death chair. My head is on the 'cushion' they call a headrest. My head is also lower than my feet... which means all the blood is rushing to the one place that hurts the most... my face. The dentist is clearly trying to fit more things into my mouth, which if she did some quick calculations, she would come to understand... there just isn't anymore room. She is pressing down on my mouth... which pushes my head further into the unbending cushion, creating a headache like no other. She is poking prodding and drilling my teeth which thankfully I can barely feel due to the wonderful invention of Novocaine... barely. I feel pressure and scraping... I hear sounds like that of a construction site... I smell smoke and I feel vibrations.

And she asks "is there a reason you are moving your head?"

Thursday, October 23, 2008

I was wrong...

The ladies at the little gym are awesome and extremely welcoming! I have been pulled into this crazy group of girls and I am loving it. We have gone to lunch a few times after little gym, baked cookies at Katy and Anna's house, shopped at Target and hung out at the mall. It's been awesome getting to know them and their kids! I have friends in Hagerstown... YAY me ;~)

Chase and I unfortunately had to miss little gym today because Chase is pretty sick ;~( His nose is all icky and he has his first fever... sad for Chase and sad for mommy and daddy. He's handling it ok... well he's cranky and clingy but all in all, he's doing well. We are just hoping he kicks this sickness before Claire's birthday party on Saturday!

Chase gets a mostly daddy day tomorrow since I have an appointment with the dentist! Ick but necessary. I haven't been since before I was pregnant... which I knew wasn't a good idea but I put it off anyway. I have lived to regret that decision. Let's just say I have some work to be done and tomorrow is appointment 1 of 2. Oh well, at least I will feel better when it's over.

Then in the evening I am going to pick up my MIL from Dulles... where was she you ask?? Just Switzerland... for 24 hours! You may remember my BIL is an international flight attendant... well he just happened to score her some tickets to Switzerland (possibly first class) on a flight he is working and while he is sleeping in the hotel, she is going out sight seeing! Ahh to be a jet setter. In the meantime I have been fielding phone calls for Roof Shampoo! I have booked one job and 3 annual maintenance's... not too shabby... I think I earned my keep! Anything for the family! I can't wait to pick her up and see how the trip went!

I thought life would be slower in Hagerstown... country feel and all but it seems like ever since we got here it's been nonstop. There is always something going on... always something to do! Not that I am complaining... I love it!

Monday, October 20, 2008


this post will be picture heavy ;~)

Chase's first birthday party was a blast! It was so great to see friends and family come out to celebrate him!

Boys will be boys... checking out the football game!

Terese, Sandy (doting Grandma), Joe (doting Grandpa) and Debbie

C and Scooter (my Godson), Chase and I, Rose (bride to be... 27 days to go!), Laura and Adam and Insung and Minhae!

Adam, Ali, Craig and Nick (groom to be... 27 days to go!)

Chase's first birthday cake(s)!!! I made 26 cars in all! Honest to goodness, it was really no extra effort at all... I did most of it in the morning while we were making the other food. They were so much fun to decorate!

and some chocolate cake because that's my favorite! I actually meant to give Chase chocolate but with all the hubbub I forgot!

Giant baby is here to devour this tiny train!

Funny how he knows just what to do... cram it in his mouth!

Mommy never lets me have this much sugar!

Totally loving this!

I am not sure how much he actually ate but when he started throwing fistfuls on the floor... yeah, game over.

Oddly enough the shirt survived but the pants did not!

Adam was enjoying the cake as well! Laura and Adam are from Little Gym and I have to say Adam is one of the cutest kids ever! I just love hearing him run through the gym with that question mark at the end of every word or sentence, hanging off bars (on his own!) and he does this sideways look... cracks me up every time! He really is a fun little boy!

Adam and Minhae sharing a nice moment.

Grandma and Grandpa's bucket o' fun!

Checking out a new book

Scooter made it up to celebrate Chase's big day!

Kids and toys everywhere!

For the budding architect!

Chase's newest towel... the go-to towel from now on!!!

The paper is almost as much fun as the toys!!!

All in all it was a really great day. I was very touched by all the love Chase is surround by... people drove great lengths to be here... one from NJ!!! (although they were on their way home... but still!!!) It is a wonderful feeling to know your kid is loved. Thanks to everyone who made it out and to the ones that missed... we missed you too!!!