Wednesday, February 27, 2008

I'm Being Followed...

Yesterday was the final day of my orientation/training here in Atlanta, GA and someone upstairs decided I needed a little taste of home, just to remind me of what I'm undoubtedly coming back to. The two other trainees and myself all went out to Lonestar for dinner last night. After two hours of conversation about the trip here and what we had learned, we decided it was time to head back to the hotel and turn it in. I noticed a lot of buzz going around the restaurant but couldn't figure out what everyone was talking about. Until we got outside. I walked out the front door and was met with a white wonderland. Georgia. Looks like Kansas found me after all.

Aside from the snow, the biggest bummer of this trip hasn't even been anything here. It's been at home. Brad got sick almost as soon as I landed. He's got a horrible sore throat and lots of congestion accompanied with a lot of dizziness and headaches. When I talk to him on the phone, it's hard for him to speak so our conversation usually only last about 3 minutes with me talking the majority of the time. (The me talking part is pretty standard anyway, though.) Last night he finally decided to go to the doctor but they were almost closing and couldn't get him in. He's going to try again today, although I am especially worried about him driving in his condition. If a dizzy spell were to hit him, Lord only knows what would happen. Thankfully I'm coming home this evening and will be able to take care of him.

So that's it - the orientation ends at 1.30 this afternoon and I'm outta the land o' peaches at around 6.30 or so (provided my plane isn't having any issues). Have a great Wednesday and if you're in health, say a little prayer for Brad who isn't sharing your good fortune!

Monday, February 25, 2008

I Can See Clearly Now- the Snow is Gone!

This is going to be a short post a I am in a hotel room in Georgia preparing for a long day of seminars and conferences. But, I had to mentionhow lovely it is to wake up and put on a short sleeved shirt, knowing that I will not receive frost bite the minute I step outside. So, Georgia's weather gets a gold star, but Delta Airlines gets a minus on the chalkboard. My flight yesterday was delayed over two hours due to a "navigational error" that had to be fixed. Is it just me or does that sound like the pilots were flying blind at some point? Not exactly a comforting thought as I stepped onto the aircraft. Thankfully, I arrived here alive and but, unforunately, I only get to be in the nice weather on breaks from my sales seminars. Oh well, beggars can't be whiners or whatever that cliche is.

The weekend was delightful! We had a blast with Bill and Jan and the girls, enjoying Makayla's basketball game and doing a little shopping. I almost bought a new raincoat, but Brad started ordering baby aspring for his heart when I told him it was $80, so I opted out of the purchase. Taylor and Makayla each got some new outfits which they modeled for us, and later we had a fantastic karaoke sing along in which Bill crooned "Desperado", Jan and I rocked out to "Bohemian Rhapsody" and the girls sang, natch, Hannah Montana. And Brad rapped - kind of. Most of the songs he knows aren't for small children't ears...

After I went to the airport yesterday, the girls, Brad and the grandparents went to the boat show. From what I hear the girls had a great time climbing in all the expensive boats and probably asking if they could have one. Ehhhhh - no. I wish, though. Boy do I wish.

Have a great Monday and I'll talk to you all soon!

Friday, February 22, 2008

Snow, snow, go away, come again some -- actually, don't come back!

People, I think mother nature is trying to kill me. I am so done with snow and cold. My lips are chapped, my socks are wet, and I am an un-happy camper. It's time for winter to pack up it's stuff and visit someone who deserves misery - like Britney, perhaps.

For awhile now I've been looking for the bright side on this season, and the only thing I can come up with is my trip to Georgia this Sunday-Wednesday. Granted it's for work and not a vacation, but at least I'll be out of sub-zero temperatures and off the highways. Of course, the bummer is I won't get to be here with Brad and my friends. It's a no win situation.

So, this weekend is much like the last two: we have company! Brad's Dad and step-mom are coming to watch Makayla's second to last baskeball game. I'm bummed the season is ending. Nothing perks up a Saturday quite like a 7 year-old girl trying to shoot from the 3-point line. It's priceless. Plus, a lot of the kids haven't grasped the concept of dribbling and running at the same time, so they just tend to run. It's like a free comedy show. Of course, the best part is when your child gets the ball and scores a basket. Winning the lottery couldn't make me happier...

If you haven't looked in awhile, I (finally) posted a new Hunk on my Hunk or Skunk page, so check it out. It was a good nomination this week! I'm curious if anyone will ever nominate a Skunk??

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

2 Down, Hopefully No More To Go!!

Okay folks, I am declaring this week to now be referred to as "National Be Careful on the Road Week." After Josh's car fiasco the other day, Brad's boss decided he wanted to be a part of the same club and totaled his car yesterday! That makes two; generally bad things happen in three's, so everyone be careful when you're driving, walking, riding the bus, skiing, snowboarding, rollerblading or bicycling. Thankfully in both of these accidents no one was hurt...except the beautiful car that Brad's boss drove, it brings a tear to my eye. I called Brad to tell him to be extra careful while he drives this week and he actually hinted that I am the one who needs to be careful. The nerve of this man...I tell ya. So what if I hit a stop sign when I was 17? They're waaay to close to the road; everyone knows that...

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Angel Standing By

There are sayings and cliches everywhere that tell you to appreciate each day and live like you're not waking up tomorrow, but I have to admit, I rarely do that. Most of us - and I am no exception - assume we've got loads of time left here and therefore don't need to think about things like death or illness.

Yesterday my brother-in-law was in a car accident in Iowa due to the awful road conditions. He flipped his truck three times, and crawled away without even a scrape. When he called his Nicole (his wife) to tell her the story, she was obviously overwhelmed to even be talking to Josh after such a horrific accident. I talk to Brad probably 18 times a day (he can't stand that I call that often, but tough) and I always assume that when I the number, Brad's voice will be waiting on the other end. I can't imagine what it would be like to one day not have his voice waiting for me on the other end of that telephone line. No, this doesn't mean I'm going to start calling him 28 times a day to make sure he's alive (although I probably would if he'd let me), but I do intend to start being more appreciative of the time I have here and the people I have in my life.

Josh certainly had an angel watching over him yesterday morning, and I am so thankful to not be writing about visiting my brother-in-law in the hospital. There are so many accidents that do not end as luckily as Josh's did. A totaled truck and a call to the insurance company seem like a very small price to pay in exchange for Josh's well being.

I guess I'm done waxing philosophic. Have a good Tuesday and be careful. Surprise someone you love with a phone call or email just to remind them you love them...Valentine's Day may be over, but the idea behind it should last all year.

Monday, February 18, 2008


Watch an English kid use his notoriously bad teeth to wreak havoc on his brother. This is the cutest thing I've seen on You Tube so far:

Antisdel - The new Ebert?

Prepare yourselves. I have become a movie critic. Well, not really, I just totally loved the movie Brad and I went to on Friday. So much that we had a half bag of popcorn left over at the end. Whoa.

"Definitely, Maybe" is probably one of the best romantic comedies/drama's I have seen in a very long time. If you're a boy, don't go running for the hills and digging yourself a trench yet. Though this could be considered a "chick flick" I don't know one guy that wouldn't like it, for the following reasons:
Ryan Reynolds is good to watch because he motivates you to work out and try new hair gel. Isla Fischer is gorgeous, and Abigail Breslin is probably the cutest kid ever and will make you want to have children just like her. See? It's a win win.

Seriously, this is a great movie for anyone who has ever dated more than one person, had a kid or been in love. Pretty sure that accounts for 100% of the populations. I'm not going to give you details on what it's about - that's what the internet is for. But go see it without even knowing what its about. You'll laugh, you'll probably cry and most of all you'll reflect. And you'll want to get your hair done just like Ryan's. It's all Brad talked about for the first 10 minutes.

Okay, so movie critic aside, the rest of the weekend was pretty good. No baskets for Kayla, but she did shoot a few times and got close. Brad did his designer thing up in Iowa and work on Janette's house should commence in a few weeks. Woo hoo! The girls are truly concerned that Grandma is going to starve to death while her kitchen is being demolished. They asked her with intent worry, "Grandma, what are you going to EAT?"

Oh yeah, the blizzard. If ya'll think you got one down here this weekend, think again. Iowa was the place to be if you wanted to feel like you were in the Arctic Circle. Blowing, heavy, wet snow blanketed the Des Moines area and covered the highways. We knew a snow-in was inevitable if we waited too long to head home, but I-35 was a disaster. In the end, we opted to drive 1.5 hours to the west on I-80 to Council Bluffs, and then south on 29 to home. It added an additional 2 hours to the trip home, but at least Brad didn't have to white-knuckle the steering wheel all the way home. Only half of the way.

Like everyone else, I am over winter. I am so ready for cute pink and green handbags and flip flops. For jacket-weather and sunshine. For new swim suits and sunglasses. Most of all, I am ready to play outside on the jungle gym's with the girls and go to the park. I'm ready for long walks and even longer amounts of daylight....we're so close, and yet so far away. But it's coming. It's coming...

Friday, February 15, 2008

V-day has passed...

Another year, another Valentine's Day gone without a trace. Oh wait, the extra 5 pounds on my hips from the candy and chocolate left a trace...

We had a delcious dinner with our girls last night at The Corner Cafe in Liberty. After trying to get into Longhorn Steakhouse and encountering a 2 hour wait we decided to go somewhere more family oriented and enjoy a home-style meal. Taylor wolfed down her French Toast and Makayla inhaled her ham and cheese omlette before I even had one bite of my dinner in my mouth. And then we all ate pie. Lots of it.

Brad and I had every intention of heading to a flick after dinner, but were both well on our way to the Sugar Coma Speedway, so we decided to skip it. We might make it out tonight if we can find anything worth going to. Might have a run of tough luck there. Any suggestions will gladly be accepted...

This weekend is full - what's new? Tomorrow we have Kayla's b-ball game and then up to Iowa so Brad can flex his designer muscles at Janette's house some more. The best thing is we get the girls on Saturday and Sunday! Don't really know why, but you don't look a gift horse in the mouth. (Who comes up with these sayings? Have you ever actually seen a horse give a gift? Except for a large amount of poop on the Plaza? ) We'll also get to see Brad's Dad and Jan this weekend and hear all about their trip to Mexico! That being said, I seriously doubt you'll see any more blogs from me until Sunday night. Dry your eyes, it will be here soon enough. Have a fab weekend and try not to fall down. Oops, that's my advice for myself.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

I should work for UPS

What a week I had today! After delivering 10 (yes, that's TEN) Valentine's Day cakes and adding a ridiculous 129 miles to my vehicle all in the name of my employment, I am ready to kick back, realx and have my temples rubbed. And be fed some grapes. Not gonna happen, but it's for a good reason; we actually have the girls tonight for Valentine's Day! I'm sure we'll end up eating somewhere uber romantic...does McDonalds take reservations?

Brad and I had a strict "no presents, no flowers, no candy" rule that we promised to adhere to. However, I brought his office a Valentine's cake that I know he partook (is that a word?) in, so am I not therefore entitled to a small, teeny tiny gift myself??? Perhaps I'll get a chocolate shake with my dinner.

I have to say I was surprised by the number of Valentine's Day deliveries I encountered going from office to office today. Candy by the truckloads, roses in mass quantities, and even the occasional Cookie Gram (so cute, by the way). The thing that kind of bummed me out was thinking how many people spent $100 or more on flowers today, when tomorrow they can buy the exact same arrangement for $29.99 and probably have the flowers wrapped in 24 carat gold paper. Hmm, now that I think about it, is it frowned upon to purchase next year's Valentine's Day stuff tomorrow when everything goes on sale? Candy keeps for a year, right??? Be right back, my cheapskate is alarm going off again....

Last night was my buddy Shannon's birthday party. Well, scratch that, she's actually Brad's friend and she became my friend. But she likes me better. I know it. Anyways, we traveled to a dueling piano bar and drank $1.00 drafts while listening to horrible renditions of Elton John, Queen, and the Ohio State fight song. Now that's fun for the whole family. It was actually quite a blast as seen by the pictures below. Happy birthday to Shannon yesterday, Stacy tomorrow, and me on Monday, March the 3rd. See how I cleverly slipped that one in?
Brad gettin' his groove on
One of those drinks is water, by the way.

The most important person of the night...the pole

Me and Libby

Sometimes photo's seem like a good idea....until you see them the next day.

Me and B-rad...listening to the tunes.

Brad and the birthday girl doing "The Shannon."

Shannon with her best friend.

They really are just friends....and she still likes me better.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Hunk or Skunk Blog

Hey all, check out the link on the right side of this page that will take you to my new blog...Hunk or Skunk! For those of you that remember Hunk O' the Week, this is the same thing, but the format has changed a little bit. I won't be sending out emails anymore - just posting the articles on the blog for you to read at your leisure. If you know some peeps that might want to read the blog, pass along the info so they can share in the fun. And as always, if you have a nomination for Hunk or Skunk, just let me know!

Talk to you soon,

PS- a new article should be coming soon! Hang tight!

Water, Water Everywhere and Not a Drop to Drink!

Is it March? We just crammed three weeks worth of fun into one single weekend and I am exhausted! Here's the run-down from the weekend (pictures at the end). It's a long one:

Friday night- Hubs brought the girls home around 6.00 and we attempted to play Monopoly for a little while. It didn't work so well. T wanted to be "the car" and drive all around the board and wasn't that interested in buying property. M was obsessed with keeping all of her money straight and every time she landed on Community Chest she owed money instead of getting anything.

Both girls got "Get Out of Jail Free" card but thankfully never had to use them, while Hubs and I spent much of the time reminiscing about which properties were our favorites when we were a kid and realizing that the game literally would take 8 hours to finish. We gave up after an hour and decided to watch TV. The girls finally went to bed around 9.45 and only 10 minutes later the rest of the troops from Iowa arrived. A (the girls' cousin) had slept much of the time in the car and Baby B was wide awake and ready to party. We got everyone settled and eventually drifted off to sleep around 11.15.

Saturday- 6:15 am, the alarm went off and the house looked like a scene from Home Alone with everyone running around preparing for M's basketball game. An air of anticipation for the Great Wolf Lodge was unmistakable.

At M's game (with bandaids firmly on her newly pierced ears) her team endured one of the most B-E A-G-G-R-E-S-S-I-V-E teams I have ever seen. The Blue Jays couldn't even get the ball down the court without one of the girls from the Tigers islapping or ripping the ball away.

It didn't help that the Tigers out-heighted our girls by a head each. M is getting much better at defense and stuck to her girl like flies on a rib roast. On offense she's getting there as well, looking for the ball and trying to shoot. No baskets this week, but she did have 10 family members in the stands. Mildly intimidating. After the game it was straight home to pick up the luggage for the weekend and off to lunch. Aiden had never been to T-Rex so we arrived at 11.00 to try and get in. No dice. There was a two hour wait! At 11.00 in the morning!!! We ended up waiting it out and got in after only about an hour. A loved the dinosaurs and we loved the food.

So, dinos finished and tummies full, it was time for the Great Wolfe Lodge. Holy Lord.

The lobby was completely packed with weekend visitors trying to check in early and telling their kids "Mommy's trying to get us in dear, but we have to wait in line!" The hotel features huge looking glass windows into the water park and the kids immediately looked out and saw what awaited them. A huge cornucopia of water slides, swimming pools and water toys lay stretched out in front of them. They were pumped.

We got checked in and headed to our rooms, with our Brad, myself and the girls on the 4th floor and the rest of the fam directly below us on the 3rd. The rooms were very nice and accomodating and the kids couldn't care less. They wanted to swim. We loaded up and headed down to the park. This park features more things to do than you can shake a stick at. A gigantic water bucket dumps 1,000 gallons of water on top of the park every five minutes. Slides 3 stories tall dominate the landscape. Children are running amock everywhere. My first thought was, "we are going to lose our children in this place". I was, naturally, being paranoid. Everything went great.

The kids loved every second of the day there. T immediately wanted to ride a big slide so Hubs and I accompanied her. I screamed the entire way down. Afterwards it was M's turn but she was terrified. We managed to convince her to wait in the 20 minute line, sure that we could convince her of how much fun it would be. She made it all the way to sitting in the raft, ready to go down. And then she freaked. As she tried to jump out of the raft Hubs had to grab her by the arm before she went flopping out head-first onto the concrete like a fish. They made the slow return down the stairs as T and I rode the slide another time.

We spent a great deal of time in the pool but by early evening our tummies were growling and we decided to get dressed and have some grub in the hotel. As we made our way back to the rooms I surveyed the number of ways in which parents can easily drain their bank accounts in a mere 48 hours.

There was an arcade, a craft house, gift shops, restaurants, special games to play, and of course, paraphanalia for the water. No wonder this place has visitors year round. Dinner was delicious and featured an appetizer for the kids that was actually healthy! It included ants on a log, carrot sticks and peanut butter banana sandwiches.

Interestingly enough, the adults were the ones who got excited about it. The kids looked at us like "where are the chicken fingers?" After dinner we gathered in the lobby to watch a little "story time" show put on by the hotels and hit the arcade for a few minutes. Then it was back to the rooms with ice cream and the girls lay on our beds with Grandma to watch TV. After this point, I have nothing else to report because I literally passed out from exhaustion. Oops.

Sunday- Last day at Great Wolfe. We were up by 8:30 and in the water park by 9.15. This time we played basketball in the pool, relaxed in the lazy river pool, and hit the slides a dozen times. T braved the biggest slide there was....several times. M almost made it down one of the kid slides and again, at the last second changed her mind. She just couldn't make herself try it. It didn't matter though, there were plenty of other things to do! Hubs Grandma and Missie all went upstairs at 10.30 to check us out of the hotel and myself and Brent stayed behind with the kids so they could continue playing. By 12.30 I could hardly stand up. We relaxed in the hot tub but visions of pillows and soft beds danced in my head. It was time to get going. We packed everything up and enjoyed a light lunch at Dave and Busters before the Iowa folk headed home.

This weekend taught me a lot of things, namely patience. I learned you can't talk a 7 year-old into going down a slide by promising her a mocha frappucino, and you also can't talk a 4 year-old out of going down a slide simply by explaning that you're tired. They look at you like you're insane.

Though the Great Wolf Lodge was packed with tiny arms and legs under the age of 12, I have to say I barely even noticed. I don't recall really seeing any bad behavior by children anywhere. Overall this was a great treat for a weekend and I know the kids appreciated it more than anyone. We enjoyed spending time with the family and feeling like kids again ourselves. Janette always promises an exciting vacation, and this weekend she certainly delivered!!!! Now the kids want to go weekend. Um, no.

Girls in their Great Wolfe Lodge T-shirts they colored!

The kids and Grandma Janette in the lobby

Baby B and her floation device. Her face says it all!


Here it comes!



1,000 gallons of water every five minutes! It's enough to knock you over!

Friday, February 8, 2008

Great Wolf Weekend

Today is going to be a busy one. But then it's the weekend, so that's motivation enough for me. Brad's up against a deadline so he'll be busy working hard all day long and I have several appointments that should keep me on my toes.
This weekend is going to be packed with things to do! Makayla has a basketball game at 8.30 in the AM on Saturday. Seriously, who plays sports at 8.30 on a weekend?? I'm going to have to consult with the Parks and Rec people about ruining my beauty sleep! After that is over (and Makayla scores the winning basket) we will be in for a splash of a good time. Brad's Mom is coming down from Iowa along with Brad's brother and sister-in-law and their two children. We will be staying at the Great Wolf Lodge and watching the kids frolic on the slides....if they aren't too scared. I've never stayed there before and the girls are really looking forward to it as well. It will be a nice break from the work week. Apparently the hotel is really nice so it should be a lot of fun. As an added bonus, we're literally 4 miles from our house so if we forget anything there will be no problem going home to get it!
Off to work I go - places to go, carpet to sell...

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Fun Times With the Fam

This is just a taste of our life in the past few months...

Brad's Birthday Cake!

Our beautiful Makayla...

...and beautiful Taylor!

The look on their faces 99% of the time!!

Christmas 2007

Random Pics

These are pictures I took at Christmastime of my niece and nephew doing random things...i.e. shaving for the first time and catching snowflakes with tongues.

Pictures from our Wedding Rehearsal- 7.13.07

These are a few pictures from our wedding rehearsal back in July. I know a lot of you haven't seen them, so...enjoy!

Snow= No fun

As I'm sure you're all aware, the weather outside is frightful. Brad and I woke up extra early yesterday morning (Wednesday) to find 6" of snow on our driveway with more still coming down. I had appointments all day in Wichita and spent many minutes debating whether or not to go. After finally convincing myself I could make it, off I went into the snowy blizzard, completely unaware of what was awaiting me. Slick roads, insane drivers and snow plows dominated the highways and I found myself trotting along at 32 miles an hour on 435. Not a great way to start out a 3 hour drive. After viewing 3 cars slide off the road, I turned the car around and headed home defeated.
Brad still went in to work yesterday and I spent most of the day here at the house screaming at my computer for not working properly. Overall I learned a vaulable lesson that is the title of this blog today. Snow = no fun.

We had dinner with the girls last night up in Liberty and enjoyed Popeye's chicken tenders and frech fries....nutrition central. Afterward we headed into the Price Chopper and bought Makayla a birthday cake for school. For those of you scratching your heads in confusion, no you are not going crazy. Makayla was born on August 8th. However, in school you obviously can't celebrate an August birthday so instead, they celebrate summer birthdays' on the students' half birthday. In Makayla's instance, that is February 8th. She asked us if she gets presents. We said no.

In other news...Brad has officially finished designing his Mom's (Janette) kitchen and bathroom revamp. He's so excited about it that I swear sometimes he'd pediddle on the floor like a puppy if he knew he could get away with it.
Though work has not officially begun, materials have been ordered, contractors have been hired and the house is ready for its makeover. Janette has been very gracious in allowing Brad a lot of creative room to reinspire her home. I've seen many of the materials (and put my two cents in on tile, natch) and it is an understatement to say the rennovati0ns are definitely HGTV-worthy. I'll be sure to post the before and after pictures when they are ready so you all can get excited and hire Brad to work on your home. For a small nominal fee...