A friend of mine has been an inspiration to me as of late. Our kids are close in age. She has two sons and I have two daughters.

Her youngest son 'P" has been sick. He hasn't been gaining weight. After several months in treatment he is faced with having surgery. He is going to have a feeding tube put in to supplement his food intake so he can gain weight. "P" is scheduled for surgery two days before Christmas. My girlfriend and her family are going to have a different type of Christmas, the praying kind.

My girlfriend has held very strong. I admire her... I admire her strength, her courage. Every time I talk to her I get chocked up when we talk. She tells me she spent time with "P". She gave him a bath and took picture of his bare tummy to cherish for the rest of her life. He will have a scar on his tummy and to hear her reminisce made me so sad.

"P" is going to have to have this tube for 2 years. He will do well with time.

Even though I won't be back home with her for support. I will be not only thinking of her and her family; I will be praying for them, and I will help her the best I can from afar.

Happy Thanksgiving... a few days late.

Wow I was super busy the last 2 weeks! I have been meaning to post but have not had a free moment. My last post was a super rant, bitchy post and I almost regret publishing it. But... it's too late now.

Today I am much better. Thanksgiving was amazing... I worked Monday and was off the rest of the week. My mom flew in on Tuesday evening so I had the whole day to get errands done for the week. I came home and baked pumpkin bread and cooked potato broccoli bacon cheddar cheese soup. On Wednesday I prepped food all day for Thanksgiving so I could relax on Thanksgiving and actually spend time with my family.

Friday I went shopping. I got up at 3:30 to be to the stores by 4. Yes I was insane, but I got some pretty good deals and saved a lot of money. The last store I was in I locked my keys in my hubby's truck. That sucked. But it all worked out.

My mom helped me organize my house and purge stuff that was taking up space. I donated 10 big black garbage bags of clothes and toys to Goodwill. It was so good to get rid of the stuff and hopefully some little girls will have a nice Christmas with the stuff we got rid of.

I was sad to see my mom go, but there will be a next time.

I hope all of you had a great holiday and had plenty to be thankful for.

A little bit of this... a little bit of that...

This past weekend was our 13th annual Fraternal Order of Police dinner. For about 9 months out of the year we prepare for this event. I totally look forward to doing it. The hustle and bustle of all of the people and being under pressure is a rush to me. Crazy, yes I know.

When we had our last meeting one of our younger (20 years old) members said I should "tone down" my assigned sex basket. For those of you who don't know I have started my own business doing them with the feedback I got on making them. So clearly people like them, not to mention it's a ga-zillion dollar industry. Ever heard of the phrase, "Sex Sells"? Well I was a bit put off by his comment and responded by saying "kids" your age should be thinking about nothing but sex. I asked him to define "tone down" and he really couldn't answer me. I said... we are all human and we all do it. For this years basket I toned things down as asked by burying the taboo toys and covering up movie titles. When I provided the list of goodies I put the "offensive items" on the second page. Meaning if you were really interested you had to turn to page two.

Ticket sales were great, but it wasn't a "best seller". It's ok with me... It just means next year I won't buy as much to put in it.

For the night though I was rather crabby as a whole. I had a lot on my mind and everything really it me at once and it was almost an overload.

One of our couple friends couldn't make it because of her job. She had a marketing deadline which prevented her from doing much of anything. Another couple didn't come because the wife has been having really bad morning/noon/night-sickness. Another her hubby has been sick for about a week... The good thing was my best friend one who would most likely not be able to attend came from Wisconsin. I was so happy to see her.

2. I have been stressed out... One of our members is like Fidel Castro. It's her way or the highway. And it's getting to me.

3. I got medical news about my back... I was told I have lumbar spinal stenosis. I was in a bad car accident 12 years ago. I went through 9 months of physical therapy and 3 years of chiropractic care. I have been just managing the pain through intermitent chiropratic visits. Before we went to Vegas this year I was having pain in my back, which isn't new. I just figured it was just back pain. I finally called the doctor 2 months later dealing with pain between 7-9 on the standard pain scale. I went to the doctor and they said my kidney's are fine (which is what I was worried about) and it must be a sprained muscle. Basically the doctor thought I was a quack and as a preventitive [shut-up] measure I would have x-rays taken and muscle relaxers 3 times a day. The following day (Friday) I get a message from the doctor. She tells me there "really is" something wrong. She tells me I have lumbar spinal stenosis. Great... I have feared this moment. I honestly thought it would never happen. I am scared. I start reading up on this lovely medical term and blurbs say... walking with a walker or leaning over a grocery cart can help alieviate the pain. I am 30 years old and crippled! Fantastic. I have to start all over with medical treatments. Starting with the pain pills 3 times a day for 3 weeks. There's a catch though... I can't take 2 out of the 3 doses as I work full-time and have 2 kids and these things make me pass out. If those don't work I will move onto physical therapy. If PT is unsuccessful cortisone shots and lastly back surgery. It's pretty much eminent though. So my coloinal "dream" house is not going to be a reality. We will need to buy a ranch...

So all of those things just really got to me. It was a lot to digest. After talking about it a lot getting my thoughts off my chest I feel better.

On a better note I am looking forward to Thanksgiving. My mom is coming out to visit and I am going to cook/bake. I can't wait to see her. We are going to have our Thanksgiving alone and not go over and visit Tom's family for desert. It will be a nice time to bond and re-connect and for her to see our kids and get to spend time with them. Then we go to Florida for Christmas!

Sigh of relief...

We finally hired two babysitters! Now I can have time away with my hubby! It's so exciting!

26 years ago...

Today marks the 26th anniversary that I lost my dad... It is the 26th anniversary on the 26th day of the month. It's just weird. I never thought that the numbers would climb so high. I honestly never thought I would outlive my father. It was a fear I had growing up. That fear almost broke up my marriage. But with some help I got through it. Now I feel that I can face most anything with a different perspective. Every year that goes by, I feel that I have taken some sort of life experience that [I feel] my dad would have wanted me to endure. And for the most part I feel that I have taken them in stride.

I talk to my dad's brothers and sisters and they all miss him terribly. They speak of him like one would speak of God. It just really makes me wish I could have known my dad for more than 4 years. Those 4 years I have clung onto for dear life trying not to overwrite any memories with new ones. Because I just don't want to forget. I can't. But as time passes by it just seems like it all was a dream. Most of my life my father has been a dream, he's been in my dreams. I have had to invision him in the majority of my childhood experiences all the way to today. I would give anything for him to hug my kids. And for once not to explain to Emily that Grandpa is in heaven.

Those are all of my selfish thoughts.... But for now... I must rest easy knowing that my father is in heaven and he is with my family and I every day. And I have to dig deep for one of his hugs that only I remember.

Drive-by Post

I have been slacking at blogging lately! Life has been keeping my family and I have been very busy.

I am going to shoot off a bullet point list of happenings:

  • We are fast approaching the Fraternal Order of Police dinner in a few weeks. Some friends are coming in from Michigan, New Hampshire and Wisconsin for the event so I am very excited to entertain a houseful.
  • I have been cooking/baking a lot lately and I have been loving it!
  • I am starting to do fall cleaning and de-cluttering. I hate doing it but I feel good shedding shit we don't need anymore.
  • Living in Ohio I can't handle the advertisements anymore! I can't wait for this damn election to be over.
  • The economy in the state it is in scares the shit out of me.
  • I am SO happy the price of gas has gone down!
That's all I can think of for now....

Vegas - Part II

As promised here is the rest of the pics from Vegas!

30 is the New 18

Well my birthday has come and gone... I am another year older and for some odd reason I feel like 30 is the new 18. I feel like I am an adult all over again.

As I mentioned in my last post we went to Las Vegas and had one hell of a time. We went with two couple friends of ours and it was a blast! Every night we were in Vegas we went to see a show.

The first night we were there we saw Le Reve at the Wynn Casino. We were running late leaving our casino so we ended up having to take a hired limo. The dude was really nice and gave us a great deal. I was really excited to see this show as I love the Cirque de Soleil. We had some complications getting our tickets before the show with our reservation which started the night off on a bad foot. The whole time during the show I was pissy about what happened and knew I had to take care of our dinner reservations... But the show was very confusing. The story line was rather confusing and I couldn't figure it out. At first it seemed like heaven and hell... Then there were ballroom dancers followed by 4 men in white suits. Just weird. After the show we ate at the Wynn Buffet. It was excellent. The food was delicious. It was on the pricey side, but worth it.

The second night we were there we saw Blue Man Group and it was a wonderful show. We saw the late show at 10PM which was 1AM back home. I was rather tired and drunk and was having a hard time staying up until the show really started to get moving. The comedy was funny and the stuff they did was pretty neat. Hands down better than Le Reve. Before the show we ate at Canaletto at the Venetian. It is an Italian restaurant. The food wasn't the best, in my own opinion, but our waiter was awesome. He really made our experience.

The third night we were there we saw Danny Gans. Danny is an entertainer who does impersonations and comedy. He was simply amazing. I really enjoyed his show. He did well over 100 impersonations while we were there and I couldn't believe while he did the impersonations he did their respective gestures. Danny is going to be leaving the Mirage Casino to go the Wynn Casino after the New Year (per a reliable source). After seeing Danny we went to a Brazilian Steakhouse, Samba. The food was delicious. I couldn't believe how tasty everything was. The meat had great flavors. The service was impeccable. After dinner our waiter came to our table with this huge piece of banana cream pie. We are all looking at each other like what the ??? Our waiter then asks, who's birthday is it? Another round of what the ??? My girlfriend then says... Melissa! So they sing happy birthday to me and we dig in. The funny thing is no one knew it was my birthday... The best thing we could guess was when we called our concierge desk there was mention of my birthday and it was noted in their system for our dinner reservations.

My birthday in Vegas was really fun. Getting old has never felt so good.

Here's some of the pics... I will have to update with more. I didn't have all of them on my camera.

Been awhile...

It's been nearly a month since I have posted. The month of August has flown by...

My "big" baby girl started school. I have been working on a major project at work for nearly 8 months now and I finally finished it. I was able to have two conferences about it and it went well. Talking for 2.5 hours at a time takes a lot of you.

We are preparing to head to Las Vegas for my birthday. I never been more excited for a birthday. I don't think this compares to my 16th, 18th or 21st birthdays. I am reaching another milestone... 30. Yes... Soon I will be saying adios to my 20's and HELLO to my 30's. Now I won't be such a "baby". While I have always felt older than I really am considering I have been married almost 10 years and have had a home for 7 years I have been " grown up" for a looong time.

I will be posting before I go.

Here's my ticker -- I leave on my birthday. YEAH!!!

SYTYCD and music!

I am a total dork, I admit... I watched So You Think You Can Dance (SYTYCD) this summer. There was jack-shit on and I have always loved dancing. I was watching the last competition episode this past week and there was this song I couldn't get out of my mind. I have a special place in my heart for classical music. It's not my first choice, but I do like the genre.

The last dance the 4 finalists did together was choreographed by Mia Michaels, who is excellent! Her song choices are always funky and fresh. The song was by the Vitamin String Quartet (VSQ) and the song was Hallelujah. I frantically searched the net for the song. I found it and found out the Vitamin String Quartet does classical cover albums for really anyone... from Pink Floyd to Incubus to Billy Joel to the Beatles. It is a totally different perspective listening to your favorite songs in string. So this newfound favorite song of mine is from Paramore, who I like. But I love this song.

It's funny because at first I started watching this show alone then it was something the girls and I enjoyed together since Em is in dance.

I am going to miss the show because it introduces new songs and artists I have never heard of. I look forward to next year.

It hurts... Part II

I wrote a post back in June about a friend of mine "It hurts". Well I haven't really talked to this friend because I just didn't want to be the one putting forth all of the efforts for nothing in return. I just feel very guarded. I try to call on occasion and the one time I called to tell her about Em and a surgery she had she vented to me for 15 minutes with me saying virtually nothing. It was a waste of time - for me. Good thing we both have Verizon and share free minutes with our cell phone calls.

Yesterday I get the mail and there is a card. I notice it is from my friend. Begrudgingly, I open it up. I didn't know what the hell was going to be in the card.

I start to read the Hallmark, my favorite, card:

Finding time for friendship
seems more complicated than ever.
That's why the easy
kind of friendship
we share means so very much.
I know I can depend on you,
no matter how much time passes
between our visits or phone calls.
Just knowing you are there
fills my days with the comfort
of being thought of,
the warmth
of being cared about,
and the joy
of being understood
It would be wonderful
to see you more often,
but it's also wonderful
knowing we don't
have to work
at impressing each other
or building trust

-- open card --

Whenever I think
of true friendship,
I think of you

- Barbara Loots

My friend writes -- normally I wouldn't share this, but I need advice...

Sorry I can't not really been around much. Things have been hard, financially, emotionally, physically, not really an excuse, but it's all I have.

Thanks for sticking by...

then signed XXX

The one thing that ticks me off is I offered to pay for her plane ticket to come and visit and she flat out said no. She said she can't afford it. What the shit?? How can you not afford paying for nothing? Um... sounds wierd. I know at her job it is almost like commission. She is a therapist and makes a certain amount of money per patient she sees. But... not even a weekend??? Come on.

I honestly am out of emotion.... I think the card came a little late... Maybe I am just an unforgiving bitch. I don't like to hold things against people, I honestly just don't know...


End of Watch for J. Miktarian 1974 - 2008

The Greater Cleveland area lost another officer last week. Joshua Miktarian was laid to rest on Friday, July, 17, 2008. He was killed in the line of duty at a "routine" traffic stop early one morning. At the young age of 33; he leaves behind his wife and his daughter only 3.5 months old.

Miktarian was shot in the head area 4 times all close range. He was shot from a 23 year old kid who had a concealed weapon. He did have a license to carry a concealed weapon, but did not have a license to kill someone. Miktarian did not have a chance to call his K-9 partner out. So his K-9 partner witnessed his death. Had his partner been called out I am sure the outcome of this situation of this horrible tragedy would have been much different.

The suspect was apprehended at his mothers house with one handcuff on from the traffic stop. So one would speculate Miktarian started to handcuff him and the kid drew his gun on him.

I watched the live feed of the funeral procession and the funeral ceremony on a local news website while at work. I had a rough day doing my job because I had this all on my mind. I can't imagine what it would be like to lose my spouse, let alone in the line of duty. I don't ever want to wake up in the middle of the night to a knock on my door. I know every day my husband walks out the door, there is a chance he will not come back. I realize we all have that chance, but his is greater much like all of us. I have tried talking to my husband about this situation and he is taking it very hard in his own right. He was a fellow brother. We never knew Miktarian but we all "related" through the Thin Blue Line.

I just need to suppress my own personal feelings and put my husbands life in the hands of his platoon. If he trusts them, I trust them.

To Mrs. Miktarian and your daughter... I am so terribly sorry. There is nothing I can write or say to put into words what I am feeling for you and your family. I am sorry I never knew Josh. He seemed like a really great man and your surrounding communities have lost a wonderful man. I know Twinsburg Police Department and the community will be there for you.

God bless you and your family.

New tattoos banned for police officers...

I read an article on this morning regarding the Des Moines, Iowa police department prohibiting any future tattoos on their current officers and any new hires. Potentially narrowing out excellent officers from the hiring pool because they are inked. This article goes on about this new policy. The officers have filed a grievance saying it is "unreasonable". Any officers with visible tattoos will be photographed. I would presume so there won't be any sleeves being finished.

I can see both sides of this coin...

While I see the point of having the "powers that be" tell you what you can and can't have on your body and where is crossing some sort of fine line, however when you are in law enforcement those markings become almost a liability. If you have a tattoo of a clown on your forearm and you are working undercover in a Vice Unit that becomes a liability. Think about it... If you are on duty and a drug dealer sees your clown tattoo that is one thing, but if he recognizes you in plain clothes doing whatever you do off duty with your family that creates a problem. And one could imagine what would the end result would be.

Some departments also prohibit facial hair. I presume they want to maintain some sort of professionalism. I believe officers need to connect with the public. They aren't working in a suit and tie. They are dealing with criminals. To be quite frank, they need not to be impressed. If you have a mustache, beard or a goatee that's cool. That's who you are.

A problem I see is people are afraid of their officers. I remember growing up our cities officers had trading cards. Yes it's cheesy and I may be a little younger than most, but they were involved with the community.

I wish this was a simple topic, but our officers need to be able to live somewhat freely. They are not "owned" by the government. From what I understand the military has also implemented this [tattoo] rule too. While I am not sure of the reasonings for the military I totally understand for law enforcement.

I guess you just never know what you really will be when you grow up or what promotion will be coming up. So be mindful before you get inked, it could potentially cost you a career you have envisioned since your childhood.


While listening to XM the other day I was listening to the 20 on 20. There was this really stupid song on and I glance over and see it is from the New Kids on the Block. Um, hello?! Didn't they break up like 20 years ago? I heard rumors about them getting back together, but I didn't believe it because it just couldn't be true. Well slap me silly... The New Kids on the Block are back and they are 100 in pop-star years, much like dog years.

They are in competition now with all of these other teen-bands. I know I won't be listening. It sounds bloody awful. I had to turn whatever song they were singing pretty quick. I was getting nauseous listening to it.

I was just in pure shock, and likely the last one to hear them on the radio for the first time... Oh! and get this... they are going on tour! What the hell?!

I am getting old... really fucking old.

Here comes the 4th!

I am so excited for the 4th of July! I am counting down the days I can go back home and celebrate our country's birthday. I have posted before about my love of the 4th of July. Now I am beyond words excited.

The only thing that worries me now is all of the flooding back home in Wisconsin. I know some of my friends/family experienced flooding in their basements, but still have a home to come home to.

It hurts...

While in high school I was always the girl without a boyfriend. I was often time the third wheel. When my "best friend(s)" at the time found someone it meant I was kicked to the curb and became "second" class until an argument occurred or they broke up. I was always the shoulder to cry on. I was the cheerleader to give them the encouragement they seemingly needed to get back in the dating game.

My really good high school friend, K really hurt me... She did this to me repeatedly and the day our Prom came my date (who ended up being her now-husband) came in between us. I set the two of them up and I pretty much walked away because I just couldn't deal with it anymore. I couldn't deal with the fact I felt like a nobody.

I have another good friend of mine, M who was the opposite. She wanted to include me in part of her relationships. She wanted her boyfriends to like me. It was weird to have a friend that actually cared about me.

Well fast forward to now... I have a friend A, who is recently divorced. Her ex told her he wanted a divorce Mother's Day 2007. I remember the day because I was still in the hospital and she called me crying and a total mess.

From that day on I was there for her... We talked on the phone several times a day. We talked via instant message nightly until all hours of the night. I literally was there 24/7 if she needed me. Mind you she doesn't even live in the state. She got into a car accident and I would have left work if I could to be there for her...

She has been back in the dating scene which is wonderful and I am truly very happy for her. The downside is when she meets someone she likes she instantly becomes obsessed with them and seemingly doesn't give them space. With that happening she totally falls off the face of the earth with zero communication at all. She was dating this dude in the military and he totally mooched off of her and I pretty much had to break it to her that he was taking advantage. While I felt really bad telling her this I couldn't have her carry this relationship for a piece of ass. Now she's sleeping with her newest room mate. So that means essentially all ties will be broken until one of two things happen... 1. He pisses her off. 2. He moves.

While I want nothing more for A to be happy I can't be that one little toy in the toy box she comes back to when she's bored. I want to tell her gently that her in actions hurt. Em asks about her constantly as she's her godmother. What do I say? She's too busy to call? I asked her when her and her room mate became more of an item that she doesn't fall off the face of the earth... She said she would try not to. Yeah, right! So a part of me, yes is mad and a little bitter. But wouldn't you be? In fact my hubby has noticed it and has said something in which is seldom says stuff like that. He is a "whatever" guy... whatever goes.

Does a friend of 10 years do that? Is this normal?

I don't want and flames for comments as this is truly hard for me to write because it is super personal, but I just need to get it off my chest.

Any suggestions?

All aboard the WiiBoard!

Wow! Time flies! I have been meaning to write now for a week...

I will end up being the last person in the world writing about the WiiFit, but my opinion should matter, right?

We pre-ordered 2 WiiFits from a few months ago. I decided to go through them because they had free shipping (what a bonus nowadays).

They were sitting at our local UPS Tuesday night just waiting to be delivered to us. My hubby was very anxious and I was excited, but it really didn't matter to me. I had all intent to sell the second one on eBay to make $50 or so. I didn't end up posting the second console on eBay, my aunt wants to buy it from me so that's an easy, honest sale without the headache.

Well to the fun stuff... I get home and my hubby had already worked out for the day so it was my turn. This was the funnest I time I had working out in a long time! I have a gym membership and really enjoy working out where I go, but it gets kinda boring.

I turn on the Wii and the program is very "clean and crisp". It sounds kinda stupid, but the backround is white and the music isn't annoying. The WiiBoard is animated and waves to you and has a robotic cutesy voice. So I step on the WiiBoard and while it is a very simple looking piece of equipment to me it is pretty sophisticated. It measures your Body Mass Index (BMI) and your weight. It tells you how skinny or fat you are and your Mii reflects your BMI so mine ended up chubby; then it sets up a goal with you. You have 2 weeks to 6 months to achieve your goal. The WiiFit will also tell you if your goal is actually attainable. Once you are complete weighing in you begin a few tests to check out your balance.

Onto actually playing or uhh... working out. There is a WiiBank. It looks like the toaster from the Brave Little Toaster movie and everything you do has a predetermined time (I assume) and that is put in your bank. So you are truly working out for 30 min when you do this. While it seems like 30 minutes is a lot, really it isn't because you are playing games and working out at the same time!

I am in love with the skiing games. While I have never went skiing a day in my life, I like this. I am warm and I am about an inch off the floor and I know I won't break my leg or arm or something. The hula hooping actually got me to break a sweat. No wonder why children of the 50's were so skinny!

The one thing I don't like is the Yoga pose with your foot up your crotch. That is not something for a fat person. Yoga and fat people just don't mix! But with time I will be able to do the pose comfortably. I enjoy doing the other Yoga poses. They are different and I can actually feel what area of my body it should be working on.

I have lost 5lbs in a week which is always nice, now I just need to keep those pounds off.

This is a very innovative idea to bring fitness to gaming. I could sense something would come along when the Wii came out. It promotes movement of more than your fingers which is why I have only liked this gaming console. The others I could care less for. I like how it creates a different dynamic in the family and when you have friends come over.

I would highly recommend this to anyone. I love it and can't really see the novelty wearing off, at this point. If you see it in the store or on-line, grab it! You won't regret it!

R.I.P -- B.L.Y. 05/05/08

On May 5th I lost a very special person to me... A very good friend of mine lost her mother to cancer. B was like a mom to me. She was always there whenever I needed someone. She supported me in my life decisions I made. She always welcomed me into her home with open arms and embraced me as another daughter.

B has left behind 3 daughters and 4 granddaughters, family and friends. She was well loved and respected throughout the community. The world has lost a very special person. B has grown wings and will watch over us from above.

I started to write her a letter before she passed telling her how I felt and going over a favorite memory. I couldn't muster it up sending a card to a dying woman because I was praying she would be ok and get through this. And now the letter is sitting on my jump drive and the blank card is sitting in my office with all good intentions. I just hope B truly knows how much I cared and adored her and her love for her children. I do not know how to say good-bye, so I will say - I will see you again.

May you rest in peace, thank you for being you.

How much for that...?

My baby girl just turned a year old a week ago and when I was running errands in preparation of her party I ran to the gas station to get some ice. As I pull in I see tents up all over the small lawn and tables lined in front of the store. All I think is WTF? It was a rummage sale. A rummage sale at the gas station!

Things are getting pretty bad when we need to have rummage sales at gas stations... I wonder if it is to pay for gas.

It gives a whole new meaning to staying to wash dishes to pay for a meal at a restaurant. Now we are going to sell our junk left in our cars to fill 'er up!

Update on JTL

I just wanted to say thank you for the comments and e-mails I received regarding my last post. It really meant a lot. I honestly didn't realize people actually read JTL anymore. Not that I have had any good content lately... Perhaps it has been a writers block, if you will. There have been things going on in the news that I want to write about, but by the time I get around to writing about current events they are already history.

I have tried to steer clear of becoming a typical "mommy blog"... Mommy stuff is what is going on... and I want to separate the two and have a carefree adult place to go to... Then when I am out and about doing my mommy thing I get a bright idea for a post and I forget about it quicker than the thought flew into my mind.

I have been trying to keep up a website related to my children to mark milestones and to post pictures of the girls growing up for my friends and family who are not able to see them on a day-to-day basis.

Work has been crazy-busy. I honestly do not remember it being this way in previous years. My work falls in line with construction schedules, so hopefully in the next couple of months things will slow down just a wee bit. Then home is as follows below...

Here's the stuff on my to-do list:

1. Prepare clothing items for the Kiddie Kloset sale
2. Update the FOP mailing list
3. Do flyers for potluck and raffle
3. Organize the kids playroom
4. Yard work... Spring is here and my yard needs a face lift
5. Have enough time to tend to my business and get things off the ground

So I really have been away with good reason... I need to make time for me... Which has been hard. Heck, I work out during my lunch. That's the only time during the day I have.

Alright I am off my soapbox and done rambling.

I will be back... Promise. I just need to get back into the groove.

Until next time, toodles!


So I have been so totally bad keeping up with JTL. Part of me thinks of "hanging it up" and the other part of me doesn't want to let go of what I created here. I do have some friends that I have made along the way that I hope will be around for a long time. Then the other part of me thinks damn I am SO freaking busy...

Honestly I have been spread pretty thin now having 2 children and just a heck of a lot of craziness going on when I am at home. I have been cooking and baking a lot more which is something I really enjoy doing. It is very rewarding hearing Em compliment me. I have also been playing Webkinz with her too which has been pretty fun.

I am planning my baby's first birthday which freaks the crap out of me considering it seems like yesterday I was pregnant. It saddens me she is growing up and will lose the technicality of being a baby, but will always be my baby no matter how old.

So that kinda sums things up in a nut shell... I am torn...

Farewell #4...

It was announced yesterday Brett Favre will be retiring from the Green Bay Packers. When I heard the news I was so sad. I knew Brett had been throwing around the idea of retiring for several years. So it was inevitable, but true fans of Brett always hoped for "one more season".

I will miss watching games cheering him on or yelling at the television for a bad play.

Thank you for the memories. You made me proud to be a Cheesehead. You will be missed.

Holy crap!!

A whole month has gone by with a blink of an eye!!! Damn life flies by too fast!

I have been busy working on my new business. I am hoping to introduce it to everyone soon!!

Is it over yet?

So who is sick of hearing about the impending election and the candidates? I don't care which side you are on left or right this is getting cumbersome. It's everywhere.... News, television, radio. *sigh*

Then we have nothing to fill in those spaces on television with the writers strike... There is no escape!! Unless we go to a stranded island... Anyone care to join me? I'll bring the umbrellas for the fruity drinks.


This post has taken me forever to get to, but I have been trying to figure out what I should write...

Back in November, yes 3 months ago, I reunited with my family after a long family quarrel.

Rewind to Summer 2007...

Here's a little history... My sister and I had our babies 13 days apart. My mom or my sister never knew I was pregnant until I sent out birth announcements. Before I get flamed for anything, please note there were several underlying reasons in which I didn't share my news with my family. It was a medical choice and I stuck with it for my health.

After I sent out birth announcements from the birth of Alli (in April) I got a call a few weeks later from my sister. I was getting ready to take a nap and hung up the phone with my hubby. I told him I had a very bad headache and the girls were sleeping so I was going to sleep off my headache. About 3 seconds after I hang up the phone it rings, again! *sigh* I answer... WHAT?! Thinking it will be T again, but it was a vaguely familiar voice say, Melissa? It's your sister. I fly out of bed and shout my sisters name. I have spoke with my sister for nearly 5 years so hearing her voice brought me instantly to tears. I couldn't believe it. I have dreamed of the moment I would talk to her again. It was surreal. My sister and I spoke for 2.5 hours and it seemed like 5 minutes. We talked about everything. We had forgiven each other for "whatever" we had our family spat about and we put everything behind us and started over. It was such a wonderful feeling. I told my sister I was going to focus on us and handle the situation with our mom at a later date.

Fast forward a few weeks later... I receive a package in the mail. I am doing some gardening after I get out of work during the summer and I notice a package on my porch. I look at it and it is from my mom. I hesitantly opened it because I didn't want there to be any nasty letters to read. Instead it was a symbolic peace offering. There were some gifts to both of my girls congratulating our family with our newest addition. It was the sign I needed to call her. I had been putting it off because I just did not want to make that call. I mustered it up and called. We had a wonderful conversation. I explained everything to her including my reasoning as to why I never said anything to her about our pregnancy. She completely understood and I was relieved. I apologized and asked if we could start over and keep the past in the past. She obliged...

So began our new and improved relationships.

Fast-Fast forward to November...

We celebrated Thanksgiving at my house the week before Thanksgiving was observed as a holiday. My family caravaned from Wisconsin to Ohio. I worked 1/2 a day; I didn't think they'd get to Cleveland so soon, but when I came home everyone was here. When I came home my house was bursting at the seams. Before I pulled into my driveway I had butterflies. I was nervous. I was excited. I was scared. I couldn't believe all of this was happening and it truly was a reality. When I walked through the doors I had my family in my living room. My mom and her husband were here... and my sister and my brother-in-law, whom I have never met and their 2 kids were in my house! I love entertaining and the warmth of family just took over me. We cried and laughed and thoroughly enjoyed one another.

For Thanksgiving dinner we fried a turkey, I made mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, my grandmothers Armenian rice pilaf, my grandmothers apple pie, green bean casserole, cheesecake, rolls, cranberry relish, and cornbread sausage stuffing. I had a HUGE spread! The best part was it all came out at the same time and it was piping hot! Everyone loved the food so it was a great compliment.

My family was here for really 2.5 days so it wasn't long, it was a quick trip. I wish I had more time to visit than being stuck in the kitchen doing a zillion dishes. The good thing was I had Z-E-R-O leftovers! That is the best compliment when you are a cook. There's nothing left!

After my family left I felt such relief that I have them back, plus a brother-in-law and a new nephew. There's more to love! I can't wait to see them again. I am so happy to have made amends and we can all finally be a family. I am very thankful.

Below is a slideshow of some pictures of their visit here... I was unable to take any pictures so I can not assume any credit....


Finally, a New Year!! I am looking forward to 2008 being a year filled with good health.

We rang out 2007 with my oldest daughter Em being very sick. It was very scary having her in the hospital. But she is all better and back to herself, thankfully!

I have made amends with my mom and my sister. It was a huge step, but I am so happy to have my family back.

I hope to post more regularly.

Thank you for your continued readership ,comments and personal e-mails. I greatly appreciate it.