Thursday, September 28, 2006

Favorite Foto Friday

It's been a busy week here which can clearly be seen by the minimal amount of blog activity. This is the 4th week of working 3 evenings a week at my 2nd job and it's kicking my butt a little. Plus it's not leaving me much free time for play. But it'll be worth it in the end. I'm trying to get rid of as much of this adoption debt as possible before Mia comes home. Hopefully, next week I'll be back at just 2 evenings a week.

This week's favorite foto is of my best friend's daughter, Peyton. She's 12 yrs old and in the 7th grade. She's a cheerleader this year for the football team. Isn't she lovely? I took this pic tonight before the temperature dropped about 20 degrees and the pouring rain started. Yeah that sucked, but I love this kid. I've gotten some good sports-sideline experience thanks to Peyton. Over the years, I've sat through volleyball, basketball, soccer and now cheerleading. I'll be ready for Mia. The only question I kept asking Lisa tonight was "When did she get so boy crazy?" What happened to that sweet little girl? She's growing up. I'm not sure I'm ready for that... and neither are her parents.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Thanks Secret Pal!

Okay I know most of you fellow adopters know about the Secret Pal thing, but for the benefit of my friends and family who aren't familiar, let me explain. I belong to an internet group called June06 DTC. We have affectionately nicknamed ourselves the "June Bugs". It's made up of people all over the world who've sent their adoption paperwork to China in June 2006. It's a great source of support and a cool way to get to know some of the people I will be traveling to China with. We do fun little things to help pass the time during this long wait including exchanging quilt squares (thank goodness for the June Bugs otherwise Mia might not have a good wishes quilt since most of my friends and family are slackers... sorry I digress) and the secret pal swap. We're all assigned a Secret Pal who we send a gift to once a month.

This month my SP sent along a sweet little taggie blankie (this will probably go to China with us), some cool iron-on letters of my girl's name (these will probably end up on a tee shirt) and wall transfers of ladybugs and dragonflies (I think these will go on either a little step stool or a kid's size table and chair set that I'll paint).

Since I only mentioned last month's gift on the actual Secret Pal blog, here it is again. For August, Mia got 2 sweet little ladybug outfits and Momma got some ladybug magnets. Thanks Secret Pal! I love both sets of gifts. You make this long, long wait a lot more bearable.

And in other news, it's referral time again. The CCAA has now matched everyone who had their paperwork logged in China up through August 9, 2005. This means that the wait is now at 14 months. Let's hope they stabilize soon. Speeding up would be wishful thinking at this point, I think. I just pray that I have Mia home before next Christmas. Yes... I mean 2007. I'm so thankful that I found that open single's spot when I did and moved forward. None of us realized the wait would be so long when we started this process. If I had stuck to the original plan, I would be paperchasing now hoping to have my paperwork logged in by the end of the year. At least, I'm already 3+ months into this wait. Thank you God for giving me that nudge that I needed. Congratulations to all the families who are now seeing pictures of their sweet babies!!

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Who Dey Toes!

And you guys think I'm too much with my Bengals enthusiam. Well check out my best friend, Lisa and her "Who Dey" inspired pedicure! Let's hope her lucky toes help us today when we're up against those Dirty Steelers. We haven't forgotten what they did to Carson last year.

Payback baby!

Click on the photo to see the detail. Chi (our nail girl) is amazing!

* Update: The Bengals remain undefeated after taking down the Steelers in their own stadium!
Final score 28-20

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Date Night

A lot of us hot-young-single-chicks have dates on Friday nights and I'm no exception. But my date last night was with four entertaining little rugrats. We hung out and played for awhile in their rooms. I have to spend equal amounts of time in both the room that Tanner and Travis share and then the room that Tatum and Teagan share. We read some books, talked about school, and then Teagan discovered how much fun it is to spin around in circles until you're stumbling around like a drunk person. Then they cleared the floor (so it would be free of obstacles that could cause injury when you fall) and everyone decided to try it until they were all literally falling on the floor laughing. Oh the joys of being a kid! And no I was just a spectator. My stomach couldn't handle it. I wish I'd had my camera upstairs for that one. Here's a pic I took holding the camera out in front of me and Tatum. It turned out surprisingly well, I thought.
Here's Teagan getting ready to be hauled off to bed by Dad. (Notice the penguin pj's. Even my sister has gotten caught up in my obsession. BTW Carla, save those for Mia when he outgrows them.) I know dad appreciated the break while I entertained the herd. My sis was at work and her hubby is the stay-at-home-dad. I don't know how he does it 24/7 cuz these guys are a handful. I'm trying to teach them that I can only talk to one of them at a time. Usually I'm bombarded from 4 different directions with 4 different requests or conversations.
Here's one of Travis and Tatum. Normally Travis hates his little sister. She takes great pleasure in tormenting him. I forget what she did to him when we were upstairs playing but Travis stormed out of the room and said "I hate Tatum!" He's very sensitive and also very melo-dramatic. She kinda grinned at me and said "Travis hates me." And she seemed almost happy about that. I tried to tell her how he was just mad, he doesn't really hate you. But she said "Yeah. He hates me." So it was nice that they were sitting next to each other peacefully.
My mom bought Tanner this beginning chess set. He loves it and wants to play whenever I come over. The kid is actually not bad for a 9 yr old. He's definitely learning. He also pulled out his "Big Book Of Questions & Answers" that I bought him last year to show me some stuff he found in there about China. He's excited about his new little cousin coming even though I don't think he completely understands it. Tonight he asked me why I didn't just want to have a baby in my belly. Uhhh... wasn't ready for that one. I looked up at his dad for help. I mean we didn't really want to get into the whole birds and the bees discussion at the dining room table with the other 3 sitting there. So I just said "Well for me to have a baby in my belly there'd have to be a Daddy. And I don't have one of those right now." Which I immediately regretted because in this day of modern medical technology there doesn't have to be a daddy in my life for me to have a baby in my belly. But I figured that was really too much for a 9 yr old. So I glossed over it and then said "Plus there are so many little babies in the world that don't have a mom or dad so I wanted to find one that needs a mom." He was satisfied with that. For now. That kid is just too smart for his own damn good.

This last one was a pic Tanner insisted I take to showcase his chess game. Look at that dimple. In the last pic, he was chewing his lip, deep in concentration I guess, and that dimple really popped out. His dad says he needs a haircut but I kind of like it longer now that he's getting older. I told Tanner that he should grow it out cuz that long surfer-guy hair is in style now. He looked at me and said "Yeah but there's nowhere to surf around here." He's so literal. I had a good time with my kids. They always crack me up. I'll take this kind of date on any Friday night. Check out my sister's blog for more "Tales Of The T's".

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Blogger Parade Of Homes: Outside

Here's my house. Since I missed the week that we did entrances, I threw in the front of the house, too. I should have taken some pics earlier in the summer when I had more color. Most of my flowers have died. I'm down to one hanging basket. There used to be more and one big beautiful petunia right there on that pillar. But they got stolen. Yep... that's what I said. It's great living in the city. Hey, who's that up there on the porch?

Why.... it's Griffey! He just came from the groomer where he had a bath and a haircut. No I don't normally dress him in bandanas. The groomer did that.
Here's where I sit and swing. Love love love my swing. It was a requirement when I was house hunting. I wouldn't even look at a house if it didn't have a big ole' front porch with a swing.
Here's the before photo of the house when I bought it. Before new windows and siding. Can you believe the difference? I sometimes still can't believe it's the same house.
Now for my big summer project of '03. This is my beautiful deck where there used to be nothing. I designed this myself. It was built by a friend. I wanted to be able to sit on the deck and look out into the yard, not at the railing, so I left it open with the big steps. They're also great for extra seating when I have parties. This is the view when you're standing by the firepit looking back at the house.

Before photo. Sorry it's blurry. It's a digital pic of an old photo. This is after the windows/siding project but before the deck was built.
The start of the deck project and also before the retaining wall was built as you can see over there on the side under my big shade tree.
And this is the view from the deck now. Well, actually for the purpose of photographing it, it's from the upstairs window. It was the only way to get all of it in a pic. I designed the whole thing. There used to be a concrete pad where the firepit is and that was it. I had the wall built and dug out the concrete pad for an extra seating area. I had always wanted a firepit and a fountain. The fountain is awesome to listen to when sitting outside. Unfortunately, I don't use the firepit as often as I'd like to. Oh and that's my garage.
Before photos of how the backyard looked before the big landscaping project and before the garage got new paint to match the house. We had just started busting up the concrete pad when I thought to run and grab my camera. No... my friend is not trying to avoid a photo. He's just hard at work digging the hole to set the posts in. Guess where all that concrete ended up? The landscaping company was going to charge me $600 to bust it up and haul it away. So being the thrifty gal that I am, we decided to bust it up ourselves and toss it under the deck. Seemed like a good idea at the time. It was pure torture. I learned how it feels to work on one of those prison chain gangs busting up and hauling rock. I regreted that decision with every heavy chunk of concrete I had to haul 20 feet across the yard and toss under the floorboards which were already being set in place. But after a couple of days of hell we were done and it was worth the torture to save that money.
I love my impatiens. This is my driveway. It runs alongside my house to the garage at the back of the property. So there you have it. My outside. Go check out the rest of the tour at Shannon's.

Pick McDreamy.... Seriously

I am a happy girl. The new fall TV season is upon us. And tonight are 2 of my faves! Survivor and Grey's Anatomy. Thank goodness for DVR's. I'm also currently wasting my brain cells viewing Amazing Race and Dancing With The Stars. Just started that one. Didn't watch last season but thought it'd be fun to see. If nothing else just for the sheer potential humiliation of the dancers if they were to fall or something. LOL!

So who will Meredith pick? McDreamy or the Vet? Go with your heart, Meredith. Pick McDreamy. Sure the Vet is a lot safer bet. But McDreamy..... I mean just look at this guy! Seriously!

Can't wait to catch up with the gang tonight after I find out who's getting voted off the island. Man I need to get a life............

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Doodling Art

Some of you have asked me to share the info for the artist who made these canvas letters. If you remember, I sent her swatches of the nursery fabric and she custom made these to match. As you can see, she's very talented. I couldn't be happier with how they turned out. Since I'm such a good sport, I won't keep these all to myself. Her name is Erica and her website is . Tell her Krista sent ya! After I checked out her site, I was happy to see that I discovered her before she raised her prices. Thank goodness for small miracles!
I can't wait to hang these in Mia's room above her crib. I guess these are motivation to get my arse moving on painting and decorating the nursery. Soon. I will soon.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Blogger Parade Of Homes: My Bedroom

Finally! I cleaned my room so here's the tour you've all been waiting for. This is where the magic happens. LOL! I really hate the decor in here. It's too country cottage for my ever evolving taste. If I had the money (which I don't since it's all been sucked into the adoption fund) I'd trash this furniture and buy something more contemporary. Maybe something in a dark wood or black. If I had the time, energy, and motivation (which I don't) I'd paint the furniture black and then distress it. But this is what I'm stuck with until I win the lottery. This is the view from the doorway looking into the room. This master bedroom is part of what sold me on the house.
Normally in these older homes, the bedrooms are so small that you have to stand sideways and squeeze between the dresser and the bed to get through the room. But not here. This baby is ginormous! Here's the view from the other side of the room. That armoire hides my TV.
I love this old ratty chair. My room-mate had this in her room when we lived together way back in our early twenties. Then she got married and moved out but left the chair. So I inherited it. I keep saying I'm going to find some cute fabric and have it recovered. That's the bag tree back there. They just keep multiplying somehow.
Did you notice these hanging over by my bed? I just got them a couple of days ago. They're gorgeous! I used to have other frames hanging there but sold them in a garage sale because I actually have the intention of completely re-decorating this room soon. Have all new bedding and paint. Just need to find the time to get started. Anyway, I found an artist on E-bay (my secret cult) who custom makes these and matches them to your nursery bedding. I sent her some swatches of the fabric and she went to work. She's amazing. I absolutely love them and can't wait to hang them over Mia's crib.
Here's a close up of the details. Ladybugs and dragonflies. Is that talent or what? My mom is making my nursery bedding. The fabric we're using is the header for this blog. The polka dots are from one of the complentary fabrics she'll be using. I can't wait to start on the nursery!
Here's another one of my dumb ideas. This is the stencil border that goes around the top of the walls in this room. It took me about a month to do the walls. So then I thought it'd be cute to do the ceiling fan, too. It is... but it was torture to do it. Never again! Oops looks like I've got a lightbulb out. And yucko.... I forgot to clean the blades on that thing. Geesh.
And this is the reason that my grandmother is making Mia's 100 Good Wishes Quilt. The photo doesn't even do it justice really. The detail is amazing. There are even little buttons and pearls on it. (Grandma, I know you said not to put it on the bed because it was not that kind of quilt. I don't. I just wanted to show it off a little. So relax, okay.) My grandmother is an extremely talented quilter as you can all see. Isn't this beautiful? Her quilts have won competitions.
So there you have it. Stay tuned. I'll add new pics when I finally get around to changing the decor. I've only had the paint and bedding for about uhhhh. .... well, a year. But I really am going to get this done over the winter. Seriously. I have to. Won't have time once my girl gets here.

The Battle Of Ohio

Because today was the Cincinnati Bengals home opener against our arch rivals the Cleveland Browns, I wore my "Who Dey" shoes. They look perfectly normal from the front, don't they?
But check them out from the back! And yet again, we won the battle! Final score 34 to 17.
Who D'ey Think Gonna Beat D'em Bengals!!

Okay fine... I'm going to clean my room now.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Getting To Know Me

A bunch of my bloggy buddies are playing this silly little game so in the interest of putting off cleaning my bedroom for one more day I decided to join in. Here goes....

1. FIRST NAME? Krista
2. WERE YOU NAMED AFTER ANYONE? Not that I'm aware of.
3. WHEN DID YOU LAST CRY? Can't remember but I'm sure it was within the last week while watching someone's Gotcha Video.
4. DO YOU LIKE YOUR HANDWRITING? Not really. I print in all caps as I've been trained to do for report writing at work.
6. IF YOU WERE ANOTHER PERSON WOULD YOU BE FRIENDS WITH YOU? Definitely! I'm a super cool chick.
7. DO YOU HAVE A JOURNAL? Just the blog but I plan to start a little one soon just to jot down what I've done each day so I'll know what I was doing on the day Mia was born. But see #16 for why I haven't started it yet.
9. WOULD YOU BUNGEE JUMP? Already have..... twice.
10. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CEREAL? Lucky Charms but I usually just eat the marshmallows so does that still count as cereal or would that be candy in a bowl of milk at that point?
11. DO YOU UNTIE YOUR SHOES WHEN YOU TAKE THEM OFF? Sometimes but I usually wear flip flops.
12. DO YOU THINK YOU ARE STRONG? No..... I know I am strong!
13. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE ICE CREAM FLAVOR? Cake batter from Cold Stone Creamery with sprinkles and yellow cake mix-ins.
14. SHOE Size? 9 usually.
15. RED OR PINK? Pink.
16. WHAT IS THE LEAST FAVORITE THING ABOUT YOURSELF? I suck at effective time management which is why I'm almost always running late and why I'm a horrible procrastinator.
17. WHO DO YOU MISS THE MOST? Mia. I think about her all the time. I wonder what she'll look like. Will she have hair or be bald? I wonder what her personality will be like. Will she be laid back like me? Or hot headed? I wonder if she'll like pizza? I miss her.
18. WHAT COLOR PANTS AND SHOES ARE YOU WEARING? Flannel penguin pajama pants, of course, with bare feet.
19. WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW? Mostly crickets outside the window and the neighbor's kids outside playing. Sounds like they're having fun.
20. WHERE IS THE ONE PLACE YOU WOULD LIKE TO BE RIGHT NOW? Anywhere.... as long as my daughter was with me.
21. IF YOU WERE A CRAYON, WHAT COLOR WOULD YOU BE? Fuschia cuz it's just a little crazier than pink!
22. FAVORITE SMELL? Buttercream scented candles from Yankee Candle Co.
23. WHO WAS THE LAST PERSON YOU TALKED TO ON THE PHONE? Kim (my single-mom-to-be friend adopting a 7 yr old boy from Guatemala) as we were planning to go to lunch and do a little shopping today.
25. FAVORITE DRINK? Margaritas... duh!
26. FAVORITE SPORT? Cincinnati Bengals football. Who Dey!!
27. WHATS YOUR FAVORITE COLOR? Pink (and green but only if it's paired with the pink)
28. HAT SIZE? Seven.... yeah I used to have to wear a hat in my line of work. And it was ugly.
30. FAVORITE FOOD? Margaritas. Okay just kidding. It's pizza!
33. SUMMER OR WINTER? Autumn is actually my favorite.
34. HUGS OR KISSES? Hugs. Unless there's a hot guy involved then I'd choose kisses.
35. FAVORITE DESSERT? Birthday cake with buttercream icing.
36. WHAT BOOK ARE YOU READING? The Search for Modern China. It's 800 friggin' pages long. I think I might have it finished by the time I go to China. Maybe but then again see #16.
37. WHAT'S ON THE MOUSE PAD? Uh... the mouse.
38. WHAT DID YOU WATCH LAST NIGHT ON TV? I finally watched the season finale of The Closer which had been saved on my DVR since the week before.
39. WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE SOUNDS? The ocean and a belly laughing baby.
41. WHAT ARE YOUR SPECIAL TALENTS? Well since this is a PG rated blog that members of my family read ( LOL!) I guess I'd have to go with my creative decorating style.
42 AND WHERE WERE YOU BORN? Kettering, Ohio
43. WHO SENT THIS TO YOU? I actually swiped it from Connie.
44. WHAT DAY IS IT? Saturday

Jump in if you want to play along. That was kinda fun.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Blogger Parade Of Homes: Bonus Room

This week features the bonus room. I technically don't have a bonus room so I'll give you my third bedroom which is now my office. It seems that this is where I spend most of my time these days. Right there in front of that magic little box. I really need to get a more comfy chair. One of these days I might actually hang that stuff on the wall over there. The smaller frames are some of my commendations for cool stuff I've done at work. Say hello to Chilly Willy. See the purple folder on my desk. That's my dossier. And if you have really good eyesight maybe you can read what my award up top says. Click over to see Shannon and the rest of the BPOH tour.

PS. I know I missed my bedroom last week cuz I wasn't in the mood to clean it up. Well, it's still not cleaned up and I'm beat tonight. I've worked 3 evenings this week at my second job so tonight it's jammie time. (No not those... it's still too hot for those.) I'll work on that for tomorrow's post. Promise. Cuz I know how much you're all dying to see my boudoir.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

This One's For Connie

We have far too much in common, Connie. This is freak-ishly weird! Click here for an explanation. Should we pack these for Detroit? I here they have really cold winters. And yes, this may explain why we're still single.

PS. And you guys thought I was kidding when I said I wear ONLY penguin pj's. Ha!

3 Months Down

Today is the 3 month anniversary of the day my paperwork was logged into China. I'd like to be optimistic and think that I'm a quarter of the way there. We'll have to wait and see if the CCAA agrees. Right now the wait is at about 14 months. But at least I'm 3 months closer to my baby. Hang on Mia! Mommy's coming!

On a side note, I'd like to thank everyone for their supportive comments to the last several posts of mine. You're all very sweet. Some of the words you used to describe me were astonishing. I'm a tough chick, no doubt. But I'm just like everybody else struggling to live the best life I can in this crazy world and doing a job that most don't understand or appreciate. So thank you again for all the kind words. I was touched. I'll try to stick to more lighthearted posts for awhile. :)

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

And The Winner Is.....

My cousin, Alicia George, who lives in Washington, DC. The very first square to come in from someone who actually shares my bloodline. That's right... my cousin... who lives in another state.... who I see maybe once every few years. She wins! (Alicia beat my sister, my mom, everybody else. Did I already mention that I come from a long line of procrastinators? Oh yeah.. I did.) Alicia is also a single-mom-by-choice-thru-adoption to her son, Roger. Something else we have in common.

As promised for being the winner you get a shout out on the blog. Thanks Alicia!

Where My Squares At?

Okay I know that I'm surrounded by procrastinators but c'mon people! Let's get on the ball! I still need about half my quilt squares. I'm expecting some more to roll in from my June06 DTC group. Thank goodness for them since they're the bulk of the project right now. But I didn't want the whole quilt to be made up of complete strangers! (No offense guys... ya know I love my June Bugs!) Where's all the squares and wishes promised from all the people I know in real life? Family... helllllllooooo ...are you listening?? Friends... where are you?? I finally inspired (or nagged, depends on how ya look at it) my best pal, Lisa, to have the girls over for a fun craft project night. As you can see, the girls were working hard. Once they got their creative juices flowing (and a beer by the looks of it) there was no stopping their artistic talents.
Pictured are Peyton (Lisa's daughter), T.T. is behind her, then Lisa and Chris (Lisa's mom). T.T.'s 7 yr old son, Drew, even made one. He picked out fabric from the movie "Cars". And most appropriately, included the police car in his square. Good job Drew! Click here and scroll down a couple of photos to see all their finished products. They all did a fabulous job. Thanks guys! I love them! Check out Mia's quilt blog on the right to see what I've got so far.

Anyone out there in the blogosphere that would like to contribute a square, drop me a line on my e-mail link. I'm also up for exchanging for those of you working on your own quilts. If anyone out there has been promised one by me, please remind me. My brain is fried. I'm losing track of who I still owe. I've got to scramble and get about 40 done by the end of the month because of the cut off deadline for my DTC group. Uh yeah... can you say procrastinator?

Sunday, September 10, 2006

I Will Never Forget ~ 9/11/01

On September 11, 2001 I was on light duty after having injured my wrist during a scuffle with a suspect. Because I was still working uniform patrol back then, I was assigned a desk job while I recovered. It was just after roll call when one of the sergeants said a plane had hit the World Trade Center.

A bunch of us crowded into his office where he had a small TV. We watched the burning building as the news commentator spoke about this terrible accident. As we watched the events unfold live on TV, a second plane hit the other tower. We were all speechless. What the hell just happened?

As we began to process this information, it became clear this was no accident. While we watched the buildings burn, we realized what we were seeing was a catastrophe not many could've survived. We started to think about just how many people were in those towers. In the beginning, we didn't yet know that these were commercial planes filled with passengers who'd also perished.

And then the buildings began to crumble. As we stood there watching the TV screen, my only words were "Oh my God. Do you realize how many cops and fire fighters we just lost?" And then word of the Pentagon and another plane down in Pennsylvania. Our country was under attack.

This tragedy changed us all in so many ways. It hit the law enforcement/fire fighting community especially hard. We lost so many that day. Men and women who ran into the burning buildings to do the job they were called to do. To serve and protect. To save lives. If this had happened in my hometown, it would've been me.

I felt compelled to go and see for myself. To pay my respects to my fallen comrades. In April 2002 I was able to go to the site and stand on this sacred ground. It was in the clean up process by then and didn't look like all the images we'd seen in the media. Even so, I was overcome. It was one of the most spiritual moments of my life. To stand where so many had been lost. It broke my heart. I will never forget.

In rememberance of all those who were lost on that tragic day.

God Bless.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

My New Perspective: Recognize The Worth

Johnny commented in my last post asking if I'd elaborate on how my perspective has changed after my near-death experience. That sounds so dramatic, doesn't it? Near-death experience... but I guess that's what it was. I chatted him up about it in a private e-mail. He mentioned that this would be good blog fodder so I'll put it out there for ya. This is exactly as I wrote it to Johnny....

#1 The biggest thing I'd have to say is that I don't sweat the small stuff anymore. And in reality, most of it really is just small stuff when you look at the big picture.

#2 I don't worry about what other people think about me or how I live my life. I do what makes ME happy, what makes ME feel fulfilled. What you think about me no longer matters to me. (I mean that in the friendliest way of "you" being anyone in particular not YOU in the literal sense.)

#3 I appreciate everything. Because I almost lost it. I appreciate EVERYTHING. My family, my job, my home, my health..... how the breeze blows and the trees sway, the warmth of the sun, how blue the sky is, the smell of a rose, the sweetness of ice cream, the laughter of my sister's kids, EVERYTHING. Am I being too philosophical? Do you get it?

#4 I try to live in the moment. And enjoy this life cuz it may be the only one I get. I want to have fun and make memories. I don't want to just simply exist from day to day, plodding through life bored senseless and whining about everything I feel slighted about.

#5 I have my moments... but for the most part I'm in a good mood. It's hard to wake up in a bad mood when I consider what my alternative almost was. I'm a sickeningly optimistic person now. In my opinion, things are never as bad as they may seem. It certainly could always be worse. I can't really tolerate bitchin' and moanin' anymore.

#6 I'm much more spiritual and faith driven. Everything happens for a reason, right? Even if it makes no sense in that moment... at some point it will.

#7 I'm genuinely happy. Could my life be better, easier? Sure. Tomorrow I could win the lottery, the CCAA could call me with a referral for me and all my friends, and I'd wake up looking like the lead singer of the Pussycat Dolls (sorry.. she's my latest girl crush.. if I were to turn lesbian... which I'm not BTW.... not that's there's anything wrong with that! LOL) But my life is what it is and I'm happy with it.

The definition of "Appreciate" is to "Recognize the worth". The message I hope I can make people hear is to APPRECIATE the life you've been given.

Count your blessings. Love your family. Enjoy your life. Live it well. Be happy. Because you never know when it could be gone. Just like that.

We all tend to take things for granted. I was guilty of that, too. But not anymore.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Time For Reflection

Exactly 2 years ago today, I started my life over. Everything had changed for me. My perspective had been completely altered. I came to realize what's important and what's not.

On this day 2 years ago, I began to heal. It's been an ongoing process ever since. September 8, 2004 the doctors removed me from the ventilator that had breathed for my body for 12 days.

This year, I decided to pay attention during those 12 days. I watched the minutes tick away. I wanted to really feel and comprehend just how long it took for those 12 days to pass.

It took a long time. Even though I was busy.

I worked 2 jobs. I socialized with friends. I did housework. I read a book. I watched TV. I wasted time on this computer. I talked on the phone. I mowed the grass. You get the idea.

Imagine how long those 12 days would be if you were just sitting by the hospital bed of someone you love. Waiting ..... worrying ...... wondering if they would pull through. I can only imagine what that must've felt like. How difficult that was.

I hate that my friends and family had to go through that. I'm grateful for their prayers, faith, hope, time, support and love. I thank them for helping me to get through the most difficult thing that I've ever been handed.

Because WE refused to give up, I am still here. I'll never forget.

For those of you who have no idea what I'm talking about, click here for an explanation.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Queen Of The Bargains!

I stopped in Big Lots yesterday searching for treasures. You never know what you might find in this place. My intention was to get a gift for a kid's birthday party this weekend and maybe some cute little things for my June DTC secret pal. Her name is....... ha, gotcha!

Anway, lo and behold, what do I spy across the aisle but an Eddie Bauer 3-in-1 deluxe car seat! It goes all the way up to 100lbs! You can use it as a rear-facing seat when the baby is tiny, then forward facing for the toddler stage, then with some adjustments it becomes a big kid booster. It even has a way-cool little cup holder. I haven't done any research on car seats cuz I wasn't planning on buying one any time soon. But could I pass up this bargain? I immediately called my sister, Carla, experienced superhero mother-of-four. She gave it a thumbs up. So I bought it. Yes I know all you real life friends and family who keep telling me to "stop buying stuff cuz there won't be anything left to buy when it comes time for your baby shower" would disapprove, but did you look at the sticker? IT WAS ONLY $100!! I need 2 seats anyway. Yes I am single.... but I have 2 cars. Well, one is a company car that Mia will probably be driven to the sitter's in every morning on my way to work. And no... I'm not wrestling the car seat in and out of each car every friggin' day. I'll have 2! Don't worry guys. I'll register for the multi-million dollar Britax seat. You'll all have to pool your money to afford that one. By the way, I rushed home and got on the internet to see if I got a good deal. At Eddie Bauer dot com it's $219!! Woohoo!! But then I found it somewhere else for $180. But still quite a bargain. I was very proud of myself.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

What Every Single Girl Needs.....

So I'm on the computer minding my own business and I see this pop up as an instant message....

"hi ma'am michael here from indiana but travel a lot on the dayton area today...any interest in an older, part time, for real, for free, male house servant/slave? if so message me back and i can explain more...if not sorry to have bothered you and have a great week"

I was tempted and almost responded to ask if he would mow my grass, do the dishes and clean the toilet. Somehow I'm thinking that's not what he had in mind.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

I Heart Slumber Parties!

As a kid, I used to love spending the night with my girlfriends. So why is it that the rules change when we become grown-ups? Who says we can't still have slumber parties? Okay. I know some of the obvious reasons. I'm not dense. We have responsibilities. Yikes! Jobs, kids, husbands maybe. But let me tell ya girlfriends.... we should still have sleepovers every now and then. It's so much fun! Yesterday I drove down to Cincy to hang out with Connie. We did a little shopping in the afternoon. But I was very restrained. It helps that there wasn't much to choose from. I mean what kinda mall doesn't have Gymboree, Baby Gap, or an Old Navy? Apparently, the one we chose. There was a stop at Toys-R-Us which resulted in the purchase of this guy, after I caved to the shopping wench's peer pressure. She's brutal man. But seriously....

he is cute. And very soft and huggable. I rationalized that Mia will be able to use him as a big pillow while she watches TV or something. Check out my cool ass gift from Connie to celebrate my LID. (I swear that woman just looks for any reason to shop.) Okay, so maybe you noticed a theme here? Yes I collect penguins. How cute is this?! A penguin romper and matching little hat for Mia, her first bathtub toy, and a collection of Chilly Willy cartoons. I love it! So after our shopping excursion, we hung out, grilled some steaks and drank margaritas. (Mmmm... my fave.) We were joined by another single-mom-friend, Kim, who is adopting a little boy from Guatemala. We ate crappy junk food and watched Shawshank. It's one of Connie's faves and since I'd never seen it, she insisted. I agree... it's a great movie. We stayed up talking 'til the wee hours of the morning. I'm a little sleepy today but it was well worth it. Take a peek here for some more slumber party fun. Thanks for hosting Connie. I had a blast! (After seeing my half-shnockered pic on your blog, I now really regret not snapping a pic of you at 2 o'clock in the afternoon, still in your pj's with a bed head hair-do! But someday... payback my friend.)

So after I got home and had a refreshing nap, I asked Griffey if he would mind modeling Mia's new little penguin outfit. Hey, I needed a distraction so I could procrastinate mowing the grass for one more day.
As you can tell, he was less than pleased with my request. But being my loyal companion and all... well, he went along with it. I could hear him mumbling under his breath as he hung his head in shame "Oh man. I'm so humiliated! I hope none of my doggie buds see this. Please CCAA, hurry up and give this ridiculous woman a baby already. I can't put up with this crap for a whole friggin' year!"

Friday, September 01, 2006

Blogger Parade Of Homes: Bathrooms ~Part One

Blogger is being difficult and wouldn't let me put all the bathroom pics in one post so here is Part One~ the upstairs bathroom. Not much to it. I live in an older home with the basic bathroom layout. This is one of the first rooms I painted and decorated when I moved in. The walls are two different textures... smooth on the bottom and grainy at the top... so they required some creativity. Here's what I came up with. The bottom of the wall is wallpaper. The middle is a paintable border. The upper walls are sponge painted but I don't think you can really tell in the pics. Haven't done anything in here except paint. Still has all the old fixtures. Not sure that there will ever be a bathroom re-model in my future now that I've spent my home equity loan on Mia. But she's worth it and much more important than a fancy bathroom!
Here's another of my red threads to Mia. I bought the print above the medicine cabinet years ago. It's the Chinese symbol for happiness. I put it there to look at every morning as I start my day to remind me that this is the most important thing in life.... to be happy! Otherwise what's the point really? Check out Part Two of the BPOH Bathroom Edition for pics of the downstairs bath.