Wednesday, April 24, 2013

U if for unfinished.

It should be pretty obvious that I didn't make it through the challenge this year. It was just too much for me to cram into every day. I didn't have a plan in place or any kind of theme and it quickly became too overwhelming. I have learned my lesson with trying to wing the A-Z challenge... I just can't do it. However, I am okay with that! I am the mother of an extremely active 2 year old that wants to spend every waking minute having an adventure and I am happy to oblige... most of the time anyway. I want to make the most out of the time I have with him at home and use it to make memories that we will both remember for a long time to come. So if that means I couldn't finish the Blogging A-Z Challenge, then I am just going to have to be okay with it.

Just because I didn't make it through this year doesn't mean I won't try again next year. I really, really enjoy reading everyone's posts and I do truly love participating! It's very easy for me to put my blog on the back burner even though I wish it wasn't. That is one of the reasons I love the A-Z challenge, it forces me to blog! I guess forces isn't really the right word, but you know what I mean. I don't HAVE to blog and so when I am tired... I skip. And then 1 day quickly becomes 2, which turns into a week and then next thing I know it's been a month. I hate that and I wish I didn't let it happen. I have to just keep trying! -Or as Dory says, just keep swimming, swimming, swimming.. what do we do, we swim, swim, swim!

The weather in Ohio for the last couple weeks has been all over the place. It's been hot, hot, hot and it's been cold, cold, cold. We have had adventures outside where we watch the semi's drive by and try to get them to beep and we have had adventures inside where we made moon sand. (8 cups of flour + 1 cup of baby oil) Our days have been full and filled with smiles!! (and maybe some tears, mostly mine because he is trying to cut naps out!) This past Sunday we had the local fire departments annual chicken dinner and Walter was in heaven because he got to check out all the fire trucks inside and out! He is one smart cookie... he impresses me everyday! I caught a glimpse of myself in him this weekend. He had to take 3 or 4 trips back to the trucks to check them out and slowly, but surely he took the reins and started showing all the other little kids around. That's definitely a mommy trait.

Good luck to the rest of you with the challenge... you're almost done! Keep up the good work :)

over & out

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Jr. Nation

Jr. Nation is what the people of NASCAR respectively call Dale Earnhardt Jr's fan base. He has the best and biggest fan base every year! I dare you to tell me otherwise... haha. 10 years ago I would have never guessed you would be able to include me in that group, but I am proud to say you can!

I was friends with my husband's little brother in high school. I knew who my husband was, but we never really ran with the same group. He was a couple years older than me and his brother was a couple years younger than me. The girls I hung out with had adopted some younger girls into our group and therefore some younger guys got added as well. That's how I first met my brother-in-law. We became friends and stayed in touch when I left for college. When I moved back home before Christmas my sophomore year (due to being too homesick... I never saw that coming! haha) , BIL and I had made plans to catch up. I was in town because I had gone to a friend's baby shower and went over to his house after. Hubby still lived at home and he was there, also. He was in his room watching the Daytona 500 and I made some smart response when I walked past his bedroom about NASCAR being for hillbillies. We laugh about that now.

BIL and I made our way over to hubby's room and out of nowhere we started to hit it off. We all sat there and watched the Daytona 500 and I continued to bash him for being a NASCAR fan. Shortly after that encounter, we had scheduled our first "date". From there it was all downhill, I'm now one of the oddest NASCAR fans you will ever meet. I follow it closely and completely love it! So lesson learned... Don't knock it until you've tried it! :)

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

"I" is for Intense...

I think you could use the word intense to describe me. Actually - I know you could because people have. I don't mean to be so intense, it just seems to come naturally to me. I am straight forward and too blunt more times than I care to admit. I haven't decided if I think it's an okay trait to have or not. I can't change it though, it's just who I am. I have accepted it and those around me who care about me seem to value it. People either love me or hate me ... there is no in-between. I have come to terms with that, I suppose. 

I was recently listening to The Nerdist Podcast and Dane Cook was the guest. If you've ever seen any of his stand up then you know intense is a word you could use to describe him as well. When he was talking about some of the truths he has come to recognize about himself, he said something that really hit home with me. He said he too was a person that people either loved or hated and that his father was the same way. He knew this about himself, so he over compensated when he walked into a room. He said he would walk in and steal the limelight without even meaning to, it just would happen in his attempt to try and make people like him - or at least prevent them from disliking him. I do that and I don't like it. He then concluded that with a statement something like, "I often felt like I would walk into a room and take it by storm because I didn't know any other way. And when I left I had a feeling that the room kind of relaxed again and people would say something like, 'okay now that that is over with, where were we?"

 I feel the same way about some of my own encounters. I leave knowing I was too intense or that I interrupted people one too many times. I know that I am loud and it can be very off putting. However, when I try to tone it down, it never works. I try to stay silent and be the wallflower, but I can't do it. If I stay silent too long I become very uncomfortable. Silence makes me uncomfortable. If no one is going to say anything, you can bet your butt I will. The way most people get nervous when they have to speak in front on people, I get nervous when no one is speaking. Why? I couldn't tell you. I haven't come to that self truth about myself yet. It's very weird to me. Some people are naturally the wallflower and some people just aren't. I'm just not. People who are wallflowers probably want the courage to speak up and take the center every once in awhile and people who are intense want to just relax and step back sometimes. I guess we are who we are in certain cases. The grass is always greener on the other side, huh? 

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Hakunu Matata

If any of you have a toddler then you know just how much you can watch the same movie over and over and over, AGAIN! Well, we have gone through this with quite a few movies, but one of the movies I never get tired of is The Lion King. I absolutely loved it as a kid, I loved it as I got older, and I love it as a mother.

One of my favorite scenes in the whole movie is when they sing Hakuna Matata... "Hakuna Matata! What a wonderful phrase! Hakuna Matata! Ain't no passing craze! It means no worries for the rest of your days. It's our problem free philosophy, Hakuna Matata." Actually... that is all it says in my Twitter description of myself. (which couldn't be further from the truth, but one can hope) If you have been following my blog for any amount of time, you know that I stress out like it's my job and that I am constantly working on relaxing. It is always such a wonderful reminder whenever I watch this movie. And you couldn't ask for a better mantra to repeat in your head when you're feeling stressed or anxious. Also, how funny is it when Simba says, "Hakuna Matata?" And Pumba says, "yeah, it's our motto?" And then Simba says, "what's a motto?" And Timon pipes in with the kicker and says "Nothing, what's a motto with you?" hahahaha,  gets me every time!

Just remember... Hakuna Matata!!!


Monday, April 8, 2013

HBO's "Girls"

The HBO hit "Girl's" finished it's second season not too long ago. I remember when it was just getting ready to premiere and all the hype it was getting. My husband and I are avid HBO fans, so we of course DVR'd the first couple episodes. It took me all of about 5 seconds to decide I hated it and felt completely disconnected from the main girl, Hannah. I think we casually watched the first two episodes, but quickly stopped recording it and never really thought about it again.

Well, it got all sorts of awards this year and I saw the creator and star Lena Dunham accepting the awards and kind of felt the same way as I did when I watched the first episode. It was just something about her that mad me feel uneasy when I saw her. I was telling this to my Dad and Sister when they were over for coffee a couple weeks back and I completely offended my sister. Of the two of us, she is definitely the more image conscious or so I thought. Well, she hit the nail on the head of why I didn't like her. Lena is not your typical TV show star, she isn't even you're typical co-star. She has some odd tattoos in very visible places and they're quite large. She is a little over weight. She doesn't seem to slather on the make up. Her outfits on the show are less than flattering. She is just kind of frumpy and for some reason frumpy makes me feel uncomfortable. After realizing that I was basing my whole opinion of her on her looks, I felt pretty low. No longer will I let this be a truth about myself. I hate evening reading these words as I type them because it makes me feel disappointed in myself.

My sister has been singing this show's praises since she first saw it and promised me I would love it too, if I would only give it a chance. I am not normally one to buy into Hollywood's ideas of how an actress should look and I don't particularly like the media telling people how they should look either; I kind of felt embarrassed and I figured I owed this show (girl) another chance. And seriously -- I couldn't be happier that I did! The premise is a group of twenty something young women trying to make it on their own in Brooklyn. It's kind of like a prequel to Sex and the City. There is just something very raw about the show that makes you keep coming back for more. I think the frankness of the show is what turned me away at first. It didn't necessarily have the feel good fairy tale feel to it that we are all so used to when we turn on the ole' boob tube. Life isn't always pretty and it can be very trying and confusing at times... especially for young women. I love that the show is real and down to earth and shows people living life how it really is. They're not in some staged apartment that we're all supposed to pretend is a piece of crap - even though it clearly isn't... like in Friends. I mean seriously, that apartment was amazing and we ALL know! Ha! That surely wasn't real life. Anyway, the show digs deep and explores a lot of uncomfortable subjects and definitely isn't suitable for everyone and certainly not young children. It's an in your face kind of show, but isn't life kind of in your face everyday?

It's based on some of 26 year old Lena Dunham's real life experiences. I love that she not only writes the show, but that she stars in it and directs it occasionally. She is completely involved and has made herself very vulnerable by putting her life stories out there like that. She has turned her own life struggles into a TV show for the WHOLE world to view. That takes real courage. It says something about her and I truly appreciate her for that. One day I would like to think I have courage like that. I can't believe I almost didn't watch this show because she didn't look like she fit the bill for being the star of a show. That was very shallow of me and I am glad my sister called me out on it because otherwise I wouldn't have had to pleasure of enjoying this series. The old saying always seems to remain true, "You can't judge a book by it's cover."

P.S. I highly recommend this show, but I want to remind you that it is not a G rated show. After all, it is HBO so if you're not into that, then it's probably not going to be a good match for you. That is all.

Over & Out

"F" is for Fail

"F" is for fail because that is what I did this weekend. I failed to plan ahead, so therefore I fell behind in the challenge. If you read my "E" post, then you know that I was out of town this weekend. I thought I was going to have a lot more down time than I actually did, so I didn't write any posts in advance. (turns out that wasn't such a good idea... who would've thought?) I didn't have time on Saturday to blog and then Sunday I was tired from traveling and had one heck of a sore throat so I just sat it out like I was supposed to! I like to follow the rules, can't you tell? :) Now onto Monday - I didn't get home from work until about 10:45, which is later than expected and to top that off I had two people wanting to chat it up on the phone. With that all said and done I am barely going to get my  "F" post done by the time my "G" post is due... good thing I have a plan for that one. And good thing I failed on the "F" post, I couldn't ask for a better set up... haha!

Have you guys had a hard time getting any posts in on time this year? Is that why there is all this talk about themes and planning ahead... probably. Oh well, there is always next year! Thanks to everybody who has stopped by my blog so far, I will be trying to return the favor as quickly as possible! Keep up the good work!!!

"Don't be afraid to fail. Don't waste energy trying to cover up failure. Learn from your failures and go on to the next challenge. It's OK to fail. If you're not failing. you're not growing." 
-H. Stanley Judd

Over & Out

Friday, April 5, 2013


This weekend we are in Canton, Ohio for the 24th annual state dart tournament. I'm pretty excited for the weekend because all I've heard about it... is that it is super fun! I have to say I was completely shocked when I walked into the Civic Center, there were so many dart boards! Everyone kept telling us how unreal it was, but I wasn't really buying into it. Well, when I walked in to the doors, I couldn't believe it! They literally have hundreds of dart boards and probably at least a thousand people milling around. So, I am really excited to see how my husband and friends fare this weekend!!!

I hope you all have a swell weekend as well!


Thursday, April 4, 2013

"D" is for Dirty Dishes

Dirty Dishes

Do I get extra points for my first double letter day? I feel like I should. Anyway, somehow there always seems to be at least one dirty dish in my sink. If I'm being honest, it's more like 20 dirty dishes in my sink. Ugh!!! I am not lucky enough to have a dishwasher, so that leaves me as the dishwasher of the house. I surely can't wait until Walter is old enough to help me with the dishes for a chore. We had grand plans for putting a dishwasher in when we bought our house, but then we realized the kitchen wasn't quite big enough. Really it meant we were going to have to take out cupboards and we really had no idea how to do such things, so we just scratched the idea all together. 

I hate, hate, HATE doing dishes. I think I hate doing dishes more than any other household chore. I can't even explain it. Once I get going and get the whole process underway, I don't even mind it. It's something about getting the gusto to start, I just can't ever seem to find the motivation. This isn't something that started when I became an adult and was responsible for my own clean house. I have hated doing dishes for as long as I can remember. Here's proof... 

One of the homes I lived in as a child was down the road from a doll store. I'm not talking about just any doll store, it was the creme de la creme of doll shops! My sister and I loved going in there and looking at the dolls, the clothing, the doll houses, everything. It was the summer of 1992 and my sister and I were longing to hold one of the dolls in our arms and call it our own. So, my dad made a deal with us - if we did the dishes every night ALL the summer long after dinner we could pick out any doll in the store. Well, night one came and we did the dishes. Sister did the actually cleaning and I did the rinsing. Day one ... check. Day two came along and apparently I had already had enough. I'm sure I cried and complained, said it wasn't fair and that it was too hard! Dad didn't care. I only made it one day!  In retrospect, I feel pretty good about that knowing how I feel about dishes to this day. My sister stuck to her guns and did the dishes every single night and she got to pick out a doll. They weren't cheap dolls, so I bet my dad was pretty glad he didn't have two committed dish washing daughters!!!  That doll is still floating around my mom's house, but she has had a haircut or two by this point and is looking pretty rough. 

See - I told you I have always hated the dishes. If the motivation of picking out a doll that cool couldn't get me to like dishes .. I'm convinced that nothing ever will. 

Do you hate doing dishes as much as I do? 


p.s. I didn't proof read at all, it was a busy day and it's quite late. Sorry. 

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Coffee & Chatter

I start every morning off with a nice hot cup of joe... mmmm! I really don't like having to make it though. Sometimes I wish I had a butler just so that I didn't have to make my own coffee every morning. It seems like an easy fix, right? I should just program it to start brewing every day at the same time. Well... my coffee pot is kind of crappy because it doesn't keep it's minutes correctly. It's starts off okay, but before you know it it's 10 minutes  fast and then 20 minutes fast, until it's over an hour off. So the whole programming thing doesn't really work for me. Okay, enough complaining about my own lazy coffee making problems.

There is something magical about coffee to me. It has this way of warming you to the bone on a cold winter morning and giving the perfect jolt of energy on a breezy summer morning. It also has a magical way of bringing friends together. You can invite someone over for coffee and before you know it, the chatter is flowing. You can offer to brew a pot of coffee after a meal has finished and it can have the same effect. I love the fact that coffee itself is reason enough to invite someone over. I am lucky enough to be in a family of coffee lovers, so it makes it that much easier to be in love with it's magic.

As a child, I would find myself seeing the "future" (older) me waking up early, putting on my robe, opening the morning paper to read of worldly events, sitting down to enjoy a hot cup of coffee... all while having the bare, raw, beauty look to me. (you know how people like Sandra Bullock and Jennifer Aniston look in the movies) The truth is, I look completely disheveled and probably more like a zombie from "The Walking Dead." I grab whatever coffee cup is clean and walk into my living room and usually find a couple toys that my son left laying out from the night before. Oh well. It's always more glamorous in the movies than in real life. However, even if "little"me didn't quite envision my future with relationship with coffee the way it really is... I wouldn't trade it for the world!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013


Being a 5"9' woman always makes people assume that you must have played basketball growing up. However, not only did I not play basketball, I never even really gave it a chance. I have absolutely no coordination when it comes to dribbling the ball AND moving around on the court. I really never could master doing both at the same time. Or for that matter, I was never much good at playing defense either. It never seemed to click with me... trying to guess which way someone was going to move in hopes that I could block them. Yep, not for me!

I enjoy watching basketball to some extent. I would say it's probably my least favorite out of the three. (NFL, MLB, & NBA.) But once a year basketball does take the front seat in my life. When it's time for the NCAA March Madness tournament, I am as excited as the next sport's enthusiast! I get my bracket printed out, I fill it out with absolutely no idea about most of the teams, I turn it in to my husband and then hope that I will win this years bracket pool. See, every year my husband and I do a bracket pool for all of our friends and family. It really gives you a reason to watch the games and get invested with one of the teams. I also really like rooting for the underdog, so it's the perfect tournament for that. And man oh man, there sure were a lot of upsets this year!! Do you guys watch the madness too?

P.S. This is the worst bracket I have ever filled out in my life!!! 3 out of 4 of my Final Four teams are already gone, including who I picked to win it all. UGH! I am rooting for Louisville now because I sure do feel bad for that poor kid who broke his leg. Who did you pick to win it all?


Monday, April 1, 2013


So, it's that time again... it's time for the start of the 2013 A-Z challenge. I have to admit, I'm already getting a late start. It's 11 p.m. my time, but I will be more punctual tomorrow. It has just been one of those days.

A is for accountability.

Currently there seems to be an issue with quite a few people I know and accountability. I think it's really important to have someone you're accountable to. Whether it is your higher power, your significant other, your children, your parents, yourself, or maybe all of the above. I think being accountable for your actions not only makes you think before you act, it helps you grow as a person. And ultimately I think becoming the best version of yourself possible is what life is all about!! Am I right or am I right? *wink* haha

We've all made mistakes and have had to pay for them in one way or another. I think what seems to be the running trend in my life is that people don't want to be accountable for how they're treating others in regard to life decisions. Aaaaand I would like you to know I am not excluding myself from this group. It seems like it is so easy to hound someone else for a mistake they have made or are currently making, when we have ourselves made that very same mistake (or one very similar.) Being kind and understanding seems like such a better way to handle things.

I think that people sometimes get so caught up in pointing out to others what they're doing wrong, that they forget to look in the mirror. It's an easy mistake to make and one I find myself making a lot. However, I am starting to recognize this in myself and am trying to be accountable for it. I hope that in time, others in my life will start to do the same. Like you've heard a million times before... "Never judge a person until you've walked a mile in their shoes."

I really enjoy using "The Message" version of the Bible for everyday reading, so I wanted to share this passage. And then also the traditional version of this passage underneath.

"Don't pick on people, jump on their failures, criticize their faults— unless, of course, you want the same treatment. That critical spirit has a way of boomeranging. It's easy to see a smudge on your neighbor's face and be oblivious to the ugly sneer on your own. Do you have the nerve to say, 'Let me wash your face for you,' when your own face is distorted by contempt? It's this whole traveling road-show mentality all over again, playing a holier-than-thou part instead of just living your part. Wipe that ugly sneer off your own face, and you might be fit to offer a washcloth to your neighbor. (Matthew 7:1-5 MSG)

“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye. (Matthew 7:1-5 NIV)