Friday, October 31, 2008


I can't believe Halloween is already here! I spent the day with little kids...they were all dressed up in their costumes and looked very cute.

I don't have real kids to dress up in cute little costumes yet, but have my animal kids. I am not one of those people who dresses them up every day, but I did buy an outfit for Jasmine a long time ago because Halloween used to be a HUGE part of my job and I thought it would be fun to include her. So, here she is as a Jack-O-Lantern (I don't have the top anymore...or I do, I just don't know where it went...she never liked it anyway, so it never stayed on, so what is the point of putting it on anyway?)

Juju was the Flower Pup in my wedding last month, and for the rehearsal, I got her this cute little shirt. I thought it would be fun to put her in it again as a costume. :)

And, here they are both together! They are good little furballs!

Happy Halloween! I hope you enjoyed the pictures!

P.S. Sorry for the mess in the background...we are still, 5 months after moving in, unpacking, and this is a room we have not quite organized yet....

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Am I a Worry Wort?

That is the question I have been asking myself lately. Do I worry too much? Or do I just have so much going on in my life that I can't help but have something to worry about? How do I stop worrying? How do I go back to just enjoying life for what is has to offer and not worrying about everything that is happening around me?

Monday, October 27, 2008


A few nights ago, as I was trying desperately to sleep because I had an early morning...

I must have laid in bed for 2 hours. I went to bed before B, which is very unusual. But he didn't have to work in the morning, and I had to be up for an interview. At 5:30AM. I do not get up at 5:30AM. I like to sleep in. In fact, I like to wake up later and then lay in bed for about 10-20 minutes and look out the bedroom windows at the views... but I digress.

Anyway, I was unable to fall asleep. I think part of my problem was that I am not used to trying to fall asleep when B isn't in the same bed as me. Normally, he is there and I can snuggle up close...

I hear B come up and he gets ready for bed and I think, Finally, I should be able to fall asleep! And, I do start to fall asleep. But then, I hear snoring. And not just any snoring. LOUD snoring. And, me being tired and cognizant of the fact I have to be up in like 6 hours for an INTERVIEW, I was not the nicest person in the world. "SHUT-UP!" I said. "What?" was B's response. "You're snoring! I need to sleep!" was my response. I don't remember much else (I tend to be very foggy with anything that happens if I've been awoken as of late).

The next day, I ask B if I yelled at him for snoring, and he says yes. And then he proceeds to tell me that he wasn't snoring. He had been lying in bed thinking and out of nowhere, I told him to shut-up, and that he was snoring.

Now this was news to me. I was POSITIVE he had been snoring. I can remember hearing it. Or, I guess, maybe I can remember hearing it, but that it might have been in my dream.

This has been happening to me a lot lately. If it isn't conversations, it is having dreams and thinking they are real. I'm not sure why. I guess it can lead to some amusement though!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Forgotten Dreams

I spent pretty much the whole day up until 2:00 without power. I was kind of frustrated not having power, especially for so long. Not having power did give me the opportunity to try and unpack some more though, so I spent about 2 hours in our spare room (also known as the room that has most of the boxes that still need to be unpacked in it...and it has TONS of boxes...) and actually went through a lot of stuff. I found some things to sell at the yard sale, some things to throw away, and things that now have a place in our home. I also found many memories.

One of the reasons that I have a hard time getting things unpacked or ever throwing things away because most of the time I start going through things, I find stuff from a long time ago and start reminiscing. Today, I found a box FULL of my old skating items. Competition results, letters from the USFSA, competition programs, news articles, etc. Some of the things I had no idea that my parents had copies of...and I'm assuming this box came from my parents house when my mom sold it after my dad passed away.

As I got to going through this box...I was overtaken with a feeling of nostalgia. For 11 years, I dreamt of going to the Olympics, and I spent 8 of those years training hard, several hours a day, to make this dream come true. A few of those years, I was a singles skater. But the last few, I was a pairs skater (which was what I had always hoped to do). My partner and I worked hard...and we had potential.

A lot of the times when I tell people I was a figure skater (I don't really tell them is a part of my life that I defined me for so long, that I wanted to be known as something else, rather then "the figure skater girl"), the first question I get asked is "Were you good?" I've always hated that question. You say yes, and people think you are stuck up. You say no, and well, you might not be telling the truth. I started answering it with, we had potential.

My partner and I metaled twice at the National level...winning the Junior National Pairs title was our highest achievement. We competed Germany, Canada and Russia. We were considered the up-and-comers. We firmly believed that we would go to the Olympics in 2002. And for 5 years, everything we worked toward was with this goal and dream in mind.

Figuring Skating is a tough sport though. Especially when you are a pairs skater. I ended up with several injuries...herniated discs, a severely twisted ankle the week before Nationals one year after my partner dropped me, whiplash in my neck after I went head first into the boards...the list goes on. I was lucky that he never dropped me on my head or face as happens with some pair girls. My back was the worst injury, and the one that never healed (I still have back pain today). Sometimes the pain would go down my leg. But, I digress. The point it, that even through pain, you continued to work hard and focus on your dream and your goal.

As a pair girl it is also expected that you stay thin and work several hours off the ice to stay thin. I didn't have a problem with staying thin until my grandfather passed away. I gained a few pounds and everything spiraled from there. My eating disorder ended up being the end of my skating career, and the end of my dream.

I grieved the loss of the Olympic dream for a long time. When you focus on something for so long, and it is suddenly no longer a part of your aren't sure how to let go. I watched as the people we competed against...and had beaten, went to the Olympics instead of us. I was jealous and sad. It was supposed to be me.

For some time, I tricked myself into believing that my dream wasn't really dead, and I would start skating again and eventually go to the Olympics. When I finally realized that skating was probably not an option, I thought maybe I'd go in something else... The Olympics will always hold special meaning to me. I still long to go. When it is an Olympic year, I love to watch the coverage...the opening ceremonies, everything. Although it typically makes me sad as well. But in the past few years, I've pushed that dream away and realized that my life is different now...and my dreams have changed... Sometimes though, it is sad to remember the ones that you have given up...or have been forced to give up because of circumstances...

Friday, October 24, 2008


I almost got peed on at work today.

I put little Ben on the changing table. He was unhappy I was changing him, but he had to be changed. Took his diaper off. It was wet. I reach to get a wipe. I look down. He has peed all over himself. It has gone everywhere. "Ben!" I exclaim. "Gross! Don't do that!" So he pees some more.

My only relief is that it doesn't get on me. Just him and the table. And his pants.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

They are always listening!

A short story about something that happened at work.

My coworker, Christina, after dropping a couple of cups of milk on the floor: "Son of a...."
Wiley, the two-year old: "Bitch, Christina. You were going to say bitch, right?"
Christina: "Right, Wiley..." (looks at me with the what am I supposed to say look)

Where do they learn that stuff?!?

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

This is our future...

"I buy marijuana for $50 for an eighth."
"I typically buy an eighth."
"You don't carry bowls, just smoke blunts."
"I smoke it out on the intramural field every night."
"You can't get in trouble if you just smell like marijuana."
"Yes! No homework due in this class means I can finally go out on Tuesday night!"

Yes. These are direct quotes from my freshman students. This Fall, as with the past three Falls, I have been teaching the freshman introductory course at our local university.

I have been utterly surprised this year at the attitudes of my students. I am of course bothered by their lackadaisical attitudes and how many of them wait until the last minute to do their work (which results in some EXTREMELY BAD papers...some of them just do NOT know how to write...), and the fact that so many of them feel that it is ok to text while I am trying to engage them in conversation. That would not have flown when I was a student (all of 8 years ago I was a freshman). You didn't do your work, you got graded poorly. I grade my students poorly and they complain like there is no tomorrow...about the amount of work, about the fact they can't get an A...blah, blah. I just tell them I am preparing them for the classes they will encounter in college...and I hope I am right. But who knows. I feel as if things in college just keeps getting easier.

But I guess what is really surprising is the fact that my students are so open about what they do in their spare time. As I noted above, these are direct quotes from my students. They have no sense of keeping things under wraps, or that maybe it isn't the best idea for them to be talking about doing drugs (and doing them often) in front of a professor. In fact, they didn't even have a problem talking about it when a campus police officer came in to the classroom to talk about safety and campus tips (how not to get arrested ya know). Only after they blurted out the fact they frequently bought marijuana (this was after they already admitted they smoked it) did they go oops, maybe I shouldn't say that with a police officer in the room!

When did people become so open about breaking the law/doing illegal things? My parents would have kicked my butt and pulled my funding for college if they even suspected I was doing anything like these kids are doing. I can't even figure out how these parents don't know with the frequency in which these kids talk about doing it, and how long they have been doing it. What is more scary though is that some of them do know. And they make excuses for their kids/blame them getting caught on other people. Why should their little John or Suzy actually take responsibility for their actions?

I'm not dumb enough to think that students are going to come to college and never drink or do drugs (I didn't, but I am not the norm). But I would at least expect that they use a little discretion and not openly admit to people in authority about their illegal actions. This is our future. And when I talk about the number of students this applies to, it is over half of my 18 student class. These are the citizens that we are asking to take part in an election that will change the course of our we really think they understand the issues at stake here? They are out smoking dope every night!

It is frustrating to say the least. Nothing that a person says or does gets through to these students. They believe they know everything. They've gotten out of trouble (lots of times by parents getting them out) so many times that they think they are invincible. They are often times looking for an easy pass. It is painful. And I feel like so many people are encouraging this behavior rather then holding these students accountable. What exactly are we to do to change it? What the future will hold when these students graduate and become the leading generation in America, actually scares me. I can only hope when I have children that this is not their attitude. It scares me.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Feeling Discontented

Is discontented a word? I don't know. But it seems to accurately describe how I have been feeling. I guess you could say that I have been feeling this way for quite some time...and have been waiting and hoping that something would come along and help.

Let me start by saying that there are many aspects of my life that I love and am so glad have happened over the last year. I got married to an amazing man...and he truly is amazing, as he puts up with my insecurities and crazy moments. He supports me even when it isn't easy and I know he loves me dearly. We bought a farm that feels like our own little piece of heaven, despite the work it takes to maintain it. I'm surrounded by my animals, that I love with a passion. I've met some pretty great people, that have become good fixtures in my life, and who I really appreciate. So, there are things that I feel content and happy with.

On the other hand, I still feel like I am searching for something. A part of it, I am pretty sure, is what I am supposed to be doing with my life. I am certain that working at a daycare is NOT it. I don't know what else I am searching for...

A long time ago, before my dad passed away, I had my whole life planned out (married by 23, mom a few years later, job in Arizona, etc., etc... I knew what I wanted and everything was on track) and I was excited about where I saw it going. I was, for the first time in a long time, happy and content with my life. In fact, I felt as if the year before he passed away was the best year of my life up to that point. I had started grad school in a place I loved, met new friends that I loved, got engaged to the man I loved, and really, I just felt great. My life to that point had not always been great. I struggled with many eating disorder, shyness, a feeling of not being good enough, and not being able to escape the identity of being a figure skater no mater how hard I tried...there are other things too, but you get the picture. But I had overcome all that and was finally doing things I loved and was in a place I felt good about.

When my dad passed away...I felt as if my life crumbled. My plan was no longer going to work. I became depressed, and to make it through each day was incredibly difficult. I became estranged from most of my family at this point because I felt they were not honoring my dad's wishes, my engagement crumbled, and my friends graduated and moved on to other schools. The one thing I can remember that brought me any happiness during that time, was my success with the farm. I eventually worked my way out of the depression and found joy in my new job. I found things I loved to do again and I enjoyed the feeling of family that came with my staff and my friends. But there was always something missing from my heart and my life.

Last year, as I struggled through a very difficult year with my job, and made the decision (the very right decision) to leave after the year was up, I was faced with what I was going to do after I left. I no longer felt so passionate about working with college students because of my experiences with them the past year (I was in a way, very burnt out, and feeling very unappreciated for the job I had done). I had been forced to give up the one thing I felt I was really good at, selling trees and the farm...and where did that leave me? I was struck with the fact that I had no idea where my passion was anymore.

Almost a year later, I still have no idea. I have no idea how to find it. I worry that I will be forced in to a job that I really do not want to do just so I am bringing in a paycheck and getting out of the house. I don't want to be in another job that leaves me miserable at the end of the day. I wake up every morning trying to understand what my meaning is. What is it that I am supposed to be doing in this world and with my life? Why is it taking me so long to find the answer? Not knowing, at times makes me irritable and sad. And I feel like I could have it so much worse so I should be grateful, but it is hard to remember that sometimes.

For someone who always had a plan and knew where her life was going, the unknown and no direction is really scary. To not know what else it is that will leave me feeling whole and no longer not understand why I can't feel content with my life the way it is now. I don't always understand. I worry that people will think I am not grateful for what I have. I truly am. I just want my heart to feel lighter again and not be longing for something that I have no idea what it is.

I just thought I'd share...

Saturday, October 18, 2008

The farm

When my dad was very young, he had a dream. His dream was to own a Christmas Tree Farm, and when he turned 22, he made his dream happen. Everyone thought he was crazy, but he bought 204 acres of land that he felt was perfect for the farm he had always dreamed of. The only thing that wasn't perfect about this piece of land was that it was 6 hours away. He didn't really mind. He would drive up on Friday nights and return on Sunday evenings. He was determined to make it work. He built a house on the land and planted trees. He began selling them at the convenience store he owned in Wilmington, and later on, when he sold the convenience store, he found a lot that he would sell on every December. My dad loved the farm, and he loved selling Christmas Trees. He loved talking to people when they would come to buy from him and he loved that he had return customers year after year. He was very proud of his trees. He put time and effort in to every tree and he was proud of the fact that he raised them.

The farm was a part of my life from the moment I was born. In fact, my dad set my sister and I to work in the fields as soon as we were old enough to work. :) I can remember tagging small trees in the rows so my dad didn't mow over them. There are many pictures of my sister and I trimming the smaller trees as well. We loved going to the farm. Our favorite trips up were the ones when we left at midnight. My parents would come in and wake us up and let us pile in to the car in our jammies. My sister and I felt so special riding up in our jammies. We would stop along the side of the road and sleep when my dad got tired and we would typically stop at Mister Donut in the morning for donut holes and a restroom break. We thought we were so cool going inside in our jammies.

The farm was a place where we would explore. We loved the old railroad beds that were filled with rocks and would play with slugs and snails. We would collect monarchs in September, we would wait on him in November when he would be cutting the trees to bring down and we would wander the fields in the summer. We looked forward to our time up there. It instilled in me a work ethic, and truly a love of selling trees. December was a time we would go to the lot and visit our dad, and spend hours at the lot with him. It was long hours for him. But we loved it. :)

When we got older, long trips in the car were not as fun. And we got busier with our lives. When I skated, I stopped going up so much. I could no longer spend two weeks up at the farm in the summer or wanted to spend 12 hours in the car after a week of training. And I must admit I got lazy. But there were times my dad was able to convince me to go up, and we would spend the weekend together. I still loved the farm- I was just being a teenager and was more worried about my life. I always hoped that one day when my dad decided he had had enough, that I would be able to run the farm myself.

My dad saw the farm through a lot. He realized his dream of owning cattle. He cried when the house caught fire and most of it was destroyed. He was determined to rebuild everything and make the farm what he wanted it to be. He knew it could be a very successful venture, and he planned to move up there full time once he retired. And when he retired, he started going up to the farm even more frequently. But he had only been retired three months before his diagnosis.

When my dad got sick, he had to decide what to do with the farm. He was surprised for some reason when I told him that I would be devastated if he decided to sell it. I wanted it more then anything. And my sister said the same thing. I will admit that that surprised me a bit. Even though she loved to be up there, my sister was not as outdoorsy as I was. She didn't really care as much for manual labor. And that was a difference between the two of us. In the end though, my dad decided to leave the farm to both of us. I knew it would be a lot of work, but I was up for it.

For the past 4 years, the farm was a huge part of my life. I did four tree seasons. Each was successful. I began to make the farm my second home. I started fixing up the house. I left some of my animals up there in care of our manager. I bought my first ever horses and was so excited they were there. It was a place I would go to escape. A place where I felt my happiest. A place where I felt so close to my dad. I saw him in every little thing at the farm. Each of the trees, in every field. Riding on the equipment and working the fields. He was there. I was walking in the places he walked. It might sound weird, but it made me feel better to be there. I would spend every summer there and work hard to get things where they needed to be. For 5 weeks, from the day after Thanksgiving to Christmas Eve, I would be in Delaware selling trees. I knew holding a job in Ohio I couldn't fully commit myself to the farm, but I planned to make my life there once I was more established and had the farm generating more income.

There were a lot of things working against me from the moment we took over the farm. My sister eventually lost interest and didn't want to keep running it. My family didn't believe in me. And, the farm was actually put in a trust to be distributed when I get dad thought this was the right thing (it was not...I would never suggest doing this...). Well, to make a long story short, the bank that holds the trust did not want to keep a property. They have fought me tooth and nail. Eventually they pushed and withheld funds enough that I was forced to agree that we would sell the property.

This was a very hard decision for me. It meant giving up something I felt I was destined to do. I loved every aspect of the tree business. I really loved running the business and selling trees to customers my dad had been selling to for over 30 years. It continues to hurt when I think about not being able to go up there anymore... B was influential in my decision to sell. I knew he wouldn't be happy with me leaving for 5 weeks in December to sell trees in Delaware. I committed to being with him in Ohio and we decided to start a life on a farm in Ohio. Traveling 8 hours to a farm every month would not be something that excited him.

Well...believe it or not, when I finally said I would sell, the rest of my family freaked out. They didn't think the farm would ever be out of the family. Regardless of whether they wanted the responsibility of taking care of it. I guess they thought I wouldn't sell. Kind of hard not to when everyone is doing what they can to prohibit you from succeeding though...and somehow I always knew they never really wanted it sold...they just didn't want to be the ones to care for it. My sister especially became upset when I said I was going to sell...and eventually we decided that we would keep the house and 10 acres and sell the rest. And right now, we are currently in the process of finding a buyer and getting our stuff from there. Or more, I am trying to get my stuff. And my animals...which I have worried about for months since our farm manager had to find another that took him out of state for most of the month, and the animals were pretty much left on their own in the pasture.

B and I made a trip up to the farm Thursday night. 8 hours. We slept in the truck when we about 4 hours sleep, woke up, ate breakfast, and got to work. 3 hours later we had packed up more of the tools I had up there and loaded up the three remaining animals I had up horses. We then drove 8 hours back. 16 hours of driving in 28 hours. We were tired and exhausted, but I can't even tell you how much better I feel knowing that my animals are finally home with me, and I know they are being taken care of the best they can be.

Going up to the farm was hard for me. Seeing the trees no longer trimmed. Knowing that this year, for the first time in close to 40 years, those trees will not be sold in Delaware. That people are planning on me being there to sell those trees...trees they love to buy because they knew my dad, and they knew we cut them fresh. Also, seeing that the house isn't in very good shape because people broke in...seeing that they also broke in to my camper and have been using it to party. It hurts me and is very hard. B doesn't understand. He feels the farm is just a place that will be a burden for us. I've tried to explain my connection to the place. That it is the last piece I have of my dad...that it was the one thing I did that I felt truly good at and successful doing. It is hard to let go. Maybe one day I'll get there...I'm not sure.

I'll share pictures and more later. But that is where I've been the last two days...

Thursday, October 16, 2008

A Little Piece of My Heart...

just went down the drive in a blue trailer. Neighing and trying to talk to Laddy even as he was being taken down the road. I'll miss you Teddy...

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Feeling A Little Blue...

Well...I was going to post about my job today. I never really posted about it. Just as I was getting ready to click the "New Post" button, B made a phone call that changed my mood and my post topic.

When I got home from teaching my class, B surprised me by saying that he may have found someone that would take our older horses. Now, this was news to me because I didn't know that we were looking to get rid of them. First off, we were just fostering Teddy, so we couldn't very well get rid of him without figuring out whether we were allowed. I'll admit that I didn't think I was going to ride Teddy again after he threw me...not because I am scared to ride, but he has become extremely aggressive and kinda mean as of late. I didn't really like his attitude under the saddle, and felt that maybe he needed a more experienced rider then me. But still. He and Laddy (our other older horse) are best buddies, and I wanted to find another horse before we decided what to do with Teddy. But B is worried about costs, because we are headed up to my other property this weekend, and may be bringing back my three other horses (at the very least, we are bringing back one). He doesn't want to be responsible for 7 horses. I understand that. But as far as I knew, we weren't bringing all 3 back and not to mention, the other 3 are not broke, and are very young (2.5). I definitely am not getting rid of the only 2 horses I am able to ride. So, needless to say, I was not happy with this news he just decided to throw at me and let him know.

Well, he decides to call the place we are fostering Teddy for to ask them what exactly we are doing with him. Turns out, they want to come and pick him up tomorrow because they want to give him to an equestrian team. They were supposively going to call us tomorrow and tell us they wanted to come and get him. So, it seems we are losing Teddy tomorrow. He is going to a new home. Which, was bound to happen, but it seems so quick. I've had no time to adjust. And I'm terrible at letting my animals go. I love each and every animal that is on our farm dearly, and they mean so much to me. It takes a lot of me to let them go...which may be a bad thing, but it is the way I am. The only good news from this phone call is that we will no longer be getting rid of two animals...that's for sure. Laddy will be staying with us. But Teddy will be leaving...

I feel sorry for Laddy, who is going to miss Teddy terribly. I am going to miss seeing him outside the window...his grey body is so noticeable at night. Regardless of the fact that he threw me, he is a good horse...he is in so many of our wedding pictures and he loved attention. And food. I'm sorry to see him go.

Me and Teddy, right after he first arrived at the farm
It was good knowing you... :(

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

SITS blogathon post!

Today is the SITS Blogathon! Never been to SITS? You should check it out by clicking the button!

I only just found SITS last Wednesday. So I am very new. But one of the best things about SITS is that it provides support for us bloggers out there! I have had a lot more people stop by my blog in the few days that I have been a regular on SITS and many more comments on my posts. I hope in the weeks to come, as I continue to be a SITS regular, that I will maybe win one of the fabulous prizes they give away, and find even more wonderful new blogs to explore.

I have enjoyed finding new blogs through SITS as well. Some of these blogs include the following:

-Pennies in My Pocket - This blog finds you bargains!
-Beautifully Imperfect - I don't think I found her through SITS, but she is a part of SITS, so she counts! This blog is about every day life, kinda like mine, and I appreciate the openness and honesty each post contains.
-Balancing Beauty and Bedlam- I'm a lurker on her blog, but she has amazing ways of clipping coupons and saving big when shopping. I'd love to be able to save more then I spend...
-Yaya Stuff - Yaya commented on my blog shortly after I joined SITS, so I've started checking hers out...still a lurker though!
-Mindless Junque - My first comment from SITS!

I hope that by participating today, a few new people will stop by my blog as well! If you are new, welcome! If you aren't new, welcome! Take a look around and see what I'm about! :)

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Pumpkin Carving!

B and I carved pumpkins today. I absolutely loved it. I haven't carved pumpkins for a long least since I went to college 8 years ago. B even told me that he had fun...and he isn't the biggest fan of Halloween (he doesn't like the scary ghoulish type things...neither do I).

Pumpkin carving when I was little was always a lot of fun. Every year, I had my dad carve me almost the exact same pumpkin. It had to have heart eyes, a triangle nose, and then whatever I drew for a mouth (typically some weird tooth filled grin). As we were drawing our pumpkin faces and my dad was carving them, my mom would take the seeds and bake them so we could munch on them later. It was a family I looked forward to every year, and one that sometimes got overlooked once I started skating, and once our family got busier. I loved pumpkin carving. I hope if B and I have kids that we will always remember how much fun pumpkin carving can be, even when our lives get busier.

I am glad we have a home now where we can carve and display our creations! This is the first time I have ever made a pumpkin that doesn't have a face. I tried to go the more artistic route this time (and will admit I had some help...I'm not that artistic!)

B and his pumpkin...a Headless Horseman

Me and my pumpkin...harder to see because it took me much longer then B...but mine is a bat

Our two finished pumpkins, proudly displayed :)

Thursday, October 9, 2008


My Thursday nights will never be the same. Gary Dourdan's fabulous Warrick will no longer be a part of CSI. And soon, William Peterson's fabulous Grissom will be gone too. I know shows change over the years. And I should be glad that I got to watch these characters for so long. But that doesn't mean that I didn't shed a few tears tonight as I watched fictional characters mourn one of my favorite fictional characters. All I can say is thank goodness for reruns...

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

More Pictures!!

I just got more wedding pictures from one of my good friends...I'm so excited, I thought I would share a few with you all! Pictures of the cake finally too! (I'm sorry if I'm overdoing it with the wedding posts...I just love pictures and I love these pictures because they are of my wedding...) :)

Pineapple Upside Down Cake

Ok, soooo...B has challenged me to make my next new food item, and he asked for Pineapple Upside Down Cake. I have found a few interesting recipes on the web, but thought I would ask my fabulous readers (all 4 of you!) if you had a recipe you liked and highly recommended. If not, I'll go with the ones I found on the web, and let you know how it goes (I'm planning to make it this weekend).

Monday, October 6, 2008


As I recently posted the details about my wedding, I thought I would continue along the same vain and show you some more detailed pictures of the flowers that I felt really helped to make everything look perfect...since my previous post focused mostly on pictures of me and my handsome hubby and not pictures of the details ! :) (These are not the best pictures, and I apologize, I took them the day after the wedding and tried my best, but it was hard as I was rushed!)

This was my bridal bouquet

Flower balls that were found at every aisle, and then after the ceremony moved to different parts of the reception tent


Bridesmaid's Bouquets

Our was moved from the ceremony location to the tent to serve as a decoration behind the head table once the reception started. The arch was hand made, and I wish I could have taken it inside and kept it forever...

Different butterflies that could be found included on the arch...and believe it or not, during the ceremony, there were several live butterflies on the arch and other flower decorations...a sure sign my dad was truly with me on my wedding day. :)

RIP Pleco

B and I came home Saturday night to find my Pleco fish floating in not quite the right way. He had been sick for a few days, and I had tried to help him out, but I had no idea what to do...I think it was just old age. I had my Pleco fish for over 4 years...the longest I have had any fish (except for those still in the tank where Pleco lived...they were bought at the same time). He grew from about an inch long when I first got him, to over 6 inches at his death. It feels weird to look in the tank and not see him stuck to the glass sucking away...

Anyway, I mention this because having a fish for 4 years was simply amazing to me. Before this fish (and his tankmates), the longest I ever had a fish was for a little over a year. I always wanted to have a fish tank full of lively fish that lived a long time...but for some reason, it never happened. And I've been trying pretty regularly since I was about 12. So, the success of this fish and the others is pretty meaningful to me, as silly as it sounds.

Fish really do live a long time, and it is possible to help them live a long time! (Just don't ask me how...)

Saturday, October 4, 2008

September 20, 2008

Let me preface this post by saying that I had the hardest time writing it! I had no idea what to include, or what not to include, and how many pictures to put in...but as much as I tried to keep it short, it just seemed rather impossible. So, I apologize now for the length of the post. You can skim if you want! :)

There are many stories I could tell you about my wedding day. But for the purpose of this post, I want to focus only on the positive and beautiful day that was, and the fact that B and I committed ourselves to each other. I'll be sure to share all the other details at a later date... :)

I arrived at our house at 4:30, after a busy morning getting my nails and hair done. I had woken up at 7:00am with a feeling of nervous excitement...that was the only nervousness I felt the entire day. I just couldn't be nervous. I was marrying my best friend and the person I loved... It was a beautiful day. Not a bit of wind, and only slightly cloudy. By the time the ceremony started, it was in the lower 70s and the night stayed relatively warm.

B and I had made the decision not to see each other before the ceremony, and because of this, he stayed at the house and got ready, while I had spent the previous night at a hotel with K. This allowed me to spend the day with K and my sister...and for all the decorations to be a surprise when I arrived at the house.

I barely saw anything when we pulled in to the house because I was so busy hiding in the car and trying to get into the house without B seeing me. The plan was for me to get dressed, take some photos, and then the ceremony would begin at 5:30. There was some confusion at this point on my behalf. I thought I was supposed to be waiting for the photographer to take pictures of me getting ready...and I think she thought she was waiting for me to be entirely dressed. I spent quite a bit of time waiting for my other bridesmaids to arrive, and running around the house trying to make sure things were taken care of. Some of my beloved friends came in the house to see if I needed anything and I was so happy to see them. Before I knew it, it was 5:00 and I still wasn't dressed! I finally started getting ready. Time was flying. I got dressed and we took a few pictures, but not nearly as many as I had thought we would take...I was told not to worry though, because we would take more later.

Our friend Ken, was acting as our wedding "planner" for the day, and he was making us stay on track. When he came in to tell us that we had 1 minute left to take pictures, my heart jumped. I couldn't believe that I was getting married! Suddenly, I heard the music start for the wedding party...and they opened the front door...and there was B! Haha. I shrieked a little and hid...and luckily, he didn't see me. It was at this time that my mom and B's mom were escorted down the aisle. B picked all the music for the ceremony, and the wedding party walked down to Mannheim Steamroller's "Cavatina." It was a four minute song...and I started to worry that not everyone was going to get down quick enough. The flower dog and the ring bearer had to wait until the mothers lit the unity candle, and it seemed as if it took forever... But eventually, off they went. As my first bridesmaid stood waiting for her chance to walk down the aisle, I felt tears come to my eyes. I was overwhelmed at the fact that it was finally here...and I was about to be married to the person I cared the most about in the world.

I suddenly found myself left alone in the foyer to our house. It was at this time I thought of my dad, and wished he was there. I wondered what he would have said to me before we walked down the aisle. I wondered what he would have thought of B and of the beautiful place where we were getting married. I really wished I had him there to walk with me. I had made the decision to walk by myself because I couldn't imagine anyone else walking me down but my dad...but it didn't make it any easier for me.

I was lucky that our ringbearer's mom came back and told me she was going to help me out the train probably would have gotten stuck somewhere without her help. :) Ken was suddenly telling me to go. I realized though, that the wedding party's song was still playing and was like no...I don't think I'm supposed to be going. It was a confusing moment...but I didn't go. :) The beginning of the version of the wedding march B chose for me (Aaron Meyer's "Here Comes the should search for this, it is beautiful) had soft drums playing...and I wanted to wait until they were over before I stepped out. So I kept the guests waiting for a minute or so. I stepped out of the house, and I lost all sense...I remember our friend telling me to go slow. I wanted to stand there for a second, but when he told me to go slow...I just got plain confused! I had to go down steps, and this made my dress get out of whack in the front...and then I was trying to walk slow (although I think I ended up going fast) and I felt myself trip some on my dress. :) Ha. This is where having someone to walk with would have made my walk so much easier... You can actually see in the picture that it did get stuck under...I imagine that is the way it looked all the way down the aisle (I haven't seen all the pictures yet). I don't remember much else from my walk down the aisle...but thinking watch your step! And of course, seeing B. When I finally got to the actual "aisle," I could see him. He looked so handsome in his tux. And he was smiling at me. I didn't take my eyes off of him.

I made it to the end of the aisle and stood there with our pastor. And then the ceremony began. B and I faced each other and took each other's hands. I couldn't stop looking in his eyes. We went through the gathering words and the opening prayer...although the pastor did forget to ask who gave me mom had wanted this part to be included, despite the fact that my dad was not there. After the declaration of consent, my friend N read a poem called "Love," by Roy Croft.


I love you
Not only for what you are,
But for what I am
When I am with you.

I love you,
Not only for what
You have made of yourself,
But for what
You are making of me.

I love you

For the part of me
That you bring out;

I love you
For putting your hand
Into my heaped-up heart
And passing over
All the foolish, weak things
That you can't help
Dimly seeing there,

And for drawing out
Into the light
All the beautiful belongings
That no one else had looked
Quite far enough to find

I love you because you
Are helping me to make
Of the lumber of my life
Not a tavern
But a temple.

Out of the works
Of my every day
Not a reproach
But a song.

I love you
Because you have done
More than any creed
Could have done
To make me good.
And more than any fate
Could have done
To make me happy.

You have done it
Without a touch,
Without a word,
Without a sign.

You have done it
By being yourself.
Perhaps that is what
Being a friend means,
After all.

After N's beautiful reading of the poem, we had a scripture reading, and then exchanged our vows. B and I wrote our own...we said a lot of the same things...and mine were of course, a bit longer then his. He was rushed to finish his, and I'm a writer, so of course mine were longer. :) I thought I would cry, but I didn't. We both love to laugh, and of course, our vows included some things that made us of the reasons that we love to be with each other so much is our ability to make each other I am glad that we were able to have fun with our vows, but also make them somewhat serious as well.

We then exchanged our rings. I had a very hard time getting B's ring on. I think his finger grew from the time we bought our rings 2 months before! :) I pushed and pushed, and he then had to help me. And poor guy, by the end of the evening, could barely get his ring off because it was so tight, his finger got swollen! Anyway, it did cause a bit of a laugh. :) Then we had the blessing of the rings.

We then lit the Unity Candle, and during this time, Josh Groban's "To Where You Are," was played in memory of my dad. This was the first bit of time that B and I got to actually take a breath. He told me I almost made him cry when I came down the aisle...and I told him he looked snazzy in his tux. It was nice to have this time to breathe and just be with and enjoy each other during the ceremony.

When the song was over, we received the Ministerial Blessing, the Benediction and more blessings, and finally, B was told he was allowed to kiss the bride. :)

We were then announced and walked back down the aisle to 98 Degrees' "True to Your Heart."

After everyone made it back down the aisle, we went back to the rows to greet everyone. It was wonderful seeing friends that I hadn't seen in years, and those that were there from the very beginning. We took some pictures (don't have any of those yet) and finally were ready to enter the reception area. I hadn't seen the completed reception tent, and it really was just beautiful when I saw it. It was lit only with the white lights and lanterns. We were introduced and then the eating began. The food was great. I couldn't really eat much though, as I felt like my undergarments had been put on a little too tightly! :) I'll let the pictures do much of the rest of the talking for what took place at the reception...I don't have a picture of the cake yet (although I did smear some cake on my lovely husbands face)! Our toasts were great and we danced some and the reception was definitely a lot of fun.

Entering the Reception

My best Friends and I

Our First Dance to "When God Made You He Must Have Been Thinking About Me"

A Picture with all my former staff members...also known as my family

By the time the reception ended (around 10:00), B and I still had to feed all our animals and finally get to bed. Responsibilities don't go away, not even on your wedding day! Probably my favorite part of the evening though, was when we first went back into the house after everyone left, to get ready to feed the animals...when B said "Hi Mrs. B." It made me smile. And made me realize that we were finally joined as one.

Thursday, October 2, 2008


Happy October! I can't believe that it is already October. I was driving to work today, a drive that is on a very scenic road that is surrounded by trees, and I could not believe the fact that leaves were falling, and most trees were no longer green. It seems like just yesterday we were having our wedding, where all the trees were still green (it really was just yesterday! not even two weeks!), and already, the days and nights have gotten very cold and there is barely a green tree left. Enjoy the last few days of warmer weather, the cold will soon be here to stay!

P.S. I'm promising the wedding post by Saturday...I've been a little longer then anticipated since I started my new job!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008


I was reading Imperfect's post about family and dinner last night as I was attempting to wind down from an incredibly long day (yes, after 5.5 hours of running after 2-year olds, and changing diapers, I could barely keep my eyes open), and it made me really think about what dinner's have meant to me over the years.

For a long time when I was young, my family ate dinner together most nights. My dad worked night shift at times, so there were days he could not join us, but for the most part, for my early years, every night was spent at the kitchen table eating something my mom had cooked. My mom did not really like to cook...everything she did was very basic, but what mattered was that we were at the dinner table together.

As I grew up, and became more involved in skating, we didn't have as many family dinners. Sometimes my mom was working, sometimes my dad. We often ate out (every Tuesday was McDonald's night), or dinner was whatever we made when we got home. When I first started watching what I was eating, I began to cook some dinners, and I do remember a few nights spent together with my experiments...but that was few and far between. For a long time also, because of my eating disorder, meals were a scary time for me. They were not something to be enjoyed. They resulted in fears of gaining weight and calorie counting... Looking back now, I feel we really missed out on some good family times. I don't think I realized this as a teenager...really, I was more concerned about the things that were going on in my life to worry about sitting down and eating with my parents. And I don't think this was anyone's fault. We were all struggling through our own busy schedules and troubles in life...but I feel our family would have been much stronger and tighter, if we would have taken an hour out of our days to catch up with each other and have a REAL conversation. Because meals are the perfect opportunity for that...and it is so hard to have a real conversation at any other point during the day (especially for a busy family).

When I went to college, I ate with my boyfriend, or ate alone in my room. The dining halls were gross, and home-cooked meals were few and far between. :) I did look forward to the conversations my boyfriend and I would have during those times.

When I finally moved in to my own apartment, I was so excited to finally have a kitchen where I could cook...but I was in grad school, and that equaled no time to cook. Well...I cooked a bit. But not much. And I had no one to eat it with really.

I thought when I graduated and started a job, I'd have more time. But what I hated was that I was cooking for just me. What was the point of making a meal when I'd have a ton of leftovers I'd never eat?

When B and I started dating, we tried to eat as many meals together as possible. We made sure to at least eat one meal together, regardless of whether he was working or I was working (we had that luxury since we worked at the same place). I really came to look forward to those meals together. It was our time. We would laugh together, talk with each other, and review our days. It was time for conversation that we might not have gotten otherwise. I started to enjoy eating. I saw mealtime as a happy time, rather then just a time that I had to put something in my stomach. I started to plan for our meals...when before, I would just snack on something as I was working or going from one place to the next. With B, I found my love of food and meal time again.

When we moved in to our new house, and I left my job, we were both able to be home for dinner. If I come home first, I try to cook, and vice versa. Some nights though, we cook together. We make a concerted effort to stop whatever we are doing at dinner time and sit at our small kitchen table and eat together. Some times we don't need to have a conversation, and we will just sit and enjoy the food. Other days, when we haven't had much time to talk during the day, it is our time to catch up and just sit together. I truly cherish this time together. I believe that we both do. I know when one of us cannot be home for dinner because of another commitment, it feels weird and as if something is off. Breakfast and lunch can be spent apart (although often we try to find ways to eat together for lunch), but dinner is to be spent together. It is a bonding time and a time when we get to make something together and enjoy it together.

I also love it because I can FINALLY experiment and make the meals I've been dying to make for so long. It truly is a goal of mine to be a good cook...and be able to make some fantastic meals. If I have kids, I want to cook and bake with them. I really think that meals provide such an amazing opportunity to bond and spend quality time together.

Our table is small right we are a small family and just starting out. But I hope over the years as we begin to establish ourselves, that we will begin hosting big family dinners. I love big family dinners...where there is so much conversation and laughter around the table... And if our family grows, that we will continue to keep the meaning of eating together and always take that time together. When else do you get such a perfect time to give your undivided attention to those you love?
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