I love my freedom. I love my America.

S'mores anyone?

Saturday, December 28, 2013

End of the Year

Well, if I had been a little more organized for blogging, I would have had a really cool post set up for the end of the year. But, unfortunately, I don't. With such little time between Thanksgiving and Christmas, there was barely time to breathe. And now with the week in between Christmas and the New Year, I don't have time either. Bummer.

I want to wish all of you a happy and healthy 2014.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Christmas Cards 2013

Ok, so it's that time of year when I try to figure out what my family is going to do for Christmas cards. I LOVE sending out cards with our picture (s) on it. Actually, I LOVE receiving cards with pictures and I hope my friends and family feel the same way. I mean, really, what's more awesome than a picture of my family (just kidding).

Over the weekend I wanted us to get pictures taken. You know, just in our living room with the camera on the tripod. Well all the weekend days came and went and it just didn't happen. Time goes so fast and I figured that if we didn't get this little project done, my cards may not go out til 2014. Last night was the night. Finally. Thank goodness.

I have narrowed my decision down to one or two of the pictures that I plan to use. As always, not all the pictures turned out great. Most of them are just because my daughter decided to act silly as soon as the timer on the camera went off. In some of the pictures, we all got goofy. Want to see a few that I won't be using for our Christmas 2013 cards?
Here they are:


However, just taking the picture is half the battle. Deciding on what card to order is hard as heck. I've looked at multiple websites, created a few "fake" cards and still can't decide. Soon, tho, soon.....like as in today or tomorrow at the latest.

How about you? Do you have your cards all ready to send out or is that checked off your list of things to do? The countdown is on; only 22 more days til Christmas.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013


Giving thanks for:

I'm thankful for Tom, my husband. I'm also thankful for time (even though it flies too fast)

I'm thankful for  my house and all the things in it. I feel warm and cozy when I'm home and sometimes there is no place I'd rather be.

I'm thankful for animals. I love my cat, Bear. I miss deeply my cat, Squeaky who passed away in August. I think about him a lot.

I'm thankful for nature and everything about it.

I'm thankful for my kids....all of them - biological and step. Without the kids I think I would be sad, boring and lonely.

I'm thankful for the sunrise and sunset that I get to see most days. I'm also thankful for my siblings and their spouses.
There is certainly more I'm thankful for, but there just weren't enough letters to play the game (haha). I'm thankful for my parents, friends, family, my job, my car, shopping centers, the ocean, beaches, etc. The list could truly go on and on and on but you get the picture.
What are you thankful for?
Blessings to you and yours this Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Shopping anyone?

This weekend is my annual shopping trip to Gurnee Mills and IKEA. Last year I wrote about my upcoming trip in this post. I'm leaving on Friday and will be gone overnight, coming back on Saturday evening. Of course, I'm looking forward to it.

A few things are different this year. One of my sister-in-laws won't be going on Friday because she is a new mom and doesn't want to leave the baby for so long. I totally get it. However, she is going to meet us at IKEA on Saturday morning for a fun day there. Also different is the fact I have no list made to shop from. Even though I had a list last year, I don't think I actually bought anything from it. That's the way it works, huh? And finally, this year is different because I don't have any extra money to take and spend. Yep, I'm basically going shopping with no money. I think there's going to be a whole lot of window shopping for me. It's depressing, but I know I'll have a good time anyway.

The tradition continues and I'm super
excited about it.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Day 31 of 31 - Done

Topic is: Done

31 days of blogging

I did it. I'm done. I did it. I'm done.

I set a goal for myself and I accomplished it. This was a huge commitment for me and even a bigger challenge. I got thru it - all 31 days.

Man, this patting myself on the back is giving me an arm cramp.

Here's to a Happy Halloween and a much needed blogging break.

I did it. I'm done. I did it. I'm done.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Day 30 of 31 - World Series

Topic is: World Series

So, have you been watching the World Series? I like baseball but I haven't been watching all the games from start to finish. Honestly, when I do watch, it's to see if I have won. Yes, me.

I contributed $5.00 to be in a pool and possibly win some money. I've played football pools before, but never baseball. It's kind of weird. My numbers are 8 for St Louis and 4 for the Red Sox. With these numbers, the chances of me winning are very slim. As a matter of fact, probably not at all. These have been some low scoring games people.

Here's how this pool is set up: the first three games paid out $100 to each of those winners. The final game (which could be tonight) pays out $200.00. Oh gosh how I could use that money.

So this is what needs to happen. The Cardinals need to win tonight so it forces game 7. Then, the Cardinals need to win tomorrow 8-4. There we go, done deal.

I'm really hoping St Louis can pull this off!
Go Cardinals!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Day 29 of 31 - Cartwheels

Topic is: Cartwheels

If I didn't think I would break my neck, or for sure pull a muscle, I would do a cartwheel on Thursday. Know why? Because it's the last day of the month and my "blog a day" challenge will be over. Yep, O-V-E-R! Got that? In all caps, O-V-E-R.

To say I can't wait is an understatement. This has seemed like the longest month ever.

However;, with that being said, I've realized just how boring my life is. I must get more active and find more hobbies. Period.

There you have it. Yet another post. Short and sweet; but true. I can't wait til Thursday.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Day 28 of 31 - November

Topic is: November

I know, I know, I know....October isn't even finished so why am I thinking about November. Well, the first half of the month is going to be crazy busy and I'm overwhelmed just thinking about it.

Want to know what I have planned? Here's my schedule as of today. I'm sure it will get busier, but this is what I've got going on so far:

November 1st - Maybe breakfast with my friend, Susan
November 4th - Annual doctor appointment - the OB kind
November 8th and 9th - Annual shopping trip to Gurnee Mills and IKEA
November 12th (morning) - Neurology appointment
November 12th (evening) - Leave for business trip
November 13th and 14th - Business trip
November 15th - Return from trip
November 16th (evening) - Get together with my husband's band members

Of course, my regular work and family schedules are mixed in with all this too.

The first 5 months of the year were crazy since we were planning my step-daughter's wedding. The summer slowed down (thank goodness). And now, the fall is seeming to be just as busy as the first part of the year. With Thanksgiving approaching and then Christmas, this year will be over before I know it.

I'm asking for time to slow down even if just for a little bit. Please?

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Day 27 of 31 - Sunday Mornings

Topic is: Sunday Mornings

My favorite morning of the week is Sunday. I love waking up to a quiet house. I love being the only one awake for hours. I love sipping my coffee and gawking through the sale ads.

While it's so peaceful, I enjoy doing a little pick-up of things that got left out after I went to bed the night before. I enjoy doing a load of laundry if needed. I love, love, love my Sunday mornings.

I have a routine of waking up, feeding the cat, starting the coffee, getting my newspaper, sorting my newspaper of sale ads and sections I don't need, opening blinds for natural light and a few other misc things as needed. Once these few things are done, I doctor up my coffee and sit. Sit and listen to TV while I browse the sale ads wondering what I need since it's on sale. I make a list of the stores I'd like to go to and what I'd like to buy from that store. Whether or not I get the stuff on the list is another thing. Oh well, it's just part of a routine.

Sweet Sunday you are here once again!

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Day 26 of 31 - Atlanta

Topic is: Atlanta

I'm going to Atlanta. It's a business trip, but I'm going to Atlanta. I love to fly and I love to travel. I don't even mind traveling for work. I leave in a few weeks and will be gone for 3 nights. I'm really looking forward to it.

Although this is a business trip, I'm going to mix business with pleasure. I can't wait! You see, one of my sister-in-laws lives about 3 hours from Atlanta is going to come visit me while I semi close to her. I'm actually going early to Atlanta just so we can hang out. How fun does that sound?

I won't have a car since I'm flying, but she will so we won't be stuck at the hotel doing a bunch of nothing. We plan to do some shopping, talking, eating, talking, shopping, talking, eating, etc. You get the picture! Together we will have from Tuesday evening until she leaves on Thursday morning to enjoy each others company.

Oh, I just can't wait!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Day 25 of 31 - An Evening Out

Topic is: An Evening Out

Tonight I'm going out on the town. Well, not exactly, but close. My oldest step-son's band is playing a gig tonight and we're going to listen/watch. The cool thing is that it's an all age venue so we can take our daughter who happens to L-O-V-E music. Our daughter is taking a friend, because, you know, it's not cool to hang out with your parents on a Friday night.

The event starts at 7 and goes til 11. I'm not quite sure how long we'll stay, but I'm sure we'll have a good time. It's not very often we get to do something like this as a family. I'm looking forward to it.

I figured I better get this post done before we left, cause I know I'll be ready for bed the second we walk in the door tonight.

Cheers to a night out!
Bottoms up; well, with diet coke that is!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Day 24 of 31 - Friendship

Topic is: Friendship

Tonight a couple of my friends met at the funeral home for our classmate that passed away. When we were finished there, we went and grabbed a bite to eat at a local restaurant.

The girlfriends I was with tonight have been my friends for many, many years. One of them since grade school, the other since high school. Another of our "group" wasn't able to make it, but I've known her since grade school as well. True friendship.

Together we have helped each other with boyfriends, school, kids, marriage, work, illness, etc. Each of our lives is so different, yet we have so much in common. For example, each of the other 3 friends is either divorced or going thru a divorce. One is re-married. We all have kids ranging in age from 27 down to 12. Oh and 2 of us have grandkids. We all still live in the general area about 20 minutes one way or another from each other.

Getting together with the girls is like a breath of fresh air. No matter what trials or tribulations one or more of us is going through, there's nothing like a fun time of reminiscing and laughter. Oh and is there ever laughter. Deep.down.loud.laughter.

There are big ships and small ships. But the best ship of all is friendship-Author Unknown

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Day 23 of 31 - Too soon

Topic is: Too soon

A classmate of mine passed away on Monday.
Too soon; way too soon. She was sick. She had cancer.

Tomorrow night some fellow classmates and I will be attending the viewing and paying our respects. Unfortunately, just 2 years ago we did the same for another classmate. This means another candle will be burning at our next class reunion. Way too many candles for those that have passed away way too soon. 

Deb's obituary was very nicely written and well thought out. She was quite active and involved in many organizations. Here's a portion of her obituary:

Debra was employed by the University of Notre Dame as an Administrative Assistant and was a volunteer for the Southwest Central Fire Territory. She was a volunteer and coach at Southeast Little League, Troop leader of Girl Scouts #393, member of Indiana Volunteer Firefighters Association, 4H Club of Greene Township, former president of Kennedy Primary Academy PTO, active with American Red Cross and South Bend Parks and Recreation Department, former member of Indiana River Rescue School, former Vice President of Young Democrats of St. Joseph County, and a parishioner of St. Stanislaus Bishop & Martyr. Debra was involved with the educational outreach for the Joint Institute for Nuclear Astrophysics (JINA), Founder of the Art 2 Science Camp at Notre Dame and the organizer of the JINA art gallery at the South Bend Regional Airport.

RIP Deb: July 11, 1967- October 21, 2013
Ever Onward!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Day 22 of 31 - Haircut

Topic is: Haircut

See, told you I come back today with a post about my daughter's haircut! Boom!

Olivia has beautiful hair, but when it's not properly trimmed and is flat ironed every day, it gets looking kind of straggly and burned out. It was definitely time for more than a trim. She needed a haircut. If I had to guess, I would think that at least 4, if not 5, inches of dead hair was chopped.

Thanks to the internet and social media, she found a style that she thought she would like to have. With her cell phone in hand, she showed Kim what she wanted. Kim did just what she wanted.

It's super cute and Olivia loves it. So do I.
Want to see a picture? Here you go.......

Love, love, love!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Day 21 of 31 - 10 Days

Topic is: 10 Days

Oh my gosh, I'm super excited. We're down to the last 10 days of October. No, that's not why I'm excited. Trust me, I am not quite ready for the upcoming cold temps. What I am excited about is the fact that 10 more days of the month means I'm so close to my 31 day blog challenge.

I was getting ready to sign off my computer and head up to bed for the night when I remembered I hadn't posted anything today. Shucks.

So, just to keep up with my commitment, I figured I would just get on and type a little something before hitting the hay.

I knew going into this that it would be a tough assignment. As a matter of fact, some of the blogs I read on a daily basis were supposed to participate but haven't done nearly as good as me. Yes, I'm patting myself on the back!!

By this time tomorrow we'll be in single digits of finishing the month and my excitement, I'm sure, will be even more than it is now. I just hope I remember to post something before I think I'm done for the night. My daughter gets her haircut tomorrow, so maybe I'll post on that. Yeah, I think I've got a plan.

Did you hear that? I've got a plan.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Day 20 of 31 - Rain On My Parade

Topic is: Rain On My Parade

Why, why, why does it always rain on my parade? You know, the day picked to do all the outside fall lawn stuff? You know, like putting away garden statues, pulling up dead tomato plants, dead heading spring/summer flowers. Like that; that's what my husband and I had planned for today.

The local weather channel DID NOT show rain in the forecast for today. It was supposed to be mostly sunny and 58 degrees. Perfect for doing outside fall clean up.

Guess what? Right before we were getting started on trimming, edging and mowing Mother Nature decided to cry. The lawn mower was already filled with gas, the extension cords were just about ready to be plugged in. But no, not going to happen now.

My fingers are crossed that this little bit of rain doesn't last long and get the grass too wet to start. Regardless, I put everything away so it didn't get wet. Ugh. Bummer. Ugh.

On the plus side (I guess if there is one), we did get all the garden statues, bird baths and benches put away for the season. If that's all that gets accomplished today, I guess there's not much I can do.

I'm motivated and ready to be production so I hope it doesn't rain on my parade much longer.

(side note: we were able to get all the yard work done after all - yay us!)

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Day 19 of 31 - Tailgating

Topic is: Tailgating

6 home games
4 down...2 to go

It's football season and that means tailgating! Notre Dame is playing USC this weekend and that means campus is filled with activities.

Enjoying a Saturday afternoon on the beautiful campus of Notre Dame is like no other. It's a beautiful place to be; football season or not.

Today I enjoyed time with my daughter, mom, aunt and extended cousins and their families. What's not to love about spending time with family!?! The weather was a bit "iffy" but all in all it was just fine. We got to enjoy good food and conversation. Some consumed alcohol, but that's not me, so I just stuck to diet coke. The loud music playing, the crowds of fans wearing blue and gold, the excitement, etc. It's just a great place to be on game day.

The campus has so much going on, it's hard to do all there is. It's so fun to watch the players make their way into the stadium. It's so fun to see the band play and watch them march thru the crowd making their way into the stadium. It's so fun walking around the bookstore looking at all the overpriced merchandise that people buy because they are taking in the experience. It's just fun.

It's so hard to believe that tailgating season is now more than 1/2 over. I've been to campus on every home game so far this year. There are only 2 home games left and I'm hoping the weather cooperates to be able to enjoy them as much as I have the first 4.

Go Irish.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Day 18 of 31 - Second Guessing

Topic is: Second Guessing

Remember my day 17 post from yesterday? You know, the one where I bragged about doing a stencil on my bathroom wall? Well, I wasn't able to get started today as I expected. My head decided to continue on with it's head cold and have a migraine on top of it all. I slept a lot longer than I planned and didn't want to get started on such a project knowing I could jog that migraine right back into my pretty little head.

Also, I talked to my beyond crafty sister-in-law who has done quite a bit of stenciling to get some pointers to help me out. Holy Heck Batman! After talking with her I'm second guessing (hence the name of this post) on whether or not I even want to tackle the what I thought was going to be a simple project, project. Seriously, I might not even start.

I'll be honest, I will be super disappointed if it comes to that. I really, really wanted this to work out. I will see how I feel tomorrow and Sunday and maybe, just maybe, get started. If not, I guess I'll bite the bullet and spend the money for wallpaper.

I feel like such a failure and I haven't even failed yet. How's that for confidence? Bummer.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Day 17 of 31 - Start to Finish

Topic is: Start to Finish

Guess what? I have something to blog about tonight. It's my never-fail start a project and never finish it side of me. About 2 years ago I started working on re-decorating my main bathroom. It's upstairs and is really only used by me and my daughter. Thanks to a half bath on the main level, my bathroom doesn't see much activity. Therefore, I've never really finished what I started.

Don't get me wrong. We have a working bathtub, toilet, vanity, sink, etc. But what never got finished is the re-decorating of the walls. I did paint 3 out of 4 walls. That's not where I failed. Where I failed is the big wall that has obvious defects from the original home owners not properly preparing the walls when wallpapering 30 years ago.

For quite some time I thought I would buy zebra print wallpaper for the unfinished wall, but man, it's expensive; even just for one silly wall. Funds weren't available for something so unnecessary so there the wall sits - unfinished. Until tomorrow.

I put my foot down and reminded myself the other day that there are other options besides wallpaper. I've decided to stencil the wall with zebra stripes. A store bought stencil, not hand cut. Today I went to Hobby Lobby and got what I'll need for the project.

I've already started prepping the bathroom for me to be able to start first thing in the morning. I've never done this kind of a project, so hard telling how it will work out. My fingers are crossed that it will be smooth sailing once I get started.

Here's to hoping I have a once and for all completed bathroom after this weekend. Go me!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Day 16 of 31 - Heat or Blankets

Topic is: Heat or Blankets

Wow guys, once again I'm really struggling to pick a topic to post about. I'm realizing half way thru the month that my life is pretty simple. I use simple instead of boring cause it sounds better. LOL.

Now that the weather here in Northern Indiana is turning colder it's time to make a decision. Do we turn on the heat or add a few extra blankets to the bed.

You see, we have older windows in the house and unless the storm glass is closed, it is pointless to turn on the heat. Guess what? The storm glass isn't closed yet. With that being said, let's add another blanket to the bed!

I'm one that doesn't like to close up all the windows too soon, because you just never know when the temps will change and you want just a little more fresh air.

Don't get me wrong, I don't freeze us out of the house! I'm not opposed to turning on the heat, I just don't want to turn it on before it's really time. And really, the gas bill goes up the second that switch is flipped.

With that being said, our storm glass will be shut within the next few days because temps are only supposed to be a high of 52ish with lows around 38. Yes, down to almost freezing!

Stay warm and stay turned for tomorrow's post!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Day 15 of 31 - "OR"

Topic is: "OR"

I know, this is a strange topic but I'm grasping at straws trying to come up with a post for today. I'm just going to do some random personal choices, like this:

Spring or Summer - Summer
Winter or Fall - Fall
Fruits or Veggies - Fruits
Long hair or short hair - Short hair
Painted nails or unpainted nails - Unpainted
Pedicure or Manicure - Pedicure
Peppermint or Butterscotch - Butterscotch
Car or SUV - Car
Football or Baseball - Baseball
Sweaters or Tank Top - Sweater
Bath or Shower - Shower
City or Country - City
Dog or Cat - Cat
Museum or Shopping - Shopping
Bus or Train - Train
Vacation or Staycation - Vacation
Fishing or Boating - Boating
Paint or Wallpaper - Paint

I know, random but it's all I got for tonight. Hopefully tomorrow is better.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Day 14 of 31 - Cats

Topic is: Cats

I am a cat person. Simply, a cat person. I grew up with cats and still have cats. Well, one cat right now.

When I was young, my cat's name was Meow. That's right. The only cat that could say it's own name. That's what my mom would always say.

After Meow, we had a stray find us around Christmas time. We named her Crissy.

When I moved into my own house, I got my own cat and named him Sarge. Sarge got his name because of the stripes on his tail. My dad thought it reminded him of a Sargent in the Army.

Once Sarge passed away I was done with furry friends for a while. I was heart broken and didn't want to start over. Also, we had our house on the market and I didn't want to mess with moving a cat from one house to another.

Soon after we got settled into our new home, a co-worker of my husband's was looking for a new home for her cat. Yeah, of course, we decided to take her. She was named Shadow. Low and behold, Shadow was pregnant and we didn't know it. Guess what? She had 7 kittens. Yep, 7! We were able to find homes for all of them. Unfortunately, we found a new home for Shadow as well because she thought my living room was a litter box. Nope, I don't do poop in the living room.

You would think that would have been the icing on the cake. Well, listen to this. In October of 2003, a friend of mine asked if I could do her a HUGE favor. The mother cat of 4 kittens had just been hit by a car and she was leaving on vacation for a week. Knowing I had just had kittens in my house earlier that year, she thought I would be the perfect person to care for these 2-1/2 week old kittens. Know what? They needed to be bottle fed just like a new born about every 2-3 hours. Guess who said yes? ME! I did it without asking my husband...oops!

So, my friend brings these cutest ever kittens over. They were super tiny and all fit in one wicker basket. After a week, I just couldn't give them up. I was attached. My family decided to keep two of them, my brother took one and the last one went back to the farm. We named our cats Bear and Squeaky. Bear was named because he looked like a black bear cub. Squeaky got his name because he was so squeaky as a kitten.

Bear is still with us and is thriving. Unfortunately, 2 months ago we had to put Squeaky to sleep because of some health issues but he lived a great 10 years.

I tell my family that when something does ever happen to Bear,  I want to be pet free. My daughter is not having any of that. Hopefully that fight won't come anytime too soon.

Cats are purr-fect to me!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Day 13 of 31 - Vacations/Travel

Topic is: Vacations/Travel

I have taken quite a few vacations. I've taken vacations as a kid and I've taken vacations as an adult. Boy they sure are different.

I know I won't be able to remember all the vacations I've taken, but I'm going to try and touch on a few of my most memorable or favorite. These are not in any order, just as I happen to remember them.

Places I've been
  • I've been to Illinois, Kentucky, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York,  Massachusetts, Wisconsin
  • I've been to Michigan, Georgia, South Carolina, Florida, Tennessee, Virginia, Ohio
  • I've been to Washington, California, Arizona, Nevada, Minnesota, Missouri, Alabama
  • I've been to Canada
  • I've been to Freeport, Bahamas
  • I've been to Germany
  • I've been to France
Vacations I've taken
  • I've been to Disney World in Florida at least 4 or 5 times. I've been as a kid, as an adult and as an adult with a child. All times were different. This is a vacation that makes me happy every single time I go
  • I've been to Gulf Shores, AL for a family vacation. This is hands down, my FAVORITE vacation as of yet. It was so relaxing and beautiful.
  • I've been to Desitn, FL for a family vacation. Super fun and super awesome.
  • I've taken camping trips out east.
  • I've been to Freeport, Bahamas quite a few times since my mom has a time share there
  • I've taken long weekend trips to Gurnee, IL and French Lick, IN and quite a few other places that are slipping my mind as of now

When I type it out, it seems like I've been everywhere and I'm sure I'm forgetting quite a bit. I love to travel but it costs money which I don't always have for such pleasure. Someday, I hope to be able to do so without the concern of money or having to work for a living.

Safe travels!

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Day 12 of 31 - TV Shows

Topic is: TV Shows

I don't watch much on TV these days, because, let's be honest...there is NOTHING on TV these days. I am not even sure why we have cable in our house. It seems that anything on now is reality shows or just plain stupid shows.

A few shows I do enjoy watching are:
  • American Idol
  • Friends
  • X-Factor
  • The Voice
  • The Brady Bunch

Some of these are obviously only re-runs, and some are reality shows. I do enjoy watching other shows, but it really just depends on what mood I'm in or how long the show is on. It seems that I don't watch long shows unless I know there is nothing else needing my attention. I feel guilty sitting and watching 2 hour shows or movies knowing that dishes need to be done or laundry needs to be put away.

I do have to admit, my go-to channel is LMN (Lifetime Movie Network) to see what's on. Lately, however, they seem to be playing stupid shows like Killer Kids or I Killed my BFF. Really? What part of MOVIE NETWORK don't they understand? I have a lot of favorites on this channel so when they do play movies, I always like to see if it's one I've seen a million times before. Those are the ones I'm the most interested in. Those are the ones I love the most.

Movies? Reality? Sitcom? Whatever your favorite is, I hope you can find it on TV.

Day 11 of 31 - Seasons

Topic is: Seasons

(I know this is a day late; however, I wasn't feeling the best yesterday. I decided sleep was more necessary than blogging. 13 hours later, I woke up.)

Here are the 4 seasons ranked #4 to #1 for me

Season #4 - Winter: My least favorite season. Living in Midwest, we get a lot of snow and lake effect snow. Sometimes we are paralyzed due to the weather. I'm not a big fan of wearing lots of outerwear just to stay warm. This season is beautiful to look at, but not live in.

Season #3 - Spring: I do like this season; however, it doesn't rank up there for me. Our spring is sometimes still chilly. If I have to be honest, it's often we go straight from winter to summer where I live. Seeing the leaves coming out on the trees and the flowers blooming is awesome though. Hearing the birds singing while I drink my morning coffee is inspiring. If anything, I know there are warmer temps coming soon.

Season #2 - Summer: I love me some beach time and tan lines. I love warmer temps and I love to see the sun shining most of the time. My biggest complaint about summer is the humidity. Unfortunately, there are many days during the summer when the temps are "normal" but because of humidity it feels 20 degrees warmer than it really is. I am not a fan of walking outside and dripping with sweat within minutes. It was tough to decide between my #1 and #2 seasons.

Season #1 - Fall: I LOVE fall. This is the season I value my eyesight the most for. I love the changing color of leaves. I love the crunchy sound of leaves under foot.  I love the sunshine and cooler temps. I love tailagating at Notre Dame. I love sweatshirts, jeans and boots. Yes, this is definitely my favorite.

Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall - which is your favorite of all?

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Day 10 of 31 - Jobs

Topic is: Jobs

Today's topic for my 31 day challenge is jobs that I've had. Honestly, I am fortunate to have only had a handful of jobs in my short 46 years. Here they are listed in date (or close to it) order.

Job #1 - Mid 1980's: I worked the front counter at a dry cleaners

Job #2 - Mid 1980's: I worked in the office area in the service department of a local car dealership.

Job #3 - 1986-2001:  I worked for a janitorial supply company. I started in Customer Service and worked my way to Customer Service Manager over 5 years.

Job #4 - 2001-Present:  I am the Credit Manager for a distributor. When I started, the owner of the company created a position for me just to get me in the door. I worked my way from that position, to Customer Service, then to Customer Service Manager and then to Credit Manager. I'm fortunate to be considered full time at 32 hours. I work Monday thru Thursday.

In today's economy I am so thankful to have a job. I'm even more thankful to have a job that I love.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Day 9 of 31 - Struggles

Topic is: Struggles

There are many things I struggle with or about. Some things are daily, some weekly, some just every so often. Regardless though, they are struggles. Here are some that come to mind as I type this day 9 post:

  • I struggle with making sure I'm a good mom
  • I struggle with trying not to pick my cuticles
  • I struggle with my lack of motivation to exercise
  • I struggle with making ends meet some times
  • I struggle with being compassionate
  • I struggle with gossiping too much
  • I struggle with being selfish
  • I struggle with procrastination
  • I struggle with driving at night
  • I struggle with keeping my house clean
  • I struggle with coming up with things I struggle with
I haven't struggled yet for topics for the daily blogging challenge. If I do; however, I'll come back and add one more to the list above.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Day 8 of 31 - Music

Topic is: Music

Let me just tell you that REO Speedwagon is my all-time favorite band. I have seen them at least 8 times in concert. The most recent was quite a few years ago, but nevertheless, I love them every time I see them. Know what my favorite album is? High Infidelity. That album ROCKS!

I love music from the 70's - you know, the disco era. Yeah, that's what I like!!
Songs such as:  Le Freak, Disco Inferno,  Funky Town, YMCA, Hot Stuff, Night Fever, The Hustle. Oh, I could go on and on.

I like music from the 80's, but not nearly as much. Some bands that I enjoy from this era are:
Journey, Air Supply, Culture Club, Queen and AC/DC.

I can honestly say I really don't like much from the 90's. I did a google search to see what I could maybe mention and I came up empty. Sorry.

I am not a fan of today's music and don't even get me started on rap. To me, rap is nothing but noise.


Monday, October 7, 2013

Day 7 of 31 - Favorite Foods

Topic is: Favorite Foods

Yesterday I talked about my favorite drinks, today it's food. This is going to be tough.Why is it going to be tough? Well, I love to eat and not quite sure I can pin-point an absolute favorite. I love so many things.

Picking my go-to, first choice is french toast from Cracker Barrel. I know, it sounds crazy, but I LOVE it. The closest Cracker Barrel is about 30 minutes away so I really don't get it very often. However, when I go, I don't even need a menu. I always get french toast, a side of hash brown casserole and coffee. No and-ifs-or-buts about it.

At home I seem to cook a lot of chicken. It's probably my favorite meat. I like it pretty much fixed any which way; although baked is probably my first choice. The dish here, is one I found on Pinterest and have made it a whole lot of times. It's so, so delicious!

Gosh, let's see....I also like Italian dishes (spaghetti, lasagna, linguini), I love cereal (my favorite is Lucky Charms), I like tacos and burritos. I like chili and soup too.  I feel like I could go on and on but I think you understand now that I just love food.

Something tells me that after I publish this post, I'll think of so many other foods I should have mentioned. I love to eat.


Sunday, October 6, 2013

Day 6 of 31 - Favorite Drinks

Topic is: Favorite Drinks

This post probably won't be very long but I still wanted to do it.

By far, my favorite drink is Diet Coke. Fountain diet coke to be precise. Fountain diet coke from McDonald's to be down right honest is my favorite drink. If they ever do away with their $1.00 any size drinks, I'm not sure what I'll do. A large diet coke with extra ice, please!

Don't get me wrong, I do like other drinks, such as milk, coffee, bottled water and most juices. It pretty much depends on the time of day as to what my go-to drink is.

I'm not one to consume alcoholic beverages,  however, if I am on vacation in a tropical setting I might order a Miami Vice. They are delicious. In case you don't know what it is, a Miami Vice is half strawberry daiquiri, half pina colada. Normally the two flavors are stacked in the glass or put side by side in the glass and then can be mixed together. Oh, it's so good. Try one if you never have.


Saturday, October 5, 2013

Day 5 of 31 - Favorite Hobbies

Topic is: Favorite Hobbies

Today I thought I would let you all know what my favorite hobbies are.

At the top of my list is shopping. It can be window shopping, outlet shopping, thrift store shopping, holiday shopping, etc. You name it, I LOVE to shop. My budget does not allow me to free spend like I'd like to, but I am a really, really good bargain shopper so I know I'm always getting the best deal regardless of what I'm buying. Lately I'm really into seeing what kind of great deals I can get from thrift stores such as Goodwill, Salvation Army and  St Vincent DePaul. 

I would say my best deal in a long time just happened a few weeks ago. Goodwill was having a 50% off sale and I found a pair of jean capris that I fell in love with AND they fit. Boom. I got them. Not knowing much about the brand, I googled it. Much to my surprise the capris I had just paid $2.50 for retail for anywhere from $89.00 to $125.00 depending on the store. WHAT? Yep, I got them for $2.50. Pretty darn good, huh?

Another hobby I enjoy is crafting. Unfortunately, I don't spend nearly enough time doing this hobby. I have so many crafting supplies at home that I get overwhelmed on what project I should begin. You see, a problem I have is starting a project and not having time to finish it. That bothers me so sometimes I just find something else to occupy my time.

A very time consuming hobby I indulge in, is spending time on the computer. I love to read blogs, Facebook or look at things on Craigslist. Honestly, I spend way to much time on this stupid thing. I have put household chores on the back burner because of doing things online. It's pretty bad.

Oh yeah, I also love to travel. Although I can't take time off work like I wish I could, I still love to get away whenever I can.  I plan to do a separate post on places I've been so I'm not going to touch too much on this hobby. But, at least I wanted to mention it.

There are other things I enjoy doing, don't get me wrong, but these are probably my most favorite hobbies.

Yay for doing things that make me happy!

Friday, October 4, 2013

Day 4 of 31 - My Health

Topic is: My Health

Well, I really wasn't sure what my topic of the day would be....until I woke up with a migraine. So, what better day to talk about health issues.

I am a migraine sufferer and have been for more than 30 years. I started getting migraines in my teens. Many thought it was the weight of my hair since it was very, very long and very, very thick. Actually, that wasn't/isn't the cause but I could see why some would think that. I believe my migraines are hormonal and also occur when I am under stress.

To help prevent migraines, I take a daily pill. This I've been on for maybe 18-20 years. Thank goodness there are no long term effects from being on it so long because I do believe it helps. I've often wondered if I stopped taking it, would my migraines become more frequent. I'm not going to take the chance so I will continue with my daily meds.

When I have a migraine, I take a different pill. It's to be taken upon the onset of a migraine. If I take the pill soon enough, I can get relief within 30 minutes to 1 hour. If I wait too long to take a pill, it takes longer for the full effect of the medicine to work thru my body. Regardless of when I take the pill, it works. The downfall of taking the migraine pill is that it makes me tired, very tired.

Other than my migraines, I am pretty darn healthy. And for that I'm thankful.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Day 3 of 31 - My Daily Routine

Topic is: My daily routine

My weekday mornings begin at 5:30; sometimes 5:45. This works best for me because I'm able to get into the bathroom (that Olivia and I share) before I wake her up at 6:00.

First, I shower and/or freshen up. After that, I put on my make up. Usually it's then time to wake up Olivia. While Olivia is eating breakfast, I blow dry and straighten my hair. I then get dressed and brush my teeth.

It's been working out each morning for me to help Olivia with her hair. It's gotten long and is much easier for me to straighten it for her. Once my morning routine is done, I can help Olivia.

By 7:10 I am ready to leave the house for work. It takes me about 20 minutes to get to work so I can start my work day around 7:30.  Most days I work until 4:00 or so.

Evenings are very quiet and simple at our house. Most nights we are home either watching TV or playing on our iphones, computers, etc. I try to call it a day around 10:30; sometimes it's 11:00.

Pretty much that sums up Monday thru Thursday. I'm fortunate to not work on Friday's so that has it's own routine (or lack of) just like the weekends do.

That's it. My day in a short blog post.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Day 2 of 31 - My Family

Yesterday when I started the daily blogging challenge for October, I basically just gave you back ground information on me. Simple, right?  It really was. Today's topic is going to be my family.

Topic is: My Family

I come from a very close knit family. Here, let me introduce you to them:

My husband of 17 years

My biological daughter

My step-son, step daughter-in-law and step-grandson

My middle step-son

My step-daughter and step son-in-law

My dad and his lady friend. They do plan on getting married, but haven't set a date yet

My mom and her husband. They have been married for 10 years now

My older brother, sister-in-law and niece and nephew

My younger brother, sister-in-law and niece

My brother-in-law, sister-in-law, nephews and niece (from my husband's side of the family)

Well, there you have it. This is my immediate family. I certainly have a much larger extended family but this post would never ever end if I included everyone. They are loved all the same though.

Stay tuned for day 3 tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Day 1 of 31 - Introducing Myself

So, you've probably all seen other bloggers talk about the 31 days of October challenge and picking a topic to discuss each day of the month. I'm not a great blogger; or even a good blogger. However, I'm going to give it a shot. Not sure it will work, but you never know. If I don't get on every day, I'll try to at least keep up by posting every few days or once a week. I'm nervous just thinking about this commitment!

Each day I will discuss a topic about myself. Interesting? Probably not, but who better to write about me, then ME!

Let's begin day 1 of 31
Topic is: Introducing myself and a little background

I was born in Northern Indiana in July of 1967 (yes, that makes me 46 years old). I was the second child born to my parents. I am 2 years younger than my older brother and 8 years older than my younger brother. Technically I'm the middle child, but because there are so many years between me and my little brother, my parents never considered me the middle. Nope, no middle child syndrome for this girl.

In my younger days I had red hair and lots of freckles. My hair has darkened (and grayed a little) with age; however, my freckles are still a part of my complexion. I struggled as a kid with these features, but have grown to embrace them the older I get.

I attended public school for grades K thru 12. My elementary school was grades K-8 and my high school was grades 9-12.  Both schools were neighborhood schools so I walked each day with other neighborhood kids. Those were the days!

So far, in my short 46 years, I have only lived in 3 houses. Yes, I said 3. All have been in the same city. The first move was from my parents house to my very first - paid for by myself - house when I was 25. It was only 7 houses away from where I grew up. Down the street 5 houses and around the corner 2. Yep, that's pretty darn close! Granted, I didn't have too much stuff since it was my first move-out, so the move was pretty simple. My second move was to the house I'm currently in. I've lived at this address for almost 11 years.

I'm happily married and have been for over 17 years. I have 3 step-children and 1 biological daughter. I also have a 2 year old step-grandson. Heck, talking about the family can be a post all in itself. I think I'll leave the details for another day this month.

Reading what I've typed so far makes me realize I could type forever. There's a lot to talk about. Hmmm, maybe I can do this challenge.

Possible day 2 topics are already invading my brain. I can't wait to see what's next.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Orange and Brown and Yellow and Red

It's time to decorate for fall. I LOVE my fall decorations and enjoy putting them out every year about this time. Pumpkins, gourds, leaves, mums, scarecrows, corn stalks, Indian corn, etc.

Over the years I've gotten away from a lot of Halloween decorations and have tried to switch simply to decorations for the fall season. My fall things will stay up until the day before Thanksgiving. Then, it's time to pack them away for another year.

How about you? Do you decorate for the season? If so, have you done so yet? I'm looking forward to getting mine done tomorrow.

Happy Fall!

Monday, September 2, 2013

Hobby vs Habit

As I was reading thru my blog favorites today, I came across a post that had wording fitting me to a "T". Obviously I am a slacker in the blogging department, and have been for quite a while. The words that hit home were this:
Blogging for me is a hobby rather
than a habit and is purely for fun.
I love reading blogs every day and I appreciate those that blog on a constant basis. Some blog daily, some every other day, some every two days. I know I have things I could blog about that often, but I just don't find my life happenings that interesting to the blogging community. Maybe I'm wrong. I just feel boring which is why it's a hobby and I can't make it a habit.
Keep up the good work fellow bloggers.
You make me happy.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

I Blinked!

I blinked.
That's all I can think of to title this post and the picture I posted on Facebook this morning.
I blinked and my little baby girl that I waited
forever for, is starting high school.
Yep, she's a freshman.
I swear it was just yesterday I was wiping tears after dropping her off at kindergarten. I didn't shed any tears today, but the crazy unbelievable
feeling is the same.
I know every mom/dad feels that time flies so I'm not alone in that category, but come on, it's just so hard to comprehend sometimes.
Tradition continued this morning with a picture by the lamp post.
Here's my freshman and here's to another great school year!

Monday, June 3, 2013

June, is that you?

June, is it really you....already? I cannot believe how fast this year has flown.

My year has been completely filled with lots and lots and lots of things. So much has happened between January and May. I am waiting on one event to happen this first part of June. As soon as it does, I plan to do a post on so, so much. I wish I could have blogged more throughout the year, but there just hasn't been time; believe me!

Oh, back to the last event. What is it, you ask? Well, it's the anticipated birth of my niece and/or nephew. My brother and sister-in-law are due next week for their 1st baby. And, the most exciting part is that the gender is unknown. My family is waiting on pins and needles for this. Can you say giddy?!

I'll be back, I promise! Until then, enjoy each day.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Beyond Scary

The news reports of the tornados in Oklahoma are beyond scary. I'm praying for those affected. Will you?

It's devastating to watch the news and see/hear about all the destruction and deaths. I just can't seem to wrap my head around this tragedy.

I feel helpless.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Wanna win?

Wanna maybe win something?
Winning thru a blog is truly possible. It has happened to me before and I'm hoping it happens again.

Head on over to In This Wonderful Life for your chance to win a really cool bracelet, compliments of Crystal Faye. It's really, really simple.

Give it a try. Good luck!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Hard To Comprehend

It is so, so hard for me to comprehend and put my thoughts around the tragedy in Boston. What the heck? I'm know I'm not alone in thinking this way.

My mind races between thoughts of  a) who did this? b) why would someone do this? c) was this another terrorist attack? d) and on and on and on. I just can't comprehend this. It simply doesn't make sense.

In May, my brother has plans to run his first race in Indianapolis and I'm pretty darn scared.

Prayers and peace to everyone.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Golden Birthday

Today is Olivia's Golden Birthday!
She is 14 on the 14th.
Happy Birthday to my beautiful,
creative and talented daughter.
My world became better when she was born.
In addition to Olivia being 14 on the 14th,
I have to tell you that I was in labor for 14 hours
before the doctor told me I needed a c-section
and she was approximately
14 days late making her arrival!
Yep, needless to say, 14 is a dominating
number for her this year!!
Here she was 14 years ago

Here she is today (pre-braces)

Monday, February 18, 2013

Bridesmaid Dresses

Hey, guess what? I've got something to blog about. Yay me!!

I wanted to blog about bridesmaid dress shopping for my step-daughter's wedding. Emily is having 7 bridesmaids and 5 of them were able to meet yesterday at the bridal shop for trying on and picking out dresses. Emily had one in mind and that was the first one the girls tried on. It was nice, but then each of the girls picked out a different style to try on. That was lots of fun to see what they picked. Turns out, Emily's first choice was not her first choice after all. Ha! Below are the two styles chosen. Olivia, being the maid of honor, will be wearing the one shoulder style. The other bridesmaids will be wearing the strapless style. I love them both! All girls are wearing her color choice of malibu.

Olivia's Maid of Honor Style

Bridesmaid Style

Color of the wedding 
(photos are courtesy of the David's Bridal website)

Today Emily is heading to the tux shop to pick out tuxes for the guys. I can't wait to hear how that went.

May 25th will be here before we know it.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Want to win something?

Did the title get you interested?
Do you have a story to tell?

Megan at In this Wonderful Life has an awesome giveaway going on.

Head on over to see how you can enter to win a Origami Owl Living Lockets. 

It's easy, go ahead and give it a try. I sure did.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Ugh - No Interest

Unfortunately, the title says it all.
I have no interest in blogging right now.

Obviously, I'm not a heavy blogger to begin with, but I can honestly say that I have no idea when I'll post something worth while again. It could be tomorrow, or it could be next month. Who knows.

I'll continue to read blogs, but simply don't have the desire to write anything on my own.

Hope all is well for you in blogland.
Keep up the good work!

Friday, January 11, 2013


Well, I haven't been the blogging type lately. It just seems that I don't have much to blog about. Well, if I do have something, I'm just not real sure anyone would be interested.

Here are some things I've been thinking about and figured I would put it into a post.

  • I had brunch with my dear friend Susan from Just Me & My Thoughts yesterday. We went to my favorite restaurant, Cracker Barrel. It had been awhile and was so much fun playing catch up.
  • The appt is made for Emily's bridesmaids to go look at dresses. We'll be going on Sunday, February 17th. There are 7 bridesmaids and all but 2 of them will be able to make the appt. My Olivia is her maid of honor. Pretty special for a 13 year old. The down side is that Olivia hates dresses...she keeps asking me if she can wear pants (haha)
  • Between January 15th and March 14th my family has 6 birthdays to celebrate. That's a lot of presents to buy!
  • One of the birthdays mentioned above is my mom's. She turns 70. Funny thing is that she doesn't want anything big. She says she doesn't feel 70 and thinks 70 is the new 50. We are going to abide by her wishes and just plan a small family dinner for her.
  • I started making a list of what expenses (over and above regular bills) we have and it got so overwhelming I had to stop. There's everything from wedding stuff, to birthday stuff, to Olivia's trip to DC, to small medical bills, to just stuff. Ugh, it's depressing.
  • Olivia is doing great with her braces. All the horror stories she heard from friends have just simply been one sided for now. I'm sure there will be some appts that Olivia has that she experiences discomfort, but so far, so good. She did have one bracket that broke. We had to get that fixed; but that was only a 10min appt. Easy peasy.
  • I'm still watching Leighton, but it's not every Friday like before. Kayla is not working and therefore, the need to keep Leighton as often isn't necessary. I hope to get back on a schedule. I'm thinking every other Friday. I really do miss my "Tara time".
  • Tom's band is still in full swing. So far they have 30 dates booked for 2013. That's quite a bit but there's still room for more. He loves to play his keyboards and people love to listen to him.
  • I'm finding it hard to believe the school year is 1/2 over. Before we know it, it will be Spring Break and then the end of the school year. Olivia has already picked her classes and toured the high school for next year. (well, actually this year). It's so hard to believe. Really, it is.
  • Speaking of time flying, I can't believe the first month of the new year is basically half over.
Ok, that's plenty of randomness. Have a great weekend!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Go Irish!

Where I live, it's Notre Dame country thru and thru. Today is huge for all ND fans everywhere. 
Notre Dame is playing Alabama in the BCS Championship game. Notre Dame hasn't won a bowl game since 1988. We are ready to change that.
To say our city/area is pumped is an understatement.
Go Irish - We are ND!!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Hello 2013

Bring on 2013!!

Ok, so we're only 2 days into the new year and I already know it's going to be a busy one. Lots going on now and in the coming months.

Here's a look at what I've got coming up within the next 6 months (and this is just all that I'm aware of and remembering at the time of writing this).
  • In March or early April we will be having a bridal shower for my step-daughter Emily who got engaged on Christmas Eve
  • In April we will be having a baby shower for my sister-in-law who's due in June
  • In mid May my step-daughter Emily graduates from college
  • The Saturday of Memorial Day weekend (in May) is the wedding
  • On Memorial Day my Olivia leaves for a week long trip to Washington DC with her classmates
  • Early June is my niece's 21st birthday
  • Early to mid June is when my newest niece or nephew is due to be born
I'm exhausted just writing all this out. Hopefully with the chain of events listed above it means I'll have plenty to blog about.

Here's to a healthy and happy 2013!