Week in Review

Normally on Friday I write a bit of fiction and link up with Write on Edge but for some reason I just didn’t feel like writing this week so I didn’t. I took the evening off and did nothing in particular.

But I didn’t want to leave this place all empty on Friday and decided to look back at the week and review it because it was a pretty eventful week!

On Tuesday the My Michigan Memory meme was started! I’m really excited about this and hope that everyone decides to join Lauren and I in this venture. The great part about this is that you don’t have to live in Michigan! Maybe you took a trip here once, drove through the state on your way elsewhere, or maybe you just want to plan a trip to check out some of the great places here. No matter what you can write a blog post and link up with us! Of course while you’re at it you can win some awesome prizes from Michigan businesses!

Wednesday I shared my giveaway for a beautiful necklace from Lauren Nicole Gifts! You have plenty of time to enter too! Denise makes hand stamped jewelry that is one of a kind and perfect for Mother’s Day (hint…hint), birthdays, or for no reason at all! I know that I love the necklace that I have from her collection of aluminum jewelry.

And Monday… well that is the most important day of the week for this week because it’s the day that I got serious about my weight. I joined up with Wendy from Wendy Will Blog for a weight loss competition!

Wendy Will Blog

For the longest time I didn’t think about my weight or what I ate because I was always thin and I never gained weight. After I had my first baby the weight came off but as the years passed I gained more weight and it became more and more difficult to keep the weight off. Now I’m at a point where I look in the mirror and barely recognize the person looking back at me. I often wonder how I ended up where I am and where all this extra weight came from. Oh yea… my bad eating habits.

This is where the brave part comes in… I am going to share with you my weight.

weight

Scary... huh?

I took a picture for the weight loss competition using both my scale at home (top) and the one at work (bottom) just for comparison. I think that the one at home likes me better, but the one at work is probably more accurate because when I was at the doctors office a couple months ago their scale said 207. So that means since I’ve started watching what I eat(about 3 wks ago) I’ve lost four pounds and yesterday the scale at work said 201 and today it said 199. So that means that this week, since getting serious about it, I’ve lost 4 more pounds!

me

Here I am… at my current weight on Monday. And yes, I am in the bathroom at work because I didn’t have time to get a picture of myself while at home. You get the idea though, right?

I think that joining up with a group will be helpful because we’re all in it together and for the same end goals. Lose some weight and get in better shape!

11 things, 11 questions, and 11 people

Alright! It’s time for a little fun… something lighthearted for a change. I was tagged by Kristy from Pampers & Pinot in the 11 random things and decided to play along!

11-Random-Things-Tag

Okay here are the rules (don’t worry they’re easy peasy)!

Post these rules
Post 11 random things about yourself
Answer the questions set for you in their post.
Create 11 new questions for the people you tag to answer.
Go to their blog and tell them you’ve tagged them.

Random things about me….

  1. I hate feet… they’re gross. Except for little baby feet they’re cute & chubby.
  2. I was arrested once but not for anything fun & exciting… my cars tags had expired and I transferred the plate to my new car which was at my grandma’s house and I had to get to work. So yea…. I was stopped and given a warning or so I thought till I got a call.
  3. I hate reality tv shows. A lot.
  4. I love watching old cartoons. Bugs Bunny, Scooby Doo, and the Flintstones.
  5. I have a willpower of negative a zillion.
  6. This isn’t big news but I am head over heels in love with my iPhone.
  7. When I’m in the car I am an amazing singer. It must be the acoustics or something but when I get out something happens and my voice sounds terrible.
  8. I like musicals.
  9. My degree is in computer networking/system administration. I have yet to do something in that field.
  10. I’m slightly addicted to Once Upon a Time and Revenge. I never miss an episode of either show.
  11. I now drive like an old lady in the winter & am a huge chicken. This is the reason why.

Lame… maybe. But they are totally random thoughts about me.

Now on to the questions from Kristy.

1. What do you think is the funniest movie of all time?

Funniest movie of all time… I have a few that are pretty damn good. History of the World Part 1, Wedding Singer, and

2. What is your most frequent, daily worry?

I always worry that because I work outside the home that I’m not spending enough time with my kids, especially my youngest who is only 2. It’s hard because when my girls were younger I was able to be there with them half the time and their dad was with them the other half. Now my son… the poor kid is stuck going to the sitters house 40 hours a week. I feel guilty that he won’t have the same advantages that his sisters did. If I’m not there with him I won’t be able to teach him to read, write, use the potty, or anything that I feel is important.

3. Best travel destination?

Disney World 2009

I don’t travel a lot but I have to say that Disney World in Florida really is the happiest place on earth. I’ve only been there once and loved it… a lot. It was like a little kid all over again and I can’t wait until we can go back again.

4. Name one big adventure you would like to still accomplish.

I would love to go back to the Grand Canyon and hike through it and take a helicopter ride over it. That place is one of most beautiful places I’ve ever seen and to be honest pictures do not do the place justice. It really is a must see place.

5. What is your favorite weekend activity?

cupcakes

My favorite weekend activity… sitting around and doing nothing. Watching movies with my kids. Baking! Really, the list here is endless because there are so many things that I love doing and each weekend is different.

6. What could be a song on the soundtrack of your life?

What?!?! Seriously this is a hard question. The first thing that came to my mind is Crazy Train by Ozzy but I’m not sure that it’s the best choice. I’ll pass on this one.

7. When do you feel most energetic?

Normally this is a couple hours after I get up in the morning. So for me that time would be around 8am… by this time I’ve been up since 5:30am and have showered, gotten dressed and ready for the day, and have been at work for almost half an hour.

8. What book are you currently reading?

Ah! Finally, an easy question. I’m reading a few books.

The Midnight Circus – Erin Morgenstern
Quitter – Jon Acuff
Cooking Solves Everything – Mark Bittman

9. What would be your luxury item if you went on Survivor?

Umm… Survivor. A reality tv show… did you see #3 up there? I would never try out for that especially because I’m a wimp and would do all I could to get kicked off right away.

10. Biggest turn on in the opposite sex?

I love cologne. The good stuff too…. not that cheap body spray, Axe. Freshly showered, dressed to impress, and cologne.

11. Biggest turn off in the opposite sex?

I have this acute sense of smell and can’t stand body odor. Then again I don’t know who likes it! Sweaty = gross. Also, guys who are full of themselves and think that they’re the greatest thing on this plant are lame.

There ya have it! My answers and now 11 questions for some random friends.

  1. Favorite song of all time & why
  2. Left side of the bed, right side, or dead center?
  3. What is your favorite season?
  4. What is your guilty pleasure?
  5. Is white chocolate real chocolate?
  6. Ideal vacation spot?
  7. If you could change your name to something else what would it be?
  8. Wine or beer?
  9. What is the one thing you can’t live without?
  10. Are diamonds a girls best friend?
  11. What do you do to give back to your community?

Ladies…. consider yourself TAGGED!

Lauren from Mrs. Weber’s Neighborhood
Jill from Single Mom on a Budget
Rusti from My Life as an Officers Wife
Liz from A Nut in a Nutshell
Angela from Tread Softly
Kir from The Kir Corner
Kmama from The Daily Dribbles
Jessica from The Unemployed Mom
Gigi from Kludgy Mom
Nicole from By Word of Mouth
Cori from Cori’s Big Mouth

 

In a mood

I don’t know what it is lately but I’m in a mood and I can’t seem to shake it.

Maybe it’s the weather here in Michigan. It’s cold (bitter cold this week), windy, gray, and almost always overcast… dismal is a good way to explain it. Where I’m at we don’t even have snow to make it somewhat tolerable and the sun sets so early that it’s like it’s night all the time (I’d hate Alaska… a lot).

Maybe it’s the kids. When you have four kids ages 16, 12, 9, and 2 (well 2 at the end of the month) and everything is non-stop go…go…go… Or NO! Whine…. cry…. scream…. complain…. and my favorite yet…. mouth off.

Maybe it’s the fact that I feel like I don’t measure up to my kids standards sometime.

Maybe it’s my husband’s business. He owns his own business and it’s doing really well but it takes so much of his time that there are times I feel like I’m a single parent. He’s always working…. doesn’t matter of it’s a weekend or not. If a customer needs something he deals with it.

Maybe it’s my job. I realized today that I haven’t had a headache in over 2 weeks…. know what that means? While I was on vacation there wasn’t the stress of work hanging on me. It’s work that is causing my headaches.

Like I said… I don’t know what it is. But it had my stomach in knots last night and in tears for almost two days. All I know is I want things to be normal… is that to much to ask for?

Here’s the absolute worst thing of all. Blissdom is coming up in February and I may not be able to go now that I’ve figured out the total cost and it kills me…. I want to go for so many reasons. I want to meet up with all the wonderful people I’ve met online, I want to learn & grow so I can further my goals, and most of all I want to meet my best bloggy friend ever, Jill.

What do you think? How do I get out of this slump? How do I change the mood I’m in?

*** Don’t forget to enter the Red Gold Tomatoes Giveaway! ***

Crash

Write on Edge: RemembeRED

Today we’re trying a little something different. Are you ready? Your word is below. Take the next ten minutes to write about the first single memory that word calls up. Focus on the emotions and the experience, spend ten minutes really exploring that memory. Then wrap it up, publish, and come back to link up.

Write on Edge - Crash

Winter…. January 31st to be exact. Just after 6pm and it was dark outside.

I took a back road for some reason… must have thought that it would have been quicker or something.

It had been snowing like it always does at that time of year in Michigan. Most of the roads were clear except for a few random drifts that happened to fill the roads where the fields were open.

The drifts never worried me much because I drove a four wheel drive Expedition. It plowed through drifts easily… like a knife through butter. Smooth and easy.

I was confident and sure that I was safe from the travesties that others experienced with their little cars.

Excitement was building as I drove on to meet up with some high school girl friends for a night out. I hadn’t seen them in a long time and was really looking forward to it. I never made it.

I came up over the hill and on the downside were drifts. Nothing special… until I drove through it. The drift caught my tire just right and I felt it pull my truck off to the right while I tried to get control of the truck. Fear raced through my body like nothing I had ever felt before. Before I knew it I was in the ditch and the truck tipped.

I was rolling…. I let go of the steering wheel and covered my head, it was an instinct. It wasn’t going to save me though. I kept rolling from side to side. Metal crunching, glass shattering, and my body being banged around the truck even though I had my seat belt on.

Finally, after what seemed like a lifetime it stopped. Windows were gone… the windshield was smashed but in tact, the roof was caved in. I did a mental check of myself…. I was fine. I survived.

Adrenaline was running high as I sat there trying to stop shaking. I fumbled around looking for my cell phone to call 911.

Fear still had it’s grip on me as I dialed several times… my hands were shaking so bad that I could barely dial. Finally I got it.  Help was in it’s way.

I missed my night out with friends and had to walk through almost knee deep snow in my brand new purple heels.

I am much more conscious about how I drive, the weather, and road conditions. I worry more than is necessary and I’m driving another truck.

Note: I followed the rules and wrote for 10 minutes and hit publish… this is not edited at all. So please be kind… the grammar and punctuation probably sucks.

I’m not ready

Recently my dad was in the hospital for an aneurysm behind his knee. Nothing all that difficult to take care of and from what we were told pretty low risk. He even was able to go home early because he was doing so well.

Almost a month after his surgery he started to have pain in his leg and was having a hard time walking. Being the strong, stubborn man that he is he let it go until he couldn’t take it anymore. My mom took him to the hospital where they found out that he had a blood clot and possible infection in his leg. Now the simple procedure turned into something much more serious. Possibly even life threatening.

Worry, fear, and concern all started to seep into every inch of my being. I wasn’t ready for this.

My dad is very important to me and he may not know it either. I look up to him and don’t know what I would ever do without him. When I’m with him I can be a kid again… I can relax and know that he’ll be there to help me, protect me, and love me unconditionally.

Call after call from my mom brought more fear and anxiety to me and it didn’t help that she was beyond stressed out and wasn’t asking all the right questions. Her worry and concern were not helping anyone in the situation.

I am not ready to lose my dad. I can not imagine it…. I don’t want to. I want to live in complete denial that he will ever get old, get sick, or even die. I don’t know what I would do without him in my life.

He was moved to another hospital, the one where the original surgery was done and the one where the vascular surgeons worked out of. There he would get the proper care and answers that we all wanted. A decision came that they were going to do surgery again to make sure what they thought may or may  not have been infection wasn’t causing trouble with the vein transplant.

In less than an hour we had our answer… it was a small infection and they cleaned it all up. But more waiting to hear back from the infection disease doctor about whether he would need to have a shot daily for infection.

Doctors are busy, I understand that. What I don’t like is waiting. Waiting when it’s my family that is worrying over what may or may not be. Worrying that there may be something wrong and that it could get worse while we sit there. So many times I wanted to scream at them! Move like you care a little more… move like you should for the amount of money you’re making. Something.

Again an answer came and my dad was to have daily shots of an antibiotic to help with the infection. This is something that my mom has to do everyday and it takes almost half an hour to do because it goes into a something that is similar to an IV and it has to be flushed first, then the antibiotic goes in slowly, and then flushed again.

I’m not ready for my dad to get old. I’m not ready for him to be sick.

He’s been out of the hospital for a couple of weeks now and is doing really well. It doesn’t stop my worry though… worry that this is just the beginning.

I’m not ready for this stage of my life.

A New Beginning

Last weekend I went to Bloogy Bootcamp in Chicago and it was one of the best experiences that I’ve had this year when it comes to blogging and social media. I’m still trying to process everything I’ve learned, follow up with all the wonderful people I had met, and narrow down the three things I’m going to focus on.

There are few things that Tiffany said between speakers that has really been sticking with me this past week.

  • Only pick 3 things to work on after the conference.
  • You’ll do really well on those 3 things.
  • Where you put your attention you get results.

So why is it that those things are sticking with me? Well, it’s because I have this issue with wanting to help here or there, joining various causes, and when it comes down to it spreading my self way to thin. I end up overwhelmed and not able to give things the attention that they deserve and then I end up letting myself and others down. This isn’t fair to anyone involved.

I want to be able to make an impact and inspire people through my blog. I want it to be well known and like throughout the blogosphere. There are so many things that I want, but without focus and starting here at home I won’t be able to reach any of those things.

I’ve cleared my plate.

From now on my focus needs to be on this blog, my social media presence, and the goals that I want to obtain in the next few months. That alone is a lot of work considering that I work full time, have four children, and a husband who owns his own business and is always busy.

For now I have some ideas of where I want to start and what I need to do.

Tomorrow starts a new beginning.

 

Getting to know me – Bloggy Bootcamp Style

Alright, if you didn’t already know I’ll be heading to Chicago this weekend for Bloggy Bootcamp which is an incredible one day blogging conference hosted by the SITS Girls!

Of course I’m excited to be going and that I’ll be meeting up with some old friends, Julie & Elena (my roommates), Jen and then meeting some new people as well! Kmama, Mother’s Hideaway, and Coffee Lovin’ Mom. Of course there are so many others that are going to be attending that I am looking forward to meeting and getting to know but it’d take a lifetime to list all 125 women!

I can’t forget the SITS girls who will be our hostess’ for the day, Tiffany and Francesca! Because without them we all wouldn’t be going to this great event or learning everything that they have to offer through their website. Seriously, they’re incredible!

Oh, one of the cool things about going to Bloggy Bootcamp….  My SITS day was just the other day! It’s like the holidays have come early!

So for those of you who haven’t met me I’ll give you a bit of background in case you don’t feel like poking around here all day trying to figure things out.

  • I’m married to a pretty good guy who puts up with all my social media addictions and idiosyncrasies. A big thank you goes out to him for letting me get away this weekend and staying home with the kids.
  • I have 4 kids. Yup, you heard me right. And even more fun is that there are 3 girls (15, 11, 9) and 1 boy (19 months). Big age gap, huh?
  • I work full time outside the home as a product owner at a small software development company in Michigan. It’s a good job and a even better place to work but it’s not my dream job.
  • I’m somewhat reserved and I suppose that at times I can come across as mean/rude/bitchy or something along those lines. But believe me I’m none of those things (at least I don’t think I am). I just don’t know what to say and have this fear of looking/sounding like an idiot.
  • I can be fun so come talk to me. Please…. don’t leave me alone sitting in that hard chair in the corner.
  • Yes, I’ve been stressing over what to wear. Do I change before the cocktail party? Should I dress up or go more casual? Do I find something new or wear what I have? Ugg…. decisions… decisions. I really need Tracy to help me!
  • This is my second blog conference so I can officially say that I’m not a newbie. This May I went to Gleek Retreat right here in Michigan and had a great time! I suggest that you check it out.
  • I love social media! A lot. So much that I have a goal to make a career change and find a job in the social media field.

Come find me and say Hi!

Me

By the way... this is me.

 

It’s my SITS day!!

Alright so if you didn’t guess by the title of my post today then I’ll say it again…. It’s my SITS day!! That deserves a double #WOOHOO and then some! To say that I’m pretty excited about this is an understatement! I’m above the top excited! Doing flips excited! Screaming from the rooftops excited!

You know what SITS is right??? They’re a community of over 9000 women bloggers who support one another through their blogs (commenting…. and lots of it), education, and of course by being the featured blogger or by being the SITS girl in the spotlight. If you’re unsure of which community you should join when first starting out in the blogging world I would highly recommend this one!

A huge thank you goes out to the SITS girls behind the scenes running the entire show, Tiffany, Francesca, Kat, and Angie for all the hard work they do and for celebrating all of us bloggers out there.

Thank you for featuring me today!

How to Blog

So, if you’ve never been here before then welcome to my little corner of the world and thank you for stopping by! Now, if you have been here before then thanks for coming by again dear friends!

Hmm…. what can I tell you? I know… I’ll make a list!

  1. I’m a wife to a pretty great guy and we’ve been married for just over 4 years. It’s been an amazing ride so far and I can’t wait to see what the rest of our lives brings us.
  2. I am a mom to 4 pretty amazing kids! 3 girls… Caitlin 15, Natalie 11, Lauren 9, and Andrew 18 months (Yup, I started over again!)
  3. I work full time outside the house as a product owner managing projects in a software development company….. Yes, I work with programmers all day long.
  4. My dream job is doing something in social media where I can work from home where I can spend more time with my kids.
  5. Blogging is awesome…. actually it’s more the interacting with all the great people that I’ve met through blogging. I’ve learned that no matter what I’m not alone and that there is always someone there to help me out.
  6. I love to cook and bake. A lot. I don’t focus very much on that here on my blog, but I have just started posting a new recipe regularly on Monday’s.
  7. I love #wineparty on Twitter every Friday night!
  8. I dislike #TwitterJail
  9. I just like Twitter in general… Do you follow me?

There are all sort of odds and ends you’ll see posted around here! Anything from reviews, giveaways, pictures of my kids, complaints, rants, and of course a few meme’s! Oh, speaking of that my favorite one is The Red Dress Writing Club and I usually post something based on their prompt every Friday. So if you’re looking to try some fiction or a twist on some non-fiction check them out!

Alright, guess that all I can think of right now! Thank you for stopping by and I hope that you come back and visit me soon!

The Crash

Today I’m doing something different for a change…. linking up with Mama Kat’s Writer Workshop. This was something that I used to do on a pretty regular basis and then at some point I stopped.

Mama’s Losin’ It

It was an easy prompt that I choose this week, write about a time you had to crawl through a window. Now there are bound to be all sorts of posts about our misspent youth and all the fun and exciting times that were had after climbing out of the window … if you were lucky enough to not get caught!

My story is a bit different though.

A few years ago some friends from high school and I planned a girls night out and get together. We hadn’t seen each other in years and thought it’d be fun to get out of the house without our kids or husbands and just catch up. So the evening was planned.

I spent a lot of time looking forward to the weekend and finding the perfect outfit to wear, which was a great pair of black pants and my favorite purple heels (I LOVE those shoes). I was ready, on my way, and pretty excited as well.

It was the end of January and winter had it’s tight grip on everything here in Michigan. The ground was covered in snow and it was freezing out but that wasn’t stopping myself or anyone that evening. I decided to take a back road for some reason instead of heading to main (busy) road into the city. This was a mistake.

I drive a 4-wheel drive SUV and it made getting through the snow a lot easier than a car any day. I was able to plow right through the snow drifts with ease, but those drifts aren’t always so easy to get through. I came to a drift mid way down a small hill and the drift grabbed my tires and pulled me towards the ditch so fast that I didn’t have time to think. I screamed as I let go of the wheel and covered my head. I flew into a ditch and then my truck rolled over 4 times in the farm field and then landed upright about 100 feet or so from the road.

An accident happens so fast that you simply don’t have time to react. I remember the truck rolling over and over, but not how many times (my husband told it was 4 times based on the marks in the snow). The sound of it crashing around me as we rolled was frightening.

When the truck lost momentum and came to a stop my heart was racing and I didn’t feel hurt. I scrambled to find my phone on the floor and call 911 and then my husband…. my hands shook as I tried to dial and explain where I was exactly which proved to be harder than I thought.

It wasn’t long before a volunteer was there to help me out of the truck. The door were both jammed because of the roof being caved in and the windows couldn’t be rolled down either. Luckily, the very back window on the drivers side had been totally broken out and I was able to climb to the back and get out that way. I was pretty unhappy that I had to walk through a field of knee deep snow in my shoes.

I was fine. I walked away with minor bumps and bruises, but I’m sorry to say that my truck wasn’t. It was totaled.

If it weren’t for the truck I wouldn’t be here telling you this story today.

We haven’t rescheduled that night out yet either.

truck collage

 

Things I like about ME!

Today I am linking up with C.Mom and we’re all talking about ourselves. Yes, ourselves! And for a change all the things that we LIKE about us.

More often than not we as women tend to look at ourselves and find fault in so many things whether they are visible to others or not. I know that I am terrible with this as well as being worried about what others think of me.

I’ve always had the issue where I am concerned about what others think of me… am I to heavy, my hair isn’t perfect, my clothes aren’t the latest trends, and the list goes on. Honestly, I know that I shouldn’t care, right?

So what do I like about me? Let’s make a list because that’s easiest.

Blue eyes – I have blue eyes, dark hair, and as the summer progresses my skin turns a nice golden brown which accentuates the blue color of my eyes. Sometimes I feel that it sets me apart… kinda like the person who has dark brown eyes and silky blond hair. It’s just different. My guess is that the dark hair & skin came from my mom’s side (Italian) and the blue eyes came from my dads (Scottish).

My hair – it’s not straight that’s for sure! It’s really thick and wavy/curly and that makes it pretty easy at times to wash and go! There are times that I wish I had that smooth straight hair that everyone seems to have lately, but I can always straighten it or go curly and make it look great.

My ability to let things go – I don’t let things get to me or bother me because I’ve learned that holding on and being upset doesn’t help me or the situation at all. I realize that there are times that this just isn’t possible but for the most part if we all just relaxed and let things go we’d all have a lot less stress and upset in our lives.

I think that we can all take a look at ourselves and say that we’re pretty good people and that it’s just the small things that bug us. We let those things get to us and if we focus on the good things we could be happier.

We are who we are….let’s embrace us.

a rare photo of me

It's me!