Friday, August 13, 2010

"A child educated only at school is an uneducated child"

"A child educated only at school is an uneducated child."--George Santayana

2 days ago the child that refused to promise me that he would stay a baby forever started First Grade...I blame this milestone on him. It's hard to believe that he has already reached this huge landmark in his life. I am still in a little bit of denial and would still like to believe that he is more like 6 months old instead of 6 years old. On that note, it's picture time!!

The big kid not intimidated by this foe called school

Leaving for his first day of preschool

First day of kindergarten

First day of 1st grade

This is one of my favorite traditions that we started with Riley. On his first day of preschool I was feeling sappy and wanted to capture every moment of his departure so I took the shot of him opening the door. I liked it so much that I kept doing it. I like how I can tell how much he grew over the year (by how close/far away the top of his head is from the doorknob) and it's also fun to see what he was interested in by looking at his backpack choices through the years. It's crazy to me that I have 3 of these pictures already; I can't imagine how I'll feel when I have 14 of them on his first day of 12th Grade.

This school year has been interesting. Throughout my life I never had to deal with the public school system. I was homeschooled throughout elementary school and then went to a private school 7-12 grade. Public school always seemed big and still does sometimes. When we were deciding where we were going to send Riley to school we decided that homeschooling was not an option. I felt that homeschooling would be a detriment to my relationship with Riley. I learned when I was his Sunday School teacher that he was an angel with other authority figures but when I was in charge he was a hellion. This combined with my lack of patience did not mesh well. We looked into private school but decided that between the enormous cost and the fact that both Terry and I know the ins and outs of private school (the good and the bad) it was not a good decision for us. The public school that we would have to send Riley to was in the process of being rebuilt when we were making our decisions about schooling. We decided that it was just Kindergarten and much of the success of a child's schooling lies with the parents. We also felt like he would be blessed to go to a brand new school with lots of new computers and other awesome stuff.

So, we gave public school Kindergarten a try. We loved it! Riley had an amazing teacher and he learned so much both academically and socially. It was a very good experience for all of us. Unfortunately, "it's only Kindergarten" was right. There is a whole different set of systems for elementary school after Kindergarten.

Riley's school does a lot of things well. Communication isn't one of them. About halfway through the summer I was off with Riley during a bout of strep throat. While waiting for the pharmacy to fill his prescription we ran over to the school to grab a school supply list and find out what teacher Riley would have. His Kindergarten teacher happened to be taking her turn at the front desk and we were both happy to get to talk to her for a moment. She told us that Riley was assigned to a class but that the school was considering forming a 1/2 class (a mix of 1st and 2nd grade) and that she had recommended him for this class if it were to form. I assumed that if this change were to happen then we, the parents, would be informed.

Fast forward to Open House night 2 days before school starts. When we show up all the class lists were posted and we see that Riley had, in fact, been placed in a 1/2 class. I was fairly perturbed by this. I was a bit blindsided because there had been no communication that he had been moved. I also didn't know how this class worked (did they learn 1st grade stuff or 2nd grade stuff? What happens to them next year? What grade will he be in then? Why is my baby in a class with a bunch of big, older kids?!?). We were fairly convinced that night that we were going to insist that he be moved to a regular 1st Grade class and that would be the end of that. Luckily I played phone tag with the principal for 3 or 4 days which gave us time to gain a little more perspective on the situation. In that time Riley started school in the 1/2 class and enjoyed himself. He is in class with a handful of the brightest kids in his class from last year which seems to keep him grounded and challenged.

The principal impressed me by calling me everyday (even though we kept missing each other) including at 9:30 PM on the first day (night) of school. She made me feel like my questions mattered and she didn't try to blow me off because of the busy time of year. I finally spoke with her this morning and she had a chance to explain how the primary program (K-3rd grade) works at Riley's school. Basically the kids are all leveled within their classrooms no matter what grade they are in. With this program they could essentially put all 300-ish kids in those 4 grades in one big classroom and still be able to teach them all effectively because they look at them as individuals instead of as "1st graders" etc. Now, I realize that a lot of what I heard today was sugar-coated, smooth-the-parent's-ruffled-feathers, principal talk, but I feel okay for now. I don't think it's a bad thing that the principal knows who I am and that I want to stay very involved in my child's education. In fact, I kind of think one of the most important things that parents can do is stay informed and involved in the child's education...both at school and at home.

How was your first day?

Monday, August 2, 2010


I have been in a huge cleaning mode lately! If I were pregnant I would say that I was nesting, but I am not! The other day I cleaned my office from top to bottom. I wish that I had before pictures just so I could show you how different it is now. But, I'll show you some after pictures instead :)

My desk and back table complete with coffee cup, water bottle, portable aromatherapy pod, and dry erase board with upcoming events:

My clean desk:

Seriously, the after pictures do not do it justice!

I'm still in the middle of decorating my office and I desperately need to put pictures of my boys in it. I chose things to put in my office that make me smile.

My flower business card holder:

My bulletin board littered with pretty thank you notes, business cards, and colorful randomness (it's not crooked, I was apparently holding the camera crooked while taking the photo):

My chair with the plaid pillow:

Pretty, inspirational artwork:

I think it is important to surround yourself with things that make you happy, it definitely helps when things happen that make it tough to smile.

I also cleaned out my car this past weekend. I would show you before and after pictures of that, but I won't. I'll just tell you that it was a night and day difference. I got all the laundry done this weekend too. It was a fairly successful weekend, although I didn't get as much cleaning done as I wanted to.

All the cleaning and reorganizing I've been doing has made me think about the cleaning or reorganizing that needs to be done in my life. Straightening up my car and my office is great, but there's more important things than that. I start to ask myself things like "When was the last time you had a really good conversation with God?" or "Did you read your Bible this week?" or "What do you think about most often? Would that be pleasing to God?" For the past couple of years I've been re-learning what I think about God, church, sin, religion, etc. I've learned a lot about how the things we do or don't do are often more about the heart than the actual act. It has been freeing to figure out for myself whether the rituals that were once so important to me had any real basis on my relationship with God...but maybe it was a little too freeing. I focused so much on the fact that it was about the heart that I forgot to actually look at my heart. Is my heart right? Do I have the right attitude or am I being ugly? I'm realizing that "It's about the heart" is not a license to sin and it only applies if your heart is truly trying to please God. Doing things that I know are wrong--gossip for example--means that my heart isn't right and the whole "it's about the heart" excuse goes out the window. So, what does this mean for me? Am I going to go back to reading 3 chapters in the Bible everyday and praying for exactly 15 minutes, going to church every Sunday, sitting through service not paying attention but getting perfect attendence in God's lesson plan book? No, I want to read, pray, and listen because I want to, not because I'm supposed to. I want have a pure and clean heart before God so that when it's said "it's about the heart" I know mine is in the right place.

"Create in me a clean heart, O God"- Psalm 51:10

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Jumbled Thoughts, I really do have a life of Riley picture montage in the works, but I'm a slacker, so you'll have to wait a little longer. Life as I know it has been fairly status quo lately (I'm really not sure that I used that term correctly). Work, Church, Husband, Kid--they all keep me pretty busy. So, maybe I'll talk about those.


My job is going well. I go through a roller coaster of "I can do it!" and "What was I thinking? I am so not qualified for this!" As well as a roller coaster of stress as events come and go. I guess I just need to hop on and enjoy the ride, but it's difficult. I'm learning to grow up and be in control of things and that is definitely something different.

Website(I couldn't find a good logo, so a link to the website will have to do.)

Church is going well! We (the members of four hills church) launched a brand new church in Crestwood, KY on June 6, 2010. It's going really well so far. We have a few new members and have had serveral visitors. We have an awesome outdoor worship service and cookout planned for this coming up Sunday! Terry and I are the "Outreach Directors" and we are proud to have that role, but I feel very inadequate and hope that I can live up to that role! We have some awesome kids at Four Hills and last week Terry and I got to be the teachers. It was fun, but boy was I glad to give them back to their parents at the end of an hour and a half! I am praying about a lot of things right now, but a few specifically regarding Four Hills Church.


(As Quail Man)

Terry keeps my busy :) I cook (Sometimes) and clean (some) and do laundry (a lot!) and hang out with him and buy him stuff all part of the wifely duties. But for real, he is my world. I love him. When I married him I really did marry my best friend. Do you remember when you were younger, teenager years maybe, and you and your best friend were inseparable? I do. I spent many summers camped out at my friend's houses. There were times when I would spend every day with a best friend and it was awesome...until it wasn't. Inevitably we would reach that point after so many days of being with each other all day every day where we were on each other's nerves and we just needed some time a part. So we would take a few days off and then be inseparable again. I think that's what happens in a marriage sometimes. Terry is absolutely without a doubt my very best friend. I can be myself (even when I am messy or silly or ditzy or mean) with true abandon, I always have someone to hang out with, and he thinks I'm funny (most of the time). But, inevitably, we reach a point where we are spending too much time together and we both end up annoyed. We are faced with 2 choices. We can be irritable and fight, or we can take a break and I can let him play video games with his friends until 2 AM and I can go sit on the porch swing and read. As we mature in our relationship we are learning to recognize the signs of burnout and make choices that will be healthy for our marriage. Growing isn't always comfortable, but it is worth it!


Riley is something. He has inherited my love for games. He loves card games, dice games, board games, video games and every other kind of game. I do too. Growing up I was forever pestering my siblings, parents, grandparents and friends to play games with me. When I was young I had a best friend named Heidi. I spent countless hours at Heidi's house and we always played games. She had a huge closet (at least it seemed huge to me) full of games and we would play for hours and hours. Riley is the same way. He would play games all day long if I would play with him. I hope that one day he will as lucky as I was and make a friend who likes games as much as he does. Riley just started Coach Pitch Baseball. He's always been athletically inclined and played t-ball for the last two summers, but I think he is learning this season that sports take work and not everything is going to come naturally to him. I think that's good for him. He is growing up and like I said earlier, growing up is never comfortable.

I guess that's all for now. As most bloggers say at the end of the first post in weeks, I do want to start blogging more often...I'll work on that.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Never a Dull Moment

So, this has been a crazy week in my life. First of all, my job. We have 4 days left until our biggest event of the year, Bike MS. There is still a ton to be done and I cannot wait until this time next week when it is over! So, there's some stress there. But, you would think with a 3 day weekend the week before I would have some time to relax and prepare for the busy week ahead...yeah right!

Last week my cousin and her family were in a terrible car accident. They are all doing ok for now, but it has been pretty scary. I wish I weren't so far away so I could do more, but for now I have lots of prayers going their way! Here is the story and updates for anyone interested.

Sunday we took Riley to Holiday World, an awesome, super family friendly amusement park in Santa Claus, IN, about 1 1/2 away from home. According to their website anyone 48" tall or over can ride anything in the park. A couple of weeks ago Riley went to the doctor because he had strep throat. While there he was weighed and measured and they said that he was 48 1/2" tall. We thought that was perfect because then he could ride all the big roller coasters like he wanted to. Well, the second thing he wanted to ride was a big roller coaster. We waited in line for 25 minutes and when we get to the front they say that he can't ride it because he is about 1/2" too short. Well, Terry and I were not happy about this! We went and talked to a manager just to get everything straightened out and according to the official Holiday World measurer he is 46 1/2", a whole 2" shorter than the doctor's scale. Oh well, it ended up that there were only 5 things in the whole park that he couldn't ride and a ton of things that he could. We had a blast. At one point we were in an area for younger kids where there was a huge playground and splash park and a smaller roller coaster. Riley was waiting in line for the smaller coaster when a lady comes up to the ride operator and says that he needs to call for help because her son, who has down's syndrome, is stuck in some tire on the playground. There was a part of the playground where there were three or four tires chained up on top of each other to form a climbing tower where you could climb from the ground to the top of the playground or vice versa, this is where the young man was stuck. Terry went to help, and with the help of five people they were able to get the boy out of the I said, never a dull moment. We had an awesome rest of the day and spent a few hours at the water park. We felt like kids again and we all went home completely exhausted and super happy! I recommend Holiday World to any family wanting to visit a fun theme park!

So, after Holiday World on Sunday we planned on taking it easy on Monday. We had to go to a birthday party at 1:00 and then we were going to shop for some new work clothes for Terry and I and then go to dinner with some friends. A nice relaxing way to spend the last day of a pretty busy 3-day weekend, right? Hardly. We go to the birthday party where within the first 1/2 hour on kids manages to get himself completely soaked by "slipping and falling" into the kiddie pool. Not normally a big deal, but he was wearing jeans which take forever to dry! The party was outside and it was hot and the grill that was being cooked on was super smoky and blowing all over us. But, it was fun. Bailyn, the birthday boy, loved all his presents and everyone had a good time. We left the party around 4 and were headed to Target when we came upon an accident that had happened moments before. A man was riding a bike and was hit by a car. We think that he was riding down a hill on a bike that was much too small for him and the brakes wouldn't stop the bike and he rode into oncoming traffic. His bike was in pieces and the car's windshield and back window were completely shattered from the accident. We pulled over into the turning lane and Terry threw his phone at me and told me to call 911 and then he sprang into action. I called and they said that they were sending someone immediately. Terry was amazing! He is an RN, and in his time in the medical field has dealt with his share of emergencies, but he was never an ER nurse or an EMT, so his experience with situations like this are slim. However, he stayed calm under pressure. He ran to the guy on the ground and checked for a pulse. It was there, but it was weak. He assessed the situation and then did what needed to be done. He reminded me of Jack on the first episode of Lost! He told a guy to give him his shirt and asked someone else for towels and put people to work. The injured man had multiple fractures in both legs and Terry quickly saw that there was nothing he could help with that. He had a large laceration to his jugular and he wasn't breathing, those were definitely the main concerns. Terry gave him a bit of a chest bump and he started breathing. He kept pressure on the wound to help stop the bleeding and the man's pulse grew stronger. Finally we heard sirens, but the first one to the scene was a police officer. Terry told him he needed help...NOW! He got on his radio to try to urge emergency personnel their quicker. Next came the fire truck. Yay for gloves and other medical equipment. Terry finally got some gloves on, not that they helped much at that point since he was already covered in blood, and stayed to help until they loaded the man into the ambulance. We don't know this man's name or what hospital he was taken to, or if he is going to survive, but if he does it will be in large part to my husband!

Riley was in the car with us and witnessed the whole thing. He wasn't scared or traumatized at all though, just had a lot of questions, mainly about the fire trucks and ambulances and what not.

So, then we went to Target and got Terry some work clothes and some clothes to wear to dinner that didn't have a random man's blood on them. We also got Riley some shorts since his jeans were still wet from hours earlier. We had sushi with great friends and finally made it home.

I never thought I would be glad to go back to work after a 3-day weekend, but I'm pretty sure my weekend was more stressfull than my job! Oh well, in 1 1/2 weeks I get a 4-day weekend that will hopefully be much more relaxing!

How was your Memorial Day weekend? Have you ever been on the scene of an accident? How did you react?

Thursday, May 13, 2010

The end of an era...for real!

So, I know I promised a blog of Riley pictures and it's coming. It's hard to sift through 6 years of pictures! But, in the mean time, I wanted to tell you about a big thing that just happened to me.

As you may recall, a couple of months ago I started temping for the National MS Society (NMSS). It was a great job, but because I was just a temp and I had no idea how long they would keep me for I had to work at Outback too. Well, a couple of weeks ago the NMSS offered me a full-time, permanent job as their Walk Manager. Technically my title is Development Manager-Walk. Basically I get to plan 6 fundraising walks in 6 different areas of Kentucky that occur simultaneously. It's pretty neat. I also pitch in and help out with any other event that is going on where needed. Because I got a permanent job I was finally able to put in my notice at Outback.

Let me pause here to muse about Outback a bit. I have worked for Outback for 10 years. When I was 17 years old I started working at an Outback that 3 of my siblings either had worked or were currently employed. I was a Bell, we were a bit of an Outback legacy. It was a fun job, although I was exposed to more "life" than a 17-year-old should probably be exposed to. On my first day I was offered drugs and when I politely declined was told that if I ever wanted any I knew where to look. By the end of my first week I had made friends that were sure to be trouble, and they didn't disappoint. However, I was a pretty good kid and stayed out of most of the trouble that I could have gotten myself into. I worked there for the last 2 months of my senior year and through the summer and then I moved to Oklahoma.

When I got to OK I decided I was done with Outback. I was ready to find a job. So, I applied to lots of places, but nobody wanted to hire a college kid who was going to be gone over holidays and summer, no one that is except Outback. It was at that Outback that I met a friend who will always have an imprint on my heart. It was also at that Outback that I didn't avoid trouble quite so well. But, I was a pretty good kid, so I managed to stay out of some of trouble that I could have gotten myself in to. After a year I moved back to Kentuckyk.

I went back to the same Outback that I started at, this time older and wiser (or so I thought). Not much had changed. I made some good friends, met some cute boys and managed to stay out of trouble for the most part. Then, I moved to Florida.

When I got to Florida I decided that I was done with Outback (sound familiar) and searched for jobs. Unfortunetly, it was shortly after September 11 and the economy was not doing as well as it could have. So, after a month of no job I ran out of money and back to Outback I went. It was about the same, new faces but the same old combination of friends, fun and trouble. It was at this Outback that I managed to get myself into lots of trouble, not only did trouble find me, I searched for it. I never got in trouble with the law or anything, I just made stupid choices. I was there for 2 years and boy did I grow up! Then, I moved back to Kentucky again.

When I got to Kentucky I decided that I was done with Outback (hmm...I'm beginning to see a pattern.). So, I got a job. I had a 9-5 office job. Then a few months later I got a better 9-5 office job. Whew, 1 1/2 years of no Outback. By this time I had a baby and I was getting ready to get married and I learned that I was unhappy with my 9-5 office job. I felt like I was going nowhere and I was missing my child's life. I went to work while he was awake, I got home and he went to sleep, I never saw him. So, I decided to go back to Outback. I think Outback is my drug of choice. I liked it there I suppose. I was at a different point in my life than most of the people that worked there and didn't feel like I had much in common with them. I worked and went home to be with my family. But, I made friends and became very comfortable there. I loved my job. It was fun, flexible and I was good at it. My husband hated my job. I don't know why, you'll have to ask him. It was the center of more than a few arguments. When Riley went to kindergarten I figured out that I needed to start working during the day again. Which leads me back to the NMSS.

2 weeks ago I put in my resignation from Outback. Last night was my last night. I walked in to balloons and cookie cake and a very sweet card with a very nice gift from my boss (who originally hired me). I think it was fitting that Denny (my boss) was there on my first day and my last :) Leaving Outback this time was so hard because I wasn't moving. I don't know how I feel about that. It was definitely bittersweet. I am both saddened and relieved that that chapter of my life is over. I can finally say that I am a recovering Outback-aholic and hopefully I won't fall off the wagon. It truly is the end of an era!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Where does all the time go?

So, considering it is Riley's birthday tomorrow, it is time for the obligatory "I can't believe how old my kid has gotten" blog. Sit back and enjoy my musings on my child and the last six years of his life!

6 years ago right now I was at the doctor's office 10 days away from my due date. When I was about 5 months pregnant I declared that I was going to have the baby on May 3, not May 13 when I was due. I also had my last final of the semester later that same day. Anyway, after the doctor's office I made my way to work. I was taking off work a little early that day so that I could drive to school with a little time to study a bit more and then take my final. About 3:30 pm (1/2 before I was supposed to leave work) I had my first contraction. I left work at 4:00 and drove to school, my contractions seemed to be regular, but were fairly far apart so I wasn't worried. I studied and then took my final all while I was in labor. At this point in the story most people interject with "Are you nuts?!?" but, in my defense, it was my last final of the semester and I really wanted to finish up before I had the baby, besides, my water hadn't broken yet or anything. Anyway, I got an "A" on my final and everything!

So, now that the test is over I feel like it's a safe time to call my mom and tell her that I'm in labor since I'm heading home anyway. I learned why you are not supposed to drive yourself while you are in labor--it's really hard to concentrate on the road mid-contraction. So, I get home and we call the doctor. I pack my bag and we head to the hospital.

When we get to the hospital it is super busy. Apparently there were something like 40 babies born in the 24 hours surrounding Riley's birth. They check me in and send me to triage. I'm there for a looooong time. I kept getting pushed back in the line because a)while my labor was progressing, it wasn't progressing quickly, and b)apparently I handle pain well. I was on the phone with work and friends and would laugh when something was funny and was pretty much myself while the other mothers-to-be were screaming and being nightmares for the nursing staff. At about 1:00 am (9 1/2 hours of labor so far) I finally get moved to a labor and delivery room and soon after I got an epidural (yay!). Although the epidural was fantastic and almost instantly took away my pain, therefore relaxing me, it did have it's disadvantages. My blood pressure, generally at a low-normal range, dropped suddenly causing lots and lots of vomiting. I dealt with a lot of vomiting during my pregnancy (at least 5 times a week all 38 weeks) vomit and labor don't mix so well. The epidural also stopped my labor. At about 3 am the doctor decided that at 8 am they would break my water and give me pitocin to restart my labor, but I would have the next 5 hours to "sleep." Have you ever tried to sleep in a hospital? It's not easy. I managed to sleep fairly well though, interrupted often by the blood pressure monitor beeping wildly when my bp would drop, generally followed my another bout of vomiting. (Labor sounds like fun, huh?).

So here we are at 8:00 am (hour 16 1/2). They break my water and give me pitocin and labor starts progressing (yay!). Finally at 3:00 pm (yep, hour 23 1/2) I am ready to push. 23 minutes later my beautiful baby boy was born. He was worth every 1,403 minutes of labor.


The past 6 years have been crazy! Like most parents I have my times of thinking that my kid is the most amazing thing in the whole world, and also, like most parents, I have my times when I think "why did I want to be a mom again?" But the first definitely outweighs the second. He is such a special kid. He is smart and funny and good at sports. Even when we are hard on him (which is probably too often) he bounces back with a smile. He makes me proud more often than I give him credit for. I'm so excited to see who he becomes as he grows up, and yet I'm terrified to let him. I'm sure he'll make me proud.

Happy Birthday, Riley! I love you!

So, if you like pictures then you'll have to read my next blog which is a photo montage of Riley through the years, and I just stumbled onto a ton of old pictures that I haven't seen in a while, so be prepared to see a lot!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Being a Princess

Today I spent some time making my blog pretty. You can learn a lot about yourself (things you may or may not have already known) by decorating your blog. As you can see mine is pink...and girly...and contains the word "princess" at least once. This is me. Granted, the background also has sheep and some kind of cherub thing and this is not me, but I did the best I could. When searching for a blog template I went to seemed like a logical place to start. I went to the search bar and unintentionally typed the word pink, it was just my first instinct. I found about 70 bajillion pink templates and fell in love with almost all of them. After choosing the background it gave me suggestions of what to add and the banner that matched the chosen background happened to have a phrase about being a princess, sigh, it must be fate.

So, maybe I should explain about this whole princess thing. Most people probably assume the princess thing happened from being Mommy and Daddy's spoiled little princess...not true. I grew up in a family of 7 where money was tight and none of us were spoiled. I did love pink and frills though. While my brother and sister played soccer I took ballet. I celebrated femininity even then. As I grew older I hit the awkward teenage years and traded in my pink tutu, pointe shoes, and bun for a red white and blue cheerleading uniform, pom poms, and a high ponytail. When I was 16 I went on a youth trip and made friends with some boys (one of whom I grew up to marry) and they deemed me a princess, I didn't stop them. Apparently it fit well, because within a year it was my nickname and I had been given quite a bit of Princess Paraphernalia (including several t-shirts, pajamas, and a hoodie). As I grew older I told myself that I had grown out of the princess phase, but who am I's a part of me, I can't help it. I'm not going to lie, occasionally I clean the house while wearing a should try it, it makes housework so much better!

I still love being a girl, but as I became a mother, gained some weight, lost some self-esteem and settled into comfortable (aka: monotonous) life I've lost some of the joy that goes along with being feminine. When I learned that it was a lot faster to throw my hair into a ponytail and throw on a sweatshirt and jeans rather than fix my hair, put on makeup and pick out a decent outfit I gave into laziness. I'm ready to work my way out of that. Not that I'm going to spend 2 hours getting ready every morning or that I'll never leave the house in a sweatshirt and ponytail again, but if I can put a little more effort into my appearance I bet I'll begin to rediscover the self-esteem and joy that is part of being a woman (and of course, a princess).

Thursday, March 25, 2010

My very first blog

My name is Allison Margaret Spalding, although I usally just go by Ali. I am 27 years old, although sometimes I feel much older--like a grandma, and sometimes I feel much younger--like a teenager. But no, I'm stuck in that weird world of late 20's. I'm at that age where everyone expects you to know what you're doing with your life, to have direction, to have a plan. I don't think I do. I am a wife to a wonderful husband and a mother to a wonderful 5-year-old son and often I think that it belongs in the category of "...and she lived happily ever after." My life is wonderful, but it definitely has it's challenges, and below the surface is far from perfect.

My husband is very smart and savy and has managed to make an associates degree in nursing go farther than almost anyone would imagine that it could. He is funny and friendly, messy and (at times) cynical...but he loves me for me. He loves me when I am dolled up and smell nice and have the house in order and am the quintessential hostess, and he loves me when I just wake up, when I'm sweaty, when the house is a disaster, when I don't have any time, when I am stressed out and when I am ugly...he still loves me. When I don't understand how or why...he loves me.

My son is an awesome kid. He is 5 and in kindergarten. He is top 2 in his class (I know, I know, it's just kindergarten) and he can read and write and do math. He is good at most sports, although golf is his favorite, and he is really funny. He wants way too much attention all the time and, being an only child, doesn't understand that Mom and Dad's only purpose in life is not to play with him.

I have 2 jobs. I work for Outback Steakhouse. I have worked for Outback for 10 years (minus a 1 1/2 year hiatus). Yep, that's right, the same job since I was 17 years old. I have worked at 4 different Outbacks in 3 different states and I have loved them all. I have been a hostess, a togo server, a server, a bartender, and an assitant manager. I even bussed tables, washed dishes, and made salads from time to time. I love my time at Outback and will hate to see it end as I know it eventually must. I have had so many good friends and good times at those restaurants--People that I will never see again, and people that will always have a place in my heart, if not my life, people that got me through some of the hardest times of my life. Which brings me to my 2nd job. I am a temp at the National MS Society Kentucky-Southeast Indiana chapter. I started here about a month ago and my whole job consists of putting together Bike MS 2010: bike the bluegrass, a 2-day bike ride from Churchill Downs (in Louisville, KY) to Keeneland Race Track (in Lexington, KY). (Anyone in Kentucky or Surrounding areas that rides a bike and is interested in being a part of this event let me know) It is an awesome event and I am honored to be a part of making it come together.

I imagine that this is probably more than enough to start with on my very first blog, but I very much am looking forward to continuing with it and put myself out here on the internet for all to read.