Monday, December 31, 2012

2012: Resolution Wrap-Up

What happens when you procrastinate? You end up with 47 million end of the year blogs that you want to get written in one day (December 31st)! I thought about dumping all of my end of year (and beginning of year) thoughts into one post but then I decided to break it up a little. So, here is my 2012 Resolution Wrap-Up!

At the beginning of the year I wrote a post on New Year's Resolutions (New Year, New _________!). I had no idea what 2012 had in store for me, but looking back at that post I'm inspired by the attitude that I had that I would go after life and God no matter what I would face that year. So, how did the resolutions go? Let's take a look.

5. Start blogging again. Write at least 1 blog per week all year.
I did pretty well with this one. I didn't exactly blog once a week, but I blogged 53 times this year, so it averages out...that counts right? I definitely learned that blogging can be very cathartic for me. On the flip side it has the ability to make me feel very exposed and vulnerable at times as I pour out my thoughts and emotions (both deep and shallow) for any and everyone to read. I think that it is something that I will continue to do if for no other reason than a record of what I'm doing and what I'm going through in the next phase(s) of life.

4. Communicate with at least 1 family member every day all year long.
I did fairly well with this one. I definitely didn't hit my goal, but I did communicate with someone every day all year long. It may have been a family member, a friend who was like family, or even someone I just met, but I made sure that I was reaching out to make contact with other people. There have been times in my past where I close myself off, shut down, and don't seek out human interaction. I didn't do that this year. So, even though this resolution evolved a little I still call it a win.

My crazy family skype-ing from all over the country (and Canada) on Christmas

3. Move to Florida.
Wow. This definitely did not happen. I'm planning on doing a 2012 Year in Review post later today that will go into more detail, but Florida didn't happen this year. When I wrote last year's post I really had every desire to move to Florida. As the year went on and circumstances continued to change I realized that my heart is firmly entrenched in Louisville. As more time went on I realized that even though I love Louisville I needed to get away for a while to create a better life for Riley and I. So, I did move in 2012, I just moved to Pittsburgh, PA instead of Florida.

Louisville has my heart

2. Get Hot! Reach my goal weight by 30!
ummm...not so much. I did not reach my goal weight by 30, or even by the end of the year, but my perspective on hotness has definitely changed. I used to think that there was no way that I could be considered attractive unless I was skinny. Boy was I wrong. I may not be a size 6, but I'm still hotter now than I've ever been. Confidence, attitude, and personality go a long way in my opinion.

Still pretty hot if you ask me ;)

1. Seek after God with everything in me. Go all in and find who He has made me to be.
This was the resolution that was purposefully vague. God and I have had our ups and downs this year. I have had my moments (a very few) where I wanted to yell and scream and blame Him for everything going wrong in my life and I have had my moments (the majority of them) where I know that I am beyond blessed and exactly where He wants me to be. I have sought after God and His plan for me this year and I will continue to do so.

So, that's how I did with my resolutions. How'd you do with yours?

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Grumpy No More

So, I realize that over the last month or so I have been in a bit of a funk downright grumpy! I hate being grumpy! I am the girl who always has a smile on her face and a postitive thing to say in any situation. Usually being that girl comes very naturally to me, so this grumpiness feels awful! I have declared today Grumpy No More Day. I'm going back to positivity, optimism, and happiness.

Also, Clay Matthews is healthy again!
Just in time for a division game against the Bears. Clay Matthews has been out for the last 4 games with a hamstring injury (much to my dismay). We definitely need him for this game against the Bears. If you recall, in the Week 2 matchup between the 2 teams Clay sacked Jay Cutler 3 1/2 times. If the Packers win on Sunday they clinch the NFC North title (yay!) so I'll be looking to see a lot of action out of Clay, but hopefully he will play smart and not push himself to injury again.

Also, it's 12 days until Les Miserables comes out (yay!) and videos like this one make me so super excited!!

My sister and I will be there Christmas night to see it if it anyone in Louisville wants to join us :)

I hope you have a good Grumpy No More Day!


Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Two Things Tuesday

Ah, Alliteration. I love it! So, what are my Two Things this lovely Tuesday?

1)I got a job! When I decided to move to Pittsburgh I decided that I was going to go back to the restaurant business. It flexible, it's good money, it's familiar, seemed like a good plan. In case you didn't know, I worked for Outback Steakhouse for a long time. I worked at 4 different stores in 3 different states over a period of 10 years. When Riley was old enough to go to kindergarten I found a day job and quit the restaurant biz. I talk about my Outback love in this post. Anyway, I found out that a brand new Bonefish Grill was being built close to my new home in Pittsburgh. My brother, Paul, is in training to be a proprietor at a new Bonefish Grill in San Diego, so I mentioned to him that I wanted to work at the Pittsburgh store to see if he could contact them and put in a good word for me. He found out that the store was set to open mid-January and told me that he would contact the management team as the date got closer. Over Thanksgiving my dad mentioned to me that the store was taking applications. I hopped online and filled out an online application. I figured that they were getting a zillion applications every day and mine was likely to get lost in the shuffle. I figured I would wait a couple of days and if I hadn't heard anything I would call them and have them pull my application to look at it. I got a phone call 20 minutes later asking me for an interview. Because I am in Kentucky and they are in Pennsylvania I knew that a face-to-face interview would be hard to arrange. When I talked to the manager I asked him if he would be okay with a phone interview but also let him know that I would be willing to travel up to meet with him if he needed me to. He was fine with a phone interview so we talked the next day. He offered me a job and I took it. I start training 10 days after I move and I'm really excited to be back to the restaurant business. Bonefish Grill is going to be a new environment for me, but it's owned by the same company as Outback so it's still pretty familiar. In the last week since I've been offered the job I have been contacted and congratulated by all the managers (which I think is a very nice gesture). I'm so thankful to not have to job search once I get to town and to be able to focus on getting Riley ready for and settled into his new school for a week before adding in a job.

2) I'm done Christmas shopping I thought I was done Christmas shopping. If you recall I've been a bit grinch-y this Holiday Season, but I was pretty proud of myself for having all of my Christmas shopping done and everything wrapped by December 8th. I will admit that wrapping the presents and watching ELF this weekend has helped my be a little less grinch-like, but I'm still looking forward to Les Mis more than anything else this Christmas. Anyway, I thought I was all finished shopping, but then changed my mind. I decided earlier this year that Riley and I have the unique opportunity of creating some new Christmas traditions since it's just the two of us now. I have heard a lot about the Four Gifts Concept lately. Basically you receive four gifts for Christmas-something you want, something you need, something to wear, and something to read. Riley is blessed to have a whole lot of people that love him and buy him lots of amazing gifts for Christmas. He is an only child who now has divorced parents so the potential for Christmas to get out of hand is huge. I decided to go with the four gifts concept with maybe more than one thing in a category or two and then, of course, a few presents from Santa. I did pretty well until I got to the "something you need" category. This kid needs me. His big "something you want" present is a Wii and I got him a few games to go with it so I thought the games could go into the "something you need" category, after all, you can't play a video game system without a video game, right? It's reaching, but it could have worked. Then I realized that we are moving to a state with snow, and lots of it from what I understand. So, Riley needs a little more cold weather gear. A hat and gloves specifically. I was musing about how he needed a hat and gloves in the car when he so sweetly said that he wanted one of those animal hats with mittens attached. Specifically a bear one. Like this. Honestly, I don't think he will ever wear it, but if I can find one in town I'll get it for him. He may or may not have me wrapped around his little finger.

Anyway, those are my two things for today :)


Thursday, November 29, 2012


I have opened a new blog post about 70 bajillion times in the last few days. I just can't seem to get my thoughts straight. They are kind of all over the place. The thing is, nothing is different. Nothing has changed. A few noteworthy things have happened over the last week or so, but nothing that should be throwing me so much. My thoughts are everywhere, my mind is always racing, and I am anxious...and I don't know why. So, let's write this jumble down and see where it takes us.

I moving!! In this post I talked about the decision I was faced with about possibly moving to Pittsburgh, PA. After a lot of talking and prayer and anxiety over trying to make everyone happy (which is impossible, btw) I decided to do it. It's scary. I will be moving on December 27 (4 weeks from today) and as bittersweet as this move is, I am ready. I gave my boss my notice of resignation last week. If you know me at all you know that I hate to disappoint people and I hate when people are mad at me. Giving my boss my notice was causing me a lot of stress, but she took it well. I'm sad to leave my job. I love working for the Y and will miss it a lot.

Thanksgiving. Last week was Thanksgiving. I usually love holidays, but this year...well, it's been a little rough. This year was the first time in 8 years that I didn't spend Thanksgiving with Riley. I felt like a piece of my heart was missing...well, it kind of was. Riley left last Wednesday to drive down to Florida with his grandparents to spend Thanksgiving with his dad. I woke up very early Thanksgiving morning and volunteered at the Y for the Turkey Day Family Fun Run and then went home and got ready and had lunch with my sister and brother-in-law and his family. I spent the evening playing board games and eating dessert with one of my best friends and her family and wrapped up the night with a cold beer and a basketball game. It was a great day. Wonderful people, delicious food, football, lots of kids running around that I was in no way responsible for...but I missed my baby and I missed what Thanksgiving used to be. I suppose it's all in finding the new normal. Riley came back on Sunday and spent a good 30 minutes cuddled up in my lap telling me about his trip and that he missed me and giving me random hugs and kisses. That felt more normal.

Not much else is going on. Like I said, not a lot has changed. I did clinch playoff spots in both of my fantasy football leagues. That was my goal for the season so I'm happy. I just need to shake off this anxiety and settle into these last 4 weeks in Kentucky and savor every moment. I'll work on that.


Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Midweek Confessions

It's been a little while since I've linked up with e for a Midweek Confession. So, here we go.

*I'm not really looking forward to the holidays this year. Riley won't be with me for Thanksgiving or Christmas. I have some major changes taking place right after Christmas (details coming soon, I promise!). My family is spread (literally) all across the county and we aren't getting together for Christmas (insert super-sad, puppy-dog face here) and I just feel a little Scrooge-y. However, on Christmas Day the new Les Miserables movie comes out and I will be there to see it (even if I have to sit in a dark movie theater by myself on Christmas that sounds pathetic sad!). So, the girl that is usually filled with Christmas spirit by the time Halloween rolls around is all "Bah-humbug" and is only looking forward to Christmas because of a movie.

*When the Packers are on a bye week I feel a little lost. Yep, I'm so in love with Green Bay football that I don't know what to do with myself when they don't play. Last Sunday was their bye week and I was sad. I am glad that they had a week to get healthy, but no Clay Matthews on the tv does not make me smile.

*I felt very melancholy and angsty earlier this week so I baked 7 dozen cookies and made s'more krispie treats. I felt better. I split the cookies between work and my sister and took the s'more krispie treats to Bible Study. I don't generally eat the things that I bake, but I will admit that the cookies were really good! Now I just have to decide what I'm baking for Thanksgiving.

*Riley's new favorite song is "King of New York" from Newsies and I couldn't be happier about it. In case you have never heard of Newsies it is a 1992 Disney musical about the newsies (paperboys) strike of 1899 in New York City. It stars Batman Christian Bale. It is my favorite movie ever and I strongly suggest you watch it immediately.

I suppose that's about it for this week. You should write your own confessions, it's good for the soul and all that.


Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Apathy kinda sucks

Earlier today I tweeted this
Tweet, Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App
And I mean it! But, I figured my blog wasn't going to write itself, so even though I'm unmotivated I need to sit down and do it anyway.
This seems to be a pattern in my life reaching back as far as I can remember. Whether it is school, relationships, work, housework, whatever if I am under pressure I dig in and work hard and get done what needs to be done, but if there is no pressure...forget it.

For example:
When I was in high school I managed to go to cheerleading practice or a basketball game 4-5 nights a week, attend church/choir practice/drama practice/bible study 4-5 nights a week, play on the soccer team, have a boyfriend, spend time with friends, have a job, juggle a slew of other extracurriculars, and keep up a 4.0 GPA. Crazy! Granted, I had my moments where I thought I was going to have a mental breakdown, but mostly I fit everything in and got everything done. Kind of like a jigsaw puzzle. However, when I was in the "off season" generally the 6 weeks of no cheerleading that coincided with that stretch of school where both students and teachers are burnt out, my grades started to slip a little, I couldn't find time to do homework, I didn't want to hang out with friends, and I felt like I could never get anything done even though I had way more time to do everything.

Another example:
I let my marriage slide. I just let things happen. I didn't work on my relationship. I didn't pray for or with my husband. It just didn't seem like a priority. When things started to get bad that's when I dug in and prayed and worked and did everything that I knew how to do to save my marriage. It didn't work. It was too little too late.

So, why am I so apathetic when there is no pressure? Why do I do so well when there is? And how do I stay motivated when I'm not crazy-busy?

No answers this time, just questions. If you have the answers let me know :)

Also, this
Rodgers Texans Touchdowns, Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App
Just because it made me smile


Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Moving, Illness, Voting, Fantasy Football, and Looking forward to what's ahead

Whew, It's been a pretty busy couple of weeks!

A couple of weeks ago I moved! I left my first house that I lived in for 5 1/2 years and moved in, temporarily, with some amazing friends that have opened their home to Riley, Minion, and I for the next 2 months. Where are we going after that? We'll talk about that soon. It's going well so far. We get along well and it's lovely to spend time with Joe and Sara, which was always hard to come by before we lived there.
This was me, but I was much less smiley after the 3rd or 4th load!

I was super sick last week. It was pretty awful. I had a 102.4 fever (it never got any higher than that, but would always come back to that point. Weird.) for 5 days that seemed to get worse with any kind of measure to control it (tylenol, ibuprofen, etc.). My whole body hurt and I walked hobbled around in a fog for a week. Oh, and I was really, really cranky! But, I woke up Saturday morning feeling much better.

Yesterday I voted. I wasn't going to. I feel like the Presidential race is so much bigger than me. I know that I live in a state that will be Red no matter who I vote for so what does it matter, right? Wrong. There's so much more on that ballot than the Presidential candidate. I live in a small town in a small county. I was voting for representatives, judges, and school board members. My vote may not count toward who becomes President, but it might make a difference on a local level and that's what matters to me on a daily basis. That, and I wanted the cool sticker.
3ED4BB5C-6C69-4DAA-B9A1-7C7BB6D94B25-33605-00001DA157722975, Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App

The Green Bay Packers are on a nice litte winning streak. They're dealing with a ton of injuries, including my boys Jordy Nelson and Clay Matthews. They have a bye week this week though so hopefully that will give them a chance to get healthy. My fantasy football teams are looking good as well. In my current church's league I am in 1st place and am on a 7-game winning streak...not too shabby. In my old church league I am in 2nd place and am on a 5-game winning streak. I love football.
424E1BAA-5E5D-4BA1-9E25-98CB807A85C1-33605-00001DA16A78AAD9, Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App
How yummy is he?! And wouldn't we be cute together?

My first session of Bible school and my Ladies Bible Study are both coming to a close and I am forlorn. It's been a fantastic 8 weeks. I have studied Women of the Bible with an amzaing group of 8 other women. I feel like leading that group has grown and stretched me in ways that I wasn't expecting. This will be my last Ladies Bible study at RCWC and that is very bittersweet. I'm so proud of my girls and everything that they have done through this study and I know that they will be just fine without me, but I will miss them! Bible school has been fantastic. This last session I took Bible Doctrines, How to Study the Bible, and Righteousness. The first two classes were fairly basic and review for me, but the class on righteousness was amazing. It's a tough concept to grasp, but if you can get it it can truly set you free. I'm not sure what classes are coming up next for me, but I'm excited to continue on this journey, and I'm really excited to share about the things coming up in my life. That post is coming like 2 weeks :)
These aren't my girls, but don't they look happy!


Monday, October 29, 2012

Ode to Excedrin Migraine

You left
I did not miss you
I did not need you
I could get by without you
I didn't even realize you were gone
Until today
Today I hurt
Where were you
On the shelf
Right where you belonged
I bought you
I swallowed you
I waited
I watched the second hand
1,800 tick-tocks later
No more ache
No more pain
You did your job
I'm glad you're back


Wednesday, October 24, 2012


Ask anyone who knows me and they will tell you that I am sickeningly optimistic, positive, and perky. I love all things pink and sparkly. I have happiness oozing out my pores. Negativity is not something that I do well with. Generally when negative comments are spoken I counter with something positive no matter how ridiculous my comment may be. I build people's what I do.

Lately I feel negativity creeping in my life. I don't know if I am hormonal, tired, or just over it, but it makes me want to give up the optimism and positivity and just be one of those jaded, cynical women that complain all the time...okay, not really. But I do want to complain. I want to complain about my job, I want to complain about people in my life who frustrate me, I want to complain about my schedule, I want to complain about all the injustices I suffer, I want to complain about all those little things that irritate me to no end! But I won't. I know it sounds like an afterschool special, but something I've learned through my life is that complaining doesn't fix anything. It makes you feel good for a little while. It makes you feel justified. It makes you feel entitled. It's a vicious cycle though. Ultimately the more you complain the worse you feel. I know that if I can stop the cycle of negativity early on then I'll feel better. Bad things happen, you deal with them and move on to happier things. So that's what I am going to do today. Wish me luck!


Monday, October 15, 2012

What might have been

For the last few weeks I have been anticipating that today...well, really this whole month...would be very difficult for me. See, today is what would have been my 7th wedding anniversary. A year ago this month is when my then-husband and I started having discussions about the state of our marriage, when he started focusing more time and attention on another woman, when he left my home for the first time, and when he had an affair with the woman that he lives with today. All of which led to the eventual demise of my marriage. There are many sad and painful memories that surface with the reminder that today is a day that I expected to celebrate for the rest of my life. Now it is the day that I mourn the loss of my marriage, the loss of my best friend, the loss of my family, the loss of what might have been.

Yesterday while discussing the looming of this day with some friends of mine someone told me that maybe everything I went through last year will be the best thing that ever happened to me. She told me that I was back to being Ali and, to her, that made it all worth it. I'm inclined to agree. Today I'm not sad, in fact, I am happy. Today I am happier, stronger, more at peace, and more fulfilled than I have been in a very long time.

The surfacing of difficult memories doesn't have to be painful. I've learned so much from what I've gone through in the last year and I am far better for it. Today I will not mourn what might have been, instead I choose to look to the future and celebrate what will be. Celebrate with me!


Thursday, September 20, 2012


So, I have a lot on my plate right now. Too much in fact. "So why are you wasting time blogging?" you may ask. Well, blogging helps me get my thoughts in order. Helps me clear my brain out a little. So, what is making me so busy?

1) Work. Work is super busy right now, and although my job isn't "hard" per se it is busy. We always have something going on that I have my hands in and it seems that lately project after project keeps appearing on my desk or in my inbox. It's a little overwhelming sometimes, but I think I'm keeping a handle on it.

2) School. Yep, school. I started Bible school this week. The International Bible Training Center. IBTC is a fully accredited Bible school that happens to have been started by my sister and brother-in-law. My sister suggested that I enroll and I agreed that it was a great idea. Because it is my sister's school it would be really easy to shrug school off and not take it seriously, but that's not me. I love school and I am actually really excited to get my books and a couple of notebooks and folders and start listening to lectures and doing homework...Yay for school!

3) Church. All of a sudden I've become very involved in church. The last 8 months I've gone to church every Sunday and I've been involved in small groups. I am now on the "Serve Team" and am a greeter. I've been asked to lead one of our Ladies Bible Study groups (I am so honored and humbled to have been asked to do this!) and I am involved in 2 other small groups at church...although I think I am going to drop one of them.

4) Life. I have a move coming up in about 90 days! I am a single mother. I have a house to get in order, stuff to sell, dinners to make, laundry to do, homework to help with, footballs to throw, games to play, football to watch, and I have sleep and maybe workout somewhere in there, lol.

So, life is busy, but it's good. We'll see how all this goes and if my plate is too full. If it is then I'll clean it off some and rearrange until everything fits just right!


Thursday, September 6, 2012

Holiday, Football and Decisions

Has it really been 2 weeks since my last blog?! Oops! I've got a little bit going on right now, not anything huge. While reading over what I've written I realize that this maybe should have been more than one blog, but stick with me, there's some good stuff in here.

Riley and I went to visit my parents in Pittsburgh over Labor Day weekend. It's about a 6 1/2 hour drive, so not too bad. Riley is a fantastic traveler...he always has been. On both the way there and the way back we listened to a book on CD, he played his DS a little, but surprisingly not too much, we snacked, and only had to stop a couple of times (on the way back we only stopped once!). Minion was a different story. Despite being given a dog-sized dose of Dramamine she got car sick...a lot. She did much better on the way home, but that dog definitely does not like car rides! It was a good trip. We haven't been to visit them since they moved a little over a year ago. We got to visit their church and meet their friends and we did a little bit of touristy stuff, but we mainly got to spend time together and I got to take naps. It was a successful mini-vaca.
Downtown Pittsburgh, Heinz Field, and Three Rivers

NFL regular season kicked off last night (Finally!) As you well know I have been waiting for this day for 6 long months! I had a fantasy football draft last night while we watched the game. This is my second fantasy football league and it's with all boys. I don't mind being the only girl playing with the boys, but it is a little intimidating to sit in a room full of boys having to make your team picks. I know what I'm doing and I know what I'm talking about when it comes to fantasy football and why I draft who I draft, but there was a part of me that felt like I had to prove myself...I wonder what that's about? I can definitely jump in and be "one of the guys," but I'm pretty sure that my sighing over the Clay Matthews commercial that they played over and over and over again seemed to remind everyone that I am definitely still a girl...come on, look how yummy
Oh, sorry, the game. The Cowboys beat the Giants 24 to 17 (much to the pleasure of my older brother Paul) and became the first team in the history of the current opening game format (The reigning Superbowl Champs play in a weeknight opening game at home) to beat the current Superbowl Champs...sorry Giants :( oh, and Ahmad Bradshaw got me 14 fantasy points...not a bad start to the season!

Over the last 9 months I have been faced with decisions I never anticipated making in my life. If you remember back in my New Year's Resolution post one of my New Year's resolutions was to move to Florida this year. This was my intention...a deep desire of my heart. I still want to move to Florida. This is still a deep desire of my heart. I just don't know that the timing is for this year. Here's the thing. I am now a 30-year-old, divorced, single mother who is starting her life over...not really something you plan on. During my marriage we made a decision to put my husband through school and focus on his career so that he could be successful, be promoted, put us in a good financial situation so that I could then stay at home and at that point finish my education. Well, we put my husband through school, he was promoted, he was successful, then he left. Right now the reality is I could move to Florida, get a job or two, live paycheck to paycheck and figure out how to make ends meet. I could, somehow, go back to school in the midst of this and maybe 10 years down the road or so I could begin to possibly have some sort of career and dig myself out of the financial holes that I am in now and that will ultimately get deeper as I struggle through the next long stretch of life. I don't want that. I don't want that for me and I don't want that for Riley. I could stay in Louisville with a scenario similar to the one that I just portrayed. I don't want that for us either. So, what's the other option? I could move us to Pittsburgh for a little while. My parents have graciously offered their home, their time, and their wisdom to help me. By moving to Pittsburgh I would have the opportunity to get a job or two, not live paycheck to paycheck, but to work my way out of debt, complete or at least complete more of my education, and put Riley and myself in the best possible situation that I can to eventually move to Florida. Seems like a good idea, right? So what's stopping me from jumping on this option? A few things.

1. I want to make sure that God is okay with it. As good as a plan may look on paper, if it's not what God wants it isn't going to work.

2. My ex-husband. Terry, knowing that the deep desire of my heart was to move to Florida this year, moved with his girlfriend to Florida in May. As much as I wanted to move to Florida this year, and ideally this summer, I had no solid plans in place to do so, and sometimes things don't work out the way you want them to. Regardless of intentions, motives, or timing of anyone's move, the fact remains that if we move to Pittsburgh Riley will be there while his dad is 900 miles away in Florida. I don't love this idea. I think that they can still have a relationship, I think they can still have a good relationship, even with the distance. I think it will take hard work and creativity, but it can be done.

3. Riley. Riley is okay with this idea. We talked about it and he thinks it would be cool to live with Mama and Pop in Pittsburgh for a while. I know that he would much rather live in our house and go to his school and for everything to stay the way he's always known it, but unfortunately that isn't an option. I am nervous about moving him away from what he's always known. I'm nervous about then moving him again a couple years later to a whole new state. I know that he's a kid and he's pretty resilient.How the divorce and the choices of his dad and myself will affect him is actually a far bigger concern for me than a big move. Moves can be exciting and adventurous and making new friends is fun and he's really good at it. But I still hesitate. Why? Because I am a mother. Because I want what is best for my son. Because I would do anything to protect him from any pain, discomfort, or trauma.

So why am I even considering a giant move to an unknown land? Because I am a mother. Because I want what is best for my son. Because I want to give him the best life that I can. Because I think that a stop in Pittsburgh may be exactly what we need on this journey to healing.

I'll be making a decision very soon, so if you think about it pray that I make the right one. Thanks :) Oh, and Go Pack!


Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Midweek Confessions

Ah! Midweek Confessions...the time of the week where you can bare your soul and all your ridiculousness for all the world to's a beautiful thing!

*Yesterday I got up, got Riley and I ready, took care of the dog, got in the car and left the driveway. I was halfway to work when I heard "umm...Mommy? This isn't the way to Roby." Yep, I forgot to take Riley to school. So, 20 miles out of my way and 20 minutes late for work and I got my day started...stupid scatterbrainedness!

*Riley has a stuffed pig, his name is Petey. I also have a stuffed pig (Pinky), Riley's dad has one, and even Minion the dog has one...apparently to be a part of the family you must have a stuffed pig, idk. Anyway, Riley has had Petey since he was a baby...well, sort of. You see, I bought Petey before Riley was born. He loved that pig, and then one day when he was around a year old we lost Petey in Target. That was one of my worst Mommy moments. I cried...a lot. So, I got on Ebay and found another Petey...2 actually...and bought them. We gave Riley the pig and he didn't know the difference. We kept the spare Petey hidden in case we ever had a lost pig emergency, but we never needed him. Petey has been through a lot with Riley, he's gone everywhere, been chewed on (a lot), slept with, hugged and loved...and it shows. I sewed up some holes in Petey the other night, something I've done many times before, and I was amazed by how much love that pig has been given. I pulled out "new Petey" (the spare Petey) that hasn't been loved on. He's bright and soft and perfectly fluffy and new. He stays in Riley's baby box and one day, eventually, he will be joined by old Petey who is smelly and ratty and looks like he's been run over by a truck. Here, see for yourself:
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I hope that everyone has something (someone) in their life that they can cling to and love so much!

*Okay, so I'm dealing with some jealousy. I can't begin to tell you how jealous I am that little girls these days get to enjoy trendy outfits that look like this:
(and yes, that cupcake does say Allie, it's spelled wrong, but it will do)
I would kill to be a 4-year-old in this day and age! Do you know what was trendy when I was a kid? Outfits like these:
0DFB8C28-EEBB-4D61-B1D3-BFB385FE71CB-26477-000018A8290717CF, Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App
This is my big sister, Liz, and I at my Kindergarten and her 8th Grade graduations. Yes, I am adorable, but that's beside the point. I would much rather have been in a tutu! Ah, the 80's. Oh, if you don't hear from me for a while it's because my big sister has killed my for putting this picture up on the blog!

Okay, so it's your turn! Link up with E at e, myself, and i and share your Midweek Confessions with the world. You'll love it, I promise!


Monday, August 20, 2012

Dear Monday

Today I am linking up with The Happy Day Blog for Dear Monday.

Dear Monday,
This weekend was pretty good. Great night on Friday, pool all day with Riley on Saturday, Church on Sunday, Growth Track 301 and then Spades with friends on Sunday night, the house is clean, the laundry is're all set up to be a great start to the week, let's not screw this up!

Dear Co-Workers,
Thank you for my birthday baloons, the pretty orchids, and the sparkly cupcake card last week. They made my day and having them here the week after my birthday just made the celebration last longer.

Dear Tomorrow,
You are the first day of school for JCPS, therefore the first day of CEP (before and after school care) for this school year. Please go easy on us all and be a smooth day!

Dear Riley,
I love you so much! I hope that I am the mother that you need me to be to raise you to be the best kid you can be.

Dear NFL Preseason,
You suck! You are a tease and a let down and I don't like you at all!

Dear September 5th,
Get here faster, I'm ready for real football.

What do you have to say to Monday?


Wednesday, August 8, 2012

3rd Grade!

They just never stop growing, do they? My baby started 3rd grade today! One should never turn 30 and have a child start 3rd grade in the same week--man do I feel old! I'm so proud of Riley. He's growing up so much! We had a great prayer time this morning, took our first day of school pictures, and I sent him off to school. I think he's going to have a great year!

3 first day blog
First Day of 3rd Grade!

Let's see how much he's grown over the years, shall we?

pk blog
First day of Preschool

k blog
First day of Kindergarten

1 blog
First day of 1st Grade

2 blog
First day of 2nd Grade

3 blog
First day of 3rd Grade

He's so tall these days! He loves his new backpack this year. I miss the cartoon backpacks sometimes, it seems like he grew out of those so fast!

Have fun in 3rd Grade, Riley! Go get 'em!
3 leaving blog


Monday, August 6, 2012

Thoughts about 30

Today is a big day. I turn 30 today. This is a day I have been both excited about and dreading for a while now. When I was going through my divorce earlier this year I was so sad at the thought of turning 30 and being alone single. As my divorce got messier I couldn't wait to turn 30 and leave my ex-husband my past my 20's behind me. Now that this day is here I can't figure out how I feel about it.

I spent Friday and Saturday nights out with a good friend celebrating both our birthdays (but really just hanging out, catching up, and being silly).
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It was a really nice breath of fresh air. We met new people, laughed ourselves silly, and did a lot of people watching. It was a great weekend.

I <3 this picture 671ee0d4, Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App

So, I feel like 30 years is a long time to have lived. All the people that are older than me assure me that I'm not old and have a long way to go until I am...I love that thought! Here are some lessons that I have learned in my last 30 years



When I was little I learned to share my things. As I grew older I learned that while sharing toys is wonderful, there are more important things that need to be shared. Share your time. Share your thoughts and your feelings. Share a hug. Share a smile. Share a compliment. Share the credit. Share your heart. Share your life. Opening yourself up and sharing might make you vulnerable. It might make getting hurt a little easier, but it also keeps you soft, it keeps you open, it keeps you connected.

2. Don't Give Up!


When I was in high school I was a cheerleader. We were good...really good. My sophomore year we were preparing for a string of competitions coming up. One of the integral members of our squad broke her collarbone. We reworked our routine and the week before competition another integral member of our squad broke her hand. We reworked the routine again and someone else got hurt. The morning of the competition we showed up at school to get ready to go and someone else was hurt. It was 3 hours before we were to compete and we were down to 9 squad members. It was so tempting to just quit. What could we possibly do? We reworked the routine again and decided to try anyway. Minutes before we were to go on we were practicing and every stunt was falling and we were having trouble keeping it together through all the changes. Our coaches left us with a pep talk and a smile and left backstage sure that it was going to be a disaster. Well, we went out there and competed. We came in 3rd...our rag-tag little bunch. It was a good day. Throughout life I've learned that you have to keep trying. It is inevitable that you will fail, sometimes success doesn't look the way you want it to, and a lot of times it seems like it may have been a waste to try so hard...but it's not. Whether it's weight loss, marriage, career, children, sports, whatever it is that you want...don't give up!

3. Surround yourself with people who can make you smile!


I don't know who these girls are, but I love this picture. I have been so blessed in my life to have girl friends that would totally do something like this!
I love to smile. I love to laugh. I think that it is so important to have people in your life that inspire you to do both. Having friends that you can laugh with and cry with is a very important piece of life!

4. Be true to who you are!


I spent a lot of time in my life trying to be who someone else wanted me to be. I've tried to impress people. I've tried to please people. I've tried to fit in. I've tried to contort myself into other's molds of who and what I should be. I don't do that anymore. Just because you like dirt bikes doesn't mean I have to for us to get along. Just because I like showtunes doesn't mean that you have to for us to get along. This was a hard concept for me to get, but I have it now. Our uniqueness is what makes this world such a beautiful place (I know, I know, I sound like an afterschool special). Just be yourself and never, never let anyone make you feel bad for being you!


5. Be spontaneous and try new things!

You can spend your whole life carefully planning every move. You can analyze a decision forever. Sometimes you just have to take a risk and do something spontaneous and out of the ordinary. Recently I got bored on a Friday night and cut myself some bangs. I haven't had bangs since high school. Once I got a haircut and they gave me bangs when I didn't want them and they looked awful. Ever since then I have been very careful to explicitly tell hairdressers that I did NOT want bangs. Later on I got married and my husband did not like bangs, short hair, or black hair, so those were the rules that I told my hairdresser she had to follow...anything else was fair game. So, what got into me on this random Friday night? I have no idea, but the thought popped in my head so I watched some YouTube videos on how to do it and I took the plunge and cut them. I'm so glad I did! It totally changed up my look and I have gotten so many compliments on them! It was exactly what I needed! I realize that this is a story about hair, and let's face it, hair isn't going to change your life, but taking a little risk and having a spontaneous moment without talking myself out of it was so refreshing!


6. It could always be worse!

I've gone through some tough stuff in my life. Don't get me wrong, life has been mostly good and I am very blessed, however, there have been some rough times in my life. One thing I've learned is that things could always be worse. I'm too thankful for the positive things that have filled my last 30 years to dwell on the negative pieces. Those negative pieces have shaped me into who I am just as much as those positive ones have. So, when things get bad just could always be worse. Apparently my mom thinks so too!


My last 30 years were filled with joy, sorrow, pain, laughter, love, tears, heartache, fun, friendship, failures, sunshine, shadows...they have been filled with life! I know that I have so far to go and so much life left to live, and I'm looking forward to seeing what my 30s hold for me!

Here's to 30! Let the adventure begin continue!