Monday, November 24, 2008

What not to say/do installment #2

Dear man flipping me off and yelling at me as I pulled to the side of the road -

Here's the thing - I am from Ohio, but I am pretty sure the rules on this are the same everywhere. When an emergency vehicle with sirens blaring and lights a blazing is coming down the road, you pull over to the side.
Its common courtesy, I believe even the law. My brother is a fireman so I'll double check with him. Yeah, my brother is cooler than yours.
I realized moments later why you were in such a rush as I saw you pull into Burger King. The nerve of that person in the back of that ambulance to get between you and your flame broiled goodness.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Lucky girl

I am blessed. This I know. I posted recently about some amazing friends I have. Today, I post about family.
I was fortunate enough to have parents that love me, a brother that loves and usually likes me, and extended family that I know I would be lost without. I have nieces and nephews and cousins galore, aunts, uncles and grandparents that I am pretty confident would move mountains if I needed them to. And I didn't even have to "find" them. I was just blessed with them as family.
When I married Jim in 2002, I didn't just become some "in law". I married into a family. A family that welcomed me from day one. I am even pretty sure I am now Grandpa Andersons favorite.
So many times we go about our lives knowing what we need and who we count on is just there. A phone call, email, or plane ride away. It sometimes takes a scare, or moment of pain to appreciate who and what you are a part of. I recently posted asking for prayers and wishes for my Grandpa. He is doing improving, and after I arrive in Ohio, we will be making a trip to Michigan to visit him and my Grandma. I am eager to see them, and prayers, thoughts, and well wishes are still welcome and appreciated.
If you would like to take a few minutes of your day to meet a part of my amazing family, grab a cup of coffee and take a peek. This is the Sovas. My moms side of the family. I will introduce you to the Smalleys, the Andersons, and Richmonds soon. Take care and take a moment to remember the blessings you have. Even in the downs of family dynamics, there is something and someone to appreciate, cherish, and be grateful for.

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Thursday, November 20, 2008

Why oh Why?

So here I am. Finishing up my packing and going down my list checking things off one by one. Then I get to it....pack coat, hat, and gloves. And I ask myself "Why do we live in Florida and go to Cleveland in the winter?

It is but for a fleeting moment though. We go make for friends and family, and memories we love.

After all, could you stay away from this for long?

Monday, November 17, 2008

Shannon rocks!

Like the Fall look? Thank Shannon at Eight Crazy Designs, blog designs. It is free and she is offering Christmas looks as well.
After Christmas, I plan on purchasing one of her designs. She offers pre made blog templates, or will work with you to create a more personalized look.

The best way to thank and recognize her is to view and purchase her blog makeover services. If you are looking for a blog makeover, shop HERE!

Thanks Shannon.

What not to say/do. Installment #1

I notice a lot of situations where I think "That probably was not the best thing to say or do." I am no etiquette expert, but I like to think I could teach these folks a thing or two. In this light, I bring to you an ongoing segment called "What not to say/do"
In today's lesson Carrie is buying a bottle of wine at Publix. The cashier is in high school (I know this by the conversation he was having with the boy bagging my groceries). The cashier cards Carrie, who is 31. She is flattered momentarily:

Dear High-School boy that was my cashier at Publix -

At first I thought you carded me to buy the bottle of wine out of obligation. You know since a lot you wear that we card EVERYONE button. I quickly realized that you, in fact, thought I was underage. I was flattered, at first. I would like to say that in the future when you card a 31 year old, look at her ID and realize she is 31, the best response is probably NOT
"WHOA - I didn't think you were that old. You don't look THAT old!"
There are a lot of acceptable, flattering responses to make the same point (some even still use WHOA).

Here are four:
1 WHOA - I would have never guessed you were 31!

2 Well excuse me. You don't look old enough to drive without a licensed driver in the car, yet you have been of age to buy wine for 10 years now.

3 Hmmm....31 eh. I can only hope I age as gracefully as you.

4 The simple, yet highly acceptable...Thank you maam!

The 31 year old you carded.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Take a moment

If you will for this guy. My Papa Mitt.
If you pray, say one for him
If you send happy thoughts, send one his way
And Grandma could use it too.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Workshop Wednesday

This weeks prompts were tough. I went with
1 Write a haiku about what you see out the window.

Here it is

Palm trees and sunshine

No snow, mittens, hats, or scarves

Florida Winter

And, here is proof of what I see. I think I deserve extra credit for that!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Carrie Bradshaw aint got nothing on me

I never really watched Sex and the City when it was on HBO. No concrete reason, I just didn't. I do however, watch the reruns on TBS. Recently, the episode where Charlotte marries Trey was on. At the end of the episode, Carrie says "It's hard to find people who would love you no matter what. I was lucky enough to find three of them." And I thought to myself, well guess what Carrie Bradshaw, I have five. So take that!

Nicole (Nik) and me. Memorial Day weekend 2006

Allison, Ang, Trisha, me, Jessica - May 11, 2007

It's true though, I am blessed. I have five people in my life who accept me, my flaws, and all that comes along with me. These girls aren't simply people I call to gossip with, or go shopping with. They are the people who I count on, trust, and feel safe with. They each represent something in me, in my life that is unique.
To quote an actual author (as opposed to the fake author Carrie Bradshaw), Anais Nin "Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born."
Imagine for a moment what your best friends bring to you. What piece of your puzzle they make fit. Think about how your life changed when that friend became part of it, or how it would changed if they were no longer around. The reality can be pretty harsh. I owe a lot of who I am to 5 women.

Trisha came into my life at it's roughest point. It had just turned 16 and my mom had passed away just a few months earlier. I was pushing away the people and things that were there before my moms death because, in all honesty I was in an awful place of denial and grief.
Trisha and her family were amazing to me. My dad let me stay at her house whenever I wanted and her parents, who were strict about a lot of things let me stay there on school nights, weekends, whenever. I even hung out with Trisha when she was grounded (which always seemed to be around school holiday breaks). I had a safe haven with Trisha and her family. And for me, that was worth everything.
It may be difficult to understand, but life just feels easier with Trisha. She is fun, kind, compassionate and understanding. We talk on the phone everyday and often to our husbands dismay, more than once a day. For the record, it has nothing to do with distance. When I lived 20 minutes away it was the same. We would meet for lunch and shopping, head home and be on the phone an hour later. I laugh until my sides hurt with that girl and I feel a little lost if I go a day or so without talking to her. She keeps you is good spirits, and makes life fun.
So, in short: Trisha brought fun to my world when I was sixteen and she still does today

Allison and I became friends my junior year of high school. I was friends with her older sister and she somehow got stuck keeping my entertained for my birthday so my surprise party wouldn't be ruined. Doing a favor for her big sister led to an amazing friendship.
Allison is funny, sincere, thoughtful and dependable. She listens. Its a quality I think is underrated. When I had my second miscarriage Allison was the first person I called after Jim. I was alone in the car. I was trying to get home to be with Jim, and now I barely remember that drive. I remember calling Jim, then Allison. I feel terrible about it now, but I made her tell the other girls. I couldn't do it that day. I called her for lots of reasons, but the main two were that I knew she would take care of telling everyone and that I could tell her what happened, ask her to make the calls, say I didn't want to talk and hang up. I didn't feel guilty or worried that it would hurt her feelings. I just knew it would be ok. She came over and just sat there with me. I think there was a lot of silence that visit, but it was ok, and a few days later she came back with girlfriends, girls movies, pizza and snacks. It was what I needed and wanted but felt bad asking for. I didn't have to ask with Allison though, she just knew. I hate to sum up the way I feel about our friendship through that pain, but its a big example of what she means to me and has done for me.
We don't talk on the phone a ton, but it always rings with Allison on the other line at just the right moment. I really need to call her more.
If it weren't for Allison, I would not be as sensitive to people around me, and not as in tune with others feelings. I am grateful for her because of it.

I honestly don't remember exactly how or when Jessica became the friends we are now. We started school together in sixth grade, but it was not until high school that we became close friends. Jessica is caring, thoughtful, warm, dependable, and logical. I know logical sounds like an odd way to describe a friend, but it just fits. If you have a problem, you call Jessica. When I need something, a problem solved, an opinion on what shoes to wear, I want to complain about something, etc., I think of Jessica first. Getting married? Planning a baby shower? Going on vacation? Just call Jessica and viola! its organized.
And thoughtful....well in my opinion it is her best quality. Jessica has saved me so many times, and she probably doesn't even know it. Days when the weight of things seems to hold me down, I open my email, and there is an ecard from Jessica. She organized a birthday dinner for me one year, and ensured my husband didn't forget to throw me a 30th birthday party. I told Jessica one time (maybe a few more), that if I wasn't pregnant by my 30th birthday I wanted a wild and crazy (which by most peoples standards is pretty tame) birthday party. Well, the party happened. As for wild and crazy...there were martinis AND karaoke. Top that! I dare ya to try. Jessica has a way of putting her friends first. Its an amazing quality.
Jessica reminds me what is means to be a great friend.

Angie (Ang) and I met through friends the year after I graduated high school. We became quite the duo rolling around in her purple truck with big white cap (it was a smooth ride). We hung out for a few years and decided to get an apartment of our own. Her mom was a surrogate mom to me.
Ang is funny, kind, thoughtful, and easy going.
Ang and I got an apartment together when I was 21 and she was 20. It was a weird stage for me. I was not a girl, not yet a woman. OK, all kidding and Britney Spears references aside, I was a little lost. I didn't know what I wanted to do with my life and I had just had my heart broken. So, we ventured a full ten minutes from home and got an apartment. It was one of the best experiences of my life. I am so glad I had that time. I was on my own, figuring things out, and independent. I was a little dependent on Ang, but you know what I mean. We had so much fun together. She helped me get over the heart break, which got worse before it got better, reminded to have fun, and ensured I didn't take life too seriously. She made sure I felt good about me because of me, not anyone else. I love my life now, but there are moments when I miss the days in that apartment.
Ang reminds me that my joy is always up to me to.

Nicole (Nik) is my soul mate in a way.
I didn't get to meet Nik until 2001. I took a job that I ended up hating and she worked for the company. I know the day I met Nik, but I will still tell you I don't remember becoming her friend, because it feels like we have been friends for a lifetime. She married Jims best friend Sean. We are somewhat responsible for that. Jim thought a set up was a bad idea, because it could mess up our friendship if something went wrong. So, instead, we ensured they were both along on a group outing. But this isn't about Sean (sorry buddy)
Nik is understanding, patient, sincere, and warm. You feel comfort just being in her presence. The moment you walk into her, Sean, and now Fionas home, you feel at ease.
Nik makes people feel special without even trying. She remembers you mentioning a book you loved in passing, or that you don't like tomatoes. A birthday cake is served on a glass cake stand, after your favorite dinner. A meal you mentioned you loved maybe one time. She knows your mood, your feelings, and your thoughts before the words come out of your mouth.
Its difficult to explain here, but Nik is responsible for helping me reconnect with the some of the memories of my mom. My mom gave me my passion for cooking and baking, but I never fully nurtured it until I saw it all in action though Nik.
Nicole brought safety and comfort to my world. It is a gift I could never repay.

I know it is cliche, but I have read the saying that "Friends are the family you choose yourself." If that is true, then I think I should be pretty proud of my decision making skills. In my opinion though, I think they chose me, and I am forever grateful.

Speaking of grateful, no complaints on the pictures ladies. Unless of course, you would like to email me a picture of your choosing and I will review and post.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

What I've Done

From Megan
You bold the things you have done on this list of 150

01. Bought everyone in the bar a drink
02. Swam with dolphins
03. Climbed a mountain
04. Taken a Ferrari for a test drive
05. Been inside the Great Pyramid
06. Held a tarantula
07. Taken a candlelit bath with someone
08. Said "I love you" and meant it
09. Hugged a tree
10. Bungee jumped
11. Visited Paris
12. Watched a lightning storm at sea
13. Stayed up all night long and saw the sun rise
14. Seen the Northern Lights
15. Gone to a huge sports game
16. Walked the stairs to the top of the leaning Tower of Pisa
17. Grown and eaten your own vegetables
18. Touched an iceberg
19. Slept under the stars
20. Changed a baby's diaper
21. Taken a trip in a hot air balloon
22. Watched a meteor shower
23. Gotten drunk on champagne
24. Given more than you can afford to charity
25. Looked up at the night sky through a telescope
26. Had an uncontrollable giggling fit at the worst possible moment (I still blame Jen for that one)
27. Had a food fight
28. Bet on a winning horse
29. Asked out a stranger
30. Had a snowball fight
31. Screamed as loudly as you possibly can
32. Held a lamb
33. Seen a total eclipse
34. Ridden a roller coaster (won't be doing that again anytime soon)
35. Hit a home run
36. Danced like a fool and didn't care who was looking (anytime I dance, I look like a fool)
37. Adopted an accent for an entire day
38. Actually felt happy about your life, even for just a moment
39. Had two hard drives for your computer
40. Visited all 50 states
41. Taken care of someone who was drunk (too many times to count)
42. Had amazing friends (still have them)
43. Danced with a stranger in a foreign country (Jim was there too!)
44 . Watched whales
45. Stolen a sign
46. Backpacked in Europe
47. Taken a road-trip
48. Gone rock climbing
49. Taken a midnight walk on the beach
50. Gone sky diving
51. Visited Ireland
52. Been heartbroken longer than you were actually in love
53. In a restaurant, sat at a stranger's table and had a meal with them
54. Visited Japan
55. Milked a cow
56. Alphabetized your CDS (who doesn't)
57. Pretended to be a superhero
58. Sung karaoke
59. Lounged around in bed all day
60. Played touch football
61. Gone scuba diving
62. Kissed in the rain
63. Played in the mud
64. Played in the rain
65. Gone to a drive-in theatre
66. Visited the Great Wall of China
67. Started a business
68. Fallen in love and not had your heart broken
69. Toured ancient sites
70. Taken a martial arts class
71. Played D&D for more than 6 hours
72. Gotten married
73. Been in a movie
74. Crashed a party
75. Gotten divorced
76. Gone without food for 5 days
77. Made cookies from scratch (is there any other way)
78. Won first prize in a costume contest
79. Ridden a gondola in Venice
80. Gotten a tattoo
81. Rafted the Snake River
82. Been on a television news program as an "expert"
83. Gotten flowers for no reason (I have a sweet hubby)
84. Performed on stage (and nearly got thrown out of Howl at the Moon because of it)
85. Been to Las Vegas
86. Recorded music
87. Eaten shark
88. Kissed on the first date
89. Gone to Thailand
90. Bought a house
91. Been in a combat zone
92. Buried one/both of your parents
93. Been on a cruise ship
94. Spoken more than one language fluently
95. Performed in Rocky Horror
96. Raised children
97. Followed your favorite band/singer on tour
98. Passed out cold
99. Taken an exotic bicycle tour in a foreign country
100. Picked up and moved to another city to just start over
101. Walked the Golden Gate Bridge
102. Sang loudly in the car, and didn't stop when you knew someone was looking (I'm in my car, its actually kind of rude to stare by the way)
103. Had plastic surgery
104. Survived an accident that you shouldn't have survived
105. Wrote articles for a large publication
106. Lost over 100 pounds
107. Held someone while they were having a flashback
108. Piloted an airplane
109. Touched a stingray
110. Broken someone's heart
111. Helped an animal give birth
112. Won money on a TV game show
113. Broken a bone
114. Gone on an African photo safari
115. Had a facial part pierced other than your ears
116. Fired a rifle, shotgun, or pistol
117. Eaten mushrooms that were gathered in the wild
118. Ridden a horse
119. Had major surgery
120. Had a snake as a pet
121. Hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon
122. Slept for 30 hours in a 48 hour period
123. Visited more foreign countries than U.S. States
124. Visited all 7 continents
125. Taken a canoe trip that lasted more than 2 days
126. Eaten kangaroo meat
127. Eaten sushi
128. Had your picture in the newspaper (hey, the Rural Urban is a newspaper)
129. Changed someone's mind about something you care deeply about
130. Gone back to school
131. Parasailed
132.Touched a cockroach
133. Eaten fried green tomatoes
134. Read The Iliad and The Odyssey
135. Selected one "important" author who you missed in school, and read
136. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
137. Skipped all your school reunions
138. Communicated with someone without sharing a common spoken language
139. Been elected to public office
140. Written your own computer language
141. Thought to yourself that you're living your dream
142. Had to put someone you love into hospice care (kind of)
143. Built your own PC from parts
144. Sold your own artwork to someone who didn't know you
145. Had a booth at a street fair
146. Dyed your hair (and not just the time things went bad and Ang and I ended up with purple hair)
147. Been a DJ
148. Shaved your head
149. Caused a car accident (the dog, I couldn't hit the dog)
150. Saved someone's life (thank you Mr Lengel. 10th grade Health class came in handy. I remembered and used the Heimlich)

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Dear Pepperidge Farm

It's 9:00, do you know where all your bread is?

Well, I do.

I located all 786 loaves of bread. I considered myself an expert on knowing how many items are in a container. Why, you ask? Well, it just so happens, I have won not one, but two guess how many jelly beans are in the jar contests. That ought to count for something.

So take a look..... click on it if you want a closer shot

That's ALL bread. Loaves and loaves of bread. Is there some weird form of trick or treating I missed here in Florida? Is someone starting an anti Atkins diet? Imagine if you toasted all that bread and made it into stuffing in the back of that truck. How big of turkey would you need to actually stuff the turkey with all that stuffing? I digress...
This just struck me as odd. And gave me another reason to carry my camera with me at all times. This is from my phone, and it isn't the greatest. Of course I was so nervous the guy was gonna catch me taking it, it wouldn't have mattered anyhow.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

A little captain in ya!

The parents want to assure you that no alcohol was consumed by the below three and a half year old in the making of this adorable picture.

Meet Lexi. She is the daughter of our friends Trish and Steve. More on her another time when I introduce the kids in our life. Until then, Lexi says AARRRR and please trick or treat responsibly.