Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Lessons from my brother

My brother, Joe, is home from the Army for a little while. It has been wonderful having him home again. I am probably closest to him out of all of my brothers-probably because we have that perfect age difference-7 years.
Joe made a surprise visit to my second job last night (it's ok, the boss is one of my best friends and Joe's former roommate) and he kept me company and taught me some cool stuff.
Joe is in Special Forces, aka, he is a badass. What comes with him being a badass is me getting to learn some badass tricks too. Self defense if you will. Last night he taught me some pressure points. Simple little tricks to use if I were to get attacked. Things that would level the playing field if a 6' guy came after me. I'm pretty scrappy on my own, having three brothers, but I like knowing these little tactics. It always amazes me how one-two fingers and be so painful. The overall point of these tricks in SF is to allow the soldier to gain the less than a second he needs to access his pistol. What it would do is allow me the extra seconds to make a get away or to put me in a position of better defense.
After showing me some tricks, Joe pulled out the 9mm he was carrying and showed me some proper shooting techniques. I have always been around hunting guns. There is a HUGE difference between hunting weapons and tactical weapons and I learned this last night. This insight also showed me why I was such a poor shot with my friends 9mm this past summer.
He showed me the proper way to hold a gun. Amazing how THAT alone can change everything. He then told me the most important words..."be surprised every time a bullet leaves the chamber." I didn't get it at first. He said it again. I mulled it over in my head. Then it clicked. If you don't anticipate the bullet being fired, you won't flinch. If you flinch, you will cause the gun to pull in a direction away from the target without even realizing it. I pull to the right and up. It explains why I have always been such a terrible shot with hand guns.
Joe is going to show me more tonight and let me shoot his weapon for real instead of just handling the gun unloaded. I think I am going to convince him to take me to a shooting range every time he is home so that I can get more comfortable with hand guns.
Kevin has been wanting to get me a hand gun for years, but I haven't let him because A.) I have been slightly afraid of them B.) I feel more comfortable defending myself with my hands and my breakstick C.) I don't want the gun turned on me.
But, I believe that if I work with Joe, I will become very comfortable with a hand gun. I believe I will become a great shot and actually ENJOY shooting. Who knows, maybe I will get to the point where shooting is a past time.
Amazing what little brother's can show you and teach you. Amazing that he knows this information. Amazing that he is such a great shot and teacher.
But, as he put it, this is his job and it is a job where he NEEDS to be good at what he does.
It makes me feel a lot better about what he is doing...seeing that he is most comfortable and confident when holding a weapon. That is something I never thought I would say, but it is the truth.
More on Joe later...

Monday, December 27, 2010

Homecomings and Mattresses

It is hard to believe that Christmas is already over.
Kevin and I had a wonderful time celebrating the season with our family. Momo got to come home from the rehab unit to spend time with us and see all the renovations we have been making to her home. She seemed very happy with all the painting and rearranging and cleaning we have done. This came with a great sigh of relief. It is hard to make so many changes, yet keep her sense of "home" that she has made intact. But she loved every room and we were able to discuss with her moving her laundry room from the basement to one of the spare bedrooms upstairs.
I think her trip home was much needed. She seemed more relaxed there, even though she was still exhausted.
It was wonderful having all the family together again. It is something we don't get to do very often and I enjoy those times the most.
Christmas day, Kevin and I made a nice brunch for the family and took it to my mom's house so that Momo could enjoy it too. After that, we hurried home, changed and went up to Steinbauer's. We didn't get to stay there as long as I would have liked, but wood needed to be brought into the house, so we had to leave early.
Kevin and I decided that it wouldn't be a proper Christmas holiday without spending some time with friends. We invited over our little group and ended up having a hillbilly good time. Jake and Kevin went and picked up an old king sized box spring and our friends were introduced to the new sport that Kevin, Jake, and John invented called mattress sledding. Basically, hook an old mattress behind the truck, load it with people, and go for a ride.
I am sure that we looked ridiculous; all bundled up, 2 lines of 3 people sitting bobsled style, being dragged behind a truck, but it was loads of fun. I don't think I have laughed so hard in my life. What made it better was that 2 of my best friends were able to come out as well as my 2 younger brothers. I believe the best point of the night was when our friend, who is a state highway patrolman, came screaming up behind us with his spot light on us. Our friend, Johnson, had no clue that we knew him and started freaking out. He became extremely confused when we bum-rushed the cop car to say hi to our friend. I'm not sure how many laws we broke that night, but it was a good time. The most fun I have had in a while...which I am sure most of my friends can say as well.
I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and got to spend it laughing with the ones you love.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Girls weekend 2.0

Three of my girlfriends and I have decided to start doing short trips together all over the place. We are hitting Chicago in February but are having a hard time figuring out where best to spend our time.
We are for sure going to the Shedd, but we want to hear some great live blues while we are there. I am trying to convince them that we NEED to go to Buddy Guys...he is a living legend and if we can see him while we are there, we need to take that opportunity. Tickets haven't gone on sale yet, but I am going to be watching like a hawk from here on out.
We are checking out the Chicago based websites, but it is always so hard to know what is actually good and worth going to. So, we need your help!
Have any of you been to Chicago? If so, what do you recommend? We are only going for 2 days and want to try to keep it cheap.
Any recommendations would be appreciated!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010


I began reading the book, "The Art of Racing in the Rain" by Garth Stein about a week ago after a friend suggested I read it and gave me his copy.
I read the first 2 chapters and thought, "Kevin would love this!" So, I told him about it and he suggested that I read him the first chapter.
He loved it. And after reading Kevin the first chapter, we decided that it would be fun for me to read the book to him. This way we can enjoy the book together. So almost every night, we crawl into bed, I sit and read and he cuddles with the dog and I read a couple chapters.
It is nice. I'm sure that most people would consider it weird, but I really enjoy it. I used to read books onto tape in college for kids with learning disabilities, so I am used to reading aloud. I still get a super dry mouth though.
Kevin isn't the strongest reader. I think he has read 3 books in his entire life. He was one of those kids that had a learning disability in school and instead of his teachers taking their time with him, they told him he was lazy and wasn't trying. They couldn't see that he had a disability and needed extra help. He still has major hangups because of these teachers. Kevin is the farthest thing from lazy, and he takes great pride in the fact that he is such a hard worker, so I can appreciate how hurt he was when the teachers told him this.
Because of these teachers, Kevin has a rough time opening up to activities that he considers "academic" because he is worried what people will think. Things that I truly enjoy doing he has a hard time dealing with, and sometimes it puts a damper on our marriage. I enjoy things like museums, theater, reading...basically, the arts. He does not. We will go long lengths of time doing the things he enjoys but I request to go to the art museum and it is like pulling teeth-and we typically end up not going.
Me reading him a book is a great way for me to satisfy a craving. The craving to have "academic" conversations with my husband. Talk about a book, discuss the characters, what we like, what we don't, what we think will happen next. Foreshadowing. Anything.
I love this time that we spend together. I hope that we can continue to do this after we finish this novel...perhaps move on to more challenging readings where you have to think outside the box. I was a literature major...I like the things that catch you off guard, that require in-depth thinking, re-reading passages, things that really provoke the mind.
But for now, we are learning about Enzo and his master and family...and how to race in the rain. The author does a great job of mixing comedy with heart-breaking emotion, complex thoughts with the complexity of racing. All in all, mixing my world of emotions and thought with Kevin's world of mechanics and things that go fast. And dancing, sex-crazed zebras.
I will have to thank the author some day.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The Warrior in Me

My friend Beth and I have decided to do a little thing called the Warrior Dash this year. The extravaganza will take place June 4th and I am praying to be alive June 5th.
The Dash is a little cult following that is coming to Ohio for the first time. It is basically a little less than a 5k with an obstacle course involved. They call it a run from Hell. It should be interesting. While I am excited about it, I am also extremely nervous. Aside from being completely out of shape, which I am hoping to correct as soon as my treadmill arrives, I am missing a key ligament in my knee, so some of the tasks are a little scary to me. However, I am reading a book called "The Art of Racing in the Rain" and there is a chapter where they talk about racing, of course, in the rain, and basically if you fear the rain you will wreck; if you think too much, you will wreck; if you live in the moment and just do, you will be fine. So that is the mind set I am trying to have. It isn't going to stop me from trying to duplicate these tasks in my backyard to practice...however, I don't think my neighbors would appreciate me putting 1000 tires in my backyard, or creating a giant rope wall. My biggest fear is actually a couple of straw know, the giant round ones that you see out in the fields? Yeah, we get to climb over 3 of those...piled on top of each other. What I don't think people realize is that straw is chaffing...I used to bail straw when I was younger. You wear long sleeves and pants and gloves...on race day I will be wearing shorts, a tutu covered in feathers, and a tank top...this will do little to protect me from the straw....which I know I will have a problem with. I'm going to be wet from an earlier event, not to mention sweaty, therefore I will be slippery. If I can make it up and over these bails, I think I will be ok. I can handle the giant mud pit no problem, I can handle pulling my butt over some walls, I can handle jumping over some fire...but those straw bails are freaking me out!
It will be interesting. This is for sure.
I want to do something out of the box. I am going to be 30 this year and want to continue to live a spontaneous and active lifestyle. I believe this event will push me beyond belief, but also be a ton of fun.
Check out the pictures on their site...great stuff...

Monday, December 20, 2010

It's been a while again...I apologize, but a lot of stuff went down and I didn't want to be the debbie-downer blogger. No one likes someone that is negative all the time.
But things are starting to look up, so I may be back.
Lots has been going on, mainly with family. Momo, my grandmother, had surgery on Oct 27th and hasn't been home yet. It has been an up and down game of doing well to being rushed off to Cleveland Clinic and back again. She is doing much better now and I know she is feeling more like herself because when I went to visit her yesterday, she had makeup on and was worried about how her hair looked. I'm just ready to get her home.
It is hard to believe that Christmas is Saturday. I will be doing some last minute shopping tonight. We still do a low-key Christmas, thanks to never fully recovering from the economic downturn, but things are much better and Kevin and I have found ways to save money here and there.
I decided that this Christmas I was only supporting local economy. I think it was a good choice and the proprietors of the stores seemed very appreciative of the gesture.
Kevin and I have only been shopping locally for several months now. We get almost all of our groceries at a local farm market, and in turn, have become friends with the owners. They now purchase their firewood from us, so it is coming around full circle. I love the little farm market, Hall's Garden Gate. If there is something that we need, they find a way to begin carrying it in the store. I love knowing where my beef and chicken comes from along with all the dairy and baked goods. The owners only carry items from Ohio and try to carry as many locally grown items as possible. Of course, certain items require them to go out of state...pineapples, citrus fruits, tomatoes...Ohio can't grow everything. But it feels good to help support the local economy.
We have completely boycotted such stores as walmart and Sam's club. I don't care how good of a deal I can get at one of these "super stores," I would rather go to my local, family owned store.
I challenge you to all do the same. It's a great feeling when you are greeted by the owner of the store when you come in and they are truly happy to see you and they thank you each and every time.
I promise to write again later this may be crazy busy at work with year end, but I am back. For sure this time. I miss my blogging friends and family!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

It's Me!

Im back!
I apologize for dropping off the face of the Earth for months. I have been super busy. Plus, my writing was becoming stagnant, like myself, and I needed a break.

Things have been crazy lately. Work is in shambles. Our part time girl hit the road back at the end of May which meant that I had to start my dreaded drive back and forth to Lorain everyday. Goodbye 15 min drive.

To make matters worse, by car took a dump at the same time that I got the news. It was like it knew that it would be expected to drive an hour each way every. single. day. It gave up. So, Im driving my Ranger. Which I love, but putting gas in it, not so much. 17 mile per gallon x54 miles one way = a lot of cash I don't have. I won a small battle though last Friday and will now be getting reimbursed for some of the gas that I am burning.

June was a busy month. I went to New York City, which was a lot of fun, but oh so tiring. Next time I go I will stay IN the city, not Jersey, and take a whole week to roam the city. Basically the three days that we spent there, I could have spent the whole time in the Met, so the 20 min that I was alotted did not give me enough time to even find where I wanted to go first. Disappointing. I saw no celebrities, but we had no major catastrophies either. The Bronx Zoo was pretty amazing. Hyenas are HUGE by the way. The Lion King made me have this false notion that they were the size of dogs...yeah, dogs that were mutated by a horrible nuclear accident. They scared the bejezus out of me. I almost got attacked by a condor as well, thank God for the giant fence, cause that bird wanted to eat me. I looked like a tasty drumstick to it apparently.
The zoo was a good choice for our last day, even though our feet were beyond killing us by this point.

July I got to spend a weekend with my Aunt and Uncle at their new place on Middle Bass Island in Lake Erie. It is a mere 15 min drive and hour ferry ride away, but I may as well have been transported to Bora Bora. It was the most relaxing weekend I have had since my honeymoon. Their home is beautiful. The bed was like sleeping on a cloud and I could have easily sat on their second story deck and stared at the lake for the rest of my life, or until I got hungry. We spent the weekend biking around the island, riding wave runners, laying out on the floating island, (and getting rescued from the water snakes,) riding in Uncle Don's Donzi, sipping wine, and relaxing in rocking chairs. The highlight of the trip was a cruise that we took that was a fund raiser for the island's firefighters. It took us around Middle Bass, Sugar Island, Rattlesnake Island, and Put-in-Bay during the most spectacular sunset. I loved it and fell in love with island life on Lake Erie. It is my dream to own a small shack there someday.

My husband and I are still on the hunt for new jobs. I send out resumes pretty often, but no one is hiring, so basically I am wasting expensive paper, but I am hoping that one of these times, someone will see that I am well qualified and want to hire me. Im hopeful.

Work on the house continues. Slowly but surely. We ripped some carpet out of the soon to be office over the weekend. Kevin found an I-beam at work and is going to see if we can purchase that from the company. If we can, we can get the supports rigged up in the basement and start finishing drywall and putting in flooring. We are stuck until we get that done. Hopefully it is sooner than later.

I will try to catch myself up on everyone's blogs. I hope I didn't miss anything toooo important. But Im back, and promise not to go away for that long again!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Working on my Sinatra...

Im going to New York City!!!!! June 11th thru the 13th, I will be tooling around the big apple taking in all the sights with some of my girl friends. I am beyond excited.
I have always wanted to go to NYC. I have no clue what all we are going to do, and I know that 3 days is no where near enough to see everything there is to see, but it is a start.
If anyone has any suggestions on things to do, shoot them my way. And if anyone wants to meet for dinner one evening, let me know as well! We are staying in Jersey to save some cash, but plan on spending almost all of our time in the city.
I do want to get a velour sweatsuit in some God-awful color, paint myself orange, and tease my hair to the sky-but don't want to get my ass kicked when no Jersey accent comes out of my mouth and I am found to be mocking the enigma that is a Jersey girl. It would be fun though, right?
Anyways. Excited. Excited. Excited!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Great Grandma's Treasures

Hand pieced "dresden plate" pattern
One of my favorites. Hand pieced Double wedding ring pattern. It is so bright and cheery. It is one that I hope to get when she passes, but it may already be claimed.
"Sunbonnett Sue" pattern. Of course hand pieced.

A close up of the pattern

Grandma created this beauty when my great grandpa was sick. She took two sheets she had and pinned them to her bed and free hand-stitched this shell pattern. Using no pattern to go off of. This is an incredible feet! No puckers or anything. It is amazing.

Close up of the detail in the stitching. her stitches are small and consistant.

A strip stitch quilt. This was made from scraps from a local seamstress. All the pieces are hand stitched together and go in an alternating pattern.

Another strip quilt made with scraps. This time in a block pattern.

This is the quilt that I claimed. It was made with material from a local penny store with just white and peach blocks. Grandma thought it was too plain so she hand embroidered the star pattern. It is beautiful. She wanted to know why I wanted this one, because she thinks it is plain. I told her it was because not only did it show her piecing and quiliting abilities, but it showed her embroidery abilities as well-that it wasn't plain, because when you looked up close you could see the hours of work that went into it. It is my absolute favorite!

This is a memory quilt in a block pattern made with material from pieces of clothing from her children. the green in material from an old dress of hers. She was able to tell which material went with which child.

This is an afghan that great grandma made for her mother while she was sick. Great-great grandma would use it daily and wouldn't let any one else touch it because she was afraid it would get damaged. It is bright and cheery and made with left over yarn. It was given back to great grandma after her mother passed.

"Alabama the Beautiful"

Alabama the beautiful.
That is where I was all last week. Visiting my great grandma and being the awesome granddaughter that I am-driving for my grandparents.
It was a nice trip. The drive down was easy. No traffic, quick drive time.
My great grandma practically ran (well, her best attempt at running) to give me a hug when we got there. It had been 5 years since the last time I had seen her and 17 years since I had been in Alabama.
It was a long week of a lot of nothing. Which was nice for a change. I spent a lot of time sitting on the back porch, then the front porch, then eating breakfast with grandma and talking. I took lots of walks and did a lot of reading.
One day I took the time to plant flowers in all of grandma's planters and into her landscaping. She was so excited. I also helped her to make homemade apple cobbler and buscuits one evening. Hoping I got the recipe right in my head. She doesn't measure anything, just knows how much to use.
We went for daily walks together. Short walks, usually no longer than 500 yards, but nice time together none-the-less.
She was so thankful to have someone to listen to her and talk to her and seem truly interested in what she had to say. I cherished every word that came across her lips. I loved spending time with her and wish I had more time with her.
The last night that I was there, grandma came into the bedroom I was staying in and asked if I wanted to see her quilts. They are amazing. I got to hear the story behind each one and got to pick the one that I will get when she passes. I took the time to shake them all out and refold them. She was so thankful for that. She doesn't have the strength anymore to lift the heavy fabrics to fold them nicely. They were all stacked cleanly and "just like she used to do them" when I was done with them.
When we left Saturday morning, I couldn't help but cry. Grandma was crying as well. She just kept saying that she wished I could stay with her. I can't help to wonder if it will be the last time I see her. I hope not.
She is an amazing woman who has lead an amazing life.
She is a fiesty 91 year old

Tuesday, March 30, 2010


Last Wednesday evening was a very sobering evening.
My husband and I went back to my alma mater, Heidelberg (college for ever in my heart) University.
A gentleman from my home town, Don Behm, was speaking along with a friend of his, Jim Lichtman.
Don was in the 11th armoured division. Jim survived 3 concentration camps. Don liberated the camp in Mathausen that Jim was in.
The Great Hall, where they were speaking, was packed full of students and community members alike. The community members understood why we were there, the students, not so much. Im sure some of them appreciated it, but most just didnt understand.

Listening to Mr. Behm as he described pushing in the gates of the camp with his tank and what he saw when they broke through was devastating to hear. The tremor in his voice, holding back tears, made me break down. He was just giving a prologe to what Mr. Lichtman would be telling us.
Mr. Lichtman watched as his mother and sister were taken away at Auschwitz. He didn't know where to, but the guard pointed to the crematorium and told him that that was where they were going. Then he watched as his beloved uncle threw himself against the electrified fence because he didn't want to go through what the rest of them would be.
He was loaded back on a train and taken to one work camp after another. Finally settling in Gusen (Mauthausen.)
Here, he would watch as his father was beat to death because not enough Jews were killed that day. It broke my heart to hear him describe this. How the guard made him watch. How his father tried to give his tiny piece of bread to his son as he was being murdered. I sobbed. I broke down. Kevin was crying too. Yet, the girl sitting next to me asked me what my problem was.
Mr. Lichtman survived 100 days in camp, while most only last 90. He was in the infirmary, a place where the sick were taken to die, not get better, when the tanks broke through. He was 18.
He returned to his home to discover his mother was still alive. He worked to pay $1000 each for passage to America with fake passports.
He moved to New Jersey and began working for an appliance company and later bought it and became very wealthy. He didn't tell his wife, children, no one about what he had been through until he was in his 4o's. Then he decided that people needed to hear his story, if only to prevent it from happening again.
He speaks in Germany each year to students and all over America.
I felt blessed just to be in these two men's great presence.
I can't thank them enough for sharing their very difficult story to tell.
I wish the student's could understand how lucky they are. How this generation is dying and we are going to lose all their knowledge with them.
That it is our duty to carry on their memory and what they went through so that we never have to.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Team Funbags!

I think I am going to start up a team for the Susan G. Koman 3 day walk for a cure event in Cleveland this year.
I've wanted to attend for the past 3 years, but think I am going to make that step this year and commit to doing it!
I just requested information on how to start a team so hopefuly that will help!

The event is July 30th through August 1st in downtown Cleveland.
Let me know if any of you are interested in participating!
It will be a fun, emotional, and awe-inspiring event!
I can't wait!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Melt the Ice

I ran my first 5k of the year on saturday morning. It's called the Melt the Ice 5k. There were only about 300 runners, but this was good because it was on the northcoast inland trail which isn't very wide. I had never been on this part of the trail, sticking mainly to the couple miles around the Clyde area, rollerblading with my girls. This section is really nice. But it has hills!
I have never run a 5k that had hills included, so that was an unexpected suprise that kicked my butt. The wind wasn't very nice either. It was about 37 degrees that morning and I ran with a pair of flannel pants, a t-shirt, and a fleece zip-up. I needed it. Was wishing I had gloves too. Will remember that for next year!
So, the first mile was pretty easy. We were blocked from the wind and my MP3 player was playing some songs to keep my mind focused on something other than my breathing (I am a loud breather when I run and need something to distract me from it so I don't overly focus on it! Im crazy!)
The second mile was a bit tougher. It included all 3 large hills and two bridges over the Sandusky River which was rather chilly crossing. The down and back was in this section and included a tunnel that went under the entrance to the bridge. The tunnel on the way through wasn't so bad. On the way back, however, it became a giant windtunnel and it took everything I had to get through it! There was a couple running in front of me and as soon as they stepped into the tunnel, they stopped running, put their head down and tried to trudge through it. As soon as I hit the massive wind, I leaned into it and seriously grunted like Rambo. It was the longest 200 yards of the race!
The last mile was tough, but there was a good sized crowd cheering us on. I pushed in the last 1/4 mile and actually got photographed by the Elite Runner's Club photographer. Haha! A friend of mine had finished before me and was there cheering me on making me push it even more!
I finished with my best time so far. 5 minutes faster than last years best time. I am still slow compared to most runners, but am making great strides. I know that my next time will be even better and eventually I will be to my goal time of 33min. My finish time this time as 43:02. Not fantastic, but I am still proud. Especially since it was my first "cold weather" race and because I made such great progress from last year.
A guy actually remembered me from races last year and told me I look like a much better runner this year. More relaxed and less huffy-(his exact words! Haha!) Huffy.
I can't wait til my next race in April. Im hoping to finish at 40:00 or better!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Ah, Spring.
I love this time of year. Everything feels so fresh, so new, so lovely. It makes all the Ohio snow worth it (almost.)

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Im eating a coissant...not the regular kind, the kind that's all glazed and stuff from the local bakery, that is way more unhealthy than the regular kind.
I need it today.
I got the letter yesterday. THE letter.
"You are due for your 6 month follow-up pap smear. Please call to schedule your appointment."
Frightening words.
I just shoved half the coissant into my mouth and am now typing with freshly licked fingers. Gross, I know. I'm freaking out.
I never used to be this way about my pap. NEVER. I was the girl everyone wanted to be in the office. Cheery, chatting with the office girls, relaxed, and totally cool with the situation. Not anymore. Now I sit quiet, fidgeting, constantly checking my watch. Inside freaking out, trying not to let that show on the outside.
I am tying to be confident, positive. I know this helps. I can't change anything, why get all worked up over it?! Deep breath...inhale, exhale. Better.
Final bite of coissant...MUCH better.

I've been running a lot lately. Every morning. I have my first 5k this saturday and I am actually nervous. I didn't really get nervous at any of them last year. Mainly because I did not put any pressure on myself. This year, though, I am setting goals. And I want to meet those goals, break them, shatter them. I'm in a more mind over matter place this year and am ready to push myself through the races. I may never win a 5k, but I want to continue to beat my personal bests.
I'm contemplating signing up for a half marathon in September. I think it would be amazing to do. I'm trying to work out the logistics, the hours and miles I would need to log to prepare. I think I can do it. I want to do it. I will do it.

My life has become about determination, setting and reaching new goals. Now, if I could just get the balls to dial that one phone number...

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Invitation samples...I need a name!

This is my favorite. Very modern looking, yet simple.

For the bride that loves vellum. Allows all enclosures to be tied inside with a pretty little bow around the outside of the vellum.

The paper didn't translate well in the picture. White shimmer under pink shimmer. It looks really nice in person.

A little modern, yet classic at the same time. My best seller as of late.

The inside allows for the traditional cheesy quote. "the path that leads to happiness is so narrow that two cannot walk on it unless they become one!"

Simple and classic. Comes with matching reception card

Large save the date (size of a post card) (oh, and I didn't pick the colors...this was all Tiff's giant orange and hot pink wedding!)

Small save the date...cute, simple, cheap!

Bachelorette Invitation

Per Lizzi's request. Here are some samples of my invitations. I have tons more at home from past mock-ups, but these are the basic styles. Any ideas for a name for my little business venture?

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Kevin took Bully to the reservoir yesterday to let him run around and play and leap and jump and sniff and bound through the open fields there.
He came home with another dog.
While Kevin was there, her kept noticing a little beagle running around, from group of people to group of people. When the little dog finally got to Kevin, he saw that the dog was dirty and that someone had removed its collar. This res is out in the middle of no where...people in our area are notorious for driving out to BFE and dropping off unwanted pets. It is how I got most of my cats and one dog growing up. Bastards. The dog was extremely friendly so Kevin picked her up and brought her home. (don't worry, he checked all the local houses to make sure she didn't slip her collar and take off.)
She is a little female beagle, fixed now, but once had can tell from her giant momma teets. I estimate that she is 3-4 years old. Extremely sweet, housebroken, and gentle. It breaks my heart that someone threw her out like trash. She is precious. She even toughed it out through a shower with Kevin and didn't once whine. We are trying to find her a good home, but it seems like no one wants is early though. I have hope. If we are not able to find her a home, we have no choice but to take her to the humane society. We have called all the local sherriffs offices, but no one has reported a missing dog yet.
I just want her to go to a good home. She is so sweet and precious, she deserves a family that will love her, not leave her on the side of the road to fend for herself. At least she has a warm house, a soft bed, food, and water for the time being.

Saturday was a rough day for me. Kevin was off helping a buddy fix his truck, so I was left at home by myself. I worked on invitations for most the morning, but just felt depressed all day. I was thinking a lot about my Grandpa that day. So I decided to go to his grave and talk to him. I have never done this before, except one time when a friend of mine took me to meet her father, and he had been dead for almost a year. I sat at his little marker, the one still from the funeral home, and thought about him. I can still see him perfectly in my head. Still hear his laugh. Still see the way his eyes would crinkle up as he all Steinbauer's do. I picture him with all his family around him, at family gatherings, when he seemed most happy. I sat at his grave and cried and cried and cried for a good 20 min. I needed it. I miss him to death and regret not spending more time with him when he was here. I just always thought he would be here. He always seemed so healthly, even though he wasn't. I guess I just thought he was immortal. Oh, the things we learn after they are too late.

Anyways, I have been super busy lately and relate my breakdown to actually having some free time. I am working 2 jobs almost daily now, trying to make some money. Kevin took a paycut when he went back to work and the overtime they promised him hasn't been that consistant. I hate not having money in the bank. I hate worrying about how we are going to pay for the gallon of milk we need, and eating soup everyday because it is what we can afford. Kevin is searching for a second job, but they are non-existant. Luckily he is working 10 hour days all this week and may get to work saturday as well. The other driver at my second job having a nervous breakdown was a blessing to me. It means I get all the hours I want...and boy am I scooping them up. My house is is dirtier than I have ever seen it. I need to get on Kevin about that. We got our taxes done saturday and our return should help. We will be able to pay off the only credit card we have AND get the part to fix Kevin's ranger so he can sell it to his friend. That will be TWO, count them 2, payments gone! That is a wonderful thing. Also, Kevin's Heavy Chevy is getting fixed by Job and Family services for free...awesome! The estimates came out to around $6200 so that is money that we don't have to worry about to get his main vehicle fixed. The only upside to Kevin getting laid off!
Things can only go up from here...

Monday, March 8, 2010


I need a name!

Let me clarify...
I need a name for my invitations business. The place where I get my paper wants to advertise me and give out my business card to the people that come in asking about invitations. I can't think of a witty name.
I would love to use a little owl stamp that I found as part of my logo, but that is all I have.
Help...I need your ideas!!!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Hair today, gone tomorrow

I cut my hair this weekend. 11 inches gone. It feels lighter, but I am struggling with styling it. I even bought a straightener, and all of you that know me know that this is a monumental moment in my life. I can barely run a hair dryer.

Im having cutters remorse. I want my long hair back.

Everyone says they like it, but I think it makes my face look fat. It doesnt help that Kevin said, it makes your face look happier and rounder. No girl wants to hear that it makes their face look rounder. no one.

Kevin loves it though, but he LOVES short hair on women. I think I pull it off ok, but Im not happy with it, therefore I feel unattractive.

My good friend, Kyle, always important to me, confirmed what I was feeling by telling me that he was completely unattracted to me now. Kyle is harsh, Kyle is blunt. It is one of the reasons I love him. Im not typically a girl to get too worked up over things like this, but I want my long, beautiful hair back. N.O.W!

It will probably take a good year to grow it back I get to go through the lovely awkward stages of the grow out...yuck.

The only thing that makes it worthwhile...I donated my hair for the 6th time to locks of love and convinced an 11 year old little girl to do it with me in the process.


Hair, please come back quickly...

Friday, February 12, 2010

Let the journey continue!

I've decided to go back to school. Im following through with it this time. No ifs, ands, or buts...butts...
I'm going for my masters in education so I can FINALLY teach. I am going to do it on line, which scares me because I love the classroom, but figure I can still work full time this way. I am "meeting" with my counselor on meeting I mean tele-conference. I am already impressed with the school so far though . This woman gets me. She gets that I have a great base education and she knows what I am after...Im after that office in Pfleiderer building at Heidelberg that I sat in so many times in college...I want that office to be mine. I am going to focus on English, but will probably have health sciences included just so I am more valuable to a school.
Kevin doesn't understand it. I told him..."Im bored at work. My brain is rotting. I am a smart person and I am letting it waste away and this is a crime. I want a job where I am stimulated everyday, where I am excited to get up to go to work, where I influence people, where I help to mold minds and create excitement over things they never thought they would be excited about. Because I want to and I am doing it. "
He didn't talk to me for the rest of the night. He still wants me to go to nursing school, or go demand more money where I am currently at. But he doesn't understand that I am not happy here and I. AM. MAKING. CHANGES.
I think he is afraid I am going to leave him. Anytime I go to school, he gets all antsy-like he thinks I am going to wake up one day and be all like, "I don't love him because he didn't go to college..." so not like that. I wish he could see all the wonderful things about him that made me fall in love with him. I wish he would be excited for me.
I am excited for me.
I am excited for my future.
I am excited for my education to start again.
I am excited...
I am excited...
I am excited...

Friday, February 5, 2010


My coworker just won $21,000 on the Ohio pick 4 lottery!
Holy cow!
We just had a little jumping up and down celebration for her...
It couldn't have gone to a better person...
Im ready for winter to be over.
I sick of waking up everyday and having the sky be the same gray, nasty, drab color all day.
Its depressing and I hate having to cheer myself up because the weather brings me down.
Im ready for spring. Im ready to go running on the roads instead of a treadmill next to a woman who complains every.single.morning. about her divorce and how horrible her ex-husband is. I get it. He's an ass. I can't drown you out with loud music anymore because my friend is living in the loft above the gym because she finally left her abusive boyfriend and I don't want to wake her.
Im ready for blue skys. Warm sun. Green grass. Birds chirping when I walk outside to go to work. Dew instead of frost. My tulips, my tulips, my tulips.
Did I tell you I planted close to 300 bulbs this past fall? All colors of pinks and magentas and purples and lilacs and blues and whites. I can't wait to see all the tiny buds popping up from the soil...marking the arrival of spring.
Im going to Alabama in April. Im driving my grandparents down to see my Momo's great grandmother. She is one amazing woman. 93 this year and still kicking. Her mind is still sharp, she still cooks, still feeds her chickens every morning, and still tells great stories about her past.
Im excited to see her. It's been far too long. The last time I was down there was when I was in junior high. Lots of things have changed, but I know most of the things have stayed the same.
Im not excited about sleeping on a couch for a week...on my vacation. Why do I have to do this when it is a 4 bedroom home? Because her one son, David, lives with her and helps her take care of the house and takes care of Grandma. Momo and Papa will have one room, and I just found out this week, that my Uncle Joe moved back in. My alcoholic, drug addicted uncle. Is living in the same house as his mother, the wife of a baptist minister. Leaching off his mother. Im not happy about it. I catch him with drugs in my grandma's house and I will kick his ass myself. I hate when he drinks. He is inappropriate when he drinks. Says inappropriate things. Thinks he is funny when he is sick. I may be renting a hotel room all by myself if it gets too bad. I want to enjoy my vacation.
I will have to take pictures when I am down there. You will be suprised by how old-timey it is. I mean, grandma lives on a dirt road. A.Dirt.Road. Red clay to be exact. It gets all over your clothes and shoes down there. I need to get a pair of throw away style shoes to go running in.
There are lots of HUGE trees, ant hills, and poverty stricken homes in her area. Nobody has a lot. Everything is basic. BUT, they have nice porches. Front AND back porches. You spend a lot of time on the porch when you are there. That part is nice. You get a cold drink, plop down in one of the rocking chairs and sit back and watch the chickens run around until the sun goes down. I do love that part. I learned the art of sitting still on those porches. I learned to appreciate watching nature around you and being quiet and sitting in the company of those you love and NOT having to talk constantly.
That is one thing Alabama has that Ohio doesnt...the ability to be still and appreciate the things around you.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Things I want to do before I die...

I was thinking in the shower last night, because the shower is my thinking spot, about things that I would love to do/accomplish before I die.
This is what I have so far:

-Run a 5k in less than 25 min
-Run a half marathon
-Run a full marathon
-Compete in a triathalon
-Be skinny/confident enough to get professional nudie pics taken for my husband's birthday (tasteful of course-no full frontal!)
-Have a job that I love, love, love, love, love going to
-Own a boat
-Try Indian food (I know, not a big one, but I live in Bellevue Ohio...nuff said)
-See France, again
-Own a place in Cape Cod so I can go there anytime I want
-Sit in awe of the powerful Mississippi River
-Climb a mountain
-Go to Vegas
-Go on a missionary trip with my friend Faith from College
-Learn to start an IV
-Drive a car that costs more than my house (just on loan...not buy it)
-Fly an airplane
-Own a house free and clear
-Travel, travel, travel, travel, travel
-Go back to school for teaching and keep going til I get my doctorate
-Take a cheerleading squad to nationals
-Take my ENTIRE family on a nice vacation
-See my Aunt and Uncle's house in person
-SCUBA dive in a tropical can only look at muddy sunken boats in Lake Erie for so long
-Rescue more pit bulls
-Have a bedroom that looks like an adults bedroom...with matching furniture!
-Have a tin ceiling in my dining room
-Donate blood...I can't bring myself to do it for some reason!
-Become a vegetarian for at least a year
-make a difference in someones life

The list will continue, be added to, edited...
I will keep you posted...
Hoping to be able to check off at least 2 this year!

Friday, January 29, 2010


Ive been slacking on my blogging lately. But honestly, I haven't had much to blog about. My life is boring right now. Same schedule everyday. boring.
I have added one thing. I started running again. Like really running...not my walk with a hop for a mile or so...Im talking get in shape and run a half marathon.
That is my goal for this year. To run a half marathon. Maybe in May if my training goes well, maybe not til all depends. But I am making myself drag my ass onto that treadmill every morning to do it. And I feel great after my morning run. Today was my first rest day and I feel lethargic. I don't like that....I will just have to do some cross training on my rest days. I've already lost 4lbs this week. Lets keep that trend going...

I got some exciting news from my brother on Wed. night. He and his wife are expecting their second child! Oh, so exciting! I couldn't be happier. I love hearing the pride and excitement in my brother's voice. I can't wait to meet the new addition to our family...and I am soooo excited for Turner to have a sibling!
It seems everyone I know is pregnant or just had a baby. I got to see some friends last night that I hadn't seen in forever and got to meet their little girl, Ali. She is so beautiful. I guess we are at that stage in our friends and I....where bridal showers are replaced by baby showers, bouquets for diapers. Im not feeling that pull, or want for a child though when I see all my friends with their baby. I think that says could mean nothing though too. It could just mean that Kevin and I aren't meant to have a child. I'm ok with that. Our baby is our relationship...Lord knows it takes as much work as a newborn baby does...always working something out, even when we are doing good.
He has vowed to quit drinking...completely. Not even the occasional beer. This makes me happy. A lot of his problems stem from when he drinks. I think he uses drinking to cover his insecurities because he feels more ok with himself when he has a slight buzz...who doesn't love themselves more when they are buzzing...problem is, that buzz goes away and you have to deal with regular old you and sometimes, you don't like that person. After saying something hurtful to one of his best friends this weekend, and hurting another friend, plus me...I think he realized its time that that little brown bottle be thrown in the garbage for good. I hope he sticks with it. He has already distanced himself from his daily drinking buddy...this makes me happy. I wasn't a huge fan of the guy...he was nice enough, but I like being married to one guy...not two. I will keep you all updated on his progress. Im totally ok with not drinking...I could go forever without another drop of alcohol. It is not a necessary evil in my world. It is an easy sacrifice for me.
Work has been crazy busy. I should get started on my pile o' crap.
Bonus-Im going in April for an advanced mastectomy fitter class....Im super excited.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Sometimes I think I married the most ignorant man on the planet...other times he amazes me because he is so wonderful, but now, not so much.

"Fuck Haiti"

That is Kevin's stance on th whole earthquake/disaster issue.
I get it. It's far away. It doesn't affect you. But come on..."Fuck Haiti?"
That's a little harsh.
Mind you, he doesn't just state this to me...he says this infront of our best friend, Jason, and another coworker at Fontana's.
We were all shocked. I asked him how he could say this...

"If they can't figure out how to survive for themselves, I say it's natural selection."

I don't think Kevin realizes what a poverty stricken area this is, even before the earthquake. That people had maybe one pot or pan, barely any money, and they were already scraping by to survive.

"If they can't figure out how to make clean water when they are surrounded by an Ocean, then they SHOULD die."

You've got to be kidding me, right?! He then goes on to explain how to render clean water from ocean simply need a pot or pan, fire, a piece of plastic, and a clean container to put it in. Apparently Kevin was born with this information in him, because I would be dying to thirst as well. I don't think he realizes they don't have cable shows like Survivorman to teach you these things. But whatever.

Sometimes, it is best to just walk away. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion right? I guess that is just his. But I was embarrassed that he said this and meant it.
I may not agree with the beliefs of Haitians, but I don't wish anyone to have to go through what they are going through right now.

I guess sometimes ignorance is bliss.

and I guess I should be thankful that Kevin would be able to provide for us if we were to ever have to deal with a natural disaster...

Monday, January 18, 2010

Spring Cleaning?

Kevin and I throw two parties per year. The reasons are dual the winter, we have our Ugly Sweater Party...where you find the ugliest sweater you can and wear it with pride. We have different themes each year. This year...animals. Think crazy cat lady...yeah, you got it. Our summer party is out doors and we mainly BBQ and hang out by a HUGE bonfire. It is nice.
The second reason for the parties is so that we clean our house from top to bottom.
I spent my weekend shampooing carpets. I didn't realize how dirty our carpets were until I was emptying the water...blech! I feel much better now. Kevin and I went nuts! I went through 3 of our rooms and pulled out a bunch of stuff for goodwill and salvation army. We took a whole truckload to goodwill! I think washed the walls and made sure there were no cobwebs on the ceilings or on the fans or anything. Kevin patches some of our drywall/plaster and finished mudding our mud room. He also built us a nifty little shoe shelf on an unused and wasted space in our basement stairwell. Our house feels so much cleaner and fresh. And I feel decluttered.

I wish we had more things done at our house, but money is required for this. Slowly but surely.
Our friends Jill and Rob host the New Years party with the sole purpose of it driving them to get projects done on their home. Funny-huh. Funny, but true. We are only motivated by others sometimes.

Our animals were running around like mad, trying to figure out why the living room furniture was in the dining room and kitchen. And why there were so many loud noises. My dog HATED the shampoo-er, was petrified of it. It was hilarious chasing him around our linoleumed kitchen with it.....scamper-scratch-slip-slide-stumble to the left, then back to the right, trying so hard to get away from it. Poor thing. But it's free entertainment and I am easily entertained. I call it payback for scaring the be-jesus out of me when he decided to bark at a deer outside at 2am ...I understand, the deer was looking in the window at him, but seriously...its not going to murder us in our sleep, so shush it!

Anyways, Im excited for our Ugly Sweater Party this weekend. And I know that my cleaning job will be lost 5min after people start to arrive, but for the time being...I will enjoy my lovely, clean house!

Monday, January 11, 2010

So I forgot to mention that Kevin went back to work at the machine shop he used to work at last week. He got the call new years eve when we were headed to Stow. It was great news. He is back there with his vacation time back and seniority. They are training him on the laser cutter, so it is something that he can add to his resume...always a plus.
Downside-he can't take the classes he signed up for. I am trying to convince him to change his classes to a couple of night classes....for several reasons.
One. I really think the school thing would boost his confidence. Two. School never hurts. It can only add to his employment appeal. Three. It will keep him busy and out of trouble...which leads me to my next story...
So Kevin has a buddy from the landscape supplier that we worked for after the machine shop laid him off...His name is Jake and he is 19. He graduated with my youngest brother. He is an ok kid, but he is 19. He is young. He is dumb. He has a lot of learning to do and he thinks he is way more mature than he is. He needs to learn when to shut his mouth.
Jake is at our house all the time...I mean almost every day from the time he gets off work til 9 at night. Its frustrating. I want to come home to MY HOME and relax...not have to put up with an infantile kid running around making my husband wish he were 19 again. Case in point...I got stuck going to a KEGGER in a BARN this weekend.
Im talking underage drinking, kids making out, stupid fights, and kids thinking their cool because they are drinking and smoking. L.A.M.E.
I didn't drink til 4 years ago...Im 28.
I felt so out of place at this party. It was pathetic. Nothing like walking in and being judged by a bunch on 18 year olds. There was no way in hell I was drinking at this party...I had my bottle of water in my coat pocket, trying to find a clean place to lean against to watch the horrible antics going on.
First off...almost every girl there was wearing a tank top and jeans that were so tight you could see what type of underwear they were a barn that is MAYBE 65*. I had on a t-shirt, sweatshirt, and arctic lined carhart jacket and was freezing. Every guy was just plain lame...thinking they were the shit as they attempted to do keg stands. I laughed as each one got done and ran outside to puke...the tap on the keg was done wrong so more foam than beer was coming out. Smart guys. I finally got fed up with all the immaturity and headed home at 12:45 with an angry husband in tow. He didn't realize that I was miserable and so was his other friend that came with us...he is also 28 and thought it was a horrible idea to be there. So I drop John off to get his truck and he heads out as Kevin is getting all pissy because I was being a catty bitch for not wanting to stay at the party.
So what do I do. Tell him to get back in the car and I drop HIS lame ass back off at the party and tell him to stay with Jake. He does.
Jake drops him back off in the morning and asks why I didn't stay. Really? Well, I gave it to him just as I saw it.
It was lame. All the kids that were there had no business drinking, the girls needed to put some damn clothes on and quit having sex in the corner with random guys, and that I thought they were all losers and didn't want to be there. I asked if any of these kids were going to college...No. Of course not. I had that pegged as soon as we walked in. I told Jake that he needed to distance himself from this crowd if he wanted to be anything. That they would end up at the local bars with all the lame assholes from my class that are a waste of life: drinking every night, having one night stands with anyone that will touch them, wearing their letterman's jackets when they are 30, and working dead-end jobs. I saw their futures already.
Then I laid into Kevin. Asking him if he felt like a big cool man drinking with a bunch of 19 year olds, letting his wife sleep alone because he wanted to relive his high school days, If he realized that if the cops showed up HE would be liable for all the alcohol there since he was the only one over 21?
Jake apologized. Kevin just looked embarrassed as I stormed away.
It is one thing to have a few drinks with your little brother on a holiday or at a graduation is a complete other issue to go to a "high school" party where you know one person and act like the idiots that are there.
I certainly hope that Kevin got the point. I will be gone if it happens again. He has responsibilities and a wife and he needs to remember this.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Hello 2010!

Ah, New Years. One of my favorite holidays...why? Because I get to spend the evening with friends, drinking, eating, and dancing.

It was a fun evening.

We started by going to dinner at Pufferbellies in Kent. Yummy.

Then, it was back to Jill and Rob's for a festive evening full of laughter, dancing, and Michael Jackson music.

They had a keg so the rule was, if you wanted booze or champagne, you had to bring it. Well, I think everyone was worried that we wouldn't have enough champagne because we had so many bottles, everyone had their own personal bottle when the ball dropped. Amazing. (note-this leads to drunken dancing)

I made my rounds in the living room giving everyone a kiss for luck after kissing Kevin. It's what I do.

Then, back to dancing.

I think I lost 5lbs dancing that night.

I woke up (after going to bed at 5am) feeling like I had done power squats all night and fallen down the stairs at least 50 times. I hadn't, but that is what my body was saying.

Thank God Emily brought the compazine, cause my belly needed it.

To say the least, it was a long drive home and my couch was well loved that following day.

Oh, I love new years!