Friday, October 30, 2009

On the move...

It's inevitable.  It will happen.  Not next month, maybe not even next year.  But eventually we will leave Greater Cincinnati for bigger pastures or brighter horizons or falling prices.  The big box retailer that pays our bills, challenges Dan, and allows us to live the life we live will eventually decide there's something more for him and for us.  We will embrace the next move, the next challenge, the next city because that's what we do.  To have been somewhere for four years is a treat.  We're spoiled.  We have great friends, great neighbors and a great life here. 

All good things come to an end. 

I am a midwest girl.  From the midwest, educated in the midwest, moved my career around the midwest.  I like it here.  I like the people, the weather, the attitude.  I like that a lot of my closest friends are within driving distance (although I don't see any of them nearly enough) and I like that we're equidistanst from our families.  I would prefer to stay in the midwest. 

Not sure that's gonna happen.  And that's ok.  I would go with Dan and Cannon (and Tucker of course) to the ends of the earth.  As long as we're together, we'll be fine.

My parents decided to move my brother and I from Tampa to St. Louis when I was 9.  My Dad was the first child in his family to leave the state of Florida and (gasp!) for the midwest!  What on earth were they thinking.  They never looked back (except during a few select ice storms in the 90's).

On the other side of the spectrum, Dan's family.  His parents bought the house they currently live in when they got married.  They won't ever move.  And that's fine.  But that lifestyle is as foreign to us as ours is to them.  Since we've been married we've lived in 5 different cities, had 5 apartments and one house.  Thats in four years of marriage.  Imagine what it will be in another 25 years.

Sure, I'd like to settle somewhere 'forever'.  But right now, we're up for a new adventure, a new challenge, and new excitement if that's what the cards have in store for us.  Until then we will trick or treat in our wonderful neighborhood, spend time with our great friends, and enjoy the arrival of the holiday season. 

I will also make an effort to get to see those friends who are just mere hours away, just in case we bid adieu to the midwest in the coming months or years.

The Best part?  Either way, life is good.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Bitter? Party of one?

So, yesterday I wrote what I now realize was a bitter, mean spirited (albeit well written) post about some third graders acting like snots during an event I emceed. 

I take it back.

In it I wrote about karma, not realizing the kind of karma I was putting out there.

I take it back.

The Best part? Take backs. :)

Monday, October 26, 2009

Five Foot Eight

If you know me, this is a big deal.  Today, I have on... flats.  Flats.  You might even laugh when you read this post.

If you don't know me, you'll probably roll your eyes and possibly stop reading the blog.

This is major.



The Best part?  I found some that fit!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

... with bated breath...





The Best part?  We are SO close...

Friday, October 23, 2009

To Laugh... or To Cry....

Why does it have to be a saga? 

I wish more than anything that a month ago I had written the final post with pictures of our beautiful finished basement.  I wish it was decorated and I wish there were Little People all over the floor.  I wish there was evidence that Cannon was loving every second of our new family room.

I wish.

Today.  Phone call from the contractor's head guy.  Plumbers were there to install the sink and toilet.  They shut the water off.  They hooked everything up.  They turned the water back on.  Shit.  One of the pipes BEHIND the drywall that was installed by the OLD contractor wasn't sodered.  Drywall in the bathroom has to be replaced.

Sometimes I struggle to find a 'Best part'. 

The Best part?  It could be worse... the water could have ruined the new carpet.

Today I am 'that' mom....

102 degree fever for three hours last night.  Not me.  Cannon.  We rocked, we willed the fever away, we snuggled.  We are exhausted.  This morning, he's fine.  Running around, talking, eating.  All is well.

The fever was 10 hours ago.  I am taking him to school and I am going to work.  Against my better judgement.  Sometimes it's just as important to 'show up'.  So today, I am 'showing up'.  Hoping daycare doesn't call and tell me to come get a sick little boy.  Afterall, it's been a good two weeks since he was sick.  Cheers to 'that time of year' and being 'that mom' who occassionally breaks the rules so that she can 'show up'.

The Best part?  I get credit for 'showing up' even if I get the 'come get him' phone call.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Quick Life Udpate

Cannon and I just got back from a whilrwind 48 hour trip to St. Louis to see my parents.  It's the first time in years that we've stayed in the city instead of going to the lake house and I really enjoyed it.  I guess I forgot what an amazingly family friendly city St. Louis is.  It was wonderul to be 'home' (which will bring me to a blog post to be writen at a later date).

Here are a few highlights:








The flights were uneventful, we had our own row on the way there and back so aside from Cannon falling backwards off the seat on the way there (at 7 in the morning) it was smooth.  The TSA guy spilled our milk this morning, I didn't cry, don't worry.  He was a total dufus though.

The basement has carpet.  'Nuf said.

Tonight I am imparting my wisdom on a group of journalism students from Miami of Ohio.  This will absolutely be foder for another post.

The Best part? Home.  There is nothing quite like not living out of a suitcase.


Monday, October 19, 2009

They are all the same...

Carpet's been moved to Thursday.

The Best part? I'm escaping the construction frustration tomorrow before the sun rises.  Done and done.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

So close...

Have kept mum on the topic of the basement of late... didn't want to jinx it. 

We are so close.

Here's a look at the progress and yes, that's PAINT on the walls.




The blue in the bathroom is darker than the sample but I still like it!  The floors will be small white tile with your standard pedastal sink and toilet.  It's roughed for a shower but we're not putting one in.







Carpet on Tuesday.  So close... hopefully Cannon and I will come back from our quick trip to STL to a finished playroom!  Then we can finally give him his birthday present too!

The Best part?  It's so much sweeter now, since we've waited so long.

Oh, and it's finally fall on the outside of our house... yay!  Only thing missing are mums... but since I can't keep them alive... we're not getting any this year :)


Saturday, October 17, 2009

Holy Crap.

They are painting the basement.

That is clearly the Best part today.

Friday, October 16, 2009

SYTYCD


The Best part? There's nothing more fun than a toddler who can't help but dance at the sound of any music... commercials... radio... tv... movies... it's hilarious.
On a side note... that's the new Five for Fighting song and it's really good!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

This I know....

If the 'pre-made' version tastes better than the 'from scratch' version, you should save your energy.


When you have kids, having a dry cleaner with a drive thru is invaluable.  Come to think of it, without kids it's handy too.

Social networking is probably the worst thing to happen to communcation in centuries.  Color me addicted.

Shopping and pedicures are theraputic.  I don't do either nearly enough.

Wearing makeup to the gym is ok if you've had it on all day.  It's not ok if it's freshly applied in preparation to sweat.

Overalls are never an ok clothing item for adults.  I don't care what runway they're on in Milan or anywhere else.  Not ok.

Blogs do not need music to be entertaining.

Epidurals exist for a reason.

There is no need for several blow up lawn ornaments.  One is pushing it.

When people call at your place of work and ask how you are, they don't actually care.  There's no need for anything more than 'fine, how are you?' response.

DVR is quite possibly the best invention of the last 5 years.

The Best part?  I will continue to add on to this list... :)

What do you know?

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

You Can't Make This Stuff Up...

My day.  Covering a trial of a young female teacher who's charged with having sex with a student.  The sex was consensual. 

Two best quotes from today:

Prosecutor: Did you all talk or was anything said while you had sex? 
17 year old: She called me daddy.


Prosecutor: Did you notice anything else about her body other than her tattoos?
17 year old: She has lopsided boobs.

The Best part?  Sometimes I get paid to sit in on the stuff only soap operas and romance novels are made of.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Five Day Weekends

I can't complain.  I really can't complain.

After Cannon was born I took 16 weeks off of work and dreaded returning.  However, I was determined to go back fulltime until my contract expired to see if it was what I wanted.  It was not.

My mom worked fulltime the whole time we were growing up.  In fact, she made more money than my dad and traveled all the time.  But that worked for her.  She had fulltime help at home and it worked for her.  Fulltime did not work for me.  I just didn't feel like I was 100% anywhere (and spending 20 or 30K a year on fulltime help is less than appealing).  I wasn't 100% at work because I was missing Cannon and dealing with mommy guilt (which is just the absolute worst irrational feeling ever).  When I was home there was so much to do: cook, clean, bills, etcetera.  I was never 100% present with Dan and Cannon either. 

I never fancied myself at stay at home mom.  I mean I fantasize about being that cute mom who looks and dresses the part with her adorable children scurrying off to book club or playdates or dropping the kids at preschool and heading off to have my hair done and have lunch with friends.  Granted, I don't know any of those moms (in fact, they may only exist on television) but I would love to be one.  Not gonna happen. 

So, I knew when my contract was up that I wasn't ready to stay home all the time but working 40 hours a week just wasn't a good option either.  I must have tricked the people at work into believing I know what I'm doing and persuaded them to let me work three days a week.  I gave up benefits and some cash but I had four day weekends.  Now, 6 months after I went down to three days, I'm down to two (by choice).  Now I work on Mondays and Tuesdays and spend the rest of the week at home. 

I'll be clipping some more coupons (maybe I will become one of those coupon people I blogged about not long ago... probably not) and proving I can be frugal.  But more than that, it means I'll have five day weekends.  It means three days a week Cannon will be at home with me.  He'll still get what I consider to be invaluable interaction and learning at daycare two days a week too.  It also means that two days a week I get adult interaction and get to do what I always knew I would--report.  It's not a passion anymore but I still like doing it (and I'm picking up some freelance 'media training' work on the side so that keeps my foot in the professional world and also hopefully leads to bigger and better...).  

My network dreams are over.  My dreams are now about a healthy, happy family and raising children who are honest, caring and kind.  And if I can play reporter two days a week, I'll take it.

The Best part?  Most people have five day work weeks.  I have five day weekends.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Picked Over...

I have awesome memories of fall from when I was growing up.  September meant apple picking.  We would go to an orchard not far from St. Louis and pick the most delicious apples I'd ever had.  My mom would make homemade apple sauce and pies.  There is nothing like an apple right off the tree.  It's unpolished and unprocessed and virtually untouched.

So, in an effort to recreate those memories I decided we should go apple picking.  We couldn't get around to going until October.  This meant apples on the trees were few and far between (and no one wants one off the ground except the bees) and the crowds were there for pumpkins (which we're also behind on but we're going to pick those next weekend with my Grandmother).  So, we scrounged for apples and got a few, only to finally get through the line of pumpkin pickers to find that the computer was broken and they couldn't take plastic.  Enter us, who almost always carry only plastic.  

So fine, our apples that we picked stayed at the orchard but the lovely little store there had bags and bags (or bushels and bushels if you prefer) and we scooped those up to bring home for fall treats. 











The Best part? Even if I didn't pick 'em... the apples we got today will far exceed those we would buy at any local grocer.

Beach or Mountains?

Beach.  Always Beach.






Don't get me wrong, I love the mountains and I love skiing but there is something about the sand in between your toes and the smell of ocean in the air that I love.  We snuck away to meet Dan for a quick couple night stay in Ft. Lauderdale (he was there for work) and had a blast. 










Cannon LOVED the beach a lot more than he did when we were in Vero Beach this summer cause now he can walk and play in the sand.  He loved it.






We drank beer, ate at seafood dives (Southport Raw Bar in Ft. Lauderdale is wonderful), and relaxed.  It was perfect. 







A wonderful beach fix until Christmas (when we'll escape for a whole week to Captiva Island with my family for the holiday). 



Or, until we hit the lottery and buy this...



Now we're back to fall weather and leaves changing which I would miss if I lived at the beach.



The Best part?  Even got a little tan... :)

What about you?  Beach or Mountains?

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Clouds of Dust

Dust.

Everywhere.

Floors.  Countertops.  Chairs.  Couch.  Carpet.  Dog.  Consider us covered it.

The Best part?  Dust = Progress on Basement!  Drywall is sanded!  This is major.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Bad Sorority Girl?

Much to the disappointment of my husband and any other random male followers I may not know about (cause goodness knows I write about things that affect men, ALL THE TIME) this post is not about naked pillow fights or circling the fat.

There is a Pi Phi (Pi Beta Phi) chapter opening at a local university and they've asked me to volunteer several times.  Because of work and other things that occupy my time I haven't been able to help out yet (although they did not ask me to lead the rush cheers which I would have happily jumped right back into... I am a P!).  The latest request is that I act as an "SOS" which stands for Slightly Older Sister. 

"SOS"?  Really?  Does the word 'older' have to be included?  Anyway...

The committment is minimal I guess.  Write a few emails, go to a few functions (one of which is ice skating, really? are we 14?), buy a few presents (to which the emails says, remember how much you got when you pledged?  yes! I do! And I also remember how much I bought my little sis the next year... so no guilt trip there please), and welcome the young woman into the sorority.  I am fine with all of this.  In fact, I think it would be fun to share my experience and also tell the pledge (which the email dutifully informs me are now called 'new members') about the wonderful friends I made for life.

But.

What 18 year old college freshman wants to hang out with a nearly (not that nearly, still more than a year away) 30 year old mom?  I mean I am fun.  Don't get me wrong.  But my current idea of fun (wine around a dinner table) and my old idea of fun (shots around a coffee table made of beer cans, games of flippy cup in a fraternity dining room so dirty your shoes stick to the floor, or kareoke, dancing, and drinks at a bar where some people are referred to as 'townies') are very different.  I have trouble wrapping my mind around wanting to hang out with someone my age when I was a freshman. 

Plus, a lot of our behavior was questionable at best.  To quote a sister... "90% of the time we participated in suspect behavior, and the other 10% we were sleeping so...."
The Best part? SOS is better than MOS (Much Older Sister).

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Martha Wannabe

So Dan went with his brother to a Penn State football game in Illinois this weekend and then took off today for the week for business (never fear, he's in FL and we're going to meet him on Thursday!). 

So I did the things any normal wife would do.  I switched my closet from summer to fall, including bins for my sweaters instead of throwing them on the shelves (we'll see how long that lasts).  I cleaned the kitchen floor only to have the construction crew walk across it not 20 minutes after I finished.  I of course took care of and played with Cannon (who has some monster teeth coming in and spent 95% of his day fussing) which included a trip to the zoo and a dinner of only ketchup (is that a foodgroup?).









 And I glittered pumpkins.

I saw Martha do it.  Why can't I?  Well I tried.  I'm actually pleased (although the more I look at martha's... the more I hate mine...).  It's something different for the dining room table (which we've eaten at 4 times since we bought our house 3+ years ago) for the season.  They're glittered.  Martha's look like this:



She recommends using penny, persimmon, orange, and pink champagne colored glitter.  Right.  I don't know where you all live but where I live (a major metropolitan city mind you) glitter comes in red, silver, blue, green, and gold.  I chose red.  Mine look like this:





Take that Martha.

The Best part?  Thursday is only four nights away :)


Saturday, October 3, 2009

Special Request

Consider me your dj for this read. 

A friend requested a blog post.  Ask and ye shall recieve. 

Way back when, in 2001, I did an internship at the TODAY Show.  This is pre-Meredith, pre-4 hour show, pre-Al Roker's gastric bypass, pre-Jenna Bush Hager as a correspondent. 

These are the days of Matt, Katie, Al and Ann.

The request was for more behind the scenes info.  Well... here it goes... or at least some of the tidbits I remember.

Kaite Couric once told me I was pretty.  She was getting ready to interview the Queen of Jordan (who is gorgeous!).  I think I blushed.  Please keep in mind that at this point in my life Katie was basically my idol. 

Soledad O'Brien was pregnant with twins and asked me to get her a tuna fish sandwish at 4am one day.  I couldn't find anywhere that sold tunafish at 4am.  Clearly I didn't look hard enough.

I remember Ann Curry as the kindest, most caring person I have ever interacted with.  I don't care if she stumbles every now and then, the woman is absolutely the nicest person I've ever met.

Once I was charged with making sure John (Cougar) Melloncamp go to the set on time.  In the elevator he told me he was pretty sure I thought he was old.  Then, he proceeded to tell me that he smoked a pack of cigarettes and ran 5 miles already.  It was 7am.

Without question, I weigh more than Matt Lauer.

Bill O'Reilly yelled at me once.  First let me say that at 20 years old, I didn't have a damn clue who the hell Bill O'Reilly was.  I was living in a college town where the coolest part about the newspaper was when you knew someone they asked the 'question of the week' to so that you could harrass them.  So, anyway... I digress.  O'Reilly was a guest and then MSNBC wanted to interview him so I was supposed to walk him across the street to their studio in 30 Rock.  Well, I took him out the door and past the crazies outside on the plaza.  Some lady chased him down and gave him a painting.  He didn't like that.  Oops. 

Let's be serious.  I spent a lot of time, A LOT of time, sorting mail.  The TODAY Show gets crazy amounts of mail.  Letters, books, videos, magazines, newspapers... they probably single handedly keep the postal service in business.  I also acted as the assistant to the senior entertainment producer.  Sounds fancy huh?  Well, I answered his phones and people sent me cd's.  Lots and lots of cd's.  Not that bad of a gig for a 20 year old. 

So it may not have been the most glamorous of internships but I learned a lot of 'the biz' (which I still got into despite myself) and about myself.  I met one of my best friends in the world and had a blast exploring and playing in what I think is one of the best cities in the world.

The Best part?  I can alway say, 'I was there when...'.

**there would be pictures accompanying this post, however, our basement is still... well, you know...**

Friday, October 2, 2009

Drumroll please....

I would consider myself an ametuer couponer.  I usually forget to buy a newspaper on Sundays.  When I do buy one and actually sit down to cut and file the coupons, I forget to bring them when I go to the store.  And if they actually get to the store with me the fact that Cannon is throwing goldfish on the ground or trying to contort his body to grab something out of the cart usually distracts me from purchasing things I have coupons for and thus I come home having spent more than I needed to.

However, once every couple months a local grocery store does TRIPLE coupons.  That's right, TRIPLE.  This is where the competitor in me comes out.  They triple coupons up to fifty cents and double them up to a dollar.  Enter my dollar off coupons.  How can you argue with TWO dollars off of a $2.50 box of Wheat Thins?

So today, armed with coupons and mentally prepared to buy nothing I don't have a coupon for, I went in.  This requires great focus and determination because there are experienced couponers, professional ones who have been planning for this weekend for months.  They're the ones with the binders and dividers and categorized lists.  They have fanny packs with backup coupons and some even wear hydration systems.  They use walkie talkies to communicate with their couponing friends.  They spend hours preparing for this moment.  And I get the thrill.  I do.  The difference is I can only do it like once a quarter, they do it once a week. 

Apparently I wasn't the only one who was aware of the "Triple Coupon Event" and the longest part of the shopping trip was the LINES.  Insane.  (forgive the cell phone pics)






But, after forging my way through the lines it was well worth the wait.

Drumroll please.

Before coupons I spent 116.29.  After coupons I spent 69.96.  That's a savings of 58.43.  Impressed?  I am.  I also got .14 off a gallon of gas for up to 20 gallons.  So, here's to being one of those crazy couponers for a day.  Well worth jumping on that band wagon every once in a while.

The Best part?  We'll probably spend the money I saved today at dinner tonight.  Oh well. :)