Category Archives: Uncategorized

I’m givin’ it a shot…

Today, I kick off the last year of my 20s. My first 29 years have been good to me, so I have no reason to feel otherwise about my quickly-approaching 30s.

As a teenager, when asked where I see myself by the age of 30, I answered in so many words, “married with children, and a good job.” Check. Check. Check. God has blessed me in tremendous ways. But in my head, there were two other “dreams” I had for myself: to be an anchor on the Today show, and have a published novel. Clearly, I’m not sitting next to Matt Lauer on weekday mornings, and if I had a published novel, I probably wouldn’t be channeling my inner-author through this blog.

I don’t particularly care for Matt Lauer after recent news and I quite like the new home we bought here in Ohio last spring, so I’ve surrendered the idea of being the next Meredith Vieira (after all, she IS the best female Today show anchor). But I’m not ready to give up on writing that novel.

On July 16, 2012 when I introduced myself to the blogosphere, I said, “As I approach 30, reality has set in. I probably won’t write a novel; at least not one for publication.” I am determined to prove my then 27-year-old self wrong.

Three weeks ago, I was walking down the sidewalk with Bridget and she let go of my hand to pick a white dandelion from the grass. I can’t explain why (yet!), but I had an immediate moment of clarity—a realization of the novel idea I’d always had somewhere in the back of my mind. I’m now roughly 5 hours and 3 pages into my novel, with ideas flowing through my head like a well-oiled machine. I have no idea if this aspiring novel will amount to anything, but if I don’t follow this revived momentum, I’ll regret it.

So here I go, attempting to check that last box off my by 30 list. At the pace I’ve been going, a year may be ambitious, but I’ll settle for a solid start.

Oh, and if my blog post volume is light this year, now you’ll know why. Stick with me, readers. Maybe one day I’ll sign my bestseller for you. Ha! A girl can dream, right?

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Bridget-isms: Months 13 & 14

I’m back: one month older and a little less stressed. This summer (or rather “what summer?” may be more appropriate) has been crazy and exhausting. I had a huge event for work that consumed much of the summer and Brian was taking an accounting course for his MBA that was quite demanding. Just this week, we’ve finally gotten back to our “normal” life and it feels great. Needless to say, you didn’t miss much during my mini blogging hiatus.

However, you did miss an eventful month for Bridget. Our sweet baby is technically a toddler now and we’re seeing more of these “isms” every day. Here’s a quick rundown of what months 13 and 14 have brought:

She’s talking up a storm. Although she’s not forming sentences yet, she attempts just about every word we ask. Her favorites are: puppy, ball, water, baby, rock, bottle, dada, nana, and papa.

She L-O-V-E-S trains. Train toys, train books, trains on TV, you name it. We currently have every train book checked out from the library and we anxiously await 6:30 AM when Chuggington comes on the TV.

She is very generous with hugs and kisses and it makes me warm and fuzzy inside each time I am the lucky recipient.

She wants to feed herself using her fork and spoon and is actually getting quite good at it, too.

She was Artist of the Week at day care; a very proud moment for her non-artistic mom.

Our night is not allowed to conclude until she takes a ride in her car which usually ends in a brief meltdown when it’s time to go inside.

She’s a creature of habit, just like her mom. We have dozens of books, but we read the same ones over and over and over again. Guilty mom moment: I may have hid the Old McDonald Had a Farm book one night. I couldn’t listen to myself sing the song one more time. I take comfort in the fact that Brian admitted to doing the same thing the day before. Don’t worry, she found it both times.

She keeps us smiling, that’s for sure!

Now that I’m back, look for more posts soon. The theme of our life right now, post-chaos, is home projects.

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Happy National Single Parents’ Day

A few years ago, Brian and I were chosen to represent the newlyweds (married less than five years) on a cruise game show, Love & Marriage. The contestants who had been married for 40+ years were asked how they did it. The husband’s response (in a Spanish accent) was: “50/50. Everything’s gotta be 50/50.” His statement was simple, yet wise; and much appreciated as a young couple early in our journey.

The same could be said for parenting, which Brian and I have adopted as a practice with Bridget. Brian drops her off at day care, I pick her up. I feed her in the morning, Brian feeds her at bedtime… So far, so good.

But what about those parents who are 100, 100% of the time? Today, March 21, is National Single Parents’ Day as declared in 1984, ironically the year I was born to a single mother; and a fabulous one to boot.

My mom, Kathi, sacrificed most of her adult life to raise me. She never once complained; never once made me feel like a burden; never once gave up; never once made me wonder what it would be like if our situation was different. Instead, she worked harder than most, loved me unconditionally and made sure I knew it every day, kept going when times were probably tough, played “Dad” better than many, and made me grateful for our situation.

Today, I salute my dear Mom; my best friend, my biggest supporter, and Grams to my sweet baby, Bridget. Thank you for all that you have done for me and now my family. I love you more than you know.

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My favorite Golden Girls scene

After a busy weekend of moving, Brian and I finally rested our feet to watch a little TV tonight. Unfortunately all of my favorite Sunday night TV shows are no longer on the air so we were left to channel surf. We landed on TV Land that was playing a Golden Girls marathon.

Unless you haven’t met me, you know that Golden Girls is my absolute favorite TV show, past and present. I own all seasons on DVD, have seen every episode at least five times, and somehow managed to find a way to write my college senior thesis paper on the show. I just love everything about it.

While watching an episode this evening, a promo ran to visit a website and vote for your favorite episode. This would be a difficult feat; I don’t think I could choose a favorite. But I know I could choose a favorite scene; one that makes me literally laugh out loud and throw my head back like a little kid every time. Thanks to the online world we live in, I found it on You Tube, watched it for the umpteen time, and had to share.

Watch it here. Enjoy!

Happy Monday!

It happened…

It was 5:30 in the morning. We were still half asleep. Bridget was crying. And then it happened.

She took her first steps. There were three of them, well balanced, with her arms out like a walking zombie.

It wasn’t at all how I had envisioned it would be and I, of course, didn’t have my camera (for the first ones, anyway). But, Brian and I both got to witness, and it was awesome.

Another milestone met…go, Bridget!

Now if only I could find the pause button.

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Happy birthday to my Mom

Happy 61st birthday, Mom / Grams / Ma / Kathi!

Last year, we celebrated my Mom’s entrance to her 60s a few months early with a surprise party at our house with 75 family and friends. It was the hottest day of the year. My mom is the most selfless, generous person I know so it was a well deserved day that was all about her; just the way it should have been.

This year, we’re celebrating more casually with takeout Thai food and a slumber party. I can’t wait.

Enjoy your day, Mom! I love you more than words could describe.

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The surprising power of an email

Can you think of someone whom you barely know but made an impact on your life?

Brian and I had vacationed to the beach, lake, and mountains before, so we wanted to try something new together for our “last hurrah” before baby and in celebration of our third anniversary last September. We booked a seven day cruise out of San Juan, Puerto Rico and set sail to the southern Caribbean.

When we arrived, we were disappointed to learn that we were assigned seats for dinner with a group of other couples. After trying to snag a table for two with no luck, we were seated at a table with a middle-aged couple from Georgia, two honeymooning couples, and a senior couple from California, Duane and Priscilla.

Duane and Priscilla had been married for 50+ years. They delighted in stories of their children and grandchildren. They spoke fondly of the world travels they had experienced in their lifetime. They held hands during the evening shows. And they were full of faith.

Having just found out two days before our cruise that we were expecting, they were also the first people with which we shared our exciting news (my not having a drink with dinner all week sparked some curiosity).

After spending several dinners together, we had formed a friendship with this couple. On the last night, as we were exchanging emails and saying our goodbyes, Duane asked us if he could say a prayer for us. In the middle of the ship’s dining hall, he thanked God for bringing us together, asked for safe travels as we headed home, and prayed for us as we continued our journey of marriage and embarked on a new one in parenthood. And being six weeks pregnant, I was a sobbing mess.

We exchanged a few emails when we returned home but then lost touch. Just last week, I thought of them out of the blue and told Brian that we should send them a picture of Bridget. But life got the best of me and I never got around to it.

Today, I received an email from Priscilla with a subject line of “Do you remember us?” and a brief note that they are praying for us and hoping her email finds us well. Signed, “Your shipmates, Duane and Priscilla.”

This couple fits the description above. We barely know them; yet are so grateful for having met them. Their love for one another and strong faith were an inspiration for us as we celebrated our anniversary and the beginning of life with Bridget. I can only hope that when we are in our 70s, we are cruising the Caribbean sharing our life stories and helping a young couple celebrate the beginning of their lifetime together…because this time is pretty awesome.

What I love most about Heidelberg

Today in the mail, I received the Heidelberg Bulletin and while skimming the content, the back cover caught my attention. It read: “What do you love most about Heidelberg?” This took me back more than 10 years ago when, much to the dismay of my 17-year-old self, I visited the Berg in an effort to appease my Mom. The campus was beautiful, the people were friendly, the size was perfect, a Communications degree was offered, and it was just-the-right distance from home. I should have been on the receiving end of an “I told you so” but that’s not my Mom’s style.

For other obvious reasons, Heidelberg was the perfect place for me. It’s where I met Brian, my husband, best friend, and father to our daughter. It’s where I formed amazing friendships that will last my lifetime. The education I received there has served as the foundation of my career which I enjoy and that challenges me everyday.

But, this question also made me think of the unconventional reasons why I love the Berg; the reasons that probably aren’t what this question is seeking. Here are some of them:

    • “Where everybody knows your name…” The Cheers theme song is quite fitting for the Heidelberg experience.
    • We called Allie’s Biology professor at 10:00 on a Sunday night to help us catch a bat flying around our house.
    • There is one cafeteria with unofficial designated areas where each sorority, fraternity, and sports team members dine together. Yes, it was just like high school.
    • My classes were held in the oldest building on campus, Founders Hall. This was the home of classes, dorms, and the dining hall when the Berg was founded in the 1850s. It’s full of history.
    • My housemates and I babysat the Dean’s kids more than once and enough to snag an invite to his home for dinner with the family.
    • All bars in the city of Tiffin are in walking distance from campus. Thank you, bar owners.
    • My sorority sister was on the Campus Security staff. Needless to say, safety was not much of a concern.
    • When asked where Tiffin is, students generally describe it in reference to Findlay, Ohio: our shopping and special dining destination. Nothing like using one small town to give direction to another.
    • Not many people can say they made it through four years of college without witnessing a single win by the football team.
    • Back in “my day,” it was Heidelberg College.
    • I know the original Heidelberg cheer: Killikilik ra ra zit zat ha ha yay moo bam zoo, Heidelberg. I do not, however, know its meaning.
    • I often dog sat for my Communications professor’s wiener dog.
    • I can proudly call myself a Student Prince and sport three colors that should never go together: red, orange, and black.
    • When Heidelberg flags hung around campus, they usually represented a special event. This was also known as “good food” day at the dining hall.
    • All the fraternities and sororities were local and honored great tradition. This also meant that dues were cheap and the experience of being in a sorority was nothing like the stereotype.

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    • It was not uncommon to see my professors enjoying a few adult beverages at the local bar on a Friday or Saturday night.
    • Brenda, the lunch lady, always greeted me by name and with a smile.
    • A family friend and alumni of Heidelberg University was seen proudly wearing a Heidelberg lapel and tie at a wedding this past weekend. He graduated approximately 40 years ago.
    • Our daughter will get to wear that adorable onesie in about six months.

I am grateful for my Mom for too many reasons to list, and encouraging me to go to Heidelberg is certainly one of them. It will always be a sweet alma home to me.

Welcome to our sweet simple life

Growing up, I kept a journal. Not a diary; a journal. My journal wasn’t filled with my deepest, darkest secrets or juicy gossip. It was simply an outlet for me to document my thoughts. It was a practice run for eventually fulfilling my lifelong dream to write a novel. As I approach 30, reality has set in. I probably won’t write a novel; at least not one for publication. But, nonetheless I still enjoy writing and have found other methods to exercise this hobby.

Today, I keep a journal for our daughter in the form of letters. In this old-fashioned way, I shared my thoughts and feelings with her during my pregnancy. Now that she’s here, I write to her a few times a week to do the same; share our experience of getting to know her. What she likes, dislikes, and how she’s changed our life, and brings so much joy to it. One day, I’ll share this journal with her in hopes that, along with photo albums and memorabilia of her childhood, she’ll get a glimpse of these years through our eyes.

I also write regularly as part of my job. Emails, memos, documents, etc.

But, I have other thoughts, ideas, and experiences that I’ve found myself wanting to share. Hence, our sweet simple life. This blog will not change your life, home, or style. Pinterest has those covered. It is simply the modern-day version of my journal; now as a wife, mother, daughter, and friend.

I hope you enjoy!