Tuesday, December 20, 2011

christmas monthly dinner

After many e-mails, some cancellations, and a few reschedules, we were finally able to get together for our monthly dinner.

December is such a hard month and I really threw a wrench into things when I decided to take a quick Hocking Hills vacation right after Christmas so we had to find a different night to get together.  Tonight was the night, and since Adrianna was going to join us, we ended up just having pizza at Katie's house.

There was a lot of catching up to do and it was perfect.  Pizza is always a delicious meal, and there were lots of Christmas cookies to share too.  Adrianna was adorable and I was able to give her the Christmas present I made for her.

She had more fun opening the box and tearing off all the paper then she did with the blanket, but hopefully she will enjoy it.  By the end of the night when she was getting sleepy she was laying down half on the floor and half in the box with the blanket, so cute!

I love celebrating lots of little Christmases with all of my wonderful friends.  Here's to one more day of work and lots more holiday celebrations!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

2 years in the making

So two years ago I decided to cross stitch my sister a Christmas stocking.  I had a cross stitch stocking that our grandma had made me.  She passed away before my sister was born so she never received one.  No big deal, all these years she has had a cute little stocking, but I thought it would be nice if she had one that was handmade too.  It is just so much nicer and has meaning to it, and I like to try new crafts so I thought why not.

Well, I never finished it before Christmas.  The holiday season gets so hectic and we lived together at the time which made it really hard to work on when it was supposed to be a gift!

At Christmas I gave her what was done and told her I would finish it.  Then the following Christmas came around and I still didn't have it done.  Grad school got in the way, other projects came up, plus work, and a house, and a million other excuses.

Eventually the cross stitch part of the stocking was finished.  Then it came to sewing it.  So I put that off for awhile too.  Well I finally got my sewing machine from my mom's house and decided the stocking needed to be finished.

I spent two hours this afternoon putting it together and I couldn't be happier with the finished product.  It was my very first cross stitch and the first time I have sewed in awhile!  She loved it and it is hanging on my parents mantel already.

Merry Christmas Heather...hope you love it!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

i'm finally on Pinterest

After almost two weeks of waiting I've finally been invited to join Pinterest!

I am very excited to have something else online to waste my time on, I mean find new ideas on and organize all the things I like.  There are so many great things on Pinterest and to be honest, I'm pretty overwhelmed just looking through a few pages.

So if you will excuse me, I will be spending the rest of the evening browsing.  Join and follow me!

Monday, December 12, 2011

holiday mail for heroes

Christmas, to me, is one of the most wonderful times of the year.  I love spending time with family and celebrating all that is good.  We remember our family members that have passed and celebrate them.  We enjoy the time we spend with each other and are happy to be together another year.  We celebrate that Jesus was born and go to Mass together on Christmas Eve.

After thinking about all the wonderful things I get to do with my family, I thought about thousands of individuals who are braver than I will ever be.  They might not get the chance to see their family, hug and kiss their family, or spend the holiday with their family.  Sadly, some of them might never see their family again.

People in the armed forces give of themselves something that I cannot imagine.  Their families make sacrifices as well, sacrifices that I can only imagine and difficult on a daily basis.

Last Thursday, my students made holiday cards to send out to our troops.  Holiday Mail for Heroes is put on by the Red Cross and is a great program that was well worth our class time to participate in.  We made all sorts of cards with messages in them thanking the Service Members for all they do for us and wishing them a happy holiday.  The kids loved the project and felt good about what they were doing.  I felt great mailing a huge envelope to the Red Cross, full of notes and cards that will hopefully brighten someones day.

This is a project I hope to participate in every year, and I hope at some point this season we are all able to do something nice for someone who gives of themselves every day.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

donate to Veggie U!

If you want to do something great this season you should think about donating a few extra dollars to Veggie U.

Why you ask?  It is a great local program that donates time to teaching children how to eat healthier, and it supports local chefs and farmers, which always makes me happy.  They work with 4th graders, and I am thinking this might be something I could do next year at school!  Knowing that they are a local organization that supports other small local people makes me happy.

Plus, Cleveland Foodie has an amazing giveaway that total makes it worth donating, if you still are not convinced.  Here are some of the things you could win:

Tell me this isn't awesome!  Click here to donate right now!

Monday, December 5, 2011

merry christmas charlie brown!

courtesy of mommylife.net

I love Christmas movies.  I could watch them all season long.  Sitting on the couch, snuggled up with a blanket, the tree lit, a Christmas candle burning, and a good movie on TV.

I like two movies more than any others.  Charlie Brown Christmas and It's a Wonderful Life.  Of course I own both of them on DVD, but that doesn't stop me from putting everything on hold and watching them when the are on TV.

So if you would excuse me, I have a Christmas movie to watch!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

reindeer run

Yesterday, I ran my first 5k that I signed up for all on my own, without the help of Girls on the Run. 

Since 2008 I have been part of this program and I love every minute of it.  I have run a 5k in the fall and spring every season with a group of girls and it is so rewarding.  Seeing 10 and 11 year olds cross the finish, which they never thought would be possible, is awesome.

Before I became a part of GOTR, I never, ever ran.  Like, never.  So it was a big deal for me to finish my first 5k.  Saturday, I participated in the 12th Annual Reindeer Run in Lakewood Park.  Melissa, Anthony, Ben and I ran the race (somewhat) together.  It was a little chilly at first but once we got going and the sun came out, it was the perfect weather for a race.

We all finished at just about 33 minutes, which isn't bad at all for me.  I was happy with my time and glad that I ran the entire time.  That is an accomplishment for me and I'm really happy that we all decided to run together.

We finished the morning with brunch at Borderline Cafe in Lakewood, which never disappoints.  What a wonderful little December weekend!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

hello december!

When I turned the page on my calendar today I could not believe that it was actually December.  The last month of 2011.

I feel like this year just started!  So much has happened this year, and it has definitely had its ups and downs.  At this point in the year, I know everything that happened did for a reason, and even if it is hard to think about sometimes, I am happy with all of the decisions that were made.

Today I received the first two Christmas cards of the season.  It makes me think that I need to get my act together and get mine done.  But then I realize that I have plenty of time still.  With December comes the Christmas season, and I love Christmas.  Not because of the presents, although those are nice too, but because of everything that it means.  Because of the happiness that you see in the people around you.  Because of the good cheer that is spread.  Because of the time spent with friends and family, and all of the fun times that are to be had.  Because it is the beginning of the new Church year, and there is even more to be celebrated.

Something else that I am very excited about is news that I got today.  One of my very good friends just found out that she and her husband are pregnant!  They haven't been trying very long and were extremely surprised that it happened so fast, but are so excited.  This was such great news and I can't wait to start a new project to have ready as a gift for them!  Now I just have to decide what to knit...and wait 2 months because they are going to find out if they are having a boy or a girl.

Welcome December and thank you for the great news!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

NaBloPoMo...it's been nice

So way back at the beginning of the month, I decided that I would participate in a little blogging activity.  I did my very best to blog everyday, and including today's post I will have blogged 23 times in the month of November.

This is a really big deal for me.  I just started this blog less than a year ago, and I'm still trying to figure out where to take it, how to best design it, and what exactly to write about. 

I followed a few of the NaBloPoMo prompts from BlogHer, but I also just blogged about what I was doing and the (what I think is) fun things happening in my life.  There were probably one or two posts asking for advice, or complaining, but hey, that's what this is all about for me.  It's my place to write and share/document what I/we do.  Some of it is fun, some of it is boring, but all of it I love.

I'm really glad I took on the challenge to blog everyday this month.  I wish I could have done a little bit better, but this really opened me up to the blogging world and gave me so many more ideas.  I'm looking forward to many more days of blogging ahead!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Eat, Drink, and Shop Local in the 216

I love the city of Cleveland.  I've lived in the area my entire life, and besides for the 4 years that I was in college and the 2 years after when I was a temporary east sider, I have lived in the West Park neighborhood.

First with my parents growing up.  Then, after college when it came time to buy a house, I knew right away that I would be headed back to my old neighborhood.  A little over two years ago, I bought my own little house in Cleveland, and despite some headaches that come with homeownership, I have loved almost every minute of it.

The reason for this post is partly because I love the city and want to blog about some of the amazing local places to eat, drink, and shop, and partly because I would love to win a contest that is being put on by Chef's Widow, who also loves to shop local.

Check out her contest here.  It is awesome and I am trying my absolute best to win it!

I have to confess, I probably don't shop local as much as I could, but I sure love to eat and drink local.

Last week Ben and I went out to eat three times, all at local restaurants.

On Tuesday we visited Crop Bistro where we are never disappointed.  The drinks are delicious and the food is oh so yummy.  We have met and talked with Chef Steve Schimoler and he was so fun.  He loves to talk food and drink, like any chef would, but was so inviting and kind.  Each experience we have had was amazing and I would recommend it to anyone and everyone.

I also dined with my girlfriends at SOHO and although it is a new place, we had a great time.  The food was good, the atmosphere was fun, and the service was great.  So far this seems like another great place to add to Ohio City.

I had Saturday night off thanks to Morganne who picked up my shift and Ben only had to serve so he was done with work early.  This does not happen very often so we headed to Dante where we knew we could enjoy some tasty late night food and a quiet drink.  The food and service here have always been wonderful and if it were up to me, I would buy everyone I know gift certificates here for the holidays.

Of course I brunched last week at Market Garden Brewery.  I took two friends their for the first time and we had lots of fun eating and drinking and trying not to watch the Browns too closely.  That was just too painful and there is never any reason to ruin a good brunch.

These are only a few of the delicious local places to eat and drink.  I love frequenting local restaurants and taking new friends and family there.  It is so important to Ben and I to enjoy fresh local foods and we know we can do this at so many local Cleveland restaurants.

Another way to shop local is to visit a locally owned hair salon.  I see Nikki at Bixels  in Mentor.  When you walk in the door you are greeted like a friend, not just a client.  The owner is always there chatting with customers and making you feel welcome.  It is an awesome little salon that has been open for just over a year.

Banyan Tree is a local Tremont shop that has great gifts, for your family and friends (and even for yourself!)  I especially love the earrings they carry.  I have more pairs than necessary but love them!

One last way to shop local is to visit the Etsy shops of local artists/craft creaters.  Two shops that I like to tell people about are Joyful Star which is run by Ashley who has an awesome blog, and ohh my posh which my cousin just started about a month ago.  This is a great way to support local shop owners, in a little bit of a different way.

I hope you will buy at least one local item this holiday season, even if it is just going to a local restaurant instead of a big chain.  Try something new, have fun, and support your city!

Monday, November 28, 2011

thanksgiving recap

I've been spending the last hour trying to figure out how to use Picasa to create a photo collage.  Well, let's just say that I have not been successful and since it is late, I've given up.

So instead of a really cool post with an awesome layout, you are going to get a little list of family pictures from our first Thanksgiving at our house.

the boys watching football and playing with the dog

the hosts!

mom, grandma, and uncle joe

heather, mom, grandma, and me
beautiful ladies

ben's family
 Just a few of the things that I am thankful for.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

busy weekend wrap up

What a wonderful weekend.  I have so much to be thankful for, and this weekend was another reminder of lots of those things.

Friday morning at midnight I went out shopping with my mom and we were able to accomplish lots of Christmas shopping.  I got home about 6 am and was completely exhausted but had a great time.  We've been Black Friday shopping for a few years now and I can't imagine not being a part of that crazy hectic day.

When I got home at 6 am I went to bed (if you can call it that), slept for a few hours and then woke up and went to work Friday night.  By the time I left you could barely make it through the bar without having your feet stepped on 20 times and a million people rubbing up against you.  Why people pay to drink at a place that is wall to wall crowded is just beyond me.  I don't get it!

Since I had slept so late Friday I was not tired enough to go to bed when I got home, so I started decorating for Christmas!  As of right now all of the decorations are up and the tree is in the process.  I ran out of lights so I have to stop tomorrow so that it can be finished (I love Christmas decorating).

Saturday morning we woke up and did lots of house chores.  We had to paint the chipping wood on the garage door and the side of the garage, we cut back the rest of the rose bushes, and we tore out the attic insulation.  Yes, a very busy morning/afternoon, but very productive!

I had the night off work so I went to dinner with my mom and sister, and then ran a few errands to try and finish up my shopping.  I met up with Ben after he was done at work for a quick bite to eat in Tremont, and then we met up with Melis and Anthony for a drink.  It was so nice to be out on a Saturday night like most of the other people our age.  What a change from what we are used to!

Today started with church, then more errands, then brunch, and ended with cleaning up/organizing the house and a quiet little dinner here.  I am so thankful for everything this weekend brought, and even more thankful for all of the other blessings in my life!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

happy thanksgiving

Today we hosted our first real holiday with both families over.  We had them in shifts, but everyone was still here.  We took some pictures but those will have to be posted later.  Right now, we are hanging out on the couch, watching Charlie Brown Thanksgiving.  I am getting ready to go shopping at midnight with my mom because I am a crazy person (so excited!!!)

There is so much to be thankful for today, and I cannot put into words just how lucky I am to have such wonderful family and friends.  Happy Thanksgiving!!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

SOHO, Crop Bistro, good friends, and a new dishwasher

I have not done the best job this month of keeping up with NaBloPoMo.  I've been trying...I really have.  Instead of dwelling on what I didn't do though, I'm just going to keep writing whenever I do have the chance...like now!

Yesterday night was our November monthly dinner date.  The girls drove out to the westside since I'm always heading east and we met up at SOHO  in Ohio City.  It is a fun little restaurant with great atmosphere and a pretty delicious menu too.  I had the sweet potato bisque and fried green tomatoes, which I could have had another plate of if I had room. 

After lots of catching up, they headed back east and I headed to Crop Bistro to meet up with Ben for a drink.  We ended up staying out way later than I had planned and meeting up with more people than I thought possible on a random Tuesday night.  It was a great night though, and it made me realize just how lucky I am for the wonderful people in my life.

I spent today doing my best to get everything ready for dinner tomorrow.  I ran a few errands and then had to be at home because we were having a new dishwasher installed.  The old one wasn't working right and instead of having someone come look at it, we decided we should just get a new one.  Probably not the best idea because the guy who put it in said there was a part that had never been taken out of the new garbage disposal and that was causing it to not drain properly.  Basically, we most likely did not need a new dishwasher.  Right now, I'm trying not to think about that part, and instead focus on how quiet and nice the new dishwasher is in the kitchen.

Now it's off to bed to get some rest because we are hosting Thanksgiving tomorrow...yikes!

Monday, November 21, 2011

the lights are up!

This past Saturday, the afternoon weather was gorgeous.  It was sunny and warm...the perfect day for putting up Christmas lights!

I know, I know, Thanksgiving is on Thursday and Christmas decorations should not be up yet.  I (kind of) agree.  Let me explain.

No one really wants to put Christmas lights up in the freezing cold when there is a blizzard.  The best time to put them up is when the sun is shining and your fingers are not turning into little icicles.

Ben and I had the time Saturday before work and we got all the lights up outside.  I just need to get the wreaths put up and we are all set.  Don't worry, they are not turned on yet (but I really want them to be!)  To be completely honest, if we were not hosting our first Thanksgiving dinner at our house this year, I would probably have my tree up already!

Here's to the start of another happy holiday season!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

just a tab bit frustrated

My phone is not working right...AGAIN.

About 2 weeks ago I was unable to make a phone call at all.  Pretty strange because that is the main function of a phone.  Now, I rarely make a phone call, but it is still a pretty important function.

So I took it to the store and they "rebooted" it or whatever you have to do to fix a broken phone. 

And yay!  I could make phone calls.  Except I couldn't tweet pics, access my alarm clock, or listen to an entire song using Pandora.  One problem fixed, three more began.

So today I spent about 2 hours on the phone with customer service and now I have no contacts again.  What a huge waste of time and I've basically gone backward! 

I guess if this is my biggest problem right now I should be happy.  I know there are people out there dealing with much worse than a malfunctioning phone, but it's driving me crazy!

Ok, enough complaints for one night.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

a thank you

The month of November is a wonderful time to remember to be thankful.  I've been trying to think of one thing everyday that I am thankful for and tweet it  but there are just those days when not even one tweet makes it's way into the Twitter world.

Today is a day that I am thankful for being thanked.  Sounds weird right?  I feel wrong even being thankful for such a thing, but having someone thank you is such a great thing.

I try not to talk about work too much on here.  I love my job and can't imagine doing anything else, but working in a school is something that I have a hard time mixing with this blog.  I worry so much about being scrutinized for anything and everything that I post (even though there is only one person who know that I am even writing this blog!)

But today, I just feel the need to share something great.

Tonight was the first night of parent teacher conferences.  Everything went well and I have no complaints about this at all, but I do want to brag just a little.

After one of my conferences ended tonight, before the family left, they stopped and said how thankful they were for what I do with their child.  They were so happy with everything and they just wanted to make sure I knew how thankful they were.

It was such a nice thing to say, and I'm not even sure if they realize how much I would appreciate it.  After many crazy things that have been going on these past few weeks, it was exactly what I needed to get me through the night.  Being appreciated for what you do, what you love to do, and what you can't imagine not having in your life, is just an extra bonus.

Today, I am thankful that someone appreciates what I do and is thankful for that.  What a nice little day I ended up having.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

a favorite place

Do you have a favorite place?  I don't know if I can pick just one, but one of my favorite places has to be my parents kitchen table.

This is the place where we sat as a family every night as long as I can remember for family dinner.  It was something my parents were big on.  The only time we were excused from dinner was for sports or work once we were in high school.  My mom always prepared dinner, and we were always there to enjoy it.  I can't imagine what people do who don't eat dinner together every night.

Most of the time we talked about our days and caught up with what was going on.  Sometimes we just ate in silence because we all had so many things to do.  Either way, I can't imagine my days without dinner at the kitchen table.

Now when I go home, I love sitting around the table for basically the same reason.  We talk, we eat, we laugh, and we have a great time.  It is the perfect place to catch up with the family and feel exactly like I did every night growing up.

What's your favorite place?

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


Something that I just hate doing is laundry.  First you have to sort the clothes.  Then you have to wash them.  Then, some have to be in the special load of cold water.

Then, even after you wash them, sometimes you have to sort them again.  Only some can be dried, so those go in the dryer while the others get hung up on the line.

A huge problem I have is not having enough room in the basement to hang up all the clothes that can't be dried.  Even with a drying rack, I sometimes still run out of room.

And don't even get me started on ironing. 

Every part of this process is like pulling teeth.  Too bad I'm not so rich that I just have someone to take care of this horrible chore for.

Well, enough complaining for one night.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

sunday funday

Today began with one of my favorite things of the school year.  It was our Girls on the Run 5K!!

We ran the race this year in Peninsula in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park.  The course was so beautiful and the weather could not have been better.  I buddied up with one of the girls and we finished in about 33 minutes.  She was so pumped and had such a great time.  I was happy to run with her, and she definitely is the reason that I finished so fast!

Afterward, I came home and Ben and I acted like grown ups for the rest of the afternoon.

It all began when we decided earlier this week to host Thanksgiving at our house.  Yep, crazy, but that way we don't have to travel which is something we both hate doing.  We will work the day before and the day after, and I will be out shopping at midnight, so it will be nice to have it here.

Since we are having Thanksgiving though, we needed a new one of these:

Ours broke awhile ago, and I've just been waiting until the last minute to go out and get a new.  Literally the last minute because it will not be delivered and installed until the day before Thanksgiving.  Just in time right!

Later this week I get to spend a bunch of money on tires for my car...oh how I love being a grown up!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

book club

I recently posted about how I finally have my best friend back in CLE.  I am still so happy about this and enjoying all the time we get to spend hanging out and having fun.

While she lived in Columbus, a few of her friends started a book club.  Since she had such a good time with them, she wanted to start one here.  The group e-mail started and everyone got excited.  I think she said there are 8 people who are all signed up, ready to read and drink wine of course, at our monthly meetings.

I am so excited for it to start.  We were thinking after the holidays will probably be best, but I'm already looking forward to our first book!

Friday, November 11, 2011

three wishes

I'm working through NaBloPoMo to post every day this month.  I've only used a few of their prompts, because I've been doing my best to write about things that come to my mind, but sometimes I like the prompts and don't have anything on my own mind!

Today is 11/11/11.  Of course everyone is making a huge deal about the numbers.  Today is also Veteran's Day.  I would like to take a minute to thank every veteran in this country.  If it was not for the men and women who gave their lives to protect our freedom, who knows where we would be today.  I don't think we as a country can ever thank them enough.  Happy Veteran's Day to all of you!

Today's prompt was to make 3 wishes, so here it goes.

I wish for my parents to be able to see me walk down the aisle and see their grandchildren grow up.

I wish for their to be a cure for Lymphoma, so I did not have to worry so much.

I wish for healthy happy children, when the time is right.

What do you wish for?

Thursday, November 10, 2011

everyone has a different definition of clean

There is never enough time in the day/week/month for me to feel like my house is truly clean.  Of course it is livable and I think by many peoples standards, it's really clean.  But I live in it, so I know where all the dirt is and what should be getting clean.

I think the house needs to be vacuumed everyday, especially with one of these hanging around.

She is covered in hair and seems to shed all year long.  She sits on the couch and sleeps on the bed, which means her fur is EVERYWHERE.

Does it bother me?  Of course it does.  But do I really have time to vacuum the house everyday?  Not if I want to have fun, relax, get papers graded, or work a second job.  I have learned to live with the fact that sometimes there will be dog hair on the bed, on the couch, and on my clothes.  I do my best to vacuum as often as possible, but I'm getting better at just not doing it too.  It is not a matter of life and death, so sometimes I just have to give it up.

The kitchen and bathroom are my pet peeves.  When those are clean, I really do feel like the rest of the house is clean, even if it is not.  I always clean them once a week, including swiffering or shark mopping the floor.  I often wipe them down throughout the week with a Clorox wipe just so they feel extra clean.

To me, this makes all the difference in my house being clean.  Some people probably think this is to much, while others think I'm not clean enough.  I try my best, and Ben is really good at helping me, especially when we are having people over.  That is the exception to me trying to be calm about cleaning.  When people are coming over, I flip back into crazy mode and feel like it has to be absolutely spotless.  On a typical week though, it is just light cleaning with some maintenance throughout.

What are you cleaning musts?

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

country music

I am a huge country music fan.  I've been listening to country music for as long as I can remember and I can't imagine not hearing a country song at some point during the day. 

Why country music?  I really don't know.  My parents listened to it for years as we took weekend trips to "the land" and while we were there camping with our cousins, it was just on the radio.  I mean, we were in the middle of Cosochton, Ohio, where there isn't much on the radio except country music.

So it's kind of just something that stuck.  Is it always the best music?  Probably not.  Are many of the songs about the same old country stuff?  Yep.  But that's part of what makes them what they are.

You always know what you are getting when you turn on country music and I like that.  I've seen Kenny Chesney, Rascal Flats (twice), The Dixie Chicks, and yes...Billy Ray Cyrus in concert.  Maybe that's what started it all.  A concert in 1995 with our neighbors from across the street where we all sang "Achy Breaky Heart" at the top of our lungs.

Oh, the good old days!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

jammy buggars for girls on the run

Tonight Ben and I met up with his friend Jay at Jammy Buggars in Lakewood because they were donating 15% of their proceeds tonight to Girls on the Run.  How could I pass up such a wonderful opportunity?

We had the chance to try a great new restaurant, have some yummy food, drink some Christmas Ale's and have a good time with friends.  All while donating some money to an absolutely wonderful cause that I will support through and through. 

I cannot get enough of this great program that I am so lucky to be a part of.  If you ever have a chance to make a difference with something that you are passionate about, do it.  It makes you feel great and you are making a difference at the same time.

What more could you ask for?

Monday, November 7, 2011


I'm working on being a better blogger and trying my best to participate in NaBloPoMo.  This means that today I'm actually going to follow the prompt and write a little about balance.

Making family time is important to me. How do you balance your children, relationship, and work life?- Ricki Lake

I'm still trying to figure out how I balance my own life, let alone how I make time for the other important people in my life.  So here is my best attempt at explaining how I balance all the important stuff.

Ben- We see each other Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday nights, sometime Thursdays if Ben gets the night off.  We try our best to make dinner those nights and eat together.  Of course during the week we both have school work to do, so we always have to squeeze that in somewhere.  We try to spend time together Saturday morning before work, but that is also a good day to run errands and get house stuff done.

Family-  Sundays are typically our family day.  We either head to the eastside to see Ben's family or hang out at home and have dinner with my family.  This is important to both of us since we spend so much time working and we enjoy spending time with our families.

Friends- Of course I always have my monthly dinners.  This is something I look forward to all month and can't imagine not having.  Since Melis and Anthony finally moved back to CLE, we spend time with them about once a week.  Sometimes on Sundays for Browns games, or other times during the week for dinner.  We do our best to hang out with couple friends and our own friends to keep that balance.

Work-  There is never enough time for this.  I often take things home and leave them in my bag because I need a break.  I need time with my dog and Ben, or time to go outside and enjoy the sunshine.  I do my best to keep the balance in my work life and still do the best job that I can.

Balance is hard.  I'm finding there are so many things I want to do and just not enough hours in the day.  It takes awhile to figure out how to prioritize and decide what can just get left alone (like vacuuming everyday, totally not necessary).  I'm working on balance and trying my best, but I'm sure it will be something I always have to work on.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

a day for family

What a beautiful weekend!  The weather we had in Cleveland could not have been any better.  The sun was shining, there was barely a cloud in the sky, and the air was the perfect crisp fall type of air.  It was wonderful and I could not have been more thankful.  Beautiful weather like that just makes you happy and puts you in such a great mood.  Especially when we know snow is just around the corner!

Ben and I spent the day visiting family.  This morning we got up and headed to the eastside to visit with his mom, grandma, and brother for brunch.  We took Breckyn with us and she got to run around on their property and play with his grandma's puppy Abby.  I like Abby because she is a bad dog, and she makes Breckyn look like a good dog!  I know that is so bad, but it makes me feel like I'm raising a half way decently behaved dog (is that really the right way to say that?)

His mom showed me some new knitting projects that she is working on and even gave me 2 pieces for the project that I'm working on with Knitting Club at school.  I can't wait to show the kids Tuesday and hopefully it will help to motivate them to get theirs going.

We headed back to the westside, ran some errands, and then headed over to my parents house for dinner.  We left Breckyn at home even though my sister's dog would have loved to see her.  She was plenty tired and could have used the rest. 

We caught up with my parents and had a delicious dinner.  Of course there is never enough time to sit around and talk and laugh, because we ALWAYS have something to do!

Ben headed to his Chapter meeting and I headed to JoAnn Fabrics for some crafting stuff that I'm going to motivate myself to work on, which means I have to get off this computer now.

Hope your weekend was wonderful!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

how do you break up with your hair dresser?

courtesy of planetgreen.com
I love my hair dresser.  She is fun to talk to, knows lots about me, and I've been going to see her for 4 years.  We have lots to talk about for the 2 1/2 hours that I am with her every 9-10 weeks, and she knows exactly how I like my hair done.

However, her salon is 45 minutes away.  Which makes a 2 1/2 hour hair cut and highlight take 4 total hours out of my day.  That's a ton of time.  And it puts a big $150 hole in my pocket.

I am going to see her next Wednesday and I know I will be happy with her work.  The problem is, I really don't want to keep driving out there and paying that much for a hair cut.

What do you do?  How do you break up with your hair girl?  Where do you find a new one?  Am I really over paying or is that what other salons charge too?  This is stressing me out!

I know I will just end up continuing to go see her because I will feel horrible if I don't and then I won't have to spend time trying to find someone new.  Basically I'm stuck.

Any advice is welcome.  Who is your hair girl or guy?  What is their fee?  Am I crazy?  (okay, don't answer that last question)

Oh Friday

I must begin by saying that I am pretending that this post is occurring on November 4, 2011 because this is the first time that I have had a chance to sit down at the computer and actually post today.  It just so happens that my today is November 4th, even though the time of day is telling me it is November 5th.  Nope. Not me.  Not there yet.  In order to help myself achieve my November goal, right now it is still Friday.

Friday. Friday, Friday, Friday.

Most people look forward to this day of the week because it means the weekend is here! Not to be a downer or anything, but Friday is my absolute longest day of the week.  Here is a little run down of my day.

I woke up at 5:55 am, got ready, ate breakfast and headed out the door.  I was at work by 7:15.

I worked all day with the kids and it was a good day.  Fridays at school are usually a little more laid back.  We get work done, but the atmosphere is just a little more calm in my mind.  I left work at 3:45.

When I got home I changed, got ready, shoved some hummus in my face, and left again at 4:50.

I was on my feet all night at work until about 11:30, when my day finally ended.  Whew!  Thank goodness.  By the end of today I am more exhausted than I ever am any other day of the week.  I can barely keep my eyes open to finish this post!

Working that long barely gives me time to eat, post, read the paper, remember to go to the bathroom (too much?)

But, it is all for a good cause right?  Someday I will have my savings built back up and feel good about all the work I've done. 

Plus Ben is at the bar working so there isn't really much else for me to do.  On Fridays I look forward to my bed and pillow more than anything else, so I think that is where I will go right now!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

how much do you rely on your cell phone?

Yesterday my phone unexpectedly stopped making calls.  You know, the thing that phones are SUPPOSED to do.  Yep, mine wasn't.

I was furious.  I couldn't make a call, I appeared to have no contacts, and I had no idea what I was going to do.  I was home alone so I started freaking out that something would happen and I would have no way to get a hold of anyone and I would just be left to fen for myself.

Then I realized I could still text and I calmed down a little.  Once I stopped panicking, I started to get angry and when Ben got home I yelled at him about it, which is something I always do.  Of course that did not solve the problem, but I felt a little bit better.

Luckily I took it to Verizon today after work and all of my contacts are back and it's working just fine.  PHEW!

All of this made me think about just how much we rely on technology.  If I didn't have my cell phone I have no way to call anyone.  We don't have a house phone because it's not really necessary and we are trying to save money.  Of course I have a computer and that allows me contact with the outside world, but without my cell phone I almost feel naked at this point.

Is that really okay?  Do other people feel this way?

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Hello November! (How did you get here so fast?)

October is over and I can't believe it.  I love the season of fall so much and just wish it could last a little longer.  Today was a beautiful Cleveland fall day and you couldn't help but just have a smile on your face with all of that sunshine.  I even got outside after work and cut back most of the Hosta plants and all of my Mums.  It didn't even feel like work since it was so nice and I took Breckyn out to keep me company.

So apparently there is something called National Blog Posting Month.  I first read about it on Ashley's  blog and had to Google it because I thought it was a made up word.  Turns out, it's real.

Well, I thought this was the perfect time for me to really dive head first into the blogging world.  I am going to be a part of NaBloPoMo!  I know I am a day late, but I am not going to let that stop me.  Instead I will try my best to post everyday.  I'm following @nablopomo and @BlogHerBlogging on Twitter to help me stay on track and give me some writing ideas because sometimes at the end of the day, there is just nothing left up there.

I'm really excited about this and can't wait to see how it all works out.  Thanks again to Ashley for the idea!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Breckyn turns 2

Two years ago we began searching for a little Siberian Husky puppy.  We were lucky enough to find a breeder who lived about 75 east of Cleveland who had just had a litter of puppies.  We were so excited and could not wait to go see them.

About 3 weeks later we headed out and found the cutest little puppies we had ever seen.  It was so hard to decide which one belonged to us, but after playing with them for awhile, one just kind of seemed to stick around.  She seemed like the perfect little puppy and we could not wait for her to be big enough for us to take home.

We got to pick her up in the middle of December when she was 6 1/2 weeks old and there really hasn't been a dull moment since.  To call her a spoiled dog is an understatement.  She knows exactly what to do to get us to cave in and give her what she wants.  She knows that I feel bad for leaving her in her crate all day while we are gone.  I swear sometimes she knows exactly what I mean when I'm talking to her.

Yes, I know she is just a dog.  But if you have ever seen her listen to you and turn her head and look at you right in the eye as if she wished she could give you a response, you might think otherwise.

She has torn through two couches,  killed a few birds,  found a few dead squirrels, eaten her fair share of garbage, and still has not learned that it is not polite to jump on people when you see them.

But she is our dog and she is so sweet.  She is always happy to see you when you come home and it's the best when she sits next to you on the couch after a long day.  She loves to sleep at your feet in bed, which is much easier to do when only one of us has gone to bed but proves to be a little more difficult when we all get in there!

She is awesome and we love her.  Do we spoil her? Yes.  Do we talk to much about her?  Probably.  Does she give us a reason to go on long walks and bike rides?  Yes.  Would we change anything about her?  No (okay well maybe it would be nice if she actually listened to us, just maybe).

Happy 2nd Birthday Breckyn!

her first Christmas present

first snow!
her ears look huge...dumbo?
so important in the passenger seat
hanging out on the front porch
playing with her new birthday present
Ok, enough about my dog (at least for a little while!)

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Christmas Countdown

Yesterday while driving to work I was listening to the morning radio and heard that there were only 2 months until Christmas. 

At first I was thinking there is no way this is possible and actually sat and pondered whether or not it was true (why, I have no idea, it just didn't seem possible!)  Once I realized that the radio was telling me the truth, I drove to work with my mouth hanging open thinking how is this year going so fast?

And why are we counting down until Christmas?  What happened to enjoying the moment?  I love fall and I'm not ready for it to be over.  It isn't even Halloween yet!  After that we have Thanksgiving and then Christmas is allowed to start.  Not. any. sooner.

I think the real reason I am so not ready for it to be Christmas yet is because I just started crafting again and I am looking at my to-do list and thinking there is no way I have enough time for all of this.  I started and finished a blanket for little baby Luke in two days (success!).  His birthday is Saturday and he is going to be one, which seems crazy because it feels like he was just born.  We will be going to his party on Sunday and I can't wait to see how big he has gotten.

in the works
Other things on my list so far are:
  • a hat for Ben
  • a few 7x9 pieces for Knitting Clubs charity project
  • a cross stitch stocking
  • cross stitch baby booties
  • a baby blanket
  • some scarves (if there is any time left!)
We will see how it goes.  I love crafting and love that colder weather brings me back to knitting and crafting.  I can't wait to see what else I can get my hands on!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

a monthly dinner and cleveland beer week

A quick little recap of the last two days:

Tuesday night I headed out to the eastside to meet up with Katie, Mary, and Kristen for our monthly dinner.  It is always great to catch up with those girls.  We talked jobs, friends, boys, husbands (theirs not mine!), weddings (for engagements that haven't happened yet), and everything else you could think of.

We spent a decent amount of time chatting about whether or not it is okay to have your wedding semi planned even if you are not engaged.  More just as a joke than anything else, but don't all girls kind of know what they want in a wedding?  And if you are in a serious relationship that is eventually headed down that road you have those conversations with your significant other.  So why not talk about it with your girlfriends?

And good news...there is another baby on the way!  It's new news so there's not much to share but we are all very excited for Kristen's expanding family.

Wednesday night Ben and I met up with Melis and Anthony to celebrate Cleveland Beer Week.  We had dinner at XYZ the Tavern and it was delicious (aside from the meat and cheese board that is).  Dinner was great, beer was delicious, and the company was the best as always.

I wish we had more time to celebrate Beer Week, but working weekends doesn't really allow for all the fun that we'd like to have.  Oh well, going out to dinner on Wednesday works for me!

Yay for tomorrow being Friday!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

ben's first tailgate

We just got back from a very delicious brunch with Melis and Anthony and are headed out again to watch the games and tailgate at today's big event at Market Garden Brewery

Before we go out I needed to post about Ben's first tailgate which was a few weeks ago (I know I'm totally slacking).

Anthony and Melis hosted a tailgate that was absolutely awesome!  Lots of us met up and had some very delicious food prepared by our hosts.  We enjoyed some beverages and all in all it was a beautiful fall day and we could not have had better weather.

I tried my best to document our fun since it is one of my new goals so here are some of the pics.  (I'm working on figuring out how to better display pictures on this blog.  Please bear with me while I figure it out.  This will just be the boring old list of pictures.)

myself, hillary, and melis
delicious stuffed cabbage

thank you for the yummy treats!


I guess we are going to shotgun beers?

one dollar pencils? yea we will take 5 of them please

Yay for wonderful friends and for Ben's first tailgate.  Let's hope the Brown's win today!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

halloween costume

So, I need a Halloween costume.  I love coming up with creative costumes for Ben and I to wear (I know, super cheesy but I think it's fun).

However, this year we will both be working Friday and Saturday of Halloween weekend.  We need costumes because of course everyone will be dressed up, but not a couples costume.  It just wouldn't make any sense and it would be weird.  I mean how do you Fred and Wilma Flinstone when one of you is behind a host stand and the other is behind the bar?

circa 2008, ignore the face I'm making

Popeye and Olive Oyl is the same way.  It just isn't the same if you aren't together.

Halloween 2009, the only good picture we had

I have to come up with something though, and I'm not the girl who can put on something short and cute and call it an outfit.  It's just not me and I'm just not comfortable.  I feel like time is running out...the month is half over and I feel so over scheduled these days I really need to get on this project! 


Sunday, October 2, 2011

my best friend is back

Yesterday was a wonderful little day, despite the gloom and rain that has been pretty much every day this fall.

In the afternoon I headed to the eastside for Adrianna's first birthday party.  She was adorable as always and it was hilarious to watch her dig in to her smash cake.  It was great to see my group of eastside friends because it is not that often that we all get together.  (they have a really hard time crossing the threshold that is the eastside/westside)

Since I had to take the night off for the party during the day, I was conveniently able to celebrate the big 26 with Melis.  She is officially back in the CLE.  I cannot tell you how ecstatic I am to have her home.  We thought we were going to have a nice group of people to go out with but it ended up just being the two of us and we were okay with that.

We had dinner here and it was delicious.  I am never disappointed and give that place two thumbs up.  Then we headed to the old MGB because I clearly can't get enough of the place.

I'll take one glass of delicious

After a few hours of talking and a few Pumkings, we headed home.  This morning I remembered why it is much easier to go to work on the weekends instead of going out drinking.  I had every intention of meeting up for brunch today but I just couldn't do it.  I'm getting to old to drink all night and be productive anytime before 2 pm!

Instead Ben and I had a lazy Sunday with a very lazy dog.  We made chili in the crockpot which was delicious and I'm so glad it is crockpot weather again!  The parents even came over to enjoy dinner with us.

What a nice little Sunday.  Here's looking forward to a great week!

Monday, September 26, 2011

being happy with what I have

It is a super blah rainy day here in the CLE, one that makes it hard to think about all the good things and instead just curl up in bed and hide under the covers.  Sometimes that is the easier thing to do, and sometimes that is exactly what we all want and need to do, and as far as I'm concerned that is okay.  What's wrong with taking it easy and relaxing and every once in awhile just feeling sad?  I think that's what makes us human and makes us have feelings.

Today for me just isn't one of those days and I'm feeling the need to write about the happiness in my life (despite the rain water that is all over my basement floor AGAIN because of a little downpour). 

This past weekend was my little sisters 23rd birthday and my parents 29th wedding anniversary.  Both were awesome things to celebrate and I could not be happier for all three of them.  My sister is a great person who I think has finally found her 'calling' working at a vet office.  She is a strong, fun, outgoing person who does not care what other people think.  We've definitely had our share of arguments, but she's my sister and I would not change that for the world.

My parents are two people who I look up to each and every day.  There are lots of times when I just wonder how they did it.  It could not have been easy raising two kids, but they always made it seem simple.  We were so lucky as kids and I know we did not appreciate it like we should have.  It's probably taken me 26 years to realize just how much we had and should be thankful for.  I don't think I could ever tell them enough just how great they are.  I am sure there were many times when they wondered how they were able to make it through the last 29 years, but that's what marriage is about right?  I hope someday that I am lucky enough to have the happy that they have.

Where I am right now in my life is such a great place.  I have a wonderful boy to spend my days with and he is so supportive of all the crazy that I can be.  I have a great family who has made me who I am.  I have an adorable little puppy, who we treat like a human, but who makes even the worst days good when she licks your face hello and cuddles up with you in bed.

I'm feeling as if I am in just the right place at the right time and I want to celebrate that.  Believe me, there have been many hard days in my past year, and I know that is par for life's course.  Right now is a great time though and I'm looking forward to so many more good times ahead. 

*All of this was brought on by a dr's visit I had today.  I switched dr's because mine was on the east side and since I'm living back on the west side I figured it would be easier to have one out here.  She was awesome!  We talked about everything including the pressure to be married and have babies and the fact that it is not necessary to do before a certain age.  It was nice to have that conversation because I feel that pressure and that has definitely caused some stress and anxiety in my life.  I know I put some most of that pressure on myself for some crazy reason but it was just a great conversation with her that made me feel good about where I am and what I've done.  Thanks doc, you gave me just what I needed!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

fall is in full swing

Fall is such a wonderful season, and even though it means going back to work for me, I still love when it is here.  I was thinking about all the great things about this fall and fall in general and decided that a list was in order.

Reasons to Love Fall:
  • Warm days and cool nights
  • Sleeping with the windows open instead of the air conditioning
  • Being able to turn off the air conditioning (means lower electric bills!)
  • Football and tailgating...go Browns!
  • Scarves and boots
  • Everything pumpkin...especially Pumpkin Spice Lattes
  • Fall decorations in the house
  • Burning fall scented candles
  • Girls on the Run, a little program I volunteer for that I love love love
  • Melissa is back in Cleveland! (for this fall and every fall)
  • Fall Festivals
  • Clambakes
  • Pumpkin picking and pumpkin carving
  • Apple cider, caramel apples, and candy corn
  • A new season of TV shows
I'm sure I could think of lots of other reasons to love fall, but this is what I've got for now.  I hope everyone has their own list of why they love fall, or anything really.

Here is proof that fall is for football and tailgating and I can't wait for next Sunday!

here we go brownies, here we go!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

a new toy

Who says grown ups can't have toys? Who says I'm a grown up? I guess I am it's just hard to admit sometimes.

Tonight Ben bought an iPad and I already love it. If it weren't for papers to grade, showers to be taken, and sleep to be had, my eyes would probably burn out of my sockets while I used the ten hours of battery life this thing has. Yep that's right, ten hours.

But since I am a grown up an have to be responsible I will put it down and head to bed. I did love blogging with it though!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

i'm old and i have a problem

You know you are enjoying too many adult beverages when you can't remember the last night you didn't have one.

You know you are getting old when you can't go out on a work night and wake up feeling great the next day.

These are two things I have realized in the last few days.  Another conclusion I have come to is that I have wonderful friends and family.  Seriously, could not ask for much better.  I am one lucky girl.

This past weekend I worked, went to brunch with my mom, went to a cookout, hung out with the absolute best friends in the world (twice), enjoyed the annual airshow, and had a fresh fish cookout with some delicious home brewed beers.

How did I cram all of that into the last 5 days?  I don't know either.  Maybe that's why I was falling asleep on the way to work this morning.

That's why tonight is a boring old sit on the couch and relax night.  Ben and I had sushi Wednesday for the fourth week in a row.  It is becoming a little pattern for us and I really enjoy it.  Now we are hanging out with the puppy just enjoying the fall breeze coming through the window.

And it's already Wednesday!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

happy hump day

Has it felt like the worlds longest week or is it just me?  Maybe it is because this is my first full week back to work in a few (roughly 9) weeks.  Yea, that might be the reason.

Anyway, it has been such a long week and I realized that today when it wasn't Thursday, it was only Wednesday!

But not it is Wednesday night.  Which means the work week is officially half over and there is a long weekend coming up.  What does that mean for me? A double Friday and working late Saturday but Sunday and Monday are full of free time, family time, and fun time!

So Wednesday, you aren't looking so bad anymore.  I'm really looking forward to meeting your neighbor Thursday tomorrow because Friday is right after that!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

borderline and fall cleaning

What a lovely little weekend I had.

Friday was back to work since the power was back on and back to working doubles since I had a shift at MGB after a long day at school.

Saturday Ben and I went to our absolute most favorite breakfast place, Borderline Cafe in Lakewood.  They serve breakfast and lunch from 7am til 2pm Wednesday through Sunday.  Most of their meals have a southwestern flair and I almost always get the Southwestern Omelet but decided to branch out and finally got something different.

I ordered the breakfast wrap with bacon and it was delicious.  It came with chips and salsa and chipotle mayo.  I was definitely glad I branched out and got something new.  Ben got the special which was a breakfast style taco and it was equally delicious.

I spent the afternoon working in the yard and trying to get it ready for fall.  Most of what I wanted to get done I did but I am still trying to figure out how to get rid of all the crab grass and weeds that just do not seem to stop growing!  Big pain in the butt.

I spent the evening working again, came home and crashed.

Today Breckyn did a great job of waking me up super early even though we could have slept in.  So I spent some time couponing and then got to the long list of cleaning.  Yep, cleaning.  Not very exciting but the house is spotless and all decorated for fall.

helping out
Breckyn was trying to be nice and help out.  Really she has just been a pain today but how can you not help but love her?

Ben got home after a night away with friends, we grocery shopped and had a nice dinner.  I'm going to spend the rest of the night getting ready for school tomorrow and hopefully reading a good book.  I just finished this and am still deciding where to go next.  Off to the bookshelf to decide!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

ok cleveland, enough with the weather

Well school is back in full swing which means it is much harder for me to sit down and crank out a little blog.  Especially because not only do I have school but I also have work on the weekends because I am crazy.  Yep, I said it and admit to it.

Since it has been a few days, I have to recap what has been going on with the weather!

Tuesday afternoon I was almost ready to leave school for the day.  Almost everything was ready for the kids first day, just a few finishing touches on my room and lesson plans and then my last night of freedom! (which unfortunately began with a dentist appointment, but that's a whole other post)

All of a sudden I thought I was going to fall out of my chair do to a fainting spell or something.  I was so dizzy and the room was spinning and I was like what is going on?!?  One of my fellows teachers said, "I think the room is moving.  What could that be?"

Of course everyone in the room is like, no, no, the room can't be moving can it? Maybe it is! Oh my gosh it is moving!  We don't have earthquakes in CLE, someone must be on the roof. 

Then it was over and we went back to our work.  Until someone can on the PA and said we had to leave so the fire department could come check the pipes.  Yep, it was an earthquake.

Ugh!  Way to put a wrench in my day.  After sitting outside in the hot hot sun for 25 minutes we were let back in the building and all was well.  Everything was finished and the first day of school went as smooth as it could have.  Yay, success!

The second day of school began with getting called off because we had no power!  Awesome right?  Not really.  It was only the second day of school.  I much prefer these days in January, February, or March when no one really wants to go to work anyway.  Then I sat in bed and thought of all the stuff I could get done on my to do list if I was going to be home.  Ok, I said to myself.  I can deal with a day off.

Except I didn't have any power either.  for. the. whole. day.  Now, this should not have ruined my whole day because there are plenty of things you can do without power.  But, I surrendered to the power and decided the only thing I could do was enjoy the sunshine and read a book.  So that's what I did.

Now I'm trying to play catch up this weekend because I didn't get my chores done all week!  Procrastinating is never the answer!

Monday, August 22, 2011

because everyone else is doing it

I finally joined the rest of the world and joined Twitter.

I'm still pretty unsure of how all of it works and what I'm supposed to do or say.  It seems like everyone else is so clever and has something funny or important, or at least not completely boring to say.

Me?  I don't have much but I just gave in to the peer pressure and decided I would try my best to be creative.  So far I have 2 tweets and a few followers, so I guess I'm not doing that bad.

P.S. work started today and I'm already overwhelmed.  My to do list barely has anything on it and I still feel like I will never get all of it done.  I know, crazy, but that's just how it is probably will always be.

Find me on twitter @rachc731

If you find the need to follow me and see all of the exciting (ha!) things I'm doing.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

a wonderful little Sunday

The end of summer (at least the summer break that I am lucky to have) is never a very good day for me.  It is usually one of the worst cases of Sunday stomach that I get the whole year.

Today was much different though and I could not be happier.

We started the day with a delicious brunch at Luxe with two of my favorite people, Melis and Anthony.  Since Melis is still living in Cbus (but will be here soon!) we always try to see each other when she is in town.  Of course working the weekends at MGB makes that a little hard and that is why brunch is perfect.

We sat on the patio, even though it drizzled a little and had some delicious food.  They even have a 2 for 1 drink special from 11 until 1 on Sundays, which is awesome!  We had lots to talk about and catch up on and made sure to do so over a few breakfast cocktails.

The afternoon was spent lounging around in the yard with Breckyn enjoying the sunshine and relaxing.

We then met up with my dad and sister for an early (of course) dinner at the one and only Gene's Place which is so authentic it doesn't even have a website.  I can't even begin to count the number of times I have eaten at this restaurant and it never gets old.  I will take my children (which currently are not even in existence) there someday and absolutely look forward to doing so.  Nothing says family time like a family owned diner with delicious food and awesome staff.

Ben and I came home and have been relaxing ever since.  It was a wonderful little Sunday, and even though I'm never ready to go back, I feel pretty prepared to start work tomorrow.

Here's to another great, and hopefully quick, school year!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

pool days

Since I am lucky enough to have a wonderful job that gives me about 9 weeks off every summer, I busy myself with lots of other jobs so I stay out of trouble.

One of those jobs isn't really much of a 'job' other than the fact that I have to get up early and be there until four the two days a week that I babysit.  It all started way back in the summer of 2003 after I graduated high school. 

At that time there were 3 boys and another on the way.  We spent the summer going to the zoo, playing t-ball, taking bike rides, and going to the park.  I went off to college in the fall and returned the next summer.  That year there were 4 boys and we spent most of the summer at the pool.  The next summer came and another little boy came along.  One more summer after that with 5 boys and plenty to keep us busy. 

By that time they were no longer just a family that I worked for.  They had absolutely become friends, like a second family that we celebrated birthdays with and had cookouts with when it had just been to long since we got together.

Last summer I was living on the westside again and asked if I could help out with babysitting.  I thought it would just be fun and something for me to do a few days a week.  We had a good time and surprise...their mom was going to be having another baby!  Summer went by fast and I knew I would be back next year.

Fast forward to this summer.  Six boys...three of which are old enough to take care of themselves and don't require me to do much of anything for them and three of which I actually watch.

It was a great summer that unfortunately has come to an end.   They are an awesome bunch of boys to hang with, and I'm sure part of that has to do with the fact that I'm only there for 2 days a week.  Long enough to have fun, not long enough for all the arguing to get annoying.

We spent the mornings lounging around the house and the afternoon at the neighbors pool.  I already miss summer...why do you always have to go so fast?  At least I have these adorable pics to remind me of the fun we had.

having fun in the sun

jumping in the pool

thanks for a fun summer boys :)

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

breckyn goes for a bike ride

A few weeks ago Ben finally bought himself a bicycle. 

I bought one last summer and love to ride it but it just isn't as fun alone.  Why, I'm not sure because we don't talk while we're riding, but it's just nice to have someone there.

Tonight we took Breckyn with us for the first time.  We knew this would be a trial run and were basically prepared to turn around at the end of our street if we had to.  But she did great!  She's used to longboarding with Ben and I think to her this was basically the same thing.

We just did a little loop of the neighborhood and I'm sure we will do that a few more times before we venture farther or to the Metroparks but it was awesome.  She loved it and now she is panting away lying on the floor with what I like to think is a big smile on her face.

Unfortunately I don't have any pictures because there is no way I was going to take my camera with me when there was a very good chance we would all crash and burn.  Maybe next time!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

a movie that is just as good as the book

This afternoon my sister and I finally went to see The Help.

It was a book that I absolutely loved and made her read because I knew she would like it too.  Plus then I knew I would have someone to go to the movie with when I heard they were making one.

She enjoyed it as well, and we were both excited to see what they would do with it in movie form. 

I'm a book girl and so is she.  We both love to read and if there is a movie to go along with a great book we will usually go check it out, but I don't think I've ever enjoyed the movie as much as the book.

Today The Help changed that.  It was such an amazing book and the movie was done so well.  I'm so glad we went to see it and I recommend both the book and the movie!