Another Day Older

Well, almost. My birthday is actually tomorrow, the 14th, but since it fell on a Monday this year, the celebrations have been going all weekend long.

Normally I’m not one to make a big deal of my birthday. Not because I hate getting older or anything like that. I just generally don’t like to have all the attention focused on me. But this year, for my 35th, I decided to get some girlfriends together and do it up right!

The formal plan was to meet at Cheesecake Factory for dinner around 6pm Friday night. Well some of us from work couldn’t wait that long to get our drink on, so we headed over there at about 4pm. I told the hostess when we arrived that there would be about 15 people coming at 6pm. She gave me a snotty look and said they don’t take reservations after 6. We went back and forth until finally she complied that they could have a table ready at 5:30pm. So we headed to the bar area and got foo-foo drinks and yummy appetizers (fried macaroni and cheese balls…HELLO!). It was great to unwind and have a general bitch session about work before everyone else arrived. A couple of the girls gave me my first gift – a winter survival kit – which included warm hat and gloves along with a lantern should my car break down. All very cool and super stylish.


At 5:30 I went back to the hostess station and found a different gal there. She said the table was all ready but they couldn’t seat us until most of the party was there. We had 6 so far, which wasn’t enough by Cheesecake Factory standards. Really? So, we kept waiting and drinking in the bar. Finally there were enough of us that we could be seated. That whole ordeal was kind of a pain in the ass but it all worked out.

Dinner was yummy and of course we all had to order cheesecake. I wish I had thought to get a group picture of everyone but I didn’t. Oh well.

Most of the group headed out around 8 except for a few of us who were wanting to go out. We decided to venture to Two Fine Irishmen, a local restaurant/bar that has live music on Friday and Saturday nights. On my way I got a text from CJ to get bananas before I came home. The question was, do I stop before or after the bar? Clearly, the right answer was, before the bar. So I swung by Hy-Vee to grab a bunch. Wouldn’t you know, I got a couple compliments on my couch coat while there! It never fails – every time I wear it I get a compliment. Winning!

Finally I got to the bar and the 3 of us ( me and my 2 friends ) grabbed a table and drinks.


Turned out, one of the most interesting parts of the night was going to the restroom. Each time any one of us would go, we’d hear something crazy in there. First, it was a gal offering $10 to anyone with a piece of gum because she wanted to kiss a guy she’d just met. Then, it was one girl complimenting another gal on her “beautiful boobies”. Another time it was some gals discussing a threesome. Entertainment for hours I tell you!

We also had another source of entertainment. This guy:


He was some dude (never even got his name) that was trolling around trying to pick up chicks. He bought us each a drink and loitered at our table even though we clearly didn’t want him there. At one point, desperate for conversation, I asked him what he did for a living. He told me he was a graphic artist. That was my major in college! I told him. He stuttered then and said, “OK fine, I sell toner cartridges for printers.” Um, that’s not a graphic artist dude. Then when I told him what I did he muttered something about that being impressive and sauntered off to talk to someone else.

But he didn’t give up so easily. Anytime we went out on the dance floor he’d come over and dance with, er, near us.


I think he was harmless enough, just annoying. Never the less, the 3 of us had a great time dancing, people watching and messing with Printer Boy. We called it a night around 12:30 am. That’s a late night for me and I was ready for bed. Not to mention my ears were ringing.

Boy do I sound old.

Today was the family birthday celebration. We always (well, since I’ve been an adult) combine my dad and my parties because our special days are only 4 days apart. We went out to lunch and then back to my parent’s house for gifts and cake.


Isabella was being a ham during lunch.


Gift time! My sister made me a really cool necklace with my birthstone in it. She does awesome beadwork.


I also got some super warm and comfy Simply Vera slippers, which I was in desperate need of.


My beautiful family!


Don’t you love the awesome football cake? Steelers for me and Broncos for my dad (both of whom won today so an extra gift!).


Everyone got to help blow the candles out and I got the first piece of cake (the logo from the Steelers helmet of course!)!

Now I’m ready to have a nice quiet evening at home.

Happy birthday to me!

10 Questions

Yes I’m doing it again. I’m stealing a post idea from another blogger because I am in a creative rut right now. Let’s just say, brain overload. So, I’m answering Caitlin’s 10 personal questions for myself because I think it’s fun dammit!

Here goes! 

What are you really good at?  What are you really bad at?

I’m really good at responding to emails in a politically correct way (someone told me that today), being a mom, cuddling with Samson, supporting my family, being an open and loving wife, being a leader and organizing! I’m really bad at basketball, driving in reverse, controlling my competitiveness, swimming and playing pool.

Have you ever been in a car accident?  What happened?

Just one major one (there were a few fender benders in there but I won’t count those). I was a Senior in high school and riding with my good friend and her boyfriend. I was sitting in the back on the passenger side. My friend’s BF was driving. I almost never sat on that side when he drove because it was harder to talk to my friend but that day I did. We were coming back from the gas station and a guy went through a red light and hit us broadside on the back driver’s side. Car was spun around and we slammed, trunk first, into a light pole. The back window shattered and caved in on me and the trunk lid flew off. I had a lap belt on and was thrown forward in to the seat in front of me. Ended up with a black eye, cuts on my face, and a split lip requiring stitches inside and out.  Had I sat on the other side, like normal, I would have been killed. My guardian angel was looking out for me!

Why did you attend your college?

Because it was a small private school that was close enough to home to visit but far enough away that my parents couldn’t come up too regularly. And I got a scholarship.  

Describe your morning routine today.

 Woke up at 4:30 to give a crying Isabella her oobie. Woke up again at 5:15 to get her another oobie. Alarm went off at 6:30 and I hit snooze. Got up for real 7 minutes later. Woke CJ up, got Samson out of his kennel and got ready for work. Fed Samson then ate breakfast while chatting with Ceige. Went in and chatted with Isabella, brushed my teeth, kissed everyone good-bye, took a picture of the SOLD sign on our house and then left for work at about 7:45.

Have you ever snooped through someone else’s things? Did you find anything interesting?

Yes. One time I was dog sitting for someone and looked through all their pictures that were tucked in a drawer. Didn’t find anything scandalous though and I felt really guilty afterward! 

What do you think happens when you die?

Part of me believes we go to heaven and are reunited with all our family and friends who’ve died already. We meet celebrities and Saints and God. Part of me thinks we’re reincarnated into another being. Who knows what really happens.  

Are you superstitious?

 Yes. I have an Indian pouch that I keep in every car I own. It protects me. I wear a Steelers t-shirt every game day. And I have to say the “Our Father” every night before bed. Not because I’m super religious but because I worry something bad will happen if I don’t.  

Do people think you are younger or older than you actually are?

 Younger. No one believes I’m 34. That’s fine by me – I don’t feel 34! 

How did your parents’ relationship influence you?

It taught me what it means to be in a loving committed relationship. They’re still married after 40 years, which says a lot, and they’re still madly in love.  

What were the three happiest moments of your life?

Graduating with honors from college, marrying CJ and giving birth to Isabella.

Now it’s your turn! Feel free to answer any of the questions in the comments or on your own blog!

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Bossy Pants

Retail Therapy

Last week I got my first bonus at work. It was really awesome considering I hadn’t received a bonus for 3 years before that! Winning!

Anywho, part of me wanted to be responsible with it and part of me wanted to have some fun! So I compromised. I decided to put 10% of the bonus in savings, spend 10% however I wanted and then apply the rest toward our credit card balance. Sounds fair, right?

Well I couldn’t wait to get out and start shopping. For the splurge, I was going to buy some much needed new clothes for myself. I needed some change! So over lunch, I hit the mall with a vengeance. My plan was to go to every women’s clothing store there, that wasn’t a department store. I would go directly to the clearance racks and only buy something on sale. Generally I have trouble when I shop clearance racks but that’s because I am looking for something specific. When I go with an open mind, it works better.

My other goal was to leave a little love note, Operation Beautiful style, in each dressing room I used. Here was the first one:


I left this one in the bathroom, on the stall door. I saw a lady go in there as I was leaving the bathroom. I hope she enjoyed it!

At first the shopping was slow going. The stores I went to either didn’t have a clearance area or there was nothing for me. But that didn’t stop me from leaving a note for the next shopper!


First of all, pardon my bad hair day. It was really humid and I was pulling shirts over my head a lot. Secondly, I kind of have a crazed look in my eye. I think I was trying to smile, look in the mirror and look at the camera all at the same time. The result – crazy-eyed Sarah!

Finally my luck changed when I got to New York & Co. I ended up with 3 shirts and a pair of shoes from there.


The shirt on the right is one of the ones I bought.

dressing room

Here I am modeling one of the other shirts. Do I look fabulous darling? The grand total for my purchase at NY&Co? $63! Boo-yah!

From there I headed to DSW to see about getting some shoes. I tried on several pair and after hemming and hawing, decided on 2 that I liked. One pair of flats and one pair of sandal heels.

Here’s my note:


And these are the heels I ended up getting.


I think they’re sassy and I love the color. Not your typical brown but more of a bronze. They are quite comfortable too! Grand total for 2 pair of shoes – $42!

After DSW, it was off to Old Navy! I didn’t try anything on there because I was running short on time. I was also in search of something to get for CJ and Isabella. After all, they should get some bonus money splurge too!

I found a shirt for me, 2 t-shirts for CJ (Superman and Captain America) and an outfit for Isabella. You can see part of it here:


By then my time was up and I had to rush back to work. It felt really good to get out and do some shopping for myself. I haven’t really bought any new clothes in months and my wardrobe was looking tired. Isn’t it amazing how a couple shirts and shoes can make life just a little more exciting?

Can’t wait for the next bonus!

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Old Mother Hubbard


20 Questions

What started out as allergies has morphed into a full blown sinus infection. Yippee. So, I’m posting something that I wrote last week and never got a chance to publish. I stole this idea from Caitlin because I think it’s a lot of fun.  She did 10 questions, I’m doing 20. What can I say, I’m an overachiever! It’s always interesting to learn things about people! That’s why I love those survey emails that go around sometimes. They’re cheesy but I love ’em anyway!

Ok, here we go!

What do you have on your bedside table?

A lamp and my iPhone. I used to keep a book or magazine there too but in the vain of keeping the house neat and tidy, I’ve moved those to the drawer.

Do you have a tattoo?

Yes – 3. Got my first one in college. It’s a black/white cross (for faith) with a rose in the middle (for my Spanish heritage) on the back of my right shoulder.


Not the best picture but you get the idea.

Then in Australia a few years later I got the Scorpio symbol on my lower back (tramp stamp!). In 2007 I added to the tramp stamp and got a Celtic Dragon (for my Irish background and the Dragon for the Chinese year I was born in) holding a stargazer lily (my wedding  flower). The dragon’s tail winds through the Scorpio tat. I’ll probably get one more in a few years to honor my kids. Not sure what yet but that will be the last one.

tramp stamp

Again, not the clearest image but it’ll have to do. I really like all of them because they hold meaning and because I designed them myself so I know they’re one of a kind!

Do you believe in abstinence prior to marriage?

I believe it is up to each individual person. I didn’t wait for marriage but I totally respect people who do.

What is your worst habit?

Cracking my knuckles!

How do you handle finances in your relationship?  Or, how would you like to handle money in your future relationship?

We have a joint checking account where all our money goes. I manage everything and pay all the bills.

If you could change your name, what would you change it to?

I like my name! But maybe to something more Spanish…not sure what though.

Where do you want to go on your next vacation?

Spain! Do you sense a theme here? What can I say, I’m very proud of being Spanish and would LOVE to visit my homeland someday soon!

What is one political cause you feel strongly about?

To be honest, I don’t feel strongly about any political causes. I generally try to avoid them all together.

Have you ever stolen anything?

Yes. I stole Chapstick from Target when I was 3. My mom worked there at the time and had the Security Guard come over and lecture me. Then when we got home she had my grandpa call and pretend to be Santa, telling me I was on the naughty list! I never stole again!

Tell us something embarrassing about yourself.

I sucked my thumb until I was 12. I know, right? My parents tried everything to get me to stop (even having the dentist put spikes in my mouth) but I had to want it on my own. I can understand Isabella’s oobie obsession!

Favorite sport to watch vs favorite sport to play.

I love watching pro-football (Go Steelers!) and playing volleyball (obviously). I can’t STAND to watch golf, baseball or racing. OMG, shoot me. I do enjoy spectating tennis but only if it’s a grand slam event and Rafa is playing!


What musical artist are you a closet fan of?

Air Supply! Doesn’t get much cheesier but there’s just something about their heart wrenching ballads that get me every time!

If you could be on any reality show, what would it be?

Dancing With the Stars. I know I’m not a star but if they had a version of this show where regular people compete for a mirror ball trophy, I’d be all over it! I love dancing. And I’d want Derek Hough as my partner!

Favorite guilty pleasure.

Chocolate chip cookie dough. Seriously, I can sit and eat a whole tub of it. LUV!

Where were you on 9/11?

I was working out in the gym at my apartment complex. I was on the stationary bike and dividing my time between reading a magazine and watching the Today Show. I looked up from my mag at one point and saw a shot of the WTC on fire. I thought it was a promo for some upcoming movie. When I realized it was for real, I was glued. I was literally on that bike for 2 hours straight watching the coverage as I did not want to miss a thing. I coincidentally had the day off from work so when I finally pried myself out of the gym, I spent the whole day in my apartment watching the news. Having lived in NYC for a year, it hit very close to home.

2010-07-20 07.17.36

What topic of conversation immediately turns you off?

Politics. It’s like there’s a switch in my brain. As soon as anyone starts talking about politics, I immediately space off and tune them out!

What TV character would you trade lives with?

Carrie on Sex and the City. Being able to shop in NYC, have lunch with the girls and then go home to a fab apartment and a sexy husband every day would be killer. And all I’d have to do for money was write about my life? Hmm, sounds good! At least I already have the sexy hubbie!


What would be your dream job?

Being a photographer for National Geographic. Or being an actress. Either seems like it’d be a ton of fun. Not sure I have the personality for the acting though.

Do you believe in horoscopes? Does your sign accurately reflect your personality?

Yes and yes! As evidenced in my tattoo collection, I definitely think there is validity in horoscopes and signs. Any description I’ve ever read for Scorpio fits me to the letter!

Favorite thing to do on a rainy day.

Curl up on the couch and watch a good movie or read a book. Preferably with Samson at my feet, CJ by my side and Isabella in my lap. Oh and some chocolate chip cookie dough nearby!

There you go! This would be so much MORE fun if you participate too! Answer any or all of the questions in the comments or on your own blog! Can’t wait to find out more about you!

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Bucket List

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Bringing Home the Gold!

Switching jobs a few months ago was a decision I’m really happy with. Not only do I have great opportunities for moving my career forward, getting awarded a bonus every quarter and the chance to be a part of a large company that’s really growing, I also get other perks like free tickets to baseball games and the opportunity to…

…meet an Olympian!

Our company is one of the sponsors for the 2012 Olympic Games in London and as part of that, have several athletes that they are supporting. Many of them are going to make visits to our offices to meet the associates and we get to take our picture with them!

The one in Omaha that came today was Anna Tunnicliffe and she’s on the sailing team.

The photo session was pretty quick. No time to chat! I went in, shook her hand and introduced myself, smiled for the camera (of course I blinked the first time so they had to redo it – thank God for digital cameras or else  I would have looked like a doof in my once-in-a-lifetime pic with Anna), wished her luck and that was it!

Got the pic back 10 minutes later.


Ok first of all, I know I’m really, really pale. Like practically translucent. But standing next to someone who spends most of her time out in the sun on the water, I look positively ghostly! Mental note: next time apply some lipstick or pinch your cheeks!!

Later, during an internal town hall meeting, another Olympian, David Oliver, got up and spoke. He was very inspirational (and funny)! I am proud to work for a company that supports these fine athletes and people.