Bits and Pieces

I know I haven’t posted in a while. Life’s been busy. Guess it’s time to play “catch up”!

1. I took a blow to the face in volleyball last week. Got hit right on my left cheek.


This picture was taken after about 5 days after it happened and it’s a nice greenish yellow color. Still a tad bit tender but nothing show stopping.

2. CJ and I went out on a date last weekend! Woot! We tried a new restaurant and it was fabulous!


OK so CJ looks annoyed in this pic but he wasn’t. I think I caught him right before/after the smile. Anywho, the place was Mark’s Bistro and it’s located above some shops in the Dundee neighborhood of Omaha. We had a great view from our table.


More importantly, the food was great! I had their famous macaroni and cheese. I mean, how could I not order that?


It didn’t disappoint! CJ got a salmon sandwich of some sort that was also very good.


After dinner we went to see “The Fantastik’s” at the local community theatre. It was in their small “in the round” theatre and we had front row seats. At one point one of the characters handed me his prop – pruning shears – and asked me to hold them. Turns out that actor was CJ’s high school theatre teacher! We went backstage afterwards and saw him. He said, “Hey, you were the one holding my shears!”  It was a really fun evening and nice to get out for a bit!

3. Isabella helped me make Thin Mint Brownie’s on Sunday.


Samson was very interested in helping too…

There ended up being more licking than actual helping, but that’s ok!


4. I had to take Samson in to the vet today. He’s been limping around off and on for a few weeks. They think he has a sprained ACL. Doc gave him a steroid shot and some pain meds. Said if he didn’t stop limping after a few days on the meds, then they’d have to put him under and do X-Rays and other tests to see if there is a tear or something. Here’s hoping the meds and some rest do the trick!


5. Today I got to tour the construction site of the new office tower my company is building. It was super cool to see it all up close and personal!


Safety first!


This is one of the main hubs where all the electrical, HVAC, etc. run through.


Careful not to get to close to this guy!


Anyone have marshmallows?

Interior of the windows which  are made of special glass. Don’t ask me to explain what’s special about it…I wasn’t listening that close. It’s environmental stuff.


Then we got to ride in this “Man Lift” all the way to the top. Our guide kept saying, “Man life…er, Woman lift…er,…Person lift.” Dude, just call it an elevator.


Now for the view from the top (11 stories up)!







I tell ya, I do not know how construction workers get those hard hats to stay on. I must not have a head shaped well for those. Mine kept slipping no matter how I tightened it. As you can see the vest didn’t fit real well either. But hey, it wasn’t about looking good, it was about safety!

6. As I was tucking Isabella in to bed tonight, she held on during our usual nightly hug for an extra long time. She rested her head on my shoulder and closed her eyes while I rocked her. I could have stood like that forever. After a few minutes, she pulled back, looked me in the eye, and then gave me a kiss and a smile.

There ain’t nothing better than that.

Nighty night!

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I Had a Dream

Have you ever had a dream that was so nice you didn’t want to wake up from it? And when you did wake up, you willed yourself to go back to sleep in hopes that you could pick up right where you left off?

That happened to me the other night. It was a very real dream and it actually made sense (kind of). Nothing like cars flying in the air or serial killers in my house or talking dogs.

Digression: I think it would be so fun if dogs could talk. CJ and I do this thing where we pretend we’re in Samson’s head and we narrate his thoughts. Like the other day Samson was staring at the buffet in our dining room and we went off on a whole tangent of how he was thinking. “Um, guys. Hello. My toys are in there. Maybe you don’t know that but I have toys in there. You should get them and play with me. Or give me food. Hey, do you see me? How about if I stare at you unblinkingly? Would that get you to play with me? Or give me food? Never mind that little hairless one you’re reading to. Play with me. Or give me food.”

samson treat

Samson’s thoughts probably aren’t near as exciting or funny as we think they would be.

Back to my dream…

The setting: I was at a cabin in the woods with a friend, her crush, his friend and another couple. The crush’s friend was Gerard Butler (you know, the “We are SPARTA!!!!” guy in 300.



Though I personally enjoyed him in Phantom of the Opera as well).



The scenario was that my friend wanted to spend the weekend with her crush and his friends and asked me to tag along. This sounds like the beginning of a bad horror movie but it’s not. It gets good.

Late in the night, after everyone had gone to bed, I awoke and couldn’t fall back to sleep. So I wandered out to watch some TV and Gerard was out there already watching ESPN. He couldn’t sleep either. We had a healthy debate about football (turns out he was a Ravens fan which makes him my sworn enemy) and then started watching a movie.

I got cold at one point and he wrapped a blanket around me. I leaned against him and he put his arm around me.

Did I mention he had his shirt off so that I could see every bulging bicep and rock hard ab?

This dream didn’t suck.

Anyway, the movie started getting romantic and we were just about to kiss when all of a sudden…

Isabella woke me up with her crying. She wanted juice.

I calmed her down and then frantically tried to go back to sleep.


But alas, I couldn’t recapture the magic.


Guess I’ll have to settle for my own hunky hubbie, who doesn’t take me to cabins in the woods but does get out and fill my car up with gas on really cold days.

CJ car gas 

And has bulging biceps.

bodyparts arm

And is not a Ravens fan.

I’ll take that over the Law Abiding Citizen any day.

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The Island

Remembering 9/11

The Kennedy assassination. John Lennon’s murder. The Challenger Explosion. These are all historic events that were so big in their time, that they’ve transcended and are just as remembered now as they were then. These are days on which people remember where they were and what they were doing when they heard the news.

The attacks on September 11th can be added to that list.

On they 10 year anniversary, I thought it would be appropriate to share my memory. It’s not earth shattering or jaw dropping. It’s probably comparable to what many others experienced. But every story belongs to its owner so here is mine.

I woke up and headed to my apartment complex gym to work out. It was later than usual because I had the day off from work and let myself sleep in. There was one other person in there. I walked on the treadmill first and then decided to do the stationary bike, which happened to be parked right in front of the TV. I had it set to the morning news and when that was over The Today Show came on. I was reading a magazine as I pedaled and only half paying attention to the news. I would glance up occasionally and then back down to my fashion mag.

I looked back up and saw footage of the World Trade Center with a gaping flaming hole in one of the towers. At first I thought they were showing clips from a movie until I turned the volume up and realized it was real. I can not describe to you how mind boggling that was to me. I had lived in NYC for a year back in 1998 and knew those buildings well. The thought that a plane had crashed in to one of them was just crazy. I stared and stared.

Then the second plane hit and I saw it happen. The Today Show happen to have the live footage up of the North Tower when the 2nd plane hit the South Tower. I gasped along with Matt Lauer, and the rest of the country, as we all realized what was happening. That our world was about to change forever.

I didn’t dare pull myself away from the television for even the 2 minutes it would take to run back to my apartment. I didn’t want to miss a moment of it. I literally sat and pedaled on that bike for 2 hours. The other person in the gym left at some point but I didn’t notice. Finally, after learning of the Pentagon crash and the one in Pennsylvania, I managed to slip away and head back to my apartment. I immediately turned on the TV. I had messages waiting from my boyfriend who wanted to know if I’d heard. I called and begged him to come over right away. His bosses had told him not to come in to work so he rushed over to my place. While I waited for him I called my parents. They hadn’t heard yet. When I told my dad  he didn’t understand at first. I think he thought I was making it up or something.

When my boyfriend arrived we just clung to each other on the couch and watched the coverage. We were scared. We were confused. We were saddened. But mostly we were in shock. The idea that someone, some group, could and would do this to the United States was unthinkable. What would come next?

Around lunchtime I got a call from my friend at work asking me a question about something there. She needed me to come in and I said I would. When I got there we sat in my office and just talked about the day’s events. Suddenly that work project didn’t seem so important.

I left there and went back home. The rest of the day is a blur. At one point I remember getting out my photo albums and looking through the pictures of me in New York.  I couldn’t believe so many were dead. I couldn’t believe the Towers were gone. I thought of all the times I had spent downtown. The summer I lived there I went to a free concert at the WTC plaza every Friday night. I kicked myself for never having gone up to the top of them. It cost $8 to go up the Empire State Building and $12 to go up the WTC. That extra $4 just seemed like too much for a struggling college kid so I picked the Empire State Building. $4 seems like nothing now.

I’m saddened that my daughter will never know “that New York”. It’s a different city now. But someday I’ll take her to the memorial site and explain what happened. Those that died should never be forgotten. Those that gave their lives to save others will always be symbols of what this country stands for. I want my children to know that.


Random Thought Tuesday

First of all, let us all rejoice that it is the first work day of the week and it is in fact a Tuesday. Can I get an AMEN for long holiday weekends!?!

Now on to the randomness…

1. Isabella was a good baby. No colic and not real fussy. Pretty easy (so I’ve been told). We had an occasion night here and there when she wouldn’t sleep but overall I’d say we were darn lucky. So when it took over 90 minutes to get her to sleep last night, amongst crying and jumping and singing and yelling and bargaining and throwing tantrums (and that was just what I was doing), we were shell shocked. Again. Well, I was. CJ was spared for the most part thanks to being the league manager for Omaha Sports Club volleyball (yes OSC, you owe me one – I’ll add it to the list). He conveniently had to make phone calls to arrange tonight’s tryouts so I was on mom duty alone. At one point, I sat in the chair, pulled my knees to my chin, covered my ears and rocked. But she kept crying. I finally had it and went stomping in to her room and yelled “STOP IT RIGHT NOW!” as I picked her up. That sent her in to more tears, but these were the sad, scared kind, not the fakey “I’m just trying to get attention and avoid bed” kind. I was immediately sorry and guilty and cuddled her tight. And then went downstairs and told CJ to please for the love of God go up and get her to sleep. Then I zoned out in front of the TV and tried to escape. I was just sure that she would remember mommy yelling at her and hate me forever. But this morning she didn’t want me to leave for work and begged me to hold her just one more time. Life is good again.

2. And now for some pictures of Isabella, just because.


Here she is playing in the giant camel tunnel at the Omaha Children’s Museum.


And here she is dressed up as that same camel! Don’t ya just want to smother those cheeks in kisses?

3. It’s time to start over. On a lot of fronts. I see September as a month for new beginnings. We get to start over in a new house. We get to start over trying for another baby (I hope the walls of the new house are sound proof if ya know what I mean – ha!). And I get to start trying to lose the weight I gained in pregnancy. I put on about 8 lbs in that 10 weeks. Two of it is already gone, thanks to the procedure, so I have about 6 to go. I need to get back to eating more fruits and veggies and fewer sweets, along with more regular workouts.

We also need to tighten up the budget. Over the summer we got spend-happy – working on the house, going on vacation, buying for a new house – so it’s time to reign that in too. No more online shopping for things I don’t need. No more eating out every weekend and every breakfast (for me). We have to start spending more consciously so that we can pay off the credit card and pay down our new loan. Time to remember our resolutions from January. We accomplished one already, now it’s time to make serious progress on the other two!

4. THE OFFICIAL PRO-SEASON FOOTBALL GAMES START THIS WEEK! Sorry for yelling at you all but I have so missed my Steelers. While it was fun to watch Hines kick up his heels during the off season, I’m ready for some good old fashioned Pittsburgh ball. First game is this Sunday! Yippee! I suppose I should go check on my Fantasy team…see who I have on my roster. I’m ready to kick some ass!

5. For the past 3 days I’ve been having major acid reflux/indigestion/heartburn, accompanied by a back ache. According to Google, I either have gallstones or am having a heart attack. Maybe I should call my doctor tomorrow.

6. I have these 2 items upstairs in my kitchen, taunting me:

photo 4

Chocolate chip cookie dough…

photo 3

…and chocolate chip Oreo fudge brownies. The picture doesn’t do it justice. It’s really quite the slice of heaven. How can you go wrong with a dessert that has chocolate chip cookie bars topped with double stuff Oreos and fudge brownies? You can’t. You just can’t. If it weren’t for items #3 and #5 on the list, I’d be face deep in one or both of them right now. But I’m not. See, I can show restraint.

Well, that’s it for me tonight. Time to go upstairs and crash in to bed. Isabella went down easy tonight so I think I’ll follow suit. Nighty-night!

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