My dear  old husband had a birthday last week. He turned 50. Normally he wouldn’t be keen on me sharing his age with the world but the half century mark is one that he’s proud of.

I couldn’t let this birthday go by without doing something special. I’ve know since the summer that I wanted to plan a surprise party for him but it took me a while to figure out just how I would do it. It all came together though and the big night fell last Saturday, the 10th (his actual birthday is the 15th).

The “rouse” was that we were going out to dinner with my family, which we do on a regular basis anyway so it would be nothing suspicious. The guests would arrive around 5:30 and we would get there at 6 for the surprise! Believe it or not, we were able to keep it a surprise too. There were a couple close calls in the weeks leading up to the big day but all were covered up so that he didn’t suspect a thing.

The day of the party was the most stressful for me and CJ did not help matters. I had created a video slideshow of old and embarrassing pictures that would run during the party. It took me until the night before to get it finished so I needed a way to get it to the restaurant on Saturday. We had plans to meet up with some friends Saturday morning for brunch so I suggested that CJ just go alone while I stay home with Isabella (and therefore use that time to drop off the DVD). He said no and insisted we all go. I tried again to convince him he should just go and enjoy some time away. He kept insisting so I finally relented.

I texted my brother-in-law and he said he would come to the house, pick up the DVD and drop it off for me. I told him I’d leave it between the glass front door and the storm door.

About an hour later, while we were at brunch, he texted and said the front door was locked. I had forgotten to unlatch it for him. Damn.

Plan B. When we got home and after I put Isabella down for a nap, I casually mentioned having to run to Target for milk and bread. He said he’d do it because he needed to pick up a prescription anyway. NO! I’LL GO! I insisted and he relented. *sigh*

Finally it was time to head to the party. We got there and he saw my family at a table (which was the plan) and headed toward them, into the room reserved for us. Suddenly he saw 40 or so people waiting for him and he was indeed surprised!



Isabella was too!

I was so happy to see so many people able to come out and help us celebrate. I know he was tickled too!




His sister and brother-in-law even made it all the way from Michigan! A delightful second surprise!

After some socializing and laughs over the slideshow, it was time to sing and have cake!



I hope someone was ready with the fire extinguisher…

Isabella had fun running around with some other kids but then started getting tired and cranky.


So my parents took her home so that we could stay and party! The last guest left around 10:30 p.m. and then we headed over to Two Fine Irishmen for some live music and dancing.


All in all it was a super fun night that I know CJ will remember.

I’m just glad it’s all over. All the sneaking around and withholding of information was starting to get to me!

We spent the next day with CJ’s sister and BIL, showing them around town.

We went to the Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge and walked all the way across and back (even though it was a cool rainy day).





Then we went to The Upstream Brewery to dry off and warm up with a few beers.

And monster poopy diapers. Isabella had 2 big ones during our visit and wouldn’t you know, we only had 1 diaper. CJ had to run down the street to the gas station and get another package. I was the good wife and changed both diapers, being judicious with the wipes as we were low on those too.

It all worked out and we had a really nice day.

Here is the video slideshow from the party. Enjoy and thanks to all who came out to help us celebrate!

Tee hee…

**Most of the party shots courtesy of H&J Creative Studios!

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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 still don’t have my bearings yet. I still feel like I’m always running around crazy with a  million things yet to do. Some of it’s the new house. Some of it’s work. And really just life.

We had our first Halloween at the new house. It was great. We carved 2 pumpkins this year. I thought Munch would have fun scooping the seeds out but she didn’t really want any part of it.


Samson helped though.

She finally stuck her hand in the bowl of seeds, albeit very briefly.


We let her decide what should be carved on them. I did the ghost one and CJ did the face:




Isabella came to visit me at work and she loaded up on candy there. Her costume was a lady bug this year and we ran in to a little baby also dressed as a lady bug. We had to get the 2 in a pic together!


I can’t believe how grown up Isabella looks next to the little baby. *choke*

We had our families over for dinner on Halloween night (I ordered pizza but also made Jell-o with eyes in it, “mummy dogs” and pumpkin bread) and then took all the kids out trick-or-treating. CJ, my dad and Samson stayed home to hand out the candy and my mom, sister, brother-in-law and I went with the kids.


CJ caught this picture when Isabella was literally in the middle of saying “cheese!”

This was her first year doing “real” trick or treating. Last year we took her to visit a couple neighbors but that was it. This year we hit up several streets. She did not want to walk though so I ended up carrying her most of the way, with my sister and mom taking a turn too. My arms were so tired when we got home. But it was a good chance to meet the neighbors we hadn’t been introduced to yet and score some free goodies!


By the way, CJ and I dressed as “Lady and the Tramp” for Halloween this year. It was a last minute, throw together costume.



That’s my “OMG he is so disgusting” look. And then I fall madly in love with the bum.


For the most part, no one really “got it”. They knew what CJ was but didn’t have a cool how I fit in to the picture. Oh well, maybe we’ll spend more time on it next year.

November is my favorite month of the year for several reasons – 1) Our wedding anniversary, 2) my birthday, 3) Thanksgiving 4) Black Friday and 5) the start of the holiday season. Roll all of those up in a ball and you’ve got one frickin’ awesome month!

Today is CJ and my 5 year wedding anniversary. Last year on our 4th, I posted pics of our engagement, wedding and honeymoon. This year I thought I’d post some of us from previous anniversaries.


1 year

So young and really wanting to do it up right.  We ate at Mahogany Prime, which was very good, but also very expensive. We spent over $200 on that dinner. That’s ok. We had an amazing night and one we’ll never forget!! Plus I had lobster for the first time!


2 years

Money was tight that year so we made gifts for each other. The traditional gift for the 2nd year is cotton so I made him an origami heart card out of a red bandana and he made me a card out of a pillow case, along with some cotton roses. It was cheesy and corny but so fun!


(Apparently we didn’t take any pics on our 3 year, or at least I can’t find them…)


4 years

I think we look older and wiser here. Note I didn’t say OLD, just oldER. We look like 2 people very happy with their life and how it’s going. I hope we always stay that way.

Happy Anniversary Ceige! Here’s to 5 wonderful years together and many more to come!

Next stop, my 35th birthday!!

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And This is Why We Have Roadside Assistance

Today started off pretty normal. Got up, went to work, did work stuff and then headed out for a doctor’s appointment. 45 minutes later I was back in my car. I had to make a few phone calls and instead of turning the car all the way on, I just turned it enough to roll down the windows. Though it’s hot out, there was a nice breeze and I didn’t want to waste gas. I called CJ and my mom and then it was time to head back to work.

I turned the key in the ignition and nothing. Hmm. I tried again. Still nothing. Well poop. I tried a third time and then faced facts that my battery was dead.

I called CJ wondering what I should do and he reminded me that this is why we pay for AAA. Ah ha! I knew that brilliant idea of mine way back in October would pay off! Ok so it was CJ’s idea but I wrote the check so I can take some credit.

The lady I talked to was very friendly. She asked if I needed a jump start or a tow. Well, maybe both. What if they can’t jump it? So she put on the order that I needed both and that someone would be there within 45 minutes.

Thank god for Angry Birds! I stood outside the front door of the doctor’s office and played Angry Birds for an hour, interspersed with some texting and Facebook updates. Die little green hogs die!



Finally I saw the tow truck pull up. I directed him to my vehicle and he pulled in behind it. Naturally, because this is a tow truck, it’s not exactly small and was blocking a few cars around me, one of which had a lady in it. Neither the tow truck dude nor I noticed her getting ready to back out until she came over and said in a very snotty voice, “Um, do you mind if I back out first?” Dude and I looked at each other and nodded in a look that said, “Wow, what a bitch.”

Once that was done he got his battery test kit thingie and came over. He was a young kid, probably mid-20’s, and very nice. He was easy on the eyes too, which always helps. I was afraid I’d end up with some old creepy dude like my friend Rhonda did a few weeks back. But I lucked out. He tested the battery and proclaimed it dead. We both paused for a few minutes in a moment of silence. Then he jumped it. Wow, that sounded sexual. Anyway, he got it to start with the jumper cables and told me I’d be ok to drive home or to a mechanic but as soon as I shut it off it’d be done. I thanked him and headed on my way.

The whole drive home I was terrified that it would stall on the Expressway or Interstate and I’d be the cause of a 5 car pile-up – and I’d be at the bottom of the pile. The news story would read, “Grieving husband sues AAA for letting wife drive on a bad battery” and CJ and Isabella would be set for life. Hundreds would show up at my funeral, hoping to catch a glimpse of the woman who died such a tragic death.

But none of that happened and I made it home fine. Once I got here I scooped myself up a big bowl of ice cream and promptly ate it with Munchkin. Hey, I deserved it!

Meanwhile CJ pulled the dearly departed battery out and went out to buy a new one. Apparently there was some “ta do” at the auto parts place because the battery they originally told him he needed was not the right one and they had to scramble to find another. But it all worked out and by 8:30, my new battery was installed and humming along.




I’m so glad I have a handy husband. He can fix darn near anything around here, which is really quite convenient for me and our checking account. CJ doesn’t always love it since he’s the one doing the work but whatever. If you have the skills man…besides, I do projects too when I can, like making sure to eat all the chocolate chip cookie dough before it goes bad in the ‘fridge. What can I say, I’m a giver.

Anyway, that was my drama for the day. Now it’s time to go put my pointer finger on ice. It’s hard work catapulting those birds in the air for 60 minutes!

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