Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Relentless Preparation

This Friday I'm set to meet with the folks at one of our local Farrell's Extreme Bodyshaping gyms.  I'm 99.9% sure I'm going to sign up for the next 10 week challenge (starts January 7, 2012 through March 17, 2012).  I've never been to this location before, so I want to check it out and ask some final questions.  I'm struggling with which time of day would work best for my workouts.  Ideally I'd be in either the 5:00 a.m. or 6:00 a.m. class, but apparently these two class times are already sold out.  I'm in court so often that I'll have to take an educated guess on which time is least likely to have a hearing scheduled.  I'm excited to get started (assuming everything goes well Friday).  

Friday, December 23, 2011

Ho, Ho, Ho

Santa was feeling pretty crafty tonight:

We're doing Christmas at the parents' house this year (as usual), but I wanted Isla to have some unwrapped presents from Santa at our house when she wakes up.  I know she won't really appreciate the gesture at her age, but I figure I should get in the habit.  She's growing so fast!


Thursday, December 22, 2011

I'm Where I'm Meant To Be

As most people know, I'm generally fairly sarcastic and extremly a tad bit pessimistic.  What can I say, I'm a work in progress.  Anyhoo, I've been actively trying to be content and happy - especially when it comes to unexpected delays, traffic jams, etc.  I know that every unexpected delay, long line or wrong turn is just the means of putting me where I need to be at a particular moment in time.  Today was one of the coolest examples of that.  This morning I stopped on my way to work and picked up a large coffee.  Yum.  I parked in the parking lot in the back row as is my habit and walked the long walk through the cold parking lot into my office building and up to my office.  I was about ten steps from my office door when I realized I'd left my nice warm coffee in my car.  I do this twice a week on average.  In the past, I've been annoyed and pissed off at myself as I grumpily turn around and stomp my way back to my cold car to retrieve the forgotten stimulant.  Today, however, I shook my head, smiled and sighed as I turned around and headed to the elevators.  I thought to myself, here is a perfect time to try to be happy and content where I am because God has decided I need to be here.  I made the long walk to my cold car a little more cheerily than usual, picked up my coffee and headed back to the building.  On the way I thought "Man, it's cold outside! But, maybe I forgot my coffee in the cold so I could be reminded that I'm fortunate enough to have a car to walk to and a warm cup of coffee waiting for me when I get there."

But that's not the end of the story.

When I got to the elevator bank, I saw another attorney, let's call him Attorney Tom, trying to get in the building from the back door.  That entrance is for tenants only and requires a magnetic key card (I usually skip this door and take the longer route to the front of the building).  I heard the beep of Attorney Tom's key card and thought nothing of it.  However, just as the elevators doors opened for me to step inside, I heard Attorney Tom's key card beep again.  It was beeping, but it wasn't unlocking the door for him to enter.  I walked the 20 steps or so to the back door and opened it up for a very cold and very grateful Attorney Tom.  If I hadn't forgotten my coffee and retraced my steps out to my car, Attorney Tom would have been waiting a while in the cold for someone to open the door, or he would have had to walk all the way around the building to get in through the front entrance.  I don't believe this morning's events were a coincidence.  I believe it was God saying, "See?  I told you working on being content and happy would have its rewards."  It put a smile on my face anyway :)

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Book recommendation

I was shopping yesterday afternoon for a much wanted needed black coat and saw this book near the check out area:

It's a marvelous book for children that emphasizes to the reader that there is no one else in the world like them.  I bought it for my daughter; although, at one year old, she won't appreciate the message until later.  I read it to my nieces yesterday afternoon and they were very pleased to learn they were entirely unique creatures.  Big thumbs up from me :)

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Stunner :)

Bear Mace 'Em

I'm sick of the Flea Party a/k/a the Occupy crowd.  They no more represent the 99% than Warren Buffet does.  Last I checked, 99% of the people I know don't defecate on public streets, use intravenous drugs, rape, assault or expect the government to give them everything for free.  My friends also aren't dumb enough to embrace celebrities that show up at protests against capitalism wearing $1000 jeans and profiting off of the backs of the very people they protest against.  The mix of homeless, insane, trust fund babies, and criminals does NOT represent any 99% I'm aware of.  

Friday, November 18, 2011

I went all right? There, I said it!

Okay, so I admit that I went to see the new Twilight flick with my sister Megs this morning.  *sigh*  It couldn't be helped.  She had a gift card and wanted to see the movie; I'm a sucker for hanging out with my sisters and a free movie. The movie was not as bad as I expected.  Actually, there were some funny parts and the action scenes were decent.  I just can't wrap my head around the cheesy love scenes.  Maybe it's because girls these days aren't brought up to believe in all of the romantic gestures our early counterparts were.  Who knows?  All I know is that whenever the perpetually teenage Edward starts spouting his undying love for Bella I feel like upchucking in my un-buttered bag of popcorn.  Am I the only one? I appreciate the photo above for the simple reason that real vampires shouldn't sparkle :)

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Crazy Dream

More often than not, when I dream the dreams are crazy, vivid as hell and very real.  I will also have new dreams that involve places I've visited in dreams I've had years and years before.  I'm a light sleeper and wake up quite often throughout the night; but, for some reason, I'm able to direct myself to lay back down, fall asleep, and pick up my dreams from where they left off.  

Anyway, last night was another doozy.  I was waiting in an airport for the escalator to take me down to street level so I could leave.  Apparently, I'd just flown back from New York (haven't been there in years) and at this particular airport, you had to wait your turn to ride the escalator - kind of like a water slide ride.  Anyway, I'm standing off to the side with this gal who who used to live across the street from me as a kid (we'll call her "Chadwick").  All of a sudden, this complete douche bag of a guy (he'd just gotten off from another plane that landed from New York) was asking the escalator attendant to put the escalator into some kind of super drive speed.  The escalator attendant wasn't having it and explained to the Douche that it wasn't an option.  Douche started yelling that that's how things are ALWAYS done in the airports that he flies into.  Douche is actually getting quite loud and disruptive.  The rest of the line, myself included, are watching this little scene without much interest until....Douche's friend walks up and threatens to beat the crap out of the escalator attendant.  I mean this guy throws down his bags and everything - grabs the escalator attendant by the scruff and explains that while his friend might be a douche "that's no way to talk to him."  

Turns out the Douche's friend is a guy I used to crush on really hard years ago (you know, write on a piece of scrap paper to see how my first name fits with his last name, that kind of girly stuff).  Let's call the friend Washington Square.  Well, anyway...I sort of fade into the crowd so Washington Square won't see me. I'm not really sure why.  But to help alleviate the situation, I whisper to Chadwick that she should intervene and tell Washington Square to calm down a bit.  She does so and apparently Washington Square was grateful because he gives Chadwick a wallet size picture of himself with the words "You've got nice tits" scrawled on the back.  Interesting.  Chadwick explains that Washington Square and Douche are going to be at his family's condo on Lake Okoboji at the Cutty's Resort.  Okoboji is where we are apparently in the dream and it's where I live.  

I know you're hoping this dream is over, but this is just the beginning.  I go home - my home in the dream is the house my great-grandpa built for his wife in the mid 40's or 50's (gorgeous house - wish the family still owned it) - anyway, I go home and wander through the formal dining room with all its' dark wood and china displays until I reach the living room.  I think I sit down to the baby grand piano behind my grandfather's chair.  He's watching television - I can't see what he's watching, but he tells me how proud he is of my daughter Isla and how much he wishes he could have lived long enough to meet her.  Of course in the dream he's as alive as I am, but his statement seems to make perfect sense.  I explain that it's all right, I know he loves Isla as much as he ever loved me.  

The scene from the airport is still in the back of my mind though, and I go downstairs and get on this really old 1990's style desk top computer for the purpose of emailing Washington Square.  I decide instead to walk over to Cutty's Resort to say hi to Washington Square.  In the dream of course, Lake Okoboji doesn't look anything like the real thing, but instead resembles something more akin to a large bay on an ocean.  The town of Okoboji, instead of being small like it is in real life, is actually pretty crappy looking once I leave the shelter of Monarch Cove where our house is located (now the house has transformed from my great-grandparent's home to our cabin).  In fact, as I start walking down the highway headed north, I'm walking along a street that looks like some of the bad parts of Chicago.  I turn down a dark alley that's adjacent to some kind of manufacturing plant and run into three drunk dudes who are trying to buy more alcohol.  At this point in the dream, I must have been invisible b/c the guys cannot see me, but I continue to walk along with them.  They break into a house to rummage through the refrigerator.  The homeowner returns home and turns out to be some kind of M13 gang leader covered in nasty looking tattoos.  He proceeds to murder these three guys in the bathroom (I'll skip the graphic details). The bathroom looks like a nice multi-stalled room you'd find in a Neiman Marcus - plush carpets and everything.  

Then I'm outside again and it's light out.  I continue walking along the road toward Cutty's Bay.  The whole time I'm thinking why in the hell does Washington Square's family have a condo at Cutty's?  It's not the highest class place in the world and I'd always understood Washington Square to be more than comfortable.  Furthermore, my family had owned property on Lake Okoboji since the 1930's and he'd never mentioned it.  In any event, I get to Cutty's Bay and instead of going in to find Washington Square, I decide to go swimming in the bay which looks like something out of an MTV Spring Break scene. I pay $4 for all you can eat fruit which is the only cover charge to get into the Bay.  I proceed to swim for hours in the ocean/Lake Okoboji.  As I start to leave Cutty's, I see Washington Square and Douche by the pool.  I don't let him see me and I proceed to walk home. 

When I get home I go back downstairs to the crappy computer and start typing up an email to Washington Square. I start out by writing that I never knew he was so pugilistic and that I'd seen him in the airport.  For some reason, he immediately emails me back to say he's coming over.  My husband is fine with this oddly enough.  However, before he gets there, I call Washington Square back and tell him he doesn't need to come over after all.  

WHAT THE HECK?  All those people out there that think dreams mean something....ummmm....I don't think so :)

Current Play List

1. Rhianna - We Found Love featuring Calvin Harris
2. DEV - In the Dark
3. Dave Matthews Band - Stay or Leave
4. Tool - The Pot
5. Crystal Castle - Not in Love featuring Robert Smith of The Cure
6. Adele - Someone Like You (Live at Later with Jools Holland)
7. Adele - Hometown Glory
8. BarlowGirl - Never Alone
9. You and Tequila - Kenny Chesney featuring Grace Potter
10. Dog Days Are Over - Florence and The Machine

Sunday, July 10, 2011


Phenomenal game ladies!  Such a hard fought battle.  The US was hosed throughout the game thanks to shoddy refereeing - they played a man down for half the game and came out victorious!  So inspirational.  Almost makes me have enough energy to get off my butt and do something physical today :)

Usually I have no problems with the country of Brazil - but, when it comes to soccer, I HATE BRAZIL!  Go US!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Baby Steps

Okay, so I’ve hit my first little work-out goal; that being, to work out 6 days in a row.  Woo hoo!  I haven’t updated my blog with the chart simply b/c it would become full of tiny little charts – I figure I’ll try to update those (both debt and working out) maybe once every two weeks or so; unless, I’m doing really awesome and feel the need to brag to cyberspace.  So, Monday through Saturday this past week, I really worked my butt off.  Today is my “off day” so-to-speak, so all I really did was make sure to stretch, drink lots of water, etc.

In many ways, I can’t believe that working out 6 days in a row would even be a goal of mine.  The “me” of three years ago would have scoffed at something so minor.  Up until then, I’d made working out my major hobby.  6 days a week?  That was nothing.  I would work out 7 days a week and, often, 2-3 times per day depending on my schedule.  Granted, that was a bit of overkill – I have a tendency to become addicted to whatever I’ve set my mind to.  At this stage in my life (married, baby, etc.) I don’t think I could become that crazy again even if I wanted to. 

So, baby steps.  

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

My baby is a holiday child

Okay, so super exciting news....my little NICU nugget of love is set to come home THIS FRIDAY!  I know!  We just found that out yesterday which was the best Valentine's Day present ever.  It also got me thinking of other milestones in Isla's life and I realized that she likes to be associated with national holidays - probably so her loopy mom will remember!

Mother's Day 2010 - Isla was conceived (TMI?)
Halloween 2010 - Isla was baptized
New Year's Day 2011 - Isla went to straight nasal cannula
Valentine's Day 2011 - Found out Isla is coming home!

After doing some brief calculations, I figure this means she's on track to graduate from Kindergarten this Thanksgiving.  Maybe high school by Christmas.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011


I think today's "Dilbert" cartoon is spot-on commentary about the laziness of modern life.  How many of you use the "auto-correction" feature on your cell phones?  And, by the way, should "auto-correction" actually have quotes around it?  Hmmmm.... for another day.  Anywho, I've only been using this feature for about a month or so because in the world of technology I'm about as current as an Atari.  My baby sister was the victim of my auto-correction use this past December when I decided to text her happy birthday wishes early in the morning.  Her nickname since birth has been "Doodles," so I texted "Happy Birthday Doodles."  Simple enough, right?  Not.Even.Close.  My cell phone, in all its inanimate glory changed Doodles to Fondler.  FONDLER?  I didn't notice of course until Doodles texted me back understandably confused by my carelessly tossed out birthday accusation.  For the record, I have no knowledge that Doodles has fondled anyone - intentionally or otherwise - but I suppose my cell phone might know something I don't.  Personally, I think my cell phone is a big 'ol perv because anytime I try to type the word "in" it replaces it with the word "ho."  Not cool Samsung.  Not cool. 

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

'Cause Baby You're a Firework!

Okay, so one of the blogs I try to pay attention to is 29 and Holding by RN Mama - I think she's hilarious.  Anyhoo, she does a year-end questionnaire to sort of recap big/interesting/small/funny/etc. moments that happened in the previous year.  I think it's a pretty cool idea so I'm going to answer the same questions.  Don't worry, I have her explicit permission :)

1. What did you do in 2010 that you had never done before?

Well, the biggest thing by far that comes to mind is that I had a baby!  I KNOW, right? Isla Marie in all her 1 pound 1.8 ounce glory was born at 25 weeks +1 day gestation - I wasn't set to meet her until February 1, 2011, but maybe she wanted to make the list? 
This is my heart

2. Did you keep your New Year's Resolution, and will you make more next year?
Hmmm...this is a tough one since I didn't do a year-end questionnaire last year.  I think I vaguely remember having the goal of getting my house more organized and, unfortunately, I failed miserably in that area.  ARGH.  For the sake of our little girl (when she can come home - hopefully soon!) though, Luke and I have been forced to get more organized this year.  So, I'll still leave "Get House In Order" this year, but add above that as my first priority:  "Be the best mom I can be and try not to freak out too much when Isla first comes home." 

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
See answer to question #1 :) 

4. Did anyone close to you die?
Yes, my cousin Billy of cancer.  He was a wonderful singer and loving person.

5. What countries did you visit? 
Wal-Mart...does that count?  It's at least GOTTA count between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 5:00 a.m. Other than that, none :( Although Scotland and Italy are on my radar. 

6. What would you like to have in 2011 that you lacked in 2010?
Hmmm....I know this sounds kind of silly, but I want a Wii so that I can stream movies from Netflix.

7. What dates from 2010 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
Tuesday, February 23, 2010, the day my dad was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer;
Tuesday, October 12, 2010, the day I first learned Isla (then known simply as future coolest baby ever!) was having trouble in the womb and might have to be born early; and,
Wednesday, October 20, 2010, the day my little angel was born.

I love you dad
 8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Okay, the theme for this list should simply be "The Year of Isla"

9. What was your biggest failure?
Not working hard to stay in shape.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
No...unless you call the wickedly weird rash I had on my forearms for two weeks in December caused by the multiple daily hand/arm washings in the NICU and illness - I now have "special" soap. It's probably a placebo, but it works!

11. What was the best thing you bought?
 Mermaid painting for Isla's room - purchased it in Maine.  GORGEOUS. 

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
Isla!!!  On so many levels and in so many ways, it's hard to describe.  As always, you can check out her amazing progress at her Caringbridge site. 

 13. Whose behavior made you appalled or depressed?
I'm invoking my right to remain silent.

14. Where did most of your money go this year?
Medical bills and preparations for Isla's homecoming.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
I'll give you a hint....starts with an "I" and ends in a "sla"

16. What song will always remind you of 2010?
"Hey Soul Sister" by Train.  I love that song and must have put it on every CD I burned this year. 

17. Compared to this time last year are you (a) happier or sadder; (b) thinner or fatter; (c) richer or poorer?
(a) I'm happier this time than last year, but definitely more overwhelmed.  (b) I'm also fatter *sigh* and I can't blame that all on my gorgeous child.  I only gained around 15 pounds with her before the Great Evacuation of October 20, 2010.  I've lost that already, but am still bigger :( To remedy matters however, I stared P90X with my sister - we'll see how that goes.  So far so good, although I'm pretty sure I broke my right hamstring :) That might be a little dramatic, but it's pulled for sure. (c) Yikes....well, I guess I'm "richer" in the sense that we've paid off a lot of debt in the last year. 

18. What do you wish you had done more of?
Gone to the lake more with my hubby or taken a trip when we had the chance.

19. What do you wish you'd done less of?
Procrastinate in just about every area of life.

20. How did you spend Christmas?
Family gathering at my parents' house - then cuddled with Isla in the NICU.

21. Did you fall in love in 2010?
Yes, with my daughter.  And, SHOCKINGLY, stayed in love with my husband :)

22. What was your favorite TV program?
Tie between Archer and The League

23. Do you hate someone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
Hate is a pretty strong word - not sure anyone deserves that emotion.  At least none that I know personally.  There are quite a few that I dislike, but those seem to be the same as the year before. 

24. What was the best book you read?
I'd have to say a tie between two books that are absolutely nothing alike:
The Richest Man in Babylon by George S. Clason; and, Half-Baked: The Story of My Nerves, My Newborn, and How We Both Learned to Breathe by Alexa Stevenson.

25. What was your greatest musical discovery?
The song "Your Ex-Lover is Dead" by Stars.  It's not as morbid as the title suggests :)

26. What did you want and get?
There really wasn't a whole lot that I wanted except for my pregnancy to go well and for my baby to be healthy.  Well, the pregnancy didn't go well in the sense that our little honey was born WAY too early.  And the latter caused her a whole lot of complications, but she's doing so darn well - and so healthy under the circumstances that I'm going to answer this questions with "Yes, I have a beautiful and amazing daughter."

27. What did you want and not get?
Nothing comes to mind.

28. What was your favorite film of the year?
Hmmmm, unfortunately my vice is going to movies so I saw a lot.  So many, that I probably can't really remember all of them.  Umm, my favorite experience (but definitely NOT favorite movie) was going to see Avatar in 3D with my dad.  I think the last movie I saw with him in the theatre was probably The Little Mermaid when I was 9.  The most recent movies that I can remember enjoying were "Morning Glory," "The King's Speech," "True Grit."

29. What did you do on your birthday and how old were you?
Sadly, I can't really remember what I did on my birthday.  Well, my birthday was on a Tuesday and I was pregnant.  So it's safe to say I worked and didn't drink :) I absolutely remember the beautiful hand-made wooden box Luke made for me on my birthday.  It's absolutely beautiful!  I use it for special things; i.e.: Isla's ultrasounds, her little blood pressure cuff, etc.

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Keeping Isla in my tummy until the end of the year.  That's pretty obvious.  Otherwise, being completely out of debt (school loans, home loan, etc.).

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2010?
Pregnancy pants.

32. What kept you sane?
So much stress that I was forced to cope.

33. What celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Rugby standout Sonny Bill Williams

34. What political issue stirred you the most?
Tea Party Movement - I know, not really an "issue" per se.

35. Who did you miss?
My friends from college and a few of the people I used to work with.  I will always miss my grandparents.

36. Who was the best new person you met?
All of Isla's amazing doctors and nurses at Sanford Health.  And Jess, another mother I met in the NICU.  She and her family are wonderful people!

37. Tell us a valuable lesson you learned in 2010.
You're stronger than you think you are.

38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
"'Cause baby you're a firework!"  Isn't Katy Perry adorable?  I confess I don't really "get" the whole Russel Brand thing.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Dusty Treasure

I was dusting off my bookshelves this morning and became reacquainted with an old book my mom gave me immediately preceding my first year in law school.  It’s a first edition Letters to a Young Lawyer by Arthur M. Harris.  I always treasured the book for its contents, but paid little attention to the handwriting on the title page.  In pencil on the inside page it reads To “Ray I. Klingbiel” and the handwritten year “1924.”  Despite being admitted to practice law in Illinois, I confess I had no idea who Ray Klingbiel was and simply Googled his name out of curiosity.  It turns out, Ray Klingbiel was the Chief Justice of Illinois in 1956-57 and again from 1964 to 1967.  It appears this book belonged to Justice Klingbiel – the year 1924 is the year I understand he graduated from law school.  I’m delighted to think that Justice Klingbiel was probably given the book as a graduation gift by his parents or other family member.  Unfortunately, it appears Justice Klingbiel didn’t take the book to heart – he was ultimately forced to resign from the bench after allegedly accepting a bribe.  A book has been written on the subject:  Illinois Justice: The Scandal of 1969 and the Rise of John Paul Stevens.  Kenneth A. Manaster (University of Chicago Press, 2001).  I’ve always loved the book and now find it even more interesting.

Thursday, January 6, 2011


The use of all CAPS in the title does not begin to describe how upset I am right now with Fuji Film and its disposable cameras.  As many of you know, our daughter Isla is a micro-preemie who has spent the first 11 weeks of her life in the NICU and, we anticipate, will be spending at least another month or more in the NICU before she can come home.  Well, since Luke and I can't be at the hospital all the time, we thought it would be a great idea to leave some disposable cameras up in Isla's room so the nurses could take pictures of her when we were gone.  We left two Fuji Film disposable cameras in her room over the last month and a half.  I took the first camera to get developed at a local Walgreens last week....only 4 pictures showed up.  I asked the gal behind the counter if the rest were simply kind of dark (when Isla was first born we didn't use flashes because it would have been sensory overload for her), but she said "no, they are just black - no photos to be seen."  I was crushed - and not entirely convinced that the Walgreens lady hadn't messed up.  So today, I took the second camera to our local Lewis Drug Store to be developed.  They called me within 30 minutes to tell me that only 4 pictures were visible and did I really still want the picture CD based on the low number of photos.  I couldn't freakin' believe it!  I must admit, there was a little crying done in the car ride over to pick up Isla's photos.  Effectively 1.5 months in pictures of our daughter's life is gone without a trace.  And since I took two cameras to two different businesses, there is no question in my mind that it was the cameras themselves that were wrecked and not the individuals developing the pictures. 

Sunday, January 2, 2011

How To Make A Real Ice Pack for $.30

I've been reading Timothy Ferriss' book The 4-Hour Body and in it he refers his readers to a link where you can learn to make a real ice pack for $.30.  The recipe can be found here and is posted by Dumb Little Man.  It's pretty freakin' cool and could save you a TON of money.  I know I just blew $15 on some ice packs not too long ago when Luke's back was spazzing out him.  Now, I'm adding rubbing alcohol and Ziploc bags to my shopping list.  I haven't tried the recipe yet, but I'm thinking it's gonna work:

1. Take a Ziploc bag and toss in 1 part water and 1 part rubbing alcohol;
2. Grab another Ziploc bag and put the first bag in (with the solution) into the second bag;
3. Put it into the freezer.  DONE. 
4. If you like the fancy blue color, Dumb Little Man suggests you add some food coloring :)