"You see all my light, and you love my dark..."

The most beautiful light there is...

It means I'm home, relaxed on the couch, with my husband on one side and my cat on the other. My little family, and they make me so happy!

"I've been very hopeful so far..."

Today, I think I'll start with an assignment in which I was tagged to do on the blog of my sweet friend Michelle!

I was instructed to go into the sixth folder in my "Pictures" file, choose the sixth picture in that folder, and describe!

This picture was taken at a Flyers game that I went to with Pete a few years ago. Because they are so expensive, Flyers tickets are a once or twice a season treat for us- usually we go see the Phantoms! This particular game, they played the Montreal Canadians, and played SO badly that for the first time ever in my career as a Flyers fan, I wanted to leave before the game was over! Specifically, I tried to talk Pete into going back to the car to make out! Pete, however, insisted on watching the entire game, so there we sat, watching the Flyers get their asses handed to them by the Habs!
Thankfully, today was a much better day then yesterday! There were no unfortunate, explosive mood swings, and the day went by without incident. Anna was lucky enough to have a play date with her BFF Riley, and that took up most of the afternoon! Now it's Friday night, I'm home, and eager to go to sleep!
So, please enjoy this picture of my niece Emi chowing down on a cupcake, and have a good night!

"I hate the world today, you're so good to me, I know, but I can't change..."

Today was not a banner day for me.

And I am woman enough to admit it.

A combination of impending sickness and PMS has me walking a very thin wire- my patience levels and energy levels are already pretty low. Wait....that is me with PMS alone. PMS in conjunction with getting sick makes me feel...well...like this:

In fact, I just looked up from blogging to watch ER for a second and burst into tears. ER comes on at 10pm. It's now 10:05.

See? I'm a hot mess.

Thankfully,the day wasn't all bad, despite my horrible mood. I was able to grab a nap while my gals were at school, so that gave me a little boost for the day. Anna and I joined Randi for some lunch at Don Pablo's- the perk of having a pregnant friend is that they are always up for lunch! Even though the girls aren't mine, it is so nice to have a friend who is raising girls of the same age- I imagine I will feel the same way when I have children of my own and (hopefully) have friends with kids the same age. Those little chickens may not be mine, but I often feel many of joys and frustrations (oh, yes, frustrations!) that my friends feel for their own kids.

Still, while I enjoyed Randi's company, I found myself craving a bit of personal space- not easy when you work in a house with two little girls, another adult, and a dog! That left my nerves a little jangled (Hey, I have never claimed to be a nice person!). Worry over my sister-in-law, however, pushed me over the edge and later, I ended up picking a completely unnecessary fight with Pete. Sadly, I am still in the "I-can't-back-down-even-though-I'm-wrong-because-I-can't-admit-I'm-wrong" place. It's part of being a Taurus, what can I say?

Oh, jeeze, this episode of ER is friggin' killing me! Anyway...

An evening with my sisters-in-law (which reminds me, I was also short with the birth sister on the phone...feh...) dulled my sharp mood a little, enough to come home and try to take stock of my day. I get so frustrated with myself for feeling so down, especially when so many people- even the people that I love- have "real" problems. Did you mom ever say to you "Oh, I will give you something to cry about!"? I kind if wish someone would say that to me, so I could get a friggin' grip!

Thank GOD next week I'll get my period and get over myself...at least for another 28 days! ;-)

Goodnight, my loves!

PS- Ann, how many Hail Mary's would I get for this one???

"Visions are flashing into my head, as I reminisce..."

Wednesday, January 28th, 2009: (noun) a day that lies in the middle of the week on the third week of the year. Completely unique in that there can only be one, although there may be many more Wednesday, January 28th throughout the course of time.

Synonyms: cold,wet, icy, delayed, busy, grey, sniffly, artsy, friend-filled, sisterly, delicious, loving, tired.

Please see below for further descriptions of the day:

Fig. 1

Fig. 2

"Memories made in the coldest winter..."

Woo! Today was a cold one! I woke up this morning to find snow falling!

It had tapered off by the time I got to work, and so I proceeded to start a pretty quiet day. Anna has been fighting off a cold, and I am starting to think I might be following suit. I am starting to get the cough and have just been feeling so tired the past few days!Come 2pm today, it was a struggle to stay awake!

I am willing to bet that part of the reason for that is that I am in terrible shape; in fact, I am, like, 99.9999999% sure it is! It's just that when it comes to finding the motivation to make improvements, I find myself a little (ahem....alot) on the lax side! I hate to complain about it day after day without really doing anything about it, but I am trying to be honest here! I'm just letting it all out and hoping that I was be able to reach down deep to do something about it!

That said, it's off to bed, I am one sleepy girl! But, please, by all means! Stay. Read. Tell me if you have something to say, or any random thoughts at all! And hang out to enjoy this picture of bird footprints in the snow!

"Someday I'm gonna find it, wish I knew what I was looking for..."

UGGHHH....I was looking forward to a night in front of the television after a long day at work, and what happens? Gossip Girl is a rerun! Oh,well. After last night's television extravaganza, I should be okay with a little rerun action tonight!

And on another note, this dude is an absolute lunatic!

Now, to the matter at hand...

Today was a typical Monday, with a kind-of sluggish Nanny Brie and two tired little gals! We went about our usual business, but there were two moments that, although fleeting, felt very significant.
First, I finally went to Social Security to change my last name! And let me tell you- that place is a whacky shack!! I have never seen so many nutballs under one roof, and I just watched the Duggar wedding on TV last night!! I just felt horrible for the poor, poor security guy at the front. If I had known what his job entailed, I would have brought that poor schmuck a vodka tonic!

The freak show I witnessed was not the significant moment, although I think it scarred me for life!

What felt significant is that I walked in a Wexler and left a Latini, and although being married to Pete is honestly a dream come true (and there's no other way to say it, it is), it was a little hard to let go of my Wexler-hood. It's the name of my father, my Mom-Mom, it's what I was for almost 32 years. Marla and I are "Wexler Girls" through and through. One of my favorite people on this earth, my music teacher Mr. Reid, always referred to me in his thick Boston accent as "Wex-LAAHHHHHH". I am thrilled to be a Latini- I feel like these people I married into were somehow created just for me! Still, it's a little hard to say goodbye to Brie Wexler!

The second thing was the briefest of moments- over in just a second. But something about it really touched me. Driving home from picking up Anna, she was riffling through my purse and found my cute, new Vera Bradley photo album. She was having a good time identifying all of the people in the pictures"There's you and Pete! Hey, that's you with Marla! Oh, there's Shelly! Is that Ann Marie? Why are you all hanging onto a pole? (whoops)" and on. Flip,flip, until she got to a picture and said "There's you and Greg at your wedding!".

Our wedding was almost 3 months to the day before we lost Greg, and by then, he didn't look like the Greg I had known. Eye patch aside, his face sagged on one side, his smile wasn't the same. What struck me was that with all of the innocence and honesty children have, changes do not go by unnoticed. God, Anna notices if I change my earrings! But with all that was going on, she could look at that picture, see someone who looked so different then when she became best friends with his daughters, and say "Oh, there's Greg".

Yup, there's Greg, baby girl, and I was so happy he was there!

Lastly, today, I was going through Ellie's work folder and looking at some of her completed classwork. Her class has been working on two-letter sounds, and on her worksheet, she had to come up with a word that started with the "sm-" sound. The word she chose was "smelly", which made me laugh, but what really killed me was the smell waves she drew coming off of the sock!

How cute is that? Anyway, hope your day hasn't been to smelly! Goodnight!

"It's a nice day for a white wedding..."

Weddings are such a joy!
Especially when the magic of television allows you to witness the marriage of the oldest son of a family with 18 children and a young, scared girl who may well have never seen seen a real, live penis before!

Okay. That was a little mean. And I think saving sex for marriage is a great thing (stop laughing, Marla, I really do!)! But if two grown adults sharing their first kiss ever at the alter was the norm, it wouldn't be on TLC!

I made sure I got dressed up in my "Maid of Honor" tee from Marla's bachelorette party and my bridal veil from my own for the blessed event of the A Very Duggar Wedding! My sister-in-law Ann Marie came over to enjoy the "munchies" reception help at my apartment, and we enjoyed everything from the homemade bridesmaid dresses to the slightly-painful-to-watch-it-was-so-awkward first kiss to the introduction of the Dr. Ed Wheat's "Love Life for Every Married Couple"!

Since the reception was a no drinking, no dancing affair, Ann Marie and I decided to spice things up a little, since it was, after all, our own private celebration of the Duggar marriage! And, to not be mean for a second, they really are a sweet (if exceedingly fertile) family, and they all seem to be very happy and blessed, so more power to them! It was cute seeing how truly happy everyone was for the cute (if not a little naive) couple!
So, Mazel Tov to the happy couple!!! L'chaim!

"I don't wanna be the girl who has to fill the silence..."

This morning, I had a huge fight with my husband. I was so upset; I could not stop crying and yelling, and I even hit him. I could not believe this fight was happening, it was awful!

Thankfully, I was dreaming! I don't dream very often, but when I do, I tend to have very strange dreams, and this time I was dreaming that he cheated on me!! The only problem was, I was still dreaming when Pete leaned over to say goodbye to me, so in my confusion, I pushed him away and yelled "Get away from me!". Poor Pete didn't know what end was up, so he just kind of snuck out and I fell back asleep! I didn't even realize that I had yelled at him until I spoke to him later in the day! I felt terrible- that was quite a send off for Pete's first day of clinicals!

I have to say, though, I'm kind of annoyed. Why can't I have dreams that I am the one cheating...with Benjamin Bratt? Mmmmm...Benjamin Bratt. At any rate, that's how my day started out!

I met up with Marla and Steve at The Painted Cottage- my second trip there this week! After breakfast we all headed over to Mom-Mom's for a visit. I regaled her with pictures and videos of Ellie and Anna, and Marla and Steve showed off pictures of their gorgeous new home! She seemed a little low-energy, and was not ready to get out of bed yet, even though she really should be walking to improve her circulation. But, she was spending alot of time in bed before all of this, since the Alzheimer's and depression pack quite a punch. That said, we still had a great time laughing and talking, and we're just going to take it day by day.

After Mom-Mom's I ran a few errands and then came home to get ready to meet Carmen and her family out for dinner! It was a great night- everyone had a blast and our table was the loudest in the place!! I had loads of yummy food, got to have a night out with Pete, and celebrate my Carmen's birthday for the second time since our Applebees night!! I took this picture of a cool fish light that was hanging by the hostess stand!

I am finding that the beauty of Project 365 is that I am always on the lookout for a cool shot to capture! It's making the every day that much more beautiful and I search for the sight or moment I am going to use to remember that particular day forever.

Today, when I walked in from running my errands, I found an exhausted Pete sound asleep on the couch with Gordie curled up next to him! It was so sweet that I was reaching for my camera before I even had the door shut behind me! As I snapped a few pictures, I thought about how I will be able to remember that tiny moment forever now!

I have the feeling that I will need those small doses of sweetness to get me through.

"Shine a light, shine a light, shine a light..."

Oh, happy day!

Finally, finally, after months of waiting, months of sulking, months of dreaming about what color we would paint our walls, salvation came in the form of an electrician! We can finally turn the lights on in our living room, and now that the repair is done, can paint the walls! I am so, so happy to be blogging by the light of the ceiling fan! Yay!

The repair delight came as the capper to what has been an exceedingly long week! It was a week of late nights with my gals and alot of drama with my family, so even though having the electricity fixed is a little thing, it's shining right into my heart right now!! It takes so little!

So....sigh. Here's the 411 on Mom-Mom. On Monday, she was having some mild chest pains, so she went to her family doctor, who promptly told her to go to the ER. Off she went, and several tests later, it was determined that she had a small blockage in her heart, and that a cardiac catheterization would remove the blockage.

Catheterizations are performed under conscious sedation,meaning that the patient is partially awake. It's not a fun procedure- according to Marla, who had had several, it "hurts like a bitch". A small tube is placed into an artery in the leg and run through to the heart. Unfortunately, when they tried to enter through Mom-Mom's arteries, they were found to be almost completely occluded (clogged up). When the tried to enter through an artery in her neck, she became completely combative and agitated and started to fight them- so much so that she had to be restrained. Mom-Mom also suffers from Alzheimer's, so it's likely that a combination of the pain,drugs, and her illness frightened her.

She had a rough time of things that evening as she came down off of the drugs, and by that time,the prognosis was pretty clear. Her arteries are in terrible shape, and at 87, she is not a candidate for surgery. She had a quadruple bypass 20 years ago, but even then she was already in her 60's! She would never survive surgery now. Another catheterization is a possibility to remove the blockage in her heart, but she's refusing. The more pressing issue is the blockage in her legs- called peripheral vascular disease, it can severely restrict blood circulation. And of course, if blood flow is restricted to a vital organ...well, it's not good. And with no other option but to treat her PVD with medication, it is very likely that this disease could take her from us.

You have to understand something about my Mom-Mom- she is one tough cookie! She worked almost all of her life and was an integral member of the Retail Workers Union in Philadelphia. She didn't even retire until she was 82! She is a cancer survivor, but had buried her husband, son, and best friend in her lifetime. She's teeny-tiny, but until Alzheimer's robbed her of some of her fire, she always had big hair, pink lips, and her nails done with her name stenciled on her index fingers. Nestled in that giant hairdo was always, always a bow the same color as her outfit. She always says to moisturize every night and save part of your paycheck every week.

She may be 87, but I am nowhere near ready to contemplate her mortality. She's lived a long life, but I selfishly want her to be there for all of my life, too. We just said goodbye to Greg; I am so not ready for this. Which is why it took me a few days just to be ready to see it all in black and white in front of me on my own blog.

UGH. Okay. That was rough. Thanks for listening. Your reward is this shot of Anna, demonstrating that the bite of salad she took was THIIIIS BIG!


"In the car, we were waiting for our lives to start their ending..."

Most people that know me know that I have horrible road rage. It really is terrible- I can be driving along, listening to a great song, enjoying the day,excited to be going wherever I am going. Then all it takes is one retard cutting me off, hitting the brakes for no reason, not yielding for a service vehicle, having a stupid bumper sticker, driving 20mph in a 40mph zone, driving 40mph on a 20mph zone, talking on a cellphone while driving- oh,my GOD, I HATE when people are talking on cell phones while driving, it blocks out their whole view on the side the phone is on...UGH, PUT THE PHONE DOWN YOU FRIGGIN' IDIOT, DON'T YOU KNOW THAT THERE IS A LAW AGAI-

Ooops. Okay, so I might have a little problem here.

Anyway, driving to work this morning, I was totally cut off by an idiot in an SUV, only to have them going in the same direction on (one lane each way) Kresson Road so I was stuck behind them, spouting a long trail of sluggish profanity, as I had not had any coffee yet. Even at low energy, road rage is nothing to scoff at.

So, I took a picture of the idiot, because it just seemed so me!

(please note- I was at a stoplight that I know is very long, since I get caught at it every damn morning and placed my car in park to ensure my safety and the safety of other drivers as I quickly operated my camera. And no, I am NOT avoiding the subject of my Mom-Mom...)

(project 365)

"Sunbeams will soon smile through..."

Oh, how a dose of cuteness can cure what ails you!

After a rough yesterday, I have to admit that I was not looking forward to a long day of work today, even if it was with my cute little Chickens! I really wanted to stay in bed, cry, and eat. I remembered just in time, however, that in order to have the luxury of emotional eating, you need money to buy food, so off to work I went!

Thankfully, just in time to give me a dose of cheer, today was Anna's semester-end recital at The Little Gym! She has been going to Little Gym since she was two and LOVES it! It really is a great program, and her teachers at the Cherry Hill site are awesome- love her for her cuteness but know how to handle her sassy side! So Miss Sassy Pants is no stranger to recitals, and has gone from this:

Wait for it....

To this:

CAN YOU BELIEVE THAT? She has gotten so big, my little hula diva! Isn't she gorgeous? She was awesome, she's such a little diva! I seriously teared up while she was doing her ballet routine, she was so good, as you can see:

You can enjoy her tap routine at my friend Michelle's blog- her beautiful daughter Amelie is also in Anna's class and a great friend of Anna's! I didn't get this routine on video, so thank you, Michelle!

Seeing how big my little Chicken has become warmed my heart on a day I really needed it! I am so excited that Ellie is going back to dance this semester- I bet she's come even farther!

And maybe tomorrow, I can talk about Mom-Mom.

"What so proudly we hail..."

What a day of amazing heights for our country! No matter who you voted for, the moment that Barack Obama was sworn in was the culmination of how far we have come, and how far we have to go still.

And in the "How far we have to go still" department, I have a great picture of Anna watching the inauguration, but I can't figure out how to get it off of my camera, which is kind of the theme to the day.

I wish I had never blogged about my Mom-Mom's catheterization, because I guess I really should follow up on it, and I'm just not going to right now. Sorry. I can be amazingly stubborn, closed-in, and introverted when I actually want to ask others to be strong for me.

Oh, well.

Hopefully, I'll have the picture tomorrow.

"Traveled down the road and back again, your heart is true, you're a pal and a confidant..."

I actually did not know that was a song until tonight, when I heard it on Delilah's show on in the car! I always thought it was just the theme to the Golden Girls, I didn't know it was a real song!

The Golden Girls always makes me thing of sleepovers at my Mom-Mom's house on Saturday nights. When my sister and I were little, we would sleep over at Mom-Mom's on weekends! Every Saturday night, we'd pile into her gigantic, king-sized bed and watch TV until it was time to go to sleep! Golden Girls was always part of our TV repertoire! After TV, it would be time for bed- Mom-Mom on the right side, Marla in the middle, and me banished to as far to the right as I could get because I kicked so badly in my sleep! The next morning, we would talk her into letting us get breakfast from the Burger King around the corner!

Marla and I had to laugh when we heard this song on the radio tonight, because we were driving home from the hospital- my Mom-Mom has a small blockage in her heart, so she will have a cardiac catheterization done tomorrow morning to remove the blockage. Thankfully, it could be alot worse, and the cath, while sounding scary, should be a relatively simple procedure. But, she will need to be anesthetized, and while pretty dang good-looking for a woman her age, is no spring chicken, so this will be a semi-serious thing. This, of course, is a picture of her from our wedding- she would kill me if I used one of the pictures I tried to take of her today for Project 365!

Discomfort aside, Mom-Mom was in very good spirits and was very chatty! Observe the following conversation (don't ask me how we came upon this particular subject, it just happens when you are stuck in an ER room):


I might leave Steve (her husband) for David Beckham!

Oh, you would not!

Well, you know what they say about David Beckham....

(giggles from Brie and Marla)

What do they say?

Brie and Marla

That he has a giant weenie.

Now,you girls don't know that.

Well, his wife says it is!

Well, what would you do if you were dating someone and you found out he wasn't well-endowed?

I don't know? Can he cook?
Anyway, we ran out to get Mom-Mom something good to eat for dinner and some magazines to keep her amused, and at the drugstore we saw this display of socks that proudly declared "Slightly Imperfect!" Thinking of it now, I kind of think that we should all have a badge that loudly proclaims what we all already know! But, in the moment, we just thought it was really, really funny!
Keep Mom-Mom in your prayers tonight! Thanks!!

"Get up, a voice inside you says 'There's no time for looking down'..."

Does it make me a bad person to be this thankful for a day off, when I just had an eleven day vacation two weeks ago?

Well, if it does, call me bad.

Even though Pete had to work today, I was so thankful to be able to sleep in a bit and enjoy a leisurely day! I spent most of the afternoon watching the fine programing the folks at VH1 provide, but then I decided I would kill fewer brain cells if I cleaned the bathroom and inhaled a few cleaning products! :-P Now, I have a clean bathroom acting as a shining beacon of proof that I didn't sit on my ass ALL day!

The Latini/Trefz clan all gathered at my in-laws house to watch the (ill-fated, as it turns out) Eagles game. The kids tore around the house and the ladies gossiped, all while my poor father-on-law tried to watch the game. I snapped this funny picture of Emilia behind the baby gate! Loss aside, it was a fun evening! I am continually thankful for the amazing in-laws I got, especially when I hear horror stories of evil out-laws!

My poor husband, who had to be at work at 6am this morning, only to have an already-long day rounded out by an Eagles loss, is sound asleep on the chair in our living room. I think it is time to gather him up and get all of the Latini's in this house to bed!

"I know you, the gleam in your eyes is so familiar a gleam..."

The food wasn't fancy- pasta with meat sauce and garlic bread.

The setting wasn't spectacular- just our kitchen.

The timing was off- it was almost 10pm and kind of late for dinner.

And that wasn't wine in our glass- it was Pepsi (his) and Diet Coke (mine).

But it was our first candlelit dinner, and as we ate and chatted about babies with head trauma, the dating escapades of our friends, how much Pete hates my cat, how much I love her, and just enjoying ourselves and the food in general, I could feel happiness floating around the room.


"Oh, you can surely see you're so much more to me..."

Oh my God, I am falling asleep, so I had better make this quick!

I had such a fun night tonight at Applebees with my best girls, Marla and Carmen, to celebrate Carmen's birthday! We were provided with entertainment for the evening, as the entire male staff of Applebees, led by Brian, the worlds best server, serenaded Carmen with a highly energetic rendition of "Happy Birthday"! You kind of had to be there to know how funny it really was,but it was funny! My abs and jaw still hurt from laughing so hard!!

No gal ever likes getting older,but I am so thankful for every year Carmen is with us, and for all of the years ahead! What a great friend, wonderful person, and outstanding human! Happy birthday, Carmen!

On a side note, I let Anna paint my nails today:
It looks...awesome.

"I'm looking to the sky to save me...make my way back home and learn to fly..."

Holy smokes, it is so cold out, I can't stand it! Even the little man on the thermometer at work was bundled up! I love the little snowman next to him! At any rate, I am so happy to be home and curled up on the couch, even if I do have to sit through GW's farewell address. Well, at least it's a farewell.

Don't worry, I'm not going to go all political on you. My brain is frozen anyway!

So how startled was I when upon checking my e-mail, I saw a breaking news bulletin on Google that said a plane had crashed into the Hudson River? Of course, I ran to see what my secret crush Brian Williams had to say about it, and was relieved to see that thanks to the amazing crew, everyone was able to get off the plane safely. I just can't believe that it was birds that took that plane down! I love flying, I am not a spastic flier at all, and I never worried about plane crashes even after 9/11. But I am willing to bet that there are alot more birds near PHL then terrorists! Either way, how amazing to be able to witness such a miracle.

And what better way to digest a miracle then with dinner at Friendly's? The gals and I met up with Randi and her little gals (plus whomever is cooking in her belly!). We ate food that is bad for us and had a great Girls Night Out! It will be so much fun when Randi and I are momma's together and not Momma and Nanny (although it will not be for a while, even though I clearly have mommyhood on the brain lately). As you can see, I lovingly took a picture of two of my favorite indulgences- Friendly's Watermelon sherbert and coffee!!!
I am glad that this cold week is drawing to a close! Two more days of work and then two wonderful days off! That will be my mantra over the next two days!

"But, uh, back to the lecture at hand..."

Today was one of those weird days when the time drags by SOOOOOO slowly,but somehow, it's not annoying. It just means you can get everything you need to do done! It wasn't until about 6:30 that the day's lingering attitude started to get to me! I mean, really. By 6:30pm, everyone should be home and relaxed! But, such is life!

Besides, even if you do get home late, how can you even think of being crabby when your cute husband is in the kitchen making you a yummy dinner? I got to lay on the couch and read for a bit, and then enjoy some chicken and veggies with Pete! I think Wednesdays and Thursdays are my favorite days, since Pete doesn't work those nights and we can spend some time together...even if "spending time together" consists of me blogging and Pete playing some game or another on his XBox! We are in the same room and all I have to do is lean in to get a kiss, so it works! At any rate, I meant to take a picture of dinner before I are anything, but I forgot until there were only about three bites left on my plate. But they are lovely-looking bites anyway, right? :-)

And speaking of the book I am reading, it is "the perks of being a wallflower" by Stephen Chbosky. It's another recommendation from my amazingly smart, well-read sister-in-law Ann Marie! I am trying very hard not to devour it, so I can extend the joy of reading it for the first time for as long as possible, but I am sure I'll finish it tonight! Even though the main character, Charlie, is much younger then I am, I find myself relating to his observations about life. Isn't it great to pick up a book and make a new friend?

Of course, I am amazed that I put my new phone down long enough to even pick up a book! I fully think I am addicted to my new phone. It's sooooo sleek and pretty and gadgety! It's like my laptop in my pocket! I mean, I can check Facebook on it! E-mail! Perez! And Twittering? Oh yeah. I tweet. Sometimes four, five times a day! It's a drug, and I'm addicted.

I think the only thing I may have a bigger addiction to is blogging!

(project 365)

"I don't need a single book to teach me how to read..."

Today was a very quiet day...

...and it was the most beautiful noise I have heard in a LONG time!

Two and a half months, in fact! The renovations at my girls house have been going on since before Thanksgiving, so that's a full holiday season accompanied by near-constant noise! Now, you are reading the blog of a pretty damn noisy person! I love to sing, blast music, and to be completely honest, I talk ALOT! Seriously. You know me. I never shut up.

So you would think that noise would just roll right off my back. And for the first, oh, two weeks, it did. But as the days went by, I became pretty darn cranky! Not only was it noisy, but it smelled weird, was dusty, and completely disrupted the routine the girls and I have.

The gals and I celebrated the quiet with a rousing game of Backyardigans Memory! It was so wonderful to be able to speak to each other at a normal volume and still be able to hear each other! The girls and I had so much fun! And I must say- I usually "throw" the game so the gals can win, but I did not have to try to lose today! The girls whooped my ass! Is my memory supposed to be this bad already- I am only 31 years old! I think I had about three matches, but my poor memory aside, we had alot of fun before Ellie had to settle down to do her homework! I kind of wonder if it will be anything like this when I have my own children.

So with the house back to normal (until the downstairs renovations begin) I hope I can start to feel myself get back to normal. I have felt so...down lately. The holidays are always stressful, and the house being in an uproar has been completely disrupting, so I am hoping that with both of them over for a bit, I will start to have some pep to my step again. It's already January 13th, and I have barely skimmed the surface of the resolutions I made for this year, and want to KEEP for this year! And they include:

*eating healthier
*getting more exercise
*blogging more/creative writing
*being more organized/neat
*spending more time with my family and friends
*setting aside time for just me

I really, really want to make things happen, because I know that I am so lucky and so blessed to have this life. EVERY SECOND COUNTS! So, if you see me on the street or out here in blogland, and it seems like I am slacking please, by all means...

...call me a loser! ;-P

(project 365)

"Makin' your way in the world today, takes everything you got..."

I have become an obsessive blogger, and an even more obsessive blog-hopper! It's great for a nosey person like me who loves to hear read about how others live! And if I wasn't afraid of people knowing just how nosey I am, I would leave all of the wonderful blogs I check out some comments.

But then they would know I am nosey. Sigh...

At any rate, this fun blog (the author of which has exceedingly beautiful kids!) hosts a game of sorts- every Monday, you can blog about how wonderful you are, and list behaviors that you would never indulge in!

Well, how fun is that? Let's blog about how great I am!!

Well, I am only the most enthusiastic and hard-working of nannies, so when my alarm went off this morning, I most certainly did not let loose with a long trail of profanities on my way to the shower! And while I was in the shower, I didn't lean against the wall of the shower and doze off.

Drying off this morning, I didn't dread going to work and dealing with the continued renovations at the house. And when I got to said house, I was perfectly happy to deal with all of the noise, dust, pounding, yelling, chiming, alarming, cleaning and traffic! No, really, I was the picture of the perfect hostess!

I did not, without a doubt would never have fled the house with Anna when the cleaning crew showed up, to add to the already crowded house full of people fixing the floor and installing the alarm system! And if I had fled, I would NOT have gone to Barnes and Noble and spent the last of my gift card on a big 'ol stack of books!!

When I did get a chance to do some blog surfing, I did not have a laugh at the expense of my friend Michelle, who had a rough day and yet, somehow managed to share her angst-ridden experience in a funny way!

After a long day at work, I was not so grumpy and tired that I turned down a visit to see my Shelly and instead, stopped for some Wendy's drive-thru and went home. And when I got home, I would NEVER have walked PAST my adorable husband without so much as a hug, and instead walk over to my new phone that arrived today!

And if I had brought Wendy's home to eat, I would not consume it while rotting my brain with another Monday night in front of "Gossip Girl". I mean, really? "Gossip Girl"?

C'mon folks! You all know me better then that! :-)

(project 365)

Just a day just an ordinary day, just trying to get by..."


After a long half-day at the hospital, I am home, curled up on the couch futon with Gordie asleep in a ball next to me, indulging in one of my favorite pastimes:

Watching an awards show!!!

The Golden Globes, to be exact! My love affair with awards shows goes way, way back! As a little kid, I could count on being able to at least catch some red carpet coverage before I had to go to bed! All of the beautiful women in their fancy dresses, and the handsome men in their tuxes! It all looked so glamorous and grown-up!

Now, it's the same feelings, mixed in with a little "God, I wish I had a body like that" or "Jeeze, I wish I could afford a pair of Louboutins"! But I can not miss an awards show, so here I am on the couch!

Going back to this morning, I started my day by having my parents and Marla and Steve over for breakfast. I went to Wegman's last night after work to go get all of the goodies I would need, only wake up this morning to find the yummy lox I bought still on the table. I forgot to put it in the fridge. Sigh. Thankfully, my mom was nice enough to bring over some more, so we had something besides schmear for our bagles! I love breakfast, so we had lox and bagels(with all of the necessary fixin's), bacon, home fries, and some DELISH cinnamon rolls! Top it off with mimosa's and Wegman's coffee....Mmmmmm. Utopia on a plate.

At work today, we were busier then we have been in a while, thanks to the arrival of no less them 6 babies under the age of one! Boy, babies cry and poop alot! But tears and stool aside, they just worm their way right into your heart with their tenacity and amazing will, encased in such a teeny little body!

On my way home tonight, I noticed that the holiday decorations are still up in Collingswood, and was thankful for the late chance to enjoy their loveliness.

"There is far too much to take in here, more to find then can ever be found..."

I am finally snuggled up with my husband after a long day apart! Or, we were snuggling until he got up to get pizza. So why not spend some me time journaling?

Our Saturday's are generally spent apart. Pete works as an EMT and I spend most of my weekends at the hospital, keeping kiddos amused in the playroom! Unlike our schedule on the weekdays, Pete is out of bed first and usually out the door before it's time for me to wake up! I don't have to be at work until 10am, so I can take my time in the morning.

I would love to share the cuteness I am surrounded by at work, but thanks to HIPAA, that's illegal!

Instead, please enjoy this picture of my cat waiting by the door for me tonight!

"Can you paint with all the colors of the wind?..."

It's no secret that I am not Martha Stewart. Actually, I'm a little more like Jon Stewart- sarcastic, sharp, and Jewish!

For the longest time, I wasn't even a Martha fan! Who was this bitch telling me how to organize my closet or what to grate lemon zest on? Was she serious?

Eventually, I found my way on Martha's path of righteousness. For one thing, jail did her alot of good- she seems to have had that stick up her booty removed (there's a joke there that has to do with her stint in jail and just HOW that stick was removed, I know it, but I've got nothing right now...)! I started watching her show and found myself really enjoying it! Then she came out with that line of scrapbooking stuff, and I was hooked!

So now I am fully on the Martha bandwagon, and it's a good thing! I was inspired by the cover of this month's Martha Stewart Living Magazine to try a project with my gals!

Here's the cover:

And, well, here's what we came up with:

Well, we got the basic idea! The girls had a great time mixing food coloring into icing and making the colors lighter and darker! My artistic Ellie Belly especially was amazing with the colors! They did an outstanding job and really had a good understanding of what colors to mix and how much to add. It was insanely messy, but so fun! A good way to end off a week with my chickadees!

On an entirely different topic, my Anna Banana is becoming quite the diva! Please observe this video of her singing to her own reflection- and to Linkin Park, no less! How funny is this kid?? She LOVES the song "Leave Out All The Rest" from the Twilight Soundtrack!

I love the look on her face when she gets caught at the end!


(project 365)

"Oh what a pair we'll be..."

I know that alot of my friends/family are parents. There are aspects to parenthood that despite all of my years working with kids I just can't understand. There is however, something I have an exceedingly large base of knowledge on! I may not have kids yet, but I am a sister!

For all of you parents of daughters, you may despair while you listen to them bicker and fight, or wish for a "Child Mute" button you could press when they scream at each other after one makes fun of the other for being grounded or borrows something from the other without permission. You may wonder if you will ever have peace.

You won't. Sorry. While they are under the same roof, sisters tend to cause an unbelievable chaos. Even when they are getting along, there can be a discordant noise- a weird sort of harmony that only sisters can create. In their good moments, you might marvel at what you created. In their "off" moments...well, I am willing to bet you wish those X and Y chromosomes had paired up a little differently.

But worry not. Here's the catch that only a grown-up sister can know. Suddenly, one day, those girls will realize that they need each other more then anything else in the world. That all of that bickering and fighting is just a part of the secret language that they speak now.

Thank goodness that I am lucky enough to be one of those grown-up sisters, because without the other girl my parents managed to pop out, I'd be lost.

Plus, nobody would have made me dinner tonight!

(project 365)

"Well if I didn't say it, well I'd still have felt it. Where's the sense in that?"

Woo...what a day!

It started out great! Well, not weather wise- it's super cold, rainy and gross! I took Ellie to the bus stop and upon realizing that I forgot to bring a change of clothes to go out later, took Anna back to my apartment! She is obsessed with a furry fake sheepskin blanket that we have, so we cuddled up in that and played games on sesamestreet.com! Then it was off to dance, lunch with Randi, then back to the house to pick up Ellie from the bus stop!

Sadly, by the end of the night, I felt alot like this:

But, such is life when you are a nanny, you take the ups and the downs! Tomorrow, my gals will do something cute and their horrendous behavior tonight will be forgiven!

Bad behavior aside, I was very, very proud of Ellie and my nephew Carl, who both had work on display at the county art show! The theme was "Wow!" and it turns out, Wow! There are alot of talented kids in this area! Ellie wrote a story about holidays, and it was displayed in the literature section. Carl painted a gorgeous picture! They were both so pleased and proud, and I was pleased and proud for them! Being a grown woman who can not draw a straight line with a ruler, some of the kids artwork blew me away! And imagine- if it's a local art show today at age 6 or 7, what will it be in five years? Ten? Hey- maybe I should forget Ellie's behavior tonight just in case she becomes a famous, rich artist!

In other news, my tattoo is peeling nicely, and is almost healed and ready to become a permanent display of cuteness! Have I mentioned that I fully heart my tattoo? Because I do!

Okay, time to wipe the tears from the Law and Order episode I was watching while I blogged (yes, I cry over TV shows!) and go to bed!

(project 365)

"Kiss the rain, whenever you need me..."

Today was gross. Cold, dreary, gray and damp. Still, how pretty does the rain look on the deck, with the last few leaves of fall skimmed across the wood?

Nothing like a project to help you find a small, beautiful spot in the day.

"A penny for your thoughts but a dollar for your insides...I'm just a painter and I'm drawing a blank..."

Getting back into the swing of things after my long vacation was not as bad as I expected!

Now, I have to admit, it took me until about 10:00, 10:30am to really warm up to the fact that I was back to work, but once I did, I realized how much I missed my little gals! Ellie and Anna both had a great time in Vermont with their family, and I was treated to many tales of the ski slopes and snow! Once my first (two, large) cups of coffee set in, I was happy and settled back into my routine!

I didn't get a chance to get a picture of Ellie, as the poor kid was slaving over her homework! I didn't feel like it was fair to capture her as she tried to do a word problem that had something to do with cows and how many pogs they had.

(Um, cow word problems?)

Anna, on the other hand, was all but screaming for me to take her picture, such was the staggering volume of her cuteness! Anna discovered that when you take a braid out, it leaves your hair crinkled, or "frizzy", as she puts it. So every night, she begs me to braid her hair while it's wet. Tonight I gave in, and the sight of her running around, hair braided, freshly bathed and in her PJ's, wearing angel wings, was too cute to miss!


Even better, my sweet friend Michelle came over tonight to watch Gossip Girl (and then the Rock of Love Reunion, and then The City...)! We have been shooting for a GG date for quite some time, so I was so happy we could make it work for the mid-season premier! Chuck Bass did not disapoint, and we got to have some great girls time over yummy snacks and soda out of wine glasses! Sometimes it just takes an easy, relaxed fun time to bring the swing back to your step after your first day back to work!

And, in this case, my step is going to swing me right into bed! Let's all hope that my insomnia will mellow out like the rest of me!

I bid you goodnight!

UPDATE: I just found this awesome quote-

Happiness is always a by-product. It is probably a matter of temperament, and for anything I know it may be glandular. But it is not something that can be demanded from life, and if you are not happy you had better stop worrying about it and see what treasures you can pluck from your own brand of unhappiness.
- Robertson Davies

I love it.

(project 365)

"Could you take my picture, 'cause I won't remember..."

One of my resolutions for the new year is to blog more! I am trying this our for a number of reasons, the main one being that making a conscious effort to blog every day will give me a few minutes to both reflect on my day and take a few minutes just for myself. I find keeping a blog to be very therapeutic, and I also truly like to write. So, keeping my blog and resolving to write and reflect more can only be good!

My sister-in-law Ann Marie told me about this fun project called Project 365. The idea is to take one picture every day. It doesn't have to be of you, just something, anything, that was a moment in your day. The idea is that when you go through your collection of pictures at the end of year, you will have a reminder of each and every day!

Well, what a blessing that would be! How often do I find myself saying "God, I can't remember what I even did yesterday, it was such a blur!" One thing I learned for sure from 2008 is that you never, ever get those days back, and there are moments that I would give anything to have a piece of forever.

It's already the 4th of January, and I don't want to lose another moment, so here's my moment for today! Pete and I are cleaning up the remnants of our first holiday together, and I have been packing up all of our holiday decorations!

Here we go!

"Take a chance to recognize that this could be yours..."

I have abandoned laundry for blogging!

It's my next to last day of vacation, and although it has been a long, lovely relaxing one, I will be a little bummed to go back to work after almost two weeks of sleeping in and hanging out!

That said, I have been laying around watching HGTV. Generally, this fills me with thousands of ideas and sends me into a tizzy or refolding our towels to look fancy or re-organizing my closet! Watching HGTV paired with a PMS-induced headache, however, is just leaving me feeling increasingly bitchy about the electrical problem in our living room, closely monitored from my perch on the couch! The most ambitious project I've done today is keep A & D ointment on my new tattoo!!

Come Monday though, it's going to be back to my world of little girls, cute clothes, homework and dance class! And while I do miss my little chickens, I am going to enjoy the laziness of my last 1 and 1/4 day of vacation left!

"Don't look back, got a new direction..."

Look what I got!

It's my new tattoo!!! It's a little puffy still, but isn't it cute??? Three guesses what the "inspiration" for it is? :-)

Anyway, I hope that everyone I know and love had a happy, safe and fun New Year! I can hardly believe 2009 is upon us, with all of the promise that it holds! I usually start the new year like most people, with a list of resolutions that I punk out on by mid-February at the latest!

I mean, honestly, it's pathetic.

Nonetheless, I do have a few things I would like to try and improve upon this year- eating right and losing some weight, spending more time with my family and friends and less at work, being better with money, all of the usual things.

For 2009 though, I am hoping for so many other things, much more important then my chunky ass or horrible Barnes and Noble habit (although I really need to curb my book spending a bit!).

So, here are my New Year's Resolutions for 2009: I resolve to watch over Shelly, and continue to pray for her heart not to heal (because will any of our hearts ever really heal from losing Greg?) but to at least scab over enough not to hurt anymore. I resolve to get Marla through her struggles with lupus and be there for her through this whole medical circus. I resolve to take better care of my body, so hopefully, God will find it in His heart to add a little something, particularly to the uterus area (but not TOO soon in 2009, lest anyone get all excited!)! I resolve to make the most of the little time I do have with Pete, and know that soon enough, so much more of the world will be open to us and our marriage! I resolve to spend more time with my Mom-mom!

On a lesser note, I resolve to get a matching tattoo with Marla! I resolve to blog more- free therapy! I resolve to go back to pole dancing! I resolve to look up any questions I have about keeping house in the Martha Stewart Housekeeping handbook!

All of these things may or may not happen, and I resolve to let go and be okay with whatever is on the path for me and the people I love!