Monday, November 30, 2009

Nice weekend...

Thanksgiving is tiring... Lots of cooking - and therefore, cleaning...

Similar to my aunt Janet, we dragged out all of the china and silver and crystal - it is tradition to whoop it up on the holidays. I was brave this year and even set the kids table with the finest... I think the girls were excited. One thing I noticed - my table linens are lacking. I did not have a nice Thanksgiving-fall-worthy tablecloth. I did have a smaller cloth that my grandmother L'Hote made - and just threw it on top of a white so it would fit better. Dinner was fantastic. Turkey was perfect. We brined and stuffed with onions, carrots, apple and celery (that was the new push in trends this year). Oodles of sides. A little too much bourbon in the sweet potatoes and Derby Pie - if that's possible? I loved it - the kids claimed to be drunk.

The table linen revelation prompted my need to Black Friday shop. So - 5:30 am - mom, AJ, Mellisa & Nequan headed out. Best Buy first. Wow - long line - but super organized and took no time at all to get thru that. Next - the mall. Found a parking spot right by the door. The parking gods were smiling on me :) Lines were not bad - people were not bad - UNTIL we went to Victoria's Secret. What the hell? Meesie and I waited over an hour and a half for a dang bra? Ridiculous! They had NO organization. AND who the hell fills out a credit application at 7am??? And why did we get stuck in the line behind this woman!?! And I love Meesie - we are the scene queens. We had the whole line complaining about our check out clerk by the time we were done - it was great. Why a manager did not pull this super high maintanance woman aside and finish her questions about underwire or how to get the discount after $100 or if someone could throw away her coffee cups (the list goes on and on) - argghhh - very aggravating. Target - no problems - super fast and organized. It was actually a very pleasant morning - and I went home and took a nap.

The rest of the weekend was eating and watching movies... Uneventful and peaceful...

UNTIL my stupid brother thought he should attack me in Mafia Wars. Payback is ugly little brother...

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

What a good hubby...

So - picked up Nequan yesterday. He is so much fun!

We went to Meesie's bball game. They lost - she didn't play much but she looked good! Then we discovered that NC (Kiel's nickname for Nequan - he's from North Carolina) had not ever had Steak n Shake!?! Well, that floored me so Meesie, NC and mom had lovely greasy burgers, chili and giant calorie-laden shakes. His only complaint - fries are too skinny. (I agree - I like some potato on my fries too). We car-seat-danced to Beyonce all the way home - completely embarrassing Mellisa - which made us dance even more!

My dear sweet husband had been to the grocery - put them all away - and cleaned the kitchen while we were gallivanting around town!

And to top it off - he got up early before we had to go to work and put my turkey in the brine!

How lucky can a girl get?!?!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Prepping for Thanksgiving...

Taking some PTO from work today...

Lincoln's dorms close today around noon. Sadly enough, I am not picking up Kiel. He will be leaving today for a tournament that lasts until Sunday in Iowa. Not sure how I feel about that. Part of me is every excited that he is out and doing fun things and independent. The other part of me is completely selfish and wishes he was home with me eating his favorite pretzel salad...

I am, however, picking up NeQuan (Kiel's roommate) today. Poor guy. His family is all the way in North Carolina and he can't get home and back for classes - not to mention that it costs a small fortune. So, he is my surrogate Kiel for the Thanksgiving break. I have no idea what he usually eats for the big meal - so hopefully, he won't hate everything!!!

Chris' dad and his girlfriend are coming. And of course, Uncle Lou. So - pretty full house and it should be fun.

Turkey brining and pie making start tonite!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Here we go again!

Mellisa gave her verbal commitment to attend Lincoln College in the fall and play Volleyball. That is one excited coach!

And the door is open for her to play basketball as well - not a scholarship offer but Volleyball took most of that responsibility already!

I think this HUGE weight has been lifted from her shoulders. Decision is made - whew...

Now the fun paperwork part starts.

Go Lynx!!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Money - or lack thereof

Rarely do I get upset about money. I don't have it - I can't spend it - so why worry about it? But lately Chris has been upset about it. Now, this bothers me.

Chris is one of those guys that is not sexist but yet, still has some of those lingering old-school ways. He feels he is the Provider and is not doing a very good job at it.

First husband provided beyond providing. But you know what, Mel couldn't do anything else other than make money.

There is a whole lot to be said of the value of love, compassion and companionship. That 'providing' is worth more than any amount of money....

Hubby Chris is a PRO at keeping me happy and that's all I need!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Volleyball news

So, Meesie and mom went to Volleyball tryouts at Lincoln (yes, where Kiel is) on Sunday. She was awesome and super excited. Coach was thrilled to have her and was offering big bucks for her tuition. Coach was NOT so thrilled when we mentioned that Meesie would like to play both VB & basketball.

He expressed his concerns but did not rescind his scholarship offer - so that's good news and gave us a month to decide.

The basketball coach is excited from I have been told. I think her tallest player this year is only 5'11" (Meesie was measured at 6'5" with shoes). They are attending one of Meesie's Intercity games this week to watch her play. We are really hoping that they might pick up the rest of the tuition expense!

So - barring some magical event - Meesie will probably attend Lincoln next year - playing both VB & Bball.

I also attended my very LAST parent meeting at Illini Elite last night!!! Well, unless Riley plays one day. These meetings are soooo negative and soooo long (only 2 hours last night). Don't chew gum, don't bring in outside food, don't yell at the refs, don't coach your daughter, blah blah blah. At no point does the director mention - thanks for coming - hope you have fun - hope we have a great season. I am very glad that's over!!!!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Wednesday finally

Time flies when life is crazy busy!

Sometimes I wonder how life would have been if I hadn't had my two little ones. AJ is super independent and I never see him. Kiel is off at school. Meesie is either at school or a practice or doing something with her boyfriend. I guess I would be sitting on the couch, watching tv, drinking a nice glass of wine - and BORED to tears!!!

Last night - I was the official taxi service. Alyx had gymnastics from 4 to 5 and Riley had basketball practice from 5 to 6. Luckily, both locations were all the way across town but not too far from each other. While Riley was at bball, Alyx and I ran to an open house for a publishing company.

Our town is very fortunate to have this little publishing company that takes pictures at just about every sporting event for all of the schools in our area. They produce a very nice magazine as well. I appreciate their efforts - they don't focus on the 'big stars' but whoever looks best in the shot! They won a bid to make West's and Community's seasonal sports programs this year - and the quality is just amazing. They also have a fantastic website with individual pics that families can order. Anyhow - if anyone wants to look for pictures of Kiel & Mellisa -

Friday, November 6, 2009


I am not sure if it was my aunt Janet or coach Jack - but I think it is finally time to return to my blogging...

I took a mental health day off from work today. I needed it. I have felt like I have been drowning at work this past week. Maybe it is time to air the dirty laundry - shout it out loud - move on - gain perspective - and remember the important people in my life.

Two horrible events occurred at the same time this past week. You know, when it rains, it pours?

I had an office install go badly - very badly. I had a provider absolutely bold face lie to me. Now, this wasn't just a sales rep (who I actually like) but some muckety muck that I had escalated & escalated again a problem to. And without boring details - it's like a house of cards. If the base collapses, then the whole deck comes tumbling down. And, as the builder of this 'house', it is my head on the chopping block. And trust me, I had my head in a guillotine on this one. I had so many people yelling at me that I just felt crushed.

I deal with a workplace bully every single day. Some days - not too bad - other days - absolutely horrible. And she picks different co-workers to bully. I don't know how many times we have literally said aloud - wow, must be your turn this week! How incredibly sad is that? How can someone behave this way? And, as most companies react, it is swept under the rug repeatedly. So - I (like others) carry on and gain strength knowing that those around me do care about me.

So - how to gain perspective at work?

I have a very good friend that lets me vent every morning. And yes, I am probably a better talker than I am a listener but she lets me be the way I am and I do love her for that.

I also had a flash of true friendship this week that just shocked me from someone completely unexpected. I had basically cried for three days over this horrible install. Now, mind you, I am not a huge cryer - I am a stomp off and throw a temper tantrum kind of girl. This person left work to run an 'errand'. She came back with my favorite Starbuck's Chai Tea and a bag of M&M's. Wow. I cried - not the reaction I think she was going for - but wow. What a totally unexpected act of kindness - and I couldn't have needed it more!

Again - how to gain perspective at work? Hang in there. You have friends that will surround you to provide a barrier from the bad things and supply you with unconditional love and will support you regardless of how screwed up things get.

And - it's only a job.