Sicky Icky

Sorry for the severe lack of blog posts. I have so much I want to share. Sadly, I spent the majority of my Memorial Day weekend on the couch, covered in kleenexes, and watching hours upon hours of X-Files. Turns out I have a sinus infection. Yuck. Hopefully I can kick this in the next couple days because Brandon and I have a weekend get away planned for our anniversary. My goal is to get up two posts before we leave on Friday - a book review on Cutting for Stone and a kitchen reveal! So, thanks for being patient folks. Send some healthy vibes my way!

What I Wore Wednesday

Here we go, another edition of What I Wore Wednesday! Hope you like it and I really enjoy the comments! :) 

(Talk about an awkward pic - geez) Going to: Work

Shirt: Maurices
Pants: The Limited (I LOVE their dress pants)
Shoes (even though Sophie is blocking them): Target

Showing off my fancy shoes!! :)

Just getting home from The X-Factor!
 Shirt and Sweater and Earrings: Maurices
Pants and Shoes: Target

Going to: The Movies!! (Thanks for the pic Alli!)
 Shirt: Maurices (I am sensing a pattern here)
Red Sweater and Jeans: Target
Shoes: Payless
Earings: Claires?
Purse: Kohl's

Going to: Maggiano's with the hubby!
 Tank and Jeans and Shoes and Sweater: Target
Belt: Charlotte Russe 

Wow - this girl definitely shops at Target ALOT. Yikes. :)

Weekend Update - busy busy busy

This weekend was an incredibly full one! I had a lot of fun and there is lots to share.

This weekend unofficially started on Thursday night when I met up with some girls to see Bridesmaids.
Here is a little snippet of that:

*btw- just watched like 6 trailers to find the best one to post. It made me happy.

Then Friday night I went to a taping of the X-Factor with a friend from church and one of her friends. The X-Factor is basically Simon Cowell's new American Idol. It was very interesting being behind-the-scenes of the show and seeing it from a different perspective than on TV. I was actually surprised at how BAD some of the performers were. They had to make it through a few rounds of auditions before making it in front of Simon and Paula and friends. Some of them were laughably bad, some were like oh-I-am-so-embarrassed-for-you bad, others were mediocre. A few were great. It was a really cool experience and I will have to watch the show in September to see if I can find myself in the crowd and to see what actually makes it on TV!

Then Saturday morning my cousins came over for brunch. I made homemade waffles and vanilla sauce, and basically had a toppings bar for them; bananas, peanut butter, chocolate chips, blueberries, strawberries, cool whip, and syrup. It was delish! :) Then we headed out to HomeGoods and World Market for some shopping! (Sorry no pics of that)

Sunday was a pretty low-key day for me. I spent some time at the dog park with the girls and then gave them a bath when we got home. I spent about an hour reading outside on my patio. It was SO nice to finally be able to take advantage of the nice space we have out there! Then, Sunday evening I headed over to Alli's house for a pizza-party bridal shower. Alli is a master party coordinator - every detail was perfect! The pizza party theme was so cute - she had cafe' tables with candles and red-checked tablecloths set up in her living room. The tables of girls got to make their own pizzas! It was adorable! I didn't take any pictures unfortunately, but as soon as some go up on facebook I will steal them! :) 

Office Re-Vamp... take 2

Well, I am sure I have kept you waiting long enough for my apartment updates. In the last 3 weeks Nana and Papa have taken over my apartment and there has been a whirlwind of rearranging, painting, and cleaning. I am loving how everything looks. I figured I would start with the office since it was the first room to get an update! Enjoy!



New couch from IKEA and a richer color on that wall

I think the bookshelf as made to go between those closets - it fits perfect!

This looks messier than it actually is. We are using my desk to make an L-shape for Brandon to have more work space, and not have to use TV trays! Also, what looks like blankets on the floor under my desk are actually the dog's crates, tucked in the corner.

 Stayed tuned for the Kitchen reveal! :)

What I Wore Wednesday

My sweet husband has been my photographer and we have determined that I need a better camera! haha Brandon has been so great, he keeps reminding me to take my picture. Well, linking up with The Pleated Poppy again!

So, here we go:
Going to: Work
 Dress: Macy's 
Leggings: Target
Shoes: Payless 
Going to : BWW
Close up of my necklace
 Jeans: Dunno
Cardigan: Old Navy
T-shirt: Target 
Necklace: Easter gift :)
Going to: Church
 Dress: Charlotte Russe
Cardi: Maurice's (forever ago)
Sandals: Nana - she didn't like them :)

Going to Work
 Dress: Target
Sweater: Old Navy
Boots: Shoe Carnival
Tights: Kohl's 
Belt: I dunno.

Blog Slacker

Oh gosh- this past week and a half have been whirlwinds. Last week we had our state inspection - can you say stressful?
Anyway, I wanted you all to know that I have not forgotten my blog, but have been too busy and brain dead to write. So, I will give you a quick weekend update and then a preview of upcoming posts.

I left work early Friday to set out to the sprawling metropolis of Macomb, IL to see my little brother graduate from WIU. We stayed out that way Friday so we could cut down on car time on Saturday. Before we could hit the open road though, we had to brief Nana and Papa on how to watch the pups. :) OK, actually, Nana and Papa came in to stay Friday night at our apartment to watch the girls AND to basically redecorate and clean my house. haha Look forward to some Kitchen and Office posts in the very near future. 
Anyway, we (and by we I mean me, Brandon, his 2 little sisters, and his parents) stayed in a little town called Canton and had adventures at the Dairy Dream. Saturday we headed to Macomb and met up with Grandma and Grandpa Derry and Andrew and Melanie for a family lunch before heading to the actual graduation ceremony. The ceremony was a snorefest nice and we were super proud to see Andrew get his degree!

And now, things to look forward to from me:
1. What I Wore Wednesday
2. A Review on Cutting for Stone (in one word - fantastic)
3. Apartment updates - lots of changes!
4. Another weekend update next week - have lots of good stuff planned!

And now, since I am emotionally drained from watching the season finale of Castle and an epic episode of Bones, I am going to call it a night!

To Honor my Mother

Sunday is Mother’s Day; A day to honor the woman who gave you life. A day to show your appreciation for all of the kissed boo-boos, wiped noses, taxi services, hugs, warm meals, and all of the other little amazing things mothers do every day without giving it a second thought. 

For many years now (14 to be exact) I have hated this holiday. It only makes me sad and brings all of my attention to this huge mom-sized hole in my life. This year though, I want to honor my mother and I don’t want it just to be about how sad I am that she’s gone. So, here is the story of my mom, as a child remembers it. 

My mom was an amazing woman. She had a smile that could light up a room and her laugh was infectious. I thought she had to be the most beautiful woman in the world. She was silly, sweet, kind, caring, and the strongest person I have ever known. 

My mom, called half-pint by my dad, was a tiny woman. She topped out at 4’11 and weighed about 100 pounds soaking wet. My Nana tells me that when my mom got mad she was like a banny rooster, but that’s a side of her I didn’t see often. Not that I didn’t push her to the limits, but her counting to 3 when she was mad included all kinds of numbers like 2, 2 and a half, 2 and three-quarters, giving me plenty of time to change my mind about disobeying her. She loved country music and we would sing in the car together. She was afraid of hitting a deer though, so we always had to scan the ditches while we were driving in the country.  My mom was very particular about the way she looked and dressed, and naturally, this extended to me as well.  We would pick out our clothes the night before, choosing matching socks and jewelry as well. I was in awe of her and her morning routine. Watching her apply make up and do her hair was like watching an artist. Of course, you can’t rush an artist and my mom was chronically late for everything. 

Our lives changed when I was only 3 years old. My mom was diagnosed with a rare and basically untreatable form of cervical cancer. Later, we would find out this was due to a drug the doctors had given to her mother while she was pregnant with my mom and her twin sister, as a precaution to avoid a miscarriage. This drug is now known to have caused cervical cancer in women and infertility in men. 

From what I remember, the doctors didn’t give her a great prognosis, perhaps a year from my understanding. She underwent several major operations and went into remission twice. 

The cancer spread through my mom’s little body over the years. They did a total hysterectomy, took out part of her intestines, and eventually she had both a colostomy and ileostomy for her bodily wastes. She was such a fighter and willing to do anything to live. She underwent chemotherapy treatments in 1996, and perhaps through all of physical pain and sickness, the most heart breaking part of this was losing her hair. However, my mother was an adorable bald woman. We encouraged her to embrace it and sometimes she did, but most of the time she wore a blond wig (because blondes have more fun).  Her attitude through all of this was always positive and upbeat for me. I never once saw her discouraged or beaten, even though I am sure she had to be feeling that at times. My parents protected me, but never hid my mom’s condition from me. I knew all about her medications, her chemo and have even found journal entries from when I was 9 about her white blood cell count. 

My mom fought with everything she had for 7 years and she did have a lot of good times in between being sick. At the very end, she elected for Hospice care and wanted to die in her home. For some time our home was filled with family and friends, coming to say their goodbyes. We had a hospital bed set up in our living room so that she could be in the home she loved. She left this world on March 13, 1997 with my dad and I at her side. She was only 35 years old. Everyone who knew her felt the incredible loss. 

I think, for me, this loss has become more evident as I have grown into a woman. I am angry and sad that she can’t be here now and that there is so much I feel like she has missed. Really though, it is me missing her. I carry her with me in my heart, but more importantly she’s with Jesus. She has a perfect body and perfect health and peace and will never feel pain again. I trust with my whole heart that I will see her again someday. But, until I do, I will miss her and remember her, and strive to be even a little bit like her or have a fraction of her strength. 

As a way to honor her, this year I am walking in the Relay for Life, which is an awareness and fundraising event put on by the American Cancer Society. The funds are used y the American Cancer Society to provide 24 hour support for people with cancer and their family, research for a cure, work towards legislation to defeat cancer, and education and early detection. I would appreciate if you would support me in this cause by visiting my team website and thank you so much for letting me share my precious memories of my mom with you. 

Weekend Update

Well, with all of the excitement of Easter being over, Brandon and I had a fairly relaxing weekend. It is kind of nice to have a husband around on the weekends since the dreaded tax season has ended. On Friday night we had dinner with the parents, in front of the TV, watching Royal Wedding coverage of course.
Saturday, I headed to the eye doctor, dropped the pups off for grooming, and went for a 2 mile run! I spent the rest of the day cleaning around the house while Brandon studied. Then Saturday night we went out to dinner at Buffalo Wild Wings with some of Brandon's extended family, and it was really great to see everyone! I wasn't overly thrilled with my meal, so I only ate half of it, which left plenty of room for a Coldstone stop!
I got lemon-poppy seed ice cream. It was fabulous! I only ordered the "like it" size, but she gave me a "love it" because the ice cream was mushy (which was totally OK with me, I prefer my ice cream a little soft!). Brandon got a peanut butter chocolate monstrosity. I took one bite and it was waaaaay too sweet for me!
Brandon also had an injury in the process of paying for the ice cream. He cut his finger on the glass counter, while reaching for napkins at my direction to save his dripping ice cream. It was quite the catastrophe. Here are some iPhone photos for your enjoyment:

Battle Wounds

Matches my sweater!

Neon yellow deliciousness!

Sunday was a nice lazy-nap-all-afternoon-eat-too-much kind of day. We did have a great sermon at church Sunday morning, talking about blooming where you are planted. Great message.
Now, we are back to the grindstone. I have Friday off this week (work Saturday though - boo) and am planning on making an Ikea run and doing another overhaul on my office. Also on the To-do list, is to go through my books, clothes, and closets to pick out stuff to sell at my in-laws annual garage sale. I am SO looking forward to being more organized and getting a little cash for things I don't need and don't use!