Saturday, December 31, 2005

Gotta love a good deal

Ok - so I got this awesome gift card for Christmas to Target. I had planned on saving it to buy baby stuff - I was very, VERY stubborn about it. Scott even tried to talk me into buying an MP3 player with it but I held on and I'm glad. Today we went to a different Target and I found some great baby items on clearance. When I say great - I mean AWESOME!!!

First off - got our swing.

Got a killer deal on it! Almost half the price! Then I found the exersaucer that we registered for and it was half price, too! So, I was able to get both for less than what one would cost. Talk about excited! We almost bought our high-chair, too, but the box was open and we were worried that there might be parts missing. I'm going to be heading to some more Targets in the area to see what they have. :) I still have some money on the gift card plus some cash that Scott's grandparents gave us, so I'm waiting to see if the high chair is at another store. I guess it's sad when you get overly excited over baby gear deals. LOL!

Have a safe and happy New Year's Eve everyone! We're heading over to my cousin's to play Tripoley and eat chocolate!

Thursday, December 29, 2005

The Phantom, names and more....

Ok - so I'm going to try to make an effort to blog more consistently. I just don't have a lot to talk about - my life is rather boring. :) But, I did do something cool yesterday.

Scott and I went downtown to see Phantom of the Opera. It's an amazing story, breathtaking music, etc. But, in all of it's glory I was left feeling rather "eh" about it.

I loved being down there with my husband. (Yes - Earl is back in the good graces) I enjoyed the buzz of downtown. I miss it considering I worked there for three years. I even enjoyed 90% of the show but it was like something was missing. It wasn't as breathtaking as it was the last time I saw it. Not sure why. The only thing that I could think of (with Scott's help) is that the Phantom just wasn't the same - of course each Phantom has his own following and this one was not one for me. The music was "choppy" if that makes sense. His lyrics didn't flow like the last one. It was almost too dramatic. But, it's still worth seeing- especially if you've never been.

Then - there is the ever present name debate rearing it's ugly head again. I'm not sure I'm 100% sold on Addison. I love it - LOVE it dearly, but there are other names I like as well. Thinking of doing a poll. LOL! Of course, every family member has their opinion on what it should be. Here are some that I've narrowed down:


Scott's dad and I both like Samantha (which is a miracle considering we NEVER agree on anything). I actually like all of them and Mallory was my favorite but Scott vetoed that immediately. Sadie is one my mom likes. Meredith is all mine - I love that name. And, Addison is a favorite among most friends. We originally thought we were set with Addison but now comes the rethinking part. At this point - I'm thinking we need to wait until she's born and then go from there.

So, I'm welcoming any suggestions. :)

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

28 Weeks, 7 Months, however you count it!

I always crack up when watching Mr. Mom and Michael Keeton is "rewiring" or something and Martin Mull goes "Using 220?" and Michael Keeton goes "220, 221 - whatever it takes". LOL! So, people always ask how far along I am. If I say 28 weeks, they say "how many months" and if I say 7 months, they ask "how many weeks". Sometimes even I can't keep it straight - I just know when my next appointment is. :)

So, here we are - in the home stretch. It seems like time has FLOWN by. With Maggie - it was all I could do to wait - I was so impatient. So bad that I begged for an induction starting at 36 weeks. With this one it seems like just yesterday that I found out - and now we're in our final stages. Amazing.

I got my weekly Babycenter e-mail - she should be measuring around 15 inches in length and about 2+ lbs.

It's just amazing to think about how big she's getting. I wonder if she'll be as big as Maggie (8lbs 14 oz) or if they'll look alike, etc. I begged Scott for the 4D ultrasound but he nixed that idea pretty quickly. He said we only have 12 weeks to wait - why worry about it. After some pouting, I agreed. I guess he's right. (Although I RARELY tell him that!) Plus, we have LOTS of baby equipment to buy. After being told we'd never have another, I got rid of EVERYTHING! I didn't want anything in my house to remind me of it. Then, we got our miracle. So, now we have to get everything again. The nice thing is that his parents bought us the stroller/car seat combo for Christmas. One down - many to go. LOL! I got a Target gift card that I'll be buying something with - either the high chair, swing or monitor. Haven't decided, yet. I'm trying to maximize what I get and waiting for a Target sale. :)

I guess I'm just on cloud 9 today. Dr's appointment went well (passed glucose and I'm down 8 lbs - that's right - I'm LOSING weight!) and I'm finalizing some CHA stuff. Feeling pretty good!

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

I don't even know what to title this....

Most of the time I love him. Other times - this is who I am married to...

That's right - EARL! Grrr.....

Venting today....

Monday, December 19, 2005

Date Night...

with two awesome men! How often can you say that? Ok - so maybe I went with my husband (awesome man #1) but then I got to see another one. On Friday we saw "Walk the Line". I can't even BEGIN to tell you how awesome this movie is. Scott and I both really liked it a lot - not sure if it was the music, the story or the actors. Both Reese and Joaquin were mind-blowing in their performance. I gained a whole new appreciation for Joaquin Phoenix.

Not only did he portray Johnny Cash in the most amazing way, he also gave off this sexiness that I never saw in him before. Definitely worth watching - that's for sure! Plus, to know that he sang all of the parts himself. I could gush over it for hours. As a matter of fact, Scott downloaded the soundtrack for me. (LOVE that man!) LOVE the soundtrack. I've got it on now - gotta get it if you don't have it. $10 on itunes. :)

Oh - and before I forget - the Bengals clinched the divison. Who Dey baby!!!

Thursday, December 15, 2005

There was only you and me - we were young and wild and free...

As I was driving in this morning, "Heaven" by Bryan Adams came on the radio. I immediately thought of Scott and I. It's so us - I met him when I was 19, married him at 22 and never looked back. (Warning - sappy post ahead) I can't even imagine what my life would be like without him. I wouldn't WANT to imagine life without him. We've had our ups and downs, goodness knows that, but in the end, it's always been US. It will always be us.

I did this layout a few weeks ago because I just LOVED the big photo of the two of us. Maggie had a fit because I was doing a layout without her in it, so I added the smaller photo at the bottom :) She definitely has a jealousy streak when it comes to her daddy and I.

When I first met Scott, I wasn't sure if he was the one for me. He was quiet (those of you that know me know I'm not), we came from different family backgrounds, I was in college and he was working full-time, etc. Part of me felt like I didn't deserve him - he was too good for me. But, he kept coming around - he was persistant. It was then that I realized that he was the one for me. I had went out of town on vacation without him and missed him terribly. I couldn't wait to get home and when I did - there he was with a dozen roses. He probably doesn't even remember that, but I do.

There are lots of little stories like that. Turning points in our relationship that make me love him even more. Or, as Bryan Adams would say "once in your life you find someone, who will turn your world around, bring you up when you're feelin' down". Yes - I found that someone. It's cheesy but heck - I'm pregnant and hormonal. And, he's the one. :)

Monday, December 12, 2005

I see dumb people

Ok - I'll preface this by saying that I by no means feel like I'm the brightest crayon in the box. However - have you ever had that kind of Monday where you feel like you've run into every stupid person on the planet? This could be a vent - I'm not denying that - but I just had to get it out. (By the way - dumb people mask themselves as really bright members of society!)

First things first - I'm taking my daughter to school. It's like Mr. Mom- enter from the north - exit from the south. There are two lanes - the drop off lane and then another lane where you park in the side lot to walk your child into the school. I walked Maggie in today (as most days) because she's five and she likes me to. So, the guard who directs traffic waves me on and I stop before turning into the lot because there is a PEDESTRIAN crossing the street and a crossing guard is out there. No brainer, right?

Well - low and behold, psycho chick in the Xterra behind me decides she's going to go AROUND me and go into the lot. Mind you - it's taking all of 10 seconds for this poor guy to walk across the street. But, by golly - she's in a hurry. She realizes she can't fit her car through - not before nearly clipping my car AND the PEDESTRIAN! OMG! What a total idiot! So, I'm like WTH? and I look over at her. I'm embarrassed to admit this - she's RELATED to my husband. It's his cousin. UGH!

She realizes it's me that she's made a complete fool in front of not to mention the poor pedestrian and crossing guard who have by now turned into full-blown "deers in headlights". But, does she apologize or try to make herself look like less of an idiot? NO - she pulls into a spot and gets out. It took all I had not to say something. But, for the sake of keeping peace in the family (those of you who know me know I do this a lot) I just merely stare her down. That could have been a CHILD that she hit - although hitting anyone is NOT GOOD. What a goofball.

Wasn't even 10 minutes later that I call the insurance company to follow-up on one of Maggie's claims from her October stint with the breathing issue. So, I call the hospital first to find out what claims haven't been processed. The guy tells me he can't talk to me. WHAT? Because I'm not the guarantor - Scott is. Well, I'm his wife and I signed all the paperwork. Still no dice - he can't talk to me. Ok - so, I'm not saying he is stupid, but whoever came up with the privacy act where a WIFE can't even discuss the bill because her SPOUSE holds the insurance is STUPID. It was our DAUGHTER that I was calling about. In the end, Scott called them, told them to talk to me and I handled it. Come to find out - it was the stupidity of someone in the hospital that caused the whole bill to be denyed anyway. At least it's being taken care of. My insurance company was GREAT about it. But, I just can't believe that there are laws governing which spouse can be talked to. At least there was signs of intelligent life at the insurance company.

There it is - my Monday morning rant. Feel free to comment about the dumb people in your life. I think that there should be a class in high school titled "Common Sense". I wonder how some make it in society.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Why did you even HAVE kids if you weren't going to raise them?

Alright - let's discuss this. Last night on Desperate Housewives, Lynette's bosses wife (follow that?) says this to Lynette because she's trying to convince her to put her child in the office daycare. Now first - let me preface what I'm about to say with the notion that not all SAHM's are this way. I KNOW that. But, I had to talk about our former neighbor who said basically the same thing to me. She told me "Well, I invest MY time in MY daughter."

WTH? I just stared at her in amazement that she could be THAT insensitive. I've never been insensitive to SAHM's - I respect them and even to some degree envy them. When I went back to work after Maggie was six weeks old, I cried at my desk. I felt like the worst mother on the planet. But, these days, my daughter is proud of what I do and who I am. She tells her friends that her mommy "Scrapbooks" for a job. Fortunately, my bosses also understand work/family balance and they're wonderful about it.

Even though Desperate Housewives is just a show, the comment that she made went right through me. Why? Because I know it happens. On more than one occasion I've been made to feel like less of a mother because I work 40+ hours a week. However, those that criticize should also know that my daughter's teacher complimented my husband and I for working with our child and spending a lot of time with her. She said it shows. Thank goodness for observant teachers. Oh, and for Lynette's bosses wife - I AM a GREAT mother.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Can anything BE more precious?

Look at her long little toes! I can't wait until she comes home and I can do a photo shoot with her all squeaky clean and smelling like Baby Magic. (Don't you just LOVE that smell?)

On my pregnancy front, the doctor basically told me that I need to SLOW DOWN. I went for my 24 week appointment yesterday and I've been having more than your average number of Braxton Hicks contractions. I'm so worried about it but she told me to reduce as much stress as I can and avoid a lot of physical things. I'm taking her advice to heart. I want to have a healthy baby and I need to focus on that.

So here's to one precious baby girl and another to follow! :)


Tuesday, November 29, 2005

I'm a Great Auntie!!!!

Here is me and my great niece - Ryan. She was born this morning at 2:43 and she's doing GREAT! I was there for everything and am just madly in love with her. She's an absolute sweetheart!

My niece was amazing. She had a 15 hour labor and delivered Ryan on the first push. I am SO proud of her!

I'll post more photos soon. :)

Saturday, November 26, 2005

I vowed I wouldn't do it...

There have been a lot of things that I swore I'd never do. Two of them have happened in the past two days: 1) I vowed I'd never spend the $$$ to buy Maggie an American Girl doll and 2) I said that I wouldn't do black Friday again. Boy did I lie!

Let's start with Thursday. There is a thread on 2Peas including a coupon code for 10% off of an AG doll. Couple that with the fact that the catalog arrived on WEDNESDAY (what timing on the part of the AG people) and the fact that my husband's snotty cousin mentioned that her daughter has TWO of them, and there you have it. Armed with my bank card, a code and a catalog that my daughter managed to dog-ear in less than 10 minutes, I broke. I crumbled. So, $90 later, here we have it:

I was going to order Marisol for her but went with the doll that looks like her. I figure she can name her what she wants and then I'll put her in a protective glass case surrounded by laser lights that will trigger an alarm should she attempt to play with her. Ok - maybe I won't be THAT bad about the doll but you can bet your sweet butt that we're going to have a talk about proper "doll playing". (I could show you photos of Cabbage Patch dolls covered in make-up, ink, etc.)

Secondly, I said I wouldn't do Black Friday. Seriously - it's a nutso idea. Why in the world would you get up at 5:00 am and go shopping when you can probably get a lot of the same deals later in the day? Who knows - but I did it. I planned to head out with my cousin, Lorrie and my husband was supposed to go but ate a bit too much on Turkey day and stayed home. Off Lorrie and I went at 5:30 to Target - one that I considered more "remote" but was crowded nonetheless. We waited until they opened the doors to even get out and go in. Believe it or not, the crowd wasn't that bad - except in the toy department. But, I managed to finagle my way through and scored some awesome stuff for Maggie - this really cool Barbie writing tablet that's electronic ($23), a bunch of family games, Bratz babies, more Barbie crap, etc. I also bought her a DVD player for her room, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and this really cool Fisher Price thing that has a camera and Kids Bop. They can sing with the wireless mic and watch themselves on TV. If you know my daughter, you'll know that Fisher Price created this toy JUST FOR HER. The kid is a total "entertainer", so I bought the kit and an extra cartridge. I figure she can entertain her baby sister when she gets older. LOL!

We're spending the day now getting ready for the holidays and fixing a leaky pipe under our sink. I just LOVE being a home owner - NOT!

Monday, November 21, 2005

Battle along the I-74 Corridor

Hear those Bengals growling...

Ok - so they growled but not loud enough. But, it was a good game. Nothing like 65,000 die hard football fans. (Ok - 64,999 - I'm not a die hard but I went with my hubby) Had a GREAT time! It's so hard when you're rooting for one team (the Bengals) and yet you absolutely LOVE the QB from the other (Peyton Manning) Alas, the Bengals lost, but they gave it their all.

The best part of the evening was probably Chad Johnson writing out a sign to his fellow agent-mate, T.O. (For the record, I think they should wire T.O.'s mouth shut) But, I had to laugh when Chad ran over to the sidelines after scoring a touchdown and wrote a sign "T.O. - I get you baby". (Or, something like that)

Of course, I'm sure this morning Chad has a different tune:

Chad - we get ya baby!

Then I was bummed because we had these EXCELLENT seats and I didn't bring my camera. This is the kind of shot that I missed!

Ok - maybe not EXACTLY like this but I could had had some great shots of Peyton, Chad, Carson, etc.

Finally, I'll have to post a photo of Maggie wearing her Bengals beanie hat. She thought she was "too cool for school" this morning when she got out of the car with it on. I'm sure she's trying to impress her man "Jacob". (She about died yesterday when we drove past his house and he was outside tossing a football with some other boys) I'm sure she'll have stories for me today!

Friday, November 18, 2005

Getting ready for Addie...

Well, after weeks of debate and numerous mini-arguments, Scott and I have finally agreed on a name for our little one: Addison Jane. :)

We're going to call her "Addie" which was my grandmother's name. My mom is actually the one saying that we don't have to name our children after family members, but my background is very southern, and in our tradition children are named after family members. So, we're sticking with it. I was hesitant at first but I've agreed on Addison and we've actually started calling her that. (Especially when she scoots all the way over to the right side of my belly and sticks out her butt!)

I also scored the cutest crib set on e-bay!

It arrived yesterday and I'm in LOVE! I can't wait until we get the room painted and her crib put up so that I can see what this looks like. We'll probably put the crib up closer to February but for now, I have her little set just waiting. Maggie thought it was really cool - she's so into being the big sister!

On a side note - going to the Bengals/Colts game on Sunday. Wish me luck - a pregnant woman trouncing through a crowd of 65,000. Who-freakin' Dey baby!!!!

Monday, November 14, 2005

I've been tagged!

Amazing - two blog posts in one day! :) I realized that I've been tagged by my good friend, Stacey, who owns Junkitz for a blog quiz. (Junkitz ROCKS by the way!) So, I figured I'd better fill this out before Stacey kicks my butt! LOL!

names you go by



2 parts of your heritage

1. Hillbilly (hey- that's what my mom says!)

2. English (maiden name was Hasty)

2 things that scare you

1. Spiders - EEK!

2. Death (it's so permanent)

2 of your everyday essentials

1. A little caffeine either in the form of chocolate or Mt. Dew (see - told you I was part hillbilly)

2. Noxema

2 things you are wearing right now

1. CKU Sweatshirt (it still fits me even though I'm 5 1/2 months pregnant)

2. My khaki pants from Motherhood that I paid an arm and a leg for.

2 of your favorite bands or musical artists (at the moment)

1. The Killers (LOVE me some Brandon Flowers!)

2. Green Day (Ok - so I have a thing for men with eyeliner!)

2 favorite songs (at the moment)

1. All these things I've done (Killers)

2. Boulevard of Broken Dreams (Green Day)

2 things you want in a relationship (other than real love)

1. Trust

2. Honesty

2 truths

1. I have ugly feet

2. I think that the Blue Collar Comedy Hour is HILARIOUS! (Back to the hillbilly thing)

2 physical things that appeal to you (in the opposite sex)

1. eyes

2. they have to be funny - ok - not physical but I have this strange attraction to Kevin James and I think it's because he's so darn funny!

2 of your favorite hobbies (besides scrapbooking??)

1. photography

2. sitting on my butt watching tv - especially 80's movies.

2 things you want really badly

1. to be a SAHM or a WAHM.

2. to have enough money that I don't have to worry about my family or how we're going to make ends meet.

2 places you want to go on vacation

1. Alaska

2. Hawaii - to visit my friend Rosemary.

2 things you want to do before you die

1. See my daughters get married

2. Spend a week on vacation alone with my husband

2 ways that you are stereotypically a dude/chick

1. I cry at sappy chick flicks. (The Notebook and Steel Magnolias are faves)

2. I hate to pump my own gas

2 things you are thinking about now

1. All of the baby gear I need to get

2. What colors are my third paper line going to be?

2 stores you shop at

1. Target

2. TJ Maxx

So, there's my answers to the blog quiz. :) I'm going to tag Heather Preckel and Barb Hogan for this one! Enjoy girls!!!

These are always so fun!!!

An Eventful Weekend

Ever have one of those weekends that is chocked full of events, but still seems pretty low-key? That was this weekend.

Friday night we had to take Zelda, our husky, to her new home. Ever since Maggie's reactive airway atack, four doctors have advised that we find new homes for our pets. Zelda was our biggest concern because she was 7 and we've had her since birth and it tore us up just thinking about it. Then - we met the family. They were wonderful people. They already had 1 Siberian and their grandmother was always home with the dogs when the family was at school or work. They had a beautiful house and a nice yard and they were so loving. Zelda took to them right away while we were there. I was amazed. It was as if she "knew" what needed to be done. I cried a little on the way home but I also felt good. We can come and see her whenever we want and I know that she's with good people. I can't wait to see her again!

Then, on Saturday we decided to break down and register for baby items. It's been over 5 years since we've had a baby in the house and my friends were talking about having a shower, so Scott and I decided to run up to Target and pick out a few items.

Can I just tell you how much I LOVE this store? We had been to Babies R Us but everything was so pricey. We went to Target and they had everything we needed and it was WAY more affordable. I tried not to scan too much but that little scanner gun is just a MAGNET for cute stuff! I think we did pretty well and I'm going to start saving now to buy some of the gear. It's nice because it's like a list that you can follow and cross things off as you get them. Plus, Scott's parents wanted a Christmas list from us and baby gear is what we needed. Maggie got to pick out a lot of the stuff - she loved the butterflies on the swing. I also LOVE having her be a part of everything going on with her sister. She told me this weekend that she's going to "pay so much attention to this baby - she's going to be spoiled". I hope that she remembers that once the crying bundle of joy is here! LOL!

Finally on Sunday my nephew moved out. It was time. He's 19 and needs some parental guidance. More than I can give him because I can't discipline him the way his mom or dad could. My house is sure quiet without Kris, Zelda and Lucy there. (We took Lucy to her new family on Thursday - a WONDERFUL young couple!) I didn't know what to do this morning because it was so quiet. Scott told me to wait a few months and that will all change. He's probably right!

Oh - and one final note - Scott got a written warning for speeding. I told him that I wouldn't let him live it down because we're always fighting in the car over how fast he drives. He got pulled over yesterday and given a lecture from the cop. I told him he had better be glad I wasn't in the car or I would have begged the office to give him a ticket to prove my point. HA! I think the cop proved it anyway. :)

Back to work. Monday sucks.


Monday, November 07, 2005

Got some photos...

Finally uploaded some of my photos from the past few weeks. I LOVE being digital - but sometimes I'm too lazy to upload/develop/print the photos. But, I had some time on Friday night and ran over to Costco to get things taken care of. LOVE that place!

Anyway, here's how my poor little pumpkin spent her Halloween...

I was so scared last Monday when they admitted her with the breathing problems. She had a reactive airway attack (similar to asthma) and missed Trick or Treating plus a few days of school. Everyone at Children's was so wonderful to her, though. They truly made it a better experience!

She's doing a LOT better now and is playing, running around, etc. We've had to make some changes in our family (the doctor recommended that we give our pets new homes). It's killing us to have to do it but we're doing what's best for Maggie, so that's what we've been doing this week.

On a more positive note - here's my friend Kate and I in NYC almost 2 weeks ago. I have ALWAYS wanted to see Times Square and thought it was fun but definitely busy!

Then, there is this photo of my niece and I. She's due with a baby girl on December 9th and I'm due with a baby girl on March 19th. Her first pregnancy - my 2nd, which is what I tell myself when I see how our bellies compare.

Finally, a photo of me with the love of my life. Gotta love those goofy "hold the camera out" shots. Poor Scott - puts up with my mood swings - he's a trooper. Sweetie - I know you read my blog- I love you! :) (Of course, ask me how I feel about him when I'm about 8 cm dialated and in labor transition)

Happy Monday everyone!

Thursday, November 03, 2005

It's a....

GIRL!!!! We are SO excited to announce that we're having a little girl! Maggie is so stoked to be having a little sister!

I have to be honest. This little one definitely had me baffled. I thought for sure that I was having a boy because this pregnancy was so different! But, it's a little girl and we couldn't be happier. We just prayed for a healthy baby!

On another note, sorry for no recent blog updates. We spent the first three days this week in the hospital with Maggie. She had an airway attack (sort of like an asthma attack) and we were there trying to get her oxygen saturation levels back up. She's doing well now and is back in school. (Kids are so resilient!) If you could, please keep her in your prayers that she gets better and that there are no more attacks!

By the way - we skipped the concert last week. Too cold and rainy! In exchange, I promised Maggie we'd take her to see Green Day. It's amazing the negotiating skills my 5 year old has!

In any event, she's happy and excited to be having a little sister. We don't have a definite name picked out although Maggie and I are both pushing for Mallory. :) (Scott - if you're reading this - take note sweetie - we want MALLORY!) Of course, all of my friends laugh because Maggie is like Maggie Seaver from Growing Pains and Mallory is like Mallory Keaton from Family Ties. NO - it's not intentional but funny nonetheless. :)


Monday, October 24, 2005


Ok - it's cold here in Cincinnati. When I say cold, I mean COLD! We pretty much SKIPPED over fall weather. (blah!) We've gone from high temps and shorts to freezing temps and down jackets. With that being said, Scott and I had this bright idea of taking Maggie to her first rock concert a month or two ago. 3 Doors Down was coming to Riverbend (in case you're not familiar with Cincinnati, Riverbend is exactly that - a stage next to the river!) and the tickets were pretty affordable, so we decided to make this her first concert. Besides they're a rockin' band!

But, it's going to be about 40 degrees this evening. YIKES! So, I guess Maggie won't get to hear much of the concert since I'll have her bundled like Ralphie in A Christmas Story. But, I'm hoping for a fun evening! Maybe we'll miraculously get a heat wave between now and 7:30. Ya think?

Thursday, October 20, 2005

I've got soul but I'm not a soldier

Well, it's about time I got out of this funk. This hormonal driven funk that basically left me with little ambition to create. UGH! But, this morning, I decided to do something about it. I cranked one of my favorite CD's - Hot Fuss. I can only hope that The Killers release a sophomore album as great as this.

I was heartbroken because I arrived TWO DAYS after the Killers played in Vegas. You have to understand my infatuation with Brandon Flowers. Don't get me wrong, I love my husband, but you know that list that they created on "Friends"? Yes - he's at the top of mine. I don't care that he's 5 years my junior. If Demi can have Ashton (ALSO on my list) then I can add Brandon to mine! Ask some of the girls that were with me - every time we were in a cab, I was asking if they had seen him, knew where I could find them, etc. They're from Vegas - I figured what better time to hunt them down then while there. Alas, I never saw him. :(

However, look at him... MEOW!

Ok - Killers set aside, I have to say that I absolutely LOVE the girls I work with. The design team is FAB! We all went to dinner on Tuesday night (with me GREEN at the gills with morning sickness that has decided to show up in the EVENING). Here we are at the fountains in front of the Belagio. (Borrowed from Becky's blog!)

Can I just say that they should NEVER do the fountains set to "My Heart Will Go On" with a pregnant lady in the audience that just watched Titanic a week before? Yes - full blown tears. It was awful. I felt like a total dork, but I'm emotional anyway and now I cry at the drop of a hat. Why couldn't they have played a fun song? Nope - gotta do a sappy song that reminds me of some poor guy that freezes to death in the middle of the ocean. Insert big "L" on my forehead. But, the fountains were cool to see!

That's all for now. Gotta run and pack kits for 400 students for next week and get some creativity flowing. It's about darn time!

Monday, October 17, 2005

Call it hormones...

call it whatever you want. For the past week, I've been hit with this feeling of "what am I doing?" I wonder if it's the right path for me. I kept worrying that the real reason why I scrapbook was getting lost. It was all becoming business and the meaning was no where to be found. I wondered if I was doing the right things, creating the right things, etc. Then, I came across a layout that was so profound to me that I sat at my desk and cried.

We just received a copy of "Your Scrapbook. Your Story" by Memory Makers. I was flipping through it when I came to page 63 and a layout by Polly McMillan. It's titled New Beginnings and it showcases a photo of toothbrushes. The toothbrushes were the first thing to catch my eye. I read the journaling and my heart sank. I began to cry because I put myself in her lonliness after divorce. It was SO profound that I can't even describe it. I thought about my husband's toothbrush sitting in the medicine cabinet and how I move it every day to get to my own. I wondered how I would handle things if it weren't there. I cried some more. I felt for her. I don't know her but I felt for her. My heart bled for her. It was then that I realized that what we do is right. Scrapbooking is right. It celebrates, remembers, heals. It's time to become refocused again.

Sunday, October 16, 2005


and exhausted. VERY exhausted. I spent four days in Vegas literally green at the gills. I thought my morning sickness was gone but I was wrong. VERY WRONG. So, if you saw me there and I seemed less than chipper, I apologize. I was just trying not to throw up at any given moment. To say the least, the trip was not pleasant for me. Makes me reconsider my trip in January. I'm not sure I'll be able to handle it considering I'll be nearly 35 weeks pregnant by then. We'll see...

I've just had a bad week. Blah...

Friday, October 07, 2005

Thank you!!

Everyone for your wonderful posts about the new paper. I hope that ya'll like them. :) I was really nervous about this show because it will mark the 1 year anniversary that my paper line has been out in the industry. It just doesn't seem like it's been that long. But then, I hope and pray that it will last even longer.

I have to be honest, I'm a bit sad about leaving my family for a few days. The further along I get in my pregnancy, the more homesick I become. I guess it's hormones (although I've always been a homebody) but it seems to be getting worse. I'm already teary thinking about leaving Maggie for a few days, even though she will be TOTALLY fine and my family and her daddy will spoil her. But, it's just the thought that I'm missing her first field trip, and I can't take her to school in the mornings, etc. Oh well...I guess it's just the ramblings of a pregnant lady.

Did I mention that we're getting THE BIG ULTRASOUND on the 1st? I am SO excited! We're dying to know what we're having. Doesn't matter either way, we're just praying for a healthy baby, but I'd love to be able to buy gender specific stuff. Can't wait!

I'll be back after Memory Trends! Wish me luck!


Monday, October 03, 2005

New Stuff!

Wanna see some new stuff????

Hope you like it! :)

PS - for those of you that Spam - SHAME ON YOU!!!!

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Scott turned 30

on Saturday. We had a nice dinner with some friends and that was about it for celebrating. I just can't believe he's 30! When I met him, he was 19 - we were just kids. Now, we're these married "adults" and sometimes I still feel like we're the kids. What's so great about him is that he's funny, a total hottie, and the best dad. (Even when we argue over how to discipline Maggie)

What's awful is that I forgot to bring my camera and therefore didn't get ANY pictures! I could stick my head in the mud over that one. Ever since I became pregnant, it's like all the wiring in my brain doesn't quite function. I forgot to bring my camera to events, I haven't had any scrappin' mojo, and I'm lucky to know which day of the week it is. LOL! Oh's all worth it.

On another note, Friday night I went scrapping with some friends. It was the first time that I've been to a crop (where I wasn't working) in over a year. It felt so good to just hang out, laugh with the girls, work on some stuff and relax. We promised to do it monthly so I hope we stick to it. There is a group of about 6 of us - me, Barb, Jamie, Tina, Kim, and Chris. It was a great time!!!

That's about all. I feel like I should always say something sensational in my blog but truthfully - my life is pretty boring right now. We're gearing up for Memory Trends and that's consuming most of my attention as well as CKU Stamford. I'll be glad to have a break for a while. I'm not going to be doing CKU's for some time due to the baby, etc. That'll be a nice change of pace.

Friday, September 23, 2005

The wonderful thing about scrapbooking

is that you make some amazing friends! I was talking to my good friend, Barb Hogan, this morning and she was telling me to stop by her blog. Normally I check it every day but yesterday I was a bit swamped and didn't have a chance to jump online. So, the first thing I did this morning was hop online and check it out and I nearly cried. 1) Because Barb said some wonderful things about me and she is one of my dearest friends and 2) Because she posted photos of me with the "napkin boobs". It's a long story but imagine 10 scrappers crammed into a van then going out to Julio's for dinner in Chicago. Yes - things got a bit crazy. :) So, in the spirit of Barb's blog, I'm posting about the special people I've met through this hobby - Barb included.

Here we are in Chicago. I just don't know what I'd do without these girls. Barb is on the right and she is one of the most amazing people I know. The woman OOZES creativity. I've never seen anything like it. I always tell her when I grow up, I want to be Barb Hogan. She has a heart of gold!

There are so many of my other friends here. Kim, Jane, Renee, Terri, Janice, Sara, etc. I love them all!

Being goofy definitely is a requirement of my friends. LOL!

Kim and Jane are so funny! I met Jane online because her last name was my maiden name, so we figure we're related somewhere down the line. Kim and I met two years ago at a local store and we've been great friends ever since. They absolutely crack me up!

The one girl that I don't have a photo of here in the office is Tina. She's another friend I've made through scrapbooking. We started working together over a year ago and now we've moved on and still work together. She's funny, makes me totally crack up and she's caring. Can't get much better than that! Love ya T!

Then there is Teresa and Sarah. (Talk about a long blog post)

Teresa is one of my best friends in the industry. She is genuine, would do anything for you, and is SUPER talented. Sarah is fun, creative, and totally cracks me up. Here we all are when I told them that I was pregnant. They are just wonderful, wonderful people!

Finally, there is Emily Adams. I don't have a photo of Em with me, either. :( Emily is another person that is caring, wonderful, and fun to be around. (Oh, and I can't forget Kate, too!)

I guess I've just met too many wonderful people in this industry to mention. I feel horrible that I might have forgot someone. (Sort of like those speeches that actors give) LOL! But, to all of my friends - know that I ADORE you.


Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Maggie has a crush!

It's so funny! She's been talking about this boy in class named "Jacob S." and she blushes every time I ask about him. She's been in Kindergarten all of 1 month and already has a crush. Anyway, today I got to meet "Jacob S." We were standing in line waiting for her to go into the classroom and this boy rushes by and he has a cast. (Maggie mentioned that he had broke his arm) He hollers "HI MAGGIE!!!" as he goes by and I can see Maggie turn about 10 shades of red. I bent down and asked her who it was. (I KNEW - Mom's know these sorts of things!) She whispers "Jacob S." and looks away from me. LOL! I was like "Oh...he's cute" and let her go.

I remember my own Jacob S. Although, he was Jason, but the older I got, the more I realized "ICK". LOL! This boy was cute, though. The type of kid that's going to be popular. He had spikey blonde hair and was very friendly. I'd say she's done well for her first school crush. :)

Wednesday, September 14, 2005


I haven't blogged in nearly two weeks. I guess I just didn't have a lot to say. Well, actually, I DO, but not things that I should probably share on a public blogging forum. LOL! Lots of things have been going on, plus I just finished CKU in Kansas City.

On a positive note, I am about 90% finished with the new stuff for Memory Trends. I cannot wait until the show where I can see my friends. That's one awesome thing about this business - you make friends that are near and dear. For me, it's Emily, Kate and Teresa. I would have been SO LONELY in Kansas without them. They made me laugh, cheered me up when I was upset, and we had a great time! Thanks girls!!! :)

From the homestead, things are looking good. Maggie has been in Kindergarten for a few weeks now and she's loving it. It's the getting her up in the mornings that is the worst part. She's a lot like her daddy. Doesn't want to get up and doesn't want to eat breakfast. She cracks me up. Then, of course, every morning isn't complete unless we listen to one of the Kids Bop CD's. Who invented those anyway?

Scott applied for another job within his company. I sure hope he gets it. It will be a lot less physical labor on him. Plus, he might have more time to finish his degree. In any event, I just want to see him happy.

Finally, I want to give out a few overdue "Thank You"s. At the last CKU I received some wonderful baby gifts from Emily, Meg and Michelle. This CKU, I got a gorgeous box from Micki Smith. Thank you ladies for being so wonderful! :) I didn't have your addresses, or else I would have sent you a note. But, I wanted to tell you "thanks". Your sweetness did not go unnoticed!

I better get back to finalizing the papers. Gotta finish naming them. That's the hard part sometimes. LOL!


Thursday, September 01, 2005

Simply Heartbroken

For a few days now, all I keep thinking about is the devastation in Louisiana and Mississippi. I keep thinking about Jlyne Hanback and the sight that she came home to. I keep thinking about what I can do as a person and what Imagination Project can do as a company. I've talked to a few people to try and set something up - to raise money, awareness, compassion.

I can't even imagine - I can't even BEGIN to imagine. All I can do is pray. Pray that it will never happen here, pray that those who are affected can find peace and solace and rebuild, pray for their health for it sounds like things are very dangerous from a biological standpoint. I pray for the animals that were left behind, the families that lost loved ones, and those still waiting to hear.

I'm heartbroken. Simply heartbroken.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Day 3 of Kindergarten

Sorry I've been a lazy blogger. Since being pregnant, I've gained a whole new appreciation for laziness. With that being said, I'm also so TIRED from getting up an hour and a half earlier than normal. But, the best thing is that Maggie LOVES school!

Friday was her first day and it was crazy. It was pouring rain and I, being the new school mom, had NO idea how nuts it can get when dropping kids off at school. I take Maggie into her classroom every day, so I have to pull over into a designated parking lot so that we can go in. Well, there is also the "drop-off" lane on the right. Can we say "Mr. Mom". Except in this case, it's enter from the West and exit to the East. I'm getting the hang of it quickly. I actually go about 10 minutes early, park and wait until the kids can enter the building. I'm not getting caught in the mess again!

She's made some new friends and she tells me about it every day. I love that she has good stories to tell. I'm so worried that kids will pick on her because she's a sensitive child. Plus, she's tall and a bit bigger. She's like her mommy. She's a big girl. But, such a sweet girl. Even when she pouts and gets mad because I won't let her wear her pajamas to school.

So, that's been the focus of my week, weekend, etc. Then, of course, there is the lunch dilemma. She won't eat peanut butter, she won't eat ham, bologna or any other meat, so today, we packed a tortilla with cheese. She told me yesterday that we have to get this "sandwhich thing" figured out. Yes, we do....

There it is...the ramblings of a mom adjusting to her child in school. Oh, and a mom that doesn't get enough sleep. I've asked for a couch at work, but somehow, that's not on the priority list. LOL!

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Tag - I'm it!

Talked to Barb today and she told me to check out her blog. Apparently - I've been tagged and need to list 5 random things about myself. (At the end of the blog, I'll also post a photo that Barb mentioned - trust me - it's worth it!) :)

Ok - here's the five:
1) I'm the youngest of four by 17 years. My brothers are exactly 17, 18 and 19 years older than me respectively. Yes - we have the same parents - my mom just had three of us young and then a "change of lifer".

2) I love pickle juice on potato chips, french fries and grilled cheese. This was actually a trait that I picked up when pregnant with Maggie, but it just stuck with me.

3) I switched majors FOUR TIMES in college. Ended up graduating pre-law and was going to be a paralegal and work through law school. Yea - that plan worked!

4) Met my husband on a blind date. I was a waitress and his family asked me for my phone number for him. I think they regret that now. :)

5) The guy I dated for a few years in high school and my husband both share the same first and middle name: Scott Andrew. VERY WEIRD. I almost didn't date my husband because it was weird but now I never really think about it except for these things where you have to list random things about yourself. I just figured it's too odd not to list.

So, here's to Barb, who tagged me. Now, I'm going to tag Heather Preckel. :) Here you go Heather!

Oh, and let me tell you what else Barb called to tell me. She mentioned Tom Brady on the cover of GQ. I'm not much of a Tom Brady fan or a Pats fan for that matter, but I might have to pay more attention to football this year.

I'm quickly going to become the "EYE CANDY" blog, aren't I?

PS - Scott - you're still the hottest one to me sweetie!

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

If I were not married

to the greatest man on the planet, I'd be chasing this boy...

Yes, Brandon Flowers. Sadly, I'm excited about the MTV awards just because the Killers are performing. My daughter adores them, and quite frankly, I just enjoy looking at their lead singer. Eyeliner and all...

Then, some days, I like them a bit older...

Call it pregnancy hormones or whatever, but today, I wanted to pay tribute to the other "men" in my life. I'm sure when Scott sees this, I'll get an earful (DON'T get me STARTED on Chloe, honey!) but I just had to post photos of these guys for me to look at today.

Hmmmm....... Sigh....


Tuesday, August 23, 2005

It's lunchtime...

With my sickies all of the time, lunchtime has become more of a nusance than an enjoyment. Nothing sounds good - everything makes me sick and I pretty much hate eating. BUT, here's my one saving grace! Today - I'm heading to the mall. At least, I hope. I want something along these lines...

It's the only thing that sounds good....

Monday, August 22, 2005

Photos for Monday!

I had a fairly uneventful weekend. Spent some time with friends on Saturday night, had Maggie's soccer game on Friday night. Sunday was a lazy day, so I figured instead of boring you with some of my humdrum, I'd share some photos! I finally downloaded the vacation pictures and I'm hoping that I actually get time to scrap some of them before the end of the year!

Anyway, here is Maggie and her cousin, Abby, playing the piano. I swear, they look like two saloon girls, but so cute! Look at the too of them with their "hymn books". They were taking this seriously! LOL!

Here's Maggie in her "Shark" suit. My mom bought her this set of shark gear to wear in the pool. Me, being the paranoid mom, still makes her wear a floatie when she's in the deep end. But, how funny is her "scary" pose? LOL!

Then, there are the Gators. We went golfing one night and I couldn't help but take photos of the gators in the pond. (Don't worry - they were fenced in!)

Finally, my family in Florida. My hottie husband and beautiful little girl. Then, there's me. Usually green from morning sickness that lasts all day. Plus, I'm too lazy to photoshop the glare off of my glasses. Oh well...

That's all for today. Going to go tonight to help my niece register for baby stuff. She's due December 9th! I can't wait!!!!


Friday, August 19, 2005


The support from everyone has just been amazing. Thank you SO MUCH!!!! It means a lot to me and my family!

Well, baby drama aside (I'm praying for 30 weeks of no-drama for the rest of this pregnancy) I'm now focusing on Maggie and getting her ready for school. This time next week, she's going to be in her Kindergarten class! I really don't know where the time went. It seems like yesterday I was bringing her home from the hospital and she was so tiny. Now, she plays soccer, tells me what she wants to wear, has her first "big girl" tooth coming in and she's anxiously awaiting the arrival of her sibling.

Yesterday, I went to her soccer practice to help Scott out. He is the most patient man I know. How he can coach 5 year-olds is beyond me. He has one that NEVER wants to do anything. He sits when they're supposed to run, he gets upset if he doesn't score a goal, etc. I don't have patience for that but Scott does. He's a great coach. Anyway, Maggie was practicing and whenever they had a break, she'd run up and kiss my belly. She's such a sweet little girl. I just hope she still likes the baby when it's here and the attention is focused on it for a while. I'm sure she will. She seems to be taking on the "little mommy" role already. Yesterday, she had a copy of the Babies R Us flyer that came in the mail. I was going to throw it away but she looks it over like she's shopping for the best stuff. She cracks me up.

I promise to post pictures from vacation soon. I finally picked them up from Costco. LOVE that place!

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Thank you!!!

Baby is good. Just a scare. They can't explain it but the u/s showed one healthy little peanut! :)

God is good. Thank you for your prayers!


Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Please pray for us...

I leave in about 45 minutes for an ultrasound. Things aren't looking great right now in the pregnancy. I started having problems last night around 6:00 and it's been a night of tears and uncertainty.

Just pray for us.


Monday, August 15, 2005

Let's Talk Cravings

Back to my confessions of a fat girl, let's talk pregnancy cravings. True - I should be eating fruits, veggies and all of that good stuff. However, I am from Cincinnati and I'm a true Cincinnatian. With that being said, there is only ONE thing that satisfies the pregnant palette and that's.... SKYLINE!

Last night at approximately 9:30, I decided that I had to have a coney. Not wanted, but rather NEEDED! One of those sort of cravings where you'd walk five miles in 10 feet of snow to get it. Scott was sitting there playing NCAA '06 and it hit me and the begging started.

"What?" (as he continues to shuffle through college players)
"I'm hungry"
"And?" (he knows what's coming)
"I want a coney"
"Right now???"

The bantering went on for about 5 minutes before he realized that I wasn't giving up. I could have gone out to get it but I was TIRED. LOL! I wanted him to bring me the coney. So, God love him, he went out and bought me two coneys - no mustard or onion.

For those of you that are NOT from Cincinnati, let me briefly explain Cincinnati Chili. It's not like Texas Chili. It's not hot, but rather sweet. (Rumor is that two of the "spices" are cinnamon and chocolate) There are two main ways it's served: the Cheese Coney which is a hot dog with chili, cheddar cheese, mustard and onion, and then the 3-way - Spaghetti, Chili and Cheese. Either way, right now it's YUMMY! And, one of the only things that doesn't make me sick all night. (Which is actually rare because most other people get sick from it)

So, there it is. Confessions of pregnancy cravings from a fat girl. YUM!

Saturday, August 13, 2005

10 Years Today

10 years ago today, Scott and I had our first date. It wasn't anything special - just an evening at Golden Tee which was a place that teenagers hung out - driving golf balls, shooting pool and playing video games.

We were actually a blind date. I was a waitress at a local restaurant while in college and his family came in to celebrate an anniversary. They all began to persuade me to go out with "Scott" who was at a Bengals game that evening. I told them that I'd think about it and I passed along my phone number. At the time, I wasn't really looking for anyone. A few months before I had split with someone I dated nearly three years, so I guess you could say I was still nursing a heartbreak.

Then, I met HIM. I had been on dates before, but nobody ever really caught my eye. Honestly, Scott didn't catch my attention at first. Sure, he was adorable, opened the door for me, drove a sharp car and was so damn cute I wanted to squeeze him, but he never TALKED. I'd ask him a question and he'd give me a "yes" or "no" answer. Finally, I told him - "in order for this to work you have to TALK." Now, 10 years later, I can't get him to shut up! :)

So, here's to 10 years. 10 years of laughs, kisses, hugs, fights, tears and so much more. I can't wait to see what the next 10 brings us. I would post a picture of our first days but my stupid computer won't work. (I think he installed some sort of anti-virus, anti pop-up thing), so you'll just have to imagine two goofy 19 year-olds. Maybe when he gets home today I'll have him fix it. :)

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Morning Sickness Sucks!

Or, should I say, all day nausea! Yesterday, I made the mistake of eating chicken at dinner. I should know better. I LOVE chicken but for some reason,if I eat it, I get sick about an hour later. So, we're at Kroger and sure enough - the wave of nausea hits me. I couldn't stand to grocery shop. Scott had to pick everything out. He was sympathetic to my whining and wanting to go right away. I never had this with Maggie, so it's all new to me. Of course, he always says "That's my boy!" with a twinkle in his eye. In the end, we just want a healthy baby but he always jokes because I was never sick with Maggie.

I also had a Dr. appointment this week and things look good. BP is good and they scheduled me for an U/S on the 22nd. She didn't think that my uterus was matching up to the EDD (which right now is March 19th). Another sad thing is that I'm alread showing! EEK! She explained that it could be a large uterus (which I had with Maggie), multiiples (EEK AGAIN!) or I could be farther along then what we have calculated. So, we'll find out on the 22nd.

Sorry to hijack my blog with baby talk. It seems to be consuming me these days because I never thought it would happen again.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Today's my anniversary!!!

On this day, seven years ago, I married a wonderful man! Today, we celebrate our anniversary and I am so glad to be home. CKU was wonderful, but I did not want to spend my anniversary away from him. Although, I've been at work all day and he's been at work and he has golf tonight, etc. But, just knowing that I will get to see him tonight makes me smile.

So, here's to us! What a wonderful year we have ahead of us. A new baby, our daughter starting school, possibly a new home. (If I get my way!) :)

Call it pregnancy bliss, but I love this man!

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

I'm leavin' on a jet plane...

I've been singing that a lot lately. Gonna keep singing it for the next few months. Gotta love frequent flyer miles! But, I miss my family terribly! Especially now that I'm all hormonal. I have already become teary eyed over thinking about being away from Maggie for five days. I know it's not that long. I know I'll have a great time in Utah. But, sometimes there's no place like home.

In any event, I'm looking forward to going to CKU and Provo. I've never been to SLC and I cannot WAIT! My dear friend, Teresa, is picking me up from the airport and we're going to spend the day in SLC and Provo, stopping by some stores and I'll be getting ready for my classes. I am just praying that everyone likes the class! It's the most nervous I've ever been about teaching.

This pregnancy has also been so different than my one with Maggie. I'm so emotional all the time. I go from being angry to crying in a matter of 10 seconds. I cry over anything, everything and nothing at all. The nausea is at least subsiding somewhat, although every time I eat chicken I get sick. I miss my chicken fingers, but it's all worth it. Oh, and the funny thing is that Maggie swears I'm having a boy and she's already named him Chester. I should have never let her watch "Dude, where's my car?". LOL! She loves Chester. I told her that Chester was not on the table. I've got a few months to try and convince her to like another name. Besides, it could be a girl. In that case, I'll have to convice Scott to like Mallorie. (He always hollers "YO! Mallory!!!")

Anyway, wish me luck in Provo!!!

Sunday, July 31, 2005

I'm HOME and a big THANK YOU!!!

First of all, I am completely overwhelmed with everyone's wonderful words and thoughts regarding our pregnancy. I actually was in tears reading everything because it's so amazing to have that much support. Scott and I are still in shock but absolutely ecstatic. Maggie talks about her new "baby" all the time. She's already decided it's a brother. LOL! I keep trying to tell her that it could be a girl but she is set that it's a boy. Maybe she has intuition. :)

I am SO glad that we're finally home. To be gone for 2 1/2 weeks with NO Internet access has been torture. I have no idea what was said about our products post CHA, I haven't been able to see all the new goodies that are coming out (remember - I scrapbook, too) and of course, I haven't had access to my work e-mail which has killed me the most. UGH!!!

I'll post more updates later - like when we found out about the baby and my thoughts about CHA. Right now, I have a house that needs attention because I left it with two teenage boys for 2 weeks. Yes - it's my worst nightmare right now!

Off to hunt down bleach, the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser and lysol! LOL!


Tuesday, July 19, 2005


That's all I can say right now. I'm in Tampa and on a computer at a store and had five minutes on the Internet.

I'm PREGNANT!!! Never thought I would see that again! So excited! Scott is beside himself and Maggie is already begging for a baby brother.

Morning sickness (and all day!) sucks! But, so well worth it!


Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Come chat with me!

I'm chatting there tonight at 9:00. Would love to talk to everyone. (Or, anyone that reads my blog) LOL!


Wanna see some new stuff????

Ok - gotta share my excitement! :)