Christmas In New York!

December 31, 2007 at 5:52 pm | Posted in Photos | Leave a comment

We spent our Christmas in New York! We had a great time and we hope to make it back there very soon again! It defenitely was the trip of a lifetime! We understand now why people move there and never leave!

Our first day, we caught an early flight and arrived in Manhattan by 11 o’clock. We dropped our bags at our hotel on 35th Street and headed right for Time Square!

It was so cold! We spend the day walking around the city taking in the sights from Times Square, Rockefeller Center, Macy’s and Herald Square.

Our second day was our favorite day! We scored excellent third row seats to Rent and then we went to eat at the ESPN resturaunt and we watched the Titans beat the Jets on the big screen. We spent the rest of the night at Rockefeller Center watching the ice skaters and taking in the window shopping of 5th Avenue.

Christmas Day at Central Park!

Lower Manhattan. This day was full of some fierce cold winds, lots of sightseeing and some of the best New York Pizza we have ever seen or tasted! We walked back up toward Mid town and took in Chinatown and the Financial district as well as the Brooklyn Bridge.

The view from our hotel of the Empire State Building

St Patrick’s Cathedral

Saks Fifth Avenue Window Displays

Rockefeller Center at night


Triple Threat

December 19, 2007 at 3:43 am | Posted in Music | Leave a comment

A friend of mine gave me tix to see Katie Herzig on Sunday night. I love her music, but have never seen her live, at least not on her own, fronting her own band, for an entire set. She is absolutely amazing. I call her a classic triple threat; singer, songwriter, musician.

She is amazing. Her show was amazing. There were times in that packed little club where it was just her, her guitar and absolute silence expect for the sound of her and her music. The words she writes are so powerful, so true, and so touching. I have no idea how she only plays in the little clubs and dives we see her in. I cannot believe she is not huge, making tons of money, and headlining her own tour. I would like to think that wouldn’t ruin her and her absolute raw talent. I would like to think that wouldn’t ruin her approachability and her kindness. I would like to think that I will be able to afford to see her play in the future.

My only complaint is that she previewed some fantastic music that we cannot hear again until her new album comes out in a few months.

Itunes her, Youtube her, Myspace her. You will not be disappointed.

A Random Act of Kindness in a Crazy Week

December 14, 2007 at 11:17 pm | Posted in Inspirational, Life | Leave a comment

I can’t believe I made it to Friday! One week down, one more to go until we get the heck out of dodge! In the midst of a week of mishaps I was the recipient of a random act of kindness.

Monday- knitting party; Loving my new found activity already. Thanks to some very patient teachers and a donation of needles and yarn to my good cause, I am well on my way. So I have pulled out many rows, hey, I am trying and I am finding it to be a great stress reliever and way to unwind at the end of the day. Stayed the night with D- always fun, though I have no idea what time we finally made it to bed. We did the talking in the dark a room away thing. Always a good conversation with that girl.
Tuesday- still not home to see hubby and the kids. A friend from out of town stopped in and all the girls went to eat yummy Mexican. Amz and I devoured a whole bowl of cheese almost by ourselves, I still have not regretted it. Yes, it was that good.
Wednesday – got to work, ready to head out for the afternoon and my car decides to die – Great!
A borrowed car and a tow truck later, I found myself in the line at Starbucks to grab an apple cider and piece of coffee cake to go and sit and wait for Daddy to finish his meeting so we could go home. I was on the phone with a friend when I placed my order. I drove around, tried to hand the guy my card, and he says to me, “You don’t owe me anything, the guy in front of you paid for your order.” I am pretty sure my only response was, “What?!” On the other end of the phone, my friend says, “Someone paid for you, that is so cool.” It literally turned my day around in the matter of two seconds. I forgot about the car bill, the tow truck, and the overwhelming urge to break down and cry. For that second, the world was a good place again. I literally almost forgot where I was I was so astonished. Then I thought, well, I could make someone else’s day too. I said, “Can I pay for the person behind me?” He said, “Sure, you are the 5th person to do that.” How cool is that?! Now, I have to say the very moment that it came out of my mouth I thought, “Please God, don’t let the guy behind me be the gopher for the whole 5th floor from the Children’s Hospital doing a coffee run for the entire Nursing staff!” There is always that danger if you choose to pay for the car behind you. I was momentarily worried. After all, I knew that I had a big mechanic bill looming. All was well though and my bill actually came out a little cheaper – God at work. That was many cups of happiness for many people.
Thursday – Woke up before the dawn to take hubby to meet his ride to work at 5:30. Came home, got dressed, went about my day. Worked all day, left, drove across town to pick up hubby at his work site and then we drove to the mechanic. Cut off an arm and a big toe to pay for my car and then finally drove home. As we were driving down the highway I said, “Do you realize that exactly 12 hours ago we were on this same road just starting our day?” Depressing to think you have literally been at it from sun up to sun down.
Friday – Back to normal, thank God. Ready for the weekend. Ready to babysit. Ready to go see Katie on Sunday! In exactly one week I will be packing to go on Vacation!!!
I feel like singing “New York, New York” over and over again. Don’t be surprised if you hear it many times next week.

As Promised. . .

December 13, 2007 at 12:59 am | Posted in Photos | Leave a comment

. . .my New York skyline

It will be up for a while to remind me of good things and good people.

If You Just Believe

December 13, 2007 at 12:01 am | Posted in Inspirational | Leave a comment

I spent last Saturday night babysitting some super sweet kiddos. After we had played, the little girl, I will call her “princess”, wanted to watch The Polar Express, YES! Seeing as how I can quote line by line most kid movies, I was amazed that I have not yet seen this one. Any movie with a song by Josh Groban should be enough for me to rush out and buy it for myself. He seriously sings like an angel, but that is for another time. I was so glad I had a chance to catch it.

In fact, I was more excited that “princess girl”! I fell in love with this movie. In this day in age where movies like Shrek have such unkid-friendly (yes, I am aware this is not a word – but this is my world) themes and jokes I was surprised that this one was so enjoyable. I did enjoy Shrek but I am a grown adult. I would not want my young children watching most of those things in that movie. Anyway, I had a few great quotes from the movie which I think should get some recognition. Think about them, they may be from a kid’s movie, but they are for the big kids too.

“The thing about trains… it doesn’t matter where they’re going. What matters is deciding to get on.”

That is so true, sometimes we don’t need to be for certain where we are going in life, in relationships, in our careers. Sometimes we just need to jump on board full force, no holds bar, all on faith. Most likely, the journey will take you to somewhere magical.

And my favorite one yet:

“Seeing is believing, but sometimes the most real things in the world are the things we can’t see.”

So true, I could not even begin to name them all. Love, friendship, laughter and faith are just a few of my favorites.

Good Job Tom Hanks.

Laughter is the Best Medicine

December 8, 2007 at 4:20 am | Posted in Holidays, Just for fun | Leave a comment

So my Aunt sent me this email with this great Elf feature. I had received a few before but never opened them, but I did open her family’s with my adorable cousins and it made me go “Awww so cute”. Then I decided to “Elf” me and the girls.

Wow! Talk about hilarious. I am the one who has no rhythm, Amy is the dancing machine and Jen and D look like porcelain dolls. I am in tears laughing. So funny! Enjoy!

My poor elf cannot keep up and the fact that Amy is the one who is cutting the rug makes it even more hilarious! Amy is self-admittedly not a dancer, while the rest of us are the ones usually begging her to get out on the floor with us. So Amz, this is your time to shine!

Stepping Up

December 7, 2007 at 11:18 pm | Posted in Thoughts | Leave a comment

I am starting to learn that I am very lucky. I have had a few people come through for me the past couple of days. They have listened to me rant, rave, gripe and complain. They have been my therapists. They know who they are and I want you to know that I appreciate and love all of you!

One of them calmed me down yesterday in the midst of one of the worst email rants ever. Another listened on the phone even though she was super busy. I felt much better after it was all over. It was very therapeutic. These people have gone out of their way to offer help, step in, and fill in the gap way above and beyond the call of friendship. Not only have they listened but they have taken up for me and made me feel justified, but still they have helped me keep reality in check. That is so important to me for someone to let you know that you are not crazy for feeling the way you feel. It is nice to know that you can count on someone when you get frustrated with the world!

Also, “work Momma” has done it again! I came into work today and she says, “When you get to your desk don’t look down, look up”. (What a great metaphor for life – she tends to be a dispensor of wisdom like that) I was like HMM, what could it be? I go into my office and on the shelf over my desk is a perfect New York skyline made of the most beautiful antique and yes 3-dimensional postcards. They were hand drawn and amazing. There was so many of them I was so overwhelmed! Statue of Liberty, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, and The Empire State Building were just a few of the buildings and landmarks in my skyline. Being the crafty gal she is she even made me these little miniature snow white Christmas trees because as she said, “You are going at Christmas and it has to be realistic for you” She added, “Now when you get stressed the next few weeks, just imagine little old you walking amongst those buildings and it will all be worth it.” Tears ensued. It was so touching! My boss and other people from offices next to mine came in to see what all the fuss was about. They thought it was so cool. My boss said he is jealous of me. He just got back from 2 weeks in New Zealand and he spends many “work trips” going to Miami (and I had to go to Kansas, What?!), so no sympathy necessary for him!

Anyway, it does not get any better than that for me! It was thoughtful, creative, and relevant. It was the most amazing thing to be so “thought of” that she spent all of that time gathering the supplies, making the trees, and picking a day I would be out of the office so she could set it up to surprise me. She got a big hug! It was one of the nicest things anyone has EVER done for me! I cried a good bit I am not going to lie! I tried to take a picture of it but my silly camera phone is terrible so when I go back Monday I will take a real picture to share with you all!

Thanks to you all for stepping up!

Good Advice

December 6, 2007 at 5:52 pm | Posted in Advice | Leave a comment

I have a friend at work and I call her “my work Momma”. She is such a great resource on life, love, relationships, survival, etc., etc., etc. She is a creative soul with a mind that sees only beauty in the world around her, even in the midst of personal struggle and tragedy. That is such an amazing quality to have. For me, I tend to get bogged down when I feel unappreciated, unsatisfied, or just plain low. I feel it physically, mentally, and emotionally like I guess most people do. She says because I am a cancer that I feel it in my heart and it is true (ulcers anyone?) Did I mention she is very much a spiritual person who holds great value in the universe? It is such an interesting blend of thoughts.

Anyway, she is my eye of the hurricane at work. Yesterday, we were having a random conversation and I was telling her about a situation where I was feeling quite put aside and hurt and I didn’t feel like someone was taking my best to heart with a decision they were making. She said the most simple but yet profound thing. It was like Kindergarten logic, but it was exactly what I needed to hear at the time. It all goes back to having faith like a child and the eyes of a child. Sometimes the simplest things that are said or done make the most sense. In a nutshell she said, “Stephanie, you cannot change other people or how they treat you. You can change your reaction to those people and draw better boundaries. If people are draining you, not appreciating you, or making you angry, tell them. We cannot expect people to figure out your mind. Other people are too busy trying to figure themselves out. It hurts when it is the people you feel should know that you are in a place where you need help, but people are not that mindful. It is sad, but true.”

Hmm, other people are too busy trying to figure themselves out. So true, but I guess as a person who would jump over the moon if someone I loved asked me to, it makes me wonder where I rank in people’s books and on their agenda. It hurts to think that sometimes you give and you give and people don’t appreciate it, notice it, and when the time comes for you to ask for help or you have a need they do not reciprocate that behavior. I have to keep telling myself, “You cannot change their behavior, but only my own behavior and how I put myself into that relationship in the future.”

It is so simple but exactly what I needed to hear at the time.

Exit Scrooge

December 3, 2007 at 12:43 am | Posted in Family, Holidays, Photos | Leave a comment

We did it! We have jumped right into the Christmas season. Thanks to Amz and her rocking Christmas CD and D’s enthusiasm for decorating her own tree on girl’s night last week, I have succumb to the fever. We put up most of our Christmas decorations. We only lack the outside decor, but let me bask in my accomplishment for just a minute. It may not look like much but we like it. Hubby actually has his own tree in his man cave (the bonus room) which I conveniently left out of the pictures.

Not that I don’t appreciate his taste, I just think he can have his tree of all sports memorabilia, gold colors, etc., and I can have mine. So here is a few shots of “our” tree as we call it. I will leave it up to him to share pics of “his” tree if he so wishes!

It just occurred to me we need another stocking hanger for Ellie. Do they make a four letter word stocking holder – may be Noel, that would be cool.
Did I take the picture crooked or is my tree leaning? Hmm, the Olsen boys put it up. I think it is just the picture.

One of Ellie, because she thinks it is her mission in life to protect the house.

A Good Man Gets His Day

December 2, 2007 at 6:34 pm | Posted in In the News | Leave a comment

This past week Charlie McCoy was inducted into the Musicians Hall of Fame! I have had the privilege of getting to know Mr. Charlie and Ms. Pat over the past few months and it could not come to a better man! He is such a quiet spirit who, when he speaks, people really listen to. His list of musical credits is long. He has played with some of the greatest to ever sing and record. Elvis, Bob Dylan, and Johnny Cash are just a few of the artists he has worked with. They had an all star jam session recently, take a look at the pictures. He is the one playing the harmonica, of course.

The McCoys are both class act, hard working people. He has been so sweet to me. When he found out that my grandparents were fans of his he went out of his way to get me autographed Cd’s for them. It made their day.

Goes to show you that good things happen to good people.

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