If We Were Meant to Stay in One Place, We’d Have Roots Instead of Feet.

A little bird tells me that it has been 4 months since I had filled their news feed with a fresh post (or two!). I acknowledged this, and explained that I have been adjusting to a new, but familiar, normal. I felt like I was floating in some sort of limbo-land 4 months ago, and that is not to say that I may not occasionally feel that way at times, but recent events solidify my belief that things truly do happen for a reason, and rarely make sense as they happen. Some exciting things have happened when I least expected them to, and I would love to tell you all about it!

In the midst of collecting unemployment checks each week and applying for jobs I didn’t want simply so that I could say I was actively looking for work, something sort of perfect happened. You see, I had this thought in my head last October that I wanted to enroll in classes. I wanted to do it for me, but I also wanted to do it for the improvement it would make in my job situation. The university I selected was not exactly cheap, but it was the only one in the area that offered degrees fully online if I so chose, and additionally offered them live, so I could either attend in person or log in from home or work and watch the class as it was happening. Becoming a student at Lakeland University was going to be a financial sacrifice (among the other sacrifices one makes to pursue higher education as a working parent), but it was one I was willing to make.

Fast forward to mid-April and I (still jobless of course, and not exactly hating every moment 😉) stumbled across a job ad for an Administrative Assistant position at the Lakleland University campus in Milwaukee. I had to blink a few times to make sure I wasn’t seeing things. How great would it be if I were to secure a position at a university where I was a current student? Pretty opportune, if you ask me.

Well, that’s exactly what happened! I started working at Lakeland in May, and I am loving it. I am gaining exposure to the world of higher-ed, and have the opportunity to work alongside the working-professional instructors, academic advisers, and admissions each day. I get to see the workings of a university from the inside out, and familiarize myself with the technology and administration aspects. And all the while, I am receiving tuition remission. If I need to get to class, I walk down the hall. If I need assistance, my adviser is 2 offices down. In addition to being a family-oriented institution that caters to the working adult student, I have a work-life-school balance that I could have only dreamed of in my previous position. I am not saying this to boast, but to prove to everyone (especially myself! Because let me tell you, did I ever doubt it before) that an event that completely crushed me was a blessing in disguise. I pursued my goal of continuing education, and life caught up to meet me. I am not super woman, and perhaps life knew that better than I.

In other news, Jeremy and I are apparently creating our very own baseball team- we are expecting another boy in early December! I am 17 weeks along. Upon first digesting the thought of starting. All. Over. with a brand-new snuggle bug (because let’s be real.. we literally just ditched the last of the overnight pull-ups 3 months ago), I must admit I was suddenly all “Wait. What just happened?! This is not exactly the ideal time to be adding members to our little group, what with a new job and classes and all!”. But let me tell you. I am so excited! All I can think about is the snuggling and the warmth and the baby-love smell, and the rolls. Oh, the rolls.

And while we are on the subject of babies, I am not sure I can accurately describe how precious Mason is to me, and I cannot help but be thrilled that I am having another boy. The thoughtfulness, curiosity, and kindness with which Mason navigates his daily life make me so proud. If my next son is the same way, I will practically burst. Little girls are wonderful as well I am sure, but what makes boys so great from my experience is in the protectiveness Mason shows towards his Mama, his sensitivity towards others and their feelings, and his unabashed attitude towards all that is important to him in his short life thus far. It is so innocent and humbling to me, and if he can keep those values into adulthood, what a great man he will be.

This means I have 23 weeks to fit in one more semester of school, dig up the onesies and booties (!!!) from their hiding place in storage, and enjoy our family in the moment, because life will certainly be changing for the better soon… Again!

Enjoy the rest of this sunny weekend! xo

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In the Blink of an Eye

On Monday, I was a leader, a confidant, a mentor. It was my job to ensure the daily procedures and activities of a dental clinic were carried out in an appropriate, timely, and professional manner.

 I had a tremendous load of responsibility.

On Tuesday… I did not.

It’s Thursday. It’s 2:30 in the afternoon. I am in my pajama pants. I deep cleaned the kitchen and the bathroom. I read 10 books with my son. We played with trains. And Legos. I sat on my couch and sighed; feeling a sense of urgency to do something -anything- to keep myself busy. I set myself a reminder on my phone to go off at 2pm, because I knew I would actually be able to read it. I feel strange knowing that I am wearing glasses and no mascara. I don’t know where I left my black high heels.

I would be fooling myself (and all of you), if I were to say that I do not care. That it doesn’t bother me how things played out. That the failure was somehow all my fault. I do care. Tremendously. I loved my job and poured my heart and soul into it. In the end it would seem that the powers that be did not find me capable. I am not lying when I say that some of the best people I have ever known I have met in the last 2 years within the walls of the Iron Block Building.

Life has a way of pushing people in a certain direction. You can try to shove that annoying roadblock out of your way all you want, but if it is not God’s plan, it will not budge. You can scream and push and force all of your emotions and strength at it… but something has to give. Usually that something is you.

On March 14th, I will do something I have never done before: I will walk into my first college class. It was like I had some sort of inclination that I should take a step forward. A degree has never been a priority for me. Why did it become one, suddenly?

I have come to the conclusion that I can’t be afraid or expect things with certainty anymore. My arms are wide open to life’s possibilities, instead of crossed over my chest refusing to let go of things that are “mine”.

With that said, here we are. Page 1. This should be an interesting read…

xo

 

 

 

Wherever I May Roam, MKE is Home

Missing Fort Myers, but glad to be home!

Memories from the best vacation I have ever had:

I can’t wait to go back!! xo

Le Travel Blog II

Mother’s Day in Fort Myers was lovely. Mason proudly ran out of the bedroom with cards and presents for Barb and I. It was adorable. Jer and Mason picked out 2 charms for my charm bracelet, one of an owl and another that says “Mom” with a heart. Pat and Dave bought a nice bouquet of flowers for the house for all us mothers 🙂 Pat took Mason to the park and Jer and I hung out by the pool. After a relaxing morning we went shopping at the shops on the beach. Bumpa bought Mason a toy pirate ship, shark, and alligator. We stopped for lunch on the beach at Yucatan. Barb and I shared nachos, which were delicious. Mason started to get crabby so we headed back to the house to relax.

After dinner, Barb, Jer, and I took Mason to the pool for night swimming. He loves the water! It will be nice when summer comes to Milwaukee and we can take Mason swimming at the WAC on weekends. After Mason was snug in his bed, we all had some drinks and Dave, Pat, and I started the LA crossword puzzle in the Sunday paper, which turned into a 2 day event haha. We kept taking turns looking at the page to give our brains a rest. Everyone got hungry around 10 so Pat made cheeseburgers and we ate those, Mother’s Day cake, chips, and candy. It was a fun night.

Yesterday after breakfast, Pat, Jer, Mason, and I explored the islands of Sanibel and Captiva. We checked out the haunted lighthouse on Sanibel, and Mason searched for the perfect shells up and down the coast (I carried his plastic baggie :). On Captiva, we had lunch and drinks at the Mucky Duck, which was delicious.

After Mason’s nap back at the house, we had pizza at the Jolly Roger, which is apparently the only pizza place in Florida with thin crust! It seems they don’t know how to do pizza for the most part down here, which makes sense considering their emphasis on seafood.

All in all, vacation is proving to be a relaxing success! xo

Le Travel Blog

Happy Saturday from Fort Myers, Florida!

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This blog will temporarily serve as a platform to document all of our vacation memories!

Jer, Mason, Barb, Dave and I are here visiting Pat and Dolly in their new house. They still have their home in Oak Creek, but they wanted to get a place here as well to escape to during the winter months. What a great choice they have made! Their new home is delightful.

On Wednesday of last week, Mason joined Barb and Dave for the long journey down to Florida by car. Jer and I flew in on Thursday. When we stepped off the plane, the weather was absolutely gorgeous. It was 88 degrees with not a cloud in the sky. Pat and Dolly picked us up from the airport, and took us back to their house. The house (as I mentioned before), is adorable. The main rooms have white tile floor and new furnishings. There are 2 bedrooms and 2 full bathrooms, and a lanai. We had a late supper and around 8 pm, and then Barb, Dave, and Mason arrived! Mason was so sleepy. We all relaxed in the living room for the evening, catching up.

Yesterday (Thursday) was a blast. Mason had us all awake by 7, and Pat took him to the park after coffee and breakfast. Jer, Dave, and I headed to Fort Myers beach around noon, and the others stayed behind so that Mason could nap. Fort Myers is a pretty rad place. We decided to plop our beach umbrellas and towels near the Lani Kai, which is a resort, but has cute shops, and a bar area where they serve drinks called Miami Vice. They are half strawberry daiquiri and half pina colada with a shot of 151 poured over the top. Yikes, ladies and gentlemen. Yum. We spent a good amount of the time lounging in the sun and soaking up rays in the water. Jer and I grabbed a quick lunch at a burger stand called Lehne Burger. The man who owned the joint was very friendly, and was telling us that his sister is from Wisconsin and so he empathized with us when it comes to the weather. I will admit, it certainly IS taking a bit for me to adjust to the heat and humidity here. I guess I really will always be a Midwestern gal who enjoys her 50 degrees. Remind me that I actually said those words when next January comes around, ya hear?

After Mason’s nap, he, Barb, Pat, and Dolly joined us at the beach. The look on Mason’s face when his feet touched the sand was priceless. He very shortly after became fascinated with every thing on the beach: the enormous span of sun and sand, the ocean that was as warm as bathwater, and the tiny shells peppering the soft white sand. We walked around and picked up as many shells as we could, played ball, and put his beach toys to good use. It made my heart soar to see how happy Mason was! I can’t wait to go back. Oh and hey, I didn’t even burn the first day!

We had dinner at Yucatan Beach stand, which is an open air restaurant with lots of pretty drinks (FooFoo drinks as Pat calls them), and lots of choices for dinner. I had pasta primavera which was delicious. The area around the restaurant is a spot I really want to explore one of these days. There is a store called Shipwreck that Pat wants me to check out. We headed back to the house covered in sand, and Jer and I took a quick dip in the pool to wash some of it off of Mason, who made it clear that he would refuse a bath. We all fell asleep around midnight.

Jer and I did lots of shopping today at Miromar Outlets in Estero. What a death trap that place is! Jer walked out with 3 new pairs of shoes, 2 new Oakleys, and I picked up an adorable Kate Spade purse, jewelry, and clothes. We picked up some delicious macaroons from Le Macaron. Oh. Em. Gee. Talk about indulgent!

I napped when Mason napped. It was much needed. Adjusting to the climate and pressure is no joke! Benadryl is the only thing helping at the moment.

Pat, Dave, Jer, Mason, and I went to Publix to stock up on groceries, and made supper at the house. I gave Mason a bath, and now we are all chilling in the living room.

On to more fun tomorrow! Until then, xo.

New York State of Mind

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I am completely obsessed with New York City. I have never been there, but I am smitten with it. Central Park, the hipster shops in the West Village, the run-down pizza cafes, the Museum of Modern Art, small bakeries with macaroons in the window, Tiffany’s, Grand Central Terminal, brownstone buildings on tree-lined streets… I could go on. Perhaps my fascination is due to the movie “Sunday in New York” with Jane Fonda, countless viewings of “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” with Audrey Hepburn, and “Pillow Talk” with Doris Day that I watched hundreds of times while growing up. Perhaps it is more recently due to “Gossip Girl” (sue me. When I was home with Mason on maternity leave, he slept a lot. I love that series so much that I have watched the entire series 5 times through).

You can call me Blair Waldorf 🙂

Anyway…

Whatever the reason, I have been dreaming of traveling there for years. I’m sure I’m not alone in this quest. I know many people who visit there often, but I have never had the chance. I need at least a week to explore all the places and sites I want to see! I also need the right traveling buddy to embark on this adventure with me.

Enter Jer.

I asked him if he would enjoy traveling there for our anniversary, and he said he would. So it’s settled then! That’s all I needed to hear lol! I have been casually “planning” and researching a trip to the Big Apple for years now, so I have a pretty solid idea of what I would like to experience!

One snag. One of us is terrified of flying, the other can’t stand the idea of driving that far. But I mean come on. Why drive for FOURTEEN effing hours when you could fly for TWO hours nonstop to LGA for only 100 bucks more per person compared to the cost of gas? Not that I’m giving my opinion or anything. I’ll just make sure he gets a few shots of tequila in his system and his fear of flying will fly right out the window!

Below I have outlined the sites and places that I am determined to experience in August.

The High Line

The High Line is a former elevated train track that has been converted into an elevated urban park. It’s only a mile long so it should be a great walk with some great photo ops!

Grand Central Terminal

It’s one of the nation’s most historical landmarks, and it is a beautiful building. I can’t wait to see it in person!

Katz’s Deli

“I’ll have what she’s having”. –the orgasm scene in “When Harry Met Sally”

MOMA

While there are many museums to visit in the city, The Museum of Modern Art appeals to me the most.

The Shake Shack

The Shake Shack is a food stand in Madison Square Park. Word around the interwebs is that it features some of the best New York-style hamburgers and hot dogs in the city. Count me in.

Tiffany’s

No explanation needed. I will use getting my necklace cleaned as an excuse to enter, and walk out with the matching bracelet. Sorry Jer.

Palma

I have read nothing but great reviews about this tucked away brunch destination. I have heard that brunch is practically a New York rite of passage, so as long as that includes mimosas, powdered sugar French toast, and a bowl overflowing with blueberries, strawberries, and cream, count me in!

Central Park

This one speaks for itself. I can’t wait to rent some bikes and explore the whole park! I am hoping to spend an entire day there as well: eating in the park, reading in the park, yoga in the park… sigh.

Union Square Farmer’s Market

I am a sucker for farmer’s markets here in MKE. I love the one in South Shore Park. I’m sure this one is a market-goer’s paradise!

Empire State Building

There is something magical about this building to me. I especially want to be on the observation deck to catch an amazing sunset!

I also want to take a tour of the Statue of Liberty, check out Times Square, go to the New York Public Library, and bike the Brooklyn Bridge, among many other things! So exciting. I can’t wait to explore it all, take a million pictures, and “be a New Yorker” for a while J

What are some of your favorite spots in New York City? For all you experts, what are some recommendations of must-do’s and must-see’s?

The Betty

IMG_24711What better way to kick off 2015 than by treating Mason to a trip to the Betty Brinn Children’s Museum?!

The La Rue’s joined us, and the little boys (and the big ones… haha) had a great time! Aside from helping them burn off a ton of energy, it is a great learning environment. My favorite spot is a toddler/preschool play area, it’s designed to cater to little ones and is completely fenced in (yay).

It was a lovely afternoon!