Sunday, December 15, 2013

It's hard to be ugly

This week is our holiday party at work. Next to the halloween party it's the only thing to look forward to there. 

I worked on my ugly Christmas sweater today.

It's hard to try and make something ugly, on purpose. 

But I did my best.
I started with lots of supplies

Sweat shirt, garland trees, snowflakes, cotton circles I cut from a sheets of sparkly cotton, branches for arms and a battery powered string of lights.

First step was to sew the snowman on and stuff him. It was much hard then I thought.

 Next I attached the trees and snowed on the snow flakes. I'm not much of a seamstress so I did cheat some and use safety pins to help. 

I also added some mini lights to the bottom to add some fun. 

 And finally the eyes and details.
It's a tad hard to tell but the one eye is drastically larger then the second and the uneven. Also the buttons are purple glitter.


Monday, December 9, 2013

To each their own

Growing up it always seemed like my parents waited till the holidays to start home remodeling projects. And it irritated me. Things always turned into such a HUGE rush because of the pending holiday. 

One year we were ripping carpet out 3 days before thanksgiving and another year it was putting in a new bathroom. What a nightmare. Who does that. Who wakes up and says..." I don't feel adequately stressed out yet for the holidays I should destroy my house and rebuild it under a time crunch...that should help". Who does that. Apparently THIS GIRL! 

Seems only fitting right, following in my parents foot steps. 

Knock down a wall? Why not.

Cut holes in the ceiling? Why not.

Cover every surface on my first floor in layers of dust. Sure.

Not like I have anything else to do.

We finally made some more progress on our living remodel. 

But we are far from done.

WE went From this to 
To this. And now

From one side to 
The other. 

Clearly you can see our a mess. I won't even walk around without shoes on. And the only Christmas is the tree. All my decorations are packed up in the garage where they have been since we moved.

And it makes me sad.

And it makes me wonder what I was thinking.

And it makes me laugh.

And I think what a kick out of it my dad would get.

And that makes me laugh.

And then it makes me sad. Real sad. 

I am my parents child and everyday I see that more and more.

And. That. Makes. Me. HAPPY. 

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

What's best about being a kiddo.

Mama Kat wants to know the 10 best things about being a kid. 

In not certain order

1. Napping. We should have stuck with that one. I'm positive my productivity would be much better after a nice afternoon nap. Or at least I wouldn't get so grumpy after lunch. 

2. Recess. Just imagine if you could settle all your meetings with a rousing game of dodge ball. Who doesn't want to see their boss or snarky co-worker bite it on the monkey bars? 

3. Bath time. Yes, even as adults we can enjoy a nice bath. BUT we can't bust out the Mr. Bubble and our beach babie with her jet ski to cruise around the tub.

4. Pure joy. Everything is AWESOME when you're young. Everything is new and exciting. Now pure joy is replaced with realism. Sure, it's cool but I bet it's expensive now replaces any thought of awesomeness. 

5. Lack of fear. My brother and I often sit and talk about the things we did as kids.... Ad how we find it hard to believe we lived through it. My mom can't figure out how we did either. We loved American Gladiators, and we always wanted to be on the show and do the course where you have to dodge the tennis balls the gladiator shoots at you. So we practiced by setting up a course and throwing ROCKS at each other.

6. Summer. When you're a Kid you get 3 months of vacation. As an adult you need to work someplace for an eternity and give them a kidney to get 3 weeks off. 

7. Water balloons. Hit me with one now and I'll smack a bitch.

8. Coloring. Nothing is as relaxing as coloring. I'll tell you a secret.......I still color all the time. 

9. Trick-or-treating. I LOVE. Halloween. LOVE IT. But I guarantee if I went out trick or treating ( I don't have any kids) pa would be escorted home via the police. Who wouldn't be alarmed by a 32 year old women dressed up and pan handling. That's only acceptable from children under the age of 13 one night a year.

10. Riding the bus to school. I WISH I could catch a bus to work everyday. A work bus with my name written on a notecard above a certain seat. My co-workers and I could jump over seats and make friendship bracelets. And I wouldn't have to drive and cuss at other drivers! 

Those are my top ten things about being a kid. 

Friday, November 22, 2013

Dear me

Over the last few weeks I've encountered different things asking you to reflect back on your past. So today I've decided to write a post to my younger self.

Dear me:

If you take nothing else away from this letter, please know you are GREAT. And your future is something to be proud of. I don't come bearing winning lotto numbers or get rich quick ideas. I don't write to tell you to BE BETTER, or be STRONGER, or anything like that. I come with advice to help you see what truly matters but not to avoid the things that brought you to were you are today. Because TODAY is pretty great. But getting here was a mix of pain and greatness. 

If I told you to avoid this, and not do that, how would you learn. The moments that will force you to develop strength and compassion will be hard. They will be VERY HARD. But life is hard. But you must open your eyes and be present for the whole journey.

When you feel alone. Know that you aren't. Know that more people care than you think. Know that more people would be willing to share in your journey if you would only let them in. 

When you feel angry. Breath. Breath deeply. And realize this thing, this event, this anger you are feeling will pass. It may hurt, it might take a while but it'll pass. Try not to dwell on it. Try not to hold onto it. Try not to let it bring you down. Know that the grudges you hold will hurt you more in the long run. 

When things are tough. Take a moment to step back, clear your head, and remember what you are working towards. What is your goal? Make sure you haven't lost sight of the truly important things. Family. Friends. Life. And Love. 

I could tell you who to avoid. Because there are many people you should. There are people who will cloud up your view of who you are. They will knock you down. They will hurt you. It will be hard. You will care for them. They will care for you but not on the level you need. I could tell you to run. I could tell you to ignore them. But you will gain strength from each relationship. They are a huge part of who you are TODAY. 

You will want to give up. MANY TIMES. You will doubt your choices at EVERY turn. But you will make it. You will find yourself. And you will carve out a life to be proud of. When you trip, stumble and fall. GET UP. Keep walking. When you reach for something and can't touch it. Look around you. Make sure they people helping hold the ladder are cheering you on. Know that with each heart ache, each pain, each happiness you are becoming the person you are meant to be. 

Enjoy the journey. Enjoy your life. It's the only one you will have. Know that you are loved and you will be loved forever. 

The you of 2013.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013


Today my cousin goes to court to work out some sort of custody agreement with her husband. They have been living apart for well over a year now, but have yet to file any type of divorce or separation papers. This isn't my problem. And it shouldn't be...she's 3 months away from turning 40.  But until yesterday afternoon she had no lawyer. He does. She had no idea what to do. He did. And she had for the most part. Given up. He hasn't.

My cousins is more like a sister. Even through she's 10years older then me we have been very close. And I love her. But she makes bad choices. Very bad choices. She got pregnant at 15 had her second child by 18 and two more (twin girls) at the age of 28. She has a lot of anger inside of her. Angry she missed out on being a kid. Angry she had to grow up with her kids. Angry that she got married so young. Just angry. BUT. She made those choices. It's been a rocky marriage. No one is surprised that its coming to an end. Actually more surprised at how long it lasted. 

She left her husband awhile ago. And things.....started to unravel. Her husband, who I have called my cousins since I was 7 started to turn into someone I didn't know. He started doing things I never would have thought he was capable of. He's set out to hurt her. And I can understand that to a point. He's hurt. He's mad. He still loves her. He says he doesn't, but I know better. 

But right now there are two very impressionable 12 year old girls who need their mom. And their Dad. If only they could figure that out. 

My mom and I have spent the last year and a half trying to explain to her why she shouldn't bad mouth their dad around them. To be honest, she doesn't get it. She thinks if his family talks bad about her then its ok for her to talk bad about them. NO. putting each other down on Facebook. Putting family down on Facebook period sends me into a rage like no other.  I have no tolerance for that. Is like align with two high school students. And it frankly... Pisses me off. 

I just want them to grow up. Open their eyes. And stop hurting their children. Because they say 'they want what's best for the girls' but what they really want is to WIN. To be the one who was right. I've watched the husband influence the oldest son in to not talking to his mother, because he doesn't know what his father does. Sending inappropriate text messages to her. Harassing her when she doesn't have the girls, texting her all day long when she does. Making the girls call her every night to find out where she is and who she's with. Not letting her talk to the girls when she calls and then telling everyone she's to busy to talk to her kids. And I know this because she's currently living with my mom. My mom has dealt with it first hand. And he denies all of it. He refuses to leave the house they rent from her parents. And the lawyers say she should move back in and live separately from him. She tried that. He made it hell. He's angry. I understand that. But shutting off the water when he left for work and the girls were in school, Or standing outside her bedroom yelling about what a piece of crap she was, while the girls were in the other room, isn't the right thing. 

I don't know what's going to happen today. I just hope something happens that will cause them to get moving in the right direction.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013


So we had a normal enough wall separating our living spaces. 

I don't have a before picture so just picture this but as a solid wall.

We have decided to leave the heating duct in place and have a half wall with a pilar

MAYBE this will help...........
Our plan is to open up the right half of the wall up to the heating duct. There we will place a column (drywall up around it) and on the left of it we will have a short wall with a window cut out of it.

It's just nice to be able to see my husband at night. I can't wait till we get it finished.

BUT before that happens we want to put some lights in the ceiling because neither of the rooms has lighting. And the hubby wants to wire it for ceiling fans because........he is sorta obsessed with them.

So I don't think it'll be done by thanksgiving.......maybe Christmas. A girl can dream right. 

Hey Santa please bring me a finished living for Christmas. PLEASE. 

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

HGTV made me do it.

I come from a long line of DO IT YOURSRLFERS/ HANDYMEN. I can't remember a time in my life when my dad wasn't 'remodeling' something. He NEVER called in an expert. He build additions, sheds, a pool house....all on his own. He constructed the deck around their pool, build and installed the fence around their yard (roughly an acre. He fixed it all. Was it all Did he make mistakes....Yes. Bt in the end it always came together. 

He spent a lot of time teaching my brother and I how to do these things. I remember him showing me how to hock the wires up to the electrical outlet. I was so proud to tell everyone "yup I wired all these outlets'. I have always said that I could build my own house it I had to. I understand how to stud a wall and frame out windows and doors. It might not be the prettiest house. But I could do it, because of my dad. And because I believe in my self. Because my Dad made sure my brother and I knew how to do things and believed in our ability to do it. One thing I got from my dad was the ability to look at something to visualize the End result. 

So needless to say HGTV was a hit in our house. We would watch it and talk about how WE would do it. So when the hubby and I purchased our home I was excited to MAKE IT OUR OWN. Goal one, open up the living room. Currently we have our living room and a formal room. WHO NEEDS THAT. Nt us. There is nothing formal about us. So we decided to rip down the wall. We talked to my brother about it and came up with our game plan. 

Step one demo. 

Damn you HGTV. For making me think this could be easy. Damn you! 

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

He's ALIVE.....

It's my favorite time of the year. 


It's the only time I enjoy going to work.......for the party. 

Over the years we have done 
1. The 3 blind mice
2. PacMan which was AWESOME.
3. Wizard of Oz
4. Alice in wonderland 
And this year...........................You'll have to wait for another day

But here are some ideas

So along with a costume parade we will play games and have a luncheon. I'm entering the EYE POPPING DESERT CONTEST.  I made franken treats. 

We shall see how they do. 

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Who doesn't love GIFTS

The hubby and I celebrated our 1st wedding anniversary on September 8, 2012. 

I had no idea what people buy each other for anniversary gifts so I opted to go traditional. For the most part. 

First I ordered a custom caricature of him and I. I found a guy who actually drew the pictures old school with color penciled. You wouldn't believe how many of the places ow do it all digitally and then emails you a PDF file to print on your own. NO THANK YOU. I wanted to classic hand drawn color pencil picture. Lucky for me I found a guy who did that and was great to work with. 
That's us as! He drew us at Heinz field and as Steelers. (That's where we got engaged)

During the whole wedding planning my wonderful husband decided we should write our own vows. And since he didn't push for to much I agreed to writing my own vows. I wrote them 4 days before the wedding on an M&M note pad. One draft and done. I wasn't thrilled about it. See I'm a big bad cry baby. I knew I would cry....and did I ever. Cried my ever loving eyes out. It was ridicules. My husband said he would love to be able to read my gowns sometime because he couldn't make them out between my sobbing and laughing. So.....after getting them back from my maid of honor in DENVER I laminate them and attached them to the back of the picture. 

And what did my wonderful husband get me.........he made me a custom bookcase. 

This is the first thing he's built since high school and its freaking amazing. I love my "M" bookcase. It's different and so cool. I wanted something cool and different and I couldn't find anything online or in stores. So I said wouldn't it be cool if it was shaped like an M. And he made it. 

Monday, October 21, 2013

My awesome family

I love fall.

I used to have halloween parties for my little cousins, my nephew, and my friends children. It was fun. A TON of work, but FUN.

Then my dad passed away and I stopped the parties. I felt bad. My poor niece was only 9 months old at her first and only party........and I felt bad.  My dad and I loved setting up the parties. Buying new scary stuff for the haunted trail and planning. My dad loved the parties because he loved the kids. So after he passed away I just couldn't. I planned to skip the first halloween and then start the parties back up..........but I didn't. 

So the last two years instead of parties we have taken to the kids to a fall fest. And this year my mom, cousins Melissa and her twin daughters Jessica and Rebecca and my friend Pam and her boyfriend and son joined us for some fun family time. Oh yeah and of course my niece Sarah and nephew kanyon were there as was the hubby and my step son Scott. 
Mom and Sarah on the pony

Jessica, Rebecca and Sarah

All the munchkins kanyon. Rebecca, Sarah, Scott. Jessica, and Logan 

Waiting for the hay ride. So cute.

Caring out there pumpkins.

She picked hers all by herself

Their loot.

Next year I would like to have a party. Or maybe just pumpkins and painting. I don't know. We will deal with that when it gets here. 

We also went to a fall fest with my in-laws the other weekend. And we had a good time. It was 90degrees out, so it was WARM but fun non the less. 

Scott and Juliet

The twins in the corn pool.

To freaking cute

Nice cow.

I have to say I have a good looking family. We are surrounded by cute kids. 

Saturday, October 5, 2013

No more weddings.

We recently returned from my best friends wedding in Asheville, nc.

Thank god that's over. Don't get me wrong it was a WONDERFUL TIME AND GREAT WEDDING. But that was the last wedding I have to go to for awhile. And since it was my 2nd wedding playing the role of MAID OF HONOR in 4 months.........I'm pooped.

 Planning 2 bridal showers and prepping for two weddings within a 6 month time frame is.......exhausting. 

Taylor and her niece Eldan, the super cute flower girl

Waiting for the wedding to start

They had a travel freaking cute is Carter. 

Us ladies

Not the greatest photo but it was a beautiful ceremony site.

Hello kitty cake topper

My mom and I. My mom and husband flew down for the wedding. She hasn't flown in over 30 years and was TERRIFIED. I'm talking had a will notarized "just in case" and wanted to buy insurance at the airport "just in case the plane crashes."  GOOD TIMES. 

If you've never been to Asheville, nc it's worth the trip. It's a cool town. 

We also visited the NC arboretum on the Blue Ridge Parkway
It had some lovely sitting areas

Mom taking a break

These guys looked like you wanted to talk. Cool looking 

 I forgot to take my camera so these photos are from my phone.....not the greatest. 

That's what I did last weekend. Now off to a fall fest at a local orchard today. 

Sunday, September 8, 2013

1 year down........a lifetime to go.

Today is our 1year anniversary!! It's also Sunday so I'll be heading to work shortly. BOO!!! 

However the hubby came home at 12:30 on Friday and said...lets go to Atlantic City!! I was all 'I didn't do the laundry yet and I don't have any clean clothes, we don't have a hotel booked that's crazy i hemmed and hauled around with the idea.....BUT I said ok and I packed a suitcase in about 15 minutes for the both of us while he booked a hotel online.

We pulled out of here at 1:30 bound for Atlantic City. After some hiccups with our GPS. That bitch is crazy. I'm pretty sure she tries to 1.kill us 2. Drive us crazy and 3. Take us the longest way EVERYWHERE.  We finally rolled into AC around 5 pm. (Traffic was a nightmare around Philly.)

I had never been to Atlantic City. Everything I knew about Atlantic City I learned on HBO's Boardwalk Empire or that Hooker Documentary they ran a few years back. 

We stayed at Chelsea 
Cute room and it was right by the boardwalk. Overall the hotel was nice. If we go back we will try to stay at the Tropicana, it's right next door and is CRAZY! 28 restaurants and 20+ shows. 

Saturday we soaked up some sun on the beach. The weather was great.....the water was freezing cold.

After taking in the wonderful sun we grabbed lunch at the Caesars boardwalk Buffett. It was AMAZING.  So much food. So yummy. I could have stayed there all day. Caesar's was a beautiful casino. 
Me and the namesake.

This light was so pretty. It sparkled.

That my friends is what a million dollars look like in $100 bills. QUICK GET THE CAR!

We didn't have much time in AC. We weren't even there 24 hours, but we had a very nice time......even if I may be wanted in New Jersey for running a toll. But that my friends is a story for another day.