Holy December Batman!

Newsflash: It's December. Already. The decade is coming to an end. Here are some highlights of what's going on.

My car is back. It looks beautiful. Quality Collision is the place to go when you need bodywork on your car done. I've used them three times now and each time Marilyn has come back looking brand spanking new. Highly recommended. Seriously. I mean it. Now if I could just figure out how to disable the cloaking device we'd be dandy.

My Christmas plans are made. I'll be in New York from the 23rd to the 27th. The schedule is hectic as always:

23rd - land, go to NYC, do tourist stuff (Rockefeller Center, Apple Store, Times Square, etc.), wrap all the presents I've been shipping to NY
24th - Christmas with my mom's side of the family in Sugarloaf, NY
25th - Church and Christmas with my dad's side of the family in Florida, NY
26th - drive around town visiting friends
27th - fly back to Lafayette

Oh boy. I'm excited and yet terribly frightened. I'm not as spry as I used to be. Which I know is funny coming from a 27-year-old but seriously... I wonder if I'm going to make it through that week. I am excited to get into the city again, it's been a while and I always love when I have someone with me who has never been there before. It's magical to watch them take it all in.

I also have to make my yearly stop at Michael's grave to say hello and update him on the happenings of my life. Holidays are hard without him... still. The colder weather in Lafayette has been pretty much matching my mood. Cold, sharp, crisp... of course it then warms up again and I wonder if I can ever take out my full-length coat prior to packing for NY...

Did I mention it was December already? Oh how time flies. Even when you aren't having fun.


Dear Michael,

Lately I've been missing you a lot. I've been thinking about us, about you, about me, about how much my life has changed since you've passed away. It's been more than two years now and while I have accepted it, there are some days where I can't believe it. Some days it feels like just yesterday when we were together holding hands, laughing together, feeling so much in love. It's so hard not having you here, not being able to hear your voice when I think I need it most. It literally tears me up inside and my heart physically aches like it never has before. It's like someone took half of my heart and tore it out leaving all the ends detached and hanging. I'm more emotional than I've ever been. Every sentimental moment in life or on a TV show or in a movie makes me tear up. I treasure all the little things in life so much more than I have before.

The holidays are especially hard. Traditions aren't supposed to change and I'm still adjusting to the new ones I'm creating. I remember us though... Halloween was always so much fun for us. We both enjoyed dressing up and partying and carving pumpkins. Thanksgiving was always a big celebration with your family... and then Christmas. Your favorite holiday of the entire year. The time of year when I don't think we were able to stay in one place for more than a few hours as we visited our families, ate food, opened presents and made memories. In short, I miss you.

I know I'm always going to miss you. There is no simple "getting over" someone who has had such a profound impact on my life. Instead you just become part of who I am now. I take our experiences and your words and use them to help me guide my life. Some days it would just be easier to have you here but I know you are in a place without suffering and without pain and it would be selfish of me to want you to leave that. I've noticed parts of you that have stuck with me, such as words, phrases or saying you used to use all the time. Those things are comforting.

Sometimes I do wonder what my life would be like now if you had lived. Our engagement party was just two weeks away, we were in the middle of planning an amazing wedding, you were on your way to becoming an accountant and all the pieces were falling into place. We had it all planned out... even the things we didn't want to talk about. You told me you expected me to go on if I ever lost you and I told you the same. I never thought I'd have to live by those words, I never imagined it would be so hard to keep that promise to you but I have. I have gone on and I have found another who loves me. It doesn't end the struggles that come during the year although each year I deal with it better and better...

So, as I go through this cycle of sadness and longing, I pray to God that he continue to give me the strength I need to keep on going and take every day one at a time. I pray that he continues to bless me with the knowledge and reassurance that everything will be okay. Mostly I thank God that He has given me another person in my life who seems to care for me as much as you have. I am quite the lucky girl to have his love, support and understanding.

Love Always & Forever,

P.S. To all my friends, family and those around me whom I love dearly. Please excuse me for the next few weeks. I am not myself, do not take my actions personally or lack of actions as I tend to just shut down when I feel like this. I'll be back to myself soon. XoXo

To my new readers... Michael and I dated for five years starting in 2003. In 2008 we were engaged, 6 months later he passed away from brain tumor. This prompted my move from New York to Louisiana in order to gain a fresh perspective on life. It's been two years but as you can see, sometimes it's still difficult. Thank you for reading.


Lafayette is Out to Get Me

I'm convinced, someone in Lafayette seriously doesn't like me. Someone or something... let's rewind a little bit shall we?

One year ago, September 2009 - We go out to Abbeville for dinner and on the way home, driving around 40mph down Johnston Street (or whatever it's called in between Lafayette and Abbeville), a very suicidal and big raccoon decided it was going to dart across the street at the last moment. Needless to say, the raccoon didn't make it, it didn't have insurance and my bumper and left fog light and some other things up there got busted. Damage cost around $2000 with me paying $500 and Farm Bureau picking up about $1500.

Four months ago, May 2010 - We leave the house one afternoon to drive Kristopher's cousin to the airport. We decide to take my car which is parked out front by the mailbox on the grass. Well, we get to the car and what do you know... the entire driver's side is scraped from the back door up to the quarter-panel. Oh... and I'm missing a mirror. Fantastic. Okay well I was in the car this time... but gee that's a lot of damage for a car that was not even moving. Did I mention that there wasn't a note left behind? Damage around $3500 with me paying $500 again and Farm Bureau picking up about $3000.

Four WEEKS ago, September 3, 2010 - I left for work from my house just before 2pm. I stopped at the stop sign at the end of the block as always. There was another car approaching the stop sign from the right but I stopped already, I was first, I continued on thinking they were going to stop. Well he hit the passenger side of my car. Pretty hard. I banged my head on the side of the car. Everyone was okay for the most part and luckily Kristopher was driving behind me so I wasn't alone. The insurance companies still have no idea who's fault it is. (I blame him, he was driving with an expired license and pictures show it looks like he clearly hit me.) Damage this time? $4500, $500 more from me and $4000 more from Farm Bureau.

This last time is special though, I started getting neck pains and upper back aches - more painful than my usual tension from work. I finally made an appointment with Pinhook Chiropractic. Three days before my appointment, my lower back just gave up on me. I was in so much pain. I'm talking about, can't walk pain. I'm talking about, can't stand up on my own pain. I'm talking about, needing Kristopher to literally lift me up and help me back to bed pain.

Thankfully the chiropractic treatments are working and I'm covered up to $5,000 through my auto insurance company. I have to go for an adjustment 3 times a week for 12 weeks and ice my back when the pain is too much.

I'm hoping that this is the last time we will have to go through this with Marilyn. Plus, I've really got to calm my nerves while driving now.


A Weekend in Seattle

Recently, Kristopher and I spent a long weekend in a city near Seattle visiting a long-time friend. This was the first time we've ever met he and his wife although we've played games with him online for nearly 6 years! Well, let me tell you, we had a great time.

It was so nice to get away from the weekend and away from responsibilities and obligations. This was a true getaway, doing something we wanted to do. No birthday parties to attend, no wedding, no family function, just getting out and visiting friends.

Of course our hosts spoiled us (not that we didn't enjoy it) and I enjoyed making friends with their three cats. Ozy, Dante and Miyu are wonderful cats. They are quite friendly and each have their own personality. Of course, it made me miss my Lucy-cat while we were gone but that's okay.

Perhaps the best treat was the trip up Mt. Rainier. Even though it was overcast, we were able to see some amazing views. The weather was also nice and cool and I wasn't too sure I wanted to return to Louisiana after that with all the heat and humidity.

If we ever go back, I definitely want to do the typical Seattle tourist stuff like the Space Needle and the market. I guess that just gives us more than one reason to visit the Seattle area again! Here are some pictures from our visit.

Waiting to eat breakfast!

Waterfall at Mt. Rainier

Kristopher and I at Mt. Rainier

Wildflowers at Paradise, Mt. Rainier


Blog Posts Coming Soon!

I'm sorry I've been away from blog world. I promise to get back to it as soon as possible! Look for upcoming posts on:
  • A Weekend in Seattle
  • Another Day, Another Accident for Marilyn
  • Grandma Celebrates 80!
  • 2 Years in Lafayette
  • 1 Year at Alien Marketing


Falling Asleep with Aunt Mishy

New York was filled with great blessings for me during my last trip. In addition to seeing my sister get married to a great guy, visiting with Mikey, Jr., and spending time with family, I got to see my Godson for the first time.

Kristopher and I headed out to Queens to visit my best friend Kelly and finally meet Jayden. Even though we only stayed for a few hours, it was the best few hours of the day. EVER. Jayden is beautiful and I love him already. As soon as I walked through the door, Kelly came straight to me with the baby, "Here you go, you hold on to him while I finish cooking." I laughed as I could not imagine Kelly greeting me any other way. I sure have missed her. I could not have been more delighted to have that baby just plopped right in my arms. I didn't want to put him down either.

To add to the perfect moment, Jayden fell asleep in my arms. Kelly had told me he was being cranky all day and had been up since 7:45am and refused to nap or go back to sleep. Well after me standing there staring at him for 20 minutes while rocking back and forth, the sweet child was out like a light. I still didn't want to put him down. Kelly and I got to catch up a lot just talking about our lives and random things. We always talk more in person than on the phone or online and being apart all this time didn't change that. It was like we just picked up where we left off; that's how I know she's one of my best friends.

Eventually Jayden did wake up and I gave him a bottle. Kristopher burped him (I figured he was a pro since he's done this before), he got a diaper change and then... back in Aunt Mishy's arms for a little while longer. When he fell back asleep I handed him over to Kelly who held on to him for a few minutes before putting him in his bassinet.

Seeing Jayden sleeping soundly and the look of exhaustion on Kelly's face I told Kristopher it was time to leave so she could get some rest. I didn't want to leave them but I know they both needed some rest.

The entire time there all Kristopher and Kelly could tell me was that I needed a baby to love because I'm just the natural mothering type. I couldn't agree more but we still need to get some things in order before we can even think about having a baby. In due time...


Visiting Family

While I was in New York I took the time to spend some extra time with some of my family. I went and visited my Uncle Marty up in Chester, NY. It's supposed to only a 1 hour to 1.5 hour drive but we hit traffic. I think it took almost 3 hours and we were SO HUNGRY by the time we arrived at my uncle's house. Lucky for us he had food waiting! BBQ ribs and stir fried noodles. Yummy!!! We spent a good amount of time talking and catching up during lunch and then headed out to do more yammering out on the deck. It was a beautiful day and it felt nice to be able to sit outside with family without melting.

At around 6pm, Kristopher and I continued our journey over to my cousins' house. Travis and Phyllis recently bought a house and since we weren't around for the house warming party we decided to go check it out. You can say we got a private tour! The house is beautiful and I couldn't be happier for the two of them! They make a great couple and deserve all the happiness in the world. We also got to meet Stella, their beagle which was very exciting. Kristopher and Stella managed to become best friend really quickly.

After being treated to a delicious baked ziti meal with meatballs, salad and garlic bread, they drove us to the church for another private tour! Let me tell you, the church is beautiful. It's small but at the same time very inviting and I think a great fit for Travis or Reverend Yee as he's called.

Lucky for us the drive back to Long Island that night was quick and pain free! I love my family and I'm so happy that I got to spend some extra time with a small part of them.


M&M Air Hockey 1-1

So I got to see one of my favorite little boys while I was in New York during this last trip. I was so tired the day after Laura's wedding I wasn't sure how I was going to do it. I had woken up at 5:30am Saturday and did not go to bed until 4:00am Sunday, only to wake up at 9:00am Sunday for brunch. After brunch I headed over to see Mikey, Jr.!!!

It is always such a treat to be able to visit with Mikey; even if it's only for a few hours. He never knows when I'm coming but Mike's family does and I don't mind. The pure joy I get to see on his surprised face every time I walk in is worth it. It just shows me how much he still cares about me and it warms my heart to know that he loves me as much as I still love him.

After getting a huge hug, we talked for a bit. He's doing pretty well in school and going into the 3rd grade next year. My how time flies, I remember attending his pre-school graduation like it was yesterday but now... THIRD grade! I gave him a little gift that I got him, a gift card for his vacation to Disney in a few weeks. I figured he would enjoy being able to go around Disney World and "buy" things - toys, food, souvenirs. Hopefully he has a good time.

Mikey then wanted to show me the air hockey table he got for Christmas and we played two games. I won the first one (he was pretty upset because he said boys are not supposed to lose to girls!) and he won the second one so we high-fived and called it a tie. He talked about Mike and I was happy to see it was in a joyful remembering kind of way and not in a sad or depressed way. In a way I guess you can say we reminisced a little bit, talking about the way daddy used to laugh and how much we miss him. After air hockey we played Super Mario Bros. on the Wii which was pretty fun. I'm such a sucker for anything Mario-related.

Then his cousins arrived and wanted to go in the pool. Mikey asked me to go with him but I took that as my cue to leave since I still had family at the house. I got a big hug and a kiss and best of all... we took a picture. He was so cute because he dug out his Nintendo DS so he could take his own picture to have.

It's a blessing to know that even though Michael is no longer on Earth with us, Mikey and I still share such a close bond that spans not just time but distance. Thanks Michael, having Mikey in my life is one of the best gifts you've ever shared with me. We love and miss you so much!


New York Food

One of the best things about coming up to New York is being able to satisfy all my New York food cravings. Now there is nothing wrong with the food down South, it's just a different selection of food so I can't help but miss my favorites.

Pizza - I don't care who you are or what you say but NY pizza and pizza from the South are two entirely different things. They say it's all in the water and any pizza shop outside of New York that makes pizza that tastes like it's from New York; ships the water. True story! I promise!

Chinese Food - Canton City Inn is fabulous but it does not come anywhere close to Fortune Wheel and there is not one Chinese restaurant in Lafayette that serves dim sum. I've been going to Fortune Wheel for as long as I can remember living in New york and it is still delicious 20 years later. Some of my favorites include salt and pepper fried squid, salt baked crab, squab (yes that's pigeon; get over it), roast duck, shark fin soup and several types of noodles. Dim sum foods that I love are shrimp in a blanket, fried dough in a blanket, shrimp ANYTHING... who am I kidding, it's all delicious.

Garden Gourmet - Deli in Garden City. They serve all types of sandwiches, wraps, buffet items, pasta salads, etc. but what I really miss is the salad bar. You get your choice of greens (4 different types available), a main selection (usually your meats), and then 4 additional selections which include all your different cheeses, fruits, tortilla strips, eggs, bacon, vegetables... all tossed with your selection of dressing - and there are at least 10 different kinds to choose from. It is so delicious! I also made sure to stop by DC3 and get some tri-color pasta salad (tri-color pasta, fresh mozzarella cheese cubes and peppers coated in pesto).

Family Cooking - of course nothing beats some home-made food. Dad has cooked linguine with clams, home made Caesar salad, barbecued chicken and ribs, salmon, king crab legs, sweet corn, egg noodles with meatballs, and linguine with sausage and peppers. We've also been treated to baked ziti at my cousin Travis' house and some stir fried noodles at my Uncle Marty's house.

We've also had sangria, pineapples, strawberries and flying saucers from Carvel for dessert along with all the food from the wedding and plenty of red wine!


A Wedding to Remember!

Wow, where do I start? First of all, Congratulations to Mr. & Mrs. Peter Sohl!!!! I wish my sister, Laura, and my brother-in-law, Peter all the happiness in the world as they start their new married life together!

Kristopher and I arrived in NY after a two-day drive on Wednesday (21st). The drive was relatively easy with minimal traffic and lucky for me Kristopher did all the driving. I did offer to drive but he never accepted which was fine with me. However, let it be clear that I did not make him drive the entire way to New York.

So Thursday was prep day - Kristopher got a much-needed hair cut with Dean at my old salon - Curl Up & Dye. I was so relieved to get my clean-cut looking Kristopher back! It was also great catching up with Dean again; apparently I really missed my hairdresser. After that we headed back to my parent's house and then the women left for Fantastic Spa for manicures and pedicures. It was nice to get out with just my mom and my sister. Dinner followed afterward at Fortune Wheel where we met up with Lars and Anna (dad's colleagues from Sweden).

Friday was relatively easy despite some last minute worries about Laura's Maid of Honor. It was rehearsal day which didn't start until 6:45pm. Laura had a mini freak-out because some of the bridal party were late but all in all the rehearsal was relaxing. My cousin Travis, who officiated the ceremony, really did a great job of making the rehearsal fun and serious at the same time. The entire time during the rehearsal though I was texting with Laura's MoH, Betty. Betty had missed her plane and was going through hell getting the next flight out. Everything under the sun was trying to prevent her from making it to her BFF's wedding! Mechanical problems, tornado watch, thunderstorms... you name it. Well Betty did make it to the wedding. She arrived in NY at 4am and didn't bother sleeping before coming to the house on Saturday morning ready for hair and make up. She was an amazing support and did not once complain about being tired on my sister's big day. Laura is so lucky to have her as a friend.

Saturday - there is not much to say. Everything went wonderfully and beautifully. Everyone looked amazing, the bride looked gorgeous. The groom teared up watching his bride walked down the aisle, the church was PACKED, Travis did a great job with the ceremony and the reception was tons of fun. Dancing, tons of food, great live band... it would take me forever to give you all the details. I was up for practically 24 hours by the time I went to bed at 4pm. The fun, of course, didn't end there... we went to Fortune Wheel the next day for dim sum at 11:00am.

My only complaint - it was the hottest day of the week and the few hours we were out in the sun taking pictures was enough to make me sweat out 10 lbs. (Well I wished it were that easy but it felt like it.) It was so hot I didn't even drink alcohol that day. Water, water, water, two glasses of champagne for toasting and then back to more water.

What a wonderful weekend!


Potato Scrapbook Time!

So on Monday we had two special guests for dinner - our friend Chris and Potato! Potato's parents went to see the newest Twilight movie along with Chris' Mrs. Anyway, we had fajitas and watching Potato eat a plain tortilla really made me laugh. He loved it. We also played music and watched Potato dance which was very entertaining. By the way, he also finds Kristopher to be hilarious. If there was anything Kristopher was good at that evening it was making Potato laugh over and over again. After dinner, we decided to get out of our house because it was so hot and head over to Chris' nicely air conditioned place to hang out for a while until the other adults got back.

I loved the idea of being able to spend more quality time with the little guy and grabbed some scrapbooking pages and my new tote on the way out the door. Although the little man admittedly did not seem very interested in my arts & crafts time; he did paste a few pieces down on the page and move a few pieces that were already pasted down. He had more fun rearranging my scrapbooking tote than he did making the page. It was pretty cute. He took out all the markers and then would put them all away. Then he'd move on to all the fancy scissors - take them all out and put them all away. I didn't even have to worry about him uncapping the markers and wreaking havoc on the coffee table or obsess that he might cut himself with the scissors - he just wasn't interested.

Anyhow, I don't have a picture of the page we made - but I made sure his momma took one for me!

The rest of the night I was trying to get Potato to say, "Aunt Mishy" and I think I got him to say it once. It was more like "At Mmmshy" but at least I could tell he was trying to copy what I was saying. There is hope yet! He's already got, "I love you," down pat so we just have to add the Aunt Mishy part and we are good to go!


Michael's + Hobby Lobby + Scrapbooking on the Brain = $$$

As you can tell from the title, I spent some money this past weekend at the craft stores buying scrapbooking supplies. I went to Hobby Lobby with my two ladies to find some frames to fit the pages they made on Friday (see Margaritas & Scrapbooking).

Well they didn't see any frames and refrained from spending lots of time in the scrapbook aisles and only bought a cute pink and brown tote to hold some of my supplies. Well for some reason, even though I had planned to go home, I went over to Michael's. Big mistake.

An hour later I walked out of the store with enough materials to overflow my new tote and then some. Oops! I am working on a few special projects that I hope I can finish soon! I really need to find an area where I can keep my scrapbooking materials out so that when I feel like scrapbooking I don't have to haul everything to the kitchen table from the living room. In my house there will definitely have to be a dedicated scrapbooking or craft area!


Margaritas & Scrapbooking

So, the other day one of my girlfriends was having a pretty bad, bummed out day. In an effort to make her feel better her friends and I decided to hang out with her after work to cheer her up. I figured something creative would do the trick and packed up two boxes of scrapbooking supplies to take over to her house.

Well, when I got to her house I found out that we were going to another friend's house out in Duson so that we could have some margaritas to unwind. I definitely did not mind! Well, let me tell you what; the margaritas were amazingly delicious. They were made with fresh strawberries and mango - I promise, really really yummy stuff here that did the trick. After enjoying some time outdoors with our 'ritas we went inside and started scrapbooking.

Here's the results of our little scrapbooking session. (I didn't make all of these, just the one with the pink background.)

I wish I got to scrapbook more often!


Godmother Mishy... Round 2!

Wait, didn't I already post about becoming a Godmother just a few weeks go? Yes, and now I'm doing it again! I'm pleased to announce the birth of my Godson:

Jayden John
July 9, 2010, 5:22pm
Weight: 7lbs. 6oz.
Length: 20in.

I'm so happy that Kelly asked me to be Jayden's Godmother. I honestly did not think she would ask me with all the friends and family she has. It's truly an honor and the day she told me (yes, she didn't ask me, she told me), I cried. Kelly and I go way back... way way back... I've known her since Kindergarten! Back in NY, we only lived 7 blocks from each other and have always stayed friends. I would say we became the closest in high school as she and I would hang out all the time.

Kelly was another person I did not want to leave behind when I left New York. Who else would I be able to call at 11pm at night to just go for a ride? Who else would even come up with the idea to see how many different diners we can eat at on Long Island in one summer? What other friend could I drive around with for two hours and not really have to say a word to -- and it be okay? Oh and most importantly, who else would understand that sleeping in on non-work, non-school days was essential unless it involved going to the beach? No one else really.

Congratulations to my other best friend - Kelly and to Jerrod too; he is the daddy after all! I love you both and I can't wait to meet this bundle of joy in a few weeks.

God has truly blessed me now with two wonderful, adorable Godchildren and two girlfriends who I know will always be there for me no matter where we live!


W(h)ining and Dining

Back in May, my friend Kayla, invited me and some other friends over to her house for dinner. She (with the assistance of Sammy) made lasagna for dinner, I brought the wine (Cheateau Ste. Michelle Cabernet Sauvignon) and there was a delicious cookie cake. It was a great time and Kristopher and I didn't get back home until 1am (which is late for us considering we hardly go out for long periods of time)! The best part about this was that it got me out from moping around the house on the 2nd anniversary of Michael's passing. I seriously thought I was going to go there and just be miserable the entire time because I was so down. I was wrong. I had a great time, at one point I felt guilty for it because I felt like I should have been sad - it was, after all, the anniversary of one of the saddest days of my life. I then realized, that this is what Michael would've wanted me to do. To remember him but, at the same time, go on having a good time and enjoying life to the best of my ability.

I had hung out with the girls before but that night was different. We sat around and had girl time, we cooed over Kayla's little boy and I didn't freak out because Kristopher was still in the next room over talking with the guys. Plus it's great to be able to sit there and bitch about whatever you want for a night without having to worry about hurting anyone's feelings.

That night, Supper Club was born! So once a month someone else cooks dinner for the same group. June was my month and once again we had a fabulous time. I cooked pork and shrimp fried rice, Sammy brought the wine and "juice," Kayla let me use her kitchen and her house since it has more seating room and Nicole brought the most delicious Oreo cake for dessert.

Oh check out this video from our last supper club of Clayton with Uncle Kristopher.

I can't wait until next month! Sammy's up next!


iSkin Vu for iPad - Sleek, Pretty and Useful

I might not have written about it but a few months ago I bought an iPad for myself. Every year I buy one expensive thing that I really want for my birthday since I tend not to spend too much on materialistic things the rest of the year.

Of course, you can't just buy and iPad - you need accessories and, if you know me well enough by now, you know that some sort of protective cover is definitely at the top of the list. Enter the iSkin Vu. This skin wasn't available when the iPad was first released. I had to wait until July for it. That's almost two entire my months! Well, I have to say, it's worth the wait. I have ordered from iSkin before for my iPhone 3G and it has worked remarkably at keeping my phone from getting damaged. So I knew that iSkin was the kind of protection I wanted for my iPad.

I ordered the iSkin Vu in my favorite color -  purple (or as they call it, Vive). It's looks beautiful! Not a fan of purple? The iSkin Vu also comes in black, pink, aqua blue, dark blue, red and orange.
As you can see in the pictures, the iSkin completely covers the back of my iPad without covering up the Apple logo, provides full coverage for the sides, and leaves only the screen uncovered on the front. The colored areas are made of a "durable rubberized plastic" that protects the iPad from shocks, bumps and scratches. The clear part is made of a "hard plastic" to provide premium protection without covering up the design. All buttons and ports are also covered. In addition the clear section on the bottom snaps on and off to allowing you to dock the iPad. Since I don't use a dock I never remove this part.

Are there any negatives? Well for one, I'm not a fan of the headphone jack and the orientation lock being covered by little plastic flaps. It's really a pain to try and lift these pieces of plastic up to use them. I have to use my nails so I can only imagine how inconvenient it is for guys or people with bigger fingers to use. I think I plan to cut these flaps off in the near future. The second issue is that the "hatch" that allows the iPad to dock doesn't quite fit right. It may be because the iSkin Vu provides such a tight fit around the iPad it's hard to slide that piece into place perfectly. While the rubberized plastic parts help with gripping the iPad, the hard plastic back does not. So far this hasn't been a problem for me... yet.

All in all I would definitely buy this again and I look forward to seeing what cases they put out for the new iPhone 4s. As a side note I've dropped mine 4 times already (it's perfectly fine) and so I think I need to get one as soon as I can! Now that I've reviewed the iSkin Vu, I suppose I owe some posts to reviewing the iPad itself and perhaps my iPhone 4. Stay tuned!


Strawberry Margaritas on the 4th of July

We had some great weather for the 4th of July! The sun was scorching hot and the humidity was just bearable. Kristopher and I met up with a large group of friends at Chili's for lunch and then headed over to the pool. Kayla, Sammy and I suntanned while the boys hung out in the pool with the Tater. It was just humid enough to warrant few dips in the pool every so often which Kayla's little man loved because every time we were in the pool he got extra love and attention. It was so cute watching him try to swim and kicking his feet. It was even cuter watching Uncle Kristopher hold him while he kicked and moved his arms swimming. He's such a dad.

Here's a video of Clayton swimming with his daddy.

Of course, hanging out poolside with the girls wouldn't be complete without some drinks. I stopped at the drive thru daiquiri and picked up a gallon of strawberry margarita. It was quite delicious!

However I think the highlights of my day consisted of two things:

1- Hearing Clayton say, "Hello Mishy, I love you."
2- Actually managing to get a good tan without burning.

Yes, it's the little things in life.


Happy Independence Day

The 4th of July

Fun in the Sun

All these things can be associated with the 4th of July. However, let's not forget Freedom and those who fight for our country every day.

Have a happy and safe 4th of July and remember to keep those who fight for our country every day in your thoughts. They aren't enjoying BBQs, they aren't relaxing and I would hardly call what they are doing "fun in the sun."

-Proud to be an American

Waiting for Jayden John

I've already told you about Rylee Nicole, but what I didn't mention was that I'm now waiting for Jayden John to get here. I had mentioned that Annemarie was one of my best friends right? Well the other is Kelly. I have known Kelly since kindergarten. We attended the same schools from elementary through high school. In addition she lived only 7 blocks away from me when I lived in New York. Giving up seeing my best friend whenever I wanted was the one of the hardest things I had to do when I moved to Louisiana. Kelly and I have never had an argument. Sure, we may have been upset at one another at times but we've never had a full blown out argument. We also know that just because we don't talk every day doesn't mean we can't depend on each other when we really need it. It has always been said that Kelly has been my bad influence (making sure I had fun) while I've always been her good influence (making sure she didn't get in too much trouble).

I've realized there's a lot more that I'm missing being so far away from my best friend; like the birth of her first child. Knowing her for so long this is something I imagined I would be there for. Maybe not literally but certainly within hours of Jayden John's birth I should be at the hospital taking pictures and loving on that little boy. Instead, I'll be here in Louisiana and probably getting a phone call like I did for Rylee Nicole. So I will wait... patieantly. Thankfully I will be in New York for my sister's wedding on July 24th so I know I will get to see Jayden John during his first month of life anyway.

All in all, I can't wait. Aunt Mishy is waiting for you Jayden and already loves you!


Blog Designer Mishy

Well, as you can see, I've updated my blog design. I hope you like it! My friend Kayla has asked me to do a lot of design for her blog (and Potato Makes Three!) She found a lot of the different design elements that she wanted to use on ShabbyBlogs.com but had no idea how to implement them or tweak them to her liking. Once I did some work on her blog I couldn't stop myself and would continually keep going back to add a little of this and that to her blog. When Kayla's sis-in-law, Claire started blogging ( The Smith Crew), Kayla asked me if I could add some pictures to her header. Of course I couldn't turn down the opportunity. I hope she likes it!

After doing all that I work I figured that perhaps I should update the design on my blog as well. I'm nowhere near done with it but hopefully I'll get it looking as awesome as Kayla's blog soon!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad


Godmother Mishy

I'm proud to announce that I now have a new child in my life...
Rylee Nicole 
June 22, 2010, 7pm

Weight: 6 lbs. 9 oz.
Length: 21 in.

Rylee Nicole's mom, Annemarie and I have been friends since junior high school when I let her sit next to me on the school bus. Even though we pretty much had zero classes together and totally different sets of friends, we've stayed close all this time. She is truly one of my best friends and I don't know what I'd do without her. This is Annemarie's third child, she has two more adorable munchkins whom I also claim as "mine" - Desaray and Andrew.

However, Rylee is extra special because Annemarie asked me to be her Godmother. I am so happy and honored that she asked me. I wish I could have been there at the hospital but we don't even live in the same state anymore. Irregardless, we managed to stay close and keep in touch. I was chatting online with her the day before and the day of Rylee's birth. (Up until a few hours before Rylee decided to make her grand entrance anyway.) Annemarie was also sure to call me and I got to hear her crying during her first hours of life. It was truly beautiful.


Baby Shower, Birthday, Spa, Dinner and a Cemetery Visit

That pretty much sums up my latest visit to New York. I just got back home from New York after a very filling weekend.

When I landed Friday night it was a mad rush after dinner to buy presents presents and more presents! I love buying presents, I love giving to those I love! Saturday was a busy day. First I went to my best friend, Kelly's baby shower. The shower itself wasn't a surprise but I was! When I hugged her as I said hi I think I almost started crying. It felt so good to see her again. Even more so because she is 8 months pregnant and has that wonderful pregnant, mommy-to-be glow!

After I left the baby shower I went home where most of my dad's side of the family had met up for my grandfather's 84th/85th birthday. It's to be debated whether he is 84 or 85. The Lunar calendar says 85 and we celebrated his big 80th birthday according to the lunar calendar so that's what I'm sticking with. However, if you don't follow the lunar calendar - then he's turning 84. As always, it was good to see the family again and we filled the night with laughter, food from Fortune Wheel and of course, cake. We also celebrated my cousin Maggie's 10th birthday and my brother's puppy, Jackson turned 2!

Sunday was a more relaxing day. I took the time to go visit Michael at the cemetery. The lilies his family planted were just starting to bud. It was windy and my hair was crazy and flying all over the place. In a way that's very much what I felt like inside - all over the place. I talked to him a little bit, I said a prayer and then kissed his headstone and walked away. Walking away is always the hardest part and always makes me cry just a little. I returned to the house and then went to the spa with my mom. I relaxed with a deep cleansing facial followed by a manicure to ease the stresses away. Later that evening I went out to dinner with my friend Josh at the Brewhaus since I was craving a pretzel fondue.

Monday morning I got up and flew back home to Lafayette. When Kristopher came to pick me up we both had the stupidest smiles plastered on our faces. As usual, he wore a polo shirt (not a t-shirt) and gave me the biggest hug and kiss while lifting me off the ground. Seriously it's like something out of a movie and we do this every time he picks me up from the airport. I don't think I will ever get tired of it either.

That's about it. I didn't post about Mike's 2 year anniversary in heaven because I figured everyone knew how I was doing that day. I was pretty much as far down as I could get for about 3 weeks. I just struggled to get through those weeks and cried... a lot. However, here I am, so I made it and it'll get easier to deal with the pain even though it never goes away... or at least that's what I'm convincing myself. :)


May Flowers?

May used to be such a happy month for me. My birthday is in May, Mother's Day is in May and who doesn't like Memorial Day weekend? It's that time of year when it gets warm and flowers start blooming. Babies are born and life just seems to be created all around you. It's always been one of my favorite months and not just because of my birthday.

I hope to one day feel this way about the month of May again but for now, all it brings is pain. A reminder that someone that I love so dearly is no longer on this Earth and missed by not just me but tons of friends, family members, co-workers and of course, his son. I try to think positive; it's usually all I ever do but when May comes around it's so hard to find that comfort.

I know he is happy in the Lord's kingdom up in heaven and I have to make sure that I never forget that while I may hurt emotionally, he is free from physical pain and that it was God's will to take him at such a young age. I have to trust that it was meant to happen this way but admittedly it is hard. How can you just say it's okay with that empty feeling inside? Even though I smile and laugh and find comfort in Kristopher's love and understanding, how do you make the overall pain just go away? Kristopher says if it didn't hurt so much then something would be wrong and because it hurts so much, it means that I really love Michael and Michael loves me.

Thank you for all your support and well wishes. One day, flowers will bloom for me again in May.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad



So I turned 27 yesterday! Yes I'm getting older but there is definitely nothing wrong with that. I started out my day eating BBQ at Dwight's for lunch with Kristopher. It's our favorite place to eat on Sundays. Of course, I wish I had made it to church. My cell phone alarm went off at 9am as planned and I promptly tapped "snooze" at 9am... not realizing my phone was on vibrate and I set it back down on my bed. Guess that Tempurpedic mattress really doesn't transfer movement...

After lunch Bret arrived with my birthday scone (blueberry) which I put aside because I was still full from lunch. Shortly thereafter, our friend Bryan arrived from Houston! We all hung around, looked at Bryan's shotgun and just hung out until it was time for dinner at Outback.

Dinner was delicious and entertaining. Kristopher bonded with the Randolph's little one and didn't want to be put down when Kristopher needed to use the bathroom. It was really cute. (Pictures to be added later.)

After dinner we had cake courtesy of Marty. It was a cookie monster cake - very blue! She also brought me a balloon which Lucy had a great time playing with. I received some great gifts which I appreciate very much. I really do have some great friends down here and I feel so blessed to have met them!

I leave you with this video of Lucy to sum up my birthday.


My Birthday So Far

So my birthday so far is going well. All the gifts I bought for myself from Amazon are slowly rolling in. I love spoiling myself once a year. Among the gifts are some pilots and yoga videos to help me with my new fitness routine (or so I hope it becomes a routine).

Today two of my favorite gifts so far arrived; my 3G iPad and a Crepe Myrtle Bonsai tree. I had pre-ordered the iPad a while ago as a gift from me to me so that wasn't really a big surprise although I was still excited that it FINALLY arrived. The bonsai was from a friend who lives in WA and most certainly did not need to send me a gift but he did anyway. It totally made my day. I hope I don't kill the bonsai but I am really excited to take care of it!

I've been wearing my engagement ring from Michael on my right hand the past few days. I really miss him, especially during my birthday because even though he couldn't afford to spoil me with material things; he always made my birthday special. I will never forget those years of pre- and post-birthdays; birthday songs right at midnight; cupcakes with candles in them and perfect birthday cards that always included a personal message letting me know exactly how much he loved and appreciated me.

On Sunday I am going out to dinner with my friends at Outback. I also learned that Bryan, our friend from Houston, is coming to visit and will be here for my birthday. I can't wait until he gets here!

Anyhow, that's the update for now. I'll be sure to let you all know how the rest of my birthday goes.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad


Get Fit and Get it Together

So, as usual I've neglected to keep up with my blog. Now I will have even less time as I try to get into better shape. I have started a low-calorie diet and drink more water than soda every day. I am also trying to go for a one-mile walk at least 4 times a week and have started the one hundred push ups challenge with my sister.

What brings this on you may ask?

Well, I was recently in New York for my sister's bridal shower and bachelorette party (which were TONS of fun by the way) and while I was there I had my first bridesmaid dress fitting. Yup, you guessed it, it didn't zip all the way. Now keep in mind, when I was in NY in February it zipped up just fine so who knows why this time it wouldn't. I didn't think I gained that much weight between February and April but I guess so!

In addition, I'm tired of people asking if I'm three months pregnant or talking about how I look pregnant when I'm not. I know lots of you will tell me they are crazy for even saying that I look like that but people are not always nice. Truthfully Kristopher would prefer if I didn't try losing any weight at all although he is supporting me. "As long as you're happy," he tells me. Will this make me "happy?"

Probably not. It's hard to be happy and want to improve yourself when you're still in the grieving process. That's right, it's not over. I may not show it but I'm still dealing with it. Weight gain comes with depression and also with quitting smoking and I did those things at the same time. So maybe those who criticize my weight gain can cut me some slack. One month until the 2nd anniversary of Mike's death and I'm trying my best to keep it together while being as involved as possible in my sister's wedding (because I don't want to miss a single part of it and regret it later) and take care of myself and the household.

I admit, it's not easy and most people are not used to seeing me lose it, give up or fall apart, but the pressure is hard and sometimes, I can't help it; I want to give up. However, giving up is easy and I'm not taking the easy way out. So help out or get out of my way.

Get Fit and Get it Together - My Challenge
  • stick to the new diet including fewer calories and a lot less soda (tracked using Lose It!)
  • drink at least three bottles of water a day (24 oz bottle)
  • walk at least a mile, 4 days a week (see my progress)
  • stick with the push up challenge even if I suck at it
  • get back to church regularly on Sundays
  • re-read On Grief and Grieving


Spring Is in the Air!

Spring is in the air... at least here in Lafayette it is. I'm currently battling a cold but I think it's almost gone. Kristopher is not as lucky and has been dealing with the same symptoms plus cough and fever for the past two days. We went to the doctor yesterday and he got some medicine so hopefully he starts feeling better soon. I hate seeing him so miserable.

By the way... antibiotics are FREE at Food 1 Pharmacy. Who knew? What a way to look out for their customers! We were definitely pleasantly surprised.

Anyway, instead of Spring cleaning I decided to spruce up my blog. If you read my blog through another method (and not at blogger), take a look at http://mishylee.blogspot.com. I've changed up the theme and added a few pages. Let me know what you think!

In the meantime, enjoy the warm weather! I can't wait to see all the flowers blooming and for every day to be in the 70s!! Once Kristopher starts feeling better he wants to start a walking routine in the morning. Early in the morning... before I even wake up for work. Hopefully we can start it, stick to it and begin losing some weight and improving our health. I'll keep you posted!


Relaxing in Las Vegas

So Kristopher and I just got back from a long weekend in Las Vegas/Henderson, NV. Too bad we also came back with colds but hopefully we get over it soon. The main point of our trip was to visit my mom and see the new house now that it's finished and mostly furnished.

Let me tell you, the house is amazing. I had a goal to use all 7 toilets but I only manged to use 5 while I was there. I know I know, try harder. I really don't want to brag about it too much but mom and dad deserve every single inch of that luxurious dream house. They've worked hard all these years to provide for their family and treat us to vacations and other things that they couldn't experience as kids. They deserve this for all their hard work!

We also did a little bit of sight seeing during our visit. I took Kristopher to the Hoover Dam which he thought was awesome. They are in the middle of building a bridge across the dam which should be done in the summer. Maybe on our next visit there it will be done and we can drive across it. We saw one show during our stay, The Fab Four Live. They are an awesome Beatles' tribute band and I definitely enjoyed the show. We also caught two freebie shows on the strip - The Sirens of TI and the Mirage Volcano.

The other big thing we did was EAT. My mom spoils us so much with food. We went to The Palm, Joe's Seafood at Caesar's Palace and a Sushi buffet at Planet Hollywood. We had dessert every single night. It was crazy. So much for that bridesmaid's dress fitting in April. Juuuust kidding Laura.
However, this vacation was not all work and no play. We built a lamp, rebuilt the dining room table, moved the coffee table into the living room and Kristopher got the wireless networks working the way Dad wanted them setup.

As a reward, we ate, we relaxed in hot tubs and slept in wonderful king-sized beds. Yes, our hard work was definitely appreciated. It was so good to feel appreciated for what we had done while we were there. Some people don't realize how important that is but obviously, my mom does. Thanks Mom.