25 Jun 2012

Life in Numbers

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7 years ago
2 people were married
More than 100 people came
They drove over 200 miles
To 1 farm, in the middle of nowhere
To watch 1 diamond ring get placed on 1 finger
To symbolize a lifetime of togetherness.

Since then…
1 house has become our home
3 children fill it with laughter
1 more child will make their family complete.

We have had…
2,555 days of marriage
100s of fights and 100s of makeups
And changed over 20,000 diapers.

I would say “I Do” 1 million times again to the man I fell in love with
12 years ago.

And I hope to spend 1 million more years with you.

Happy Anniversay, Baby.

“I love you to the moon and back.” (That would be 238,857 miles.)

08 Apr 2012

You win some. You lose some. Today, I lost.

3 Comments Adventures, Everyday

Do you see the picture above? It’s my OFFICIAL invite to the White House. Yes, I actually did get invited to the 134th Annual Easter Egg Roll at the White House.

Today was a very hard day for me. Yup. Among other things going so wonderful in my life, today, my balls dropped mid air, and I was the only one to blame.

I was so excited to have actually been invited to the White House for a #WHTweetUp. If you are not on Twitter, then you probaly don’t know that the White House actually invited people that “tweet” to the White House for events. I put my name in a hat and got the OFFICIAL invite a few days later.

I told EVERYBODY! Yup! The whole wide world knows that I was supposed to go to the White House. I like to do big things. Go big or GO HOME. Why not? If you aren’t going to dream big and try to get somewhere, then why work so hard for something you really want? I REALLY wanted this. The opportunity to go the the White House, MAYBE meet the President, take the kids around DC, do something most people don’t get the opportunity to do. Yup. That’s me. I take pride in my accomplishments. Always have. I’ve been tweeting, reading and following all the AMAZING people that would be at the event. It sounded SO amazing. A opportunity of a lifetime. Who does this? Me, I guess! My lucky day.

And for those who know about a project I launched a few years back, THIS was MY chance to be a part of an event that was exactly something I had been working on since Michele Obama launched Let’s Move in 2010. Fit Kids Playground would ACTUALLY be GOING to the White House! I could show everybody what we were doing in Tampa and how we were trying to make a difference.

To say, that I was excited was an understatement. I was going to actually be able to GO to the White House, take the kids and participate in a 130 year old tradition, the Easter Egg Roll on the White House Lawn. Wow. Yup. Pretty cool. So despite the fact that tickets cost a body part, and it was going to be a tight budget, with the help of my parents, we made it happen, or at least I thought I pulled it off until Friday…then again on Sunday morning at 5:30AM at the airport, with all kids in tow.

For those who know me well, yes, I AM busy. But organized. Yes, I feel like I have logistics in order for managing 3 kids, business obligations and more, but today, my “super powers” were gone today and I couldn’t pull out of a mistake that was made a few days ago. It really sucks. I don’t like not being able to fix things.

Because of logistical error that WAS (and I hate pointing fingers) my banks fault (admittedly). I thought that things were straightened out on Friday and we were set to fly out on Sunday…the 8th, not the 15th, as the new tickets stated. We were booked for an incorrect date…that I didn’t catch until it was too late. This is where it comes back to me. My fault that I didn’t check the date of the re-booked tickets. So getting to the airport at 5:30 THIS morning meant nothing as our tickets were for another day. I hate being wrong. I hate not being able to fix things. I hate this feeling. I don’t like letting people down, and I am the one who probaly let myself down the most today.

My kids…could honestly care less. They don’t judge. They don’t hold a grudge. They weren’t mad at me because I F*ed up. They are 6 and 7 and love me no matter what. As I am writing this, it makes me remember that life is full of lessons. Life goes on. The sun is still shining, and they still love their Mom, no matter what…even if I did mess up an opportunity of a lifetime. But maybe it wasn’t meant to be…maybe there is a reason…right…I hope so…Maybe I am the one to take the lesson home from this experience. Mistakes happen. Life goes on. Sometimes, it really sucks.

I tried. I tried so hard, but with out another $2000 to rebook AGAIN, I just couldn’t fix this HUGE mistake. I sat in the airport with 2 VERY patient kids while I waited to figure out what to do.

So here I am now, 3 hours later…at home…on Easter…with my family. (That doesn’t sound bad either, right.) I’ve spent the morning thinking about the events that just happened and how I would tell all my supportive friends and family about my f* up. I thought about lying and saying I got sick and going into hiding. Silly,right. Nope, just didn’t want to admit that it was my fault. Couldn’t do that either. Why should anyone else care what happened? But I do.

I love the support I receive from my friends and family. Yes, I know I am crazy with being pregnant and involved as I am with my projects, clients, family, and everything else under the sun. It your support means so much, you’ll never know. I think anyone supporting anyone else or a cause means so much. Thank you for the well wishes. I am so lucky to have friends and family that care as much as I do. I wish I had cool pictures and stories to talk about. It should have been REALLY fun. I guess I will watch it live tomorrow…from my couch.

Maybe I will get the opportunity to do this again at another event. Who knows. Yes, I VERY disappointed in the turn of events, but I still cannot change me getting to DC, short of a miracle. The Easter Egg Roll is tomorrow and there is no way we can afford to fix this. So I guess our airline credit will have to sit in the “bank” until later and maybe we can win the #WHTweetUp lottery again. My lesson learned.

So as I listen to the kids laughing and not even thinking about what I messed up today, I guess I shouldn’t be so hard on myself. But I am. Just me. It’s not like I threw away a winning lottery ticket…well, kind of…I guess I should just go back to being Clark Kent for a while. I am getting ready to have a baby…another kind of lottery we have won 4 times.

So here’s our version of the White House #EasterEggRoll Not as fancy, but just fine for my kids.

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17 Mar 2012

Happy St. Patrick’s Day from Tampa!

No Comments Adventures, Florida, Holidays, Tampa, Tampa Bay

Thanks to the wonderful City of Tampa and the Tampa Downtown Partnership, we now have a NEW tradition! The Hillsborough River will now be dyed GREEN and there will be a family friendly Mayor’s River O’ Green Fest that will take place at Curtis Hixon Park along the beautiful Tampa Riverwalk.
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17 Mar 2012

Florida Orchestra is back in 2012!

No Comments Adventures, Review, Tampa

My favorite things to do in Tampa with our kids is go to the Florida Orchestra concerts in the park. They used to split their time between Lowry Park in Central Tampa, Al Lopez Park and Curtis Hixon Park in downtown Tampa. We had first went to a concert at Al Lopez park when the kids were 2. They loved the orchestra “petting zoo” and the music was amazing. It’s now tradition that we go each year. We love it. We bring food, friends and have such a great time with the kids. It’s so great to see more of Tampa embracing what other “larger” cities have been doing for years.

They will only be playing on May 3rd, 2012 at Curtis Hixon Park, so MARK YOUR CALENDAR!!!
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01 Dec 2011

My Shutterfly Christmas 2011

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Stationery card
View the entire collection of cards.

I stayed up late and have finally finished my “last minute” gifts and cards with Shutterfly. Always a pleasure shopping with Shutterfly!

24 Oct 2011

What Would I Say…

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I have alot of “what would I say” ideas if I were to ever see some of the people that have left this Earth way to early. I have have over 20 years to think about what I would tell my father if I saw him again. And more recently, what I would say to my father-in-law who left us just one year ago today. I would like to think that we would talk like old friends that hadn’t seen each other in a long time. I’m sure that he would want to know how the kids were doing.

Jake is just amazing. He’s such an amazing young man…so polite, handsome, wonderful to his sisters. He is becoming an amazing baseball player too. He’s so smart and we are so proud of him. Mia is my beautiful little girl. She is sweet funny and an amazing gymnast. She is in Kindergarten this year and is having a really great time in school. Each time she looks out the window, she searched for the biggest cloud and tells us that is where you are. And Shelby…I so wished that you could meet this sweet baby girl and see the person that she has grown into. She thinks she is pretty funny. She is spunky and gives the big kids a run for their money. She is a super active little peanut. And everytime she sits in her Daddy’s chair, she calls it Papa’s chair.

Chance is doing amazing. You would be so proud of all that he has accomplished in the last year. I wish that you could come to his office and see that he HAS an office. He is the reason that our family is doing as well as we are and we are proud of him too.

Each time we go to the farm, we think about all that you have left to us and for our kids. The Farm is still our special place to reflect on what family means, what life is all about and what the true meaning of life is all about. Yes, it’s kind of deep, but sometimes, we all need to stop, take time and think about what really matters in our fast paced life that we race to get through sometimes. One day at a time. We miss those that have past and we should cherish those that are still here with us.

17 Oct 2011

Monday Motto: What you have, someone else wants.

1 Comment Monday Motto

Todays Monday Motto: What you have, someone else wants.

I think that this is true for so many reasons.

I wish that sometimes more people would look at their life from the perspective of others. We walk around in a bubble sometimes, thinking that we have it so bad, and that so isn’t the truth. I am guilty about it too. I complain about having to get up early, to make lunches, about getting the kids ready, about the mess my kids make, about the way my daughter won’t stop talking, about doing 15 loads of laundry in a day, about not getting any sleep or that I have to go to work. The list can go on. But what gets me moving through the day, and what keeps me pushing on each day is saying this:

“Someone who is in a hospital with their baby, just wants to come home to do the everyday things we complain about.”

“Someone who is out of work would give anything to have work to go to.”

“Someone who was just in an accident, would give anything to not feel any pain.”

“Someone who had just lost their house, would give anything to clean their house again.”

“Someone who has just lost a child, would give anything to tuck them in and read them a story one last time.”

So the next time you want to complain, ask yourself what are you really complaining about.

15 Oct 2011

My Adventure at Legoland Florida

1 Comment Adventures, Review

When I saw that Legoland Florida was opening in Lakeland a year ago, I knew that eventually we would end up taking a trip. We were in Chicago this past summer and went to Legoland Chicago. I was honestly not too impressed with it. (Sorry, honest opinion.) I had looked at the Legoland Chicago site and it was pretty impressive. I got the kids all excited and we went with my Mom, who was brave enough to help me with all 3 kids. We had a $20 off coupon, which was the only reason we really ventured to Shamburg in July. It made a big difference in how much we paid to get in with 3 kids and 2 adults (thanks Facebook for hosting the offer and Twitter for how I found out about it.) The Legoland Chicago was in a “Wiregrass Mall” type setting (for all of you who live in Tampa, this will make sense.) It was basically a BIG store with a few rides. In the summertime, they had “camps” and the place was FULL of kids with little supervision (let’s just say a ratio for 1 adult per 10 kids it looked like). The lines were super long and the rides were “kind baby” according to Jake. But we had fun, the kids liked building with the legos and eating over priced pizza and seeing what others had built with the leogs (Jake LOVED seeing all the cities built out of legos. But I wasn’t to impressed and really glad that I didn’t pay too much money to get in.

So on to Legoland Florida. After watching the You Tube video the night before and thanks to a very generous offer from WTSP News Channel 10, we found out we would be going on “press day” the day before the Grand Opening. From my perspective…THIS. WAS. AWESOME. For so many reasons. Few lines. Less people. Not crowded. Can you tell I’m not a “theme park mom”? We have Busch Gardens annual passes and we venture to other places here and there, but I am ALL for off days and little crowds. So here in my honest opinion is what I thought and why (I am not being paid by anyone and these thoughts are my own. I did get free tickets to the park from WTSPand you can see some of their pictures here. Just incase anyone is wondering…)

1. The price sounded kind of high…at first. I honestly looked at the price and had to do a double take. It was, in my opinion, kind of expensive ($75 for adults and $65 for kids… plus tax). But if you live close enough, and you will go 2, 3 or 4 times throughout the year, it’s totally worth it. I’m not a crammer. I like to enjoy the park and know that if we didn’t get to do it in one day, we will come back (gives me an excuse as to why we can’t do something when someone is melting down and we have to leave any park.) But after seeing what Legoland Florida had to offer, I do think that the price is worth paying and very worth the upgrade to an annual if you live close enough. And do yourself a favor, buy at least one person in your family the “plus” admission so you aren’t always obligated to pay for parking, another $10+ per visit if you go often. (If you are a grandparent, they do have Senior rates too!)

2. If your kid loves Legos, they will love this park. The park was beautiful. They incorporated Legos in to everything! If you have a Lego lover, they will be impressed. I was!

3. I think that there is a window when kids will not want to go anymore. I think that my kids ages 7, 5 and 2, will love this park for about another 4 years. I think after that they will have done it all and want more of a thrill. And there’s nothing wrong with that. I love that we will be able to take full advantage of this park because we are at the right age. Perfect. And hopefully they will remember how much fun they had there and will come back when they are older.

4. The rides were perfect for kids ages 5 to 10/11…12 might be pushing it. I loved the fact that my 1st grader could ride everything. 48″ was the magic number and the rides weren’t that scary for him. He rides most things at Busch Gardens, and had lots of fun on the coasters at Legoland. (I think that I screamed louder than him on a few, but we had a really good time. It’s nice to not have to say you can’t ride that. I liked that they geared the rides toward the early elementary schooler. Mia was a little more timid so she didn’t ride, but she did have the option and I liked that too!

5. It was a very clean park. The Red Rover App people would be proud. Clean bathrooms and changing tables. Cleanliness is important to me. I like things clean. (Hope it stays that way!)

6. There was alot to do and see for a fulls day worth of fun. With shows, 4D movies, things to build in the air conditioning and rides to ride, I would say that one could easily spend the ENTIRE day (much like most theme parks) and have a blast. I’m not big on “pushing the envelope” with my kids, but they were pooped by 3pm and I know that we will be back so we left with out doing everything. Now we have a reason to go back!

7. 48″ is the key number (36″ plus one parent is necessary) Because Jake was JUST tall enough, it made my afternoon much better to know that we could all ride the rides together- Jake by himself and myself with Mia. Jake was JUST barely tall enough. If not, I would have had a much harder time trying to figure out what to do with 2 kids needing me, the single adult on our trip, to ride a ride.

8. The food and drinks were not over priced! Yeah! I was impressed that everything there was not SO over priced. I paid $2 for a water, $3 for a hotdog and $6 for a slushie (with a take-home cup!) and $2 for an ice cream! NOT BAD! I don’t think coolers are allowed in the park and there were restaurants one could dine at. (The pizza in the media tent was pretty good too!) So thumbs up not having to spend a small fortune on food and beverages!

9. There’s actually alot to LEARN from Legos at Legoland. I didn’t feel AS bad about pulling Jake and Mia from school to go to Legoland, because I feel that when kids play with Legos, they are learning something. It’s imaginative play and some of the rides at Legoland Florida will actually give you a workout too! You can learn about gears, levers, pulleys, what makes buildings tall and more. I really like that they have learning experiences based on ages, so I do think that this place would be a great place for a field trip too! Here is where you can find out more about their field trip programs.

The You Tube video had done a great job of capturing what we would be seeing. It was all true. So bottom line, I like the park. I thought it was pretty neato. The kids had a great time and I know that we will come back and start back where we left off. I think it’s worth the trip and I am sure that everyone should keep an eye out for deals and specials. The Legoland Florida Facebook and Twitter pages are pretty active and might have specials. When you find one, jump on it! (I missed the AAA special and I think that there was a Florida teacher special too.) There is also an “unofficial” guide to the park here too.

And if you want someone else’s opinion, I know that some of my Twitter friends also came on Media Day and have reviews posted too: @ThemeParkMom, @WhoaMomma and @MinneMom So check them out too! (They are more seasoned reviewers than I, so you might want to check them out too!)

Nice job Legoland Florida. This Mama is glad you’re here!

02 Oct 2011

The Best Lives Are Never Planned

No Comments CAH, Everyday

If you are wondering what I have been up to for the past 7 years, here is a link to my previous blog: Good Livin’. I still try and post occasionally on it as well as here. Looking back, I don’t know how I managed to fit in everything I did. I guess when you are having fun time flies. This post is my first post in a while. I realized that I really didn’t plan for what my life has given me. Kind of ironic since I’m definitely a planner.


02 Oct 2011

7 Years Ago, I Learned Three New Words

No Comments CAH

Congenital. Adrenal. Hyperplasia.

3 words that will forever change my life, the people in my life, and the way I feel about so many things.

7 years ago I learned 3 new words. These words combined form more than just a rare genetic condition. They have a meaning to myself and the select group of people that have also been introduced to these words.

Learning how to say these words was a challenge at first, but understanding what they mean will take a lifetime.

The first day that any parent learns of any condition that their child has, or could possibly have, you immediately become AWARE. Aware of the what could, what will, how it does and can affect you, your family and most importantly your child.

You wonder what will happen. Will they have it forever? How do they get rid of it? Will they live to be 100? Will they live to see tomorrow? What happens if they don’t get the medicine? What happens if…. The questions go on and they never stop.

Because of my children, I am a better person. I am more AWARE. I am more aware that there are so many other rare conditions that children are born with or will end up having. For any rare condition, having AWARENESS if half the battle. If your not aware, it doesn’t exist. But it does.

Today, 7 years ago, I was made aware of a condition called Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia. I will forever have the day permanently etched into my memory. I made a promise to Jake that I would fight for him and this condition. Awareness of the condition is the first step.

Most of our friends know about what CAH is and that 2 of my 3 children have it. I always like to say that we got lucky getting this rare condition. My kids are healthy, happy, and full of life.

Thank you to all our friends and family who support us in just being aware of what our kids have. There is much work to be done on this condition. 1 in 16,000 children are born with CAH. Medicines and technology are constantly evolving. Laws still need to be written that will directly effect MY kids. I am only one person, but as any parent would, we would walk to the ends of the Earth to help our children. I do my part and wanted to thank everyone for doing theirs. Just knowing that others know about CAH means more than you will ever know.