Friday, September 16, 2011

Opening night TONIGHT!

Wow, I cannot believe it, after all the hard work we have opening night tonight for 'The Wonderful Wizard of Oz'.
I remember hearing about the show earlier this summer.  Initially I thought, that would something fun for me to do.  Then I realized this was something the 2 older kids and I could do together.  Well Jeffrey didn't want to do it (he isn't a big fan of Oz) but Samantha was all over the idea of being in a play.  I had not been in a play since I was in high school and was in plays at school and musicals at the temple, but I remembered how much I loved it.  Well we auditioned and Samantha got cast as a munchkin and a field mouse, I got cast as a munchkin and a winkie.  Starting the beginning of August we practiced 2-3 times a week.  While sometimes the practices were tiring and sometimes I came home sore (moving a house can do that to you!), I also have had such a blast.  Honestly being a parent can sometime be hard, but at practice I could be Melissa (there wasn't much parenting I had to do for Samantha when we were at practice).  This week has been tech week and anyone who has ever done a play knows how much work it is; now, after all that hard work it is SHOWTIME!  Last night we had our final dress rehearsal and it seemed to go well, I am hoping that tonight is even better.

So to everyone in the cast, BREAK A LEG!  And thank you for all the fun!


Friday, September 09, 2011

9/11 - I remember

10 years ago, on 9/11/01 I turned 22 years old.  10 years ago there was no blogs or facebook or twitter, no place where I really wrote down all my thoughts on that day.  I think it has taken 10 years for it really to hit me.  Looking back on all the highs and lows that has since happened, it is like it has all washed over me as a wave.  This is what I remember from that day 10 years ago.

I remember waking up on 9/11/01, the sun was shining and the weather had just a touch of fall in the air.  I was no longer 21.  I put on one of my favorite outfits, excited for however work was going to celebrate my birthday that day.  I got on bus 677 at around 7:30am (central) taking me from Mound, MN to downtown Minneapolis to my full-time job at WCCO-TV.  Like I did most mornings I sat down about halfway back on the bus and put my headphones on to listen to some of the local radio morning shows (I usually flipped between K102, KS95 and KDWB).  I am sure I was reading something, maybe some of the newspaper.  Somewhere along 394 going east near St. Louis Park I heard the most disturbing thing on the radio.  They had a TV on and they were reporting that an explosion or something happened to the World Trade Center, then they said a plane had hit the other tower.  They did not know what was going on. 
One of the biggest images of that day then happened.  I remember looking up on the bus at everyone just sitting there, I didn't notice anyone else with headphones on, and I thought to myself, they do not know that the world as we know it has just changed.  As I was looking around I also looked out the front window at downtown Minneapolis with that sun shinning bright and thought about how serene it looked compared to another downtown right now. 
We got to downtown, I hopped off the bus at Nicollet Mall and 11th and ran into the front door at WCCO.  There in the front lobby I had my first glimpse on the TV of what I heard on the radio.  Not long after, they lockdown that front door and would not let anybody use that entrance for months.  I ran upstairs to my desk, dropped off my stuff and started watching one of the TVs we had in our area.  One of the TVs I could see if I stood up in my cubical, the other was behind a friend's desk.  I remember standing at that TV when my friend told me Happy Birthday.  Eventually we got word about the plane in the Pentagon and about another plane.  Where was that plane headed when it went down, we did not know.  We wondered if the attacks were done.
Working at a TV station it was kind of crazy... I worked with commercials and as many can remember we had wall to wall coverage for days.  Being local TV we really didn't have to worry about what was on (except for the local news break ins) but we never knew when we would stop covering it.  We spent many hours just staring at the TVs not knowing what to do.  I remember during that time calling my Mom at work, making sure she knew what was going on.  And I talked to my husband who was out mowing lawns, to find out what he knew.  I do not remember eating lunch that day, but I must have. 
Eventually our department head said we could go home.  My co-workers said we could celebrate my birthday tomorrow.  Because I had taken a bus I had to wait for the 676 bus to go home (now not available) which meant a longer trip home.  I of course listened to the radio the whole way home, but there was no new news.  And I went home to do what I had been doing all day, watching TV.
In a way I was thankful that we had celebrated my birthday as a family (at TGIFridays) the weekend before, no one would have wanted to celebrate that night.  I know that I spent many days in shock, I do not even remember crying at that time.  When the tragic events happened I knew no one that had died that day, 10 years later I have met a few people who lost loved ones.  It almost made me feel sheltered living in the Twin Cities.
Does it suck having your birthday on 9/11?  Yes, it does.  But someone has a birthday every day... it just so happened that mine was that day.  Has it been hard celebrating in the years since?  I remember spending the first anniversary just very depressed but it has gotten easier.
One piece of joy happened that September.  It turns out right before the attacks I got pregnant.  Later on that month I found out I was going to be a mother for the first time and 9 months later, on May 21, 2002 I gave birth to Jeffrey.  He is finally old enough to talk to about what happened when he was the size of a pea inside my tummy.  Since then I have brought 3 other children into this world.  But I have also had to say Goodbye to many loved ones (including our fathers).  Maybe that is why this year has hit me so hard... so much has happened since that day.

Now 10 years later on 9/11/11 I will wake up 32 years old.  I will go to church for mass (since it is Sunday).  I will try to spend sometime at the Incredible Festival.  I will probably have play practice.  I will not forget where I was 10 years ago.  I will never forget.

Monday, September 05, 2011

First day of school blues!

I remember as a kid the dreams started about a month before school starts... they even continued after I graduated college.  You know the dreams... some version of going to your first day of school and not being ready.  Well ready or not, that first day of school is tomorrow! 
Not for me though... for my kids.
This year Jeffrey will be in fourth grade, Samantha will be in second and Carter will be a new preschooler.  For the first time in a few years I will be down to one kid three mornings a week at home!
Are we all ready for tomorrow?  Mostly.  Most of the school supplies have been dropped off at school, the shoes have been purchased and the uniforms tried on.  We need to just get a few more things together, wash off the gym shoes and pack it all up in their backpacks.
Are the kids ready?  Mostly not.  They would love to stay home and hang out and not go to school! 
Is Mom ready?  YES!  This has been quite the summer with the kids not always getting along, I think they need the separation that school will bring (even if J & S's classroom doors are just across the hall from each other).
So tomorrow we will all wake up and bring the 2 oldest to the bus stop.  Wednesday we will go to Carter's preschool open house and Friday will be the first day for him.  Some wonder if Elizabeth will be ok with all of them gone, for some reason I think she will be just fine!
Happy New School Year!


Thursday, September 01, 2011

New blog!

I have started another blog!  This is in conjunction with this one.  It is at  It is called 365 Opinions and is about the opinions I have about things.
I have one post right now, just a welcome message, but I hope to post a lot more often! 

Friday, August 26, 2011

Hurricane Irene

I cannot grasp the idea of a hurricane.
Now before I go on, I do agree with the severity. I truly hope everyone out there has taken the precautions neccessary in the wake of this hurricane. This sounds like it will be quite the disaster.
That said... I was born in Minnesota and have lived here all my life. I have never been in a hurricane or an earthquake. I have never had to board up my house or evacuate 50+ miles to get away from a weather event. We have tornadoes in Minnesota, and while some of come close to me, I have never been in one.
I cannot imagine what many of my friends are going through right now, just like I couldn't imagine all those years ago with Hurricane Katrina.
I will be praying for all of you on the East Coast, please listen to officials and stay safe.


Sunday, July 31, 2011

The Absence of a Dream

Off and on I, like I am sure a lot of you, have read one or more of those self help books. Right now I have started "Unlimited" by Jillian Michaels. I thought since she fascinates me on "The Biggest Loser" I would give this book a whirl. And it has an online worksheet ( that you can answer questions after every chapter. Unfortunately I am thinking soon I am going to hit a roadblock. See in chapter 2 it starts talking about having specific dreams and visions for you life and the basics to visualizing it.
But what do you do if you don't have a specific dream? I mean yea, there are things I would like to do before I die ("bucket list") and there are dreams I have for my kids (but they are really not something I have an impact on, per se)... But I cannot think of a specific dream for myself. It is like when I try to sit and think about that my mind goes blank. Of course I have general dreams like living forever (well a very long time) and being financially comfortable, but really, don't we all?
*sigh* Even Nick seems to have some dreams, but those are his dreams... I need some of my own.
Has anyone ever felt like that? Any ideas on how to fix this?


Saturday, July 23, 2011

RIP Scooter

Last Tuesday (July 19, 2011) we lost one of our 4 legged pets. Scooter, the Chihuahua, was about 12 years old and probably died of old age or congestive heart failure or something.

Scooter initially was my father-in-law's dog, I remember when he got him when Nick and I were engaged. He officially moved in here in May of 2004 when Gar moved in with us. 2 years later we moved him upstairs when Gar died and he became a real member of the family (even if it was reluctantely by Nick). I really took care of him the last 5 years because I was really one of the only ones that he liked. Otherwise he was pretty anti-social and would hang out in his kennel a lot of the day.
Scooter's favorite thing was sitting and laying in the sun (he was a Chihuahua after all). He loved the occasional treat or fallen food scrap that Lucy wouldn't get to. He was a barker, would bark at almost anyone coming to our house (but me). The house is definetly quieter with him gone.
I had a feeling this day was coming soon. Earlier this year he started hacking a lot. Then about a week and a half ago on a Sunday he showed signs he wasn't doing well. He could hardly walk and would hardly eat. We ended up feeding him wet food to get him to eat something. He seemed to get better from that, but was still even skinnier then he use to be. I will say I was still surprised to open his kennel on Tuesday and for him to not come out.
He is now up in heaven with Gar, as well as our dogs, Mandi, Mollie and Maggie. I know he will be well loved up there.


Friday, March 25, 2011

15 places

I know again that I have been away from my blog for awhile. I really think I should, and then I don't, write. Life hasn't exactly been easy lately... every year at this time it is like this.

Anyways, I am copying this from my friend Heidi's blog. She and I saw this article on CNN called 15 places kids should see by age 15 and she commented about at twice that age (and a Canadian as well) she had seen 4 of those places. I know that when I read that article I thought that I doubt my kids will see close to even half of those by then. At this point the only place they have been to is Walt Disney World. So I thought I would go through and add where I have been.
Here is the list:
1.Grand Canyon - Arizona
2.Redwood National Park - California
3.Monticello - Virginia
4.The Freedom Trail - Massachusetts
5.Niagara Falls - New York
6.The National Mall - Washington, D.C.
7.Williamsburg - Virginia
8.Walt Disney World Resort - Florida
9.Independence Hall - Pennsylvania
10.Alcatraz Island - California
11.Ellis Island - New York
12.Yellowstone National Park - Wyoming, Montana and Idaho
13.Fenway Park - Massachusetts
14.Craters of the Moon National Monument & Preserve - Idaho
15.San Diego Zoo - California

Funny, the National Mall and Ellis Island were both part of a confirmation class trip. Otherwise I have been to WDW 3 times. I almost went to the San Diego Zoo when I was there, my sister lives there so I have been pretty close. Of the other places I would be most interested in seeing Monticello, Williamsburg and Independence Hall since they have to do with the history of the United States. I will say, I doubt I will see all 15 myself unless we win the lottery and decide to rent a motorhome across the country.


Monday, February 07, 2011

BzzCampaign: Stouffer's® Corner Bistro® Stuffed Melts and Soups

Hey all,
I just recently got this bzzcampaign for Stouffer's Corner Bistro.. check it out here . I got a bunch of coupons (so locals let me know and I can give you some) and cannot wait to try it out. Anything to make lunch quick and easy on the days my kids are pulling me in multiple directions (that doesn't include PB&J)!! Also, for anyone.. you can like them on facebook and try to win a free coupon as well. I think the combination of soup and sandwich will be yummy on a cold winter's day. Cannot wait to try it!



Friday, January 07, 2011

CoverGirl Bzz Campaign

This is the newest bzzcampaign I signed up for ... the new COVERGIRL 50th anniversary campaing... If you like CG come check it out!!