One of my favorite songs (for no other reason than the mere mention of "Detroit") is Journey's Don't Stop Believin'. Yes, it is a 80's hair band song...but it's got a great rhythm, and the lyrics are pretty cool...but the best part is when your awesome little boy decides that he likes to rock out to your favorite part of the song too...(you have to go to the website to see this, not in email).

I really hope the video works!!!

Just a city boy...Born and raised in South Detroit...


Good things happening...

Positive#1: I have realized that I have a lot of really amazing friends.
Positive#2: Little Joe started reading another book last night..."I Am the Turkey".
Negative#1: I don't have a very good feeling about work right now. Kind of like a pending doom...
Negative#2: I didn't run the dishwasher, which means I have to do it tonight. Not a big bad thing, but another nod to my inability to do things that I know need to be done. (i.e. PROCRASTINATION!!!)

It's getting tough to think of positives and negatives for the previous day. Not because there aren't enough moments to choose from...I guess I'm still in that funk...which is affecting me. Whatever.

I'm really looking forward to this weekend. I have lots of things going on:
1. tomorrow morning, my best friend and I are planning on going to the gym for a pre-turkey spinning class. Yes, she's the only other person crazy like me to get up this early and do this. but, then I don't feel quite so guilty about eating Thanksgiving dinner!
2. Thanksgiving dinner. YEAH!!!
3. Black Friday shopping. Yup - I'm one of those crazy people who get up at 1 AM to get in line at the stores to get some crazy good deal. Thing is, this year, there isn't really too much that I need/want. There are some small things that I'd like to get for the boys for Xmas, but not necessary. It's more about the tradition that Denise started with me. And I have chosen to continue it.
4. On Saturday evening, my 3 "sisters" are coming over for dinner. Yeah!

Other than those things, I'm looking forward to a relaxing weekend, interspersed with homework and reading science journals. Joy.


In a funk...

Positive#1: I found an awesome recipe for gluten-free chocolate cake that is simple with no freakishly weird ingredients!!
Positive#2: the GLRI RFP came out. OK - I know this is work-related, but it has been a long time coming, and it may provide additional work for this region.
Negative#1: OK, so the career news isn't as great as I thought it was going to be...back to the hunt.
Negative#2: I need to not use my cell phone. If I don't call you, that's why.

I'm in a funk today. Life never goes as planned, and that frustrates me. things were just supposed to go a certain way - and they haven't, and they probably won't. (Wow, I'm being a pessimist!) anyways - I just need to dust myself off and start again. darnit all!

Little Joe did an amazing thing last night...He read an entire book by himself. Not a easy one either. I had to help with only a handful of words. And it took him a half hour to read it - but he didn't give up...and he finished it. I was SO PROUD!!! And, the best part...he was proud of himself too. What a rockstar.


Looking towards Turkey Day

Positive#1: Turkey Day is in 3 days. 'nuff said.
Positive#2: I found a recipe to make for dinner on Saturday night for my "sisters". Yeah!!
Negative#1: I was a little but lazy this weekend...I felt sluggish and didn't want to do anything. and now I feel guilty about it.
Negative#2: I'm thinking about cancelling Little Joe's piano lessons. He is good, but he doesn't want to put forth the effort to practice. and I don't want to force him.

I'm looking forward to this weekend...friends will be home, family will be around, lots of football, food and fun. There are some longstanding traditions that we will pay homage to...and of course, there will be pictures. I think Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. No decorations, no cards, no parties - just a big festive stuff-your-face day. My kind of day.

Thanksgiving is also when you can start drinking eggnog. I have a personal rule about this....Eggnog cannot be consumed before Thanksgiving, and after New Year's Day. Copious amount of spiced rum are not required to be mixed in, but highly suggested. Served warm with a little bit of nutmeg on the top. Perfection in a festive mug.

Work will be good this week - lots to do, hopefully some good grant stuff, the GLRI comes out, and this might mean lots of good stuff for the region. Yeah!

Back to Reality

This past week has been a daze for me...too much going on, emotions running high, stress through the roof, and being a hunting widow/single parent for the week.

(there are general for the past week, not specific to yesterday, I'll do a specific list for yesterday later)

Positive#1: my future career plans. I won't go into detail...but just know that it is positive.
Positive#2: Little Joe has been reading a whole lot more...even though I have to push him a bit, he's getting so much better.
Negative#1: I missed Joe like crazy last week, and didn't sleep for crap because of it.
Negative#2: I didn't make it to A2 to but my cap gown and tassel, and now they can't guarantee that everything will be available. (I need to make some time to get there ASAP!!!!)

Joe had a bountiful week up north hunting...He got 2 deer, a buck on Opening Day, and a doe later in the week. (YEAH!!!) I'm very very very happy about this! Meat to fill the freezer! Venison is so good - no crazy hormones pumped into it, and you know exactly where the meat is from. AND, it is very lean - so it is MUCH healthier for you. Love it!

We went to Little Joe's parent-teacher conference on Thursday - he got a very good report card...mostly 2's and a few 3's. She doesn't give out 1's unless they are REALLY overachieving. She said lots of good things about him, and that he is doing very well. she did say that he tends to not pay attention though...so we will have to work on that a little bit. but, over all, a good report.

Lots more stuff that I really can't talk about on here, too public. Just know that EVERYTHING went well...and my future looks VERY bright. call me or email me if you want the details. and thank you ALL for for your love and support. This past week has been an emotional rollercoaster for me, and I made it through with no scrapes, only a smile.


Family Pictures...

These family pics were taken by Joe's cousin...Maegan. She is simply amazing. She needs to go into photography. People would pay major money for quality like this. She did an amazing job!!! There are more - but these are some of my faves. I'll be ordering prints on Snapfish this weekend. Yeah!!

points for anyone who knows where we had them done.....:)
And not least...Little Joe on Halloween...Firefighter Joe. We went to Grandma's neighborhood - and made out like a BANDIT!! He even had to get a grocery bag from someone to hold all the extra stuff that wouldn't fit in his pumpkin! Too cool! Mind you, he didn't eat any of it...he only like PB cups and hershey kisses.


Worn out...

Positive#1: I was able to determine my final project scope for one of my grad classes, and I have a clear direction on what needs to be done.

Positive#2: Little Joe called my Dad and Grandpa to say thank you for their service in the Navy and Army, respectively. My heart swelled with pride and joy. He came up with the idea on his own.

Negative#1: I wasn't very motivated at work, and didn't finish what I should have accomplished.

Negative#2: I didn't do my chemistry homework, and I think I have a short abstract due tonight.

In other news - Little Joe FINALLY lost his front tooth! This is the same one that was knocked loose during a wrestling match with a friend...last night, he and Dad were wrestling, and it came out! Dad even texted me a picture of his toothless grin while I was in class...(I got all teary-eyed!!!) the tooth fairy didn't visit last night, though because he forgot to put it under his pillow...:)

I realized something last night during my drive home...I'm getting to a point of physical exhaustion. I can tell that my temper has a very short fuse, I'm easily irritated by the smallest things, I'm tired all the time, I don't have the energy during the day to concentrate on things. This happens when I try to do too much. And top the hectic to-do list with the stress at work right now...it ain't pretty. This semester is turning out how I expected it, with a big old cherry on the top. I just have 5 more weeks of craziness....maybe 4.

Nonetheless...I'm asking for some patience. I'm asking for some understanding. If I snap at you, if I don't call you back...you know why. If I look exhausted - you know why.


Hard on ourselves...

I talked with a girlfriend recently, and we were talking about how hard working moms are, on ourselves. We are so critical of ourselves, and we tend to expect perfection, even it can't be achieved. So...she shared with me one of her self-indulgences that makes life a little easier:

2 positives and 2 negatives. Every Day. At the end of the day, she comes up with 2 positives and 2 negatives for the day. So...I'll going to completely STEAL her idea, and put it on my blog. Every day. I'll start out with this little tidbit. OK, maybe not every day, but when I do blog - I'll put it at the top of the post.

So...here goes: (these are for yesterday (Tuesday))

Positive #1: I checked out 2 passes for Little Joe and I to go to the Ford Rouge Factory Tour this Weekend...
Positive #2: I sent a thank you letter to my professor to thank her for taking some extra time with me to explain some things before my exam last week.
Negative #1: I lost my temper with Joseph after dinner. Big time. I told him that I was tired of cleaning up after him.
Negative #2: I was in a bad mood for most of the evening - I even got mad at the blender and can opener. Inanimate objects. Oh yes, I was in prime form.

(Just as an FYI - the negatives were SO much easier to come up with!!) And I could have listed so many more negatives...


How Sewers Work...according to a 6-year old.

Only my child...would draw a profile of the sewer system.
Only my child...would understand sewers
Only my child...would be interested in sewers
Only my child...would draw a stick figure of his mother, IN THE SEWER.

Apparently, he is telling his friends that "My mom works on the sewers".

Uh...we need to have a little discussion about what Mommy does for a living....

Do you see me in the drawing? Can you see the smile on my face?
T-minus 9 hours until my chem exam. I tried to study a little last night, but my brain wasn't having it. I gave up. I wonder if she'll give extra credit? Maybe she'll give a makeup exam.


insights and epiphanies

Horoscope: Take on tasks and responsibilities only if you are prepared to see them through. It is time to be a doer rather than a thinker.


Hmmm.  I wonder what the fates are trying to tell me...should I not plan so far into the future?  Should I not start new projects?  Or what??  Why do horoscopes have to be SO vague?  Argh!  At least Mercury isn't in retrograde, so I'm Ok there.


Am I a "doer"?  Are you a "doer"  This is an interesting concept for me - I like to be the "doer", but I think there is a large part of me that is also the thinker, the planner, the organizer...maybe I just want to do it all!  :) 


In other news:


I have my geochem midterm exam in about 27 hours.  yeah...so....I'm not holding my breath for this.  I seriously am so lost in this class.  I think a major part of it is that I am not a "student" anymore - I have about a million other things going on in my life - and some of those things have priority over geochemistry.  I know, sad, but true.  I understand the lectures, but then recalling what the lecture was about is pointless for me.  It's like my brain doesn't retain the info that we just talked about.  Why is that?  Ugh.  This plain sucks. 


I'm also a crazy procrastinator.  I'm the WORST at putting things off...and I think I have procrastinated too much about studying - I haven't put in the time that I know I should have.  It has been sporadic - and I know that is part of my problem.  I try to study at home, I try to study during lunch at work...it's tough though. 


OK - enough bellyaching.  I'm leaving the office in a bit, and going home to STUDY!  And I mean it this time...seriously!!




The Little Things

One of my awesome "sisters" is redoing her basement...and wanted to get rid of a piece of strained glass that she had in one of her basement windows. So - she shared with me! How cool is this?? Joe is going to solder some loops on, and we are going to hang it in a window...probably the kitchen window, seeing that the blues match our kitchen perfectly. Thank you B!! Love ya!

I love coffee. You all know that. It holds a special place in my kitchen. For a while, I had been storing it in an antique Blue Mason jar. But...Little Joe broke the glass lid, so it wasn't exactly working properly...So, I went shopping with a girlfriend last weekend - and we found THIS:
How perfect is this jar, right? I know, a minor thing...but majorly important in my world!!!
I also celebrated Fall by canning out of my garden...BEETS!!! How beautiful are these? The red is just amazing! And they smell so good! The brine had cinnamon and clove in it too - perfectly spicy, perfectly tart.

BUT...nobody told me hoe unbelievably hard it is to make beets. My fingers were stained red for a week! and I'm still scrubbing the red dye off of the counters and grout. Seriously. I'm not so sure I ever want to make these stupid things again!!!

And...if you ever want to buy a beanbag and stuff it yourself....DON'T!!!! We have these stupid Styrofoam bean-things all over the house. The directions SUGGESTED doing it in the bathtub. Boy, was that a good recommendation! but, Little Joe loves his new beanbag chair!!!!

And just a glimpse...this is one of my favorite coffee mugs EVER. True Norwegian...that's me! but..sadly, I noticed a crack in the mug this past time I used it. I guess it isn't exactly made for microwaving, etc. I have to be careful with it now. But, I'm going to get another one...just in case. Aside from going to MN, anyone know where I can find this? For a reasonable price too!??

playing piano

A little bit of the Maestro playing...

Indiana Joe

Let me know if you can hear this...my computer is acting wonky....

Sleeping by the Fire, and boating in Ford Lake

Oh boy. I have about a million pictures to upload, lots to share, because I have been busy. So...here goes:

How immensely cute is this? When Dad is hunting, Little Joe and I like to sleep on the couches...something different, something fun. Well, I had a nice roaring fire going, so Little Joe decided to drag ALL of the pillows and blankets from our beds out into the middle of the living room floor, and make a nest for himself. And there he slept. All night.

Check out the captain...navigating his R/C motorboat around Ford Lake...at Jyro Park. I tried to tell him that I used to play at that park when I was a little girl. I don't think he believed me...Goofy kid.