Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Oh what fun!

This is how excited the kid gets when we go camping!  It is so amazing to sit back and watch him grow with every adventure.  He can list off all the parks we have been too and what we have done there.  Like in Ludington, we visited the lighthouse or in Holland we visit The Captains (an ice cream spot where he gets a baby cone with sprinkles with a cherry on top).  This past weekend, we split the Saturday/Sunday between Holland State Park (beach side) and Grand Haven.  It was amazing.  It was our first time staying at Grand Haven but it will not be the last.  The people were so friendly there.  It's nice to be surrounded by like minded people.  Our campsite was just off the beach.  The weather wasn't the greatest on Sunday but we experienced how well the camper would take a thunderstorm.  Needless to say, the T@DA did terrific.  We were supposed to spend the whole week in Grand Haven for the Coast Guard Festival but Chris has court for work so we had to cancel our vacation.  We were kind of sad that we had to cancel but I keep on reminding myself that we can do a trip to Maine next year.  We bought the camper in New Hampshire so we will stop and visit with the former owners.  They were amazing.  I just feel so lucky to have such an amazing trailer.  It's wonderful.  It's usually the smallest in the park and we get a ton of verbal kudos from people who remark it's adorable.

I have to say with having Chris busy with court for possibly the next two weeks, I never knew how much I depended on him for support.  I have to say that I am fully appreciating him a ton.  All I can say is, can the weekend get here fast enough?

Congrats to my sister.  Today, she received her first job offer with benefits and retirement.  She was a stay at home mom until the boys went into school.  She went to the local community college and earned a certificate and did contract work for a bit.  She was able to find a job in her town so she and her husband do not have to move and she could even walk to work.  It's such an exciting time for her!  She and her husband have created an amazing life for their family because they have been available to the kids, have two rentals, and paid cash for their current home.  My brother in law is extremely handy and lucky the market is good where they live.  My folks live in the same town so it's great that they will all be together.  It's such a nice town to visit and the awesome thing is that my nephews will not have to move either.  Woot Woot for good news!

I'm still experimenting with my style.  Thanks to Gwynnie Bee, I keep on moving outside of my comfort box.  The one thing I have learned that it is so funny how sizes in women's clothing works.  In the picture, I'm wearing a 1XL Cherry Velvet.  I really liked the look of it on me but I am swimming in it.  I threw on a belt to cinch my waist a tad.  So a 1XL can be big on me, while in another brand it can be too tight on me.  I just don't get it but I will keep on learning.  I bought some accessories from the Coldwater Creek that was going out of business.  It's sad to see that company go under.  Their items held up so well.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

I knew it!

The one amazing gift I truly have is the ability to get an accurate assessment about people very quickly after meeting them.  I've always had the ability to do this but I didn't necessarily understand it when I was younger.   Now, I'm in a spot that I use it daily and I continue to get better and better at it.   It does come in handy when you are a social worker too.  Last week I was in a room with some people, I wanted something really bad at that point in time but right when I assessed the situation only being in for less than a few minutes, I knew, it wasn't going to happen.  The universe was like "hell no, this one's not for you".  Funny that has happened in my life a few times where I have tried to convince my gut otherwise, like "you silly girl, you are just reading things wrong" but deep down inside, I knew it wasn't going to happen. I can remember my last job when I got there.  I knew right away, that it was not going to be a fit.  I remember crying on my way home from the interview and thinking "it will be okay" but deep down inside, I knew it was not going to be okay.  When I arrived on my first day at the job, I thought "oh shit, what the fuck did I do?".  I convinced myself that it was going to be okay that I took the job because we needed to transition down to Kalamazoo.  Needless to say, my reaction to my new boss/coworkers was true that it was not going to be good, despite me noting that it would "be okay", it wasn't.   Hell I do have to remind myself that I don't need a crystal ball...when I know things are not going to happen, they are not going to happen.  And that's okay.  The universe tends to lay things out how they are supposed to be.  Sometimes, I just need to sit back and just let things unfold without being too anxious about it, because what will be will be.  Just trusting that it will be okay, well, that's an interesting process.  So I'm pigeoned holed for a while and it will be okay.   The bright spot now is at least I am in a better place now mind frame wise compared to what I was. And I will take that!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014


One of the coolest things that I get to do lately is to explore the new area that I work in.  I'm really digging the South Bend, Indiana area. I'm always hunting to do awesome activities with kids so finding some in the area that I work is always fun.  I was out last week and I look over and there's a pottery shop.  Having some time on my hands, I decided to go in and just browse.  After seeing the awesome prices, I decided to do some painting.  For the first time in my life, I got to paint some pottery and it was an absolute blast.   Growing up, I never had anything with my name on it.   When I saw the coffee cup, I was like "Oh yeah!".   I'm not artistic what so ever but I have to say, it was one of the most relaxing experiences ever.  To spend a Friday afternoon, relaxing, and just having a new experience is amazing.  It's what every Friday should be like, right?  My creation will be done in 7-10 days after they fire it up so I cannot wait until I see the finished product.

Today was an interesting day.  The morning was filled with a meeting to discuss wither or not my work opts back into social security.  To watch the emotions going on around me was amazing because I saw true fear from others that they will not be retiring like they thought they would.  I have to say, thank goodness for all of the wise saving we have done.  I can't even begin to imagine being 62 and "having to work until I die" (which one co-worker reported).  One of the reasons that we went with Chris's job is that not only does his company have a defined pension, which is truly rare in this day in age but he also has a generous 401 that his company contributes to.  I can only hope that we will make it to retirement to enjoy it :)

I sported the lip print maxi dress from Gwynnie Bee today.  I must say for 90 degrees, this was the perfect dress for me.  I spent half the day outside/in warmer areas so it was perfect.  I also sported my Taos Shoes that had a slight heal and I was rocking it out. Though, by the end of the day, my feet were saying "WTF Kellie?"  Yes, I'm 38 years old and probably on one hand could count how many times I have worn something with a heel.  They were amazing and comfy but by the end of the day, I feel like I am losing my toe. Not a good feeling at all!

The kid was in an amazing mood today.  I have to say that this age is absolutely fun.   Three is good! To hear what he feels and what his joys are in life just warms the heart.  We have been taking him to swim lessons since the spring and to see his confidence grow in the pool is amazing.  Watching him glide from one side to another just keeps me in awe.  Like this proud moment of "that's my boy".   Awe what a feeling!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Needle in a haystack...

I swear I was dodging people at work today because of my dress.  I know it was kind of risky to wear this today because it doesn't essentially fit the culture but I had no intakes and I was stuck to my office all day.  My office has two crowds, the under 27 crowd and the over 55 crowd so everything is kind of funky when it comes to dynamics, expectations, and dress.  Then you have me, right smack in the middle of that age demographic.  I just had to wear this Hell Bunny dress today because it was going to be 90 degrees and I've been staring at the dress for 3 weeks in my closet.  I'm making more of a conservative effort to dress better.  Since having the kid, gaining the weight, I have to admit my self confidence hit an all time low.  I wasn't feeling comfortable in my skin.  Which is a horrible feeling to have. Everything was sort of just, erh...not fun.  A few months back, I saw that a friend on facebook joined Gwynnie Bee and I was curious.  I did some poking and thought, hey this would be awesome.  I used to love dressing up when I was smaller but since being larger, it's more of a challenge.  Finding clothing when I am my current size is like finding a freaking needle in a hay stack.  I figured WTH, I decided to use some of my oncall money to off set the subscription price.  And voila, I hit clothing utopia.  I'm feeling better about myself and I'm getting out of my comfort zone of trying items that I normally would not touch.  Plus actually finding clothes that fit me properly and beautifully is an amazing feeling.

We haven't been able to be weekend warriors for the past few weekends and that has been somewhat bummy.  We love getting out of Kalamazoo and exploring along the lakeshore in our adorable camper.  Here it is mid-July and it feels like the summer is going to slip by quickly...which makes me sad.  Chris's schedule for work has been up in the air because he has one definite court appearance and two pending court cases that he could potentially needed for in the upcoming weeks.  I'm totally bummed out about one trip we already had to cancel because we had Lake Michigan camping reservations during the Coast Guard Festival.  I had visions of sitting on our lawn chairs looking up and watching the fireworks but alas...it wasn't meant to be.  We are trying to plan some get aways in the coming weeks but we'll see.  I'm also being picky about using my annual time.  I only earn 4 vacation hours every two weeks and have 3 floating days.  For me to take a day off of work must equate for something truly worth it.  I miss the days when I had annual/sick time all rolled into one.  Before I never had to worry about taking time off but now, I'm like "is this really worth a months of vacation?".  Though, I do have to think about my mental health and camping sounds good about now...

Sunday, July 20, 2014

The house that got away...

Two years ago when we were transitioning down here, there was this GORGEOUS home.  The house was stunning...it was out of our budget at the time so we didn't even pursue it but looking back, I kicked myself to see that it did eventually sell for a price within our budget.  It was like "why didn't we look" "why didn't we try"?  Then today, I was glancing through the paper and saw that they had an open house from 12:30-2:30.  We had to go and see the house that got away!  We headed over and the area is absolutely lovely compared to our area which is transitioning.  There were mature trees and just this feel of a neighborhood.  With our neighborhood being built up, we lack that character that an established neighborhood has to offer...we have farm land that has been ripped up and ticky tackies being built all over.  Our saving grace is that we are one of the few houses in the 'hood that has color to it...the rest are tan's, grey's, etc.  Anyways, we start rolling towards the house.  I notice with different eyes that it's not everything I had built it up in my mind.  The streets are very narrow and it gives off this cool presence.  Not that warm inviting feel of "come live in me".  Funny how, in my mind, I built this house up to be the "one that got away".  Looking at it now, I can say "no thanks".  That's kind of how life is like right now.  I'm in this phase of looking at things as "this is the one that got away".  I have to keep on working on "it did get away but there was a reason it wasn't mine".   I'll remind myself of this when I hear some news that I may or may not like this week!

We had to stick around the house this weekend because I was oncall yesterday.  I haven't been so fortunate with oncall shifts for the past six months so straying away from the area would not be good. Luckily, it was quite so free money, yea!  We were able to deep clean the house because we have been bad lately with keeping things up...I had the flu last week and with all of the stuff going on in life, it was last on the list to get done.   I finally had Chris hang some stuff up in the house.  Prior to yesterday, I had only two things hanging in the house.  I know, bad, but this didn't really feel like home.  I had him put up a few pieces that I had in our old home that were favorites.   It's nice to have them out again, gracing the walls.  And possibly this is going to start feeling like home instead of a transition place...we'll see.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Crystal ball...

The one thing about life lately is that sometimes I wish I had a crystal ball.  Life continues to send us some curves, not bad curves, but just curves that we want to know...what's next? Last week, once again, Chris's job announced more re-shuffling.  Which is always an adventure...which one the of shuffles that got us living where we are now, so needless to say, I'm tired of the shuffles.  We thought the worst but it's looking like it's actually going to work in his favor this time.  He getting inline for the next position that he wants and he couldn't be happier about grabbing this new slot but the waiting to hear what is going to happen is the worst.  For myself, I too, am playing the waiting game.  I'm trying to not feel pessimistic about things but I'm convinced I'm pigeoned holed for a while.  I know I have to be patient but argh....though, if the universe is wanting something different for me, it will be.  In the end, I just have to see where everything lands.

I had some me time tonight and it felt wonderful.  I haven't had any major amounts of me time in a while so I decided to grab a meal and do some shopping.  I've been neglecting myself too long so it felt good to pamper myself.  I hooked myself up with some new shoes and other items.  It felt terrific to just get out and do some shopping therapy :)  Sometimes a gal has to do something for herself and for this gal, it's been a while...

Sunday, July 06, 2014

Great 4th of July!

 I have to say that this little man is an amazing hiker.  We spent the 4th of July up north at Ludington State Park and we hiked everywhere.  This little trooper was right there just hiking along with us.  He even climbed the stairs to the top of the light house.  All I can say is that he amazes me everyday.  It's nice to see how he is really getting into the outdoors.  We were impressed with the park because it had so many options.  3 days was not enough so hopefully we will be able to go back soon.

I'm getting pretty creative with the camping food too.  I marinated some flank steak and it turned out amazing.  We had some asian slaw, grilled zucchini/squash, and some kimchee so it hit the spot.   Who says camp food is all about hot dogs and hamburgers?

It was a terrific weekend :)

Thursday, July 03, 2014


Hey, what's up? It's been a while.  Life is very different...very different.  I don't know if I will be ever settled into this "new life" but I've been in a funk for a bit.  You know that kind of funk that you know that life is passing you by but you don't really care because everything is status quo.  It is what it is...has been my motto.

I'm overweight again (as you can see)...the lack of movement has not been good for me.  Ever since being pregnant with the kid, my gym days have been over.  Eating, well, that needs to improve too.  The good thing is that I haven't gained any weight in a year.  Though, on the other hand, I haven't lost any weight.

I haven't been digging the move to Kalamazoo.  I had a great life in Grand Rapids, great job, awesome friends, and my dream home.  Kalamazoo, well it's not Grand Rapids.  The positives is that Chris is loving his new job.  He's moved into a different sector of his company and he is digging it.  He's digging it so much that he is going back to school at Penn State for computers....and his company is paying for it.  Now how awesome is that?  His company also took very good care of us with the relocation down here.  I just have to grow to enjoy this area, which doesn't feel like it will happen any time soon but things are looking better maybe?  We will see.

The awesome stuff that is happening right now is that we are enjoying our kid.  He is absolutely the most amazing little man ever.  He makes me giggle every day and he's as spunky as all get out.  Love being his mom.

After this long Michigan winter, we have been able to enjoy the summer.  We broke down and bought a 2008 Dutchman T@DA after realizing that tent camping with a young child = no fun.  We've been able to hit quite a few  parks around the region.  I never knew camping could be this much fun.

So this is where we are right now.  Could it be better, yup.  Could it be worse, yup.