Archive for the ‘Footprints’ Category

Memorial Day with the Family

Monday, May 26th, 2014

I'm pretty fond of these two little brats I got to hang out with today too! #nephews

I had such a good Memorial Day today! I had intended to get up early and walk down to watch the parade this morning, but that just didn’t happen. I had a hard time falling asleep last night, so I decided to shut my alarm off and just see what happened. I woke up briefly 15 minutes after the parade started, and thought about trying to hustle down there (I live closer to the end of the parade route, so I might not have even missed much), but I was just too tired. I ended up sleeping for 2 more hours!

Once I did get up, I spent a good portion of my morning just hanging out on the couch, playing on Facebook and watching Netflix. Around 12:30, I got a phone call from my niece Avi. It’s always hilarious to get phone calls from her. I answered the phone to alot of scuffling and her mom saying, “you wanted to call her!” She finally got on the phone and asked me if I wanted to go swimming when I came over later. Of course I couldn’t tell her no!

Look at this little diva modeling the dress I got her! <3

After I showered and got dressed, I headed over to my brother’s house. I was greeted at the door by Avi who immediately told me that I took too long, and should have gotten there earlier. Oops! :) There was a water gun fight, and lunch, and then it was time to get ready for the pool. I have to say, I need to keep that little red head around more often. I was almost done changing into my swimsuit when she showed up on the other side of the bathroom door and started talking to me. When I opened the door in my swimsuit, she exclaimed, “You look BEAUTIFUL!” Nieces… good for the ego! Hehe

Soon enough, it was time to say goodbye to Killian, and goodnight to Avi and Jonny, and then the grown ups played a game of Munchkins, which was super fun. And not just because I won! 😉 Now I’m at home to relax for the rest of my evening, and delete the hundreds of extra pictures that are basically the same as the ones below, plus about 70 of the TV, as many more of the dog, and the ceiling, and and and… after I let Avi have control of the the camera on my phone for about 20 minutes. I always have such a good time hanging out with my brother’s family. I really hope we make it a priority to spend time together in the future too. My work schedule makes it difficult, but family is so important.

I hope you all had a wonderful Memorial Day!


Thanksgiving 2013

Thursday, November 28th, 2013

On the left, getting on the road in South Bend. On the right, about an hour/hour and a half or so later just outside of Rochester.

This Thanksgiving, I was grateful to be able to leave town in the middle of a snowstorm, and go down to spend the holiday with my mom. It was a really quick trip… I was at her house for about 24 hours, but it was a good trip. The holidays are a lonely time of year, so I appreciated being able to go and spend time with her for a little while.

Because what else would you do on Thanksgiving morning?! #parade

She cooked a huge feast (which was delicious!), we watched the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, ate said feast, both ended up taking a nap, and just hung out on the couch visiting and crocheting. I packed up, with several meals worth of leftovers in tow (SCORE), and hit the road before it got dark. Now I’m hanging out at home, loving on the kitties, crocheting some more, and just trying to get myself ready to start another work week tomorrow.

I was trying to think how to put into words what I’m thankful for, since that’s what you DO on this holiday. It always feels a little contrived to me, but nonetheless, there are things to be grateful for. I’m thankful for my family. For the handful of close friends who see me, and love me for me. For a job that pays my bills, allows me to work towards my goals, and lends me a sense of personal fulfillment. For two furry little kitties that make my days a little more frustrating and a lot less lonely. For the many, many blessings in my life that I couldn’t possibly begin to put into words.

Happy Halloween!

Thursday, October 31st, 2013

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween! I didn’t have any plans today, so I just hung out around the house. I had originally intended to go out and about… maybe try and take advantage of some of the “get food free if you’re wearing a costume” offers that some restaurants have, but after hurting my toe last night (more on that tomorrow), I ended up just staying put all day. If it hadn’t been for wanting to take the above picture, and wanting to be slightly presentable for the pizza delivery guy, I might not have even showered at all.

My evening.

I missed Grandma a lot tonight… for several years, we’d all gone to her house on Halloween for dinner, playing cards, and to help hand out candy to her trick-or-treaters. This year though, there was nowhere to go. I missed it, and her, and seeing all the littles dressed up in their costumes. I ended up spending my evening hanging out on the couch with the kitties, crocheting on a blanket I’m trying to finish before Christmas, eating some Papa Johns (the delivery man was my lone trick or treater!) and watching movies. It ended up being a decent evening.

I went to the Zoo!

Friday, September 27th, 2013

I’m back at work today after my three days off (I work a rotating six days on, three days off), and man do those days off sure seem to go by fast! I actually got out of the house a bit this time too– I took myself to the zoo in Fort Wayne. Technically, it’s the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo, but I’d say it’s really for children of all ages! I’ve been meaning to go for awhile, but the weather got too hot to be walking outside, or I always had something else going. This time around though, I had nothing else to do and with a high of 70 degrees, I knew it would be a GORGEOUS day to walk around the zoo… and I was right!

Giraffe getting annoyed that no one is offering him more lettuce. #giraffe #zoo #fortwayne #fortwaynezoo

This guy was super cool… this was right after some kids were feeding him lettuce, and he’s getting a little annoyed that nobody is offering him more. :) A few seconds after I took this picture, he turned around and walked away.

I almost forgot this one! Check this guy out. :) #snoozin #redpanda #zoo #fortwaynezoo

And don’t forget this lazy dude just snoozing away on the branch! :) I had so much fun just walking around looking at all the animals. One of the benefits of going by myself is that I got to go exactly where I wanted to go, and linger at the exhibits I wanted to linger at. I even walked around the African exhibit twice. It was my first stop when I arrived, and apparently it was nap time… because I decided to swing through a second time, I got to see the hyena who was sacked out behind a log the first time through, and the female lion who was nowhere to be seen the first time. It was really nice. Made me think I should go more places on my own rather than waiting on others to go places that I want.

Thanks to spending the afternoon at the #fortwaynezoo and some cleaning around the house, I hit my 10,000 step #fitbit goal for only the 2nd time since I've had it!

The other benefit of spending the afternoon at the zoo was that I walked and walked and walked, and made it over the 10,000 step goal for my Fitbit for only the second time since I’ve had it. The number was boosted some by the little bit of cleaning around the house I did after I got home.

That was Tuesday. Wednesday I putzed around the house, tried to do some shopping (unsuccessfully), and then met my friend Amy for dinner and lots of talking and catching up. Thursday I woke up with a sore throat, had to get a couple of fillings redone, and spent the rest of the day sleeping off the Novocaine. I did do a load of laundry, so that was about the extent of my productiveness! I’m starting this work rotation with stuffy sinuses and a scratchy throat, so it ought to be a fun week looking forward to my next days off! 😉

Hanging with the Mama

Monday, September 9th, 2013

Originally the plan had been for my mom to come spend the last weekend with me, watch movies, drink adult drinks (I make the BEST adult milkshakes), etc. With the happenings last month, and all the trips back and forth, she decided she couldn’t afford to spend the money. So I went to her instead!

We didn’t do a whole lot… we just hung out. I spanked her 3 out of 4 games of Peanuts. Peanuts is a very intense multiplayer solitaire game that our family loves… and is very competitive about! It led to the Facebook status of “The game is not over until someone gets called bad names…” to which my cousin responded, “the game is just getting started when someone gets called bad names!” Truth. And I won. Ha!

I slept on an air mattress in mom’s living room, which was completely fine, except for this:

Brightest modem ever.

The modem that is like the face of the sun! 5 SUPER bright flashing lights that made that living room seem like the FACE OF THE SUN.

I loved on her kitties… Look how sweet…

Sally sleeping

…when she wasn’t clawing my arm, and farting in my face, anyway.

And I got to see a pretty sunrise over the corn field on Saturday morning.


It was a wonderfully lazy weekend… then I came home and was lazy some more. I did wash some dishes and clean out the refrigerator, but that was the extent of my productiveness. I should have done laundry and gone to the grocery store, but my own kitties were desperate for attention after I’d been gone all weekend, and let’s face it. I was just looking for an excuse to stay home on my couch anyway!

Saying Goodbye to Grandma

Sunday, August 25th, 2013


This is one of those blog posts that if I had my way, I’d never have to write. But given that my grandma always loved to read my blog, and was probably often times the only person to read my blog, I don’t feel like I could ever return to writing here without making a post about losing her…

On July 29th, I was just starting to get around for work when I got a phone call from my mom telling me that Grandma had been taken to the hospital, and things weren’t looking well. Within about half an hour, she called back with an update stating that the doctor’s had given Grandma about 24 hours to live. It was like a punch to the gut. She ended up hanging on about 3 more days, allowing us to move her home to more comfortable surroundings, and she left us on August 1st.

Part of why I’ve put this off so long is that I still don’t have the words… My grandma was just the most amazing, caring lady. Everyone who met her loved her, and she collected all of our friends as extra grandchildren, like little ducklings, to add to the many grandchildren, great and even great-great grandchildren she had of her own. One of my cousins said it best– no matter how long we had, it still wouldn’t have been enough. I’m grateful to have had her for almost 30 years, but I so wish it would have been longer.

A couple months ago, I spent one of my days off hanging out with her. I stopped and got us both lunch from Chick-Fil-A and hung out for hours, catching up with her and just talking. I am so glad that I did because we got to have a serious conversation where I was able to tell her that I knew she was never anything less than completely proud of me and just wanted me to be happy. It’s not something I can say for everyone in my life, and it was important to me that she knew how much it meant to me. She also told me that she just wants me to be happy, whatever I do. To have a career I love, a strong marriage, and kids (and she was sure to add, if that’s what I want!). I only wish she was still going to be here to see it. I have to believe she is watching from where she is though. That if I ever do have babies, she will hold and love them before I ever do, and she’ll be so, so proud of whatever I do.

Thank you, Grandma, for being so amazing and never doing anything less than loving all of us unconditionally. I will miss you forever.

Holding Grandma's Hand

The Resolution Post, 2013 Edition

Wednesday, January 2nd, 2013

I don’t really believe in resolutions… I think more often than not, making a resolution is just setting yourself up for failure. That being said, I do have goals that I am working on, and a new year, when everyone is making resolutions for improvement, does seem like a fitting time to post about them.

In no particular order, the things that have been on my mind and/or I have already been working towards are the following:

one year

Get My Weight Back on Track

In 2010/2011, I lost quite a bit of weight. Then I hit a plauteau, got frustrated, and stop working any kind of plan. Slowly but surely, the weight started creeping back on. Compound that with several injuries, and a new job that has kept me from getting much exercise for the second half of last year and I’ve put at least half of the previously shed weight back on.

As some additional motivation to attempting to get back on track, I joined a DietBet game. I was able to buy in for $20, and at the end of the four weeks, anyone who has lost 4% of their starting weight (verified by pictures), gets to split the pot. Right now, the entire pot is nearly $8000. Hopefully it helps… it’s certainly making me think really hard about the ice cream that I’d really like to get when I get off work!

after payment

Pay Down Debt

Paying down debt has been a constant for me for several years. I’ve had several setbacks, such as last August’s gall bladder surgery, that have pushed me in the wrong direction. However, thanks to my new job, with a slightly higher salary, I’m finally set to really start pushing forward on this again rather than simply attempting (or failing) to stay above water. I worked some OT over the Christmas holiday (16 hours on Christmas Day), so when that paycheck arrives, it should go a long way towards paying off the next debt in line. My probationary status expires at the beginning of February, and with that will come a bump up to full salary. I’ve been at salary less 15% since I started. I’m looking forward to gaining some traction and getting on a better track, financially.

Fraidy Pain Wall

Make Difficult Roller Derby Decisions

I’m in a tricky spot with this one, where the decision I ought to make isn’t necessarily the one I want to make… Ever since being released from training, I’m on a shift that doesn’t play nice with roller derby practice. I’m not able to be there for at least half of the practices in a month. I can’t devote the time that I need to to play… I’ve been considering switching to Officiating roller derby instead of playing. It’s something that I also could not dedicated quite enough time to, but is a better fit for the time that I have available. It just feels like unfinished business. I wasn’t ready to stop playing. It just seems like it’s the only realistic option I have right now… I’ve just been, so far, unwilling to make it official.


Start Finishing Unfinished Crochet Projects

And on a lighter note… the last goal I’m going to work on will be finishing unfinished crochet projects! I’m working on finishing a couple of baby blankets for pregnant coworkers, but then I want to start clearing out some of the projects in my closet that have been loitering in various stages finishedness… I found photographic evidence in my Flickr account that one such blanket (whose previous intended owner is now 4?) was started in 2007. And an afghan I started for myself in 2008. Yikes. Will 2013 be the year that I finally start clearing out the backlog? (Probably not.)

All of the Changes!

Saturday, August 18th, 2012

On the theme of change: My brand new haircut, before and after. :)

Several weeks ago, I got a text from my mother that said, basically, “So did your blog just up and die?”


My response was, “Well, kind of.” Not intentionally… but things happen. Life has a tendency of getting in its own way. If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a hundred times– I didn’t really feel like I had much to talk about. There was roller derby, and work which was making me miserable. I felt like anything I had to say would be the same thing over and over again. So I’d open the blog, stare at the blinking cursor for awhile, and then close it again. I did attempt to type out an update the day that Mom asked me about my blog, but I was on my phone and the WordPress app barfed and ate everything I’d so painstakingly pecked out, and I just couldn’t be bothered to do it again.

So here’s the deal… life was miserable there for awhile. I didn’t want to talk about it because there were some vindictive people in my life who had previously taken something I’d written and attempted to forward it to my supervisor. I didn’t want to risk that happening again because people are petty and childish. Now, however, I will freely tell you that my boss was the stupidest person I have ever met in my whole life, and I say that completely straight faced without a hint of exaggeration. I completely dreaded going to work every day to have to deal with her. Luckily, in June I recevied a phone call asking if I was still interested in a job that I had applied for several months earlier.

Of course, the answer was YES! I interviewed, and then waited three LONG painful weeks to hear back. I got the job! Immediately I turned in my two week’s notice, and worked my final day with the security company on July 31st. I am now in the midst of training as an emergency dispatcher, and so far I am loving it! Partially just because I am off the sinking ship that was that security account, and partially because I think I will really enjoy this job. I have a LOT to learn, and I’m working on it… my trainer says I’m doing really well at learning everything quickly, and she thinks I will have NO problems completing my training and doing this on my own. Honestly, the significant pay raise and benefits is just icing on the cake! :)

I turned 29 today, and I couldn’t be more optimistic about the way things are going. Change is good. Life is good.

Saying Goodbye to 2011

Saturday, December 31st, 2011

New Year's Eve in the Pain householdI'm really cold, but I can't disturb them just to get a sweatshirt.

Are you ready to say goodbye to 2011? I know I am. It’s been a rough year for those close to me, and I think many people will breathe a sigh of relief to see it go. Of course the year couldn’t go without taking one more swing at me… I woke up with a sore throat. It’s actually not too bad at the moment, thankfully, but since I don’t know what’s causing it, I don’t want to head out and share my germs with my friends and family on the chance that it might be contagious. So what you see pictured up above is how I’m spending my new year’s eve. Even though I had invites to two great looking parties, one with friends and one with family, I’m on the couch with the kitties, movies, amaretto and Chipotle. Not the worst way to spend the evening, sure, but not exactly what I had in mind.

Tired Start to December

Thursday, December 1st, 2011

Shouldn't see this time...

I think the end of November/beginning of December for me can be summed up with one word: tired.

I took the picture up top at 4:13am… on Wednesday morning, when I’d gone to bed at 12:30am. I woke up from a nightmare a little before 4 and had a hard time going back to sleep after that. In fact, I don’t think I did anything more than doze on and off until my alarm went off at 5:30am.

Nap time

These were my kitties while I was waiting for an online meeting to start last night. I wanted desperately to join them!

Even as exhausted as I was after being up all day on 3-3.5 hours of sleep, I still had a hard time falling asleep last night, and was awake and unable to fall back asleep a little after 4! I was up before 5am playing games on Facebook when I would have much rather been sleeping.

Hopefully I’ll be able to get a good nap in after work tonight because today is our public scrimmage and exhaustion is just not acceptable until it’s over! :)

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