RSVP’ing for 3 instead of 2

There is something to be said for annual events.  Whether it’s the family dinner on Turkey Day or the first day of school, these repeat occurrences force us to acknowledge change.

In this case, it’s our neighborhood’s annual Memorial Day bash.  Thank you to our very kind friends just across the street for rolling out the welcome mat each and every year regardless of weather, busy schedules and prior year’s alcohol-induced behavior.

Yesterday was another great get together.  But for some reason, this year really made me think.  It’s crazy how being in the same place at the same time every year can really clarify all the changes – both good and bad – that have occurred in the past 365 days in our neighborhood, in our families and in our world.

This year the biggest change for us is the head count from the McGee house.  For the first time, I RSVP’d for a family of 3 instead of 2.  When Denny and I started attending the annual Memorial Day party a few years ago we were the ones leading the charge for more and more rounds of flip cup.  We’d roll home way past midnight and then sleep a solid 12 hours all the while thanking the national holiday gods for the fact that we didn’t have to work until Tuesday.    This year, we rolled a baby stroller home to ensure our munchkin could get 12 hours of sleep all while thanking our lucky stars for the littlest guest at the party.

Talk about change…really good change.

But then there’s all the other change, some good and some not so good.  It’s crazy to think about the power of one year.  Over the course of phone calls, for sale signs, text messages, trips to the hospital, conversations shared over coffee and conversations shared in driveways, the twists and turns of life are carved out in our worlds.

For some of us, change consists of a 4 new walls, new neighbors, and a new home.

For some of us change consists of welcoming a new life, or saying good-bye to a life you knew.

For some of us, we choose to leave for what we think is a better place.

For others of us, we fight like hell in hopes that we get to stay in what we already know is a really good place.

This change that we face is not always fair, and it’s not always easy, but it’s always there.

No matter how many years pass I still find it impossible to ever expect or to ever be prepared for all the change, yet I’ve learned that the trick to navigating it all is to have a good little support system around you.  And if you’re really lucky that little support system will start right at your doorstep.

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Changing Diapers or Building a Cathedral?

If I haven’t mentioned it before, I work in a really cool place (thank goodness or else I’d never be able to leave Makenzie’s sweet little face each day).  I work in the Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership.  Our goal is to be a resource for business owners and  strategic players in companies as they take their business to the next level, essentially invigorating the WNY community.

When connecting with these business owners about their purpose, there is a little story that we use about how perspective can make a huge difference.  If you haven’t heard it before, here it is…

A man came across three bricklayers busy at work. He asked the first bricklayer, “What are you doing?”

“I’m laying bricks,” the first bricklayer said.

The man asked the second bricklayer the same question.

“I’m putting up a wall,” was the reply.

The passerby then posed the question to the third bricklayer.

“What are you doing?” he asked.

“I’m building a great cathedral,” the third bricklayer replied.

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It’s a pretty cool story, right?  And today it got me thinking about being a Mom.  Being a Mom is similar to being a business owner; it’s not always easy.  It can be exhausting, frustrating and trying, to say the least.  It’s non-stop and it can sometimes make you pull out your hair.   So I figured I’d share this story for all those over-worked, under-compensated, and over-tired Moms out there.

Think of it like this…

Yes you are constantly changing diapers, wiping spit-up and struggling with sleep deprivation.  But what you’re really doing is creating an amazing little life for your sweet baby.  You’re teaching your son or daughter everything about your world, your values and your focus on life.  You’re slowly but surely building the foundation for your child; and on that foundation, they will someday create a beautiful cathedral.

So on your tough Mom days, give yourself a break and take a minute to catch your breath and drink some water.  It’s not easy to build a cathedral one brick at a time, but you’re doing it!  And you should be very proud!

What a great (and very Pink) Year it’s been…

Last year on the Saturday before Mother’s Day we found out if we were having a Boy or Girl!!   The year has flown by and has been full of happy (pink-filled) memories.  But it was such a fun day it was worth looking back.   Here’s the recap:

Sunday, May 13, 2012

The Power of Pronouns

I’m very much an English geek. It has always been my favorite subject in school and my someday dream job is to be a professional blogger. But this weekend made me realize how much I LOVE pronouns.

She ~~ Her ~~ Shes ~~ Hers

What beautiful words!! These are music to our ears!

Let me take you back to Saturday morning…

Denny and I had the long-awaited ITSA party to find out if It’s A Boy or It’s a Girl! It was hands down one of the most amazing weekends we have had in years.

I was wide awake by 6 AM! I could barely sleep because I was so excited to find out about the little person joining our family. I was 99% certain it was a boy but I wanted to see the blue balloons to be sure. I thought Denny was 99% certain it was a boy too, but at the last minute he came downstairs in a PINK shirt with a blue vest. Pink shirt?!? I was shocked, but he said he had a last-minute feeling it could be a girl.

Denny and I were so fortunate to have a lot of friends and family join us for the big reveal. By 11 AM, the excitement was out of control, and our neighbor Theresa brought over the box (she was kind enough to pick it up from the florist).

Here it is, YAY!!!

Our friends and family were really anxious and almost everyone dressed in either pink or blue.  It was so great to see that everyone was excited as us.  Check out this spirit!

        

By noon we were ready for the reveal.  Our hearts were racing as we realized it was time to find out if we were having a boy or girl!  I’ll let the pictures tell this part of it…

“Ready to do this?”
“Hold my hand, I’m nervous”

PINK?!?!

So Shocked, So Happy…

So Emotional!

We’re having a Little Girl!

Everyone was beyond thrilled!  The rest of the day was a blur filled with phone calls, texts, and a trip to Babies R Us.

It is still sinking in for Denny and me, but on a walk tonight we discussed what this means to our friends and family.  It’s fun to see where she fits in our little world.
Baby Girl McGee will be the first grand-daughter to both sets of our parents  (Denny’s Mom never thought she would have a granddaughter, and already promised to buy her diamond studs when we get her ears pierced)
She will be the first girl to be born to a Quilty cousin in about 10 years (this ends the streak of about 9 boys).  She will be the first girl to be born on the Synk side since me (but in fairness, my cousin PJ was the only other birth)
When it comes to my college roomies, she will be girl #4 out of 4 babies total.  Apparently none of us will ever have a boy.
On our half of the street, there has not been a new baby boy in about 16 years (the few boys that live near us moved here later in life)
So there you have it… One AMAZING weekend!
Now it’s time to Think Pink!

It’s A…

…Recap of one year ago today!

It was the Friday before Mother’s Day and we were SO EXCITED to get an answer to the Big Question… Boy or Girl!  We were having a Gender Reveal Party on Saturday (Mother’s Day Eve) and we would find out the truth about Baby McGee alongside some of our closest friends and family.  It ended up being one of the BEST weekends in McGee history, and I still get giddy thinking about that day.  I definitely think it’s worth the stroll down memory lane.  And stay tuned this weekend, I’ll re-post about the day we found out Team Pink or Team Blue.   You obviously know the verdict, but it’s fun to get all sentimental and sappy once in a while (sniff, sniff, get out the tissues).

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Friday, May 11, 2012

In Just One Day…

We will officially find out if we are becoming parents to a boy or girl!  This week has been a mix of emotions– lots of excitement about how our life is changing, an ounce of trepidation about how or if we will ever find all the time and money to be great parents, and a bit of tiredness (let’s be real, all this party planning can be tiring for a mama-to-be).  We only want a healthy baby but the reality of this is starting to sink in.    Tomorrow our life will change.
 

We will find out if…

Denny will have a daughter to someday walk down the aisle,
OR
If I will have a son to teach about how to treat your mom.
 

We will find out if…

Denny will have a son to take outside and show him the essentials of baseball,
OR
If I will have a daughter to take to dance lessons, cheerleading tryouts and Prom dress shopping.
 

It is incredibly exciting yet very surreal!  It will be a great day regardless if the box is filled with pink or blue balloons.  We want to savor it and remember every minute of this because I’m pretty sure the next 18 years will fly by, and before we know it we will be spending our Saturdays in May at Graduation ceremonies, college Parents weekends and perhaps even weddings (speaking of, do we need to start saving for that too?)
Have a great weekend everyone, and an especially Hapy Mother’s Day weekend to all those amazing women out there that we love, that we miss, and that we admire for their compassion, endless energy, and amazing courage.  XOXO Mamas!

My favorite phone call of the year

Ring Ring…               unknown number…                  and there it is!

My favorite phone call of the year.  It’s like Christmas Morning!  It’s the annual phone call from the OU Phon-a-thon!!!!

YESSSS!  And Ironically, it came a few days ago.   Just in time for today – OUr Day!

OU banner

I might be the only person in the world that gets this excited about a telemarketer but I LOVE OU… I LOVE the Phon-a-thon and I LOVE all the reminders of how Denny and I ended up where we are today.  And this call is THE biggest reminder.

In an instant Denny and I are connected to the place where it all began via a current OU undergrad at the Phon-a-thon!  Don’t get me wrong, I love the life we lead today, but every year when we get our annual call, I become completely green (yes I intentionally said that) with envy of the person on the other line.  I can’t talk enough to them!

I ask them to tell me all about Court Street – the sights, the smells, the new bars.   I remind them that they should study less and stay out more.   I ask them to go to the Pub and have a fish bowl for me.  I ask them if they’ll go to Pita Pit for me.  I ask them to walk across College Green for me.

Normally they don’t know how to respond so it can sometimes get awkward by the time I ask them to sing Stand Up & Cheer, but sometimes I get a fun one and they just let me babble on about the land of Bricks and Beer!

But it’s not a Phon-A-Thon call without telling the poor kid on the other end of the phone WHY I love their call so much.  Truthfully, they probably would have hung up on me 20 minutes prior, but I wait to give them my Visa # until I tell them the story.  The story that started it all.  The call that changed my life.  Cliché, maybe.  Annoying, maybe.  But it’s the truth.  It was a call that changed my life.

The call on March 8, 2004 that connected me to Denny… my best friend, my hubby, the awesome Dad to Makenzie, the laundry do-er in our house (yes ladies he does the laundry), the man I’ll grow old with, the (sometimes) person that annoys me like crazy, the (frequently) person I annoy like crazy, the one who likes me just enough to deal with my crazy blogging, the one who still loves me when I’m cranky, grumpy, and hanging out on Sundays in gross sweats, but most importantly The One (the Only One) who said I Do to me at the same campus where he first said Hello to me.

Pretty cool, right?

Denny Erin wedding pic on College Green

Ahh to be young and in love again! (Almost 5 years and almost 15 pounds ago)

:: OUOUOUOUOUOUOUOUOUOUOUOUOUOUOUOUOUOU  ::

So for those of you that haven’t read it/heard it/lived it with us, here it is ….

(can also be found by googling “Calling for Love” Erin Denny McGee”)

Calling for love Erin Quilty, BSC ’05, and Dennis McGee, BSC ’02

By Erin Quilty

 It was the type of cool, cloudy Athens afternoon that would have best been spent watching a movie with my sorority sisters. Instead I reluctantly agreed to work an extra Monday shift at the OU Phonathon.

 

Meanwhile in Washington, Pa., Denny McGee, a 2002 graduate, relished in the fact that his evening work meeting was unexpectedly cancelled. As fate would have it, these unforeseen changes in our evening schedules were the reason our paths crossed on that memorable March evening.

My Phonathon shift dragged on, and the name Dennis McGee popped up on my screen as the next alumni to call. Little did I know this name belonged to the man with whom I would one day grow old.

As I heard the phone ringing in my headpiece, I prepared for another conversation. “Hi Dennis, I’m Erin, a junior at Ohio University,” I said. Denny’s deep voice was full of enthusiasm as he talked about his time at OU. We immediately clicked, and the conversation flowed easily.

Although Denny was reluctant to donate, he was not shy to ask if he would ever talk to me again. I felt my heart beating in my throat when Denny asked if we could meet during his upcoming trip to Athens for baseball alumni weekend, but I politely declined. I knew immediately that I made a mistake turning down an opportunity to meet him, so I wrote down his number.

As I told my friends all about this amazing conversation, I was glowing. I could not explain the connection I felt with Denny, but I knew we both had found something special.

I could not stop thinking about Denny, so I turned to my favorite college research tool, Google.com. I found all of his OU baseball stats and also the Kalamazoo Kings Web site, which is Denny’s former independent minor-league baseball team. When I saw his charming smile, I knew I had to call him again.

It took me three days and a workout at Ping to finally get the nerve to call my alumni crush. As soon as I heard his voice on the other end of the line, I knew I had made the right decision. “Erin?” Denny asked. “Phonathon Erin?!? I was hoping to hear from you!” We talked another two hours that night and every night thereafter.

When Denny came to OU two months later for alumni baseball weekend, we were inseparable, and he continued to visit me almost every weekend until I graduated in June of 2005.

After two-and-a-half years of our long-distance relationship, I recently moved to Buffalo, N.Y., and we are finally together! Denny is a sales representative for R.J. Reynolds, and I am a sales manager at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Buffalo. We plan to someday get married on the campus of Ohio University.

 

Editor’s Note: Erin and Denny are engaged and have set a wedding date of Aug. 16, 2008, at Ohio University. The wedding party will consist of 10 former Bobcats. Congratulations!

Read the contest’s other finalist: The Jefferson Hall milkman

Posted 11-02-07

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Mommy McBlog

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Why buy the formula when you can get the milk for free?

(It’s taken me almost 6 months to get the courage to post this but I’m posting it because I imagine I’m not the only one who has faced the breastfeeding guilt struggles.  Although it’s a pretty personal post, just know that I’m writing it to maybe, hopefully, possibly make one or two new Moms feel even a tiny bit better about their decision.  If you agree, pass it on, share it, and remind a new Mom that no matter what she decides, it is the RIGHT decision because she is the only one that will know best what works for her baby)

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Guilt, guilt, guilt… isn’t there enough of it in this world already?  I used to think that I knew what the word meant…

I should eat healthier… I should work out more…  I should give to more charities

But it turns out I didn’t even know the half of it until I became a mom.  More specifically, a mom that wanted to breastfeed.

It started out innocently enough.  I was pregnant and I thought, Sure, I’ll breastfeed the baby.   Dogs nurse their pups, and cavewomen breastfed their babies, so It can’t be that hard, right?

In the pre-baby classes there were all kinds of conversations about how “good” moms breastfeed.  I started to realize that if this whole breastfeeding idea didn’t work out I would be in for quite the guilt trip.

But then it got worse.  I had Makenzie and the lactation ladies came in nonstop.  I know they meant well but some of them were really pushy.  It wasn’t going very well and I was starting to feel the weight of the world on my shoulders.

On our last morning in the hospital I asked the nurse for some formula samples and she told me that if she gave them to me I would have to swear not to tell anyone that she did it.  Hmm, did she think I asked for painkillers?  When she finally came back empty-handed a few hours later she admitted that she just couldn’t do it.  She couldn’t get me formula because she was scared to get in trouble.  Get in trouble for giving a new mom formula??  Wow, nothing like hefty NYS mandates to make a new Mom feel terrible for her uncertainty about breastfeeding.

By the time we were home, I was totally overwhelmed.  I swear I heard Jaws music every time the baby was hungry.  It was painful and frustrating and I was grappling with terrible guilt for the fact that I didn’t enjoy it.  I wasn’t even sure I could continue, and the thought of formula seemed like the perfect solution if not for all the guilt.

Rather than enjoying every moment with my beautiful, precious, new baby, I was feeling so sad/embarrassed/distraught because breastfeeding was so darn difficult.  What was wrong with me??  Was I somehow missing the breastfeeding gene?  This is not what I expected.  And as new Mom, I was also sleep deprived.   I was still recovering physically.  My hormones made me a hot mess.  And I was trying to do the 5 S’s non-stop for 24 hours a day.  It was a perfect storm.

………

So why you ask, did I share this personal story?   Why does this warrant a blog post?  And what is the answer to Why Buy the formula when you can get the milk for free?  Well, the answer is that sometimes it is just better to buy the formula…even when the milk is free.

Yep, I said it.  Sometimes formula is better.  And this is not even because of physical issues, but emotional ones too.  To put it in perspective imagine this… you are thousands of feet above ground in a plane and you have a new pilot flying a plane without a flight attendant.  Would you rather him leave the cockpit to serve you healthy apples?  Or would you rather serve yourself pretzels so he could focus on staying in the air?  Okay, not the best analogy but my point is that new Moms need to focus more on the big picture of not crashing versus stressing over other stuff that our society dictates is the “right” thing to do.

Right now, I’m pretty sure that some of you are in total disagreement with me.  But before you start sending me nasty-grams with “101 Reasons why breast milk is best milk,” and before you start throwing stones at my house, just understand what I’m saying.

Yes, breastfeeding is best!  Yes, I wholeheartedly support Moms that can do it. But Yes, it is a TREMENDOUS committment and it needs to be considered just that.  And if that commitment  isn’t right for the Mom, then it is okay!  Say it with me… It. Is. Okay!

As Moms, as friends, and as a society, we MUST learn to support fellow Mamas!!   We MUST let them know it’s okay however they choose to feed their baby.  We MUST remember that it’s their baby, their body, and their decision.  Don’t new Moms have enough pressure already?

And for those of you that still don’t agree with me, no problem!  You are wholeheartedly open to your own opinion.  But if you choose to make me feel like a bad mom, just remember that the day will come when I might just catch you at McDonald’s buying your super perfect breastfed baby french fries. And then you might just get a taste of your own perfect-mom medicine.

………

So what finally happened you ask?

Well despite the pain and the frustration, I did end up breastfeeding Makenzie.  I got lucky, and with the support of an amazing non-pushy lactation lady I figured out some tricks to help with the pain.  But it wasn’t easy.  Along the way I had a bout with mastitis and I spent way too many (unnecessary) days and nights in tears over all if it.

And although I won’t make it to her first birthday, Kenzie will be 6 months before we thaw out the last bag of breast milk from the freezer.  And although it’s taken me some time to truly feel this way, I’m happy with this outcome.  It works for us and that’s all that matters.  And part of me is actually pretty proud that we’ve made it this far especially because I wasn’t sure if I would make it 6 days when it all started.

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Mommy McBlog

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Good-bye old pal!

It is with a heavy heart that we say good-bye to our longtime pal, Mr. Jeep Liberty…

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In Loving Memory

Mr. Jeep Liberty

2003 - 2013

2003 – 2013

Our good friend, Mr. 2003 Jeep Liberty McGee (nee Quilty), moved along to the next phase of his life peacefully Monday evening at the ripe old age of 164,535 miles, surrounded by his long-time owner, and dealership employees.  Mr. Liberty was a longtime companion, friend, and accomplice during many of the McGee journeys over the past 8+ years.  It is an understatement to say that he carried us on his back through life.

Mr. Jeep was brought into this world (likely) on a muggy day on an assembly line in Michigan in 2003, and became a faithful member of the (then) Quilty clan in 2005.  In 2008 he celebrated his owner’s wedding and officially became a McGee during a quiet ceremony held simultaneously at the DMV and the Department of vehicle titles (is that a real dept?).

Mr. Jeep is survived by many good memories, 47 oil change receipts, a random cassette tape found in the glove box, paperwork from 8+  years of insurance, his license plates, and the extra key (which we forgot to turn in, oops).

Mr. Jeep exemplified the terms dedicated and reliable driving the McGee clan multiple times to and from Buffalo, Washington, Niles, Athens, Albany, Niagara-on-the-Lake and countless other cities.  Some of his finer moments include navigating a flood on the NYS Thruway, forging through snowstorms in Erie, and cruising along the highway on sunny summer days!   He persevered even when the backseat was doused with a gallon of coffee cream in the dog days of summer… quite the aromatic experience.   He was a trooper in every sense of the word.

During his recent days he showed his practical joker side often by flashing multiple dashboard lights while at a high rate of speed, and even deciding not to start once while in Canada with his pregnant owner (see below – a sentimental walk down memory lane from this summer).

Mr. Jeep, you have been a wonderful and loyal source of transportation, and a longtime friend.  Although our journeys will continue without you, we’ll always keep you in our hearts (and perhaps your spare keys on our key rack)!

So long, old pal!  Hoping you step on the gas and drive off into the sunset…

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(A recent memory/blog post to remember one of Mr. Jeep’s practical jokes)

Friday, June 15, 2012

Journey to the Weekend

Considering Monday morning kicked off with a broken oven and a sick cat, I should have known Friday was going to be equally eventful.  Weekday bookends perhaps.  Today was the yin to Monday’s yang; the salt to Monday’s pepper, and the Matt Lauer to Monday’s Katie Couric (still the best co-hosts on Today’s show history, in my opinion).
Talk about chemistry!  I loved them

Maybe I should have been more worried today when my instincts told me to pack water, snacks and flip-flops before I left for Canada.  Or maybe I should have know that my good old Jeep Liberty would eventually need a break… But I didn’t.

So off to I went Canada today thinking my Nexus pass would be my ticket to fast border crossings on a day when a hundred thousand people were flocking to the Falls to watch crazy Wallenda walk on a wire.

It was a Friday and I was feeling good…  I quickly stopped in the offices in Niagara-on-the-Lake, and then hopped in my car to zip over to the hotel and meet my client.  And suddenly, my car would not start.  Hmm, not good.  But being the brilliant woman I am, I figured it had to be a temporary issue.  I would meet with my client for lunch and by then the car would fix itself.  They do that, right?

Four hours later I was ready to head home.  Computer bag loaded, key in ignition aaaand… nothing.

Great.      Peachy.     Awesome.
I was a happy camper.

Three rounds of unsuccessful jumper cables later did nothing but jump start my fear of being stranded in Canada all weekend.  And then my fear got even more real when I realized that Denny could pick me up IF only he could access his passport locked in our fireproof box..  ya know, the one that I locked with the key on my key chain.

Tick tick tick.  It was now almost 3 PM.  All the local car places were closing for the weekend in 120 minutes and I had no solution.  Hmm, time for AAA intervention.  And what a worthwhile call!  Turns out towing a car across the border IS possible!  Success.

So by 4ish, I hopped up in the cab of the CAA truck and off we went.  Matt the driver has 5 kids ages 1, 2, 3, 4 and 6 (whoa), and told me all about how to remove Crayola from kid’s bedroom walls.  Good to know.  We crossed the bridge and by 5 he was unloading my car from his truck.

The Little Jeep’s visit to Customs!

Turns out Canadian drivers don’t drive into the US and US drivers don’t pick up in Canada, so I bid farewell to Matt, the baby-makin tow-truck driver, and waited for the tow truck driver from AAA to pick me up and take me on my last leg of the journey.  I waited, and waited, and waited.  Ninety minutes later, Dan arrived and loaded up the Liberty.  It was the victory lap to a long day.

Dan was quite chatty.  He broke the ice by asking if my pregnancy was a surprise (did he not notice that I practically have gray hair?), and then told me about how I am building character with Beanette by allowing her to ride in a tow truck.  Not exactly my goal, but I guess it was a bonus for the day.

By the time we pulled into the mechanics lot, tow-truck drive Dan was telling me step-by-step instructions of how to remove a cat’s head from a glass jar if it was to get stuck. Yep, more useless knowledge.  I nodded, convinced him to give me a Pregnancy Discount (he agreed!) and said Good Bye to Chatty Dan.  My ordeal was over and my cute hubby was waiting!!

It took almost five hours to travel home about 50 miles but it was quite the memorable (and comical) end to my week.  I’m finally at home… relaxing.. and enjoying my Friday with Denny, our character-filled Beanette and our cat (whose head is luckily not stuck in a glass jar).

Happy Friday to all!
May your weekend journeys be full of fun and useless knowledge!
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The Big 3-0!!

Last weekend was my Big 3-0!  It was a great weekend and I’m looking forward to a new decade.

While sometimes on this blog I like to get a little sappy about how fast time is going, that is not the case today friends.

We’re going to take a hard and fast look at the past decade.

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My 20’s were like the month of March….

In like a lion, out like a lamb!

In like a “Thursday-night drinkin, stay-up-late, livin with girlfriends” lion.

And out like a “can’t stay up past 10 PM, I’m so in love with my baby girl, and I am considering buying a mini van” lamb.

Don’t believe me?  Well the numbers don’t lie.  Check out year over year changes of my 20’s:

thirty chart

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So there you have it!  I’m not exactly a carefree 20-year old, but an awesome decade has come and gone and with it I’ve gained so much (and I’m not just referring to those lingering pounds of baby weight)!  I’ve gained a cute husband, a sweet baby, a cuddly kitty, a few gray hairs (and on occasion a recurring chin hair, gross!) 2 degrees, a Facebook account, a mortgage, a few more lines on my resume, a handful of life experiences, and lots of happy memories.

Plus I still feel young.  In fact I’m pretty much a young Sally O’Malley!

I’m Thirty… I like to kick, stretch, aaaaaaaaaand kick!!  IIIIIIIII’m Thirty!!

I’m looking forward to another decade and I have a good feeling my 30’s will be a Choo Choo Charlie and a Class Act!

Have a great week everyone!

Titles!

I’ve been back to work for about 3 weeks now and attempting to juggle it all.  It’s not easy but it feels good when I (sometimes) get it right.  And please don’t judge me but it turns out I’m actually happy to be back to work.  I LOVED maternity leave and I miss our little girl all day, but I also appreciate having some balance.   So while I was racing down Route 33 on my way to work this morning (hoping that I remembered to leave bottles at daycare, worrying that I forgot to turn off the coffee pot and praying I put on matching shoes) I started to do a little thinking about my “title” in this world.

It’s a funny little thing how aspirations change over time.

Growing up I always knew I wanted to be known as Mom someday.  But I also had other goals.  In high school and college I was convinced I wanted a glamorous job.  I was hoping for a title that included the words VP or Chief.  I wanted to work in a tall building with a fancy title.  I wanted to wear heels and dressy clothes.    I was ready to take on the world!!

So I interned… lots!  Seven times to be exact.  I worked in Cleveland, Pittsburgh and NYC, and much of those times I worked for free.  Although the “experience” didn’t exactly pay for my college tuition I was convinced it would someday get me to my dreams.

Then I graduated OU and I jumped into the corporate world.  Sure I had a few “glamorous” moments.  I was able to work with some famous people and I spent plenty of days in heels and nylons.  But it turns out that famous people aren’t really that fun.  In fact when you work in an industry in which you are responsible for ensuring these “famous” people have a good stay, they can kind of be a famous pain in the panty-hose-wearing-a$$.   And wearing heels all day– well that gets old pretty quick too.

So I eventually decided I needed to add another title to my portfolio for a bit in hopes of opening more doors… Ahh Grad student.  Fun times!  Just when I thought hotel guests were challenging, I was wrong.  Waaaay wrong.  12+ hour works days, 4+ hours of homework per night, 5+ days per week = 21 + rough months.

But just as quick as it started, it ended.  I was a grad school grad, hooray!  And the blood, sweat and tears invariably did open more doors.  This time it opened the door to an awesome job at UB.  And I’ve officially switched my view on titles….

I traded wearing fancy heels & drooling over famous people for enjoying jeans-day-Friday & wiping up drool for an adorable baby.

I gave up a the corporate world for a chance to make a difference in the community.

And I realized the dream of being a VP might be a nightmare when you are trying to be M-O-M.

Energetic intern ~~ Overworked corporate glam girl ~~ Hungry-for-change grad student

~~ Working Mom! ~~

So, here I am!!  A working Mom!  I made it to the best title in the world.  My boss in the office is great but my little boss snuggled up in her bed upstairs is even more amazing than I could have ever imagined.   It’s been quite the journey but I can’t remember a time when I’ve loved my title as much as I do now!

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Picture of the Week *Happy New Year – Old Schol*

Guess what?!?  2012 was an awesome year!  I can blog for days about how life-changing it was, or how great it is to be parents, but I’ve done that a lot already this year.  And aside from that, I’m quite sure you think I’m a boring old fart Momma.  Well friends, it’s time to let a little cat out of the bag…   I once was a party girl!!  Yep, it’s true!   Although NYE 2013 won’t exactly include any Junction Punches, there once was a time when that tasty purple drink was a staple of my diet.  In honor of the big holiday tonight, the time has come to transport back to one of my favorite nights of all time…

It was the cusp of 2005. 

I was about to graduate from OU in a few months.

My friends and Denny and I decided there was only one place on the earth we needed to be for December 31st.. Athens, Ohio!! 

(Obviously, we would have loved Vegas, or NYC or Miami but we were poor college kids).

I could tell you more about that night but I figured that the pictures will say enough.  Enjoy!!

Holidays 2004 067

My checks & balances BFF Sara!! We were quite out of balance that night.

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Before diapers, wipes and tubby time, we were fun! Although I’m not exactly sure why he married me after that fashion disaster I was wearing.

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Happy New Year from 3 reasons OU was a top party school!

new years 5-on the floor

The ending to my night in 2005
(and I realize it is likely also the ending to any future political aspirations because I am posting this photo)

So there you have it… the Pre-Mommy days of my life!  Our NYE tonight will be much more low-key, but I don’t mind one bit.  Tomorrow I’ll be glad to wake up to a cute baby face versus waking up next to a big old bottle of Tylenol.

Wishing you and yours a WONDERFUL 2013!!  We are forever grateful for all the blessing and memories of 2012.

Cheers!

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