Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Show and Tell Monday (on Tuesday) - Weddings!

1. Are you married? If so when did you get married, and tell us about your special day. If not? How would you describe your dream wedding?
Yes I am…  To the most amazing man I’ve ever met!  We just got married April 22, 2012.  We went back and forth on whether to do a big or small wedding, but we finally decided we didn’t want a huge wedding, so we planned a destination wedding.  We invited our immediate family and headed to Cocoa Beach, Florida.  We had an evening wedding on the beach.  The day was absolutely perfect and we really got to focus on the two of us rather than stressing about what was going on.

2. Show us some wedding pictures. Either yours or of some that you love.

3. How about the engagement? Tell us your story. If not engaged, what's your dream proposal?
Justin planned a weekend away for us {when we were both living in separate cities} for our one year anniversary.  So we headed to St. Louis for the weekend.  He got us the presidential suite at one of the nicest hotels downtown.  The second day there, Justin sent me to the spa for a massage and a manicure and pedicure.  It was absolutely wonderful!  While I was being pampered, Justin met up with my dad {without my knowledge} to ask for my hand in marriage.  That evening, he took me out for dinner.  After ordering drinks and appetizers {he told me he just couldn't wait any longer} he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him.  I, of course, said YES!  After dinner, we went to my parents' house and shared the news with everyone.  It was a wonderful weekend and a perfect night!

4. Show us your wedding rings or an engagement photo! If not engaged/married ... show us your "dream" ring.
I love my ring!  My hubby did a great job picking it out {and I didn't help at all}...

5. Tell us why you think marriage doesn't work out for so many? What can we do to make things last.
I'm one of those people whose marriage just didn't work out.  My first marriage only lasted a little over a year.  There were a lot of reasons why it didn't work.  He didn't treat me right.  I was young and stupid.  Neither of us knew what we were really getting into and we weren't in love.  We had been together so long it just seemed like the next step... obviously that was a mistake.

I'm older now and not quite so stupid... which is definitely a plus.  And my husband is an honest man who knows how to treat me right.  We both know that our marriage isn't always going to be easy, but we've made a promise to always love each other and to have open communication.  I think that communication is definitely the most important part of a relationship.

Lions and Tigers and Bears, Oh My!... 10 Day Challenge

I'm linking up today with Lauren and Tiffany for their 10 Day Challenge... today's topic is fears.  Everyone  has fears... some rational and some completely irrational.  I have plenty of irrational fears {and a few rational ones} but today I'm going to share eight of my biggest fears.

1. Falling
I’m not terrified of heights; it’s the falling from heights that terrifies me.  If I’m in a building looking out, I love the views.  But put me on an open balcony or the top of a parking garage near the edge, and I scared to death.  My hubby thinks it’s funny to pretend to jump off just to see me freak out… meanie.

2. Death
Who isn’t scared of death?  It’s so final and there is just so much unknown.  And it’s not just my own death, but the death of anyone who is close to me.  I don’t want to have to live life without Justin, my parents, my siblings, my extended family, my friends…

3. Children
I’m not actually afraid of children… I love kids!  I’m afraid that when my husband and I decide to have children, that we may not be able to get pregnant… or that once we get pregnant, the child is not healthy.  I know that we would love that child no matter what, but I don’t want my child to have to deal with adversity at such a young age.

4. Intruder
I watch too many criminal shows {CSI, Law and Order, etc} and hear too many bad news stories.  If I hear a noise in the middle of the night, I immediately assume someone is in the house.  Of course, it’s always just the cat.

5. Failure
I’m a perfectionist.  Always have been, probably always will be – and as such, I have an unnatural fear of failure.

6. Accidents
This is probably irrational now, but when I was living alone… not so much.  I was always afraid that something was going to happen to me {ie. pass out, fall, bust open my head, heart attack, stroke… I know, extreme} and no one would ever know about it because I lived alone and didn’t have anyone who would eventually come home and find me.  I'm definitely getting Life Alert when I'm older!

7. Bad Weather
Thunderstorms and tornadoes are the worst.  When a thunderstorm comes rolling through, I always worry.  I think it is the thought of the weather getting worse that scares me, but either way, I hate storms.  And my mother always used to have nightmares where her kids would be swept away by a tornado… and then she would tell us about it!

8. Dentist
I have a huge fear of dentists.  I don't know why... I just do.  Going to the dentist causes me to have small panic attacks.  I've never really had a bad experience at the dentist, in fact, my last dentist was amazing!  But I probably won't ever be comfortable going to the dentist.

So what are you afraid of?

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Love... 10 Day Challenge

Today I am linking up with Lauren and Tiffany for their second day of their “10 Day Challenge.”  Today, we get to share nine loves... so here goes nothing!

1.  My Husband, a.k.a. Hubby
Justin, My Rock and My Pain in my Side {just kidding on that last one… most of the time}… I don’t know what I would do without him.  He can make me smile no matter how mad or upset I am.  He always has a laugh, but still knows when to be serious.  And I know he is always there to support me no matter what.

2.  My Friends
As great as the hubby is, sometimes I just need some girl time.  My friends are always there for a night out or an evening in.  I can trust them with my secrets and they can trust me with theirs.

3.  My Family
I love my family, my parents, my brothers, my sisters… every single one of them.  Never in my life have they not given me unconditional love.  They may not always agree with my decisions, but they have always been there for me.  I am so blessed to be able to say they are my family.

4.  Maggie Mae, my kitty
How can you not love her?  Sure, she loves to attack your feet when you walk by her secret hiding place {under a clear plastic bag}, but she always wants to snuggle after.

5.  Dresses
Dresses are the bees’ knees!  I don’t know why I love them so much, but I do.  They are so simple to wear and require no effort by me to put together an outfit.  Plus, it automatically makes me feel girly and pretty!  {bonus points if it twirls}

6.  Zumba
I used to be a regular at the gym.  I haven’t been lately and it makes me a little sad.  But the one class that I go to every week, no matter what {unless work is making me stay late}, is my zumba class.  My instructor is awesome and I always have a blast!  Who would have thought exercise could be fun?

7.  Manicures and Pedicures
I love getting my nails done!  It's another one of those things that instantly makes me feel special.  Its a way to pamper myself without spending a ton of money.

8.  Cupcakes from The Cup 
How could you not love one of these cupcakes?  They are delish!  I'm definitely a fan of desserts, but these cupcakes are probably on the top of the list!  Now I just need to find some time to take a trip to get a cupcake.

9.  My iPhone
It's probably silly to love my phone, but I love my iPhone... and I can't wait until the next iPhone comes out!  I use my phone for just about everything, from communication to work to games.

Runner-ups:  Surprise flowers, Diet Sunkist, finally hearing a song on the radio that’s been stuck in your head all week, pizza, hot chocolate on a cold day, new clothes, and sparkly things

Monday, August 20, 2012

Show and Tell Monday

Today I am linking up with Becky for show and tell.  This week's topic is all about houses.

1.  If you were searching for a home now, tell me what would be on your "MUST" list.
  1. Three bedrooms and an office (or a fourth bedroom, all with large closets)
  2. Two bathrooms (including a master bath with dual vanities and a bathtub in the main bath)
  3. Open concept living area with the living room, dining room, and kitchen
  4. Basement that we can use as a second living area (with a half bath would be great)
  5. Large, fenced-in yard for our future children and pets to be able to play
 2.  Show me your favorite room in a home {either your home, or any home, i.e. kitchen}.
I love kitchens! It’s probably my favorite room in a home because I love food so much… lol. But the kitchen is only awesome if it’s actually open to the rest of the living space. I hate feeling closed off from everyone else.

3.  If you could have any room redone, tell me which one would it be and what would you like done?

Well right now, I’m renting a townhouse, so I can’t really have any rooms redone. I would love to have my bathroom redone tho. It’s rather small and I want more space! Plus, there is an air vent that blows out from under the vanity and it always makes my toes so cold!

Or… even better… if we’re talking a huge project, I’d like to expand the living room out so we have more living space! We really had to fiddle with the arrangement of our furniture to get everything to fit, and the only way to make it work really seems to cut off the living room from our dining room and leaves this big area of dead space.

4.  Tell me where your favorite stores are to shop for home decor.
Honestly, I am terrible about shopping for home décor. I haven’t really bought any kind of home décor in a while… I guess I did buy new bath mats when we moved… does that count? I basically buy stuff from where ever I’m shopping because it’s usually an impulse buy. I haven’t actually gone out in search of specific home décor items, so I don’t have a usual store.

5.  Show me your dream home {it can be your home, if you already have your dream home}.

I love, what I guess I would call, modern Victorian style houses.  The wrap around porch just makes me smile and I adore the color!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Secrets, Secrets Are So Fun...

Today, I am linking up with Lauren and Tiffany for their 10 Day Challenge.  Today's challenge (well actually, yesterday's challenge, but I'm behind) is about secrets.  Let's be honest, everyone's got them.  But there are also some secrets that should stay just that.  This is a mix of fun and serious secrets... now it's time to spill!

1.  My ten year high school reunion is coming up in October and there is a part of me that is dreading going.  I feel like I have to go and prove that I am doing great in life, as if I really need the approval of a bunch of girls that I went to school with for four years and haven't talked to in ten.  I'm happy with where I am.  I have a great job, an amazing hubby, and a promising future... and yet I'm worried I won't stack up to the rest of my class.

2.  I hate cleaning!  When people tell me they are coming over, I frantically clean shove everything in the closest hiding space.  The hubs and I are working on being better about cleaning... we even got out the vacuum this past weekend... and used it!

3.  I am terrified of falling.  I have no problems with heights.  I can stand on the top floor of a building and look out and have no problems... but put me on the top of a parking garage, and I freak out!  I can't get within ten feet of the edge without thinking that I'm going to fall to my death.

4.  I am horrible at keeping in touch with friends.  Out of all my friends from my childhood (grade school, high school, extracurricular activities, etc.) I am only still in contact with one of them.  I wish I would have stayed in contact with more because it seems so much harder to make friends once you're an adult.

5.  I can do eat more than my hubby.  After dinner, he looks over at my plate and says, "You really ate all of that?!" as if I was some kind of monster.  Then a couple hours later... I'm eating more.

6.  I've been divorced.  It's really not a secret, but I don't think I've ever mentioned it on my blog before.  Maybe one of these days, I'll tell the story... or maybe not.  It's not something I really enjoy rehashing.

7.  I love my kitty, Maggie, but sometimes I really miss my puppy.  Unfortunately, I lost my dog in my divorce.  It probably doesn't help that my cat actually likes my husband more than she likes me.  It means the world to me every time she curls up in my lap and snuggles me.

8.  I'm slightly OCD.  When I'm adjusting the radio volume or TV volume, it must be on an even number.  Same with the AC... it has to be either an even number or a multiple of five... don't even think about adjusting the temperature to seventy-three degrees!

9.  I have baby fever!  I have a ton of friends and family who are having babies and every time I see a baby, my heart melts.  I just want to hold them for hours!  And don't even get my started on tiny baby clothes... so adorable!  Someday, we will have our own family, but until then, I will just have to cuddle and love on my friend's babies.

10.  I really want to have a creative side.  As an accountant, let's be honest, I don't scream creative.  I'm not really sure how to decorate my house or accessorize an outfit.  Pinterest is amazing because it allows me to pretend!

So there ya go... ten secrets you may or may not have known about me!  Lauren and Tiffany... thanks for the awesome link-up.  Can't wait for next week!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Friday's Letters


Dear weather... thank you so much for cooling down finally!  It might actually be an enjoyable evening at the Muny tonight since I won't be sticking to my chair.

Dear Julie... our girls night tonight is going to be so much fun! Hopefully the new restaurant has great food and the theater isn't bad.

Dear work... the super long day yesterday {7:30am - 7:15pm} was not a welcomed adventure.  Can we try and keep those to a minimum and maybe get back to a normal work schedule?  I am actually starting to miss the gym.

Dear Kaitlynn... don't think I've forgotten that you destroyed Stella. {my car} She was still so pretty and clean and new and you had to spill your FroYo with coconut, strawberries, and chocolate shavings. I am still expecting you to lick up every last piece of it!

Dear townhouse... I really wish you would just clean yourself. Maybe this weekend I will take some time and try to finish unpacking and cleaning so you look pretty and new... {but probably not}

Dear yellow shoes... you make me happy.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Lunch Date

Yesterday, I met up with a friend for lunch.  It was such a nice break in my day!  I've been working extra long hours at work recently {think 7:30am until 6:00pm with about fifteen minutes for lunch} and its exhausting!

She and I originally had plans to meet up for lunch a couple months ago, but our plans got cancelled {when she decided to give birth instead} and we didn't rescheduled.  So, the other day, I suggested we meet up for lunch.  She suggested Tuesday since she goes back to work later this week and we were all set!

She picked me up from work and we headed over to California Pizza Kitchen.  I haven't been there in quite some time, so I perused the menu for some good ideas.  Now, as I've already mention on the blog, I'm very picky.  Normally, I go into a restaurant and order the same thing as I did in the past. {here that would be the traditional cheese pizza} Yesterday, I branched out a little and ordered the meat cravers pizza on the honey wheat crust.  It was absolutely delicious and I ate almost the entire thing!

During lunch, my friend and I enjoyed some great conversation.  We talked about everything from work, to family, to babies {she had her little guy with her... he's a cutie}, to friends and everything in between.  It was so nice to finally catch up!

After about an hour, she drove me back to work. {I was a little late, but with all the long hours I've been working lately, I didn't feel too bad about it} We agreed we definitely need to get together again soon and headed our opposite directions.

I'm realizing that I need to have more little get togethers with friends like this.  In the past, I always meet up with friends for long periods of time {several hours at a time} but as we get older and our lives get busier, it just isn't as easy to get together.

I'm learning to appreciate these short little get togethers and look forward to more in the future!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

If You Really Knew Me, You'd Know...

I am a lefty. So is my hubby. Here’s hoping begging for a lefty when we have a kid, or else that poor child may never learn to write or throw.

I love numbers and spreadsheets and lists. If there is some way to put a numerical value to something, believe me, I do. I make lists for anything and everything. You can find them throughout our house... none of them checked off or completed. Yes, I make lists and then never look at them again. I’m addicted.

I sucked my thumb until I was twelve. Yeah... kinda embarrassing to admit that, but it’s a part of my life. I quit cold turkey when my family moved. Three years of braces later, and you’d never know!

I was in a sorority. It wasn’t a Greek sorority though, it was a service sorority. I was a member all through college and spent a lot of my free time volunteering, whether it was with children, elderly, blood drives, etc. I haven’t volunteered in some time and am working on getting back into it. It really is good for the soul.

I know all the states in alphabetical order... and can sing it for you. {although you might not want to hear me sing} Speaking of singing, I love to sing! I’ll sing in the shower, in the car, in the kitchen... basically anywhere. My husband wishes I didn’t.

I’m very shy when I first meet new people. Once I get to know them, they can’t get me to shut up. Growing up, all my mom had to do was say “Ellen..." and I knew she wanted me to stop talking for five minutes.
I’d usually last about two.

I'm loud.  I blame my family. When you have seven siblings, you  have to be loud if you want anyone to hear you.  People have to remind me to use my inside voice... I have to remind them I don't have one!

I am probably the pickiest eater you will ever meet. I don’t eat vegetables. {except peas, green beans, corn, and sweet potatoes} I don’t like Mexican {unless meat and cheese tacos count} and you can just keep dreaming if you’re thinking of taking me to an Asian restaurant! And that’s just the tip of the iceberg... my poor husband.

I’m low maintenance. I don’t wear make-up on a daily basis. I don’t wear high heels. I don’t spend hours in front of the mirror doing my hair in the morning. If I’m going out with friends or the hubby, I’ll generally put a small amount of make-up on and straighten my hair. That’s about it.

I love reality TV! {well any TV for that matter} My most drama filled addiction is Bachelor / Bachelorette / Bachelor Pad. I’m certain it’s rotting away at my brain, but I’m sucked in and can’t get out! I also love shows like Master Chef, America’s Got Talent, Hell’s Kitchen, and So You Think You Can Dance.

I was in scouting most of my life. First, it was girl scouts until I got to high school. Then I switch to a venture crew, which is a high adventure group. We did things like white water rafting, rock climbing, skiing, camping, mountain biking, etc. I was part of that group until my sophomore year in college. It was a lot of fun and I really miss it.

I love sweets! I will choose dessert over a meal any day. Sometimes, I pick a restaurant for dinner just because I love their awesome desserts. Almost any kind of sweets will do... chocolate, candy, ice cream, cake, cookies, pie, brownies... yum!

{now I need to wipe the drool off my keyboard}

Mrs. Monologues

Friday, August 3, 2012

Friday's Letters


Dear Kaity-lynn... I think its pretty neat that you are learning to play the ukulele.  I wish that you would learn a different song though.  Maybe by the next time you come to town, you'll have learned something new.

Dear Becky... it was so great to see you this past week!  I wish that you lived closer, although I totally understand why you don't.  I can't wait to come visit you in October.  I promise I'll be a good sister and I'll help with the babies and maybe even laundry and dishes.

Dear family... I can't believe that we actually played a board game, let alone Triopoly, and didn't have a single argument. {at least about the game}  So proud of us!

Dear Nora... you are growing too fast!  Please stop. {well not really... you need to keep growing} Know that Aunt E loves you very much!

Dear mom and dad... I know I don't say it often enough, but thank you!  You two are both so amazing and I love you both!  Thanks for hosting all the family events this past week and letting us all eat {and drink} you out of house and home.

Dear hubby... I love you so much!  Thanks for doing the dishes and helping with dinners this week since I've been working late at work.  It is so appreciated!  I don't know what I would do without you.  Can't wait to spend the evening with you at the baseball game tonight!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

What's in a Name?

I'm sure we've all had that moment as a child where you wonder where your name came from.

"What were my parents thinking when they named me __________ ?"
{whether with a happy tone or a tone of pure disgust}

I, of course, had that moment.  I went to my dad {at a relatively young age} and questioned the origin of my name, Ellen.  My dad looked at me with all seriousness and said, "There was this girl I used to like"...

Yes... my dad had just told me that he and my mother named me after a girl my dad used to have a crush on... and my mom backed up this story!

Growing up, I loved telling people that my parents named me after some girl my dad lusted after.  It was always a great story and made people laugh.

Okay... fast forward to earlier this week...

My family is all hanging out at my parents house because my oldest sister and her family are in town.  Somehow, the topic of our heritage came up. {I think it was something about my brother's wife being Italian since we were having lasagna} I said something about how my dad's mom was Irish and my brother disagreed.  He said she was German.  I told him he was wrong {isn't he always?} and that mom and dad had a book that showed our lineage all the way back to Ireland.

My mom said it was still downstairs in the basement on the bookshelf. {that it has been on since as long as I can remember} I run downstairs and grab the book and return to the kitchen island.

I start flipping through the book.  First there is a map of Ireland with the city my ancestors are from circled.  Very cool.  I got to read about how my great, great, great {no idea how many greats here} grandfather came to the United States in the early- to mid-1800's.  Very cool!  I continue flipping through and come across a name that has "our mother" under it... seeing as my grandmother put the book together, I realized that was my great grandmother.

My great grandma passed away in 1960-something... 
long before I was even a speck in my parents' eyes
{heck, my parents weren't even ten yet}  
So this was a woman I have never met and never really even heard about.

Well, my great grandmother's name is... you guessed it... Ellen!  I had no idea my great grandma was named Ellen.  She went by the name of Nell. {which I also didn't know}

Well I continue to flip through the book and find my grandma.  Now maybe I'm just oblivious or a horrible grandchild, but I had no idea what my grandma's full name is.  She was "grandma" and I was aware that her name was Doris... but I had no clue her middle name was Ellen!

I continue to flip and, in this book, I find out my dad's cousin's name is Sharon Ellen and her daughter is named Ellen.  Plus, my dad's sister's {my aunt's} name is Barbara Ellen.

So for those who aren't counting...
that means I'm the sixth Ellen that I found in this book.

Yes... apparently, Ellen is a family name that has been passed down for four generations now.  I asked my dad if he knew about all these Ellen's and he did!  Now... why in the world would my dad tell me I was named after some girl he used to like when my name is obviously a family name?!

Well... at least it made for a good story!

But in the future, when someone asks me where my name came from, I think I'm going to go with my great grandma rather than some girl my dad liked before he met my mom.  It seems like a much better story.

So... what's the origin of your name?