My Life of What Ifs

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

What if I have other things going on?

While blogging is a passion for me, and also something I hope to do for a long time to come, it doesn't always mean I actually have time to sit down and write a post.

I'm kind of all over the place with "jobs".  Some days I cover events and write stories for the Jackson Citizen Patriot.  Recently I started doing the same thing for the Hartland edition of Patch, an online news and information platform and soon I will write for the Brighton Patch as well.

I have my own Rights & Licensing business.  Lately I've helped clear music for an industrial video for a major automotive manufacturer and a track for a smaller company's TV spot.

I also do special projects for a company called Collective Bias where I am paid to shop for specific products and brands.  I have also been asked to promote products at public events and to invite people to my home for a sampling of the same types of things, and I still do occasional posts for Detroit Mommies.
Oh and I recently became an Independent Consultant with Thirty-One gifts.

In addition to all that, I can usually be found about once a week at each of my girls' schools volunteering.  I co-lead two Girl Scout troops and my husband and I run the concession stand during soccer season.

Once in a while I try to sleep, eat, and watch Bones.  So, if my posting has been spotty, I think you may understand why :)
Last weekend I had an opportunity to have Ryann invite some friends over for a little spa party courtesy of MommyParties and Ottilie and Lulu.
Ottilie and Lulu sells a few items specially formulated for the personal care of tweens and their emerging hormones.  The girls washed their faces, learned about moisturizer, got awesome goodies to take home and I think, have a genuinely good time.  I love that I get to do things like this with my girls.  They are growing up so fast, and I hope they realize that even though Mama is "all-over-the-place" doing work, that the work I do is for them.  And me too of course.  Because I love all the different things I get to do, and I love the time I spend with my family while doing it.
I think my husband likes it too, as you can see in the left sidebar. I did a Frank's Red Hot shop yesterday and made meatballs.  Totally broke his heart ;)

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Disclosure:  I was supplied an abundance of Ottilie & Lulu products for free to give away at our party.  However all opinions expressed are mine and mine alone.
Stacy

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Snow Day?

Come on Mom.  Let's go play!  There's snow.  Come on!!!!!



Good Morning Mama.  There's snow outside.  There's no school.  Whatta we gonna do today?  Mom?  Are you awake?


Hi Mom.  Can I call my friends?  Can I go to my friends?  Can I go outside?  What's for breakfast?  Where are all my jeans? Mom?


At least if they go to school I can nap!  Geesh!  LOL!!!
Stacy

Friday, December 3, 2010

Some people think I'm crazy

I'm not crazy.  Well, at least not in this respect.  I am what you call ambitious.  Maybe.

I recently signed up to be an Independent Consultant for Thirty-One gifts.  The reason is simple- I like the products and I like what the company stands for, enough said.

I also love that they personalize some of their products.  I am a huge sucker for personalization, so this is right up my alley.  If you'd like to check out Thirty-One then visit my site.  You can order anytime just by clicking on one of the current events in my listing.  Or shoot me an email and I can take your order that way.

But if you were interested in hosting a party there are some cool specials in December.  You can see them in my whrrl below :)

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Stacy

Monday, November 29, 2010

Where would I be without my girlfriends?

As you get older you really find out who your true friends are, and, you find out who you truly want to be your friends.

I have many great friends from all parts of my life.  I am so blessed to have each and every one of them and we stay in touch the best we can.  Even if it's been awhile since we last spoke, we are able to pick right up where we left off.  No awkwardness, no lulls in conversation.  It's the best.

The friends that I have made more recently in my life are primarily parents of the girls' friends.  Which is great because with kids, work, houses, etc. how else are we supposed to meet anyone?  Especially genuine people who don't care that we look the way we do ;)

Through the beauty of the bus stop I have made some fantastic neighborhood friends.  I say neighborhood friends because they live in the neighborhood, but we are truly friends.  We laugh together, we vent together, we watch each others kids, and we enjoy adult beverages together.  Sometimes we do all of that at the same time!

Every other week or so the neighborhood ladies, and a few others, get together for coffee.  The last meet up I had to miss because my daughter had strep throat and no one wanted our Swann House Cooties.  So after a long weekend I invited some over this morning for cocoa, coffee and conversation.  We had a great time and I didn't realize until they left how much I needed that conversation. 

These ladies don't judge me.  They don't care that I show up at the bus stop in my pink-heart jammie pants.  They don't care that sometimes I don't make my way to the bus stop at all, but they do check in to make sure I'm OK if I'm not there ;)  They are just true, genuine friends that I am so blessed to have found at this point in my life.

This morning they tried Cold Stone Creamery Hot Cocoa with me.  We loved it.  It's very rich and creamy, with great flavor and yes, it's great in coffee.  I mean REALLY great.  It's also great with marshmallows- especially the snowmen ones :)  I think you should try it, and if you look below you can see a whrrl of me and two of my favorite people trying it.  I love cocoa.  I love my girlfriends.  I would be lost without both :)

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Disclosure:  I was compensated by Collective Bias for my Cold Stone Cocoa Girlfriend Gathering.  All opinions are mine and mine alone.
Stacy

Music Memory Monday

In hindsight, there were better choices.  If you travel back through my Music Memory Mondays you will find that a much more awesome choice was in the memory banks the whole time.




The one I didn't get sick of

I have never claimed to be the most deep of music lovers, but when the lyrics of a song tell a story I can relate to, the song usually becomes a life long favorite.

Love Songs: A Compilation Old & NewSo, it would go without saying that any song I would choose for the first-dance at my wedding would have to be perfect, and long before I was even engaged I was on the hunt for that story-in-a-song.  I think the search actually began when I was in my teens when I started writing down lyrics in notebooks.

When I finally became engaged and our date had been set, it became my mission to find "The Song".  I went through a few drafts, if you will, each time becoming obsessed with my choice.  I  played them incessantly, imagining the moment in excruciating detail until I couldn't stand to hear the song one more time.  Back to the drawing board.

Kenny Chesney's Me and You, Tim McGraw &  Faith Hill singing It's your love, all fine on the surface but they just didn't feel right.

Then one summer night about three months before our wedding I was looking through my collection of mix tapes when I found the golden nugget.  The lyrics were perfect.  As far as I could tell it wasn't overused, and (major plus) it didn't make my fiance' want to vomit.

When I'm feeling blue, all I have to do, is take a look at you...

Wouldn't you agree, baby you and me, got a groovy kind of love...

Sure there are times when the cheese factor of Phil Collins rears it's ugly head, but I still get goosebumps when I hear "our song".  Looking back there were other choices that may have been better, but things happen for a reason and all it takes are a few key strokes on a piano to take me to one of the best days of my life.
Stacy

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Best. Day. Ever. (and the most overused title for a blog post)

*** a funny thing happened on my way to writing this post.  I had the best day, then a good day, then a bad day, and now another good day with bad undertones.  Just another week in my rollercoaster life. ***

I started this post on November 16.

Twelve days ago.

*sigh*

It started as a great post.  I had just finished a music deal for one of my clients and I was euphoric.  I was also picked for quite a few special projects with Collective Bias.  I was on top of the world. And then...

I was going about my day, my really great day, when I decided to sort through the bills folder.  Bad idea.  We have never "swam in cash".  But, and I am going to sound like a broken record here, since I quit that job two years ago (November 13, 2008 to be exact) we have barely dipped our toes in cash.  Every time I think we can exhale a little something stupid happens.  Truck repairs.  Checking account mishap *blush*.  Girls want to play indoor soccer. etc. etc. etc.

Of course on this day, that fateful November 16th my husband was also at deer camp.  I hate this time of year.  I don't care that he deer hunts.  I don't care that he travels to the far reaches of the Upper Peninsula to do it.  I just care that he goes in November.  When it's dark at 5 p.m. and cold, and dreary, and depressing to even the most non-depressed.  I really don't like November.  Bad things happen in November.  My kids get sick in November.  I quit jobs in November (wait...).  I find ways to rock the boat in November.

Do you get the picture?  November = hate.

The last 12 says have been up and down.  High and low.  Great and sucky.  Throughout all of that I just couldn't finish this blog post.  I was feeling too much, and I couldn't express it in words. 

In my rollercoaster of a week I did some thorough cleaning.  I started my one-month free pass to the gym, and I started eating better.  I am whacked.  Or perhaps, bipolar?  I just don't know anymore.

But today I decided to finish this post.  I hate unfinished tasks and I couldn't bring myself to delete the non-published few words.  I had to finish it, and move forward.  I am sitting at the new Biggby Coffee by my house and I am finishing things, and accomplishing things, and trying to be more up than down, and repeating one fact.  December is two days away.
Stacy

Sunday, November 21, 2010

What are your thoughts on Truvia?

What are your thoughts on sweetener?  Take it?  Leave it?  Sugar?  Sweet and Low?  Splenda?  The options are endless.  I have recently started using Truvia on the occasions where I may use sweetener, and while I use it in food more than my coffee, I do admit I prefer Truvia in my coffee over Splenda a zillion times to one.

If you agree and think that maybe Starbucks should add Truvia to their add-ons bar then click here and vote for it on the Starbucks My Idea page.

In the meantime, check out My Whrrl below.  I love Starbucks.  A lot.


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Disclosure:  I was given a Starbucks gift card and Truvia to share by Collective Bias in exchange for my opinion.  All opinions and thoughts are my own.
Stacy

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Straight to the top of my reading list

Hilarious!!!!

Stacy

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Soccer and vampires and conferences! Oh My!

It's amazing how fast time flies.  One minute you're on a roll blogging, working, taking care of your family and the next minute you realize you haven't posted on your blog in 9 days!

I remember a car ride I had many years ago with my step-mom and cousin.  "Wait until you get older," my Step-Mom told me, "time goes even faster."  I think I had been complaining about how fast summer was going by or something like that.  She was right.

The days between now and whatever event I am looking forward to will be a blur, it's best not to wish them away.

Things have been exciting lately.  The fall soccer season is over and there are no more Saturday early wake-up calls to open the concession stand and watch games. 

The girls were both vampiresses for Halloween, and they were super scary and pleased with their costumes.


Then last week we had our parent-teacher conferences and both of our daughters are doing awesome in school!  Just awesome!!!  I am so proud, and relieved.  Those of you that know us know that our 5th grader Ryann has had some struggles in school and this year has been a real turning point for her.  I couldn't be more pleased.

So, needless to say, the last two weeks were a blur, and now things are slowing down.  Slowing down enough where I can ignore the dirty dishes in my kitchen and spend a few hours working on stuff at Starbucks.  Drinking an iced chai.  Life is good.  Oh my.
Stacy

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Swap out your Sweetener, when you use sweetener

Two weeks ago, on October 18th I started the Truvia Swap out your Sweetener Challenge.  I agreed to trade my normal choice of sweetener, good ole' sugar, for Truvia.

I received a sweet package (ha ha) in the mail, with spoonable truvia, a 40 ct. box of individual packets, and some samples and coupons to share.


The first place I tried my new Truvia (I have used Truvia before in a chai coffee recipe I cooked up) was in a cup of coffee.  Truthfully, on this occasion I didn't love it.  But I think I used too much.  You see, I've discovered something these last two weeks.  I don't use a lot of additional sweetener in my everyday life.  In fact, it's a nice discovery to realize how few things I actually add sweetener to- and when it comes to coffee, I add cream but not sugar.


So, it made sense to try it somewhere I did use this type of product, and that is in my Plain yogurt.  I added some to my plain, non-fat yogurt and it was exactly what it needed.  It was a tasty treat and I was very happy with the Truvia flavor.


Oddly, last week I found that I did enjoy Truvia in my cappucino from Panera.  I hit the drive thru when I was running errands and quickly discovered I didn't love what I was drinking.  I finished my errands and when I got home I figured, why not?  So I added a spoonful, warmed it back up and wow.  It took an not-so-great cappucino and made it perfect.  It's also gave me a great idea...


Why not throw a few of these packets in my purse?  That way I don't have to wait to get home to fix-up my cappucino, I can do it when I am on the go, and enjoy my drink when I am supposed to- when I buy it!


If you'd like to hear more personal experiences with Truvia visit MapTruvia and check out the Swap out your Sweetener (SOYS) Challenge forum.  You can also share this post here to get a free sample of Truvia to try for yourself.

Disclosure:  I received Truvia for free, but my opinions on the product are mine and mine alone.
Stacy

Monday, November 1, 2010

Music Memory Monday

OK, before anyone gets their panties in a bunch- this happened a long time ago.  Before I was legally wed, and during a time in which the man I was dating, whom I later married, was back home having some fun of his own.  We are adults, and this memory takes place in 1996.  And no, I do not feel guilty or have any regrets :)



 Oh I really should have known...

In January 1996 I began my last semester at college. I had decided over Christmas break that I was going to immerse myself in the college experience this last semester and not travel home to work as much. This put a new strain on an already weak relationship with my boyfriend of four years.

Living Under JuneThe previous semester I had developed a crush on a fellow student. He was broadcast major like me and we were involved in the same student activities. He was a couple of years younger, he had a long term girlfriend, and he was a smart ass. Simply, he was a challenge and I was up for it. We shared a flirtation but if someone else was around he was rude, but that worked for me. When we were one-on-one, which was usually a result of me going out of my way to be somewhere he was, then he was different.

We worked together at our college TV station. This meant we were together quite a bit filming segments, many of which involved taping a band at a bar, and then we had long hours in the edit bay putting the show together. It was during this time that I first heard Jann Arden's song "Insensitive".

I was drawn to this song at first by just one line. How do you teach your heart it's a crime to fall in love again? I had a boyfriend, one that I was technically still attached to, and one that I honestly still loved very much. So what was I doing?

One night after taping another band, in another bar, and after having way too much to drink, the crush and I, well... we had some fun.  It was intense and crazy, but the moment it was over, it was over. Oh I really should have known, by the time you drove me home...  After that night it was different. We had gone too far, and he could now be described as nothing but "insensitive". By the vagueness in your eyes, casual goodbyes... 

As the female counterpart I was not capable of being that way. I fell too fast, I feel too much...  I probably wasn't the first or the last.  I'm one of the chosen few, who went ahead and fell for you... and I often wonder if he even remembers me. We finished out the semester and, hung out as friends in our group. I married my boyfriend, he married his girlfriend, and the rest is history. But anytime I hear this song I completely lose myself in every detail of that time in my life. I thought that you might have some advice to give, on how to be, insensitive...
Stacy

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Parenthood is stressful

I am a bad mother.

I started off this journey as a REALLY bad mother.  Now, I am just bad.  Singular.  Most days.

When Ryann was four months old we took her to San Diego for my brother's Navy BUDs graduation.  We were first time parents, and she was pretty much just a lump we carried from place to place that other people wanted to hold.

The morning of our last day as we packed to go home, Ryann threw up.  Then she squirted out.  Then she threw up and squirted out at the same time.  Clearly the child was ill.  Or possessed, as a new Mom I wasn't so sure.  And frankly, all I could think about was that we were in San Diego and we had to fly to Detroit.  With her, and all her... projecting.

On our way to the airport, and after we "borrowed" a number of towels from the hotel (most of which I still have and yes, I think of that day every time I wash) we had to stop for some Pedialyte.  'Cause that's what good mothers give their sick, squirting babies.  Cory stopped the car, I went in and came out with the goods and off we went.

Now I should tell you- all of this happened in January of 2001.  Months before planes were flown into buildings and I felt like an even badder mother for bringing a child into this world.  I share this time stamp with you because after we checked our luggage and approached the check in counter with our stroller and very pale infant I realized something.  I could not find my drivers license.  MY BABY IS SICK AND I HAVE NO I.D.!!!!  They aren't going to let me fly home with her!!!!  Hmmm, wait a minute.... NO!  I never thought of that!!!  At least not for long.

Anywho... I approached the counter sobbing.  "I am a new Mom and my baby is sick and we just wanna go hooooomeee!"  People were staring.  "I lost my drivers license when I stopped to buy Pedialyyyyyttttteeeeee!"

Yes, this much I had discovered.  Rewind to the parking lot of the store... Cory drops me off, I go in, Cory moves to a new location in the parking lot, and I get back in.  If Cory had not moved the car, I probably would have seen the best drivers license picture I have ever taken lying on the ground.  But no, I had no idea and off I went.

Again, in present time I would have never gotten on that plane without my I.D.  But in the pre-terrorist era, the counter lady took pity on me and my dear sweet child, and my husband who was clearly in the doghouse, and let us fly home.  With our baby.  With the Pedialyte.

So you can see, I am a normal bad Mom.  But I knew what I had to have for my sick baby, and I went and got it.  Had I been home I would have still had to run to the store, because we could never keep Pedialyte on hand to hydrate our dehydrated children because it expired before you could use it. 

Not anymore!  Now you can buy Pedialyte Singles in a 4 pack of juice box size drinks.  Great for kids, great for bad Moms, and they have an 18 month shelf life.  Rock on.

Visit the Pedialyte website for many valuable resources and to help you find new Pedialyte Singles at a store near you.

Disclosure:  I was compensated by Collective Bias for my time and this post.  All opinions and view are my own.
Stacy

Wendy's Gift Card Winner

The winner of the Wendy's gift card is comment #.....

Here are your random numbers:

4

Timestamp: 2010-10-26 18:08:02 UTC


Mami2jcn said...
I like you on Facebook under the name Mary Happymommy.
mami2jcn at gmail dot com
October 19, 2010 10:20 AM

Thank you Mami2jcn, or Mary Happmommy and Congrats!
Stacy

Friday, October 22, 2010

A ship without a sail, boobs without a bra

I've been feeling a little blah lately.  I don't think my health is the greatest, and my weight has crept up and for the first time ever I can feel it effecting my everyday life.  I don't like it.

It took a lot for me to admit that to myself.  It's taking a lot for me to admit it here.  And when I tried to have a conversation with my husband about it, well I guess it was the wrong time and his response was to rattle off World Series stats.  OK, so my timing wasn't great, but he had just turned the TV on.  Just.  It's not like he had watched every minute of every game.

Of course, and really, I don't like to air my dirty laundry here, but sometimes.... well, I don't think I'm heard around here much.  Maybe it's martyr syndrome, but I do a lot.  I handle a multitude of actual paying "jobs".  I volunteer at my girls' school, we run the concession stand for the soccer club, I am a co-leader of one daughter's Girl Scout troop and leader for the other.  I do a lot.  But I don't think the other three people who live in this house agree.

My six-year-old seems to always point out the things she feels I don't do. Such as, make her dinner.  Because apparently when you make someone dinner and they wait 45 minutes to sit down, then decide they don't like it, and you won't make them anything else?  That means you never make them dinner.

I want to be heard.  I want someones full attention.  I don't want to be asked when I am going to pay the Verizon bill.  It makes me defensive.  I've tried to hand off the family finances and yet I am still in charge, so don't ask me those questions, with that tone.  Yes, that tone.  Well, I hear a tone.

I want to be told I am doing a good job.  I want to hear, "It's such a relief to have YOU take care of ALL of this.  Thank you for alleviating my stress."

I guess I am just selfish.  Perhaps needy.  Maybe I really am just brat.  Or maybe when I squeeze you tight because I am overwhelmed with love, I just want to be squeezed back.

All that, and physically I feel like crap too.  Happy Friday.
Stacy

Monday, October 18, 2010

Music Memory Monday

Probably not my juiciest Music Memory, but it's still an important one :)


Over The Edge

My last semester at college I created and co-produced a TV show called Over the Edge for our college TV station. It was a segmented show where we would try to cover some campus news, nightlife, and any other oddity that someone suggested.

Blues TravelerOne of our biggest challenges as we put the first show together was "What should our theme song be?" In 1996, TV shows still had opening credits and I wanted Over the Edge to have the perfect theme song. We had considered a number of options before my co-producer put something together using But Anyway by Blues Traveler. I liked Blues Traveler, but I was more of a mainstream Blues Traveler fan. Everyone liked them when Hook came out, but this was a song off of an earlier album. The minute I heard it I knew it was the right song, even the lyrics seemed appropriate for a college TV show.

Now, whenever I hear the harmonica at the beginning of But Anyway I think of Over The Edge. The funny part is that clearing music for advertising is an integral part of what I do everyday. I had no idea how illegal using that song, and all songs, without permission was at that time. I guess we're just lucky that Blues Traveler never came after us for royalty payments.  Meh, but anyway...
Stacy

I tried the new Wendy's Pick 2 menu and you can too!!! GIVEAWAY!

Last week I was invited to an awesome luncheon at the Wendy's on Northwestern Hwy in Southfield.  A bunch of us Michigan Bloggers all gathered together to try out the new Wendy's Pick 2 menu.  We had a great time getting to know each other and talking about this great opportunity to try something new.


There are 28 different combinations you can walk away with with this new menu.  For me, I opted for a half BLT Cobb Salad with Avocado Ranch dressing and a baked potato.  My dear friends Tonya and Amy who attended with me, went with the Apple Pecan salad and they both said it was fantastic.  One complimented their salad with a baked potato and one with a side of chili.  Isn't this fun?

It was a great opportunity to see the faces behind the words and avatars I have been following for some time now, and I hope we meet up again soon.

Here's a pic of the whole group, I am the floating head third from the right. :)


I have an awesome opportunity for a lucky reader to try the new Wendy's Pick 2 menu as well.  I am giving away a Wendy's gift card and you can enter two ways:
  1. "Like" My Life of What Ifs on Facebook, then return here and leave a comment telling me you did so!
  2. Leave another comment telling me what your Wendy's Pick 2 combo would look like.
If you only want to enter once then you can combine the above actions.  If you already "Like" MLWI just leave me a comment saying that you're a MLWI Liking Pioneer!!!!  Just kidding.  Kind of.

One winner will receive a $7 Wendy's gift card to purchase your own Pick 2 Combo.  It's a beautiful thing.  Right?

See more of our lunch in my whrrl story below!

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Contest runs through 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, October 24,2010.  Only residents of U.S. and Canada may enter, and must be 18 or older to win.

Disclosure:  I am working with TheMotherhood and Wendy's, and they purchased my lunch, provided a giveaway and have compensated me for my time.  However, all opinions expressed in this post are my own.
Stacy

Say Boo to the Flu Winners!!!!!

It's time to announce the two Say Boo to the Fly contest winners!!! Each recipient will receive a flu prevention gift basket (with Clorox hand sanitizer, disinfecting wipes, a $25 Target gift card, a trick-or-treat bag with goodies like Silly Bandz, etc).

The two winners per random.org are......
Random Integer Generator
Here are your random numbers:
10
6
Timestamp: 2010-10-18 15:02:49 UTC

Comment # 10 is....
js22 said...
I pledged. Hope someone has cheap flu shots!
Thanks for the giveaway!
email in blogger profile.
October 17, 2010 2:16 PM

and comment #6 is...
MOMFOREVERANDEVER said...
took the pledge
October 9, 2010 7:23 PM

Thanks so much everyone for entering!!!!!
Stacy

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

It's only just begun

I am the mother of two daughters, one 10 and one six-and-a-half.

The one whines about everything.  The first words out of her mouth every morning are sung, but the music is more nails on chalkboard than birds singing.  It's horribly unpleasant.  Horrible.

Oh, did I mention that it's the six-year-old I'm talking about?

The one that's too smart for her own good, and basically tells me that.  The one that lost her two front teeth on Friday, but doesn't mind that I call her "Fangs".  The that loves her big sister and then whines that Ryann is just like Mama!!!  I think it's because we both use the phrase "Whiny Brat" to describe her.  I know.  Horrible.

The older one has hormones.  I can see them floating above her head.  A constant reminder of my younger days and how I just didn't want to talk about it!  Geesh!  She gets overwhelmed and confused.  Sometimes she's Mama's baby as she rolls her bean-pole-self up on my lap and wraps her almost size seven feet around mine.  And then she's the tween, unsure of herself and her feelings, and eyeing the neighbor boy with a gleam in her eye.

I wanted two boys.  I said that out loud.  But I have two girls, that someday will be 16 and 13.  Simultaneously.  I love them, but pray for me.  Please.
Stacy

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Oh yes, I said "Boo" to the flu!

This last Saturday, I was one of the mean ones.  The ones that drag their kids to a Halloween themed flu clinics and force them to dress up and take candy from strangers.  Someone call the cops.

OK, so it wasn't bad at all.  In fact, due to some unforeseen circumstances I was the only one who made a date with a needle, but fear not young daughters-o-mine!  You will be visiting the pediatrician's office before you know it!




On Saturday, my girls and I, along with Melissa from Rock and Drool, and Amy from Coffee with the Mrs., attended "Say 'Boo!' to the Flu" at Alliance Mobile Health in Troy.  We were invited by our new friends at the Visiting Nurses Association of Southeast Michigan (VNA), Families Fighting Flu, and The Clorox Company who want everyone to know the dangers of influenza, and that vaccinations are available.

The cool thing about the VNA is that they are a non-profit organization and if you stop at one of their clinics for your flu shot, all proceeds go back into the community to help provide home health care and hospice services to the uninsured.

Saturday's event had a nice steady turnout which pleased Alexandra Hichel, Senior Communications Consultant for VNA, "This is a big community event and the theme distracts a lot from the agony of the flu shot."

The events are designed to encourage families to keep themselves and the children protected. And for those wondering H1N1 is one of three strains in this years' vaccine.

One of the scariest truths about influenza is that it can kill healthy children of all ages. Parents like Detroit area resident Zack Yaksich know the heartbreak only too well after his 5-year-old daughter died suddenly of influenza complications in 2003.  You can read Zack's story by visiting Alana's Flu Foundation.

There are two more "Say 'Boo!'" events planned by the VNA this month:
• Saturday, October 16, 2010, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., at the North Oakland YMCA (3378 E. Walton Blvd.) in Auburn Hills
• Friday, October 29, 2010, from 4 to 7 p.m., at Ultimate Soccer Arenas (867 South Boulevard) in Pontiac

People can also come to the VNA Oak Park office Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. to get their flu shots or visit them at our many other public clinics.

“Vaccination is a key step in helping fight the flu,” said Kay Renny, RN, manager of community programs for VNA.  “According to the CDC, the flu vaccine can prevent as many as two-thirds of influenza infections in young children, with even higher estimates for older children.”

And DON'T FORGET!!!!!  There is still time to take the pledge to "Say 'Boo!' to the Flu!"  By taking the pledge to vaccinate your family against influenza you enter to win some awesome prizes.  You can also visit my post here, and leave me a comment stating that you took the pledge and be entered to win one of two awesome flu prevention gift baskets (with Clorox hand sanitizer, disinfecting wipes, a $25 Target gift card, a trick-or-treat bag with goodies like Silly Bandz, etc).  You can enter through 11:59 p.m. on October 17!

So take the pledge!  Enter all the contests including this one and this one!  Check out my whrrl below!  And take care of yourselves!  Peace out. Boo!

More check-ins at Alliance Mobile Health
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Disclosure:  I am working with TheMotherhood and The Clorox Company, and they have compensated me for my time.  However, all opinions expressed in this post are my own.
Stacy

Monday, October 11, 2010

Music Memory Monday

It's seems I have two fans of my Music Memory Monday stories, so I dedicate this one to them ;)


Closure

"What are you doing here?" he asked.

"Well...I...heard there was a party and we thought we'd come out and see everyone."

"Where's your boyfriend?"

"He's out of town this weekend, I came out with T and J."

"It's been awhile."

"Yeah"

Pure Country [Original Motion Picture Soundtrack]We had broken up about a year and a half earlier after two years together.

Our break-up was long, and dramatic. I had basically ended it with him to be with my current boyfriend, but he was my first, in so many ways.

It was odd to see him again, even though I had been drinking and looked forward to running in to him here where he lived with a few other guys from "the group". The group I had also belonged to until I did the unthinkable and let him go. My current boyfriend had gone out of town with some friends and this was my payback to him. I was young, and yeah- immature, but so were many others at that age.

We had started the evening around the bonfire. It was a familiar site. Open field, bonfire, lots of drinking. He invited me inside to warm up and with glaring eyes from my friends I accepted the offer. We sat on his bedroom floor and talked, really talked. The animosity he had towards me after our breakup was gone, he had moved on now. But we both needed to say some things. He pulled a shoebox out of his closet with our two years wrapped up inside. Half used candles, cards, my senior picture, why he had kept these things I don't know. I had a similar box but wasn't that a girl thing to do?

"I was saving you know," he said.

"Saving for what?"

"The football bank was for you, every penny I put in there was for your Marquis."

He remembered what kind of ring I wanted, wow.

"Yeah, but we just weren't meant to be." I said.

"I know, but I wanted you to know that I was serious at the time."

We chatted a lot longer. Saying all the things we had wanted to say, I guess. He said he wasn't giving my senior picture back even though he admitted if his girlfriend found it she would throw it out. There were some moments where kissing him would have been so easy, so familiar, but the alcohol was wearing off and I knew it would open a door that was better left closed.

"Have you seen 'Pure Country'?" he asked me.

"That George Strait movie?"

His family owned a horse farm and they were as country as you could get in Michigan. I hadn't seen the movie.

"No, I haven't. Is it good?"

"Borrow mine. I think you'll like it."

"But how will I get it back to you? I have no idea when I'll see you again."

"You'll get it to me someday, but hey, pay attention to the song called 'Where the Sidewalk Ends'."

"OK, why?"

"'Cuz it's about us"
Stacy

Friday, October 8, 2010

Don't forget to say Boo to the Flu AND WIN!!!!!

Don't forget about the Say Boo to the Flu event in Troy on Saturday.

Fox News Detroit even did a segment about this great event!

And now, to add a cherry to the top I am offering a super cool Say Boo to the Flu giveaway!!!!

Just visit the Say Boo to the Flu website and take the pledge to vaccinate your family against the flu.

Once you take the pledge come back to My Life of What Ifs and leave me a comment!  Two lucky commenters, chosen at random, will each win a flu prevention gift basket (with Clorox hand sanitizer, disinfecting wipes, a $25 Target gift card, a trick-or-treat bag with goodies like Silly Bandz, etc).
So take the pledge!!!!!  This is an awesome event!

Winners must be in the U.S. and 18 years of age or older.

Disclosure:  I am working with TheMotherhood and The Clorox Company, and they have compensated me for my time.  However, all opinions expressed in this post are my own.
Stacy

Monday, October 4, 2010

Say Boo to the Flu (i.e. Creepy crud, death-warmed-over, virus, snot, yuck!)

So I'll get right to the point.  Do you get flu shots for yourself and/or your children?

I did for many years for myself.  Every year since I was had Ryann in 2000.  Then I would have the girls get them too.  Until last year, when their pediatrician didn't have the flu shot clinic and I caved to the girls whining "we don't want to get a shot!"



This year I am taking the girls to "Say Boo To The Flu" at Alliance Mobile Health in Troy.  It's a Halloween-themed flu shot clinic, and what better way to fight off the flu shot worries than to dress up for the process?

Families Fighting Flu, Visiting Nurse Associations of America and The Clorox Company have teamed up to help you keep your family protected from the flu.   Detroit-area residents are invited to educate (and vaccinate) about flu prevention from noon until 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, October 9 at 2045 Austin Dr. in Troy.

You can also take the "Say Boo to the Flu" pledge and be entered to win some awesome prizes including an AMAZING sweepstakes to win a trip for four to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Orlando!!

So join me, Melissa from Rock and Drool, and Amy from Coffee with the Mrs. at "Say Boo to the Flu"!

The cost for the flu shot is $25 – and at least 24 free flu shots will be available. FluMist is $30 and pneumonia shots are $50. VNA is able to bill the following insurances: Blue Care Network, Medicare, HAP, Health Plus of Michigan and Priority Health. VNA also accepts cash; checks should be made payable to VNHSS.

P.S.  If you hear two girls, one six and one 10, screaming from afar at this event it's because they still hate me for making them get a shot.  Candy involved or not.

Disclosure:  I am working with TheMotherhood and The Clorox Company, and they have compensated me for my time.  However, all opinions expressed in this post are my own.
Stacy

Monday, September 27, 2010

A Lifetime Ago

Yesterday I returned to my Alma Mater with my husband and two daughters.  It seems a lifetime has passed since I roamed the grounds at Central Michigan University.  It's surreal that I even lived there for three years, it's as if I watched it all on TV and it was all the adventures of someone else.


Much is the same about CMU.  Yes, there are a few new stores, and yes there is a Starbucks.  I sniffed it out :)  But many of the old familiar haunts are no longer there, starting with the two apartment buildings I inhabited. 

When I returned to college in January 1994 I lived in an on-campus apartment.  I was free of the dorms but I was still on-campus.  So my rent came out of my financial aid, all other utilities were included and I could walk to class if my car took a crap.  The first of those two apartments was torn down after I lived in it (ha ha, shut up) to make room for a new music building.  The second apartment I lived in for two years, and it has since been removed to make room for a library expansion.  It's hard to point to a parking lot and explain to your 10 and six-year-old daughters "that's where Mommy lived".

We also drove by Robinson Hall where I spent the Fall of 1992 missing my boyfriend and working hard on that 1.29 grade point average. "I want to see where you slept,"  Jayden said.  Well honey, I'm thinking the teenage girl or boy who now lives in that room won't appreciate me showing up with my grouchy husband and two kids to take a look around the 12 X 12 space.  So no, wave to the building we're moving on...

Sundays were always quiet in Mt. Pleasant.  The campus is a hungover ghost town and not much is going on.  We were there for the CMU Girls Soccer game, and our girls, along with their teammates got to spend half time on a college soccer field.  They loved it.  I loved it.  The air was crisp, the sun intermittent, and I found myself hoping that one of my girls follows her Mom and becomes a Chippewa herself.  Hopefully one with a scholarship.  It was a new feeling for me, the pride of passing on a legacy to my kids.  And joy for sharing my pre-them life with them.  Of course I didn't point out the store where I bought the 3 for $5 forties, or the bar where I got smashed on my 22nd birthday and how I may not have been their Mom if I hadn't found a different ride home that night.  But I did show them Moore Hall, my second home at college.  It's a good thing that building can't talk, and I did show them where their Dad would take me to dinner when he would come to visit. 

Then as we contemplated having Pixie for dinner, or perhaps Taco Boy, my girls fell asleep in the back seat of the car and we decided to head on home.  Someday they will understand it more, and someday I will own it more and realize that all those good times were mine.
Stacy

Monday, September 20, 2010

Music Memory Monday


A nice memory for one week before our wedding anniversary.



Not Enough Time

Welcome to Wherever You AreIn the Fall of 1992 I transferred from the community college in my hometown to Central Michigan University.

It was a rough time for me. I was homesick. I was in a new town, with roommates I didn't know, I transferred jobs, and my boyfriend of 6 months was at home.

I hadn't planned on "taking" a boyfriend to school with me.  In fact I broke up with my boyfriend of two years earlier that year for just that reason. Well, that and things weren't going so well. But a month after the breakup I started dating a guy I worked with.  He was funny, a smart-ass, and he had great dimples.  It wasn't supposed to go anywhere.  He was just supposed to be someone to hang out with, but after a few months of casually dating it dawned on us both that there was more going on than we had planned.

I worked at a local retail chain and had transferred to the store in Mt. Pleasant when the school year started.  Despite my seniority I was working every weekend and couldn't make it home much.  The boyfriend had some weekends off and would come see me when he could.  Before I left I created the customary mix tape for him to play and think of me.  It was filled with songs we had enjoyed during our few months together, and being who I am I also left him some typed out lyrics of a few of the more meaningful songs.

About six weeks into the semester I wasn't doing so well.  I missed him so much and I was doing poorly in school.  I hated working and was pretty much in a funk all the time.  My boyfriend made plans to come up for a Sunday and spend the day with me.  We hung out, went to dinner, and as night fell it was time for him to drive the 105 miles back home.  Just before he left he handed me a letter size envelope.  It was thick and obviously had something hard inside.  He told me I couldn't open it until I returned to my dorm room.

When I got back to my room I tore it open to find a cassette single of INXS' Not Enough Time and he had written out the lyrics on notebook paper.  I dissolved into tears as I read the lyrics Not enough time for all that I want for you, not enough time for every kiss, not enough time for all my love, not enough time for every touch.

I called his house immediately and left a message so he would call me back when he got home.  It was truly the most romantic thing he had ever done and it was torture to have to wait to talk to him.  It's funny how important this moment is in my life and yet when it came time to pick out our wedding song, it never occurred to me to use this.  Sometimes I think that no matter how perfect it would have been, I just didn't want to share the story. It's something that I needed to keep protected, until now.
Stacy

Monday, September 13, 2010

Emotional Baggage

I've often wanted to send my own postcard to PostSecret, but often think my own secrets would pale in comparison to the ones I have obsessed over.  I keep a file of my favorite PostSecrets on my laptop, and when I feel a connection to one I usually post it here. 

But there are a few that I love that never really fit into a category.  Maybe I don't identify with them personally.  Maybe I do?  But they speak to my heart in a way that only I, and maybe a few people on this Earth who really know me, understand.

Friday afternoon I was overcome with emotion in the parking lot at Barnes & Noble.  My heart felt heavy and I had a 'moment'.  I was happy that I am blessed enough to be at a Barnes & Noble on a Friday afternoon.  I was reflective of the last 22 months and what they have meant to me personally, mentally, psychologically, and so on.  And I was saddened by a number of what ifs.  I sat there for a moment and stared at nothing.  I wondered, for the infinite time, what I was doing?  Who am I really?  Is this what I was meant for, and to do?  Am I where I am supposed to be?

All are million dollar questions.  So I pulled myself together and walked into the store.  I found peace in the pages, and I find peace in these secrets.  Some of which I could have written myself, or perhaps they were written about me?
Stacy

Friday, August 27, 2010

Old Lady Crush Reborn

Charlie St. Cloud: A NovelWednesday night I helped chaperon 15 tweens to the Drive-In for our Girl Scout fun day.  The girls worked really hard to earn their Journey badges this year and have concluded the process by volunteering at Recycle Livingston this past week. (Which is really hard work, let me tell you!)

So they voted and off to the Drive-In we went.  To see Nanny McFee Returns and Charlie St. Cloud.

The new Nanny McFee was great, as expected.  Very cute, great cast, good message, lots of humor.  Charlie St. Cloud caused me a little concern because it was PG-13, but it starred Zac Efron, and well... he's Troy.  And he's dreeeeaaaaammmmmmyyyyyyyy.  OK, so no one really says dreamy anymore.  They say yummy.  Yes, he's yummy.  Call me a cougar.  Hear me RAWR!!!!

My cause for concern was limited to a few cuss words that mean poop, and the common insult of calling someone Richard, or well... you know what I mean.  Of course there is a scene with Yummy's shirt being removed from his body, but hey I'm not complaining about that.

It's a sad story but a good one, and Zac Efron cries which only made him that much more yummy.  Oh and Kim Basinger plays his mom (where has she been?) but that didn't decrease his yumminess, and she seemed sober, so it's all good.  Again good message, trust your instincts, we are all here for a reason, yada, yada, yada, blue eyes, cute nose, great teeth.  RAAAWWWWRRRRRR. 
Stacy

Sunday, August 22, 2010

What If I didn't make the connection that has opened so many doors?

A year ago right now I was still trying to figure it all out.  I was making progress in my mid-life crisis, but I still wasn't there.  Whereever "there" was.

But as I was experimenting with Twitter, and a variety of Moms boards (in addition to my facebook addiction) I came across a fellow Mom who was looking for Detroit bloggers to help with a new website.  I, of course, contacted her and expressed my interest.

In August of last year, I started contributing to a website called DetroitMommies which was founded by Courtney.  Thanks to Courtney, in the last year I have been invited to a blogging brainstorm at a local TV station and a variety of events for kids and families.  I've reviewed and received some awesome products and I was invited to join Collective Bias, an emerging media firm focused on the intersection of mobile/social media and social shopper marketing.

So, in short, I am writing about what I want to on my blog.  Freelancing for a newspaper covering a variety of stories where every assignment is different and I am always learning something new.  Reading a chick lit book here and there and relaying cool news related to the genre.  And finally, I am paid to shop and offer my opinion.  Seriously.  Can you tell me that commuting an hour each way to sit sit at a desk for eight hours was better than this?  I think not. 
Stacy

Monday, August 16, 2010

Music Memory Monday

A fine memory from Central Michigan University.  Fire up Chips!


You've got to be kidding me

My first semester away at college I was unfortunate enough to have an 8 am class two days a week.  To add insult to injury it was a grammar class.  So on those days I would drag myself out of bed, make myself as presentable as possible and go grab something to eat before class.

Please Don't GoAs you can imagine the cafeteria population was sparse at that hour and I usually sat alone with a bowl of cereal.  I was never sure if the radio seemed loud because there were so few people in the room at that time or if they purposely cranked it up at that awful hour to keep themselves awake.

The radio was always tuned to the local Top 40 station in our college town, and as is the case with many Top 40 stations they play the Top 40 songs.  Over and over again.  At this time Please Don't Go by KWS was very popular and for a period of a few weeks it came on at the exact same time every morning.  At least every Tuesday and Thursday morning when I was eating my bowl of cereal.

At first I questioned my sanity.  Could this really be happening?  Am I imagining it?  But after hearing it for the 7th or 8th morning it became ridiculous, and I would catch myself saying out loud "you've got to be kidding me!"  I have to say I wasn't a fan of this song before this happened. It's very repetitive and impossible to get out of your head.  But after this, the song annoyed me even more.

My husband has all of the MTV party-to-go CDs and Please Don't Go is on one of them.  Every time I hear it I am instantly transported back to the Robinson dining hall, sitting alone with my bowl of frosted flakes.  Extremely annoyed.
Stacy

Bag it Forward and another opportunity to Adopt-A-Classroom

Come on, you can smell it can't you?  School is in the air!  Smell the paper, the new vinyl in your lunchbox, feel the firmness of new sneakers on your feet and the excitement of the unknown.  What will my teacher be like?  Who will be in my class?

Let's do everything we can to help out those who want to help others experience all of those feelings and more.

There are many opportunities to help out this year.  The economy is bad and teachers need help too, so Elmer's is also donating $10 per blog post to Adopt-A-ClassroomThe deadline for the Virtual Bag It Forward has been extended until September 12.  See Rules Below!

ELMER’S VIRTUAL BAG IT FORWARD RULES
  • Copy and paste these rules into your blog post.
  • Create a blog post giving a “virtual bag of school supplies” to other bloggers or write about your Back to School shopping trip at Walmart.
  • Link back to the person who gave you a bag of school supplies.
  • Let each person you are giving a virtual bag of school supplies know you have given them a bag.
  • Leave your link in the Elmer’s Virtual Bag It Forward comment section. You can also find the official rules of this virtual #bagitforward program there.
  • Elmer’s is donating $10 for each blog participating in the Virtual Bag It Forward Donation to Adopt-A-Classroom (up to total of $10,000 for blog posts written by August 12, 2010).
  • Please note that only one blog post per blog url will count towards the donation.
Stacy

Friday, August 13, 2010

Going back to school with purpose- and the value of some new school supplies

You can never underestimate the power of some new school supplies.  Growing up, for me it was one of my favorite rituals.  I loved fresh notebooks, long pencils, and a new Trapper Keeper with a Critter Sitter on the front.  I can smell the vinyl, can you?

With today's economy the way it is, not only are parents cutting back on these supplies, schools and teachers have to as well.  It's a shame actually, because I can't believe I was the only one who found inspiration in these items.  They made me excited for school, and passionate about going back and getting to work.

This year DaySpring has launched their Back To School with Purpose campaign.  It's a line of inspirational school supplies with motivational verses on them, all with the idea of sending our children back to school with purpose.  It's not a hardship to attend school, learning is fun, and DaySpring wants to spread that message.

DaySpring will to donate $10 per #WithPurpose post about going back to school with purpose for the Adopt-a-Classroom campaign. The potential is for up to $5,000 to be raised by the time school starts to the Adopt-a-Classroom campaign.

I have been teaching my girls about living #withpurpose by showing them to value what we have and to give to others, thus spreading the word about living #withpurpose.  We were able to put together a backpack filled with DaySpring school supplies and other items to donate to the Livingston Educational Service Agency for their Backpacks for Kids project.  My girls felt great about the project and they learned a lot too.

Check out our shopping trip!

More check-ins at WalMart
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I invite you to take part in this campaign as well by posting about how you live #withpurpose.  I am tagging my friend Stacey at 1 Praying Mom because I think this is a cause that she would be passionate about.  I hope I'm right. :)

DAYSPRING’S BACK TO SCHOOL WITH PURPOSE BLOG CAMPAIGN RULES:


  • Copy and paste these rules to your blog post.
  • Create a blog post about what it means to you to go Back to School WithPurpose and identify others who you feel are Living With Purpose in their lives – you can recognize as many individuals as you want.
  • Link back to person who gave you a DaySpring Award
  • Let each person you are recognizing know you have recognized them.
  • Leave your link at btswithpurpose comment section. You can also find the official rules of this #WithPurpose blog campaign, and more information about Back to School with Purpose with DaySpring there.
  • Include the Back to School with Purpose image in your post
Disclosure: I wrote this post as part of a blog campaign by Collective Bias on behalf of DaySpring and was compensated for my thoughts and time. The information about Back to School #withpurpose, were supplied to me by Collective Bias.
Stacy