My Life of What Ifs

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.

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.

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.


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.

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.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Straight to the top of my reading list



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.

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.

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...