Thursday, January 29, 2009

A visit to the Arch

I was just looking through some pictures from the past year and found some fun ones, so I thought I would share them.

Last February, there was a pretty and warm weekend, so my friend Erica and I took our kids down to the Arch. We had to wait a bit on tickets, so we decided to take a riverboat ride, something I have never done. While the St. Louis riverfront is not always beautiful (particularly in the winter when the trees are bare), it was fun. For information about visiting any of the attractions on the riverfront (or buying tickets in advance), visit
Our riverboat ride:

We also went up in the Arch. Just a sidenote, it is never good when you step off the tram and hear, "Welcome to the St. Louis Arch. Yes, the Arch is moving. It is a windy day." Yep. The ground was moving, outside of my control. Like freshman year of college all over again. But we had fun in the 10 minutes we were up there before the adults in the party decided we needed to descend before blowing chunks. :)
The kids also enjoyed running on the Arch grounds and posing on the stairs.

Snow days

Thanks for the support on my last post. I just needed to vent and I don't like doing it with friends and family by phone or in person because they will probably think I am falling apart. I do my best to keep the negative thoughts at bay, but sometimes I just need to get them out.

Onto happier from sledding the past few days. Corbin loves playing in the snow. We went over to my sister's both days to sled and have snow ball fights. We had a blast.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Feeling low

So I have officially been unemployed for over two months. And it is slim pickins. I just went to the job bank for a PR professional association, and where there would normally be 4-5 jobs listed, there is now one. And this is after weeks of being blank. I have my network working for me, but there is just not a lot out there in PR.

My former employer just increased the monthly Cobra payment by $50, and I am afraid that they are going to go out of business before I get the vacation money they owe me.

I am expanding my search to retail, etc. (I've never waitressed before and am kicking myself for that now). I am also looking in Jeff City.

I have an interview tomorrow. I am trying to get pumped for it, but recognize that there are a lot of smart professionals looking for jobs right now so I don't want to get my hopes up.

Ugh. I am just emotionally spent. I try not to dwell on this, but I am just kicking myself for not accepting the other job that I was offered last spring. Or staying at the one I had. I was an idiot to go back to this employer, even though I enjoyed the work and he offered more money.

At some point I need to decide whether it is worth putting my condo on the market and moving in with my parents. I am sure at this point that I will lose money (that I don't have) on it, but it seems like I am in denial if I keep plugging money into a mortgage only to run out of money a few months down the road and have to get rid of it anyway. The thing that is really discouraging is that I feel like through the years I have made the right decisions - I didn't get into a mortgage I can't afford, I've lived frugally, going without so that I can make ends meet. Building (what I thought was) a successful career. I have never had anything less than stellar reviews from employers. I just don't get it. Logically, I know that bad things happen to good people too, but in my heart of hearts, I just trusted that things would turn out okay if I made good decisions. Now I am just not sure how things will turn out. And it is really depressing.

Sorry, I just needed to vent a little. Please pray that my interview tomorrow goes well and I am employed soon, putting this nightmare behind us. Or that something else comes along in the next couple of weeks.

In the meantime, I just need to stay centered on one thing:

As long as he is healthy and his life turns out well, everything will be worth it. I am a lucky lady. :)

Monday, January 26, 2009

Sunday, January 25, 2009

The reward of being lazy

So let's say that HYPOTHETICALLY, you roll out of bed one Saturday morning, take a shower and then discover that all of your jeans are in the laundry, except for the pair that you wore the day before. When you got ready for bed the night before, you took your clothes, under garmets and socks off in one swift motion. So Saturday morning, as you shimmy into the jeans, you dig the socks out of the pants, put on your boots and head out to pick up your child (who went to a sleepover the night before so you are meeting the other parents at the McDonalds). You begin to walk into McDonalds and realize that you forgot your purse so retrieve it from your car. As you are walking up the sidewalk for a second time, you happen upon a pair of underwear...that looks suspiciously like one of your pairs. Plum colored, mesh hipster panties to be exact....not the basic colored Hanes. And it dawns on you that you may have worn those panties the night before. You don't pause for too long because this is all going through your head very quickly. And you are faced with a dilemma: do you quickly and discreetly pick up said underpants and stuff them in your pocket (risking that perhaps they aren't yours after all, plus the fact that someone you know might see you picking up underwear off the sidewalk), or simply ignore them and pray to all things holy that no one saw purple panties falling out of your pant leg?

Hypothetically, I chose option two. And I always wondered how underpants or socks end up in the strangest places.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Just a dating question...

Okay. So it was chilly tonight. But not freezing. Questionable on whether you need a coat. Is it totally out of line to tell a dude to stop being a pansy when he has bitched about the freezing weather 5 TIMES...and it is not that cold?! I said it in a nice way...but seriously.

This is why I'm not married. :)

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Trip to Kansas City

Last weekend, Corbin and I went to visit my brother and sister-in-law in Kansas City. We got over there at about 7:30 p.m on Friday. For dinner, we made these yummy little pizzas that I recommend trying. They are super easy and relatively healthy.

You just need:
English muffins
Pizza sauce
Mozzarella cheese (shredded)
Turkey pepperoni

Begin by cutting the english muffins in half and toasting them (typically one per person). Once the muffins are toasted, place them on a cookie sheet (with the outside of the muffin on the bottom). Add pizza sauce, mozzarella and pepperoni (you can use any other toppins you like, but you may have to saute veggies first). Once your mini pizzas are prepared, broil them until the cheese is melted, and you are done. We had ours with salad.

Easy peasy and very yummy. Corbin likes to make the pepperoni in the shape of everyone's initials (see below).

We also went to Cabela's at the Legends at Village West to check things out. Corbin had fun looking around and taking pictures.

My brother got a smoker a few weeks ago, so he treated us to some very yummy smoked ribs!

I know - I take a little to much joy in photographing food before I eat it.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Historian in the Making

Corbin's book order came in yesterday - Scholastic's Encyclopedia of Presidents. He was very excited to point out that Obama was included (even though a couple of weeks ago he informed me that he is a republican - my little Alex P. Keaton). He is reading about the presidents in order, so right now he is reading and telling me about George Washington. It warms my heart that he loves learning like this. He may have his issues sometimes at school, but he is definitely an active learner. And, while he needs to get his sh*t together behaving in school (he's not any worse than any other boy), I'd rather him be a creative and engaged learner than be one whose learning stops when he exits school.

So I am going to make a list of historical places to visit (on a budget, so close by) to build on this interest. Maybe a trip to Hannibal? St. Charles? Springfield, IL? Any suggestions? Any places in St. Louis that we should definitely check out?

I have a friend who works as a lobbyist in Jeff City, and I have talked with him about figuring out a Friday when Corbin has a half day or day off and going to Jeff City to tour the capital building. He has some connections so we might get to see other things. We could also do the tour of the governor's mansion and other museums.

Cute discussion that we just had:
Corbin is reading about one of Washington's treaties being criticized.

C: 'Criticized'...that's mean.
M: Yes, but a lot of presidents get criticized about the decisions they make. It is a tough job. You know, George Bush was criticized a lot about different things.
C: Yeah, because some people thought he lied, but you know weapons are dangerous. I do agree with him on that.
M: That weapons are dangerous?
C: Yeah.
M: Well, that's right. Weapons are dangerous if they fall in the wrong hands. George Bush was trying to make sure that our enemies didn't have weapons that they could use to hurt us.
C: Yep. I'm glad he did that. I agree with him.

This age tickles me because one minute, he can be very mature in making comments like that, and the next he is standing on his head on the couch, telling me about how is toot smelled. Ah, boys.

Feel that breeze? Its the wind of change

I spent yesterday morning watching the inauguration with my mom. It is kind of interesting because we have watched a number of important events together. 9-11. We got up at 2 a.m. to watch Princess Diana's funeral and drink tea. So yesterday, we drank a glass of champagne while watching the inauguration of Barack Hussein Obama, the first African-American president of the United States.

But I found yesterday moving for reasons beyond the incredible historical nature of the moment. I was moved because I truly believe that this is a turning point in the direction of our country. I believe that it is crucial for the leader of our country to put the needs of America first, but to have a global perspective as well. Our world is becoming increasingly smaller. Our economies depend upon each other. Instability in one region creates instability worldwide. (Check out The World is Flat by Thomas L. Friedman.) It is essential that our leaders know, understand and respect other cultures, countries and leaders in order to create a successful foreign policy.

In short, I thought that Obama's speech was great (didn't expect less). I look forward to the good he will do; I recognize that, as with any administration, there will be mistakes, and there will be decisions made that I don't agree with. But I am proud of our choice and am excited about the next four years.

I also think that we need to recognize George W. Bush for his service. While many take issue with the actions of his administration, you cannot deny that he faced many situations that other presidents have not, including 9-11. Whether or not I agree with all of the decisions made during his presidency, I know that he made tough choices and that he truly felt like he was making the right decisions with the information he had.

Here's to hope.

Friday, January 16, 2009

I'm fine-d

As I touched on in my post a few days ago, Corbin is a bit like Monica and does not like to admit he is sick. He will never tell me if something doesn't feel good. Twice I've taken him to the doctor with a fever (after asking him if his stomach, throat, ears, head, etc. hurt) only to have him diagnosed with strep.

So this week he has started sneezing a little. Not often, but once in a while. But when I ask if he is getting cold, you would think I asked him if he wants to start wearing dresses to school. He acts like it is ridiculous for me to insinuate that he could possibly be getting a cold. "Mom, I was just looking at the light and it made me sneeze." I've heard that about twelve times.

But when he had the flu a few weeks ago, he looked at me over the toilet as he was puking and said, "So I don't have to go to school tomorrow, right?" I guess it all depends on what he could possibly be missing out on being sick.

I heard today that another one of my friends got laid off yesterday. Scary times.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


Had a good first date! Well, technically it was a second date - we went out a couple of years ago, but I was focused on a different person - but we shall see! I'm just happy when I don't spend a date picturing the Lifetime movie that could result from the relationship. :)

Monday, January 12, 2009


I have had sinus issues for the past week, and got a sore throat over the weekend. So this morning I went to the Take Care Clinic at Walgreens. I love this concept. You can simply walk in to see a nurse practitioner - no appointment, no hassle. And the copay is just a regular doctors visit. In the past year, Corbin has had strep throat twice and an ear infection once. This is the child who NEVER gets sick. The first time he had strep, he woke up with it on a Sunday, so we went to the Urgent Care Center. I kept wondering what we were picking up in the waiting room. It was disgusting. Then a few weeks after that, we were driving to KC, and I looked in the mirror and saw Corbin holding his ear. Once we got there, we went to the CVS MinuteClinic and were in and out with perscription in hand in 35 minutes. When we were in Florida, Corbin got strep throat again. Basically, my point is that since I have a child who tends to get sick outside of normal office hours or out of state, these clinics are enormously helpful. And it just doesn't feel as icky as the urgent care center.

So I have an ear infection and sinus infection. I will go take my horse pill, eat some chicken noodle soup and rest.

Friday, January 9, 2009


So I am playing Amy Poehler...REALLY

I now know two thirty-year-old men who have been diagnosed with cancer in the past month. While they both should have great outcomes, all I have to say is REALLY.

I am thankful that they should both make full recoveries, but I hate when people I care about go through tough times. Please pray that they will be perfectly healthy for years to come after this. I wish I could put everybody in a bubble right now to keep them safe.

Christmas Morning

We had a really great Christmas Day. Corbin woke up around 7:30. Typically, my parents come down to watch him open Santa presents, but he usually sleeps until 8:30, so they weren't here yet. But I let him go ahead and open gifts. He has such a sweet spirit and truly appreciates everything he gets.

First he goes through his stocking. Every year Santa and the Easter Bunny bring new toothbrushes, toothpaste and floss. It balances out the candy nicely and is something we need anyway.
Corbin got some Tony Hawk Tech Deck SK8 Park pieces...

And some art supplies among other things. Then my brother and sister-in-law came over to check out the loot for a bit. We went to my parents house and had fried turkey and played Guitar Hero.

Catching up

I know I have been MIA. The holidays were crazy and it seems like we were hardly ever home. Then I had to give my dad's laptop back to him and FINALLY got mine back from Best Buy. It needed a new motherboard, but all was covered by warranty so it is cool for now. So now I will attempt to catch up from the holidays...

Christmas Eve
Corbin and I spent the morning cleaning and making cookies:

Then we went to my parents house and everyone started unloading their presents:

Took some family pictures:
And we went to mass. Corbin's class carried the baby Jesus and sheep up to the nativity. They did a great job. I am not sure that I can do late night mass again as I still had to wrap presents when we got home and was up until 2 a.m.! Christmas morning came very early.
Here is Corbin in front of the nativity:
My heart is heavy right now, as I just read that one of my former employers had to lay off 27 people in their headquarters. I know some of the people affected and am very sad for them. I also know that this must have been a very tough decision for the leadership of the company. They are really good people and I know they would have liked to avoid this if they could. Just a sign of the times.
On an even more serious note, I found out yesterday that one of my friends from high school is in the hospital right now. He was taken to the ER on Wednesday night with chest pains; they ruled out a heart attack but found that his lymph nodes are enlarged. They are doing a biopsy this morning, but are pretty sure that it is one of two types of cancer (but I guess both have a high cure rate). I don't know more specifics because I am hearing all this through another one of my guy friends, and you know how men can be with details. Anyway, I hope that whatever this turns out to be, it is treatable without too much suffering. He is a very good person and is getting married this summer.
We need some good news now!!!