Saturday, March 28, 2009

Red Hot Night!

Thursday night was our annual Women's Red Hot Night event, and this year it was at a new club, Zan, in downtown Springfield. It was a great night; I always look forward to this event, it is definitely the most fun one that we do. The evening's activities included chair massage, makeup by Chanel, henna tattoos, dream interpretation, wine tasting, a silent auction and more.

Lindsay, (she's in the second picture below, looking gorgeous as always in the black/striped dress!) is with our health system's foundation, and has worked hard to build some fabulous relationships in town, including the owners of Zan, who also own three other restaurants. So, they gave us a great deal on the food for the evening, which was SO yummy! One of the owners, Mike, is also the chef and did a culinary demonstration for the women, showed them how to fix Touch's signature bacon-wrapped dates.

Gretchen Miekley, holding the camera in the above pic, is a local photographer and is SO talented! She took pictures of all of the committee members prior to the event, and also some women who are cancer survivors, since this year's proceeds go to our support services in our cancer center. I have one of the pics as my profile pic on my blog now, and will have some more I'll put on here soon. Check her site out, here. She has some beautiful work.

A few of the committee members ended up the evening at our local spot, Parlor 88, for a post-event cocktail. We've enjoyed planning this event, and most meetings have been on Thursday afternoons, so we would follow our meetings with a glass of wine for happy hour at P88. Now that the event is over, we won't have a regular meeting set, but I hope we'll still get together some.

Oh yeah, another highlight of the evening was our silent auction, which had some great things, including a piece of jewelry from my friend and local metalsmith, Tammy Kirks. And, as has happened several years now, I won it in the auction. I will post a pic soon. I'd try it on now, but you wouldn't want to see me this morning, still in my jammies with bedhead... wouldn't do the jewelry any justice!

Jace and I will be headed to the movies later today, to see "Monsters and Aliens", the new animated movie that is out. Then we're having dinner with Gail and family this evening. We may possibly get 1-4" of snow (SNOW, in late March - YUCK!) but Gail just lives one street over, so no worries on being out in the inclement weather. Hope everyone is having a wonderful weekend.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Rest and Relaxation

It was hard to come back to work today, after a relaxing three day weekend with a friend who lives in St. Genevieve, about an hour south of St. Clair, where we grew up.

We got together for a late lunch on Saturday with another high school friend, and headed to the wineries in Ste. Gen later that afternoon. Unfortunately, the wineries were still on the winter time schedule and were closing right as we arrived, so we didn't get to visit them on Saturday. But we headed back on Sunday afternoon, and enjoyed the scenery and beautiful weather at Chaumette Winery.

Enjoying the gorgeous view from the balcony of the Chaumette Winery

It was a beautiful afternoon, and I hope to go back and visit Chaumette again when the weather is warmer. There is a path through the woods between Chaumette and neighboring Charleville Winery that would have been nice to walk, if we had more time. I bought a couple bottles of wine; the best known wine in Missouri is the Norton, which is not as smooth as a Cabernet, but is still very good, in my opinion. And, as we discussed with Daisy, the catering manager of the winery, that's all that really matters- what tastes good to you!

I headed home to Springfield last night; I had to work today, but now am off work tomorrow with Jace for his spring break. I have a work event on Thursday night, so will be working Wednesday and Thursday, but will be off Friday with him, too. Then my dad is coming to visit Friday night, after a conference here in Springfield, so we're looking forward to seeing him soon. Happy Monday, again, everyone!

Reality Check

I'll have just a couple pictures to post from my weekend visit with a high school friend; I'll try to get them posted later tonight or tomorrow. But first, a story to tell -- it made me feel my age, plus some! I stopped into a fast food restaurant about midway through my trip on Friday, for a stretch break and a quick bite to eat. I ordered my cheeseburger, and the teenager who waited on me was, oh, probably 17 or so. I had my hair pulled back, and casual clothes on, but still looked, I thought, fairly cool for a 37-year-old. But geez, she crushed me when she said, "I just have to ask you... Are you Ashley's mother? You look JUST like my friend Ashley." I responded no, I was not Ashley's mother, that I wasn't from there. And she again said how MUCH I looked like her friend, that she would've sworn we were mother and daughter.

So then I stepped to the side of the counter to wait for my food, smiling and thinking to myself, "Do I LOOK like I have a 17-year-old daughter!? Damn, I thought I looked good for 37, but she obviously thinks I look old enough to be her friend's mother!" I mean, technically, I could have a 17-year-old, if I had been a mother at age 20. I just don't feel like I could be a mom to a 17-year-old. Of course, Jace is only 10 - talk to me in 7 years, and I'm sure I'll feel the same way then.

Happy Monday to all!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

St. Patty's Weekend Fun

St. Patrick's Day isn't until Tuesday (and with that, let me give a birthday shout-out to my sister, Annie, who was born on St. Patty's and is the only one of us who has red hair! Our own little Irish gal!) but we had plenty of festivities in good old Springpatch this weekend. Jace and I walked with our dog Zoe-Wilson in the Junior League Pitter Pat 5K to benefit our crisis nursery here in Springfield. Friend Paula joined us for the nice brisk walk at 8am, a great way to start out the day. Here are a few pics:

Then later that day Jace and I headed downtown with friend Gail and her kiddos to catch the annual St. Patty's Day parade through the square. There were all kinds of booths, face painting, hats and horns for sale - and Jace and Connor both bought one of these annoying horns. (Gail tells me tonight that Connor's broke this afternoon -- I'm going to HAVE to figure out how the same fate can befall the one at our house!) Here are some pics from the parade:

After a 40 minute wait, Caitlyn finally got her shamrock!

See them at the top? Blowing those darn horns!

Jace found a friend, kinda looked like our chocolate Lab, Rocky!

"Here comes the parade!!"

Doggies on parade...

It was a fun day, but the weather was only in the 50s and then at the end it started raining so we left a bit early and headed to the car. We had dinner at Gail and Dan's house that night, followed by a bit of impromptu karaoke on the bed downstairs in their computer room (note that the HORNS were still intact at that point!)

Jace and I headed home early, about 8:30 PM last night, both of us worn out from the busy day. Now it is time to get ready for the work week again, and I'm procrastinating finishing up some documents that are due tomorrow. So, time to close the blog, put some coffee on, and get to work! Hope all have a wonderful week.

Friday, March 13, 2009


Can I just say, thank GOD it is Friday. What a week it has been for me, both emotionally and physically. I'm ready for some downtime and looking forward to a productive work day and relaxing weekend. Although I had a moment of panic this morning when I went to make my good coffee (Churchill's Sinless Pastry) in my office and had none! I did scrounge around and manage to find a scoop left in another baggie in my snack drawer... whew - crisis averted!

Jace and I had a conversation the night before last that was humorous but has also stuck with me. It was nearly 10PM and he was in his bedroom, and supposed to be asleep. He had been playing his Nintendo DS (handheld video game) until lights out, and now was finding every reason in the book to still be up... a trip to the bathroom... a request for me to heat up his rice pillow...the boy has always taken forever to go to sleep! Needless to say, my patience was wearing thing. As I sat in the living room working on my laptop, he called from the bedroom:

J: Mom, will you come and take my DS out of my room?

Me: What?!?

J: I'm tempted to get it out and play it, so I want you to come and get it so I can't...

Me: No, just put it down by your bed - you'll be fine.

J: But Mom, please just come and get it!

Me: No, son -- its called WILLPOWER... you need to just MAKE yourself not play it and go to sleep! Besides, if I walk back there in a little bit and catch you playing it, you know you'll be grounded, so that should help your temptation!

My "mom logic" won out, and he did leave it alone and eventually fell asleep. As I finished up my evening, I chuckled to myself about his reasoning and how it rings true in my own life, and I'm SURE in many other peoples' as well.

How many times do we lack the willpower to do, or not do, something? Getting up in the morning to go work out? Where's my WILLPOWER to do that!? Or, lately, where's my willpower been when I get that Nestle slice and bake cookie dough out every night and make myself 18 cookies? (Ok, an exaggeration, but still...). Or at work, with our new job descriptions that all managers have to complete - I'm going to be working on them this weekend, because I procrastinated doing them a bit at a time over the last six weeks! I think right now I'm like Jace... I need a "Mom" moment, someone to come in and kick my tail into gear, so I will get back in the game!

Don't worry- I'm cutting myself some slack right now, and realizing that right now in my life I really don't HAVE to do everything right on time, or perfectly. But I need to find that happy medium, where I have SOME control, and I'm getting things done, but still giving myself a little leeway as well. It just takes time, I guess, and the self-awareness to realize where I am and that it is OKAY. Happy Friday to all, hope you have a wonderful weekend.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Ahhh, Spring!

We're back to 40 degree weather today, but the last few days have been gorgeous, with temps in the 60s and 70s, so I know we're getting close to spring! As I was walking across the parking lot to my car yesterday, I saw my absolute favorite sign:

This yellow flowering bush is called a forsythia. Now, I realize this particular one isn't gorgeous-- it is chopped back and looking a little puny, but still - I was so happy when saw it and thought, "Spring is almost here!". As I drove home after that, I looked at the trees along the roads and they're all starting to bloom. I love spring. Some people love daffodils because they are one of the first things to pop out of the ground when the weather warms up, but I have always loved the forsythia bush. I have a great picture of Jace when he was about 20 months old, sitting out on a blanket on Easter afternoon, playing with the plastic eggs in front of the forsythia bush in our yard. (I would post it on here, but it is "pre-digital" and I only have it in hard copy in his album... darn!)

Now that I have a clean slate of a backyard (with a 20 foot by 30 foot deck, hot tub and for all the entertaining I could ever hope to do!) I think I will plant a couple of forsythia bushes. My dad is coming to visit for a couple of days at the end of March, and that will be a great project for us to tackle together.

Our baby event went very well last weekend; it was a long day but things went very smoothly. Later that evening a friend came into town, and we met some of my work friends and spouses for drinks on Saturday night. I enjoyed being off work Sunday and Monday, alhtough catching up from a day off has made the rest of my week busy. THIS weekend is our Junior League 5K to raise money for our crisis nursery. Jace and I are going to walk the 5K on Saturday, or at least the 1 mile fun run. And we'll be bringing Zoe-Wilson with us - Rocky would be too scared with all the crowds, I'm afraid!

I've got cookies in the oven for Jace (uh, and me!) right now, so I'll close and get them out and pour a couple glasses of milk... yum!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

How to Sleep Alone in a King-Size Bed

About a month ago, when I was smack dab in the middle of having to tell people about our divorce, I picked up a new fiction paperback at Target, called How to Sleep Alone in a King-Size Bed, the debut novel of Theo Pauline Nestor. It was a great book -- primarily because so much of it resonated with me in my first- and now my second- divorce, but also because as I read it I realized that my situation really could be SO much worse.

I had to laugh when I read a couple of pages, where the main character is lamenting about having to tell everyone in her life about her divorce. I have feel like that over the past couple of months, and I'm sure I will for some time. I see people I haven't seen in awhile and cringe, even consider avoiding saying hello to them, knowing they will probably ask how me and my husband are and then I'll have to tell them. So when I read the below excerpt from her book, I loved it and just had to share:

"...Eventually I will have to tell everyone who hasn't heard through the grapevine. Some people will get the whole story and some people will just get a terse "We've separated" without explanation. The trick is deciding who gets what... But then I'm filled with dread as I realize there are still legions of people who deserve and need to hear the whole story. Still ahead of me are dozens of oh-my-Gods and oh-I'm-so-sorrys and you-must-be-kiddings. I can hear the sympathetic and understandable questions coming at me one after another, and I can feel my tongue, thick and unfamiliar, forming all these tedious words one more time.

I consider a form letter that begins, "Dear Good Friend Who Deserves the Whole Story, I'm sorry this is coming to you as a form letter. I'm sorry about a lot. I'm just sorry."

Or maybe I could build a website, www.whatthe#&?!, complete with a FAQ page:

  • Q. What about the children?
  • A. They live with me but they will stay with him every Friday and every first, third, and fifth Thursday night as well as the first Saturday of every month. Yes, it is hard to remember which week it is. Yes, at least once a day the children mention the movie The Parent Trap, in which a pair of ingenious, separated-at-birth-but-reunited-by-fate twins scheme until their divorced parents finally and joyously reconcile. Which brings us to the next inevitable question...

  • Q. Will reconciliation be possible?
  • A. No. If you read The Whole Story (use password to access the secure site) you will shake your head and say, "No, you cannot get back together." If you do not have access to The Whole Story, you--- like the Transportation Coordinator at my daughter's school ----may feel compelled to advise me to go back and try to work it out and say in a scornful voice what a shame it is when families break up.

  • Q. Are you okay?
  • A. No, I'm not. Thanks for asking.

  • Q. Is there anything we can do to help?
  • A. Yes, click on the "Send Money" link below. Most major credit cards accepted."

You may not find it near as funny as I did, unless you have been through a similar experience. It just hit me the right way, how it would be SO nice to deal with some of the conversations, questions and bullshit just like this! Don't get me wrong -- I have had amazing support, from wonderful friends and from my family. It is all the acquaintances that I have had to talk about it with; those conversations are the ones I hate. I know they mean well but it is still sometimes unpleasant.

Oh, and going back to my former name - now that has been an experience. I'm not there yet, still using my current last name until the divorce is final. But I've decided to go back to my first married name, because that is my son's last name, and because most of the community knew me by that name for the last 12 years of my career. But the first husband and his wife were NOT happy. Although that's a story for another time.

Busy week at work, getting ready for our baby event on Saturday. Theresa, my college roommate, is in town for a job, and she, Jace and I are heading to dinner tonight. I'm ready for Saturday, our event and then for Sunday and Monday when I'm off work and can relax!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009


Today we filed for divorce. It is a bittersweet thing; I am obviously very sad about it, when I look back at all the good times and the memories. And there were a lot of good times, over the three years we were together. But the past two months have given me some distance and ability to look at the relationship, and I think this is the right thing for both of us.

I am the kind of person who will take things for a very long time... that's what I did in my first marriage, for the last three years of it. That's what I did in a job that was very stressful and difficult for the entire five years I worked there. And that's what I did with D - so much of my time over the last six months was spent worrying about every little thing that might upset him. And many of them were really little things, in the scheme of it all. And even though I tried to really work on those things that upset him, it was never enough. He actually would tell me that I wasn't trying at all. Talk about a demotivator. But I continued to try, even with things as difficult as they could be at times. That's just me. The situation can be bad and I just continue to persevere, until I reach a point that I am done. And at that point, I am DONE-- there is no changing my mind. D's decision helped to make up my mind, and I am not willing to go back. I realize that is a fault on my part, that I can make that decision and not look back, but it is just how I deal with things. It takes me a long time to get to that point, but once I'm there, I'm there.

I know he has been very emotional the last couple of weeks, about me "moving on" as he is calling it. (Hello, you tell me on Christmas Day that you want a divorce?? What the hell do you WANT me to do!? -- Ok, little venting there.) He has been regretting that decision, and has made overtures about reconciliation. However, I am unwilling to do that. The trust is no longer there, even though I have loved him and didn't want us to split up. He is a good person, but I know that the same issues that caused him to be so unhappy in our marriage would be back again in six months.

So, we met today to sign papers, to start the process. In 30 days he will recieve the papers back from the judge, and it will be final. He came by this afternoon while I was at work to move the remaining things out of my house, and we talked on the phone briefly. He said to tell Jace goodbye, and that he gave the doggies a hug. I told him earlier today that he didn't need to move things out immediately, but he feels it is better this way. And I'm sure he is right. We will both move on with our lives and we will hopefully in time be in contact again, and be friends. And hopefully we will both have learned some things about ourselves from all of this.