Friday, August 31, 2012


I am quite aware of the fact that I am not the best at following up with updates. I tend to post what's "impending" and then leave you hanging as to how it ends. It's not intentional. And, I am sure your lives go on even though you don't know how things conclude, however, as I said, I am aware of it and with awareness comes change! (Well, hopefully anyway *wink*).

So, Tuesday, we had a realtor here. She spent a little bit walking through our home with her Ipad to take notes. She asked me a question when she first came in "Would you like me to comment as we walk through, or would you like me to save my thoughts for the end?" I told her I was comfortable letting her soak it all in and then spewing her thoughts at me, I was a big girl, I could take it :)

I was pleasantly surprised to say the least. I am in the process of painting my kitchen, it was either that or clean the walls and I must admit, painting sounded easier than scrubbing them down! Something about a fresh coat of paint, ooh la la!

You may or may not notice, so I will tell you, the paint color is IDENTICAL to the one we had before. I was impressed with our skills at picking an identical color and I can't say that was particularly the plan, but hey, I like how it's working out, the kitchen is only half done, yet you can't tell where the old paint ends and the new paint begins. The point of this is, I am in the process of painting the kitchen and I was really hoping the realtor wouldn't tell me the color has to go. That's the thing, we have COLOR on the walls and though I believe I was tasteful when choosing, I wasn't sure how a person that wants to market my house would perceive our colors. She said great things!! She even stated our master bedroom color is a realtor's dream!! 

She said overall, the house is in great condition and can be put up for sale with minimal changes. I took that as a big compliment because to be honest, I have been staging my house for years and I was hoping I was doing it right!

She suggested we change the office to look a little more spacious, this could be tricky or impossible, but I am willing to try to rearrange the desk to make the room look bigger.

She also suggested adding a stand up shower in our downstairs bath so she could market the home as a 2 full bath instead of 1.5 bath. Her perspective made sense but a) I think a shower would look ridiculous in there, and b) I am really not keen on putting money into this house, if we are selling it for less than what we owe, which will 99% be the case. 

So, overall, the walk through went well and I feel more confident. Now if the market would just speed up and we can put our house up for a litttttttttttleeee higher than current market value suggests!!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012


We've (I need to be honest and say that my loving husband has climbed aboard the crazy Karrie train, which in many circumstances is just a way of hanging on for dear life to the crazy things I do, when I post things about "US" talking, it's mainly "ME" talking and "HIM" listening and getting overwhelmed and then shutting down, leaving "ME" to make a decision that I think "WE" would agree on....carry on!) I've decided to interview realtors. We will be putting the house on the market in spring, I am going crazy inside trying to prepare, but not over prepare in hopes of not UNDER preparing (did that make sense??). So, as I stated, interviewing realtors. I asked around, and I have a realtor that we have been in contact with over the years, the one we bought our current house from. I like to think I am loyal to said realtor, however, I also have never LISTED a house with any realtor and due to my husband's diligent process of research with anything and everything, I have learned it's best to compare notes to make a comprehensive decision. I have contacted three realtors, and have one coming today. The one that got back to me right away, that came highly recommended from my cousin who recently sold and purchased a house in the ugly market, I say that makes this realtor look pretty good at first glance! She stated that the current market is a little faster than previous years, which makes me feel good (YAY!) but also stated because of that, doing market analysis etc. NOW for a planned list date of March, may be a tad soon. (BOO!) However, she kindly accepted my request to come walk through my home and give me some staging and repair tips. I've been doing the reading over the years and know a thing or two about getting a house to appeal to a buyer. Opening up crowded spaces, depersonalizing, moving furniture to allow for rooms to look spacious, decluttering, etc. etc. etc...I am *hoping* the work I've put in over the years will pay off and she will walk away saying "keep doing what you are doing" but as I sit here waiting for her to arrive (10 more minutes to be exact!) I find myself on pins and needles. 

You see, anytime someone enters my home, I am wondering what goes through their mind. I feel I have decorated tastefully and have always tried to achieve that "staged" look, because when you are ready to move, that is what you think about right? Not about how to live in a home, but how it appeals to others. Now is the time, worth all the marbles, the time where I will be told if our home would make the cut. Ok, ok, I am being a bit dramatic, but there is a little bit of pressure on this little visit from a realtor and to be honest, I am sweating it a little bit. Wish me luck?

Thursday, August 23, 2012


This week has been crazy and therefore, this post is going to be full of randoms!

Monday, I started Chemistry. I anticipated a boring semester, I am still assuming it won't be the most interesting class, however, the mix of having a quirky, English accented, professor should make the class a tad more tolerable!
I go to class Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday. I was not prepared for that, until I looked up my schedule a few weeks ago and realized I have lab on Tuesdays. This puts a kink in my original plan, 4 days a week for class, is a lot. I will manage, I always do when curve balls are sent my way, but I am still mourning the loss of extra time with Miles as this is really our "last year" of spending school days together and it's already limited because he's in school three days a week this year instead of two.

Tuesday as I walked into class, I went to throw my empty gum pack away. I bent over to pick it up because I missed the garbage and when I stood up, there was a pain in my back I've never experienced. I am not outward with grimaces, but inside I was about to fall over in agony. I had about a 1/4 mile to walk (slight exaggeration, but it was a long way!) and three flights of stairs to walk up. By the third floor, I couldn't hide my tears anymore, so I went into the bathroom to compose myself. Every single step was excruciating, and every other step, I felt like my legs would give out. I got myself together, and walked into class as if nothing happened. Inside, I was already panicking wondering how in the world I would get BACK TO MY CAR!! Class ended 2 hours later, it was on to the journey to my car. I made it through every step of pain and then broke down once I got into my car. It was intense. (Remember, I'm the one that gave birth with no epidural and got through a nephrectomy with no pain meds, I like to think I am a tough cookie!!) I drove myself to urgent care where I was diagnosed with a back sprain. Man I am getting old! Who sprains their back BENDING OVER! I was given some stretches, was told to keep my muscles warm and to take Advil three times a day to keep the inflammation down. Today is day three, I've taken nothing and only feel slightly uncomfortable!!

Wednesday was the start of 4th grade for Miss Acilia. The morning was crazy and I still don't know how I was able to get to all the places I needed to be, within the proper amount of time! School starts at 8 am. That means we aim to leave our house by 7:15, get to school by 7:45 and that's on a good day! Opening chapel started at 8:30, usually it starts at 8:10, so the later start threw me off a bit, thankfully Miles went down to play in the nursery room and he was entertained! I was a little bit sad when I realized this most likely will be our last opening chapel. Chapel is always spiritual but the opening/closing ceremonies are always so much more meaningful and I will really miss them. It occurred to me, planning ahead to be done at a school is hard on the emotions. I have a feeling I will have many more "lasts" that we experience this year that will make me second guess the decision to go with public school next year. Once chapel was over, we walked out at 9:15, I realized that is the time I left my house to get to class on time on Monday and I was still late because the parking is atrocious at the college! My mom was kind enough to drive to meet me, so I could pass Miles to her and still make it to class on time! I made it there, sat through class then had a few minutes to spare before Acilia got out of school. She had a great first day!
Sign says "First day of school!
4th Grade
When I grow up I want to be:
An Equestrian"

The big girl heads upstairs this year. This is the year I stop walking in with her (per our choice, I feel like it's a great independence milestone, bittersweet of course!! I will miss going in and sending her off and seeing all the kids and teachers!)

Today, I was glad to get a break from Chemistry (Thursday is my only day off during the week) Miles and I dropped Acilia at school and then headed to our favorite place for breakfast, it's called Eggclectic Cafe, we go there about once a month. It was a first visit since May! We headed home for a quick minute and then headed to drop him at my mom's. I was off to appointments this afternoon. One of which was a counseling session with the nursing department to ensure I was on the right track for applying for the 2013 school year. There is a wrench in the plans. A new requirement is that I have to have a math class now to apply. Not only that, but I have to take a math placement test and if I don't score well, I have to also take a pre req which is where it could get hairy! I walked out feeling discouraged but also thankful that I took the step of visiting a counselor so I could handle the surprises before it was too late! This is my current Facebook status...need I say more!  "The ever evolving world of nursing school admission requirements is a frustration I must come to terms with. <>" 

Acilia went home with a friend from school today. This is a milestone to say the least! She readily admits she has separation anxiety and she was worried last night that she would miss her momma while at her friend's house after school. I love that she opens up to me, so I can help her through her worries! I told her I would put a little surprise in her backpack for her to think of me when she was at her playdate. I put one of my necklaces in her backpack with a little note. She was wearing the necklace when I got there, so I think it was a successful solution! She was excited to go to her friend's house though, because her friend walks to school, so naturally the girls walked home after school. They *happen* to pass a Dairy Queen on the way so, I packed a few dollars and they were able to stop for ice cream. Independence is a beautiful thing! This was Acilia's first experience like this, and she handled it well, and even called me when she got there so I know she made it. (I did tell her to call me, but I was impressed that she remembered!!)

Tomorrow is the first full day of school for Acilia, it feels as though we've had a great start to the year so far!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Quit the attack on sanitizer!

I keep reading articles about how we are "over sanitizing" our lives. I can understand the concern. Our immune systems need to work or they will start attacking themselves, blah blah blah. It makes sense. There is probably truth to it. But what I read is that we should stop using hand sanitizer so much. And that my friends is where I have a problem. Hand sanitizer is my sanity! We spend a lot of time out in public and all I think about is "Who has washed their hands?" There are a lot of nasty people out there. (Sorry if you are one of them and I just offended you!) People that look clean, but maybe don't wash their hands effectively. I have NO PROBLEM with germs, I have problems with people!! I people watch while we are in public restrooms. I compare how others wash their hands and this note is my favorite, it's posted on a wall in the bathroom of a place I frequent "Are you a washer, or a walker?" Yup, posted right next to the door! I love the idea of my immune system fighting the germs that enter my body. I take good care of my immune system with vitamin C and echinacea. That does not put to rest my mind that says "You just used a public washroom, why on earth do you think a quick rinse with water is going to wash off those POOP germs you just got from the toilet?" Now, my next thought is "What are you going to go contaminate with your unclean hands, and what if I touch it?!?"

I was recently a bit traumatized when I visited a forest preserve. A bathroom break was a must and we entered the little brown building, I was appalled when I went in to find HOLES in the ground with a toilet seat over it and NO SINKS! GAH! I tried to be an adult and I tried not to panic and I tried to remember that people DO infact live this way, and they did for many years before hand sanitizer was so conveniant. I couldn't help but think how often people need to use the washroom while picnicing and it was too much! I could not wrap my head around how I was expected to use a step above a port o potty and be ok to go on with my day without washing my hands?!?!? I bee lined to the car where I had my purse, which carried my sanitizer and just to set the record straight, I had a back up supply of sanitzier in my center console! HA! My peace of mind was much more important that allowing my immune system to do it's job IF (I can barely even say it!!) I happened to ingest any germ that was in that unsanitary bathroom!!

I will admit I am a bit prissy, I am not fond of dirt, however, I have two kids, one of which is a boy and we are completely accustomed to outdoor life. My kids get dirty like everyone else's kids (Well, maybe not like everyone else, they get sort of "clean dirty" if that makes sense) and I find no problem with washing up after we are done playing outside. I have a cleaning lady come once a week, we don't wear shoes in the house, I don't use antibacterial wipes unless I am dealing with a toilet or puke. So, am I normal? I don't know, but it's normal for me and I am OK with the "sacrifices" I make to live peacefully with all those big scary germs!

All images in this post are courtesy of google

Friday, August 17, 2012

New shoes!

I mentioned how Acilia wants to have some heels of her own for at home to practice how to walk in them, we were out shoe shopping again yesterday (it takes multiple shopping trips to get all we need these days!!) we found these shoes at Burlington Coat Factory. They were marked down to $12.99! Good deal right??
She was so cute, we saw them on the shelf, they had a purple pair and a yellow pair. Acilia said they would have been perfect if they had a blue pair! Lo and behold when I started looking at sizes, I found a BLUE pair in a box in her size!! It was love at first sight :)

I should have gotten a pair in my size too because : I have an obsession with peacocks! That's my pinterest, yes, I do have a board that is dedicated to PEACOCKS!!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Fun family outing!

This was not on our summer list of things to do, infact, we sort of found out about this event on a whim! We live very close to a small airport, when a B-29 flew over our house yesterday, we checked the airport for events. Lo and behold there was a free event going on this weekend! We jumped at the chance to go and get up close with the planes!
Fun family day indeed! We finished up with dinner out at T.G.I.Fridays, which is apparently Acilia's favorite restaurant :) Fun and memorable day!

B-29 coming in for a landing

Miles was very excited to be sitting IN a plane!

Sweet daddy daughter moment

Acilia caught us off guard, so we have awkward faces!

B-29 flying overhead!

Sunday, August 12, 2012


My sweet Acilia, has grown tremendously over the last year. She is to start 4th grade in a little over a week and the changes I've seen are nothing short of merging pure sweet innocence with adulthood. This is a special time and one I will cherish as we work our way through what has been known to be "tween" stage. We have real conversations now, I am always delighted when she has an opinion about something and it's her own, her own thoughts her own views. Yesterday we were out looking for some school shoes. We found ourselves in the women's shoes section, she has grown so much that she actually can fit into women's shoes now. She is about a size 6 (translates to a size 3.5 in youth). Her favorite color is blue and she found some striking blue shoes, by Jessica Simpson that she was intent on trying on. I gladly watched as she tried on all the heels she wanted to. She wanted to buy a pair. If the cheapest pair I could find wasn't $30, I would have bought her a pair in a heartbeat. I had the talk with her that we will find her a pair of her very own heels that she can wear around the house. I feel it's important if you are going to wear high heels, that you should be able to carry yourself in them with grace and confidence! She was told when we do find a pair that she loves, that she will only be allowed to wear them around the house, until she is older where she can show her "high heeled strut" with confidence! In many ways, Acilia is very much like me, in other ways, she is about the exact opposite of me! In the heel wearing way, she's my clone and it's a true joy to see this blossom!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Savor it

I am impulsive by nature. I like the satisfaction of wanting something and getting it right away. I've been this way my whole life. Recent years, have showed me that life is not always impulsive and by naturally being impulsive, I *may* just be missing out on the journey. I believe God has placed waiting into my life, and what I am about to write about is how I finally can see with clear eyes the beauty of waiting.

This is Acilia's last year at her current school. This was a decision that came to me as a revelation, and the perfect amount of waiting is 1 year. One year and we will be on a new journey. On paper one year is a short wait, but in reality, there is still another year. A year of getting things in order, a year of the journey a year of waiting.

Last week, I allowed my impulsiveness to sneak in and attempt to wreak havoc on our plans. It came to me in an instant, why not just pull Acilia out of her school now and start her out here this school year instead of next school year? The whole time my mind was conspiring all the reasons why that would be a perfect solution to the waiting, the other side of my mind, the new, patient, logical side was signaling caution with this plan that had many holes. (I got a similar feeling a few years back when I was looking at homes, BEFORE our house was sold. Cart before the horse anyone?) A plan can be perfect, but what I am learning is that the plan is only perfect when perfect timing is in play. My thoughts were valid, my reasons for wanting to get Acilia started at a new school right away were justified, but were they logical? Not at this time. Waiting one more year, is most logical. I must say, I am impressed with my new way of thinking things through. I am encouraged that I am growing out of the impulsive side of myself; but also resting assured that the impulsive side is a good "fire starter" so to speak and I won't completely give up on the crazy ideas that I come up with. A perfect compromise!

So, on to "savoring". I was thinking of the things I will be savoring this year, as they will most likely not be a regular part of our routine after this year.

Most of the savoring will come from my time with Miles. This is his last year of preschool and we all know once Kindergarten starts, it's all downhill!! Time flies and preschool is sort of the in between for when our children are babies, and when they are in school 6+ hours a day.

Savor this:
Our 20 minute commute. As much as I complain about the drive to get Acilia to school, I also really enjoy the time in the morning and afternoon, being couped up with my kids. They read, they look out the window, we sing and dance, we talk about what we see, we pray, we talk about life, it's a great time and I will miss it.

Miles and I are "regulars" at Einstein Bagels. We go two days a week, to one on the corner in a little downtown area that is right next to the railroad tracks. He loves to watch the trains go through as we eat our bagels and I drink my coffee.

I will miss my morning coffee!! Atleast 4 times a week, I stop at a local shop for coffee to drink on the way to school.  It's the best coffee and I really love how we literally drive past on our way to school.

I will savor my time in downtown Wheaton. I spend a lot of time there while Miles is in school and also when he gets out of school. We visit a little train museum, we walk around, we go through the park, we go to the library, he loves it all! Last year I parked my car by the park and studied with my poodle Remo as my company. I would study for an hour and then walk around town for an hour. I look forward to doing the same thing, although my time will be limited due to my new class schedule.

I will savor getting to pick Miles up at 11:30 and having a few hours with just him while big sis is in school.

As quickly as I would drop our routine to get on with our new phase in life, I do enjoy many aspects of our "everyday normal" once school starts. I am ahead of the game knowing things will change next year and for that I am looking forward to what's to come as I look forward to savoring the moments that we really enjoy!

Friday, August 10, 2012

A pet's life

We are pets. 
We didn't ask to be in your family, but we trust you to care for us.
We as pets, don't ask for much. 
We speak to you through our eyes or our bark. 
You can see our souls; happy, sad, content or distressed. It's all there. 
We can't speak, but we trust that you will know what we need and that you will provide for us.

We like to be outside but, if you don't let us out, we WILL find a place in the house that feels like grass. Don't punish us for these little mistakes. 
It's not our fault. 
We can't tell you when we need to use the bathroom. 
We love to please you. We work hard to keep you happy, see me sit pretty? 
We like to play. 
A lot. 
If you won't play with us, 
we will find a way to play by ourselves. 
It won't be as fun, but it will do. We aren't picky!
Take good care of our paws. 
We need them to walk.
 If it's hot outside or there is ice on the ground, beware of our sensitive pads. 
They hurt when they are abused. 
Keep our nails short. 
We know there are pets out there that don't like to have their paws touched. 
Be patient. Our paws are our transportation. We can get protective of them.

We sleep a lot. We like to sleep on your feet all snuggled up to you.
We need the rest. We spend a lot of time loving you. 
We like company. 
We don't like to be left alone. 
We make friends with other pets or with our humans. 

We want you to remember, 
we love you, 
we trust you and 
we want nothing more than for other animals out there to be as blessed as we are. 
Remo and Franko

*This post was inspired by my growing awareness of animal cruelty. It's beyond me, how anyone could harm an animal. It makes me sick to think about it, but it's out there and I am stepping out to say it must stop. Pets need humane care. As a minimum. Don't get mad at them for making a mess, they are animals. Animals have instincts and to have them living in your home, they are bound to show their "animal" side once in a while. It's natural. IF you don't like it, don't have pets! My heart aches for the animals that don't get the care they deserve, the consideration they seek, the sheer unconditional love they give. Just consider them, they always consider you.*

Monday, August 6, 2012

Working through that summer list

I was faced with an overwhelmed feeling on Saturday. I had the August calendar in front of me and I was feverishly figuring out plans for the next few weeks until school starts!
I had my summer list on the counter, I marked the items that we could physically still do before summer ends and then allowed to let go the events that will not feasibly work this year.

Yesterday, we marked one more item off the list: "Rowboats on Herrick Lake".
We left around 4:30 in the afternoon, rented our boat for $10 for an hour, donned our life jackets and we were on our way! We got into the boat, and Al got us out into the water, then the kids were ready to try their skills at the oars! Miles was happy as long as he was in the "drivers seat" but otherwise he was less than amused. The hour went quickly overall, except for a few moments, like when we were going under a bridge and it was sort of narrow and shallow and I was sweating a bit because I was in the rowing seat. Though I was happy that when we went back under the bridge, Al got us into the same predicament! There was also a lot of seat switching going on and it was making me a nervous wreck! I was picturing Miles falling overboard and I had already threatened if he fell out, we would not fish him out!! I am a woman of my word, so I was hoping that he stayed in the boat! HA HA!!
When our hour was up, we took a walk around the lake per Miles' request, I absolutely LOVE walking, so I enjoyed it immensely, Al on the other hand, took one for the team. He is not a fan of walks I guess!

Sorry to sweet Acilia who's combating the sun in this picture. I had to put it in, it's the only one that proves I was there that day!! ;)

Al and Miles having a snuggle moment!

Kids did pretty good with the oars!

Al took his rowing very seriously :)

Walking around the lake, we found this bench for a little rest. I love everything about this picture!!

Sunday, August 5, 2012


This is my 500th post. WOW. I can look back at any given moment and think "why the heck did I write about that??" but I still found 500 topics to keep this blog active! Wow!
That's a lot of writing. That's a lot of reading, by you, so thank you for following along on this "public journal" !!

I leave you with my absolute favorite picture right now! The kids and I went to a local forest preserve to meet my mom and the cousins for some nature loving fun. Miles was too cute in his little camo hat and then he picked up the binoculars. My heart was a puddle and I've captured it in print to enjoy for many years to come! Enjoy and God bless!

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Conversation starters...

There comes a time in one's life, when they learn "small talk". The kind of talk that is reserved for starting a conversation with a person in hopes of not allowing silence to take place for long enough to become awkward.

My kids have this figured out, they are a little rough around the edges with their conversation choices.

Miles to any random person: "Hi, I am Miles, what's your name? Did you know, we had bats in our house once? And, we had mice in our house once too, but my dog Franko ate them, now he eats poop."

Acilia to anyone that will listen: "I don't like tomatoes, but I will eat them if I am really hungry."

Lord help me! Case closed.

P.S. Though this can be quite embarrassing, it also cracks me up every time!

I absolutely without a doubt adore my crazy kids!

Hurry up and wait!

There are many things in my life right now that are in motion, yet I still need to wait for.

I just finished yet another class. Basic Nutrition was my summer class and it FLEW by! I enjoyed it tremendously and got an A, so I am happy! :) Fall is around the corner, which means I am a mere few weeks away from starting my next course, Chemistry, ACK! Not one I am looking forward to, however, this is officially the last class I need to start the application process for the nursing program. Something that back in 2008 when I started the school journey, felt so far away. Now its here. Well, sort of. Here, as in apply in spring and wait until next summer to officially start classes. Hurry up and wait.

On the subject of school, as you know, we decided to send Acilia to public school starting in 5th grade which is not this year, but next year. I am so thrilled to have this clarity, yet, we still have a whole year until it gets put into motion. Hurry up and wait.

We went miniature golfing as a family last week. It was on our summer list of things to do, we had a great time, Miles said he wanted to stay and play the rest of the night and started the next morning by proclaiming "I want to go mini golfing again" so, yes it was a great time! We pulled into the garage when we got home and I looked at a corner of the garage and how that one corner of the garage signified to me "HOLY CR*P we have a lot of stuff to move". I was overwhelmed. The thought of packing up this home which we have lived in for 8 years, our first home, and first of all putting this house on the market and having it critiqued by potential buyers AND taking everything in the home and finding a place for it, whether it be garbage, sell, donate or move with us, holy Lord help me keep my head about this!! And, this is what I feel now, we won't even be putting the house on the market until spring. Hurry up and wait!

Overall, summer is still a few weeks from ending, but the "new school year" buzz has started, school supplies, catalogs for new school clothes, schedule organizing. I just spent a good hour looking at the end of August and how busy it's going to be. August just started, I want nothing more than for the last few weeks of summer to be slow and enjoyable, yet at the same time, now our schedule is shaping up, I am eager to get on with it so I can fill in the holes and feel structure in our lives again. I am so thankful to still be enjoying the company of my kids. I know this time of the summer is trying for some of you moms out there and I just want to say "Hang in there, enjoy the last bit of summer because it will be over before we know it!!" Hurry up and wait.

Working on the "to do list" Priorities must be in order to put the house up for sale!