Wednesday, January 2, 2013

A New Year, Resolutions and a look back on 2012

A couple of years ago, a friend of mine (Heidi) posted a note on Facebook and it was brilliant.  So I then blogged a similar post (totally copied her) and made a resolution to do so every year, because the idea is just brilliant…. However, I did not do it last year… This just goes to show you Resolutions rarely hold.  But I still move forward in pretending I will follow through with my Resolutions.

2012 Moments I don’t want to forget:

-Roller skating with my kids

-Meeting my awesome boyfriend

-Realizing everything is better with some awesome sauce

-Adopting Gemelli and Fiona

-Experiencing my first festival season (Pitchfork for 2 days then Lolla for one torturous day)

-Learning how important the right shoes are at festivals (ref. Lolla torture above)

-Helping clients find their dream home 

-Seeing Gracie Doodle in the American Girl Catalog (and website)

-Rocking out two semesters with all A’s (and a couple A+’s)

-Falling in love the right way

-Meeting my boyfriend’s two girls and building a relationship with them

-Taking my babies to their first day of school (5th and 1st and 1st)

-Getting Jet back

-A realization our family is not meant to have hamsters (2 deaths within 1 month)

-Getting Marshmallow and Mo (RIP) – guinea pigs

-Going to Stanford vs. Notre Dame in the pissing rain

-Becoming a HUGE ND Fanatic (Go Irish!)

-Buying 10 lbs of bacon from Lowery’s

-John being selected as Student of the Month and on Student Council

-Seeing Pinback, Mould and Japandroids at The Metro

-Blythe’s SURPRISE 10th Birthday Party!

-Being 2nd for Total Transactions in our office for 2012

-Going to the Wisconsin Dells for the first time (and getting a flat tire on the way)

-Celebrating Valentine’s Day in Chicago with my honey (unbelievable dinner + Brian Posehn at UP! Comedy Club)

-Being asked to become a Supplemental Instructor for Sociology at PNC

-My continued involvement with ABC with the best two gals anyone can ask for (Aunt T and Candice)

-Watching my kids become Zombies!

-Attending TWO of my Bestest friends' weddings

-Meeting the author of The Shack

-Seeing my sister after far too long (and for far too short of a time)

-Beach time with my babies

-We adopted an Elf! (Stella)


-Getting a new tattoo (not like I can forget that)

-Spending quality time with my family

I’m sure there’s more that I am forgetting, because I am forgetful like that, but overall what I take away was 2012 was a great year and I look forward to an even better 2013!

New Years' Resolutions:

1.  Lose weight, inches, get into a size 8, even if it's one leg
2.  Tell people more often how much I appreciate them
3.  Do a random act of kindness at least once a week
4.  Blog more! (and do this every year)
5.  Make Every Day Count!

To 2013!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Sweaty Stuff

So I should be cleaning, decorating our Christmas tree, doing homework or something constructive, but instead I’m watching Ellen and finally blogging after forever and a half. And what a topic I have for anyone reading this today…. Ready?

 It’s….. Sweat.

Yep, that’s right. Sweat.

Strange topic to blog on, absolutely, but I must write what’s been rolling around in my head for the last few hours or I cannot move on to the more constructive items I need to do.

I’ve always had a hate/hate relationship with sweat. I over-sweat all the time. I have to be careful about tops that I buy because certain colors, materials etc. and I will sweat through them before I get to where I’m going.

It’s embarrassing, but I deal with it… and until a recent conversation with a girlfriend, I thought I was the only one who had this problem.

So I battle with the problem that I have been handed. I work around it, I make do.

I have tried a wide array of different deodorants, liners etc. All to no avail.

I have hated this problem and been embarrassed by it for as long as I can remember And, I should point out that when I sweat in tops, I don’t smell, but it is noticeable, as you can imagine.

Today as I was leaving the gym, I looked at myself and noticed the noticeable rings of sweat marks around my shirt… and I felt pride.

Pride that I continue to push myself over and over at the gym in the goal of losing weight, maintaining health and continuing to make goals, meet them and set new ones.

Pride that I worked out so hard that I sweat through my shirt.

Pride that I went to the gym on a Sunday, when I could have stayed in all day long eating Oreos.

I had my first prideful moment regarding my sweat, and I had to share.

You’re welcome.

Random ramblings from my mind to your eyes,


Sunday, January 22, 2012

One of those weekends....

At the start of this weekend, I was stuck in a snowstorm in Chicago with the Doodle, missing her opportunity to be in a Band-Aid commercial and fly to LA, where she would meet the Bieber and I would meet Ellen... Hey, it could happen!

I was so thankful to get home safely... in one piece, and the joy I felt when picking up Blythe and John made me so very happy!

We had such a good weekend and I had to share some of the highlights on my blog.... So here we go, Picture Parade!!

The Doodle in good spirits, reading the Nook as we sat in traffic on 290 for HOURS!

John taking his role of "Man of the House" very seriously when he got up Saturday morning, put on his winter gear and went out to shovel the steps... I kept snapping pictures... he's such a good boy!

Blythe had 3 friends over, Kiara, Kori and Ariana and we all went to Xavier's Birthday Party at the LaPorte roller rink! I never even knew of the place, but am definitely returning! It was so much fun... it had been YEARS since I'd been on roller skates, but it was Awesome none the less!

The Doodle skating along:

My babies! They are so cute!

Impromptu kissing fest.... I love this picture though I'm devoid of makeup... Moving on....

Chicken Dance... Oh Yeah!

All the girls!


More skating!

Awesome weekend, awesome kids, awesome life!

Also, today is my Mama's birthday and we did not get a chance to get together.... we'll be celebrating in 2 weeks! I love you Mom!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

My Bro & I

For my first Assignment in Child Psychology this semester the Professor asked us the following:

Describe the major traits you share with each of your siblings. What major traits are very different for you and your siblings? Which ones do you believe are biologically based, and which ones do you think are the result of your environment? How do you explain the differences, given you have the same parents and grew up in the same family?

Once I started typing, it flowed and I knew it would become a blog post... I'm so blessed to be surrounded by a family that is Amazing.

I have one brother who is 3 years younger than me. We are very similar in appearance, people who knew him would recognize me as Charlie’s sister on the street. It has taken me aback more than once. We share the same facial features and shape though mine are more feminine and his are more masculine. Obviously, these physical similarities would be biologically based.

Though we were similar in looks and close as siblings go, we both excelled in different areas. I am an avid reader, fascinated by the written word and devoured books as if I was starving. My brother was extremely agile and had a superior athletic ability. Anything he picked up, he could do. Once when we went ice skating I fell for about 10 minutes straight, he took off like he’d been doing it for years. He is also an excellent artist, which runs in our family.

These differences are a mix of nature and nurture. We were very close to my mother’s side of the family and when we all got together, you could clearly see the love of music, reading, art, athletics weaved throughout our family… Charlie and I seemed to gravitate to our own specialties, if you will. I was always green with envy by his natural ability to do anything, but perhaps he was envious of my talkability and love of books and music.

I would frequently wonder what “ability” I got from my family. My brother seemed to get them all. My grandmother is an amazing woman… she paints, draws, cooks, plays guitar and piano, crochets, knits and in general is one of the most inspirational women I have been blessed to have in my life.

My mother also has “mad skills,” in which she paints, cooks, draws, plays instruments, sings beautifully and shares my love of reading… or perhaps gave me my love of reading.

I grew up surrounded by a talented family, one in which the world was a blank canvas with endless possibilities.

When it comes to the nature vs. nurture debate, I believe you cannot truly have one without the other. We may be inborn with certain qualities but unless it is nurtured, how could we ever reach our true potential?

Wednesday, January 18, 2012


As a parent there are “moments” that floor you, ones that make you laugh so hard you start snorting (or at least I do), moments that take our breath away, moments that you will remember forever, moments that make you so very thankful every single day you’ve been blessed and moments that startle you and really make you reflect.

This story is one of those reflection moments.

Earlier this week, it was just B and me. We were on our way to the store for potato soup fixings and she asked me this:

“Mom, do all grown ups worry about being fat? Because I don’t want to be like that.”


Well, ummmmm....


It took me a moment, but then I asked her why she thought that. She proceeded to tell me that I along with at least 2 other women she knows constantly frets about being fat and we aren’t.... so why would we all be so concerned over it?


Well, you know I had just been talking about this... I mean, I took an awesome course on Sociology of the Body last semester... I learned so much, really loved the class, but obviously carried my weight issues with me all the way through without really considering what I was passing on down to my girls.

I don’t want my girls to look at themselves the way I look at myself in the mirror.

I wish I didn’t look at myself in the mirror the way I do.

So, as a resolution for 2012 and beyond (2 weeks late but better late than never), I will work to not be so harsh with myself, to appreciate the beauty that others see, and to say something positive about myself every day.

I’m not doing it just for me, though that in itself is a good enough reason.

The realization of the message I was sending to my children was startling, eye-opening and obviously much needed.

I’m so thankful that B speaks to me frankly and knows that she can always ask me anything. I’m glad she opened my eyes to what I do to myself and in turn, what I’m passing to them.

So here we go:

Positive Affirmation #1: I’m amazing... I have the tattoo to prove it.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Why I won't step foot into the MC Library

May 10, 2010
Dear Mr. Head of Library,

I am writing to you regarding various complaints. I have been a patron of the Michigan City Library since I moved to Michigan City last year. I am an avid reader and have three children that also love to read. I love libraries, in general. I sometimes feel as a child in a candy store when I walk into a library and see books surrounding me and enveloping me in their brilliance. I love the design of the Michigan City Library and the selection of books, movies and audio books and the convenience of location. However, none of these things make up for the absolute horrific service you get at the Circulation Desk. I have been continually shocked and offended by the staff in the Circulation Desk. Before I give you specific examples I would like to say that the only gentleman that works up there and C are the only exceptions in my mind. I feel it’s almost as a Russian Roulette when I check out hoping that one of those two are working and I’ll get them in my turn in line. The two rudest employees are the older woman with the white curly hair and E.

I have had the occasional late fees, hold fees and I have paid for two books, one of which my dog ate and the other simply seemed like it disappeared. I pay my fees, though have been treated like I’m a criminal when I come in with a late fee of only 50 cents. I was honest when one of the library’s books was destroyed and the other lost and paid for the cost immediately. I have taken out audio books, movies and games and have had to advise the library multiple times of audio books or movies that didn’t work. I had to bring a Playaway back within 2 days as it didn’t get past track 3. One time, I had dropped an audio book off in the box outside as the library was not open and the last CD had skipped to the point that I still don’t know the end of the book. The next day I went to the library to tell them and was told rudely by the Circulation Desk that it’s back on the shelf and it was obvious nothing would be done about it.

The first incident I had with E had me quite perturbed but it would take a lot for someone like me to give up the library based on one employee’s rudeness. As I had said before I had a book that was damaged and when I came in to take care of it, the gentleman at the Circulation Desk was there and assisted me. I also had maybe 45 cents in late fees and 2 to 3 hold book fees. I wrote a check for the amount due and he wrote me out a detailed receipt with a breakdown of the costs I had paid. The next time I came into the library, E, waited on me. She scanned my card and told me I had $1.00 in hold fees. I told her I paid those hold fees the last time I was in. She denied that I did so. I told her I had a receipt, she threw her hand in my face and started yelling for a supervisor. I started digging in my purse as she makes this major commotion getting a supervisor and amazingly enough I still had the receipt. So I showed it to her and the supervisor. What does she do next? Mayhap an apology might be in order? NO! She goes back behind the 2nd division in the circulation desk area and starts yelling at the guy that helped me out because he didn’t remove them from my account! As I stand waiting to be checked out! Now, let me tell you I was absolutely mortified for the guy and in no way intended on getting him in trouble. E made me feel like I was some sort of criminal trying to get away with $1.00!!!! I still think what nerve she has to put me and that guy and everyone else in line through that! And maybe I should’ve just kept my mouth quiet and paid the $1.00, but I didn’t owe it and didn’t feel I should have to pay it.

The second incident just happened recently and has forced me into the sad decision that I do not want to return to the library. I am looking into joining another library in the Michigan City area in the hopes that the employees in an alternate library will not be so harsh. As I previously indicated I have rented a lot of movies from the library. I know from being a frequent customer of the audio books and movies the quick cursory glance the staff gives the disc before shuffling the next person into line. I have rented quite a few discs from the library that flat out don’t work in my dvd player, scratched or not. I have told the staff when a movie doesn’t play properly. More often than not the movies I have checked out from the library are scratched and skip at least one or two times when my children are watching them. I figure it’s a part of life and they are free movies so who am I to complain? Well now I am the one complaining as I rented Mulan and my children watched it a couple of times before I returned the movie. I came in to the library to pick up a book on hold and lucky me, I got E as my clerk. She got my book off hold and scanned my card and then told me to wait a minute. She brings out the Mulan disc and says you damaged this, we need $30. I told her I did not damage it and she immediately threw her hand in my face again and went to get a supervisor, yelling the entire way. Sir, I am not an intimidating woman. I do not yell or slam my first when trying to make a point. E is unaccountably rude and it’s absolutely shameful the way she has treated me, like I’m some sort of lying thief. When the supervisor came up I explained the situation that I did not scratch it and that it played fine in my house. I cried when I left the library, a first and a last, I can assure you. Sure, the dvd was quite scratched but most of the dvd’s I get from the library are scratched. I would take full responsibility for the dvd if I had indeed damaged it. You can look in my account and see that I have paid my fees and was honest in regards to the two books that I have paid for. My payment history can show the type of library patron I am, to this point.

I do not feel that I should be responsible for the cost of the Mulan dvd. I did not damage it, no matter what they say regarding the scratching. Most of the children dvd’s are scratched significantly so. If the library is going to throw my account into a collection for it that would affect my credit, then I will feel that my hand will be forced into paying for a dvd that I did not damage. I will seek patronage for myself and my family in an alternate library in Michigan City area and only hope that by writing this letter that E will be served some sort of punishment for being so rude to the patrons of Michigan City Library. I am saddened to write this letter with the intent of no longer being a patron. But I can no longer stand by and be treated so terribly in a place that has always been a safe haven to me.

If you would please let me know if I will be turned into collection if I should not pay for the DVD that I did not damage, I would be much obliged. Also I am including a check of $1.50 for any additional holds I had on my account. I know House Rules came in as that’s the book I was there to pick up and Runaway came in subsequently after that I had put on hold.


Carissa Adams

Thursday, October 20, 2011

The Cheesecake Factory Experience

Dear The Cheesecake Factory,

We love you, we really do. We visit you far too often. My oldest daughter has proclaimed she will one day marry you. We enjoy your appetizers, small plates, sandwiches, pastas, specialties and chicken and of course every scrumptious bite of the cheesecake that makes you The Cheesecake Factory. A trip into the city with the family would not be complete without topping it off with a visit to one of our favorite Chicago places.

And then….. we finally come see you for a special occasion… not “just because” we have an obsession, not “just because” we found some reason to come to town so we could see you. We come to celebrate our babies’ 6th birthday and receive the absolute worst service we have ever received. Anywhere.

Now let’s just get one thing straight, the food was delicious. It always is; it never lets us down. And I would never imagine that it could.

But we are extremely let down.

When we come to town, when we come to The Cheesecake Factory, we expect great service, awesome food and spectacular cheesecake. We left tonight completely outraged on a special night.

We do not know if it’s because we were a family of 5 (only 2 adult menus and 3 children) in a booth that could perhaps house 8 people. We didn’t request it, it’s what we were led to, but the waiter clearly was not happy at this idea of a possible lesser tip. Even though it was a Thursday and not the high peak weekend time where I’m sure the wait staff makes the most mula.

Our waiter got the drink order wrong, never served one plate of food, nor filled our glasses. He did not ask us if we wanted cheesecake, nor was there any celebration of the twins’ birthday by singing (even though there were 2 other Happy Birthday sing-songs AND I had told the host that we wanted them sang to). We had to stop him at our table as he tried hurrying past if we needed anything. Finally, and most appallingly, before we even left the table he came to see how much I had written in as a tip. We always tip well, and even though he was the most horrid excuse for a waiter, I was extremely tempted to leave a crap tip for him. I didn’t, though I still question my decision of rewarding bad behavior.

Although, it would take MUCH more for us to write off The Cheesecake Factory, it has definitely left a blemish on an otherwise unbeatable record.

Still yours,