Wednesday, July 30, 2008


It's my dads 58th birthday and I wanted to pay tribute to the best dad ever!!! I honestly don't know where to begin to talk about my dad! He has touched my life in so many ways. If it weren't for him I wouldn't be the person I am today. I actually grew up with my dad. My parents were divorced when I was 9 years old we all went to live with him spending certain days with my mom. I was always drawn to my dad as a kid, he is seriously one of the nicest guys you will ever meet. I love listening to him tell stories or just talk about his day he's so happy and excited about life (except for in the winter). He's always wanted me to be happy and no matter what to try my hardest in life. I would come home with an ok grade and be kind of down on myself, he would say "did you try your hardest?" I would say "yes" then he would say "well, that's all that matters". I try to live by those words. I know if I'm trying my hardest and giving it my all then I'm doing a good job. I'll never forget the ice skating rinks he would create in our backyard each winter. My favorite one had to be in the backyard of our house in St. Claire Shores, that thing was huge and my dad was up every couple of hours checking on it and making sure it was perfect. He even put one in the backyard of our Troy house and that backyard was sooo tiny. It seemed like his first priority was to always make us kids happy. I can't thank him enough for allowing our family to travel as much as we did: Florida, Colorado, Hawaii, South Carolina, Arizona the list goes on and the resorts we would stay at would just take my breath away. John always yells at my dad for giving me such a nice life he for sure feels like he has a lot to live up to. What is so funny is I married a man just like my dad. Luckily my dad loves John as if he was his own son and John feels the same way about my dad, I wouldn't have it any other way! Watching him with Addison is so beautiful. He loves her so much and is almost as obsessed with her as we are. Seriously he's got at least 2 full photo albums of her if not more. He's a great Grandpa and I'm sure Addison will let him know that when he comes to visit next week with lots of hugs and kisses. Well, Happy Birthday Dad you mean the world to me. Thanks for everything, I hope you have a beautiful day see you next week!

(Father's Day 1989 or 1990)

(Huge U of M Fan)

(8th Grade Celebration)

(My Wedding Day)

(Dad & Addison)

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Happy Birthday Paige!!

(Kari & Paige)

I can’t believe it! Paige is turning 5 today! Paige is the daughter of my very good friend Kari. I remember the day she was born and obviously the whole time Kari was pregnant. Paige was for sure an amazing gift especially for all that Kari had to go through during her pregnancy. Kari developed a disease that affected her liver so she was on a lot of medication and not to mention had to go through tortuous itching. Kari was such a great sport and with a scheduled induction Paige was born 5 years ago today! I’ll never forget that day because of course Kari was working up until she had to go in the hospital. Once Kari had her she was back in the office showing her off a week later! Paige and I have always been very close. I would go visit her any opportunity I had and luckily Kari loved bringing her to the office to visit. I just can’t believe its been 5 years since she’s been born, time sure is flying once again. I’ll never forget one time when I was watching her and when Kari came to pick her up I told her how good she was and we had a great time watching Sponge Bob. Kari was like “ohh really, well we normally don’t watch that show but that’s ok”. I had no idea but Paige just sat there smiling like she knew she got away with something. I felt awful and will never forget my first Sponge Bob experience, I can’t believe I got in trouble. ;o) Anyway I wanted to pay tribute to my little Paige and tell her how much I miss her. I wish I could see her all the time and hope she gets to come visit us very soon in Florida! LOVE YOU!!!

(Paige holding Addison last summer)

Monday, July 28, 2008

"Until the ending of our days, we will be part of one another's lives. However far apart, however different, we are essential to each other."

(Birth of Addison Marie)


Now known as Tete (to Addison) she is not only an amazing Aunt but the best sister too. I know its so cliché to say my sister is my best friend but it’s really true! Natalee and I are only about 15 months apart and were lucky enough to be in the same grade from 4th grade on (I say that with a huge smile). This is another bitter topic that should be in a different blog but in a nut shell my parents decided to hold me back when I was in the 4th grade. With lots of therapy I’ve moved on from this traumatic time in my life. Anyway back to my lovely sister. I’ll never forget when we were in the 5th grade we had a huge fight, I thought I had more friends than her and decided to take a survey of all the 5th graders on the playground to find out who people liked more. Well, I think she cheated because she had a couple more votes than me! It’s really hard for me to admit that but I shouldn’t be surprised. She is extremely funny and absolutely stunning. I would honestly say it wasn’t until John and I decided to move back to Michigan in 2002 right before my wedding that we truly became best friends. I swear she was at our apartment every weekend and if we didn’t see each other at least once a week there was something missing. There were plenty of nights that involved flip cup and of course my favorite…quarter bounce. The evening wouldn’t be complete without her doing the lovely baby bird impression (ask her to show you). While we have had many situations where we’ve been apart I think the hardest was this last move to Florida 2 years ago. I found out I was pregnant 2 weeks after telling our family we were moving. I was so upset that she wasn’t going to be part of this experience with me and that I would have to do it without her. Luckily she was always so excited to hear how my doctor appointments went and wanted me to tell her everything I was going through while this human was growing inside me. She came out to visit me a couple of times throughout the pregnancy and I was able to travel too. Her being there for the birth of Addison was my main priority and we planned it perfectly. Natalee came out for 10 days, we were convinced Addison would come early but of course she came 2 days late. Luckily she was there in the delivery room when Addison Marie was born and I’ll never forget hearing her voice when Addison arrived screaming she’s beautiful with tears coming down her face. It meant so much to us to have her there, she thanked us a million times but we were the lucky ones. The bond that Addison has with Tete can’t be described. I love how close they are and even though they don’t get to see each other every day she constantly reminds us how much we are loved. Well, now its time for Natalee to start her new adventure. She received her college degree this past May and will be moving to South Carolina to over see a new building her company has purchased. I’m so proud of her and just love her so much. I will always be there for her no matter what. I can’t wait to spoil her just like she has spoiled me with my wedding and having my first baby. Thank you Natalee for being my best friend and thank you for always being there when I need you. I know I can count on you for anything and that means more to me than you know.

(Halloween 1989)

(8th Grade Celebration)

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Ahhh the Beginning

(Summer of 1995)
I've been thinking a lot about when John and I first met and how far we've come since the summer of 1995. John and I met at his graduation party. Our parents were friends so my parents MADE us (Natalee, Greg and I) attend this party I didn't want to go to since I wasn't going to know anybody. Well, to my surprise the party was actually a lot of fun and I met my future husband. John had just moved to Michigan from Washington and didn't really have any friends. While I thought he was kind of cute I wanted to be his friend and give him someone to hang out with. The whole friendship thing didn't last very long and much to my surprise we were "going out" pretty quickly. I remember the first time that we were going to get together for our first official "date" and I was a wreck. I had soo many butterflies, seriously beyond being nervous. It was so weird, as soon as I saw John I was instantly comfortable around him and knew I could be myself. The only problem with our situation was the fact that he had graduated high school and I still had 2 more years left. It was really hard on us due to the fact that I still wanted to go out with my friends and do high school stuff and he already had a full time job as well as going to college. The timing just wasn't the greatest so we broke up but still remained friends. Well, after getting back together and breaking up a couple of times John had decided to move back to Washington and we went several years without talking. I decided the second year in college that I really wanted to know what was going on with John and see how he was doing. So, I was able to get a new phone number to reach him and called him right away. While I was a little nervous because it had been a couple of years since we had talked I knew he would be excited to hear from me. I got his voicemail and left him a message "hi John its Stephanie Ramsden I hope you remember me, I just wanted to call and say hi and see what your up to..." I immediately received a phone call back and it was John. We talked for hours about everything and at the end of the conversation we just didn't know how to end it and wanted to keep it going. It was really exciting because John was coming to Michigan to visit his dad in a month and he wanted us to hang out. I was super excited and all the sudden the spark reignited and we found each other talking about possibly getting back together. We knew we couldn't make this decision by us talking on the phone so we decided we would see how the week would go when he was in town and then make a decision off of that. Well, much to my surprise we fell in love all over again and spent the whole week together. By the time he had to leave to go back to Washington I had decided I was going to move out to Washington too and be with him. My parents were so supportive and as you can see we've been together ever since. I truly love our story he was my first love as well as I was his. The butterflies are still there but my love for him is constantly growing. He is the best husband and an amazing father. I thank God every day for him being in my life.

(Summer of 2000 we've been together since)

Friday, July 25, 2008

My How You've Grown!

My little girl is growing up (I know some of you are thinking she's only 17 months)! I can’t believe all the big girl things she’s doing now. When people tell me “enjoy every minute, time goes so fast” I didn’t believe them until now. While she’s always had such a personality it’s really coming through now! It cracks me up when she tells me with authority “No” and shakes her head. She does this as if she’s the boss…well I guess 9 times out 10 she normally is. When she walks she likes to swing her arm and put out her chest and charges forward like she’s on a mission. Then when you look at her with a huge smile she tilts her head to the side, raises her shoulder like she’s shy and then gives you a smile back most likely with a huge giggle. I love when we are playing and she wants to be silly she’ll sit up and say ahhhh softly and then get louder and louder and then fall backwards! One of my favorites is when I pick her up she lays her head on my shoulder and rubs my back like I’ve always done to her. What an amazing impression to leave on her, she’s such a lover and cuddle bug. It seems like these things are so small but in my eyes they are huge. It’s really hard to explain all the things she’s doing now because it’s not as simple like she’s crawling, walking smiling, etc. It so much more and so exciting! I love being Addison’s mom and feel so privileged to be the one to teach her all the new things she learns on a daily basis. Ahh, I just feel like luckiest person in the world!

(She never sleeps in the car)

(She use to hate the sand & ocean)

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Damn 7lbs!!!

Well, I’ve decided to get back to my old routine which consists of:
- Get up at 5:30 am
- Be at work by 7:30
- Pick up Addison by 4:30
- Leave for the gym by 5:30
- Get home from the gym by 7:00
- Put Addison down for bed by 8:00 (at the latest)
- Be in bed by 9:30 pm
The most important part of this whole schedule is getting my butt back to the gym. I was on a role with working out at least 4 times a week, eating great and most importantly not complaining about being tired all the time. With visitor’s coming and going its been hard to stick to our routine but even with my dad coming in 2 weeks I need to keep it together. Well, its time to stop making excuses and just go. I went yesterday, weighed myself and just about puked. I couldn’t believe in just 2 months I gained 7lbs! Well, I have set a new goal for myself that I think is achievable. I want to lose 13lbs by January so I can look really hot and skinny on whatever beach John and I decide to go to. This weekend will consist of going to the grocery store and buying nothing but healthy food and going to the gym both Saturday and Sunday. This all may sound like a chore but honestly I actually LOVE working out and getting fit. It’s the beginning that I hate because its hard to get yourself going when its so easy to just come home feed Addison and then just play and watch Yo Gaba Gaba! Well, wish me luck I think I can do this considering I was only 6lbs away from my goal 2 months ago. I promised myself that I would not have to make a new years resolution to lose weight this year and I’m going to fulfill that promise, watch out elliptical runner here I come!!!!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

My Visitor is Gone! ;o(

My little visitor left yesterday (I guess I shouldn’t say little she does tower over me). I’m sure she was happy to go home and see her immediate family and her two BFFs that she constantly talked about. It was really nice to have Arielle here. I hope she had fun and wasn’t too bored. Unfortunately we picked the worst week for her to come. The weather didn’t cooperate at all during the week and I’m sure she was pretty bored when none of us were there with her. I’d like to think that the weekend helped her to forget the days before when she was thinking of what to do inside while I’m in Florida. I’m really hoping this is sounding a lot worse than it really was. I remember when I was 16 all I wanted to do was sleep, watch TV and drive my moms car anywhere I could think of. Well, since Arielle doesn’t have her license she was stuck hanging out in the house and doing at least 2 of my favorite things. Anyway, I really learned a lot about my 16 year old niece. She was so helpful with Addison and we even had Addi saying her name a couple of times (she loves those lllll’s). What topped off the whole trip was last night when I was cleaning up the room that she slept in I noticed a piece of paper under the lamp, it was from Arielle. I did everything possible to hold back the tears but it was too hard. She thanked us for everything and told me how much fun she had. I’m sure she wanted to kill me because I asked her everyday “are you having fun”. It was the sweetest thing and I hope she knows how much that meant to me. I will save it and show it to Addison so she knows exactly what to write her aunt or uncle when she stays with them. ;o) I love you Arielle and I hope you’ll want to come back to stay with us, hopefully you’ll have a license next time so you can go and do more stuff while I work!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Grandpa Ramsden

(Grandpa Wes w/Aunt Michele)

It’s been a year now since my Grandpa Wes has passed away. I wanted to pay tribute to him and share my most cherished memories/thoughts from when he was alive. I would honestly say Grandpa Ramsden was a guy that intimidated me a little bit. He would mostly keep to himself many times you would see him sitting in a chair observing the different activities going on while sipping on his martini. My dad was adopted by my Grandpa when he was really young however he’s never considered him a “step-dad”, in fact most people wouldn’t believe Grandpa Wes wasn’t his biological father. Grandpa Wes would constantly stay with my dad and step-mom, he lived about 2 ½ hours away in a small town called Rose City. I actually didn’t know how important my Grandpa was to this small town until we had his funeral there. People loved and respected him, people were coming up to us at the hotel we were staying at and ask if we were family of “Uncle Wes’”. My dad was in disbelief by all the hugs and tears in people’s eyes, they all loved my Grandpa so much and couldn’t believe he was gone. They actually shut down a busy restaurant so we could have his memorial luncheon to honor him. People just loved him. I will say for a moment I felt like these people knew him better than I did. It was one of those moments where I struggled with myself asking: “why didn’t I go visit him more”, “why didn’t I take the time to write him more” and “did he know how much I really did love and respect him”. Even to this day writing this I feel the tears coming to my eyes. I will never forget going to the farm when I was younger, picking berries and wanting to puke after I ate way too many. Perhaps this is why I don’t like blueberries to this day. The twinkle I would see in my Grandpa’s eye when it came to his farm I now see it in my own father’s eye. My dad really wanted to take on the old farmhouse that my Grandpa has been trying to fix up and finally he decided to go for it. So, rather than sell the property my dad is hoping his grandchildren can come visit him or at least vacation with him and hopefully create some of the same memories his kids got to have with his father. We know Grandpa Wes is in a better place now and would be so proud to see what my dad has done with his old farmhouse.

(Sign from the luncheon)

(River in town where he remains)

Monday, July 21, 2008

Beach Update

Well, thank you to all of you who did the no rain dance for us because this weekend was beautiful. I found myself saying probably every hour "I can't believe how nice it is". The sky was seriously all blue, not one cloud. I was a little nervous because when we left Friday for our 20 minute drive it was raining really hard. Luckily after we had dinner it cleared up and Arielle got to go in the ocean for the very first time. I will say in my opinion she didn't really get the full experience due to the seaweed piles all along the beach. It was honestly so disgusting and it smelled like the worst smelly seafood restaurant ever. Anyway Arielle and John still went in there and actually had a great time. The next morning like I said before, we woke up to blue skies and perfection. We first went to the beach so I could get that out of the way. I don't want to sound like a complaining you know what but I seriously HATE the beach. I hate the sand, I won't go in the ocean and most importantly I hate the smell of whatever is out there. So, I lasted as long as possible without getting wet and then I had to walk up towards the pool to use the showers located right before getting into the pool. Luckily John and Arielle were also done with the ocean and ready to hang out at the pool (which I'm sure I had something to do with that...sorry). We were at the pool all day and my lovely husband was even kind enough to stay with Addison for her afternoon nap while I laid by the pool and relaxed in the hot sun. It was a lot of fun and we all got wayyyy too much sun! Sunday was nice too, luckily they didn't make me go to the beach. Arielle and John got to use the boogie boards since there were some pretty ok waves and I think Arielle had a blast! Addison wasn't enjoying the sun as much so she was ready for an early nap. This time I let John have his time and I stayed with Addison while she was napping. After Addison napped we finished our day down by the pool and finally decided around 3 we had enough especially since all of our faces were on fire due to it being soo darn hot and getting enough sun on Saturday. It was so nice to only drive 20 minutes home. Addison went to bed at 6:00 and we had the rest of the night to get ready to start the work week (in Arielle's case watch the crazy baby at 7am). So, thank you to the Quay family for letting us use your amazing condo. We had so much fun and I really hope Arielle has some amazing memories to share when she gets home.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Off to the Beach!

Poor Arielle has had the worst weather since she's been here. I think she's gotten whiter since she's been in Florida. I don't remember the weather being so crappy like this last year but then again I did have a fairly new baby I was dealing with. Anyway I planned this amazing get away that will only take us about 20 minutes to get to. We are going to St. Pete Beach and staying in a condo the owner of John's company has as an additional place to vacation. John and I actually stayed there once before a little over 2 years ago when we were deciding to move here. Its really nice, right on the beach and there's a pool right there too. So we can have best of both worlds. Seriously I NEED this weather to cooperate. I have never been so darn white. The beginning of the summer started off pretty good and then all the sudden we were too busy to bake ourselves in the Florida sun. I'm keep my fingers crossed hoping I can look 1/2 as tan as the picture below. I can't wait to go on a vacation (not until January of February) where all I have to do is lay there and relax as I smell my skin baking. It will be nice to not have a baby to run around after. Anyway back to this weekend. Please do the no rain dance and the nice weather dance so Arielle can truly get an experience of how fun Florida really is.

(In Punta Cana w/friend Fran that we met there)

Thursday, July 17, 2008

My New Friend Louise

I remember when I was about 17 or 18 my sister April had a psychic party. This encounter really opened my eyes to truly believing this stuff could actually be real. Well, I won’t go into detail with what the woman told me but there were several things she predicted that actually happened to me. Many of these things were not very positive but with having the information she provided she helped me to change my life and move in a positive direction. So, when Terry (John’s Mom’s BFF) offered to buy me and John an anniversary gift to see someone who can read our future based on our astrology I was excited. While I was excited I was also kind of nervous. It’s just a totally different feeling what your going to learn about your life at 18 vs. 29. I really wanted to learn what kind of girl Addison was going to turn out to be and more importantly how I can help her excel at what she’s meant to do. Well, after making my appointment the woman I went to told me it wasn’t necessary to bring questions because she would tell me everything she saw so with my lack of time I was thrilled. The experience was great and it was a lot of fun to hear what she had to say. Now that it’s over and done with I will tell you this was more of a wake up call that helped me realize I need to take a deep breath and just relax for a moment. My experience wasn’t as exciting as the other time I did this but what we talked about really needed to happen. I’m constantly on the go (especially in my head) and never sit down and even when I’m sitting down I’m thinking about what I could do next. My mind is constantly racing and I’m losing focus on what really matters. I will be the first one to say I take John for granted. He is the love of my life and I know we will always be in love no matter what. I know I get too comfortable with that and don’t take the time to tell him how much I care for him and how much I truly do love him. I will also be the first to admit that when he’s talking I’m not always listening because I’m thinking of other things. Louise helped me understand I’m moving too fast and I’m not paying attention to what matters. While this could be a general statement from my new friend Louise it really opened my eyes and I needed to hear it. I feel great about my experience and while I thought of questions I wanted to ask her once I left I’m ok with not knowing, for once I really want to live in the moment and take life as it comes. I don’t always have to have full control on what happens it’s kind of nice to be surprised. Thank you Louise for opening my eyes and my heart, I really needed someone to talk to and this really helped. Also, thank you Terry for this generous gift, it meant more to me than you know.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Grande - Nonfat - Extra Hot - Lite Whip - Mocha

My name is Stephanie and I am a Starbucks junky! I'm not kidding I order my mocha's like this every time. For some reason Florida has decided to not make coffee very hot so in order to get it the exact temperature I like I have to say extra hot, Natalee makes fun of me all the time. Thanks to John having an obsession with Starbucks I unfortunately have to say I too now have an obsession with Starbucks. As you know my niece is here visiting, I won't ever forget after John got her a big old venti frappuccino she said "holy crap I'm really awake now". You could see it in her eyes, watch out April we may have another Starbucks junky on our hands. While John has given up on Starbucks every morning and just drinks the coffee they have in the office I can't seem to shake my love of this delicious drink! I swear as soon as I just thought about having this amazing drink every morning I gained 5lbs. I really don't like the fact that when I walk through the door I get the "hi" like we're BFF's and they already have my drink sitting there waiting for me, its really kind of creepy, perhaps this is my wake up call. Well, I will tell you I've decided to cut back and try to only go there on Monday and Friday. So, I'm hoping if I cut at least 3 of these drinks out every week it may help the extra pudge I feel like I'm carrying around. Please wish me luck and keep me in your thoughts while I try to not think about the happiness I share every morning with my grande, nonfat, extra hot, lite whip mocha. Thanks for listening.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Roxy Bella

Where do I begin to discuss the first "baby" John and I ever had. Its weird saying that now especially since I'm constantly complaining about the darn dog hair that rolls across all my hardwood floors and the drool puddles that occur every time a storm rolls in (which is everyday here in Florida). Roxy is a beautiful Husky/Shepherd mix, she's not very big, less than 40lbs and most importantly doesn't bark! We got Roxy 4 years ago on March 12th. It was still kind of cold in Michigan and we had just bought our brand new just built condo the year before. John and I went to the driving range that day and after hitting a couple of golf balls we decided to do a little shopping. Well, we saw there was a Petco in the complex and they had dogs up for adoption we decided to check it out. When we went in it was kind of disappointing because they didn't have any puppy's but we did see this beautiful dog sitting in a cage calmly just laying there while all the other dogs were barking and being all hyper. John and I didn't even look at this dog at first because we thought it belong to one of the people working for the adoption agency (that's how well behaved she was). Well, to our surprise this calm non-barking dog WAS actually up for adoption. We took her out of the cage and walked her around the store, she was sooo cute and pretty good even though she ended up peeing right there in the middle of the store. They told us she was either 1 or 2 they didn't know for sure but she was very well behaved dog. They named her Willow and then John came up with Roxy. We could tell right from the beginning that she was good and I absolutely loved the fact that she didn't bark. After talking about it for 2 hours we decided to adopt her. I had no idea what I was getting myself into. That Monday we figured out Roxy had some emotional issues and completely disagreed with the fact that John and I had to work and leave her home alone for about 9-10 hours a day. After the first couple of weeks we figured out Roxy DID NOT want to be caged up. We've gone through at least 4 crates due to Roxy either eating them, pooping all over them and just plan freaking out in them. There was one point where we had Roxy's crate tied up with a bungee cord to the spare bed, she figured out a way to get the bungee cord undone and decided to roll her crate down a flight of stairs. She was fine when we got home but her crate was upside down and wedged into our staircase. She is seriously psycho! After many attempts of medicating her (really she's been on Zoloft forever and it doesn't help her anxiety issues) and several attempts of getting her trained we have given up on the crate. Were hoping that since now she's around 6 perhaps she's calmed down. Well, about a year ago we decided to just see what she would do if we left her out and luckily after many attempts, today we only need to close some minor doors so she doesn't get into trash or eat Addison's stuff animals. However, living in Florida especially this time of year is tough on Roxy, she has terrible panic attacks when there's even a slight chance of a storm rolling in. She shakes so bad and is literaly attached to me. Everywhere I go she's right there drooling on under my feet and it drives me crazy. Poor thing doesn't know any better but it makes me so angry. Truthfully, I would prefer this over cleaning up after the things she's destroyed. As much as I say I want to get rid of her I don't think I could do it. The poor thing has been through so much and I know she's meant to be with us. She's taught us so much and really did prepare us for Addison. Its true when they say that dogs are a lot more work than kids. Holy crap I didn't believe it until it really happened. Addison just adores her and I think Roxy loves her just as much. Addison can do whatever she wants to Roxy and she just takes it. Roxy is a good dog and I know I can be tough on her but seriously can't we just shave her already!

(Roxy & Addi when she was 3 months)

(Roxy hiding from the storm)

(On our way to Florida)

Wednesday, July 9, 2008


(Cameron w/Addi at 7 Weeks)

Cam, our mini-Cliff is turning 15 today (he looks just like his father)! It seems just like yesterday he was doing the muscle face that Addison has seemed to inherit. He would hold his breath, put up his arms like he was making muscles and then shake also adding in the silly face. It was a little scary at first but after he was done doing it and would laugh his butt off it only made you join in. Below you can see his current muscle face! Cameron is one of a kind I’m sure him and Uncle Greg have had some talks regarding the fact they are surrounded by girls all the time. For some reason most of the women in my family produce girls so when a boy comes around its extra special. Well, Cameron I love you very much. Hope you have a fun and exciting birthday we are thinking about you!

(Older muscle face, isn't he cute)

(Hanging out @ Aunt Tamie's)

(Trying to juggle both Arielle & Cameron)

Tuesday, July 8, 2008


(Arielle w/Addi @ her 16th suprise party)

I’m so excited! My niece Arielle is coming to visit us on Friday for almost 10 days. This is very exciting because it’s her first time ever leaving her parents and leaving Michigan. I only dreamed of having my nieces and nephew come visit me but now its actually coming true. Arielle is 16 and going to be a senior in high school this year. I’m so proud of her and everything she’s become so far in her short life. Arielle was born when I was 13 and we were more than obsessed with her when she was a baby. We use to call her our troll baby because she looked like those little troll dolls with the crazy hair. She was soooo darn cute and we wanted to spend as much time with her as we could. I have a bazillion memories of when she was a kid and all the fun things we would do with her. Especially that one time we got her all dressed up in our clothes and put a ton of makeup all over her face. She laughed the whole time, I can’t find that darn picture but I think Grandma Cheryl almost peed her pants. These kids are so important to us and we’ve done everything in our power to make sure they know how special they are. I can’t wait to spoil her like crazy I only hope she has as much fun as I will especially to have her all to myself. Don’t worry Cameron and Autumn your time will be here before you know it. I will always love the three of you as if you were my own and will always be there for you no matter what. XOXOXO

(Arielle walking)

(Arielle holding Cameron)

Monday, July 7, 2008

Happy Birthday Jackie, Mike and John!

Too many people share this day as a birthday but I wanted to pay tribute to each one to let them know I'm thinking about them and love them very much.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY JACKIE!!! Growing up I have several memories that come to mind. First the fact that she always liked to lay out. While we share some years between us I never understood as a kid why the heck she didn't want to play in the pool and have fun with us. So as I grew up and she took me to my first tanning bed I started to understand this concept. She probably hates me though because I can get tanner than her in a heartbeat. I will never forget the first time she drove my dads car and backed out onto the neighbors lawn in slow motion. Another lesson I must say I learned at least the first time dad was video taping me driving. Anyway these are some memories I have of my older sister Jackie. I love her to death and while I don't get to see or talk to her as much as I would like to I'm always thinking about her and all the lessons she probably really didn't mean to teach me. ;o)

HAPPY BIRTHDAY MIKE!!! Ohh Mike I just don't know where to begin. This is my older brother who is getting up there! Actually Jackie and Mike are from my dads first marriage but we've never used that term "half" especially since they've been in my life since the beginning. Jackie was born on Mike's crazy! Mike has taught me that people have more than 9 lives. I love him dearly but he has for sure made it his job to keep our family on our toes. He's for sure always been a person to go with the flow and whatever happens...happens. He's my oldest brother and I will always love him no matter what.

(Mike holding Gabriel and Greg behind him)

HAPPY BIRTHDAY JOHN FIGONE!!!! John is my brother in-law who is married to John's sister Jen (see how confusing this can be). My fondest memories of John is when I first moved to Washington and we would come over to the Figone house ready to party. We would give John so much crap when he would want to go to bed just when the fun was about to begin. Well, times have changed and I'm thinking he could out drink me any day. John's a great dad, husband and most of all a great brother. We love you very much John and hope you have a great forty-something birthday! ;o)

Sunday, July 6, 2008


John and I are celebrating our 6th anniversary today. Time is just flying and I must say having Addison really makes it go even faster. When I look back 6 years ago at our wedding day I have so many amazing memories. John and I initially lived in Washington when we first got engaged December 1st 2000. We planned most of our wedding from across the county since we knew we wanted to be married in Michigan. Then March rolled around right before our wedding and we decided to move to Michigan. My wedding day was everything I hoped it would be. We had a beautiful day, the sun was shining and the temperature was just perfect. I remember waking up at my sister Natalee’s house and running to the window to see what kind of day I had to deal with. After I saw that the weather was going to cooperate the nerves kicked in and I couldn’t believe this day was here. Getting my hair done is kind of a blur (even though my hair turned out amazing) I remember going to Somerset to get my makeup done with Natalee and Jackie. I attempted to eat but the excitement was taking over and I just wanted to hurry up and get to my dads. After my sisters sat there and MADE me eat it was time to head over to dads and then over to Addison Oaks. Driving to Addison Oaks I was very quite. I still couldn’t believe this was my day and it was turning out so perfect. Once arriving to Addison Oaks I was greeted by family and then headed up to the bridal suite. As you can see from the video my step-dad Al took I was freaking out. After I put on my dress it was time for pictures.

I was pretty calm through these but once I saw my dad we both just lost it. As most of you know my dad and I are very close and it was almost unbelievable that I was getting married. He helped calm me down and we proceeded down the stairs to take our place. As I was on my dads arm and he was leading me down the aisle I saw John the man of my dreams the one person I knew would always be there for me no matter what. Out of pure happiness I began to cry. Once John and I were reunited my nerves were calm my body relaxed and I knew I would always be safe with him beside me. Today 6 years later I still have those feelings if not more. We’ve grown so close over the years and I simply can’t imagine him not being there. John I will love you forever and ever!

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Sober and Functional!

Normally I’m pretty hungover after the 4th of July but I will say the last 3 I’ve been pretty sober since I was pregnant, Addison was only 4 months old and now Addison is 16 months old (still our baby even though people think after they turn 1 they aren’t babies anymore). Honestly, I’m totally fine about getting up at 7am when I don’t have to work it helps me feel accomplished so I can start on projects I make up in my head that HAVE to get done ASAP (grocery shopping, run to Target and getting Addison down for her first nap). Yesterday was a lot of fun. John and I went to the Rays baseball game, I don’t think we made it on T.V. which was kind of a bummer but that’s ok I really don’t want to know how many pounds the camera really puts on you. Addison went to daycare for a couple of hours where my daycare lady proceeded to tell me she didn’t care for the 4th of July outfit I put on her (she wasn’t trying to be mean). Now, I hate the color red but I thought she actually looked pretty cute especially since she was in the spirit of the holiday. Tell me what you think.

Overall we had a great 4th wish we could have been with friends and family but we were thinking of you. I'm hoping today I will be exhausted from lots of shopping.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Happy 4th of July!

(Uncle Deano w/Michele & Autumn)

My fondest memories of this beautiful holiday is going to my Nana's and watching my crazy Uncle Deano light off an enormous amount of illegal fireworks. Nana loved having people over. The kids would sit out in the front yard while fireworks were going off in the street. All the kids in the neighborhood would come join my family and we would yell out in amazement that this was happening right in front of us. Years later my Aunt Tamie and Uncle Joe moved the party to their house which made alot more sense. They have a huge field in the backyard so there was plenty of space for the blast off. Once again it was a huge party and tons of people were there to enjoy the large display of fireworks. I will say as an adult I've lost my appreciation for fireworks but I'm thinking Addison is going to help get me back in the spirit of this special holiday. As soon as she can make it past 7pm before she's calling for her bed we will begin those special memories. John and I are actually going to the Ray's game which should be a lot of fun since it will just be the two of us. We will be sitting right behind homeplate in the front row so maybe we'll make it on TV. Hope everyone has a safe and memorable holiday!

First Blog

Well, thanks to my friend Mindy at work I've decided to start a blog. Its kind of exciting because I feel like I have so much to say and I think John's sick of listening to my nonsense. So, hopefully whoever reads these will be interested in what the heck I'm thinking. Also, with not having any family here in Florida it will help me keep everyone updated on the million "NO's" I receive daily from Miss Addi. So, let the official blogging begin...tomorrow! ;o)