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Dracula and Anna Valerious (Van Helsing)

Our costumes!

 Oh yeah, it was a fun and crazy Halloween weekend! The kids got major sugar highs and epic crashes (thankfully…) and everyone stayed safe and had a good time!

The Halloween party that we went to on Saturday night was a blast! Our friends really know how to throw a party and the decorations were FANTASTIC. I can’t even imagine how long it took them to do all of that. It took us a total of about 3 hours to get ready (I was ready first, just so you all know…)  🙂  I think hubby’s contacts are what took the longest. That boy has a serious blink reflex…



We looked awesome, if I do say so myself.  Hubs is blond and I have lighter short hair. People didn’t even recognize us! My ribcage was sore on Sunday and I didn’t breathe most of the night, but all well worth it! I swear I wish I could wear outfits like that all of the time. Too much fun!

 So now…Halloween has passed and there are only two holidays left this year. Where does the time go?! Funny thing though, I saw this picture on a friends Facebook page and it is PERFECT for one of my posts about how all the holidays are blending together. I got a huge laugh out of this one…


Fascinating Update…

Well, it’s been a little while since I’ve checked in. I’ll try to do better! I came dangerously close to dropping my History class. If it weren’t for my hubby telling me to just suck it up and do it, I’d be happily courseless right now. But, as it turns out, he gave good advice (shhhh, do NOT tell him I said that…). The original instructor is no longer teaching the course so I tried to tell him that the course was so awful that even the professor dropped it! He was unfazed…but anyway, the new instructor is SO MUCH BETTER. Could just be because she finds my answers much more intelligent than that last chick, I don’t know. My midterm in tomorrow, which means that I am officially half way through this … ummmmm …. classthatisnothingmorethanthreecreditstotransfertoanothercollegesoIcangetaseconddegree. WOOHOO!!!!! 🙂

Ok…I got the “school” stuff out of the way. Right now there are only two things that I am truly interested in. Halloween and Pinterest. Let’s start with Halloween. I HAVE THE BEST COSTUME EVER this year. Hubs and I were invited to a Halloween party. For some this may not seem like a big deal, but we have kids and have lived in a “we don’t have time to hang out with friends” bubble. Which is really code for “we are completely anti-social home bodies…”. So this year, we decided that it was time to BREAK OUT. Oh yeah… The theme for the party is “The Movies”. After MUCH consideration, and I mean WEEKS of thinking this through, we (I) finally made a decision. I am going to be Anna Valerious from Van Helsing while my other half is going to be Dracula. He was originally going to be Van Helsing but he was worried about looking like just a cowboy (and let’s face it, he’s no Hugh Jackman, but then again, Kate Beckinsale would be pretty pissed to hear that I’m trying to look like her.)

We went a little nuts with the costumes. He got white contacts, which scared the hell out of our daughter last night when he tried them on. (Side note: Am I a bad parent for thinking that is hilarious?!) He also got a wig, a coat and, well, I guess that’s it. Damn, ok, I went a little nuts on the costume! I got the thigh high boots, leather corset, wig and sword. Did you know that you can buy real, this thing will kill you, swords on E-Bay?! Wonder if I need a permit for that? Hope not… I’ll have to share some photos after. Stay tuned…

Ok, my second obsession right now is Pinterest. If you have not heard of this website, I caution you, YOU.WILL.BECOME.ADDICTED. I can’t even really tell you how awesome it is. You need to check it out for yourself. Go to and then tell me if you don’t absolutely, completely, ridiculously lose yourself in it. Check it out and then let me know how ticked you are at me for telling you about it. 🙂

That’s it for now. I’ll try to be more diligent with my posts. Ya know, between school, kids, work, husband, house, yada yada yada…I need a vacation…*GASP* I almost forgot to tell you! I’m going home to Connecticut in a couple of weeks to visit my mom and sister for the weekend!! It was a total last-minute decision that involved an intensive flight search and a pity party fest with my hubs. Not only do I get to spend the weekend with the fam, but we’re going to spend a day in the city. You know THE CITY…NEW YORK CITY. One of my favorite places…ahhh, nothing like New York. Now I’m just trying to decide if I should dress comfortably or embrace the Sex in the City vibe and wear those new 5 inch thigh highs I got….

My (not so) personal experience of September 11, 2001

I remember the phone ringing. That’s what woke me up on a normal Tuesday morning in September.  I answered the phone to the sound of my ex-husbands voice, which just kind of irritated me. Then he said, “Are you watching the news? A plane just hit the World Trade Center.” Here in Arizona, the first plane hit at 6:46 am local time. I rolled over and turned on the news. As I sat and watched I don’t remember thinking much of anything except how amazing it was that a building could withstand a hit like that and stay standing. Then, as I watched, the second plane hit. Just to demonstrate how complacent I was (and the country, I think) I thought to myself, “what the hell are the guys in the traffic control tower doing?!” Not once, not even for  a split second, did the thought ‘terrorist attack’ trickle into my mind.

I didn’t cry. I just sat there, shocked. I got up and started getting ready for work, keeping the news on. Then more reports started coming in, The Pentagon, the field in Pennsylvania, every plane in the United States ordered out of the sky. It was crazy. When has that EVER happened?! How do you land every single plane streaking across the sky?

The drive to work was odd. All of the cars on the freeway were going 55 mph. I remember this vividly. Phoenix highways aren’t exactly the friendliest places to drive during rush hour. But that morning it was like everyone was in a trance. No one was cutting anyone off, it had never been easier to merge, and I could look over and just know that the driver in the car ahead of me, behind me, or beside me was hanging on every single word of whatever news report on whatever station they were listening to, because every single station was reporting it.

The rest of the day was just a blur of news reports, updates, speculations, disbelief.

I spoke with my family in Connecticut. My brother-in-law is a firefighter and so it was especially hard for them. They lost a friend in New York that day. A firefighter for the FDNY Rescue 3 Special Collapse Unit. He was never found. They had friends that worked at ground zero in the days following to help with the rescue and recovery. I can’t even imagine the horrors they would have seen.

I say “not so” personal experience because I did not personally know any one of the 3,000 people who lost their lives that day. I was only slightly inconvenienced as I was supposed to take a plane that Friday, the 14th to visit a friend in Ohio. There were thousand and thousands of people stranded in airports far away from their original destinations that needed to get home. Friday was the first day that they would get that opportunity. Who cared that I had a weekend of fun planned. It was less than important. And to be honest, the idea of getting on an airplane scared the hell out of me.

I know people who have personal connections to that day, but my grief is not personal, it’s a grief that every American felt that day, and all the days since. I grieve for the thousands of faceless names, the families that experienced tremendous loss, as well as the loss of our sense of security. The days and weeks that followed were filled with a show of unity and patriotism. Every where you looked people were flying the American Flag proudly. We were banding together to show that we were not broken, we would get through this and if anything, it made us stronger.

Now, here we are, ten years later. There are memorials planned all over the country, but I think the most anticipated memorial will be happening right at the sight of ground zero. The memory pools mark the site of each tower, with the names of all of the mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, daughters, sons that perished that day, not only at The World Trade Center, but The Pentagon and the field in Pennsylvania.

This was my generation’s John F. Kennedy assassination. You can ask anyone where they were and what they were doing when they heard that news and they can tell you.  You can ask anyone where they were and what they were doing on 9/11. That’s all you need to say and they can tell you.

Ummm, this is it?!

Where did all the history go?

Did I inadvertently sign up for History lite? Or perhaps somebody got a little edit happy and pulled out all the good parts of history to leave this shell behind? I mean, come on. The book is only an inch thick! What happened to the 3+ inch volumes that we had to lug around in our backpacks when we were in high school? Did they finally figure out that all that weight is not good for growing boys and girls? Ah, so this would explain my measly 5’6” frame… 

For those of you wondering what the hell I’m complaining about, this is not me complaining. This is me breathing a deep, huuuuuuuge sigh of relief. If History books had looked like this in high school maybe I would have cared a little more, possibly paid closer attention (ok, probably not, I was a teenage girl after all!). Nothing like going into a class and realizing you have to get through an entire encyclopedia volume in 9 months. A little daunting…But this! This is merely a novel, a scant 500 pages of glorious history telling! (I’m really trying to ramp this up in my head…) 

So, let’s get this party started! First assignment, read the first 50 pages. Sounds easy enough…

Today is the day!!

Holy cow! I start my History class today! I get to relearn about Columbus, the Puritans, the first Thanksgiving, how we took this land from the Indians, all the way through to the end of the Civil War. Woohoo!!!!!!!

Ok, maybe I’m not that excited. I HATED History when I was in school. I mean really hated it. It didn’t interest me in the least. However, I do find myself much more curious about it the older I get. Maybe it’s because I have a husband who is a World War II fanatic so we end up watching the History Channel a lot. Of course, he used to sit at the knee of his grandfather as he was told first hand stories of the bombing of Pearl Harbor and how his grandfather was blown off the West Virginia (or the Missouri…ugh, I can NEVER remember which ship he was on!) and how he was in the water with burning oil surrounding him. I think that would have peaked my interest as well…

It could also be that a few years ago I started to research my family tree. Finding out why my ancestors left their native lands to come here has been an interesting journey. There are a lot of politics and economic issues that I COMPLETELY missed my first time around in History, so I’m kind of looking forward to that.

But at the same time, I am nervous about starting classes. As if my life wasn’t busy enough, from my 16 year old high school varsity cheerleader who’s dating a football player (mom’s, you know that keeps me up at night…) to my 6 year old 1st grade twins. I mean, I already have to do homework with them every night! Hmmmm, I wonder if they’ll be able to help me with my homework…no, probably not. 😦 Not to mention my hubby who, while being very supportive of this new direction I’m taking, requires some quality time as well. Cloning myself is sounding mighty tempting at the moment, except I’m sure the thought of more than one of me would scare the hell out of my family. 🙂

So, today I pick up my history book, and if memory serves, I might need a back brace to be sure I don’t hurt myself lifting it. At least it’s an online class, so I can sit at my computer in my jammies if I want to and nobody will care…

Bring on the rain!

Please, please, please let it rain tonight!!! According to the National Weather Service the Phoenix area has a 40% chance of rain this evening. If you live here, you know that those are some super good odds! I think anytime the chance of precipitation goes above, oh…10%, people around here get pretty excited. Hmmm, could it be because it seems that this years monsoon has brought more dust than rain? Maybe the 33 days of 110 degrees or higher has us all a little loopy. Who knows, but when there is a good chance of rain I get all warm and fuzzy inside. Not to mention there’s always the possibility of a pretty good lightening show!

Of course with storms rolling in there’s also the possibility of another dust storm. I’m just hoping that if we do get more dust, then the rain follows, and more than just enough to turn the dust on my car to mud…

Ever seen a haboob?

I have this photographer friend who is a little nuts about taking photos of the weather (he’d be the first to admit it…). He will jump in his car and drive all over the place to get shots of storms with their amazing lightning shows, microbursts, soaring cumulonimbus clouds (gasp! I used an awesome weather word!!) His name is Mike Olbinski. Perhaps a few of you have seen a little time lapse video he did of the massive haboob we had here in Phoenix on July 5, 2011. He became a bit of a celebrity and I am so proud to call him a friend. 🙂 Check out his website here. You can find the time lapse here.

I happen to find this video awe inspiring, amazing, crazy, awesome, scary, pick an adjective. Holy heck, if you haven’t seen it yet, you NEED to watch this!

He has some AMAZING still photography on his site as well. Check him out and let me know what you think. I promise, you will not be disappointed!

What is my contribution?

With the approach of the tenth anniversary of 9/11, I’m reminded that, along with many American’s after that tragedy, I felt the desire to give back somehow. What could I do to contribute to my country? So, I joined the Navy Reserves. Yup, that’s right, I did. It’s was the longest year of my life! Alright, I know, only a year. But it took me all of a month to figure out that I was a wife and mother, I was the one giving the orders in my world, I wasn’t taking them! So after I got yelled at in the face and dropped one too many times, I got out. It wasn’t the easiest thing to do, but I did. I still have moments when I wish that I had stuck it out. It’s easy to think that now, because my eight years would have been up on July 31 of this year. But oh well…

However, the desire to contribute to this world hasn’t gone away. Today I was reminded of what I can contribute to my world when I read an article about a huge piece of ice that broke off from a  Greenland Glacier. And when I say huge, I mean approximately four times the size of Manhattan! You see, Meteorologists aren’t just the people you see on your daily news with the perfectly coiffed hair and pearly white teeth (not that there is anything wrong with that at all!). There are teams of men and women that provide research of our atmosphere and how various factors contribute to global warming, droughts, weather patterns, etc. The American Meteorological Society has a great resource on their site for anyone interested in a career in the field.

So, I am super excited that I get to study a field that I not only find interesting, but that can assuage my need to give back somehow, to do something that is bigger than me. That I can be just one small part of the whole, but still make a difference. What would you do to give back?

3TV Phoenix News

Holy cow, I knew it was hot!! A friend of mine told me that he’s always thought that “meteorologists in Arizona have the easiest job in the world. If you report hot and sunny you are correct 78% of the time…and if things change, and your 22% inaccuracy comes up…you are still 21% more accurate than most meteorologists across the country.” Ha…funny guy… Anyway, just wanted to share the weather hell (LITERALLY) that we’re dealing with here in the desert. Enjoy!

3TV Phoenix News

The Price of Knowledge

Boy, if there was a way to keep my other half from reading a post now would be the time to implement it. While we have already discussed the cost of tuition for my program, it’s not a reminder he wants to get I’m sure…

So, as we all know, the cost of education can be steep and boy is this hill going to suck…Now, while the number doesn’t look all that awful compared to the cost of say…Harvard, Yale, Duke, etc., let’s remember that I already have a degree, therefore I already have some of the financial pains that come with said degree. So, when I look at adding to what I already have, I cry a little. Nothing crazy, no river of tears of anything, but I let out a little whimper and sigh. But hey! No pay no play right! Or no pain no gain? No pay no get into a good college and get the degree/job of your dreams so you can get out of the stuffy corporate world? Whatever, you know what I mean…

To break it down and serve it up in a nutshell, here are the numbers…
49 credits at $ 242.00 per credit = $11,858.00
$50 per course for online format at 16 courses = $800.00
Textbooks…hmmmm, let’s say $100 a course by 16 courses (OMG) = $1600.00
For a GRAND TOTAL of $14258.00!!!!!

WHAT?! For 16 classes?!?!? Yup, I’m going to pay it too. Unless someone knows of another college with an online Meteorology program that’s cheaper? Anyone? Yeah…ok. Oh, and this number does not include the three courses I’ll be taking close to home at the community college. I’m easily looking at $15K here…*sigh*

Now how to pay for this bad boy? Loans are an option of course, grants (I wish), scholarships…possible. But for anyone who’s ever looked at applying for scholarships you know that you practically need to take a course for that as well! At least I have a year to figure that part out… 🙂

Eh, c’est la vie…

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