A New Look

Notice anything new?

No?  Oh, you must be reading in a reader.  Click on over to the actual site.  I'll wait.

There you are!  Now, notice anything new???

What do you think?

My bloggy-turned-IRL-friend Cassie at The Glamorous Life had her blog redesigned by Kreated by Kelsey and as part of it, she did a giveaway, and I won!!!

Yes, it was like forever-a-go that I won, but I've been busy lazy and just got around to letting Kelsey know what I'd like.

Many, many thank-yous to Cassie for doing the giveaway!

And a HUGE thank-you to Kelsey for her patience and of course the awesome job she did!

PS  Let's GOOOO Mountaineers!!! (Tip off in 2 hours and I'm a bundle of nerves!)


Sweet to be Elite

It's official, this year's Mountaineer Basketball Team has redeemed WVU Basketball in my eyes and heart.

How do I know this?

Because while sitting on my couch tonight I got the nervous shakes, flip-flopping stomach, and tense jaw that is usually reserved for Mountaineer Football.

And tonight, the shakes, flip-flops, and tension were rewarded with a win!

For the 2nd time in 5 years, WVU will play in the Elite Eight.

For the first time since Jerry West (the NBA Logo), WVU has won 30 games in a season.

And it sure is Sweet to be Elite!

Let's Go Mountaineers!!!!


Old Ladies

"No dear, I'm fine.  I usually go out to eat with old ladies, and they're a pain in the a**."  ~Nan, age 81

That was the response I got when I offered to scoot into the booth first at breakfast on Sunday morning.

And that is one reason why I love spending time with Nan.

She tells it like it is.  She doesn't let being 81 slow her down.

We spent the weekend laughing.  Talking.  Spending time together.  Going to see a show.  Eating.

We went to see Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat at the Byham Theater in Pittsburgh (a Christmas gift from us to Nan).

After the show, while Nan and I were waiting for The Man to get the car, Nan cried.

She thanked me for the gift and the day.  And she cried.

While she loves her 'old lady' friends, she misses my Pap.  And the things they loved to do.  Going to shows.  Going to the Symphony.  Dinners out.

And I think, for a moment, she remembered those days with more happiness than sadness.

And I know one 'Old lady' who is loved more than she knows.


Health Care

I wasn't going to write about this because I know I won't get my words out right - especially since it's hard for me to even say how I feel about the passage of the Health Care Bill.  Despite my best efforts though, I can't get it out of my mind, so here goes.

Overall, I think the passage of the Health Care Bill is a good thing.

Three years ago, I wouldn't have understood why it was necessary.  I was working in a wealthy school system with fantastic, reasonably priced health insurance.

And then we moved.

And I got it.

I was self-employed and neither of The Man's employers offered health insurance benefits.  We researched private health insurance and found that it was either cost-prohibitive OR did not cover pre-natal or childbirth.   Or if it did, there was a five year waiting period.  Or better yet, a cost-prohibitive additional premium each month.

Oh, and those wrist surgeries The Man had to have?  Pre-existing conditions.

And what about federal or state programs?  We made too much money.

It seemed like daily we had one of our parents telling us how we had to have health insurance.  And daily, we smiled, nodded and thought to ourselves that we would love to have health insurance.  But at what cost?  Give up jobs we both loved?  Sign-up for a plan that wouldn't meet our needs?  Or sign-up for a plan we couldn't afford?

And then President Obama was elected.  And there was a promise of health insurance reform.

And this weekend, that promise was realized.

Is the plan perfect?  No.

Do I wish that instead of covering 'on demand' abortion there were procedures (real, useful programs for women who find themselves in a crisis pregnancy) in effect to prevent abortion?  Yes.

Do I wish Congressman Stupak had not caved?  Yes.

Do I think we are better off today than we were on Friday?  Yes.

Do I think a single-payer or government run plan is the best option?  No.

Do I think the health insurance industry is corrupt and needs to be reined in?  Yes.

I'm not asking for a handout.  I'm not asking for free health care.  I'm asking for fair access to health insurance for everyone.  I'm asking that those who are in a position to make decisions truly consider the circumstances of those who are affected by the decisions.

What do I pray for the most?  That instead of sticking their heads in the sand, those (in power and not) who feel that our health care/health insurance system is just fine truly step back, take a second look and realize just how bad it really is.  And then do something about it.  The first step was taken.  Will we fold our arms and refuse to do the hard work or will we create a system that works for everyone?


Day 5

Sara and I were finally able to start our Couch to 5K Running Program last week and today will be day 5.

A quick update (thoughts I may or may not have heard in my head):
Day 1 - Oh my, what was I thinking?  My feet hurt.  My knee (more on this someday) hurts.  I can't breathe.  What was I thinking?  Uh?  We're done.  Well that wasn't so bad.

Day 2 - Less hills for our route today?  Sounds great!  Ok, I can't make it through this horribly LONG 60 seconds of running, I'll finish a few by walking.  Sara is probably so not impressed by my out-of-shape-lazy-self.

Day 3 - I wonder if people passing by feel more sorrier for the fat girl (me) or the anorexic girl (Sara - side note: she is NOT anorexic, just very skinny.  We've decided that if I could just give her the few pounds I'd like to loose we'd make for one hot chick. ahem).  Wow, this isn't so bad.  Oops spoke too soon - horrible cramp in my side.

Day 4 - NEW SHOES!  And longer running periods.  But wait, this wasn't so bad either.  In fact I ran all of each of the running parts.

So today for Day 5, I'm ready.  We'll probably only run together (meaning on pace with one another) for another week or so and then Sara will lap me.  I am slow.  And I'm not just being hard on myself.  Even in the best of shape, I am slow.  When I played basketball in high school any teammate who finished a running drill after me had to do it again because that mean they weren't running as hard as they could.  Seriously.  For now, I'm enjoying the company and I'm grateful for Sara's patience.


How 'bout them 'eers?!?!

That's what we say around here when we are proud of a Mountaineers win.  I'd say winning our first ever Big East Championship in Basketball is something to be proud of!  Despite my better efforts, I've found myself watching a fair amount of basketball this year (even went to a game) AND even worse better enjoying it.  While I don't think I'll ever love WVU Basketball as much as I do WVU Football, I've started to catch the Basketball Bug.  (I even had to add a Basketball Label!)

Up next is some March Madness and if my brackets are at all correct, a few of you (Michelle, Tooj) and I might have to agree to disagree come Championship Game time!

I want the Mountaineers to prove all the doubters wrong.  Once again, the hopes of an entire state are rising and falling with a WVU Team.  Just like with basketball, this is our chance to shine.  Just as we don't have a professional or historic college football team, we do not have an NBA team or historic college basketball team.  Sure, Jerry West (the NBA Logo is his image) played here - in fact, his son plays here now, but once again, a National Championship alludes us.

So, let's GOOOO Mountaineers!

(Oh, and Kristen, yes, I think VT not getting into the Big Dance is way wrong!).



This time last year, I had no idea the storm that was about to surround me.

Sure, there were rumblings of thunder in overdraft fees and bills we were struggling to pay.

And, winds starting to blow as I lacked passion for my work.

But I had no idea.

And as the storm raged throughout the summer, there was the doubt and guilt that I shouldn't be feeling the way I was.  What was really wrong in my life?  I was healthy; in a strong marriage; with a job.  Nothing compared to what others in my life were facing.  Suddenly there was lightening and pelting rain.

And prayer.  More prayers than I've ever prayed in my life.

Now, there is a peace.

And prayer.  Prayers of praise.

God is good.  He was good a year ago.  He was good throughout my storm.  And He continues to be good.

I have learned and grown so much.

And Sunday during Mass, I made a point to pray a prayer of praise and gratitude.  And I made a mental note to write my praise here.

Life happened and I forgot.

And tonight I was reminded.  And given a new perspective.  And reminded of my closing thoughts from late summer.

So, today, I am grateful for the calm in the storm.  But, I am also grateful for the storm itself.  And in the next season of rain, I will pray for rain.

What in your life are you grateful for?  What in your life are you grateful for, that may be causing you pain?