Tuesday, May 29, 2012

SPIN Nightclub

Chris & I, along with our friends, Bart & Bobby, are going to SPIN Nightclub to see Pandora Boxx and The Princess from RuPaul's Drag Race!  This will be my & Chris's first time at SPIN.  We have wanted to go in the past to see Ru's queens, but haven't ever had anyone to go with and we just never felt comfortable heading there on our own.  Well, while at my birthday bash, we learned that Bart & Bobby are going and they asked if we wanted to go, too!  Yippee!!!

A new experience and some fun times to be had!!!!

We got the VIP Meet & Greet tix...I have no idea what to expect.  Bart & Bobby said we are going to get in line by 9PM!  And the show doesn't even begin until midnite!  Can you say long nap Saturday afternoon in preparation?!?  

Now, to figure out how to dress for this "occasion"!!!  Chris suggested I do steampunk!  Perhaps... 

Friday, May 25, 2012

Casey Isaac Long

My great nephew made his entry into this world on Tuesday, May 22nd @ 8:25 AM, weighing 7 lbs, 5oz and 21 inches long.  Coincidentally, May 22nd was also my Uncle Steve's birthday (he died tragically in a car accident on December 9, 1979, at the age of 15).  I hope that Mr. Casey has much of my Uncle Steve's personality and temperament, rather than his father's, grandfather's and great grandfather's!!! 

Also, Kennedy Harper had her EEG this past week and all is normal!  WooHoo!!!  So, Kelley and the pediatrician will split up the shots from now on. 

Just over a week until I get to meet Kennedy and Casey!  There has always been so much family to see when I visit Florida and it just keeps growing!!!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

My Awesome 80's 40th Birthday Bash

Welcome to my Totally 80's party!!!

Jelly bracelets, Rubik's cubes, Pop Rocks and question cards from Trivial Pursuit 1980's edition, along with a copy of my invitation.
Balloons secured with 2 cassette tapes!

We hung 1980's album covers along with handmade posters.

This one was made specifically for the men's room!!!
Extras in the ladies' room
Your hosts
My husband/DJ as Adam Ant

Jeremiah Dudek & Carol Palmer

Carol Palmer & Mary Beth Easton ~ 2 of my coworkers from Walmart in the early to mid 1990's

Joe Rincon, a friend and former co-worker from HIDTA
Mary Knight, my friend and boxing partner at LA Boxing Merrillville

Some of the WPG girls ~ Beth, Caroline & Jill
Bobby Binford & Bart Botkin (Bart and I graduated high school together ~ CPHS Class of 1990!)
My DJ...hard at work ~~ the ENTIRE nite!!
The Ogles ~ Marcy & Chad

Business in the Front, Party in the Back!!
Some of the guys of WPG ~ Chad, Paul & Jason
My aunt, Nita
My Girls from my years at Criminal Probation
Ingrid, Christine & Erin
The Mareks ~ Sandra & Dave (Dave & I briefly worked together at HIDTA)

The Phelps's ~ Melissa & Adam (Adam is another CPHS Class of 1990 alum!)
The Millers ~ Lisa & Chad
The Wittens ~ Denise & Dan (Dan went to high school with me & Chris; graduated CPHS 1989)
My crazy uncle, Mark.  The borrowed hair really was a flashback to the 1980's for him!
Mike McDowell ~ our friend and the Founder of the Indiana Ghost Trackers (the organizers of our favorite Halloween parties!)

Hot, Hot, Hot

"Let's Get Physical!"

Dave Marek & Troy Wilkey ~ recognized one another from their first jobs @ McDonald's about 25 years ago!

THE place to have been Saturday, May 19, 2012

My friends & family were generous with their creativity, time and gifts (even tho I specifically requested NO gifts on the invite)!!!  For those who joined in my revelry, THANK YOU!!  (For those who didn't... you really missed out!)

Friday, May 18, 2012

Tiny Bandits

Look at what my husband brought home last nite:

Meet Bonnie ~~ she's rather bossy!

& Clyde ~~ he is cool as a cucumber!

These little bandits were in my in-laws' attic, along with their mama for several weeks to months. 
Chris had been helping his parents the past couple of weeks.
The mom died last week, so they were up there all alone.  Making all sorts of racket, of course!

I was floored when Chris got home and, after I asked what he did with them, he asks if I want to SEE them!?!  I said, "You brought them HOME?" 

They are really cute and rather sweet.  When you can get past Bonnie's banshee screams, that is!  :)

We fed them milk from a turkey baster last nite and again this morning.  And this temporary foster mama went home at lunch to check in on them and to leave some water and watermelon (a co-worker who has fostered raccoons over the years told me they would like fruit & Cheerios).  To my surprise, I found THREE faces looking at me through the cat carrier gate! 

My little Lucky
My in-laws called yesterday after Chris got home to say they heard another one up there.  So, they trapped him/her and brought him to our garage to be with the other 2.  Lucky is even smaller than his siblings.  

So, I fed Lucky some milk (poor thing was very lethargic) and then Clyde & Bonnie.  {Clyde was too adorable! He was sucking on his own "hand" trying to get the milk that had dripped.  And he made these cute suckling noises, too!!} 

We will do the same tonite ~ several times, I imagine, as well as tomorrow and Sunday.  Monday morning, Chris will take them to a local animal hospital who found us a real foster to take all 3 babies!!! 

I can honestly say I would never have thought I would hold a raccoon, let alone nurse three of them!  The little bandits stole my heart!  

Thanx for the fun & very unusual 40th birthday surprise, my honey!  One we won't soon forget!!! 

Thursday, May 17, 2012


I was reading some older posts and wanted to update on a couple things, both health-related.

Isis is doing GREAT!  Chris took her for labs after a couple weeks on the methimazole (when she began to act "off" again) and the doctor was floored by how quickly her numbers had improved.  So much that we only have to give her half a pill once a day now!  She is being a trooper about it, too.  Not her favorite thing to do, but she knows she gets some good grub right after.  Still don't know what we will do the next time we take a vacation together...we can board both cats (not our favorite idea) or ask someone to watch them and to add Isis's medicine to her food dish each day ~~ HOWEVER, we have to be sure only Isis eats that helping and not Luna!

Kennedy had her MRI on May 10th and all is normal!  Yay!!!  Prior to the testing, her left arm had improved and she was using it almost in conjunction with her right arm.  She still has to go for an EEG to further check for any damage, but I am confident that she worked it all out of her system.  We definitely think her reaction was a direct result of her first immunizations ... more specifically, the pertussis of the DTaP (formerly DPT) shot.  Don't know what this means for her future shots, but Kelley is going to have to split them up and/or refuse.  This particular vaccine is the one that is related to the development of autism, so we have to be very careful as Kennedy certainly has a aversion to something.  

I will be heading down to Florida to see my family and meet miss Kennedy Harper at the beginning of June!  Can't wait to see everyone!!!  My first great-nephew (Casey Isaac) will have arrived just days before, so I should get to meet him, too!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Hoist the Fore(ty)!!

My 40th Birthday Card Collection!

We had the most gloriously sunny and warm day to celebrate my birthday yesterday!  So, what is a girl to do?!?  Take the day off work and head to CHICAGO, of course!!!

Chris & I took the train to the Museum Campus stop and walked over to Shedd Aquarium.  If you remember, we are members, so we can just stop in and spend as much (or as little) time as we like.  We watched the dolphins, beluga whales and an otter swim playfully in their respective tanks.  We saw a couple teeny-faced monkeys (reminding us of our own little pixie, Luna), lots of fish, sting rays, frogs & lizards. 

From the Shedd, we walked along Lake Michigan to Navy Pier.  The sun was shining and there was a soft breeze.  Our destination at Navy Pier was Tall Ship Windy (finally!!  as we tried to catch it last October, only to arrive and something was broken and it wasn't running).  We went immediately to the ticket booth to secure our spots aboard the ship. 

With about 45 minutes until we set sail, we went to Bubba Gump to enjoy a beverage and a bite.  Our server was a trip!  He had all sorts of questions and riddles for us to solve!!!  We each got a Sam Adams Seasonal beer (Summer) to quench our thirst from our long walk on this warm mid-May day!  This was our first time at Bubba Gump's and we only wanted to have some appetizers.  We decided on the Cajun Shrimp and Seafood Hushpuppies!  OMG!!!  The food was outrageous!!!  Highly recommend both apps!!!  The Cajun Shrimp has some kick to it, so be sure to have a beverage AND some water on hand!!! 

Off to our first-ever sailboat ride!  What a beautiful ship the Windy is!!!  And guess what?  Chris & I got to raise one of the sails!!  Yep...that pic above is ours!  We did that!  Let me tell you, it is WORK!  About halfway up, the sail starts to take on wind and becomes very hard to lift.  I was using ALL of my weight and strength ~~ I was going down into a full squat to pull my rope!  It was exhilarating!!!  Both of us were a bit winded when we finished! 

It was  a perfect sailing day.  Sunny, breezy and just the perfect temperature (low to mid 80's).  I am really glad we weren't able to sail that day last October b/c this was truly a birthday delight!

After disembarking, we scored some Chicago Mix popcorn from Garrett right on Navy Pier!  Suh-weet!  Of course, we had to walk over to a shaded park bench to enjoy some of the caramel-cheese indulgence! 

With our sweet-salty cravings indulged (for the time being) and fingers all orange-yellow from the cheese flavoring, we walked back to the Millenium Park train station to head home.  We were both worn out from all of the walking, the fresh air ...and, perhaps, the adult beverages (had some cocktails on the Ship after the beer at Bubba's).  However, that didn't stop us from having a bit more of the Chicago Mix! 

We finished up the day by enjoying Trader Joe's tiramisu and more Garrett's!!! 

But wait, there is more celebrating yet to be had!! 

Here are a couple sneak peeks at the goodies we have been stashing (like a squirrel stashes nuts!!) that will be used & shared at my Bash this Saturday:

What-What?!  Is that a disco ball light I see????  Maybe!!!  

Thursday, May 10, 2012

My Birthday MONTH

It's almost here.....the BIG 4-0 is less than a week away!   

I am not scared of that number!  I whole-heartedly embrace it!  For me, moving from one decade to the next is very refreshing ~~ I like leaving behind one and beginning another.  It's like emerging from my cocoon to be a butterfly each time!! 

Besides, I have been mentally planning my 40th birthday bash for YEARS!  Saturday, May 19, 2012, will be a flashback to the 1980's at Jennifer's Totally Awesome Birthday Bash!   

A friend and I attended my first Beltane ritual at a local church.  It was actually pretty cool.  There weren't many people in attendance and that was okay.  Neither of us knew what to expect, so we just followed along.  I participated in my first Maypole dance!  (I selected a purple ribbon, of course!)  The gatherings are held at a Unitarian Universalist church.  Chris and I are going to check out a church service one of the Sundays coming up (this weekend, maybe?).  I would like to participate in the Summer Solstice ritual, too, and am hopeful that another friend can get in on the fun with us. 

This past Saturday was a SUPER moon!  The moon is my favorite celestial body and I look forward to each and every full moon.  I only wish we had been in a large open area, so that we could watch its ascent as close to the horizon as possible b/c that is when you can see "her" at her biggest and most golden/yellow. 

Chris & I took a dinner cruise in 2000 to celebrate our 8th anniversary.  We were living in Florida at the time.  The moon we saw that nite was the biggest I have ever seen!  It was glorious!  Very golden while it was at the horizon and then got white (and smaller) as it rose.  We were one of the only people on deck to see it as the others were native Floridians and the November weather was far too cold for them...but perfect for us Midwesterners who just snuggled under a blanket with our cups of coffee!  One might suspect that Mother Nature had given us this special anniversary gift herself!  ;)  At least, I like to think so!! 

I treated myself to a facial (& massage) for an early birthday gift with money from my mom!  (BIG thanx, Mom!!!)  I hadn't been to my favorite spa for this AH-MAZING facial in a couple/few years.  Oh, how I missed it!  My skin gets so clean from the steam and all the special stuff Jennifer, the esthetician, applies specifically to my needs.  She also massages my head & neck, then my hands and feet before putting them in these heated gloves and booties ~~ glorious!!!  I want to have this pampering every month, alas, my bank account may not agree with me!!! 

Another early birthday goodie is watching My Johnny in Dark Shadows tomorrow nite!  What a doll he is for waiting to open this movie the Friday before my birthday!  Ooooh, I love him so!

The rest of the weekend will be filled with some more party preparation stuff and, hopefully, buying the plants for our window boxes and my large potted planter.  They look so very dreary this time of year and with the house up for sale, it is important to have everything "just so" for curbside appeal, you know? 

Our little Kennedy Harper has her MRI today.  Her movement in her right arm has much improved, according to my sister.  I am hopeful that the reaction she had to her immunizations was temporary and that nothing is found on the MRI.  I get to meet and snuggle the little goddess next month as I will be spending an entire week with my Florida family the beginning of June.  I can't wait to see everyone!!!  It seems much longer than only 8 months since I last visited!  And our other goddess, Shyla Lynn, has just grown up so much since then ~~ I get to win her over, yet again!  I heard her say my name the other day when I was on the phone with my mom...it melted my heart!  I cannot wait to see her and speak with her and snuggle her and love her and eat watermelon with her!!!  Oh, not only do I get to meet my niece, Kennedy, but also my GREAT nephew!  Can you believe it?  I turn 40 and then become a great aunt?!?  The little guy will be freshly hatched as his due date is around Memorial Day.   

I have been doing my 4 classes a week at LA Boxing for the past 2 1/2 weeks and I LOVE it!  Even tho I am adding just one more class, I can totally see the difference in my body.  I think I will just keep it up, as long as my schedule accommodates.  Also, the circuit training that has been slowly incorporated into classes by a couple instructors makes a difference, too!  It really works my body, my muscles, in other ways and will help push me beyond any plateaus!!  The other nite, half the class did kickboxing while the other half did circuits and then we switched.  It was a great change of pace and I hope they work that into the schedule soon.  That being said, I am off to drink some more water and fuel up for class tonite (I am taking 1 1/2 classes, which I also did on Tuesday ~ yeah, I am that badass!).   

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