Sunday, December 28, 2008

Is it really over?

Well, it's three days past Christmas, and I think we're officially done with our busy schedule. We're not doing anything in particular for New Years Eve, so it'll be pretty quiet around here.

First things first. Happy and sad announcements...

I want to express my heartfelt sympathy to Julie and Andrew Schumacher, and Julie's family, for the loss of her grandmother at Christmas. I only had the chance to talk with her a couple times over the years. However, seeing that she was a strong polish woman with amazing vitality, made me love her immediately. I know you will miss her completely. We're praying for your family.

Next, on the opposite spectrum, I want to give a big Congratulations to Mike and Jackie Krutz on their wedding! The were married in November, in Texas. Yesterday, Dave and Yvonne Krutz put on a beautiful reception for them, at the Lambeau Field Atrium, for all of us who weren't at the wedding, to be able to celebrate with them. We had a great time, and are so glad to be part of such a great group of friends. Congrats!

We also celebrated Shelly Stock's soon-to-be motherhood, with a baby shower in Wayside. Despite a very nerve-wracking drive through the dense fog, we all showed up, and had a wonderful time. I had a blast playing the 1950's version of Baby Bingo, with many terms we have no clue about now. I even won! Woohoo! Thanks to her calling "enema" I got bingo. :) Boy, time's have changed. Congrats again to Shelly.

Back to Christmas. On Christmas Day, we started at noon, at Carol Puyleart's house with a delicious meal. We all took part in our gift exchange, which is always a great time. I ended up with adorable condiment dishes, which Julie S brought. We are so blessed to have such a great family. They're always so fun to catch up with.

From there, we headed down to Neenah, for some family time at the Kiel's house. Aristana had a blast playing with the kids, and the adults chatted away the whole evening.

On the 26th, we joined the Tesch side of the family for tree hopping. We started out at the Puyleart's again, and worked on finishing up their leftovers. Next, was Sharen's (and Chuck's)apartment. Aristana had a blast staring at the white, lit, spinning Christmas tree in the bedroom, and the upside-down tree in the living room. Not to mention, the huge array of snacks kept her going too.

...and again, we are left saying, "I can't believe it's over already." I just have to say, if you are one of those people who says "I can't wait for Christmas to be over!," then you need to seriously re-evaluate your life and priorities. This special time of year is meant to be joyous. We are celebrating the birth of our savior. Allowing yourself to get caught up in the commercialism of the holiday, is your own fault. It IS stressful. It IS hectic. But NEVER EVER EVER EVER should we lose sight of the very reason we celebrate the holiday in the first place. We owe it to ourselves, our families, and especially our children to have fun, and remember that there is magic in this beautiful season! We grow up so fast, and forget that there are people who count on us to make it special!

Thank you to each and every one of you who helped make this the best Christmas yet. I thank God for the health and happiness of Aristana...nothing else matters! I am still in awe, every day, that God would trust us with his child. I love this little girl so much!!!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Eve

Hello and blessings on your Christmas! Christmas Eve and Christmas Day seem to come so fast, and pass by just as quickly. The excitement seems to bring out an inner child, if only for two days of the year. I think having a child makes it that much more fun too!

Aristana still hasn't fully grasped the concept of Santa yet. She knows what he looks like, and that he brings presents. However, unfortunately, she still doesn't understand the "he knows if you've been bad or good" part. So no bribery quite yet. Maybe next year...

Funny story... On Dec 23rd morning, having been snowed in too much already this winter, we went to the mall. We had a great time in the play area, and shopping at Old Navy. She really was a great shopping buddy! We were having a treat in the food court, which was pretty packed, when Aristana gasped loudly, and followed with "Mama!," like something was wrong. She had everyone's attention around her, when I asked what was wrong. She pointed to the television and said, "Mama! Joe Biden on TV!" She was treated to a bunch of giggles, and people smiling at her. Then, the camera panned back to the African-American news caster, prompting her to follow with, "Mama! Barack Obama on TV!" With red cheeks, I smiled at those looking on at the situation. What a girl. By the way, if you would like to see her politics video, I will try to add it to this blog. If you don't see it, you can see it on my Facebook profile, or look up "Aristana Politics" on I'm working with dial-up, mainly, so I might not get the video on here right away.

Anyway, we started our Christmas eve, at Mike's parents' house for lunch. Shelly and Rob are in town, so It was great to see Shelly's baby bump. I'm so excited for them! Nate, Matty, Abby, Rod and Barb rounded out the family list. We had a great lunch and opened our gifts. I got some gift cards for clothing! Woohoo! I have a great problem that my clothes are not fitting very well anymore, and my clothing choices are really starting to disappear.

Aristana got books, DVDs, clothing(she has the opposite issue. She hit a growth spurt in the last few weeks, and until yesterday, only had four shirts that covered her belly, since it seems her torso is growing taller...not necessarily her legs. For fun of looking back at this blog, I'll list her sizes. Shirts-3T, Pants-2T, Skirts-12months, PJ's-3T, Dresses 2T-3T. She's not so proportionate, I guess. She also got food, dishes, and pots and pans for her kitchen. She also got a Fisher Price Farmyard bowling set, and a few other things.

We continued on to church. Considering Aristana woke up early, and hadn't had a nap by this time, she and I spent the service in the "quiet room." It's great to go to services at Zion. I love that church, and the people there!

Finally, we did a quick version of show and tell, after church, since we whipped through opening gifts so fast, earlier. From there, we drove back to Green Bay, to have dinner at my father, and step-mother's house. We all brought our favorite food to make, so there was quite an array of choices.

We had a great time, with Dad, Nancy, Adam, Steph, Kevin, Cliff, Sarah, Paloma, Atticus, Hattie, and their dog Trixie. I love the laid back atmosphere of that family. It's truly eat, drink and be merry! Unfortunately, Lauren couldn't make it this year, so that was a bummer. Hopefully next year, the two boys that Cliff and Sarah are adopting from Haiti will be there to celebrate with us! We can't wait to see you, Keenan and Miles!

We opened even more gifts, and Aristana was so excited to receive a kid's acoustic guitar. Now she can play hers, while Dad plays his.

Now, it's 11:30 pm, and I should really hit the sack, so we can do this again tomorrow. We start at Mike's aunt and uncle's house, at noon. Next, off to Neenah, to my brother's house. Then, the 26th brings some shopping, and tree hopping in the evening. Finally, on the 27th, we have Shelly's baby shower in the morning, then a wedding reception in the evening.

Sorry again, for being so boring. On that note, enjoy the rest of your year, and I'm sure I'll post again soon!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...

Again, I have fallen behind at keeping up my blog. Time flies so fast, and with that, Aristana grows just as fast. By the time I blog, I've missed so many things. I'll try to recap.

As you know from my last couple entries, I was in Florida at the end of November. I returned a few days prior to Thanksgiving, which we hosted at our house. I look back at the memories of spending holidays at my Grandma Threse and Grandpa Greg Omernick's house. It was something I always looked forward to. Now as the years have passed, and they're no longer with us, it's sometimes difficult to keep traditions going. I am so honored to have had my family over, to celebrate. I practiced making a turkey a couple months back, so I had everything ready. Not to toot my own horn, but everything was delicious...TOOT TOOT!

A few days later, Aristana turned two, and I had some jewelry shows, which kept me busy. Aristana is such a motivation in my lia sophia business, and gives me a much needed pep rally before I go out to work. Before every show, we sing and dance to the song "Unwritten" by Natasha Beddingfield. Then, we both shout, "I am amazing!" She follows up with a "Mama mazin!" It's really powerful, and after doing my presentation once when she wasn't home, I truly missed it.

That next weekend, we celebrated Aristana's 2nd birthday. Can you believe it? I cannot believe she's two already. Yet part of me can't believe she's only two. Weird. We had a party at the Guesthouse Inn, in Bellevue, where everyone could go swimming, in the nice heated pool, while the snow fell outside the large windows. It was such a nice time, and we really enjoyed seeing everyone again. I wish I would have been able to talk with the guests a little more, but pretty much knew going into it, that I'd be the "errand girl." Anyone looking for a great winter birthday idea, this is it. We had a party with about 80 guest, including swimming, and a meal, for about $150. Mama Mazin? I think so ;)

Aristana was able to indulge in her first Green Bay Gamblers hockey game this past week too. She really had a great time, and loved the box seats. I sure hope she doesn't think that box seats are the norm. Unfortunately, just
as we were about to leave, she tripped down the steps, and hit a plastic arm rest on the way. The hockey players may have been fighting, but she looked like she took the hits.

A few more shows, some Christmas shopping, our weekly trip to the Little Gym, and we are now in the present tense.

We are looking forward to spending more time with our families in the next couple weeks. Mike's sister and brother-in-law, Shelly and Rob, will be coming up from the St. Louis area too. We are so excited to see the baby bump, and let Aristana feel it too. I can't wait for our new niece or nephew to arrive! I think holidays will continue to get more exciting, as the years go by.

Whew! I'm finally caught up! Until next time...hopefully sooner than later. Have a very blessed Christmas, and remember to sing Happy Birthday to our savior Jesus Christ!


Sunday, November 23, 2008

On the way home

I have had such a great trip! I set some goals for myself, that I knew would be difficult to achieve:
- $800 in sales.
- four bookings
- two potential recruits

Here's what I'm at so far:
-1400 in sales (expecting more orders)
-four bookings (three in Jax, one in Orlando, & 2 more potentials)
-I gave out 5 recruiting packets

Things went so well! I had a great time in Jax. I went to dinner with Nate Bryhan at the Mellow Mushroom, and had some great pizza! The next day was my show. Katerina, my recruit from my last trip, came along with me, so I got to know her a little better. The show was lots of fun. about four of them were at the last show, and I was really looking forward to seeing them again. If I was single w/ no kids, I'd want to have them as my friends. I love listening to their stories of dating, and they always welcome me as a friend. I'll be seeing them again in March. Julie had a nice show, good sales, and lots of bookings.

Then next day, I had a nice drive to Orlando, and the temp got up to 65 degrees. Everyone was wearing jackets. I laughed, but realized I too was friggin freezing after a little bit. I had the heat on in my room the entire time I was in Orlando.

I ended up selling about another $400 in jewelry, creating another show, and getting a show booked at the Crabby Bills restaurant at the Clarion Hotel in Orlando, in March. Also, the owner of the restaurant asked for some catalogs to hand out at Thanksgiving. However, I just checked my voicemail, and she called to let me know that she already has a couple hundred in one day! I had no intentions of bringing out the lia sophia in Orlando, but it ended up being a huge chunk of my stay. Also, I have two potential recruits in Orlando now, as well.

Jonathan came to the hotel when I checked in, and we went over to Animal Kingdom. We rode Expedition Everest twice, and checked out the bats, tigers, and a couple animals I can't name. We saw the Nemo show too, which was very cute! We rode "Dinosaur," which was much better this time. It scared me pretty bad last time...yeah, I know...grow up.

From there, we headed to Epcot. My toes were numb by this point, and we were both shivering. I remember hanging out in the Disney shops, trying to get my share of the air conditioning, but this time, it was completely opposite. It was so cold! We rode the newly renovated Spaceship Earth, Mexico ride, and Maelstrom in Norway. We also went to the Seas with Nemo and friends.

After that, we went to the Boardwalk resort to go to Jellyrolls! Anyone who knows me well, knows that my favorite place to be, other than home, is Jellyrolls. We had such a great time, as always, and I kept thinking of all the people I'd love to have there with me. I only requested two songs this time, but left before either were played. I fell in love with the beer "Landshark." It's Jimmy Buffett's beer, and is brewed in none other than Jacksonville. Guess where I'll have to go, next time I'm in Jax?.?.? It's kind of like Corona or Bud Light Lime. Yummy!

Saturday, I recovered for a little, in the morning. I did some more lia sophia work, then met up with Jonathan again. This time, we hung out at the Hollywood Studios, and went on my two favorites...Tower of Terror and Rockin Rollercoaster. We also went on the Backlot Tour, where Jonathan's new beau works. He's really nice, and has eyes to die for. Good luck Jonathan! For dinner, I had an awesome meal of coconut shrimp, garlic mashed potatoes, and hush puppies. The best part? It was comped. The owner of the restaurant picked up the tab, because I gave her a deal on the jewelry. It was reeeeeally good.

So now, here I am, living in the Memphis airport. I just watched the Jets spank the Titans (did I mention that I'm in Tennessee?). It was great to see the Titans lose.

Okay, done for now. Talk to you later!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Okay, so things were great after Detroit. I got my own seat on the flight to Jacksonville, in a reeeeally comfy seat.

Then, knowing I'd probably end up with a Yaris or something, since I'm cheap, they gave me a free upgrade to a Volvo! I can't really figure out how to use it, aside from driving, since there are so many fun things on it. I'll have to spend the evening reading the owners manual.

Next, after taking two wrong turns, I made it to my hotel. While checking in at the hotel, the fire alarm went off, and the fire department stopped by. Nothing but excitement.

I got to go to dinner with Nate Bryhan, so it was good to see him again.

Well, I'm going to practice for my show now. See you later!

Heading Back to FL

I’m warning you. This may bore you to death. When I sit around, waiting for the plane, I write everything on my mind. Even I get bored! You may not want to waste your time.
So here I am at the Austin Straubel Airport, about ½ hour from boarding. I’m heading back to Jacksonville for another show, and to spend some time with a couple great friends. I have a whole different mindset this time, understanding better, my goals and my approach. I have learned a lot about goal setting since the beginning of my journey with lia Sophia. My goals for this trip are to get an $800 show, four bookings, and two potential recruits. It’s a stretch, but that’s the fun of accomplishing goals, right? I wish people understood how great it is to host a show. Somehow, explaining that a hostess gets an average of $400 in free jewelry, and many other bonus items, doesn’t get through to ladies. They’ll spend over $200 on their order, for a few things, but are afraid the hostess specials are too good to be true. THEY’RE NOT!
I am so glad to be a part of this company. I am looking forward to the future, and finding out where I’m going. I think I want to blog my goals, so I feel more accountable…and less likely to lower the standards.
I will have seven team members by July
I will average over $3000 in sales each month, from July on forward.
I will attend Success Camp in January
I will attend conference in June
I will earn the company trip for one this year.
I will receive the Ruby level for the 2010 conference (tracking June’09-May’10)
I will receive the Ruby level for sales for the 2010 conference (tracking June’09-May’10)
Earn a $30,000 income in 2010.
I’m sure I will have more as time goes by, but this is what I’m shooting for at this time.
We’re getting ready to board. See you in Detroit!
So, I’m in Detroit. I remember a few years ago, this airport being a s***hole. It was old and filthy. In a few places, I’m actually reminded of Disney. They have a really nice fountain in the concourse I arrived at. One of the walkways plays sounds of a thunderstorm, while you’re walking through a tunnel with lighting on the walls and ceiling that matches. They also have a tram running right through it all. Oh yeah, not to mention the cue lines at the restaurants, and the high prices for food.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

We're good to go!

Ironically (and expected), Aristana started to feel better only a few days after going to the Childrens Hospital. She pulled this on us a few times before, so we didn't get our hopes up too high. However, this time, she just kept on getting better. We're at almost three weeks now, with normal diapers! Her specialist decided to cancel the scopes, since the risks now outweigh the benefits. Thank you Jesus!

On a new note...we did end up going to urgent care today... Apparently we just can't stay away. Aristana was dancing in her room, and spinning like the wild girl she is. She tripped over her rug, and her eye/upper cheek met with the knob on her bottom dresser drawer. Things are looking good, and we just need to watch her. She even knows how to say "shiner" now. :) We stopped by the lab after, to say hi to Amanda, Mel, and Pam. She got all tattooed up, and was content once again.

Thank you again for all your prayers. Hopefully we are truly at the end of a two month ordeal!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Maggie for McCain...

Disclaimer: This is a blog. It is here so I can explain what's going on in my life. This is not a political commercial, or invitation for a debate. Thanks!

I had a great night! My sister Lauren and I decided to volunteer for the upcoming McCain/Palin rally, in Green Bay tomorrow. We were both assigned to the "press committee." We will be in charge of making sure that members of the press have their credentials and identification. From there, we'll be stationed around the Resch Center to make sure everyone "behaves."

We made signs for awhile tonight too. It's been a long time since I've played with paint. We really had a good time, and for such a great cause.

Of course, what's a night of painting political rally signs, without a trip to the bar, on the way home? We stopped at The Bar after, for some yummy grub.

Tomorrow is the big day. We start our day at 3pm, and will be there all night. I can't wait to see them both! I am so excited to experience the rush of being at a rally. I'm sure some of you think I'm a big dork right now.

I have to give credit to my big brother Brady, for introducing me to politics in 1988, when he took me to see George Bush (41) in Appleton. There was something magical about being in a rally/speech environment. That season, we also saw Al Gore in Green Bay. Yeah, he ran for president back then too.

This led to a desire to help out at every election since. In 1992 I went to visit Brady at UW-Stevens Point, and help out with Bush's (41) whistle stop train tour. I was made the head of the sign committee. It was a great opportunity, being that I was only a sophomore in high school. I was able to meet him that time, which was such an honor.

In 1996, I campaigned for Bob Dole at UW-LaCrosse. I was a member of the "Teenage Republicans" group, and was chosen to be part of Dole's motorcade, when he campaigned in Green Bay. I got to go to his fundraising dinner as well. My camera stopped working, as he was getting closer. He realized that I was having issues, and actually helped fix my camera! That was awesome!

2000 came, and I lived in Orlando, with many liberal friends. I campaigned for Bush(43), by volunteering for two stops he made (remember what a close state it was). I was able to be in the state that caused so many problems for America, and their desire to know who the president would be.

Finally, 2004 proved to be another exciting year. I just couldn't stand John Kerry.

Here we are... sorry for boring you with those details. I am so proud to have been able to serve in these campaigns, and hope everyone has the chance to serve their respective candidates sometime as well.

Thanks for reading.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Back to normal?

Hey Everyone!

First of all, CONGRATS TO DAN AND LISA PUYLEART (and Kaylin too)!!! Baby number two on the way! Never a dull moment...

After a nice week, and a great weekend, I realized this morning that Aristana has been one week without "problem diapers." She still complains of stomach pain here and there, but is definitely doing much better. I called her gastro doctor's nurse this morning to let her know. As of now, we're keeping the scopes scheduled (Sept 29th). However, I'm supposed to call her next Monday to see where we go from there. If Aristana has another good week, we may take a different route. Please keep her in your prayers...this is so great!

We had a great weekend, celebrating cousin Laura Schumacher and Dave Zabrauskis (probably not the correct spelling)wedding. It was rainy. However, Racine missed a storm system that dumped seven inches of rain on Chicago. We have to be glad for the weather we did get. Laura was such a beautiful bride, and giggled a lot during the ceremony. She's definitely one of the most fun brides I've seen in a while. We're so happy for them, and wish them blessings in their life together.

It was also great to see lots of the family again. Matty rode to Racine in our van, so Aristana really enjoyed that. We got to see Nate, Lis, Rob, Shelly, Grandma, Grandpa, etc. Aristana didn't take a nap all day, so she was Dr. Jekyl & Mr. Hide, throughout the event. During the ceremony, she yelled, "Mama, acky poo!" until Mike took her out, to change her diaper. The mood swings worked in her favor though, because we just kept giving her what she wanted, to keep her from exploding. She got a cupcake and some angel food cake from me, some snacks from dad, and cookies from Grandma and Grandpa. Unfortunately, she never crashed after a sugar high. She still wouldn't go to sleep until about 9:30pm. 2:30am was apparently the time for her to wake up, asking for "be-best." Breakfast...she and I, hanging out in the hotel lobby at 2:30 in the morning, eating a left over bean burrito and fruit snacks. Yummmmmmm. She finally went back to sleep at 4:30. By 7am she was ready to go again. What a girl...

Anyway... I'll still keep you posted. I hope this is the end of a tough phase. Thank you for all of your prayers and concern.


Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Test Results

Just letting you all know that so far, Aristana's lab results are coming in negative & normal so far, so that's great news. However, it's frustrating, not knowing if there really is something wrong, or if she's just going through something. I'll be setting up her endoscopy/sigmoidoscopy & biopsy appointments tomorrow.

I'm not planning on writing again until next week. I don't expect any new news in the next few days, and we'll be celebrating Cousin Laura Schumacher's wedding this weekend, in Racine. Until then, thanks again for all of your support!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Feeling Good...

Hey Everyone... Just letting you all know that Aristana has been having a good couple days since her appointment. She's still having bad moments here an there, but overall, seems to be feeling better. She ate lots today too, so that's great.

This past Saturday was my last Sturgeon Bay Farmers Market. Aristana of course, came along, and stayed at Grandma's house. She had a great time with Grandma, Aunt Lauren, and the kitty kitties, Moses and Pierogie.

Tonight we went to watch uncle Nate's volleyball game, and she had a great time. We were able to get out yesterday too, and hang out at a corn roast, hosted by a firefighter that Mike works with. Aristana was at home there, since there was tons of food, desserts, and a huge yard with lots of running around room.

We should hopefully have her blood test results back tomorrow, and I'll definitely keep you updated. We still don't have a date set for her scopes yet though. Hopefully we'll get that set up soon too.

Thanks everyone!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Back from Milwaukee...

Holy rain! Apparently it didn't rain as much up here today, as in Milwaukee. Visibility was very limited on the way there. A 1 hour 45 minute trip ended up taking two and a half. I'm glad we left early. There were a bunch of accidents messing up the highway. I've been in an accident in Milwaukee already, so I was even more on guard. (Um, yeah...and I still was willing to take pictures of myself driving, while I was actually driving. I'm a Smart Cookie!

Aristana was awake most of the trip, and did a great job! Granted,we played "I spy" for an hour...spying the same things over and over again. But it never seems to get old. We also sang a lot...she's so much fun! Even when she's sick...

When we made the appointment for Aristana to meet with the pediatric gastroenterologist at Childrens Hospital, it seemed as though she started to improve, having only a couple "bad diapers" a day. However, today, as soon as the nurse walked in, she needed a change. By the time we were done, they needed to redo the room, since the paint started peeling off the walls from the smell.
Aristana, needless to say, is no longer excited to see a doctor's office. She was by no means the princess she always acted like at prior visits. Dr. Venkat is a remarkable, and was able to check her belly, while she thought he was just tickling her. Okay, get this... his full name is Dr. Narayanan Venkatasubramani. Wow! He just goes by Dr. Venkat..thank God. Funny story though. He asked Aristana if she could say Venkat. She said "kitty kitty." Now he's Dr. Kitty Kitty. :)
He explained all of the possibilities, and what our path is from here. She had her first blood draw, and had three vials taken. We should have those results back by Monday. Thanks to her "bad diapers," Jean, the nurse, was able to collect four of the labs she needed. Unfortunately, it's my job to collect seven more. I'm getting very experienced at this...yipee. You don't learn this stuff at Mom school. We will also be heading back to Milwaukee in a few weeks, so she can have an endoscopy and a sigmoidoscopy. They will also do some biopsies during the scopes. She'll be put to sleep for that, so thankfully she won't feel or remember any of it. I'll keep you all posted throughout this ordeal.

She fell asleep shortly after we got in the van, to head home. Traffic was extremely slow, since the rain started falling heavier than before. There were a few accidents, and people were driving like complete idiots. I realized that my head was bobbing, and I didn't remember driving the previous ten minutes, around Cleveland. We stopped to get out of the van for a few minutes. We had to stop again in Manitowoc. we're home. Aristana is in for a nap, and I'm going to do the same.
Thanks again for your prayers and caring! I know everyting will be fine. The process of getting there, however, doesn't seem to be so reassuring.
I'll write again soon

Sunday, August 31, 2008


Hey Everyone...
Not too much to report on Aristana, since her next appointment is on Thursday. However, she's been having good days since I wrote last. She's eating more, and having fewer "sheet changes." She's even dancing again :)

Next, CONGRATULATIONS SHELLY & ROB!!! We found out yesterday that Mike's sister Shelly, and her husband, Rob, are going to be having a baby in March! We are so extremely excited for them. We know they will be absolutely wonderful parents, and make God so proud.

Finally, thank you to everyone who has been keeping my brother in prayer, over the last few months. We received word yesterday, that he has returned from Qatar, and is again in Tampa. Although, with this year's hurricane season in the US, he may have been safer across the ocean. We are so proud of him, and his passion for our country. Thank you Brady!!!

I'll probably write again on Thursday or Friday, once we have returned from her appointment in Milwaukee.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Aristana update... We took her in to see her doctor, with the understanding that she would be referred to another doctor. She has been tested, poked, and prodded, all with "negative" results. She is not sick in the flu sense of the word, yet has suffered from flu like symptoms for about a month and a half now. She's lost almost 1 1/2 pounds, 1/2 pound within the three days. We were referred to a pediatric gastroenterologist at the Childrens Hospital in Milwaukee. I'll be taking her in next Thursday. Please keep her in your prayers. She's such a great kid. I just want her to not feel so miserable, as she does when she has a bad day.

I also need to send out my love and prayers to the family and friends of Nancy Kaster. Nancy passed away this week, after a five year fight with cancer. She was a great lady, who impacted our family in so many ways. I'm so glad we got to have her in our lives.

Sorry, not much fun stuff this time. Thanks for reading. I'll keep you updated.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Been a long time...

So, I've always had an issue with vomit, and feces...don't you? I never understood how people didn't get sick when having to deal with a child's sickness. As I rewashed Aristana's crib items for the fourth time in two days, only after I gave her her second bath of the day (she had only been awake for one hour), I realized that the thought of being disgusted never even entered my mind. I had made it through...not that I look forward to doing it again tomorrow. I just love that little one so much, and just wish that she felt better. It's been about a month since she started going through this on again, off again sickness. I finally decided to take her to urgent care on Friday, since the weekend seems to go by very slowly, when you're not sure you're doing everything you should, to make her feel better. We'll get her lab results back on Tuesday. Please say a prayer for her...she just doesn't deserve this...

Things haven't changed much around here otherwise. We've been able to spend some great family time together this summer. We've hit a few festivals, picnics, and fairs...danced to the Groove Hogs, and Nashville Pipeline...hung out at the park, and Grandma and Grandpa Hinz's farm...One of the greatest things though, is spending time at home in the backyard. Aristana loves to harvest the veggies from the garden. She eats the beans off the bush, and has a tendency to stick her finger in the tomatoes. She's also a huge fan of her sandbox, and waving to the airplanes flying overhead. I love Wisconsin summers!

An update... My brother Brady, who has been stationed in Tampa, FL (McDill Air Force Base) since May, was able to accompany his superior on a trip to Qatar. That's about all he can say, for security reasons. I am so proud of him, and his service to our country. What a great guy! He keeps a blog too. Click here if you're interested in checking it out. He will only be gone for a short time...but we're glad he was able to go over there, in a secure setting. I have always looked up to him, and his ability to be an outstanding brother, husband, father, and teacher. He is an amazing man!

I'm still selling lia sophia jewelry. I'm also still selling my mom's art at the Sturgeon Bay Farmers' Market, although that will only go for another couple of weeks. I can't believe how fast summer has flown.

Oh, weight update... I have lost around 80 pounds now. I have been on a plateau for almost a month, so I hope this doesn't mean that my weight loss has slowed down... arghhhh

See? Pretty boring. I promise, I'll let you know if anything exciting does happen.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Catching Up...

Okay, it's been a long time since I've written...and now that I'm learning that there are people actually reading my blog, I'm going to attempt to be a little better at writing more often.

First, I need to speak about the Brett Favre drama. I need to speak about it, because I want to make sure that everyone knows how much I can't stand the Brett Favre drama. I understand I am from Green Bay. I am definitely a Packer fan. I also do have an opinion on the whole situation. However, I realize that in our society, we are constantly complaining about how much time we DON'T have for things that matter. So why on earth should we all take time away from our families, church, and other activities that actually matter, to head down to Lambeau Field (every Sunday, according to the protest starter-uppers), to try to get face time on the news cameras. Seriously, when they were interviewing the man that started the whole protest, it was like he wanted the world to know what a serious thing this is...that the Packers should take a vote of "The People" and see what they should do. Here's my vote...go home...take your kids to the something worthwhile! Okay, I think I'm done there.

Next, my weight update... I am down 75 pound, and have under 100 to go! Yeah! I am losing a lot of my hair, since I'm having trouble getting enough nutrients. That makes me pretty tired too. However, the doctor said that about six months after surgery, the body starts to understand what it needs to do. I am willing to deal with this, because the outcome is so great.

Finally, I had a very wonderful weekend this past weekend. On Saturday, Mike, Aristana and I headed out to Sturgeon Bay, where we met Andrew, Julie, and Julie's family, at the Pudgy Seagull. After breakfast, we all walked to the farmers market, where I got to be a shopper, and not a vendor. It was nice. Here's my shout out to Andrew and Julie! Thanks for reading my blog!

On Sunday, we went to Way-Mor Park for a surprise party for Roger and Carol Boeder's anniversary. It was a great time. Dave & Kristy Hinz were up from Illinois, with Rollie and Valerie. ...such cute and fun kids! Aristana played around with Dad, and Uncle Matty, Uncle Nate, and Lis. It was nice to get together with everyone again.

That's it for now. I have to get back to cleaning for my Arbonne party tomorrow night. yeehaw!

Friday, June 27, 2008

My 31st birthday… What an awesome day! My mom took Aristana the evening of the 26th, so I could have most of today to myself. It was such a great gift!

I slept in until 8:00ish. After a couple of “Happy Birthday!” phone calls, I got ready to head out. First, I went to get my nails done. I’m getting more girly, so I love getting my nails done now. Next, I headed out to the Atlanta Bread Company, where I ordered an iced tea, and WI-FI. I looked at the new lia Sophia catalogs, and figured out what I wanted to order first.

My dad stopped by about an hour and a half into my camping out. We hung out for about an hour, and he went on his way. It was great to spend some time with him again.

I stayed at ABC for another hour and a half, ordering Penne pasta with pesto sauce, sun dried tomatoes, artichokes, and chicken. YUM! Lots of leftovers to take home.

I went home for a little bit, to find two boxes waiting at my front door, from lia sophia. My first official order from the new catalog arrived, along with the order from my show. Awesome…

I left the house around 3:30, and went over to Looks Unlimited in Ashwaubenon, to get a hair cut. Cheryl, my beautician, also gives scalp massages… I love that part!

From there, I met Mike at Tucsons, for dinner. Again, lots of leftovers to take home.

Now I’m at my mom’s house, back to normal, getting ready for another early morning tomorrow. I’ll be heading up to Sturgeon Bay, to sell my mom’s artwork at the farmers’ market. 364 more days until I get to do this again! At least I have enough leftovers to last for a few days.

A BIG THANKS to everyone for the birthday wishes, cards, and gifts. I appreciate everything!

And the Winners Are...

Thank you to everyone who participated in my "lia sophia Big Giveaway & Last Chance" show. I have finally completed the drawing. As a reminder, entries were earned by:
RSVPing (Yes or No): 1
Coming to the show: 1
Bringing a guest or outside order: 3
Placing an order: 3
For each $50.00 spent: 3
Booking a show: 10

*Note: If you won an actual jewelry piece, from the current catalog, it will be given/shipped to you, at the end of July. I will need them for shows until that time.

Door Prizes (Collectors Piece, and extra goodies):
Renee Natzke
Kriss Kiel
Molly Bubolz

$5.00 Gift Certificate Winners:
Bev Schumacher
Carol Schultz
Marlis Hinz
Molly Bubolz (2)
Renee Natzke (2)
Yvonne Krutz

$10.00 Gift Certificate Winners:
Julie Schumacher
Shelly Pagel
Yvonne Krutz

$25.00 Gift Certificate Winners:
Kris Schumacher
Kriss Kiel
Lauren Kiel
Renee Natzke
Roxanne Siekmann
Lisa Arentz

Hostess Bonus Item Purchase Privilege:
Heather Natzke
Julie Puyleart
Kriss Kiel

Eclectic Necklace, Page 9 in the current catalog:
Kriss Kiel

Mingle Necklace, Page 9 in the current catalog:
Mary Kresal

Midas Touch Set (Earrings & Necklace) Page 25 in the current catalog:
Julie Schumacher

Sea Grass Necklace, Page 32 in the current catalog:
Lisa Arentz

Soleil Necklace, Page 34 in the current catalog:
Shelly Maertz

Minted Earrings, Page 44 in the current catalog:
Sarah Kinate

Euphoria Necklace, Page 53 in the current catalog:
Lauren Kiel

Bellagio Bracelet Collectors Piece: Sarah Dufresne

Splendor Earrings Collectors Piece: Molly Bubolz

Concerto Bracelet Collectors Piece: Deb Grothman

CONGRATS TO YOU ALL! If you don't hear from me within the next few days, with arrangements to get the item to you, I will be sending it to you, in the mail.

Thank you all! I will be planning on doing this giveaway show about every six months. I'll see you at the next one, in January!


Thursday, June 12, 2008

Conference Day 2


It’s 6:30am, and I’m hanging out here, in the Hyatt lobby area, informing you, the imaginary person who reads my blog, of my whereabouts.

Okay, lia Sophia really knows how to put on a show! The events officially started last night, at the US Cellular Arena, in downtown Milwaukee. I thought we were going there to spend three hours clapping for all the advisors and managers who made something of this past year. I didn’t know that I’d leave, feeling that I was at some sort of concert.

First, we got to meet the Kiam family, and the lia Sophia “big guys.” I love Tory! He’s adorable… He refers to himself as the C.H.O. of lia Sophia (Chief Hugging Officer). Everyone who got an award got a b

ig hug from Tory. Jen W and I decided that we too, will hug Tory next year.

Next, music started, and a lady with a beautiful voice (but in a very interesting and elaborate costume) began to sing. All of a sudden, we realized that it was a Circue Du Soleil act. It was spectacular. I don’t ever get too dramatic about entertainment, but this was on a whole other level. The strength and abilities of these people are truly amazing.

Next, they had a surprise entertainer for us. Anita Renfroe, a comedienne, and absolutely hilarious. I actually pulled a tiny muscle in my chest, from laughing so hard. She sang a song about moms, that was to die for. Click here to see it on Youtube. Her act revolved around motherhood…so in an arena consisting of about 98% women, it was a riot.

Our featured speaker today, was Stacy London, from TLC's "What Not To Wear." She is just as AWESOME as she seems on the show. She is also a fantastic speaker!

Okay, today we had some breakout sessions, some raffles, a tornado warning, torrential downpour, a close call with a lightening bolt, and a bus driver who took us 45 minutes out of the way... we ended our evening with dinner (again, we were one out of three buses, and ended up going all the way to the airport, instead of dinner), then Comedy Sportz. Good times... I was able to get on a different bus, on the way back.

Comedy Sportz was a blast, being with our team. It's always so fun going with a group. Also, they had a bunch of those mirrors that make your body look different. In the bathroom, they had one that made you look reeeeally skinny. It was awesome! You can see, that we were having fun with it. I know, I didn't want to leave the bathroom. Jen W would've taken the mirror, but couldn't fit it under her shirt. Oh well.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Conference Day 1

Day one, lia Sophia conference

Pam, Mel, Julie, Jen, Barb, Susan and I met in Allouez, and all headed down to Milwaukee, for the 2008 lia sophia conference. I am so blessed to be involved with such a great group of ladies!

So far, we attended a presentation by Pat Pearson. It was pretty informative…although I found myself zoning quite a bit. I haven’t been to school, or any situation where I was there for the specific purpose of learning, in quite a while. I am a complete airhead today… I went walking down the streets of Milwaukee today, by myself, practically saying “easy target” with my lia Sophia badge and big blue bag. About two blocks down, I decided that I really didn’t know where I was going, and pictured being the star of a CSI or Law & Order show. I know I’m paranoid, but now that I have a family to be responsible to, I think of those things more. Although, I am probably more likely to be attacked by a pole or wall, as I walk into it, at the rate I’m going today.

I really think that I’m not getting enough vitamins right now, because I really am having a rough time with fatigue and just feeling “off.”

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Weight Update - 06/08/08

51 Pounds Down / 109 to go!

It's been a rough week, considering I didn't lose the three pounds until yesterday. Plateaus, even short ones, are horrible! But, WOOHOO! I broke the 50 pound milestone!

As always, the struggles are there. For instance, any of you who know "Zestys," know that they have awesome custard. The problem is, they have awesome custard less than a block away from our house....and directly on our walking path. So far, since reopening on June 1st, we haven't eaten there...and I'm pretty positive that I'll be okay.

Update... one of my goals was to fit comfortably in a seat at Miller Park... we went to the Brewer game on June 1st, and my bum fit happily in the seat!!! It seems funny to be excited about something like that, but it definitely put a huge smile on my face!

My clothes, even the ones I've purchased since surgery, are getting very loose. I started using a belt on my jeans that were having trouble staying on. Now, however, I'm having to make new holes in my belts. What a tough issue to have, huh? Believe me, I praise God every time I have trouble finding something to wear.

I'll talk again soon...Bye

Monday, June 2, 2008

I'm Hangin' Tough!

I'm like totally in my middle school mode again. I just got tickets for the New Kids on the Block concert, in October!!! Woohoo! Whoever thought they'd be getting back together again? Not only are they "back on the block," but their concerts are actually selling out! We got main floor tickets, so we should be close enough for them to hear us screaming like pre-teens again. My sister, my kind-of-cousin (twice removed, once put back, through marriage - in law) and I will be going. I am giddy...actually giddy! I no longer want to marry any of them, but the New Kids were honestly my first love, and it will be so awesome to relive that for a few hours. Wow, I am such a dork!

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Take Me Out to the Ball Game

We piled in the van at 7am, traded Aristana for Nate, and picked up Jeremy & Heather. After picking up Lis in Cedarburg, we were on our way to Miller Park, for a game that would be decided in the first few innings, against the Houston Astros.

We met Ben, Bill, Jeremy and Amanda, and had an awesome tailgate party, in perfect weather, with perfect parking, right in front of the big Miller Park sign. It was Ryan Braun Bobble Head Day, so we each got a fun gift to bring home with us. The Brew Crew managed to hit great, sometimes two at-bats in an inning... beating the Astros, 10 to 1.

During the third inning, I got up to walk around and get something to eat. I had to watch Ryan Braun's homer on a TV, inside the "Fan Zone" (gift shop). However, I did manage to stand field level, behind home plate for a bit, and saw another home run, this time from Russell Branyan.

After the game, we tailgated again, played catch, and just waited for the cars to clear from the lot. It was a long day, but again, perfect. We really couldn't have asked for a better day...maybe better seats, but not a better day.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Oh...I get it now...

Okay, in my last entry, I vented a bit on Aristana's behavior. At Mike's softball game on Wednesday, our friend Jason was talking about his daughter, and her struggle with getting her molars in. Aristana has fourteen teeth in, including all of her molars. I think we just put teething on the back burner, since the molars came in. I checked out her mouth yesterday, after she was just being miserable, and found 3 new ones popping up. Now I feel bad for all my self-pity. This morning, she woke up, and cried for fifteen minutes, scraping at her tongue, and making gestures toward her mouth. She wouldn't eat breakfast at all. Thankfully I had a little of her soy milk left, which she drank. We went grocery shopping, and she seemed to be doing better, thanks to the Tylenol. When we got home, we packed a picnic and headed out to Green Isle Park, for lunch, and to watch all of the kids playing on the playground equipment. She ate some cheese and strawberries, so I'm glad she seems to be feeling a little better. She really is such a great kid!

On the weight loss subject... I want to thank you all for the wonderful support you have been sending my way. I'm learning that food addiction is a problem for a lot of us. Thanks for sharing your struggles and successes! It's just great to hear from you all!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Weight Update - 48 Pounds lost / 112 to go

I'm going to be blogging about my weight loss journey, since many of you have been asking me to keep you updated. First of all, I had my surgery about eight weeks ago, and so far I have lost 45 pounds! I lost my first 30 in the first 3 1/2 weeks, then hit a 3 week plateau. I lost the latter 15 over the past week and a half. I couldn't believe how frustrating and disheartening it was to drudge through that plateau. It truly was disappointing. I started to question if that was all I was meant to lose. I thank God that it started coming off again. Now I don't need to jump off that bridge anymore!

For any of you who may think that surgery is "taking the easy way out," I urge you to reconsider. I have tried pretty much everything to lose weight. It is coming off now, but by no means is it "easy." This is probably the most difficult transition I have ever experienced. My surgeon, Dr. James Kemmerling, and the staff at NEW Surgical Associates, did an amazing job. I had extremely great care at St. Vincent Hospital. Everything was a huge success...but one thing was overlooked by me. The only thing that surgery took care of, was a physical change. My food addictions, cravings, need for comfort food, love of pizza, etc., still stands strong. It is a constant struggle to stick with this.

I have been dealing with my back, hip, and knee pain, which has limited my exercising ability too. I recently had a coccyxegeal injection, and am noticing a decrease in pain, in that area. I am so thankful for that. I have an appointment coming up, to set the course of action for the other problems. In the meantime, I have been able to take Aristana on walks again, which is great.

One thing that has been very helpful in getting me through this process, is a connection I have made with a friend from Boise, ID. We met on, and have been able to send messages back and forth, about what we're going through, and what we're feeling. It is great to have Lisa, because I don't think anyone else truly understands what I'm going through. Lisa and I had our surgeries three weeks apart, so we're going through a lot of the same things, at the same time. Thanks Lisa!

That's it for the update!

Time is flying...and so is my patience

Wow, every few days I come across this realization of how fast the last year and a half has gone. It seems that only yesterday it was just Mike and I...then I get a glimpse of our little terror running around and acting like she rules the world. Where did our little blob, who only spit up on herself and smiled while passing gas, go? Gone...completely gone. I love Aristana more than I ever knew was possible...however, she's jumping into her terrible twos, and taking advantage of every minute of it.

I remember, before I had a child, sitting at a restaurant, or shopping at a store, and rolling my eyes at a parent who wouldn't get their child to stop screaming. I thought to myself many times, "When I have a child, I'll never let him/her...(fill in the blank, because there are so many endings)" I am quickly learning that I had no clue. Many parents don't choose to teach their children that screaming is okay, and throwing a tantrum is the latest craze. No, as I pull out my hair, I realize that I should have been much more understanding. I'm learning that no matter how we're parenting Aristana, that she will scream if she wants to, and she will throw things, and cry, and hit if she chooses. We, of course, have to make sure that she understands that it's not okay...but for now, no preemptive course of action will change the outcome.

Okay, now for other life things...

We had a wonderful weekend! It is always so nice to get some quality time in as a family, while still accomplishing some things.

First of all, last week, Aristana used the "big people potty" for the first time. I can't say that an encore will happen any time soon, but it was very exciting, nonetheless.

This past Saturday, we all went to Grandma and Grandpa Hinz's farm. Mike helped with chores for awhile, and Aristana loved being there. She helped Mike with chores too, but her main job was to talk to the cows and cats. She did a great job. We also helped pick some stones. Technically, Aristana and I played in the corn field while Mike helped pick stones. She sure plays the farmer girl role very well. Not to mention, it makes for some really cute photo ops.

We went to Celebrate De Pere this weekend as well, to listen to the "Groove Hogs." They really are great! Aristana danced, and chased bubbles around for awhile. She also got to have her first popsicle. The weather was warm, and she was too. She was adorable trying to eat it... not to mention, stained. Her clothes, her skin, her stroller all showing proof of her snack.
Overall, it was a wonderful weekend!

I learned that I was much more a farm girl when I was dating Mike. My brain has decided that I am not meant to hang out on a farm that I'm not trying to impress him anymore. I seem to get grossed out a lot quicker than I used to. Aristana, on the other hand, loved everything.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Going Home - Missing my family...

First of all, HAPPY BIRTHDAY BRADY! It was great to hang out with you in Orlando! I'm so proud to have you for my brother!

...Atlanta Airport
I am on my way home from Orlando/Jacksonville, where I’ve been for five days. It was a great (and successful) trip, but man, do I ever miss Mike and Aristana. I just broke down, because I heard her scream with excitement, when she heard my voice over the phone. Wow, that really is powerful!

I don’t think I truly understood our connection…considering how I’ve been acting on this trip. Jacksonville was just fine…two days of business stuff, that kept my mind off things. I was also only away for a couple days by that point.

On day three, I drove to Orlando. That was exciting, since I always love going to Orlando. I met Brady for dinner at the ESPN Zone, at Disney’s Boardwalk Resort. After watching Big Brown with the Preakness, and the Brewers lose to the Red Sox, we headed to Jellyrolls, my all time favorite place! Again, not a sad day…spending time with Brady was so great.

However, day four proved to be a little more difficult. In the morning, I went to Wal-Mart, to grab a few items. I broke down a few times, seeing things that she’s look cute wearing, or food items she likes to eat. After Wal-Mart, I went to the outlet mall, where I talked to Mike on the phone, and broke down again.

From there, I went to Disney’s Marketplace at Downtown Disney to cry some more, while spending all my money on Aristana, at the World of Disney store. I got her a Mickey Mouse pillow, two Mickey plates and a tiny Mickey doll dressed in a baseball uniform. I also got her one of those charm bracelets. I've wanted to start one for her, and this one came with a charm of a crystal Mickey head.

Later in the day, I went to the Magic Kingdom, where Jonathan got me in for free. I looked at all the families, and all the little kids (even the crying ones) with such envy.

It was great to see Jonathan again. However, I feel sorry for the guy, since even though I wasn’t in tears, I did spend the majority of the time, talking about Mike & Aristana.

I know I need to thank God over and over and over again, for the absolutely awesome husband and daughter I have! THANK YOU GOD!

My flight boards in about an hour, so I’m going to finish eating, and head on to my gate.
I’ll talk again soon…

*** Okay, now I’m at my gate, waiting to board… I am stuffed. Stupidly, I ate too much for lunch. Oh, and I got a cookie for on the plane. Real smart… I’ve done very well these past few days, so hopefully I’ll be okay. This new lifestyle isn't any easier than the old one.

I can’t wait to see Mike & Aristana!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Spending the day in Orlando...Home sweet 2nd Home

Today was great... I drove in my Pontiac Vibe (feels like a sportscar, compared to my Mom van) from Jacksonville to Orlando. It was about 2 1/2 hours, but such a great ride. Directions were easy to follow, and I didn't get lost...perfect.

As I pulled in to my "resort" complex, the sign said "Welcome JACON." Okay, if you know what JACON is, then you are way ahead of where I was. As I drove toward the lobby, I saw lots of people, pretty much ranging from 16 - 30ish, most dressed in crazy gothic clothes. Then I saw weird hair, fake animal ears, platform shoes, hand-made weapons, and fish net stockings. Yeah, I was really starting to wonder what the heck was going on...

I walked into the lobby, and was greeted by a vision of a couple hundred people, dressed the same way. There was a girl, roughly 16 years old, wearing an old wedding dress, white ripped fishnet stockings, HUGE white platform boots, and fake cat ears. The thing is, that there was "blood" all over it. Guys were dressed as girls, and...well, everything was just really weird.

I found out that JACON is the Japanese Animae convention. I was offered a free upgrade to a pool view and a king size bed. I learned, at least I'm guessing, that they were buttering me up for a long sleepless night of people yelling and screaming until 5am. This is the only time that I was pretty happy that Mike and Aristana were not with me. We definitely would have found a different place to stay. People were running around the grounds with fake weapons. I pretty much hid in my room unless I had a place to run to.

Let me talk about this place I stayed, a little more. In Orlando, I stayed at the Ramada Orlando Celebration Resort. It apparently is a three star resort. I'm not sure who slept with the person who decides on the rating, but the rating was definitely not made by checking out the facility. I saw some ratings for it on, and was prepared for exactly what I got. The place looks like an old ghost town, trying to be revamped by eight year olds. Everything is old, the lobby has potential, but the rooms are not that great. I didn't even get a comforter on the bed! Just a sheet. Also, for being a three star resort, you'd think that you'd get a refridgerator and/or microwave in the room. Keeping in mind that the 1 1/2 star hotel I stayed at in Jacksonville had both... You have to pay $30 if you want appliances in your room! This place truly sucks! Also, if this resort has so many rooms available, why did they not feel the responsibility of boarding guests not involved with the convention, in an area away from everyone else? Argh... In being fair though, I believe this place was just recently acquired by hopefully they're planning on revamping the place. We'll see...

Anyway, I met up with Brady at Disney's Boardwalk Resort, later on in the day. It is always so great to spend time with him. We had dinner at the ESPN Club, where we got to watch the Brewers play the Red Sox. My two favorite teams...although I usually cheer for the Sox, I definitely have an allegiance to the Brew Crew. Unfortunately, the Brewers lost. We also got to watch "Big Brown" win the Preakness.

From there, we went to FAVORITE PLACE IN THE WHOLE WORLD!!! We sang along to all the songs, and had a great time. I have always wanted to take my friends and family there, so it was great to go there with Brady!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

May 15, 2008
I am sitting at the Austin Straubel Airport, waiting for my flight to board. I realize right now, how much I love my family. I’m not missing them yet, since Mike and I just said goodbye a few minutes ago. However, thinking of going to Florida without them, is kind of sad.

So here I am in the lounge, listening to a couple, probably in their sixties, trying to figure out the vending maching. It’s pretty funny, actually. “Gosh, they give you dollar coins back, but you can’t use dollar coins in the machine…I don’t believe it.” … “Did you use coins or a dollar in this machine?” “Just use the dollar! It should work!” As her husband gets up to help her, like she can’t figure it out by herself. At least they’re sitting down now, him with his cheesey Doritos, and two packs of peanut butter crackers. I can’t see what she finally decided on.

Then the happy business lady, obviously not from here, walks by saying, “I smell coffee. Where do I get the coffee? There’s no coffee shop anywhere.” Finding the coffee vending machine I’m pretty sure, was a truly bitter-sweet event. The machine says “Gourmet,” so maybe there’s someone inside there, perking it fresh. You think?

So this morning I weighed myself again. I’m down another three pounds! Man I sure hope that I’m over my plateau! This makes it 39 pounds. I think I will be so relieved when I hit, and maintain at least 40 pounds. Today will be my first “airline lap belt extender” test. Will I need it? We’ll see.

What do I hope to get from this trip? First of all, some recruits. That’s my main goal. Of course, I’d like some bookings too. On the flip side… I will have a chance to catch up with Nate, and meet his girlfriend, of whom I am already a huge fan. I am looking forward to spending quality time with Brady. I really hope it works out, getting together. I know he’s busy, having just arrived to Tampa, but it would be great to see him. I am also looking forward to hanging out with Jonathan, if only for a short while.

I guess that’s all the excitement I have for now. I’ll write later. I probably won’t have time in Cincinnate…so it’ll probably be Jacksonville. Wish me luck!

It’s about 10:10 Cincinatti time (Eastern). We’ll be boarding in a minute, but I wanted to give a quick update. I sat in a veeeeery small plane on the way here, but guess what! I didn’t need a belt extender!!! Okay, it definitely was really tight, but a victory nonetheless.

My tailbone hurt lots on the flight. I’m glad I got flights with layovers now, knowing that my pain would’ve been horrendous if I didn’t get a break from sitting. Yeah, that plane was so small. Did I mention that?

Cincinnati is a dirty, boring airport. I’m looking forward to landing in Jacksonville. Maybe I should take my fleece off before I board…hmmm.

I believe our flight has just been delayed “momentarily” so they could spray the plane. Whatever that means. Anyway, I’m going to get going. I’ll see you in Jacksonville.

Oh, by the way…I just passed a store with Elmo in the window, and I do already miss my family. With all of the Disney merchandise available, this may become a very expensive trip!