Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Justin’s Day

Today is Justin’s LAST Birthday-Week-Off day!


It hasn’t been too bad, but even on easy days, it’s a lot of work.  I miss Justin’s help!

Yesterday was my final gift to Justin!  I set up a day that he has been talking about for a couple years.

Robin Nigro Golf Academy


When we arrived, we talked with Bert Benjamin who walked Justin through what he would be experiencing for the day. And let’s be honest, I set this thing up but I didn’t even really know what he was going to be doing.

Justin thought he was there for a lesson.  All I knew was what Justin had talked about the past couple years and when I called to set it up I said I knew there was inside stuff and outside stuff and we wanted all that.

Whatever THAT is.

It is a fitting.  Justin was there to get fitted for golf clubs.

Which apparently is a pretty big deal.

And to do it at Robin Nigro is a REALLY BIG DEAL!


First up, he was handed over to Alan who took him outside to watch him and get a feel for how Justin swings.



Then it was back inside and into the Taylor Made Performance Lab.


There are only 18 in the world and this is the only one in the Midwest.


There are sensors on the golf club so as Justin swung it mapped his swing.


It was so cool to see how technical a golf swing can be!


Then it was time to head outside once again.

Using a radar, Alan (who has been there for 17 years and was so knowledgeable and helpful) could tell Justin how fast and far the ball went, how hard he hit it, how much spin it had and probably other important stuff I can’t remember.



Alan kept putting different clubs in Justin’s hands until they found the clubs that gave him the most success and felt good to him.


It was super cool to see when they chose the right club and the perfect shot happened!  And we all knew THAT was the club that was right for him.

It would be like meh….meh…WHOOOAAAAA!  Or that is what I said quietly to myself anyway.


Alan was so great!  We were there for three (3) hours and time just flew by!

In fact, everyone at Robin Nigro was so accommodating and helpful.  The whole place has a very laid-back, friendly vibe.  We both felt very comfortable and had such a great time!  And they didn’t mind me tagging along and snapping pictures!

I could have sat there all day watching Justin.  He looked like he was having the time of his life and soaking up all the information.  I am glad I was able to go with him as he experienced something he has wanted to do for a long time.


He left there with a new set of clubs and smile on his face! (irons not pictured as they have to be ordered)

We finished up the day watching

Monday Night Football!

Where our stadium once again holds the record for loudest stadium and the Chiefs beat the Patriots 41-14!! 


What a day! Happy Birthday Justin!

I better get busy.  I have one more day on my own with the group home and then we are outta here for several days!

Monday, September 29, 2014

New Nephew!

Oh my goodness, you guys!  Are you ready for some cuteness?!

Let me introduce to you….

Sawyer Palmer!


He is precious and perfect.


My sister in law, Becky, is already an amazing Mom!  She is so relaxed and comfortable with him.  She is a labor and delivery nurse which may help but sometimes that goes the other way with nurses.  Sometimes knowing too much backfires!


Not with Becky.  She is calm, confident and makes being a new mommy look effortless!

And my brother, Chaz……


I had no doubts about him.  I knew he would take to being a Daddy with confidence like he does everything in his life.


He is also very comfortable and relaxed about being a Dad!  So proud of him.  He had never changed a diaper in his life but he just scoops that baby up and gets to work!


No worries about these two.  They are going to be just fine!

And this is the picture Chaz took of me.



I brought a blanket I made for Sawyer and pajamas for the new parents.  I could have stayed all day holding our new little human being, but their crew of friends was about to start rolling in so I got out of there.

Back at home, I spent the day getting laundry done and lunches for the week prepped for our group home clients.  Justin grilled steaks with broccoli and mushrooms for dinner.


He sears the steaks off in the cast iron skillet them moves them to the top rack to finish while we cook the broccoli and mushrooms (that didn’t get pictured) in the steak bits. So good!


We wrapped up the weekend with some TV.  Which means Justin watched Boardwalk Empire while I crocheted candy corn hats!

Sunday, September 28, 2014

The Order of Bad Decisions

Good Morning! Happy Sunday!


I spent Friday and Saturday in the


I had to get myself together, though, it IS Justin’s Birthday Week, after all!


I spent most of the day reading up on how to get rid of my cramps.  I am surprised there are still articles out there that I have not already read!  I have yet to find the correct concoction of Young Living essential oils to get me through this tough time, so ibuprofen it was.

I found this post from Thank Your Body and it gave me the push I needed to clean up my digestive system. (again)


If you have been sticking with me for a while, you know I have a major sugar addiction and a lot of my problems with digestion and my menstrual cycle point to: grain, dairy and sugar.  #thestruggleisreal

The Plan: get rid of grains, dairy and sugar

We will get through this together!

Evening Plans

We had reservations at The American Restaurant.  This is Justin’s FAVORITE restaurant, or at least it was until we went to Justus Drugstore on Thursday night!  We both were not feeling like indulging in another huge meal so I canceled the reservation and we ate mexican food and saw a movie!



I was not in good shape.  I stayed in bed most of the day and made bad decisions.  The worst decision was not going to see my NEW NEPHEW!!  My brother Chaz and his wife, Becky (remember Becky?) had their baby!


Here is the order of bad decisions:

  1. I was dressed and ready to go to the hospital as soon as they said they wanted visitors, but undressed and got back into bed when I remembered we had a sitter coming and Justin and I could go to the hospital together. 
  2. We didn’t leave our house until late. 
  3. I INSISTED we stop and buy them “new parent” gifts.
  4. We had already purchased tickets to a movie which I thought started later than it did.
  5. Neither of us had eaten all day.
  6. We skipped the hospital to eat and see the movie!

I know. I feel ashamed of me too.

On the good side!  I will be heading to the hospital as soon as they let me know they are ready for visitors today and since most people went yesterday, I will have them all to myself!!!

And I will bring extra gifts. And food. And 1 million dollars. (just kidding, I don’t have any of those things.)


The two movies we saw in the past two days were


They are both excellent movies!

Denzel Washington does not disappoint in the “The Equalizer”. He gives his normal top notch performance and I was filled with both anxiety and the feeling of “YES!” throughout most of the movie.

“The Maze Runner” is evidently a book series which neither of us have read but it didn’t ruin the movie for us.  I left there exhausted.  It’s a cool movie because it makes you try to figure stuff out and, since we saw it in the Prime theater where the seats vibrate, it had me jumping and jerking around in my seat!

Hope everyone is having a great weekend!

I’ll meet you back here tomorrow with lots of sweet baby boy pictures of my new nephew!

Friday, September 26, 2014

Day #2

Yesterday started with me dragging myself to a 5:30am spin class.


Aspen Athletic Club got bought out by Gold’s Gym and they finally changed their sign.  So now I have two gym memberships.  Both to Gold’s Gym, but separate.  One’s corporate and one is a franchise. WHATEVER!

The spin class was made extra rough by the leg workout I did on Wednesday.  It felt good to get in there and sweat out all the junk.

Back at home, I ate the usual oats and eggs and when Justin woke up it was time for his

Birthday-Week Day #2!

His birthday gift was Skechers Go Walk shoes.


He mentioned them weeks ago and thought he might like a pair. Done. He said they are like slippers!

I had some ideas mapped out for us to do for the day, but Justin wasn’t feeling quite up to my plans, so we had a nice relaxing day full of good food and each other!


We took advantage of the beautiful weather and enjoyed our Lunch at Bravo outdoors.


On the table: Bravo chop salad, Shrimp Napoli, Sicilian Pizza


Our first stop was Wines by Jennifer.



We did a tasting, picked our favorite, and enjoyed a glass outside on their front porch.


Wines by Jennifer is definitely one of our favorite places.  It has a such a friendly, laid-back atmosphere with great wine!  It feels like we are at home, just enjoying a glass of wine on the front porch.

For food, we have been hearing about Justus Drugstore and keep meaning to go, but a friend had texted me and said Grease was on at 7pm so I was torn.

We went to Justus!


We were not disappointed!

It’s located in Smithville, which is a little lake town about 20 minutes from us.  This restaurant is so cute and modern. It’s small, maybe about fifteen tables but there is also outdoor seating.  We chose to sit inside for our first visit.

The service was friendly and welcoming.  All the staff were attending to us and helping one another.  I love when restaurants do that.  It puts out a certain vibe.  One person sat us, then someone else came over, poured our water and greeted us, the bartender brought Justin his drink, then someone else took our order but the first person delivered it to us.  You get the idea.  Lots of people circling around the restaurant, helping each other and all the customers.  It just felt good.

The atmosphere is very comfortable, yet classy.  The kitchen is open to the restaurant, which I love.  It was cool to watch all the cooking from our table.  The kitchen staff moved around effortlessly with each other. No one seemed panicked or stressed. I think anytime I see cooks in a kitchen, I immediately think Hell’s Kitchen is about to break out!

I never once heard anyone get called a donkey.

There is also a bar area and the waiting area has a large couch and looked super comfy.  I was a little bummed we didn’t have to wait for our reservation. Next time we need to get there a little early and sit on that couch and have a drink.

They don’t rush your meal.  We were there for two hours and enjoyed three courses.  I didn’t take any pictures because I was too busy eating. #blogfail  The food is definitely made to eat slowly and enjoy. They packed so much flavor into every dish.

Justin and I thoroughly enjoyed the evening.  Lots of talking and laughing!  We left there with fully bellies and happy hearts!

We arrived home at 10pm and I was asleep by 10:15pm.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Day #1

First on the agenda yesterday was getting another batch of cookies made for our client’s lunches.


You would think I would make one giant batch for the entire week, but that would be too easy!  I like to wake up at 5am, sit around and do nothing, then frantically hustle to get these cookies made at 7:55am (I have to start waking our client’s up around 8am so everyone can be ready by 9am)!

Makes life exciting!


was the usual.


Oats and Eggs.

Birthday Week


Yesterday was Justin’s first day of his Birthday Week!  For each day of his birthday week, I have ideas on how we can spend the day, but in the end it’s HIS birthday week and we will do whatever he wants!

His birthday gift #1 was two things he has been talking about.


Fat calipers and Pixy Sticks!  Pixy sticks are dextrose, which he wants for his pre-workout, and are surprisingly hard to find out in the world.  I ordered this pack from Candy Nation.

Next up on the Birthday agenda:

Gym Time


I had planned for us to spend some time shopping at the Plaza but we were both starving and didn’t feel like driving down there, so we headed to a new-to-us restaurant, Coucous, Gyro, Kebab.


We started with salad from their salad bar which also includes original and chipotle hummus, chili sauce, tzatziki and tahini.  We loaded up our plates and the waitress brought us warm pita.  That all by itself was so delicious!  That waaaaarm pita bread was all soft and light so good!  I could have just eaten the pita and hummus with the salad and been good.

But wait!

I ordered the Queen Gyro for my main meal.


It had lettuce, tomato and cucumber with falafel and lamb/beef for the meat!  All wrapped up in a WARM PITA!!  They have a choice of original, spicy or chipotle falafel.  I ordered the original but they were out so I opted for the spicy and they were not kidding!  I have become such a wimp with spicy food.  The beef/lamb meat was so tender and super tasty.

Justin ordered the Prince Gyro which contained falafel, beef/lamb and chicken!  He wanted to try a little bit of everything.

Needless to stay, we were both stuffed and walked out of there with leftovers. We felt like moving around since we had just eaten all that food, so we headed down to Parkville to walk by the river.


Big Brother

We ended Birthday Week Day #1 tucked in, watching the Premier of Survivor and the Finale of Big Brother.


I am thrilled with how Big Brother turned out!  I won’t spoil it for anyone, in case you haven’t watched it yet, but I loved it!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Fun Week Ahead!

Oh, it’s going to be a FUN week!

Justin’s birthday week has begun!  His Birthday isn’t until October, but with some staffing issues, we are doing it early this year!


In case you are new to the blog, we do Birthday weeks around here.

I started planning this months ago as I knew I wanted to make this year a little more special.  Like anything else, when you do the same thing over and over again, even if it does mean getting a whole week off, it gets boring and expected.

So, I started keeping a list of things and activities that Justin mentioned he wanted.  I have been collecting and scheduling for a couple months now and FINALLY the week is here!


It has been KILLING me not to tell him and he has even received a couple of gifts because he would keep mentioning them and I knew they were hidden in the house so I ended up caving.

The gifts I bought are not extravagant by any means, but more to let Justin know that I am PAYING ATTENTION.

I am listening.

Stay tuned for what is in store for the next 7 DAYS!


started with some oats and eggs like usual and getting our work done for the morning.

Next up was Yoga for me and the gym for Justin.


Excuse me while I go clean that mirror!

Back at home, I enjoyed some peanut butter toast with honey and a banana.


When Justin arrived home, we changed our clothes and headed to the Parkville Nature Sanctuary.  If you live in the area, you NEED to check out this gem of a nature trail.  It is so peaceful and beautiful back there.


We headed to the store, tired and hungry, and came home with chicken burritos.


There were super good and very filling. I wasn’t hungry for much the rest of the evening.

Getting Ahead

I spend a little time trying to get ahead for the week, since I will be doing everything and baked some biscuit popovers for our client’s lunches.

I made biscuit batter from scratch, flattened them out, filled with pepperoni and mozzarella and baked them.


Then ate one.  I NEEDED to make sure they were servable!

I made one more batch of biscuit batter so all I have to do is assemble and bake when I am ready for another batch.

I am always searching for homemade lunch ideas, so if you have any, send them my way!

Essential Oils

It is getting close to that T.O.M. so I am trying something new, once again, with essential oils.  There are so many testimonies on people finding relief from menstrual cramps using oils.  I am not having the same luck.  I had a little bit of luck last month but had to crack and take some ibuprofen.

So, I have been ingesting grapefruit oil via veggie capsules for about two (2) weeks because we were trying out the Petro Chemical Cleanse.


I haven’t noticed any difference with the cleanse but maybe it takes the whole 6 weeks.  A side effect, I read though, is that the grapefruit COULD relieve menstrual cramps!

In addition to the grapefruit oil, which we ran out of (so if you want to try the cleanse buy two bottles), I took a capsule of fennel and copaiba yesterday ( 5 drops of each)


I’ll keep you guys posted on how that works out for me this month.

I also placed an order this morning for Balsam Fir.  The final oil I needed for the “Pain Bomb”


I keep seeing people post about it but I have been skeptical.  I read a blog post this morning that finally gave me the push I needed!

If you are interested in purchasing oils or becoming a wholesaler, go to Young Living and use my Member ID# 1761901.


We watched “Neighbors” last night and it was just ok.  If you have seen the previews, you’ve seen the movie.  I had high hopes for that one too! Sad smile