Saturday, December 31, 2011

2012 Goals.

Most of 2011 was a blur. A loud, crying filled blur. Between Trace's ongoing issues, Rory being a stubborn 2 year old and Dave and I just trying to keep our heads above was a long year. I'm so ready for 2012 and the promise of a clean slate, a new chance to make a wonderful, memory filled year. I'm setting some goals for myself this year.

Here they are...

1. Organize my house. My house is small and we are exploding out of it. I'm determined to rent a dumpster and purge SO MUCH out of here. I'm going to stream line everything, even the kids toy room. It will feel so good when I'm done!

2. Keep getting healthy. I've actually been doing pretty good lately, but I can do better. I WILL do better. I want to be at my ideal weight when we go to Disney World. I want to get a beautiful family picture that I feel comfortable in to hang on my wall.

3. Continue to grow our savings account. I ended up draining most of it last year when Trace need formula that cost more than my car payment every month. Ugh. But it's filling back up. I love to budget and save so this will be a task that is completed for sure.

4. Cook dinner at least 4 nights a week. This is hard for me because my schedule is so disjointed. But if I make a conscious effort to cook dinner 4 nights a week, there's plenty of leftovers for the other 2 or 3. Saves money, time and energy in the long run.

5. Reconnect with old friends in a conscious, intentional way. I already started this one but I need to follow through on calling my friends, getting together even for just coffee. I need girl friends here in my town. I miss my old friends.

6. Pray without ceasing for the direction of my dance studio. I feel pulled in so many different ways right now and I want to make good, God directed decisions. There could be some big, exciting changes coming my way.

That's it. That's all. I can achieve these things. I know I can. Anyone want to be my accountability partner?

Happy New Year, friends. May God's blessings pour down on you this year. May you find yourself healthy, happy and surrounded by love. May the days that bring you down be few and far between. Remember to laugh without fear of the future! xoxo

Thursday, December 29, 2011

It's Okay!

Linking up as (almost) always with Neely and Amber for It's Okay Thursday!

Its Ok Thursdays

It's Really Okay... be overjoyed that 2011 is ending. I'm so sick of this year. I'm ready for a fresh start! be ready to go back to work. unabashedly think your kids are cuter, smarter and just generally better than everyone else's. That's called being a normal mom. ;) need a spa day. have forgotten your birthday is next week until yesterday. For real. just ask for money for you birthday because you can't think of anymore presents you want. be having a Diet Coke for breakfast because you're too lazy to run the Keurig this morning. True story. have nothing to wear for dinner and drinks on New Year's Eve. Oh well! be over this football season. I can't believe I feel that way, but I kinda do. Like I just want to play offs to come, the Super Bowl to be over. WHO AM I?!? need a day with my mom, sister and Aunt Barb. For real. have forgotten how much you love some of the girls you went to high school with. <3 make New Year's Resolutions that start in December!

What's okay with you? Link up!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas Recap

Christmas, Christmas time WAS here. A time for joy, a time for cheer...We had a delightful Christmas, for real. I was a little nervous about how everything would work out. My dad fracks oil, so his hours are unpredictable as well as his location. We weren't sure he'd still be in town for the holidays at all and HE WAS! He was even on nights so he could be home during the day. A little Christmas gift from Above for my family, for sure. :) Here's how our weekend went...

Saturday...Christmas Eve!
10:00 am: Rory and Trace's godfather, Jason, and his wife Cary stopped down with presents for the kids as well as my sister and her boyfriend, Phil who had just gotten in from DC. Everyone visited while I made cookies, chopped a thousand veggies for two days worth of dishes and made pasta salad.

3:00 pm: We headed to my parents' house so the kids could open presents before my dad left for work. This was fantastic! I liked doing the kids presents on Christmas Eve. It was just quiet time with my parents, my sister and Phil. Not overwhelming, not rushed. Delightful! I hope we do that every year. My parents SPOILED my kids, as always. Pictures to come, of course.

4:30 pm: The rest of the family arrived. We had our traditional Polish Christmas Eve meal of perogies and ham. MMMMM!

7:00 pm: Our Church's family service. I failed to get pictures of the kids in the Christmas finest, but my Aunt did and I'll steal them from her FB soon. :) The kids were so well behaved! I couldn't believe it! Rory only cried for like 30 seconds and Trace didn't cry at all. Phew! Then it was home and time for bed.

Christmas Day...

5:30 am: I wake up and head to my mom's. We open presents there, my mom, dad, sister, Phil and myself. My dad had just gotten home from work at 5 so we woke up early to spend Christmas morning with him. Totally worth it. My parents got me a CRICUT!!! I've been so jealous of my mom's for a couple years now and now I have my own! Pinterest projects coming 'atcha. :)

7:30 am: I'm back home and Dave is awake. We open presents with each other. Dave got me my Naked Palette which I've been using every day since Christmas, thank you very much. :)

8:00 am: Rory and Fizz wake up! We sang Happy Birthday to Jesus then did our Santa presents. Mom and Dad presents were next. Our house by this point looked like ToysRUs exploded in my living room. Tissue paper, wrapping paper, boxes, plastic, blocks, books, name it, it was strewn across my floor! :)

9:30 am: My mom, Chelsea and Phil come down to hang out and have muffins.

No naps were had on Christmas, because we had to be at my Aunt's for dinner at 1. But wait was there a meltdown? NOPE! PHEW!

I froze my Cousin Connor's gift card from Dave and me in a huge block of ice. It was hilarious to watch his face when he got a cold gift bag. Hilarious! Aunt Barb and Uncle Tom gave Dave and I a beautiful book of pictures she's taken of our family since our wedding. I'll take pictures of the pages and share them sometime. Maybe for our anniversary!

1:30: Time for Christmas lunch! My family has a cookout every year on Christmas. Burgers, sausage, pasta salad, chips, that kind of food. Non-traditional for typical families but we love it! Easy, relaxed and delish. :)

3:30 pm: Time to head to Dave's parents. His older sister Laura, her husband Mike and their 2 kids are home, as well as Matt (his younger brother) and his girlfriend Jen and Tony, Dave's older brother, his wife Grace and their son Caleb. Lots of commotion. I was so nervous for Rory and Trace's behavior. It was a no nap day, with lots of commotion and running around. We made it through though! We ate at 5:30 and hung out until around 7. Both kids were dead asleep in the car within 10 minutes.

10:00 pm. Kids are fast asleep and I'm dead asleep. Thank goodness.

A lovely, hectic, crazy Christmas. My kids were CHAMPS though. They've been dragged back and forth, here and there for the last 4 days and still are on their best behavior. I'll pay it for next week probably but that's a-okay. We made it!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

I'll Love You Forever...

I was up last night for the first long middle of the night stretch in at least 6 months. (Thanks Babywise and Laura! :)) Save a kid being sick or teething, my kids go to bed around 7:30 and sleep until 8 am. Last night was an off night, though. Trace is teething and he has a hard time staying asleep. He wakes himself up, cries for 10 minutes or so then falls back to sleep. He'll do this three or four times a night. I have this particular cry memorized by now. He doesn't need anything, he just is cutting teeth. Usually I'm the only one whom is woken up by this pattern, but not last night. Trace was having a particularly rough night and was up from 2:30 until 3:30. As I just got him settled back down, I hear the dreaded wall thump from Rory's room. She's awake. I sat quietly in the living, praying she'd stop and go back to sleep. But all bets were off when she began singing to her stuffed animals at the top of her lungs. Long story short, at 3:45 am I was in Rory's room with her and my eyes didn't shut until after 6 this morning. Just another Manic Thursday...

One of the books I read Rory in the middle of the night was "I'll Love You Forever" by Robert Munsch. Well there's a quick way to slap the frustration out of a mom. As I cried my way through this book last night with my daughter snuggled against me and the Christmas tree glowing, I was reminded how truly blessed I am. I don't usually take my babies for granted but last night I did. I was so tired and worn out. But this little story reminded me so beautifully of all that I have to be thankful for.

I'll Love You Forever by Robert Munsch

A mother held her new baby and very slowly rocked him back and forth, back and forth, back and forth. And while she held him, she sang:

I'll love you forever,
I'll like you for always,
As long as I'm living
my baby you'll be.

My favorite student :)

The baby grew. He grew and he grew and he grew. He grew until he was two years old, and he ran all around the house. He pulled all the books off the shelves. He pulled all the food out of the refrigerator and he took his mother's watch and flushed it down the toilet. Sometimes his mother would say, "this kid is driving me CRAZY!"

Happy Trace at the studio!

But at night time, when that two-year-old was quiet, she opened the door to his room, crawled across the floor, looked up over the side of his bed; and if he was really asleep she picked him up and rocked him back and forth, back and forth, back and forth. While she rocked him she sang:

I'll love you forever,
I'll like you for always,
As long as I'm living
my baby you'll be.


The little boy grew. He grew and he grew and he grew. He grew until he was nine years old. And he never wanted to come in for dinner, he never wanted to take a bath, and when grandma visited he always said bad words. Sometimes his mother wanted to sell him to the zoo!

But at night time, when he was asleep, the mother quietly opened the door to his room, crawled across the floor and looked up over the side of the bed. If he was really asleep, she picked up that nine-year-old boy and rocked him back and forth, back and forth, back and forth. And while she rocked him she sang:

I'll love you forever,
I'll like you for always,
As long as I'm living
my baby you'll be.

The boy grew. He grew and he grew and he grew. He grew until he was a teenager. He had strange friends and he wore strange clothes and he listened to strange music. Sometimes the mother felt like she was in a zoo!

But at night time, when that teenager was asleep, the mother opened the door to his room, crawled across the floor and looked up over the side of the bed. If he was really asleep she picked up that great big boy and rocked him back and forth, back and forth, back and forth. While she rocked him she sang:

I'll love you forever,
I'll like you for always,
As long as I'm living
my baby you'll be.

That teenager grew. He grew and he grew and he grew. He grew until he was a grown-up man. He left home and got a house across town. But sometimes on dark nights the mother got into her car and drove across town. If all the lights in her son's house were out, she opened his bedroom window, crawled across the floor, and looked up over the side of his bed. If that great big man was really asleep she picked him up and rocked him back and forth, back and forth, back and forth. And while she rocked him she sang:

I'll love you forever,
I'll like you for always,
As long as I'm living
my baby you'll be.

Well, that mother, she got older. She got older and older and older. One day she called up her son and said, "You'd better come see me because I'm very old and sick." So her son came to see her. When he came in the door she tried to sing the song. She sang:

I'll love you forever,
I'll like you for always...
But she couldn't finish because she was too old and sick. The son went to his mother. He picked her up and rocked her back and forth, back and forth, back and forth. And he sang this song:

I'll love you forever,
I'll like you for always,
As long as I'm living
my Mommy you'll be.

When the son came home that night, he stood for a long time at the top of the stairs. Then he went into the room where his very new baby daughter was sleeping. He picked her up in his arms and very slowly rocked her back and forth, back and forth, back and forth. And while he rocked her he sang:

I'll love you forever,
I'll like you for always,
As long as I'm living
my baby you'll be.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

From Russia, with love.

Yesterday I posted on my bucket list that I want to go back to Russia. Lindsey asked me why Russia? and it made me realize something. I've never told my Russia story on my blog. So here you go, a little Saturday story for you.

In 10th grade, so March of 2001, I had the amazing, once in a lifetime opportunity to be an exchange student in Russia for 3.5 weeks. It was part of a government student exchange program. Ten students from Konokovo, Russia and 2 of their teachers travelled here to our little town in the US. We hosted them for 3.5 weeks. My family hosted a lovely girl named Ksenia Pezina. She is super sweet and we are still friends. :) They went to school with us, lived with our families, basically lived a "typical" American teenager's life for a few weeks. We took them all over our area, showing them the best of the Pennsylvania Wilds. The few days before they flew out, we had the opportunity to head to DC as a huge group. We toured all the monuments, met with the coordinators of our exchange program from the State Department, served as student ambassadors at a was awesome.

A month after the Russian students went home, ten American students (myself included) had the unique chance to fly to Russia and spend 3.5 weeks living with Russian families. I stayed with Ksenia and her sweet family. Her mother has since passed away and it breaks my heart. She was a lovely woman!

Konokovo, Russia is a town with about 20,000 people. It's an industrial based town. We toured a facility that was used to generate power and there are still mosaic murals on the walls of the Stalin Days, if you can imagine. (Just remnants, relics really.) Everyone lived in tiny apartments. Barely anyone had cars, they walked or rode the bus everywhere. The streets weren't all paved. There was a beautiful river running through the town, the Volga river. It was lovely but as our friends told us "You no want to swim in that water!" We went to their school most days which was surreal. It was a great school academically, wonderful teachers. But their textbooks were so old and outdated. The facilities just weren't what we in America are used to. They didn't have lunch served to them, instead just an assortment of breads and tea. The focus was on the academics. We had the chance to speak to many of the English classes. I remember reading in one of the textbooks about "popular American culture" and it was speaking of discos, platform shoes and Donna Summer. If I learned nothing else in Russia, I learned how truly blessed I am. My school was well equipped, safe, warm and up to date. What else could I possibly need?

I had the chance to dance in several different venues while in Russia. I performed at a ballet school and that was probably my favorite. All these little tiny ballerina girls (ages 6-8 or so) and they had the same excitement for dance as my students at my home studio. I couldn't understand a word they said and they had no clue what I was saying, but we could dance together. Universal language <3 We also watched a TON of ballroom classes and performances. It was SO COOL. My exchange partner, Ksenia, was (is still? Susha, do you still dance?) an amazing ballroom dancer and her partner was another of the boys on our exchange, Maxim. So cool!

We took a couple day trips to Moscow and it was every bit as majestic as it seems. St. Basil's Cathedral, Red Square, I've even seen Lenin's body. (Yes, it's still on display. They inject it with wax every so often.) We were in Russia over Easter so we attended services at a Russian Orthodox Catholic Church. CRAZY COOL. You didn't need to understand the language to know they were praising the Lord. Good stuff.

I will try to find my scrapbook and scan some pictures. It was an amazing time in my life and an experience I'm so grateful for. In my bedroom at Ksenia's house, I had this tiny little tv. One night, Susha and I watched I Love Lucy together. It was dubbed in Russian but you could still hear the English. It was so neat to both be laughing at a television show, in different languages, but together. Once in a lifetime doesn't even begin to describe this experience. I'm so grateful. And I need to take my family there, to see how really wonderful our life is!

Where's the most unique place you've ever been? What places have changed your life?

Friday, December 16, 2011

The start of my bucket list.

(All pictures via pinterest. Click on them, they will link back to where they came from!)

1. Go back to Russia. With my family. <3

2. Learn to downhill ski.
3. Have a golden retriever, preferably a boy named Mister.

Source: via Becca on Pinterest

4. Build our dream house.
5. Open up 2 more dance studios.
6. Be confident with how I look again.
7. Learn how to keep my house clean consistently.
8. Spend one day telling people what I need to tell them. Good, bad or in between.
9. Figure out a way to honor my parents.
10. Be satisfied with every area of my life at the same time, even for just a few minutes.
11. Write my story as a play.

12. Learn how to paint my right hand nails.
13. Take Dave on a golf vacation, just to make him happy.

14. Dedicate at least one day each year for a "special day" for Rory and one for Trace. (Thanks for the idea, Kate Gosselin!)
15. Buy into the Disney Vacation Club.

What would you do if you could do anything in the world? Where would you travel? What would you need to say? There's so much more I could add to this, and I'm sure I will. But I need to put my words in to action and make some of these things happen.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

It's Okay

Its Ok Thursdays

Linking up with my sweet friends Neely and Amber today for It's Okay Thursday. And I've got A LOT this week.

It's Okay... not understand why parents sign their kids up for dance, buy costumes, pay tuition and then don't make their kid come. THEN get mad at me when they aren't in/don't know parts of dances. Hmmm...okay. be so excited to go Christmas shopping with my mom tomorrow. Starbucks. STARBUCKS. And Chik-fil-a. And Target. have a disaster of a house. It's so bad. have not wrapped a single present yet. I guess I know what I'll be doing tonight after work. have done a major happy dance when you booked your DISNEY plane tickets last night...189 days! sometimes just ignore Trace when he cries. He cries for NO REASON all the time. Like right now. He's mad because Rory moved her breakfast spoon away from him. He wasn't using it, didn't need it and can't eat yogurt anyways. He's so loud. go through Peppermint Mocha Creamer like it's your job. Wow. be completed converted to a colored Christmas lights fan. Inside, at least. have 350 pairs of tights that need sorted at the studio and just not have the energy to do it. They don't wear them until June. Give yourself a break, Miss Kate. really love hiding people on your FB News Feed. SEE YAH. Especially to Christmas Grinches. No thanks. Not in this house! be incredibly thankful for my awesome family. Sorry but my family is hands down the best.

What's okay with you this week? Link up!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Meet Miss Kate.

Okay, so I've got nothing really worthwhile to blog about lately. I've got lots of things I want to blog about, but not the right words. After the backlash from earlier this week...dang. Not doing THAT again. I do plan eventually to blog about lots of serious issues...saying Happy Holidays when you work in a public place and why I don't mind, words vs actions, how people perceive me, being judged at church, gay marriage and the pitiful Republican Presidential pool. But that will all wait. Today, we talk lighthearted!

I've gained several new followers lately! Thanks!! Some things you should know about me...I try so hard to return comments via email. I love to "chat" with bloggers but lately it's just not happening. With Christmas, two toddlers and costumes/tights flooding the studio every just doesn't work out. But eventually I will have time to come check out new blogs. Promise! Don't be mad. :)

Today I thought I'd answer some of the "50 Questions to Get to Know Someone" found here.

1.Which celebrity do you get mistaken for? I don't get "mistaken" for her, but we are definitely dopplegangers. Beverly Mitchell, aka Lucy from 7th Heaven. We're kinda twins...

Told yah.

2.What do you want to be when you grow up? I want to own several dance studios in this area in different towns. I would like three studios in three towns with my hometown original studio as the "home base." I want to build a studio in this town, with great floors, lighting, built in sound systems, locker rooms, big bathrooms...sigh. Hopefully someday. I'm praying for it!

3.When you have 30 minutes of free-time, how do you pass the time? Right now? I'd lay down and close my eyes for a little bit. I'm wiped out. Dave's alarm woke me up at 3:30 this morning (he has to get up and check the snow fall to see if he needs to plow). Then I was just drifting back to sleep and he got paged at 4:15. I finally fell back to sleep around 6:30 and Trace was up at 7:45. Yawn.

4.What would you name the autobiography of your life? Earthquake

5. What songs are included on the soundtrack to your life? Oh I love this question! My theme song with Dave is "Dancing in the Minefields" by Andrew Peterson. (Obvs.) My theme song with my kids is called "Sing You a Song" by Dee Cartensen. Also included would be "This is the Stuff" by Francesca Battistelli, Set Fire to the Rain by Adelle, I'm Still Hurting from "The Last Five Years", Imagine by The Beatle...I could go on and on. I'll stop myself. :)

6. What is one thing your co-workers wouldn’t normally know about you? I'll substitute bloggers for co-workers here. :) Here's one! Dave and I bought my aunt and uncle's house when they built a house out of town. With the exception of the kids' room, we haven't changed a thing about the decorating. And it drives me BANANAS. (No offense, A Barb! I just would like to make this house my own! :))

7. What was your most memorable moment of high school (or college)? Of high school? Probably choreographing "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat." It was a FEAT for a high school senior. I felt so accomplished and successful. :)

So there you have it. Not very substantial blogging, but it was fun. Feel free to steal any questions you like, I didn't write them and I don't own them. I borrowed them from a humor/team building website linked up at the top. :)

Monday, December 12, 2011

In a nutshell.

Friday, December 9, 2011

You asked, I answer. #2

The adorable Brittan over at A Babbling Brunette asked me on my "Ask Anything" post last month where my love of Disney came from. Today, dear friends, I will tell you...

Here's the link to Brittan's blog! She's adorable.

Where does my love of Disney come from? I'm not really sure. I don't remember a time when I didn't love the movies, the parks, the television shows, the characters. My dad lived in Florida while in the Navy with his first wife and their sons. They went to Disney many times. After he moved home and married my mom, my parents honeymooned at Disney World during the opening of EPCOT. Once Chelsea and I were born, we saw every Disney movie in the theaters at least once. We were growing up in the wonderful Disney Renaissance. All the BEST movies came out. Beauty and the Beast. Aladdin. The Lion King. Pocahontas. (To name a few!)

At one point in my childhood, my parents owned a time share in Orlando which made a coupe trips SUPER easy. We've been to Disney World a LOT and Disneyland once. One year we camped in a pop camper at Fort Wilderness. It was so fun. My kind of camping is Disney camping. Sure we slept in a camper, but there was hot water, running water toilets, electrical outlets...easy. ;)

Disney has fostered in me a love of all things creative. I studied Walt Disney intensely in 8th grade, fascinated by his life and the process to become THE Walt Disney. He's an intriguing, complicated genius. I'm inspired by his work, his commitment to excellence and the way he ran his company. The legacy he left behind is just beyond words. I strive to handle my business in the same responsible, forward thinking manner!

Here's some Disney randoms...

Favorite Movie: Tough call. I love The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Alice in Wonderland and The Princess and the Frog.
Favorite Song: "Go the Distance" from Hercules
Favorite Hotel at WDW: Port Orleans French Quarter <3
Favorite Restaurant at WDW: Citrico's at the Grand Floridian
Favorite Ride: The Carousel of Progress. DO NOT HATE. :)
Favorite Disney Character: I'm a classic, I love Mickey! And Mary Poppins. And Alice in Wonderland.

I'll leave you with this quote, my mantra for the studio:

"Around here, we don't look back for very long. We keep moving forward, opening up new doors and doing new things because we are curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths." -Walt Disney

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Hey Dave....

Confession. I am a hard person to buy presents for. Usually, if I want something, I budget it in and buy it for myself. I'm just...not good at "wanting" things. So this year, Dave asked me to put together a WISH List full of lots of things so he could pick some and really surprise me.

Dave, these all link to pinterest. Click on the link at the top of each pin and it will take you to the website. I mean really, does it get much easier?? :)

Source: via Kate on Pinterest

Naked Palette by Urban Decay for Sephora.

Source: via Kate on Pinterest

Shark Steam Mop from Wal Mart

Source: via Kate on Pinterest

Grey and White TOMS from TOMS. Size 7.5

Source: via Kate on Pinterest

Voltaggio Brother's Cookbook from Amazon

Source: via Kate on Pinterest

Linnea Pelle Tote from Target

Source: via Kate on Pinterest

Climbing Leaf Comforter and Pillow Cases from Target

Source: via Kate on Pinterest

Personal Blender from Wal Mart

Other ideas that are always safe...

K cups
Spa Gift Cards
Amazon Gift Cards
A gift certificate for a weekend free of kids and responsibilities
Scentsy Brick/Bars
Old Navy Gift Cards
Gussy Sews Gift Certificate

I'm a pretty easy girl to please! What are you asking for for Christmas?? What should I be asking for? :)

Thursday, December 1, 2011


Fabulous Holiday Blog Challenge

I missed Day 3. Oops! No biggie though, I haven't taken any pictures of my holiday decor yet anyways. :) Today's topic is Face Holiday Movies. I'll give you my top 5 of the moment.


Seriously you guys. If you have never seen this movie, you are missing out! It's fantastic. Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney, classic music, awesome dance great.

Number 2: Little Women. Naturally. :)

Number 3: Santa Claus is Coming to Town (the old one!)

Number 4: Holiday in Handcuffs

Number 5: The Santa Clause

Got a favorite Holiday movie? Link up with Neely and Amber!

The Newsies

So last night, as I was watching a Gilmore Girls rerun (shout out to Neely!), I was innocently trolling Facebook and the Twitt when a tweet from StitchKingdom caught my eye. A link to this video:

A cute backstage video of the cast of The Newsies preparing for and performing during the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. Now if you knew me in real life, you'd know I LOVE The Newsies like bordering on obsessed with. For years I've thought this should be a musical (and really, what self respecting musical lover hasn't thought that??) So I was overjoyed when I heard the big news: the show is coming to Broadway! For like 2 minutes...well 101 shows but still. Just a miniscule amount of time. I'm already plotting my trip and I'll be going by myself if that's what it takes. I will see this show. I WILL. I will also be singing and dancing obnoxiously so...if you hate that kind of theater patron, don't go with me. ;)

Anyways, I retweeted the link to the video and my timeline eploded. Somehow Kelly, her sister and I ended up tweeting directly WITH The Newsies and then. They called me a big deal. I wish I knew how to take a screen shot but I don't. But it HAPPENED. My little musical loving, chorus girl wanna be heart about exploded out of my chest. YOU GUYS. For 2 seconds today, a member of the Newsies production team complimented me. I plan to blog videos and news all along the way leading up to the big Newsies opening. And hey, Newsies? If you are reading this, feel free to throw some tickets my way...hint hint. ;)

Now I need to go smack Dave with a newspaper and sing "KING OF NEW YORK" at the top of my lungs. Don't hate, I'm just seizing the day.

Omg. You all know the truth. I'm a closet loser. #notashamed

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

FabHoliBlogChall #2

Fabulous Holiday Blog Challenge

Today's topic...Favorite Holiday Tradition!

I have lots of holiday traditions. When I was growing up, we always did stockings first, on my mom and dad's bed. Chelsea (my younger sister) and I would unwrap all of our gifts and determine which were put in by Mrs. Claus. I mean obviously, she was in charge of the glittery makeup and Love's Babysoft. ;) Our stockings were always filled with toiletries and of course a new box of 64 crayons with a SHARPENER. Awesome.

Growing up, we also opened our gifts from my aunt and uncle that live in town on Christmas Eve. It was a nice little treat to get a present "so early!"

My favorite tradition now though is just Dave and myself. We wake up early on Christmas morning and spend timing opening gifts, laughing and enjoying each other's company before the craziness begins. I drink coffee, he drinks orange juice and we spend time just with each other. I can't believe this is the 7th Christmas we've spent together and that our 5th wedding anniversary is only a few months away. I really hit the jackpot with Dave. :)

Monday, November 28, 2011

FabHoliBlogChall: Day 1

Fabulous Holiday Blog Challenge

Starting today, I'm linking up with Neely and Amber for the Fabulous Holiday Blog Challenge! These 2 are two of my favorite bloggers (okay, friends) ever. Link up!

Today's gift ever received

This is tough for me. I've gotten lots of gifts over the years that I have just loved. My Kindle, my Keurig, my DSLR camera...but my favorite is for sure this little baby:

My parents got me my mixer three years ago, maybe. I've wanted one since high school and I just love it! I use it all the time. I love how I can turn it on and let it mix while I do other things without worrying. I'm asking for more attachments this year so anyone who's got a Kitchenaid and wants to recommend some attachments...let me hear it!

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend. Now it's time to deck those halls! Christmas is coming (the goose is getting fat...anyone? anyone? :)) Bye!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving from my little turkeys to you!

I sincerely hope your holiday is filled with love, family (biological or otherwise :)) friends, and lots of food! xoxo

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

You asked, I answer.

Last week, I did my first round of You ask, I answer. I'm going to answer some of your questions today! If you have any other questions, feel free to ask! I'm in a blog rut right now and this helps me keep things interesting. :)

First up...Lindsey asked if I didn't run my dance studio, what would I want to do with my life? Along those same lines, Meghan asked about more info on my dance studio. I think I'll dedicate this entire post to those two questions.

In August of 2005, I was packing to go back to Allegheny College to begin my junior year. I just...couldn't do it. I loved my school but I just couldn't force myself to go. Honest to goodness, I walked down the stairs and announced to my parents I wanted to stay home and open a dance studio. My dad said okay, grabbed his keys and put me in the car. He drove me straight to an insurance agent to talk about liability, then we found a building, rented it and called the PA Business Bureau. Within 5 hours, I had a building, a name and a federal tax id number. My dad wrote me a checklist of how to start a business and made me do it myself. I filed all my own paperwork, legal and otherwise. I've done it all since day 1 and I'm a MUCH better business woman from it. I was 20 years old at the time. A baby!

Let's back up. Prior to opening the studio, I was studying theatre at Allegeny College with hopes of moving to New York and becoming a choreographer/director/prop master. For the longest time growing up, I dreamed of being a Rockette. Hardcore dreamed. But I never grew past 5'5 and my "womanly parts" are not exactly Rockette material. (ha!) So I gave that dream up at 17. I then thought I'd be a lawyer. (Can you imagine?!) I spent one semester pre-law at Allegheny and promptly ran as fast as possible straight to the theatre building. I guess if I wasn't a dance teacher, I'd probably be a high school history teacher. I love history. Now I kind of toy with the idea of going back to school slowly but surely and getting my nursing degree. Maybe. Someday.

Now back to the present. My studio is 7 years old. It's named Studio K. Our colors are black and light blue. I firmly believe that every child deserves the opportunity to dance. We do have a competition team, but it's really relaxed as far as competition teams go. We've won some really big awards in the last 2 years, but we do it with love and character building, not yelling and humiliation. This year I have right around 140 students. Small by national standards, but really big for a town of only 4000. :) I teach 24 classes a week. I have a ballet mistress who teaches 4 classes and 4 high school students who each teach one class a week for their community service requirements at school.

I started dancing when I was 3 and I've never stopped. I never will either! My favorite type of dance to perform is tap/kickline and my favorite to teach is ballet. I teach students ages 2 through adult. My favorite age group to teach is usually my advanced girls, for their hardwork and dedication or the 2nd/3rd graders for their honest enjoyment of dance.

We've had six recitals thus far: Take Me to Broadway, Life's a Party, Destination Vacation, True Colors, Tribute (a tribute to my dance teacher growing up) and The Great Adventure (all songs based on books.) This year's recital is called Celebrate and is all Disney music. My favorite dance I've ever choreographed was from last year's recital, a six person lyrical dance to "Fix You" by Coldplay, but the Sing Off version from last year. It was done in honor of a wonderful woman at our studio, Brenda, whom has been battling cancer for 11 years. It was haunting, beautiful and sad all at the same time.

The studio is so near and dear to my heart. I've dreamed of being a studio owner my entire life. There's a huge difference between being a studio owner and being a dance teacher. I've had my heart ripped out and stomped on by a few students. I've invested my time, energy and resources in to so many of my students. The pay isn't fantastic, the hours are crappy. But at the end of the day, when a little girl rushes up those stairs to tell me she got an A in spelling or I find a note on my desk from a student, thanking me for teaching her a cartwheel...I'm the richest person in the world.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Guest Post: Neely!

I am in the throes of ordering $20,000 worth of costumes and tights for my dancers right now. Since no one wants to read about how I failed to realize I needed to list each size for each style of costume on a separate line on my biggest costume order (YEAH. That means it needs redone. YEAH. That happened.) I asked my pal, Neely, to guest post for me today! Enjoy! Show her some love! :)

Hey Kate's readers! My name is Neely and for those of you who don't know me well Im fabulous :) haha. Also I blog over at A Complete Waste of Makeup and I twitter like its my job. I am a big drinker of nonfat latte's and wine. I love peanut butter, goldfish crackers, and anything Annies. Im pretty sure the invention of the iPhone both ruined and made my life better. I have the most amazeballs people in my life.

Anywho I am so glad Kate asked me to guest post for her. She is the sweetest ever and even though we are polar opposites aside from our love of Gilmore Girls(you know she named her daughter Rory) and wine I still love her to pieces.

Today I am here to talk to you about pretty things....

I just love pretty things.... pretty things are the best.

Here are a few pins of my favorite pretty things at the moment:

Cashmere Toms....SWOON

Source: via Neely on Pinterest

This Louis Vuitton Crossbody bag

Source: via Neely on Pinterest

Everything about this

Everything about this but mainly her hair....I wish my hair could cooperate to look messy/perfect at once

This necklace might be the prettiest thing I've ever seen....I have looked all over the internet...I cant find it...HELP

The prettiest frame you'll ever see

OK guys well there are a few of my favorite pretty things. Pretty things just make everyone happy...especially the girliest of girly girls. Hope you come check out my blog...its a good time :)


Gossip Girl...I mean Neely :)

Friday, November 18, 2011

Ask Me Anything!

I've seen lots of bloggers do this and I thought now would be a great time to join in! I've gained quite a few followers recently. (Hey thanks! :)) I would give credit where credit is due for this post idea, but it seems that everyone has done it. So if you've done it, THANKS. ;)

Here's your chance! Ask me anything you want (within reason, natch) and I'll answer it sometime next week. Want to know where my kids names came from? How Dave and I met? About my dance studio? How awesome my puppy is? Whatever. Ask away! :)

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Plenty to be THANKful for...Blogoverse.

Manic Mother

Today's topic...thankful for the blogoverse.

Whoa, baby. Am I ever thankful that I am a blogger. I wrote this post last week about this topic, but I wanted to address it again.

My life is a pretty lonely one, as far as girlfriends go. I have a few great friends here in my hometown, but none of them are in the same stage of life as me. In fact, the girl I would consider to be one of my 2 absolute bffs is still in high school and I've known her since she was 4. Having actual "girlfriends" is hard for me right now.

But not really. Because I've got an army of women on Twitter and the blogosphere who care about me and whom I care about. And this post is meant to recognize several of them. (Please know, I love and value ALL my blog friends and twitter friends. I just want to highlight a few here who I've been familiar with the longest. No offense EVER meant. :)) Also, yeah I'm ripping pics off your FBs and blogs. Get over it. ;)

Kelly...Keeping Up With Kelly and Co.

The very first blogger to ever "befriend" me. (Did you know that?? :)) We bonded long ago over college sports and having husbands who golf a lot. Even though I kinda hate her because she has brown Hunter boots that fit, she's someone really special to me. ;) She's a sweet, sweet person and I'm really glad she's on my blog radar.

Ashley...Ashley's Carnival Ride

Ashley is one of my favorite bloggers because she's honest. She's a Christian but not in your face about it. I admire her spirit, her integrity and her adorable personality. She is just an all around really great person.

Meghan...Perfect Compilation Tape

Shout out to KAPPA! :) Meghan is one of the bloggers whose life I am so jealous of! She lives in Chicago, one of my favorite cities. I love her pursuit of the perfect Starbucks drink and cupcake. She is an interesting, intriguing, educated person and I am grateful to read her take on life each day. She is so classy and fabulous!

Amber...Brunch With Amber

I mean, how can I not love a girl who is going to come paint my right hand nails for me? All the way from Texas? HA! She's a great person, an interesting blogger and a sweet friend. Amber remembers details and asks questions about my life. She makes me feel important to her and that's invaluable, especially on days when I don't even have time to shower or put on mascara. She is a great person and I know things are only going to keep getting better for her!

Neely...A Complete Waste of Makeup

Oh my Neely. She's my favorite Democrat. We really don't have much in common, aside from enjoying wine, Gilmore Girls and Rachel Zoe. (And Starbucks!) But we bonded over the fact that we are polar opposites in so many ways. Neely is there for me. I've got her back and she's got mine, from many many states away. We are friends. And I'm so grateful for her! She encourages me and I need that in my life!

Lindsey...Running Down a Dream

Lindsey is fantastic. She's got a beautiful life and I love the way she allows us all to see pieces of it on her blog. She is a wonderful mom to McKayla, even when it's tough to be a "step" mom. Her attitude about running is contagious and between her and Meghan, I'm totally WORKING on getting hooked on running. ;) She embraces life on her blog and in "real life" and I'm so thankful to call her a friend.

It's 11:00 at night and I've been working since 6:45 this morning. There are so many more wonderful women I could talk about from my corner of the blogosphere...Jess, Lil'Women, Ashleigh, Mama M, Shell, Laura, Melissa and so many more. I'm exhausted but I'm so grateful. Thanks for cheering me up every day and helping me remember that no matter what, I've got girlfriends. :) Now please, all of you. Come to the forest and visit! xoxoxo