Thursday, March 31, 2011

Cut Short.

This morning, I was woken up by the fire whistle. Sirens. Lots and lots of sirens. In my sleepy haze, I assumed it was a tripped fire alarm somewhere from the power going out a few times last nights. I didn't really think anything of it.

Fast forward.

I get to dance tonight to find out a student (whom I taught for 2 years), her mother was in a terrible car accident and passed away. She lost control on the slush this morning and spun directly in to the path of an oncoming truck.

The truck was driven by my high school science teacher and he had his two kids with him on their way to school. Praise the Lord, they are fine. Bumps, bruises, one broken bone, but over all nothing major.

I can't get my mind off my student. She is an interesting child, lots of challenges to overcome in her life anyways and now? Without a mom? Thankfully, her grandmother lived with her and her mom already, but it's not the same. I am heartbroken and heavy minded for my student tonight.

Please say a prayer tonight for a little girl who will never know the joy of having a mom help her get ready for the prom, her wedding, her child's birth. And tell your mom you love her. Life is short, friends.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011



I'm not sure if you've ever read Lyryn's blog, but she's got an AMAZING story of love and fighting for her marriage. Read it. Be inspired.

I am joining in her new challenge to fight for your marriage. Not that Dave and I are on the verge of splitting up or anything that severe, but 2 kids in 2 years with only being for 4? That's tough. Add in a baby who requires 100% attention all the time, special food, medicine, countless doctor's appointments and incessant crying? Yeah. It takes a toll on your marriage.

I am standing up for marriage. I am standing up for the fact that I know 50 years from now, I'll still be kicking Dave in the middle of the night. We're in this together. No turning back.

Holy Random.

I have nothing really worthwhile to offer up today. No philosophical waxing and waning, no insights in to my life, nothing really. :) Just a bunch of random rambling. I guess this is a good thing because it means there's nothing I'm driving myself crazy over that needs to be spewed for the entire blogosphere to read. ;)

Here goes!

1) Next year, my studio's recital theme is all things DISNEY. I'm looking for suggestions on people's favorite Disney songs. It can be from a movie (animated, live action, Disney or Pixard), from a tv show, a ride or attraction, a song that reminds you of somewhere at Disney World/Land, anything Disney is fair game. Got a suggestion? Let me hear it please! It takes about 6 months each year to go through and pick songs. It's a really long process and I like to get it started ASAP.

2) I currently have 46 followers. (Not bad, considering until a couple months ago I didn't really put my blog out there! :)) If I hit 50 by Rory's birthday on May 6, I'll do a Ro's Favorite Things giveaway. Trust, it's cuter than you think. Rory's favorite style. ;)

3)I grade the kids' shows on TV. Shamelessly. Every morning while I am feeding Trace, I let Rory watch a couple shows. One is called Pinky Dinky Doo and it's actually not bad. It focuses on vocabulary, which is great, and the difference between lying and using your imagination. It also goes over basic story concepts (setting, characters, etc) I give it an A for overall appeal and an A+++ on the annoying scale. (For comparison, Yo Gabba Gabba gets an F- on the annoying scale. Vom!) Dora gets a C. Her voice makes me want to yank my hair out but Rory learned to identify yellow in one episode the other night so I'm not complaining. Yellow is hard, yo.

4) I used to think Twitter was stupid. I've had an account for like 2 years and just started using it a couple months ago. I'm pretty glad I did, because I love the girls I tweet with on there. It's like having friends! :) How my life has changed! I enjoy reading through people I've never met in real life's tweets and replying. I find myself wondering if so and so had a good date, if this girl is feeling better, etc through out the day. Makes me feel human again, like I'm connected to a great group of women! And the best part is? These women don't care if I'm still in my pajamas 45 minutes before I have to leave for work and they don't care if Trace is screaming in the background of our conversations because it's all digital baby. :)

5) Snow in the forecast tomorrow and Friday. Bluaghaeurpshdfljbsg.

No one came through with suggestions on a blog designer. Anyone? Anyone?

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Just Another Tuesday...and Top 2 Tuesday

First of all, I am shopping around for someone to design a new blog layout and header for me. I've never actually bought one for my blog before and I'm ready to take the plunge! Any suggestions on someone to use? I'm looking for a reasonable price, of course, and someone easy to work with. Thanks!

This week's Top Tuesday is...Top 2 Celebrity Hairstyles

Taylor is the cutest Momma over at The Undomestic Momma. I follow her on Twitter and read her blog regularly. I just think she's adorable and her daughter is SO cute.

Now...on with my choices.

1) Lucy Hale (Aria Montgomery) from Pretty Little Liars.

I am obsessed with her volume! I love the length too, not too long or short. I wish I had a nice natural dark color like hers as well. Plus it's always styled super cute in the show. Major jealous.

2) Sarah Jessica Parker

Her hair color is much closer to mine, I usually have mine highlighted as well. I wish I could rock the grown out roots like she does! Plus again, it's long and thick. Mine is short and fine. (ha!)

Join in over at Taylor's! :)

Monday, March 28, 2011

Weekend Recap

Dave and I had a fantastic Anniversary weekend. We typically don't do much for our anniversary. Our birthdays are in January, Valentine's in February and then our anniversary in March?! It's a lot of "holidays" jammed in the start of the year. This year, we purposely didn't do much for birthdays or V-day and made our anniversary special.

First off, you will notice no pictures in this post. Welp. In Florida, my camera start acting funny the last day. I thought it was just the humidity making the lens foggy. I remembered my dad's DSLR acting this was the first 2 days or so in the Outer Banks. This is not the case. Even with my extreme care of my DSLR, casing it everywhere we go, laying it on a blanket or sweatshirt in the stroller when I wanted it more handy, it's broken. AGAIN. I think it's just the lens, so I'm just going to buy a new lens. I'll try one of my dad's lenses on it today and see but for right now, I'm camera less. UGH. Good thing my Droid has a pretty decent camera for kid pictures.

We headed out on Friday afternoon, around 5:30. We went to stay for the night with Dave's BFF. (ha) Jason is a great guy and he is Rory and Trace's Godfather. We stayed with Jason and his wife Friday night because we couldn't make the full 4 hour trip to Hershey on Friday. We ended up meeting up with one of my SK alumni for appetizers and a cocktail! I can't believe I have students old enough to drink. But that's beside the point. ;) We then got ice cream from the PSU Creamery. (People who aren't in/near Central PA are missing out so BAD on Peachy Paterno!) We headed back to their house and the boys played Just Dance 2 for quite a while. Cinematic evidence was obtained and will be shared. :)

Saturday was without a doubt one of the best days Dave and I have had in a long time. We were relaxed with our plans, going with the flow and just enjoying unscheduled and quiet time together. We went to Chocolate World. If you've never been to Hershey, Choc. World is relatively large building housing all things Hershey. There's a ride you can go on that explains how chocolate is made (FREE!) and you get a sample of a new type of candy at the end. There is, of course, a huge store. Dave was in heaven. :) There's all sorts of things to pay for now that weren't there last time I was at Choc. World. We weren't super interested in most but Dave was ALL OVER the make your own candy bar. It's an interactive factory experience where you actually pick the type of chocolate, toppings and mix ins that will be in your candy bar then design the wrapper. You know my sugar addict husband was like a kid on Christmas with this one! Hey, for ten bucks it was easy to please that one. :)

Then we went to the Hershey Zoo, called ZooAmerica. It was a smaller zoo but it was very nice. It was based on all the different land zones in the US. A neat concept!

Red Robin was next. I was so excited, I've never eaten at one before. It was major delicious. I had some sort of BBQ Chicken Wrap and it was great. Not too heavy or carb-y, which the scale will appreciate on Wednesday.

After that, we headed to the outlets where you have already read I hit the motherload of sales. I also got about 90% of Rory's birthday shopping done for less than HALF of what I had budgeted! I am thrilled, by the way.

It was about 4:30 by that time, so after a quick stop of Sbucks, it was off to our hotel at the Hershey Lodge. SO PRETTY!! Everything is chocolate themed, of course. We were in the main building, the Hershey Kiss Tower. Everything was printed with Kisses. It was a really nice room and the bed was major comfy.

We had dinner at the Hershey Grill. I was a little disappointed in the atmosphere. The website showed the tables much more spread out and it appeared much quieter. I got over it quickly though. (haha) The food was delicious! Our appetizer was my favorite part. It was potato crusted scallops with pear and sweet potato chutney and some sort of delicious beurre blanc sauce. I seriously could have eaten two plates of those and a salad and been THRILLED with my dinner. :)

We slept in some yesterday then got up and headed to meet up with some friends at a mall in Harrisburg.

That's all I'll say about that because it was a disaster. We stayed about 10 minutes then peaced out. NO ONE was harshing our flow at the end of our weekend! :)

We stopped at the dollar theater in State College and FINALLY caught up with the rest of the world and saw Black Swan.


Clearly, not for children and there was a couple parts that made me uncomfortable, but it was a fantastic movie. I was super impressed with how true to real ballet rehearsals and work they stayed. And Natalie Portman's training was spot on. She was completely believable as a ballerina. I could be wrong, but I really think the only dancing she didn't do herself was the Black Swan's Coda. If you know anything about ballet, you know that section is often referred to as a dream killer or ballerina slayer. It contains incredibly fast and difficult turns. I can't imagine she mastered the foutee part, but hey more power to her if she did! Maybe she can give me some pointers since I haven't successfully hit the 14 foutees properly en pointe since I was 18. ;)

We got back to Dave's parents around 4:30. We ate dinner with his parents and his grandma and picked up the kiddos. We stopped in to see my parents and by the time we got home, both kids were ready for bed. Easy. Wonderful. Relaxing.

I am so thankful for my fantastic in-laws who took the kids for 2 nights so soon after having them before. It was incredible to just be with Dave and not worry. I didn't worry for ONE SECOND about Trace. (I never worry about Rory, she'd be happy working in a factory.) Trace was fantastic, a little fussy on Saturday but over all a completely different kid. All the details of his current treatment are on my blog dedicated to him: Trace's Journey.

Back to reality today. I have so much work to do. It's recital season! YAYYYY!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Mom Shopping

Posting on my phone, so my apologies if this is formatted funny or filled with errors. :)

Today, dave and I are in Hershey,celebrating our anniversary. His parents graciously offered to take R and T for 2 nights so we could have a quiet, relaxing weekend. We are staying at The Hershey Lodge and have been indulging in all things sweet! We went to Chocolate World, the zoo and then the outlets.

I love outlets.

No really, I LOVE them. If I could shop only at the outlets, I would. Thankfully, the closest outlet mall to me is almost 2 hours away. If it wasn't, I would be broke!

I love shopping for the kids at the outlets the most, I think. The Carters outlet is like heaven. Today everything in the entire store was 50% off. What?!? I know! I was able to really stock up for summer and not worry about the price tag. It was fantastic. OshKosh was all buy one get one free too! I spent around 130 dollars and got 10 shirts, 3 pairs of shorts and 5 onesies for T and 5 shirts, a long sleeve shirt, a hoodie, 2 jumpers and an Easter dress for Rory. Hello awesome! I was so excited!!

At the Disney outlet, I got almost all Rory's birthday presents for half of what I had budgeted. I kid you not. A costume, a wand, 2 tshirts, a plate, cup, placemat, sunglasses, 2 bags AND a Minnie kitchen for 88 dollars!! EIGHTY EIGHT DOLLARS. The kitchen was originally over 100 bucks and I got it for 40! I want to go back tomorrow I think and pick up some smaller stuff for both R and T for Easter.

I think as a mom and a wife, its part of my "duty" to stretch our dollars. I am new to using coupons but I am loving it. I paid full price for only one thing today: rorys new sunglasses. A big 3.50! Haha I get a huge sense of accomplishment when I hand over discount cards and coupons and bam! My total due goes way down. It keeps our budget in line and gives me peace of mind. Mom shopping, for sure.

Where do you find the best deals? Do you use any good websites for coupons? Share your saving secrets!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

March 24, 2007

March 24, 2007 was the day my life became infinitely better. Excuse the cliche, but it's the day I married my best friend.

Dave and I became friends, via IM and Myspace, in the summer of 2005. His cousin was dating one of my good friends and it was just serendipitous. We spent the entire summer talking on the computer. Dave was doing an internship down by West Virginia and I was home, teaching and rehearsing for 2 plays. We had the sweetest conversations and developed a great friendship.

Our first official date was December 17, 2005. We became "official" the next week. And we haven't looked back!

David, you'll never read this, but you are the only person I can imagine falling asleep beside every night. There's no one else I would rather spend my time with. The future is ours, Gravey. <3

A little pictoral history of Dave and I...

My birthday! The first time Dave met my family. We look like babies.


One of our first skating at Kaarina's birthday party! Yes, that's THE Kaari. Rory's best friend. She was turning five...she's ten now.

Dave's birthday! The second one we spent together, about 3 months before we were getting married.

At the Drive-in, shortly after getting engaged.

Engagement pictures!


The real Dave and Kate. :)

Wedding Pictures!

Honeymoon! Pawleys Island, SC

Here's to the next 70!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


Can I just tell you how great my daughter is? This is a fantastic time in her life. Her tantrums have been few and far between the last couple of weeks, mostly due to the fact that her vocabulary is EXPLODING. Rory is really getting the idea of explaining what she wants/needs versus throwing a huge fit...most of time time. ;) Is there anything neater than listening to a 22 month old speak? I really don't think so.

Some gems out of Rory's mouth recently...

Yesterday morning, she was eating some "Dora Yog" (yogurt) at her table and she knocked over a chair by accident. It's a little folding chair with pictures of Toy Story characters on it. Rory immediately jumps up and says "Oh no! Are you okay Buzz? Buzz are you okay? Is there a boo boo?"

I almost peed myself with laughter. She was determined to make sure Buzz (a 2 inch picture of Buzz, mind you) was okay. Precious!

Later in the morning, we were folding laundry and watching Dora. Rory looks at the screen and shouts HAPPY BIRTHDAY DORA! because there was a cake on the screen. Ha!

Rory is loving saying my dancers name. Any of them, all of them. She is constantly saying Marcie, Kaari, Tabi, Syd, Jord, etc. All day, every day she asks for her friends. :)

She also LOVES to get in "fights" with her Daddy about who's car we're in. If he says they are in Daddy's car, she never fails to fire back "No Mama's car!" They tease each other mercilessly and they both love it.

You really should have a (almost) 2 year old in your life. It really keeps things interesting! :)

Monday, March 21, 2011

Monday Favorites

First off, do you read Nelly over at A Complete Waste of Makeup? You really should, she's great! I'm totally jealous of her Texas living, wearing flip flops and cute summer-y clothes already. ;) She's doing a surprise giveaway for reaching 500 followers. (By the way, Neels, when I just looked you were at 517! You go girl. :)) She's super sweet and supportive. I really like having her as a blog friend. :) Click her button below to enter! (Actually, you don't have to because I'd like to win. In the past, she's done H&M giveaways and Anthropologie, both of which are opening 2 hours from here soon! :))

Moving on!

It's Monday. I actually love Mondays because I get to teach 4 classes that I LOVE and I have 1.5 hours of office hours. Plus, my ballet mistress is returning from maternity leave tonight! She's teaching tonight and then maybe some on Thursday this week too. Yay!

On Mondays, I'm going to start posting some things I'm obsessing over lately. No reason except I'm usually running low on topics for Mondays. :)

This week, I'm obsessed with...

Trace's (unfortunately purple) Bumbo. He loves sitting like a big guy and enjoys the independence. I like him sitting there, on the floor, because he's safe. Win win.

Rory's Princess Yogurt. Or as she calls it, Ro's Yog. (ha!) She would eat it at every meal and it saves us the fight over drinking milk. She only likes milk at restaurants. Weirdo. ;)

Planning Rory's 2nd Birthday Party. We're doing a Princess Tiana theme and like Dave's Grandma Jean told me last night. She "Would think big parties were crazy if we (my family) just put them on for show, but it's obvious you (my family) do it because it comes naturally to us." Pretty much sums up our philosophy. Celebrate life, celebrate it BIG. The time I am given with my children is so precious and I am blessed to be able to give them a celebration each year. Plus, it's a great excuse for good food, lots of family and friends, dancing, singing, playing games and laughing. AND GLITTER. ;)

Happy Monday, Friends. :)

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Saturday Randoms

1) How much do I love Harry Potter weekends?! Perhaps too much. There's always something good on on these weekends. Except HP3. They killed that book. The movie is awful. The rest are really great though!

2) We saw Gnomeo and Juliet today. ADORABLE. I laughed out loud at several parts. It's super cute. If you have kids, check this one out. (And if you don't have kids, Netflix it when it is available. You won't be sorry!)

3) I let Dave order the pizza at Pizza Hut last night. He got Meat Lovers. Grosssss. Sorry, Grave.

4) At first, I thought twitter was so stupid. Now, I love it. Like love love love it. Am I following you? Find me! @567k8

5) Tomorrow I am finishing the studio's taxes. Let me just tell you how much fun THAT is. About as much fun as a root canal. Why can't it just be a flat tax rate of 10%?! My life would be so much easier. No deductions, none of that. Just a nice, flat 10%. I'd pay it weekly if I had to, it'd be so easy. This 1040, Schedule C nonsense is for the birds.

6) BIG HUGE EXCITING Changes coming my way! I can't say much, but say a prayer for me. :) Work related, people. I'm not pregnant. This baby factory is closed for good.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Trace's Journey

Trace's Journey, my blog about the good and bad times with infant reflux, is up and running! It's very open, so please be aware some of it might fall under the TMI category. It's also meant to be supportive so mean comments will be deleted promptly.

Trace's Journey!

Top 5 Thursday: College Years

Today, Meghan over at The Perfect Compilation Tape is having another Top 5 Thursday theme and I'm joining in. I love the theme, this time of year always makes me nostalgic for good old Allegheny.

First, I have to say, Meg I love Pop2K too! I don't get to listen to it much, because when the kids are in the car we are always listening to Kids Place Live, but I love it when I'm kid-less. It's like a trip down memory lane. :)

Okay! Today's theme is Top 5 Things About Your College Years.

Quick review. I attended a small, liberal arts college in Northwest PA. I left early to open the dance studio. I was a theatre major and a history minor.

5. ORCHESIS and Dance Team. Orchesis is the student run dance organization that puts on an annual "recital" each fall. I was slated to be Vice President before I decided not to go back. I loved my years with Orchesis, it's where I made some of my favorite friends. It was so challenging to help audition, cast, choreograph and produce an entire show as undergrads. It really prepared me for the road I am on now. Dance Team was also student run. I'm sure we had an adviser, but I have no idea who he/she was. The captain didn't like me very much, but everyone else did. And our uniforms were DREADFUL. But it was a really great time in my life. I loved every second of it, minus when I was getting yelled at for no reason.

That's me in the center! I KNOW. Super blonde and majorly skinny. Sigh.

4. My roommate, Heather. She was (is!) one of my favorite people on earth. She was the best roommate I could have asked for. She was there for me during one of the lowest points of my life, never judged me and always tried to make me laugh. She's irreplaceable in my life. AND ALSO KYLIE. My best friend. My other half. She was (is) like another version of myself. We've been through it all together and we've survived. Her husband is currently deployed to the Middle East, so if you are a praying person, send one up for her and her little boy. When Kylie and I were together, it was like a storm. We were unstoppable. We had some craaaazy times but we lived to tell about it. (haha omg I hope if you ever read this, you are thinking of the same stuff I am) Don't get me wrong, we weren't insane, but we knew how to have fun.) Sandie, Gina, Mich, Afua, Victoria, Ashly, belong here too. :)

3. Kappa Kappa Gamma. Oh dear old KKG, how I miss you. The best 64 girls on Allegheny's campus. I went Kappa at the perfect time in my life, the time when I needed friendship and support the most. These girls never failed to make me laugh, make me learn, stretch me, teach me. Sure, there was drama and fights. I mean, it's an entire group of headstrong women. But it was worth it to know I always had a soft place to land.

2. The Allegheny Theatre Department. For the first time in my life, I felt like my talents weren't just appreciated, they were challenged and changed. I am a total theatre brat, my parents even owned a theater for a while. I KNOW things. I am an okay singer, a really good dancer and I like to think a pretty good actress. I went to Allegheny confident in those areas, but confident in important things like theatre history, dramaturgy, etc. It was like opening a whole new world in Arter Hall. I worked HARD and I learned so much in 2 years. My professors were some of my favorite people on earth. Every single one of them knew how to bring out the best in me. It was fantastic.

1. Jesse. Without a doubt, what I miss most about college was my amazing friendship with Jesse. (Why don't I have any pictures of us?!) I've known Jesse as long as I can remember, he went to high school about 20 minutes away from here and we were both in the "gifted" program. When we went to Allegheny, we planned to hang out once and a while, maybe grab dinner. Instead we covalently bonded. We were pretty much inseparable my entire freshman year. I basically spent every day on the floor where his dorm was. There was 6 of us who became a little family. But Jesse? Jesse was like a little piece of home, comforting and safe. Jesse is a great man and I miss him. We don't talk anymore, not because of a falling out or anything, just the paths life has taken us on. Yesterday, Facebook put a picture of the two of us with our group of friends up on my sidebar as a suggestion. I stared at it for at least 15 minutes. How things have changed! (NO WAY am I showing you that picture. It's beyond embarrassing. haha) I think when I look back on my life someday, of all the people I've been blessed to know, outside of family and of course Dave, the person that means the most to me will always be Jesse. I hope life will turn us back in to each other's lives someday. (Trust me, Dave wouldn't mind. He knows how important Jesse is to me! :))

Oh Allegheny. Your work load was incredible. The hours I spent in the library, hunched over piles of books and research, the money I spent on coffee just to keep my eyes open, the miles I logged on the elliptical (HOW MUCH DO I MISS FREE GYM ACCESS??!?), someone cooking every meal for me, the easy access to fun, the friends, the dancing, the laughter and the tears, the sisterhood, the chapters I added to my history...insurmountable. Thank you, Allegheny, for showing me a better and stronger version of myself. I am whom I am today because of my days at Allegheny. I learned to stand up and be courageous. And that is worth every cent.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Pour Your Heart Out: Balance

Today, I'm linking up with Shell over at Things I Can't Say, again. I've done this one quite a few times in the past and today happens to be the one year anniversary of PYHO. Check it out, it's like group therapy. :)

I am self employed. I am the only employee of my studio. I have 2 adults (hi mom!) that voluntarily teach a couple hours each week, because they love kids and dance. I have 3 high school girls who teach a class each week for community service hours. My parents clean on Saturday mornings for me because I don't have time to do it anymore. But I do everything else. EVERYTHING else. All the bookwork, budgeting, computer work, papers, handouts, website management, music finding and editing, recital planning, costume ordering, taxes, everything else. It's actually really enjoyable.

When I have time to get it done.

Right now, there is a HUGE pile of tuition waiting to be entered into the computer, competition entries ready to submit, warm ups to be ordered and jewelry sets to be tallied and filled. My taxes need finished and submitted. The April newsletter needs done, the website needs updated for the recital, recital handbooks need typed, printed and assembled, recital shirts need designed and a price quote, the set needs designed, cardboard needs ordered, a projector needs to be found. I need to call a real estate agent and I need to spend a whole lot of time in prayer about a big, huge, awesomely exciting opportunity I have for next year.

Let's not forget the competition team's trip to Disney next year.

Right now, as all this work is piling up, my son is crying, Rory is telling me she needs to pee-pee on potty and I have a sinus infection.

Running a business is never easy. Not for one second is it easy. It also doesn't make me a ton of money, contrary to popular belief. (ahem) It comes with lots of self defense, because people loooove to talk smack about me. It comes with more stress than you can imagine. It comes with times of absolutely NO income because the studio needed all the money that month. I haven't raised my prices since 2007, because of this craptastic economy. I mean, if people have to cut back, dance class is high on the list to cut. It's definitely a want, not a need.

I am struggling to find balance in this new life of business owning mom of 2. With Rory, I fell in to a rhythm pretty easily. It wasn't all that much different, I just worked during her naps and stayed up a little later. This time around, I feel like I am running on ice. I'm moving my feet as fast as I can and I'm not getting anywhere.

I want to balance my business and my family so that each gets the time they deserve. Obviously, family comes before business. That would be why my work is so backed up. I'd much rather play with Rory and rock Trace to sleep than work on my Schedule-C. I mean, who wouldn't?! But there comes a time where I have to say STOP. Daddy needs to help me out, I have to be a business owner now.

And you know what? It's not going to get any easier. My kids will always need me in different ways that will "interfere" with my studio. I will miss Trace's soccer or basketball or whatever games at times because I just have to work. I won't be there for homework time most nights. (Scary thought!) My kids will just have to adjust and that's okay. It has to be okay.

It is what it is. And it will be fine.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Girl Talk Hop: Family

Today's Girl Talk Theme is Show Us Your Family! To link up, click the button above. Girl Talk is a great place with honest, open communication about all things woman. Men...might be uncomfortable. :)

This is my family.

This picture was taken at my sister-in-law Lisa's wedding about 2 weeks ago. Trace is 4 months, Rory is 21 months.

My in-laws are great! I'm borrowing this picture from my sister-in-law, Laura. Her blog is Life Happens and she takes fantastic pictures. (I hope you don't mind, Laura! :))

From left to right, that's Grace and Tony with baby Caleb, Mike and Ann (Dave's parents), Lisa and her new husband Jeff, Troy and Linda with Kyla and Rayna, Matt, Trace myself Dave and Rory and Laura on the end. The only ones missing from this picture is Laura's husband Mike and their 2 kids, Liza and Jason.

Can you believe all the kids are looking towards the camera?!

My side of the family...

Front to back and then around...
My cousin Connor, my Dad, my Mom, Dave, me holding Rosie, my sister Chelsea, my cousin Kaari, Aunt Barb and Uncle Tom. This was taken on vacation this summer in the Outer Banks. I was 6 months pregnant with Trace!

My family! Dad, Me, Mom, Dave and Chelsea. I was 8 months pregnant with Rory here. (I need new pictures!)

I have one grandparent still living, my Poppie Bob. He's the greatest! He would do anything for us and I am so blessed to have him. My mom also has a brother, Barry. He and his wife, Katie, and their 2 sons, Josh and William, make up the rest of my immediate family.

Join in! Show off your family!


Okay, over at Once Upon a Miracle, she is hosting a CSN giveaway worth $140!! I've been reading Rachel and Mr. Daddy's tales for a long time now. They have an honest and refreshing approach to parenting that I appreciate. She's giving away $140 to CSN right now.

I don't usually blog about giveaways, but I'd really and I mean REALLY like to win this one. That'd save me the cost of an entire CASE of Trace's new formula. Here's the link to the giveaway post: here

I mean, you can enter too but you don't have to! ;)

Monday, March 14, 2011

Our Weekend

Friday, my inlaws took the kids overnight for us! I needed a break, big time. Can I just say how great Mike and Ann are? They really are great! Dave and I are so blessed to have both sets of the kids' grandparents so close by.

Friday, Dave and I went to his last Lasik follow up appointment. He officially "graduated." He even got a diploma! haha NERD. Dave's appointments were all in Pittsburgh, so we got to eat at my favorite restaurant ever...The Cheesecake Factory!
I, of course, got my favorite: Thai Chicken Pasta. This picture does not do it justice.

Image from here

Dave had something called Bang Bang Chicken or something. I didn't like it. It was weird. But he loved it! haha

We came home, watched a bunch of shows off the DVR and polished off a bottle of red wine.

Saturday morning, I got to sleep in until 7:30!! My excitement was over the top. (haha) Dave took me out to breakfast then I taught for 2.5 hours. We had an acro workshop with a guest teacher. My kids did FANTASTIC. A bunch of them took the opportunity to really improve their skills. One girl even threw her first full twisting layout. If you are unfamiliar with tumbling, basically she does a really fast round off, springs in to the air traveling backwards in a straight position. She then twists her body 360 degrees like a corkscrew and lands on her feet.


I've never had any student successfully throw one, mostly because that's one trick I never managed to do myself. It's incredibly difficult. But now one student can do it! That means the others will be close behind. :)

Saturday night, we, ALL FOUR OF US, went to church. It was the first time since Trace was born that we could all go together. Someone was always sick (cough TRACE cough) or out of town. But this week we all went. No better time than the start of Lent either!

Then I won the wife of the year award and sent my husband to his friend's house for the night. He headed to State College and went out on the town with friends. He didn't come back until 3:30 yesterday afternoon.

Yesterday, I worked again. We had our full competition team practice. Video coming soon. :)

All in all, a pretty relaxed weekend here in the forest. Trace is starting to improve, still not great but it's getting better. Rory had a touch of the flu this weekend and is finally starting to eat again. Now I have a cold. Yuck, but we will survive.

Happy Monday!

Thursday, March 10, 2011


We may be on to something here with Trace's new formula. Keeps those prayers coming, especially that I can rearrange the budget to accommodate this new (and awful) expense. Our formula budget needs to DOUBLE every month. Yuck. But we will do it, because TRACE is so much more important than dinner out or a date night. This came to pass, not to stay. This time next year, it will all be a memory and he'll be sitting at the table demanding more ketchup and mac-n-cheese, just like his sister. ;)

I started a new blog today, called Trace's Journey, to chronicle our battle against infant reflux. I want to keep this blog light hearted and more fun. The posts about Trace aren't (often) fun. I need to vent and dump my feelings and that belongs on the Trace blog. And who knows, maybe my extensive research and trial and error will help other moms and dads of reflux babies.

It isn't up and running yet, but should be tomorrow night. I'll post the link, if you want to check it out, you are welcome to. No pressure, no expectations, just somewhere for me to organize my thoughts and feel a little more in control.

Thanks for being fantastic. The supportive comments, the tweets, the facebook messages and have NO idea how much it means to know people are praying for my baby as hard as I am. The power of praying women is UNBELIEVABLE. I take great comfort in my blog friendships and I am thankful! :)

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Pour Your Heart Out: Trace

Trace is sick.

Correction. Trace has ALWAYS been sick, since the day he was born most likely.

A few weeks ago, I wrote a post about Trace and how he is constantly unhappy. I wrote about his crying and fussiness and inability to fall asleep well. I poured my heart out and was honest about how it made me feel. I felt like a failure.

This weekend, while in Florida, Trace cried for about 75% of the trip. He didn't sleep, unless I was holding him sitting straight up. He was just...awful. Clearly, something was wrong with him. I called my mom bawling on Sunday because I just didn't know what to do. I had no idea how to help my son. I'm his mom, for God's sake, I should know what to do or at least be able to google an answer. Trace was cryng, I was crying. Dave and I were fighting. I got no sleep. I was trying to hold my self together because I didn't want to ruin Rory's first 2 days at Disney.

My mom hung up with me and immediately called my pediatrician. We headed to the doctor yesterday morning and we finally are on the path to a solution, we think.

Trace has acid reflux. Actually, pretty severe acid refulx. Basically, he's been throwing up in his mouth every couple of hours. If you've had done that, you know how bad it burns. He has heartburn a lot of the time, as well. Again, if you've had heartburn, you know how bad it hurts. It explains so much: why he doesn't want to sleep laying flat on his back, why he spits up all the time, why he does seem comforted by his bouncer. So much of Trace's behavior can be directly related to his acid reflux.

So what do we do? Well, we switched to non-dairy, non-soy formula. It's called Nutramgien. Do not ask me how much it costs, I can't think about it. He will eat that and ONLY that for the next 2 months. No cereal, no baby food, none of it. The nutramigen is allergen free, so it will help his little esophagus heal and allow his stomach lining to mature before we try adding in anything else. We go back to the doctor on Friday and we will discuss adding a small Zantac prescription. I'm not crazy about the idea of my 4 month old baby having to take medicine every day for a while, but it is what it is. If it will get him to stop crying, then I'll do it.

Please pray for me and for Trace. I am wracked with guilt that I didn't push the issue sooner. I knew something was wrong but I thought he was just a hard baby. He's been in pain and I didn't do anything about it. (I know, I know. But I need to get this off my chest. Mom guilt sucks.) I'm exhausted, I'm stressed. My marriage is starting to suffer because of having a sick baby. Dave and I are at each other's throats all the time because it's exhausting listening to crying all the time. He leaves for work at 3 am and when he gets home, I run out the door for my work. It's just not good. Dave is an awesome dad and so he takes it really hard that he can't get Trace to stop crying. He wants SO BADLY to have fun in the evenings with both kids, not spend the entire night trying to calm Trace down. The entire situation is starting to feel like more than I can handle. I need a break, I need a few days of quiet and rest with my husband. But I can't even fathom leaving Trace with anyone, even my mom, mother-in-law and aunt who are fantastic, right now. I couldn't put them through my daily routine for more than a day. It would be a disaster. I left T and R with my mom 2 weeks ago for the day and I worried the entire day that my mom would get upset with me for Trace's crying. (So stupid, I know!)

I just need a break.

And now I'm crying. I'm so sorry. This isn't where I wanted this post to go. I just needed to dump, I guess. I just need a break.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Ten on Tuesday

This one is new for me! Join in! Ten on Tuesday found here.

1. How did your parents decide on your name?
I am named after Katerina in the Taming of the Shrew. Well, technically Kate from Kiss Me, Kate, but it's based on the Taming of the Shrew so a little of both. My middle name is from Rebecca of sUnnybrook Farms, my Grammie Bonnie's favorite book.

2. Do your initials (First, Middle, Last) spell out anything fun/funny?
KRU...Crew? haha Before I was married, it was KRL and I always read it as Curl.

3. Did you take your middle name from childhood or did you take your maiden name as your middle name? (If unmarried, what do you plan to do?)
I have both, actually. My casual name is Kate Rebecca Undercoffer, but my formal/business name is Kate Rebecca Lenaway Undercoffer. Changing your last name and owning a business is nasty and hard work. It's much much much easier to keep the maiden name in there somewhere.

4. Are you or will you name your children thematically (ie. same first letter, all of same origin…)
We didn't! For a while, if Trace was a girl, his name was going to be Ren. That would have given us two little R girls. But that didn't happen and we changed our girl choice to Kherington anyways. So. No. haha

5. Did you decide on baby names as a little girl? Did you stick to them or change your mind?
I wanted a little girl named Jordan Christine and Kylee Grace when I was in high school, after 3 of my favorite students. :)

6. Does your family have any names that have been passed down through generations?
Rory's middle names are her grandma's names. That's about it. Well, Trace has my dad's middle name as his. Trace Joseph...after my dad and Joe Paterno.

No, I'm not kidding. WE ARE PENN STATE.

7. Do you look at the meaning of the name or just the name itself?
A little of both, but ended up going with names that we just liked. Rory means Red King for pete's sake. haha

8. Do you name pets with human names (Sally, Henry) or with pet names (Fluffy, Mr. Bo Bo)?
Human names! Millie is named after Millie Dillmount in Thoroughly Modern Millie, my favorite musical.

9. Are there any names that you have an affinity or dislike for based on a childhood experience/someone you once knew?
HA YES. I won't name them here but there are some names I would never ever ever used because of people I know. One is springing to the front of my mind and I am laughing right out loud. hahahaha

10. What are some of your favorite names? Why?
Other than Rory and Trace, of course. ;)
I love the name Kherington, Kenzie and Ren for girls. I think they are feminine but not expected. For boys, I love the name Parker but Dave hated it. That was my first choice for Trace. Dave actually suggested Trace and it's perfect for our little man. :)

Monday, March 7, 2011

Meeting Minnie

hey now
hey now
this is what DREAMS are made of

Saturday, March 5, 2011

An Epic Day

Today, Rory came face to face with Princess Tiana.

Rory. loves. Tiana.

We watch it 5 times a week. (It is "The Princess and the Frog," fyi.) She knows the music, I know all the words. (haha) We have shirts, dresses, sweatshirts, dolls, playsets, coloring name it, we've got it! It's a great movie with a great message and it's annoying level is shockingly low. (Thanks Disney!) Plus, Anika Noni Rose is the voice of Tiana and I adore her.

Today, though, it all became real. We are at Disney World for 2 days after a family wedding in Florida. Today we went to the Magic Kingdom and Rory got to see so many characters up close and personal during a parade. She was wearing a Princess Tiana shirt and when Tiana rode by on the float she saw it. Tiana pointed at Rory, then her shirt, then drew a heart to Rory. She blew her kisses and waved. Rory was SPEECHLESS. (I was a little emotional, not going to lie!) Dave says he thinks Rory's heart may have stopped for a minute between Tiana and Jessie from Toy Story. ;)

Tiana pointing at Rory! I apologize it's not edited, I am on the wrong laptop to edit pictures.

I know a lot of people think taking a 22 month old and a 4 month old to Disney World is ridiculous. But to see the look on Rory's face today? I'd move mountains to see that look again. That's pure love, baby, and she deserves it!

Thursday, March 3, 2011


I am about to shamelessly boast about my children. And don't tell me I'm setting myself up for disaster. I'm not. That's just nonsense! :)

Today, we got up at 6:30, hit the road at 7:15 and were at the Buffalo Airport at 9:30. We had 2 strollers, 2 car seats, 2 back packs, 1 laptop bag, 1 (embarrassingly large, but still not my largest) purse, 1 toddler backpack, 1 car seat base and 4 suitcases to maneuver. From the minute we started unloading things, my kids were CHAMPS. Trace napped on the 2 hour ride to the airport and woke up, as I was checking in at the skycap, with a huge smile. We breezed through security, which was worry number one for me. We sat at the play area by our gate, let Rory run around and blow off some energy. We ate lunch, changed diapers, fed Trace and boarded.

That was hectic, but we survived.

We took off, Rory had her first DumDum sucker to pop her ears. Trace fell asleep about 10 minutes in to the flight.

It was...awesome.

My kids were CHAMPS. They were relaxed. They were NORMAL. There was no bad behavior because they were scared or nervous. Trace ate and slept relatively on schedule. Rory didn't nap much, but heck she misses a nap once or twice a week because she won't settle down.

The only time all day I got frustrated was trying to get them to go to sleep. Trace fought hard, but finally gave in. He hasn't made a peep in over an hour. Rory laid in her bed (a BIG GIRL BED!!) and watched Toy Story on my computer. She was up later than I would have liked, but at least she's sleeping now.

I am so thankful that they behaved so well today. I was so nervous! I prayed all week that their behavior would be a blessing to Dave and me and also to the people around me. Rory brings a smile to everyone she meets and I wanted her to do that today. She definitely did!

I also prayed this week that the people we would interact with would be kind, understanding of our crazy situation and helpful. I prayed that we could bless other people and that we would be blessed by the people we met. We were! Every person we came in contact with, most especially the SkyCap Southwest Attendant and the nice family in the play area, were awesome. They were so helpful! The security man let us go through the handicap line since no one was in either side so we had lots of room to spread out all of our stuff.

I am so grateful we had an excellent travel day. Tomorrow is the wedding! Saturday is a brunch and then off to my happy place. Disney World!!! I am so excited I can't stand it. Actually, I can't talk about it or I will get emotional. ;)

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Girl Talk Hop: What Do You Want to Do??

I am so late to the party this week, but I am still here! Join in at Girl Talk for this great blog hop.

Today's questions...

1. What did you want to be when you grew up?
I waffled back and forth. In 4th-6th grade, I want to be a pediatric oncologist. This is when my Grammie was battling cancer and ultimately passed away. I wanted to help kids! This changed, obviously. The real desire of my heart was ALWAYS in dance. I wanted to be a Rockette but I never reached the minimum height. That dream became a dream to teach dance.

2. Did you go to school/get training to become that? If not what did you go to school/get training for?
I did and I didn't. My major at Allegheny was Theatre, which is of course 100% applicable to dance. I took a TON of dance classes at the same time, but it was not my major.
I have SO MUCH dance training. I started dancing at age 3 and never stopped. I have had at least one dance recital a year since then. I am certified in teaching ballet through the Cecchetti method of training. I've taken classes on teaching every style of dance as well. I really can't list it all here. (haha)

3. Are you currently using your degree/training now?
I sure am! Every day!

Which is good, because I'd really cry every month paying my loans if I wasn't.

4. If you could do it all again would you do it the same or would you want to be something different?
No way! I LOVE MY JOB. It's beyond stressful but it has made me into an independent person. My parents don't run my business. I DO! I do it all, bookwork, managing, website, all of it. Without that part of my life, I wouldn't be half as strong and self sufficient woman I am now.

Reducing My Facebook Footprint

Aly at Analyze This and Molly are hosting a cute Spring Blow Swap! Click the button below to sign up. It's a $20 limit, so easy and fun! :)

Blog Swap Button

An update on the little baby! He's doing GREAT, he should be discharged this evening or tomorrow morning. Thank you so much for all the prayers and well wishes. I know my friend appreciates it. I'm on my way to visit her this morning and deliver all the gifts from her shower...that she didn't get to come to! ;)

Now on to my real post today...

Last weekend, I was dealing with a TON of drama. I stumbled (innocently, I really do promise!) on someone people talking really badly about my dance studio and in turn, attacking me directly. I have never even MET the one person involved. It was nasty. Thankfully, my aunt stepped in and took charge of the actions we needed to take. I don't have the energy or the wherewithall right now to deal with it. I just...can't. My depression flared HARD over the weekend and it took all my coping techniques to get it back under control. (I'm feeling great now. :))

This drama did do something really great for me. I decided to reduce my Facebook footprint.

I looked at my friends, up over 400, and decided I needed to trim it down. I pretty much accepted anyone's friend request, as long as they were in 9th grade or older. (No younger students on my FB!) I don't talk to most of these people anymore. I didn't really have anything to say to them if we did end up trying to talk. So. I cleaned house.

I started counting at 386 and when I was done slicing and dicing my friends list, I have 280 friends. I know for a fact I had at least 410 friends when I started cutting. Let's just say I cut over 125 people off my friends list.

And I would have cut more, but there were a few I was iffy on.

It felt FANTASTIC. The people on my newsfeed now are people I am really interested in! Not that the people I deleted weren't interesting, we just don't interact much/at all, so I was basically creeping on them all the time.

I set all my privacy settings to friends only. No more friends of friends viewing anything.

It feels GREAT. :)

I had no question about keeping any of my blog friends as FB friends. It's amazing. In a little over a year, I've found that my blog friends are some of my favorite people. I love reading, commenting and the ensuing email conversations that follow. I even started Tweeting, can you believe it?! @567k8

I guess what I'm saying is this. I reduced my FB footprint because I don't want to know when people are being rude about me. It's not worth my energy, especially when what they are saying is 100% false and just down right nasty. Nope, no thank you!