Thursday, May 24, 2012

Blast from the Past

One of my lifelong friends posted a couple of OLD embarrassing pictures on facebook today, so I figured I might as well embarrass myself even more and share them with the wonderful land of blog. And since I'm already embarrassing myself, I figured I would throw in a few extra pictures. 

My cousin Adam and me at my grandparents house. I have no idea what we were doing, but it doesn't look like we were happy about our picture being taken. 

Me beating up on Adam. Adam and I are 8 months apart and grew up very close to each other. I used to beat up on him until he got bigger than me and my uncle told him to hit me back if I hit him. Then he would get in trouble, because I would cry because he hit me. Yep, I was a little brat! 

  Yes, this is MY dad giving me champagne on New Years Eve. 

Mom, dad and me

  My cousins and me with our grandparents

My cousins and me helping my dad blow out his candles

And here are the two lovely pictures my friend, Adrienne, posted on my facebook wall. 

  I'm in the front row, 3rd from the left. This was our Daisy Kindergarten picture. We had a local Daisy skating party where all the surrounding towns Daisy troops got together. I was skating along and somehow fell down (I was only 5 or 6, my skating skills weren't that good) and a fat kid used my arm as a speed bump. Apparently, I screamed bloody murder!! A trip to the ER, found that my arm was broken. 

I'm on the far right in the front row. Check out that rockin hair! I guess if I ever want my hair to have body, I just need a short cut with an awesome perm. 

Don't you just love looking at old pictures? I might just spend my day going through old photo albums! 
Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Oh, How Pinteresting

It's Wednesday and I'm lacking inspiration, so I decided I would link up with Michelle at The Vintage Apple and show some of my pinspiration this week. 

I am in LOVE with dresses lately, so it seems like at least half of my pins have been dresses. I think I'm going to start hoarding dresses so that I have a different dress for every day of summer. 

Navy La Sallee Colorblock Dress found here

Collared Yellow Dress found here
Blocked Peplum Dress found here

Lace Jimmy Choos found here

Love this gorgeous bun

Love these mint colored chairs

  Chevron coffee mugs

 Adorable owls

Yep, pretty much

  This just made me giggle. I like things that make me giggle.


I love Karen. Will & Grace reruns are the best!

  Thanks for checking out my pins! Now head on over and link up! 

*Also, you may have noticed my blog face lift. I wish I could say that I did it all by myself, but unfortunately that's not the case. I promised I wouldn't say who made my blog so beautiful, but I still had to give her a little shout out and let her know how much she ROCKS!!! Thanks again!*

Happy Hump Day!  

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

One year ago today...

May 22, 2011 is a day that anyone from southwest Missouri will never forget. It doesn't matter if you still live in the area or have moved away like me, it is a day that forever changed your life. On that day, a devastating EF-5 tornado swept through Joplin, Missouri leaving over 2,000 buildings and 7,000 homes destroyed, and taking 161 lives. 

On this date last year, I logged onto facebook and saw my cousin's status "A tornado just hit our house". I immediately tried calling him, texting him, messaging him and waited and waited for a response. I called my mom (who lives about 15 miles from Joplin) and she said they were fine. I text my old roommate and she said they were fine, but Rangeline (one of the main streets) was gone. My cousin finally responded saying that he was fine and that the house barely got hit, but that Staci's (his sister) whole neighborhood was gone and that they couldn't get a hold of her. I sat here feeling helpless wondering if my cousin and her boys were ok, I finally got a call from one of my cousins saying that Staci and her boys had been found walking down the road and they were all unharmed. I found out that my old apartment was gone, a couple of my close friends houses were gone and a fellow classmate lost his life saving his wife. For the next week, our tv was on either The Weather Channel or CNN or I was on facebook watching as much footage as I could. It got so bad that Jeremy finally had to tell me that I couldn't watch either of those channels anymore. I felt so helpless. I wanted to be able to help, but didn't know what to do. I was devastated and I was 1800 miles away, I couldn't imagine how the people right in the middle of the destruction were feeling. It was all so surreal. Growing up, the tornado sirens always went off, but nothing ever happened. Now Joplin residents live in fear.

I finally got to go home for a visit end of September 2011 and couldn't believe my eyes when I actually saw all the destruction. Driving down main street and Rangeline, everything seems fine and looks perfectly normal and then all of a sudden everything is GONE! It looked like a ghost town with rubble everywhere, trees completely stripped and buildings left half standing. Much of the town was already cleaned up at this time and many businesses had already started rebuilding. My old roommate and I rode bikes through the path of the tornado and I just couldn't believe how much was gone. Half the time, you couldn't even tell where you were. Street signs were gone, stop signs and stop lights were gone, landmarks were gone. Tresh and I could barely even tell where the road was to our old apartment. All that was left of our apartment complex was the pool. My mom said that for the first time ever, she was was glad I no longer lived in that apartment. 

 Jolie, Tresh and Me at our apartment pool in 2008
 Picture Tresh took of our apartment complex a few days after the tornado
 The pool and where our apartment used to be October 2011
Rebuilding the Docks apartments May 2012

Over the last year, I have become so proud of Joplin and proud to be from the area. The community has come together like I never would have thought possible. It has forever changed the way we all feel about JoMo! My heart is filled with joy, love and hope for the future of Joplin. I have no doubts that Joplin will overcome this horrible devastation to become an even better, more beautiful place.  

This is a song written and sang by one of my classmates after the tornado. I wonder if I will ever be able to watch this video without crying. 

I love you JoMo!!! 

Monday, May 21, 2012

Introducing "No Name"

My in-laws got a new puppy this weekend, or I should say that my MIL got a puppy this weekend. They already have 3 miniature dachshunds, but she's been wanting another one since they had to put Rocky down in December. It's been an ongoing fight between my MIL and FIL. He didn't doesn't want 4 dogs, but she does. For the longest time, she was obsessed with finding another puppy. I mean completely obsessed! She would find one she wanted and he would say no and then she would mope around for days. For the last month, it kinda seemed like she had given up. Saturday, we went to the American Graffiti car show here and tons of people brought their dogs/puppies. Apparently, this brought back her puppy fever. A couple hours after we got back from the car show, FIL called saying that MIL was going to look at a puppy. I text her and she said that she was bringing a puppy home. We went over to see the puppy when she got home and FIL did not say one word. We walked out the door and I said to Jeremy, "Dude, he is PISSED!!!". It's been two days and he is still NOT happy about the puppy. The little guy is so stinking cute though, I don't know how someone wouldn't fall in love with his little puppy face. They haven't came up with a name yet, so I have been referring to him as Lil Buddy. 

Meet Lil Buddy

Isn't that just the sweetest face ever?! I'm already so in love with him! He has a brother that I REALLY want, but Jeremy seems to think 2 dogs and 2 cats are enough for now. Boo him!

Friday, May 18, 2012

C is for cookie, and cookie is for me

Last night around 8 PM, I told Jeremy that I wanted some cookies. He pointed out that we have about 4 different types of store bought cookies in the pantry. But... that would be the easy way to satisfy a cookie craving right? Of course I did not want to take the easy route and instead decided I should find a good chocolate chip cookie recipe and start baking. I mixed the butter, sugar and brown sugar together and went to grab the next ingredients. I looked at the recipe and thought, "Sh*t, we don't have any eggs. Why the heck would I start mixing things together before checking to make sure I had all the ingredients?!?" Lucky enough, there were 2 eggs in the fridge (the exact amount I needed). Phew, crisis averted!!! I finished mixing everything together and then put those bad boys in the oven, hoping that they tasted as yummy as the dough did. Ya... ya... ya... I know that uncooked cookie dough is not good for you, but it's just sooooo good! And I kind of figure that if I get food poisoning from eating raw cookie dough, I will just lose all the weight I put on from eating the cookies. Just kidding.... maybe. I'm not one to toot my own horn, but these cookies turned out FREAKING delicious!

1 cup (2 sticks) salted butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp small-medium coarse sea salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
2 1/4 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips (I used 1 1/4 chocolate chips and one cup peanut butter chips)
Preheat oven to 360. Cream butter, sugar and brown sugar until it is fluffy. Add both eggs and vanilla and beat for an additional 2 minutes. Add baking soda, baking powder, salt and flour and mix until blended well. Add chocolate chips until well distributed. The cookie batter should be somewhat thick.  Drop about 2 Tbsp of cookie dough on greased cookie sheet approximately 1-2 inches apart. Bake for 12-14 minutes until the edges are golden brown. Remove from oven and leave the cookies on the cookie sheet for about two minutes. After a couple minutes, transfer cookies to a cooling rack. Allow the cookies to cool on the rack for at least 3 minutes. 

Happy Friday!!! 

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Say a Little Prayer

I was going to link up with Jenna at The Life of the Wife today for Last Things Thursdays, but decided to tell you about something that has been weighing on my mind lately. My mom. 

My mom is my very best friend in the whole world. When I was 11, my dad had double aneurysms in his brain and has been in a nursing home ever since. I have always been one to try to see the good in this instead of the bad. My family is extremely close, my cousins are more like my brothers and sisters. My grandparents are more like parents, my grandpa taught me how to drive. And my mom, like I said is my best friend. She sacrificed and did without so I could have everything I wanted; the coolest clothes, prom dresses, gymnastics lessons, cheerleading uniforms, gas money, money to go out with my friends, etc. Anytime I wanted or needed her, she was there. After high school, things changed. She wasn't getting a monthly social security check for me and money was tight. The roles had reversed and I was the one loaning her $20 when she needed it or buying her lunch. Still to this day, she will talk about how she has not been a good mom to me and that she can't buy me this or afford to come see me and I have to constantly remind her of all that she has done and is still doing for me. Her unconditional love is all that I ask for (and believe me, she has had to prove her unconditional love quite often). 

Fast forward to February 2010... 

I get a call at 6:00 AM from my mom's boyfriend telling me that he's at the ER with her. He doesn't really know what's going on, but that she had an ear ache and then she started acting really lethargic. He told me not to worry and that I didn't need to come, but of course I sat there wondering what I should do. I finally got a call from a family friend saying that I needed to book the next flight out, that it wasn't looking good. I left at 12:00 AM the next morning and got to the hospital around 9:00 AM. I was told that my mom was in a coma caused by severe meningitis. Apparently, they rarely see cases of meningitis that are that life-threatening. On the 8th day of my mom being in a coma, the nurses told me that I needed to be prepared to make a decision about my mom's life (I'm her next of kin). I knew what my choice would have to be, to take her off support. My mom has always said that she would not want to live like my dad and that she wouldn't wish that life on anyone. Luckily, on the 9th day, she woke up! The first things she said to me was, "What are you doing here?" and I told her she was in the hospital. Then she said, "I made you miss your Tahoe trip!" And I knew that she was ok. She didn't even think of herself or the fact that she was in ICU, all she cared about was that I had to miss my trip to Lake Tahoe. I stayed for the next week while they moved her to the rehabilitation center and was told that she should be out within the next week. A couple days after I got home, my mom called and told me she had a terrible rash and they were taking her back to the hospital. At the hospital, they found out that she had Stevens Johnson syndrome (which affects the skin and mucous membranes) caused by dilantin. She was in the hospital for a total of 6 weeks. The Stevens Johnson syndrome caused a condition called nystagmus, which is uncontrollable eye movements. She is constantly dizzy and has to use a walker to get around. The meningitis also caused her whole right side to go numb, so she has trouble moving her right arm and leg.  She had to quit her job and get on disability, so some days she feels like she has no purpose. I keep telling her that obviously God feels like she has a purpose or he would have taken her then. She now feels like she's not the same person she was because of these things, but to me she is still the same strong, sarcastic, optimistic woman she's always been.

Fast forward again to April 2012...

My mom went to the gynecologist for her yearly check up. During her mammogram, the dr found an abnormality and ordered additional testing. She went back in for another mammogram and the doctor found a small dense mass and scheduled a biopsy. She went in for the biopsy last week and goes to the dr for results today. She is very scared and it kills me not to be there for her. I have been praying like crazy that the results will come back negative and that everything will be just fine. My mom is the strongest woman I know (she lived with me for 19 years) and I know that she can make it through anything.

If you wouldn't mind, please say a little prayer for my mom.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012


I feel like I have absolutely nothing to say lately. I stare at my computer and have to force myself to open it and boot it up. I am thinking this has something to do with my last job being a computer job from home. Every morning, I wake up and am sad at the thought of not opening my computer, clocking in to work and loading up all the pages to start my workday. I never thought I would be sad to not have a job, but here I am moping around every day. Honestly, all I want to do every day is lay on the couch reading a book or catching up on all the tv shows I DVR. I know that I really need to get out there and start looking for a job (there are reasons that I'm not, but that's a whole different story that we will get into later), but I just lack the motivation right now. I have no idea what I want to do next. Do I want to continue in retail, get a regular office job, try to go back to school, etc? I've been praying daily that God will show me what I'm supposed to do next, but right now I still just feel lost.

I got this tattoo about a year ago to remind myself to always have faith. Faith in God, faith in love, faith in family, faith in relationships, just always have faith. I can't see this tattoo everyday, but I know it's always there. Just like God is always there even though you can't see him. I do have faith that God will show me the way and I will end up being happier than I ever thought I could be.

If this has happened to you, what have you done to cope? How have you gotten through it?

Monday, May 14, 2012

Weekend in Pictures

Is it really Monday again? This weekend went by WAY too fast, but it always does when Randy and Christina are here. The weekend was full of yummy food, ping pong, boating in the bay, shopping and rock band. 

I seriously have the best in-laws in the world. Christina and I were talking on the phone today about how we are all more like best friends than in-laws. I know a lot of people cringe when they think about having to hang out with their in-laws, I am so glad I'm not one of those people. I just wish we could all live closer or at least see each other more than a couple of times a year. Since we don't see each other very often, we have to cram in tons of fun times into just a few days. 

Some examples of our interesting conversations: 

Randy: "Just pretend you're a guy"
Me: "Ok, I have a penis"

Randy (using Christina's legs as bongos): "This would sound a lot cooler if your legs were bongos. Let's get you some bongo legs"

Randy (telling Fasha (father-in-law) while driving): Stop! 
Me: "Collaborate and Listen"
Randy: "Ice is back with my brand new invention"
Me: "Something grabs a hold of me tightly"
This goes on with us rapping the whole first verse of Ice Ice Baby 

 Sisters-in-law by marriage, best friends by choice
My mom captioned this "We just saw a naked ugly guy"
The Bitzer kids as my MIL calls us
This is the life
Mmmm.... coconut beer
The only thing better than driving over the Golden Gate Bridge is going under it on a boat
I have no idea what they are doing
Candlestick Park
We couldn't decide if this was the Nina, the Pinta or the Santa Maria
Heading to Corte Madera for some shopping
 Cosmos anyone???
We go all out for Rock Band
Apparently rockstars dress like elves???
Rockstar kitty! 
Skinny jeans, a v-neck and a fedora. Can you say hipster?
Rock on!!!
Don't all rockstars wear glasses? 
What, this isn't normal? 
Refueling after a long night

I'm super sad Ran and Christina are gone again, but I'm looking forward to our third annual Bitzer Summer Fun Bash in Arizona!!!