Saturday, November 17, 2012

Stationery card

Christ Wishes Religious Christmas Card
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Stationery card

Christ Wishes Religious Christmas Card
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Stationery card

Christ Wishes Religious Christmas Card
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Friday, September 7, 2012

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

5x7 Folded Card

Mother's Day Damask Mother's Day Card
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Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Sharing the Love (of Running...)

Hello again friends!  I am excited to let you know that I entered and won a spot as a guest blogger with Hendricks Regional Health Hospital and Physician Pracitices back in February!!  My "winning" entry posted today and I am thrilled to share it with you: 

Mama Needs a Timeout! 

My posts for the HRH blog will center around running, my training for the Indianapolis Mini Marathon (in LESS THAN TWO WEEKS!) as well as future events and figuring out how to balance fitness and a good diet with the demands of being a mom and a wife (and a taxi driver, and a short-order cook, and a referee, and laundromat, and a get the idea!)   

I will continue to post our family's adventures on this blog so please plan to come back and visit my blogosphere when you can :)  

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Lifetime MVP

It's official.  The moment I have been dreading for months has come and gone.  And honestly, it could not have gone better for everyone involved.  We all knew it was coming, but that certainly didn't make it any easier to watch today as Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts parted ways.  Eight months ago, both sides promised us Peyton would retire a Colt - but those nasty "circumstances" they kept referring to during the press conference overwhelmed them, and fans everywhere, until it was painfully evident that this would be the unfortunate result.

I was probably the last person in Indy who was holding onto the .001% chance that they could make this perfect partnership work for Peyton's final 3-4 years.  The way Irsay spoke today, though, it sounds like he may have been right there with me.  I will be the first to admit that I was less than pleased with Mr. Irsay during Super Bowl week when I felt like he hijacked the Super Bowl coverage while publicly disrespecting his franchise quarterback.  Sure, Peyton did his part to fuel the fire, but it felt like Irsay wasn't playing fair.

Watching them both today, though, it is clear that they have a tremendous about of respect for each other, for the game and for this franchise.  Peyton deserves the chance to compete for another championship before he retires and Irsay admitted today that Indianapolis is not in a position to give him that in the next few years. 

Holding Indy's first Super Bowl trophy
As someone who didn't really follow professional football until college (I was previously a die-hard high school football fan because in southeast Indiana, that's all that really matters!), I know I have been spoiled by Peyton's successes both on and off the field and what it's meant to the city I have called home for nearly a decade.  To all the pundits out there, I'm sorry that I can't share the pain of the losing seasons before Peyton but that doesn't make me any less of a fan.  It's true, I became a Colts fan because of Peyton Manning (and his Tennessee roots) but I've loved immersing myself in Colts history over the years.  It pained me to watch Marcus Pollard go to Detroit in 2005.  When Stokley left in 2007, after solidifying his place in Colts history by catching Peyton's then-record-breaking TD, it felt like we were losing a lot more than a third receiver.  Edge - are you kidding me?  Losing Edgerrin James the year before our Super Bowl run was devastating.  When Edge was back in Indy as a Seahawk in 2009 Indy fans gave him a standing ovation before the game and the production guys in charge of the stadium's big screen put together a 2-3 minute highlight reel of James's time in Indy that played at one point during the game.  How many players would receive that kind of respect from a former team and its fans?  I am so proud to be part of a city that loves it's athletes! 

Watching legends leave, the first-ballot hall-of-famer caliber legends we have grown accustomed to, is so much harder.  We hated to say goodbye to Tony Dungy in 2009 - but he transitioned seamlessly from coaching-retirement to the broadcasting booth and I love that I can still watch him every Sunday during football season.  Watching Reggie Miller walk away from the Pacers in 2004 was even harder because the end of his 18 year career, which should have finished with an NBA title run, was instead tainted by the now-infamous brawl in Detroit.  But he walked away from the game, again to the pseudo-retirement of the broadcasting booth. 
A friend had this sent to me while Ava was being treated at PMCH 4 years ago.
It's just a game.  I get it.  But I cried during the entire press conference nonetheless.  Peyton is a tremendous role model for kids (and adults) everywhere and I am so grateful that he embraced this city and its fans they way he did.  Of course we embraced him - he was the next big thing!  But I'm guessing there was nothing in his contract requiring him to spend millions of dollars and even more hours giving back to and caring about the community, this city and the state of Indiana.

I will always be a Colts fan.  I will always Believe in Blue...if only because a large majority of my wardrobe has a Horseshoe on it :)  But on this day, my five-year-olds said it best while watching the coverage of the press conference:

 Carli: "Mom, Peyton Manning is on TV!  Hey, why are you crying?"
Me: "Because Peyton's not playing for the Colts anymore.  He'll play for another team this year."
Ava: "Because he hurt his neck?"
Me: "Well, kind of."
Carli: "He's still my favorite player, though!"
Ava: "Mine too!"

Mine too, girls.  Mine too.  Thanks for the memories Peyton...when we celebrate our March 24th birthdays this year, you'll be adapting to a new city and I'll be asking for a new jersey.  

Since the girls' jerseys are pink, they'll definitely be wearing them again this year!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Love and Valentines

Once upon a time (my freshman year in college) I pretended to be the girl who "hated" Valentines Day.  

I didn't date a whole lot in high school and always enjoyed Valentines Day even when I didn't have a boy to share it with.  I have plenty of good "girls only" celebration memories and I didn't see any reason to make a big deal about it now that I had a boyfriend.  Nick and I had been dating for 4 months when suddenly the Hallmark holiday was upon us.  I was very matter-of-fact when I told him I didn't want candy and flowers - and I meant it too.  Or at least I thought I did!  Then it happened: one by one, the girls in my dorm started receiving flowers and gifts from their boyfriends... and I remembered that I am a hopeless romantic.  To his credit, Nick must have sensed my temporary insanity because he had still gotten me a little stuffed puppy dog holding a rose (that the girls found a few years back and is now a mainstay in the playroom.)

Hanover will always be a special trip down Memory Lane :)
In the years since, I never made that mistake again :)  I think it's silly when people complain about "hating" a day that's all about love, sharing love with others and hopefully receiving love in return - from spouses, parents, children, best friends, family members and even strangers.  I know I am beyond blessed that Nick tells me every day that he loves me.  And he shows me in doing little things like helping with the dishes or getting the kids to pick up the living room or get ready for bed.  Sometimes I am greedy and wish he did more...just being honest!  But then I know I am taking for granted the multitude of things he does every single day for me and for our family.  And then I realize I am the one who needs to do more to show my endless appreciation.  

Normally, my idea of getting "dressed up" means "not a sweatshirt"
As a hopeless romantic, Valentines Day is always fun (even before there was a boy, or now "the" boy).  I love wearing red and pink, heart shaped candies and any excuse to dress up.  But now that we are a family of five, Valentines Day is a day to remind me that I am not only a mom but also a wife.   Most days, okay every day, I am so overwhelmed with my responsibilities as a mom that I completely neglect those I have as a wife.  Valentines Day is a special day set aside to remind me that before we were over-worked parents, we were a pretty fabulous couple! 

Last years' Valentines flowers

Though Nick (like most men, I presume) has told me on multiple occasions he thinks flowers are ridiculous, he will come home with some tonight because he knows I think it's sweet.  It's one of the three times each year I get flowers, making each time special in it's own right.  We don't do gifts (unless it's inexpensive, silly and/or homemade).  But tonight after the kids go to bed, we will likely share a bottle of wine as we remember our first Valentines Day and some of the many we've shared since.  

Happy Valentines Day - Share some love!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Queen of the Mancave

Disclaimer: Please excuse my football ranting...this has been a long, disappointing season!

I need my own sports talk show. I don't care if it's radio, local late night or Bristol...I always have an opinion and it's usually based on what I think, not regurgitated analyst talk so it would be fun to watch/listen to as well :). If you know anyone looking to hire an awesome new sports reporter, give them my name. In the mean time I will simply share my humble opinions with you all !

Bill Polian did great things for the Colts organization for many many years and he deserves all the credit for his part in that. While I was not surprised by his firing yesterday, it was sad to see him go after 14 great years that started with drafting Peyton in 1998. But Bill was ready to retire; he had handed the day to day operations over to his son just this year and, in my opinion, Chris managed to make all the wrong decisions for a franchise that seemed to run itself most of the time.  I know his job became increasingly complicated due to the lockout and Peyton's injury, but you don't go from a decade of 10+ win seasons to 2-14 overnight just because your franchise QB is unable to go.

An article Bob Kravitz wrote two months ago makes this announcement even more interesting because it leads us to believe that while Bill is/was well liked and well respected in the locker room and front office, Chris was quite the opposite. I didn't do the interview, I obviously don't know any professional football players personally and honestly I only agree with Kravitz about half the time, but this article actually made a lot if sense to me. Our recent decline in draft picks, the inexplicable choices made with personnel (specifically top-notch coordinators on both sides of the ball), the "good guys" we let go and the questionable ones we've kept. It all plays into Chris Polian's very poor decision making.

It is my opinion that Irsay and Bill Polian discussed these pitfalls during the season but especially after the Jacksonville game - and that Jim possibly offered to let Bill stay but was set on firing Chris.  No father is going to agree to fire his son therefore it was "time" (according to Irsay) to make a move. If you watched, or even read any of the press conference/release it was clear that Irsay is grateful for Bill's contribution to Indy's "greatness" and continues to have a great deal of respect for him as a GM/Vice Chairman and as a person. However, if you were really paying attention, it was almost impossible to miss how little Chris Polian's name was mentioned.  This was also apparent during the interview with Peyton and with the players who tweeted their reactions on Twitter.  Peyton mentioned Chris' name as an afterthought once, but Irsay never uttered it during the press conference except to say he had been let go.

My question is why am I the only one who's paying attention here?  I am admittedly a sports talk radio junkie, especially during football season.  I read several articles from the so-called experts last night and today and I listened to all the shows this morning - including the local ones who should know this better then I do since they get paid to pay attention - never once did anyone bring this up!  They were all "shocked" that Irsay would let a talent like Bill go at this crossroads for the franchise.  I still don't think he wanted Bill to go - but Chris should have been expecting his pink slip after tanking this season, presumably unintentionally, for an otherwise proud franchise.

Honestly, the conspiracy theorist in me wonders if some of his decisions weren't made hoping Indy would under-perform, to say the least, so he could get the #1 draft pick and make his mark on this franchise the same way his dad did.  But that is a debate for another day.

 As a bonus for anyone who was patient enough to read my entire opinions going forward: Draft Luck (duh, I know) but sit him for 2 years behind arguably the best quarterback of this, and maybe any era (yes, I'm biased).  Sign Manning's weapons (Reggie, Clark, Saturday as well as Freeney's partner in crime Mathis) to 2 year contracts - Irsay can make cap room to do this for a short time - and make the most of the Manning era, provided he passes his physical in March which appears will be the case.

Following those 2 years, Peyton turn 38 in the offseason (did I mention we share a March 24 birthday?!) and will likely prove infinitely smarter than Favre when it coming to knowing to retire.  Plus, he will have a couple of twin toddlers at home to keep up with - a great added incentive to move forward!  After that, unleash Luck with two solid years of mentoring by Manning and surround him with the guys you've drafted specifically for him, as Polian did for Manning, during Peyton's final two years.  Green Bay appears to be 2/2 in grooming back up QB's for starting positions (though Flynn may be too valuable to be back with the Packers next year) - so I'm considering my opinions on Luck with that in mind.  You know, Irsay did say his ideal candidate would be someone who'd never held the GM title before...maybe I should give him a call!