C'est la vie means "This is the life" in french. This blog is where I'll share what's going on and what's going through my mind.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Snow Days

Mother nature recently provided this winter's first snow/ice storm. Coincidentally, it also happened to be our first snow at this house. While we didn't get a snow in, there was just enough on the ground to get my husband out of bed at 7:30 to go outside and play. This summer he bought a 4-wheeler that came with a snow plow and salt spreader. Before I could brush my teeth and get downstairs he was suited up and ready to plow.

Off to a great start!

The house must have shielded the top of the drive from accumulating too much ice, but the rest of the driveway was covered.

I'd been nursing a cold for a few days (well, still am) so at first I wanted nothing to do with the cold. But after watching Pat romp around I found myself suiting up, too. We took a quick ride and snapped a few pics.

There was a thin layer of ice on pretty much everything.

The lake and our neighbor's pond had a layer of ice on them, too. Yes, that's Pat standing on the ice. Even jumped a few times. He's smiling but I wasn't amused (fine... I really was, but not until after he got off the ice without incident).

We rode our property line and stumbled upon a family of deer. They weren't scared a bit by the 4-wheeler. We acknowledged each others' presence and went about our business. I'm not gonna lie, it was pretty cool. These pics are like a search and find- it's amazing how the deer just blend in.

We're now keeping our fingers crossed for some good old fashioned SNOW- a storm that gives us adults a snow day from work. My boots, coat, hat, gloves and hot chocolate are awaiting!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The countdown begins...

It's officially my favorite time of the year; the week leading up to my all time favorite holiday... my birthday!!! Some think this fascination with my birthday is obnoxious and a bit ridiculous; however, I don't care. :-) Growing up my parents made sure to be as fair as possible when it came to gifts and presents for any holiday or occasion. Even the tooth fairy was so kind as to deliver a present to each of us. The one who lost a tooth received something a little more lucrative; but we all got something. (My friends were quite jealous of how the tooth fairy gave our family preferential treatment.) Birthdays were the only day of the year where the focus was on the birthday girl. It was the one day the excuse "but it's my birthday" got you out of doing the dishes, enabled you to force everyone to watch what you wanted to watch on tv, and call the shots on what was for dinner. Our neighbor, Ms. Judy, also made whatever dessert you wanted (and didn't make you share)! Who wouldn't want to look forward to that!?!

For most, the magic of birthdays fades away as we get older. Once you turn 21 birthdays seem to be just another day. I refuse to fall victim to this mindset. I continue to look at my birthday as the day I entered this world, a day to celebrate, a day to reflect, a day where family and friends get together to celebrate and have fun together, and a day free of responsibility. Of course that means no work! The beauty of this is I continue to look forward to my birthday. I could care less about how old I am (I actually had to do the math the other day to figure out how old I was... I didn't think that was supposed to happen for 20 more years). I just look at my birthday as a day to have fun and not feel bad about it.

So for all of you old (or young) fogies who don't CELEBRATE your birthday, do yourself a favor and take off work, remember the magic from when you were young, and give yourself permission to feel that way again. It's the best way to turn another year older.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Jonathan Scott Cox, 12/7/1973- 06/30/2010

It is said that people come into our lives for a reason, a season or a lifetime. Nine years ago this month my path crossed with his. I was instantly drawn to him. I’m not sure if it was his sharp sense of humor and wit, his shoot from the hip personality or something else words just can’t describe. Regardless, I was drawn to him with a power that was intimidating, exhilarating, and refreshing all at once. We only spent a year and a half dating which is quite insignificant in the grand scheme of things, but what I went through and learned from our time together, and more importantly our time apart, is far more significant and will be with me for a lifetime.

“Drive Fast, Take Chances”
I’m a very by the book type of person and Jon showed me that sometimes the book isn’t necessarily right. That life isn’t black and white. I loved and loathed his spontaneity and disregard for the rules. I learned that sometimes it’s ok to do what you want instead of what’s expected. That it’s ok to take chances and see what happens, that it’s not the end of the world if things don’t go according to plans.

“Christmas does come more than once a year”
I cracked up the first time he said this to me, but he was right. We don’t have to wait for Christmas to open up our presents. Gifts are in front of us all the time and everywhere. We just have to choose to recognize them as gifts and celebrate them as such.

“I talked to Ellis today”
A series of events occurred that put Jon and Ellis on opposite sides of the fence. It was a shock to hear that these childhood friends parted ways so abruptly. I can’t remember how much time went by, but one day Jon told me he had talked to Ellis and he missed him. I admired Jon for recognizing that Ellis’ friendship was more important than any ego. I have several childhood friends that I fell out of contact with and/or had fights with and when standing at the crossroads, it’s easier to walk away but more rewarding to work it out.

“I need to figure my shit out before we can ever be happy together”
This was hard for me to hear and harder for me to understand, yet it’s the lesson I cherish most. Jon and I were fire and gasoline- in the best and worst of ways. I was madly in love with him and blinded by that love. Neither of us were at our best when we were together so it was inevitable that things wouldn’t work out. I had a mountain of problems and hid from them- behind him. My world revolved around him and I relied upon him to make me happy. The degree to which I needed him was unhealthy and unfair. I hadn’t taken any responsibility for my thoughts, words, actions or behaviors. Looking back, I’m embarrassed by the way I handled it all. Instead of taking his lead and dealing with what life had given me, I spent years being hurt and mad at him for breaking my heart, for leaving me, for walking away. I hit rock bottom and spent years putting the pieces of my life back together. While it took me much too long and thousands of tears to figure it out, I finally saw what was so clear to him many years ago. I wish I’d had the courage to apologize for handling our relationship and breakup with the grief of a child instead of the grace of a woman and I wish I had seized the opportunity to thank him for having such an impact on my life, for forcing me to face life head on, for showing me what it means to be fearless.

I didn’t hear of the news that Jon had passed away until last week. So Saturday I said my good-byes in my own way. I turned on internet radio, typed in Sheryl Crow (we listened to her all the time) and when “Strong Enough” was the first song that played I took it as a sign that he was listening. I turned it up, grabbed a beer, went outside, closed my eyes and replayed all the wonderful memories I had with him. I said out loud everything I wanted him to hear that I never had the nerve to say while he was here. While I was talking, a little black and gray butterfly fluttered around and strange as it is, that butterfly appeared several times throughout the day even landing on my right foot once.

Jon- I’m not sure if it’s coincidence, but I like to believe that was you. If it was, thank you for listening to me. I’m so sad that your family and friends have to learn to live without you here in body and pray that you’ll be a guardian angel and continue to guide them through their lives. As for me, I will carry the happy times with me and be thankful that you blessed my life in a way no one else has. You were in my life for a reason, a season, and I’ll carry these lessons with me for a lifetime. I am a better person today because of you.

Reason, Season, or Lifetime
People come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime.
When you figure out which one it is,
you will know what to do for each person.

When someone is in your life for a REASON,
it is usually to meet a need you have expressed.
They have come to assist you through a difficulty;
to provide you with guidance and support;
to aid you physically, emotionally or spiritually.
They may seem like a godsend, and they are.
They are there for the reason you need them to be.

Then, without any wrongdoing on your part or at an inconvenient time,
this person will say or do something to bring the relationship to an end.
Sometimes they die. Sometimes they walk away.
Sometimes they act up and force you to take a stand.
What we must realize is that our need has been met, our desire fulfilled; their work is done.
The prayer you sent up has been answered and now it is time to move on.

Some people come into your life for a SEASON,
because your turn has come to share, grow or learn.
They bring you an experience of peace or make you laugh.
They may teach you something you have never done.
They usually give you an unbelievable amount of joy.
Believe it. It is real. But only for a season.

LIFETIME relationships teach you lifetime lessons;
things you must build upon in order to have a solid emotional foundation.
Your job is to accept the lesson, love the person,
and put what you have learned to use in all other relationships and areas of your life.
It is said that love is blind but friendship is clairvoyant.
— Unknown

Friday, May 7, 2010

What's 'Growing' On?

For years I've made it a habit to buy the $5 pack of flowers at the grocery every week. It's one of my guilty pleasures. I paid little attention to the landscape when we bought our house so this spring has been full of beautiful surprises. The previous owners were quite the little flower gardeners. I won't lie, I have no idea what to do with these plants other than clip them, stick them in a vase and enjoy them for myself. So we bought some flowers of our own to add to the mix and planted our annual herb garden. My guilty pleasure isn't so guilty now. :-)

Here's what's 'growing' on at our place.


I think this is a hydrangea bush.

I found one yellow and one purple pansy in an old plant and they survived!

We cheated and bought these!

"One of these things is not like the others, one of these things just doesn't belong..." I think these guys got too much sun? :-/

Monday, March 22, 2010

Passionately Pink for the Cure!

Growing up my favorite color was PINK! From my favorite dessert (and doll), Strawberry Shortcake, to my jelly shoes, I always picked pink. My passion for pink has recently resurfaced. I've been wanting get involved and volunteer but just couldn't decide on an organization. None of the opportunities jumped out at me until last week. I was at a 100 Wise Women event and was seated next to a woman I was drawn to immediately. She spoke of her volunteer work with such passion that I was envious. When I found out she volunteered for Susan G. Komen, I took it as a sign that this is where I would donate my time, energy and skills. My Aunt Sarah and Patrick's Aunt Tracie are both breast cancer survivors. They are both amazing women, mothers, sisters, daughters, and aunts. They have made a difference in the lives of so many and thankfully are still here to continue doing so.

I've been tasked with chairing the Volunteer Committee of Komen Louisville's Pink Tie Ball being held September 11th. I will be soliciting volunteers with a wide array of talents to help make this year's event a success. Your contribution, big or small, will make a huge difference. If you would like to volunteer, please let me know.

In the mean time, sport your pink to show support for all of those who have battled breast cancer. Let's keep searching for a cure so our grandmother, mothers, sisters, daughters, aunts and girlfriends can live a life free of breast cancer and continue to influence the lives of those around them.

Upcoming Komen Louisville events include:
Kentucky Oaks Survivors Parade
Kentucky Oaks Pink Out
Race for the Cure

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Movin' on Up

Before Pat and I met I lived in a condo I bought when I was 25. When I moved in, for the first time in my life, I had my OWN place. No roommates, no boyfriend, no family members within 45 minutes. I had two friends in that part of town whom I had just become good friends with so I had a small, yet extremely important safety net. In my first 2 years of living there I learned so much about myself that I really don’t think I’d ever have discovered unless I was alone. I learned how to take care of myself when I was sick. I learned how to do my finances and was forced to make responsible decisions, I learned that I could do things I never thought I would. I made an amazing group of friends that would literally die for me. I had established a successful career path in Humana’s Internal Audit department, leading an audit team, and traveling all over the US. I had made stronger bonds with both of my sisters and learned they had grown into absolutely amazing women. I experienced the first heart-wrenching scare of my life- my mother in ICU for a week due to a brain bleed. I witnessed the miracle of God and watched her heal 110%. I learned to take responsibility for my actions and mended some broken friendships. I also mended my own heart that still hadn’t healed from being broken what felt like time after time after time. I went on some really really disastrous dates- some funny, some heart-wrenching, some flat out scary (I should do a blog just on that). I learned how to be responsible with money, with my career, with my family & friends, with my life. I fell in love with the most amazing man in the world while I was living there. Patrick proposed to me in the kitchen in that condo! We started our life together there. I began to learn to share my space and understand the importance of choosing my battles wisely. I realized so much about myself while living in that condo. And tonight I realized something else. All of this will come with me to our new home. And we’ll fill that house full with so many more experiences, life lessons and incredible blessings to be thankful for. I can’t wait!

Here are a few pictures of our new home. We should be closing within the next two weeks.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Sinfully Delicious (and healthy) Finds

I've got to share two recipes that I've been turned on to lately. They are amazingly delicious and the sweetest part is they're good for you.

Carrot Peanut Butter
1/3 c. natural peanut butter (ingredients should be peanuts and salt only)
2/3 c. steamed, smashed carrots

This is a great way to make peanut butter better for you. Steam your carrots for about 20 minutes until fork tender. Mash them with a fork. Mix 2/3 cup of the smashed carrots with 1/3 cup of natural peanut butter in a food processor or blender. I didn't have either handy when I made this and just used my hand mixer. It's much smoother when you use a food processor or blender, though.

This recipe makes 1 c. of spread. It's great with pretzels, veggies, and sandwiches. Keep it refrigerated!

You can also mix in cinnamon, nutmeg, or other flavors to spice it up some. I found this recipe on the Mohr Results website.

Breakfast Cookies
My sister, Brigitte, shared this recipe with me. She found it on the Glamour website.

Gina's Amazing Breakfast Cookie
Recipe adapted for Vitamin G, courtesy of Fitnessista


1/3 cup oats
1 tablespoon of nut butter (almond, peanut, whatever--pick your fave!)
A sprinkling of protein powder such as Designer Whey (note: this is optional)
1/8 cup of soy milk or milk (or almond milk or whatever you like)
1/2 cup of optional add ins (ideas: mashed bananas, canned pumpkin, apple sauce)
1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon
Optional: A sprinkling of something sweet, like a little sugar, agave or honey (Gina uses stevia)


Mix all ingredients together, then put the "dough" on a plate and form into a flat, round shape. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. It will harden slightly from the nut butter and the oats will soften from the milk. In the morning, grab a spoon and enjoy!

Here are Brigitte's suggested changes:
I actually use 1/2 cup of oatmeal and omit the protein powder. If I use applesauce as the flavor, I decrease it to 1/3 cup, just to make it less runny. I'll probably figure out a way to use the carrot peanut butter, but for now, I'm making as is. It will be really good when summer rolls around since it's a no cook recipe.

I hope you all enjoy!