Wednesday, June 30, 2010

5 Minutes of Fame

What do a fair queen, honey queen, author/hair stylist, music group, and three mid-twenties nobodies have in common? They were all on My Indy Style on WISH TV on Tuesday. Oh yeah, and one of those mid-twenties nobodies was me.

I got roped into being on this Indianapolis Today Show-type show under the premise that I was a medium hair model for a segment about the right hair style for your face shape. OK. I will do it. I have been told my hair style is cute for my round face, so how bad could it be. Plus, my partner in crime, E, was doing it, too.

We arrived at WISH TV at around 8:00 a.m., which was a half hour earlier than we were supposed to be there. Oops. Newbies. We were let in anyway, and we were taken back to the studio to wait.

This was the cool part. We go to see where they shoot the news, and we saw the weather guy give his report. Pretty cool. But, like I said. That was the cool part.

Commence awkwardness and humiliation.

We met the author/hair stylist that we would be working with for the segment. She looked about our age, and her mom was there as her publicist. E tried to generate conversation with this girl, and it was like speaking to a wet blanket...or flag pole...or mannequin. I know for a fact that Noelle has more personality and can better express herself verbally than this girl. After a few awkward exchanges, we stopped trying to talk to her and just laughed amongst ourselves.

Other people who were going to be on the show started filing in. This is where we met the Marion Count Fair Queen. What a gem. Seriously. She's a doll, really. After asking her if she loves pageants, she so eloquently responded, "No. That would be a HELL no." She was there with her mom who never stopped playing with her iPhone and her pageant program director who was dressed as a zookeeper and had a hair style that would make Rod Stewart jealous. The Fair Queen proceeded to tell us that winning the pageant was not about being beautiful, but it was about just "having fun" and meeting the other girls. Mmmk. Good to know that I could have captured that Delaware County Fair Queen title when I was 16 if I would have not cared about how beautiful I was and just concentrated on meeting the other girls. She also said that she is an athlete and pageants are not her thing. She quickly corrected herself, "not saying that pageant girls can't be athletes." Dang have a way with words! Look out Miss America! She shared her aspiration of wanting to be a 500 Princess because you get "lots of free stuff" and get to do "fun things all week." I shared with her that my sorority sister was 500 Queen a couple years ago, thinking to myself that I had more of a chance of being crowned 500 Queen than this chick.

Now introducing....America's Honey Queen! Dressed as a 45 year old city hall employee, she seemed to be the most legit celebrity in the room. Afterall, Indiana hasn't had an America's Honey Queen (who spreads information about beekeeping) in over 50 years.

OK, Honey Queen was the most legit celebrity until Natural Seven came in (but only 3 of the 7), which is an a cappella group that opens for Michael Buble. They make musical instrument noises with their mouths. One looked like John Legend with shades on.

So, back to the author/hair stylist and her mom. Mommy Dearest handed us a copy of her daughter's book while her daughter sat on the chair with the most vacant look on her face as we pretended to be interested in her book. I mean, she could have been solving nuclear equations or thinking of a new health care reform bill, though highly doubtful. This book gave me great hope that I too can write a book. Afterall, it was a compilation of internet stock photos of various hair styles and face shapes, divided into categories such as oval, round, square, heart, etc. I think I will be contacting her publisher and submitting my manuscript next week.

She proceeded to tell us that she has been looking at people's face shapes since she was 4 years old. Really? She also said she has a tendency to be brutally honest and tell people that they need a different hair style. This should have been red flag number 78 and I should have just made my way to the exit at that point. Red flag number 1 should have been that her own hair was sporting the skunk stripe look (dark brown with blonde chunks) and her mom looked like she ordered the Kate Gosselin wig that was flying off the shelves for Halloween of 2008.

The show began with the well-spoken, poised Fair Queen and her zookeeper, I mean, pageant director. We watched her interview from back stage. When asked what the best part about being the fair queen was, she said that she got to drive a mustang for a week. Tax dollars at their best???

At the 2nd commercial break, it was time for us to go on set. We sat on our stools and tried to suck it in and sit up tall while we watched the host pull teeth...I mean...interview the author/hair stylist. After 2 agonizing minutes, they came to us, the models, and examined our face shapes and hair styles. The first victim/model was Bev, and lemme tell ya about Bev. She's gorgeous. Thin, beautiful, and gorgeous with long blonde hair. When the first thing the girl said about Bev was that her hair was dragging down her face, I knew it was going to be bad. If she had criticism for her, what would she say about me? (red flag number 101) It was too late to run as it was live TV, so I just stayed in my mouse trap and said a prayer for skunk lady to be kind.

After standing in front of me with her ass to the camera for what seemed like 20 minutes (more like 20 seconds), and pulling my hair back (that I had freshly washed and styled) with her fingers, analyzing me and giving me a look as if to say, "This...this is not good. This is beyond repair. Shave it off and buy a wig." She finally spoke and said that I have narrow temples and a wide jaw, like a pear, and the curls around my face are adding extra weight. I need short hair with volume at the top (like a mushroom??) and my face would lose 15 lbs. Wow. I didn't know that one could lose 15 lbs in their face and still have a face left. Hey camera kid...could you please stop filming my 25 lb. face and let me make an exit while I still have some dignity??

Cut to E with her 1/2" long hair. She said that to highlight her cheek bones, she needs long hair. She also said her face is skinny and she needs to make it appear wider. Well, I don't know how the skunk species does it but we humans like for our faces to be skinny. We don't want them to be wider.

After 5 grueling minutes, the segment was over. Mommy Dearest made sure to get our addresses so she could mail us a book. Goody...I will be waiting at the mailbox for it. I can't wait to see what innovative Google images of pear faces she copy/pasted into the book. Her mom also made it a point to tell me that her daughter wasn't calling me fat, she was just trying to help. Oh, why thank you for that clarification, now that the cameras aren't still rolling.

As we made our way to the car, we couldn't stop laughing about how awful it was. We received our share of text messages from our fans, telling us that skunk lady didn't know what she was talking about. I couldn't help but kick myself for posting on my Facebook for everyone to watch the show. Now an extra 10 people watched and witnessed my public humiliation. My immediate thought was...I need a drink! It was only 10:00 a.m.

I returned home to my mom and Noelle...and we watched the DVR recording. Yep...just as painful the 2nd time around! I promptly deleted it so Luke couldn't watch it. He has to see my extra large face in person...he doesn't need to see it on our 37" flat screen.

I moped about it all day and may or may not have cried about it.'s's a memory...and Noelle still smiles at me all the same. And hey...maybe the next time you see me, I will be rockin' a mushroom top.

Friday, June 25, 2010


Whenever I am afraid of something, I try to remember the times when I really surprised myself with my strength or bravery. I typically think of myself as "needy." I need people. I need things. I need noise. I need care. I need love. I need affection. I need appreciation. I need these things in order to feel good about my life. Like it or hate's me. I can't apologize for that. However, I feel pretty awesome when I surprise myself by not being so needy and getting along by myself.

For example...when Luke was doing 24 hour calls and staying at the hospital over night, it felt like a death sentence. I can't stay alone! I can't sleep alone! What if something happens? But I got through it. I locked the doors, said my prayers, and handled it by myself. I didn't need my mom and dad to come down and stay with me. I woke up the next day and everything was fine.

Right after Noelle was born, Luke had to do overnight calls for his OB rotation. The thought of staying alone with our brand new baby girl terrified me. But I did it. Noelle did great, I did great, and I feel 100% stronger as a result of it.

One time, I returned home late from Abe & E's while Luke was gone away camping with friends to find our garage door up. Luke had left it up from when he left earlier that day, and it had stayed open until midnight when I got home. Already scared enough to stay alone that night, I was triple as scared (and PISSED) to go in after the door was up all day/night. What if robbers took all of our stuff? What if someone was in there hiding, waiting to kill me? Can you tell I watch a lot of Law & Order and 48 Hours? Anyway...I was so angry, upset, scared, etc...and I in fact had to drive to Meijer and sit under the parking lights for a few minutes to muster the courage to go in. My only options were to 1) go in...2) go back to Greenfield and stay with Abe & E...3) go to Muncie...4) spend the night in my car at Meijer. I finally got the strength to pull my car in the garage, put the door down, and walk in. Of course there were no lights on in the house because Luke turns everything off...and so I was fumbling around in the dark trying to find the laundry room light. Then I saw Ernie, who looked unharmed and not afraid, so I figured all was well. I went to every room, turned on the light, checked behind the shower curtains and in the closets. I think I slept with every TV and light on in the house, but I made it.

I was afraid of childbirth. I was afraid that I wouldn't do it right...that I would have a c-section, that something would be wrong with the baby. I was afraid of the pain. I was afraid of the unknown. Childbirth is my ultimate trump card. I did it. I delivered Noelle. I pushed for three and a half hours and refused to give up. If I can do that, I can do anything.

So when Luke leaves on July 5th to stay in Lexington until the end of July...I know I can be brave. I know I can be strong. I have done it before. I will do it again.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


How can this be? How can I be sitting here with all I have ever wanted (minus new carpet and and an SUV) and still have this aching, burning, about to break feeling in my heart? I am feeling so on the verge of tears. Maybe it's because I feel like God is preparing me for something big...something scary...something new.

Things are not often "light" at our house. Luke goes to school before 5 a.m. each day and returns home usually no earlier than 7:30 at night. We don't see much of each other, and what we do see is two tired individuals who have poured every ounce of happiness into Noelle. We don't have much left over for each other lately, which sucks because we are just a week and some change away from being separated for the month of July.

Yeah, you heard it...might as well call me a single mom for July because he will be at UK in Lexington doing an "away rotation." I can't help but be really angry and sad about this deep in my heart, but I am doing my best to suck it up and take one for the team. I am angry because medical school doesn't care about your family. It doesn't care if you have a 3 month old at home and a wife who has a summer off who would love to spend it with you. Nope. It says you better go away from your family so you can look better on your residency application, because you haven't already done enough. I hate being alone. I don't sleep when I am alone. The responsibility of caring for Noelle entirely by myself feels so heavy that I don't know if I can do it. Yes, I know I HAVE to do it...but I think it sounds like a sucky way to spend the last month of my break...alone and forcing myself to wake up and get through it. I am trying not to be resentful of Luke, because I know he needs to do this, but if I hear one more time from someone how this will be a "great opportunity" or "oh, that sounds cool!" or "the time will fly by," I think I might go for the jugular. Where are the females behind me saying, "Oh honey, that is NOT cool to leave your wife and daughter for a month. Screw med school!"?

As we near the end of the summer, we are also nearing a pretty huge decision for Luke...which is what the heck do you want to be when you grow up, Mister? He tosses this question around daily. It kills me to see him so conflicted. He has a lot of pressure on his "cone shoulders" (hehe, inside joke), and it is really dominating all of our thoughts and conversations. It is also dominating our prayers because I find myself praying DAILY for him to reach a conclusion that he is happy with so that we can all move on with our lives. And by daily, I mean...I pray when I am folding the laundry, feeding Noelle, ironing the quilt I am making, watching TV, etc, etc. I have no free moments in my day where I am NOT praying for this decision. If you pray, I ask that you do as well.

My heart is breaking for a lot of people right now. Too much for me to verbalize or even process on here. I just want there to be some peace...peace so I can sleep tonight and not go to bed with a tummy ache. Peace so I can know that all will be well. Everything feels so unsettled, and there are few things I hate more in this life than that feeling.


Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Ode to Zumba

You may have heard me mention Zumba before...and perhaps you thought to yourself, "What the heck is Zumba?" Well...lemme tell ya...

Zumba is a blend of latin dance (think cha cha, salsa, rumba, etc) and hip-hop/free style set to fun music, which can be anything from latin music to Shakira to Justin Timberlake...anything! I started Zumba at my Fishers gym over a year ago, and I haven't missed too many classes since! This is partly because of the instructors at my gym who keep Zumba fun and energizing and motivating. In fact, I love Zumba so much that I was still doing Zumba the Monday before Noelle was born (on Thursday), and I returned to Zumba when she was 3 weeks old.

I love Zumba for many reasons. 1) It's a great workout. I get sweaty and hot and feel very validated after the class is over. The 55 minutes go very quickly, and I feel like I am working every muscle in my body.

2) It's hilarious at times. I'm not being mean, because I am not the world's best dancer, but sometimes the sight of 60 different people's personal styles combining and interpreting one instructor's dance moves...oh my. I love to see little old ladies or sometimes men (the brave few who come) shake their booties or gyrate in the mirror (yes...I said gyrate). I also love to observe the outfits that people wear. I have seen everything from house slippers, to jean shorts, to dress shirts, to belly dancing belts with all the jingly things on them, to full on Zumba logo apparel, to daisy duke shorts, to authentic sweatbands across the forehead. It's truly a fashion show on any given Monday or Wednesday. It's also hilarious because at one point, there were about 4 pregnant women in there (including me), and some of the moves are just NOT meant for pregos...but we did them anyway!

3) The music is fun. Most of the music is in Spanish, and I like to make up my own lyrics because my 4 years of HS Spanish and my 1 semester in college just don't give me enough knowledge to interpret all of the words. It's fun to mouth the "words," knowing full and well that you don't know what you're saying and none of it makes any sense.

4) It's great body motivation. There are some people with rockin' bods in that class, and it is great inspiration to keep it going on the SLIM chance you could EVER look like them. You also get lots of practice trying out new dance moves...and when you are a bonafide white girl like me, you need all the help you can get.

5) You make friends. Because women are women, we tend to want to stand in the same place each class and only socialize with the immediate group around us, thus creating our own Zumba cliques. I am in one that's pretty cool. In fact, another "member" in the "group" includes Ashley, who was pregnant the same time as me, who actually ended up having her son the same day Noelle was born, just 45 minutes earlier! Pretty cool! Grayson and Noelle go to the gym childcare together now, and they are destined to be soul mates! The other girls in our "group" are so nice and fun...and thoughtful, too. They made us (other Ashley and me) diaper cakes before our babies were born.

So, Zumba...thank you for my twice weekly escape from life...for providing a place where I can shake what my mama didn't give me and not feel bad about it. I look forward to you each week and know that I am guaranteed to get a great workout and have an awesome time!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Noelle's Baptism

On Saturday evening, our sweet baby girl was welcomed into the Catholic faith through her baptism at St. Simon. In front of several family members and friends, she was baptized and blessed by Father Bill. Noelle's God parents, Abel & Elizabeth, shared some very sweet sentiments about their hopes and dreams for her, and I just couldn't help thinking about how lucky she is to be loved so much. Luke and I shared our hopes and dreams as well, and I was just overcome with awe that this sweet little girl is our DAUGHTER who will watch grow up for the rest of her life! I pray that I get to see her do all the things that I have done and more-- learn to walk, ride a bike, and drive...go to prom, fall in love, get married...go on trips, meet lots of friends, have children of her own...find a career, be successful, have FUN...all of this and more is ahead of her.

It feels good to know that she is baptized and will begin her faith formation into the Catholic church in a few years. Faith is very important to Luke and me, and we look forward to sharing it with her for the rest of her life.

Thank you to all of our family and friends who made the trip and spent their Saturday night with us. You are all so special to us :-)

Monday, June 14, 2010

Sugary Sweet

I have hit the baby jackpot. Please remind me of this when I gripe about her doing something I don't like. But for now, I am in total baby love with my 3 month old sweetheart that is just a delight for 97.8% of the day. Please buy some Sensodyne for your sweet tooth because this post is about to get sugary.

Noelle sleeps 8 hours a night, and she has since she was 9 weeks old. I don't know why she does this. We don't do anything special except try to put her in her cradle while she is "awake but drowsy" and turn off the lights. We try to read her a story before bed most nights, but sometimes she falls asleep before we can get to it (or we just get too tired). We make sure she is in cozy PJs and has snuggly blankets, but other than that, I have no explanation for her awesome sleep habits. Even at her worst, she was probably only waking up every 3-4 hours, so only once or twice a night.

Her needs are so simple. She doesn't cry for 'no reason.' If she is crying, she is probably hungry. That is easily remedied. If that doesn't work, she might be wet. She's a girly girl and doesn't like sitting in pee or poop. If that doesn't work, she probably just wants to be held because she is so loving and wants to be close to you. Otherwise, she doesn't cry.

She smiles with her whole face. She squints her eyes, crinkles her nose, and her mouth gets so wide that she creates dimples. She hasn't giggled out loud yet, but sometimes I think she gives me one of those silent laughs. I will do anything to make her smile, and I can't wait until she laughs!

She has never once had a fit in public at a store, at church, at a wedding or funeral, or at a restaurant. She is so laid back and loves being in her car seat. I took her to Target and Babies 'R Us when she was 4 days old. I was told I was crazy and I think people thought I was a bad mom for risking her health at that young age, but she has never, ever been sick, and she loves being around other people. She doesn't wake up because of loud noises, and even when we have 100 loud family members in a room, she doesn't fuss.

Currently, Noelle has hit all her milestones, and she rolls over from her tummy to her back. She puts weight on her legs, holds her head up, and coos and squeals. She is so awesome and I am so proud to call her my daughter.

So was that enough sweetness for you? Or did you need a little more?

Friday, June 11, 2010


I am so super excited that I booked a photographer for our first family photo shoot that will take place in September! Noelle will be 6 months old and beautiful, no doubt. I am really looking forward to this day! :-)

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Hopes & Dreams

Noelle is getting baptized on Saturday evening. We had to meet with a lady from our church (St. Simon) to get some more information about the baptism, and she informed us that Father Bill will most likely ask us at the baptism what our hopes and dreams are for Noelle. Wow...what a huge question? How do we sum up a lifetime's worth of hopes and dreams for our beautiful baby girl in just a couple of sentences? Luke and I have been discussing this topic around our house lately, and we are having trouble coming up with the "right" thing to say. We hope she cleans her room regularly without being asked? No...too shallow. We hope she follows her dreams and listens to heart? No...too cliched. We hope she grows up to be very successful and gets into a prestigious college and earns a full ride scholarship? True...but I don't think that is what Father Bill wants us to be focusing on. I am thinking about something along these lines...

We hope for you a life where you feel protected, cared for, and surrounded by love. We wish you many friendships. We want you to take each day as they come, one step at a time, truly living for each moment. We dream of your successes, no matter how great or small. We want for you a life with few worries, many celebrations, and unlimited happiness. We pray the times that you are in pain be short-lived, and that your dreams and imagination know no boundaries. And more than anything, we hope you close your eyes each night for the rest of your life knowing how much we love you.

Sounds about right. :-)

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

She rolled over!

Noelle has officially taken the plunge and managed to flip herself from her tummy to her back last night. said she did it Monday night while I was at Zumba, but it doesn't count unless Mommy sees it, right?

Plus...I got pictures of it really, really counts!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Where's My Mom of the Year Award?

They must have forgotten to put it in the mail...?

Because I totally won the award yesterday.

I took my daughter to school and let one of my old students (a 4th grader) babysit her in my room while I worked.

I dropped a toy on her sweet little face while in her pack & play.

I signed her up for Kids' Club at the gym so that I could take her while I go to Zumba starting Wednesday.

AND Luke texted me while I was at Zumba last night...

"Noelle rolled over!!!!!"

I missed it.

So...about that award...?

Saturday, June 5, 2010

It's official...

...I am on Summer Break! This is usually the time of year when I hear a lot of complaining from people I know who are not teachers, saying it isn't fair or they wish they could be a teacher to get a summer break. Hmmm. Last I heard, Ball State was still accepting people into the teaching program! 'Til then, I am going to enjoy my much anticipated break from grading papers, planning projects and lessons, driving 2 hours a day, quieting children, meeting deadlines, copying papers, entering grades, picking up my classroom after 19 kids, and the list goes on! In all reality, I am planning on going to school Monday to continue to prep for next year. job is never done!

I AM looking forward to spending all day with my baby girl. I can't wait to read outside and catch some sun. I love that I can be in my PJs all day if I want. It is a great feeling.

To celebrate the end of my year, Luke took me to Bonefish Grill last night. I have always wanted to go there. It is a nice little seafood place. I had shrimp and they were delish! I also celebrated with my teacher friends after school with a little mango margarita action at Puerta Vallarta. Gotta love it!

Noelle's First Swim!

Last weekend, it was so hot and sunny, so we thought maybe Noelle should get a taste of swimming in a pool! We went to our friend Kevin's apartment pool and Luke eased her in. She didn't have a swimsuit yet, but she wore a long sleeved white onesie to protect that baby skin of hers as well as her sun hat. Luke slowly took her deeper until her little bootie was under water. She didn't scream her head off like I anticipated, but I don't think she was a fan of the super cold water!

The next day, we went to Abe & E's and hung out by their baby pool. :-) We did get a swimsuit for Noelle (which happens to be size 12m because she is so LONG) as well as some baby sunblock (SPF 60). I know...worst mom of the year because you're not supposed to use sunblock on babies until they are 6 months old without consulting a doctor, but we put the tiniest bit on and didn't notice a reaction of any kind, so we put more on her legs and shoulders. I really like it-- it's Neutorgena Baby and comes in a deoderant stick form.

Anywho, she slept in her pack & play for most of the day because the heat was so exhausting. She still looked adorable in her suit and hat even though she didn't touch the water that day!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

What's Up?

I usually begin my phone conversations this way. What's up?

My dad usually says, "The temperature." And he says this in the winter sometimes. He and I are both hot most of the time. Random, I know.

Anyway, a lot is up. Here's the scoop.

What's Up?

The temperature. For real this time. It's like 100 degrees, or so it feels. I think it is 200 degrees in my car, which is all black with gray (grey, greigh?) interior, when I get inside of it after school. In fact, I seriously burned my hands when I touched my steering wheel today. I cursed my legs as they have always been too short to do the "knee steering" trick-- so I ended up doing the "Look Ma, No Hands!" routine for a few minutes before the wheel cooled down.

My blood pressure. I don't know if it really is, but I am stressed out and I am not sure why. School is ending in a few days. I should be at my peak of relaxation...but I'm not yet. Too much to do and not enough time to do it.

Noelle. Not only is she "up," as in awake a lot of the day, but she is cooing, smiling, and oh-so-on-the-verge of giggling out loud. I cannot wait for that moment. She is just so amazingly perfect and beautiful. I know I am biased, but seriously...she is!

Luke's 4th year of med school. Yes, folks, we are rounding turn four on this race we call IU School of Medicine, and Luke is heading toward the finish. In less than one year, Luke will be graduated and we will know where we will spending our time for residency. In less than one year, he will have M.D. behind his name. I think that's mighty cool. Right now he is on his urology rotation. Kidneys and bladders and urine, oh my!

I found out I will be teaching 4th grade again next year. Yay! I am so happy to have a teaching job at a fabulous school, and I l-o-v-e 4th grade, so I am very, very relieved. All of the worrying and gut-wrenching nerves can take a vacation for at least another year.

Stay tuned for pictures of Noelle's first time in a pool!