My overarching life goals fit into this 30-day window: stay married, keep my baby alive, etc…

But I only have one personal goal: to keep going to the gym.

I lost all of the baby weight with ease.  I say with ease because I didn’t do anything – it all fell off… because I was barely eating (no time with a screaming newborn) and I was on the go as much as possible.

When I came back to work, my lifestyle became sedentary once again, and now my pants are uncomfortable.  I don’t even want to wear them.  I put them on last.  I walk around in the morning with my hair and makeup done, my top taken care of, and pajama pants.  On the weekend, my jeans rarely make an appearance, and my yoga pants have become a staple.

I’d like to give Charlotte a sibling (please don’t mistake this as me saying I want another baby, because I’m not there yet), and I want to at least be in the shape I was when I had her, when I have Hypothetical Baby #2.  So that means I have to eat better and get my big ass into the gym.

I’ve been going with some regularity for the past three weeks, and I want to keep it up.  Not necessarily step it up, but keep it up.  Keep doing this thing that, at this point, feels doable.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, concludes the 30 Day Blog Challenge.  Though it took me six weeks to complete, I did, at least, finish it.  Woot, woot!

My grandparents.  I miss my grandparents.  I miss them so, so much.


You might wonder why I miss them so much.  I’ve alluded to it many, many times, but I find it too hard to write about; my words fail to capture what they meant to me, and thinking of them – and my loss – makes me so sad.

When I say my grandparents, I mean my father’s parents.  William and Patricia Krizmanich.

They lived less than a half mile away from me when I grew-up.  I could walk to their house – and I often did.  They were a refuge when I thought my parents were being mean, or when Gregory was making life hard.

They listened to me, they talked to me.  They treated me to McDonald’s and outfits from K-Mart.  They made me feel loved and accepted.  They made time for me. They made me feel safe.

They always had Huggies and other sugary drinks that we weren’t allowed to have at the house.  My grandma was always into whatever fad was happening at the time – troll dolls, California Raisins, Beanie Babies – and nothing was off limits.  We could play with anything.

When the street fair was in town, we’d blow through all of our money then find my grandma in the bingo hall.  She’d give us the money that she won – and she always won – so we could continue to play games and ride rides.  Our school picnics were held at Kennywood every year, and every year they went with us.  They’d walk around, or save our picnic table at a pavilion, but they were always there.

They were at recitals, football games, cheerleading events, church milestones.  They were always, always there to support us.

When I was in middle school, I would occasionally spend Friday nights at their house.  We would go out to dinner, then my grandma and I would sit in the kitchen and talk.  We’d watch 20/20 with Hugh Downs and Barbra Walters, and I’d sleep in the back bedroom and listen for the trains to rumble by their house.

As special as they made me feel, they did it with all of their grandkids.  I wasn’t the only one who was treated like the most beloved person on the planet.

My grandma died in 2000, when I was a sophomore at WVU.  She died on Thanksgiving morning.  The night before, I was in her hospital room, and I was in the waiting room when my family decided, in unison, to let her go.

I sat in her room by myself, holding her hand.  I remember trying not to cry in front of her.  I told her how much I loved her.  I don’t remember what else I said, but I think I talked for a while.  She never responded.  As I was walking out of the room, she said, “I love you, Tootsie,” and I was taken aback by the realization that she knew I was there.

While I waited for my mother to pick me up from the hospital – my father didn’t leave until she was gone – my grandfather came downstairs and waited with me.  He questioned his decision, and we talked about what my grandmother would wear in her casket.  I’d never felt like more of an adult.

My grandfather died last May, a few short weeks before he could meet my daughter.  We talked on the phone every Monday.  We did FaceTime, and I made a final trip to say my goodbyes.  He told me he was ready to go, that he’d had a good life.  He told me that Charlotte was the best thing that would ever happen to me.  He was so excited that she was coming, and he really wanted to meet her.  He liked her name.  His goal was to stick around until she made her appearance.

It didn’t work out that way, but I’m pretty sure they met somewhere in between.

Wow, this kid has infiltrated my life.

I don’t personally have a problem, but Charlotte does, and it’s getting frustrating.

You may have noticed by looking at the (thousands of) pictures I post,  but she has severely chapped skin above her lips.  It’s read, crusty, and NEVER heals.

She’s been to a pediatrician, a dermatologist, and soon we’re going back to the pediatrician.  She’s been on antibiotics, prescription steroids, and over-the-counter lotions and balms.

And it NEVER heals.

It’s incredibly frustrating and sad.  She has THE SWEETEST face I’ve ever seen, with precious, soft, baby skin, and… ugh.

Every day that her skin remains chapped, and with every treatment that doesn’t work, this becomes more and more of a problem.

Here she is at today’s appointment with her doctor (to get a flu shot).  She’s growling, which is her new favorite thing, and her face is in bad shape.

It’s sad, but a million dollars really doesn’t go that far these days.

I’d do some practical things, namely pay off debt.  Mortgage.  Student loans.  (actually, that’s not a bad debt list)

I’d take my whole family on vacation – maybe to the beach or something.

I’d take a trip out of the country with Allan – probably France.

I’d make a nice donation to the Wake County SPCA.

I’d buy myself a piece of jewelry.

I’d invest and save the rest.

This is tough because I don’t have any ONE favorite movie.  I like a bunch of them, and there are a handful I like so much, I have them on DVD.

I love the 2005 version of Pride and Prejudice.  Rather than create something from scratch, here’s what the interweb says:
Sparks fly when spirited Elizabeth Bennett meets single, rich, and proud Mr. Darcy. But Mr. Darcy reluctantly finds himself falling in love with a woman beneath his class. Can each overcome their own pride and prejudice?

Here’s the trailer.

Jaws is a classic.  I could watch it a million times (trailer).

Steel Magnolias is fantastic (trailer).

Love Actually is also a favorite.  It’s so uplifting and charming and wonderful (trailer).