Friday, May 29, 2009

Kelly Hubatka and a spin off from my last post

I spoke in my last post about friends. I talked about how different people are put in your life for different reasons. Here is a perfect personal example:

This is Kelly Hubatka. We met over a year ago at our church. Her husband married Robert and I. I cared for her youngest child in the children's ministry for a whole delicious year. She is my friend. However, we have only spent a small amount of time together. She has a busy life, and so do I. We don't drink coffee in our pj's, our kids don't have play dates, and we don't sit on the phone for hours. But yet, she has been such an amazing addition to my life, and I am proud to call her my spiritual friend. God placed Kelly in my life to encourage me through my spiritual journey. I like to call her my spiritual advisor. No matter how much time has passed, when I reach out to her, she is always there for me. I guess she wasn't meant to be an everyday friend, but to me, she serves a great purpose in my life. She is my friend in the way that she was meant to be. She doesn't know this, but I print and save the emails she sends me, and I refer back to them when I am in need. Here is a piece of an email she sent me that I keep close to me at all times, and I have gone back to it so many times. It's from October.

.....Roman 3:23 says that ALL have sinned and fallen short of God's glory-we are all in the same boat. None of your past sins can weigh you down any more than mine can-Jesus' death and resurrection put and end to all that! Don't let your pride of feeling like you don't deserve something keep you from experiencing the freedom that God has for you. That would mean Jesus died on the cross for nothing if you could do something to keep you from a relationship with him. He's bigger than ALL THAT!!.......Don't let the enemy rob the joy and confidence of living a life with Christ-you have access to ALL His power, and can overcome.........

Isn't she great?

The day of my wedding, right before I walked down the isle. I got so flustered. That's the best word I can think of. I asked my sister to go get Kelly. Once again, I needed her, and there she was.

As you can see by the picture, not only was she there, she was flattered, and she was honored.

I asked her to pray over me, and she did just that. No time to rehearse, she saw it as a privilege, not a burden. Although we do not spend lots of time together, she knew exactly what I needed her to pray for, and said it so perfectly. She knows my heart. That may sound strange, but it's true, and I am blessed to have her in my life. A calm came over me that is unexplainable.

Kelly if you read this, thank you for being my Spiritual Friend.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Friend Vs. Acquaintance

I notice that the word 'friend' is tossed around so lightly. I have over 200 'friends' on Facebook. Come on. I may know over 200 people, but they are not my friends. They are acquaintances that I've met over time through jobs, school, and church.

I definitely have some acquaintances that I wish were friends, but the fact is, they're not, and probably will never be.

I definitely have some acquaintances that I am fine with the fact that that is what they are, and that is what they will always be.

There are people who were friends at one time, but time, distance, or change of lifestyle has slowly changed them back to an acquaintance. But you still love them, and have fond memories of them. When you do see them, it's like no time has passed since the last time.

Your friends are the ones that are there for you. The ones that make time for you. The ones that put forth the effort that is needed to make a friendship work, and vice-verse. It takes 2 to make a friendship work. Being lazy in a friendship is bound to end up with dull results.

If someone is reaching out to you for friendship, don't be so quick to throw out the excuse 'I have enough friends. We come from different worlds. I don't know what we have in common'. If you don't try to find out, you will never know, and you could be passing up a great friendship opportunity. All of your friends don't have to fit a certain mold. One friend can be a great listener, one friend can be a great exercise partner, one friend can be the friend that will tell you like it is and speak truth in to your life. There are all different kinds of people in the world. Why not benefit from that? I think we have all done this at one time or another. I've never seen close mindedness reap wonderful rewards.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Body Glove

I got this life jacket for Alex this year. He had one that lasted him the 2 years prior, but he has since outgrown it. I know Alex is 3 1/2, and some may think he's ready for swimmies, but he's short, and he's light, and frankly even if he is ready for swimmies, I am not. He has no fear of the water, and he jumps right in and swims all over the place, and I really would rather not have a heart attack at such a young age. This jacket rocks. It's made by body glove, it's all one solid piece (some other jackets have those floating block type things in them) it doesn't ride up and hit his face, and he is safe and secure in this jacket. What I really want to share is that on the body glove website, this life jacket is $69.95. Worth it? Of course. But not when you can get it in Sam's Club like I did for $19.82!! Yes I did! WOO-HOO!!! I didn't even know I was getting a deal, I just went there because that's where I got his first one. Then when I went on their site to get the photo, and I saw the price, I was shocked! What a save! Like, I said, the jacket is amazing. Like sit back in your chair with a magazine and relax safeness. He loves it. I love it. Go get one if you have a toddler. If you can't get in Sam's Club, someone you know probably can. It's so worth it.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Chocolate Cake and Skim Milk

I was at work the other night, and this man ordered a chocolate tower cake...loaded with chocolate truffle, and nuts, and gooey icing and 7 layers of cake..........and a glass of skim milk. I very innocently laughed. It just came out. I thought it was hilarious that he was going to indulge in that cake, but needed to pair it with a glass of skim milk. As if he was watching his figure.

I think we all go through this in our spiritual life. Eat the chocolate cake on Sunday, and then water it down all week with skim milk. Today is Thursday, and for me, this week, I'm still enjoying the chocolate cake. When my pastor has a few weeks off like he just did, his first sermon back is always the best sermon ever. I'm still soaking it all in, reading through my notes, I made my index cards this week and have them where I can see them....I wish I could say that every week is this good. Sometimes, I get so caught up in everyday life, that I fall short in the time that I devote to putting what I learned this week into practice. This is an important part of my walk with God. Applying what I've learned to my everyday life. Taming my tongue, being the best mother and wife I can be, controlling my temper, and putting His future plans for my life into action. Focusing on the things that matter, not the things that don't. Do your best to enjoy that chocolate cake all week...don't water it down with skim milk.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Real? Or fake?

What do you prefer? For me, hands down, I prefer costume jewelry. Other than my engagement ring and wedding band, I couldn't care less if I had another piece of real jewelry. I mean I do have a few more pieces, and I like them, but to me, it doesn't 'shout' nearly as loud as costume jewelry. It doesn't go with your outfit perfectly, color for color. I'm drawn to costume jewelry, and generally walk right past fine jewelry stores without the thought of even window shopping. It's just not my thing. So what's yours? Real? Or fake?

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Pants with Pockets

You may or may not know that I don't like to let my kids go places. I would be more than happy if they never left my sight. Ever. I'm all about safety, and I always feel much more comfortable when I am physically there. That's just me. Amber is starting to leave the house. I have to make sure that every parent knows what Amber is not allowed to do, because every parent has different boundaries. She is not to be at a pool without an adult, at the mall, movies, carowinds, or playing further than the back yard without adult supervision. No home alone, no home with an older get it right? She knows the rules so well, that she will call me from wherever she is to ask me if she can or can not do something. Usually, the answer is no, and she takes it, with disappointment, but I'm glad she made the call. This happened today actually.

This brings me to pants with pockets. The biggest stipulation to Amber being able to go anywhere, is that she has pants with pockets on. Her cell phone needs to be in her pocket at all times, and be answered EVERY SINGLE TIME 'Ma' ( that's what she has in there for me, the little Italian New Yorker) appears on her caller ID.

Yeah today, not so much. No answer for 15+ minutes, and I had not talked to her since she left (I like a 'I'm here' call). PANIC. Call this one, call that one, call the Mom's cell, call the Dad's cell....I can't control whether or not the Mom/Dad answers the phone, but I can control whether or not Amber answers her phone. You don't answer, next time, you don't go. If I can't hear her voice at my disposal, I can't send her anywhere. I just can't do it. She had innocently put her phone down to play on the trampoline. That's all. I love having my kids in arms reach. I struggle with this big time. Stay tuned and be on the lookout for a post called 'The Drill'. If you think I'm nuts now with this stuff...just wait.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

The Fellowship of the Rings

My sisters and I all have family heirlooms on our left ring finger. This is an amazing and special gift. I'm so honored to wear such a special piece of my family history on my finger, and I know they are as well. All three of the rings have an unusual story of endurance, faith and love. I will start with Marie's ring, then Patti's, then mine.

Marie's ring was my mothers. She did reset it, but she has the original setting in tact, and intends on either going back to it one day, or replacing the center stone in it.

The Back Story: A fairytale of of man, swooping up a young, sheltered woman, and taking her on what would turn out to be a 24 year amazing life adventure. 4 children in 5 years, went from working at a 7-11, to owning a 7-11, memory after amazing memory of vacationing, parties, holidays, and much much more. Then on to back pain, to terrible news, to coming home, to sleeping on an air mattress for 8 months next to her husband, to watching him leave us, to staying faithful to him and her marriage vows 17 years later.

Patti's ring was my grandmothers on my Moms side. My grandmother had reset it over the 50+ years of marriage that they shared.

The Back Story: According to my grandmother, she used to 'yoo-hoo' at my grandfather out of her window in Brooklyn when he would deliver 'the bundles' to people houses from the 'market'. She said he would turn red like a cherry. Moving on, 8 years later they were married. Shortly after, he was headed to World War II. Just this year, I used his love letters in a family heritage project for Amber, including the letter that let her know that he was on his way home. Before he left, not knowing if he would return, he left her with a special gift, that they would later call RoseAnn Louise Castertano. My grandfather did not lay his eyes on my mother until she was 2 years old. According to my grandmother, she knew exactly who he was when he came home. My grandmother was an amazing wife. She really took care of her husband. Juice and medicine on the counter, clothes 'pressed', she took pride in her role as a wife. Struggling his whole life with heart disease, he passed away 3 years after my father. But that ring never left her finger for the decade that she out lived him. It was given to my sister when she passed away.

My ring was my mothers Aunts ring, but although she was her aunt, more importantly, she was my mothers best friend. She was the baby of 8 in my grandmothers family. We grew up with her in our everyday life. The word aunt doesn't really give the signifigance of her role in our lives very much justice. My dad used to start to joke around December 1st. "Aunt Rose is coming for Christmas, is she on her way?" Because she would come from Brooklyn, and stay for weeks at a time. Marie was her absolute favorite, hands down. We all know this. It's all good. The ring sits in it's original setting, over 50 years later.

Back Story: I have been told countless times that Uncle Nick was 'James Dean' handsome. On top of that, he was one of the sweetest, most genuine men that we ever knew. He loved my Aunt endlessly, but he did try to leave her. Uncle Nick had a bad ticker, and wasn't sure how much time he had here before his life would end. He wanted better for her, he wanted her to get married, and have kids, and grow old with someone. My Aunt wasn't having it. She squashed his plan real fast. They married with the stipulation that they would not have any children, as he couldn't bare to leave her alone, as a single mother. Their love was amazing, and they were given 10 wonderful years together. Uncle Nick died at the age of 36 from heart complications. My aunt never did have any children. She moved here to North Carolina in her later years and lived with Marie until she passed away just a few years ago. Her ring, again, never left her finger. When Robert asked my mother if he could ask me for my hand in marriage, my mother gave him the ring.

I hope that one day 50 years from now, these three rings have 3 new beautiful love stories to pass on to our girls when the rings are passed down. We each have one daughter. Perfect.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Honesty, hypothetically speaking

Honesty is the best policy. How many times have you heard that? We all know it's true. Especially with your spouse. I mean, if my spouse 'hypothetically' told me out of pure honesty that he wishes I wouldn't change into my pajamas at 4:30 in the afternoon, because the world gets to see me looking beautiful and then he gets 'pajama girl', that's a great show of pure honesty. At least he's not keeping it to himself, and remaining unhappy about something that can easily be fixed. And like, if my spouse 'hypothetically' told me in addition to that, that he wished my pajamas didn't consist of over sized sweatshirts and over sized pajama pants that could 'hypothetically' be from a 9 month stretch where your body grows beyond belief, and those over sized sweatshirts could 'hypothetically' be navy blue and unattractive, and that he wishes that maybe I wore something a bit prettier where he could actually rub my skin while I sleep, rather than the only skin that is in sight is the skin on my face? I mean if your spouse 'hypothetically' felt this way, you would want them to be honest with you, right? So you could put forth the effort into something that you may have thought wasn't all that important. Speaking the truth has a better outcome than being silent.

This is all hypothetical, of course.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day

I am forbidden to return the shoes. My children and my husband went out together to get me my first Mother's Day gift as a family. That's just not the type of gift that you return. Poor me. I guess I will have to keep them.

Happy Mother's Day! I hope every one is having a great day! Our weekend was awesome. Yesterday morning I was woken up to a wonderful breakfast. Bacon, eggs, biscuits, juice and coffee with Robert, and all three of my kids. Then we had Amber's dance recital, which she did so well in, I was so proud to see her front and center. She looked so beautiful. We then we went to my sisters house for dinner and a late birthday cake for Robert. We had a really nice day. This morning we all got up and went to 8:30 service, I served at 10, and came home to an empty house. My family came home with some very nice gifts for me. A beautiful necklace and earring set from NY & co. Purple. A color I don't have!

Then I got these awesome sandals. I love them. They are beautiful. But they are going back. I love my families generosity, but they just went overboard! We can't afford all of this stuff!

This, I'm keeping. It's a new touch screen digital camera, with 30 minutes of video time as well. Sony Cybershot T900. Except mine is RED. Matches my phone. Too cool. I can't wait to read up on it, so I can start snapping away! This present by itself was more than enough. We still have a honeymoon in 6 weeks to save up for!

I hope everyone spent quality time with their beautiful children today! We went for a walk, stuck our feet in the pool, Alex rode his bike, and we zoomed matchbox cards up and down the hallway for a while. Good Times. Friday is Amber's birthday. This has been such an exciting time in our lives!!

Friday, May 8, 2009


Don't ever think you have defeated temptation. It may lurk in the shadows here and there, but it's still there. Waiting to sneak back up on you when you least expect it.

I thought I beat my temptation to expensive clothes/shoes. Every one's definition of expensive is different. To me, $100.00 for shoes or an article of clothing is expensive. I'm not talking Jimmy Choo, I'm talking Guess/Express, just to put things in perspective. When I lived in NY, I squandered way too much money on items like this. I have a tank top from Guess that cost $90.00, and frankly it doesn't have enough material to it to warrant $90 of my hard earned dollars. I have 2 Coach bags that were over $200.00 a piece, and barely fit a wallet and some lip stick in them. As I write these words, I'm sickened by the wasted money. Since having my son and being a single mother for almost 3 years, I learned how to 'tighten the belt'. PacSun purses are great for summer, and they're BIGGER. I stay out of the malls. I read in my car while I wait for my daughter while she is at activities instead of browsing through Target (sometimes).

I'm not beating my temptation, I'm just removing it from my life. I used to drink.....a lot. Ever see a girl drink a 12 pack and dance the night away until 4am, go get her belly button pierced, and then go to work at the bank by 8:30? That was me. Then I had Amber, and I started doing other things....kid friendly things....and the drinking tapered off.....I removed the atmosphere from my life. That doesn't mean I can't drink a few glasses of wine with dinner on occasion, but I'm not putting myself in situations where there is $5.00 buckets of 7oz nips. Alleviating, not conquering.

I used to spend hundreds of dollars a year on my hair. My hair dresser in NY, as amazing as he is, if I'm not mistaken, the last time I walked out of there, my bill was $250.00. I just don't got it like that. So now, I may treat my self to one round of summer highlights. Otherwise, I go solid. Planet 21 salon is very affordable in comparison to my NY hairdresser. I mean, this is hair we are talking about here, kind of important.

That doesn't mean that when I walk through Belk to get to PacSun, I don't walk past the shoe department and my heart doesn't go pitter patter, it doesn't mean that when I walk past Coach, I don't get lost in having sets of matching bags and shoes, it doesn't mean that when I hear the younger girls at work talking about partying all night it doesn't bring me back to some great/crazy memories with my closest friends of partying like a Rock just means I remove the things that would fuel the temptation. Make it burn. You really don't think about it, when it's not in your face.

Temptation. You can push it to the side, but you're fooling yourself if you think you've conquered it.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009


I'm easy, so I've been told.

Numerous times throughout the wedding planning and actual 'event', I was told that I'm easy:

"Thank you for being so easy to work with"

"Working with you was such a simple pleasure"

"I appreciate your easy going personality, it made working with you so fun"

This is no secret that this is how I am. Even in the face of disaster, I'm kind of like....Well....what can you do. Freaking out over it isn't going to change it, so why go that route.

Where the wedding is concerned, I knew I was going to be there, I knew Robert was going to be there, and I knew my Pastor was going to be there. The just fluff. Don't get me wrong, I very much personalized my wedding, but I wasn't going to have a fit if there were 7 tea lights per table instead of the instructed 8. To me, who am I to step on the toes of the professional? When Sean asked me how important certain locations were to me, and explained to me that the sun, and time of day all played a part in the finished product, you know what I said? "You're the expert Sean. Whatever you think is best." When Haines said I should go for the ganache rather than chocolate frosting inside the cake and that cream cheese was the best filling for the lemon layer, I said.."You would know best, lets do it." Who I am to step on the toes of the people that devote their lives to being great at these things? (If you go to my church, you know what I'm getting at with that comment...I bought the book). When I found a florist that respected my budget (which wasn't easy), I let her work her magic. As a matter of fact, I never even laid eyes on the flowers until the day of the wedding. For real.

I trust that people will do their job with excellence. I try to do whatever I do with excellence. I was raised that way. If you trust in people in this way, it alleviates a lot of stress in your life. I'm not saying you will never hit a rough patch (like maybe at the hair dresser, or when you get a crappy server at a restaurant), but for the most part, if people strive to do their very best, and of course you do your homework, you should make out alright. Not everything is going to be exactly the way you want it, when you want it. That is what's called 'unrealistic expectations'.

I want to wrap this up by saying please don't mistake my 'being easy', for lack of care, or lack of attention to detail. That is not at all the case. My wedding day was one of the most important days of my life, and I made sure it was going to be beautiful, and it was. Simply enough life.....

I just don't sweat the small stuff.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Sneaky Peaky

Some of our wedding photos are in! You can view a slide show here, on Sean's website, and then you can say to yourself...."Self, Sean Lyon is the most amazing photographer I have ever seen!"

Let me know what you think!

Now I know why Larry said my smile was HUGE! What a cheese ball!

Enter Site


Password: Corbett


Sunday, May 3, 2009

Happy Birthday Baby!

Today is Robert's birthday. The big 33. Yes, I am older than him. We always joke that I am a cougar. I never knew what that was, or even heard the term until I heard about it on the radio recently. 2 1/2 years definitley doesn't qualify as 'cougar' status, but we joke about it anyway. So because he teases me about it, I tease him back by making the grossest face possible and clawing and growling at him all at the same time. "'re sick.......stop.......that's gross" that's basically his response. Hey, if you can dish it out, you bedda be able to take it.

His parents drove here from Greensboro just to take their only son out to dinner. How cute is that? We went to Carrabba's. "The Johnny". You gotta try it. Delish. We pigged out. Wine, food, dessert, coffee.....PORKER. It's all good.

What did I get my husband? I was going to get him a new phone, but the fact is, he's just not into that stuff. Neither am I. So I decided to go another route, and since we haven't had so many opportunities to do fun things together (without the kids), I decided to get US 2 tickets to The Fray concert in June. 16th row. Opening show at the Uptown Ampitheatre. One of his favorite bands. Dinner at Maggiano's before that (a wedding gift that we will save until then), Just the two of us. Making memories. Having good times. SCORE FOR THE WIFEY!! He loved it!

Happy Birthday Baby!!