Wednesday, April 30, 2008


Jeff and I were looking forward to his graduation which would be in May. We continued to date and get to know each other better. I instantly loved certain characteristics about Jeff. His personality, his kindness, his willingness to listen and to help when advice was needed, when he would bring me items that he had cooked when I was studying, he would use a broom to shovel snow off my walk and his, he is very funny, we always had a great time together. Still to this day we continue to have a great relationship. We can talk about anything and do not keep secrets from each other. We have grown so much together as a couple and as individuals.

In March we saw our first movie together. (Cider House Rules)In May Jeff graduated with his master’s degree. I was also now done with another semester of nursing school. Before summer classes started we were given an opportunity to go to Sanibel Island, Florida and stay a week at my parent’s condo there. This was our first vacation. We had a GREAT time! We went to a place called Captiva Island which is an island that has a small causeway and connects to Sanibel. While we were there waiting for the sun to set we watched a couple get married. We thought it was really neat. Both Jeff and I love the ocean and the part of being barefoot on the beach when saying “I do”. We made a pact that if we ever were to get married we would do the same thing.

I started back at school taking summer classes. Jeff started a job. It was just that a job. Something to help pay the bills. He did not love what he was doing. While he was working at this job he continued to send out resumes. He got some interviews and one was for a company that works with Boeing. Jeff went to a few interviews in Chicago and Seattle. He was offered the job and reality was setting in that Jeff was now going to be moving to Seattle. I would be graduating from nursing the following May.

Jeff moved to Seattle. This was really hard, but we decided that we would somehow make this work long distance. When I had time off from school for winter break or long weekends that would come available I would fly to Seattle.

We celebrated the New Year in Seattle. We went up to Mount Rainer and stayed in a cabin for a few nights. Mount Rainer is gorgeous and we had a nice time walking around or going up the mountain to look out and find little streams. We continued to grow and decided that once I graduated I too would move to Seattle. I was starting to get used to the city. It was A LOT different from Kent, Ohio! Much more people, lots of traffic, and just bigger in general. The last night that we were at our cabin Jeff started to complain of abdominal pain. The next day when we were at a movie he was really uncomfortable and unable to sit still much less eat anything. Later that night when he was lying on the couch I noticed that he was “guarding”. I went over and palpated his abdomen and was like “we have to go to the hospital, you have appendicitis”. He wanted to blow it off and he thought I was crazy and did not believe me that he could have appendicitis. The funny thing is up until that point I had self diagnosed my own appendicitis that I had the previous July. So we did go to the hospital and I was right. Jeff also needed an appendectomy. We thought it was kind of strange that the two of us both had appendicitis within 6 months of each other. I am so glad that I was in Seattle. I know that he probably had not gone to the hospital if I had not been there insisting. Once he got the Morphine he was feeling good.

I did graduated the following May on schedule with our plans. Soon I would be moving to Seattle too!

Monday, April 28, 2008

Busy, Busy, Busy Weekend

Although this blog does start from the past I decided to add some of the current present days at our home so that I don’t have to keep going back. This weekend was a great one. Friday night we had some friends over. It was a fun time. Their kids love my kids and vice versa. We had pizza and had some adult conversation as the kids played. It was a beautiful day and the kids enjoyed playing and being outside. The swings were going, balls were thrown in the air, and smile and laughter was heard. I love moments like that.

Saturday morning we were up early and on our way to Kalahari. This is an inside water park about an hour away. There are numerous water activities including slides some with tubes, a wave pool, spas, saunas, fun little kid areas, etc. Kalahari also has a big downstairs video game area indoor putt putt golf, some stores to shop, the best caramel apples including the buckeye caramel apple (was fantastic) etc. We were there to celebrate my mom’s birthday. It was a “big one” as my son calls it. The people in attendance were Jeff (husband), Joey (son), Gabrielle (daughter), Nana (my mom), Papa (my dad), Kelley (my sister), Ted (my brother in law), Kayla (our niece), Blake (our nephew), Steven (my brother), and Jess (our sister in law). There were 12 of us total. We got to the park on Saturday and the kids and everyone were at the pool. The big hit was the wave pool. The boys loved it.

We then went to our room and got ready for the night. We had dinner at Applebee’s and then came back to the room for cake and ice cream. Ted brought their Nintendo Wii and we played Guitar Hero. We even got my mom and dad into the action!! Lots of laughter filled the room and we all had a great time.

Later while we were hanging out in the room playing guitar hero Steven’s phone rang. It was our cousin Marissa. She was calling to announce her ENGAGEMENT!!! Congratulations Kevin and Marissa! How cool that she got engaged on my mom’s birthday!!!!!

Marissa is a very special person to me. She and I are very close. She is several years younger than me. She will be 25 in June. She is an only child and ever since she was young (three/four) we were always together. I grew up babysitting her and wanting to be with her as opposed to being with friends. My aunt and uncle live right down the road from me and currently Marissa is living with them. We see her often and my kids LOVE her. My kids ask daily where she is and if they can call her. She adores my kids and I love that. When she started dating Kevin we all liked him immediately. He also is very good with my kids and is just a really nice guy. Jeff and I have spent many late nights with Marissa and Kevin playing Rock Band. We are so excited for both of you! Congratulations.

Friday, April 25, 2008

The first time I met you.

I had been living in Dartmouth now for over 3 years. I spent my time going to school, going to nursing clinicals, and lots of studying. I lived alone with Mariah. I was also working at the time at Applebee’s. I was a hostess and then moved to serving tables. Dartmouth apartments are all on the same level. They are ranch style apartments. No one is ever above you or below you. I lived at 1055 and Jeff lived at 1057. The only thing that separated my apartment from his was a wall!

Jeff moved into Dartmouth in February of 1999. All I remember was that there was a man that was in that apartment prior to Jeff moving in. His name was Mike and he too lived alone. He did not attend college and I mostly said hi to him and small chat. I never knew much about him. He did however take a liking to my jeep wrangler (1995 make/ model) and there were times when he would be out washing his car and then I would notice him washing off my jeep and cleaning it also! Pretty nice guy in my book! He did buy a jeep wrangler also but his was a more current model and I was then envious of the way his jeep became a convertible compared with my older model.

One day mike was gone and then the apartment was empty for a while. I did notice that a truck was outside the apartment and lights were on so I figured someone had moved in. I must have been working or somewhere the day Jeff moved in.

I love the story of the first time I actually saw Jeff for the first time and we talked. I was outside walking Mariah and was walking back to the apartment. Mariah was on a leash and yes, I was holding the leash. When we started back towards the apartment I noticed that Jeff was outside and there was a girl with him helping him bring in groceries. Mariah started to get excited and barked a little bit. The girl that was with him (later I found out she was his girlfriend) started squealing, screeching, and carrying on. Imagine seeing a mouse and what your reaction would be. This girl had to have seen a dog before right? Her reaction to Mariah was one I had never seen before to someone seeing a dog. It is not like Mariah is a big dog or even was 2 feet from her or in her personal space. I heard Jeff tell her to go inside. He then came over and was petting Mariah and at that point we introduced ourselves.

Jeff and I still crack up to this day at this story! I remember going inside and laughing and rolling my eyes. Talk about drama!

Jeff continued to date this girl and at the time I was also dating someone that I worked with at Applebee’s. Jeff and I continued to be neighborly and make small chat throughout the months. He eventually broke up with his girlfriend and I too was no longer with the guy I was dating. Once we were both single our friendship became stronger.

Things I learned about Jeff as we talked. He was at Kent State for his Masters degree. He was in the Technology program. He taught a class to undergraduate students to help make some money. He was in the Air Force at one time. He was a nice guy. We were friends nothing more. We got along really well. He played the guitar and sometimes his friends would come over to his apartment and they would play. I could sometimes hear them playing while I was studying. My bedroom wall was his main room wall.

The New Year started off. I was no longer working at Applebee’s and was now working at as a home health Aide. This was a great job to learn skills and I figured would look much better on a nursing resume one day. Sometimes I had to stay overnight with someone and Jeff would take Mariah out for me. He and Mariah were buddies.

Feb. 25 2000
It was around dinner time and I wanted to go out, just not alone. So I went over and knocked on Jeff’s door and asked him if he had dinner yet. He had not so we went to get Chinese. We had a great time at dinner and at this point I was really now looking at him different. I think at the end when we got our fortune cookies I knew then that this was the guy. I don’t normally think that fortune cookies are anything but fun, but this time I looked at the messages a bit different.

This was mine~ “Smiling often can make you look and feel younger.”
Jeff’s~ “The best times of your life have not yet been lived.”

* Jeff’s message really struck me. If you were with us and heard all the conversations we were having it may make more sense

God works in mysterious ways. We are so thankful that God put us both at Dartmouth apartments. It goes to show that you can meet your spouse just about anywhere. I love that we were friends before anything else. We had a good friendship and sometimes before we even ended up dating I could walk over and tell Jeff anything. We had many really in depth conversations and shared so much as friends. Jeff and I have been together ever since the first time going out for Chinese dinner!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008


1999-Mariah (this post will make much more since when you see the next post!!)Mariah is a miniature schnauzer. She is my dog. I got her when I lived at Dartmouth Place apartments. I grew up being a dog lover and we always have had a schnauzer for a dog. Now that I live alone and am away at college I got a dog to keep me company. I loved feeling a little safer too having Mariah as my guard dog. Mariah is now 10 years old and still with us.

About schnauzers: The Miniature Schnauzer is a breed of small dog of the Schnauzer type that originated in Germany in the mid-to-late 19th century. Miniature Schnauzers developed from crosses between the Standard Schnauzer and one or more smaller breeds such as the Poodle, Miniature Pinscher, or Affenpinscher. The breed remains one of the most popular, and is currently the 11th most popular breed in the U.S

Temperament: The Official Standard of the Miniature Schnauzer describes temperament as "Alert and spirited, yet obedient to command. Friendly, intelligent and willing to please. They should never be overaggressive or timid." As such they tend to be excellent watchdogs. They are often guarded of strangers until the owners of the home welcome the guest, upon which they are typically very friendly to them. "Miniature Schnauzers are not by nature aggressive, as are some of their Terrier cousins. They should be relatively fearless. Once mature, the Schnauzer has a strongly developed territorial instinct. He is an ideal guard dog as he defends vocally rather than physically. ... A good Schnauzer will bark at anyone who may appear a threat to his home....... Schnauzers are not random, incessant barkers. They are discriminating and intelligent guard dogs that assume this duty naturally."

Mariah continues to be a great dog and we all love her very much! I am sure she loves that there are kids in the house now that constantly feed her treats!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Kent State University

Above is a picture of Henderson Hall. This is the college of nursing where I spent a great deal of time.

I graduated high school in June of 1993 from Stow High School. I was already enrolled to go to Ohio Northern University which is in Ada, Ohio. The school is 2 hours and 45 minutes from where I lived at the time. Ohio Northern is a smaller school and is also the college that my dad and sister graduated from. The big thing about Ohio Northern that I did not like was that there was no nursing program. I have always known that I wanted to be a nurse and this was a con to going to this school. I started to have bad feelings later in the summer about going to Ohio Northern. It was like instincts or thoughts etc. kept telling me that something was not right and I would be making the wrong choice. So I on my own called Kent State and scheduled an appointment to go and talk to some people about the nursing program and the school in general.
Now you may be asking why this is a big deal.? If you want a college with a nursing program than why not pick that one in the first place? The answer is this, my parents had a family rule for my siblings and I that we were not allowed going to Kent State or Akron. Both of these colleges are about 15 minutes away from the house we grew up in. My parents wanted us to have the whole college experience and move away and experience all of college. They felt that these schools were just too close to home.

Now I was faced with talking to my parents. I was afraid because of the fact that some money had already been paid to Ohio Northern. I did sit them both down and we discussed Kent State. The size of the school was a major concern and the fact that it is so close to home. I also was too late in enrolling into the college of nursing. So I picked a major and at the time I think it was something to do with social type work. I had to work on my electives and take a few classes that would allow me to even be considered into the school of nursing also. They finally agreed to let me go to Kent State but I was not allowed to live at home and commute. So I applied to Kent State and was accepted. Because it was later in the summer and I was late with paper work and applications compared to the other students that had enrolled at Kent State the only dorms open for me to live in where the honors dorms. The thought of living in the honors college did not excite me to say the least. I do have to say that I was very judgmental of the honors students and thought they would be very boring. I did meet a lot of great people and it ended up not being bad at all. I even stayed in the honors college my second year at Kent State.

School was never my strong suit. I struggled in high school with classes and this continued into college and the ACT. I was used to having tutors and spending more time than the average person studying for a test. I was about average or a bit higher in high school with grades but never the straight A student. If I was interested in a class I did great if it was a class like Spanish that I really cared less about it showed. The point of telling this about me is because when I would talk of being a nurse the comments for me where never encouraging. I was constantly told that going into nursing would be too hard for me, I would struggle, and I needed to find something that I may exceed in. Blah, blah, blah. What these people don’t know is that if I want something bad enough I will make it happen and you will not stop me. That is just me and my personality. I was able to reduce my hours so I could concentrate on fewer classes at one time I also would take classes in the summer. All in all I did graduate with a BSN degree from the college of nursing in May of 2001. Yes, I was in college a long time but the most important thing is I did it!
While at KSU I started in the Honors dorms and lived there for 2 years. My roommates were Erin and Elaine. We did have a fourth (I was in a quad) but she ended up meeting other people and moved out of the quad and into another room. Erin, Elaine and I were together for three years. The third year we got an apartment at Holly Park. I was not a big party person. We went to bars downtown on occasion but that type of a scene is just not my thing. (I am not just saying that in case my mom and dad read this eitherJ) To this day I am not a drinker. Alcohol and I do just not mix well together. I also do not like the taste or smell of it. We had more fun in our dorm rooms or hanging out with people in our apartment.
After our third year together we were starting to change. Erin was dating someone as was I at the time. I wanted to separate in some ways from both Erin and Elaine. This is when I moved into Dartmouth Place apartments. I moved into a one bedroom apartment……
Soon the fun stuff (meeting my husband begins...)

Monday, April 21, 2008

Out of lurking!

I am a lurker! Yes, you read that right and I am admitting it! I have been for the past month lurking and reading many blogs. These blogs have inspired me to start my own blog and share our story with family, friends and our children. I thought what a great way to share my thoughts, feelings, sad times, happy times, family times with our kids. I hope that Joey and Gabrielle will someday look at this blog and feel closer to me as their mom and the way I was feeling as I raised them.

So to the following people, who’s blogs I frequent often “thank you” for sharing your lives and I am inspired by all of you to create this blog.

These are the blogs that inspired me: (Steece’s Pieces) (Seven clown circus) (the view from our house)

I love a good book! So I feel that in order to do my blog sequentially I will be starting my blog in the past. Although it is 4-2008 this blog will be going back in the past to the year 2000. I will not be doing 365 days from the past 8 years, but will be sharing the highlights of my life that have helped to shape me into the person that I am today.

Check out my Slide Show!

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