Friday, May 31, 2013

End of the Week Roundup

Another week, another EOTWR! 

1. Dave and I booked a mini vacation for a few days over July 4th. I can't tell you how excited I am for it. It was so nice because I had mentioned it over the weekend and I figured Dave either ignored me or forgot about it. Then Wednesday morning Dave surprised me by telling me to book the room and that he'd take care of it. Obviously I'll be posting about it afterwards, really, really can't wait!!!!

2. This week was the week of amazing kitty pictures. I love my boys, they make my world go round: 
Upper Right: Nibbler proving, once again, as long as he gets loves, he will lay whatever way he wants. He is the epitome of "If it fits, I sits"...Lower Left: Squish, who ALWAYS sleeps with his mouth wide open. 
3. I took Tuesday off work because I was suffering from some major allergy issues. It also happened to be raining pretty hard so Dave only worked a half day, which was a nice surprise. We spent the whole day sitting on the couch watching movies and just chilling out. Aside from Dave yelling at me to quit scratching my allergy rash on my dry legs, it was a good day. Yes I have ashy, rash-ridden legs, I'm sexy and I know it! Haha!

4. This memorial day weekend I not only got to spend time with my family, some of them I haven't seen in a while, but good friends too. It was so nice to catch up and chat with everyone.  

This is my Aunt Steph, we always joke that she's my "real" mom and that my own mom is just a cover up because we look so much alike, and we have many of the same mannerisms. Twinsies, anyone? 

5. One of the movies that Dave and I watched Tuesday was "The Impossible" and holy cow was it a good movie. It was emotional, heart breaking, heart warming (is that possible in two movies? yes!!), and amazing all rolled up in a little under two hours. It's a true story about a family who were vacationing in Thailand when the 2004 tsunami hit. It's amazing the strength of love, courage, loyalty and compassion one person can have. The tsunami destruction scene will take your breath away. It won't be easy, but you if you do watch this movie, I guarantee it will affect you one way or another. Go rent it!!!

That's it for this week. Enjoy your weekend and next week! 

I'm trying something new this week too! Linking up with Lauren at Lauren Elizabeth for High Five for Friday! I've mentioned how awesome she is previously here.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Squishee and his "Meece"

Squish is my "serious" kitty, ironically enough, he is also my playful kitty. Nibbler is the lover, the cuddler. Squish likes to play games; for example, nearly every night when it is time to go upstairs to bed he and I "race" to the top. Whoever reaches landing first wins. The only time I ever win is if I cheat by pretending to throw one of his mice or if he stops at the last step at the top and lets me win. Other times he lets me think I'm winning and then as I reach out to tap the landing I'll see a flash of a paw hit it right before me.

Another thing Squish likes to play with is his "meece", which are little mice that make noise when you shake them. Dave and I call them meece because Dave blurted it out one day instead of mice, and the name just stuck. He likes to play fetch with them and it is so darn cute. It's also super cute when you give him a new pack or get the ones that are stuck underneath the couch. He's like a little kid at Christmas morning, his face just lights up. I'm constantly buying him a pack whenever I go grocery shopping, something Dave has now banned me from doing since we have so many of them. What can I say? I love seeing my babies happy. 

The other night Dave pulled a few of the meece out from underneath the couch and I decided to take the opportunity to catch a picture of him in action to share with you guys:

Nibbler is in the background like "Hey! Where you going!?!"

Getting this picture was a pain in the patootie but it was pretty hilarious. I'd throw the mouse then throw myself down on the ground and try to take the picture. Let's look at what I have going against me here: 1. I'm already shaky handed with the whole camera thing, 2. I'm not in any kind of shape so doing any type of graceful move to get back down on the ground is out of the question, it's literally just DROP, 3. Squish has no idea what the heck I'm doing and is playing as normal so I have maybe 5 seconds to get this picture. Needless to say it took about ten different pictures and a lot of blank stares from both of my cats. 

When I finally got this shot I jumped up and down with the meece in my hand, and Squish just looked at me like "Ma, throw the mouse!" and Dave wondered if I had lost what was left of my sanity. 

Just a day in the life of a cat lover and awesome kitties....

Monday, May 27, 2013

Pretty in Pink

First things first! Happy Memorial Day!

I normally don't dress up for work, pretty much roll out of bed, do as little as possible to look presentable and then head out the door. Why? Because I'd rather spend the extra 30 minutes in bed than getting dressed up. I know, it's a terrible habit that I need to break but from what I understand when I have kids I won't get any sleep anyway, so why not get all the sleep I can get now? The day that I wore this outfit was one of those rare instances that I wanted to dress up and look snazzy. It probably had a lot to do with the fact that I just got my hair done and my hairdresser taught me a new way to style my hair that I wanted to try out. 

I don't wear skirts very often. In my opinion, there is just something awkward about wearing them. I can't explain why but I'm never really comfortable in a skirt. This particular skirt pictured is the exception to the rule. It's just the right length and its very comfortable, not too tight, not too loose. I love the color too!

I love that it has pockets. There really is nothing bad I can say about it. I would highly recommend it to anyone who was in the market for a one, plus it has a bunch of different colors! I found the skirt because Kate at The Small Things Blog recommended it here, and if she hadn't suggested the gorgeous pink I would have never chose that color. I'm really glad, it just adds a pop of brightness to the day.

Plus, if you get it today, its 50% off! Can't beat that!

Cardigan: old
Shirt: old (similar)
Heels: Forever 21 (no longer available in coral)

Friday, May 24, 2013

End of the Week Roundup

It's Friday!

1. This weekend should be a long weekend for most, including me. With that being said, thank you to all our veterans and those who currently serve.

I don't always think about the true meaning behind memorial day because its become all about the beginning of beach season and sales, so this weekend I'm making the effort to appreciate what the day really stands for, honoring and remembering the people who died serving our country, preserving our freedom. They've made the ultimate sacrifice and are true heroes.

I always try to thank people who have served or family members who lost a loved one who has served or is currently serving; although, I always feel awkward saying it. A few weekends ago my outlook about it changed. I finally realized how much a simple acknowledgement means to these guys. I was at a bridal shower, it was the day before mother's day and a woman was telling me her son was overseas and all she wanted for mother's day was a call from him. I thanked the woman for her son's service and then wished her a happy mother's day and gave her a hug and told her it was for her son in case he couldn't call. She was near tears (and honestly so was I!). The simple little moment meant so much to her, and to me. I'm not going to lie and say I'm totally converted, I'll still feel awkward saying thank you but knowing what a difference those two words make to someone's day will be my reminder how important it is to say it.

2. Monday I came into work and saw this:

It was the cutest site to see and definitely made Monday a bit more bearable.

3. Saturday night Dave and I were out running errands and on our way to dinner we came upon an accident that had literally just occurred a few seconds beforehand (the woman we helped actually passed us a few moments before that). We exited the off ramp and saw a smoking car down the embankment to the left of us, broken pieces of car strewn about the road, and a parked tractor trailer with the front end of the smoking car still hanging on to its rear.

Dave and I pulled over and as we ran up to help the woman in the car, I called 911 and Dave helped the woman get out of her car, who was in a bit of a panic. I won't go into details about all the blood and gore, it wasn't terrible, but it was enough for the weak stomached. We stayed and I chatted with the woman to help her relax her nerves until the police and EMT could arrive. It felt really good to be able to help someone out, and its amazing what instincts kick in when you need them the most. This pic was taken as we walked away from the scene:

4. Pitch Perfect is one of my favorite movies. I love watching it over and over so when I heard Anna Kendrick was doing a remake of "When I'm Gone", the song she auditioned with in the movie, I was super excited. I heard it twice on the way home Thursday on the radio and it was such a treat. My cousin Jaime and her best friend have the whole cup sequence down pat, something I'll never be coordinated enough to do. Here is the video, which is awesome, you really need to check it out, I don't want to give anything away but people are pretty darn creative, if you ask me. If you want to get right to the song, jump to 1:10:

Feel free to put it on repeat, I have! 

5. I read this amazing article this week, and my God does it speak volumes. I'm totally guilty of this: being bored or lonely one day and scrolling through Facebook and having a mini meltdown over someone's seemingly perfect life compared to my own. In fact, last year I was going through a rough time and I had to walk away from Facebook for about two weeks because it was messing with my mood and mind so bad. Life is not perfect, and most people are only going to post the good things in life, I'm guilty of that. In fact, I'm guilty of being on both sides of the fence. 

Like Shauna states, "Let's stop comparing". I think we'd all be a lot happier if we stopped pursing perfection and started seeing what we've been blessed with from the start. 

Can I get an Amen?

Ha ha, enjoy your weekend, and once again Happy Memorial Day!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Easy Powder Room Update

First and foremost, please forgive the quality of the photos. These were taken about two years ago with a cell phone...

I really wanted to update my downstairs bathroom. Its a tiny little room that needed to be personalized and decorated nicely but I just could not figure out what I wanted to do. I really struggled with what to do with this room. My mom had mentioned putting chair rail up in her dining room and it hit me that this might be a nice way to update my bathroom without having to completely revamp everything. And it was so easy and quick to do, we finished it over a weekend. Here is the before pic:

Ignore the lines on the wall, Dave put them there because I am a very visual person and I needed him to draw them so I knew 1.) what it would "look" like with the chair rail in that spot and 2.) I needed to know the highest point I could paint up to. Here is the after pic:

Big improvement, right?

So what we did first was paint the room, up to the first line and let it dry. We painted two coats, one Friday night, then one Saturday afternoon. Then Sunday we put up the chair rail by cutting it to length. To do this, you will need to measure your bathroom walls and stop at your local home improvement store and cut the chair rail that you need. I would recommend cutting more than what you measured to be on the safe side.When you get home, cut the chair rail down to the appropriate length, cutting at a 45 degree angle so the edges connect nicely. I would recommend that if you do not own a chop saw, which is a tabletop saw, rent one from your local store for the day. You can cut the chair rail using a handheld saw but your lines won't be as clean and it will be more labor intensive.

Once you have your chair rail cut, nail it to the wall using a compressor and nail gun, using preferably an 18 gauge finish nail that is 2 1/2 inches long. Make sure your nail is a minimum of at least 2 inches. Again if you don't own a nail gun, just rent one for the day. Once your chair rail is up, you will need to caulk the nail holes and the top edge of the chair rail and seams (the part that connects one chair rail to another). 

Lastly, we painted the chair rail white (we bought the rail that was not pre-painted because it is cheaper and we had leftover white paint that we could use) and let it dry. I added the rug and toilet cover after it was all dried.

So here is the breakdown of how much it all cost:

Chair Rail- $1.48/linear foot--we needed about 14 feet so it cost us approximately $20.72
Quart Paint (for purple section)- $12.98
White paint (for Chair Rail and touch ups)- we used left over from previous rooms, but if you had to buy it you probably wouldn't need more than a quart as well, unless you had to repaint the upper part of the wall too
Caulk- $2.28

Total- $35.98

If you want to add in the new rug and toilet cover I bought to match everything here they are:

Rug- $9.87
Toilet Cover- $7.97

Total Cost including added decor- $53.82

Not bad for a whole new look, huh? It's been two years, I still love the way my bathroom looks. I think it helps I really like the color I picked, which is Gothic Amethyst by Behr.

If you liked the sink, here it is. I didn't include it with the revamp because we put it in when we first bought our house and it was already in when we did the bathroom makeover.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Take Me Home Tonight

Music has always played an influential role in my life (which I'm sure it has for everyone). Music has helped me get through some really tough times and helped mark some amazing times in my life. One of those good moments was the moment I knew I loved Dave and it was all because of this song:

Dave and I had been dating for about three months and I was staying over at his house one night. Back then the only way he could fall asleep at night was if he had music playing. He had thousands of songs downloaded on his computer so he would just turn the computer on and let the music play throughout the whole night. 

On this particular night I woke up from a dead sleep at 2 am and heard this song playing. I had never heard it play on his music list before and I was a bit surprised it was on there. I looked over at Dave sleeping and thought to myself, anyone who has this on their music list is someone I could love, and then this wave of emotion hit me. It started in my stomach and spread through to the tips of my fingers and toes. It felt like I had curled up with a warm, soft blanket on a cold night, or like I had taken a sip of some really good hot chocolate and the warmth of the drink spread through me. I realized at that moment, watching his sleeping face, Eddie Money crooning in the background "I can hear your heart beat faster", that I did love him. It was one of the best feelings I ever had in my life and something that I can still feel when I hear this song, that feeling of knowing you are truly, irrevocably in love. 

Even today, when I listen to this song, I go back to that night and it makes me smile. I purposely had the DJ at my wedding play this as the last song of the night. Dave and I danced, singing it to each other, laughing at our little inside "story". We still turn it on and dance around the house to it, having fun and enjoying our life together. 

So thank you Eddie Money, for making me realize the obvious. 

So, when has music influenced you? 

Friday, May 17, 2013

End of the Week Roundup

I'm noticing a trend with these end of the week life is not as eventful as I thought it to be. Which is most definitely NOT a bad thing. Here are the un-events for the week (haha):

1. The changing of my blog name. I put a lot of thought into whether or not I should change my name. I had everything designed for at least three weeks and I spent countless hours finding just the right font for the header (not to mention downloaded countless fonts!) and just the right color for the page. I was hesitant to change it over and just kept sitting on it, which was frustrating for the part of me that wants everything down NOW and knew this would look good. Saturday I came home after Becca's amazing bridal shower and I just went for it. I sat down and it just hit me that the time had come to take the leap. I forgot how much work was behind designing the layout of my blog, but it was also a ton of fun. And aside from my bestie Joe thinking I named my blog Nicole Mur-ica (like America, but pronounced hillbilly like), it was a great transition!

2. I like getting lost, but only if it is a "controlled" lost. I know what you're thinking, that a "controlled" lost isn't really lost and that it's an oxymoron, but just run with me here. On my way home from the bridal shower, I chose to take a long and unknown way home (with my trusty GPS and google maps ready to save me just in case). Driving through the country-side was fun and the view was gorgeous, made even better by the oncoming storm clouds. I don't know about you but there is something about super dark clouds rolling in a sunny day that I find breathtaking. Anyway, I rounded a corner and one of the most incredible sites lay before me. It was nothing but rolling green hills, speckled by trees and farm animals. I tried to take a picture of it, but once again it doesn't do it justice:

3. I took Monday off after a hectic weekend and at first I had all these plans that I was going to do but when Monday came I didn't do a whole lot of anything, and for once I was totally ok with it. Normally on weekends if I sit on the couch doing nothing I feel guilty about it, but this time I just.......let go. I'm noticing as I get older I'm starting to chill out a little, not a lot (let's not get crazy here!) but I'm definitely starting to relax a little. It's a nice feeling. 

4. Squish loves me, this I'm sure of, but I'm pretty sure he isn't the lovey, cuddly type like Nibbler is and just puts up with me. This became pretty evident this week. When I come home I always pick up both boys and greet them (hello, how was your day, did you miss your mommy, i missed you!) and then give them kisses and a couple belly rubs and put them down. Squish will normally put his ears back and look at me like "get it over with woman" but this week I noticed as soon as I picked him up he would put his ears back and put the top of his head down so I could give him his obligatory kiss and then he'd look at me like, there I did it, get off me. It's hilarious, I even forced Squish to deal with me a few extra times to show Dave and he did it then too. Now don't get me wrong, Squish will cuddle and love me, but he shows his affection more with Dave and I'll get the rare cuddle and purr (mainly when I'm sick). But when it happens, I appreciate it all the more. Notice the paws in the picture below:

Ears back, head down....let's get this done and over with ma
5. Dave came home Wednesday night and asked me if I ever listened to the lyrics of Hootie and the Blowfish's "I only want to be with you" and proceeded to play the song, telling me that most of the verses in the song relate to us (mainly in the first section). It was so sweet, and I love it when he tells me about things that makes him think of us. Maybe he thinks about me half as much as I think about him? Haha, anyway, whenever I hear the song I'll definitely smile and think of our relationship. 

That's all for this week, I'm going to go nurse my sun burnt arms after being outside all day Thursday. I'm as crispy as a piece of bacon! Have a good weekend!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Homemade Pierogies

My mother's side of the family is Polish and whenever my Grandmother (my mom's mother) would come to visit she would always make pierogies for my family. It was something I always looked forward to growing up, and I always knew when she was coming for a visit by the cottage cheese draining in the fridge a few days beforehand.

For mother's day my sister and I normally head up to my mom's house and we just hang out. This year I thought it would be nice to continue on the tradition of making pierogies, so I asked my mom and sister if they wouldn't mind taking on the challenge of making them and being a part of the blog, and thankfully they agreed. I love this recipe and being able to spend quality time with my mom and sister made it even better.

From Left to Right: me, my mom, Cheryl, and my sister, Jessica

So here is the amazing recipe for my grandma's homemade pierogies, make them, and enjoy them!

-3 24 oz containers of dry cottage cheese OR 4% large curd cottage cheese (regular)
-1 egg
-1/2 sweet onion chopped up, softened in pan with some butter (not much, maybe a Tbs)
-salt and pepper to taste
-1/2 cup potato flakes (may need up to a cup depending on how wet your mixture is)

The whole idea of the filling is to make it as "dry" as possible. By dry I mean that it is not running and is thick, see the picture below. To get this you need to start by draining your cottage cheese, if you are using dry cottage cheese (the preferred method) you'll need to put your cheese in a strainer in the fridge for a day or two, mixing it up occasionally to allow the liquid to strain out. If you don't have dry cottage cheese in your area (like me) you can use regular large curd cottage cheese, just drain it for about four days prior to making this. Again, stir it occasionally to strain out the liquid. It may not be 100% strained at this point, its not a big deal we will take care of that later.

You want your mixture thick enough that it hangs on to the spoon like this.
When you are ready to make your pierogies, mix the cottage cheese, egg, softened 1/2 onion and salt and pepper all together. If your mixture is still a bit loose, then add in the potato flakes (the picture above was using regular large curd cottage cheese and adding in the flakes) 1/2 cup at a time. Once this is all mixed up and you are at the desired consistency, set the mixture aside for now.

-4 cups flour
-4 eggs
-pinch salt
-1/2 cup warm water (up to 1 cup), it doesn't have to be a certain temp, just make sure it's warm!
-flour for kneading and working with the dough

Mix the first four ingredients together, you want it to look like this:

If it doesn't add up to another 1/2 cup water, a little at a time. Once it looks like the picture above, place the dough on a clean counter that is sprinkled with a bit of flour (so it doesn't stick to the counter) and knead and play with the dough until it looks like this:

Ok now for the actual pierogi part, how you choose to roll the dough out is up to you, we started by rolling out the entire dough to 1 inch then and then tried cutting the dough using the top of the cup, it didn't work out as well as we'd hoped, so we started cutting off a chunk from the dough ball and rolling each individual pierogi out.

Either way, flatten out a piece of dough, however big you want, to about an inch thick and place a bit of the filling on one half of the dough. Fold it over and pinch around the half moon to seal it all together.

Once you have your half moon, drop it in a pot of boiling water to seal it up. It doesn't need to stay in long, once the pierogi starts rolling in the water take it out and place it on a wire rack to dry. You don't want to crowd the pot, so drop them in as you make them and take them out as you put new ones in. Try not to have more than three or four in the pot at one time.

To store the pierogies, layer them in a tupperware or pyrex container with wax paper between each layer. You can store them in the fridge this way. You can also freeze them, but store them in one layer in the freezer with no wax paper.

The best way to prepare the pierogies when you are ready to eat them is pan frying them with a little bit of butter, but you can also boil them again too. Top with sour cream and enjoy!

Click HERE for a downloadable PDF recipe card!

(The card is a bit plain, but let's not talk about how much time I spent just getting this darn thing on here! Baby steps!)

Monday, May 13, 2013

New Name, Same Game

So if it already isn't apparent, I've rebranded! Yes, that is my name, and it's pronounced Nicole Marissa (what can I say, my Momma wanted me to be different).

A Dramastically Different Life is now Nicole Marica. I'm still working out the kinks of getting forwarded to the new page but everything else is up and running. Here is my new info:


If you have A Dramastically Different Life bookmarked, I would recommend switching the address over to since the redirect is not currently working. 

Hope you like the new look! Let me know your thoughts, I'd love to hear from you!

Friday, May 10, 2013

End of the Week Roundup

This week was the first full week without any classes. Needless to say, what I thought would be a nice relaxing week turned into being busy. Oh well! No rest for the wicked right?

1. I am in the process of "rebranding", changing around my blog name and layout. You'll be seeing the change soon, and I'll give you a heads up closer to the time. I emailed Lauren at Lauren Elizabeth because she just recently rebranded from her old site "From My Grey Desk" to the new one and asked her for some pointers on changing everything around properly. From past experiences emailing fellow bloggers (they aren't always helpful or kind and it always felt a bit like they viewed me as the competition) I assumed I'd get some quick blurb, if anything, in a few days about where to go. Instead I got an extremely informative and helpful response from her in a few hours. She was sweet and kind and everything I had ever imagined or hoped she would be. Her sister is Kate from The Small Things Blog, (aka the Pinterest hair girl) who I happen to follow religiously and both girls are pretty popular and I'm sure very busy. The fact that Lauren not only responded to me quickly but also was helpful and supportive meant so much to me. She completely made my weekend.

2. Dave and I happened to be driving home from work from the same area at the same time on Monday night (he is a carpenter so he works all over the place), he called me on the way home and asked me out to the movies and so ensued an impromptu date night. I love date nights that are on the fly. We saw Iron Man 3 (a must see!) and then went out for some frozen yogurt (I'm not newly obsessed or anything). It was so nice to have a surprise break and just relax, moments like these don't occur very often so when they do, I cherish them.

3. Both of the summer classes I signed up for were cancelled due to lack of enrollment. At first, I was panicking because I was relying on these two classes to graduate at the end of this year, but I'm working on finding the silver lining. I'm still trying to figure out what the heck I'm going to do about a certain English course I need to take, however the second class just needed to be an elective and I think I'm going to use it to take three one-credit courses that interest me: photo shop, stress reduction (ha!), and anatomy of a criminal trial. In fact, I'm pretty excited now about the prospect of taking these classes, but we shall see what the future holds. 
4. Thursday night Dave surprised me with a book as a early mother's day present, unfortunately for Dave, I already had the book he bought me, much to his chagrin. Either way, the fact that he went out of his way and bought me a book is pretty awesome. I'm lucky to have someone that not only allows me to fill a room full of books, but encourages it. 
5.  And lastly proof that my cats will lay wherever and however as long as you rub their stomachs....

Yes, Nibbler is being held up only by Dave, if he were to let go Nibs would fall and this is how Nibbler positioned himself.

That's it for this week. Have a happy mother's day!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Never Know when You'll Need it...

Fair warning, this post is super long, I'm sorry in advance for it, but I felt the story that goes with it is so important that it had to be, so I'm sharing this extremely valuable link today in the hopes that it will help you as much as it did me. I'm also going to include it at the top of my blog for easy access. 

The SPCA offers a very helpful website for pet owners to go to and find out what plants are toxic for their pets. Please, if you have pets, keep it handy. This site saved Nibbler's life last summer, and it makes me shudder to think what could have happened if I wasn't aware of it.

One of my facebook friends posted the link on her wall a few months prior to me needing it, and I remember saving it as a just in case. I noticed one of the toxic plants for cats was lilies, which I had in my front garden. I never thought much about it because Nibs and Squish don't go outside unsupervised so I figured having it in my garden wasn't a big deal.

Last July I brought Nibbler outside with me, he loves being out in the sun and normally just follows me around chewing on the grass as we walk around. I decided to pluck the pollen off my Stargazer Lillies in my garden because I heard doing that would make them last longer. As usual, Nibbler was next to me just chilling in the garden, helpfully eating the grass I needed to weed out. I turned away for a moment and when I looked down Nibbler had taken a bite out of one of the lily leaves. I scooped him up right away and tried to take the leaf out of his mouth but he had swallowed it. I took him back inside and vaguely remembered seeing lilies on the website so I pulled it up again and saw it on there. I called the poison hot line that the SPCA has set up for situations like this and was told to get him to the hospital, NOW.

I took him to the local emergency vet and they took him back right away and I sat in the waiting room with Dave fearing the worst. If you aren't already aware of my insane love for my cats, Nibbler is my heart and soul. He is the first thing I see in the morning, the first one to greet me with his soft purr and cuddles, my day doesn't start without him. We fall asleep curled up into each other, my day doesn't end without him. And in between? We are inseparable, if I'm home and he isn't dozing on Dave's lap, he's with me, following me around. What if I just lost one of the few things in this world that I have a connection to? Terrible thoughts kept racing through my head: this was all my fault; if I had been paying attention...; if only I had made him get out of the garden; what am I going to tell Squishee if we lose Nibbler?

About an hour later the vet came out and told us that they gave Nibbler some charcoal and made him throw up the leaf but that we weren't out of the woods yet because the toxin from the lily plant could already be coursing through his body and shutting down his liver. She told us they had  to keep him for three days and take daily blood tests. She said we had a 50/50 shot of Nibbler being ok but that if he wasn't we would have to decide between getting him very expensive dialysis, which only has a 50% shot of working or putting him down. It was one of the absolute worst moments of my life. I would lose everything, my house, my car, my job, EVERYTHING, to save Nibbler if I had to.

We had to go home without our Nibsy and there was a hole in my heart. I felt so empty and lifeless. I cried everyday, all day. When I was home Squish could tell something was up, he wouldn't leave my side. Dave and I went to the vet everyday and sat with Nibbler in one of the rooms for a few hours. Nibbler would just lay there sleeping on my lap or cuddling with Dave. You could tell he wanted to go home but he was being strong for us, he was so calm when he was there. He wasn't jumpy or jittery, like he normally is, he would just lay there and melt himself into our arms while we were there.

On the third day they gave us the good news, Nibs would be ok, all his tests came back good and we could take him home. First thing we did when we brought him home was give him a bath to get all the charcoal off of him (thank God he doesn't mind water). He wasn't happy but was super quiet the whole time. About an hour after we had him out of the bath he walked up to Dave and I and just dropped on his side (he does that as a greeting, it's kinda like the fainting goats), rolled on his back and purred. It was the best sound I ever heard in my life. I will never forget that moment or the sweet melody of his purr. It filled the emptiness in my soul that was caused by this whole mess and made me feel like everything was really going to be ok.

The vet told us that it was the quickness of getting Nibbler to the hospital that saved him. She said if we had waited any longer than an hour or two we probably would have lost him.

Timing is everything

I hope you'll never need to use the link, but keep it handy for just in case.

He is my North, my South, my East, my West; my working week, my Sunday rest

Monday, May 6, 2013

A Picture an Hour

I've seen fellow bloggers do a picture an hour blog post and I thought it would be neat to try. I enjoyed taking the pictures, it helped me to look at things from an artistic point of view (like, hey that would make a good picture!) and it also forced me to be active when I would otherwise just be sitting on the couch, playing on the computer. I stopped at 3 because then I got busy with making dinner...and watching TV.

8 am

9 am- Nibbler playing with the string on my sweatpants

10 am

11 am

12 pm- Squishee meowing at me while I weeded

1 pm- Making homemade tea for Dave and I 

2 pm- Playing around with blog stuff

3 pm- Starting dinner, which is also going to be an upcoming recipe!

Friday, May 3, 2013

End of the Week Roundup- Nephew Edition

I had my two nephews, who are two and three, this past weekend. Todays' EOTWR focuses on the time Dave and I spent with the boys.

We picked them up Friday night and then we dropped them off Sunday afternoon. Not to state the obvious or anything, but kids are a lot of work. I don't know how parents do it everyday, day in and day out. Dave and I barely made it 12 hours before every bone and muscle in our body ached and we fell asleep the minute we sat down on the couch or a chair. Having the boys this weekend was a really fun time, but I was definitely missing my independent, quiet life.

1. On Saturday we went to Strasburg Railroad, which the boys were pretty excited about:

It was such a fun time. The boys got to ride the big train and then they had a smaller "Pufferbelly" one that you could sit in.

Lucas enjoying the Pufferbelly train
There were also "cranky cars" that moved when you cranked a handle. It was tough getting Jacob off the cars, he had a meltdown every time he had to get off, which is to be expected from a two year old, but it definitely humbled me and made me respect parents who have to deal with meltdowns on a regular basis even more.
Jacob (L) and Lucas (R) loving the Cranky Cars

2. As exhausting as it was, I loved watching Dave interact with the boys. When it comes time for me to stop being selfish and for us to start a family, I know he will make an incredible dad. He was patient and kind to the boys, I started calling him Uncle Softie because those boys had him wrapped around their finger.

Every time I see this, it warms my heart
3 .We both read to them, Dave grabbed a book I already had in my "library" and I bought a book Friday that I knew was going to be a hit, "Press Here". I'll go into more detail about that awesome book in another post but for now, I'll let the pictures do the rest of the "talking" here:
Engrossed in Uncle Dave's story
Jacob: "Whoa the bubbles moved!"
4. I really like my neighbors, but I never knew how much I LOVE my one neighbor until she came to my rescue this weekend. What didn't this woman do? She came over Saturday with her son, who is three, and made PB&J for the boys and let Lucas and Jacob play on her son's swing set. When I ran out of juice she came over with a new bottle of apple juice so we didn't have to run out; when Lucas wouldn't eat she suggested some ideas and even brought over soup and crackers for him to eat. The boys have allergies really bad so they had runny noses, she brought over a nose sucker and a Vicks dehumidifier for the boys. But she didn't stop there, she even rubbed their chests with Vicks baby rub so they could sleep comfortably. This woman was a God-send this past weekend. I'll never be able to thank her enough or show my appreciation for her kindness.

5. When Jacob gets sad he sticks his lower lip out, it's the cutest thing in the world, partially due to the fact that Dave does that to me when he wants something. I taught Jacob how to do the face when he's in a good mood (he has no idea that the does this when he cries) and bribed him to give me the face every time he wanted something from me. Lucas jumped in and started doing it too when he saw how much I loved it when they did it. Here is a pic of them being goofy and giving me the "face":

Giving me the "look"


6. I was super tired on Sunday after we gave the boys back to their mom, and I couldn't wait to get  home and clean up all the crushed crackers on my couch and floor and revel in the peace and quiet. Then I walked into my quiet house and I kinda missed the chaos. Don't get me wrong, I'm good not having babies for a little while but this whole weekend I questioned whether I would want to deal with all this on a regular basis and the constant answer was "I don't think so", but then when it was all said and done, I missed the boys and the craziness of the weekend.

I love the shirts their mom packed for the weekend!

Cause at the end of the day, isn't it smiles like this that make it all worth it?

And on that note, I'm out! See you all Monday!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013


So we all have our favorite something, favorite color, favorite band, favorite food, etc. I have a favorite word...I'm curious to see if anyone else does...fair warning, this post is a little off the wall, just go with me here.

Anyway, having a favorite word doesn't mean I use it every chance I get, it just means I like the way it sounds, the way it rings in your ears. I like the way it rolls off the tongue, and in the particular case of my favorite word, the way it sounds exactly how it would sound when you do something that would describe it.

So what is the word? It's CRISP.

Think about it, when (if) you bite into a crispy piece of bacon, what sound does it make? CRISP! When you say the word out loud, what sound comes out? Its pretty close to biting into a crunchy piece of bacon!

It's not just the sound that crisp makes though, its the memories and the thoughts that the word brings to mind. When fall begins, the leaves begin to change and the air is crisp it reminds me of hot chocolate, warm fires and everything else that makes me happy about fall. So when I think of crisp, I'm reminiscent of many things that I enjoy in life.

Dave says that when I say "crisp" that it sounds different from how others say it because I emphasize the "s" and the "p" separately. I noticed I do that too, I think its because I just really love the way it sounds. you have a favorite word, or am I just nuts?