You Only Live Once, This Is How I'm Doing It!

Month: October 2009

Happy Halloween!

Princess Phoebe

Yes, I’m one of those dog owners. She looks so ridiculously cute though, I can’t help it!

Growing up I never really celebrated Halloween so it has never very important to me. This year we got into it a little bit though and carved our first pumpkin ever! It was really fun.

I hope you enjoy our little video. Have a safe a happy Halloween!

I Heart Mario Kart

So this video is kind of old but I just found it and I looove it! Enjoy.

P.s. If anyone has Mario Kart for Wii I’d love to play you online. Message me your friend ID and I’ll kick your butt at a race or two. *wink*

My Baby Girl

No, I don’t have any announcements that include morning sickness and weight gain. Joel and I got a little baby girl this past May. She weighed just an itty bitty 2lbs when we brought her home. She soft and furry and the cuddliest little thing you’ve ever met. Introducing…

Miss Phoebe Lou

Phoebe six weeks

Here she is at about 5 weeks old.

When we went to the breeder (Country Pups in Durand, Il) to look at the litter there were four female puppies. One was already spoken for so we had our choice of the other three. They were of course adorable, as all puppies are, and we took them out of their box to play with them to see if we felt a special connection with any one of them. After awhile, one by one the puppies got sleepy and whined and scratched at their box to get back in. Except Phoebe that is. She crawled into Joel’s lap and curled up and fell asleep. Just like that we were both in love. So while we may like to think we chose her, I think it’s much more fair to say that she chose us.

At eight weeks we brought her home.

bringing her home

So tiny!

It’s a two hour drive from the breeder’s to where we live but she was a good little girl and didn’t even pee on me!

Here are a few highlights over the past few months.


Her first bath. She hated it, lol.


She seriously is the most cuddly puppy I’ve ever met.

phoebe out for a walk

She loves going for walks. She has finally stopped eating ev.ery.thing. in sight.

sweet puppy

Look at that sweet face!

She’s now almost eight months old. I can’t believe how fast she’s grown and turned into this sweet little dog! She’s still super tiny, my best guess is she’s about 3 1/2 – 4 lbs. However, she’s not one of those obnoxious, yappy little dogs. In fact, she barely barks at all. Everyone who meets her loves her, even people who don’t like little dogs.

Her only fault is she’s not 100% reliably housebroken. I blame us for that since we tried to litter box train her at first. Yeah… she’s a dog… that was a bad idea. Anyway, at about 20 weeks we stopped that and are still retraining her. She’s pretty good about going outside but she’s not good at telling us she has to go out. *sigh* If anyone has any advise we’re more than open to it!

Other than that I couldn’t ask for a more loving, well behaved little baby dog. I’m sure you’ll be hearing more about her in the future since she goes with us anywhere she’s allowed. So now you’ve been introduced and I hope you grow to love her as much as we do. She’s our baby and we’re super lucky she chose us.


Dear Body Clock,

I can’t be too harsh with you because I can definitely see where you might have gotten mixed messages. With all the travel between time zones across the country and around the world we’ve done in the last couple of years, even the best of body clocks could have easily been thrown off. I’m actually not sure what time zone you believe us to be in. So, to clear up any further confusion, we now live in Chicago which is in the Central time zone. I’m not going to lie, we won’t always be in Chicago, I plan on continuing to travel as often as possible. However, that does not give you permission to pick and choose any time zone you please when it comes to sleeping time. It’s very simple: Night time = Sleep time, Day time = Activity time. Thank you for your understanding and prompt cooperation in the matter.

Your should-be-sleepy-but-isn’t friend,


Bring it, Chicago

I love warm weather. There’s nothing I like more than being able to keep my windows open at all times and walk around in shorts and a t-shirt. I suppose I get it from my mother. She was born in California and has always instilled in me a love for warm weather and the ocean.

Unfortunately, I live in Chicago.

Don’t get me wrong, I love Chicago. I think it is one of the best cities in the world. It’s a magical city, especially in the summer. I like to think that Chicago’s crappy weather is it’s own form of population control. I’m pretty sure, if it weren’t for the winters, everyone would want to live here. Anyone who has been to Chicago in the winter knows, Chicago winters are no joke.

Normally around this time of year I bemoan the loss of summer. This year we got an extra special treat and fall started in August (what the heck?!) so I’ve had a while to get used to the idea. I’m resigning myself to the fact that my short wearing days are over for the season and I’ve already unpacked my sweaters and coats. It’s been a mental struggle because I’m really not ready to let go of summer yet, probably mostly due to the fact that it only lasted approximately 12 days this year.

However, futilely clinging to the idea of summer as I watch the multicolored leaves swirl around outside my window only makes me miserable. There are a lot of great things to look forward to about the impending winter months. So, in an effort to remain positive and embrace my life (with which I am actually quite happy) I am going to list the top 10 things I am looking forward to.

1. The Holidays

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays, rivaled only by Christmas. I love the food and curling up afterward, visiting with family, and enjoying the warmth that just seems to emanate from those holidays.

2. Decorating our apartment for Christmas

I have a feeling we’ll be starting early this year. I’m making myself wait until at least November 1st but after that I can’t guarantee that I’ll be able to contain my excitement. Speaking of excitement…

3. Christmas shopping

I have to admit I have already started. I’m the kind of person who is obsessed with buying the “perfect” present for each and every person. I bought my first present of the year back in July. There is just something about finding something that you know each person would like or that they said they wanted in passing and then surprising them with it later. I am, one hundred percent, a believer in “it’s more blessed to give than to receive.” The whole process is exciting, from finding that “perfect” gift, to wrapping it, to watching them open it. I’m a dork.

4. Snow

I don’t care. This year I’m just going to get excited about it. I know it’s coming so I accept it, welcome it even. It’s so pretty when it’s falling and the earth looks all fresh and new. Plus, this year we don’t have to park on the street (hallelujah!). I’m also excited to see Phoebe’s face the first time she steps out into it. I expect it’s going to be classic.

5. Christmas music and movies

Again, November 1st can’t get here fast enough.

6. Ice skating

I can’t wait to go ice skating downtown. Last year Joel and I kept planning on doing it but it was just too cold or we were too lazy on the few days it wasn’t far below zero. This year I’m determined not to let that happen.

7. My birthday

That is always something to look forward to about winter. January 17th, mark your calendars. *wink*

8. Getting warm

One of the best things about being out in the cold is coming back in and getting warm again. There is nothing quite like the feeling of coming in from the frosty weather, putting on warm pjs, fluffy socks, and a fluffy robe then snuggling up on the couch with a blanket and someone you love. Cold weather = snuggle weather = happiness.

9. Not flying

I’m a flight attendant but this winter I’m on furlough which means I won’t be working any trips. This means my life is not dictated by every flake of snow or patch of ice. It will be a wonderful feeling to hear of an impending blizzard and not have to double check that my bags are packed so I can leave at a moments notice.

10. Getting away

While I’m being as positive as possible, I know there are going to be days that I just can’t stand another day of sub zero temperatures. That’s where being a flight attendant comes in. I won’t be working this winter season but I still have my travel privileges and I plan on taking advantage of them when I need it most. Last year I escaped with my sister to Hawaii. There’s just something about looking forward to warmer weather that makes all the ice and snow bearable. I’m not sure where my escape will be to this year. Anyone have any good ideas?

So there you go. I’m done complaining about the cold, snow and ice. I love my life and right now my life is here and it includes winter. My mind is made up, I’ve decided to enjoy it. I think next summer will be that much sweeter as a result.

I Should Probably Just Get Over It

I am a Facebook addict. I admit it. But this post is not about that.

This post is about something I find strangely weird and uncomfortable about Facebook. That is, having my immediate family on my friends list. Not so much my brothers and sisters, most of the time we’re more like friends anyway. It’s my parents. For some reason having my mom and dad as my Facebook friends is just strange.

The thing is, I can’t place my finger on why it’s so odd to me. I mean, I have many friends on Facebook. Some are even my parents’ age. Doesn’t bother me. It’s also not that I think they’re going to discover something about me that they don’t already know. We’re a close family. Plus, I’m pretty much a what-you-see-is-what-you-get kind of a girl.

So far I haven’t had to deal with it much. Until recently only my mom had a Facebook account. She basically never gets on because she’s a teeny bit busy raising her six kids. Oh, and the nursing degree she’s in her senior year of getting. Have I mentioned my mom kicks ass? My mom is probably the coolest woman alive but there’s still that tiny part of me that cringed ever so slightly when she created her account.

Then there’s my dad. I had no idea he’d even heard of Facebook. My dad has many talents and interests but social networking was never one of them. Then a friend invite popped up on my homepage.

facebook_silhouette Jim Staub

There’s no picture. Just a name. Very little information on the account. But I’m pretty sure it’s my dad. Or at least someone pretending to be my dad. But I would guess an impostor would ad more than the bare minimum to their profile page. Still, I can’t be 100% positive. It just seems so out of place for my dad, of all people, to join Facebook. Of course I accept. Because I’m a good daughter, and even more so because I do love my dad. But it’s still just a little strange.

My dad has one status update: “Jim Staub is trying to understand facebook :/” At least he has the “status grammar” correct, which is more than I can say of a lot of Facebook users. Where the heck did he learn to make that emoticon? It’s still surreal so the other day, when my family was hanging around, I remembered to ask him about it.

“Oh hey Dad, is that really you on Facebook?”

He jerked his head over his shoulder and exclaimed “Where?!”

Joel, my siblings and I laughed until our stomachs hurt and tears were running down our faces.

I guess my parents being on Facebook isn’t going to affect my life that much after all.

Change Hearts, Not Laws

pregnantbellyAbortion is a huge issue. It shapes some people’s entire worldview. I personally know people who would not vote for Obama, even though they agreed with a lot of what he stands for, simply because of his pro-choice stance. I remember, growing up, how much I heard about this issue. I was constantly told life begins at conception and therefore it should be any decent human’s goal to overturn Roe v Wade. I happen to agree with the idea that life begins at conception. I think all life is precious and hate the idea of it being lost for any reason including abortion.

There is a problem with simply changing laws though. According to the BBC, a survey done by the Guttmacher Institute found that:

“…abortion occurs at roughly equal rates in regions where it is legal and regions where it is highly restricted.

It did note that improved access to contraception had cut the overall abortion rate over the last decade.

But unsafe abortions, primarily illegal, have remained almost static.”

Also, the New York Times reports:

“A comprehensive global study of abortion has concluded that abortion rates are similar in countries where it is legal and those where it is not, suggesting that outlawing the procedure does little to deter women seeking it.”

This was based on studies the World Health Organization did together with the Guttmacher Institute.

Is the best answer telling people that they may not have an abortion? It doesn’t seem to be.¬† If people are desperate enough, they will do just about anything to get an abortion and too often that leads to not only the death of the baby but the mother as well. How is that better?

I believe the focus should be on education and making contraceptives more available and affordable. When I was living in The Netherlands I decided I wanted to go on birth control. I was written a prescription for six months worth of birth control pills, which I had to pay for out of pocket. The cost? Fifteen euros. That’s about twenty US dollars. Anyone can afford that. I just talked to my sister who recently had her birth control prescription filled in California. The cost there? Thirty five US dollars for just one month! Luckily, she has insurance and the cost to her was far less, but there are something like 47 million uninsured Americans. What are they supposed to do? Hope the condom doesn’t break I guess… The Netherlands has the lowest abortion rate in the world. The US has one of the highest. You do the math.

I believe it’s ridiculous to put ideology over life and safety. I was raised in the church and took an abstinence pledge when I was young teenager. For me it worked. I wasn’t some people’s definition of perfect. I had a few boyfriends and let’s just say we definitely did more than hold hands. But I waited to have sex until I married my amazing husband. However, that is not the case with everyone who vows to save it for marriage.

Two of my sisters also took the abstinence pledge. They both got pregnant before they were 16. Abstinence only education doesn’t work. Look at Bristol Palin for God’s sake! The problem comes when parents stick their heads in the sand and refuse to acknowledge that their horny teenager might have sex. They refuse to teach them how to use condoms or take them to the doctor to get birth control because they see that as an ok to go out and do whomever they feel like. It doesn’t surprise me at all that¬† teen birth rates are highest in most religious states. Accepting the truth and trying to prevent an undesirable outcome isn’t an endorsement, it’s just being realistic.

My sisters were fairly lucky. We’re a very close family and I’m happy to say that no matter what any of us did, said or believed, my parents would still love us and be there for us. But not all pregnant teens are that lucky. Faced with being disowned and living on the streets or getting rid of a child you don’t even know, what would you choose? Even with the great support system my sisters had they still were looked down upon and lost friends. One sister was even asked not to attend her church’s youth group anymore once they found out she was pregnant. The father of her child however, was still welcome to come…

The answer is not changing the law. It’s preventing unwanted pregnancies in the first place. It’s also loving those that do get pregnant and helping in practical ways like donating food, clothes and time. It’s making it easier to get babies adopted into loving homes. Laws hardly ever stop someone from doing what they have their mind set on. The only thing that will save babies’ lives is a change of heart.

But We Don’t Need Healthcare Reform

Gah! Stories like this make me want to shake certain people.

A healthy, four month old baby boy, that only consumes breast milk, is considered obese and denied health insurance. This is wrong on so many levels. It makes me angry. It also frustrates me that the same people who claim to be pro-life don’t support health reform legislation. They call it socialist, communist or even Nazi. Because insuring a healthy, chubby baby is such a wacky idea. That baby is already born so it doesn’t deserve protection, right? Wait…

Luckily, because of all the bad publicity the insurance company decided to change their decision. Out of the goodness of their hearts, right? I’ll bet. The problem is, there are too many people that are being denied coverage for shitty reasons just like that little baby. Things that may or may not be out of their control. Once diagnosed with something you may as well start a savings account in case you get really sick. Because even if your insurance company keeps taking your money for years, the minute you get really sick there are people whose sole job is to find any stupid little reason not to pay for your health care. Don’t believe me? Ask him, or her, or these people, or her… The list could go on and on.

But wait, it may *gasp* cost healthy people a bit more. Not that! Don’t make me help my fellow man! Don’t force me to act Christ-like or anything. *rolls eyes* The funny thing is, the people I know who support heathcare reform the most are usually non religious. The religious folks… well hopefully their tithe money is going to good use because they don’t want another cent taken. Not all Christians of course are against healthcare reform and not all non religious folks support it. But in my experience, far too many Repulican/ Conservative/ Right wing/ Christians/ Whatever you want to call them are too busy protesting abortion to realize there are men, women and children who are already born that need help. Why don’t they matter?

I don’t care if you’re a Republican or a Democrat. I don’t consider myself part of either party. I don’t care if you’re a Christian or not. This is a human issue not a political one. See, it’s easy to be dismissive about healthcare until something bad happens to you or someone you love. I’ve been uninsured. It sucks and it’s terrifying. Thank God I’m a healthy person and nothing horrible happened to me but I never want to be in that scary place again. This is why I feel so strongly about this issue. And this is why I can’t understand people who put politics ahead of what is best for the country. Winning an election or keeping a little bit more of your paycheck shouldn’t be more important than a person’s life.

The whole thing makes me sick…

but don’t tell my insurance company.

Meeting My Hero aka Robin Williams

Ever since I was young my favorite actor has been Robin Williams. He can do anything, funny, serious, improvisation… he’s beyond amazing. One of my life’s dreams has been to meet him in person. Joel, being the amazing husband that he is, knew that and somehow managed to get meet and greet tickets to his show in Chicago. Originally the show was supposed to be in March but was postponed due to heart issues. I like to joke that he got so excited to meet me that it gave him a heart attack. *grin* Luckily the show was rescheduled for October 2nd.

The day of the show I was beside myself with excitement. We got there about an hour early and were interviewed for his video, so we’ll have to see later if it makes it on. We had fabulous seats as you can kind of see from this crummy picture taken with my iPhone.

My view of the stage

This was taken before the show since there was absolutely NO personal photography allowed at any other time. The show was of course hysterical.

The best part was after the show. We were ushered backstage and into a little room with cupcakes and cookies. Those were the last things on my mind though. We lined up and got our picture taken with him.

Robin Williams and Us

Ah! This is a picture of one of the best moments of my life! Look at how happy we look.

After the photos we lined back up and had the greet part of the meet and greet. He signed an 8×10 head shot of himself for us and we got to talk to him for a minute. I would like to mention that while he signed Joel’s “Best wishes”, he signed mine “Love”. Does it mean something? I’ll let you decide for yourself.

I can’t really tell you what we talked about. I’m pretty sure whatever I said came out “Urg, ble, blah blah, eee, eh.. you’re amazing.” Not an exact quote but that’s pretty close. It was just beyond incredible.

I can now cross that off my list of things to do before I die. Seriously, meeting him was on there. Now I just need to do a movie with him… and considering my witty banter with him (see above) I’d say I have a pretty good shot.

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén