Sunday, January 30, 2011


Okay, so this week pretty much sucked!  I didn't make ANY of my goals this week.

TO LOSE WEIGHT:  I gained 1 lb this week.   This week was a pretty tough week for me.  I was in a cruddy mood all week.  I think it's the dieting, plus the FREEZING COLD TEMPERATURES and not being able to go out.  And if you knew me, you'd know that I am NOT a home body.  I get cabin fever very easily.  But I also HATE the cold weather.  So if I don't have to go out in it, I won't.  That's not a good combination for someone that doesn't like to be home all of the time.  Plus, I didn't drink my water this week AT ALL.  I only went to the gym one day.  So my goal for next week?  To drink at least 3 glasses of water a day - already had 2 so far today; and to go to the gym at least TWICE next week, since I only went once LAST week.  So now I have to lose 4 lbs to reach the Weight Watchers initial goal of 14 lbs.  That really sucks.  But oh well, it is what it is.  Time to put that behind me and start over this week.  Wish me luck!  Sounds like I'm going to need it!

TO BE MORE ORGANIZED: I've been writing everything down again in my calendar.  I also switched purses, (a Thirty-One Purse, of course!), so now I can carry my calendar with me in my purse.  The other purse I was carrying, as much as I LOVED it, it wasn't big enough for my calendar.  Now this one is, plus it's one of the new styles, and I like it very much.  So I've been keeping my calendar up to date.  That's at least something I did right last week!

TO WRITE MORE: Again, this is my 3rd post for last week, so I didn't get to the 4 posts like I wanted to.  I'll try to make it this week.  

TO DO BETTER IN MY BUSINESS:  Real Estate:  So last week at our Office Meeting I signed up for 4 Service Desks for February.  What that means is you go in the office for 3 hours at a time and answer the phones or meet with anyone that comes in during your time.  In all of the years I've done them, I've only gotten 2 clients off of it, but I like doing them because it makes me go into the office and concentrate on work for at least those 3 hours.  Plus, I never really did it very religiously in the past anyway.  But we can sign up for 4 of them a month, so I plan on doing 4 EVERY SINGLE MONTH.  I also signed up for my Business Planning Session with my Broker.  That means that we sit down and talk about my plans for this year and what I'm going to do to accomplish them.  So that's set for 2/11 at 10:30 am.  That means between now and then I have to print out the Business Plan Form and really sit down and work on it and come up with some ideas to help me meet my goals for this year.  I also ordered some pens with our name and logo on them.  They should be here in the next week or two.  Once they get here, I ordered 500, I will plan on passing them out as much as possible.  The last thing I did is agree to make a donation for our Silent Auction at Andrew's school.  It's a big thing we do every year, The Winter Festival.  This year's theme is HOLLYWOOD.  I will donate a gift certificate for the Silent Auction.  I'll also include some business cards and the new pens I just bought!  That's not until 2/25, but they'll advertise in the school newspaper that I made a donation, so that'll get my name and information out there.

Thirty-One:   One of the people I talked to last week about having a party scheduled one for 2/20.  So I'll get her packet together this week and give it to her to help her get ready for it.  I'm excited about it.  The new catalog comes out 2/1 and there are a lot of new items and prints.  Plus, a lot of them are very "springy" and you all know I'm ready for Spring!  I also talked to 3 other people about having a party.  So hopefully at least 1 of them will have one.  I am going to make a 31 donation to the Silent Auction too for school.  I purchased 31 pens when I ordered the Semonin pens, so that'll be included in the donation as well.  One last thing I'm considering:  I'm thinking about having an Open House later in the month.  One of my friends sells candles, and they're AWESOME.  Another one of my friends sells Tupperware and Avon.  So I'm thinking maybe if I have an Open House with all 3 of us, then maybe we'll get more people to come because they can check them all out at one place.  What do you think?  Do you think that's a good idea, or should I just scrap it?  

So that's the update for last week.  Hopefully this week will be better.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


Okay, for those of you that go to church every Sunday and think that it's the most important thing in the world, then you're not going to like this post very much.  Because I DON'T go to church every Sunday.  As a matter of fact, I very rarely go.  I used to go.  All the time.  I was raised to go every. single. Sunday.  No matter what.  And even when I was in college, I still continued to go almost every Sunday.  I went to the Newman Center at EKU and we had an AMAZING Priest there.  He made us all want to go to church.  He always had something important to say.  And he always made US feel special and important.

But then I graduated.  And I did go for awhile.  But now I very rarely go.   And honestly, I'm okay with that.  I know I may not go to church every Sunday, but I don't think that makes me a bad person.  I still love my family.  I take care of my kids.  I try to be there for my friends and family when they need me.  I respect people.  I care about people.  I listen to people.  I BELIEVE in God.  I KNOW He's there, and I pray to Him, and I talk to Him when I need to.  And I'm teaching my kids that there is a God, and even though we can't see Him, He is always there for us.  I tell them every day that they're the greatest gift God ever gave me.  But I don't go to church.  

Maybe you think that makes me a bad person.  And you're entitled to your opinion.  But *I* don't think that makes me a bad person.  I know A LOT of people that go to church every Sunday, and I wouldn't want them around my kids.  I know people that think going to church on Sundays makes them better than everyone else.  They think going to church means they can do whatever they want during the week. But they're not really listening when they're there.  They're just THERE so they can say they go.  But during the week, they talk bad about people.  They don't really care about people.  They don't care about others feelings.  They're disrespectful.  They don't listen to the needs of those around them.  But they go to church on Sunday.  So they're a better person than me.

Now don't get me wrong, I know A LOT of people that go to church every Sunday and they're AMAZING people.  My parents for example.  They go to church every Sunday.  They belong to a prayer group that meets twice a month.  My mom belongs to another one that meets once a month.  They're always there to help my brother and I, whatever we need.  When my grandmother was sick, my parents had her live with them for awhile before she went into the nursing home.  And my mom took care of her every day.  When they had friends and family that needed a place to stay when they were in between moves, they opened their home to them.  When their nieces needed help, they helped them.  Because that's what God would have wanted.  So yeah, they go to church and they live the Christian lifestyle every day.  Do they mess up?  Sure they do.  They're human.  But they have good hearts.  They try to do the best they can.  And NOT just during the one hour of church on Sunday.

But I also know a lot of people that DON'T go to church every Sunday and I still think they're amazing role models for my kids.  And I would love for them to spend as much time with them as possible.  My brother for example.  He doesn't go to church on Sundays.  Hasn't for a long time.  But you'll be hard pressed to find a kinder, gentler, more giving person than him.  Yeah, he doesn't go to church on Sundays, but he shows what it means to be a Christian EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.  Just ask the girls he's coached for years and years.  He definitely doesn't do it for the money!  He does it because he loves his job and he loves working with kids and he loves teaching them how to be better ball players.  And they LOVE him.  You can't go anywhere with him without running into a former player or a former player's parent.  And some of his closest friends?  Parents of the girls' he's coached over the years.  He doesn't coach them anymore, hasn't for years, but the parents know what a good person he is and they enjoy spending time with him.   But he doesn't go to church.  So if you think someone that doesn't go to church is a bad person, then you'd never get to know him.  And that's YOUR loss. 

Sunday, January 23, 2011


This is another one of those "I wish I was anonymous" posts.  This has been bothering me for awhile now, so I guess it's time to get it out there and off my chest.  Here's the deal.  Many of you know I joined a new company in October.  It's called Thirty One Gifts.  You can read more about it HERE.  I've let everyone in my family, my husband's family, and all of my friends know about it.   Heck, I've even let YOU GUYS know about it! I know it's a hard time for everyone and everyone is cutting back, but I figure if they're going to buy from 31, they might as well buy from me.  Right?

So I was talking to a family member about having a party and she told me that she is having one for a friend.  Maybe I shouldn't be, but I've been really upset about it.  I've heard this same person say, on more than one occasion, that "we're family" when she wants or needs something.  But I guess that only applies to her.  I keep thinking, how would she feel if she was doing something like this and I did the same thing to her?  I think she'd be really upset.  And I also think she'd make sure that pretty everyone knew that I wasn't supporting her. So why are the rules different for her?  

I don't know.  Maybe I'm just being selfish.  What do you think?  How would you feel?  Am I overreacting? 

Friday, January 21, 2011


I thought I'd update you on my New Years Goals.

TO LOSE WEIGHT: So far I've lost 11 lbs. That means I have 3 more to go for the initial Weight Watchers goal. And about a bazillion more to go until I'm completely finished. It's very daunting. Not sure I'll make it. I've been making healthier choices in what I've been eating. No chips, no sweets. More fruits and veggies. But that's getting REALLY old, REALLY fast. (And I will tell you that I am taking tonight off. We are having our monthly Game Night tonight and I plan on enjoying the appetizers that I'm making, and having a few drinks as well). I've been trying to drink more water too. So far I've been drinking about 3-4 glasses of water a day. My goal for next week is to increase that to 5-6 glasses of water a day. More water means less diet Coke. I LOVE my diet Coke, but I know water is much better for me. Another thing I've decided to do to help with that goal is to change what I order at restaurants. If I go to a restaurant that serves Diet Pepsi, I am going to order water instead. It may not sound like much, but it's a start, and it's a big deal for me.

TO BE MORE ORGANIZED:  I've been writing down all of my appointments in my calendar, and I've also been putting them in my phone and computer.  I don't think I'll ever be organized at home, but maybe my schedule will at least be organized!  
TO WRITE MORE:  My goal was to write 4 times a week.  This posting is only number 3, so I need to work on that one a little more.  I LOVE to write, my problem is that sometimes I don't know what to write about, and other times I feel like it's just not that important.  But I guess if it's important to me, then that's really all that matters.  So next week, I'm going to write 4 times, and not 3.

TO DO BETTER IN MY BUSINESS:  Real Estate:  This past week we went out on a Listing appointment on Saturday.  After that appointment I met with some potential clients.  They won't be in a position to buy until AT LEAST August, but I met with them to try and get the ball rolling and to see what they need to do to be ready to buy in August.  On Wednesday we had our all company awards meeting.  I didn't win any awards.  But my goal is to join the 20% Club for next year.  That means that I have to do 20% more business than I did last year.  You gotta start somewhere, right?!  

Thirty-One:  I talked to 2 different people about having a party in February when the new catalog comes out.  I also talked to someone else about maybe joining the company because she is looking for a small part time job that she can do along with her other job.  I'll let you know what comes of it.

So that's the update on my goals.  I'll update you again next week.  I figure I'll be more likely to accomplish them if I have to be accountable to someone.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


To go along with my New Years Goal of writing more often, I've decided to follow some other blogs and write about their suggestions.   Shell at Things I Can't Say has Pour Your Heart Out Wednesdays.  I've read some amazing stories on there. 

I would love to pour my heart out.  My problem is, I feel like I have to censor everything I say because I am not "anonymous."  If I was, I could really talk about what I want to without worrying about hurting anyone's feelings, or making anyone mad, or having someone laugh at me and tell me I'm stupid.  But I don't have that option.  Because I'm not anonymous.  

If I was, I could tell you about the fight between 2 people I care about, and how it's tearing me up inside.  I could tell you how I'm so disappointed in C because she has chosen to get in the middle of this fight, even though she doesn't belong there.  In the process she has hurt B, who has done some amazing things for her over the years.  But I guess none of that's important now.  Because A is the side she's "chosen" and B can just pretty much to go Hell and take her money and time and shoulder to cry on with her.  I could tell you how I've "chosen" to be on B's side, but I still love A and would never intentionally do anything to hurt her or make her mad.  

I could also tell you that I'm wondering why *I* have to be the bigger person, when no one else does.  I could tell you that I'm wondering if any of them ever really loved me if they let a fight with someone else, get in the way of spending time with me, or calling me, or checking on me to see how I'm doing.  I could tell you that I'm being just as selfish because I don't make the effort anymore either.  I was told by B to stay out of it and not treat A any differently because it wasn't my fight.  And she's right.  It's not.  So I did stay out of it.  Or at least I tried to, until I found out that it's not just A and B's fight anymore.  Now it seems the rest of the peanut gallery is getting involved in it too.  So if they are, then why can't I?   Does that make me sound petty?  Probably.  Does that make me selfish?  Probably.  Does that make me a bad person?  Maybe. 

But you see, I can't tell you those things, because everyone knows who I am.  And now everyone knows that I am petty, selfish and a bad person. 

Sunday, January 16, 2011


My "baby" boy is nine years old today.  To hear about the "exciting" day he was born, click HERE.

Andrew has been a joy to us from day one.  He is funny, a BIG tease, SO smart, both book smart and "street" smart, and just a joy to be around.  

He is in 3rd grade this year.  And he has an AMAZING teacher.  I told her before school started that Andrew is really smart, but he knows how to "work the system."  (Unfortunately, he's a lot like me.  He's lazy and just does what he needs to get by.  LUCKILY for him, he's smarter than I EVER thought about being).  I told her that he was smart, not because I was bragging, (okay maybe I was bragging a LITTLE!), but because I wanted her to be aware of it and not let him get away with NOT doing his best.  Andrew has had some good teachers, but I never really felt like they "pushed" him as much as they should have.  Last year his teacher told him she felt like he's only using about 60% of his brain.  I was a little ticked.  I thought as his teacher, she should be pushing him to use that other 40%.  We push him at home, but he needs someone to do it at school.  So I didn't want to have a repeat of last year.  (Keep in mind, we were out of the country last year, and my main concern was him fitting in and feeling comfortable and enjoying his time there.  So I didn't want to put TOO much pressure on him, especially since it was only 2nd grade, and I knew there wasn't much he could "lose" in that year).

Back to this year.  I was talking to his teacher a few weeks ago and she was telling me how smart he is.  She said when I told her that stuff at the beginning of the year she thought, okay, every parent thinks their kid is smart.  But she said, "Michelle, he's a genius.  I don't think YOU even know how smart he is, and I KNOW HE doesn't know how smart he is."  Needless to say, I had a hard time getting my big fat head out the door of the school building that day!  

So yeah, he's a smart kid.  He's also a smarta$$ kid!  He likes to tease, but he's better at dishing it out than at taking it.  And he LOVES his sister.  And he's so good with her.  He will play with her and read to her and tell her stories.  He just likes being around her.  He and Jason butt heads a lot, but I think that's normal.  They are as different as night and day.  They literally have nothing in common.  I see a lot Andrew in Sarah and a lot of Jason in Sarah, but I don't see any Jason in Andrew or Andrew in Jason.  And that's okay.  Andrew is his own person.  And luckily for me,  God gave him to me to raise and nurture and try to help him become the best person he can be. 

And I THANK GOD every day, that I'm the lucky Mom that has him.  I love you Andrew.  I will ALWAYS love you.  And I will ALWAYS be here for you.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


I am SO sick of snow.  First let me start by saying that I HATE winter, so I'm kind of biased to begin with.  When I say I hate winter, I mean I HATE WINTER.  With a passion.  There is absolutely NOTHING about it that I like.  Except for Thanksgiving and Christmas, of course.  But after that, I'm ready for it to be over.  And basically, it's just getting started.  

We are on our 4TH snow day.  And it's not even the middle of January yet.  And they're already talking about MAYBE canceling school tomorrow.  ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!  At this rate they'll be going into the middle of June.  And while the kids are thrilled to have the day off, they're also going to be the SAME kids that will be griping and moaning about STILL having to be in school in June.  And I'll be the SAME Mom that will be reminding them that I TOLD them this was going to happen way back in January.  When they thought I didn't know what I was talking about.  When they thought I was just the Mom that wanted to ruin their snow days.  

Did I mention I hate winter?

Monday, January 10, 2011


I know I uploaded a lot of pictures while we were in China, but there were A LOT I took that didn't get uploaded. That's because we had to use a VPN (Virtual Private Network) to connect to Facebook or the blog. Gotta love the Great Firewall of China! :) Because we were connecting through the VPN, it took FOR EV ER to load them. So I didn't load as many as I could have. So I thought I'd load some of them now and tell you what was going on during that time.

As many of you know Ryan's Grandpa came and stayed with us for 2 weeks in February and my parents came and stayed with us for 3 weeks in April/May. We had a GREAT time with both visits. It was so nice to be able to share our life with them. They were able to see what we do every day, and to see that where we were was safe and we were experiencing new things. And they got to experience them too.
I'm going to start with Jack's visit.
This is the monorail that is in the Detroit airport.

I believe he said this was taken over Siberia. Isn't it BEAUTIFUL?!?

Only Ryan and Sarah Beth went to the airport to pick him up.

Grandpa and Sarah Beth at the Pudong airport.

This is looking outside the FRONT of our apartment.

This is out the BACK of our apartment.

It was Chinese New Year when Jack was there. The kids were out of school for the week. This is taken at a place called Yu Yuan. There is a lot of cheap shopping there. There is also a famous Tea House. I'll show you pictures of that later. Last year was the The Year of the Tiger. So there was Tiger stuff everywhere we went. It was VERY cold, and yet there were people every where around us.  It's crazy the amount of people in Shanghai!

Jason, Ryan and Sarah Beth in their winter coats wondering what the heck we're doing there!  And believe me they conveyed their displeasure more than once!

The Year of the Tiger

That's the Tea House in the background.  Look at all the people!

Sunday, January 9, 2011


I make the same resolution EVERY YEAR, and EVERY YEAR I fail. But I might as well be consistent, right?! These are my New Years GOALS:

The one I make every year and fail on:

TO LOSE WEIGHT. I won't even tell you how much I need to lose. Right now, I've started Weight Watchers and the initial goal they gave me is 14 lbs. So we'll start with that. So far I've lost 5 of those 14 lbs. 9 more to go. Actually, about 9 MILLION more to go, but 9 more for my short term goal. Besides, 9 lbs sounds MUCH better than 9 million! :)

TO BE MORE ORGANIZED. Now, for those of you that know me, I have NEVER been organized. And I'm 40 years old. My guess is I'm not just going to wake up at 41 and TA DA, I'm organized! But, at least I can work at it. To help me get started, my bestie bought me a REALLY nice calendar as part of my Christmas present. I guess she has more faith in me than I do! Thanks Laura!

TO WRITE MORE. I LOVE writing. I've loved writing since I was very young. But I don't seem to make the time for it like I did when I was younger. Of course, that could be because I have 2 jobs, a husband and 3 VERY ACTIVE children. But hey, enough with making excuses. My new goal is going to be to write at least 4 days a week. Whether I write for 5 minutes or 50 minutes, I'm going to try to do it at least 4 times a week. I'm the most excited about this goal for 2 reasons. Number 1, it's definitely the most attainable of my goals. And Number 2, I always feel better after I've spent a little bit of time writing. So I think it's a good goal to have.

TO DO BETTER IN MY BUSINESS. I have 2 jobs. (Besides being a Mom of course)! I have been a Realtor for almost 17 years. Wow! Hard to believe it's been that long. And I LOVE that job. My problem is that I'm not as good as I could be. My mom has been a Realtor since I was about 8. And she's much better at it than me. My problem is, I'm not her. And I never will be. She's an AWESOME Realtor. Always has been, always will be. Now don't get me wrong, I'm very good at my job. ONCE I get a client. I know how to take care of them and make sure they get what they need, when they need it. But I have a hard time GETTING the clients. I have a hard time just walking up to someone and saying, "Hi, my name is Michelle and I want to be your Realtor. And let me tell you why I'm the best person for the job." I can't do that. I've NEVER been able to do that. And I doubt I'll EVER be able to do that. But I CAN do Service Desk and other things to hopefully help me get more clients. If you are thinking of moving, I can also help you find a Realtor where you live. You can find out more information HERE.

I just started my other job a few months ago to help bring in more money. I work for a company called Thirty One Gifts. And I LOVE the items they sell. But so far I've only had 2 parties, and I'm not going to make much money at it if I only have 1 party every other month! So my goal is to have at least 1 party a month. That's more than what I've done so far. But again, it's kind of the same problem I have with Real Estate. I have a hard time just going up to people and talking about what I do. I think that's more of a self esteem issue than anything. Actually I KNOW it's a self esteem issue. But, like I said before, I'm 40. I'm not just going to wake up at 41 and have loads of self esteem. It's not going to happen. So I need to figure out how to work around it. And that's why it's a goal I've set for myself for this year. On THAT note, you can find out more about Thirty One HERE. We have lots of items that will be "retiring" to make room for new items which will be available February 1. We are also having our Thermal Tote sale this month. Large Totes are on sale for $10 ($4 savings) and Small Totes are on sale for $8 ($4.50 savings). Plus, personalization on the Totes is only $1.50 which is a $4.50 savings.

So that's it. The big ones anyway. I think I'll keep updating how I'm doing with my goals throughout the year. Maybe if I make myself more accountable, it will be easier to stick to them.



One of the most amazing sights we saw while we were living in China. We lived in Shanghai, but we visited Xi'an one weekend and went to see the Terracotta Warriors. The picture just doesn't do it justice. It LITERALLY took my breath away. It's one of those things you HAVE to see to appreciate. I'm glad we have the pictures, but it's just not the same. But it definitely brings back happy and joyful moments.

Saturday, January 8, 2011


I don't think I've told you much about my cousins. I actually have A LOT of cousins. But 2 of them, Stephanie and Erica, I've been very close to since birth. I was 13 when Stephanie was born and 15 when Erica was born. And they lived right down the street from us. So I spent A LOT of time with them. As they got older I used to take them to dance class and music lessons, and wherever else they needed to go to. And I've always been VERY proud of them. They were in our wedding. They sang "Wind Beneath My Wings" and they were also Junior Bridesmaids.

Stephanie is now living in New York. Erica lives in Kentucky. And they've been through things that most of us can't even imagine. And they've made mistakes and done things that I know they wish they hadn't. But everyone makes mistakes. But NOT everyone comes out the other side as a better and stronger person. But these two have. I'm SO proud of the beautiful young women they've become.

Erica was in the paper last weekend. And of course I have to share it with you. Check out this link and you can see WHY I'm so proud of her.

I love you girls. I will ALWAYS love you. And I will ALWAYS be proud of you.


Monday, January 3, 2011


I hope everyone had a wonderful new year. Ours was very nice. We had a New Years Eve Party with a bunch of our friends. I think everyone really had a good time. I'm glad we decided to do it. It was nice being surrounded by our friends as we rang in the New Year. The kids all had a good time too. I tried counting, and I think we had about 30 people in our house that night. We played poker, ate and drank, listened to music and just "hung out." It was very relaxing, but also fun. I'm thinking we've just started a new tradition. With most of us having kids, it's hard to find a babysitter on New Years Eve. This way, we don't have to!

Happy New Year to you all!