Sunday, May 30, 2010

It's only May

Normally we don't see 75 degrees consistently here in Wisconsin until mid to late June. It's just the way it is and we have come to expect it. There is nothing "unusual" about 50 degree highs in May and in fact, there have been years where we've welcomed it. BUT, for the past 14 days we haven't broken a day time temp lower than 80 and half of those days we've teetered on 90. Today was one of those days. We spent the day out by the pool again today and it was so nice. The girls are just WIPED OUT! Soooo tired. The sun is an amazing thing. It gives us this wonderful bronze appearance (and it's not even June yet!!!!), Vitamin D, warmth and it completely wears by children out. Something that NOTHING has ever been able to do. So, without further ado, congratulations Mr. SunShine! I owe you one but PLEASE stick around through the summer and keep up the good work!!!

Operation: LANDSCAPE!

Here are photos from the project this weekend. I didn't have anything to post earlier it is!

Day 1: Memorial Day Weekend

Wow what a day! First, my FANTASTIC husband not only started but completed our front landscaping! It looks so nice! We (HE) dug, planted, put 3 tons of dirt down and then mulched. GREAT JOB BABE! Great curb appeal ... now we have a better chance to sell it! :)

Then, to make the day even better, we had a nice visit and dinner with the Jurgella's! Poor Brady is so outnumbered by the girls but he is always a trooper and makes the best of it. It was so nice to spend time with Mary and Jamie though - we don't get to do that enough. The three girls (Maggie, Carley, Emma) played so, so nice together - they love being together and they occupy each other which takes the pressure off the Mom's and Dad's ... YAY!!!! Here are some pictures of the day!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Ohhhh Emma Lu

Emma was my easy baby. She was chilled out, relaxed, patient, well behaved and only got up 2 times a night from the day we brought her home. She was potty trained at 2. She travels well in the car. She listenED. And then she turned 4. The ease has diminished. She has become sassy, naughty, whiny (whinier than normal) and can just about get under my every nerve. She is horrible to her sister at every opportunity. But yet unlike her sister, SHE will actually take a time out. When she's naughty and I say "Go to your room" the most amazing thing happens ... SHE GOES. Maggie never did, she still won't. But at the end of the day, when my babes are sound asleep I go in and look at them and I see the exact same faces that I was introduced to the time each of them was first placed into my arms. They care calm, silent and serene and no matter how naughty they get they are my life.

So, having said that, 2 nights ago the kids were running through the sprinkler. I'm sitting on my porch in the 90 degree heat drinking my Land Shark which by the way MADE MY DAY when I get a text message from the neighbor across the street. It said "What's up with the helmet?" You see, my Emma wears her helmet often. In this case, it was to run through the sprinkler. As moments when by I realized that my neighborhood was watching my kid run through the sprinkler in her helmet and glory while Mama sat drinkin' a beer. NICE! I knew that this was the case when my other neighbor, darling Adam the photographer, comes running out with his camera. I swear he knows when the helmet comes out and that he knows because I'm pretty sure that if you went to his website you'd see a complete portfolio of Emma in her helmet. Well, at least she'll be safe!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Another One Bites the Dust!

Up until 2 days ago, Mags had lost 3 teeth in all. Yesterday, 4 teeth total. Today, 5! She is SO excited! One of her top front teeth came out first and one of the bottom teeth this morning. She came running out of the bathroom this morning yelling "Mama look what I can do!" and she was twisting it sideways. Now, I don't knoww about you but this entire process totally freaks me out. I get the cold sweats, chills up my spine, the whole bit. YUCK! How did I survive it when I was the one loosing teeth? NO IDEA!

So, as you can imagine, the Tooth Fairy can set up camp at the Mantel's! We have 2 more loose ones that are getting closer to coming out. Plus, if you take into consideration the fact that we are pretty sure that Maggie doesn't have any form of pain receptors, it moves the process along quickly. The front tooth that came out yesterday, for example, wasn't all too loose ... until she got her hands on it. Again, I am totally ooked out!

This isn't a great photo, but here's my toothless babe!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Happy Birthday, Sydney Paige!

Where does 7 years go? It seems like just yesterday that Steve's sister, Kristin, and I were walking around talking about these little girls making their grand appearance. How could it be that I have a 9 year old nephew, 7 year old niece, almost 7 year old daughter and another to turn 5 this fall. WOW - time flies. Today we're heading down to celebrate the day with Syd and we are all very, very excited!

Happy Birthday Sydney! We love you so much. You are such a wonderful girl-we are so proud of you and we can't wait to see you today!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Vegas - Round 2

3 Days after my return from Vegas1, we're off and on our way to Vegas2. This time though I was accompanied by my wonderful husband and our friends, Dawn & Trevr. We had a pretty good time too. The weather was beautiful and warm but the drinks were even better! We went back to the chapel where we got married, gambled a little (I WON!!! 20 whole cents!), ate at the top of the Eiffel Tower at Paris, saw O at the Bellagio, had a decent amount of pool time and Steve and I took off to Red Rock Resort for the day too which was where my program was the week before. There are 2 sides of Vegas that many don't see - the Strip and Red Rock Canyon area. It was VERY hard to go back to Mandalay Bay after we had spent some time at Red Rock. We are just at a point in our lives where vacation doesn't mean drink, club, party, party, party. It means chill out, be pampered and live for a few days in posh luxury. Granted I've been a bit spoiled by the places that I've visited but it's really, really hard to stay somewhere that is any less quality so from now on, we won't. I'll go back to stay at Red Rock but Steve and I agree that we're pretty done with the Strip. It was great when I was 22 but I'm 32 now and life is just different. But, don't get me wrong. We really had a nice time. It was nice to just hang out and be together and we loved every second of that!

Our Wedding photos were taken in this exact spot!

Rockin out at Hard Rock!

Dinner at Eiffel Tower

Just us girls!

Vegas - Round 1

Anytime you have "Rounds" with a certain destination or trip it can spell T-R-O-U-B-L-E. When you replace any old city with VEGAS, trouble may not scratch the surface.

For the 6th year in a row I was fortunate enough to work with my favorite group. I've worked several programs each year for this particular group and couldn't be more thrilled to be a part of it each and every year. They have made me a part of their family. We've evolved together through the past few years - when I met them I was prego with Emma Lu and had only been in this job for 2 months and was frankly scared to death. 18 programs and 6 years later this is the most endearing and amazing group of people that I could ever ask to work with. From the top VIPs to the guests to the staff that works for me, the whole experience is exhilerating.

This program is one year in the making every year so yes, I have begun work for their 2011 program already. On one hand, it would be nice to have a break. But the larger piece there is that if I missed a week or heaven forbit an entire month with them I would be so sad! It is so easy to do my job and to do it well for people that truly appreciate every minute and bead of sweat that goes into it.

So, we hit the ground running. I had 7 staff there this year plus myself. 300+ attendees from all over the US and Canada came together for a total of 4 days. My day every day for 4 of the 6 days started at 6am at the latest and ended at midnight - sometimes 2:00am ++. We brought in Cirque performers to do aerial routines literally over dinner tables, a Wheel of Fortune game show and yes, I was the "game show girl" again this year, Hoover Dam trip, Golf Tournament, over 150 spa treatments, and the list goes on and on. For those of you that think I travel for luxury, sit by the pool, play a round of golf, drink, dance and party, I have one comment - YEAH RIGHT I WISH. Do I see the pool? Yes. Golf course? Usually. Club? Maybe. Party like a participant? Not even close. However, I have been lucky enough to make some really great friends along the way.

The program was a total success! The two people that I work so closely with are Joni and Larry. Joni has become not only one of the best friends a person could have but like another Mom and I love her to pieces. She's such an amazing person and I couldn't be luckier to have her in my life. Then there's Larry. God love Larry. He's sweet and funny and fun, over the top in so many ways, hyper, wound up all of the time, can react and blow in a heartbeat, is trusting and protective and most importantly (not really but funny enough), shares a birthday with ME! We are so alike its uncanny which must be why we get along so well. I adore working with him and again couldn't be more fortunate.

Without further ado, here are a few photos! Enjoy!

The Birthday Buddies


I'm Back!

After 2+ weeks on the road, I'm back and finally started to get acclimated in my own bed, office and home and it feels great! Sooooo, here are the updates!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Just Plain Sad

This doesn't happen to me often. My life has become one where sometimes I'm home and sometimes I'm not. When I'm not, I'm not just 15 minutes away - I'm 1,500 miles away or more. I've gotten used to it - it's just the way it is. Over the past 5 years I haven't stopped long enough to really think about it - until the last 3 days. I love what I do for a living. I want my girls to grow up with a work ethic and to understand that you have to work hard to get the things that you want and live the lifestyle you aim for. But, what if it's not worth it? I was gone for a week on one of the busiest programs of my career. It was extraordinarily busy, fun and rewarding and I had the opportunity to work with the finest group of people that I see all year. But, what if it's not worth it?

Today I brought the girls to their grandparent's - Steve and I are leaving in the morning to go on vacation with our friends until Saturday night. We planned it months ago and have been looking so forward to it. I didn't think twice about leaving - until today. I cried the whole way back from Milwaukee. I miss my girls. I miss the little lives that I'm missing. I miss the personalities that are evolving and everything that comes with it.

At what point do you stop feeling guilty? If I don't work, we don't vacation. We don't go out for dinner a few times a week, we don't wear designer labels or go shopping just because we can. Who does that benefit? We made this decision together so we can provide our family with the finer things. But, what if it's not worth it? I don't know how to figure it all out. I've met so many wonderful people, seen some incredible places that I wouldn't have and learned so, so much. But sometime, somewhere, my babies grew up ... and me? I'm getting on another airplane first thing tomorrow morning.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Mother's Day by Maggie

First, Happy Mother's Day to all of the Mommies! Maggie made me a gift at school which of course is the best kind to get! Here it is!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

I can't help it

I've been gone for a week. It was supposed to be 6 days but was "lucky" enough to end up spending a night in Denver on my return. Nice! At that point I had about 2 hours of sleep from the "night" prior on my side and seeing the plane pull away from the gate in Denver after a 2 hour delay in Vegas was NOT my idea of a good time. Enough with the rant. :)

This was one of my, if not my most successful program to date. It was busy and crazy and there were so many little things that came up but it was great. Day 1 was 55 degrees BUT Chuck and I got to go and see LifeHouse and Daughtry. Cold? Couldn't feel it in there because he was smokin! For the program we brought in a Cirque troop to perform aerial acts during one of our dinners, completed a team building exercise where we assembled and donated care boxes to our troops in Iraq, did a Wheel of Fortune Game Show ... oh yes, I was Vanna. We had a life-size card board stand up of our favorite VIP that was quite well received too :) and I had a toilet that not only was heated and washed your hinder but when you walked within about 2 feet of it, it automatically opened the seat for me and closed it when I was done! Anyway, here are some photos of my room, the view and of course, Larry & Larry. :) As soon as I get more photos I'll throw them up here too!

Next stop .... VEGAS, again, Tuesday. I have a confession. I adore my husband and our wonderful friends and the thought of vacay after this last trip is thrilling BUT the thought of parking this wagon in Vegas again is not my idea of a good time. BUT, we'll have a blast I'm sure so I'll be back with Game Show pix, vacay pix and who knows what else!

My View

My Room/Bathroom

My Toilet Controls

Larry & Larry