It’s Been Awhile . . .

Our lives have been such a whirlwind the last year that this blog came in very last place.  Mike and I started this blog as a way to share our lives with family and friends and personally for me it’s a nice way to journal our lives in a non-daunting format.

With the purchase of our new home and the ever expediently growing business we run, it’s left very little time for other things in our lives.  I’m always amazed at how God changes things in our lives when we least expect them and always for the better, even if you don’t think so at first.  With this preface, the following two major changes in our lives was the work of our creator of which both I personally put a fight up against at first.

OUR HOME

The final choice of our home is interesting in the way of it’s location within Shelton.  You see, there are four sections within the City of  Shelton and the section this house resides in is the furthest away from any sort of ease of convenience and because of that, White Hills was the last area in which we were willing to purchase (at first).  We actually drove past the home we now own in our early days of looking and we both said “hmmm….nope, it’s too plain and it’s too far away from everything.  I say that loosely speaking in the sense that we’re really “only” 15 minutes from many conveniences.   Well after months of looking and the timing coming right down to the last minute to find a home because our other home had sold, we reluctantly decided to look in the “ever so far away” White Hills section of Shelton.  We drove down our street to this home that we declined so many months before and on this day it was perfect in so many ways!  Our eyes and hearts had been opened this time around and I know for me that I really didn’t know what I wanted in a home or which location I wanted until that very day we walked back onto this property.  My, can I tell you what a perfect location this home is for us!  We’ve quickly come to love living this far out from the daily hub bub, beeping car horns and loudness that comes with busy downtown areas.  Instead of pesky cars and loud noises we now have beautiful deer, wild turkey and so many species of birds to look at and listen to.  On many days, I look around and am amazed that we actually own all of this abundance.  I never thought I’d actually own “woods” and it’s gorgeous walkable woods with a running brook, gigantic Connecticut rocks, and wild ferns.  We’ve been hard at work all this year too with landscaping the land around our home.

MY PERSONAL CAREER

Thought Out Company is doing so well that it requires both Michael and I full time.  Within the last year or so I was given the “clearance” by Michael to go full time for our business but I had such a struggle in actually leaving “my” career, the thing I’ve advanced at and have done so well with for my entire adult working life.  It has always been there for me, I depended on it, it kept my head above water and supported me through thick and thin, when I was alone and had noone but myself to depend on.  It was extremely hard for me to find it in my heart to actually “want” to leave my personal career.  I had fear of what will I do if if if if…..UGH well let me tell you it took this last year for me to go through my own internal process of finding my way through this huge career move.  I woke up one day over a month ago and finally realized and actually felt in my heart that I really am an essential part of the success of our personal business and with that exact moment I knew it was time to leave the medical field “my career” and take on this exciting move to assist in the advancement and full success of our business.  And so it was still with a heavy heart that I gave my notice to Orthopaedic Surgeons and not long after my position was filled by another body and I formally went full time for Thought Out on Friday, November 19th.  Within one weeks time of this change my personal whirl wind days have already changed, I have more time for things that have gotten pushed aside for far too long (years!).  I get giddy just thinking about it all, even sitting here typing to our blog is something I haven’t had time for in the last year.  I love waking up, getting ready for work at the Thought Out office knowing that every single thing I do is to benefit our family.  It’s truly an act of God, the patience of a supporting husband, and the flexibility of my heart that has allowed this abundant change in my personal career. I owe a great deal of gratitude to my husband for allowing all of this to unfold and come to reality.  He is one of a kind and a man that will make anything happen once he’s set his mind to it.  Love that man of mine!!!

The pictures featured today are from a family walk on Oct 30th at East Village Park.  This is a great park for all of us living in the White Hills section of Shelton.  I had interrupted him during one of his outdoor wood chipping or tree planting excursions to tag along with Scottie and I to the park for some play time.  Love him for being so tolerant of my spontaneous requests.  It’s a rarity that he says no to me which makes me love him even more.

The Smallest of Gifts = The Soul of One’s Heart

Memorial Day on our boat this year was indeed special!  Bridget & Jeremy blessed us with their presence and in tow was one of the cutest little girls on the planet, Isabella.  And to my surprise she anxiously awaited my return to give me this special surprise she had made especially for mua.  One doesn’t “need” their own children to experience the compassion, love and thoughtfullness only a child can give.  I find it straight through my nieces and nephews whom are some of the most loving children I know!

Along with the beautiful flower Isabella so graciously picked out of her dance rehearsal bouquet she wrote a letter with a picture of our boat and how much she loves visiting us on the boat.  My sister allowed her to sound out and spell the words by herself.  By the way, I think the now dead flower looks just as lovely as it was alive, it’s just a different color now.  hehe

It says “Aunt Brandi I Love it” with an arrow pointing at her drawing of the boat.  The part that looks like the sun is the wheel of the boat and I believe the two little lines to the left of the wheel is the captains seat.

This is the backside of her letter saying she loves me and loves being at our boat.  Don’t you love how she spells “at Brade” meaning “aunt Brandi”.  Then she writes “I love you at Bran” . . . the “bran” cracks me up because I’ve always despised being called Bran for short.  Sounds like a box of cereal or something.  What a sweet thought to give a gift to her auntie that usually only mom’s experience.  From the soul of my heart, Thank you Miss Bella you make me smile!  You’re so sweet I could put you in my coffee.

Picture was taken of Isabella and I sitting on the bow of the boat.  I didn’t know Mike had taken this picture until I uploaded to find it amongst all the others.  She was telling me stories about a mouse of which I now forget how the story goes. I do recall her saying “he was the sweeeeeetest mouse!”

Time With Our Niece

I had the pleasure of having Isabella this past weekend.  It was an awakening experience, tiring, inspiring, exhausting, loving and everything else in between.  Isabella’s mom and dad took their first vacation away and spent a week in Italy (they so deserved this time)!  The following are snippets of this and that while she stayed with Uncle Mike and I.

Friday I picked her up from Daycare and off we went for our 1-hour drive to Auntie Brandi’s house and the little voice waffled through my car the ENTIRE way!  Was enlightening to hear the stories and the life of a five year old.  One of her stories went like this:

Bella:  Aunt Brandi, what if a ghost comes into my tent when I’m sleeping at your house and tries to get me?

Me:  I will wrap the ghost up in a blanket, tie him up and throw him in the trash.

Bella:  Aunt Brandi, if you feel something tickling your feet when your sleeping what do you think it will be?

Me:  I think it will be Scottie licking my toes.

Bella:  Naut Ah, it will be the ghost . . . teeeehehehehehehehehe

Me:  Silly girl

Saturday we went to see a cabaret show.  The picture above was taken before going inside the Downtown Cabaret Theatre to see the 1 1/2 hour show, The Three Little Pigs.  She was elated while Uncle Mike and I were umm amazed by the number of children they squished into this place and certain we’d come down with some sort of illness.  By the way the show was very good and I’d recommend it if you live nearby.

Sunday morning she asked for eggs with soft yolks and toast, this is the same breakfast she asked for Saturday morning as well.  She likes to put the egg on the toast (like poached eggs).  Upon placing her breakfast in front of her she proceeds to eat then the conversation went like this:

Bella:  Aunt Brandi can you cut the crust edges off my toast.  (mind you I had already put the egg on top of the toast and cut the toast into bite size pieces)

Me:  Why didn’t you tell me you didn’t like the crust edges before I cut everything up.  And by the way you ate the edges yesterday why don’t you want them today?  (I’m starting to realize that reasoning with a child is challenging)

Bella:  I ate the crust edges yesterday because I wanted to eat your food and not complain.

Oh WOW . . . a five year old with manners even if it was for one meal.

I notice she has two phrases she uses a lot right now

1.  “Are you kidding me?”

2.  “Wait just a minute”

We built a make shift tent/fort (she called it her room) in the middle of our living room.  She wouldn’t allow any of the animals in with exception of her stuffed animals.  She did make an exception for our cat Wilbur.  I think it was Isabella’s compassion after learning she had been in the hospital and wasn’t feeling well.  She petted her and displayed a great amount of empathy for Wilbur.  We played Candy Land, put puzzles together, watched Narnia and Hoodwinked, colored tons of pictures, watched Noggin cartoons in all the in between times, and made cards for all the actors in the upcoming Arial show at the Cabaret Theatre (by the way Bridget & Jeremy she says she wants to go with Dylan to see that show LOL).

Upon taking her back to her other home away from home Mike & I returned to an eerily quite home that oddly felt empty to me.  I was shocked with how much I missed this bouncy full of life little niece of mine and I had only had her for two nights.  It was a great time and I thoroughly enjoyed having her for the weekend.

Time To Schedule Time For Food And Beer!

Last year we had my father’s birthday party (video) at the East Side Resturant, everyone who joined had such a great time we figured we do it again (but without the birthday party).

Their website has been updated and worth checking out.

So now it comes time to schedule it.

Who is coming and when should we go?! Email us or leave a comment (we are thinking Feb 21 or 22).

New Year’s Eve Snow Fall

It couldn’t get much better than this (for me anyways) . . . a snowie New Year’s Eve Day!  Thought I’d take a picture of where Mike and I spent quite a bit of time this fall and planned on doing the same this winter.  HEHEHE . . . Well we haven’t been out there yet this winter and can you blame us?  Lets see . . . a nice warm wood stove inside or the wood chimenea outside on the cold snow covered earth.  Emmm . . . yeah, well we’ve been content by the inside fire thank you very much.

I sure did go to work today but left at 1:30 not so much cuz of the road conditions but more so cuz the entire office left at 1PM and well it is New Year’s Eve so out the door I ran!  I’ve got the chicken wings getting ready to be baked and a bunch of other finger foods lined up.  And of course we’ll have champagne but before midnight.  We like to eat and be merry all night long which starts right about hmmm . . . now.

2008 was a prosperous and healthy year and am praying 2009 promises the same.  Hope your New Year’s promises much prosperity, love and health.  Happy New Year’s Eve!

Green Tomato Relish . . . Emm Emm

I was taken waaaaaay back to 1979 when I was a wee 7 years old living in Marathon, NY.  The smell of green tomato relish waffling through the air as I got off of the school bus and walked up our long dirt driveway to get home.  “Emmm I can smell it, momma’s been canning Green Tomato Relish” and I’d race off doing something childlike and forgot all about the relish.  But the smell, the unique look of it and merrily reminiscing the experience has stayed with me all these years.  Odd the things that take you back to yester years.

This is one of my strong childhood memories and I haven’t smelled nor have I had the opportunity to ingest it since I was a child.  That is until Thanksgiving this year my momma visited and oooohhhh she canned and brought a jar full of my childhood.  Well I opened it today and took a long deep breath and it smelled exactly as I remember.  Thanks mom!  And thanks dad for enticing mom into making it.  You see my mom had all these green tomatoes hanging out on the vine and my dad said to her that he sure could go for some homemade green tomato relish if she didn’t already have plans for them there tomatoes.  Right on dad . . . so thanks to you too!

Green Tomato Relish is surprisingly tasty on eggs of which I had this morning.  Thank you for reminiscing with me.

Merry Christmas!

Oh what a jolly time we had at the Talmadge House last night (Christmas Eve).  We exchanged gifts, ate a bunch of appetizers, some fell asleep in the recliner (Jeremy who wasn’t feeling well) . . . we also had great company.  Thank you everyone for sharing your evening with us!  So here are some pictures . . . I wish I had more that turned out nice but I’m still working on nailing my shutter speed.  Layman’s Term = many of the pics were blurry.

Mike and his dad.  Sorry Mike I know your eyes are closed but it’s the only unblurred shot.

Uncle Mike and Isabella

Isabella watching Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer in my studio.  Look at that beautiful smile, she’s such a happy little girl!  Oh boy was she so excited about Santa Claus arriving at their home.  Soooo innocent . . . hey I believe in Santa too and the sparkle in his eye.

Bridget and Isabella

Isabella even had us playing games (Cookin Cookies) . . . so cute!

Toys that Santa brought for Scottie Buddy Boy . . . all of his toys are called monkeys.

Our traditional Christmas Breakfast that is always prepared by Mike, french toast and ham.  Mike makes the best french toast on the planet.

And a Christmas kittie kat (Miss Wilbur).  She loves to lay under the Christmas Tree

I so wish I had more pics of the rest of the clan that celebrated with us . . . Jeremy, Carol, Kane, Scottie and yeah even myself.  I must’ve been a good girl this year as Santa was very good to me bringing many wonderfully thoughtful gifts.  Thank you Santa and Happy Birthday Jesus!  Hope all of you had a wonderful Christmas Eve and a Merry Merry Christmas Day!

Happy 38th Birthday Mikey!

We celebrated Mike’s 38th birthday yesterday.  He received a couple of nice gifts if I might say so myself and we dined at the Outback which was alright.  The company and atmosphere was superb however the choice in food not so much.  We’ll get something different next time.

My birthday guy and our buddy wrapped up on the couch for their evening cuddling

A few other pics from the weekend blizzard . . . look how much snow fell on us!

And for good measure another picture of Scottie in his snow trail that his daddy so nicely snow blows for him.  He’d really have  hard time getting around otherwise.  Look how deep it is compared to his little body.

Tomorrow is Christmas Eve and I’m so excited!  Here’s what our tree looks like . . . before we swiped her up at the tree farm.  She’s a little thing isn’t she . . . PERFECT!

Sparkly Christmas Wreath Tutorial & a Birthday Party

A sparkly ornamental wreath tutorial just in time for Christmas.  If I don’t make it this year, I’ll surely make it in the future so to the tutorial archives this link goes for me.  Can you imagine the sparkly pretty things that can be added . . . oh my

And a great big Happy Birthday #5 to Miss Isabella who celebrated with nine of her little friends at Great Escape today.  Wow, what an experience . . . I’m thinking my sister does not want me to have a child by allowing me into places such as this.  LOL!!!

This was at time of arrival when all the children were sweet smelling and extremely excited!

See how busy it started to become.  All the children were tagged like heards of animals and had to leave their shoes with the hearding staff.  Picture is a bit blurry but you get the idea.

Look at her looking at Leium (I know I’ve misspelled this little guys name).  He was quite the little entertainer as you can see by the sweet smile on Bella’s face.  It appears he’s covered his eye with a purple cup and she apparently thought this was funny.

Like monkeys in cages . . .

And yes Isabella I felt the same exact way at the end of this party . . . HA!

While I joke I’m truly blessed and entirely greatful to be a part of Isabella growing up.  Happy 5th birthday cutie pie!

Great Big Hugs & Kisses From

Aunt Brandi & Uncle Mike

A Mixed Bag

Our first snow fall of the season happened this morning . . . so pretty!

OK . . . this year we had two Thanksgiving meals.  Thursday we went to Michael’s dads and Saturday we went to my sisters.  Here are some photos from the events.  We’ll start with my sisters dinner first.

This is where you’ll typically find Mike . . . yep always working!

My mom . . .

My brother Scott . . . love the new beard/stash!

Our niece Shelbie who has the most beautiful blue eyes . . . She’s growing up so fast!

Our niece Isabella who is such a bundle of bouncy joy . . . simply adorable!

And we decorated their Christmas Tree (Bridget handed out the ornaments) . . .

Now onto Mike’s dads dinner . . .

Mike’s sister Crystal loving the turkey . . .

Mike’s sister Carla . . . we got a picture with both eyes open, amen!

Me with Crystal’s new puppy Chloe (such a sweet loving little puppy) . . .

LuLu (sweet mush pie)

And last but no least Charlie (he’s the alpha dog of this household) who’s growing tired these days . . . we love you Charlie!