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Friday, February 24, 2012

Stat Update 02.24.2012

United States 7,982
Russia 105
Argentina 66
Canada 64
Malaysia 26
Netherlands 19
Germany 10
Peru 10
India 8
United Kingdom 7
Italy 7
Indonesia 1
Macedonia (FYROM) 1
Taiwan 1

Check In ...

Don't give up on me. I'm not finished here. However, for reasons beyond my control - I have to remain quiet. But, the good news .... I WILL FINALLY BE DIVORCED IN MAY!!!!!! Thank goodness for that. Numbers are still climbing.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

That's Right, I Went There

Today seemed like a whirlwind! It started off by going to the hospital for my thyroid ultrasound. Of course, it has to go through the proper channels before I know anything. While we were there, I ran into a family member I haven't seen in forever! It was so awesome to catch up!

After we left that hospital, I called the Pediatrician about Marissa. She just wasn't feeling any better, so I wanted to follow up. However, she was having trouble catching her breath, so I went ahead and took her to the children's hospital. It's kind of scary when the whole waiting room is full of sick kids and they take your's back before the rest of them. Anyway, they ended up giving her a steroid and breathing treatments. One of the nurses, or it could of even been the doctor, mentioned about Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV), yet on the discharge paperwork it says asthma. So, I'm not really sure what or if those two are connected. 

Luckily, we got her better and was released in time to pick Casie and Tommy up from school. However, once again I was approached by the Director of Preschool. She told me that Brent threatened that if he didn't see a report card that she would be hearing from his attorney. The poor thing is so sweet and explained that she just hasn't had a chance to send it until today and apologized. Besides the fact I was mortified, this is the children's school - why on Earth would he want to make such an ass out of himself to them. 

It wasn't long after I got home, my attorney was the next that I talked to. I explained what happened and asked if she could stop it, considering Brent still hasn't paid one penny towards the tuition. It was one of those, "funny you should mention that", moments. Our next hearing has been pushed to May. [Seriously! Just grant the freaking divorce and we can sort the rest of this shit out later. Right?] Brent is saying that he will not pay one penny towards tuition until he gets the results of a medical assessment. [Really? Who's the one that has lost visitation?!?! And besides that, its about the children's education dumb ass, not the two of us!] And finally, due to the foreclosure case, it would be in my best interest to sign a Quick Deed to the home. Her paralegal would email it to me for my review. 

Deep breath! After the children had their lunch and settled down, I logged onto the computer to check my email and started sorting through the mail. The telephone rang and I didn't recognize the caller id and proceeded to pick it up. On the other end was a man with a very shaky voice. He claimed he was Brent's narcotics sponsor and Brent had asked him to call. According to him, Brent heard about Marissa [probably from a Facebook post] and wanted to know how she was. He went on to say that Brent called the sheriff's office to confirm that this type of call wouldn't be considered 3rd party contact, basically a violation of the Emergency Protective Order and was advised it wouldn't be a problem. [I'm not the bitch he makes me out to be. I get it, a parent SHOULD be concerned for the child/ren. BUT, when your ass chose to smoke crack, hang with armed dealers, and sleep with every whore in town over your family and the court ruled the children would be in serious danger in your presence, I don't really feel like you earn that right to know how she is doing. Just saying!]

When I'm angry, my biggest problem is, I act before I think. So, I fired off the following email to my attorney:

This is a joke! The house is valued more then $250,000. [Yes, you read that right - Brent's claiming that's only what the house is worth.] We purchased it for $265,000 in 2005. Since that time, we completely finished the basement and paid over $20k, painted the whole interior of the home, added alum siding, new roof, fenced in back yard, alarm system, etc. Even the real estate agent suggested more then that as her opinion of value.

Is it really safe to sign this? I know its in foreclosure, but this is the same junk he pulled with his ex-wife. Brent is a no-good, cheating freak and I feel hesitant to sign this deed.

Not to mention his Narcotic Sponsor just called me stating he needed to know about Marissa. I get it, but this is 3rd party contact. Is this considered violation of the EPO? According to this man, Brent called the sheriffs office and they said it was not. OH, and the nut even sent roses from Nanz & Krafts to me for Valentine's Day. Like I said before, the children are sick and I just don't have the opportunity to get downtown. I'm at a loss here.

Also, I received a certified letter today from a Warning Order Attorney in the Foreclosure Case. Is this something that you will contact? Please advise.

And one more thing, he Fed Ex'ed the children 1 bag of freakin M&Ms for Valentine's Day. 1 bag!!! There's 3 kids. 

Casie wanted to call him and thank him, so I let her .... even though it was 1 freakin bag! 

Whew! I'm finished. Have a good day! ;)

Then, I posted the following comment on my Facebook page:
To the person who reports everything I do on Facebook back to Brent, get a freakin' life! Is it really that pathetic that you need to inform a crack head?!? You're an idiot!

I'm not stupid, I know who this person is. Hmmm. Let's just refer to this person as the "shit starter". After a trying day, I will admit, you got to me. But, now that I think about it - it's all good. So many people warned me that you were a sorry ass from the beginning, but I didn't listen. Even top Executives that we worked with told me I had my blinders on when it came to you and Brent! To me, you were my friend. I even, recently, tried to reach out to you and you responded with some lame ass response and even said "(<--- that's a quote, dumb ass) Say hi to the neighbor that's watching me in Brent's driveway." Really? Get over yourself! I know all the neighbors in that cul-de-sac and they are classy people and could care less about what you are doing. If anything, they probably just thought you were another drug dealer and wanted to make sure their children were safe. Yes, when that communication spiraled you told me it had been seven months since I told you to have a nice life. But, you know what ... it's going to be longer, more like the rest of my freakin' life! With friends like that, who needs enemies! 

Enough about that! You really see people's true colors at times like this! And just so we are clear, the shit starter mentioned above - isn't the only one spreading shit! On a positive note, I incurred some credit card debt over the Christmas holidays and I am proud to say that as of today, I am debt free. Go me! [Happy Dance] Oh, oh, oh, and did I mention that I might be attending the Jimmy Buffet concert! Oh yeah! My day went from singing, "I always feel like somebody's watching me" to [ready for this, sing with me - I'm putting the whole lyrics to the song for this one!]:

At first I was afraid,
I was petrified,
Kept thinking I could never live without you by my side,
But then I spent so many nights just thinking how you did me wrong
And I grew stong 
And I learned how to get along
And now you're back
From outer space,
I just walked in to find you here 
With that sad look upon you're face,
I should have changed that stupid lock,
I should have made leave your key,
If I'd known for just one second
You'd be back to bother me.

Go on now go,
Walk out the door,
Just turn around now,
Cause you're not welcome anymore,
Weren't you the one who tried to hurt me with goodbyes 
Do you think I'd crumble?
Do you think I'd lay down and die?
Oh no not I

I will survive
Oh as long as I know how to love
I know I'll stay alive
I've got all my life to live
I've got all my love to give
And I will survive
I will survive 
Hey Hey!

It took all the strength I had
not to fall apart
kept trying hard to mend
the pieces of my broken heart
And I spent oh so many nights
Just feeling sorry for myself
I used to cry
But now I hold my head up high.
And you'll see me 
Somebody new
I'm not that chained up little person
Still in love with you
And so you felt like dropping in
And just expect me to be free
But now I'm saving all my lovin'
For someone who's lovin' me

Go on now go 
Walk out the door
Just turn around now
Cause you're not welcome anymore
Weren't you the one who tried to break me with goodbye?
Did you think I'd crumble?
Did you think I'd lay down and die?
Oh no not I

I will survive
Oh as long as I know how to love 
I know I'll stay alive
I've got all my life to live
I've got all my love to give
I will survive
I will survive
Hey hey!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Valentine's Day 2012

Here it is, my favorite holiday of the year - February 14th, Valentine's Day. In some places around the world, especially across the United States, its a tradition to exchange flowers, candies, and gifts with the ones you love, all in the name of St. Valentine. I'm honored to have three - Casie, Tommy, and Marissa. This morning as they ate their breakfast, I handed them each a bag that was filled with their favorite candy, a stuffed animal, and stickers. It was nothing fancy, rather simple and not costly. But, their hearts filled with excitement and, to me, that was priceless! 

It's been awhile since I last wrote and so much has taken place. I had an appointment with my Endocrinologist, who routinely follows my thyroid condition. Apparently the levels are out of whack and my medicine had to be tweaked. Hypothyroidism is no joke, and quite frankly it's really becoming a pain in the butt! In case you aren't familiar, it's a condition characterized by abnormally low thyroid hormone production. It affects growth, development, and many cellular processes, inadequate thyroid hormone has widespread consequences for the body. I was diagnosed with this in 2007, after Casie was born. Apparently, it's hereditary and as far as I can trace it back is to my father and his mother.  Most of the symptoms that I experience is extreme fatigue, weakness, weight gain and increased difficulty losing weight, dry skin, hair loss, depression, and abnormal menstrual cycle. My doctor has ordered me to undergo an ultrasound to determine if my thyroid needs to be removed. Hopefully, if that's the case, this can happen before my insurance is cut off. 

Casie attended the Father / Daughter Dance with my Dad and really enjoyed herself. While she was at school, a delivery came from her father. It was red and purple roses with a note saying something like "Enjoy your first Father Daughter Dance. I'm sorry I can't be there. Love, Daddy". It was a nice gesture and it made Casie excited. So, after she was all dolled up, I sent a picture of her to him that said "Thanks for the flowers. Love, Casie" I felt it was the right thing to do. After all, he is the father and I felt he at least deserved to see what she looked like. And maybe a little nudge of "straighten up, this is what you are missing out on". Despite how I feel about him, I do want him to clean up his act and become a better person - not just for my kids, but all six of his kids.

I met with my attorney last week and we reviewed a few letters sent over from Brent's attorney. First was a child support payment. Yay! Next was a letter suggesting that I needed to stop driving by the marital residence and signing Brent up for drug treatment centers. Whoa! Wait! Back the truck up, seriously?!? Yes, I drove by the house a couple of times - 1 to see if the house had a for sale sign and 2 because I was told that he was moving my stuff out and moving some one else in. Believe me, whoever has him now can keep him. But, considering that's a direct violation of two court orders that no one is to reside in the home until my name has been removed from the deed and that nothing is to be removed from the home unless agreed upon or court mandated. Other then that, why would I waste my time?? As far as the treatment centers - its clever, but I didn't do it. My hands are full as a single mother of three and I have far better things to do in my spare time. So, my attorney fired a letter back stating the obvious and then that pursuant to the court order I am able to do a walk through of the home to check inventory and current conditions. Not that I really want to enter the home, but it would be in my best interest since I'm still legally responsible. Oh, and by the way - Brent's tools and Grandmother's silver was left with my attorney for him to pick up. One less thing off my plate.

Two other deliveries arrived at my current residence during this time. One being a certified letter of notice of a foreclosure suit. Brent hasn't made a payment since May 2011 and I have 20 days to respond. Lovely! My next delivery was yesterday - roses and a teddy bear. As my children looked with surprise and curiosity, they asked if it was from Daddy. My instinct was to share a very special story with them. When I was pregnant with Tommy, we were torn between a few names. Brent sent me flowers and a teddy bear, which he did quite often, The tag on the bottom of said bear said really big "Tommy". I guess it was the brand or something, but I took it as a sign that's what my little man's name was supposed to be. And, so it was. They loved the story and went about their business. My Mom, however, said "Are you going to turn the cheek and send him a text thanking him for the roses?" I smiled and said, "Oh mother! That was my biggest problem, I turned my cheek so much that when I was looking away he was banging anything that walked. So, that's a big hell to the no!" We laughed and went about the day. Weird though, huh? Brent must have a frequent flyer card at the florist for all his women. I just wish my name wasn't affiliated with such a thing.

The inlaws stopped the communication, which is perfectly fine with me. Like I said before, I didn't know them before or during my marriage with Brent, so connecting after the fact really didn't make sense to me. So, no love loss there. I do still miss my Father-In-Law though. He was a good man! And as far as my step-children, I talk to my children all the time about them. That's their siblings and they love each of them. My step-daughter and I always shared a special bond and still do to this day. 

It turns out the book deal seemed a little sketchy, so I don't believe I will pursue it at this time. But, my blog is going strong and that's my focus, following after my family, of course.

Happy Valentine's Day to all. Be sure to tell your loved ones how much you care for them and always treat them well. God Bless & Much Love!! xoxo

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Book Deal Details

We woke up this morning to a beautiful dust of snow, but that's it. I can't wait for one big ass snowfall. I know, I know! Call me crazy, but I've been wanting one all winter! My kids and I love it, we build snowmen, have snowball fights, and go sledding or as my northern friends call it - tobogganing, and then come in and have hot chocolate. Isn't funny how one word could have so many meanings? Like a toboggan to me is a winter hat. I don't know, to each's own I suppose. Either way, bring some snow and lots of it. (smile)

Casie went on her field trip yesterday and had a blast. They went to the Louisville Public Library and the Kentucky Derby Museum. And in case you're wondering, Brent didn't show up. 

Today, I have a meeting with my attorney. I love the woman, but she makes me nervous when she calls and says that I have to come to her office. That's usually not a good sign that Brent is pulling some type of drama. I still have his tools and Grandmother's silver. My Mom tried calling him several times to return it, per the court order, but he blocked her calls. Since I have an EPO against him and he lost his visitation rights, I haven't been able to make the exchange. Maybe I will take it to my attorney today and have her pass it along to his attorney. 

On my last post, I mentioned about a book deal and would like to share some more information in regards to that. My file has been passed to a Senior Publishing Services Consultant at a well known Publishing Company. I will be assigned a Project Coordinator, who will be my personal liaison during the production of my book, and then I will be assigned an Author Service Coordinator, who will be my point of contact during the promotion of the book. Additionally, an account will be created for me at our Author Resources website, where I can log-in to review production, promotion, or book merchandising materials.

Editing: The production manager will assign an editor to mechanically edit my book, making a check for consistency and accuracy of punctuation, spelling, and grammar. That's sweet because after I post on my blog, I get so embarrassed when I misspell a word, or forget a word, or whatever. (laughing)

Since consumption of books in a digital format is a rapidly growing book distribution market, they would make my book available to consumers in digital formats. Then, a press kit, featuring a synopsis of the book, an author biography, a copy of the publicity release that they will write for my book, and a high-resolution copy of my book's cover, will be disseminated to a review and publicity list of approximately three hundred media outlets such as local and selected national newspapers, local or specialized national magazines, local or specialized terrestrial radio and television stations, print newspapers, magazines, and trade journals.

Sounds glamorous so far for just your average everyday person, right?!? There's obviously a lot more details then that, but I just wanted to highlight a few. But, here's the killer - the publishing service fees generally average between $6,000-$10,000. Being a single mother of three, that's a lot of money to commit too, especially when you add private school tuition to the mix. I'm confused on what to do. If I come up with the money, not really sure how, and the book is a flop, I 'm screwed. Yet, if it turns out to be a success, that might the boost I need to get life back on track. What should I do? I guess I was never clear on what my book exactly is about, well ... if you read my blog this far, there you go. What are your thoughts? Please give the good, the bad, and the ugly ... your opinion matters! I need help with this grueling decision!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Sneaky Ways

I love how there's so many things I can see through when it comes to Brent. I just wish I would have seen earlier, but I didn't and there's nothing I can do about it now. To give some examples of what I'm talking about, let's take the house first. When it was time for the real estate agent to come price out the house for selling, he trashed it so that it would get a lower price. So, if you were to break this down, in 2006 we purchased the house for $265,000. A lot of updates and repairs have been added to the home, including (but not limited to) fenced in back yard, alarm system, new roof (2009), aluminum siding (2008), professional landscape lighting, updated landscaping, completely finished basement, customized wood blinds in every window, and painting/faux finishing (and several murals) throughout the entire house. I understand that the housing market is not in the best of shape. However, the opinion of estimated value of the home is as followed. If we were to sell "as is" in the condition it's currently in we are talking $235,000. If repairs are made, walls repaired, carpets replaced, re-paint, replace doors, and iodize the home of the smoke smell (keep in mind I NEVER smoked in that home) we MIGHT get $275,000. Apparently, Brent is telling others that he plans on buying me out of the home and keep it. I'm sure that if I was a neighbor, I would be more then thrilled to hear these plans. Especially, since it's very obvious and everyone knows what's going on when the drug dealers pull into the garage, make their drug deal, and then leave. It's a cul-de-sac and every family has children or grandchildren, almost around the age of my children, that play outside. How would you feel making these house payments and you and your family are basically prisioners in your home? And also worrying about the fact that this nut might anger these people, who are known as "armed dealers" and fear of possibly getting caught in the line of fire. It's crazy!

A less milder example would be how Brent is continuasly calling my cell phone from a blocked call. When he hears the background noise, then he hangs up. What is the point of doing that? Besides being a freak, a psychotic freak?!?! The guy doesn't care about himself AND I know he never cared for me, so why waste your time? He knows the children never answer my phone, so it couldn't be that.

Speaing of the children, tomorrow Casie goes on a field trip and wants to know if her Dad can go. When I stumbled for the right words to say, my Mom came through like a champ. She explained to her that it's not me making this choice, it's what her Dad did that has forced the judge to not allow him around them. And that if he shows up, she needs to tell her teacher immediately. Sometimes the simple response is sufficient when it comes to the them.

On a positive note, I probably should wait before I make this announcement, but I'm so excited that I can't wait. Everyone has followed this blog and there's no one else more important to share this information with. A publishing company has got into contact with me about a possible book deal. Obviously, nothing is set in stone at this point, but we are in negotiations and I'm not sure how this will play out. But, keep your fingers crossed for me.

Someone has introduced me to the "coupon" world. Personally, I never took the time or energy to get involved. To me, it was more a pain in the ass then anything. However, yesterday I sat down and started clipping from the Sunday paper. Today I went to Kroger and saved $69. Can you believe that? Why in the hell haven't I did this all along? Not to mention, they have websites to print this shit out?!? I'm all on it! If you are a Kardashian fan like I am, you probably saw the episode of Kourtney starting this process as well. She's a freakin' millionaire and doing it, there should be no shame in our game to do it as well. I would encourage all of you to start your clippings! (laughing)

This posting is all over the place, but that's how my mind is today, so please bare with me.

Have a good day - God Bless and Much Love! xoxox

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Paranormal Activity

All I can say is what a weekend!!! I went to French Lick Resort and Spa with the girls and had an awesome time! The highlight of the trip was the "ghost stories" and sightings that have supposedly taken place at this location. I don't know what or how this subject got approached, but some of us were doing our research on our cell phones. Apparently, there are some rooms in the hotel that have a certain reputation. One of these includes room 2739 on the 7th floor where a man jumped out the window and hanged himself. When his new bride discovered this gruesome scene she allegedly committed suicide in the bathtub. Supposedly the tub in that room has a recurring red stain whenever they try to replace it. A few of us decided to go check it out. The silence was a little scary, but we continued our mission. One of the girls knocked on the door and when no one answered, we sat down in the hall for a while and took in the moment. Nothing ever happened. I normally try not to get involved in that type of stuff because I'm a wuss and get scared very easily. But, for some reason I was really intrigued by it all. On our way back to the room, my sister in law and I used one of the house phones hanging in the hall. The lady at the front desk answered and I asked if room 2739 is really haunted. She laughed and said "I'm quite sure that it's not!" So, I asked if we could go see it. Her response was "No ma'am, there's guest staying in there tonight." Oh whatever! Nobody was in there.

Anyway, I wanted to share some other stories we read on the web. This come from The Indiana Paranormal website at

French Lick Springs Hotel, French LickMost of this information can be found in Mark Marimen's Haunted Indiana 2, he also goes into some detail about the history of the area and hotel. Here is a summary of what I have read, heard and seen. When I was part of another group in Indiana, we hosted a haunted weekend in October 2002, where we got to do a bit of ghost hunting. The hotel also offers a historic tour of the hotel and grounds, they might throw in a few stories of the supernatural, if you ask. We definitely plan on going back to do some more investigating.
Thomas Taggart is a former owner that built the hotel into what it is today. He is said to haunt the service elevator, some employees claim to have seen mists, smelled pipe or cigar tobacco, but the most popular story is that when the hotel is busy and employees have their hands full, the elevator opens and closes by itself, staying open just long enough for them to get into the elevator. Usually a button must be pushed to perform both of these functions. It is also known to run between floors in the middle of the night by itself. I have also heard stories about this elevator that claim someone is buried behind a wall of the elevator shaft, there is also some graffiti that may or may not be satanic symbols painted in the elevator shaft.
Mr. Taggart was also known to ride his horse down the long hall to the ballroom in his day. Today people have seen a ghostly figure of horse and rider in the ballroom and have heard the sound of a horse trotting down the hall. Some of the hotel staff have also told us that when they clean up after parties or stand just outside the ballroom doors they have heard the sounds of a party going on when no one is in the room. Sounds such as clinking china, voices and music.
There are some rooms in the hotel that have a certain "reputation." One of these includes a room where a man jumped out the window and hanged himself. When his new bride discovered this gruesome scene she allegedly committed suicide in the bathtub. Supposedly the tub in that room has a recurring red stain whenever they try to replace it.
The whole sixth floor has a reputation among the cleaning staff. So much so that they are reluctant to work up there alone or at all. There have been stories of shadows moving down the hall, the sound of footsteps, a woman's laughter, and cold breezes rushing by. One of the most popular stories among the staff is the room on the sixth floor that calls the front desk, when the room is not occupied. One time when this event occurred, the room didn't even have a phone installed. When they answer the phone there is nothing on the other line.
We heard stories about a head bell-hop that was well-liked, there is a picture of him in the hotel. One of the people we were with is extremely psychic, he was in the lobby around 3 a.m. There weren't many other people around at the time. He was taking pictures with a digital camera when he got a feeling he should concentrate on the bell-hop stand. When we saw the picture, we could hardly believe it. It looked like an African American man in a bell-hop uniform, he assured us that no one was around and we confirmed with the front desk that there weren't any bell-hops on duty all night.
Picture taken by: Lee Weaver AKA spiritmagnet2000@
Bellhop Closeup
We also got to explore an old jail cell in the basement where they kept criminals back in the days when gambling was prevalent in French Lick. Some people got a bad feeling when peering into the dark cell, that is still padlocked.
We also heard about a few rooms in what they call the penthouse. The staff did not know much about it except that it is off-limits even to them. Sounds like further investigation is required on this subject.
Other accounts of strange activity:
  • 7th floor is scary, something white floats up and down the halls, it appears to be a woman.
  • In the north service elevator, devils are painted in the shaft, no one knows how they got there.
  • Charlie Skaggs worked at the hotel in the late 60s to 70s. He was found dead at the bottom of an elevator shaft. Charlie is said to be a friendly spirit that talks to guests. A convention of police officers was visiting the hotel, and wrote a thank you note which said, "Tell Charlie we said hello." There was no one employed by the hotel with the name "Charlie" at that time.
  • A man who was gambling in a casino across the street from the hotel brought his large winnings back to his room, and was found dead at bottom of a stairwell and the money was gone. He is seen walking around looking for his money.
  • A manager at the hotel committed suicide in a bathtub at the hotel, and is said to be roaming about the halls.
  • Thomas Taggart's daughter or daughter in law killed herself in the area between the Governor's Suite and the President's Suite, near a spiral staircase. There is still blood on the floor under the carpets.
  • There is a mansion on top of Mount Aire. This was Taggart's house and it is very haunted.
Crazy stuff, huh? Anyway, we had a blast but I can't release all my details about the night. But, I will say this, when the other girls posted their pictures on Facebook - "orbs" are very visible. And just so we are clear, orbs are believed to be (by many) ghost in the forms of ball of light. They are life forms that travel in groups and are believed to be the human soul or life force of those that once inhabited a physical body here on earth.

Its great to have that time away, but I was so happy to get back home to my beautiful babies. I miss those little crazy monsters and can't stand being away from them! With that being said, enjoy the rest of the Super Bowl weekend! God Bless and much love to all!

Friday, February 3, 2012

Speak of the Devil & the Devil Will Appear (Unfortunately)

I just don't get it!! This morning I was approached by the Director of Preschool and one of the teachers, Brent has contacted them to get a copy of the report cards. I'm the first to recognize, as a parent, wanting that information. But, considering Brent's track record and the fact that he hasn't paid one penny towards tuition, how can he have the audacity to even ask?!? It's embarrassing! Guess that's another attempt on his part to play father of the year. 

As I walked down the school hall, I started noticing all the father's that bring their kids to school - holding their hands, giving big hugs, and telling them how much they love each other. If I'm seeing that, I'm sure my children are too! I can't imagine how that makes them feel.

Casie has been telling my mom that she wants me to start dating, so she can have a "new" dad in her life. I explained to her that she only has and ever will only have one father and that my focus is on them and wasn't ready to let someone else in. She looked at me with her big brown eyes and asked, "But Mommy, aren't you lonely?" I just smiled and gave her a hug and said "I could never be lonely - I have all of you!" 

I don't know. Deep within, I wonder if I was skinner, or prettier, smarter, successful, etc. that maybe life would be easier and I would know which way to turn. But, that's not right! God gave me these cards and I just have to learn how to play them correctly. The question is, how do I figure that out?!?!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

We Are Louisville

Since the blog has reached all over the world at this point, I would like to share some information about the city that I discuss so much, my hometown, Louisville, Kentucky. The following information was received from Louisville Facts & Firsts at For those of you that have never visited here, you should really consider it. It's beautiful and not to mention home to the Kentucky Derby (horse racing).

Louisville Facts & Firsts

  • The City of Louisville was founded in 1778 by George Rogers Clark and is named after King Louis XVI of France.

  • The Official Seal of the City of Louisville reflects its history and heritage - the fleur-de-lis represents French aid given during the Revolutionary War, and the thirteen stars signify the original colonies.

  • Louisville's First Town Charter was signed in 1780 by Thomas Jefferson, Governor of Virginia.

  • Zachary Taylor (1784-1850), 12th President of the U.S., grew up in Louisville and is buried in Zachary Taylor National Cemetery on Brownsboro Road.

  • The University of Louisville, founded in 1798, is the oldest city-supported college in the United States.

  • Since 1875, Churchill Downs has been the home of the Kentucky Derby, the first leg of the Triple Crown of thoroughbred horse racing.

  • The Louisville Slugger baseball bat was made by Andrew "Bud" Hillerich in his father's woodworking shop in Louisville in 1884. The brand name "Louisville Slugger" was first used in 1893.

  • The Hot Brown originated at The Brown Hotel in downtown Louisville in the 1900s. The open-faced turkey and bacon sandwich is topped with a rich cheese sauce.

  • Built in 1914, the Belle of Louisville is the oldest operating Mississippi-style sternwheeler steamboat in existence today.

  • Louisville’s nationally-acclaimed parks system includes parks and parkways designed by famed architect Frederick Law Olmsted, who also designed Central Park in New York City.

  • Louisville has the nation’s largest urban municipal forest – the 6,000 acre Jefferson Memorial Forest in south Louisville.

  • Nominated in 1916, Louis D. Brandeis lived in Old Louisville and served as the first Jewish Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States.

  • The Cheeseburger originated at Kaelin's Restaurant on Newburg Road. In 1934, Margaret Kaelin's husband asked her to put a slice of American cheese on his hamburger and the legend was born.

  • Modjeskas is a candy treat made of marshmallow dipped in liquid caramel that was created and made in Louisville by Anton Busath in the 1870's.

  • Famous Louisvillian Pee Wee Reese was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1984.

  • "Happy Birthday to You" was written by sisters Mildred and Patty Hill in their Louisville kindergarten class. Originally called "Good Morning to You," it was later changed to this tradition birthday anthem.

  • Jennie Carter Benedict, a Louisville restaurateur, created Benedictine, a spread made of cucumbers and cream cheese.

  • Muhammad Ali, world recognized Louisvillian and Kentucky's Athlete of the Century, was a three-time heavyweight boxing champion.

  • Louisville's Main Street has the second largest collection of cast-iron storefronts facades, only New York City has more.

  • The Old Louisville neighborhood near downtown is the largest Victorian neighborhood in America.

  • The Ohio River stretches 981 miles and is one of the major rivers of North America.

  • Like I said before, I was born and raised here and I love it. This is where my roots are and always will be! The first Saturday in May is one of the biggest days and the month before brings a city-wide party, including events like Thunder Over Louisville. Here's a description of that from the website

    Rated as one of the top 100 events in North America, the Derby Festival's Opening Ceremonies is truly a sight to behold. And each year, more than 500,000 eager thrill-seekers do just that.
    The day-long event kicks off the two exciting weeks of events that are part of the annual Kentucky Derby Festival. The Thunder Air Show dazzles the crowd with more than 100 planes, aerobatics teams, daring sky diving teams and breathtaking stunts.
    When it gets dark, the Thunder rolls. The fireworks will feature the latest in pyrotechnic power fromZambelli Internationale, America's "first family of fireworks". Six barges that are 100-foot open top each assemble on both sides of the 2nd Street Bridge to form the stage from which the fireworks spectacular ignites.
    The breathtaking and mind-numbing 28-minute show includes Thunder's signature one-mile "waterfall" effect off the bridge, making the fireworks seem to rain down forever. And in the crowd's memory of the show, it does!
    After more than a decade, the show remains the largest annual pyrotechnic display in North America. Seen by approximately 1-million U.S. Armed Forces, Department of Defense civilian employees and their families stationed in 176 countries and aboard 140 U.S. Navy ships at sea via a July 4th rebroadcast on the American Forces Network, it is the state's pride. A Discovery Channel documentary on fireworks shows says it best, "Thunder is the Grand-daddy of them all!".
    There's four more events I would like to highlight as well: Marathon and Mini Marathon, Great Balloon Festival, Great Steamboat Race, and the Pegasus Parade. I copied some information below from the website. Check it out for more details!

    Marathon and Mini Marathon
    The 26.2 mile Derby Marathon and the 12 mile Derby miniMarathon are two of the top annual Kentucky Derby Festival events. More than 12,000 people from all over the world gather together on the last Saturday in April to run one of these two scenic marathons through Louisville's parks and neighborhoods and past some of the city's biggest attractions. The Kentucky Derby Festival miniMarathon is the more popular of the two races and has been named among the nation's top 50 races by USA Track and Field.
    Great Balloon Festival

    The Great Balloon Fest is a series of five Kentucky Derby Festival events that lead up to the main event--the Great Balloon Race. The first Great Balloon Race was held at Iroquois Park in 1973, and featured only seven balloons. However, the Great Balloon Race quickly became one of the most popular Kentucky Derby Festival events, and what was once just the Great Balloon Race is now an entire weekend festival of hot air ballooning events. Each of these events is free with a Pegasus Pin, though you may be required to pay a parking fee.

    Great Steamboat Race
    The Great Steamboat Race is an annual Kentucky Derby Festival event that occurs on the Wednesday before the Kentucky Derby. It is a race down the Ohio River between the Belle of Louisville the Belle of Cincinnati. Prior to 2009, the Belle of Louisville raced the Delta Queen in the Great Steamboat Race, but new federal regulations forced the Delta Queen to dock permanently at the end of 2008. It is now being kept as a hotel in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
    Pegasus Parade
    The Kentucky Derby Festival Pegasus Parade was the first ever event of the Kentucky Derby Festival. Though the festival has grown since the days where it consisted of just the parade and the Derby and Oaks races, the Pegasus Parade remains one of the biggest and best Kentucky Derby Festival events. Parade participants march, walk, and roll down Broadway in Downtown Louisville while spectators watch the amazing series of floats, inflatable characters, marching bands, celebrities, and horses pass by.

    That is my favorite time of year! I absolutely love it. Back in my party days, I would hit all of these up and top it off with the infield on Oaks Day. That's basically a day before the Derby where most of the locals attend. It's a mad, crazy party out there. Then, when I worked at Ford, we would get tickets to attend Oaks in reserved seating among co-workers. That was always really nice. I love the people I worked with, they know how to party! And I was able to take in a more elegant approach. My Father-In-Law purchased some kick ass tickets for the Derby and wasn't able to attend, so he gave them to my niece and me. We sat right there among the stars, ate all the food and drinks our little hearts desired, and even dressed up with one of those funky hats. (laughing) It was a beautiful time that I will always cherish in my heart!

    But, there is one of my favorite things I still have to touch on, The Barnstable Brown Gala! The following information is from the website:

    For more than two decades, some of the brightest stars from the worlds of film, television, music, fashion and sports have celebrated the night before the “Run for the Roses” at Louisville’s quintessential Derby Eve party – the Barnstable Brown Party.
    Truly a family affair, the Barnstable Brown gala is co-hosted by twin sisters – and famed Doublemint twins – Patricia (“Tricia”) Barnstable Brown and Priscilla (“Cyb”) Barnstable, their mother, Wilma (“Willie”) Barnstable, and Tricia’s son, Chris Brown. The black-tie gala raises money for programs supporting diabetes research, treatment and education at the sisters’ alma mater, the University of Kentucky. Diabetes claimed the life of Tricia’s husband, Dr. David Brown, and the glamorous Derby Eve event is still held at the posh home Tricia and her late husband shared in Louisville’s beloved Highlands neighborhood.
    The Barnstable family has hosted hundreds of Hollywood luminaries over the decades, including many guests who help entertain the crowd through live (and sometimes spontaneous) musical performances. Here’s a look at some of the VIP guests who have attended:
    • Paris Hilton and Doug Reinhardt
    • Brooke Shields
    • Danica Patrick
    • Boyz II Men
    • Tom Brady
    • Eli Manning
    • Kid Rock
    • Taylor Dayne
    • En Vogue (Cindy Herron, Maxine Jones, Dawn Robinson and Terry Ellis)
    • Joey Fatone
    • Terry O'Quinn
    • Nick Lachey
    • Drew Lachey
    • Darryl “DMC” McDaniels
    • Travis Tritt
    • Erv Woosley
    • Mary Wilson
    • Larry Birkhead
    • Gretchen Wilson
    • Lee Ann Womack

    Personally, I have never actually attended this party - couldn't afford to! BUT, it's a tradition, going on 5 years, for me and party rockers to celebrate Oaks and then head to the Barnstable-Brown home and stand outside among other screaming and adoring fans to watch the celebrities red carpet their way into this amazing event. It's really cool and some of them even interact with the fans and take photos and sign autographs. I would like to share some of encounters over the years. When Tommy was about 2 weeks old, Larry Birkhead (Anna Nicole Smith's baby daddy; also a local) was walking through talking to every one. This was during the time or possibly a short time after Anna Nicole's death and the whole paternity suit. He spotted Tommy and asked if he could my baby. I was like "sure, as long as I can get your picture". Of course the media ate it up and I'm sure there's a picture out there with my little man. Another person that really sticks out to me in meeting is John Wall. He's a former University of Kentucky basketball player who went pro after his first year of college ball. He was the nicest, most well mannered person I ever met. But, I have to admit it ... my biggest let down was this - I was a huge fan of the E! show "The Girls Next Door" and one year Hugh Hefner, Kendra, Holly, Bridget, and other's from the show were in attendance. I was 5 months pregnant with Marissa and took on the crowd just to see them. However, it started to rain, wait, take that back, a freaking' torrential downpour, so I started quickly making my way to the car when over the loud sound system came "Ladies and Gentleman, Mr. Hugh Hefner and The Girls Next Door. The crowd went nuts!!! I obviously walked by their limo and had no clue it was them, but I missed seeing them. Not even a glimpse! 
    With all that being said, I'm sure the locals that are reading this can't wait for this time of year to hurry up and get here. But, for those of you that have never experienced it, you really need to add it to your bucket list. It's a blast!!!!