Monday, January 31, 2011

catching up on the 30 day photo challenge Days 19, 20, & 21

Day 19 - A Picture of Your High School

A very lame picture for the Eastlake North High website.

Day 20 - A Picture of somewhere You'd Love to Travel
I want to see every last bit of it. Better get going on that!

Day 21 - A Picture of something You Wish You could Forget
Infertility. Once you go through it and are successful, you still don't forget every needle stick and month after month of disappointment. It becomes a piece of who you are.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Day 18 - A Picture of Your biggest Insecurity

I suppose this is the root of it. I don't start a lot of things for fear of failure. In school I never did things on my own for fear of failure.

I did group activities like baton corp. Things that, if there was failure, I could not be directly blamed for.

I have no idea why I was this way. My parents certainly didn't foster that attitude. It just is what it is.

It wasn't until high school that I joined in a couple of activities, with a little (OK a lot) of pushing from my friends) that I really could "mess up" on my own. Writing for the school newspaper and drama club. Back then, I didn't think I was very good at either, but it brought me out of my shell so that is what counts. I would be so nervous before a play that I would make myself sick. Afraid I'd blow my lines or miss a cue.

Over the years I've gotten better and started sticking my neck out there a little more. Doing the photography thing for me has really brought this up for me again. I am so worried that people won't like their pictures. I'm working on letting that go.

Day 17 - A Picture of something that has made a huge Impact on Your Life recently

I always enjoyed being around Jimmy and vibrant personality. With his untimely passing a few weeks ago, I have found him to be a source of inspiration for how I want to raise my children and live the rest of my life. So, Jimmy, from now on we are going to get our good shoes muddy!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Day 16 - A Picture of someone who Inspires You

My Granny Pike was an amazing lady. She raised three sons on less than a shoestring budget. She put up with a husband that drank up a lot of that household budget. She was a confidant to all the neighborhood kids. She cooked, crocheted, sewed, gardened, and had a lot of love to give. Even though she has been gone over 20 years, I still think of her several times a week.
Pappy, Granny, Me & my Dad.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Day 15 - A Picture of something You want to do before You Die

I used to work with a guy who was from Africa. His descriptions of it were pure poetry. Now that I have a daughter that adores animals and wants to be an animal vet, I think I might have a partner-in-crime for an African Safari!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Day 14 - A Picture of Someone You could never Imagine Your Life without

Of course its going to be my husband and my kids. Without them, life would not be what or where it is today.

Another person I've had to live the last 11 years of my life without is my Dad. It was, and still is. unimaginable to have to do this. He was one of a kind and I still miss him everyday.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Day 13 - A Picture of Your favorite Band or Artist

Anyone that knows me, knows I am a Duranie. Have been since I was 12 years old.

I have been fortunate to be front row center a couple of times when they reunited in 2004-2005. I temporarily lost my mind those nights. I also happened to have the blind luck to be at the Hard Rock Cafe Pittsburgh when they dropped by for a little meet and greet. Honestly, I screamed like I did February 27, 1984 when I first saw them at the Richfield Coliseum. My favorite Duran Duran related story happened that night.

Pictures from Baltimore & Pittsbugh 2005

me holding Rogers hand. He gave me his wrist band ---->

At age 12, I ate, slept, and breathed Duran Duran. When the 7 and the Ragged Tiger Tour dates were announced, I camped out at the ticket outlet (which was inside Sears at the Great Lakes Mall.) For what it was worth, I got crappy seats, but didn't care one bit. I remember thinking I'd be breathing the same air as Simon LeBon. I was sure I'd pass out. (Little did I know I was breathing the same air as one, Bill Polewchak.)

February 27 comes and NE Ohio is hit with the biggest snowstorm it has seen since the "Blizzard of '77." I remember coming home and my mom telling me we would not be going because she was afraid to drive the almost 1 hour drive to the Coliseum.

I sat on our blue tweed couch and cried my eyes out.

My Dad came home from work, took one look at me and said, "Get dressed. I'll drive you."

So he did. It was an awful drive, but here is the kicker.......

There were no parents waiting area back in those days. He sat IN THE CAR and waited for us in that freezing snowstorm.

The concert was on a Monday night. It was so bad school was cancelled for the rest of the week.

I know. I was a lucky, lucky girl.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Day 12 - A Picture of Something You Love

They say a picture is worth 1,000 words. That doesn't begin to cover it.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Day 11 - A Picture of something You Hate

Yeah, yeah, I know. I live in Northeast Ohio. Been here my whole life. I know it is never going to change and there isn't a thing I can do about it.

I HATE SNOW & BEING COLD. I can't stand when the air is so cold that when you breath in, it makes you shiver inside your nose and then continues down your whole body.

Reagan got a face full of snow and was making a bad face. I imagine this is what I look like every time I have to step outside when the temperature is below 32 degrees F.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Day 10 - A Picture of your Closet

I'm allowing myself one pass in this 30 days of pictures. This is it. My closet is a mess. I can't reach to put things away properly, so shoes are out of the shoe caddy, the pile of tank tops is not neat and tidy, and there is a pile of PJ's just waiting for me to lift them onto the shelf.

I will say this; it is a very nice large closet with sliding doors and it is all mine because the people that built this house put two huge closets in the two larger bedrooms. Works out great for our room and the kids room.

This was taken when a crew of friends descended on our house to paint every surface, rip up every room full of carpet, gut a kitchen and bath, and many other projects. All in 2 weeks. In everyone's "spare" time. My closet is the one on the left that you can barely see, but you get the idea.

So glad that baby shit rug is history.

Day 09 - A Picture of your Purse (female) or Wallet (male)

Well, this isn't going to be too exciting. Back before kids, I used to have some interesting purses, it was my "thing." I had some that looked like bowling bags and chinese take-out containers. I even got hooked on Coach purses for a while. Now it is just practical "Mommy" type purses.

Vera for the Spring/Summer

and Tignanello for the Fall/Winter.

Sometimes, I wish it were this:

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Day 08 - A Picture that makes you Laugh

It makes me laugh and I'm sure it will make you laugh, too. This past summer, Jan and I headed to Mexico for a few nights. We pretty much spent the trip at the swim-up bar being fed pina colada's all day by our Papi, or in a taxi cab (with pina coladas) going into town to do some (drunk) shopping.

One (well, actually two) such trips were in the pursuit of mexican wrestling masks for our husbands. We were in fact, called "the best wives ever" by two guys at the sports bar who had mask-envy.

Saturday night at the resort was mexican fiesta night. There was a mariachi band, a guy hand-rolling cigars, dancers, and a bull. On the way into the buffet, Jan and I saw the bull.

He seemed to be taunting us.

We decided we would take him on as members of the "Lucha libre"

Hey, if you are going to ride the bull you might as well do it in (some sort of) style!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Day 07 - A Picture of Your Childhood Crush

Day 7 of the 30 day photo challenge.....

3rd grade. Totally loved Dr. Noah Drake. Didn't get to see him in concert until I was in my late 20's with some crazy girlfriends.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Day 06 - A Picture of a Person You'd Love to Trade places with for a day

Because running around a French chateau with Brad Pitt would probably not suck.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Day 05 - A Picture of Your Favorite Memory

Of course, the obvious.

Then there's this one. Front row, center, my birthday 2005, Duran Duran, Baltimore. I took plenty of better quality pictures (when I could stop shaking), but this was taken by a stranger and I later found it posted on the Duran Duran fan community message board. Save A Prayer is my fave song, Bill played it at our wedding for me, when they played it and I was that close to them I'm not sure what happened, but I started crying....and then Bill and I danced. Again, not the best picture, but completely captures the memory for me and that is all that matters.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Day 04 - A Picture of Your Night

We made some new friends from all over the country this past week at Cousin Jimmy's wake. One of them, Chuck, came over for dinner and played some music for us. The kids, especially Nolan, were fascinated. It had been an emotional day and this was a fitting end to celebrate Jimmy's life.
Music heals.

*Technically this was Friday night, but I didn't take a picture last night. And I love this picture.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Day 03 - A Picture of the Cast from Your Favorite Show.

Favorite Show of All Time. Tie.

Favorite Show Currently.
If you are not watching Friday Night Lights, run to your local library or Amazon and order it up.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Day 02 - A Picture of You and the Person You have been Closest with the Longest.

Technically my mom has known me the longest of anyone I know! While we have our ups and downs, I know she will always be there for me and will never stop being my mom, even if I am one now too. I love you, Mom!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Day 01 - A Picture of Yourself and Fifteen Facts

1. When I grow up I want to be a photo journalist or a food photographer.
2. I love being a mom. I worked damn hard to get to be one.
3. My favorite spot in the world (so far) is on top of Spring Mountain in California.
4. I was shy in elementary & middle school.
5. My favorite place to eat in Cleveland is Momocho. I was on the Food Network show, Diners, Drive-In's & Drive talking about it.
6. I love the Japanese portion of the Cleveland Botanical Garden. I have modeled a flower bed at our house after it.
7. While not fluent in Spanish, I can get by fairly well in Mexico, unless I've had too many pina colada's.
8. After 10 years, the loss of my Dad continues to be the thing that has impacted my life the most.
9. I married my best friend.
10. I would like another child. There, I said it.
11. There is no better feeling than experiencing something again through the eyes of your child.
12. I don't like to be dependent on others. Having rotator cuff surgery has really slowed me down.
13. I don't have a big family, so my friends take the place of that.
14. Photography has become a passion (and a money maker) in the last 2 years.
15. Enjoys swimming, especially in the infinity in Mexico at 7am all alone.

The 30 Day Photo Challenge

My friend, Ashley (I actually used to be her babysitter and now she is a rockin' Navy wife and mom of two cuties--nope, doesn't make me feel OLD in the least), is doing this and I thought it would be a good way to get back to blogging and give me something to do during the winter duldrums.

The 30 Day Photo Challenge

Here's the deal, every day you post the corresponding photo and write a short story (see below) I encourage all my readers to participate as well. It would be fun to get to know everyone. If you do choose to participate, please comment with a link to your blog below.
Day 01 - A Picture of Yourself and Fifteen Facts.

Day 02 - A Picture of You and the Person You have been Closest with the Longest.

Day 03 - A Picture of the Cast from Your Favorite Show.

Day 04 - A Picture of Your Night

Day 05 - A Picture of Your Favorite Memory

Day 06 - A Picture of a Person You'd Love to Trade places with for a day

Day 07 - A Picture of Your Childhood Crush

Day 08 - A Picture that makes you Laugh

Day 09 - A Picture of your Purse (female) or Wallet (male)

Day 10 - A Picture of your Closet

Day 11 - A Picture of something You Hate

Day 12 - A Picture of something You Love

Day 13 - A Picture of Your favorite Band or Artist

Day 14 - A Picture of Someone You could never Imagine Your Life without

Day 15 - A Picture of something You want to do before You Die

Day 16 - A Picture of someone who Inspires You

Day 17 - A Picture of something that has made a huge Impact on Your Life recently

Day 18 - A Picture of Your biggest Insecurity

Day 19 - A Picture of Your High School

Day 20 - A Picture of somewhere You'd Love to Travel

Day 21 - A Picture of something You Wish You could Forget

Day 22 - A Picture of something You Wish You were better at

Day 23 - A Picture of Your favorite Book

Day 24 - A Picture of something You Wish You could Change

Day 25 - A Picture of Your day

Day 26 - A Picture of Something that means a lot to You

Day 27 - A Picture of Yourself and a Family Member

Day 28 - A Picture of Something You're Afraid of

Day 29 - A Picture that Can Always Make You Smile.

Day 30 - A Picture of Someone You Miss

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

One Week & It Still Doesn't Seem True

Death is never an easy thing.

Sometimes when people are old and sick it is a blessing, but when someone you love is taken from this earth in the prime of their life it is a bitter pill to swallow. I've had to do it when my half-sister, Kim, died of a brain anyerisum a few years ago.

Wednesday, January 5, we got another one of those calls. Bill's cousin, Jimmy, was piloting his own plane when it malfunctioned upon take-off and crashed. He was an experienced pilot, someone I would have let my own children fly with.

I first met Jimmy in 1999; he was Bill's closest relative; as well as a friend. He would fly home for a weekend or a holiday and would stop over to see us and would inevitably end up spending the night because we just sat around the kitchen table, talking, drinking, and laughing.

Oh, his laugh. It was booming. And contagious.

If I didn't know he was from Mentor OH, I would have put money on him being from the South. He had a twang and that southern charm. Jimmy found his home in Texas and lived a bachelors dream. He lived on a boat in Port Aransas. He met his future wife, Kelly, there and eventually moved close to Dallas, which worked for us. BK (before kids), Bill and I spent some time each year in Dallas with my Aunt & Uncle and always had a night or two out with Cousin Jim. Our favorite spot to meet up was Lower Greenville.

He flew in for our wedding in 2003 and I can still hear his laugh. He fit right in with my crazy family and spent the night on the dance floor. In his haste to get into town quickly, he forgot to get us a wedding gift. The next time he flew into town, there he was at our front door with a gift.

I always admired his spirit of adventure. Want to go scuba diving in Belize? Sure, why not. Want to sail a boat to Mexico? Let's go. Riding motorcycles around the country? Absolutely. Once Jimmy got it in his head that he was going to do "X." He actually went out and did it. Not many of us can say that.

Life happened and infertility and then, thankfully, kids made our lives a blur. Jimmy married Kelly. We were sad that we couldn't be there, but I was a little under 6 weeks to delivery and couldn't fly and Bill was worried that if he went, that would be when I went into labor.

In the past 3 years, we only got to see them twice. I am so glad our kids got to at least meet him.

The first time they met a group of us had dinner at Rocky River Brewing Comp. Bill was at the Browns game, but that didn't matter. Jim and Kelly brought the kids their first Winnie The Pooh & Tigger stuffed animals and gave them lots of hugs and kisses. Whenever Jimmy would laugh, 3 month olds, Reagan and Nolan would look around at where that funny sound was coming from. The next time we got together, the kids were 1 1/2 and were fascinated with Jimmy. He brought his guitar and sang to the kids and let them strum and play around with the guitar. All with that big grin on his face. We shared a sunset at the lake at the end of our street. It was a beautiful one.

We would have loved to have taken the kids to Texas for one of Jim & Kelly's summer parties, but it was always something and there was always "next year." 

He lived his life and loved his family and friends like there was no tomorrow. He did what he wanted, when he wanted, and had a hell of a good time doing it. It hurts something awful knowing he is gone, but it is a bit of a comfort knowing he lived life with no regrets. Not many of us can say that.

Jimmy, I am going to strive to live my life the way you did. I want to live passionately, experience life, love deeply, and have a blast doing it. I want to raise my kids to live that way. I expect them to be great adventurers like you.

The world is a dimmer place without you in it. If all of us that knew you strive to live as you did maybe we can restore some of that light.

A gentleman.
A scholar.
A good soul.
An adventurer.

Jimmy, you have left a hole in Bill's heart. You two shared some fun times, as well as the Polewchak family resemblance. As I put this blog together (it has taken me a week, because every time I start it, I stop because I'm crying), Reagan and Nolan were watching me insert the pictures. They insist that is their Daddy in the pictures.

Bill is not close to too many people. You were one of them. Before I knew either of you, it sounds like you had some good times at Pine Ridge and The Iguana. I know he treasures those. This has been very hard for him.

 I'm sure there are oysters and beer being served up left and right in heaven right now. When it's our turn, save us a seat.

hasta luego, cuz. Your spirit will live on.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

3 Years

Hard to believe another year has passed, it seems like I was just sitting at my dining room table writing the 2 year post-surgery blog about Nolan's head and weeping looking at the pictures. I can't type much this year, well I can, but being one-armed makes it take forever, so this will be short and sweet!

Tomorrow morning, as I did 3 years ago before surgery and every year since, I will kiss my boys whole head from ear to ear along his scar and say a thank you to Drs. Papay and Luciano for their steady hands while poking around my sons grey matter and remember all our friends and family that were there going through the whole process with us.

So, happy new head day, Nolan! Your Daddy, sister, and I love you so much, buddy!

Here's all the posts if you wish to go back and read about what we went through.