New House!

Well we are moved in!! :-) Kinda . . . still some things at Shane's dad's that we need to bring over, but this will be the 2nd night we are sleeping at the new house! (in the living room on our mattress . .we took down the paneling in our bedroom and took out all the nails and spackled up the holes. . . need to do some sanding, spackling, sanding, painting, trim, new engineered hardwood floor, organizer in closet, new closet doors, and new light and we'll be all ready to move in!)

I have been taking pics, but have had no time to put them on the computer that is not here yet (promise I will get some up eventually though).

We have had some little problems so far . . Shane dropped tin snips on the kitchen floor and put a rather large hole in it. . . . we were putting away our wine glasses and I totally dropped one and sliced up my finger and got glass EVERYWHERE!! Shane dumped the kitty water all over the floor, and we JUST figured out how to get our wood stove to blow out the hot air! But it's nice and toasty in here now and we are finally starting to feel like we are getting things done.

And it's soooooooooooooooooooooooo great to finally have our own place again.


The Green Giants!

Well, I was surprised by the outcome of the poll, but 66% of you said that the healthy people should win! So I took your advice, and voted for this one guy who created a recyclable gym in his back hard for himself and his kids! He made everything from milk jugs, rope, pulleys, and wood!

Thanks for your advice! :-)

Move-in day for our new house!! Eeek!


What's Your Elf Name?!

What's your Elf Name?
(thanks to my Mommy-in-law for this fun tool!)


Health Dilemma

So my work is having this contest where people send in their "healthy choices" story and the winner gets a paid trip to the Winter Olympics.

They picked the the top 10 and the employees get to vote on who they think should win, and I didn't think I would have such a hard time choosing, but I am!

At first I read about a guy who was over 500 pounds and lost like 262 of it (let's call him Bernie)! I was almost in tears reading Bernie's story about how he struggled and tried so hard to lose the weight (you know . . . just like the Biggest Loser on tv . . because really for people to get in that condition and somehow find the will power to push ahead and work harder than I EVER have in my entire life is just amazing to me).

And then there were all these other applicants that talked about how they eat healthy, run marathons, coach their kids sports programs, etc. . and I thought "Are you kidding me?!. .. I'm definitely voting for the guy that lost all the weight!"

And then, right before I clicked to vote, I thought . . . "Why shouldn't I vote for someone who has made healthy choices their whole life? What makes them not as deserving as someone who has made unhealthy choices but learned they need to start making good choices? Because I am sure those "healthy" people have also worked just as hard, if not harder than Bernie!"

So I need help. Who would you vote for? And why?

The guy who worked hard after he ate his way to over 500 lbs and then realized he needed to change his health habits and lost 262 lbs (Bernie) . . or

One of the people who have been making healthy choices their entire lives (let's call them the Green Giants)?

Vote on my poll off to the side!


Port Farms with Bryce & Santa

We were lucky enough to get invited to go to Port Farms with Bryce to see her eat breakfast with Santa! It was so cute there and it was so cute to see Bryce in her Christmas outfit!
This picture was taken two photos after she just kept pointing at me like "Aunt Staci! I see you taking pictures of me . . . ok fine. I will give a little smirk so you stop."
Bry, Sommer, & Bryce before going in! It was quite cold and quite sunny!
The adorable fam! Bry, Sommer, & Brycee!! She was getting ready to go at this point, but it was so much fun! I don't have any good pictures of her with Santa because it was so gosh darn dark where they had him, but she was definitely not sure of him. Next year she'll be ready!

Getting Excited!

It's that time of year! Here are things I'm excited for . . .
  • Steelers beating the Browns tonight
  • Finishing up on Christmas presents (I think I am mainly done except a few things for a few people and I've been wrapping as I've been getting, so I'm all up to date on that too for the most part).
  • Volleyball
  • Closing on our NEW house on Dec. 18th!
  • White Christmas @ Erie Playhouse w/Shane, Mommy, Daddy, Don, & Rita
  • Dan & Marissa coming home!
  • Steelers beating the Packers
  • 9 Christmas parties/get-togethers . . .
Now things I'm not excited for:
  • 9 Christmas parties . . ha! I mean it's nice to see everyone and eat and mingle and exchange presents, but holy crap! Isn't that way too many?! We won't have time to relax and enjoy!
  • Paying a mortgage, homeowners insurance, taxes, etc. again . . . oh to just have to pay rent and utilities! It was nice while it lasted. (I am very excited to have our own place again though)!
  • Realizing the Steelers will probably lose again and not make playoffs this year (maybe that will help on the having more time thing though).
Crazy time of year. For both work and personal life. It never is dull though, that's for sure!


Elf Yourself!

Yep, it's that time of the year!

Time to elf yourself! Or even better . . .elf someone else!!

My dad sent this to us!

Shane's reply : "See! I can dance."


House Update! & Missing Aunt Cheryl . . .

Well, as far as we know we will still be getting our own house by the end of this year! And, we are hoping to close on the 18th rather than the 30th! So we will be in before Christmas (well . . . . we will probably be keeping all our stuff in the garage for a while as we tidy up and start some demolition and renovation)! It's hard for me to really get excited right now . . . I am hoping once we can actually move in, I will be really excited! I know the house will be a big project for us (lots of stuff we want to change/add/etc)!

On the flip side . . . Today marks two years from when my Aunt Cheryl passed away from an unexpected brain aneurysm. I still think about her all the time and it's just so sad that something so sudden happened to her two years before she even saw her 50th birthday. God just could not wait to have her! I know her and my Grandpa are having a great time up there together though! One day we'll all be able to celebrate Thanksgiving and Christmas and Birthdays together again! They both just added so much to our family and it's just not the same during holidays. :-(

From Alan Jackson's "Sissy's Song":

Loved ones she left behind
Just trying to survive
And understand the why
Feeling so lost inside
Anger shot straight at God
Then asking for His love
Empty with disbelief
Just hoping that maybe

She flew up to Heaven on the wings of angels
By the clouds and stars and passed where no one sees
And she walks with Jesus and her loved ones waiting
And I know she's smiling saying
Don't worry 'bout me

It's hard to say goodbye
Her picture in my mind
Will always be of times I'll cherish
And I won't cry 'cause

She flew up to Heaven on the wings of angels
By the clouds and stars and passed where no one sees
And she walks with jesus and her loved ones waiting
And I know she's smiling saying
Don't worry 'bout me


Decapitated Deer : Count 2

Umm . . . ok . . . really starting to get freaked out . . .

Yesterday, I saw a second deer with its head cut off on the side of the road (this time it was on I-90). Really people?! (I mean I guess I hope it's the same person that did the last one so we at least have only one crazy in Erie instead of 2 or more!!)

Have some respect for the poor deer that get hit by cars and for the people that have to drive by and see headless deers with nasty stuff pouring out the neck.

p.s. - The other deer was covered up by hay like a day later, so whoever did that . . thanks.


Cute Video for the Weekend!

Another fun & cute video that my dad showed me . . .


My Little Helpers!

My little helpers! I don't know what I would do without them (except get my wrapping done a lot faster)! And they just make it so much more fun (and frustrating)! But really. It is fun (for a couple of minutes until they will not stop climbing in the bags, laying on the wrapping paper that I have rolled out to cut, chasing the scissors as I cut the paper, finding their toys, and dragging them out, and ripping the feathers out of them, . . . but then . . they give you those cute little kitty eyes and you can't help but laugh and love them even more)!


Fav So Far . . . . .

So I'm not THAT impressed with So You Think You Can Dance this year. Still good and fun to watch, but 2 seasons ago was my favorite (w/Chelsie, Mark, Katee, Joshua, and Twitch).

I think one reason is they are using weirddddddddddddd songs this season and songs that aren't popular. 2 seasons ago that's all they used were songs that were hits (Duffy - Mercy, Jordin Sparks/Chris Brown - No Air, Leona Lewis - Bleeding Love)!

Whatcha Say (sung by Jason DeRulo) danced by Ashleigh & Jakob is definitely my favorite so far this season. . . .

What dance is your favorite from past seasons and from this season?


Kitties Getting Ready for Christmas . .

Took out some of our Christmas stuff . . . .
Nina picked the blanket.
Jinx picked the wrapping paper.

Even they are getting excited too! :-)


Kitty on Cop

Daddy showed me this . . .

It is one of the cutest things I have ever seen. Kitty just wants to cuddle!


Shane sent this beautiful rainbow picture to me on my phone this morning!

"The way I see it, if you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain."
- Dolly Parton


Pop The Champagne!

Well, they accepted our offer!!! So as long as everything goes well, we will have our own home again!

I guess several people called to make appointments to see the house, but the realtor & sellers are going to cancel them all because they were happy with our offer! :-)

Sooooooooooo excited!! It just seems unreal to me.

I had to wait to tell everyone because Shane was in a dentist appointment too . . . it was killing me!

And I won't see Shane until late tonight, so we can't even celebrate!




Ummm . . . . so we just put an offer on a house.

I am scared. excited. nervous. anxious. freaking out. smiling. high fiving (lame, i know . . but we are really excited about it). praying.

We should know tomorrow what the verdict is . . . .


Decapitating a Dead Buck in the Road?!

Ok. Seriously. There are some messed. up. people.

This weekend my hubby & his brother were driving home from Erie going south on 79 (past the 90 exits) and saw a guy in the median (WARNING:: gross and totes inapprops) . . . cutting off the head of a dead buck that got hit by a car! Ooops. . I already said that in the title. . . oh well!


What is wrong with that guy?! I mean I understand (but completely disagree with) cutting off the head of a buck that you hunted to prove how awesome you are by killing an innocent animal . . . but cutting off the head of a deer that you did not even skillfully kill? What the heck are you going to do with it? Someone please help me understand the reasoning behind this . . . ???

p.s. - I was lucky enough to see the decapitated deer this morning. You really can't miss it.



So seriously. GLEE is my favorite show EVER. It's like the show I have been waiting for my entire life. It has humor, drama, romance, excitment, suspense, and AWESOME singing!!! I have never been so eager to watch a show and find myself listening to the songs from the show over and over.

Here is a song from one of the most recent episodes (Lea Michele "Rachel Berry" has one of the BEST voices I have ever heard). . . if only I could sing half as good as her!! Or even a quarter!!

If you have not seen it, you need to at least try it out.

FOX. Wednesdays. 9PM.


Sorry Boss, I'm Leaving . . .

Or at least that is what I would like to say to him today. . . it's too nice out to be at work!

Have you been outside yet?! If not. Stop. Seriously. You need to stop everything you are doing and take a quick walk outside. It is absolutely beautiful out! And it's November 9th!! Go Erie!

There is just something about that warm, beautiful weather that makes you feel completely energized (or maybe it's because I am finally feeling better after a 2 week ugly sickness . . blah)! I want to go run 5 miles, bike around the peninsula, and sit under a tree by the lake to read some more of Twilight.

Yes. . .I am a little slow, but I just started reading the Twilight Saga and I'm already hooked (only 70 pages into it)!

For all of this though, I will have to wait until the work day is over . . . hope the weather can hold out until then!


Dirtiest Soccer Player

My hubby Shane sent this to me and said, "be glad you don't have to play against her". . . . so totally right! Can you imagine?!


Vote for Peahen Bryce!

Vote for Peahen Bryce!

GoErie.com is having a Halloween Costume Contest!

Erie's moms, dads, aunts, uncles, cousins and fans can vote once per day for the greatest costume from November 3 through November 17. The top 3 photos receiving the most votes will receive a $50 U.S. Savings Bond. The top vote getter will also receive a $250 gift card from Schultz Furniture Superstore!


So I forgot to blog about it, but on Halloween, it was my official 1 year anniversary of being back in Erie from Virginia! Yay!

Shane's anniversary won't be until November 14th. He had to work a little longer in VA so we had to live with out each other for two weeks (waayyy too long. Sniff, sniff!)!

We are still facing the effects of selling our house at the bottom of the market (when we bought it at the very tippy top), but we are trudging through and praying lots and hoping that one day this will all be behind us.

But besides that and coming home to Erie's worst winter ever and worst summer ever (I swear it wasn't our fault!), we are definitely enjoying being home! We still feel like we don't see our friends and family as much as we would like to, but it's a lot better than it was!

We both enjoy our jobs (for the most part), and today marks my 1 year anniversary at my job! Woo-hoo! I made it a year!! And hopefully will be there for a LOT longer! So appreciative and blessed to have the job I do!

Looking forward to what Erie has in store for us in the years to come!


My Excuse

So remember when I was talking about organizing our filing cabinet? Yeah, well . .. THIS is why it isn't getting done. (Or at least I will keep telling myself that).



Got to spend some time with Bibi, Aly, & Brian over the weekend!

I just love Aly's expression in this one! She is too cute!

She was having so much fun playing in the leaves!

This one is my favorite! She was not too fond of picture taking at first, but she was loving it as soon as we started! She kept wanting to do the "leaves one" again and again and again!! And she kept saying "Happy Halloween!!!!!!!!!"



Someone once told me that I am too happy and smile too much. This is what I think about that . . .

A smile is nature's best antidote for discouragement.
It brings rest to the weary,
Sunshine to those who are frowning,
And hope to those who are hopeless and defeated.
A smile is so valuable that it can't be bought,
Begged, borrowed, or taken away against your will.
You have to be willing to give a smile away
Before it can do anyone else any good.
So if someone is too tired or grumpy to flash you a smile,
Let him have one of yours anyway.
Nobody needs a smile as much
As the person who has none to give.

Dale Carnegie

American Author and Motivational Speaker

(thanks to my mommy for sending the quote my way!)



I had a pretty hefty weekend to do list (hefty for me) . .let me tell you what I actually accomplished . .

  • Pumpkins!! FAIL! :-( Anybody know of anywhere in Erie/Edinboro area that has good, inexpensive pumpkins for sale?
  • Corn Maze! FAIL! I decided I was too cold and it was probably very muddy. Hopefully this weekend!
  • Maple Museum (time permitting) FAIL! Didn't get back from the open houses until 5pm and that is when it closes. :-/
  • Organizing our filing cabinet Success!! Well . . I started to . . still a lot left to do.
  • Decorating for fall/halloween Success!! We don't have too much, but what we do have, it is out! (Still need to do the pumpkins though!)
  • Taking pictures for my photography class Success!! Kinda . . . some of them I am using are from prior pictures I took, but they do the same thing!
  • Going to a couple open houses Success!! . . .Kinda. No Shane & Staci houses found. :-(
  • Babysitting MAJR (black lab pup) Success!! He was a good boy! He went for some rides with us, went running in our back yard for some of my photography pics, and I put some music on and he was dancing with us!
  • Watch the Steelers beat the Browns (knock on wood) Success!!Although it was still a scary game, they pulled it out!
  • Kristen reminded me that I should have put "Watch PSU beat Minnesota" . . so here it is. Success!!
  • Freak out when it snows and try to go outside and catch the snowflakes on my tongue Success!! Well, . . . it didn't snow this weekend, but if it did, I probably would have done this. I freaked out when it snowed Thursday night (was it Thursday?), but was too cold to go outside.
Last photography class tonight! Sniff, sniff!


Remembering Grandpa

My daddy sent this to me. It was one of my grandpa's good friends (Dick Albreski). They used to play the accordion together. It just made me think of how much fun my grandpa was and how much life he added to everyone around him. He even had a mini-accordion for me so I could try to learn. Man do I miss him. Everyday.

I love you Grandpa.

Exciting Weekend Ahead!

Things To Do This Weekend:

  • Pumpkins!! (Shane and I have yet to carve our own pumpkins . . . I am really determined to make him do it this year :-P . . . anyone have any tips for pumpkin carving success?)
  • Corn Maze!
  • Maple Museum (time permitting)
  • Organizing our filing cabinet
  • Decorating for fall/halloween
  • Taking pictures for my photography class
  • Going to a couple open houses
  • Babysitting MAJR (black lab pup)
  • Watch the Steelers beat the Browns (knock on wood)
  • Freak out when it snows and try to go outside and catch the snowflakes on my tongue


NYC : Vaca Over!

Well, you got to see and "hear" about our anniversary trip to NYC.
(Day 1, Day 2, & Day 3)
We had a blast, but we were definitely ready to go back home (our feet and legs needed to rest).

NYC was a lot different than my original perceptions:
  • I hate to say it, and I don't know if it is from the tv shows and movies I watch or what, but I was very nervous to go because I was scared of getting mugged or shot or whatever. (That's terrible. I know.) But after being there a day, I actually felt very comfortable and safe.
  • We were there for about 3 days and saw a TON, but now I know there are still a MILLION things that we didn't see or do. NYC is filled with endless activities.
  • NYC is the "city that never sleeps", and at night it is definitely hoppin! But if you get up fairly early, it's so cool because there are very few people out (everyone else probably were just getting to bed for the "night") so you get to enjoy the "peaceful" side of NYC for a couple hours.
  • Diversity! I was just so excited to see so much diversity in one city! On our subway rides there were people of all ethnicities. It was just so cool to experience such a melting pot!
  • I guess I also had the misperception that New Yorkers were a little snobby and rude (Terrible again. I know.). . . besides the crazy taxi cab drivers that will run you over and constantly honk, everyone was super nice and always helped us out when we asked them questions.
  • NYC has a huuuuugggeee hype that goes with it. And don't get me wrong, NYC was definitely awesome and one of my favorite places to visit. It has so much history, so much character, so much variety. . . .but I feel like in my mind I had it as this magical place where you step into a different world where everywhere you turn you see someone famous. I was expecting the (NBC) studios to be these grand, huge studios (TV has a way of projecting more than what is really there). I was thinking there would be a ton of people outside the TRL studio or the Today Studio (and maybe we just didn't get the timing right). It was still cool, just not as cool as mind had imagined it. I guess I'm just bummed we didn't see any famous people. :-(

This picture captures my two favs of NYC. Central Park and the "Top of the Rock"! Central Park was amazing. More than I ever thought it would be! And getting to be able to see the entire city from so high up is just amazing to me. I literally started crying when I was looking out. It was so breathtaking and unreal!

It was so great to take a nice getaway with the hubs and explore an awesome city together!


Peahen Bryce!

Took some Halloween pictures of my beautiful niece, Bryce, as a peahen (female "Peacocks" are really called "Peahens")! Here is one of my favorites!


NYC : Day 3!

Day 3! Another very eventful day!

We were on the hunt for some breakfast and ran right into Magnolia Bakery!

It was so awesome because we really wanted to go there anyway and they were open that early so we decided it was a sign and had cuppies and choco milk for breakfast!

Then off to our NBC Studio Tour! This was Shane's favorite part of the trip. He's a big tv fan.

Those were our guides. I think that one guy was getting mad b/c I was taking a lot of pics.

Our official tickets! Too bad we didn't get to keep the cool plastic case!

Yep so the tour started there and as far as pictures go . . . ended there. . . no pics allowed! Totes bummer! We didn't get to see anyone famous, but we did get to go to the Nightly News Studio, the Jimmy Fallon Studio, and the SNL Studio though!

Don't know if you can see the sign, but it says "Don't even THINK of parking here"! Ha! I love the NYC signs! Maybe that's why no one follows them . . . . because people just laugh at them.

St. Patrick's Cathedral! So pretty and so many people visiting!

I mean really, how gorgeous is this!?

Loved the pillars and lighting here so I made Shaney take a pic outside the church!

The Trump Tower! I loved the trees coming out of it! Then we headed down 5th avenue to look at all the stores we couldn't even afford to go in . . . .

We saw Tiffany and Prada and Louis Vuitton and Versace and Rolex! And there was a HUUUUUUUGEEEEE line outside of A&F . . . . am I missing something?!

The infamous Apple store! We walked down and quickly walked right back out . . . it was PACKED!

So on our way to Northern Manhattan to try to find "Monk's Cafe" from Seinfeld, we might have went a little bit out of our way . . . we couldn't figure out what the difference between the black and white dots on the subway maps meant . . . but quickly determined it was the difference between the express (white) and local (black) stops. We took the express train which completely bypassed our stop, so we had to find our way back. And I swear these signs weren't on the subway that we got on in the first place.

But alas! We found it! :-)

Then we headed to mid-central park to check out the reservoir! It was sooo beautiful and so blue!

And meandered down to the "Great Lawn" . . . aka . . NYC's beach! Everyone was laying out in their suits!

This is gross I know. I did, however, successfully walk the entire trip in NYC in flip flops without getting any blisters .. . just some really dirrrrrty feet that got cleaned and wiped down very often.

Our last attempt to try to find some good NYC pizza . . . .

It was yummy, but I still don't think it beats out John's Wildwood Pizza (in Edinboro)!

I was so excited because they set up all these fun shops RIGHT outside our hotel! They had cute purses, scarfs, t-shirts, and other fun stuff!

Only cross the street when the signs tell you . . . . or get hit by a taxi.

These guys were out a little early, and were running from the cops, hiding behind cars. I thought it was quite humorous. I wanted to get a purse so bad, but was too scared I'd get arrested or something and I take a long time to make a decision, which really isn't possible with this kind of transaction, so I stuck to our vendors on our street.

Every night was garbage night in NYC . .. and lots of it!

They were setting up for the MTV Music Awards that would be held there the week after we were there!

Tickets to the Top! . . To the "Top of the Rock" (GE Building). We decided to go before the sun went down so we could get some "day" pics and some "night" pics.


Times Square area! Can you see the ball?!

Empire state and NYC!

Central Park! It was so cool to see how much we walked around NYC! And how freaking cool does that look? HUUUUGE park in a HUUUUUGE city!

More city!

Little later at night with the orange moon!

Empire State and NYC and Brooklyn Bridge later at night!

Sooooo many lights!!!

Oh and we stopped at Magnolia Bakery on the way home to pick up our snack for the night and breakfast the next morning!