Great Start to the Year!

Tim and I welcomed in the new year with a trip to Jo-Ann! All scrapbook paper was on sale, and Tim thought I should stock up for my new craft room. (I know, right? I’m pretty lucky!)

All stacks and cardstock packs were 50% off! Add the teacher discount on to that and we saved 65% on all this paper!

6 stacks and a whole lot of cardstock... YIPPEE!


I am super stoked for all the projects that all that paper means!

And, a full tour of the GREAT. ROOM. OF. CRAFTINESS will be coming soon!!!





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The Year in Review 2011

Okay, so I haven’t posted since JULY!  What is wrong with me?  It’s been a crazy fall, and I just haven’t been myself, but I am hoping for great things in 2012, so the blog should be back in action!


And, I couldn’t leave 2011 without my annual YEAR IN REVIEW… it’s been around for a long time- gotta keep up the tradition!

so Here We Go!



The Year in Review: 2011

It’s back for another year!

1. What did you do in 2011 that you’d never done before?

Adopted a dog from the humane society, bought NEW furniture, had surgery

2. Did you keep your new years’ resolutions and will you make more for next year?

I did okay with our resolution of sticking to our budget more and working about the house on projects (especially the past 2 months!)

2012 plans

1) Be grateful for the little things.

2) Take care of me.

3) Pay down debt.

4) Love and appreciate the wonderful people in my life.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

Jenny and Edward welcomed our niece Cali, Gina and Peter welcomed Eric, and Megan and John welcomed the twins- Tessa and Kate

4. Did anyone close to you die?

Thankfully, no!

5. What states/countries did you visit?

Georgia! and Illinios

6. What would you like to have in 2012 that you lacked in 2011?

Appreciation of the good of each day. Positive outlook. Happier situation at work.

7. What date from 2011 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

July 24- the day we welcomed Clyde to our family!

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Being appointed Co Chair of the Milwaukee Walk Now for Autism Speaks!

9. What was your biggest regret of the year?

Having to leave my favorite class!

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

I got the flu in February- 5 days of feverish hell.  And minor surgery in December.

11. What was the best thing you bought?

Our Couches!  Clyde!  The Cricut!

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?

Tim for being patient with me!

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

Someone who shall not be named here.

14. Where did most of your money go?

Furniture, bills, house

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?

FURNITURE!  and Clyde!

16. What song will always remind you of 2010?

“Party Rock”  LMFAE; Anything by Adele

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:

i. happier or sadder? Happier!

ii. thinner or fatter? fatter 😦

iii. richer or poorer? poorer

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?

Showing appreciation to those I love, taking care of myself.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?

Taking on stressful situations

20. How will you be spending Christmas?

We hosted a great Christmas Eve gathering!  Schinker family Christmas the next morning and a night at my in laws.  Pretty good overall.

22. Did you fall in love in 2011?

YES!  With our gorgeous dog Clyde!

23. How many one-night stands?

It doesn’t count as a one night stand when you are married!

24. What was your favorite TV program?

We got rid of cable this year!  The one I watched the most was Biggest Loser

25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?

No real hate here… just general annoyance

26. What was the best book you read?

The Hunger Games Trilogy!

27. What was your greatest musical discovery?

Loved Adele this year

28. What did you want and get?

A dog, NEW FURNITURE, a cricut

29. What was your favorite film of this year?

Tie between The Blind Side and The Help

30. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

I turned 33.  No great shakes here.

31. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

Being in my old building, not being so stressed out with my job, taking time for things I love.

32. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2011?

Practical- Old Navy, scarves and a touch of Vera

33. What kept you sane?

Tim. My bffs. Renee and Jen.

34. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

Oh Ryan Braun…..

35. What political issue stirred you the most?

I am a teacher who lives and works in Wisconsin- what do you think?

36. Who did you miss?


My BFFs- did not spend enough time with them!

37. Who was the best new person you met?

I have met some pretty great coworkers, and the awesome members of the Walk Now for Autism Committee!

38. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2011:

Love is unconditional. Things will not be perfect. People will not be perfect. But, we will love deeply and passionately and completely, just the same.

39. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:

Don’t underestimate the things that I will do
There’s a fire starting in my heart
Reaching a fever pitch
And it’s bringing me out the dark

“Rolling in the Deep”- Adele

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Inspiration with Gussy Sews- THE BEACH

Maggie over at has been running an inspiration series to get people thinking and inspired.

The prompt this week is The Beach!

Since this past Monday, we celebrated our 2nd anniversary, I’m going to share beach pics with Tim.  Tim proposed at a beach.  I love the water and it’s calming effects, and the sun- oh the sun.  The beach? it is good.  And thanks to my hubby, it is now a place I think of sharing with him, and how our journey to husband and wife all started at the beach…


Gussy Sews Inspiration Workshop!

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Hole in my Heart

There is a hole in my heart.  It was put there three years ago today. I always thought it would heal itself, that it wouldn’t be so noticeable.

But, it’s still there.

I may not cry every day any more.  I may continue to move on.

But, it’s still there.


Three years ago, LCPL Dean D. Opicka was killed in action with CPL Richard Nelson.  They were driving a hummer and hit a road side bomb.

Dean was my best friend.  We were roommates and coworkers.  We were teammates and drinking buddies.  We were the person we would go to when we were happy, frustrated, mad or sad.  We were the person with whom we would act completely silly and crazy and ridiculous.  We traveled, and volunteered, and created too many memories to count.

And that hole is still there.

I still think about that one spring when he was mad at me for something, and I never learned why.  I still want to know.

I still think about watching him get sworn into the USMC down at MEPs and wondering if I could have said something to change his mind.  Would he still be with us?

I miss him.

The hole is still there.


So today, I will take some extra time to remember, to honor, to cherish.  I love my loved ones a bit harder.  I will appreciate my freedom that much more.  I will look at pictures and emails and letters.  And I will laugh and cry and smile.


Thank you, Dean, for the ultimate sacrifice.

You are never forgotten.


Freedom isn’t free, never was.

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Look Who is Opening SUMMERFEST!

I LOVE Peter. 


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Why I Walk Wednesday

This past weekend,  I had the joy of volunteering at a Walker’s Workshop event for Walk Now for Autism Speaks Milwaukee.

A few sorority sisters and I got to hang out with some pretty fun kids.  One in particular captured my heart.

B. is 4.

He likes to bounce on balls, loves the color purple (or blue which he will call purple) and loves playing with his V-tech Text and Talk.  He has bright blue eyes and a high pitched voice, and cute as a button.

Watching him look for his mom.  Watching him interact with his mom.  Seeing his face light up when his grandpa came.

He is why I walk.  His family is why I walk.

B. and his family, and the thousands just like them.


They are looking for resources, and advocacy, and research, and support.


“Why I Walk Wednesday” is a series about the reasons I am participating in Walk Now for Autism Speaks Milwaukee.  You can make a contribution here. Or join the team.


April is Autism Awareness Month- what will you do to make a difference?


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Why I Walk Wednesdays

Watch this.

This is why I walk.

On May 14, 2011, I will be walking alongside of those affected by Autism, their family and friends, my sisters, and many others.  I will be walking to raise funds and awareness at Walk Now for Autism Speaks at State Fair Park.

Walk with me?  (Registration is free, and you can show your support.)

Support the cause.

Thanks for reading.  Thank you for your support.


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