Thursday, March 31, 2011


We are beginning the process of shopping for life insurance. It is a very daunting process. Prior to planning a family, I did not feel life insurance was an apropriate product for us since we were able to maintain our lifestyles on one income.

Things are changing. There are fr too many stories of families being devestated financially on top of emotionally when a breadwinner dies and there are no plans in place to ensure financial stability. Not to mention, if God forbid my husband or I were to die, I am confident we would need time off from work to grieve without the pressure of paying the bills.

When I was with my ex, his sister was killed unexpectedly, leaving behind a husband, a son and a brand new mortgage payment. Literally the night she passed, we had to go to an ATM to get some money for the husband because they had been having a tight month having just moved in to a brand new house. Neither Mr. Case or myself want this to happen.

The good news, I trust my financial planner completely. When I worked in the stock market, I worked directly under him for half a decade. His moral compass is admirable and I know he eats, sleeps and breathes his business, always taking care of his client. Navigating the options is stressful at best but I know I can rely on his council.

As a blogger, I am aware of quite a few blogs where young people have unexpectedly lost their spouse. it is a painful reality check. I encourage everyone to take the time to investigate insurance for their spouse and themself. The fact is, it is much easier to get a large policy, and keep it going during your lifetime, whie you are young and healthy. Trying to get a policy after an illness or when you're older, if very difficult. I worked with these products for 10 years so I know of what I speak. People close to me have paid on policies for many years, only to allow them to lapse during tight financial times and learn they are unable to get a new or comparable policy despite their years of paying on their old policy.

Can we afford life insurance right now? Probably not. But the bottom line is, we can't not afford it, either.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011


I would really, really, really like your opinions on an issue. I was raised that when you are invited to someone's home, you bring a hostess gift, and at the very least ask to contribute to the meal in some way. Further, when you bring something to someone's home, it is considered a gift. For example, if I am going to a potluck and my dish is not fully consumed, I am only entitled to return home with my Tupperware, not the food that was in it.

I have had people come to my home take back something they brought. I have also had people come to my home with a contribution to the meal/event and get put out if I did not serve their contribution right away (imagine they bring a bottle of wine but there are already three other bottles open, of course I would wait to open a fourth!) Worse is if you don't use their contribution right away and they nag you about it on subsequent visits, but that is an entirely different Emily Post post.

I was in charge of snacks for bible study last week and I overbought considerably. I helped tidy up and left the remaining food behind for the hostess. She didn't offer or insist I bring it with me and I was 100% fine with that. I would not expect otherwise. Coincidentally, it was my turn to bring breakfast at church that week. Someone suggested I should bring the leftovers from the bible study (also another Emily Post post, lol.) I replied that I had left all the leftovers behind, and I received several quizzical stares.

So my question is, what do you do when you contribute and there are leftovers? Would you ever rescind a hostess gift? Is this a regional issue, an etiquette issue or something entirely different?

Tuesday, March 29, 2011


Someone else shared a link to this story in my reader. Um, all I can say is a resounding 'Heck no.' I don't do spiders, even a little bit.

Weigh in:

Spider Trees



Monday, March 28, 2011


I have issues with modesty. Long-standing issues. I didn't even like to change my clothes during gym class!

Anyway, my entire adult life, I have dreaded vaginal exams. Before I get one, I am nervous, sweaty and otherwise uncomfortable. The anxiety that comes from having someone poke and prod your lady bits is incomparable.

Everybody says that once you give birth, modesty becomes a thing of the past. While I don't think this will be entirely true for someone like myself, I will say that for the first time in many years, I just sat down and waited. No hyperventilating, etc. This is a proud moment for me, ha! And, might I add, it was literally the quickest exam I have ever had!

Thursday, March 24, 2011


One of my greatest personal flaws is that I am consumed with worrying about what other people will think. To that end, I obsess over not insulting others to the point where I censor myself even if it is against my moral code. Take this blog, for example. Sometimes I feel compelled to write about spiritual and religious things that are weighing on my heart or my mind. But I rarely give in to those urges because I don't want to alienate any of my (few!) followers.

Such insecurity is dumb at best. If there is a topic on my mind, it is obviously there for a reason. Maybe writing it out might bring new perspective to someone, a teaching moment if you will. Or perhaps if I shared what was on my heart, there would be an opportunity for me to learn. I still have a lot to learn.

So starting today, I am going to ditch the worrying. You see, my life is changing.

Many times in my life I have heard people say they've read a book (usually of the self-help variety) that greatly changed their life. I always found this humorous. How could someone else's experience profoundly change yours? It was ignorant of me to underestimate the power of empathy and sharing.

At church the women were starting a new bible study. I think the devil must've been on my shoulder because I was extremely hesitant to read this book with them, not even knowing the title or subject matter. Then, one by one, the women started remarking on how humbling and insightful the book was. I don't know about you, but I could really use some humbling!

I found it very cheesy that they were so greatly impacted by a book for which they'd only read one chapter. Obviously, I need to check my ego at the door.

For whatever reason, I felt compelled to join the study.

I put off reading the book till the very last minute, AKA, the next meeting for chapter two is tomorrow!

God as my witness, this book has changed me. And humbled me. And given me insight. No lie, everything the other women discussed rang true for me, too.

The book is called Calm My Anxious Heart and it was written by a woman I have never heard of named Linda Dillow. Readers of my old blog know I have literally been paralyzed in the past with depression and anxiety. One look at the title and I knew it was no accident I signed on to read.

Going through this study is like having the one person who knows you most intimately in the world, call you out on your BS. But they are doing it in a kind, loving an gentle manner. They're doing it in a way that allows for growth and humility.

This book is so full of usable content that I often find myself re-reading sentences over and over so I don't miss something. I haven't read this intently since college.

There is nothing that I can say that will do this book justice. I feel like it was divine intervention at work that the book even came into my life. If you're hurting, if you're worried, if you're scared or if you need peace in your life, please do not hesitate to look to this book for guidance and support.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


I sent Mr. Case to Sam's Club to pick up some bulk water. Rewinding a bit, he left his debit card at Dave & Buster's on St. Patrick's Day so he is only able to use his credit card for purchases. He got all the way to the front of the line with his 4 (!) cases of water, only to be told they only accept Mastercard. Sorry, Mr. Case! I'm really over these club stores only accepting one credit card. I get why they do it, but honestly, I'd spend more if they were regulating my currency.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


Middle Brother is attempting to "play" the drums. I asked, 'Since when do you know how to play the drums?' He retorted that he was going to "practice." Sans lessons, naturally. I even heard him mutter under his breath, "I wish Baby Brother was here!" It doesn't sound good, I can tell you that much. Hope it doesn't last too long!

Edit: He played for less than 5 minutes before giving up so I still have my hearing in tact!

Monday, March 21, 2011


I need to bring a meal to a woman who just had a baby. I always bring either Italian or Mexican lasagna. Bo-ring! Plus, if it is hot outside I'm sure she won't want some heavy meal. Do you have any suggestions?

Saturday, March 19, 2011


Sorry if any of you have a pregnancy-related post in your feeders. I accidentally posted something here that was destined for my family blog. My bad!

Friday, March 18, 2011


I have two brothers, Middle Brother and Baby Brother. Both of them are gifted in their own ways. Me? Not so much. I'm OK with being average because it is better than being below-average, right? Right.  Anyway, this isn't about me....

Let me tell you a bit about my brothers. Middle Brother excels at things related to computers and technology. He is also very adept at math. He works for a major electronics retailer and can basically work any department because he has memorized the features of each gadget. He is putting himself through college and I am very proud of him.

Baby Brother is a musical savant. One day, he told my mom he wanted to learn to play the guitar. She obliged and bought him one. He taught himself to play. He then decided he wanted lessons; after the first one, the instructor took my mom to the side and told her he didn't need lessons, and that at some point he could teach himself! After the guitar, Baby Brother taught himself how to play the bass. One day, on a whim, he bought himself a fancy-schmance professional keyboard from a musician moving out of town. That night, he taught himself to play the piano on his highly, highly sophisticated keyboard.

Fast forward to this morning: Middle Brother decides he is going to buy a drum set off of Craig's List. He enlists Baby Brother's help since Baby Brother has been in several bands and is adept at recognizing good equipment from bad, etc.

So, my brothers pull up and begin unloading the drums. Baby Brother takes on the task of setting up the set. Middle Brother, who constantly feels in competition with Baby Brother, decides to criticize and claim the set is not set up properly. Baby Brother is the baby of the family so naturally there is an ego issue at hand. He goes online to research the set up. Middle Brother continues to criticize. I can see where this is going.

The brothers decide to take a break from the bickering and go about their days. Middle Brother leaves explicit instructions that nobody (read: Baby Brother) is to touch the drums. Of course, the second Middle Brother leaves, Baby Brother jumps right on there.

Naturally, he has taught himself how to drum in the span of 15 minutes. This? Amazes me. Perhaps my mom's dream of having her own Partridge Family just might come true. Mr. Case owns a bass and longs to learn to play it, ha! But really, the point of this post is to sing the praises of my brother. he is a true musical savant. Not only did he teach himself a popular song, but he then began writing his own beats. In school Middle Brother and I both tried different instruments as part of the curriculum but it is clear neither of us ever stood a chance-all the skill went to Baby Brother. Obviously.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


As in, my back. All of the aforementioned productivity has left my back in bad shape. This has happened once before since being pregnant but I literally can't even walk without looking like The Hunchback of Notre Dame.

Oh boy...


Man, I really kicked ass today in the organizing department. To be fair, Mr. Case did the majority of the manual part of the labor but I supervised and pointed my finger for where stuff should go. Getting up off the floor several times left me feeling really sore. I'd love to be able to crack my back!

I hope I can continue this streak of getting stuff done because Lord knows I am not done yet. We organized our storage stuff and considering the vast amount of stuff and space, it is a miracle we didn't harm one another! Next I tackle the closet!

***ETA: We are in the process of reforming our hoarding ways. By the time we discovered our fifth scientific calculator, we knew we needed to throw out more crap.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


I have just a few Japanese-disaster-related thoughts:

1. It's terribly sad that news of the nuclear power plant is overshadowing the human interest side of the story. An infant was rescued from the rubble and many people are missing, dead, or otherwise devastated. This should take precedence in my mind.

2. I am terrified of all things related to nuclear power. That said, one thing I learned living literally a mile from a reactor is that the media creates unnecessary frenzy at times. I'm sure the anti-nuke people are lapping this stuff up, but in reality the Japanese have the situation as under control as possible. We are all only human and the engineers there are very bright. They don't really need us second guessing their every move. Talk about pressure!

3. Lastly, nuclear power is still the safest means of harnessing energy.

Writing about this is making my heartburn worse so I will leave it to you guys to share your opinions with me.

Monday, March 14, 2011


I should've known better than to commit to Nablopomo on a month when I would be travelling. Not to mention, I ended needing to have my hard drive replaced, which left me out of cyber commission for the better part of a week.

Anyway, I know I messed up. The good news is, the month is only half over so there is time for me to redeem myself these next two weeks!

Mr. Case met the head chef for a famous, celebrity-owned restaurant and he promised us a good time if we went to his restaurant for dinner to celebrate our anniversary. We are long overdue, as our 3-year was on the 2nd.

In other news, my dog was hospitalized while I was gone and my entire family conspired to not tell me, thinking it would've upset me too much. Maybe they were right, I don't know. I do know hearing about it after the fact made me worry, too. Poor Paris had pancreatitis, which I blame entirely on my mom feeding her from the table (that's a whole 'nother Oprah!)

I deep cleaned my bedroom before going out of town and it sure felt good to come home to a clean space. Does anyone else clean before they leave so they don't come home to a mess?

There is no cool segue out of this random post so I will just say goodnight for now!

Friday, March 4, 2011


Today I can't write a decent blog post. My family is in the midst of a gut-wrenching crisis and it is all I can do not to perform the ugly cry several times a day. Consequently, I have a migraine and a cranky attitude. Tomorrow is a new day in which to focus on the positive, yes?

Thursday, March 3, 2011


I think if looks could kill, I would be dead. She appreciated the belly rub up until I had Mr. Case take her photo. Paris is like me and doesn't like to have her photo taken!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011


Today is our 3-year anniversary. Nothing special is planned due to budgetary restraints but it doesn't matter, anyway. We love each more now than we did three years ago. I can say with confidence that I married a wonderful man. Marriage is not an easy endeavor but it is so worthwhile. God gave me the perfect partner, and for that I am eternally thankful.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011


The writing prompt for March on Nablopomo is "one word." Their prompts are pretty liberal so I will take this to mean I only need one word as inspiration or title. My track record is pretty awful for these monthly things but I'm gonna give it a shot.

I'm really sick of drama. Everyone has their fair share but on occasion I question if I'm not a personal magnet. But things are changing inside of me. I have an entirely new set of responsibilities and they're only going to increase. It is time to look out for Numero Uno.

I can't live in fear any more of the "what ifs" of life. The fact is, there is a lot beyond my control. This is some revelation to have at 29, right? Better late than never, I guess.

It has been a rough 5+ years. I contemplated recapping a brief list of the traumas of the past half-decade but am torn over whether I want a written account or not. On the one hand, my history is my history and it is part of who I am today and why I am the way I am. On the other hand, if I write it out will it be the equivalent of re-living it? Will writing it out somehow hold me back from healing? I'm not sure what the answer is. I do know I have blogged for several years now, and it is very rare that I dig through the archives for something.

God promised a joyful and full life, He never promised a happy life. Happiness is circumstantial, whereas joy is a feeling I wish to know in my heart and live every day. I need to accept that traumatic and bad thins are going to happen. Hurting will occur, not "if" but "when." I am only responsible for my own actions. If someone hurts me, I have to accept it and move on.

Currently, one of my brothers is having a hard time. When he hurts, I hurt. Our connection is strong and I vibe off of him. I need to let go. He needs to be able to make his own good decisions. And not all of his decisions will be good. Nobody's decisions are always perfect. But sometimes you need to learn certain life lessons on your own, even if it feels like it is killing those who love you.