Changes….

Change is something in life that is inevitable.  Even if you try your HARDEST not to let things “change” it’s all around.  Seasons, technology, age, life, death – constantly keep us on our “toes.” And..if you don’t embrace change – well, life can be tough.  For me – I always look at change as a new life experience.  Yes, it can be hard – but if you’re like me and tend to believe things always happens for a reason, then change can be exciting as well.

This week – my co-host of nearly three years, Peggy Malzacher, will be leaving NTV’s Good Life.  It is a show we helped develop from “scratch.”  Along the way – we have become very good friends – shared more than a few tears, laughs, frustrations, and joys during our time together.  It will be hard to embrace this change – as co-hosting the show with her came with such an ease.  Don’t get me wrong – we’ve had our share of disagreements too.  In fact, we couldn’t be more different.  But for some reason –  I embraced her differences – and always appreciated what she had to say. 

I TRULY believe in my soul – that God brought her into my life to help me fulfill one of my lifelong dreams.  It is because of Peggy that I am now a children’s book author.  Although I knew in my heart that I always wanted to write – Peggy helped me realize that dream could become a reality.  She gave me the encouragement I needed to take that leap of faith – and in the end, it was one of the best moves I’ve ever made.  I believe my Ella B. Bella books are just the beginning of something fantastic – and I have Peggy to thank for that. 

And now – God is moving her along to a different adventure – and will bring someone/something new into my life.  It’s a change I have to believe is happening for a reason.  Yes, it can be scary – but it can also be exciting as well.

So – farewell my friend Peggy.  I will ALWAYS remember what you have done for me.  I know we will be lifelong friends – of this I have no doubt.  Good luck to you with your new adventures – and don’t be afraid of change!!  🙂  Great things are on the horizon for you!! 

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The “little” things..

Enjoy the little things…for one day you may look back and realize they were the BIG things. ~Robert Brault

I found this quote a couple of days ago posted on a blog site I just recently started reading – (Check out her blog – www.theharnischfamily.blogspot.com ) and the quote instantly became a new favorite.  I am a person that believes everything happens for a reason.  That god places things in our life – just at the moments we need them most. 

For the past 6 weeks – I, once again, have been trying to cram everything into maternity leave – instead of enjoying the “little” moments.  I did this back when I was on leave with Ella too – (check out this blog from back when I was on leave with Elle(http://www.communitycorrespondent.com/ntv/story.php?id=33842 ) – so you think I would have remembered this time to slow down a bit.  But – alas, life gets in the way and for some reason moms think they have to do it all.  Just a couple of days after I found this quote, my baby Gracie came down with a virus and I was FORCED to slow down.  For the past two nights I have been spending many hours with my baby girl rocking her to sleep in her nursery.  Those quite moments – holding her in my arms have been some of the best so far.

So – once again, I am reminded to SLOW DOWN and enjoy the little moments.  I will try my best to do just that during these last 6 weeks before I have to go back to work.  Because after all, the little things in life – really are the biggest and the best.  🙂 

Baby Grace - almost 6 weeks old!!

Ella on her new Dora bike!! Such a big girl!!

My two "little things"

Top 10 signs the bar scene is no longer for me!

Last night I helped my soon to be sister-in-law celebrate her last days as a single woman.  While I LOVED hanging out with this beautiful girl

My soon to be sister-in-law Heidi getting ready for her night out!

– I’m not so sure the bars loved hanging out with me.  Don’t get me wrong – back in the day, downtown Lincoln and I were good friends.  But – the last time I hit the bar scene in Lincoln was – December 2004 for MY bachelorette party.  Needless to say – things have changed a bit…and so have I!  So – here are a few signs/ “inside toughts” that made me quickly realize how much life has changed.  🙂

10.  The only thing in my closet that isn’t maternity “looking” or a t-shirt that I can currently fit into is an old blue dress that is about 3 inches too short.  I wear it anyway – in hopes that after a couple glasses of wine, a good fat sucker and dark lighting – I will think it looks “good enough.” 

9.  Unfortunately for me the fat sucker came off after about 1 hour into the evening, the lighting in the bars seemed much brighter than I remembered – and I didn’t drink nearly enough wine for the outfit to look OK.  I regret wearing the blue dress – and wish so badly I was in my comfy sweat pants.

8.  Holy Cow – did you see that girls shorts?  She is taking the meaning of “short shorts” to an entirely new level.  I don’t even wear something that short to bed at night!  (note to self – I’m fairly certain, in fact positive I too once owned those shorts.  If I didn’t have to wear a fat sucker – I would love to be able to fit into something like that – not that I would ever wear it in public again.  OK – maybe if I had enough wine to drink.  🙂 )

7.  I am intrigued by the re-run of CSI that is on the flat screen above the bar while waiting for my group of girls to get their drinks.  Take your time girls – this is a good episode.

6.  As I wait in line to get into a new bar, I happily get my i.d. out for the doorman to check.  He assures me that “you’re good – go on through” without checking my i.d.  Dang…

5.  You just spent HOW MUCH MONEY ON SHOTS?  45 bucks!!  Do you know how many diapers you can buy with that much money?  At least 2 large boxes – 3 if you buy generic. 

4.  When the cute, relatively younger – (under the age of 35) man asks me If I want a drink – I politely say, “no thanks.  I’m drinking water.” 

3.  I am seriously concerned that Miley Cyrus is playing on the radio – and want so badly for the d.j. to play some Bon Jovi!

2.  I take about 10 minutes to “people watch” and am amazed at how many pictures are being taken with cell phones.  I then realize how thankful I am that camera phones/blogs/Facebook/all social media outlets weren’t readily available when I was in college.  I mean come on girls – do you know what those photos can do to you in the future!!! 

1.  And finally – the number 1 reason I know the bars scenes are no longer for me….I can’t WAIT to get home to see my two beautiful girls – put on sweats and just “chill” with the family I love so much.  After all at home – I don’t need the fat sucker, dark lighting or wine to feel “accepted.”  My husband and two girls love me for ME – and that’s the best feeling in the world. 

Have a great week everyone!!

Saying Goodbye to Red..

I still remember writing the check. 

“Mom, is this how it’s done?  How do I write a check for this much money?” 

I saved – one could say – my entire childhood for this very moment.  Pennies were collected, 4-H animals were sold, cattle carcasses were cut – all for this huge purchase.  My first “true” car! 

Up until this late July day – I had been driving a two toned green LTD.  It was a car that my grandmother drove – and both my sister Lindsay and I had as well.  While I was thankful to have wheels – I wasn’t so thrilled about stopping in the middle of Main Street to pick up the muffler that fell off – or holding my breath each time I turned the key – wondering if it was going to start. 

“Those days are long behind me” I thought to myself – as I signed the biggest check of my life.  “I am now the proud owner – (well, co-owner.  Mom and Dad paid for half) of a 1997 red Chevy cavalier.”  This car had very few miles on it, was only two years old, had a cassette player which meant I could get a portable cd player to attach to it – 4 doors, only one owner, and smelled “brand new!”  It was a big day!

I drove it that night to the Webster County Fair.  I felt like a million bucks driving it on the open road – and couldn’t wait to show it off to my friends.  I had made a great purchase – and just in time for my senior year of high school. 

Red and I took many adventures together.  In 1999, she brought me to school on my first day as a senior at Blue Hill – and drove me to my “final farewell” celebration on graduation night. 

The summer of 2000, I packed the car full of clothes, shoes, a small television, and plenty of memories for my trip into Lincoln – to begin college at UNL.  I was nervous for that ride – as red and I ventured out on the interstate for the first time.  A fool side-swiped her one winter evening that freshmen year, and later that summer I learned that the airbags worked wonders when I smashed red into the back of my sister’s car, which hit a car, which hit another car.  After mom and dad paid for the repairs – she was good as new.  🙂

I packed many friends into red – as we ventured to college parties, football games, HuskerVision etc.  We became very familiar with the trip back and forth from Blue Hill to Lincoln early in my college days, but by junior year, red became very familiar with a different path.  She started making frequent trips to see a certain “special guy” named Kyle.

The summer of 2003, Red drove me to Denver, Colorado for a news internship.  Although I was there, along with three of my closest college friends, to improve my resume, ultimately the summer would be known as, “the summer of love.”  Kyle and I truly fell in love over those couple of months – and driving back to Lincoln from Denver that August – I knew my senior year of college was bound to be exciting. 

 She took a few beatings over the 4 years at UNL – moving multiple times from dorm rooms to apartments – but in July of 2004, I packed her up with college belongings one last time to move back home for a few months before my wedding day!

I drove her to the church on December 31st, 2004 as Leslie Waechter

On my way to the church - in Red!

 – and later that night – I sat in the passenger seat as Kyle and I ventured off as husband and wife.

Husband and wife....

Driving away as husband and wife

We packed every possible belonging I could fit into that car, (including a black cat named buddy) a week later to make the trip to Houston, TX to start our lives together.    Kyle broke the trunk that day, and we would eventually have to hold it open with a long rod anytime we used it.  I still remember tearing up as we drove away from my parents’ home that evening.  We honked the horn a few times – and just like that – we were off to a different state to start a new adventure.

 Red was a trooper on the long journey to Houston, TX.  It seemed she didn’t quite fit in amongst the Texas sized trucks – but, she held her own and was proud of her Nebraska plates.  She kept me safe in 8 lane rush hour traffic, held strong with the hour and half trip for my job in Beaumont, TX each day – and didn’t seem to mind the high humidity.

September 2005 – was probably one of the biggest challenges for Red.  Hurricane Rita was headed our way – and we needed to evacuate.  Kyle and I decided to head home to Nebraska before the wind and waves hit us!  What we didn’t expect was sitting in traffic for hours upon hours.  Everyone else was trying to leave too – and there was no room for red to drive.  We waited on the freeway for well over a day moving only inches at a time.  While many cars were running out of gas or stalling on the freeway, Red stayed true and eventually got us home safe and sound.

 She took a beating from that trip, but proved she still had a few good years left.  In the spring of 2006, Red decided she had had enough of Texas – and made the trip back home to Nebraska for another new adventure. 

By the summer of 2008, Red was up for another challenge.  Nearly every day I packed up my colicky first born child – and drove for miles.  The soothing ride would almost always help Ella fall asleep – and gave me a few moments of peace and quiet. 

Eventually, Red started to show signs of wear and tear.  We no longer needed the rod to hold open the trunk, because – the trunk would no longer open!  🙂 She started to leak fluids on a regular basis, and several “warning” lights would come on and off.  When the air conditioning stopped working last winter, I knew it was only a matter of time before we said our final goodbye. 

That final goodbye came last Saturday.

Kyle happily found a new “used” vehicle to replace Red.  He is now driving a Ford Expedition – and I have his white Hyundai.  I’ve never liked this white “mom” car – but it is safer than Red and fully paid for.  I suppose I can make an exception.

I took one last drive in Red on Saturday – to tell her goodbye.  It didn’t last long, because the lack of AC hampered things a bit.  🙂  She’s being “repaired” and will eventually be re-sold on one of the lots here in Kearney. 

Yes, the purchase I made over 11 years ago has been worth every penny.  Whoever buys her will be getting one steal of a deal.  Because – how can you possibly put a price on 11 years of memories?  Here’s to you Red!  I hope you can give another teenage girl a few years of happiness.  🙂

One last ride in Red...

Goodbye Red!!