I have seriously been working around the clock and have had no time for anything else! Therefore, not much to update. It is a good thing I am busy though, considering lay-offs are rampant (including at my office). The biggest news lately in my life has not been about me, but about a few of my friends. First, my childhood friend (and Chris' roommate) John got engaged and will be getting married this fall. Second, I helped my college girlfriends throw a bachelorette party for my sorority sister and dear friend Monique. She will be getting married in three weeks! We did not do the traditional wild and crazy thing, we did it in our usual style and hung out at home in our pajamas with tons of food and wine. It was such a fun way to spend quality time with Mo before her big day. Third, my college friend Laura had a baby yesterday! Ella Grace Hesemann, 5 lbs 9 oz. The whole family is doing well. That makes one more of my friends I have to play catch-up to. I am a little behind on the whole marriage and babies thing.


SoBe Lifewater

While I'm on the subject of favorite things, I figured I would add one more. I am addicted to SoBe Lifewater. I drink one pretty much every morning. For some reason it just goes down easier than plain water, I guess because it tastes so good. The best part is that they are full of vitamins, which is important for me because I don't take a multi-vitamin or anything like I should. They are low-cal too, with 0-100 calories per bottle. You should definitely try one. The goji melon flavor is my favorite. Happy Friday!



I have never really been a fan of yogurt, but I have been trying to make myself like it because the active cultures are supposed to be great for people like me with IBS. I am so happy to say that I finally found a brand that I actually love to eat: Belfonte. The Belfonte Dairy is a local Kansas City dairy, and they make great ice cream and other dairy products too. The yogurt is spectacular though, even the nonfat version tastes great. And they have a huge variety of flavors. My favorite is Key Lime Pie. Yum!


I tried a new yoga dvd this week: Bryan Kest Power Yoga. I really like this one. Supposedly Bryan Kest is a popular instructor all the stars in Hollywood go to. The dvd has three workouts on it, one for beginner level, one for intermediate, and one for experienced. The beginner level workout is challenging but a bit more "user friendly" than the Mark Blanchard one. I really liked the combination of poses in this one. Although, I think you still need a basic understanding of the standard yoga poses before you try it. Anyway, it is a great one for an at-home work out, once you get past his 80's jeans shorts.



Before I moved to KC and got the big-time job, I was a regular at yoga class, going 2-3 times a week. Since I moved, though, it has been so hard to fit working out into my schedule. I really miss yoga, and it helps me de-stress, so I decided to buy some DVD's that I can use at home. I figure I am more likely to do something if I don't have to leave my house! Well, I am so glad I did. I started the first one this week and I already feel so much better. So much more relaxed, flexible, de-stressed. I think yoga should be a necessity in everyone's life! The DVD I've been doing this week is Mark Blanchard's Progressive Power Yoga Trilogy. It has three DVD's and each one has a work-out that's about an hour and a half. If you alternate them you're body won't build up a tolerance to the movements--the variety is beneficial. It is a good set because there are people of all levels in the class and if you can't do the poses he is doing, you just do as much as you can or rest. The goal is to keep practicing until you can do what he does. The sessions are a little long, so I usually fast-forward through parts of them...45 min is about all I can take. And, I would say this set is not for a beginner that has never done yoga before. But if you've done a beginner yoga class for awhile, and you know all the basic poses, it's great. I cannot stress enough how great yoga makes you feel. Get out there and try it!


VH1's Tough Love

I was just relaxing this weekend and channel surfing when I came across the first episode of a new show, "Tough Love" on VH1. I am hooked! It is hosted by Steven Ward, and his mother JoAnn Ward, both partners in Master Matchmakers. It is a "boot camp" of sorts for women with serious dating difficulties. Steve--who is hilarious--is embarking to teach these women to recognize the mistakes they are making and train them to behave appropriately with men. The ultimate goal is for him to find them a match, but not until they have proven to him that they will change their ways. The girls on the show are so comical in their embodiment of typical female stereotypes (e.g. the stripper, the gold digger, the stalker, the picky princess, the marriage obsessed, the career woman). I highly recommend you check out the show, it will keep you laughing. Even Chris was loving it. =) Check out the show's website here.


Baby Pintado

My best friend Carie had her baby yesterday! I will let Carie post the pictures and details, but I just wanted to express how happy I am for Carie and Johnathan and their new baby girl. They are all doing well and baby Pintado is so precious. Carie was absolutely glowing when I saw her at the hospital. She is an inspiration to all of us future mothers. Congratulations guys, you make a perfect little family. Stay tuned to the Pintado Page (link at left) for more information. =)


Fabulous Florida Family Fun

Here are a few pictures from my 5 day vacation in Florida last week. It was so wonderful, I wanted to stay forever! Chris and I went down to visit my parents at their vacation home in Palmetto, which is near the Bradenton/Sarasota area. My brother was able to come too and it was so great to have everyone together. The first day we went fishing out on the boat. We didn't catch much but it was fun to be out on the water. We went out for a great seafood dinner that night, and unfortunately poor Chris got food poisoning, we think from a bad oyster. He did not have a good night, to say the least. He was a trooper though and was feeling okay the next day. He certainly didn't eat anymore seafood, but I think he enjoyed the rest of the trip. =) The rest of the week was just nice and relaxing, laying out by the pool and at the beach. My mom and I even managed to squeeze in some shopping time. It was hard to come back to the real world and the cold weather!

The building where my parents live, and the marina

Getting the boat ready to go out

Enjoying the ride down the Manatee River

Beach day
(I know my mom's hat is not my best look, but it kept me from getting burned!)

Dinner at the Bradenton Yacht Club
(you can see the boys did not re-apply their sunscreen at the beach like the girls did)


Pet Problems

I cannot believe how far behind I am on keeping up with my blog, as well as my friends' blogs. So sorry girls! They scolded me at our big girls weekend 2 weeks ago and I promised I would do a better job. (Am I starting to sound like a broken record?) I just got home from a week-long vacation in Florida, so I will post pics from that as soon as I get them all loaded on my computer. In the meantime, I am having some sleep issues I could use some advice on. I read this great article in Glamour magazine this month about how important it is to get your body's required hours of sleep every night, and how it can help you lose weight. The most inspiring part for me though is how important a good night's sleep is for preventing that groggy mid-afternoon feeling I always get. I always seem to lose concentration in the afternoon and turn to bad things (like soda) to keep me awake. If you want to check out the article, click here. So last night I got all settled in for a good night's sleep at a decent hour, and I was sleeping great til about 4:30 this morning, when my two cats decided to prowl around my bedroom and get into everything, making so much noise I couldn't sleep. So, I locked them out of the bedroom, and then they proceeded to cry and cry until I would let them back in. By the time they settled down on the bed and actually slept, it was 6:30, time for me to wake up. I was so exhausted! I know it is bad for your sleep to have pets in your bed, but the alternative for me is to have them crying outside my door, which isn't any better. Help! What do I do?



After three months of living out of boxes, with stacks of clothes everywhere, I finally took the plunge and bought some bedroom furniture. Nebraska Furniture Mart was having this big sale over the weekend, with everything 50% off and the 30 months no-interest financing, so I thought it was a good deal. What a fun store! Here is a picture from the Ashley website of the furniture I bought:

In the picture it looks brown, but the color is actually black. I also bought a nice futon that has a really comfy mattress with springs in it and everything, but I don't have a picture of that. Thankfully they can deliver all of it tomorrow because my brother, Chris, and our friend Scott are all coming to stay with me for the weekend and I need places for them to sleep! I am crossing my fingers to make sure it all gets here in one piece.



Any melancholy I may have been experiencing recently due to my not being a part of the current baby plague among my best friends has officially been banished by the screaming baby that moved in next door to me in my apartment building. A little over a month ago I first heard the screaming baby on the other side of my bedroom wall. The wierd thing is, I don't hear it every night. About every other week for a few days I hear it screaming over there and I hear the parents trying to deal with it. Well, the baby is IN this week and the last two nights it has screamed until about 1:30 in the morning. This royally irks me because I did not get to sleep last night until about 2am when the parents finally got the baby to shut up. And I have the huge bags under my eyes to prove it. My dilemma is how to deal with this situation. I honestly feel sorry for the parents but at the same time it is not fair that I have to wake up every time the baby does--it's not mine! I feel like this is something I can definitely complain to the landlord about, but how do I do that without looking like a heartless witch who hates babies??? HELP. I need to sleep!!



This past weekend Chris and I went to see Jerry Seinfeld live at the Midland Theater. We had great seats near the front, and it was so surreal to see him standing just a few feet away from us! He was hilarious, just like in his tv show, but with a few more four-letter words. He sure looks great too for being 54 years old. If you haven't seen the "new" Midland Theater yet, you need to. It is absolutely gorgeous. I live right across the street, so I've been watching the renovations over the last month and I was so anxious to see the inside. It is so ornate, with chandeliers everywhere. And it is a pretty small venue, so any seat in the house has a good view of the stage. I can't wait to go back and see another show. You can check out the website here. Maybe I'll keep the comedy rolling and go see Jim Gaffigan next. Or maybe ZZ Top? Haha.

While we're on the subject of comedy, Chris and I also went to see the movie Tropic Thunder this weekend. HILARIOUS!! I have to admit, I was really annoyed as soon as I discovered Tom Cruise was in it, but he actually kind of stole the show. You have to see it!


New Job, New City

Everyone has been getting on me lately about not updating my blog, and I'm sorry that I haven't. I was going through so many changes the last couple months that I just never seemed to find the time. I moved to Kansas City and started a new job at Lathrop & Gage, so a lot has happened! I will try to do better about posting updates. For now, you can check out my profile on the Lathrop & Gage website, which just went up today. I've really enjoyed working there so far. We will see how it goes!


~Happy Monday~

Sorry I have been MIA for awhile, it has been a busy couple of months! Just an update that a CT scan of my heart showed I have nothing structurally wrong. So I was signed off by my cardiologist and told to "stay away from" caffeine and alcohol....hmmmm...that will be a new challenge!



I apologize for not updating this in a while...my life was turned upside down two weeks ago when my grandfather passed away. I have had a very hard time coping with his death, because I have been fortunate to be close with all four of my grandparents and he was the first one to pass. My Grandpap, Andrew "Jeep" Prazenica, was a wonderful man and lived a full life to the ripe old age of 87. He was diagnosed with melanoma a few months ago, and after two major surgeries the prognosis was hopeful that the cancer had been cut out, and he was to start his chemo treatments about two weeks ago. Suddenly though he became very weak, and two days later he passed away. I am proud of my Grandpap for putting up a valiant fight for his life until the very end, and thankful that his passing was painless and swift. Of course in my selfishness I would give anything to just see him and hug him one more time, but for his sake I am glad he has found peace.

My Grandpap was the son of Slovak immigrants, and grew up in the Pittsburgh suburb of Tarentum, PA. He was a veteran of World War II, a naval hero who saved many of his shipmates' lives when their ship was attacked and sank into the ocean. He married my grandmother, Jean, and they have five children, including my mother, Joan, and they also have fourteen grandchildren. He was an avid outdoorsman who loved to be outside, he loved gardening, and he loved sports, especially baseball. I have fond memories of him as a loving grandfather, always laughing and smiling. As my uncle described him at the funeral, what is most memorable about Grandpap is that everybody liked him. He was always friendly and joking around with people and could put anyone at ease. This became abundantly clear to me at his visitation and funeral, when person after person came to pay their respects and couldn't stop talking to me about how friendly and likable he was. "Jolly Andy", that's how most people described him.

It touched my heart when my grandmother told me that Grandpap loved to read this blog, passing it on to all of his friends, and was reading it religiously up until the day that he died. As a dedication to him, I am going to do everything I can to keep this blog going. I love you Grandpap!!!

Grandpap with my cousins, Ryan and Evan


Toilet-Seat Trauma

Did anyone hear about or read the story about the woman in Kansas who sat on her toilet for two straight years, and her body grew around the toilet and she actually grew physically attached to it????? They had to cut off the top of the toilet to take her to the hospital because it was attached to her body! You can read the story here. Only in Kansas, right?!?!?

New Do

Everyone keeps asking me if I got my hair cut so I thought I'd better respond. The answer is yes. I basically just got the layers cut shorter on top. I almost hate to admit it, but I have always wanted Hilarie Burton's hair (she plays Peyton Sawyer on my favorite show, "One Tree Hill". I know, it's sad!) so I finally showed my stylist her picture. I think she did a pretty good job of making my hair look like hers, don't you?

Hilarie Burton


(granted, it's not a great picture of me, but it's all I have!)


Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Even though the "official" St. Patrick's holiday was moved to Saturday, March 15, because it conflicted with Holy Week, (news story here) it still feels like St. Patrick's day today and I wanted to wish you all a good one! It is my FAVORITE holiday because I get to celebrate my Irish heritage, and drink green beer, and wear my favorite color, "Kelly" green! (haha). Hope everyone has a great one!

Our St. Patrick's Day festivities on Saturday consisted of bowling for charity for the Big Brothers Big Sisters organization, attending our friend's "dinosaur hunter"-themed birthday party (so funny! It was Oogles 'N Googles of Springfield's first adult party! Find out more here) and then riding around in a limo all night for the birthday/St. Pat's festivities. All in all, it was a good St. Patrick's day. (I'm sure I will manage to squeeze in a green beer today though!)

Chris and I had to hold hands for one frame during the "funky" bowling

Some of my bowling team members: Brianna, Chris and Jennifer

The dinosaur hunters are ready to go! (Chris was making fun of our hats)

Chris managed to turn his dinosaur-hunter bag into a beer holder

Riding around in the limo


Jamaica-n Me Crazy!

Does anyone else have a love-hate relationship with the Jamaica tourism commercial that is on tv EVERY morning?? Every morning after I pry myself out of my nice warm bed and I'm standing on the cold tile floor in my bathroom getting ready and watching the news on tv in my bedroom, this darn commercial comes on and then a wave of sadness takes over me and without fail I go sit on my bed and watch the commercial wide-eyed, desperately dreaming about lying on the beach in Jamaica. Then the commercial is over and I'm slapped backed to reality. Man I hate that commercial!! (but I love it!) http://www.visitjamaica.com/home/Default.aspx

Best Pizza Ever

I have lived in Springfield for two years, and Chris has lived here for eight, but last night we had Arris Pizza for the first time and OMG is it fabulous!! We had THE HERCULES which is loaded with meaty goodness, and also the spinach dip, which is perfectly crunchy with the unique addition of water chestnuts. There's one in Jeff City, Columbia, Osage Beach and Owasso, OK, so get thee to an Arris Pizza as soon as possible!

Check it out: http://www.arrispizzaonline.com/


Thank you so much to everyone for your insight into my beta blocker fiasco. My best friend who is a doctor scolded me for reading the website I posted yesterday! She says you cannot read too much into those if they are not sponsored by a reputable medical source, and I admit I knew that, it is just so hard not to when you are trying to become as informed as possible. Anyway, many of you--including my doctor friend--informed me that the side effects would subside after a few months. However, I spoke with my doctor this morning, and he said to stop taking them for now, because they are by no means necessary, they were just a suggestion, and he is referring me to a cardiologist. So, i will let you know what happens with that! Thanks again for all your advice, I know I always sound like a total mess with my ailments! =)


Beta Blocker...A little scary....

My doctor called me with the results of my heart monitor and said that he didn't see anything serious, I was just having "non-threatening arrhythmias." He suggested that I try taking a beta blocker for thirty days. He prescribed the generic for Toprol for me, and I have been taking it for almost a week now. At first I was very excited about having a possible solution to my annoying irregular heartbeat. But I have to admit that now I am almost more scared about taking the beta blocker than I am about having an irregular heartbeat! I've just felt kind of "out of it" ever since I started taking it, and I know that tiredness and fatigue are a common side effect, but I just can't seem to get out of this "haze" I'm experiencing. I've been experimenting with taking it at different times of the day, but still haven't found the magic time. Last night I took it right before bed, and all of this morning I felt like I was drugged. So, tonight I took it earlier, around dinner, to see if I will feel more awake tomorrow morning. I've been reading all about the possible side effects, and it's a little scary. One weird one is crazy vivid dreams, which I have in fact been having. Vivid in the sense that they feel very real and I remember them so clearly when I wake up. Fortunately I haven't been experiencing the insomnia I keep reading about--I was pretty much an insomniac already, and I think the sluggish effects of the drug are actually helping me sleep. I think it might be upsetting my stomach though, and I think I also might be feeling little pangs of anxiety that I've read about as a possible side effect. I have never been an anxious person before so this worries me. I came across this terrifying website tonight full of horror stories and awful symptoms that people have had with Toprol, and now I am wondering if I should just stop it now before things get any worse! If anyone has any input or advice, please let me know!!!


MS Walk

On April 5, 2008, I am participating in the National MS Walk in Springfield. My friends and I are going to walk 9 miles (hopefully we'll make it that far!) in support of helping our friends and family members who suffer from multiple sclerosis. There currently is no cure for MS, and it is such a debilitating disease that affects many of those who are close to our hearts. I am glad to do anything I can to help. If you would like to help by making a donation to sponsor me in the walk, please visit my personal donation website here. You can very easily and securely make a donation online, in any amount that you wish. (And it is tax deductible, so save your receipt!) Thanks so much for any support you can give.

Just FYI, here are some facts about MS from the National MS Society website :
  • MS is thought to be an autoimmune disease that affects the central nervous system (CNS). In MS, myelin, a fatty tissue which helps nerve fibers conduct electrical impulses, is lost in multiple areas, leaving scar tissue called sclerosis. These damaged areas are also known as plaques or lesions. Sometimes the nerve fiber itself is damaged or broken.
  • Myelin not only protects nerve fibers, but makes their job possible. When myelin or the nerve fiber is destroyed or damaged, the ability of the nerves to conduct electrical impulses to and from the brain is disrupted, and this produces the various symptoms of MS.
  • Symptoms of MS are unpredictable and vary from person to person and from time to time in the same person. The possible common symptoms include: Bladder Dysfunction, Bowel Dysfunction, Changes in Cognitive Function (including problems with memory, attention, and problem solving), Dizzines and Vertigo, Depression and other Emotional Changes, Fatigue, Difficulty Walking, Numbness, Pain, Sexual Dysfunction, Spasticity, and Vision Problems
  • The exact cause of MS is unknown, but most researchers believe the damage to myelin results from an abnormal response by the body's immune system. In autoimmune diseases, the body attacks its own tissue; in the case of MS, myelin is attacked. While the triggers of the attack are unknown, researchers agree that several factors are involved, including: Genetics, Gender, Environmental Triggers (such as viruses, trauma and heavy metals)
  • Most people with MS are diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 50.
  • Twice as many women as men have MS.
  • Approximately 400,000 Americans acknowledge having MS, and every week about 200 people are diagnosed. Worldwide, MS may affect 2.5 million individuals.


February 8, 1948 - February 8, 2008

While we're on the subject of anniversaries, my grandparents had their 60th wedding anniversary in February. Sixty years is amazing! Nana and Grandpa, I send all my love to you as well. You also set a model example of a loving marriage that lasts a lifetime (literally!). I love you!!

March 3, 1979 - March 3, 2008

Yesterday was my parents' 29th wedding anniversary. I just want to send all my love to them and tell them what perfect parents they are. Thanks, Mom and Dad, for setting the example of what marriage should be. I can only hope to be so happily married myself someday. Here's to another 29 years!! I love you!

(I meant to post this yesterday, but I've been slow to get started with this week so please forgive me!)

Snow Day

Is anyone else completely fed up with this weather? My sinuses just can't take these extreme changes in temperature anymore! I woke up this morning and I felt like my head was going to explode, because we went from 75 degrees to 25 degrees in less than 24 hours. And don't even get me started on how annoying "snow days" are in southwest Missouri. I'm guessing the rest of Missouri is the same way, too. It's like these people have never seen snow before. We get two inches of snow and everything completely shuts down. I look out this morning and I think, oh, that's not much snow, it doesn't look too bad. Boy was I wrong. The city hasn't even TOUCHED the roads. It took me thirty minutes to drive to work when it normally takes me ten. You think Missouri drivers are bad on a normal day, wait til there's four inches of snow on the ground! I can't take it anymore....I need a vacation.


Bayside Tigers

Yesterday I picked up the shirts I ordered for my volleyball team and I am so excited! Isn't the logo fabulous? The Y has an adult volleyball league so I rounded up some coworkers and friends and we formed a team and we call ourselves the Bayside Tigers. That's right! We've only had one game and one practice so far because everything last week got cancelled due to the ice. But our first game went pretty well considering most of the team has either never played, or hasn't played since high school. We think the rest of the teams might be a little hard core though based on the fact they have matching uniforms and kneepads and do synchronized calisthenics and drills before the games. (Call me crazy.) They also don't look a day over 17, which is funny considering this is an "ADULT" league. Oh well, we have no problem being the old farts going out there to get our butts kicked just as long as it's fun. Heck, these kids have probably never even seen Saved By the Bell. I'll let you know how our game goes tomorrow! "I'm so excited...I'm so excited....I'm so....scared!!"
Artwork by Creator Designs, Inc. , Springfield, MO


Girl Scout Cookies!

I got my Girl Scout cookies this morning and I am so excited!! I got two boxes of the Shortbreads, because those are my favorite. I also got one box of Lemonades and one box of Caramel deLites. Yummy! Not so much in my new healthy eating plan, but oh well, I can't resist. I try to take full advantage of the cookies whenever I can because I was never able to sell them. I never made it to the full Girl Scout ranking where I could sell cookies. I am forever a mere "Brownie". Not because I didn't apply myself, mind you, but because my troop couldn't find a mother who wanted to be our leader after fifth grade. Hmmmm....what does that say about us?? ;-)


No, I Am Not Wearing A Pager

This morning I am hating my new friend, "The Event Monitor". That's right, I've been wearing a heart monitor for about 17 days now. For the past few months I've been having this wierd irregular heart beat, so my doctor is having me wear this monitor for 30 days to record my heart rate to see if anything is wrong. The thing is pretty much ancient. I have to wear two leads that connect to the monitor, and it constantly scans my heart rate. Whenever I feel something wierd, I push the "record" button and it saves the last minute plus another 30 seconds to its memory. It can only do this three times, then it's memory is full and I have to send the recording over the phone to empty it out. Not just any phone, mind you, it must be a land line phone. Which proves extremely annoying considering I and everyone else I know only uses cell phones. Therefore, pretty much the only place I can send recordings is at my office, and it makes this loud sonar-beeping screech while it sends the recording....not exactly pleasant. My heart is doing all kinds of wierd fluttering today so I have had to send recordings twice this morning. So freaking annoying. My i-pod holds 8o gigs but this freaking heart monitor can only hold three minute-and-a-half recordings? Seriously people, whoever you cardiac people are that make this thing, you need to update your technology. Half the time I can't record what I'm feeling because the thing is full and I can't get to a phone. Hopefully this will all turn out fine in the end, but for right now I am dreading the 11 more days I have to wear this thing! I just love the stares I get in public when I push the record button and it makes a loud SCREECH for thirty seconds. Or the inquisitive stare from the fitting room attendant when I ask for a different size in a pair of pants and she can't take her eyes off the wierd cord that is hanging out from underneath my clothes. Grrrr.


New Year = COLD

2008 has gotten off to a pretty good start for me so far, except that it is FREEZING! I am in desperate need of some warm weather. Here's what I've been doing so far this year:

The first weekend of January, Chris and I went to Kansas City to visit Wade and Melynda for Wade's birthday. We had lots of fun playing Guitar Hero and Wii (total nerds, I know!)

In mid-January I went up to Chicago to visit my old roomies Carie and Claudia. I surprised Claudia for her birthday by arranging the whole thing through Carie. Carie and JP picked me up at the airport then we showed up at Claudia's house to pick her up for lunch and she was shocked! We had a great weekend even though we froze to death.

Chris and I are anti-Valentines Day and all of the "Forced Romance" that goes with it (as my friend Jennifer says). But he surprised me by sending beautiful tulips to my office. Such a sweetheart! (They were still only buds in this picture).

February was a month of weddings and engagement parties. We started with Katie and Troy's wedding in St. Louis, and it was so much fun to see all of my old friends.

The very next weekend we were off to Joplin for my friend Audrey's wedding and an engagement party for a friend of Chris' family. Thank the Lord we have no more weddings to attend until June!!

Virgin Blogger

So, today I am "working from home" thanks to the fabulous ice storm that is visiting southern Missouri, and I received an e-mail from my good friend Christen inviting me to view her new blog. Once I log in, I am surprised to see that a handful of my best friends have been blogging away for a while now, and I am totally amazed. I don't know how I missed the memo, but I had no idea how much fun this blogging could be! I spent the entire morning reading my friends' blogs, and decided I needed one of my own. So, here goes!