Thursday, February 24, 2011

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

6/30

Day 07: A picture of your most treasured item.

Assuming 'treasured item' refers to an object & not a person or animal I have to say, hands down, my dad's guitar.


This guitar epitomizes everything that was important to my pa. Music was his life & when that life came to an end all-too-soon, I was left with three things: His 1500+ piece vinyl collection (including but not limited to the complete autographed Beatles collection), his Elk's Lodge tie, and this guitar.

The record collection is phenomonal & I'm incredibly proud to have it. And the Elk's Lodge tie is special to me for a reason that I won't go into now ... it's a story for another time.

But that guitar ... it's more than just something I inherited. It makes me feel close to both of my parents still. Music was something that connected them to eachother ... a passion they shared.

They met when they were assigned to do a morning show together on a radio station in Miles City. From there they worked at several radio stations together, produced & promoted concerts, and taught me everything there was to know about classic rock & classic  country. I don't think I have any memories of them that don't include music in some way, shape, or form.

My dad started having this guitar autographed YEARS before he met my mom & continued taking it to every concert they went to once they met & were married. After they died, I was lucky enough to add a few autographs to it as well.

The Judds, Garth, Martina McBride, Highway 101, Willie, Waylon, Kris Kristofferson, Clay Walker, The Charlie Daniels Band, Reba, Tanya Tucker, George Strait, Colin Ray, Pirates of the Mississippi, The Bellamy Brothers ... the list goes on and on and on.

There really isn't anything else to say. This is a photo of my most treasured item. :)

Monday, February 21, 2011

5/30

Day 5: A photo of yourself two years ago.

A picture of me in February 2009, eh?

Looking through my pictures I have only ONE folder marked February 2009. And it appears that the pictures in it range from November 2008-February 2009. But it was kind of a fun folder to go through. Instead of posting a picture of just myself, I think I will post some of the highlights of the whole folder --- looks like it was a fun couple of months!

This is when I was still working for the radio stations so there are alot of station events (Buckcherry, MoVember, Fusion Fight Night...) & a couple of night's with family & friends. I had a blast going through these pictures & videos ... I hope you do too. :)






























Saturday, February 19, 2011

4/30

Day 4: Your favorite photograph of your best friend.



To the un-trained eye there is nothing special about this picture. But I know differently. Let me tell you why this is my favorite picture of my best friend.

On a random April night I was out & about with a girlfriend of mine in Billings. Her name was Jessie. I don't remember the night being anything special. But I remember we went to Denny's for 'breakfast' when the night ended.

Walking in the door, we ran into Josh & Tobin. At this point, I knew of Josh but I honestly don't know if we had ever spoken a word to eachother. I had my eye on Tobin. (Yea ... true story.) So, the 4 of us had breakfast together & a pretty decent time ta-boot. After breakfast we drove the boys to their hotel. (They had walked from the convention center --- how responsible of them! ;] )

Jessie had spent the entire meal making googly eyes at Josh & I ended the evening by kissing Tobin good night. Then the girls & boys parted ways. On the way home, I kept thinking about how adorable I thought Josh was. I don't know what it was about him ... but I suddenly couldn't get his handsome face out of my head.

The next morning I woke up and told Jessie, "I'm sorry about your luck --- but that O'Shea boy is going to be mine."  And, later that day, I told my friend Kris, "I met the man I'm going to marry last night."

It seems extreme, I'm sure. But it was more than attraction. I had never spoken to someone as genuine, kind, and funny as Josh. There was something very honest in his eyes & I knew right away there was something special about him. He made a hell of an impression.

The next few weeks were busy for me with work & Isaac. I didn't do a whole lot of socializing. But I did, on occassion, let myself wonder how I was going to 'bump into' Josh again.

The morning of May 12th I called my friend, Kelli. "I'm on a mission to find this man. Wanna make a trip to Red Lodge with me tonight? Dinner @ The Griz & then a night on the town ... my treat?"

Thankfully she said yes.

I was bummed when we got to The Griz and didn't run into Josh. I thought for sure fate would have him behind the bar ... or -  hell, at least bellied up to the bar. But no such luck. Kelli actually told me at one point, "The bartender is cute ... we should just stay here and hit on him tonight." The thought crossed my mind briefly --- but I was determined.

So, to Red Lodge we went.

After 3 hours of visiting with people I wasn't interested in visiting with ... I told Kelli, "This sucks. Lets go home."

We walked out of The Blue & ran directly into Josh & Billy. I couldn't stop smiling. And I was way past the point of willing to be subtle. I told him I had been waiting for him all night long & it was RUDE to keep a girl waiting. Since he had no idea what I was talking about he just laughed and bought me a beer.

We sat on the bench out front for 2 hours while he tried to convince me that nothing could EVER happen between us.

"I work for your uncle. You're Bub's little cousin. I'm just coming out of a serious relationship. No way. This is never going to happen." Blah, blah, blah.

... & then there was this moment. We were alone on the bench & neither of us said a word. Something happened. Something that happens everyday to every person I know. A 'something' that is usually mundane & un-important. I'm not going to tell you what it was --- because as ordinary of an event as it usually is, in that particular instant it was personal. The second it happened I watched the look on his face & I knew he changed his mind.

Shortly after that I snapped this picture of us. Our first picture & the first time my lips ever kissed those cheeks.

The rest, as they say,  went down in history. I love this picture because it is the first picture of us together & it reminds me of the night my life changed forever.

A funny little side note ... the "cute bartneder" from The Griz ... turned out to be Josh's roommate, Steve. He's now married to Josh's cousin. Small world, I tell ya. :)

I used to roll my eyes when people would refer to their significant other as "their best friend". It seemed so cliche and lame to me. But the truth is, I get it now. I won't bore you with all the sappy sentiments I feel when I contemplate this reality. But, I will say that without him standing by my side, my life would feel incomplete. If I had a glass in my hand right now, I would raise it to the comfort & joy that comes from living life with your bestie right next to you.

Happy Saturday, ya'll.

Friday, February 18, 2011

3/30

Too tired to articulate proper sentences. Lucky for me day 3's blog topic is totally mindless.

Day 3: A picture of the cast from your favorite show,



Thank goodness for re-runs.

& now.... bed. 

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Baby Update

This will be brief because I'm on my way out the door. But I just wanted to post a baby update for the relatives that check this site.

I spent most of yesterday fighting a new sensation. It qualified somewhere between discomfort and horrendous pain. I can't really tell you what it felt like because it was unlike anything I have ever felt before. A constant throbbing pain in my lower back, paired up with a feeling in my abdomen I can only describe as "attacks". Painful, stabbing attacks that seemed to be designed for revenge --- yea, THAT kind of pain. Ha.

I've been having on-again-off-again contractions for several weeks now. My doc has been great about going above and beyond to do everything in his power to keep Baby O safe and sound inside until she's due to arrive. (If I'm being 100% honest, I think he takes many of the precautions to ease my mind & not so much for medical reasons! He's a doll like that.)

But what I was feeling yesterday was, like I said ... different.

By the time Josh got home at 6:30 I was curled up in a ball on the floor, rocking back and forth, crying. And laughing. I was in miserable pain but the whole scene was funny enough to me that I couldn't help but crack up between attacks.

I called the OB on call --- sounds like contractions she said. You should probably be checked.

Weird. I never felt this with Isaac. And this is not how my "contractions" have felt earlier in this pregnancy either. But, ok ... you're the professional, not me.

We went to the Red Lodge hospital & Dr. George checked me out. No new news on the dilation/effacement front. But during the monitor check they could see three small contractions ... spread out over 45 minutes. Apparently no big deal.

Dr. George, who I adore by the way, left the hospital telling me, "Yea, sorry -- I think you're in for a couple more boring weeks."

My doctor's nurse called me this morning and said, "Yea, he's probably right. But let's make that 'a couple really uncomfortable, boring weeks'." Haha.

At any rate, I'm on my way to my weekly appointment now. Since I'm still feeling the contractions, part of me hopes there has been some changes since last night & we get to have this baby this week. But, from the sounds of it, it was just a false alarm. So much for my February 19 prediction.

I never had Braxton Hicks with Isaac --- I never made it this far with him. So, for those of you out there who HAVE dealt with it ... I'd be super stolked to hear how you dealt with it. I'm a big baby & am not looking forward to multiple weeks of this "uncomfortable, boring" phase. :)

Happy Wednesday, ya'll.

Day 2/30

Day 2: A picture of you and the person you have been closest with the longest.






We moved so often between ages 6-11 that I was never in one place long enough to really make a close friend. However, in November of 1992 I moved back to Red Lodge & found lifetime friends in these two girls.

There have been periods of time when life has taken us far away from eachother ... but at the end of the day I know I could call either of them & we'd be able to pick up right where we left off.

Two of the classiest women I know. <3

Monday, February 14, 2011

Day 1/30

Ok ... I wasn't sure if I was going to hop on the 30 Day Blogging bandwagon or not. But after seeing this post I decided I was definitely going to give it a whirl. There's something about Sara's lipgloss collection that makes ,my heart go pitter-patter. Now, the only problem is that I need to make sure my lip gloss collection is up to par by the time I get to that post! ;]

Anyhow. Here we go.

Day 1: A picture of yourself with 15 facts.



1. I'm hopelessly addicted to making mixed tapes ... errrr, I mean CD's. I really like making them for other people too, but I'm too embarrassed to do it anymore because I think most people are into things like iPod playlists. (I'm too far behind the times --- I don't even know if that's the right terminology for it!) Ha.

2. I have purchased tickets to see Bob Schneider in concert FOUR times. Each of those times I have traveled across several states to get to the show. And every time the show was cancelled. I refuse to give into fate. Seeing Bob in concert is still a bucket list item.

3. I ease myself into waking up. Before I met Josh I kept 4 alarms ... that went off in 30 minute intervals; thus taking me 2 hours to actually get out of bed. By the last alarm, it actually WAS easier for me to get out of bed. Josh hated this about me so I don't set any alarms anymore. It's now his job to get me out of bed in the moring. It's fair to say that we rubbed off on eachother. Because although we don't set several alarms anymore, we do set the alarm a half an hour early so we can listen to The Flakes for 30 minutes before we get out of bed. :)

4. Once I make it out of bed, I love to be awake and alone in the mornings. After the boys leave at 8 a.m. I spend a solid hour --- sometimes two --- just soaking up the day. Sometimes it's the internet, sometimes it's the hot tub, sometimes its TV, or aq book, or a walk. Sometimes I take a drive and/or take pictures. Whatever it is I do with my time, it's fair to say that I cash in on ME TIME before anything productive happens around the house.  This is especially true on the weekends when the boys sleep in.

5. I have a really hard time keeping in touch with people who don't use the internet or, at the bare minimum, use text messaging. I rarely check my voicemail and there are very few people I enjoy talking on the phone with.

6. My worst/ugliest/most hideous character flaw is my jealous streak. I'm jealous of everything and everyone. I'm probably jealous of you for something. I have a hard time hiding it & I've probably made more than a handful of people uncomfortable because of it.

7. My best character trait is that I love deeply. Usually I love people too soon --- and I often get burned by this --- but it's worth it when I wake up one morning and realize that someone I love, loves me back. Often people probably think that love is fake. It's not.

8. I love quotes & use them whenever I can. I'm particularly fond of Winnie-The-Pooh quotes. I think they are the sweetest things ever. Like, EVER ever.

9. I lose countless hours of sleep "building" my dream home. Everything from the architecture to the decor in every room. I have a sketch pad that I've had for over 10 years where I draw ideas and paste pictures in I find in magazines. Someday ... someday. :)

10. I kept a similar sketchpad from ages 12-18 of my dream wedding. It wasn't until I met the man I was going to marry that I realized a big wedding scared the hell out of me. I HATE being the center of attention & the thought of a room full of people staring at me makes me pee my pants a little. I don't even cross busy streets as a pedestrian for the fear of people in the cars staring at me. I'm definitely a courthouse wedding type of gal. On a Wednesday. With no witnesses. And no big announcement. Luckily, Josh is made from the same cloth as me when it comes to that. ;]

11. It took me 29 years to feel comfortable saying, "I'm sorry."

12. I force myself to buy locally whenever it's possible --- even when I'd rather not do business with a particular person. I figure, supporting the local economy is more important than being bitchy to someone I don't really like.

13. I love, love, LOVE fruit and vegetables. My favorite meal is white bean soup and a veggie sandwich with provolone on some sort of multi-grain or wheat bread. My favorite dessert is orange slices dipped in caramel.

14. I wake up every morning and go to bed every night feeling like the most loved woman on the planet. I pray daily that I am able to make my boys feel as loved as they make me feel.

15. I feel lucky & make wishes when the clock says 12:34 or 11:11. I feel unlucky & hold my breath when the clock says 10:31.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Brown Skin

I am struggling with whether or not to make this post. After 35 minutes of staring at a blank screen (And after nearly a week's worth of internal analysis) I figure if I'm still considering writing it then perhaps it really is neccessary.

I'm not a bigot. I don't see color, sexual orientation, gender, religion, or economic position when I look at someone's face. I feel lucky in that regard because I know there are people who DO see those things. I personally know people who waste days (weeks?! months?!) of their lives being upset by issues that involve these types of things.  I've never struggled to see beyond a person's "packaging" --- being blind to these things has always just come naturally. I've never realized what a blessing that 'blindness' was ... until last Monday night.

Isaac is 8. He is in the 2nd grade in small rural school. He sits everyday in a combined 2nd-3rd-4th grade classroom with a total of 12 kids in it. For most of his life he has been surrounded your typical-for-this-area-white-population. And for his entire life I have always classified him as part of your typical-for-this-area-white-population.

Or, at least, I think I have. I've never sat down and made a decision of whether Isaac was white or not. It never crossed my mind. It never mattered to me.

If you look back through his bio-dad's lineage and my lineage you will find traces of English, Irish, Dutch, Norwegian, French, Native American, Greek, Australian (honestly, I don't even know what that would be called...), and probably a few others. But the bottom line is, when I look in the mirror I see a white girl. And when I look at Ike's dad I have always thought "white guy".

Now, set that thought aside for a minute. I'll come back to it.

Last Monday night Isaac came home and did his homework like normal. Halfway through his social studies worksheet he looked up & said, "Mom. So-and-so doesn't like me." At first I thought, 'Oh great -another kid dispute to settle.' But what he said next blew me away.

"So-and-so said they didn't like me because of the color of my skin."

I investigated the story a little more thinking that he possibly misunderstood the little boy's words. After hearing the "whole story" it seemed that no, in fact, Isaac did NOT misunderstand the boys words.

Josh and I spent last week discussing the situation and talking to the parents of other kids who were witnesses to the comments/mis-behaviors.

It turns out it wasn't just one comment. It has been a series of comments and incidents spanning over several weeks. The comments & the actions of the child in question were really terrible & my first instinct was to post all of the gory details for the world to read. But, I stifled my 'mama-bear instinct' long enough to see things a bit more rationally. And I'm glad I did.

You see, since the whole thing unfolded a week ago we have spoken with the child's parents & it appears they handled it the right way. They were just as devastated that their child would say/do such things as we were that our child had to have them said/done to him. The child who was responsible has since called Isaac and apologized. He also displayed what seemed to be genuine remorse. As long as it never happens again, I am willing to chalk it up to a kid making a judgment that he really didn't understand. The parents are good people & I trust that they have handled it the way it needed to be handled. I have high hopes that we won't see this type of thing between these two kids again.

Had this been an instance of "So-and-so doesn't like me because I wear Sponge Bob underoos." Or "So-and-so doesn't like me because I sleep with a night light." Or some other ridiculous reason that kids come up with to 'not like' one another, we wouldn't have made such a big deal out of it. However, when it comes to things like treating someone differently because of the color of their skin, I feel it is important to make a stand.

We've had several family members comment to us, "I don't get it... Isaac has the same color skin as the kid who said it, doesn't he?"

That's exactly my point. It doesn't matter WHAT color a person's skin is. I have a beautiful, popular neice who spends time everyday feeling bad about herself because people tease her for being too white. An albino. Pastey. You name it, they say it. They say it in a friendly, joking way --- but it still gets to her. Should it? Probably not ... but it does.  The words of our peers can have a tremendous impact on us --- positively or negatively.

Earlier I made a point to discuss Isaac's background. I mentioned several nationalities that make up our little boy's heritage. During the summer Isaac does get dark. And this time of year, he is pastey like his mama. However, when the other kid looks at Isaac he sees "brown skin".

So we left it with Isaac like this:

"Son, there are a million things about you that are different from everyone else in the world. You're going to meet people who love those things about you & you're going to meet people who don't like those things about you. You don't get to choose who likes what. The only thing you get to choose is to be happy with who you are --- no matter what anyone else says. It's your job to surround yourself (whenever you can) with people who build you up & when you have to be around people who are cruel -- be kind to them anyway."

(Oh ... and I might have thrown something in there about how ridiculous it would be to 'not like someone with brown skin'. After all, there are 32 women in Red Lodge alone who pay Isaac's mama on a weekly basis to spray their skin brown. Heh.)

As far as the interaction with the other little boy, I think this story is over. There is another element to this story that has not quite unfolded all the way yet. Since that part of the story isn't completely finished at this point, I'm just not comfortable writing about it yet. But, rest assured, I will. Feel free to check back in a few weeks time to see what the heck I'm talking about. :)

For now, Happy Sunday all.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Web Shtuff

I think it's fair to say that I am currently obsessed with Baby O.

I love to talk about being pregnant. I love to write about being pregnant. I love being pregnant.

Sure, there are fleeting moments where I'm horrifically uncomfortable & all I want is for someone to grab the nearest set of forceps and pull this thing out of me. But, like I said --- those moments are fleeting & for the most part I am head over heels in love with the kicks and turns I feel inside me all day ... the way my boys talk to my belly as if she were already here ... & the freedom I have to eat a banana split for breakfast without worrying about what people think.



Since most people aren't dying to spend every waking moment talking about my uterus, what to pack in the hospital bag, or what colors we did the nursery in --- I have been checking in regularly with other moms-to-be on BabyCenter.com. Seriously? I love this site. It doesn't matter which part of baby-making, baby-baking, or baby-taking care of I want to talk about, there are always a few hundred other moms willing to jump in the conversation.

It got me thinking ... what other sites are out there that I am missing out on? Not baby sites necessarily. But, just websites that apply to my life. There is so much information out there. I'd love to find a few quality sites that interest me.

I'd love some feedback on sites/blogs that pertain to books & reviews, healthy/easy/or kid friendly cooking, DIY home renovation, travel & ideas for family recreation/activities/exercise.

Sure, I know I could Google those things and find a million different sites for each topic. (And I do occassionally!)  But I'm curious to see where my friends turn to for their information! So post a comment or send me an email --- nicole.oshea130@gmail.com.

Happy Monday, ya'll.