Friday, September 30, 2011

Name Change

In preparation for the upcoming October blog challenge I'm changing the name of my blog. While I like Passion. Dedication. Life. Us. .... its a freaking mouthful.

I've shied away from MommaSachs as a title because I do not want my blog to become a "mommy blog". After the last couple of months I've seen my blog grown and change into a great blog that is more about mommy stuff and more about family, me and other random thoughts.

For 2012 I'm hoping to gain more focus on topics but until then we'll just start with the name change.......

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Happy Anniversary!

Welp it's mine and Kevin's 4-year Wedding Anniversary today! We celebrated this wondrous occasion by going on our first family vacation at Rocky Gap camping in a mini-cabin. I'll get into more details about the trip later as it would make for one looooooooooooooong blog if I did the whole trip in one post and I'm up to my ears in laundry and unpacking. I just wanted to take this time to wish my hunny a Happy Anniversary and spread the love out to everyone!

Here's a photo bomb over the last 4 years <3

Sept 28, 2007 - Our Wedding

My Very Fav Pic!

First Dance

Last Dance

Sept 27/28, 2008 - Celebrating our 1st Anniversary!

Rain Forest Cafe

Date day to the Science Center in Baltimore

I've got organs!
Fall 2009 (We went to see Robin Williams Live in DC and didn't take pics - we'll have to settle for the month following)

We went to Renaissance Festival the weekend after our anniversary. I was pregnant!
Yes... see.... I was pregnant..... We were H1N1 for Halloween that year... the scariest thing around!

Sept 2010 - We were first time parents!

8 Months

Our cute kid!

We did sneak away on a cruise to Bermuda baby free in November!

Sept 2011 - Our first camping trip at Rocky Gap State Park
Outside the Aviary

Two peas in a pod

My little camper!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Customer Service? Not Impressed.... CarMax

First I want to say Kevin and I have been a CarMax customer for the last two years. MOST times we've never had an issue or problem with the sales/repair shop. Even this trip up to the repair shop they had GREAT customer service, treated us well and fixed our issues within a day. That being said.....

This video shows the gas station going out of their way to help out their customers.

My story:

We had to drop our Trailblazer off at CarMax last Wednesday evening for a Thursday morning appointment due to the air-conditioning not working. We have the extended warranty MaxCare with CarMax and it is easier to place a claim with them by using CarMax's repair shop. The closest CarMax to us is 35 to 45 minutes away depending on traffic. 
Well..... Kevin had bowling last Wednesday so we enlisted my father's help in getting the Trailblazer dropped off. My father drove the Trailblazer and I drove my car with Connor riding in the backseat. We got up there, I filled out the information on the drop off envelope and put a set of the keys and info into the drop off box. From there I drove my father, Connor and myself home.

When we got home, my dad called 5 min after he left asking me to grab his wallet out of my car because he accidentally left it. I walked out to my car and there was no wallet. My dad came back to the house to take a look himself but we were fast realizing that his wallet could be in the Trailblazer or (even worse) out in the middle of the CarMax parking lot.

I called CarMax right away. By this time it was getting close to 8pm and I was hoping they wouldn't be closing. I listened to the prompts on the phone and decided to try out the Business Center because the Repair Shop was already closed. No one answered at the Business Center, the phone rang and rang and rang... no voice-mail. I hung up and called back and dialed 0 to speak with an operator.

A man answered the phone. I explained to him my situation about the possibility of us loosing my father's wallet. I told him the space the Trailblazer was parked in and the row my car was parked in briefly (right across from each other). I asked if he or anyone else could PLEASE go out and peek in the Trailblazer window and look in the parking lot between the two rows OR check to see if anyone turned in a wallet. His response.... "Let me direct you to the Business Center". Before I can say I already tried I was transferred and listening to the phone ringing and ringing and ringing.

Soooooooooo what do I do? I call back and dial 0 again. The same man answers the phone. I explain to him that no one is answering at that extension. He sighs like he is being bothered and says, "We're just so busy here. I don't think we can help you." 
No REALLY?!?!?!?!?!?!! 
So I say, "This is a wallet we're talking about. How would YOU feel if you lost YOUR wallet and no one was willing to spend 5 or 10min of their time walking out to a parking lot to look for it?" 
His response...."We're just so busy. No one can help you. Let me talk to my manager." He came back after 5 min and told me someone would go out there but it could take up to an hour because they are so busy. He took my number and told me they would call me back.

At this point we decided to drive the 35 to 45 minutes back up to CarMax to look ourselves because CarMax was TOO BUSY to help out one of their customers. It was Connor's bedtime so I had to put him in his PJ's and prep him for bed before putting him BACK in the car seat for the drive again.

THANKFULLY the wallet was sitting right on the seat in the Trailblazer when we go there and we were able to get it. Had someone gone out and said yes we see it there, my dad could have just drove up there on his way to work the following morning to get it........ I got a voice-mail from CarMax at 9:36pm stating that they couldn't find it. 9:36pm was a half hour after my father and I were already there and an half hour later than they said they would call. Gee thanks.

To me customer service isn't just about how they treat you during the sale or during the repair. Its about how they go out of their way to help you when the unforeseeable happens or the outside of the box happens. Apparently CarMax's Customer Service will only give you 5 or 10 min of your time if they aren't "busy". Thankfully our Trailblazer was fixed and we have air-conditioning again BUT I have a very nasty taste in my mouth from their so-called "customer service". As a business you have to be willing to go all the way for your customers not just when you have the time.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

My First Nike and C25K Week 5 Complete!

Between Week 4 and Week 5 of the C25K Kevin and I went to Fleet Feet in Annapolis, MD to get fitted for running shoes. This was a plan we put in place at the beginning of our running journey. We knew we needed new running shoes BUT we didn't want to run out and drop a ton of money on running shoes if we got lazy and decided to stop C25K. BUT since we've accomplished the first 4 weeks we decided we were going to push all the way through to the end. No excuses. No quitting. I've found myself running in the hot humid weather, the cold rain, and running when PMS was kicking my butt. I've officially overcome the procrastination of working out.

ANYWAY... we went to Fleet Feet and they were AWESOME. My friend who completed C25K recommend we check them out. First and for most I was super relieved when I saw a little toy bin where you sit to try on different shoes. I wasn't sure how Connor would do while Kevin and I were trying to shop for new shoes. Seeing the toy bin made me feel a little relaxed that they were "kid-friendly" and are used to dealing with parents dealing with kids while shopping!

I went first while Kevin kept an eye on Connor and entertained him so I could be fully present in talking to the consultant (who knew there was this much to shoe shopping!). I spoke with our consultant about the current activity and my future plans for running. She measured my feet (sitting and standing) and then measured the way my foot rolls in. We talked about any past injuries or pain/discomfort while running. Then she disappeared into the back and brought out three different kinds of shoes. I was able to try on each pair and go for a jog around the parking lot. Once I had narrowed it down to two different shoes I was able to wear one on each foot and go on another jog. I settled on the first pair I tried on the Nike Air Pegasus+ 28.

These are literally my first pair of Nike/expensive shoe ever (even though they were cheaper than I expected to pay originally). I've owned Reebok, Vans and Converse and other name brands before but these are the first real expensive shoes that sought out with a purpose. Well... when I was in elementary school I had to have the Punky Brewseter high tops.... begged and begged my mom for them. She finally bought them for me and my feet grew the next week...

Once I selected my awesome beautiful shoes it was Kevin's turn. He went through the whole ordeal and we walked out of there two happy runners! In the MD area? I suggest visiting Fleet Feet!

So we had our new shoes and ventured into Week 5. We were nervous as all get out. By the end of the week we were supposed to run for 20 min straight..... Here's the routine for Week 5 and our thoughts about the whole thing before running it....

Run 1: 5min warm up walk, jog for 5min, walk for 3min, jog for 5min, walk for 3min, jog for 5min and then cool down walk for 5min. <---- Our thoughts: Not a big deal. We can do this.

Run 2: 5min warm up walk, jog for 8min, walk for 5min, jog for 8min and then cool down walk for 5min<---- Our thoughts: We figured this shouldn't be too bad.

Run 3: 5min warm up walk, jog for 20min, cool down walk for 5min <---- Our thoughts: No freakin way.

Soooooo Run 1 and 2 came and went with no problem. I was actually ready to still keep going after Run 2. Day of Run 3 came and I just went for it. At 6min I thought there was no way I was going to finish. At 10min I thought... yeah... I'm doing this! At 13min I was getting tired and starting to feel like I couldn't finish. At 17min I was all smiles because I knew I was going to be able to finish. At 20min I wanted to drop down on my knee, throw my hands in the air and yell, "Superstar" like Mary Katherine Gallagher BUT I did not... I just continued my cool down walk....

So now we venture into Week 6. Wish us luck!

PS - Every time I typed "jog".... I typed "job"... EVERY.SINGLE.TIME......

Friday, September 16, 2011

Ask And You Shall Receive!

I always get a little giggly when there is something simple that I've put out into the Universe and it manifests in less than 24 hours. A lot of times its stuff I'm not even realizing that I'm saying or hoping for. I'll say it and be done with it. No emotion attached and then BAM there it is unfolding in my life.

At the beginning of the semester the college changed their brand of coffee and the cups that the coffee comes in. Before I semi liked the coffee and the cups came with the outer sleeve to protect your fingers from the hotness that is inside the cup. NOW I'm really not a huge fan of the new brand and they give you these cups that are supposed to be insulated enough to not use the extra sleeves. Well when I get the coffee or a hot tea my fingers are always burning by the time I get back to my office.

I was talking to my coworker yesterday about how I do not like the new brand AND how the cups always burn my fingers and I wish they would bring back using the sleeves.

This morning I decided I needed a hot tea. The weather was chilly this morning and I wanted to enjoy having a hot tea in this beautiful weather. I go down to the Cafe that is under our offices and there are several others in front of me. They get their "warm" beverages and do not receive a sleeve to protect their fingers. I order my hot tea and a muffin (because I'm super hungry from my running yesterday). The woman fills my cup up with hot water, hesitates, goes digging in a cabinet and pulls out a sleeve and slips it around my cup. My jaw literally dropped. I didn't ask her and I've never made comments to her in the past while ordering.

I must say the walk back to my office was not rushed AND my fingers are saying, "Thank you, universe!". This is just a little reminder that manifesting things into your life can be that easy. We just have to learn to let it go and let it happen.

Happy Boost My Blog Friday!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Pin It!

My new addiction (thanks to Christine at Inspired Life) is Pinterest!


I've always hated flagging things as favorites or bookmarking something in a web browser. Unless I name the favorite/bookmark something ingenious I can never remember why I saved the links that I did. With Pinterest you "pin" a picture of whatever is on the link to a board on your account. Its a visual bookmark! Woot!

When you log onto Pinterest you have all your boards in front of you for with a preview of your pins!


You can see that I have started a Halloween board as I'm looking online for costume ideas for Connor they are all in one place AND I have a visual what is on the link. After the Halloween board is the Bathroom Redesign board because we are in the middle of repainting and designing our bathroom. As I'm looking for ideas and inspiration I "pin" it! It really makes organizing ideas online visually fantastic!

When you click on your board you can see all the pins that are attached to the board:
If you were to click on one of the images it takes you to the link that it is associated. Soooo if decided to order Connor that super cute dragon costume... I'd know exactly which one to click on rather than clicking through 50 bookmarks trying to figure out where it is.

You can also follow your friends or other people if you like what they are pinning. If you see something someone pinned you can re-pin it to your boards. You can also comment and "like" someoneelse's pin. AND of course... it links to Facebook and Twitter.

Check out Pinterest!

Monday, September 12, 2011

10 Years of Growth

This week has been quite the roller coaster of a week. I actually changed my blog template this week to match my feelings. I feel like I've been swimming in pea soup.... its the only way I can explain it. I've had trouble sleeping since last Friday (thankfully I'm moving out of that pattern and have slept like a rock the last two nights), we've had rain, rain and more rain, flooding, closed roads, more rain, lots of gray skies, I was rear-ended on Wednesday and of course have felt all the emotions of everyone's where were you 10 years ago on 9/11.

I've read a story of someone who lost a loved one, a story of someone who was in the middle of the crisis, and a story of someone who saw the terrorists the night before the attack. All stories are heart wrenching and make mine pretty much null and void. Up until now I've never only heard those stories on TV, not through someone that I know and speak with on a regular basis. All I can say is like many, that day was a huge eye opener to me. My innocent eyes were opened. That's it. That's my story.

This week hearing all the where were you, what's your story, and how did you react has had me look back on the last 10 years. Really and truly the last 10 years has been the first 10 years I've been an "adult", I made decisions on my own, and the memories I made were of my own accord. I've had flash backs all week to who I was and how I got to where I am today. I was 18 years old on 9/11. I'm 28 today. Sitting here blogging at 11pm on 9/11 because I've finally had the words come to me and I won't be able to sleep until I get them out. My last 10 years are just bursting out of me.

In September 2001, I was starting my first semester in college. I had no clue what I wanted to do or be... but I knew I had to go. I also knew I had to get it done in four years because that is what my parents were paying up until. I don't look at it as a bad thing. I look at it as a motivational thing. I needed that motivation to get myself through it.

I was still dating my high school sweetheart and still driving my 1991 Honda Civic Si Hatchback that had a sunroof. MAN DID I LOVE THAT CAR! I at least loved it until the sun roof start leaking and the mileage reach 165k+. The thought of getting married or having children scared the crap out of me. I also got my first cell phone that was capable of text messaging. Woo hoo!

In the beginning of 2003, my high school sweetheart and I called it quits and I re-met Kevin. I say re-met because Kevin and I actually met in middle school and became friends in high school. After high school we stayed in touch via instant messenger and running into each other randomly out and about. We started officially dating March 2003. I never meant to date Kevin long term. We joke about it now, but at the time I was just getting out of a long term relationship... the last thing I wanted to get into was another long term relationship. Who knew!

In 2003, I started school at University of Baltimore going for a degree in Corporate Communications. I was finally sure of what I was going for. I also completed my Usui Reiki Master training. I then taught my first Reiki classes even though I never thought I would find myself teaching. The thought of marriage and children still scared me.

In 2004, I bought my first car. I was able to finance it myself with no co-signing. I was pretty proud of myself. I completed my Karuna Reiki Master training. I also turned 21.

In 2005, I finished the last of my college classes and Kevin proposed to me before I could even walk across the stage to get my degree. We moved into together. Our first home was in Arnold, MD. It was a HUGE rental. 4 bedrooms and 3.5 bathrooms HUGE (I mean... 4 toilets for 2 butts huge...)! Needless to say I was no longer scared at the thought of marriage. Children.... I still wasn't too fond of them. We did however, taken in two super cute kittens... Joy and Sylvester.

The end of 2005 I left the company I had worked with all through high school and college. It was my first leap to a job where I didn't have family connections. It was the best decision I made. I also met my future co-teacher with whom I taught many, many Reiki classes with. My mom and my step dad moved to Arizona....and I still miss my mom Every.Single.Day.

In 2006, we moved to Pasadena, MD. We rented at townhouse on the water. It was smaller than what we had before, but BEAUTIFUL.

In 2007, Kevin and I got married and went on our honeymoon. Children were still just a chilling thought way way out in my very distant future.

In 2008, I changed jobs. The new job made me more of a programmer and less of a designer. We bought our first home in Pasadena, MD. I still laughed at people who warned us buying a house = making a baby.

The beginning of 2009 we welcomed Captain Jack a super cute puppy we found on into our home and bought a Chevy Trailblazer. Kevin went on a snowboarding trip for a week... while he was gone... the bug bit me... Its not that I wanted a baby... I wanted a family. I wanted our little family of two to grow.... Who the hell would have thought! NOT ME! I can't explain it but the most anti-baby person became I wanna make babies with you person. Woah!

April 2009 I got knocked up.

January 2nd 2010... Connor was born. One of the best things to ever happen in my life.

Since then Kevin and I have grown and learned SO MUCH in the last year and half. Just when I think we've got it down... We're learning knew ways of communicating and how to get things done. I've become a mom. I still go into shock when I sit and think about it. My 10 years ago self goes... WTF!!?? My heart has grown and my eyes have opened to everything I would be missing out on.

So here we are... Sept 11th 2011... only 15 min left in the day... I'm now working at the community college I was on my way to 10 years ago when I heard on the radio that a plane had flown into the Twin Towers. I feel like I've come full circle in that aspect. We're still in our house we bought, we still have two cats and a dog, still have the same old Jeep Kevin picked me up in for our first date, and we're the family that I pictured when the bug hit. Don't get excited folks... the bug hasn't bit again! That's still a ways out.

Today was spent with friends watching the Ravens hand it to the Steelers. Cooking out, eating good food, drinking good beer and on my table there was a candle lit. Its the candle that we used at our wedding to represent those who were with us in spirit. I had the candle lit for those who could not be with us wearing their football jerseys and drinking a cold beer to be thought of. After everyone left and it was just the three of us again, we lit our Red, White and Blue candles and placed them out front. Today EVERYTHING has been remembered.

Oh... and its STILL raining...

Thursday, September 8, 2011

C25K Week 4 and Biking!

Week 4 for C25K has been started! So far two of the three runs have been completed. Kevin and I were met with a OMFG feeling for the first run.
Week 4 has you:
Warm up walk for 5 minutes
Run for 3 minutes
Walk for 90 seconds
Run for 5 crazy long never going to end minutes
Walk for 2.5 minutes
Run for 3 minutes
Walk for 90 seconds
Run for 5 how the eff am I supposed to finish minutes
End with a 5 minute cool down walk

The last 5 minute run for Run 1 on Monday had me talking to myself, chanting Reiki symbols to give me strength and the occasional cuss word as well. It was TOUGH but I did it. Just knowing I completed made me happy regardless of how I got there.

The second run for Week 4 wasn't nearly as OMFG but was still a push for us. Kevin and I found the 3 minute runs fairly easy and we know by next week we should have the 5 minute runs down and ready to move forward.

This weekend we had our first family biking trip! In July we bought a trailer that would hitch to the back of my bike (Kevin's bike doesn't have the whatever bolt that is needed so it can't hook up). We've either been too busy or the weather too hot so we haven't used the trailer yet.

Realizing that beautiful weather is around the corner and is fast to disappear we're making an effort to "schedule" biking trips and put them on the calendar.

Sunday morning we packed up the bikes, helmets, lunch, water packs, toys for Connor and ourselves and drove to Downs Park in Pasadena, MD. We decided to do the shorter trail to see how I would do biking for the first time in YEARS AND YEARS AND YEARS while pulling the trailer behind. I thought I would do better than I did. After a while I was huffing and puffing and needing a break. I'll only keep getting stronger if we keep going! Connor LOVED riding along. When I stopped for water or a breathing break he would start whining or saying, "Mommy mommy mommy, go!". I'm super glad this worked out.

The trail at Downs Park struck me very sad. After the hurricane Downs Park was closed for several days. We got to see why. All around the trail there were downed trees. There were parts of the trail where the asphalt had been lifted and broken from roots being ripped up as trees fell. Trees had fallen like dominoes on top of each other. Roots flipped up were EVERYWHERE. Some parts looked like a bomb had gone off. It struck me sad because I have been going to Downs Park for as long as I can remember. I've been walking that trail for as long as I can remember. To see it in such bad shape broke my heart. I wish I could have stopped and took pictures but my goal was to keep moving on the bike.

After our trip around the loop I decided that if I was going to run for C25K the next day I needed to preserve my leg strength and stop for the day. I took Connor to the play ground and Kevin was going to hit up the longer trail at the park. WELL.... that side of the park was STILL closed due to downed trees. Soooo Kevin looped the smaller trail again and then met us for lunch.

Getting ready to go!

Taking a break! Notice some of the trees down behind me.
Kevin waiting for me to get my breath back :)
Connor fell asleep on the way home WITH pretzel in his mouth!!
Someone had TOO MUCH fun.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Up to My Ears!

I am up to my ears in HOMEWORK!

Last week I finished my first 9 week non-credit class, Web 2.0 Blogging, Wikis, and Podcasting. I learned a decent amount of information that will help enhance this blog, my job and giving advice to others who are starting down the path of Web 2.0. I passed the final with a 97.3%! The class has inspired me to revamp my website to focus more on Web 2.0 and blogging. I just have to MAKE THE TIME!

My second 4 week non-credit class was Integrating Social Media into an Organization. I just finished up the last requirements of that class and awaiting my grade/pass. There is no final exam for the class. You just have to take quizzes for each unit and participate in the discussions. I learned the importance of focusing on different social medias and not having to us ALL of them. I'm planning on reviewing the different venues I learned about and determining which would be the most helpful.

My third class is a credit course and will last until Dec. I'm taking Intro to Object Oriented Programming. VERY BASIC but MUCH NEEDED. When I got my Bachelors I focused on communications and the marketing side of web and not the computer science part. While I do programming on a mostly daily basis I feel like I'm missing pieces of the puzzle. Soooo... I've decided to start filling in the missing pieces! So far I have a 100% in the class AND 15 extra credit points. Woot Woot!

My fourth class starts on the 21st. Its another 9 week non-credit class, Intro to CSS and XHTML. This is yet another class where I am filling in the missing pieces.

I'll have a fifth class starting in mid-November after the fourth finishes up. When I stop to think about it I feel like I'm purposely driving myself crazy, BUT then I stop and look at my Vision Board I created and realize its all part of the plan!

Thursday, September 1, 2011


September is my FAVORITE time of year. Begining of October too BUT I love me some mid to end of September weather.

The heat in the air starts to vanish. There are cool mornings that make you a little chilly but you drive to work with your car window down anyway. The evenings are comfortable enough to go for walks again or play outside. AND WE CAN'T FORGET FOOTBALL! AND if football is here that means HOCKEY IS AROUND THE CORNER!

Mine and Kevin's wedding anniversary is on the 28th and we'll be celebrating 4 whooping WONDERFUL years of marriage together.

We have lots of plans this month. Kevin and I will be moving in to the middle weeks of C25K. We've wowed ourselves keeping up with running for 3 minutes and are looking forward/nervous for the upcoming weeks.

Bowling starts for Kevin this month and he's looking forward to hitting up the lanes for another 35 weeks. September 20th Kevin and I are going to see the Washington Capitals play in Baltimore! Its a preseason game BUT we're excited just the same. I haven't seen a hockey game since I was pregnant with Connor!

I'm wrapping up my first two classes I registered for the beginning of last month and started my third class that will go through mid-December. My fourth 9-week class starts mid-September. WOWSERS!!!! Homework, Blogging, Book Club ............ YIPES!

AND finally we will be heading out on our first real family camping trip! Not sure where we're camping yet but the end of September we'll be heading somewhere and doing the camping thing! VERY EXCITED!