The CHERISHED Life of Heather Leigh

Monday, April 28, 2008


It's official, I FINALLY stopped traveling - YAY! I tell ya, last Monday when the alarm went off at 5am instead of 3:30 am, I felt like I was sleeping in!!

Since I stopped traveling I told Jordyn that I would now be able to take her (and Jessie) to school every day. You see, the bus has no room on it by the time it gets to their stop, so when Jordyn (and the rest of the kids in the hood) board the bus in the morning, there are already 2 kids to every seat and as they walk down the aisles to find a seat the high schoolers who aren't cool enough to get their own ride to school and their fellow middle schoolers say, quite meanly, "Don't sit here, Don't sit here, Don't sit here." Not to mention the fact that 3 kids to a seat is fine with Kindergarteners, a little tight with 3rd graders, but downright absurd with adult-sized people. This process TOTALLY stresses Jordyn out. So, Jordyn & Jessie have been catching a ride to school with a neighbor whose daughter is in eighth grade and who has an aversion to getting out of bed in the morning, resulting in their car pool arriving to school 72 seconds before the final bell….on a good day. Being late, or almost being late, e-v-e-r-y s-i-n-g-l-e d-a-y also stresses Jordyn out, but much less so than riding the bus.

So, all last week, I (being the anti-morning person that I am) dragged myself out of bed at 5am, worked out, got myself ready, and got the boys to Nee Nee's by 7am, in order to get to the Middle School with plenty of time before the final bell. And, heck, the school year's almost over. I mean, if I can travel for 8 months, I can certainly drop my kid off at school for 8 weeks. It adds about 20 minutes to my commute to the Ren Cen, which makes for a VERY LONG morning, but it makes my daughter happy, so it's worth it.

Driving home from the Ren Cen last Monday, I had already tired of the commute (yes, that was my first day on this new project) … so hopefully I can work from Flint or from home now and then. Don't get me wrong, I like the IDEA of working at the Ren Cen and being in "the city", props and big love to the D, and it is pretty cool being up on the 25th floor and everything, but I don't like the COMMUTE of working at the Ren Cen. Not to mention the drain on my wallet that's already started to occur, both because of the fabulous restaurants around here for lunch (and no longer being on expense reports) and my gas guzzling full size SUV.

Among the big things I'm able to do by being home, I'm able to do some little things, too. I was able to attend my first PTO meeting all year and gave the enthralling report for the Spring Fair class baskets. But the highlight of the night (as riveting as PTO can be) was heading over to Amy's afterwards for some vino, some chit chat (a.k.a. gossip), some Liam/Carson play time, and a little bit of The Deadliest Catch.

On Thursday I brought Jordyn to work with me at the Ren Cen for national Bring Your Daughter to Work Day (which is now politically correctly called Bring Your Child to Work Day…but I still remember when it was Bring Your Daughter). Anyway, it was great having her here, and I couldn't have brought her to Jesrsey with me. I didn't do an ounce of work, which really doesn't give her an accurate picture of what I do, but she sees what I do when I work from home, the only difference is dressing up fancy, the super long commute, riding the People Mover, going to Hard Rock CafĂ© for lunch, and taking a tour of the Ren Cen. Even though our group didn't have any planned activities for the kids, there were tons of kids in the building and I know Jordyn really enjoyed herself. It beats being at school, that's for sure!

Other nice things about being at home are:
~ having home cooked meals prepared by my loving husband and enjoying them with my wonderful family
~ taking the kids to ball practices
~ walking around the lake with the family in the evenings
~ seeing my friends and loved ones EVERY day
~going to lunch with old co-workers and friends (and new ones)
~ sleeping in my own bed each night
~ being able to switch purses every day
~ not having to wear the same pair of shoes every day
I'm in heaven. Even if my commute (all 1 hour and 40 minutes of it today) is hell.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

I'm an NPR girl

I'm an NPR girl.

99% of the time that I spend in the car alone, I have my radio tuned to NPR. As a matter of fact, one of my favorite things about having XM Radio is the XMPR station, where you can catch public radio shows all the time...All Things Considered, This American Life, Bob Edwards, Leonard Lopate, the BBC's world service, etc. These are my car-ride companions.

However, there's just something about a 70 degree spring day that encourages me to tune away from NPR, roll down my windows, and blast some bouncy beats like Beyonce's Naughty Girl.

The warmth of the sun heating the car. The slightly crisp wind whipping through my hair. The upbeat music matching my upbeat mood.

Gotta love a fresh spring day, and a bit of a break from my beloved talk radio.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Coin Angels

For the last SEVERAL years, even before we started dating, Kevin has saved his change. He filled one enormous jar after another, tossing whatever pocket change he had left at the end of each day into the jar.

Well, this past weekend, I decided to sort and count it. Sorting the pennies from the nickels and the dimes and the quarters took the most time to do, but the kids pitched in. Our hands got disgutingly dirty in the process.

The next most time-consuming activity was sorting through the quarters to retrieve the state quarters and adding them to the collections I have going for each of the 3 kids.

Then came the counting…..$584 and change in coins! We've earmarked the money for an in-ground basketball hoop, one that is adjustable and has a fiberglass backboard. Nice.

Liam was extremely helpful with the sorting, I called him the best penny picker outer ever. Jordyn helped sort and count quarters. And Owen? Well, Owen just loved PLAYING with the money (don't we all?) Here he is, in all his coin glory, making COIN ANGELS. And, yes, little 3 year old Owen, "coined" that phrase.