Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Losing My Baby...



This morning started off as a typical morning, me running around trying to get myself out the door on time, then I realize my daughter is up and about. That meant today is Wednesday, August 27th the first day of her freshman year in college...WOW. We left the house at just about the same time, me a couple of seconds before her. While I'm driving; running through my mind is how much she has grown from that very curious cute little girl to a young woman. I hit a red light, look in my rear view mirror and there she is driving to pick up her friend before school, I started crying. I am overcome with emotions: pride, a little bit of sadness and a whole lot of awe.

Time has flown by so quickly, it seems like just last week she was a sweet little 5 year old starting kindergarten ready to take on the world and completely proud of herself for being able to read (not recite) the alphabet backwards on the board.

Tabbie has grown from that loving little girl to a confident, intelligent, compassionate, strong-willed, independent young lady starting college and beginning her next chapter.

While I may feel on some level that I'm losing my baby...

I am without a doubt gaining a wonderful new adult in my life and I look forward to that new adventure.

(Tabbie is the bald one in the pic below.)


Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

ALS...

Nothing else needs to be said other than...

Just Watch till the end...

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

I follow a Blogger on the Huff Post Impact section, The Blog, Lisa R. Petty. She recently wrote an article about the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, you can read the full article here.

If you're not completely aware of what the challenge is here is a quick run down, Pete Frates a former Boston College baseball captain was diagnosed with ALS in 2012 since then he has been a HUGE advocate in raising awareness of this disease. While I'm not exactly sure how the challenge started it has become this...dump a bucket of ice water on your head AND donate $10 to ALS or don't dump the water and donate $100. There is a great article on ESPN about Pete and ALS here. 

I was upset, angry and shocked by time I completed the second paragraph. By time I finished the article I was going to comment with a lengthy reply, changed my mind and decided the best way for me to work through the disappointment of this article and her mindset was to post here.

There are a few points Lisa mentions that pushed a button in me...

She will not donate to an organization with a bunch of fanfare. - Huh? What fanfare?? Without fanfare the money ALS.org has been able to raise this year would not be possible and I must say all those $10 donations (and all the others without ice buckets involved) have brought so much awareness to such a horrible disease. According to als.org donations as of August 10 surpassed $10 MILLION dollars, as of August 19th donations are now close to $23 MILLION, that's a lot of $10 ice buckets! In 2013 the same time frame, July 29 - Aug 14 only raised $1.4 MILLION dollars, that's a 766% increase from last year. I'll stick with fanfare, ALS and my other favorite organizations...I like fanfare for raising awareness!

Discovered in 1869So what, the disease was discovered in 1869. What has been done in the last 100 or so years to further finding a cure for this 100% FATAL DISEASE?? Yes, I said 100% FATAL! This so called fanfare as I mentioned above has caused an onslaught of donations from around the world not just the country, this is what such organizations need.

Everyone knows about ALS - NOT everyone knows about ALS, such assumptions / broad statements should not be made, you have heard the old adage right? Assuming makes an a$$ out of you not me. Most people I talk to have never heard of it. Even if I say Lou Gehrig's disease they still don't completely get what it is, oh they know Lou Gehrig played baseball, they may even know his stats but not the devastating disease that killed him and many, many more after him.

Wasting water / drought - Now this I can agree with on some level. Lisa mentions a drought in California however every celebrity that I have seen accept the challenge has done so in front of VERY FULL in-ground pools. I'm going to go out on a limb here and assume they are using pool water for this, just because I like to look on the positive side of things. :) As for the rest of us accepting this challenge well I'm sure some around the country / world waste more water doing dishes than has been wasted in these challenges. If done outside the ground is watered again thus the circle of things and if they are being done indoors at least it's going back through the treatment centers to be reprocessed and put back out into the world.

Let's concentrate on the positive of this challenge instead of one woman's desire to NOT be publicly doused in cold water for a great cause. 

How about the fact that an ALS patient is the one that started this phenom? What about his mission to educate the world on this 100% fatal disease? So what if dumping a bucket of ice water on your head leads to a lesser amount in a donation those donations are just as important as the $1,000 or $10,000 or $1,000,000 they get from any one donor. As far as I'm concerned Pete Frates is an exceptional human being, check out this awesome video about his journey here.

ALS Association: Create a World without ALS.

I am proud to have been challenged and participate in this fanfare! I made my donation, did you? If not, you can donate at als.org and click the red Donate link at the top right.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

I'm Laney

I’m Laney and for those of you that don’t know me I’m Laney (inside joke). I am scatterbrained, unfocused, forgetful, diligent, nitpicky, opinionated but I don’t judge (you are who you are), OCD, ADD, nuts, fun, sometimes funny, outlandish, ridiculously loyal to those I love and let into my life. A friend you want by your side whether it’s just watching a movie, getting bailed out of jail or getting drunk, good times / bad times I don’t leave (kinda like a little pest. J) but not the person you want standing on the opposite side of you, I can be very mean. Honest, trustworthy, demanding, giving, loving, busy, single mom, forgetful, dependable, remembers the oddest things but not when they are needed; like playing a trivia game – HA, hardworking, supportive, loves books, movies, TV, music, goofing around or being serious, have a fabulously dirty mind, thinks bathroom jokes are funny. I fart, burp and puke when needed, of course I have manners I’m not a heathen after all. J. I am who I am and I expect others to be themselves around me as well. For those that really truly know me (and you know who you are) love me for me, no questions asked and I love everyone in my life as they are, farting, puking or stumbling like idiots, that’s when we have the most fun. It’s when people pretend to be what they think others want them to be that I get turned off. Be you, do you! Love, fart, tell dirty jokes if that’s you. If people judge then they don’t need to be around, don’t accept me as I am – unconditionally then BYE! Only positive, trustworthy, non-judgmental people apply. We are all different that’s why each one of us is special, not everyone will get along but everyone should be civil, don’t be fake, don’t pretend to care or like me because I’ve met you once or because I work with you. Get to know me, understand me and if you still don’t like me – fine, we tried. Don’t walk away because of one bad feeling, learn to talk through issues, no tip toeing around them, it doesn’t solve anything to handle life that way. And if you walk away and try to come back, remember one simple thing, YOU THREW AWAY THAT FRIENDSHIP NOT ME! ATTACK LIFE! Live it! You only get one ride on the merry-go-round, that you remember, so enjoy it with people you love and love you! 


BE YOU!! DO YOU!!

Friday, October 4, 2013

My Dilemma...

I really want to go back to school to her my Bachelor's in Business however my interest lies in meeting planning / hospitality management which is a completely separate degree. I feel I would be able to put the more generic degree to work for me however I'm insure if it will be as well received in the meeting planning world as the more specific degree. That's only one dilemma I'm facing. 

My daughter is starting college this fall which means we are visiting schools, she's taking SAT's, filling out applications and working with her school counselor to make sure she has her sucks in a row. I'm afraid if I go back to school, apply for financial aid before we complete her financial aid it will mess something up for her. I know the solution is to talk to someone in financial aid and I plan to but do I bother going back to school next fall at almost 42 years old (that's what I'll turn in 2014)? That's the biggest dilemma. 

Thursday, August 22, 2013

How to file an Uncontested Change of Minor's Name in Montgomery County, PA - specifically in Abington

UPDATED - October 22, 2013

Let me start by saying as I go through this process I will update this post so check back often. :)

My daughter has her father's last name, since he has never had anything to do with her as she became older she made the request to have her last name changed. I've put it off for a long time, she is now 17 I think the first time she asked she was about 13 years old. The process always seemed daunting, expensive and very time consuming. 

My sister got married recently, her husband did something very unconventional - he changed his last name and then they went through the process of changing their son's last name. I quizzed my sister about the process but then got tired of waiting to get the info I needed.

So I started doing research, searching the web, calling the Prothonotary office in Montgomery County. The first call only frustrated me more than anything, I was told the forms I needed were on their site...nope, not true, every other form was available but not a form for changing a minor's last name. So back to Google I went where I found a blog from a women in my county who went through the process last year. So I thank The Dusty Cellar for helping me through this process. While she was pretty detailed in her steps and very clear she was not offering legal advice just the steps they went through to get a name changed for a child it went a long way to get me started in the process.

I would like to elaborate on this process since I still had to make several phone calls to find out exactly how to get this done however I would not have known where to start without the other blog. So this is NOT legal advice but my process on an Uncontested Minor Name Change along with the forms needed (upon request - there is only one signature line as I am a single mom, another will need to be added as both parent must sign).

One of the best pieces of information I received was that I can file the Petition at the Willow Grove Annex instead of going to the court house in Norristown. The Annex then submits the petition to the court house.

First I must say there are three forms needed up front, a fingerprint card and the filing fee. After all is said and done the estimated cost of changing a minor's name is $300 - $400 dollars depending on how many certified copies of the court order is needed and what documents need to be reissued, in my case we need a new passport for my daughter ($110).

Steps to take...

Fingerprint card: Any minor over the age of 13 needs a fingerprint card which you can get from the local police station. Call or check out their site online to see if there is a charge, Abington Police charges $20 for the first card and $10 for the second. The minor will need to bring a valid ID. I suggest doing this first simply because the police station has very specific times when the printing is done, fitting it into my schedule took some doing.

Forms needed: create the forms needed, Petition for Change of Name of a Minor, Order for Hearing and an Order for Publication. I have them in template form in Microsoft Word if someone would like them (email and I can send them - I couldn't figure out a way to post them in a usable format). The Petition needs to be notarized, the other two forms have blanks on them, leave them blank until needed. You will also need a money order or cash for $136 (there is a fee schedule on the site that is updated yearly - Fee Schedule).

Petition for Change of Name of a Minor: this is simply a letter laying out the reason for the name change, the old and the new name along with current address, if less than 5 years at that address previous addresses are required. If you have not lived in Montgomery County for at least 5 years a search must be done in the previous county.

Order for Hearing: this letter is basically a form with blanks to be filled in once the hearing is set.

Order for Publication: this letter is a form letter to be used once the hearing is set and sent to the Montgomery County Law Reporter ($86 fee) and the largest publication in the area, here it is the Intelligencer ($130 fee). I have only found out that you must publish 30 days BEFORE your hearing date. If not you will need to change your court date, as I had to, because the notice was not published. Also, try a smaller paper, they charge less. I was advised to call The Reporter..have not yet called.

8/22 - UPDATE: Yesterday I went to the Willow Grove Annex, at 102 York Rd, to file the paperwork for the name change. Turns out there is another form needed, don't know if this can be take in with you or if they need to give it to you. It is a verification form, it's basically saying the statements you are making in the petition are true and you be could be fined if they find out otherwise. I was in and out in less than 15 minutes but I did go just as they opened at 9am.

The Hearing: - It was originally set for October 23rd however I had to change it the week before the hearing because of the publication issue. I did not publish 30 days prior to the court date.

Changing Records: school, doctor's, social security card, birth certificate, passport, state ID, etc. Contact the issuing state for the birth certificate; there is typically a fee and a form to be completed. You will also need to send in a certified copy of the court order changing the minor's name. Social security is free, the form is fairly straight forward - info found here...SSA Name Change Info. Just realized health insurance, and my daughter is also the beneficiary on my life insurance policy both at work and my private policy, those will need to be changed as well. I better start keeping a list. :)

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Alex's Lemonade Stand on September 7th!!




Alex's Lemonade Stand is an organization near and dear to my heart. September is National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month and to honor this, raise money for Alex's Lemonade Stand and promote local small businesses there is a Vendor and Craft Show being held on September 7th...check out below for details.

Norcom Community Center
10980 Norcom Rd
Philadelphia, PA 19154

Come out and support a most worthwhile charity and local small businesses. Raffels, Zumba, face painting, glitter art, and much, much more...


How do you move on when there is nowhere to go?

I don't mean move on like you do from a broken relationship. How do you move on from a job that you semi like, which is more than some can say, to another when there are no opportunities? 


Do you stay in an almost dead end position or do you jump in head first and pray for the best? I say almost dead end position because as of right now there are only two places to go outside and / or my boss' position; neither of which I want.

So then the question becomes if you jump where to go? New position / company possibly making less money, start a company and hope it takes off like a rocket and stays the course or start the company but with a partner?

These are all questions that run through my head each and every day, several times a day. I am grateful for the position / job that I have however like most others on the planet I wonder if there is something better, more challenging, more rewarding. Maybe volunteer work is the best choice at this point in time...

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Which is worse...

Being dismissed or not being acknowledged by a boss?

At this point I'm torn. Not being acknowledged means I can go about my business day to day, do my work an not be bothered. However in both instances it is almost like I don't exist on any level. It's actually very disturbing.

I'm used to being dismissed, there is a SVP here at the company that will pick up his cell phone when he's done with the conversation...dismissive. However that same VP will stop and acknowledge my presence if he sees me in the hall or simply around the building. (Point of fact...that SVP was the one that hired me.)

As I write this I'm become firmer in my opinion that not being acknowledged is worse than being dismissed. At least when you are dismissed that person acknowledged you in the first place to have that short conversation or exchange. 

Thoughts? Comments?

Monday, June 17, 2013

I feel lost...



Not sure why or for how long but I feel like it's been slowly creeping up on me. I feel lost!


Lost and Confused
That's a powerful statement to make and to admit to yourself. No one ever wants to feel that way. You hear people talking about their purpose, their path in life, where they are going and how they plan to get there. Never once do you hear someone say they are lost while making those kinds of declarations.


So how does one become lost? Well I'm not sure how it happens but it does. It could be from being 'stuck' at work, personal life, spiritual life...stagnant in any area I guess will do it to you. It could be more than one area however typically for me it's work life. I think that's what happened to me, stagnant at work. Normally I would buckle down, update my resume and start looking for another position. For some reason I can't seem to move forward with what I normally do. Even with the issues in the office I can't seem to put my finger on what has me feeling so lost.
Need to figure it out...that will be the only way to not be so lost anymore.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Life as we know it...







Little one...
Young Lady...
I dropped my coat off this afternoon to be cleaned and then to grab lunch when I noticed a little boy asking his grandpa (I'm assuming here) what the rocks are on the sidewalk, it was the salt to melt the ice. That little boy got me to thinking...as the 'kids' in my family get older I'm realizing things change more quickly than we like. My cousins middle daughter is 18 and about to graduate boot camp at Fort Jackson (February 7th!!) that makes my daughter almost 17 (in March) and looking at colleges. It's scary for her because its something new and exciting but it's also scary for me as I realize I need to let go of the little girl I once had and embrace the young adult she is becoming.

She's making big life decisions while still struggling with the trials and tribulations of all high school girls. Who is dating who, what girl "stabbed" who in the back or what subjects are causing anxiety, this being her junior year it's a very important one. As I said earlier, checking out colleges, since this year is the one that is looked at for grades, community service, extra circular it is imperative that the decisions made are the right ones. But how do you or anyone know what is right without trying and failing first? Life changes at every turn however I think the biggest changes come from growing up, the biggest of them all...graduating from high school and realizing you are becoming and adult.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Projects, projects, projects...



People typically wait until warmer weather to begin projects that require some outdoor time, sanding / painting furniture. Not me! I've decided to start working on the spare room in my home to turn it into my craft / sewing room and a place where I can wrap presents without having to tear apart my dining room to wrap. Most of the items used for either crafts or sewing are in the basement, my sewing machine is still in the box, stored in my office closet and only pulled out when I need to sew something. The wrapping paper, tape, bows and all that are in the basement, makes it a pain when I need to quickly wrap a gift.
The room I'm redoing was the room I set up for my niece and nephew when they come over but since they don't really spend the night that often I've decided to take over the room. So I've listed some furniture on a popular website for sale, created a list of projects I need to complete and the supplies I will need. Today my daughter and I spent the day running around from one place to another completing errands. In the middle of all that we visited 3 thrift stores so I could search for the table I had pictured in my mind to use for my sewing machine. We found it at the third store, thankfully, because I was beat! 
Well the table needs some love but I'm sure after sanding and painting it white, it'll be just adorable. I'm thinking about painting the legs and one of the "wings" a different color to add some interest. I figure this can be used as my sewing table and if I want to paint or hot glue something I can open a "wing" and use it then drop it when not in use. This will work...

I found a couple of ideas on Pinterest that I plan on putting into place in this room. Great way to save space and limit the amount of furniture in the room, considering the space I need to conserve all the space I can by utilizing the walls for storage. I found this great piece that can store my threads and am going to modify it slightly so it will work for my paints as well.
This is the most adorable, effective way I've found to store thread. It also adds a great bit of color to the room as well by simply displaying this way. This is also the piece I'm going to modify to fit my paints & brushes. This will eliminate a cabinet from being brought upstairs from the basement. Simplicity is key in this room because there will be enough going on in it without adding a bunch of clutter. I'll post pics as I progress.

Wish me luck! 

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas!!

Today is the day to enjoy time with your family and loved ones, people we choose as family. I hope everyone had a wonderful day filled with love and happy times.

I'll catch up again later in the week.

Merry Christmas to all!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Holiday stress with a moody teenager...





It's just me and my daughter at home (she's 16, three months shy of 17), you would think the house would stay clean or at the very least neat. Sometimes I just want to walk around with a giant vacuum and suck everything up so it's just gone.


Until last night my kitchen was the only clean part of my house, the living room is a mess and only made worse by my daughter  and her friend working on a physics project. Somewhere along the lines on Tuesday night they ate and left the dishes on a small table in there. I didn't notice because I had not stepped foot in the living room really since Monday. Yesterday all she had to do was clean up her mess including the water bottles (one shoved under the couch and another on top of the couch). Her laptop was tossed on one of the couches which drives me NUTS! That's no way to treat an expensive piece of equipment. 

She was told to do the dishes (left in the sink since Tuesday, today is now Thursday) last night. Her response, "I'll do them when I do them", oh boy did that cause a fight! Who did she think she was talking to me, her mother, like that?? I was so floored I told her she better come right home from school, "I'm not coming right home I'm staying after to work on my project so I don't screw up my junior year like you always tell me". Let's just say at this point I was ready to toss her out in the cold, I was not going to listen to this nor deal with the attitude. We both went to bed angry and I woke up that way this morning. All things piled up and now completely stressed, aggravated and done being the maid, alarm clock and personal bank. I wish as kids the one lesson they would learn (and wish I knew when I was a kid), just do what your told or asked right away, it saves a ton of grief in the long run.




All my rambling has a point...this time of year while normally the most wonderful time of year is also very stressful for all of us, kids included. They feed off their parents moods and often wind up being in a worse one than us. She had three projects due this week, her last week in school before Winter Break...that in itself is pure stress. I get it.

I'm stressed not because of work, the last two weeks before Christmas normally slow down for me, but because I'm trying to bake cookies for everyone (70 dozen or so), make sure I have the perfect Christmas presents for everyone in my family and of course keeping the house clean. Nothing worse than a messy house with a beautiful Christmas tree front and center. 

Step back, take a breath and remember this too shall pass.

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year to all!