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Aug. 15th, 2011

cj -- my pooh bear

Finding the missing pieces...

Autism is the fastest growing developmental disorder in the United States. Autism affects about 1 in 110 children and on July 11, 2011, my son became one of them. Cristian was diagnosed with PDD-NOS, a high-functioning autism spectrum disorder.

Please consider donating at: http://www.active.com/donate/DylansRun2011/cruisers.

By participating in this yearly event, we are helping to change the future for all families that struggle with autism by raising money to find answers and by raising awareness about the devastating toll that autism has taken. Perhaps even more importantly, this event will help Cristian and so many other young children understand that they are not alone, thereby assisting in maintaining a positive outlook on life. It is my personal goal to ensure that my son does not need to worry about how people might perceive him, but instead to know that he is supported and understood by those around him.

Together, we will find the missing pieces! Thank you for your consideration.

Sep. 15th, 2010

cj -- smiles with frosting

(no subject)

Let me know if you're a member of honor_cup and I will leave you an honor. And you could always do the same for me! :)

Aug. 3rd, 2010

my boys -- mommy and wife

(no subject)

Day 01 – Introduce yourself
Day 02 – Your first love, in great detail
Day 03 – Your parents, in great detail
Day 04 – What you ate today, in great detail
Day 05 – Your definition of love, in great detail
Day 06 – Your day, in great detail
Day 07 – Your best friend, in great detail
Day 08 – A moment, in great detail
Day 09 – Your beliefs, in great detail
Day 10 – What you wore today, in great detail
Day 11 – Your siblings, in great detail
Day 12 – What’s in your bag, in great detail
Day 13 – This week, in great detail
Day 14 – What you wore today, in great detail
Day 15 – Your dreams, in great detail
Day 16 – Your first kiss, in great detail
Day 17 – Your favorite memory, in great detail
Day 18 – Your favorite birthday, in great detail
Day 19 – Something you regret, in great detail
Day 20 – This month, in great detail
Day 21 – Another moment, in great detail
Day 22 – Something that upsets you, in great detail
Day 23 – Something that makes you feel better, in great detail
Day 24 – Something that makes you cry, in great detail
Day 25 – A first, in great detail
Day 26 – Your fears, in great detail
Day 27 – Your favorite place, in great detail
Day 28 – Something that you miss, in great detail
Day 29 – Your aspirations, in great detail
Day 30 – One last moment, in great detail

Jul. 26th, 2010

cj -- smiles with frosting

Getting to know you...

Name (nickname, whatever you want me to call you):
Name and ages of children (if you have one. since most of my new adds were from a mom community):
Relationship status:
Favorite TV:
Favorite Music:
Favorite Books:
I wish I had more time for:
I wish I spent less time:
Things that make me happy are:
My pet peeve is:
A picture of me (if you're comfortable sharing):

I will post my answers as a comment...

Jul. 23rd, 2010

my boys -- mommy and wife

I'm alive...

*waves and peeks head out from around the corner*

Hi! I am still alive.

Quick update in bullet form:
*Cristian is now terribly 2, but still the light of my life. He loves Imagination Movers and Handy Manny, playing with cars and blocks, pretzels, string cheese and fruit snacks.
*Thinking of baby 2 starting next year.
*fatman7600 and I will have been married for 4.5 years in August. It hasn't always been the easiest, but it's been worth it.
*No longer working at ACL. It was getting to be a chore and making me unhappy. Now I'm working at a law firm in downtown Milwaukee and I absolutely adore it. So happy I took a leap of faith and for once it worked out.
*Going to start running once I get fitted for better shoes. Going to do C25K and planning on running my first 5K in November for arthritis.
*Working on finding new friends and keeping up with the oldies but goodies. Finding time to make things work so I don't feel isolated and neglected.
*On that note, I have realized that my best friends are the ones that I can text both stupid and necessary things to. I have Milwaukee best friends (Claire, buhdderkupp, ericahart), New Jersey best friend (shoebootie, sweetlilangel86 and plenty of great friends in between in both states (Cassie, Fe, Katie, Renee, Cathy, Cira, Crystal, Harm, Sal, Mike, Gary -- just to name a few). I'm not going to keep holding my breath or worrying about who doesn't like me.
*My family, for the most part, is happy and healthy. That is what truly matters to me.

As you can tell, I don't update often. But please know that I do read and comment as much as I can -- LiveJournal will always have a special place in my heart because without it I wouldn't have my husband! Don't forget about me. I am on Facebook (manda.reilly) and Twitter (OneHotMomma) a lot, so please feel free to add me!

One last thing, I just joined honor_cup and think it would be cool if a few of you did as well so we can do it together! :)


Oct. 17th, 2009

cj -- smiles with frosting

...from where you are...

Eight years ago today, one of the first loves of my life passed away. One of the greatest women I will ever know would have been seventy-five tomorrow.

“When I get where I'm going
on the far side of the sky.
The first thing that I'm gonna do
is spread my wings and fly.” – Brad Paisley (When I Get Where I’m Going)

I miss them terribly. I see Cristian and I want so badly for his great-grandparents to see him grow into the little man he is. I want them to meet Blake and for them to love him as much as I do. I want them to see what I am doing with my life—because it’s completely different than when they left me.

I want them to know how much I love them and think about them each and every day and more so if possible on these two days of the year. I want them to know how much I appreciate having two of the best angels in heaven on my shoulder, and I want them to know that I am trying my hardest to make them proud.

When you love someone so much, losing them is an exhausting and exhilarating experience all at once. It’s emotionally exhausting but it’s exhilarating to know that they are no longer hurting and one day you will be together again. If you understood how hard it was for me to see them both as sick as they were, you understand how happy I am that they are together and healthy. They were both such amazing people with never-ending love and passion for life and family.

If I can be even an eighth of the woman my nana was, I will be so incredibly successful. Between her and Mom, I have had some of the best role models on being a good mother, wife, and woman.

I want Cristian to know how hardworking his great-grandfather was and to instill that work ethic in him early. I want him to realize how important family was to Papa, and how important family should be to him.

I will always remember our last family dinner at Andrea’s Restaurant. It was a joyous time with no discussions of ailments or heartaches. We enjoyed each other’s company. Even though the restaurant no longer exists, my memories will be as concrete in my mind as if the building stood strong.

I am hoping to visit their crypt tomorrow so they can meet their great-grandson face to face. And I want to shed a tear on their flowers and place the flowers next to them so it permeates through the marble and into their amazing souls.

Nana, I miss your smile which could pierce even my worst of days. I miss the way you called me “Mouse.” I miss our trips to the mall for pretzels and chatting. I miss the way only you could comfort me and let me know you were always there for me. Most of all, I miss you.

Papa, I miss your amazing blue-grey eyes. I miss the times I could sit in your lap or by your feet and hear incredible stories. I miss your catch-phrases and sayings and that belly laugh. I miss the way you made me know you were so proud of me. Most of all, I miss you.

And I love you both more than you’ll ever know.

“I miss the years that were erased.
I miss the way the sunshine would light up your face.
I miss all the little things.
I never thought that they’d mean everything to me.
Yeah, I miss you,
and I wish you were here.” – Lifehouse (From Where You Are)


Jul. 4th, 2009

cj -- smiles with frosting

(no subject)

The first five (or maybe more if I'm feeling generous) people to respond to this post will get something made by me.

My choice. For you.

This offer does have some restrictions and limitations:

* I make no guarantees that you will like what I make!

* What I create will be with you in mind.

* It'll be done sometime this year (2009)

* You have no clue what it's going to be. It may be something written, some physical thing made, a mix CD, could be anything at all, but I will make it myself. It's entirely my choice what it is. No quibbles, no refunds.

I'm actually going to do it this time! :)

May. 22nd, 2009

cj -- smiles with frosting

(no subject)

You know how sometimes people on your friend's list post about stuff going on in their life, and all of a sudden you think "Wait a minute? Since when are they working THERE? Since when are they dating HIM/HER? since when???" And then you wonder how you could have missed all that seemingly pretty standard information, but somehow you feel too ashamed to ask for clarification because it seems like info you *should* already know? It happens to all of us sometimes.

Please copy mine below, erase my answers putting yours in their place then post it in your journal! Please elaborate on the questions that would benefit from elaboration! One-Word-Answers seldom help anyone out :)

1. First Name: Mandy

2. Age: Turned 24 on Monday (May 18th)

3. Location: Milwaukee, WI

4. Occupation: Billing Entry Specialist 2 by day, and full-time mommy and wife by night

5. Partner: My husband, Blake, since February 11, 2006

6. Kids: Cristian Joseph (CJ), born on June 27, 2008

7. Brothers/Sisters: One brother, Kyle (21). We're really close.

8. Pets: Two dogs, Abby (Doberman Greyhound) and Sassy (Springer Spaniel/Dalmatian)

9. List the 3-5 biggest things going on in your life:
(1) My mother's heart surgery next week
(2) Getting things ready for CJ's first birthday party
(3) Going back to school in the fall for my Bachelor's
(4) The YMCA family challenge/losing weight (35 pounds so far)
(5) Summer vacation in August to Jersey and State Fair

10. School: Graduated from MATC with an Associate's as a Medical Administrative Specialist and a certificate in Medical Billing. Going to Cardinal Stritch for my Bachelor's in Management.

11. Parents: Mary and Mark...married 25 years and close to both of them.

12. Who are some of your closest friends?: Besides Blake and my mom, my closest friends are Leigh, Joanna, Annie, Clairebear, Cathy, Harm, and Jess, along with my ACL ladies and some Jersey girls.

Anything else you want to know just ask!

Apr. 22nd, 2009

cj -- smiles with frosting

(no subject)


Money for surveys. Sounds fishy, but it's legit. And I get credit for your surveys, and if you recruit people, we both get credit. :)

Apr. 20th, 2009

cj -- smiles with frosting

(no subject)

Happy birthday to the love of my life and my baby's daddy! I love you fatman7600!

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