Many Thanks and Blessings...

I can't begin to tell you how loved, blessed, and thankful I feel for all the messages I have received this week about my blog and prayers for my family! THANK YOU for reaching out and taking the time to send me a message.. it puts a huge smile on my face and gives me the motivation to keep writing. I am trying to keep this post a little lighter than the previous, but each time I get a new message from someone that knew my mom, it's like Christmas morning for me. It helps me remember how many people loved her and still think of her everyday. It is absolutely amazing how one person can truly impact so many peoples lives.

Anyways, is it really Halloween weekend already?! This month seems to have just flown by. Halloween is me and Billy's favorite time of the year... it goes back to 6 years ago from good ole' BGSU (our college - where we met!). Billy has consistantly dressed up as Spiderman (don't even try to talk him into a different costume - it won't work) ever since then and is pretty much famous for his Spidey-like talents. Climbing and hanging from trees. Not breaking character once throughout the night staring people down....the usual. Not to mention he claims it's an "adult" size costume, but I beg to differ as it hugs one too many places (if you catch my drift). He's even dressed up as Spiderman random times throughout the year and I've had people come up to me telling me they saw him out at night dressed like him- he's special. Halloween is also special to us because this time last year we moved into our first house!!  It's hard to believe it's already been a year. We are so grateful for our home and all the memories we've shared in it so far. Last but certaintly not least...this time last year I fell in love for a second time. Yep, a second time. With THIS lovely, beautiful, outstanding, gorgeous...ok you get the point... ROCK!

I still catch myself staring at it for long periods of time a year later. Especially in the car while I'm driving and the light hits it a certain way and then I get honked at from the car behind me...safe, I know. Don't judge me. Ahh..pure love on my hand. Thank you babe for giving me the most beautiful ring I could have ever imagined and asking me to be your wife. I finally understand the saying "Diamonds are a girls best friend!" :) 

This year we won't be having our Halloween party at our house since my aunt's services are this weekend so I thought I would share some pictures from last years celebration and some pictures from the sleepover we had with Mara. Me, Billy, and our little Rocky did make it to the pumpkin patch this week and had a wonderful time. I love everything about pumpkin patches. I did some retail therapy this week at Bed, Bath, and Beyond and I think I came out with half of the store. My favorite purchase is a new fiberbed. It is soo comfortable - how did I ever survive without this before?! ;)

Can you find Rocky? haha He loves the new fiberbed
My boys at the pumpkin patch
Ice cream time!
Halloween 2009 - Showing off my bling!
My Spidey

Me and Nat made these eyeball cookies - long hours of physical labor I tell ya but worth it!
Our first home<3

Tonight we are going over to Mandy and Sean's to watch the kids go trick-or-treating. I can't wait to see them in their cute costumes! I'll be sure to post pictures later. Have a GREAT weekend everyone,



What Cancer Means To Me

Disclaimer: This is a long and sappy post, but completely necessary..

This weekend was a difficult one for me and my family. Early Sunday morning I woke up to the news that my aunt Jacki had passed away late Saturday night. I thought that I was somewhat prepared for the news...but how are you really ever prepared to lose a loved one?

My aunt Jacki had been fighting a very aggressive type of cancer since the beginning of this past summer. I will never forget the phone call saying that she was at the James Cancer Center for testing. My initial reaction was "oh man, not this again.." but I knew I needed to be there for her. for my uncle. I wouldn't just not give them my support even though everytime I walked in to a hospital my heart would sink and I instantly wanted to walk right back out. I knew what I had to do the first time I visited her that night, and my decision was to do anything and everything I could to support her and my uncle, because if anyone knew how hard it is to fight cancer - it was me.

If you are reading this and don't know me, on June 2nd, 2001 my mom passed away from breast cancer. She was diagnosed when I was 3 (1988, roughly) so cancer was pretty much a part of my everyday life growing up. I know now looking back, what cancer means to me. For a while, I was really lost - angry, confused, etc. thinking "why me? why MY mom?" and to be honest, there are still days I feel that way. But I feel content now, knowing that everything happens for a reason (my mom's favorite saying) and I have learned so much from my mom that I may have never learned if it wasn't for cancer. I learned how important it is to live everyday like it's your last..I learned how to express my feelings and come to terms with the disease..I learned to wear your heart on your sleeve and ALWAYS tell your loved ones what they mean to you while you have the chance. I learned so much about the disease in general and I learned how much I want to help others who are suffering. This is where I learned to suck it up and actually help, instead of feeling sorry for myself.

Ever since that initial day at the hospital with my aunt... I attended most of her hospital appointments, helped my uncle keep track of her medicines, spoke with the nurses and doctors, and sat in on all of the major meetings they had with my uncle. There were days I was so restless at work all I wanted to do was get to the hospital to be with them. Luckily, being that my Dad is my boss, he would let me spend many of my workdays at the hospital. I can't begin to tell you how happy I am that I was so involved and that my uncle leaned on me and could see how much I wanted to help. I know I got this from my mom.  I know how appreciative my aunt and uncle are that I did this and even though everyday it brought back painful memories of my mom - I wouldn't have done it any other way. I loved every minute I spent with them. A hospital setting? No, not the most ideal places to spend quality time with your family, but it was Jacki's sense of humor and positive outlook on life that made it worth while. She was always so positive, kind, gentle, and funny. We had so many good days filled with laughter...I will never forget her calling Billy "the bombdiggity" for simply getting her a drink, and us bonding about how much we love eating dessert first before our meal because life is too short to wait until after! Those are the times that are priceless to me. I pray my uncle "D" knows how strong of a man he is, and how much I watched him grow over this whole process. I am so proud of him.

Tonight I sit here still wishing she were here...but have comfort in that fact that I know she is in a better place and is at peace. I know that she is with my mom, and my aunt Carol who also passed away from breast cancer, and they are having one heck of a party up there together.  I already miss her terribly but am so thankful I had these past 6 months to spend with her.

Now, you may wonder where the URL address for my blog came from... "lovenotesinabox" Well, what the HECK does that mean?! The year before my mom passed away, she made me a box with the title "Love Notes for Katie" and inside it's filled with notecards that on each one she wrote things "she loved about me" that were over a year of time. The most amazing gift I have ever received (along with the 3 journals she wrote to me) and just goes to show what an AMAZING person my mom was. So this blog...are my love notes to her. My type of journal for her to read because I know she is looking down on me.  Tonight, Billy and I went through my box of love notes and read each and every one. I picked my top 2 favorites to share with you...

"I love you more than you can even imagine. I love you "more than blueberry pancakes". I prayed for you tonight. I know that God will direct us. I love that you are my daughter - my Katie doo!"

"I love your: sensitivity. I love that you go after someone if they are upset or hurt. I love it when you are sensitive to anothers feelings"

These simple words that my mom wrote one day are all I need to keep pushing forward and to keep me on the right path. For those of you reading on this Monday night... try to stop sulking about Monday mornings at work and appreciate that you are still alive and get to live another Monday - because you never know when it may be your last (I, too, need to work on this). EMBRACE them - for you get a whole new week to make amazing memories with your friends and family.

Thank you to everyone for your kind thoughts and prayers this weekend. I am so lucky to have such amazing people in my life to support me. RIP Aunt Jacki, you will never be forgotten.


"Katie Doo"



I can't begin to tell you how happy I am that it is FRIDAY! Normally, every friday morning I treat myself to a delicious pumpkin spice latte from Starbucks (it really should be made year round), but totally forgot this morning because I am TOO excited for this evening! 

Who am I kidding... I am usually pretty excited every week for friday to come, but especially THIS Friday!  Billy and I are having my mini me, Mara (my stepsister's daughter), over for a sleepover tonight. We are going to carve pumpkins, make tacos, and have ice cream sundaes! I can't say enough about Mara... she is just the cutest and I totally wish I was a cool as she was when I was her age. She is a D-I-V-A, that is for sure!!!  We just love her sooo much and are really looking forward to it. These past couple weeks have been a struggle, so I can't wait to get my mind off of everything and just have fun with her. Meet the princess herself:

 Her and her sister Lia made the most beautiful flower girls in our wedding :)
 Our Lady Gaga pose...See, we're twinsies.
Billy & Mara

Saturday morning we will be taking her to her and her brother Brady's last soccer game. Have you ever watched 4 and 5 year olds play soccer?! If you haven't, you need to. It is absolutely adorable and can instantly bring a smile to your face. Hopefully after the game, I will get to tailgate for the Buckeyes game with some girlfriends - my favorite! Speaking of soccer.... I have my first TWO indoor games of the session this Sunday. I am playing on a team with Billy's work friends, and then on a second team with all of my good friends. I CANNOT WAIT TO PLAY AGAIN!!! It has been way too long. Let's hope I don't forget how to play ;)

For anyone reading this... I'm asking for a couple prayers from you this weekend if you get a chance...

*First off, let's all pray for a BUCKEYES (and Bengals...) win this weekend....gotta still have faith. Go Bucks!
*Safe travels for my parents who are still enjoying themselves in Italy
*Most importantly... pray for my Aunt Jacki who has been placed in hospice after her long and hard fight with cancer. Pray for my Uncle Dennis to find strength to get through this very difficult time and for him to lean on us for comfort and support. Thank you in advance.
Have a great weekend everyone,



My First Blog Post!

I did it! Well atleast I think I did...? It has taken me a while to get this thing up and running but it's finally done, phew! I have never had a blog before, so if there is anyone out there that can give my blog a MAKEOVER or give me advice on how to make it better - that would be wonderful!!! :)

I guess I should first start by explaining why I chose to start a blog:

#1. The main reason I started it is so that I have a way of sharing my life experiences with others...including a family story so incredible that is only heard about in a movie, some good, and some not so good. I have a passion for helping others and feel as though I have been through a lot at my age, so if I can help or give advice to just one person then making this blog be worth it to me. Maybe someone, somewhere can relate to me and my experiences.

#2. It is the perfect time... October - Breast Cancer Awareness month. I have/have had a lot to relate to in this category (which you will soon read about) and figured this blog would be a great tribute to that and a way for me to open up about my struggles with the disease.

#3. I wont lie... some of these are pretty cute and I enjoy reading them!! I also think that this will be awesome to use to keep in touch with family and friends that live in different cities.

#4. So that I can look back and remember all these memories one day :)

Will I be posting everyday? No, probably not. Will I share every little detail of my life on here? No, absolutely not. Most likely it will take me a while to get used to having one. But I hope you enjoy following my journey!!