Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The Best Laid Plans.....

Before I even married Marty, he told me that his plans were to not live in California forever. In 2010 while waiting for transplant, he decided he wanted to move to Peachtree City,GA. We had friends there and loved the area. We planned to move as soon as he was well enough and free from Stanford.

We had a list of plans to accomplish before that move could happen. We traveled to see the area, see friends and family last fall. We loved it and couldn't wait to move. After our trip several things happened and we pushed back our move date until this coming fall. Mainly because Marty loves me so much and I had plans with friends!

After my trip to Hershey it was time to buckle down and start looking for jobs. I got home from Hershey and Marty dropped a bomb on me. He had been researching Tennessee and really thought it was a better fit for us. More value for our money in home buying, more rural areas to buy in and I have family in the state. I was floored, not very happy and kind of ticked. What about all that planning? Where were we supposed to look?    What about our friends in Georgia looking forward to us coming?

He asked me to pray about it, make a list of pro's and con's and talk to people I knew in Tennessee. So I did that and still was uneasy.  During this same time, some doors in the blogging social media world have been opening for me and it seems like a career is coming out of this. I've known this for quite some time but not quite been sure of how to make it work.

Last Tuesday morning, I was getting ready for work and prayed while I was in the shower. My two prayers were "God if social media is the  job for me? show me" and " If Tennessee is your will, open doors there and show us where to go"

I got out of the shower and immediately got a phone call regarding a blog I set up. This was on top of the work I am already doing for a friend. It is so clear I am already doing this job, I just need a way to get paid for it.

I got off work a bit early and noticed a message on my phone. It was from my high school best friend Lee aka Liviu to some of you. He lives in Knoxville,TN and wanted to talk to me about something. I called him and what happened next floored me.

He and his wife Flavia have opened a beautiful furniture store Fig and Company in Knoxville. It is taking off and doing really well. They are really needing help with their blogging and social media. When Lee saw my message he couldn't believe it! He and his wife had been praying for help in this area for the last month. They only opened the store ten weeks ago. No wonder for the sudden change.

I am very excited for this opportunity. Very excited to be able to go work with such dear friend's and especially excited because I believe in their vision for the store. I was blown away to hear these two answers to prayer in ONE day. 

Of course, my heart was anxious to break this news to all of our Georgia friends and our family in Tennessee. At least we will be closer than before and still living within driving distance. 

It's scary making this huge change. Now it is all very real and time to make it happen. We would love your prayers and good thoughts. We've been encouraged by the response we have received so far from family and friends.

We still have some things that need to happen. Our original November/December move date is still in tact. We are praying for a job for Marty, housing and the funds to make it all happen. We know that God will provide all those things if this is meant to be. We are excited for this new, grand adventure in life and can't wait to see what the future holds. We know who holds it, that's for sure!

Isaiah 55:8 "My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts," says the LORD. "And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine.

Now be sure to go follow them on all these pages and see where I am headed.
Fig and Company website www.figandcompany.com
Fig and Company Facebook https://www.facebook.com/pages/Fig-and-Company/424483324270270
Fig and Company Twitter https://twitter.com/figandcompany

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Guest Blogger: Tired of Struggling in Silence by Lori

I met Lori on Twitter ( notice a running theme with that?) when she kindly orchestrated for Andrea and I to go to Town Hall. I often call her the commander of the Blockhead army. She is truly one of the most generous and kind people I've ever met. I cannot wait for the day when I can go to Seattle and hug her in person. She has truly made a huge impact on my life in a short time. 

She privately shared with me her struggles a few months back. Today for the very first time, she is bravely sharing her story with infertility on Just Jules. Thank you for doing this for me and hopefully helping others along the way. You're truly one of a kind.


Two years ago, my husband and I decided that it was the right time in our life to start trying to have a baby. I knew that it would likely take awhile for my body to regulate and level out after being on birth control for so many years, so I decided that we'd keep it a "secret" from most people. Part of that was knowing it might take a few months (ha, a few months!) and part was that it would be a heck of a lot more fun to surprise people with the "I'm pregnant!" news than to have everyone know and be like "okay, duh, that was news coming.", right?

 A few months went by, then some more, then a couple more, and suddenly we were at a year of trying. A year of trying means officially "infertile" by definition of most insurance companies. We both went in for testing and discovered a few problems and reasons why it hadn't happened yet. Of course, those issues are being worked on, but they take time and there is no quick bandaid fix. Every couples struggle with infertility is the result of a slightly different medical issue and every individual responds to treatments and medication slightly differently. There are about 10,000 different things that have to happen perfectly, at the right time, for a pregnancy to occur - it boggles my mind that anyone gets pregnant, let alone accidentally!

 With the fact that we were working on fixing the issues, I still decided to keep it to ourselves. It kept feeling like if I told people, we'd totally get pregnant right after that and never had to tell, right? (Kinda like washing your car and it rains the next day!) But more months went by, more friends and family were getting pregnant and resulting in more baby showers, more pregnancy announcements and baby pictures all over Facebook, and more people questioning when we were going to have our own.

 Eventually, I cracked and made a snarky comment back to a friend who suggested that we have kids so I don't have to worry about cramps/period for 9 months (hello, that's what I'd LOVE to do!) and informed her that we'd been trying for 2 years. I pretty much knew that was how the news would get out!

 So the doors flew open on our "secret" and it is quite freeing to have it out in the open. No more secrets, no more avoiding the question, no more planning the avoidance and responses to the questions before going to events that I anticipate being asked. I might have been more stressed over that than the actual process and fact that it hasn't happened yet. Infertility happens (in some form) to 1 in 8 couples. 1 in 8!!! Yet nobody talks about it. Why is there such a stigma on the topic? You can talk about it without getting into nitty gritty details of your sex life, I promise. Every time I've mentioned something about it on Twitter, I've had another friend come forward with their struggle of trying, miscarriages, failed IVF attempts, and successful happy endings. Yet while going through it, we've all felt isolated and been in so much pain.

 The more that couples who are going through it hide it, the less it gets talked about. The less it is talked about, the more awkward it is when it is talked about. When it gets talked about, people have a hard time coming up with what to say and how to react to the situation. Yes, it is hard, yes, it sucks to go through, but it doesn't mean that the couples going through it are seeking your suggestions to fix the problem ("my cousins best friends sister just stopped trying and got pregnant with twins!" is not any help, I promise!!), nor does a canned "it will happen when it is meant to be!" response. It feels like it ends up being a vicious cycle - people don't talk about it because they are embarrassed/hurt/ashamed/whatever, which leads to less people knowing the facts, which leads to less people knowing what to "say" or how to "help" the people in their lives when it does get talked about.

 Remember before that I said 1 in 8 couples struggle with some form of infertility? Think about the people in your life and the couples around you - I'm guessing you know more than 8 and I'm guessing you've heard of very few of them discussing infertility, but I promise you, it's happening.

 Lesson of this all? I'm not sure that I would have done it any differently or announced that we'd been trying any earlier, but I do know that it feels a lot better having it be public. Maybe we should have told more people close to us to avoid at least a handful of the questioning from happening, maybe not - but it definitely helps to not hide it.

 To anyone out there going through it themselves, know that you aren't alone in the struggle. Find an online support group (I'd recommend the TCOYF.com forums!) or open up to some people close to you. It has made all the difference to have a group of friends who were all going through a similar struggle as me. Even as the time has gone by and most of the friends in that group have a baby by now, they know what the struggle is and are still an amazing shoulder to lean on.

 To those of you who are out there who know of a couple going through it, just be supportive. Understand that there may be times we can't attend your kids first birthday party or the next baby shower being thrown might just be too tough to handle. Don't offer us your toddler going through the terrible two's as a consolation to another month of finding out that we haven't conceived yet. And for the love of God, don't tell us to "just relax"! Next time you are about to ask a couple when they are having kids or tell them that it is "their turn", take a step back and think about it - how old are they? how long have they been married? There is probably a reason, whether medical or they just aren't quite ready yet, and chances are, your pressuring won't make them suddenly think "Hey, I hadn't thought of that! Let's go have a baby!" Everyday there is a reminder in our daily life that we're still struggling with it and a little love, support and understanding will go a long way!

 And remember, it'll all be worth it when you see two pink lines. :)

 You can follow Lori on Twitter @BlancoDiddy

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Happy Birthday Cousin Series: Happy Birthday Rissa, My Little Shadow

Yep, you guessed it...I've got a huge family and this series will continue for quite awhile. We haven't even hit the months where there will be double posts!

Ah, Miss Riss, My little shadow. Rissa is fifth in the lineup and five years younger than I am. She was born 11 days after my fifth birthday. Thanks Aunt Al for one of the best presents ever.

You see, Carrie had Brianne, Brianne had Sarah,Sarah had Brianne and Carrie. Rissa was my best pal cousin, my little shadow. We were always inseparable and our age difference never really mattered to us. We got along just fine, she was never a little baby in my eyes. I will admit, she probably was the first one to fall in line with my hairbrained schemes because she looked up to me and would easily follow along.

"Me and My Shadow"
We had grand adventures together, dressing up, playing store or post office under Grandma's table, Mc Donald's drive thru in the pool and spa at our grandparents house. We never lacked in imagination and always had so much fun.

I think that I enjoyed my teen and her tween years the best. We both bonded over our love for Joe Mc Intyre from New Kids on The Block. We never fought over him, we shared our love ( because we all know I loved him more..*giggles*)

My favorite thing to do was pick the girls up from St.Bruno's school and drive to Penn Park to roll down the hills before homework time. There was this one time though when the brakes in my little red Datsun failed as we all leaned forward to go faster down hill. Being a new driver, I didn't know to pull the emergency brake and let's just say that we narrowly escaped a brick wall and a Mercedes on a blind turn in Uptown Whittier. Yeah, Riss NEVER  let's me forget that one!

One of my most favorite memories is from my bridal shower. I was nineteen, Rissa was fourteen and lamenting the loss of her ringleader. She wrote me the most wonderful note telling me that we were growing up and our childhood was over. She wrapped up her Joe doll and giant Joe button for me to remember our precious childhood. I still cry thinking about it. Of course, she walked down the aisle ahead of me on the beautiful March day.

Flash forward fourteen years later, it was Rissa's turn to be the bride. It was during the darkest time in my life and her wedding was a light spot during the time. I had plan, I had waited YEARS for my turn to repay the favor and in those years, Rissa had probably forgotten about the Joe doll. I couldn't wait for my plan to unfold.

I wrote her this letter told her to read it and then open her gift. Here is the order of events:
Read this letter. "What did you do Julie?"


YEP! Joe doll and button passed back!

One of the best moments of my life! Truly special!

It was so much fun to give the Joe doll back to her! We still haven't been able to achieve our dream of seeing NKOTB together. Next year, next tour, we are going together! It must happen.

The night before her wedding after the rehearsal dinner. I told the girls to put on sweatshirts and come with me. This time we towed along our younger cousins Alex and Randon along with my children to Penn Park. In the cloak of night, grown women with lives, we forgot it all and rolled down the hills carefree. Just being girls in the park once again. 

Until we remembered that Rissa shouldn't roll down hills since she had been in a terrible accident that broke her neck two years before. Sometimes as adults, you can't be so carefree anymore..it was fun while it lasted. The next day was a beautiful day, very emotional seeing my baby cousin get married and join me in adulthood. 

This year Rissa joined me in the ranks of motherhood when her precious daughter Drew was born. It's so much fun sharing these bonds together. Every Friday since Drew was born, she sends a picture of Drew for me to see. (In fact, yesterday was Friday missy and you forgot. Get on it!) Lately we've been exchanging baby pics for New Kids pics. Always a good laugh.

Riss, we've been through it all together. Thank you for being one of the best "sister" cousins a girl could ask for. For all the teary phone calls, all the fun phone calls, rolling down the hills and for being my little shadow. You truly are my sunshine, you make me happy when skies are grey, you'll never know dear how much I love you.

Happy birthday Riss! Love, Jules

Momma Riss

Riss and I dancing on her wedding day

PS Miss Riss is a English teacher so writing this blog was extra intense. Please don't grade me on puncuation Riss, okay?

Sunday, September 16, 2012

California Women's Conference Ticket Give Away

So excited, I have four two day registrations to the California Women's Conference to give away. These are two day tickets worth $199 dollars each. You must be able to travel to Long Beach, Ca on September 23-24th.

Here is the information about the conference: www.californiawomensconference.com

This was made possible by my good friend Kerri Pomarolli, my favorite comedianne and good friend. She is speaking at this wonderful conference next week. You should follow her on Twitter @kerripom and like her Facebook page here as a thank you for this great prize.

After you've done that. Leave me a comment and the first four people to comment win tickets. Simple as that!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Happy Birthday Cousin Series: Happy Birthday Jules

Yesterday afternoon, I recieved a funny text from my cousin Andy asking what my email address was now. He mentioned my very first email address from 15 years ago. I wondered why he wanted my email address and this is why. He wrote me a birthday blog.  I cried, laughed and was deeply touched.  

I adore Andy, always have and always will.  He's right, we are VERY close and have always been close.  When its his birthday, you will learn more about him.  Thank you Potato. Love, French Fry


My name is Andrew and I am number lucky seven in the birth order of my cousins.  However today's tip of the cap is to number one of course.  If you are reading any of this, then you are aware of and hopefully one of the lucky masses who know my eldest cousin Julie.  She has been writing a little piece about each of her cousins on their birthdays, so it only felt appropriate to take a little time and return the appreciation.

It would be safe to say I manage to stay close to my cousin Julie even though she's a four hours away from here, and has been for awhile.  Then again most  of cousins would probably say something along those lines, and I think that's a skill she acquired from my grandparents. What I mean by that is, though I am her actual favorite, my other cousins might be inclined to say the same thing.  It's speaks to the kinds of of people that came before us, and an ability to connect with people that the rest of us would be lucky to ever understand.

Julie is seven years older than me, and right around age nine when I was getting an idea of cool, Julie was about the coolest person I knew.  My first realization of cool would probably be the first time I met Marty.  For no reason at all Julie had asked me if I wanted to go with her for a ride, and frankly, why on earth would anybody say no?  Julie's first car was a maroon datsun hatchback with a violent femmes sticker on passenger side and a proud Depeche Mode sticker displayed on the rear.

 I had the front seat all to myself and I was making hand dolphins out of the window that I could hardly see over, all the way to Buena Park.  It felt cool, and it also was my first serious encounter with a charismatic British frontman named Morrissey and his band The Smiths, who I still consider cool nearly twenty years later.

 Upon arrival in Buena Park I got to meet Marty, at the time he was one of the few older guys I had met, that wasn't somebodies dad and I remember thinking that he was pretty cool.  Just about when my head was about to explode from all the coolness I had encountered of the last half hour, Marty took us to a Taco Bell where you ordered food using a touch screen that talked back you, needless to say I was in awe, and from that day on my cousin became one of the most interesting people I know, and that hasn't changed.

It might even be true to say Julie gets more interesting all the time.  In a day an age where a facebook wall tells us to embrace small miracle everyday, most of glance, smile, and forget that nice sentiment before it's even out of an eyeshot, and then there is julie.  My cousin is wonderful reminder that it's good to be excited about things.  Whether it be a tweet from and Olympic swimmer, or baking cookies for cyclist, Jules creates adventures of the everyday, and it seems like every time I talk to her I hang up the phone and get inspired.  It's hard not be, I genuinely hang up the phone feeling like I can do anything, and if there isn't anybody in your life that makes you feel that way, I highly recommend finding one, because it's insanely therapeutic.

As a believer that the universe makes it self right most of the time, I feel like Marty's ever miraculous recovery is simply that.  When good things happen to great people it makes things simply feel right.  For the last years leading up to the transplant, Julie carried on, and most of the time did it while appearing very collected.  We all know that couldn't have been the case, but she went about keeping her family moving forward as if she didn't want to give herself or anybody else time to feel sorry for themselves.  It's as if Marty's recovery is a thank you gift from the cosmos, for simply showing the rest of us what strength is.

"Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world." - Harriet Tubman

Over the last eighteen months or so Julie has taken to a whole lot of living.  A common thread in many conversations I have with my cousin is my inability to stay idle, in Julie's case she has simply decided to blast off like a very, very not tall rocket.  Had you told me last years that she would tackle a triathlon before she turned thirty six, I wouldn't have doubted her, however I would have had a hundred follow up questions.  I think once she realized everything was actually going to be o.k. She took that as a cue to do some serious living, and I for one couldn't be happier for her. I am excited to see where this path takes you, because I have a feeling it leads somewhere great.

My final thought.

   You are truly a one of a kind and I can honestly say this world is a more interesting place because you are in it.  With the progression of time it is wonderful to see Conner and Elizabeth getting slightly more like you every time I see them.  I suppose a thank you is in order for closeness you've managed to maintain with your cousins regardless of distance.  You have always set a wonderful example for me in a sense that it's not only fine to be different, but in actuality it suits some of us quite well.  Keep on in everything you do, because it does matter, and it inspires.  I took the liberty of doing this, because I love you, and if I get around to growing up I would like to be something like you.


Monday, September 10, 2012

Goodbye 35, The Best Year of My Thirties

It is no secret, I have a long, complicated history with birthday's. Usually they don't go very well and end with me crying. I wrote more about that last year here. I finally came to terms, Marty was well and things had been going very well. Everyone kept telling me " 35 is going to be your year" and of course, I didn't really want to believe it.

35 was my year, the best year of my thirties by far. It started on my 35th birthday when my all time favorite singer Curt Smith wished me a Happy birthday on Twitter. Two days later, for the very first time I saw them live in concert. It was amazing to stand there and listen to them live with Marty, I really thought things couldn't get much better than that. I hated the picture after the concert and how big I looked, the thought of changing that still hadn't crossed my mind.

In October, we took our first family vacation in over 7 years to Georgia. It was amazing to be able to travel and be free. We had such a great time seeing friends and being free to explore the world again.. Our lives were normal again and we had no worries anymore.

We came home from vacation and my Dad was hospitalized, it was a bit scary at first but then the relief that he finally had gotten the care to get him healthy again. It's been nice not having to worry about his health anymore and knowing he is on track again.

I came home from LA and just a few days later was introduced to Janet Evans on Twitter. Through a series of tweets, she helped motivate me to get fit. Just a few weeks later, I took her up on her offer to swim with her and that started me swimming again. Not only did I start swimming again but I started training for my first triathlon. I never expected we would become friends along the way.

In January, We celebrated the first anniversary of Marty's transplant and sent off a letter to our donor family. A couple of months later, we heard from the donor mom and learned about our donor Jerry.

In March, I completed my first triathlon with a huge sense of pride and accomplishment. Who would have ever thought I would do that? certainly not me. I had been losing weight and working very hard at getting fit. To date I've lost 40lbs and counting, all due to one tweet that changed my life.

April brought about a interesting turn of events. Easter weekend forever changed the course of the year and brought about amazing healing of my heart that I had long prayed for. The peace that weekend brought still amazes me to this day. Also, one meeting outside of the Hard Rock Cafe followed by a series of tweets changed the course of the rest of the year and the repercussions are far reaching.

Thanks to the kindness of three strangers, one evening in Los Angeles another dream came true. I sat in the same room as my teen hearthrobs and  even hugged them or shook hands ( at one point held the hand of one) with two women who would become dear to my heart and my sister of the heart. Little did I know,what this one event would lead to.

In May, Conner and I once again traveled to see our beloved Amgen Tour of California. This year was special because our cycling friends came to stay with us and we got to meet so many in the cycling community. Then one day later, led to the crazy story of Operation Cookie bake and how not to make promises to Jens Voigt that you don't keep.

My kids grew, no more elementary school for us after the school year ended. They have been such great company this year, helping me get fit. Helping me out around the house more after I returned to work from being a SAHM for many years.

In July, our dear pen pals from France came to visit. Fanette and her boys came for 11 days, we had such a good time touring California and showing them the sites. The kids and I got to go to Universal with them and then my long awaited return to my childhood haunt of Disneyland with them. It was wonderful to see such good friends and spend time in special places together.

Then last month, I was able to travel to Hershey,PA for a long awaited girl's trip with my good friend. It also was with the two women I had met on Twitter who had become good friends also. It was wonderful to see NKOTB again, another dream come true. I also met so many wonderful people and made friends for life. I also got to meet my dear friend Janeen for the first time.

Then this past week, I was able to travel to LA once again and see my Mom celebrate her Disney anniversary. The best part was getting to be at Disneyland after it was closed and enjoy some one on one time with my mom.

None of this would have happened without the support of my loving husband Marty. He has been gracious to let me live my dreams, supported me while I was off having fun and worked hard to pay for it all. Thank you for loving me selflessly and letting me have fun. This year has been a wonderful gift and I am forever grateful for your support.

Finally, I was able to live fully, spread my wings and fly, experience new things, laugh, cry, challenge myself, share my story, try to make a difference and really enjoy life to the fullest. Thank you to all the people who helped to make this the best year of my thirties. I am so thankful and humbled by your support and love, I am just Julie, a simple girl who cannot fathom that she is loved by many.

 I cannot imagine that 36 can top 35 but I cannot wait to see what happens. I hope to make some of Marty's dreams come true this year and sit back and watch him fly. 

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Mom's 25th Disneyversary

25 years ago this past July, my Mom started working at Disneyland. I was ten years old, we had already been a Disney family for over a year at that point since my sister had already been working there. Mom immediately loved her job as a accountant for the Happiest Place on Earth.

Disney provided for our family, gave us great benefits and some of the most wonderful memories to last a lifetime. Often after work, Mom wouldn't feel like cooking, so we would go into "the park" for dinner. When I wanted to go with friends, Mom made sure to get us in. Countless friends and family have benefitted from Mom working for Disney.

Of course, I followed in her footsteps and worked at the park for five years myself. I got married at the Disneyland hotel and went through my first pregnancy as a cast member. Disney has been so much more than a job to our family.

This past week, I was able to go be my Mom's guest for a very special evening at Disneyland. It was the night they celebrated their cast members who've worked there 10 years or longer. It was fun to be back in the park after it is closed. There is something about Disneyland with no people in it that only someone who works there can experience. I never thought I would get that chance again.

We had a great time and ate lots of great food. Disney does food well and this was no exception. Also I got to see one of my favorite ex-co-workers who I've remained friends with over the years. It was fun to have a special girl's night out with my Mom and celebrate a huge milestone in her life.

Happy 25th Mom! Can I come to your 30th?

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Guest blog: 214 Grafitti's Mixtape Story

Ever meet someone and just click? Three weeks ago at the Mixtape festival, I met the "Graffiti Boys" after they asked my friend Andrea to sign their "Tayble" for charity.  We immediately adored these sweet boys and they became our constant companions for the weekend. I asked them if they wanted to guest blog for me sometime and share their Mixtape story.  They truly had some great interactions that some of us only dream of! 

Do me a favor and follow these boys. Soon they will be auctioning off this great Tayble for charity and one of you may have the chance to be the owner. Let's get them to 1,000 Twitter followers and bring their youtube to 1,000 views. They're being great and sharing some of their behind the scene's pictures with my readers. Without further adeiu, I will let Justin tell you about their weekend:

Has it really been three weeks since Mixtape Fest already?  It seems like just yesterday we were buying 100 cans (literally) of spray paint and loading NKOTB's mac truck with pieces of the 20 foot wall for us to paint a graffiti mural on... But I'm getting ahead of myself.  I doubt you normally read about graffiti on this blog so allow me to introduce us: we are 214 Graffiti.

214 Graffiti is comprised of Taylor and Justin (that's me).  We have been working together for around 2.5 years.  In this time we have sold over 150 custom graffiti sprays, and had our work featured at red carpet events, corporate launches, galleries and numerous personal collections.  We were flown out to the Mixtape Fest to paint a 20 foot mural of all the artists performing at the festival. Here's a quick video (so you can get a little better idea of what kind of work we do) that we shot when we sprayed a 16 foot wall for Warner Sound at Warner Bros. Records:

So now that we have some context for who we are, we might as well explain how we met Julie, who is the reason we are writing here today!  Taylor and I also run a subsidiary company of 214 Graffiti with his brother Zach called TAYBLE  (named after Taylor who came up with the design). These are essentially tables that look like a cassette table (cassette table, mixtape table - call it what you will).  We had a TAYBLE backstage at the Mixtape Fest in the VIP lounge for all the artists to sign.  (We are currently putting the finish work on it and it is going to be auctioned off by NKOTB for charity.  We called it the Tayble for Charity--- but back to how we met Julie!)

When we were off working on our painting for the festival we heard that Andrea Barber (The Gibbler on Full House) was at Mixtape Fest because she was such a big fan of NKOTB.  We thought, why not have her sign the Tayble for Charity as well! So we approached her and asked!  She, of course, was more than gracious and was really excited about signing the Tayble. And this is where we got to meet all her wonderful friends, including Julie, who we ended up hanging out with throughout the rest of  the weekend!

Andrea, Taylor, Justin and Julie. We love the "graffitti boys" as we call them.

Andrea signing the Tayble for Charity

All that to say that we had a great time at the first annual Mixtape Fest! We painted a 20 foot mural, made a giant TAYBLE sign for the VIP lounge, got artists like NKOTB, The Fray, The Wanted, 98 Degrees (and Nick Lachey), The Dan Band, and DJ Cheapshot (including a few others) to sign the Tayble for Charity and got to meet so many fun and exciting new friends from around the country!  I would go on, but frankly, I think our art speaks better for what we did than my writing!  So with that, we thank you for your time and hope you enjoy our work!  Check us out at www.facebook.com/214Graffiti or www.Taybles.com or follow us on Twitter: @214Graffiti

The Tayble in the back is what the signed Tayble will look like in the end.

The Mixtape Graffiti wall

Working hard on the graffiti wall

Justin with Nick Lachey signing the Tayble for Charity

Donnie and DJ Pauly D under the Tayble Sign

NKOTB with the Tayble for Charity

Tayble for Charity photos courtesy of 214 Graffiti. All Rights Reserved.
Rock and Jock photo courtesy of Just Jules. All Rights Reserved.

Monday, September 3, 2012

MTTMB Series: "You Talk Too Much"

"You just talk too much" truer words have never been spoken regarding me. It's no family secret buried in the closet, I am a talker who loves to talk. Apparently, I am told this gift of gab comes honestly from both sides of the family. Often my Dad would say, "You talk as much as my Aunt Eloise" who apparently had the gift of gab.

Two weeks ago in Hershey on a Sunday evening. I was cruising the town with A2 and AB after a slice of delicious Reese's Peanut Butter Pie at the Hotel Hershey ( too die for, a must have if you go to Hershey), sorry I got sidetracked.

Anyhoo, We stopped at a stoplight when I notice a  Dad leaning out the window of his Suburban telling me to roll down the window. I noticed his family inside and quickly remembered I was on the east coast, not the west coast where I would NEVER roll my window down for a stranger.

I roll the window down much to the shock of AB and A2...they weren't thrilled and wondered what I was doing. The guy leans out " Hey, do youse' know where there's a Wahlmat around here?" Pulling from my freakish in-built GPS, photographic memory I remembered getting lost and seeing a shopping center the day before. " Sure, I think there is one down the road a bit" to which he replies " Is it off I-133?" I can't remember but know it is in the direction of our hotel. Since that is where we are headed, I say " I don't know but you can just follow me." A2 and AB's jaws hit the floor and the gentleman says, "Wait a minute, are youse from Pennslyvania? I stopped you because you have PA plates on your car." to which I reply, " No we aren't"

He laughs a hearty laugh and says " Hey, I'm from Jersey maybe I can help youse then" which made us all laugh hysterically. He thanks me and almost takes off on the red because he was laughing. I roll up the windows and turn to see A2 and AB gaping at me. AB says, " Julie, you will talk to ANYONE" and A2 replies she was scared when I rolled the window down. They both chatted on and on about how I would talk to anyone.

I told them, "It's the east coast and people talk to each other. Plus, I was raised by a bunch of mid-westerner's who would talk to anyone." I suddenly realize, I have become my Gramie!

I remember spending hours in the beauty shop with her gabbing with her hairdresser Debbie or cringing in the VONS checkout line while she chatted up the person in front of her.

It also doesn't help that I was the first grandchild. I was sat in the center of the table to "hold court" while my grandparents, aunts and uncles chatted at me. First thing when walking into my grandpa and grandma's house was to sit at the table and fill them in. We could sit and chat for hours. People, I may not have been born this way but I was trained this way.

There are very few times in life that I am ever at a loss for words. I have grown quieter with age and marriage. I am married to a quiet person, raising a quiet person and have learned that sometimes silence is golden.

Everytime I hear this song, I just laugh and know it is true. There is only one person in the world that can out talk me and that is my cousin Brianne. We both talk too much. This song does always take me back to some great memories and always makes me laugh.

That being said, I may be a talker but I also am known as "The vault" because of my talking ability and memory system, I am a really good secret keeper. People know they can call me to listen, I will listen, talk it out and file it away. If they need later, I can recall it but if not, I just file it away and leave it there. I actually can remain silent since I have lots to talk about myself anyways.

Proud to be a talker who loves to talk. Being friendly has served me well and brought me many a friend in life. There is nothing I dislike more than a unfriendly person who doesn't at least acknowledge people. I a married to a quiet person and friends with many quiet people. I know the difference between the two, there is a difference.

There is no moral to this one, I just wanted to talk about it. Now you see why I love to blog, text and tweet so much! It's another form of talking. I actually have given up my telephone habit in exchange for those forms of talking. Sometimes those forms can bring silence to those around me while allowing me to still talk.