Monday, May 10, 2010


This is rather like stating the obvious... but for the time being, The Balancing Act is on a hiatus.  Why, you ask?  Well... for a whole myriad of reasons really, but mostly because I don't feel like I have much to say at the moment!  Also because I've been focusing on my (getting to be pretty successful) craft blog, and because I've been super busy in general.  It's difficult to keep up with one blog, let alone two!  That being said, I don't have the heart to delete this blog... it's not over until the fat lady sings, you know?!  So feel free to check back every once in awhile... you never know when I might pick this back up again!  Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Trip on a whim!

Flights were booked today and Travis and I will be heading to DC for a couple of days at the end of April to visit our dear friend Tim and his girlfriend Terri!

This all came about because Tim has a whole bunch or air-miles that are soon to expire and that he won't have the opportunity to use before they do.  He asked us if we wanted to come visit him - and that his air-miles would cover our flights!

The entire planning process for this trip happened within about the space of an hour this morning.  Totally random!

We're really excited!  We had a great time the last time we were in DC, back in August 2008... and can't wait to see Tim and Terri.  It will serve as a bit of a warm up to our VEGAS trip in May!  So fun!

Monday, March 15, 2010


I am a really, really terrible secret keeper.  Well... not about all things... but certainly about GIFTS.  I am HORRIBLE at keeping gifts a secret!  That being said, I have been dying... just DYING to tell Heather about her birthday gift for weeks now.  It's been driving me nuts!  This weekend was her big day though, and I was super antsy to let her in on the secret!

She is trying to figure out what the piece of paper in her hands means...

When she figures it out she cries!

After the first hug Lily thinks that we each need individual hugs...

I got Heather tickets to go see MICHAEL BUBLE!  Yup - we're super stoked!  We're roadtripping to Detroit on the 25th to have a girls night with Michael Buble!  SO FUN!

And then we ate cupcakes to celebrate!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Help me help the kitties!

Happy Friday, folks!

Do you remember the kittens I fostered last summer?  When I first found them they looked like this...

Then I started a blog (The Kitten Mama) about my journey as a kitten foster... you can find it HERE.

At 10 weeks old they were ready for adoption, and Spock, Magnus (now Ozzy), Tabitha and Napoleon (now Mac & Cheese)  went to wonderful homes...

One kitten, Spock, went to live with my parents.  Here he is today (on the right) with his new big brother Felix...

We also rescued a little kitten from the streets (technically, she was under the hood of a car!) this summer and fostered her as well.  Her name was Buick.  She also got adopted into her forever home...

And of course you know that Travis and I have two wonderful, goofy big kittens of our own, Oliver and Beyonce...

You see I've always loved cats - and grew up with them as pets.  It wasn't until I fostered the kittens this summer that I realized the cat overpopulation problem we're dealing with nationally - and the plights of feral, stray and semi-friendly cats that are living on the streets.

Carol's Ferals, a non-profit organization here in Grand Rapids, provided me with resources to foster these kittens - and in turn I accepted a position on their board of directors.  I feel privileged to assist this organization grow and expand its efforts to provide T-N-R services, and to place friendly cats in permanent homes.  You can visit their website HERE.

T-N-R stands for Trap, Neuter, Return, and is the humane solution to cat overpopulation.  Essentially, our organization spay/neuters feral and stray cats to ensure that they do not continue to reproduce.  Cats are given shots and medical treatment if necessary, then released back to their colony - hopefully under the care of a human who is willing to provide food and shelters to these outdoor cats.  The cats can live out the rest of their lives safely, disease free, and without bringing more kittens into the world.

Since our organization is run entirely by volunteers, I am leading the charge in fundraising efforts right now.  Back in the fall, we used Facebook to successfully launch and complete our $500 / 500 Campaign.  In one month we were able to raise $500 and reach 500 members on our Facebook Cause page.  It was a great achievement!

Now we're trying to do it again.  We launched the $1,000 / 1,000 Campaign this week - with a goal to raise $1,000 and reach 1,000 members on our Cause page.  And I'm asking you for your help!

If you're a Facebook user... head HERE to visit our Cause page.  You can join the Cause to receive updates and help us reach our member goal, or make a donation to support our work!  You can also read more about the campaign in my blog post for the organization HERE.

Thank you so much for your support!!  Together we can curb the feline overpopulation, better the lives of stray and feral cats, and find loving homes for friendly babies such as these...





(All of these cats are currently in our adoption program and looking for homes - do let me know if you, or someone you know, is interested in adopting one of them!)

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

South Haven Winter Weekend - Part Three

Welcome to the final installment of our South Haven Winter Weekend, brought to you in part by my procrastinating writing my paper that's due in class this very evening at 6:00pm... which I have yet to start!

On Saturday afternoon after a quick nap and some snacks, some other friends joined us out at the condo.  It wasn't long before the tequila was flowing (yikes!) and Jim was making goofy faces for the camera...

We all went and grabbed dinner at an Italian place in town.  Note the putrid-color green beverage in front of Heather in this picture.  I must point out that I exhibited a good friend moment when (not shockingly!) it was too sweet for her, so I made a trade with her right after this picture was taken.  I choked it down, too!

Here's a shot of my husband and I, and my incredibly frizzy hair.  Boo!

Jim and Justin were dates for the evening, splitting their check on buy one, get one free sandwiches.  Sensitive!


 Then we headed out to the bar.  Looks like that about this time my husband was beginning to enjoy the evening... and his beverages.

He'd be a good bartender, no?  Keeping the beer flowing?  Note the disposable glasses... classy.

Heather and I snapped a quick picture while the boys went off to play pool.

After awhile, and several games of pool, we moved on to the next bar.  Here's a shot of the girls!

We didn't get back to the condo until close to 2AM.  I can't remember the last time I stayed up anywhere close to that late!  Yup, I'm old!  I was so tired the next day that I spent most of the day on the couch... but it was totally worth it to get our friends together and hit the town!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

South Haven Winter Weekend - Part Two

On Saturday after lunch Travis, Heather, Anthony and I head back to Saugatuck to tackle some stairs...

Intimidating, right?!  You see, Heather and Anthony got married at the top of these very stairs, so each time they are in the area they like to head back and climb up to the spot they got married at.  They invited us to come along, and since it was a beautiful day we jumped at the chance.
We just didn't realize how much hard work it was going to be!!!

We stopped for a snack...

For pictures...

To look up and see how many more stairs were left to go...

But it was well worth it when we finally made it to the top.  Check out those views!

We got some great pictures - it was such a gorgeous day out.  We were all loving the sunshine!

I particularly like this picture of Trav and I... it's the best one we've taken in awhile.

The climb down was a ton easier than the climb up!  We were so tired by the time we were back down that we drove back to the condo and all fell asleep!  Does that mean we're old?  : )

More tomorrow!

Monday, March 8, 2010

South Haven Winter Weekend - Part One

How was your weekend?  We had an absolutely lovely one.  It was so lovely and filled with fun that I'm splitting it up into several posts over the next couple of days.

Travis and I headed to South Haven a little after lunch on Friday.  Our good friend's Heather and Anthony joined us a little later that afternoon.  We headed down to the beach to take a walk and it was gorgeous, so gorgeous that Bella decided that running INTO the lake would be a good idea!  Oops!

The weather was so nice.  It got into the upper 40's and is really starting to feel like springtime.  I know that 40 degrees isn't warm by any means, but it's enough difference from where we were that coupled with the sunshine on your back - it was such a nice change!

Heather and Anthony posed for a quick picture before we headed back up to the condo to warm up and get ready for dinner...


After a couple of drinks and some snacks at the condo we headed into Saugatuck (about twenty minutes away) for dinner.  We ended up at a cool burger joint named "Wally's" and enjoyed appetizers and dinner.  It's not often Heather and Anthony have the chance to go out without their kids, so it was nice for all of us to have a little adult time together!

Come back tomorrow for more photos and stories from our weekend.  I hope that YOU had a fabulous weekend as well!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Putting a little Spring in my step!

The weather here as been BEAUTIFUL.

Okay, beautiful is definitely a relative term.  It's not like I'm running around in shorts with an ice cream cone in my hand, but it's sure the best outside it's been in MONTHS!

The sun has been shining daily for about a week straight - it's amazing how much the sunshine can help your day be just that little bit better!

I'm finally feeling healthy again, for the most part.  I'm trying to take good care of myself.  I'm taking daily vitamins, making the effort to eat right and drink more water and less caffeine, and I even went for a (gasp!) run yesterday.

The running was rough - I'm not going to lie!  Plus I decided to take Bella with me (her energy levels have been obnoxiously high lately resulting in not so great doggie behavior!) which made it even harder.  It's kind of a constant reminder of how out of shape you are when your dog is barely trotting next to you, looking back at you and pulling on the leash as if to say "Seriously?  Can we not go ANY faster?!" while all the while you're gasping and panting your way through a (very short) jog around the neighborhood.

By the time we finally got into a rhythm... I was dead tired and ready to head home!  : )

It's been wonderful having Spring Break this week - I've spent lots of time crafting and writing and even doing a little house cleaning.  I'm hoping now that Spring is truly on its way... what do you think?

Monday, March 1, 2010

Can't Sleep!

It's 2AM (phew!  I don't even remember the last time I was up this late!) and I can't sleep.  So frustrating.  I guess this is as good a time as any to swing in here and catch you up on the past week or so here in the Roehm household.
  • I was attacked by a nasty cold and out for much of the week.  Gross.  Spring... can you hear me?  Please hurry up and get here!
  • I got a call (out of the blue!) to write a craft article for a parenting website, a paid article.  I'm pretty stoked to say the least, and working hard on making it awesome.
  • Speaking of awesome, Travis and I are still obsessing over our new-ish Netflix subscription and are currently in the midst of watching the sitcom "How I Met Your Mother" from the very beginning.  It's been... how can I describe it?  Legen... wait for it... dary!  I don't know if there is any other show on earth that is as laugh out loud funny as this one.  Love it.
  • We're heading out to the condo in South Haven this coming weekend with ten (yes, ten!) of our closest friends.  While it may not be a big crazy party weekend for me (the whole getting-over-the-cold-and-staying-healthy thing, you know how it is) I am very excited to spend some time with all my favorite people.  And looking forward to a change of scenery.
  • This week is spring break - which means no classes for me - and marks the halfway point for the semester.  Six (or thereabouts) weeks to go!
That's all folks!  What have you been up to lately?

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Thankful Thursday

I'm playing along with Katie again this week... we're never too busy to take a moment and give thanks for all of the wonderful things we have in this life!

Today I am the most thankful for the sunshine that's streaming in through my windows.  It may still be chilly outside, and the sunshine may not last very long, but I am enjoying it and appreciating it while it is here.  Think Spring!

I'm thankful that I was able to finish my twenty page paper in time for class yesterday... even though I procrastinated on it for weeks and weeks and waited until the very last minuted to finish it.  I guess I should be thankful that I work well under pressure?

I'm thankful that Travis started to clean the kitchen and get the laundry together last night while I was in class... two less things for me to do today.

And I'm thankful that the weekend is coming up, and that we don't have any real plans other than spending some time together, and with friends we haven't seen in awhile (can't wait to see you, Seth & Kel!) and kicking back.

What are you thankful for today?

PS)  I'm having a little giveaway over at my other blog.  If you're into papercrafting (scrapbooking, stamping, etc.) head over there and check it out!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Catch Up!

It feels like I've been absent from this blog for waaaay longer than five days!  Maybe it's because I've been thinking about it so much!  I have been doing that, you see, been thinking about this blog.  A lot.  I continue to be sooo displeased with it!  I've started several posts over the past two weeks and just abandoned them... my ides for weekly themed posts have gone out the window... and to be honest not a lot has been going on for me to write about.  I'm so uninspired!

Travis and I were talking about this blog a few weeks ago while we were out to dinner.  I was griping about how unsatisfied I am with it... and he made an interesting point:  "You're good at writing, you're funny and interesting to read, so just forget about everything else and go with that."  Okay, this was three weeks ago and I can't remember exactly what he said... but it was certainly something along those lines.  And the part that got me even more is that even though I live with the man, and he knows everything and more about what I post here, he still keeps up with the blog because he likes hearing me tell our stories from my perspective.

So that got me thinking.  The reason I'm struggling so much with this blog is because of all the effort I'm putting into my craft blog... and how easily that comes to me.  You see, it's not difficult for me to write that blog.  I'm an artsy person, I'm a Stampin' Up demonstrator, I've been teaching arts and crafts classes for years now.  I almost always have projects going on that I can post about, and that I enjoy sharing.  I'm so organized with that blog, and have such a wonderful core group of readers... I even have a weekly schedule that I keep to keep my posts organized and planned ahead (so unlike me to be anal retentive like that, I know!)

When I started this blog about a year and a half ago I didn't have an agenda, I didn't have a theme, and I had fun!  The more I learned about blogging though, the more amazing blogs I found with great, witty writing and interesting information and fabulous projects and thousands or readers...the more it grew to be a little intimidating.  What I'm realizing is, though, that although my life may not always be witty, fabulous, or even interesting... it's my life.  And I like my life!

So I'm not going to worry about who's reading and who's not, and how often I post and how often I don't.  It's part catharsis, part journaling, part connecting with friends old and new, and 100% Joanne.  Is that okay with you?  I think I'm good with this!  : )

Now with all ramblings aside... I figure if I'm going to be a better blogger so to speak, I should catch you up with a little bit of what's been going on around here...

We (Heather, Lily, Mariah and I) had an impromptu shopping afternoon... we bought shoes for Lily (seriously... baby shoes could possibly be one of the cutest things ever!) ate gourmet at the food court, and picked out some new (very brightly colored!) school duds for Mariah.  She's pretty hip you know...


And it looks like Lily is following in her sister's footsteps...

We celebrated Valentines quietly this year with homemade breakfast at home (monkey bread - yum!) and Travis' delicious pasta for dinner.  Travis got me beautiful roses, a daffodil plant (think Spring, think Spring!) and a massage gift certificate.  He's such a good man.




The one thing we did do was go to the Hot Tub Gardens in the afternoon.  Do you have a place like that near you?  We went for an hour and relaxed in an outdoor tub surrounded by evergreens with an outdoor fireplace and our own sound system.  It was fun and different... you should totally try it!  Very relaxing.

We actually have quite a lot of fun things coming up... we're especially looking forward to heading out to South Haven for a weekend with friends soon.  It will be nice to get out of town and have a change in scenery!  Right now I have a massive assignment due in class tomorrow night that I need to get to.  I've had weeks to work on it, and even set aside the entire day today to work on it.
I have yet to start.


Maybe I just need to accept the fact that I'm a procrastinator?  Some things may never change!  Until next time... wish us luck!  : )

(Beyonce is pretty supportive when it comes to homework... as you can see!)

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Thankful Thursday

I know... I haven't been around much this week.  I'll explain soon...

But in the meantime, I decided to participate in Thankful Thursday over at Love & Lattes today, and I suggest that you do too!  We can all afford to take a little time to recognize and verbalize what we're thankful for.

Today I am thankful for the small things... the hot cup of coffee and delicious chocolate-y creamer that sits on my desk, the opportunity to share my love of stamping and crafting with a new group of ladies this evening, the pasta dish hubby and I will be cooking tonight that I've been looking forward to all week, and a little road trip with my BFF Heather tomorrow.

I am also thankful today for the big things in life... for my husband, family and friends, who guide me and listen to me and love me unconditionally.  And for my talents, even if I don't know how to use them all the time... for my ability to create, for my ability to write, for my ability to make music, and for my ability to advocate for others through non-profit work.

What are you thankful for today?