You could say I'm cyst-tastic!

Almost two years ago in July, I had to have surgery for an ovarian cyst that had burst. It hurt like the dickens and was not something I particularly wanted to go through again. They told me at the time that due to my family history and the style of the cyst, I would probably always have them and the only way to control it would be with birth control. Well I was, and still am, trying to get preggers and so b.c. was not at the top of my list.

Well, about 3 months ago I was having very similar pains to those 2 years ago. I immediately made appointment because I was going to be dumb enough to play that game twice. He thought it was more likely endometriosis and sent me to an OB/GYN specialist (that last word just means it costs more money). But I'm glad to have been referred because I really like this new guy, we'll call him Dr. T.

Dr. T found a cyst on my ovary about the size of a lemon and said it was no wonder I was hurting. That one went away on its own- yay!

I went in for a follow up a month after that and he found that the biggun had gone away but a new one had formed inside my left ovary and it was something that we should definitely watch.

So this past week, yet again, I felt those all too familiar pains and headed to Dr. T. I've gotten used to the fact that when they pull out the sonogram equipment, you never know what you're going to find in there. It's like a toy at the bottom of a cereal box, or finding money in your coat pocket the next year.

Yesterday's fun new surprise offered up a 3 pack. Not only was the "one to watch" still chillin, still growing, but it had 2 little friends. Well, two not so little friends. I won't go into the details and gross you all out. But I'm hurting - kind of a constant, nagging pain. More annoying than anything. He sent me home w/ some Tylenol3. I've never had that and I'm quite certain that I like it after last night. Best sleep ever!

So he wants to see me again in about a month. I love that he really wants to keep my out of the operating room. He's keeping a good watch and hopefully they'll pack up and leave soon. On that note, I leave you with the best line ever- it's not a tooomah!



Last night I had the privilege of meeting Scott Gilbert, the former CEO of Saatchi & Saatchi New York. Scott worked in advertising for barely 25 years and was lucky enough to retire at the age of 50, but he left an enviable mark on the business.

The heroes of advertising go unmentioned and unnoticed, but their contributions are many and great. Amongst Scott's many accomplishments, most notable was his introduction and development of the Lexus brand.

Our CEO was fresh out of school when he first worked in an agency for Scott. Over the years they've kept in touch and last night we hosted a dinner for the agency and all of our clients with Scott as the speaker.

He told us how he first met with the Eiji Toyoda (grand poobah of Toyota at the time) in 1987 and how Mr. Toyoda had just challenged his engineers to create the best car in the world. Scott and a team of two other men were challenged with bringing this brand to the masses and making it work.

To be more efficient, Scott and two other men found an empty office within Saatchi, taped a sign to the door that said "Team One" and began working to create Lexus. Some time later, Team One was created- another one of the advertising agency greats.

He impressed upon us the importance of passion in this business, how a little push back to the client isn't necessarily a bad thing and it often breeds something greater and how when a consumer says nothing it can have meaning stronger than when they do.

He told all of us the story behind creating Lexus, the challenges they faced and how it became one of the most powerful brands in automobiles at a rate they didn't expect. We were shown several early TV spots; as well as an old SNL skit in which David Spade and Phil Hart mock the Lexus w/ "The Chameleon"- the junker car on the outside that is luxurious on the inside to deter theft.

At the end of the presentation he opened up for questions. I started the Q&A by asking what kind of car he currently drives- he said a Toyota, his wife is in a Lexus. I just wanted to make sure.

Scott is certainly not a household name, but his work most certainly is.


Is the grass really all that greener?

When we moved in to our new house in November, the next door neighbor had just covered his yard in grass seed. And in a matter of days the softest, thickest, greenest grass began sprouting. It mellowed for the winter and as spring began to break it flourished. He would spend hours watering and taking meticulous care. You'd have thought he'd named each blade.

As each blade grew, I grew more jealous. What I wouldn't give for a lawn like that. It was so gorgeous- plush, bright green and the entire yard lined with these tall, beautiful tulips. UGH!

Everytime I come and go from the house I'd dreamily stare and wait for the day I could dig up my yard and plant new seed with promise of an equally enviable lawn.

Turns out, maybe my lawn ain't so bad after all. As spring faded into summer the tulips slowly died. This morning on my way out to the car I looked over and realized that summer was beginning to take its toll. And I also realized I hadn't seem him outside in weeks. The garden that was perfect was now overgrown with weeds. The lawn has faded to a color less interesting than mine.

So I've realized not to sweat it. Just let my lawn be and it's pretty nice. And the elephant ears and caladiums I planted a few months ago- FABULOUS!! They're finally up and doing very well.


Upside-down and topsy turvy

Last Friday my boss, our CEO, came to me and presented an interesting opportunity. Earlier in the week our COO and had mentioned to me that a new opportunity was coming my way and I should keep an open mind. I guess he knows me a little well, knows that I don't take easily to change.

So my CEO discussed the details of the plan- basically, I'd be going to work within the offices of one of our top clients, a cable company, for one month. I immediately thought, "how can they just get rid of me that easily?" This client was short a few staff members and had specifially requested a member of our agency team come in to help.

Have been warned that I should keep an open mind, I immediately started looking at the situation and the positives that could come of it. I also immediately started thinking about my client, the bank, and how was I supposed to just walk away from that for an entire month.

Having agreed to do it, I walked away from that meeting in hives. Literally. And all I could think was how my good friend, Jim, would have laughed and said, "Brandi! Stop Panicking!" My response is always, "Ha! I"m not panicking!" But I lie, I usually am.

So yesterday, I left my office with a box of "my" things and tears streaming down my face. I love my job, the place I work and the people I work with. I was sad to leave all of that for an entire month. I've yet to take a true vacation in the near 2 years I've worked there... I have issues letting go of the reins. So this was not easy.

Today was day 2 in my new office. I'm officially a member of the "Office Space' cast. Tiny cubicle, silent work environment, magnetic ID card, water cooler... I even brought over my red Swingline stapler.

Everyone is really welcoming and sure as hell not shying away from giving me any work. While it's far less work than I do on any other day, it's overwhelming in that I have no idea what I'm doing and it's all very new.

I'm sending my office daily "blog" emails with the events of the day and my experience. I'm calling it my "Summer Camp."

I'm trying to be really positive and learn as much from this as I can... as I know more than anything it is a truly unique opportunity for me.

Tomorrow is Friday and I'm very much looking forward to the weekend and a chance to just exhale for a couple of days and start the week out with a clear head.


I feel pretty!

I don't know about you, but I was getting burnt on the old look.

So here is a beautiful new one that I found here.

So Pretty!

I don't know about you, but I was getting burnt on the old look.

So here is a beautiful new one that I found


The definition of "Retchid-Nasty-Funk"

I've never been known for having the cleanest cars. One of my faults... we've all got to have one I guess.

Last week, Friday maybe, I got in and there was a peculiar smell. I figured in the heat of the sun, something in the little trash sack was cooking. Gross, I know, but I could live with that.

We left the car parked over the weekend, as we took the Xterra to KC. So, that's 3 more days? All locked up with sealed windows and doors. Mmm-hmm, plenty of time to cook.

Yesterday, as we were racing out the door for a few doctor's appointments, I realized I had a flat. So we left my car and took the Xterra. But it was pouring rain, so before we left I grabbed my umbrella out of the trunk. Now, when I opened the trunk, the "peculiar" smell was now just nasty. But, no time to spare to investigate, I slammed the trunk shut and figured I'd deal with it later.

When I got in the Xterra the smell had followed. I noticed something sticky on the umbrella and figured that was the source, so I tossed in the back. Again, Monday morning, I'm not dealing w/ this crap.

So this morning at 7:15 I head out to air up my tire before work. When I opened the trunk, the most ungodly scent on this earth filled my head. I immediately figured something had made its way into the trunk and died. Because nothing on God's green earth could smell like that unless it were decomposing.

With breath held and gag reflex in full working order I began scanning the trunk for the perpetrator. And there it was, wrapped in a Wal*Mart sack, a gallon of milk that could not have been in there ANY LESS than 2 weeks. I came about that date because that was the last time I went on a big grocery trip, and I only put groceries in the trunk on a big trip.

SO UNBELIEVABLY GROSS! I removed the gallon of milk, only to find that it had somehow opened and was ALL OVER THE TRUNK. I placed the milk in the garbage, closed the trunk and began 20 minutes of dry heaves.

Once I was able to breath again, I called my neighbor/co-worker and asked for a ride. Seriously, not even dealing with that at 7:30 in the morning. I'd sooner chew my own leg off and beat myself with it.

So tonight, I've got to figure something out. The only things that keep circling in my head are open windows, febreze, bleach, and LOTS of trashbags. Because short of the Hope Diamond being back there, I'm not keeping any of it.


Spontaneity for 400, Alex

Shelton and I left Wichita Friday evening to spend the weekend in Lawrence, KS (home of KU, but certainly nothing to do with our being there). This, like every other minute of our lives, has been calculated, planned and discussed at length. I mean, why would two logical people do anything out of the blue? Absurd I say!

We were spending the weekend with my cousin, Wade, and his wife, Jeni. We made it to there place about 9 and conversation began flowing, thanks in part to the white wine. I, as usual, got a little chatty, but all-in-all I think we were enjoying ourselves.

The next morning Jeni had to work, unfortunately, and Wade kept us pretty entertained. We went to the famous Mass Street in Lawrence, which is apparently the 1 mile by 1 block area with ANYTHING to do in that town. We wandered around the farmer's market and then enjoyed a little breakfast at Einstein Bagle's. We then went home to watch a little Sweden/Trinidad World Cup action, and Googled every conceivable question about the sport of soccer/football... whatever. Very educational. For instance, "The World Cup is a quadrennial event.

That afternoon Jeni and Wade had a family emergency to tend to in Wichita, so we packed up to leave. Pulling out of the drive we decided 4pm on a Saturday was too early to head home. So having never done so before, we pointed the Xterra toward KC.

What was supposed to be an easy 45 minutes to 1 hour drive to Kansas City's famous Country Club Plaza, turned in to 2 hours of madness. Completly, lost, not equipped with a map, no hotel reservations... this is why I use a calendar... always!!

Once we made it to The Plaza, we found a neighborhood nearby and started driving up and down the streets looking for an open wifi connection. We finally found one, logged on, found a hotel, booked a room and then got directions to the hotel.

Within an hour we were showered, dressed and ready for an evening on The Plaza. We had dinner at a fabulous seafood restaurant, which turned out to be pretty disappointing. I've never been served that much food, at that price, and left hungry. But, that is life. So to make up for it, we walked over to Cheesecake Factory and ordered a fat piece of original w/ raspberries. HEAVEN ON EARTH PEOPLE!!

We spent the rest of the evening cuddled up in bed, watching a movie and enjoying the rareness of the moment. The next morning we slept in and made the drive back to Wichita.

While we spend most weekends out of town, it's always to see someone. And for those of you we visit, don't take it personally, but it was so nice to spend time just the two of us. It has truly been A LONG TIME since we've done something like that.

Could we afford it? Not at all. Are there other important things we should have spent the money on, and have we asked that 100 times since we left? Absolutely. But would I have traded that 24 hours for anything else? Not a chance.

One other note- we're still new to this digital camera thing, and I gave up carrying my 35mm a long time ago. As such, we totally forgot to take it with us and missed MANY photo opps. Just close your eyes and picture the two of us in front of the fountain, the impromptu Mexican Fiesta parade in Lawrence and wrestling the broken hotel toilet all night.


Our nephew, Stone

Originally uploaded by shelfish.
Well, world, this is him! Little Stone... and when I say little, I mean LITTLE! This weekend he was 5 days old, 21" and 7 pounds. You forget how tiny newborns are.

Lots of sleeping, lots of eating and lots of pooping. Aunt Brandi even got in one diaper change... with the guidance of Keith.

We spent the weekend cuddled up with this little guy... I mean, wouldn't you if you could? We didn't really ask, we just said- Hey, Keith and Heather, we're here... where's that baby?!?!

Thank you both for letting Shelton and I spend so much time with him this weekend.

And all weekend, my ovaries were going BOOM BOOM! BOOM BOOM! At one point, everyone put in ear plugs.

Here to the right is Stone cuddled up with Uncle Shelton. That little boy is perfection. Absolute perfection.

That's "Ohma" to you

Originally uploaded by shelfish.
The birth of the first grandchild brings on many important questions- like what shall I be called?

Jenyle has asked that Stone and her other unborn grandchildren call her "Ohma," which is German for "Grandma."

Uncle Shelton and Stone

Originally uploaded by shelfish.
Do you SEE how tiny he is?!
(I'm talking about Stone)

Seriously, he's just tucked inside Shelton's hand... LOVE HIM!

Hey... Put 'em up!

Originally uploaded by shelfish.
If only this little guy knew how cute he is!

Mommy Heather

Originally uploaded by shelfish.
Is Heather holding him? Must be lunch time!

3 Koskie Boys

Originally uploaded by shelfish.
Keith, Stone and Uncle Shelton.

This is one of my faves... ever!

A very proud Daddy

Originally uploaded by shelfish.
Keith and Stone- what a perfect photo!


Out 'til 2a.m. with another man... and so worth it

Wednesday I left work at noon with stomach all a flutter... I was headed to Kansas City to see the-man-i'd-be-in-love-with-if-i'd-never-met-shelton-and-there-were-any-
chance-of-us-meeting... Dave Matthews... and his band.

In case you can't tell, Dave Matthews Band is my absolute, hands-down favorite. I've only been to one other show, about 5 years ago in Dallas.

Shelton was unable to attend, so a friend of mine from work, Joe, let me have his other ticket. We had awesome seats.. 15 rows back from the stage. When they finally came out, he was so close... oh my God, so close!!! And daddy looked GOOOOOOD!!! (Dave, of course, not the guy I was with.) We were in an amphitheater with a strong possibility of rain all day. But by the time the show started, clear, beautiful skies and a perfect temperature. What a stellar night.

Everything they played was fine by me. The songs I desperately wanted to hear, "#41," and "Song that Jane Likes" were not played. They played "Tripping Billies" and it was so damn good I can't stop singing it.

Joe and I drove home after show and arrived in Wichita at 2am. I was up and ready for work at 8. He was the smarter one, he took yesterday off. I was the most tired I've ever been, but it was so worth it.

The opening band was G-love with Special Sauce. I'd heard the name before but none of their music. They rocked! It's very chill music and now I'm going to have to add another channel to my Pandora.

This should hold you over

Stone's grandpa on Heather's side went ahead and created this little blog to post photos. There are only 4 you don't really get a good glimpse of him.

Shelton and I got to Moore about 9 o'clock last night only to find an EXHAUSTED daddy Keith... they've also been moving out of their apartment this week. Not jealous at all!

So, we have hopes of seeing the little guy today and BELIEVE ME there will be photos.