The Biter Family

It's like a life journal.

An improved version of myself

I don’t particularly like the phrase “a new year, a new you” because, I’m still me.  I’m going for “a new year with an improved version of myself.”  What do you guys think?

Some of my focuses for 2012 are:

  • Be more efficient (aka always answer my phone, no “I’ll just call them back”‘s)
  • Don’t be lazy. Everyday is a gift, carpe diem!
  • Do more things. Volunteer? Learn to play piano? Book club?

Doesn’t seem like much but I’m going for quality over quantity.

We had a fantastic 2011 lots of new beginnings on our horizon.  There is a lot to look forward to in 2012 – can’t wait to see what God has in store!

Wishing you a bright future full of love, happiness, and prosperity.

Sending love to all,

Katie B

2011 In Review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 3,000 times in 2011. If it were a cable car, it would take about 50 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

It’s Game Day

Click Here for photo orgin

Our Summer

We have had quite an amazing summer. To get you up-to-date I have picked one picture from each adventure.

It all began with the Joplin Relief Donation trip – my album can be viewed here: Joplin, MO

We took a boat trip through the Bahamas in June. Here is a picture I took from one of our favorite spots, Harbour Island

Next we spent our time LOVING Colorado. A culmination of perfect weather, fabulous scenery, countless outdoor activities, friends, & family. This is a photo of our little family hiking the bottom of Mt. Sopris.

Then we took the girls’ up to their FIRST sleep-away camp experience. Two weeks at Camp Greystone. They absolutely loved it!!! How cute is this!?

While the girls were away the ‘rents did play. AKA – We took the boat down to Key West to scuba dive, catch lobster, explore, visit Irish Kevins, and just hang out. It’s no surprise we had great meals – fresh mahi & lobster – yum!

Dont worry {almost done}

16 hours later we were off to the Atlantis for a weekend getaway. Apparently no pictures were taken so we shall move forward. :)

That Tuesday we took off for Cape Cod. A huge celebration was in order! Aunt Emily’s 70th Birthday coupled with her and Uncle Reale’s 50th Wedding Anniversary! WOW! A great time with lots and lots of family.

A few days from now we head off to for our final summer vacation. Up to Chicago we go {yayyyyy} to visit my cousin and spend a few nights then to Ettrik, Wisconsin for my family reunion. FYI Ettrick is dubbed Fun City USA.

It should be a good time. I hope you all had an awesome summer too! School has started so we will be slowing it down a bit.

Hugs to all,

Katie B

Joplin, Missouri

Today was the day. We flew up to Joplin…A few documentary guys, a local Sarasota news guy, the pilots, and myself. The day began, or should I say it all began last night when my amazing and I really mean amazing Husband loaded up the mini van with ALL of the donations…I dont know how he did it! See for yourself:

{Man pictured is not my husband}

Then we get on the very packed plane -

Had a nice quiet flight to SW Missouri. About 3 hours. We were all excited to get our day started!! My friend/sorority sisters Mom (Thank you, Judy) met us at the airport (how nice is that!?!). We then loaded up a 15 passenger van & her big Ford truck. Someone tell me how many times we’ve loaded and unloaded already???

Judy took on the fabulous role of tour guide and helped us around Joplin. Her family has been there for many generations. Not to mention she is awesome and we had a great time getting to know each other throughout the day.

First stop: MSSU – Missouri Southern State University – aka The Shelter. They were not accepting donations. We moved on to a request we found on The Bridges’ Facebook page for a mother of 5 needing supplies – without a car to drive to the supply center – we drove to her. Fortunately she had been delivered many clothes and all she needed from us were toys & books to keep her kids entertained. We could do that! :)

Next stop: The Bridge – yay! We’ve been so excited to stop by The Bridge! I already knew they weren’t accepting clothing but we had LOTS of stuff they were collecting! Diapers, dog food, canned goods, soap, sheets, towels, batteries, flashlights. This is trip one from the van:

Then Pilot Joe says “it’s 12:45 you think we should get lunch?” Lunch? I realized it was actually 1:45pm our time coming from the east coast and I had completely forgotten about lunch… These poor guys were traveling with an adrenaline fueled energized woman. So we went to steak and shake. They had a limited menu – single or double steak burger – thats it. Well, I’ll take that then. We heard Cheddar’s was better but we didn’t have time for any sitting-down nonsense.

Back to The Bridge we go when I realize I totally forgot to drop off the monitory donations!!!! Katie!! So we drive back up there for an easy drop off. We had raised almost $2000 in cash and checks from our friends – so impressed!!!

Then we were on the who’s accepting clothing hunt. Because we were starting to see that nobody was – After many many many phone calls and iPhone internet searching in the parking lot of College Heights Church the sweet grandfather-like man said I think we can make an exception YAY! They sent us to their warehouse just 3 miles up the road. We just had to wait for 2 horse trailers to unload their donations and it was our turn. I went in to clear it with the supervisor

fingers crossed he would be on board with us giving clothing

and he cleared us for drop-off.

Phew! It was almost 3:00 and I was so relieved to know the clothes were in good hands! They were headed straight to the Central Christian Center.

After that we took a somber walk through one of the damaged areas. We’d been driving past and through them all day – but we all wanted a closer look. These are some things I saw:

The Home Depot - where so many were killed.

St. John's Hospital

total devastation

I will put together an album and share a link soon.

I want to thank all of our friends and family for the extrememly generous donations! This all happend because of you – I want you to know the people of Joplin, Missouri were so nice, so friendly, and SO appreciative of all the goods. We may never know what little girl is jumping around in those cute glitter shoes or what man feels like a million bucks putting on the nice khaki pants he received, we may never hear of the mother of an infant who felt the weight of the world lift off her shoulders when she got packs of diapers and formula – but we know they’re out there.

And we know they needed it.

So cheers to us, Sarasota – for being one community that truly helped another.

Signing off,
Katie B.

We all have to do our part

Today, I’ve decided to do mine. I have put together a clothing and supply drive for the families of Joplin, MO.

There has been A LOT of natural disasters lately and its really getting to me. This morning when I saw all of the devastation in Missouri, I felt compelled that today I take action . My husband and I are going to clean out our closets, and the kids closet and take it to Joplin. I have told many friends and let them know if they are interested I will happily sherpa their gifts to the needy.

I’ve had a great response to my email this morning – I am getting very excited!

If I am able to fly up to deliver the goods I will be doing so on Tuesday, May 31st. I will need to have the donations at my house by Monday, May 30th. If I cannot fly up – I am making arrangements with the Red Cross which have settled in the county next to Joplin, to ship the clothing up there.

At least 116 people have been killed and many more are missing. We need to do something

Take a look at just how bad it is:

Please let me know if you’d like to do your part and donate ANYTHING you can. Thank you!

Katie B

Dinner Dilemma

Sometimes it’s so hard being a “not my mom” aka step-momma.

Especially when you do so many things for them. Or at least you feel like you do.

Tonight was one of those nights – as you know, we are out of town a lot so our house isn’t always packed with great food to eat. So tonight we ate (don’t be too grossed out) canned tuna fish, frozen green beans, black beans and 90 second rice.

I knew the girls were not going to be the least bit thrilled with black beans, I even sent the hubby a text saying “I’m sad because I know the girls are going to hate the dinner” so I decided to run down to Publix for an incentive.

I gave them a very little helping of black beans and gave them the great news – all you have to do is eat this VERY small bit of black beans and we are going to MAKE MILKSHAKES!!

So fun right!? Uh, wrong. The oldest and more food-adventurous ate the beans even going as far to compliment “they dont taste like anything”. The youngest totally refused – she even tried to squeeze out a few tears but it just wasn’t working. NOT EVEN FOR A MILKSHAKE???

All I’m really trying to do is expande their palates, I’m not trying to be mean. But sometimes its not worth the fight.

Then I clean up the entire meal & kitchen – usually I stand drill sargent and make the girls clear the table and put the dishes in the dishwasher – but not tonight. I am deflated.

Ten minutes later – the deserving milkshake kiddo is ready for her yummy treat. Of course, she tells me in passing to just let her know when its ready. Why did I do this again? With whatever strength I have left I insist she at least get out the ice cream, which she does.

So here I am, 8:00pm, covered in milkshake mess with an overflowing sink, dirty table, dirty countertops. And kids playing tag. In the house.

All this and not a single step mothers day card?

Can you come to my pity party?

I think I’ve decided to not care if they eat chicken nuggets and macaroni and cheese til the grow up. Is that bad?

Thanks for listening,

Katie B.

The Brave

Boy Am I, Proud to be an American

These type of things don’t happen often, You know, Catching the most wanted man in the world.

I am so proud of our service men & women, our intelligence teams, and our President for making the call to go for it.

This is a victory for our nation, for the many many many wives, husbands, children, and families that lost part of their family on 9.11.01 and for all the military families that have lost someone in the fight.

In case you missed it: which I’m sure you didn’t

Way to go Navy Seals!

God Bless America.

This Cheers is for US,
Katie B

Book Club

I have had a crazy relationship with books lately…Like Tony Horton would say I love it, but I hate it. The books have been so captivating – so intriguing – so demanding of my attention.

My strategy has been to put a few days in between finishing a book and starting a new one. The other day I told you I was half-way through The Help – the next day I finished it. I just could not let it go. It was wonderful and I loved it! I haven’t yet downloaded my next victim. I got a suggestion last night for Emily Giffin: Something Blue – I had read Something Borrowed right before my wedding!! An interesting time to read that book, but I did enjoy it. Also Tina Fey’s book Bossypants is on my list but I’ve got a BFF sending me the audio version – which really excites me b/c I’ve never listened to a book before.

Anyway, this is just a rambling Sunday post but take some time for yourself this week and read something captivating.

My suggestions are:
A Million Little Pieces
Water For Elephants
Eat Pray Love
Happens Every Day
The Help

That should do ya for a while. :)

Love to all,
Katie B.

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