Monday, September 29

The Redskins Victorious 26-24

A longtime rival, Washington and Dallas is a fun game at my office. Longtime friends Billy and KC Cusic, (actually introduced Justin and I, as BIlly is also from St. Mary's County, MD) enjoy a bi-annual rilvary as both families take turn hosting the football party each time these teams play. Always a fun time, the kids all have so much fun and get to be rambunctious. All our families and friends come over for the entertainment of watching Billy and Justin. These guys are VERY competitive in everything they do whether it be our 6 year olds' (Jackson & Breton) Tball games, golf, ping pong they are absolute fanatics and of course, we all love the pranks. The "games" began last Monday with the special deliivery to the office attn: Justin. There were 2 longstem roses, except without the roses and enclosed in the card was a tissue signed, "get ready, sniff sniff". We retaliated with a lifesize Tony Romo complete with a Jersey, helmet, number, and arrow through the chest that dangled by a noose from the tree in the Cusic's front yard. The boys' bet was that the loser had to wear thongs (with the opposing team's logo) to work the entire next week. Have a great one Billy!! Sweet Victory!

I finally got a little girl!

After our beloved German Shepard, Fierro, moved to Maryland with his grandpa (he became too overprotective when Dane was born) Jackson and Justin have been pining for a k-9 companion. Dane simply LOVES dogs and goes crazy whenever we see one. We have been lamenting over the decision, however, another responsibility, etc. We finally decided that when raising boys a dog is simply a right of passage, and will teach the kids about responsibility and all life's lessons that come from your very own pet. My sister, the animal advocate, of course refuses anyone in our family to buy from a breeder and we have been scoping out the Winter Haven Humane Society. Justin and Jackson made one more trip Saturday afternoon and when their eyes met, we knew she was the one. I was so excited that she is a girl, at least I have something to dress up. And yes, for the big Washington Redskins game against the Dallas Cowboys, I did just that. Here is Stella Chanel Heimer in her Redskins Cheerleading Outfit. She is so sweet with a great disposition and the boys love her, and she just follows my toddling Daners all over the house, he just howls with excitement!

Friday Runway Shows

We interesting and exciting, just as you want the runway show to be! Some gorgeous designs featuring over 5 designers and their collections. I look forward to next year's 2nd annual event as Fashion Week Tampa Bay continues to grow. Pictured is one of the popular pieces from Ivanka's collection, and our entourage for Friday's GNO!

Thursday, September 25

Fashion Week Tampa Bay VIP Cocktail Reception

Fashion Week Tampa Bay kicked off last night with an exciting VIP Cocktail party at the Artist's Imporium in Hyde Park. A unique opportunity with one-on-one time with the designers, I was in heaven! Casey Wohl was featured with her latest book, The Girls Getaway Guide, The Florida Keys. Casey is pictured above (L) with my longtime girlfriend Cathy Hayes is expecting and simply glowing! I also met noted designers Ivanka Ska, owner of House of Ska, Celcelia Bythewood, and Rhonda Shear. Each was an inspiration in their own way and their designs, featured on a few of the models, were fabulous! It was Ivanka's birthday, and we joined her and her entourage for a cocktail afterward here are some notes on Ivanka.
Fashion education: Ska's parents taught her to sew. Biggest challenge of working here: "Supporting local artists is still a new concept." Her message to new and aspiring designers: "Stay with your passion. It took me so long. If I can do it, you can do it. I came here not even being able to speak English." WOW!! Impressive.
To learn more about Ivanka or her designs visit

Sunday, September 21

Devoured in Harmony

Often it is difficult to harmoniously merge dining with family friendly atmosphere. We have been long-time fans of Tu-Tu-Tango, in Orlando, FL. The scrumptuos menu with so many options, us 30-something parents can still enjoy a little nightlife and decent wine list while the kids enjoy the best cheese pizza in town. After a little putt-putt and (an albiet 45-minute, yet entertaining wait) this popular spot found the boys mesmerized with the table-side card magic, local artists and salsa dancers. Supporting local artists while boasting a unique tapas selection for over 10years. A family-friendly environment the kids create their own art while waiting for the food. The art is edgy and the dishes are always quickly devoured.

positive reinforcement

I appreciated all the support regarding Jacksons' behavior issues (aka suspected ADHA). After a lot of prayer and discussion, we are taking it one day at a time and are working with his teacher on some behavior modifications with positive re-inforcement. While not ruling out Western remedies, we've been using more natural approach with an enhancement called Buried Treasure Added Attention or FOCUS sold in health food stores. The product's positive reviews and documented endorsements by other moms, was exciting. Two tbspn mixed with milk or juice, twice per day. It's sweet and tropical flavor is easily disguised for the discerning 1st-Grader. Perhaps this, coupled with the "fear of G" and consistent bribery we've offered, has made a difference. Last week's "deal" was 3 consecutive smiley faces reported from his teacher would earn the pirate putt-putt golf, with a friend! The boys had a wonderful time and we enjoyed their imaginations and "secret agent" antics! Kids are so cool, and we enjoyed having Big J!

Women's Expo

Still in the dog house, of course today Justin knew that Saturday was "you have to do everything I say day" Juvenile? -Yes! Un-necessary? Are you crazy!? He stood me up!
I digress, after soccer, the boys dropped me off in Auburndale for the fabulous Women's Expo where I met up with Wendy and Justin traded me for Big J. Wendy and I strolled our babies around Central Florida's premier shopping excursion! We enjoyed the most unique boutique experiences from foundations to furs (faux of course) wine, and Fall decor. It was hot, but so worth it, and our enthusiasm for the JLGWH, Santa's Merry Market, grew!

When did Saturdays get so busy.

After theatre classes and rushing to his second soccer game, all the while debating about how we can ensure that Jackson gives 100% at each of his activities. We do not want to facilitate medicority, but that is exactly what we did on Saturday. Unprepared for each consequential activity and Jackson's "game" suffered. We agreed to formulate a more precise daily routine that demanded more practice and focus from our family. Organization is key when trying to fit so many activities into the same amount of hours. How do you family's do it? Do you have a strict television or free time limit?

forgiveness? or justice served?

I was soooooo angry. It's true, I have my fathers' temper and this weekend my spouse was the source. Frankly... he's lucky to be alive after Friday night. I feel very priveledged to sit on the advisory panel of the country club's entertainment committee. As many clubs now-a-days, ours is facing declining retention and membership and have focused our efforts toward engaging members, enhancing functions and activities, at LRYCC, to ensure overall satisfaction in members' experience. That said, our first Kareoke & Cocktails Event, there our table sat, front and center, "RESERVED FOR HEIMER"... THERE I SAT, and sat and sat. For the first time in my life, I was stood up. Now, Justin IS my husband. Of course, I know ALL about the sacrifices of a life chasing the golf career dream (been there people) - it torchers my family daily - and I can't imagine many wives that equal in my support and passion. H-O-W-E-V-E-R, it's Friday night after a VERY stressful work week and my hubby lines up a sitter (significant expense in itself) reserves our table, plays 18 Friday afternoon and calls around 6pm to communicate (i.e. beg) that perhaps another "few" holes wouldn't hurt. I agreed happily, another 30 mins, no problem (the club has the best martinis) You guessed it! The event that started at 6:30 greeted my underdressed husband (and his stinky golf buddies - no offense guys) at around 7:45pm. Now, when I say I am angry, I am on my second martini, and at least 14 people pleading that I sit at their table, just to relive their own akward discomfort brought on by my table-for-two, solitude.
Those of you who know us, know that Justin and I are intense, to say the least. Everything is to the "Nth", thats all we know. The night was certainly ruined, my mood couldn't possibly change and I would've left long ago if not for trying to maintain appearances that I was the "chill" wife that was so cool (N.S.M.). Realizing my outfit and the sitter are a total waste, I throw my hands up and ask the server for another of my usual. My gaze turns to a familiar wail (dare I say voice/song) belting... "You never close your eyes anymore when I kiss your lipsss"... We all know our husbands, you know their voice, their favorite movies, their fantasies. I am not Kelly McGilis and Justin is not (ok almost) Tom Cruise. The cheers ensued as did my forgiveness and my heart melted as he serenaded me on the dance floor, to what is sure to be among the most embarrassing moments he'll have to live down, at the clubhouse. Ahhh.. forgiveness:-)
Men... can't live with them, can't live without them.

Wednesday, September 17

Guitar Hero

After 3 weeks of classes, his Parents (Myself, Justin, Eric & Allison) decided that perhaps our son, Jackson, was serious about this guitar thing. He had practiced, as required and seemed to be passionate and talented enough to further our investment on this endeavor. Mostly, we promised him that if he practiced and held up "his end of the bargin" we owuld buy him his very first musical instrument. Thanks Daddy & Allison! Of course, a second-hand guitar would not due for our "Tuga" and Daddy & Allison bought him this gorgeous six-string that we all love!

Fashion Week Tampa Bay

Ok, so you KNOW I cannot miss this. The VIP tickets are a little expensive, but if anyone wants to join me and splurge I know the event will be so worth it! Click on this link to meet the designers and trends coming to this innovative and fun show. Cocktails... fashion... heaven! You know I can't be seen sitting on the second row! LOL

Monday, September 15

"Unconditionally Accepted" LuJean gets into vet school!!

Are there any two greater words in life, what we all strive for, long for? To be unconditionally accepted? You CANNOT image the yelps, tears, gasps, and utter relief when my sisters vet school acceptance letter came in the mail today. After living, learning, studying, and struggling in Gainesville for the past 6 years, 3 degrees later, FINALLY my baby sister is gonna be a D.V.M. Her and her husband Chad, visited the Grand Cayman Islands last Spring and my sister is not only a Zoo Technology, Animal Sciences, Beef Cattle multi-degreed animal lover, but she has such a passion for animals. She volunteers for marine wildlife rescues, scuba dives as the care taker in Homassasa for manatees, and has earned multiple awards for beef cattle judging across the US, and simply was born to be a Vet. She is like the animal whisperer! In 5th grade all I wanted was my own phone line and the new Sam and Libby shoes or a pair of TH Jeans (it was the 80's people). All my sister wanted was to adopt an endangered manatee. Huh? This passionate 8 year old begged my parents to adopt this manatee, pay a monthly fee for the meds he needed. His name was Phillip! She continued to "Doctor" and carefor her many animals of course and has come to define my careing, compassionate, tree-hugging, baby sister. I am sooooo excited and proud of her and all her hard work. Saint Mathews in the Grand Caymen Islands is known for their sea turtle and manatee rescues as well as hands on small classes, a wonderful vet program coupled with the cultural experiences she and Chad will so enjoy. I can't wait to go move her in!!

Celebrating Noni's 50th in Style

Country Classic style that is! What a wonderful time we had on our trip to MD this weekend. Justin's hometown is a gorgeous area with the beginnings of Fall and rolling hills and it was so good to be "home". My mother-in-law celebrated her 50th birthday in the perfect way with a "Goodtimes" theme of Alan Jackson (she has passed the fan stage, we refer to her more as a stalker). With over 70 guests it was quite the celebration with prime rib, famous Maryland crab balls, country/western attire, music and the most adorable centerpieces that displayed 50 years of good times with friends and family. We enjoyed seeing our family and met baby Jack for the first time too! My pen-pal friend Jenifer and I realized that we are two peas in a pod and had the greatest time giggling the night away with Toni, Lauren, Anat, and the gang. Miss you guys already!

A sign...
In times of indecision, I often pray about and ask for God's direction and I promise you - he is always there. My girlfriend who just happened to be watching the Today show called me with such excitement when a feature was done highlighted the newest research and studies on boys with suspected attention issues. They even specified that 1st grade was often the first level, at which these issues began to reveal themselves and that perhaps our boys simply weren't being engaged using methods that their best facilitated their learning. I of course ordered the book from amazon and will report back... It was, however, my sign not to jump into anything to quickly without investigating all options.

Wednesday, September 10

Is there anything worse for a mom, than seeing your child hurting?

Ok, so I am just going to put it out there as I know many other parents have struggled with these decisions in the past. Obviously, no ones life is all roses and we have agonized over our son's suspected ADHD diagnosis for the past 2 years. We generally rear our children according to the principle of Attachment Parenting (it's kind of old school now) and this is for some people and some it's not. I believe your lifestyle and family choice to be a VERY personal decision. We allow our children to explore their worlds', try not to say "no" in the baby/toddler development stage, but instead re-direct. "We" breastfeed, allow them to co-sleep - eat organically the whole nine yards (for the most part!). So the thought of past teachers recommendation to medicate Jackson makes my heart sink. I have studied this overly diagnosed learning handicap and have tried to be open minded. When (after 3 weeks of school) I recieved the feared phone call at home, that was followed by an all to familiar conversation, I now feel like I have to address this so that my son's beautiful spirit will not continue to be damaged by "recoveries, punishments, and timeouts, harming his self esteem, etc. We have made the appointment with our pediatrician for the phase 1 of the evaluation process as was recommended. What are your thoughts? I am hungry for parent feedback here... He is my first child, so it's hard for me to compare if he is "normal" (i hate that word)


My six year old loves to play any game and is quite competitive (we're not sure where he gets it from). He of course really loves to play games when he wins and he actually has beat me at Chess on more than one occaision (albiet I was playing between cooking or talking on the phone bouncing Dane). He is on the first grade Chess club at Grace Lutheran School and his first tournament is October 4 at Boone Middle School in Haines City.

a hero's welcome

so he didn't make the cut. Justin retuned to us a little battered and bruised emotionally at least, but we know his time will come! And the whirlwind of life set in so quickly, that we didnt really have much time to mourn. Justin is such a winner in so many other "games" we play in life and when he walked in the door and the boys attacked this hero they missed so much, the dissapointment just melted away :-)

Sunday, September 7


I did my best to drag myself away from the live scoring online (especially when I realized that my blackberry would update efficiently!). I spent the weekend working on JL stuff and preparing for iur first official meeting which included a "commercial shoot" at the Wine Bar for our Santa's Merry Market event in late November. Saturday morning was Jackson's first Theatre class at the Winter Haven Theatre Academy and he seemed to enjoy - he is such a ham and I thought a little structure and poise to his "material" would be good. He has classes once a week which eng with a Holiday performance. The focus of the cirriculum is to make them comfortable in their own skin and being in front of an audience. The kids and I enjoyed lunch at Tiawana Flats with the Moore girls and then we walked over for a frozen treat at marble slab.
Soooo.. As I said I did my best to get on with the business of the weekend and away from the website as my nerves can barely take following justin's score hole by hole. And here it is, 5:30pm their time, and we are still on pins and needles waiting to see right where the cut line will fall. Needless to say, Justin didn't do as well as he had hoped, but he is right on the cut line, so we wait with anxious anticipation.

Saturday, September 6

The write up in today's paper notes

Heimer Tries Hand at Mid-Amatuer. visit for full story!
Justin's Bag ID (above picture from his camera phone) is gorgeous with his name engraqved. Justin is impressed with the tournament and the facilities. He is missing his little guys and described the family-friendly events coordinated for players' families. Player's families recieved a 5 day pass to all surrounding YMCA's as well as special priveldges at the Country Club of play. So exciting that the USGA has become more family-friendly and realizes that many players have families at home and it is often difficult for them to have to leave their families during tournament or on tour. We often travel with Justin, but it is a challenege and can be distratcing for him (though he would never say so). However, WHEN Justin makes it to the finals WE ARE ALL GOING!!! Good Luck my Justin - today's the day!

Friday, September 5

rocky start

Justin and Brad landed safely and settled in their hotel. JUSTIN: "BRAD, DUDE, I AM SO SORRY, MY WIFE MADE THE RESERVATIONS AND I KNOW SHE REQUESTED DOUBLE BEDS" Yikes!!! Problem #2: There is casino within walking distance... those of you who know Justin, know we may be in trouble!

Thursday, September 4

Off to the Hunt!

Justin's flight left early today as he and Professional Caddy, Brian Stavley, headed to Milwauke to tee it up at the U.S. Mid- Amatuer. I am always sooo greatful for the events that have LIVE SCORING, phones calls are cut in half and Justin doesnt have to deal with re-living any bad putts over and over. PLUS, I believe whole-heartedly in the power of focus and with all of us watching and rooting him hole by hole, he can't loose. The live scoring will begin Saturday when the actual tournament starts. There are 2 courses and they practice on each. Today is a match-play qualifier on the 2nd course. He tees off at 9:00 (our time, they are 1 hour ahead).


Our anniversary falling on a busy weekday makes for a tough celebration, but we finally both collasped into our favorite cozy corner table overlooking the lake at the Lake Region Yacht and Country Club. A bottle of champagne and a delicious meal prepared by our wonderful chef Lee Ann. This special dessert was sooo yummy and we totally indulged! Justin and I decided on bikes for each other for a fun family gift to exchange, but we of course, had to exchange something on our special day. Justin sent the most beautiful Tiger Lilies to my office and I came across a unique gift haphazardly in the middle of the day (I have been accused/caught having Megan (office admin) purchase my anniv or b-day cards). So Justin carefully examines my cards and gifts and this time I TOTALLY suprised him. A WCR lunch yesterday our guest speaker was author/former Senator/florida attorney, Rick Dantlzer. He autographed a book for just personalizing a special message about his upcoming journey reading... "To Justin- Leslie wanted you to have this for your trip to the Masters. Be careful on Hole 17. -Rick Dantzler 9/3/08 Happy #2 Love!

Monday, September 1

Winter Haven's Chain O' Lakes

One of the reasons we simply love life in Winter Haven is the legendary Chain O' Lakes, with 16 canal-connected Chain of Lakes. A truly relaxing family experience, we have spent many weekends on the Chain in previous years, but due to recent drought and dry conditions our beautiful lakes and their connecting canals have been high and dry. Summer showers have restored our valued Chain and we were so excited to head to the Chain to salvage what was left of our long weekend. Of course, just as we left the beach the skies opened up and the sun shone through for a gorgeous FL day. We enjoyed a picnic lake-side on Lake Summit and journeyed through Lakes Lulu, Roy, Ship, and Winterset. A wonderful ending to our Labor day weekend, and we are re-charged to take on the week! Want to visit Winter Haven's claim to fame? Catch a Cypress Gardens ski show, enjoy live bands and the best margaritas in town at Harborside or simply take in the lush scenery from La Sertoma Park to Ruby Lake, literally navigate through our town, all by boat! That is why they call this, the City of Lakes!

Weekend at Fort Pierce Beach

the boys take cover from the freezing rain

Hurricane Gustav on the Boat's GPS Radar

Well, Gustav's arrival made for tough conditions in the Atlantic, and our scuba diving was no longer an option. We resorted to some pool volleyball and pier fishing on Saturday, but we were all getting a little bored by Sunday and after whining and complaining by his two (albiet slightly-spoiled) stepdaughters, Jimmy caved and took us out on my parents 30 foot open fisherman that they rarely have time to use now-a-days. He agreed to take us on a cruise in the channel, as the inlet and ocean waves were close to 20 feet. So delighted we all loaded in with about 3 bags each (which is also a point of contention, as our husbands cant understand why we need so many items, fo a short boat trip). You guessed, once we were out along comes the next freezing rain ban! No matter what the conditions, however, we always have fun and enjoy. Next my sister and Justin played a cruel joke on Chad and I wil a dead shovel-head shark - let's just say we thought there was an attack! Ahh... memories!

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