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Trying to remember that there is always a reason, always something that makes you smile during the day- recognizing the event, person or situation that made you smile will make your day seem that much better.

Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year's Eve

I had every intention of posting yesterday after I got home from an awesome dinner with a great friend after being let out of work early however a migraine and the sickness that always follows kept me from doing so.
Almost 100% this morning...which is good...
Yesterday was a great day....fun day at work..not too terribly stressful..and they let us out early.  Met a friend whom I haven't seen in months, hung out, talked, had dinner.  Hubby had to work late last night so I am glad that I accepted her last minute invitation.
As this year winds down and a new one takes over there are many many things that I have to smile about- good friends, good hubby, a house to live in, my kitties, a good job.  I am thankful for the world of blogdom and all of the wonderful people I have met throughout the last year who are all over the world.  I am grateful for my health and for the ability to continue to live my life, on my terms, the way I feel it should be.
Reflecting on the past year leads me to what the new year will bring.  I don't believe in New Year's resolutions...the average new year's resolution is broken in 12 days.  I don't know what the year will bring---I do know that there will be a combination of happy and sad, highs and lows, friends will come, friends will go, there will be snow and rain to go along with the sunshine and I am sure there will be disappointments and moments of great happiness.  What I know for sure is that there will be moments in every day that I will have a choice to make---one that will affect, drastically or not, the path that I will walk down this year.  May I have the wisdom and guidance to ensure that the path I choose is one that is right, not only for me but for the others that will be affected by that choice as well.
I hope that your New Year's eve is full of whatever you want it to be full of..whether it be a rousing good time out with friends at a bar/restaurant/party or a quiet time at home with your loved ones.  At midnight, remember to turn the page to the next chapter- and relish in the blank pages that you will get to fill up over the next year!!
See you in 2011.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Award

I am really bad at these things....
Caterpillar over at Musings and Confessions of a Wandering Mind gave me an award a bit ago.
This is awesome!!
According to her post...I need to share five random things about myself and pass it on to five deserving blogger..so here goes nothing
1) I really want to be a runner.....the kind that runs marathons and stuff....those of you who know me in real life know this is the furthest thing from what I am...but I have invested in a treadmill and am determined to run my first 5K next year.
2) I hate horror movies but am fascinated by them at the same time....luckily for me my hubby doesn't like them so I very rarely need to watch them
3) I believe that every single day is a gift which is meant to be treasured.  We have a limited time on this earth to make a difference and every single day I want to be able to sit down and know that one person was positively affected by me.
4) I have four and a half cats.  Four of them my hubby brought home with him nine years ago when they were only a week and a half old.  They were found on a job site that he was working on.  They were like having children- you fed them and had to make them go to the bathroom and you were up with them crying every two hours.  There were times that I felt like I just finished feeding the last one and the first one was eating again. EDIT: the half a cat is the outside cat that has moved in...I am not willing to claim her completely yet....
5) I love getting lost in a book and find it way easier to get lost in a book than in a movie.

Five deserving blog recipients:
Skippy- over at I Make Soap- she keeps her blog down to earth and real.
Tina- My Day- she's going through a huge struggle but is still trying every single day to make things better for herself.  She is an inspiration
Hed- Hed Above Water- her blog is as real as it gets...
Teresa- The Middle Side of Life- she's been dealt a tough hand and deals with it with grace and dignity.
Thisisme- Southshamsdarling- always nice to hear from the other side of the pond

So that's it and I apologize for being remiss in passing this on....wish I could give it to everyone that I read because I feel that you all add so much to my life.

PS- I can't figure out how to save the awards I receive to a sidebar...if anyone has any ideas for me I would love them....thanks!

SNOW!!

I was over looking at Barb's post (here) and being completely jealous of the beach...so figured I should share what we look like in my corner of the world....
This is what we came home to yesterday..mind you there was no snow when we left...
Our street....doesn't it look pretty....

How pretty...thank goodness for a plow guy

Whoops...should have made sure the porch was winterized before we left..

Just to give you an idea of how much snow we had...

Hubby managed to shovel out what was left from the plow guy....now we need to shovel off the porch and get the plastic put up....gotta love New England winters...

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Home sweet home

We are finally home....thank goodness.  We managed to get some basic grocery shopping done and dig out from the crazy snow we found when we got here....thankfully the plow guy is still plowing this year...so at least part of the driveway was done.
A ton of smiles this weekend...it was awesome to see my mom and dad, sister, brother and the kids....christmas is so much fun when there are little ones around...
I am happy to be home...in my own house....snuggled with my kitties...getting back into the normal routine....only thing that stinks is that I have to go back to work tomorrow...

Sunday, December 26, 2010

The day after

and the aftermath...
Yesterday was an awesome day....for the first time in history it was a day of no family drama....an achievement in and of itself.  My brother spent the night at my parents house on Christmas eve.  We spent the day on Friday with my sister and the kids....we made a graham cracker gingerbread house....
which really meant lots and lots of sugar, frosting and candy...it was a blast..
We came back to the house and my brother came over and we just hung out for the night....played some video games...watched a couple of movies and had some munchies....we played Phase 10 for a bit as well...great fun..
We did wake up early on Christmas morning...although because of an alarm clock rather than the excitement of what Santa was bringing..  It was great fun...very quiet....I was so excited to finally give people the gifts that we had bought for them....
We headed over to my sister's house and had a great day with the kids....they were pretty excited about the day....even nephew who was still pretty sore from his surgery....
It was a day of laughter, lots of playing...the hit of the day was the nerf guns that I bought for the kids....although I think the adults had far more fun with them than the kids....
We headed back to my parents and enjoyed a pretty low key night...my brother got the kinect for the xbox...which was great fun....
Today was the littlest nephew's baptism....at a very cute little church in my sister's town.  Although I don't necessarily agree with organized religion it was a great mass and I am honored to be his godparent.  We headed back here because it's snowing out and well...people don't really know how to prepare for the snow. I don't know if we are going to make it home tomorrow...as we are supposed to be getting a foot of snow at home.  That's okay...bonus time with my parents is always good.
It has been a weekend full of smiles, laughter and lots of good family time.  It has definitely been a weekend that has embodied the holiday spirit.....thought of you all a bunch this weekend.  I hope that everyone out there who are reading this found that one moment that exemplifies the holiday season...and that this week is low key for everyone...

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas!!

I hope that you are all snuggled in with your families making memories...
Know that I am writing this on the eve of christmas snuggled up with my hubby and my family watching ridiculous movies after a rousing gave of Phase 10, gingerbread house decorating and lots of smiles...
I wish for all of you lots of smiles, laughter, good food, time with loved ones...
I wish you all the hope and joy of the season...the moments of peace...that one perfect moment that makes all the holiday hustle and bustle worth every single minute...
That one moment with someone you love..
Hugs to you all...

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Christmas List

We are in Maryland..which is why I haven't posted ina  couple of days.  We are hanging out with my brother at my parents house right now with a Christmas tree and christmas decorations and christmas presents all over the place.  We finished shopping and wrapping today....which is awesome.  We don't have a single Christmas decoration up at my house...so it's kinda nice to be in a place that is so full of the Christmas spirit.
Today's list is a special Christmas list of things that make me smile this time of year!
The last minute shopping that needs to get done and finding that perfect gift at the last minute
Wrapping Christmas presents
Being with family
Moose juice (a super yummy drink involving lots of alcohol, eggnog, milk and vanilla ice cream)
Dinner out with my parents, just the four of us
Hearing the kids talk about Santa Claus
Watching my husband and brother get super competitive over wii games
A ton of pictures being taken
Christmas cookies
Driving around looking at the christmas lights that are everywhere
Hearing the kids talk about putting out the luminaries to light santa's way
Making a friend's birthday with an extra special gift
watching my mom and dad together
Having my mom take care of me because I am still not feeling very good.
The old christmas star on the top of the tree blinking away
Knowing that the weekend will be full of family fun
Midnight, candle lit mass
Being surrounded by family this time of year
a hot cup of cocoa in front of the fire place.

I hope that this holiday season is full of love, joy, peace and goodwill for all of you...Hugs and lots and lots of love to you all!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Thank you thank you thank you

I guess all you have to do is ask and the thoughts will come pouring in...
Nephew is doing awesome...eating lots of ice cream and popsicle and wondering when Uncle meatball is coming to visit and will Santa be bringing him on his sleigh and how will all the presents fit...
The surgery is actually pretty quick and easy...my sister texted me to tell me he was in and about half an hour that he was out and in recovery....
So thank you thank you thank you....for all your thoughts...
It snowed today....unexpectedly...it was a mess on the way home...I just hope that it has stopped and I don't have to see anymore snow before we leave....
I gotta go pack....catch you all tomorrow..

Extra Special thoughts today please??

My nephew- who just turned 4- is having surgery today.  He is having his adnoids and his tonsils out.  Poor bugger has really bad allergies and they are hoping that by taking these out- he will have less of his sinus stuff turning into viruses and  infections.  So while I know that it is going to help him....I can't help but feel a little hopeless not being there...so any extra thoughts you could throw out there to the universe for an easy surgery and speedy recovery would be awesome!!

My smile this morning is related to this darling little child.  I may have told it before...if so I am sorry but I can't remember...
He and my husband were pretty much inseparable when we were in Mexico this year.  Nephew always wanted my hubby near him, playing with him, in the pool with him, sitting next to him at dinner etc.  Well they started a conversation one day in the pool- nephew called my hubby a meatball- not really sure why- but he did.  So hubby said "well- you're a turkey meatball" and nephew said back you're a hotdog meatball...and it went on and on and on ...all week....and beyond.  Now it's always where's uncle meatball when we talk on the phone.  Call uncle meatball when I was there a few months ago.  The letter we received for Christmas was address to Aunt Cole and Uncle Meatball.  Other than my nephew being adorable about the whole thing is how hubby's whole face lights up when he hears it, or reads it....it really is pretty priceless.
Can't wait to get down there this week!!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Feeling better...sort of...

Spent yesterday literally doing nothing....I watched movies on the computer and snuggled with the kitties under a down comforter on my couch...so nice to have a nothing kinda day...I did get all my christmas presents wrapped...so that's good...
today...another day....kinda nothing....we have so much to do....need to clean...need to pack....need to go and get my eyebrows waxed...unfortunately I am not sure that is going to be done today...I still am not feeling particularly well.
In other news, I turned on my computer this morning and started to check my blog roll...and got the best christmas present...
SKIPPY'S Back!!
She's been gone forever it feels like....but she's back....and I am very happy.  I have been reading Skippy's blog for years...and the blog before this one I read too....I found many of you through her and am happy to see her back.
If by chance you haven't read her....go check her out here.

I have realized over the past few months how important my blog family has become to my normal routine...
I hope that you all know how important you are to me and how much I look forward to your words,  your comments, your encouragement....thank you so much.... this week is going to be crazy....we leave for MD on Weds and we need to get ready to go.....but in the midst of that...there will be many many smiles and lots of time with family....hope that you all have many many smiles and blessings of the season this week!

Day 26: Have you ever thought about giving up on life?

yep- I have.  There have been some very dark times in my life.
The night after I met a boy who would make my life miserable to two years- that morning after that first night- when I had no idea how bad it would get.  Many many nights in between that night and the end of that relationship- I thought about it.  I couldn't ever do it- I would imagine the reaction from my parents, my friends- the pain, the hurt, the sorrow.
When I got sick and was going through chemo- I though about it.  I thought about how easy it would be to stop fighting.  To stop poisoning myself with drugs that were supposed to make me better.  I thought about how I could take the time to say my goodbyes and slip away.  I reached new levels of despair and depression while I went through treatments and doctors appointments.  I had days when I would call in sick to work and lock myself in my bedroom and cry and yell for hours at a time.  I just wanted to die at times.  I would watch the people that I loved watching me go through all of it- I would see the looks in their eyes, the fear, the concern, the pity and I would literally beg for the higher power to take me away from all of it- to end their suffering and mine.
All of that happened behind closed doors.  When no one else was around- there was only one person who knew the depths of those feelings- one person who I thought understood but in the end was lying about all of it.  My hubby and I went through a particularly rough patch during this time and actually separated for almost a year and half--- so not only was I feeling this way- but I was without my anchor and my rock.  He couldn't handle it- and I couldn't blame him for that- people have been ripped apart by lessor circumstances.  I had never felt so completely alone and I didn't see a reason to continue.
I did keep fighting, I did rely on friends and family for support, and today everything is good.  Health is good, hubby is awesome and I am content.  I am glad that I never gave up on life completely.  I would have missed out on an awful lot of good things!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Day 25: The reason you believe you are still alive today

I am skipping day 24- I don't have a play list to give to any one.
Why am I still alive today?
I am alive so that I can share my experiences with others.
I am alive because I was too stubborn to give up- even when I was told that I should...even when I was told that there was very little hope.
I am alive today to do something special, every single day.  To appreciate the art that surrounds us, to renew relationships, to strength the bonds I have in my life.
I am alive today because i am a fighter- yes, I survived- I survived a horrid relationship in college and was able to recognize the beauty of a functional relationship.  I survived a brain tumor- because I wouldn't let some doctor who paid way too much money to go to school tell me that i should just accept that I wasn't going to survive  I fought...I cried...I threw up (a lot)...I lost my hair...and it was hell....I survived that.  I am alive today because there is some greater purpose that my life is meant to serve.  I am not sure if I have found that greater purpose yet- but I am doing the best I can in mean time-
I am alive today because of my family, my friends, and because of the acts of kindness by strangers.  My family and friends stood beside me, in front of me and behind me in all that I do- if I trip and fall, they are there with a hand to help me up.  Sometimes the hand of a stranger is the one that is outreached, and I have learned that they are only a stranger till you take that hand and then, like it or not, they are a thread on the tapestry of your life.  I am alive today because these people give me strength, they support me, they laughed with me one minute when I was picking out silly scarves because I had lost all my hair, and cried with me the next because I couldn't stand the fact that I didn't have any hair.  I have angels who walk with me every single day guiding my path and ensuring that I am making the correct decisions.  They let me fall, they let me chose, but they let me know that they are right there with me if I need help. I am alive today because of all of these people.

I am alive today to bring a smile to one person's face every day.  I am alive today to live every single moment to the fullest extent possible and to get everything that I can from this life.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Sick :(

I have strep throat :(
This makes me sad....I went to the drs today and got some medicine so hopefully I will be as good as new by Monday...but in the mean time I am going to bed....
Here's my list of things that make me smile when I am sick
Peppermint tea and honey
A fresh-out-of-the-dryer warm blanket that I can snuggle up in on the couch
Some silly  movie I haven't seen in forever on tv
homemade chicken noodle soup
Cherry cough drops
soft tissues
jello
my hubby making sure I have everything I need within reach on the couch before he goes out
my kitties snuggling up
being able to actually sleep
my mom still calling to check up on me
crackers and peanut butter
being able to completely zone out and not have a million things going through my head
my black out curtains in my bedroom that let absolutely no light in....

I am going to go snuggle with my hubby and my kitties....see y'all soon!

Day 23: Something I wish I had done

I wish I listened more and talked less
I wish I had held you a little closer while I had the opportunity
I wish I had trusted you sooner
I wish I had asked a million questions and then one more- because the opportunity is gone and I will never know
I wish I had written one last letter before you left us
I wish I had said I love you more
I wish I had let go of everything else and shared an ice cream cone with you at the beach
I wish I had been there to see your face
I wish I had taken more pictures
I wish I had shown up randomly on your doorstep just to say hi
I wish I had picked flowers and brought them to you
I wish I had been there for your first dance recital, soccer game, birthday party
I wish I had been able to see that flicker in your eyes, that mischievous look one more time before the disease took away your memories
I wish I had a remote, to pause time, to rewind to go back to all those times that I wish I had done something and could have the opportunity to do them-

Thursday, December 16, 2010

LOVE

Linda- over at Olde Baggs 'n Stuft Shirts just took me back about six years with her tutorial on how to make tissue paper flowers (check it out here if you are interested)...
I was planning a super low budget wedding for 100 people (we are talking less than $1000 for everything) and my sister in law was helping me.  We rented a hall and bought all the food, having various people make it and bring it over to the hall.  The bride didn't want real flowers- who doesn't want real flowers?  She wanted bright colors and fake flowers- not silk flowers- but tissue paper flowers...I had never seen them, never heard of them before and really I was amazed at this.  We learned how to make them- we bought fifty packages of tissue paper from the dollar store and rustled up pipe cleaners that were silver and left from christmas the previous year.  My sister in law and I literally made hundreds of tissue paper flowers- in bright colors.  We had them for the bride to carry, the bridesmaids and the flower girl, the tables all had them in the middle.  We covered a trellis type structure with the flowers.  While we were making them and as we started to hang them up, we didn't have very high hopes that this would come off with any kind of class- but they actually ended up really working.  We had bright colored serving platters and plates and it did make the room very festive.
Thanks for reminding me of that Linda- it made me smile tonight!!

Day 22: Something you wish you hadn't done in your life

I wish I hadn't yelled
I wish I hadn't fought you quite as much
I wish I hadn't ignored your advice
I wish I hadn't been so hell bent on proving you wrong
I wish I hadn't let you see me cry
I wish I hadn't changed myself for you
I wish I hadn't tried so hard to fit in
I wish I hadn't turned my back on you
I wish I hadn't been so absorbed in life and what was going on that I forgot to live in the moment
I wish I hadn't been afraid to stand up for myself
I wish I hadn't been too busy
I wish I hadn't missed those important times in your life because I live too far away
I wish I hadn't sat on the sidelines
I wish I hadn't walked away

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Story Time

I talked to my mom today on my way home from work and she needed to tell me something.  She was at the car dealership this morning (after a rescheduled appointment from Monday) and she was talking to the woman who was sitting in the waiting room with her.  The woman received a phone call and my mom said she burst into tears.  When she got off the phone, she put her head on my mom's shoulder and cried.  The woman had just spoken to her daughter who had just been diagnosed with a brain tumor.  Her daughter was in New Hampshire and they were in Maryland.  My mom said she was transported back to the night that I called to let her know that I had gotten the same diagnosis.
I remember like it was yesterday.  I was dreading the phone call, not wanting to even accept the reality of it all.  I had gone to the doctors for migraines and a whole lot of tests later, and one particularly scary drs. appointment I found out- a brain tumor was what was causing the headaches.  I, being young and stubborn, had insisted on going to the drs myself, telling my husband that I was fine.  I remember sitting in my living room in shock, not knowing who to call or what to do- it was busy season for my mom and I knew she was working late.  I told my husband when he got home from work and found me shell shocked and barely talking.  I called my parent's house- knowing that it would be my dad who answered.  It was some how easier to talk to my dad about it- because he would keep a level head and wouldn't get upset on the phone.  He just wanted to know the facts- our relationship at that point in my life, was on the mend from those hellacious teenage years that were full of angst and disappointment.  He did get emotional on the phone- which made it even harder for me.  I remember the sound of his voice that night- I will never forget it.  I wanted so badly to be five years old and able to curl up on his lap and have it tell me it would all be okay- but I couldn't....they were 10 hours away and he couldn't tell me it would be okay.  He told me he would tell my mom when she got home from work.  Hubby and I were laying in bed and I was crying waiting for her phone call.  She called at 11:37 that night.  Crying- asking me how it was even possible- trying to get answers that I didn't have.  They were ready to jump on a plane that night to come see me and I told them no.  I knew that they needed to be with me and I wanted them there but I needed some time to digest what was going on and see what kind of answers I could get before they came up.  See I thought that if I could stay strong and have a smile on my face- no matter how much it was hurting inside- that it would be okay.  It is okay now- but it was a long journey to get here.
That night was eight years ago today...I don't think that my mother remembered that it was today that I told her about it for the first time.  But she found herself, in the right place today to hopefully bring a bit of hope and understanding to someone who had a glimpse of what hell  must look like...
I have been thinking about all of this a lot lately...so I know that I will be scattering bits and pieces of that on this blog in the next few weeks...I think I need to look at it with some perspective...

Day 21: Your best friend got into a car accident. You had a terrible fight a few hours before. What do you do?

Is this a rhetorical question?
I drop everything and get to where ever she is.
I talk to her parents
I call friends to let them know what's going on
I pace the hallways until they let me see her
I wait patiently (or not so much) until after her parents see her
I go into her room, burst into tears and immediately apologize for not resolving whatever we were fighting about before she left.
I hold her hand, listen, cry, play silly card games, make her laugh, do mad libs, talk about the cute nurses while she's in the hospital and throw her a huge party when she gets home.

You don't get very many best friends in your lifetime.  One fight, one argument isn't going to ruin your friendship- and certainly wouldn't keep me away from her in this situation or any other.  My best friends and I share parts of our hearts and souls with each other....a fight can't rip those bonds apart.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Borrowed post

I borrowed this post from Rabbit over at The Long Journey.  He is a recent blogger that I found through Mynx and he is a very talented writer and artist- go check him out here

This is the first time I have seen this and it really speaks to my soul.

The Invitation

It doesn't interest me what you do for a living. I want to know what you ache for, and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart's longing.

It doesn't interest me how old you are. I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool for love, for your dream, for the adventure of being alive.

It doesn't interest me what planets are squaring your moon. I want to know if you have touched the center of your own sorrow, if you have been opened by life's betrayals or have become shriveled and closed from fear of further pain!I want to know if you can sit with pain, mine or your own, without moving to hide it or fade it, or fix it.

I want to know if you can be with joy, mine or your own, if you can dance with wildness and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes without cautioning us to be careful, to be realistic, to remember the limitations of being human.

It doesn't interest me if the story you are telling me is true. I want to know if you can disappoint another to be true to yourself; if you can bear the accusation of betrayal and not betray your own soul; if you can be faithlessand therefore trustworthy.

I want to know if you can see beauty even when it's not pretty, every day,and if you can source your own life from its presence.

I want to know if you can live with failure, yours and mine, and still stand on the edge of the lake and shout to the silver of the full moon, “Yes!”

It doesn't interest me to know where you live or how much money you have. I want to know if you can get up, after the night of grief and despair, weary and bruised to the bone, and do what needs to be done to feed the children.

It doesn't interest me who you know or how you came to be here. I want to know if you will stand in the center of the fire with me and not shrink back.

It doesn't interest me where or what or with whom you have studied. I want to know what sustains you, from the inside, when all else falls away.

I want to know if you can be alone with yourself and if you truly like the company you keep in the empty moments.

by Oriah Mountain Dreamer
Copyright © 1999 by Oriah Mountain Dreamer

Day 20: My views on drugs and alcohol

In moderation, alcohol is a way to relax after a long day
In excess, alcohol can make a good situation bad and a bad situation even worse.
I partake in alcohol- mostly in moderation- but I have been know to take it to an extreme.
I don't ever NEED it...but it does help to take the edge off a really bad day.
Drugs-
I will admit that I have smoked pot- it doesn't really do anything for me.  If I were to ever get addicted to something it would  be prescription pain pills- but I know when enough is enough.  I have never tried anything else.  Never had a reason to.  Don't think I want to ever try anything- i really don't like being out of control- so that kinda defeats the purpose of drugs.

I have known people who have gotten really messed up on all of the above- this is an addiction.  I am addicted to nicotine- I have cut back- I am down to a couple of cigarettes most days- it should be so easy to just quit but it's not.  Anything taken to extremes will have detrimental effects.

Done

I just turned in my final paper and have caught up on all my blogland friends (I think...I have been horrible about commenting again...sorry)
Looks like this is the time of year for two things...
Guest posts (what an awesome idea by the way.....)
and giveaways.
Speaking of which Caterpillar from Musings and Confessions of a Wandering Mind (who has had some really moving posts lately) is having a giveaway- go sign up here... the bracelet is adorable.
I am off to bed....see you all tomorrow!!! Hugs.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Day 19: My view of religion

I was raised Roman Catholic- I went to church every Sunday and CCD on Wednesday.  I was baptised, received my first communion, and my confirmation.  I was not  married in a church or even by a priest.  I ocassionaly go to church- for weddings, funerals, some times on random Sundays to be closer to the higher being.  I believe in God.  I do not believe that I have to go to a church, listen to a man in a robe talk to me and have him talk to God for me.  I know there is a higher power out there and I know that I have angels who walk next to me, who guide me and who comfort me.  I grew up in the Catholic Church.  My mother taught Sunday school and ccd.  We were at the church on a pretty regular basis.  I am repulsed by the way the church handled the "priest issue" as it is often referred to.  They covered up the most grievous crime that could be committed and asked for forgiveness from the people who follow them.  These priests, who supposedly received a calling from God, used their position of perceived power, authority and abused the trust of children.
I as at mass a few years ago, it was a memorial mass for a friend's father, and the priest stood up there and used his homily as a way to preach against homosexuals.  He talked for a good ten minutes about the evils of that life choice and went on and on.  I was very passive and just sat there as my insides were turning over.  After he was done with his diatribe on the evilness that is homosexuality he asked for prayers for a priest who was "suffering" because he had been found to have molested children and the priest actually asked us to find it in our hearts to forgive this "brother of Christ" his indiscretions and encourage the diocese to let him preach again.  I did get up and walk out of mass at that point.
I do believe that there is a place in this world for organized religion and I know that there are people who take solace in their worship- and i respect their right to choose that for themselves.  I don't choose to participate on a regular basis in a religious community.  I have my own relationship with the higher power that I don't need to share with others.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Day 18: Your views on gay marriage

I believe that everyone should have the opportunity to make a life long commitment to someone they love.  It shouldn't matter what sex their partner is. I don't believe that marriage should be something that is recognized by the government- regardless of the sexual orientation of the couple.  Marriage- is recognized byt he church as one of the holy seven sacraments and this country was founded on the separation of church and state.  I believe that the government should recognize civil unions for all people who wish them- again regardless of sexual orientation.  I am of the belief that you don't choose to be homosexual any more than you have the choice to be heterosexual and why should it make  a difference who I am choosing to sleep with- as long as the relationship is between two consenting adults.  I find the arguments that the "gays" will ruin the moral fiber of this country to be embarrassing when I hear them.  Over fifty percent of the marriages in this country end in divorce. Abuse, degradation and humiliation happen in marriages at an alarming rate- and those marriages that are the 'moral' fiber of this country are between heterosexual individuals.  If a church chooses to not recognize the sacrament of marriage between two men or two women and believe that there are teachings in their books that are written by humans then so be it- I don't have to agree with it and I don't choose to worship there.  Our government has chosen to discriminate against individuals- not for a choice they have made- but because of something that is in the very fiber of their being.  I have celebrated the union of many individuals who choose to get married, choose to commit to one person for their entire lives- and it doesn't matter to me who is standing up there and what sex they are- the happiness shines through and I, for one, raise my glass and toast to anyone who wants to share publicly that they are making that commitment.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Fantastic Weekend

Life is  crazy....we get caught up in the day to day mundane tasks of life, work, family.  There are very few times that you have the opportunity to just hit pause and take time out to regenerate the pieces of your heart and soul that only a good friend knows how to reach.  I took time to press pause for 24 hours.  I saw one of my best friends from college.  I drove down to see her last night, we went out for drinks and dinner....after several margaritas and a very yummy dinner we went back to the hotel where I was staying and talked for hours...about everything...about nothing at all.  It was like we were back in school, when she would come in and sit on the bed and we would just talk for hours and hours.  We shopped today.  We laughed, we cried, we just appreciated the ability to take a deep breath and share the friendship that is so rare...the friendship that no matter how often we see each other, there is always something to talk about....Always something to laugh about.
I didn't realize how much I truly needed that connection...I love my hubby and my family more than I can possible explain..but those girl friends...the ones who know the very beat of your heart, the good, the bad, the sad, the ugly, the stupid silly things that you did when you were younger...those friends feed a part of my soul.  I hardly realize when that part of me needs to be restored...but after a couple of hugs and promises to see each other soon I got in the car, my head was a bit lighter, my heart a bit fuller.  We don't have time, anymore, to talk for hours on the phone or even see each other that often, which makes the time that we do spend together that much more special and that much more fulfilling.

Day 17: A book or something I have read that has changed my life

I love to read- I love to get lost in a world created by an author.  I read a great variety of books.  I am not sure that there is one particular book that I can pinpoint that has changed my life.  When I found out that I was sick, I turned to books to read how other people coped with cancer.  I read everything that I could get my hands on- books, blogs, articles.  I found myself connecting with people that I never met- reading their stories- looking to books for advice.  These books were my lifeline- I remember trying to stay strong for everyone around me and having all these emotions and thoughts that I couldn't say out loud because I couldn't let people see that I was feeling helpless.  Those books, the ones that people wrote about their real feelings, their thoughts, those books were like friends to me during that time.  I remember my mom asking me about how I was feeling at one point and I picked up the book that I was reading and I read to her the passage out of the book that described it.  I would send out a list to my friends and family of the books that I was reading and that were helping me.  Those books changed my life, gave me hope

Friday, December 10, 2010

Day 16: Something or someone you could live without

I guess it's time to get back to this challenge...
Something or someone I could live without- I am not sure how to answer this question (which could be why it's taken me so long to get back to this challenge).  I could live without the snow, but I chose to live here because my husband is from here.  I could live without having to work (couldn't we all) but we need to be able to pay the bills.  I could live without the decision that I made to start smoking, but that is a decision that I made and I am working on quitting.  I could live without some of the decisions that I have made in my life- but they have all led me to the life that I live today.  I have said before and I will continue to say it- every decision that I make, every thing that I do, good or bad, have affected my life.  So I guess while there are things that I could live without- I have to accept that they are in my life for a reason...sometimes I wish I could see the reason sooner rather than later.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Thursday's List

It is some kinda cold outside and my house, although at a balmy 62 degrees is freezing....time to climb under the down comforter for some snuggling...
This weeks list in no particular order

  • Leaving work close to on time more than once this week!!
  • The outside cat is getting better....her drain has been removed...just the stitches left to get out and then she can go back outside where she wants to be
  • my coworkers who make me laugh until I cry
  • Pretty good blood work results 
  • Having tomorrow off
  • Going to Massachusetts tomorrow to meet up with one of my best friends from college for some serious girl time....drinks...laughing...shopping and more drinks...it will be a good time.
  • A hotel room all to myself...it will be like a mini getaway
  • I need to write my final paper for this class and then it is over...I honestly can't wait.
  •  My kitchen should be completely rewired when I get home on Saturday night...
  • That first deep breath of the freezing cold air in the morning
  • getting up to go to the bathroom in the morning and coming back into bed and having my hubby roll over and snuggle close so I can get warm again
  • hot cocoa and marshmallow fluff...yum

Monday, December 6, 2010

Counting the good

It's snowing outside as we speak.  There is snow covering the grass, my driveway and it is freezing.  There are people who have no where to go and are outside trying to find a place to stay warm and I am warm and cuddled up with my kitties under a blanket in my house.
My outside cat , who we have named Jasmine, is doing well.  She came out, hobbled around for a bit tonight and then went back into the room and snuggled up in her bed and went to sleep.  I am grateful that I had the ability to take care of her this weekend and didn't have to ignore the fact that she was hurting.
There are children who have to go without every single day of the year.  Children who are in deplorable conditions and have no hope.  I have seen these kids, on the other side of those conditions, and know that in some small way I have been able to restore hope to some of them.
I may not always love it, but I have a good job,  A job that not only pays the bills but is allowing me to continue my education.
I have a reliable car that I have never had to sleep in because I don't have another place to go.
I have a loving husband, who despite knowing about my past, loves me anyway and will always be there when I wake up from the nightmares
My family is hours away, but I talked to my dad tonight who just got home from a business trip in France and got to hear him tell me all about the mountains and the snow.
I may not always want to pick up the phone, but every Thursday I do and I call my grandparents.  We talk for at least an hour, but I know that won't last forever so I cherish the time I have now.
I may not always be happy.  I get cranky, sad, depressed, angry and fed up with how things are going, but I am still  here- there was a time that I wasn't sure that was going to be the case.  There was a time that I was prepared to say goodbye if the disease ravaged my insides.
I am not perfect.  I have good days and bad, I have ups and downs, I cry a lot, I laugh even more.  I am not afraid to say that I love you and really, truly mean it- there is rarely a phone conversation I have with someone in my family or my friends that I don't tell them- my hubby never leaves the house and I rarely hang up the phone with out saying it.
My cup runneth over with blessings.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Sunday night

Well, the living room is rewired and the kitchen is started, with a promise that weather pending my father in law will be back next weekend.
The outside cat now has a bed and a blanket and is living in my den.  She slept for most of the day today in the little hallway we have between the front door and the door to the house.  She seemed to be perfectly content there until we were ready to go to bed and she hobbled inside.  My four cats are cautiously looking at her and don't really know what to do with her.  I guess we will try to keep her in that room for a couple of days...at least till we get the drain out on Thursday.  I have told hubby that he needs to take her to the vet on Thursday.  Hopefully the vet will tell us that we can take the cone off her head once the drain is removed.  She's really not happy about being inside...but it's what's best for her.  I think we might try to barricade her on one end of the screened in porch depending on how she does tonight and tomorrow.  She can't really jump so I am sure that we can make it work.  Then at least she will feel like she's outside...
Other than that I went Christmas shopping this morning.  I think I am almost done, except for what I will do in Maryland, so that's good.  My dad's Christmas present is going to be my favorite this year.  I put together a photo book on one of the websites of our trips to Europe to see them.  It was really fun picking out the pictures and putting all the captions in there.  Now I just need to finish the calendars for everyone and order those.  Great fun..
As we speak it is snowing lightly  and it feels like December, it is cold outside.  I am going to go curl up with my kitties and get some sleep.  Hope all is well in your corners of the world and your weekend was full of smiles...

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Cat on the porch

Today, I was going to sleep in as late as I wanted to, catch up on everyone's blogs, get up, go christmas shopping while my hubby and father in law did electricity in my house.
Didn't really work out that way...
the outside cat, who is not ours, but that we feed and let sleep on our porch in the winter hobbled up the driveway today with a gash in her right side.  Hubby was upset (he's the bleeding heart) and wanted to know what we should do.  I came in looked up the name and address of the emergency vet and took her in.  A whole lot of money later, the cat is groggily waking up on my porch and despising the cone around her head.  I can't let her inside because she has fleas and my cats don't have their shots.  So we are trying to figure out a way to make her comfortable with lots of blankets and the storm windows in on the porch.  Not ideal, but better than her being out in the wilds with an open sore.
I thought I knew who she belonged to, so I went and left a note today.  The woman just called me and told me that it wasn't her cat.  The cat now needs to go to the vet and have the drainage removed and the stitches out.  I don't know what to do...I honestly can't let this cat in my house and I don't think that the shelter will take her with this kind of injury.  I wish we could keep her but we really can't....
So that's put a bit of a sad note on my day...I can't figure out what to do with the cat....but my father in law is here and he and my hubby are working on the electricity as we speak....so that's good...means we will be able to plug in the treadmill and the freezer...very exciting stuff happening in my house...beyond that it means that all of the uninsulated, fire-waiting-to-happen wiring in the bottom half of the living room has been replaced with insulated wiring that is up to current codes...this is something that makes me smile...

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Thursday's List

Insane day.  
Smiles:
  • We laughed so hard we cried today because of someone on the other end of the phone.  A bit ridiculous and very obvious someone who was either playing a joke on us or didn't understand that we were on to him and knew that he was basically trying to "pull the wool over our eyes" so to speak.
  • My first online order arrived today (actually two boxes came) so that's exciting.  I am worse than the kids on Christmas when I open stuff that I order.  I have had a couple of things shipped directly to my parents house since that's where we will be for Christmas so it will be fun to see that stuff too.
  • Yummy dinner today- a winter staple- baked chicken and rice pilaf- great cause you warm the oven up and it heats the house
  • Acupuncture is always a good time
  • the outside cat (who belongs to our neighbors) is currently curled up on my porch on top of a pillow that hubby put out there for him, with a blanket laying over top of him so that he doesn't freeze- unfortunately we can't let him in because he doesn't play nice with my four other cats
  • New electrical outlets are being installed by hubby and my father in law this weekend...means I can use the treadmill and the freezer....I am very excited by this development
  • It is cold enough to get out scarves and mittens and while I hate the cold- I do love scarves and mittens.
  • It's almost Friday- which means a myriad of different things- work week is almost over, project is almost done, almost time for a day to sleep in without an alarm clock waking me up and chinese food friday
I am slowly pulling myself out of the slump I have been in.  Work is going to calm down a bit after tomorrow which will be good...and Christmas is coming, which really as much as I complain about it- I do love this season.  The joy and good will that is out there in the world, people holding open doors for you, smiling and saying happy holidays, sipping hot cocoa, knowing that I am going to get to see my family in a few short weeks, Christmas music, seeing Santa in the mall, the smell of gingerbread, mulling spices and cranberry.  Everything sparkles this time of year.  I wish I could catch the air and put it in a bottle and whenever I need a pick me up, uncork it and breathe it in.  Life is really quite good right now- especially when I can wake up and look beyond the stress, take a deep breath, battle away the worry and just enjoy the moment.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

there's truth behind every 'just kidding', curiosity behind every 'just wondering', knowledge behind every 'I don't know' and emotion behind every 'I don't care


No idea who said this.  One of my friends had this posted as their facebook status the other day and I completely agree with this statement. 
I am in a slump.  I wake up every morning, get ready for work, make coffee, drive to work, work all day, drive home, cook dinner, watch tv or do homework and go to bed, sleep for a few hours, toss and turn, sleep for another hour, lather rinse and repeat.
I don't know if it's just "this time of year" or just feeling ambivalent about things, but I am in desperate need of something to shake things up a bit.  I usually feel this way at the end of the year as it's dark out all the time (or at least what I get to see of the day driving to and from work). 
Work is crazy and long...but a project is finishing up so hopefully the late nights will be cut back to one a week starting next week.  
To top everything all off, we need to decide what we are doing about the follow up with the fertility clinic.  My health insurance changes at the beginning of next year and it doesn't cover any treatments so if we start now, we will either not be able to finish it or pay for it out of pocket. So, that's a pretty huge decision we are trying to make.
Not exactly oozing positivity and rainbows tonight.  
Your blogs bring smiles to my faces on a regular basis and I love reading everything that's going on in your lives....so thank you allowing me to witness your lives...

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Post Thanksgiving Post

We got home earlyish today....after finally going to the grocery store.
This weekend was pretty good.  We braved the crowds twice on Friday...once at midnight and one around one pm.  Didn't get nearly as much as I wanted to get but at least it is a start.  Now I can finish up most of it online and not feel like I didn't go shopping...
The kids were pretty fantastic this weekend- they definitely make it worth being up there.  The hugs, the unexpected snuggles, the fast talking oh-my-goodness-you-need-to-hear-all-about-my-day.  They love to play board games so we did that for a while last night.
We also had the first snow of the season this weekend.  It snowed sometime between 4am on Friday and 8am when I got up.  Just enough to make it a little sloppy- but by the time we headed into town it wasn't bad.  We didn't even buy that much.
That's all I got today.  I am tired and need to do homework...hope that your weekends made you smile!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Special Thanksgiving list

Today was full of smiles....being around the kids always brings out extra ones
Them wanting to "touch" the turkey before we cooked it
A very serious discussion about why we eat turkey with a three year old
Champagne before noon
Picking up a jewelry order
Yummy dinner with all the fixings...
Bribing the kids with a dollar to try cranberry sauce...they did and they liked it!
Sitting on the couch trying to get homework done and the little one throws his arms around my neck and gives me a kiss- just wanted to say I love you Auntie
Yummy chocolate pie
homework is done for tonight
Football on TV
Actually enjoying the holiday with my inlaws, only getting teary once cause I wasn't with my family
The oldest nephew not wanting to go to bed cause we are here....promises that we will be here all weekend have been going on for the last hour
Separating myself from the fray to finish my homework (and write this blog post) and the oldest nephew coming in to show me his etch a sketch mazes
Planning a shopping trip out tonight to go start shopping for Christmas....my sister in law and I are going to start in about two hours till probably about 3am...then come back and crash for a little while.
The only downside....I forgot to bring my camera with me...but the memories will still be there...
plus my nephew grabbed my sister in laws camera- so I am sure it will be interesting to see how he captured this holiday!!
Hugs to you all!

Happy Thanksgiving

Today is a day to be thankful....for all of the blessings.
A day to slow down and realize the good things that have happened and be grateful for them.
There are many blessings in my life that I am grateful for everyday..
My wonderful hubby
My family
My friends
A good job
a roof over my head
The ability to recognize that things aren't always going to go the way you want them to but there is a reason that they happen...and eventually, you will figure that out and be thankful for it.
I am sitting in my inlaws living room listening to the banter that goes back and forth every Thanksgiving, the memories being shared, the laughter being remembered, the people who are no longer with us being talked about.
I am truly blessed in my life, and while I may get caught up in the every day drudgery of it sometimes, I try to take a minute and remember every day.
I am remembering some special people in my life who have passed today and am grateful for the lessons they were able to teach me while they were with us and know that they are looking down, watching and guiding my path.
You all out in blogland are new blessings that I am thankful for this year.  Your comments, stories, support and lives that you share on this anonymous source make me smile, make me laugh, and make me realize that the world is wide, the experiences varied and that it is possible to write something down, have virtual friends read it and give feedback.  I am grateful for having "met" all of you and sharing in your lives.
Thank you for reading, for giving me something I didn't even realize I needed.
Count your blessings today, enjoy every single moment and appreciate the things that make you smile!! I'll be back later...

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thanksgiving

I am up insanely early this morning.  I am not really sure why but figured I would write a quick post.  After work tonight we are headed up to my inlaws for Thanksgiving.  They live about 2 hours north (we are hoping for no snow) so it will be late when we get there.
Tomorrow will be a day of cooking, football, entertaining kids and eating.  We have two meals tomorrow- one at hubby's grandmother's and the other at my mother in laws house.
We alternate holidays between my parents and his because they live in opposite directions.  I HATE not being with my family on a holiday.  Christmas is always harder than Thanksgiving, but I still hate it.  After ten years of marriage, I still feel like an outsider when it comes to hubby's mom.  She really just doesn't like me- and no I am not exaggerating, she's told me that.  So it's tough going up there for holidays, knowing that I am not with my family.  However....the kids make me laugh, I love when we get up there and they realize that we are there and come running into the room to say hi, launching themselves at you with the full force of their bodies behind the hugs.  I love that my sister in law and I are like sisters....except most of the time we don't fight...
I love that it makes my hubby happy to be there.  So I suck it up...ignore a lot of comments and concentrate on what's really important.....the time that we get to spend with family, the laughter, the conversations, the board games, the football games, the food....all those things that I have to be thankful for this year and every year.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Today was another long day....had fun at work today...we laughed and laughed...
Hubby was cute today..he's off this week.  He must have called me fifteen times today to check in on different stuff...made me smile..
That's all I got today...gonna call it an early night...promise a real post soon...
hope that all my American friends are enjoying the preparation for Thanksgiving....the grocery store was a mess today!!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Exhausting Monday

Yep..it's Monday....it's almost over...thank goodness.
However...my very first call this morning cracked me right up.
Some highlights:
1) The man sang to me- a song by someone (I don't remember whom)- using nikki as my name- I HATE the name nikki...you would think having told him that I haven't been called that since I was about ten would have clued him in- but nope- every other word out of his mouth was nikki
2) Being sworn to secrecy that I wouldn't tell the National Republican Committee that he used to be a heavy metal singer in germany because they gave him an award
3) another song that I don't remember being sung to me
4) A thirty minute (mind you my average call length is three minutes) diatribe about how no one is trying to keep "his" people down and the "others" needed to stop hating and start understanding that it's not their fault.

I don't think i am going to get an account out of him- but man he was fun...
The leftover crazy from the full moon was out in full force today!
Google image search

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Awesome day yesterday

Friends of ours from college came up yesterday for the day...we caught up...laughed a lot and had the best time...Hubby could barely get a word in edgewise...
We had the most amazingly, well paced, delicious lunch.
Three hours to each an amazing meal is a luxury that we don't have very often in our business schedules but this was an awesome awesome lunch.
It is an amazing thing to catch up with old friends, who you don't see often enough....and yet we got together yesterday and just talked and talked and talked.  We laughed a ton....we cried a little...and just generally had the best time!

Just the girls...

Pucker up buttercup


Baked mushrooms with seafood dressing

The best spinach and artichoke dip


Surf and turf

Twin lobsters

She's excited about the lobster

The end result

Rachel kissing the buffalo



Seriously the best day in a long long time....

Friday, November 19, 2010

The longest week ever...

and now it is over..
First of all- thanks for all your comments on my post yesterday....100 blog posts...I can't believe it...even more amazing is that there are actually people who are reading the posts.  You guys are the best....it always makes me excited when I get an email that someone has left a comment.  When new people leave a comment it makes me smile cause I know that there is someone else out there who is reading what I have to write....
Today was an extremely long day....longer than I planned at work and my house is in no shape for the company we have coming tomorrow....but I am excited to see some good friends tomorrow.  They are coming up for the day..hopefully not too early so that i can get this house into shape for company to come and see us...but this is the first time they are coming so I will get to show off the house, which is always fun.  Not sure what else we are going to do while they are here but guarantees some good girl talk and just hanging out enjoying each others' company.
Sunday will be a day of catch up...grocery shopping and making some homemade cranberry sauce for Thanksgiving and then a short week at work and to the inlaws for the weekend.  I think that hubby is going up there on Monday for some time in the woods...he will come back down on Weds. to pick me up and we will head up there when I get out of work.  I am actually pretty excited about four whole days off.  I am hoping to be able to convince someone to go shopping with me early on Friday and maybe (just hoping) that we will get a christmas tree this weekend....we will see....
I hope that you are all doing well in your corners of the world....and that this is an extraordinary weekend for you all!!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Thursdays List- Special 100th post edition

This is my 100th post- only took most of the year to get there!!
So for today's list- I am going to list 100 things that make me smile- some you may have heard before some are probably new
  1. My hubby- who is always a constant in my life- and makes me smile everyday to know how truly blessed I am to have him as a partner in life
  2. Good friends who are always there- no matter what- no matter when I need them
  3. My parents who have always been there to support me- no matter what's going on and who I realize now more than ever have always pushed me to do my best and wanted what's in my best interest- even when I fought them every step of the way
  4. Daily phone calls with my aunt- whom I can talk to about ANYTHING and who just listens- if I miss one it throws my whole day off
  5. My kitties who are like my kids
  6. A roof over my head- no matter what we need to do to the house- I am grateful that we are able to have something of our own- headaches and all
  7. My coworkers who I spend more time with than almost anyone else in my life- they are always good for a smile, a laugh, a strict talking to and an ear when I need it- and they are an extremely driven, motivated group that make me want to do better.
  8. The sunshine in the morning on a crisp day
  9. My fellow bloggers that I have met through out this year and before- you guys are the best!
  10. My niece and nephews- they are the best, cutest, most adorable kids (i'm a little biased admittedly) but they bring constant smiles to my face
  11. Listening to the rain on the roof while I am snuggled in bed with my kitties
  12. Phone calls from a friend who i haven't talked to in ages that last for two hours or more
  13. Going on a date with my hubby
  14. A package waiting at the door
  15. A good grade on a paper
  16. Watching the sunrise
  17. Waterfalls
  18. the sound of children laughing
  19. A bubble bath
  20. Laughing so hard you start crying
  21. A sister in law who is like your sister and is always up for anything
  22. Planning a party
  23. taking pictures
  24. decorating someone's cubicle at work for their birthday- and watching their eyes light up when they come in
  25. Stuffed animals to snuggle with
  26. the ease of sending an email to connect with people
  27. Phone calls with my grandmothers that last for hours
  28. A new pen
  29. No plans on a weekend after being right out straight for several weekends in a row
  30. Signs from those who have passed that let you know that they are still right there with you
  31. Allowing myself an hour a week to just zone out and relax
  32. A good song playing really loud on the rare times that the radio is on
  33. The smell of new paint
  34. A simple change of kitchen hardware making a huge difference
  35. A good cup of coffee
  36. Anticipation of a friend's visit
  37. Driving for hours by myself
  38. Facebook and reconnecting with old friends
  39. Yummy lemon smelling lotion
  40. The bring red color of apple jelly made my me for the first time
  41. Sharing a meal that I cooked with good friends
  42. Getting lost in a book for a couple of hours
  43. Sitting in a dark theatre after a show is over and feeling the energy reverbarate around the room
  44. Hanging out with my brother drinking coffee and just talking about everything
  45. Sitting on the beach on a cloudy day letting the wind whip through your hair
  46. Laying in the grass in a dark field watching for shooting stars with a thermos of hot chocolate between you
  47. The silence of a library
  48. The smell of homemade bread cooking
  49. Someone asking how you are- and actually wanting to hear the reason
  50. random text messages saying I'm thinking of you and I love ya
  51. The smell of the first snow
  52. The first flower you notice in the spring- often poking through the snow
  53. Sitting around a campfire, roasting marshmallows and drinking beer
  54. Feeling his arms around me, calming me down from a nightmare when he's barely awake
  55. Crossing something off your bucket list
  56. Road trips with friends
  57. Fortunes from fortune cookies that speak to you so much, you need to hang them up in a place where you can look at them often
  58. Real mail- not a bill- waiting when you get home from work
  59. Watching a child blow the dandelion whiskers off and not caring that there will be more dandelions in your yard because you will look at them and remember the look of pure wonder in their eyes
  60. A cup of tea in a friends garden
  61. Knowing, deep down, that it's going to be okay- no matter what is going on- it's going to be okay
  62. Lighting a new candle for the first time
  63. Coming home to dinner cooked and the house cleaned up
  64. Sitting in an airport, waiting to board a plane- whether coming or going- and knowing that adventures await for you
  65. Chocolate
  66. Seeing something that reminds you of your hometown- the one you grew up, think of fondly and know that you would never go back there for longer than a visit.
  67. Going to an aquarium
  68. Looking through my passport and seeing all the places that I have been- and knowing that I have been very very lucky
  69. Watching a child put on chapstick
  70. Sitting in a park, with a book, people watching
  71. Picnic lunches
  72. When someone hugs you- and it's a real hug- one of those hugs that you feel wrapped in their arms and loved
  73. The first ice cream cone of the season- peppermint with chocolate sprinkles
  74. Fresh veggies
  75. People who you never thought you'd grow close with becoming the closest friends you've got
  76. Knowing that no matter what..my current boss has my back
  77. Laughing so hard you cry
  78. Crying so hard you laugh
  79. The smell of a new baby, the way they snuggle right into your arms...and being able to give them to mom when they start crying  or need a diaper changed
  80. Crisp cold water to drink
  81. The unexpected smell of leaves burning outside while I am driving.
  82. A tart raspberry margarita(s) in the rocks with sugar- not salt
  83. The smell of clean laundry
  84. New shoes
  85. A fun pair of earrings
  86. Holiday sparkle- you know how everything looks all sparkly this time of year- gold and silver accents, being able to wear something a bit glitzy to all the holiday parties- love it!!
  87. Spending a day with the girls- complete with frivolous shopping, lunch, lots and lots of laughter and giggling at silly things
  88. Free makeovers at the makeup counter at the mall
  89. The smell of suntan lotion after a long day at the beach
  90. Figuring out how to manipulate furniture to fit in a room just right.
  91. Conversations about nothing and everything all at the same time
  92. Finding pieces of sea glass on the beach
  93. Midnight movie showings when you don't have to work the next day
  94. Random love notes in your lunch box
  95. The perfect picture you weren't even trying to take
  96. Playing on a playground
  97. A perfectly sharpened pencil
  98. Finding retro owls at thrift stores to help decorate my house
  99. Being recognized for work that you have done well
  100. Knowing that no matter what you are going through, some day you will be able to look at it with perspective and know that you were able to learn from it and it has become part of who you are.
There are so many things in my life that make me smile everyday and this blog has really helped me to focus on those, instead of all the negatives.
hugs and love to you all!!

Day 15: Someone or something I couldn't live with out

I couldn't live without many people in my life.  My hubby, my mom, my dad etc. but if you've been reading, you already know that :)
One thing I couldn't live without...my camera.
I have been through several different cameras in the past few years, and honestly I am not picky about what camera I have (although I have been drooling for some time over the Cannon digital SLR's).
I love having a camera with me- and I do at all times.  I have one that fits in my purse and I carry it with me always.  You never know when you will pass something that you want to take a picture of.  I take pictures constantly.   A portion of them are good pictures...most of them aren't.
To capture a moment- whether it be the kids laughing, the fall leaves, the sunset, the sunrise, a building or animal is an amazing task.


Finding and capturing a shot can take planning or can be presented right in front of you.  I am the one who is always trying to get that different angle- different picture.  It allows me an outlet for my creativity that I desperately need- .  I wouldn't ever live without my camera....and I am glad that I am able to document the details in my life..

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

YAY!!

My treadmill is all put together...well mostly...
We haven't plugged it in yet but it's almost ready..
Work has been insane again and I have had another headache that just won't quit.
I realized something about my relationship with my hubby tonight that I hadn't really noticed before.  We have had some tense situations lately.  We had to bring in a freezer that was just a bit too big last night to fit through the door and the treadmill definitely provided some tense moments of frustration.  In the past, we would have gotten really angry with each other....yelled, let out the frustrations on each other and ended up not talking....this week- we were smiling at each other despite our frustrations....This amazes me because there was definitely a pattern in our relationship.
So this is what makes me smile today.  And makes me feel like our relationship is continuing to grow and get better every day!

Day 14: A Hero who has let you down

Another tough one.
Is there someone who I have considered a hero in my life??  There are people that I have looked up to- there are people who I have held to a higher standard absolutely.  Does that make them a hero?? I don't know.
One person who I looked up to and who I had the utmost respect for let me down worse than anyone else in my life.   She had great ideas, she was a go getter, she wanted to make a difference in the lives of these kids.  She was one of them who had made good for herself.  She was going to change the world and make the lives of these kids better.  When you were on her good side, you were golden.  But she could flip on a dime and when you were on her bad side- you not only knew it- but you were punished for it.  As long as she needed you around, you were okay but the minute you questioned or tried something knew you were in for it.  Silent treatment, confrontations about the smallest things, no support with anything.  It was a tough work environment, but I always felt worse for the girls.  They truly looked up to her and tried to make her happy.  Once they were on her bad side, we knew it was only a matter of time before they left.  Trying to give them a steady environment where they could grow was sometimes tough.  She had such great ideas and a great team of people working with her.  We were a solid group of coworkers and all of us wanted to see the place be successful- we would throw around ideas, programs, etc and it was really good- until it wasn't anymore.  When I left, I felt like a piece of my soul stayed there.  When I get together with some of the people that I worked with from that place, we talk about the fact that it's almost PTSD from being there.  This individual, I looked up to her and believed 100% in what she was doing.  I poured my heart and soul into my job and it has taken me a long time to get parts of those back.  She, incidentally, has since left that line of work and was arrested for prostitution.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

A blog award...


Thanks to Barb over at This and That for this awesome award.  If you haven't read her yet, you definitely should- she's has an intoxicating way of describing life- you really feel like you are in her world when she writes.  Plus she's an awesome blog pal...always has great insight and comments!! Minx over at Dribble created this award...you should totally go check her out too....awesome reads!!
The first rule: list 5 indulgences that I love.
1) Upgrading to first class on a plane flight.  I will use any opportunity that I can to do this.  First class tickets are insanely expensive, but we have upgraded last minute on several different occasions and it is fantastic.  We flew home from germany a couple of years ago first class and it was amazing.  My husband, who hates to fly, even enjoyed the flight.  Nothing like being pampered on a plane- absolutely nothing.
2) This blog is an indulgence of mine- and a great one.  I love writing this blog and although I often need to make time and schedule posts ahead of time I love it.
3) Starbucks coffee.  I don't get it very often, but there is nothing like going to Starbucks and sipping a cup of their coffee.  Stopping for five minutes to really savor that first sip before continuing on with me day...heaven!
4) Getting lost in a big city.  There is nothing I enjoy more than going to boston, new york, DC and just wandering around the city.  Getting lost in the aninimity that you have in the hustle and bustle of the city.  Taking pictures of what you see, people watching and knowing that you are more than likely not going to run into someone randomly that you know.  Being in the middle of the lights in Time Square standing on the street corner with hundreds of other people and stepping en masse into the street when the lights turn green, waiting on a bus or train at South Station in Boston, stepping into a museum in DC and getting lost in the exhibits, entering Notre Dame while mass is being held and feeling the history. 
5) Sitting on a beach, at sunset, with the wind whipping through your hair, all alone, staring at the water, watching the waves, the boats being pulled out of the water, listening to the sounds of the voices of the past being carried on the wind, meditating, concentrating on the noises and my breath- that is one of the best indulgences- and it's free.

The other rule is to pass this award along to 3 people:
Skippy over at I Make Soap- this is the blog that I have been reading the longest and she is one of the most genuine people that I know.  If you haven;t read her yet (which I am sure most of you have because that's how I found you) you should definitely check her out!

Tina over at My Day- She is an inspiration to me.  She, like so many of us, is struggling with weight loss and her blog is an honest depiction of her struggles.  She writes about everything going on in her life and doesn't sugar coat- her blog is an awesome read.

Linda over at Olde Baggs 'n Stuft Shirts. She writes about anything and everything and has an amazing humor that has me laughing out loud in the mornings. She has a serious side to her as well and the topics she writes about are varied and always promise a good read!

So that's it- life is a little crazy right now (shocking) and I am behind (again) on commenting.  I am reading and know that you all provide me with many many smiles through out the day...if you want to share...what's making you smile today??