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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.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

New Chapter starts...

but before I turn that page, I am perusing the last one...
2013..
What is there to say...
it was full of surprises....
Full of love...
Lots of laughter...
lots of tears..
Another year in the books,
A thousand smiles..
Through good times and some not so good times...
I am sitting on the couch snuggled up with my kitties and my wonderful husband...
Ringing in the new year in our own quiet way..
Reflecting on the past year...
remembering the people we have lost
Appreciating the loved ones...
talking about the frustrations..
and realizing how little those frustrations actually affected our lives..
Relishing in the smiles...
knowing that they are what we will remember...
Those are what we celebrate..
Vacations were had,
Celebrations abounded...
Another year older,
Another year together..
lots of work done on the house..
more to do..
While we get ready to ring in the new year,
we stare at the blank pages..
wonder how they will fill up...
wonder what memories they will hold...
one thing is for sure...
it is always an adventure...
There will be moments of laughing so hard that we cry,
and crying so hard that we have to laugh...
there will be new people in our lives,
and some that will leave...
but, together, we will be able to look back and realize that we have made it through...
I wish that all of you, in  your corners of the world, ring in the New Year with love, laughter and ready to fill up those pages of the book with wonderful memories....love and hugs and wishes of happiness and a million smiles to fill those pages....
bring it on 2014...we're ready...

Monday, December 23, 2013

Merry Christmas to all..

As we embark on our crazy holiday week, I wanted to just take a moment..
To reflect..
To appreciate..
to say
Thank you..
for reading
for commenting
for inspiring
for sharing
for opening your hearts
for being a sound board
for hanging in despite the lack of posts
For I know every day that there are people, friends, out there who are rooting for me.
Who are thinking of me...
Please know that I think of you all often...
send out little thoughts to the universe
When I smile,
When I laugh,
When I see things that make me think of you,
when I gaze at the art work that graces my walls,
the magnets on the refrigerator,
the pictures on the shelf,
some are still blogging,
many are not...
but I think of you every time I smile,
Every time I hear a funny story,
I pull for you when things aren't going well in your worlds,
and I cheer when they are.
As the holidays approach again,
and the hustle and bustle continues,
as we face a new year, a new chapter, a new journey,
you have all had a profound impact on my life...
in so many ways.
As the lights twinkle,
the presents are opened,
The laughter, and probably some tears ring out,
as I raise my glass to toast family and friends,
please know that you are all part of what I am toasting this week and always.
On the back of the frigid wind that is blowing outside, the gentle snow flakes that are falling, I am sending love, peace and my gratitude to each of you and wishing you the very happiest of holiday seasons.
All my love, always,
Nicole

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Tis the Season

Of laughter
Of love
Of events
Of running around
Spending time with those that you care about...
For some,
it is also the season of emptiness
loneliness
despair
The season when losses are felt deeper,
The emptiness seems all consuming
While I count my blessings every day,
this is the season when I make sure to do my best to share the blessings with others...
While I am looking forward to spending time with my family,
friends are spending their first holidays without one of their parents,
Friends are suffering losses that they will remember forever..
These days, tears come more often than laughter for some..
So tonight, while I sit and wrap presents and stress about what else needs to get done..
I take a few moments to send blessings to all who are suffering this season...
positive thoughts to all of those who need them...
my love and virtual hugs to all who are feeling lonely...
And to all of you out there in blog land....my wishes for love, peace and happiness...always...

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Lots to be thankful for

There is more than I can tell you that I am thankful for today and every day...
My fabulous family...who supports me every day and who I will break bread with today...
My friends, many of whom have become a part of my family...who listen, laugh, cry and deal with my craziness.
My fantastic, amazing husband who is my rock, my life, my world....without whom I would be lost...
I could go on and on but there is a mimosa calling my name, some cooking to do and some family time to attend to...
I am thankful for each and every single one of you today and always...I have been taking a bit of a break but I think of you all every single day...
Happy Happy Thanksgiving today....hugs and love to you all...

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Scary

this has been a scary weekend..
not because of the goblins and ghouls that have graced our doorstep..
but because of a phone cal I got on Friday night...
My grandmother had a stroke on Friday..
She's okay..
she apparently has had these for the past few years...
there have been a myriad of tests, phone calls in the middle of the night..
information relayed over the phone by my mother..
I almost jumped on a plane...
I hope that I don't regret the decision not to.
She's had a good life,
but I am not ready to lose her yet..
She and my grandfather have always been there...
their love showing all of us how marriage is supposed to be..
a mom
an ear
a hug
a drink
conversations around the table..
she always knows what to say..
what to do..
she's always been there for me..
and I couldn't be there now..
I know that it is the responsibility of a parent to protect their kids...
and that's what my parents have been doing..
but I am scared...
Afraid of losing this amazing woman..
Logically I know, she's 76 years old..
She's had an amazing life..
she's ready to go home...regardless of what the dr says to her..
I will ask...plea for positive thoughts...healing prayers...whatever you can put out to the universe for her...
because like it or not..
I feel like I am ten years old again..
wanting to hear her voice...
wanting to get a hug...
wanting to make it better for her...like she has always done for me..
I know that I can't do that...I can't make it all better....but I will send up a prayer and a thought...for a recovery...for the ability to hug her and tell her I love her when I go down there in a few weeks for Thanksgiving..
I appreciate whatever thoughts and prayers you send up...the power of the blogosphere...
Give your loved ones a hug tonight...for me...for them..and tell them you love them....
Hugs and love to all of you..

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

I'm going HOME!!!

And I can't wait!!
I am super excited for my trip...
excited to be away from the chaos that is home renovation
excited to be away from work
excited to see some people who I desperately miss on a regular basis
excited to surprise one of my favorite little girls..
but mostly, I am excited because that voice in the back of my head....
the one that I have been ignoring lately...
she's finally starting to let go of the breath that she's been holding for many many months...
To be home...in the place that holds so many memories..
the place where there are people that know my whole history...
the place that gave me the roots that feed my heart and soul..
The people who I love and have loved for a very long time..
my friends who became family...the very first ones..
the kids who grow up way to fast but gave me the first chance to be an aunt...
seeing the adult relationships of friends I have known for 24 years...
being a part of everyday life for a few precious hours of those who I love and care about....
it will go by in a blink of an eye..
and there is still half a day of work and an interview to get through....
but knowing tomorrow night I will be sitting on the porch with my best friend in the whole world...
being in the same place...breathing the same air...
that is what the voice in my head is telling me that I need...
and I can't wait for just a few days away.....
I will miss my husband terribly.
But the best part is that he knows I need this..
he knew before I did..
and he tells me to go...have fun...and he will be here when I get back...
I am truly blessed in my life..

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Crazy few weeks..

I feel like once again, it's been forever since I posted...
mostly because it has been a while..
We are (once again) in the middle of a home renovation project.
I love the fact that my husband is handy enough to do this...
I love the fact that my father in law will willing give up his weekend to come down and help..
I do NOT love the mess that comes along with it..
We are having insulation done in a few weeks...which I love since we have no insulation in our walls currently..
However, as with most projects in this house, it is not that simple.
We had a drop ceiling in our den and upon closer inspection realized that the walls do not go all the way to the floor joists...
which means that they need to be taken down and rebuilt to the floor joists so that the insulation will be trapped between the inside wall and the outside wall..
Well, while we are opening up the walls, it's the perfect time to create the chaseways for the electrical wiring that needs to be completely rerun and replaced upstairs...
Which leads to going in to the attic to rewire because everything runs through one junction box...
So, while I love the fact that htey can do all of this, which saves me a significant amount of money, it also means that I am living in the middle of a construction zone...
I keep reminding myself that the house will be warm this winter with the additional insulation...
The den will be converted into the laundry room
And it will be three more projects to check off the never ending list of home improvement projects that are more complicated than we ever anticipate..
So, as the very fine plaster dust settles tonight after a long hard day of them working to get it done, I am grateful that they know how to do all of this...but with all of you as my witness if we ever decide to move and sell this house I swear we will build something from the ground up....that way we know that it will all be done right the first time!

I have a couple of other posts rolling around in my head, including the addition of some new art work from one of my favorite bloggers, but I need to go to bed because they will be up in a few hours to finish up what they have been working on bright and early...
Hugs and love to you all!!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Going home...

I wrote a post the other day about making time for the voice in my head..
that voice that is insisting that i take some time for me...
Well, today, I received an email about a plane ticket deal...
a deal, that happens to coincide with one of my favorite kiddos birthday.
so I jumped on it , with the blessing of my wonderful husband...
i will be going home, to the place of my roots for a second time this year...
to surprise her for her first "big" girl party...
the side benefit is that I will get to see some of my best friends in the whole entire world...
For four whole days...
As soon as I clicked the purchase button, I felt a weight lift from my shoulders..
the little person in my head had a very smug smile on it's face...
it just kind of said...finally, you are listening to me...taking some time to refresh and renew your soul..
I am looking forward to my time away....
I am looking forward to taking a few days away for just me...to calm that voice in my head.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Fall is in the air

the crisp smell of the dew on the grass....
only a few degrees above frost..
warming up the car in the morning..
The cool rays of the sun as they hit your face..
the ever changing leaves...
golden yellow, burnt orange and red that change in the blink of an eye..
The smell of autumn in the air...
Going outside, the briskness takes your breath away
The clouds swirl around a sliver of a moon..
Snuggling with a cup of hot cocoa..
the smell of apples cooking..
pumpkins dotting the front stoops..
the excitement of dressing up like someone else..
under a blanket..
not quite cold enough to have the heat on..
but chilly enough that it's necessary to sit closely..
Curling up in bed..
the cold sheets a shock to the skin..
the slow warming under a down comforter...
knowing that there are warm arms to pull me closer to stop the shivering..
While I know that winter is right around the corner...
I do love this season..
the beauty
the crispness
the changing of the colors...
knowing that the landscape will be bathed in white soon enough..but enjoying the moment before it all changes...

Monday, October 7, 2013

Little voice...

Can you please help me?
What can you do?
When are you available?
How can you help?
There are many demands...
every day...
Someone needs something..
Someone expects something...
There is another voice..
one that I hear when i lay down in bed at night..
hey what about me...
Ignore it...
wake up...
do it all again...
Again, at night...that little voice...
Can you please?
I need...
I wish you could..
please make my life easier..
can you come
will you be there..
and I lay down..
at night..
in the wee hours of the morning..
that little voice...
asks again..what about me?
I need something too...
til that voice late at night becomes overwhelming..
Is louder than all the rest..
Hey you...are you there..
it's my turn..
That little voice..
that reminds you that you need something too..
The question is...how do you make time for that voice too?
How do you make time for what you need when you are so busy making everyone else a priority.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Happy Happy Birthday

32 years ago today...
Mom put us down for a nap...
She was going to watch General Hospital...
She was uncomfortable..
Ready to be done...
With two girls in the house...one 3, the other barely 1..
General Hospital was her one vice...
Every day...
You had other plans that day though...
A few weeks early...
Contractions and a couple of hours later there you were...
Ready to meet the world...
I remember telling you stories for hours as you laid on the couch....
not understanding...
and who knows what kind of stories came out of the mind of a three year old...
but you were a captive audience for whatever babbling I was doing...
We grew up....
I watched you struggle...
to find your place..
to be yourself...
I worried about you...
Laughed with you...
Cried with you...
I have an email that you wrote me fourteen years ago still...
begging me not to hate you ...
you shared a secret with you...
you were scared...
I was proud of you...
Proud to be the one you came out to first..
Proud of the connection we had and the trust that you in me...
Fast forward...
I am still proud of you...
Proud of who you are..
Proud that you live your life without making any excuses..
Proud of the individual you have become..
We've traveled the world together...
Maine, Paris, Vegas, Mexico...
All of them full of the laughter shared between two siblings...
You have always been there for me...no matter what...
I can't wait to see what this crazy journey brings you...
And I am proud to walk next to you and call you my brother...
Love you!!

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Going up

Take a step...
Onto a machine that takes you to a different location...
standing on that moving staircase...
Do you stand still?
Do you run up the stairs, moving faster than you could on your own?
Notice the people around you?
Or simply move to the place you are going without looking around?
It can be a study of human nature.
Noticing the people around you..
the harried woman with a child who is not having a good day..
Yelling at the top of his lungs until she finally gives in..
She finally says that he can have whatever he is desperately pining for..
The old woman sitting on the bench muttering to herself..
A bit disheveled, but digging through a massively huge purse looking for that ever important item that is just beyond her reach.
The impeccable gentleman in a three piece suit,
Talking on his phone,
Urgently trying to close a deal while purchasing a pack of cigarettes and some gum.
The teenager with his headphones in,
Tuning out the entire world..
The person who pushes past on the mechanical staircase...
Murmuring excuse me as they push past.
Standing on the stair, as it reaches half way..
noticing the bright colors,
The music in the background...
The sales woman desperately trying to help the suburban housewife...
Who wants the perfect dress for a special night out with her husband.
I wonder, as I reach my destination, what are their stories..
What is the background that causes the hurried mother to give into the child?
Who is the old woman missing?
Is that impeccable gentleman working to pay a mortgage, while his wife stays home with a child?
What drives the teenager into himself, into his music?
How is that moment in time going to make a difference in the world?
As I take a step off the mechanical stairs, to get to my destination, I wonder.
I shake myself out of my thoughts and continue on...
Taking a step towards whatever path life has for me...
and sincerely hope I never stop recognizing the rest of the world that happens while I take a ride on the escalator.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Just wanted to say...

hi-
I wanted to make sure you knew...
that today..like every day..I thought of you...
In the whisper of the wind,
The laughter that surrounded me...
Thought about sharing the frustrations of the day....
of turning to you for advice...
Thought of sharing the smiles...
The sight of the leaves turning orange and gold,
The blue sky that went on forever
The sun sinking into horizon leaving wisps of neon across the sky.
The smell of the campfire from the house next door...
The chill of fall on the air
And the slight smell of rain that lingers in the air tonight.
Talking to you about what's going on...
Knowing that you would dispense some sage advice to help me put things into perspective...
When i get into a rut..
I think of you...
I think of your smiles..
The wind circles me like your arms used to,
allowing me to release the anxiety and stress into the universe...
There are no easy answers and every problem has a solution...
You taught  me that...
You also taught me not to miss out on the good things no matter what you are dealing with...
I am trying to remember that...
Trying to live that..
I hope that I can make you proud...
knowing that you are walking next me...
helping me
guiding me...
loving me..
even if I will never feel your arms around me again...

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Long time...no post...

It's been forever since I have been on here...
Not because I haven't had anything to say...
but because I haven't taken the time to write it down...
things have been a bit crazy around here...
incredibly emotional and I have been trying to just keep everything running straight..
I will ask a favor that you add my brother in law to your pray/positive thoughts lists...he deployed last week...I would greatly appreciate it...the kids too...it has been a bit emotional with him leaving....
Good news is our roof is really finally done...
that's very exciting...
We are getting quotes from a couple of companies to do insulation for the whole house this month...which means more contractors in my house...gotta love it..
In the middle of all of it is work, my own family stuff with the holidays coming up, and all the house stuff there are smiles..
My nephews, who are adjusting to their dad being gone, are a bit  more snuggly than usual.
My sister in law and I had a girls day last Friday...which was great fun!!
We had a baby shower to celebrate new life..
My parents are moved into their new house..
My husband is still fabulous...
My best friend is amazing...she listens to me ramble about all of this stuff...

Things are okay...just a bit insane right now..
but I wanted to stop in...say hi and let you all know that I am thinking of you!!

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Just keep breathing...

Today was one of those Saturdays...
Got up and started running right away...
Car was in for an oil change...
Ran to Walmart for a "few" things (and of course ended up with so much more)..
Hubby's training this morning wasn't in the place where he thought is was...so we unexpectedly had some hours together today...
We took a ride out to buy some more cucumbers...
Pickles were supposed to happen today...
They didn't..
They will happen tomorrow as I have a whole bushel of them sitting in my kitchen...
These will be the last 25-30 quarts for the season..
Spicy pickles and mustard pickles...
Might try to squeeze in a batch of bread and butters too...we will see..
Got home and the roofer was here!!
This in and of itself is a bit of a miracle...
The process to get the roof done has been going on for two months...
but I think we can officially say (keeping my fingers crossed) that it is finally done.
I will never recommend this guy to anyone and once we make our final payment I will need to decide which review sites to go on...
But that is a story for another day...
We didn't do pickles today...
Instead...we sat on the couch when we finally got home..
Hubby watching movies..
me reading on my Kindle...
getting lost in the story but still spending time together...
Means that tomorrow will be a bit insane...but today was a day to recharge the batteries...

Friday, September 20, 2013

End of the week...

Is it Friday yet??
A question that has been asked since Tuesday of this week.
every single day...
Could they get any longer...
Isn't it amazing how time passes...
Some days, it's gone in the blink of an eye...
wishing for another hour...
putting things off until tomorrow..
Other days, time couldn't go any slower....
Those are the days that you have the extra hours...
but rarely the energy to make good use of them.
So much to do in the 48 hours that make up a weekend..
An oil change..
A meeting with the roofer...
A training
Grocery shopping
more canning
cleaning the house
doing laundry
Cooking
a bit of shopping..
maybe some "me" time..
Sneak in a breath here and there..
A conversation with a good friend...
Snuggling on the couch maybe?
Gearing up for another week ahead...
End of the month...
Holidays are right around the corner...
As I gazed at the moon tonight..
absorbing the healing energy of it's rays...
Wondering how it got to be the end of September...
The stars peer through the clouds..
the moon with a circle around it...
knowing that others I love and care about are looking at the same moon..
at the same time..
and hoping that the healing powers are helping others that need it so much more than I do...
Sending out lots of love and good energy out to the universe tonight....
hopefully it reaches all of you...

Sadness



A few years ago, I told you the story of a priest and a nun falling in love (Angel Wings)…
Sadly, the nun met her maker before the priest…but theirs was a love story for the ages. 

Well, yesterday, the priest got his angel wings as he departed this world to join his nun.
His journey after she passed was not an easy one, as it apt to happen when you lose the love of your life.
He succumbed to Parkinson's after a long battle in hospice.

So, while he will be missed in this world, knowing that there is another angel looking out for us brings a small modicum of comfort.
Knowing that he is back in her arms, spending eternity together, brings comfort as well.

Another angel got his wings this week too…
He was young…a college friend, who also married his college love. 
A horrible disease swooped in and claimed him within six months.
Leaving behind his lovely wife and two adorable children to make sense of a life that they never dreamed of
His presence was huge and his smile lit up a room…he will be missed by all that had contact with him.


As the emotional chaos threatens to darken the outside, finding solace becomes necessary for survival.
The arms that pull me close at night create pinholes to let the light come through…
They make the darkness less scary…less all encompassing…reminding me that no matter the chaos, there is always an island of calm within reach to take a break for a moment.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Seamless



The sun is shining…
The brisk coolness of fall is in the air all day instead of just in the morning.
Bright and shiny outside
But on the inside, there is turmoil.
A hundred different directions
The churning of the machine
Just keep swimming
Just keep moving
If you keep moving
If you don’t stop
It doesn’t have time to catch up.
On the outside,  calm.
Normal
Bright
Sunny
Seamless
Laughter
Smiles
Inside, chaos.
Spinning
No place to land
Tears
Anger
No switch to hit to make it all stop.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

the sky is angry tonight...

We have had some amazing thunderstorms over the last few days like many places on the east coast..
i was just sitting out on the porch watching the lighting light up the sky followed by long rumbles of thunder...
to me, that is one of the most relaxing things to watch..
Certainly no fun to drive in like I did earlier today...
but from the safety of my darkened porch I sit in awe...
In amazement of mother nature
The sound of the rain bouncing off our new roof
the storms have helped to center me..
find my balance...
and realize that there is more than just what is going on in my little world right now...
There are positive thoughts going out to so many people in our little blogger universe right now..
seems like there is a lot going on and lots of people who need some extra thoughts and prayers..
So as the thunder rumbles and the lighting flashes in the sky...I take a moment and send good thoughts and prayers to all of you that you can find peace and the strength to deal with what the universe is throwing your way...
hugs to you all

Monday, September 9, 2013

Deposit in the karma bank

Ever have one of those days....
Nothing in particular goes wrong...
but everything feels off?
Where everything is status quo...
but that doesn't feel good enough.
Those are the days...
when everything is fine but not quite right...
that I feel it's necessary to put a deposit in the karma bank.
When you do something...big or small....that makes someone elses day..
Whether it's a simple smile to someone who is obviously having a bad day...
Entertaining an upset baby at the check out so their parent can swipe a card...
Picking up a spilled bag of groceries
Picking up someone elses check at a restaurant...
helping an old lady get something off a high shelf..
mowing part of your neighbors lawn...
Letting someone go first at a stop sign..
Something that puts someone else's needs above what is going on in your head at the moment.
It's like that insurance commercial where someone sees someone else doing something nice and decides to take a minute and do something nice for someone in return...
That's a deposit in the karma bank...
and whether that deposit becomes available for your use...or for someone else's...
it takes  your mind off whatever is the center of your world for a minute and puts the focus on someone else...
for just a minute...
and just maybe...
that karma will come back around to you...
Throw out the goodness to the world....it's gonna help someone.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Vegas Day three, four and five

So, I got pretty lax about taking pictures and decided to try to live for the moment while we were there...
It was nice to get caught up in what was going on and not always think about what we were doing and what pictures I could take.
Saturday we went over to Mandalay Bay and went to the Shark reef aquarium...which was fun.. We then went for another happy hour, this time on the 64th floor overlooking the strip at the MIX lounge.  What an amazing view...

My brother had bought tickets for Frank Marino's Diva's show.  It is a drag show at the Quad and it was hysterical.  Hubby wasn't quite sure about it...but I think he had the most fun!




Sunday we went to the Mandalay Bay again for the Gospel Brunch that they have at the House of Blues.  The food was amazing and the singing was great.  This was another discounted activity from My Vegas points.  We were a little surprised at how "preachy" it was considering it was in the middle of a casino...but we had a lot of fun.

My brother has an old high school friend that works at a bar off the strip called the Loose Caboose, so we went and hung out there on Sunday night for a few hours...it was nice to catch up with him and be able to just chill while taking in a bit of the local scene.
Hubby got his first taste of In and Out burger at the insistence of the cab driver.
We gambled a bit and went to bed since we needed to be up early on Monday to catch flights.

We really had an amazing time.  It is so awesome to spend quality time with my brother away from everyone.  I really like the guy he is dating and they complement each other very well.  I always get so excited when i see them together because they are really  really happy together....which I guess is all an older sister ever wants for her little brother, but it's super special because he was not always happy with who he was.  It's nice to see him with someone who is not only good to him, but who is good for him as well...if that even makes sense :)
Plus...I just like hanging out with my brother....

Hubby and I spent our anniversary on Monday on airplanes and in cars...so not terribly romantic...but I am always glad that we make it a point to go away to mark the passing of another year together...it seems hard to believe that we got married thirteen years ago....sometimes it feels like just yesterday and other times I could swear it is five times longer than that!  It is so easy for us to get wrapped up in life and everything going on (like the roof that is still not done) that it would be easy to make it just one more day...but every year we make it a priority to take at least a couple of days away to just chill and enjoy each other's company.

Love and hugs to you all...hope you enjoyed the pictures and our Vegas adventure!

Friday, August 30, 2013

Vegas...Day two

One thing there is a lot of in Vegas..
Timeshare salespeople...
I find it incredibly difficult to walk past them without saying anything....
It kind of goes against every single instinct and manner I have not to acknowledge when someone talks to me.
So, I will admit, I got us roped into a ninety minute presentation.
however, we got tickets for La Reve at the Wyn hotel for more than half off.
So that presentation was first thing Friday morning.
We managed to walk away with the tickets...and almost nothing else.
We did get suckered into buying a 7 night trip to anywhere we wanted to go...but the price was right and you all know I will use any excuse to go on vacation...this one we have to use in 18 months...
After that was over, we went back to the casino, ate at the buffet and gambled for a little while.
We went to the Pub at the Monte Carlo for Happy Hour
Brother and BF
Hubby and I 

Yum
Where a very nice Irish bar tender waited on us....he was fun!

We then got changed and went to the Wyn hotel for La Reve.
The hotel is amazingly beautiful...they really bring almost a Wonderland feeling to the inside...with everything from balls of flowers and blinking lights to a circular escalator and upside down parasols...it is worth walking through if you are ever in Vegas.
La Reve is a show that is reminiscent of Cirque du Soleil but is not done by the same company.  It is a water show and we had amazing seats- front row.
It was visually stunning, the choreography was phenomenal and it was just by far one of the best shows, if not the best that I have ever seen
Beginning

flying from the ceilings

contortionists

Flowers in bloom in the ceiling



 After the show was over, we grabbed a couple of slices of pizza and went up to bed.  This was the night that we discussed potentially staying up super late...we made it until about one am....party animals I tell ya!

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Vegas Day one

I am going to write a series of posts about what we did in Vegas....just because I want to chronicle the trip...
Day One-
Up super early (before the sun) to leave....
Hubby reminded me that when we got married he promised me a lifetime of sunrises and an eternity of sunsets....we got to watch the sunrise from the airplane...knowing that the sunset would be in Vegas...

It was a very long trip with a couple of stopovers...one in Baltimore (it was a little weird flying into Baltimore and not seeing my parents...but the layover was not long enough)
We then got on a plane and flew to Flint, Michigan.  We didn't get off the plane in Flint, but now we can say we were there.
Got to the hotel (the Monte Carlo) and checked in and went and grabbed lunch:
Super yummy Chinese place at the Monte Carlo....Lunch prices were fabulous....drink prices were expensive...
We were going to see separate shows that night so we agreed to meet back at the hotel after the shows to go to the Minus 5 Ice Bar (so fun)
The package that we bought for Vegas included hotel, flight and show tickets for one show.
Hubby has always wanted to go to one of those Medieval Times places that has the jousting shows, you eat dinner with your hands etc.  There was one down the street from my parent's old house and we never made it there so when that was one of the options, we decided to go ahead and do that.
He was thrilled.
The show was at Excalibur
Yes,  i would have much rather gone to the show at the bottom of the billboard.
We were seated in the Ireland section

We started off the night with a couple of drinks in metal souvenir mugs


The thing about these shows is that they serve you dinner...with no silverware....so you need to eat with your hands....
He was happy- could slurp the soup right out of the bowl!

Cornish Hens, broccoli, potatoes and bread...all without silverware..
The show was great!  The lighting, special effects and the acting were fun

We left the theatre and were walking back to our hotel to go gamble til the boys were done.  This was the first sunset of the trip
Against the backdrop of New York New York
We met up with the boys and went to the Minus 5 Ice bar....which is always fun.  It is a bar that is made out of ice.  They make a big deal when you go in, giving you parkas and optional fur coats....it is really a lot of fun...the was the first group picture of the trip ( it is a picture of a picture, so it's not the best)...
L to R: Brother's BF, Brother, me, hubby (without a jacket on..because really it's this cold in Maine for six months a year)

The cool (ha, no pun intended) thing about this and a bunch of other stuff we did on this trip is that a lot of it was free or deeply discounted.  My brother, his bf and I all play My Vegas slots on facebook.  By doing so,  you earn loyalty points that you can cash in for real stuff in Vegas.  So we each got entrance to the Ice Bar, a couple of free buffets, tickets to the Shark Reef at Mandalay Bay, Monorail tickets, and some happy hour apps.  It was a great way to "do" the Vegas stuff without spending a lot of money...

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

What Happens in Vegas....

gets chronicled in great detail on facebook...and of course on my blog.
We had a FANTASTIC trip...
We went with my brother and his boyfriend.
We saw a couple of shows, we gambled, we hung out in swanky lounges and drank, we caught the local scene, we laughed, we cried and we put a pause on the reality that is life for a little while.
All of my pictures were taken with my phone so I need to download them from facebook to post them...and I will.
But I just wanted to take a minute while I am still trying to readjust my time clock to East Coast time to tell you that I love VEGAS!!
It is a place, for me, that is so far outside of reality, so different from my every day life that it suspends time like no other place we travel.
I love our tropical vacations, but most of the time we get back wishing we could take a few days to recover.
Not Vegas though....the five days we were there was just enough time outside of normal that I came home feeling completely refreshed and ready to take on the world.
The stress of every day life is nonexistent when you are out there...walking around a larger than life city that allows you to be whatever you want to be...
The noise, clangs and non stop lights, for me, are a complete over stimulation of my brain.  I think the part that thinks about my every day life just shuts off so that I can process it all..
Plus, being in a completely different time zone from everyone in my real life means that when I look at my phone and discover that it is 8pm I can't really pick up the phone and call anyone...
It was a great trip...and i do promise a picture heavy post in the future....but until then, it's the end of another month, a reconfiguration of seating at work and the fifth annual (I think) Lazy Labor Day Lobster Lounge this weekend in Bangor....the end of the summer, the settling into fall and trying to get everything done to hibernate for the winter...
I hope that you all are doing well.....sending smiles and positive thoughts to your corners of the world.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Productive weekend

I am beyond excited about our trip this week..
We have spent most of the weekend on the phone with my brother making plans....
We all play the My Vegas slots game on Facebook and as a result have a ton of rewards points....
Lots of free stuff including:
Free buffets at the Monte Carlo where we are staying
Free admission to the Ice Bar (which is very fun)
Free tickets to the Gospel Brunch at the House of Blue at Mandalay Bay
Free late night food at Wolfgang Puck's restaurant
Three day passes to the monorail down the strip (very cool....especially when it's 105 degrees out side)
I am excited to go and get lost in a city...and spend some time with three of my favorite men in my life....
Hubby is excited too...this is our annual anniversary trip so it's always nice to spend some time celebrating our marriage (thirteen years this year...can you believe it..)
Hubby will get to go to the Knight's Table at Excalibur which he has wanted to do forever and we will be going to a drag show on Saturday night.
We are going to try to get tickets for La Reve on Friday night and catch up with an old high school friend of my brother's who works at one of the bars at The Palms on Sunday.
It will be here and gone before we know it....but it's awesome to look forward to..

I went out yesterday and did a day of pampering for myself....new hair cut and color....also some waxing and a massage....so nice..
We were able to celebrate my inlaws anniversary yesterday due to an impromptu visit...39 years...kind of crazy.

Lots to do this week....before we leave..but we are packed and just need to throw together some toiletries....hotel reservations are made by the airport for Weds. night and Monday due to early and late flights....

Hubby got a lot accomplished today...he hooked up the water and ice maker to the fridge (YAY) and put in a new door handle to the downstairs bathroom..with a lock...always nice to check things off the list..

I am heading to bed now...crazy week at work getting ready to be away...but a short one at that, so that will be a good thing..
Hope you are all doing well....thinking of you and sending lots of smiles and positive thoughts your way!!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Over a week gone..

And there has been so much to post...
but none that lived up to number 500...
At this point, i figure if i wait for an epic post, you might never hear from me again :)
So...what better way to celebrate 500 posts than with a Thursdays smiles...
There are two sides to every single situation in my life right now...one that induces headaches from the stress and one that produces smiles...
so I figured, since I have been focused on the stressful side, I should look at the flip side of the coin...
1) the roof is over half way done.  I do have pictures on my phone and when it is finished, there will be a proper post...but it's almost there.  This makes me happy...it hasn't been an easy process at all and I have realized just how differently my dear husband and I approach things....but in the end it will be finished and we (hopefully) won't have to worry about any more water leaks....plus it's metal so snow will build up and it's black....makes the house look nice..
2) Work.  I have a job that pays me well and that challenges me most of the time.  There are some things that are being hashed out that will hopefully make things a bit easier....I love most of my coworkers and get an amazing amount of support from them.  It is a solid company that is going through some change which hopefully will lead to better opportunities...definitely something to smile about.
3) we are going away next week with my brother and his boyfriend to Vegas.  I CAN"T WAIT!!  It will be a good time in a super fun city that anything goes in.  We have some stuff planned, including a drag show, so it should be a ton of fun...plus it's always nice to get away
4) The insanely hot weather has broken (finally) and it is back to the Maine summers that we love...seventies during the day and fifties at night...perfect weather.
5) Labor Day is the weekend after next which means Lazy Labor Day Lobster Lounge...a fun weekend spend with the inlaws and the kids...lobsters, drinks, a bounce house, lots of pictures and just chilling for the weekend.  Always a good time
6) I am hoping that a dear friend of mine has good news tonight.  fingers crossed....
7) Pintrest always makes me smile.  It is beyond fun to see what everyone is pinning and what houses are going to look like, what people are having for dinner and what good ideas can be shared.  Wish I had thought of it..
8) Pickles...we made a lot of them and they are ready to eat.  We are cracking open the first jar tomorrow..nothing like the first jar of fresh pickles....
9) Friends...I honestly don't know what I would do without certain people in my life...whether they are blog friends, high school friends, college friends....they are all amazing and I am truly blessed to be part of their lives.
10) Lastly, and most importantly, my lovely husband.  Because of some of the stressful situations lately, we haven't always been seeing eye to eye...but as always, he is my rock.  Whether it's waking me up in the morning with a kiss before he leaves, coming home at night to a home cooked meal, snuggling on the couch or dinner out...he makes me feel like I have stability in my life.  When things are out of control or it's just been a really bad day...he does what he can to make it better.  I honestly don't know what I would do without him.

that's the 500th post....lots of reasons to smile and it's important for me to remember that for every icky situation, there is always a flip side....it takes some doing to recognize it sometimes...but it's always there...
Sending hugs and lots and lots of love and positive thoughts into the universe for all of you tonight...know that I think of you often...

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Checking in..

Just a quick post as i am wiped out...
but some good things that have made me smile...
our roof is being started on Thursday...huge relief....lots of stress getting here..but we will have a new roof in a matter of weeks...fingers crossed it all goes smoothly...
We made pickles this weekend...
lots and lots of pickles....69 quarts and 5 half gallons I think was the final tally...
I have pictures that I will post soon...
Hubby is getting over a cold...it came and went pretty quickly...
this the time of year that I love....cool mornings and evenings but seventies and sunny during the day...makes me smile...and appreciate where I live..

I think of you all every day....sending hugs and love on the back of the star beams tonight...

By the way...my next post is number 500....i feel like I should have a party or something....maybe just some pictures...we will see...but I will gladly take any ideas you want to throw out!!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Adult...

I remember when I was younger, 
I was always in such a rush to grow up,
to go to high school,
to go away to college, 
to be out on my own,
to get married,
to buy a house...
I want to write a letter to my sixteen year old self and say two words:
SLOW DOWN
Not that I didn't enjoy my youth...because I certainly did...
I did everything I could to make sure that I was getting everything I could out of the moment that I was in...
but there always seemed to be more out there..
more to do...
more to want to accomplish..
more to dream about..
There are still dreams...
There are still things that I want to do..
there is still more..
but these days, I find myself with all of these "adult" responsibilities...
I wish I could go back and tell myself to enjoy those cast parties a bit more, go to more parties, hang out more with friends, go to the beach more, take a day with your closest girlfriends and blow off your college classes and just hang out....because that time is fleeting...you can never get it back..
These days it's almost an act of congress for all of us to get together because we are all in different cities...different places in our lives....we schedule months in advance and hope that nothing comes up....I would give just about anything to be able to pop over to the next room and say hey, let's go hang out...or if we are having a particularly tough night to just get out of here and go for a ride..
These days conversations are about kids and replacing the roof on the house...or what R value insulation is or what the best kind of paint is to use.
I miss the spontaneity of my youth....
I think that the adult responsibilities are dragging me down a bit the past few weeks....I think it's time to pull out the calendars and schedule a girls weekend....even if it does have to be in October....
Hugs and love to you all