Monday, October 31, 2011

Halloween 2011




HAPPY HALLOWEEN TO ONE AND ALL!

I admit, Halloween is not my favorite. But now that my son is finally able to actually understand what it going on, I am beginning to see the reason so many love it. This year, Logan will go trick or treating, we took him last year but at one and half I don't think he truthfully got the concept, we made it through five houses before we packed it in and called it a night. This year however, he is excited to be the Itsy Bitsy Spider and has been practicing his 'Trick or treat.' for the better part of the weekend.

As for mom, she took the executive decision and am 'skipping' class, although skipping technically isn't the right word since I did inform the professor. Hey a kid is only a kid for so long and while the class can be oo soo entertaining, walking my kid around the neighborhood seemed the more important of things to do. 
Do you really blame me?

And so, tonight he will dress up, we will pass out candy and I will not worry that his teeth will rot. At least for one night anyway. Pictures will surely come in the next few days.

May you all have a joyful, safe and Happy Halloween!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

A Sunday in the Mountains.

mom, me, Burgandy, Hillary and dad.
 Last weekend my parents celebrated 39 years of marriage. These days, that is quite an accomplishment, and how did they want to celebrate? Not on a cruise, or some fancy meal for just the two of them-although they totally deserve both-no they just wanted the entire family to be together.

So my parents.

Every few years for as long I can remember my parents have taken us to the lodge in the mountains of Virginia called Graves Mountain. Its got to be one of their favorite places, though I am not totally clear of the reasons. I asked my father this trip and he said it was simply due to the memories, since they as a couple had been going since they were teenagers. Some memories are hard to let go of. And so on this, their 39th anniversary, we found ourselves making the hour trek, along with my older sister who had come from North Carolina to celebrate.
The view, is always breathtaking.


Graves Mountain is located in Syria Virginia, Two hours south of DC,  the entire mountain is owned by the Graves family. Its home to a lodge, several camping grounds and cabins and the best homemade apple butter you can imagine-and believe me I know my apple butter. It reminds me a lot of the getaway that was in Dirty Dancing. Every weekend in October they have a fall festival, pumpkins, crafts, dancing and down home country cooking welcomes guests and locals alike.  As we pulled into the site, the rich colors of autumn began to emerge. The kind of color, you don't often see in the DC area.

Pop-Pop and Lil man...
But as I have mentioned, while wonderful we really weren't exactly here for the scenery and since we had a couple of hours before our dinner reservation up at the main lodge we took our time to explore. The craft fair is open and free for anyone to walk around in, and though I don't remember having to pay in the past there were several activities for the kids, including a hay maze, a play area and of course, hay rides. While my sisters, my husband and my mom walked around, my dad and I took my son and my nephew on the hay ride. Let me say, it was well worth the two dollars we spent. Not only did it provide some great photo shoots, but it also was quite awesome to see the fields at their untouched stages, the rows of corn, the trees-and yes they still have trees here-and the apple orchards.

As you can tell my son totally hated the ride and bugged me the entire way to get off. Truthfully he had a fabulous time, as did my dad who was lucky enough to be the chosen one. 


The hubs and myself
After the quick-or not so actually-hay ride we joined up with the rest of the family and participated in the fun festivities before making our way up to the lodge....perfect timing since it was getting a little on the chilly side. The gorgeous fall weather had turned into a little cool evening. As much as I love my heat and my summer, I don't associate this lodge and the sun with it, all I wanted at this point was a great cup of hot chocolate and a fireplace. They didn't have hot chocolate but they did have a roaring fire. Hey one out of two ain't bad. And for the boys, there was always football on. I suppose they had to make everyone happy.

With an hour to kill we did the following:

  • had an amazing game of table tennis going on, nobody knew who won, but I don't think it really matters.
  • Listened to a thousand teenagers discuss Prom, yes you heard right, Prom. But I suppose with homecoming now past what else do they have to talk about?
  • Watched a football game. I can't tell you who played since I am not a football fan but I know it was on.
  • Learned that a two and a half year old and a gift shop=danger for moms and dads a like.

Dad, lil man, and me...on the hay ride..
We were finally called for dinner, which was your typical home cooking as I mentioned, dad had his ham, salt covered and all, he claims its his only time he gets this, since its horrible for you but hey we won't mention this to his doctors now will we? Fried chicken, tea and corn pudding completed the meal.

We toasted to my mom and dad, and as I looked around I couldn't help but get a little misty eye. I know these days won't always be here. We are all moving on, location wise and family wise. The holidays are becoming harder and harder to get together as it is. How much longer would we all be celebrating? But I suppose we will take whatever we will get..

And so, here is to another wonderful year of marriage to my parents. May it be as wonderful as they are.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Five Question Friday-Oct. 29th-Repellent


Have a fabulous weekend to one and all!
This weeks topic: Repellent

What’s something you enjoy eating that many others would be grossed-out by? 

I am not that much of an adventurous eater. Thanks in part to several food allergies. One of those things is dairy. As a kid my mom would have to figure something else out to put in my cereal. The solution, orange juice. Apparently it must have been pretty good because I ate it without complaining for awhile.

Amazingly I have hated orange juice for the longest time...I can't stand even the thought of it now and days. Just the image of Coco Krispies and orange juice is enough to make me shutter...

But I guess at the time, there was really  no other option. And being a kid, mixing weird things isn't so unusual.

Which of your personal traits is most likely to make others want to avoid you?


I tend to bite my nails. Especially during hockey season. Its a trait I have been forever trying to get rid of. I break the habit and let the grow and they look fabulous..until they all break off and then I tend to just say screw it, the Caps are playing and their you go...

But its a work in progress and a trait I hope to eventually get rid of for the long run.

If you could wear a bracelet that had the power to keep certain kinds of people away from you, what kind of people would you repel?

Ignorant people. The ones that think so highly of themselves that they aren't willing to give any one else the time of day. The ones that think so mighty of themselves that they are just rude and obnoxious to everyone. Yeah those sort of people I could do without. And yes I have run into quite a few. I don't think it matters where you come from, I am pretty sure you could name at least one person like this.


We are all capable of overcoming our biases, of course, but what’s a physical trait (in others) that pretty much turns you off?

 Someone who doesn't take care of their teeth. I know not everyone can afford to go to the dentist every six months. I am lucky I can. But I would like to think everyone can afford a toothbrush and toothpaste. I hate to say I pretty much cringe when I see those around me not take care of them as they should...in the long run you take care of them now, it saves you a hell of a lot in the future.

When you feel a case of the blues coming on, what do you do to fend off the bad feelings?

Open up my Itunes, turn off the TV and dance around the living room.  Usually I blast 90's pop for some reason and throw myself a dance party.I don't care if my neighbors see me, if my husband walks in on me and catches me...I just dance.Seriously, its one of my favorite things to do.

Topic By: Friday5.org

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Then you might know what its like.



 ''God forbid you ever had to walk a mile in her shoes
'Cause then you really might know what it's like to have to choose
Then you really might know what it's like''

-Everlast.

Ever wonder what its like? To have a disability? For those reading this many may never know what it would be like personally And in a way, I pray those that are reading will never have to know.

Why?

Because as much as I try pass it off, the ugly truth is there often times its one of the most difficult things anyone will have to deal with.

But do you ever wonder what its like? For just a day? A month? For a lifetime of dealing with a disability? 

Well let me be the first to open your eyes to what the truth is. Born with Cerebral Palsy to the right side,  I consider myself  one of the fortunate ones. I say this because it  has mainly only affected my right hand. Believe me I know how lucky I am for there are several out there that are in far worse conditions than myself. Other than the fact I can't wiggle my toes-which annoys me more than anything-the rest of me, while still affected, is for the most part pretty normal. Still one never realizes how important something is until one can no longer use it, or in my case never been able to.

Which brings us back to what its like.

For starters, nothing is easy. Like tying a shoe. I wore Velcro shoes for so long until a therapist taught me how to tie my shoes with two fingers back in elementary school, for a quick second it made me the most interesting person around. Still they never were tied tight enough and always came loose. But hey its a skill that most will never even attempt.

Its having to learn to type with one hand, which may not sound as complicated as tying a shoe. But with all this modern technology, my fingers often at times can't keep up. Nor can I hold the device in one hand, and type with the other. A couple months back my company offered me a new keyboard. Which was fabulous since I really needed a new one. Until I realized that half the keys were on one side, the others, on the other side. A nice big gap lied in the middle of it. To wide for me. I quickly declined, and to this day am still dealing with the old keyboard.Interesting,  its the same sort of reason I gave up on playing most video games a long time ago. 

For the record, I can type somewhere around 80 (give or take) words a minute with one hand.

Its trying to change my two and a half year old son's diaper when he is one active toddler. Thank god the diaper stage will be coming to an end shortly.  My latest challenge is bringing a sleepy little man up the stairs, and if he has fallen asleep in the car seat, trying to get him out, unlocking the door and juggling everything else that we left with. This is also my main reason that we want/need to have a little age difference between kids, should we be blessed with another one. Changing and handling a kid with two hands I am sure is stressful enough. Now take out one of the hands...it is doable I assure you.

Its putting on jewelry, doing your hair, shaving in the morning. The jewelry thing is not that big of a deal when you wear the same thing and don't need to change things. But the hair and the shaving thing, to this day still brings up a challenge. Curling the hair is usually out of the option, as is braiding, and half the other hairstyles of the day. If it wasn't for the fact I think I would look horrible, I would contemplate shaving it all off. And yes, lets not go into whole shaving thing..that is a whole other topic that is probably best left un-talked about.

Its learning how to drive with one hand, doesn't sound horrible, until you realize its my left hand that is 'normal' Still not horrible but dif. a challenge, and eliminates certain car models and stick shifts. And motorcycles. If your in to that sort of thing.

Its never driving through a drive-thru because, well you can't eat and drive anyway. So what's the point? Seriously I have never gone through a drive thru myself unless I am with someone else and they are driving me through one. 

This is also probably a good reason I don't smoke. I need my hand to do three thousand other things.

Its going through the salad bar line, when they don't have a ledge and you have to ask for assistance even though your a grown adult. After all, you try holding a plate and serving yourself with one hand. Considering I hide my disability pretty well, the looks I have received at times aren't the most friendly of sorts. I assume they think I am lazy or a diva. Neither of which I am. I assure you of this. 

I hate buffets for the same reason.

Its going through job interview after job interview wondering if this will have any impact on whether you get the job or not. Knowing that it probably will. And should you get that job, its knowing that your advancement isn't going to be as likely as Jo Smo next to you..

Its just the facts of life, and one you may as well get used to.

And its going to class and hearing a classmate sit there and use the word handicap a thousand times over and over, and knowing as much as you want to punch the living crap out of her, you know you can't. Jail doesn't sound appealing, and she is about two of you. Besides this is something you hear on a daily basis. No matter how much you try to convince them otherwise, you know you won't be able to  So why bother?? You go on about your day, and the next as if nothing is wrong. As if you are just like everyone else. But every where around you, there are constant reminders.

The right handed water fountain. The security doors that you have to swipe, even if you have a million things in your hand. And its the classmate in the class the following night who decides in the middle of your presentation to refuse to help when you ask her to. 

And then laugh.

And you walk out smiling, because you don't want them, can't let them see your pain, or your own embarrassment.  But as you climb into your car, what you really want to say is for one day, wouldn't it be nice not to have to worry about any of this.

For one day. Wouldn't it be nice.
To just be.

Like everyone else.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

A visit to the past: Bull Run Battlefields.

The battlefields and cannons
We tend to forget what is in our backyard. Probably because its always there. But this past Thursday while waiting for the husband and his family I decided to play tourist and remind myself just where I have come from.

I found myself wandering the fields of Manassas Battlefields, which I admit is one of my favorite places in Northern Virginia. Then again, I am a huge history buff so I assume this is only natural.

The battlefield is home to two battles, the first battle of Manassas, taking place on July 21, 1861 and then later the Second battle of Manassas during Aug 28-30th 1862. While a good portion of the land has been taken over by businesses, a local community college and homes-including the houses I grew up in, a good portion of it still remains in the hands of the park authorities, despite the few attempts to buy it back and sell it, to this day it remains open to the public. 

 And on this cool Autumn afternoon, I took full advantage of the low crowds, and the gorgeous fall colors and explored the treasures in my own backyard.


The Stone House
The Stone House, taken over and used as hospital.
 The Stone house, located on the corner of 29 and 234, is one of the three pre-Civil War buildings still left within the park. Before the war Henry Matthew and his wife owned the house. Built in the midst of the turnpike era it was used as a stop for fellow travelers, who were traveling between Warrenton and Washington DC. Gentlemen stopped for drinks in the house that was often used more as a tavern than anything else.

Once the war hit, the Matthews tried to remain in the house but soon found themselves in the midst of the battle, and the house was shortly taken over by Union soldiers and used as a place for wounded and the dying. When the fighting finally ended, the southerners came back to the house to find  100 weapons and “a large number of the wounded enemy, some dead, and thirty-six men, who surrendered themselves prisoners.” Among the prisoners were two Union medical officers, a surgeon and an assistant surgeon. Only the assistant surgeon was allowed to remain and care for the many sufferers as best he could. No evidence exists that any surgical operations took place inside the house.

During the second battle, the defeated Union soldiers passed the Stone house, Private George Edgcomb of the 23rd New York entered the house on the 30th of August to aide an injured soldier, when he entered he came across two additional wounded men. Somehow they had made their way up to the usually unoccupied second floor, where two small rooms were. There they carved their initials in the floorboard, which can still be seen to this day.

“E.P. Ge” and “Brehm Aug 30.” Which stood for Charles Brehm and Eugene Geer, Brehm would later recover from his wounds, and Eugene died there at the house. He was 17.


While it isn't often, they still open the house for tours from time to time, and it isn't a shock to see a red tethered flag waving from the door, which indicated to the soldiers it was safe to come in.

Wooden Fences
Intact wood fencing.
Along the battlefield lines the wooden fencing that was often used to rope the fields. It wasn't unheard of that the townspeople would gather their picnic baskets and watch as the battle began to take place. Though it was short lived as many saw family member after family member fall, and the picnics shortly stopped as residents of the area retreated, deserted and lost their homes. Still the fencing which has been restored and replaced to its original standings, is an iconic vision to those that live in the area.



Confederate cannons

 Civil War Cannons


In the middle of the baddlefields lies 40 cannons from both the Union and the Confederate. Stationed right before the First Manassas trial, several confederate cannons are lined, stationed and ready to go. Many of the cannons, on both side still have the original parts connected to them. Though not in use very often any more some can be used for demonstrations, anniversary's and special occasions to this this day.

One can tell the difference in the cannons, by the color of the cannons, and the look. The confederate cannon for instance have a green tent to them and are made of copper. The bodies of the cannons, are thicker and shorter than those of their enemies.



Union cannons
The Unions on the other hand are a blackish tent, made of iron and are longer and skinner. The arrangement of the Union also shows the heavy artillery wagons that carried supplies for the cannons. They are located not far from the Henry house and some speculated the lighter and longer barrels allowed for a faster pace during travel. It is also said that due to the Norths industrial movement, it allowed for more advanced warfare.


These were some of the first weapons used in the early stages of the Civil War.

Stonewall Jackson
Stonewall Jackson Monument
The battlefield was the sight of two major victories. The July 21st battle, being the opening battle of the Civil War itself, and with a win gave the confederate's a false sense of hope for things to come. While the Confederate would win this battle, it didn't take them long to realize the North was prepared, their warfare just a bit more advanced and their soliders perhaps better trained. The southerners found themselves on the other hand, ill prepared for the mass casualties, the destruction and the devastation that war would bring not only to their men, but to the lands as well.

'There stood Thomas Jackson, looking like a stone wall.' 

Amongst the Confederates, Thomas Jackson found himself in the midst of battle against the Union. Disgusted by the way the Union fought he watched in stillness against enemy lines. As the confederate soldiers moved ahead against the Union  Thomas 'Stonewall' Jackson stood alongside his fellow Virginians. The day before the land was peaceful, quiet and farmland now he watched in horror as those same lands became a bloody battlefield, and by the time nightfall came over 900 soldiers had lost their lives.


The Henry House
Just as the Stone house found itself in the midst of the war, so did the Henry House. Jackson took up position on the family hill having no clue that the family, an 85 year old widow Judith Henry and her two grown sons still remained. Ms. Henry who was bedridden and not able to flee slept in her upstairs bedroom as the battle raged on. The morning of July 21st, a Union cannon flew through the bedroom wall, tearing off one of her feet, and inflicting several other injuries. Henry would die later that day from her wounds. She would be the only bystander causality of the battle.

The incident was memorialized by the movie North and South in 1985.

While both battles may not be as historically known as the likes of Gettysburg and other battles, nearly 5,000 soldiers lost their lives between both battles and is still known as the battle to begin the brother wars.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Five Question Fridays-10/21

Here's to another Friday!
This weeks topic: Every day tasks

1. What everyday task is more difficult than it should be for you?

Getting out of bed. And you know, come to think of it, it is getting harder and harder by the day. Then again when your alarm goes off at 430 in the morning, I don't expect it to be easy to begin with. Sigh, sleep. I miss it.

2. What everyday task do you put off for as long as possible?

Laundry. Dishes. Cleaning in general. Which is why I usually put it off as long as possible. But laundry has to be right there on the top of the list. It doesn't help the machines are on the bottom level, and our rooms are on the third level..so it makes for an easy excuse to put it off another day. Of course if I learned to actually do this on a daily basis, it probably wouldn't be such a hassle.

3. What everyday task do you perform especially well?

Does brushing and flossing count? Because yes, I am one of those have to brush my teeth and all before I go to bed and before I go anywhere. I just happen to really love the feeling of clean teeth, and knowing I take good care of them. I pride myself in doing so. My sisters used to make fun of me in this, and I am pretty sure Owl's City 'Dental Care' was written for me.

4. What everyday task has most recently been added to your every day?

Laugh at myself. At least once a day. Try to find something to smile and laugh at myself with. Believe me we ten to take life a little to serious, and while this may not be a task one would generally think of. I for one think everyone should do this at least once a day. Things aren't as bad as they seem, life goes on and you may as well have fun with it while you can.


5. What everyday task makes the least sense to you?

Commuting my two hours one way to work. I have thought about this a lot lately. Those four hours could be put to so much more. Time with family, time with finishing school. Etc. But sadly I live in an area where twenty miles equals two hours for commute. Its horrible. But its a job, and right now I will take it.

thanks to Friday5.org

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Wonderstruck.



Dear Taylor Swift-

Well you have done it kid. You now have two members of my household in love with you. Or at least some sort of aspect of you.

I hope you fondly remember my letter carefully addressed to you regarding my son's-now just about 3-love of you. I assure you he has not changed his mind and we still look forward to welcoming you into the family in the near future.

And so here is my second confession. I was stuck at the mall this past weekend when we made our way through the Macy's. I quickly tried to hurry my way through the dreaded perfume aisle. Not because any of them tempt me, but because half of the time they cause such headaches and severe reactions that my day is ruined. But of course we are getting closer to that magical time of year, and so this was not to be avoided. I was just about out of the store when I saw your bottle sitting there prettily on the counter. And while I usually never do such a thing, I admit it peaked my interest. I picked up that bottle, and oh my god. What a mistake. I fell in love right there in the middle of Macy's.

Can you do nothing wrong?

I mean my song is in love with you. Your super talented, music, writing  a killer perfume. I only fathom whats next for you. 

I quickly slide on a sample to my skin, noticing that for the remainder of that mall trip I couldn't help but continue to smell my wrist. As an added bonus, neither could my husband. And my husband is one of those I don't like high obnoxious perfume kind of guys. Well let me tell you, I think you may have just changed his mind. I wish I could describe the smell, I wish I could wrap it up. But its wonderful. Its soft, its feminine. Its sexy. Its powerful. Its all of these things wrapped into one. That is the best I got.

And surprise surprise, it gave me neither a headache nor a reaction...bonus number two right there.

I guess by now you have guessed that we did not leave that Macy's without a bottle. And your right, we didn't. I managed to grab one of the last bottles the store had. I will admit for a moment I felt a bit out of place. I am no longer a tween, and I was afraid the cashier would look at me rather strange. Thankfully she just smiled and said this was one of her favorite new scents out there. Whether this was for the sale or not, we will never know so lets just pretend she loved it as much as I did.She then made sure to draw my attention to the Justin Bieber perfume. I quickly declined. She asked if I was sure, I said yes. There was just no way. She handed me my bag and we quickly left.

I turned to my husband who looked at me in a whole new light and told him I was in love.

His response?

'Its ok dear. It runs in the family.'

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Pimp my cube.

White walls annoy the shit out of me. They are just so...

Boring.

In high school I hid them with pictures of the latest celebrity crushes, starting with Johnathan Brandis. By the time I was in my early twenties, I had covered my walls completely with Nick Carter that the boring white could not been seen at all.

Now that I am an adult I mask my annoyance of white walls at home  with paint and a lot of family pictures.

But what about at work?

When I came into my SE office back in 2008 I got my first 'cube'. Previously my 'office' has consisted of reception like areas. I was ecstatic to find that for once I had walls surrounding me, to hide me to give me the privacy that I crave. The introvert in me screamed yes! But what I wasn't thrilled with was the walls. The boring, plain drive me insane walls.

I decided right then and there that this would have to change. I took my time of course, looking around at other people's cubes. Most of which had their own personalities, half where decked out in college garb, the other half with miscellaneous products. Signs, pictures, calendars. Sports stuff. You name it.  For awhile there I thought of my own cube, an empty canvas, what would I want it to say about me?  Especially since for the most part my coworkers were either. Middle Age, overweight males. Or fresh faced, straight out of college, males.

Either way they were male, and I am pretty sure not to thrilled if they were to look at my collection of Disney snow globes all day. Thankfully, Disney wasn't the only thing I loved. And so to fit in a bit more I decked my cube out with red.

Caps red that is. Not to the point of being obnoxious-not that I thought anyway- a Caps free flag I got at a game, a couple of magnets and my bobbleheads. I threw in a couple of family pictures and snuck in two of my Disney ornaments.  One with the saying believe the other dream. Its a reminder to myself to  never give up.

Along with my collection I have corporate jargon. Group phone numbers and important memos.  And yes there is still plenty of white to be seen. I have not pushed it that far.

Never did I think my cube was over the top, obnoxious, or over kill. Believe me I have seen a couple of those. The guy in the next cube over has his entire cube from top to bottom filled with photos of his family. Nothing else can be seen.

But this past Friday as I sat there concentrating on my latest report my boss came to the kid in the cube behind me and began talking.  And though I am not one to ease drop when my name is mentioned I press my ear out a little more and try to figure out what they are discussing. Its on a move to another area. It seems as though once again we are moving cubes. They offer the kid behind me a window seat, since he has been here for over a year now and figure he deserves it-meanwhile I have been with the company for over 7-and he says if they move it over there, he won't have to look at my crap all the time.

Wait a minute....My crap??

Suddenly I start to look around. To re-evaluate and think about my 'crap' as they called it.  I mean I don't think its that bad, really?? And I don't see what the problem is with any of it. And yet the way they discussed it sounded like it was the worst they had ever seen. And how much did he actually see? The little window may give him a shot of the top of my bobble-heads but if it was seriously that big of a deal, all he had to do was ask me to move them.  Although really its not like they are that horrible. I could make him stare at snow globes, or that stuffed goose that the other coworker has, the one that she changes outfits on every holiday.  Yes he could be staring at that all day. I know several that do.

I at least I tried to make sure it was something that men would actually not care about, how many other women around the office decorated their cubes with hockey related stuff? And in a lot of ways I had a reason to post all this stuff, my husband created half of it? So in a way I was supporting him as well.

I tried to take this from the source, the kid has nothing up not even a photo of anyone.  He is in his mid twenties, barely out of college. Not married, and as far as I know doesn't have any prospects. So in that case, yes I would be a little obnoxious.

But over the top? Seriously??

Friday, October 14, 2011

Friday Five 10/14-Out of Place

What non-food items are in your refrigerator or freezer?

My son's teething ring. Which is kind of amazing since my son is way past the teething stage. I don't even remember him actually ever using it to be honest. He was never that kind of kid to need it. Why I haven't taken it out is beyond me. I keep meaning to. Really I do. 

What non-book items are on your bookshelves?

I use my bookshelves for the hardback books mainly, but scattered amongst them are pictures of friends and family, an old piggy bank that my great great grandfather made and an occasional set of keys that are plopped on them when we first walk in the door. 

What song or album in your music collection doesn’t fit in with your usual tastes?

I have such a wide range of music love that I don't think there really is a song that doesn't fit my taste. However there was a CD back in high school that I bought, it was a Christian group named Newsboys.  They had this song 'Breakfast in hell.' Yeah I was in love with it, even if I wasn't a huge Christian music fan. Needless to say I still have it, and from time to time find myself throwing on the album, which I still love to this day and jamming...

What item in your wardrobe really doesn’t match anything else?

I had these leather pants they were red and tight. They were pretty awesome. I thought I was the bomb in them. Totally not my every day sort of wear and I haven't so much as put them on in years. But they make for great fun and good times. Not to mention the look on my husbands face when I wore them.

I should pull them out again
 
What scar on your body did you receive in the unlikeliest of ways?

I have a scar right under my chin. The result of six stitches I received thanks to my older sister. While I was barely out of my toddler stage my mother was allowing her to push me in the front of the cart at a local store. When my sister decided to get cute and pull herself up on the bar, the cart flipped over. I hit my chin and bled all over the place. I don't remember any of it, but I am scared for life from it...


Questions provided by FridayFive.org

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Exhausted.

I had a mid-term last night. As I made my way through George Mason's campus I tried to concentrate on the study guide I held in my hands. Did I know what Stereotyping was?  What about a bias? But all I could think about was how exhausted I was. How I would have much rather been anywhere but in the middle of campus preparing for yet another mid-term.

I keep telling myself one of these days I won't be here. I will be done with school and never have to think about things like exams and teamwork projects ever again. Well at least in terms of school that is. And yet as I sat there cramming I wondered how much longer could I do this. Its no secret at times that I am so overwhelmed with things that I wonder if it wouldn't be easier to just say forget about it. Between being a mom, a wife, a full time employee and a part time student. Something has to give. Through in Andy's hockey schedule and it leaves little time to do much else. I know as a parent part of our job is to become jugglers. And for the most part I am not alone. But most parents aren't trying to finish up school as well.

Yes I realize this was my choice in a lot of ways. I choose to have a child before I finished. I chose to quit school a decade ago when I should have finished. I know this. But there are times I often wonder if the pay off is going to be that much better for me in the long run once I finish. I don't forsee someone coming out to me and saying well done now here is the big fat raise we promise you if you finished.  I don't see that happening in thses economic times what so ever. And while my goal all those years ago was to earn a degree I am finding it harder and harder to stay on track.

And I am almost miserable. I come home exhausted. I go to bed exhausted. Studying isn't like it used to be with trying to watch my son who is going through a I don't want to sleep stage and my husband who is pretty much never around now that hockey season has officially come.

I am told to stick with it, to finish to keep going. I don't want to look back once again and regret that I never finished.

And so I do...
But I wonder how much longer I can do it.





Monday, October 10, 2011

Rejection.

Rejection.

It is never a pretty thing. One can try to mask it, try to cover it up. We can try to ignore it and tell ourselves it doesn't matter. But not matter how you slice it, rejection is never a pretty thing. Lets just face it.

For the second year in a row I received my thanks, but no thanks email on Saturday afternoon from Disneys Moms Panel. The moment I had prepared myself for finally came, the answer not exactly being the one I wanted hurt. I smiled to my family, who waited along side me the entire journey and said it was ok. I had expected it. I wasn't getting my hopes up for anything. I went on about my routine as if it was just your average every day Saturday.

For awhile I tried to ignore the feeling that soon swallowed me. This feeling that I am just not good enough. I began to wonder if this is even what I am meant to be doing, is this feeling even worth it? I wonder why I put myself through such torture. Maybe I am just not passionate enough. Maybe I am to passionate. Perhaps I care way to much about this panel. After all, do I really need someone to tell me I can plan a Disney vacation. I do it on a daily basis, I help people. I talk about it?  People around the office and throughout my network of friends and family come to me, shouldn't this be confirmation enough?

For a moment I debate if I am even going to through the process next year. Would I be crazy to do so once again?

I realize I am writing this on pure emotion for even two days after the dreaded email I still feel that rejection email just as strong. Which is amazing since through the entire month long process of waiting I told myself I was approaching it totally different. I said I was going to be cool and casual. For the most part it worked. I wasn't waiting by that phone on Saturday, I didn't in all honesty even realize we would be hearing back on Saturday. But its a funny thing when you get that letter. Its the final word. You just aren't good enough. At least not this year. Its like that balloon deflated. All of a sudden you aren't holding your breath anymore. You find yourself thinking well now I don't have to worry about telling the boss you need certain days off. You think 12 other people at least will be doing exactly what you were doing. And the pain sort of creeps in.

And after the pain, you try to justify it, well it gives me another year to perfect it. Maybe it happened for a reason. I mean after all look what has happened to me in the past year. I still face at least one more surgery. I am going to school. A toddler. Hockey season. Perhaps its just not meant to be right now. And maybe that is ok.

And maybe one day, when the time is right. I will get through.
And it will be everything I hear about.

But not this year.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Friday Five 10/7 Booking It.

What book did you struggle to get through but is something you’re glad you’ve read?           

 Wicked. I had heard such great things about the book and so I picked it up. But I struggled the entire way. The language was hard to understand and several times I found myself rereading the same passage just for better understanding. I was glad when it ended, and this is something I find myself rarely saying with any of the books I read.  Two months ago, I went and saw the musical. Thankfully, it was a lot better than the book. And that is unusual.                                                           
What’s a book whose popularity has baffled you?                                                                
 Twilight.  I was given the book to read while I was on maternity leave.  I didn't have any desire to read it, but sitting there with a newborn who slept a lot I ran out of books fast, and it was a lot easier to just pick the book up than to go get a new one with him. So that is how I came to read it. Otherwise I think I would have been totally happy not ever reading it. Honestly I still don't know what the big fuss is all about. Yes I read the series and still find myself shaking my head thinking really? Most of my friends are in love with it. Grown women in their late twenties and early thirties are sitting here obsessed with the book. What am I missing?? What don't I get? 

If you could make everyone you know read one book, what would it be?                        

 Firefly Lane. It shows just how strong friendship can be. The good the bad and the ugly of it all. It has stuck with me for a long time...Great book, go read if you haven't. I highly recommend it.


What book have you liked less and less as time has gone by?                                                     

I don't really have an answer for this, most of the books I reread are ones that I love, and have yet to look back and think what the heck was I thinking. Perhaps one of the books I read as an adolescent, thinking the Babysitters book series. But it has been so long since I have read it that I couldn't honestly give you an answer.

What book have you loved more and more as time has gone by?                                              

Toss up between  Ashes in the Wind. or The Gamble both of which have been on my favorite book list for as long as I can remember. They were also the first romance novels, which probably has a thing to do with it it. But the Gamble I can relate to since the main character has a slight disability, so on a personal level I know what she goes through I have thought the same things. Ashes in the Wind, I just simply love the story. Enough said. I pick these books up about every other year or so and never get tired of them.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Dare to Dream-Les Miz


'Do you hear the people sing?'


Les Miz rolled into The Kennedy Center this past weekend for its 25th Anniversary special. I had first heard it was coming around back in August, when my husband and I saw Wicked. Having seen it before, years ago and watching the  London Cast-and a Jonas brother-perform the show on the local public station earlier this year from my hospital bed, when I spotted that ad in the back of the playbill I knew I had to go. Of course would we actually go? Probably not.

We had tried to get tickets for the show on Saturday night, since we had a date planned that night, but the tickets where either too expensive or sold out. With hockey season and school the odds of us going looked quite slim to none. And so I resided in the fact that seeing it once was enough for me.

Or was it?

I have to say, I love my husband. Who on Monday morning happened to be surfing Kennedy Centers website when he comes across 5th row seats, to Tuesday nights performance. This would mean I would have to miss class, but 5th row. Dead center, you couldn't ask for better. And the price was practically a  steal. I fought with myself knowing I shouldn't miss class, and yet the temptation poking me at every second. Finally my husband bought the tickets, giving me no other option. And so last night we found ourselves heading down to Washington DC, taking our seats and preparing to enjoy the night.

And we did more than enjoy it.

It had been so long since I had seen it, and they had changed a few things that for a moment it was as if I hadn't seen the show at all. The stage was amazing, I loved the new aspect of the paintings behind the cast. In most of the scenes it enhanced it and made the stage come alive. And the voices...lord I wish I could sing like that. I will say I thought there were times when the actor who played Javert was at times a hit or miss, but they were few and far between. Jean Valjean was so amazing, I thought the audience was going to give him a standing ovation when he sang Bring him home alone. I can't blame them, he totally deserved it. It was clear they knew what they were doing when they casted...Bravo to them....


I can not rave enough about the show, the cast and the scenery. Words can not express how moving of a story this is. Having never read the book I fear to now, after seeing and enjoying the show twice now I fear it would not live up the expectation I have of it.

And while they are celebrating 25 years of Dream the Dream, I say bring me 25 more years of doing so.


'Singing the song of angry men.'

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

tick tok..goes the clock.

If history should repeat itself, we are now just about a week from finding out whom has made it through to the next round of the Moms Panel.

A week.

I try not to dwell on this. I try not to concentrate or think to heavily on it. Believe me after last years disappointment in not making it to the second round, I have learned to. Nor have I even really given it much of a thought. At times it has worked. At times it hasn't.

And so I wait. Like so many of the others who are patiently, or not so rather to hear. Its a hard thing, this waiting. I feel as though thoughts have been put on hold. I walk around not thinking about it, and yet at the same time I think well if I make it then I can't go here. Which believe me is fine by me. But still. Its the whole what if scenario that I hate waiting for.

Do I expect to make it through? I don't know. At times I think, of course. And at times I think nope. Not this year. This is due to the fact that last year I swore I was going to make it in, after all I made it through the first year I tried out so why wouldn't I repeat. But how funny things happened, and I was shocked that I didn't get that congratulations email. I was bummed. Not as bummed as not making it through to the third round the first year but still I was bummed enough to not want to talk about it. To check and recheck my junk mail. Just in case.

I promised myself this year I would not think so much of it. I would not dig deep and dwell on everything. I would not think of it twenty four seven until I drove myself crazy. And should it happen then great, it would be exciting but still.

Which is why, I am sitting here stunned that in about a week I should now the fate of my application. And I am OK with it believe it or not either way. I have come to terms with things and for some reason looking at it with a whole new set of eye. Maybe it comes with time, since this is my third year of trying.  Maybe being so fresh and getting through the first year gave me that false sense of hope, and now I know and now I am prepared.

Though admitiddly I want it. I hope to get through. I want to do something I enjoy. I want to help people plan their trips. I already do it on a daily basis as it is....

Still until I get that email...

I will no think about it.

Easier said than done.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Just the two of us.

The hubs and I this past July.
Its October. One of my favorite months of the year, and yet one my most hated months as well.

You see, I love the colors that this month brings. The rich golds and the burgundys. I love knowing I can break out my sweaters and have yet to tire of wearing them. And as much as I love the heat, I admit the cool crisp mornings at this point are actually welcomed-don't worry I won't be saying this for to long-I love knowing the holidays are right around the corner. And of course I love the fact that hockey is indeed back...

And yet?

At the very same time this month means I lose my husband to the very sport I love so much. I am once again a widow after my two and a half annual marriage. This is the month that we go from husband and wife and son, to mommy and son and daddy from time to time. This is the month when my husbands mood seems to change over night. He is in full hockey mood now.  There are times during these few first weeks when he seems to put aside his family to fully concentrate on the Caps. I know this, I am prepared for this. He has been with the team now for almost six years. Six years I have learned how to handle his moods swings, his game day preparations.  I have learned to turn off football once the official start of the season comes. And while I love my husband, and I love the Caps and there is nothing more than I want for him than to be happy working for the team he loves.

Well...

There is apart of me that dreads this month at the same time. I may have had six years to prepare for this at the same time, no one can fully prepare for it.  Especially not for the first few weeks. I mean we just seemed to have started getting back in the swing of things, settled into the patterns that life brings. And yet as soon as things calm down, I have to  get myself in hockey season mode again myself. I have to prepare to be the single mom for more than nine months. I have to prepare for his late nights and early mornings. And now that Logan is getting older, I have to prepare myself for the temper tantrum that comes with being two.  I tell myself the first few weeks are the hardest. And truth be told, they are. Its getting back into the swing of things. Once November comes around, things always seem to be better.

With next weekend being the official start of the Caps season, Andy and I used the final Saturday beforehand to go on a date. It was nothing fancy. We had dinner, we spoke of a long weekend away, should he find the time between games, and gets the permission. There wasn't much talk of hockey, I know this will be the subject of dinners for many months to come, so I try to avoid it when I can. We then did one of favorite things from before Logan, we went and browsed Barnes and Noble, where we grabbed a hot chocolate and a coffee and enjoyed the smell of books...we toasted to another successful two and a half month marriage.

I know it sounds that I hate hockey, but you couldn't be farther from the truth. I love hockey. I adore the game. I can't wait to hit up the arena, to wear that red Laich jersey and sit among the fans who have become so familiar that we are family. I proudly boast about my team, and my entire outfit contains more hockey stuff than anything else. No I do not hate the game. I love the game.

There are times though, I wish I didn't lose my husband to it.

Sociable