Monday, December 31, 2012

2012: A year in review

Its hard to believe that its the last day of 2012. Sometimes I wonder where the year has gone, and at other times it seems as though it has been an exceptionally long year.  This was the year the world was supposed to end, but as you can see, we survived. And we have made it through. As we end the year,  I like to reflect on the past years events, the good the bad and the somewhere in between. So without further ado...

January had me ringing in the new year at my home after my third surgery. I did a lot of nothing but sleep during the month and was able to spend some quality time with Logan.

February, saw me return to work, Logan turned three and I took him to his first ever hockey game. I don't know who had a blast more, me or him.

March brought about my first international trip, to visit my brother in law and sister in law. We spent ten days across the pond in Germany, Paris and London. It was a trip of a lifetime and one I will never forget. I would love to say I am going to get back, but at the moment I will be happy just getting over there once.

April was a chance for Andy and I to get away to celebrate his birthday in NYC for the weekend, and took him to his first hockey game as a fan since he started work with the Caps. 

May we celebrated six years of marriage and turned 32. Neither was celebrated to heavily, but I was fine with that.

June saw a derachio (sp) in the area, a nasty quick storm that caused a lot of flooding and power outages...that weekend was interesting to say the least.

July was spent doing our annual trip to Disney, and for the first time Logan seemed to actually get a lot of what was going on. He continues to talk about it, and has even begun saving his own money for our next trip. Seriously this is one smart kid.

August seemed to be an in between period as we were getting ready for Burgandy's wedding and me heading back to school after a semester off. We went and saw Kenny Chesney, again my annual trip.

September saw a fabulous wedding of Burgandy and Jamie in Whilmington NC. The wedding, the venue and the entire event was not only beautiful. but it was a fabulous labor day weekend.  This month also saw the birth of one of my bff's first child. 

October my parents celebrated 40 years of marriage. They serve as a great reminder to what a couple can achieve if they stick through things and work things out. Its not always going to be easy. We got off pretty lucky with Hurricane Sandy, it could have been a lot worse than it was. My building however is still trying to recover from some of the damage that Sandy left behind.

November we celebrated my little sisters 30th birthday, Thanksgiving with the Z side of the family and the fact that my medical bills were all paid off. Yes this was very exciting for us.

December is now coming to an end. celebrated the holidays with both sides,  Logan met Santa for the first time as this was his first year he was actually willing and interested in him. And we paused to remember those that were lost during the Sandy Hook tragedy.

With everything that has gone on during 2012, I look forward to what 2013 has in store....

Happy New Years Eve!

Friday, December 28, 2012

Five Question Friday 12/28-Sum

Well, we have arrived to the last Friday of 2012. Already. And so this will be the last Friday Five of the year....This weeks theme: Sum.

1. Who stands out among people you met in 2012?

Actually my professor in the Psychology class I took this fall. She was just really involved and always willing to help out. Plus she has a son the same age as my own, so things could be related in that way.

2. What new interest did you discover in 2012?

Actually, baking. I began trying things out due to a food allergy, and it has turned into something I have actually enjoyed. While I wouldn't say I am expert some of the cookies and substititons have been amazing, the hubs hasn't minded to much either.

3. In what way was 2012 better than 2011?

No surgeries..Enough said.

4. What small, symbolic item might serve as a good souvenir for 2012?

I bought a Mickey Mouse necklace from Disney this past summer and have yet to take it off, I suppose this would be as close to a year souvenir as any.

5. Many years from now, what song, when you hear it on the radio, will remind you most of 2012?

Probably Call Me Maybe, because it seemed to be everywhere this year..... not to mention it seemed like everyone did there own rendition, and reenacted it out on youtube, my favoriet though was the Harvard baseball teams

And there you have it, the final Friday Five of the year....

Thursday, December 27, 2012

What a difference a year makes.

One year ago this morning I was waking up, grabbing everything I could and putting things together last minute and preparing to head into surgery number three for the year. I was sitting in the triage room watching Judge Judy and talking to nurses. I was signing my life away as they told my husband the risks of what could go wrong.

A year ago this evening I found myself waking up in an empty hospital room, my colon for the most part gone. Or at least a good chunk of it anyway.


Somewhere my husband along with the rest of my family was waiting below in a waiting room. I was dazed and confused, while I knew what had gone on, I was alive, I still didn't know just how much had gone on, if they had been able to clean things up. How much they had taken out this time.

A year ago today.

Its funny just how vivid these memories still are. How I can remember waking up in that hospital room wondering where everyone was, as I was told they would be waiting. I can remember watching Judge Judy and how I looked at the clock and thought 9 in the morning was way to early to be watching her. The helper who reminded me a lot of my grandmother, she grabbed me an extra blanket when she saw I was shivering so hard I was shaking. The nurse who loved my fun socks-for the record they were moose ones my mother in law got me for xmas.-I remember it all.

To this day there is still things that brings it all back. The smell of the bath wash I used for instance. Or the jeans that I wore into the hospital, I swear still holds that hospital smell. How my nose still stuffs up has never been quite right.

And in the year since, recovery has begun, I have noticed things 'move' a lot more easily. Though I still have to remain close to a restroom. I still don't eat like I used to. I am doing good if I eat a full meal. OK I can't remember the last time I actually ate a full meal since the beginning of 2011. I do however eat snacks to try and help. If I eat to much, I hurt. If I eat to little, I am weak still, my energy levels wave. My scar remains still, and I assume I shall always have it as a reminder of what the year brought.  And just last week, I was given the go ahead to have another child if we should choose to. We have yet to make the call, but it was a piece of good news since we were wondering if the thought of another kid would even be possible, or would the surgeries put an end to everything. 

I can't say that a year out has made me less nervous of it happening again. For there in the back of my mind, no matter how many days go by, no matter how much they tell me, a little part of me is wondering, nervously if this will ever happen to me again. There is no guarantee I suppose. After all they told me two times before that it would never bother me, and it happened still. Twice.  Still I would like to think.

That with each passing day, things will get a little easier. And the nightmares of 2011 will be a thing of the past.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Celebrate good times.

My sisters and I, Hill, Burg...Christmas Eve
Overall it has been a very nice Christmas. Even if it was on the bit on the busy side.

Sunday was spent at the in laws, where we munched and talked and laughed throughout the day. The boys-this includes Logan and my two nephews-enjoyed the umpteenth  round of The Polar Express and Prep and Landing before we gathered around the tree to open presents. For the first time, Logan got to be Grandma's little helper and passed around the gifts like a true champ. The other two were a little more anxious to get to things, but we managed to get through all of them. As I had said in a previous post, this was a bit odd since his parents were heading out of town on Christmas day, the Eve' was moved up a day.

We spent most of Monday being absolutely lazy during the day. There was a little mix of snow in the morning and while it didn't stick it was pretty enough to be happy. And just as Anderson and I were commenting on the long day, it was time to pack it up and head to my aunt and uncle's house, who had invited us over in lieu of the usual X-mas eve celebrations.  But the excitement of the next day was to much for little man, who feel asleep on the way home. Thankfully, we had already put out Santa's cookies, just in case.

Now I usually love Christmas, but this year I was just super excited. Logan is at the fun age where everything is magical, and enthralled with the whole thing And even if I am an adult, and I know all about how everything really works. Well I too was just as excited for the morning. So much so that I found it hard to sleep. And when Logan came in the morning, it was I who screamed Santa came. Logan ran down and couldn't believe his eyes. Anderson and I watched on as he unwrapped-and I mean every piece of paper had to be off-gift after gift and yelled...'oh this is awesome.' after each and every one. Afterwards he played while Andy and I exchanged the gifts to one another.

Christmas #4 came at my parents house that evening. Where if we didn't  get it, my parents sure did for Logan. I swear the kid made out like a bandit between everyone. Again the rounds of this is awesome kept creeping up. I loved how much he thanked everyone and I loved watching him get excited about everything. As we gathered up a sleepy Logan I hated to think that another Christmas was already over.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas!

My apologies for being a little late to the party, but from my family to yours, we wish you and your family a very merry post holiday blog will come later. But for now enjoy the last of the holiday hours while there still is time.

Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

And so it begins...

On a normal Christmas we have the same holiday tradition and routine. Christmas Eve is spent with Anderson, and his side of the family. Either at his parents house or at his brother and sister in laws house. We spend the entire day there usually heading over just before lunch and staying through dinner. On a good year, if everything goes right we then head to my aunt and uncles for a little dessert and quality time with them.  Its usually a draining day, as the running around can often be hectic and exhausting. But its worth it.

On Christmas we now find ourselves doing what every other parent does. In front of our own tree, watching as Logan opens up what he gets from Santa. After everything is opened he goes off and plays while Andy and I exchange. We then get up, head to Ihop and have a quiet breakfast before heading to my parents to enjoy the holidays with my side.

Yes its a very busy two days.

This year, Anderson's parents are going out to Minnesota, leaving on Christmas morning. The festivities where pushed up a day, and we were invited to enjoy the full dinner celebration with my aunt and uncle tomorrow. Meaning that there is one more day of celebration between the families. The holidays got that much longer.

Logan for his part, is enjoying it. Though is quite confused with this whole well when does Santa actually arrive as we are used to heading over to their parents for Christmas Eve...but I suspect that come Tuesday morning he will have the whole thing down to an art. And he will find that this whole extended holiday thing, that much more wonderful.

Until the let down of the fact that its over comes crashing in.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Five Question Friday 12/21: Its not the end of the world

 Well here it is, Friday December 21, 2012. According to the Mayans-or anyone else who believed it-the world was or is supposed to end 6:12 in the morning. Seeing that it is now fifteen minutes til eleven, I am not holding my breath. But hey the day is still young. Until then, here are my Friday five. Theme: Its not the end of the world.

1. What’s something gross you’ve seen or tasted recently?

I had my first attempt at making gingerbread cookies this season. While it was fun process, and the end results turned out quite fabulous, some of the ingredients (the molasses for one thing) was just nasty looking, or tasting should I say when it stood alone. Much better in things I must say.

2. What movie this holiday season are you most looking forward to?

Les Miz. Its my favorite musical, so naturally I was excited to hear it was coming out into a musical movie version. I just hope it lives up to expectation and that it is just as good as I think its going to be. I fear it won't and then I will be left disappointed.

3. What makes one photographer better or worse than any other?

We had this debate when we were engaged. The hubs and I that is. Mainly because I really didn't know anything about photography at the time. But for me, if the person knows you and can capture that magic, the moment and the feeling without having to actually be told what to do, well that makes all the difference in the world. For instance, the one we use most frequently  has known me since I was a child, she knows about my disability and yet  not once do the pictures portray it as something major. I barely notice it. And to me, that makes all the difference.

4. What specific, annual part of this season most makes you feel all the positive feelings again?

Watching my son get excited. The belief is back, the magic and the moment. Its like for a moment everything is ok, and childhood is back. I love that about the season...and its something I miss personally.

5. What are your thoughts on eggnog?

Will admit to never having eggnog, which means I can't fully answer this question. But first thought I would assume its pretty nasty. And I don't think I would want to try it anyway.

This being the Friday before, I would like to wish you all a merry christmas, and a happy holiday..

Thursday, December 20, 2012


Two days before the holiday break around the office is usually a festive time. Coworkers being merry, winning door prizes from the random party and people sliding out the door to attend their children's concert or to do last minute shopping. Even a few people actually trying to do work, of the last minute kind. Cramming in whatever they can before they too take off on their holiday.

But this year, it just seems different. Around the office their is a hush, an almost eerie quietness. Those of us who have kids try not to think about Friday, or speak much of it. For myself, it is still to painful to do so. Even blogging at the moment seems kind of wrong. At our annual Christmas dessert reception several people were not present saying they just did not feel up to it this year. I did not go for other reasons, but I understood where they were coming from.

I can only hope that with time things will slowly start getting back to normal, whatever normal may be. I know things won't ever be exactly the way they were. I know for years to come we will be marking the time the way we often do with 9/11...

And this saddens me.

Even taking an exam on Tuesday night was different. Our professor had a hard week alone on her own the previous week with both a grandmother passing away and her mother having a brain aneurism two days later. She had canceled the last class of the semester because of this. She came in to distribute the exam and broke down in the middle of it. Her final words were. 'I don't know just something, you don't mess with ones mom and you don't mess with kids.' Whether she was referring to Fridays events is unclear. Still she left the class flooding with tears...

Try to take an exam after that.

I have not watched much of the news still, though I wish they would leave the families alone. At times I think it is awfully selfish of the media to think they deserve to be in on every private moment of this town's life. These families are dealing with enough. The town is dealing with enough. I don't think they should have to deal with answering questions five minutes after they attend the funeral of their childs/sisters/ mothers. I would ask them to respect their privacy, let them grieve in peace. A daily reminder is not going to help the matter.

And as I sit here, my son is preparing for his first ever little show at the pre-school. It breaks my heart that I am not there to see. After all, if nothing more the shooting taught me how fleeting life can often be. But work has gotten in the way, and I have been pulled to do a thousand receptionist coverage. If I had any umf I too would have called in sick, faked an appointment or tried to gotten off early. But for other reasons that I will not disclose at the moment, I know I should be thankful I have a job, and am doing what I can for the moment to keep it. And so I sit behind a desk, and hope that my son is his little happy self at the moment singing at the top of his lungs to Jingle bells, batman smells....

And I hope he knows, I would be there if I could.

Monday, December 17, 2012

A little kindness

Ah the DC metro system. It is often known for the notorious malfunctioning issues, operators falling asleep on the job and the ever sky rocketing fare hikes that come out of nowhere to maintain what most of the riders have no clue, but rise they do.  It known for the muggings, and the safety factors that they always question.  What it is not known for however is the good that comes out of it. Or perhaps people don't actual respond or report the good thing.

But this afternoon, during the busy rush plus hour while busy shoppers came and went, and workers hustled to get home, I watched as someone did such a small act of kindness that to most paid no attention to. Yet I find that during these times, perhaps someone should mention it. As we walked to the escalators we were stopped in our tracks thanks to a non working escalators. Of course we could walk up them, but good luck if you wanted to take the lazy route. I lined myself up behind a young girl with a suitcase that weighed more than myself. Whether she was coming home, visiting for the holidays or just starting out I do not know but I crawled behind her as we waited our turn. And I watched and waited with each painful step as she struggled to drag the large suitcase one step at a time. She was struggling the higher she went. The effort was written all over her face. And that's when it happened. A gentlemen, a stranger in fact didn't so much say a word but took the suitcase and walked with her all the way up until they reached the stairs. When he pointed to the next set she declined saying she was all set. He walked away without so much as another word. She said thank you and took off the other direction.

For most this act as mentioned went unnoticed and little thought of. But after a weekend that we just happened, and after all the crap that metro puts us through on a daily basis, it was nice to see that despite everything there still is good out there.

We just have to look a little deeper to find it.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

In remembrance.

 For the past forty eight hours I have gone through a roller coaster of emotions, sometimes so powerful that I have completely lost it. I have sat in silence to stunned to put into words for the events of Friday. Sometimes, words truly aren't enough.

For the better part of the day yesterday I avoided the media, tv, internet and twitter even. The pain of everything was just to much to take. Instead I focused on my son. We had planned to spend the Saturday doing festive holiday stuff anyway and I was not going to change my plans, perhaps if nothing more the shooting at Sandy Hook taught me how fleeting life truly can be. How to cherish the time, and each moment taking nothing for granted. And so we went out, we had lunch at our favorite hole in the wall. As we entered Logan saw a man crying on the front page. He asked why he was sad. And while I know I could have tried to explain, I didn't want to. There are some things that I shouldn't have to explain to a three year old. Its not that I want to keep him in the dark, but I wanted him to enjoy the day. As we passed by, he said well if he is crying, he must be sad. And this makes me sad mommy. Maybe I could give him a hug. He then asked if I thought that would make him less sad.

I told him I didn't know.

We went and made a Rudolph at Build a Bear workshop. He has yet to let go of it. We went and saw Santa, this is his first year he actually wanted to see him. We made gingerbread cookies and had a blast laughing at the silliness of everything.  I tried not to think about the shooting, at least for a moment anyhow. None of which worked as I sat there in the back of my mind thinking twenty families aren't doing this. Twenty families didn't wake up to having their son/daughter come running in the room and snuggle in the morning. I didn't even care that it was bright and early.

And I felt guilty.

For having a little bit of happiness when families up north couldn't.  For enjoying a Saturday before the holidays, when they couldn't. The holidays, how different they will be now for many this year. And for years to come.  I felt guilty that I stood staring at presents when for some, there are presents hidden that will never be opened. Clothes that will never be worn again. Siblings that will be left to cope with the loss of one of their own for the rest of their lives.

I felt guilty that for me, tomorrow is another day. Its the same old same old.

And yet for them.
Nothing is the same.

Nothing will ever be.

Friday, December 14, 2012


I had this blog post all thought out. And then the shooting of an elementary school happened this morning in CT, and all of a sudden, the blog post just didn't seem all that important. My heart, my head and my entire body just ache in grief......and at the moment.

This saying, says it all....

Until further.

Go home, hug your loved ones.
And be grateful for what you have. 

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Holiday cheer.

We are now halfway through-well just about anyway-the month of December. By this point in the game I have normally received quite a few of those holiday cards people decide to send out. But this year, well this year the count thus far is 2.

Which led me to start thinking, is the tradition of the holiday card dying? I know so many who have said they don't have the time anymore, nor the patience to sit down and write out cards, address them and send them out. I get it, after all  I myself opted  to do the picture and the standard holiday greeting already printed out. And I admit, I have done this for the past two years. In part because now that I have a son, well I decided to set aside one for us, saving them for reasons I can't explain really. But maybe one day, we will sit back and look at the cards and our family through the years. a way of remembering I suppose. I do however realize by doing this makes the cards a lot less personable. Which is why I sat in my living room this past weekend debating if I should write a note as well, but we had already 'written' a message on the cards and Anderson didn't feel the need to do any more. So I left them just the way they are.

Do I feel guilty that I did? Perhaps, but it sure saved my hand from the whole hand cramping thing.

And while they may not be as personable as they used to be, I tell myself at least I sent it out, and its better than writing the standard happy holidays on every card anyway. I sent them out this morning, with a smile feeling that sense of accomplishment for getting them out, even if nothing more people should be receiving the lovely little holiday mail from yours truly.

This all being said, I do not expect to get hoards of cards anyway. I am not one to send out, just to receive. This is not the purpose of me sending out a card to you. But of course now that I say this, I will probably come home to five in my mailbox. After all, it is only the 11th of December, two weeks to go before the big day. So no one is late, and there is still plenty of time. It was just rather surprising to find that I had only gotten two as in years past they come the moment the 1st of December hits around the house.

And those two that I have received, look awfully lonely hanging on the wall. 

Maybe things really aren't what they used to be. Maybe time slips away from people, the holiday rush comes a lot faster than we realize. We have kids, we go on with our lives. And the good old days when people sent snail mail seem to be fading in the past.

I suppose it was only a matter of time before the holiday cards follow suit.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Five Question Friday-12/7: Themeless.

Happy Friday everyone! And happy December. That is right, its getting to be-alright so it already is-that time of the year once more. This weeks Friday five, doesn't have a its themeless. Enjoy.

 1. You know those delicatessens that name sandwiches after famous people? What would be the ingredients of the sandwich named after you?

Oh would probably have to be turkey with lettuce, onions, green peppers and cucumber on it. Nothing more...and it would be named the EC.

2. What’s your favorite part of staying in a hotel?

I love unlocking that door for the first time, and checking it out. Usually this means I am on vacation and if I am just checking it out, then this means I have a whole lot of time to not think about work. Dif one of my favorite things.

3. What was the last book you read, and how was it?

I read The Kingsmaker Daughter by Philippia Gregory. It is about the cousins war, and the fourth in the series.  And it was actually really good. I loved it. Which means if asked, yes I would totally recommend it should you be into that sort of thing.

4. What’s something super-unhealthy you’ve recently eaten?

Pretty sure a bowl of ice cream classifies as this, more so if your allergic to it. But sometimes, and on Wednesday night in particular, well the enjoyment of the bowl was well worth the couple of hours of discomfort. Sometimes a girl just needs it.

5. What do you do with all those Christmas cards with photos of friends and their kids?

I try to keep them, but more often than not, I don't. I do however try to cut them out and save them for awhile. I have a couple hanging up, especially if they are close friends and family. And I have started saving one of ours each year. Should be a fun way to look back throughout the many years to come and remember.

And there you have it. My Friday Five. May you all have a lovely weekend.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012


Hello, my name is Aleisha and I am an introvert. No I do not find this something to be ashamed of, or embarrassed about. Several years ago, in my younger days I may have, would have probably even apologized for this. But now, I have gotten a better understanding of it, and have simply taken it as part of who I am.

For most the word introvert means someone who is forever by themselves, quiet, and would rather be left alone. And while this may be true to a point, it is more than that. It means finding the motivation, the strength and all from inner factors, rather than exterior. And while yes I do enjoy quiet time, a good book with nothing but myself it does not mean I can't handle myself. It means that while I may not have ions of friends, the friendships that I do, tend to mean a lot more to me. It means I don't have to fill every moment with words. In fact sometimes I just enjoy sitting in silence.

That being said, my introvertedness does explain a lot. Like why I hate parties, and group gatherings. OK its not just that I hate them. Its just I feel so.....uncomfortable. Awkward. I get antsy and just don't enjoy them. Really I don't . Give me a conversation one on one, or with two and I am fine. But the more you add, the less I want to be there. This probably explains why I am sitting here typing rather than attending a going away party for a co-worker.

It explains why at times I give off the whole I don't care vibe, even though I do. More than you would know. Its just at times, that's the way I roll. I get this, even if you don't.

And it explains the reason, I have no desire to act, be on stage. Yet give me a pen and paper and I would be glad. Just as long as I am not fully out there, then that is even better. Strange? Perhaps. But the thought of getting on that stage is sort of frightening really.

It explains why, when I am around certain people, especially those that are extremely extroverted. I feel, drained. They drain me. They exhaust me. As if they are sucking every little ounce of energy I have right out of me. Seriously, I know quite a few people that will do this to me. And the time I spend with them is painful almost.
This does not mean I do not enjoy being around people. Because I do. And if you get to know me, and I am comfortable with you, then I am more than willing to open up and let you in. Sometimes you just may need to be a little patient with me.

I say this, because its getting to be that time of the year again. When the office decides to have pot luck after pot luck, and a holiday dessert reception. And while its great to be invited, I smile and politely decline. Or I show up, sit in the back and just stick to myself. And to some this may seem odd, and unfriendly. But this is not the case. I am trying my best, and have been trying to work on this for such events. At times it works, and at times it doesn't.

 I know I am not the only one. I know there are several out there like myself. And that is OK. Just as much as its OK that those that are the extreme extroverts find themselves in need to be the center of attention. For myself I think I shall let them have their fun, while I sit and observe the whole thing.

Because from where I sit, and in my eyes. Its more enjoyable.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Welcome December!

And just like that we have reached the final month of the year. Mom was right about one thing, the years tend to fly by faster the older you get.

I only wish I had listened.

Back then, the holidays seemed so far away. Even if Christmas was only three weeks away from Thanksgiving, as a kid. Man it seemed like forever away.  I sat there counting down the days with anticipation. Opening that candy advent calender, sometimes skipping a day or two on purpose because that meant I could have two pieces of candy. And I wondered how the days seemed to get longer instead of shorter...

But now, as an adult I sit here, on the second full day of December, I have bought one present. One. And that is for a nephew. Not my own son, or my husband. But a nephew. And I know I have twenty three days until the actual day comes. I am sitting here thinking shit. I have twenty three days. I also have three full weeks of work a final exam. A son to entertain.  I have a Holiday pot luck that I need to find something to make for it And where in the world am I going to find the time to fit in shopping?? Yea that time of feeling like the holidays were so far away, suddenly seems so far away. Now I just feel like the weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas fly by way to fast. Leaving me with little time to play catchup.

Lets just hope we make it.