Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013: A year in review.

Well here we are. On the eve of a new year. Amazing isn't it? I mean here we were, celebrating the end of 2012 yesterday. Or so it seems shall I say. But yes, we have come to the end. I can't say 2013 was spectacular in any given way. Then again it wasn't truly horrible either. It was, a lot of ups, and a lot of downs. but not over the top on either one of them. 
But this all being said, it is always a fun look back at the year that was. From my standpoint of the world anyhow. 
So lets begin shall we?


The year started off with a bang. Literally. As the day after we rang in the new year, my father had a transformer blow up in his face, burning most of  his head, and his cornea's. Miraculously he made a full recover though if you were to ask my mom, his mind is not all together there anymore. But his eye sight is in-tacked and he was able to go back to work two weeks later. I will say, as his guardian until my mother arrived, there is nothing scarier than getting your fathers things handed over to you and signing off on paperwork in the event of anything happening. It is truly something I don't want to see happen any time soon. But I was happy to be there when he needed me, as he has been there for me.

It was also a big month in hockey, as the lockout ended (seems so long ago now) bringing our beloved sport back, and we were more than OK with a short season by this point.


Logan turned four. It was a pretty big deal to him. To me, it is a bittersweet as I enjoy watching him grow up, knowing his isn't going to be my little boy for very much longer is a hard pill to swallow. But I love every step of the journey his childhood is taking me on. We also got him out on skates for the first time, a little behind in times, but still had a blast none the less.


With our tax refund came paying off two bills. While they were some of the minor ones, I must admit it felt pretty amazing seeing that balance go to zero. Here is to hoping we can do the same, or come close to it in 2014. No guarantee's. But we are hoping to anyhow.
At work, changes were being made as our company began a huge reorganization phase. Most of us spent every Tuesday/Wednesday of the month on pins and needles waiting for slips that either came or didn't. I managed to survive somehow and made it out of the month while still nervous and unsure of the future,  with a job. Sadly, some of my friends didn't.


We spent the first full weekend celebrating Anderson's birthday up at the cabin in West Virginia with his family. The rest of the month was consumed with a group project for my management class, it was quite the pain, but we managed to get it done. Logan's push for a sibling truly began. Though he had been requesting one for over a year. He decided to name them. He has asked on a daily basis pretty much since.
 It was also a sad month in the nation as the Boston Marathon saw terror come to it. Anderson and I watched and was glued to television for the week as we watched the quest for the two gentlemen responsible. And we listened on the road as the caught them....It still remains a sad moment in deed.


 A busy month, as I turned 33, and we celebrated our 7th wedding anniversary. Logan finished preschool and was given the go ahead to start Pre-K in the fall. After we boarded him up and took off for a long memorial day weekend of celebrating at our favorite place and home away from home. STAR WARS weekend at Disney was a blast, despite its packed stages. Logan realized he was tall enough to ride his beloved Star Tours and half the other rides, and there was firsts on many accounts. It remains one of my favorite memories of the year.


If May was busy, June seemed to slow down for us. As I don't remember much of it. Summer began, the days got longer. We realized how smart Logan was as he recited song lyrics he had heard one time before. He gets this from me apparently. But other than that, the month was uneventful.


July was a fabulous month around the world as we awaited the arrival of the Prince/Princess. I had placed my bets back in April, as a long shot...and wouldn't you know I nailed the exact date. 
Logan spent time with my sister and my mom down in North Carolina for a good long while and had a blast doing things any four year old would. He also had his first dentist appointment and believe it or not, actually enjoyed the experience. Yes, he laughed and flirted with the assistance the entire way.


Much like July, August was pretty fabulous. And it was trip filled. We headed back down to the world once more this year, and spent a wonderful week down there. Bonus, my brother in law and sister in law came to visit us for the first half. My favorite moment had to be watching little man and uncle Elliott race down the halls like stormtroopers!!!
Got to enjoy my first singles weekend in years, as Andy took Logan down south for the weekend. It was exceptionally strange. And very quiet. While I enjoyed it I don't know if I could do it all the time. 
At the end of August I got to live out something I had been planning for years. I finally got to see Kenny Chesney perform up in Boston, a lifelong dream for me.  Seeing him in the city I loved, on closing night of the show none the less is something that blew me away. There was definitely some sort of magic in the Boston air. And I couldn't have asked for a better weekend, nor was it more fitting of timing as he announced he would not be touring in 2014.


Not one of my favorite months of the year. In fact it was pretty hard. As here in the Navy Yard area, we saw the shooting on base. My work went on lock down for several hours, made national news  and spent most of that week in a fog. In the end  my office lost two people, plus a client.  It is not a day that I would like to remember but know I will forever be associated with it. I know I was not the same person there for a good chunk of the month, and don't remember most of it to be honest. I ended up seeking counseling for it. While it helped, I do not wish it on anyone.


Found the biggest news of the year as I moved along in the process of my quest to be a Disney Parks Moms Panelist. It was round 2 at this point, but after the blur of September it was a much needed happiness. Pretty sure I was on cloud nine.
 I also managed to make it to over 73,000 words in a piece I have been working on this past year. It was quite an accomplishment as I have never reached anything passed 50,000. I also think this is the best piece I have ever written and am excited to see where it takes me.


Saw both my joy and excitement of making it to Round 3 of the same Disney Parks Mom Panel and the heartbreak of not making it through to actually becoming a panelist for 2014. The month was an emotional roller coaster of high and low. But I will say I was thrilled to be a part of the magic. I made some incredible friendships and the journey taught me a lot. And you can rest assure I am not giving up and will be back come next fall to do it all again. And yes I am determined. I will make it through one day.


Which leaves us with this last month of the year. I kept myself busy so not to think about the DMP spending time instead with little man and Anderson. We enjoyed a special weekend making cookies, and visiting Santa before hitting up Build-A-Bear and light seeing at night. The holidays were fabulous and actually long this year which was even better.

Looking back it has been quite a year. And what will 2014 hold? My quest to being a moms panelist for 2015? A new job? Finishing that project I have been working on? The year awaits.
And anything is possible.


Monday, December 30, 2013

Nick and Stacy: The great sibling campaign 2013

Have you met Nick and Stacy? Neither have I. But according to Logan they are his brother and sister. And he has been campaigning pretty hard lately for them to appear. And by this I mean he is going around to everyone from my parents, to our favorite waitresses to even perfect strangers telling them all about the two. Yes, he has named them. Which of course leads many to ask the question, are we expecting? After all if you listen to my four year old son, we should be having one within in the next three weeks. 

For the record, we aren’t.

Now I expected to feel the pressure from my family, from friends even the occasional coworkers who seem to be questioning on a daily basis anymore. But my own son? Not so much. And I don’t know how to deal with it. Not anymore anyway. This was made even clearer when Anderson and I were throwing out some of Logan’s old baby things; the swings, the stroller, all things we loved and cherished so much. As I watched Andy walk out the door his hands full, it was not I who stopped him, but little man himself crying out to stop because that was for the other babies. He asked me again when they were going to get here. He wants them to come and play. 

It just about broke my heart.

This is also not the first time Nick and Stacy have been brought up. In fact they have been brought up by him for the better part of two years now. He sat me down one evening and told me he wanted to have a conversation about a brother or sister, if it is a brother it shall be Nick, if it’s a girl I would like Stacy. In those exact words. At two, this frightened me. At four I wonder how he even knew the word conversation.  I have to say I pity the party he runs against should he decide to run for anything. He is if nothing more, pretty persistent. He also puts on one hell of a great battle campaign. Believe me, it has not been easy to tell him no.

No, we have not ruled out the thought of another child. If you were to ask me I would tell you I would love to have another one. But things get in the way, unexpected major surgeries, recover time. School. Before you know it one year turns into the next. And your son still remains an only child.

I do not know what the future holds; I do not have an answer at the moment one way or another.
But if you ask Logan it better include a sibling…

Or two

Friday, December 27, 2013

A very merry little holiday

Turns out, we all had been very good this year. And this holiday was a very merry little one. Little man seemed to be exceptionally good as he got his first big boy game system in the form of a 2DS. Yes he was pretty thrilled with it. Santa of course did not seem to think game systems was all he needed, and that he needed some actual play toys as under the tree, Transformers, Power Rangers and Lego sets were also left.

Yes he was very very happy.

As for Andy and I, we seemed to actually do well with one another and both were very excited to see what we had. I am thrilled with my sweaters, that fit and I actually like. And Anderson was surprised with his Dickens Village house that I managed to score. Yes. It was a very good holiday indeed.

We are enjoying the time off spending it between family, and friends. It has been super nice.

I know this isn't much of a post, I had a lot of things to write, blog about and get to. But I find being off, and spending time with Logan seems to be more important at the moment....

I hope you all had a very merry holiday yourself. Now time to start thinking about those New Years resolutions....

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas.

This day is not a day to blog and be by the computer. But to spend with family, friends and anyone we love. That being said, I wanted to wish everyone a very happy Christmas. May this day be a reminder of what it was like as a kid, and all the wonder that came with it. So from my house to yours, Merry Christmas and a happiest of holidays.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

An elf story.

Well I have done it. I have fallen victim to the whole overdo it when it comes to our Elf on the Shelf aka Puck.

Now I know I am by no means the only one. But you see I swore I wouldn't. I swore I would just move the creepy little elf around the house and have Logan find him.  It was easier that way you see. But then, well I saw one idea, and then another. And I thought well how fun would it be. Maybe just once I would do something creative. But we all know what happens next.

One becomes two, and then two becomes three and before long you think you may as well just keep with the whole shenanigan. Besides one look at Logan's face when he saw what Puck was up to, and well I was a goner.

And so my once quickly turned into more than just once and has turned the creepy little elf into a member of the family of some sorts as every night Anderson and I sit down to discuss what we are going to do with Puck for the following day. Would he be swimming in a tub of marshmallows, or hanging by a candy cane? On a shelf or under a bed? The possibilities seem endless anymore. As we speak he sits in our guest bedroom playing his umpteenth round of Candy Land while I try to come up with what he will be up to in the morning.

Maybe the whole concept is ridiculous. Some say a little creepy. And while yes I admit it is a little of both at the same time, Puck represents magic and fun and everything that the season is about.


And as ridiculous as it is, if emerging a creepy elf in a sink full of marshmallows and telling my son he is taking a bath makes him believe just a little more, and a little longer.

Well then, by all means you better believe I will do it.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Friday Five-12/20/2013: Pages.

It has been a while since I have done my usual Friday Five. Then again it has been quite a busy little while. But this shall not be ignored. And so I bring you my five question Friday once again. This weeks topic is Pages

1. What book’s pages seemed to fly by as you read them?

Pretty much anything by Susan Mallery. Her books always seem to just put me in a really great mood. As much as I love a good in depth, thought provoking and sometimes emotional read, Susan's books are fun, and entertaining and always make me loose myself in the story. And sometimes, everyone needs a little lighthearted good old fashioned love story to make a day.

2. What’s a book you were pretty sure you would dislike but turned out to be great?

I just finished the 19th Wife by David Ebershoff in all honesty I had no idea what to expect as Religion is something I usually shy away from, in regards to reading. But I picked it up a local used book store for free with some store credit and it actually turned in to one of my favorite reads of the year. Not going to lie. I thoroughly enjoyed every aspect of it. And while I may not agree with a lot of the subject, polygamy I felt I walked away with a deeper understanding of what it was, and gained a lot more knowledge of the Mormon faith. 

3.  What book’s main character would you fall in love with if you knew him or her in real life, and why?

There are two right off the bat that I can think of but since it asked for one and only one I would have to say

Scott Gandy from The Gamble- I first read this book in high school. I was a quiet shy teenager who was picked on and made fun of. I also have a disability. The main character did as well, and despite everything the gentleman fell in love with her. He looked beyond what was on the outside and her limitations to see and show her her potential. As a girl who had never had a guy it gave me a lot of hope.

4. Who’s the author you’ve read the most books by?

Toss up between Ann Martin who wrote the Babysitters Club series and Jude Deveruex, which I spent far to many nights in college reading her books. Both I have read all of.

5. What’s a really long book you enjoyed?

The Winter Sea by Susana Kearsley...again it was a surprise read, at the beginning of this year and one I fell in love with. Highly recommend for anyone looking for something different.

And there you have. A return to my Friday Five. May you have a fabulous weekend and enjoy the holidays.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Why I don't like buffets.

If your office is anything like mine this week, it is filled with holiday cheer. Christmas parties seem to be on every floor, every day all week long. Yes. Happy Holidays indeed.  And while many love them, and look forward to them after all there are some pretty incredible raffles going on. At least in my company there is. When it comes down to it? I am not a fan.
The main reason: Buffets.
Now I know to most, including my husband buffets are amazing. So much to choose from!  Can’t make your decision, grab a hodgepodge and go. A little of everything surely doesn’t hurt anyone right?
But for me, buffets are simply a pain in the…well you know what. 

Food Allergies.

Yes I will fully admit my food allergies will not kill me. Rather it means I will be in the bathroom, breaking out into hives and very well feeling like shit for the rest of the afternoon. It means being picky and having to explain why I can’t eat that piece of beef to the same person over and over.   It means there is bound to be someone who looks at me and thinks, no wonder you are skinny. I would trade my food issues for a chance to eat that steak without running for the hills any day.

The whole one hand thing.

I do not like to complain about my disability. I know and will continue to know there are people far worse than myself out there. And half the time, people forget-including myself from time to time-that I in fact even have a disability at all. Until I head up to the line at a self serve buffet line where I will struggle to hold my plate and get something to eat without making a complete ass of myself. Believe me, it is not easy, and I fear making a complete mess of myself in the middle of my office. Why don’t I just ask someone to help me out you may wonder? Well because my group doesn’t help me carrying boxes, holding a door when my hand is filled and will watch me struggle when I need help with something, cutting using right handed scissors etc. So why would they be willing to help me with a simple thing as a holding a plate. Half the time I do not even ask anymore.

For these reasons I find myself always offering to sit for the receptionist so she can enjoy herself. Because she will inevitably ask me to do so anyway. And I will wait until the last of the group make their way to the conference rooms and then will grab a plate myself and handle it on my own.

No, this post is not to make you feel sorry for  me. Rather as an explanation to those that sat and asked me why I don't like them. Because believe it or not I am alright with my decision. I don't mind it.

But please enjoy the buffet...

Monday, December 16, 2013

A family tradition

It all started last year. Anderson and I were looking for a way to spend a full weekend not focusing on money or on cleaning the house or even any of the adult things we are required to do but rather to spend it as a family doing some of our favorite holiday things with little man. At the time we didn’t realize the day before events (Sandy Hook) would make it that much more meaningful. All we knew was that we would see Santa, and the lights at Bull Run National Park. It meant making cookies and having an absolute blast doing so.
What it would turn out to be was the start of our own family holiday tradition.
And what would be involved in the family fun weekend?  Well for starters a lot of baking. Gingerbread, sugar cookies and Snicker doodles was on tap this year. While my husband loved the Snicker doodles, Logan and I preferred the decorating of the gingerbread. Because really what kid doesn’t love getting hands messy?  (Confession time. Neither myself, nor Logan likes to actually.)  And while I am not much of a cook, baking cookies is something I actually really enjoy doing.
After making enough cookies to feed an entire population it is off to lunch. Believe me; we need the energy if we are to keep up with the likes of an almost five year old! We try to let him decide how he wants to spend the day, doing extra magical things he usually doesn’t get to do all year long. For the past two years it has been off to Build-A-Bear workshop. Last year it was Rudolph, this year he bypassed the Christmas themed ones and headed straight for a Star Wars polar bear, complete with the Star Wars theme song, which he appropriately named Luke. Yes daddy was exceptionally proud. Mommy will definitely need to work on at least pretending to like it.  As a surprise we let him pick out an outfit, which of course was….a Jedi in training. Well it was better than the Star Wars theme song with a Christmas outfit anyhow.

With Luke purchased and dressed-yes we had to if he was going to meet the Big Man himself-it was off to meet Santa. Now while we were on our way over, little man started talking about the big man. And it broke my heart because I am so not ready for that talk right now. But it was not to be this year. His discussion was to inform us that he knew Santa was real, even if we couldn’t exactly see him. But he also knew that the Santa we did see at the malls wasn’t actually the real guy because he is just super busy so instead he had to send his helpers down to meet everyone.
Yes, let’s go with that.

We had been scoping out Santa’s however. And despite the many options we had, it was decided that we would go back to Fair Oaks mall to visit the Ice Palace and Santa. Ironically the theme was polar bears. Luke was right at home. The wait was ridiculous though, and coming from a family that spends more time in Disney World we are used to waiting. But two and a half hours to see Santa was a bit extreme. He did well though and by the time we got to the snowing globe, well he was pretty excited. And the look on Logan’s face when he met him was priceless, even if he did get a little star struck and couldn’t remember a thing he asked for. Unfortunately neither could Santa, who informed him he was just as start struck meeting Logan to remember. Class act right there. As a bonus, Santa was willing to meet Luke, a fact that thrilled Logan.

With his request to Santa now done, it was off to dinner, where he proudly showed off Luke to the entire restaurant. And yes the Star Wars theme song was played all the way to the table, ok so maybe more than just daddy would be impressed and thrilled by the end of the evening.
Rounding out the whirlwind of a family fun day was a drive through the Festival of Lights at Bull Run. Yes I realize for the most part they are the same every year. But that does not stop us from marveling in the beauty of them as we blare holiday songs. And the fact there was still a layer of snow on the ground only added to the beauty.
We ended it with a stop yesterday at St. Paul's episcopal church in Gainesville for a Christmas ceremony and children's gathering, remembering what the season truly is about.
I can not say if we will always do the same exact routine. I am sure as the years go by things will change. Cookies may not always get made, Build-a-bear will be replaced with the latest fad, the lights may be a different location. In the long run, what we do is of little importance. 
It's just being together and realizing that for a moment, the joy is back.
And isn't that what the season is about?

Friday, December 13, 2013

So what about my most favorite Christmas song?

Earlier this week I brought you the Christmas song I hate. But perhaps you are wondering about my favorite? The answer is easy and yet not so all at the same time. Let me explain.

You see when it comes to choosing just one. I can’t. I have favorites in a few different categories; traditional, cheesy, children’s and the nontraditional. And because I can’t just choose one I figured I would explain myself in each.

Traditionally, hands down has got to be I’ll be home for Christmas. I do not have a particular version I like better than the other. Just the song, there is something about it that no matter where I am or what I am doing it gets me.  I know the meaning behind it, the soldiers it was written for. Those who served in WWII and couldn't make it home. Or never made it home. I may not know what it is like, and I do not pretend to, I can only imagine. As it is even if I do live twenty minutes away from my parents there is nowhere else I would rather be than with my family. I know several who aren’t as fortunate.  I know it’s not always going to be like this. It’s a beautiful song, with classic lyrics. And it definitely without a doubt makes me stop and focus on what is really important during this time of year.

Then there is Wham’s Last Christmas. Yes, laugh all you want but you got to admit it was, and still is a catchy tune. Back when this song first came out, my older sister busted out her Yamaha portable piano and learned the notes to it. That piano got pretty good use out of itself during the month of December as we often returned to it. It became an instant classic and to this day remains one of my fondest memories of my childhood. I am assuming this probably explains just why I happen to consider this one of my favorite holiday songs.

And who doesn’t love a little Christmas Wrapping by the Waitress’s which is so incredibly cheesy and yet infectious at the same time. I want to hate it. I know several who do. But I just can’t help it. I absolutely love the song. Because while it may be cheesy, how many times is it true. I can think of a handful of people I promise to make time for and get together and then things come up. And things happen. And before you know it you are staring at the last week of December and thinking, well crap. Maybe next year right? I just wish I was smart enough to put it in lyrics myself.

Lastly I will say, I fell in love with I want a hippopotamus for Christmas years ago. Why I really have no clue. But the request from a kid just seems so…fitting.  Growing up, I wanted a pony. And every year I asked for one. My little sister promised me one, when she became the lawyer she was going to become. I knew I probably would never get one, but it didn't hurt to ask anyway. I sort of view the hippo as the same sort of request. Yet as a kid, well nothing seems too big to ask for. And you have an answer for just why you need it. So yes, I want a hippopotamus is on the list. 

The day I get one, well I won’t hold my breath.
After all, I am still waiting for the pony I was promised.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Hang in there...a brief interuption.

I realize I have been a little MIA lately here at the Puck to the World. But rest assured I shall return and working on a couple of posts. I am currently trying to finish a paper for a final due on Sunday, and once that is done I shall be able to invest some quality time to this little blog here.

Until then, have a fantastic Thursday and remember tomorrow is Friday. And if all goes well, I will be back and have a couple of post for you within the next couple of days...

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

The Christmas Song I hate the most.

Now that December is fully underway-and quickly approaching the midway point-the holiday soundtrack seems to be nonstop. Around the house, around the office. In stores, in fact it is pretty much where ever you turn these days. Which is fabulous if, like me you love the holidays and everything that comes with it. Including the music. There is something infectious about the catchy little tunes that I just love.

All but one that is.

Now to be honest here, it is more of the rendition of the song that I can't stand rather than the song itself. I will make it clear because I am sure there are those that will think I am crazy for even suggesting this.

So what is this song you may ask?

Barbara Streisand's version of My Favorite Things. To begin with, I do not know how this is a Christmas song in the first place. Or when it actually turned into one. Because while the Sound of Music always seems to be playing around the holiday and is now associated-I guess?-with the holidays. I don't remember one scene when the holidays are even mentioned. But because everyone from Rod Stewart to Kelly Clarkson is doing their own rendition I will say it is popular enough to classify it as. And Barbara's version is definitely not one of my favorite things.

Nope not at all.

There I said it. I feel so much better. Julie Andrews she is not. Maybe it is the long breathless pause that makes me think she is running out of the steam and on her last gasps. How many times have I wanted to reach through the radio and slap her while exclaiming, just get it out!  Honestly how long can it be dragged out? I don't care about warm mittens and snowflakes on eye lashes. And her brown paper packages only make me think of booze for some reason. Which I may just have to start partaking in, in order to get through the song.  If I even get through it. As it it is I barely last two seconds before running as fast as I can within seconds of the first note of the song while screaming fa la la la la la, la la la la to avoid hearing it. Turn the station, flip to whatever else is on. No I do not care what is on by this point. I hate it that much.

Thankfully I have managed to not hear it thus far this season. A fact I am very grateful for. Maybe the stations have gotten the same hate thoughts of it and have decided to use their better judgement and not play it.

One can only hope.