Wednesday, December 31, 2008

2008 Year in Review

Okay okay I'll play!! Seems like lots of my fellow bloggers are doing this.

What did you do in 2008 that you'd never done before?
Buried a parent (my mother).

Did you keep your new years' resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I don't make them for the simple fact that I never keep them!

Did anyone close to you give birth?
Some friends sure did, but thankfully I didn't have to watch. HA!

Did anyone close to you die?
My Mom died Dec 29,2007 but we buried her on Jan 3, 2008 - close enough to say yes.

What countries did you spend time in this year?
None - but I am going to get my passport on Friday!

What would you like to have in 2009 that you lacked in 2008?
I got everything I wanted with life and love in 2008 so I'll say MONEY so that I can shop more. :)


What dates from 2008 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
Jan 3 - buried my Mom
May 9 - LW and I had our first date


What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Finding out that I am a strong, wonderful person who can make a difference in someone's life.

What was your biggest failure?
Forgetting who I was. When my Mom died I let myself go for a few months.

Did you suffer any serious injury or illness?
Thankfully no, but like Julie said, my ego got bruised a few times.

What was the best thing you bought?
Five Coach purses - is that a problem?

Whose behaviour merited celebration?
Mine?? I changed my life for the better.

Whose behaviour made you appalled and/or depressed?
I don't feel comfortable saying, but they know who they are. And it's sad that our friendship had to fail because of it.

Where did most of your money go?
Clothes and purses! I'm sick.

What did you get really, really, really excited about?
LW saying I love you! And meeting his youngest daughter, Kassidy for the first time.

What do you wish you'd done more of?
Spent more time with my family. Although my Mom's death brought us closer, we somehow forgot to spend more time together.

What do you wish you'd done less of?
Feel sorry for myself. Only I have the power to find and make happiness.

Did you fall in love in 2008?
Oh yes! And I hope to marry this man!

How many one-night stands?
Liz's comments about three night stands (furniture) cracked me up!!! I can't comment....okay one and that was WAY before LW!

Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
I don't hate...I dislike. And yes. She's sleeping with my ex-husband and dumped me as a friend so that she could.

What was the best book you read?
The Last Lecture

What did you want and not get?
An engagement ring! HA! I have everything I want. I would like to work on my friendships more. I have the power within to bond!

What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 35. LW took me to dinner at the Ocean Club. It was the best day ever!

What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Spending one more day with my Mom. I feel like I didn't get to say somethings I wanted to say.

What political issue stirred you the most?
I'm not super passionate about politics, but I was happy to see Obama win.

Who did you miss?
Without a doubt my Mother. It's so hard believing she's not with us. I have so much to tell her.

Who was the best new person you met?
Oh my gosh, so many people. My chatboard friends and blogging buddies. They ALL helped me through some dark days! And of course LW is the best though. :)

Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2008.
Life is short...live every moment with grace and passion and never go to bed angry. Tomorrow might not be here. And always find it within yourself to spend time with those you love.

What sums up this year? (a word, a quote...?)
Special

Christmas Pictures

Here are the pictures that I promised in my Christmas post.

Here we are (LW and Kassidy and myself)Christmas morning (gawd I'm fat):


Here is Kassidy opening her presents:


Our first Christmas together:


And here I am with my nephew who would NOT smile for the camera:


Here we are on Christmas Eve before church with my family:



Have a Happy New Year! Wishing everyone peace, love and happiness in the year ahead.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Thanks

..from the bottom of my heart. Your encouragement, emails, e-cards, text messages and thoughtfulness were much appreciated yesterday.

I have the bestest friends in the world.

Love to you all.

Monday, December 29, 2008

My year of firsts is over.

Today marks the one year anniversary of my Mom’s death. I look back a year ago and I can remember getting the phone call at 6am…rushing around to put clothes on, brush my teeth and get out the door so that I can hold my Mom’s hand one last time and tell her I love her and say good-bye. I realize I’m fortunate that I got to say good-bye to my Mom but that doesn’t make the pain any less easier to bare.

I was the first family member to arrive at the hospital. The nurses were talking to me and comforting me and I could not hear them or see them. My mind was blank, my heart was empty. All I could focus on was my Mom’s big eyes looking up at me telling me it was time to let her go.

Painfully as the hours ticked by my family and I sat with my Mom. We called in my Mom’s pastor to administer last rights. We also called several of her friends so that they could come say good-bye. At one point my Mom, who was totally unconscious at this point, was laughing hysterically. I can only hope that she was on her way to heaven and saw her friends and family that had passed away over the years. My best guess is her beloved dog Minnie was at heaven’s door wagging her tail as my Mom entered into a new life.

Just before 4:30pm when the room was dark and quiet and the only people in the room were myself, my brother and my two sisters, my Mom drew her last breath. It was peaceful and sad all at once. I remember when the nurse walked in and told us she was gone I asked if she could please put another blanket on my Mother because she was cold. Even though she was gone I couldn’t stand the thought of her feeling an ounce of coldness.

My drive home was ridiculously painful. I was single at the time so I was going home to a lonely place…no husband/boyfriend…no children. Just a quiet house. I remember being angry and taking down my Christmas decorations and feeling sorry for myself. Not a moment I was proud of. Although I guess it was better than laying on the couch…at least I was up and doing something…angry or not.

Thank you to the many of you who have listened to me over the year…comforted me and most of all who reminded me that I am fortunate to have such a wonderful group of friends and family who support me. My year of firsts is finally over. I feel now that I will be able to dig deep inside of me and move on and celebrate her life and not mourn her death. That’s what she would want me to do.

Friday, December 26, 2008

I survived Christmas.

First of all, there was no engagement ring, so thank you to those people who shot us text messages that said "Congrats!" HA!!! Nice try.

The day before Christmas Eve was surpringly the hardest day for me. I had left work early to run some errands. My last stop of the day would be to Flowerama to pick up a wreath for my mom's grave. I did well making it through purchasing the wreath but as soon as I loaded it into the car I just cried. I cried for all that she would miss this year. I cried for the mere fact that I miss her. Her silly little presents...her stocking stuffers...her candy. I miss her watching us have fun with Christmas.

On Christmas Eve LW and I drove to the cemetary in the pouring rain to place the wreath on her grave. I asked him to wait in the car while I did it. I was having trouble with my bad hip that day so I struggled to get the wreath into the ground. When I got back to the car, the wind and the rain were beating the wreath up so it started to flap in the wind. LW jumped out of the car and fixed it for me. He did not know my mom so I was touched by his graciousness as I was such a mess and didn't think I could go back out there. There is something so emotiontional about seeing your parent's name on a stone sticking up out of the ground.

After the cemetary we headed to my nieces for dinner. See my niece lives in my mom's old house. The family sat around talking about mom and how she use to string Christmas lights from one end of the room to the other. We laughed and talked and remembered her. It was rather peaceful.

Then came church. My brother and his family and my niece, her daughter and LW all went to Christmas Eve service. It was amazing...beautiful...magical and fun. I sat next to David (my 14 year old nephew) and we talked and really had a grown up moment. I love that kid!

When Christmas morning arrived, LW and I opened up presents (yay got a massage gift certificate and a Coach purse and more of course)then got ready and he headed out to bring Kassidy over to the house. After Kassidy opened her presents we took some family pictures. We had so much fun snuggling around LW. I'll have to post those later. They were so good!!!

Once we cleaned up the house we headed to LW's Mom's house where we ate, played Scrabble, watched everyone open presents, talked, laughed and visited. I feel so blessed to have his family in my life. They remind me so much of my family. And you can feel the love when you walk into the room.

All in all I had a beautiful Christmas. I felt so lucky because I finally know what it feels like to feel love. I can't remember ever feeling this way. For once I can say...it is finally my turn.

Merry Christmas dear friends and family!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

My year in review.

I've started reflecting on everything that has happened from last Christmas until this Christmas. It seems impossible the things that have happened to me. Some I have dreamt all of my life for, and some I have avoided and hoped would never happen.

This year I have:
- buried my Mother
- watched my Father suffer from a stroke and go partially blind
- started on a downward spiral with my life but somehow managed to pull myself out it
- fell in love with the man I am going to marry forever
- took three vacations and really had FUN
- repaired a broken relationship with my sister and my niece
- kept my job
- inherited money which saved my ass financially
- bonded with my brother and the kids (we have always been close but my mom's death brought us closer)
- learned how to let go of bad friendships and the hate that I had with them
- built new friendships and worked on the friendships of others
- volunteered with several organizations
- learned how to play Bunco!
- forgave myself
- started to love myself

It's been such a life changing year. Impossible to explain. I can't believe how truly blessed I am. Through death I see the possibility of life where I didn't see it before.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Christmas Time

Christmas this year is going to be beautiful and magical, but a little sad because we are short one very special family memeber. However I know my momma is up in heaven pushing good thoughts about the holiday my way. I haven't felt this excited about the holidays since I was a child.

Perhaps it's because I've had lots of life changing events over the last year. Or perhaps it's because I've finally accepted who I am and love who I've finally become.

Anyway, I digress....here are some of my favorite pictures from the holidays thus far.

These are the stockings that hang on my mantel...one for LW, one for Kassidy, one for me and one for Boots and Boomer (Lauren's was sent in the mail). LW surprised me with a personalized stocking so I surprised him back!


And this is a Boyds ornament that Julie's sister, Sue Ellen, gave me. How sweet is that? It's says "The Queen of the Universe". Fitting huh???


And no Christmas would be complete without an "Our First Christmas" ornament.


While I'm taking pictures I see my little helper hanging over the balcony.


And finally all of it put together....

Friday, December 12, 2008

My heart hurts for a friend.

Please keep Simi and her family in your thoughts and prayers.

Some of you know her....

Some of you don't.

Those who do not know her...she lost her father on Sunday and it sounds like it wasn't from medical reasons but from a malcious act of violence.

Though not confirmed just yet.

I do know one thing...heaven gained another angel.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Today makes 7 months!

I can't believe LW and I have been together for 7 months today. We have truly been inseperable since. Every day he amazes me. He makes me laugh and he always reminds me, even when I know I'm not, that I am beautiful. He looks at me like no other man has ever looked at me. It makes my heart melt. His eyes remind me every day how fortunate I am to have found a love so deep and so real.

I'm blessed. I really and truly am. I know without a doubt, he was put in my life at the very moment when I needed him the most. See many of you don't know (and I won't go into great detail as it wasn't a 'pretty' spot in my life), I was on the edge of life this past May. I was doing things I normally would never do and I was acting in ways my Mother would not have approved of. If I wouldn't have met LW when I did, I believe things would be drastically different in my life. And not in a good way.

I'm grateful to have turned my life around and to have established a deep foundation of trust and respect with LW. I haven't had that EVER in a relationship.

I'm grown up and damnit it's about time!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Our First Christmas Tree

This year I swore I was NOT going to put up a Christmas tree. I hated the thought of not being able to celebrate this holiday with my Mom. It was her favorite time of the year. But LW said that we just had to.

With that in the back of my mind, I went to Target last Friday and came home with a 7 1/2 foot skinny tree. I doubted that I would like it, but I actually love love love it.



For those that are curious...I have a Boyds Bear tree. I am obsessed with Christmas Boyds Bears.








I think about the only Christmas item that is NOT Boyds are my stockings. LW surprised me the other day with a personalized bear stocking though and he even brought one over for his youngest daughter who will be with us during Christmas. So tonight I ordered one for him. :) When his stocking is in I'll post a picture of all of them together. I feel like I finally have this amazing family. For the first time in the last two years I feel like I **might** be able to enjoy Christmas. LW has convinced me that I can do this holiday and be happy about it, and still miss my Mom at the same time.

Several of you were right...I think it was *suppose* to happen...my meeting him. It's the first good thing that I have done in two years, next to getting divorced!

Ahhhh...I can do this!

The snoring bear!

Yes peeps I have a snoring bear in my house!!! LW is sick so for the last two nights I have found my a%% on the couch because his snore is SO LOUD it wakes the entire house. Poor guy can't breathe..but come on...a girl needs her beauty sleep. I'm just saying!

Anyway if I can capture him on film I will do so and report what the snoring bear looks like....HA!

Love you baby!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Thanksgiving

I never got around to blogging about my Thanksgiving. I debated if I should discuss it because it was rather peaceful, but difficult. It was the first Thanksgiving without my mom. I can't begin to explain the emptiness it created in my heart.

The night before Thanksgiving my mom and I always got together at my house and made the turkey. We'd eat pizza and chocolate chip cookies all night. Then I would drive her home super late only to have her call me at 6am telling me to put the turkey in the oven. Ah those were the days.

Over the years my family decided on doing a breakfast rather than turkey dinner since all of us were eating two turkey dinners that day. None the less I was still up late prepping the house and the breakfast menu.

So the night before Thanksgiving this year I went to the gym and thought about the past. I came home and LW took such good care of me. It's like he knew how painful this day was going to be for me. He made dinner. So sweet. While in the shower after dinner I just lost it. I haven't balled like that in months. The pain was all surfacing.

After the shower LW held me in his arms and just let me be mum (which is nearly impossible at times for me) the entire evening. He knew what was wrong without me saying a word.

After that, I got my act together and preparred a nice breakfast for my family. No big family pictures this year. No trip to the nursing home. Nothing. It was peaceful but strange. We talked about mom as I presented all of the girls (plus my brother) with an angel visor clip for their cars. I told them that's where I think about mom the most. Every time I touch my garage door opener my hand brushes the clip and I'm instantly reminded of her.

After breakfast LW and I drove to his mom's house for a wonderful family dinner. Everyone was so sweet to me. I had great conversation with everyone. I felt like I fit in which is such an amazing feeling.

His mom is SO MUCH like my mom. Everything from her clothing, to her hair, to her knick knacks reminded me of my mom. It was eerrie at first but then oddly enough it became a good feeling. It was as if she was going to help me through this difficult time. Even when I hugged her good-bye, her brittle bones reminded me of my mom.

Here are a couple of my favorite pictures from this year:





I hope each of you had a blessed holiday. I know I'm grateful for my family and friends. Without them I don't know how I could have gotten through this year.

Love and hugs to all.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Disney

I have to say in all of my 35 years I never thought that visiting Disney World would bring tears to my eyes! The good kind!

My trip started on Thursday afternoon. My flight left Columbus at 2pm. By the time I arrived in Orlando, gathered my luggage and stood in line to board the Magical Express to my hotel, it was after 9pm…and I was exhausted! LW met me at the hotel with open arms. He took me to a nice dinner at our hotel (Contemporary Resort).

Our hotel was amazing!! Very modern and hip. We could even see the tip of the castle at the Magic Kingdom from our room and in the evenings we could see the fireworks. Loved it!!! And the hotel staff was super friendly and helpful.

Friday I woke up early with LW. While he was getting ready to go to his conference I was getting ready to head to the Magic Kingdom. I arrived at the Magic Kingdom at 10am. As I rode the monorail (I later found out the walk to the Magic Kingdom from my hotel was like 5 mins vs. the 15 min monorail ride) I got butterflies in my stomach. I had a hard time containing my excitement. As I walked through the gate tears started streaming out of my eyes! I couldn’t believe I was 35 and seeing Disney for the first time. My goal was to cram as much in as I could that day.

I had a hard time deciding what to ride first! I devised a plan and made my way through the park and rode just about every ride that I thought my hiney could fit on! I went on “It’s a Small World”, the carrousel, Haunted Mansion, the tea cup ride, Space Mountain, Pirates of the Caribbean, and so on. I was so exhausted and my legs were sore but I kept at it. Before my departure I decided to watch the parade. There’s something about seeing Cinderella that brings back childhood memories. I think almost every girl wanted to be her when they grew up. The parade was just amazing…so much dancing and music.

That evening, after I spent the day at the park, LW and I rode the bus and headed to Downtown Disney for dinner. We had a very nice, but expensive dinner at Fulton’s Crab House. Great food, great service. The server kept calling me Mrs. LW (secretly I loved it). After dinner we went to the House of Blues for some drinks.

Saturday we got up early and had a hard time deciding what to do. Do we watch the OSU game or go to Hollywood Studios?????? It was tough. But we decided to go to Hollywood Studios. I know it’s a disappointment to those that are HUGE Buckeye fans, but this was a trip I didn’t think I would ever take and it was so important…more than a game I’m afraid. My best friend did keep us updated by texting me the score. HA! We had a great time at Hollywood Studios, however I had a melt down (I was acting like I was 5) and we had to go back to the hotel room. It was chilly (around 66 and windy), my period was getting ready to start, and I was just overly sensitive. Poor LW. None the less we did have a great time at H.S. Tower of Terror is by far my favorite ride EVER!!!!!

After the park on Saturday, we took a nap. Definitely needed after my meltdown earlier in the day. For the evening we headed to the Boardwalk for dinner at the ESPN Club. We ate and drank like it was no one’s business!!! Prior to arriving at the ESPN Club we had a little bus trouble and it took us about an hour to get there. No the bus didn’t break down…LW had messed up which bus we were getting on and he thought a certain route was quicker than another…WRONG. But I wasn’t going to argue given my meltdown earlier. He he he

I was sad to leave Disney. I shopped and bought the place out. Everyone was so friendly and helpful. I have never been to a happier place!!!! Next year the same conference is in Orlando again, so he’s planning on going back and so am I!!! This time we’ll take his girls.

Disney was by far one of the best trips I have been on. Maybe it’s because it was so magical. I do see why people go there on their honeymoons now.

Have a Magical Day!