The holidays are winding down. Aidan will be going back to Ohio soon. :( And all that’s left is the cold winter months. Is it any wonder that I feel less inclined to go anywhere or do anything except curl up with a blanket, an electric heater, and a large stack of books and read and sleep? Ack.

Today is Aidan’s birthday. My little boy is seven. Last night he told me he wouldn’t stop cuddling with me until he turned ten. So I guess I have three years to soak up all the cuddles and cheek holds. Right now, that little guy who was just a tiny newborn is now sitting beside me playing Lego Star Wars on the Wii and loving it. He’s a night owl just like I am, and he is a funny eater like me. We both latch on to something we like and we can eat it over and over and over and over without getting tired of it. He’d prefer to wear pajamas and hang out all day than run all over the place. He reads like a maniac. He loves Disney. And spaghetti. He’s such an amazing, incredible child.

We had a wonderful Christmas! We spent the week leading up to it trekking to the UPS store to pick up many packages, and we got our ham from Honey Bear Hams. It was amazing and delicious! Holy cow it was good! I got two pounds, and I am freezing one pound while we plow through the rest. It’s expensive but SO WORTH IT. Guess what I’ll be getting for Easter! Yum. When we got to the store, the bear was out waving, and the place was so festive and bustling. The owner gave Aidan a free stuffed Honey Bear! They had samples out and snacks. It was a fun trip. Christmas Eve, I made chocolate-cherry truffle cake, sugar cookie cutouts, and chocolate chip cookies.

Christmas Cookies! Chocolate-Cherry Truffle Cake

I also made part of the Christmas dinner so Christmas day would be more about relaxing than rushing. AND IT WAS! We didn’t have to go anywhere! Adam was the first one up, then I got up about 830 or so. We had to get Aidan up at 930 because we were too excited! Aidan was so excited and happy with his presents!

Aidan on Christmas Morning
Still a bit sleepy, though.

We had a good Christmas. I got Planet Earth on Blu-ray Disc™ (oh yeah!), The Boondock Saints, and Sleeping Beauty as well. Wii Fit Plus, gift card to Barnes & Noble, shirts and sweaters, more Wii games, pots and pans, The Sims 3 World Adventures, Kit’s Desk (American Girl), The Game of Things, tea from Lupicia, the new Enya CD, a Proofreading Exercise book, so much stuff that I’m not even remembering! But the best was that my little boy was here with me!

The food was yummy and seems like making Christmas dinner was way less stressful than making Thanksgiving dinner. Maybe because I did some of it the night before. Hmmm.

Anyway, the rest of break has been relaxing. Reading a lot (for my birthday I scored $75 in bookstore giftcards!), hanging with Aidan, cat sitting, all that good stuff. The other day, we lost Helena! I’d thought she’d gone in Aidan’s room to sleep, but nope. Crookshanks was pacing and wailing like his cat world was ending. That’s when I realized she was missing. Snowball was out and about, which should have been my first clue that something was off. She’d been mostly hanging out in my room under the bed. We figured that Helena was hiding (there are a lot of hiding places here) from Snowball and that she’d come out when she was ready. Then I heard a big catfight from above and instantly knew that Helena had somehow gotten upstairs with Stinky and Stinky was unhappy about it. I found her hiding behind a counter and lured her out by banging a spoon on a can, picking her up and bringing her back downstairs where she ran back inside her true home. Silly kitty.

Little Helena

I don’t know when I’ll get time/inspiration to journal again, so I’m gonna do my 2009 Wrap Up stuff here:

1) Where did you begin 2009?
Nursing Adam in the bathroom.
2) What was your status by Valentine’s Day?
3) Were you in school anytime this year?
4) How did you earn your money?
Various freelance proofreading jobs
5) Did you have to go to the hospital?
6) Did you have any encounters with the police?
7) Where did you go on holiday?
Los Angeles, Disneyland, and Disney World
8) What did you purchase that was over $1000?
Trip to Disney World
9) Did you know anybody who got married?
10) Did you know anybody who passed away?
12) Did you move anywhere?
14) What concerts/shows did you go to?
I saw RENT in April with the original Mark and Roger! It was soooo sooo good. And I got to play on the stage after!
15) Are you registered to vote?
16) Who did you want to win American Idol?
I didn’t watch it.
17) Where do you live now?
Chicago, IL
18) Describe your birthday.
I woke up around 11, and Aidan and Adam greeted me with hugs. I got a guitar. We went to Naperville where I treated myself to some books, and ate at Five Guys and Coldstone with Theresa and her family. It was a great birthday! A nice way to start 35!
19) What’s one thing you thought you’d never do but did in 2009?
Get an American Girl doll. Hang out with my teen crush Ricky Luna. Go to Disney World again!
20) What has been your favorite moment?
Oh my goodness! I can’t choose one!
– Late night girl talk with Amy in January
– Seeing Eli & Melissa
– Hanging out in Iowa
– Watching Aidan interact with Celeste, a sweet girl who has Canavan’s disease. Most children are not sure how to react to Celeste but Aidan goes out of his way to make her laugh and smile.
– Acting silly with Ricky. He’s really a great guy.
– My mom visiting, and making me assorted childhood comfort foods. Yummm!
– Seeing Aidan’s face light up every time he sees me at the airport waiting for him.
21) What’s something you learned about yourself?
I’m getting more of a homebody the older I get, especially in the winter. Give me a blanket, a book, and a drink and I’m happy.
22.) Any new additions to your family?
One is in the oven… not MY oven, mind you.
23.) What was your best month?
My best month? Every month had good stuff.
24.) What music will you remember 2009 by?
Lady GaGa mostly.
25) Who has been your best drinking buddy?
Adam, on the rare occasion that we do drink.
26) Made new friends?
27) Best NEW friend?
Oh, that’s hard! I met a LOT of great people this year.
28) Favorite night out?
One of the very late nights at Disney World. Oh yes. We were exhausted but it was amazing.
29) Kiss any one of the same sex?
30) How many boyfriends / girlfriends have you had this year?
31) Something you look forward to before 2010?
Aidan opening his birthday presents later!!
32) Where will you start 2010?
Here at home, with Aidan and Adam, Jeff & Deborah, and Amy. Anyone else want to join? :)
33) Something you look forward to in 2010?
Nothing concrete, just excited about what’s to come!

* * *

Was 2009 a good year for you?
I can’t complain.

What did you do in 2009 that you’d never done before?
– Bought American Girl dolls. I know, it’s cheesy but seriously. It was something I’d never done before!
– Visited Iowa.
– Met some of Adam’s extended family.

Did you keep your New Years’ resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I kinda did. And probably.

Did anyone close to you give birth?

Did you attend any weddings or funerals?

What countries did you visit?
I didn’t leave the USA.

What would you like to have in 2010 that you lacked in 2009?
The drive to ACTUALLY finish writing a novel; a book contract (both my fault).

What date(s) from 2009 will remain etched upon your memory and why?
April – Aidan’s first solo flight
May 31 – Rebecca Rubin American Girl doll release day
August 16 – First trip to WDW for me, Adam, and Aidan
November 21 – Ricky day
December 20 – Good birthday
December 25 – Amazing Christmas

What were your biggest achievements of the year?
– Aidan!!! That kid is soooo amazing.
– Making it through the year with no accidents or speeding tickets.
– Paying off my car!
– Switching from PC to Mac.
– Going natural with my hair! I haven’t had a relaxer since May.

What was your biggest failure?
Barely writing.

Did you suffer any illness or injury?
Migraines, minor colds, one stomach virus.

What was the best thing you bought?
My dolls, the new TV, the toaster oven, the Playstation 2.

Whose behavior merited celebration?
Aidan’s. He is doing VERY well in school. He’s advanced, he behaves, and he’s getting good grades. He’s such an amazing kid, every day I fall more in love with him.

Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
I’m over it now. No one really depressed me, though.

Where did most of your money go?
Bills, insurance, car note, groceries, Christmas

What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Disneyland, Disney World, Aidan visiting for Christmas, hanging with Ricky, buying the Rebecca doll

What song will always remind you of 2009?
Bad Romance by Lady GaGa. Any Blackmore’s Night song. Electro Bomba!!!!!

Compared to this time last year, are you:
i. happier or sadder? happier
ii. thinner or fatter? fatter
iii. richer or poorer? not sure

What do you wish you’d done more of?
Exchanged handwritten letters.
Seen Aidan.

What do you wish you’d done less of?
Procrastinating. Stupid FarmVille and Cafe World.

How will you be spending Christmas?
Adam, Aidan, and I hung out at home, ate candy and cookies and good dinner, played with our toys, and relaxed.

Did you send out Christmas cards this year?

Did you fall in love in 2009?
I’m already in love with my Adam.

How many one-night stands?

What was your favorite TV program?
– America’s Next Top Model
– Modern Family
– Make It Or Break It

Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?

What was the best book you read?
– Catching Fire by Suzanna Collins
– Get Well Soon by Julie Halpern
– Audrey, Wait by Robin Benway

What was your greatest musical discovery?
– Blackmore’s Night
– S.J. Tucker
– Electro Bomba

What did you want and get?
More time with Aidan, trips to BOTH Disney parks, dolls, a new TV and a Blu-ray player, the chance to work for Schawk again, my car paid off, my mommy to visit, a MacBook, a Playstation 2, a new (to me) monitor.

What did you want and not get?
A finished novel out of me.

What was your favorite film of this year?
So far, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. But I have yet to see The Princess and the Frog.

What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Finishing a book and selling it. Stupid me.

How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2009?
Sweaters and jeans, or tee-shirts and jeans. I started taking risks though! I got a skirt and a pair of combat boots and came up with this:

Cute Outfit Revisited

Did you make any significant changes to your appearance?
If you count going natural with my hair, and the picture above…?

What kept you sane?
Adam, meds, playing Facebook games, writing on Live Journal.

Were you in school (any time this year)?
No, but I might go back. Teaching certificate, maybe? I’d rather to go Loyola for another Bachelor’s degree, but that’s kinda out of my price range….

What did you purchase that was over $500?
MacBook, TV, Disney World

Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

What political issue stirred you the most?
I didn’t let it get to me like I did last year.

Who did you miss?
Aidan, Aidan, Aidan. And Aidan.

Who was the best new person you met?
Lol whut. Like I can choose! I’m glad to have met everyone!

Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2009:
“Freely fly as what you are, keep dancing just the same!” – from Firebird’s Child by S.J. Tucker.

Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:
See above!

How would you rate this year with a scale from 1 (lousy) to 10 (excellent)?

* * *

1. Who kissed you on New Years???
Um, I think I kissed Adam, but he may have been getting sick so I don’t remember! LOL.
2. Did you have a New Year’s Resolution this year?
A few.
3. Does it snow where you live?
Oh yeah!
4. Do you like hot chocolate?
5. Have you ever been to Times Square to watch the ball drop?
No, I’m OK watching it on TV.

1. Who was your Valentine?
Adam. <3
2. When you were little did you buy Valentines for the whole class?
3. Do you care if the groundhog sees its shadow or not?
No matter what, we’re going to have 6 more weeks of winter.
4. What did you receive for Valentine’s Day?
Yea I totally do not remember. :O I was probably at work.
5. What did you give for Valentine’s Day?
See #4

1. Are you Irish?
2. Do you like corned beef and cabbage?
I like corned beef, but on rye bread with yellow mustard. Hate cabbage.
3. What did you do for St. Patrick’s Day?

1. Do you like the rain?
2. Did you play an April fool’s joke on anyone this year?
3. Do you get tons of candy for Easter?
Nope. I buy a lot, though!
4. Do you celebrate 4/20?
5. Do you love the month of April?
It’s OK.

1. What is your favorite flower?
2. Finish the phrase “April showers…”
Bring May flowers. (And Mayflowers bring Pilgrims)
3. Do you celebrate May 16th?
4. Is May anything special to you?
It’s when the weather finally starts warming up. That’s special. May 30th is when I the anniversary of putting Little Lucy to sleep.

1. What year did/will you graduate from high school?
2. Did you do anything fun during this last June?
Aidan came to Chicago for the summer, and we went to Iowa for a Selzer family reunion.
3. Have a favorite baseball team?

1. What did you do on the 4th of July?
Jeff and Deborah came over and we cooked out, and then we all walked down the block and watched the locals put on some impressive fireworks shows. Then we got back and ate ice cream.
2. Did you go to the fireworks?
Didn’t have to.
3. Did you blast the A/C all day?
Yeah, can’t imagine that right now.

1. Did you do anything special at the end of your summer?
I took Adam and Aidan to Disney World!!!
2. What was your favorite summer memory of ‘09?
Hanging with Mommy, and seeing Aidan have so much fun at Disney World.
3. Did you have a sunburn?
I may have turned a bit pink.
4. Did you go to the pool a lot?

1. Are you attending college/school?
2. Do you like fall better than summer?
3. What happened this last September?
I started working again for Schawk.

1. What did you do for Halloween?
I had to work, and so did Adam.
2. What is your favorite candy?
Reese’s and Whatchamacallit.
3. What was your favorite thing about October?
I was making a lot of money.

1. Whose house do you go to for Thanksgiving?
Adam and I stayed home and made dinner, and Jeff and Deborah came over.
2. What are you thankful for?
Adam, Aidan, my friends and family, having my basic needs provided for, having a comfortable life, books
3. Do you love stuffing?
I like dressing better.
4. Anything special in this month?
Thanksgiving, Ricky Luna

1. Do you celebrate Christmas?
Most assuredly.
2. Have you ever been kissed under the mistletoe?
Not that I remember.
3. Get anything special last year?
All my gifts are special.
4. What do you want this year??
I’m happy with what I got.
5. What do you love most about December?
It’s SO PRETTY everywhere! It’s all decorated, the festive music, the giving.


IN 2009 HAVE I:

Hugged someone? Of course!!
Gotten into a fight? Stupid Facebook arguments. I need to stay away from those.
Cried? Yes.
Smoked? A bit.
Drank alcohol? Yes.
Kissed someone on the cheek? Yes.
Reunited with an old friend? Yes.
Let something go? Yes.
Been whipped? No.
Learned any important lessons? Yes.
Got a kiss on the cheek? Yes.
Kissed someone on the lips? Yes.
Considered suicide? No.
Cut/dyed your hair drastically? No.
Flirted? No.
Been backstabbed? Yes.
Missed someone? Yes.
Hit someone? Oh yeah. >:)
Broken something really important to you? No.
Cuddled with someone? Yes.
Broken somebody’s heart? Doubt it.
Done something you really regretted? Don’t even get me started.
Laughed so hard that it hurt? Yes.
Cried so hard that it hurt? No.
Got cheated on? I BETTER NOT HAVE.
Gone on a date? Yes, with Adam!
Got dumped? No.
Dumped someone? No.
Made a new screen name? No.
Lost a friend? Yes.
Gotten any tattoos/piercings? No.
Been in a love/hate relationship? Eh?
Loved someone so much that it hurt? No.
Been grounded? Nope, LOL.

Lost: I’m not going to list them because it doesn’t matter anymore.
Drifted: Can’t really say because friendships are so static.
Found: :)

Weight: 110-115 pounds.
Piercing/tattoos: N/A
Height: 5′1″
Hair: Longer and more natural.

– Gossipped.
– Didn’t write.
– As if I’m going to admit the others here. >:)

– Made Aidan’s Christmas!
– Cat sitting.
– Loved Adam.

– See Aidan more often.
– Write a novel.
– Sell a novel.
– Travel.
– Get a great job making good money.
– Go back to a Disney park.

* * *


In the year 2010…

Will you be looking for a new job?

Will you be looking for a new relationship?

New house?

What will you do different in 2010?
I will try to be more positive. Try to write more. Try to write more in my paper journal. Try to have more faith in myself.

New Year’s resolution(s)?
a. Take better care of my teeth.
b. Going to bed at a decent hour.
c. Write.
d. Stick to my budget, even if I start making more money.

What will you not be doing in 2010?

Any trips planned?

Wedding plans?

What’s on your calendar?
Aidan for spring break, summer break, and winter break!

What can’t you wait for?
See above.

What would you like to see happen differently?
I’d like to stick to the goals I make in my head. I’d like to stop talking about writing and actually DO IT. Why’s it so hard to just DO IT?

What about yourself will you be changing?
– I hope to become more assertive, less likely to freak out.
– I will be doing better financially once I settle down.
– I will be able to write once things settle down.

Will you be nicer to the people you care about?

Will you dress differently this year than you did in 2009?
I might explore a more edgy look with the combat boots and skirts and all. We’ll see. I’m also coming away from pink and more towards blacks/reds/purples.

Will you start or quit drinking?
I usually drink socially, and I’d honestly prefer a glass of Kool-Aid.

Will you have better relationship with your family?

Will you do charity work?

Will you go to bars?
Not if I can help it.

Will you be nice to people you don’t know?
I usually am.

Do you expect 2010 to be a good year for you?

How much did you change from this time last year til now?
I changed a lot. I’m a little bit more optimistic now.

Do you plan on having a child?
Just the one I already have.

Will you still be friends with the same people you are friends with now?
Not sure.

Major lifestyle changes?
No, I think my lifestyle changes will finally settle down.

Will you be moving?

What will you make sure doesn’t happen in 2010 that happened in 2009?
Parking tickets. UGH.

Will you have someone to kiss at midnight?

Wish for 2009:
Success, security, good friends, happiness, love, passion, positivity, WRITING, and lots of trips to Disney parks!!! YAY!!

(Originally published at Anywhere Is…)

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