Hibernation (Rambling, Long, Pictures, Survey)

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:

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Looking Forward

I am excited about 2009. Not sure what it is. Maybe because I’m with my husband, who is awesome in all ways. Maybe because my son is amazing and growing and so smart and wonderful that the thought of him makes me smile. Maybe it’s because I know that Aidan has four parents, six grandparents, many great grandparents, and loads of “aunts” and “uncles” who love him very much. Maybe it’s because I have great friends. Maybe it’s because I’m going to L.A. next week and I’ll get to see Amy and Eli and Melissa, and maybe Tasha and Dave and Angie and and and I’M GOING TO DISNEYLAND! :)

Adam says it’ll most likely be our last trip to a Disney park for a LONG time, but still. What a great way to start off the year, right? I’m very excited about the whole trip. YAY Disney! YAY friends. YAY traveling.

I feel optimistic about writing. And being provided for. And seeing Aidan more often. And growing my relationship with Adam.

I’m allowing myself to really dream big again, something I haven’t done in a long time. It feels good.

(Originally published at Anywhere Is…)

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So far, my assignment at Schawk! is going really well. I like my work space, I like the work (and I know some of the Thanksgiving Sale Doorbusters, mwah!), and I LOVE feeling like a contributing member of society. Yesterday, I fired up iTunes and lo and behold–SHARED iTunes libraries! Oh, how I’ve missed thee. I used to share at McGraw-Hill and I got exposed to so much great music. I’m looking forward to listening to new stuff.

Based on how things are now, I’d REALLY love it if they asked me to stay longer, and if they asked me to come on as a permanent employee. Although educational publishing is my first love, I’m digging this ad agency stuff. There is a LOT to learn, but the days go quickly and I’m doing what I love most, which is proofreading. The atmosphere reminds me of McGraw-Hill in the good ole days (except for the pulling lunch tables together part), the building is STEPS away from my train stop, my commute is 15-20 minutes tops, and I enjoy the work. Every Tuesday and Thursday, a guy from the mail room makes popcorn in an old fashioned pop corn popper machine thingy. Yesterday, there were free donuts to eat. It’s like the best of MGH and ZB. I can wear jeans here. The temperature in the office is WARM, sometimes a bit too warm, but that’s OK. I can listen to my headphones and lose myself in my work.

And then there is the feeling of contributing, of earning money. Of doing something that matters. Millions of people will see the ads I proofread. That means a lot to me, you know?

It is good. I wonder if I’ll be saying that a month from now, when we’re working on our Christmas books.

Today, Adam took me out to dinner at Arturo’s Tacos. It’s a 24 hour Mexican joint a bit north of us. Yum. I ordered three carne asada tostadas, but I wasn’t as hungry as I’d thought. So…I have one left for lunch tomorrow. Woohoo!

Made my hair appointment for September 20th. I go to Eshe Day Spa and Salon. I love that place because I sit there, listening to the conversations, the cadence of the voices of successful and beautiful Black women. The laughter, the talking, the sweet smell of chemicals, nail polish, and shampoo. The laughter and antics of the staff. I’m looking forward to going again.

Other good things:

-It’s my favorite season. The sky is that pretty blue, it’s not too hot when walking to the train station in the morning.
-Waking up to the Tom Joyner morning show. I can’t believe I never listened to it before.
-I’m going to Disney World in less than two weeks! I’m starting to get REALLY excited!
-This will be the my first October that I get to spend with Adam. Granted, he and I are going to be working so much that we probably won’t see much of each other, but at least I’ll be home with him at the end of the day.
-Sarah Dessen will have a new book out next summer! YAY!
-Adam’s book is in all the local Barnes & Noble stores around here, and in books across the country. This is so AWESOME for him.

That’s all for now. I’m very tired, so I’m gonna read a bit then go to sleep. Wait, I must eat a Pop-Tart first. Yum, Pop-Tarts.

Good night! :)

(Originally published at Anywhere Is…)

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Positivity (Picture)

I was a bit bummed this morning, but things are looking up. Here’s why:

1. I got confirmation that my start date at Ambrosi is indeed September 8, 2008. The hourly rate is nice, and I can expect 5 to 10 hours of overtime a week. If I play my cards right, I will be OK for a few months after that assignment ends; I may be able to take the winter off. So, I can has job! for a few months at least. :)
2. I found a $5 bill in the shorts I’m wearing today.
3. Adam got me some Mrs. Fields mini M&M cookies.
4. Adam is making apple cider pot roast, homemade cheddar mashed potatoes, carrots, and gravy for dinner. It smells amazing.
5. Thanks to the Lexapro, I didn’t fly off the deep in regarding this morning’s job rejections. I was disappointed, but I managed to throw myself into something I enjoy (after bellyaching a little bit to my friends and to Adam) which is a lot more healthy, I think.

And finally, I found this picture of Aidan from 2003:


For some reason, it makes me

(Originally published at Anywhere Is…)

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A Potluck Entry on a Saturday

ETA: Professional wedding photos are up here! They look amazing. :)

Today, Aidan headed back to Ohio to spend the rest of the summer with my mom. After that, he will go on a trip to Phoenix with his dad, and then he starts kindergarten. Seems like yesterday he was moving in for the summer. I keep expecting to hear him calling for me and asking for more Froot Loops or something like that.

The good-bye was painless. He’s excited about the rest of his summer adventures and I’m excited for him. I’ll miss him though. He has the cutest little cheeks and ears; I’ll miss nibbling on them whenever I have the chance. This morning, he woke up with his face and hands covered in marker. I’m pretty sure he purposefully colored his hands for some crazy reason. Thank GOD he used watercolor markers, not Sharpies!

I woke up at about 2 or 3 am with crazy allergy symptoms. The back of my throat was EXTRA itchy, and I was sneezing up a storm. I took an allergy pill this morning knowing it would pretty much render me useless all day.

I spent the day reading and napping. Adam spent the day doing mad loads of laundry. He heard that I wanted to put up a clothesline, and he went ahead and did it for me. So tomorrow, I plan to do the towels and let them line dry. There’s nothing like line dried linens. They smell amazing.

Today, Paws contacted me about finalizing Helena’s adoption. As if there was going to be any doubt! That little kitty had my heart the first moment I saw her. She eats like a little piggy, I’m worried that she’ll get fat. She’s adorable, though. Cuddly as all bananas, and she follows me everywhere. When I’m in bed, she lies either on my legs, at my feet, or right beside me. And she loves to be rubbed under her chin. She’s an awesome cat. We’re up on the adoption site, by the way. We’re picture #17 under the July 11th week. :)

I’ve been tweaking my site for the past few days, adding little things to the sidebar, adding new pages, and playing with the CSS a bit. I’m happy with how it’s evolving.

Tomorrow, it’ll be a week that Adam and I have been married. It’s been amazing. He brought me breakfast in bed twice already, he does all the cooking and kitchen cleaning; basically he takes amazing care of me. I like this life.

I’ve been feeling extra blessed lately. I am not sure if I’m just starting to relax, or if the meds are helping me. It’s probably a combination of many things. Almost all the big milestones in my life are finished (all I have left is finding full-time work), and I’m finding myself sleeping entire days away because of all the tension and adrenaline leaking out of my body. I’ve been so tightly wound the last few years, it feels weird to kind of relax and enjoy life. Adam helps me, though.

Here are things I’m happy about:
01. Being married to Adam. ♥
02. Aidan getting to enjoy a good rest of the summer with more people who love him.
03. Discovering good music (Kerli, M.I.A.)
04. Getting my hands on a rare Japanese New Kids on the Block CD called More Hangin’ Tough. This CD has versions of I’ll Be Loving You Forever and You Got It (The Right Stuff) that I only heard on the radio and could never find in the stores. I’ve been looking for these versions for years and I finally found this CD on eBay. The CD came straight from Japan, and I’m so excited to finally have it.
05. A cute little cat named Helena.
06. Living in a cool city.
07. Getting better at finding my way around said city. (Cas told me that she’s impressed at how well I get around now, and she is impressed that I give directions to people).
08. Doctors who care more about seeing to her patient’s health than making a profit; discounts when you self-pay at the doctor’s office.
09. Friends who take amazing wedding pictures and share them all with me!
10. Tang! Yummy! :P

So, I got out all the scrapbooking stuff, and yesterday, I finally got my pictures from Snapfish. I didn’t grumble at the very late delivery and processing. The photos have been prepaid for years, and the shipping was free. All I had to pay was $1.32 for more than 100 prints. And it’s not like I’d have had time to work on the scrapbook last week anyway. Plus I needed adhesives. BUT now the pictures are here, I don’t have any work assignments lined up for the next few weeks, so I’m going to work on my scrapbooks. One will be an Aidan book and one will be a general scrapbook of the past few years. Plus a wedding book, but I’m still waiting for pictures so that I can order all the prints at once. Hoping for another free shipping Snapfish code soon!.

I guess that’s all for now. I had other stuff, but I can’t think of it at the moment. I’m thirsty, which always happens right before bed. Not good, seeing as my bladder is tiny and overactive as it is. But either way, I’ll be up, so I might as well not be thirsty. Good night!

(Originally published at Anywhere Is…)

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