2015 Goals for Me

The past few years I have seen a lot of people who choose a word to embody their focus on the year ahead. I always wondered how they could pick just one word for 365 days and all the adventures in each of those 24 hours. The past couple of days I have been thinking about what I wanted to achieve in 2015. No real resolutions just goals to aim at. All this pensive planning has made one word in particular stand out.

EnjoyOriginal

My motivation behind all of the goals has been to enjoy life more. Sometimes the actions to get there aren’t the most fun choice, but in the end they will lead me to a place I can enjoy more.

Less stress. Less worry. Less letting myself go physically.

Time to enjoy the journey instead of constantly focusing on what is ahead and what I have left behind. Savor the seconds.

Some of my goals for the coming year are obvious to me – pass the certification exams to officially become a Certified Paralegal, keep lowering my A1c readings, lower my weight to my goal weight/size, get a job…

Others are more arbitrary – complete five 5Ks, read 50 books, try new things each week, attend at least one Panthers game (I was lucky enough to make it to TWO this year with great seats at both! Felt a bit spoiled!), finally clean out all the clothes that no longer fit or that I like.

What it all boils down to is becoming as healthy and as sustainable as I can be in order to enjoy my life.

Also would love to see my favorite team win the Super Bowl this year, but guessing I should stick with actions I actually have some control over. (BUT they are back to back division champions and have a real shot at Super Bowl rings this year! GO PANTHERS!)

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Home Again Home Again Jiggity Jig

The unthinkable happened.

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Got through Christmas with the family, without a fight and even after spending the vacation with the new man in tow, we still adore each other.  Thought that only happened in movies. hm.

Alas all did not go as planned.

Today is the Belk Bowl in Charlotte and for me that meant the December 5k.  Something the new guy, who needs a blog name stat, decided he wanted to join me in doing.  So we signed up.

Yesterday we enjoyed dreaming in IKEA, picked up our race bibs & I indulged in some time at my mecca…. Bank of America Stadium.

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The perfect spot to spend a little cash that landed in my lap for the holidays! Yes there are perks to people who do not enjoy shopping for others.

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Then we spent more time with the family and went to bed early because we knew that race time was coming bright and early.  Even laid out what I would wear knowing the temperatures were to be around 27 degrees.

Sadly that is where the going as planned stopped.

Around 7 am I heard my sister’s voice asking if we meant to sleep so late.  Nope.  Although I thought my alarm had been set in time for us to get up, eat, get ready & make it to downtown in plenty of time, it didn’t even go off.  AT ALL.  So we over slept.  Big time.

Bundled up, grabbed a couple of cinnamon buns we got the day before at IKEA & booked it downtown.  Due to the festivities and road construction navigating the maze of one way streets was a mess even if we hadn’t been pressed for time.   Finding parking turned into a complete ordeal when the machine refused to take our cash past $3, but wouldn’t open up for anything less than $6.  We wasted another 15 minutes at that damn machine.

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We gave up & passed up the overpriced lots finding a street spot several blocks away from the start line.  We hustled but sadly by the time we got there, we couldn’t even see the mass of runners.  They were gone.  The mascots and others there to cheer on everyone were getting their stuff together to wait until the first runner dashed their way back across the line.  Most were heading inside to grab warm cups of coffee, which was exactly all I wanted to do at the moment since I couldn’t even feel my ankles.

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We admitted defeat and laughed at the mess.  Thankfully we still got to see some beautiful scenes and had each other to enjoy our first DNF listings.

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Ended up walking a little around then heading back to spend a little more time with my Dad, eat lunch then pack up to drive back to the coast.

While at Dad’s it hit me.  Even with being together all week, with family & holiday expectations, even with the stress of the day and admission of defeat… we laughed.  We never once snapped at each other or shot one of “those looks”.  It is either a really great relationship or we just got lucky.  No matter what it warmed my heart & made me so thankful.

So perhaps Santa has brought me something I always wanted – a holiday season with as little stress and as much laughter and love as possible.

It is true it doesn’t come wrapped with a bow, but it truly is a wonderful thing to enjoy as long as it last.  At this point I am hoping for a repeat next year, except with the alarm getting us up in time to make it to the race and finally make it across the finish line, together.

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I feels wonderful being home again and happy.

Thank You Santa

With the holidays swirling about all around, I knew this would be one of the toughest years to handle.  Emotions just wash over you.  This morning was one of those instances.  Yet another time I wish I could pick up the phone and call Mom just to thank her for all she did.  Course I’m not sure I actually could make it through the conversation without tears, even if she was here.

Conversation last night helped me appreciate the luxuries of growing up with two parents who actually cared.  Trying to get more in the holiday spirit I spoke with a friend about Santa.  Santa arrived in the night on Christmas Eve without fail for every year of my childhood & even a few of my adult ones.  Santa had a rule, “When you stop believing you stop receiving.”   In the conversation it hit me that some kids got skipped.  To those kids who grew up in foster care, many times Santa skipped over their house ever year.  To them it became a holiday of strangers giving hugs and random gifts.  For some reason this brings tears to my eyes even this morning.  Wish I could go back and give every kid the gift of that feeling Christmas Eve of wondering in excitement if you might get a glimpse of him, hear the jingling of bells and hope that the cookies hit the spot.  I truly can’t really even grasp what it would be not having those memories.

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The magic of Santa lives on in me.  Perhaps the view of what he is has changed from the literal interpretation to one of a manifestation of hope, joy and the beauty of wishes coming true.

Some how I envisioned it was this way for all children.  In a perfect world, it is.  Each year since my senior year of high school I have participated in the annual tradition of collecting toys to be donated to others.  I know loads of people who do the same.  For some reason, my hope was that all the children get toys and the joy of Santa is spread to all.

Well of course some I knew had chose not to believe for religious reasons, but to me Santa isn’t part of a religion but a culture of caring.  I understood as a kid that some kids had nativities and waited to open gifts on Christmas day while others lit candles and opened gifts for 8 nights.  I didn’t get that the differences went beyond the when the gifts were exchanged or the decorations.   For me Christmas was & in many ways a holiday that all celebrated together of joy, kindness, getting together, expressions of love and caring & magic.  The magic of taking a month to just be happy and make wishes come true.  The fact that the observance of the birth of christ and all that happened at the same time at church to me was just a coincidence.  So as I questioned my faith growing up, losing the holiday with the family didn’t change.

Of all the memories growing up, Santa is by far one of my most treasured.  Interesting that the first year without Mom finds me reflecting and realizing how extremely blessed I have been…. because of all they did to always keep the magic and traditional alive.  Feels a bit like I have opened a gift a little early.  One I wish I could share with the world.

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A to Z

My world has completely been turned upside down.

Wednesday, I became an aunt officially!

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After seeing glimpses of how changed my world would be if I lost my sister & her baby, we got the best news we could ever hear – I had  a new nephew and both he & his Mom were doing good.

Zane entered the world and we will never be the same.

Already he has his aunt wrapped around his tiny little fingers.  Luckily he is one of the best mannered and sweetest beings on the planet.  Hardly a fuss at all.  Content to be snuggled and enjoy seeing anything you care to share.

If only Mom could be here getting to know this guy and getting to see my sister being the natural mom she is.  She has to be so very proud.  Today I was lucky enough to get to give my nephew his first nail trim.  Didn’t even have a clue how babies have such sharp nails at birth!  Hard to fathom that it wasn’t that long ago I gave Mom her the last manicure.   So many questions I wish I could ask her right now.  Learning so much and feel so blessed to be included in this time.  Bit overwhelming how much has changed so quickly, but grateful for all we have.

So funny how in an instant, everything changes.

Sometimes, it even changes for the better!

Welcome to the world little one.  May you always know you are loved, laugh more than you cry & be lucky in all you do.  May you always be true to you.

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Like A Box of Crayons

So last night while sitting on the beach watching the sky & surf change colors in its nightly sundown moonrise show, I had an idea.

My fortune cookie at lunch yesterday may be to blame.

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Or perhaps it was the effects of the “Monster” full moon.

Whatever it was, I just had fun with it.

Chalking has been all over pinterest for months & of course I wanted to try it.  I made the mistake of thinking that I needed to buy hair chalk to do it & why would I waste money on that?

Ha.  Nope.  No special expensive supplies needed.  Funny enough I already had most of it at home!  Hair – yup.   Water – got tons.  Rubber gloves – got fresh ones under the sink.  Flat iron – on the counter waiting.  Chalk – actually, I did had picked up some for a certain baby shower I am prepping for!

See you don’t need some fancy hair supply chalk.  Regular (non-oil based) pastels chalk, like I had picked up at A.C. Moore, works great & comes in a lot of colors.  So no need to pin away at the ones on Etsy or Pinterest anymore.  I went for it!

The colors of the ocean.

Start off with separating the hair into sections you want to color.  No.  Start by PUTTING ON THE GLOVES.  Trust you will want them on.  I tried to just skip it but the chalk is going to get all over, so you may as well toss on the gloves from the get go instead of first getting it on your hands, the water knob on the sink, the counter… it was all over.  So I stopped & cleaned it up & went for the gloves.  Also recommend you wear something you don’t mind getting chalk on shirt wise or use a towel on your shoulders to prevent staining your clothes.

Get the section you want to color damp with water then just color it with the chalk stick.  Keep rubbing it til you get the color you want.  Then set in with the flat iron (I also used the hair dryer because I didn’t want to wait to see the color).

Then brush & style as you would with your hair any other way.

Simple.

Way too simple!  This is going to be way too much fun for me to play with.

I did notice that the flat iron & hair brush ended up with some “color”, but it easily cleaned up without any issues.  I have a black pillow case & it didn’t end up looking like a city sidewalk on a hot day, but I have read where others who slept with their hair chalked have gotten it all over.

So how did it look?

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the before. my everyday color.
(why doesn’t my tank top show? I promise I was fully clothed through this whole process. Sorry for the pics. )

Well at first I wasn’t so sure.

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hint of mint showing up

Seafoam was the look I was going for.  Mermaid inspired.  Part of me had to wonder if I was being too conservative.  In a way it looked like I had moldy hues from swimming in a pool after a bad bleach job.   Almost not very noticeable.  Which could be good, but I wanted more.

So I kicked it up some.

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there we go!

This really is too easy!

Best part is I washed my hair & now it is gone.  I could theoretically match my outfit each day.  Like I have that kind of time.  I could though.  Wash out easily & I don’t see any left over color.  Just like I wanted.  Temporary truly.

My world just got a lot more colorful.

Comforting as blueberries

Sometimes the thing you need most is family.

After a crazy day feels great to have time together again.  As crazy as family can be, they are ours.  In a week full of thanks, I have so much to be thankful for.

There really is no place like home.

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Just a simple post tonight.

Overwhelmed with pure joy.  Sitting her tonight addressing cards to family & looked up to see a face intently watching me.  I smile & ask “what?” & the tail goes WILD!

I love that with just a word & a look, I can bring pure joy.

Ain’t love grand?

No conditions, well maybe just that I promise to be around as much as I can.

Thank you universe for puppies.

I’m loving this pic from the past! Cracks me up. Thank you Baxter for being a good sport & all the love you give.