Thursday, January 16, 2014

Deep Thoughts...

I love quotes. I'm the one at bookgroup that writes down my favorite quotes from the book we just finished. I have started a quote book for each of my kids to give as a graduation gift. Things like "Live the life you want to live. Be the person you want to remember. Make decisions, make mistakes. If you fail, at least you tried." and "Never regret anything because at one time it was exactly what you wanted." I feel like I come across little quotes like these at exactly the time when I need them most. I love when I read something and it just makes me stop in my tracks and think. I also love it when they make me just laugh out loud. I have a few funny ones that are my personal favs that I'd like to share. If nothing else, I hope one of them makes you laugh: "You and I are more than friends. We are like a small gang." "I don't run. And if you ever see me running, you should run too because something is probably chasing me." "We should open a store called Forever 39. We can sell wine and yoga pants." Amen, sister. "I'm afraid I can't go. I've already taken off my bra so I'm in for the night." And one of my favorites "Roses are dead, violets are fine, this day sucks balls, I really love wine." What's your favorite funny quote?

Saturday, January 4, 2014

End of the Year Pleasures

A few nights ago a friend of mine texted and said "Come meet us out for drinks!" Usually we hop at the chance but this was a tough sell. I've been home since Dec 20th - mostly off from work but working for the first few days of the year. I have been "going" since then with party after party, then Christmas, then I took my sister's kids for a few days. I feel like even though I have been off from work, I have been extremely busy...up until New Year's. Here's what I've discovered tho...having two weeks away from work have not been good for me. On one hand, I feel like I've gotten a lot of house projects done. On my list was cleaning out both my personal and work email. Check! I wanted to clean the fridge...instead I just swabbed it down. Sort of check. I wanted to reorganize my newly reorganized pantry. Check! I wanted the kids to thoroughly clean their rooms...nightstand drawers, closets, general room cleaning....that didn't happen at all. No check. I didn't plan to organize the basement. Well, I continuously have "reorganize the basement" on my list but it is never a priority for me. Except that Jack got a weight bench and rather than the weights falling through my dining room ceiling, we decided they belonged in the basement so we cleaned out a space for him. Once we got that going, we were inspired to reorganize the rest. Today I spent 4 hours down there...in gloves, boots, and a hat...but I have to admit, it looks great! Surprise, check! Sounds like I was productive but I wouldn't go that far. I was sick for most of the two weeks with a bad cold and crazy cough that still hasn't gone away. I didn't work out on the treadmill for about 1 1/2 weeks because I felt horrible. Then it was so hard to motivate to get back into the swing of things. But today, I finally got back into the swing of things and realized how much I missed it. It just takes one step to get moving. Much like when my friend Ann texted me. I said to Tim "what do you think?" as I sat on the couch in my yoga pants after eating a sub. He said "We should do it." I thought for a minute and then said "I don't know if I can motivate." I had worked from 8-6, granted from my couch in my yoga pants but that night I had planned to get working on my 2014 trip presentation that is "due" next weekend. He looked at me and said "You need to get off the couch." Ouch. So, I brushed my air dried hair, put on some makeup, and threw on some jeans. I was exhausted, sadly. Yet, so happy to see our friends. Within 10 minutes of arriving this was our conversation: Me: It was so hard to motivate but so glad you texted. Ann: I know...having time off from work makes it so hard to get off the couch. Me: I'll be honest...the shirt I'm wearing (I pointed to the shirt under my sweater)...I wore yesterday too. Ann: See this shirt? (She pointed to the shirt under her sweater)...I wore it to bed last night and all day today. And I'll probably wear it to bed again tonight. We laughed. Me: Look at my hair...I just dried my bangs and let the rest air dry. Ann: You can't even tell! Ann: I swear to God I was addicted to sugar in the last two weeks. I had to wean myself off. I was being mean to my family. Me: On New Year's Day, I decided to have a bowl of cheese curls and diet coke for lunch. Tim threatened to take a picture of me...with my bed head, my glasses...and big bowl of cheese curls. It was a frightening moment. But I've said it before and I'll say it again, cheese curls are my kryptonite. It's best if eat them and get them out of the house. Ann: I just showered yesterday for the first time in 2 days. Me: the socks I have on (under my boots)...I've had on for 3 days. They are so cute...I got them for Christmas. Ann: I did laundry yesterday and barely had any for myself. I realized it's because I've been wearing the same clothes all week. And I don't think that's good! Me: I thought the same thing today!! A few things to note here. I love when you realize you are in the same boat with your friends and can totally relate. I love the honesty of the conversation. That's the sign of a good friend. And I am sharing because I'm pretty sure it's not just Ann and I that are in the same boat. I love the time at the end of the year to regroup, reorganize, and get myself reoriented for the next year. It's like September for me. I love filling out my new agenda calendar, I love organizing, and I love starting fresh for the new year. I also love taking a break, sitting around in my yoga pants, and not feeling the pressure to be "on" all the time. I hope you had the chance to recharge your batteries, do some organizing...if you wanted to, and are ready for the new year. Time to get out of those yoga pants and get moving again, Ladies!

Friday, January 3, 2014

2014 Resolutions

It hit me last night when I was trying to fall asleep what my other resolution was from last year that I couldn't remember...to have more game nights. Yep...didn't do it. The kids didn't seem to be around much, with their growing social lives, and we just seemed so busy that there was always something else to do. Well, at least I remembered what it was! And by documenting my 2014 resolutions here, at least I'll be able to look back and see what they were when I forget again this year. First, here is my approach to resolutions. Don't make too many or you are never going to do them. Or in my case, you might not even remember what they are. So, this year I have but two resolutions. One is to paint more. When I had a year off in between jobs I did a lot of painting and even took a watercolor class. I loved it! But, I had more time back then. I haven't painted in over a year. My goal is to get back to it this year. The other is to blog more. There were times when I had a lot to say and other times when I really struggled to come up with ideas. I realized that I lost my original intent for blogging which was to just share things that happened rather than trying to come up with specific things to say. To do that successfully, I just have to be more present and mindful about things going on around me...and not get wrapped up in the busy-ness of life. I have to be mindful of the little things...the things that make me laugh, make me think, and make me take notice. Getting caught up in the hectic pace of life doesn't allow you to notice the little things. So, I guess my resolution is to really slow down and be more mindful and the outcome, hopefully, will be that I blog more. Wish me luck! What are your resolutions?

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Closing Out 2013

It's time to close out another year and start a fresh one! Lots to be thankful for this year, lots of lessons learned, and lots to look forward to in 2014. Have you made your resolutions yet? Some people say resolutions are self defeating and don't bother making any. I make them because they are a form of a list that keeps me on track with the things I promised myself I would focus on. I did pretty good with my resolutions last year. I wanted to eat healthier and lost weight. I worked on changing my diet and although I wouldn't call myself a vegetarian, I found that I know eat less meat, lots more beans/protein, and a lot of salads. In the end, I lost 10 pounds over the last 8 months. I discovered that in the end, it wasn't about the number I got to on the scale but rather the way I felt about myself and the way my clothes fit. Since I am just 5'3" gaining 1-2 pounds is really noticeable to me because there aren't many places for the weight to hide. Damn you, tall girls! I feel like this year gave me good clarity on what I need to do to maintain the weight that makes me feel my best. Now I just need to make sure I maintain...as though that's a piece of cake or something! I also committed to using the sitting area in my bedroom more. We have a fireplace in our bedroom...that has never been used. My closet is right by the fireplace and I don't want my clothes so smell like a campfire every day. Ironic, since I enjoy camping so much. By the fireplace, we have a nice seating area and a big screen tv...that we never sit in. We tend to hang out as a family in the living room so the sitting area just doesn't get used. I did try to accomplish this resolution but wasn't able to work it out. I need to work on finding a way to use the nice, relaxing area more but I need to balance it with the desire to spend time with the family, considering we have such a short amount of time together each night. And quite frankly, I can't think of what my third resolution was but I know I had another one. I'm going to guess I didn't do well on that one. Just being honest with ya....do you remember all of your resolutions?? Maybe it's just me. Each New Year's Eve we do something a little different - whether it's host friends here, go to a friend's house, or celebrate together. I was happy to spend the night with the four of us this year as I know it might be one of the last with the kid's growing social lives. We started the day by going into Providence. We had lunch and then the boys went to the Providence Friars basketball game while "us girls" went shopping at the mall. Now, let's just say that Mimi and I love a good trip to the mall. We started out with a few returns that we had and then we did a little shopping but for whatever reason, we didn't have our shopping mojo on and were ready to go home 2 hours later. However, the basketball game went into double overtime. I don't think Mimi and I have ever uttered the words "Hopefully we can leave the mall soon" but that's what we found ourselves saying. When we got home we had planned to do one thing per hour until midnight to keep ourselves busy...and awake. First up, ping pong tournament! I had got the kids one of those portable nets for Christmas thinking they would use it a few times on the island but somehow our dining room table has become a full scale ping pong table! We played 3 rounds, Jack winning each time. The next hour was spent making and eating some very yummy appetizers and watching a movie. We love "appetizer night". We usually do it when there is a Patriots game on in the late afternoon or sometimes on a Sunday night we combine apps with a movie night. Whenever we stay home on New Year's Eve, it's what we do. The next hour was spent discussing where we want to go for our trips in 2014. Apparently Tim and I were still thinking about camping trips and the kids were not. We worked it out...meaning, we are still camping and the kids are coming to terms with it. But we each shared our lists of where we want to go, then we narrowed it down to a top 3 for each person. Now we have 2 weeks to do our research and come back to share what we found out. Then we'll do a family vote and go from there! Thanks to my friend Pinterest, I started 2 new traditions last year. One, was the Jar of Good Memories. I have a jar that I keep on the counter with plain paper and a pen inside so there are no excuses that you couldn't find a piece of paper or something to write with. Each time one of us has a great memory from the year, we write it down and put it in the jar. Then we spent an hour going through them on New Year's Eve. It was really fun to see what people had written, to read about things we had forgotten about, and to see what everyone else had put in there. There were things like "I had a great summer vacation" to "We spent our 16th wedding anniversary in Beverly Hills!" to "Making the baseball team" to "Had a great time paddling in Wilmington, NC!" If you don't do this, I highly encourage you to do this. It was one of our favorite things to do that night! The other thing I started that we are just now reaping the benefits from was to start a perpetual calendar. I have a little vintage berry basket that I keep index cards in. Each one has the date on it and then each year I write the day of the week and the year. Then I just jot down 1 or 2 things that happened that day. For instance, on New Year's eve this year, it was already New Year's day in 2013 and we all went and took a walk in the afternoon. Honestly, some days I have nothing to jot down, so I'll just note the weather. We are only a few days in but already it is fun to look back on what happened this day a year ago. Again, do this one too!! Finally, we finished out the night by watching the New Year's eve special on tv, getting our toasting drinks ready, and ringing in the year with noisemakers and hats. We had a great night and I know that time with the kids is becoming limited since they will soon be off to school so this was a special night for me that I know I will remember for many years. Actually, I'll remember it for as long as I keep up my perpetual calendar :) Happy New Year to you!!!