Here's 75 things about my 2008, in no particular order
1. I lost weight 2. I kept most of it 3. I officially moved from my early 40’s to my mid-40’s. 4. I don’t feel as old as the number 5. I still feel like I’m in my early 30’s 6. I (voluntarily) went part time 7. I like my job better now 8. I feel more sane 9. The Little Miss started pre-school 10. I am a crafting dork 11. I started teaching myself to sew 12. I also make jewelry 13. And knit 14. I made stockings for the family this year 15. I didn’t finish mine 16. It will be done before next Christmas 17. I started walking a lot for exercise 18. I really enjoy being outside 19. I hate pushing a stroller when I walk 20. I found $100 bill on one of my walks 21. I go someplace new every year 22. I went to Zihuatanejo 23. I read over 25 books this year, not including children’s books 24. I can’t remember which one I liked the best 25. I started this blog 26. I feel pressure to post more often 27. I feel as though I’ve made a lot of friends on line 28. The Husband still doesn’t know I have a blog 29. I’m to chicken to post my picture 30. We had a bumper crop of peaches this year 31. I learned how to make jam 32. I have a new best friend 33. We have lots of fun together 34. Our kids love each other 35. Her older daughter was diagnosed with epilepsy 36. The Little Miss’ eczema has virtually gone away. (knock wood) 37. I’ve stayed healthy 38. The Husband has stayed healthy 39. My family situation still hasn’t changed much 40. I keep extending the olive branch to my brother 41. I started coloring my hair at home 42. I do my own pedi’s too 43. I still have someone come clean my house 2x a month 44. I feel like a spoiled Princess on the days they come 45. I started trading magazines with friends. 46. I now get to read a lot more of the for the same $ spent 47. I didn’t go to any weddings 48. I didn’t go to any funerals either 49. I went to San Francisco 4 times 50. And to Jackson Hole, twice 51. And to Las Vegas once 52. I flew with The Little Miss, solo. 53. I was glad it was a short flight 54. I took The Little Miss to her first ballet, The Nutcracker. 55. She wants to be a ballerina 56. The Little Miss learned how to ride a tricycle 57. She also learned how to jump 58. And say no, a lot. 59. I went to my first minor league baseball game 60. I pretty much stopped drinking Diet Coke 61. I don’t really miss it 62. I drink a lot more water 63. I still drink a lot of wine 64. I go to the farmers market more often 65. I started buying a lot more organic 66. It makes me mad that I have to pay more for it 67. I got a stronger prescription for glasses 68. I bought 2 new pairs at Costco 69. The Husband bought 2 pair also 70. I did not get a new hair style, although I cut my hair 71. I bought some clothes in smaller sizes 72. I was able to buy them, NOT at Lane Bryant 73. I got rid of my fat pants 74. Getting dressed is a lot more fun 75. I feel like I’m in a much better place than I was a year ago today.
There something you might need to know about me. I hate branded, shoved-down-your-throat, cheaply made, over-marketed merchandise. Specifically, I hate Dora almost as much as I hate Disney merchandise. I hate it because for me it just takes something that could be super special and turns it into one big profit center. There is so much crap out there and everything that could have a picture of Dora on it, does. I'm not that big of a sucker and I don't want The Little Miss to be fed into that big corporate big business brain washed madness.
It's not to say that Dora is all bad, in fact, Dora's been a good role model for her. She doesn't go anywhere alone, she always has her friend with her, who happens to be a monkey, bit still, I feel it's better to have someone with you. She's resourceful in consulting her map and always has a backpack full of things she might need to get out of a jam. She's bilingual and bi-cultural, celebrates her heritage, both her parents and her grandmother play very important roles in her life. In my book, that ain't too bad.
However for Christmas, dear family-in-law, you managed to give us the following Dora merchandise:
Dora Go Fish and Dora Crazy Eight card games Dora Dominos Dora See and Say Dora Spoon and fork set 5 Dora books 2 Dora night gowns Dora Temporary tattoos Dora Stick on earrings 3 Dora rings Dora Bubble whistle Dora Bubble liquid and wand Dora Ball and bat set Dora Hopping ball Dora Pillow
It's totally over-the-top sickening and most of it is already in the give away pile, or will be headed that way when The Husband isn't looking.
One of you had asked what The Little Miss would like for Christmas and I specifically said if all 10 (adults) of you could all get together to buy her a kick ass craft set. Finger paints, paper, glitter glue, scissors, crayons, coloring books, and anything else that looked like fun craft ideas, because that's what she LOVES to do and asks every single day if she can paint or play glue, or use scissors. Did we get any of that? No.
I don't mean to sound ungrateful, but honestly I'm a bit pissed and disappointed. I don't like to whine, but I am. You asked and I thought I had given you a good suggestion, but I guess you have all been lured into thinking that anything that has Dora on it is the perfect gift. You're wrong.
On the flip side, I get to have the fun of taking The Little Miss to the craft store today to pick out new paints, some paper and a some other fun things for herself. (since I've been putting off buying anything since I thought that was what she was getting from you.) I can't wait to see her face light up as she has free reign to pick out what she wants and you know how much fun we're going to have this afternoon getting all messy? That right there is the best Christmas present you've given us.
Family-in-law, next year please no Dora or anything that has any person's face on it. Please.
Thanks everyone for your kind words about my whole weird brother situation. That post was prompted because I was having dinner with him, his wife and kids. My sister in law particularly does not like me and will rarely talk to me. Every Christmas my mom has her family over and it is the one time each year when I see my SIL. In years past I have been looked down at by my SIL and brother to some extent, because I chosen a path in life that is different than theirs and therefore, not as good and not acceptable. I stayed single and lived a very care free existence when they got married and started their family. I was jetting off to all corners of the world while they worried about what mini van or Suburban they should have. I had boyfriends and fuck friends while they dealt with an affair that almost torn their marriage apart, but resulted in an even bigger and shinier diamond. I scrapped enough money together to buy my first small house, in the not-so-good neighborhood, while they gutted their kitchen and put in stainless steel appliances in a house in the "right" neighborhood.
But those things have come crashing down on them this year, and bigness and glitz have started to crumble and tarnish. This economy has been particularly brutal for my brother and his family. He's in the mortgage business, which a few years ago offered them a lifestyle they can no longer afford. They have stopped making payments on their vacation home in Hawaii, as it sits for sale in this stagnant real estate market, they have sold cars to come up with more funds, they have gone through all their savings and have now started digging into my brother's retirement accounts. After that, I don't know what will happen.
As hard as it is on them, and as trite, mean or uncaring as this may sound, I don't feel particularly bad for them. There were so many times when I would have to listen to them about how I "should be" doing things, how I'm not doing things "right" or listen to them rattle off about the biggest, best, shiniest new toys and gadgets they bought. I watched as my mother cried about being pushed aside because they were too busy with their decorator. I watched as my father was only called when they needed his help doing something, not calling just to say hello. I watched them build themselves up to become people I hardly knew and philosophically had very little in common with.
And now I watch as they figure out what is really important and I can't help but shake my head as they talk about how hard it is to live like the rest of us.
Being family is a strange thing. We are connected by family line, blood, and shared experiences, which seems should be enough to make us close but that’s not always the case. For some very sad reason it’s so much more complicated than that. Although we live only a handful of miles apart my brother and I rarely talk. We use to, and I’m not really sure when, where or how we drifted apart and I don’t care to relive, point fingers and place blame as to why we don’t. I no longer expect to be included in what’s going on in his world, no longer expect birthday wishes or congratulations when big events happen but disappointment and sadness still sets in when it doesn’t. In return, the invitations extended to him seem more like something that’s required rather than something that I want to do. Phone calls on his birthday and holidays are awkward but made, none-the-less.
We are two different people, two different philosophies and building two separate lives. That doesn’t mean that our paths can’t, don’t and shouldn’t cross. They, in fact should. We should get together, say hello and care for each other. I now have a daughter who needs to know ever she is part of a bigger family that extends beyond our walls. My soul is fed by the love of people who keep me close, not by those who have drifted and distanced themselves.
It saddens me to think this separation between my bother and me has brought angst to my mom. I know she think she needs to fix it. But really is there anything to fix? Do we need to be close? I love my bother and I know, although we are not close, he returns those feelings. I still feel like he’s my protective older brother and I like the sense of familiarity. I know he will be by my side if called and I will be by his. In the future, there will be times when we will need each other and I know our lack of daily or weekly communication will not stand in the way because after all, we are family.
I may not be her, but I did fit into a pair of pants that I’ve been holding onto for when I get “a little thinner.” It just happens that it’s been rainy and cold (for us) here and I was looking for a pair of jeans to wear this morning. Just for shits and giggles, I thought I’d just see how this one pair of pants fit. Over the past year, I’ve been more or less using them as a gauge to mark my progress. When I first started out, I couldn’t even come close to zipping. It then got to be I could zip them but not move in them at all. Next was zip but be really really uncomfortable. The next time I tried them zipped them up, but not wear them out of the house because my fat was still spilling over, and really, that’s just not a good look for anyone. But this morning, hmmmm… zip, a little lose around the waist and a happy dance to go with it.
So looky here, I’m in my “when I get thinner” jeans and I’m actually going to out to lunch in them. Christmas came a little early for me this year and I'm not complaining one bit.
2. Tell you about (only)5 of my fabulous addictions:
1. Sewing and jewelry making. 2. This 3. My DVR. I can't believe I actually lived without such a thing. 4. My friend Suzey because she is just so much dang fun. 5. The sound of The Little Miss laughing.
3. Link back to the person that gave you this award..thanks Chrissie!
And thanks to every single one of you readers out there... I really do appreciate you stopping by and it still amazes me you do.
Times are tough. I don't think there's anyone out there that hasn't felt this economic pinch in some way. I have, my friends have, the company I work for has, everyone has. Seems like penny pinching is in and the days of excess is gone. When I look back I see how much money I wasted on frivolity, it all seems such a waste. My world of living with a big disposable income is gone. We still have money, both The Husband and I are still employed, we can still make our payments every month and we can still have some small luxuries in life. We're luckier than a lot of people, but we are making some adjustments in our lives.
I no longer go "get my hair done." I color at home. I no longer go get pedis. I paint them at home. I cancelled our voicemail service and our long distance service on our home phone. I cancelled the newspaper except for the weekends. I trade magazines with friends, so I didn't have to subscribe to all of them. I cut coupons for things I use. I buy things on sale and I've distinguished between need and want.
One thing that hasn't changed is we still give to charities every single month. There's a lot of people that have far less then we and it feels good to be able to help. Some months it's to a local non-profit and other times it's to a globally minded charity. The Husband and I love looking for new places to give and have found some wonderful organizations which are there to serve any interest you may have. This year for the holidays, we're going to "adopt" a family living at the local homeless shelter and buy holiday gifts for them so they can have something to celebrate during these bleak times.
My Culture Club/Bookclub girls give a few dollars every month into a kitty and we've collected enough money to give back to this. Our hope is to give back to what we have taken.
At work I proposed to have a silent auction at our holiday party instead of doing our normal white elephant gift. We're all bringing in something to auction off and the money raised goes to the charity of your choice. I'm excited knowing there are people in my office who will be participating in raising money for others, some for the first time in their lives.
Like I tell The Little Miss all the time, "It's good to share."
I'm glad this weekend is over. There was no self control, no exercise, no worries about what I ate and really didn't worry what I drank. What did happen over the course of the weekend was Oreo cookies, 3 slices of pizza for dinner, a hamburger, fries, chicken tenders and God knows what else.
What also happened and a call to The Husband to pick up my friend and me, because we drank ourselves into a bunch of craziness. We went out "Christmas Shopping" and somehow ended up at a local watering hole. I'm not sure how it happened, but let's just say Sunday was recovery day.
Let's hope next week I have a little bit more self control.
I'll need to find a new trick pretty soon because around here, it seems as though food is the international symbol for thanks. Our office kitchen is piled high every day with baskets and boxes filled with chocolates, brownies, cookies, candies, nuts, sausages, cheeses, crackers, and an occasional fruit. We are starting to see the gifts of "Thanks for a great year" pile up and it's becoming more and more difficult to resist the urge. I can hear those little nuggets calling my name and I'm using every trick in the book to resist the temptation. I've even tried this, "Hey guys, did you see the ________ that's in the kitchen? Sure looks good" hoping that my co-workers will all rush over and scarf up whatever it is so there won't be any left for me to bite into.
Is it bad to trick everyone and make them eat, so I don't?
While out and about the other day, I was musing to myself and making up excuses why I wasn't going to go for my walk. I think the excuses ranged from, I have to go home and clean out my sock drawer to I'm just too damn lazy. When before me appeared a man in a wheelchair. That certainly made me think, how happy he would be if only he could take one step.
Why are we all complaining about something we can do when others don't even have the opportunity?
I think of myself as though I'm a pretty typical hipster kinda gal. I feel like I'm younger than I am and I'm still trying to figure out what I'm going to do when I grow up. For now, I'm working part-time "for the man," but more importantly, I'm a mom to a daughter, The Little Miss (TLM) and a wife to The Husband. We live in an area of the country where being anything bigger than a size 6 is considered unacceptably large and in a town where movie stars live.
I've always been the Big Girl. Growing up it was because I was taller and "big boned." Now I'm the Big Girl because I'm fat. At one time I loved being the Big Girl but now, not so much.
This blog is my way trying to be a part of a community that can help each other through our struggles to be who we really are. For me, it's still being a Big Girl just not of the fat variety.