Thursday, December 30, 2010

Happy (Almost) New Year!

With New Years Eve tomorrow night, I've been thinking a lot about my Mom.  New Years Eve is her birthday and we always spent it with her.  As a teenager, I was a little annoyed that I was never able to go to the cool parties with everyone (well, except for once... I had fun... too much fun because I got grounded afterwards).  As an adult, there was no where else I would rather be and I wish I could go back to the days when I was a kid.

Tradition is an important thing in our family.  Now that my Mom is gone we are still trying to find our new groove for the holidays but as a kid we knew where we would be.  As a little kid, we would all go over to my Grandmother's house (my Mom's mom) and have a huge party for New Years.  At midnight we would all be ready with pots and pans.  As the ball dropped, we would run up and down the street making an insane amount of noise and shouting "Happy New Year!"  As kids, we knew we were only allowed to a certain drive way before we had to turn around.

Things were simple.  We just knew where we were supposed to be and what we were supposed to do.  After my Grandmother passed away we continued the tradition of banging pots and pans but slowly the tradition faded.  The parties got smaller as cousins married and started their own traditions.  Even my sibling and I have branched out to do different things.

As is tradition with everyone holiday, I will be spending it with family which is the one thing that remains constant.  The people might be different from year to year, but being surrounded by loved ones stays the same.  Those who can get together do and those who can't are missed.  I know that as the night goes on, I'll be thinking of my Mom and remembering all the childhood memories with a smile.

And who knows... if Abby actually makes it to midnight I may let her bang on some pots and pans to show her how to ring in the New Year right!

I wish all of you a Happy New Year!  Filled with health, wealth, and happiness!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

My Hiatus is Over!

Wow... this has been one long hiatus!  Not just from blogging but being on the internet in general.  Aside from a couple quick times I snuck in here and there.  I have to admit, as much as I missed blogging, I have had a great hiatus filled with family and fun.

Abby's first Christmas present from Nonno... a few days early!

My brother, Joe, and sisters, Resa and Katey, relaxing on our new couch!

Abby helped herself to a candy cane while we were baking cookies.

Her first look at what Santa left behind!

She loves her enormous tunnel/ball pit!  Thank goodness we have a large basement!

Today is actually the first day that Abby and I will be in our new home by ourselves.  All of the family is gone and Dan is back to work.  It feels....... quiet.  It's been a long few weeks so I know it's time to get back to normal.  Well, for a few days until we start out on our New Years adventure!

I hope all you had a great holiday!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

TV or No TV?

This post is days in the making.  Every time I try to sit down and write, something or someone gets in my way.  We have been so busy unpacking, decorating for Christmas, and my Dad and brother arrived on Monday to stay the week to help get some things done and celebrate Christmas.  To say it's been busy is an understatement.

But, that's not the real reason I haven't been online.  No matter how busy I am, I can usually squeeze in moments here and there.  The real reason is that apparently the cable company doesn't supply their customers with a wireless router unless they get a special request.  So, I have to connect with an ethernet cable which is in the family room in the basement.  The ethernet cable is short so I literally am using the subwoofer for the TV as my desk.

Did I also mention that this is where the main TV is?  The only other TV we have right now is in my bedroom, which I rarely go into during the day.

So, basically I have hardly been online and hardly watched TV since Thursday and ya know... I have to say that it's been kind of nice.  It's nice to listen to music and see Abby run around and play without being distracted by one of her shows.  It feels like we've gone back to basics and it's refreshing.

On the other hand, the internet is something I miss.  I miss drinking my coffee and checking my email.  I miss not being able to move my computer to whatever room I'm in.  So, on the list today is a wireless router.  It's a necessity.

Another TV, however, is on the bottom of the list.  We have a living room upstairs so there is definitely room for it but I'm not too anxious to put one in there.  Dan thinks I'm crazy and is planning on getting one after Christmas.  My brother agrees with Dan and said that it's not the 1950's anymore.  He thinks it's strange to have a living room without a TV.

So, what do you guys think?  How many TVs do you have and are they on all day like in my house?

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

We're on the Move!

Sorry I've been MIA lately.  I have a good excuse.  Really, I do!

We closed on our new home this past Friday!  Since then, I have been busy getting it ready so we can move.  We won't officially be in our new place until this coming Friday but it feels good to be there getting everything ready.

I've been cleaning, unpacking boxes, and most of all.... I've been shopping!  All the little stuff (and big stuff) adds up so fast.  Between the new house and Christmas, I've never spent so much money and it feels SO GOOD!

Abby is starting to get used to her new home too.  Some days she handles being there really well, some days are not so smooth.  I think it's hard for her because there's no furniture yet so it doesn't feel quite like home.  But, she's finding ways to keep herself entertained.

Things should start settling down after Christmas and hopefully I'll be able to post some updates here and keep up with all of you.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Dealing With You is Excruciating: Writer's Workshop

I'm linking up for this weeks writing challenge over at Mama Kat's.  Here's a letter to just about any company I ever give my money to....

Dear (insert company here),

Although your company policy states that your goal is to provide 'exceptional customer service' I think you forgot what exceptional customer service is.  See, I give you my money and you give me a product while acting like you appreciate the fact that I chose you.

Now, I'm not expecting you to roll out the red carpet just because I decide to go with your bundle package.  I realize that I am one in a million and I am not even a blip on your radar when you analyze your bottom line but do I not count for something?  I don't even require 'exceptional', I'm pretty easy.  Here are just a few things that would make me 'exceptionally happy'.

Since I am the customer, can I please at least have things delivered on the correct date to the correct home? (Yes, I'm talking to you, furniture STORES.  That's right, I am dealing with 2 furniture stores who are driving me crazy!).

Since I am the customer, can I have a phone call returned in a timely manner?  As in, within a few days? So that I do not have to call back and explain my entire story all over again to someone else who doesn't care?  (This ones for just the one store who is holding my table hostage on a boat from China).

Speaking of a timely manner, do you think that I can receive a bill in a timely manner?  Not over a year after I visit your office.  I made payments after each visit but now you say I owe more, over a year later.  I'm so confused as to why but I guess I have to pay since it's my credit that will be damaged if I don't.   Do I get to take over a year to pay you?  (Yup, this one is for you Dr. Dentist!).

Really, I don't want to be angry.  I don't want to have to yell and threaten to cancel my order/service/complain.  But when I try to be nice about things, you take advantage of me and try to pacify me with an "I'm sorry for your inconvenience."  Well, I'm sorry for it too!

I think you should change your company's goal to 'provide exceptionally excruciating customer service'. Problem solved, goal met.


Inconvenienced, As Always
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Tuesday, December 7, 2010

"The days of our lives, for all of us, are numbered." Elizabeth Edwards

I'm sorry, this post might come off as a little depressing for the holiday season.  I just found out that Elizabeth Edwards passed away this morning.  I have to say it hit pretty close to home.  Both her and my mom fought breast cancer for 6 long years.

Elizabeth Edwards left behind 3 kids, her oldest is about the same age as me so I feel like I have pretty good idea what she's feeling right now.  She was pretty open about her diagnosis so I'm sure in some ways she tried to prepare them for this but truthfully there is no such thing.  Losing your mom at such a young age is hard.

My sister asked me recently if anything will ever feel like a happy occasion again.  For us, there's always something... someone... missing.  I'm sure with time it will ache less but I'm sure we'll always feel that way.  A few days before my mom passed away, she cried over how much she was going to miss out on.  I tried to reassure her that she'll have the best seat in the house, but I know at the time that it was only words.  Until she said it, I never thought of it.  I'm choked up right now thinking of the big things that she'll miss... engagements, weddings, grandkids.  All I pray is that on each of my sister's wedding days, I say the right thing because Lord knows... it's going to be a little tougher for the girls.

Which is why my heart goes out to her children, especially the younger 2.

I thought I would share a poem my dad found and sent to me.  Reading it reminded me that no matter what happens, there are two ways to look at things.

You can shed tears that she is gone, 
or you can smile because she has lived. 
You can close your eyes and pray that she'll come back, 
or you can open your eyes and see all she's left. 
Your heart can be empty because you can't see her, 
or you can be full of the love you shared. 
You can turn your back on tomorrow and live yesterday, 
or you can be happy for tomorrow because of yesterday. 
You can remember her only that she is gone, 
or you can cherish her memory and let it live on. 
You can cry and close your mind, 
be empty and turn your back. 
Or you can do what she'd want: 
smile, open your eyes, love and go on.

~David Harkins~

Monday, December 6, 2010

Oops... I broke the Budget!

I mentioned the other day that I prefer shopping in stores as opposed to online but last night sealed the deal.   I can't be trusted to shop online.  I sat down last night to shop for Dan and I got so caught up in being able to shop multiple places and compare prices that I got confused.

And overwhelmed.

And a little click happy.

At one point, I had 3 stores open with stuff in each cart.  I then forgot about one whole order and almost ordered the same thing from another store.

Then, Toys R Us decided to take something out of my cart due to low inventory and by the time I realized the item was no longer available.  I'm still trying to figure out how they can do this.  If I had something in my cart at the store they wouldn't be able to take it back because I was shopping too long.  I feel like I was robbed.  It's kind of like some crazy mom stealing from your cart when you turn around to look at something... not cool!

At the end of night, I tallied up my purchases and thought 'oh, sh**'.  Out of the 4 things on Dan's list, I purchased 2.  I also purchased 8 things not on his list that at the time seemed like small things but added up to way over budget.  Um, what in the world was I doing?

I've decided that I am way too unorganized to shop online.  I need to see the items I purchased and feel them in my hands in order for my brain to know it's time to stop spending.  I need a destination, with a list, and fewer options than what is available online.

At least Dan will be happy on Christmas.  Of course he wasn't mad... it meant more presents for him!  Although, it does make his shopping harder because right now my list consists of a pair of comfy pants from Old Navy and a mascara... he's got a lot of catching up to do!

Hmm, maybe I should continue shopping so he feels obligated to put some diamonds or a Coach bag under the tree?  I'll have to remember that idea next year!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

What to do first???

We are 6 days away from closing on our home!  YAY!  Well, that is if they finish fixing the septic and the county inspects it by then.  But, assuming everything happens as planned... we will be homeowners this Friday!!

I'm getting a tad bit nervous though.  We are not packed as much as I want to be.  It's hard to figure out what I can pack now and what I might need.  To top it off, I came down with the most horrendous cold/flu sore throat/head ache/body ache thing.  I am not one to get sick very often and I am amazed that I somehow caught something that my husband was able to fight off.  Needless to say, I spent about 6 hours awake yesterday and the rest of the day passed out.  Thank God for my Hubs who took care of Abby for me... even after I cussed him out because I couldn't find my phone charger.  What can I say, I'm sick and can not be held responsible for my choice of words!

The other serious stressor right now... Christmas.  I have way too much to do and no time to do it in.  I love shopping in stores for the holidays.  The decorations and music just bring out the holiday spirit in me.  This year, I think I'm going to do a majority of the shopping on line and if so, I need to get a move on (as Dan reminds every day).

Ok... now that I got all that off my chest, it doesn't seem too bad.  I guess being sick just made things overwhelming.  Ok, off to take care of the most important stuff... shopping!!!


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