- The guys I work with recruited me to join their Fantasy Football League this year. I’m totally psyched! I love watching football, both college and pro, however stats really aren’t my thing. And I realized today that I might be in over my head when one of the guys mentioned he wanted to draft Chad Ochocinco and blurted out “I thought he was a basketball player?” Whoops. Too much Dancing with the Stars, not enough ESPN.
- I keep my office cube very “cozy.” People love it. I have a lamp, to add ambiance, and I have photos posted around of my family and pets. I even have one of my favorite celebrity dog, Boo. Well, a few weeks ago I came into work to find a picture of a random dog posted up next to Boo. Very funny, you guys. Then today, I came in to find a picture of a random family posted next to my own family photo. No one will claim credit for the additions but both pictures are still in my cube, I have no intention of taking them down. I love working with such fun(ny) people. Makes going to work much more enjoyable!
- In case I don’t get to post again this week (it’s going to be a super busy one), I want to wish my dear friend, Lindsey a very Happy Birthday! She is my blogging inspiration (and future home-renovation inspiration) so check her out at One Sweet World.
- I went a little out of control in the cleaning department this weekend. I tend to do that sometimes, when I get on these weird kicks. I basically took everything out of every closet in my apartment (and I have a lot of closets) and started to sort through and throw out. I say “started to” because I failed to finish. Now my apartment looks like it imploded. I have one free night this week to wrap up it up. Yoikes. Fortunately I also received an email today that our project is hosting a clothing drive for Goodwill this month- perfect timing (for once!).
- Here is a funny picture of Lincoln that I promised my Dad I would post. Malomar (the dog), has a funny habit of running around whimpering whenever I give him a new bone. He cries because he can’t find a “safe” place to “hide” his bone. Well, this happened again over the weekend, and when I saw where he finally decided was a safe place for his treasure, I had to laugh and take a picture. Clearly, Mar trusts his “big” brother Lincoln.
- Check out the fortune I got in my Fortune Cookie this weekend! Booyah!
- We had some crazy weather the other night and I swear I saw a tornado forming over Alexandria. So of course, I snapped a pic and tweeted it to my celeb-boyfriend, NBC DC Weatherman Doug Kammerer, asking for his expert opinion. You know by now that we have a serious relationship, and so naturally, he replied almost instantly. Turns out it wasn’t a tornado, but I don’t think he was looking closely enough.
- And finally, a cute picture of Malomar that I took when I woke up Sunday morning. Apparently puppies like to sleep comfortably too.
This past weekend I got to go home to New York for the second time this summer, which I was totally psyched about. I love going home, and if it weren’t for a lack of job market, I would seriously consider moving back there. I just love my family so much and nothing makes me happier than spending time with them.
This weekend my little cousin (!) John David married his lovely bride, Kristi, in Sturbridge, Massachusetts. My Dad and I made the 3 hour drive out there on Saturday morning. The entire event was held at Publick House, which is a quaint and historic property at the heart of the town. The wedding rehearsal was held outside in hope that the impending rains would hold off, but unfortunately they did not. It rained heavily the day of the ceremony so everything was held indoors. The space was beautiful and John and Kristi exchanged personal vows they wrote for each other. Their friend Joe sang an amazing acoustic version of “I’ll Missing You” during a remembrance portion of the ceremony (in honor of John’s brother, Jeffery; my mom, and a few other of Kristi’s family members). Afterwards we partied the night away and danced at a fantastically DJ-ed reception. I even managed to get my Dad into the Photobooth!
It was a wonderful, fun and refreshing weekend. I loved the opportunity to bond with my family and some time out of town (DC) and in my bed at home is always appreciated. Please enjoy a few pics below (click to enlarge).
Congratulations to the new Mr. and Mrs. John Hey!
After some thought, I decided to remove the series about my mom from the blog's front page.
If you'd like to continue reading it, please go to this newly designated page: The Story of Mom
Part 2 has been added, Part 3 by the end of the week.
This month is the 5 year anniversary of losing my Mom. I've been thinking back to that time with some frequency lately and it's amazing how much life has changed, how much I have changed. Below is something I wrote on Mother's Day is 2008. I had survived the Year of Firsts but was still learning to adjust. I'm working on a follow up piece for later this week... comparing life then, to life now. But first, the "then"...
May 15, 2008-
This past weekend was Mother's Day. And as you may or not be aware, my mother died very suddenly and unexpectedly just shy of two years ago. It was without a doubt the single most defining time of my life. My mother, as with many mothers, was my core, my constant, my reason. She was the one thing that remained steady when everything else was up or down. I counted on her to be there when I complete grad school, when I get married, when I have children... and for all the moments in between. I never in a million years would have thought I'd have to tackle those events without her.
The first year was the worst. No surprise there. It was the Year of Firsts (Without Her). The first Thanksgiving, the first Christmas, the first birthday (mine and hers), the first Mother's Day. Each holiday providing its own unique reminder of what was no longer there. I'm a big card giver and so for that first year I continued to buy her cards. Call me crazy, I really don't care. It helped me. As I would stand in Hallmark amongst the other card purchasing customers, I felt like I had a huge scarlet letter on my chest. I felt like everyone in the store knew my secret, that the card in my hand was for a mother I no longer had. The scarlet letter is still there, I know I still wear it, but I've gotten used to it. And I know now that my scarlet letter is not visible to strangers, but only to those who know me, and know what happened. I will, at least for the next several years be the "girl whose mom died." That is my scarlet letter.
After I survived the first anniversary, August 26, I felt like a huge weight was lifted. It no longer preoccupied every moment of everyday. In my head, my every thought was no longer followed with "and my mom died." It sounds strange, but that's how it was. My inner monologue often sounded something like, "What should I have for dinner tonight? Mom died." "I need to get that report done for work. And moms gone." And I don't know how the switch flipped, but it did and on August 27, 2007 I woke up feeling like a new girl.
Now, don't get me wrong. Its still far from over. It will never be over. I will always miss her. I will always wish that she was here. I will always have my scarlet letter. But its a matter of acceptance now. And what helped me the most was allowing myself to feel. I think my mom taught me to be strong. I've never felt more strong and accomplished in my whole life as I do now.
And so as Mother's Day this year came and I went, I realized that everyday is Mother's Day to me. Every day I think about my mother, and every day I miss her. Every day I think about how much I love and appreciate her and how I wouldn't be who I am today without her. Sunday was the day Hallmark tells everyone else to do what I get to do every day.
Happy Belated Mothers Day :)
Translation: I can not wait to go to Spain!
In a little over a month, my friend Diana and I board a flight to Germany for two glorious weeks! I can’t wait! I’ve been to Germany many times now, but because I’m bringing a friend this time, I’m super excited! And I’m super excited for the wedding that I’m going to while we’re there. Part of the trip will be about 5 days in Spain so I can attend the wedding of my friend Kristin to her fiancé Jesús. Kristin has me so psyched to get all dressed up and wear a tocado to her wedding! “Tocado” is the Spanish word for a fascinator, or elaborate hat/hair piece (think Royal Wedding fashion). I’ve had a vision for what I wanted to do and found my dream tocado on Etsy.com. Take a look-
My plan is to find a one shoulder (or strapless) navy blue cocktail dress to match the tocado. I’m going to curl my hair and pin it all to one side (similar to the picture). In addition to the tocado, I purchased a swatch of navy birdcage lace to make a small birdcage veil to fashion on to the feather piece. The veil will be removable so I can take it off after the ceremony, leaving only the feathers for the reception and all night partying. To finish off the look, I’ll keep it simple with nude peep-toe pumps. I don’t think I’ve ever planned such an elaborate and fun outfit before. I am so excited, I can’t wait! Below are pics of the pieces (or similar ones) I have and plan to have to complete the look.
Originally my brother was going to be my wedding date, but I’ve decided to fly solo to the wedding and let Rob, Dave and Diana roam free in Sevilla. Most of the Owls will be at the wedding sans dates so I won’t feel notably alone. After the reception, we’re all going to the bar where Jesús used to work, for dancing until the early hours of the morning.
Kristin and Jesus might be my favorite couple ever and I am so thrilled to go to Spain to celebrate them!! Have I mentioned that I can’t wait?!
It’s official! I’ve overcome that very difficult hurdle of getting back into the gym. That period of time when you know you should go, but you find a million excuses not to go. It’s just about getting back into the routine, but its making those first few trips that are the true test. But I’m happy to report that I’m officially over that obstacle. I’ve been going for about two weeks now and I’m at that stage where I get annoyed when I have to miss a day. I packed my duffle this morning with my workout gear, looking forward to a good run after work. Then as I settled into my desk, I got a reminder that I’m meeting friends for a happy hour tonight. When did I become the girl that would rather sweat it out at the gym than enjoy a glass of vino with friends? Fortunately I worked out both Saturday and Sunday so I don’t feel horrible about missing today. Plus, my shins and shoulders are a little sore so it’s probably for the best that I give them a little breather.
I haven’t begun to see results yet, but I’m sure I will soon. And while I can’t see any difference yet- I can certainly feel them! I have more energy, I’m more optimistic and motivated and I make much better use of my time. Just yesterday, I woke up at 8am to take Malomar out. Instead of crawling back into bed like I normally would, I got dressed and went to church at 9am! After mass, I went straight to the gym and had a great workout. I treated myself to a nice iced caramel latte from Starbucks and was back home and settled in for my weekly family Skype call by noon! By far, it was my most productive Sunday in months!
Funny gym story- since it was a Sunday morning, the gym wasn’t too crowded, which gave me a little courage to venture into the weight/machine room and try some new equipment that I dare not try when surrounded by meat heads. I found a machine that I actually used to love when I worked out in college. My friend Lenny and I used to go the gym religiously and he taught me how to use a bunch of the machines including this one, “the assisted dip" (see pic to the left). I remember it being a great workout and was excited to try it again. Hah, it’s a good thing nobody was around. As I climbed up on this monstrosity, I debated how the weighting system worked. Was I supposed to put more weight or less weight? What did the weight even do? I couldn’t remember what Lenny taught me so many years ago. I picked what looked right, kneeled on the knee pad and quickly plummeted down. Panicking, I managed to grab the handles, nearly dislocating both arms. I laughed at myself once I realized I wasn’t going to die and managed to pull myself together. I changed the weights around, since clearly I had done it wrong and tried it again. I kneeled on the knee pad and this time glided slowly down. Ah, that felt more like it. But then I couldn’t push (or pull) myself back up. Again, I laughed at the pathetic-ness of my situation and instead of trying a third time, just stepped down and walked away. I’ll have to put in a call to Len and have him talk me through it again. But for that day, I was done trying and failing
My work-friend, Trish, shared this little gem with me today and I couldn't resist passing it along...
A real man is a woman's best friend. He will never let her down. He will comfort her after a bad day. He will inspire her to do things she never thought she could do. He will enable her to express her deepest emotions. He will enable her to be confident, sexy, seductive and invincible. No, wait, sorry. I'm thinking of wine. It's wine that does all that crap. Nevermind.