Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Christmas Party!

I still haven't made to see Santa yet. I'm only procrastinating because my dearest Mason hasn't not been sleeping. Moms need sleep in order to function. However, our little minions seem to run off the same energy as the Energizer Bunny. I plan on going this week to see Santa, if I can manage to get more than five hours of interrupted sleep in a night.

Some of you gave been curious about what the Microsoft Christmas party was like this weekend. I've been contemplating on the overall experience and how it really made me feel. I guess in order to understand what I'm talking about I need to share a little story...

I will not forget the day Daniel received the phone call for a job offer with Microsoft. It was the same day I was putting my Allen on the bus for his first day of school. My family was all gathered in my mother-in-law's front yard. We were taking pictures of the boys in their matching GAP outfits and cute backpacks. Even though Mason wouldn't be attending school, I still purchased him a little backpack, notebook, and crayons. Moments before the bus turned around the corner. My phone started ringing. It was Daniel. I clinched my phone. Took a deep breath, and pressed "answer".

"Hi, Love!" I beamed into the phone

Then came the news we has both been waiting for all weekend, "I got the job!" he confirmed.

I exhaled. I can not describe the feeling of joy and happiness I had for him. He didn't have long to talk, so we ended our conservation. My family was all staring at me waiting to know the news.

"He got it!" I confirmed. 

Just then, the rumble of the bus could be heard turning the corner at the top of the street. I walked Allen on the bus. I cried. My family cried. There were so many emotions I was feeling in that moment. My Allen was starting his first day if school. This new adventure he was about to embark on was going to be short, since it was confirmed we would be moving our life to New York. I know my family felt similar feelings. We had only been home from North Carolina for eight months. They would no longer be able to watch my children grow or share in these special moments with me.

I've gotten used to change the past five years. Before moving back to Kansas City, Daniel was in the Marine Corps. Six weeks after giving birth to Allen, we moved to North Carolina. I haven't been home for Christmas in five years; I haven't been able to see family whenever I wanted, and I've learned the importance of long distant relationships. I knew this move was going to be hard on both of our families. Likewise, I knew it would be challenging for me even though I always like to try my hardest to act like I'm not as affected as I really am over a situation. I was nervous about living in an apartment, taking the subway, and Mason running off from me while walking down a busy street. I was only a little nervous about the people, until my dad decided to have one of his "heart-to-heart" conversations with me.

"I'm really nervous about you making this move," he confessed.

I sighed. If there was something negative or awful about any situation, he would make sure to let me know. He also will make sure to magnify the problem at hand. He is my father, and he knows my weaknesses. The problem at hand? My insecurity with myself. I hate to point fingers, but he has been a major source of my insecurities I have with myself for long time. I still feel like I'm battling the damage that he inflicted on my ideas concerning my self worth. All of these thoughts quickly ran through my mind. My inner conscious reminded me: remember, what he is about to say will only bother you as much as you let it.

That is when he told me, "You know, I really think you won't fit in there. New York is going to be a different world than what you are used to. And, well, you aren't prepared for it. Where you  are going the people are going to be educated,and you don't have an education. I really wish you would have gotten your education. You are going to have a hard time fitting in".

I took a deep breath and processed what I was about to say before I spitted something out. "I plan on finishing my education. I'm happy with my decision to have Allen and Mason, and I wouldn't have my life any other way".

"You're missing my point. I just don't think you will fit in because you don't appreciate finer things in life".

"Okay, well, maybe I will learn to. I have to go".

I walked upstairs, said goodnight to the rest of my family, thanked them for having me over for dinner, and I left. The next day, my dad called me. I watched the screen on my phone light up as it notified me of his incoming call. I let my voice mail pick it up. My phone then notified me I had a voice mail.

"This is your dad; call me back".

After five minutes, I dialed him back.

"I just wanted to make sure you were okay. You seemed a little down yesterday".

"I'm fine".

"Don't be nervous about moving. You should be fine".

"Okay. Well, thanks. I have to go," I lied.

That was the last time I spoke with my father. It has been almost four months, and I have not heard a single word from him. He didn't come to say goodbye before I left, he didn't call Allen on his birthday, he didn't talk to me on Thanksgiving. Nothing. Silence. I don't think about him. In fact, the night of the Christmas party was the first time I gave any thought to our last conversation we had before I moved.

Daniel and I were seated on the top level of Club 40/40 overlooking the rest of the club. Christmas music was blaring, a snowy winter scene was projected on the jumbo screens above the bar. Tons of people around us were laughing, mingling, and flaunting their Christmas attire. Waiters were serving hor'dourves. I looked at Daniel sitting next to me. We were both the youngest couple I had seen from all the people that were walking by. It was in this moment I remembered my dads harsh criticism. At first I felt a pit in my stomach start to form. I don't belong here, I thought. I looked around again. The people that were walking by didn't look much different than I did. The women were all dressed-up, laughing with their significant others, and enjoying the food. I started to think. While I might not have completed my college education yet, that doesn't mean that someone else at this Christmas party hasn't. I'm sure some of these women also share in similar interests as mine. We might be stay-at-home moms, like the same foods, enjoy reading the same books. I realized in that moment that I didn't know these people, but I shouldn't be intimidated to get to know them.

Daniel recognized someone he knew, and we ended up spending the majority of our time with him, his wife, and three other couples. I met three amazing ladies. While talking, we found we a lot in common, yet we had our differences too. It was comforting to know that despite our differences in our background, age, and even our education, we were able to laugh, talk, and enjoy each others company.

I can confidently say I had a good time. I can also confidently say that I belong anywhere I decide I want to belong. Right now, I belong in New York. My experience are unique to me, as well as my choices. I hope living here helps continue to fuel my confidence. I hope I can continue to overcome my fears. I also hope to always remember to forget what has hurt me in the past, but never forget what it has taught me.

Here are some pictures!

Overlooking the venue from our seat.

Cool lights in the entryway.

Here we are before we left!

My one little picture of food I took. For dinner, they served steak, chicken, pasta, salad, and roll. It was a buffet -style meal. It was really good. I had pasta and steak with salad.

If you'd like to see more pictures of what the venue looked like, click here to view their website. 

Something to think about today:


Friday, December 7, 2012

Hot Dogs, Hats, and Shopping.


It's cold outside! Not that I didn't expect NY to be cold, but the last two days have been rather nice. I have to tell everyone about Allen and  The Hot Dog. 

Everyday as we walk to the gym we pass this:

A hot dog/pretzel/ food stand!  As we were walking by, Allen started whining for a hot dog. I told him after the gym, if he still wanted one; I would get it for him. I figured he would probably just forget about it. Wrong. As soon as I picked him up from the Kids Care, the first thing out of his mouth was: "Mama, I get a hog dog now"? I couldn't go back on my word, so we stopped to get one. I thought that maybe if I acted extra excited for him to eat the hot dog that he would be more likely to try/eat it. I think he was more excited than I was:

He even wanted me to take his picture next to the hot dog stand. With all this hype, I was hoping he would actually eat it. I also bought one for Mason. When we got home, Allen told me that he wanted to picnic in the entryway by the Christmas tree. Okay. I set up their hot dogs, napkins, and got them a drink. I sat down, and he said: "I need strawberries and popcorn too".  Strawberries are the current new food we've added to his list of things he will eat. I went and got them. "What about ketchup to dip it in"? I went and got the ketchup. I then sat down, and they both picked up their hot dogs, and tried them. Allen exclaimed, "mmm! this is good!" I will admit, I was, and still am, a little shocked by all of this. Allen eat a hog dog? Yes. In fact, for the past three days in a row that his been the only thing he wants to eat for lunch. I'm so proud of him for trying new things! He has also reminded me: "Allen likes hot dogs. Allen eats new things". Yes, son, I'm happy that you are just now realizing trying new things won't kill you. It is a miracle! 

Now, I would like to talk about hats. Yes, hats. I've never really been a hat person. It is cold here in New York. Cold does not bother me, but it is very windy here making it seem colder. I bought a hat at Target, and now the boys and I have our own little "hat club". Here we are:

Allen and I in our goofy hats. 
Mason didn't want to put his hat on (he wasn't going bye-bye with us). I think this  a cute picture. 
My hat!

I'm thankful for warm ears. Thank-you, hat.

I've been also meaning to update my blog on my trip to visit Jill. Jill lives in NJ, and last Saturday I went to visit her! I rode the subway to Times Square, caught a train at the Penn Station, and spent the day shopping! It was so nice to see her. We had so much fun walking around the realllllly nice mall. Yes, realllllly nice. They had a Coach store, Juicy Couture  Chanel, Dior, Gucci, Tiffany & Co., ...yeahhh those are just some of the really nice stores they have. We shopped at LOFT. (My favorite store). We got some pretty amazing deals. We got $263 worth of clothing (we combined it, because I had a coupon) for $88 dollars. Yes. The store was 40% off everything (including clearance), and I had THREE $25 off $50 coupons. Pretty sweet, huh? As we were walking through the mall, we enjoyed live Christmas music being played, as well. It was amazing. we ended the day eating at George and Martha's. It was very yummy. I think the thing that I appreciated most, is the fact that we could talk about anything and everything. It is like we just picked up where we left off. I love friendships like that. Here are some pictures:

Water fountain ball thingy. I thought it looked cool.

Here we are!

Live Christmas music. It was beautiful. 

The place we had dinner at. I thought the walkway lighting was cool. 

Mmm. Appetizer.

I was so hungry, I forgot to take a picture of my main dish. Totally enjoyed a hamburger. It was completely worth the stomach ache later. 


Well, now that everyone is up-to-date, you can all look forward to my post I will be making later about my adventure to see Santa. I can't wait! 

Today, consider eating a hot dog, wearing a hat, and shopping. It will brighten your day. I promise. 


Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Target Trip from Hell.

Yes, you read correctly. The title of this post is entitled Target Trip from Hell for a reason. Be prepared to join me while I laugh about the experience. 

First, a little background:
I met this super awesome gal on my floor named Jenny. She has a little girl (sooo stinking cute, by the way), and she is also the one that taught me how to parallel park. She has a dog named Batman, the most delicious candy canes ever, and the cutest apartment. Today, we decided to make a trip to Target to buy decorations for my apartment. I was really excited. I love Target. 

We decided to meet in our lobby at 2:30pm. No problem. As we were getting ready to catch the elevator, she invited us in, because she couldn't have the other half of her baby wrap-carrier-thing.  By 2:35pm, we are heading to the car. (please note, baby wrap-carrier-thing is in the car, but other half was left in the apartment) We decided to take one car. I figured this would be easiest, because I wasn't familiar with the whereabouts of the Target we were going to. We drove to my car, so I could get the car seats. As I was putting them in, this happened:
Yes, I ripped my leggings. My brand new leggings.

 Allen decided that he was going to throw a fit, because he didn't want to sit in the middle between the two car seats. The only issue, the car seats weren't fitting in properly. Long story short, we spent thirty minutes trying to get Allen buckled in. We eventually gave up, and let him sit in the seat he was whining over. I hate giving in to him, but after thirty minutes, I didn't want to fight anymore. I finally got in the passenger's seat, and we were on our way. 

We arrived at Target in one piece. Thankfully. As we entered, we were greeted by the smell of vomit. Someone had puked in the entryway. Gag. We proceeded to get carts, and make our way through the store. I was really relieved that Allen was laying down in the cart being calm, and Mason was enjoying a snack. Whew, after the horrific tantrum, I was optimistic that my children couldn't behave any worse. 

After about twenty minutes, Mason began trying to climb out of his seat. Then, he wanted to open the candy canes. He then wanted to climb into my arms attacking me with his sticky candy cane fingers. After I cleaned him up, him and Allen fought over a throw pillow. After the throw pillow fight, Jenny gave the boys some goldfish crackers that she was also feeding her little girl to keep her happy. My boys were calm for maybe two minutes, then they started fighting over who was going to hold everything I was putting in the cart. I picked up what I thought were two plastic wine glasses for them to hold. I figured this would be great, because it was the same item. I even confirmed with Jenny that they were indeed plastic. We were wrong. Allen and Mason shattered a wine glass moments later, because they were clinging them together. Awesome. So, not only are we leaving a trail of goldfish (oh, we spilled half the bag in the previous aisle); we were also now leaving a trail of broken wine glass pieces.

We declared our Target trip to be over, but because Target is the "black hole", and everyone that enters can never seem to get out; we spotted hats. I needed a hat. Everyone I picked up to try on was fraying or damaged. I felt like everything I touched or anything I wanted to do this trip was tainted with bad luck. Luckily, I did find a hat:
I can now check "getting a hat" off my list of things I need to do/get in order to officially be a New Yorker!

Jenny decided to go through her cart one last time to make sure she really needed all the items she was purchasing. I normally do this too, because there are so many things that always end up in my Target shopping cart. I like to call it the "cart edit". So, during Jenny's "cart edit" an ornament falls out of her cart and shatters on the floor. We can't help but to start laughing. 

I really hope that Jenny doesn't find us insane. Lately, I try to find good humor in all the craziness that happens to find me. I mean, after all...laughter is basically just cheap medicine, right? I had so much fun laughing,enjoying the madness, and shopping. I will admit, it will be nice to have a re-do shopping trip with Jenny in the future )minus children). Hopefully, she takes me  up on the offer. 

Oh, and I found this in my shopping bag:

...more goldfish. 

It is now 6:41pm, and about twenty minutes ago I sent the boys to their room to have "quiet time". They were fighting over a hot wheels toy (we only have probably a hundred of them). I just needed peace. I wanted to sit down. I just went to check on them, and they are both curled up in bed asleep. Do I dare wake them? No. I think I will silently continue to sit here and laugh at our adventure. 

There is simply nothing that compares to the joys of motherhood!

Christmas Cookie Exchange!

It’s the holidays. This means, it is the best time of the year to eat cookies. I love cookies. I’m trying to behave my pre-diabetic self by not eating too many of them. I feel like it helps for me to look at cookies, smell them, and maybe take a bite, and that is it. No more. Okay, I’m torturing myself. Whatever. Don’t judge me.

I’ve decided that it would be a great idea to host a cookie exchange. When I was pregnant with Mason, I went to a cookie exchange for a Christmas activity with the women at my church. I loved it. It was so much fun socializing with people, eating cookies, AND exchanging recipes (so I could later make more cookies)!

Since I can’t exactly have all my friends and family come to New York for a cookie exchange (although that would be pretty amazing), I’ve decided to host a virtual one! This might actually be good for me, because I won’t be able to eat over a dozen mouth-watering cookies.

Here is what I’d like everyone to do:
1.  Select your favorite cookie to make during the holidays.
2.  Give it a name…be creative and Christmas-like!
3.  Bake it. Take a picture of it. Email me picture with recipe.
4.  In two weeks, I will make a Christmas Cookie page on my blog.
Entries must be in by Midnight December 18th, 2012. 
5.  Everyone can select new recipes to make and enjoy!

Happy baking! 

Monday, December 3, 2012

Manic Monday.

It's Monday. 

There is a lot on my mind that I just want to talk about. First, I never understood why people hated Monday so much. I mean, it is just another day, right? Well, today, it is Monday. Today, I don't like Monday. I don't have a job outside of the house. Instead, I'm a stay-at-home Mom. Today, I just felt like things didn't start off the way they should. Normally, my Mondays start around 7am when Mason wakes me up. I cook breakfast, I take Allen to speech therapy, and I workout at the gym afterwards. Instead, I woke up to this:

"This" would be six loads of laundry that I decided not to finish folding last night at midnight. It was ready to greet me this morning. Blah. Daniel left for work at 5am this morning. This, is also not normal. He is normally at home, and I've been spoiled having him around. I don't know how to react when he has to work remotely in the surrounding area, instead of at home. I did not make my usual waffles and bacon for the boys and Daniel for breakfast. Folding laundry almost made us late for speech therapy. I'm always ten minutes early, but today I was rushing to get there in time. The gym was unusually crowded this morning, and the boys never took their naps.

Wow, do I sound whiny? I know there are more important things to complain about. So, I will do that.

I want to talk about boundaries. This has been something I've been trying to define in my life. I hate when people tell me how things are going to be, instead of being a considerate person, and asking me. I don't have time for this. If boundaries can not be respected, then I can not be a respectful person in return. With the new year coming up, I'm going to be re-establishing  and re-defining my relationships with others. 

Also, I don't like being placed in positions where I'm being forced to feel as if I have to do something, or the person is going to respond negatively. Don't be surprised when I decided we can no longer have a relationship.

Today, remember the following:



I feel so much better typing this out. I like to consider myself a tactful person, and I feel like actions always speak louder than words. I won't confront you, but how I respond to the way you treat me will hopefully be an indication that I simply deserve better


Okay, enough complaining. Let's talk about something else. How about the flu? I took the boys to get flu shots today too. Here are some awesome pictures of the event:

I decided to bribe Allen and Mason with lollipops before the  doctor came in to give them shots.
Mason finished first, so he started eyeing Allen's treat.



Since he was attacking Allen, he got sent to the chair. Awh, look at that face!



As you can see, our flu shot visit was so much fun. We waited forever to see the doctor. I always try to bring snacks or something for the boys to do while waiting on the doctor. After an hour, they were no longer interested in their books or toys I brought. They ate their snacks, started fighting, and oh; Mason found gum under the chair and started playing with it. Nice. Hopefully the flu shot will help kill off all the nasty germs they contracted while trying to get it. 

That pretty much sums up my "Manic Monday". Tomorrow, I start the GET RIPPED class at the gym. I might just post before and after pictures! After the demo class, it hurt to walk for a week. Ha, please; feel free to wish me luck! Tomorrow  I will also be on a quest to find shoes for the Christmas party we are hopefully attending on Saturday. I hope my dress comes soon. I will make sure to post pictures of that too!

Nothing but the best, 

Saturday, December 1, 2012


Happy December!
Can you believe this is the last month of 2012? Where the heck did this year go? I love December. It has always been my favorite month. Maybe, because I love the smell of cookies baking in the oven, pine trees, and cinnamon-scented pine cones. Or maybe it is because I enjoy ice skating, watching Christmas movies, or wearing cozy pajamas.  I love looking at all the lights, watching people shop (and doing some shopping myself), and listening to Nat King Cole sing “The Christmas Song”. I love “The Christmas Song”; it is the sound of Christmas. This time of the year is always so nostalgic. It reminds me of all the happy memories my family shared growing-up. December helps me forget about worries. It makes me love more, and helps me go into January feeling happy and ready for something new. I’ve decided to make a December Bucket List. I encourage you to do the same!

My December bucket list*:
*This is not in any order
Ø  Listen to Nat King Cole.
Ø Set-up Christmas tree
Ø See the lights at Rockefeller Plaza
Ø Go ice-skating at Rockefeller Plaza
Ø Go visit the Macy’s Santa Claus with Allen and Mason
Ø Watch Miracle of 34th Street
Ø  Watch How the Grinch Stole Christmas
Ø Host a Christmas Cookie Exchange
Ø Do a Random Act of Kindness for someone
Ø Talk about the meaning of Christmas with Allen and Mason
Ø Make some Christmas crafts (I have a few picked out. I will be posting pictures!)
Ø Mail Christmas cards
Ø Sip Hot Cocoa with extra marshmallows
Ø Celebrate Daniel’s 25th Birthday!
Ø Buy new Christmas pajamas
Ø Eat a candy cane
Ø Celebrate Christmas, of course!
Ø Celebrate my 24th Birthday!
Ø Celebrate Mason’s Birthday!
Ø Cheers!  With my favorite Sparkling grape juice! ;) We used to always "cheers" with it growing up. I will try my hardest to keep Allen and Mason up for the event! We will also be  making noise makers and watching the ball drop on TV!