Tag Archives: holidays

Ask Away Friday, All You Need Is Love!

Happy, happy Friday!

This week has been a long one, so long in fact, that I went around thinking yesterday was Friday all day. Which made me look like a bit of a dolt on the old Tweeter machine, but there ya go.

The exciting thing about this Friday is that I’m finally swapping with the lovely Tracie, my sister from another mister. You may remember a while back when Tracie’s husband and Scotty swapped questions, now it’s time for us ladies.

If you don’t know Tracie yet, you be sure to hop on over to her place and get to know her. She’s a pretty awesome lady who shares her voice for survivors everywhere, a home-schooling mama to one fantastic little girl (whom I’ve adopted as my niece), and a writer who can spin her words into the most vivid imagery. I promise you, you won’t be sorry for heading over.

This week Tracie and I decided to get in the spirit of the upcoming holiday, and talk about love, Valentine’s Day, and our very special men. So grab a box of chocolates and put on your favorite chick flick, it’s about to get all kinds of sappy up in here.

1. When you were a kid, and you had classroom Valentine’s Day parties, did you make your own valentines, or buy them from the store?

It’s funny, I can remember making my own valentines, but I think we mostly bought them. Maybe I made them in kindergarten and first grade?

2. What movie or book about love do you….well, love?

Well you know I love the love story in the Outlander series and I still want the “Talk Jamie to me” t-shirt. But, love movies are a different story. Dirty Dancing- Because of his speech at the end. “A person who’s taught me about the kind of person I want to be.” I like that. Love shouldn’t be about changing someone, but you should inspire growth within one another.

3. “There is never a time or place for true love. It happens accidentally, in a heartbeat, in a single flashing, throbbing moment.” ― Sarah Dessen, The Truth About Forever (Full disclosure: I’ve never read this book, but I find the quote interesting.) What do you feel about this quote in light of your own life – is this how love started for you?

In a way, yes. Scotty and I certainly weren’t looking for love when we first started chatting with each other. Instead we found great friends within one another, and then all of a sudden, I realized I was head over heals for him. And it happened completely by accident. I do believe there is a time and a place, in so far as I believe things happen when they are meant to, love included. Had Scotty and I met five years sooner, we would have been different people, and possibly not ready for the love we’ve found.

4. Have you heard of the five love languages? Gifts, Words of Affirmation, Quality of Time, Acts of Service, and Physical Touch. Which one best matches your heart, and which one best matches Scotty’s?

LOL My first mother-in-law actually bought me this book to try to help my first marriage. Here’s a tip folks- Books like that only work if both partners are interested in trying it out.

As for Scotty and I, I think we both have two love languages that work together to make us feel loved the best. For him, it’s Words of Affirmation and Physical Touch. For me, Acts of Service and Physical Touch. We both really crave that hug at the end of the work day to feel reconnected, and it’s a pretty good indicator that something is amiss if we go a whole day without a hug or holding hands. But where all the little things he does to make my life easier speak to me, he really needs to hear the words. So I leave him little notes with his lunches, or text him throughout the day while he’s at work. We’re cute like that.

5. Did you ever take one of those quizzes in Seventeen magazine to figure out if “he really loves you” when you were a teenager?

Oh.My.Gosh. All.The.Time!

6. All of us old married (and almost married) people need to keep the spark alive. What is your favorite date night idea that doesn’t cost a lot of money?

I love curling up with a movie or TV show at home. Scotty and I will pop popcorn and share M&M’s. I also like game nights with board games or a deck of cards.

7. Do you believe that love conquers all?

I think so. But a person needs to be open to it. I think people can be hurt in life, and in turn close themselves off to the possibility of love. Which breaks my heart, because there’s so much love out there just waiting to be given and taken. You just have to open yourself up a little.

Okay, a lot.

8. Do you and Scotty have a special song? Is it a love song? Or just a song that the two of you love together?

This song was pretty popular when we started dating, and I just loved how the lyrics seemed to be about us. On our first anniversary, he had a gig, so I surprised him with a party at the gig, complete with his band singing this song just for us to have a dance together. That’s one of my favorite memories, there ❤

9. What is your favorite quote about love?

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10. What do you love most about Scotty, and what would you say does he love most about you?

His answer when Thomas asked him was:

While it’s easy to say her smile or her eyes (because it’s true), I’d rather focus on a part of what makes her *her*. I truly love her generosity. She always tries to find ways to create pick-me-ups for friends, the time she spends helping others, all the things she does giving of herself. She is one of the most selfless people I know.

Aw!! Right?!

And for me: I love Scotty’s passion. If you could see how his face lights up when he plays his guitar, you would know instantly what I mean. And he has that throughout his entire being. He has a passion for learning, for music, and for love. He has a heart like no one I’ve ever known. Everything in his life, he approaches with an open mind and a heart full of passion. That’s pretty admirable, if you ask me.

Oh goodness Tracie, thank you so much! This swap was loads of fun, and I am so happy to leave my weekend on such a positive note.

I hope you all enjoyed this little bit of love. Now go have a great weekend, and spread a little of your own love. The world could use some 🙂

 

Playing With Dogs

Life lately has been pretty complicated.

My health has been having some ups and downs and even some sideways. The holidays came, conquered, and left. Once again we find ourselves in January where money is a little more than tight, the weather is a little colder than chilly, and we’re all pretty burnt out.

I find myself stepping back to evaluate where my heart is. What projects have a I committed to, and which do I really WANT to do? How do I balance what I want to do with what I NEED to do? How do I take care of myself and others?

Yesterday, after a particularly emotional doctor’s appointment, I came home and cried. I curled up with my doggy and tried to shut out the world. Except the world didn’t want to stay shut out. There were emails to answer and phone calls coming in and…

I’m overwhelmed.

So this morning, I didn’t check my email, I didn’t answer my phone. I loaded up my doggy into my friend’s truck, and we took our dogs to the dogpark. We stood bundled up, chatting with other dog owners as our dogs all sniffed each other. I walked around with our little Toddy while he sniffed each and every fence post. I threw the squeaky ball for the dogs who would chase it. And I watched my shy little guy chase dogs three times his size.

I got a little muddy, more than a little chilled, and am definitely tired. But the dog slobber made me smile, and as I watch my Toddy nap on the couch, I realize my mind is clear for the first time in weeks.

And suddenly, things aren’t so complicated.

Did I Meet My 2014 Goals?

Way back in January, I listed my goals for 2014. And then, like most people, I promptly forgot about them.

Today I went back to that post and, shockingly, I realized I had actually worked on these goals all year, even though I thought I had forgotten about them.

Maybe I didn’t do something each day to make myself feel better, but I did make it a regular practice. I dressed up more often, and found some makeup my skin could tolerate. I broke my jewelry out of retirement and tried a few new hairstyles. I finally settled again on an A-line bob which requires pretty minimal effort to look good. Sure, there were still jammie days, but there were also more days where I looked like my old self. Not too shabby there.

I worked on growing my blog all year, linking up with the gals at Ask Away Friday and Tuesday Ten. I took on some guest posts and started the Living Better series to showcase how we all are making choices to live better, no matter what life tosses our way. I also guest posted for a few blogger friends, as well as writing my first article for RheumatoidArthritis.com.

While I didn’t set a strict schedule for myself, I did settle into a nice routine to make the best use of my time and energy. I also created a planner for myself, which helped keep me organized when it came to doctors appointments, as well as scheduling blog posts and brainstorming ideas. This was a great change for me, and I’ll be using my planner in 2015 as well.

I think I made a lot of strides this year in living life while still managing my health. I started therapy, which is helping me work through many of my mental health triggers, as well as helping me find new coping tools. I’ve been better about practicing self-care and putting myself first. I cut out a lot of what was causing stress and chaos in our lives, and streamlined those things I couldn’t cut out completely. I learned how to set boundaries, which has been a huge thing for me. Mostly I’ve learned how to take care of me, all of me, and how taking care of me can help me to live a better life, even with chronic illness.

And last, but certainly not least, I LIVED. I made new friends and reconnected with old friends. I made memories with my son and my fiance. I tried things I wasn’t sure my body could handle, and tested my limits.

I’m proud of all I did this year. As much as 2014 was rough, and my health took some turns, I still accomplished a great deal and I’m very proud of that. I’m looking forward to 2015 and all it has to offer. I know it’ll be great because it will include our wedding, a visit from one of my dearest loves, and more memories with my son.

I hope you all will continue to follow along on this journey with me. I plan on continuing the Living Better series, as well as starting a newsletter. I’ll also share sneak peeks at the wedding planning here, and I’m sure there will be some pics of the big day. There will be more photos and recipes, life tips and stories about my journey and treatment. There will be more guest posts, and I’ll be visiting a few friends myself.

What were your goals for 2014? Did you meet them? What would you like to see happen here in 2015?

Christmas Is For Gratitude

I know I’ve been pretty quiet this month. My family decided that since my fiance and I couldn’t travel to them for the holidays, they would come here. Which means I’ve spent much of the last month swamped with the regular holiday stuff and then an added side of stress and anxiety. Add in a big dose of my health being wonky, and it’s been busy to say the least.

I had a little mini meltdown last week when it all became too much. After I vented, cried, and snotted all over the place, I was reminded of all the good I have in my life. So here’s a great big holiday dose of gratitude for you, just in case you’ve got a little too much yuck on your plate, too.

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*I’m grateful for friends who let me send them epically long emails full of my drama. I’m equally grateful for their love and support, and all the wonderful advice they offer.

*I’m grateful for a fiance who, when I’m feeling swamped, tells me to make him a list and he’ll make sure it all gets done. And you know what? I’m grateful for my awesome fiance who made sure that list got done. Every. Single. Thing.

*I’m grateful for friends who send cookies, and for the same friends who don’t mind their cookies being a little late while I battled the crud.

*I’m grateful for Cathy and all her love. For the new sheets and heated mattress pad, which have turned my bed into a haven for my sore body. For her working through her own pain to give me a mini makeover every month so I can look good, even when I don’t always feel it. For her unwavering support and all the very best hugs.

*I’m grateful for the roof over my head, the food in my fridge, for a doggy who loves me and snuggles me, and for family who want to be with me (even if it does cause a bit of anxiety).

*I’m grateful for the blogger friends I’ve made this year, for all the help and advice they’ve given, and for the growth in my writing. I’m grateful for exciting new opportunities in the new year.

And last, but never least, I’m thankful for you, my dear readers. For sticking by me when the writing is thin, for offering support when things are rough, and for helping me celebrate the good times. I’m looking forward to all the things we’ll share together in 2015. Until then, I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas.

Stream Of Consciousness- The Holidays Are Here

I haven’t done one of these in a while, but a few of my loves from the Facebook writing group have linked up. And wouldn’t you know it, about five minutes of freewriting might be all I have in me today. Yeah, I know it’s not Saturday or Sunday, but I really don’t think anyone’s gonna mind too much.

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There is a Christmas tree in my living room. It’s not decorated yet, that will come later this week. But it’s here, with its reminder that the holidays are here as well.

Not that I needed another reminder.

My mother has been calling for weeks, trying to nail down plans for Thanksgiving. In her state, she hasn’t heard me each time I’ve told her that we won’t be joining them for the holidays this year. As much as I want to see my sisters, the stress of dealing with my parents is just too much for me. Not that Mom wants to hear that.

Stress has been really bad here, lately. I’m not sleeping well, the teeth clenching isn’t going away, and I can feel a flare coming. Can’t do much about it, though, cuz I can’t stop stressing.

Stressing about money, about Christmas gifts. About my mom and her drinking. About my health, about my fiance’s health. Whether or not we’ll both qualify for health insurance again this year. Whether my doggy has arthritis and that’s why he’s been struggling to jump onto our bed at night. Stressing about finding placement for my father-in-law. Stressing about the wedding, and how we’ll ever be able to afford anything. How we still haven’t found a venue, how we need photos so we can do save-the-dates.

The stress doesn’t go away.

But in the meantime, there’s apple butter simmering away in my crockpot. And that’s another sign, the holidays are here.

Living Better: A Spoonie’s Holiday Wishlist

The holidays are steadily approaching, and while I know it’s not quite Thanksgiving yet, some of us may be trying to get a jump start on Christmas shopping. If you’re a spoonie, pass this post along to your family and friends with your favorite choices highlighted. If you love a spoonie, I created this list to help you know what kinds of things will cheer them up AND help them to find a bit of comfort.

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Heating Pads

Whether it’s a nifty one that has pockets to also warm your hands, or if it’s homemade, a heating pad is a spoonie’s best friend. Pinterest has many tutorials on how to make your own, so if you’re feeling crafty, you’re set. If you’re not so crafty, standard electric heating pads can be found at any of your major home retailers.

Ice Packs

The flip side of needing heat for aching muscles, spoonies also rely on ice packs for swollen joints. I personally like the first aid style ones that can be reused over and over. They’re not terribly expensive, and can offer much relief to those who suffer with chronic pain.

Fuzzy Blankets

Or really, fuzzy anything. Socks, a robe, blankets, pajamas. Soft, warm fabric is a wonder, especially this time of year. If you are purchasing clothing, please keep in mind particular limitations that may exist, ie swollen fingers and such. So avoid zippers and buttons, and steer more towards loose clothing. If you’re not sure about something, stick to the safer bets of blankets and socks. Everyone loves a fuzzy blanket.

Entertainment

Many who battle chronic illness feel isolated, especially during the colder months when their outings are more limited due to the weather and the increased germs (yay flu season). Gifting them with entertainment options is a great idea, and there are many choices. Movies, puzzle books, or a gift subscription to a streaming service like Netflix or Hulu are all wonderful choices.

Pampering

Some might think this is only for women, but I beg to differ. Everyone likes to feel pampered, and when your body is often in pain, anything to help you feel good is pampering. Candles, body wash, lotions- They can all make a person feel better about themselves, and help to boost their spirits. A note of caution: please check with your loved one about scent sensitivities. If you’re unsure, go with unscented just to be safe.

Treats

I happen to prefer chocolate, but I have friends who prefer cookies or cupcakes. This can be a hard category if you don’t know your spoonie very well, as often spoonies have certain diet restrictions. If you’re not sure, or just want to play it safe, look into gift cards for places you know they like, or ones that have a wide variety of options, so your loved one will be sure to find something they like and can have without risking a flare.

LoveandTime

You might think this is a cop-out, but I’m here to tell you this is the greatest gift I can receive. A simple card in the mail or a phone call can brighten my day and costs very little. Want something tangible to give? Make coupons! Little IOUs that your loved one can cash in when they’re feeling up to it. Offers can include taking them shopping one afternoon, helping them with chores, a movie date, or a home-cooked meal from you. These might not seem like much to you, but can be the greatest gift to your loved one.

I hope this list has helped you choose some gifts for the spoonies in your life. Over the last three years with RA, I’ve received all of these at one time or another, and I can promise you that they warmed my heart more than words can say.

What would YOU add to this list? What is on your wishlist to help you live better?

 

Ask Away Friday Vol. 12

Is it feeling like fall for anyone else? We’re still sporting 90+ degree days, apparently for some reason, summer is wanting to hang around a while longer here. Someone please send me a rain storm. Please.

This week has been a busy one for me. Lots of phone calls and arranging appointments for both me and my future father-in-law. Which means my brain is hanging on by a thread. Lucky for me, it’s Friday, and time for another dose of Ask Away Friday!

If you’re new to these parts, AAF is where I swap ten questions with a fellow blogger, and then we all get to know each other a little better. It’s loads of fun and I’ve met some great blogger friends.

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This week I’m swapping with Danielle from Dancing With My Daughter. Besides having the best blog name ever, Danielle shares tales of her daughter, her love, and yummy food. Be sure to pop on over and get to know her a little better, you’ll be happy you did!

Here’s what Danielle wanted to know about me…

1) I read that you’re getting married very soon (YAY CONGRATULATIONS!), how’s the preparation going? Are you excited?

I’m crazy excited! It’s really wonderful to know that I’ve found my forever someone and that we’re going to have this lovely day where we celebrate with all of our loved ones. The preparation is coming along, we’re currently looking for a venue that fits our needs but isn’t crazy expensive. Which is harder than one would think, apparently.

2) What is one thing about your fiancé that you love the most?

I love his passion for music. Scotty learned to play the guitar at a young age, and has pursued music most of his life. He plays with a humbleness, like he honestly doesn’t know how great he his. And he’s pretty great. He carries that creative passion into our relationship by supporting all of my crafting. We encourage that love of creating something within each other, and it’s one of my favorite things. And if you could see the peaceful smile that comes over him as he plays, you’d melt like I do, every single time.

3) What is your favourite thing to do with your son? Do you bond regularly?

I love movie nights with my kiddo. I love that he still wants to have a giant pajama party with popcorn and snacks, pillows and blankets, and a family movie. Those nights warm my heart every time. Because my son spends the school years with his dad, we don’t get as much bonding time as I would like. But the kiddo can text now, and so we have little conversations throughout the week, and that helps 🙂

4) What’s the best dish that you have cooked?

Well I would say my white lasagna, but my brother would say my chipotle carnitas. Scotty would pipe in and say chipotle carnitas with fry bread. Since taco night is always a favorite, I wouldn’t argue. I let a couple pounds of pork simmer in my crockpot with beef broth and seasonings all day on low. When it starts to fall apart, I shred it with a couple forks, then add it back to the cooking liquid along with a couple bottles of chipotle sauce. I let that simmer for another hour while I make fry bread. We use the fry bread as the taco shell, piling it high with our favorite toppings like lettuce, cilantro, sour cream, and lots of cheese. And now that my mouth is watering, I’m gonna have to make some this weekend!

5) Is there a book that you can read over and over again and won’t get bored of? What is it and why?

My usual go-to response here is Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series, but I’m going to be a good girl and pick another book that’s just a single. Envy by Sandra Brown is a top pick. It has a pretty compelling story, with some romance, and a plot twist that I didn’t see coming. The intro to the story is probably one of the greatest I’ve read, especially for a lover of a good mystery. It’s an easy read, but not too easy that you don’t stay enthralled. If you have a chance, check it out.

6) If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?

There are many places I would like to visit in the world, but I’d only want to live in my Pacific Northwest. We have all four seasons here, there’s such lovely landscape, and the air smells like nothing I’ve ever found anywhere else. I’m surrounded by mountains, I’m a short drive from the Pacific Ocean, and we have some of the greatest food! In my perfect dreams, I move all of my loved ones here, and we spend our days exploring this gorgeous region.

7) Are you excited for fall? What are you looking forward to this cold season?

Fall is my favorite time of year! I love the crisp breeze that belies the bright sun. The colorful leaves mixed with evergreens. I love bulky sweaters and leggings, pretty scarves, and tall leather boots. I love apple cider and baked goods. I love soups in my crockpot and fresh bread rising on my counter. This year I’m looking forward to continued success with my new treatment plan, and the hope that I’ll be feeling a bit more human by the holidays.

8) When you were a kid, did you dress up for Halloween? What’s your favourite costume?

I LOVED dressing up and still do! My favorite costume as a kid was when I was about four. I dressed as Rainbow Brite and my best friend at the time dressed as her horse (unicorn?). They were those vinyl costumes with the plastic masks you couldn’t see out of, but the photo still brings a smile to my face. My favorite adult costume was a few years ago when I went as Medusa. I have crazy curly/wavy/does whatever it wants hair. I wore a silver/gray toga, crazy dark makeup, and had my hair piled high on my head, with plastic snakes poking out everywhere. It was a lot of fun, but I had black circles around my eyes for days!!

9) With the Christmas holiday coming up in a few months, do you have any traditions that you do with your family?

When Scotty and I were first dating, I was working in fast food and not making much money. We agreed that instead of going broke trying to find THE BEST PRESENT EVER for each other, we would just exchange stockings. We made two rules: It had to fit in the stocking, and couldn’t be more than $20. It was so much fun, we still do it every year. Instead of expensive jewelry or electronics we’ll be making payments on forever, we find the little things that have meaning behind them. Each year it’s a great treasure hunt to buy little gifts that tell him what he means to me, that remind us of dates we’ve taken, that will make him smile or laugh out loud. I hope we’ll keep doing this forever.

10) Do you like any sports? If you do, do you get to play it often?

I love football! Love, love, LOVE it! I don’t play- even before I got sick, I was not very athletically inclined. (I’m a klutz. Ask anyone who knows me.) But I love watching football. And Scotty is getting me into watching hockey and baseball.

 

What a great swap! Each week, these girls find things about me that I didn’t realize I hadn’t shared yet. If you’d like to join in the fun, check out the Ask Away Friday Facebook Group. They’re a great bunch who will show you the ropes with all things blogging, so don’t feel intimidated or like you won’t fit in 🙂

I hope you all have a great weekend. Wish me luck with my fantasy football teams, Scotty and the kiddo are killing me!

Ask Away Friday Independence Edition

Happy Independence Day and Happy Friday!

This week I had the pleasure of swapping with April from 100lb Countdown. April is on a journey to a healthier self and is sharing it all with us, along with stories of her kiddos, her marriage, and life in general. Because our swap would land on July 4th, April agreed to do a bit of a theme with me. Be sure to check out April’s site to see her answers!

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So here are five questions about Independence Day:

1. What’s the most creative way you’ve used the American flag?

I had to think about this one really hard and I still couldn’t come up with anything. I think one year we baked a cake and made a flag out of berries on top, but that’s about it.

2. Do you have a friend or family member in active duty that makes you appreciate this day more than others?

I actually grew up in a military family. My first step-father served in the Air Force and I spent the first decade of my life stationed at a number of different bases. My mom’s current husband is also in the Air Force, as well as my youngest sister, so my son is also being raised in a very military-appreciative family.

3. What’s your favorite part of the Fourth of July celebration?

I know it may be a common answer, but I love watching the big fireworks shows. There’s something about staring up at the starry sky and watching the different colors stream across. It always takes my breath away.

4. Have you always participated in Fourth of July activities?

Um. I think so? I don’t have any distinct memories of NOT doing anything for the holiday, so there’s that. Growing up, there was always family. So whether we were at home or Grandma’s or with a friend, there was family around. Sometimes we lit our own fireworks after BBQing, sometimes we went to the city park to watch the big show over the lake. But I think we always did something.

5. Do you have any Fourth of July stories?

When my son was little- I think it was his second summer, so he was a year and a half- we took him to see the parade. He loved everything until the firetrucks came. They turned on the sirens and he placed his hands over his ears and WAILED! We didn’t realize he’d have such a strong reaction to the loud sounds since nothing else had seemed to phase him up to that point. That night we set off fireworks at home and his nana was trying to get him to hold a sparkler for a photo, but he kept trying to place his hands over the ears to cover the noise from the other fireworks. I was freaking out that he’d burn himself from the sparkler, so somewhere there’s a photo of him with his hands over his ears, grinning, and me holding the sparkler for him. Not really the photo op everyone was looking for haha!

And here are five about me:

1. You mentioned that you aren’t close to many of your family members. Is there anyone that you really wish you had a relationship with, but don’t?

I thought really hard about this. Though I’m closer now with my two sisters, we haven’t always been that way. I wish we’d been closer growing up and that we had some great memories of things the three of us did together when we were younger. Fortunately, we’re working on making memories now.

2. Have you told the “How You Met Your Fiance” Story? If not, can you tell us? If you have, tell us what first attracted you to your fiance?

Last year on our anniversary, I shared the story of how we met. Scotty (name has been changed to protect his sanity haha!) is the very best person for me, I just can’t say it any better than that. He understands me, even when I’m not sure I understand myself. There’s a love here that runs very deep and true. As for what first attracted me, that’s kind of two-fold, since we met online. Initially, I was drawn in by his wit. Scotty is one smart cookie, but I never felt like he was talking down to me. When we met in person, his smile won me over. When he smiles at me, his whole face lights up. It’s enough to melt my heart.

3. What values do you hope to instill in your son?

I hope to teach him how to value women. I hope to teach him to believe in equality. I hope to teach him to stand up for himself and what he believes in, even if it might not be the popular choice. I hope to teach him to follow his dreams and to have passion for life. Mostly, I hope to teach him to love- to love wholeheartedly, without reservations, because without love, life is so very sad.

4. Where so you see your life in 5 years? Will you still be blogging?

I sure hope so! This blog has become very much MY space. I come here to share about myself, to share about this crazy life, and I can’t imagine much of that will change over the next five years. I hope that I’ll have a bit of a better handle on my health by then, or that I’ve at least found a routine. I hope that Scotty and I will have a bigger home then, with maybe an office for me and a studio or practice room for him.

5. Design your perfect home… include location and size!

I’ve daydreamed about a perfect home many times over the years. I used to want a 2-story Victorian but stairs and I are no longer friends, so I’ve made some adjustments to the dreams. I’d love a ranch-style home on the outskirts of the city. There are rolling hills within five minutes of the city lines that remind me of “the country.” Ideally, I’d like it to have a master suite, a bedroom for my son, and a guest room. I’d also like an office/library for me and a music room for my fiance. I’d like it to be on a decent piece of land so that there would be plenty of land for a few doggies to run around, and maybe even a pool or hot tub. And of course, it would need a state-of-the-art kitchen 🙂

 

I hope you all have a happy and safe holiday and weekend! We’re planning for a quiet evening at home since I’m on doctor’s orders to rest this week. Fingers crossed I can see some fireworks from my little corner of the world! And don’t forget to pop over to April’s site to see how she answered our Fourth of July questions!

Welcoming A New Year

I’m back!

After a whirlwind move and a week-long visit to my parents’ for the holidays, I have been trying to play catch-up. Finally, today, I feel like I can take a few moments to sit down and tell you what I’ve been up to.

Exactly one week before Christmas, on a freezing cold Wednesday night, we signed all the paperwork and got keys to our new apartment. Because my fiance works Monday through Friday, we made plans to move that following weekend, when we could also have help from my brother and friends.

That Sunday was a flurry of boxes, bubble wrap, tape, and a Uhaul truck. By dinner time, we had all the big items moved and in place. There were just a few car-loads left at the old apartment and the new one was piled high with boxes waiting to be unpacked. Exhausted and weary, my fiance and I had fast food for dinner and promptly passed out.

Monday was spent cleaning the old apartment and moving the last few items. We unpacked only the essential items in the new place, and dug out the suitcases. It was time to get ready for our vacation!

Christmas Eve dawned foggy and chilly. We ran our last minute errands and boarded the train to my hometown. The train ride was as relaxing as we’d hoped it would be, no worrying about the icy roads through the mountains. We sat back and read, chatted, listened to music, and played games.

Christmas with my parents and sisters was exactly what I’d thought it would be. Full of love and chaos. We spent the week catching up with extended family, congratulating my step-dad’s promotion to Chief, and watching my youngest sister’s weight-lifting competition. Monday we boarded the train back home, tired from all the fun and ready to be back in our surroundings.

New Year’s Eve was my fiance’s first day back to work. While he got caught up on what he’d missed, I attempted to tackle the mountain of boxes in our living room.

And that’s where I’ve been for the last week. Tackling boxes.

It’s amazing, really. You don’t think there’s so much stuff in just a little one bedroom apartment. And since our new apartment is THE EXACT SAME FLOORPLAN as the last one, I’m not sure how I’ve ended up with all this extra stuff and no place to put it. Maybe when we changed the layout of the furniture, we lost some storage. Who knows?

Anyhow, our home is finally starting to resemble some sort of order. My kitchen is nearly back to what I consider proper, and the mountain of boxes has dwindled down to just a few stacked on top of the desk. Because I’ve apparently lost some storage, I spent one whole day purging. I shredded old paperwork, re-organized my craft table, and set aside a bundle of things to donate to our local mission.

And now I’m back in front of my trusty laptop, ready to start 2014. I’m dedicating this new year to fulfilling some dreams. I have ideas that I want to bring to reality and projects that I want to start as soon as possible.

What do you have planned 2014?