Tag Archives: memories

A Year In Review 2014

After spending New Year’s Eve playing cards and games with my fiance and one of our good friends while our dogs played and hid from the fireworks, I spent a chunk of New Year’s Day in the ER with some odd symptoms. Muscle tremors, shooting pains, and random numbness throughout my left arm/elbow/hand. Turns out I’m fighting a harder RA flare than I knew, and this was just another manifestation of that. They fitted me with a sling to keep the arm elevated and told me to go home, take my pain meds and…REST.

Anyone else hate being told to rest all the time? No? Just me?

Anywho, this morning I was getting caught up on blogging and showing some of my blogger peeps some love, and I found this on Tamara’s site. And I thought, “Yes, I need to do this!” So here you go, loves, my 2014 in review, and some hopes for 2015.

What did you do in 2014 that you’d never done before?

I had an article published. 

Got our adorable doggy, the first pet Scotty and I’ve had together.

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I started Remicade infusions for RA treatment. I’ve never had any sort of infusion before.

Did you keep your new years’ resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

I did, and I will! For 2015, I want to focus on living better. I want to spread kindness and joy and do my part to make the world a better place.

Did anyone close to you give birth?

A few of my dear friends blessed us with babies this year. Rebecca, Crys, and Fallah all had adorable bundles of joy ❤

Did anyone close to you die?

Not anyone I know personally, but the loss of Robin Williams touched me deeply. I grew up with him, and it breaks my heart to know the world is missing his genius.

What countries did you visit?

Sadly, none. We’re hoping to visit Canada later this year.

What would you like to have in 2015 that you lacked in 2014?

A blender. A yard for our doggy to run and play.

What date from 2014 will remain etched upon your memory?

I don’t have a specific date, just little snippets throughout the year that make me smile. The look of joy on my fiance’s face as he played his music again. My son and fiance exploring the space museum together.

MercuryCapsule

My doggy running through the tall grass at the dog park. Game nights with my fiance. Nights at Denny’s with Kristen and Seth. Civil War on the big screen. Evenings with Cathy.

What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Following my dream of being a writer. It involved more than just sharing my words here with you. I put myself out there more and faced my fear of rejection. I hope to continue this in 2015 and maybe finally finish a book.

What was your biggest failure?

This question really stumped me. I think as long as you continue to learn from your mistakes, nothing is a failure. As for me, I’m still learning.

Did you suffer illness or injury?

Still rocking the battle against my autoimmune disorders. I was also diagnosed with TMJ, and am awaiting an appointment with a oral maxi-facial specialist to determine our treatment plan.  I also had a bout with chemical poisoning. Joy.

What was the best thing you bought?

I honestly can’t think of anything right now. Does the cheesy popcorn I’m calling my lunch count?

Whose behavior merited celebration?

My fiance, who continues to be by side and hold my hand as I walk this path.

Tian

Where did most of your money go?

Bills.

What did you get really, really, really excited about?

Time with my son.

Family(framed)

 

Planning our wedding. Making a new friend. A visit from Kristen and Seth.

What song will always remind you of 2014?

Foo Fighters Something From Nothing

Compared to this time last year, are you:

Happier or sadder?  Happier
Thinner or fatter?  Thinner, though I still have a ways to go.
Richer or poorer?  About the same, I guess. Scotty did get a raise, but those bills keep coming and they’ve just increased our rent, so…

What do you wish you’d done more of?

Living. Chasing dreams. Crafting. Learning new things.

What do you wish you’d done less of?

Hurting. Being stressed and anxious.

Did you fall in love in 2013?

I fall in love with my fiance every day. I fell in love with our doggy when we first met him and knew he needed to come live with us.

How many one-night stands?

None. Or 365 with the same man, however you want to look at it.

Who were your best friends?

All of my friends are best. Kristen and Seth. Nolan and Courtney. All my girls, the sisters of my heart. Kerry. Cathy ❤

What thing did you do that was meaningful to others?

I continued to share my stories. The crew helped me launch the Spoons 4 Spoonies website so we can continue to offer support to those battling chronic illness.

What were your favorite TV programs?

Once Upon A Time. Just about anything true crime related. Sonic Highways.

Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?

I try not to hate anyone, it’s so bad for your own well-being. But there are a few people I wouldn’t mind never seeing or hearing about again.

What was the best book you read in 2014?

Written In My Own Heart’s Blood by Diana Gabaldon, the latest book in the Outlander series.

What was your greatest musical discovery?

Sonic Highways by the Foo Fighters. I loved getting to watch how each song came together on their HBO series, and then feel in love with their songs. I’ve always been a FF fan, but this made me love them more and in a new way.

What did you want and get?

A lap desk. A mellow and laid back Thanksgiving holiday. A new phone with a better camera (Thank goodness for Verizon’s free phone offer!). Time with my sisters.

What did you want but did NOT get?

Time ALONE with my sisters. A money tree. A new body.

What was your favorite film of this year?

Uh… I can’t remember seeing many movies this year… Sad story.

What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

I turned 32 and spent the day with my son and my fiance and some of our dear friends. We went bowling, which was something I didn’t think I could do with my RA hands, but I did it and it was awesome! We also had pizza from my favorite place, and cupcakes, which makes everything awesome.

What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

Less stress.

What kept you sane?

My writing. Therapy. My fiance. Our dog. All of our lovely friends who popped in to keep me trucking along ❤

Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

Sam Heughan, the guy who plays Jamie Fraser in the TV version of Outlander.

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Colin O’Donoghue aka Captain Hook

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What political issue stirred you the most?

I was in an uproar over a few things, others just broke my heart. I’ll say this: I stand for equality for all, and for a safer world for our children.

Who did you miss?

My grandmother. My brother. Misty. My daughter. I always miss my son when he’s not here with us. All of my friends who live near and far, whom I never get to see often enough.

Who was the best new person you met this year?

Kerry! She’s become a dear friend and a lovely support system. Also, with whom else can I sit and reminisce about the 80s?

Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2014.

Sometimes you have to just let things go. Accept that you need to put yourself first, and set boundaries, even if the things you have to let go are people you love. You can’t help others at the detriment of yourself.

Quote that sums up your year:

 

Thank you all for following along this past year, and for joining me for this little walk down memory lane. Here’s wishing 2015 is full of all the best for all of us! Happy New Year!

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My Happy Place

The lovely Echo tagged me this morning to share my happy place.

Much like Echo, my happy place is more a series of moments, little tidbits that make up an overflowing pool of happiness within me. Some are memories, some are actual places, some are dreams yet to be fulfilled, and some are the moments in my days that chase the dark away. These are the things I would think about if I were to fly with Peter Pan.

It’s a cozy chair, a mug of hot tea, a fuzzy blanket, and a good book.

It’s the joy and excitement my little doggy shows when we ask if he wants to go for a ride.

It’s looking into my newborn son’s eyes and seeing my future gazing back at me.

It’s an afternoon in the park, sprawled on a blanket under the sun. A picnic lunch after a trip to the library.

It’s the memory of a drawled, “Hello, dawlin.” and the feeling of knowing someone cares.

It’s a bubble bath, scented candles, and soft music playing.

It’s text messages from my son, little glimpses at his life away from me. It’s him telling me he loves and misses me.

It’s the kisses goodbye as Scotty leaves for work, and the kisses hello when he gets home in the evenings. It’s the texts throughout his day that let me know he’s thinking of me.

It’s an afternoon on the banks of the Puget Sound, a first date with a man my heart had known always.

It’s boardgames, Mario Kart, and popcorn and M&M’s.

It’s nights at Denny’s, sipping hot cocoa and getting to know each other.

It’s all the little things he does to make my life easier.

It’s afternoon naps with my doggy.

It’s hours long chats with the sisters of my heart. The talks about music, writing, life, and more that always leave me feeling loved and inspired.

It’s waking up each day and going to bed each night knowing I am loved, even when I don’t feel very lovable.

What is your happy place? Where do you go when you need a smile?

I Found Framily On A Mountaintop

On the Wednesday before Halloween five years ago, a new friend and I headed off for a little road trip. Little did we know our trip would involve a flat tire and being stuck on the side of a mountaintop road for the better part of six hours. Overnight.

Nubs

I met Nolan the same way I met Scotty, in a local internet chat room. Though, to be honest, Nolan and I didn’t chat much. When I finally met Nolan in person, it was in this weird period of time where we were both visiting our significant others and contemplating whether or not to move to be with them.

Since Nolan’s girlfriend and Scotty both worked, he and I often spent our days chatting while looking into relocating. We talked about everything under the sun, though much of our conversations often centered around food. Nolan is a great cook, and I was just starting to consider myself as more than just an “okay” cook. We shared recipes, talked about our favorite chefs, and day dreamed of one day opening a restaurant and writing our own cookbooks.

So on this Wednesday before Halloween, Nolan and I decided to take a road trip together to pick up a few things from our respective home towns to facilitate our moves to this new city. This trip took us damn near all over our great state and just as we were nearing the homestretch, we got a flat tire. On the top of a mountain. In the snow. In the middle of the night.

The car was borrowed, the tools didn’t fit the wheels, we were both dressed for valley weather, and not the snow. I had no cell reception and his battery was dead. We sat huddled outside an abandoned mountain resort office, using the outdoor outlet to plug in his phone so we could call for help. Our help was coming from nearly 3 1/2 hours away, and so we huddled in our respective front seats, occasionally turning on the car for heat. To keep ourselves from going crazy, or possibly giving way to hypothermia, we munched on junk food and talked. Somewhere around 4:00 am, we fell into hysterics. We joked and laughed about things which made no sense. We crafted the nicknames “Nubs and Stubs.”

Most of all, we kept each other sane. And somewhere between our toes going numb and all the Mountain Dew and Redvines, I realized that this guy had worked his way into my heart. I knew no matter what happened, he would always be my best friend.

Help arrived and we got the tire changed. We drove the rest of the way back to our new city, arriving nearly exactly 24 hours after we had left. We were cold, tired, crashing from a sugar overload, and more than a little angry at circumstances. But we had a new friend in each other, and memories to bind us.

Five years later Nolan (aka Nubs) is still my best friend, my adopted brother. We still laugh about that night stuck on the side of the mountain road, though others don’t seem to see the humor we do. Guess you had to be there.

Nolan is family. He will be the one who officiates mine and Scotty’s wedding next summer, and he’s the one I turn to always. There are many who don’t understand our relationship. Many who think men and women can’t be friends without some sort of romantic ish. There are many who swear we’re leading some sort of secret affair behind Scotty’s back. Those people? I feel sorry for them. How sad it must be to not have friends you count as family, no matter their gender. And how horrible it must be to be so mistrusting of those around you. Scotty is more than fine with mine and Nolan’s friendship, he also considers Nolan family. Nolan’s girlfriend, Court (NOT the one from five years ago), is also more than okay with our relationship. She is family. I call her my sister-in-law, and know I can turn to her for anything.

NubsandCourt

Nubs and Court have helped us move three separate times. They come to see Scotty play, and celebrate birthdays with us. We celebrate each others’ kiddos and life moments. They live about an hour away, and sometimes we don’t see each other for months, but it doesn’t change that we are all the very best of framily.

And to think, it all started on the side of a mountaintop with a flat tire.

We Are Love

Scotty-

Five years ago you took me on a picnic for our first date and forever changed my life. Next year we will stand before our loved ones and say aloud the promises we’ve already made to each other. Each year on our anniversary, I write a letter to you or share our story. This year, I didn’t know what else could be said that I hadn’t already written. And then, this came to me…

Us

We are date nights at Denny’s, sipping hot cocoa and playing cards. We are drives around this city while we shared all there was to know about each other. We are popcorn and M&M’s, movie nights, board games, and take-out Chinese food.

Ian

You are passion and humbleness, and I am your biggest fan.

We are five years of the highest highs and the lowest lows. We are overcoming any obstacle. We are “you do for family” and redefining who our family is. We are celebrating any achievement, because they all matter. We are advocates for your dad and I am the daughter-in-law he loves, even if I did beat him at Scrabble on Father’s Day once.

We are late nights in the hospital, with you always holding my hand. You are the hard worker who makes sure I’m taken care of, no matter the cost. We are battling chronic illness together, continuing to live this life to the fullest.

Ring

You are the man who proposed to me three times, with three different rings, each of them as precious to me as our love.

You are the man who loves my son as if he were your own, and my heart swells to see you two together.

Family(framed)

We are the parents of a teenager, both terrified and excited. We are talks of school and grades, and debating whether he’s ready for his own cell phone. We are a family of our own, the three of us and our doggy.

We are the sum of every moment of these five years, and yet so much more. We are the promise of a future together, the promise that we’ll always have a partner in this life.

UsWedding

You are the man I’ve dreamed of all my life, my prince, the one I thought couldn’t possibly exist until you came and rescued me. You are the one who showed me who I could be, who saw the beauty inside me when no one else did.

We will be the cute little old couple helping each other along in the nursing home. I will try to not run over your toes with my wheelchair as you repeat yourself for the tenth time because I’ve gone completely deaf. We will be playing Scrabble with our grandkids while we tell them how Grandma is a Ducks fan and Grandpa is a Beavers fan and it’s the only thing we’ve ever disagreed on in our entire lives together. Well that, and the fact that Grandma doesn’t like pumpkin or avocado.

HouseDivided

You and your love gives me hope EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. The promise of our future gives me a reason to keep fighting.

Here’s to another five years, my love, and many more after that. Here’s to making more memories and traditions. Here’s to a lifetime of love.

Thanks For The Memories, They Were Great

It started so innocuously.

My fiance came home from work and said we had plans to meet a coworker and his fiance for drinks. I was nervous, I had no clue if this woman and I would even have anything in common. My fiance had never met her, he was going on the word of his coworker that we would hit it off. Sounds a bit like a recipe for disaster, doesn’t it?

Little did I know that I would be meeting one of the greatest friends I’ve ever known.

Kristen and Seth walked into our lives that night and changed everything. Over drinks, Kristen and I got to know each other while Seth and my fiance talked about work, music, and video games. And so a pattern began. Whenever we would get together, the boys would get wrapped up into their own world, and Kristen and I would chatter away in ours.

From dinners where I tricked Seth into eating his vegetables, to nights where Kristen and Seth kept me company while watching my fiance rock the stage. Group hang outs at Denny’s and trips to the craft store with Kristen. Kristen and Seth became some of our closest friends. They asked us to be a part of their wedding last year, and have agreed to be a part of ours next year. They became family.

Today they will be taking the next step in their lives together. They are moving to Canada to be closer to Kristen’s family. We’ve always known this day would come, and for the last six months we’ve steadily been moving towards the goodbyes. But as I hugged them last night, my heart was both sad and happy. While I am thrilled at this opportunity for them, I will miss them with an ache I didn’t know I could feel.

Though they’ll only be a day’s drive away, gone will be the late nights of conversations about anything and everything. They won’t be here to celebrate our birthdays this year or to have a Christmas pajama party. There won’t be a Halloween costume party or mimosas for New Years.

K&S Collage 2

K&S- Words cannot thank you for all the wonderful memories you’ve made with us. While we already miss you, we could not be happier for this wonderful new path in your lives. We know we’ll see you again, and there will be new memories. Thank you for loving us, for all the great times, for the care baskets when I was sick, and for all the times you spoiled us. Thank you for everything, every memory. We love you.

The Best Memories

Over at Band Back Together we’re celebrating Project Happy and sharing happy memories or things that bring a smile to our face. So I wrote this:

The Best Memories

It’s shocking, still, the things that will spark a memory of her.

Strawberry cake or blueberry muffins. A quick hand of Solitaire. A cactus plant. A jigsaw puzzle. The pleasant scratch of a handmade afghan. Our home team, the Portland Trailblazers. A true cherry cola. Classic Saturday morning cartoons. Merle Haggard.

This last December marked fifteen years since I lost my grandmother.

My grandma and I had a very special bond. She was disabled, bound to her wheelchair because of her battle with diabetes and obesity. Her other grandchildren either lived to far away or were too young to spend weekends at her little house on the hill. I know I was her favorite anyway. Everyone says so.

All through my preteen years, I would head to Grandma’s house each Friday afternoon after school. She usually had some baked treat ready for me. My favorite? Strawberry cake with cream cheese frosting. If it was basketball season, we’d order in takeout and watch the Portland Trailblazers play.

Grandma would let me stay up late reading. We would work on jigsaw puzzles at her little kitchen table while Merle played on her decrepit stereo. We would bake blueberry muffins for our breakfast and set out cat food on the back step for all the stray kitties that lived in the woods behind her house.

Although I know my grandmother was very lonely at times, she taught me to not be scared of time alone. She taught me the joy of solitary activities while she listened to me sing her the songs I was working on in Choir class. Though she was unable to make it to any of my concerts at school, she was one of the biggest supporters of my singing.

Even though she was sick much of our time together, I have nothing but great memories of her. She was the epitome of unconditional love and I miss her greatly. There may be tears in the corners of my eyes, but it’s a smile on my face as I remember her.

I Give You These Three Things

On my 25th birthday, my mother said something that stuck with me.

IGiveYou

As you might imagine, 25 holds a myriad of emotions for me. This time around, 25 will be lucky. Why? Because it means you, yes YOU, get a chance to win something handmade by yours truly.

I’m currently working on some new jewelry designs courtesy of my sister from another mister and Cindy Lou. Between the two of them, I have enough to stir the creative juices for MONTHS. (That totally sounded dirty, I know. GET OUT OF THE GUTTER, MIND!) Because of all this awesome creativity, the prize up for grabs is a whopper!

The prize will be a goody basket including a variety of jewelry, beauty products, and fashion items.

How does one win this fantastic prize? I’m so glad you asked!

Using my mother for inspiration, because why the hell not, I ask that you leave a comment with three things you are proud of in your life. (One for each third of your theoretical life.) As morbid as the thought might be, if you were to be lost to us tomorrow, what three things would you want to be remembered for?

And because fair is fair, here are my three:

  • I am proud to say that I am a mother. Should nothing be left of my life, let it be known that I had my babies even when the odds were against me and I loved them with all of my heart. It may be a mother’s bias, but my son is a true credit. He’s intelligent, top of his class, clever, creative, polite, kind, sweet-hearted, loving, and incredibly handsome. He brings me joy every single day and has from the moment he took his first breath. My daughter’s loss taught me a great many things about myself and was part of the path that led me to Band Back Together.
  • I am proud of my work to help others. Even before I came to BB2G, I worked to assist. I spent time at the women’s crisis shelter that once sheltered me to help give back some of what they had given me. I’ve used the knowledge gained by my trials to help others know that they can overcome anything. Each day that I am alive, free, safe, and loved is a testament to giving to those less fortunate. As I was once helped, I will continue to help others. We are none of us alone, we are all connected.
  • I am proud that I have loved. While I may have lost along the way, I have never given up on love, never turned cold in the face of life’s greatest gift. And I have been blessed because of it. I have the love of a truly wonderful man. My son will grow up with love in his home, and will know the blessing of a great role model. I have friends who are dearer to me than blood, friends who span an entire continent, across time zones and borders. These sisters of my heart show me a love so cherished that it brings tears to my eyes to think of it. I would do anything in my power to bring joy to these people who love me and are loved by me. Love has touched my life and shown me beauty.

These are what I consider the best parts of me. If there were nothing left to know me by but these things, I would consider my life a success. Hopefully I’ll leave many wonderful things behind. Maybe that novel will finally be finished and published. Maybe I’ll go back to school and further my pursuit of psychology. Maybe I’ll finally conquer my stage fright and fear of rejection and become a musician. I am still young and there is life ahead of me. Whatever I choose to do with my future, I will always hold these three things as my ultimate truths.

So I ask you, my readers, what are your truths? What do you hope to leave as testament to your life? Share three things with me in the comments and be entered to win a lovely (if I do say so myself) goody basket tailor made for you. If you’d like to double your chances of winning, share this post with your friends, ask them to leave a comment with their truths and list your name as reference. I will announce a winner on November 1st.

I wish you joy, my dear friends. May your life truths bring you the same peace reflecting upon mine has brought me.