Tuesday, January 31, 2012

An Unobvious Choice

I’ve always valued quality over quantity so I have many, not tons of, friends entrenched in my life with whom I can share just about anything.  One friend has always stood above the rest…my BFF, the one I met in college 32 years ago. She knows EVERYTHING and she’ll take it to her grave or I’ll blackmail her with every single scary skeleton I’m hiding for her!

I’m not going to write about her because it’s too easy.

Growing up, Dad traveled and Mom tried to get us to behave. He was the stern, distant, humorless type who no one considered looking at cross-eyed or disobeying for fear of? Funny, I don’t ever remember receiving a punishment from him.

He lost his dad to melanoma at 7 and entered military boarding school…tough life.  Thinking his “job” as dad was to provide for our needs and the best education possible, I’ve cut him some slack for lack of a fatherly role model. He went to college at night, after I was born.  Dad’s a tough cookie; no one was ever to question him but I did when he said or did something that I didn’t think was cool. At first, he was shocked. Now he doesn’t want to disappoint ME. Crazy!

We weren’t close until his first grandchild was born. I saw the tenderness and love he had for me through her. Said he worried endlessly about taking care of us when we were young. He called her Gina by mistake and still does sometimes 21 years later. They’ve shared a bond from the minute she was born.  

Fast forward to August 2010, Dad suffered a stroke that was one centimeter away from leaving him drooling. We were very lucky. The biggest change? He now giggles. My kids love the “new” Grandpa even more because they can crack him up from almost nothing. He’s also much more sensitive and sentimental. When I call for Mom and Dad answers (would NEVER answer the phone in the past), he asks, “Did you call for me?” and I answer, “Of course, what’s up?” Sweet, sweet man of mine!

Gifts from my Dad are endless but here’s a few…
Motown, Mama’s and Papa’s, Petula Clark, The Moody Blues
Importance of Family
Red Birthday roses every year since I was 16

(I'm not good at linking so click on BoDeans for a listen)
Written for his daughters, Sam Lianas says it's about perfect moments, how rare they are but you find them every once in a while. Love this!

RemembeRED: Friendship

Exploring friendship. Talk about a current friendship or one from your past, a friend you met over kindergarten snacks or happy hour at your first job. Examine your emotional interest in the friendship and the role it plays, or played, in your life.
The word limit for this prompt is 400 words. 

Monday, January 30, 2012

Yesterday I Was Desperate...Today I'm Obsessed!

I am overly obsessed with Romeo of the famed and fated couple in Shakespeare's classic story but not because of the Bard. Maybe that's why I chose yesterday to write about a longingly desperate relationship I carried on for so many years (lots of other things I could have come up with for the love story prompt). Romance, insane love on the brain, it makes sense to me today because I CAN NOT tear myself away from this book. I didn't even want to write today because it would intrude on my afternoon delight with "my guy". Okay, not to creep you out, I'm just reading, I promise! Plus, I'm temporarily retired so I have some time.

When my kids were young, we watched Beauty and the Beast about a gazillion times, over and over and over again. (Mulan was the second most watched Disney video) I mention this because I've always been a little bit like Belle, nose always in a book. A book goes with me everywhere, tucked on my person at all times. I've run into things because I'm walking and reading. Most people run into things texting; drives me nuts! Maybe I piss them off too? 

About me and books...It's sort of how my love life always was...feast or famine. Either I have one and I won't do anything else unless I absolutely have to, I'm in search of one or I'm not interested in anything at all. I have a book fairy that I contact for my times of total desperation (this time for titles) and she's never failed me. She is the one who turned me on to Juliet by Anne Fortier *.

Today I'm infatuated with Romeo, and Juliet too, for that matter and next week I'll dump him and have someone or something new to consume my mind. It's like a revolving door for me, the people that come in and out of my life of a purely fictional nature. In reality, everyone else sticks around...friends, family, lover, etc. This is how I get my variety, I suppose.

I'm not one who's easily distracted but I do willingly dive head first into something if it's worthy. So far, some 250 pages into this book, it's definitely worthy.

* Guys, this is a historical fiction of sorts, and somewhat of a chick lit book. Read at your own risk because it's not a super manly version in my opinion! You will learn a lot about the premise of the story, the times, the city of Siena (one of my favorites)......

Saturday, January 28, 2012


This week's Trifecta writing prompt from Seeking Elevation is to write a love story in 33 words.  We are free to interpret the prompt however we wish, but the response must be 33 words exactly.


You’re gone only moments. 

My chest is in excruciating pain, heart attack? 

What am I feeling?

I want you 24 hours a day. 

I won’t shower or sleep. 

I must always touch you.


So I've felt this way before and it one of the most painful feelings in the world! Has anyone else?

Friday, January 27, 2012

I Realized Today...I Might Be a Bit Superficial?

It occurred to me today as Vilma and I were talking about what color I wanted my nails this time. Let's see, I've had them all shades of dark since September so maybe I should go back to sheer. WHAT??? My nails have been a color for the last four and a half months? It's not a huge deal but when did I care so much about painted nails?

I can claim I'm treating myself like a pat on the back for successfully ushering my kids off to college. Apparently, I'm not concerned with two out-of-state tuitions or other such expenses. Wonder how my husband would feel about that?

I suppose I can justify it as follows:

I'm not a Starbuck's freak (not meant as an insult) so I save $4.50 a day on beverages. If I multiply that by 7 days, that's a total of $31.50 a week. Actually, I don't even know how much an average Starbuck's latte costs but I know my friend Sue pays a lot for her drinks. My nails are only $25 plus I tip Vilma $5. I'm ahead of Sue by $1.50 on the week!

So, what is it about the shiny, glossiness that I'm currently crazy about? I haven't a clue! I don't even want to get started with my toes which haven't seen a naked day in God knows how long! Years?

It's a very weird feeling for me to realize this; someone who never cared about it in the past unless it was for some fancy shmancy occasion. When WAS the last shmancy thing?

Okay. I have to get back to Juliet (by Anne Fortier) while my nails dry. It looks like I'm taking the whole afternoon off!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

How Can I Leave My Sunshine With an Almost Stranger?

Sometimes you have no choice. The decision was made for me...not by me, not by my husband and certainly not by my darling pumpkin. Well, I guess it was made by us but under duress. 

We were a typical urban couple living in a cool brownstone in the city (Chicago) and in, just a wee bit, over our heads. Not to say that we were living beyond our means but we were certainly living at the edge of them. We both made decent livings but how do you begin to figure out finances without one major income and not wanting to give up city living quite yet? We were the first of our friends to have a kid and everyone lived in the neighborhood just right around the corner. This became our challenge as we plotted, planned, and prayed for the answer which would allow one of us to stay home with our little preshy...preferably me!

My first day back was a typical Chicago winter day...lots of snow. I worked in the 'burbs so I had a hike ahead of me and knew it would be slow going. I begged my husband to drop off our SIX WEEK OLD baby for her first day at the sitter. I knew I would never be able to do it (BTW he took her for the whole first week as I chickened out everyday). Heartbreaking!

I was still in the neighborhood, hadn't even made it to the highway, and the streets were much more slippery than I thought. I coasted up to a stop sign and slid halfway though it. Looking from left to right and seeing no one (or so I thought), I made the decision to continue my slide and keep going. Woot, woot, woot! Flashing lights! Damn it, a sneaky cop was right there. 

I rolled down my window, slapped a big smile on my face and began to work my way out of this one. Chicago cops don't like excuse even when I explained it was my first day back to work after having a baby just 6 short weeks ago. His comment was, "Then don't you think you should be more careful?". There wasn't another car in site! So, not only was I going to be late for work, I would have to pay a fine and attend traffic school in order to fulfill my debt to the City of Chicago.

I didn't have the time or the money for either plus I had to explain this one to my very careful husband who never gets tickets, blah, blah, blah!!! All I wanted to do was play with my baby and probably cry.

The Prompts:
1.) Return to work after baby was born or stay home? How did you make your decision?

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Yesterday Was a Day I Hope to Forget!

This is me....

and I'm going to tell you the story of my yesterday. It's a day I hope to forget for the rest of my life. 

It began like every other day, Boss at the wheel and me warmed up after a cold night outside. Sometimes Boss brings the young one along while the old lady rests peacefully on the driveway relishing her time away from the spunky teen. Traveling is hard for the old lady you know; she is a sweet 94 years old, 13 1/2 in dog years! Does she recall her rides in my predecessor when she looks longingly at me as Boss puts her sister in the passenger seat? Dr. K says she has dementia.

Today, both girls stayed back because Boss didn't want the youngster setting off the car alarm yet again. I tell her not to jump around the seats but she does. Typical!

The Boss and I slowly pull into the driveway after our errands and the girls, as always, are walking towards me. I can see them both with my eyes and Boss is careful when pulling in but it's routine for them to greet us at the walkway, tails a waggin'.The rest is a blur to me.

My front wheel feels stuck like it's run into a small snow bank. Strange. I hear the most oil curdling cry I could ever imagine. Boss freezes for a moment as she hears the same and quickly opens her door to look. The sound of Boss' screams echo through the neighborhood and will inside me forever.

The sweet old lady must have slipped on that patch of ice on the driveway at the precise moment we roll in. I'm resting on her leg and she is crying. Boss throws me in reverse, then picks up all 75 pounds of the old lady in one heave to rest her in my rear seat. Thank goodness the doctor is just three short blocks away. Boss is screaming, "Oh no, oh no!".

Sometimes, Dr. K say, a car can roll over a 5 pound dog and not break a thing. We're lucky. Nothing is broken even though my full weight was on top of her leg. The only damage is a tear in the skin which gets sutured up. He says she'll be sore for awhile. Boss says, "Of course she will be, I just ran her over", with tears running down her face.

Our sweet old lady cried all night and is sleeping the day away. This could have turned out much differently and I thank God for the outcome. It was a bad, bad day for me! True story of my yesterday...

Write on Edge: RemembeRED Do objects have a memory? Does a rocking chair hold the essence of the snuggles it has witnessed? Does a pottery mug remember the comforting warmth it offered a struggling soul?
The dictionary defines personification as “the attribution of a personal nature or human characteristics to something nonhuman, or the representation of an abstract quality in human form.”
Tell a piece of your story from the point of view of an object who bore witness in 400 words or less.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Living on the Sandy Side of the Road

So I do owe an explanation to my blog as to why I didn't put fingers to keys for more than a week. The best way to describe it is I was living on the sandy side of the road! 

I know this sounds simplistic but it's true and valid. The sand was to blame for the many reasons I will lay out right here through pictures and words (I would really like to be laying out on that beach).

Amansala is smack dab on a gorgeous beach in Tulum, Mexico. It looks like this...
Each morning, I would walk through the sand, IPad in hand, to the main restaurant/meeting place, pour a steaming cup of Mexican coffee, pull up a chair at my quiet spot and begin to think.
Well, wouldn't you know? I began to daydream...just let my mind peacefully wander......until I had to do this!
Hard to see but it goes something like this beginning at 7am...Beach Walk, Lean Legs Blast, Breakfast, Kickboxing, Lunch, Spa and Beach Time, Sweatfest, Yoga, Dinner

So, after daydreaming the early mornings away and sweating my ass off before lunch, beach time became the most realistic period to write...NOT! The WiFi constantly got blown out by the wind at precisely the moment I struck my first key, 3G was a joke in such a remote area and all I felt like doing was exactly what my compadre is doing right here...
After a yummy dinner, I was toast...not a brain cell functioning, couldn't even muster the energy to read.

There you have it...my excuses. The cards were stacked against me, my IPad and my blog. It wasn't meant to be because the cycle continued for 7 days.

(Sunrise the last morning with some of my new friends)

This magical place called Amansala feeds the mind, body and soul to the point of exhaustion but in a good way. The bonds I've created over the years with the staff and year-to-year with fellow bootcampers will remain near and dear to my heart. Someone from above was letting me know what was more important this particular week of my life. I thank Him for that!

Monday, January 23, 2012

I Can Hang With The Youngin's

As my post from yesterday mentioned, I have been away. I have been away working on me....my mind, my body, my spirit. It's the fourth year in a row I've returned to this magical place to work on moi...a never ending process, you know!

My special place is somewhat remote allowing for peace and natural beauty to invade your insides. It connects it's guests with themselves as well as like minded people but only if one chooses. Women from all over the world travel here (two men this time) to eat healthy, exercise, try new things and, as a result, develop bonds with people they never imagined would come into their lives. Often, they arrive solo searching for something...whether it's inner peace, a connection with their mind and body or to purely get away from it all. This is a truly unique environment where any and all are welcome and encouragement is available by the buckets full. It's a "do as much as you want" supportive place.

The week begins with an opening circle. I've been down this road four times before so I know when looking at the 23 strangers before me there is no way in hell I will have ANYTHING in common with them. This never fails to be a false statement!

My general observation this time was, "Man, am I old!". I can be the old lady; I guess I'm okay with that. The mix of people was youthful, accomplished and astounding. We had three 50 year olds (me and my two campadres) and the rest were crazily successful 30-42 year olds (PR Execs, Ad Execs, two veterinarians, a doctor, a nurse practitioner, a 27 year accountant to the third wealthiest family in Canada, two famous actors*, best friends, etc.). Can you see where I'm going with this?

How does a fifty year old fit into this hot mess? Hence, the question I feared most was, "So what do you do?". I know it's my own insecurity because I'm between things right now. I've worked since I was fifteen doing a million things, mostly sales and marketing though. Right now, I'm trying to figure out my next step with my kids in college and taking time for myself. This became my answer...I'm retired FOR NOW! The youngin's accepted that.

What they really wanted to know from us older women, with a combined 77 years of marriage, was pure and simple. Is there someone out there for me? Will I find someone to share my life and dreams with? Am I getting too old for kids? I'm no expert but I know a little about this subject. We quickly became the counselors and suddenly had value of a different kind... a kind I never imagined for this week.

At closing circle, each of us spoke about what we got out of all the blood, sweat and tears during our 7 days in paradise. At the same time, acknowledging the week wouldn't have been the same if just one of the 24 was missing from the mix. We each offered something of value to the group. We created strong and some unlikely bonds. Then we went out to party!

What I reaffirmed last week is I have value and I'm enough for me even if I don't have a firm path or direction at the moment!

 (Our group at closing circle with two important friends missing*)

(Alexandra, a crazy and gorgeous greek woman who lives in Sweden holding a very important thought)

*All I will say about the actor and actress is that you have seen their work. What I took away from my week with them is THEY WERE NORMAL, ENGAGING, HARD WORKING PEOPLE with a smile always at the ready! Normal people looking for relationships and happiness just like us. They just happen to have a few job perks.  

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Dear Blog, I Have Missed You!

I am truly sorry for being away from you, dear blog.

I did not mean to neglect you for more than a week.

It was not my fault and I will fully explain to you tomorrow.

I will never stay away from you for so long ever again...or, at the very least, without good reason.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Packing It In

I'm not packing it all in. It won't fit. I mean in my day and in my suitcase as I prepare to leave this icy cold tundra for a glorious beach and adventure!

I packed in a sweaty session first thing this morning. Before someone thinks I mean one thing, I meant an hour spin class, my favorite type of exercise hands down. "Paying the piper", which is what my friend Susie and I call it when we travel partnerless, will come later today. Another friend calls it leaving a memory. In any case, one must always properly thank your vacation sponsor!

Bathing suits, check. Personal grooming for said bathing suit, check (OUCH!). Yoga pants and workout clothes, check. Flashlight, Kindle, Two bottles of fine red wine, check, check, and triple check! Toiletries, got'em.

Hair dryer and make up...nope. Not that kind of place. Amansala is an au naturale, eco-friendly place. I don't mean it's a nudist retreat but being smack on the beach means that the power and plumbing systems are pretty fragile (don't flush the paper). Also, who would we be wearing makeup for anyway.

Shoot...flight check in, passport, chargers, cash!

That's about all I need.

The only things left to do...pay that piper and head to the city for a Chicago Bulls game and close the suitcase!

I better get going.

Friday, January 13, 2012

This Can Get REALLY Intimidating!

The more I follow favorite blogs, read all their wonderful posts, and follow link to link to other people's writings like a labrador on a scent, I get exponentially more intimidated. It amazes me how the blog community is so interconnected and know each other. How can so many people be incredibly engaging, creative, and fresh all the time? You are all so fabulous and here I am just starting out feeling amateurish. It's me, I know. It takes time to develop.

This began as a challenge to myself... maybe out of boredom or a desire to release the jumbles in my brain (sanity prescription) or just simply to engage with how I feel. Even a more basic thing...I do love to write.

It has rapidly and unexpectedly become something so much bigger. Every blogger must have felt this at one point or another. It is almost discouraging and a little depressing especially for someone who is just starting to write out thoughts and feelings, looking for inspiration around every corner. What happens if there's nothing to write about?

I will keep reading blogs because I enjoy them. I will keep writing here because I love it. Daily, I have an urge to redesign and rearrange to the point of becoming obsessive. As each day passes, I hope my self-confidence builds.

Next week will be a challenge for me as I hit the beach in Tulum and try to write on an IPad (not the easiest). Keep it short and simple, Stupid! Maybe it will be a pictorial of my week at Bikini Bootcamp, who knows. That would be very interesting.

(Miel, Spanish for honey, on the Amansala beach in Tulum)

Thursday, January 12, 2012

The Consensus is 50/50 On What's a Comin'

It's been in the news, on the cover of the Tribune and USA Today, one of the top stories on Yahoo News today. Really?

Yes, Chicago is getting it's first snow today...6 to 8 inches predicted! Whoopee. This is not news. It's an expectation and much delayed. Also, our weather people aren't really accurate on a regular basis (about 50/50) so it may be a huge false alarm. It's happened before.

For God's sake, it was 57 degrees yesterday with the sun bright and cheery. It was crazy to see people testing their snow blowers and stocking up on food at the market with hardly a cloud in the blue sky.

I love warm weather more than anything. However, I've lived in Chicago my whole life and we just "Bear Down" and deal. It was bound to happen sooner rather than later being halfway finished with January. 

Back in the day, nothing stopped us from going about our business in the snow and to think there were no SUVs or cars with front wheel drive. School wasn't cancelled, no one stocked up the frig, and my brother and I were the snow blowers! Today, it's a little different. The markets are crowded, snow removers at the ready but every thing won't come to a screeching halt. We live in Chicago. We're ready for this!

(Familiar noise just went by...the first snow plow)

The consensus is about 50/50 as to those looking forward to the storm and those not. I'm in the former group. There is nothing prettier than the first real snow of the year plus it gives me a great excuse to stay in today. I'm not the only one looking forward to the snow. So is Addison and it's started already!

This is all very easy for me to say. I'm outta here on Sunday. Headed to the beach. 

(Amansala in Tulum, Mexico)

Hopefully, when I return, the first snow will have melted!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

To Bail Your Kid Out Of Trouble or Not?

Update included at bottom:

Good question to myself...

I have this daughter, age 21, who spent 7/8 of her life toeing the line. She made fab grades, excelled in volleyball and track, received a college scholarship to study architecture at a gorgeous university...the list of her accomplishments and achievements ("over" sometimes) would bore you. There was never a time I worried about her doing her homework, missing curfew without a call, getting drunk or smoking weed. I'm painting a picture of an easy kid to raise.

She isn't perfect, that's for sure. She argues with her brother whenever they're together...drives me beyond insane. She's messy, and stubborn, and unforgiving when crossed. I'm sure, with time, I could come up with other examples of her "lesser strengths".

My daughter's biggest "lesser strength" is her Indy 500-like driving or, I should say, what USED to be her Andretti-esque skills. This became her achilles heel.

In the state of Illinois, those under the age of 21 can not have two moving violations to retain their driver's license. Well Mandy Andretti (aka darling daughter), had three between the ages of 18 and 20. She is a speeder!

The short story is in March 2011 it all caught up with her and she received a personal letter from the State of Illinois. They requested her license be mailed to them and to plan on it staying there until March 2012. We let her suffer the consequences without much help from us and I'm okay with that. She wanted to handle it and some mistakes were made there as well. I'm not entirely sure what we could have done besides help her hire the attorney anyway. There were some tears but nothing could be done at that point but to SUCK IT UP!

She has friends to run errands with at school. At home, she has me, who often forgets she doesn't drive and gets exasperated when I realize I'm her wheels (inconvenient!). She says its very freeing to be a non-driver...FOR HER!

Can she just make it two more months without any problems?

Today, I got the call! Can it ever be drama free? Now we have to figure out what kind of help we should give her this time. Nothing super serious but who says it won't screw up her ability to drive in 2012?


My girl just called with an update. She and her attorney agreed that an important piece of information should be provided to the Assistant Prosecutor (she previously didn't know about my daughter's speeding problems and her license suspension for such). They felt full disclosure would be better than the information coming out in the future, though the likelihood was slim, and the consequences much higher. The Prosecutor thanked them for their honesty and said the previously unknown issue wouldn't have factored in anyway. However, my daughter's lesson was something we've talked about since she was little. The truth is ALWAYS better.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

I Knew What I Wanted When

This post was prompted by Write on Edge. ----This week we’d like you to write a memoir piece about an unfulfilled goal or a broken resolution, beginning with the words, “I knew what I wanted."

I made my first trip to Hogar de Ninos Nazareth, an orphanage in Comayagua, Honduras, eight years ago. I absolutely knew I wanted to keep returning for as long as it took to see the children I’d met become adults. I also knew it was important to learn their language so I could communicate with them, in the future, when coloring and sign language no longer worked for the “tricky” conversations.

After my third visit to the Hogar and failing to retain much Espanol year to year (it takes practice), I asked for Rosetta Stone Central American Spanish as the big gift on my Christmas list. This was the same year I promised several important people I would return to them knowing conversational Spanish!

The back-story is I have two Goddaughters and many, many young friends who live at the Hogar. I visit them for a week every year in June through an organization called All God's Children. I wanted to better communicate with them as they entered into their very critical teen years as domestic violence is prevalent and education the way to a better life. They are all so incredibly bright. The children are enrolled in the best schools available in Comayagua and are learning English at a rapid rate, (speaking, reading and writing). Even the kindergarteners!

(Photos: Ester and me, Johanna-God daughter and Candi, Juana-God daughter and Miguel)

So entering into 2012, I'm yet again the lame one as the orphans out learned their Godmother four years in a row! Not the way I planned it. I also promised them!

I really wish I knew what I wanted a long, long time ago and stuck with Spanish when I was younger because it’s tough as heck to learn now. I also wish I would have started Rosetta Stone months ago (or four years ago) because June with be here before I’m ready! 

Friday, January 6, 2012

I Need To Hear Your Voice

This is only the second time I've done a Sunday Stealing. Some of these questions are really easy while several will take quite a bit of thought or maybe, I'll make up the answer. Not sure yet but here goes...

Today we ripped off a blogger named Tense Teacher of the blogTense for a Reason. It's long so we'll do it in parts. She does not say where she got it from. But, it was probably stolen there as well. So, of course, that will be as far as we go. Tracing back our theft's thieves might take some time. 

1. Song that always makes you sad? It's an oldie. Barbra Streisand singing "Memories". Loved the movie, too.

2. Last thing you bought? A Diet Coke for my drive home from Indiana.

3. Last person you argued with? My college freshman over packing for his return to school. He, however, neutralized the situation by saying "Mom, let's not fight." Sweetheart!

4. Do you put butter before putting the peanut butter on? Peanut butter and butter, love them both, don't belong together on the same thing.

5. One of your stuffed animals' names as a kid? Doris

6. Did you ever at one time own a Barenaked Ladies CD? No

7. Favorite day of the week? Sunday. No pressure to do anything.

8. Favorite sundae topping? Caramel

9. Did you take piano lessons? Nope. Took guitar for two years though.

10. Most frequent song played? I play several favorites equally.

11. T.V. show you secretly enjoy? Most reality shows, but never Jersey Shore.

12. Would you rather play basketball or hockey? Hockey because I find hockey players sexy...don't know why.

13. Date someone older or younger? It wouldn't matter to me.

14. One place you could travel right now? Always Italy

15. Do you use umbrellas? No and I don't like getting wet either. I'm just not prepared.

16. Do you know all the words to the Canadian national anthem? No and I should know more than "O Canada" because I attend lots of Chicago Blackhawk games.

17. Favorite Cheese? Parmigiano Reggiano

18. The Smith's or The Cure? The Cure

19. Do you prefer blondes or brunettes? I find dark brown haired men most attractive but I'm married so not noticing.

20. Best job you ever had? Traveling salesperson of computer software. I got to see more of the U.S. than I ever wanted or imagined.

Prayer Answered

Asked and answered.
That's all I can say.
Thank you!

Check Out Time

When my husband walked in from work yesterday, he informed our college freshman that "check out" time at this hotel was 12:00pm, Saturday. The look on my son's face was shock, disbelief and PRICELESS. All he said was, "NO, really?".  Hubby said, "Really. We're leaving and locking up." "Come on, Dad!" He was planning on leaving Saturday but at his leisure, of course.

I'm laughing as I write this. The only hint that my hubby was kidding (sort of but not really) was the slight flaring of his nostrils when he tried not to smirk. Trademark giveaway if you know about it.

We are outta here at 12:01, the minute he walks out the door! The hotel is closing for the season.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

How Can They Do It and I Can't?

I'm talking about sleep! I've been reminded every day since the kids arrived home for the holidays. 

Shortly after they get up, I begin my struggle to stay awake. I certainly understand that college kids stay up WELL past midnight on a regular basis so their sleep clocks are different than mine. I want/need a nap at almost the precise time they wake!

I guess I'm really bitching about sleep quality. How can they stay fast asleep for 12+ straight hours then be difficult to wake up, while I can't fall asleep, stay asleep (potty breaks) and wake up every day at the crack of dawn? While I'm at it...how does my husband's snoring not wake him up? It's truly driving me insane. At times it feels like some kind of torture. Weren't prisoners sleep deprived to divulge information?

Halfway through break I thought I'd try a little something to promote family unity, at least from a timing standpoint. I began waking them at 10:00am. I didn't want them to feel like they were sleeping the day away, at least their mornings. Also, I wanted to see them and maybe plan some fun things to do because they would be leaving me again so soon. 

Well, now I'm lying. I was behaving out of jealousy! What a spiteful mom I am!

I can report that "wake ups" worked for a few days. We actually did some things during the daylight hours. However, it eventually became obvious that this wouldn't work long term or even the two more weeks they'd be home. They became crabby because they were still staying up late while waking up early. I was crabby because I still wasn't sleeping. 

In the end, somethings can't be changed or, at least, I failed to change them. I'm still jealous they can sleep and pissed because I can't.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Of Course, I Forgot A Big One

I originally committed to myself that I would write something on this blog EVERY DAY. So far, I have only missed two in the last 3 1/2 weeks. That's pretty good for me seeing my history of carrying through is awful. 

Resolution 1.5

One year (12/14/11-12/14/12), minimum six days a week but shooting for seven, something will be written on this blog!

Ok! Done! 

A Delayed Drum Roll, Please

So, it's probably not a good start to the New Year when I can't even get my resolutions committed to paper (or screen). I know I'm only writing them to myself but still! This is why I suck at resolutions every single year. 

I wish that New Year's resolutions would officially start on January 7th and I have several reasons why. First of all, I am not recovered enough from New Years Eve/Day, or the holidays in general, to begin working on myself on 1/1 so I shouldn't actually put the pressure on at all. Second, it's hard to start working on your own things when you still have a house full of people and you're constantly working on their stuff. My things become low priority as the kids pack up their belongings and CLEAN clothes to head back to Indiana. Lastly, I'm fearful that I will, yet again, fail at doing the most important things and need more time to give myself a pep talk and encouragement. Therefore, I procrastinate. It's all lame...I know it!

So a drum roll, pleeeeease.......
1. Pull out that Rosetta Stone program, Central American Spanish, and BEGIN. 
It was the big gift on my Christmas list four years ago and promised several important people I would return to them knowing conversational Spanish!

The back story is I have two Goddaughters and many, many young friends who live in an orphanage called the Hogar de Ninos, Nazareth in Comayagua, Honduras. I visit them for a week every year in June and have for the last eight years through an organization called All God's Children. I wanted to better communicate with them as they entered into their very critical teen years. I promised! They are all so incredibly bright. The children are enrolled in the best schools available in Comayagua and are learning English at a rapid rate, (speaking, reading and writing). Even the kindergardeners! So I'm, yet again, the lame one as the orphans outlearn their Godmother four years in a row! Not the way I planned it!

2. Eat and drink less!
What is less? I don't have an exact amount in mind. I just know that if I do both, I will drop the five to eight lbs. that have crept on over the last year.

3. Move my body, in some form or fashion, 6 days a week.
This, I started December 1st so it's the easiest so far.

4. Have more patience.

5. Talk to the Big Guy more often!
If I accomplish 4. and 5., I will certainly have more peace in my life and that is a huge desire.

Okay...Let's see how January rolls out. 

2., 3., 4., and 5., started yesterday, January 3rd. Now I just have to tackle 1. and it's been the toughest for me every year but it's a promise I intend to keep!

Monday, January 2, 2012

I Am So Over It

I'm talking about the holidays and I'll tell myself, or you, why?

I am tired of eating all the time. I am tired of drinking all the time. I am tired of a wacky sleep schedule. I'm tired of how all of the above is making me very lethargic. I'm (a little) tired of a full house. I'm tired of everyone elses' schedule interfering with mine. I could easily go on but I've gotten the picture across to myself!

I have one more event tonight...Dinner down in the city then The Chicago Blackhawks game. My plan is moderation for the evening. I hope I can accomplish this.

Tomorrow, I:
* commit to paper (this blog) the same   resolution I have made the last four years,
* wire my jaw shut,
* give away all the wine in the house,
* move my ass,
* take my daughter back to school,
* take a Tylenol PM,
* sleep in the guest room to insure a quiet, snore-free night's rest.

On Wednesday, I should be a brand new human being or at least back to "pre-holiday square one"!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

It's Time To Put This One In The Books

Sunday Stealing: The 2011 Year End  Meme

This is the first time I'm participating in Sunday Stealing's Meme. It's been fun reading the responses from those who have shared. Below are mine. Sounds like I'm a little boring but really I'm not. I'm hung over so thinking about my answers was taxing and my formatting sucks today. Sorry!

What did you do in 2011 that you’d never done before?
            Became a PADI certified diver.

Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
Nope and yes! It will include the same one that I have failed at for the last three years.

Did anyone close to you give birth?
            No and thank goodness not my 21 year old!

Did anyone close to you die?
            No and another thank goodness!

What countries did you visit?
            Italy, Honduras 2X (Comayagua and Roatan), Mexico, Costa Rica   

What would you like to have in 2012 that you lacked in 2011?
            More peace

What dates from 2011 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
         June 2nd, my son’s high school graduation 
August 26th when my nest became empty

What was you biggest achievement of the year?
Three thingsStarting this blog, successfully sending both kids off to university and completing my first (and possibly last) triathlon

What was your biggest failure?
Not repairing a destroyed relationship by choice (could be considered a success as well), not accomplishing a resolution that was important due to my own laziness.

What was the best thing you bought?
            A trip for myself

Whose behavior merited celebration?
My son who pulled it together to pass Calculus in the final days to graduate high school and my daughter who started a business with her friend for college money

Whose behavior made you appalled and disgusted?
            All those involved in the Penn State abuse scandal

What song will always remind you of 2011?
            Too many to name one
What do you wish you’d done more of?

What do you wish you’d done less of?
            Procrastinate and web surf

Did you fall in love in 2011?
            No, damn it!

What was your favorite new TV program?
            Showtime’s Homeland

What was the best book you read?
            Rules of Civility

What one thing would have made your year measurably more satisfying?
            Being able to let go just a little easier

How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2011?
Tight fitting clothes but not by choice, but I chose to eat and drink which affected my personal fashion

What kept you sane?
            My friends

Who did you miss?
            My kids who were away at college

Who was the best new person you met?
            Someone who I will, most likely, never see again

Tell us a valuable lesson you learned in 2011?
            To let go and trust that you have raised them right

Quote a song lyric that sums up your year?
            Trust me friend a hundred years goes faster then you think
So don't blink.” Kenny Chesney