Friday, December 31, 2010

A time for change, a time to start a new....

I am not sad to see 2010 ring out.
It was a good year in many ways - but in just as many, it was not a great year at all.

The ringing of the New Year is not only a way to "out with the old" and "in with the new", it's also a time to embrace the changes and personal growth we've gone through. No experience, even the worst of them - doesn't allow for some semblence of growth and change. We don't always see the benefit at that very moment - but we typically do as time goes on.

So as I raise my glass tonight at the stroke of midnight, this is my farewell toast to 2010:

Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don't resist them - that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.

May your 2011 be filled with love, laughter & light....

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Almost over....

So, I'm happy to say that the holiday season is almost over.
I'm really looking forward to the end of the work day's been a fantastic holiday season for business - but truth be told, I'm tired at this point. And very ready to enjoy a little downtime.

I've not taken a day off since August - and prior to that, hadn't taken one since the previous July. I've yet to make a Wrentham run this year (try to conceal your surprise! it's total shock and awe to me when I think about it....), I've barely been consistent with yoga - and I never got that massage I needed. Actually, I need to get back to acupuncture because my headaches are becoming worse and worse again.

Needless to say, I've neglected myself once again. But that's okay -- in due time, I'll get to spoil myself a bit. I plan on taking a day off in January for a little Wrentham Therapy; and I'd like to get to the mall now that the holiday insanity is over to capitalize on all those excellent gift cards I received for my birthday.

And I will be back to yoga (after a good pedicure, of course....) and acupuncture.

Tomorrow I'll post my yearly toast to the new year - and then of course, my resolutions shortly thereafter; and suffice to say there will be a bit more things about me in them this year!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010


You can't live with 'em -- and you can't kill 'em.

So what's the point...?

Monday, December 27, 2010

Kickin' it old school...

My laptop died last night.
So sad. This is my 2d one in two years.

I loved my Toshiba; though truthfully I'm thinking of switching to a Dell because I haven't heard of many Dells dying... or possibly an HP. My desktop (which I'm on right now) is an HP and I've never had any issues with it whatsoever.

The only thing is, I can't get to the store before New Years Day; so I may have to order it online and have it shipped.
Hopefully I can get it before New Year's Eve....

Unbelievable as to how disconnected I feel without it.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Merry Merry, Mistletoe and Cheers!

Why is it 5 minutes to midnight and I'm blogging..?
Because I'm exhausted; but need time to unwind.

Christmas dinner is mostly prepped and par-cooked; I only have to partially cook the potatoes & eggplant tomorrow, and the shrimp for cocktail and antipasto/salad are done that day - as is the asparagus. And of course the tenderloin and ham are cooked that day as well. But the lobster bisque is complete, the stuffed peppers are made and the lasagna is done. Kitchen is clean....floors are washed, garbage is out....and the Champagne has been consumed. Yes, I did say champagne. A good champagne at that - and a whole bottle of it no less. I deserve it, I do believe...

Did I mention that the store had an amazing night??? I wasn't quite expecting the crowd I received. I am absolutely exhausted.

Fortunately, most of the gifts are wrapped; I still have a few to do tomorrow but most are done. I have work in the morning....and then it's home to bathe the kids, set the table and extension with chairs, do the place settings.....and then be a guest for Christmas Eve.

Before the chaos known as Christmas morning takes place. Did I mention I have three grown men having a "Sleepover" on Christmas Eve? No? Hmm. Well, I do. I did refer to it as "chaos", right?

Listen, truth of the matter is -- I love, love, love this time of year. Sure, I'm exhausted and it's hustle and bustle -- but seriously, it's so worth it. There's nothing better than sitting around the table with your family and friends and enjoying good times, good food and some laughter. I love being hostess - and while I struggle with not having to have everything "perfect", I do get to enjoy the day despite it being alot of work. I enjoy this kind of's not painful, it's painstaking - and that's entirely different. I try so very hard to have everyone be comfortable and enjoy themselves -- that's a good thing, not bad - so it's not something not to enjoy.

I don't know that I'll get to blog before Christmas, so if not -- I wish all of you who happen to stop in and read (even if you don't comment!) a happy and beautiful Christmas. I hope you are surrounded by love and laughter - and I hope that you smile and enjoy the beauty of the holiday.


PS: While I'm so very happy that Jason is staying for another year - and I know that Santa gave me that gift early -- I still would like to just throw out there that if the Captain is a wine fan -- and he reads my blog (hoping, wishing, praying...silly, I know!) - someone, anyone - let me know what he drinks. 'Mkay? Great. Thanks!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Lyrically speaking....

Christmas is here
Everywhere, oh
Christmas is here
If you care, oh

If there is love in your heart and your mind
You will feel like Christmas all the time

I feel you Christmas
I know I've found you
You never fade away
The joy of Christmas
Stays here inside us
Fills each and every heart with love

Where are you Christmas
Fill your heart with love...

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Just breathe....

So, I've been MIA for a day or two because this is the height of my busy season.
But have no fear, I will be back shortly.

I'm just too tired to have anything fun or witty to say.

And I FORGOT to DVR the Captain on the Today show!?!?! If anyone knows if it's on YouTube or has a link - could you please share?

This girl would forever be in your debt.....

Friday, December 17, 2010

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

If you just believe.....

Tonight I watched my all time favorite Christmas movie - and I had not seen it since I was about 21 years old: "Miracle on 34th St.".

I had the kids watch it with me which truthfully, I was relatively torn about. My son is 9.5 and definitely still believes in Santa. Without a doubt. Plus, he's always asked if I believe and of course, I absolutely do. Santa is just a manifestation of the kindness and generosity of the human spirit. And I do believe in that, whole heartedly. Fortunately, he appreciated the movie for what it was, and still believes in the man in the red suit; he mentioned before going up to bed that he was going to "ask Santa" for something tomorrow. Tomorrow night, both kids are writing their letters and we'll be dropping them off in the mail.

I am hopeful that they day won't come where the kids don't "believe" in Santa Claus; I am thinking that while they may not believe that there is just one man in a red suit who flies through the air at night - there is "Santa" within us all, and that the magic of Christmas doesn't have to be just once a year...though it may feel more magical at this time, the truth is that the kindness of spirit is something that we should share all year round...and at all times, with all people.

Truth of the matter is, when Christmas Eve comes -- and we hear the "spotting" of his sleigh in the sky, we all look up and watch. And for just a tiny second, every single one of us thinks maybe, just maybe....and that is what Christmas is about.

Hope, faith, believe and love.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Holiday kisses

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens. Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens. Brown paper packages tied up with strings -- These are a few of my favorite things.

Cream colored ponies and crisp apple streudels. Doorbells and sleigh bells and schnitzel with noodles. Wild geese that fly with the moon on their wings --
These are a few of my favorite things.

Girls in white dresses with blue satin sashes. Snowflakes that stay on my nose and eyelashes. Silver white winters that melt into springs -- These are a few of my favorite things.

When the dog bites;
When the bee stings;
When I'm feeling sad;
I simply remember my favorite things -- and then I don't feel so bad.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Over the river and to the woods, to Grandmother's house we go....

1. What is your favorite Christmas Movie?
My absolute all time favorite is "Miracle on 34th St." - but I love, love, love the one with Natalie Wood.

2. Favorite Christmas Song?
This is a tough question. I'm sort of a purist, so most of my favorites are the classics -though I love them redone by artists such as Josh Grobin, Martina McBride, Carrie Underwood, etc. I typically love "Oh, Holy Night", "What Child is This", "Do you hear what I hear", etc.

But....I also love some newer songs, such as "Believe" by Josh Groban, "Where are you Christmas" by Faith Hill - and who didn't get choked up hearing "Buy these shoes" by Bob Carlisle when it first came out.

3. Favorite Holiday Memory?
I have so many great holiday memories. My favorite is a tie: surprising my sister & aunt w. my Mother after she moved to Florida. I have that one on tape....and they had no clue. She was hiding in the bathroom, and then came out to the dinner table without anyone noticing until she was there. Priceless...

Second, was G surprising me with a spectacular scavenger hunt around the house....just to end up back where I started with a beautiful diamond ring waiting for me. The hunt was even better than the reward - because the sentiment and romance that went into it - was invalueable. It wasn't my original diamond either, but a holiday "upgrade", if you will.

4. What kind of cookie/treat do you like to make?
Um, not sure if you're new to this blog, but I cook. I don't bake. For lack of a better term, I suck at baking.

5. Have you ever made an igloo? Like a real igloo?
No, but I've many a mean snow fort in my day. I was a kid during the Blizzard of '78 - and man, did we have snow. But in general, we had a ton more snow when I was little than we get today.

6. Do you love Starbucks?
As a matter of fact - I do. After years of throwing away cups of poorly made coffee - I finally get a perfect cup nearly every time. I was paying $2.10 at Dunks for a medium that was either burned, tasted like soap, wasn't made properly, or some other atrocity. Now, I pay $2.25 for a Grande and it's perfect every flipping time. Sure - it took me some time to get used to a stronger cup of coffee but it's so worth it. And no one makes a better peppermint mocha!

7. What makes the perfect Snowman?
All of its imperfections! It's all about the love....

8 What is your favorite part about Christmas?
What isn't there to love? I love it all. I can't say which one is my favorite part actually -- I love to give gifts, I love to cook dinner, I love to decorate the tree - I love to drive around looking at Christmas lights with kids, I love receiving everyone's Christmas cards. And best of all, I love the sense of spirit and happiness that everyone seems to be in this time of year.

9. Best gift you have ever received?
I've been fortunate to have received so many great gifts; I'm incredibly sentimental, so when I say I don't have a "best" gift - I mean it. However, my most treasured possession is also one of my most sentimental gifts - and it's a home made recipe book that my parents gave me when I was in my 20's; it features all of their recipes that are my childhood favorites - and new ones that they thought I might like. Everything is printed and in protective binders in a three ring notebook.

10. What is the snowman's name on Rudolph?
There's a snowman in Rudolph?
Oh...the narrator?! I don't know. But Burl Ives is his voice. (It took a second for that to click for me!)

11.Silver or Gold?
Depends on what, and where. For example, I prefer silver or white gold jewelry. But I love brushed gold matte ornaments - or gold brocade on burgundy velvet.

12. What is your favorite Christmas decoration?
The tree. And of course -fabulously scented candles because it's all about ambiance!

13. What's your Christmas decorating style?
I'd say overall traditional leaning towards victorian - but I have lots of fun and whimsical thrown in there.

14. Do you hang stockings?
No...the kids don't really know about stocking stuffers yet. Thank God!

15. How many days do you celebrate Christmas?
Did something change...? Isn't it only one day??

16. What was your favorite ornament on the tree as a child?
The play doh ornaments my Mom would let me make.

17. Where will you be spending this Christmas?
At home. Christmas is at my house - and it's always dinner that is a huge celebration.

18. What is your least favorite Christmas movie?
I don't know actually.

19. What do you want for Christmas this year?
World peace. The cure for Cancer. Jason Varitek.
(What?? It's not like I'm asking for a million dollars or anything...! )

20. Have you been naughty or nice this year?
I'm always, painfully, boring and nice. G wishes that there was a bit more naughty in me, but hey - a girl can't be perfect, right?

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Greeting cards have all been sent...the Christmas rush is through.

Well, not exactly....
But I did just finish up round 1 of the Christmas cards and they are ready to be mailed.

I love Christmas cards; I love to get them, of course.
But I really enjoy writing them.

Even if there are some people that are part of your life - but times have changed, and so you don't have any interaction with them but that one time a year - it's the one time that we actually take a moment to not only include maybe a photograph of where we're at in life, but usually a handwritten note as well.

(Handwritten...ah, but weren't those the good ol' days, weren't they?)

It's lovely; no abbrieviations of laughter (LOL) or talking to you later (TTYL)....just a personal touch of ink, proper and full grammar, and sentiment.

And I can't wait to bring them to the post office tomorrow!

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

My my, what a thumping good read, lions eating Christians, people nailing each other to two by fours. I'll say, you won't find that in Winnie the Pooh

1. That stomach bug is miserable. So, it seems everyone has been getting variations of a theme with this stomach bug that's going around. Fortunately, I seemed to have gotten it the worst out of everyone here. I say fortunately, because I hate when the kids get so sick; but while I didn't have to make any trips to the bathroom - it wasnt' that kind of a bug - I felt awful. Horrible sharp stomach pains, throbbing headache and a fever. I felt like someone beat me with a bat all over my body...and I couldn't even sleep. Fortunately, I feel back to normal today, though it took until mid-afternoon. Truly a 24 hour cycle with this one. Thank God we didn't get tickets to the game last night!

2. What a freaking great game last night! Fortunately, I was able to listen to the game even though I couldn't really watch it; I was so uncomfortable and in this weird zone because of the fever, that I heard the whole thing and was able to watch some of it - like picks got me to turn my head and watch the tv - as did touchdowns. Or both - picks & six, as you will.

3. I don't understand why bad things happen to good people. Elizabeth Edwards just passed away and it's just so sad. That lovely woman was so gracious and had been through so much tragedy even before her philandering husband decided to impregnate some political groupie. And to think they divorced just a mere 11 months before her passing; I don't know if that was ultimately happiness and freedom to her despite her diagnosis. It very well may have been.... She certainly is not the only example of bad things/good people, clearly. But us "normal folk" don't have to have a public persona in the face of personal tragedy. And sometimes, I think there needs to be more compassion for the person who doesn't have the luxury of privacy during
difficult times. Especially since it wasn't necessarily her choice to be such a public figure.

4. The weekend was fun! Here are a few pics of our celebrating weekend... 'tis the season to be jolly!

Friday, December 03, 2010

Who doesn't love holiday traditions....

Tonight was the annual tree decorating soiree...

It's funny, over the past few years - my tree has downsized. I used to have this amazingly huge tree, about 7.5 feet but very full - with over 1000 lights on it. It was stunning.... but last year, the middle section wouldn't light up, so I ended up buying this very small, thin replacement tree.
I used about 1/3 of my ornaments this year, and even less ribbon; and I still need to get a new tree skirt tomorrow. But it still looks pretty! And we hung all of our most favorite ornaments, which is most important. I mean, there are tons we could've hung - but we chose our very favorites which almost makes the tree that much more special this year.

So it was a great night....chinese food, pumpkin and gingerbread donuts....and then Princess Petunia caught the nasty stomach bug that's been circulating, and yuck - vomit everywhere. Nothing this Mom can't handle though. In the tub she went, I washed the floor... and she promptly fell asleep. At this rate, by about 9 a.m. she should be as good as new.

And this weekend we're chock full of holiday parties, so it should be a fun and relaxing enjoyable weekend for all of us in the "I'm just a Girl" family.

I hope that you do the same.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Yes Rebecca, there IS a Santa Claus....

And this girl just got her present early....

I could go on and on about why I think this was a smart decision; but rather than get into the guts of it all, I'd rather bask in the glory.

What else to chat about....let's see.
I did get a great hair cut today - I needed it badly. My hair was too long, too blah. It was the perfect pick me up on an otherwise drab day. Until of course, I got the aforementioned news.

Tomorrow is the night that we are decorating the tree at home, and the kids are psyched. It's report card night - and to reward good grades, we always order out. So we'll be listening to music, decorating the tree - enjoying some takeout and for dessert: pumpkin and gingerbread donuts for all. I love, love, love Fridays - and especially when they're filled with happiness and laughter. There's no better way to end a week....

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Yet again, another person who believes the symbol on the hood of their car...

Dear Asshole in the Red Mercedes,
Yes you - you know who you are; from 93 South driving into a certain north shore city. Thanks for the rousing lean on your horn while I was in stand still traffic getting off the exit. You were so impatient, you made me swerve over to the left - so you could make an illegal turn and cut everyone of us that was patiently waiting in line to make the very same turn.

Funny thing is, we were going to the very same place -- and you ended up being only one car ahead of me despite your ignorant impatience -- and then I, ended up ahead of you. Was it really worth it?

Amazing how many times I post about ignorant Mercedes drivers.