2015: A Reflection 

1. What did you do in 2015 that you’d never done before?

There’s a few things in 2015 I’ve done that I have never done before. I think the biggest thing that stands out is studying for and passing the PHR exam. 
2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

Last year I decided to spend less money and make more memories. Well, I still spent money but we definitely made the best memories by deciding to buy our camper and spending every weekend at the lake. I can’t wait for May. 

In 2016 I’d like to do more yoga and continue to make memories with my family and friends. I already laugh a lot but I’m going to laugh more. 
3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

4. Did anyone close to you die?

A few weeks ago I got the call from a coworker at my last job telling me one of the employees had passed away. I cried for him. I adored him. We talked a lot and he had shared a lot with me while he was sick. That’s what happens when you work in HR. People come to you because they have to and then they tell you stuff because they trust you and then you become friends. Every time he came to my office he brought me a bag of peanut m&ms and last year when I graduated he brought me wine.  Such a kind soul.  So while we were not close outside of work and when he was too sick to work we lost touch, mostly because I got a new job, but man, to hear that made my gut hurt. And cancer sucks. 
5. What countries did you visit?

6. What would you like to have in 2016 that you lacked in 2015?

2015 was the year I fell in love with yoga. It’s the first time I’ve loved any type of exercise more than I love running. Yoga does things for my mind and body that running can’t even touch. Yoga brought me out of the Funk of 2015. I’d like to do more yoga in 2016. 
7. What moments from 2015 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

The weekend we spent at Great Wolf Lodge. The 4th of July weekend-our first real weekend at the camper. Our family vacation to Mackinaw Island. Starting my new job. 

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Passing the PHR exam. 

9. What was your biggest failure?

Being too hard on myself. 

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

Nothing major.

11. What was the best thing you bought?

The camper!!! So much amazing family time. 

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?

Lucas. He’s such an amazing kid. He blows my mind. Everybody adores Lucas and he will never see it like we do. 

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

I like to think that ones behavior (when questionable) is based on something that makes them insecure or angry so I try hard not to let other people appall me to the extent of depression however; people who are so close minded that can’t dig up a single ounce of empathy for others, it hurts my heart. 
14. Where did most of your money go?

House, childcare, camper. 

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

Our family vacation to Mackinaw Island. 2015 was the year that we could finally really do stuff as a family of four without packing a million baby things, worrying about potty training, and coordinating nap times. So so nice. 

16. What song will always remind you of 2015?

Fight Song. 

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:

a) happier or sadder? Happier

b) thinner or fatter? Same 

c) richer or poorer? Richer

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?

Reading books for leisure. 

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?

Worrying about the future. It’s happening either way, right?

20. How did you spend Christmas?

With family. With my boys. I love watching them fall deep into the magic of the holiday. And every year I play Santa, I love (and appreciate) my mom more than I ever could. She was so good at making holidays and birthdays special, I didn’t realize how much work it was for her. (I wish she was here so she could know I get it now. Thank you, mom) 

21. Did you fall in love in 2015?

Not to be cheesy but I love my husband. And every year, I think it’s safe to say, that I love him differently because we grow together through these seasons in our life together. I fell in love with him in 2005 but there are days or months that I find something new to love about him and that’s pretty awesome. 

Also, yoga. 
22. What was your favorite TV program?

Mad Men. Parenthood. Ray Donovan. I’m always going to watch KUWTK because I can’t help myself. 
23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?

Hate is a strong word. 

24. What was the best book you read?
The Girl on the Train. It was also the only book I’ve read besides a lot of PHR books and texts books. Blah. 

25. What was your greatest musical discovery?

Down in the Valley by The Head and the Heart. And a million other songs I adore. 

26. What did you want and get?

A job that I love. 

27. What did you want and not get?

Eyeliner that doesn’t smear. A new front door. 

28. What was your favorite film of this year?

Favorite is a strong word since I don’t have time a lot of time to watch movies but:

The Gift. (Don’t be a meanie)

Vacation was also funny. 
29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

My birthday is in January so that is tough to remember. But I turned 38 and I’m soon to be 39 and I’m not sure how I feel about that. 
30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

Nothing. It was a great year. I think worrying less would increase my ability to embrace each moment for what it is but hey, I am who I am. 
31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2015?

Life: leggings, cardigans, gray tshirt, yoga pants. 

Work: more skirts. But also gray and black per the usual. 
32. What kept you sane?

Running, yoga, my husband, my friends. 
33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

Liev Schreiber (Ray Donovan)

34. What political issue stirred you the most?

Gun control. 

35. Who did you miss?

My mom. Oh my sweet mom who I’ll spend the rest of my life wishing I had been a better daughter to, and wishing she didn’t have to die of an illness that robbed her of her quality of life and confused us for so long. I wish she could see my children and I wish we could meet for coffee. Some days the pain is as real as the day I lost her but most days it’s okay and I’m really okay. 
36. Who was the best new person you met?

Devra. I knew her last year but I didn’t really know her until this year and I adore her. 

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2015.
Pick your battles wisely and don’t die on that hill. 

38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
“And all those things I didn’t say

Wrecking balls inside my brain

I will scream them loud tonight

Can you hear my voice this time?”

Happy New Year. 2016. 

A Happy Life

It always feels like a whirlwind. Time is rushing. There’s rooms to clean, laundry to do, boys to bathe, groceries to get, oh shit we are out of milk again, and there’s work. 

I don’t know how to stop it from being so windy so I’m just going to admit it. This is it. This is life. 

Right now though, despite the wind, I’m loving this life of ours. The new job is half good, half tortuous. The boys are growing fast and running through sprinklers. Rob is content and back to playing hockey on Monday nights. I’m reading books again and I still love quiet mornings with my cup of coffee. We are probably ordering too many weeknight pizzas and Jimmy Johns but we are all happy. 

My most favorite thing about life right now is this:

Our new home away from home. One that we can move but don’t have to. It’s on a lake and our neighbors are friends. It’s a short drive but feels far. The boys love it and smell of dirt and campfire by the end of the day. We make the eggs on the grill for breakfast burritos but thankfully there’s also wifi. I get to relax in the sun in a too expensive chair from Cabelas. We spend the day at the beach and take the short walk back to the camper for showers. I love it. I love all of us sleeping in the camper together and I love how sleepy everyone looks in the morning and I just could’nt feel more happy. Seriously. This is the best summer. 


A magazine I must have inadvertently liked on F!B was was in my feed asking a question this morning about the best words of advice your mother ever gave you.

What my mom always liked to say-when I was complaining or just dealing with something difficult in any aspect of life is:

“This too shall pass.”

It drove me nuts. But it’s oh so very true.

She also told me….after one time I told her how I was uncomfortable in a situation because I didn’t feel good about how I looked or what I was wearing…she said, “Never go anywhere when you don’t feel good about how you look.” It sounds very shallow as I type this but it was sort of this funny moment between us and I’ll always remember what she meant.

She also said that, “Yes, those diet chocolate shakes work….but only when it replaces a meal, not when it accompanies a donut every morning.”

Oh, I laughed laughed laughed with her about that one. Because she was dead serious.

I miss you, Mom. And you were wrong…this shall NEVER pass.

Homesick, Work, and Sundaes with Luke

This weekend I’ve been invited to a Girls Weekend. I tried to back out 3 times but that didn’t work out. I mean, yes I could really back out and could be all, FUCK OFF but I’m not going to do that. I don’t really like to go anywhere that involves my husband and children not being there. Minus Target, grocery shopping, and work. And there’s the occasional girls night, dinner, or coffee with my friends but other than that, home is where my heart is. I’m homesick before I even go. I’ve been invited to a conference in May for work which is actually quite a big deal to be invited and yes the overachiever in me squealed with delight when I got the formal invitation but the little girl in me got homesick immediately when I was going back and forth with the travel agent about flights. Long sentence. Probably bad English. Don’t judge me.

Plus there’s all the things I DO on the weekends that are important to the process of the week that follows and when I get home I’ll be all behind and stuff and that gives me anxiety. I guess whatever because I’m going.

I was feeling a little loserish today because….well, I’m not really sure why but then I realized that in the last 10 weeks I’ve gone from running zero miles to running 6 miles straight consistently 3-4 days a week. For 5 weeks I’ve been studying 2 hours a day for an upcoming test that I really really want to pass. I’ve learned A LOT in the last 5 weeks and I still have long way to go but man, A SHIT TON OF INFORMATION. I feel smarter. Those 2 things alone are good and I need to stop that loser crap.

I actually do know why I feel loserish and it has to do with work and how sometimes at work I feel like I’m trying to do everything on my own. That’s okay for awhile but it tends to make me bitter and unmotivated which results in me not accomplishing things at the pace I like to accomplish them with the success rate that I deem acceptable-mainly because I CAN’T do everything on my own and then I tend to sit and stare at my computer. This will pass-it always does. I’m giving myself this weekend to recharge and get right back at on Monday. (But, you know…update resume? CHECK (just in case))

In other areas of life, I’ve sort of failed at some of my resolutions. I really didn’t want to buy things I didn’t need but alas….need it? Want it? It can be a fine line or a really thick one. I would guess 30% have been thick. I have, however, spent more money on experiences and that is making me happy. That was the ultimate goal. We were just getting ready to plan one more trip when the refrigerator died and we decided eh, we can still take that trip but closer to home.

I have done something else that I’m….regretting. Regretting? Strong word. I don’t think I regret it but it is something that I need to turn around and it’s totally doable but I need to be careful doing it so that other people don’t know I’m turning it around until it’s already turned around and it’s too far gone for anyone to notice it changed. This has to do with work and it isn’t negative or positive but it is important to me. Yes this is vague but I’m only really writing it here so I know I wrote it and I’m acknowledging it  for my own accountability.

Luke has cried a drop off a few days this week. Monday was especially terrible. I even got a phone call from him telling me how he loved me a lot a lot and missed me more than anything. Later in the day I got an email from his teacher telling me he had a particularly rough morning with tears and everything because he missed his mom and she reassured me that after the morning he was fine with smiles and laughter with his friends. I got the email at 1:30. I had a meeting scheduled at 3:00 but I cancelled that and left early. I surprised him by picking him up (instead of Daddy) and I took him to McDonald’s for sundaes. We ate sundaes and talked about life. He does really miss me but he thinks it would be better if we could do things more often together, just the two of us. He really likes science right now and he’s learning all about the 5 senses. He invented a game on the playground for him and his friends to play…all the wood-chips are hot lava and you have to figure out how to not touch it. He doesn’t have a name for this game yet but he will think of one soon. He did think of one and he told me on Tuesday (I forgot). He’s still thinking about being firefighter but isn’t ready to make just one choice because running a cupcake shop would be cool too (cupcake wars much?). All of his friends have older brothers at this school and he doesn’t but he will get to be the older brother when Gavin gets to his school which will be cool and he hopes Gavin has his same teacher because that would awesome. He would also really like an extra xbox controller but I told him he needs to earn it. He’s not sure how he feels about that at this time.

I love talking to him. I forget how hard it is sometimes to really listen with the morning rush and the hustle and bustle of each evening. It’s all such a blur. I can’t tell if it’s blurry from spinning or blurry from the slow motion. It feels like both most of the time. A fast slow motion.

Hand Written

I cried for her today during my run. I wasn’t feeling particularly sad before my run but she has been on my mind a lot lately. It’s odd, the place where my mind goes when I run. It’s half prayer half day dream (with a dose of get me the fuck off this treadmill). It’s usual for me to listen to music and plan out the next song I want to keep me at my pace but today I let my iPhone be in charge and suddenly I was crying and listening to a song I didn’t remember I would normally avoid.

I’m in an odd place these days when it comes to death and what happens to us then. I didn’t come here to write to get into any of that but silently in my mind I couldn’t help yelling, “Where are you? I miss you.”

As soon as the song was over I was back in my zone. But when I walked through the kitchen after my run I noticed a recipe card sticking out of the cupboard. Oddly it’s a cupboard I don’t keep recipes in. A recipe she had hand written. I yanked it all the way out and examined her writing.

There she is.

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