Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas!

So I know my past couple posts have been mostly complaining as I was pretty much to my breaking point- but really I have to look on the bright side and see what am amazing year I've had.

I am so blessed.

I have a job that even though drives me to the edge of insanity at times, means I have a steady income to support my lifestyle.
That same job means working with my family, daily. How many people are that lucky that they get to be with family members every day?
And the stress of that job reminds me that I am being trusted with all the work because they know I can handle it. If I hadn't proven myself, it wouldn't be in my hands.

I have the most incredible family, friends that I would do anything for, and an extended family through my marriage that is one of a kind. All of these people constantly keep me in check and astound me with how incredible each and every one of them are.

I'm blessed to have purchased and be spending my first Christmas in my home. Even if that means replacing your hot water heater on Christmas Eve, at least I have a home to call my own to do that in, and am lucky enough to have a savings account for the unexpected in life. Plus a network of people thanks to my parents that are willing to come out on Christmas Eve to do that for us.

That I have new neighbors who stopped over before the biggest hurricane in ages hit the East Coast, to help my husband and I with tips on how to get the water away from our home. They restored my faith in humanity that good people do still exist.

And for all the family and friends from NY who helped us move into our new home in the heat of September, I'm forever indebted to you and your generosity.
For those who sent us housewarming gifts, making decorating and helping our house to become a home a little less of a burden on this couple.

That I was named YIP of the Year 2012. I don't think I can say any more then I already have in the post I wrote, but that honor and recognition from my peers is something that is truly humbling and reminds me why I do what I do each day.

I'm lucky that after 5 years of being together and 3 of those married, my husband still manages to surprise me with a gift I wasn't expecting on Christmas Day, even when I'm sure I drive him crazy the other 364 days of the year.

And that my amazing husband supports me in all the crazy events I'm luckily healthy enough to partake in, like half marathons and 65 mile bike rides. I do have to remind him he is my emergency contact, but I'm sure he's relieved the phone doesn't ring at any time during those events.

I got to become an aunt for the first time, and it's so amazing to hold that little new baby in your arms and watch her grow. Technology makes being so far away seem less so.

That prayers are answered, though not necessarily as quickly as we'd like them to be, and now an amazing friend and couple are expecting another baby in June <3

That I got to be a part of one of my most incredible friend's wedding in October, even though it was a tough day, she's stronger then anyone I know and I couldn't be more honored to have been a part of her big day.

For the insanity of the two months I had, that it reminds me that these are once in a lifetime experiences. And mixed in there I was able to learn things that will only further my career, all thanks to the trust of my employer.

For my unbelievable sister, who passed her CPA exams. I couldn't be more proud of her and all the accomplishments she achieves.

For all the engagements of this year, and all the weddings that Nick and I will be attending next year. Those are the moments when you remember what life's all about - being together with those you love.

So this Christmas I'm re-checking my outlook on life. Things can be worse, and when it rains it always pours. But I'm here and I'm breathing and that is just a snapshot of the incredible year I've had. I wouldn't change a thing, and can't wait to see what 2013 will bring.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Holiday No No's.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I'm being a Grinch this Christmas season. I had a super busy/stressful 2 months after we bought our house, then Sandy hit in the midst of all of that. I had to deal with this after coming home from a wedding and we are now facing the 99.9% probability that we need to replace our hot water heater ($$$$$). So needless to say it's been really difficult for me to get in the holiday spirit. Are there people worse off then me? Of course. Am I still going to complain? You bet.

I try very hard not to be a judgmental person because quite frankly, what you do with your life is your business. I am not judge and jury. You sure as heck don't have to answer to me at the Pearly Gates (if that's what you believe). So as long as you're not actively hurting others and are generally a good person, we're cool.

But I'm going to get judgmental about some holiday decorations.

Christmas decorations or Halloween Graveyard?
First of all, the inflatable figures on the lawn. NO. Just no. To me, they look super tacky. And this is coming from someone who is a new homeowner so we only have enough lights to do one side of the bushes of our home this year. I mean seriously, when they are deflated it looks like a plastic bag graveyard in front of your house. And the Santa in a bathtub inflatable? That's just creepy. Why is Santa taking a bath in your front lawn?

Secondly, the people that make their cars look like "reindeer" with the antlers in the window and red nose on the front emblem of the car, NO.  Stop it. That's right up there with the 'I feel the need to put 10238129 stickers of all my family members and pets on the back of my car". Your car is not a sleigh. Plus with gas being this expensive, do you really want to add wind resistance to your vehicle at this point?

And lastly, the newest trend I've been noticing in my travels this year is people putting decorative wreaths on the front grill of their car. NO. A wreath belongs on your front door or your garage or heck even on a spacious wall of your home. NOT the grill of your car. What if that somehow caught fire from the heat of your engine?

I know, I know, after a post like that I'm probably getting coal in my stocking. But that would be fantastic because I'll use it to heat up the water in our house.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Grinch

A summary of the past few days in photos.....

Our real tree all decorated as of Saturday night.

Our real tree as of arriving home from a wedding in New York Monday morning.


Our new fake tree as of Monday night.



Bah humbug. 



Saturday, December 15, 2012

Scariest bar ever in Key West

In my month of just pure running around like a chicken without a head, I was scheduled to go to Key West with my husband and parents for four days. Needless to say, I was looking forward to that vacation since we planned it earlier this year, and even more so once my schedule got completely out of control.

But alas, we were going to have the travel day from hell, albeit we were going to be landing in paradise. Our first flight left at 6:10 am. Which meant a 3:30 am wake up to be up and on the road to the airport.

Our flights went off without a hitch and we finally landed in Key West about 1 pm. We were exhausted to say the least. With the stress of travel all we wanted to do was have a drink, eat some grub, and take a nap.

So we get to our hotel and our room isn't ready yet which is to be expected. My parents planned that we would take a taxi to the local strip malls in town to get snacks and booze for our room. But we first would get lunch and start our vacation with some drinks at TGI Fridays.

We call a cab, climb in and inform them of our destination. Only to have our cabby inform us that TGI Friday is currently closed as it's under new ownership and extensive renovations.

Great. He drops us at the strip mall and not only are there NO bars, the only restaurant to choose from is Chinese food. So we walk to the other complex that's only about 3 minutes down the road. They seem to only have a pizza place. But as I'm looking at the shop list on the kiosk out near the road and I see that they have a place called 'Sticks and Steins'.

Being partially German I know that a Stein holds beer and at this point, a few drinks is all we really want to take the travel stress edge off. I suggest we go there. We trudge through the shopping center to the corner end where it's located, walk in, and immediately realize our mistake.

I mean, it's like the music stops with a scratch of the record player and everyone turns around to look at us. This is obviously a local bar where the locals bikers come to play pool. To stay that we stuck out is the understatement of the year. Ah yes, I hadn't taken into consideration the 'sticks' part of the signage.

We are being watched like hawks. The locals don't know what to make of us. It's like we're a foreign species and have just been dropped in the middle of a wolf pack. They just stare and try to act normal as we've clearly disrupted their normal habitat. To top it off, you can smoke in bars in Florida, so there's a nice smokey haze going on. At this point I'm clutching my Burberry purse close to me and praying I don't end up in someone's basement being told to 'put the lotion on my skin'.

We're desperate for a drink, but not trusting the sanitation of this dive, we order bottled beer. Of which our (I'm not positive but I think she was high on something) bartender serves to us in personal koozies. Only myself and Nick's are a bright yellow color, spotted with mold on the bottom from previous use. Yummy.

I chug that beer like it was my last day on Earth, but then again I was pretty sure it might be. Our bartender came back and told us some of our food specials, but after spotting what looked like a moldy chicken soup container by the sinks, we quickly lost our appetite.

Yep, leave it to my parents to take us to Key West and we manage to find the shadiest bar on the whole freaking island.

We went through 3 rounds of beer quicker then I've ever drank in my life, and that's saying something after my college career. My father was apt to point out that many of the patrons at the bar had more beer bottles in front of them then teeth. Nick was texting his best friend that we were currently at a bar "that made (him) worry about the virginity of (his) asshole".

We paid the bill and causally power walked out of there. I don't think enough showers in the world would ever make me feel clean after being in that establishment. I feel dirty just writing about it now.

The killer of this story is after leaving the bar we ended up going to that pizza place in the same strip to at least grab something to eat. We walk in, take a seat, and see that they serve wine and beer. Epic fail.


Friday, December 14, 2012

Unthinkable

I had a completely different post for today, but after the events of this morning, what more is there to say. Children in an elementary school. It's unthinkable.

Today was a tragedy, like so many before. I send so many thoughts and prayers to those affected by today's events. I just can't imagine what they're going through.

Hug your loved ones close, and realize that life is short.

Although I feel this speaks volumes to how terrible our society is that I need to post this, I watched it and think it could save your life. A video for surviving an active shooter event. Which makes me wonder will I be showing my kids this one day before they go to school in the hopes they'll know how to react if faced with a similar situation? Because honestly, you just never know.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

I have a blog...?

Dusting off the old bloggaroo because apparently people actually read this and are concerned with my lack of updates (Hi Kristen!)

From closing our house in September I knew I had a hell of a schedule (ie: working 5 days a week and having something to do every weekend) and just had a goal to make it to Thanksgiving without being checked into Ancora Hospital. Adding fuel to the fire Sandy hit as I was still only a month into my two month hell. Between being completely wiped out taking claims all day at work and running around in my own personal life, I totally slacked.

But as I was going through the notes I constantly write for myself on my phone (ie: it's Christmas and I have a zillion books I want so I was trying to compile a singular list from my many lists so my husband wouldn't get me coal), I realized I had enough clarity in the hectic time to jot down all these fantastic ideas for posts. Of course, it would help if I checked my phone notes more often so I realize I actually have all these great ideas (note to self: check notes more often).

My goal for the next twelve days of Christmas is to write a blog a day to make up for all the written silence and catch up on some of the events/musings of the past two months.

You're welcome in advance.