Friday, December 31, 2010

Another Year Passes Through...

2010 was full of unexpected changes and newness. And a whole lot of craziness thrown in!
As I sit here on the last night of the year reflecting, I realized I have changed in so many ways I never dreamt imaginable!

January ~ Coming off a pensive holiday in the retail world, I kicked the new year off with a giveaway to celebrate 100 posts on this humble little blog. I also spent a day thrifting with my buddy (and former blog partner) Steph. We went to the Jersey Shore house to see what all the fuss was really about! At first I was embarassed that I live mere minutes away from where the show was filmed, but once Season 2 started and I realized the show is comedy and tragedy all rolled in one I was hooked! I have spent my whole life dealing with Guidos and Guidettes in the summer...time to get some pleasure (albeit guilty!) out of it!

February ~ Filled with snowstorm after snowstorm, I never thought we would see the ground again!
I also received a phone call from another retailer telling me that they had been in the store I ran and were interested in having me come work for them!
It was totally out of left field and the last thing I was thinking about was switching jobs!
But when opportunity knocks, you have got to listen so I began a string of interviews with them!

March ~ Life began to get more interesting. I was still being courted by this new company and they flew me to Florida and back in the same day to meet one of their executives!
Talk about thrilling!
The month was spent with my head spinning as I needed to make life altering decisions.
Ultimately, I decided that I would rather work for a company of people I could believe in.
I gave notice and another chapter of my life was about to begin.

April ~ I worked my last day the Saturday before Easter and a week later I was off to Missouri to work for two weeks!
Luckily the company flew me home each weekend to be with my family!
One of these weekends was my Dad's surprise 65th birthday party!
We took the kids into Manhattan to the Museum of Natural History another Saturday and experienced a freak day of almost 100 degree weather that had me grabbing some flip flops and a strapless sundress!

May ~ I finished working in Missouri on Friday April 30th and began May working in New York for the first two weeks!
We held our annual Cinco de Mayo party, and I spent an awesome Mother's Day with my bestest girl.
We went to Starbucks and the Chanel makeup counter where we got all fancy and bought some treats for me/us (lipgloss only for 7 year olds!)
Mid May I took over my new store which is in the same mall I have worked in for almost 5 years.

June ~ Was exhilirating! It kicked off one of the BEST summers I have had in years! I spent an amazing day with some of my favorite friends to celebrate at a baby shower for my dear friend Angela.
A few days later my sister gave birth to my beautiful niece Sophie Grace!
We had the front steps and walkway redone at our house after 4 years of debating!
My husband and I made friends with the parents of one of our daughter's friends and had a fabulous dinner party at their home.

July ~ Started the month hosting a sprinkler party for my daughter and her girlfriends, spent the 4th of July in Ocean City NJ with my cousins from Boston and my aunt and her husband. Headed up to Lake Hopatcong NJ to spend a weekend with my brother and his fiancee at their gorgeous new home.
I spent every day off I could laying on the beach.
It was glorious!

August ~ The month was spent drinking loads of wine on my deck (my favorite summer wine is a Vinho Verde ~ yum!) and as many lazy days at the beach with my good buddy Jeneen as I could squeeze in.
Beach and wine = perfect month!
At the very end of August my sweet,sweet niece Vera Elizabeth turned 1!

September ~ I was off to Columbus Ohio the very first week on business.
My son turned 16 while I was away, and my daughter turned 8 a few days after I arrived home.
Soccer season began and was in full swing!
I almost killed myself when crashing my bike into my husband's at a State Park.
We still have not fixed his poor bike.

October ~ We had some odd weather in the beginning...scorching hot days that led to really chilly ones.
My daughter kept sneaking into blog pictures and they made for some of my very favorites!
I DIY'ed some Halloween decor and we hosted our annual Halloween Party!

November ~ This is where the craziness kicked into high gear.
My daughter was hospitalized with a mysterious illness (she was vomitting blood) my husband got bronchitis, and I completely lost my voice on Black Friday.
I feel like the whole month was illness after illness, lack of sleeping, and the month that I had to decide what things I could no longer fit in each day (i.e. exercise) due to lack of time and stop making myself nutty.
Somewhere in the midst of the madness I turned 37.

December ~ Black Friday began 3 weeks of sickness for me with no time to take a break away from work.
This did nothing for my already somewhat non existence Christmas Spirit and I was pretty down in the dumps over the whole idea of the impending holiday.
Then my sister, brother in law and niece decided to come to NJ for the holidays and my mom and grandfather followed suit.
For the first time in over 20 years, all 4 of us children were with both of my parents on Christmas Eve and we made sure to capture a picture of the moment.
It was magical.
Just being with my siblings and their children and having my mom and grandpa with us for the first time in almost 5 years was the best gift I ever could have received.
The day after Christmas NJ was hit with a blizzard dumping more snow on us than I think we got in each Snowpacolypse earlier in the year.
Guess which family will be buying a snowblower now???
We also found our newest family member Winnie, my sweet Brussel Griffon puppy.
I have never been a huge pet person, but now that Winnie is here I could never imagine living without her.
She has made me find a softness in my heart I didn't know was there!

As far as 2011?
My son has started driving now, so obviously there will be much more of that happening! {shudder}
Which also means he will be one year closer to graduating from high school. {shudder again}
My daughter is becoming more grown up every day and in 2011 who knows what changes she will go through.
Hubs and  I will celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary and I can honestly say I love him more today than ever.
We are thinking about taking the kids to Europe this summer for 2 weeks and I hope it works out as it will be a dream come true for me to share some of my youthful experiences with them.

I am off to Ohio in January and February.
I am looking forward to getting back into normal routines again...exercising and eating the foods I normally more food court nastiness!
Time to read my favorite blogs more regularly than I have been and seeing where the New Year takes this blog.

Thank you to all of my readers for your uplifting comments and friendship.
I wish every single one of you all the best in the New Year.

Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Through Pop's Eyes

I had the immense pleasure of having my 89 year old grandfather spend Christmas here with us.
Only in the past 5 of my 37 years I have I not regularly shared Christmas Eve and Christmas morning with this man.
To be able to have him here is an emotional thing that I can barely put words to.

I also learned some very important lessons from him this past week.
What I witnessed was someone who appreciates every single thing in his life whether great or small.
He would sit in my family room in my big ole chair and a half reading a novel and look up occasionally, peering over his glasses, and announce,
"This is just so wonderful!"
Every meal he eats, he savors and enjoys and tells all who are within earshot,
"This is delicious!"
As he made his way slowly through my home the last day he was here, he kept saying,
"This has been just so wonderful! You have such a beautiful home....this has just been so wonderful.
What a wonderful time I have had!"

No Pops, it is you that has truly made this Christmas wonderful.
And the best gift you could have given me this holiday was the realization that I need to slow it down and appreciate the small things in this life.
The serenity of warmth of my home.
The meals that are always on our table.
And the joy of just being.
Being with each other.

I love you Pops.
Merry Christmas