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Month: December 2010 (Page 1 of 4)

Made it

Three hundred and sixty five days. Three hundred and sixty five posts.

I freaking did it.

I’m kind of in shock actually. I stuck with something every single day for an entire year? I don’t think that’s ever happened before. Unless maybe it’s sleeping.

Or breathing.

But yeah, I can’t believe that I somehow managed to blog daily. It was often a struggle and now that I’ve done it I’m done. Nobody panic, I’m still going to keep blogging but it will be nice to be able to skip a day if I have nothing to say.

This year was definitely full of ups and downs. It wasn’t all bad but I have to say I’m glad 2010 is over. There were definitely more downs than ups.

For 2011 I’m very optimistic though. Last year I was unemployed and my days consisted of watching hulu endlessly and playing with Phoebe. Now I have a job that keeps me incredibly busy. It’s fun and rewarding. It can be frustrating but that’s part of what keeps it interesting.

So here’s to 2011. I’m interested to see how this year goes. I have a lot of big goals. I’m not one to make resolutions but I’m excited to keep working on my 30 by 30 list. I crossed off four things on my list this last year and I’m well on my way to crossing off several more.

Happy New Year everyone!

Compliments and insults

You know those moments that stick with you forever? Those things people say that no matter how many years go by will always stand out in your mind? I have a few of those moments. Words etched so clearly in my brain that it’s as if they were only spoken a few minutes ago. Some still make me feel all warm and happy. Others still make me inwardly cringe.

I used to go to a summer camp. It was family camp so I went every year from when I was born until I was 15. I looked forward to camp more than Christmas every year. I made some of the best friends there and had some of the greatest times. When I was a teenager, probably 13 or 14, we were all sitting around talking about whatever nonsense young teenagers talk about. Somehow we got on the subject of names.

We discussed the meanings of our names and the conversation migrated to whether or not we looked like what we were named. We then started throwing out suggestions as to what other names we might look like (as I said, teenage nonsense).

When the conversation moved to my name a few suggestions were thrown out. Then someone suggested the name Amber. At the time I knew a really obnoxious girl named Amber and so the name was kind of tainted for me.* I kind of protested that I didn’t like the name Amber and didn’t think I looked like one. There was one girl there that was part of the group but unlike many of the people there, her and I weren’t particularly close. We hadn’t had many, if any, interactions that I can recall other than as part of a group.

As I expressed my dislike for the name Amber she chimed in. I can remember her exact words to this day.

“Actually, you look a lot like an Amber I know. Except she? Is pretty.”

I don’t remember another word of that discussion. All I remember is falling into a stunned silence. I had no idea this girl had a problem with me until that very moment. I have no idea what I did to her. Like, I said, I don’t really remember many interactions with her period. As a moderately insecure 13 year old though those words stung. A lot.

Some of my best memories come from that camp as well. I got one of my favorite compliments ever there. This one happened a couple years later when I was 15 or so. The camp was held at a college campus. So, it wasn’t so much camping as it was a bunch of families and teens hanging out in dorms. Anyway, part of the camp was attending lectures and classes.

We were sitting in a big auditorium waiting for one of the sessions to start. I was a giant nerd (ha, as if that is past tense. We all know I’m still a giant nerd.) and had arrived early. It was one of those big lecture halls with stadium seating so I was seated in a row by myself, waiting for some of my friends to arrive and there was a group of guys seated in front of me.

I was off in my own little world when two of the guys turned around to talk to me. The first guy said,

Hey Abigail, smile at him.

as he motioned to the guy sitting next to him.

Obviously my first response was,

“Um, huh?!”

But he just repeated his request. So, I kind of awkwardly smiled at the second guy. The first guy turned to the second guy and just said,

“See, I told you.”

then turned around and started to go back about his business.

I sat there in confusion for a few seconds. I of course did a quick check of my face, teeth and clothing to see if there was something wrong there. When I couldn’t find anything and it had been long enough for me to realize they had no plans on explaining themselves, I tapped them on the shoulder and asked what the heck that was all about.

The first guy kind of glanced sheepishly at the second one, who at this point wouldn’t make eye contact anymore. The first guy finally shrugged and said,

“He said none of the pretty girls ever smiled at him. I wanted to prove him wrong.”

::swoon::

I’ve gotten many compliments and insults in my life. Some stand out and others don’t. Those contrasting incidences will always be crystal clear to me. Both were such simple statements. I wonder if the people even remember saying them. Did that boy have any idea how giddy he made me? How even at this moment almost ten years later it makes me grin?

Little words that turned into little treasures. Moments I’ll keep with me for a lifetime.

*No offense if your name is Amber. I have met many cool Ambers since and I like the name just fine now.

Wordless Wednesdays: Fun with Legos

Phoebe and Jack

I leave Joel alone for one evening and I come home to a bottle of jack the size of my head. If I didn’t have a massive headache I’d join him. Instead I’m going to hide in a quiet dark spot.

Night.

Wanted

I’ve been staring at this screen forever.

Blank.

That’s what I’ve come up with so far.

With the obvious exception of the words I just typed.

Blank.

Actually, it’s another one of those instances where my mind is too full. So many thoughts swimming around in my head. I wish I could catch them all and put them on this screen.

But they don’t want to be caught.

And so they swim and they take up all the creative energy I could have. I need a space I can write. I mean really pour my heart out.

Or I need someone to whom I can pour out my heart.

It’s tough not having any real girl friends. Because there are certain things that just don’t sound the same when said out loud to your husband or guy friend. Boys are strange creatures.

Strange but much easier to befriend. Why is that?

I can’t be the only girl who has trouble keeping friendships with other women. It’s so annoying.

I should come up with a friend application…

Wanted:

Friend, must be female. Good balance of listener and chatty. Unlimited texts and cell minutes a plus. Those with a tendency to judge need not apply.

Or something like that.

Girls are tricky. I know I am. And other women? I understand even less.

I wish friends weren’t so important to me. It would be a lot easier if I just didn’t mind.

I’m open to almost anything at this point. I just need someone to listen.

Anyone?

The best presents ever

So Christmas is over. It was definitely a strange Christmas for me. No presents, no turkey, no giant noisy family. It was nothing like Christmas to me really.

But honestly? The love I felt snuggled on the couch with Joel was incredible. We haven’t spent that much one on one time with each other in ages. We watched a few of our favorite Christmas movies, napped and talked. It was very special.

There were a few sad moments. I talked to my mom on the phone and as soon as I hung up I ugly cried for a little while. I hated being left out of the festivities because we were home sick. The whole thing just seemed so unfair.

In order to cheer me up a little, Joel went out and searched high and low for some eggnog. I told him not to bother because it was Christmas day and A.) almost nowhere is even open and B.) even if they were open it was afternoon and if they carried eggnog at all they were probably sold out.

He freaking found me some eggnog. You’ll have to ask him how many places he called and looked. Apparently no less than 3 Walgreens told him they had it and he drove there only to find out they did not. I told him he should have sneezed on all of them and given them his plague.*

He did eventually find eggnog. And it was possibly the most delicious thing I’ve ever tasted.

Also? Made me cry. But a good cry. A wow-I-can’t-believe-how-incredibly-sweet-my-husband-is kind of cry.

He came back and collapsed on the couch. Obviously the outing exhausted him. It would have exhausted a healthy person, much less someone with the flu.

In return he received lots of love and snuggles and other married favors. Apparently even all feverish he finds me extremely attractive. Or maybe it was because he also had a fever. Can’t be sure.

Either way it was a strange but pleasant Christmas. Usually after Christmas I’ve been to so many different parties and stayed up late every night for so many nights that I’m exhausted. This year I felt relaxed the next day.

A nice bonus is that I’m feeling well again which means I kind of feel like a million dollars. It’s amazing how great normal feels when you’ve just come back from the brink of death. Joel is still a little under the weather but I think he’s pretty close to better as well. I think by tomorrow we’ll both be completely back in the land of the living.

So this year my presents weren’t those I could unwrap. I got a renewed love for my husband through quality time. I got relaxation and tons of rest. Plus I got some really yummy eggnog.

Best presents ever.

*he didn’t. And even if he did they’re probably already immune since they work at Walgreens. Jerks.

Elf sized Christmas

Hoping your Christmas is warm, wonderful and everything you hoped for and more.

Merry Christmas. From us and our little elf.

Not ruined

This morning I attempted to go into work. That lasted about an hour and a half until someone could come in to relieve me because I was less than useless. It was truly pathetic.

I then came home and, despite having gotten over nine hours of sleep last night, fell, fully clothed onto the futon and slept for four hours. Apparently an hour and a half of work = need for four hours of sleep. Sad right?

I should have stayed home.

Stupid pride.

Anyway, I woke up and took care of Joel and myself. By take care of I mean occasionally passing him a kleenex and telling him he needs to drink more water. Oh! And I made him rice.

We also had our own version of Christmas caroling. If by Christmas caroling you mean mutual moaning about how much our stomachs and heads hurt. Festive.

I told my mom to pass the message on that we wouldn’t be joining them at my grandparents for Christmas Eve dinner. And then I proceeded to bawl my eyes out for thirty minutes.

I was pretty grumpy and had a decent pity party. I love Christmas and now I’m missing it. Boo hoo.

Once I got a grip on it I realized how things could be so much worse. Joel and I have the flu. Yes, we’re pretty miserable but we’ll live. There are so many people in hospitals right now.

We have our little apartment. It has heat and running water (something Joel and I both have spent Christmases without growing up). We have everything we could ever need and a sweet little crazy dog who loves us to the point of obnoxiousness.

Our fevers are much lower and we’re both feeling better. By tomorrow I expect we’ll both be in full recovery. That means we’ll be able to spend the entire day enjoying  quality time together, just the two of us.

The world closes on Christmas day. It will be just Joel and I without the stress of presents or drama. It wasn’t the Christmas to which I was looking forward. I thought Christmas was ruined.

As it turns out, I’m thinking it’s exactly the Christmas we needed.

Skipping Christmas

Remember how I wasn’t that into Christmas but I listed all these things I was looking forward to and I started getting excited about it?

Joel caught my flu today.

I’m only just feeling better today. Which means that there isn’t much hope of Joel being magically fever free by tomorrow which is Christmas eve.

That sucks.

I know I talked about skipping Christmas and we kind of were anyway. We decided not to do presents for each other this year. I’m not a big present person so that doesn’t bother me.

But knowing I won’t be around my family eating delicious food kind of makes me want to cry.

This really sucks.

It’s obviously not his fault. I know how lousy this thing is. I feel awful for giving it to him. I wish I would have sent him to stay in a hotel or something while I was sick so he didn’t get it. Even it is wasn’t Christmas tomorrow I wouldn’t want him to feel so awful.

But yeah, it looks like I got my wish. I’m skipping Christmas this year. Joel and I will be home, sick and miserable.

Be careful what you wish for, right?

Sigh.

Wordless Wednesdays: Love my Christmas Tree

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