Tuesday, April 24, 2018

What's in a name?

I'm still here!  I'm still reading along for the few that still post on the regular.  :-)  Everyone has seemed to drop off significantly in the last year or so, which makes me sad, but I can't criticize since I've done the same.

I'm getting married in 23 days, guys! I leave for the beach in 19 days.  My last day of work pre-wedding is in 17 days.  I will be off work for 11 days!

Everything is pretty much done.  I'm picking up my dress from alterations on Saturday.  I'm compiling an informational email for our guests to send out this week.  I want to make a wedding reception playlist, all while noting that our "reception" will legitimately be tacos, margaritas and cupcakes in the backyard of the beach house.  :-)  I need to gameplan my makeup since I'm just doing it myself.  That about sums it up!

It's an exciting time, and I'm glad I have so much to look forward to.  In the meantime, I have baseball games, hair appts, movies, acupuncture, and a variety of other self-care and leisure activities to fill the time.  Things are good!  

In light of these impending nuptials, I've been doing a lot of reflection, and it's hard to avoid considering how different this is than my first marriage.  My eyes are open.  Everything was an informed choice.  This wedding will be what we want it to be without the outside influence of anyone else.  That's glorious in and of itself!  The one thing that I'm dealing with differently this time is the name issue.

When I got married at 23, I was so happy to ditch my maiden name.  I have zero relationship with my father and hadn't for years and years by then.  I have almost no connection with that side of the family at all, and some of them were flat out mean to me over the years.  So I was thrilled to wash my hands of my name and start anew.  The new name was more appealing to me in general.  It sounded better.  It was still short and comprised of a single syllable.  Sure, people misspelled it, but someone will find a way to misspell anything, so nothing new there.

When we got divorced, I considered changing my name back.  But I felt like Bluemoon Marriedname.  I didn't identify remotely with Bluemoon Maidenname.  I'd started my adult job life almost immediately with the married name, and it felt like me.  Ex-H and I generally had a good-ish relationship, so I ultimately decided to keep his name.  He was fine with it, it felt right, and I decided that if and when I ever got remarried, I would change it then.

I got married in 2002.  I got separated in 2007 and divorced in 2008.  I will be getting married May 18, 2018.  I spent ten more years as Bluemoon Marriedname, and in those ten years a lot of life happened.  Most importantly, I made the move to a new job that was a move up for me.  I took a brand new position and made it my own.  I established contacts and networked with that name.  I grew used to some folks at work calling me by just my last name and I liked it.  It felt like I'd earned it.

In the fall of this year I went to our CFO and lobbied for a new position for myself.  I put forth my well-researched, well-thought out case.  I was heard and got the promotion I wanted.  I got to decide my own title.  I took on so much more responsibility and gained so much professional independence.  I finally felt like I was truly in the midst of a career and not just a job.

So here we are.  Three and a half weeks until my wedding - and three and a half weeks until my name change process begins.  I can't keep my ex-husband's name once I get remarried.  I still have no desire to take my maiden name back.  I do not love my new married name.  It is not pretty or flowy and I will 1000% be spelling it out for the rest of my life.  But I'm taking it.  I'm just trying to figure out how I feel about it.

If I had it to do all over again, I probably would have never taken ex-H's name in the first place.  But I did, and doing so took me on an even further path away from my maiden name.  It's not me.  

Beyond this, I really want to be sensitive to BF about the name issue.  It has always made him sad that J's mom gave her her own last name instead of his.  It bothers him and I get it, though J prefers her mom's last name because it's easier.  Anyway, this definitely contributed to my considerations about what to do about my name after marriage.  A name is just a name, but it will mean a lot to BF.  I know this.  That makes me happy.

Also?  Over the years I've become more and more OK with leaving behind ex-H's name in general.  We both work in the legal industry, though he's in another aspect of it than me.  However, there's occasional crossover.  I've had instances where people hear his last name and ask if I'm connected to him, and it's not always been a flattering representation for him.  No thanks!

So in summary....

I don't want my maiden name.  That's not me, hasn't been since I was 23.  

While I have a nostalgic fondness for my current married name, I'm less connected to it on a personal level and am really just at a point where I like the reputation I have professionally with that name and I appreciate it's ease.

I love BF and am ultimately OK with taking his name.  Here's how I know where I really stand on this:

If the new married last name was easy or pretty or nice sounding, I'd be ditching this old name without a second thought.  It's only the fact that it's not that is making me struggle.  People will learn the new last name.  I will still be the same professional adult, and I will knowingly roll my eyes inside every time someone misspells it.  It will be OK.  And I forgive myself for this internal (or blog published only) dialogue because it's a big change.  It's the last name change I hope to ever have.  It will become a part of my identity.  Also, I'm almost 40 (!!!) and I'm thinking about things in all of these deeper, bigger picture ways and it's so interesting and cool and introspective, and I love it a little.

Can we believe I'm turning 40 in June?  Wedding in May.  J's graduation June 8th.  My 40th birthday June 24th.  BF's 39th birthday July 11 and J's 18th b-day July 22.  Then J goes to college in mid-August.  Life.... it is a changing!

If you made it to the end of this, congratulations and thank you for being part of today's therapeutic session.  ;-)

Monday, February 12, 2018

94 Days

Guys, I'm getting married in 94 days!  It's crazy to think that I got engaged over five months ago and am now nearing the three month mark until my wedding day.  We're getting married on Friday, May 18th in Duck, North Carolina.  It is going to be a super small affair - just 14 people including us, and two are small kids.  We've rented a beach house for the week and will arrive the Sunday before the wedding.  We'll have the house to ourselves until Wednesday when our guests start to arrive.  Ceremony will be on the beach, weather allowing, with the celebration continuing back at the house. The beach house has a big, fenced yard, a pool, hot tub, swing set for the little one, a grill, all that jazz. 

Our wedding will involve tacos and margaritas for dinner, cupcakes and donuts for dessert and me in a tea-length, strapless ivory dress.  BF's daughter, J is going to be our "Ring Maiden" (her request, ha!) and will be in charge of the rings and will also be doing a reading and saying something at the ceremony.  Ceremony will be short and sweet! 

We're excited for our families to meet and spend a few days together.  It will probably be a little chaotic, but I think we can handle it.  ;-)  We will be honeymooning later in the year, probably around our normal OBX trip time in Sept. since we'll already be taking a week at the beach in May.  We're still deciding on the honeymoon destination!

Everything is pretty much done.  Officiant, photographer, baker, florist all booked.  We've got my entire ensemble decided on (dress, shoes, jewelry) and we got J's dress already.  We'll be going for alterations in March or April.  Good times!

Beyond that, everything is really good, too.  I got a hard earned promotion in October that I personally lobbied for and made happen.  Got a manager title, a nice salary bump and out from under the supervision of my former boss.  Report directly to the CFO now, which is much better.  I have a lot more responsibility, but I love it even though it can be overwhelming at times. 

Right now I'm getting through these last few months of anticipation (and WINTER) by looking forward to small goals.  This coming weekend I have a really fun girls day planned on Saturday with my friend, A.  We're getting blowouts at Drybar, doing lunch, shopping for a dress for the wedding for her to wear and then going to see Sarah Colonna's comedy show that night. 

The following weekend BF and I are making a little weekend escape to a cabin about 1-1.5 hours away from us.  I'm really looking forward to the break from reality and the chance to focus on each other without the distraction of cats, house obligations or anything else.  We're really getting into a busy time that will not stop for several months soon.  After these next couple weeks we'll begin waiting for J to hear about college admissions for next year, then we have the wedding, then J graduates, then my birthday, then BF's birthday, then J's birthday, then J goes to college, then the honeymoon.....  It's a LOT!

Life is good, though.  Lots to look forward to.  Lots to do!

Monday, September 18, 2017

Worth the Wait

I know I've been very scarce around here, but I assure you I still follow all of my blog friends in their adventures!  Summertime tends to really deaden blogland, anyway, so maybe as fall settles back in I will, too.  :-)

I did want to pop in to share some news for those I don't interact with elsewhere on social media. Also, if you're interested in connecting on social media, let me know and we'll hook that up!  I'd love to be able to follow along with your lives outside of the blog if you're open to it.

However, my news is......I got engaged!  It took nearly 4 years, but BF proposed to me poolside at our OBX rental house on our first full day of vacation.  I was completely and totally shocked because quite honestly, after this long you kind of start to wonder if it will ever happen.  ;-)  But he came through and he pulled off the ultimate surprise and I was shocked beyond belief!

We're planning on a super small (just about immediate family only) wedding in the OBX in May 2018.  Actually, if all goes as planned, we will be getting married 8 months from today on Friday, May 18, 2018!

I will hopefully be back to discuss more, but I wanted to pop in with the news.  :-)

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Save me from mediocre books!

So I just finished hate reading another book.  Second in a row that I've read and basically disliked to the point where I dreaded reading it and finished it only out of obligation.  The most recent book was "Everything You Wanted Me to Be" by Mindy Mejia.  The story sounded good, but damn, I found it boring.  It felt never-ending and I was endlessly relieved to finish it yesterday.  It's been awhile since I've read anything that I've really loved, that I've anxiously awaited getting a chance to read even a few pages.  Please send me recs for anything you've read recently that you've loved!  I've been reading a lot of darker books lately, so at this exact moment I'm looking for a lighter palate cleanser. I am reading two new books right now - Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough (not light and fluffy, darker story, but good very early) and also We Are Never Meeting in Real Life by Samantha Irby. This one fits my lighter read bill and I'm looking forward to getting it started.  I'll probably read it at the same time as the other and just read whichever one based on my mood at the moment.

So BF and I started counting calories and working out on the regular a couple of months ago and we're still keeping it up!  I'm working out 6 days a week, mixing home elliptical stints with gym elliptical/treadmill/weights depending on my schedule and such.  I haven't had Starbucks in a couple of months - I had to go cold turkey because in the past one *treat* drink has turned into a gateway back into the Bux cult.  Plus, everything I like there is so sugary!  I feel like BF and I have gotten along better with fewer day to day irritations since we've been doing this - working out is definitely just good for the mind, body and soul!  He does his workouts exclusively at home on the elliptical and with his weight bench in the garage.  Whatever works!

It's not always easy because my schedule sucks due to the commute, but I make it work.  I'm very proud of myself for sticking with it, and I've lost 8-10 pounds depending on which day you catch this hormonal female body.  ;-)  We're eating more fruits and veggies, fewer carbs, and keeping our sugar love under much better control aside from periodic splurgey moments.  Good stuff!  Last night when I was leaving the gym a fellow gym goer I frequently see when I'm there was heading out as well told me that I had killed it at the gym tonight on the elliptical and that I was on there forever.  Cheers!  I got a good 45 minute cardio workout in AND watched a show on DVR.  Multi-tasking!  I do need to re-focus on making sure that at least a couple of times a week I do the weights side of things. Definitely important.

Summer is knocking at the door, though it feels like summer already in the air.  We're finally getting a hot streak in the coming days after a lot of cooler than usual weather.  I'm sure I'll be grumping about it in a few days, but for now I'm glad!  We have lots of fun stuff going on this summer, with the travel highlights being Omaha with J&J in June, Colorado in July with BF for my family reunion, hopefully a girls trip in August and then OBX in September.  We may also end up going to Charleston in October/November because BF's sister is due in October with her second child.  Lots of fun things on the horizon!

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Spring Things

It's spring!  The last  couple of days were gorgeous, but now we've shifted.  We're definitely in an "April showers bring May flowers" pattern for today and tomorrow.  On the upside, the rain held off until I got into the office, which was a welcome surprise!

I'm sitting in my office in the dark with the blinds open to provide enough functional light to work.  ;-)  I feel like if it looks like my office is dark, some people may assume I'm not here and choose to not bother me.  Ha!  This work week is lasting a small eternity and I'm really just ready for Friday.

This would actually be a perfect day to sit at home and read.  I'm reading a really good book right now called "The Girl Before" by JP Delaney.  It's got me hooked and I'm definitely wondering where it's heading.  I'd much rather be immersed in that than immersed in day to day work stuff, but such luck!

I put in several requests for time off today up through the summer.  I just figured I'd stake my claim on the days I know I will be out.  I did take a random day off on Friday, April 14th.  BF is taking that Wed., Thurs. & Fri. off just because he's maxed out on vacation time and needs to use it or lose it (sigh), so I chose to just take the Friday off to join him.  Gotta love a three day weekend!  Beyond that, I took off two days in June for our trip to Omaha and two days in July for my family reunion in Denver.  I also took off Labor Day week for our annual OBX vacation.  I'm still expecting a few smaller things to pop up between now and then, but it's a good start!  I'd really like to take a girls weekend trip with my friend, A and maybe a long weekend trip in May, too.  We'll see!  I just figure that I have plenty of vacation time, so why not use it?

I'm watching this last season of Girls and really enjoying it.  It's a bit crazy, but I'm interested to see how it wraps up in these last couple of episodes.  I'm also sad that it's going to be over!  I watched Big Little Lies, too, though I have yet to watch the finale.  I didn't have time last weekend and now I just need to find an hour where I can really settle in and enjoy it.  That show was so ridiculously good.  I read the book years ago, but it was long enough ago that the series felt pretty fresh to me, and I only have a loose recollection of the ending.  I think I definitely enjoy the series more than the book.  Casting was amazing and the whole ambiance of the show is fantastic.

Tonight I told BF that we're doing a very informal, low key date night.  This week has been exhausting and a bit hectic, and we've just been very much existing in the same space and not engaging.  We're not doing anything remotely noteworthy, but I just want us to make an attempt to tune in to each other better for an evening.  We are having salads with shredded crockpot chicken and little cornbread cakes as a side for dinner.  If it's not raining and not freezing, maybe take a brief walk (weather may not be our ally in this endeavor).  We have J the full weekend when we thought it would be a half weekend, so I just want a little solo time for us.  She has spring break next week and originally thought she was going on a college visit Sunday/Monday, but apparently those plans fell through, so we're back to our original full weekend schedule.

I'd really like all of us to do something fun Saturday night - bowling, indoor mini golf, something.  Just something out of the house that isn't just dinner, you know?  I'm getting really stir crazy because the spring weather hasn't fully settled in, and our weekend weather is hit or miss, and we've had a bunch of weird obligations that have kept us from doing much.  I wish it would just get nice already!  :-)  BF and I also talked about me attempting to telework on Monday so that we could get to a minor league baseball game that evening.  It's a little bit of a drive, and on a normal work night I'd never get home in time to make it.  Monday is supposed to be partly sunny and near 80, so it would be a perfect night for some baseball!  I'm going to try to make that happen today.  Maybe I should have waited to send all those other vacation requests!? ;-)

Back to this gloomy weather day I go!

Wednesday, February 8, 2017


The current state of US affairs has led me to feel a constant desire to escape.  However, I also feel compelled to stay informed, sometimes against my better judgment.  Last night I listened to the immigration ban hearing, watched Anderson Cooper discussing more of the day's events and then watched the Bernie Sanders/Ted Cruz debate about the ACA.  I feel like I'm constantly on Twitter reading the feeds of various politicians I follow, the reactions of others around me, and otherwise trying to stay in the loop.

All I really want to do is watch mindless TV, or read, or just close my eyes and pretend the world is a better place than it feels right now.  I keep buying Kindle books, but I'm way behind on reading them. My focus just feels scattered, even though the one I'm reading now is actually pretty good. I was going to read last night in bed, but the room was kind of chilly even though it was 71 yesterday!  I took my little Kindle Paperwhite under the covers, considering trying to prop it up under there to read without having to expose my arms to the chill beyond the covers.  Instead, the Kindle fell face forward and smacked into my lip.  Yeah, I got a fat lip and a cut from my Kindle!  I've been betrayed! ;-)  

Luckily, it only bled a little bit before bed, and while it's sore today and I can feel a small bump, it is not something that is noticeable otherwise unless you're up close enough to see the cut through my lipstick (Yes, I'm still wearing lipstick, ha!).  This is my life, folks!  :-)

I'm glad that it's wednesday, though I wish it were thursday.  I am really looking forward to the weekend, as we are taking a mini escape trip to Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, which is only about an hour from us.  We rented a cute little house and I'm leaving at 2 pm on Friday that hopefully we can get J, get home, feed the cats, get our stuff and get to the house by 7.  We'll probably grab dinner out that night and then come back to relax.  The house has a fireplace and a hot tub, so that will be nice!  

I'm hoping to get some good reading time in front of the fireplace, some nice hot tub time, and a bit of exploration Saturday afternoon of somewhere close, but new.  We'll head back Sunday morning upon checkout time, so it's a short, but hopefully sweet trip.

Books, just for sharing and record keeping purposes:

Currently reading: "Listen to Me" by Hannah Pittard - It's a fairly creepy book, which I love.  Author creates a great atmosphere, very spooky and mysterious.

Books on my Kindle that I have yet to read:

The Impossible Fortress-Jason Rekulak
The River at Night - Erica Ferencik
More Happy Than Not - Adam Silvera
The Fragile World - Paula Treick DeBoard
The Twilight Wife - A.J. Banner
Scrappy Little Nobody - Anna Kendrick
Kathy Griffin's Celebrity Run-Ins - Kathy Griffin
The Kept Woman - Karin Slaughter
The Last Anniversary - Liane Moriarty
Leave Me - Gayle Forman
Our Chemical Hearts - Krystal Sutherland
All the Missing Girls - Megan Miranda
Truly Madly Guilty - Liane Moriarty
History is All You Left  Me - Adam Silvera

This doesn't include the probably dozen real books I have at home waiting to be read also.  :-o  Looks like I better buckle down soon and focus more on reading than on the garbage TV, LOL.  Some of these are obviously pretty light hearted reads, anyway.  :-)  My current goal is to finish "Listen to Me" by Friday so that I can start a new book for the weekend.  We'll see how that goes.

Anyway, that's all I know for now.  If you need me, I'll be here, waiting for Friday and my escape from reality!

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

It's the End of the World As We Know It..

Inauguration Week.  I've been dreading this week ever since the final outcome of the last election was revealed and now it's knocking on the door.  DC is getting ready.  There are already many white blockades out on many city sidewalks, ready to be put into place.  Fencing up in certain areas.  It's just the beginning.  Tomorrow my commuter bus puts their modified operating schedule in place for the rest of the week.  This means that I either have to drive to Metro and take the train in and out of the city, or I can take my normal bus in in the morning, but have to take the train to a certain station after work wherein they will have our commuter buses running every thirty minutes back to various park and rides.  Neither are ideal and I've yet to make a decision.  Some of the road closures start tomorrow afternoon, hence this modified operation.  I'm teleworking on Thursday because even more closures go into effect, and my office is closed Friday.

Watching the news makes my blood boil.  Reading anything this man has to say makes me feel embarrassed, ashamed and makes me question the thought process of every single person that cast a vote for him.  I am legitimately concerned about the future from Friday going forward.  I don't know what to expect, but I know that I have a pit in my stomach and a sense that it won't be good.

I will not be watching this Inauguration.  I will read pertinent info after the fact because I want to be informed, but I cannot handle watching it happen.  It's too sad.  I feel like I'm losing beloved family members with the impending departure of the Obamas.  To go from that to this.....shocking.  The world is laughing at us, or pitying us, or both.  I think a part of me is still in denial that this is actually happening.  It's like I can't process that this could actually be real.  Dumbfounding.

So I mentioned my office is closed Friday, but unfortunately that's half a lie for me.  I've been designated as (semi) essential personnel, thus requiring me to be online for part of the day.  Yes, I get paid double time, but I'm one of the lucky few non-exempt folks on this list.  My current understanding is that I will need to log on briefly in the morning and then be online for a couple hours towards the end of the day.  It could be worse, as this at least allows me some mid-day flexibility.  I'd originally planned to do something with my girlfriend, A to try to put a positive spin on what's sure to be a dark day.  I'm hopeful we'll still do something, even if just a breakfast, but we haven't pinned down any details.

I'm also dropping my car off that morning to get a remote starter installed.  Even though global warming has made our winter basically a joke this year, I still think it will be a nice thing to have.  I'll be getting a loaner for the day since it will take several hours, but I'm OK with that.  I plan to run a few errands while I'm out and before my afternoon lockdown.  It's the time of year where I need to restock on bras and underwear (thrilling) and I also want to go to Marshalls (!).  Hopefully it will work out to do these things with A since I miss our random erranding together that we used to do when I lived closer.

I did do something that made me very happy yesterday.  We booked our Outer Banks beach house for Labor Day week, which we seem to do a bit earlier each year.  I'd been interested in booking the same house from last year, but it switched management companies and jumped $800 a week in price.  :-o  I couldn't rationalize that, so I had to hunt down a new one.  I'm happy with our choice and glad to know where I'll be spending my very favorite week of the year.

As per usual this time of year, we've also been discussing other trips we'd like to make.  I do want to get BF and J to Omaha this year and that will likely be either during the end of J's spring break in April or the weekend after she gets out of school at the end of June.  That's basically a definite, just a matter of picking the weekend.  It will be a pricier than usual Omaha trip since we'll have to stay at a hotel since no one has room for three of us, but I'm still excited to bring J to a new state and to meet my family.

Beyond that, I may try to get to Omaha in March or April on my own if we decide on the June trip as a group.  We're also discussing a weekend trip to a cabin type location, maybe in West Virginia or something accessible for February with J, and then maybe a small, more local beach trip (ie Ocean City) for BF and I in May.  July will be Denver, CO for my family reunion with BF in tow, and of course, OBX in September.  There will also be a girls trip in there, though I have no idea where or when.  Nothing too crazy, just a small escape out of town!  Ocean City last year was fun, though far too short.

Anyway, anything to keep my mind off the Trumpocalypse that's looming, right?

If I don't pop back up in here, sending good thoughts out to everyone this week.  We're going to need them!

Tuesday, January 3, 2017


This long weekend was glorious.  I felt like I was off work for a week even though it was only three days!  DC was pretty dead last week, but Friday took the cake.  My office didn't close early (boo!), and I was legit the ONLY PERSON ON MY BUS HOME.  It was kind of comedic!  That night I got home and BF surprised me with the holy grail of Christmas gifts --- a NES Classic!  It's a tiny version of the original Nintendo and it has 30 games built into it.  We'd been hunting for one for awhile to no avail as they are very hard to find.  I couldn't believe he'd lucked into one that day and it was pretty awesome.

We spent our evening at an ugly sweater party, which kept us out until almost 3 am.  I can't remember the last time I was out that late.  :-) Saturday we ran a couple of errands including a bountiful stock up trip to Target, and then J got picked up later that afternoon.  We went out to dinner at a new to us Thai place in town for New Year's Eve and it was a good meal.  We came back home for the evening and split our attention between muted college football and watching Kathy Griffin and Anderson Cooper's NYE coverage on CNN.  Love that pair!  

Sunday was a crazy lazy morning.  BF actually stayed in bed until 11, which is totally out of the ordinary!  We just lazed around and finally got up to make French Toast, bacon and mimosas for our New Year's Day breakfast.  The afternoon was filled with some house chores and then watching both the Skins and Chiefs games.  Skins lost, but Chiefs won!  Can't win them all, I guess.  

Monday was another pretty lazy day.  We didn't leave the house, LOL.  We watched some college football, we had leftovers for lunch, we made taco salad for dinner.  I also finished Season 2 of Fuller House over the weekend and started a new to me Netflix show, Lovesick.  I'm almost through Season 1 (it's only six episodes) and really enjoying it!

Today is our three year dating anniversary, if you can believe that.  We are going to use a gift certificate from BF's sister and brother in law for a celebratory dinner tonight, and we've also booked a local hotel stay for Saturday night just to do something a bit different.  We'll go out to dinner in the area and come back to the real world Sunday.  :-)  

I'm actually hoping to plan a short winter getaway for us soon, too.  However, that will require some more planning, so it's in the works.  I need to figure out dates that are workable for my backup at the office as well.  Hopefully we'll make it happen.  I would love to go somewhere with a little nicer weather for a long weekend.

It's hard to believe that 2017 has arrived already.  Another new year!  I'm not a big fan of resolutions, so to speak.  I did put together a list of things I'd like to work on in the coming year, but they're less resolutions and more the crystallization of things already working my head to make myself better and the world around me better.

Working a full week next week is going to be tough.  On the upside, the week after that is a short week.  MLK Day the office is closed and Inauguration Day I'll either be teleworking if my office is open or they'll smarten up and close.  It's apparently under discussion at this point.  Either way I will only be in the office three days, which is fabulous.  I'm trying not to think very hard about the events of Inauguration Day because it will make my blood boil and I can't deal with it yet.  Sometimes I wonder if I'll spend the next four years selectively filtering my TV news and limiting myself to the written word where the visual of things is gone and I'm left to just stew over the actual content, which will be plentiful.

For now, I'm just going to do my thing, and have faith that the world will not automatically self-destruct on January 20th.  :-o  

Cheers to 2017, and cheers to the good things to come that will balance out the bad.  As George Michael said, "You gotta have faith".  Amen, George.  Amen!


Thursday, December 15, 2016

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

I really do love this time of year.  Honestly, starting with today, I really love the next couple of weeks!  Today is my Firm holiday party, which is always a good time.  I love an excuse to get dressed up and spend the evening at a fancy hotel ballroom eating good food, drinking good drinks, dancing and spending time with friends, co-workers, and of course, BF!  I have a new dress this year courtesy of a clearance sale on, and while it's not my favorite party dress I've ever owned, it's cute and hopefully when all the details come together it will be a success.  I have a mid-afternoon hair appt. for a trim and my blowout.

This weekend we have a chance of a bit of snow and freezing rain Saturday morning, so I'm glad our plans are low-key.  We're going to make four different kinds of Christmas cookies and hopefully watch a Christmas movie or three!  :-)  I also hope to have the last of my few Christmas gifts in my possession so I can wrap them and be done with it.

On Sunday I have plans to go see my friend, A in a performance of The Messiah.  It should be fun as I've never gone before.  We're going to grab a quick bite/coffee afterwards with A and I plan to give them their Christmas gifts then, so I'm looking forward to that!

Next week is only two days of work for me!  Insert overjoyed anticipation here.  :-)  I'm sure it will be a busy couple of days preparing to be out the rest of the week, but it will be worth it!  I get to spend Wednesday, Thursday and part of Friday with BF and J before I fly out to Omaha.  We're celebrating our Christmas on that Thursday evening.

My Omaha trip should be good.  I land shortly after 5pm that evening and will get a quick dinner with my Mom before spending the night at my brother and his wife's house.  We'll watch a Christmas movie and just relax!  Saturday is baking Christmas cookies and then we have dinner reservations at a restaurant I love for Christmas Eve.  It will just be me, my mom and stepdad that night since my brother and his wife spend Christmas Eve with her family.  Sunday will be Christmas at my brother's house, and I head back to DC Monday.  It's a brief visit, but I'm back to work Tuesday for the deadest week of the year.  :-/

All I really want to do these days is listen to Christmas music, FINALLY get started on watching Christmas movies, wrap presents, and relax under the glow of the Christmas lights at home.  My Christmas cards got out into the mail earlier this week, and they are super cute photo cards I made BF and J participate in.  ;-)

The weather here is ridiculously cold, although I know not as cold as many places.  However, I have a 17 minute walk from my bus stop to my office and I felt the cold every step of the way!  It's 25 right now with a high of 28, and a wind chill of 11.  It's only supposed to get windier and thus colder later this afternoon.  I am NOT looking forward to heading out at 1:45 for my hair appt., nor to heading out after work in a DRESS to go to the party.  Luckily the hotel is right next door to my building and we'll cab it to our hotel after.

I hope everyone is having a wonderful holiday season so far!  It's a crazy time of year, but it can be pretty amazing!  :-)

Monday, November 14, 2016

Lemonade Out of Lemons

It's Monday, and another work week looms ahead.  However, I continue to try to focus on the next great break, which is Thanksgiving weekend.  Four days of freedom!  In the meantime, I look to the periodic highlights to speed things along.  Right now my next goal point is Friday.  I have an 11 am appointment with my stylist for a blowout, and then I'm spending the evening at my former firm's holiday party as the +1 of a long time girlfriend who still works there.  It will be fun to get dressed up and go to a fancy party, even if they do hold theirs crazy early anymore.  I'm recycling a black velvet dress that I already own and am looking forward to the night. The dress has a gold lining underneath, which no one can see unless something goes awry, but it inspired me to paint my nails gold, anyway. Fun and festive!

It was a good weekend.  On Friday I stayed at work longer than usual because they had a margarita machine at our usual Happy Minute.  It was a reward for raising a lot of money for a charity earlier in the month.  I got to have a yummy frozen margarita and eat pizza with some of my favorite people at the office, which was nice.  The rest of the night at home was pretty low key with BF & J, but still lovely.

Saturday I had brunch with my friend, A.  We try to get together every couple/few months to catch up, and although we mostly discussed the election and how awful the outcome was, it was nice to see him.  We met in 2011 at my old apartment complex when we rode the same bus to Metro every day. The rest of the day was comprised of a solo errand and then a few other errands with BF & J.  I squeezed a gym visit in before we ordered Chinese for dinner (!) and then we watched Nebraska beat Minnesota.  :-)

Sunday started with the gym, continued with the grocery store, and wrapped with laundry, football and the aforementioned gold manicure.  I consider it a successful day and a lovely weekend overall.

So I'm obviously still thinking about how to deal with the aftermath of Election 2016.  I continue to try to focus my energy in productive ways.  I just want to put more positivity and good energy into the universe than bad, and I'm hoping to do that in a few different ways.

1) Planned Parenthood donation.  I want to do a recurring donation and hope to set this up soon.
2) I already donated to a small, local GoFundMe for a family in my town. I realize that has nothing to do with the election outcome, but it's helping someone, and that's enough.
3) I believe I will be making a donation to the Trevor Project.
4) My pet store was advertising the needs of the local animal shelter when I got cat food yesterday.  I think I'm going to go out one day soon and do some shopping and make a nice donation to them soon.
5) My Firm almost always sponsors multiple families for the holidays.  I've never participated beyond helping with the wrapping after the shopping is done by others.  This year I think I want to actually sponsor a family.
6)  Million Woman March - I need to look into this.  I'll fully admit I'm not usually one for activism, but this is something I would consider.
7) Being a better human.   More smiling at strangers on the street.  More thoughtful gratitude to those who help.

This morning a young guy in a jaunty hat started chatting with me in the Starbucks line.  He was so open and friendly, and I resisted the urge to worry that he was hitting on me and accepted that he was just being a nice person.  He went on in the line to chat with the cashier, ask him where he was from in light of his accent, and smile and shake his hand.  He knew the barista and clapped hands with him, and he wished me well after we continued to chat about normal, every day things.  This guy is an inspiration to me.  So much easy positivity.  It really made my morning.

Also, this weekend we bought our Thanksgiving turkey.  The tag said one price, but had a sale price $8 lower on it as well.  We got to the car and realized we'd been charged the full price.  We went to customer service and the gentleman there fully refunded us for the turkey instead of just giving us the refund on the difference.  He chose to do this and did not do it in error.  It was such a lovely gesture. The world needs more people like these guys!  They are good examples of being a good person in your daily life.  Even small changes can make big waves.

In other news, the looming holidays are making me even more anxious for my new 2017 planner, which should be arriving Wednesday.  I splurged and ordered an Erin Condren planner instead of my usual planner, which I've been buying the same style of with a different design since early in my now defunct marriage.  :-)  I've coveted the splurgier, more involved style of planners for a long time, and hope that I take full advantage of what it has to offer.  I'm excited to get all the events in it that I'm already aware of (OK, not that many, but still) and love the possibilities a new planner seems to offer.

For some reason I am suddenly super excited for the holiday season to begin in earnest.  I have been daydreaming about decorating for Christmas, though I'm holding off until my tried and true date of the day after Thanksgiving.  This year, we're going to hold off on putting up our tree for a few days since BF's mom is visiting December 2nd-December 5th.  We're going to do the tree during her visit, as BF nostalgically told me it had been years and years since he'd trimmed the tree with his mom.  :-)

I'm already thinking about if I'm going to do Christmas cards this year (pretty much 99% sure that's a yes now, just noodling on what kind of card I want to bought vs. photo cards, etc.).  I just today started a list for holiday gifts, as I already have a gift idea for J (Lularoe leggings because she loves leggings and Lularoe are the softest, most comfortable ones ever!).  I've also been looking into Christmas productions to get to.  We're considering going to A Christmas Carol in Old Town Alexandria during BF's mom's visit, which would be lovely.  It's the same production I was supposed to see a couple years back, but then I got so incredibly ill with the flu that BF and J had to go without me. I've also had inklings about looking into The Nutcracker with a couple of girlfriends.

One thing that's for sure is that, for whatever reason, probably largely related to my grandfather's missing presence this holiday, I'm already really missing my family and looking forward greatly to seeing them.  I thought I would really be dreading this holiday back in Omaha, but I'm actually feeling like I really can't wait to spend that time with them.  Yes, it will be difficult and everything will be different, but it's important to get through together.  It's also special because many of my favorite memories with both of my grandparents involved Christmas and all of our traditions.  We still plan to uphold the cookie baking tradition, as we have for all the years of our lives.

I ended up with a great deal of my grandfather's Christmas ornaments and many of his decorations, as that was something all of us wanted to have a part of.  They had a collection of Santa Clauses from all around the world, and we each took some of them.  I really can't wait to put these ornaments on my tree and these decorations in my home.  Quite honestly, we may need to get an additional tree for the house with all the extra ornaments, which I have no problem with at all!  :-)

Also?  I'm so ready for snow.  I feel like it's a dirty secret to admit out loud, and that many people would scorn me for putting that into the universe already.  ;-)  But for whatever reason, I'm craving a really lovely snow.  I don't want the cold, but unfortunately that's part of the package!  It will probably be awhile before we get any snow out here, though.  It was in the thirties this morning, though.

This post has become ridiculously long.  If you'd made it this far, I extend my deepest thank you to you.  I wish everyone a lovely Monday, as far as a lovely Monday is even a thing.  :-)