Friday, February 22, 2008
I can safely say with March on the horizon, things are looking up. But before I start talking about moving forward, let's review the current and the past...
February 7. Have birthday; did not do much celebrating. I've officially stopped celebrating. I made my own birthday cake and started my own birthday dinner; my husband forgot to buy me a card or a day-of gift (I'd spent over $100 my hair the week before. My husband apparently took me up on my offer when I told him "don't get me anything; the hair was enough") . I guess this is what grown-up birthdays are going to be like from now on. Damn.
February 10. Husband makes up for birthday by taking me on a date. We see a movie, we eat at Applebee's. We finally stop talking about work for 10 minutes.
February 12. Leave for sunny Orlando, Fla. Thank god the people that govern the industry I cover like warmth. I was able to spend 4 glorious days wrapped in sun and warmth. My feet hurt like hell and my back still hasn't forgiven me but it was divine.
February 14. The campus of my college is shut down because of a gunman. I'm still in Orlando boarding a stretch Hummer on my way to an event. My cell phone buzzes in a flurry activity. I'm in shock.
February 16. I return home to the frozen tundra and what feels like the 105th snowstorm this winter. Seriously folks. The East Coast had its FIRST snow storm today; New York has only accumulated 5 inches of snow. The Midwest, however, racked up record 75+ inches of snow and subzero days in three months. Not funny mother nature. Husband buys me flowers and a Valentine's Card which I love.
February 17. I turn into Erin: Pole Monkey Extraordinaire.
February 22. I'm coming down with something. I'm dreadfully tired, nauseous yet starving, achy and stuffy. Before you even say it, no, I'm not pregnant. I checked. However, I continue to hear more friends and friends of friends are pregnant. Even theFairly Odd Parents are having a kid. Aaron and I finalize plans to join Obama on the campaign trail next week.
To infinity -- and beyond...
Yep, you read that right. Aaron and I are heading to Ohio next weekend to help campaign for Barack Obama. Aaron's on the Obama mailing list and when he received an e-mail to come help out, we thought what a great opportunity. We're road trippin' to Dayton to help the O-man secure some Midwestern votes. I promise to post pictures :-)
In other exciting news, IzzyRose, one of my stepmom blogger friends has hatched an idea that I'm really getting behind each time I check her blog: A stepmom shower. It's like stepmom empowerment on steroids or as she puts it, "A 48 hour slumber party."
Ladies, if you're a stepmom and have an inkling to head to Austin this summer JOIN the fray.
Monday, February 18, 2008
For those unfamiliar with the term, it's a list of things you've always wanted to do in your lifetime and would have regretted not doing if you were staring down your mortality (also known as kicking the bucket hence the term).
Last Sunday, after Aaron and I saw The Bucket List, I pulled out my 10-year-old list and reviewed the items my 21-year-old self wanted to accomplish:
1. Fall in love.
2. Travel to a country where I'd need a passport
3. Get married
4. Learn to fly
5. Have a child
6. Be happy
I'd set out to write 50 things but only got to 35 before my creativity ran out.
Now that I've accomplished at least half of my 1998 list, it's time to start another; however, this one will have loftier goals:
1. Go to Paris; see the Mona Lisa
2. Get a walk-on role on a movie or sitcom
3. Sky dive
4. Bungee jump
5. Learn how to knit
6. Hold on to a precious memory
7. Get my pilot's license
8. Go to cooking school by my 45th birthday -- in Italy
9. Climb a bona fide mountain
10. Visit Greenland
11. Visit Antartica
12. Be part of a miracle
13. Change someone's life for the better
14. Make someone laugh until they cry
15. Believe in miracles
That's just the beginning.
Sunday, February 17, 2008
Picture climbing up a fireman's pole -- using your arms to pull your entire body up several feet -- and then falling gracefully down until your rear end touches the ground.
That's what I did today.....three times!
yey me :-)
Friday, February 15, 2008
It sounds trite to say, but things like that just don't happen in DeKalb, Illinois. What has been dubbed as the 2008 St. Valentine's Day Massacre has left at least six people dead including the gunman.
I remember the hall where the shooting happened fondly. I had many classes in the huge auditorium. I can almost remember where I sat each and every time (middle section; last 10 rows).
I remember when the VTU shootings happened I thought how sad it was. A lot of VTU grads I knew were deeply affected by the tragedy. I remember thinking, "but you weren't there. Aren't you glad you'd graduated already?"
But seeing my college campus on CNN, MSNBC and even on the Florida news channels I'm looking at right now (I'm on a business trip), I get it now.
It's a sad and scary world.
Thursday, February 7, 2008
The Stepford Stepchild, while still lovely, isn't so Stepford anymore.
I don't have conclusive evidence but I think the money she was hoping to earn by doing chores came from another donor. She's still on a health eating kick, but when asked if she could put away her clothes the other night she just kind of looked at me like I was asking her to dissect a full-grown pig.
Oh well; it was nice to have a chore-loving child while it lasted.
For some, the decision to stop celebrating comes early; perhaps brought on by a sad event or an environment that doesn't celebrate things like being born. I'm sure some folks get tired of being continually disappointed so they lower their expectations and chalk the annivesary of their birth up as just another day.
Then there are people like my mom who, despite not being royalty, has always impressed upon her kids that your birthday is your one day to walk around like a queen (or a king). She never advocated off-with-your-head! or lady-in-waiting type behavior; however, she always saw to it that each of her kids felt a little happier on the anniversary of their birth.
There are many ways in which I'm not like my mom, but on this one, we're symmetrical. I always tend to get more excited about people's birthdays than they do. It's never been "just another day" as far as I was concerned.
That was until my 31st and my 32nd birthday. Today, February 7, is my birthday. This time last year I was in Orlando for a huge trade show. I was with most of my coworkers but I was alone because we rarely ever saw one another. Despite being away, I heard from my mom, my husband and a friend I talk to once every few months. It still didn't feel like a special day though. I didn't walk any taller and I didn't feel any happier when I woke up or went to sleep. It had turned into just another day.
Fast forward a year and still, no change. After taking yesterday off for a brain-terrorizing migraine/snow-storm, I mentioned to a friend today that "the fact that I woke up this morning was my present." A couple of well-wishing phone calls from my mom and sister (which I missed because I was in a different room) woke up my coming-down-with-a-cold husband up; he grew annoyed, I got frustrated. When the morning drop-off went askew, the pre-work stressors went from bad to worse. I finally rolled into work around 9 and was greeted with a lovely signed-by-the-crew birthday sign at work. A few well-wishing coworkers threw some birthday cheer my way and I was starting to feel a glimmer of special again.
As birthday luck would have it, a lunch outing with a coworker/friend was postponed because stepmama needed to get the hell out of dodge to pick up her husband at work and then head home to pick a sick kid up from school. My "special day" will end with me working at my kitchen counter sipping camomile with my sunny-blonde highlights (my birthday present to myself which turned into my husband's birthday present to me). There has been talk of my husband making us all dinner tonight which I will gladly accept without argument. I'll probably sit on the couch at some point, watching Lost and re-warming my heart with the content of the birthday card my father sent me.
And then I'll go to sleep and wake up on February 8. Birthday over for another year. But then again, February 7 is just another day.
Friday, February 1, 2008
This beautiful, flaxen-haired; sapphire-eyed 11-year-old beauty not only cleans her room, but she loves vegetables and fish and shuns fast food, pop and candy.
Please address all of your pity to: arentyoulucky@.....
Seriously, my stepdaughter has evolved into a chore-seeking, healthy-eating phenomenon right before my every eyes. It's enough to make you wonder what she's up to.
The thing is, I don't think she's "up to" anything. She's a really, really good kid who -- I think -- sees the power of the good will and a healthy life.
Her positivivity has encouraged me to unstick my butt from the pity pot and start "doing unto others..." The fact that she is a vegetable-loving/fast-food-despising pre-teen has also forced me to rethink what I throw into my mouth.
The fact that she turns down ice cream in favor of granola forces the rest of us to rethink our eating habits, too. Even her brother is kinda starting to turn his nose up at junk food.
And the chores --- her father and I are starting to make up things to do around the house. While we know deep down she's doing it to earn money, I say all the power to ya, hon. Keep on keepin' on; the $10 is on your desk.
While I'm sure most people will read this and flip me the bird, I just wanted to take 5 minutes to acknowledge that not all (step)kids are mean or evil or rude. I've got a couple of little angels in the next room over.