Goodbye 2009, Hello 2010

Oh the year is ending and a new one is beginning. And that means it's time to examine how I would like to start off this new year and new decade. In no particular order or significance, here are a list of a few things that we will call 'small aspirations.' Not sure I want to call them "goals" mostly so that I don't feel like a failure when I fail to achieve such lofty goals.

  • Less TV, more reading. And I'm not just talking about trading in my closet addiction for TMZ, E! (yes, I'm watching it right now), and Chelsea Handler for People, US Weekly and other celebrity gossip magazines. I mean bulking up on real reading - like the pile of books that is slowly collecting around my house - Blink, Eat.Love.Pray, Have a Little Faith and more!
  • Less couch time, more trail time. My running hibernation period is coming to a sad, heart-wrenching close. I will mourn the loss of my yoga pants, slippers, furry blanket and remote and embrace tighter glutes, increased energy and aerobic capacity and Garmin usage. My fav running partner, Donna, and I have decided that this is our year. We have auspicious plans for running several races - the first of which is in April. Eeeck! That is only a few months away, better get started soon!
  • Less alcohol and bar food, and more fresh and healthy food. ugh. That doesn't even sound fun, does it? Where would I be without Applebee's spinach and artichoke dip and a beer on a random Wednesday night? Or my special after-work-treat of Wendy's frosty and french fries? I can tell already that this is gonna be my toughest aspiration.
  • Less spending, more saving! Ha - we can only hope, right? We have big plans for 2010 - including G&M's wedding in Costa Rica, my 30th birthday celebration (poor S has no idea that I'm planning a big hooplah!), Seth wants a warm vacation sooner than later not to mention the new fence for the backyard and carpet in the basement, etc. It's gonna take some dedication, but I think we can do it!
  • Fewer excuses, more phone calls. To stay in better touch with friends means weekly phone dates. No more lame excuses (cuz laying on the couch has really taken it out of me the lst few months...yeah, right!)
  • That's all I can think of so far...

A big bum

Today is my girlfriend's birthday. And I'm a big fat bum. I didn't get her a gift this year. Bum. I didn't even send her a card. Big Bum. Last year I got her an hour and a half massage. Awesome friend award - ding, ding ding! And I was home to go out to dinner with her and her husband and my substitute husband. We even convinced her parents to keep the kids overnight so we could party it up downtown to celebrate. Emmy nomination, puhleese?! This year, I'm in a different state sitting on the couch still in my workout clothes from this morning cuddling with one dog and the tupperware of chocolate chip cookies starring me in the face.

I feel like a bad friend.

Not just today, but in general. I feel like the older I get the harder it is to stay in touch with friends from my past. And the sad thing is ....I don't even have KIDS that I can use as an excuse! Of all my friends I have a lot of time on my hands. Apparently, I just don't know how to take advantage of it! Being in a different state than many of my good friends is tough. Not sharing in the same phase of life (read: kiddos) can be a little challenging.

I realize that the days of sorority living and seeing my H.S. friends every day including Saturday and Sundays is long gone. But I miss those days of "closeness" with girlfriends. Whereas we used to have endless conversations, now we are lucky if we can get in the quick 15 minute phone call every few months.

If I had unlimited financial means, I would swoop up the ladies and their families and take a multi-family vacation (with nannies!) to wine country! And we would relax, have fun and enjoy each other like we used to!

That would be an awesome birthday gift for all of us! If only...


Ironic - or my new gig?

With all this frigid cold weather lately - single digits most days this week - the dogs have been going absolutely stir crazy! And I honestly can't blame them. At least I get to go to the gym for a run on the treadmill. But that means the poor little princesses don't get their afternoon 3 mile walk or even any backyard time. Kirby can barely stand to walk out to the grass to do her business preferring instead to walk two steps onto the concrete patio and do it there!

It's just too darn cold!

I mentioned this on facebook and had a few people respond that a solution would be doggie day care just so they could get some indoor activity and socialization.

Not a bad idea. And it made me think...

We are now a society that openly welcomes the idea of a doggie day care "to give us a break" as one friend said. It's like dogs have really become like to children. We send kids to daycare, and now we send our dogs to

So if I follow the logic, does that mean that it would be acceptable in today's society to be a stay-at-home dog mom? I mean, women have been doing this with their kids for eons, right? So, if we as a society have progressed to accepting dog daycare as we did child daycare, wouldn't that mean that it would be perfectly acceptable to answer the age old question, "So what do you do?" with an honest and reverant, "I'm a stay-at-home dog mom."

Yes! My ideal job has just become socially acceptable - at least through my eyes!


Christmas Wish List

In an slightly selfish way to work on our Serious Lack of Celebration - I'm creating a Christmas wish list. Not that anyone is going to look at it (or use it - or should they). I just thought it would be fun to pretend that I was 7 and send my wish list to Santa.

Dear Santa,

At first when I thought about making a wish list this year I didn't think there was going to be anything to put on it. But, then, little things popped into my head. So before I forget them, I
decided to write them down.

- A toaster!
Nothing fancy - just a simply toaster would do nicely. Yes, we registered for one when we got married. But if we did get one back then we returned it so Seth could get something else cool. So we've lived all these years without one. Not that its super important, but we've lived for 4 years (or more!) without toast in our lives. My only request is that it be stainless steal or black so it matches with our kitchen.

- Snowboarding socks!
Seth and I went snowboarding for the first time this season and his have a hole in the heel - so really socks would be a great idea for the both of us! As you know, snowboarding is "our" thing that we get to do together in the winter. It's often on these days that we get to spend the most time together, being active and enjoying the beautiful mountains of Colorado!

- Gloves!
Specifically North Face black gloves. I know - going for the name brand. But they are relatively inexpensive, durable, light weigh and just plain awesome. Plus, I only have ski gloves or soft yarn, brown gloves. So I could make a case of needing some light weight winter black gloves.

- Running clothes and gear!

Yes, I'm renewing my relationship with running. So far this week I've run 3 times, granted the most I've done is 4.5 miles. But I'm hoping to get back into running and train for another late summer / early fall marathon.

So I need more of these...
And these...
And maybe even some of these...
- Oh, and a great little gift that keeps on giving. A magazine subscription!

Something maybe like this..

- And finally, a Starbucks or Einstein Bagels gift card. Cuz Sethy and I like to have coffee and bagels for our Sunday morning "date."

PS Sorry there's no tree or stockings in our house - we're kinda lame when it comes to decorating for the holidays. Maybe next year we will have a tree.


A Serious Lack of Celebration

We have a little problem in our house - and it's called a "Serious Lack of Celebration." We don't have a Christmas tree, we don't have stockings hung let alone by the chimney with care, and we don't have anything that would even be considered a holiday decoration.

But yes, I did make sugar cookies (after I ate the entire tin that my MIL sent to us at Thanksgiving). Ever seen the movie Gone in 60 Seconds? Yeah, that's sorta what happened. Oops!

Why? Well, for one we just don't have holiday decorations. I remember my roommate in college would always dream about having a house one day where an entire room was dedicated to her holiday decorations. I wonder if she's got that room yet? But us - well, we just don't have any. And my reasons for not being able to justify spending money on decorations? well...

  • Seth is rarely around during the holiday season thanks to retail management. (Thankful for the job and income, hate the hours and expectations.)
  • Christmas is kind of a mixed bag of emotions for me. I have some really bad memories from holidays past but a deep longing for the Christmas that you see in movies, commercials and other advertising
  • We don't really do the whole "gift giving" thing anymore. I'm not sure when / how that started. Maybe the year that my brothers and I basically passed around a bunch of gift cards is when we realized that we were too old (and too poor) to be doing that anymore. Sure - Seth and I will probably get a little something for each other, but its probably not gonna get wrapped and sit laying around the house. Last year on our way to dinner for date nigh he reached around behind the car seat and brought out a bag from Macy's with some perfume in it and said "Merry Christmas." Actually, that could be a lie. I don't even know if he said Merry Christmas. And I just gave him the Dillards bag that had his Ugg slippers in it (with the receipt, just in case they were the wrong size or color). So exciting, I know!
So while I'm a little saddened by our Serious Lack of Celebration, I'm not quite sure what I'm gonna do about it.

Maybe I'll convince Seth to let us have some friends over for an ugly Christmas sweater party or something!

We Are Family....Soon to Be!

The news is out - my baby brother is getting MARRIED! And to this lovely lady, no less...
Way to go Greg! And welcome to our crazy family, Maria! (not that she hasn't already gotten a taste of our craziness over the last 4 years)
I think she'll fit right in! So happy for the both of you!

We've literally been waiting for the engagement to happen for...well, for quite a while. Secretly (or not so secretly!) Seth and I have been waiting because we knew that the wedding would be in Costa Rica - which means VACATION and CELEBRATION! Woot, woot!

We are so super excited for Greg and Maria - but, as with any wedding, there are already some "issues." On top of some legal documentation that needs to be addressed and the current economy, it seems there may be some concern about attendance at the Costa Rica celebratory marital union event. Personally, I'm just glad that I have 9-12 months to start pinching my pennies to save for the wedding (something that Seth and I did not plan for our wedding guests).

Seth and I have talked and we've decided that no matter what we will be at their wedding. Even if it means eating Ramen noodles for months to save enough for the plane tickets. We love these two and we know how important it is to support them in their new life together. But I also understand the concerns that they must be going through in planning a wedding of mixed culture, religion, language, etc, etc.

Which makes me think - with all the craziness that accompanies weddings and the planning process, what REALLY matters about a wedding? I mean, look at our family alone. My brother eloped in Las Vegas on an amusement ride, Seth and I basically called off our wedding due to stress and had a planned elopement (to which people were invited) in Mexico, and now my brother is facing the issues that come with wedding planning mayhem. I must applaud them for at least attempting a semblance of a traditional wedding. More power to ya, buddy. Cuz none of the rest of us could handle the pressures!

Back to the question - what REALLY matters about a wedding?
Is it the dress?
No, but it sure does seem to play an important role considering they make TV Shows about finding the perfect dress.

Is it the venue?
While this may be where many weddings spend the most cash, I don't think it particularly matters if you get married in your families barn or in the Botanic Gardens or the family church (that you probably haven't attended since you were 16 years old).

Is it the theme? or the flowers?
While I've heard a theme can make-or-break a good party, I don't really think that a wedding particularly needs much more of a theme than "union of two hearts and souls." And all I can say about flowers is if your gonna have them, make sure they are in season.

No - none of this hooplah means anything except to add to the specialness of the day for the couple.

What mattes is this -
That the couple respects the seriousness of their union in marriage
That family and friends are present to support and love the couple - and to model a lasting love relationship
and that families celebrate the union of two groups as one!

The number of bridesmaids, the music and flowers, even whether or not the wedding is held on a Tuesday or in a church has no bearing on the marriage. The catering will soon be forgotten along with the color of the centerpieces and the flavor of cake. What will leave a lasting impression is the love that surrounded the couple on their day, supported by those that they wanted to share this day with. This will set the tone for the beginning of their new lives together. Even if their family is a little crazy, the couple will remember that they were loved that day as they began their own family together from that day forward.

I am honored to have been included as a guest to celebrate Greg and Maria's wedding - no matter the circumstances, location, religion or culture. I am honored to love my brother and my new sister. Because however it happens, they will be my family forever.


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