Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Time flies when you're having fun! Goodbye 2014, thank you for everything!

OK, It's time to stop procrastinating and get to this thing already..

For the past, Oh I don't know, 5 years ( I think) a group of us write "A year in review" type of letters to, well, whoever wants to read it. It's a chance for us to reflect on the positives, and negatives of the year we've had.
I've been trying to think of what to write, because honestly...nothing happened this year. It flew by actually. I feel like I JUST sat down to write last year's letter.

I've heard time flies when you're having fun. Maybe that's why this year flew by. I wasn't weighed down by stress. Worrying about bills, money, rent, food.
In January Vince got a really good job, paying awesomely. We were able to pay bills, rent, and have fun "play" money after all that was said and done. But the hours were a horror. He was working 10-12 hour shifts, up to 7 days a week. He was never home, he was tired when he was. It wasn't worth it.
Well it didn't last long. We had a HUGE snowstorm that took out some train tracks ( he worked unloading cargo/freight from trains/trucks) which caused a temporary layoff for most employees. Since he was the last hire, he was first to get laid off. After weeks of this happening, it came down to needing to find another job. On a whim, he called an old employer. The place he had his first "real" job when he was 19, They were hiring....he got a job.
It doesn't pay a ton, there aren't any benefits, but dammit, he's happy. He has a Mon-Fri type job, we get to see him more, and have weekends! It's awesome. Bills are paid, rent is paid. We don't have a lot of "play" money....well...none at all, but that doesn't matter.

Since then, things have been flying. Summer came and went, nothing big to speak of there, except the heat, which was God awful and lasted way too long.
Halloween came and went too fast. The girls were Elsa/Anna, and were adorable.
Thanksgiving was great! And Xmas, oh Xmas was the best it's been in Forever.
Every year I get a job at a kiosk at the mall. Selling fun/funky socks! Last year most of that money went to bills and helping with what I could. But this year, we were OK financially that I got to take almost everything I made and put it towards Xmas fun and gifts. Riley got her first experience with Santa and what it looks like when the big guy puts gifts under the tree. Although...we made the big gifts from us, cause to hell with him getting the credit for the cool things!
And now here we are, on New Years Eve. The house is clean, the kids are happy. Vince is on his way home from work. We are going to order a ( cheap ) pizza and watch a movie while we wait to watch the ball drop in Times Square before going to bed.

I don't normally make "Resolutions", to me, it's something that's forgotten by March, and regretted by December. So I'm not making resolutions. I'm making myself a promise.

I promise to focus on ME next year. I spend way too much time worrying about everyone else, making sure everyone else is happy. But it's time to make sure I'm happy. I want to get healthy, start being comfortable in my skin. I want work on not only my body, but my brain. I'm going to study and save some $$ to get my G.E.D., and apply for grants for school. I want to be a better mom/wife wherever I can be, and work on some hobbies I've been wanting to dip my toes into ( Drawing, Sewing, Crocheting, etc) 2015 is going to be all about me. Which is weird...but I'm making a public promise to myself, that no matter what this new year throws my way....I refuse to put myself on the back burner.

No excuses. That'll be my theme :)

This is probably the shortest End Of Year letter I've ever written, but I'm OK with that. That means nothing too big happened this year. And in my opinion that's a good thing. Nothing big stands out.
We are happy, everyone is healthy. We have a roof over our heads, food in our bellies, and another year of happy memories ahead of us!

On to 2015, where hopefully our good fortune will continue, and I can start working on me, and stop worrying about everyone else!

I guess 365 days from now, when I'm writing the next letter, we'll see how I did!

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Frankly my dear....2013 can kiss my ass!!

Well it's that time again.

I told myself I would start this days ago, and just haven't found the time.
But I'm sitting now, because I want to get this done.

In past letters, I have loved revisiting all the things I got to experience that year. The smiles and laughs, the picture worthy moments, the new people and memories we had just made in those 365 days.

But this year, this year was a black hole, in which I don't want to revisit.
I will...because this is tradition, and I will honor the tradition I started among my friends. I do know, that after I post this, only a few days will pass, and I'll be able to read my friends' happy moments from the previous year.

Well this year tested my patience, my faith in whatever, or whoever might be out there, and more than anything, it tested my sanity.

The year started off with me almost losing my marriage. Which...for anyone who knows me, knows how much that means to me. My husband is my best friend, and to hear him say the words "I don't love you anymore" "I'm done" stabbed deeper than any would I had been inflicted over my 30 years of life.
I'd go from mad, angry and no tears, not talking to anyone, to a blubbery, on my knees, begging for another chance, mess. I didn't eat for three weeks, and I didn't want to go anywhere. I've never felt so...empty.
This went on for a few months, until one day, something snapped, and he realized, how much he loved his little girls. The girls...not me. But that was enough for him to stay and want to work on us, and I would take whatever I could get at that point.
My husband suffers from a horrible depression, only his condition is hard to handle, because he doesn't "believe" in mental illnesses. He believes everything is circumstantial. He was depressed and unhappy, therefore, it must be with me.
We had happy days here and there, going to the Muse Concert, taking a day trip to Mt.Hood with Guinevere to play in the snow.
Eventually things started getting better.
It was a waiting game for our tax check to come in the mail, because with that, we were going to get our own apartment with the girls. And I couldn't wait.
I applied at a couple different places, and the first place to say "Yes" was this fine little place we still live in.

We moved in and everything was going good. Vince and I were talking, and open about everything we were thinking. The girls were happy. We live right next to a park, and there is a HUGE grassy area right outside the apartment they can run in.

That's when we got some bad news. Vince was fired. He didn't do anything wrong really. One manager told him one thing, and the other manager claimed Vince was lying, so thanks to Oregon's No Fault policy....he was out of work.

We applied for TANF and Unemployment.

Well...TANF only get's approved if Unemployment does. The story his former employer was telling, was far from the truth, but they must've sounded sincere, because U.I. took their side and denied his claim.

The next 7 months were a blur.

All I remember is stomach aches, worries, crying myself to sleep,night after night, pep talks from everyone. Those that stuck around that is. I had a few friends dip to the back burner, because I had become a real life Eeyore.
Never seeing the light side of things, always dreading the next month, week, day......minute.
I had to put away my pride and ask for help. From friends...which was the hardest.
I called charities every month to get on waiting lists, try to be the 10th caller, on the 5th, be treated like scum because I couldn't provide for my children.
Our bills would be days away from being shut off. No power, no phone, no job searching. No cable, no internet, no job hunting. No Heat. We had the stereotypical Ramen dinner several nights in a row.

Vince found temp jobs here and there, but the temp agency he was working for....wouldn't give him permanent jobs, because well....they had a car payment to make and giving him a permanent position would mean less commission in their pockets.

After the fifth time of him being told by an employer "We want you to come back, we like the way you work, you can have a job here"....and then never hearing from them again, I started looking for work for Vince myself.

Vince started feeling deflated. Like he was less than a man, he couldn't find work, he couldn't provide for his family. No matter what I, or anyone said, didn't make him feel better.

It was the hardest thing I've been through....since the marriage shaker upper.

And just when we thought the last cloud was going to roll over us, we had a breakthrough....

Vince got a job!

It's an amazing job, with amazing benefits and amazing pay. It's....amazing. Although....the mean manager, is being...well...mean, and Vince has to make it two months and he'll be secure, under Union watch, and have someone to back him up! So the next two months will be extremely nerve wracking, but if we made it through all we did this year, the next two months, shouldn't be too hard.

After we found out he got the job, we realized we didn't have rent, and it was due in less than a week. So I did something I've never done before. I swallowed my pride, and put out a public Facebook post asking for anyone to help us get together rent, so we can fight this last fight, and be ok.

So many of our friends stepped up. $20 here, and $100 there, and right before Christmas mind you, we had rent in a matter of days. It was awesome, to know that many people are there for you, and care about your and your well being.

Then the good news kept rolling in...

I had taken Riley to the ER for a fever a few weeks back. The nurse took a liking to us, knowing the situation we were in and randomly one day called me....asked if her and the other nurses in the Pediatric Ward could "Adopt" our family for Christmas. They asked what the girls liked, needed, wanted.

Christmas Eve there was a knock at our door. 4 nurses and 4 men walked in, each carrying a handful of gifts, food, was overwhelming....I cried!
They then turned around and went back outside to get the SECOND CAR LOAD.

The girls had an awesome Christmas morning, stockings to dump out, boxes wrapped in paper to tear open, Vince and I even got a few things, Gift cards mainly...but we've been buying things for ourselves with them. We even got to go out to dinner at Shairs, after visiting Peacock Lane the other night.

All in all, we are still strugling financially, we aren't counting our chicken's before they hatch, making sure we take into acount, Vince's job could be gone at any moment. He just has to make it two months. And boy do I hope these two months fly by.

The girls are getting so big, makes me cry to think how fast it goes.

Riley is a little monster with an attitude all her own. She's exploring and learning so fast. She'll sit and have a mini conversation with you. It's mostly in Riley lingo, but we manage to keep up.
She has taken a liking to cooking. If I'm in the kitchen she pushes a chair up to the counter, and asks
"What you makin'?"  And she'll want to help with whatever she can.
She got a play kitchen from the awesome staff at Legacy Childrens hospital, so she's been "making" (it's what she calls cooking lol) all kinds of stuff for us to eat! And of course she has Sissy helping by being the waitress lol

And Guin...that kid is one awesome daughter. She's patient, and kind. She gives her last bit of money to people on the streets that need it more than her. She's understanding when things don't go as they have this last year. She loves writing, and making up stories and little movies with her friends, which I remember doing all the time when I was her age. She wants to learn everything, and soak up all the knowledge she can. She's so artistic. She'll sit and draw new clothes designs, and she's gotten into this Rainbow Loom that's all the rage with the kids. She's a great friend to her friends, and just wants to see everyone happy!

In closing, I can say, although this year was horrid. You learn something from going through something like that.
Our little family that was slowly drifting apart, is stronger than ever. I have back the man I married, with all the light inside him, with the confidence he hid away for so long. The man that says sweet things to me all day, and will just call to say he's thinking about me. He loves the hell out of his girls, and I can't help but smile the biggest smile ever, when I hear them playing, laughing, and giggling. I love seeing his face light up when he comes home from work to a chorus of "DADDY'S HOME" at which point he's tackled with hugs.

We now realize what we had in front of us all along. Support, love, companionship.
On some level I'm thankful for this year. Through the heartache, tears, and stress, came a whole, loving, renewed family unit!

Now lets hope 2014 can bring in way more awesome-ness than 2013 did.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Hello, My name is Courtney, and I'm a nerd.....and damn proud of it!

What I'm gathering, is the challenge here consists of simultaneously proving my “nerdy-ness”, while showcasing some writing ability. Well...challenge accepted.

For the record, I'm not sure if I'm a nerd or a geek. I've done extensive research (surfed google) on the definitions and keep getting conflicting answers. I know one is extremely computer savvy, knows all about megabits, mother boards and CPU's. Everyone knows one, and they are always willing to fix your computer if you get a virus. They do this to prove their worth.

And the other is generally socially awkward. Finds friends in comic book characters, Tv shows, and can more or less relate with a fictional person, than someone IRL. They are also proficient in video games, and are usually part of what's called a “Fandom”.

Seeing as how I know nothing about the inner workings of computers, just mainly how to use them. When mine breaks down I tend to cry, because I have no idea how to fix it. That's when my brother comes to the rescue.

I'm leaning towards the latter. I can be socially awkward (in fact, I was medically diagnosed with Social Anxiety I'm pretty sure that should bag me some bonus points!) My best friends live in Sunnydale, CA, Gotham City and Metropolis. I even know a couple guys who don't have a set address. They grew up in Kansas, but now travel around the Country in a bad ass 1967 Chevy Impala.

When I finish a book sometimes, I tend to start it over when I start to miss the people. Plus...with your face page deep in a book, the weirdo's on public transport tend to leave you alone. fictional friends have my back!

I was 10, when I first discovered I was “different”. The kids on my block were out playing, in the fresh air ( I know....can you believe that nonsense). I had just got done reading the latest Goosebumps, and I was looking for something to do, so I tried channel surfing. The TV lit up, and there, on FOX, were the people I would grow up with for the next 9 years of my life. Fox Mulder and Dana Scully.
The virus...bug, or whatever we get when we're “bitten” was strong. In the following years my room slowly grew into a shrine. “I want to believe” posters on my walls, cartoon-y alien pillows adorned my bed and if I could find a T-Shirt with a giant green X on it, I was sporting it the next day. And you best believe I busted my butt doing any chore I could get my hands on, just to earn some extra allowance to support my addiction. I was even on a first name basis with the guy at the flea market who always had the VHS sets. When the movie came out in theaters, I was the first person in line on opening day. I was also the only person in line on opening day....but at least I got some bragging rights! And when the series was over I was so sad. Really. It was pathetic. I'm pretty sure I wore all black and mourned for weeks.

X-Files opened the door to so many other TV shows that I fell in love with over the years, including Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I still, to this day have “Buffy-a-thons”, my daughter didn't play “Barbie and Ken” she played “Buffy and Spike” Cause she's kind of awesome and a fan of the show as well! I got “WWBD?” permanently ink'd on my wrist to commemorate my love for not only the show, but to be able to proudly sport my nerd pride on my sleeve....or ya know, wrist. Plus it helps me remember that Buffy would "Kick Ass" when things get rough! It's like a self help tape....on me.

Didn't want you to think I was making stuff up!

I'm a Whovian, I love Supernatural, Star Trek:TNG, Angel, Firefly, I could keep going. But I won''re welcome.

I'm not just a TV girl though....I love my Xbox (unless you're a Playstation fan. Then please replace “Xbox” with “Playstation”. Thank you) I have spent, probably years of my life fighting zombie abominations in Resident Evil. Searching for someone, or something in the fog of Silent Hill, I am a horrible shot, and usually my death count is higher than my kill a lot, but I LOVE playing C.O.D. and Halo...and people love playing me, cause hey...I bring up averages! I'm a giver.

I would love to say I read comics growing up, but really as a kid, I didn't appreciate them. Now as an adult, I love them. I have read the Sandman collection (Because Neil Gaiman is practically a God), I read Walking Dead before it was not really, I'm just trying to impress you. Sorry. But I have read it, so that counts right?! Watchmen, Umbrealla Academy. And yes even some Archie, Betty and Veronica.

I don't know what else I can say. If I got picked for this amazing gig, I honestly don't know what I would write about. Anything? Everything! I only hope if I was able to do one thing just now, it was showing you my passion when it comes to things I love. I'm a lover of everything, but a master of nothing. I'm at home with my fellow nerds. I look forward to Rose City and Emerald City Comicon every year. I love seeing the “Talent”, talking to their fans. You generally have to pay money to get them to talk to you, but really, I'm ok with that, cause stalking is illegal, so it's a win/win for me. I get to talk to people I love, and I don't have to spend time behind bars!

So now after this transcript of my life, I've come to the conclusion....I'm definitely a nerd.

Side note: All nerd stuff aside. Writing has always been an aspiration of mine. I don't feel right unless I have a composition book and million pens in my bag when I leave the house, just in case inspiration strikes. When I was 8, I found my parents type writer and discovered a new friend. My very first story ever was about a little star who traveled the sky trying to figure out why he wasn't the end, he had forgotten to pay his electric bill! See...even then I was witty!
I loved all the worlds I could create, the stories just came pouring out of my fingertips. And the other day my 9 year old came to me and wanted to read me a story she wrote. It was actually really good! I can't tell you the excitement I felt for her at that moment. Knowing she'll get to create and discover new people, and worlds just like I have.

So that's me in a nutshell. I would LOVE the opportunity to be a part of this new empire! To be able to write, not only about a subject I love, but that has also gotten me through some hard times in my life, is the chance of a lifetime for me.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

The Recurrent Apparition (Writing Challenge #2 September/October)


The Recurrent Apparition
By Courtney Scott

23 times in the past year...since last November.
That's how many times I've seen her.
It's always during the day when the sun is shining just right through my windows. She's pretty. But the plain kind of pretty.
She's always in a different part of the house when she appears.
Sitting quietly on the window seat, lost in a book.
In the kitchen, preparing some sort of meal.
Walking into the bedroom talking on her phone.
She seems happy.
I've tried to talk to her, but she can't hear me. Sometimes I swear she's looking right at me, but I know deep down she can't see me. We both reside in this house, unaware of each others existence. I don't want to tell her to leave, this is her home too.
It's always a welcome site when she appears. It's nice to know, one way or another you're not really alone. I've lost all my friends, my family. It's just me now. But knowing I get to see her from time to time, keeps my spirits up. It gets lonely in this place.
So I'll stay quiet. ….Living in peace with this person. If you can call it living.
I'm dead. I know I am. I remember the day well, one second I was driving in the rain, I lost control, there was screeching tires, and breaking glass. Then I was back here. I watched my loved ones pack up my things. I heard the sound of the “For Sale” sign being placed in my yard. And then I was alone. Until...her.
For some reason I'm stuck in this plane of existence. But seeing glimpses of the living, seeing the girl who now lives in my house, is somewhat comforting. Maybe someday I'll be able to move on, until then, I'll keep count of the times I catch glimpses into the world I used to live in. I'll sit here and wait for number 24.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

The sounds outside two windows (Writing Challenge #1)

A good friend of mine West, decided for fun to put out a writing challenge for his friends. A story with the title "The sound outside two windows"  I haven't been able to write in forever, because when I'm stressed, my muse goes on vacation. My brain is too much for it to handle. So when he first set this in motion, I thought "I'll never be able to do that", but tonight, something sparked, I pulled out my laptop, started typing and before I knew it, a story was born. It's nice to know the writer I KNOW is in there, can still come out from time to time. So here is my submission for the story challenge! 

The sound outside two windows
by Courtney Scott

I sit in my room, from day to day. It's dark and lonely, sometimes scary. There's two windows in this room with me. But there is no scenery. It's a gray day outside, every day. Shadows dance. Can't tell when it's day, or when it's night. It's as though the shades are always drawn. You see, when they built my house, they forgot to put in glass panes, but instead put in shutters.
The benefit of not seeing out my windows, is my heightened sense of hearing. I can hear everything, from the lightest pin drop, to a plane flying overhead. I imagine it cutting through the clouds, if I only knew what clouds really looked like. I imagine they are wondrous things. Big, immense. But what is big...when you have nothing to compare it to?
I can hear people outside my windows everyday. I can hear deep into their soul. Most people are ugly. Cruel. Spiteful. I can't understand why they are loved so. Maybe it's because I can't see them. Maybe I can hear what they really are. I can hear the monsters that lay deep beneath the make up and fake facade people put on.

Like the woman who even though, looks like a wonderful mother on the outside. Has several children, who smile, and laugh. She always seems happy and composed. But maybe that's because underneath the smiles and composure, is pure hatred. Abuse. She takes her stress out on her children, who sit night after night, hungry, because mom is out on a date, drinking drinks with strange men, rather than feeding her children, who are fending for themselves on leftover Ramen and rice. They don't know their fathers, they don't really know their mother. But they know the punishment they will face if they let on the life they lead behind closed doors. So they put on the mask for the world...the mask, I cannot see.

Or the working father, who has a wife and kids. He comes home from work every night, picks his kids up, spins them around, and kisses his wife with the most intense passion. I'm sure he looks the part, suit, nice car, white picket fence. But underneath all that bullshit, lies a gambler. He leaves work on a lunch break to find any way he can to spend his savings, his wife's nest egg, his children's collage fund. Horse races, video poker football games. It's almost all gone. Pretty soon they will be homeless, selling prized possessions just to eat, or keep basic necessities in their life. He's selfish, and has a problem, and rather than seek help, he seeks another way to get rich quick.

And the darkest of all, is the man down the hall. He's a sweet old man, People always say hello, asking him how his day is going, making sure to make small chat with him, because he is all alone. But what they don't know is how evil this man is. I can hear it, I can hear the demon deep within him. I can hear his computer keys clicking away at night, searching for his prey. He pretends to be a friend when a young one needs someone to listen. He'll listen. He'll be everything you want him to be. He'll tell them they need to get away, he'll help them. And before you know it, they are brought to his home, late at night. He steals their childhood away from them. Takes pictures of the innocent faces to trade like baseball cards among him and his monster friends. Makes them face this demon alone. I can hear the cries, but I can't do anything about it. For I cannot see where the cries are coming from. Only shadows and darkness. But still people say Hello, they wave, he smiles, his gruesome, evil smile.

I have almost but lost my faith in humanity. People are dark, selfish creatures. There was once a time when out my windows I could hear genuine laughing. Kindness. I'm almost glad I'm trapped inside this dark room, I would rather spend my life in here, then out there with the monsters.

There are a few people left on this planet that help keep my faith in humanity alive.

Like the case worker who came to the house of the abused children. They were able to put down their Ramen, grab the tattered teddy bears that have given them security during these hard times. She came in like a super hero, and took them to their Grandmother's house. A house full of love, caring, and cookies. A house where the color returned to their little faces. A house where they were embraced in hugs and safety, instead of fear and hate. The lady was “only doing her job”, but I could hear in her voice, the genuine concern, and care she had for these children. And for her, my heart is filling up with happiness.

Or the friend of the husband, who stepped in, to show him what he was about to lose. His beautiful children, his caring wife, his picture perfect house and life. It was all going to go away because he couldn't keep his hands off his check book. He offered support, sat with the husband when he faced his wife, and children to admit he had a problem. He went and visited his friend every day while he was away making himself better for his family, and was there to take care of the family in his absence. A true friend who didn't judge, who didn't mock, or ruin, someone who truly cared about his friend. He too helped the light shine just a little through these shady windows.

And the officer, who came to the aid of a little boy. He was visiting his “friend” and was alone, and terrified. The officer came in, carried that boy in his arms and told him the nightmare was over. He put silver bracelets on the man, and made him walk, in front of all the neighborhood for everyone to see the monster I always knew was in there. The streets were full of “I had no idea” and “He was always so sweet”, but those are the scariest of monsters. The ones that blend in, the ones that make you feel welcome. That officer got a medal, and even though the damage was done with the boy...he always knew there was a hero looking out for him. He wasn't alone in that dark basement. He had a guardian angel looking out for him.

So here I sit in my dark room. But I like it in here. I like being able to hear a persons soul. There are no masks, there are no cover ups.

Some people think being born blind is a disadvantage, but from where I sit, my handicap, is a blessing. For my windows are my eyes. Broken and blank, but seeing more than a person with sight can see,

Friday, November 23, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving

There are way too many things I'm thankful for, to list them as a status on Facebook, so I figured I would do it here!

My parents, they have done so much for me in my life. Always being there, no questions asked when I got in a bad situation, or needed a ride home cause I was too drunk, and talking to walls. I know no matter what is going on in my life, I can go to them, no judgments, no questions, just unconditional love.

My Brother, He may be a brat, but I love him, he's a good person, and an awesome Uncle, the kids LOVE him, and a smile comes across their face as soon as he gets home! Riley has even become accustomed to him, and plays with him. It always makes me happy when I see him playing with them. He was my best friend growing up, so many memories I have of growing up have him in them! I'm so happy he moved back from Ohio to be with us. It was an empty table, in this house, for too long!

Joey, You may have an attitude, and we may get into tiffs from time to time, but I love you. You are a good person, and you really do a lot for me! You are great with the kids, and I always have fun with you when we go out for our "girl" days! You are growing up to be a great woman, and I hope you accomplish everything you're setting out for in life!

Chrissie, I don't know where to start with you. You are ALWAYS there for me, when I need a shoulder to cry on, when I need someone to laugh with, when I get into a tight spot, or when I just want to chat. I look forward to our time together, and even though it's few and far between, they mean so much to me. You are such a good person, and I am so grateful to have you in my life! You are my sister and I love the hell out of you!

Guinevere, You are everything a mom could want in a daughter. You are loving, caring, generous, beautiful and you have a BIG heart when it comes to other people. You are such a big help with Riley, and she loves you soo much! I can't wait to watch you grow up into the awesome person you're turning into!

Riley, Thank you so much for coming into our lives and being a part of this family. You fill our day with entertainment and laughter. You're silly, and goofy. You give the best hugs, and your smile melts my heart! I'm happy to be your mama, and we are so thankful to have you with us!

Kent, I love our conversations! Wiether they be sad, serious, or silly, you always brighten my day when you send a random text to say Hi! Stay you always, you are such a good person, and a great friend, and I really wish we didn't live so far apart, but I know someday ( when we both have money) one of us will come see the other one!

Mia, You are one of my oldest friends and I love ya! I know my life has gotten hectic as of late, and I don't see you nearly as much as I'd like to, but as soon as things slow down, and I can get out there, I promise I will! I appreciate everything you do for me, and helping me get the job at your company! It means a lot!

Michael & Jeremy, I MISS the hell out of you guys! I am so happy you are in our lives! I know we don't talk too much, but I'm always thinking about you. You two are soo important to me. I really wish I could get over there more often to spend time with you. I will make it a point in the next year to come say hi more often!

West, You are awesome! I really wish we lived closer so we could have fun with movies more often. I love that I can come to you with any idea and you will honestly tell me if I'm being ridiculous, or genius  You have such a big heart and I really do consider you my brother

And last, but certainly not least,

Vince, You my dear, are my rock. You are my best friend, and my life. I love you so much, and I can't imagine this life without you in it. I'm so happy to share my life with you. You are a great husband, and an awesome daddy. I love the relationship we have, the banter, and playful arguments, the way we act like newly weds after being together (almost) 10 years! I am so thankful for the life you give us. For letting me stay home with the kids, and working as hard as you do to give us everything you can. And loving me the way you do. No one looks at me like you do, you make me feel...pretty, sexy, and loved. Thank you for loving me enough to marry me, and raise our children! You are amazing.

If there is anyone I missed, I am sorry. I am thankful for EVERYONE in my life. All my friends, old and new, all the friends I have reconnected with this year, even the ones I lost this year, you were in my life for a reason, and now that reason was served.

It makes me sad though. That we really only realize what we're thankful for, one day a year. We should be appreciating everything we have, everyday of the year! But I wanted to take the time today, to let certain people in my life know I am thankful for them.

I believe we should be thankful for things/people more times than once a year. Even if you're having a terrible day, you can find something to be thankful for. The air in your lungs, the roof over your head, a bite of food you had during the day. So many people nowadays are pessimistic. Always looking at things from a half empty point of view. When life starts making you feel, sad....dig deep, and find something, anything, to be able to say "I am thankful for at least one thing in my life today"

Me....I am thankful for everything I have, I'm a big believer in "Everything happens for a reason", so I'm even thankful for things I don't have. Something in the universe is saying "You're not ready for that" , and eventually, if it's meant to be mine, it'll be in my life.

Please, hug a friend, smile at a stranger, give your seat up to someone who needs it. BE the thing someone is thankful for!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Apple Press Shindig

For those of you that know me, you are aware I have a pretty bad case of Social Anxiety Disorder. I've gotten good at hiding it over the years, but it's still there. Always. If you could hear inside my head whenever I'm face with an uncomfortable situation, you would think me crazy. When I found out I was taking my 9 year old to a friends' birthday party, and I didn't know these people, I found myself sitting in my room, hyperventilating, and crying....crying because I knew I was going to have to meet new people. Talk to them. Sit there and pretend to be...normal for a couple hours, outside of my comfort zone...which is generally my couch, living room, or bed.

Well the other day my husband ( Vince) came home from work and told me that the owner of where he works was putting together an Apple Press Party.
"A what?"

Mark had bought a new apple press. Old fashioned, wooden press that makes apple cider. He wanted to celebrate the new press, and invited all his employees, and their families, to come down, help make some cider and take some home! Mingle, get to know each other. This scared the crap out of me. But Vince seemed excited for me to meet his co-workers I hear about all the time, and he wanted to surprise Guinevere with a fun day! So I smiled and said
"Of COURSE I would love to go" .....on the inside I was already biting my nails and telling myself to breathe slowly.

Well today came and went, and to tell you the truth, I had an absolutely good time.

 I'm not good at meeting new people ( obviously), I'm more than happy with my little social circle I have going on. I worked hard for that little group of friends. I don't want to throw any more into the mix...that would make it, complicated! But today, I shocked even myself.

Vince usually stays with me, encouraging me to talk to people, helping me hide out when a panic attack hits, he's my....crutch, for lack of a better social situations.
Today, since he was at work, he was helping, a lot. Going in and out of doors to get things for the boss man, helping label the bottles, helping gather apples, and get the BBQ ready. Normally I would've found myself a small corner to tuck into , but today, shockingly, I stayed in the group. Talking to the other wives, laughing, joking. When Vince would introduce me to people, I shot my hand out to shake it, made eye contact, and smiled, and it wasn't faked. The more the day went on, I found myself sitting and having conversations with people, that I didn't know, before today.

And when Riley decided to take a nap, I found a comfy chair, in the break area, and just sat back and watched. I watched people be excited to see Vince there. They would ask him if his family was there, and they would come right over to meet us "finally" they would say. Because Vince talks about his family all the time to his co-workers (which made me super happy to hear about in the first place)
But to watch him, be proud of his job. Be proud of where he worked, made me proud.
I know his job is secure. But after him being unemployed for over a year, it's still hard for me to sit back, relax, and know everything is going good.
When I saw him today, when I saw how his peers, and bosses talked to him, laughed with him. I realized, this is an amazing place he has to work.
These people are amazing. They treat their employees great ( understand if you need time off for family things, take the crew up to a cabin to white water raft in the summer, have Xmas parties, encourage you when you're doing a good job, talk to you about how you can fix things when you're doing a not so good job etc) I don't know how he found this place, but I am SO glad he did! Not to mention the awesome, fresh roasted coffee he gets to bring me home!
Today was a great experience,  For me especially. I found that I DO have the courage I didn't know I had, to be social, without Vince right there holding my hand. I got to watch Guin learn how to make cider, and play with other kids, I got to see Vince in his "element" with his co-workers/friends. And most importantly, I realized, I love my life. Sometimes it seems hectic, crazy, unstable, and chaotic...but I LOVE my little family. I LOVE my husband and my daughters, and most importantly I LOVE this little life we have for ourselves!

Getting the Apple Press Ready

All the apples

Guinevere helping! 

The warehouse
The Coffee
Vince's Warehouse
Portland Roasting Coffee
My Cappuccino! 

The finished product