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 

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Fight for your PAR-TAY!

I don't talk about it too often...but one of my favorite things to do in this world ( aside from Baking, Cooking and writing) is planning a party.
It's usually chaotic, I'm usually stressed out to the max until the party is done. Wondering if everyone will have fun, Did everyone get enough to eat, Did I talk too much, too little...etc.
But in the end, it always ends up being great. I had a blast, and can't wait to do it again.

Over the years I've gotten good at finding my own things to make. This year my daughter wanted a Monster High theme ( for her friends party) and a Doctor Who theme ( for the family dinner), talk about diverse! But I did it.

The skating party was great, even though I couldn't find a lot of Monster High things ( leave it to my kid to pick the one theme that was hardest to find) so we improvised! I made awesome cupcakes ( if I do say so myself), everyone scarfed down what they could fit in their faces.

 The kids skated on the skating rink for hours, my hubby and brother even got out there with my dad to play with the kids, and chase each other around the rink! In the end, I was scared...this was the first year we had a "out of the house party" with new friends, new parents....I was so nervous. But I got nothing but rave reviews when we were done!

Then tonight was Guin's actual birthday. We planned for Vince ( hubby) to take her out, to distract her so I could get things done here. Vince took her to see Wreck it Ralph as a surprise, they also went to Wonderland to play on arcade games until I called them back home. When they returned home...this is what she saw....

(I bought a blur vinyl tablecloth at the dollar store, along with some construction paper, and well...this is the result) 

She had to walk through the TARDIS door to get into the house. At which point she found everything decorated in Doctor Who colors...along with English pub food ( Scotch Eggs and Fish n' Chips). We dressed fancy ( cause they are "fancy" in England), everyone sported a homemade bow ties ( because they're cool!) And for dessert we had...

FISH FINGERS AND CUSTARD! ( we even used authentic custard powder from Europs...cause we're awesome like that) We all talked in English accents and drank from wine glasses ( this is how I imagine all Europe to be like! lol) 

It was an awesome night. We had a blast, and all the stress I spent worrying about these two parties, were quickly put aside when I realized I did good :) 

I LOVE planning parties! The sad truth is, I don't have many friends to throw parties for/with. So I shall spend my time, waiting for my kids to have birthdays! Maybe someday I will throw that awesome Halloween party I've been dreaming of forever. Or a fun Xmas party. Or heck, even a "Just cause I want to " party! 

I love this kind of thing! Now if only I could get a paid gig, hosting themed parties.....That would be the life! 

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Day 3: Coffee

                     Day 3:

I am thankful for coffee. It's so simple. We all take it for granted (well, those of us that drink it) its always there to greet me in the morning, like an old friend. During the day when I need a pick me up, its there. I can put it in baked goods, or eat the beans raw. Some relationships are started over a good cup of coffee. When you haven't seen your friends in a while, you suggest "hey, let's catch up over a cup of coffee" and when I get to have a day away from home, to go out in the world alone and just think, relax, I sit on the patio of some hole in the wall cafe, put on my headphones and get lost in the aroma of my surroundings . You can always have it the same (for me, its black) or you can change it up, cream, no sugar, light, soy, flavors. My husband even works for a coffee roasting company. He comes home and I breathe him in. Coffee has always been around me in happy times, in sad times, in friendly times. I am thankful to be able to have this comforting drink, everyday. 

Friday, November 2, 2012

Day 2 : Guinevere

Day 2:  

Every parent likes to think their child is extraordinary. But in my case, I know my little girl is. She's the little girl that makes you proud to be a parent. She's the girl that makes you wonder what it is you did right.
Ever since Riley was born, we have asked a lot of Guin. She's always ready and willing to help play with the baby, when I need a break. She makes a bottle like a pro, and has gotten very good at packing a diaper bag when I need an extra set of hands. She never complains, in fact, she always asks what else you need.
One time she saved up her money for a toy ( tooth fairy, small allowance when we can afford it, any little change she's collected or found), never spend a dime. I think she ended up having close to $13.
We went to the store, it was snowing out, close to Xmas. And as we got closer to the Walmart doors, we heard that familiar sound you hear every Xmas, the jingling of the bells from the Salvation Army people with the red bucket. This man was an elderly man, in a wheelchair, wearing a little Santa hat, and a smile.  She stopped and stared, and asked me why he was out in the cold, ringing a bell. I explained what it is they do...collect money for people who have no home, or no food, and help them, with clothing, food, toys for kids, things like that. She smiled and said "Wow, he must get paid a lot of money to sit out here" I told her he doesn't. He's a volunteer, which means he willingly comes out, when he has free time, because this is something he believes in, and wants to help people who are in trouble. The wheels in her head started turning, she reached into her purse, and pulled out her little wallet. She walked over to the man, put money in the bucket, and said Merry Christmas. She walked back over to me, and I asked her how much she gave him ( thinking it was a couple cents, or a dollar) She told me she gave him everything. She had no business enjoying a new toy, when there were people out in the cold.
Needless to say my heart melted. I don't know what I did so right to raise such a good kid. But she was just as happy as she would've been had she gotten her toy. She felt good knowing she helped someone out. And now every year since then, she always carries anything she can in her wallet, around Xmas time, just in case she sees the "bell ringers".
That same year we were strapped for money. Vince was out of work, and it was very tight in the house. Xmas is always a big holiday for me. Even if we can't afford presents and stockings, I still try to teach her that the holidays are more than just for getting gifts. It's for being thankful for what you have. A roof over your head. Food to eat at night, and especially a family that loves you. I sat her down one night to tell her we weren't going to be able to afford much, if anything for her, and she said " Mama, you told me Xmas isn't about gifts, it's about being thankful. I have my whole family here to celebrate Xmas with....that's all I need for Xmas"
The other day she had her first ice skating lesson. She was nervous, and was afraid to get out on the ice. After she did, she was amazing. I'm not just saying that because I'm her mom, I'm saying that because it's true. No one believed it was her first time on the ice, she had so much fun, and to top it off,  right after her first lesson, a little girl and  her mom got on the ice. The little girl was a little "slow", and was afraid to let go of the wall. Guin skated right up to her, taught her how to fall so she didn't get hurt, and helped that little girl learn how to skate. Within 10 min, she had her off the wall and skating around in the center of the rink. The mom had a huge smile on her face, and was so proud her little girl was skating. Keep in mind, Guin had just learned no more than 30 min prior to this, how to skate herself. It was awesome to watch. To see MY little girl out there, brightening someone's day, helping someone who needed the help.

I am so thankful for my daughter. She is one of my favorite people in the world! And I am proud to be her Mama :)