Saturday, December 31, 2011

Wrapping Up 2011, Part 2

So what did I learn from the 365 project? Let's see . . .
  • I like yarn . . . lots of yarn photos
  • Dave's hands are in many photos
  • I fell in love with Kellie Hatcher's Charlie preset around late September
  • There aren't as many photos of the Girls because they live in Philadelphia
  • My friends make unexpected appearances
  • I'm okay with black and white in my 365
  • I'll probably do another one 
Here's the video. Nothing earth shattering. Then again, there's nothing earth shattering about me. See you in 2012!

Wrapping Up 2011

Apparently the year will roll over in about 15 hours, so it's only fitting to look at what's been done and take stock of it all. It's not like anything great is supposed to happen in 2012 (cough, cough Mayan prophecy of world ending proportions), but still . . . 2011 deserves its due.

At the beginning of the year, I decided to take on all sorts of new projects and "I'm gonna" things. Some were successful, some not so much.
  • Project 365 - Take a photo a day. Post it. Relish in it. For the most part, I was pretty successful with this endeavor. Granted, there were days between uploads to Flickr, and occasionally, I forgot to take a photo for the day and had to rely on the iPhone. But for the most part, it was a fun project, and I'm pretty sure that I'll do it again. 
  • Project 333 - Look at your clothes. Pare it down to 33 items for three months. Repeat every three months. Sounds daunting but it was probably the best thing I've ever done. I used the relaxed rules because it worked for me. And I didn't include jewelry in my list of 33 items or purses, not because I own so many but because of work. I don't think I'll go back to my old clothing ways since I don't use my dresser any more and have everything in a nice little closet organizer. If you're looking for a project for the new year, this is it. 
  • Journaling - I made it to January 4 before I stopped. I've tried repeatedly to journal, and I kinda suck at it. Big time suck at it. Not sure why, but journaling isn't for me. Maybe it works for you, but for me . . . no dice. 
  • Big Picture Classes - I signed up for three this year . . . and failed at all three. Granted, I saved all the prompts from Picture Inspiration and One Little Word (more on that one) with the hopes of catching up over the summer, but I never did thanks to the curriculum writing for our cyberschool (still a sore subject). 
  • Cooking more - Did I really say that I would? Really? Lasted about as long as journaling . . . but I'm trying to fix that in 2012. 
  • One Little Word - I love the concept. I love the prompts. I hate the follow through. My OLW for 2011 was "growth," and I think that I was pretty damn successful with it, even if I didn't follow any of the prompts from the class. I learned how to use my camera better - still have a long way to go - and the 333 concept was amazing. Plus, I think that my life in general was influenced by the word. I'm still mulling over the word for 2012, but I'll figure it out in the next 15 hours.
The First of the Month
The Firsts of the Months in 2011
All in all, 2011 was a pretty damn good year. And I'm pretty sure that 2012 will be equally good . . . at least for the first 355 days. Then that whole "Holy shit, the Mayans are coming! The Mayans are coming!" crap could work its magic. But that's almost a whole year from now, right?

Happy New Year's Eve . . . be safe and find someone to smooch when that clocks ticks midnight!

- Jill

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Post Christmas Blahs

Even Princess Leia would be mystified

  1. Dave chipped a molar on Christmas Eve on the super yummy - but super crisp - bacon on the annual Christmas Eve bacon brie cranberry sandwich. 
  2. My laptop started doing that whole "Hey, you don't have a camera connected so you can't video chat with you family." And I started in on the "Like hell I don't, dumb laptop, because that's what I had repaired in October." But the laptop countered with "Oh, yeah, miss smartypants. Find it if you're so smart. And while you're at it, I'm not going to recognize your external hard drive just because you're being a bit of a know-it-all bitch." And then I was like, "Fucking hell, laptop, you're not supposed to do this you piece of shit." Yup . . . I spent a few hours talking/chastising/begging my laptop to work the way it is supposed to. 
  3. Whilst trying to find an external hard drive, the Girls and I got caught up in a huge traffic jam (for our town it was huge) and had to go to three different stores to find the one that I wanted . . . and remembered why I hate Walmart (too many students, too crowded) and don't care for Best Buy (I don't have a penis therefore, no one thinks that I need help because I couldn't possibly want anything technological). Alas, Target didn't have the hard drive so I was stuck with the other two options, thank you very much. 
  4. Dave woke up this morning with the same pain in his abdomen that he has had for a few weeks now. Only this time, it woke him up. He used my phone to look up symptoms of a heart attack on WebMD because he didn't think he could walk back up the stairs if it was, in fact, a heart attack. Not to worry, he's going to the doctor today, and truly he thinks it may be a really bad bruise from a hard landing a few weeks back. I thanked him for scheduling the appointment because a) I'm not willing to give him up just yet, and b) it will be on my terms when I am. 
Bright spot? We're headed to the train station to pick up Jordan's boyfriend in a few minutes, so the Girls and Shelby's boyfriend will get to hang out in town for a few days before we take them back. Dim spot? An appointment at the Apple store to fix my laptop, which is pretty much the eight circle of hell. The ninth circle? Forever 21.

How was your holiday?


Sunday, December 25, 2011

Sleeping In On Christmas Morning

Seriously, it's 9:49 AM, and the Girls are still in bed. I have a cup of coffee in hand, the ice cream is churning for dessert, the pets are getting restless, and they are still asleep. There are days that I really yearn for the pre-teen years.

Don't get me wrong . . . I don't mind the whole "what the hell do they want for Christmas and how am I going to wrap this when they are asleep and get it under the tree" facade of years past. I do kinda miss Santa (and if you are one of those, "Santa is a lie, and we're not going to raise our children lying to them," folks . . . more power to you, but I don't get that) and all the trappings that go with it.

This is not how I left the presents #damnelves
The presents were stacked on the chair with care . . . is that how it goes?

But I'm not sure I was aware that once you get to be a certain age, the presents that were once carefully arranged under the tree get stacked by two unknown individuals who are still asleep and are getting bras and jeans this Christmas on their father's chair. Must have missed that tradition . . . but I'm pretty sure that it will make a reappearance next year.

Merry Christmas . . . enjoy the moments!


Thursday, December 8, 2011

Music To My Ears

Looking for Christmas tunes? I don't have an effing tree up in my living room yet, so go carol yourself some where else. Because while I love Bing Crosby's "Mele Kalikimaka" as much as the next person, I'm having a hard time getting "into" the Christmas/holiday spirit this year. Perhaps it's the weather (pretty balmy until yesterday). Maybe it's the fact that I'm shopping for jeans and boots and bras and a goddamn Crockpot for my kids this year (seriously . . . Jordan wants a Crockpot). Or it just could be that there's a bajillion and one things to get done before saying, "Ho, ho, ho," doesn't send me into a fit of prostitute joke giggles.

A little bit every day . . . helps keep me sane
So what's a girl to do? If you're me, you listen to music and knit and read. Sometimes all three at the same time, but more likely just two of them. Trust me, it's probably not the two you might be thinking of. Last year, my friend Tricia created a sublime Advent scarf pattern, which consisted of a nice lace pattern every day (about twenty rows). By the time Christmas rolled around, I had a lovely scarf that was about 60 - 70 inches long. This year, she decided to do the same thing. Today is day eight, but I'm on day five . . . which is fine, but I'll have to catch up over the weekend.

I'm using the Cascade Heritage Silk sock yarn in a really beautiful raspberry color. It wasn't the yarn that did it for me (rarely is) but the color. Perfect color for a dull winter day. So, I've been knitting a scarf with texture on a size 3 needle. Nothing like adding to the holiday stress level. But overall, I'm really chuffed with the choice that I made. It's a lovely color; it's knitting up like a breeze; it's relatively easy to follow. Holidays be damned . . . this will keep me sane.

With the holidays in mind, I will leave you with a video. Thankfully, a friend posted it on Facebook last night, and I've listened to it about five times since.


Sunday, December 4, 2011

It's Not That I'm Not Grateful . . .

it's just damn hard to express it. Sometimes when I read other people's posts during November, my first thought was, "Why can't I sound that sincere? Surely there must be something wrong with me." Seriously, I have tons to be grateful about: happy marriage, successful kids, health, a job I love . . . so why the hell can't I put that into words? Truth is, I have no f-ing idea.

So let's see if I can articulate it four days after the "official" month of gratitude has past. There are things that bring me joy on a daily basis. The blossoming cherry tree that I pass ever morning and evening on my way to a job that I love (teaching truly is the best gig in the world, people. Even with the media screaming about how teachers are basically money grubbing whores in search of a summer vacation, I wouldn't give it up for anything) brightens my day. My Tuesday Knit Nights provide at least two hours worth of recharging every week . . . much laughter, good times with friends, the occasional snack or two, plus all the yarn a girl can handle. Music. Routines. Me. Co-workers. Family. Voting. Technology. A clean fucking counter. Wine. Quiet moments. But mostly, my husband and kids.

30 Days of Gratitude

Dave and the Girls are pretty much the reason for everything. They require little, if any, explanation for my gratitude. I'm just a better person for them being in my life. The Girls. When you have babies and kids in school, most of your identity whether you want to admit it or not, is wrapped up in being their mom. If you think I'm lying, go look at your photos or chart what you do on a daily basis. It's all about your kids. But when they leave for school, you don't quite have that "luxury" any more. Then things start to shift, and you figure out how to be a different mom. On more than one occasion, I'll read someone's blog and think, "Just wait . . . you're in for a life changing experience in ten years when your kids leave." And my Dave? He's my brand of snarky; he keeps me in check; he laughs at my jokes; he listens to my rants (although I suspect he plays Angry Birds during the rants), and he lets me cry when I need to.

I think I spent most of November in need of a good cry, but it never really came. So that need has been bubbling around for a while now. I'm hoping that it comes out before Christmas . . . otherwise, I'll put on a sappy movie or read the last chapter of The Westing Game or listen to "This Woman's Work" and get it over with. That crying jag that I know I'm headed for will have to wait a few more days . . . there are essays to grade and an Advent scarf to knit after all.