December (almost) Daily

I decided to give Ali Edwards’ December Daily another try. I attempted it last year, but never came close to finishing and kind of gave up. It’s a fabulous project and one I really do hope to complete this time. It doesn’t have to be finished in December, so I’m giving myself permission to take my time on this one. I often get caught up in the non-existent restrictions and become overwhelmed. Not this time… hopefully.

That said… supplies are somewhat organized and I’m branching out to include some hybrid layouts this year. I’m really enjoying creating digital pages to include in my album. It’s the first time I’ve ever done a hybrid and it’s kinda freeing.

I’ve got a couple of one-pagers done (and by done i mean just need to add one embellishment or day/date) and I’m feeling that my album will be more of those than 2-page spreads and that’s okay. Another “restriction” I’m trying to let go of this go-around.

I’m pretty happy with the (almost) finished pages so far. Hoping I can keep this going. The process is relaxing this year and I happily get lost in it for hours. It’s not the same as in years past (thanks COVID) and that’s okay. It is not a race nor a competition. I’m trying to keep this in mind while going through the process because it’s important on many levels. What’s good for me might not be good for someone else and vice versa, and that’s okay.

It’s coming along. Not rushing it. I’m stealing moments of creativity where I can and enjoying the process more this year than I have in a long time. It’s very different this year, for obvious reasons, but I’m going with the flow and taking things as they come.

Quarantine Christmas

Two words I never would have thought I’d be saying in the same breath.

Our little tree is up and adorned with felted wool garland and lots of lights. It’s all we could muster this year, and that’s okay. We have our candles in the front windows, which we haven’t done in years, and my mom’s favorite snowmen on display. They make me feel better, just a little bit.

There are just a couple of presents under the tree. I need to banish my dad to the living room so I can commandeer the kitchen table for my wrapping extravaganza. I honestly can’t remember what I’ve gotten him this year. I started quite early and completely lost track of my list. I sent my cousin’s and her son’s presents out today. Three big boxes on their way to Connecticut. FedEx is a blessing this year and not nearly as expensive as I thought it would be. Lo and behold I got home from shipping the boxes and found a gift I missed.

I’m having a hard time believing that Christmas is just 10 days away. How is that possible? It was just October, yet here we are… it’s December 15th and a major snowstorm is on its way.

Winter is coming…

The local meteorologists are predicting anywhere from 10 to 15+ inches of snow… it’s the “+” that gets me. My mother would love this. She always loved a good snowstorm when the whole family (all three of us) was home. She would make a big pot of meatballs and sauce… it was her go-to snowy day comfort food meal. Since I made that on Sunday, before I knew this storm was coming, I’m going to have to come up with another plan. Snowstorms call for comfort food!

It’s here!

Image Credit: https://www.ethos3.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/5-content-marketing-conferences-to-attend-in- fall-2016.jpg

Fall has officially arrived and though I already miss summer Sunday “a.o.b.” with my two best friends, I am genuinely happy to have turned the proverbial page on the season. Fall is going to bring challenges in our socially distant gatherings, but we’ve got to find a way to make it work because our mental health needs it.

I’m looking forward to decorating for the new season but with the temperature rising (it should hit 80* again today!) it doesn’t feel right just yet. Instead, I’m going to open my windows and soak in the lingering summer air while I can.

During this time of working from home and social isolation, having the windows open and a fresh salty breeze off the bay blow through the curtains and fill my lungs is pure peace. The fresh air clears my head and fills my heart with hope and promise of new opportunities with every new day.

It does my heart, and head, so much good.

Oh, and happy FRIDAY! Have a fabulous weekend!

Bring on autumn… I’m ready!

It’s truly hard to believe that I’ve been working from home since March 13th. In just one week it will be six months. SIX MONTHS! Let that sink in for a sec.

Since my last post I’ve made the conscious decision to try to devote one day a week to self-care. It’s been mostly on Sundays and it’s done wonders for my mental health during this time. My two best friends and I have been going to the beach for hours on end. No internet. No television. No negativity. It’s glorious! Socially distant girl time in the fresh air and sunshine. Heaven on earth!

Hoping for a few more of these beach days before the weather turns too cold. The ocean is getting colder for sure. The water today was chilly compared to last week, but we still went swimming. We needed our dose of “vitamin sea”!

It will be so nice when COVID-19 is under control and we can find some semblance of normalcy. Until that time comes, I’m holding on tight to these days with my two best friends. These ladies get me. There is no judgement, no putting on airs, no fake stuff at all. No matter what the next season brings, if I am lucky enough to have these two amazing women in my corner I know it will be okay.

We’re going to have to find something else to feed our souls come autumn. There’s no way we’re done spending time outside together. It’s so freeing and it really does do so much good for mental health.

Bring it on, autumn… I’m ready for you!

Let’s try this again.

I have good intentions. I swear, I really do.

I’m also kinda, okay very, easily distracted. I know this about myself. I am learning to accept it and, more importantly, I am learning to embrace it.

It has been a year since I sat down and actually added to this blog. I don’t know what happens for it to just slip right out of my mind, but it does. I really do want to be better at this. It’s always been something I have wanted to do mostly for myself because, let’s face it, I don’t post enough for anyone to bother looking at this thing… and that’s okay with me.

There needs to be a plan. I need to make a legitimate plan for adding to this poor, neglected blog. So I grabbed my planner, and yes I actually do have and use physical planners (plural!), and am putting reminders in there so it’s not a year before I’m adding to this again. We shall see how that goes.

Hopefully I’ll be back before the end of the month… this month… June, 2020.

Funny that my planner cover so perfectly relates to me, don’t you think?! No? Just me? Okay then.

Fri-yay!

Today is my first “summer Friday” of the 2019 summer season. Not only do I get out of work at noon today but I get to work from home, too! It’s always nice to not have to fight the traffic on a Friday afternoon. Southbound traffic is always, ALWAYS miserable after Memorial Day. The Cape Cod traffic ramps up and makes every southbound local’s commute a bit of a nightmare. Mine is just around 8 miles and can take almost an hour on a summer Friday afternoon. That makes the ‘wfh’ aspect of a summer Friday such a massive bonus.

Today’s post-work plan is to grab lunch with a friend and then treat ourselves to a mani/pedi at a new (to us) salon.

I don’t know why finding the perfect nail salon is so difficult. It’s akin to the search for the perfect pair of jeans… constant and ridiculously elusive. If I could do even half as good a job as the nail techs do I would just do it myself, but I cannot even remotely come close to doing what they do.

I’m sure these plans will go off the rails, as the best laid plans often do, but I’m just going to go with the flow. One thing I’ve really tried to learn in the time since my mum passed is to just go with it. Life is short and most of it is out of anyone’s control. To quote the late great Doris Day…Que será, será!

It’s my birthday.

Today is my birthday. The first birthday I’ve ever had without my mum. I knew this would be a tough day and not just for me. It’s tough for my dad too. We’re still lost without her, and I expect we will be for a very long time.

My mom always made one of my favorite meals for my birthday dinner and always ALWAYS made me apple squares instead of a cake. It’s times like these that I once again realize what a remarkable woman she was and just how much she loved her family. Even without her here I am in awe of all the things she did on the daily that were so meaningful.

I’m so blessed to have had her for my mum and for all the little things that were so insignificant at the time but are monumental memories now. I’m also so very lucky for my increasingly close relationship with my dad since her passing. I’ve always been very close with both my parents, but my bond with my dad grows stronger every single day. He’s a wonderful dad. He loves me and would do anything for me.

Dad bought me a really lovely card and put money in it. He said he didn’t know what to get me for my birthday. Once again, another thing my mum would have taken care of. I know my dad feels bad about that, though he absolutely shouldn’t. I know he would love a sign from above pointing him in the right direction. I know it hurts him as much as it hurts me that she’s not with us.

But… with all the tears and tugging of the heartstrings today, it was still a good day. So many well wishes from family and friends near and far. Lovely cards from so many coworkers. Flowers, cake, lunch and gifts at work. Lovely dinner and a yummy cake shared with my dad. I’m very lucky, and I know it… because my parents set a great example for me and they brought me up with love, compassion and respect.

What more could I ask for.

Autumn… for a hot minute

Autumn is my favorite season.

Crisp morning air flows into warm days and then into perfectly cool nights. Activities in autumn are reflective and traditional… leaf peeping, apple picking, cooking hearty and soul warming meals, baking (of any kind), fire pits, big comfy sweaters and all those warm colors everywhere.

Perfect.

Autumn Leaves
Image Credit: https://www.ethos3.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/5-content-marketing-conferences-to-attend-in-fall-2016.jpg

This past weekend was a great glimpse into the season ahead. But it was just a tease. There will be summer days still ahead. And Indian Summer… that always pops up in late October without warning.

I can hardly wait for autumn to stick around for more than a few days. There were so many things my mom and I did during the fall. I’m really going to miss her as the season comes into its own. I’m not sure it’s possible to miss her any more than I do now, but I have a feeling today’s mourning is going to grow exponentially with each seasonal tradition that goes undone.

It’s been 144 days… not that I’m counting.

Cancer is such a bitch.

This week though…

This was a very, very long week. Not quite sure why, but I do know it wasn’t just me. Every night that I left the office and rode the elevator down with people confirmed it… comments about how long the week is, how long the days are etc. were echoed by all. I’m sure the weather had something to do with it, but seriously… it was a hella long week.

I’ve felt lousy for a couple of days… feverish, body aches and a killer headache. I know I’m overtired but there’s something else going on. In my typical libra fashion… I try to self diagnose. I, in no way, shape or form, have any business trying to figure out anything medical, so I popped a couple of Tylenol and got on with it.

Today I went to have my yearly mammogram. First time in my life my mom didn’t accompany me. I was surprisingly fine… until I got back in the car. You see, not only did my mom and I do pretty much everything like this together but my appointment was in the same building where my mom had her chemo treatments.

Photo credit: Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center

The last time I was in that building was April 18th… the day before she died. It’s truly an amazing facility filled with the most genuine, gifted and caring healthcare professionals. I had a little chat with my mom when I got back in the car, wiped my tears and headed on my way.

Photo credit: hiddenboston.com

I had brunch with one of mom’s closest friends at one of mom’s favorite places. I met yet another person who knew my mom and offered their condolences… which almost always makes me feel like I’m gonna lose it and start bawling right on the spot… but I held it together and had a lovely visit with a wonderful friend and her beautiful grandson.

I ran some errands and made it home between downpours. Chilled out for a bit and got a nice surprise when the mail came. Perfectly timed happy mail. I couldn’t have planned it better. Nothing earth shatteringly exciting, but it made my little planner nerd heart skip a beat.

Perfect way to end this crazy long week.

August… already!

It’s probably my busiest month… lots of things to celebrate, fresh air to breathe in and memories to make and fondly remember.

August came in hot… and humid. The A/C has been running 24/7 for the last week or more. On top of the high heat we’ve experienced some pretty strong storms. Downpours, thunder, lightning and flash flooding. It’s messed with some plans, but nothing 24 hours couldn’t fix.

A postponed party on Saturday afternoon led to a night of margaritas and Mexican food with my two bffs followed by a Sunday of mimosas and bbq to celebrate two adorable little boys. Not a bad weekend at all.

I got some fun happy mail this week too. A couple of enamel pins from Papa Llama brightened my week. The functional introverts pin matches my favorite tote! I’m really pleased with this Etsy purchase… one of the better ones, I’d say.

So far, so good in August. Lots more to come!