Year End Letters

Dear 2008,

I guess it’s finally time for us to say our goodbye’s. I wish I could say that I was sorry to see you go, but in all honesty 2008, you were a rough year. I had high hopes for you, and while we did have a few really good times, as a whole you really let me down.

Thank you though for bringing us Andy and Luzma’s wedding. That was definitely a highlight. It’s not every wedding you get to have your picture taken with Elvis and eat as many cupcakes as you want. Las Vegas was great so we’ll always have that 2008!

Thanks also for the girls get away in Cabo. It was super nice of you to have my flight miles fall in your year so I could tag along with the gals to Chrissy’s time share.

2008, you also gave me Gretta the Jetta, so when ever I take her in for service I will always think of you because they will always ask me what year she is. In that respect you will live on in my life for years to come.

Other than all that though, I’m ready to see you go. Maybe you can take your sucky economy and stupid gas prices to some other place? Maybe you can give us back some jobs and real estate value while you’re at it. Let’s face it 2008, you failed to provide a good year for loads of people and I don’t think I’m alone when I say, good riddance!

A former even numbered year lover

Dear 2009,

Welcome! It’s so nice to have you here!

I’d like to start things off right with you and make sure we’re all on the same page. I don’t really expect much from you; truly, I would love it if you were just a normal, mellow year. I think we can all use a little less scandal and madness this year.

I sent a letter to 2008 asking it to return some things it took, hoping it would make your job easier. I don’t know if it will respond. Between you and me, 2008 was kind of a bitch so I doubt it will be much help to you.

2009, I think we’re all looking forward to what you will bring us. I hope you have something totally awesome planned. I would be forever grateful if you could turn some things around. I think you’ll have some help from high up places. Mr. Obama has some plans for you, as do millions of people in the world. Together I think you can all make a difference. The deck is in your hands 2009. I have faith in you!

Many blessings, well wishes, prayers, crossed fingers, lit candles, and happy hopes to you!

Willing to give odd number years a try!

Happy New Year

2008 will be officially over tonight. Can't say that I'm going to miss it, but I'm still nervous about what 2009 will bring.

As hard as some of 2008 has been I'm going to remind myself to count my blessings. No pity parties today. All things considered we're still very lucky people.

If wishes were horses...

then beggars would ride.

If only wishes were that powerful.

It seems I spend many hours and days wishing for things. I wish for the traffic light to turn green. I wish for my hot water heater to be full and hot. I wish for a slow day at work. I wish for my gas to last in the car. I wish for a baby.

So many times wishes are just little things, silly things to get you though the day. I make superfluous wishes all the time. It's so easy to be so needy. So easy to want.

If only wishes really worked.

If they worked there would be no war, no illness, no hunger. Children would have safe warm homes. Animals would be well cared for loved. People who want babies would have them. People with cancer would get better. People who can't make the mortgage would
We had a wonderful Christmas and made it to every function in one piece even though the roads are still incredibly slick and slippery. The city of Portland will not be sanding, plowing, or making any attempt to clear the side roads so as soon as you enter a neighborhood you are taking the risk of hitting parked cars, curbs, snowmen, or idiots who think shoveling or walking in the middle of the street while a sliding car is coming towards them is a good idea. I understand that our city is ill-equipt to deal with this weather but my frustration level is rising as the days go by. I'm so tense when I'm in a car that I am sure I'm going to develop ulcers if this goes on much longer. I am praying the rain from today and forecasted for tomorrow will make a big dent in the left over snow. If not I'm going to have to purchase a few bags of rock salt and salt my street and the street to the vineyard. At this point they are still scary and I need to drive on them. Gretta the Jetta is still sitting in the driveway and I'm not taking her anywhere until it's completely safe. I think Scott is tried of driving and sharing the Blazer with me. Even worse than that is his contempt for my jittery passenger act. I can't help it, but I grab for the "oh shit" handle for the slightest thing and that makes him nervous and then he gets mad at me. Seriously, snow must go or he may divorce me!

We saw The Curious Case of Benjamin Button today. I am not a fan of Brad Pitt and his baby collecting wife/girlfriend/partner, but the movie was great. I find that the older I get the more I appreciate movies and books that are beautiful. Beautiful in the non-conventional ways. Sure Mr. Pitt is extremely attractive so watching him in a movie isn't hard, but this move was beautiful is special ways. It was magical and sweet, nostalgic and kind. There were lessons to be learned but not preached. I cried like a baby though most of it. Scott and Charity laughed at me later, but I don't mind. Movies that make me feel make me happy. Even if that feeling was sadness at times. Things that truly touch you are special.

We've received news of a few more pregnancies in the last two weeks. I swear there must be something in the water. Now if only I knew where to get the water!! I'm working on my happy face so that when news is given to me in person I can respond appropriately. I'm trying really hard not to be bitter. I should be thankful that Scott and I are healthy.

In some sad news, Scott's business partner and long time friend has had a relapse with Hodgkin's Lymphoma. We thought he'd beat the beast but it appears to be back and he has already started treatments. We aren't nearly as close with Greg and Shanna as we used to be, but they are forever a part of our lives and despite the different directions our lives have taken I will always consider them like family. We've known them so long, been through so much and the boys really grew to be men together, having been friends for so many years. I hope that his treatments are fast and furious this round. Cancer is such a bitch. Nothing pretty or nice about it. If only you could do something to make it feel better. If only there was something you could say to take it away. I find myself not able to find the right words when I do talk to Greg. I speak with him so little I feel like I should be able to come up with something that fits right, and yet, I am pretty sure there is nothing I can say or do that will be of any help. I can't imagine what they are going though now. Things like this make me question the existence of God. I don't give up all hope, because I've seen enough and know enough to understand that some higher power guides this world, I'd just like to know why he sees fit to "give" Greg this disease. Boggles my mind and probably means that I need more reflection on the topic. I will pray for Greg and I'd like to ask that anyone who reads this does the same. Doesn't matter who your God is. Good thoughts and vibes translate into good things, of that I am sure.

That's all for now, time to relax and enjoy the evening on the couch.

Hope you all had a wonderful holiday. I wish I could have share it with each and every one of you.

Arctic Blast Day 5,634...well it feels like it anyway!

Day three of being snow's gonna get really boring if I only talk about snow so I thought I'd post a few oooh's and ahhh's. Just pretty stuff and things I covet. It is Christmastime after all so I can have little pretty wish lists in my head....and on my blog! After all my blogs address is a piece of "These Are a Few of My Favorite Things".

One of my favorite things to look at when I'm online is the blog Cake Wrecks. It's a daily blog of what happens when profesionaly decorated cakes go terribly wrong. Seriously some of the best laughs I've had are on this blog. On the weekends though she posts a blog with pretty cakes and today I found some adorable cupcakes by clicking through some of her links. Check out these cupcakes from Small Things Iced

Aren't they precious?!?! I wish I was this talented! They are too pretty to eat and yet I'm now craving a sugary cupcake!

Did I mention that also have a soft spot for penguin's?

Okay, it's snowing again....just saw on the news that it could be 2-7 more inches tonight?!?! How on earth did this happen? I got stuff I've got to do. I need to go to work again at some point!

It's still snowing....

We are trapped inside as the snow continues. The news keeps saying this is like 2004, but I don't remember it ever being quite this much snow. There is a TON of snow out there. I just tried to go out and take a few pictures and I sunk into the inches that have accumulated on our sidewalk. I'd say we're close to five or six inches now. We took a walk earlier in the day and it was beyond frigid, but we needed out! one trip around the block was enough for us though.

Scott now has my cold so he's taking a nap and I'm trying to find ways to occupy myself. I can sense that cabin fever will set in by tomorrow. Unfortunately tomorrow will bring us more snow or freezing rain. If it doesn't warm up the drive to work on Monday may not be possible. I guess we'll just have to wait and see.

The good news is I'm warm, comfy in my fleece p.j. pants and my little fluffy dog is contently sleeping beside me. I do wish I'd left some packages unwrapped so I had a little more to do today, so I'll just sit and stare at them under the tree....okay, that was five seconds what??

Oh! Did I mention that my kitchen remodel is done? I have a dishwasher now. It's the most wonderful thing ever!

Well, nothing much else to add so here are some pictures for you...

Doesn't this just scream CHRISTMAS TIME!

Yahtzee! It's what people do for fun on snow days!

Soft, white, calm and quiet...

The winter weather continues in Portland. Of course not a big deal for those of you in the mid-west as snow and ice are the status quo for you. Here in our little (big) city we don't have a lot of use for snow plows and gravel trucks so when this happens we get paralyzed pretty quickly. This morning isn't so bad, but I have the day off so I'm not as worried as those who are driving to work might be.

Scott and I just had the perfect morning! I got up early so I could call into work and see what the plan was for closure. Even though I'm technically off I am still the communication hub so I make the calls when we are closed or late due to weather. Since we were already up Scott made coffee and we sat together in bed with the dog, drinking coffee (Me and Scott, not the dog), and watched the news with the curtains open so we could see the pretty snow on the ground in front of our house. We never get to have such a calm morning together and I loved it! The snow makes it that much more special. It's just so pretty.

Yesterday when I was at work it started to snow these HUGE fluffy flakes so I took the screen off my window, cranked it open and stuck my head out. My office is almost a full three stories off the ground so I was level with some of the trees and it was stunningly beautiful. It was so quiet, that special insulated quiet you get when snow falls. I don't know why it happens, but the stillness snow brings is special. The world slows down to the pace of those falling flakes. I wish I could have captured it with my camera but I think it's something you have to feel, not just see.

The weather forcasters are all calling for a big storm to hit us tomorrow night. Up to 6" of snow are expected, followed by freezing rain and ice. I've got my store of candles ready should the power go out and I plan to take pictures too. I know a lot of people hate this weather and it's stressed some of those who haven't quite finished all their holiday shopping. I'm not exactly done myself but I'm not going to worry about it. This weather makes me slow down and I need that sometimes. I am actually looking really forward to being trapped in my house with my little family and a room full of glowing candles.

Tonight we're having our close friends over for a spaghetti dinner. I'm going to pop our fireplace dvd in the player and turn on the Christmas music and we're just going to enjoy each others company. I think that's what we're really supposed to be doing this season right? Enjoying the gifts and blessings of friendship and family? I think it's going to be wonderful, just a simple dinner and a good glass of wine.

Okay, now that I've rambled are some shots of Gretta the Jetta in the snow. She just looked so pretty blanketed in white I just had to capture it! She hasn't been out for a drive in days...I'm super nervous to take her out while it's so slick!

Winter Wonderland

Arctic Blast 2008 (as the news is calling it) has officially hit PDX! It's been a LONG time since we've had any significant snow fall in our area so this is a treat. We live so close to the river that even when it snows other places in Portland we often times don't see any. Not this time baby! We've got SNOW!

Of course I didn't grow up with any snow so I'm like a little kid when this happens. I want to play in it, watch it, eat it. Unfortunately the temperature is dropping rapidly and it's freaking cold out there! Even in my three layers of t-shirts and puffy down coat. Somehow 24° is way colder than 32°! My stuffy nose and sore throat aren't helping either.

I did brave the cold to take a few pictures! I have no idea how I'll make it to work tomorrow. Many of the freeways are closed right now and traction devices are required in the Portland Metro Area. The weather people are saying this cold could stay with us for days.

Little house all covered in snow

Almost 1 1/2 "! And it's still coming down!

View of the street

It's fun to write in snow!

Some poor persons car, guess they must have hit a curb. Just glad they didn't hit my car!

Letters For Christmas and the New Year - Part One

Dear Jesus,

Thank you for all you have provided this year. I think you’re great. I probably don’t tell you that enough, but you know, because you know everything. I think we’re pretty blessed and I appreciate that. I hope you can help to bless other families and keep them safe, dry, warm and fed like you’ve done for us. Aaron C. and I sing that “Jesus Was Way Cool” song by King Missile sometimes, I hope you like that. I know you're working on the whole world peace thing too and I'm support that 100%!

A lapsed, liberal Baptist

Dear Santa

I know some people say you aren’t real but I’m choosing to believe in you this year. People need things Santa and you are just the guy to provide them. For instance, I could really use a hand mixer. It would make baking cakes so much easier. Nathan and I had to put a beater in the cordless drill last week to make his birthday cake. He thought that was spectacular, I think a better mixed batter makes a better cake. But other than my hand mixer needs, Santa, lots of little kids aren’t going to get much this year. Can you make sure they get to see a little something special under the tree? I’ll even use the cordless drill for another year if it helps. You make Christmas magic for them and I remember how awesome it was to find something from you under the tree…even if you did make my mom write out your gift tags for you.

A Believer

p.s. I bought these adorable Strawberry Shortcake Dolls at Ross for $4.99 each! I’m going to give them to Toys for Tots. Just though you could use the tip on a good deal. Turns out Ross has a great toy section!

p.p.s. Nathan still believes in you too and he would really like another Diet Coke in his stocking. I think that’s what sealed the deal last year; I mean who else would know that he loves Diet Coke so much? He also told me that he wants a puppy. His mom doesn’t, but I think Christmas is about the kids right?

Dear President Elect Obama

I want to wish you the best of luck as you head to your new job in Washington D.C. There are tons of haters out there who want to see you fail but I think you’ll do okay. In fact, Mr. Obama you have to do okay. We need you now more than ever. I think you can show us that Illinois politicians aren’t all bad. Dude, it’s you and Abe Lincoln now! Abe was a great man, it’s going to be hard to live up to his accomplishments, but when you’re starting as low as we are at the moment, you can only move up right? Right. So we’re moving on up! To the east side! We finally got a piece of the pie!

I hope the press leaves your daughters alone. They should be allowed to have as normal a childhood as possible.

I hope you find a way to stimulate the economy.

Thank you for including Hillary in your cabinet. I think she will do you proud.

I hope you invite me over for a rousing game of bowling. I’m quite good for an amateur and I think we’d have a great time. I’ll bring a bottle of Oregon Pinot for us to share. Maybe the kitchen can pop some popcorn for us.

One last thing, could you please see about making infertility treatments government mandated? Some states already have these mandates but I think I speak for all wanna be mammas out there when I say that it would be super awesome if insurance companies were required to help us when we hit the fertility wall. Illinois and Hawaii have good programs that could use a little tweaking, but they are a good jumping off point.

A Hillary Supporter Who is Willing to Hope

Dear Oregon Food Bank,

I’m working on some things for you. Boxes of food coming your way!

I’m so glad Mr. and Mrs. Bill Gates just donated a crap load of money to you yesterday. It made me like them even more. I can’t wait to see the piles of food in the warehouse!

Thank you for filling up empty tummies and cupboards. I know the people in line for food boxes appreciate it.

Thank you for letting me volunteer with you this year. It was the best volunteer opportunity I’ve ever had and I stepped away feeling as though I really did make an impact. Your program is the bee’s knees.

A well fed, humble servant.

Two weeks! Fourteen Days!

Did I mention before that I love Christmas? Not sure if I did.... ;) Two weeks left. All those procrastinating on shopping should really get out there, for two reasons. 1) Your loved ones will be appreciative that you took the time to get them something thoughtful rather then that box of chocolates on sale at Safeway on Christmas eve, 2) If everyone went out and spent a few extra dollars we could jump start the economy and make everyone feel a little better for Christmas.

Okay, obviously my plan to stimulate the economy could use a little work but you can't blame me for trying right? Seriously, go spend an extra $20 this weekend. Tell everyone you know to do the same. Tell them to tell everyone they know. Maybe it will work if everyone did it? Can't part with $20, try $10. In the end if it doesn't work someone gets an extra present and you're only out $20 bucks. I'll do it if you do it! If you need ideas, I could really use a few new books. I have a wish list on in case you need ideas :) Hee hee...

Aside from all the Christmas prep I've been doing it's been a rather uneventful few days for me. Unfortunately for Charity it's been a bit rough. On Tuesday night her husband Bruce took their two dogs for a walk and one, sweet little Chihuahua Tox was attacked by a Bull Mastiff, 90 lb dog vs. 12 lb dog. In the end Toxie was pretty beat up but he's on the road to recovery. Poor little guy. You can see from the picture how bad it was. But I will say this, if any dog can work the "puppy dog eye" angle it's Tox. Somehow I think he'll be getting lots more petting and loving, from me especialy. The other dog was of course fine and I'm totally angry on Charity's behalf that it happened. Charity is being far more gracious then I could be. I'm just so thankful that the dog didn't turn on Bruce and their other dog Louie too. Very scary!

Poor little Toxie all snuggled in
Last night I had a call from my best friend that her dog, while on a walk, had been attacked by an off leash Bull Mastiff. My friend's dog is a Chihuahua/Terrier mix so he's quite small. The poor little guy was picked up by the scruff of his neck and tossed around. He has some pretty severe injuries but he's going to be okay. My friend's husband was pretty traumatized by the whole thing. He had to fight the other dog off and they are huge dogs. So very scary!

The good, the bad, the ugly and treadmills

The Good - Christmas is just around the corner! I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this time of year. I get to decorate things, buy sparkly things, and wrap the prettiest presents in the world. I get to pick out gifts that are just perfect for people and fight my urge to give them away early. I get to sing songs and watch silly movies. Ideally in my world Christmas would happen every three months. Right this very moment I am sitting on my couch with my dog, gazing at my beautiful, lit up tree. There are even a few presents under it. It makes me smile just to look at it! I'm even gonna take a picture of it to share with you! The only thing that could make this evening better is my very own bag of Cadburry Mini Eggs!

My pretty little tree glowing in the corner.

Scott and me in our awesome Christmas sweaters. I know you're jealous right?

I think the fur collar really makes mine.

The Bad - I haven't been able to move forward with the OHSU Fertility Clinic because my stupid body refuses to cooperate. I will have to call them this week and ask them how we should proceed seeing as I can't take a day three blood test if day three never comes. Seriously, this always happens. Anytime we decide to think about taking actual, real steps towards treatments my system shuts down completely. I'm going to blame it on stress this time. I'm not really that stressed (unless you ask me about the economy and Scott getting work) but I don't have any other excuse and right now I need a scape goat. It's way easier to blame the issues on something that could potentially change. And yes, in case you were wondering I do see the world though rose colored Tomorrow is any one's guess. Regardless we are at a standstill until I make a phone call. I just need to do it. I don't understand my own hesitation. It's times like this I have to remind myself that if something is going to happen I have to make it happen. Just push though the nervousness, prepare for disappointment or change and get it over with.

In the last few weeks we've found out about four other couples who are now soon to be parents. I'm trying really hard to keep my emotions in check. I know it's not their fault I'm not in the same place they are, and I am genuinely happy for them. I know they will all make wonderful parents, I just wish I could take the journey with them. I've promised myself I won't be an emotional wreck in their presence. They deserve excited people around them, they deserve well wishes and congratulations and I hope someday they'll get to return the excitement for me. But god if it isn't hard to keep that smiling face going. And that's where the ugly comes in to play. I think it's ugly that I'm such a bitch when I first hear about people who are expecting. Something I hate about myself. Something I don't know that will ever change. I hate being ugly and yet I can't help it, or I should say that I haven't made any attempt to help it. Yikes, writing that out makes me feel icky. That should be reason enough to change the way I react...something to think about.

Treadmills - I need to get my ass on one. That's all really. I don't hate them, in fact I rather like them. But I haven't been on one in far too long. Next Monday I will make my way to one and I will walk on it for a while. I say Monday because I want this one last week of food debauchery before I head off into Healthy Land. Debauchery includes peanut sauce, oreo cookies, and hot cocoa. Not all together mind you.

Okay, off to snuggle with Olivia who is snoring worse than a drunk old man with a deviated septum!

A book worth reading/I was a dweeb in middle school/And the psychic says!

I couldn't decide on one blog title so I went with all three...

1) A book worth reading - The Monsters of Templeton by Lauren Groff. Perhaps it's the nostalgia surrounding a home town, perhaps it the mystery of a family secret, perhaps it's the monster that washes up in the lake...perhaps it's the whole package...I LOVE this book. I'm not done with it, I don't want to be done with it. It's one of those books I'd like to go on forever and ever. It's so good it make me want to write and tell a story and it's been a while since I tried that. Check it out. I'd say it could fall under the theme of Chick Lit, but it has a broader appeal than that.

2) A friend of mine started a group on Facebook for our graduating class from middle school which prompted me to drag out my Rolling Hills Middle School gym bag (yes I still have it) which was filled with my diaries, notes between friends and a year book. In reading the diaries and some of the notes I have come to the conclusion that I was a total dweeb. I was also boy crazy, hormonal, downright silly and sometimes even a little profound. It's been quite the entertaining escapade. Just reading some of the things out loud makes me cringe for little eleven year old self. I'm quite certain I must have made a fool of myself on many occasions. I take a little solace knowing we were all a little off our rocker and still learning social graces. I tell you what though, the diary of a preteen/teen girl is a strange detail descriptions of my love for various members of New Kids on the Block and the celebration of their birthdays, my total infatuation with boys in my class and my dramatic confessions of love. Wowza!

3) I did go see the psychic last weekend. I try not to take it too seriously, it's meant to be in fun and hopefully she can tell me things that will come true. This is the first time I've ever been to see a real psychic that didn't involve a party of some sort. I will say that she was very adamant about somethings and knew things I hadn't told her. Things that you don't just guess about someone. I don't want to say too much here about it, because some it was pretty private stuff, but I will say that she has given me some hope on a few things, though it's cautious hope. I know I can't put all my faith in something a psychic says. But it was a little freaky that she knew I was too sensitive and take on too much, that I feel like I need more art or a better creative outlet in my life, and that my father was an alcoholic. All of this without being prompted me at all. Time will only tell if she's called anything right. I am crossing my fingers :)