Wednesday, March 27, 2013

March Cara Box Love!

March's Cara Box swap had a really fun twist on the usual "themes" from the blog-o-sphere! It was suggested that we make the box based on the first initial of our first name - how fun, right!

I got to send to Elizabeth at Blending a Family of Dorks, and self admittedly, had a hard time with the letter "E". So, I broke the rules (thought outside the box) and sent her an item that started with each letter of her first name. Cute? I thought so! Hopefully she will post hers soon, so keep an eye on her blog for that update.

My box was from Kem at Blonde with Brane and came disguised as a Birchbox (how cute - and a perfect use for those little boxes). I was so excited to see her twist on the theme as well - she sent me everything starting with the letter "G" for my last name. Love, Love, Love it! I am so excited to use the scrapbooking items she sent me, and the cute neon headband is a great motivator to head outside and workout! Never mind that I have been resisting the neon trend, I guess it is a good thing to be forced into things sometimes, right? I also got some awesome ZIG Memory pens for scrapbooking our 'Great memories'!

There was more chocolate (Ghiraedelli) when the box came, but that may or may not have been quickly eaten by yours truly.

Thanks so much Kem! I'm excited to have met someone else from Eastern PA am hope you're having fun in Mass.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

St. Patrick's Day (2005 - 2013)

St. Patrick's Day is our favorite holiday around this house.  Why? Because 8 years ago I met my husband on St. Patrick's Day.  I won't say that every St. Patrick's Day has always been fun and games - but some of them have sure been memorable. 

2005 - The one and only Wednesday I went out in college.  Track made being hungover on a Thursday quite problematic. Although, that 8am History class didn't help that situation either.  Anyway, roommate M drags me to a party thrown by some dude clear on the other side of the world (aka a 20 minute walk - which in March in Western PA is cold as hell). I wore a borrowed sweater, it was white, and these crazy green jeans.  Drunk-fest 2008 included beer, kamikaze shots, and too many people.  I can't remember if the beer was green or not, it didn't matter much at the time, I got a free cup and there was a keg. A bunch of dancing, and two dumped beers later, I had a wet sweater, Kevin took off his shirt, and the rest is history.  Kidding - we exchanged AIM screen names, and moved on.  (I'll tell this whole story sometime later if anyone is interested). 

The date stamp on my camera was wrong - this is 2005, about 2 weeks after we met.  The photos from this night are hysterical, but I won't embarras everyone else by posting their drunken faces. P.S. how young do we look! (I'm only 20 and Kevin is 22). 
2006 - We were barely "official" by this point, but Kev already had plans for Spring break, which overlapped with SPD.  A week long vacation in Orlando, FL didn't stop him from getting wasted on SPD and almost missing his flight.  I drank with my dad - he drank me under the table and I was hungover for 2 days.  

2007 - My senior year of college - We woke up at my parent's house, cleaned off the cars, and drove to the bar at 8 (9?)am.  Whoever decided car bombs were a good idea that early in the morning is crazy, btw.  Two car bombs was more than enough for me - and we went home for a few hours of food and carb loading before booze round two.  I heart Trooper's and after the morning round at the bar - was all about the $1 Killians Red. Love spending Spring Break with KG and in our home town - even better! 

2008 - Kevin's senior year of college - I really don't remember.  I remember Spring Break, but not SPD.  Guess it wasn't incredibly memorable? 

2009 - Hello West Chester, PA - This was the year Kevin and I decided to go out in a college town for SPD to the bar & everything.  Thank god this was the only year we decided this was a good idea, because it was a terrible idea.  The bars were packed, cover charges were outrageous, and some dumb ass (me) decided it was easier to freeze than take a jacket. 

2012 - Grown-up SPD - Last year was great, relatively low key, and the most mature SPD yet.  I made corned beef, roasted cabbage, potatoes, and Irish soda bread.  Whatever convinced me to do all of the decorating myself and bake/cook from scratch was obviously a great idea, but exhausting.  The weather was beautiful, we played beer pong on the back porch, and Kevin wore a ridiculous Guinness hat.  Sorry neighbors. 

2013 - TBD - Looks like this year will be pretty casual, giving that SPD is on a Sunday.  Kevin is off on Monday, so he may be responsible for drinking enough for both of us.  I think he can handle it - but it won't be nearly as fun as SPD 2005. 

*whew* I can't believe I've known this crazy man for 8 years already. Thank you roommate M and Katie K for helping me meet this man and for making SPD my favorite holiday. 

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

The Tough Stuff

Let me start this out by saying that I know the world isn't ending and someday I will look back on the last 6 months and know that it made me stronger.  But right now, I need to get this mess off my chest and out of my head. I apologize if you're related to me, this might be something you'd prefer not to read. The rest of you, thanks for listening. 

I've written several similar posts over the last few months, but they're all sitting in my drafts because I didn't want to hit "Publish" on such a woe-is-me post.  I've refrained my best from doing so - or it would be the only thing to read on this blog.  But today, today was more than I could handle and it is only 9am. I woke up this morning and realized I had my phone on vibrate overnight and missed the alert that Christopher was on Facebook at 3am.  I was so mad and upset at myself, it was likely the only opportunity to talk to him today and I had questions to ask him.  Trying to remember that being on Facebook means he is safe, and of course I read through all the things he shared last night, his usual snarky self came right through. I pulled it together, finished doing my hair and left for work.  Barely out of the development, a Bonnie Raitt song comes on the radio.  There is a reason I don't listen to Y102 anymore, because I never know when they're going to play a Bonnie song and memories of singing along to records, tapes, and cds with mom is usually more than I can handle.  So there I am, less than 10 minutes after finishing my make-up, ruining it by crying.  

Family Vacation - Summer 2011 (pre-diagnosis)

 There are so many days like today, days where all I want is to crawl into bed and cry.  To have Kevin hold me, because I know that life will never be the same again.  I know there are a million amazing people in my life (although less than 40 have donated to my fundraising efforts), but some days I feel so alone.  The heartbreak of losing 3 of the most important women in my life in 18 months is too awful for me to rebound from just yet.  I feel so terrible for the jealousy I feel when other people talk about their moms.  To know that someday, I'll hopefully have a baby, but my mom won't be here to help me is so scary.  Someday hopefully this crazy soldier will get married, and he won't get to have a mother-son dance on his special day.  These are the things that bring me to tears. 

Summer 2010 - 4th of July, before Korean depoloyment
 So many of the painful and heartbreaking feelings are at the very top in recent days, as a very close friend is in the beginning stages of supporting his dad through a cancer battle.  I know exactly how he feels, how helpless it can be and the sadness that comes with the realization that your parent won't be here forever.  I hope there is a miracle, but until then, I'll do my best to be supportive.  Even if that means crying in the bathroom so no one sees me, sending food and games and books because I can't bring myself to go into the oncology center, and being a shoulder to cry on. 

my wedding day (9.5.09)
  Every day there are little hurdles, and while two years ago I might have jumped right over those little bumps in the road, right now they are enough to take me down and out for hours or even days.  I need to find myself again, to become the person I want and need to be, and a woman my mom would be proud of.  I'm just not sure how to get there, and if maybe buying stock in Kleenex is just an easier decision. 

Thanks for listening internet friends, hopefully I'll be back to my perky self soon enough...    


Friday, March 1, 2013

February Cara Box Reveal!

First I owe a sincere apology to Courtney for not getting this up in a timely manner.  Unfortunately the majority of my blogging gets done on the weekend and scheduled for the upcoming week, so a Monday delivery allowed zero time for photos in the daylight.  The rest of you reading this, ignore the terrible photography, pretty please.

This was my first month participating in the Cara Box exchange and I have to say it is absolutely going to become a staple in my life.  The lovely Kaitlyn at Wifessionals paired everyone up by state for February's exchange and I got my box from Courtney at Line Up And Wait (a Central PA Girl & Penn Stater)!  Please check out Courtney's blog - I have been having a great time checking out her most recent photos from her beautiful wedding.  The box I sent went to Sarah at Sweetness of Laughter, a Bucks County girl currently attending college in NY.  Sarah is a beautiful girl and I am humbled by her recent posts re-dedicating herself to life and prayer.

My box from Courtney was awesome! She did a great job of planning a date-night-in for Kevin and I, complete with place mats and recipe cards! We're doing dinner on Saturday night and I am super excited to try the dip she sent us.  Major Bonus Points to Courtney for also sending an adorable dish to bake it in!

I can't wait for my date night with hubs, since they are so few and far between - and a night in with a bottle (or two) of wine is exactly what this girl needs!

Cara Box

Thanks again Courtney and Sarah for being so much fun during February - I'm glad everyone survived the snow storm intact and I'm excited to continue to get to know you both!