Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Snow, Snow Everywhere

I hate to sound so negative, but what a waste of a perfectly good vacation week. Fine, Mother Nature is unpredictable and untamable. But calling a snow emergency for the 5th largest snow fall on record seems like a predictable decision Apparently not for our billionaire mayor, Michael Bloomberg. His idea of taking responsibility and examining what went wrong is always coupled with a "but"....but people should not have been on the roads.....but, mass transit did it's best and got stuck. It's easy for someone who doesn't have to work to tell those who have to work to stay home and extra day or two. It's not right.

So ok, it's not the end of the world that all of my errands for the week have to wait. But I must get out of here tomorrow. Not only do I have cabin fever, but I have PLANS. Hello, it's my vacation. I have a lunch date with a long lost friend and 4pm dinner with my staff in Queens. I did my best to shovel my drive but you can judge for your self.




WHY? Because this is what I found when I walked in the door after close to 2 hours of shoveling.

Nice life huh?!?

Monday, December 27, 2010

Monday already?!

Well it's the Monday after Christmas and for about the 15th year in a row, I don't work this week. Love higher ed! What I loved about this Christmas was really it's simplicity. (See the last post for my little Charlie Brown-esque tree and minimal decorations.)  We spent Christmas eve at my parent's house in the Bronx, as usual, but not before visiting the NY Botanical Garden for the annual train show and Gingerbread Adventures. Oh, and not to be outdone, hubby's bday is Christmas eve, every year!

Of course he gets his gifts from Abuelo and Abuela and Tio Eric on Christmas Eve.

What's Christmas Eve dinner without FAMILY?

Christmas Day are gifts from Mommy, Daddy and Grandma and Papa.

Here's a layout of Ethan's first Christmas Pageant


Tuesday, December 21, 2010

What is Christmas supposed to "feel" like?

It's beginning to feel a lot like Christmas. Maybe. What does it feel like? I don't have that feeling that kid's have anymore. Santa who? I find myself so busy and so involved in making the everyday work that I haven't found that feeling quite like I used to. I am in the spirit but less enthusiastically, though that's not really a bad thing. I'm certainly no scrooge or grinch. I do think it has a lot to do with the house renovations. They are on hold for the holidays and a little more mulah AND I was so hoping to be in the new apartment by this holiday season. Because of the mess the renovations have generated I was not in the mood to decorate. I almost didn't put up a tree. GASP! But as the middle of December came and went, I started to feel bad. So I pulled out table top, pre-lit, fake tree that I had from my single, ready to mingle days and set it up with minimal ornaments....Very minimal. I bought some fake floral pointsettias and decorated my window boxes. I put up 2 stockings and called it a day. The star is lopsided and the ornaments lacking. The winter wind has knocked them about and they are a mess now.

Christmas has changed so much for me over the years. I'm not interested in gift giving. I'm not interested in the perfection of the whole thing. I want to teach my son that Christmas is more than just how many presents he gets. But I also am not the most religious of people either. I am an occasionally-practicing Catholic. I actually work for a Catholic institution and my son attends a Catholic school. For me a relationship with God is about spirituality and not institutions like and tithing. But I do value what religions stand for, most of the time. I'm just not always in agreement with how those values are manifested. So I stick to the Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. That seems to be pretty standard no matter what you believe. If I walk into life with that mantra, I think I'll be ok and my son will be too.

With that said, MERRY CHRISTMAS, HAPPY HANUKKAH, HAPPY KWANZAA, HAPPY EVERYTHING. I guess this is what Christmas feels like this year. Maybe it will be something else next year.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Art Journaling Class

I just got back from an incredible "Intro to Art Journaling" class at Portrait Bug in Manhattan. Julie Fei-Fan Balzer was the instructor and she is a great teacher. She has a laid back, patient and non-intimidating teaching style that even the person who can barely draw a stick figure would feel comfortable with. Julie said she's going to be starting a daily series on her blog encouraging everyone to do a little art journaling everyday. I am looking forward to January 1st already.

There was also a great group of ladies taking the class. Everyone brought something unique to the table and we all agreed it was great to get out of the house and spend a little creative time with one another.

Here are some examples of the fabulous work my fellow classmates created.

December 19

WOOT! WOOT! I am officially an iPad owner. I've very hard to surprise and hubby came close this year but alas, he was unsuccessful. I walked into the house with my son and there he was wrapping it up. I don't know how he didn't hear a 3 year old and me, practically a bag lady, storming into the apartment. In any case, I could tell he felt kind of bad. But he seems to have gotten over it and I've been using my iPad ever since. No sense wrapping it now!

Today, I got to a much anticipated class. I am taking Introduction to Art Journaling with Julie Fei-Fan Balzer at Portrait Bug. I packed up my scrapbook rollaway bag and I'm ready to get my fingers dirty.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

December 14

Today's Reverb10 prompt is so timely. Appreciate. What's the one thing you have come to appreciate most in the past year? How do you express gratitude for it?

You know I have been a little unhappy at work lately. I suppose we all are at some time or another right? But in spite of that, I am extremely appreciative and thankful for my job, my career. I work at a wonderful place with mostly wonderful people. Nothing is perfect so I had to say mostly. I am consistently supported and when I am not, I almost always walk away understanding why the answer was no or the decision was different. So the one thing that I have come to appreciate this year, though it has been quite challengeing to do so, is my job and my place of employment. Thanks for not downsizing.

I like to think I express my gratitude daily in just how I do my job. I don't take many days off and I have to be really, really sick to call in. It's easy to call out sick when you are unhappy somewhere but I have too many people depending on me and too many responsibilities. I end up feeling guilty. I do however resist the temptation to become a workaholic. I think it's the worse thing that anyone can do to themselves. Life is about balance. Without that, no matter how much we make or how much we love our jobs, eventually the scales will tip against us and we'll fall. So stay balanced so that others can appreciate you.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Tim Holtz Tags

Well I was able to accomplish 9 of the 12 tags of Christmas. Not too bad. I wasn't too successful with Tag 1 but I think I got the hang of it pretty quickly. I'll get the other three done some time this week.


December 13

As I've already mentioned, keeping up with the December Daily has been a challenge especially on the weekdays. But no worries, with the Reverb10 prompts I have something to journal regularly.

Today I got 2 really great Christmas cards and they were great for different reasons. The first one was great because it was this vintage looking post card and I love all things vintage. The adorable baby on the card was a bonus. This has got to be one of the cutest cards I have received in a long time, next to mine of course.

The second card wasn't a particularly different or cool card. It was your everyday Christmas card. What made it great was who it was from. It was from my high school buddy who I lost touch with for close to 20 years. We were VERY good friends and I thought the friendship would last throughout college and beyond. But alas, life gets in the way. She married right out of high school. I went 5 hours away to college and then almost immediately to graduate school. We finally reconnected again about 2 or 3 years ago only to quickly lose touch again. At that point, I thought it was not meant to be. Our lives were, are, so different. I had reconnected successfully with my best friend from 3rd grade and she and I were great friends right through college. We lost touch for a bit, but reconnected 3 years ago and are still in touch. When I saw the return address on that card today, I almost didn't want to open it. Not sure why. Perhaps I thought it would be another false start. But I quickly got over that, opened the card and was happy to read her note, have her email, phone and mailing address all at my fingertips. No excuses now. I plan to quickly respond to her with all of my information and hopefully we can get together in this holiday season.

In that vain, I have created another set of Christmas cards for the Memory Works consultant website using Cosmo Cricket's Oh Joy paper line and Buck Naked Chipboard.