Staycation

I hate that word, but it really is the best way to describe this weekend. It’s Memorial weekend and most of the people in the city have left to spend the long weekend at the beach somewhere fabulous, but we decided to stay home. The wedding is so super close, I only have Sunday and Monday off of work, and we figured we could stay home knock out most of our to-do list, and still have time to enjoy this beautiful spring weather.

Yesterday was awesome, so awesome that I was gone from the time I left for work at 9am until 2am this morning.

A friend from work wanted to hangout after we got off, so we took a nice long walk through Central Park. It was 80 something degrees (the highest it’s been all year), and just perfect in the shade. We sat and talked for a while and decided we might as well spend rest of the day together!

After the park, we went to Madison Square Eats (a little food festival) with Zoey and Peter, and a college friend of Peter’s. We tasted so much delicious food from different restaurants all over the city.

An Indian style veggie burger with garlic fries
A macaroon with potato chips, pretzels, chocolate, and other little goodies in the mix.
lemon mint granida

We relaxed in Madison Square Park for hours until the rain forced us out.

Eventually, we escaped the downpour and we spent the rest of the night making fish tacos in an UNBELIEVABLE apartment with the MOST BEAUTIFUL view of Central Park, dancing, relaxing, playing cards, taking cat naps, and pretending that we are on vacation… After all, we were somewhere fabulous.

 

My work-friend stayed the night. We had a mini-slumber party. I even got up early and made breakfast. Then, we all snuggled on the couch and watched KickAss, all before noon.

It was such a good day. Great friends, great food, and great weather (even the rain) is all we needed for our little staycation, and the best news is, we still have tomorrow off!

I hope everyone is enjoying their long weekend!

Cheers!

Lefty or a Righty?

I have been working on my wedding vows the passed couple of nights because we decided a long time ago we wanted to write our vows. Writing your own vows just sounds so romantic, special, and personal. We want our vows to be unique to us, and memorable to our guests. I assumed that being in love and having tons of adventures over the last 7 years would give me plenty of material for just a couple minutes of vows.

Wrong.

I am very tempted to combine the vows of Monica and Chandler, and Cory and Topanga, and call it a night.

Somehow, in the middle of all my writing and googling “how to write your own unique sweet funny wedding vows”, I accidently got distracted and ended up taking a “What side of the brain do you use?” quiz.

I can never remember which side does what, but the quiz says I use 60% of my right brain, and 40% of my left brain. From, what I skimmed through, I think that means I like to make lists and be organized, but I tend to get side-tracked very easily and make a mess.Oh yeah…wasn’t I supposed to be writing my vows? (as I dust triscuit crumbs off my shirt)

All of this left brain/right brain talk made me remember an activity a super awesome college professor made our class do in our Master’s program. I’ll skip the activity and get to the conclusion:

-We all have a certain a work personality, and we have to learn to work with people who have a different work personality. (This was a lesson on how to be a principal for people who work and think nothing like you.)

What I loved about this lesson is that every personality was symbolized by a piece of candy! Just describe the candy and you basically get the personality.

Starburst: organized, individually wrapped, bright, independent, orderly, logical, tart, flavorful, variety, list-maker

M&M: cute, colorful, cooperative, friendly, social, dependable, messy, sensitive, laid back, popular, hard on the outside, soft on the inside

Hershey Bar: genuine, conforming, practical, plain, precise, efficient, analytical, dependable, organized, by the book

Snickers: sweet and salty, disorderly, imaginative, energetic, outside the box, on the go, independent, gets the job done, busy

You get it.

I am mostly a Snickers, with a little bit of Starburst. I loved this lesson because at the time, I was working with a Hershey Bar, and my professor taught us how best to work with each type of candy. It was like a light went off and I completely understood why my boss and I butted heads so often. All she wanted was for everything to be a nice clean symmetrical box, and all I wanted was to rip that box apart and throw some paint on it. Neither of us were wrong, just wired differently.

What was important was that we had the same goals in mind, just different routes to get there.

It may often seem that I am HotMess, flitting from one task to the next, energetic to anxiety attack in 2.8 seconds…but I always get the job done in the end. What looks disorderly and irresponsible to some, is my way of organizing my many task. I’ve always got a list. (Actually, I often have 8 lists because I keep misplacing them, and have to write more a new scrap of paper.) I may not follow the list in an orderly fashion, but it all gets checked off. And, I guarantee it is completed with 110% effort like you’ve never seen before…with a little bit of glitter and a lot of pizazz. That’s how us Snickers roll.

Now, I realize I speak freely of my bad habits on this blog, but that’s because I like being open about my flaws, and hopefully these flaws make someone else feel better about their own faults and bad habits.

BUT, I am far from being irresponsible.

Now, that I have completely gone off the vow writing path, I should probably attempt to find my way back. I guess I need to make a list, lose it, go for a walk, brainstorm, make another list, do some research, look at pictures of us, think about our special memories, like that time we kicked butt in a couple’s contest in the Domincan Republic, should have bought that video, oh and the monkey, I need to find that picture, such a great trip, can’t wait to go to costa rica in month…. damn it! What was I supposed to be doing again?

Cheers!

For all the Moms

One of my favorite memories with my Mom.

Three different people wished me a “Happy Mother’s Day” today… THEN, I got a Mother’s Day card IN THE MAIL. It was from Belle, but still I almost started worrying that the universe knew something I didn’t.

Since getting engaged, numerous people have ask  when Fiance and I plan on having kids…the natural next step after marriage for most. I do not know the answer to this question. We’ve talked a lot about kids. We want kids. But, when? Well, that’s impossible to know. All I can tell you is that we do not plan on having kids while living in a 400 square foot apartment! We can barely handle raising Belle in this place.

I’ve wanted to kids for a long time. On several levels I know I am ready to be a Mom. But, there is one thing I am very scared of, well there are several things, but one I am mostly scared of is giving up my freedom. I can be honest here and say that I really enjoy being selfish. I love staying up late, going shopping, coming and going whenever I please, traveling, going out, NOT cooking, etc. And, from what I understand, these are some things you have to give up (or at least cut back on) once you have kids. I don’t know if I’m ready to be so selfless….

Lucky for me though, I have an amazing selfless Mother who gets to be celebrated today.

I’ve bragged a lot about my own Mom over the year (you can read about that here). She deserves it. I am always amazed by her, and always thankful that I have such a caring, supportive, beautiful, loving, smart, and strong mother. Happy Mother’s Day Mom!

Even though my Mom is more than I deserve, I’d like to dedicate this blog to all the Moms. I know SOOO many amazing Mothers, old and young alike, and I have so much respect and appreciation for everything that they do and sacrifice for their children. So to all of you Moms, Grandmothers, Moms-t0-be, Adoption Moms, Step-moms, Foster Moms, Teacher Moms, Soccer Moms, Moms-in-law, Honorary Moms, Single Moms, Dance Moms, etc. HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!

I am lucky enough to have had quite a few wonderful Mom’s in my life. When my own Mother was not physically with me, I had some amazing teachers, mentors, friends, neighbors, and co-workers who gladly filled her shoes, loved me, supported me, and offered their own Motherly advice.  You all deserve my thanks, you’ve all been a Mother to me in your own way, and I am so grateful.

And, to all my friends who are new Mothers. Wow. You all AMAZE me! Somehow, you have each managed to have the MOST adorable child! The cute-baby bar has been set very high! I am so glad that you are all having children before me. I plan to come to you for everything, so thank you for dealing with pregnancy, breast feeding, potty training, disciplining, and being a real grown up before me! You are very brave.

Thank you to all of you wonderful, brave, selfless Mommies out there for leading the way, making good examples, and showing us all what unconditional love is all about.

Lots and lots of wonderful Mommies!

Whenever I decide to be a Mom, or accidently become a Mom, or find out I have to adopt to be a Mom, whatever kind of Mom I am, I know I’ll be okay because I have so many great Mommy models to follow. Happy Mother’s Day!

Cheers!

*OMG! I just realized that I cut off the head of my friend’s beautiful baby in the collage! Whoops..here’s the full picture so no one misses on seeing this little cutie.

Greener Grass

Jealousy must be innate, it must. I work with babies a lot, and babies are jealous of other babies all the time. No one is showing them how to be jealous, they just are. If their Mom is holding another baby, they cry. If another baby has a toy they do not have, they throw a fit. Even if a baby has the exact same toy they have, they still try to yank it out of the other babies hands, convinced that it must be better than the one they already have.

For most of us, this behavior does not really change. We don’t all yank toys out of other peoples’ hands in a jealous fit, but the envious feelings are definitely still there. Why is the grass always greener on the other side?

I typically think I am not a very jealous person. I am happy for my friends when they get the things they want out of life, I am happy with my own life, and I often think there’s not much I would change. I assumed jealousy was just a small issue, one that I could shove to the back of my problems, and focus more on bigger issues like anxiety and caffeine addictions.

Until now.

Lately, I have become a terrible jealous person. I have been jealous to the point of anger. I don’t really have a reason for it, it just kind of happened.  I guess it was amplified over the last week when I had to work while my friends and family were out enjoying each other’s company. Pathetically, I started feeling sorry for myself. These jealous thoughts started with questions a lot like this…

Why do I have to work 6 to 7 days a week? Why don’t I make more money? Why don’t I ever get a break? Why can’t I afford designer duds? Why is my apartment so small? Why do I have an anxiety disorder? Why do I suffer from panic attacks? Why doesn’t anyone ask me to be on DWTS? Why am I 27 and still suffering from acne? WHY CAN’T MY LIFE BE PERFECT LIKE EVERYONE ELSE’S!?!?

Gross. I sound like a big spoiled whiny brat, but even knowing this couldn’t shake the jealousy I was feeling. I felt like a baby, and I just wanted to rip a rattle out of someone’s hand and claim it as my own.

During this time, I went out for drinks with a few friends from work. I had something really awful happen right beforehand, and was really upset by the time I met them at the bar. Immediately, they noticed my tear-stained face (which I thought I hid with makeup), and wanted to know what was wrong.

After sharing my awful experience with them, one friend began to smile.

She looked at me, and said, “Hilarie don’t take this the wrong way, but I am so relieved to know that your life isn’t perfect!”

I looked at her with confused eyes, and my mouth open, not knowing what to say. Perfect? My life?  Are you kidding???

She then proceeded to tell me that I am always so happy, always smiling, always telling stories about something fun I did, I am engaged (she’s single), etc, and she has been jealous of me!  She just assumed that my positive disposition at work meant that everything in my life was perfect.

I KNOW that I have a great life. I am so grateful for everything I have, my health, my home, my family, my job, my friends, Fiance, Belle…. I am a lucky girl. But, my life is far from perfect.

We talked for a long while about perceptions, about how “the grass is always greener”, and how we never really know what a person’s life is like.  Everyone has his or her own problems and struggles, everyone has something to be grateful for, and everyone forgets that NOONE’S life is perfect.

I went home that night with a new perspective. I know I should not be jealous, I know I should be more grateful; I just needed to be reminded.

It’s important to remember that we never know what another person may be dealing with in their personal life. Marriage, money, children, careers, are all great, but none of them can promise us contentment. Having them, or not having them cannot determine our happiness either.

I am definitely going to try harder to be happier for the people I love, and also happier for myself. We all have a lot going for us, and more importantly, we all have each other. There’s just no room for jealousy’s ugly head.

Once, I’ve got this taken care of, maybe I can finally start focusing on cutting my Starbucks bill in half.

Cheers!