Monday, December 29, 2014

Christmas is Over, Now What?

Does it feel like you are gearing up for Christmas months in advance? Then the day arrives, and two hours later it is all over with and you are packing it all away. Now what?

We all look forward to the New Year. Resolutions are written down with a strong will of "I will do this!". By the end of January you are laying on the couch with a bag of chips watching TV and thinking "resolutions? What resolutions?"

Break this habit! Don't do resolutions! They don't work. Instead, here is a concept…chose a word you want to impact, improve, or empower your new year. Easier said than done, let me assure you!

Every year, I chose a word that I want to become or impact my life. You can read about my journey of choosing a word here. I usually find my word by the end of the year before my annual trip to New York. This year I am struggling. One reason is I don't want to give up my 2014 word "BRAVE".

This word has had such a huge impact in my life. What I thought was going to start out as being BRAVE to get outside my beautiful, comfy box and to expand my blog has really taken different turns and twists. Let me show you how a word can impact your life.

2014 was my year to get outside my comfort zone. Boy did I and then some. It all started with LT's mom's health declining rapidly, in which she ended up in a nursing home the end of December 2013. Family drama happened and I am not going to relive that, thank you very much. Let's just say, I had to be really BRAVE for all that transpired. Then his mom passed in March during Spring Break with continued family drama. In January, I volunteered to be on the committee for the 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb in which I traveled to downtown Dallas every month until the climb in September and I was scared each and every time I drove down there. You can learn about the Dallas Stair Climb here. Then my BIL's mother passed unexpectedly in May. She was family to me. We were devastated. I did get my domain for my blog, but writing wasn't in me with all that was going on and then the big one happened.

My mom was diagnosed with stage four bladder cancer in July. She contracted pnuemonia while going through initial testing in which she spent a week in the hospital and it went down hill. I had to be BRAVE to face mom's late night pain, the begging of pain meds, her being totally out of it and not speaking coherently. Mom and dad were moved to Oklahoma to live with my other sister (who does a great job with mom!). It has been a roller coaster of getting better and getting worse. Physically, her cancer has shrunk, but still battling mental issues.

As I am writing this, my mom is laying on the floor. It seems the only position that is helping today. She sleeps a great deal of the day and is awake all hours of the night. It does put a strain on the family. I look at her and know her time is limited. I have to be BRAVE to help fight through this, to help her have a will to live and fight. The whole family is doing this. The last two days have been good days for mom, but today is shaping up to be a bad day. We will get through it. We will be BRAVE. Tomorrow is chemo and we are hoping she can get it. It has been two weeks where she could not have it and then she spent a couple days in the hospital before Christmas with extremely low sodium.

Christmas is over and we are ending 2014, so now what?

I am looking for my new word. I feel like I am looking for Waldo in the crowd. My word is not coming to me. This is what I want 2015 to look like: better health-With all the drama and deaths, I turned to my comfort of food and have gained at least 30 pounds (probably more but I refuse the scales cause I know it's bad!). So I need to eat better and exercise. I need to start meditating and devotionals, continue to build and maintain my relationship with LT and make sure he doesn't feel left out or ignored. I need to foster a better relationship with my sisters,  to release hurt feelings and to let go of controlling things/issues. This is the year of me. Selfish I know, but sometimes you have to work on you to be able to help others and to be there 100%. Maybe my word is FOCUS. That has been speaking to me. So has EMERGE and VOICE. There is a few days left to figure it out.

My blog is about showing while you face the hard times and good times and through it all I know, that I got this. My word has helps me get through the days and know that I really got this. I hope this helps you out.

Here are some resources if you are joining me in finding a word to start your new year in the directions you want it to go.

Christine Kane: Word of the Year (free)
Ali Edwards: One Little Word Scrapbook Project (price)
Susan Conway: Help find you word of the year workbook (free)

Are you joining me? What will 2015 look like? What is your word?

Monday, December 15, 2014

Pilgrimage to New York City

The weekend was a whirlwind of fun, excitement and new experiences. Every year in December, my sister D and I take our annual pilgrimage to New York City to embrace, inhale and instill the holiday spirit within ourselves.

After missing our initial flight, we were not discouraged and were off and running!

Some of our trip included shopping in Nolita, touring 9/11 Memorial and Museum, wandering down 5th Avenue, experiencing true New York life and being disappointed in store staples.

We also got caught up in the protests going on in New York. After researching on Monday, I found out about 25,000 protesters marched from Greenwich area (where we were) to 5th Avenue (where we were trying to go) and we got caught up in that driving nightmare in our taxi. But hats off to our cabby. He did everything he could and got us back to the hotel. He even knocked off $$ because of the inconvenience! Thank goodness we did not have to walk the 2 miles back to the hotel. We would have been swallowed up in the protest! EEK!

Oh and we always, although never planned, are in New York for the annual SantaCon. People dress up in Santa suits (or anything holiday i.e.: trees, candy canes, reindeer, etc) and do a pub crawl. Funny!

Had a great time! Loved everything we did and all the new favorite haunts we found!

So that was my weekend in a nutshell! Recommendations and links listed below. What new places do I need to try next year??

Store front in Nolita that spoke to us!

Le Pain Quotidien restaurant…so festive! 

Ferragamo on 5th Ave. The most lights on a store!

Radio City, a must stop for all to see!

SantaCon crawlers!

Restaurant recommendations
Xia Xia South African Wine Bar: we love the tapas menu!
Fig and Olive: Must have reservations
Le Pain Quotidien: ate breakfast there every morning. Loved loved loved their Moroccan Mint tea!
Spring Street Natural: so natural, refreshing and healthy! Quinoa salad to. die. for!

Ricky's: Think Sephora or Ulta but full of everything! (you can get your pub crawl santa suit there)
Uniqlo: On 5th Ave. Great place for normal clothes for the whole family, reasonably priced!
Aesop: on Elizabeth St in Nolita: great lotions, face wash, shampoos, etc. It originated in Melbourne, Australia.

National 9/11 Memorial and Musuem
Central Park

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

5 Quirky Holiday Gifts

I have compiled a list of the top 5 quirky gift ideas. These are gifts people want but they won't admit it.

Who does love shark week. If you say you don't I am going to say you are a closet lover of shark week and want a pair of these socks to wear while watching sharks. 

Everyone drinks water and the condensation from the glass/bottle leaves nasty rings on your table. Introducing Cat Butt Coasters! Keep your furniture clean as a cat's one eye monster! Oh come on, you know you are laughing at these and will secretly go look for them.


Mustaches are the trend now so jump on the bandwagon! Get a cute little mug with a mustache so when your significant other drinks some in the morning you can have an excuse to laugh at them (and not because of their bedhead!) Best part…You can make your own! If you are like me you will need a template (because I can't draw a straight line, let alone walk one!) so I found one at See Cate Create

You need to be styling' while you are being a slug on the couch. What better way then being a superhero couch potato!

How fun can brushing your teeth become with these Spread Heads! Watch a kitty throw up your toothpaste or ketchup coming out of a nose. It is fun for all ages!!

Spread Heads

Monday, December 8, 2014

Looking for Me?

I have been MIA. I know. I wish I could say I have been jet-setting around the world or vegging on a beach and got a killer tan. Alas, I have been jet-setting between Oklahoma and Texas and as for the tan…I am fish belly white (unless I use St. Tropez tan-in-a-can). But I do come baring news!

As you remember from my past (long time ago), Momma was diagnosed with Bladder Cancer. Well, her 3 month check up showed significant positive response to the chemo! She is doing better, walking more and no more oxygen! She still has her days, but overall better news equals better spirits!

We are still making the trek to Oklahoma almost every weekend. We were blessed they came to Texas for Thanksgiving, and boy did we have a lot to celebrate.

I wanted my blog to be about showing how to make the best of your situation and stay positive. Don’t sit down and let things happen to you, you need to make them happen. Most importantly, knowing whatever happens good or bad, you really do got this.

But I feel like I have let you down in a way. I have been overwhelmed with mom’s diagnoses, taking care of and settling in our parents, juggling family dynamics and loving on LT and Gavin. Because of that, I have neglected my blog (and other areas of my life).  Sometimes it doesn’t feel as I “got this”.

A good example is every time, and I mean every time, I forget something at Oklahoma. Once it was a pouch of power cords. Last week, I left my only power cord to my phone. Topping off this week, I left my watch. I am so scatterbrained!

But I am going to try to get on more of a schedule and do better at blogging. I sure do miss it and y’all! I have a few posts marinating in the old noggin’ so be ready!