A Year has Passed. . .

in the new city I call home. I had the hardest time adjusting to the move, the pace of life here versus Nashville and coming back to Eastern time. Yes, I know it is only an hour but when your shows come on at 7pm that means bedtime at 10 and that was the best.

A lot has changed since I watched the movers pack everything up a year ago. In a flood of tears, resentment and depression I gathered up Wookie and his things and got on the road. I still miss Nashville, the little things that made it my home and most of all my friends that I call family. But I did come out of the dark tunnel with a very nice surprise.

Chandler makes everything better. He makes me laugh, he makes me cringe when he goes into tickle mode and most importantly, he gave me something that no other person ever did. Contentment and love. He is a constant shadow, just like Wookie. He wants to go to the grocery with me, he will do the Target run with me and even humor me when I want to go to the mall. And for any man to be willing to get up from the couch to go run errands is a miracle. And a keeper.

A lot of things have changed in just a short year and adding a person into your life, while challenging is really nice. It is nice to come home on days that he is already at my place, hanging with the cat and ready to greet me.

I don’t surf the web as much as I used to, although that stupid game, Angry Birds, is starting to take over my life. The couch is now our little island where we stretch out, watch tv and nap. Of course I would love a bigger couch since his very tall frame kind of keeps up both cramped up.

I have also learned that you cannot plan your life like you would an event for work. It is kind of funny that while I am anal about making lists, planning for the future, that life kind of happened. All of the sudden there is someone there that you hadn’t planned for but then you toss the lists to the side and go with it. Of course I still try to plan for things and then start laughing since I can’t always be in control. Something that I think the Mister thinks is humorous.

There are times when I do get a little worried or need toothpicks to keep my eyes open while at work. Chandler has a health condition that is scary. He has come over in the middle of the night for me to help him with what he needs. And I have learned that I can deal with little sleep if need be. Oh and apparently I am a heavy sleeper. But I wouldn’t change a thing because none of that matters. The bottom line is that I am happy because there is finally a guy willing to step up, deal with me and accept me for who I am. And trust me, I am no walk in the park.

So while I finish up my birthday weekend, I have to say that even though I am in another zip code, area code and time zone, I am pretty thankful for that move last year. It just took awhile for me to get there. I got the best birthday present of all because I have Chandler in my life. And because he knows me all too well, a Snoopy card that is doing the Snoopy dance as well as a Snoopy plush that is Hallmark’s latest Valentine’s Day item that is just too cute for words. Yep, he gets me. No need for anything fancy or over the top. Simple and at the core of who I am. . .a kid at heart.

Old News but Here’s a Thought

The brain has been acting up a bit these recent weeks and it probably has to do with the gloomy weather. It is that time of year where being able to focus on anything more than a two paragraph snippet is rough. Although I do not have ADD there are times when I begin to question it since my brain whirls with thoughts and more than half do not even come close to being similar.

With that I am going to give you my two cents on Ricky Gervais and his hosting gig at the Golden Globes. I think he did a wonderful job and me thinks some in Hollywood tend to be a bit sensitive. He is British and for us “Yanks” that right there should be a clue that his humor is going to be different.

I have a love for all things British and their humor is the kind of humor that is dry, cutting and takes a bit of brain power. It is not overt. Those silly Brits can be, at times, formal and serious but if you stay with it long enough you will find that it really is funny.

Did Gervais take it too far? Nope. Those West Coasters who take their art so seriously cannot take a joke. But who’s to say that they didn’t find it funny? It seems the media has taken on Gervais and taken him to task for his punches to the establishment. And isn’t that the point of a comedian? Pointing out the ridiculousness and making fun of it?

He wasn’t crass, well, the Hefner joke was crass but overall it was plainly stating what middle America is probably thinking. Charlie Sheen isn’t surprised that someone is taking the piss out of him for his drinking and hanging out with porn stars. And I do believe that the box office numbers pointed out (as well as those who reviewed the film) that The Tourist wasn’t good.

But the reality is there are other comedians out there making fun of people daily, getting paid for it and as long as the stars of Hollywood aren’t the butt of the jokes, they are fine. And if we are going to make fun of politicians, sports stars and the like, I think the Hollywood community is fair game.

But then again I tend to have a liberal view of things and I also understand and enjoy British humor.

Now back to this whole brain going every which a way. . . I finally started exercising again on Saturday. Part of my whole walking workout allows me to plug in the IPod and drown out my brain. It is something that helped me out a few years ago when I was dealing with my depression. This go around it is more out giving my brain thirty minutes of rest. And also the chance to try and rid my body of a few calories.

Sadly this little weight loss journey is going to be a tough road because I love food way too much. Chandler also has no issues with me stuffing my face but has told me the nightly runs for ice cream have to stop since it is doing neither of us any good.

And now for the best thing that happened this weekend: my beloved Steelers are heading to the Super Bowl! God Bless my neighbors the night of the game because it is going to be loud around here.


Digging Out

Just a few short days ago the majority of the US was covered with snow, that is saying something since the climate varies greatly throughout the country. Mom asked if I had enough snow yet and the answer was NO!

I am an anomaly when it comes to the whole good southern girl type. I love the cold, snow and brisk manner to which “Yankees” have been typed. I have a crazy, obsessive crush on NYC and seem quite at home. Let us pause for a moment while my dad cries and gnashes his teeth that his youngest is not like him.

The snow came, just as the reports said it would, after midnight Sunday night. I was skeptical that this little weather event would even happen but once I got up during the night for a potty break and looked at the window, it was all over with. I was like a kid at Christmas, blinds open and watching the snow late into the night. Refusing to sleep since the snow was coming fast and hard and so, so pretty.

While I dreaded the drive into work I was given a respite around 8am Monday, getting the call that the office would be closed! Yay! A snow day! Snoopy dance all around. I was thanking my lucky stars that the previous day I got into a cooking frenzy and made potato soup and chili.

The day was spent with a short walk around the complex, torturing my cat with a trip onto the deck, taking pictures and visiting with an old classmate. And then my thoughts turned on the one career that I had wished I had studied for. . . being a third grade teacher has always been a dream of mine and had I managed to do just that I would have had the whole week off. My teacher friends rubbed it in quite often throughout the week.

Of course I had bigger fish to fry. We had a partial day at work on Tuesday and then I got my fill, yet again, at the dentist. I had a root canal Wednesday morning and more dental work following that appointment. After leaving a message for my supervisor, who confirmed that he thought the message was funny, at least what he could understand of it, I came home to rest, do some work from home and try to sleep off the pain.

Digging out of the snow is one thing, digging out in terms of getting everything that needs to be accomplished is quite another. It has been a mad rush to get business taken care and attempting to get back into a routine has been the biggest challenge. But the kitchen is clean (sort of), the clutter picked up and clothes have been sorted, hung and folded. Apparently I just need a bit of time to get things together and then presto! My apartment is neat (at least for my standards).

The next challenge will be to stop shoving everything sweet into my mouth. Starting Monday I am going to work on losing the gut and watching what I eat. Let’s hope that I find some success in this or else I am going to become Violet in Willy Wonka, which means the Umpa Lompas will be rolling me out. Good times. . .

Trip to the Dentist, Take 1,298,376

I inherited some bad teeth from both sides of the family, meaning that after four horrible years in braces as a teen I now spend a bulk of time and money dealing with cavities. It is a slow process for me in terms of getting everything done because my insurance max can be blown through in just two visits.

At my last cleaning we had a come to Jesus meeting about cavities that needed to be dealt with, old fillings, etc. He mentioned another possible root canal and crown. I had a root canal last year and still have the temporary filling in it because crowns are not cheap. I explained to him that I have a limited budget each year to get things fixed and I wanted all the fillings done in one visit and to patch what could be patched so it could hold me over until the following year.

So my marathon appointment today consisted of five fillings (I think) all over my mouth. Since I am a jumpy patient I opt for the gas and I try with all my might just to sleep through the whole thing. It makes for a much happier patient and the chances of me freaking out is minimal.

I woke up and tried to process what they said they had done and what needed to be done. Next week will be root canal number four with the direction of make it a temporary until I can figure out the money portion for two crowns. A round of antibiotics and pain pills were added to my cost today as well.

One of the shots busted a blood vessel in my lower lip and now, four hours later I can feel my mouth. Chandler got to watch me attempt to eat soup and let’s just put it this way, I felt like a toddler just learning out to eat. I had soup running down my chin onto my chest. If there was any doubt of his love for me, it was obvious after that round of eating that he does in fact love me. Because no one else would sit there and help me get the mess off my face without laughing. And that means a lot in my book. The pain pill hit me like a ton of bricks and as I sat there passing out and then jerking back awake he didn’t feel the need to make fun of me. He just kept saying, go to bed.

And people wonder why I hate going to the dentist. . . I have had more shots in my mouth than actual vaccinations, spent more money on my teeth than I have in clothes the past few years and yet I still have more to accomplish in the next year or two. I should have just gone for the fake teeth and then I would be done with this mess. Oh well, too late now.

And if you happen to see me and I am drooling, gently tell me to wipe it off my mouth and then say a prayer that I am closing in on the last of the repairs that need to be completed.

Oh the Back Pains!

Yes kiddos, the back pain is back! I have to thank Chandler for part of it though. . . we were playing his “game” of let’s tickle Amy and I slid on the bathroom floor. That was last week and after some much needed rest it started to feel better.

Then I got crazy and took down all the Christmas stuff and that is never good for my back. But again, no biggie and it needed to be done. The other part though? It is my own fault. I go through “phases” of keeping my clothes off the floor and hung up while other times I am little miss messy pants.

My suitcase has been sitting at the foot of my bed since, oh Thanksgiving. . . and clothes (clean mind you) have been piling up on the suitcase. I would just shuffle through the clothes to find what I was going to wear for the day and promise myself that I would deal with the mess later. So a month and a half later I have finally dealt with it. Clothes are up, suitcase put away and I even found my USB and power cord for my printer!!!!!

But oh man, getting old for me means that my lower back is the first to tell me I need to stop. At this point I will gladly smile and just say, yep I am messy! My control freak Type A personality has nothing to do with my organizational skills at home. Even in my cubicle in Nashville I was a disaster.

And the poor trash guy will have to deal with multiple bags again. . . sorry about that!

But the apartment is fairly clean now and Chandler will be in shock tomorrow when he sees it. Of course going out of town in the near future could make this all a moot point. At least the suitcase won’t be used this time so I might just have a chance at keeping it clean around here. .  .

at least for a couple of weeks.

Cleaning Up

Part of the after Christmas hangover has to be putting everything back up. This year was a bit better in terms of getting the tree out and decorated. It still took some time and goodness knows I should have done a better job at it but in the aftermath of last year and moving, my things still aren’t really organized.

A couple of years ago I got lazy when I was putting everything away. All my Hallmark ornaments ended up going into a tote as opposed to going back in their box and then into a tote. Last year I barely got the tree up so even thinking about actually putting them in their little boxes was low on the list. This year I managed to get them back into their little homes and put away. I also safely wrapped up my nutcrackers and tucked them into their own tote.

There are times when I wish I could be more like mom and Stacey. Cleaning is not a skill I do well and decluttering is a foreign concept to me. It is times like this that I wouldn’t mind either or both of them to come here and help. If I let mom help (and she would have to be willing which I am guessing would be a no since I am Pigpen) the day would end with mom’s feelings hurt and me wanting to scream. Stacey is occupied with a cute little man in her life and even if she was here helping I fear most of my belongings would be in the trash.

The tree was boxed back up for another year, the ornaments back to their original homes and the random fake pine needles have been vacuumed up. I have left my furniture as is since I like this arrangement better, at least for now. . . but I have a huge empty space in the corner that is begging for crap to be piled there.

I thought once I got into a bigger space that I would be able to organize and keep the place neater. I mean I was justifying the mess at my last apartment because I had less than 900 square feet. . . it is time that I just own it. I am a messy person, it is in my nature and thankfully Chandler is okay with that. Although he is starting to say that my room looks like a bomb exploded in there.

The new year is a great time to start anew, to look at what needs to be dealt with and go for it. We even make resolutions for the new year. Me? I stopped trying to make them when I realized that I normally set high expectations knowing I was going to fail. Now I just try to be the best version of me I can, listen before answering and understand that it cannot always be about me all the time.

Of course I would like to lose weight. . . and I am really going to work on that. It might be baby steps but I am going to try. As for the cleaning, well, that probably won’t change much. It doesn’t bother me and until Chandler threatens to leave I am not going to worry about it.

So Long 2010

This time last year I was wrapping up spending the evening with my BFF and her husband. After an emotional year that was 2009, we were all ready to kiss it goodbye and hoped that 2010 would be better.

While I spent the majority of the year in a funk there were certainly moments of great happiness sprinkled in for good measure. Sometimes we have to do things we don’t want to do. . .I dug my heels in when it came to moving. I cried, I begged and I pleaded. When that didn’t work I resolved to suck it up for the year and starting making plans for my move back home once my commitment was over.

As I started to discuss the move back with my former boss an unexpected surprise happened. Chandler reentered my life, I wavered on my decision and by Thanksgiving I was swinging over to staying put. My friends were shocked, I was shocked. While this may never seem like home like Nashville will always be; I have a pretty good reason to stay. And we rang in the new year together.

After spending the past few years with my BFF, getting my NYE kiss from my stinky boyfriend (aka Shadow); this evening was different. I spoke to her this evening and listened to Mr. Eli cry in the background. I could her the joy and love in her voice as we spoke. And that part of me that still wants Nashville to be my return address tugged at me. But I also had to just look across the couch and see him, sitting there, waiting for me to hang up the phone (and stop talking about breastfeeding and circumcising) so we could watch the ball drop together. And then I remembered why I wanted to stay here.

I moved, wrecked my car, dealt with the boy coming in and out of my life, basically asking for me to psychoanalyze him and stroke his ego, struggled at work, dealt with saying goodbye to my last grandparent, physical ailments that reminded me that I am getting older, a couple of first dates that were just okay and then was blindsided by someone that I never in a million years thought would turn out to be the one and finally, welcoming the newest addition to my BFF’s family.

But even with all the crap I dealt with, the disappointments, etc. the year turned out to be pretty good. I got another person I can call my best friend. And some of those dreams that I thought were kind of out there for me just might be coming true. And I am also challenging myself for this new year. I want to write more, dig deeper and expose myself, even the not so pretty side and learn from all of it.

Last year as Stace and I sat talking, tears both coming down our faces, she still had faith that Liam was going to have a talk with the big guy upstairs and that the move had a bigger purpose. She was right. And Liam, you did a bang up job! I am so grateful for my friends, those that have become family when I was a few hours away from my own family. They took me in, cared for me, laughed with me and at me.

This year Chandler and I greeted the new year with a kiss and a hug. And then he tried to tickle me again.

I hope that each one of you has a wonderful year, full of joy, excitement and surprises. And to my friends and family, thank you all for dealing with me this year and loving me. Happy New Year!