Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Miss Independence

My mother will tell you I've been independent since I was 18 months old and the first words out of my mouth were "Me Do It!!!"  My husband will tell you I'm stubborn and rarely ask for help.  I do not deny any of this.  I am very independent.  I rarely, if ever, ask for assistance.  Ask me to do something and consider it done.  Do not check up on me.  I will let you know when the job is complete and I will give you all the necessary details in written format so you have it for your records.  And don't hover.  Don't stand over me while I'm doing said task and listen in on my conversations relating to aforementioned task.  And don't make wild hand gestures while I'm on the phone.  You're less than 5 feet from me.  I can see you.  I am clearly ignoring you and your antics.  Most importantly, don't make me do duplicate work.  If you have already done a portion of the work, please share.  Don't ask me to call someone or do a task and then I hear you in your office making the same phone call.  Drives me insane.  Please let me do the job I was hired to do.

Rant over.  Thank you.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Profile Update

I've lived back in Maryland for over 15 months now. It's a new year and I think it's time to update my blog profile. The profile I've had for years and years.

  Transplanted Yankee raising 2 beautiful daughters and a hubby on a never-ending search for a decent bagel and a slice a pizza in the South. Short and sassy, loyal, funny, slightly sarcastic, practically blind, 40-ish, loves to read, travel, and spend time with family and friends. According to one of my children, I like to wear make-up and party. Still madly in love with (and married to) my high school sweetheart. Samantha Brown has my dream job. I like margaritas, can't stand coconut or banannas. I will do anything for a friend in need. Just don't mess with my family. I'm very, very protective. Pretty much a non-BS kind of gal; I have no patience for drama, ignorance or stress-inducing activities or behavior. 

 Let's break it down a bit:  

Yup.  Still considered a Yankee.
Yup.  Still raising 2 beautiful daughters and a hubby.
My search for a decent bagel and a decent slice of pizza has been successful.  
Yup.  Still short.  
Yup.  Still sassy.  And extremely loyal, funny, slightly sarcastic and practically blind. 
40-ish is debatable. 
Yup.  Still love love to read, travel and spend time with my family and friends.
Yup.  Still wear make-up.  
Yup.  Still madly in love with (and married to) my high school sweetheart. 
Yup.  Still like margaritas
Coconut or banannas will never touch these lips.  
Yup.  I will do anything for a friend in need. 
Yup.  I'm still a Mama Bear.  
Yup.  Still have no patience for drama, ignorance or stress-inducing activities or behavior.

So basically I'm still the same person I've always been, just live in a different town.  

Monday, December 29, 2014

I Survived!!!

The Annual Cos Fam Jam Christmas Festivities have officially concluded.  Grammie and Pop fly out this afternoon thus ending our lodging responsibilities.  I sure hope we get good reviews on Yelp from all our guests!  All told, it was a GREAT week with our families.  Lots of fun memories, lots of silliness, lots of good food.

Saturday KJ had a volleyball scrimmage in Frederick.  They played well but the coaches are still figuring out who goes where.  And that's what scrimmages are for.  KJ was the setter on her high school team, on the travel team they're trying her out at liberaro.  She's such a good, all-around player.  She'll do fine where they put her.

We left directly from the game and headed to my MIL's.  It was about 7 PM when we got to the home and had a nice visit before heading to Lynn's for pizza with Lisa and the kids.  Poor Kyler was horribly sick but Kayleigh was her usual silly self.  We spent the night at the Sheraton (gotta love being in the hotel business!  We haven't paid full price for a hotel room in years and years!) and headed to NYC after a great breakfast.

We met Joe, Laurie, Paige, Britt and Dan in front of FAO right at 11 AM and had a wonderful, low-key day.  We walked thru FAO, all along 5th Avenue, St. Patrick's Cathedral and had lunch at Rockefeller Center.  We walked around Times Square and headed over to Columbus Circle to see the decorations at the Time Warner building and we walked around the Christmas Mart and found our favorite waffle kiosk.  We walked around Central Park and played for a bit in the playground.  We left the city around 5 PM and were in our house by 8:30 PM.

Monday I had a doctor's appointment and did a few things around the house.  Monday night Cosmo and the girls went to the Caps game while I picked up my parents @ Regan.  I hate driving there and always get lost on my way back.  I wish they would just fly into BWI!  Tuesday I did my grocery shopping while T drove my parents around for last minute errands.  Wednesday the girls baked and wrapped presents all day and KJ went to Christmas Eve mass with my parents after our traditional Christmas Eve dinner.

We probably started opening presents around 8 AM and had our favorite sausage casserole for breakfast.  I don't know why I only make that once a year.  Russ and Barb arrived around 1 PM, Joe and Laurie and Paige arrived around 2 PM.  The ham was HUGE and delicious but, as usual, I burned the crescent rolls.  I was SO mad!!!!

Friday we headed into DC and went to both the National Archives and the Museum of American History.  I hadn't been to either museum since the first time we lived here.  The Archives were amazing and I loved the First Ladies exhibit at the American History museum (I especially loved the china patterns!).  The weather was spectacular and we ate lunch outside at the cafe at the National Gallery of Art overlooking the Sculpture Gardens and the Ice Skating rink.
We met Matt and Kristin at Carmine's for dinner and had a wonderful time catching up.

Joe and Laurie were walking out the front door Saturday morning when my bro and his fam pulled up in the driveway.  The timing was perfect.  And thus, Round 2 began!

My mom made her famous broccoli pasta for dinner and we just relaxed all day.  I never got out of my pajamas.  I was very, very tired and took a quick nap after lunch.  My brother brought his dog Toby and Trixie wanted absolutely nothing to do with him.  I mean, she actually sat on the couch and turned her back on him.  She wouldn't even acknowledge his presence.  In all fairness, he's still a puppy and she had never had another pet in the house before.  She was just like, "My house, my humans.  Be gone."

Monday, December 15, 2014

We have a Tree!!!

Had so much fun with my sillies yesterday morning!  For the second year in a row we went to Butler's Orchard to cut down our own tree.  Well, more specifically, us girls stood around and watched Cosmo cut the tree down and then we all applauded.

After cutting the tree we stopped in at the market and had some hot chocolate and caramel and apples.  I had to go to the office for a bit but when I came home they had the tree up complete with lights and baked macaroni (T's favorite) in the oven for dinner.  We decorated the tree and enjoyed dinner and just relaxed the rest of the evening.  This year's tree is HUGE and I think it's one of my favorites we've ever had.  The girls didn't want to use any of their hand-crafted "kiddie" ornaments so the tree is just balls and stars and candy canes.  It looks great!!!  

I will officially have been back to work a full month on Monday!  It's been so weird -- it's like I never left!  KJ and Cosmo have adjusted well and have helped pick up the slack at home since I have such a long commute.  I'm very, very fortunate.  I like both my job AND the people I work with.  KJ came into work with me the day after Thanksgiving and we helped make wreaths and decorate the hotel for Christmas.  The following week we had a Manager's Reception and the hotel looked absolutely amazing!  Plus, KJ received SSL hours for her help with decorating.  Bonus!

Since I went back to work with zero warning or notice (and my time in PA for my cousin's funeral), I'm a bit behind on my Christmas shopping and decorating but will manage.  T flies in tomorrow and I know she will be a big help to me.  She always is.  I can give that girl a list a mile long and she'll get everything done and then some.  She can help me with my wrapping and mailing cards and packages for me.

The "travel tree" is up in the family room (it's filled with ornaments from all of our travels over the years) but we've been waiting until T came home to cut down the living room tree as a family.  We'll take our Christmas card photo Sunday at the tree farm.  My dining room is semi set.  I have some tweaking left to do.  The family room mantel is also semi set and still needs some work.

Really, really, really looking forward to having everyone here for the holidays!  It's going to be insane and I may have to get a prescription for Xanax or something!  Cosmo said he's going to pull a Clark Griswold and drink a lot of Jack Daniels.  We're meeting the Palm Beach side of the family in NYC prior to the holidays and then they'll be at our house for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.   Cosmo's niece and her hubby will also be at my house for Christmas dinner.  My mom and dad will be here for the entire week. The day after Christmas we're all heading to DC for the day and I've made dinner reservations for 11 at a fun restaurant in Georgetown.  Saturday the Palm Beach relations fly out, my bro and his fam arrive.

KJ has had a busy couple of weeks.  High School volleyball is officially over and we had a great time at the end of year banquet.  She went right into club volleyball and is doing really great at practice.  She is so intense on the court.  Both girls definately get their competitiveness from their father.  So, after the beginning of the year our weekends will be spent at volleyball tournaments (I think we're even going to a tourney in Atlantic City.  Haven't been there in YEARS!!!).  And she still swears she's going to play High School lax (yay!!!!).

T has been busy as well.  The weekend before Thanksgiving she competed in and won the Miss Amory title.  She is very, very excited to be working with Mr. Miller, her new diretor.  She had an incredible experience with her Miss Metro Jackson director(s) and Mr. Miller is very well known and very respected in the pageant community.  So far, she was in the Amory Christmas parade and also attended the local production of the Nutcracker.  She has a clothing sponsor this year which is super nice.  They dress her for all of her appearances.

She's had a great semester and I'm having a hard time accepting the fact that she'll be a senior next year.  She's still got her weekly DJ morning gig.  She's writing for an on-line Greek column, she was the Thursday night anchor for NewsWatch 99 and spent some time on the sidelines at football games for the Sports Photography class.  She's been applying for internships here in DC for the summer and has an interview scheduled while she's home.  At 20 years old that girl has quite an impressive resume!

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Some of My Favorite Quotes

"You know you're in love when you can't fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams." -- Dr. Seuss

"Nothing makes a woman more beautiful than the belief that she is beautiful." -- Sophia Loren

"There must be quite a few things a hot bath won't cure, but I don't know many of them." -- Sylvia Plath

“Life is too important to be taken seriously.” – Oscar Wilde

If people are truly, madly, deeply in love with each other, they will find a way.~Gilda Radner

“Never judge a day by its weather. Sunshine is uplifting; rain, nourishing; wind, exhilarating; snow, cleansing; hail, stimulating. Any weather is better than none.” -- Author Unknown

"Everything you see I owe to spaghetti." -- Sophia Loren

"I know I'm vulgar, but would you have me any other way?" -- Elizabeth Taylor

"After thirty, a body has a mind of its own." -- Bette Midler

"Cherish forever what makes you unique, 'cuz you're really a yawn if it goes." -- Bette Midler

“I know I can be diva-ish sometimes, but I have to be in control. The nature of my life, the nature of what I do, is divadom, it really is." -- Mariah Carey

"I want minimum information given with maximum politeness." -- Jackie Kennedy Onassis

"I've been called a diva, queen diva, diva supreme, and I love it. However, that's really for others to decide, not me." -- Aretha Franklin

"No one loves a party more than I. I am a people person." -- Aretha Franklin

"There are many little ways to enlarge your child's world. Love of books is the best of all." -- Jackie Kennedy Onassis
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