Rants & Updates

I don’t know if it’s because my cycle is ending and the hormones are still having their ‘fun’ with me (TMI, I know), or what, but today I became pretty angry at work and those that I report to. Today I truly felt ‘over worked & under appreciated’ when I was scolded at with regard to what tasks I had deemed priority and what were not.  Might sound petty to y’all, but given all the tasks that I am responsible for and how I am the only person that does these tasks – which means that when I am not at work these tasks do not get done – … everything is a big deal to me.

I’m starting to get to the point where I am reviewing the past five years at my current employer and realize that the next five years are, more than likely, going to be the exact same because there is absolutely no growth opportunities at this place. How can I apply what I’ve learned during the past 12 months since going back to school when I am stuck in a position that I can not apply this knowledge to?

I’ve finally gotten around to uploading our vacation pictures! As well as some picture’s of Amelia’s birthday. Greg didn’t want me to upload the pictures until he edited them, but I’ve become impatient and I know Greg’s grandparents have been wanting to see them as well (they check the Flickr account regularly).

Greg and I have begun to casually, yet seriously, look at houses and focus on area’s we want to live in. Ultimately, we’d like to buy a single family home but Greg is super picky on the areas were these homes are available so we might end up in a townhouse.

Only 9 more months until our cruise… I could get pregnant and have a baby by the time we cruise… which is completely possible.

Speaking of babies, my cousin April is going to have another baby girl! Olivia is excited to have a baby sister! And, I can say that Greg and I are, more or less, actively trying to conceive our second child. I’m hoping that we will have our second child by the end of 2011 (which means I have until March to get pregnant). I have a weird thing for numbers and the numbers 7 & 11 are my lucky number; well, Amelia was born in 2007 so I am hopeful that the second will be here in 2011. I’m weird, right?

 

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Wow

I was finally able to get the pictures and videos of Amelia’s birth off the cell phone… 

I didn’t write this before, but last week when I was looking at the pictures and watching the video’s over and over again – i felt so emotional. I was on the verge of tears by just looking at everything. And when I had the pictures and video on the laptop and viewed them I became emotional again.

I still can’t believe Amelia went from this: 

3 minutes old

to this:

One year, 2 weeks, and 4 days old.

and only a year has gone by.

Here are the video’s from my brothers cellphone (all the pictures were taken with his cell too):

**WARNING** The first video is of her birth – you don’t see any of my ‘stuff’ but there’s blood (only a little) and my jelly belly.

I remember my Mom telling me how beautiful the umbilical cord was. It’s something odd to remember but that’s one of things from my experience that sticks out.

I really can’t describe the feeling I have while watching these videos over and over. There really are no words to write out; and I don’t want to say “only a person who has given (or witnessed) birth knows the feeling” because, even though that’s probably true, it sounds unfair to me. 

Seeing everything all over again reminds me to finish off my Year 2007 synopsis for the blog…

Figures

… I don’t mean that in the physical sense…

… nor numerical sense…

but in the sense that when you are thinking/expecting one thing and you let your guard down; your expectations up – it would figure something would go wrong…

Greg and I had one of those moments tonight. But, through this moment one of us realized we were thinking in the wrong sense…

Greg has literally spoiled me these past someodd weeks; he has given me every thing I’ve been wanting – in the materialistic way – for years in just a span of 6 weeks. At the same time, he’s given me something I’ve never had before – an experience that I’ve never felt – and this something has no physical-ness or material identity, and that something is being in-love.

With the combination of the two, I have quickly adapted to a form of attention (so to speak) and let my guard down and allowed expectations to creep in. Generally, I don’t set expectations for myself or others. I would rather not feel let down or disappointed in something that I have no control over; and with this outlook I have probably missed out on a lot of opportunities in life.

I have a point to this, I promise.

I had let my emotional guard down (yes, I still keep some level of a guard up – old habits are hard to break) in regards to my expectations of Greg and our first anniversary (of being in a committed relationship together (which has been very emotionally trying, at times, for me)).

Last night Greg and I talked about our plans for this weekend and next weekend. It was decided, from my understanding, that we would celebrate my birthday more low key rather than what he was originally planning. I had no problems with this because we had agreed to celebrate my 30th birthday by going on a cruise together – which in my mind it didn’t make sense to go overboard (ha ha – pun intended) two birthdays in a row – and that we would focus more of our planning for our first anniversary. With that being said last night, my expectations of this anniversary and everything it means went up a couple of notches; and I let my protective guard (the one that prevents me from setting expectations) down.

Tonight Greg tells me that he’s having second thoughts about his plans for our anniversary; feeling that the amount of money that would be spent doesn’t justify the means. In so many words.

That started the emotional roller coast.

It upset me; it even hurt. I told him, after explaining that it’s not the amount of money spent, but what memories I am going to have about this event in our life (granted, not as big as our wedding but at this present moment in time – right here, right now – this is a big moment in my life with him) that it felt like he was placing a monetary value (as in what’s costing too much) on something that’s suppose to be memorable by the emotions we feel for each other and how we celebrate this milestone.

We talked, at length, about how we interpret milestones in life (birthdays, anniversaries, etc). To Greg, achieving those milestones, year after year, have none, if very little, significant value to him – he’s just happy to hear a ‘happy birthday’ on his birthday. Maybe this perspective is just a guy thing, I don’t know.  And, in all honesty, I usually feel the same to somedegree. I don’t expect a lot of attention or recognition on my birthday, or something I’ve achieved; i don’t expect to be treated like a princess or queen for a day or anything to that degree. But, when it comes to an anniversary – something very significant as the first anniversary, then yes – I do have a higher level of expectations; after the first anniversary my expectations revert back to the levels of a birthday (a card at least).

Greg did some serious thinking about my feelings of our relationship and why this anniversary means so much to me and realized what he’s been doing and how he sees things.

Greg’s epiphany, so to speak, was that he’s always thinking in the sense of ‘seeing’ when it comes to the emotions and meaning of a gift – meaning he relates the emotional gratitude of the gift by what the person physically has but not by the emotional memory/meaning of the gift; he relates a value by money rather than by memory. He’s ‘seeing’ things with the wrong perspective.

I am really trying to express my thoughts into something more accurate and easier to understand than what I’ve written. It’s frustrating, slightly, that I am unable to write what I feel. I am seriously considering a writing class so I can learn to express my thoughts in writing better.

When he realized all this, he realized why I was upset by what he said earlier. He realized that it isn’t the amount of money spent on the anniversary but the memories I (we) am going to have from our time together – the whole package of us celebrating this milestone.

How does this figure out?  Greg is going to try to think outside of the money box and more into what the meaning. This doesn’t mean we’re going to go balls out on things in the future – but he’s seeing the meaning of certain milestones in life rather than the cost to create those memories.

****   ****   ****   ****   ****

Greg and I are very similar in thinking when it comes to money; if there is extra money, we’ll treat is as something to hoard. It’s very hard for us to spend money on things that are unnecessary, such as a hotel 15 miles up the road, even though Greg and I are financially stable at this time – it’s still hard for us to let go of the money (and this extra money isn’t including the amount in our savings account – which is for the purpose of an emergency) – even though we acknowledge that we are not putting ourselves in jeopardy by spending this money; we’re not delaying any payments to anyone; we’re not depriving ourselves of something we need over something we want. This extra money is available for us to have fun – enjoy this once in a life time moment of being ‘free’ from financial stresses. All of this we know is safe to do, but we’re having such a hard time doing it.

Thinking like this has its benefits and downfalls. I feel that Greg and I have our financial priorities straight and we know when we can’t afford something. Yet, at the same time, we don’t allow ourselves to enjoy the moments when we have the ability to treat ourselves.

It’s a vicious circle, money that is.

Crazy Busy Day!

Well, today was Amelia’s ONE YEAR check-up!!! She received three shots and wasn’t a happy camper. Only to later have some blood drawn. I had more of an anxiety attack when her doc told me he wanted some blood work than seeing Amelia get her shots. I have a somewhat strong phobia for needles and I always develop a slight anxiety attack when I have to get a shot or have any blood work done (and anyone would think that since I have birth and went through all that I did last January (and the many, many IV’s I had.. 3 at the same time at one point) that I would be over my fear – I’m not). And, since my doc ordered some blood work for me when I saw him in December I thought I might as well fulfill that order as well. I will say, the lady at Lab-Corp did a great job! I barely felt the needle go in and there isn’t a bruise on my arm or anything. And, Amelia did as expected – she cried. I was surprised that she didn’t try to interfere with the phlebotomist (and that they didn’t have to tie her down like I was expecting).

Anyway, here are the stats on Amelia:

Weight: 20lbs even (previous appointment was 18 lbs and 4 ounces)

Height: 28.5 inches!! She’s a tall little girl (previous appointment was 27 1/4 inches)

Not a huge growth spurt, but she’s still in line with everything (her pediatrician doesn’t give those percentages at each check-up, and it’s probably for the best as I would probably over worry for nothing). Oh, and she has two more teeth growing in – on the top. It seems, that when Amelia’s teeth decide to grow, they grow two at a time! Plus, isn’t it a little odd that it’s her top teeth growing in rather than her bottom? Anyway, as soon as these two new teeth break through she’ll have a total of six teeth.

Anyway, after Amelia’s appointment we went to have the blood work done and then we went to the WIC appointment only to learn that I was a little early… by a day (this is an example of why I might need a PDA)! So, I told the WIC person that I don’t wish to continue with the program as I don’t need the services anymore. The lady actually tried to talk me out of quitting!! I guess it’s rare that they are told that someone doesn’t need the assistance anymore. But, I still don’t know why they would try to talk me about it. I just told the lady that I wouldn’t qualify anymore because of my income (which is true).

By now it’s 11:30am and we decide to take Amelia to day care. I update the sitter about Amelia and her shots and what not and then Greg and I head out to Columbia to have lunch at The Olive Garden. Greg has had a gift card to the restaurant for over a year, in addition to two gift cards to Borders.

Lunch at The Olive Garden was… horrible. Our server was bad. I actually spoke to the manager about our experience at the restaurant. This lady, our server, seemed to have forgotten all about us even though she passed by us countless times. And, according to the manager she only had three tables to serve (including ours)! We knew it was going to be a bad experience when she forgot to bring us our drinks and I had to flag her down, twice, to ask for our drinks. She never put in our appetizer order (which we realized later), and never stopped by to see how we’re doing or offered us a refill of our drinks. After talking to the manager, he said he would take care of it. At that time my Mom called so Greg spoke to the manager and I don’t know what they talked about but we had $7.53 taken off our bill and he gave us a $25 gift card (which is what we were paying our lunch with) and stated that he hopes we’ll return in the futre. We understand people have bad days, but if you’re in the server business – at least communicate with your customers so we’re not left wondering. Since we were paying with a gift card, what ever balance was on the gift card was going to be the tip – it was about a 6% tip.

After lunch, we stopped by Greg’s office to get a few things and then we were off to Borders. Today’s weather was freaky! We had a mild snow flurry blizzard this afternoon! Greg and I sat in the car at Borders and watched the snow fly by us! It was so cool; the wind was blowing so fast that it looked we were driving through the snow (as we sat facing the wind and snow). When the snow wind was over we headed inside. Greg and I spent nearly two hours in that store. I so love book stores and could spend days in there! There were so many books I wanted to get (about photography, wedding planning, traveling, photoshop, etc) and Greg found a ton as well. Can you believe we spent $71 at the store and we only bought periodicals!

After our little shopping spree at Borders, we stopped by the loan office and dropped off some paper work and then came home and… well… you get the idea. Around 5:40pm, Greg left to go get Amelia and we found something that pissed me off, not Greg but me. What this person did was illegal and if I find out who did this there will be hell to pay (with the law and lawyers).

So, I spent a good part of the evening cooling off and doing a little reasearch. I am so thankful that Greg and I have such an open relationship and how we communicate to each other.

Anyway, to distract my thoughts I decided to look at some wedding things and go through the magazines that we bought earlier today. I haven’t really found anything that stands out to me. I have looking up a few other bridal salons and marked their websites as a favorite to remember them when I am ready to dress shop. But, Greg and I need to pick our location and then plan from there. We’re probably going to do start our venue hunt this spring; that’s when I’m going to really start getting excited about this wedding (not to say that I’m not excited now).

I’ve got a headache so I’m heading out.

More stuff about stuff

Ugh! Work was so freaking busy today!! But I did receive a wonderful surprise from Greg this afternoon: Lunch!! Greg came over to my job during my lunch hour with a surprise lunch from Bill Bateman’s! Greg ordered us some yummy wings and a Chicken Chesapeake (grilled chicken breast topped with crab meat and their crab dip) for me. During lunch Greg and I did some wedding talk (nothing concrete; just discussing when we can begin our venue search) and baseball talk. I am trying and hoping to get opening day tickets for Greg as a present for our first anniversary. At the moment, I can only purchase a package and I don’t want that (though maybe later in the year), I just want a single game purchase! I’m watching the Orioles Hangout like a hawk on any information about when tickets will go on sale for opening day.

Greg told me what my birthday/anniversary present is and I didn’t even bug him about it! He just couldn’t hold it in anymore and asked if I wanted to know and I said yes (I’m just as bad as he is; he knows about my goal to get opening day tickets). So, my present is a Canon PowerShot SD870 IS and he bought a 2GB memory card!!

Canon PowerShot SD870 IS - MY NEW CAMERA!! 

Greg is spoiling me rotten! He bought me a new laptop (with a matching bag and wireless mouse, and a cooling fan to place the laptop on), he proposed to me with the ring I fell in love with when we were ring shopping (and he proposed with my family present which has more meaning than words can describe), he bought me a new game for my Nintendo DS and now he has bought me a new camera; and a nice one at that!! The camera is due to be shipped on the 23rd, so I actually have to wait for this gift! In the mean time I read the specs and reviews and looked up pictures taken with the camera on Flickr and I am so freaking excited about it! It even has a 28mm lens so I can take wide angel pictures!

Also, my new phone has been shipped and should be here by Wednesday (my stalking to FedEx’s website has begun)!! I have so many new ‘toys’ to play with (laptop – loving it!!; cellphone; camera; video editing software, etc). Oh! I don’t know how I am going to divide my time between all of them. Ha ha!

Amelia has her one year check up tomorrow. I am very curious to know how much she weighs (as I am always curious about her weight) and even more curious to know how tall she is! I swear she’s grown an inch in the last month! Oh! and I forgot to mention!!! Amelia took two whole steps on Saturday all by herself! And she did it again on Sunday (even when Greg’s Mom and brother were here) and this morning! She’s going to be walking very soon (it took less than a week for her to begin crawling once she did her first few crawls without ‘splatting’ (when Amelia just splats onto the floor – as well call it). I am still in shock that she is a year old now. Gosh, I can’t believe 2007 is over with and how busy that year was. I went through so much in such a short time (still working on my 2007 Review; although I haven’t touched it since last week). I can’t believe that Greg has made all three of my big wishes come true (and he didn’t even know about two of them) and it’s a weird feeling to realize the things that I was wishing for actually come to fruition! Like, dreams aren’t suppose to come true; you’re suppose to have them so you have something to keep you motivated, and yet I’ve had THREE COME TRUE! I don’t have any more dreams to wish for! Well, I do have a few more but I know those will come true with hard work and determination (buying our first house mainly) and sticking to our goals. 

Speaking of goals, Greg was approved for a personal loan! With this loan he is able to pay off his car and his Dell account and still have enough money for us to finally put something into a savings account, do a little Ikea shopping (night stands and a tall dresser are our goal), purchase our plane tickets for our trip to Atlanta, GA and Mobile, AL this spring, and other small odds and ends. Our goal is to maintain our improving credit and establish a decent credit history for 2008. Then in 2009 we’re considering applying for a personal loan (maybe $10K) for the wedding and honeymoon and anything extra from that loan is going to go into a high interest CD to start putting away for a down payment on a house. With this current loan, we’re going to be saving around $300 a month so this is a win-win situation for us. Oh, and Greg can pick up the check tomorrow!!

In other, more girly, news…

This is my off week and the hormones (the physical ones too) are already wreaking havoc on me – more physically than emotionally. My back has been aching so much today. At times I wonder if it’s the bra (as it’s a little too big) so I keep adjusting it with no relief. Then, my stomach feels so physically full, like extended as if I were pregnant, that it aches; not a stomach ache but a ache like it’s being stretched. Oh, and the fatigue is still within me, though that decreased some but not all (I even fell asleep on the couch yesterday afternoon). I don’t want to take ‘the test’ but I’m starting to wonder if i should just to rule that thought out. I’ll wait it out and see if I get my cycle this week…

On the emotional end, I felt a little anger this evening; Greg left his email account open and of course I snooped (he knows I’m going to look if he leaves it open – mainly to make sure he’s keeping his promise to me), there is some positiveness in one regard but on the other I became pissed with a few emails from his ex that were exchanged a few months ago (Greg needs to clean out his sent folder – he has emails going back to 2005! Also, i didn’t get mad at Greg, just what impression I received from her emails and replies). I just don’t understand some people, and this is related to what I wrote back in December; I would elaborate, but I promised Greg a few things regarding his ex and the ‘blog wars’ that could ensue (although neither of us have read her blog for a while as we’ve discussed a few things about the content and the hypocrisy… yadda yadda yadda). So, I should end this paragraph before I say more than I should.

I think that’s all I have to write about. It’s been a few weeks (I think) since I’ve written anything of such volume (1178 words at current count). Guess I should go to bed (even though I could sleep in if Amelia allows). Oh, and I cancelled my dentist appointment; it was for a cleaning anyway and those are easy to re-schedule. I seriously over booked my day! I had an appointment at 10, 12, and 2, plus we had other errands to run in-between the appointments. I was going to drive myself nuts with all this driving.

Also, more on the wedding talk! I was talking to my Mom on the way home and I asked her if she wanted to come wedding dress shopping with me when I am ready and she replied with “Of Course!”. I told her that I didn’t think she would be excited about this wedding because it would be my second but she reassured me that she’s more excited because she feels Greg is an amazing person and thinks we’re perfect for each other so she is very excited about our wedding and marriage (though feels we should use what money we would pay for a wedding to put towards a house). Hearing my Mom say all these positive things about Greg makes me more excited about marrying him. When Adam and I wed, I told my Mom she could plan the reception as I didn’t care; and seriously I didn’t. I wasn’t excited about marrying Adam. This time it’s different; I am so freaking excited about marrying Greg and planning our wedding. I get butterflies in my stomach just thinking about walking down the isle towards him and seeing his excitement and happiness on his face. I never imagined how good it feels to be inlove with someone. They always say ‘you know’ when you’ve met your soulmate and I never believed it whole-heartily because i never felt anything remotely as I do now than when I was with Adam; I was so off with Adam and I second guessed many decisions (and many lessons learned) but everything I feel with Greg is concrete and no second guessing what-so-ever. What an amazing feeling this is.

Anyway, I’ve got to go to bed – going to lay on the heating pad for a bit to relax what muscles are causing my discomfort…

Mind Musings

I have so many thoughts going through my mind!

  • I’m thinking about my upcoming divorce hearing and saying good bye to Adam (mentally);
  • The odd dream I had last night about Greg’s ex;
  • Wedding stuff, mainly finding our site for the ceremony and reception;
  • The slow realization that Greg is going to be my future husband;
  • Van’s offer to pay for my tuition so I can finish my medical assisting/nursing certification/degree;
  • And much more…

Mainly, I am thinking about my wedding and divorce with little bits of the dream I had last night; which I’ll start off with first…

Last night, I dreamt that Greg and I were living with his ex temporarily. It was very awkward for me in the dream, even though we (Greg’s ex and I) were rarely home at the same time. Then, at some point in the dream, the exes sister spies on me and tells the ex what I’ve been doing (supposedly) and then the ex leaves all these notes around the house for me (and they weren’t very positive notes). The same day I discovered the notes around the house, she comes home while I am there and I confront her about the stuff she’s writing to me. And, somehow, after talking about everything we become friends. And, I recall thinking in the dream how odd it felt realizing that we’ve basically ‘made up’ and were actually talking as friends. Very strange dream, no?

My second thought is about saying good bye, permanently, to Adam.  Honestly, I am not that upset about saying good bye as I have no emotional attachment to him what-so-ever; but I thought I would be able to send an email every once in a blue moon to say ‘Hi’ and see what he’s up to (just as I’ve done since 2005 when he moved out). But, I confronted him (via email as that’s the only means of communication I have to him) about the impression I had that he doesn’t want to be hearing from me for non divorce related stuff. You see, I’ve always remained friends with all my exes, even if I started a new relationship or if they started a new relationship; it just wasn’t odd to me. But, Adam is different; he’s a very private person and even though I’m not asking him private questions, I got the feeling that he doesn’t want to be hearing from me after the divorce. Which, as I’ve mentioned, is fine. After all, we need to close certain chapters from our past and move on to start the new chapters. I don’t think I’ll ‘miss’ him in any sense. I guess, in a sense, I received closure from him when he, more or less, confirmed what I thought. So, that is that.

Now, onto the wedding stuff! Last night I bought my first wedding magazine!! I bought the winter edition of The Knot, the magazine version of the website for things in the DC, VA, MD area. And, today, I read that magazine from cover to cover! I highlighted things of interest and worth looking into and checked out a few vendors and potential wedding/ceremony websites.

Even though, as of today, I have 653 days until my wedding, I want to pick out my location; and it’s slightly difficult because I don’t know how many guests we’re going to invite vs. attend. Greg thinks we’ll easily have 150 attendees; I think he’s wrong. Plus, if we have a wedding with that many guests, it’s really going to be financially stressful for us (I, without mentioning anything to my family – as in asking, am not expecting help from our families for our wedding, especially since I’m a repeat bride (sorta)). I am expecting something smaller, like around 75 guests. The second topic of discussion is where to host our wedding and reception. Greg said he wants to do something exotic and feels that if we hold our wedding and reception at a park, that it’s too traditional. Greg and I view the word ‘traditional’ in terms of a wedding completely different; to me, a traditional wedding is a wedding that is held in a church and the reception in a banquet hall. So far, Greg and I have added Ripkin Stadiumas a possible ceremony/reception site. My Mom, on the other hand, would like us to have our wedding reception (as least) at her house. Granted, there are 20 acres to fit everyone, and there is a small beach where we could have the bon fire, but I feel it would be too much of a drive for everyone, and that there are no hotels near by for the guests (since EVERYONE would need a hotel room); if Mom lived closer, then I would seriously consider it (after all, my other wedding reception was held at home in Churchton). I believe the planning would be easier on me if I knew how much money I had to work with. But, I want to know how much everything is going to cost before I set my budget… it feels like I’m in a ‘catch 22’ regarding this part of the planning. Eh, as Greg says, we have plenty of time. Oh, and another item we dicussed was our “save the date” notices – we’re going to send them out this summer. We’re thinking magnets so everyone can put it on the fridge and, hopefully, not forget.

So, not too much going on.

Although, I really should be planning Amelia’s First Birthday Party, as I only have 2 weeks (eek!!). Guess Greg and I will work on that this weekend…

Three Weeks and Counting

Only 21 days until Christmas!!!  I am getting so freaking excited!

Last night, Greg placed the order for the laptop. With the employee discount (his company has a special program set up with Dell to receive about 12% off), the special Dell is promoting, and some other discount, Greg saved nearly $400 on the laptop and this is all with free shipping. In addition to the laptop, Greg ordered a laptop bag (messenger style); a wireless mouse, and a cooling fan/docking station – all with coordinating colors to the laptop (which is Ruby Red). Now, the scheduled ‘build date’ is, as of last night, Dec 18 – two weeks from today – and the shipping date is Dec 21. I am really, really, hoping everything will arrive on time for Christmas (as I am sure Greg is hoping for too).

I am hoping that all of this will happen earlier than scheduled, mainly because I could really use the DVD R/RW +/- writer to finish the copying of the Huntt Family Home Movies for everyone as Christmas gifts. We’ve learned that if someone’s DVD player doesn’t support the DVD -R, then they can’t watch the DVD. If not, then I am going to have to do this the long way by copying the movies onto Greg’s computer and hook up the external DVD burner (a light scribe which would allow me to make a custom cover of the DVD) and burn that way; which, in a small way could be easier for all the DVD’s I have to make (about 7). Eh, maybe I’ll do that anyway and hand them out at the wedding reception; of course, this is going to be done after I’ve done my shopping (holiday clothes, Greg’s Christmas present, etc); Ugh, looks like my Wednesday morning is going to be uber busy.

The only downside to all my Christmas excitement is that it’s all over with on Christmas Day. As a kid, I rarely enjoyed Christmas morning only because I knew that Christmas would be over with by 10am. But, I loved that feeling of excitement waking up at 5am and sneaking out to the living room and seeing all the presents under the tree, looking at all the Christmas lights and seeing the stockings hung over the fireplace and filled to the brim with goodies – all the while listening to the Christmas music playing from the radio in the background. And then running into Mom and Van’s room to wake them up so we can open everything only to be told to go back to bed and wait until 7am. At which point I was just lie in bed and listen to Christmas music on my walkman. It was like this until my late teens (high school age) – seriously. And my brother was the same way. Lately (the last two or three years), I didn’t do anything for Christmas other than visit my Mom. The last two years I didn’t even put up a tree. This year, and all the years coming, is going to be completely different and not just because of Amelia. This year, I am with someone that I am madly in love with and gets into the Christmas spirit just as much as I do and those two factors alone makes this Christmas super special. Then we add in that this is Amelia’s First Christmas and she’s practically old enough to get into to, as in opening presents and just enjoying the excitement that we all feel.

Our Christmas plans, as of today, are to go down to my Mom’s on Sunday, the 23rd, and celebrate Christmas together (including April, Clayton, and Olivia and I think cousin Danny) with my side of the family and then on Christmas Day, go to Greg’s Mom’s for the traditional Christmas Brunch that she cooks every year. Greg and I did talk about flying out to Detroit to visit his Dad and Step-Mom (and step sisters) but I don’t think it’s going to happen, at least for Christmas. We’re thinking of doing a trip in late January or early February. Denise, Greg’s step-mom, is dying to meet Amelia and me.

In other news…

I was notified by Schmap that my picture of the MD Science Ctr has been included in the guide on their website. Woo-hoo!!

And…

Yesterday I received the following (via emalil):

“Jessica,

After thoroughly reviewing and discussing your photograph, I am pleased to inform you that our Selection Committee has advanced your contest entry, “Drummer Girl,” to semi-finalist in the International Open Amateur Photography Contest.

Your photo will now be automatically entered into the final competition, where you now have an excellent chance of winning one of over 114 cash or gift prizes, including the $1,000.00 Grand Prize. You may even win the $10,000.00 Annual Grand Prize! And that’s not all! In celebration of your unique talent, we also wish to publish your photograph in our forthcoming anthology series . . . Endless Journeys.”

 Here’s the picture:

Drummer Girl

A few weeks ago I submitted a photo of Amelia playing the drums at the October RSC and titled the entry as “Drummer Girl”. The website, Pictures.com, hosts photo contests so I said why not and hit submit and then completely forgot about it, until yesterday when I received the above email. This is pretty exciting, in my mind. Makes me feel that I could probably submit a photo to CutestKid.com and maybe win!

I believe that’s all I have for an update. How is everyone else doing out there?