Happiness in the simple things.

On my living room wall is a picture of Mr. A and I standing in front of a limo moments before the dinner of our high school graduation.

I have that picture hanging there not because it reminds me of how smoking (I kid...) I was when I was 19 or how thin I was or how absolutely HUGE my hair was. The reason I have that picture hanging there is because it reminds me of how simple life was for us then. No mortgage. No responsibilities. Just pure, simple joy and excitement of the moments we were about to witness.

Back then (oh, we were young), Mr. A and I would talk on the phone in the wee hours of the morning dreaming about what our lives would be when we were older. There was never talk of mansions and fancy cars. I don't even remember wishing to travel to exotic places. I do remember however, the one wish we had for our lives together - yes, we knew we would be together - a simple house with the white picket fence and a little dog. That's it. I think we just assumed we'd be happy. I think we just assumed there would be children. It was such a modest dream.

I forget that dream often, now that I'm older. I get caught up in the 'what I wants' and never does that feed your soul or make you happy. It's always the little things; the late night phone calls and dreams of togetherness, the giggles of the kids, the wag of the dogs tail. They are so easy to overlook.


With each New Year...

Pigsty or organized? It's such a fine line...
The drawer after - Evidence picture No.1
The drawer after - Evidence picture No. 2

I make promises to myself that I really can't keep. I promise to eat better (yah, when potato chips are my downfall and they are everywhere), exercise more, spend less, and on and on and on. Well, we'd hate to break the streak, wouldn't we (perhaps that's my thing)? This year I've decided that I'm going to: 1. be more organized and 2. try new things. In the process, I'm also going to focus on being happier!

Today, let's focus on the whole "becoming more organized thing". It's not that I'm a slob (Mom, no inputs here alright?) but I'm not winning any awards either. And I'm not trying too - let's make that clear shall we? No, what I'd prefer is to have a place where everything goes. Like, you know when you're trying to find a pencil and you can't find one to save your life? Or where do the scissors end up? That magazine you've been dying to read but "you've put it away so you could find it". Yah, I'd like to end all of those things. I've started. My house is a WRECK! It's like the storm before the calm....

The 12 days come and gone....

I not only was ditched - I ditched you. I'm sorry there wasn't more written on the martini/cocktails this year. It was all a little crazy and I'm afraid it got a little nasty in the end. And not in the fun, hanging on the porcelain, dancing in the street, 'whooping it up' kind of way. Nah, it was more of the 'where's the kleenex?', 'what's this stuff I keep coughing up' kind of way. So I've been out of it and I'm just starting to see the light.

Now don't go getting all worried. I'm fine. It was a mere cold and not even one big enough to warrant a hospital visit. It's just been lingering and driving me batty and keeping me sober (which really is a bother). But I'm almost back to normal. So much so that I've started having thoughts... ack, I hate when I start having thoughts. It's sooo, well, irritating.

The last four or five months have been a bit of a whirlwind; holiday seasons... and as I no longer have to start planning for Thanksgiving or planning for Christmas, I've got a LOT of free time on my hands. Time, like a cold, like thoughts, is irritating. I've also been blessed to be doing a little 'freelance' work on the side. Which is great. Really. And I think that's led to the whole thing. Because I'm starting to like working. There's a bunch of plus' to working outside the home. Negatives too, but let's not dwell there. I'm not sure where this is all headed. I'm keeping my eyes and ears open. I may even break down and start looking at my parachute color (if you get this then you are totally a peep). I'm not getting any younger - a bunch of other dialogue to go along with that one...


I feel ditched.

You know how Mr. A and I started this great tradition last year (yah, I know one year doesn't make a tradition but then, maybe it does...) of having a martini a day, for the 12 days leading up to Christmas? And you know how we were totally trying to figure out what to do this year? I did some research and I had settled on some really great 'Old fashioned' type cocktails. I WAS EXCITED. I made a list and everything. Really people, this is something I feel passionate about and I was researching it and EVERYTHING. This is the list:

1. Hot Buttered Rum
2. Brandy Alexander
3. Old fashioned (makes sense considering the list)
4. Bloody Mary
5. Tom Collins
6. Whiskey Sour
7. Rusty Nail
8. Singapore Sling
9. Gimlet
10. Rob Roy
11. Gin Fizz
12. Kir Royale (cause that's just classy)

Honorable mentions go to: The Mai Tai, A Manhattan and the always classic, Martini - shaken, not stirred.

Great list right?! I mean, that's impressive. But here's the thing, I haven't had one, NOT ONE, drink off this list. It's the 14th, I'm a good two days into this thing and NOTHING. You know how hard it's going to be for me to catch up? And if I skip tonight as well? (I have no spiced rum and I have to go in order...) I'm not all together sure if I can do it. I might have to combine a few days... or maybe just do it all in one? Decisions, decisions...


12 days of Christmas

Get your thinking caps on! The Twelve Days of Christmas are fast approaching (like, tomorrow people) and I've yet to come up with a theme. I'm feeling the stress. What should we focus on this year? Something fruity? Something fun? Traditional?

Comments (nice ones please 'tis the season and all) are welcome and appreciated!

Finally, the stairs...

Dear Martha, Thank you for your fun and creative ideas. Where would I be without you?
What the wood looks like when it's sanded and stained. The 'stuff' in the corner is filler. I wouldn't do this normally but my initial reaction when I took off the carpet was to paint the stair. After a bit of labour I saw the wood, grew interested and decided to keep it bare. The house is divided as to whether we should keep it this way or cover it up using some other method.
And here they are in all their glory. Before they were carpeted in a REALLY ugly pink/beige carpet... shagalishous. This carpet is still hanging out in 2 bedrooms and the master on-suite. Oh, yah, it's awesome.
Take a deep breathe. They aren't done, again, a trend... I'm all about consistency. I have a bit of filling to do on the sides and the poly needs to be applied but I have to say, I LOVE them. They are rustic and imperfect. In fact, it looks as though someone with virtually NO home improvement experience tried to create something out of nothing and possibly failed miserably. And it's hard work. Don't suddenly rip up the carpet of your house and think this is easy. It will take you LONG hours, tons of sandpaper and a scrape or two (by scrape I mean huge chunks of skin missing from your hand). It was sooo much freakin' fun though. I'd love for them to be over and done with but putting poly on stairs takes an awful long time - there's the whole drying thing and the whole getting motivated thing...


And Christmas fast approaches....

The stairs still don't have the poly on them. But how can I even think of that when Little Drummer Boy is playing. Enjoy. This boy is 16 years old (or so the article said) and extremely talented. Little 8 pound baby Jesus would be smiling in his manger.