Friday, January 25, 2013

Working It Out

“You will never be happy if you continue to search for what happiness consists of.  You will never live if you are looking for the meaning of life. “
 ~Albert Camus

Do you ever feel like you just need a day off? 
The end of last week I felt as if I had come to the end of my rope, literally. It had been one of the most challenging weeks I have had as a Mom and it just kept heading downhill. Each day would start out promising and then go south like a brick in water. And the journey was painful. 
On Friday night when my husband got home from a long week at work I proclaimed that I was officially clocking out as a mom for the weekend and he was on his own. I needed to get out of the house and be alone, be with some other girls….something other than being a mom. Fortunately my husband is already very hands-on with the kids so he accepted with no questions. Well, he did have one but I gave him the hand and said, "nope, off duty." (I know, not so nice but I think he knew to stay away after that one.)
 I have fortunately grown wise enough to recognize when I need to take a step back and just breathe. I spent the next 48 hours getting to know myself again. Not being held to a time limit or wrestled away from something due to a crying baby or poopie diaper. And, it felt good. Really good.
I always tend to get caught in a funk after the holidays so the timing of my mood was right on schedule; however, different from years past, I also felt as if I had fallen out of touch with myself.

As much as I love being around groups of people, I am wired to need a certain amount of alone time and I had reached empty. Sitting with myself and having time to just roll through the thoughts in my head without interruption was exactly what I needed. After treating myself to a pedicure I went to an old favorite sushi spot for a late lunch and glass of wine. I spent an hour reading my Marie Claire magazine without feeling guilty or rushed. 
As I settled into a state of peace and comfort, I looked around and observed the people surrounding me. Two moms and their middle school daughters were having lunch next to me. Listening to their conversation I realized that my little guys have little problems and was thankful that I didn't have to deal with counseling my kids on bullying and silent treatment from the popular girls. Soon enough the group of moms and daughters were laughing and it made me smile because I was reminded that in the midst of our challenges we can find hope.
A couple of tables away I watched two girlfriends who were enjoying a day together. When they got their check one swiftly picked it up and said to the other, "no, I want to take care of YOU for a change today." The other woman was so touched and it made me get goose bumps. I thought of how much I appreciate my good friends.
(I had these adorable cozies made by The Cozy Project for my best friend and me so we think of each other every morning  although we're far apart.)
On the far side of the restaurant sat two elderly couples. Just before they got up to leave one couple handed the other a gift bag. I never saw what was in the bag but the other couple clearly felt it was sentimental and immediately started recalling distant fond memories of their friendship. All four began laughing and hugging and I found myself feeling joy inside for my own family and friends.
As I carefully watched the people that surrounded me during that lunch, I kept receiving pictures from my husband of the treasure hunt he was guiding our kids through while I was away. 
By the end of the meal I felt that my tank had been filled. I walked to my car and just before I left decided to look at Instagram. There I saw a quote from a father to his very pregnant daughter: "...if life travels at the speed of sound, it's too soon silent. Enjoy the noise, enjoy the chaos, enjoy the mess--order is overrated." 

I had made the weekend date with myself because I felt my life was out of order but at that moment I knew it was just as it should be. 
Life is a series of ups and downs but it is the low moments that humble us, teach us and push us to appreciate the rainbows in our life. I put my phone away and drove home to be what God has blessed me to be-a wife and a mother. And for this I'm grateful. 
 (Jumping on the bed with my kids: Something I've vowed to do more of in 2013.)
 "Life loves to be taken by the lapel and told:
I am with you kid, let's go!"
-Maya Angelou

Monday, January 21, 2013

Third Annual New New Year's Eve Party

Its already mid-January, but I’m still having fond memories of another fun New Year’s Eve and didn't want any more time to pass before I posted photos. To find out how this “new” tradition began, read this.

The night was full of family, friends, confetti, good food, champagne and laughter. 
(Hats, noise makers, Baby Cash’s tux, and drinks on ice.)

Gold, silver and black were the colors of the night.

(Mason jars, glitter and spray adhesive helped make quick centerpieces. Dave did a run to the local bodega for flowers equipped with only two demands requests: "fluffy" and "white". He delivered.)
 We had fancy head wear, sparklers and glow-in-the-dark-but-didn't-glow-in-the-dark bracelets (a proclaimed die-hard Dollar store fan, I've finally found something that's not so great from there), and plastic champagne glasses for the kids to make ice cream soda floats. (Best laid plans. The night ended and I looked over and saw the glasses still sitting there. Well, the good news is, I've been eating tons of yummy ice cream since...)
(I added a few festive touches to the flowers using foam stars leftover from our Super Hero Party, pipe cleaners twisted around pencils to create swirls, and white duct tape to adhere them to skewer sticks.)
I created matching hippie headbands for E and me but things got a little hectic so I didn’t have an opportunity to experiment with my hair. Hers looked darn cute though and she loved it!

What made this party truly fun were the loved ones that surrounded us...

 (Magic tricks with Daddy.)
(Daddy's talking. Meanwhile...)
(Thanks Andrea for coming every year, we love having you be a part of it!)
(Hunter performed the best magic trick of the night when he let his conductor hat loose with a motorized car inside. It became a magic hat that chased us all and he was pretty stoked.)
 These two met as babies and have been fast friends ever since. It makes me tear up to see just how fast time has flown in two short years...
 We wrapped the night up with a countdown and confetti throw. 
After some clean up and crown adjusting, 
we ended the night with an impromptu magic show, 

said our goodbyes and left the kids with our good friend, Gaina, so we could enjoy an adults-only dinner with our friends Amy and Neil (a.k.a our CT family. We spend three holidays a year together and were lucky enough to check another one off this year--Christmas. Yep, the biggie. We ate their food, trashed their playroom, spit up on their carpet and they still ask us back for more. We love you guys!!)
Cheers to another 356 days of being blessed to LIVE.
2013 - We can't wait to see what you have in store for us....
“Write it on your heart that each day is the best day of the year.”
-Ralph Waldo Emerson