Monday, December 31, 2012

On Lists

You may (or may not) have noticed that I've taken my 30 While 30 list down.

The idea behind the list was to follow up my much more successful 30 Before 30 list. I was inspired by a TED video claiming that telling people your goals made them less likely to happen. I have found the opposite to be true. Without a posted list to refer to and people (friends and randoms) asking, reminding, or offering to do things with me, I ignored that fact that I had made a list. So I thought it better to quit while I'm ahead.

Now, don't think that I've given up on making lists/goals. I've thought about creating a 101 Things in 1001 Days list but I know how that would turn out. I would procrastinate until day 990 and end up only completing 10 things from the list.

Back when this blog was Zero Ducks in a Row (remember that?) I made monthly goals. To some extent I still make goals or list expectations for the upcoming month. I don't think that will go away. But I would like to have something a bit more long term to work on. So instead of choosing 101 things or even 30 things I'm sticking with a short but important 13 Things.

List to come on New Year's Day!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Dear 2012,

Where do I even begin? You were everything and nothing that I expected. Instead of lamenting all the, "I wish I did ____ this year" thoughts, let's take a look at what I did manage to do this year. Day by day and week by week, my life seems rather inconsequential and boring. But when you look at it retrospectively, perspective shifts. Forgotten are the days full of laziness, the disappointments, and the little frustrations. What you are left with is highlights of a year (hopefully) well spent.

In January I set some pretty easy New Year's Resolutions and became a Mac user. I started the year off strong on the fitness front and completed my 50 mile challenge. I walked, biked, and ellipticalled away the cold winter days. I started a new year full of adventures in second grade. And began the frantic process of trying to complete and recap my 30 Before 30 list.

In February I turned the big 29+1. I managed to celebrate instead of bemoan my big birthday. Immediately following my birthday I was harshly thrust into the world of adulthood. In one week I managed to deal with the leaking and destruction of my bathroom ceiling and attend a scary DUA hearing where I had to represent myself to resolve a dispute over my unemployment benefits.

In March I took biking to the next level and biked an entire marathon! It seemed like a really good idea and I was glad that I was able to accomplish it but man on man, did certain parts of my body hate it. I created a soundtrack of my 30th year. And I hung out with crazy second graders and stayed mostly healthy while they all got the plague.

In April I was almost bankrupted paying taxes on the previous year's unemployment benefits. That was another harsh grownup lesson. I supported the entertainment industry by seeing The Hunger Games and Titanic 3D in theaters. I managed to escape to Maine for a few days to relax and recharge during school vacation.

In May I spent a lot of time not blogging. I had some serious thoughts about the passing of time. I also took lots of pictures of clouds.

In June school ended. I dog sat while my parents took off for Alaska and I watched soooo much Dawson's Creek. I created a Summer Fun List of activities that I wanted to do over the summer to make it as memorable as possible. I went back to Maine and the BFF's Weddingpalooza officially began. I ordered a dress, we made invitations, and spent lots of time being overly girly.

In July I visited my first lighthouse of the summer and visiting every lighthouse in Maine officially became a new obsession. I drove west to catch up with an old friend and reminisced at Katie's with soft serve. In one exhausting but amazing weekend, I helped the BFF celebrate her bachelorette party and bridal shower.

In August I was insanely busy. I tutored, I traveled, and I went back to school. M came to visit and we explored Boston, Concord, Salem and Maine in 5 days. I headed to Vermont for the BFF's wedding weekend and wore lots of pretty dresses. My best work friends moved away. After some last minute tutoring, I returned to school to new adventures in 3rd grade.

In September I explored museums and apple orchards. I registered to vote, sat through the first of many boring graduate classes, and had a smoothie disaster. I said goodbye to summer and hello to fall. I created a short Fall Fun List of things that make fall so wonderful.

In October it rained a lot. It was warm and swampy and nothing like the brisk and clear October that I love. I listened to Mumford and Sons over and over while I ran and walked many, many miles. I watched and live-blogged some of the Presidential debates, celebrated 10/11/12, and made it through Hurricane Sandy. Halloween came and went without any pumpkin carving.

In November I finally joined the 21st century and got an iPhone! I voted for president and found a lot of money on the ground. I enjoyed the sunny, brisk October-like weather and headed to Maine to celebrate Thanksgiving with my parents.

In December I was super crafty. I made my own advent calendar and holiday cards. I used the money I found at the mall to donate things to the food pantry, Toys for Tots, and the hat and mitten drive at school. I celebrated 12/12/12 and baked a lot of cupcakes. I mourned the loss of life and innocence in Connecticut. I survived the end of the world, celebrated Christmas and completed the 2nd Annual, Unofficial Boxing Day 5K.

So 2012 I don't really know what I expected from you. I think the main take away from this year is that life is messy and you can't really plan for anything. You just have to make the best of what you have and try as hard as you can to enjoy yourself along the way.

Here's hoping for a wonderful 2013!


Saturday, December 29, 2012

Christmas Eve and Day

This year we likely celebrated our last Christmas at my parent's house. They have big plans of traveling and becoming farmers in the new year. To celebrate they got the widest Christmas tree known to man. It blocked half of the television AND half of the doorway to the living room!

For Christmas Eve, we typically have paella but this year Everyday Dad switched it up and we had jumbo stuffed shrimp, wild rice, and roasted veggies. It was delicious. Dessert was my department. I frosted the cupcakes left over from my work gifts and added some "snow" for good measure.

I also made a raspberry trifle which is Everyday Dad's favorite. This year I baked the pound cake myself and it was quite an adventure. The cake kept growing and growing.

On Christmas Day, we traveled to the great state of NH to celebrate at Everyday Aunt's house. I chose "Four Calling Birds" for my official Christmas Day cup.

And was peer pressured into trying shrimp flavored chips....gross. (I also tried half a brussel sprout on Christmas Eve!)

L and I hung out and snuggled with a puppy...

While she found a solution to taking DSLR self portraits.

After dinner we opened Christmas poppers with silly toys and giant tissue paper crowns inside.

And L had fun wearing the hat she bought for her dad as a Darth Vadar face mask! 

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Boxing Day 5K

It's that time of year again kiddos!

Last year I decided to do an unofficial 5K race to challenge myself and prove that I could do it. This year, I decided that my unofficial race will be a yearly tradition. I also recruited two blog friends to virtually run this race with me. So the 2nd Annual, Unofficial Boxing Day 5K had THREE official participants!

Like last year, I did no training and had not run since October. Suffice it to say, I am quite sore today. My legs are rebelling and I can't really stand on my left foot. But I'm super proud of myself. Last year I spent the entire race wishing it was over and trying to talk myself out of giving up. This year I had no doubts that I would finish and giving up didn't cross my mind.

Monday, December 24, 2012


I cannot believe how quickly December has gone by! It seems like I just hung up my homemade advent calendar and now the adventing has come to an end.

I did almost everything but not necessarily on the days that I opened the envelope. I didn't end up making my felt garland even though I bought the felt. Oh well...there is always next year!

And I didn't finish knitting my scarf that I started LAST winter....or two winters ago?? But to be honest, I chuckled as I tucked that card into an advent envelope because I knew that the likelihood of it getting done was slim to none.

In summation, I LOVED my advent calendar and plan to use it in the future. I'll be sad to take it down.

Merry Christmas Eve to you all and to all a good night!

Farewell Autumn

Now that the shortest day of the year has come and gone, it's officially winter. This year fall disappointed me. October was super rainy so I missed out on the pumpkin carving. Thanksgiving snuck up on me so I missed out on the pumpkin pie. And of course, I didn't get anywhere close to making a mini book. And to be honest, I don't plan on it. Fall 2012 didn't have a lot of awesome that needed to be documented. 

After a Summer to-do and and Autumn to-do, I don't have a winter to-do planned. Winter is the time when I hunker down, snuggle under a quilt, drink hot cocoa, and watch a lot of TV. It's my form of hibernation. I'm not a cold weather enthusiast and I don't do the typical New England outdoorsy winter things. I'll emerge from my cave come spring!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

My Holiday Card...For Real

After a failed holiday card attempt, I started over. I had an idea but wasn't sure about its execution. First I made a design.

Then transfered the design to my stamp via the trace both sides with pencil then retrace method.

Then I (carefully) cut...

And cut.

I wasn't sure how it would print. I was afraid the ink would fill in the snowflake and it wouldn't print correctly...and I was first.

And so I tried again with purple. And failed again.

The ink was all dried up and cracky. But I persevered. This time with MAGENTA!

SUCCESS! And then I printed like 18,000 more.

The inside of the card.

The back of the card.

And the envelopes!

Happy Holidays!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Christmas Presents

This past week insomnia hit me hard. I wasn't sleeping well and on Tuesday night I slept from midnight until I took a mental health day off from work. I finally fell back asleep about 6 am then slept till 11ish.

I decided to use the day to finish my Christmas shopping. Even on Wednesday afternoon, the mall seemed like the Saturday before Christmas! But I had fun picking out presents for the people that I love.

Of course, I picked up a few presents for myself as well. Whenever people ask me what I want for Christmas I can't conjure up a thought because all I really want to do is hang out. But when I'm at the mall, it's a different story. But Everyday Brother and I have come up with a solution for self-shopping at Christmastime. Instead of sending each other money or gift cards, we decided we would just buy ourselves something ridiculous then tell people that we bought it for each other.

This year I "bought" Everyday Brother this old school classic phone receiver that plugs into your smart phone so you speak into the fake phone instead of frying your brain cells with cell phone waves.

He texted me a picture of himself talking to me on his new present.

And Everyday Brother "bought" me an absurdly large calendar. I have coveted the Stendig Calendar for several years and this year it is mine. But here's the thing....IT. IS. HUGE.

The calendar box is 2/3 the size of my tree!

It is difficult to show you just how giant this thing is. But here is the calendar on my forever unmade queen sized bed.

The only problem: I haven't decided where I am going to hang this sucker yet.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Cooking with Amy: Cupcake Jars Take 2

After the success of the mason jar cupcake bridal shower favors, I decided they would make a perfect holiday gift for work friends.

I had a jingle jammy dance party to the N'Sync Christmas album while whipping up some red velvet cupcakes. They were reddish but didn't come out as vibrant as I anticipated.

I prepped the lids with snowflakes...

And created some cute "Happy Holidays" tags. After I finished ALL of the tags, I realized they were way too big for the jars. I tried to peel off the stickers but it was a no go.

 I cut the cupcakes in half horizontally then layered with frosting.

And I topped them off with some sparkly snow-like crystal sprinkles.

The plan B for the tags was these smaller white tags. I simply stamped my "Homemade with love" stamp and tied them on with some bakers twine.

They were cute and easy and portable...but best of all people loved them and said they were delicious (which is what really counts when you're talking about cupcakes).

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Conversations with Children: End of the World Edition

Scene: Today during calendar

Miss C: And what is tomorrow?
Student N: Tomorrow is Friday, December 21, 2012.
Student D: Tomorrow is the end of the year.
Miss C: Well, it's the last day of school this year.
Student D: No. I mean it's the end of the world!
Student A: What?
Student K: The world is going to explode tomorrow.
Miss C: The world is not going to end. What do we do when the calendar ends?
Student J: Get a new one.
Miss C: Exactly. The Mayans didn't know to get a new calendar.

Later in the day...

Student D: The world is going to end!
Student K: I'm not going to do my homework because the world is going to end.
Miss C: It is already December 21st in Australia and the world didn't end.
Student D: Oh.
Student K: How is it already tomorrow in Australia?
Miss C: Well, there are things called time zones...

Conversations with Children: Favorite Colors and Puppies

Scene: Every single morning

Student A: Miss C, what's your favorite color today?

And all I can think is:


Scene: This morning

Student K: Miss C! I'm pending!
Miss C: What?
Student K: Pending!
Miss C: Pending on what?
Student K: A dog.
Miss C: Um...okay.
Student K: We have to meet it first to see its personality.
Miss C: That's exciting.
Student K: Want to see a picture?

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...