Merry Christmas – Happy New Year – See You in 2016!

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Well – this will be my last post of 2015 – we are off to London tonight and there will be some silence on the blog for the ten days we are gone. So, I’d like to wish you a very Merry Christmas and a wonderfully Happy New Year!

If you’d like…you can imagine me taking in the sights and sounds of London – which I’ll fully recap in the early weeks of 2016! Until then…

I can’t wait to see what 2016 has in store for me; I can’t wait to experience more of my unfolding life story and share it with all of you!

My Headspace

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Or – what basically amounts to me rambling about a million different things because that’s where my head is at present and I feel like yesterday was such an epic fail when it came to an actual post about things.

Like I said – yesterday was absolutely crazy. I have mad crazy anxiety about flying, work was one stress after another, there was the great shoe fiasco of December 2015 and I really wanted to talk about how awesome our showing of Star Wars was on Friday night and how delightful our jaunt into DC was on Saturday – but the day was just too much and I almost cried about five times yesterday and so it just couldn’t happen. 
Do you see what I mean? I’m absolutely 100% wound up and a large percentage of that is related to flying – because y’all, I’m not a fan. It’s essentially what amounts to be crammed into a large aluminum can and tossed across the sky – so; not really my thing. Remember before how I’ve mentioned I’m not like the rest of my family? Yeah – they love the airplanes – so much. And I’m over here like “where are my meds…I need those meds…oh my goodness, all the meds…” Moving on…

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Y’all – we saw Star Wars on Friday night and I just loved it! I will not hesitate to tell you that I am a big ol geek…dork…nerd…whatever you want to call it. A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…my Dad would pull out the original Star Wars trilogy on rainy Sunday afternoons and we’d watch them. I was also trained in the ways of the Force by using wrapping paper tubes as light sabers; my Dad can make a pretty epic imitation of a light saber and so – we were all set. I trained up my little sister to be strong in the ways of the Force and we’ve been geeking out in tandem for the past few weeks leading up to the release of Episode VII.

I want a Halloween costume this cool. Granted, if it was this cool I’d want to wear it more than Halloween.

I bought our tickets way back in late October and was spared the pain of waiting in line by my friend Jennie, who got in line at 3 PM for the 6 PM showing…and was the 30th person in line at 3 PM. I got off work at 5, cruised up the road to the theater and stood in line with her for all of five minutes before we were let into the theater. The experience was so great because the people at the theater really went all out – the manager (I’m assuming) would pop in every few minutes and loudly announce “twenty-nine minutes until episode VII” and everyone would cheer. About thirty minutes out, in came a Storm Trooper, Kylo Ren and Rey…and everyone was invited to come down and take pictures…which my friend Jennie and I did immediately. I may or may not have told (in full nerd admiration) them “you look amazing”. 

And oh my – when the first few notes of that familiar theme song swelled – I was hooked, as always. My theater was filled with fans and so when the Millennium Falcon appeared, everyone cheered. There were gasps and claps at all the right moments…when Han and Chewie came on screen, everyone was (rightfully so) elated. I thoroughly enjoyed all 2 hours and 15 minutes of my experience and I cannot wait to go see it again. Because yeah – I plan to do that.
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We spent Saturday in DC – there is so much to see in DC on any given day and during the Christmas season that is certainly no exception. Our first stop – well wait, let me back up – we ate lunch at the Green Turtle and I proceeded to do one of the most ridiculous things ever. I got a cup of chili as my started and it arrived with jalapenos on it…or as our server called them: ja-lop-i-noes. I picked them out, one by one…because I dare not let them touch my mouth…and then, I licked my fingers! Oh, what a moment of failure that was…there was not enough liquid in the world to take care of the burn and my parents were absolutely cracking up. You’re welcome family – glad to provide entertainment.
The DC Holiday Market

Perhaps you’ll notice these pictures look better – and that would be because I took my brand new and shiny, real deal Panasonic Lumix camera into DC to take pictures. And yep, I do love that new camera. It will work just fine in London. Just fine. What won’t just fine are the Tommy Hilfiger all weather boots that I got thinking they’d be perfect for the London temperatures and weather – only to take them on a test “drive” on Saturday and end the day with blisters all up the back of my heels. Enter the great shoe fiasco of December 2015 that had me running all over town yesterday to try and find something that would work instead of the boots. *sigh* I did find shoes though – so rejoice.

US Botanical Garden – all done up for Christmas!
US Botanical Garden – all done up for Christmas!

We wandered all through the US Botanical Garden – which is a warm spot indeed. It might be 30 degrees outside and the wind is whipping around your face and you want to seek warmth as soon as possible – but hang out in the Botanical Gardens for about ten minutes and you’ll be wanting to head back outside. Seriously though – the Botanical Gardens are absolutely beautiful and if you’re ever in DC; especially if you’re in DC around Christmas, you should check them out.

US Botanical Garden – all done up for Christmas!
US Botanical Garden – all done up for Christmas!

The rest of the day was spent taking in the National Tree and checking out the decorations at the Willard Hotel, having dinner with some long time family friends and checking out the National Zoo’s Zoo Lights – which were a real delight. Granted; they’d probably have been more delightful if I didn’t have blisters on my heels…but hey, you have to keep on trucking, you know? I will say that as much as I loved my day in DC, I also loved getting in my bed at 11 that night…but that probably has a whole lot more to do with me absolutely loving my bed, ha-ha!

The Willard Hotel – absolutely gorgeous tree, right?
The National Tree – 2015
The White House – All decked out.
Zoo Lights 2015

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And now, here we are…a little over forty-eight hours until my family boards a plane bound for London. I’ll be honest; the excitement for me will have to be forthcoming, and I don’t say that to sound ungrateful or downright strange. I don’t like flying so much and this will be the longest flight I’ve been on in…well, forever I suppose. 
I try not to get too stressed out about it but I guess that’s just how I’m wired. I was born into a family that love airplanes and think flying is all a delightful part of the vacation experience…and I’m over here like “I’ll just be glad when we get there…talk to me then..” Eek! 
I don’t know what you’d call this, but way back in late November I started to worry (I know – it’s a problem) and while out walking the dog, I was talking to Jesus and I just said “listen – from here on out, when I’m walking the dog at night…just show me three airplanes. Each time, three airplanes.” Now, that’s not really a huge request to ask of the Lord when I live an hour from DC, two hours from Baltimore and so close to three huge airports…but it was my request. And of course, without fail I’ve seen three (or more…usually more…) airplanes winging their way safely across the sky each night; except when it was cloudy, then I’d hear them but not see them and not think too much of it.
Yesterday was kind of nightmarish – I think I’ve mentioned that more than once. I went out to walk Watson last night and the sky was overcast; the moon was an almost completely blurred haze, a pinprick of indiscriminate light in the sky and I resigned myself to not seeing anything in the sky. But then…out of the clouds came one airplane…cruising along. I was pretty tickled with that and went on about the business of walking the dog. I’d seen a plane; that was enough for the overcast evening, right? Nope. A moment later, from another direction…here came a second airplane…through the clouds and on it’s way to it’s destination. And if you’ve guessed where this is going, good job. Because sure enough – just moments later a third plane came along…I could hear it first and then, it broke through the cloud cover; it’s light merrily flashing as if sped on it’s way… 
This has nothing to do with the story – except that he seems awfully calm…& at peace…& he’s so cute.

Was that the Lord’s way of telling me to chill out? To trust that everything is going to be alright? I’d like to think so, but I’m big on doubt and so I immediately hear those voices nagging me in the back of my mind. I’m trying to banish those voices as the days pass and our flight(s) draw closer…and if you think about me and those voices, feel free to say a little prayer for me…for our family and safe travels. I’ll appreciate it – even if I never know you’re praying. 

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So – there you have it. The wild ramblings of my mind for the past few days. I’m trying to calm down, take in all the joy these days leading to Christmas will provide. To take in each moment of our trip to London – even the parts that aren’t necessarily my favorite. Please don’t take my musings on my fear of flying as me being ungrateful – I am SO excited to go to London. It’s quite literally a dream come true and I can’t wait. I just wish my Hogwarts letter had arrived and I’d learned how to apparate by now! Ha! 

This is Essentially A Photo Dump….

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….because if I’m being honest, this day has been some kind of hectic, stressful and nerve-wracking. I don’t have the brain function to string thoughts together today, so what I’m giving you is a whole bunch of pictures I took the past week…perhaps just posting this will serve as a brief point of decompressing for the day?

My childhood teddy bear, discovered somewhere in some box on Monday evening….

Cruising along…the mountains a blur out of the corner of my “eye”

The before & after of my rather dramatic hair transformation. Yes – it’s RED. I know. 

I loved it immediately & took about ten pictures…as did my hair stylist. Love.

The most delightful package arrived on Wednesday – and with it, a note letting me know something even more delightful would be arriving in March – baseball tickets!

It’s red y’all.

This sweet face – always doing something that makes me want to squeeze him.

I know – up close of my toes – what a weirdo. Isn’t that snowflake amazing though?

Star Wars business casual on Friday – because…DUH.

Why yes – I did race down to the front of the theater to have my picture taken with the Stormtrooper, Kylo Ren & Rey – because not that deep down (it’s not deep at all) inside, I’m a nerd.

A special Star Wars menu…my delicious Imperial Red & me being a little TOO excited  about the first Star Wars movies in ten years…

The sweetest little puppy sitting under the Christmas tree.

When my Mom says “your hair looks purple” – um…no, it doesn’t.

Just a wee sampling of the decorations at the US Botanical Garden for Christmas.

Seriously – aren’t these amazing?

A wee ice skating rink in the midst of the National Gallery Sculpture Garden!

I honestly have no clue – it was in the middle of the road & I liked it, ha-ha!

Zoo Lights – how cool? The zoo is all lit up, some of the animals are still awake & to me, that’s a pretty good situation right there.

The cutest Fennec Fox ever, asleep. He was sending subliminal signals – get out of the Small Mammal House…

Two of my favorite small people…singing solos at church…and my phone camera turned them orange & blurry. Blegh.

Amelia says “this is MY human now…go find another for yourself…”

What’s that Watson? You think my macaroons from the DC Holiday Market should be yours? Um – no.

These faces – always mean muggin; and she still looks cute!

Three spoiled rotten little sweethearts.

The best choice for a Christmas seat? The Star Wars bucket; obviously.

So – there you have it. A whole bunch of pictures, not a whole lot of stories. Sorry about that, but today has just not been it. Whoosh.

Five on Friday

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Friday is here – I don’t know about you, but this week absolutely sped by – I can’t believe it’s already Friday! I also can’t believe this time next week; not only will it be Christmas, but I’ll be celebrating in London! Wow. 
Anywho – here are five things on my mind today…on this lovely December Friday!

One. Star Wars! Star Wars opens today (I guess it technically opened at 7 last night…) and I’ll be parking my butt in a seat at the theater tonight at 6 to watch “The Force Awakens”. I’m SO excited and I even wore my very festive Darth Vader in a scarf shirt to work today! I can’t believe it’s been ten years since the last Star Wars movie came out…and to think, I certainly thought that would be the last Star Wars movie I’d be seeing! Only 8 hours and some minutes until my movie starts…and yes – I have a countdown on my phone. Are you seeing Star Wars this weekend? Have you already seen it?

If so – May the Force be with You!

So. Excited.

Two. Pedicures in Winter…not something I’ve ever thought too long and hard about; they don’t seem to last very long when you wear closed toe shoes. However, when my boss offered to send us all to get pedicures this week as a Christmas gift…who was I to say no? My toes are now a brilliant, sparkly red and one looks like a wee Christmas gift, while another has a delicate bejeweled snowflake. They’re pretty impressive – I just wonder, how long will they last since the temperature has dropped back into the 40’s and open toe shoes would look insane? Ha!

The blurriest picture in the history of pictures. Oops.
Three. London/Packing…of course, London is on my mind. What to take? What not to take? Will it all fit in my suitcase? Who knows? I found the most adorable shearling vest at Target last week and I had to pop back in to get it this week….because it will look so cute in London! My Mom’s response to this? You know you can only pack so much, right? *sigh* I do know…and I’ve got to weedle things down. Wish me luck as I cram…ahem, pack my suitcase in the coming days. I’ll need it.

Four. Christmas Cards, on my mind last week in a bad way…on my mind this week in a good way. I addressed and sent mine on their way at the start of this week and I’ve heard from a couple people who’ve already received theirs. I will admit; while I like this card, I don’t love it as much as I would have loved the one I originally designed…but Wal-Mart failed me and considering Staples stepped up in only three hours…I suppose this one is just as good. Excuse the (yet again) blurry picture…and please note how I also cut off my Mom in the bottom left when taking this picture…of a picture…

Another insanely blurry picture – I’m batting 100 today.
Five. Fitness has failed this week y’all. I’m being 100% honest. We had dinner and a birthday celebration on Monday night that didn’t end till almost 9…I was getting my hair done on Tuesday and didn’t get home until 7:30…and after that, well I don’t really have an excuse. I think I’ve resigned myself to taking a “break” until Christmas. I know we’ll walk from here to forever when we’re in London and once we’re home again, I’ll kick it back into gear. Tis the season, right? *sigh*

Oops. 
So – there you have it! My Five on Friday. You can join up too – just post about five things that are on your mind and share with everyone. You can link up with the ladies from A. Liz Adventures and Carolina Charm…and with me as well!
Happy Friday to everyone – and May the Force be with You! 

Remember Happiness

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The world seems like such a daunting place these days – it seems there are upsetting, unsettling and just downright horrible things everywhere you look. I will readily admit I’m not a fan of watching the news – ever – it just always (almost) seems to focus on the negative and no one needs that much negative all the time!

All the negativity got me thinking about the positive things in life that outweigh the negative and I think; when things get scary or sad or life just seems a little bit overwhelming, maybe thinking about all the things…or even just some of the things…that make you happy; that’s good.

When I feel like the world is a horrible place..I think about these things…they make me happy…

  • When my sweet puppy decides to snuggle with me
  • Getting random text message from my sister that say “yo”…because I’m supposed to respond with “ho” (get your brain out of the gutter) and then we both complete the song…yo ho, a pirate’s life for me!
  • The smell of a book
  • Decorating all my calendars (yes, I have more than one…) with colorful pens…just like I did in high school
  • The sight of the sun peeking over the edge of the mountains each morning
  • The feeling of accomplishment that comes with pushing myself to go just a wee bit further on my walk/jog
  • The twinkle of Christmas lights
  • Holding a sleeping baby…especially a little chunky one…
  • Coffee! More than one cup of coffee makes me VERY happy
  • Going to run errands with my Mom and realizing how wonderful it is to be friends with my Momma; how wonderful it is to just enjoy doing “mundane” things with her
  • Knowing I’m kind of the oddball in my family…
  • My job
  • Friends; an area I’m abundantly blessed
  • Discussing the merits of the Dark Side with Jimmy; he’s convinced bad guys are more fun…
  • Riding the Metro into DC…which mostly makes me happy just because I can do it whenever I please…
  • Shoes
  • And purses…oh my, purses
  • Waking up before my alarm and just taking “it” all in
  • Unpacking from a trip, savoring the memories made…but also savoring the joy of being home
  • Opening a brand new lip gloss
  • Any & all aspects of Nationals baseball
  • Knowing “useless” nerd information about things like Star Wars, Marvel/DC comics & Harry Potter…
  • Getting my hair done; especially when I step out of my comfort zone…
  • Cooking
  • My Dad and his goofy sense of humor…
Okay…I’ll stop at 25. I’m blessed; I could list things that make me happy all day long. I hope you can too.
And perhaps when you’re feeling the pressure of this oh so stressful world, you’ll make a list of your own and it will make you happy. My list makes me happy. And…I guess that’s 26!