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December 26, 2007

Happy Holidays!

I am not only late getting my blog entry up, but also my Christmas cards.  It's funny how being unemployed affected me so; normally I am uber-organized and efficient.  During the days of unemployment, job hunting was just about all I could manage.  Now I'm just trying to enjoy the final days of 2007 while our 2008 is looking mighty bright!

So, after that introduction, HAPPY HOLIDAYS!  Whatever it is you celebrate, I hope you are enjoying yourselves with your family and friends.  For me, it's Merry Christmas!!!

I have had a wonderful December so far.  I started my new job (ahem, my new CAREER) and I am really excited about it.  It seems like it will be all of the things I loved about the last one, with none of the negatives.  I am really feeling optimistic about this career move and excited to get rolling!  I also got to celebrate Christmas with my mom and ALL of my siblings.  This was very special for me.  I definitely do not get to see my family as much as I would like, and it was especially great to have everyone in our house.  I got to cook for them and we went visiting our old neighborhood(s) and other memorable locales.  Sometimes there is nothing that can make you appreciate your current life more than visiting where you started.  Best of all, my mom got to visit with two of her best friends, and that was really great for everyone.  My brother's girlfriend came along, and she had never been to our wonderful city, so it was fun to show off all the landmarks.  I am always more than proud to show off the city!  It was sad to see them go, but at least we had a fantastic time, and they got back home safely.

The kids have been having fun, too.  They have enjoyed gift giving and opening, and it's always fun to watch.  We still have some friends and family to get together with before all is said and done, and it's always great to spend time with our loved ones. 

I also enjoyed my annual baking expedition, and was more than excited to share it with neighbors and friends.  I'm telling you, if there is one thing I love to do, it's cook!  Be it normal food or baked goods, I get so much joy out of cooking for people.  I went through 4 pounds of butter, 2 dozen eggs, 6 pounds of apples, 2 pounds of pecans, and lost count how much flour, sugar (granulated, powdered, brown) and chocolate chips.  Everything from scratch over here.  If I'm going to cook, I am going to do it right!  ;-)

So again, I hope you are enjoying the last of 2007 and all is well in your world.  May your 2008 start off right!

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December 12, 2007

3 Months Later

The funny thing is I just now made the connection...three months ago to the day, I received the call telling me, and I quote, "your position has been eliminated."  The following day I received an envelope via FedEx with all the details.  Today, three months to the date later, I received a FedEx envelope as well.  However, this envelope only contained good news.  It was my official offer letter and associated paperwork for my new job.  My new career.  And I'm ready for it.

To try and describe the past three months would be impossible.  I have run the entire gamut of emotions.  I have gotten angry/petrified/depressed/stressed/relieved/optimistic/pessimistic, ah hell, like I said, I can't even tell you what it's been like.  There was no rhyme or reason.  I've been working since I was a young teen, and this was a real ego strike for me.  It hurt my feelings.  I took it too personally.  It was hard for me to get past that.  Truthfully, there may always be a teensy part of me that will always wonder 'why me?'

Ahem.  Not going down that road again.

Since the holiday season has arrived, I would remember how I had a lot of fun planning and orchestrating several very successful holiday parties for the former company.  I had even more to offer than just technical knowledge, yet at the end, it was still me to go.  I could go on and on, but it's over now.  It's officially behind me.

So here I am, exactly three months later and in a completely different place.  About to embark on a new career.  And for a company that has a ton of pluses going for them right off the bat.  I now have renewed faith.  All really didn't turn to crap in the world.  All really isn't that bad every place.  IT doesn't have to be the place for misery.

Three months ago, I wouldn't have believed it.  I'm finally able to say with complete confidence: thank you for setting me free.  The door opened, and here I am walking through!  The next adventure has begun.

(p.s. and yeah, I did get the shoes in black. yay for me.)

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December 10, 2007

The Christmas Spirit

We had a fabulous weekend.  We went to visit my in laws and celebrate my niece's 3rd birthday as well as Christmas, since we will not be able to make it back down this month.  It was really a great time.  My sister in law is expecting her second, and a cousin is pregnant with twin boys (their 3rd and 4th), so next year at this time, there will be plenty of new babies for me to snuggle.  We also went to a kids' Christmas party on Sunday, which was a lot of fun, too.  The kids got to see Santa and get a present, so they thought that was pretty awesome.  For the first time, my niece sat on Santa's lap without being afraid, and promptly asked him "where are your reindeer?" which was pretty cute.  It was nice to visit with everyone, even if you wish there was an extra day in there.  We had a great trip, and despite the ickky weather, made it there and back safely.

Celebrating Christmas got me even more in the holiday spirit.  It really is so much fun watching the kids open up their presents.  One funny I want to share: Aaron opened up a can of nuts.  Connor saw this, did an evil laugh and said: "Ha ha!  You got mac and cheese for Christmas!"  It was hysterical.  Apparently the picture on the outside of the can looked like mac and cheese, and he thought it was an awful silly thing to get for a present.  And just the way he said it was great.

The only real bummer right now is that our outdoor decorations have not gotten up, and with this crazy ice and snow, I'm not feeling really confident in any great conditions to do so.  But now that I have one round of shopping/wrapping/packing over with, I can finish up the indoor decorating which has also not been completed.

To complete the holiday spirit, I made the kids into dancing elves.  You can view it here.

Hope your December is going well thus far.  Only 15 days until Christmas!

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December 05, 2007

The First Measurable Snow

It's snowing outside. 

And it's beautiful.* 

Yes, I love snow.  Better still, I love hearing my kids squeal with excitement when they look out the window at the world transformed by a blanket of white.  Haley has proclaimed that it's "Christmas outside!" and is just giddy.  Right now, it's still fresh and white, and looking out my windows, it definitely feels Christmasey.  Big ornamental flakes are still falling and I just don't see how anyone could not be in awe at how pretty it is.  Mother Nature is pretty darn amazing, if you ask me.  Sure, when cold weather goes on and on it does get old, but I will take my four seasons any old day.

I would feel out of place celebrating the most important holiday season in shorts.  I don't mind being all bundled up and hearing the crunch of snow under my feet.  I like making up a snowball and tossing it at someone.  I love checking out all of the fantastic designs the snowflakes take on.  I admire how beautiful all the trees look with their coat of white.  To look out the window and watch the snow falling is something I could do for hours.  I say, BRING IT ON!

* Yes, my dear friend RYAN B., it is beautiful and you are missing out!  ;-)

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December 03, 2007

Trans-Siberian Orchestra

If you haven't heard of the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, well, you may be wrong.  They have some of the best Christmas music out there.  You can check out their web site and the intro will play one of my favorites with a little slide show.  And perhaps you saw this creative light display on YouTube last year, which is set to TSO music, and is modeled after the way TSO uses lights in their concerts.  Actually, if you are so inclined, you can search YouTube and there are quite a few videos posted that people have taken from their shows.  They don't do them justice (my, how could they), but it will give you a small inkling into what happens at their shows.  It's in one word -- phenomenal.

There is no way to describe it, really.  They are very talented, and use such powerful music and voices coupled with an amazing light display...add in some snow, some fire, some fireworks, and you are transported into a magical world.  Anyone who likes music would love their show, and I highly recommend seeing their Christmas production if you ever have the opportunity.  I know I hope to go again next year!

There is just something so magical about music.  Music can communicate on such a different level than anything else.  And there is really something awesome about their music in particular.  Now when I hear their songs, I will recall how awesome it was to be in their little world for those three hours.

And my hubby enjoyed this immensely better than the year we went to see the Joffrey Ballet's version of The Nutcracker.  I think he was slightly skeptical at first (I mean, "Orchestra" is in the name), but was more than pleasantly surprised.  Now we are looking forward to the kids getting older and sharing the experience with them!

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