Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Top 10 of 2009

I saw this on facebook, but felt it was better suited for the blog so here is my top 10 of 2009 in no particular order other than how I thought them all up.

10) Moving out of my parents house. I had been living with them for close to two years and I never thought I would be able to afford to leave, but thankfully Andrew bought a lovely house and I was able to afford living there! Its made my relationship with my parents better and my brother too since we're not constantly breathing on one another.

9) Letting my hair grow out. I know that sounds dumb, but honestly I always say I'm going to do it and then I never do! This time last year I had cut off my hair and dyed it a very dark brown but its pretty much back to normal now.

8) Discovering true and lasting friendships. Most of these people should know who they are: Jessica, Melissa, Caitlyn, Laura, Sarah, Andrea and Megan I would say are the ones who have been there for me the most. I did loose some friends this year, but in the end the people who have stuck by me and with me are the ones who matter most. I know they are just a call, text or facebook message away if I never need anything! I am trying to live a life that is drama free and there are some people that still live to create drama.

7) Learning how to cook and bake different items. I've never had my own kitchen before and its allowed me to really experiment with my cooking and baking skills. I'm learning how to make things without recipes and I'm mastering all kinds of cookies as well.

6) Becoming an Aunt. Okay, I know that Andrew and I aren't married yet, but I still consider Isabelle to be my niece. Its been amazing watching her grow and change every weekend when I get to see her. She is almost 6 months old now, starting to crawl and getting her first two teeth!

5) Taking Andrew to meet my PA family this summer. I've been trying to get him there for a long time and we finally had the opportunity and time off work to go! It was wonderful for him to meet almost everyone that lives there and to see my favorite city, Pittsburgh. I'm not sure that it made him better understand my obsession with a city I have never actually lived in.

4) Seeing how people treat others during difficult times. As you all know my dad lost his job in April and people have had an overwhelming outpouring of generosity to my parents. Anonymous people have mailed gift cards and money and people at church have been helping them out as well. My dad has been able to do some side labor for a friend who owns a masonry business and my mom has taken over my old job at the consignment store. My extended family, well that is a different story and they are all handling what has gone on in different ways - some have been supportive and others have acted like its no big deal. I just pray the New Year will bring new hope for job prospects.

3) Learning the in's and out's of having/maintaining a home. This is a learning experience I never anticipated to be so time consuming! From learning how to turn off a well pump to the basics of a septic system or what to do when the faucet handle comes off or the sink starts leaking. The house has been such a learning experience, between cleaning, painting and all of the upgrades we have made I feel like I've gained a whole new mess of knowledge I didn't get from apartment living. Sure I knew about lawn maintenance and gardening but this other stuff was something in the great unknown.

2) Getting back together with Andrew. Okay, so this happened late in 2008 but didn't really work itself out till Valentines Day of 2009. I know that everyone has an opinion about our breakup and reconciliation, but I'm truly happy now and I think that's all that matters. In the long run we learned a lot from what happened and we are a stronger couple because of that.

1) Starting to become a healthier person. After months of denying that I had gained weight and months of acting like I was going to do something about it, I feel like I am back on track. I don't eat fast food on a regular basis anymore, I've totally cut pop out of my diet and instead drink more water and I've started working out every other day. I think I set my goals for weight loss too high at first but now I am starting to get back on track!

I know this has been a hard year for a lot of people but lets all hope and pray that 2010 is much better!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Christmas re-cap

I cannot believe that its almost the end of 2009 and that Christmas was two days ago! Christmas Eve my parents had their dinner and open house, although it was rather late in the evening we still had a good time having a delicious polish dinner (perogies, fish, green beans, beans and sauerkraut and my moms amazing rolls) and had our gift exchange afterward. I stayed the night at my parents (first time since I've moved out) so that I could be there Christmas morning to open gifts. It was a pretty laid back Christmas this year since my dad still hasn't found work, but we had a nice time none the less.

The rest of Christmas day we spent with Andrew's family, his sister made a fantastic breakfast and we had a "white elephant" gift exchange - only Andrews mom and sister sort of planned who would get what gifts and we didn't steal things from one another.

I also am nearly the proud new owner of a 1993 Volvo 240 (technically its Andrew's car but I'll be driving it in place of my Lumina which I've had since I was 17). It needs some work done which will take Andrew about a month but after that its all mine! Its got 100,000 less miles than my current car and will be much more reliable.

So its back to work for me today till Thursday and it was a lovely snowy start to the work week. I'd say we got at least 5 inches last night, but with the wind and drifting, who knows....but it made my commute to work a pain in the butt and 50 minutes long (it usually takes me 20).

Hope that everyone had a wonderful Christmas....any memories you'd like to share?

Monday, December 21, 2009

That spirit of Christmas

This weekend was the first of three Christmas celebrations for me, this one with my dad's parents before they go back to Florida for the winter. It didn't feel like much of a celebration, but more like something my grandma was forced to do. It was a chaotic day, their cat got sick that morning and had to be taken to a MedVet halfway across town and we ate lunch late. No one watched each other open gifts, the little ones just tore things open and threw them around, no one seemed to be in a Christmas mood. There was no laughing and joking, no card playing and no music. My mom was extremely emotional all day and I think she was good at hiding her emotions about my dad's job situation until now. No one in our family cares what we are going through, they try to understand but we all know that they don't. I have a hard time being around a lot of them anymore, the glares and rude comments from my aunt and the way that everyone acts like my family tries to be a charity case.

I also missed out on the memorial service for Andrew's grandma because my family couldn't do this deal later in the afternoon. Part of me wishes that I didn't go at all, that's how uncomfortable the whole day was.

I've decided to spend the night at my parents house on Christmas Eve, maybe to alleviate some of the emotions my mom is having about Christmas. I don't think Andrew understands, but maybe someday he will. My mom hasn't baked a single cookie, she only put up one tree this year and decorated just one room.

I can only pray that the new year will bring new hope for my dad trying to find a job. I'm sorry for such a depressing post, but I just needed to get this out.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Christmas isn't serious

My family is full of jokes and silly antics, trust me on this one. My dad's side is full of practical jokers of all kinds and my moms side just has a silly sense of humor. For years, there have been strange gifts passed around between family members - towels my moms parents stole on their honeymoon, a creepy picture of a great aunt on my dads side, goofy photos of other people doing things that appeared to be inappropriate (please don't take that the wrong way, it wasn't THAT bad).

A few Christmases ago my grandparents had gone to Florida late and weren't coming back for the holiday so we spent Christmas day with my dad's brother, wife and 2 kids. After dinner we decided to go through the old 45 records and listen to them since the kids liked to dance around to "Mellow Yellow" and that "Beep Beep" song, and we found a treasure among the records. It was recorded by a local woman, which I'm assuming my grandma somehow acquired through bowling or one of her other activities. After looking it over, we gave it a listen that we would never forget. On side A was a song called "Herpe" and yes, they do mean THAT kind of Herpe....the lyrics when on to say, "he'll love you for one night, but you'll have him for life" and of course the adults were on the floor laughing hysterically. This instantly became the new family pass around gift!

The year prior to this however I received the pass around gift that would now be retired for Herpe to take its place. This "gift" was a picture, I don't have the photo anymore since my parents demanded that all evidence of this be destroyed.....but its basically a photo of a guy wearing a trench coat flashing a sculpture and the caption says "expose yourself to art" - I hope that makes sense without being able to see it. The picture I got however, was my dad in his skivvies, holding said framed art piece in which it appears he's not wearing clothes and making a crazy face. This was the only time I've ever received the family gag gift. Sure there have been other strange and goofy gifts I've been given....like the crazy hats my dad would get for me and my brother (this was last year, the year before they were the winter hats with ear flaps):
614 is our area code in Columbus, we were trying to be really street smart with our "gang signs"

And there is always seeing my dad dressed up in his Cousin Eddy from Christmas Vacation outfit
Or the year my parents got us a stuffed dog, even though we really wanted a REAL golden retriever.....

I guess what I'm trying to say is that my family doesn't really try to make Christmas this huge serious thing and to me that is what makes it fun! I look forward to the family pass around gifts and the goofy things my dad likes to do for us, little surprises in the stockings and all the goodies - even if I'm 24 I really hope that doesn't change!

I'm participating in the writers workshop over at Mama Kat's and I did prompt 4 about a funny gift given or received, so get on over there and do the same!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Just when you think its over....

I have a few "friends" that I don't talk to anymore and I'm pretty sure I've discussed this topic before. Said friends and I haven't spoken in about a year. The other day I got a message on Facebook from someone who knows one of them and she proceeded to tell me how this girl STILL talks crap about me and bascially spreads rumors. This mutual friend wanted to see if I had noticed this girls same dramatic and strange behavior and wondered if she too had tried to manipulate me into disliking people. Mind you, I am 24 and so is this person, she's only a few weeks older than me. Just one example, she would give anything to be in high school again and just to make herself feel like she is still there hangs out with people who are 18 and 19 years old. She did not have the college experience and I think in some ways she is trying to make herself younger by acting this way.

Said "friend" has always been judgmental and dramatic and surrounds herself with people who are dramatic. If you don't practice her religion of the moment, she doesn't want to be your friend. If you "live in sin" well that's no good either, even if she did the same thing with more than one guy. She told this mutual friend that Andrew runs my life and won't let me have friends, which is the funniest and dumbest thing I've heard in a very long time. He would NEVER tell me who I can and cannot talk to or be friends with and if he did we would not be together. Sure there are times when any of us in relationships would just rather stay home with that person then go out, but if your significant other is that controlling, then you need to get out now. If anyone is controlling its her husband, she cannot do anything without his permission or him calling her every 15 minutes. This same person saw my mom last year and told her that I needed to seek God to become a better person. My mom thought she was a little off her rocker.

If she was really a "Christian", then she wouldn't be judging me. She would accept me for who I am and since I already have a faith that I practice which she has known about since we met. I've been happy in my religion for my whole life, and just because you church hop doesn't mean that I will too. I have a relationship with God and I love being Catholic.

When we all stopped talking to one another it was quite upsetting and although I've considered trying to fix things, in the end its probably just not worth it (at least with this person). I don't want to be surrounded by dramatic people, we are all adults and in some respects should act like adults. If you are going to kick people out of weddings for not returning a phone call and tell someone's mom that they need to seek God and that you pray for them all the time then you've got bigger problems than I feel like dealing with.

**And this ends the Tuesday rant, thank you to those who read this post and feel free to comment if you've ever been in a similar situation**

Friday, December 11, 2009

Its Friday

And the following things have gone on this week that are worth noting....

  1. The Steelers suck this year, and I'm not trying to be a Debbie Downer by say that, but they do! The lost to the Browns last night, I want to hide my head in shame, but instead I'm giving up and not watching the rest of the season.
  2. LCD TV's are amazing. We got one on Sunday, at first I thought this is cool, whatever until we got the high def cable box.....sigh, its wonderful!
  3. This cold weather sucks, its only good for one thing, getting to wear my cute closed toed shoes and vintage winter coats, which I may dedicate a post to later in the week!
  4. Making cookies is a good stress reliever.
  5. I hate winter because soon Andrew will have to go into work at 4am, which means that he will be going to bed at 7pm and wanting to spend most of the weekend sleeping. I totally understand that this is his job, but its hard on us during this time. We don't see much of each other and he never feels like doing anything.
  6. The rest of this month is going to be crazy busy!
  • This coming weekend: Celebrating Andrew's brothers birthday, getting some furniture from his parents as well.
  • 19th and 20th: Christmas with my grandparents and Andrews grandmothers memorial service.
  • 24th and 25th: Christmas eve party with my family as well as mass and Christmas day, I'm not quite sure what is going on yet....but I have Thursday and Friday off so I cannot explain how lovely a 4 day weekend will be!
  • New Years: If Andrew is working dumb early shift by then, we won't be doing anything, which SUCKS!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Happy Holidays to everyone

Instead of posting the somewhat whiny blog I had written about confessing things I've been lax on lately, why not something cheerful!

Align CenterThe 2009 Miller Family Christmas photo (boyfriend included)

My younger brother and myself - this picture basically describes us and our relationship now that we are older. I am very grateful that we are close now, that we do things together and that the confides in me; it was never like that when we were kids.

Our very first Christmas tree from the tree farm owned by Andrew's Aunt and sister. We cut it down and everything! I did most of the decorating alone but it was nice (I was even energy efficient and got the LED lights for the tree).

Merry Christmas everyone!!!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Life changing diet review

I've been reading several books this fall and winter on becoming vegan or vegetarian. After Andrew's parents took the plunge into this lifestyle its intrigued me so I figured I'd ask his mom to borrow the books. Trust me, this isn't something I've EVER considered doing before. Yes we all know that fruits and vegetables are good for us, but why would we want to never have meat or dairy again. You're talking to the girl who's father made a living on sausage sales for 27 years and who has a freezer almost full of beef. There is a lot in these books that I don't believe is true, even though both of them have their good points I think a lot if it is crap.

This is the first book that I read and to me almost the whole thing is crap. Some of the stuff that they tell you just seems to have no evidence to back it up what so ever. Basically if you don't follow the diet in this book for the rest of your life you're going to die. He also says there is no such thing as being too skinny (unless you have an eating disorder) and that your Body Mass Index or BMI should be 10% less than what they tell you in the medical charts. So basically since I am 5'7" and 24 years old, I should weigh 105lbs according to him....psh YEAH RIGHT! I'd be happy with 130 or even 135 at this point! His basic meal plan is a pound of veggies a day (he also states that 100% fruit juice is bad for you and does not count as fruit intake) and some whole grains and nuts. No meat at all, not even fish, you know since the mercury in it will kill you. He also spends a lot of the book attacking other diet plans. I know the Adkins Diet is not good for you, but I've had success with South Beach and Weight Watchers before and so have millions of other people. I pushed this book to the side and moved onto the next. A lot of people I've talked to in the medical field since reading this told me that Dr. Fuhrman is a quack and that many people don't believe what he has to say. This isn't a diet per-say it changing your entire life and never looking back. No meat, no chocolate, no cheese or any other dairy and certainly no alcohol, juice or soda.

This is the book I am 3/4 of the way through now and I have been enjoying it a lot more. There is more scientific evidence to back up the claims of these doctors, but its a lot harder to read. All of that jargon is hard to understand and I've had to go over some sections more than once. But just like Dr. Fuhrman, there are things in here that I don't believe either. The major one being that food is what brings out our genetic dispositions to get certain diseases. Like by eating meat and fried foods your whole life, the gene that pre-dispositions you to get breast cancer will become dominant, but had you spend your whole life as a vegetarian this wouldn't happen. The book also suggests that children who are not breast fed have a predisposition for Type I diabetes (just as a side note, my brother and I were not breast fed and we don't have diabetes). But along those same lines, it is the formula and the cow's milk that bring out the gene that causes this to occur. This book makes better points about the vitamins that can be found in veggies and when enough of them are eaten there is no need to take supplements (that's something I actually believed and understood), but on the same token they try to tell you that changing your diet can reverse a disease you already have, like a heart condition.

I have a hard time believing that Andrew's parents really think that everything these books say is true. If that was the case, they would both stop taking all of their medications....as Dr. Fuhrman suggests, once you are Vegan, all of your illnesses will be cured! So technically his mom shouldn't have Asthma anymore or Thyroid issues, but yet that's not the case. Yes they have lost weight, his mom says that in general she feels better but the weight loss has stopped. When his sister started the diet she lost a lot of weight but her weight loss is at a standstill now too.

I'm considering doing this for one month (they do tell you that this diet is not for everyone) to see how my body will handle it and to see if its something I could even do at all. What are some diets that have worked for you? Do you know anyone who is a vegetarian or vegan?

Thursday, December 3, 2009

About 12 years ago....

at a 7th grade dance with my boyfriend Joel.....I was so head over heels for him. He was skinny and cute and was in choir with me. A dream boat of a boy and we went to Teen Night together. Oh what a magical place it was, slow dancing, basketball in the gym, bingo and cheap snacks. It was that night that we found "our song" - How do I live? by Leann Rimes

How do I,
Get through the night without you?
If I had to live without you,
What kind of life would that be?
Oh, I
I need you in my arms, need you to hold,
You're my world, my heart, my soul,
If you ever leave,
Baby you would take away everything good in my life,

We danced closer as the song played on, I could tell that he was smelling my hair or maybe my neck. I was probably wearing some wild, hippie outfit (as was my style back in those days) and I would assume he was wearing a stripped shirt and jeans (don't ask me how I remember those things.

And tell me now
How do I live without you?
I want to know,
How do I breathe without you?
If you ever go,
How do I ever, ever survive?
How do I, how do I, oh how do I live?

Without you,
There'd be no sun in my sky,
There would be no love in my life,
There'd be no world left for me.
And I,
Baby I don't know what I would do,
I'd be lost if I lost you,
If you ever leave,
Baby you would take away everything real in my life,

He was my first "real" boyfriend. My friend Ashley set us up, he lived up the street from her. I think we dated for 7 months, he was my first on the cheek kiss, my first date to a school dance, but like most 7th grade love it was fleeting and didn't last forever. But even now when I hear that Leann Rimes song I think of that night and that dance. I spent many more of those teen nights with other boys but when they would play that song I would tell them I couldn't dance with them, maybe I said I had to go to the bathroom or something, because that was my song with Joel.

And tell me now,
How do I live without you?
I want to know,
How do I breathe without you?
If you ever go,
How do I ever, ever survive?
How do I, how do I, oh how do I live?

Please tell me baby,
How do I go on?

If you ever leave,
Baby you would take away everything,
I need you with me,
Baby don't you know that you're everything,
Real in my life?

And tell me now,
How do I live without you,
I want to know,
How do I breathe without you?
If you ever go,
How do I ever, ever survive?
How do I, how do I, oh how do I live?

Today I'm participating in Writers Workshop over at Mama Kat's so get on over there and do the same :)