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Patience – declutter

Anyone waiting for a child, anyone going through this whole adoption process (which is long and seems never-ending) probably had a rough holiday.  There was no pitter patter of little feet as my young child squealed with delight to see what Santa left them.  There was no baking of cookies, no Christmas pj’s and no snuggling under blankets while we watched Rudolph or Frosty.

My patience level is pretty strong. I have come to accept that the holidays will be hard.  That I can’t celebrate the way I want to – the way my heart desires to.

So instead of focusing on the negative (kinda), I have been busy decluttering.  Remember that list???  I kept parts of it going.

Over the holidays (where I worked everyday except the mandatory days off) I took care of the following:

  • those stupid buttons that have been in random zip-lock bags all over my house – gone!
  • All the clothes that I haven’t worn in one year – sold some to my mom and will keep the rest to sell in a future garage sale
  • All my Twilight magazines from when I was OBSESSED with Edward and Bella – recycled!
  • Old bedding…garbage
  • all wrapping paper scraps and old bows and ribbon – recycled or garbage!
  • Sports bras – they were already trashed…seriously I hate those things
  • CD’s.  I had a whole box of CD’s that I don’t know why I even had in the first place?!  TRASH
  • Nail polish.  I had 34 bottles, I know have 7.  I threw out old, ugly and messy bottles!!
  • People…sorry, but I deleted 13 people off my Facebook – I un-friended people I am not actually friends with or whose life I don’t really care about…
  • Scarves and mitts and hats – donated to the local women’s shelter!
  • Digital photos on phone…I went through all of my photo’s and deleted a ton of photo’s.  Probably like 100!

It felt good.  It felt like I was doing something, anything to get past the bad feelings and sadness that only the holiday’s can bring.  Keep busy…this is what I have learned to pass the days…

Love

Nicole

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Babies babies everywhere

It’s Christmas time and I have had 3 friends announce their pregnancies in the past two weeks.  These friends almost seem anxious about telling me because – obvious – I can’t have my own biological child at this point so I must hate hearing about it?!

NO!  Not at all…my journey may be harder or longer, but I’ll get my baby at some point and in the mean time I have wonderful friends and the more their families grow, the more kidlets I have to love and future friends of my own Koko bean.

The world needs to grow with love so the more babies my friends (who are all awesome people) have, the more love this world will have!

Merry Christmas everyone, I can’t wait to update you all in the new year about my challenges and hopeful successes!

We are all blessed in so many ways and I am grateful to have friends who are not only concerned about my feelings, but who keep expanding my Christmas list every year!!

Love Nicole

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wifi, christmas and so much more

When my father passed in July 2013 I knew immediately that Christmas, for me, would never be the same.  No matter how many traditions we kept or where we had our parties or how many gifts were under the tree, the meaning and spirit of Christmas ended in a final heartbeat.  Last year Christmas was completely thrown off thank you very much Ice Storm 2013 and this year with my fathers house sold and gone, I was never going to experience Christmas again – not the same way I had celebrated it for 31 Christmas’s.  I’m trying to enjoy it as much as I can, but really without little ones trying to shake presents and baking cookies for Santa, it’s hard to truly liven up and laugh and have joy.

I keep seeing my daughters eyes sparkle at the glistening lights and my sons mischievous grin as he plots to wait up for the big man in red, not knowing that Santa won’t come until he has long since fallen asleep.  Where are my children you ask?  I don’t know.  They haven’t been born yet.  They have yet to be conceived.  My chance to be a mom hasn’t come.  Everyone says this year will be my year, I will have a baby of my own next Christmas and my spirit wil return.  It’s possible – sure.  My womb could swell with life soon and I could be crying in relief in  few short months, but I could also be like the other infertile women I know who are wondering why God is blessing others and not them.

My dear friend was afraid to tell me that her sister found out she was four months pregnant a few days ago because her sister did not want a fourth child – a fourth!!  She took steps to prevent it, but clearly not enough.  She is going to keep it of course and she will love it just like she does her other three beauties, but in reality this child was not planned. I’m not mad, I’m not pissed that she gets a fourth while I can’t get a first.  I’m thrilled because she is a great mom and my friend is a great Aunt and her kids are great cousins.  Sure I am jealous and frustrated, but angry…no.  Children are a blessing and I am happy for the wonderful addition to her family.

Simba and I now to need to wait and see – will we get to expand our family of two?  Will the presents under the tree be filled with toys and baby clothes?  Will everyone be coming over to my place to see little koko bean, arms filled with pink or blue?

For now I am grateful that I got to spend time with my nieces and nephew over the holidays. I got to hug my aunt and uncle who live farther away.  I made my pink salad and ate so many mozzarella sticks I thought Id be sick.  I watched my dog and my brothers dog fight it out for hours.  I had a good time.

I don’t know how many more single holidays I will be able to say that for. Nothing is the same.  At least for now I can document this journey on my laptop because I, Nicole, got wifi!

Oh a blogging’ I will go!!

Love

Nicole

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Christmas Music – two blogs in one day

I need to thank the people at CHFI 98.1 for playing Christmas Music all day the whole month of December up until and including Christmas Day. I love it. It brings back amazing memories. Memories that include my dad singing in the living room, me dancing around the tree, eating After Eights (after 8:00 at night of course) and of course flicking the damn clicker on the record player cause it rarely worked right, not dropping the new record! I still have those records and can almost always start singing the next song before it plays because of the many nights and years we kept this tradition going on.

Christmas music is the strongest, happiest memories I have of my dad and it is both a blessing and a curse. It touches me in ways I don’t want nor need to feel, but at the same time it’s so strong and I always hear the right song when I need it – as if HE planned it that way.

I decided since today may very well be my last blog of the year and I have no new baby news or man news or any news really that I would list my top 10 favourite Christmas Songs that bring back the best and sometimes saddest memories.

White Christmas – must be sung by Bing Crosby

This song my dad would sing randomly this time of year, it didn’t even need to playing, as soon as he saw snow I would hear his deep voice bellowing throughout the house and I would cringe knowing that it was snowing and I strongly dislike snow…

Frosty the Snowman – Gene Autry

Every year we watched the movie and every year my dad would get giddy and sing along, as would I (much more off-key then him). It was great.

The Christmas Song – Nat King Cole

Anything Nat King Cole sings sounds like heaven, and Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire is no different. It was quite the song. It always seemed very nostalgic for my dad. I never did ask why.

Here Comes Santa Claus – Elvis Presley

My dad loved Elvis so of course he loved this song and would sing it just like the King himself (without the hips gyrating because ewwww that would be gross…he was my dad!!)

Home for the Holidays – Perry Como/I’ll be Home for Christmas – Perry Como

I have never missed a Christmas at home and I never would have because to me, Christmas is family. Sometimes, when my mom left, I would lie in bed listening to this song knowing she should have been at our home for Christmas and she wasn’t. It was a hard song to listen to sometimes, but my dad always went above and beyond to create an amazing Christmas holiday.

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer – Gene Autry

Just like Frosty, this song must be done by Gene Autry because his voice gave me Christmas chills. I associated his voice with Christmas and forever that will make me smile!!!

 Feliz Navidad – Jose Feliciano

This song was great because no matter how many times I have heard it I have NO IDEA what the words are as I don’t speak a lick of Spanish but my dad and I would fake it until the Chorus and then scream out the lyrics that we did know!

Jingle Bell Rock – Bobby Helms

The ultimate Christmas party song, another that I happily sang (horribly) with my dad over and over again for the past 20 years.

Christmas in Dixie – Alabama

Not as well-known as the above, but if you haven’t heard it, download it…its beautiful and makes me just relax and think of how wonderful my life is.

Toyland – (might be Perry Como)

I love this song because of this set of lyrics right here:

Childhood’s joy land

 Mi-istic merry toy land

Once you pass its borders

You can ne’er return again

I actually witnessed my dad tear up on more than one occasion the older he got and the less able he became when this song came on. Every time it’s on I either need to sit and reminisce or leave the room because it hurts so much knowing his last few years were those in pain and discomfort and he didn’t get to see all his grandbabies grow.

Okay so before I start crying, I am going to end with honourable mentions…songs I still love and that remind me of him, the best friend and dad a girl could ask for:

  • Joy to the World
  • It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year
  • Silver Bells
  • C.H.R.I.S.T.M.A.S
  • Blue Christmas
  • Santa Claus is Coming to Town (My fav. song to dance to)
  • Up on the House Top (another great song to dance to)

Thanks for taking this emotional journey with me and if you are looking for the above songs, I suggest Time Life Treasury of Christmas 2 CD set (or pretend I didn’t just recommend paying money for music and download it illegally from the internet).

Love Nicole

 

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Christmas Movie List

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I love movies, I love Christmas – hence I love Christmas movies…this is true!  However, I know there are a lot I have not seen and so when browsing google (because what else do you browse) I typed in “list of Christmas classics” and it popped out this list of top 20 Christmas movies…I’m ashamed to say I have not watched them all – oh so sad.  But now, when I am free this weekend to relax and do nothing, I know have something to do!  Thank you On Demand for movies at my finger tips.

It’s a Wonderful Life
Whether or not you have your own guardian angel hovering, the lesson here is that it’s not money that makes you rich.
I have not seen this movie. I know this one shocks me every year because it IS the Christmas movie that is most important to watch or so I’ve been told.  I think on Friday I am going to watch this one cause I feel ashamed and guilty that I have not watched it.
Home Alone 1 and 2 ONLY (3 was just dumb)
A game changer for the Christmas-movie category: it has action, like a zip line to the neighbors’ house. Of course I have seen both of these…I saw them in theaters (ya I am THAT old) and I watch them again and again every year because while “Kevin” is an obnoxious child I laugh at the hilarity of the robbers!
A Charlie Brown Christmas
Charlie Brown sets out to find the true meaning of Christmas in this animated anti-commercialism classic.
I am so ashamed.  I need to hang my head and not look people in the eyes.  I have not seen this movie.  I KNOW!!!!  What child hasn’t seen this movie!  I have seen parts of it, but never the whole thing.  I apologize…I am going to watch it this year I PROMISE!
National Lampoons Christmas Vacation
Decking the halls and other traditions are all colossal failures for the Griswold family — riotous because it hits close to home.
Of course I have seen this – it’s like my brothers favourite movie.  Everyone has that one person who wants Christmas to be perfect (me) and everyone has that one (or more) family member(s) who ruins it.  It hits home
Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer
This sixties stop-motion-animation movie is impossibly cute, right down to Sam the Snowman. This is what movie I think of when I think of Christmas Classics.  My dad and I would watch this movie together every year and he would sing Silver and Gold right along with Burl Ives.  Miss you dad!
Elf
It may star Will Ferrell as a dim-witted elf, but the movie’s payoff is old-fashioned, familiar, and welcome. I have seen the majority of this movie and possibly all of it, but I am not a WIll Ferrell fan so it’s possible I stopped watching or fell asleep because to me, he is not funny.
Frosty the Snowman
This holiday staple features one of the most memorably catchy Christmassy theme songs ever. Like Rudolph it is a classic that I grew up with and continued watching with my dad.  We loved it and always cursed the magician for making Sally cry!
How the Grinch Stole Christmas
 It’s rather hard to say who’s the real star of this funny live-action version: is it Jim Carrey or Dr. Seuss?I have seen both the 30 minute cartoon and the 2 hour Jim Carrey version.  Loved them both and I will watch them every year!
A Christmas Story
This comedy satisfies two sets of audiences: kids (Ralphie gets his BB gun) and parents (it does exactly what they warned him it would). Watched it, love it, want the lamp!  When Santa kicks Raphie down the slide I always cringe thinking Santa is SO mean!!
Miracle on 34th street
Uplifting without being cloying. It’s no wonder that this movie is a much-beloved holiday chestnut. Again, I have not seen this and I don’t know why.  There is the black and white version and the 1990’s remake and neither of these have graced my television screen.
The Santa Claus
Tim Allen deconstructs Saint Nick — and reconstructs his waistline — as a hapless Santa in training. No I have not watched this and nor do I plan on.  Like Will Farrell I am not a Tim Allen fan either!
White Christmas
The follow-up to Holiday Inn is once again full of Irving Berlin tunes, with Bing Crosby providing the vocals. What’s not to love? Shockingly my love of Christmas movies is only enhanced with my love of Christmas music…and yet I have not seen this…hmmmmm
A Christmas Carol
 George C. Scott plays Scrooge in this classic made-for-TV version of the Charles Dickens holiday tale. This is NOT the version I have watched every year for the past 20 years…I have watched the black and white version every Christmas eve since forever with Alaster Sim.  Any other version just won’t do.
Holiday Inn
 Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire celebrate a year’s worth of holidays, against a steady flow of Irving Berlin tunes. I have never even heard of this movie until today so nope – not on my list either
Scrooged
 The Bill Murray renaissance began with his turn as ultimate crank Frank Cross. A Solid Gold Dancers cameo helps get the lesson across. I have not come across this movie in my repertoire so maybe this year or next year it will be time??
The Muppet Christmas Carol
 The Muppet adaptation of the classic story is fun, sweet, and definitely appropriate for the whole family. My first date ever was when I was 12 and a boy took me to the Muppets Christmas Carol because we were to young to see anything else without adult supervision…crazy right!
Christmas in Connecticut
 A war hero has Christmas dinner with the Martha Stewart-esque Barbara Stanwyck (who actually can’t cook) in this holiday farce. Never heard of it, never seen it, never care to.
The Nightmare Before Christmas
 Tim Burton and Henry Selicks enchanting tale has all the familiar, er, bones of a holiday classic — love, redemption, and Santa. Nope, again I know people will be shocked – it’s great, amazing blah blah blah…but I have NEVER seen it.  Maybe one day, when I have kids…but for now I am good!
Bad Santa
 Full of expletives and sexual innuendos, Bad Santa upends the feel-good tradition of holiday movies — and it was about time. Remember how I feel about Will Farrell and Tim Allen, you can add Billy Bob onto that list except add that is annoying and not that great of an actor.  He actually angers me when I see him on the television so no, I have not seen this movie nor do I ever intend on.
So that’s it folks…a long list of Christmas movies that I have seen, that I want to see and that Hell would have to freeze over before I gave up two hours of my time to see.  What is your favourite Christmas movie?  ***if I have offended you and your fav movie is Bad Santa, I respect your choice to choose, but really?!!
Love Nicole
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bye bye 2014 and four crappy years

My last “good” year – where nothing traumatic happened was 2009.  FIVE years ago!  This year I can’t say anything in particular happened (like a break up or death) to destroy my year, but I haven’t been on point.  I haven’t been “happy”.  I’ve just been going day by day trying to keep my cool and not die of boredom or loneliness.  It hasn’t been a good year.  Sure, I got a house and a cottage and did my back yard and closet and blah blah blah, but as much as I love my material things, they don’t make me happy. The best thing about 2014 was that Simba and I have finally gotten to a point where I think he finally gets that just because I go out – I am not “leaving him” forever.  Even when I go away, he stays with my mom and he is okay.  His anxiety isn’t bad anymore and rarely does he have accidents in the house – unless I leave him for more that 5+ hours…this is a huge change from when I first got him in 2013 and he was a wreck.  He is a great dog!

Every year around this time I think “thank you Lord this year is almost done” because I honestly have nothing, no patience or understanding left to give anyone and my temper flares quite easily.  I crawl towards my vacation time as fast as I can knowing I can do whatever I want whenever I want for two whole weeks without work to contend with.  I’ve decided that with this blog, instead of rehashing the 2014 that just wasn’t, I will tell you the top three things I am looking forward to over my vacation which begins FRIDAY!

December 19th-January 1st

1. Sleeping in

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I get it, I can sleep in whenever I want cause I have no kids, no husband whatever, stop bitching at me please…well no because I have work during the week and usually plans on the weekend that start fairly early.  I’m not even talking about sleeping in until noon – though I may consider it – I am talking about NOT setting my alarm clock (the trick will be to unset the alarm clock cause it’s set to magically go off every Monday through Friday regardless).  I want to wake up and roll over and stretch and read in bed and just lie there with Simba happy for the season.

2. Going out

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Monday – Friday I don’t go out…not that I can’t, but I work all day and the idea of going out after work seems like a lot of energy and then what – poor Simba is alone all night??? I mean he could be and I would love to see my friends more – especially the ones in Durham, but in reality I don’t and they don’t so it’s all good.  However, now that the vacation is here, I can go out for a few hours every day – see different friends, spend time with all the kiddies that I haven’t seen, play Santa with presents and maybe even finally take Simba to the damn dog park I have been meaning to visit since I moved to Ajax.  There are friends I haven’t seen in months (including my BESTIE Kris) and I need to, because after a visit with these people my spirits lift and I make it through the next few weeks fairly unscathed.  I have plans already on the 19th to see Rochelle and her family in the evening and I cannot wait to take her two kids in my arms and squish them both!

3. Christmas – DUH!

Choose-One-FOr-Celebration

Of course this year is going to be even worse than last years because this will be the first year I don’t celebrate Christmas Eve and Christmas Day at the Sedgemount house since it sold in July, but I am still looking forward to seeing my family and having the dogs go bat shit crazy on each other and eating turkey and Milway Family stuffing and then complaining about how full I am and maybe even seeing my nieces smile (they are teenagers so perpetually miserable about life).  It won’t be the same – not even close – and I am bound to shed a tear or two (or two thousand) but it’s still Christmas and I am grateful for the family I have left and I am hoping to see my aunt and uncle who live far away and I haven’t seen in a year!  Time will tell, but regardless it will be time well spent.

2014 will hopefully end peacefully at the strike of midnight on New Years Eve, 2015 will begin and I know it’s up to me to write in this blog this time next how freaking amazing the year was…

we”ll see

Love

Nicole

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How this Canadian celebrates (American) Thanksgiving

7 years ago, the ex brought me to Buffalo, NY during the craziest time of the year – BLACK FRIDAY. We shopped, ate, drove around, saw the sights, celebrated our anniversary and shopped some more.  It was hectic, intense and busy.  The next year, we did the same thing.  The year after that we drove even farther down the road to Grove City P.A with a quick stop in Pittsburgh where we did all of the above and more.  Even after the year we broke up I wanted to keep up the tradition because it was one I truly enjoyed, so I brought my best friend and sister-in-law and every year since, Tammy and I have gone to Grove City to spend our hard-earned money on ourselves and Christmas presents.

This year will be no exception.  We have our room booked with the Holiday Inn and my car is gassed up, winter tires on and oil is changed!

Now all I need is my print out of the stores at the outlet and what time they open Thursday night (some open prior to Midnight – which is great cause now I don’t need to stay awake as long because the older I get, the harder it is to stay awake for 24 hours!)

My sister and I will head out Thursday morning around 10 am to make the 4-4.5 hour drive during non-rush hour times and check into the hotel just before 3:00.  After that we will drive to the BP gas station down the street which has a Subway Sandwich shop inside (the ONLY place open on Thanksgiving) and order our dinner for the evening.  We will drive our car across the street to the outlets, park and walk back to the hotel.  We do this because parking is next to impossible at night so this way we have prime parking when we are done our shopping (and to empty our goodies as our hands fill up).

Once back at the hotel, we will warm up, eat our Sub and watch the Jeff Dunham comedy show (it’s been on the last two years in a row so I ASSUME it will be on again).  We will take a nap (cause really when you START shopping at 10 pm, you need a nap), and wake up just before we need to leave to catch the shuttle to the outlets.

We strategically shop the back half of the outlet, dump our bags in the car and then drive around the whole outlet to the other end to find parking (guys it’s a REALLY long outlet).

We shop the top end of the mall and usually by this point we are both a bit delirious so we start to get really silly.  Standing seems an impossible task and waiting in line starts to feel brutal even though the lineups are down to a mere few minutes and at the top of the night it can be up to 30-40 minutes long. I’m usually singing or dancing to the Christmas music playing nostalgically in the background and Tammy is following me around like a poor puppy to tired and cold to complain.

Why do we do it – because we can.  Because it’s fun.  Because it’s our time together.  Because we finish our Christmas shopping in one weekend.  Because it’s crazy.

BECAUSE WE ARE THANKFUL.

Love

Nicole