Good Vibrations Gratitude Friday #2

1. The first thing I am thankful for this week is that I got to celebrate my friends birthday party.  I don’t usually use names in this blog so I will refer to her as the Slap Bet Commissioner.  She had a lovely birthday party at a bar called Wellington’s in Downtown Albany.  I got a baby-sitter, got a chance to catch up with friends and I even enjoyed a vodka club with a splash of cranberry because I am watching my macros.  I am thankful that the Slap Bet Commissioner included me in her special day.

 

2. The second thing I am thankful for was being invited to my friend’s Oktoberfest party. It was a fun afternoon with good food and good company.  And I even learned that there is a book genre called the Existential Detective novel or something like that.  I also learned about LARPing which is Live Action Role Playing.  Do any of you LARP?

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3. I already blogged about it but the third thing I am thankful for was our trip to the Springfield Museums because I got to see my cousin, her kids and my uncle.  My cousin’s son is 5 months older than my daughter so they get along really well.  It makes me happy that our kids are going to grow up together.  It gives me the warm and fuzzies.

4.  The fourth thing I am thankful for is my gym. I joined an awesome gym recently.  I don’t know the actually technical fitness terms to describe the workouts but there are a lot of weights.  And the workouts change every day so you never get bored.  I can feel my arms and legs getting stronger.  Everyday is a challenge but it is worth it.

5.  The fifth thing I am thankful for this week is that I am able to watch my daughter at dance class each week.  I am in awe of my daughter because she learns things so quickly and I love watching her grow and learn.

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And who can resist this girl?

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What are you thankful for this week?

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Good Vibrations Gratitude Friday #1

I have been keeping a gratitude journal and I decided to do something different in the blog.  I decided on Friday to share five things I was thankful for over the past week.  Why did I pick the title “Good Vibrations”?  That will make sense by the end of the blog post. Trust me.

I am thankful for my daughter.  She is amazing and I don’t know how I would have gotten out of bed, especially in the early months if it wasn’t for her. Now I have no choice because she usually comes into my bed and yells “WAKE UP MOMMY!”  It is amazing to see her grow and learn every day.  She is so independent (“I do myself Mommy”) and she is a little fashionista.  I just hope I don’t let her down and that she grows up happy and fulfilled.

 

 

I am thankful for Starbucks Nonfat Pumpkin Spice Lattes.  I have been counting my macros and even though it uses up a lot of carbs, it is worth it.  Because Pumpkin Spice in the Fall is everything.  #america  #fall

I am thankful for my cat because he is cute and he makes me happy.  And I kind of like that he mostly just likes me.  It makes me feel special because I am in his world.  Or maybe I am only special in his world because I feed him.  He really loves me at night because that is when I give him a can of fancy feast.  That started out as a treat, but it is turned into every night.  Oh well.

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Boehner McKim #bestlifepossible

4. I am thankful that I live in this country during this time period.  I am thankful that information is so easily available and accessible.  I am thankful for running water and plumbing.  I take for granted that poop will get flushed away.  There might be a lot of bad in the world but I am determined to focus on the positive.

5.  And last but certainly not least, I am thankful for my tribe.  Because they are awesome as demonstrated on my Facebook timeline.  Kimmy Gibbler tagged me in a post with a video of Marky Mark from 1991 and all of our friends liked it and/or commented.  I love that my friends are not afraid to get silly.

So I am sharing this here.  Just in case anyone needs a Friday morning boost.  Because if you do not like this song then…I don’t know.  I just can’t fathom why anyone would not like this song.

 

What are you thankful about this week?

Double standards

I have a lot of pet peeves.

I don’t like it when people block intersections.

I don’t like people who stand too close.  I value my personal space and am big on people respecting each other’s “hula hoops”.

People who don’t cover their mouths when they cough.

People who rush into an elevator without waiting for people to exit the elevator.  I may have picked up that pet peeve from Bryon.

People who refuse to apologize when they are clearly in the wrong.  There are bonus pet peeve points if that person says something to the affect of “I am sorry that there was a misunderstanding” instead of saying they were sorry for what they did or “I am sorry you feel that way” because you may as well say “I am sorry you are mad”.

But the thing is probably my biggest pet peeve is the double standard.  You know, people who have one set of rules for themselves and another set for others.

I was thinking about a situation that illustrated this concept.  It consists of something that can be quite controversial- the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees Rivalry.

I am from New England.  I was born in Boston, lived in the suburbs until I started high school (though outside the 128 loop) and I lived in Maine from the ages of 15 to 30.  So I am unapologetically a Boston sports fan.  Because I am from there.  Duh.

Now I live in New York.  I am still a Boston sports fan because I am from there.  But the majority of my friends here root for the New York Yankees.  Some of the people I love the most root for the team I like the least.   Because they are from here.  Duh.

My Facebook newsfeed is pretty interesting when the teams play each other.  It’s actually pretty awesome.

Usually we joke back in forth, all in good jest.  It’s great.  Because the Red Sox-Yankees rivalry makes baseball fun.  We love to hate each others teams and I am sure there are no other teams we would rather hate than whatever team is opposite of you in this rivalry.  And I am sorry to all the other sports fans who don’t have the privilege to experience this rivalry.

But I have met people that could not handle the jest.  I would barely say anything and then get an earful about how horrible Red Sox fans are and how polite and courteous Yankees fans are.  While I have witnessed firsthand a Yankees fan getting heckled in Fenway (ironically we were playing the Baltimore Orioles that night) I was told that this would never happen at Yankee Stadium.

I am sorry at what I am about to say.  Actually I am not sorry.  I don’t care what team you root for or for what sport, every team has asshole fans.  I don’t believe for one second that I could go to Yankee Stadium wearing a Red Sox shirt and not get heckled.  I would expect it.  And as long as no one gets hurt, who really cares?

But the thing that was particularly frustrating was that if I even mentioned my team, I would get barraged with comments about how horrible my team and it’s fan are.  But I would get shut down when I tried to defend myself.  Personally it got very tiring being around this person. So I just dealt with it because I had nothing to prove and didn’t need to waste my energy.

Bryon was a Red Sox fan but while he had his teams that he loved, he was still able to look at all sports objectively.  Bryon was the first one to tell me if I was being oversensitive.  I was a homesick New England girl after all.  But in this situation, he pointed out that while this person was busy calling me a rude fan that that person was really displaying the behavior of a rude fan.  He also thought this person was insecure and would try to bully me on other occasions but that is another story for another time.

Why did I go through a long drawn out story that I am pretty sure is going to get me defriended on Facebook by a few people this morning?  Or at the very least, the recipient of a few rude comments? Because it this story is a good illustration of the double standard.  One rule applied to me, the Red Sox fan and another rule applied to this person, a Yankees fan.  At the time, it was incredibly frustrating and annoying but now I think it’s just silly.

After losing Bryon, there are more important things to worry about.  On Facebook I had several friends at the Yankees game the other night.  And I liked seeing those photos because I love seeing people out enjoying life and that is a beautiful thing.  Because life is too short.  Be passionate about your team.  Just don’t be too much of a dick about it.  (To my readers who never knew Bryon personally, “Don’t be a dick” was his catchphrase).

This story also reminds me of a Saturday Night Live skit from 1992 where Stuart Smalley says that when you point a finger, you have three pointing back at you and a thumb pointing up at God or something.  It inspired me to find a video of it which you can find here.

But double standards can be real problems in relationships.

Like the friend who takes another for granted.   It’s a problem when Bob never makes time for Bill but then expects Bill to drop everything when Bob wants Bill to tag along.

It’s also a problem in families where one child and one set of grandchildren is favored over the other.  I could write more about this but then I would be sitting here for hours.  That might be for another time.  Or maybe I will keep it in my personal journal.

And while I do ascribed to the theory that fair is not always equal, there should not be a clear discrepancy of treatment between two individuals.  And if you find yourself in that predicament with the shorter straw, just remember that there are no laws stating who you have to keep in your life.

And while playoff tensions may be high, don’t give up on your friend who may root for another team, whichever team that is.  Just grab a beer and enjoy the game.  Because that is what Bryon would do.

A third birthday fiesta

We celebrated my daughters third birthday this past weekend.  It was a small celebration with the Albany family, but we are still a pretty crazy bunch.  Celebrations like this are very bittersweet without Bryon, but we still had a good time.  I was tired, but very thankful for those in my daughters life.

 

Late summer fun: Sunflowers and ice cream

I was supposed to go to Maine the last weekend in August but I needed to take my cat to the vet. I thought something was wrong with him. He wasn’t acting like himself and I was sure something was wrong with him.  After paying my not insignificant vet bill, nothing was physically wrong him.

So now my cat is on prozac.

It’s for the best.

And I missed my trip to Maine and my 20th high school reunion. I thought about trying to swinng it but I was too tired to do 16 hours of driving in a 60 hour period

So I wound up with an unexpected free weekend.  My close friend loves Sunflowers and asked if I would be up for a drive downstate to a sunflower field. I am always ready for an adventure and I love road trips so I happily agreed.

I wish I had a selfie to share but not a single one looked good.  For real.  My daughter wouldn’t look at the camera and I had my hair in my face.

After we looked at the flowers, we went to a farm stand.  It was crowded.  My friend told me that she wasn’t expected it to be crowded because she has seen too many Hallmark movies.  In Hallmark movies there is a ton of space.  Hallmark movies have ruined her.

Though we both agreed that that won’t stop us from watching them this Christmas.

After the farm stand, we decided to drive into New Paltz and get some ice cream.   We went to Hugeunot Creamery.  The ice cream was delicious and the staff was very kind and friendly.  The kids had ice cream cones  with sprinkles. They wound up all over the floor.  Part of me felt bad but part of me figured that it’s bound to happen in an ice cream shoppe.  My friend had a creamsicle float and I had an old fashioned hot fudge sundae.

On the way back, we stopped at a Samuel’s Sweet Shop in Rhinebeck which is owned by Paul Rudd and Jeffrey Morgan.  The kids had lollipops (though my daughter could only handle a few licks after eating ice cream) and I had a pretzel covered in Reese’s Pieces.  My friend got chocolate covered oreos.

It was a great day.  I am so glad my friend asked us to spend the day with her and it was fun to discover places in New York where I had never been.  I can’t wait for some Fall adventures with my friends.

Do you like to go on day trips?  Where do you like to go?

End of summer fun: Valley Cats game

Last week we had another first.

Our first baseball game without Bryon.

Bryon was an avid sports fan.  If we were travelling, he would see what the local teams were for whatever sport was in season and if they were playing that night.  When else would I see the Colorado Avalanche play?  Or the Toronto FC soccer team play against the Capital City FC soccer team?

Bryon had the same enthusiasm locally as well.  No summer was complete without going to some Valley Cats games.  Usually we went when the Lowell Spinners were in town (the Single-A affiliate for the Boston Red Sox).

We took our daughter on her first Fourth of July in 2015.  I tried to get a good family selfie but I failed.

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I spent almost all of the summer of 2016 in an ICU room.  And I have avoided baseball games this summer.  Because going to baseball games was a thing that I did with Bryon.  He loved going.  I also realized that his baseball buddy, Julie, who worked the Brown’s Beer stand may not know that he died.  Julie loved him. And I didn’t want to tell her.  Luckily I didn’t have to go to the beer stand that night.

I had no plans to go this year, but the MS Society was there that night.  And it ended up being a Friends themed night so that was cool too.  I like Friends but I still maintain that How I Met Your Mother was a much better show than Friends though.

There were hot dogs.  Ketchup was my daughters.  I think ketchup is disgusting.   Mustard and relish is my jam.  I am full of controversial statements today.  I won’t even discuss hot dog rolls today.

My bestie Kimmy Gibbler was there.

Our good friend was there.  (She doesn’t have a nickname…yet.)

We also had a to see a friend who was working.  You haven’t met him yet, but you met his girlfriend.

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It did end up being a fun night.  My daughter loved it.  Granted, she didn’t really have any concept of the actual game, but there were friends, hot dogs and ice cream.  Life doesn’t get much better than that.

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Happy second birthday in Heaven

Today was Bryon’s second birthday in Heaven.  You might have read my blog yesterday when I wrote about how it was one year since the funeral and you must be confused as to why I am writing about his birthday.  It’s true.  His funeral was a day before his birthday.  I had to experience a painful first the very next day after the funeral.  And the firsts just kept coming.  My birthday is in two days, my daughters is next month and our wedding anniversary is at the end of September. This corner of the year will probably always be the roughest five weeks of the year for me.

It seems so unreal that we are celebrating Bryon’s second birthday in Heaven.  At times, I am still stunned that this all happened. But I decided that last week that the anniversary of his death will be the sad day.  His birthday will be a happy day. So I decided to have a party for our friends to get together and share stories. Instead of dwelling on Bryon’s death, it was time to celebrate that he had lived.

Last year, the day after his funeral, a few of us had dinner at hibachi because that is what we had done for his last living birthday.  I was thinking of doing that again but I wanted to include more people and it would be hard to have a lot of people at a hibachi table.

I decided that I wanted to release balloons at the cemetery and then have funfetti cheesecake at my house.  I wanted to buy a whole cheesecake from Cheesecake Factory.  Bryon would have loved that.  He loved funfetti cake and cheesecake.  It would be perfect.  But my friend called the local Cheesecake Factory, they said they couldn’t sell whole funfetti cheesecakes.  But that’s okay.  I found a recipe online that worked well.

A few of my friends met at the cemetery.  One of our friends brought a pennant from Siena College to decorate the grave.  The same friend read the prayer of St. Francis which worked well because I did not prepare anything to be said.  St. Francis was Bryon’s favorite Saint so he would approve.

My daughter and I brought a bundle of balloons to release.  I was very impressed with my daughter.  She is not yet three but she understood that the balloons were going to be released and sent to Heaven for Bryon.  I was worried that she wasn’t going to understand the concept and that she would get upset but she let the balloons go and seemed happy that they were going to Heaven.  

After the cemetery, we went back to my house for pizza, funfetti cheesecake and stories.  There also may have been some Moxie tasting.  Kimmy Gibber did not like it.

This might be the start of a new tradition.  Maybe it won’t.  But for the time being, it is comforting to know that I have a group of friends who are like family who want to  remember Bryon’s life.  And I hold my Albany family close to my heart.