Wednesday, December 31, 2008


I wasn't going to make any resolutions this year, I don't keep them. But, I changed my mind and have decided to make 4 goals for myself for 2009. As far as these goals go, any progress in any of the areas would be a success in my book. So without further ado, my 2009 resolutions.

1. Capture & preserve more memories. *This means completing some scrapbooks and photo albums, but it also means to focus more on capturing. As I look through Adam's younger years...there is so much to look at. I want to take more pictures, more video and record more of the moments that will make up his childhood. To help me actually accomplish some of this I have joined a Creative Team for The Scrapping Tree, which should help force me t0 get a few layouts done a week. I am also going to attempt Project 365 as well as continue my Book of Me.

2. Do more as a family. *Most of our downtime at home is spent doing things separately. I would like to get in the habit of doing more family activities. That could be taking a walk, playing outside with Adam or just hanging out long as the three of us are spending quality time together. I started this a few months ago by making sure we all sit down together at the table, no TV for dinner at least a few times a week.*

3. Do more with Mike. *Much like above, we don't do things together. At least one date night a month is my goal, it seems reasonable. Rules for date night: Adam can't be with us and it has to be out of our house (unless Adam is elsewhere for the night). If we are going out with friends, we need to try and do something alone together first (or after). Additionally, a few of our Christmas gifts have sparked some togetherness. For example, Little Big Planet is a fun 2 player game and we have finally started working through all of our home videos and are working on a DVD project with them.

4. More time for me. *I spend time every day cleaning, picking up, cooking, taking care of my boys and my home and more...and I don't take time every day for me. I can't promise to take time every day, but I do want to take more time each week to focus on myself. A long bath, an hour at the coffee shop reading, shopping, whatever it takes to keep me happy. A happy Manda means a less stressed, worried girl which makes everyone around me happier too.

Monday, December 22, 2008

I got some scrappin' done!

I am happy to announce that I had some time this weekend to get some scrappin' done! Here are a few of my fruits (a few of them are a little older, I just never posted them!)!

Click any image for a link to the gallery with credits

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Today was the day,,,

Well, I had my interview today for the Campaign Coordinator position I applied for and really got mixed feelings after my interview was over. Expecially when they asked if it would be OK to let my manager know that I had applied for another position. The interview itself went well, and I was feeling pretty confident as it ended...but as the day went on, less and less so.

I guess these are the disadvantages of applying for an internal position - I know what's going on. For example, this morning I was the last interview they had scheduled (1 of 2) which I took to be a good thing, then today I was looking at the calendar and more have been scheduled in the next week - including one of the interviewers coming in on a day off for an interview. Probably not a good sign that they are scheduling more interviews after meeting with me.

It's just a waiting game now, and that's all I can do. It will probably be January before I hear anything with the holidays coming up (I'm out starting next Tuesday). It's just going to make for a long few days in the office and a long few weeks until I hear...

Cross your fingers for me.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Welcome Back!

I've been a terrible internet friend. After a year and a half or so of blogging about my wedding plans and the wedding itself - I ditched everyone on Xanga when I started this blog. I didn't do it on purpose. See, I never actually finished recapping my wedding (only one or two sections to go..oops!) and had planned on announcing my move to blogger after I finished. Yesterday, bored, I logged into xanga to see how all the old friends were doing and realized some of them might be wondering what happened to me!

So, old friends, welcome to my new blog. Here you will find a lot of stuff...about me, my family, the internet, and other random just never know what to expect!

Stay tuned, more Manda to come!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Holiday Baking Extravaganza: Results

On December 6 I hosted my 3rd Annual Holiday Baking Extravaganza. My best friends were all there, some in spirit. We baked tons of cookies, ate lots of sweets, had a fun gift exchange and drank a little (er...lot) of alcohol. We had a ton of fun and can't wait until next year! 

Credits: "Shabby Christmas" by A Work In Progress and Template from ChrissyW

Web sites that get me through the day

As previously mentioned, things are rather slow at the office right now. Thankfully there are plenty of sites out that that can entertain me for short periods of time. If you're looking for a laugh, check them out!

Fail Blog

Passivie Agressive Notes

Cake Wrecks


Friday, December 12, 2008

Sure is quiet around here...

For most of my working life, I have been in the retail world. This means that as December approaches, the work load increases, often to the point of insanity. When I switched gears and began working in an office setting, things shifted and I have found that December is a quiet month. Each day it more and more of the staff are taking off for the the Holidays. My already small office of 20 is currently at 12, and by next week will be at about 8 (the week after that 2!). Afternoons are especially quiet - people sneak in half days and long lunches (probably to finish shopping!. The phones don't ring and there are no emails to reply to. There are no events going on this time of year, so no planning or wrap up to take care of. The only thing on my plate for the next week is to write some notes in holiday cards for participants. WooHoo. (and we really need to get these in the mail ASAP)! Most people would probably cheer for a day as slow as mine are, but it's terrible. The minutes feel like hours and even the internet is starting to seem...boring!

It's funny though - as quiet as it is around the office, my home life is just the opposite. With shopping to finish, gifts to wrap, events to attend, friends to squeeze in, Holiday programs and more it's hard enough to do the things that never change like laundry and dishes.

What's it like in your work place? Do you have a quiet month - how do you fill the hours at work with nothing to do?

I guess I'll go clean out my desk. Again.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Deck The Halls...

Every year I look forward to the day we decorate the Christmas tree. I love nothing more then pulling out the ever-growing box of ornaments and remembering what used to be as they go on the branches. Each one tells a story...brings back a memory and makes me smile.

As long as I can remember, each Christmas our stockings contained a new toothbrush, candy, a few fun objects and an ornament. These ornaments weren't just anything, they were always reminecent of something from the year. A favorite hobby, a character or a major life event. My brothers and I loved to dig for the ornaments first, to see what memory from the past year had caught the attention of our parents enoughso they found it to be ornament worthy. There was the year of the Power Rangers (I was the pink one), the year I got my rose in dance (5 years) I got a ballet slipper ornament, they year we got our drivers liscenses (a liscense plate)...etc.

I have decided to carry this tradition on with my family. (Although, as we get older the ornaments become more about being a fun ornament and less about the other stuff...) I love going into all the stores this time of year and looking for the perfect ornament for my son. This year it's a blown glass star featuring none other then Mickey Mouse. For my husband, it's typically a moose ornament - and for me, just about anything will do these days. (Although I have been searching high and low for a "just married" type ornament with no luck)

I can only hope that my children love this tradition as much as I do...and if not, I'll still be able to look back over their lives each holiday season as we decorate our tree.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

You never realize...

...just how badly you want something, until you realize your chances. I found out this morning that one of my coworkers has also applied for the position I want. She does an excellent job, and would be a great fit for the position - much like me. The thing she has over me is experience, and a lot of it. She's worked with sponsors, the media, teams - I haven't had a chance to do those things because of my current job.

I am not going to let myself get too worked up over this, I am just mad at her. She's the one I went to when I was thinking about applying, asked her what she thought- talked to her after I did it...and she never said a word.

I guess time will run its course, and whatever happens, happens. I really want this job and know it now more than ever.

le sigh

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Winter Weather

My commute to work on a daily basis is not much fun. I drive 22 miles, one way - mostly freeway, which means mostly traffic. I head in a little early everyday to avoid the morning rush hour and can usually make it in about 30 minutes. The drive home takes longer, since rush hour lasts a lot longer, and is done in about 40-45 on a normal day.

However, winter weather often delays traffic and it takes longer from December-March. I was unprepared for the weather situation yesterday though! I left about 15 minutes early, to allow for slightly heavier traffic since it was snowing - this means I was on the road at 3:45. At about 5:30 I called Adam's grandma and asked her to rush to the daycare to get him before late fees started piling on at 6. I finally made it to her place to pick him up around 6:30. I was cranky and tired. My husband was home sick with the flu, and as I had been sick the previous day - there was a lot to be done around the house. I worked my tail off getting a late dinner out, trying to get some dishes and laundry done and at least feel like my home was slightly normal.

This morning, I expected a few minutes of delays - but my normal 30 minute communte took nearly an hour and a half!

If you are bad at math (like me) that is just over 4 hours of driving in 2 trips to work. I love the way snow looks balanced on the branches of naked trees and bushes, but keep it off the roads!

I am extra tired and cranky today - I blame the traffic situation for that and hopefully I will make it home in a reasonable amount of time tonight and enjoy some quite time in front of the TV.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Opportunity Knocks

A position in my office has opened up. The job posting went out internally today, and I feel I am a perfect fit. I don't want to be doing exactly what I am doing forever, and really think that this is the perfect opportunity for me. 

I am nervous, I know I would do great and I think I'll lose some confidence in myself if I don't get it. It would be a promotion for me - my managers have told me with previous open positions that I should apply, but they haven't been right for me. (One was just too much of a jump forward, I wasn't ready for it. The other included a lot of travel, nights and weekend hours that I am not willing to do at this point in my life). 

I am really excited about this chance, and hope that the directors are as well. It includes much more of what I want to be doing and less of what I need to do to get there. It is more real work, less busy work. I don't want to be an "assistant" for the rest of my life. I have put in my time as an intern and spent a year plus at the bottom. I believe it's my turn to move up. 

This is the third time a position has opened up that I am qualified for, but the first one that I have absolutely no doubt about going for. I feel that I can do it all and then some. 

Wish me luck, I'm nervous about this step - but really, I have nothing to lose; and only a great job to gain. 

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Baby Love Letters

Question #58: For the next 25 days, if you could share one word each day that Christmas (& December) means to you...what would they be. (slightly edited)

In no particular order:

1. Family
2. Decorations
3. Cookies & Treats Galore
4. Shopping
5. Celebration
6. A time to remember
7. Snow
8. Tradition
9. Spirit
10. Secrecy
11. Good food
12. Friends
13. Sharing
14. Busy - Non-stop - Go! Go! Go!
15. New things/toys
16. Hot Cocoa and Blankets
17. Santa Clause
18. Good behavior
19. Lots of presents
20. Grandpa Bruce
21. New pajamas
22. Lots of memories (often brought on by ornaments on the tree)
23. Pictures
24. Christmas Carols...especially when you sing for me!
25. Love - seen in unique ways this time of year...from that special package under the tree to a clean windshield in the morning, love is all around.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Thank You

I just wanted to say thank you to everyone who took the time to think of me and my family yesterday. It's a hard day for all of us, a day to remember both the good times and the sadness that it brings.

I truly appreciated all of the emails, facebook messages and phone calls that you took the time to send. I also appreciate those of you who thought of us in silence. As you read my letter, checked my status or just remembered on your own. Thank you.

As I was winding down for the night last night, after a long day, I had a revelation that truly brought peace and allowed me to fall asleep happy. On December 2, 2006 I lost my dad. A wonderful man, a man that made my life a better one, a supportive wonderful father who filled a void in my life that I never thought possible. A man I truly loved with all of my heart. He was not my biological father though, as most of you know. He adopted me and made me his - a day I will never forget. The day he adopted me was a wonderful day. We went to court, signed the paperwork and changed my name and my life forever. We celebrated with a fancy dinner, my dad got me flowers and I finally felt like I had a real family - that day is one of the top 5 best days of my life. That day was December 2, 1997. Yes, I realized long ago that both events happened on the same day. In fact, that's why the actual day of his death took a little more out of me. It was supposed to be a day of celebration, not of sadness. My revelation? I can still have both. I can still celebrate the happiness and joy that December 2nd has meant to me for the 9 wonderful years I spent with my dad - and instead of mourning all day, I can take at least a few minutes to be happy and remember the good.

Thanks again, everyone - for everything. I love you all.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

[not so] Happy Anniversary!

Happy Annibirthary Daddy! I am so proud to have become your daughter 11 years ago. December 2 is one of the days I looked forward to most every year, and now I dread it. The same day that I gained the most wonderful of fathers, I lost him. I can’t belive that it’s been a year without you, how did the time go by so quickly? So much has happened in the last year, and I so wish you could have been here to share. It’s beginning to fade, each day I forget a little more the way your arms felt when you hugged me, I forget the way your voice sounded when you were proud (and even when you were angry). I don’t want to forget, I don’t want to be without, I want you back. I need you to be here with me, with us. I want to tell you a little bit about my last year, about the things that you couldn’t be there for…

Let's see...things with work are good. I am appreciated and considered a good worker, and I am really proud of a lot of my design work. Who would have thought that the wanna-be engineer...then teacher....then PR now a graphic designer! I really do love my job though, and wish I could share it with you. In August, Mike and I were married. It was really the most perfect wedding a girl could dream of. Walking down the aisle was one of the hardest things I had to do. The sound of the whole room rising for my entrance just got to me. I was on the verge of tears. It's a good thing Eric and Ryan were there to hold me up, or I may not have made it. I wanted you to be there though, more then anything. When mom lit the candle in your memory, I just about lost it; but when I saw Mike, so happy to be marrying me - I realized that no matter where you were, you were there with me. Oh, before I got entirely beautified, I went to visit you! The photographer had never gone to a cemetery on a wedding day before, she was wonderfully supporting and captured the perfect picture for me. I kept your name, as a second middle name. I couldn't let it go - I am your only child after all - but you know how hard it was for me to have a different name then my parents, and I didn't want Adam to deal with that too, so I took Mike's name as my last name and kept yours as a middle name. We had a wonderful honeymoon dad, we went to Niagara Falls (I thought of that picture of you and mom, standing on the Maid of the Mist), Vermont and the coast of Maine. We went sailing on the coolest old boat. That was a hard part of the trip for me. You would have loved it, even just the pictures. I got to help raise the sails, you woulda been proud of me dad. Adam turned 3 in September, I can't believe how old he's getting. He is so smart. He knows who you are too, we talk about you and he asks when we can see Grandpa Bruce. I tell him you're in heaven with his fish Timbit. I hope you and Timbit are having a good time! I got into some financial trouble again, big surprise, right? Mom helped us out. I know you would have too. 

Life is really good dad, I am really happy. I just miss you so much. I don't understand why you had to be taken away from me - but for whatever reason you're gone. All I have are the memories. I try to cling to them, but it's hard. The older they get, the harder it is to remember the details. I miss the sound of your voice, your hugs...I just miss you. So much. 

I am off to spend the day with mom. I should be spending it with you, it is our annibirthary after-all. 11 years dad! I am so proud to be your daughter. I want you to know that. Even if I didn't always tell you, I am. I love you so much, you were truly the best dad a girl could have had, I am lucky to have had you at all. I miss you daddy. 

Love Always, 

Your Daughter