Monday, December 31, 2012

Farewell 2012

I must say, I'm not really all that sad to see 2012 go.  While it wasn't a horrible, no good, rotten year like 2007, it was by far not an easy one either.  Overall, there has been more good than bad, but the bad has left a toll.

On the plus side, my boy-o is healthy and growing like a weed.  He's slowly getting over his fear of the four-footed and furry as well as engaging others in play.  He has made some pretty amazing leaps this year and I can't quite catch my breath with how much he's changing, and yet, how much he's the same as ever.  All I know is that I love that little boy (he's definitely not a baby any more!) more than I can put into words.

Gak has had a fairly good year over all.  Sure, work's a hassle and has given him some issues throughout the year, but nothing too out of the ordinary.  His health has been good, which is always a blessing.

Me, I've had my fair share of challenges this year, and not all of them the good kind.  I started the year battling strep twice in the span of about a month.  And well, I came down with it again Christmas night.  (It's amazing what a few days of penicillin will do, I feel 100% better.  Then again, it wasn't as bad a case as some I've had in the past...)  Then I spent all spring in a brain fog and so exhausted I was fighting like mad not to fall asleep at work and the chills at night.  I managed to get some relief from that and, finally, in the last month or so I've been able to get back to some form of physical activity that hasn't sent me to exhaustion for days after the fact.  I still battle chills on just about a daily basis and my performance at work has been impacted (at least in my eyes) quite a bit.  I think my energy levels are about where they used to be; the thought of going to the playground or doing anything other the collapsing on the couch after work doesn't bring me nearly to tears anymore. (Trust me, having as active a boy as Boo and all summer not be able to go on rides with him or actually play with him at the playground was enough to all but bring me to tears of frustration on so many occasions.)

Work has had its own challenges throughout the year.  A lot of them good and interesting, but all of them compounded by the brain fog and exhaustion.  Several changes have been made and 2013 is looking like it'll be interesting.  Hopefully all will go well, but I'm sure there'll be bumps in the road.  At least, for now, I feel like I have the energy to tackle them.

My emotional health has been strongly tied to my physical health this year.  While I would not say that I've been fighting true depression, there has been a lot of frustration, angst, fear and anger tied to my physical health or lack there of.  To say I've been on rocky emotional ground would pretty much sum it up.  I'm just thankful that Gak, while he may not understand, can usually accept that I'm sometimes a bit flakier than others...

All this mental and physical woe has also let me easily slip back into being lazy (well, I didn't have a lot of choice there for a while if I wanted to even think about being able to get out of bed the next day....) and over eating. I've found 25 or so of the pounds that I'd left along the side of the pool or the road in the last few years.  I'm not happy with that fact, not for the number on the scale (by far not the worst) but because of how I physically feel carrying the extra around again.  And not really from carrying the extra, but from the way my old eating habits are making me feel.  They're making me feel much worse than I really am I think.  I'm not making healthy choices and it just "feels" icky so much of the time.  This is in my control and something I can work on in the coming year.

I also can't seem to find my little point-n-shoot camera.  It's been bugging me off and on and I know if I would just clean up my damn mess, I'd find it.  Or at least prove once and for all that it's not in the apartment.  I'm actually cameraless right now.  I had to return Dad's DSLR at Thanksgiving.  It's OK though, as I wasn't using it as much in the fall.

Which brings me to the other big down of the year.  Dad and his health.  Christmas day was not a good day for him.  He was barely able to make it out of bed and mentally it was just not good.  It breaks my heart, and I can only imagine the heartache that Mom goes through on a daily basis.  And there's not much I can do for her, other than let her come play with Boo on Mondays as a break.  And remind her I'm only a phone call away, any day, any time.

But, like I said, there have been good things too.  I've managed to crochet at least 30 if not 40 different projects this year.  Some as simple as a tiny little stuffed kitty for a friend, some as big as an awesome (and well loved) afghan for friends who more than deserve it.  And hats, I've made lots and lots of hats this year, most of which have been donated to the Vet's hospital down the road.  I have a great, and huge, group of girls in my Girl Scout troop this year.  I have lots of friends around me who care about me and help me out whenever and however they can, and who I do the same for.  Actually, they're not just friends, they're my family and my clan.  The relationships all get a little fuzzy and are hard to follow, even when you're living it, but we all love each other and work together to make this thing called life a better place.

So, here's to the end of a rough year and hopefully 2013 will be a bit smoother sailing.
My goals for 2013 are simple.
1. Get back on track with my eating and my activity.  Make sure to track every bite at least 3 days a week and stick to a 3 or 4 day a week schedule of activity.
2. Continue to blog and keep my window to the world open.  I hope to blog at least twice a week, preferably 3 to 4 times a week.
3. Continue to love my family with all my heart and soul.  I think this'll be the easiest one to do.

So, on that note, I wish you all peace, health and happiness.  May the good outweigh the bad and there always be a silver lining to the touches of gray.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

List of December

Well, so much for getting back into the blogging swing of things.  Here I've let almost the entire month slide on by, not just a measly week or so.  And no, I don't have any new pictures either.
I take that part back, I do have some new pictures, but their still on the memory card(s) and in all honesty, and a sign of my total lack of organizational skills at the moment, I can't find my little Cannon...

Ok, so to keep this brief (haha) and try and get most of what's bouncing around in my head onto "paper", I'm going to present a huge bullet list.  Not my favorite way to do this, but it's 6:45 and I've only got a half hour at most....

So, in no particular order...

*Got the tree put up Saturday with Boo.  Decorating with a 4.5-year-old is fun.  You can tell a child was involved, there's one spot with a ton of ornaments and a smattering across the rest of the tree.

*Went to Amma and PopPop's for Hanukkah on the 9th.  It was a good evening.  PopPop actually read the prayers this year and I helped Boo light the candles.  We also got a chance to talk to Jon and Becca, which is always awesome.

*Speaking of Jon, I got to have lunch with one of his best friends (and a good friend of mine) from school yesterday.  I think I've known Ian since I was around age 12?  It wasn't too long after we moved to PA at any rate.  It was great to catch up with him.

*Speaking of Hanukkah and photos (wait, did I mention photos?), Dad was wanting to use his camera.  Mom tried to put him off about it for a bit, but he kept asking.  So, I took him his Nikon back when we went down for Hanukkah.  And since I can't find my little Cannon at the moment, I'm cameraless, other than my phone, which takes OK pictures, but getting them off there can be a pain in the butt.

*I've managed to get lots and lots and lots of Christmas crochet done.  No, you won't see pictures until later.  (That reminds me, I need to get pictures of my latest items... but... aargh... too much effort at this point!)  Well, maybe you'll see pictures.  I know I've got pictures of some of them....

*I think I'm all done with the Christmas shopping.  Still debating one small-ish purchase and I might need to pick up one other thing, but overall, I'm good.

*Wok is interesting.  We're going through a reorg, which in the long run I think will actually be quite good, but will cause a little chaos in the meantime.  I'm not sure yet if this is a good or bad thing, but my friend Bill will now be my manager.  Yeah, it could get a little tricky at spots, but we've been through tricky spots before.  As long as he keeps his ego in check (and I don't do anything stupid) we'll get along just fine with his new role.

*Next month I get to go to Texas for a few days with work.  (Well, that's if they send the PO in, but I'm about 99% sure they will...)  This'll be my second trip since the beginning of September.  It'll be nice to get out of the office.  Boo's old enough that picking him up from daycare or whatever doesn't mean I have to make sure the right seat is around, he just needs a booster and I've got an extra of those.  Boo's not happy with the idea, but he did OK in September and I know he'll be fine next month too.

*That reminds me, this trip to Texas will be the first time I'll have been on a plane since before Boo was born.  Wow, that's almost 5 years!

*Speaking of being born, my cousin Rae and her wife Kami welcomed a beautiful baby boy into the world back on the 4th, Oren William.  He's adorable and I so wish we lived closer.  I have no idea when we'll actually get to meet him in person. /sigh

*Boo keeps growing like a weed.  He's so much fun to watch and play with.  He just amazes me every day.

*We went to Zoe's Christmas concert last Friday.  It was really nice (and just the Junior/Senior high kids).  After we went to the Ronda to catch up with Steve, Shelby and Randy, which is always nice.  Steve is going to be deployed again in January.  I have no details on length, but I do know it's back to Afghanistan. /sigh

*My friend Michelle is in Chile now.  I haven't heard much from her in the past few months, but it seems like she's doing OK.

*No, I haven't posted anything about what happened in CT on Facebook or G+.  I'm not going to either.  Actually, I take that back, I did make a comment on my friend John's one post.  Basically I agree that this is a horrible tragedy and I can't (and don't want to) imagine the personal hell all those families are going through.  The last thing they as a community need is to be reminded by outside people everywhere they look about it.  They're living it every blessed heartbeat.  The best thing we can do is not to ignore it, but to be respectfully quiet about it.  (And if I dwell on this too much I'll just end up putting myself into a bad emotional place and that won't help me, my family or the victims in any way, shape or form...)

*I'm hopefully doing something cool tonight.  Someone I've met through either a photography or a fiber circle on G+ (I can't remember exactly how I met her, but she's into both...) is in the area for work.  The boy and I are hopefully meeting up with her for dinner.  It should be fun.  This is a huge step for me, I normally find real life events like that really tough.  But, I've been kicking myself for a while for not grabbing the opportunity to meet another online friend when I was traveling all the time, so I'm not going to let this one slide by if I can help it...

Well, a boy-child is up.  It's almost 7:10 and we both have to get dressed, get breakfast/lunch together and get out the door.

Peace to all and may you not wait too long to keep friends and family in the loop and may you grab opportunities when and where you can.

Monday, December 03, 2012


Last week had to be the most surreal week of my life to date.
Monday morning started out in the normal Monday way.  I was almost to work when I saw a small car looking like it was going to pull out of a drive.  Nothing too unusual other than the place it was at was empty and there was this thing on the roof of the car.  As I got closer, I saw by dawn’s early light that the word Google was plastered across the side of the car.  Therefore, the thing on the roof had to be the camera setup for a Google Maps car.  I think I geeked out about that the last mile or two to work.

Then, when I was leaving work Monday afternoon (I work 7-4 on Mondays) I saw two people in the field/empty lot across from my building.  They had a backpack and a camera and were taking pictures and pointing up in the sky and looking like they were measuring or something.  (What made this really weird is the girl looked just like Jess who used to work with us from my vantage point, but it wasn’t.)

Tuesday morning we find out that the President of the United States was going to visit a business in Hatfield on Friday.  A few hours later we find out it’s not their manufacturing facility a few miles away, but the office building diagonally across the field from us.  Yep, those two people I saw Monday evening were measuring the field to see if it was big enough for Marine 1 and her sister helicopters.  There was also a Secret Service agent in the building talking to our “security” and EHS guy about what all we’d need to do Friday.

Wednesday was quite exciting (and where the picture at the top came from…).  They did a practice run of the helicopters arriving and departing.  Let me tell you, they are loud and big and noisy (OK, so essentially I said that twice, but it’s true…).  And I was less than a football field away from them when two of them took off.  (See the video… I nearly got knocked on my butt from the prop wash…)

Thursday was almost a normal day, but we had a meeting in the afternoon about what we could and couldn’t do.  We weren’t going to be able to park in front of or on the side of the building, only in the gated lot behind us or in the lot in the park.  All blinds had to be closed and no one was to be outside when the President was arriving or departing. Oh, and by the way, there’ll be two snipers up on the roof.  Yep, on the roof, right above my head.

Friday was the most surreal of them all.  As usual, I got in right around 7:00.  I remembered to park behind the gate and made extra sure I had my badge and parking badge.  There didn’t appear to be anyone parked in the buildings to either side of mine, and there were fire truck support vehicles already arriving.  When I went outside around 9:00, I couldn’t count the number of black SUVs, police cars, fire trucks, support vans, bicycle cops and ambulances that were deployed all around our building and the one next door; across from the building the President was visiting.  You could tell which of the SUVs were armored and there were a few Secret Service agents that were walking around that I would have pegged as such even if they were in plain clothes.
I think the most surreal message I sent Friday was to Gak: snipers have been deployed to the roof.
Despite the “no looking” mandate, with vertical blinds in the offices and a window in the garage door in the shop, we were able to get a half decent look at the arrival and departure.  And of course, we could hear it too.
It did get a little unnerving listening to the snipers walking around on the roof right over my head.  It was also weird talking to people from other parts of the country about their normal issues when I’m working in a secured location and the president was across the street.  My mind couldn’t keep from geeking out from time to time trying to process it.  It’s just not in the realm of normal for us mere citizens.  It really is a different world.

The funniest part was after the President left.  I’d been downstairs to get more water, try and sneak a peak at the departure and run a few other errands downstairs.  I was coming back up the stairs with two other women from the department and nearly ran smack dab into the two snipers as they were about to come down the stairs.  It was a little embarrassing and a bit unnerving almost running into someone so well armed (and well trained).  I’m not sure if it helped or not if the one I almost ran into was kinda cute…  We all laughed and everyone got to where they were supposed to go.

Within 30 minutes of the President leaving you never would have known something had happened, other than the fact that it was a Friday afternoon and there weren’t any cars out front of the businesses.

So, yeah, last week was a bit on the surreal side of things.  The weekend was good.  For the second week in a row we went swimming at the Y on Sunday.  Boo actually started asking about it on Wednesday or Thursday.  Hopefully we’ll be able to keep this up all winter.  It’ll be a nice way to get us all up and out of the house and doing something fun together.  I’ll try and catch up on the other goings on for the last few weeks.  I’m trying to get back into the habit of blogging, but it’s been a bit rough from many sides and the thing that suffers most when things get wacky is the blog.

But, I’d best get back to work and be productive.  I’ve lost enough time to the chaos of a Presidential visit, even if it wasn’t to our building.

Peace to all and may you have the surreal happen from time to time.