Friday, December 24, 2010

Hallelujah, hallelujah

Few things make me as happy as when people randomly break out in song and dance. It's been a topic of this blog more than once (here, here and here just to name a few; not to mention the numerous posts about Glee). It's why I continue to hope that heaven will be one eternal Broadway musical. And it's why I'm always a sucker for those flash mob videos that regularly pop up on You Tube. This one is probably still my favorite.

So it's the fifth and final day of OKD blog week, which means my staycation is nearly over and I'm about to spend the next couple of days with my family (as if they haven't seen enough of me and my limited arm abilities this week!). On this Christmas Eve day, I'll just leave you with another great flash mob scene:

And if you aspire to try this at your own local mall next Christmas, just don't let it turn out like this one. Yikes!

Merry Christmas everyone. We'll see you here again in the new year!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Been a long week

This was me a week ago today at my third and final snowboarding lesson:

Ok that wasn’t me, specifically, but I resembled that. Kind of. And this is what I’ve looked like for the past week:
I know it looks like my arms were caught up in some industrial equipment, or perhaps burned in a fire. Thankfully, it was neither of those things. But I am nursing two broken wrists.

I’ve been wanting to try snowboarding for awhile and figured now was as good a time as any. And while I quickly learned that the grace I once possessed as a dancer does not at all help when both feet are strapped into a single wood and fiberglass board, it was still fun.

I (pretty much) rocked the bunny hill during my first couple of lessons. But apparently I was no match for Big Foot, the hill on which I caught my backside edge and promptly landed on both wrists. (In my defense, I made it down this hill successfully several times before “the incident.”) My injuries could’ve been much worse, so I am counting my blessings despite my extreme frustration.

I should add that high-school Heather would be totally appalled by thirty-something Heather right now for even attempting snowboarding. In high school, snowboarders were EVIL. The dark side. That’s what my friends and I firmly believed when they got in the way of us much cooler skiers.

So maybe my injuries have helped me come full circle. But then again, I don’t regret trying it at all. And as much as this week has sucked, I don’t want to rule out ever strapping on a snowboard again. But first, I have several weeks of challenging recovery ahead. Already, my family members have been my heroes in helping me manage the day-to-day activities I used to take for granted. Here’s hoping—and praying—for extra patience and perseverance for the long, tough fight back!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

It's time to be heard

I've been hanging with my nephew this week and I am wrapped around his finger just like the rest of his family. When he heard it was blog week he decided to have his say. He's pretty brilliant, but can't quite type yet. So this is exactly how he told it to me...

'Sup people?! It's been a month since I got here and already I've gotten a lot of cuddles and am keeping my mom and dad guessing about what all my cries mean. I know they wish I'd just use my words, but where's the fun in that? Everyone thinks I'm SO cute too, which of course I am. You may think that sounds a little self-absorbed, but I rule this place right now, so can ya blame me?!

My mom and dad wish I'd poop a little less and not be so fussy when they're trying to sleep. But my parents are so attentive when I cry, and I love being held by them. They are the best mom and dad I could ask for. They hug and kiss me and laugh at me when I make funny faces or do my MC Hammer dance.

Well I'd love to stay and chat, but it's been a whole two and a half hours since I last ate. Waiter!! I'm in a hurry here! The life of a baby is tough work and I feel another nap coming on.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Going international

The countdown to vacation is on. Last year at this time, I was celebrating the holidays with my family in Hawaii. What a difference a year makes as I now sit in this frozen, snowy tundra, awaiting yet another visit from the snow plow.

My next vacation may still be months away, but as I research my destinations and get my passport this week, visions of my upcoming travel adventure to France and Italy with a dear friend keep me satisfied.

I'm particularly looking forward to France, having studied the language and country a bit in both high school and college. I don't remember much though, so I'll need to brush up on key phrases, such as "Pouvez-vous me dire où Yoann Gourcuff vie? Je tiens à lui rendre visite." (Major Parisien street cred awarded to anyone who can translate that!)

It's amazing that my travel buddy, Tara, is willing to go with me despite all she knows about the "you’ll never believe this" happenings that seem to follow me around. One thing is certain: We'll have plenty of stories to share when we get back.

If you've been to Paris, Rome, Florence or Venice, let me know if there are things we have to see (or avoid). Tara, let's channel our inner Mary-Kate and Ashley for this one.

P.S. A happy birthday shout out to my dear friend (and new mommy of 3-day-old August) Miss Sarah Sue! Have a rock-star day!

Monday, December 20, 2010

From me to you

Hi friends. Welcome to OKD blog week, day one! First of all, let me say that my staycation isn’t really turning out as planned. Since an unfortunate snowboarding incident last week, I can’t tell you how many people have said to me “This story is going to make a great blog post!” And I believe that’s true. But as I sit here typing with just two fingers, attached to two arms in plaster splints, I’m not quite ready to make light of the situation. So let’s save that for another day and talk about something else, shall we?

What better way to begin this Christmas week than with a Christmas letter to you. I love getting Christmas cards in the mail, seeing family photos and reading about what my friends and loved ones have been up to for the past year (even if I already knew). Last year I even told you about my favorite Christmas card of the year. (By the way, I got Joe’s card again last week and the tune was “Garbage Wonderland.” It was, once again, brilliant and made my day.)

I have never sent Christmas cards of my own though. Maybe it’s because I don’t have a kid who took his first steps this year, a promotion at my job or any exciting travel adventures to share. Plus I’ve already shared my pictures on Facebook and interesting stories on this blog. But, that doesn’t mean I don’t want to wish you and your family a blessed and merry Christmas!

I do always enjoy this time of year for the reflection it brings. Another year is almost behind me, and it brought many happy memories. Celebrating my grandma’s 100th birthday, a reunion with great friends and other fun trips, a job where I get to do what I love alongside wonderful people, exceptional concerts to satisfy this music junkie, a new nephew, opportunities to try new things and lots of laughter with the wonderful people in my life.

It’s been a fantastic year with (as it turns out) a surprise ending! I’ve been blessed to share pieces of it with many of you—both in person and on this blog. So thanks for sharing life with me! I pray you and your loved ones have a merry Christmas and happy new year. But first, don’t forget to check for my daily updates here the rest of the week!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Coming soon...

I stumbled across this website today and thought to myself “oh yeah, that’s right, we have a blog!” So perhaps Jen and I have broken the biggest rule of blogging lately, which is to say something. Jen’s got a great excuse named Connor. My excuse is far less exciting but just as valid—I’ve been busy. But to tell you the truth, I miss having the “that would make a great blog post” thoughts in my day. I’m sure there have been blogworthy moments, but just as soon as one thing is finished, I’m on to the next. There’s been lots of great stuff, challenging stuff, fun stuff and boring stuff. And I’m a little worn out from all the stuff!

But as Buddy the Elf says: “The best way to spread Christmas cheer is blogging loud for all to hear!” (Ok, it’s singing, not blogging, but that wasn’t as relevant.) I’m pleased to say that, during the busy holiday season, I’m actually taking a whole week off work. Staycation! The list of to-dos for that week before Christmas is already quite long, but I’ve decided to add one more thing: The Christmas Countdown Blogstravaganza! Folks, this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to read five new blog posts in five days on Off-Key Duets. I’ll post something each day of my vacation, starting Dec. 20.

But what do you want to read about? Remember those Choose Your Own Adventure stories from elementary school where you got to choose the main character’s next move? Well, this isn’t really like that, but you can still have a say in what I blog about during that week. Here are some options to select from (along with some possible headlines):

  • My Christmas card to you (“I didn’t want to pay for postage to send you this”)
  • Snowboarding lessons (“Bruises are my new accessory”)
  • My really interesting job (“Writing about performance reviews, compensation and life support classes…serious fun”)
  • What’s new with my iPod (“Should I listen to the Glee or Cute Boys who Play Guitar playlist today?”)
  • My life as auntie (“I’m so in love with the new guy in my life!”)
  • Planning my spring vacation (“Two thirty-something women take on Europe”)
  • A special guest post from a brilliant and adorable one-month old (“I’m taking a break from filling my diaper to tell you this”)
  • Brad Womack returns as The Bachelor (“My co-workers offered to donate PTO so I could go on this show”)

Are any of those worth pursuing? What other ideas do you have for me? Check back Dec. 20 when the fun (or somewhat tolerable storytelling) begins!