Ever-Changing Reflection

Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding... It is the bitter potion by which the physician within you heals your sick self. Therefore trust the physician, and drink his remedy in silence and tranquility.
~ Kahlil Gibran

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Best09: Laugh

Laugh. What was your biggest belly laugh of the year?

I'd like to think I laughed so much this year that I can't pick just one, but I'm not sure that's entirely true -- for one -- and the question asks my biggest -- for two -- so I'll do my best.

My biggest laughs of the year definitely came while house-hunting with Jed and our realtor (the coolest realtor ever). We had so much fun picking fun at random house details, my terminology and the aspects I noted or the ideas I suggested. One day of touring, we stumbled upon a cute raised ranch on a dead-end street. It was the last house on the street, surrounded by woods. Really nice. The kitchen/living room had wood beams running underneath a cathedral ceiling. Gorgeous. We walked down the hall and peeked into a bedroom, then the master, then the bath...

Oh. my. God.

What kind of crazy bathroom is this?!?

I wish I had a picture to share with you, but the picture I snapped was on realtor's camera, and I never got the copies.

The bathroom, we suspected, used to be a bedroom that was converted into a bathroom at some point. It was huge. There was a closet and normal built-in vanity on the left as you walked in, with a half-wall creating an "entry way" of sorts on the right. Behind the half-wall was the toilet. Diagonally from the toilet was a giant jetted, corner tub. We're talking a half dozen people enjoying the bubbles. Finally, in the corner opposite the hot tub, was the stand-up shower -- tiny -- that might fit half of a person.

I looked at the realtor and asked if we were on the set of a rap video. I was waiting for 50 Cent to swagger in any minute with a glass of bubbly and a dozen beautiful girls in skimpy bikinis to hop in the hot tub.

Seriously. Who renovates a bathroom like that? It wasn't even brand new. It was like mid-90's renovation. We're talking soap scum old. Well, my commentary made the realtor laugh, which made me laugh, which made Jed laugh. We were practically rolling out to the street and into the car, with a confused selling agent looking on. LMAO!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Best09: Stationery.

Stationery. When you touch the paper, your heart melts. The ink flows from the pen. What was your stationery find of the year?

I have to say my stationery find of 2009 was these ladybug note cards from Peony Paperie I won from Kristen at K.Law: Inspired. They are adorable and so well made. I can't wait to write lots of notes on them and then order more because I used them all!

Best09: Web tool.

Welcome back to my Best of 2009 series! I've been slacking big time, but there was a little event known as Christmas that kept me quite busy. I'll be, hopefully, doing some catch up this week so I can finish the series by the end of the year!

Web tool. It came into your work flow this year and now you couldn’t live without it. It has simplified or improved your online experience.
via about.com

I hope all of you know Google Reader, and if you don't, please go experiment with it. I've only used it to keep track of all your blogs, but I know there are many other uses for it I have yet to discover. I just figured out how to add friends and share your blogs with them with my comments, and I can read what they share as well. How novel!

I love blogging on Blogger, but reading blogs from the Dashboard after I subscribed to more than five got challenging. Reader makes this so much less stressful, and I can file blogs like I do my e-mail (I love Gmail as well).

Friend-Making Monday: Resolutions

What are your New Year's Resolutions?

I don't specifically make New Year's resolutions because I make resolutions year-round. That said, going into 2010, here are some things I'd like to accomplish (in no particular order):

1. Get 30 minutes of exercise daily.

2. Spend less time reading blogs (sorry!) and more time reading books.

3. Eat healthier (9 servings of fruits and veggies a day).

4. Volunteer for a worthy cause.

5. Donate more time, money, kindness.

6. Pursue my marketing career.

7. Stop criticizing my boyfriend and start loving more.

8. Practice Yoga at least three times a week.

9. Spend more time socializing with friends and less time worrying.

Images via weheartit.com

Hope is the thing with feathers...

... That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune without the words,
And never stops at all,

And sweetest in the gale is heard;
And sore must be the storm
That could abash the little bird
That kept so many warm.

I've heard it in the chilliest land
And on the strangest sea;
Yet, never, in extremity,
It asked a crumb of me.

~ Emily Dickinson

My name is Brandy. And I have a blog.

And a plea.

I use my blog to showcase the crazy I meet everyday, share the stories of the kids I teach and document my love for tequila, dairy products and the abdominal muscles of Ryan Reynolds. Rarely do I talk about personal issues on my blog- as personal as the dude that I adore (who I actually met through my blog- single ladies, let that be a very good reason to blog, the possibility of meeting someone as wonderful as my man), but I need your help. And it involves my dude.

He's a guy who made math comics for my class, so they would love learning about addition. He's the kinda guy who sends my friends gift cards when they are having hard times, who remembers every story I ever told him, who was the first person I celebrated with when I got a teaching job. He's the guy who sent flowers to me at school- dozens of my favourite pink roses just because he loves me. He's a guy who has spent a year patiently explaining (and re-explaining) everything there is to know about football during the important games when silence is preferred. He's made me word puzzles and comics and stayed up late playing Scrabble with me (even though I beat him almost every time). He's listened to me cry about school and family and jobs. He is everything I never knew I needed and everything I always knew I wanted.

The holidays have hit us hard. He's recently been told he may have something called multiple myeloma- an incurable cancer, that gives a person an average of five years of continued life. Though this news has came as a shock, he continues to be exactly who has always been- spending his time worrying about me, rather than worrying about himself. He's the most selfless individual I know- (he stayed late on Christmas Eve to work, so his co-workers could leave early) and a post like this would never be something that he would promote or encourage but when I'm overwhelmed and feeling helpless, the blogging community has always given me tremendous support and comfort, two things I desperately need at this time.

As I write this, the future is uncertain and we aren't sure what's happening. He'll need to see an oncologist soon, to verify what's going on in his body. My hope is that everyone who reads this think positive thoughts and if you are a person who prays, could you add him to your list? (You can refer to him as 'brandy's hot awesome dude'). If you don't pray, please keep him in your heart. This cancer is only a possibility and I believe that the prayers and positive thoughts of people can make sure it never becomes a reality.

I want to give a big thank you to the blog owner who scraped their original blog plans and graciously put this up. My goal is to get as many people as possible to see and read this post. If you are reading this and want to help, copy and paste my plea into your blog or send a link through twitter, so more people can keep him in their thoughts. I would be so very grateful (even more grateful than I am to my friend who first showed me the picture of Ryan Reynolds on the cover of Entertainment Weekly. If you haven't seen it, google it. You. Are. Welcome).

I realize this all sounds dramatic, a Lifetime movie in the making- but this is life. Right now. And I'm throwing away any hint of ego and am humbly asking for you to pray or think kind thoughts. If you are able to pass this on, thank you and if you know anything regarding MM- please email me (my email is on my blog). This isn't a call for sympathy or a plea for pity. It's just one girl hoping you can think positive thoughts for the person she adores. If my current heartache provides you with anything, let it be with the reminder that life is short, love is unbending and no one knows what could happen next. Maybe it is silly, but I really do believe that positive thoughts can make a huge difference. Thank you for reading this and if you haven't already? Please tell someone you love them today.

I did.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Quick Christmas Update!

I wanted to check in to say I had a lovely Christmas, and I will continue to have a lovely Christmas until January 6, the Epiphany. I was lucky to receive some thoughtful gifts, such as Tupperware from Jed (yes, I got so excited about my new plastic storage!), a kick-ass blender from my sister, a cozy ski hat from my parents along with fleece sweatshirts and scarves, and my annual trip to Bretton Woods, NH from my aunt!

I ate a lot, I partook in some wine and spiked eggnog, I played a festive hostess (twice), and I finally got caught up on sleep!

There will be more updates tomorrow, but for now, you can peruse this extended survey I found at You Had Me At Hello. Feel free to copy, just comment back so I can go read it!


What is your salad dressing of choice?
Balsamic Vinaigrette

What is your favorite sit-down restaurant?
Texas Roadhouse.

What food could you eat every day for two weeks and not get sick of?
Minestrone soup.

What are your pizza toppings of choice?
Mushroom and black olives.

What do you like to put on your toast?
Peanut butter.


How many televisions are in your house?
3, but only one works right now. (Plus we have a projection screen.)

What color cell phone do you have?


Are you right-handed or left-handed?

Have you ever had anything removed from your body?
My wisdom teeth.

What is the last heavy item you lifted?
Wood to build a fire.

Have you ever been knocked unconscious?
Only by drugs.


If it were possible, would you want to know the day you were going to die?
No. I'd spend the rest of my life being anxious about what I have time to do!

If you could change your name, what would you change it to?
I don't think I would change my name... maybe to something less common...

Would you drink an entire bottle of hot sauce for $1000?
No, I've seen what that stuff can do to you! It would have to be a lot more than that!


How many pairs of flip flops do you own?

Last time you had a run-in with the cops?
A couple months ago when one showed up at my front door because I accidentally dialed 911 and hung up.

Last person you talked to?

Last person you hugged?



Independence Day (a.k.a. 4th of July)

Day of the week?



Missing someone?

Getting sleepy.

What are you listening to?
The TV.

"Law & Order: Special Victims Unit"


First place you went this morning?
The kitchen to make coffee.

What's the last movie you saw?
"Hotel Rwanda"

Do you smile often?
I try to!

Sleeping Alone Tonight?


Do you always answer your phone?

Its four in the morning and you get a text message, who is it?
My boyfriend... assuming he's not in the bed next to me. He's the only one who would text me at that hour.

If you could change your eye color what would it be?
I wouldn't.

What flavor do you add to your sonic drink?
I don't know, never been to Sonic.

Do you own a digital camera?

Have you ever had a pet fish?
No, my sister has had a few though that I sorta adopted.

Favorite Christmas song(s)?
"O Holy Night"

What's on your wish list for your birthday?
Haven't thought about it... it's six months away.

Can you do push ups?
One. A few more if I can put my knees down.

Can you do a chin up?
Nope, never could.

Does the future make you more nervous or excited?
Both... mostly nervous the older I get. Unfortunately.

Do you have any saved texts?
Yeah. I have saved texts in files. I could be a hoarder...

Ever been in a car wreck?
Yeah... although wreck sounds like an exaggeration. I did total my car though. Front hood looked like an accordion.

Do you have an accent?
Sometimes I'm told I have a Boston accent.

What is the last song to make you cry?
"The Christmas Shoes"

Plans tonight?
Finish this post then go to sleep.

Have you ever felt like you hit rock bottom?
Oh yes... it's terrible.

Name 3 things you bought yesterday.
Nothing. Nothing. Nothing. I didn't leave the house yesterday! Or pick up my computer.

Have you ever been given roses?
On Valentine's Day, the past two year. I'm a lucky, loved girl.

Current worry?
Not exercising enough.

Current hate right now?
Temporarily ending the festivities and going back to work tomorrow.

Met someone who changed your life?
Blessed with that a couple times.

How will you bring in the New Year?
PJ Movie and Game Night party with friends.

What song represents you?
Unwritten, by Natasha Bedingfield.

Name three people who might complete this?
No idea who.

Would you go back in time if you were given the chance?
Probably, there's something I'd like to fix.

Have you ever dated someone longer than a year?
I am now.

Do you have any tattoos/piercings?

Will you be in a relationship 4 months from now?
I hope so!

Does anyone love you?
Oh yes.

Would you be a pirate?
Yes, but not those evil Somalian ones... I'd be the Jack Sparrow kind.

What songs do you sing in the shower?
None... not in a long time.

Ever had someone sing to you?
Yeah, I dated a musician for a while...

When did you last cry?
I think yesterday.

Do you like to cuddle?
Yes, but boyfriend isn't as big of a fan. Neither is the dog.

Have you held hands with anyone today?

Who was the last person you took a picture of?
Jed, with the new puppy and Morris.

What kind of music did you listen to in elementary school?
Disney and adult soft rock. LOL I was so cool!

Do you believe in staying close with your ex's/prospects?
Sometimes. Depends on the situation and how things go.

Are most of the friends in your life new or old?
Old... from high school mainly.

Do you like pulpy orange juice?
Yuck! No.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

A Christmas Wish for You

I would like to give a merry welcome to my new followers! I'm glad you're here!

And, for all of you reading out there, followers or not, I would like to leave you with this image: the reason for the season, if you will.

I wish you all a joyful, holy and peaceful Christmas.

I'll be enjoying the festivities for the next few days (possibly the whole weekend), so please enjoy yourself and don't miss me too much! I promise the most adorable update you've seen -- with lots of pictures -- when I return!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Best09: Project.

Project. What did you start this year that you're proud of?

My new job! My position was created because of a new project the company is investing in, and I was an initiating member! I love building things, making them strong, promoting them, following through, celebrating success. We have a small team: my manager, me and my UK counterpart, but we are powerful. In six months, we have made such a difference, and I have become so much more confident. I am sitting in conference rooms with executives, answering their questions and presenting to them. I've gained so much knowledge and met so many people -- building my network.

I'm hoping to finish the initial phase of this project next month and start seeking my replacement. I'm great at founding initiatives and giving them wings, but then I like to move on and watch my baby grow from a distance. That is my hope. Not that I am not happy where I am, but I have a career plan, and it's part of my development plan with my manager. I'd love to seek out new projects to challenge myself further. Bring on 2010!

Best09: New person.

New person. She came into your life and turned it upside down. He went out of his way to provide incredible customer service. Who is your unsung hero of 2009?

My new person of 2009 isn't so much a person, as so many beautiful persons... this Blogger community I stumbled upon and have become a part of. So many of you have touched me, inspired me, helped me, amused me, educated me, entertained me and comforted me through your blogs and your comments. 2009 will be remembered as the year I became a Blogger and made so many Blogger friends.

Best09: Car ride.

Car ride. What did you see? How did it smell? Did you eat anything as you drove there? Who were you with?

This one is easy, as I really only took one road trip this year. Back on October 24, my college roommate got married down in Long Island, NY. I had my cyst removed from my back the week before, so Jed drove. The ride down was slightly painful, and it was raining, but the ride back...

It was warm....

Fall's colors were at their best...

The sun was shining...

And I think I smiled the whole way home...

Snapping pictures along the highway.

FMM: All I Want For Christmas

All I want for Christmas is...

✯ To stop fighting with my boyfriend so we can enjoy the holidays and each other.✯

✯ Santa to check off my Christmas list.✯

Friday, December 18, 2009

Best09: Shop.

Shop. Online or offline, where did you spend most of your mad money this year?

Oh geez, I read this question, and the answer immediately occurred to me. I'm ashamed to admit it...

I guess that's what happens when you own a house. You visit The Depot more than the grocery store.

Best09: Word or phrase.

Word or phrase. A word that encapsulates your year. "2009 was _____."

... 2009 was blessed.

It has been a stressful year, but I consider myself so fortunate to have received so many answered prayers. Some of the big ones: Dad receiving a healthy kidney, moving into my own place, finding and getting a great new position at work, being able to work from home, and friends and family expecting babies soon!

Best09: Tea of the year.

Tea of the year. I can taste my favorite tea right now. What's yours?

I just discovered this tea (I got the decaf so I can drink it at night before bed). It is yum-yum, and I even tried mixing in a little eggnog. Sooooo comforting. Perfect for a chilly, winter night.