Happy New Year!

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The past year has been a bit of a roller coaster.  My family has suffered a lot of loss, but we have also shared in a lot of joy.  There have been changes in my career, trips across the country, exciting wedding celebrations, babies born, and interesting adventures.  Watching my son grow this past year has been the most amazing part.  He turned one in August with a nautical birthday party, and he has been soaking up knowledge like a sponge.  He amazes me every day with the way he communicates and how much he can remember.  He is sweet as pie and shows so much love and affection.  I feel incredibly blessed and lucky.

I also feel extremely lucky to have so much love and support from all of you.  Thanks for sticking by me this past year through the good times and the bad.  There were moments when it was tough to find the time or energy to continuing blogging and creating, but this is always a place I love to come back to, and I appreciate you all coming back here as well.  Some of your favorite posts from this past year included the beautiful fairytale wedding of Melissa and John, some creative ideas for engagement gifts, and when I tried out these fabulous new hair extensions.  I also heard from a lot of you about how I survived the first year of motherhood and the gear that got me through.  As always, please let me know what types of posts you would love to see more or less of in the coming year.

I can definitely say I am excited for what 2015 has to offer.  I’m going to jump into a P90X program starting TOMORROW, and I am so excited to get back into shape again.  I have always been athletic having played soccer and basketball my entire life through college and beyond.  After having my child, I have struggled to find the time and the energy to get into a regular workout routine.  When I was working outside of the home, I quite frankly hated to spend my free time away from my son.  Now that I am home most days, it’s tough to even have free time!  I received the P90X DVD program a couple years ago as a Christmas gift.  It was on my wish list and also on my bucket list as something I wanted to complete as a challenge to myself.  Although the program is still in the shrink wrap, it’s something I have not been able to let go.  I despise the feeling of not being in shape anymore, and although I have lost all of my baby weight, I do not feel like my healthy, energetic self anymore.  I plan on joining an online challenge group to keep myself motivated on this journey, and I am looking forward to feeling good again and setting a good example for my son.  If you are also interested in joining me in my fitness journey, please let me know and I would love to give you more information about the group.

Aside from getting fit and healthy, I am setting my sights on a family vacation to Tulum, Mexico!  I have never visited, but I have heard so many amazing things.  Our itinerary is completely open, so if you have any ideas or suggestions on where to stay or what to do while we are there, please share!

The photo above is from New Year’s Eve on my friend’s rooftop in Baltimore, MD.  We had a blast on our trip, although we are now trying to recover from the yucky sickness we managed to catch while away.  Poor lil guy has the croup plus a fever!  We have finally unpacked all of our Christmas goodies from the car, took down our tree, and put away all the decorations for the season.  I’m always sad when Christmas is over, but I am excited for a fresh start in 2015.

Hope you all had a wonderful year, and I am wishing you all the best for a happy, healthy new year in 2015!

XO,

Gina

{27} Lately…

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Lately I’ve been…

reading Finished beachy read,  Another Piece of My Heart, by Jane Green.  Nothing groundbreaking, but a decent vacation read.

writing  A deposition for a court date.  I’m a witness!  Don’t get too excited, it’s just traffic court…

listening  To lots of upbeat music, because Friday I returned to the gym after a 20 month hiatus.  And I actually went again on Monday, and went for a run this morning.  Hoping to keep this momentum going, because I’m already feeling more energized (apart from my sore limbs).

thinking  That we had a really great time last Sunday at the Industry City Dance Party in Sunset Park, Brooklyn.  Zack was eager to go, and I was a little worried that we would be “those people” bringing a baby into an entirely inappropriate situation, but I was happy to find all sorts of kids and babies rockin’ out on the dance floor with the best of them.  It was definitely a party.  And not a kid’s party.  But the fact that kids were welcomed and deemed appropriate there was pretty cool.  Nico (not surprisingly) loved it, and our little fam had a really great time getting our dance on.

smelling  My fav scent, Light Blue.

watching  All the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge videos.  I was a little annoyed by them at first…people dousing themselves so they didn’t have to donate…didn’t make a lot of sense to me.  But after reading this blog post, I have a new perspective.

wishing  Nico an early Happy 1st Birthday!  He is turning ONE on Friday.  I just can’t believe it.

hoping  That I can get my act together this week for a party planning extravaganza.  And by extravaganza, I mean myself, a glass of wine, my living room, and some DIY crafting.

wearing  In the photo above I’m wearing my new ModCloth dress that I got at their 70% off sale!  It’s sold out, but check out some of their other sale dresses here.  Did I mention I was able to go shopping this weekend…ALONE?  It was kind of amazing.

loving  My new haircut (also seen in photo above) from the amazing Tim Dueñas.  Feels so much lighter and loving having some layers again.

laughing  At this adorable friendship on Daily Laughs.

wanting  The summer to stick around a little longer.  I’m not ready for the beach days to end…

needing  To start checking some more things off my bucket list.  And as I’m looking at it…thinking about making some edits.

feeling  Incredibly nervous as today is Nico’s first day with his new nanny and new playmate.  We are going to miss our old one so much, and it’s going to be a tough transition week for all of us, but I’m hoping he will adjust quickly.  

craving  These sweet cinnamon oven roasted peaches.  Thinking this is just the recipe I need for the peaches in our yard this year.

clicking  Looking for a few sweet new baby gifts for little ones on the way.

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What have you been up to lately?

Hope you are all having a fantastic week!

XO,

Gina

***I was inspired by Tina of Like Ordinary Life to create this post, and she was inspired by Lauren of siddathornton, who started The Sunday Currently.

#20 Have Children

You may have been wondering why I suddenly fell off the blogosphere these past two weeks…or maybe you have already guessed.  Much to everyone’s surprise, our Little Monkey decided to grace us with his presence two weeks early!  Now this Great Freakin’ Adventure bucket list item is probably the most significant one I will ever check off.

Please welcome Nico Alfredo Notes to the world!  Born Thursday August 29, 2013 at 10:53pm at 5 lbs. 1.6 oz. and 19 inches.

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Ever since I was a child myself, I dreamed about what it would be like to have a child of my own.  As kids, my sister and I played house, school, doctor, and other role-playing games where we would play the “mom” taking care of our babies.  I guess that is just something that little girls do…or maybe that was just us, I don’t know.  As we grew older, the idea of having kids was something we tried to avoid, especially during our teenage and college years.  Finish school, get a job, get married, then have babies, right?  Of course, that doesn’t always ring true in the real world, but that’s what I was aiming for, and luckily, my life played out according to plan in that way.

However, the plan itself does not always go the way you would imagine.  Life is just not that way, and ours was no different.  It was not without struggle and some hard times.  We were fortunate to get pregnant pretty quickly, but then our world crashed down when we lost our little Peanut.  It was tough to move on, but the news of our Little Monkey on the way helped with the process.  Although we were scared of something terrible happening again, there was still that glimmer of hope which increased with every week of my pregnancy.

There were both ups and downs with the pregnancy, but all in all I would say I had a very healthy, wonderful pregnancy experience.  Toward the end, I loved feeling him jump around in my belly and we imagined every day what he would look like.  It still feels weird to not have him in my belly anymore, and I half expect to feel a kick every now and again.  I am glad to have this blog which documents most of this experience, and I look forward to showing it to Nico one day.

Now let’s look back to right before Labor Day Weekend.  What I thought would be a routine 38 week check up on that Wednesday morning at 9am turned into me being admitted to the Labor and Delivery unit that morning and staying there for quite some time.  My husband and I got called back for my routine ultrasound, and baby was not exactly cooperating that morning.  He passed all of the tests with flying colors, except he wasn’t making any sharp movements.  Now, I have my theories on this…we typically had 1pm appointments…maybe baby was just sleeping at 9am?  However, he also fell down quite significantly in the growth percentile.  He had been measuring small the entire time, but the docs said he was growing every time, so they were not really too concerned.  They kept a close eye, and at this 38 week appointment, the percentile dropped to where they started to be concerned.  My regular doc was on vacation that week, so they had someone filling in.  Because of the lack of movement and drop in growth percentile, and the fact that I was full term at 38 weeks, the fill-in doc recommended that I be induced that very day.  I’m sorry, WHAT DID YOU SAY???  Induced…today??? As in, RIGHT NOW???  Where is my normal doctor?  Who is this lady??  Does she even know what she is talking about?  She doesn’t even know our story!  Would Dr. Stein say the same thing?  These are some of the thoughts that ran through my head.  My husband and I were clearly in utter shock.  We had nothing with us.  Our hospital bag was all packed, but it was all the way at home.  I told myself beforehand that my “birthing plan” was more of a go-with-the-flow mentality, because it’s impossible to predict what will happen…but this is NOT what I was thinking, and I was not feeling like going-with-the-flow right now.  We went down to the Labor and Delivery unit at the hospital and I spoke with the midwife on call.  We did a series of extra tests, which the baby passed with flying colors, and I really second guessed this decision to be induced two weeks early.  It was ultimately our decision, but we had a strong rec from the doctors, and really, what was our alternative?  Go home, be stressed 24/7 about whether or not we made the right decision, or wondering if my placenta was somehow failing and baby was not getting nutrition the whole time?  Or get the baby out now safely while he’s still healthy, no matter what it took.  The choice for us was obvious.

Luckily, the hospital staff was wonderful, and because baby was still doing really well, they told me they would not rush the process, and make sure to take as much time as needed for as long as we could to make this induction happen and to try to avoid a C-section.  They let me have my “last meal” before being admitted, and Zack went home to pick up all of our stuff for the hospital, including our car.  The next time we would be going home, we would be going home with a baby.  This reality was finally creeping in on us, and it brought a whole new meaning to Labor Day Weekend.

Once the induction process started, it was a long road.  It finally got started around 6:30pm (after being in the hospital since 9 am).  12 hours and another day later things finally seemed like maybe they were moving along.  Unfortunately, after the midwife examined me…it turned out that things were not really moving along all too well.  Rather, than drug me up with more and more pitocin (which they did not think would work for a natural delivery), she suggested that we start the process over.  WHAT?  Again?  12 more hours of this?  And what if it doesn’t work again?  I am doomed for a C-section.  I wasn’t feeling too optimistic at this point, but I trusted that the midwife was recommending the best thing for me and what what we wanted for this delivery.  So, they let me take a shower, have another “last meal”, and we tried again.

Somehow, someway, the process worked this time and I started progressing.  That was a ridiculously happy moment for us, and I started to feel hopeful.  The rest of that afternoon, I felt contractions, but I wasn’t in a terrible amount of pain.  My mom, sister, and mother-in-law were able to make it up to NY in time to be there before the delivery.  I had very lucid conversations with them through my contractions, and I was generally pleasant for a lot of the time.

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I kept progressing, they eventually broke my water, and it was then that everything kicked into high gear.  My contractions started getting more difficult to handle, and thank God for those birthing classes my husband and I took as he was so helpful in getting me through a lot of them.  Eventually it got to a point where I said, “I don’t have to be supermom right?  I need an epidural.”  It didn’t kick in right away, but let me tell you…I was so happy when it did.  Before we knew it, the midwife was telling me it was time to push.  Already?  For such a slow start, this birth certainly was moving quickly now!  We didn’t even have time to tell our family that it was go time.  We just had to go.  A small army of medical professionals surrounded us and my nether region, but at this point, I was so over feeling awkward…I mean I had to pee in a bedpan for the past 24 hours, because they couldn’t unhook me from the machines…my humility had already gone out the window.  I pushed like a rock star for only 20 minutes, and our baby boy finally arrived!  Right before he came out, his heart rate started to drop, and there were talks of possibly using a vacuum to get him out.  I guess that was all I needed to hear to get him out as soon as possible.  Turns out, the culprit was the umbilical cord wrapped around his neck twice that had tightened up as he was coming down the birth canal.  Thank God for those last quick pushes.  They placed him on my chest, and I was so overwhelmed with emotion and shock, and I don’t even know what else.  It was so surreal that this little “alien” jumping around in my belly for nine months was finally here and a teeny tiny human in the real world.  My Little Monkey.  My Nico.

It was a magical experience, that I don’t think you can even accurately describe or understand the feeling unless you have gone through it yourself.  We stayed at the hospital for about a day and a half after Nico’s birth, trying to recover and pick up all the tricks of the trade from the nurses.  My husband even videotaped a nurse doing a swaddle.  Trust me, it has definitely helped out at home!  It was pretty unreal taking our baby home and realizing that we were now officially parents who had a new job of raising this child.

My mother-in-law stayed with us for a few days to help out with cooking, cleaning, giving us time to catch up on sleep, etc.  We are extremely grateful to have such a wonderful support system.  Once she left, we missed her and the help, but it was nice to try and figure out this parenting thing on our own, and get into as much of a routine as we possibly could.

I can’t believe it’s already been two weeks since our little Nico arrived.  I already feel like we have been through so much emotionally, mentally, physically, and more.  As soon as we think we have things figured out, something changes.  Everyone says this, and I thought I would be different, but breastfeeding is not easy.  Sleep is so important for your sanity and well-being.  And it’s integral to get out of the house every now and then.

Nico is doing well and gaining back his birth weight.  He has been a pretty awesome baby so far, and he sleeps a lot for which we are very appreciative.  As crazy and exhausting and hard as motherhood can be, I am loving every minute of it so far.  Just seeing that little face every day, the little smiles he gives, and knowing that my husband and I created such an innocent, wonderful little being makes everything worth it.  I already feel like time is moving by so fast, and before I know it, he will be going off to prom or getting married.  I am so excited for the journey that is to come and ready to take on all of the challenges that come with being a mommy.

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Heading home from the hospital

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Like father like son

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Nico with his Nana (my Grandma)

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He smiles!

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Silly Monkey

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First trip to Prospect Park

Since this major life change, I can’t promise to keep up with my blog as often as I once did, and I can’t promise I will take a shower every day.  But I can promise to give this baby the world, my best, and everything I’ve got.

XO,

Gina

#58 See the Grand Canyon

May 11, 2013

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This is my final post about our trip to Arizona, and what better way to end the trip than with a bucket list check mark!  I have been wanting to see the Grand Canyon for a long time as it is one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World, and it’s right here in the U-S-of-A.  I had seen photos previously, but there is nothing like seeing it with your own eyes.  The pictures cannot do it justice.  I’m not even sure my own eyes could do it justice!  This canyon is so incredibly massive that it’s tough to even understand what you are looking at…where does it end?  Where does it begin?  Where is the other side?  How deep does it go?  These are all questions I asked myself as I viewed this natural wonder from the South Rim in Arizona.  I was a little disappointed to find out the glass bridge was located on the North Rim…I guess I didn’t adequately do my research.  But it was still phenomenal nonetheless.  We drove from lookout point to lookout point stopping to take numerous photos along the way.  Finally, we started to hear people around us saying, “Ok this is the last time we are stopping!”  And I have to say, I started to jump into that same boat.  I mean, honestly, how many photos can you take of the same thing?  Haha…apparently a lot.  The views were incredible, and if we had planned things properly, we would have packed a picnic lunch to eat at one of the lookout points while taking in the scenery.

While we were in the Grand Canyon, we had a lovely fancy dinner at El Tovar lodge, which I would highly recommend.  We ended up staying at The Best Western for the night, which was not too far out of the National Park and was actually pretty decent with a free buffet breakfast.  It didn’t hurt that the concierge upgraded us to one of their best suites in the hotel! Points to my handsome husband for that one.

The only bad thing about our visit to the Grand Canyon was that it meant our trip to Arizona was coming to a close.  We headed back to Phoenix the next day for our last dinner at the amazing Parlor, and then jetted back to NYC.

Hope you enjoy the last of our trip photos!

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I finally got my wish…it is SUMMERTIME in the city today.  Whew!

Stay cool, my friends.

XO,

Gina

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#44 Eat a Mangosteen

Saturday March 9, 2013

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Have you ever heard of a mangosteen?  Being a lover of all things fruit, this item made it to my great adventures list as something I just had to try.  I had heard that it was the best fruit in the entire world, and it was super expensive and rare in the United States.  This fruit comes from a tropical evergreen tree mostly found in Southeast Asia and in some South American countries.  I hadn’t “googled” the fruit in awhile, so I wasn’t really sure what to expect it to look like or taste like when my husband brought a bunch home for us to eat on Saturday.  He had been out exploring in Chinatown after his class, and stumbled across this rare fruit at a decent price (although still not cheap!)  I think $8 a pound.  When mangosteens first arrived in the US, they were sold for $43 a pound!  So I’m thinking relatively here.  Of course I had to photograph the little buggers, which kind of look like acorns from the outside.  The edible inside part tasted sweet and tangy, juicy, and fibrous.  The flavors were a bit like a type of small orange, and nothing like a mango.  There wasn’t much meat on the fruit, and although it was indeed tasty, there is no way I am claiming this as the best fruit in the world.  That being said, I am excited that I was able to try such a rare find in the U.S.  I would definitely eat it again, although maybe next time I would wait to travel to Southeast Asia instead of paying $8 a pound.

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Have you ever tried a mangosteen?  If so, what did you think?

Hope everyone is having a good week so far.

XO,

Gina

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#96 See Phantom of the Opera on Broadway

Friday February 22, 2013

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When I was a little girl, my parents went to see Phantom of the Opera, and they came home bearing a soundtrack of the performance.  My sister and I started listening to it, and we quickly grew addicted.  We played this soundtrack day after day, memorized all the songs, sang them around the house, and fantasized about the day that we would get to see this show ourselves.

Fast forward to about a month ago.  The hubby and I now live in the Big Apple with Broadway at our fingertips.  We decided that we were going to check this item off my bucket list, and we bought tickets as our Valentine’s Day present to each other. To say I was excited would be an extreme understatement.  I skipped around the city for the past month giddy with anticipation.  I played the songs around the house to get Zack as equally pumped up for the show (well maybe not equally.)  I counted down the days until I would finally be able to see the show of my dreams.

Well, let me tell you.  It was everything I had dreamed of and more.  The sets were absolutely stunning.  The acting was superb.  The music was phenomenal.  You know how you wait for something for so long (almost your whole life), and the excitement builds up, and then when it finally gets here, you are just overcome and overwhelmed with emotion?!?!  Well, that was me on Friday night.  Blubbering in my seat to all of my favorite songs that I had been waiting to hear live for all these years.  I almost felt silly for tearing up at a Broadway show, but I just could not believe that I was actually there seeing Phantom on Broadway.  Before Friday, I only knew the music.  Now I could put faces and emotions and stories to the tunes.  It all came together, and it was just perfect.

I cannot believe it took me that long to see this show, but I will say that it was worth the wait.  I will also say that I am pretty sure there will be a “second time” of me seeing this show.  So Angela, (my little sister) you better get your butt up to New York.  You have no idea what you are missing!

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Spring Fever

Spring Fever
1.  Yellow Trench Coat: Target / 2.  Butter London Spring 2013 Collection: Nordstrom / 3.  Wide Brim Straw Hat – Kate Spade / 4.  Fan Fringe Necklace – J. Crew / 5.  Rainboots – Charlotte Russe / 6. Rebecca Minkoff Striped Mini M.A.C. – SHOPBOP / 7. Polka Dot Short – Forever 21 / 8.  Floral Porchfield Dress – Jack Willis / 9.  Pink Blazer – Topshop / 10.  Blue Minnie Pant – J. Crew / 11.  Jeffrey Campbell Lace Ankle Bootie – Nelly / 12.  Anchor Studs: J. Crew
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I don’t know about you, but I am OVER this cold weather!  All the talk of snow and chill has me jonesin’ for spring.  I couldn’t help but scour the online shopping world for some of my favorite on-trend pieces that I cannot wait to get my hands on.  If only I could wear them right now!  Although I tend to wear a ton of black in the winter time, I am very excited to sport some color this spring!  This little collection above makes me happy, because it reminds me that spring is just around the corner.
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In other news, congratulations to “Befab4lyfe” for winning the Flair Accessories earring giveaway!!!  Please inbox me your shipping info to { gina dot notes26 at gmail dot com }.  Then, I will have these gorgeous iridescent studs on the way to your door as soon as possible!  Thanks to all who entered the giveaway.
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I am ticking off a bucket list item tonight, that I cannot wait to share with you next week!
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Happy Friday Everyone!
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XO,
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Gina
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#14 Take a Photography Class

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This was me on my birthday this past summer.  So excited for my brand new camera.  Cameras have always excited me.  Ever since I was a child, I loved taking photos.  I remember I got my first camera in Disney World when I was 7.  I went around that park taking photos of everything I could.  Back then there was no such thing as digital.  So we took our photos to CVS or Ritz Camera to get them developed, and it was always exciting to remember what pictures I had taken or which ones turned out properly.  My passion continued through middle school and high school.  I would bring my camera to field trips, recess, prom, and other school dances.  I brought my camera to college documenting football games and sorority functions.  I loved having a physical memory to hold on to.  I had albums for days.  And I still have them.  Memories locked up inside books that I could flip through at my leisure.  People always ask me how I am able to remember everything so well.  Well, I think it’s because of my photos.  I can remember where we were or what we were doing or even what we were wearing, because I can see the photo in my mind.  Eventually photos became digital, and I started taking so many photos that I could not keep up with my albums.  They were starting to takeover my room, and I had no more storage for them.  Luckily, Facebook was invented, and I have since been storing all my memories on the computer.  As much as I have always loved taking pictures, I never had a good camera until this summer.  I would try to take artsy shots with my point-and-shoot, but they never really turn out how you want them.  When I decided that I really wanted to start blogging more often, I realized it was finally time to get a nice camera.  The only problem with that is…I don’t really know how to use it.  All this money for a beautiful new camera and lens, and not a clue of how to get the most out of it.  Which is why I decided to sign up for a photography class at the School of Visual Arts.  This is something I have wanted to do for a long time (bucket list/great adventure item #14!), and I am very excited to embark on this journey.  It might be tough, and I may get frustrated, but I cannot wait to learn and become completely enthralled with this craft.  Today is my first class, and I am not quite sure what to expect, but I know I am definitely looking forward to it.  I am hoping to be able to share with you some of what I learn on this blog, and most importantly, I am hoping my new skills will show in the photography I continue to post.

Happy Wednesday Everyone! 🙂

Gina

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2012: A Year in Review

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Ringing in the New Year in Playas del Coco, Costa Rica!

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Hiking in the Cloud Forest in Monteverde, Costa Rica

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Three Italianos Reunited in Brooklyn!

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Valentine’s Day Surprise at the Mary Poppins Show! I dressed just like her without even knowing.

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Celebrating Zack’s 31st at crazy Mehenata Bulgarian Bar

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OAR Concert with Jack and Sammy

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14 inch hair chop! Bye Bye. Thanks Nikki!

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Sweetlife Festival at Merriweather in MD featuring Avicii…AMAZING.

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Seeing Emily Blunt and Jason Segal at the premiere of 5 Year Engagement at the Tribeca Film Festival

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SKYDIVING!!! Thanks to my amazing husband – he surprised me on our one year anniversary with this bucket list item.

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Dad FINALLY visits us in NY. With Zack, Mom, and cousins at their pasta shop in Brooklyn

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DMB Concert and Upstate NY trip

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Virginia Beach trip with friends for Shirin and Shahrum’s wedding

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Testudo came to Zach and Jessica’s wedding! Go Terps!

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Happy Birthday to ME! Love my new camera!

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Girl’s Weekend in OC for Katie’s Bachelorette – Seacrets is crazy!

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Family vacation in the Outer Banks, NC

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Surfing Competition in the Rockaways

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Dewey Summer Send off on Labor Day Weekend

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A Naval Academy Wedding for Megan and JoJo

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Visionary Art Museum Wedding for MaryBeth and James

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Trip to Montauk for Mike and Abby’s Big Day

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Katie & Adam tie the knot at Sagamore Farms

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Running with Patrick and Melissa for my late dear friend John Petrovick. “Inside all of us is HOPE.”

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Thanks to Gabbi for helping to raise money for John’s cause.

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Camping trip with Erin and Rai to French Creek

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End of the season pic with my JV High School Girls Soccer Team

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ASHS 10 Year High School Reunion – man time flies

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AC trip for Alex’s Bachelorette!

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All my girls at the 5th Annual Pollard Potluck

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Christmas Morning at Mom and Dad’s

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Alex and Seamus get married to end the year!

It may seem like a lot of photos, but this is just a small snippet of what took place in 2012.  There were so many more fun memories of this past year.  There were also some sad moments as well.  I have learned a lot this past year, and I know that I am truly thankful for the family and friends that I have.  I am incredibly lucky for the support and love that I have received this past year, and I hope I was able to return the favor to all of you as well.

I wish you all a Happy New Year’s Eve.  Please stay safe tonight.

Bring on 2013!

XO,

Gina

I’m Still Here

I’m still here.  It’s 12.21.12, and I’m still here.

I realize the day is not over yet.  I realize a little “knock knock” on some wood might do me some good here.  And should I not be here later today, I suppose I should say my farewells.  Although it’s been a short stint here at popcorn and pandas, it has been a fun one.  I will miss all of you dearly, and wish you all a happy parting from this world if we are indeed ending our time here today.

But as for now, I am still here.  And I still have bucket list items to complete, Christmas to celebrate, a 90’s Christmas mix album to listen to (thanks awesome co-worker!), family to see, friends to hang out with, photos to take, a wedding to attend, and a new year to ring in.

I have packing to do and a trip to Maryland to take.  I have bagels and manicottis to pick up to bring home to the family (you are welcome Dad).  I have some birthdays to celebrate, a wine and pizza night with friends on the books, and a nephew puppy to shower with snuggles.  I don’t know about you…but I’m not quite ready.  I still have too much to do.

So I am going to stay optimistic about the fact that I am still here.  The truth is, we never know how long we may have on this Earth.  Forget the Mayans and their predictions about today, but we aren’t guaranteed anything in life.  Including life itself.  So today I am thankful that I am still here.

And while I am still here, I will take this moment to reiterate how important it is to make the most of what you have.  Make the best of your time here.  Do what makes you happy in life.  Your time is precious and should not be wasted.  You never know when your world will end.

But right now, you are still here.

Happy Friday and Happy Holidays to all!

XO,

Gina