Monday, December 31, 2007

Reflection on 2007

Its New Year's Eve again and again I look back on the past year and think "Wow that went too quick!" I didn't even get a chance to start any of my new years resolutions, how could the year be over already. As I get older the days go by quicker and all of a sudden its the last day of the year.

The only resolutions I am making for 2008 is to "stop and smell the roses" a little more often and to be happy. I mean real happy like when I was younger and couldn't wait to go to school because I would get to see all of my friends. It will take some effort on my part to make sure I am truly happy but its only up to me to make it happen. Hopefully I can plan a few mini vacations to ensure I "stop to smell the roses" in the upcoming year. I few trips to Texas to make sure I get to know the new addition to my extended family, a girls only trip and maybe if it goes my way, a trip to Europe. I would love to take a week off of work in the summer too, just to hang out and enjoy the weather but with the other vacations I want to take, that might be a little far fetched.

My toast to 2008 : "Here is to bringing in a new year. May it be whatever you want it to be! Cheers!"

Happy New Year!!

Friday, December 28, 2007

Birthday Pictures

I wanted to share a few pictures from the party my mom and Willie threw for me.

J and me, I guess its ok to look silly on your b-day

My mom :)
Grandma and my cousin

My sisters & Dad
My brother and Ashley

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas

It's the end of the day on Christmas and I am exhausted. It has been non-stop since I got up this morning and thankfully I took tomorrow off from work. My mom, Willie, my brother and my Dad came over the house for breakfast and to open gifts. It was the first year since my parents divorce that I was able to spend Christmas morning with both of them. Surprisingly is was a lot of fun and everyone seemed to enjoy the morning. Of course my mom got us too much but I know she loves to watch us open gifts even though we are not youngsters anymore.

Immediately after we were done, we were off and running, getting thing prepared for the family to arrive in the afternoon. This was also the first year that I was going to host the family party which is a little over 30 people. Thankfully my mom and Willie helped me prepare and clean up for the party. Instead of having it at my apartment, I was able to get the community center for the day in our complex and it was the perfect setting for that many people. Usually when we all get together, it is a little hard to visit with everyone because we are spread out in different rooms but this year we all were in the same room and not cramped. We had a fest for dinner and after that my uncle surprised us with old home movies of my moms family. He brought the projector and screen and we sat around laughing for a few hours watching my family on those movies. My grandma was in her glory and it was sweet to watch her reminisce about each movie. In between reels we opened some gifts and ate dessert. Everyone left around 9:30 that night, we had to clean the center and unload all the items I had to bring over.

It is quiet in my apartment, J is home visiting his family and my mom just left. It is nice to have a little time to myself to unwind and relax. There was a little something missing from the holiday this year but it was a good a day. Spending time with family at the holidays is always a great feeling for me. I hope everyone I know had a great one too.

A few days after Thanksgiving, J and I went tree shopping and found this perfect tree. Neither one of us ever had a tree so big and full but this one is our first tree together and is perfect.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Officially 30

It's official, I am 30. Its so strange to say I am 30 when I feel no older than 23. Yesterday was the "big" day and my friends made me feel very special. I was hoping that I could lay low at work and just have my department know it was my birthday but my friends made sure that everyone knew.

The first call I got from reception was at 11 am and Maureen told me that I had two packages downstairs waiting for me. Nancy and I walked downstairs to pick up my items and it was flowers from Carrie and Shan and a flower "cake" from Linda. C and S sent 32 flowers, tulips and iris, the card read "Sending you 30 beautiful flowers for a beautiful person with an additional 2 for hugs to celebrate our best friend's birthday. Happy Birthday to the girl who doesn't look a day over 21!" I have said this many times but I'll say it again, I am very lucky to have the best friends that I have. The second call I received from the receptionist was around noon and she was snickering as she told me I had another package waiting for me. As she was telling me this, it occurred to me she was giggling about the item waiting for me so i asked her "by any chance is my package balloons?" She said "yeah, wait until you see them." I could feel the red creep into my face as embarrassment set in. I knew that my friends couldn't let me enter 30 quietly and the balloons were here to let everyone know how old I am. Before I explain the balloons let me explain where I have to go to get them. I work for a travel agency so the reception area is not private. customers and employees alike are there and on this afternoon there were a lot of customers. The area is also the farthest point from my cube so getting the balloons back to my desk means going by almost everyone that I work with. By the time I enter the reception area I am sweating and red in the face with embarrassment. I open the door and I can see way on the other side of the room, a 7 foot monstrosity of balloons, with a huge sparking 30 balloon on top. I couldn't believe it, they scream "hey look at me I am 30 today and I want everyone to know." i tried grabbing them and getting out of there as fast as I could but no luck, everyone gathered around to look at the balloons and ask me how I feel to be 30 etc. The one older gentleman that was waiting in line actually starting to sing happy birthday a little. Needless to say by the time I got back to my desk, I was so hot that I had to take my sweater off (I was wearing a button up shirt underneath it). Then everyone in my department came over at once to star at my balloons, they couldn't believe how tall the bouquet was. The only thing you could see over all the cube walls was the big 30 balloon at the top. The staring at the balloons went on all day. You need a special badge to get into my department and employees from other departments were knocking on our door to let them in to see the balloons all day. My friends made my day feel so special and important but I hate all the attention. I know when I say that, most people may think I just say that but really I hate the attention. The best part is that C and S turn the big 30 AFTER I do so as I told backs are coming. :)

It is a tradition with my mom, brother and I to have dinner on our actual birthdays and I picked Shogun as the restaurant I wanted dinner at. It is a Hibachi Steak and Seafood House where they cook the food right in front of you. J, my friends Marissa and Jen and my brothers friends Mia and Katie joined us for dinner. It was such a great time!! My mom had never been there and loved it so much she "hinted" that her and Willie would love to come to dinner there sometime. So I bet you can't guess one of their gifts from Santa is... hmmmm? :) We started at the bar with a drink until my brother and his friends arrived and than they sat us. We ordered some sushi for appetizers along with cold and hot Sake and Marissa ordered a bottle of Champagne for a birthday toast (thanks girl!!). The sushi was great and the sake and Champagne were very tasteful! We ordered dinner and waited for the show to start. Each table gets their own chef who makes everything, including the fried rice right in front of you. Our guy was amazing with the knives, flipping the food around etc and pretty funny. Once dinner was over, the waitress came to the table with a wig and kimono wrap for me to put on as they sang Happy Birthday to me in Japanese. I was embarrassed but the champagne and sake made it easier to enjoy. They took a picture of the whole group and put it in a frame for me. However, everyone at the table took a picture of me with their camera phones because the wig is just too silly.

All in all my day was fantastic. I even received a special text message from Anthony (pretty good for being 3 weeks old) here it is.. the message said "happy birthday auntie K" Too cute I tell ya.Thank you to everyone who helped make my day special!!

My mom did throw me a party the Friday before my birthday with my family which was a lot of fun. Pics to follow shortly.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Good Bye 20's

Today is a sad day of is my last full day of my eventful 20's. The last decade has been an adventure that prepared me to enter my 30's with all the tools and confidence I need to be successful. No one explains that once you leave high school the world transforms in front of you as you grow and experience different situations. I am thankful that I learned life lessons with the very good and bad situations that happened through my 20's.

As I turned 29 last year, I started to stress about the big 3-0 and all the things that I had not accomplished before that age. It only occurred to me a few months ago that i should be proud of my accomplishments and who I am as I look forward to 30. I am an independent, loving, funny, confident and successful woman who with all the life changing events in her 20's, really found herself. I used to stress a little over not being married, having kids, and not having my MBA, etc. because those are "goals" that I set for myself when I entered my 20's. I realize now, that if those events had happened before now, I would be a different person, I wouldn't have had the time to find out that I can be independent and happy with myself.

As I see it, I am lucky the way my life has played out so far. I can't wait to see how the next 10 years of my life will be. In my opinion, every decision you make today will have some effect on your life for the rest of your years on earth. The decisions I have made in the past 10 years have gotten me to this place in my life which gives me confidence that the next 10 has something good in store for me.

There are a few people I would like to thank for guiding, supporting me and getting me through my 20's without any major damage. First and fore most, My mom. Than my friends, Carrie, Shannon and Linda (what would I do without you?), my brother and last but not least, all the people that I encounter that taught me something about myself ( even if you didn't mean to).

So I welcome my 30's !! I can't wait to see how I survive them :)