What I’ve Done

So last Sunday night, I told 2011 that it was off to a crappy start. I told it that it had one shot at redemption. I went to bed on February 13, 2011, and declared it my new New Year’s Eve.

I woke up on February 14th to see the sun shining and to hear birds singing. S gave me my Valentine’s present early that morning. I was thrilled with the two pairs of awesome running socks. I had a good day at work and then had a fabulous meeting about my new cupcake business. 2011 “take 2” was off to a pretty rocking start.

So during the week, I started reflecting. I had to remind myself that my life doesn’t suck. Sometimes it’s easy to think that it does, and to forget all of the fun and interesting things that have happened during my 32.333333 years on this earth. I started to list them, and was surprised at what I saw. Even the events that weren’t so great served to bring about better things in my life. In no particular order, these are the things that have happened in my life that either brought me great happiness, brought about great change, or were just kind of cool.

1. I got divorced.  Getting married at 18 was just not smart. I tried really hard to make it work, but it just got to the point where I knew it wasn’t working. I knew that I could not continue on. I was terrified to even use the “d” word. Making that decision was really, really hard even though I knew it was the right thing for us and even though I knew our marriage wasn’t going to survive. Taking that step scared the bejesus out of me. But it was the right step. I met and married the most wonderful man. S is the most supportive, wonderful husband around. I would absolutely not be where I am today without him.

2. I went to Guatemala on 3 mission trips. The first one changed my world view and my life. The second and third were amazing. I am so happy to be involved with helping to create a non-profit agency that will benefit the kids I’ve met during my times there.

3. I was in “Girl, Interrupted” as an extra. You can totally see my face on the big screen. I smoked a fake joint, which is hysterical because I don’t smoke. I met Angelina Jolie, who was really cool. Winona…not so much.

4. I started running. As I detailed in my last blog, that was a real change. It has changed my life completely. It was the first time I realized that I could reach a goal if I put my mind to it. I never thought I’d ever be able to run 10 miles, let alone the 50 miles I ran at JFK in 2009. I have found a way to relieve stress, keep fit, and to meet awesome people. My joints and tendons aren’t going to hold up and allow me to do this forever, so I am going to enjoy every minute of it while I can.

5. I had drinks with Ving Rhames. I was in Pittsburgh for work and got on the elevator with some guy that looked familiar. He struck up a rather strange conversation with me. He asked if I wanted to have a drink in the hotel bar. I had nothing better to do, so I said yes. I had rum and Coke, he had a virgin pina colada. Yep, you read that right. He proceeded to take my phone and call my husband, leaving him a voice mail peppered with rather angry lines from “Pulp Fiction”. S kept the voice mail for weeks and played it for all our friends. It was hysterical.

6.  I sing in a band. Alright…it’s the church praise band and we only sing about 4 times a year. It’s still fun to do. I sing solos at other church services a few times a year. I’m not all that great, but I love to do it. For the Holy Wednesday evening service, I’m singing “What I’ve Done” by Linkin Park. No, I’m not kidding.

7. I am starting a cupcake business. I have always loved baking. When I was supervising, I baked cakes for all of my employees’ birthdays. I went all out, trying crazy recipes, and I had a blast. I didn’t even know cupcakes were a big deal last year when I started playing around with them. It was just fun. Even when we were dating, S was encouraging me to start a business making various sweets. Now it’s coming to fruition.

8. I have traveled to Italy, Spain, Portugal, Mexico, Canada and Costa Rica. I love to travel, but hate to fly. I came up with an awesome solution. I buy those little tiny bottles of liquor at the liquor store. They are under 3oz, so I can take them in my carry on. I get vodka and a bottle of coconut rum.  On morning flights, I get a can of the free tomato juice and make myself a big ole Bloody Mary. On afternoon or evening flights, I get a can of diet Coke and make rum & coke.  It works, and it’s cheap. Just my style.

9. I was on a show. It was a show that was only available online, and the episodes were only 2 minutes long, but it was a show nonetheless. Our struggles to conceive were documented for the whole world to see on TLC.com’s “A Conception Story”. Even though it was weird to share all that information with the public, it was cathartic. It also sparked a lot of conversations with a lot of people. So many friends and family members came to me and told me of their struggles. We have shared coffee, beer and tears together.

10. I am going to be a mom. I don’t know when it will finally happen, but at some point we will have our beautiful child – we expect a boy – home from Ethiopia. We will forever be thankful to his mama for making the heartbreaking decision to give him up. I cannot imagine how difficult that is, and I respect the hell out of people making those decisions.

When I look at that list, I am amazed. I never thought I’d be able to make such a list. I have a lot of living left, so hopefully I can keep adding to it!

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