Sunday, January 22, 2012

SUN day FUN day

The weather this weekend was amazing. High in the low 70's, blue sky and cool breezes. I worked a bit on Saturday but got to do nothing but play with Cooper all day today.  

And play we did!








AMB Photography Samples Oct 2010


Sunday, January 15, 2012

Onward and Upward

January has blown in this year with the winds of change chasing me. 

I never mentioned it but I put the house on the rental market at the end of the year.With just a few bites and my impatience, I have  now decided a more permanent solution is needed.  The point of us moving was to downsize, save money, let me keep Cooper in private school and save for his college.  Renting the house out to cover the mortgage would be a short term solution, but long term, I have no vision for.  I don't "see myself" anywhere in a few years, I don't know what I want to do, but I know I need to get my "house" in order.  

Lots of contemplation, and one phone call later, the house will go up for sale this week. I feel like onward and upward doesn't happen to those who are complacent. Change means leaving your comfort zone and if I am serious about building the life I really want, this house and the expenses of it are an anchor to my cruise ship I am trying to sail off into the sunset on. I turn 39 year this year, that's one year away from 40 and my big plans for a trip to Italy.  I have a LIFE I want to live, and watching my hard earned money fly out for the mortgage, house maintenance, the pool etc....isn't where I want it to go.

I have put my heart into this house, but I know that holding on to this "past" is holding me back from my "future". I don't know what it holds, but I know I need to trust and let the winds take me where they may.

"The sooner we can let go of the past, the sooner we can get on with the “now”, our daily life.  If we don’t let it go, it becomes a wall, a barrier, and it prevents us from the vibrancy, the aliveness, the glory that our life should be. "

Sunday, January 8, 2012

The Circle of Life

So I haven't posted about grief lately and to be honest, I just don't want to. I am OVER it. Tired of the grief, of the sadness of death and the fact that it never leaves me.  I am sure you remember over the summer I blogged that my friend Jennifer was battling melanoma.  I don't think I mentioned that she passed in October.  It was just shy of a year to the day I took pictures of her...per her request before starting treatment again. I kinda spiraled into a depression again after that to be honest.  A death for me brings it all up.  And I mean ALL of it.  We had a party for her in December (she left money for us to party after she was gone) and we did all the things she loved.  We ate, drank, gossiped and drank some more. We wrote messages on balloons and released them, we had toasts and told stories. She would have found it cheesy....we needed something "memorial like" to do.

These things we do, they are for us anyway.  We need to have something to signify that we are hurting, that our loved one mattered and that we need to honor them in some way.

I have found in my experience, losing friends, both Hope and Jennifer have impacted me differently than the loss of my dad and grandparents these past few years. Knowing someone my age is gone, my classmate, my contemporary, my confidant is changed me. It makes me feel like the rest of these days, since they passed, are like a bonus round that they never got.    

So yesterday marked the 3rd year since Hope passed.  Three years she never got, to see her boys grow, to help me go through divorce, parenthood, job changes and to help me plan my new-found future.  A future that because she is gone, feels so EXTRA now. Like the wheel of fortune stopped spinning too early for her and now I better make my bonus round count. Sometimes its paralyzing, so much so that I just don't know what to do next.

Since January 7th this year fell on a Saturday, Jake and I decided we would take the boys to Animal Kingdom for the day.  It was a nice way to remember Hope, an animal lover, avid conservationist, family girl.  

But for me, it was time I felt like I got to spend with her through the boys.  

 For those of you that follow Jake's annoying banter, for the record, Cooper bought Jake a beer yesterday, so I don't want to hear anymore that "Ann-Marie has never bought me a drink in my life" boy Cooper is taking care of that now..Thankyouverymuch.

(Cooper carried his wallet with money the entire day...paying for everything along the way)

The kids truly had a great day, and we ended it at Hope's favorite restaurant, Macaroni Grill where I heard one of her favorite songs playing in the restaurant.  I know it was her, I  know she said to me, "I see you, I thank you, I love you." At least that's what I felt when "It's a Wonderful World" played and I stopped dead in my tracks FEELING her tug on me to tell me..." song is playing." my crazy mind I hear her saying that to me.  I spent the whole day watching her boys laugh, talk about about the animals and "conservation" (one of Nathan's favorite subjects),  and scream next to me on the roller coasters.

I try not to focus on "days" anymore, anniversary's of events of the past few years etc.  It feels like I am cheating myself out of days in my bonus round.  I don't want to "re-live" any of it, so I really am glad I have been able to make new fun memories to replace bad ones.
Such I guess is the circle of life.

Cue Elton John and tell Simba I said "Hakuna Matata"

Monday, January 2, 2012

5 years of blogging!

I can't believe I have been working on this blog for 5 years!  

It was Hope who told me I HAD to have one (pre-facebook) for family and others to keep up with Cooper and all the fun stuff that would be coming my way.

 I have been looking back and reflecting on a lot of the posts and I am so glad I did!  I have had so many changes in my life in the past 5 years I myself can't keep track of them, and to have them all here in chronological order has been a great digital scrapbook. One that I still love working on and coming to sort out the "ramblings of my mind", to post Cooper's growth and fun family things we have done over the years.  Thanks for reading, thanks for "listening" and thanks for loving me unconditionally!  I can't wait to see what the next 5 years holds :)

Sunday, January 1, 2012

How we spent New Year's Eve

Camp out in the living room with movies, ice-cream and bedtime by 9:30pm!  
Happy New Year :)