mommy&everything

trying to find myself and humor in life

Archive for the tag “friends”

30 Days of Thanks

I can not even begin to count the number of drafts I have accumulated the past couple months, each one another attempt at a blog post.

I’m not sure what my problem is or was.  I have TONS of “stuff” to chat with you guys about. Ideas pop into my head all the time. However, when I sit down and try to blog about something I come up blank.

Frustrated,  I figured maybe my life as a blogger was over.  Who was I kidding thinking I was a real blogger anyway??!

Then my friend, and blogging mentor/inspiration, CC at A Working Mom Today asked me if I wanted to take part with her in the annual “30 Days of Thanks” and it was as if I could hear the angels singing from above – YES! I answered, I would love to give it a try.

After I hit send, however,  I thought,  Wait a minute, 30 days of being thankful??? Wow, that is so NOT a Nicole type of blog. Ugh, how the heck am I going to be sappy and thankful for an entire month??!!

Regardless, I am going to give it a try, at least it will get me back to blogging daily again. In typical Nicole fashion,  I am already 4 days behind. Instead of quitting though, I decided to begin my “thanksgiving” by summarizing my thanks for the first 4 days of November.

Ready? Here we go!

Nov 1st:
HANDS DOWN the thing I was most thankful for was that all 4 kids had school!!  Halloween was a crazy day filled with sugar, parades, parties and LOTS of trick-or-treating. The boys stayed up WAY past their usual bedtime and woke up Friday with a Halloween Hangover of sorts.

No one was happier than me when their buses pulled up and took them away to school THANK YOU school!

Nov. 2:
A couple of years ago I met my friend Mrs. Mayor when our kids attended the same pre-school. One day she mentioned being in  a book club and my ears perked up. I had always wanted to be in a book club, maybe this would be something fun??

I am still not sure what came over me, but somehow shy, timid me, managed to send Mrs. Mayor an email inviting myself to go with her to her book club.

More surprisingly,  Mrs. Mayor agreed to let me tag along with her thus starting my membership into “Book Club”.

Thank you Book Club. Because of you I have met so many wonderful women, women I probably would not have met otherwise. It’s great to know a bunch of ladies that that you can laugh, share stories with be sarcastic and have a glass (or 2 ) of wine with!

Nov. 3:
Sunday was tough. We lost an hour of sleep (wtf with daylight savings time??) and the kids were in rare form by 2pm – because technically it was 3pm but you can’t explain that to a toddler.

They had already watched tv, Monsters University and played with Wii – yikes what else was there to do?????

I know….have a belated Halloween with Aunt Terri.

It was win-win for everyone! Aunt Terri got to see the kids in their costumes AND the boys got to dress up again in their favorite costumes and mooch more candy! So for that, I am thankful for Halloween costumes!

Nov. 4:
It’s a cold Monday here in the Garden State. After a long weekend filled with too much sugar and wine, today I am thankful for control-top tights – enough said!

I missed you

I have had a LOT of free time on my hands lately. Work is VERY slow and it is amazing the things that I can come up with to a) look busy and b) kill time.

I read all there is to know about Miley and twerking, Amanda Bynes, the new fall lineup and that Breaking Bad’s finale broke a bunch of records viewership wise.

I have shopped browsed my favorite retail sites, discovered some new blogs and updated my Twitter and Tumblr accounts.

I had an epiphany over my  “need” for new booties (preferably in black) and that a pair of brown and/or burgundy boots would be a great addition to my fall wardrobe.

As I look back over these “accomplishments” I am a little embarrassed. Surely there were better ways to spend my free time. 

Current events to brush-up on (Obamacare, Syria, Government Shut down), books to read or online classes to better myself.

Nope, I did not one of those things.

Friends asked Where is your blog? What happened? Are you not writing anymore?

My friend at work was bold enough to say (with tone) Ummm since you have so much time on your hands, why don’t you… I don’t know…WRITE?!

Gee, all those people must have a point, I thought. So a couple of times a week I would log into  WordPress and stare at the blank screen. Sometimes I got a few sentences or a paragraph or 2 and then inevitably I would stop.

Maybe I minimized the screen and told myself I’d “finish it up later” or I made an excuse to visit a co-worker across the hall. It didn’t matter, I could come up with a million excuses to NOT to write.

Last week I even made out a list of all the recent things that have happened to me with the boys, school starting, soccer and daycare. I surprised myself with the size of the list.

Heck…that’s enough blog topics for a month at least! I proudly told myself, right before getting up to visit my friend Nicole and check my Iphone.

Even Mrs. Jeter was concerned. Once in a while, ever so slightly, Jeter would casually ask me what was up with my blog or if I had read the Daily Prompt or Weekly Writing Challenge.

At lunch with my former secretary (she’s retired – LUCKY woman) last Monday, my blog came up. Nicole….what happened??! I used to catch up with you and your life by reading your blog. It was like the old days when we talked over the wall. You HAVE to go back! she pleaded over lettuce wraps at P.F. Changs.

Then today I had to write a letter. Specifically, a persuasive letter to “sell” a particular product. This product was not the most qualified, but it had a lot of potential and just needed a nudge to move it along.

For almost 2 hours I sat at my desk and concentrated on this letter. I didn’t get up to make small talk or check out the sale at The Gap. Rather I focused on the task at hand, and, after several revisions, I finished the letter.

Holy Crap! Did I really write that?? I thought as I gave it a final once over before emailing it off to the client. Damn, that was pretty good.

A little while later I realized something. For that little bit of time I was writing, even though it was just a letter, I was enjoying myself. I was able to use my brain and come up with a final product that didn’t suck!

I was able to get myself back into the “zone” when everything around me sort of moves out of focus, and I just type. The words and thoughts are on the page without me realizing it and before I know it the blog is done. Those are my favorite times and some of my favorite blogs.

I miss blogging. I have been lying to myself all these weeks. Telling myself I don’t “write” I blog. What’s the big deal it’s just some stupid blog where I babble on for 1000 or so words. Meh.

Sure, it’s not rocket science and maybe my topics are not serious life and death things but really…who cares.

I do it for me. It is to help me find the humor in life and to help me see things from a different perspective. It is a way for me to “escape my reality” even for just a little while.

I would like to scream from my cubicle that I AM BACK but let’s be honest, it’s a Thursday afternoon.

This weekend I have to change the kids’ clothes around from summer to fall. There are bathrooms that need to be cleaned, soccer and a birthday party (note to self: buy gift).

Who knows, maybe I will find some time to write a blog or maybe I will start fresh on Monday. Either way, at least I know I can do it and more importantly, that I want to do it.

I think I feel a Random Monday Thoughts forming in my head now…..

Have a good weekend and thanks for reading :)

It was a TGIF after all

Hello everyone and Happy Friday.

If I am being honest, today did not start off all that happy for me. I have been going through some personal “stuff” the past couple of weeks (I know..who hasn’t right?) and it has not been all sunshine and rainbows at Casa Chaos.

This morning I dropped the twins to camp, Jake to the bus and went on a tour of a potential daycare for L before I was finally able to come home and enjoy my Dunkin’ Donuts caramel coconut iced coffee.

In between cleaning up, throwing a load or 2 of laundry in and re-reading the daycare price quotes (OMG why did I not open my own daycare these prices are INSANE!!!) I managed to squeeze in some me-time on the couch.

SItting there I was suddenly hit with an overwhelming feeling of sadness. I would liken it to feeling as if you had been kicked in the stomach without warning.

Did you ever have one of those days or moments? Maybe it was because I was tired (happy hour last night with work friends), emotionally exhausted from life or just having an off day. Whatever it was, I was prepared for a pity party.

Great just what Nikki needs ANOTHER pity party???

Ugh. I texted Midgie and Fergie hoping one or both of them could cheer me up. They patiently listened and offered me words of comfort mixed with tough love – after all who wants a friend to just pacify you during a pity party right?

During a texting lull it hit me – I have a lunch date with Rosa today!! YES there is a light at the end of my pity tunnel today!

I have written about my dear friend Rosa before. I have known her since the 6th grade when she and the class bully hid my snow boots. It was not until high school that we became close and have been friends since the first week of school freshman year.

I can not even count how many sleep overs, hangovers and “firsts” Rosa and I (along with our friend Hiral) have experienced.

No matter how much time has passed, Rosa, Hiral and I can ALWAYS pick up right where we left off. I have known these girls, “women”, for the better part of my life. They know all the good and bad and still love me the same.

There is no impressing them or sugar coating life (well…maybe a little every now and then), therefore, there is no dissapointment just happiness.

When I saw Rosa pull up in my driveway I felt 16 again – after all it was Rosa that did the majority of chauffeuring me around until I got a car at 22.

Unfortunately, today’s lunch was a quick one since Rosa had a 2pm conference call (it makes me laugh thinking that she is a real lawyer who has confernce calls).

We settled on the diner for lunch and caught up over salads. It was by far, THE best 60 minutes I have spent all week.

When she pulled away I actually felt optimistic that maybe, just maybe, there would be some good coming my way. Maybe it wont be this month or even the next couple months but hopefully (fingers crossed, knock on wood) it will be sooner rather than later.

As I sat by the pool later on in the afternoon with the boys, I felt myself daydreaming. For a change though there wasn’t any “woe is me” thoughts (shocking right??).

Rather, it was me actually feeling confident. Yes I can do something, get a better job, a great job and finally be proud of myself.

Heck, I was feeling so motivated I actually thought about making a “vision board” since Oprah swears by them.

I am not sure how long this feeling will last or if the vision board will ever come to be but at least I know the value of friendship and am blessed to have real friends in my life.

Thanks for a great lunch Rosa xoxox

Have a good weekend everyone.

Random Monday Thoughts

Hello and welcome to another edition of Random Monday Thoughts – previously titled Random Thoughts on a Monday Morning.

I was all set to blog about autism and how much it totally sucks, but after I started writing I got depressed and decided to change gears and be more carefree.

Now if I were a smart blogger, one who would like to attract new readers,  I would make “Random Monday Thoughts” a weekly post. However, knowing myself the way I do, that would cause me stress every Monday and frankly, I don’t need any added stress to my life at the moment.

Now without further ado, I give you my random thoughts:

1) Hello, my name is Nicole and I am quickly becoming addicted to Candy Crush

Do you play this game on your tablet or mobile device? A couple of months ago, I had downloaded this app and wasn’t all that thrilled with it.

It seemed like a Bejewled wannabe with candy and annoying music. I played it a couple of times before deleting. I would see things on FB and friends would send me requests for lives but I never gave it too much thought.

Then last week, I decided to give it another try and OMG I am hooked! AND I even got the husband to play and he is hooked too.

The kids think we are nuts and beg us to let them play but we told them it’s for “adults only”. Currently, I am on Level 25 and I cant wait to play again tonight and see how far I can get.

2) Am I just too old for The Vampire Diaries??

The husband and I are always looking for a new tv series to watch on dvd. It occured to us a couple years ago, that we do better with a series when we can watch it in huge chunks rather than one time a week. You can become immersed in the show AND there are no commercials.

It started with “Burn Notice” then there was “Breaking Bad”, “Homeland”, “Revenge” “Castle”, “White Collar”, “Mad Men”, “Chicago Fire” (this was on On Demand) and now “The Vampire Diaries.”

I was excited, I love vampires (hello…I was Mrs. Cullen for the longest time) and Mrs. Jeter loves the show and talks about it all the time I couldn’t wait.

This past Saturday night, after I had lost all my lives in Candy Crush, the husband and I sat down to watch and all I can say is Meh.

It had all the parts for a great vampire show – hot vampire (check), hot vampire bad-boy brother (double check), annoying, kinda whiney love interest of vampire (check), small town surrounded by woods (check), old mansion that the vampires live in (check).

On paper this show is perfect. However, after watching 2 episodes (one of which was the pilot) I just dont know, Stefan and Damon are seriously NO Edward and Carlisle.

While watching the 2nd episode, I texted Jeter, went on EW (the holy grail of tv) and did a Google search (can I multi-task or what?) to see what they thought and all said the show gets better the more you watch it.

I will give it a another try or 2 and let you know my thoughts.

3) Summer Book Club

A couple of years ago, I tagged along with Mrs. Mayor got invited to a book club in my town and I loved it. It is hosted by my blogging mentor CC and the group of women is great. There is always LOTS of food and/or wine and the discussions are always varied and never dull.

Book club meets every other month from Sept till May.  We take the summer “off” due to schedules and vacations and the overall craziness of the summer months.

I will confess, I miss book club in the summer. Yes, I know I can read w/o being in a group setting, heck I have been doing that my whole life. It’s just that I really like getting together with “the ladies” sans kids and husbands. It’s relaxing and something to look forward too.

That being said, I have come up with my own version of a Summer Book Club. In this “club” we will read a trashy, beach book once a month (June – August), meet and discuss said book over margaritas. Who’s in????

4) Flip-flop season has officially begun

Friday I was lucky enough to get my first Spring/Summer 2013 pedicure and what a treat it was!!

Finally after months of waiting and keeping my feet all cooped up in closed-toe shoes, I was able to break out my flip flops (neon pink from the Gap) and and flaunt my pretty toes.

It felt freeing to be in my flip-flops and it meant that summer is VERY close. I even took out all my sandals and did a shoe fashion shoe for Molly (my daschund). Is there anything better than finding a brand new pair of sandals you forget you bought at the end of last season?????

5) I have no willpower

Since starting this post before lunch, I have given into temptation and eaten 2 pieces of chocolate out of the the Russell Stover Milk Chocolate Sampler Box I have “hidden” in my desk for chocolate emergencies.

and lastly

6) Girlfriends are a blessing

Girls/women often get a bad rap for being catty, gossipy, jealous and bitchy/moody. Sure, sometimes (very rarely) some are like that but they are also nurturing, kind, fun, loving, funny and always there.

I would just like to give a shout-out to all my girlfriends, both old and new. I may not always show it or tell you but I really appreciate your friendship and all the laughter we share.

A special thanks to Mrs. Mayor for hosting a really great time Friday night. Who knew sitting at a kitchen table with some yummy rice crackers discussing a certain priest could be so much fun :)

Have a great week everyone, thanks for reading!

 

Do over

imagesThe other day I was lying around with my new bff (my heating pad), nursing my herniated disk (and 3 pinched nerves), feeling slightly loopy on my pain meds when I got a text from Mrs. Jeter.

Jeter had been fairly quiet on this particular day, and I found it a little odd. However, I was pretty engrossed in my drama, having just endured an EMG test  (NOT FUN but doctor was sooooooo handsome) and dealing with some pain issues, that I didn’t really pay that much attention to her quietness until I read the text

Dude, you forgot today’s my bday! I am at bingo tho.

Holy F!!! I forgot Jeter’s bday. Crap, was today the 26th???? God damn it, I can’t keep track of the days anymore. OMG I SUCK!!!! immediately popped into my head.

How the hell did i manage to forget my best friend’s bday?????? How do you even respond to a text like that? Do you pretend you didn’t forget? Do you try to come up with some witty response? Or do you just suck it up and admit that you are a horrible friend?

I came up with the following response F I had the dates confused. I’m sorry – I SUCK so bad. I’m soooooooo sorry!! Let’s pretend it’s 7am….happy birthday to my soul mate!!

Luckily Mrs. Jeter forgave me and we have been able to put this behind us but I still feel terrible.

Then it hit me, wouldn’t it be great if we could all have a “DO OVER” button for situations like this? I know we are supposed to learn from life and its’ experiences yada yada yada, but seriously, a “DO OVER” button would really be useful in small, non-life changing situations.

I am not ashamed to say that I am not perfect (shocking right?) and that I have made a few mistakes lately. That being said, I think the “DO OVER” button would have come in handy for the following:

1) Forgetting Mrs. Jeter’s birthday

2) Not paying attention to the hundreds of papers and worksheets that the twins bring home from school, thereby throwing away the tooth brushing chart that was due back at school today. In my defense, was this really necessary? It’s kindergarten not dental school.

3) Thinking I was She-Ra: Princess of Power (remember He-Man from the 80s?) and using 18lb kettle bells when I was SO not ready

4) Not going to see a back specialist over Christmas when I had excruciating sciatic pain because I figured it would go away magically

5) Putting an end to my drama over the summer instead of carrying it into the new year

6) Thinking it was ok to drink like a fish and eat cake for 2 weeks before Christmas thus gaining back the 5lbs I had lost

7) Not majoring in education or nursing in college – wtf was I thinking with a Communication degree?????

8) Instead of crying about being home sick the first semester of college, I should have partied my ass off and

9) Stupidly reaching out to certain people to help in a stressful situation.

So friends out there in the great blogosphere, is there anything you would like a “DO OVER” button for?

My 2013 in review

imagesHello my friends out there in the great blogosphere. It’s me, I am back – did you miss me????

To say it’s been a crazy couple weeks, would be an understatement. Heck,  who am I kidding -2013 has been having a REALLY good time with me thus far.

It’s given me sickness, health, humor, drama, drugs  AND a herniated disk. What more could a girl want – besides maybe George Clooney waiting at my front door???

Seriously, 2013 has been kicking my ass but I have tried to maintain my sense of humor through it all. It’s all about making lemonade out of lemons and all that other positive crap right?

I wasn’t sure what to write about today. I had a couple of ideas and have a couple of drafts started and saved for a rainy, writer’s block day.

Even as I sit here typing, I am still not quite sure what I should write about. I guess I figure if I babble long enough the
“perfect” blog will magically appear.

You know what, maybe I will just give you guys some of the “highlights” of the past couple weeks. Hopefully I will be able to convey the humor, irony and lesson(s) learned. One thing is for sure, my life is never dull.

1) My Aunt

On January 21st my aunt/godmother/nanny/second mom, went into a diabetic coma and spent 2 weeks in the ICU. It was touch and go there for a while and no one knew what would happen. It was like the rug was pulled out from under me and my family and we had no idea what to do.

For weeks, life revolved around ICU visiting hours and status updates while trying to keep up a “normal” life for the kids who had lost the only babysitter they had ever known.

Throughout the weeks my aunt was in the hospital, I did Facebook updates to keep friends/family apprised of her progress. When I did the first update, I wasnt really thinking too many people would read it, or if they did that they would comment. Never have I been so wrong.

The outpouring from friends, family and acquaintances was overwhelming. The heat felt messages and prayers really touched me and made me appreciate the people in my life. I even connected with people I hadn’t talked to in over 20 years.

I came out of this experience having learned some stuff 1) your true friends are there for you in a crisis 2) I am a strong person and really capable and able of getting through a tough situation  3) there is something to be said for the power of prayer. I am not a religious person, despite 12 years of catholic school, but I truly believe that the prayers of friends and family helped my aunt and 4) I begged my mother that if I am ever hospitalized to make sure someone does my hair and tweezes my eyebrows daily.

2) My herniated Disk – not just any herniated disk, no friends it is a SEVERE herniated disk in L5 resting on not 1 but 3 nerves (cause if you are going to have a herniated disk, you may as well go all out).

The disk is causing excruciating sciatic pain down my entire left side and is like nothing I have ever experienced (including 3 c-sections). At times the pain is all-consuming and I have been out of work the past couple weeks on disability with my new bff – my heating pad.

Despite this, some good has come out of this. 1) I survived an MRI w/o freaking out 2) I got myself some GOOD pain meds 3) I was able to spend an afternoon with Mrs. Jeter, the ONLY person who could make me laugh AND make getting an epidural steroid injection “fun” 4) I was referred to the MOST attractive back doctor which makes going to the doctor a lot more fun  5) I have stopped my online retail therapy addiction (for the time being at least) so I am actually saving money and 6) I am out of work in disability!!!

3) After working in the same town for 13 years I was FINALLY able to get my hands on a PBA card. That said, it’s a shame the card is for 2012 (I got it in January btw). I’m told I’ll eventually get a 2013 card but only time will tell. For now, I am curbing my cell phone use while driving (shhhhh) and coming to a complete stop at all stop signs within the city limits.

4) The twins and I survived craft projects for both Valentine’s Day AND the 100th Day of School without crying – I am not gonna lie, the oxycontone the doctor gave me for my back helped in this greatly

5) The husband “learned” to make the kids’ lunches – and they say miracles never happen

6) The twins started Turning Point and after care at school and absolutely LOVE it (knock on wood).

7) My baby L started a full-time day care program and not only adapted but is thriving despite some dramatic tantrums we are ignoring

8) The twins started basketball and while I do not foresee any basketball scholarships in their futures, they actually like it and look forward to every game.

9) I celebrated a year of blogging and managed 135 posts  – some good, some bad and some awesome (lol)

10) After a year of blogging I got my first negative comment that started off with the words “Oh quit your bitching….”

11) I FINALLY got back to Hoboken, NJ a place I have very fond memories of. Sadly, never did I think that when I finally got back there I would be trying to parellel park a minivan and limping into a doctor’s office.

12) I found out M had his first girlfriend. It was a true romance with the little girl telling M that he was indeed her boyfriend. They sat next to each other at their table and all was going well.

Then yesterday I asked M how things with the little lady were going. He looked at me and said (ever so serious) She isn’t my girlfriend anymore, she just forgot about me.

OMG what is wrong with this girl??? Does she not see how great M is????! Ugh, it took all I had not to go to that school and give that hussy a piece of my mind!

There you have it, my year in review. Exciting stuff right and it’s only mid-February. I can’t wait to see what else is in store for me.

Happy Thursday!!

24 Hours

It’s funny the games life  – God, the universe, etc – play with you. One minute everything is “fine.” You are living your life, “going through the motions” so to speak. Performing your everyday,  normal, (often mundane)  routine and chores mentally counting the days, weeks, months until the next big vacation, weekend, celebration etc.

Wake up, take shower, make lunches, brew coffee, plan dinner, fight with kid(s) over breakfast, tv, DS, school and then BAM your world is turned upside down.

Sometimes, I guess, there is a warning. A premonition or feeling that things are going to change. Usually though, it comes out of the blue and gets you completely unprepared.

As an adult you are supposed to “roll with the punches” be strong and get through or survive the obstacle thrown at you, no matter how big or small.

Sure you can cry and say “why me/us/them/her/him” or my favorite “that’s not fair” . Inevitably, however,  someone will respond with a “no one said life is fair” or “God only gives you what you can handle.”

At the time you want to punch the person that said that. Tell them to go f-off and leave you alone. What do they know, are they close personal friends with God?

Sloooooooowly you begin to see and know that they were right – damn them – and life does go on and you will survive.

Monday, in a matter of hours, my life was turned upside down. Even now, days later, it still seems surreal to me.

On Monday I kicked into survival mode. Shockingly, I am able to handle crisis well – it is very out of character for me. Little things like a bad haircut can make me cry but throw me a family crisis and I am super woman.

Immediately, I separate myself from all the drama and upset and focus on what needs to be done and the best way to do it. There I was on Monday making phone calls, texting instructions and giving information to doctors and staff in the ER and the whole time I was completely calm. Heck, I actually flagged down an ambulance and paramedic truck and got them to stop!

I comforted my aunt and mother, told them all would be fine. I reassured friends that things were being taken care of and everything would be ok. Don’t worry, I will keep you posted…feel free to call or text me anytime I heard myself say over and over.

Once in a while, a thought will cross my mind and I feel myself start to panic. OMG I have no daycare! WTF am I going to do with the kids next week!! Holy Crap, it costs how much to put the twins in after care?! (this is all about me after all).

I have been coping as best I can with my “go-to” items – chocolate and sarcasm (which is not always appreciated by people). The whole family is actually trying to cope all in their own way – although some of their ways boggle my mind at times. I guess I should cut them some slack since we are all living in a haze of hospital visiting hours and sporadic updates from nurses with poor bedside manner.

Each day I tell myself things will get better, it will all work out even if I don’t 100% believe it. However, the one thing I know I can always count on is the support of family and friends. Their messages and texts have been a god send and make me smile.

Whether it be Mrs. Jeter bringing me a latte or Mrs. Gray and her Crew cracking me up at a Charlie Browns restaurant, it’s been a blessing and I hope to pay it forward one day soon – or at least make everyone a batch of jell-o shots.

Thanks everyone xoxox

Friends

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Growing up I was always the “shy one”. It didn’t matter if I was among family, strangers or peers, I was the quiet one, observing, taking it all in and praying I would not draw any attention on myself. (Yes Mrs. Grey this is 100% true!)

If someone or something did manage to drag me into a conversation or group, my face immediately turned 10 shades of red and my voice (which is already pretty high) went up 5 octaves. If all that wasn’t bad enough, I also picked up the habit of twisting my hands in to a pretzel when speaking to anyone “outside my comfort zone.

Despite all this, I was able to make friends along the way (lol). No one would mistake me for Miss Popularity but it is quality over quantity after all.

In high school, college and even in the “real world” I have been lucky, blessed actually, to make some very special dear friends.

To be honest, it was easier to make friends when I was younger. Maybe it was because I wasn’t really sure of who I was, confidence is not a strong suit of mine, but back then I was just happy someone wanted to go to the mall with me and thought I was funny (come to think of it, those are still 2 things I look for in a friend – lol).

After getting married and settling into “adult life” it was harder to meet new people. Where does a 30-something go to meet “friends” after working all day?

Slowly, with the arrival all my brood of boys, I started meeting new friends, moms mostly. Some of these women I clicked with immediately (CC, Fergie, Mrs. Mayor) and others … not so much.

At first, I always worried if the new mom friend would like me. We would go for drinks or to a book club and the whole time I was thinking OMG does she think I am a nerd? I wonder if she can’t wait to escape from me? Why the hell did I just say that, now X will think I am an idiot!

Mostly my paranoia has been for naught. I have learned (well I am still learning, it is a work in progress) that if I just relax and be myself people, other women, will like me. Shockingly, I am really not that bad. I’m funny (more sarcastic), fun (yes, me can you believe it??)  and not a total embarrassment to be seen with in public (as I was told at my office Xmas party “Nicole, you clean up good!”).

I am not always a good friend. There are times I am selfish, self-absorbed and even jealous (gasp!) but I hope my friends now how much they mean to me and that I value them in my life.

This Sunday I am in for a real treat. I am going to “the City” to meet 3 of my closest friends for brunch. I have known some of these girls since I was 11  – when I was the “new kid” in a very small catholic school, and socially awkward and fat.

We used to be inseparable my girls and me. Never was one of us without the other(s) either in person or on the phone. Even when we all went off to separate colleges we still manages to stay close. It’s been harder over the years. Life happened, people change and grow and life moves on.

Luckily, through the grace of Facebook, I have been able to still remain a part of these women’s lives. I may not see them but I know some of what is going on with them and they with me.

The one special bond I share with these ladies is that I know, no matter what, if one of us were in trouble the others would be there. I don’t have a doubt in my mind that if I called one of them, even after not seeing them in over 4 years, they would be there for me.

Despite all this, I am still a little nervous about brunch on Sunday. I know I haven’t been the best friend, especially since I had kids, but I hope they know that I love them, will always consider them a friend and that they will always have a special place in my life.

What will it be like when we are all together Sunday?????

Will there be a polite silence or the obligatory “How are you?” when we first see each other?

Or, will it just be like old times, with a hug hello (a handshake for me and R) before we start laughing and picking up where we left off?

I don’t know but I am SO looking forward to it – and I hope they are too.

Unexpectantly attacked by the green-eyed monster

I was all set today to do a blog about my kids and their foray into sports via the PAL League. I was toying with some title ideas at my desk (for some reason I can only do a post AFTER I come up with a title) and chatting with Magic Mike when I decided to check my emails.

29 messages - I am SO important. One by one I deleted the various retail announcements from my friends Gap, Ann Taylor and Piperlime before getting to my town’s news update and “jobs I may be interested in” on LinkedIn. I was just about to hit delete again  when I noticed a WordPress invitation from a good friend of mine.

My mind raced as I stared at the invite.

Huh, what is this? Is this my friend Desi? It has to be, isn’t that her picture staring at me? When did Desi start a blog and more importantly, why didn’t she tell me????? OMG look at her hair in that picture, it looks amazing!

Quickly I logged into WordPress and frantically searched for Desi’s blog. After a couple of minutes of searching (don’t ask) I found it. Holy Crap, look at her blog, it is f’n amazing!! I love that format, how the hell did she find that?? immediately popped into my head.

I started scrolling through her posts and her “About” page and became more and more amazed by her writing ability.

Desi is one of those people who is blessed with having a way with words. She can make anything sound great and she does it effortlessly.

In her spare time she writes books and/or screenplays (no, I am not kidding, and I have even been privy to reading some of them) and can come up with a haiku in a moment’s notice.

Since once of Desi’s jobs is attorney-at-law, I have also saught her help in “legal speak” when drafting letters or memos for work.

Months ago, Desi had mentioned to me about wanting to start a blog. Although writing was only done in her “spare time” (she is also married and a mom of 2), it was her true passion and when she is happiest.

You should TOTALLY start a blog, it would be SO good and you are a great writer! I encouraged from the passenger seat in her van. I dunno, maybe was her response and we left it at that.

Over the holidays Desi allowed me to read part of her newest writing adventure (a novel) and I was really floored. How the hell does she come up with that stuff? I would NEVER be able to write like that or even come up with an idea like that I thought as I finished the last page.

Ok, I will admit to being a tad bit jealous, I mean come on, who wouldn’t be. Writing comes so easy to Desi and she writes like a real author.

I shared my thoughts with my mom and got Gee, what a shock, you jealous?  I know, I know, but this is a different type of jealousy I rebutted before getting distracted by a screaming child.

Yes, it is true I can be hugely a bit jealous of other people at times – friends, acquaintances, celebrities and strangers - my jealousy has no prejudices.

I don’t mean to be jealous it just sorta of happens. Seriously though, who among us has not been jealous of the co-worker who came back to work from maternity leave in her pre-baby skirt or the neighbor who was able to sell their townhouse AND buy a new, bigger house. Or a friend carrying a new Coach bag?

Yes, I know jealousy is a bad thing (isn’t it 1 of the 7 deadly sins?) but at least I can admit I have a problem. Also, just because I’m sometimes jealous, it doesn’t mean I’m unappreciative or a mean person.

My jealousy is just a flaw in my otherwise, almost flawless, personality (lol).

Anyway, the more I read Desi’s blog the more I could feel the jealousy creeping up on me and, before I knew it, I was emailing my mom telling her that I was going to delete my WordPress account because Desi’s blog is THAT good. (I also emailed my Blogging Mentor for a pick-me up too).

Please do not misunderstand me, I LOVE Desi (no really I do) and the jealousy I feel for her is not mean-spirited in any way, shape of form.  I want nothing but the best for her and I am SO happy that she is finally pursuing the blog.

She has a real talent and others need to be made aware of it ASAP – and she told me when she is famous I’ll be her personal assistant so I can quit my job.

I guess my real problem is that I constantly doubt my own abilities (in everything) so naturally when I read her blog I had to automatically compare it to mine. WTF is wrong with me?

I started blogging for me not for Desi or my mom or anyone else. It was something I wanted to do and decided to take a chance and I have not regretted it once.

This blog has been an exciting journey for me, a real step outside my comfort zone. I’ve met some truly wonderful people and I learn something about myself, and blogging in general, everyday.

I am not going to lie, I would LOVE to be “Freshly Pressed” (come on..admit it WordPress bloggers you do to) but regardless, I am  happy of proud of myself (kinda).

Desi, if and when you read this, please don’t hate me. I am VERY, VERY happy for you and your new blog. I am going to tell all my friends about it and I wish you nothing but success, you deserve it and I love you (in a non-romantic way of course).

I am sorry that I was bitten by the green-eyed monster this morning and I hope you can understand. I can’t wait to see what 2013 has in store for you and I hope you will share with me and take me along for the ride!!!

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Thelma & Louise

Thelma & Louise (Jersey style)

Recently Mrs. Jeter and I were issued a temporary leave of absence from our daily lives. It took a LOT of planning (and in my case a LOT of pleading) but by the grace of what could only be our Fairy Godmothers, we were granted blessed with 48 hours of childless, bliss or in other words “girl time.”

I wont lie to you, in the weeks leading up to this trip I was a little nervous. Jeter and I have been friends for 12 years, however, we have never spent that much time together. I am sure our husbands would beg to differ, citing our constant texting as “time spent” but seriously, that is NOT the same.

In all our years as friends Mrs. J and I have never shared a room, stayed overnight at each other’s homes or even “gotten ready” to go out in the same space. Bizarre right???

Thoughts of Suppose my snoring annoys her? Will she HATE that I take so much time to do my make-up? Will she yell at me for leaving hair all over the bathroom like the husband does? OMG suppose she doesn’t want to watch E News and MTV?????

Well as is usually the case with me, my worrying was for nothing (technically I guess you would have to ask her if and of the above annoyed her). I can honestly say, Mrs. J and I had the ABSOLUTE  BEST weekend I have had in a VERY long time.

The weekend was not spent doing exciting, once-in-a-lifetime activities, like skydiving or bungee jump – though we did attempt tattoos but the places looked scary.

Instead it was spent on our own terms. For the fist time, in God only knows how long, there were no schedules to follow, no kids to feed, chores to be done and no scheduled time to be anywhere.

No, we were FREE in every meaning of the word. We shopped, ate, drank (a lot), slept and watched tv. We laughed (like a couple of middle school girls),  gossiped, shared hopes/dreams/fears and even sat in silence doing our own thing.

At times we tried to re-live our youth, pretend we were different people than we are in our everyday lives. People who were 23 again – carefree, single and “fun” with the knowledge we now possess at 40 (a pure fantasy right?). It was great.

Those 48-hours flew by. The months, weeks and days leading up to the trip were just a blur as we drove north on 295. Jeter blasted her “90s Playlist” on her iPod trying to keep our moods bright but happy but I don’t think there is any playlist that could have accomplished that.

The mood on the car ride home was sullen and I even cried (ok, I may have been a tad hung over). We consoled ourselves by being thankful that we were able to have the weekend to enjoy and would have happy memories to last forever. We even made plans for another trip this summer (shhhh don’t tell the husbands yet).

I am sure to some our weekend may not seem all that exciting - two 40-somethings spending the weekend together in a college town. But to us it was perfect and more importantly it was “us”.

The past couple of days I have been thinking over our weekend, reliving bits and pieces and trying to come up with THE best moment. Was it staying up till 2:30am or staying in bed till 11:30am?? Was it browsing the mall in peace, laughing non-stop or singing along to VH-1′s Best of the 90s Videos?

Who knows. Maybe it was all the above or maybe it was none.

All I do know is that when I think of the weekend it makes me smile. In fact, I think I smiled all weekend. A genuine, happy smile.

Thanks for a great time Mrs. Jeter! Thanks for being my Thelma and being my friend - Lord knows it is not always an easy task!!

Until June 2013….

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