Another Birthday, Another Reason to Celebrate

Today is March 5th. It’s just a normal day for most people. Ideally, the snow is melting and the Earth is starting to peek through. Today would have been my mom’s Birthday. My dad would have been siting on the couch, waiting, and watching some sort of fishing show on TV as my mom would have been upstairs in the bathroom for hours getting ready for dinner at the restaurant of her choice. My brother and I would probably be teasing each other or enticing the dog to bark at the fish on television. My mom’s phone would have been ringing nonstop, all of her friends and the family calling to wish her a happy birthday. She was a popular lady. Once she was finally ready to come downstairs the four of us, possibly joined by my grandparents, would have driven to the restaurant for a lovely meal and back to the house for wine, candles, and ice cream, maybe some pound cake.

We would have been doing the same thing we do every year for all of our birthdays, but it would have been special since we’d all be together. The rest of the family would come over on the weekend for a proper celebration and more cake, candles, and singing. My mom would have gone out with her girlfriends for a few more parties.

We tend to think of our birthdays as marking another year gone by; therefore, making us another year older. Once you reach a certain age, shall we say 25, every birthday is a year closer to 30, and then closer to 40, and then, in the blink of an eye you’re turing 60! Where did the time go? How am I getting this old? What are these wrinkles on my face? Do I really have to get any older? I’ll just turn 39 for a few more years. Some of us even fear our birthdays, and when the time comes to celebrate we convince ourselves that we want to sit at home crying over romantic comedies on television. Some of us may also convince ourselves that we are nothing to make a fuss over, that we are not worth our friends and family going out of the way to nice things for us. But, we are missing the point!

Birthdays are a celebration of the day we were born, the day we came into this world to start our beautiful journey. Every year that goes by is another year we are lucky enough to be among friends and family, lucky enough to do new things or enjoy the same old things, lucky enough to experience life! We gather with those we love to celebrate all that happens in a year, to celebrate growth, to celebrate the love we gave and received, and most importantly to celebrate the fact that YOU are here today! We celebrate the past year, your current breath of life, and hopes for the future and good things to come. After all, It is tradition to make a wish before blowing out the birthday candles.

So, this year on your birthday remember that you are important, your life is special, and if some one wants to throw you a party, take off your sweatpants, stop complaining, and live a little! You are here on this Earth. Remember to enjoy.

SuzieQHappy Birthday Suzie Q

I Missed You Guys!

I’m back! After a long awaited return, I am finally here to share smiles with some of my favorite internet people! I’m sorry I left you guys hanging for a bit, but life has been so hectic, in a great way. I am working, a lot, and loving every second of it, well just about every second. I am happy, productive, and making plans that I sincerely plan on keeping. Plus, I got flowers on Valentine’s Day for the first time since my mom passed :-) She was always my valentine no matter who I was dating, and she played the part better than anyone.

After a few days spent at home with my dad and pup, I am back on the road working an NHL tour. Not only am I surrounded by hockey, but I am surrounded by Mickey as well. I will be working along side of a good friend. So far we have learned the Cowboy Bop, scarfed down cheesesteaks, and shopped for khakis together; the perfect start to any tour. Can’t wait to see what is next :-)

Xfinity Sports BarLine DancingIMG_0019

1.11.13 – Kim Christmas

It’s been a while, 9 days to be exact.  Like anything, when you fall out of habit, it’s hard to get back into it.  Or, I could have been really busy with lots to do and little time to write.  Or,  I could have flown out of my window to Neverland with Peter Pan and Tink.  By the way, they don’t have computers in Neverland.  Whatever has happened in my absence from the blog world it is now behind me, and I can start taking my one a day vitamins again.  Sure the past is past, but I bet you are all wondering just what the hell happened to me.  I will share some highlights:

I finally got to meet Annie, my cousin’s baby, my niece.  She is even more beautiful in my arms than she is in photos.  She is going to grow up to have her mommy’s long blonde hair, pretty eyes, and smart head.  And, just look at that little pink bow!

AnnieI also got to see my baby, TOBY!  It still amazes me that I can be away from home for four months, and as soon as Toby hears my voice he knows it’s me.  I really hate to leave the little guy for that long, but he and my dad are buddies.  Who else is going to protect the house from those vicious squirrels?  It snowed a little too :-)

Toby

Work brought me back home for a week which allowed me to surprise my friends and family.  My dad and friend Mel were the only two people who knew I was going to be in town.  My crazy family celebrates Ukrainian Christmas so I was able to see everyone on one of my favorite nights of the year.  My Grandma cried, I cried, and baby Annie may have shed a tear when she got hungry or pooped her diaper.  I got to hang out with big Annie, who is now in seventh grade! I can’t believe my favorite little cousin isn’t so little anymore.  She is more beautiful every time I see her.

I even got to have my very own Kim Christmas!  My dad set up presents under the tiniest Christmas tree.

Mini Christmas

Every day this past week had Mel in it.  She is moving to Hawaii, and we needed to spend as much time together as possible!  With Mel, I made new friends, saw old friends, stayed hydrated, ate peanut butter sandwiches, fell asleep in the library and almost missed a train, and turned my hotel room into my “apartment”.  The entire week I had friends come and go, beverages consumed, movies watched, beds jumped on, and smiles shared.

Toast

So there you have it.  I did not get abducted by aliens or eaten by dinosaurs, but I did laugh so hard my stomach and my face hurt.  What a wonderful nine days it has been.

1.1.13 – Lots of Love

This is officially my first post of the new year.  I want to thank everyone who has taken the time to read my blog.  I now have 45 followers, only 3 of which are people I actually know.  (Thank you Grandma and Grandpa!)  When I started this blog I figured my family members would be the only ones reading it, but it turns out I was wrong.  I am thankful for that :-)  You guys make me want to take more photos and share more funny stories.  A lot of my views come from Facebook and my old blog on Tumblr so thank you guys for visiting too!

I got a gift today, besides the bowl of cold oatmeal I found on my bedside table when I woke up.  How did that get there?  While clearing things out after the festival a friend stopped by to say hi/happy new year and handed me these:

Hearts

Not only do I have a sweet new pair of sunglasses, but I have a pretty sweet new friend.  Well, this is me, crazy woman, sending all my new and old friends lots of love this new year through these heart shaped sunnies.

12.22.12 – Abracadabra!

It’s seems to me that happy hours are the cheapest way to eat in Las Vegas.  You can find a decent amount of them at restaurants on the strip or right off of the strip.  I initially expected to use Groupon a fair amount, but all of the restaurants listed on Groupon are far from the middle of things, too far for some one who does not have a car and doesn’t feel like hopping on a bus after work.  Vegas is hard to get around even if you do have a car!  There is always traffic, paring garages are a dangerous endeavor, and drunk people are everywhere.  Luckily, I have a friend here who was brave enough to drive to a happy hour down the road, and he just so happens to be lucky enough to have a friend that works the David Copperfield show.  I got to see the show from a spot that most people don’t even know exists.  I have always been one for the theatre and was happier just to be there than I was with the show.  Illusions are neat sometimes but even neater when you get the in on what is actually happening.  I’ll tell you something that is not an illusion and is nowhere near neat, I lost five bucks on a poker machine and five bucks on Starwars slots.  Can David Copperfield to pull my ten dollars out of a hat and give it back to me?

12.20.12 – Free Wine, Willie Nelson, and Thrill Rides on the Boulevard

I made a friend the other night while dining alone at a sushi bar.  The food was mediocre, but the company turned out to be wonderful.  This friend happens to work in the restaurant on the top of the Stratosphere.  Oh, by the way, I am in Las Vegas :-)  I am staying at the MGM Grand and that is where my journey began tonight.  Jon and I decided to make our way to the Stratosphere to visit my new friend and ride some thrill rides on top of the world.  The total distance of this journey is 3.3 miles <– map.  We deiced to see how far we could get on foot. This is Vegas!  There would be plenty of things to do and see on the way!  Many drinks and many hours later we made it to the Stratosphere.  It was time to celebrate  with wine and my new friend, but as it turns out, by the time we actually got to the restaurant my friend’s shift was over.  He went home.  Good thing there was a bounty of wine and fifteen dollar a piece thrill rides!  I finally summited the 1,148 feet to the observation deck and was flung even higher on the world’s highest thrill ride, The Big Shot.

The adventure home is another story that I will save for another day.

Below are some photos to accompany my Las Vegas Boulevard journey.  There are some other details worth mentioning.  I received free shots while dancing in a conga line.  I got hit on by a 40-year old woman who made me take a photo with her and Michael Jackson.  Michael Jackson then grabbed my ass and asked for my phone number.  Willie Nelson (‘s brother?) made it into my night and demonstrated the art of line dancing.  I discovered a hole in the wall restaurant that serves as much free house wine as you can drink while you are eating your dinner.

Willie 52E651437FEB95ECFAD6ADBBCE980

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Stratosphere

12.12.12 – Six Feet Under

Today I explored Atlanta.  It was just lovely.

I had a delicious meal – chicken curry soup – served to me by a delicious bearded man at the Stone Soup Kitchen.  I would eat here everyday if I could.  If you are visiting Atlanta you must also visit Stone Soup Kitchen!

SAMSUNGI FINALLY got a haircut at this warehouse-esque salon in Grant Park called Lux Hair Salon which is another recommendation.  The ladies that work there are funny, awesome at cutting hair, and they occasionally put Krispy Kremes out on the table.  My walk from downtown to Grant Park was also enjoyable.

SAMSUNGI visited a cemetery in Grant Park where I saw a clever play on words…

SAMSUNG…and a beautiful view of the city.  I only wish I brought my real camera to take better photos.  I love a good cemetery, and this one was definitely satisfactory.

SAMSUNGI walked past some great and not so great graffiti while drifting around town.

Graffiti

I saw some beautiful houses, messed up a photo shoot, passed through some trendy neighborhoods, and ended up at Porter Beer Bar in Little Five Points.  At this point I stopped taking photographs and focused on more important matters.  This place has over 500 beers – draft, bottle, vintage – available for your tasting pleasures, and the magic beer people update the beer list daily!  What?!  I made some friends at the bar, Frankie from CS and some cute, little 21-year olds.  I ended the day with a leisurely walk back to my hotel, the cool wind messing with my new hair-do, and John Butler Trio blaring in my ears.

12.11.12 – Thank You

Special people don’t come around too often.  That’s part of what makes them so special.  They show up at your doorstep unannounced and take you by surprise.  You accept them as they are and don’t bother wasting time with the “why’s” and the bullshit small talk.  Well, you may ask a couple of “why’s” :-)  I said goodbye to a special person today, some one that in five days of knowing has taught me things about myself and about the world as he sees it.  Educators will be educators whether they are teachers, retired teachers, or if they have never stepped in front of a class.  We are all educators and we are all students.  We learn from each other no matter what age we are, where we are in life, or where we are going.  The more open you are to others the smarter you will become.  Don’t close yourself off from the world.  Beautiful things can start with a simple question, like “Can you please help me light this grill?”  I would love to see my friend again, but I’m happy knowing that some one like him exists and will continue to make an impact on all the people he meets.

12.9.12 – The Candle Box Fairies

Tomorrow will be my last night here at the Candlewood in Birmingham, AL.  It’s nice to be moving on to a new city, but I am sad to be leaving the little community here, especially the wine fairy.  He magically fills your glass as soon as you sit down at the table and continues to do so for the rest of the night.  You will leave the patio for a few minutes to call your dad, and when you come back, there will be a full glass of wine waiting for you.  There is always some one who will bring you a jacket when you start to shiver even though it is nowhere near Chicago cold at this time of year.  The cigarette fairy visits occasionally, and tomorrow, the steak fairy is rumored to make an appearance.  In honor of my last night at the Candlebox we will be having a party on the patio.  Steak, red potatoes, salad, wine, fairies, friends, and who knows, maybe some karaoke.

People are good.  They are so good that it sometimes makes me cry.  I got back to my room, closed the door, and shed a couple of tears for the niceness (apparently that is a word) that exists in people.  I have been smiling since the day I arrived in Birmingham.  I laugh so much that my face hurts!

I got kissed on the forehead today.  You don’t realize how nice that gesture really is, unless of corse you are female.  Then you know all about it.