Some of my favorite moments of 2010…recapped here, in ‘moment-style’…

at this moment, surer than ever…

life, amplified.

the vacation of a lifetime. like whoa.

moving…again.

the best summer ever, hands down.

…turning a corner, and recovering, my little Nals.

prosseco on the beach. Um, yes.

Maine, Maine, Maine, Maine and Maine!

auntie throwdown…in style.

Tiago. Enough said.

sweating a weekend away.

honest, true, friendship. And some epic-ness.

simple, yet powerful.

bloggy friend meet-up!

BISC Vegas-style!

of pity parties and clarity.

...realizing I’m worth more.

one of the hardest things I’ve ever done.

until this.

I’m sure I’m missing many moments from 2010 that I’d rewind 100 times over because of what they stood for, what they’ve helped me become, and of course for the fun many of them entail. 2010…you’ve been one hell of a year, and if it’s been *that* good, I can’t even imagine how good 2011 is going to be. I’m belted in, and ready for the ride.

Bring it.


Is learning that being alone is okay.

That being independent is phenomenal.

That ultimately, I don’t *need* a man to be happy.

(so says she, now that she *has* a man.)

I know, that may be what some of you may be thinking. But truly, this year was a struggle with myself in terms of realizing that I need to release, let go, and it will happen (even though I *did* get sick of hearing this). And in the meantime, I can completely enjoy my life, for me, and nobody else.

And I did.

I think I met Doctor Boy at exactly the right time in my life, and in the year, because I firmly believe I needed to struggle through that in-between of wanting to be in a relationship and finding love, while also wanting to sustain my independence and life I’d built for myself. At the time I met Doctor Boy, I had finally released my mind from wanting to find love so badly and I think that really did help me. It helped me see the potential sitting in front of me, and in the time that had lapsed from my last quasi-relationship with CBE, I had my firm list of dealbreakers and dealmakers in mind, and knew that I wanted to keep my life as ‘mine’ as possible while also letting in love.

It’s still a struggle every single day, to be honest, in keeping the balance I want, while also releasing some of that routine that I don’t always need to keep and just enjoying the man – and the life – in front of me.

But I’m proud. Of how far I’ve come, in this second year post-marriage, learning to be “okay” with being alone and ultimately finding someone so special to share in the life I’ve built for myself. It’s been quite a year. And I won’t spend one day not realizing how blessed I am. I know it, appreciate it, and love it.

What are you most proud of this year?

~~
If you only knew what the future holds, after a hurricane comes a rainbow…maybe you’re reason why all the doors are closed, so you can open one that leads you to the perfect road…

…you need to bloom where you are planted (even if it’s not where you want to be planted all the time).

…you need to embrace contentment (and not just look around the corner for the next challenge, level, etc).

…you need to realize the good friendships vs. the toxic ones. embrace the good ones. tightly.

…that it’s the little things. like a phone call “to hear my voice” (swoon) or a skype chat with a bloggy bestie 🙂

…to take it one day at a time, not one week, or one month. stop ‘can’t wait-ing’ and just live.

…that differences of opinion aren’t always bad, they’re just a new way of thinking.

…that a picture of your niece can make the difference between a “meh” Monday and a better one.

…that the warmth in your heart – that overwhelming warmth – is love, love you haven’t felt in years.

…that prayer is powerful, as is faith, and if you can believe, you can conquer.

…that a good ab workout can make you feel taller.

…that silence isn’t always a bad thing.

and that getting through the day is sometimes ok, too, rather than loving it (since let’s face it, we can’t always have a good day, right?).

And that sometimes, just sometimes, life can feel pretty damn good, even with bumps and bruises along the way. It’s what makes us who we are, stronger, better, happier, more resilient and more appreciative of life’s blessings.

Sometimes. You just need to put pen to paper and see it. Believe it. Life’s good. Life’s very, very good.

After so many comments on my blog posts the last two days (here and here), and my own frustration over feeling misunderstood, and in a sense, judged, I thought I needed clarity.

But I don’t.

After sleeping on it, and realizing that a) everyone has an opinion and it may not be the same as mine and b) I am choosing happiness whenever I can, because it works for me (doesn’t mean it’ll work for you), and c) I’m blessed to have so many people actually reading and engaging in my blog.

It means much more than I ever thought possible.

So, thank you, for all of your comments, whether I agreed with them or not. They gave me food for thought, and even though I did feel the need to justify myself, in a sense, with parts of yesterday’s post, I stand by my view – happiness is a choice – for me.

~~

On the note of blogs, a few that made me beam today?

First, my sister Jen’s latest installment of her blog posts recapping her ordeal after my niece Isabel’s birth. It’s a touching read, and I feel so blessed and grateful that things are getting back to (a new) normal, and that I have been able to play a part in helping my sister recover and spend some invaluable time with my niece, who I love dearly.

Second, T’s post on ‘everyone deserves to feel beautiful AND worth it.” Amen to that, and it’s a beautiful poem.

Third, Use Your Words Mommy’s post that mentions my story as part of her inspiration that love IS out there again. Wow, I really never thought I’d be “that” person that others would look towards as an example that it can happen. Finding love. I was that person, looking for it, and seeing beautiful love stories (like Sunshine and CGB – congrats you two, two years strong!) helped me when I doubted it would happen for me.

And finally, Soccer Mom’s “award” which included me and Magnolia’s beautiful words, wow, just wow – thank you – you made my day!

Happiness is…

choosing it and realizing it.

I have written about this topic several times before, that happiness is a choice. And while I firmly agree that it is, there is a gray area, too.

The days where I let negative overcome the positive and frankly, it’s a miserable feeling that just doesn’t go away very easily, and can turn into a downward spiral. See, I’m not perfect, I have plenty of days where I can’t get out of my own [negative] way. But I think when you step back and realize that happiness surrounds you if you let it, then you can feel happy more often, or at least shake off the unhappiness a lot faster.

(thanks to Snarkbutt’s intriguing angle, and interesting dialogue going on in the comments of this post for prompting this post, in part).

So, happiness for me this weekend? Happiness is…

…Doctor Boy stealing a kiss as I write this post, (but promising not to look over my shoulder as I write this).

…Friendsgiving last night with some amazing friends (and some hilarious stories that are far too inappropriate for my kittens and rainbows blog, but let’s just say they will go down in the history books, along with 9 bottles of wine for about 6 people!).

…getting a run in today, even though it’s all of 40 degrees and feeling way better afterwards.

…a vanilla soy latte from Starbucks this afternoon. Yum, enough said.

…the smell of winter in the air and festivities to come for Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s (even though I hate winter…)

…buying the perfect pair of wedge boots with fur at the top that will look super cute with my new skinny jeans.

…an evening with Doctor Boy tonight, making dinner and relaxing. Much needed.

What do you think? Do you think happiness is a choice, that you have to sometimes realize it? I think it’s the right twist of the “happiness is a choice” mantra, because there are always gray areas (and days that just suck!).

It’s the first morning in awhile that I’ve had a chance to “do” my Saturday routine, which goes something like this: workout, make breakfast, clean my place, do laundry and grocery shop, and then catch up on blogs and DVR, as time permits 😉

It’s been a string of busy – but fun – weekends with Doctor Boy as well as with friends and family, so I am by far not complaining in the least, but it brings me back to a point I’ve blogged about before.

The balance between the “me” and the “us.”

I like to think of where I am right now is the “in-between.”

We aren’t at the point where it’s more “we” than “me” and “him” but we are completely comfortable spending time with each other where we aren’t go-go-go all the time, and there is still a healthy balance of family, friend and “me” time with a healthy dose of “us” time. I am glad we have come to this point together, and I haven’t compromised what I think I would be in danger of doing if I was with someone that I didn’t click so well with, or someone that I didn’t know exactly where I stand in his heart. If I were worried about him “losing interest” or something, I think I would be more tempted to just become the “yes woman” – someone I never want to be.

What else is different now than a few months ago when Doctor Boy and I first started dating?

I’m at the point that I enjoy every last minute with him even more than the last. And I’m at the point where it’s no longer necessary to “entertain” each other every minute we are together. We can co-exist and do our thing but together at the same time. I really dig that. The other night I needed to get some work done, but had planned to go to his place for dinner, and he happily set about making dinner (delicious chickpea soup and a shrimp stir-fry. Yum!) while I got things done. I really dig that too.

We’re entering a phase in our emerging relationship that I am really loving. We’re getting deeper and deeper into figuring out what makes each other tick (such as our inability to make a decision!), how we feel about each other (the love I see in his eyes, and mine in return is quite powerful. Even my dad – who’s not the most touchy-feely emotional guy in the world – said I had a glow about me when he met him last weekend), and goals we both have in our careers, lives, and things we see sharing together in the future (hello, vacation…Playa del Carmen, anyone?).

So, while I am thoroughly enjoying my “me” day today, and feel gloriously caught up on everything I hadn’t been before, it’s not something that throws me off balance as much as I feared, when we first started dating. It’s something I know I can have when I need it, and it’s something I can have with him around, too, which I think is very important, as we continue our relationship.

It’s just so interesting to me to see how things are unfolding so naturally with him. Every day I have a smile on my face. Every day I feel loved and cared for. And every day I feel those emotions growing more and more in me. Where the in-between grows smaller, naturally, and normally.

Because even though the “we”continues to grow and develop, it still means I can have the “me” and that’s the happy medium I strive for.

Balance. Happiness. Love. It can all co-exist.

I’ve been thinking all day about my post last night, with regard to my feelings for my ex-husband and feeling a little sad.

Maybe it’s because our relationship is (again) evolving.

I’m realistic to know that it will continue to evolve as we move further and further away from our marriage and our divorce, with less in common, less to talk about, less to *need* to talk about, and while I want him in my life in some capacity (if he’s also willing), it does take effort (from both parties) and it does take commitment from both to want to stay in touch.

I know I have the effort and willingness in me to keep in touch, and I want to, but I also wonder if that’s what he wants, or if it’ll eventually become forced.

I don’t want that.

We’ve come so far from where we began and from where the “we” ended to who “we” are now, that in my mind, it would be foolish to let that wane, for no good reason other than lack of time. With the holidays coming, there will be even less free time (not that I am complaining…I love how busy the holidays are, given much of it is social fun and family time!), but I hope we can continue to at least catch up here and there.

And then I start wondering if I am forcing it. And for what reason?

I care about him, but I most certainly am not in love with him.

I like getting together for dinner sometimes, even if it’s secretly because I miss some of what he used to cook (his meatloaf was out of this world, what can I say?!) and I *do* like hearing about his life, work, family etc.

I like giving him advice, if he needs it or wants it. Yet I don’t tend to ask him for advice (at least not in the man department!).

So, is it worth it?

I think it is. But I still wonder if he feels the same. About wanting to stay in touch. Time will tell.

I’m realistic in knowing our relationship is evolving.

And I’m okay with that. I just wonder if he sees it too (or even cares).

~~

I can say, without a shadow of a doubt, however, that I am thankful for having such a good relationship with him, even if it does wane here and there. And I am thankful that we haven’t *yet* lost touch after more than two years. I just know that as time passes, it will take effort for us to keep it that way, in some capacity.

An evolution.