"Watching the whole world wind around and round, I'll be coming home next year..."

So, being 12:54am, it is officially the last day of 2008.

Thank frickin' God!

It's been SUCH a year of ups and downs that now, with the last 23 hours of the year to go, I find myself almost dizzy from it all. I have come out on the other end of this year so changed, such a different person with different views of the world, I wonder if I am anything close to the person who started this year.

My most fun moment of 2008, without a doubt, was my sister Marla's wedding to Steve! I say that because I was too spazed out to truly let loose and have fun at my own wedding! Being the spectator at a wedding, instead of the main event, is WAY more fun! I imagine that the next time I will feel that way, I will be watching one of my own children get married! I am old enough to remember every moment of Marla's illness as a child, and to know how far she's come and how blessed she is to be here...seeing her get married was amazing! And after she got married, I got drunk off my butt and had a great time dancing and laughing all night!!

Of course, my own wedding was the happiest day of my life, if not the least stressful! Which is no shock- I am way to anal and bossy to have not been stressed out by my wedding! The whole day was a blur of flowers and tealights and many, many little kids in their finery! It's looking at the amazing pictures that Michelle Bottalico took that really let me reflect on the day- the day that Pete and I promised to give each other the best (and worst!) of ourselves. And poor Pete, he has seen enough of the worst in the first five months to last him a loooooong time- and it's just the start! But, I also know deep down that it's also the start of what I can only pray will be a lifetime of good. We drive each other in-SANE sometimes, and there could not be a better match for me! If I may wax romantic for a moment, and I swear this is not a lie, I knew there was something between us the moment I laid eyes on him, sitting at my desk at work at good ol' Archway! The moment we spoke, I knew we would be friends forever, and not long after that, that "I was unconditionally and irrevocably in love with him" (ahem. Twilight reference). He loves me for me and despite who I am sometimes, and I could not ask for more.

And by the way, I was scared to DEATH while I was being lifted in that chair! It was by far one of the more terrifying experiences in my life! I really was wishing I had not decided on a thousand pound wedding dress made of slippery satin right about then!

My wedding, of course, was also the day my circle of sister expanded from one to three. I could not have wished for better women to be surrounded by, both birth and in-law, and it has never been more apparent to me then this year. I have watched with awe as my sisters have lived their lives with more strength, grace, bravery and dignity then I have ever seen. And that's not to say that I also haven't watched them become addicted to their Blackberries, be the skinny girl in the naked dress, or run across the room to fart on someone. My sisters are human extraordinaire, and extraordinarily human- among the best humans I know and I am so lucky to have them.

But with joy and luck sometimes comes sorrow. The people I love fought alot of battles this year- Bob, Uncle George, and my dad all fought cancer, and while it was so scary, all three were able to beat it. My sister continues to struggle with lupus, and watching her feel so teribly hurts so much, although I know she will get through it. Even through the most frightening of times, the people I love have continued to show what their made of- tougher stuff then the scary!

Oh, but Greg. We lost Greg this year. At this time last year, it was all just starting. We knew he had a brain tumor, but he had survived one before- none of knew yet the extent of what has happening inside of him. Pete and I spent our last New Years Eve as single people with Shelly, Greg, and their beautiful girls, having a wonderful time and not hampered at all by Greg's eyepatch and slightly hampered gait. By the time our wedding came 7 months later, Greg had to use a walker to get around, and a few days more then three months after that, he was gone. In some ways, the aftermath of his passing has been worse then watching his illness- at least he was alive and with us somehow. It never occurs to you that the days with the people you love could be numbered, and that it could be your days without them that might be forever. And I know I have blogged endlessly about this- trying to make heads or tails of this horrible, horrible thing. I have come to the realization that it will never make any sense, and that all I can do is remember Greg forever, and keep my eye and my heart on Shelly and their girls.

So with 2009 just a few hours away, what do I want from this year? I won't even try to hope to understand the sad times that I will trip over, so matter how hard I try to stay on my feet. I think they just come to everyone, and as much as they scar you, you eventually learn to wear your battle wounds with pride. I hope that 2009 will bring Pete and I the blessings and beginnings of a family of our own, and the money to be able to afford it! I hope the people I love experience all of the joy and hope and promise that a new year has to offer.

Here's to 2009, and I wish anyone who might somehow stumble across this blog the most wonderful of New Years!

A Quick 7 Things

So, my friend and favorite Wednesday Dance Date Michelle made a list of her Top 7's! In the name of fun and procrastinating doing laundry, I thought I would play along! It's too gross outside to do anything but curl up on the couch anyway!

(drumroll please)

My 7 favorite actors/actresses:
1. Tom Hanks
2. Denzel Washington
3. Julia Roberts
4. Paul Newman
5. Laura Linney
6. Steve Carell
7. Jamie Pressly

My 7 favorite movies:
1. A League of Their Own
2. Remember the Titans
3. Slap Shot
4. The Muppets Take Manhattan
5. The South Park Movie
6. Princess Bride
7. Mystery, Alaska

My 7 favorite tv shows:
1. The Colbert Report
2. The Office
3. My Name is Earl
4. What Not To Wear
5. 30 Rock
6. Today Show
7. Pretty much any piece of crap show VH1 puts on!

My 7 favorite musicians:
1. Elton John
2. Sarah McLachlan
3. Tori Amos
4. Jackson 5
5. Foo Fighters
6. Barenaked Ladies
7. Live

My 7 favorite things to read: (oh, good Lord, this is tough!)
1. Anne of Green Gables series
2. The Stand
3. The Kite Runner
4. Magazines!
5. The Lovely Bones
6. Beat the Turtle Drum
7. Are You There Vodka, It's Me, Chelsea

My 7 favorite stores:
1. Wegmans
2. Target
3. Barnes and Noble
4. Old Navy
5. AC Moore/Michaels
6. The Container Store
7. Crate and Barrel

My 7 favorite flowers:
1. Roses
2. Freesia
3. Daisy
4. Tulips
5. Sunflowers
6. I don't know that they are called, but they grow on bushes in big clumps and have small blooms!
7. Dandilions (shut up, it's a flower I say!!)

My 7 favorite indulgences:
1. Sleeping in
2. Spending money on books
3. reading gossip magazines
4. Cheese-Its
5. watching TV that's bad for my brain (ie, Rock of Love Girls Charm School)
6. texting
7. drinking horribly fattening coffee drinks while chatting with Pete/Marla/a good friend

My 7 Goals for the Future:
1. spend more time with Pete/Marla/my amazing friend and family
2. get my stupid landlord to fix the electrical problem in the living room so I can...
3. buy living room furniture and paint!
4. go back to school
5. go back to music/ seeing friends/ hobbies/ volunteering and having a real life that makes me feel happy, healthy and worthwhile
6. have a baby and be a good mother
7. read more books, learn more things, see more places

"Who can say that I've been changed for the better..."

So I have done the dishes and cleaned our bathroom (which had become fully grody), so I feel justified in journaling! I have done my share!

Thankfully, tomorrow is Thursday and the week is drawing to a close! This has been one of those weeks where I feel like I MUST be on an episode of Punk'd and not really living my life! This morning, I got to work and there was NO HEAT! Ugh. I was not amused, although I remain truly thankful to the lovely young man who shuffled his schedule around to come fix the heater today (and what was wrong with it was SO stupid, even I was astounded)!

And it's not just me! My sister has one new home and zero working refrigerators! So she has a gorgeous new house that she can't keep perishable foods in! It's been a streak of not what I would call bad luck, just alot of random weirdness.

Weirdness is not what I need right now! The house that I work at is being renovated, and the near constant state of disaray has gotten to me! I know that must sound stupid, but imagine your office or wherever you work. Now imagine it filled with dust from drywall, the smell of wallpaper remover, paint, and other stuff floating through the air. Imagine all of the stuff from one room crammed into another, with the original stuff from that room shoved aside to make room, and that's to say nothing of the stuff piled in random places! There has been a near-constant din of banging, scraping, pounding, yelling, music, buzzsaws, etc. The things you put away one day are shoved someplace else the next. And, your office mates are tired and just plain off from all of the chaos!

I know I am totally just bitching and moaning, and I know for sure that it could be alot worse! But, either way, I am counting the days until next week when I have an extended vacation!

I know that I myself have been off lately. Part of the reason is that I have terrible insomnia- when the weather is up and down like this I don't sleep, don't ask me why! Until the weather settles, I'm awake! It's been a week of early mornings at work, and to top it all off I am back on Weight Watchers and trying hard this time to stay on the wagon and get in shape. Which also means trips to the gym! I am hoping that improving my outside a bit will do some subsequent repair work to my insides, which have seen better days!

There HAVE been a few pluses to this week so far though:

1. Anna asking me "Breezy, can we listen to Linkin Park?" Linkin Park? Is this kid serious??

2. Finding some awesome gifty buys at Crate and Barrel! I love that place!

3. Going into The Container Store and not spending any money!!!

4. A nice, long shopping excursion to Wegman's, and the fully stocked kitchen that trip yielded!

5. Even though it was not appropriate laughter, having fully hysterics of that story about the people with the kid named Aldolf Hitler, and his sister, JoyceLynn Aryan Nation!!!! Seriously?

6. Being able to go to bed knowing that my bathroom is clean!

Night all!

"Your windows, open wide, your innocence takes flight..."

It's a quiet, early morning for me, as I am at work but the chickadees are still asleep! It's one of those weird, usually warm December mornings that I can never decide if I like- sometimes, I feel like if it's supposed to be cold, then it should be cold. None of this random warmth!

So it's the Monday after what was a relatively busy weekend for me! It all started off Saturday with a birthday party for Thomas at the ever-lovely Chuck E Cheese! Thankfully, it was so insanely crowded and the kids all seemed to have a BLAST! I remember Thomas's arrival three years ago, bringing some much-needed testosterone to a brood of three girls! Of course, since then, there's been the addition of James! Much of the birthday brood was Baus kids- all five of them!

And even better...Eric is home! After a second long tour in Iraq serving as a major with the US Army, Eric is finally, thankfully, safe at home! It was so good to see him- we haven't seen Eric since Pete and I's engagement party in 2007! And since he'll be home for a while with his new assignment, we can all rest a little easier! It's such a weight on your heart to have a loved one fighting overseas, as so many thousands of people know. Having Eric home filled in a missing piece.

Of course, it was hard not to notice that not everyone was there- I found myself missing Greg even more. I look at my sister-in-law getting through the days and just continue to marvel at her and how she holds it together for their girls. But with Eric home, it's hard not to be flooded with selfishness and want everyone to be home. And Greg is never coming back.

Thankfully, I had a nice long car ride to cry it out after the party, since I went to Marla and Steve's NEW HOUSE!!!!!!!!!! It's just gorgeous and all new and shinny and full of potential! And so a few of Marla's favorite wine glasses got broken, and so the fridge does not work (I spent 2 hours on the phone with Sears trying to work that one out!). It was fun to think of all of the exciting things their new home holds for them! We already found an awesome place that delivers really yummy food, so that's one thing down!! I am looking forward to all of the fun times the house will bring, and can't wait until Pete and I have our own place!

We were all too tired and retarded to take some good pictures of the house, but for now, please enjoy this picture of the towel bird I made out of their new towels! I felt like practicing some of the skills I acquired on our honeymoon!

"Today is the greatest day I've ever known..."

Tonight, my husband went out into the rain to bring his cranky, miserable wife Chinese food, and then went again into the rain to get her Ben 'n Jerry's(no not pregnant. PMSing.)! Then he sat through a rerun of The Colbert Report, even though it annoys him, because it's his cranky wife's favorite show (it was really funny!)! He was even nice to her cat, and he seemed to be happy to be doing all of it!

Some junk food, some belly laughs from Colbert, and a husband who shared it all with me.

Yay Thursday!

Please enjoy this clip from said episode of The Colbert Report:

"And I hate, and I hate...the way I'm left here silent..."


It's so nice to be on my couch futon, with my cat next to me, and gossip TV on the tube! The only thing missing is Pete, which would make it perfect, but he's out making a living!

Today was a fairly pleasant day! Anna and I were able to escape the noise of the house being renovated to meet with my sister and have lunch! Marla's longtime friend Sean joined us, so Anna had a new cute boy to flirt with and was in her glory! Lately, Anna has been into cars, so this exchange went down:

Brie: Oh, Anna, Sean drives an Audi!

Anna: Oh, I love Audi's! They go ZOOM!


But a Porsche goes faster!

Good Lord, can you believe this kid? She is something else! She keeps me on my toes for sure!!

But, for now, my toes are snug in their Uggs and my cat is curled up next to me! I've always joked that I am not good at being alone with my thoughts, and with Pete at work and nobody to talk to, my mind has been running lately! Yay for technology that brought us blogs to babble on (although my pity to anyone who dares to try and make their way through this tedium!).

One thing running through my thoughts is what a BIG GIANT HEIFER I have become! I have gained 50 pounds since I graduated high school in 1995...and that is all without the benefit of children, or even maybe one of those phantom twins that people find growing in their colons or whatever. And the past few months have been the worst- I have let my emotions eat me into oblivion! I went from someone who was always a size 2 to someone who gained enough weight to look healthy instead of skinny. And then sometime after that...it just got out of control! My size 8 clothes are pretty much cutting off the flow of blood to my brain at this point!! UGH!!

So many things have happened this year, so many changes, both good and horribly bad. Now that 2008 is coming to a close, I want to come out of it with something positive on my side. I finally realize that I can't control the things that happen to other people, no matter how much I want to. But I can control me and make sure that I am happy, healthy, in control of my life and my happiness and my future.

And I know this is a tall order- let's face it, my follow through has a terrible track record. But I really, really want to make a difference, and for once, I really want to make it for myself! And for once, I hope this is not just the fleeting wish of someone alone with her thoughts.

"Everybody look around, 'cause there's a reason to rejoice you see..."

So I am feeling a little less bleakly introspective then I was yesterday- must have been that second helping of Edward Cullen I got last night with Wynne and Michelle!

Now I am feeling more cold then cranky- the heat at the girls house is not working well, so us little chickens are freezing our wings off here! I am forgoing my usual regimented schedule to let the gals sit on the couch under blankets and watch TV! Besides, the house is still being remodeled, so the banging and other noise is turning me into a very lax nanny! I think that maybe tomorrow I will whisk the chickadees away to my house!

I did get a couple pieces of good news today! The first is that my sister Marla and her husband Steve will be able to make settlement on their new house this weekend even though they have not sold/rented out their condo yet! It was really getting down to the wire, but some good advice from their mortgage advisor helped them get everything settled! They were really afraid they might lose the house!

The second piece of good news is that my cousin-in-law Jen, her husband Eric, and their brood of 5 kids (Gabby, Kay, Dani, Thomas, and James) will be moving from the very far away Kentucky to the much closer Rhode Island! Eric, who is an Army Major and recently came home from his second stint in Iraq, was given the chance to earn his Masters degree at a military school. Only a handful of other soldiers in the country were given this chance, so we're all really proud of Eric and excited for him!

So, there should be one more piece of good news on the horizon, since things come in three's! Here's hoping!

"I'll get it all figured out when I'm out from under..."

Ahhhhh...and entire day off!

Working two jobs, I don't often get to enjoy an entire day off! Usually, the closest I get is working a half shift, but on this lovely Sunday, I have an entire day to myself!

Sadly, it really IS entirely too myself, since Pete is working today! Luckily, I have a date tonight with Wynne, Michelle, and Edward....sigh! I sucked the girls into the world of "Twilight" so tonight we'll be taking in the hotness that is Edward Cullen! Mmmm....Edward!

The past week or so has been busy, filled with work, shopping, and holiday fun! Thanksgiving was busy, but alot of fun! Usually, Pete and I spend all of Thanksgiving with my parents- since I'm Jewish and he's Catholic, it makes dividing up the holidays easy-peasy, as my parents get Thanksgiving and his get Christmas! This year, we did dinner with my parents and desert with Pete's. My family dinner was small, it was juts my mother and father, Marla and Steve, and Pete and I. My Mom-mom was supposed to come too but she wasn't feeling well. :-( We had a good time stuffing our faces, then it was off to dessert at Pete's parents, where your pie comes with a side of kids running all over the place!

Thanksgiving was not without it's trickiness, as it also would have been Greg's 37th birthday. Really. It kind of seemed like a cruel joke, but there was a part of me that thought the twisted side of Greg would have thought it was kind of funny. The rest of us though, could not help but be sad thinking about it. Shel and his gals had a little birthday celebration for him, so he's still with us in some kind of way. This time of year is a hard time to be missing anyone though. Hopefully, he knows just how much he is in our hearts.

There was alot of joy Thanksgiving weekend for my family as we all gathered to see my beautiful cousin Samantha marry her longtime boyfriend Josh! She looked soooooo amazing, her dress was absolute perfection eclipsed only by her face, which looked soooooo happy! And while the dynamic of my sometimes...uh...interesting family made for alot of fun, the wedding was awesome and we had such a good time! I especially enjoyed talking with my cousin Leah, who is 15 and just a spectacular kid! Be on the lookout for her!

I am trying to hold on to the lightness of things like Sami's wedding and Edward Cullen- sometimes it is so easy to let myself sink. I have been feeling like I am clinging to the edge of a river, and the people I love are being swept away. I can't swim well enough to save them, and I don't even have anything I can throw out to help save them. And yeah, I'm "okay" since I'm at the river's edge, but I feel bad for being safe, and also like I could be the next one in.

Uh, I don't even know what I'm saying, really. I think it's time to stop blogging, since I am not even sure how I went off on this tangent.