Category Archives: JLG

Update: Happy December! (I’ve returned, with less-sprained fingers & a sulking puppy…)

Well! We have just returned home after two full weeks back home in NY. Our drive up was done in one shot, made bearable by the unexpectedly perfect behavior of our almost-5-month-old puppy and the fact that we had yet to listen to any episodes of Serial. All (at the time) 9 episodes, and many rounds of “whodunnit!?” later, we arrived in NY, and unpacked several suitcases, two bags of doggie items, and an XXL crate.

Ollie was not as enthralled by Serial as we were... But he was an ideal puppy car companion!
Ollie was not as enthralled by Serial as we were… But he was an ideal puppy car companion!

The trip was fantastic. Our post-Hurricane- Sandy home is still kitchen-less, so we celebrated our second Thanksgiving in a row in the East Village at our favorite Cuban restaurant. We were the only diners, aside from the restaurant owners and staff, and we all shared the small dining room to toast to friends, family, and feeling grateful.

One of many paella-and-Sangria-fueled Thanksgiving photos!
One of many paella-and-Sangria-fueled Thanksgiving photos!

 

The day before Thanksgiving, we took Ollie to the beach. He was startled by the ocean at first, but came to love it!
The day before Thanksgiving, we took Ollie to the beach. He was startled by the ocean at first, but came to love it!

The days that preceded and followed the holiday itself flew by. My partner’s visit was broken up by a 2 day business trip that took him to and from Minneapolis. Meanwhile, puppy and I stayed home so that he could play non-stop with my parents’ 3 dogs. A house filled with 4 dogs – ranging in age from 5 months to 10 years, and in size from 30 lbs to 90 lbs – is loud, chaotic, and cuddly. It requires a lot of dog treats, water bowls, paper towel, and patience. Walking 3 puppies at a time may lead to sprained fingers (I still can’t make a tight fist with my left hand…), but snuggling on the couch with 3 or 4 puppies at a time really is the loveliest.

Puppy chase!
Puppy chase!

 

Puppy snuggles!
Puppy snuggles!

The best part of our time in NY was getting to visit with family and friends for such a long time. Generally, we don’t have the opportunity to visit – and stay for 14 days. But once we moved so far away – and once we realized we were going to spend 20-hours driving roundtrip – we decided to make the most of the visit. We had brunches and dinners, we made quick visits for hugs and “see how big little baby has gotten,” and hosted long visits where “just stopping by” turned into “yes, I’ll have another Scotch and what do you have in the fridge?” And we got to spend lots of time with my parents and brother, working from home in my dad’s office, doing errands and holiday shopping, and just relaxing and enjoying NY during the holiday season.

The best visits include a piano and some singing...
The best visits include a piano and some singing…

 

One of the loveliest parts of NY in winter...
One of the loveliest parts of NY in winter…

Our ride home was split into two parts, with a last-minute overnight stop at Kuna and Pierre’s after traffic and pouring rain got the best of us.

Rain and traffic meant we got to visit with these cuties!
Rain and traffic meant we got to visit with these cuties!

Now, we’re back in North Carolina and Ollie is full-on sulking; he clearly misses his puppy-pack and is not thrilled about returning to life as an only child. I am terribly homesick, but am excited to be back on the blog and to get back to work. I’m also ready to plunge headfirst into the holiday season! Most of all, I’m looking forward to twinkling lights, delicious food, hot cocoa, chilled cocktails, Christmas music, reading end-of-year best-of lists, wearing sparkly clothes, getting cards with the faces of people I love on them, and wrapping presents (yep! I love to wrap them!).

What are you most excited about when it comes to the holiday season?!

A Break, but Not a Rest

If I’ve not posted recently, please be assured that it is not at all due to a lack of interest in this blog. The past few weeks have just been especially eventful, chaotic, and somewhat challenging, but overall, they’ve been good.

I had a shoulder biopsy (results: tests came back good; healing: slow); a massive allergic reaction to bug bites on my left foot which led to my foot swelling to twice its normal size (results: Halloween-esque, and I needed to use crutches for the first time as I could not stand on the foot; healing: today is my last day of antibiotics!); and being dive-bombed by hundreds of mosquitos a week later (results: more swelling, more Benedryl; healing: lengthy – I’m grateful that Fall has brought jeans and long sleeves).

But there was a lot of great stuff peppered in there, too! As always, it’s important to look through the challenges to find the positive. Even though I had to show up on crutches, wearing a high heel on my right foot and a man’s sock on my left (not the most lovely look), I had the pleasure of presenting at Prudential Finance’s Annual Finance Learning Exchange. This was my second year in a row presenting, and I was happy to have been asked back after last year’s lecture. Prudential asked me to create a new presentation on the topic of positive communication, and I had a terrific time during both days.

Due to my ER visit and medicine-overload, however, I was unable to stay at the conference hotel as planned, and instead stayed with my parents 90 minutes away in NY. Thanks to my incredibly kind and accommodating Mom, who changed all of her plans around, this meant a ladies’ road trip – 3 hours of driving each day, for 2 days – to and from New Jersey. Although I did not enjoy having to change icepacks every 30 minutes and I may have been a bit woozy due to meds, I had a rare and beautiful opportunity to spend two full days with my Mom, with no technological distractions or To Dos.

AND I was only attacked by giant swarms of mosquitos because I had the good fortune to be in Galveston, Texas for a weekend. While our post-rainstorm timing was good for sunny skies and warm weather, it did lead to swarms of determined mosquitos unlike any I’ve ever encountered! But it was great to see Galveston, and to also spend a few days in Houston.

So there you go. Every cloud, a lining; every bug bite, a chance to visit with my mom.

Now I’m armed with calamine lotion and my laptop, and am happy to be back home, back to work, and back at the blog. Hope your week is going well – and I look forward to posting again soon!