I've been promising and promising a post recapping the last few months. I am hoping a whole bunch of you haven't lost hope in me with my lack of blogging, it's just been a whirlwind of things happening and blogging got pushed to the wayside, but I'm going to work on making sure I'm here at least weekly. I guess the last time I really updated was October, after the American Widow Project getaway even in Kennebunk, Maine so maybe we should start from there? I know I've briefly mentioned some of the things I'm going to talk about but I figured I'd go into a bit more detail because I've been lacking in really posting about any of these adventures.
October (the rest):
Went to BlogHer Writer's Conference. It was pretty awesome. I was both encouraged and discouraged, almost simultaneously, if that's even possible. I don't think it's a big secret I aspire to one day be a writer. Many people tell me now that I am a writer, considering I'm writer right now (a-duh) and I do write for the incredible DStripped, so I guess I'm part of the way there, but I really want to write a book one day - that kind of writer. I suppose the more accurate term would be "author." I felt this conference might help me see where to begin in my journey of becoming an author. And that it did. It helped prepare me for all that writing your own book entails. I met some really cool people, (finally got to meet Karie in real life) and learned all about the process of becoming an author. The reason I was discouraged... well, it's a lot more work than I anticipated. Now, that doesn't mean I'm not going to try. Anything worth having is worth working for, it was just a bit of a realty check. Possibly the realty check I needed to really get to work and put my all into my writing and possibly the realty check to make sure the timing is right before I really do that. So all in all, a great conference.
Z came with me to New York for the weekend of the conference and in off time from the conference we enjoyed site seeing and just hanging out in one of my favorite cities. He surprised me with tickets to go see Wicked on Broadway which was indescribably awesome. I'm pretty sure I had tears in my eyes the majority of the show because I was so awe-struck with the awesomeness that is Broadway and seeing one of my favorite plays. I got to meet a long-lost second cousin who was super cool and got to hang out in the city with her, a real New Yorker and have some family bonding. And we ate some real NY pizza. Mmmmm.
Definitely a wonderful weekend that I will not soon be forgetting.
Halloween was soon after we got back to NY and we celebrated it at my mom's house in Maryland. We chose to do a Wizard of Oz theme. I hand made the costumes, actually sewing when it came to Ariana's. Mine had one store bought part - the corset - but besides that I made the rest, even the crown. Z and I made his together. The night before Halloween Z and I had our "adult" Halloween night and went to a local bar where we had a blast. We even ended up winning Best Couple's Costume. The tin man and Galinda the good witch - quite the pair!
On actual Halloween night, we took A to trunk or treating at Ripkin Stadium. We figured this might be better for someone as young as her rather than walking through neighborhoods. It was certainly the right choice, as it was pretty chilly out, the cars were parked close together and by the time we were finished with the cars A was so over the whole thing. She did great though, she even finally started saying "Please" to the people instead of trick or treat - still working on that one. She didn't quite understand all that was going on, just that she and everyone else was dressed silly and she was getting yummy treats but we still had fun and we also met a lion and scarecrow to complete our Wizard of Oz crew while we were there! It was a super fun Halloween and I'm looking forward to next year's!
We headed back home to NC for a few weeks in November to just be home and chill out. I also had the Air Combat experience that I mentioned a while back. It was nice to be home and in our own space but I was sad to be away from my parents. I just had been having so much fun being in Maryland and I find the more I'm away from there, the more I want to go back.
My air combat experience was the definition of exhilarating. It ended up being 4 hours from the house (instead of the 2 I'd thought it was... should have looked it up) so a friend of mine came with me and Z stayed with A so she didn't have to endure another long car ride and waiting around while I flew a plane for an hour. Flying the plane... gosh, what can I say. It's so hard to describe but I certainly felt super alive. I won 3 out of the 6 dog fights in the sky, so I'd say it was a generally successful day. After the event we watched a video of the during and I couldn't believe what I'd just done. To read the whole story you should definitely check it out in the Fall/Winter edition of DStripped, as I wrote a complete recount of the experience for the mag! When I got home Z had dinner made and there was one little girl who was happy to see me. Definitely another awesome and memorable day.
Then in November, we decided to spend Thanksgiving in Wisconsin with Z's family. We stopped at my family's in Maryland first, spent the night and were on the road the next day. It took 16 hours to get there and I am still so very, very proud of my little girl. She did so well on the drive even with little sleep. Then when we got there, she went right to bed like a good girl. She's so awesome and such a good traveler (wow, I say awesome a lot. Maybe I should watch less Cake Boss!).
I had so much fun in Wisconsin. I really thought I was going to hate it, being the middle of America and all, but it was really nice and we had a blast. Z's family is just awesome and I really enjoyed getting to know them. We had a big Thanksgiving dinner at his mom's house with foods I helped make (pretty proud of that fact, I'm definitely learning my way around the kitchen these days!), we went to a concert to see his uncle's band play, had a themed family dinner at Z's uncles - South American theme, yum - we went to the Wisconsin Dell's and had so much fun on the indoor water parks, A loved to play in the kiddie area and was so cute. We also went and visited Z's horses. A loved petting them but was not so happy when we tried to set her on one. It's ok, she'll grow into horses! We did a million other things too, movie nights, family visiting, seeing the lights. A really cool dinner at an Inn themed in 40s style with little shareable food. I could go on and on about our Wisconsin trip. I really, really enjoyed myself. I definitely think we'll be visiting the middle of America at least a couple times a year, it's a pretty awesome place (there's that word again!)
Z and I at the neat themed restaurant, the Baker House - you got to pick out hats!
After that trip, we returned back to Maryland to begin December, but I will leave that for Part II, as not to overload one post with catching up!