Friday, December 28, 2012

What I learned in 2012

On New Years last year I made a pact with Brian that 2012 would be a year of making shit happen.
With this motto in mind and positive thoughts I pushed through and made 2012 a great year. Now I want to look back and share the things I learned in 2012.

January 2012.

I had made a list of needs. Things I felt I needed to a) get to work b) do more freelance design work  and c) accomplish some goals I had set for myself. In January of 2012 I bought myself a laptop. My G4 desktop had kicked the bucket and I wanted/needed to have a computer.
Most of January was cold, rainy, and we were sick and broke. Kind of a gray start to such a great year. 

February 2012
I had an idea to throw a local musicians swap meet/garage sale and the idea became reality in February of 2012. I learned that ideas are awesome when they manifest into something great for the scene. I won a Kindle fire off a survey I took for one of the advertisers on my blog. Hayden calls it "mommy's big phone." 
I also started to try some Healthy Eating. That didn't last long but at least I tried.

March 2012
March was a month of change. Some negative sources were eliminated in a big way. I kept my lips sealed about it for the sake of being "a better person" and tried to be positive about the whole thing. Looking back I'm so glad it happened. Negative people who cause drama in our lives are not welcomed in any form; friend or family and things have been great without them all. With that release of negativity came a windfall of positivity in our lives. It pretty much started with my 32nd birthday
I had an amazing 32nd birthday. It was a Quentin Tarrantino themed party. 

I learned that my band, my friends, and my husband loved the themed parties and trying to find costumes in the middle of March. I also learned that things were on the right track for us. 
Right before the show Hayden and I got sick. A little cold of sorts. I learned not to push myself too hard at shows when sick. That cold turned into walking pneumonia and I was out of commission for five whole days. 

April 2012
In April I learned that I had to keep my best foot forward and work on improving things constantly. Things were still rough for us financially, and only having one vehicle was taking it's toll. We got better after being ill for a while. Then tackled one of the big things on my bucket list of making a music video. We started the process with our friend/director Calvin and with the help of some more awesome friends who filled the rest of the shots to make it look like a good time. I learned that the music video process is longer than expected, and that I don't like to watch myself on video that much.

May 2012
We formed a secret band with the same exact band members to play the same exact songs with addition of a few covers for a friends birthday. We tried for weeks to come up with a cool name and ended up using the Rock Band name Hayden and Chris had come up with months prior; Penguin Throwup. I learned that dressing up as penguins and playing a show is a lot of fun. This was also the month that after about 8 months of working at it things were finally fixed in our marriage. 

June 2012

In June Hayden graduated from Kindergarten and started losing teeth. My band got a decent review in a local magazine.  I learned that the Lake Mead beaches aren't too bad. I also learned that if you work really hard to attain a goal, speak to your bosses to make a change for the better and prove yourself that it sometimes works out to your benefit.

July 2012
We celebrated the 4th of July, then Brian's Birthday, then Hayden's 6th birthday and then our 13th anniversary of meeting each other.

I learned I can handle all of this stuff. And then....I GOT A PROMOTION AND A RAISE which helped start the process of fixing our financial problems. For the record our "problems" weren't as bad as a lot of other peoples problems. We weren't hugely in debt, losing a home or out of work like most. We were just struggling with household bills, only having one vehicle when we really needed two, and picking ourselves up after some other issues. Our problems were an easier fix than most and with the promotion we were able to fix these issues quickly.

August 2012
In August we started recording our sixth album Amor Fati. I learned a lot about how different recording experiences can be from one guitar player, to one producer, to one studio, to the next. I also learned that I was not cursed with getting sick before recording any longer like I had been the last five recording experiences. We took a vacation at the end of August to visit Brian's family in Washington state. It was a hectic trip but we got to spend some quality time together in Portland that was nice. I learned that even in Washington, it can't rain all the time. Visiting the rose gardens in Portland was one of my favorite things we did this year.

September 2012
In September I learned that my approach of being direct is good in business. An unfortunate lesson was that sometimes people suffer silently when they should really reach out to those around them.
At the end of September I learned not to be scared of buying stuff on eBay. Like a car. I purchased a vehicle from an eBay motors auction and ended up getting an awesome deal for half of blue book value. I celebrated with a fancy manicure and white wine. Then we took a road trip to California to pick up the new car whom I think I will name Green Disco. On that trip we reconnected with our always amazing friends Heather and Steve, parents of Hayden's BFF Julian.

October 2012
We learned how amazing the Springs Preserve is. We learned that 1st grade homework is no joke. We celebrated our 13th anniversary together. We had a blast on Halloween.

November 2012
I learned that I valued the opportunity to vote more than I expected.
Hayden learned that snow tastes like ice.

We played some amazing shows and attended an amazing Deftones show.  We celebrated Hanksgiving with good friends. Hayden learned to mix foods to get great tastes like carrots and onion dip. He also won his first electric guitar from a great locally owned music store.

December 2012
This month has been a month of gratitude for such a great year. We celebrated an amazing Christmas together and reminded ourselves that our lives together are pretty amazing.

I really feel like I use the words amazing and awesome a lot. I'm not worried about it though cause I'm HAPPY and GRATEFUL for every little bit of this life I get to have.
This year we tackled some problems and knocked them right out of our lives.
We upgraded some material things, visited family, taught a lot of valuable lessons to our child, worked hard to push forward with progress in the band, and cultivated important friendships with valuable amazing people.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Christmas 2012 Redux

This Christmas has been the best yet. We had an amazing Christmas Eve dinner with our friends AJ, Chris, Dave, Rob, Claudia and her children Anthony and Vivian.
I love having a full house and doing my best at playing hostess to appease the part of me that wants to be domestic and another part of me that wishes for a bigger family. I got busy in the kitchen all day and didn't really get everything done that I had hoped to but everyone enjoyed the food and had fun for as far as I could tell.  I made a beef roast, ham, green bean casserole, mashed potatoes with cranberry sauce and Claudia brought over some amazing enchiladas. We ate, chatted, laughed and exchanged some gifts.

For the last month and a half Hayden had been counting down the days till Christmas. He would mark off the days on the calendar and remind us how many were left. This was the first year he was THAT excited. The so excited that he got super hyper around everyone and the so excited that he couldn't sleep on Christmas Eve. He's been singing all the time. Sometimes Christmas songs he's heard on movies, heard me practice in the shower and sometimes little songs he made himself.

At about 6:45am he came rushing into our room to use the bathroom. He came to cuddle with us and Brian asked if he had seen what Santa had brought yet and he said he hadn't. I was waking up slowly but hadn't opened my eyes yet when I heard his little feet run down the stairs. A few minutes later he came running back up. He whispered to Brian "DADDY, he brought me both the ninjas I asked for and a bunch of movies!"

We both got up and dressed and rushed down the stairs to revel in his excitement.

After presents and breakfast we spent the day watching new movies, building legos together, drawing on the chalkboard of Hayden's new desk, and enjoying every single minute of it.

I hope everyone had an amazing Christmas!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Monday, December 17, 2012

Weekend Redux: Heavy Hearts and Sick Boys

As most parents/people this weekend my heart was heavy with sadness for the victims in Newtown.
Hayden was home sick on Friday with Brian. We were all not feeling well.

We spent most this weekend bundled up appreciating each other.
Hayden's counting down the days to Christmas while Brian and I are finishing up our shopping.

Hayden had suggested I paint my toe nails green and red. So I did.

Both polishes were presents from Brian last Christmas. 

Hayden fell asleep cuddling with me on the couch last night after a day of costume changes and running around pretending to be Super Hayden.

I am so thankful for my little family and our time together. He's growing so fast I don't want to miss a thing.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Weekend Redux: Winter fun

On Friday Hayden received an award for perfect attendance. We also tried some of the positive reinforcement on Thursday for homework, and it worked. We're waiting on the results of his test to see how well.

Saturday was Brian's work holiday party. Every year they have it at the Red Rock's Penthouse suite. It's a beautiful place.
We got dressed up exceptionally nice, and then totally forgot to take pictures.
We had such a great time we just spaced it.

Yesterday we turned my cluttered office into a guest room. I cleaned out lots of junk and organized the crap outta the remaining things. It still needs a little more sprucing up with actual design involved, but that can wait since no one is coming to stay in there any time soon.

Brian got me a beautiful bouquet of roses just cause.

We had a wonderful weekend and we're getting ready for the holidays.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Grounding and Parenthood

On Monday I got a call from Hayden. He was in trouble at school for not doing his work and talking through a test. I explained how he needs to focus, get his work done, and be good.
We grounded him from video games and TV hoping that would show how serious it is that he's not doing his school work. The next morning he was sitting at the kitchen table with a dozen lego things he built and I asked him "What did you learn from yesterday?" He said "Having no TV and Video games is boring..."
We chatted a bit more about how important it is to do school work, and how he doesn't get to have the fun stuff if he doesn't do the work.

It's not just at school though. At home with the homework he throws fits, cries, and just plain doesn't want to do it. We've tried threats of taking away Angry Birds, no Christmas, and grounding to no avail.
It's been a couple months of off and on struggles with the homework.

Last night I was watching the recent episode of Parenthood and they had a scene where two moms were talking and one asked the other how she got her kid to do the work. She pulled out a huge thing of candy and said "We bribe."  She also said "As a parent you shouldn't feel guilty for doing what works."

My goal now is to try more of the positive reinforcement and bribing. I'm at my wits end with this struggle and I really don't know what else to do to get through to him.