Friday, November 30, 2012

30 Days of Thankful

Like many people I know, I decided to participate in the "30 Days of Thankful" on Facebook.  Each day in November, I looked forward to reading what everyone was thankful for in their lives.  And each day, I posted something that I was thankful for.  Some things were silly, like November 5th, when I had a particularly rough day and was simply thankful for chocolate, but other days were more significant and included my daughter, family, and friends.  Just for fun, I thought I'd compile a list of each of my posts here, so I could easily look back and be reminded of all the things in my life that I have to be thankful for.  Here goes...

Nov. 1-Today I am thankful for my sweet little girl, who can always make me smile, no matter how bad my day has been.

Nov. 2-Today I am thankful for a wonderful group of friends.

Nov. 3-Today I am thankful for my amazing mom and dad, and I'm so happy they booked their next cruise.   It's been a rough year and they deserve it!

Nov. 4-Today I am thankful for the technology that allows me to quickly and easily keep in touch with family and friends, both near and far.

Nov. 5-Today I am thankful for chocolate!

Nov. 6-Today I am thankful to live in a country where I can vote without fear of persecution, prosecution, and even death (in some countries).

Nov. 7-Today I am thankful for the wonderful nurses at Brynn's pediatrician's office.

Nov. 8-Today I am thankful to have found a great daycare/preschool for Brynn.  She loves it there, and the teachers are fantastic.

Nov. 9-Today I am thankful for second chances.

Nov. 10-Today I am thankful for modern medicine.

Nov. 11-Today, and every day, I am thankful for those who have served and continue to serve in our military.

Nov. 12-Today I am thankful for the job opportunity that came my way this past April.  The change has been amazing, and because of it, I have been able to renew a lost friendship.  I have also met and work with some great people.

Nov. 13-Today I am thankful for warm fuzzy socks and a big mug of chai tea.

Nov. 14-Today I am thankful for the morals and values instilled in me by my parents.

Nov. 15-Today I am thankful for good advice from trusted friends.

Nov. 16-Today I am thankful for quiet time.

Nov. 17-Today I am thankful for great neighbors.

Nov. 18-Today I am thankful for my 2 brothers.  While we may not talk all the time and don't see each other as often as I'd like, I hope they both know how proud I am of the amazing men they've become.  Love you, Gregg and Jonathan!

Nov. 19-Today I am thankful for my wonderful best friend, Kim, for way too many reasons to list.  I am truly blessed to have her in my life.

Nov. 20-Today I am thankful for my DVR.

Nov. 21-Today I am thankful for a 4 day weekend.

Nov. 22-Today I am thankful that I had a nice talk with my parents, even if I wasn't able to spend the day with them.  A big part of my heart will always be in Argyle.

Nov. 23-Today I am thankful for online shopping and free shipping.

Nov. 24-Today I am thankful that Brynn got to spend time with Aunt Dee Dee.

Nov. 25-Today I am thankful that I got lots done around the house before I started feeling yucky.

Nov. 26-Today I am thankful for leftovers and not having to cook dinner.

Nov. 27-Today I am thankful for karma.

Nov. 28-Today I am thankful for some really great co-workers.

Nov. 29-Today I am thankful for some much-needed time alone.

Nov. 30-Today I am thankful for all the little things that make me smile.

If you've gotten all the way through my boring list, thanks for reading.  It's been a while since I've written anything on my blog, and it feels good to write again, even if this was a pretty easy post.  Really going to try to get back into the habit of writing on a regular basis!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Golden Thread

One of my favorite places to shop is Golden Thread Needle Arts in East Rochester.  Andrea, the owner, is just wonderful.  What other shop can you take your 3 year old to and let her run?  What other shop owner sets your child up with a little tea party every time we're there, and even participates in said tea party while Mommy shops?  Any time I stop in without Brynn, Andrea asks about her.  I discovered this shop several years ago while searching for a specific color fabric and now visit on a fairly regular basis.  Andrea knows my taste in patterns and always points out anything new she's gotten in since my last visit.  Gotta love people like her! 

Thursday, October 4, 2012

38 at 38

Today is my 38th birthday, so I thought I'd make a list of 38 random things about me that people may or may not know. 
  1. I love having long hair, but I hate the time it takes to actually do something with it, so it's usually in a ponytail or a messy bun.
  2. I highly dislike politics.
  3. I am on medication for high blood pressure...thanks, Dad!
  4. I love mashed potatoes.
  5. Counted cross stitch and scrapbooking are my favorite hobbies, although I haven't done much scrapbooking in the past few years.  I have more supplies for both than I will ever be able to use in my lifetime.
  6. I love to make lists, any kind of lists.  Grocery, inventory, to-do....
  7. I still call Argyle "home," even though I haven't lived there since 1996.
  8. I can't remember the last time I slept through the night.
  9. I have 3 tattoos and want at least 2 more.  I want a Celtic Tree of Life and a ladybug.
  10. I would much rather text people than actually talk on the phone.
  11. I love flannel sheets.
  12. I love Coke, especially from McDonald's.
  13. I wish I was a better photographer.
  14. I am addicted to reality television.  And not just the game-show types.  I like ones like American Pickers, Flip Men, and Auction Hunters too.
  15. I cry over stupid commercials and TV shows.
  16. I hate being cold, but I dislike being hot even more.
  17. I take super-hot, extra-long showers.
  18. I am a huge procrastinator.
  19. I hate wearing shoes.
  20. I believe in psychic mediums.
  21. I am in the process of starting my own business, Personally Yours by Tasha.
  22. Target and Wegmans are my favorite stores.
  23. I don't go anywhere without my cell phone.
  24. I listen to talk radio all the time.
  25. I eat some kind of chocolate almost every day.
  26. I have to most amazing best friend, and even though we live over 400 miles apart, we talk (via text) pretty much every day.
  27. My toenails must be painted at all times, usually some bright, crazy color that I wouldn't dare wear on my fingernails.
  28. I wear contacts, and have for 20 years.  I'd love to have laser vision correction done, but I'm too chicken!
  29. I make a wish when I see that it's 11:11 on the clock.
  30. I can't watch scary movies.
  31. I love the sights and smells of fall.
  32. I need to lose about 25 pounds.
  33. Purple tulips are my favorite flowers.
  34. I wish I could bake like my Gramma Sibyl.
  35. I have a horrible singing voice, so I only sing in the car when I'm alone or when I'm with Brynn.
  36. I am a very disorganized person.
  37. The sound of someone grinding their teeth is equivalent to nails on a chalkboard to me.
  38. When I was younger, 38 seemed old.  Now that I'm 38, it doesn't seem so bad.  I am blessed with a wonderful daughter, a great family, and amazing friends.  I can't wait to see what this year has in store for me!

Me at 38, hair up (see #1)

Wednesday, October 3, 2012


When I'm at work, many of my conversations are one-sided.  Most of the people I work with on a daily basis are, for the most part, non-verbal or have limited conversational skills.  That's not to say that they don't communicate though!  Many of them have learned various ways of letting me know their desires or getting my attention (like banging on a desk every time I walk by so he can wave hello to me).  Several have some knowledge of sign language, some speak in one-word or short, familiar phrases, and some don't speak at all.  We manage to get through our days together just fine.

However, my conversations completely change once I pick Brynn up from pre-school.  How did I get such a chatty child?  Talk, talk, talk, talk,, chat, chat, chat,, talk, talk, talk, talk.  And there's always some singing in between the talking!  It amazes me how verbal Brynn has become and some of the language she uses...appropriately!  There's never a dull moment when she's around, and I never know what or whom we'll end up talking about.  All I know is that this child loves to talk, and the teacher and speech pathologist in me can't bear to tell her to be quiet! 

Here are a few of out recent conversations....

"Mama, can we get a kangaroo?"
"Why not?"
"Because they don't belong in the house and would make a mess."
"But Mama, they hop!"

Gotta love the logic behind that one!

"Mama, my tummy hurts."
"I'm sorry, Brynn."
"Don't be sorry, Mama.  You didn't do anything wrong."

She even loves to talk on the phone!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Out and About

I decided to keep Brynn home from pre-school today and spend the day doing fun things with her instead.  We started our day at the Rochester Museum and Science Center.  It was a really quiet morning there, which was great, because she could run around and explore without crashing into everyone.  And when I say run, I mean run!  This child does not know the meaning of the word walk.  It's no wonder she gains weight so slowly!!!  Anyways, the museum was nice.  She's been a few times before, but hadn't really gotten up the courage to really explore and try out new things.  Today, she stood on the earthquake simulator, rode on the submarine (which simulates going under Lake Ontario), and dug for fossils. 

Digging for fossils

Don't you just love the look?


After lunch, we made a quick stop at Nazareth to pay a surprise visit to Mana.  Brynn loves to visit her at work and draw pictures at her desk. 
Finally, it was off to lunch at Bill Gray's.  I love their cheeseburgers, and they have a mac & cheese kid's meal, so it's a win for both of us! 

I love being able to spend extra time with my favorite girl! 

On a side note, this makes 2 days in a row I've to a good start for the Ultimate Blog Challenge!  Let's see if I can keep this up for the entire month!  Also, doing something fun with Brynn was on my list of goals for my week off.  I try to do fun things with her every day, but for the week, I wanted to spend the day with her doing things we don't normally have time to do.  One thing checked off my list of goals!  I attempted to scrapbook yesterday afternoon, but I took one look at my craft room and decided it needed an overhaul, so instead of actually getting pages done, I cleaned and did some organizing instead.  Hopefully now I'll be able to find things a little easier and actually get something accomplished! 

Hope everyone has a great day!!!

Monday, October 1, 2012


I am on vacation this week.  Not a "go somewhere fun, sit on a beach" vacation, but just some time off from work and some much-needed mental recuperation.  Last week was a rough week, so this couldn't have come at a better time.  I don't generally go away on vacation, and I usually make a "to-do" list, things I'd like to get done while I'm home, and I've done a list again for this week. 

One of my goals is to blog every day.  Actually, one of my goals is to blog every day this month!  I joined a blog challenge, in hopes that it would keep me motivated and give me something to write about on days when my mind goes blank (which seems to happen quite frequently lately).  So far, so's Day #1 and here's my post!!! 

Here's a list of my goals for the week.  I'll post later in the week with an update as to how much I've actually crossed off my list.
  • clean the closet in the den
  • sort out the Christmas gifts I've already purchased and make a list of what I still need to buy (for those that don't know me very well, I like to have all my shopping done by Thanksgiving!)
  • scrapbook 10 complete layouts (I'm waaaaay behind!)
  • spend a day doing something fun with Brynn
  • steam clean the basement carpet
  • get my car inspected
  • frame 5 finished cross stitch pieces
  • set up facebook and etsy pages for my business (more to come on that later)
I'm off to tackle one of these items, just not sure which one yet!  Wish me luck!!!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Recent Projects

Cross stitch is my outlet, a source of relaxation.  I love starting new projects, which would account for the number of unfinished pieces I have.  I rarely make pieces for myself; most of them are for gifts.  Here are a few of the recent ones I’ve completed and given, using several of my favorite patterns.  I love the flexibility of these patterns.

made for my friend Wendy’s 4-year old son

for my friend Heather’s little boy

made for my friend Wendy’s 3-year old daughter

made for my friend Wendy’s new baby

for my friend Heather’s new little girl

for my friend Jeremy’s new baby

for Brynn's bedroom

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Farewell, my friend

It was just last week that D rolled into my office, crashing into the doorframe on the way, with a piece of paper on his lap.  “What’s that,” I had asked him.  His quick response…”It’s a picture of you.”  He held up the piece of paper, and this was the picture. 

That’s the kind of quick wit and humor that made D so lovable.  From the first day I met him in 2009, we had an instant connection.  Might have been the fact that we were both sarcastic and understood each other’s sense of humor.  Might have been the fact that he was always in a good mood and could always make people smile.  Whatever it was, right or wrong, he was one of my favorite people to work with.  When I was working at my first jobsite, he would drive himself (in his power wheelchair) into my office every morning and ask me when I was going to start working.  Never mind that I had been there since 7am and usually had 3 things going at the same time.  And every day, he would ask about my daughter, how she was doing, what new things she was doing, if I had any new pictures of her, and when I was going to bring her to visit.  I spent countless hours working with him in the small store in that building, helping him make change and wait on customers.  It was during those times that we had some of our best conversations. 
I transferred to a new jobsite in April, and D shortly followed me to that new site.  Ok, so he wasn’t really following me, but he was there due to some medical issues and some decline in physical abilities.  But he was the same old D, quite-witted, funny, and constantly harassing me.  His passing was unexpected and quite a shock, and I think it will take a while for the reality to set in.  I already miss him visiting my office, whacking me as I pass by, and telling me to get to work.  However, I am blessed to have gotten to know him and will never forget his smiling face.  Rest in peace, D, and know that you will be missed!

Monday, August 13, 2012

I miss.....

Recently, I've been missing some people, more than usual.  Living in a city where I have no family, or at least no blood relatives, is definitely not an easy thing.  There are days when I wish I could just hop in my car and have dinner with my mom and dad, or have a piece of my grandmother's pie, or spend time with my brothers.  The reality is, that's just not possible.  Yes, there are only 5 hours away, but everyone has busy lives and jobs and responsibilities that make visits fewer than I would like.  Trips home (yes, I still call it "home") have to be planned.  Most trips home revolve around a holiday, which is great for seeing everyone, but not so great for actually spending quality time with them, if that makes sense.  It's difficult to really talk to people when there are over 20 of us crammed into my grandmother's house, including several small children.  Don't get me wrong, I love these holiday get-togethers, I just wish there was more time for catching up.

Thinking about how much I've been missing my family has led me to think about other things I have also been missing...

I miss sleeping!  I can't remember the last night I slept well.

I miss scrapbooking and many of the people I used to do it with.  I definitely need to get back into this hobby and find people to scrap with.

I miss some of the families and kids I used to work with as a Special Education teacher.  Thankfully, technology and Facebook have allowed us to keep in touch and reconnect!

I miss being able to fit into some of the cute clothes in my closet.  I'm hoping this will happen again soon though (I've lost 29 pounds so far...).

I miss some of the people, both staff and clients, at my old work site.  While the switch in job sites I made in April was the best thing I could have ever done, there are definitely a few people I wish I could see on a regular basis.

I miss the care-free days of college.  Why was I in such a rush to be a grown-up???

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

GBE 2 Challenge-Hidden

This is definitely not the easiest topic for me to write about, as I tend to be a pretty private person.  In thinking about what to write, I have realized that I keep many things in my life hidden from almost everyone.  Political feelings, what's going on in certain relationships in my life, the full stories behind things that have happened, diagnoses I've received, personal struggles, just to name a few.  I don't talk to many people about personal things, simply because there aren't many people I'm that comfortable with.  I think that's one of the reasons that I've always liked to write.  Writing has always been an outlet for me, a means of "talking" to someone about everything. 

That being said, there is one person in my life who knows absolutely everything there is to know, who has been there for me through thick and thin, who I would trust with my life.  I have the most amazing best friend in the world!  When there's big news in my life, she's the first one I usually tell.  We've been friends since 7th grade, having met in the halls of our extremely small school, and we clicked from day one and were pretty much inseparable.  Even though she changed schools halfway through 10th grade, we remained close, often spending weekends at each other's house.  We played softball for opposing schools, meeting on the sidelines after games to talk.  We talked on the phone on a regular basis.  After graduation, I moved to Rochester for college and she left for Virgina.  At that time, e-mail wasn't readily available like it is today, so we relied on old-fashioned letter-writing.  I always looked forward to getting mail from her and hearing about what was going on in her life, so far away.

Today, 20 years after high school graduation (yes, 20 years!!!), we are still the best of friends.  Time and distance haven't done anything to our relationship, and today, I feel like we are closer than ever.  I am thankful to have her in my life!!!  

Thank you, Kim, for everything you do for me, for all the love and support you give me, and for accepting me for exactly who I am! 

Monday, July 30, 2012

Day at the Zoo

watching the rhinos

 We spent a great afternoon at the Seneca Park Zoo on Sunday, July 29th.  Brynn loves the animals, and she got to spend time with her cousins at the same time.  Kathy is here from the Netherlands with Mink and Nola, and the kids don't get to spend a lot of time together, so when they're here, we try to get them together as much as possible.  This was our first trip to the zoo since the new African exhibit opened this spring.  The lions were sleeping right up against the glass, so Brynn got a close-up view of them.  We got to see the rhinos, elephants, snakes (ewww!), and a bunch more animals.  I think the kids ended up having more fun wading in the stream than actually seeing the animals, but as long as they have a good time, that's all that matters!

Mink, Nola, and Brynn checking out a big lizard

lion sleeping right by the glass

on the statue outside the African exhibit

wading in the stream

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Today-All About Brynn

Age:  Turned 3 in May

Hair:  Blonde

Eyes:  Most days, hazel-ish

Height/Weight:  35", 25 lbs. 

Favorite Foods:  Pasta, strawberries, goldfish crackers.  This child could eat pasta for every meal, every day, if I let her!

Favorite Color:  Pink!  Everything must be pink lately!  One day, she even asked me if I thought the construction workers would paint the Bay Bridge pink. 

Favorite Movie:  Winnie the Pooh, with Tangled a very close second

Random Things:  Loves to draw and color, especially on a dry erase board while sitting at the coffee table.  Has an unbelievable memory.  Puts puzzles together so quickly, she's up to 48 pieces right now.  Likes to talk to everyone on the phone, especially all 3 sets of grandparents.  Loves to color in everyone's birthday and holiday cards before we mail them. 

This little girl makes my heart happy, so I just had to share a few tidbits about her :-)  Thanks for reading and allowing me to share!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012


So this is my first official completion of a GBE2 blog challenge, let’s see how this goes…

This week’s challenge…”Breathless.”

I wasn’t sure how to address this topic when I first saw it, but decided it would probably be easiest to hit on a few key things, rather than write a long diatribe about a single thing. 

  • My daughter saying “I so love you, Mommy” or “Mama, I love you really much.”  Side note…for some reason, instead of the word “very,” Brynn says “really.”  For the longest time, I wasn’t sure I would ever hear those words from a child of mine, so now, no matter how many times a day she says them, or how much she’s trying to use those words to get out of trouble, they still leave me breathless
  • Hearing my unborn child’s heartbeat, seeing her on the ultrasound, and hearing the very first cry of my newborn baby, and so many little things between that day and now…see above reason!
  • Getting a call in the middle of the afternoon and seeing my parent’s phone number on the caller ID in March.  My parent’s NEVER call in the middle of the day unless something is wrong, so that’s something that always makes me catch my breath.  Just hearing my dad’s voice on the other end of the line confirmed my initial thoughts that it wasn’t good news.  “Your mom’s in the hospital” was the news.  Just writing this now still brings me to tears, even though things are looking up.
  • A beautiful sunrise or sunset
  • Driving on icy roads in the winter…yes, I grew up in NY and have lived in the western part of the state for nearly 20 years, but I still don’t like the winter weather and will likely never get used to it.
  • Weddings…the beauty of a bride walking down the aisle and the pure joy on her face are priceless.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012


I want to write, really, I do!  Just seems like I never have the time.  As you can see, my best intentions of writing with the prompts from my 31 Things class hasn't gone so well.  Oh, I write my head!  I can't tell you the number of blog posts that have been started in my head.  Bits and pieces of my daily life, things about Brynn, things about work.  But all those bits and pieces seem to add up to a crazy life, with little to no time to sit at the computer and actually post.  A friend recently suggested that I join a daily blog challenge for the month of July (thanks for the suggestion, Amy!).  My reaction...ha!  How can I post daily when I can barely seem to post monthly?  Now that I think about it, I feel bad complaining about how little time I have to post, when this lady manages to juggle 2 children with special needs as well as write insightful posts every day. 

I'm going to try to be better about writing on a regular basis.  Right now, I'm going to shoot for 3 times a week.  We'll see how it goes....  In the meantime, I'm giving up the idea of using 31 Things as inspiration.  I think there are things in my daily life that will make for better posts, whether people actually read and/or comment or not.  At least writing will make me feel like I've accomplished something, and documented a little bit of my life for posterity sake.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

31 Things #1-Jewelry

I don't wear a lot of jewelry, but my opal necklace is one of my favorite pieces.  I wear it almost every day.  It's one of the few pieces that I own that goes with any outfit, whether I'm dressed up or in jeans.  At work, we are advised against wearing a lot of jewelry; there are times that behaviors occur, and jewelry, especially necklaces and hoop earrings, are the easiest to be grabbed and potentially broken.  Lucky for me, I haven't had that happen, and now that I've switched buildings at work, there are fewer chances of that happening.  

There are lots of superstitions surrounding opals and their wearing, here's some of what I found....

White Opals are unlucky unless worn by someone born in October or with diamonds. *Very unlucky in an engagement ring. *Will lose its shine if the owner dies. *Renders the wearer invisible. *Improves eyesight. *Will help blondes keep their hair color longer. *Will turn pale if in the presence of poison.

Wearing my opal necklace does not, to my knowledge, render me invisible, although that would be nice sometimes.  Good to know that it will help me keep my hair color longer.  And lucky for me, I was born in October, so I get to avoid the unlucky part...

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

31 Things

I just finished taking an online class called 31 Things.  And by taking the class, I mean that I read the daily e-mails I received from the instructor.  The class was through Big Picture Scrapbooking,and the premise was that you would receive a daily journaling prompt, which you could pair with an appropriate photo to make a scrapbook page.  I signed up for the class with good intentions, I even took pictures related to the first few day's prompts.  Did I do anything with the pictures?  Nope.  Did I complete any of the journaling?  On paper, nope.  In my head, I started many of them.  Now my intent is to use those journaling prompts as blog posts rather than scrapbook pages.  Who knows, they may eventually become part of a scrapbook, but not anytime in the near future.  So if it seems like I'm coming up with random blog topics, that's where they're coming from.  I'm not sure if I'll get through all 31 prompts, or if I'm even going to do them in their original order.  I just know that I've really missed writing lately, and I'm hoping this will get me back into it.  Time will tell....

Monday, June 18, 2012


Today, I am officially the mother of a preschooler.  Not quite sure how I feel about that little fact.  Part of me loves seeing how grown up Brynn is, and how much she has learned, and yet there's another part of me that wants to keep her little forever. 

This morning, I left her at a new school.  Well, kind of a new school.  It's the preschool building behind her daycare.  They have two separate buildings, one that's called the Infant building, and the one she's at now, the Preschool building.  A few weeks ago, her center director pulled my aside and asked what I thought about moving Brynn to the preschool building now, as opposed to September when the rest of her class moved over.  There was going to be an opening in the preschool, and they all thought that she would be ready for the move.  There were already several kids there that had been in her class before moving, so she wouldn't be thrown in with a whole new bunch of kids.  And Miss Sandy would be her teacher.  Miss Sandy worked at Brynn's very first daycare, and she was the first one I left Brynn with when I went back to work after my maternity leave.  She has always called Brynn "Thumbelina."

I've been preparing her for the past week for the big move, and she seemed really excited about it.  She talked about it all weekend.  This morning, as we were heading to school, she was full of questions.  "Will there be kids there?"  "Will there be books and toys?"  "Will they have food for me?"  "Can I go outside?"  She was thrilled to discover a new cubby waiting for her, and was happy to see an old friend, as well as Miss Sandy.  Brynn was a little shy at first...the school-age kids were still there and she wasn't sure what to think of them...but after they left, she decided it was going to be an okay place to be.  Miss Sandy helped her wave goodbye to me at the window, and the last thing I saw was her smiling face as I headed off to work.

I still wish with all my heart that I could stay home with her, but it's a very comforting feeling knowing that she gets to spend her days in a place she loves and with people who adore her!