Sunday, April 06, 2014

spaghetti dinner recap

This weekend was a just whirlwind. An amazing, incredible whirlwind.

After weeks and endless hours of planning and organizing it was finally time for our third annual spaghetti dinner and without question my Jersey Girls outdid themselves.

Without question I have come major thank yous to send out. To everyone who donated items for the meal, Boston Pizza on Main West, OakRun Bakery, The Grannies, Poppa & Grandma, Lee's brother, Shawn and Robin's local bakery. The food was delicious, but of course it was because.....

My girl ML spent all day in a teeny kitchen cooking over 40lbs of pasta, 50 jars of sauce and 30lbs of meatballs. Not to mention tossing an entire case of romaine lettuce into salad. She also oversaw the buttering of 175 buns and the toasting of 248 pieces of garlic toast. She was the Kitchen Queen and she rocked the crap out of it with her crew of helpers Sherry, JJ, Terry, Dyllan & Sarah.. My gift to them for next year is the bigger kitchen and a more comfortable work environment.

Yes, the Jersey Girls are moving again!! For the second time in three years we are moving our event next door to a bigger space. And that is thanks to all of your support of our event. The date is already booked and planning discussions have already begun.

A huge thank you goes out to DJ extraordinaire Donny Lovering of Ruby Entertainment. Donny is a long time friend of the Jersey Girls who donated his time to us this Saturday to play some lovely dinner music. If you are ever in need of a DJ hiring Ruby Entertainment is never a decision you will regret. I promise. Donny is a professional with a capital P.

Big hugs and thanks to my serving girls Robin, Iona, Donna, Courtney and Nikki. The line of for food seemed never ending and they just kept serving it up as quickly as we could get it out to them. My gift to them for next year is a bigger serving space with not one, but two serving areas.

More hugs to my silent auction girls Auntie KK, HPH and TQ. Who worked their tails off setting up a beautiful silent auction table and then processed the lucky winners as quickly as they could. My gift to them next year is a larger space to really spread out their excellent items.

So many hugs and pats on the back to all of the kids, our Junior Jerseys who tackled just about any job we sent their way. They set up tables and chairs, papered and decorated the tables, cleared plates, ran food back and forth, served up desserts and a million other little things.

A little bit closer to home... I cannot thank my own two girls enough for putting up with a Mama who was distracted with very little free time for the past week (or more).

And then there was Michael. Somebody said once Mike and I make and excellent team and really there is no bigger compliment because I think we are an incredible team and in situations like these we kick ass! This time though Mike went above and beyond my wildest expectations. I could not have pulled this off without him. He sold a crazy amount of tickets, set up the layout of the room for maximum seating, did some announcing, loaded and unloaded our vehicle multiple times, and a gazillion more things. He is fantastic and I love him like crazy.

And now how did we do? I'm sure you're all wondering, well Saturday night we raised $3,137.25 for the Canadian Cancer Society!!! I still can't believe it. Amazeballs!

Lastly I thank all of you who were there to support our little fundraising dinner that keeps growing and growing. I'm already excited to plan next year! We've already had some fun discussions and I can't wait to see what they grow into. I wish I'd had more time to spend thanking all of you in person. I did manage a few moments here and there, but for those I missed please know I thank you from the very bottom of my heart. Warm hugs to all of you. I hope to see you all again next year!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

sunday randoms

Ugh, if I was that kind of person I would tell you about the many ways this weekend sucked it. Ways that even a giant rye and ginger couldn't help. Double ugh.

Instead though I will tell you about finally seeing Frozen with my best girl and all of our girls. The movie was great, the company more so. On a related note..... do you think I need footie jammies?

Or how on a whim I bought a dress off Zulily for a wedding we're going to. Abby approved the purchase. On a related note.... I'm taking fashion advice from an 11 year old.

Or how Abby and I snuggled in to watch Footloose this afternoon while she worked on signs for the spaghetti dinner. On a related note...... Kevin Bacon on Jimmy Fallon. How awesome is that?

And hey, how about Jimmy Fallon. He is killing it on the Tonight Show.

And now it's time for tea and Weeds (season six, yo!) and we'll hope for better days this week.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

just keepin' it real

Me: Will you always be my baby?
Maya: As long as I live I'll be your baby.
Me: Ok.
Maya: No matter how old I get I will always be your baby.
Me: I'm glad.
Maya: Wait..... I'll do it for twenty bucks!

Friday, March 21, 2014

world down syndrome day

Ricky didn't need much to make things right in his world.

He had General Hospital. He was a pretty serious Luke and Laura fan.

In addition, of course he had his Soap Opera, Star, and National Enquirer magazines. He couldn't read, but he'd pour over the pictures for hours.

There were the jigsaw puzzles. All neatly taped together at the back when he was finished so he could keep them.

He had his cowboy hats and boots. If the family had ever decided to pack up and move to a dude ranch he would have been in absolute heaven.

 There was grass to cut and wood to stack. He and my Grandpa actually took really good care of each other after my Grandma passed away.

He had all of us. Family was the tops. The absolute best thing ever. He was always up for a visit or even better an adventure. Or the absolute most best thing ever..... an adventure without his Dad hanging around.

Ricky loved two dollar bills and he loved going for coffee. Hey Son! He'd call to my Grandpa flashing his cash... not that he ever paid for coffee, mind you, but still. So every day he and Grandpa would head out for coffee and a stop by the grocery store to flirt with every cashier they came across.

I spent a lot of time today wondering how I could best commemorate World Down Syndrome Day and Ricky. You see here's the thing about Ricky..... living with Down Syndrome was one small piece of him... the most important part is that this family saw him grow into the very best version of himself. He is very much loved and dearly missed by all of us. So this is what I did...

Since two dollar bills went the way of the dinosaur I bought a handful of $2 TimCards and left them at our local Tims. I hope these cards bring a little of Ricky's sunshine to whoever finds them.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

it ain't bad

Today is international happiness day and do you know what one of the many things are that make me happy? Before bed conversations with MyPie.

Maya: Mom, what does two out of three mean?
Me: It means I asked you three questions and you got two of them right.... why?
Maya: I got six out of seven on my spelling test.

Happy international happiness day to all of you!

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Well this was a weekend full of lovely things and wonderful surprises. Much of it was spent with my butt glued to the chair in front of my laptop trying to get everything in place for the fundraisers I have coming up. Friday I was having a mini-panic attack about how it was all going to shake out, but I'm past that now. Thankfully.

I'm incredibly grateful for the amazingly generous people I've had the opportunity to meet and speak with while putting these events together. You just never know what kind of gifts will come your way.

I will admit to indulging in a little nap this afternoon. It's not something I usually do, but it appears I may be too old to be out drinking rye past midnight. Maybe. I should probably do some more research just to be sure.

The girls and I watched Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2. It was super cute. They spent Saturday night with Granny and watched it again with her. I guess that means it was a hit!

I also watched the Great Gatsby this weekend. Oh my. I loved it. So beautiful!  I should probably read the book now, right?

How was your weekend?

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

i used to read

Know what I miss about my former anxiety levels..... I know, you expect me to say nothing, but there is this one little thing. You see the worst time of the day for me was always the end of the day when I crawled into bed. Falling asleep was incredibly difficult because... oh the places my mind would take me. I'd replay conversations and social interactions torturing myself with how I'd screwed them up. And that was an easy night. On the worst ones I'd worry about something happening to my kids or my family. I'd imagine what my Dad's last moments were like. Those nights were probably the worst, the darkest ones. I'd never be able to tell what was going to be on the menu for any given evening.

My coping mechanism of choice was sleep deprivation. I do not recommend that it at all, by the way. I would stay up watching TV or putzing about on the internet until my head was nodding then I'd crawl into bed and crack a book and read until I fell asleep. Some nights it took one page, some nights it took multiple chapters.

These days I just go to bed. At semi-reasonable times even. No reading necessary. No more mind wandering torture sessions. I fall sleep in about ten minutes according to my handy fitbit one. Every now and then I have a bit of a.... well I guess it's a muscle memory sort of thing.... it's like my mind has to wander, but all of the anxiety thoughts are gone. So instead I start designing and decorating my dream house, but I've never actually gotten further than imagining the antique church pew I'd have in the foyer.

Here's the part I miss though... the reading in bed. I've had a book sitting on my beside table for months! Two books actually. The Game of Thrones, which I was trudging through one paragraph at a time. I thought maybe it was too heavy, so I switched to I Love You Beth Cooper and I think I got about 40 pages in before I started neglecting the heck out of it. I know the simple answer is to just go to bed a bit earlier, but it appears I'm unwilling to do that right now. It just feels so odd to me sometimes. The falling asleep in 10 minutes or less is so incredibly amazing though. Totally fair trade off.