2012 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 5,300 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 9 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.

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2012 in review

Today is my last day of work for 2012 – it is also the last day I will probably blog for 2012 because I start Christmas Vacation and my calendar is filled with family, friends and laser eye surgery.  I mean I could try blogging blind for the day I have my surgery – but that could be incriminating!

As I’m reflecting over this year and as much as the last few months have been emotionally trying both professionally and personally, I am glad this year happened.  I started this year thinking I would never be able to move past my relationship from GBF.  One wedding in the DR a month later and I was quickly falling head over heels with someone else and feeling completely released from my relationships from years past. 

Falling in love is such an amazing feeling and I have to admit I am in love with falling in love, but none of the guys I had dated in between GBF and MiMo could get me to feel anything further than friendship and admiration.  MiMo changed that and as much as it hurts that we didn’t work out, he did change my life – and my year!  So 2012 is over and I am hopeful that with the new year comes new opportunities to meet people.

I have spent some time with amazing friends and family!  Between the DR trip with K and family, Zumba with my sister-in-law and my NK nights, I couldn’t have asked for a more fulfilled year in the friendship department.  I have also become extremely close to my gf at work A and have spent plenty of hours crying on her shoulder and laughing along with her at numerous activities throughout the year.

Work has been – well work.  I truly am blessed because I LOVE my job, I love working for the City I love, serving clients who need my help and seeing them reach goals set.  There have been times where I wanted to pull my hair out and kick and scream, but that had nothing to do with my job or the clients – that was an internal struggle and I have adjusted to that and moved on fairly unscathed.   I look forward to meeting new clients in 2013 and being given new opportunities to prove my worth in this field!

Finally, on a family note – my dad went through the whole year with no major catastrophes.  His heart behaved, the diabetes didn’t give him any more trouble then usual and I was able to get through all of 2012 without constant worry for him.  My father is my world (as I think most people know) and having him in it is my number 1 priority.  

I also have been able to work – lightly – on a new relationship with my mother.  There were a lot of years of hurt there to make up for, but since her husband passed away in March 2012 (may he R.I.P) I feel like I have my mom back.  We may have lost years as mother/daughter, but maybe we gain years as friends – as equals.  As partners in crime.  I look forward to our Vegas trip with my aunt G in April 2013.  Life with my parents is looking up.  I have not said that in YEARS!

My wish for my readers, friends and family for 2013 is for you all to have your greatest wish come true.  I hope you are able to find (or stay in) love, health and happiness.

XOXO Nikilee

White girl can’t tan

At least this white girl can’t. I mean seriously – did I not learn my lesson from O.A.C when I put vaseline on my shoulders and got second degree burns and ended up passing out?  Or maybe when I put tanning oil on my legs and arms when I was 24 and sat outside and swam all day and couldn’t stand for 24 hours because I kept fainting from the pain I was in?

Nope – I didn’t learn my lesson.  I am fair-skinned, but I crave the sun, I crave heat like no ones business.  When GBF and I decided to take our first trip to the Caribbean in 2007 I thought I would play it safe – I went to a tanning salon to get a base so my poor white skin wouldn’t go crispy from the hot Caribbean sun!  I lasted three minutes and then ended up with heat rash so bad I thought I would scratch my skin off before I even got on the plane. 

I have played it very sun safe ever since.  I lather myself with SPF 60 a million times a day while in the Caribbean and I make sure I have a sun hat to protect my head.  In fact I have been to the Caribbean four times and I have never come back with a burn (or even a tan for that matter). 

This year I am going to Cuba with K and family and I am super excited to just spend a week relaxing since my last Caribbean trip didn’t quite go as planned.  I have decided I want a tan.  I mean normal people get to tan.  K is a bronzed beauty when she comes back and I want to be golden too! 

K told me about Tropical Rayz in Markham, ON. where they have a bed that shouldn’t do too much damage to my heat rash prone body.  When I went there I explained my situation and they placed me in the bed that said would do the least amount of damage.  First tanning time – 7 minutes.  No rash!  WOOHOO!

Second tanning time – 8 minutes.  I am burnt on my back and chest!  UGH!  Here I go again!  I am giving my body a short break from the tanning and will return on Wednesday.  I talked to K about it and she told me I am in the wrong bed and gave me the instructions to tell the salon when I go back. 

I will try, but I am very frustrated that it doesn’t seem like I will ever be golden 😦

Keep in touch and I will keep you updated on my tanning disaster success!

XOXO Nikilee

Oh to be a nomad

When I was in University I used to talk to GBF quite regularly as he was honestly and truly my best friend. He used to talk about how he wanted to move to Virginia, find work and raise a family and we would discuss the complications of this plan at length.  He promised he wouldn’t forget about me, so I never tried to talk him out of it!

Fast forward ten years and he (and I) are both still living in Toronto – not what either of us had really pictured.

I think I knew at some point I would end up back in Toronto to take care of my father, but in reality, I didn’t think he would live this long either. I am grateful he has, please don’t get me wrong, but seriously he has A LOT of health problems.  I had hoped that when I moved back, it would be AFTER I had lived somewhere else, travelled extensively and lived a crazy whirl wind life!

When I went to teachers college, I did have it in the back of mind that by going to school in Buffalo NY, I would also have my NY state teaching certificate which would allow me to teach in any of the 50 states in the U.S.A. Secretly I knew that if GBF was going to go to the States – so was I! Of course at this point we were dating so I wasn’t stalking him I swear!

I have thought again recently about moving, about travelling more, about a lot of things I can’t currently do because I am taking care of my father and I will not leave him for more than a week at a time to travel – which limits me, but I know one day I will be able to do as I please.

I think about moving to a different place, BC? Edmonton? Montreal? My problem is I don’t have any huge desire to move to these places, I would want to move to the U.S, but that is not easy. There are immigration problems; VISA’s to deal with and of course – finding a job. I am a case worker for Social Services. This is not an easy job to transition out of into a new field. My teaching certificate means nothing to them now as it was over 5 years ago I graduated and have no experience to show for it.

I was reading a fellow bloggers blog today and she has announced she is moving her family to Florida from Ohio. I love how American’s seem to be able to pick up and leave the State with no major concerns that we have. I wish we had those options. I mean if I had to choose between BC and Ontario, there isn’t much difference weather wise or opportunity wise, but Ohio and Florida, it’s like night and day!!! I see a lot of reality tv stars go from one state to another, back and forth and it’s not an issue. I guess it wouldn’t really be if I moved to BC either, but it frustrates me that I can’t do the same in the states!

I don’t know how much is really left for me here. I have a job that I can’t leave unless an AMAZING opportunity arrived, I have great friends that I would miss, but would come to visit and vice versa and an extremely small family. Yep I think I would be okay with moving. I think I would be very okay with moving. I guess time will only tell, I wish I knew some immigration officers in America !  I wish I could find a new job somewhere else that would tempt me to give up my amazing job now.

XOXO Nikilee

Glasses no more

Sitting in my grade 9 History classroom at Cedarbrae CI I am in the third row and squinting.  I have no idea what I am squinting at, it could be about Canada, a war, the Nazi’s, I don’t remember.  However I remember squinting.  My teacher has caught me and he looks perplexed.  He asks me to change seats with another student in the front row! 

The front row!  WTF!?  The front row is for nerds or people with no friends, I have friends!  I have lots of friends.  I wanted to scream at him and have my friends rally around me, but as a student with a vast amount of respect for teachers, I silently grabbed my things, forcing the tears to stay where they belonged and changed seats with someone whose name I can’t remember.  (I really wish I could by the way because since being forced into the front row I realized that people who sit in the front row sit there because A) they had no choice or B) they want to focus on actual learning and not the gossip of whose dating whom that I indulged in.

As I got to the front row, I could see what was clearly written on the black board and began to take notes, only squinting once in a while if the chalk got light in an area.  I took all my notes and at the end of class Mr. E asked me to stay behind.  I thought I was in trouble for talking – or sulking about being moved to the front row, but no, he wrote something on the board and asked me to go to my original seat and read what he wrote.  Squinting till my eyes were almost closed I couldn’t tell.  He asked me to move to the front row and I was able to make out what he wrote.  “you need glasses”

GLASSES!!!!

No way, that was SO not going to happen!  I was popular and had worked all summer at getting thin so I would be hot and now some old man who taught history wanted to undo all of that by making me throw on a pair of nerdy glasses!  NOT. A CHANCE. ( As much as I respected teachers, I was also a spoiled brat)

I went another two weeks of being forced to the front row by English and Math teachers and of course Mr. E made the front row my permanent seat.  I knew I was going to have to do something, I was getting headaches from squinting so much.

Finally Mr. E sent a note home to my dad about my problem.  I had to get it signed (and my brother was NOT someone I could ask for a forgery, useless he was).  My dad booked me an appointment at his optometrist and I saw Dr Lorenz the following week.  I needed glasses.  My world was over.  My dad took me and my prescription to the eye-glass place in the same plaza and when I walked in, prepared to be a nerd forever, I saw the most beautiful pair of glasses I had ever seen!  They were rimless and rectangle in shape!  I was in love!  My dad gave the frames and my prescription to the sales lady and I was able to get them a few days later!

When I showed up in History class that first day with my new glasses, I went to MY seat in the third row with my friends and Mr. E asked me why I was sitting there.  I pulled out my glasses, smiled and told him it was where I belonged.  He smiled back and said “by all means Ms. M, sit where you’d like”.

Having glasses didn’t change my popularity, it didn’t make me an outcast but it DID help me see and do much better work! 

I have had glasses since I was 15 years old.  I will be 32 in 4.5 weeks.  That’s a long time.  I have gotten so used to my glasses it feels unnatural NOT to wear glasses.  But I also know that now, I don’t have to wear them, I have a choice.  I have made my choice.

After Christmas, on December 27th 2012, I am having Lasik Surgery.  I will hopefully never have to wear glasses again.  As much as I love them, I miss my face, I miss my face without glasses and I really want to wear cool sunglasses while driving.  I have never done contacts because poking myself in the eye seems like torture, but glasses don’t allow me much freedom!

I am looking forward to finish being 31 without glasses.  From 32 on, I will be glasses free.  It will be foreign to me.  I am more nervous about NOT having glasses then I ever was about wearing them.  It’s amazing what maturity and experience will do to a person’s mindset!

Have a great Tuesday all!

XOXO Nikilee

Sometimes I feel like I’m going a tad bit nuts

Last week was a week full of – exciting adventures??  No, sadly, I do not consider driving from one end of Toronto *old Scarborough* to the other end of Toronto *old Etobicoke* an exciting adventure.  More like a sick form of torture.  Do you know what’s even worse?  Doing that drive during both morning and evening rush hour in the rain.  Yep this was my week last week!

But last week was my first week back to WW and I had to behave.  I did – okay.  Not great, not terrible.  I ate lunch mostly that I had packed (one day I left it on my couch and got a bagel from Tim Horton’s). 

When I went to weigh in on Saturday I was apprehensive.  My fear of failure was pounding through my veins, threatening to explode if the scale didn’t show a loss.  But I did lose.  I lost 1.6 pounds.  This number I am okay with.  I am not happy, I am not disappointed.  I am just okay. 

However this week also started the improved 360 plan which is points plus with some new books and tools for members.  I bought the new kit which included measuring cups, a measuring tape and the new dining out guide which is great because it included the Keg and Pita Pit!  This book is coming in handy already!

I had GBF take my measurements yesterday and while I was sickened and unimpressed, I just kept repeating “Niki you CAN do this”.  I know I can get those numbers down, to be lower than they are now.  It makes me nauseous knowing the numbers but I am using them as motivators to keep me on track! 

Speaking of track – I got the new 3 month tracker, and come hell or high water, I will track!  I KNOW it is the number 1 thing that leads to successful weight loss.  So far I have tracked Saturday, Sunday and today.  Oh that reminds me, I have to add my little 2 pt chocolate I ate after lunch! SO WORTH EVERY POINT!

Have a great week blogging friends.

XOXO Nikilee

Weight Watchers – you can go home again

So I have talked and thought a lot about Weight Watchers lately and how happy and satisfied I was while on program.  On Saturday morning me and T got our butts out of bed (our slightly larger butts mind you) and made the 20 minute trek out to Ajax where we re-joined our old meeting. 

It’s always great to see the friendly smiles from the receptionist ladies and our leader at our branch (main reason we continue travelling so far) because they ARE our motivation.  Knowing we have to see them or get teased (all in good fun) is a good reason to get out of bed early on a Saturday morning.

We got there and it was huge smiles and “welcome back” all around!  I weighed in first and the scale broke.  No really, it didn’t, but I was pretty sure it would have cussed me out and punched me in the face if it was able to.  When I stopped weight watchers earlier this year I was down approx 25 pds from my start weight.  I am now down 3 pds from my start weight in October 2010.  I know that’s not bad, I mean an original loss is better than a gain – but a 20 pd gain in less than a year hurts.  BIG TIME

I will not discuss my sister’s weight loss or gain on here because really it’s private and if she wants to share, she can start her own blog!

I wanted to cry, I wanted to scream, I wanted to point at people and blame them!  But really, only one person is to blame and that is me.  I eat when lonely and stressed and just because some people contributed to that feeling doesn’t mean they should be to blame.  I could have easily went out and seeked therapy from friends and family, but instead I stayed inside and watched tv while stuffing my face with chocolate and large portions of unhealthy food.    Nope, I need to pull up my big girl pants and face reality that I AM MY OWN WORST ENEMY. 

I need to stop over thinking things that are not in my control:

1. My feelings about my ex moving on 2. Work situations 3. Living at home

These things are things that are going on and happening whether I like it or not so I might as well get living.

I am claiming back my happiness this week.  WW will be a huge contributor to that.  I am not sure what else will be, but WW is a great start!  I will keep you all updated on my progress!

XOXO Nikilee