Monday, December 31, 2012

2012 in review

Every year, I like to go through and summarize the events of the last year. It is interesting to see what we retain, what events were the most important.

January – I told ExH that I had retained a lawyer and would be filing for divorce through her. He did not take that well, but did calm down a few days later.

February – the petition to divorce was officially filed. The rest of the month was spent negotiating everything with ExH.

March -  ExH and I filed the final agreement of our divorce, division of assets, custody of Rit, financial, etc. I also met two friends who would later become incredibly close friends of mine, and be two people who would really help me recover from the divorce, whether they know it or not.
I also had my first party as a single lady: St. Patrick’s Day. Everyone had a great time and told me that they were excited for the next party.

April – We have our first semi-annual Castleteers event of the year. I can truly pinpoint this event as the turning point for me in recovery of my divorce.

May – The divorce is final! I also had a birthday/divorce party at the end of the month.

June – The Kentucky Renaissance Festival opened and we had our annual camping trip for it. There is something about a weekend by the lake, and attending the renaissance festival that is just pure bliss for our group. It is a weekend away from modern day civilization and distractions.

July – I had my first post-divorce date. It did not go well, but I was glad to be back in the dating scene.

August – Rit turned a year old and we had his first birthday party. He also had tubes put in his ears since he had persistent ear infections and his ears were not draining the fluid they should have been.
I also painted my bedroom, the first step in my process to reclaim it and make it mine.

September – The Ohio Renaissance Festival opened and ran for the next 8 weekends. I had a season pass and was able to attend at least once every weekend. I even took Rit a few times as well.
This month also marked one year since ExH had moved out.

October – Aside from more time at OHRF, what would have been ExH and my 3rd anniversary passed by. I almost didn’t realize the date until I had received a reminder from Though, it did remind me to call my Grandpa and wish him a happy birthday.

November – We had our 2nd Castleteers Gathering of the year.
I had Rit for Thanksgiving and we drove out to Pennsylvania to see my dad’s side of the family. I had not seen most of them since my wedding day or earlier. None of my cousins, and most of my aunts and uncles, had not met Rit yet. It was a great family gathering with lots of little ones playing together.

December – I threw an end-of-the-world party and had a lot of fun with several friends.
This was also the first Christmas with an official parenting plan in place. It seemed to work out well.

For 2013…

I am hoping to be in a serious relationship at some point
I am going to attempt to pay off my credit card
I need to replace the banister/railing in the living room
I want to fence in the back yard
I hope to get the basement painted
I want to really get the laundry/utility room cleaned up and organized. It is the most neglected room in the house.
I want to go to the Great Lakes Medieval Faire and the Ashville Viking Festival, along with my usual Ohio Renaissance Festival, Kentucky Renaissance Festival, and Castleteers Gatherings.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas everyone! I hope you have a wonderful holiday whether you spend it with family or friends.

I had difficulty deciding on what to write about today. So many possibilities: the spirit of giving, how I am celebrating, discussing the holiday and its significance  Instead, I want to share with you a memory; a memory of my favorite gift that I gave.

It starts in early December 2010. I took a pregnancy test and it came out positive. I was freaking out at first, as was ExH, because it was very unplanned and I was unemployed. The following week, we went to a pregnancy center and had them administer a test so I could qualify for Medicaid. We also decided that we would wait and tell our families at Christmas. A few friends already knew.
On the way home we were getting hungry and decided to stop by a local fast food place where my siblings worked, and one of them was a manager. He would give us discounts on our food there. ExH said that he wasn't sure he could keep it quiet if he saw them, so we agreed that if more than one sibling was there we would tell them. We walk in and both of my brothers were there. We swear everyone there to secrecy (my brothers, another employee and a customer. They went along with it.) and tell them they are going to be uncles. Spartan runs up to me and hugs me, telling us we just made his year. My other brother is standing in the back, making food, completely speechless. We ended up eating for free that day.
That night, I had my sister to come over and help me make cookies for Christmas gifts. She barely got in the door when I closed it and ExH is standing at the top of the stairs bouncing excitedly. I tell him to go ahead and tell her and he says "Your sister is pregnant". My sister squealed, which is what surprised me as I have never heard her squeal before. We did make cookies too. I also swore her to secrecy.
Later on I found out that when she got home that night, Spartan asked her if we told her. She was going to try and tease him and ask "Tell me what?" but she couldn't and smiled instead. That night she started working on a baby blanket for me and finished it in a week, just in time for Christmas. More on that in a bit.
For the next week I had to avoid even talking to my parents or risk telling them. Instead I worked on a fun way to tell them. You see, my parents love telling the story of how they told my dad's parents that they were pregnant with me. ExH and I wanted to top that. I had purchased two charms: one that said Grandma and one that said Grandpa, and made key-chains out of them. Then, I wrapped them up as gifts.
On Christmas Day, ExH and I went over to my parents house for Christmas with all of the gifts. It was easier to just explain my excitement as my excitement to give Christmas gifts. Finally when we were all done with the gifts, I gave my dad the small wrapped gift to open for him and mom. He saw them, looked at me and asked quietly "Really?" I just smiled and nodded. He gave the one that said Grandma to my mom. She had a hard time reading it at first since she didn't have her reading glasses. She thought it was just a log until we asked her if she could read it. The she jumped a bit, squeaked (yes, squeaked) and hugged me and ExH. It is one gift I don't think I will ever be able to top. Later that day I called my dad's side of the family to tell them the good news.
The next day was Christmas with my mom's side of the family. Remember the blanket I mentioned that my sister made? We got together and decided to use it to reveal my news to that side if the family. She wrapped it up really nice. It took a bit of sneakiness, but we were able to make it so that I opened that gift after everyone else. The few cousins that caught on that something was going on were confused, but went with it. We announced that we had one more gift to open, to me from my sister. I opened it and held it up. My cousins figured out what it was right away and got very excited. My sister told everyone it was a baby blanket; that is when my aunts and uncles figured it out. I told everyone that ExH and I found out that we were expecting. Then everyone, but my Grandma figured it out. My Grandma leaned over to my sister and said "Why is everyone so excited? It's a nice blanket, but I don't understand." My sister told her "Grandma, Lissa's pregnant!" I laughed when she told me that later on. My Grandma was worried that she would never get to see her great-grandchildren because ExH and I were the only ones married and in no rush to have kids. She was telling my sister this earlier that day. When my sister relayed that to me, I had to stifle the giggles since we were going to tell her otherwise in a few hours.
Sadly, my Grandma never did get to meet her great-grandson as she passed away April 4th, 2011. However, that Christmas is still the most memorable Christmas for me.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Dead Sea Scrolls

Last weekend I had the chance to go and see the Dead Sea Scrolls Exhibit at the Cincinnati Museum Center with a friend of mine. I love classics history and especially love when I have a chance to go see it with someone who will appreciate as much as me.

The exhibit itself was incredible. They had pottery, currency, and several artifacts on display. The scrolls themselves were near the end of the exhibit. Being able to see the scrolls, and get so close to them was an incredible feeling. About halfway through the run of the exhibit, they will change out the scrolls to limit the amount of light exposure and reduce the risk of damage to them.

My second favorite part of the exhibit was that they had a chunk of the Wall of Jerusalem there for everyone to touch. I know to some it may just be a rock, but to me, it is a piece of history.

My greatest praise for the exhibit is that they kept it neutral. They never said this religion was better or older or anything. In fact, the exhibit discussed the Scrolls and their effect on Christianity, Judaism, and Islam.

If you live in Cincinnati, Ohio or plan to visit between now and April, I highly recommend this exhibit.

Friday, December 14, 2012


Today, my heart and prayers go out to all of the families affected in Connecticut school shooting. I cannot even begin to fathom the pain the families are going through, especially those that lost children (27 people killed, 18 of them kindergartners). Hug your families close today.
ExH is stopping by my house today to pick up Rit's medication refill and agreed to bring Rit so I can hug him tight tonight.