Saturday, November 29, 2008

My Apologies...

I've kind of sucked as a blogger the last few days. In my defense though, it's been pretty busy. So let me catch you up...

Wednesday I had an interesting conversation with the princess's mother. She surprised me by sharing some personal info that I wasn't fully prepared for. All I can say is that I respect her honesty and am actually beginning to believe that she doesn't have alterior motives for trying to be my friend.

I spent Thanksgiving at the home of a friend from church and afterwards went out to the movies with a few of the people who were there. In case you're wondering, we saw "Slumdog Millionaire" and it was great! (Thanks Suzanne!)

Yesterday was T's court date in family court. I'm happy to announce that things went well. Here's the basics of the stipulations:
-Shared custody of the princess
-Child Support was finally agreed on
-T has visitation every weekend from 6pm on Friday to 6pm on Sunday. And they will be splitting Christmas and New Year's.
This means a lot for us. It means that T now has a steady schedule of when he'll be seeing the princess, and it's not really up for discussion. It means that T can stop worrying about this and can begin focusing on other important things (like really giving his life to Christ - he's asked me if he can go to church with me on Sunday!) It means that we really can throw the birthday party (invitations will go out this week.) It also means that I'll be introducing her to the blogosphere! All very exciting!

Throughout all of this, I've been loosely planning the party, and now will be going into party planning overdrive. Hope you'll join me!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

25 ain't easy! (Alternately Titled "Quarter Life Crisis")

While I fully realize that every age comes with its own set of challenges, this age has been difficult for quite a few reasons, including:

-Relationship with T: 1. Getting back into a relationship with T wasn't the easiest decision to make and some days are more difficult than others. While we've both grown up drastically in our time apart, a major part of my growth has been in my relationship with God, and we don't always seem to see eye-to-eye on matters of faith. It's not that T tries in ANY way to hinder my relationship with God, but he also doesn't make as much effort as I'd want, to share in this relational experience. Granted, he's gone to church with me a couple of times in the last 9 months, but I just don't understand how why he's not ridiculously in love with Christ and super excited about going to service... Ok, ok, I'll admit I don't always jump out of bed on Sunday mornings, but if HE WANTED to go at least somewhat regularly, I'd be much happier. 2. The second major reason why our relationship has been more difficult than some is because of the strain caused by trying to figure out the semantics of dealing with Daddy's Little Princess and all that comes with this little person (including her mother, outsiders' assumptions about my reactions, and learning how to be accomodating when it's a visit weekend!) Don't get me wrong, I love this child more than I expected I'd be able to (in fact, I still get surprised at how happy seeing her makes me!) but unlike a mother, I didn't have any prep time leading up to my relationship with her.

-Relationships with friends: I spent a lot of years feeling unpopular and alone, no matter how many phone calls/emails/IMs I received, or (as I got older) no matter how many nights each week I hung out/was invited to hang out. Part of this came from serious emotional problems that I suffered from for about 15+ years (for those doing the math, I've been told that if you knew what to look for, the symptoms of depression were somewhat evident at least by the time I was 10 years old, and I fully remember the anxiety being present as early as 8 or 9 years old.) God has healed me of both General Anxiety Disorder and Chronic Depression, but I'm still working out in my mind how real friendship works, so I will sometimes go from keeping up walls to block those who care and really could be good friends to the opposite extreme of practically telling my life story to those whom I barely know (hence the blog! LOL - It takes lots of rereading and editing for me to post "normal" content in my posts, feel free to let me know when I reveal TMI*.)

-The transition from child to adult: 25 is hitting the late part of the transitional period, but it's still difficult. For some of my peers, the transition is long over, but there are a few reasons why I'm still working through this, the main reason being that I still live at home. There are both benefits and drawbacks to this, one example being that for most intents and purposes, I still live by my mother's rules (understanding the fact that my mother isn't ridiculous with rules does make it more beneficial than not though.)

-Working full-time (which sometimes includes early and late meetings), going back to school for a Bachelor's Degree (when some of my friends have/are working on Graduate Degrees), finding time for ministry (which sometimes gets a position on the back burner), balancing family/friends/my relationship with T, and at some point during every 24 hour period, I try to get something to eat and some sleep (these too seem to get neglected as back burner tasks.)

-Learning to fully trust God and not stick myself in the way (a difficult task at almost any age!)

*Too Much Information

Anyone else finding their current age extra difficult? Or is there an age that, looking back, felt more difficult than it really was?

Monday, November 24, 2008

Countdown to the Court...

Well I've already mentioned that things went through a rough patch between T and the baby's mother. Well maybe I should explain that it was more than a little rough. T has struggled to get a steady visitation schedule ever since the baby's mother found out that he was dating me again. Finally realizing that things weren't improving, T decided to take it to family court. The court date is scheduled for Friday the 28th and I'm nervous.

Paper Products (e.g., invitations)

If I had more time, I'd use my crafting supplies to hand design the invitations. As it is, I'll be sending two sets of invitations: Traditional paper invite as well as an evite. I'll be putting together the evite later today and I'll be searching for ideas online for the paper invite tonight. I'll let you know what I find.

For the thank you cards, I've already looked at Ebay for some rubber stamps and some cuttlebug dies. But with all that we're spending already, I'm not sure if it's worth it (although in the long run I'll be saving since I'll use the supplies for other projects.)

Let's see as we get closer.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Guestlist - Part 3

T and I have agreed to take not-so-nice people off of the list. I didn't want to, but T insisted that he'd rather have a nice party where nobody feels uncomfortable than to please a few people who aren't nice enough to warrant us going out of our way for them.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Guestlist - Part 2 (AKA: It's Not Easy Being Green...)

I 've had a couple of hard days.

Planning this party had been very enjoyable... until I wrote the guestlist post, then it became another thing on the To-Do list. After happily sending off the post (most of my posting is done by email from my phone - Windows Mobile Baby!) I began to envision all of the guests enjoying themselves at an amazingly coordinated party (listen, don't judge my optimistic thoughts, ok?!) but as I thought about it more and more, my mind was overtaken by a different set of thoughts. The party was still ridiculously amazing, but the guests weren't all that nice to me.

For you to better understand why ANYONE would not be nice to ME (of all people) and why we'd invite not so nice people to the party, I have to explain a little about my relationship with T.

When I was 17 years old, I was heavily involved in a youth ministry group at my church. On one particular day, I went to the house of a friend from the group. T was there. We spoke a little and that seemed to be the end of it. A few months went by and one day said friend Instant Messaged me asking if she could give her cousin my contact info. T and I emailed back and forth a couple of times and eventually hung out and started dating. We were together from June '01 to April '06 and there were normal ups and downs. Our breakup wasn't the nicest and left hurt feelings on both sides. T and I spoke very little for a little over a year. During this time some of T's family took free reign with trashing my name. One particular family member specifically took joy in spreading some really nasty (and false) rumors about me in our neighborhood (I live right around the corner from most of T's family.)

In May '07 T called me and told me that he was going to be a father. I was surprised, but happy for him. We began to talk again and our friendship was 100% platonic. He and the baby's mother were having problems and around this time, they agreed to split up. We began to hang out pretty regularly. In December the baby was born. Around the same time, I realized that my feelings for him had begun to grow. In February '08 we decided to try our chances at a relationship again. Fast forward to party planning time. Although T and I have put the past behind us, some people still believe the falsities that were said about me and others feel that I interfered in T's relationship and am the reason why it ended, so I'm understandably not jumping for joy at the idea of being trapped in a room with them for even a short time.

I'm going to discuss my feelings with T, but I don't see any options other than helping to plan the party and just not going. (Le Sigh)

Friday, November 21, 2008

Food - Part 1

Not much to be said. I 'm all for burgers and hot dogs. Nobody seems to agree with me. I guess we'll be serving real food. We've gotta decide what to serve and who's cooking... I think it's too much work...

Location - Part 1

Choosing a location isn't as simple as you'd think. We don't want to do it at home since his house isn't large enough even for just family (he has a large family and I'll be inviting my family also - notice, it's growing already... Somebody stop me!)

Since the beginning we've considered two locations: Community Center near T's house and Community Center near my house (I live around the corner from a large part of his family so this would be easiest for them, especially for his grandmother who is in a wheelchair.) Last night though, we pretty much came to a decision that either of these locations was too big since we wouldn't be doing all the extras that we'd originally discussed (check out the post on extras for details.)

We've agreed on another possibility, but don't want to tell anyone unless we confirm it.

Any suggestions for a 1st birthday party location in NYC that doesn't cost $1,000,000,000,000 and isn't ridiculous to travel to by public transportation?

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Guests - Part 1

The guestlist is going to be interesting. Of course, we'll invite all (ok, most) of T's family. I'll invite some of my family (mostly those with children close to the baby's age, but also those who have grown to love T over the years.) We have a few friends at church who also have babies in the same age range, so of course we'll invite them. Then, of course, we HAVE TO INVITE (I feel it growing again) all of my friends who've had parties for their kids and have invited us! Ummm, I think we might have to cut some people before we even start, but I'll see what can be done.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


Decorations are pretty simple. Since the cake is already decided, we'll either go with Elmo 100% or a Sesame Street theme.

EDIT: So I looked up Elmo and Sesame Street decorations online and was shocked at how much I would have to pay for 8 measely plates, 8 cups, and 8 napkins! This is ridiculous! This is as good a time as any to let you find out something else about me. I'm all about the DIY (although I will admit that I have a lot of half finished projects at home.)

I'll be trying my hardest not to spend an extravagant amount on this party, especially since Christmas is right after. I'll see what I can come up with and get back to you.

Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Cake - Check!



Although not usually the first thing to think about when planning a party, I'll start with the cake.

Last night as mom and I were headed home from the evening service at church, we stopped to look at the cakes in the window of a local bakery. Mom noticed an Elmo cake which immediately made me think of the baby (she has a large stuffed elmo that she just can't get enough of.) I went in and asked how much such a cake would cost, and pleased with the answer, I took the baker's business card and told her that I'd probably be getting back to her pretty soon.

I told mom the price and she agreed that it was worth it, so I called T for his thoughts on it. He was immediately excited about the party again! Mom even agreed to pay for the cake if we actually end up throwing the party! Yay!

I'll try to stop by the bakery tonight to get a picture of the masterpiece to share with everyone.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Today's Topic

If you look at the blogs I follow, you'll notice "One Minute Writter" is one of them. I love to write, but often feel that there's no time or I just can't focus enough to think of a topic. The prompts (and timer) at One Minute Writter give me no more excuses! Check out the blog here

Today's prompt is: "Write about something interesting that happened this weekend."

Well, this weekend was definitely interesting. Friday night T got the baby and after church I stopped by to see her for a bit .

For Saturday we were planning a pretty full day and although it didn't happen, we did meet up. We went to BBB and bought a gift for Cici's housewarming, but a loudly screaming child (ahem, ok, it was baby) forced us to leave the store and just go home for the night (Sorry Cici, and I still have your gift in my house.)

Sunday was supposed to be church for all of us, but baby's mom came early to pick her up so instead, I went alone.

Basically, this weekend was a reminder that no matter how much to try to plan, sometimes things just don't go according to schedule. I will say though, that I had some very good conversations this weekend that made me feel better. Thank you to Maritza and Sam for reassuring me that when the time comes, I won't be THE WORST mother in the world!

Hope everyone else's weekend was better coordinated than mine!

Not Me Monday!

For more "Not Me Monday" fun, click here

I've seen this on some blogs recently, and I've got lots of stuff that I DIDN'T do to post about!

I definitely didn't put off 2 weeks of homework and then realize that the museum paper that I have to hand in on Wednesday is now impossible since the museum is closed on Monday and Tuesday. That would've been super irresponsible.

I didn't spend way too much time reading blogs and looking up stuff for baby's birthday party and have to take work home. That would definitely ruin my night!

There's no way that I got so frustrated that I wanted to cry. And I surely didn't tell God that "I'm ready to give up." because I KNOW that words aree powerful and I wouldn't ever throw around words that way. (And when I DIDN'T sit and think about what exactly it was that I absolutely WASN'T ready to give up on, I definitely DID NOT realize that those words were empty emotion because I'm "more than a conqueror" - and I DIDN'T remind myself of that point from Pastor B's sermon yesterday!)

Wow, that was therapeutic and now I'll take this moment to thank God that I'm so blessed!

Ok everyone, I've gotta go... Huh? What's that? Oh! No! These definitely AREN'T papers that need to be retyped for work.. Haven't we already discussed this?

What haven't you done this week?

Planning a B'day Party for Baby


After going back and forth for months, we've decided to throw a birthday party for T's daughter. The idea previously seemed unlikely at best because of conflict between T and the baby's mother about visitation. His visitation was so sporadic that we weren't sure if he'd have her for her birthday (or even the week after) so we couldn't really invite anyone. Since we're expecting a formal order from the court by the end of the month, we decided to go ahead and plan something slightly larger than cake and ice cream at home. With my love of lists, I got right to work!

Party Planning Basics:
Extras and Goodies (e.g., goodie bags)
Paper Products (e.g., invitations)

Not a ridiculous list of stuff to pull together, but I'll admit that I do sometimes have a habit of making seemingly simple projects grow into humongous undertakings... For my own sanity, I'll break the party planning into multiple posts (I've found that working on one thing at a time really helps me to keep things a reasonable size.

If there's anything I'm missing from my list, feel free to let me know!

Friday, November 14, 2008

"Expectations are just predetermined disappointments"

This was a quote that I heard today from my boss. I thought it was really interesting. I'm still trying to figure out whether or not I agree with it. On one hand, it seems pretty grim and cynical. Is it really true that I can't really expect anything from anyone else? Should I stop setting expectations for myself also? But then I think about what the bible teaches me.

"Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them." (Mark 11:24 KJV)

What I hear in this passage is that I can go ahead and set my prayers (and expectations) on certain things and they really will come to be.

But then what about all those times that I expect things and they just don't happen. It's easy to say "Oh well, I guess it just wasn't God's will." But that doesn't always seem like a valid answer.

I'll give you an example. I'm expecting a pretty serious healing right now. I felt God move me and I responded (okay, I'll admit, my response time was much slower than it should've been) by donating my glasses to an organization. My action was done out of the faith that if God really was the one who wanted me to step out in my faith, then He would respond according to His word. So I've been walking around now for a few weeks without glasses or contacts and things still look blurry. I have been truly blessed in that I haven't suffered from headaches (in the past, even a few minutes without eyewear meant serious migraines), and my eyesight is definitely better than it was on day one. BUT... I'm still not at 100% capicity and I'm frustrated!

What am I doing wrong?

My New Addiction...

It started with one that I checked out once in awhile... Then it became a daily habit... One daily turned into two, and then quickly multiplied... As more and more were added to my daily regimine, I started doing it at home, work, and anywhere else if I had a free moment...


It really is starting to get ridiculous now. Google Reader has only made things worse. And a Windows Mobile Phone? Forget it! I can't get enough!

Funny enough I've been blogging for about 1 1/2-2 years at this point, but I didn't really spend any time reading other people's writings, and my (original) blog has always been private, serving more as an online diary. About 6 months ago though, I found a wedding based blog and I'd check it out for ideas (both for my eventual wedding as well as for my possible business (I'll explain this another time.) I added the feed to my Outlook at work, but I'd still have to get onto the site to read from home and I still had the issue of saving and categorizing articles. THEN... my good friend Google Reader came into my life. I now read about 20+ posts from various bloggers, daily (I'm subscribed to a bunch of photography blogs, so many of these posts don't involve much reading, but give me amazing ideas for pictures!) and the list is sure to grow. You just don't understand (or maybe you do) but there are blogs that touch on any and every topic you can imagine, and while I might seem strange for reading people's personal writings (especially when I don't know most of these people) I'll say that there is something very comforting about reading very down to earth stories about families, something that moves me in political blogs, something inspirational about both the photography and the Christian blogs.. I hope you get he point.

So there you have it. It was my little secret, but I've finally come clean. I feel MUCH better now!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Who in the world is Mel...?

Although I assume that most of my readers probably know a good deal about me (and therefore are reading my blog to keep up with my updates), I still think it might be a good idea to give a little background about myself.

  1. I'm a twenty-something year old Christian woman with a serious love of the Lord.

  2. I live in the greatest city in the world (NYC) and I love it (ok, I know that I'm pretty biased since I've always lived here and don't have much to compare it to.)

  3. I'm an on-again off-again student who has promised my parents that someday I'll make them proud with a Bachelor's (and then a Master's) Degree.

  4. I am super family oriented (One of my worries is that I won't ever be able to love my own children as much as My Nene (my nickname for my little bro, who you'll hear PLENTY about!)

  5. I'm working on weeding out the good from bad friends (something that I've come to realize most people my age are also working on.)

  6. I'm in a relationship with a man who I really do love. Sure, we argue from time to time, but what relationship is perfect???

  7. I love to read, write, take pictures, talk on the phone, listen to music, search for random things on Google, and so much more!

  8. I have a serious love for parenthetical statements (tee hee hee)

  9. I often lose my train of thought mid-sentence and will jump from one subject to another... fair warning that my writings will reflect this from time to time...

There's plenty more to know, but in time, I'm sure you'll see it for yourselves!

Sunday, November 9, 2008


Hello my lovlies... Hello...? Is this thing on??? Ok, well if there IS anyone out there in webosphere, I'd like to take a minute to welcome you and thank you for stopping by my blog. This space will be a few things... A space to get out my thoughts, feelings and emotions... A space to share updates in my life with friends and family... A drawing board for figuring things out (expect to see quite a few lists, lol.) I hope that you enjoy the ride!