Proud, Excited and Thankful list 2014

Hello 2015,

How have you been doing? It has been a lovely one month since I disappeared. Where have I been? Mostly in the kitchen doing dishes. (again) We also had family get-togethers, I sewed stockings for everyone, there was some crazy Settlers of Katan playing, Zsolt and travelled to CUBA . . . and then played more board games by the beach.

Cuba Kiss

It was a holiday. A beautiful freaking holiday. Now we’re well into 2015 and there are projects ahead. But first and foremost, I think this is a good moment to stop and reflect. While on the beach in Varadero, I took out my notebook and scribbled out my Proud, Excited and Thankful list for 2014.

(I also scribbled down a few observations of Cuba. Here they are: A boy runs down the beach not checking for jelly fish – scanning the crowd of sun thirty Canadians crowding along the shore; Girls in cargo mini skirts and black fish net stockings who scan luggage as you pass through customs. Black hair, no smiles and thick black eyeliner; How do you recognize a Canadian in Cuba? They have a whooping cough; don’t trust friendly Cubans in Havana who want to take you to a ‘free salsa festival’ . . . you’ll end up in a cafe playing for all the drinks; Late night tango with couples on the Paseo del Prado, not a show – just life; bright old cars and explosions of diesel dark exhaust; casas from an age where the remote is still in the wrapping; Coconut taxis; turquoise water and shallow waves; laughter, kisses, and sun burns.)

So, 2014 was a really lucky year for me, and this is a list definitely work making

What I’m proud of:

  1. First and foremost I’m proud of my husband, Zsolt. He put a lot of work into his company this past year and pushed far, far past his comfort zone. It’s not easy for a Hungarian physist with zero business training to go into the world and advocate for his business. It’s just not. But he did it. He is doing it. I am so damn proud of him. (Of YOU Zsoltster!)
  2. Ottawa Writes. It’s a podcast about writing that my friend and I started for fun. I think we’ve been producing great content, and I think it’s only getting better in 2014 as we rebrand and reshape the show. Weird. I’m on a podcast? Weird. But cool. Frankly, I’m also proud of myself for saying “yes” to something so totally new.
  3. NaNoWriMo! That’s write. I did it. Now . . . to keep on doing it. BAH!
  4. Getting up and getting on. It’s not easy. To be honest, despite really awesome scans this past year, I haven’t made it easy on us with plenty of emotional breakdowns. But hey – we get up, and we get on. That’s something to be proud of.
  5. Magazine Article Writing – Hey yeah! I got to share some Vanier loving in Ottawa Magainze, plus I wrote one of my best articles ever in LIVES affected by Cancer.

What I am/was Excited for:

  1. Little trips. Since Big Z and I decided not to travel this past year, we’ve instead taken little weekend trips here and there. So, we have gone here and there and I love that. 2014 has been a year for little adventures – so that 2015 can be the year for AWESOME BIG adventures. Look out Hungary, we are coming for you again!
  2. Hair! I’ve got a lot of it now 🙂
  3. Ottawa Writes again! We are rebranding in 2015 as Write Along Radio – and that is a big new challenge. Every Tuesday evening Kevin and I record an episode. It’s such good fun. It’s exciting good fun.
  4. Cottaging. *See more in ‘Thankful’
  5. Christmas Stockings! I sewed amazing stockings for my whole family (not including the Samsons) and they are freaking darling. Seriously beautiful. It’s really wonderful to create with your own hands, and know it’s something that not only looks good but is clearly filled with love.Family Picture
  6. Annnd Pic Monkey. Seriously, I love that program.

What I was Thankful for in 2014:

  1. *Board games: What? Well, you see, last year my family and I began playing board games while renting a lovely cottage in Quebec. We played Settlers of Katan, to be specific, and I think it’s giving us a thread of connection. Since that cottaging time, we’ve gotten together over and over to play more. It’s so fun and to be honest, I’m so grateful for this time with them. So, that tops my list of gratitude.
  2. Health. 2014 was the year of good scans. I don’t need to say more, do I? This is a blessing. Now listen up 2015, I want you to learn from 2014 and keep on trend. Man, it’s nerve wracking business, but I am very thankful for this year of health. (Which included the Vitamin C infusions, by the way. My veins won’t let me do it anymore – they keep collapsing, but I am so very, very grateful for every infusion.)
  3. Facing Cancer Awesome Ladies
  4. I have worked with them for over two years. They made me community manager and took a chance on my social media skills. It’s been such an honour to work for them. My gratitude just pours out for all they have done by letting me do what I’ve so enjoyed – chatting online with friends, reading stories, being there for others. In 2015 I’ve officially stepped back from that role, and will now just be a happy blogger over on their site. That’s a big change, but of course they were so wonderful about it. They’re wonderful plain and simple.
  5. Hair. I’ve been growing it, it’s long now. I love it. LOVE IT.
  6. An AMAZING book launch!
  7. Cups of tea! With my mom, my dad, and my amazing friends who are always happy to trek out to Bridgehead.
  8. ZSOLT!!!! He’s my most wonderful of wonderful. My Zsolt

So there it is, my 2014 Proud, Excited and Thankful list, as crafted on a beach in Cuba. My wish and prayer for 2015 is more good scans, and also to bike along the shore of Lake Balaton, sail in the Queen Mary, be at home in Pecs, find a beautiful new apartment in Ottawa, grow my podcast, build Zsolt’s business, write more stories and have fun, fun, fun. Bottom line: to enjoy life.

Wishing you a wonderful year to come.

Till the next post!


P.S. I’m also grateful for The MixedUp Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler. Thank you so much, S.C.!

Big Kiss For You

MMUH! Happy New Year!!!


I think I get this from Seinfeld’s soup nazi, but my brain mixes in ‘kiss’ instead of soup, and ’Big’ instead of no.

Welcome to 2014! Last night the idea made me emotional. This morning it made me grumpy. Now I am wearing a new dress (Christmas present) and feeling a bit better. These are the days of emotional rollar coasters. So what to do? Focus on something that makes me happy, along with putting on a dress. Therefore, I did this picture. It’s makes me happy 🙂 And I made the first chapter of my novel (Amelia’s story) free on smashwords for the New Year – to bring in a big balloon of hope that anything is possible. If you haven’t read the book, you can start with this fun starter 🙂

Also, three people won my Goodreads giveaway, so that is pretty exciting too. And while I pledged to not do book stuff till the new year and I returned to Canada… geez, I cannot help myself sometimes. Know what I mean?

May you dip into what makes you smile today, and for much of your time in 2014. Cheers to getting up and getting dressed, to silly internet memes, to the sight of fireworks exploding across a city (i.e. Pecs, where we watched from the balcony and shivered in the cold, and I thought – “well this is one way to start things rolling,”), to emotional journeys, to big realizations, to the advancement of science, to the loving of ourselves, to GOOD SCANS and to GOOD BOOKS.

MUH! BIG KISS FOR YOU! Happy new years.

[Oh and to newsletters, mine can be found here. Yes, I plugged it. I told you, I can’t help myself. This is what brings me joy ;)]