Category Archives: Holidays

What’s Crackin’, Friends?

Here I am, That Gabbiest of Abbys, back on the interwebs again, just in time for Christmas. (Santa tipped me off that you guys were begging for new blogs from me. So, here ya go, nine days early. You’re welcome.)

As in years past, any time I’ve taken a sabbatical from my blog, there’s been a good reason. And this time is no different. Since last we met, I went and quit my job, packed our stuff, and moved clear across town! Oh Happy Day!

It’s kind of a long story. The gist of it is this: toddlers require a lot of attention. And because I was working from home before, my attention was divided. And Mama didn’t like that. So after much debate, we decided it was time to make a change. And here we are, in our very own home, with a fenced in yard and a fireplace and a happy little neighborhood.

Seriously. If you look up “Happy” in the dictionary, this is what you’ll find:

Being a stay-at-home mom wasn’t something I thought would be in the cards for me. As a child, I always envisioned myself as a working mom, home in the afternoons dressed in my pantsuit with a smart briefcase, being welcomed by my children at the door. (In these MASH-inspired dreams, I drove Mazda Miata and lived in a 2-story Colonial and was married to Zach Morris.) (MASH the game, not MASH the television show.)

As it turns out, it fits me to a tee, this full-time Mommy thing. I love being wholly available to our son, with no work distractions. I love living with the freedom being at home offers, and all the moments I get to share with him. Is it challenging sometimes? Sure. But it’s 100% rewarding.

I also love house-living. This is my first time in an honest-to-goodness house since pre-college. I hadn’t realized how weary I was of apartment living until I had so much space, and a yard. The responsibility isn’t lost on me…there’s more housework and, since we have a yard, yard work that we’ve never dealt with before. But I’m taking leaves, dusting baseboards, and vacuuming 7 rooms like :

via GIPHY
There might even be whistling involved.

It’s a wonderful life for us in these past couple of months, and as we settle in to celebrate the holiday in our new home, I can’t help but be grateful for the journey that brought us here. A lot of that journey was shared on the pages of this blog, and I felt compelled to share with my readers (however few of you there are left) a little slice of our happiness. My Christmas wish for all of us this year is that we can find peace, happiness, and calm in 2017.

And if you’re a parent to a toddler, may I suiggest a play-yard to keep your holiday peaceful, happy, and calm? It’s working over here.

Merry All-The-Things to one and all!

Slainte!

Today is St. Patrick’s Day (in case you were wondering why people are walking around in green from head to toe and shouting Gaelic phrases at you while drinking Guinness from their coffee mug.)

There are lots of reasons I love St. Patrick’s Day (the coffee mug of Guinness is only one of them.) While I know my family is of Irish decent, I’m probably only 1/67th% Irish. But that doesn’t keep me from celebrating our heritage, and with gusto. Here are a few of my favorite things about St. Patrick’s Day.

The Food
Look, guys, I’m not going to sugar coat it for you. I’m Irish, and I love potatoes. I think it might be written in the law somewhere that Irish people have to love spuds. Even though I’ve been eating healthy for the past year, we still have potatoes around here on the regular. (There are some things you just make room for in your healthy eating plan. Like potatoes. And chocolate ice cream.) We also visit our favorite local pub on an alarmingly frequent basis. (They know us by name. And order, because we always get the same thing.)

There’s something about Irish food…the kind you make on St. Patrick’s Day…that just takes “comfort food” to the next level. Shepherd’s Pie, Corned Beef and CabbageIt just doesn’t get any better than that.

But…it sort of does. Our family’s most favorite Irish recipe is Whiskey-Braised Pork Shoulder with Colcannon.

Whiskey braised pork
<Paused for drool clean-up.>

It’s just…I mean…look at that…I can’t even.

Just trust me. Read the recipe. Buy the ingredients. Cook this meal. And thank me later.

The Sentiment
I always wondered where my penchant for sage advice came from–both the giving and the receiving. I’m guessing it must be my Irish blood, because the blessings and phrases and quotes that come out of Ireland are some of my favorites.

“Lose an hour in the morning, and you’ll be looking for it all day.”

“You’ll never plow a field by turning it over in your mind.”

“You’ve got to do your own growing, no matter how tall your father was.”

(It’s imperative that, when reading these quotes, you drop all the g’s, and put on your thickest Irish brogue. Trust me, it just works.)

These phrases don’t necessarily have to do with the celebration of St. Paddy’s, but they tend to come out of the woodwork around this time of year. There’s nothing better than a good turn of phrase to get my juices flowing. And I also happen to love some of the Irish blessings that show up on Facebook on March 17. My favorite?

Irish wish

Tis the wish I wish for you, my friend.

The Parties
There are lots of other holidays that have parties that try to rival St. Patrick’s Day—Cinco de Mayo, Independence Day, Christmas, my birthday. They just don’t hold a candle to the parades, the dancing, and the merriment that we Irish partake of…well, pretty much year round, but especially on St. Patrick’s Day. Savannah, Charleston, Boston, NYC…you don’t have to look very hard to find a rowdy group of Irishmen (and women!) ready to don their favorite green gear and spend the day searching for the luck of their people.

Plus, you know…there’s the Guinness.

 

st patty's day

What else do you need to officially claim St. Patrick’s Day to be the most fun holiday, ever?

A half-assed Photoshopped picture of me as a dancing leprechaun?

Fine.

Abby leprechaun

There. I win. St. Patrick’s Day RULES.

A New Year’s Eve Do-Over (Official AbbyGabs Video Blog)

So in my last blog, I made a whole lotta noise about posting more frequently here as of January 1. And I wholeheartedly meant every word I said, readers! But as the days of January peeled off the calendar, I’m guessing YOU were wondering just where I was. Well, I was sick. So I missed New Year’s Eve, and New Year’s Day, and, well, most of the holiday season.

They tell me it’s textbook that I (the spoiled firstborn neat freak perfectionist with slight OCD) demand a do-over from a missed holiday. So, you’re going to help me recreate New Year’s Eve in today’s short video blog. If you don’t still have your festive hats and noisemakers, it’s ok. I understand. All I ask is that you help me count down to MY 2014, which officially starts today.

(It’s totally ok if you want to mime having a noisemaker. You can just pretend and make the sound with your mouth.)

 

Happy 2014 Readers!!

 

If you can’t view the video, or are having technical difficulties, copy and paste the following code into your browser: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RLafVofBLd8&feature=share&list=UUEczew4VOwLtc9F–J-rUUA

Super-Fun Holiday Puzzle Game of Awesomeness!!

Happy Christmas Eve Eve, readers! I’ve been SO busy shopping and wrapping and decorating and baking and being merry that I’ve been neglecting you for some time now. To make up for it, I’ve devised a Super-Fun Holiday Puzzle Game of Awesomeness, just for you!

Below are 10 illustrations that are depicting a few of my favorite Christmas songs. See if you can guess all ten! (And let’s not forget that I have odd taste in…well, most things, especially music.) Good luck! Ready, set, GO!

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99

**Hint: If you get stuck, or if you’d like a few tunes to groove to while you’re decorating your Christmas cookies, feel free to click on each photo to find out which song it depicts!**

How fun was that?? If you get all ten without having to click, let me know in the comments section. I’m anxious to see if my illustrating skills are still up to par.

Merry Christmas to each and every one of you. And your families. (Even your smelly Aunt Edna who always insists on kissing you on the lips despite the fact that she smells like sweat socks and stale beer.) (Maybe try spiking her coffee this year before she gets the chance to plant one on you.) (Or do one better and eat a cheesesteak sandwich filled with onions and garlic just before you go to her house. Then lay a smelly one on HER instead.) (Or you could just come to my house. We smell nice. Usually.)

So. Freakin’. Busy.

My life has been filled with adventure these last few weeks. Birthday parties and dinner parties and bridal showers and photographing my first ever wedding and redesigning my blog and redecorating my house and spending time with visiting family members…my social calendar has been filled to the brim. Every single second of it has been exhilarating and fun, while simultaneously being exhausting and stressful. When I complete a project or finish an engagement, I get that short-lived feeling of fulfillment as I check another item off of my To-Do list. But mostly, lately, I’ve been feeling a little like this:

Pulled

Cartoon courtesy of Bitstrips.

You would think that after nearly 6 weeks, I’d be ready to kick back in November and take a little break. But nay, dear readers. Why would I do that? Life is so much more fun when you’re an active participant. So here’s a little list of what the month of turkeys and pilgrims and pumpkin pie has in store for me.

NaNoWriMo 2013
This will be the third year running that I’ve participated in National Novel Writing Month. In fact, between 2011 and 2013, I managed to actually complete an entire novel (which I’m still in the process of trying to get published.) Here’s the thing: both years that I’ve participated, I had a game plan going in. A story I wanted to tell. Characters that were as clear in my head as living, breathing people.

This year, I’ve got…<insert drum roll here>….

Nothing. Nada. Zip. Zilch. Zippo.

With one month to write 50,000 words looming over me, I’m feeling the pressure to come up with a brilliant idea, stat. I need a sedative, a 12-gallon cup of coffee, and a shot of creativity, please.

Pack My Pontiac Food & Toy Drive
Call me a sucker if you want, but the following video presented by Kid President got me all inspired and stuff.

*Abby wipes away a tear.* Seriously, that kid rocks my socks.

Anywhoo, by the time I saw this video, the month of ‘Soctober’ was already coming quickly to a close. So I decided to do some investigating and take the month of November to find a worthy cause to champion in the name of taking back the internet. And I have.

My friend Lynda and I are running a food drive for our local homeless shelter. It started out as a small idea and has since snowballed–I have a partner, we have a corporate sponsor, and we’re planning on doing some serious fundraising, yo.

Pack My Pontiac

So my days have been filled with sending emails and making phone calls, creating fliers and a FB page, and brainstorming with Lynda in the hopes that we’ll be able to pack the back of my car–and hers!–with a giant pile of items to donate.

It gets me all tingly and excited thinking about the possibilities.

And lastly (and potentially most importantly)…..

Pestering the Poo Out Of My Friends By Posting All The Christmasy Things I Can Find On Pinterest From Now Until New Years

christmas

Seriously. I’ve had to look at so many pictures of spiders in my FB feed for the last 31 days that I’m already my revenge, Rudolph style. (This isn’t really something that will take too much time or effort as I started pinning Christmas stuff in August.)

What’s on your calendar in November?

Guess What, Gang?

Today is my birthday.

2

Woo!

Truth be told, with all the stuff that’s been going on lately in my own little life, I don’t much feel like celebrating. That’s really saying something, because I LOVE my birthday. I’m all about partying down and such, especially when it’s in my own honor.

(It’s the deeply buried narcissist in me. I can’t help it.)

I mean, in the life of Abby Gabs, I’ve shared my birthday moments with you, ranging from awesome gifts to the ultimate in all of birthdaylandia…THE Donnie Wahlberg Pinata. I’m a lucky, lucky girl. For the most part, my birthdays have been pretty fantastic.

But as my head hit my pillow last night, I turned to Brian and said, “I miss it when birthdays were exciting.”

I remember being nine years old, wanting desperately to be ten for, like, EVER. The countdown started in January–I was always aware of how many days were left until that all important tenth birthday. The night before was like Christmas Eve on steroids–I quivered with excitement beneath my New Kids on the Block comforter.

And when the big day came? I felt like a superhero rock star princess.

1

My parents threw me a surprise slumber party, and I was officially the coolest kid at school. Friends, and pizza, and a huge cake. Hugs, and cards, and a mountain of gifts.

In short? It was awesome.

I wish birthdays were like that as an adult. Don’t you miss that feeling? I do.

Sigh.

Oh wait…I just remembered what I am getting for my birthday this year. NKOTB in concert—-T minus 6 days and counting. SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!

(*Abby quivers with excitement in her office desk chair.)

 

X’s and O’s


♥ May your chocolates be filled with caramel (and not that weird fruit stuff.)

♥ May your roses be fragrant (and not wilt-y.)

♥ May your Valentine’s Day cards be multiple and exceedingly cheesy.

♥ May your conversation hearts be witty and sweet.

♥ May your romantic outings go off without a hitch (but if they don’t, make sure you send me the funny story so I can blog about it.)

♥ And most importantly, may yours hearts be full on this, the day Saint Valentine kicked the bucket.

Happy Valentine’s Day, from Team Abby Gabs!

It’s My Birthday, Y’all!!

Ok, well, it’s not MY birthday, per se. But Abby Gabs turned two years old yesterday! Hooray!

As with all things, this little blog has changed quite a bit in the last year.  I wrote a few more posts on more serious topics this year: like weight loss, my desperate desire to become a published author, and our heart-breaking struggle with infertility. I introduced you to my godchildren, who are the cutest godchildren on the face of the entire planet (and also on Mars.) I cut my teeth on illustrations, and used my own cartoons to welcome you into my silly, slightly warped, sense of reality. And I even answered some of your most burning questions, in one of my favorite Abby Gabs video blogs, ever.


Last year, I compiled a list of MY favorite Gabs to celebrate my one year anniversary in the blogosphere. But this year, I’ve decided to share YOUR favorite ten blogs from 2012. Enjoy.

#10: How a Weekend Sale At The Mall Made Me Feel Like a Granny
(Published 12/29/12–277 views)
This little tale is about a shopping trip I took recently with a teenage family member. It introduced a number of my readers to the popular slang word “totes,” as well as gave you a glimpse into what I might look like at 85—because that’s how old I felt while shopping at Hollister.
 
 
 
(Published 3/13/12–284 views)
Once upon a time, Abby was a clogger. Not just a regular clogger, but a COMPETITIVE clogger. And in this post, I tell you a story about one of the very first competitions I ever danced in, and why a particular ‘club hit’ from the 90s has forever damaged my father’s brain.
 
 
(Published 4/30/12—286 views) 
I was lucky enough to get to see the Broadway production, “Wicked,” last year, along with Brian’s Aunt Tina. It was, without a shadow of a doubt, one of the most memorable experiences of my life. And you shouldn’t be surprised (if you’ve been a reader very long) that it was touched, inevitably, by my long-term celebrity boyfriend, Donnie Wahlberg.
 
 
(Published 5/1/12—294 views)
It wouldn’t be the perfect yearly review if there wasn’t at least one post about (or in this case, co-written by) my bloggy bestie, Laverne. This was our very, very first post that we did together, and it morphed into a wonderful friendship. Laverne wrote to me about a child’s birthday party she had attended, and I illustrated it, for one of my favorite Abby/Laverne posts we’ve ever done.
 
 
 
 
(Published 6/12/12—309 views)
Apparently, readers, you like it when I publish edited photos of myself wearing ridiculous hairstyles, all for the sake of fashion. But it seems you like it even more when I ask for your opinion—I was flooded with comments, emails, and text messages after this post. And many of you cast your vote on which hairstyle suited me best. (The Mariska Hargitay style won, by the way.)
 
 
(Published on 9/24/12—346 views)
This is yet another blog where I whine about weight loss. I’m convinced that the many page views stem from the awesome photoshopped graphic of my own take on Charlie Sheen’s “Winning.” Or else you all stopped by to look at Bob Harper’s abs.
 
 
(Published on 3/26/12—414 views)
I published this blog as I was gearing up to see Wicked (see #8.) My poor husband had to endure my bad singing as I wandered through the house, belting out show tunes (and songs from the hit TV series, Smash) at the top of my lungs. Poor, poor Brian’s eardrums.
 
 
(Published 2/28/12—438 views)
Apparently, that warning doesn’t apply to you, dear readers, because you LOVED reading about my sudden bought of food poisoning. My graphic descriptions, paired with all the broken blood vessels in my face and eyeballs had y’all coming back for more. You asked for it, so here it is again:
 
 
 
(Published 3/5/12—598 views)
This must be one of those things that a lot of people can relate to, because WOWZA…this blog is probably one of my most popular ones ever written. (This may or may not be related to the fact that it was shared on Pinterest by my friend, Stephanie, from Clay Baboons. Which is AWESOME.)
 
…and last but not least, because you guys are WEIRD, (or potentially because of the name-brand product used throughout the post)…
 
(Published 12/8/12—738 views)
You guys are either nuts over Post-It-Notes (I AM TOO!!!!!) or you love my silly brand of humor involving run-on sentences and rambling. Because that’s all this post is—nothing special, just me rambling about stupid stuff on virtual Post-Its. Ya bunch of weirdos.
 
There you have it, readers—the top ten Gabs from 2012. I look forward to what new stuff I can entice you with in 2013. Clearly, you’ve given me a wide net to cast. Vomit, Post-its, and Charlie Sheen. Thanks for the fodder, friends! I hope you’ll keep coming back for more!

For Brian, On His Birthday

I have a present for you.


I wanted to give you everything you’ve ever wanted: special-edition Transformers from China, a shiny new Kindle Fire, a super-sexy Camaro, all the Doctor Who figures in the world….

I wanted to give you all the impossible things we both dream of but can never have: a room filled with hundred-dollar bills, a giant mansion with the world’s best man cave, a trip around the solar system in the TARDIS, a friend by the name of Jean Luc Picard…

If I could, I would give you all those things and more on your birthday. But we don’t have much money right now, and no matter how much I try, I can’t get a hold of The Doctor. And so, my love, all I have to give you on your birthday is, well, this:


Maybe next year, I can get you that Camaro.

Happy Birthday Brian! I love you to the moon and back!!! 

I’m Always A Little Late To Every Party

So here I am, eleven days (11?!!??!?!?!?) into the shiny new year, and I’m just now getting around to writing an honest-to-goodness, real-life blog. 

What’s that ya say, readers? “What’s Up With THAT?”

Well, I’ll tell you.

For starters, in case you missed it, Brian graduated about a month ago. Which means my man, in all his glory, has been home a LOT lately. That translates into…well…into this:


Pure. Unadulterated. Bliss.

There’s been lots of sleeping, lots of snuggling, and lots of laughing. We’ve been socializing, taking road trips, going to movies, watching a TON of Doctor Who reruns, and just basically enjoying each other’s company for the first time in practically three years.

If it hadn’t been for all the working in between, it would have almost been like a vacation.

That being said, all this extra-super-fun-time has put a serious damper on my desire to write. Not because I don’t want to, or because I don’t have things to write about, but because I’d just rather be snuggling with my honey on the couch whilst playing Mario on our new Wii-U.

(Brian assures me that this honeymoon phase will pass. I’m not so sure.)

(Meaning, the honeymoon phase with him, not the Mario brothers. Although they’re pretty adorable little plumbers. Mustaches and all.)

On top of all that quality time being spent, I’m also just getting over the monkey flu of death. It hit me like a ton of bricks a week ago today, and I spent at least 3 of the last 7 days totally sacked out in bed, unable to move much more than to blow my nose and beg weakly for more Sudafed.

After a week of nose-blowing, pill-popping, orange juice-drinking, and nap-taking, I think I’ve finally kicked the beastie’s butt. At least, I’m showered, dressed, and upright for the first time in days. That’s a major improvement. Trust me.

I crawled out of my cocoon of covers this morning just so I could get started on the new and improved Abby Gabs, all vamped up and ready for 2013! You’ll notice a new banner, a new button, and a new theme that runs throughout my social media outlets (including Twitter and Facebook.) 

And that’s all fine and dandy. 

But the addition to my blog that makes me the most excited???



The shiny new Pinterest button that joins my other social media links at the top of the page! How cute is that??? And now you can satisfy your deepest curiosity into what That Gabby Abby pins on a maniacal level daily basis. Because believe me when I say that I pin like a mad woman. It’s the truth, friends and neighbors.


So, dear reader, I hope you’ll accept my heartfelt apology in the late salutations. But in truth, 2013 really started for me today! So, in true Abby Gabs fashion, Happy 2013!!!