Category Archives: List Blog

Areas of Improvement

It’s the first of the year. Practically every human being I know is busy making promises to themselves about things they hope to improve upon this year. You might call it ‘making resolutions’ or ‘setting goals.’ Or maybe you just think of it as ‘making a list of all the things I want to do better this year, especially eating more chocolate cake.’  But either way, I’m banking on the fact that you’ve got a list of your own, whether it’s tucked into your brain, typed out on your smart phone, or taped to your bathroom mirror.

I hope success for each and every one of you, whether your resolution is to lose weight, or to watch every single item available to stream on Netflix in the next 356 days. (That’s a lofty goal, my friend. Let me know how it goes.)

I don’t really have goals that I’ve set in stone. Sure, it would be amazing to finally publish my novel, or start a new career, or lose 100 pounds. But instead of focusing on specifics, I’m instead focusing on areas of my life that I want to spit shine till they glow. In case you’re interested, here’s a compilations of those areas seeking improvement.

Blog 1

This probably isn’t a huge shocker for you guys. I’m intent on spending as much time writing in 2014 as ever before. Naturally, this includes AbbyGabs, but I’m also looking to finish the novel I’m currently working on and, hopefully, starting another.

In this same vein, I’m also looking to further my writing career this year. I’ve already signed up for my very first ever writer’s conference, PubSmart, which will take place here in Charleston in April. I’m excited, and exhilarated, and scared out of my gourd that everyone around me is going to be able to sniff out the noob in the room. (That would be me.) So I’m stocking up on extra-strength deodorant, holding my head high, and hoping that I’ll get something worthwhile out of this conference. Most likely scenario–I learn some stuff I didn’t already know. Best case scenario–I meet an agent who’s so excited to meet me and hear about my stuff that she’ll backflip herself right into a publishing contract with little ol’ me. Here’s hoping, right?

Blog 2

I don’t necessarily mean making more of the green stuff (although don’t get me wrong. That would rock.) I’m thinking more along the lines of budgeting. Saving. Building a nest egg. Finally buying a second car. That sort of thing.

Because between you and me, the first year of having Brian on a nurse’s salary, as opposed to a bartender’s salary, was a fun one. I mean, we were spending like we had money to burn. (Dolla bills, y’all.) So I’m hoping to curb that enthusiasm this year, and really start to build a good foundation for our financial future.

Blog 3

Big shock. Abby’s getting back on the weight loss train. Again.

Here’s the thing: I have never conquered my battle with weight. Not once. But, I’ll keep trying until I find the formula for success.

So I’m trying a different approach this year. I’m easing into it. Counting calories (because that’s crucial for me to be successful.) Drinking water. Making healthIER choices. Moving more and eating less. I’m taking Brian along with me for the ride, and we’re determined to whittle a few inches from our growing waistlines. It’s not going to be easy. It’s rarely going to be pretty. But we’re going to feel better, and sleep better, and have more energy to do the fun things we love. And that’s all the payoff I really need, in the end.

Blog 4

I can already hear a few of my closest friends rearing up to argue with me over this one. Here’s the thing: I’m a perfectly nice person. I smile at people in the grocery store checkout line. I make small talk with the postal worker when I’m buying my stamps. I’ll give you the shirt off my back if you need one, even if I’m wearing my ugly grandma bra. But there are 3 situations that turn me into a not-so-nice person.

I have road rage. There’s no doubt about it. Driving often frustrates me, and anyone who’s ridden in the car with me will attest to that. This year I want to find my zen behind the wheel and stop cursing so much at truckers who cut me off without even a second glance. (Peabrain.)

I have work rage. I’m less-than-friendly with certain customers because they’ve been so hateful and rude to me in the past. I get annoyed with other customers because they’re slow, or easily confused, or generally nosy. And quite frankly, my phone etiquette sucks. There are a lot of reasons for this that I won’t go into here on this public forum, but I’m going to work on being nicer to the people I encounter at work.

I have poor self-esteem. I mentally beat myself up all the time: over everything from how much I eat to what I say to people, and especially about my body. I think the words “Fat” and “Ugly” on a daily basis–about myself. I’m a nice person…most of the time. It’s time for me to start being nicer to me.

Blog 5

This is a fun one. I firmly believe that, in order to be a good writer, you also have to be an avid reader. And I do read a lot already, truthfully. But this year, I’m setting a goal for myself to finish 50 books in 2014. It’s not such a huge stretch–I’m sure I’ve read that much before. I’ve just never counted. So I’m going to make a list of the books I read, ones I plan to read, and challenge my friends to compete with me. I ♥ books.

And finally…

Blog 6

It’s no secret to our friends and family (and most of the readers here) that 2013 was a difficult year for Brian and me as we uncovered the truth behind our problems with infertility. It was a difficult path that we had to take together…and one that we’ll continue to navigate as we move forward with our plans to look into adoption this year.

I may not have a child in my arms by the time the Christmas tree goes up, but I’m hoping we will have made serious progress toward opening our home, and our hearts, to a child looking for us as much as we’ve been looking for them. We have so much love to give, and while we’re nervous about the coming challenges, we’re (finally) ready to tackle them head on.

*     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *    *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *    *     * 

It may seem that I’ve set myself up for failure this year, with these lofty goals. And so many of them! But I firmly believe that we can accomplish improvement in every area of our lives that we want to, if we stay focused and driven. These are the things I want most for my life right now. And so if I want them, I have to work for them. Right?

“Far away there in the sunshine are my highest aspirations. I may not reach them, but I can look up and see their beauty, believe in them, and try to follow where they lead.”  –Louisa May Alcott

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?

The Infertility List Blog

Let’s set the record straight. I’m not a psychologist with years worth of research in my portfolio. I’m not a doctor who knows big words about specific sections of the brain and the hormones that they squirt into the body. I’m not a fertility specialist who can explain to you the complexities of coping with the emotional baggage that comes with having broken lady parts.

But I am an infertile woman living in the 21st century. And I’m also a blogger. So that gives me all the necessary tools to present you with a list of 10 things everyone (especially my friends and family) should know about infertility.

10 Things This Infertile Wants You (The Fertile Ones) To Know

1. Birth announcements don’t come in bouts of 3.
Nay. In fact, they come in groups of a hundred. Sometimes more. In fact, in less than a 2 week time span, practically everyone I knew–from best friends, to that child actor from the 80s, to the kid I used to babysit in the 8th grade–announced that they were expecting. Even the Prince of Friggin’ England was all like, “Heeey yoooou guuuuys….I’m gonna be a baby daddy!”

one

You should be forewarned that when this happens you will find me in holey pajama pants, lying on my bathroom floor, sobbing into the bathmat. Don’t worry–I’ll find my happy for you eventually. It’s just going to take some time to pick up the shrapnel from the baby bomb that just hit my house. (It’s not as cute as it sounds.)

2. Let’s just put it out there–Friends with Kids, We Are Jealous Of You.
It’s nothing personal. But when we come to your house to visit and accidentally step on a Lego, we’re jealous. When we meet you for dinner and you’re a few minutes late because you had a diaper blowout, we’re jealous. When we call you up and can’t really hear what you’re saying over the sound of baby giggles in the background, we’re jealous. When you post a picture of your darling child in over-sized sunglasses and a beer box on his head, we’re jealous. It doesn’t mean we love you or your pint-size mini me any less. It just means that we see what awesomeness you have in your life, and we want it for us, too.

3. We really don’t need to hear about the conventional methods anymore.
I know you mean well when you gently remind us that the best way to get pregnant is to stop thinking about it/take your temperature/get drunk/elevate your hips after sex. Believe me–I’m more flexible than I look.

See?

contortionist

The problem with us is mechanical, not creativity. (wink wink) So there’s really no need to reenact the Kama Sutra to show me just how you got knocked up. (Although, if you really want to, go ahead. Just be forewarned that I will take pictures. I’m always looking for good blog fodder.)

In this same vein, please don’t make weird suggestions about other, less traditional ways to procreate. I want to have Brian’s baby. Not his brother’s, not his uncle’s, and not his third-cousin-twice-removed’s. Sorry. That’s just weird and creepy.

4. At some point in our relationship, I will cry.
I’m a big ol’ fat cry baby about most things, anyway. But this particular thing? I have no control over my emotions. The truth is–I’m grieving. That’s really what infertility is–grieving the life of the child you always imagined but will never have. It sucks. It’s really hard. And I cope by crying.

A lot.

So inevitably, we will be cheerfully chatting about that catty thing someone said at the party, and something will trigger that “OMG I DON’T HAVE OFFSPRING” button in my brain, and I’ll be sobbing all over you before you can grab the stray tissue at the bottom of your purse. I apologize in advance.

5. I use humor as a defense mechanism.
If this blog isn’t proof of that, then let me explain.

Your adorable toddler will run up to me and give me a big kiss. I will make an inappropriate joke about my ovary exploding. Everyone will laugh.

You’ll ask me if I’m available to take photographs at your child’s birthday party. I’ll laugh too loudly and make a joke about always being free since I don’t have a child of my own to throw parties for. No one will laugh.

I’ll be writing a semi-serious blog post about the trauma of infertility, and I’ll throw up a stupid picture of myself Photoshopped to look like a clown.

Clown

With me now?

6. Please don’t say, “You should adopt!”
You’re totally right. A family IS about love, not blood. There ARE lots of kids in the world who need loving homes. We totally agree with you. That doesn’t mean we’re ready, yet. It also probably means we’ve still haven’t worked up the courage to rob a bank, yet. Cuz that’s shit’s expensive, yo.

7. We totally still want to be friends with you, even though you are fertile.
It’s ok. We don’t begrudge you your fully functional baby-making parts. Mostly. So don’t worry that bringing your kids over is an inconvenience. Don’t stop inviting us to birthday parties and baby showers (although sometimes I might not come.) Don’t apologize when your kid squeals loudly or chases my cat or accidentally scribbles on my kitchen table. We love you, and your screaming toddler. I’ve even been known to miss a football game or two just to hang out with you guys. Now THAT’S love.

8. Sometimes, we need to hang out with our “non-kid” friends, though.
It has nothing to do with you. It has everything to do with our desire to drink copious amounts of alcohol, talk about grown-up type things, and say curse words often and loudly.

margarita ole
*Drool.*

I know you can carry on conversations about stuff other than your kids. (There’s a reason we’re friends. You are a super-cool cat with tons of interesting things to talk about. Am I right??) I also know that you want that giant margarita right there just as much as I do. But I also know it’s harder for you to leave the kids out of conversation, because they are your life, as they should be. No guilt trips here, lady.

It’s just this: sometimes it’s easier for us to be around people who don’t have that problem, and who aren’t so hyper-aware that something they say about their child could potentially send me into the ugly cry. It lets me get my drink on with the knowledge that I can be a happy drunk instead of the weird drunk who’s walking around the party blurting out random child-rearing facts that I probably shouldn’t know.

9. Imma spoil yo’ babies.
When they fall down at my house, I’m going to kiss their boo boo and give them a cookie. When it’s their birthday, I’m going to video myself singing to them and email it to you. When I come over to visit, don’t be surprised if I come bearing little gifts of my adoration for your progeny.

There are two parts to this: 1) I do it because I love your kid. He/She is adorable, and I just want to squish them regularly. Kudos, Mom and Dad, ya did good. And 2) I do it because it helps me fill a void. I don’t have my own child to sing to or bake for, so I’m gonna do it for your child.

Don’t worry, they’ll pay you back by pitching a fit at bedtime because they just want to go to Auntie Abby’s house and play.

cooler than you

You’re welcome.

10. We will be fine.
I know you’re concerned, especially because I’ve been in a constant state of funk since we got the official word in June that we won’t be able to join you in the land of Parenthood. (At least not without a crap load of cheddar and a miracle to rival the parting of the Red Sea.) If I’m honest with you, and with myself, I don’t know how long this part of the process takes. We’re sad, and we will probably always be sad. But even though I don’t have working ovaries, and even though Brian doesn’t have the Michael Phelps of sperm, we still have each other. And that, friends, is the really great news.

*It took me a really long time to publish this blog. Do you have any idea how hard it is to make something like infertility even remotely funny?? It’s really, really hard. So don’t feel like you need to send me an email or comment apologizing if you think you’ve possibly done or said one of the things above. Because you probably have. Because everyone has. And it’s totally OK. The important thing is that I know that you care. There’s not really anything anyone can say to make it better, but knowing I have friends in my corner who are cheering for me and who only want me to be happy makes bearing this cross a little easier. I love you–each and every one. And I love your stinkin’ babies, too.

ComicCon 2013: The List, Part Deux

This is a continuation of my last blog, which you can find here.

When it came to putting the awesomeness of ComicCon into list form, I had a hard time choosing my top two favorite things. It’s a toss up here, people. Truly. Because the last two items on my list are so epic they each deserve their own blog. So while we’re continuing the countdown with “Number Two” on the list, let’s just call it what it is….a draw. You’ll see why, once you’ve read both blogs.

Also, I’m breaking typical list protocol with this item. It’s getting sub-categories. Because I’m the boss, that’s why.

Here’s part two of the list:

Two: The Crazy, Kind, Nerdy, Super-Awesome People of the Con
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again—going to ComicCon wasn’t just about the comic books and the geek swag and the celebrity sightings. For us, it was our Nerd’s Trip to Mecca. Every single person that attended the convention—all eleventy billion of us—were there to celebrate whatever it is that we’re all fans of. It didn’t matter that this chick over here loved anime, and that chick over there loved Supernatural. What mattered was that we were all uber-fans of something. And that’s worth getting together for.

We had a few encounters with fellow nerds that left me awed and speechless. The first one happened minutes after stepping in line on the very first day of the convention.

2-AEugene and Christopher. I overheard some guys in line near us talking about their strategies on getting to the most sought-after booths. Intrigued, Brian and I drew them into conversation, and we spent the two hours waiting for the doors to open talking to our new best friends.

To Brian’s delight, we’d managed to find two toy collectors–Eugene is a fellow Transformer fan, while Christopher was in for all things Marvel. Naturally, they asked if Brian had any major purchases he was hoping to make. That’s when Metroplex came into the convo. You’ll recognize Metroplex from a photo collage in the previous blog, but here’s another shot of him, just to jog your memory:

mETROPLEX

Brian was so excited about this Transformer. Ask any of our friends and they will tell you that he was talking about this ComicCon exclusive, one per customer, hottest ticket in toy business robot for MONTHS before the event. So when Eugene and Christopher asked, Brian jumped at the chance to talk about Metroplex.

“That’s cool,” Eugene said. “So you’ve already got your voucher, right?”

Cue the crickets, and imagine us standing in a sea of nerds, mouths agape.

Turns out, the Hasbro booth was so popular, that if you intended to shop there, you had to be at the convention center at 5 a.m. to pick up a voucher, which gave you an appointment time for standing in line. Just to get to the booth. To, like, buy stuff.

And we had no clue.

It was obvious that we were both disappointed. If we didn’t get Metroplex on Day One, he would sell out, and I knew Brian would be devastated. I was in the middle of coming up with an elaborate plan to cheer up my depressed hubby when Christopher said, “I wasn’t planning on buying Metroplex, and I have a voucher for 4 o’clock today. Just meet me at the booth and I’ll get him for you.”

What the WHAT???

Here’s this guy we’d known less than an hour, and he wasn’t just offering to do something kind, he was (unknowingly) making Brian the Happiest Geek In The Land.

True to his word, he met us at the booth later that afternoon, purchased the toy for Brian, and handed it over with a smile. Brian tried to tip him, and Christopher refused. “It’s your first Con, man. I’m just glad to help. All I ask is that next time, you pay it forward.”

We will, Christopher. Thank you SO much.

2-B: The Doctor. With the 50th anniversary happening at this year’s convention, there were Doctors EVERYWHERE, and of every persuasion. I saw tall Doctors, fat Doctors, old Doctors, child Doctors, female Doctors—and I greeted each and every one of them with a jaunty “‘Ello, Doctah!” in my best (Brian would say WORST) Cockney accent. But out of all the many Doctors over the course of the Con, I managed to meet the very best one—not once, but twice.

Thursday: Brian and I are standing in line to visit one of our MUST SEE booths–the Titan Toys booth–when I saw the most adorable David Tennant-style Doctor in all the land. I fumbled for my camera and Flat Jenna (more on that later this week), and quietly asked him for a photo. He was so generous with his time, and so kind, and the photo turned out awesome. (Except for the fact that my eyes are closed. But I couldn’t help it. He was a good hugger.)

Doc

The Doctor was impressed with my tale of bringing my bestie along to the Con, even if only in flat form, and he wanted me to be sure and tell her hello. (Hi, Jenna! From the Doctor!)

I thanked him several times, and off he went into the crowd. I smiled all day thinking about how sweet he’d been to pose with Jenna and me.

Fast forward to Friday: Brian and I were fighting our way through the throngs of geeks, trying to get to a specific booth. I bumped into a very tall, rather handsome Trill (from Star Trek). I made a joke about nerdy sardines, and he laughed at me. That’s when I looked up and recognized him as our Doctor from the previous day. He recognized me too, and hugged me again. This time I gave him my business card so he could find the photo we’d taken once he arrived at home. “It’s amazing that I ran into you again, considering this huge crowd,” he said.

And he was right.

I never saw my Doctor again, but I’m hoping beyond hope that he finds me, and follows me on Twitter, soon.

2-C: Captain America. By lunchtime on Day One, we were utterly exhausted. We traipsed the entire circumference of the San Diego Convention Center just looking for a spot to sit and enjoy our sandwich. We finally managed to find an unoccupied corner of carpet, set up camp, and rested our tired feet.

I noticed Captain America as he wandered out of the double doors from the exhibit hall. His costume was damn near movie quality. I was very impressed, but too hungry to try and capture a picture. That’s when he took off his mask and started scanning the crowd. I recognized that weary face–he was looking for a place to sit, too. I made some room and waved him over. He sat down next to me gratefully.

For the next half hour, we talked to Cap about, what else, the Con. As it turned out, his father was a metal worker, and had helped him develop his costume. The shield was absolutely beautiful–there was even a little damage from battle worked into the design. He told us that he’d served in the Army, done several tours in Afghanistan, and when he’d gotten home he just wanted to do something worthwhile. He’d been dressing up for comic book conventions for a long time, and joined forces with some other masked superheros in Las Vegas to work for a charity called “Critical Care Comics.”

“We go to big children’s hospitals in the area dressed in our costumes and visit the kids,” he said proudly. “We also give them free comic books. It cheers them up and gets them excited about comics, all at the same time.”

I was so moved by this veteran’s story that I asked him if he’d have his picture taken with me. He went to stand up and said, “Oh, sure, just let me put my mask and stuff back on.”

“No need, Captain,” I replied. “You sit, stay comfy, and rest those tired feet. Besides, I’m more interested in having my picture taken with the hero behind the mask.”

Cap

We talked quietly for a little while longer, then packed up our bags and our trash and headed back into the convention. But I kept thinking about Captain America all day long. Over dinner that night, Brian said he’d been thinking about him, too.

It just goes to show that the most useful tip we received before heading into ComicCon was to just talk to people. Because we made some awesome friends, heard some amazing stories, and were inspired to be better nerds, all based on the people we met. So thanks toy collectors, Doctor Who-impersonators, and Captain America. You guys made our ComicCon experience that much more amazing, just by being you.

Stay tuned for the last installment of ComicCon 2013: The List, coming later this week. You won’t want to miss it. It was truly a full-circle moment for yours truly.

Happiness Is A List (An AbbyGabs Video Blog)

It’s a good day. The kind of day that makes me happy to be alive. In fact, I’m in such a good mood that I made a list of all the things that are making me happy and turned them into a quick video blog, all for your viewing pleasure.  


What are you happy about today, readers? Tell me all about it in the comments below. Happy Weekend!

This video is dedicated to gal pal, Arielle, for lodging a formal protest yesterday about my lack of video blogs lately. She’s a fan, and that’s one of many reasons why I adore her. So I whipped up this little ditty just to make her laugh.

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!

I’m a Cat Mom

I don’t have kids.

But I have cats.

I have four fantastically funny, furry, feline friends and they make me smile every single day.

Now don’t mistake me, I’m not comparing cats to kids here…no, wait a second. Yes I am. While they may not speak English, require lessons in manners or the alphabet, or need me to eventually pay for their college tuition, they are every bit my four-legged children.

Let me explain.

How My Cats Are Just Like Children
They keep me company, snuggle with me when I’m sad, make me giggle on a daily basis, and miss me when I’m gone–even if it’s just for an hour or two in the afternoon. It’s true. I even have video proof.



If you can’t see the above video, click HERE, or copy and paste the following code into your internet browser: http://youtu.be/oTh1Hg1-nbQ

They require my attention when it comes to their health, welfare, and food. Especially the food part. Pip never lets me forget when it’s time for a meal.

 They enjoy being the center of attention, and will do whatever is necessary to ensure that you’re paying attention to them. And not that show you’re watching, that laundry you’re folding, or that book you’re reading.

 They bring me such joy with their antics that sometimes it’s a wonder that my heart doesn’t burst from loving them so much. Whether they’re playing with a plastic lid from a water bottle, sleeping all snuggled together in a group, or hiding from the world in a discarded cardboard box, it makes me giddily happy to see them have such a grand time in their little lives.

I constantly fret over them, nurture them, spoil them, and adore them. When somebody wants a snuggle, they’re getting a snuggle. All other things—work, life, phone calls, meal preparation—will wait until the snuggle is over.



So many people have told me that when I have my own kids that it will be different. That I’ll still love my pets but that I’ll love my children in a different, bigger way. Well, I just don’t see how that’s possible. 

Because I already know how being a Mom feels, even if it’s only to four fuzzy little faces.

 

Bring On The Turkey!

“What are you thankful for this year?” I asked my husband today.

“My loving wife,” he said, tongue in cheek. “The fact that nursing school is almost over. Supportive friends and family…I’m thankful for new beginnings.”

Isn’t he so sweet, y’all?

I have to agree with him (especially about the loving wife part. Except insert “husband” where “wife” is, and we’ve got a winner.) But there are a few…unique things that I’m thankful for this year, other than the usual. And what’s the point of having a blog if you can’t write about them (in list form)?

I am thankful for…
…the gift of humor.
I like to laugh. A lot. Most days, I laugh at myself, my husband, my cats, my friends, and my television. Sometimes, I just laugh at life in general. (And usually, I document it all here, for you to see.)

my godchildren.
It’s a brand new shiny thing–one that I’ve never been able to say until this year. But knowing that there are two adorable little ones, just a relatively short drive away, that I’ll get to spoil outrageously as they grow up…well, that just gives me the Warm-and-Fuzzies. I love those little babies to bits.



…social media.
That may seem to be a shallow thing to some, but social media has opened up a whole new world of communication for me. I’ve honed my stalker skills, made some amazing new friends, and gifted myself with a voice solely my own. Tell me that’s not something to be thankful for!

…my fuzzy, four-legged children.
When you’re all by your lonesome most of the time, it’s nice to have a soft kitty, a warm kitty to come sit on your lap. Those little balls of fur own my heart. My house is full of happy, sleepy kitties, and they all like to purr. (If you don’t recognize the lyrics I just ripped off of Sheldon Cooper, then your nerd card is revoked, people.) I am also HUGELY grateful that they are all over the stomach bug they passed around for the better part of a month! Yay for no more cat puke!



…having the time to hone my skills as a writer.
I know that, if my life were any different than it is at this moment, I might not have the time to be working on my very first novel. And so, I will be grateful that I have this opportunity, and hope that it will lead to future opportunities down the road.

…wine, chocolate, and other stimulants that make life fun.
I’m particularly looking forward to the apple cider sangria we will be enjoying with our turkey and our stuffing today.

…and lastly…I am thankful for Photoshop.
Because without it, I couldn’t wish you a Happy Thanksgiving in a traditional, Abby Gabs sort of way.


Enjoy the pumpkin pie, y’all!! 

I Know, I Know…

…I promised you I was going to keep posting on a regular basis, even though NaNoWriMo has me super-busy. And I haven’t kept that promise. I’m a bad Abby.

The truth is, this week hasn’t been conducive to much writing at all. Rather than telling you about the week I’ve had, I’d like to show you instead.

My Week In Pictures
 
Monday
 
Tuesday
 
Wednesday
 
Thursday
 
And when I haven’t been cleaning up a flooded kitchen, exercising my civic duty, tending to a sick (but healing) cat, and celebrating a random weeknight with girlfriends, I’ve been…well, you know…
 
 
Believe me when I say, I miss you, too, readers. Now that the weekend is upon me, I have a TON of catching up to do. I’m really behind with NaNo, so I’ll be spending my free time in the next few days scrambling to add to my word count. So…I guess I’ll be seeing you guys on Monday.
 
No, really. I promise. I’ll be here Monday.
 
Unless another pipe bursts. 

Laziness 101

For the past two weeks, there have been three things, and three things alone, that I’ve been interested in doing.

#1: Drinking Coffee. The stronger, the hotter, the more frequent, the better.

#2: Pinning All the Stuff. Particularly recipes for stuff I’ll probably never make, DIY projects that I’ll probably never attempt, and home decor stuff for a house we don’t have yet.

 



#3: Watching Reruns of 30 Rock. Because Kenneth the page makes me laugh out loud. And Tina Fey is my s-hero. 



(My love affair started with Kenneth when it was revealed that he is a clogger.)



It’s true that all of these activities, when enjoyed separately, are all worthy endeavors of one’s time. However, when you combine all three of them simultaneously, with the inclusion of pajamas, cookies baked from a Pinterest recipe (one of the few I tried), and a new-found Pepsi addiction, it’s not a pretty thing. The only impression I’m making on my own life lately is the permanent one of my butt on the couch cushion.


I’m not sure what brought on the funk. Brian going back to school, recent personal health problems (i.e. a return of the dreaded kidney stone), the end of the summer Olympics….many different things could contribute to this new laziness I’ve been experiencing.

So this morning, I made the bed. I did some laundry. I vacuumed and straightened and dusted. I scrubbed my kitchen counter tops and soaked some stinky kitchen towels in hot water and baking soda (another tip from Pinterest.) I emptied my inbox and replied to some emails. I read some blogs and left some comments. I sharpened some pencils and painted my toenails. And finally, I wrote this blog.

I’m officially exhausted and will be rewarding myself with a hot cup of coffee and Season 5 of 30 Rock on Netflix.

What? I’m working on it.