2019: A Year of Intention

Well, I haven’t touched this blog in over four months, but with the beginning of 2020, I’m back and ready to look back at the year that was. 2019 was a big and largely great year for me, and it’s fun to look back now and think about all that happened.

Here are some of my highlights!

January

  • Saw Cameron Esposito at Helium Comedy Club (I am by no means a big comedy fan, it is very hard to get me to laugh, but it was a great night out with my husband, and how can you not love her focus on feminism, social justice and LGBTQ issues?
  • Did color commentary for a Jr. Sabres hockey game for just the second time ever.

February

  • Used a sewing machine for literally the first in my life.
  • Planned & executed a pre-game hockey ceremony to honor the “graduating” players from the Jr. Sabres. It went off without a hitch, everyone loved it and I look forward to doing it again!
  • Filled in on color commentary for the Jr. Sabres again!
  • Wrote a piece for VP that I’m super proud of regarding broadcasting of women’s hockey & how people speak about women’s hockey.
  • Went to Lumagination at the Botanical Gardens. It was magical.

March

  • Welcomed nephew #5 into the world!

April

  • PUPPY YOGA.
  • Covered the NCAA Division-I Frozen Four. My first Frozen Four ever, and a pretty neat (if chaotic) experience. I’m really glad I got the chance to do this, especially with it being in Buffalo.
  • Was named OJHL Volunteer of the Year for my work with the Jr. Sabres. So grateful to work with such a fantastic team! (Technically this happened in March, but I went up to Oakville to receive the award in April.)

May

  • Our Texas trip, which was incredible! So many good things to point out about this trip, including that it was my first time flying, ever. Austin, Houston, San Antonio, Dallas. Hockey fun, baseball, family time, tourist things, sightseeing, lots of great food. I can’t wait to go back again soon, hopefully in 2021. (I’d better start saving.)
  • Went to a holistic wellness retreat about 40 minutes from Buffalo, which I won the chance to attend through my work/health insurance. It was super neat and a great experience – two days filled with essential oils, massage chairs, exercise time, nature, reflexology, meditation, yoga & more.
  • Saw The Art of the Brick exhibit at the Museum of Science. Definitely neat, if it ever comes to your city… check it out!

June

  • Went to a wedding in East Aurora that Ryan was asked to DJ, for a former Griffs hockey player. Although I didn’t really know either the bride or groom at all, it was a super fun night.

July

  • Celebrated three years of marriage.
  • Got to celebrate the marriage of two good friends.
  • Got to see my sister & nephews for a short little visit.

August

  • Flew to Charlotte (only my fifth flight ever, first solo flight, etc.) and then drove about 1,000 miles across the state of North Carolina as I spent a wonderful week with my sister & nephews. Explored Raleigh, Greensboro & Charlotte solo, plus had lots of fun around Greensboro, Winston-Salem @ camping with the family.
  • Saw the Jonas Brothers in concert.
  • Went to DC/Baltimore with Ryan for our friends’ wedding, an Orioles game and some tourist-y fun.

September

  • Went to PLAY/GROUND in Medina after missing it in 2018. It was really neat to see how a bunch of artists transformed a former school and there were so many unique installations.
  • Got surprised by the Jr. Sabres with an on-ice ceremony on home ice to receive my ring for being OJHL Volunteer of the Year.

October

  • Road trip to Georgetown to work a Raiders/Jr. Sabres game. Ryan did his usual PA/DJ, while I ran the scoreboard, did the online scoring & manned the penalty boxes.

November

  • Turned 29, which means that in 2020, I’ll be some significant age.
  • Officially joined Canisius hockey as a features writer!

December

  • Spent parts of a few wonderful days with my sister & nephews while they were in town for the holidays. They’re growing up so fast and it’s always so good to see them.
  • Covered the first regular-season outdoor game in NWHL history.
  • Filled in on color commentary for Canisius hockey for the first time.
  • Focused on really getting some good rest!
  • Did more radio talk about the NWHL.
  • Welcomed nephew #6 into the world!

On Anniversaries & Milestones

As I sat down to write this post, I just now realized that tomorrow will mark 10 months since the unexpected death of my father. Ten whole months. It’s simultaneously been an incredibly long and also painfully quick ten months, and it’s hard to believe it’s already November.

That being said, I’ve been trying to equip myself with plenty of self-care tools because I know the next two months will bring a lot of anniversaries. A lot important dates, milestones.

  • Later this month, I turn 28. It will be my first birthday, in my entire life, without my Dad.
  • Thanksgiving, while not a holiday I’d typically celebrate with him, will be my first without Dad.
  • Christmas Eve – which will mark one year since the last time I saw my Dad alive. We went to his apartment last Christmas Eve and I spent three and a half hours putting together a TV stand that my sister and I bought him. Little did I know that would be the last time I would see him alive. I wish I’d taken more photos of him, of us, together.
  • Then Christmas, the first Christmas without Dad.
  • Then December 31, which I believe will mark a year since the last time I spoke to my Dad. I think I called him; I remember hearing that he’d left work early a few days prior because he supposedly wasn’t feeling well — so I called him, while at the arena, waiting for a game, and said (half-jokingly) “Should I be worried about you?” I’ll never forget his nonchalant attitude, his affirmation – “No, no, it was a misunderstanding, I’m fine.” Just a few days after that conversation, he died.
  • January 1. A new year, 2019. A calendar year in which my Dad has never, and will never, be alive.
  • January 4, which will mark the one-year anniversary of his death.
  • January 12, his birthday. He would’ve been 61. Also, the one-year anniversary of his funeral.

Also – no specific date, but hopefully very soon we’ll be able to finally close my dad’s estate.

I’m trying to prepare myself, as I know these days will not be easy. Maybe they won’t be as tough as I’m thinking, but I can’t know until I’ve reached them. So I’m trying to take care of myself and do what I need to get through the next few months. I’m actually heading to a “Grief and the Holidays” meeting/workshop this coming week that I hope will give me some skills/tools to deal with everything.

I just have to take it one day at a time.

Checking In…

Yesterday marked since months since we lost my dad. (There I go again, using that cliched language). It has been a tough six months, the longest and yet the shortest. The time has flown, in a way. I can’t believe it’s been half a year. At the same time, it feels like so much has happened since then.

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My First thredUP Box!

Finally! Who else loves getting packages in the mail, even if you know exactly what’s coming? It’s so much fun. Today, my first thredUP box came!*

*(Technically it’s my second box – but the first one never showed up, unfortunately. USPS says it was delivered, but I never got it. After some trouble, I was finally able to contact thredUP customer service, mostly through Twitter, and they refunded me the full cost of my order including shipping!)

Under the cut to see what I got – and how much money I saved off retail prices!

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Two Months.

It’s been two months since my father passed away. The grief is still so fresh, in many ways, and stale in others. I keep finding new ways to miss him, new moments that come up in my day-to-day life that I wish I could share with him.

My father’s death pushed me to quickly consider things like the afterlife. It’s one thing to think about heaven in general; to think about what happens after someone dies. It’s another to lose a loved one suddenly, feel left behind, and wonder where they are now, where their spirit is. There have been moments where I say to myself “I wish Dad could see this.”

In my head, I know, or maybe hope, that he is seeing all of this. That he’s somewhere he isn’t feeling any more pain, that the hacking cough he had for years due to smoking is gone, that the aches in his varicose veins don’t trouble him anymore; that he’s watching us, and will see us as we grow over the years. That he’ll be proud of us, just as he was when he was still physically with us.

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