Posted by: dsduffy | January 2, 2014

2014

A new year, a new beginning.

In two weeks it will be the 1-year anniversary of when we left Australia and arrived in Denver. Nearly a year of trying to find my place, figuring out what the hell I want to do with my life (now that my kids are in school full-time….who am I?)

It is just the right time. I started a new job (working 25 or so hours from home) and I have stopped torturing myself with “finding my passion” and just going with what is presented to me. Who am I to say that Insurance isn’t what is meant for me?

Working at home is definitely a change for me, but one that I am going to embrace and make the most of.

A new year, a new beginning, a new outlook on life. A chance to “start over.” We can always start over, whether it is January 1st or May 16th, it really doesn’t matter, but this just feels right.

And with that? I am going to end this blog and start anew. It just seems right.

Please come find me at http://thelifeofmystoryblog.wordpress.com

xo Danielle

Posted by: dsduffy | December 13, 2013

Sweet Sixteen

I can use the word sweet to describe him, but there are so many more words that do a better job. Caring, smart, funny, athletic, focused, driven and loving top my list. It freaked me out a few years ago when his head was above my sister’s in a picture, I immediately looked down to see if he was on a step, or if they were standing on a hill. Nope, he was taller. And now my nephew is taller than most of us…his dad and and uncle still have a few inches on him – but I doubt for long. If I look at him at the correct angle, and squint my eyes – I can still see that toddler who was my first experience with little boys…he opened my eyes to a world I am now completely immersed in – boy land.

Happy Birthday Jas-y Jas…I can’t wait to see what the future holds for you. I am sure it will be sweet.

Posted by: dsduffy | December 10, 2013

While I was raising two boys…

Apparently technology has advanced since 2004. When I left my last job, I sat in a cubicle with a computer and a telephone, but I also was surrounded by files. We had “inter-office” email, but I never interacted with any customers that way. It was always on the phone, via fax or *gasp* snail mail. It’s funny the things I enjoyed about my job – I loved all the office stationary – making new files for customers, stapling and unstapling, highlighting important things, you get the idea. Now? Paper does exist, but it gets scanned into the cloud. Yep – I know what the cloud is, but it feels like I slept through this whole transformation. I know it all exists, I just find it strange how completely different it is, in only 9 years.

Back to work I go – I’ll be in the cloud.

Posted by: dsduffy | December 7, 2013

Out in the open.

Why can’t I talk about it? Why do I feel like it has to be a secret? Why can’t I say, “I would have been 9 months pregnant, if I didn’t have a miscarriage.”

I find myself thinking about it more this month…December. I was so concerned about the birthdate, he or she would have been due right around Christmas, like December 26th I think. I was hoping for a scheduled C-section again, so we could have the baby the week before Christmas. The baby. The baby that is no more. 

Why can’t I talk about it? I don’t want sympathy. Not at all. But I want it to be OK to talk about, not forgotten, not taboo, not something that didn’t happen. Because it did. It happened.

..

 

Posted by: dsduffy | November 26, 2013

6 Thanksgivings

Before 2008, making mashed potatoes was my big contribution to Thanksgiving dinner. I had never been brave enough to attempt stuffing or a pie and opening cranberry sauce with a can opener was the hardest thing I had done. I wasn’t expected to roast a turkey. My mom or mother in law did it, fantastically, and I was A-ok with that.

One month after moving to Australia, I was on a frantic search for a turkey. I found a pretty small one, but that was perfect, given the shoe-box sized oven in our kitchen. I scoffed at buying a single can of cranberry sauce at USA Foods for $6, but bought it anyway, because Thanksgiving without cranberry sauce? Not really Thanksgiving.

All in all, I was solely responsible for 5 Thanksgiving meals in another country, without the expertise of my mom or mother-in-law, or the correct ingredients. Oh yea, and cooking all of it in a shoebox sized oven, in Celsius. And in the summer, on a Saturday since Thanksgiving isn’t an observed holiday in Australia, so it was just like any other Thursday.

This year? I am again in charge of hosting Thanksgiving – but this time with more comforts of home. Shelves stocked with Cranberry sauce, selling for a mere $1.79. Turkeys galore, regular sized oven, proper temperatures outside and the day off to spend with friends. The only thing missing? My family. Thankfully we have a nice group of expat friends to celebrate with, and we can FaceTime with our families, I guess that will have to do for now.

Posted by: dsduffy | November 21, 2013

Another international Thanksgiving, but this time in America

We celebrated 5 Thanksgiving’s in Australia. Imagine – I had NEVER cooked a turkey in my life, I might have helped my mother-in-law prepare the side dishes, but I was never in charge of the whole dinner! It was funny, I have to say, trying to prepare my first turkey back in 2008, 2 months after arriving down under was quite interesting. I ended up collecting random recipes from Allrecipes.com and used them every year afterwards. We celebrated it every time with our German friends who are now more like family and I will miss them dearly at our table this year.

This year, we have more international friends to celebrate with, it cracks me up – Aussies, a Scot, and a Canadian – just the way it should be!

It is such a relief to be able to buy all the ingredients needed, and not having to pay $6 for a box of Jiffy cornbread mix!

Posted by: dsduffy | November 15, 2013

10 months post-cross planet relocation

Ten months. I realized it yesterday and the thoughts that came to my mind were all over the place. I feel farther away from Australia than ever, distance and time-wise. And am I settled? I don’t know. I guess more than at the 6 month mark, but still Denver just feels like…Denver. What does that mean? I don’t know – you tell me. It doesn’t feel like “home” or “where I belong” but it is fine for now. Nothing against the lovely people I have met, or the house that we live in, it is all great, but I don’t know if it feels like my forever place.

(I know, get over it already!)

Posted by: dsduffy | November 7, 2013

Autumn afternoon

The flickering sun on the wood floors catches my attention. I can head the wind rustling leaves outside, I don’t even know why we raked on the weekend. While walking the dog earlier today it was literally raining leaves, the streets, sidewalks and yards covered in a colorful mess. It’s a nice time of year in Denver, a chill to the air but still the sky is blue and the sun stays around. I know that the snow isn’t far away, but I keep reminding myself that it won’t be that bad, it melts so quick here – unlike the East Coast where it hangs around for days and days.

A nice cup of tea warms me and I want to make a pumpkin pie but think I’ll wait until Thanksgiving.

 

 

Posted by: dsduffy | November 5, 2013

Searching, hoping to find, I don’t even know what.

This particular yoga instructor is from New Jersey. I could tell right away from the way she pronounced “bagel” exactly the way my brother Dave did, more like “begel.” It made me smile. And then she was telling me to turn away from my thoughts, to focus on my breath, to be in the present. How could I possibly do that after she just said “begel” and now all that was on my mind was Dave. I didn’t want to turn away from my thoughts of him. Can’t there be an exception for this type of thought? It’s not like I was thinking about my to-do list, or about the kids, I was thinking about Dave, and his smile, and his laugh. It made me smile and I gave myself the OK to let those thoughts stick around.

As many times as I practice yoga (that’s what they call it – practice) I am unable to turn off my mind. I don’t know what the hell my problem is – I just cannot do it. I will keep trying though, just like I am trying to find what exactly I want to do with my life. I feel like a little mouse, going in and out of different spots, searching, searching for I don’t even know what. I’ve been all over the map. Teacher? Real estate? Yoga instructor (that one’s pretty amusing.) Personal trainer? Work at a clothing store? Write a book? Do nothing? (that one I seem to have down pat.) I feel so jealous of all the people who know what they want. Who know their passion. Who are good at something that can be a career or even just a job. I listen to the Oprah Network on Sirius radio, hanging on the words of Iyanla Vanzant, she is telling me something very important, if I just listen closely. Books on my kindle, songs on the radio, there has to be a message, a sign somewhere! Why can’t I see it? Will I ever figure it out?

So I go to yoga, I read “The War of Art” and I push on. It will come to me, right?

Posted by: dsduffy | November 2, 2013

Halloween, American style

It truly felt like my boys’ first halloween (for me.) I mean, they were 10 months and 2 years old the last time they were in the States for the spooky trick-or-treating holiday. And, no offense Australia, but you guys just don’t do Halloween like us ‘Mericans. 

We trick-or-treated at many houses with amazing, spooky, creepy, nightmare-inducing decorations. 

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and made our way down to the little “village” in our town, where the street was closed off and the shopowners were giving out treats. It was such a fun time! 

The boys complained about being a bit cold so we didn’t stay out as long as they would have liked, but they sure did get enough treats to fill their pumpkin buckets. 

I truly enjoyed being back in the States for this holiday. I read on FB from an Aussie friend that some Australians are anti-Halloween, calling it “too American” but honestly, it is just about having fun. Kids love to dress in costume, and who doesn’t love candy? You get to say hello to your neighbors and have a little scare while doing so. I don’t see any harm in it. So Happy Halloween! 

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Bring on Thanksgiving :) 

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