2016 Reflections & 2017 Resolutions

2017-resulutions

This has been a year of all things: great, challenging, and new.

This year, I had the honor of being a part of the remount production of You, or Whatever I Can Get with Flying V and the National Conservatory of Dramatic Arts.  It was a small but significant (added-for-the-remount) role that was the perfect transition back into the theatre world after having Dez.

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Photo by Ryan Maxwell Photography

I became a Beachbody Coach at the end of August.  I’ve learned that although I know that the products and programs are amazing and they work, people have a hard time investing in their health and wellness.  Their kids, ALWAYS (hey, I get it!).  But themselves, it takes an epiphany or a really “down” period for that a-ha! moment to hit.

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I got the chance to play a GREAT role in an innovative production of The Who’s Tommy.  Open Circle Theatre’s mission is to create opportunities for and spread awareness about actors with disabilities.  This production incorporated American Sign Language, and opened my eyes to an entire deaf culture that I (embarrassingly) had no clue existed.  The experience sparked a desire to learn ASL and get the learning process going for a possible new life path.  We’ll see!

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Photo by Wilder Photography

This doesn’t usually happen, but just one month after closing Tommy, I started rehearsals for a brand spankin’ new world premiere play, Mack, Beth! at The Keegan Theatre.  It’s a modern day version of the Scottish play, AND my first play-play since moving to the DC area in September of 2008 (aside from readings).  The cast is amazing, and I am THRILLED to be back at Keegan after too long of a hiatus.

Matt played a role that was very different than anything he’s ever done and NAILED IT.  (I had no doubts.)  He also got a promotion at work recently because he’s super smart and awesome.  (Also, no doubts.)

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Photo by Cameron Whitman Photography

Kevin is in his last year of preschool.  His handwriting, although crazy messy, is getting better.  He’s starting to read and sound out small words.  I don’t work with him nearly enough (#momfail), but regardless, he’s excelling in his school, and I’m grateful for his teachers.

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Desmond had been working with the Infants & Toddlers program for a possible speech delay.  We worked with them for about 7ish months.  I was never worried.  I knew he would speak when he was ready.  But just to be safe, we got services every couple weeks.  I learned a lot about “teaching” him to play (never thought I’d need that, but alas, I did) and how to help him develop his speech.  We recently stopped services as I didn’t think he really needed them anymore, and his vocabulary is really taking off.  Soon, he’ll be talking nonstop like his big bro.

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On the last day of the 2016, we lost Matt’s grandpa who had been battling cancer for about a year.  He was one tough guy, and he had a special bond with Kevin.  Matt was able to drive to Ohio on New Year’s Eve to be with our family and pay his respects to the man that raised him.  I’m so very grateful he was able to go.

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But now, on to 2017.

I have high hopes for this year.  And I have very specific resolutions… because ain’t nobody got time for broad, generic sh*t.

  • Pay off one particular loan that drives me BANANAS.  Both because debt is terrible AND the customer service at this place is literally the worst.  Rude as hell people.  The thought of paying interest to them makes me wanna puke.  So, they’re the first to go this year.
  • Workout: Weights 3x/week & yoga 3x/week — see?  Specific.
  • One blog post/week.  Eeeeks!  Hopefully I’ll have enough to share to fulfill this one.
  • Learn ASL.  At the very least, the basics.  Enough to have a rough convo.
  • Start the prerequisite course-taking process.  “For what?” — you might be thinking.  I have been feeling a strong pull to go back to school and pursue a Master’s.  I think I’ve *finally* figured out in WHAT, but there are many prerequisite classes to take before even beginning the Master’s program.  More on that later 😉
  • Live simpler.  Just… less stuff.  Less commitments.  Saying “no” when I really don’t wanna.  Less clutter.  Less stress.  Stop overthinking.
  • Badass tattoo.  Because I want one.  That’s all.

Again, 2017 — HIGH HOPES.  It’ll be busy.  I have a lot to do, a lot to work towards.  But by living simpler and paring down on the unnecessary things in life, I can do it.

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Photo by Monika Karnani

 

 

Fall Family Photos – 2015

I meant to post these last month, but, you know… life.

Things are crazy around here, but I wanted to be sure to share some amazing photos taken by my friend, Monika, of Monika Kay Photography.

She never ceases to amaze me!

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The Hicks Fam Takes on OC!

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When Matt mentioned a few weeks ago that he would have to attend a conference for work in Ocean City, Maryland, my initial reaction was dread.  And I hate to say that.  But I was immediately consumed by the thought of being home alone with the boys for three days and two nights, all alone, no relief, no help.  And my anxiety shot through the roof. Continue reading

Family Maternity Photo Shoot

When I was pregnant with Kev, I never did a photo shoot.  Mostly because I was the size of a whale and didn’t feel the need.  There are some embarrassing photos on Facebook that I quickly untagged, but really, I have no formal documentation of my first pregnancy.  And that kinda makes me sad.

But this go ’round, even though I’m nearly 30 weeks along and feeling like my thighs are comparable to tree trunks, I wanted to be sure to capture this moment in time.  Plus, we haven’t had family photos done for at least two years, so I thought it was a great opportunity to mash family/maternity photos together.  And we’re PUMPED to do a photo shoot in a few months as a family of FOUR.

Life is good.

Here goes.  I couldn’t narrow it down any further, so…

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Big Kev / Little Kev

Earlier today, my Gramp in Maine Facebook messaged me a photo he found of my father when he was Kevin’s age.

As a lot of you know, Kevin was named after my dad.  I never got a chance to get to know him because he passed away when I was a baby.  So, I love seeing photos of him, especially ones where I can see uncanny resemblances.

The one thing I definitely see in Little Kev that he got from Big Kev are his eyes.  He has blue eyes with super long blonde eyelashes.  They’re beautiful, yes, but not awesome when they’re constantly smudging up against his glasses.  But worth it nonetheless.

The photo on the left was taken around 1964.  The photo on the right was taken today, in 2014.  20140705-151444-54884701.jpg

It’s amazing how no matter how much time passes, some things remain very much the same.  And boys will be boys.

 

Summer in Ohio

if you get the musical theatre reference in the title of this post, you’re a nerd.  like me.

Last week we spent a much needed week away visiting Matt’s side of the family in Southern Ohio.  And you know what stinks?  What were once “vacations” are not anymore  with a baby.  There’s no sleeping in.  There are still poopy diapers to be changed, screaming and fussiness to deal with.  There is nothing relaxing about “vacationing” with children.

It usually takes us about 7.5 hours to drive from Silver Spring, MD to Wheelersburg, OH.  But on the way there, we made it in a record 7 hours!  How?  Who knows!  It took a lot of throwing food and toys and snacks and books and sippy cups into the backseat to keep Kevin distracted.

By the time we got there, he looked like this…

Just COVERED in Earth’s Best Wheat Teething Biscuits.  I swear, there should be a warning label on those things.

All of us had a great time swimming in Matt’s grandparents’ new pool!

 

…especially Kev.  Obviously.

And I must say, as a lady who “just” had a baby almost ten months ago, I was SUPER hesitant about getting in that pool in a *gasp* BATHING SUIT.  But a few weeks ago, Mommy Friend Briana convinced me that it ain’t no big, and I’m being too hard on myself.  So, I got myself a cute little skirty bathing suit bottom at the Targ, and since I couldn’t find a top that was, well, supportive enough, stuck with my old stand-by halter “bikini” top, letting the post-baby tum out in all its glory.  And I must say, it felt good.  Liberating even.  And even better?  I don’t look bad.  I just hate bathing suits.  And always have.

The day before we drove down, it happened to be Matt’s grandma’s (Mam’s) birthday!  So the family celebrated with a fun (and fried ice cream) filled dinner at Toro Loco!  They have a birthday tradition there where they put a sombrero on your head and sing a birthday song, which is expected.  But what I DIDN’T expect was that they SMEAR WHIPPED CREAM ALL OVER YOUR FACE as part of the celebration!  WHAT?!  I’ve never seen such a thing!  AND there happened to be THREE birthdays while we were there.  Three times the face smearing!

But Mam is a champ, and I think she secretly enjoyed it.

And Kev enjoyed being passed around to hang out with his cousins, aunts, uncles and grandparents.  (And mommy enjoyed eating her food in peace!)

He also tried his first lemon and LOVED it.  I was hoping for a disgusted sour face photo.  But no.  He wanted more.  #classickev

While in Ohio, Kev reached TWO milestones within the first couple hours of us being there!  He started crawling on his knees AND pulling himself up to standing!

 

Now there’s no keeping him still.  He’s into everything and constantly on the move.  Within the past couple days, he started “cruising”.  Not full out walking around furniture, but he does take a few side steps while holding onto things.  I’m waiting for the day when he says, “See ya, mom” and just walks away.

Matt and I met during college.  We were both in the theatre department at Marshall University in Huntington, West Virginia, which is only 45 minutes away from where Matt is from.  So we took a day to drive Kev around Huntington and dine at our favorite establishment, Rio Grande.

 

We also stopped at the theatre department to see if anyone was around…

 

 

…ahhh, the ol’ loading dock.

Look who we found!

 

Matt and I were both taught by the great Jack Cirillo (among others) during our time at Marshall.  I babysat his children who are now in high school and driving and have boyfriends.  Oh God, I feel old.  But it was super nice catching up!

 

Back in Ohio, Kev’s 6-year-old cousin, Landen, started football, so we went to his first day of camp to cheer him on!

 

And Kev was a hit with the ladies…

 

 

 

I even managed to snap this picture of Matt and his brother, David, watching Landen practice and reminiscing about their days on the field ❤

 

 

We brought Kev’s Pack n’ Play to sleep in and made sure to bring his nighttime BlaBla (a knit cat) and blankey that he usually sleeps with, so he would feel a sense of being at home.  But that sure didn’t work.  He was scared and not happy, and it was a nightmare getting him to go to sleep each night.  Lots of screaming and restlessness.  Except for the last night when he “slept like a baby” just in time for us to go home.  #classickev

Kev is usually an excellent napper.  A couple morning naps and an afternoon nap.  Although the second morning nap has almost completely disappeared, which makes me sad.  He REFUSED to nap in his Pack n’ Play, but I knew he was so tired and needed to sleep so badly (as did I), so this is how we napped each day in Ohio…

 

Please ignore my seeming bald spot and the fact that I look naked.  I assure you, I am fully clothed.  Thanks to Matt for thinking to take these pictures.  I never want to forget these sweet moments.

When we got back home on Friday evening, Kevin and Lucy were just the cutest together. They clearly missed each other immensely.  Lucy even scaled the side of Kev’s Adventureplex to cuddle (roughhouse) with him…

 

And boy was Kev happy to be out of his carseat (and out of his clothes)…

 

 

Some random shots from our trip…

Overall, it was a great trip, and we can’t wait to go back for Christmas!

On the Mommyfront…

Since we’ve been back, it’s been a crazy week!  I had my last show of Where in the World?  The Untold Story of Camilla Sanfrancisco as part of the Capital Fringe Festival.  I had an audition for The Rocky Horror Show with the Washington Savoyards and got cast, so the fun starts back up with our first rehearsal on September 17th.

So, with all the DIY projects/dining room makeover/etc that I have been putting off until the time presented itself, I have set a goal list of things that WILL be accomplished BY September 17.  The dining room chair makeover is in full swing.  Be on the lookout for a post within the next week or so!

I am also pretty much back to my pre-pregnancy weight, but now my goal is to drop another ten pounds.  (This girl has to be on stage in lingerie in a couple months!)  I have found that using the My Fitness Pal app for iPhone is the BEST way for me to keep track of my diet and exercise.  It does all the work for me.  I just need to make sure I stay within my allotted calories.  And I’m eating healthier because if something is too high in calories, I think “is this worth it?” and I usually opt to not eat it.

More on the DIY and weight loss goals in another post.

In closing, I leave you with these adorable photos of Kev with a balloon and Kev trying to drink out of a fake doll bottle…