Friday, December 5, 2014

thankful 2014: december wrapup.

45. vacation days. long weekends are the best. thankful for a few days off work in the middle of a busy season.

46. in-laws.  thankful for the generous family that my husband comes from.  thankful for laughter and games and time spent together.

50. grandparents. thankful that Gram is willing and able to alter my bridesmaid dress for me. thankful that Pap pretends to know who i am. thankful for good memories around the kitchen table. thankful that gram still makes candy.

55. aunts and uncles and cousins. thankful that no one bats an eye when we rolled in just in time for lunch - in fact, we had pizza in hand and a seat at the table (or on the steps) almost before we even said hello. i am thankful for every single one of them.

81. my fat sister. and Balthazar who is making her fat. and her husband Micah who let Mark hang out with them all last weekend while i was bridal showering and bachelorette partying.

84. laser tag. part of Julie's bachelorette festivities was playing laser tag in fancy dresses. thankful that i had a fancy dress that fit me. thankful for an amazingly fun group of girls to spend the evening with.

93. Christmas decorations. we are keeping Christmas really low-key this year, since we are planning to start demo for the kitchen project right after the holiday. thankful that we already had a tree in the basement, and plenty of ornaments and lights and tinsel to make decorating for the season quick and painless.

98. online shopping. and two-day delivery. i have a feeling that these two things will constitute a large portion of my Christmas shopping this month. thankful for technology that facilitates my laziness.

100. traditions. thankful for the challenge of this thankful list every year. thankful that it directs my thoughts towards thankfulness, and away from whining. of course i can still be plenty whiny, but i am at least more aware of it.

Monday, November 24, 2014

thankful 2014: way behind.

33. glitter spray paint. for all your 'covering everything in sight with pink sparkle' needs.

34. related: spray adhesive and glitter. for when the glitter spray paint doesnt cover as many things in glitter as you would have liked it to.

36. i am a hoarder. this means i had an ample stash of cardboard and cardboard boxes that were the perfect size for cobbling together a spray-booth. because spray painting outside in 20-degree weather is just not going to happen.

37. craft stores. thankful that they are absolutely FILLED with glitter everything in anticipation of the holiday season!

38. disposable income. thankful for available funds for party supplies, and date nights, and the occasional Starbucks.

39. an alternate camera. or two. went on a field visit last week and our camera died, so i was thankful that we brought two cameras. and then the second camera died a couple hours later, and i was thankful that i had my camera in my purse.

40. friendsgiving. i cooked a turkey. i invited my community group. we talked and laughed and ate good food. there was no pressure and no SOMETHNG and no one would have judged me if the whole turkey thing was a flop and we ordered pizza instead. and it was good.

41. charter busses. thankful for no-stress transportation to and from NYC. bonus: Despicable Me (1&2) and Elf as on-board entertainment.

42. broadway. thankful for so many amazingly talented people all gathered in one place who will let me pay them to entertain me for an afternoon.

43. for the record: i am NOT thankful for the sickness that befell my sister and her family this week and prevented me from meeting up with them in NYC this weekend. but i think i might be thankful that i am not sick with the same thing.

44. the postal service. bringing me a wedding invitation, a bridesmaid dress, fabric for Balthazar, and bridal shower favors ALL IN THE SAME WEEK! thankful for a fantastic mail week.

45. short week. thankful for so many good things to look forward to during the upcoming long holiday weekend.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

thankful 2014: part four.

19. downspout underdrain - this fall, Mark rerouted our downspouts to make use of existing drainage pipes that run underneath our driveway. i am thankful that he was capable of taking on this project, that all of the trenches are finally filled back in, and also that our sidewalk no longer doubles as a miniature lake when it rains and will be less likely to flood the basement or become a hazardous sheet of ice this winter.

20. carpet stretchers - apparently these are a thing that exist, and they will fix the wrinkles in your bedroom carpet that are the result of a shoddy installation job a few years ago.  thankful that Mark was willing to tackle this completely spontaneous and different type of DIY project.

21. home depot tool rental - because where else are you going to find someone who will loan you a carpet stretcher on a Sunday afternoon?

22. motivation - for myself, this is something that has been somewhat lacking over the past few weeks since Daylight Savings Time kicked in...i'm much more likely to shut down after dark than to start a new project or do anything really. but every now and again i get a burst of energy and motivation and i am productive and awesome and i am thankful for those times.

23. long projects - these are the ones that test our patience and stretch out longer than we ever thought possible, but they are the ones that yield some of the best rewards. like that one time Mark re-drywalled a wall in the fireplace room, or gutted and rebuilt our whole bathroom. most recently, Mark has been building us a new bed frame for over a year now, and i am thankful for the time and patience and ability he has to tackle these types of projects.

24. the end of long projects - the end is unarguably the best part of ANY project. we now have a fully functioning new queen-sized bed frame in our master bedroom! it has 6 big drawers underneath, and a nice tall headboard for sitting up and reading in bed, and ok so we still have our full-size mattress on it, and the drawers dont have any hardware on them yet, but other than that, this project is done and useable!

taken before the drawers went in

25. our cabinet guy - we are soclose to finalizing our kitchen layout, and Christopher is totally awesome - answering all our questions, and helping us visualize all our options, and really working to help us keep moving forward with this whole big kitchen renovation. thankful to be working with good people.

26. my microwave - making indoor s'mores possible. yum. even though i am planning on replacing it in the near future, i am thankful that it works and has done so reliably for the past four years.

27. my sister Abi - always good for an encouraging phone call. thankful to have sisters who are never more than a phone call away.

28. nighttime walks - i've said it before, but i think this week was definitely the last last chance for being outside after dark with just a hoodie to keep me warm, so i took the opportunity to hit the streets for a little time out of the house to chill, and decompress, and talk on the phone. thankful for my quiet residential street, my flashlight, and free time to take advantage of the lovely weather.

29. electricity - thankful for heat on chilly days, air conditioning on warm days, lights after 5:30 pm, and a multitude of other things made possible by this nifty discovery.

30. to-do lists - mine right now is growing faster than i can cross things off of it, but the things on it are all good and exciting. thankful for the visible progress inherent in list-making.

31. music - specifically, those really random songs that pop up when your iPod is on random shuffle and remind you of good times and even better people. "Delta Manda Dawn, what's that flower you have on? could it be a faded rose from days gone by?..." thankful for happy memories with people i love.

32. new toys - i got a Fitbit today at work! thankful for my company's wellness program and being physically fit enough to participate in it.

Friday, November 7, 2014

thankful 2014: the third.

13. Jazzercise. i recently attended my 200th class, and was gifted a set of 3 of my very own Jazzercise DVDs for my at-home workout enjoyment! thankful to have found an exercise routine that is fun enough to keep me coming back.

14. bear hugs. sometimes you just need someone to hold you and squeeze you until you just can't be upset anymore. and when those bear hugs turn into slow dancing? makes me smile just thinking about it.

15. Pandora radio. i have stations on there for almost all of my moods. thankful that my husband knows exactly which one to pick to cheer me up after a less-than-stellar day of work.

16. sunshine. thankful for sunshine and blue skies outside my window. thankful that the sun is up when i leave for work in the morning (at least for now anyway)

17. breakfast club. our department has breakfast on friday mornings. thankful that i can count on a couple extra minutes in bed because i don't have to worry about breakfast.

18. my new work-acceptable hoodie. just slightly more fashionable than just a regular old hoodie - i think the lack of a front pocket is the main difference.  its not fancy enough for everyday office-wear, but can absolutely be worn on casual fridays. this delights me immensely today. thankful to be permitted to be comfortable and professional at the same time.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

thankful 2014: yesterday and today.

9. community group. these people are some of my favorites. blessed to share life together with them. thankful for shared experiences and knowing that i am not alone: "i really thought i would be where i wanted to be by now, because i've been doing everything right. but i have to trust that God knows what He's doing." universally applicable and so true.

10. ice cream. so i'm supposed to be doing a no-sugar challenge through work right now, but there are cheat days built in for a reason. i'm thinking 'kahlua and cream' is one of them. thankful for treats.

11. nice fall evenings. probably one of the last evenings of the year that it will be possible to comfortably sit outside and chat over ice cream. thankful for being able to take full advantage of it.

12. foggy days when you're stuck at work anyway. easier to focus that way, instead of wishing you were outside instead. thankful for the extra concentration boost.

Monday, November 3, 2014

thankful 2014: first edition

as has become a family tradition, i will be attempting to list 100 things that i am thanking God for throughout the month of November.  there is no particular order to the items on my list, although i am following the lead of my wonderful mother this year and intending to explain them each a little bit, rather than just list them.

1. my job. i have a very good job. it is stable, it is in the field i studied in college, and it has a traditional monday through friday work week. this means that i reliably have weekends off and can afford both the time and dollars to do things like drive to Pittsburgh for a few days to hang out with people i love. thankful for a consistent schedule.

2. Sophie.  yes, i named my car. i bought her with my own money (and my dad's co-signature) after graduation, and five years later i own her outright. she is a great traveling buddy, and she has facilitated most of my best memories in recent years. thankful for her reliability.

3. Gordon is broken. so while i was traveling this weekend i relied heavily on my backup GPS on my phone, which took me to my BFITW's house by way of my sister's house. she was surprised to have a trick-or-treater come to her house on Friday night, and even more surprised that it was me! thankful for backup GPS and spontaneous sister visits.

4. a BFITW. everyone should have a Best Friend In The World. i am especially thankful that mine isn't afraid to have the tough conversations, tell the hard truths, or share the awkward moments. and she gives the best hugs. thankful for her best-friendhsip.

5. work friends. its nice when the people you are forced to spend 40 hours a week with are also people that you genuinely like to be around. thankful to have people to joke with throughout the day, who speak my same sarcastic language. 

6. a captivating podcast. started listening to Serial while i was driving to Pittsburgh and back. devoured the first six episodes. a little disappointed that now i have to wait for new episodes to be released weekly to try and figure out who-dunnit. thankful for anything that makes a long drive seem to go faster.

7. my Momma. we have a standing phone date on Friday afternoons to chat about work and life and occasionally make pizza together. thankful to be close with her.

8. my husband. when i got home last night, the house was clean. the dishes were done. he was folding the laundry. so very thankful that he loves me.

Friday, October 31, 2014

golf for dummies, by dummies.

1. you should probably own a putter. and just in case you were wondering, the club in your bag with the P printed on the bottom is not it. that's apparently a pitching wedge. looks nothing like a putter. common mistake, i hear.

2. only use a tee once per hole. tees belong in the tee box, when you tee off. that's it. once you're out on the fairway (or the rough, or the sandtrap) your tee is of no use. leave it in the cart. or your pocket. but if you put it in your pocket, remember that's where it is or else you will look silly after you lose or break all of your tees and then have to borrow a tee only to find that a tee has been hiding in your pocket for the last couple hours.

3. keep your head down. if you lift your head, or take your eye off the ball, or blink at the wrong time, you will either whiff or send the ball flying into a tree or watch it land approximately 10 feet in front of you. generally you would like to get more distance out of your swings. (hits? strokes? i dont understand golf lingo)

4. dont be afraid of divots. divots happen. if you are aftraid of them, you will likely swing too high and just nick the top of the ball, or whiff completely. because golf is a giant frustrating head-game. neither of these will get the ball much closer to the green. hit the ball, fill the hole, and move on.

5. your drink tickets are a perk, not a challenge. so you have four drink tickets. and then your friend gives you their three they aren't using. and then someone else slips you five more. this is not a challenge to down a dozen beers before 2pm.  enjoy your drinks, but keep in mind that maybe a company event is not the best opportunity to be shotgunning beers in the parking lot.

6. sometimes the best ball is in the sand. whoops.

7. your golf glove is probably more fancy than you realize. in fact, it might even come with a built-in ball marker. looks like a useless snap-on decoration, actually a useful piece of golf equipment. i discovered mine on about the 17th hole of the day. so fancy!

8. there is no number eight. i dont know that much about golf.
but look! video! not as funny as last years, but proof that every now and again i can hit a decent shot.