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Archive for November, 2011

The Thanksgiving holiday threw me off my daily blogging wagon, so I’m taking today – the last day in November – to wrap-up my thankful for list.

Day 23: Even though I spent most of the evening cleaning it, I’m thankful for our home. I remember when we first saw our house. It seemed so HUGE! I couldn’t believe we were going to be homeowners with our own appliances, a backyard, and yard tools! I couldn’t wait to get the keys and start painting the walls, moving in our things, purchasing more furniture, and making this house our home. Almost six years later and I still love it. Sure I wish I had a larger kitchen with an island and marble countertops, or a private master bathroom, or master walk-in closet, but I love that we have enough space to host our families when they come to visit. I love that our house is in good condition and doesn’t require a ton of maintenance or improvements. I love that we have such wonderful neighbors that look out for us. And most of all, I love the little family that we’ve built/will build in this home and all the memories we have so far.

Day 24: Thanksgiving Day. I’m thankful to still be sharing the holiday with my closest family members – my parents, my grandparents, my aunt and my cousin – and that everyone is still in relatively good health. I’m also thankful that the turkey still tasted pretty darn good, despite looking like something from National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.

Day 25: Typically, my mom and I brave the Black Friday madness to score some good deals on gifts for family and friends. Or in some cases, good deals on things we want or need ourselves that we know other people won’t buy. This year wasn’t like that. In fact, we could barely think of anything to get anyone. And my own Xmas list is pretty bare too. The reason for this, I think, is because we’re all so blessed. It’s always hardest to buy for the person who has everything, and fortunately for us, it seems everyone in our immediate family already has everything they need to be happy. If that isn’t something to be thankful for, then I don’t know what is.

Day 26: I was thankful for the great weather we had on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday that allowed us (and by us, I mean the hubs) to put lights on the house and complete our Christmas decor both inside and out. There was plenty of blood, sweat, and cursing, but the tree is up, the lights on the house are twinkling, and the house is decorated.

Day 27: On Sunday morning, my parents headed back home so the hubs and I spent the day putting a dent in our Christmas shopping. I’m thankful we were able to get about 1/3 of it done.

Day 28: Monday was a vacation day and I’m thankful I was able to get some things accomplished around the house. As someone who works full-time, an occasional day away from the office does wonders for my mental health. Even though I spent the day doing laundry, wrapping presents, cleaning the kitchen, and making out Xmas cards, it was sooo therapeutic. Very thankful for days like that.

Day 29: Last year around this time, the hubs and I booked our 5 year anniversary trip to Maui. I can’t help but look back on that, and all of the trips we’ve taken together (Cabo, Bahamas, Napa Valley, Italy/Spain/France, Cancun, Kauai, Colorado, Arizona, Florida, New Orleans, Oahu, Myrtle Beach, New York, San Diego, Memphis, Chicago, Charleston, etc.) and feel truly blessed that we’ve been able to see the places we’ve seen. To eat the foods we’ve eaten. To experience other cultures. Traveling to new places is by far my favorite thing to do, and I’m incredibly fortunate to have done so much of it with the person I love most.

Which brings me to…

Day 30: The thing I’m most thankful for: My husband. (Excuse the schmoop that’s about to take place.) I do not know a more hard-working, honest, caring, thoughtful, intelligent, handsome, selfless, courageous, good-hearted, loving man. He is my rock, and the reason I have most of the things I’m thankful for. He’s my best friend, and without him, I’d be completely lost. He’s not perfect but he’s as close to it as they come, and I feel incredibly lucky that he’s mine. Cliche as all of this may sound, it’s the truth. No one could love me better than he does and I’ve got a feeling that this is only the beginning. I can’t wait to share the next 50+ years with him. Life is good, but only if he’s in it.

Now…onto December!

 

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My thankful list would be incomplete if I didn’t include this furry guy.

“Hi! Youz want to pets me?”

“Look at dis head! Iz perfect for petting!”

“What you mean I need a baff? I already licked mysewf FIVE times today! Iz clean.”

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30 Days of Thankful: Day 21

With Thanksgiving preparation in full force this week, I’m thankful for my mom because every year since the year I got married, she and my step-dad make the 5.5 hour drive to St. Louis to help me host Thanksgiving.  And by “help”, I mean she does all the hard stuff, like preparing the turkey and making her delicious, from-scratch stuffing. I help with everything else, but my mom’s always been WAY better in the kitchen than anyone else in the family so I kind of just do what she tells me and try to keep things cleaned up and presented nicely. I always look forward to the occasion, even if it is a TON of work. And then later, when we’re relaxing on the couch, we peruse the Black Friday sale ads and plan our (shopping) attack. It’s a fun little tradition that has me enjoying Thanksgiving so much more than years before.

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30 Days of Thankful: Days 17-20

Whoa. These last few days just completely got away from me. And I was doing such a good job of posting every day. Ah well. Looks like I’ve got some catching up to do, so here we go:

Day 17:

I’m thankful for working at a job I love. I spent the entire work day immersed in holiday-related things and had Christmas music pumping through my speakers with a peppermint mocha by my side. It was a great way to spend the day, so much so that I was almost sad that I had taken a vacation day on Friday. I said “almost,” let’s not be too crazy now.

Day 18:

I’m thankful for snail mail, and the loved ones that take the time to send me something. Every time I get something in the mail, be it a simple thank you card or a Thanksgiving card with a dancing and singing turkey, I smile. And I can’t wait to see the Christmas cards that come my way this year. And I’m even more excited to send out my own cards, as I made them extra special this time.

Day 19:

I’m thankful for all of the wonderful teachers I had growing up in school. I spent some time Saturday morning helping out our local food pantry and two of my former teachers were there. My 5th grade teacher immediately recognized me and called me by name before pointing me out to his wife, who was my 3rd grade teacher. It’s nice to be remembered after 20 years and hundreds of students.

Day 20:

I’m thankful for the instant enjoyment that a movie theater brings. In high school, I spent some time working at a pretty big local theater. And I LOVED it! I’d work 14 hour shifts, just to be there. One would think that over time, the smell of the buttery popcorn would make me gag, but really, it’s like coming home. I started loving the movie theater when my mom would take me to the dollar show on the weekends. And I’ve loved it ever since, though I’m glad to see the induction of things like stadium seating and gigantic IMAX screens. The hubs and I went to the movies Saturday night (to see Happy Feet 2, because there was no way he would see Breaking Dawn with me) and I was reminded of how much I just love the movies. Though I could do without the people that like to kick the back of my chair because they have some sort of nervous foot twitching problem. Ahem.

Phew! All caught up until tomorrow.

 

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30 Days of Thankful: Day 16

Today, I’m thankful for my job. Of course, there are obvious reasons for this – steady, stable employment, a decent paycheck, a reputable company and client projects I enjoy. All of those things are reason to be thankful, but today I’m focusing on something much more simplistic: The physical aspect of my job.

I spent a few years working in retail and food service where I was on my feet for 14+ hours straight sometimes. I was quite a bit younger then, so I could handle it, but there were times when I was just so tired, or I wasn’t feeling well, and those days were murder. I’d take an extra bathroom break or two just so I could go sit on the toilet for five minutes. I remember standing around the cash register, daydreaming about the future job I would have where I could just sit – in a meeting, at my desk, in front of a computer, on the phone….just sit. And use my brain instead of my braun feet.

Lately, I’ve read a few stories about research that says a sedentary lifestyle can lead to cancer and other major health issues. And my husband and I will talk about how people that have to be up and active for their jobs seem to live longer lives, or at least have fewer health issues. Sometimes he talks about it in a way that makes me think he’d rather have a job like that, a job that didn’t have him chained to a chair and desk for 8 hours a day. But I know deep down that I am satisfied having a job that allows me to sit. My memory is not so foggy that I’ve forgotten how much it sucked to be on my feet for days at a time. I’d much rather use my off time to be active than be forced to be active all day and end up using my off time to nurse my blisters.

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30 Days of Thankful: Day 15

Comfort foods. I hear the term a lot when talking about creamy casseroles or warm, bubbly soups, but when I think of comfort foods, I think of those foods that remind me of precious moments from my past. Instant time machines that transport me back to a certain, familiar place.

Such as…

The smell of a freshly brewed pot of coffee at my great grandma’s house and the sweet taste of coffee, milk and LOTS of sugar. Grandma wasn’t really one to hop all the kiddos up on caffeine, but she knew how to make a small, kid-sized cup of coffee just right.

A bowl of cereal – the only breakfast I could make myself without burning the house down. (Remind me to tell you about my pop-tart incident from about age 9. And also? Don’t put frosted pop-tarts in the toaster. I don’t care what the commercials said.) There are pictures of me in my booster seat trying to get a spoonful of Captain Crunch in my mouth. In high school, I’d scarf down a bowl of Cocoa Puffs before running out the door to catch the bus. To this day, a big helping of Fruit Loops is pretty much the only food that I’ll still eat, even when nothing else sounds satisfying.  Man, I love cereal.

Bacon, bacon, and more bacon. The only smell I love waking up to more than the smell of coffee – is bacon. On the weekends, mom would fry up a batch and the smell was enough to get me out of my bedroom and nibbling on fresh pieces of bacon before the rest of the meal was ever finished.

Then there’s the holidays and how the absence of a few key dishes would make them seem somehow…incomplete. For me, it’s my mom’s homemade stuffing for Thanksgiving. It stinks my house up when she’s cooking up all the veggies but by the end, it’s one of the most delicious things I’ve ever tasted. Until about day 5 of leftovers and I’ve had enough stuffing to get me to next year.

Hmmm…I think I’m kind of hungry.

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Yesterday and today have been unusually warm in STL for this time of year and I’m SO GLAD because this meant that I was able to get out on Sunday with the hubs and do a 4 mile walk around a nearby lake. The weather was simply perfect. And as someone who absolutely HATES to be cold, the 70-degree days are always welcome in my world. Especially when nature is at its most beautiful with all the falling, crisp leaves and people trying to squeeze in those last fleeting moments of fall before the cold and rain settle in. It’s crazy how much the weather affects my mood. So let’s all be thankful the weather has been good lately.

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