Monday, September 18, 2017

Worth the Wait

I know I've been very scarce around here, but I assure you I still follow all of my blog friends in their adventures!  Summertime tends to really deaden blogland, anyway, so maybe as fall settles back in I will, too.  :-)

I did want to pop in to share some news for those I don't interact with elsewhere on social media. Also, if you're interested in connecting on social media, let me know and we'll hook that up!  I'd love to be able to follow along with your lives outside of the blog if you're open to it.

However, my news is......I got engaged!  It took nearly 4 years, but BF proposed to me poolside at our OBX rental house on our first full day of vacation.  I was completely and totally shocked because quite honestly, after this long you kind of start to wonder if it will ever happen.  ;-)  But he came through and he pulled off the ultimate surprise and I was shocked beyond belief!

We're planning on a super small (just about immediate family only) wedding in the OBX in May 2018.  Actually, if all goes as planned, we will be getting married 8 months from today on Friday, May 18, 2018!

I will hopefully be back to discuss more, but I wanted to pop in with the news.  :-)

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Save me from mediocre books!

So I just finished hate reading another book.  Second in a row that I've read and basically disliked to the point where I dreaded reading it and finished it only out of obligation.  The most recent book was "Everything You Wanted Me to Be" by Mindy Mejia.  The story sounded good, but damn, I found it boring.  It felt never-ending and I was endlessly relieved to finish it yesterday.  It's been awhile since I've read anything that I've really loved, that I've anxiously awaited getting a chance to read even a few pages.  Please send me recs for anything you've read recently that you've loved!  I've been reading a lot of darker books lately, so at this exact moment I'm looking for a lighter palate cleanser. I am reading two new books right now - Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough (not light and fluffy, darker story, but good very early) and also We Are Never Meeting in Real Life by Samantha Irby. This one fits my lighter read bill and I'm looking forward to getting it started.  I'll probably read it at the same time as the other and just read whichever one based on my mood at the moment.

So BF and I started counting calories and working out on the regular a couple of months ago and we're still keeping it up!  I'm working out 6 days a week, mixing home elliptical stints with gym elliptical/treadmill/weights depending on my schedule and such.  I haven't had Starbucks in a couple of months - I had to go cold turkey because in the past one *treat* drink has turned into a gateway back into the Bux cult.  Plus, everything I like there is so sugary!  I feel like BF and I have gotten along better with fewer day to day irritations since we've been doing this - working out is definitely just good for the mind, body and soul!  He does his workouts exclusively at home on the elliptical and with his weight bench in the garage.  Whatever works!

It's not always easy because my schedule sucks due to the commute, but I make it work.  I'm very proud of myself for sticking with it, and I've lost 8-10 pounds depending on which day you catch this hormonal female body.  ;-)  We're eating more fruits and veggies, fewer carbs, and keeping our sugar love under much better control aside from periodic splurgey moments.  Good stuff!  Last night when I was leaving the gym a fellow gym goer I frequently see when I'm there was heading out as well told me that I had killed it at the gym tonight on the elliptical and that I was on there forever.  Cheers!  I got a good 45 minute cardio workout in AND watched a show on DVR.  Multi-tasking!  I do need to re-focus on making sure that at least a couple of times a week I do the weights side of things. Definitely important.

Summer is knocking at the door, though it feels like summer already in the air.  We're finally getting a hot streak in the coming days after a lot of cooler than usual weather.  I'm sure I'll be grumping about it in a few days, but for now I'm glad!  We have lots of fun stuff going on this summer, with the travel highlights being Omaha with J&J in June, Colorado in July with BF for my family reunion, hopefully a girls trip in August and then OBX in September.  We may also end up going to Charleston in October/November because BF's sister is due in October with her second child.  Lots of fun things on the horizon!

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Spring Things

It's spring!  The last  couple of days were gorgeous, but now we've shifted.  We're definitely in an "April showers bring May flowers" pattern for today and tomorrow.  On the upside, the rain held off until I got into the office, which was a welcome surprise!

I'm sitting in my office in the dark with the blinds open to provide enough functional light to work.  ;-)  I feel like if it looks like my office is dark, some people may assume I'm not here and choose to not bother me.  Ha!  This work week is lasting a small eternity and I'm really just ready for Friday.

This would actually be a perfect day to sit at home and read.  I'm reading a really good book right now called "The Girl Before" by JP Delaney.  It's got me hooked and I'm definitely wondering where it's heading.  I'd much rather be immersed in that than immersed in day to day work stuff, but such luck!

I put in several requests for time off today up through the summer.  I just figured I'd stake my claim on the days I know I will be out.  I did take a random day off on Friday, April 14th.  BF is taking that Wed., Thurs. & Fri. off just because he's maxed out on vacation time and needs to use it or lose it (sigh), so I chose to just take the Friday off to join him.  Gotta love a three day weekend!  Beyond that, I took off two days in June for our trip to Omaha and two days in July for my family reunion in Denver.  I also took off Labor Day week for our annual OBX vacation.  I'm still expecting a few smaller things to pop up between now and then, but it's a good start!  I'd really like to take a girls weekend trip with my friend, A and maybe a long weekend trip in May, too.  We'll see!  I just figure that I have plenty of vacation time, so why not use it?

I'm watching this last season of Girls and really enjoying it.  It's a bit crazy, but I'm interested to see how it wraps up in these last couple of episodes.  I'm also sad that it's going to be over!  I watched Big Little Lies, too, though I have yet to watch the finale.  I didn't have time last weekend and now I just need to find an hour where I can really settle in and enjoy it.  That show was so ridiculously good.  I read the book years ago, but it was long enough ago that the series felt pretty fresh to me, and I only have a loose recollection of the ending.  I think I definitely enjoy the series more than the book.  Casting was amazing and the whole ambiance of the show is fantastic.

Tonight I told BF that we're doing a very informal, low key date night.  This week has been exhausting and a bit hectic, and we've just been very much existing in the same space and not engaging.  We're not doing anything remotely noteworthy, but I just want us to make an attempt to tune in to each other better for an evening.  We are having salads with shredded crockpot chicken and little cornbread cakes as a side for dinner.  If it's not raining and not freezing, maybe take a brief walk (weather may not be our ally in this endeavor).  We have J the full weekend when we thought it would be a half weekend, so I just want a little solo time for us.  She has spring break next week and originally thought she was going on a college visit Sunday/Monday, but apparently those plans fell through, so we're back to our original full weekend schedule.

I'd really like all of us to do something fun Saturday night - bowling, indoor mini golf, something.  Just something out of the house that isn't just dinner, you know?  I'm getting really stir crazy because the spring weather hasn't fully settled in, and our weekend weather is hit or miss, and we've had a bunch of weird obligations that have kept us from doing much.  I wish it would just get nice already!  :-)  BF and I also talked about me attempting to telework on Monday so that we could get to a minor league baseball game that evening.  It's a little bit of a drive, and on a normal work night I'd never get home in time to make it.  Monday is supposed to be partly sunny and near 80, so it would be a perfect night for some baseball!  I'm going to try to make that happen today.  Maybe I should have waited to send all those other vacation requests!? ;-)

Back to this gloomy weather day I go!

Wednesday, February 8, 2017


The current state of US affairs has led me to feel a constant desire to escape.  However, I also feel compelled to stay informed, sometimes against my better judgment.  Last night I listened to the immigration ban hearing, watched Anderson Cooper discussing more of the day's events and then watched the Bernie Sanders/Ted Cruz debate about the ACA.  I feel like I'm constantly on Twitter reading the feeds of various politicians I follow, the reactions of others around me, and otherwise trying to stay in the loop.

All I really want to do is watch mindless TV, or read, or just close my eyes and pretend the world is a better place than it feels right now.  I keep buying Kindle books, but I'm way behind on reading them. My focus just feels scattered, even though the one I'm reading now is actually pretty good. I was going to read last night in bed, but the room was kind of chilly even though it was 71 yesterday!  I took my little Kindle Paperwhite under the covers, considering trying to prop it up under there to read without having to expose my arms to the chill beyond the covers.  Instead, the Kindle fell face forward and smacked into my lip.  Yeah, I got a fat lip and a cut from my Kindle!  I've been betrayed! ;-)  

Luckily, it only bled a little bit before bed, and while it's sore today and I can feel a small bump, it is not something that is noticeable otherwise unless you're up close enough to see the cut through my lipstick (Yes, I'm still wearing lipstick, ha!).  This is my life, folks!  :-)

I'm glad that it's wednesday, though I wish it were thursday.  I am really looking forward to the weekend, as we are taking a mini escape trip to Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, which is only about an hour from us.  We rented a cute little house and I'm leaving at 2 pm on Friday that hopefully we can get J, get home, feed the cats, get our stuff and get to the house by 7.  We'll probably grab dinner out that night and then come back to relax.  The house has a fireplace and a hot tub, so that will be nice!  

I'm hoping to get some good reading time in front of the fireplace, some nice hot tub time, and a bit of exploration Saturday afternoon of somewhere close, but new.  We'll head back Sunday morning upon checkout time, so it's a short, but hopefully sweet trip.

Books, just for sharing and record keeping purposes:

Currently reading: "Listen to Me" by Hannah Pittard - It's a fairly creepy book, which I love.  Author creates a great atmosphere, very spooky and mysterious.

Books on my Kindle that I have yet to read:

The Impossible Fortress-Jason Rekulak
The River at Night - Erica Ferencik
More Happy Than Not - Adam Silvera
The Fragile World - Paula Treick DeBoard
The Twilight Wife - A.J. Banner
Scrappy Little Nobody - Anna Kendrick
Kathy Griffin's Celebrity Run-Ins - Kathy Griffin
The Kept Woman - Karin Slaughter
The Last Anniversary - Liane Moriarty
Leave Me - Gayle Forman
Our Chemical Hearts - Krystal Sutherland
All the Missing Girls - Megan Miranda
Truly Madly Guilty - Liane Moriarty
History is All You Left  Me - Adam Silvera

This doesn't include the probably dozen real books I have at home waiting to be read also.  :-o  Looks like I better buckle down soon and focus more on reading than on the garbage TV, LOL.  Some of these are obviously pretty light hearted reads, anyway.  :-)  My current goal is to finish "Listen to Me" by Friday so that I can start a new book for the weekend.  We'll see how that goes.

Anyway, that's all I know for now.  If you need me, I'll be here, waiting for Friday and my escape from reality!

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

It's the End of the World As We Know It..

Inauguration Week.  I've been dreading this week ever since the final outcome of the last election was revealed and now it's knocking on the door.  DC is getting ready.  There are already many white blockades out on many city sidewalks, ready to be put into place.  Fencing up in certain areas.  It's just the beginning.  Tomorrow my commuter bus puts their modified operating schedule in place for the rest of the week.  This means that I either have to drive to Metro and take the train in and out of the city, or I can take my normal bus in in the morning, but have to take the train to a certain station after work wherein they will have our commuter buses running every thirty minutes back to various park and rides.  Neither are ideal and I've yet to make a decision.  Some of the road closures start tomorrow afternoon, hence this modified operation.  I'm teleworking on Thursday because even more closures go into effect, and my office is closed Friday.

Watching the news makes my blood boil.  Reading anything this man has to say makes me feel embarrassed, ashamed and makes me question the thought process of every single person that cast a vote for him.  I am legitimately concerned about the future from Friday going forward.  I don't know what to expect, but I know that I have a pit in my stomach and a sense that it won't be good.

I will not be watching this Inauguration.  I will read pertinent info after the fact because I want to be informed, but I cannot handle watching it happen.  It's too sad.  I feel like I'm losing beloved family members with the impending departure of the Obamas.  To go from that to this.....shocking.  The world is laughing at us, or pitying us, or both.  I think a part of me is still in denial that this is actually happening.  It's like I can't process that this could actually be real.  Dumbfounding.

So I mentioned my office is closed Friday, but unfortunately that's half a lie for me.  I've been designated as (semi) essential personnel, thus requiring me to be online for part of the day.  Yes, I get paid double time, but I'm one of the lucky few non-exempt folks on this list.  My current understanding is that I will need to log on briefly in the morning and then be online for a couple hours towards the end of the day.  It could be worse, as this at least allows me some mid-day flexibility.  I'd originally planned to do something with my girlfriend, A to try to put a positive spin on what's sure to be a dark day.  I'm hopeful we'll still do something, even if just a breakfast, but we haven't pinned down any details.

I'm also dropping my car off that morning to get a remote starter installed.  Even though global warming has made our winter basically a joke this year, I still think it will be a nice thing to have.  I'll be getting a loaner for the day since it will take several hours, but I'm OK with that.  I plan to run a few errands while I'm out and before my afternoon lockdown.  It's the time of year where I need to restock on bras and underwear (thrilling) and I also want to go to Marshalls (!).  Hopefully it will work out to do these things with A since I miss our random erranding together that we used to do when I lived closer.

I did do something that made me very happy yesterday.  We booked our Outer Banks beach house for Labor Day week, which we seem to do a bit earlier each year.  I'd been interested in booking the same house from last year, but it switched management companies and jumped $800 a week in price.  :-o  I couldn't rationalize that, so I had to hunt down a new one.  I'm happy with our choice and glad to know where I'll be spending my very favorite week of the year.

As per usual this time of year, we've also been discussing other trips we'd like to make.  I do want to get BF and J to Omaha this year and that will likely be either during the end of J's spring break in April or the weekend after she gets out of school at the end of June.  That's basically a definite, just a matter of picking the weekend.  It will be a pricier than usual Omaha trip since we'll have to stay at a hotel since no one has room for three of us, but I'm still excited to bring J to a new state and to meet my family.

Beyond that, I may try to get to Omaha in March or April on my own if we decide on the June trip as a group.  We're also discussing a weekend trip to a cabin type location, maybe in West Virginia or something accessible for February with J, and then maybe a small, more local beach trip (ie Ocean City) for BF and I in May.  July will be Denver, CO for my family reunion with BF in tow, and of course, OBX in September.  There will also be a girls trip in there, though I have no idea where or when.  Nothing too crazy, just a small escape out of town!  Ocean City last year was fun, though far too short.

Anyway, anything to keep my mind off the Trumpocalypse that's looming, right?

If I don't pop back up in here, sending good thoughts out to everyone this week.  We're going to need them!

Tuesday, January 3, 2017


This long weekend was glorious.  I felt like I was off work for a week even though it was only three days!  DC was pretty dead last week, but Friday took the cake.  My office didn't close early (boo!), and I was legit the ONLY PERSON ON MY BUS HOME.  It was kind of comedic!  That night I got home and BF surprised me with the holy grail of Christmas gifts --- a NES Classic!  It's a tiny version of the original Nintendo and it has 30 games built into it.  We'd been hunting for one for awhile to no avail as they are very hard to find.  I couldn't believe he'd lucked into one that day and it was pretty awesome.

We spent our evening at an ugly sweater party, which kept us out until almost 3 am.  I can't remember the last time I was out that late.  :-) Saturday we ran a couple of errands including a bountiful stock up trip to Target, and then J got picked up later that afternoon.  We went out to dinner at a new to us Thai place in town for New Year's Eve and it was a good meal.  We came back home for the evening and split our attention between muted college football and watching Kathy Griffin and Anderson Cooper's NYE coverage on CNN.  Love that pair!  

Sunday was a crazy lazy morning.  BF actually stayed in bed until 11, which is totally out of the ordinary!  We just lazed around and finally got up to make French Toast, bacon and mimosas for our New Year's Day breakfast.  The afternoon was filled with some house chores and then watching both the Skins and Chiefs games.  Skins lost, but Chiefs won!  Can't win them all, I guess.  

Monday was another pretty lazy day.  We didn't leave the house, LOL.  We watched some college football, we had leftovers for lunch, we made taco salad for dinner.  I also finished Season 2 of Fuller House over the weekend and started a new to me Netflix show, Lovesick.  I'm almost through Season 1 (it's only six episodes) and really enjoying it!

Today is our three year dating anniversary, if you can believe that.  We are going to use a gift certificate from BF's sister and brother in law for a celebratory dinner tonight, and we've also booked a local hotel stay for Saturday night just to do something a bit different.  We'll go out to dinner in the area and come back to the real world Sunday.  :-)  

I'm actually hoping to plan a short winter getaway for us soon, too.  However, that will require some more planning, so it's in the works.  I need to figure out dates that are workable for my backup at the office as well.  Hopefully we'll make it happen.  I would love to go somewhere with a little nicer weather for a long weekend.

It's hard to believe that 2017 has arrived already.  Another new year!  I'm not a big fan of resolutions, so to speak.  I did put together a list of things I'd like to work on in the coming year, but they're less resolutions and more the crystallization of things already working my head to make myself better and the world around me better.

Working a full week next week is going to be tough.  On the upside, the week after that is a short week.  MLK Day the office is closed and Inauguration Day I'll either be teleworking if my office is open or they'll smarten up and close.  It's apparently under discussion at this point.  Either way I will only be in the office three days, which is fabulous.  I'm trying not to think very hard about the events of Inauguration Day because it will make my blood boil and I can't deal with it yet.  Sometimes I wonder if I'll spend the next four years selectively filtering my TV news and limiting myself to the written word where the visual of things is gone and I'm left to just stew over the actual content, which will be plentiful.

For now, I'm just going to do my thing, and have faith that the world will not automatically self-destruct on January 20th.  :-o  

Cheers to 2017, and cheers to the good things to come that will balance out the bad.  As George Michael said, "You gotta have faith".  Amen, George.  Amen!


Thursday, December 15, 2016

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

I really do love this time of year.  Honestly, starting with today, I really love the next couple of weeks!  Today is my Firm holiday party, which is always a good time.  I love an excuse to get dressed up and spend the evening at a fancy hotel ballroom eating good food, drinking good drinks, dancing and spending time with friends, co-workers, and of course, BF!  I have a new dress this year courtesy of a clearance sale on, and while it's not my favorite party dress I've ever owned, it's cute and hopefully when all the details come together it will be a success.  I have a mid-afternoon hair appt. for a trim and my blowout.

This weekend we have a chance of a bit of snow and freezing rain Saturday morning, so I'm glad our plans are low-key.  We're going to make four different kinds of Christmas cookies and hopefully watch a Christmas movie or three!  :-)  I also hope to have the last of my few Christmas gifts in my possession so I can wrap them and be done with it.

On Sunday I have plans to go see my friend, A in a performance of The Messiah.  It should be fun as I've never gone before.  We're going to grab a quick bite/coffee afterwards with A and I plan to give them their Christmas gifts then, so I'm looking forward to that!

Next week is only two days of work for me!  Insert overjoyed anticipation here.  :-)  I'm sure it will be a busy couple of days preparing to be out the rest of the week, but it will be worth it!  I get to spend Wednesday, Thursday and part of Friday with BF and J before I fly out to Omaha.  We're celebrating our Christmas on that Thursday evening.

My Omaha trip should be good.  I land shortly after 5pm that evening and will get a quick dinner with my Mom before spending the night at my brother and his wife's house.  We'll watch a Christmas movie and just relax!  Saturday is baking Christmas cookies and then we have dinner reservations at a restaurant I love for Christmas Eve.  It will just be me, my mom and stepdad that night since my brother and his wife spend Christmas Eve with her family.  Sunday will be Christmas at my brother's house, and I head back to DC Monday.  It's a brief visit, but I'm back to work Tuesday for the deadest week of the year.  :-/

All I really want to do these days is listen to Christmas music, FINALLY get started on watching Christmas movies, wrap presents, and relax under the glow of the Christmas lights at home.  My Christmas cards got out into the mail earlier this week, and they are super cute photo cards I made BF and J participate in.  ;-)

The weather here is ridiculously cold, although I know not as cold as many places.  However, I have a 17 minute walk from my bus stop to my office and I felt the cold every step of the way!  It's 25 right now with a high of 28, and a wind chill of 11.  It's only supposed to get windier and thus colder later this afternoon.  I am NOT looking forward to heading out at 1:45 for my hair appt., nor to heading out after work in a DRESS to go to the party.  Luckily the hotel is right next door to my building and we'll cab it to our hotel after.

I hope everyone is having a wonderful holiday season so far!  It's a crazy time of year, but it can be pretty amazing!  :-)

Monday, November 14, 2016

Lemonade Out of Lemons

It's Monday, and another work week looms ahead.  However, I continue to try to focus on the next great break, which is Thanksgiving weekend.  Four days of freedom!  In the meantime, I look to the periodic highlights to speed things along.  Right now my next goal point is Friday.  I have an 11 am appointment with my stylist for a blowout, and then I'm spending the evening at my former firm's holiday party as the +1 of a long time girlfriend who still works there.  It will be fun to get dressed up and go to a fancy party, even if they do hold theirs crazy early anymore.  I'm recycling a black velvet dress that I already own and am looking forward to the night. The dress has a gold lining underneath, which no one can see unless something goes awry, but it inspired me to paint my nails gold, anyway. Fun and festive!

It was a good weekend.  On Friday I stayed at work longer than usual because they had a margarita machine at our usual Happy Minute.  It was a reward for raising a lot of money for a charity earlier in the month.  I got to have a yummy frozen margarita and eat pizza with some of my favorite people at the office, which was nice.  The rest of the night at home was pretty low key with BF & J, but still lovely.

Saturday I had brunch with my friend, A.  We try to get together every couple/few months to catch up, and although we mostly discussed the election and how awful the outcome was, it was nice to see him.  We met in 2011 at my old apartment complex when we rode the same bus to Metro every day. The rest of the day was comprised of a solo errand and then a few other errands with BF & J.  I squeezed a gym visit in before we ordered Chinese for dinner (!) and then we watched Nebraska beat Minnesota.  :-)

Sunday started with the gym, continued with the grocery store, and wrapped with laundry, football and the aforementioned gold manicure.  I consider it a successful day and a lovely weekend overall.

So I'm obviously still thinking about how to deal with the aftermath of Election 2016.  I continue to try to focus my energy in productive ways.  I just want to put more positivity and good energy into the universe than bad, and I'm hoping to do that in a few different ways.

1) Planned Parenthood donation.  I want to do a recurring donation and hope to set this up soon.
2) I already donated to a small, local GoFundMe for a family in my town. I realize that has nothing to do with the election outcome, but it's helping someone, and that's enough.
3) I believe I will be making a donation to the Trevor Project.
4) My pet store was advertising the needs of the local animal shelter when I got cat food yesterday.  I think I'm going to go out one day soon and do some shopping and make a nice donation to them soon.
5) My Firm almost always sponsors multiple families for the holidays.  I've never participated beyond helping with the wrapping after the shopping is done by others.  This year I think I want to actually sponsor a family.
6)  Million Woman March - I need to look into this.  I'll fully admit I'm not usually one for activism, but this is something I would consider.
7) Being a better human.   More smiling at strangers on the street.  More thoughtful gratitude to those who help.

This morning a young guy in a jaunty hat started chatting with me in the Starbucks line.  He was so open and friendly, and I resisted the urge to worry that he was hitting on me and accepted that he was just being a nice person.  He went on in the line to chat with the cashier, ask him where he was from in light of his accent, and smile and shake his hand.  He knew the barista and clapped hands with him, and he wished me well after we continued to chat about normal, every day things.  This guy is an inspiration to me.  So much easy positivity.  It really made my morning.

Also, this weekend we bought our Thanksgiving turkey.  The tag said one price, but had a sale price $8 lower on it as well.  We got to the car and realized we'd been charged the full price.  We went to customer service and the gentleman there fully refunded us for the turkey instead of just giving us the refund on the difference.  He chose to do this and did not do it in error.  It was such a lovely gesture. The world needs more people like these guys!  They are good examples of being a good person in your daily life.  Even small changes can make big waves.

In other news, the looming holidays are making me even more anxious for my new 2017 planner, which should be arriving Wednesday.  I splurged and ordered an Erin Condren planner instead of my usual planner, which I've been buying the same style of with a different design since early in my now defunct marriage.  :-)  I've coveted the splurgier, more involved style of planners for a long time, and hope that I take full advantage of what it has to offer.  I'm excited to get all the events in it that I'm already aware of (OK, not that many, but still) and love the possibilities a new planner seems to offer.

For some reason I am suddenly super excited for the holiday season to begin in earnest.  I have been daydreaming about decorating for Christmas, though I'm holding off until my tried and true date of the day after Thanksgiving.  This year, we're going to hold off on putting up our tree for a few days since BF's mom is visiting December 2nd-December 5th.  We're going to do the tree during her visit, as BF nostalgically told me it had been years and years since he'd trimmed the tree with his mom.  :-)

I'm already thinking about if I'm going to do Christmas cards this year (pretty much 99% sure that's a yes now, just noodling on what kind of card I want to bought vs. photo cards, etc.).  I just today started a list for holiday gifts, as I already have a gift idea for J (Lularoe leggings because she loves leggings and Lularoe are the softest, most comfortable ones ever!).  I've also been looking into Christmas productions to get to.  We're considering going to A Christmas Carol in Old Town Alexandria during BF's mom's visit, which would be lovely.  It's the same production I was supposed to see a couple years back, but then I got so incredibly ill with the flu that BF and J had to go without me. I've also had inklings about looking into The Nutcracker with a couple of girlfriends.

One thing that's for sure is that, for whatever reason, probably largely related to my grandfather's missing presence this holiday, I'm already really missing my family and looking forward greatly to seeing them.  I thought I would really be dreading this holiday back in Omaha, but I'm actually feeling like I really can't wait to spend that time with them.  Yes, it will be difficult and everything will be different, but it's important to get through together.  It's also special because many of my favorite memories with both of my grandparents involved Christmas and all of our traditions.  We still plan to uphold the cookie baking tradition, as we have for all the years of our lives.

I ended up with a great deal of my grandfather's Christmas ornaments and many of his decorations, as that was something all of us wanted to have a part of.  They had a collection of Santa Clauses from all around the world, and we each took some of them.  I really can't wait to put these ornaments on my tree and these decorations in my home.  Quite honestly, we may need to get an additional tree for the house with all the extra ornaments, which I have no problem with at all!  :-)

Also?  I'm so ready for snow.  I feel like it's a dirty secret to admit out loud, and that many people would scorn me for putting that into the universe already.  ;-)  But for whatever reason, I'm craving a really lovely snow.  I don't want the cold, but unfortunately that's part of the package!  It will probably be awhile before we get any snow out here, though.  It was in the thirties this morning, though.

This post has become ridiculously long.  If you'd made it this far, I extend my deepest thank you to you.  I wish everyone a lovely Monday, as far as a lovely Monday is even a thing.  :-)

Friday, November 11, 2016

I Get By With a Little Help From My Friends

Like many people I know and I love, I was devastated by the outcome of the 2016 Presidential Election.  It was heartbreaking in ways I can't even describe.  I stopped watching the coverage for the most part around 9:30 that night, choosing instead  to watch a Gilmore Girls rerun.  I flipped back periodically for updates, but the news just kept getting worse.  The last straw was an interview I saw with Nate Silver of  He said that betting odds had shifted to showing the mean orange one as the favorite.  I turned the TV off.

I took two unnecessary for medical purposes Benadryl and went to bed, crying just a little bit.  I woke up the next morning and I knew before I knew, and it was terrible.  The day was terrible.  I felt like I'd woken up in a post apocalyptic movie in the opening credits.  The day felt dark and endless and the weather reflected that with gray skies and rain throughout the morning, afternoon and evening.  I commiserated with other shell-shocked co-workers.  I comforted crying friends and tried to avoid crying myself.  I only really felt challenged when I read the transcript of HRC's concession speech.

Yesterday I woke up and decided I had to deal with it better.  I focused on reading articles and opinion pieces that told me why it wouldn't be as bad as we feared.  I took comfort in small pieces of evidence that his campaign was already possibly backing off of some of his more extreme ideas, like banning all Muslims (removed from his site) and pursuing the prosecution of HRC (Giuliani's interview).

More importantly, I made a choice to be better.  I made more eye contact with people on the streets.  I smiled at them.  My please and thank yous were more sincere instead of automatic responses.  I felt a generalized sense of compassion for everyone around me. I told my bus seatmate to have a good night before he de-boarded instead of just silently moving out of the way like everyone, including myself, is so inclined to do.

Today, inspired by a post by Sabrina over at The Perils of Urban Courtship, I donated to a local GoFundMe account for someone in need in my city.  Like she did, I'm looking into setting up a monthly donation to Planned Parenthood or another organization that may need help in the wake of this impending presidency.  I want to be proactive in my beliefs instead of just talking about them over lunch or at the watercooler in the office.  I want to be part of the solution.

Beyond this, I'm trying to re-frame my initial understanding of what happened in this election.  I truly believe that only a small group of those that voted for our President Elect voted for him based on the intolerance he has demonstrated in his own words and life.  I think most people that voted for him were just so desperate for change, so desperate to get away from the establishment politicians, that they grasped at their only chance for something different in this election.

The fact is that HRC was not my dream candidate.  I voted for Bernie in the primaries because I matched up with him best on the issues.  HRC has made mistakes in her past.  But she's been crucified for them for years.  She's fought a harder battle her entire political career because she is a woman, and that's a fact.  She was held to a different standard and that was maddening to watch.  So while she was not my dream candidate, I voted for her and I hoped for her victory.  I didn't vote for her as a lesser of two evils either, though I definitely thought that was the case.  I also didn't vote for her because she's a woman.  Was that an awesome added bonus?  Hell yes!  It was amazing to witness.  In the end, I voted for HRC because she was by far the most qualified candidate.  I felt the country would be the safest under her guidance.

But in the end, she lost the electoral college, and he won.  This is where we are.  This is what we have to work with.

I'm not turning a blind eye to the heartbreaking incidents I've heard about in the last couple of days. People full of hate have been empowered by this victory, and it's creating dangerous and intolerant situations.  I'm hopeful that these are exceptions to the rule, and that they will be stamped out sooner than later.  Ideally, the President Elect would come out and condemn these behaviors, even if it would be fairly hypocritical of him to do so.  He incited this and he stoked these racist, homophobic, xenophobic, sexist fires.  He has an obligation now to try to put them out.  Will he?  I'm not betting on it.  But I can hope.

In the meantime, I'm going to focus on being better, doing better things and enjoying the things around me.  I love my people, my cats, autumn leaves crunching underfoot, my new little fireplace heater in the basement, Starbucks holiday cups, kind smiles on the street, drinks with friends, the anticipation of the holidays.

When they go low, we go high.  We go high.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Election Blues

I CANNOT WAIT FOR THIS ELECTION TO BE OVER.  I'm not naive enough to think that getting a declared winner will necessarily mean the end of the madness, but at least it's the end of one phase of crazy.

I feel desperate for positivity and happiness in the wake of all the negativity and hatefulness.  I feel dirty and gross from this election cycle and cannot wait to shake off all of this filth.  If I tune in to the news too often or too closely, or if I make the error of reading the comments section of basically anything, it makes me want to pack up all of my things and my cat children and move the hell away. In order to function in my daily life I have to try to skim the political surface and take deep breaths, knowing that all I can do is cast my vote and cross all my crossables.

In other news (any news, anything other than the election).....I finally joined the rest of the female population (seemingly) in acquiring a pair of tall boots.  The biggest miracle is that the ones I found were *not* wide calf and somehow managed to fit, ha!  They're black and fairly simple style wise, but I think they're cute and can't wait to rock them with some leggings and an over-sized shirt.

I also finally understood the point of ankle length skinny jeans.  The logic has eluded me until yesterday when I was in the Marshalls dressing room, trying on two pairs of them on a whim.  I was wearing regular longer skinny jeans and some booties already, which I annoyingly have to roll up to sit atop the bootie.  They just don't look right tucked in!  So as I slipped into the "girlfriend fit" of these jeans, it all clicked into place.  I put on my booties to get an idea of the whole look and it was so awesome that they hit where I wanted them to without being rolled up! Miracle!  Yeah, I'm a little slow on the fashion train.  :-)

Black Boots

I also scored a super cute pair of booties that I'd seen around for ages.  However, they were on clearance in this particular color and I had DSW Rewards money so I tried them on and kind of loved them.  They will also look cute with my new ankle skinny jeans. Win!

Brown Booties

I did other important things this weekend, I promise.  I painted my nails a lovely slate blue color.  BF and I made a new chili recipe since his recipe is too hot for me and mine is too tame for him.  It was a success and I have leftovers for lunch to prove it.  We also made a new recipe last night that was a Chicken Parmesan Pot Pie.  Very unusual and not your traditional pot pie in any sense, but it was surprisingly tasty and very easy.  I watched Nebraska lose to Ohio State (BOO) and watched the Chiefs beat the Jags (Cheers!).  I ran some errands that resulted in the above purchases as well as some organizational items for both under the kitchen sink and for my large nail polish.  I also assisted in BF's replacement of our garbage disposal, which surprisingly went off without a hitch!  My assisting was very minimal, yet valuable.  ;-)

I can't believe it's already November.  Daylight Saving Time rolled into town, but unfortunately my cats didn't get the memo.  It was also so startling to see it get dark so early, but that's the way it works, I suppose.  It was nice to have it be lighter earlier this morning, though.  We're already talking about when to get our Thanksgiving turkey and discussing sides and desserts as well as plans for the long weekend.  I love a four day weekend where I don't have to use any personal time!  Plus, the Gilmore Girls extravaganza comes out that Friday and I can't wait.  :-)  That weekend will be a lot of food, football and GILMORE GIRLS, plus a likely brunch with a couple of girlfriends.

 In the meantime, I'll just enjoy this pretty lovely, seasonal weather, peruse a lot of cute animal memes, listen to happy music and go to the gym to cardio out some of the bad mojo floating around in the universe.  Deep breaths.  It's almost over!