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!

Monday, October 31, 2016

Happy Halloween!

I haven't updated in ages, and I do apologize.  Sabrina over at The Perils of Urban Courtship pinged me to check in since it had been so long, which made me feel both really loved and really guilty.  :-p The fact of the matter is that they did some rejiggering to the security of our work computers and it's made updating more challenging.  But I'm here and I want to update on the state of all things during my triumphant return!

First of all, I can't believe it's already Halloween! Somehow we're already on the last day of my favorite month of the year.  Time has really flown.  The last time I posted I was just gearing up for my OBX vacation, aka my favorite week of the year.  It's hard to acknowledge that it's been almost two months since I left for that trip!

OBX was wonderful.  Our rental house was fantastic and definitely my favorite thusfar.  We came into town on a Saturday, which was also the same day a hurricane was making it's quick pass through the OBX. Aside from some brief bridge closures and some crazy wind, our trip into town was fairly uneventful.  The weather that day was quite a mess, but I admit I loved it.  Gusty winds, rain, and just a general sense of storminess in the air.

The beaches were red flagged until Wednesday, but we still went each day to at least wade in the water.  We ate Duck Donuts, grilled, tried new restaurants, spent lots of beach time, pool time, hot tub time.  I read, we went to all the cute little shops, we went on a really fun ghost tour in Manteo.  It was the perfect escape from reality.

Things with BF are good!  We're coasting on towards the three year mark, which will be on January 3rd.  This is the third Halloween we've spent together, and I do love the traditions we're establishing. We managed to get to Markoff's Haunted Forest this year along with J and it was such fun introducing them to this activity I love.  We've watched a couple of scary movies and this weekend we carved pumpkins and roasted the seeds!  Tonight we'll circle around the fire pit in the driveway to hand out candy.  We're also roasting turkey hot dogs over the fire for dinner and have s'more stuff for dessert, if we don't OD on candy.  ;-)

On Friday my office had our annual Halloween Hullaballoo, which is our event for employees to bring their kids to trick or treat around the office.  It ends with pizza, cake pops and general merriment.  :-)  It was a fun afternoon!

That night BF and I went to a 90's cover band Halloween Party at a local venue.  We dressed up as Mario and Luigi and were a big hit, LOL.  I hadn't dressed up in years so it was good to indulge the silly!

BF's mom was supposed to visit two weeks ago, but unfortunately her father had been very ill and went into hospice a few days prior to her scheduled departure.  He passed away only three days later. We drove to Myrtle Beach on a Friday afternoon and returned Sunday afternoon, so it was about 16 hours in the car, but I'm glad we made it to the memorial service.  I met a lot of BF's extended family and I'm glad we got to see his Mom, even if it wasn't as planned.  We're hoping to reschedule her visit for December as we were all really looking forward to it.

My grandfather's house finally sold last week.  It had been on the market since June and was struggling to get serious looks since it didn't have a basement, which is problematic in Nebraska.  Also, they were selling it as-is, so that hurt it, too.  They dropped the price a few times, and finally got a cash offer last week.  The deal was signed and finalized very quickly, and now they have until November 8th to get the remainder of the things out of the house for sale.  The final sale price was exactly what my grandfather said the house was worth, so I feel good that we got that much out of it. Probate has been on hold for the sale, so hopefully once that's done the probate situation can wrap up, too.

It's a tricky situation because it will be a huge weight off of everyone's shoulders to have the house sold, but it's still emotionally sad.  I won't ever be in that house again, which is weird to realize.

I booked my ticket home for Christmas.  I will again be going solo because a) Christmas tix are insanely expensive and b) BF wants to be home to spend Christmas with his daughter.  He doesn't have her on Christmas itself this year, but they will either celebrate before or after.  I definitely knew I needed to go home again this year even though part of me is dreading it.  This will be the first time we've not celebrated Christmas at my grandfather's house in my life.  I'm guessing my brother will host, but I know it will be weird and sad and all of that.  I just want to get it over with!  Hopefully next year my family can come out to us or some variation.  I told my mom and BF that from here on out after this year I will be spending Christmas with BF, whether that means destination Christmas with the families or alternating holidays.  Everyone agreed.

I can't think of anything else much that's going on.  I think I've covered all the highlights.  :-)  I hope everyone has a wonderful and spooky Halloween!  I'll try to come back again for an update before another two months pass.  ;-)

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Evolving Opinions

Four days of work left!

What I really came in here to post is that I've changed my opinion on the book I'm reading, "It Ends With Us".  It suddenly got really good in a totally unexpected way.  It took awhile for it to make that turn, but it did and now I keep thinking about getting back to reading it.  Now mind you, the turn it took was dark and twisty.  However, it's totally compelling and well-written.  I'll try to remember to update once I complete it to see if my overall opinion shifted or not.

In other news, my car is finally getting the second recalled airbag replaced tomorrow.  It will be really nice to have my passenger seat back in commission for our road trip to OBX this weekend.  I get to trek to the dealership in the morning for the recall fix.  Reading time!  Depending on how long it takes I will either go into work after or go home and telework.  Obviously I'd prefer the latter, but we'll see.

Speaking of OBX, they're currently under a Tropical Storm Warning.  I'm really glad this weather is supposed to clear out by the time we head to Duck.  I know there's a second system coming through later this week, but currently they're predicting it to take a turn and head back out before we get there. Crossing fingers!

Monday, August 29, 2016

Five Days

All I need to do this week is get through five work days.  FIVE.  And then vacation time is upon me! 

This weekend was a mix of good and bad.  Friday night BF had his fantasy football draft with his friends, so I spent the evening home with J.  We ordered Chinese food for delivery, chatted and watched a scary movie.  It was nice to have a solo night with her!  Saturday we had to take BF's car to the dealership for an airbag replacement and we ran a couple of errands in the interim. Unfortunately, I got knocked down by a migraine that afternoon and ended up taking a three hour nap to try to kick it.  It only half worked, but I was functional for the rest of the evening.  While I slept BF and J washed all three cars, which was nice!  We spent that night cooking dinner (chicken stuffed with roasted garlic cheese and wrapped in proscuitto, grilled asparagus and a youthful classic of crescent rolls, LOL.

Sunday BF and I ran a couple of errands while J hung out at home and then I got to the gym while he watched the race.  We went to the grocery store and made dinner and had a low key evening.  Sadly, I got hit with yet another doozy of a migraine that woke me at 2:30 am, when I took my migraine meds and went back to sleep.  Woke up feeling better, but it was a rough weekend headache wise.  It's my "migraine week" as I call it, but it was the roughest I've had in awhile! However, I'd much rather have had it this week than next when I'm on vacation!

We tried to watch some of the VMAs last night for some reason, and it was PAINFUL.  It made me feel super old, but I think honestly it was just really poorly done.  I ended up turning it off and just watching the performances I was interested in this morning online.  Much better option.  Good old Britney with the lip syncing, LOL.  However, Beyonce was amazing as always.  

Managed to watch 3 more episodes of "The Night Of" this weekend, but I still have five left including last night's finale.  My goal is to get that finished this week before vacation!  Such a fantastic show.

Finished another book, "The Mourning Girls", which was actually really, really good. Finally!  A book that didn't disappoint me.  Started and am currently reading "It Ends With Us" by Colleen Hoover.  It's all right so far.  Better than the books I read before "The Mourning Girls", but not as good as that.  Totally different kind of book, though.  I'll definitely finish it, as there are parts of the book I like more than others.  Still looking forward to reading a book or three (the real, paper kind!) on the beach trip next week!  There's not much better than reading on the beach or from one of the decks with a beach view.  :-)

The only thing I'm really looking forward to this week is my appt. with my hair boyfriend.  I'm overdue for a visit and I definitely am excited to have a couple of really good hair days before the wild and crazy beach hair days.  Appt. is Thursday at 1pm.  Cheers to that!

Time to start making my packing list.....  I can legitimately feel the vacation excitement starting to build!  

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Let Me Down, Pick Me Up

So I finished a couple of books in the last couple of weeks.  The first was "One Less Problem Without You" by Beth Harbison.  When I first finished it I thought I'd liked it enough.  It was OK. But the more time that passes, the more I'm annoyed with it.  It felt rushed, underdeveloped and inadequate.  I was pretty disappointed with it.

Next I read "The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry" by Gabrielle Zevin.  I added that to my list because J is reading it for summer reading for school and I thought we could talk about it.  It was actually a good book.  Well written, good storyline, good heart.  However, I didn't really connect with it on any real level.  It's like certain music or other forms of art that I can recognize logically are well done or noteworthy, but I'm personally unable to love it whole-heartedly.  So it was more of a success than the other at least!

I then started to read "By the Numbers" by Jen Lancaster.  Usually her books are very entertaining, but this one is just NOT working for me.  I barely got into it before I was bored and decided I would read something else, at least for the time being.  So I started "The Mourning Hours" by Paula Treick DeBoard and I'm still very early into it, but it's already more interesting.  Hoping for a better read! Everything feels like a bit of a letdown since I read "The Woman in Cabin 10" since that was so captivating to me.  Such a great read!

In other news, I only have 9 work days left until vacation, including today.  I'm under the two week wire and I'm so excited!  I definitely need this trip.  Work is seriously burning me out and I've been watching everyone go on their week long vacations all summer and I'm ready for my turn!  We've got our petsitter all lined up, I've got my new swimsuits at the ready and all that's left to do is count down the days.

I've been much better about working out for the last few weeks.  I'm managing to get to the gym or do a home workout 5 days a week, which is the goal.  Yesterday at work I was exhausted from lousy sunday night sleep, I had a headache and the day itself was just very frustrating.  I went to the gym out of obligation, but wow, it turned my entire mood around.  I did 45 minutes on the elliptical, 15 on the treadmill walking on an incline and about 15 minutes of strength training.  It was just what I needed.

We finished watching "Stranger Things" last week.  Oh, how I loved that show!  I loved the general atmosphere of it, I loved so many of the actors, the music, everything.  I am still thinking about the finale!  Very happy that it got renewed for another season.  Next up I want to find time to watch the newest season of "Catastrophe" on Amazon.  That show is hilarious and real and awesome.

In the meantime, I guess I'll go get some breakfast.  Kix cereal for the win!  :-)

Monday, August 15, 2016

Things to Do When You're Old

This last year has made me feel really old in some ways!  Throwing your back out for the first time can do that.  ;-)  I happened to do that the day after my 38th birthday.  Ouch.  That was truly the worst pain I've ever felt.  Luckily, I did manage to recover and am no worse for the wear a month and a half later.  I did, however, purchase a back pillow to use for our Myrtle Beach trip and at work in the wake of that injury.  The pillow was a lifesaver on the car ride and I do use it still occasionally at the office.

Maybe it's all the vitamins I take that make me feel old.  I take a multi-vitamin, Vitamin E and Fish Oil.  A Dr. rec'd the fish oil to me a few years ago when my blood work came back with borderline high triglycerides.  I recently had a physical and found out that everything is where it's supposed to be level-wise, and my good cholesterol is actually really high!  I attribute that to the fish oil.  :-)

I bought a dry brush the other day.  I've noticed recently a very unfortunate appearance of some spider veins on my thighs.  WTF, mate?  Not sexy.  So I did some google research and among the various remedies I've found are using a dry brush to increase circulation (Side perk: decreased appearance of cellulite?!).  I've also read about using apple cider vinegar as a scrub on those same spots (circular motion, baby) as well as olive oil for the same thing.  My bathroom is going to turn into a kitchen, LOL.  I figure these things may not work, but they're all harmless enough that they're not going to hurt anything.

Today I bought a foot rest for my desk at work.  It's also aimed at increasing circulation, with an added bonus of perhaps making my desk job a bit more comfy.  I've read that crossing your legs is not great for circulation, and I'm guilty of that constantly.  Hopefully having that little foot rest boost will make it more comfortable for my legs to just hang out instead of being compelled to cross them.

In the wake of my physical I've been making a small effort to make more healthful choices in my daily life.  Small things like trying to have a veggie at every dinner, sticking spinach on my lunch sandwiches, eating a salad once or twice a week.  More fruit, more whole grains, less Starbucks. More water, fish once a week.  Less added salt and sugar.  More protein in my breakfast to make it last longer.  I've also been much better about going to the gym the last two weeks.  Progress!

The Dr. did recommend I lose some weight, like 15-20 pounds.  Sigh.  But I knew that.  In spite of this, I still bought a new bikini for the beach.  Life is too short to worry about what I look like in a bikini, and I'm going to keep seizing the bikini moments!  It's super cute and the top accents one of my features that HASN'T aged yet.  ;-)

Less than three weeks until vacation......

Monday, July 25, 2016

All of the Things

This post is brought to you by a sudden, overwhelming realization:

There is not enough time for all of the things.  All of the books.  All of the movies.  All of the shows. All of the places.  All of the things.

I realized it today as I downloaded two more books to my Kindle.  The Kindle that already has several other books in the Library I haven't read yet, and a pre-order book that will download tomorrow.  This is in addition to the 7-8 books I own at home in real life book form that I haven't read yet, 4 of which I got for my birthday.


Currently reading:
Housebroken: Admissions of an Untidy Life - Laurie Notaro

Recently read:
In Twenty Years - Allison Winn Scotch
Live Fast Die Hot - Jenny Mollen
Why We Came to the City - Kristopher Jansma
The Drowning Girls - Paula Treick DeBoard

I actually really recommend all four of these books!  The Jenny Mollen book is a humorous memoir. She's married to the actor, Jason Biggs.  LOVED In Twenty Years, but that's also the freshest in my mind since it's the last book I finished.  It was a fantastic read.  Why We Came to the City is a GORGEOUS read.  I truly loved this book.  The Drowning Girls was also very good.  Kept me interested all the way to the end!

Waiting to be read:
All the Missing Girls - Megan Miranda
The Mourning Hours - Paula Treick DeBoard
The Woman in Cabin 10 - Ruth Ware
By the Numbers - Jen Lancaster
The Good Neighbor - A.J. Banner
One True Loves - Taylor Jenkins Reid
One Less Problem Without You - Beth Harbison (Comes out Tuesday)
A Man Called Ove - Fredrick Backman
The Girls in the Garden - Lisa Jewell
You Will Know Me - Megan Abbott
** These are just the ones on my Kindle and the books from home that I remember having.  :-o

I realized it today as I looked at my TIVO and Netflix queues.  I've not watched any episodes of the new season of Mr. Robot yet.  I'm behind one episode of Unreal, two of Animal Kingdom, I have all three episodes of The Night Of to watch because I keep hearing such raves about it.  Plus, we watched two episodes of Stranger Things on Friday and I'm in love with it and desperate to get back to it.  I still haven't finished the second season of The Unbreakable Kimmie Schmidt.  Let's not even get into how behind I am on House of Cards, how I never found time to get back to Orphan Black (I only finished Season 1).

I realized it as I considered the movies I want to see, both in theater and otherwise.  I want to see the new Bourne movie.  I still want to see The Conjuring 2, I want to see Suicide Squad when it comes out and I don't even know why.  Recently my desire to finally see Room has ramped up again and The Age of Adaline is available on Amazon Prime and I really wanted to see that.  I want to re-watch The Blair Witch Project in anticipation of the September sequel.  I want to watch Clue again because it is one of my favorites.  BF still hasn't seen The Silence of the Lambs and I need to rectify that.

I realized it as I considered the places I want to go in coming months.  Yes, I'd love to go on exciting trips to new places, but sue me....I also love the familiar.  I'd love to go see my friend P in Atlanta this fall.  I'd like to get back to Omaha to see my family, watch some Nebraska football and start getting used to the new normal without my grandfather.  The family reunion visit was not a true representation because it was so chock full of family visiting and things to do. I'd love to go to Kansas City to see a Chiefs game with BF because everyone should experience an NFL game at Arrowhead. I also keep thinking about finally getting BF to the west coast since he's never been, and I haven't been in years.  I'd love to go to California or Arizona or Colorado...or all of them! I love the idea of more weekend trips to local places within driving distance, including possibly for college and NFL football games.

There's not enough time for all the things.  All the books, TV shows, movies, adventures.  It's hard enough to fit in the required things like flossing before bed and getting to the gym EVER.  I'm always juggling the little life things---DMV registration renewals, car recalls (my car is at the dealership and I'm on week 3 of a rental because of those faulty airbags!), chores around the house, hand washing my swimsuit for the beach this weekend, taking books and clothes to donate, getting to Costco because we're running out of tilapia and chicken breasts.  Sigh.

The beach.  At least there's this tiny, miniscule vacation this weekend.  A getaway, if you will.  I'm going with my friend, A, and we're leaving bright and early Saturday morning to go to Ocean City, Maryland.  We plan to go directly to the beach since we can't check into the hotel until later in the afternoon and we want to maximize our time there.  So we'll beach, then check into our hotel, which is right on the end of the Boardwalk.  Then back out to the Boardwalk for exploring and rides and dinner and drinks.  Breakfast and beach on Sunday and then we'll head back to real life again.  Such a tiny trip, but I'll take it!

One of these days I'll fit all of the things in.  Or I will prioritize and some of these things will drop out (most likely some of the movies, some of the shows, sadly a book or two).  The trips won't all happen and that's OK.  Like it or not the day to day has to get done, the full time job has to be a priority, and I'll be like everyone else trying to figure out how to fit it all in.

In the meantime, I'm off to count down the days until my tiny escape from reality.  Once I get back from that, I'll be that much closer to my true escape, which is OBX.  Got my final payment notification for August 4, which means that on that date we're only a month from our seven days in Duck and my nine days off from work!  Maybe there will be some time on that trip to knock out some of those books.  ;-)

Friday, June 17, 2016

Summer Absenteeism

Well, it may not officially be summer until Tuesday, but the blogging ways of summer have clearly already set in!  I've been MIA for quite awhile, and I do apologize for leaving you all in the dark.  My life is super riveting so I'm sure you've all been teeming with suspense.  Ha!

Things are good!  I love this time of year.  It's busy and there's always things to do and I love that. Memorial Day weekend was good.  We went to a Washington Nationals game that friday night, we including myself, BF, J and my friend, A.  We also went to a Potomac Nationals game that Sunday, which was also fun!  We do love watching baseball.

Last week my friend, T visited from Columbia, Missouri.  We had a great time that included lots of margaritas, Chinese delivery food, the Museum of American History, the Newseum and 80s night at yet another Nationals game, which included an opening concert by an 80s band,  The Legwarmers. Two of my girlfriends joined us and we had a great time!  T and I also did some exploring of random shops in my town and surrounding areas and just generally enjoyed catching up.

This week at work has been super hectic.  I don't mind because it makes the days go by quicker, though.  Always love my fridays!  We randomly decided on Tuesday to venture to Hershey, PA this weekend for Father's Day fun for BF.  We're not leaving until tomorrow morning, but at that point we're heading straight to Hershey Park for a day of amusement park fun.  We'll check into our hotel after that to clean up a bit and then we're spending the evening at a Harrisburg Senators baseball game.  BF and I love checking out these other area stadiums and comparing to ours.  J, not so much, but she's obligated to enjoy for her father's sake.  ;-)  Sunday we'll probably get breakfast/brunch and then maybe check out Chocolate World before we journey back.

Next week, the fun continues.  Thursday night is an area Battle of the Law Firm Bands, and my friend, A is one of the singers again this year in ours, so I'll be joining some co-workers and friends to watch and support her!  It will make for a very late night for me (sigh), but I took Friday off because it's my birthday, so it all works out.  :-)

Friday I'll be sleeping in a bit and then heading out to meet A, who has also taken the day off.  We're going to just enjoy a fun Friday without work, probably including manicures, brunch, maybe some shopping, etc.  That night we're meeting BF and a couple other friends over at the National Harbor for dinner, a spin on the Capital Wheel and drinks!  BF and I also booked a hotel for that night so we don't have to drive the long way back after all that fun, so that's a nice extra.

Saturday will entail getting ourselves back home and relaxing a bit.  We may go to a local live music, food truck and fireworks type festival that night.  :-)  Sunday daytime is again for relaxing because sunday night we are joining some friends who got free tix to see Guns 'n Roses at FedEx Field!  So random, but I'm excited.  I was never obsessed with GnR, but I know it will be a great experience and a good story.  :-)

That will properly wrap up birthday weekend, and I'm quite happy about all of it!

Not too much longer after that we have the 4th of July and the accompanying 3 day weekend, and then on July 9-12 we're roadtripping it to Myrtle Beach!  BF has some family there who we will visit briefly, and his mom, sister, brother in law and nephew will meet us from Charleston there for one day.  Beyond that, we're staying at a beachside resort and I'm so excited to visit a new place.  So much to look forward to!

The rest of the summer looks good, too.  I'm still hoping to plan a weekend beach trip to Ocean City with A, and I got Phantom of the Opera tickets for August for me, BF and J.  J and I are also indulging BF for his birthday by going to a WWE wrestling event in DC in July, LOL.  Both J and BF have July birthdays!  Of course, the big summer finale is our Outer Banks trip Labor Day week.  :-)  It is truly my favorite week of the entire year!  A week of total indulgence, lack of life obligations and beaching, swimming, grilling, reading, exploring and spending quality time with my person.  :-)  <3

Did I mention that I love summer?

The only sad thing right now is a realization I had yesterday on my way home.  This will be the first year in many moons that my grandfather will not call me on the phone to sing me his rendition of Happy Birthday.  It was always so cute and sweet and goofy, just like him.  I continue to remind myself that he's in a better place, he's no longer suffering, and he'll be singing me the birthday song from a whole new place this year.  <3 <3

Life is so weird sometimes.  I sometimes have the inclination that I should feel guilty for being happy and excited about things going on in my life. That I should still be mourning his loss and not celebrating things. However, I take comfort in knowing that I'm filling my summer with fun and happiness and experiences and my grandfather would LOVE that.  :-)  I'm moving forward like he would want all of us to, but he will never be forgotten.  I think of him every single day.

I hope everyone is having a great (almost) summer!  We got a fantastic summery night of thunderstorms last night and I loved every second.  :-)