Friday, November 22, 2013

5 on Friday - Thankful Edition #2

This has been a weird week. Maybe it is the weather change {finally} or, maybe it's because November is the month of budgets for me at work and I am literally drowning in budget packets, either way I am exhausted.

I'm linking up with April & Co today and reflecting on 5 more things that I am thankful for this month. You can see my first 5 here.

I am thankful for my job. I might wake up and sigh a big sigh every morning when I think about going to work, but I am sure thankful that I have a place to go. I don't have the most fulfilling job in the world. I would love to do something that made me feel like I was making a real difference to other people, but that just isn't the path I took when choosing a career. Working for Homeowners Associations can be a thankless and tiring job, but I can't lie and say I don't enjoy it. I work with some pretty awesome ladies and we have a good time. So, for that I am thankful. Also, I'm thankful for my paycheck. Obviously.

I am thankful for my roots. I have blogged about where I come from a little bit here and there but not many details. I was born {at home} in a tiny mountain town at the tippy top of California. Practically Oregon. The closest Starbucks was about an hour away. I graduated from High School with a class of 80. Almost every single person in my graduating class I had known since I was in pre-school. Needless to say I didn't date boys from my hometown. Sorry.. I've watched you pick your nose on the playground dude. Someday I will dedicate an entire post to this, but I truly believe that I am who I am because of where I came from and I think I'm a better person for it. Also, my hometown is quite possibly one of the most beautiful places on earth. How many people can say that a Bing photo was taken in their back yard? Literally, that photo was taken right next to where my dad lives. {toot toot, I know sorry.}

I'm thankful for the rain. We haven't seen much of it here in Northern California lately, until this week. We needed it so badly, and I needed it too. I think a little rain is good for the soul. I love sitting in my cozy cubicle at work with my desk heater blasting and looking out my window to the rain and the streets below {and yes, I do have Christmas music playing.} I love being snuggled in bed with my husband and our baby dogs listening to the rain and wind outside. I even love driving in the rain. I love every thing about the rain.

I'm thankful for my husband. I know, I already said that on my first post, but this is my thankful list and I can do what I want. I am thankful to have married a man that is so supportive, loving, and selfless. He always knows exactly what to say when I need encouragement the most. He has given me such a wonderful life and I cannot imagine what I would do without him.

I'm thankful for the family cabin. It is so nice to have a quiet place that we can escape to, just the two of us. We are going today as soon as Nick gets off work. I can't wait to bundle up and sit by the fire, play some board games, and wear pj pants and Uggs all weekend with no makeup without being judged. I'm thankful that someday we will take family trips and our kids will learn to swim in the lake and play under the pine trees with their cousins.

Happy weekend!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

A Surprise Visit & Thanksgiving 1 of 2

Several weeks ago I got a text from my Brother in Law asking if we were going to be around on the weekend of the 9th. He said he was planning a surprise Birthday trip for my sister and that they would be flying in from Boise on Friday afternoon. I was SO excited and starting flooding him with text messages. Seriously blowing up his phone for like, 3 days asking questions and telling him about plans I was wanting to make. I think I got one response for every 20 texts. Poor guy.

He had invited my momma too and the first thing I thought of was an early Thanksgiving. Our family is so spread out and we rarely get to spend a Holiday all together. It's usually just us and my Mom or us and my Dad and his wife.  This year we won't have either of my parents with us for Thanksgiving, and my Sister and Brother in Law will be in Maine with his family. So, Thanksgiving on the 10th was the perfect solution to this never ending problem.

I picked them up at the airport on Friday afternoon and we sat in traffic for what felt like an eternity. Nothing like a car fire on the bridge to turn the rush hour crawl into a dead standstill. D & A live in a beautiful mountain town with not even one stop light. So, Bay Area {Friday} traffic was far from a warm way to welcome them. Sorry guys! Anywhooo, we finally got home, waited for the Momma to arrive and headed to Danville for sushi.

Saturday morning we made breakfast and got ready to head out to the city for the day. My sister's boyfriend Sean Hayes was performing at a small venue and we had all bought tickets for that night as part of her birthday surprise. We started with a delicious lunch at Pacific Catch right outside of Golden Gate Park and then walked through the park after lunch. There was a little art show going on by the fountains and it was such a beautiful day. After walking off some of our lunch calories we drove down to Ocean Beach where they were holding a sand sculpture contest. We got there long after the judging had ended but we still got to see the sculptures. The sand was freezing and the wind started to pick up and the fog was coming in so we left to go find a happy hour.


Instead of happy hour we found a funky little hipster bar in the Mission District that offered some of the craziest cocktails I've ever seen. Like, the Ike Turner, a $9 shot of Hennessey served with a slap in the face. Classy.

We had some time left until the show started so we found a little pizza place, apparently the most popular pizza place on the planet where we waited almost an hour for a table. The pizza was amazing and totally worth the wait. Plus it was only a few doors down from the show so that made it extra sweet. We got to the show right after they opened the doors and had just the right amount of time to order another drink and find the Momma a place to sit down.

Okay.. so.. we've been to some pretty good concerts. This summer especially. We saw John Mayer not that long ago and that was amazing. I love John. But, this show was maybe the best. I now know why my sister made Sean Hayes her honorary boyfriend and we had such a good time. I also discovered my new favorite artist. Ever heard of Jillette Johnson? Probably not but seriously, Google her, listen to some songs. She's like, what you would get if Nora Jones, Lady GaGa & Amy Winehouse had a baby. Her voice is amazing, I've heard some people say they want to eat her voice with ice cream. I'm not sure what that's supposed to mean exactly, but she's good and she's gorge. She was recently on Rachel Ray's talk show, so I know I can't be the only one with this new obsession.

Sunday we woke up, a little, let's say... dehydrated. But, we had a Thanksgiving to cook and cook we did. Nick made his first turkey and did a fantastic job. We invited his parents over so the whole family could enjoy and spend some time together. We made way too much food for 8 people and now we can't even open our fridge for all the leftovers. I'm pretty sure we will be eating left overs until the real Thanksgiving. I'm not complaining though, I love leftover Thanksgiving sandwiches more than Thanksgiving dinner.

D & A had a flight out at 6:50 which meant we had to get up at 4:45 to get them to the airport in time. Turkey hangover and a 4:45 alarm did not treat me well and I ended up taking the day off yesterday and hating life on the couch while catching up on every single show. You name it, if it's on Bravo, E!, or TLC I watched it yesterday. Sorry, I'm not sorry.

Friday, November 8, 2013

5 on Friday - Thankful Edition #1

2013 has been a really special year for us and we have so much to be thankful for. I think that it is so important to keep in mind how blessed we are, and to give thanks all the time. Not just because of a Holiday, but Thanksgiving is a good excuse to share those thankful thoughts.

I try to make it a point to pray every single day. Sometimes, depending on what is going on, I find myself praying consistently on and off, throughout the day. I am noticing that a lot of the time I am asking for things. Lord, please give me strength. Lord, please... instead of Thank you, God… I am trying to make a conscious effort to express my gratitude not only in prayer but also in my actions. {Believe me this is something that needs work.}

We have a beautiful life and it is important to remember that. Every. Single. Day.

I am thankful for my husband. For endless reasons. But really... he gives me butterflies, makes me laugh, makes me feel SO loved and appreciated, and even cooks dinner more nights out of the week than I do. He loves my family, like really loves them.  And most importantly? He puts up with me. My bed hogging, laundry piling, reality TV watching, Candy Crushing, ways are not always a walk in the park. But he loves me a lot and I am thankful for that.

I am thankful for my family. My sister doesn't know it yet, but today, her husband will be loading her onto a plane for a quick 90 minute flight to San Francisco. My mom is driving down and we are going to be able to spend a weekend together for the first time since their wedding in June. I am thankful that my parents are going to be the most loving, sweetest grandparents. That is something that I wasn't fortunate enough to get to experience, being loved and spoiled by a grandparent. {That's a story for another time...} My sister is going to be the sweetest, most loving aunt. Something else I didn't really get to experience. 

I am thankful for my husband's family. I have talked about this a million times before, but I seriously hit the in-law jackpot. Nick's family made me their own after we had only been dating a few months. We get to spend so much time with them and I have never been made to feel like an outsider. Not once. They are so welcoming and inviting, loving, and provide so much for us. And, they are so respectful. Of our space, our lives, our plans. Nick's parents are, at times, our favorite couple to hang out with. We have so much fun with them, they like to drink {Husby got his bartending skills from his Pops}, love good food, and are always down for a good time. I got a sweet sister out of the deal too. A sister that wears the same shoe size as me {a microscopic size 5 to be exact}. She's a built in best friend, confidant, and another amazing auntie to be.

I am thankful for our home. Our house is currently undergoing one hell of a transformation. This will be the 4th Christmas in our house. A house that started out as an empty shell, an ex-rental house, a bachelor pad. We had roommates living in the 3 extra bedrooms for the first few years in our house. This helped pay the bills, built our savings, and enabled us to pay off our wedding in full, only months after it was over {another blessing all on it's own.} Anyway, when we had roommates we didn't do much to the house. We kept the d├ęcor simple and didn't have any photos of us up or around really. Our house became home, but it still felt temporary. We felt like renters in the home that we owned for the first few years we lived there. For the first time in a long time, we are finally roommate free and are able to start making some real changes to the house. Adding bits of furniture, adding gallery walls with photos, painting, personalizing, making it ours. This is really just the beginning. Once the holidays are over we are going to start some real renovations and I cannot wait to fall even more in love with this home we are building.

I am thankful for our friends. I have always been very particular about who I became friends with. I tend to prefer to have a small group of extremely close friends, rather than a large group of not quite as close friends. When Nick and I started dating, I'm pretty sure I made about 100 new friends. I'm seriously not exaggerating. Nick came with the biggest group of extremely close friends that you can imagine. Many {most} of them are girls. Luckily they liked me and made me their own so quickly. I had never experienced anything like it. They are the most beautiful, sweetest group of girls you can imagine. These girls have never made me feel like they are my friends because of Nick. Of course I have my own amazing girl friends who I love more than life. Each of them is so special to me for different reasons. I wouldn't be me, if it weren't for each one of them. A network of people who love and support you is probably one of the greatest blessings of all. 


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