Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Thanks for your Friendship

Old. 
Annie (on the left) has been my bff since 1992! She is a gem and I couldn't imagine life without her in it. 
Robyn (on the right) has been my bff since 1998-ish. She's also my baby momma and a girl I couldn't have survived without. 
They are both the sisters destiny forgot to give me. 

Newer.
Jenna (on the left) is like the lil sis I always wanted but never got. We officially met in 2008, but took an algebra class together in approximately 2006. She was #1 in the class... I was #2. LOL 
Randikins (on the right) I met in 2008ish? Maybe 2009. She is an amazing friend and I am so grateful she came to work in my office and we invited her to lunch that day. Lunch consisted of firing questions at her. She handled the questions with ease and I knew we'd be life long friends. Not to mention she gets me and my trips on the crazy train. :o) 

Newest.
Kim (left) and Kam (right). 
These two wonderful ladies were inherited when I started dating and then married K. They have always made me feel welcome and been there for both of us since I moved down here. They are my only true friends I have made since moving here and really, they were handed to me on a silver platter. I am grateful to have them in my life and to give me what little social life I have down here. LOL 

All these pics are about a year and a half old, but I thought it was appropriate seeing as how all the important friends were there on one of the most important days of my life! 

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Pages of Gratitude

I love books. 
As I may have mentioned before, I love books so much I am a borderline book hoarder.
I am loyal to books. 
I have a Kindle Fire but have yet to actually read a book on it. 
Books, like movies, are a great escape for me. 
I love feeling like I have traveled to another world.
I become so engrossed in a book and it's characters as I am reading it that my own world becomes distant.
I love a book that evokes a wide span of emotions. Jodie Picoult's books often do this. I go through such emotional conflicts in her stories. It's awesome.
I love a book that can make me laugh out loud. Jen Lancaster does that for me. 
I love a book that can make me cry. Nicholas Sparks has been known to get a tear or two from me. 
I just love books. 
Although, there are a few I wont read. 
Harlequin romance style books. 
Sci-Fi books. (But I once loved Dean Koontz. Not anymore though.)
Scary books. Again - I used to love scary books. But after living alone for a couple years and sitting in my apartment alone and terrified after reading, I just don't read them anymore.

For more on the books I've read, am currently reading, and want to read, check out my Goodreads profile.

Monday, November 18, 2013

TGIF!

No, I haven't completely lost my mind. 
Yes, I know it's really Monday. 
But its MY Friday! 

And with a job like mine and a week like I have had, Friday on Tuesday is a reason to celebrate! 
Here's to a much needed three day weekend with no overtime on the books! 

Sunday, November 17, 2013

DVRocks

Being thankful for DVR is lame, I know. But I seriously love it and cant imagine life without it. I even wonder what we did before it!

Actually, I know what I did. I set my VCR timer to record shows. But it was such a pain. And if you forgot to make sure you had room on the tape, you were SOL. It actually makes me chuckle because K is so old school she asks me if I "taped" shows. Well, no, no I didn't, but I did record it. Haha

The DVR allows me to have a life and still watch all the bad TV I want. It's allows for quality time with the wife. And it helps me with my procrastination issues. How, you may ask? I will often be sucked into something on live TV knowing I have something else I need to do or somewhere I need to be. With DVR, I can press record and walk away from the TV and not feel like I am going to miss something. Most of the time when I do this, I rarely even go back and finish watching it, but it makes it easier for me to walk away knowing I have the option. LOL

The downfall of DVR is it makes me think all aspects of life should have it. Driving down the road, I will miss something they say on the radio or want to listen to a lyric in a song again and I want to rewind it like I can on TV. I even do this in real life. Someone will say something, or maybe someone will do something funny that I missed and I want to be able to rewind it. But I cant.

So, thanks to the genius that discovered DVR! It rocks!

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Thank You San Francisco!

San Francisco is such a rad city. In my humble opinion, I think it is the greatest city in the United States, if not in the whole world. 

The reasons why San Francisco rocks is endless, but yesterday they went above and beyond they're usual awesomeness. 
Yesterday, they transformed their city to fulfill one little boys dream.

In short, 5 year old Miles had been battling cancer since he was a mere 18 months old. 
(He finally went into remission and had his last treatment in July.) 
When Make a Wish asked him what his wish was he told them to be "Bat Kid" for a day. 
San Francisco caught wind of this and made it happen.

Click here for the full story.

That top picture chokes me up every time. He means business and is taking his job seriously!!

Seeing an entire city pull together the way San Francisco did was amazing and something you don't see every day.
On this day, San Francisco restored some faith in humanity for me and reminded me that there is still good in the world. 
Thank you for that SF! 
Thank you for making this brave little boy's wish come true. 
Thank you for being a city that leads the way and sets an incredible example! 

Friday, November 15, 2013

Thankful for the Wife

Today I am thankful for my wife. 
She is my voice of reason. 
She is my comfort.
She is my rock.

With our jobs and graveyard hours, we don't have days off together right now, but we do the best with what we have. 
Sometimes that's just being together in the same room, while doing our own thing. 
Sometimes that's watching our TV shows cuddled up in bed. 
Sometimes that's a date to the movies or to breakfast or to the beach. 
Today it was a breakfast date. Then walk the dogs date. Then a Boba date.
And sometimes it's even a date at the doctors. LOL 

In the short four years we've been together, we have had lots of ups and downs, good times and bad, pretty and not so pretty moments.
But through it all, our love for one another stays strong and as long as we have that, we will always have each other.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Sisters are a reason to be grateful!

My Sisters. 
Where do I even begin. 
Grew up in the same family. 
Have different memories of the same family.
All three of us, while similar in our core, are very different. 

Melissa is my oldest sister. 10 years older, to be exact. She has always said I was like her baby doll when I was born. She loved to dress me up and take care of me. She gave me my first nephew when I was just 15 years old. She has always been there for me when I needed her and has always loved me unconditionally and embraced me for who I am. 
She is a caretaker. You need something, she's your girl. Even if you don't need something, she's your girl. She recently went to visit our other sister in Chicago and was complimented on just how caring she is. She's a doer, where my other sister and I are more of procrastinators. 
She is crafty and cutesie. I used to make fun of her for being a Suzie Homemaker, but now it is a quality I admire her for. 
I don't really remember fighting with her growing up. Mostly because by the time I was 8, she was off to college and out of the house. What I do remember, is spending a weekend with her when I was probably about 12. After the weekend was over, she dropped me off at home and as she drove down the street, I chased after her car bawling. I had such a special time with her, I was heartbroken it was over and she was gone.

Denise is the middle sister. She's seven years older than me. She was the sister I was always wanting to be like. As a result, I fought with her the most because I always wanted her attention and the last thing a 16 year old wants to do is hang out with her 9 year old sister. I get that now, but back then it often broke my heart. I always thought she was so cool. Looking back, I realize she was cool, but she was a nerdy cool. Still something I idolize. 
The sister I thought would never have kids, has given me a nephew and a beautiful niece. She has become an amazing mother and has surprised me in many ways since becoming a mom. 
She is a hard, hard worker. Sometimes too hard of a worker, but her hard work shines in all of her success. However, currently she is on a sabbatical and not working at all. She's doing the stay at home mom thing, but gives a lot of her time to her kid's school and keeps herself busy in other ways. 
When I have a big decision in life or have something I want to work on, she is usually the sister I consult. She looks at things in a logical manner and can often take the emotion out of things for me. 
She is also the favorite daughter. Haha

I am thankful for both of them for different reasons. I say we are all different, which is true, but I think I embody the best of both of them.

This is our family then & now. Granted the now picture is a couple of years old, but it is the total package. Melissa gave me my brother-in-law, Andy, and my nephews, Andrew and Kendall. Denise brought my brother-in-law, Eric, into my life and blessed me with Oliver and Lucy. Then, of course, there's me & K. We have no kids to contribute but still hope one day we will. 

I wish all the time that I was a better sister, but I am who I am and they are who they are and I wouldn't trade them for the world! 

P.S. I am also grateful for this date because 5 years ago today, Emma Anne (aka bulldog) came into this world and made Abigail Joy a big sister. Now they get to know the joys of having first a sister, then a forever friend! 

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Thanks for Pinning

My, oh my I have fallen behind on these daily gratitudes. I will post this as if it is November 13th, however, in the real world it is the 21st. I can barely get myself to blog something on a monthly basis, I don't know why I thought I would be able to do a daily one! LOL

Anyway, today I am grateful for ...
I have often admired creative people and hand made items, but never felt I had the ability to be one of those people. Pinterest has brought that person out in me and I love it! Granted, I cant claim I have a creative mind as in I see a piece of rubble and think - that would make an amazing blahblahblah, and then have the ability to turn it into something. But given a baseline for an idea, I will have my own vision and turn it into my own. 
Check out my "Pinned This, Did This" board to see all the projects I've done since discovering Pinterest.

Also, when I moved down to So Cal 4 years ago, I wasn't much of a chef. And to call myself a chef is a complete stretch... But Pinterest has made me more of a chef/cook than I ever have been in my life. I love trying new recipes. I still have some fails, but notice that I am better at judging whether or not I will like a recipe without having to try it. I think I am just a couple cooking classes away from being able to call myself a chef. LOL
Check out my "Pinned This, Cheffed This" board for all the recipes I've tried, as well as reviews.

According to the snapshots of those boards, I have done over 100 things from Pinterest. Pretty impressive since when I first got on there, I was worried I would spend hours upon hours pinning things and then never doing them. Which, clearly, hasn't been the case. And for that... I am grateful!

Oh, one more thing - I am grateful for this day because 30 years ago today, one of the best friends a girl could have was born! Happy Birthday, friend!

Scarf with Pockets

Forgot your mittens?? No problem! 

A name buddy of mine had one of these when we worked together in Sacramento about 4 years ago and I thought it was the coolest thing! So ... fast forward 4 years and I finally made one!

The ironic thing about this scarf is I now live in So Cal... Where winter doesn't really exist. Sure, it gets cold... but not scarf cold. Unless you head to the beach and it's windy, then maybe it could be considered scarf cold.

I did the photo shoot for this blog by myself. I tried to get K to help me, but we just never found the time - or rather - never made the time together. I tried to make it happen on a day we were headed to the beach for a lunch date. It was probably 80 degrees out and I was in a tank top, shorts, and flip flops. I thought that outfit would carry quite a bit of irony considering where we live. Ha! No?

Perhaps I will send it to my cousin back in Indiana. I still owe her a hand made gift from 2012!! 

It's super easy and generic. I used "Loops & Threads" brand yarn. It took just under two skeins, so be sure to grab two from the store. (I had to go back.) I used an I/9 -5.50 mm hook.

Scarf
Chain 18
Row 1: Double crochet in third chain from hook, double crochet in each chain across: 15 double crochets
Row 2 - ??: Chain 3 (counts as first double crochet from here on out), double crochet in back loop only of the next 14 double crochets across.
Repeat until you get to your desired length. Remember you need about 8-10 inches longer than your desired length so you can fold over the ends and create the pockets.

I folded the bottom up about 10 rows. Lined up the two sides and sewed the sides together to the best of my ability. Repeat three more times on each side of the pocket, leaving the top open for access.

I would tell you how to sew it, but I don't have a clue what I am doing when I am sewing. I just run the needle and yarn through holes on the side and hope it doesn't come undone anytime soon. Ha! I am pretty sure you could do a better job than I can instruct.

Whether you use the pockets to keep your hands warm, perhaps to tuck your phone into, or a place to store your mittens and beanie when it's hung up... I think once you have pockets on your scarf, the regular scarf will never be the same again!

As usual, if you have any questions, I am here for you.


Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Thanks for Volunteering

 
Today I am thankful for the cute rescue pups I volunteer to walk during the week. 
Since we have our sweet kitties, we can't really have a dog. Not right now anyway. But these pups give my my dog fix. It's like being the Auntie. I get to take them out, have fun with them, and then give them back when I'm tired of them. LOL 
I am grateful for the opportunity to give my time and get the unconditional love of dogs in return. 


Monday, November 11, 2013

Thanks for Your Bravery


Like the rest of Americans today, I am beyond thankful for our Veterans. 
I don't even have the words to express the gratitude. 
I cant fathom what they go through, what they experience, the things they see. 
They risk their lives, and some lose their lives, for the love of their country and the people that live in it. 


THANK YOU! 


P.S. That first awesom picture is taken by an amazing friend and co-worker. You can see more of her work on www.artbykelli.com or like her Facebook page.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Thanks for Calling!

Today, I am beyond grateful for this rad new phone!! 

The phones K and I had before were a P.O.S. Mostly just good as a paperweight. Anything beyond that and you would get so frustrated you would want to throw the phone against a wall. Or out a window. Or off a bridge. It was crap. 

So, Saturday we talk about getting new phones and I start doing some research on the phones our provider has to offer. K has wanted an iPhone for years. So she didn't need much research. I was indifferent to the iPhone. It's such hype and every six months there's a newer better version leaving you feeling like you're missing something with your old, outdated version. Not to mention it doesn't have good, free GPS. That's a must have for me. 

Anyway, I happened upon this little gem. Seriously, check it out on the Sony website. Watch the video. You can put it in water, people. In! The! Water! It gets a little dirty? No problem, run it under the faucet. That's amazing. I have been known to walk into the ocean with my phone in the pocket of my board shorts, so this is amazing to me. (Granted, they don't recommend submerging it and they say it's better that it's not salt water, but they also told stories with happy endings in these cases.)

The phone is just pure awesomeness. So awesome that after a few minutes of demo and playing with it, K decided against the iPhone and got one of these bad boys too. We haven't even touched on all the features and things it can do, but it's amazing. Oh, and if you have a Sony TV, you can tap the phone to the TV and whatever you are doing on your phone will show up on the TV. Guess I better start saving for the Sony plasma. LOL 

P.S. There is one downfall of the phone. Just one... and it's also a perk. It's kinda big. Not in a bulky, heavy kind of way, but in a - it wont fit in my back pocket kind of way. And my back pocket is always where my phone lives. At the same time tho, the bigger screen is fabulous!

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Thanks a Knot

Today I am thankful for crocheting. 
I am thankful that I learned how to do this craft. 
It's therapeutic.
It's challenging.
It's fun.
It's inexpensive. 
(If you shop smart.)
It's something I can do anywhere.
On a road trip. 
On the couch watching TV.
At work. 
And it yields such cute, cute stuff! 



Friday, November 8, 2013

Thanks for Laughing

Laughing is the best. 
The quickest way into my heart is to laugh. 
Laugh with me. 
Laugh at me. 
Make me laugh. 
Laugh = Love

I love all the differences in laughs. 
When I laugh and something is incredibly funny to me, there is no noise. 
You will hear one huge wheeze of a laughter and then silence. 
They only way you can tell I am laughing is by the shaking of my body. 
My mom and sister laugh the same way. 

I laugh the most when I am with my mom. 
And I love the shot of K laughing with her. 
What's not to love about the two most important women in my life enjoying each other? 



Thursday, November 7, 2013

Fall for Gratitude

I freaking love fall. 
It is - by far - my most favorite time of year! 
I mean, look at those colors!!! How can you not love that? Never mind that I don't get to experience such beauty where I live, but I can appreciate the beauty, none the less. 

Another thing I love about fall is the crispness in the air. Just the slight chill that a sweater and jeans is enough to keep you warm and still be able to enjoy the cold. Anything colder and it's just not fun. 
I also love warm drinks. Nothing like a warm coffee or hot chocolate to warm you up! 

Lets not forget about the best holiday of the year!! And the reason I am doing these gratitude blogs. :o) 
Thanksgiving rocks. It allows people to take a step back and be grateful for what they have. 
It's a time for family - dysfunction and all - to make memories. I love the togetherness of the holiday. It's just three of us these days, but I remember the days when we were kids. Mom would cook all day. Us kids would hang out and play games or maybe go catch a movie. And... I'm not really sure what dad did. Probably watched football and tossed a few back. I have fond memories of Thanksgiving with the family. (I'd be curious what my sisters memories are since we always seem to remember things differently. LOL) 
Last but not least, the food! The feast of Thanksgiving is phenomenal! Everything is so delicious. The gravy, the bread, the mashed potatoes... MMMMM!!! You pile the plate so full you can't possibly fit one more thing on it. Half way through the feast in front of you, you realize you are stuffed, yet you manage to finish the whole plate. Everyone sits, lays, lounges around waiting for the fullness to go away so you can get that piece of pumpkin pie in before the day is over. Seriously, the best. 
When I told a good friend of mine that elastic waisted pants are a must on Thanksgiving, she guffawed at me, "Psh... try a dress!" LOL A girl after my own heart!