Thursday, November 29, 2012

It's Okay Thursday

Linking up for It's Okay Thursday!

It's okay that I ate a York peppermint pattie at 7 a.m. today. My sweet roommate left a box of them on my bed  this morning with a lovely little note. How could I resist?

It's okay that The Dog Whisperer has turned out to be a complete disappointment. I liked him, I tried to get to know him, but he seems to have completely checked out I don't have the energy to beg for someone's attention. I'm disappointed, but it'll be okay.

It's okay to be in a bit of a funk sometimes. I'll snap out of it soon, I'm sure.

It's okay to say what's on your mind and not worry about how the other person will react. I need to work on being more okay with this.

It's okay to be happy and independent on your own, but also able to admit that you can't wait to find someone to share your life with.

It's okay to walk back upstairs 3 times before leaving the house in the morning to make sure you unplugged the straightener, even though it turns off by itself anyway.

On that note, it's okay to have a slight serious case of OCD.

It's okay to be overly excited about signing up for the Tap n' Run 4K. An easy 2.5 mile race with beer waiting for me at the finish line? This is perfection beyond belief.

What's okay with you today? Link up!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Thanksgiving Weekend

Hello friends. I hope your Thanksgiving weekend was delightful. Mine was so delightful that I'm having a really tough time getting my shit together this week.

Thanksgiving weekend is always wonderful. Celebrating Thanksgiving with my family is always special, emotional and full of joy. The long weekend is like a little mini-vacation from work and it's so relaxing to spend a few days at my parents' house. I even volunteered to give the Thanksgiving toast before dinner and I am a little embarrassed to say I wasn't even halfway through it before I started sobbing. Maybe next year.

It was my intention to take lots of cute photos of my family on Thanksgiving, but that didn't work out as planned. My brother acted like the paparazzi was trying to snap photos of him without his consent, my sisters weren't much more cooperative, then I started baking away and didn't really think of it again. I can, however, always count on my child to suck it up for a photo session with his momma, so there's that.

So thankful for this little boy.
I baked my ass off for Thanksgiving this year. I don't bring many cooking skills to the table (yet!), so this is how I contribute to Thanksgiving. These are all super easy to make and I loved how they came out. I linked to the recipes so you can try them for yourself.

Pumpkin Streusel Pudding Cookies

Apple Snickerdoodle Cobbler

Peanut Butter Cookie Cups
Even Blake was exhausted from all the excitement. He absolutely loves weekends at my parents' much room to run and so many other friends to play with!

Sleepy boy.
Because my BFF Taryn was in Orlando visiting her family for Thanksgiving, I drive back to Orlando for Friday and Saturday to spend time with her, then went back to my parents' for Saturday night and Sunday. This resulted in my spending what felt like 80% of my weekend in the car, but it was totally worth it.

In less than 2 days, Taryn and I managed to squeeze in rasberry mojitos and banana pizza at Cafe Tu Tu Tango, meeting friends for a night on the town and a few hours of fun plus a photoshoot at Epcot. Best friend time is always good for the soul, even if we did get into a drunken argument about nothing on Friday night. When I get my hands on the rest of our photos from Epcot, I'll share them, but in the meantime, this is our time together in a nutshell.

As we typically do, we were running late to meet our friends downtown. I pulled up to the toll booth to find this guy parked there. I was obviously excited about the prospect of a random act of kindness falling into my lap and we couldn't really get around him, so I jumped out to help. He didn't understand English, was lost and didn't have any change, so we helped! I was so caught up in the moment, I didn't think for a second he could've thrown me into his car and driven away. Let's just say my dad wasn't thrilled...

"Every brunette needs a blonde best friend." This photo was taken at Epcot and we got the idea from this pin on Pinterest.
Yes we are almost wearing the same outfit. It wasn't planned, but we went with it anyway.
After dropping Taryn off at the airport and begging her not to leave....

Just causing a scene at the airport.
...I hit the road back to my parents' house to relax for the rest of the weekend. I spent Saturday night watching Elf with my momma and spent Sunday doing a little shopping with mom and dad. My weekend was the perfect combination of fun and relaxation/friend and family time. Thanksgiving was absolutely wonderful and now I'm psyched to get ready for Christmas.

I'm probably due to update you all on other life happenings, but I'll save that for later. Hope all is well in your world today!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Gratitude Overload

"It is not happy people who are thankful; it is thankful people who are happy."
I honestly don't know if there is a better feeling than the feeling I get when I arrive at my parents' house for a holiday. It's as if any stress, anxiety or concern I've been carrying around just falls off my shoulders as soon as I pull into the driveway. 

It's Thanksgiving. My favorite holiday. I cried happy tears three times before I even got here today. I can't help it; I'm an emotional lady and I get overwhelmed easily when I start to think about all there is to be thankful for. There are so many things; big things like life in general and simple things like the banana pizza dessert at Cafe Tu Tu Tango. 

It honestly wouldn't be a celebration unless I presented an exhausting list to you, so here we go. 

Today I'm feeling thankful for:

  • Books
  • York peppermint patties
  • Finding a roommate this year who has become a very dear friend of mine
  • Blake. This little boy brings me so much joy.
  • Optimism
  • The smell of rain
  • My job
  • The not-so-great things in life, because they make the good stuff stand out so much more
  • Country music
  • How I feel driving home after a really good workout
  • Rainbows
  • Having people in my life who accept me completely
  • My quirkiness
  • Being part of such a fun, loving, supportive family
  • Tears of joy
  • Anyone who has come into my life and treated me unfairly or didn't appreciate who I am. Because those people left, it made room for the good ones
  • Songs that make me want to twirl
  • Unexpected morning phone calls from my mom
  • My health
  • The new Taylor Swift album
  • Pinterest. Where else could I find all the best cupcake recipes and inspirational quotes in one place?
  • The quote, “Count your rainbows, not your thunderstorms.” This quote has helped me see the bright side in so many negative situations. 
  • My girlfriends
  • Knowing that one day I will look back and laugh at how confusing dating is to me right now
  • Blueberry vodka
  • Friendly customer service employees
  • How it feels to wake up in the morning with the sun shining through the windows

Life isn't perfect. Horrible things happen sometimes. I've been sick. My heart has been broken. I've experienced sadness. But, in all of those times, there has always been something, even something small, to be thankful for. Sometimes you have to search a little more than others for the good and that's okay. Those situations help you appreciate the small things. They make you realize how blessed you really are. We've all got to start seeing the perfection in less-than-perfect situations. 

For all those not-so-great situations, I feel like we get so many more days where the good is so overwhelming you don't know how you got to be so lucky. Those are the days when you go to count your blessings and you don't even know where to begin so you just close your eyes and thank God. 
That is me today; overwhelmed with gratitude. 
Tell me...
What are you feeling most thankful for today?

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Bake, Exercise, Bake, Exercise, Repeat.

Hi everyone! I'm sure you're all anxiously counting down until you finish work for the week and busy preparing to celebrate Thanksgiving with your loved ones. My week so far has consisted of lots of baking and working out everyday in preparation for the over-indulging I plan to do on Thursday am already doing. For example, run 5 miles and get a good arm workout in on Monday night = it is totally acceptable to eat 5 pumpkin struesel pudding cookies fresh out of the oven.

I'm still thinking up my Thanksgiving day blog post, but in the hopes of distracting myself from the fact that I still have to make it through one more day at work, today I'm sharing what I'm most looking forward to on this Thanksgiving weekend.
  • Baking in my parents' kitchen on Thanksgiving day. The house is so alive with conversation and laughter and my parents are so adorable cooking dinner together.
  • Going for a run on Thanksgiving morning through my parents' neighborhood. I rarely run outside, mostly because it's usually dark out when I get around to working out and it's just more convenient for me to run on the treadmill at the gym. My parents live out in the country and with the beautiful weather we've been having, I can't wait to wake up on Thursday morning and get a nice outdoors run in!
  • Family time. It's not very often my siblings and I are at my parents' house at the same time since we all have different schedules. It'll be nice to all be together...we always have such a good time.
  • Relaxation. I've mentioned before how terrible I am at truly taking time out to relax. When I am at my own house, there is always something else I feel I should be doing. Thanksgiving at my parents' house really forces me to relax, read, take an afternoon nap on the patio...things I don't make time for on a regular basis.
  • Celebrating. Life is so full of ups and downs and I feel like my family has seen so many of these recently and in the last few years. I've really come to look forward to soaking in the joy that is Thanksgiving day and really take time to celebrate the things we are thankful for.
  • Seeing my best friend. My best friend Taryn will be in Orlando for Thanksgiving and even though I'll be at my parents, I am driving back to Orlando to spend Friday with her because I can't have her so close and not see her at all. There's been a lot going on in our lives since I last saw her in October, so I can't wait to have some time with her.
Thanksgiving has really become my favorite holiday. I love everything about this day and can't wait to celebrate!

Tell me...

What are you looking forward to most?

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Random Thoughts

Happy Wednesday! This post comes to you from my office where men are tearing apart the roof and it sounds as if someone is moments away from falling through the ceiling and landing on my lap. I obviously can't concentrate, so I'm blogging. One of the many reasons I love blogging is that it doesn't require concentration. I don't need to pick one thing to write about and stick to it. I don't even have to make sense. So today I bring you the thoughts that are going through my head right meow.

I heard an ad on the radio this morning announcing that a local mall is opening at midnight on Black Friday. I love to shop almost as much as I love getting a really good deal on something, but I can't help but feel sad that shopping is starting to overshadow Thanksgiving day. Every year it seems the stores start opening earlier and earlier and more people spend Thanksgiving day waiting in lines and fighting crowds than sitting around the table with family celebrating all they are thankful for.

My nana has been fighting cancer on and off for a few years. She is now refusing treatment and I'm going to visit her today. I haven't seen her in quite some time and I'm feeling a little anxious. I really just want to hug her and tell her I love her, and I'm just hoping I don't completely fall apart. I'll also be seeing my aunts and uncles I haven't seen in a long time. I'm looking forward to seeing everyone.

Dating The Dog Whisperer makes me feel like I am in stop and go traffic. You know the feeling, when you think the traffic jam has finally cleared up and you start to cruise, only to come to a dead stop in 1/2 a mile. That's how I'm feeling. Whenever I see him, it's like we are cruising down the highway and things feel like they are going so great, then we say our goodbyes and it feels as though we are at a complete standstill until the next time I see him. I'm not saying this is a terrible thing because we are taking it slow and blah, blah, blah. It is what it is but it's new territory for this impatient girl.

Speaking of boys, I can't help but think they are so cute banding together during the month of November for No Shave November. I can't help but notice the irony: it's cute when the men in your life decide to dedicate a month to not shaving, but if us ladies decide to avoid shaving for a month, we've "let ourselves go." Trust me, I am not an advocate of going more than a day without shaving my legs nevermind a whole month, but still, I'm entertained by this.

I'm truly starting to believe children have a better grasp on life than anyone else. They are brutally honest and so genuinely optimistic. I'm loving these two kids' quotes:

Anyway, I hope you're all having a lovely day.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

It's Okay Thursday

I wish I had more to say today, but since I don't...I'm linking up for "It's Okay Thursday."

It's okay to become esctatic over simple things like getting your first holiday cup at Starbucks.

It's okay that I was too cozy to get out of bed at 5:30 this morning to get to the gym. I'll go later...or tomorrow.

It's okay that I'm having a tough time holding off on listening to Christmas music. I know it's a little early for all that but I can't help it!

It's okay to let yourself be sad sometimes. The important thing is to leave some room for hope.

It's okay for dating to make you feel like you need therapy.

It's okay that I've had a really hard time focusing at work lately. I'll snap out of it eventually.

It's okay to reference Friends episodes on a daily basis.

It's okay to wish your parents lived even closer than they do because sometimes, you just need your parents.
It's okay to wake up in the middle of the night sometimes and wish you weren't in bed alone.
It's okay to be completely obsessed with your girlfriends. Good friends are hard to come by, so I can't help but be obsessed with the ones I have.

It's okay that I started writing this post at 10:00 this morning and I'm just now finishing.

What is okay with you today? Link up!

Monday, November 5, 2012

A Happy Weekend with a Side of Anxiety

Happy Monday!

Am I the only one who feels strangely energized thanks to daylight savings time? I woke up at 7 a.m. (which would have been 8 a.m.) on Sunday morning feeling like I had slept for days. The sun was shining through the windows and the birds were chirping. I felt like I was brand new. I woke up and immediately went for a 3.5 mile run outside which I would normally be in no rush to do. I even felt the same way this morning despite the fact that it's Monday. I don't know if it's because I'm well-rested, or that I haven't had enough to eat, or that I've had too much coffee, but my heart is racing and I feel way too energized to be sitting at my desk all day.

My weekend was lovely, although I can't say it was too wild and crazy. Saturday morning, Natasha and I participated in the Paws for Peace walk, which raised money for Harbor House, a domestic violence shelter, to build a pet shelter for domestic violence victims. The weather was beautiful and we were able to bring Blake, which was so nice. From there, we continued the walking and chatting and ended up walking several miles exploring the area and checking out the scenery. We ended the afternoon with brunch and mimosas, then frozen yogurt at one of my favorite places. I have to get cheesy for a minute and say how awesome it is to have a friend you can do anything with. It was such a nice day.

I spent the rest of the weekend relaxing and taking care of a few errands. Sometimes you just need some time to yourself. It was nice and I'm glad I was able to get a good run in on Sunday. I recently discovered that I am down 10 lbs from August when I started working out again. This is exciting, but I'm even more excited that I am increasing my distance and continuously improving when it comes to my workouts.

If I'm being honest, I'm feeling a bit of anxiety in addition to all this energy. I had to cut a fun night out short on Friday because I started having intense back pain that is all too familiar. It's a kidney stone kind of pain and unfortunately, I know it all too well. I'm going to see my doctor Wednesday and praying that it isn't what I think it is. I'm thinking if I send good thoughts out into the universe, I will learn that the back pain is just a fluke. So yeah, no kidney stones for this girl. No way!

Long story short, even the most positive people have negative thoughts. The trick is, and I need to remind of myself of this, to not let our negative thoughts overshadow positive thoughts. Our positive thoughts have to beat out the negative ones. So, I'm feeling anxious about a few things, but now that I've gotten it out there, it's time for the positive thoughts to take over.

If I do find out I have kidney stones again, I am lucky to have a great doctor on my side who will help me take care of it.

If I do find out I have kidney stones again, I can rest easy knowing I have been through much, much worse and like I say everytime I get kidney stones, "This too shall pass."

I am lucky to have a good friend who when I looked at her on Friday night saying I was in too much pain, she rushed me home and took such good care of me. 

That was a lot of information for a Monday. Whew! I feel better, though I still feel like my heart might beat out of my chest. More coffee?