Saturday, November 30, 2013

Thankful for the future

Today is the very last day of 30 Days of Thanks.  I'm pretty impressed with myself that I actually wrote every single day this month.  Now, don't expect this to be a normal thing....writing on the weekends is a bit tough :-)  Anyway, so I was thinking and thinking that whatever I had to be thankful for today better be significant because it is Day 30 after all.  

So I thought and thought....and then I watched this Huffington Post video of a man whose girlfriend found out that he was going to propose so he went through this elaborate date where he kept faking her out that he was going to ask the big question until he finally did.  And it brought me back to that rainy July 4th over 4 years ago.  And the feelings flooded back of how much we had ahead of us, our future, counting down the days until we could be "us," man and wife.  The future.  And that was it.

Today I am thankful for our future.  

We aren't quite to the end of the year yet, and you always picture people looking to the future year at the end of the December, but that's not really the future I'm thinking about. Honestly, 2014 probably won't  be that "life-changing" of a year.  I don't anticipate that being the case, but you never know.  Stranger things have happened.  

I'm talking about the future, future.  What will it bring for our family?  For T?  Myself?  For Aubrey?  We are where we are right now in life, but really, we have just started our adventure together.  I have no idea what tomorrow will bring, let alone the next few years.  It's fun to think of the possibilities - where can we go?  Will we always live here?  Will I always do the same thing?  What will Aubrey be like as she grows up? What adventures will we embark on as a family?

I know it sounds cheesy, but honestly I'm not the kind of person who thinks of the future in that way.  I'm a worrier, so when I think of the future, it usually involves me fretting over something minute and insignificant thing.  But for just once I want to think of the future of something wondrous and unknown.  Who knows what tomorrow will bring?  I, for one, can't wait to find out.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Thankful for traditions

I am still in a food coma, writing this on Thursday night as T and I barely stay awake watching the Charlie Brown Thanksgiving special.  So bear with me if none of this makes sense.  I'm guessing there will be a lot of rambling...anyway, despite it being Thanksgiving already, I'm going to finish out this 30 days of thanks. I start something, and dammit, I will finish it!  

Today I am thankful for traditions.  After the Aubster goes to bed on Friday, T and I will decorate.  Normally we would start earlier, but I'm not sure Aubrey would let us put up a thing without her touching every single item.  She'll be surprised when she wakes up, and we're going to have to be really creative with how we decorate this year.  I'm guessing the Belleek china nativity set will not be going out this year.  And all ornaments within her reach will be nonbreakable.  But she'll love it, I have no doubt.

It's our tradition for decorating, ever since we had our first Christmas together in the rental home back in 2009.  We make a crock pot of mulled wine and enjoy Christmas music while we set the house up.  It's not a huge tradition, but it's something we do every year.  I do love me some mulled wine.  And I always love putting up the tree.  It's so pretty, and I'm so excited to see it through her eyes and celebrate with her.

And we're only just three weeks away from another Nain and T tradition where we ditch the kid (babysitting with the Aunt), and go hit the town for a night.  I'm soooo looking forward to that tradition.  

I have to admit I love all of my holiday traditions.  I promise to have pictures! (From Thanksgiving and of course of our decorations!)

Oh and thankful I'm not crazy enough to go out into the Black Friday madness.  Um, yeah, no thanks!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Forever thankful

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!  Today I'll be spending the day with my family, enjoying lots of food and of course, football.  I'm excited for Aubrey to spend some time with her cousins and to just relax for a change.  For that, I am VERY thankful.
This past year has been a trying year for both T and me, but it has also been a blessed year.  We started the year celebrating Aubrey's one-year birthday in February, celebrating with family and friends.  We've watched her grow into such a big girl these past few months, and it has been so much fun despite the periodic days of "terrible twos."  She has changed so much and learned so much.  I love spending time with her singing and playing, and hearing the words "mommy" and "daddy" never grow old.  I am excited to see what year two will bring us.
T and I have begun taking more time for "us" this past year, recognizing that we had quickly become only parents and forgetting where the "we" came from before Aubrey.  We have been fortunate to have family and babysitters to help us so that we could go out and be together.  I look forward to our yearly "night on the town," thanks to my sister for watching Aubrey over night.  We've been able to join our church's marriage ministry and make a lot of friends along the way.
I am thankful for the friends, old and new, that I have.  I am thankful for certain friendships which have started and grown this year.  I am forever grateful for the support, laughter and love I receive through these people.
While this past year has been rough as I have gone through ups and downs in terms of money and career, I am grateful for where I am now, the decision I have made and the changes I have made in my attitude and motivation with this choice.  I am also thankful for the numerous opportunities I have been given in terms of writing, which, in turn has brought me back to my passion of writing as well as the ability to contribute more financially to my family.  
I am thankful for my husband, his love, his friendship and his continued support in everything I do.  I appreciate his encouragement and for being my biggest supporting and being by my side during those rough times.  I am thankful for his joy and happiness in the "up" times.  I am thankful he is such a wonderful father to our daughter.  And I am thankful that no matter what, he loves me unconditionally and with his whole heart.  
So I do have a great deal to be thankful for this year.  And it's not just the minor things I mentioned yesterday in my random post.  No, all of those small things come together into one thing - my life.  I am blessed, and forever and always I will be thankful.
This post has been linked up to the weekly Spin Cycle brought to you by Gretchen at Second Blooming and Ginny Marie at Lemon Drop Pie.  Click on the picture and see what others have to share!  And Happy Thanksgiving!
Second Blooming

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Random thankfulness

Last work day of the week!  What, what?  I'm super glad we have a long weekend coming up.  I think we can all use it for sure.  We're starting it off with a bang, too, with T and I doing a race in the morning...running 4.6 miles in the Drumstick Dash.  Then we can eat guilt free for the rest of the day, right?  

I thought today, in honor of the fact that it's Wednesday and tomorrow starts a holiday weekend, I do the thankful thing random.  Because, really, it sometimes are the little things in life that make you most thankful, right?  The big things matter, too, don't get me wrong, but that's what tomorrow's post is for!

  1. I am thankful for coffee.  For without it, there is no way in hell I could get through my morning.
  2. I am thankful for wine because of its delicious goodness, and you know, it's pretty darn nice at the end of a rough day.
  3. I am thankful for the little giggles I get from my daughter when I pretend to "nibble her piggies."
  4. I am thankful for little encouraging text messages I get from T throughout the day, just to let me know he's thinking about me.
  5. I'm thankful for the opportunities I have to write, especially in mediums like ModVive where I get to not only talk about current events but give insights with my thoughts on the subject.  I don't get to do that often in the legal world.  
  6. I am thankful for Alabama football.  Roll. Tide.
  7. I am thankful for my Keurig.  Because some mornings I am just too damn lazy to brew coffee myself.  (I'm spoiled, I know.)
  8. I am thankful for my favorite show (still on the air) Dancing with the Stars.
  9. I'm thankful for my husband for putting up with the 12 weeks of me watching it every Monday.
  10. I'm thankful for my church and the friends I have met there.
  11. I am thankful for all of my friends - old and new.  Each of them teach me something every single day.  I am so blessed.
  12. I'm thankful for the wonderful friends we have who help us out when we need it and who watch our little girl for us when we need a time out.
  13. I'm thankful for my job and for all of the opportunities it has brought and for the ability to help others.
  14. I am thankful for family.  I'm thankful we are both blessed to have loving and welcoming families to share the holidays with.
  15. Thankful, of course, for the delicious food that will be shared on Thanksgiving.  Oh gluttony.
  16. I am thankful I figured out how to do my daughter's hair because she looks too cute with the little pigtails.  Love them.
  17. I am thankful for T's cooking - he made us chicken parmesan this last weekend and of course, I love his honey chicken stir fry.  I love that he gets excited to cook a fun meal for me.
  18. I am thankful for those friends I can vent to no matter what time of the day and no matter how stupid my venting may be.  (I'm looking at you L to the YN!)
  19. I am thankful for the fact that no matter what we may have gone through, especially this year with the whole Mary Kay thing, T sticks by me no matter what and says "let's figure this out, we can do this."  Even when I might not think that we can.
  20. I am thankful for the opportunity I had to travel to Ireland for our honeymoon.  It was my dream, and just being there, was absolutely amazing. 
  21. I am thankful for the upcoming Christmas season.  I love everything about it, and I'm so excited to share it with T and my daughter.
  22. I am thankful for all of my nieces and nephews - I get to spend time with four of the five of them soon, and I cannot wait to snuggle with my baby niece after Christmas.
  23. I am thankful to have my husband back on the weekends now that it is chilly and he does not have to mow the yard anymore.  Yay!
  24. I am thankful for laughter.  No matter how stressful things may seem, I can turn on something funny on TV and just for a moment, break free from the stress.
  25. I'm thankful for so much more..things I cannot remember or write down.  And did I mention I was thankful for the the upcoming long weekend?  Oh yeah, because I am.  Just saying.
There is a lot, I know, and by no means is that list exhaustive or in any order.  I am blessed.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Throughout the generations

Two more days, Nain, two more days!

Today I am thankful for something Aubrey has that I never got to experience or live.  Sure she may not remember it, but I am thankful for the great-grandparents that Miss Aubrey has.

I'm thankful for the ones she never got to meet here on earth.  I stand firm in my belief that she somehow crossed spirits with my Grandpa George while he was in heaven and her soul was coming down here.  I don't know....something just makes both T and myself believe it.  She looks at his picture now, rather than just saying "bye-bye!" which she has always said....this weekend, she looked at it and went "Papa!" and T said (I didn't witness this) she just babbled on and on like she was talking to the picture, like they were old friends.  She pointed out Papa to me again, too, and I told her that yes, that is Papa and he is looking down on her from heaven.  I'm thankful for the others she has watching over her in heaven, my Grandma Doris, Grandma Peggy and T's Grandpa Lou.  We will always tell her stories about how wonderful they are.

However, right now on our mantel sit two thank you notes, one from T's Nana and the other from T's Grandpa and Grandma.  We sent them pictures from our church directory photo shoot, and it touched them so much they both sent thank yous.  They just go on and on about the smile that Aubrey has that lights up a room.  I remember the look T's Nana had the first time she met Aubrey.  It was immediate love.  Aubrey shares a name with her.  When T's Grandpa and Grandma found out they were going to be Great-Grandparents, T's Grandpa came in the room where his aunt was hearing the same news and exclaimed "I'm going to be a Great-Grandpa!"  If you knew the man, you would know how unusual this kind of excitement and outburst is.  She is just surrounded with love, and I love that she gets to feel it from this generation.  

Monday, November 25, 2013

Thankful for short work weeks!

So....yeah....that whole date night thing?  Didn't happen.  Unfortunately our babysitter had to cancel with a case of the stomach flu, which I was 100% okay with...don't need any of that around here yet!  And while we have rescheduled for next Saturday, we were still kind of bummed.  We ended up taking the little one to church, which is always an adventure, cooking dinner at home and chatting over wine and a fire.  It wasn't an out on the town date, but minus the stress at church, we seemed to have made the best out of a crap situation.  Plus, T cooked, so I'm all about that!

It was freezing around here this weekend.  We tried to put up our Christmas lights outside, but T made the decision to not climb the huge ladder to the roof and just do the porch this year.  I think the 20 degree windchill and 30 mph winds played a factor in that.  And we were totally crazy and got up Sunday morning to go out and run a 5k in 20 degree temps again.  We bundled Aubrey up to the point that she looked like the little brother on The Christmas Story, and we managed to pull it off with a 35:10 time in 3 miles.  Not too shabby!  She did well for the most part.  She loves the new hat we got her, and she did okay once we started moving.  I think she takes after her Mommy way too much and can't stand being around too many people.

All in all, it was a pretty decent weekend, and hey, it's a short work week!  And that's my that's my saving grace this morning as we head off to work.  Sure, it's Monday but it's a 3 day work week, and likely a 2.5 day work week if I decide to close the office early on Wednesday.  (That's going to be a tough decision, after all.)  I am thankful for a four day weekend coming up, lots of time to rest, eat, be with family and of course, on Friday, decorate!  So cheers to a short work week!

What are you thankful for today?  Keep your fingers crossed that this week flies by with no bumps along the way!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Running running running

Today T and I are going to be out of our damn minds and brave 30 degree temperatures and run in a 5k.  At least it's a fun 5k - it's called the "Ugly Christmas Sweater Run," and while I do not have an ugly Christmas sweater, I do have an ugly Christmas t-shirt I got from Wal-Mart.  I know I should have hit up the local Goodwill but just didn't have the time.  I thought, surely Wal-Mart will have ugly sweaters, right?  Well, they do.  But for $19 or so.  I'm assuming not everyone thinks these sweaters are "ugly."  But they had ugly t-shirts (ugly in my opinion, I preface), so I got one of those instead.  We're going to run this race together, pushing Aubrey in the stroller as practice for me in pushing a 35 lb toddler while running.  The practice is for a 4.6 mile race on Thanksgiving morning.  I'm hoping my arm strength from carrying and picking her up will be enough to sustain it.  We shall see!  

It's been a little over a year since I started running.  I don't "kill" a run as T puts it when he runs with a really good time, but I'm out there doing it.  Someone who has a heart defect and asthma, it makes me pretty proud that I'm able to run 2 miles straight.  Am I running them fast?  Not so much, but I'm doing it.  And for that, I am thankful.  I am thankful the hard work is paying off.  And that I share this interest with T and get to do these types of fun events with him.  I'll try to post a picture of me in my "ugly" Christmas t-shirt.  And I'll let you know just how cold it was...and how well Aubrey did no matter how much we bundle her up.  (I'm hoping she'll do just fine - fingers crossed!)

Until  then, I'll just be running, running, and running!

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Thankful for "alone time"

T and I are breaking out of the house this weekend with a well-deserved date night.  If you recall, a month ago we went to this marriage event at our church and won a $50 gift card to Olive Garden.  Well, we're cashing in that weekend....sure, Olive Garden isn't glamorous, but it'll be nice to just get out, just the two of us.   So for that reason, I am thankful for some alone time with my husband.

We're still learning this balancing act of being relatively new parents and still relatively newly-weds.  I mean, we've only been married for three years.  Compared to a lot of couples, that really isn't a long time.  I hate to say that being new parents has taken a toll on our coupledom.  Life has become a routine of work, long commute home, dinner for Aubrey, her bath and bedtime, dinner for us and then maybe two hours of watching TV while both of us are working on our computers.  It's sad, really.  I mean, what happened?  Well, no, I know what happened.  This little cute thing happened:

And while our lack of romance or excitement isn't her fault by any means, I do have to admit that taking care of her does take a great deal of our attention and energy. I was telling T the other day that being a parent is the most rewarding but most difficult job I have ever had.  It really is.  However....before Aubrey came us.  And we try our best to not lose sight of that.

I am totally jealous of some couples who seem to have it so together.  Seriously.  The couple who runs the marriage retreat is absolutely perfect or at least on the surface.  I think "why can't we be like that?"  But then again, that doesn't mean we can be exactly like them because we're us.  We're not them.  But still, there's always room for improvement.  And that times some time and work on both of our parts.  

So we're doing just that this weekend.  It'll be nice to have a meal where we don't hear Aubrey talking in her crib in the background or where we're not eating with her listening to Elmo's world.  We're blessed to have this opportunity.  I couldn't think of a better person to spend my time with.  

Hope everyone has a lovely Saturday!  Enjoy that weekend!

Friday, November 22, 2013

I dream of chocolate

Second Blooming
This week on the Spin Cycle, brought to you by Gretchen at Second Blooming and Ginny Marie and Lemon Drop Pie is on temptation.  Oh, sweet temptation, how I hate you.  And by sweet temptation I mean sweets.  Candy, chocolate, you name it.  They are my vices.  Seriously, I have a hardcore chocolate addiction.  Just right now, as I am working on attorney thank you gifts which are chocolates, I have eaten like 7 Hershey's Hugs.  Dammit.  (The gifts are super cheesy by the way...they are thank you gifts that say "Just a few HUGS and MOUNDS of thanks for supporting our agency!" and include Hershey Hugs and Mounds candy bars.  Cheesy, right?)  Maybe I'm assuming everyone else likes chocolate as much as I do.  But I probably shouldn't be eating the attorneys' candy.  

Oh chocolate, why are you so delicious?  

I keep telling myself that I need to scale back on the sweets, but I can't help it.  And I'm a strong believer in one principal.  I am anti-low fat chocolates or candy.  If you look, the caloric intake really isn't as different normal stuff, and I am a firm believer of if you are going to break your diet, you make it count.  If you are going to have chocolate and take in those calories, don't half-ass it.  Skip the Skinny Cow candy and get yourself a piece of Godiva.  It's so much more worth it and tastes ten times better!  

What are your vices?  I guess you should add red wine into that.  Because you can't enjoy a truly good piece of chocolate without a glass of Cabernet or Merlot.  That doesn't make me an alcoholic.  It just makes me a smart woman.  Anyway, so I'm covering two posts with one here.  My temptation is chocolate, and dammit, I am thankful for that sweet goodness.  My dream vacation would be to go back to Ireland and go back to the Guinness Storehouse but somehow also have the Hershey's factory right next door.  Or connected to it.  Ah, I can dream....

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Thankful for motivation

I have to say, these posts are getting tough.  Not because I don't have a lot of blessings in my life, but coming up with something decent to write?  I'm stretching it some days.  But darn it, it is November 21st, so I'm going to finish what I started!

Today I am thankful for motivation.  Because, for some reason lately, I've had a lot more of that lately.  Seriously, for the longest time I could not find it in me to focus or even get through a "to do" list.  However, I'm pretty proud to say these past two weeks, Mama's been gettin' stuff done!  I'm not sure if it is because the end of the year is coming up or what, but I'm finding myself able to stay focused just a little bit more.  

It's tough, I'm finding, juggling the work, writing, personal life.  Doing any writing at home while the Aubs is awake is well....not possible.  She likes to pound on my computer, and if it's in her line of sight, then it is hers, not mine.  So I don't get to do it then.  If she naps, yes.  At night, yes, but that comes at the sake of spending time with T.  So I've been having to juggle things a bit more.

Now if I could find motivation to keep up with the running?  I'd be golden, baby.  Golden.  I am not as bad as I have been in weeks past, but we do have a race coming up this weekend and next.  So let's get in the zen mode, Nain.  Wax on, wax off.  

Maybe if I acknowledge the motivation and accomplishments that will keep it going?  Is that how it works?  

Regardless of where it came from, I am thankful.  So now, I'm motivated to ending this post :-)  Nain, out!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Helping others in need

It is not every day that I get to actually reach out and help clients on a personal basis.  While I am an attorney for a legal services agency, I also do a great deal of administrative work, which leads to me being in the office often.  However, I do try my best to go out into the community with local clinics to give brief legal advice and help those who need it the most.  

I was fortunate enough to do this Tuesday.  I went to a local courthouse to take applications for legal assistance.  When doing this, I'm often able to ask questions and give brief answers to questions that can solve their problems easily.  Oftentimes, people just want to tell their story.  They are going through a great deal of stress obviously with a legal situation, and they need to vent.  We attorneys often double as therapists.  My problem is when I listen to an applicant's story I get so wrapped into it that I want to take the case on as my own and help the person.  Unfortunately, my time does not always allow for it.  

When I started my job, there weren't a lot of these clinics set up in our counties, but I have worked very hard to create them so that we can go to the community and not have them come to us.  Local libraries, courthouses, community centers are perfect places.  I wish my time allowed for more, but for the times when I can go out there and help, it reminds me exactly of why I chose to practice law.  And it makes me thankful for the blessings I do have in my life and how fortunate I am but also makes me even that much more passionate about providing equal access to justice for those who need it most.  

So I am thankful that I am able to help.  I love what I do, and I'm lucky to do my job.  

On a side note, I have started a blog for my agency so check it out!  (Personal plug!)

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

For those small moments

Sometimes you get so focused on the big things, the big stressors in life that you miss those little moments.  Those little moments in your day that just make you smile.  That's what I'm thankful for today.

I'm thankful for the random text from T that tells me that I'm his best buddy in the whole wide world.

I'm thankful when I watch T and Aubrey playing on the floor.

I'm thankful for the smile I get when we share an inside joke.

I'm thankful for the huge smile I get when Aubrey sees me at the door if T drives separately and I work from home.  She gets so excited.  I just love it.  And as soon as he opens the door, she has to immediately jump into my arms.  

Whenever Aubrey walks to and from somewhere she sings the song they sing in daycare to the tune of frere shaka that goes "We are walking, we are walking, to the car, to the car..." (Or insert your destination here.)  Well, she comes up to me the other day going "We are walking, we are walking, to the Mommy, to the Mommy!" and gave me a huge hug.  It warmed my heart.

We split up going to the church this weekend, and T went Saturday night.  So I had to start putting Aubrey to bed, giving her a bath and drawing things out as long as humanly possible for T to come home.  Just as we were starting our first book, the garage door opened, and she jumped off the rocking chair to wait at the gate at the staircase flipping out with excitement.  It was hilarious.  Again, heart warmed.  

Every kiss.  Every smile.  Every laugh.  I stop and take a mental picture and thank God for my blessings.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Thankful to have become an aunt

Yesterday, my oldest nephew turned 17-years-old.  So technically yesterday should have been my thankful post for him, and I think that probably makes me a bad aunt.  Better late than never, eh?  

Okay, so here's the thing.  There is no way this kid should be 17.  It isn't possible.  I've practically grown up with C since he was born when I was just the wee young age of 15.  My brother was in college at the time so both he and C's mom worked full-time as well as went to school full-time.  They both graduated with honors and really busted their buts to do so, but on weekends, my family would help out by taking C for the weekend.  I loved it.  I loved playing with that kid.  We would have him Friday night through Sunday so he was pretty close with everyone in my family.  Thus why I have a ton of pictures of him and not as many of my other nieces and nephew.  I even put a picture of him up in my locker I was that proud.  He was such a cutie, too.  If I was not conscious of the fact that he's in high school and whether he is aware of this blog or not - I will defer to his privacy and not post any embarrassing pictures.  But he's grown up to be quite the guy.  He's inherited the Byers sense of humor (dark, sarcastic, often mistaken for not really being humor but being serious), he's like 6 ft tall which is unusual for my family, and he's an avid coffee drinker.  He's on his way to being an Eagle Scout and on his way to hopefully going to IU in two years.

I have hard time believing the kid has his driver's license.  I still remember driving him around in my Dodge Shadow and him going "whoa!" when I took a turn or "we're driving fast today, Aunt Nain?"

He'd always be my cheer up after a rough break-up.  (C hugs were the best), and I never tired of watching Blue's Clues with him no matter how many times we saw the same episode.  I used to take him out to the movies and on little dates but...yeah, that doesn't happen anymore.  He's got his own serious girlfriend to take on dates.  But I still take solace in the fact that I am the cool aunt, though he has stopped calling me "Aunt Nain."  

If I'm having a hard time picturing him being 17, I can only imagine how his parents feel.  Hell, I'm having a hard time with Aubrey turning 2 soon.  And come May 2015 when we watch him graduate high school?  That is going to be just plain surreal.  

So today (and every day) I am thankful for the very first nephew I had, the one who made me an aunt.  And a very proud aunt at that.  I love him more than he'll know, and it's been just so much fun watching him turn into the almost man he is today.  Happy birthday to you, C!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Fall brew

My favorite seasonal beer has arrived - Pumpkin Ale, specifically BJ's Brewhouse Pumpkin Ale.

I do love me some fall beer, and with the season coming to a close, I must take advantage of it as much as I can.  We did just that last weekend where I got to take a drink from this sweet nectar of the Gods.  No wait, that's Guinness.  But this stuff is very good.  So it's Sunday, and I'm not really big on words but today I am thankful for the fall brews.  Let us not forget.....

I am thankful for my fall brews.  They only come once a year, and pair that with a chilly day and football on the television, and you have one happy Nain.  So cheers to the weekend and delicious brews!

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Thankful for good in the world

Yesterday, I was so happy to see Facebook posts detailing the story of 5-year-old Miles, a San Francisco boy, who is living with leukemia.  His "Make a Wish" is to be Batman for the day, and the city went all out.  He was able to save the city from The Penguin and The Riddler, rescuing a damsel in distress and the San Francisco Giant's mascot from the grips of evil.  It was so incredible to scroll through the pictures of the day, to see how many people turned out to make this kid's dream come true.  The smile on his face was just priceless.  Honestly, after the day I had Friday, this story put all of that in perspective.  

So today I am thankful for the good that is still out there even though so many times we can't see it.  Look at how many people went to extreme lengths to make this kid's wish come true.  Looking through the pictures, you have to smile because you can just tell how happy he is.  He's five.  And he has leukemia.  The poor kid has gone through so much worse than any of us will ever know, and he is living his dream because so many people came together to make it happen.  

The funniest thing, hands down, for me was the charges that were officially filed by the U.S. Attorney's Office against the two villains.  Say what you will about politics, but even the President sent out a message via Twitter thanking Miles for saving Gotham City.  It was just too cute.  

So if you feel like the world is just a dark place and no good is out there, click on that link up there.  Because there are good people out there, and there is good in the world.  I do not know what Miles' diagnosis is, and I pray to God that it will be good.  But he will treasure this memory.  He deserves this memory.  And it's just so amazing how it came to fruition.  

Friday, November 15, 2013

Two years

Two years ago, a wonderful man left this earth to join the love of his life in heaven.  Two years ago, my family lost the patriarch of our family, my Grandpa George.  I cannot believe it has been two years.  It hardly seems possible.  It seems just yesterday he was still here.  Hell, sometimes I find myself wanting to say "oh, what should we get Grandpa for Christmas? or something along those lines.)  Is he really gone?

The other day, T and I were talking about his grandparents, three of them still on this earth, and he does not get to see them too often as they live in Massachusetts.  And none of them are in great health.  T has been my support through watching my Grandpa deteriorate and pass away, and it makes my heart immensely sad that I know T will someday have to go through that, too.  His Nana visited us last June, and she just went home after meeting her 2nd great-grandchild up in Michigan.  That could have been the last time she would see her since she will no longer be able to fly out, it's just too hard on her physically and mentally.  We want to go out to Boston next summer because I feel very strongly that his other set of grandparents should meet their great-grandchild at least once.  But something else came to my mind.  T's going to have to go through that feeling.  That feeling of this is it - this is the last hug, this is the last time I'll see them.  We don't have the money to go out there more than that, and they are not in good health.  And it brought me back to that day on July 30th at my family's reunion where I hugged my Grandpa one last time.  And I knew it would be the last time because of his health.  I knew that was the last time I would say I love you to him, the last time he would hug me back, the last time.  All of those feelings just washed back.

It is supposed to get easier, I thought, but I'm learning it doesn't.  I still tear up thinking about my aunt we lost 20 years ago.  It never gets easier.  I miss him terribly.  I wish I could go back to that day and could hug him just a little longer.  I wish he could have met my daughter.

We have a picture of my Grandpa up in our den, and sometimes Aubrey escapes us and runs into there, and whenever she sees that picture she points and says "Bye-bye!"  Every. time.  Forever.  I don't understand it.  Did she meet him in heaven?  Does she know him somehow?  Maybe it's just some kind of coincidence? It all seems impossible, but maybe I need to tell myself this to believe it. 

We went to church the other day where there was a 50th wedding anniversary blessing.  Father said to the couple that when they were engaged, that was the happiest day of their lives.  When they were married, that was the happiest they would ever be.  When they welcomed children into the world, they only became happier.  He said on that night, as he blessed their marriage, that would be the happiest day of their lives.  And when they join each other in heaven, that would be the happiest moment of their lives.  He said 50 years?  That's nothing.  You have eternity in paradise to be together.  This tears me up.  I know without a shadow of a doubt that when my Grandpa passed away, at that moment, as my uncle said he took his last breath and turned his head, looking directly in the corner of the room, that my Grandma was there saying "Welcome home, George" welcoming him back with so much happiness.  They are together again, and that was the happiest moment of his life.  He was reunited with his Peggy.  

I'm tearing up writing this so I'll end.  I think it goes without saying but today I am thankful for my Grandpa.  Yes, I can't bring myself to come to his grave site to visit him, but I know he knows I think of him often and love him more than he'll know.  I miss him every day.  God bless you, Grandpa.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Thankful for Bigfoot

I'm dedicating this post to T.  He is, and as an extension I suppose I am, thankful for Bigfoot.
Let me explain, T's favorite show on television right now is Finding Bigfoot on Animal Planet.  And they had a marathon on Sunday and season premiere Sunday night.  All weekend, T asked "guess what's on Sunday?"  "guess what's on tomorrow?"  It was like Christmas morning for him.  I haven't seen him this gleeful since Beavis and Butthead came back on briefly on MTV.
So we watched Bigfoot...but fell asleep so we watched it again Tuesday night.  For those of you who have not seen the show...seriously, you're missing out.  Four grown adults going out into the woods "squatchin' which means they are looking for Bigfoot.  They dedicate their life to this.  I'm not kidding.  One of them?  Is an attorney.  He passed the freaking bar in California, which is impossible, and he gave it all up to live in his car and hunt Sasquatches.  

The thing is that man probably makes like triple what I make.  I always joke that I'm going to quit my job to move to Oregon and hunt squatches.  (Can I crash at your house, Sarah?)  

One of them is named Bobo, and the dude is something out of a Cheech and Chong movie.  "Duuude I just heard a squatch..."  I mean the guy was a roadie with Phish if that tells you anything.  The whole thing cracks me up but T loves it.

Something to think about - is it any coincidence that a lot of the states (Washington, Colorado...) where they do their hunts have recently legalized marijuana?  I'm just saying....

They go do "town hall" meetings where the local yokels come to tell their story.  They ask people to raise their hand if you've seen Bigfoot, and they all raise their hand.  I mean it's hilarious.  

So if they are hunting more than one - is the plural Bigfeet?

Can you imagine that there are so many questions and things you can think about over Bigfoot?  And the show is called "Finding Bigfoot."  It's been on for like 3 seasons and they still haven't found him.  What happens if they do?  Will they just stop and be all like "peace, we're done?"  

I don't mention Sasquatch and this immediately comes to mind:
But it makes T happy like a little child, and for that....I am thankful.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

My husband's humor

Today I am thankful husband's humor.  Seriously, over 5 years later, and he makes me laugh.  It's scary because we share a very similar twisted and dark sense of humor.  I was never quite sure that I would meet my match, but....I have.  I keep saying that I need to put together a book of "Shit my Husband Says," because otherwise, I'd forget it.  He's one of the few men I know who can make himself laugh at his own jokes, even before he gets them out.  He does the world's best Beavis and Butthead impressions, and he can relate any situation to Family Guy.  He's the one person I can make completely inappropriate and totally not politically correct statement and jokes to, and he'll find them equally funny if not already thought of them himself.  

I'd post some of them myself, but I don't want you all to think less of either of us because...well...they're inappropriate.  Instead, I'm going to repost something I wrote a long time ago of "T-isms" - Enjoy!



Where's a tape recorder when I need one?

 Sometimes I feel like I should walk around with a tape recorder when having conversations with my husband. You know, that guy who wrote the book “S**t My Dad Says” makes a ton of money off of what his dad says to him, and well, it gets me wondering sometimes whether I should write down some of the things that spew out of T’s mouth on a regular basis.

(After watching Dancing with the Stars on Tuesday)
“I’m really glad I’m not a star because I’d have to do shows like Dancing with the Stars, and I just don’t have the time for that.”

(After watching an episode of Teen Mom on MTV)
“I’m really glad I’m not a teen mom”

“If I were a gay man, I would want to get married, too. But I wouldn’t want to marry a douche. I’d want to find a good, quality man.”

While driving with my parents last week (and I should mention the car was in total silence before he randomly says this…)
“I love cruise control” (To which my Father responds, “That’s great. Good for you.”)

“When you become an attorney you should totally do that…”
(Referring to a television ad by this cheesy attorney’s office in Indianapolis. I quickly point out to him that I am, in fact, an attorney already.)

(Again after watching Dancing with the Stars)
“If I was a gay man, I would totally sleep with Rick Fox. He’s sexy.” (Yes, this one worried me, too.)

(At night, when we’re getting ready for bed and he still has beer left from dinner to drink)
“Don’t worry, just put it in the fridge, and I’ll drink it in the morning.”

(This morning after watching a piece on the Today Show about Marilyn Monroe)
"I'm glad I never had sex with Marilyn Monroe.  She sounds crazy." 

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again…he’s a goof. But he’s my goof, and I love him for that.

Speaking of my goof, come back tomorrow because it’s all T tomorrow…he’ll be guest posting about the wedding. I promise it’ll be good!

Here's a new one for you all "Make marriage your bitch or it will make you its bitch."  Oh, T...

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Thankful for creativity

Folks, I'm not a creative person.  Let's just get that out there in the open.  I've tried scrap-booking resulting in pictures taped to pretty pieces of paper.  I tried to knit once.  I think it lasted one minute before I threw the needles down declaring how much I suck at life.  So when I first was turned towards Pinterest, I thought, really?  No, sorry, no.  I don't do crafts.  My child is screwed because she does not have scrapbooks documenting her childhood.  She has Walgreens online photo albums.  Which reminds me...I should probably order some pictures to actually put in a photo album.

Anyway, I have since documented my obsession with Pinterest, and look, I told you all that I was not putting these posts in any particular order.  Why am I following a post about Veteran's Day with one about Pinterest? Because I don't think these things through, that's why :-)  But yes, today I'm thankful for creative inspiration.  Thank you, creative people on Pinterest, for posting creative ideas and links to recipes so that I don't have to try to come up with these on my own.  Because God knows I wouldn't.  

This week is a Pinterest recipe week for us....I look forward to my Chicken Teriyaki on Thursday, but Monday night I made damn good cube steak courtesy of crock pot ideas on Pinterest.  Just put some cubed steaks in the good old crock pot with 2 cans of cream of onion and onion soup mix.  Cook all day, and heck yes - 1) I don't have to cook when I get home and 2) it's good.  

It's not just food either.  I'm trying to come up with creative ideas to make little "thank you" gifts for our volunteer attorneys.  I think I have some cute ideas, and let me tell you, none of this would have come to my mind.  Putting little bags of Reese pieces together with "We thank you to pieces" or making a little packet with s'mores ingredients saying "we need s'more volunteers like you!"  Yes, incredibly cheesy, but dammit, I'm doing this.  And I wouldn't have been inspired without Pinterest.  

So yes, that is what I'm thankful for today.  Oh, Pinterest...we have a love-hate relationship, and for that, I am grateful.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Thankful for those who serve

Today is a special day, so today I'm thankful for the veterans I know and love who have given so much to their country.  I know some very special men and women who have fought in our country's wars but also have served in noncombat as well.  Both of my grandfathers, as well T's grandfathers, fought in World War II on the Pacific front.  My father's dad was in the Army, while my mother's dad was in the Navy.  Both of T's grandfathers were in the Navy, as well.  I have the best picture of my father as a young man in his uniform posing in front of one of his ships, but no scanner ability so....I can't share.  Sorry!
I would list the other friends I know whose spouses or friends themselves who have served and still do serve, but I'm afraid that I would miss someone, and then I'd look awful.  So just know that you all are in my thoughts today, and I say thank you for all that you do.  Because it's selfless and well, pretty awesome if you ask me.  
I think I've told this story before, but I love it so I will tell it again.  My Grandpa George told this to me after my Mom found a picture of my Grandmother and had it blown up to an 8x10 so he could have it in his house.  He kept it in his room up until he passed, and he always pointed it out to us saying "she was quite the dandy, wasn't she?"  He said he was out to sea, and he kept this picture of my Grandma next to his bed.  They had to abandon ship at some point as the Japanese army was close to invading their ship.  I believe they did and took various items from the ship and after my Grandfather was allowed to get back, that picture was gone.  So someone must have thought my Grandma was pretty, as well, because they have her picture.  He was so excited my Mom found a copy.
I never met my Dad's father, my Grandpa Robert, but I was told that while he was in basic training he married my Grandma.  She came out to where he was stationed and they were married.  He did not want to leave her just yet so despite the fact he was to join his group after the one day, he skipped one more day to spend more time with her before he returned.  Upon his returned he was ordered to punishment of peeling potatoes for the kitchen staff, but it was well worth the punishment.
Such sweet stories.  I love hearing about them.  I'm so proud to have grandfathers who served, and it was so touching at my Grandpa George's funeral two years ago to have the salute by the local VFW.  He was so brave to serve and because of his service he was able to put himself through school at Rose Hulman Institute.  Very proud granddaughter.
Thank you to all of you Veterans - those I know and those I don't.  

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Thankful for home sweet home

Today's thankfulness item?  I am thankful beyond repair for my house.  I searched high and low for a picture of it; however, due to crashing my computer awhile ago and losing files, this was the best I could come up from old blog posts.   Oh, Nain...anyway, I am extremely blessed that we have a home to call our own.  And I'm thankful that it happened to be exactly the right timing when we built it.  Things just fell into place.  Otherwise I'm not sure we'd otherwise be able to pay for it, but things just kind of happened.  We got to pick everything we wanted for the home and build it just the way we envisioned our dream home to be.  It's a home where we will grow as a family and hopefully stay in for the long haul.  

I don't really take the time I should to step back and say "you know, I am lucky."  It's something I take for granted because we have been in here for a few years, but when I asked T the other day for an idea for a post, this was one of the first things he said.  I take pride in my home, as does he.  So today, I'm thankful to have somewhere we can call home sweet home.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Thankful for my church

Today's post is about something that means an awful lot to me.  Growing up I always went to church with my parents, choosing the actual parish because of where we lived and because that was where they went, but as an adult, I've had the liberty to choose somewhere I can call my church "home."  I never really had that with previous churches in college or law school.  When I moved to Columbus, I did for a short period of time but after the firm down-sizing and needing to move up to Indy, I never really found that right fit.  It wasn't until T and I started dating and I went to church with him at Our Lady of the Greenwood that I felt at home.  It was one of the reasons I decided to move down to Greenwood six months into our relationship.  Something about it just felt....right.

I've been a part of the parish since 2009, and we try our best to be active though have a little one can be tough.  We both participated in the Christ Renews His Parish retreats for women and men in the church and then stayed on to throw the next one for the new group.  I learned a lot about myself along the way and came to terms with some things that have been there for awhile.  I was a part of the MOMS group this last year, and we go regularly to marriage ministry events.  T now is a lector at church and I am a Eucharistic Minister.  I love that we're active.  I love that this is the church where we were married, had Aubrey baptized and hopefully will watch her grow up and go to school.  

We've met so many wonderful people that we call friends through church.  One of my closest friends was introduced to us through our very own marriage sponsor couple.  I love that we walk into church and are not just random people in a large group of others but we know people and feel at home.

I wouldn't say we are devout Catholics by any means.  We regularly go to mass and give of our time and talent, but we do have more liberal views outside of the church teachings (though this new pope is more my kind of guy.)

Our church has welcomed me into a community that was completely foreign to me, and it is one of the things I love the most about where we live.  So today I am thankful for finally finding the right fit for me and my family.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Thankful for opportunities

It's Friday, it's Friday!  It's all fun on Friday! Fun, fun, fun, fun! (That's the Rebecca Black song, right?)

Anyway, I am thankful that it's the end of the week....I mean, who isn't?  But that's not my "thankful" thing for the day.  Because I'm thankful of this every weekend.  

Today I'm thankful for opportunities.  I have been blessed lately with opportunities that have opened doors for me for new adventures and a little extra for my family.   I thank Leah at Single Infertile Female with referring me to, because I immensely enjoy writing for them.  Writing for The Examiner has led me to being able to write for  Just yesterday my very first story with our local magazine, Center Grove Community Newsletter, was published.  Totally stoked and totally going to find extra copies of this.  And I have others coming up for me, and I couldn't feel more blessed.  

The thing is, these writing opportunities have also been able to let me pay for things for my family.  With the stress brought on by the Mary Kay debt problem, we have had to make sacrifices.  But this writing income has allowed me to purchase tickets for T and I to attend the Transiberian Orchestra concert that comes every year that he loves (2nd row seats, baby!) and more importantly, this money will pay for everything for Christmas.  All presents.  It's funny because I used to say "Oh Mary Kay will pay for my Christmas..." when in fact, no, that made things worse.  But this actually is.  And I'm pretty damn proud of that.

Anyway, I feel incredibly blessed for opportunities - the ones I have now and those to come.  And to share a little of that with's what I've been writing lately!

Be careful when driving in New Mexico
A brave teen fighting back against her bullies
Should it Matter?  How sexual orientation plays into politics

National Adoption Month raises awareness of children stuck in foster care
Indiana Court of Appeals rules in favor of same-sex partner for visitation with child
Here's a good way to punish your teens for underage drinking
Teaching children about other holidays
8 Tips for teaching your children to be thankful

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Thankful for my Dad

Today is my Dad's 60th birthday, so in honor of my father, today's thankful post is about him.  He is a wonderful father and an even more wonderful grandfather.  So can see it in his face, right?

He's one of the smartest men I know.  Growing up, he was my fix-it man.  I never quite understood what engineers did (and don't tell T, but I still don't...), but I knew he was super smart and could figure out anything, including my math homework.  He's been my strength as I've gone through some ups and downs in life, some tough times and some great times.  The poor guy has had to move me in and out of so many different dorms, apartments, etc., it's not even funny.  The guy moved all of my stuff into the dorm sophomore year all by himself because I had mono and could not lift anything.  And then went to the bookstore with me to buy and then carry all of my books up six flights of stairs.  That's a good man, there.  

I get my lack of patience from him, I know, but it does take a patient father to not completely go off when your youngest daughter hits parked car after parked car.  I still laugh thinking of the time I hit my third one and how upset I was, and he just shook his head saying "If you hit another one, I might have to get upset."

I get my sense of humor from him - that sick, dry, twisted sense of humor.  He introduced me to classics like Airplane! and Blazing Saddles at a young age, which I will always be forever grateful.  He's been my biggest cheerleader as I have gone through school, law school, and into the legal world.  He doesn't ever say it outwardly because our relationship isn't like that (no serious talks or anything) but he is proud, and I'm proud to be his daughter.

Before T came along, he was my strong person to lean on.  I took him to all of my scary doctor's appointments and tests.  When T couldn't come to an appointment during my pregnancy, he was there.  He was there when at nine months, my heart rate spiked and the cardiologist called in an emergency test.  He didn't act freaked out.  He just calmly went over to me, kissed me on the forehead and said "oh, I think everything will be just fine."  I could tell he was worried but he didn't want to act that way.

He's the guy who, just minutes before I walked into my c-section made up some excuse about needing to go get coffee so he could leave the room.  He won't admit it but I know that he couldn't bear to watch me go into surgery one more time, having flashbacks to when I was 4 months old.  

I can email him about anything.  He's the only one I let call me Lain.  He's probably the only father who laughs when his youngest daughter says something like "dammit, Dad" in response to a joke.  Hell, I have thought so much of his personality that I basically married someone who is exactly like him.  I do not joke.  Same name, same profession, same personality.  I married my father.  That's how much I admire him.  

He loves his family, especially his grand kids.  This was taken this past weekend at Buca when we celebrated his 60th birthday.  I absolutely love this picture.

He's a good dad, even though I don't tell that to him enough.  And I'm so very thankful to have him in my life.  He doesn't read this blog, but I'll still give a shout out to my pops - Happy birthday, Dad!  Love you!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Thankful for my marriage

Today's thankfulness post is on the most important thing in my life, the reason for my family and the life we have, my marriage to T.  I don't say this often enough to him, but I am truly, truly thankful to have him in my life as a spouse and partner.  

When we were at Buca di Beppo this last week, he took a picture of this picture he saw in the restaurant.  Damn right you did, buddy!  

So I came across this blog post from Seth Adam Smith the other day titled "Marriage Isn't For You."  He started off by saying he was married for 1 1/2 years, and he has come to the conclusion that marriage was not for him.  I thought for sure this was going to be about divorce.  But it was not.  Instead, he wrote about advice his father gave him before he married his spouse, saying that marriage is not about you - it's not about being selfish and seeking out only your needs.  It is about putting your spouse's needs above your own.  It's about making decisions that are best for the two of you, not putting your own needs at the forefront.  So easily I know we all do this.  It's hard.  I know I stumble with this, and I forwarded this article to T who found it amazingly helpful, as well.  I am so thankful for my husband, for the work and love he puts into our marriage.  Love is a choice, not a feeling.  He wakes up every morning choosing to act out of love towards me, and I the same for him.  I try my best to put his needs above my own, and I know he does the same.  Are we perfect?  By no means...but we're in this together.  

In his blog, Seth states:  "No, a true marriage (and true love) is never about you. It’s about the person you love—their wants, their needs, their hopes, and their dreams. Selfishness demands, “What’s in it for me?”, while Love asks, “What can I give?”

Marriage is about family, my family, my union with T and the covenant we took on when we pledged our life to each other.  I am well aware that not everyone is as lucky as I am to have someone like T in my life.  I know that at times I take that for granted.  I recognize that and readily admit it to him.  Shortly after reading this article I sent him this text:  "I just want you to know, I think you're pretty wonderful.  I love you more than you will ever know."

I meant every word of that.  Sure, we get on each other's nerves, sure we're not perfect, but we are perfect for each other.  And I am so thankful to have T in my life.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Seeing the flowers through the weeds

Recently, I was referred to Huffington Post article that hit very close to home.  Of course, this was just  hours after I sat and listened to a 45 minute podcast on a very similar subject.  Seeing the flowers through the weeds.  Being grateful for what you have when you have those thoughts of "why isn't my life easier?  why is my husband or my daughter driving me crazy?"  Instead I should thinking "I have a loving husband - what does it matter if he does x, y, or z that bugs me?" or "I have a daughter who is beautiful inside and outside and is such a blessing.  Who cares that she spilled the contents of her dinner on the floor?"  (I mean, yeah, I want to teach her to not do that but you get the point...)
I encourage all of you to read this article. I think all of us can benefit from this.  Yes, every day this month I am posting something for which I am grateful, but am I actually living that out in my life?  Or am I letting daily life get to me instead?
I know the answer to that one without a doubt.
I know you will find this shocking so please hide your surprise, but I, Nain, have an anxiety problem.  I am the poster child for worrying.  I have made worrying into a fine art, one that I have easily mastered at a young age.  Sometimes I don't even know why I'm stressing out.  I could be in the most peaceful environment possible, and it is more likely than not that I'm stressing out about some minute thing that has absolutely no significance on anything.
Who do I take this out on?  Well, the people who are the closest to me, of course.  T and Aubrey.  I don't mean to outwardly do so, but they both deal with my stress.  Aubrey is young so she isn't really able to comprehend it, but this article struck a chord with me.  When she hears irritation in my voice, hears me snap at her Daddy - what does she think?  The woman in this article said that one day, after stressing out when leaving the house and snapping at her oldest daughter who was trying her best to help out but making things difficult in the process, looked in the rear-view mirror and say her daughter, wide-eyed and scared, picking at her lip.  She said she witnessed her daughter's nervous habits on several occasions before one day her husband pointed out how unhappy the wife seemed.  She looked back at her daughter and realized  her daughter was thinking "Mom is stressed," "Mom is angry," "Mom is disappointed."  Then she thought of what her daughter was likely really thinking.  "Mom is stressed because of me.  Mom is angry because of me. Mom is disappointed because of me."  None of that could be farther from the truth, but this woman let the stress of life affect her and then affect others around her.
I am so very guilty of this.  God, I know it.  Aubrey can pick up on tension.  I know she can.  While I know it's unavoidable at times.  T and I are only human.  We will argue, it's bound to happen.  However, it needs to be limited.  And I need to recognize the blessings that are right there in my face.
For example, T drives me crazy rambling on and on and on in the car during our commutes.  Rather than get so irritated with him and snap, I need to stop and think "Thank God I have this special person in my life who is there."  Because I would miss his jabbering if it were no longer there.  So he is excited to tell me about his day.  I need to really take that into account and listen.  And see the flowers in what I perceive to be weeds.
Aubrey has made a mess of herself after dinner, applesauce and spaghetti everywhere.  I need to step back and not snap.  Take a mental picture of this moment because I'll miss it someday.  She is so funny and cute looking like a hot mess.  I get irritated when she's pulling me away as I'm trying to complete an article assignment, but all she wants is to play with her mommy in the living room.  I'm not going to get to experience these moments forever.  See the flowers in the weeds.  I can unload the dishwasher later.  Those marks on the wall can be wiped off later.  I can work on this article when she's napping.  In the grand scheme of things, what is more important?
(Side note:  I'm writing this, of course, no worrying you all think I'm the worst mother possible...oh the irony)
So today I am grateful for those flowers in my life, and I'm grateful for the friend who opened my eyes to really realize that.  

Monday, November 4, 2013

Thankful for fun holidays

Day 4 of my thankfulness tour - I have to give a shout out to fun family holidays, especially Halloween.  It's so fun to watch Aubrey learn all about these holidays as she gets older, and it's hard to fathom how much she has grown in just one year.  Our Halloween was stretched out over a few days this year, starting with Wednesday with a party at the library.  Aubrey was pretty serious, taking it all in....

She quickly found she liked the computer.  Like mother, like daughter.....

She's even cuter from those wings...

We bought a slice of pizza for her for dinner.  I was starting to tear it into pieces when she just yanked it from my hand and started eating the whole piece herself.  Thatta girl....

We had severe storms on the actual holiday of Halloween so we were delayed until Friday the 1st.  Aubrey was pretty anxious to get out there.  "Come on, Daddy....clean up the grill and let's go!"

"Nope, I will NOT smile for the camera, no matter how hard you try!"

"Okay, maybe one smile....but only because Mommy is tickling me...."

We gave her a small fun-sized bag of M&Ms which she gobbled up and was disappointed they were gone so quickly...

So Mommy let her have a second bag....just this once!  I think she likes chocolate.

Holidays take on a whole new meaning having a little one, and I love experiencing the fun of it through her eyes.  So that is my thankful post for the day.  Hope you all had a wonderful (and ghoulish) Halloween!
Linking this up to the Spin Cycle!  Stop by Gretchen and Ginnie Marie's blogs to see what other spinners have to share!  
Second Blooming

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Thankful for my blogging friends

Happy Sunday!  Today is day 3 of the thankfulness journey.  Today I am thankful for my blogging friends.  I started this blog as a way to kick start my writing, not having a clue where it would lead me, and  I've made friends that I've never met in real life but feel like I know so well.  And even a few of them have become pen pals.  My hope is that someday I can meet them in real life....maybe a trip to Spain is in order? :-)  Just saying.  So I'm going to give props to some of my blogging friends, and I encourage you to visit them and say hi.  And if I didn't include your blog it's not because I don't like you...just can't write them all!
My friend C is a friend in real life and has just started her blog.  She's a wonderful person inside and out and an even more wonderful mother.  So stop by and see her at Single Mom in Suburbia.
My Spanish friend Chloe!  I've followed Chloe since I started blogging...we both were married within months of each other and had children around the same time.  She's recently welcomed a beautiful baby boy into her world.  Stop by and say hi to her at My New Life as a Housewife!
Another friend I've followed from the get-go is Sarah at Crazy Love Gamble Style.  It's fun seeing her girls grow up, and she always shares pictures of them on their adventures.  She has 2 of the most adorable girls ever, seriously.
Gretchen at Second Blooming - She is one of the hostesses of the Spin Cycle, but she's also a great mom and a celebrity  :-)  She has recently had a part on Modern Family (which is still on my DVR and I have yet to watch...).  I always love reading her random posts and reading about her son who has one of the coolest senses of humor in a kid.
Vandy at the Testosterone Three and Me is another original one I've been reading.  She's a geologist in Wyoming and is the sole female in a house full of boys.  Stop by and say hi to her, too!  She's always got great baking recipes to share.
Leah at Single Infertile Female...Now What? is one of the bloggers I love because she's so real and lets you into her world.  I've been reading about her journey dealing with endo, the diagnosis of never having children, cycles of IVF, and she has recently been blessed with a little girl she adopted this year.  She's also now a published author and goes on speaking tours for the subject of infertility.  She's the person who got me into ModVive as well, and I definitely look up to her as a writer. 
CWMartin at Tilting at Windmills is another favorite of mine.  He's a fellow Hoosier and loyal reader of my articles, which I truly appreciate, and despite the fact we may have differing political views, he is incredibly intelligent and fair when discussing issues of importance in the news.  Very smart man, in my opinion.
Lastly, Lillian at Thinking Out-loud is one of the most spiritual and profound bloggers I know.  She likewise has become a friend and pen pal, and I always love reading her insights.
So I am thankful for all of my blogger friends - new and old.  Definitely check these people out because you'll see just how fabulous they are.