Monday, October 29, 2012

Thankful Monday: Vibrant

Thankful on this Monday night for:

how cozy my house looks and feels with a bunch of tea lights lit
the delicious smell emanating from my cinnamon spice cookie candle
long chats with my wifey
discovering a new spot for happy hour sangria and tomato soup
the knowledge that I will be in Idaho with my dear family in less than three weeks
my new baby nephew and the cuddles I will be giving him soon
my mechanic
the new pasta combinations I'm planning to try out in the next couple weeks
all of my bills being paid
a wonderful plp (platonic life partner, for those of you who missed it)
having wine on my counter and beer in my fridge
my lunchtime salad habit
watching all kinds of movies, tv, and documentaries on streaming Netflix
trying a new wine and loving it
the temperature at night finally turning brisk
trying new yoga and feeling it in my ENTIRE body
the humor that my brothers and sisters bring to my life
for many friendships of different depths that come and go

{image: a beautiful La Mesa sunset}

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

A Very Happy Thanksgiving, Part III

1. Rachelle's Bavarian Apple Pie
2. Nick (fondly referred to as 'The Grinch') and me
3. Jacob tossing one back
4, A mother-daughter moment
5. The table
6. Mom and me
7. Yum.. stuffing!
8. Dad surveying his territory from the stairs
9. The adorable Lily Jane
10. Loved Mom's table decor
11. The crew watching Charlie Brown's Thanksgiving
12. Full, happy and goofy

*Cast of Characters, in birth order:
Myself, Rachelle, Andrea, Brad, Nick, Jeff, Peter, Jacob
Tina (cousin who is like a sister) and her daughter Lily
Will (Rachelle's husband), Skyla and Levi (Rachelle's children)

{A lot of these pics were taken with my phone, but it's the memories, not so much the photographic quality, that count here, right? ;)

P.S. See the first two batches of pictures here and here.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Thankful Sunday: Practice

Hi, remember me? The girl who used to be so thankful all the time?

I almost thought I'd forgotten how to be thankful.

I was blaming people, and circumstances, and then myself, for my lack of gratitude in my daily life.

Fortunately, I want to remember. And wanting to is half the battle.

I'm pretty sure I can get back into the attitude of gratitude with a little practice.

So let's practice, shall we?

Thankful tonight:

For my generous, wise, hilarious, kind best friend. So lucky to have her!

That my PLP has such a great hubby. It's nice to have an adopted brother. One can really not have too many brothers, you know.

For the calm that comes over me when I listen to piano, guitar, or string instruments.

 For YouTube. It ain't no piano teacher, but it sure helps me to play by ear better!

For my frequent chats with my mom. For my mom in general really. She is there for me. She listens. She gives great advice. She makes me laugh.

That I get to spend more than eight days and nine nights with my precious family in Idaho next month.

That I get to celebrate my sister Andrea's and my brother Jeff's birthdays with them this year for the first time in a looooooooong time.

That our whole huge, loud, loving family will hopefully all be together for Thanksgiving.

That there really may be light at the end of this long, dark car tunnel at last.

That I have this ability to feel that is crippling at times, but it lets me know I'm alive and experiencing.

That when I admit I got myself where I am, and let go of the blame, self doubt, and excuses, I feel peaceful and empowered.

What about you guys, long lost blog reading friends? What are you grateful for this night? 

[images: Some easy tartlets I whipped up: I spread Apricot jam onto puff pastry, dolloped on some Ricotta, drizzled with honey, topped with strawberries, and baked. Yum!]

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Letting Go

Letting go can be a good thing or a bad thing. I've been doing a lot of letting go lately. Some negative, some positive. I'm evaluating. I want to figure out how to tip the balance- let go of some things I need to and reclaim some I've loosened my grasp on.

This morning I made a decision. I had been holding on to bitterness toward some people for quite some time. So much so that even the mention of a name would send me into a spiral of anger. It felt like losing control, and not in a good way- every thought would be tainted by my feelings of betrayal and desire for revenge. That is such wasted energy, and not who I want to be. So I've decided to forgive. It's going to be a process. It's helping me to remember that I am not excusing the behavior I was so angry about. I am releasing myself from having to think about it anymore. What happened really does not affect my life anymore unless I am thinking about it. So I am shifting my thought patterns. I'm letting go for me.

There is a person who has been in my life for a long time who has disappointed me quite a lot. Until now I had foolishly continued to put my trust in them, thinking 'maybe this time they will come through,' and being upset every time they did not. Over the past week or so there have been a few giant nails in the coffin of my expectations of them. I have been so very angry and resentful. But I am realizing now that I am not a victim. I made the choice to set up those expectations. I am the reason for my own let downs. This person is just not going to do what they say they will. It took me years to get to this point of not being able to avoid that fact. I have to let go of my anger toward them- whether they can be counted on or not, I chose to count on them up until now. I also have to let go of my anger toward myself for putting myself in the situations I am in because of that misplaced dependence. Time to let it go, find solutions, and stop repeating the cycle.

For the past few months I have really let go of the joy I used to find in exercising. I let it become a chore, the very last thing I ever wanted to do. I have had plenty of healthy years in my life in which the time I spent moving my body was some of my most cherished and rewarding. I intend to get those ideas back into my head. To remind myself that I LOVE to work out. I love releasing stress that way. I love feeling (and being) strong and healthy. I love being limber. I love making time for myself every day. I want to remember that exercise is a gift to myself, not a means to an end in some competition I will never win. I haven't quite figured out how to make this switch yet, but at least the intention is there.

Something else I have let slip away is my creativity. It has been YEARS since I last felt creative and made things or did things for the pure pleasure of being creative. A part of me has lain so dormant it almost feels dead. I want to reawaken it! In my life I have been SO full of fun creativity. I have been so inspired by so many people, things, ideas... Lately I have acutely felt how much of my life and daily thoughts have revolved around 'just the facts.' Great, we all need facts and goals. But where are the IDEAS?? The feelings, the doing something just for the love of it, to see what happens? I know I have it in me. Like a faucet that has rusted over, it may take some elbow grease to turn it back on and get flowing again. But I will make it happen!

What about you, readers? Anything you need to let go of, to be free of? Anything you have let slip from your life that you want to reclaim? Any advice or experiences you'd like to share?

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Thankful Thursday: Things are Just Fine



For days off spent in bed or at my computer.
For blowing off my to-do list when I need to.
For having a job I love with a passion.
For being pretty darn good at that same job.
For the easy strawberry tarts I made today.
For my air conditioning.
For coconut shampoo.
For clean drinking water.
For courteous and helpful landlords.
For my humble and inspiring father.
For my best friends through thick and thin.
For opportunities I have to help others grow through tough spots.
For my glasses.
For my fancy rental car.
For my ex who is so dedicated to getting my car going- if it's the last thing he does.
For the fun trip to Ireland I'm planning with my mom.
For paid time off.
For the upcoming fall.
For English muffin pizzas (especially those made with roasted tomatoes, pineapple, and Feta)
For my array of wonderful, weird, smart, funny, quiet, ambitious, content brothers.
For my tattoos. Sometimes I forget I even have them. Then I get a glimpse and realize I'm covered in beautiful and whimsical artwork.

What are you thankful for today?

{image: looking up and down on a walk through my neighborhood}

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Thankful Thursday: Post-Party

So happy and grateful for today:

~Having a home I adore, that feels like me
~The awesome party we had here last night with a lot of my favorite work people, past and present
~The amazing, huge work family I have
~Letting go and letting loose once in awhile, and not worrying about the next day
~Having the next day off to sleep and recover
~That it only took a couple hours to set my house right again today- it's clean and smells like lavender now
~My air conditioner!
~Old Jane Austin-esque love stories~ (I watched Sense and Sensibility today) they give me hope for romance and appreciation for family
~That I have conversations with my mom so often, even if only via text~ it's nice to feel connected
~For the core group of true-blue friends I've had for years (some of them half of my life!)
~The feelings of nostalgia that come with listening to oldies
~The fact that I have an entire season of HIMYM on iTunes to watch
~Having a job that I love, that challenges me, that I'm very good at
~Having a steady source of income that allows me to pay my bills, buy food, have fun, and travel from time to time
~Having a big loving family to miss all the time and reunite with every few months
~How nice three of the pics I took wandering the hills of San Francisco look printed and framed on my wall (that's one of them above)


Sunday, July 29, 2012

Fears and Musings

I'm lonely. I'm so lonely it aches. 
I'm so afraid that I'll never have long lasting love in my life again. 
I want the kind of love that lasts for decades. I miss being in a long term relationship. 
I don't miss everything about the particular one I most recently got out of... 
but I do miss some things. At least I miss the feeling of security. 
Of having someone there who would always care for me, no matter what. 
Knowing that we would grow old together. Even though that didn't happen with us, 
I still felt good thinking it would be true.
I'm lonely for my family. 
I keep thinking, 'if my family are the only ones I'm going to have in my life to love and care for and be close to, 
what am I doing wasting my time not being with them??' 
I'm afraid that I'll stay away, 'doing my own thing,' trying to make my way in the world 
and find whatever it is I'm missing, and I'll miss living life alongside my family. 
 I'll miss seeing them all grow up and grow old.  
I can't shake the feeling that I have not found my home yet. 
You never know what can happen- how things can change- in only a few short years.
I could find the love of my life, find a place that feels like home, 
and be doing what I love every day. Or I could not. 
Question is, what do I do in the meantime? I don't feel fulfilled where I am in life. 
But I can't imagine a different direction.