The Sweet Life

Photo from here.

Photo from here.

I couldn't have asked for a better start to my week. I feel so much joy and positivity in my life and I couldn't be more thankful for it. 

This week started my first full week at work with everyone back from Summer vacation. After working a lot of days without seeing anyone, working from home, or working by myself, it is a nice change to see friendly faces and talk with real humans over my lunch break. 

Brandon started his next semester at school. I couldn't be more proud of him. He is so meticulous in his studies and works so hard in all of his classes. I dropped him off at trax and watched him walk off with his cute satchel and laptop. Seriously, could that moment have been better? I vote 'no'. 

I had my favorite Orange Theory trainer for my class on Monday, and that was a great way to start my week. It may sound like a small thing, but it makes such a huge difference in my Mondays! And after a long day at work, it was exactly what I needed. 

On Saturday I downloaded a new Daily Devotional application for my phone, and I have been loving the positive messages. While my relationship with religion may feel unique to some, my spirituality is something that I love about myself. It doesn't have to look like yours, and that's okay, but who couldn't use a little dose of positivity during their day? I think we all could. 

So, while it may be only Tuesday, this week is off to a pretty sweet start. Our week isn't without commitments and stressors, but the people in my life make all of it worth it. To me, that makes it all sweet from here.

Small Moments, Beautiful Life

Photo from (here).

Photo from (here).

So many things have happened in this past week that have made me grateful for the life that I live. 

It isn't any of the major things in my life, but in the small moments that I become so aware of how beautiful my life is and how fortunate I am. 

Here are just a few of this week's beautiful moments: 

The Sixth Love Language

Have you ever heard of the Five Love Languages? It is a pretty popular series of books about connecting with people in our lives. Well, I am pretty sure that those who put it hours and years of research to these books left a huge gaping hole, a hole that I like to call the Sixth love language. 

Food. 

There is nothing that makes this girl happier than food. There is nothing that stresses me out more than thinking about what food I need to prepare. There is no worse time to be around me than when I am hangry. 

Enter my eternally patient spouse. Each week for the last five or six weeks he has spent his Sunday evenings preparing my lunches for the week. I've been eating especially healthily, so he has measured and bagged and container-ed all of the parts of my lunch for the whole week. I can't tell you what that does to my heart. He serves me always and I couldn't love him more for it. 

Failed FaceTime

I FaceTime my parents every day before work. Sometimes it is only for a few minutes and sometimes we dive into the really emotional stuff, but it offers me time to connect with them every day. 

This past week, for whatever strange reason, we had a few FaceTime attempts where I could hear them, but they couldn't hear me. Or they could hear me, but I couldn't hear them. We couldn't talk and it threw off the mojo of my mornings. We used hand and arm signals and worked on reaching each other until our connections finally came through. 

The failed FaceTimes weren't the sweet part of my day, but just knowing that both of us were working to be able to communicate. We wanted to be able to talk to each other and be a part of each other's lives. I know this, of course, but sometimes small things remind me of that reality and I can't help but feel thankful for the people in my life. 

Time For Friends

With how busy we've been lately (see previous post), I have been really worried that I would feel isolated from all of my friends. I don't live in a neighborhood near to all of them and our schedules are varied. However, in the last week, I have had a chance to see more than one of my friends and still other have reached out with phone calls or messages. That isn't a typical week for me, we all lead busy lives, but I felt so lucky to have all of them in my life. They rock. They seriously rock. 

 

With the stress of work and with everything going on right now, these moments that organically manifested themselves this week were so precious to me. I'm not sure what good karma I have put out into the world, but I promise to keep doing whatever that is in order to not lose these moments. (Not to mention I couldn't handle myself if Brandon didn't make my lunch.) Every day is beautiful, and made more beautiful by the people in it. These may be small moments, but they make a beautiful life. 

Independence Day 2016

Independence Day is always one of the highlights of summertime. I love the fireworks and patriotism and feeling of community that go along with the 4th of July. 

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I started the day with a sweat session at my favorite Orange Theory. It was a great, high energy way to start the day. Everyone was decked out in their red, white, and blue and we had a great class.

During the day we took the time to relax and enjoy our holiday. We napped, watched a movie, and stayed cool inside. In the evening we visited family and friends and again loved seeing everyone in patriotic regalia. 

Brandon and I aren't "crowd" people, so we always love figuring out ways around traffic and/org large groups. Knowing both would be inevitable at the local fireworks, we took advantage of the mountains we live in. We walked to our local library with a blanket and sat with on the lawn. Our view let us see out across the entire valley. It was quiet and we didn't have to fight a sea of people. The valley was bursting with pops of color for miles in every direction. After about a half an hour of watching the sky light up, we walked home and listened to the sound of fireworks from our open window.

Our day couldn't have been better or more relaxing. As always, I remain so grateful for the freedoms I enjoy as an American citizen. Our country isn't perfect, but we have a voice, checks, balances, and procedures that let us evaluate and readjust as is necessary. In this especially important election year, I am proud to exercise my  voice and stand up for the future of our nation. Please, research and do the same! Exercise your right to vote! 

Happy 4th of July!


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Past Independence Days:

2015

2014

2013

2011

Walking

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It is no surprise that one of my favorite things to do during summer is take walks during the beautiful weather. (Evidence: hereherehere,  & here) There is a beautiful, lightly wooded area with a creek in our neighborhood and I couldn't help but lace up my shoes and go tromping on some dirt. Out came my summer hat and the SPF. I grabbed my headphones and shades and hit the walking path. 

Blocking out my to-do list and getting in touch with nature, even in a limited way, was as liberating as ever. I walked down the trail and sat at the edge of the creek. I considered dipping my toes into the water, but decided I'd rather not have to put back on my shoes. I spent some  of the time listening to my favorite playlist and some of the time unplugging.

After soaking up the outdoors I started making my way back home. As I was on the trail, but before I was confronted with the return to suburbia, I had a moment straight from the cinema. I was walking the trail, classical music crescendoed in my earbuds, and a butterfly followed and circled around my head while I climbed back to reality. It felt almost magical. 

I was so glad to get out and stretch my legs and feel the sunshine. Nothing feels better than reconnecting with nature. I can't wait to keep burning up the trails. 

Note:

Safety is so important while walking outdoors, especially in nature. One web application I love to help stay safe in these scenarios is Kitestring. It is a free application that you can program to send a personalized message to your emergency contacts. You can give details about where you are, who you're with, and other important information. You program Kitestring to check in via SMS text at your scheduled time. You check in and the alert is disabled. If you do not check in, the program will notify your emergency contacts immediately. I love and use this application whenever I am out by myself. Additionally, let your friends and family know if you are out on a walk or bike ride. Use a Road ID. And use your noodle. Stay safe!!

 

Day Date

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I love the days when Brandon and I can spend the afternoon togehter and soak up soak up each other's company. Today we left a very sad Porter at home and set out for dinner. We, being senior citizens, love to got out and eat early. Does your restaurant have an early bird special? We're so there.

We went to one of our favorite places to eat, Goodwood's Barbecue. I always order something delicious, but for some reason my husband seems to order something even delicious-er whenever we go out, so I always have to have some of his. Tonight I ordered Brisket (a favorite for all of life) and pulled pork. Brandon ordered ribs and burnt ends. I'm telling you, those burnt ends were out of control. 

After a lovely (early bird) dinner we stopped at the outlets to peruse any "can't beat 'em" Memorial Day sales.  Brandon spoiled me with a new handbag. Insert heart-eye emojis here. Finally, before heading home to watch the Bachelorette, we stopped at a shave ice shack for a treat. Yes, I said shave ice and not shaved ice, and yes, there is a difference. We shared our tropical dessert and soaked up some absolutely beautiful weather. 

It was a wonderful afternoon spent without a schedule, work e-mail, or care in the world. With Summer quickly approaching I am hoping that there are so many days just like this one in our not-so-distant future. We, as people, make time and care for the things that are important to us. For me, that is family and time with my partner. If afternoons like this are investments, I'll enjoy raking in the dividends.