A Grateful Heart

I’m not trying to kick a limp cactus here, but 2020 has been a weird year.

It feels like my insides are a big ball of tangled yarn that just keeps getting bigger & messier. Pretty much like this:

I’m struggling with isolation, social and civil unrest, interpersonal problems, parenting hurdles… but at the same time I’m trying to find serenity and routine and contentment. As K put it last night, “Your [my] brain is not a fun place to be right now.”

But sometimes I can straighten out a squiggly line or two with a little gratitude. So that’s what we’re doing today.

This week I am grateful for:

My husband. Forever and always. That guy is always in my corner and I know how special that is. I am so grateful for his love and trust and loyalty. M is one lucky girl to have a dad like him.

My small town. Every time I go to a large city I feel grateful to live in a small town. Roadside ice cream stands, town square car shows, a lively and beautiful park. It feels like our town grows and improves every year. I feel lucky to raise M in a relatively safe community like ours.

Friends who help carry burdens, encourage growth, and celebrate little moments. 

My “new” car. K traded in our work truck and my daily driver for a new pick-up. So I got the Jeep Grand Cherokee that he’d been driver. I love it soooooo much!

Family members who watch M during the week. I work M/W/F and M hangs out with family on those days. It’s a relief to know she’s safe and loved and snuggled while we’re earning a paycheck.

Healthy communication. The ability and freedom to speak my mind, the education and patience to discuss my opinions and beliefs, and the humility to listen and learn from others. (Granted, I’m always working on humility and education… lol.)

I was going to say my dogs… but then Bristol got into the grill grease trap and vomited all over the carpet Tuesday night. But still, I guess they can be on my list. Bristol’s love for M has been there since day 1 and I’m excited to watch them grow up together.

Of course a handful of other things: family, our healthy & safety, comfort, our jobs…

And that about sums it up for today! How about you?

I’m linking up with Rebecca Jo today for Thankful Thursday!

A Cup of Happiness (& Coffee)

Happy Thursday! For today’s What’s New With You link-up we’re going to go on a coffee date ☕ I’m actually probably going to drink tea. Coffee doesn’t taste good to me right now (SOB).

We’re switching up this coffee date & I’m going to tell you about things that have made me happy lately. And then I want you to do the same! 😀 Linking up with Kristen!

Dog Pictures
I have a pretty good relationship with the guys who work at one of our authorized dealers that we interact with weekly. Randomly, one of those guys started attaching pictures of his dog to work emails. Word got around at their store and now there are two of them that do it. I’m curious to see how out of hand this can get. But I crack up every time there’s a random dog picture on an official work email.

Spindrift
I have never in my life enjoyed flavored water. I don’t like the after taste or the lack of sweetness. But lately sweet things have just been TOO sweet. Enter spindrift. No caffeine, no added sugar, not too sweet, and no aftertaste. I got the blackberry flavor and I’m excited to try other ones soon! (The ingredients are carbonated water, blackberry juice, fresh lemon juice, and blackberry puree. NOTHING ELSE.)

Plane tickets!
If you’ve been around a while, you know that flying isn’t my favorite thing in the world. That said, one of my very best friends is moving to Tampa, FL this weekend and I ALREADY BOOKED TICKETS TO VISIT IN SEPTEMBER. K, myself, my other bff Kayla, and her boyfriend are all flying down to visit her and I can’t even wait!

Additional things include a massage this week, bff time tonight, grilling outside for dinner, and summer weddings (even though we just have one this year).

Tell me what’s got you feeling happy this week/month!

What's New With You

Come On Get Happy

I’m feeling a little uninspired this week. As I’ve mentioned, spring is not a happy season for me so I think the in-between temperatures and rain and allergies are getting to me. The weekend was also a little exhausting. K was away on business, which doesn’t usually bother me but this was my first time alone in the new house, and I freaked myself out that first night. Thanks a lot, anxiety.

Anyway, today I decided that I’m simply going to list some things that make me happy.

Cup-a-Soup

Planners & calendars

Harry Potter

Dogs of all shapes and sizes

Having K home

Having a weekend alone

Good comedies on TV (The Office, Superstore, The Good Place)

Iced coffee. From a jug. That I didn’t have to make myself…

Reading in the sunshine (even especially if I’m under a blanket)

Finding the right playlist for my mood

A clean bathroom

Fresh sheets

Sage

Seeing people stand up for, speak out for, and fight for their beliefs

Seeing Enzo prance around the room with his fox in his mouth

Listening to Lylee snore

My travel mug- it’s AMAZING at maintaining temperature
(this is it – not an affiliated link)

Sitting around & drinking wine with my husband’s family

Cards Against Humanity

Mario Kart

A revitalizing church service

Sundays

That’s probably enough for now. I’m already feeling a little happier. Tell me what makes you happy!

A Daily Dose of Laughter

I would venture to say that the majority of my friends and family would not describe me as “jolly.” On the contrary, I tend to be an awkward mix of volatile and passionate. I’m not a fan of physical touch and I infuse sarcasm in 95% of my conversations. While I firmly believe I am (mostly) a good time to be around, I also know that I’m not the always-smiling, always-bubbly girl at the party unless there’s lots of alcohol. (I’m usually the quiet one on the floor in the corner with 8 dogs.)

All of that to say, if you’re like me and not in the habit of joking around and smiling on a daily basis (especially during these dark times), I believe we should be. We all deserve to have at least one big belly laugh a day. Not a polite smile or a forced chuckle- a genuine, outburst of laughter.

True to my introvert ways, I often find something hilarious to laugh at when I’m all alone. Jimmy Fallon videos, inappropriate Reddit threads, dog and cats videos… All of those are total winners for me. That said, laughing alongside my husband or best friends is my most preferred laughter outlet.

Some people laugh a lot (is it weird that I’m jealous of those folks?) and this is an unnecessary reminder, but for those of you who go a day or a week without fully utilizing every part of your lungs for a laugh, try to change it up. If you only have three minutes watch a Youtube video. If you’ve got a few hours pop in a comedy or meet your funniest friend for lunch. (Have you seen Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 2, yet? I was gasping for air, crying & laughing.)

I don’t do it as often as I should, but laughter does the soul good. We could all benefit from a little more joy. Tears from laughter always trump tears of sadness or anger or fear. (Pun possibly intended…?)

*Suggestion: While SNL is killin’ it right now, avoid those clips during your daily dose of laughter. Personally, those clips make me smirk- not belly laugh. They’re awesome and hilarious and so on point, but they can stir up outrage, too, and that’s not the emotion we’re going for in these few moments of hilarity.

So if you’re like me and you forget to make laughing a priority in your day-to-day schedule, this is your gentle reminder to sit down for a second and enjoy something funny. The heavy stuff is always going to be there and sometimes we just need a break!

Birthday Vibes

Today, twenty-six years ago, I was born. My mom was 27 years old and my dad was 25. Now I’m in the middle of that.

birthday-vibes

Do you ever sit and wonder what makes us us? I am fascinated by human behavior & thought. When I was a child a waitress was just a waitress, but now I look at people I interact with every day and wonder what their family is like, what do they do for fun, do they have dark secrets, why are they here and where do they want to be? It’s insane that each and every one of us has a complicated, diverse, unique web of coding that makes us (and our lives) so radically different. Even my brother & I are different despite the same upbringing. I don’t know- I just find it really interesting.

So today I officially have 26 years of life under my belt. That’s not much to a 76 year old, but a six year old would find me pretty ancient. In the grand scheme of things, I’m not doing much right now. I’m not climbing a corporate ladder, I’m not tracking my ovulation for babies, I’m not working toward a degree, I’m not planning a wedding or a vacation. I’m just kind of existing today. Surprisingly, I’m ok with that right now.

It’s odd to try to track how I got here… If my parents hadn’t made me march high school band I wouldn’t have met K. If I hadn’t joined an independent drumline and met a girl named Kelsey then we wouldn’t have Lylee. If we’d have listened to our realtor and not gone through our house (b/c it was in an old flood zone) then we wouldn’t be where we are and we wouldn’t have been ready for a second dog and Enzo wouldn’t be ours. Life is so darn weird. I’m sure there are missed opportunities that I’ll never  know about, but I’m pretty thankful for the taken opportunities thus far.

I have nothing witty or smart to leave you with today; I’m just reflecting on my existence. I’m very grateful to have been born to my parents. I feel so blessed to have been gifted a brother. When I think about the string of events that led me to K I honestly want to cry. In conclusion, I’ve just had a very nice 26 years.

I recognize that people are born into different situations. I know that some people make poor decisions or have tragic things happen to them. I know that my life could turn in an instant. So as a birthday gift to me, I ask you to do something nice today- whether for yourself or someone else. And extend a little grace when dealing with frustrating people and situations. Maybe pick up an extra bag of dog food when you’re at the store and drop it by your local shelter. Or just take 5 minutes out of your day to think about the things that make you happy.

That’s it. That’s all I’ve got. Now I’m off to work with a birthday coffee in hand ❤︎

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