things that made me happy in 2015

  

  • Dan, my amazing husband
  • Madison, Frieda, and Harriet, our wonderful pets
  • My fantastic family, my parents, siblings, in-laws, and extended relatives – they’re all extraordinary
  • My excellent friends
  • A challenging and rewarding job
  • Buying our incredible house!! : )
  • Getting to travel for through my job – to places I’ve never been, like San Francisco, and to places I’ve been to but got to discover new parts of, like Washington, D.C., and New York City
  • Podcasts
  • Books  (I met my reading challenge of reading 30 books this year! I’m setting the same goal for next year)
  • Lots of coffee
  • Rehabbing my knee
  • Trips to Columbus, Madison, OH, and Bowling Green
  • Hosting family and friends on trips to Cleveland
  • Indians, Cavs, and Columbus Crew games

  

  • Being diagnosed with celiac disease and starting to feel better
  • Fun nights playing Mario 3D World and Mario Kart
  • Meeting Matthew Dellavedova
  • Easter dinner at my grandma’s house
  • Many walks in the park
  • Trips to the movies with Dan and my dad
  • Getting new glasses and a new haircut
  • Attending showers for friends’ babies and weddings, and celebrating those terrific life changes with them
  • Learning to like running
  • Sitting on our deck
  • Visiting the Cleveland Zoo
  • Board game parties at my sister-in-law Cate’s apartment
  • Suppers at my parents’ house
  • Biking all over
  • Finally getting to visit the National Air Force Museum in Dayton, OH, with Dan
  • Cooking in our new kitchen
  • Watching football games and English soccer games
  • Decorating our house for the holidays
  • Back to the Future themed Halloween costumes with Back to the Future movie marathon leading up to it
  • Hosting Thanksgiving dinner for our families in our new home
  • A wonderful Christmas weekend with our families and time together approaching the new year : )

  

And of course, hundreds of little moments that bring a smile to your face every day – blaring Adele in the car and singing at the top of my lungs, naps under the electric blanket with my cat laying on my side, laughing with my husband over something silly, brunch after church, playing with my dog. My main focus in 2016 is to flourish – to focus on becoming healthier, growing in my faith, spending time with my family, and just plain enjoying and celebrating life.

What were your favorite moments of 2015? Any goals or hopes for 2016?

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currently

  

  

  • Feeling: very pensive and introspective. optimistic. determined.
  • Eating:  guac + gluten free pretzels. LUNA bars. edamame salad + rice + quinoa.
  • Drinking: Perfect Fit tea – Unwind at night, Awaken for a pick-me-up. Dunkin’ Donuts Caramel Coffee Cake – black, as always. Water.
  • Reading: Still plugging away through Lawerence of Arabia. The Opposite of Loneliness.  The Apple News app.
  • Watching: The last few seasons of Bones. Star Wars 4-6.  Christmas movies. Parks and Recreation, season two.
  • Listening to: Playlists I made in college. Happier podcast. Christmas music. Nothing – just silence.
  • Trying:  To go to bed at 10 at the latest and wake up at 5AM every day. To be better. To not think as much.
  • Wondering: Next steps to take (while not overthinking!). What are the best gifts to get loved ones. When it will finally snow.
  • Hoping: To be present and happy during December. To make 2016 the best year yet. To meet my Goodreads Challenge of reading 30 books this year.
  • Enjoying: Our Christmas decorations, up for the first time in our new home. Walks outside in this crazy-warm Cleveland weather. Turning off the TV and reading. Time with family. BGSU football winning the MAC Championship.

Reasons I Love Thanksgiving

  

  • Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade
  • The National Dog Show
  • Relaxing with coffee & family watching those two things
  • Comfy sweaters
  • The food: turkey, gravy, mashed potatoes, cheesy potatoes, sweet potatoes (clearly – potatoes), veggies, those jellied cranberry slices, strawberry pretzel jello. 
  • Finding seasonal bandanas for the family pups and special turkey meals of wet cat and dog to give them. 
  • Wine. 
  • Everyone working together to clean up after dinner.
  • Everyone sleepy and relaxing after dinner with football or Christmas movies on TV.
  • A day that is centered completely on family, good food, & hanging out at home. 

weekly gems

   A walk with Madison in the park.

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 One of my favorite places!

 

weekly gems

Oh, life with this pup! 

Goodbye 2014…Hello 2015!

Thanks for so many lovely memories, 2014.

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I’m super excited for 2015. I’ve made a list of items from my 101 in 1001 list that I plan to check off year. I can’t wait to have fun and explore my hobbies and interests more. I’ve also made some resolutions:

1. Get enough sleep.
2. Successfully rehab knee.
3. Eat for health.
4. Compete in a triathlon. 
5. Floss every other day.
6. Create and implement a set chore schedule.
7. Make and implement a joint budget every month.
8. Go to church more consistently.
9. Spend more time with family.
10. Be on time.

I think I’ve set reasonable resolutions, and I definitely selected fun activities to knock off my 101 in 1001 list!

What were your favorite memories of 2014? Do you have any resolutions or bucket list items for 2015?

things that are making me happy (and thankful)

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(source)

  • My amazing husband Daniel. He works so hard every day at his job as a teacher, is fiercely loyal to his family and friends, is ridiculously passionate about sports – both watching and doing,  adores animals as much as I do, and watches all the same TV shows as me (unless they are about crime). He is my best friend and the love of my life.
  • My awesome family. Not only do they give provide me with role models to admire and be inspired by , but I am especially grateful for all the help and support they’ve given me during this first year teaching at a high school with a new school model AND with my knee injury and surgery. I love spending time with them – they are always on my side, they always make me laugh, and they will always watch crime TV shows with me.
  • My kick-ass friends. They put up with all my random, silly, and long text messages, non-stop Snapchats of coffee and pets, my early bedtime, and my weak sarcastic ability. They are hilarious, creative, sweet, caring, fiesty, and fun. I love them to death and can’t imagine how I’d get along without them.
  • My wonderful co-workers. I have been blessed to have truly great colleagues and mentors almost every place I have ever worked, but this year having a staff that supports each other as much as this staff does is absolutely essential. I don’t think any of us would have made it this far, trying to implement his new school model and make positive changes in school culture, without each other. No one “pulls rank,” no one refuses feedback, no one is unwilling or too busy to help anyone else. We are truly a team and I am so grateful.
  • My pets. I don’t have kids, and no, my pets aren’t like my kids. My pets are my pets – they are animals who love unconditionally, harbor no bitterness or ill will toward anyone, and find happiness in all the small moments. They brighten my day and the day of everyone who interacts with them.
  • The “basics” that aren’t really so basic – a place to live with working heat and a sound structure, located in a safe neighborhood. Clean, running water I can get by walking two feet to a faucet. Enough nutritious food to eat and the ability to choose what I want to eat. Shoes, a winter coat, gloves, and hat that are all in good shape. Clothes in general that are in good shape. Safe transportation. Access to the Internet and a computer in my own home. All the things so many of us take for granted on a daily basis.
  • Health care – including vision and dental. I know this is a sore point for some people in this day and age with Obamacare and all, but I can’t imagine not having it. I have maintenance prescriptions I require for health conditions, I get sinus infections a couple times a year, I hate cavities, and you never know when an emergency or a random accident will occur – like tearing your ACL on a trampoline on a school field trip. I am so grateful I have insurance to help my family and I afford the care we need.
  • My college degree and job. My job that is my dream job. It truly feels like every experience I have had, particularly since I was in high school myself, has lead me to this teaching position. A lot of the experiences were challenging, but they all prepared me for where I am right now, which is exactly where I want to be. Not only is my job, despite its intensity, emotionally and intellectually fulfilling, but it is also contributing to my family’s financial security. I am grateful for that because I know how difficult not being in such a positive situation can be.
  • And of course, the random, little things that seem silly to be thankful for but really enrich every day life: COFFEE, funny TV shows, interesting podcasts, good books, really good books,  an evening spent cooking and baking, a hot bath, that thrill you get when you’ve had an extra productive day or when you get an unexpected compliment, a cold beer after a long week at work, finding a coupon for your favorite grocery item, a sunny day, easy traffic on your morning commute, killing it in your workout, catching your new favorite song on the radio, making someone else laugh without expecting to, beating that level of Angry Birds you’ve been stuck on for weeks, a fantastic night of sleep, no line at the gas station or drugstore when you’re in a rush, a clear night sky so you can see the stars, the existence of HGTV, listening to music while driving by yourself in the rain, seeing someone do something nice for someone else for no reason but to be nice or polite, hugs from small children, kisses from dogs, and so, so much more.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.

weekly gems

IMG_0550-0.JPGOh hey, Frieda.