Tuesday, November 27, 2012

I am thankful for....popcorn

I LOVE popcorn. It brings me comfort. I love the texture. I love the taste. I love it almost anyway.

I consume far more popcorn than the average person. I can just eat and eat and eat more of it.

Thankfully it isn't the worst food in the world for me I guess since I do not load it with butter. Usually I just like it with spices.

So yummy!

What is your comfort food?


I am thankful for....cyber Monday deals

I am usually not a huge cyber Monday shopper and its been close to a decade since I went out on black Friday. This year however I found a deal I really could not turn down. I really want to do an obstacle course 5k in 2013 and low and behold like a sign, there was a deal for a 2013 race. Guess who is officially signed up for Warrior Dash 2013?

This girl!

September 21, 2013.

I am excited, scared, anxious, ecstatic....so much. Scary to book so far in advance but damn it I need to start doing the things I want to but have been afraid to in the past.

Did you get any good cyber Monday deals?


I am thankful for...reading

I took a couple days off again to unplug and I did a lot of reading. I had a very rough week last week and I think I may have hot the emotional equivalent of rock bottom (at least I hope anyway...I can not imagine much worse!).

So to cope, I did a huge amount of reading this weekend both on my own and with the Little.

I read "The Road", "City of Bones", & "Born to Run". I also read a couple magazines I had sitting around that I had not had a chance to get to.

The Little & I did lots of reading together as well. She is currently loving the Little Critter books which is fun.

I personally love reading since it transports me to another place. I love also showing my baby that reading can be so fun.

Have you read any good books lately?


Saturday, November 24, 2012

I am thankful for....farmers

I am lucky enough to live in a rural area with plenty of farm country. Add to that the fact that I was born and raised a country girl. Result - I appreciate the hard work it takes to put a meal on the table.

As part of my effort to shop local, I supported a local far, I love by buying my winter supply of ground beef. I love the fact that you can drive by the cows, see them happily grazing in the fields. I am by mo means a vegetarian, although I am trying to eat less meat these days, but I do want to make sure that the meat I eat came from animals that were treated as humanely as possible and that they got a chance to live.

So I drive past the fields of happily grazing cows to a local farm stand and purchase locally raised beef. And its deliciously awesome and priced better than it is at the big box market. It was $4.99/lb and its very lean....probably like 90-95%. Plus this weekend it was $5 off $50, so I bought 10 pounds to stock up and save a few dollars.

I am thankful for the farmers in our area and that they provide food for us. I am also thankful that I know how to garden and grow some of my own food thanks to my family.


Friday, November 23, 2012

I am thankful for...traditions

Today the Little and I set up our Christmas tree. I am starting this as our Christmas tradition.

I decided to surprise her and I set up the tree while she was napping. I let her nap on the couch and set up the tree in the living room right behind her while she slept. I took her a while to notice the tree when she woke up, but when she did, she was sooooo excited. It was definitely my favorite moment of the day!

She kept saying things like, "Mommy, there's a Christmas tree in the living room. It's magic. It is so pretty!"

So today I am thankful for traditions with my family. They keep us grounded and remind us of the things that really matter in life.

What traditions do you have?


Thursday, November 22, 2012

I am thankful for...Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving this year had so many emotions for me. It was especially meaningful. I have really been reminded lately of the things I should be thankful for. So I am thankful for Thanksgiving this year to bring me back to center.

It has also been wonderful seeing so many others around me expressing their gratitude.

No matter how conventional (or unconventional) your day was, I hope you had a wonderful holiday!

My little says, "It is Happy Birthday Turkey Day today." Good thing we were unconventional and had spaghetti and meatballs right?

What memories from today make you smile?


I am thankful for...days off blogging

Yep, I did not post yesterday. I took a day off. And I am thankful for that. I did other things instead and they helped my mental state immensely. So I will double up on my thankful posts today.

What?!? Are you the blog police or something?


Tuesday, November 20, 2012

I am thankful for...sleep

I have trouble sleeping a lot. I do not think that will be the case tonight. It has been a rough few days for me and I am exhausted. Heading to bed now. I am thankful for sleep today!


Monday, November 19, 2012

I am thankful for...my Little

Today I am so very thankful for my little. I love her more than words can describe. On especially tough days like today, sometimes thinking of her is what helps me through. So much of what I do is for her. She means the world to me. My G - Momma loves you!!!


Sunday, November 18, 2012

I am thankful for...movies

The Little and I watched 'Sofia the First" on Disney channel tonight when it premiered. It was a pretty cute movie, but the best part was that she watched almost all of it and we cuddled and giggled. It was so sweet. I am thankful for movies I can watch with my Little so I have moments like this to cherish.

Watched any good movies lately?


Saturday, November 17, 2012

I am thankful for...cinnamon

I love cinnamon in its various forms. Some of my favorite uses are in coffee, peanut butter toast, candy, and in smoothies. I very recently found a box of Hot Tamale candies at the store - so yummy! They are my favorite!

Lucky for me, cinnamon is also good for you (I know probably not in the hot tamale form as much as the ground cinnamon form, but cut a sister a break!). I have read some reports that it stifles appetite and helps your body metabolize sugar more efficiently. Sounds good to me.

Mostly though, I am just thankful for the smell and taste. It has such a comforting effect on me.

Do any spices have this effect on you?


Friday, November 16, 2012

I am thankful for...socks

Socks? I know...and yes I am thankful for socks. Especially new socks.  My feet have a tendency to get cold, and socks help tremendously. So today I am thankful for my comfy socks that also keep my feet warm and serve as good sock puppets for fun.

What are your thoughts on socks?


Thursday, November 15, 2012

I am thankful for...giggles

Had quite the gigglefest with the Little tonight and it made me so thankful for the moment. We took turns spinning each other in our spinning chair....smiles turned to laughs, which became giggles, and culminated in belly laughs. I swear, there is nothing like toddler laughs! You have to feel happy when you see a toddler laugh! I am thankful for those moments.


Wednesday, November 14, 2012

I am thankful for...music

I have been listening to more music of late than I typically have in the past and it made me realize how much I appreciate it. It can change your mood, help you cope, give you energy, or just make you  smile.

I am making quite the random list of songs I want to download. I will admit, I have quite the interesting tastes in music, but I am not a music connoisseur by any means. And I can not for the life of me remember music trivia for my life. Oh well. I enjoy it nonetheless.

What songs ate you digging right now?


Tuesday, November 13, 2012

I am thankful for...sunshine

Sunshine makes so many things better. I got to sit in the sun for a few minutes with a friend today (Hi J!) and just enjoy the natural light and pleasant company.  As the days get shorter, it's especially nice to take a few minutes and just appreciate the sunshine and what it can provide.  I'm thankful for the sunshine, despite not always having time to appreciate it.

For the longest when the Little was a baby, I'd sing "You are my Sunshine" to her each night.  I loved singing it - it always reminds me of my Grandma.  The Little apparently doesn't share the same affinity for the song as I do yet though...in time perhaps, in time.

When was the last time you sat and enjoyed the sunshine for a few minutes?


Monday, November 12, 2012

I am thankful for....strength

I am not going to lie...today was a rough day for so many reasons....cranky toddler, finding out some hard truths, and just general weird things happening (like getting a door to the eye socket...hopefully I do not get a black eye tomorrow).

At so many moments today did I get down and out and think of giving up...but I dug down deep and found my inner strength and relied on some brute force strength (plus some kind words and encouragement from friends reminding me I am indeed a strong person and a good person), and I persevered.

Today I am thankful for physical, internal, and emotional strength to help carry us through rough seas. Whether you discover it yourself, have others around you to remind you, or a guiding force that gives you what you need - however you stay strong, be thankful that you can.  Tough times mean good times are ahead I believe...a test to make sure you are ready.

Where do you find strength?


Sunday, November 11, 2012

I am thankful for...Indian summer days

We have an uncharacteristically warm day today for a New England November day.  It was in the 60's! I am very thankful for one more day to enjoy the wonderful outdoors.

So we took advantage!

First we went to the playground on a play date. An hour and a half later after lots of swinging, sliding, running, and general play we were pretty tuckered out.

But it was just so nice. So we went to the local trail (part of the East Coast Greenway) and walked close to 1.5 miles outside.

Then we headed to Bakers Dozen where we enjoyed a coffee treat (me) and a strawberry sprinkle donut (the Little).

Then we headed out, and the Little promptly fell asleep - nap time!!

I was lucky enough to be able to sneak out during the Little's nap to go for a run (thanks to a baby sitter! I am not that type of unfit mommy!). I have been eyeing the sports field track at my local school so I headed there.

Perfect temps for a run! And it was getting cooler as I started the run. I did not set a distance or pace, just ran. And it felt so good! At one point I held my arms out and felt like I was flying. I have not had a run as enjoyable in quite some time.

I think my Nike+ did not like my off track running at some points because each lap was a different distance, but in the end Nike+ said I did 3.26 miles in 31'06". I think it was closer to 3.5 miles or more.

But what mattered most was the feeling. The thankfulness for the moment.

Then I returned home to spend another wonderful night with my Little.

Perfect day. Thanks to an Indian summer day.


Thank you to our Veterans & military personnel

Happy Veterans Day!

Please take a moment to think of everything we have today thanks to our veterans and military personnel. One day is not enough to honor all the things you all do or have done for our country.

Thank you - we can never repay the debt we owe you!


Saturday, November 10, 2012

I am thankful for...bedtime

I love my new bedtime routine with my little. She has just recently started liking longer stories, so each night we have been reading two by flashlight...mostly Dr. Seuss beginner books or some of the Little Critter series. She really likes The Little Critter books...especially "All By Myself" and "When I Get Bigger."

After we read the stories, the book goes out of bed, and the flashlight gets shut off. Then I ask her what song she wants me to sing her and it has been "The Wheels on the Bus" for quite some time. So I sing all the verses.

Them begins the tuck in ritual. Some cuddling and eskimo kisses. them she chooses the blankets for the night. Then I tuck her in - wishing her sweet dreams, sleep tight, don't let the bed bugs bite...kiss her forehead, hugs, eskimo kisses, real kisses, and she returns my wishes and I love yous. Then I turn on her fan and leave the room to watch her fall asleep on the monitor.

Usually takes 15 minutes for the ritual and another 10-15 until she falls asleep. I cherish thus time though. Such sweet, innocent love. The cuddling, the sweetness. I am so thankful for each night I have her.

Whats your bedtime routine look like?


Friday, November 9, 2012

I am thankful for...hugs

Along the lines of yesterday's post, I am thankful for hugs. I will confess...I am a hugger. I restrain myself quite a bit unless I know someone well because I do not want to offend anyone...but I love giving and receiving hugs. So comforting, so caring. Its communication without words in my opinion.

Who was the last person to hug you? Who did you last hug?

Lucky me, it is the same person...My little G. She is such a good hugger.


Thursday, November 8, 2012

I am thankful for...smiles

Smiles on those who love you or even the smile from a stranger can make even the worst day slightly better in my opinion. So that's why I am thankful for smiles. Especially when you are having a rough time or when you see someone you have not seen in a while (understanding a while is relative depending on the someone!).

I try to smile as often as I can...even when I do not feel like smiling and especially when smiling is the last thing on my mind. I think a smile can transform your day...maybe its yours or maybe it is someone else's...who knows....but a smile can put you on the path to "being the change you wish to see in the world."

What makes you smile?


Wednesday, November 7, 2012

I am thankful for....getting home in bad weather

As if Sandy was not enough, New England is now getting hit with a nor'easter. I had heard it would be rain...do not worry. But alas by 1 PM today it was snowing...and continued to do so (still is now at 10 PM by the way). So I headed out of work a little early hoping to avoid rush hour traffic with bad weather. The roads were awful! Slippery, icy, not treated.but I kept my head, drove slowly, prepared for hills and turns far in advance, and did everything I could to be safe.

And I made it to daycare fine to pick up my little. And then I made it safely home.  So what if it took twice as long as normal - I am just thankful to be home.

At which point my little wanted to play in the snow...so I quickly proposed bringing some inside in a big bowl so she could play inside, away from the elements. She loved it. I loved watching her. :)

How do you make the most of bad weather?


PS - my thoughts are with the Sandy victims who are still without power and are facing the elements. It has been wonderful to see people helping their neighbors, and I hope everyone found someone who could help them stay safe and warm during the storm.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

I am thankful for...books

I am so thankful for books. I love books. I have for as long as I can remember. They make me happy, give me advice, teach me things, and transport me to far away places when I need to escape. I am hoping to transfer that love of books to my little.  We read together every might and anytime during the day when she asks me. I love reading with my G.

I have been reading a lot lately. On top of my ever growing blog roll in my Google Reader, I have gotten into books lately. Even listening to books on CD in the car.  I just stopped by the library today and picked up five books I requested.

Here is what I am reading right now:

Book on CD:
"Under the Dome" by Stephen King.

Books from the library:
"Tiny Beautiful Things" by Cheryl Strayed
"Born to Run" by Christopher McDougall
"Mean Moms Rule" by Denise Schipani
"City of Bones" by Cassandra Clare

Book I own:
"The Happiness Project" by Gretchen Rubin (I have been reading this book for a while...its so good and inspiring I can usually only read a chapter at a time)

I have quite the varied mix of books I am reading. Different interests, topics, and genres. I historically kept track of them via Pinterest, Amazon Wishlists, and draft emails to myself.  Recently a friend introduced me to the Good Reads app (its also a website: http://goodreads.com). I am slowly transitioning to it.it keeps track of what I have read, am reading, and want to read. Cool stuff.

I can't wait to dive into the Cheryl Strayed book tonight!

What are you reading now? Whats on your reading list?


Monday, November 5, 2012

I'm thankful for...running and fitness

I used to run when I was younger in school.  I was a pretty decent short distance runner, especially given my size.  I ran 100 M, 200 M, 400 M, and I ran as anchor on our 4X100 M relay team.  200 M was where I really shined.  Somehow though, I always envied the distance runners. But, I never did it.

Fast forward to this year and I started running again as a means to lose a couple pounds, get back in shape, get healthier, de-stress & unwind, and generally feel better about myself.  And now I'm loving it.

I've also recently started cross training and am constantly amazed at what I can accomplish.  I'm thankful to be able to run and to be able to do the things I do.

What are you thankful for today?


Sunday, November 4, 2012

I am thankful for....my friends and family

I am feeling especially blessed lately to be lucky enough to have so many wonderful friends and family around me providing me love, support, encouragement, hugs, a kind ear, and/or a should to cry on. I am sure there is so much ore you wonderful people have done for me, especially lately. So today I wanted to let you know I am so thankful to have you in my life! I truly do not know what I would be doing without you right now!!!

What are you thankful for today?


Saturday, November 3, 2012

I'm thankful for...Cuddles with my little!

Toddler cuddles are like the best thing in the world.  They run around so much all day long and spend some much time saying, "Mommy, no - I do it" that when they take a moment out of their busy day to wrap their arms around you and cuddle, you have to appreciate it - soak it in.

Lucky for me, my little likes to cuddle.  I'll thank Lambie on Doc McStuffins I guess because she'll come up to me and just say, "Cuddle, cuddle" or "Mommy, you need a cuddle." And lucky me gets a cuddle
Just last night she was giving me sweet Eskimo kisses by rubbing her nose against mine.

Or, occasionally now a days I'm lucky enough that my little will join me in bed in the middle of the night.  I'm okay with it because let's face it, she won't want to sleep next to me for much longer.  Anyway, when she does decide to co-sleep with me, I get woken up in the morning with a HUGE toddler smile and giggles. And the cuddles.  Such sweet cuddles.

Is there anything better than cuddles with a little?  It's all subjective I guess, but I'm extremely thankful for all the opportunities I get to cuddle with my baby!


Friday, November 2, 2012

Where would you live?

If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be?

They say home is where the heart is, but I think it can be a bit more complicated than that.  See, my heart is in two places.  It's in Oklahoma where my first home was and there are so many positive emotions and memories tied all up in one place.  And it's where I live now with my wonderful little who does some of the cutest things on a daily basis that make my heart sing.

Then there's the thought of if I could live anywhere, I'm thinking I'd choose somewhere in Texas.  Of all of the places I lived, I really liked Texas the best - awesome people, so many things to do, and fun culture.  But my heart isn't there.
Luckily, I really love the area I live in now - it really has a great combination of the things I loved about the areas I've loved living in - country and people like Oklahoma and Texas - Rural and wonderful neighbors.  I haven't found a huge amount of things to do yet, but I think that's because I haven't taken the time to do it or found the right people to search with.  In time!

So if you could live anywhere, where would you live?


I'm thankful for...Chocolate

How could I not include chocolate early on in my thankfulness posts?

I love chocolate.  Good chocolate, okay chocolate...I can't even say bad chocolate because I don't know if that exists in my mind.

Slowly savoring it.  It takes away so many stresses from a bad day.  It's like it can heal so many wounds.  Dark chocolate is my favorite - the darker the better.  Recently I've been trying to be more interested in other, newer chocolates.

My running mentor gave me some fantastic chocolate this week that brightened my day during an especially tough moment.  Straight from Switzerland, some very yummy chocolate.  It's dark chocolate, but has that smooth texture and flavor like milk chocolate.  Super yummy.  The whole label is in another language with lots of recipes posted and I'm curious what they are for...but it just adds to the mystique!


Thursday, November 1, 2012

Favorite Quotation

I recently came across this quote and I just love it - it speaks to me for whatever reason, so it's my favorite quote post of the day for my NaBloPoMo post for the day:

“People do things differently, and that’s okay.  Learn from those who walked the road before you, but carve your own path.  So be different, explore the twists and turns along your way and don’t fear the occasional fall …. it’s part of every journey.”

It was from an article on CNN for International Day of the Girl.  Such a nice quote!

Today I'm thankful for....Electricity!

As part of my 30 days of thankfulness for November, I thought a good start would be for electricity.

As a New England resident in a very rural area in Eastern, CT we were affected by the frankenstorm otherwise known as Hurricane Sandy earlier this week.  Thankfully I was prepared this year.  Last year when Hurricane Irene hit, we were without power for almost two full weeks.  No power - zip, zero.  Having a well, that meant no water.  We weren't prepared.  But lesson learned and I now have a 7000 watt generator, a panel in my house that makes it easy to connect.  So when the power went out on Monday night (I'll admit I was surprised we made it that long!), I didn't worry.  I didn't want to go out in the storm and start the generator, so I stayed in and snuggled with my little.

Candles, flash lights, portable DVD player with a Mickey Mouse Clubhouse DVD.  I could thankfully cook because we have a gas stove.  So we "roughed it" for one night.  Tuesday morning bright and early the generator went on.  Queue the water, hot showers, and power.  It's amazing how much a hot shower can do in a scenario like that.  So I paid it forward and offered hot showers to as many neighbors as I could since I was one of the few who had a generator powerful enough to run both the well pump and water heater.  Lucky me!

Somehow, despite having a pole snapped in half on my road and lines down on the other main through way, we got power back early Wednesday morning.  I'm still really not sure how, but I'll take it.  A big shout out to CL&P in this storm.  I know they took a lot of flack for Irene last year, but I'm really impressed this year.

In either case, I'm extremely thankful for electricity today.  I know there are many in my state and neighboring states that are still without power, or worst who lost everything.  It's crazy when you see some of the pictures from the storm - I think it could have been much worse, so I'm thankful that we didn't incur more damage.

What are you thankful for today?


Back from the break....

I had to take a little mental break for a few days, but I'm back.  I also took a few days of a physical break too.  I think my body needed it!

I had done quite the aggressive work out schedule prior to that and I had quite the aches and pains.  I was physically tired too.  So I took a few days off (well, Sandy caused it to be a couple more days than anticipated!), but now I'm back.

  I'm stumbled across a couple November blog challenges I really like - and I also realize I still haven't finished my A-Z challenge.  I'll get there...plenty of time.  But anyway, I think there's a couple November challenges I'd like to partake in.

With November containing Thanksgiving, I've seen a couple bloggers doing a month of thankfulness, so I'm going to try that.  One post a day with things I'm thankful for.

Then, my wonderful friend Michelle over at Dodging Acorns posted today about NaBloPoMo - National Blog Post Month.

So that's that.  We'll see what comes of this!  Writing will help my mental fitness anyway!