it's a hard knock life

this week kicked my butt. long hours at work with less staff than usual resulted in a very tired and exhausted individual. i came home each night with just enough energy to throw something together for dinner. i went to bed early. there was little reading, and more tv watching than usual for me. i did not run. at all.

but today is friday. the end of a long week. and i am off, sitting in my kitchen with steaming mug of french press coffee, watching it snow (again!) outside. my heart is full of gratitude today. i guess that's what a deep and refreshing night of sleep will do for you! therefore, i'm going to do my own version of multitude mondays, which is ann's day of writing her 1000 gifts of gratitude. she's well over 2000 now, by the way. i'm learning that if we focus on the little miracles in life, it is much easier to keep a positive attitude.

1. lot's of beautiful snow fluttering aimlessly, but not laying!
2. a day off
3. a day off with hot coffee
4. a day off with hot coffee and a phone call with my dad
5. a chance to bake a friends 30th birthday cake this weekend, stimulating my creativity and heating up my kitchen with lots of oven activity!
6. chocolate cupcakes
7. morning snuggles with aniu
8. matt being gracious enough to take the bus to work so i have the car
9. two days off next week:)
10. a february calendar that's virtually empty, giving me lots of rest for a crazy busy march

what little things are you thankful for today?


sunken treasure

every year, somewhere near the new year, our neighbors have us over for dinner. they did it the year we moved in (2 years ago), then again last year, and again tonight. it's quite an experience. there are always six of us. matt and i, who are around 30. john and linda, the hosts, who have been retired for 5 years. i'm guessing they are around 65 to 68. and then there's smokey and dotty. they live 2 houses down, in the BIG house, and are in their 80's (i think). the first year we were invited over, we were touched that they would include us. however, we had no idea what to expect! what do we have in common with a bunch of old people? but it was a great night. as was dinner last year. as was dinner tonight.

i mean...the food is amazing. linda is a great host. there's cheese, crackers and wine in the sitting room. dinner consists of no less than five dishes, and more wine. there's dessert and coffee. and to top it all off, plates of christmas cookies, chocolates, and other evil sweet yummy things. everything is served on fine, antique china. she goes all out for us! (and it was only a tuesday night)

the highlight, however, is talking with smokey and dotty. never in my life have i met such interesting people! smokey was a professional diver and videographer. he has worked independently and for national geographic. why he is in lancaster is beyond me! he was one of the first to film the titanic for the first time, has dived with jacques cousteau, and has retrieved sunken treasure! how cool of a life is that!!!

tonight was no disappointment. there was a story of dotty getting drunk on bermudan rum, the real stuff, that was retrieved from a sunken ship. there were tales of filming wild elk over a period of seven years (not as exciting, in my opinion). and there was the "we got lost in the everglades" story. they were hiking, followed the blue flags (which were actually for a trail race the next day) and got lost deep in the woods. they had to be rescued by a search and rescue team--both from the woods before they got eaten by wild panthers and alligators, and from the nest of fire ants that dotty stepped onto. quite a story.

we've started to look forward to this dinner. the first year we were a little skeptical. but the lives of our elders can hold so much! 

now i have to go watch pirates of the caribbean. i have a hankering for rum and gold and adventure:)


you say you want a resolution, well you know, we all want to change (our world)

i've never been one for resolutions. never, in my entire life, have i met somebody who has made a resolution and kept it. changed something or done something because its january 1 and "nows as good a time as any!"
no, to change something you have to really want it. deep deep down inside. otherwise, you will fail. it's inevitable.
there is change in my future.
of course there is, you say. change is all around us.
i know. but i can feel it. i swear i can smell it.

this past year has been a selfish one for me. i did a lot. accomplished a lot. but it was all about me. i went to haiti. i graduated college. i spent 2 weeks in south africa. i ran my first half marathon. granted, the trips to haiti and africa weren't necessarily about me, but they still kind of were. it was a highlight for me. like the grinch (he happened to steal christmas, but then so kindly return it), who only heard "noise, noise, noise, noise" i only hear "i, i, i, i!"

in 2011, i want/need to change this. i want the year to be about others, not me. it's gonna be hard people!!
i mean, think about it. how much of your life revolves around you? everything's about you--face it!

case in point. i found a job today that i would LOVE. it would utilize both my gifts and desires, and that degree i just got. however, it's for a non-profit. that = not a lot of moolah. probably little to no benefits. neither of those things fit into my life at this moment. we are downsizing our lives, a lot, in an effort for matt to be able to quit his job and work from home. it's give and take, which is something we as Americans don't know a whole lot about. there are things i want, really want, that i can't have until he is happy and stable in his work.

so this year, for me, will be about preparation, support, and working my butt off. although, i'm not gonna lie, if i could lose a few pounds in the process i'd be kinda happy. (don't tell anyone--sounds kind of resolution-y) :)