Friday, March 30, 2012

March 30th, 2012 - JJ

1. I get to go to North Carolina today!!! Technically I won't be in NC until tomorrow since we're not leaving unti this afternoon, but I'm still excited. Can't wait to see everyone, and I'm also really looking forward to not doing any work (except for that conference call on Monday) for four days.
2. My heating pad. It's so cozy and warm and there are days when I don't know what I would do without it.
3. That my 10 year high school reunion is probably going to be the weekend after Kavita's wedding, which means I have a wonderful excuse to not go. It would be difficult to fly out to Seattle two weekends in a row since tickets are $500+ round trip and I can't take the whole week in between off of work (well I COULD, but I'd rather use the time for other things, like Christmas or potentially our honeymoon). Guess I'll just have wait until the 20 year reunion to see all those people. Oh darn!
4. That Target is so close to where I work. I have to run out to get something for lunch today, but I'm also going to drop in to Target and buy the next Song of Ice and Fire book! I finished book 2 last night and can't wait to get into the next one! There is just SO much drama and I need to know what's going to happen!! These books are like crack!
5. I get to leave work in 3.5 hours. I'm SO close to vacation time. So close!!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

March 29th - Heather

1.  I'm thankful for the mini-manicure set I got on sale after Christmas that I keep stashed away in my desk.  I broke a nail way down past the quick and it would have really hurt to rip it off the rest of the way.  I was glad to be able to clip it off when I got back to my office.

2.  That today is my Friday.  I'm off tomorrow and I am excited to spend the day at the Milwaukee Art Museum for Art in Bloom.  I've never been to this event before, but it comes highly recommended and it's only four days.  I'm hoping that going Friday morning will avoid the massive crowds that it seems will amass over last two days on Saturday and Sunday.

3.  Flowering trees and the weather to make them bloom!  Even though it's supposed to be cold enough to snow again tomorrow, the weather has been so pleasant that the trees have begun to flower.  It makes me miss DC so much.  Every magnolia tree I see reminds me of the magnolia grove at the National Arboretum and every other flowering tree makes me wish I could stand at the FDR Memorial and see the sea of pink cherry blossoms!  Especially since this year is the 100th Anniversary of the Cherry Blossom Festival in DC!  I still have fond memories of dragging my mother all over DC for the Cherry Blossom Festival a few years ago....I think her feet still hold a bit of a grudge against me!

4.  Spearmint flavored (and scented) lip gloss...makes me feel a bit less guilty about eating onions at lunch today!

5.  Lunch with Mary Beth.  It was nice to head over to our favorite little Mexican restaurant (we were there Monday night for dinner too....they know us well! lol) and sit and have a quick bite and chat.  I generally lack an appetite when I have a migraine ...but after living in El Paso for ten years, Mexican food is like the ultimate comfort food!

March 29th, 2012 - JJ

1. Toffee nut lattes from Starbucks. So delicious, even though I'm breaking my one latte per week rule AND my no coffee in a paper cup rule. Shame on me. But it's soooo good!!!
2. That Derick and I can disagree about movies but still listen to the other's opinion. Learning to do this has been quite a process and we've gone through more than a few nasty arguments to get here. But it's nice that I can 100% hate a movie that he gives 4 stars and that we can talk about it for a long time without getting upset at the other person. Apparently I have terrible taste in movies and don't appreciate "film." Whatever. My idea of a good movie involves magic, dragons, and lots of other things I'll never see in real life. Further, I'm thankful that I never have to watch "Lovely and Amazing" ever again.
3. For Emily, who has so sweetly agreed to take care of Muffin this weekend. Hopefuly she doesn't maim Marty this time!!
4. That there was an interview with Tippi Hedren prior to the screening of The Birds that we went to the other day. Usually screenings with movie stars or directors involve a Q&A after the screening, which always kind of irritates me because I feel like the people who come should have prepared some words to tell the audience about their feelings on the movie. So it was a nice change of pace to have Ben Mankiewicz interview Tippi Hedren before the screening of The Birds and prior to opening it up to an audience Q&A. Also, Tippi was hilarious and pretty wonderful. I hope I can be like her when I get to be her age!
5. Ibuprofen.  Seriously, what would we do without that stuff? It's a miracle pill.
6. Heated seats in the red company car. It's the only one that has heated seats, and they make the many hours I spend driving around Chicagoland infinitely better.
7. A quiet day in the office.
8. I'm still thankful for the help I got from Derick while cleaning our rugs earlier this week. Everytime I walk down the hall I notice how nice the rug looks without all that cat fur all over it. It's nice to have a clean(ish) house!
9. Sunshine. Chicago may be colder than Seattle (usually....although not this month!!), but it more than makes up for it in sunny days.
10. That our audit at work is over. No more stressing about what's in the files and if we've forgotten anything. Audit is done, now we just have to wait for the results.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

March 27th - Heather

1.  I'm thankful that the vet gave Edward a clean bill of health.  Also glad that Edward sat so still for his last kitten shot!

2.  I'm also thankful for our morning routine.  Edward waits until I've finished using water in the sink and then crawls in so that I can pet him in between swipes of mascara! 

3.  Spearmint eucalyptus epsom salt!  It's amazing!  My bathtub isn't great for soaking, but that scented epsom salt makes it worth it! 

4.  I'm thankful for living close enough to work that I can skip packing a lunch and come home and whip something up.  It's also quite the distraction with two playful kitties at home...but nice none the less.

5.  The blogger app for droid.  This is the first time I'm using it...but it's nice to be able to have the picture on the device I'm blogging from.  (We'll see where the picture ends up being positioned!)

~ Heather

March 27th, 2012 - JJ

1. That Heather put together this blog for our 5 things so that more people can see them and we can spread our positivity further. 
2. Derick, who took me on the most amazing surprise date ever last night! We went to Girl and the Goat, which is so amazing that reservations are booked out 3 months in advance!  Which means that Derick has been planning this since before Christmas. On top of that, he knows me so well that he had to lie to me and be extremely sneaky in order to pull it off as an actual surprise since I am a snoop and always try to figure out where we're going and what we're doing the second he tells me it's a surprise. So he led me to believe that we were going to Haymarket because it's just down the street from the restaurant, by saying that we were going somewhere we'd been before and I'd know it when we headed that direction because it's the only thing in that area. He also folded up two pieces of paper and put them in his shirt pocket so I'd notice them and ask what they were so that he could tell me they were tickets to something. Then when we parked and were walking to the restaurant, he deliberately had us cross the street going toward Haymarket and away from Girl and the Goat. So it wasn't until we were in front of Haymarket and he pulled out the "tickets" to show me that they weren't tickets and started dragging me back across the street to Girl and the Goat. I almost cried I was so excited!!!! I love that he can pull off a surprise despite my best efforts to figure everything out. I don't even mind the lying. :)
3. The amazing food we ate last night! Delicious bread with a ridiculously awesome avocado aioli (avocado AND aioli? It's my two favorite things in one! SOLD!). Escargot ravioli in a sauce made of heaven itself. Fries cooked in ham fat with a smoky tomato aioli. Pig face. Wouldn't think that was delicious but it was so fantastic I can't even explain it! It had some kind of sauce with tamarind in it and there was a runny fried egg on top and I could've eaten it forever. The meat was perfectly tender and falling apart, but had some yummy little crunchy parts. Green beans with cashews in a fishsauce vinaigrette. I need to look up how to make this because Derick loved it which is something I rarely hear him say when we're talking about vegetables. Confit goat belly with lobster, crab, and bourbon butter. The bourbon butter had some vanilla in it that was totally unexpected but wonderul. It was my favorite dish of the night! Followed up by a thai chili gelato dessert that wasn't my favorite, but that's because I am pretty hard core when it comes to my critique of desserts and I'm used to Raymi's amazing creations. Overall, I would eat that exact meal all over again (with a different dessert) and be completely happy about it!
4. That I got to see Robyn, a friend from college, over the weekend and it was like we didn't even skip a beat even though I hadn't seen her in about 5 years. I love that! Also thankful for facebook since without it we would probably not have connected again.
5. Pedicures. My toes look so pretty and, unlike when I paint them myself, the polish isn't already messed up. Yay!
6. My co-worker, Jenna, for calling it like it is and having the balls to be blatantly honest. I could take a lesson.
7. That Derick helped me sweep and clean our rugs last night. The house is SO much nicer now that all the fur Muffin shed off in the 80 degree temperatures last week is off the floor and in the trash can.
8. A day in the office to catch up on paperwork. I'm sure I won't actually catch up, but it's nice to have the opportunity to get a lot of it done.
9. The FIre & Ice series (I think that's what the Game of Thrones series is actually supposed to be called...could be wrong). Whatever it's called, I love it and since I don't want to give any spoilers, I will leave it at that!!
10. The earphones with the microphone that came with the Blackberry I have for work. I use it ALL the time so that I can talk on the phone while doing housework as well as for driving. It's nice to be hands free! I"m also glad that it's not blue tooth, because I've lost two of those things to Muffin who thinks they're cat toys. This one should last quite a bit longer than the other two! :)

Monday, March 26, 2012

March 26th - Heather

1.  Half Price Books!  More specifically, I'm thankful for the extreme rarity of coupons for HPB!  This is thankful with just a hint of self congratulating!  I sold back the random text books in college that I was never inclined to reopen.  But generally speaking, I'm a book hoarder.  I finally sat down, inspired by my Christmas Kindle, to sell back some books.  Two boxes of books later.....and yes, my shelves are still quite full....I went to HPB with a 50% off coupon in hand!  I was very proud of myself, I walked in with two boxes of books and walked out with only two new books and some cash!  I didn't spend everything they offered me for my books.  The experience did make me miss Third Place Books in Seattle...but overall a very successful outing!

2.  Of course, the next thing I'm thankful for is going to be the books that I just so recently acquired!  The first is The Stuff of Thought by Steven Pinker and the other is A Year in the World by Frances Mayes.  I love knowing that if I can't physically travel the world then at least I can metaphysically travel the world through such great writing as A Year in the may be a detriment to my productivity until I've finished it.  My last vicarious vacation was with The Lost Girls and it, just as a true vacation, was over too soon!

3.  I am thankful for 366 Random Acts of Kindness.  It reminds me of how loving and truly decent people can be!  It also reminds me that I have much to be thankful for and the many ways that I can do more to give back to the communities in which I live!

4.  I'm thankful to be in the position of feeling like I have more vacation time than I know what to do with.  In my current position I earn 4 weeks of vacation at the beginning of each fiscal year (July).  So here it is the end of March and I still have three weeks of vacation time to take!  It really is a good problem to have, but none the less getting it all scheduled is only half the's to hoping that I get to spend some pleasant away from work time on these upcoming vacation days....I may even power down all of my electronic devices for an extended period of time! Oh my!  What a thought!?!

5. This last week, one of my student workers had an incident at her other job (a daycare) in which a 3 year old cut into one of her braids.  It happened earlier in the week, but I didn't hear about it until Friday.  I am thankful that she is comfortable enough with me to accept my offer to come over to my home and have my mom cut her hair.  Having curly hair I don't trust a hair stylist easily, so I completely empathized with her hesitancy to just go anywhere to have it "fixed"...and she was so busy that she really hadn't had time to attempt finding someone.  My mom has cut my hair for most of my life and has cut the hair of many of my friends over the years....I was so glad to be able to help her and so very thankful that my mother is so good-natured about me offering her services and then going home to tell her what I've signed her up for!!!!


Friday, March 23, 2012

March 23rd - Heather

Today, I'm thankful for:

1.  The break in heat....while I'm glad it's not snowing, it's been unseasonably warm and I wasn't ready for it.  I'm glad to be back in the 50's.

2.  The skylights above my bed.  It was amazing listening to the rain pound on the skylights and watch the lightening flash above me last night.

3.  This new found desire to blog...I'm not sure why I haven't done this before now!

4.  My gchat book club.  There's just three of us, but you put the three of us in that little gchat window and we can fill it faster than we can read it...and that's when we're not talking about books...though we fit that in there somewhere too.

5. and "Purchase with Points"!!!  I linked my Discover card to my Amazon account and was able to buy three of what JJ so affectionately calls "smarty pants books" with my cashback bonus was like getting them for FREE! :)