Thursday, November 15, 2012

November 15th - Heather

1. Advance tickets!

2. Vampire socks and lipstick!
3. Vampire kitties (Edward and Alice)
4. Vampire charm....ok, that's a bit of a stretch, but its a red apple like the one on the cover of the first book.
5. Vampire make up!
Seeing Breaking Dawn on the Ultrascreen, priceless!

November 15th, 2012 - JJ

1. Getting to babysit the Utigard kids and their new puppy yesterday. I know I shouldn't compare Ripley to other puppies, but Cody and Ripley are SO different. Cody is the most chilled out puppy I've ever seen, and at first I was incredibly jealous since Ripley is so energetic and crazy. But then it turned out that Cody is a biter ("I was unaware that the Wachutus were biters!" Raymi, that's for you!), and I realized after he drew blood that I would rather have an energetic crazy puppy than a biter. So I am very thankful for getting to hang out with the kids and a chill puppy, and also for getting to go home to a crazy energetic puppy who doesn't bite hard enough to draw blood, ever.
2. I haven't had any obsessive Anna love in my 5 things in a while, so today I have to be thankful for her! I got to spend yesterday and this morning with her and I just love how much fun she is and how good she is at her job. I wake up excited to go to work on days that I get to see her.
3. Bandaids and neosporin, for puppy bites and cat scratches.
4. Marty! We get to babysit him until Monday night and he and Ripley were so cute this morning I could barely handle it. I can't wait till my afternoon apointment is over so I can go home and play with them. I hope he does his job and keeps Ripley happily occupied all weekend, and I hope Ripley keeps him distracted from chasing the cats.
5. Elaina, our dog watching lady, who sends me pictures and videos of Ripley during the day because she seems to sense that I am an overprotective helicopter mom who has a little separation anxiety. I love the pictures and videos. :) My puppy is so damn cute!
6. Derick, for bringing home fried chicken for dinner last night so I didn't have to cook.
7. That I'm old enough now that not a single person has asked me to go to the midnight showing of Breaking Dawn with them tonight. Also thankful that Breaking Dawn is out this weekend and that I get to see it soon!
8. That I found earrings in my wallet today. I forgot to put any on before I left the house and I feel naked without my jewelry, so I am thankful to have a pair to wear for the rest of the day.
9. Sleep. I'm not getting enough of it lately, but I'm thankful that I get more than I did when we first got Ripley.
10. Coffee. Helping me make up for the lack of sleep.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

November 13th - Heather

1.  I'm thankful for the mental space to distinguish between feeling overwhelmed and being overwhelmed.  I'm quite behind on my writing currently and while it feels overwhelming, I recognize that I'm currently in a position to take the time to catch up without it putting me farther behind.  Normally people say, take a step back and look at the whole picture (or something along those lines).  But that makes me more I'm going to take a step closer so that I can only focus on one thing at a time.

2. Our class project went really well last night.  As a whole class we were tasked with organizing and facilitatng a panel discussion on leadership.  And at the end of the night, when all was said and done, we stood around chatting, getting to know each other in a way we don't generally during our class discussions.  It was really nice.

3.  My classmates noticing how quickly I'm moving through crochet projects.  Granted they only see me once a week, but I'm finishing things fast enough that they almost always see me working on a different project before class.  I'm still just doing the basics....but I'm getting the single crochet down pat!

4.  That the first snow flurries of the season didn't stick around yesterday.  I'm not prepared to have to think about driving home from class late at night in snowy nasty conditions.

5.  Coffee....the only thing that is going to keep me awake through class and until I finish my paper tonight!!!

Monday, November 12, 2012

November 12th, 2012 - JJ

1. Elaina, our dog sitter, who is starting today. I'm kind of sad to miss my middle of the day puppy break, but my work should improve quite a bit. And Elaina is in love with Ripley, so I'm not worried about her at all (kinda...).
2. The delicious rice pudding I made yesterday from a recipe that Nika sent me. I'm eating left overs right now and it's DELICIOUS. :)
3. That the office is pretty quiet today, aside from the banter in my office (which I quite enjoy for the most part).
4. The peacock feather earrings that Heather bought me when she was in Portland. I'm wearing them today and I love them!!!
5. All the fancy cooking stuff we have in our kitchen now. Cooking is so much more fun with awesome tools!
6. Salted caramel sauce for my coffee, and Jenna for making it with me. Soooooo delicious and becoming a necessity in my life.
7. Derick's belly laugh. Nothing is better than when Derick finds something really truly funny and he can't contain himself. I looooove that sound! It makes my day every time I hear it.
8. The new James Bond movie. Saw it Sunday with Derick, and it was great!
9. The crazy warm weather we had in Chicago this weekend. It got up to 70! Insane!! Then this morning it was down to 32. Winter is coming. :(
10. Morning snuggles with Ripley. I just love that puppy way too much!

November 12th - Heather

1.  I'm thankful for social crafty time.  This past Friday, mom and I went to a knitting night (but there were about half of us doing crochet projects) at the Beading Hearts studio in downtown Waukesha.  One of the nice things about yarn crafting is that it is easy to pack it up and take it along for a social hour...or two...or three.  :)

2.  Crazy kitten nuzzles is the middle of the night.  I can't believe I've had Alice for over two months now, and for as big as she's gotten in that time, she's still so tiny.  It still cracks me up when she starts purring and nuzzling kisses into my nose when she sees my eye lids flutter open - or half open, really - in the middle of the night.

3.  My big oversized pashmina from DC.  I love being wrapped up in it when the temperature outside is so cold.  It's perfect to have on hand when it goes from 67 degrees at nightfall to the mid 20's in the middle of the night!

4.  That the stress-induced pimple factory that is my face is calming down, finally!  I am open to any stress management tips you want to send my way!  Feel free to add comments below!  I tend to be horrible and hold my anxiety and stress in, until it comes bubbling out of my face in a manner only marginally better than boils.  How do you deal with your daily stresses?

5.  Make-up that does a decent job of covering up aforementioned pimple factory without making them worse!  I do try to not wear makeup everyday.  But some meetings necessitate the mask of the warrior...I mean, war, looking professional. ;-)

Friday, November 9, 2012

November 9th, 2012 - JJ

1. Laughing until I cried this morning while telling Matt the story of Shannon getting the doors of the tube car in London closed on her head. That story always makes me laugh until I cry, which is usually embarassing since no one else thinks it's that funny since they weren't there. But I really really love it! :)
2. Friday!!! Can't wait till quittin time!
3. Tammy, whose birthday was yesterday. She's the best mother in law I could've asked for and I am so thankful to have her in my life! Love you!
4. Ripley, who is adorable and such a good little puppy. We had two days straight of no accidents! Horray!!!
5. I've already earned my next free Starbucks drink. Can't wait to cash that in soon for another gingerbread latte. Best drink they make!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

November 8th, 2012 - JJ

1. Lauren Hopkins, who is hilarious and probably has no idea how awesome I think she is. She had the only post-election facebook status that I could really get behind, which was, in summary, that people should stop being asshats to each other and find some common humanity regardless of who they voted for. She also posted hilarious things about gorillas all day on election day, which was my favorite part of election day this year because it was just that funny.
2. My mom. I could really use some mom time lately and I wish she didn't live so far away from me.
3. Forgiveness, both given and received, even if it's unspoken. It feels good.
4. The food at Revolution. Looking forward to eating the other half of my corned beef reuben for lunch today. Also thankful for the company we always have at Revolution: Emily and Jake.
5. For a girl time/puppy play date to look forward to on Saturday. Jenna and I are both out of salted caramel sauce now, so getting together to make some more seemed like a perfect excuse for giving our men a break and getting the puppies together. I can't wait!
6. Alias! What the what happened at the end of Season 2, OMG?!?! If I didn't have so much house work and paper work to catch up on today I'd probably still be sitting on my couch, well into season 3. Oh man.
7. Nika, for always giving me great recipes and cooking tips! Wish we lived closer so we could cook together regularly!
8. Derick, for being able to laugh at himself and not only tolerating, but encouraging stories of hilariously embarassing things he's said and done in the past to be retold regularly.
9. The ability to hide people's facebook posts from your newsfeed. I cannot look at another rescue animal right now. I have a small zoo in my house as it is. These are things I do not need to see every day right now.
10. That Derick has Amazon prime, so anything I order through his account shows up within 2 days. Love it!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

November 6th, 2012 - JJ

1. I'm thankful for this often in these e-mails, but it's worth repeating: I am so thankful for a flexible job, where I can work from home when I'm not feeling well. Further, I'm thankful that fate cleared my schedule today making it possible to work from home all day.
2. For pajamas, which I am still wearing. I'm also thankful that Derick had one last clean sweatshirt that I could wear. We're awfully behind on our laundry at the moment, and since it's been cold out lately I've managed to go through all of my own sweatshirts in the last week. Amazing how quickly things get dirty when you're a puppy mommy.
3. For a working furnace, and that the pilot light hasn't gone out again since the last time our land lord was here to fix it. I'm also thankful that while Derick is at work today I can turn the heat up as high as I want!! I'm currently sitting in a toasty 72 degree apartment! And somehow I'm still finding it necessary to be wearing pants, a sweatshirt, and socks, and to be covered up in a warm blanket.
4. For delicious food. Specifically for the delicious moroccan couscous and tilapia that Derick made last night. I just ate the left overs for lunch and they were AMAZING. I could eat tilapia in that marinade every single day and never get sick of it! Also thankful for chocolate chip cookies. Always good for brightening up a blah day.
5. That Ripley sleeps so much. I have been SO productive with work stuff today and that wouldn't have been possible if she hadn't been sleeping all morning.
6. For all of Ripley's friends, who entertain her for hours and wear her out so she sleeps hard and terrorizes Allagash less. I'm also thankful for them because after yesterday's awful morning meeting it was great to be able to come home and watch my puppy play with a bunch of big dogs and put all the work drama out of my mind. Very therapeutic.
7. That I got to talk to Jessica for a few minutes this morning while she drove to work. Gotta love best friend time when you can get it!
8. That I woke up feeling fully rested this morning and was able to take over Derick's early morning puppy duty for him so he could sleep in. Helps that I fell asleep sometime between 8 and 9 last night, so I'm thankful for that too. :)
9. That Thanksgiving is almost here. It's my favorite holiday and I cannot wait!
10. For my home with Derick. I love it, even though I sometimes feel like we live in a tiny zoo these days. I always want to come home to him (or for him to hurry up and get home to me). I love that sharing space with him isn't work (no matter how often I joke about doing all the housework), and that we both take care of each other in different ways. Now, is it 5:00 yet? I want to see my husband walk through our front door!

Election Day 2012 - Heather

It's Election Day!  My friends in DC are going back to the bar we went to four years ago for this very evening.  DC is electric on nights like this.  I wrote a reflection in 2008 the day after the election, so that I could always look back and remember how amazing the night was.  I only lived in DC for two years, but stories like this make those two years worth it.  I'm living in Wisconsin currently and wishing more than anything that I didn't have class tonight and could be in DC for the evening.

For my five things today, I want to share that reflection.  Enjoy!

Election Night 2008

I didn't want to stay home for election night. I live in Washington DC and I wanted to feel the spirit of the city on that night in particular. So I began the search for where to go, because deciding not to stay home is only halfway to having a great night. I typed "DC Democrat bar" into Google. I didn't get great results so I tried "Obama results election night." This search query returned a blog that listed about 10 places that were having Obama parties for election night. My eyes fell upon Bohemian Caverns with great excitement. I had been wanting to go there for awhile having driven past numerous times to and from my bosses house.
It was five dollars to get in, which is normally a deal breaker for me. I'm kind of cheap and prefer not to pay cover. I decided this was a night worth paying for. Then I had to convince my friends that the night was worth not only paying for but going all the way across town for. We live on Capitol Hill and one of my friends really wanted to stay home and watch the results come in. I decided I had conceded to too many nights in places that I didn't necessarily want to be...we were going to the club that I wanted to go to for this night. I wasn't conceding this night...that was for McCain to do.
And so it came to be that this white, twenty-something, college-educated woman was at Bohemian Caverns on U St NW on election night. When we first arrived at 6:30 the main floor - the only floor with food service and televisions - was packed and the rest of the place still had plenty of elbow room. I was with two hungry boys at this point as my girlfriend and her boyfriend were still on their way from the Hill. We had our hands stamped and headed off to the infamous Ben's Chili Bowl for dinner.
About an hour later, the five of us headed back to Bohemian Caverns. There was a line by that time and since only three of the five of us had already paid our cover we waited in line. We made our way up to the second floor with CNN projected onto the wall next to the jumping balloon. As the drinks and the results started flowing in, the party started. I'm pretty sure the last time I screamed that hard was at a sporting event! With every CNN projection for Obama I got louder and jumped further off the ground. I was thrilled to see Virginia go to Obama and elated to see Ohio go to Obama as well.
After more than three hours of screaming and jumping - in and out of the jumping balloon - the election was called for Obama. The response of the crowd was more excited than New Years. There was hugging, high-fiving and high-pitched screaming. And the crowds began to leave the bars and crowd the streets. U St became impassable by car within 30 minutes. It was an amazing scene. I watched from the second-story window of Bohemian Caverns. We were waiting for McCain's concession speech and Obama's acceptance speech before we hit the streets.
I began the evening adorned in a blue and gray striped dress, my gold chain, red winter coat and red Guess bag. As we hit the streets the night's accumulations amounted to a white plastic hat with an American flag band on my head, gold curly streamers that my friend taped onto the top of the hat, a chain of blue beads around my neck, and a red, white and blue streamer wrapped around my neck like a skinny scarf. I looked like the 4th of July - Uncle Sam as one friend observed - as we walked into the street into a crowd of people and cars. It was the happiest traffic jam I'd ever seen.
People randomly came up to me asking to take their picture with me...I'm not sure if it was in homage to my very apparent patriotism or a nod to my lacking sanity. Either way it was an amazing night. My friend said that he wished he'd had a camera to take a picture of the scene in the street. I said, 'I don't need a camera to remember what I'm seeing here tonight!' At the end of the night there were only three words that came close to encapsulating the feelings, energy and scene of the night: Yes We DID!!!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

November 3rd - Heather

1.  I'm thankful for the invite to join one of my colleagues, Lynn, to attend a Stampin' Up Open House. I got to feed my mom a new addiction and we got to spend an afternoon crafting, shopping and chatting with wonderful ladies (and gent)!

2.  The word count feature on Google Docs.  I'm writing my novel in Google for the NaNoWriMo challenge and I love that I can tell it to only count the words in a highlighted section.  I fell a couple hundred words short of my goal today...but I can make that up easily tomorrow.

3.  Cute and cuddly kitties...especially when they do something this cute:
Edward is the tabby to the top left, Jacob is the white cat to the top right and little Alice is the tortishell in the front center!

4.  A whole day tomorrow to be super productive and write my paper and do my laundry and, and, and.....ok, I have more to do that I'll get to in one day....but I don't have to leave the house for any reason.  I can stay shut up in my space writing all day!

5.  The new fun tester size goodies I got at Ulta tonight.  I love dabbling in pint size products.

Friday, November 2, 2012

November 2nd - Heather

1.  I'm thankful for a garage to park my car in!  It got down around freezing last night and as I drove to work this morning I saw other cars that were still frosted over.  If I have to live somewhere that gets this cold, I'm at least thankful that I don't have to spend the extra time in the mornings to defrost my car!  (PS, I'll be thankful for this again when it starts snowing and I don't have scrap snow off my car either!)

2.  The bottle of Excedrin in my desk drawer!  The sun, while pretty, was so glaringly bright this morning that even with sunglasses, it instantly gave me a migraine!  :(  Not fun.  But it's beginning to subside ever so slowly!!!

3.  Interlibrary Loan....bringing the books of the world to a library near me!

4.  A brillant's to hoping my professors approve!

5.  An adjustable keyboard tray...especially on days like today when I'm feeling extra fidgety.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

November 1st - Heather

1.  Red tea with chai spices.  It makes a great chai tea latte with egg nog and there's no caffeine, so I don't have to worry about how much of it I drink!!!

2.  Feeling inspired.  It's the first day of the NaNoWriMo challenge and I'm on my way to getting all of my words written for the day.  The goal is to write just under 1700 words every day over the course of the month of November so that by the end of the month I have a 50,000 word novel.  I outlined my story yesterday, but couldn't start writing until today.  I just have a couple hundred more words to go for today and I'm feeling great.  I was worried earlier in the day.  I was focusing on all of the details of the story that I hadn't thought about yet.  Then I just focused on writing about the parts that I had outlined knowing that I could add specific details later.  This is going to be fun!  I can't believe that I had never heard of this before.  It started in 1999!!!

3.  Google docs!  I can work on my novel from anyplace at anytime without having to worry about where it is saved!  I can pull it up on my laptop, my iPad, the computer in my's great!

4.  That the early Christmas fanatics are starting to come out of their hiding places.  I've read a few status updates from a  few different friends who are listening to Christmas music or starting to put up some decorations already!  I love it!  And I fully support it!!!

5.  My friend Amy.  I know her heart is hurting right now for the loss of a loved one.  I wish I could make it better.  Or at least be there to sit with her.  It's so hard to always be so far from friends!  If you're reading this Amy, then imagine me sitting there on the couch next to massaging your scalp!