Monday, December 31, 2012

December 31st, 2012 - JJ

1. Our heated blanket. I forgot how hard it can be to stay warm in Chicago this time of year. Thankful for the heated blanket to snuggle up under!

2. For all of Ripley's dog friends. We are so blessed to live in an area with so many dogs for her to play with! Nothing like starting your day with a cup of coffee and watching a bunch of dogs run around together. They're so cute!

3. That Heather and Jimmy will be spending New Year's with Derick and I! I am so excited she's in town! It's been way too long since I've had quality Heather time. 

4. Pinterest, which I am now addicted to thanks to Derick's cousin Samantha. 

5. That it's not supposed to snow any time soon, and that my weather app is telling me it will get warmer towards the middle of the month for a few days. 

Sunday, December 30, 2012

December 30th, 2012 - JJ

1. That Derick was willing to stay up late last night and make broccoli cheese soup for me after I screwed it up the first time. I wanted that soup so bad and even though we didn't eat it until 11pm, it was worth the wait!!  Derick is now officially the roux chef in our house, and I'm looking forward to many more batches of broccoli cheese soup (and maybe lots of other kinds too!) in the future! :)

2. That I was able to fix up Derick's hand after an unfortunate (and minor, don't worry, Tammy!) kitchen accident involving our mandolin this morning. Most of you are aware that I do not do well with blood, but I didn't feel sick or even too stressed out while bandaging up his finger, which is pretty impressive for me! 

3. Facetime and making time to chat with family and friends. I love it!

4. That Derick helped me with putting away all the Christmas decorations and organizing our house over the last few days. We still have to figure out how to make room in our storage locker for the boxes of Christmas stuff, but other than that, our house is looking pretty good which feels great!

5. That Ripley is learning to hold her bladder for long periods of time, which decreases the number of times I have to go down and back up the stairs at our house. Horray for puppy potty training! 

6. For Tammy's pasta salad which is heavenly! I had some for lunch today and didn't want it to end!

7. That we were able to see Abby for a few hours while she was in Chicago yesterday. We went to Revolution and had a great time! I wish we could've had more time with her!

8. For our new humidifier (Thanks, Tammy!) which we ran in our bedroom last night while we slept. It provided great background noise to drown out the sounds of the sirens - I mean, city! - and is hopefully doing good things for my dried out skin.

9. That Derick sat down with me and helped me work out some goals for the next few years. I'm a long term planner, and it feels good to have things on paper to keep me/us on track! Included in those goals is a plan to tackle the mess of figuring out where we want to move in a year and a half. On that note, I'm also thankful for compromise and patience.

10. For sunshine even when it's 17 degrees outside. The sunny days we get in Chicago will make the next three months of frozen hell in the midwest a little more bearable than they would be otherwise.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

December 25th - Heather

I woke up this morning thinking about Christmas traditions. It's hard to keep traditions alive when so many things change year to year and new places bring new traditions. But over the years a few have endured and I thought I would share them with you tonight!

1. Opening one present on Christmas Eve...ok, not quite...the tradition part is actually me asking my mom if we could open one gift before bed on Christmas Eve. She has always said no...but every year I ask.

2. Christmas lights on Christmas Eve. I don't remember when this started, but I was apparently very young. I never wanted to turn the Christmas lights off at night. We always had lights strung up all around the room and multiple strands on the tree (colored lights around the boughs and clear lights illuminating the trunk). Somewhere along the line I convinced my mom to let me leave the lights on all night on Christmas Eve.

3. Making the coffee on Christmas morning. As a child, Christmas was the only day of the year I was a morning person. I would wake between 2 and 4 am, sneak out to look at the tree and then race to my parents room. There was no waking my dad gently in the middle of the night, so I always started with my mom. Tapping her arm, shaking her shoulder, opening her eyelids and asking if anyone was year she finally told me that they would get up once there was coffee I made coffee, brought a cup for mom and a cup for dad. And a tradition was born. It's been my job to make the coffee on Christmas morning ever since.

4. Hiding presents inside the Christmas tree. I'm spoiled to come from a family that likes to gift jewelry. Needless to say there have always been small boxes exchanged on Christmas morning. Instead of putting the smallest boxes on the floor with the other presents, we nestled them on tree branches close to the trunk wondering if the giftee would find all the little boxes.

5. Turkey dinner. When we lived abroad, my mom literally cooked for an army...a bunch of the soldiers that worked with my dad came over and ate, ate, ate. For the last ten years, it's generally just been just my mom and I and a 20 pound turkey...I finally convinced her to cook a smaller bird a few years ago. This year I convinced her to break tradition all together. We had pork roast and a root vegetable dish that might not be a new tradition!

It's hard to remember sometime that traditions are fluid, not set in stone. All that matters is that you enjoy them and the ones you hold dear.

What are some of your holiday traditions?

Thursday, December 20, 2012

December 20th, 2012 - JJ

1. For Derick, and how thoughtful each of the many (15!) Christmas presents he bought me were. Especially loving the infinity necklace and the box with the red wine, cheese its, bath bombs, and bath pillow! :)
2. That Derick loved my gift to him. I was a little worried about it, but it turns out I was spot on. YAY!
3. The giant Christmas tree cupcake I just ate that Jenna brought to the office. YUM!
4. All the people in my life that I can talk about dragons with. I love dragons!
5. Round brushes and curling irons for making my hair fun.

Monday, December 17, 2012

December 17th, 2012 - JJ

1. For Derick, who wrote a bunch of things he loves about me on post-it notes and covered our kitchen cabinets with them as a surprise for me when I got home from Seattle last night. He also cleaned the whole house which was amazing! And he took care of Ripley all week while I was gone and didn't even complain about it.
2. That Ripley didn't cry at all last night after moving her crate into our bedroom. Fingers crossed that this is the key to crate training success and we never hear another sad/frustrated peep out of her while she's in that thing.
3. That Steve and Kimberly's wedding went off without a hitch! Also thankful that I had a great time despite not knowing anyone there besides the bride and groom. I guess I should also be thankful for alcohol, since that's part of what helped me get out of my comfort zone and onto the dance floor. I'm also thankful for Joy, Kimberly's cousin, who is wonderful and amazing and is my new BFF, without whom I probably would've bailed on the wedding reception early.
4. For everyone in Seattle who made an effort to hang out with me while I was in town, and for those who were content to do whatever I wanted to do while I was there. I didn't get to see everyone which was a bummer, but I only spent a few hours being stressed out about making the people I couldn't see unhappy and that is pretty good for me!
5. That my mom is so teeny now she can wear my clothes. And that she looked so awesome in the dress I wore for the wedding last week that she bought one for herself! Go mom!! :) And on that note, I'm very very thankful that I somehow managed to lose weight while I was in Seattle (despite eating every single last french fry in the poutine I ordered with Raymi & Megan and drinking multiple Starbucks holiday drinks per day, every day). Not sure how this was possible, but I'm just gonna go with it!
6. Lastly, I am thankful for The Hobbit which makes me happier than I can express. Peter Jackson is amazing and I am so glad he made the movie for the fans rather than making it to impress the Academy and win awards. I'm also thankful for all the geeky friends I have who love it as much as I do. I can't wait to go see it with Derick in the fancy 3D that Peter Jackson intended it to be seen in!! I wish I was a hobbit and that wizards were real. And I can't wait to see the dragon in the second movie. This first one was a bit of a tease when it came to Smaug.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

December 11th, 2012 - JJ

1. For the delicious dinner Derick cooked for me on Sunday night: pumpkin soup with apple chili relish to start, pumpkin & mushroom risotto with bacon, and pumpkin toffee cookies with salted caramel glaze for dessert! I've been wanting a pumpkin meal for a while and it was so delicious! And he even cleaned up most of the dishes so I didn't have to. What a good husband I have!
2. For the dinner Derick took me to on Saturday night to celebrate his promotion at work. We went to ING and had their 10 course "Nightmare Before Christmas" themed tasting menu. It was delicious! And I'm further thankful that my body tolerated the duck course better than it usually tolerates duck. The duck course was the best one so of course I had to eat it anyway.
3. For the lady at the Southwest check in counter that helped me out this morning. She was able to change my ticket from my married name to my maiden name since I don't have an ID with my married name yet, and then she was able to change my Southwest Rapid Rewards card name from my maiden name to my married name so that I don't have to deal with that later. I'm also thankful that I had the foresight to take my passport with me (which says my maiden name, still), so that when I come back to Chicago (after updating my license from my maiden name to my married name while I'm in Washington) I'll be able to use that for my ID so it will match my boarding pass which will still say my maiden name. This name change thing is so complicated!
4. For Elena, our dog watcher, who agreed to have Ripley at full day doggy day care for the rest of the week while I'm gone, to take the pressure off of Derick to keep her exercised and entertained all by himself. Ripley has so much fun at Elena's with all her dog friends and Elena genuinely loves her, which eases any anxiety I have about being away from my puppy baby.
5. For FaceTime, which will allow me to see Derick while I'm gone. It's the best thing ever and I'm pretty excited that we both have phones and iPads that we can use FaceTime on to stay connected when we have to be apart. Definitely helps to know I'll be able to see him even if he's not right in front of me, since it feels weird to be leaving him for so long (smooooooooooshy!).

6. Dane, for agreeing to pick me up from the airport when I land in Seattle later today.

7. That my flight is only delayed 35 minutes. Could be so much worse!!

8. For my work laptop, which is keeping me entertained while I sit at the airport all by myself waiting for a delayed flight. Though admittedly, it's not keeping me entertained with work. So I guess I'm also thankful for facebook and gchat!

9. The Big Long E-mails my dad writes from the Caymans each year. They're one of my all time favorite things ever and I look forward to them whenever my parents travel! Now if only he would send me a draft of this year's Noiseletter then I'd be SUPER thankful!!

10. All the time I'm about to spend with friends that I don't see nearly enough. It will be weird to be away from Derick, but I'm thankful for the opportunity to have quality time with my girls at home (and with Dane, James, and Casey too!). I'm very thankful that I have the ability to travel home as often as I do, and that I still have so many people who love me and want to spend time with me in the Pacific Northwest!

Friday, December 7, 2012

December 7th - Heather

1.  On the 7th day of Christmas boxes, MommaSanta gave to me...a cute pair of smoky quartz earrings!  {I'll get my act together and start getting some pictures in here with tomorrow's post! :)}

2.  Flavored brewed coffee...more specifically...I love the hazelnut coffee at AuBonPain!

3.  I woke up more awake this morning than I did yesterday!  I felt like I was in a cloud of semi-unconsciousness all day yesterday.  I'm feeling much more alert today!  {And I was up later to boot!  Go figure.}

4.  Edward, one of my cats, who waits for exactly the moment that I put the iPad down and am ready to get to work on homework.  He choses that moment to run upstairs and jump into my lap between me and my computer!  He's much cuter than my research (and he purrs) so he usually wins....until I look at the clock and put him down.

5.  Style points at Ulta!  I get all of my Deva Curl hair care goo from Ulta and most of my makeup I rack up points pretty easily.  When they switched over this year to a point system that was redeemable for dollars off your purchase, I told myself that I was going to keep my points and roll them over until Christmas time.  I knew that there would inevitably be something that I wanted or needed this time of the year and that I wouldn't want to spend money on myself.  Last night when I went in to get my pomade and new NoPoo Dry Shampoo (ps, loving it so far, jury is still out though since I've only used it once, this morning) I decided to cash in my points...they were worth over $20 was great!!!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

December 6th - Heather

I always say it, but never cease to be amazed by how fast time flies.  I'm sorry not to have shared the many things I have been thankful for since my last post.  Please don't think that I'm un-thankful on days I miss a posting.  So let's get to the things that I'm thankful for today! :)

1.  Diamonds.  A couple of years ago my mom found these advent calendars that have little boxes that can be filled with anything.  She, of course, has filled it with jewelry and chocolate every year.  This year she put the big ta-da gift earlier in the spread (so I'd have time to enjoy them before/if the world ends on the 21st!).  So my advent gift today was a beautiful pair of diamond earrings. 

2.  The end of the semester is in sight!  I'm feeling the lack of sleep that's been building over the semester.  One big paper, a few little papers and done!  So exciting!  {Then I start my thesis core in the Spring....scary!!!}

3.  Half a novel...okay, really closer to a third or so.  I participated in NaNoWriMo for the first time this year.  I didn't quite keep pace with writing every day.  But I did get a great start written and am looking forward to finishing my novel over the winter break and then editting it in the coming months!

4.  Creativity.  I feel as though I have been more inspired this year than usual.  In terms of writing, I have written more.  In terms of crafting, I have learned how to crochet and have crocheted many holiday gifts.  It feels good to be creative. 

5.  Having too much research for my final paper.  It's a good problem to have.  But I realized that I had to push a few resources to the back burner for this paper.  This also means I have a (small) jump start on the literature review for my thesis! Yay!!!

December 6th, 2012 - JJ

1. That I've remembered to write this list a second day in a row! Horray!
2. For the smell of coffee. I started my pot brewing right before I got in the shower and by the time I got out of the shower the whole house smelled like delicious, amazing coffee! Yum!
3. For always having laughs at work when the people I share an office with are there with me. My "going to the office" behavior is definitely maintained by access to jokes at this point. My "going to observations/meetings in the field" behavior is maintained by access to Anna.
4. French fries, sweet tea, and wings. Wing Stop has opened down the street from my office. I'm about to be very, very fat, and very, very happy!
5. Girls' night at my house tonight! I can hardly wait!!
6. For my dad, whose birthday is today. Wish I could celebrate with him, but no, someone has to go away to the Cayman Islands every year for his birthday.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

December 5th, 2012 - JJ

1. For how pretty our home looks with all our Christmas decorations up. It's so nice to get up and turn the Christmas lights on and feel festive. :)
2. For the Daily Deals at Michael's. Yesterday I bought Martha Stewart's glitter set and glitter pen set for 50% off! And the day before that I got three 9 foot garlands for $1.99 each when they were supposed to be $7.99 each. What a deal! :)
3. For hand lotion. Even though we've had great weather this month (strange for Chicago!) my hands are cracking like crazy! Thank god for lotion to fix it!
4. I get to go to Seattle next week!
5. That my Christmas shopping is almost completely done. Just a few more items to get and I'm finished. Yahoo!