Wednesday, January 30, 2013

January 30th - Heather

1.  I'm thankful that Mahatma Gandhi is trending on Google+.  That may seem an odd thing to be thankful for, but I think that it's wonderful that enough people are talking about the anniversary of Gandhi's assisnation to keep it in the top 5 trending topics.

2.  The opportunity to go to the Marting Luther King Jr Museum in Atlanta, GA.  I was in Atlanta for a conference a few summers ago with two of my bosses and, luckily for me, they both wanted to go.  I was very intersted in the Gandhi artifacts in the museum.  I'm sure that I learned at some point in time that MLK Jr was influenced by Gandhi, but had forgotten until I was wandering through the museum.

3.  This image:

4.  The guys at Firestone on 76th who took care of my brakes this past weekend, namely Joe, Ryan and Travis!  As many of you may know I had some issues with my brakes at the beginning of last week.  But with the rediculously cold temperatures, I didn't want to be an alarmist and so I waited to see if there was still anything odd going on after the weather warmed like May.  On Saturday my mom and I were running errands in my car and at one point she went to get her bag out of the backseat and could smell the brakes burning....never a good thing.  I was on the verge of panic, not because I was concerned that the brakes would fail (which maybe I should have been), but becuase of how expensive it had been to fix them last...FYI don't drive with the Emergency Brake does nasty and costly things to your brake system.  So while I was driving my mom called the Firestone we almost always go to.  It's not the closest to home or work, but they have the best people.  Thankfully all of the really expensive parts were warranteed!!!  I didn't remember that they were, so that was a huge relief.  SO many aspects of this story to be thankful for...but what it comes down to is that since I can't just drop my car off with my dad, the mechanic, at least I can take my car to nearly complete strangers who I trust and who still treat me and my car with the care and concern that you'd expect from family!

5.  Thankful am I, that I did what I did,
That on the computer, my homework, I did,
So that if from the sky, they continue to fall,
Many little Whovilles, blast them all!
If they continue to fall and fall and fall,
I may not make it to class at all.
But all is not lost if I can't make it to class,
I can turn in my work and not look like an a**,
For on the computer, my homework, I did.

So if the forecast is accurate and true,
And get 4 to 6 inches of Whovilles we do,
With my books and my cats, at home I will be,
I'll be at home with blankets and hot tea,
Reading, crocheting or watching TV,
In class, far from home, I will not be,
Snow day?  Maybe not.  Snow night?
Only if it snows a lot, then maybe,we just might
Have a snow night, inspite of work that's due.

{Note: channel your inner Dr. Suess and reread that again, clearly I have this morning!}

Thursday, January 24, 2013

January 24th, 2013 - JJ

1. That I have such charitable friends. :) Emily is going to Thailand this year to do volunteer work. She'll be working with kids in the education system in Bangkok which is currently very overcrowded with far too few qualified teachers to go around. If you'd like to learn more about her upcoming trip and the overall cause or if you'd like to donate you can do so here:

2. The new photo apps I downloaded on my phone. Pretty excited about taking better pictures with them. :) 

3. That I was able to be a really good wife and take Derick's car in for an oil change yesterday on my way in to work. His tires were really low on air and one of his rear brake lights was out, so I was really glad I was able to make his car safer for him to drive. And Jiffy Lube got me in and out in under 20 minutes. It was crazy fast!

4. How the smell of orange stays on your skin after you peel an orange. 

5. For sleep. I didn't get as much as I would have liked last night, which makes me thankful that I'll be able to make up for it tonight. 

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

January 23rd - Heather

1. While my paycheck never feels like it goes far enough, I'm thankful that it covers a roof over my head and food to eat. This past Monday, in honor of MLK day, I toured three community service organization that are all within a few blocks of campus. Made me realize how little community service I've done since leaving AmeriCorps.

2. Upon returning to campus I started sending out emails to colleagues from across campus to ask them to join me on a venture to knit and/or crochet articles of clothing to donate to one of the organizations that helps clothe and feed the homeless as well as fire victims and domestic violence victims. I'm thankful that I received such an overwhelmingly positive response!

3. I'm thankful that I didn't crash my car on Monday when my brake lines froze. I know now to pump my brakes before taking the car out of park when the weather is this far below freezing. I got practically all the way home from work (accident free) before my car warmed up enough for me to push down on the brake pedal. It was a scary 10 minutes!!!!

4. New clothes...I hate what they cost, but my work wardrobe was in desperate need of an infusion.

5. The cool bookmark/pen holder that JJ and Derick gave me for Christmas. It's a big loop of elastic that slips over the book's cover and has an elastic pen loop attached to each end. I put it on my textbook last night for my research class and I love it!

January 23rd, 2013 - JJ

1. That Derick has been cooking so much lately. We've had some really amazing meals over the last few weeks and it's been really nice to be able to relax while someone else does the work of making food. :) 

2. Pinterest, for providing me with an awesome recipe for zucchini lasagna. Derick LOVED it. Probably because I used Cindy Townley's super rich meat sauce in it, but I'm still impressed that he liked a dish that substituted veggies in place of pasta. Also, it made a ton so we have left overs forever!

3. For the e-mail I got from Jess the other day. Made me smile.

4. That many of you notice when I get behind on these e-mails and prompt me to keep writing them. :) 

5. For my new computer. It's pretty amazing and honestly, long long overdue! I wrote this on facebook this morning, but it downloaded over 1000 pictures from my camera in less than 3 minutes. That's crazy!!  

6. For friends that I can talk about frozen boogers with. :) 

7. That Ripley is able to stay for almost 4 minutes now. We're up from less than 30 seconds, so that's pretty great! Now we just have to work on finishing this potty training business and she'll be the perfect dog!

8. For our neighborhood Dog Pack for always wearing Ripley out. Also thankful for everyone's parents/caregivers for being willing to bring the dogs out for at least half an hour even in the crazy cold weather we've been having. 

9. For my new job, which is very flexible and pretty awesome so far. Although I really miss my ladies at ICPN!

10. That we get to go home for the Super Bowl Party!!  I'm so excited! I've been missing it ever since I moved away. Can't wait!!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

January 10th, 2013 - JJ

1. Casey's 5 things today. I can't believe she's been doing them for a whole year! I'm so glad she started because I love reading hers. They're so insightful and she attaches pictures sometimes which totally makes my day. :)
2. Moravian cookies. They're so delicious, and they're teeny so you don't feel too awful about eating them.
3. That Adrienne is going to be in Chicago in February. I'm pretty excited to see her and catch up on what's been going on in her life!
4. The possibility of getting to talk to Jess tonight. Fingers crossed!
5. Candles. We lit candles and ate chocolate truffles and read together on the couch last night and it was so nice and relaxing. Candles make everything awesome. :) Also thankful for the Nook because I can read it even in the dark since it provides its own light.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

January 8th, 2013 - JJ

1. For warmer weather. It hit 40 yesterday and is supposed to hit 45 today. So much better than being in the teens!!
2. Oatmeal. It's SO delicious! This morning I put craisins, pineapple, and cinnamon in mine and it was amazing. Didn't even need sugar!
3. Downton Abbey. Such a great show! We watched the season 3 premier last night and I'm already chomping at the bit for more!
4. Tammy's pickled beets. I haven't been thankful for them lately (at least in this forum), but they are the best snack EVER. I've gone through an entire jar just this week.
5. For Derick, who had dinner cooking when I got home late last night. He made bacon mac and cheese, mashed cauliflower, and baked the meatloaf Kathy sent us home with. It was amazing! Looking forward to my left overs for lunch in a few minutes! :)

Monday, January 7, 2013

January 7th, 2013 - JJ

1. The yummy chicken and sweet potato chili that Kathy sent us home with this weekend. So delicious! Especially with the focaccia bread that Kathy taught me how to make. YUM!!!
2. That it's warmer today than it has been in a while. It was above 30 when I left for work. Horray!!
3. That I get to see Anna tonight.
4. Clean laundry.
5. That I don't have a headache or any coffee withdrawal symptoms. Today is day 1 of giving up coffee on weekdays (again). Impressive that I don't want to kill anyone yet.

Friday, January 4, 2013

January 4, 2013 - JJ

1. It's Friday already! I'm so ready for this weekend!
2. For my new scarves from Tammy and my new boots from my momma. I'm feeling pretty cute despite being bundled up for warmth. Horray for winter fashion! :)
3. That Derick got a free Nook a while back when he was trained to be a CPI trainer. We haven't used it much but I started using it this morning and I think I'm in love. Just what I need though, another electronic device to carry around...
4. That Allagash's fur is now poop free. Can't remember if I was thankful for this yesterday or not, but if I was it's worth repeating!
5. For the delicate little infinity ring Derick got me for Christmas. It arrived late, but it's so pretty and I love it!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

January 3rd - Heather

1. Train trips. I love riding the train, and I love that the train is so inexpensive and fast between Milwaukee and Chicago! Makes me want to take another cross-country trip on Amtrak...

2. The French Market at the Oglivie (that's so not spelled right...I can't pronounce it, I can't spell's the Metra station a few blocks north of Chicago's Union Station on Clinton). I had stopped in once before...but had never made it past the macarons. Well I walked all the way in today and was instantly overwhelmed! I thought it was just this little market that extended away from Vanille Patisterie and ended. Oh, no, it's a much bigger thing. As I walked past Vanille and the fresh produce, three aisles of wonderful food began to unfold before me. So I got some Indian food from one vendor, a cup of coffee from another and wound my way around taking it all in. And, of course, I had to get a tube of macarons on my way out!

3. The strangers willing to point me in the right direction while I was trying to find the French Market! I thought it was much closer to the Amtrak boarding gates than it was....but it was worth every step. I ended up following two different tracks over to it...I couldn't help but think of platform 9 & 3/4!!!

4. The reminder that I've lost my city feet in the last three years...which served as a renewed motivation to reacquire them! I know I'm at my heaviest living in the land of deep fried food...but moving around in Chicago reminded me of all the walking I did in DC. I need to work that movement back into my life.

5. E-tickets and the Amtrak app....I bought my ticket on my iPad and provided my ticket to the conductor paperlessly through the app! Gotta love technology!

January 3rd, 2013 - JJ

1. That we were able to get Allagash in to see a vet today to get groomed, finally. He's got to be sedated, poor thing, but at least he will come home smelling nice. Also thankful that we are able to get his shots updated at the same time. I've been a slacker of a kitty mommy lately. Best yet, I am thankful that Derick was able to drop Allagash off at the vet this morning on his way to work and that I get to work from home until it's time to pick him up later today. So nice not to have to sit in the waiting area and wait for him to be done with his appointment.
2. Again thankful for all the dogs that Ripley is friends with and for having such a great community of dog owners that I know through our amazing dog guru: Elena. I spent about an hour this morning watching several of the neighborhood dogs chase each other around. It really is the best way to start the day. I can't wait for summer and trips to the dog beach with our dog pack. Should be tons of fun!!
3. For renting, even though I'd really love to own a house. Today we're having some maintenance done and it's so nice to know that we won't have to pay anything to have things fixed, and that someone else can come over and take care of everything without me needing to worry much about it.
4. For Pinterest. I have so many great ideas of things I'd like to make and do! Now I just need to tear myself away from the computer and actually do those things instead of just pinning more stuff to do. :)
5. That I know that I'm not ready for, or in a position to have certain things that I want, even though I really want them, and that Derick and I are able to work together to plan for those things in the future. I am so glad I married someone who is frugal that I can learn from. Horray for budgets and long-term plans!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

January 2nd - Heather

1.  That Jimmy's company brought him out to Chicago for so long that he was able to spend a couple days up at my place.

2.  Also thankful that I was able to come down and spend new years with Jimmy, JJ, and Derick.  We drank, we laughed, we stayed up till dawn....ok, not quite dawn....but only because it's winter and dawn is rediculously late into the mid morning hours.  

3.  I'm thankful for the wonderful bread I stumbled upon this morning.  I went to a place for breakfast called Oak Tree and had pumpernickel raisin toast with my breakfast.  It was so good I bought a whole loaf to take home!

4.  A pink Lush bubble bath that I don't have to worry about slipping on afterwards!

5.  New year, new you commitments.  It seems a bit cliche to make a New Years resolution about my weight....but I'm going to do it anyway!  Here's to a new commitment to improve my health and (hopefully) drop some serious weight along the way!

January 2nd, 2013 - JJ

1. That I put in my 2 week notice at my job today. I will be sad to leave the friends I've made here, but I'm really looking forward to starting my new job on the 16th!
2. For time with Heather this weekend. It had definitely been way too long since we'd seen her!
3. That Allagash didn't scratch or hurt any of the employees at the Petsmart Grooming Center that he went to this morning. They were unable to serve us because apparently he was "too stressed out." If "stressed out" means he was behaving for them the way he was behaving for me when I tried to cut the poo matted fur off his butt yesterday, then it's pretty impressive that no one was injured. He's a fiesty little guy!
4. For mittens and warm clothing. It's so cold outside today!
5. For the left over broccoli cheese soup I ate for lunch today. It was so delicious!! I am still thankful that Derick was able to make it for me. Best soup ever!