Monday, September 30, 2013

September 30th, 2013 - JJ

1. For puppy play dates. Ripley got lots of time with Ben this weekend and even got some time with a new friend, Alton. I'm also thankful that Ripley helped Ben and Alton to get along better for a few hours. I'm so used to hearing about how she's caused problems, so it was really nice to have her be part of a solution. :) 

2. Zucchini "lasagne". SO delicious and also not too bad for you (except for the ridiculous amount of olive oil in the pasta sauce we made.....oh well!). Very thankful to have left overs for this week and that there's another batch in the freezer for an easy meal on a day when we don't feel like cooking.

3. My espresso machine and salted caramel sauce. My mornings are delicious.

4. For lots of movie dates this weekend. We saw Don Jon and Prisoners, both of which were really good.

5. For adorable babies. I got to see week old Alexandria Grace yesterday and she is so stinkin' cute!! Can't wait till I get to see her again. And her parents are pretty awesome, too. :)

6. For the pumpkin Derick bought me so we can get our house decorated for Halloween! It's so pretty! 

7. For all the veggies and squash Derick also bought for me. I loooooove Butternut squash and I'm excited to try some new Spaghetti squash recipes. 

8. That we started moving on unpacking the rest of our boxes. Yesterday we tackled the two giant ones that have been sitting in front of/next to my desk and it's so nice to have extra space in my work area today!  

9.  For an extra morning of getting to wake up slowly and snuggle with Derick. Unfortunately this only happened this morning because Derick isn't feeling well and stayed home sick from work, but it was still a nicer way to wake up on a Monday than usual.

10. For FaceTime. Got to talk with Pam and Kelly on FaceTime this weekend while my parents were at their place for dinner. I miss them!  It was so nice to be able to see their smiling faces and chat even if it was only for a few minutes. 

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

September 25th - Heather

1.  A small group collaboration evening that was both fun and productive....okay, maybe we could have been a bit more productive, but we all made progress so I call it a win!

2.  The discounted car wash when filling up my gas tank....I love it when Sadie is sparkly clean!

3.  The look on Alice's face when I came home tonight.   She was perched at the top of the loft stairs looking at me like yeah, so where have you been all night!  I'm here and ready for bed.....which really translates to ready to chomp on your fingers while we play the feline version of dancing phalanges!

4.  Using coconut oil as face wash.  I've been using it for quite awhile now and I'm still pretty amazed at how well it works.

5.  The yummy cupcakes that Mary Beth brought in yesterday in honor of my birthday.  So malicious and delicious!  :)

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

September 24th, 2013 - JJ

1. For the new iOS7. I hated it at first and it definitely took some getting used to, but now I feel like I have a brand new phone which is pretty fun. :)  I changed my lock screen and home screen photos so now every time I get to look at my phone I get a little excited. Sometimes it's the small things in life.

2. That Derick took Ripley to daycare for me today. Helped me get a lot more done this morning than I would have otherwise.

3. For the oreo peanut butter I made from a pinterest recipe. It's so good on apples, guys. So good!

4. For books. 

5. For having a very productive morning.

Monday, September 23, 2013

September 23rd, 2013 - JJ

1. For new jeans and boots. Fall is coming (even if the weather refuses to give in), and it is nice to know I'll have appropriate footwear (like boots that don't have holes that let all the rain and melted snow right into my socks). :) It's also nice to have jeans that don't have holes in them again.

2. For Outlet malls and sales. I spent a lot less than I thought I would have for the jeans and boots I got.

3. For my phone. Without it I wouldn't be able to keep up with friends who are so far away. I live for catch up phone dates these days. 

4. For getting to visit Abe & his wife in the hospital after they had their baby this weekend. Alexandria is the cutest little thing!! Also thankful that mom and baby are healthy and recovering well.

5. For time with the Utigards. I got to babysit twice last week and I have so much fun with those kids. Makes me miss Dane, though! 

6. For the long flowy cardigan Derick got me. Definitely feels like fall when I wear it. :) 

7. Falling asleep to the sound of the crickets outside. It's not as good as the frogs and/or rain in Seattle, but I'll take it.

8. For this: thanks to Heather! :)

9. For my Halloween coffee mug. Don't care that it's not October yet, I'm using it every day.

10. For my dad's idea that maybe they'll make a Dexter movie.  I was so disappointed by the finale. The hope for a movie to right the wrongs is helping me recover. :) 

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Sept 19th - Heather

1.  Pumpkin cream cheese.  Yummmm

2.  Apple Crumb muffins from Costco...especially with pumpkin cream cheese on them!

3.  I crocheted up a little hat for a coworker's daughter.  Kendall is 3 and battling Leukemia.  I get to give it to her father tomorrow to take to her!
4.  Gatorade.  I don't necessarily like the flavor....although they've gotten much more palatable as of late....but I've been feeling a little out of sorts and the gatorade is helping a little bit today.
5.  5k Training....not that I'm looking to run a 5K any time soon.  But a group of colleagues were getting together to train for a 5k that the university hosts and I decided it was the perfect opportunity to work on establishing a habit for moving!  I'm plugging my way through, I feel like I'm dragging, hence the gatorade!  But I'm still working on it.
6.  Bonuses since it's been so long since my last mom has moved into a new position within the same organization and her name was selected by a local radio station for lunch for her and 25 coworkers.  When she came home last night (well, really when I got home from class), she was telling me that the lunch was a ton of fun and that afterward she sent a 5 Things email to her coworkers.  It warmed my heart to hear her tell me about the things she was thankful for and the things that her coworkers responded with. 
Momma said it best: "We just spend so much time focusing on the feels good to think about the positive things."  Some days I struggle to come up with 5 specific things that I'm thankful for.  Sometimes it's because I dismiss the little things (like waking up that morning), and sometimes it's becuase I have a hard time clearing out the mental clutter and focusing on the positive. 
7.  I have two coworkers with loved ones in the hospital and I've been glued to their CaringBridges sites!  While neither are out of the woods....they are both making small steps forward every day and it lifts my heart and breaks my heart all at the same time.
8.  My knees and my feet haven't given up on me!  They're not necessarily happy with me either, but that's what epsom salt is for, right?
9.  That someone from IT was able to run across campus and fix a funky settings glitch that was preventing a powerpoint presentation from being displayed on the screen.  I tend to the be the think of everything assistant...but when I saw a second monitor earlier with the cord wrapped around it's base, it didn't occur to me that it was connected and that its addition could have altered the operability of the system.  But it's currently working, just in time for their meeting and I know how to fix it in the future if the defaults change with every unique login.
10.  I finally washed all of the campfire out of my hair...I think.  I liked the smell, don't get me wrong.  But it was just creepy after awhile.  I was in Mackinac with friends two weeks ago and we stayed at a cabin near the water and lit campfires.  And my hair has continued to smell of campfire, despite numerous washings, for two weeks!  Now I know what to expect next forewarned if you see me at a campfire...don't be alarmed if I'm wearing a showercap!
And on that note....what are you thankful for today?

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

September 18th 2013 - JJ

I missed a day so you get a double dose this morning:

1. Doggie Daycare. Ripley is pacing the floors. My baby needs to run and she'll get to play today AND tomorrow.

2. Coffee. Coffee, coffee, coffee in my coffee, coffee.  COFFEE! 

3. That my video conference for work this morning was cancelled. I'd like my house to be in slightly better order before my coworkers get to see it!

4. That Derick and I managed to get through over half of the current season of Dexter last night. I think we may actually be able to catch up before the series finale on Sunday after all!

5. Buffalo Wild Wings' Tuesday special: Traditional wings for $0.60 each. They are so delicious!

6. Good books. I just finished The Cuckoo's Calling by J.K. Rowling and it was awesome! I love when a mystery can keep me on my toes until the very end.

7. Sunshine. Unfortunately the weather is supposed to heat up today, but at least it's sunny.

8. That Derick bought the quick release ibuprofen gel caps even though they're more expensive than the regular kind. It is so worth it!!

9. Temple Run 2. It's such a stupid game, but I'm finding myself as addicted to it as I used to be to bejeweled. Trouble!

10. For the awesome time we had at the WildFire beer dinner on Monday. I'm pretty sure we were the youngest people there, but we had a lot of fun talking to the people at our table and I think we'll end up signing up for more of the dinners in the future. 

Monday, September 16, 2013

September 16th, 2013 - JJ

1. That it finally feels like fall!!  The temperature cooled off and we got some rain. Derick even agreed that it's time to turn the AC off.  I'm hoping the weather stays cool for a good while before getting cold. 

2. Mom, you won't believe this one, but I'm thankful for yard work. I actually really enjoyed doing yard work with Derick on Saturday. All we did was mow the grass, pull one million weeds, and get the cob webs off the side of the house, but it was shockingly fun just because we did it together. Three cheers for team work!

3. That Michigan survived the game on Saturday. I don't really want to talk about it, but I'm glad they won.

4. Pumpkin everything. We drank lots of pumpkin beers and got a pumpkin spice candle for the house. I love fall!! 

5. Brunch with friends on Sunday. It was so nice to sit at a table full of friends and laugh and eat together. I need this in my life so much more frequently! 

6. "The World's End" which is the new Simon Pegg/Nick Frost movie. So funny! I love those guys! Now I've got to find time to rewatch Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz. 

7. For a husband who is happy to go outside in the rain to get the heavy dog food bag out of the car and carry it inside for me because I forgot to bring it in. 

8. That Derick has so much fun teaching Ripley new tricks/commands. We worked on "roll over" this weekend and it was crazy how fast my smart little puppy picked it up! We should really be doing training every day.

9. The dog park. Ripley ran herself out on Saturday with Benny and some new friends. She was so tired that she slept until 9 the next morning, which NEVER happens. It was amazing.

10. For our house. Saturday we got to do so many things that we couldn't do in an apartment, even though a lot of those things were work.  Mowing the yard and weeding are a price I'm happy to pay so that we can spend the day outside with Ripley, cook on the grill, and hand wash the cars in the drive way. It's so nice to open all the windows in the house and not have to deal with the noise pollution you get in the city. The extra privacy is so nice and the peace of mind that comes with living in a safe neighborhood is priceless. I am so thankful to be living in the suburbs.

Friday, September 13, 2013

September 13th, 2013 - JJ

1. That this insurance nightmare is just about figured out. By the end of today I shouldn't have to worry about it anymore. Hurray!

2. Vanilla Chai Cupcakes with Chai Cream Cheese Frosting. For breakfast. 

3. It's FRIDAY! about time!!

4. Cool-ish weather. The high for today is 70 and all of Chicago is sad except for me. I want to spend all day outside.

5. For having maintained a clean kitchen and a clean litter box this week. It's so nice to wake up and not have to immediately start cleaning the kitchen, and it's also really nice to clean the litter box when the last time you cleaned it was yesterday or the day before and not a week ago. It goes so much faster that way! and happy kitties make for happy kitty mommies. 

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

September 11th, 2013 - JJ

1. For Ripley. I know she's a handful for other people when they have her, but for us at home she's been nearly angelic lately. For the last day or two we've been watching out for her to engage in some behaviors that our trainer pointed out to us so that we can correct her and improve her independent play/calming skills but she hasn't engaged in those behaviors once yet.  Granted, she was at doggie daycare all day yesterday so we've had limited opportunity but still. Hopefully I'll get some good training time today while I work from home.

2. My work from home day.  I am so behind on paperwork so I'm glad I stuck to my guns and took my work from home day today instead of going in to the office. I need to figure out how to adjust my schedule so I get all of my work from home time on a regular basis. Being behind is no fun!

3. For the internet. I'm putting together recipes for dinner tonight and the internet makes that process so much easier! :)

4. That I get to hang out with Jenna and Ben tonight! Girl time is the best! Ripley is excited to spend some time with her man Benny, too!! :)

5. For the vanilla chai cupcakes with cinnamon buttercream frosting that we will be making tonight. Jenna sent me the recipe yesterday and they look so good that I dreamt about them last night!  Figured that was a sign that I need to bake them asap!!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

September 10th, 2013 - JJ

1. That the roof guys worked fairly quietly and didn't wake me up this morning. Half the roof on the garage was off before I got out of bed and I had no idea they were even here!

2. For Starbucks. I forgot that we are out of soy milk so I can't make a latte at home this morning. Shucks, guess I'll have to get a pumpkin spice latte on my way to work.

3. For pictures. I really need to get our frames up so I can fill them with new photos!

4. For having a dishwasher. I can't imagine having to do all of our dishes by hand every day.

5. For dog daycare. Ripley needs to run and momma needs to work. Looking forward to a tired puppy when I get home.

Monday, September 9, 2013

September 9th - Heather

1.  The love and greetings that came from everyone for my birthday.  Thank you all so much!

2.  For the lovely gifts from JJ and Derick!  The pictures may just be physical things, but they capture a memory that means the world to me.  And the coffee handbook is a ton of fun to flip through!

3.  My health and that of my family.  I have two coworkers each with a loved one in a hospital fighting for their life tonight.  It's a heart breaking reminder that life is fragile and each day is a gift!  My heart and prayers are with your families and will continue to be.

4.  A great weekend getaway with fam and friends.  Rented a cabin in Mackinaw City for a few days...explored Mackinac Island by day...worked like crazy to keep a campfire burning in the fire pit by night. There may or may not have also been a rendition of Somewhere Out There sang to the stars...

5.  The start of the semester....only three classes stand between my masters and me (one class this fall and two classes this spring).  I was only marginally productive over the summer without deadlines.  So I'm ready to put my writing cap on and get to work!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

September 3rd, 2013 - JJ

1. For coffee. I'm still trying not to drink it every day but it's pretty amazing when I do drink it. Also thankful for pumpkin spice lattes which are available now at Starbucks. Had my first one yesterday. YUM! Now if only the weather would cooperate it could really be early fall! :)

2. Pesto. Derick and I made homemade pesto for the first time last night and it was amazing. I can't wait to dig into the rest of it! Now I just need to learn how to make amazing homemade bread to go with it!

3. For a short work week. I'm getting pretty excited to head out to Mackinac Island this weekend with Heather and Kathy! 

4. For Doggie Depot, Ripley's new daycare place. It's less than 5 minutes away and she comes home wiped out every time! And she really needs it today. She's been bouncing off the walls since yesterday afternoon. I'm excited to come home to a sleepy puppy tonight!

5. That I've finally figured out a way to make printing several behavior plans double sided on my cheap little printer go faster. Print all the odd pages together with the signature sheet first, then print the even pages rather than doing one page at a time. It's still taken me an hour to get 20 plans printed, but it could be worse. Saving the trees is hard work! Maybe I should just suck it up and start paying for 3G on my iPad so I only have to print the signature page...

6. An extra today: I am so thankful for Heather. I really couldn't imagine living here in Chicago  without her close by in Milwaukee. Wish it was closer, but I'll take a 2 hour drive over an expensive plane ticket any day! She's always there when I need someone to talk to or when I need a weekend escape. She knows me better than I know myself and is great at comforting me when I'm down but also holding me accountable. My sista from anotha mista!! :) Love you! Happy Birthday!!!!

Monday, September 2, 2013

September 2nd, 2013 - JJ

1. For Trader Joe's and all of their delicious, good food. It's awesome to have healthy, organic choices at an affordable price. Especially peaberry coffee!

2. For Jenna, who watched Roo while we were at the Michigan game this weekend. Ripley can get a little out of control when there's another dog around, so I'm glad both Jenna and Benny (Ripley's betrothed) are willing to put up with her for extended periods of time. Nice to know she's well loved but not getting away with too much craziness while we're away!

3. That it's football season again! I'm very thankful that my parents give us tickets to a game or two at Michigan stadium every year. We've been sitting in the same seats since I was a kid so  it feels like home. :)

4. The amazing shoes I found at the Goodwill store yesterday. They are perfect witch shoes, but are also really cute and I will be able to wear them to work too! We also found a cauldron and two plastic champagne flutes with skeleton hands for stems that are perfect for the "potions table" I'm going to set up. Further thankful for the awesome broom my dad bought me at Cracker Barrel on our way home from Michigan. It starts cackling and moving around when you walk past it. It's amazing!! I can't wait for Halloween this year!! (I may or may not put that broom together this week and just keep it out until Halloween because it makes me happy...)

5. For puppy snuggles. I'm amazed every day that I can love a dog this much.