Thursday, October 31, 2013

October 31st - Heather

Many of you know that I love to feel like I've been helpful.  Sometimes that manifests in untraditional ways.  After a fire damaged the house of an aquaintence, I made sure to be a more frequent patron at her business.  After the expected passing of a friend's father, I talked to a few colleagues and we put together the funds for a spa gift card.  A trip to the spa is the last thing on someone's mind after a loved one passes, but I knew she had spent several of the preceding months caring for her sick father and her husband and her children and working a full time job...I felt like she needed some peaceful time to feel pampered. 

The point is that the ways in which I find to be helpful are sometime a little unconventional.  But I hate feeling heartbroken for someone and not being able to do anything to help them.  And while the things that I do aren't earthshattering, major things, I like to think that they bring some small level of comfort or reassurance to the person in question.  Halloween is an odd day to feel especially thankful for anything in particular...but over the course of the past few days a few unexpected opportunites to be helpful have presented themselves.

1.  While I'm getting craftier...I've never really considered myself crafty.  A few weeks ago, my mom started telling me that she needed to think of a Halloween costume for work since the staff were encouraged to dress up.  My mother has never dressed up in a costume for Halloween this was a bit to overcome for her.  The parameters were that the costume should be rooted in one of four decades: the 50's, 60's, 70's or 80's.  Being a fan of the 80's and the Wedding Singer, my mind when straight to Holly and the 80's jewelry and lace, funky hair and blue eye shadow. 

My mom was not jazzed about this idea.  But, to humor me, we had started buying a few key pieces of jewelry.  Then we went to dinner.  There was  young girl dressed in a Twister costume and I looked at mom and said, we could make that!  And so we did.  When I got home from class last night, she was still elbow high in iron-on pieces that weren't working and Sharpie paint to fill in the letters that the craft iron would not successfully transfer.  I was able to help her finish her costume last night and get up early this morning to help her with her makeup (I still got the blue eyeshadow in there)!

2.  The reaction of coworkers to the crocheted hats I (in conjuction with coworkers, family and friends) have been working on.  A colleague was so appreciative when I was willing to make a hat for her friend who is journeying through life with breast cancer.

3.  There was a group of students facilitating small service projects on campus today.  When I saw "write a letter to a soldier" on the list of activities (on Halloween) I was reminded of playing with my dad's Army camo face paint as a small child.  I knew that I had to go write a letter to a soldier.  I shared that story and that I used to wait until my dad fell asleep to get out my mom's crazy palette of 100 eye shadow colors and "paint" my dad's face like the Ultimate Warrior.  I hope it makes someone smile when they read it.  It made me smile remembering it.

And on a much more light-hearted note...
4.  Starting tomorrow I'll officially be insane....if there are still one or two of you out there not yet convinced of my insanity.  I'm doing NaNoWriMo again this year.  This will be my second attempt at the National Novel Writing Month compettion.  Yes, amongst the full time job, thesis writing and crazy queue of crochet projects, I will be attempting to write a 50,000 word novel during the month of November.  Check back here periodically during the month to see how many days in November I'm thankful for having reached my daily goal of 1667 words!

5.  I just found out today that my corrections for my second chapter of my thesis aren't due until December instead of the middle of November!  Best news ever!  Now I just have to crank out chapter 3 in the next few days (yes, for those paying attention, as I start my NaNoWriMo word counts, I'll also be writing one of my thesis chapters)!  Needless to say, friends and family, if you see me staring intently into the eyes of my computer screen AND typing at a feverish pace...don't break the mojo.  If, however, I'm just staring blankly at my computer might want to throw something at my head and tell me to keep writing!!!  :)

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Oct 23rd - Heather

I created a comic of the five things I'm thankful for today.  Until I get this figured out a little better, you can view my comic here:

Monday, October 7, 2013

October 7th, 2013 - JJ

1. For weekends. They're really the best!! It's nice to have time to do fun things and get chores and projects done and still be able to relax.  

2. For good movies. We went and saw Gravity this weekend and it was SO intense! It is amazing the things they can do on film these days! I highly recommend going to see it, but also scheduling in time for a nap afterward because you will be tired after stressing out for two hours in the theater.

3. For a tidy house. Not clean, but tidy. Don't look too close. Just glance and notice that things are put away, counters and tables are cleared, and clutter is minimal. But don't go in the guest room or the garage or the closets. 

4. My Halloween coffee cup. Makes me happy.

5. That Derick is not home right now, because I definitely turned the heat on this morning. If I have to work from home, which means I'm sitting down and not moving at all, I'm going to be comfortable, darn it! 

6. On that note, I'm thankful that it's finally cold outside. I wasn't really thankful for this when I took Ripley out this morning wearing sandals and my pajamas, but I'm thankful for it now that I'm inside with the heat on, thinking about which scarf and which boots I'm going to wear today. :)

7. For friend time. My social calendar has been surprisingly full the last few weeks and it's been so nice to connect with friends. I'm starting to feel like I could handle living in Chicago a little longer than planned if I have to.

8. That an old friend just asked for our address, because I'm pretty sure it means we're getting invited to his wedding. I wasn't sure if we'd make the guest list cut, but now that it appears we have, I'm really excited about it! Hopefully the scheduling will work out that we'll be able to make it.

9. For games. Derick and I played Catch Phrase and Boggle last night and it was hilarious and a lot of fun. :)  Happiness is wearing sweat pants in a candle lit room with music on while playing silly games and drinking pumpkin beer with your husband.

10. For warm fuzzy socks. Because the heat wasn't making my feet any less icicle like. 

Thursday, October 3, 2013

October 3rd, 2013 - JJ

1. Yesterday, which was the best day ever. Got to spend a few hours with Anna and then I got to spend a few hours with Jenna.  I love those ladies!!

2. Craft night where crafts were actually worked on. Not completed, mind you, because that would be craziness! But we each got 3 duct tape roses made so that's progress. :)

3. Health insurance. I finally have it and all the stress around getting it is over! Wahoo!

4. Rain. It's grey and rainy out today and I'm going to pretend it's cool outside and that it's not supposed to be 80 again today. 

5. The leaves are starting to turn fall colors!  Not on all the trees, but on some and this makes me very very happy! I can't wait until Sunday when it's supposed to be 60 degrees. 

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

October 2nd, 2013 - JJ

1. I GET TO SEE ANNA TODAY!!!! I'm so excited! Can you tell?!?

2. Pumpkin beer. Derick bought some from a brewery in Maine and it's delicious!!

3. That we unpacked all of our picture frames and put some of them up. Further thankful that none of them fell down in the night (we used command strips and I am far from confident in them).

4. Taco night! Derick cooked a pork shoulder in the crock pot earlier this week and we shredded it and used it in tacos last night. Amazing. Especially with his guacamole and creamy lime slaw.  So good!!

5. Waking up to a clean house. For a while we were putting off doing the dishes after dinner until the morning, but it is SO much nicer to wake up to a clean kitchen than it is to wake up to half an hour of scrubbing dried food off of dishes. 

6. For poutine and making dirty jokes about it with Raymi. The Tap House Grill that we go to for cheap beer every Monday recently added it to their menu and it is amazing (fries, gravy, and cheese curds. What could be better?!)! It always makes me think of Raymi because she introduced me to it for the first time on one of our Pike Place trips last year. I don't know who came up with the word "poutine" but it sounds dirty even though all it is is delicious.

7. That I got Derick hooked on Temple Run 2 on the iPad. It's hilarious to watch him play because his reactions when he loses or has a close call are just so funny. It's almost better than playing the game myself!

8. For Heather's help with a table in Word that I couldn't quite figure out. I hate tables in Word. I feel like they created Excel so that no one would ever have to bother with a table in Word again, so when I have to use them I get upset and it makes me want to drink. Heather saved my smoothie from tequila the other morning by offering to fix the table for me, and for this I am very thankful! 

9. Craft night with Jenna. Maybe we'll actually craft this time! :)

10. For carpet cleaner. Having 3 pets I really should buy stock in the stuff. It's crazy how often we end up needing to use it even though our pets are all house trained.