Wednesday, June 29, 2011


OK, sidenote- I am grateful today that my performance review went well. I live in fear of not meeting expectations; if I'm being really honest, I live in fear of not exceeding expectations. (The older I get, the more I realize that I am Type A in my work personality, even though I'm not Type A anywhere else. Check with me in another 10 years- I'll probably have realized I'm basically a control freak with OCD.) But yes, super grateful performance review went well so I don't have to mull over constructive criticism 17,000 times over the next few days.

So the Big Grateful for today- I'm grateful for vacation days. Although I usually love summer at work because it means new student orientations once or twice a week, summer is stressful for those exact same reasons- it's a lot of exhausted time at work, with no time to catch up. Add in the transition to the new job and grad school, and a little part of my soul is dying and being replaced by a robo-me who is just functioning on auto-pilot for a few hours a day. But in this glorious, beautiful week and next week, I'm taking some time to get myself back together. I'm off tomorrow through next Wednesday- and I'm going to use it by going to play with my nieces tomorrow morning, going on a weekend trip to a destination I can't disclose right now (I'll explain later, I promise- telling it would ruin someone else's happy surprise, so can't do that!) and getting caught up on school. Getting caught up on school is the main mission, because at this point, getting caught up is much more appealing than sleeping late.

So aside from the obvious (who doesn't love a break from work), this vacation gives me a lot to be grateful for. I'm grateful that I have a job that allows me to take a vacation without being looked down upon or having to take a break from pay. I'm grateful that I've had good enough health and fortune and blessings to stay well and not lose my vacation days to illness or sick time of loved ones. I'm grateful that I've preserved friendships over time that allow me to share in their happy moments (secrets, I know- I'll share eventually!). And I'm grateful that part of this vacation time is going to be spent with my brother, cousins, and my cousin's best friends; they're 19, 18, 18 and 14, so it's truly precious time spent with them and continuing to stay close with them while they grow up. I can't wait to go skydiving with them on Monday- Happy Independence Day, let's jump out of a plane!!!

So in short, I'm grateful and highly excited for my vacation time. And additionally, I'm highly grateful to my friend Ashley for writing a really, really wonderful and touching post about our high school experience and why she believes in public school for her children- I'm right there with her, and couldn't agree more about the school plans she and her lovely husband Luke have for their two beautiful babies or about what truly fabulous high school friends we had and continue to have. We were lucky for sure- and for that, we are BOTH truly grateful. =)

Friday, June 24, 2011

Another Step to Equality

I saved this post for late because I wasn't sure I'd get to do it. I'm a little teary-eyed that it actually happened.

Today I am grateful that the Senate of New York made the decision to legalize gay marriage. I'm grateful that we as people are making steps to treat each other with respect and integrity regardless of our personal differences, and as an ally of the LGBTQ community and as a person who was fortunate to be granted the right of marriage without a struggle, I am so very happy for all the gay and lesbian couples of NY who have been waiting for this day to make their relationships legitimate in the eyes of their state. Congrats from Texas, y'all, and much love and happiness and summer weddings full of joy to you. In the words of Elizabeth Taylor, "long live love."

The incomparable Elizabeth Taylor at the 11th Annual GLAAD Media Awards in 2000; 
one of my favorite speeches of all time.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Alone Time

This whole "you have no husband for 9 days" thing is a MF. Sorry to be profane-ish, but seriously, this is hard stuff. I can't imagine how people do grad school, work and have a dog without a partner. The people who manage to keep their living space clean AND do this deserve a medal and probably extra vacation days. And on top of that, you miss them! And now I remember why I am happier now than I was in my late teens/early twenties.

One thing I will say about this week: It has made me really grateful for a lot of things. It's made me grateful for my amazing husband (I know I did that post a few days ago, but can I add in that he has dinner ready when I come home from school most nights, that he happily takes turns with me on dog-walking responsibilities, always buys me my favorite stuff at the grocery store without me asking, and he snuggles me when I hop in bed and then lets me cuddle up against him all night? I told you, he's totally amazing, I am highly lucky.) It's made me grateful to have my pup to come home to and keep me company all night. It's made me grateful for how willing and eager my family is to pitch in and help me when I'm stuck (ie, I work from 8-5 and on Tuesdays have class from 5:30 to 8:30, and the pup clearly cannot be kenneled from 7:40 am-9:00 pm- enter my aunt and uncle, the perfect pet-sitters.) It's made me grateful for having a job with consistent, standard hours, where I can easily plan out my life outside of work. The alone time ends on Sunday, but it's made me grateful for having a few days to remember to be grateful for everything I have and how lovely my mundane day-to-day really is.

And I can't wait to get back to it. =)

Monday, June 20, 2011

Pretty Pretty Purple

Today I'm grateful I bought a small bunch of these, just to make myself happy.

From here

Gotta love the little things. =)

Sunday, June 19, 2011

The Husby

So I'm a singleton for a week- E left yesterday for a 9 day trip to Colorado. And I am realizing here on Day 2 how much I take him for granted.

E is kind of the best thing ever. In no particular order, just a few of the reasons why he is awesome:
1) He encourages me to take all the time I need to study and never complains about my absence or meltdown moments. The only time he gets upset is watching me get really upset, because he can't fix it.
2) He shares equal time with me on our dog and kitchen responsibilities; honestly, he probably cooks more than I do. Neither of us are good housekeepers, but we're working on it- and I'm so fortunate I have a husband who is willing and fully expects to share responsibilities.
3) He always takes out the trash. As I type this, there is a  bag waiting for me to take downstairs, and I'm not thrilled about it.
4) His heart is amazing. He has embraced my family as his own, and he treats both sides of our family so well. (And our dog, duh- he's an awesome puppy parent.)
5) For some reason that I can't possibly understand, he puts up with me and all my faults, and loves me regardless. He is fully accepting of all the issues I have, my tendency to stress out more than is ever necessary, my impatience when things don't fall into place the way I've planned- he just gives me hugs and kisses and holds me and tells me everything is going to be fine. And so far, he hasn't been wrong. I can't think of a better balance for me.

I could talk about him for ages, and list all the reasons why he's fantastic (like how he has great hair, is hysterically funny, believes in himself without ever being even remotely conceited or cocky, is one of the smartest people I've ever met, can do an incredible Steven Tyler imitation) but I don't think there's enough time in the world for that. I just know (and know it even more when I don't get to have him around) that my husband is the best husband I could ever have chosen, and I'm so grateful that he chose me.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Mom Talk

Can I just be thankful for the beauty that is Ryan Reynolds? Is that allowed? I'm pretty positive it should be, if it isn't. I just watched his segment on Conan, and I'm even more smitten with him than ever. Oh, Berg from "2 Guys, a Girl and a Pizza Place" how weird it is to see you all man of the moment- but I love it.

OK, for real now. Today's grateful: the very reaffirming conversation I had with my mother about something I was struggling with at work. My mom and I have had our rocky parts of our relationship, and I think we're just now getting to a spot where we actually understand one another. And today, she completely got where I was coming from, made my analogy of what I was feeling even better, and affirmed why the current ongoings in my life are the right ones. That's pretty flipping awesome. And then we discussed paint colors until my dog got charged by an angry puggle and she tried to eat it. So basically, today I'm grateful for the drastic improvement in my mother and I's relationship, from not being able to talk for more than 5 minutes without one of us getting angry at the other to feeling like she is on my side. Love it, love her.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Don't Stop Believing?

So I'm not an especially religious person. I wasn't really raised in a religious environment, excluding the 2 years I went to church from age 9-11, and I can't tell you much but the bare bones of Christianity. I've gone through a lot in terms of figuring out where I stand on religion- for me, I cannot stand the idea of being a hypocrite, and that's meant (for me) that I haven't been able to fully claim myself as religious because I can't find a religion that accurately portrays what I believe. At best, I feel I'm best described as agnostic. But I have to admit, something is shifting in me lately.

I started this blog in an effort to stay grateful and get better at recognizing the small things I should be thankful for in daily life. In recognizing what I'm grateful for, though, I'm seeing patterns and occurrences that I can't call coincidences-I feel like sometimes, things are happening (and have happened) because they're what I need to happen at that moment. I don't mean I'm getting some lovely free-pass in life where everything I want is being laid out in front of me, but instead, I'm learning lessons and being taught so much right now. And all the right people and events are lining up in my life to prepare me for the events that are on the horizon.

I don't even know if this makes sense, and it might sound silly. But lately, as I see how decisions I made for no reason but gut feeling are now becoming relevant and showing themselves as the right choices, and how I can pull from prior experiences to get through the obstacles I'm coming up against, I have to consider with more thoughtfulness than I have in the past that maybe I am being watched over. I still don't believe God will make all things possible, and I don't believe that God will always open a window when He closes a door- you have to work for these things, God won't just hand everything to you. But I'm starting to believe that maybe the thing I've called fate all along might actually be God, working through us and gently guiding us internally to make the best choice for us. Or maybe not, I could easily be wrong. But the fact that there is now a maybe- that I can actually see the possibility and believe it could be true- that's a pretty beautiful thing to have occur, and I'm grateful to be experiencing it.

Monday, June 13, 2011

My Jacked Up yet Functional Ankles

When I was a little kid, I was a gymnast. I started gymnastics when I was about 5, and I completely loved it. I'm still hard pressed to find something more fun than having the power within yourself to twist and rotate and contort your body all around and make it do whatever acrobatics you wish for it to do. Floor was my favorite, because I loved flipping upside down and bouncing myself all over the place. Second favorite was beam, because I liked the height and the challenge, then vault for the fun of bouncing off the springboard, then bars. (Bars were kind of scary- I never mastered whipping myself through the air quite right, I was a little bit scared on bars.) I was only a gymnast for 5 years or so, though, because I was diagnosed with developing early onset arthritis.

My grandmother had severe osteoarthritis, and my parents were understandably freaked out by my doctor's diagnosis. At that point, I'd already sprained/strained my wrists several times (I told you, I loved floor, and that doesn't come without a price) but the biggest problem was my ankles. Between the two ankles, I must have had over a dozen sprains/strains- I'd grown out of ankle braces, learned how to wrap my own ankle like a champ by age 8 or 9, and even had a couple of really weird but effective electric treatments on my ankle to repair an injured tendon. But I loved my gymnastics. It wasn't until I hurt myself twice in a row in quick succession and lost faith in my coaches (because one of them dropped me and almost split my head open) that I was ready to quit, and I was required by my dad to finish out the season (because in our family, we finish what we start, period.) And when I left, to be honest, I missed it. I wound up coaching later, and that gave me the opportunity to relearn some tricks and play around, but I noticed the difference in my ankles even when I did something simple like a roundoff or easy dismount from the lower bars. And holy cow, did those ankles hurt at the ripe old age of 18.

And they still hurt. They just sometimes give out on me for a minute or two when I'm working out on or a run, or even just jogging after my niece and playing. This post was prompted because my running up and down stairs multiple times today (in sneakers) has prompted my ankle to have a couple of veins show up in garish blue and green, and be warm and sore to the touch. But the thing is, I don't regret it. I love what I used to be able to do and that I had the chance to do it, and I am so grateful that even with this recurring injury that just will not go away, I have functional ankles that allow me to walk almost every single day and carry me through life (for now). Have I done permanent damage? Well, maybe a little here and there. But it was totally worth it for the feeling of soaring around and feeling the power of my body, and I love these old beat up ankles for taking me on my daily journeys.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Hook 'em in Omaha!

Final note- I'm THRILLED that UT is getting to go to Omaha for the 34th time for the College World Series. Hook 'em, UT Baseball! Let's bring the trophy home for the third time in 10 years.

Texas Fight, boys! (Picture from here)

Sleepy McSleepsalot

Today I woke up at 8:15, walked our dog, and went back to sleep. Then I woke up at 11-something, and went back to sleep. I woke up again at just before 1, and since then, I have taken 2 more naps. What I'm taking away from this is that I'm grateful that:
  • my husband is amazing and lets me sleep without complaining, and makes sure the dog doesn't wake me up
  • I have the time to sleep so I don't feel tomorrow like I was run over by a truck
  • the reason I'm tired is because I'm spending my time being busy with stuff I enjoy, like my job, my family, my pup, my friends, etc. Not a bad thing to be tired from. (Ugh, what a grammatical mess that was.)
That's about all I've got, because I have to finish a paper and I'm struggling to stay awake a bit.  But I'm grateful for the very small yet oh so large luxury of sleep today, and I hope you get some good rest into the end of your weekend and this next week.

An approximation of what I look like when sleeping- except I'm not furry, don't sleep in a dog bed, and I'm honestly not as cute as she is.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Frogs and Freshmen

Today had a lot of random moments of complete and total gratefulness and happiness, but there are two that stand out.

The first is when I was in the middle of a presentation to incoming students, and I was pitching them a new program that I really, really believe in and I'm passionate about, and I'm simultaneously terrified that I won't get the interest I need and it will get axed. So when I pitch it, I basically pour my heart out about how I was in a similar program as an incoming college freshmen and the ways in which it helped me (Freshmen Interest Groups (FIGs) if you're interested- they're kind of phenomenal). I wasn't feeling well this morning, so I was really trying to pull out anything I could, and wound up just sitting on a desk and talking to them for a couple of minutes about it. And at the end, I asked who might be interested in joining the groups so I could give them information handouts. Out of the 90 or so students- about 45-50 raised their hands!!!! And I doubled the actual number that signed up from last week. HUGE HUGE MOMENT, people. I am so incredibly grateful that I have found a field that I love and care about, and that I get true happiness from my work successes. I'm so grateful I've found something that isn't just a job.

The second random moment is just goofy. My dog discovered frogs tonight. I personally love frogs. I think they're just funny, with their little eyes and their squat little bodies and their deceptively powerful legs. They just make me smile. And tonight, my dog discovered frogs when she nudged one with her nose and it jumped about a foot. She must have nudged it and its buddy frog 3 or 4 times before she went nuts trying to play with it as though it were a puppy or something. She's a goof, love her. I'm grateful that I got to have that fun silly moment in my evening, and I'm glad that we had it because we were having a walk that was just for her, where she got to decide where she wanted to go and at what pace. So she's happy, I'm happy, everyone's happy (except maybe the nudged frogs, but they'll get over it.)

Sidenote: If you're a dog owner, take a minute to watch Michael Vartan's new PETA PSA. It's a really great reminder about how important our actions are in our pup's lives. And hey, it's Michael Vartan. Why wouldn't you want to watch him be beautiful for 30 seconds? (And when did he get forearm tattoos? Why does that make him even hotter??? This man should be illegal, he's that beautiful.) Anyway, being a good puppy parent is important- thanks for reminding us of their perspective, Michael. =)

(video linked from YouTube, property of PETA; also available on

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

High Class Problems

My friend emailed me the other day, and we were catching up. She owned a house before she married her husband, who also already owned a house, so now, they're selling the extra house. It's not exactly a seller's market right now (I don't know if you've heard, but the real estate market and the economy are a bit of a disaster presently- just consider me your up to date news source), so I asked how the house selling was going and if they'd had showings. When she responded, her answer was thought provoking: it wasn't going great, but she was trying not to complain, because having an extra house that you can afford to keep on the market is a high class problem (as her brother would say).

What a great concept. He's so right. It is a high class problem. Happily, my friend and her husband can afford the fees associated with keeping the house on the market, and they have another beautiful, comfortable, safe home to stay in. Is it inconvenient? Yes. But it's not a real problem. It's like my grad school stuff. Womp womp, I have no free time because I'm studying. I'm studying because I have the opportunity to further my education for 1/2 the average cost and be one of the 7-10% of Americans with a master's degree. High class problem.

I'm so grateful that most of my problems are high class problems. I don't have problems that involve feeding my family, having a place to sleep at night, staying in good health, or living with a physical or mental disorder that affects my daily ability to navigate the world. I'm truly so damn lucky. So many of us are. And so many of us that aren't are the ones who complain the very least. Let that boggle your mind for a second.

So- I'm grateful that I have been blessed with high class problems. Thank you, baby Jesus, amen.


People. I fall off the place of the planet, I come back, and I somehow have more hits even though I haven't posted in forever? Y'all are crazy. I love the blog world.

I'm sorry I have been on hiatus. Stuff has been a little crazy. First, we went to Austin for our 2nd anniversary- this was the beginning of my downward spiral, because I couldn't post from my phone. So, farewell, 3 days of posting. THEN, I came back and started class. Hello, explosion of me having way too much reading to do and staying up super late in order to blog because I was already staying up to read my 8000 articles. And then, I had to go out of town again for a cousin's graduation (from my highschool, which was sort of fun.) So, that's what I've been up to.

And without further adieu, we move on to being grateful again. Lo siento for the break, I'll try to improve.