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Thursday, September 27, 2012

Thankful Heart Thursday {3} :: Laughter and Ladybugs #tht

Thankful Heart Thursday is upon us again, and today I have been thinking a lot about my daughter. I worked all day, and then had a meeting this evening, so I only had an hour to play with her today. Therefore she was on my mind much more than normal (is that even possible?).

I'm so thankful to have a healthy and happy child. She laughs and sings and dances and tippy-toes. She loves her animals, hugs trees (literally), and kisses her family. She plays in dirt and water (sometimes at the same time), and climbs on everything, and picks tomatoes from the vine, and spanks me cause she sees me spank daddy playfully and thinks it's hilarious (oops!). Her sense of humor is mind boggling - she laughs at things that are funny, and she's not even two! This may be normal, but it absolutely floors me that she is so intuitive at this age.

I am thankful that my child is intelligent and curious. She can count to ten (but she usually skips 4 and repeats 8 and 9 twice), she knows her colors (red through purple, plus pink), she has a huge vocabulary, and she understands everything we ask of her (even if half the time her terrible two answer is NO!). I just feel so blessed to have an intelligent child who is interested in reading and playing make believe (what an imagination she has!) and is so interactive. She held her first ladybug today (she was wary of them until this morning).

Speaking of that ladybug, I am thankful that we found a beautiful bell pepper with 5 ladybugs in their little "cocoons" (pupae) at the Farmer's Market last weekend, and we were able to watch them hatch in our home this week. One hatched yesterday morning, the others this morning. Lily was fascinated, and wanted one on her hand. It was fantastic. I'm so happy that she is so brave.

What are you thankful for today?


Thursday, September 20, 2012

Thankful Heart Thursday {2} :: Autumn #tht

Thankful Heart Thursday with @WildflowerShine

Time to slow down and take a few minutes to count my blessings. Today has been a whirlwind, so it's nice to have this weekly "deadline" of recording the things that make me thankful...

My office decided yesterday that they wanted to order pizza for lunch today (I love when they plan ahead). That meant I didn't have to pack myself a lunch this morning and had a few extra minutes to tickle Lily. It's the little things.

Fall/Autumn is in the air! As much as I love Summer, I'm totally ready for harvest festivals, cool days and sweaters, bike rides on cool afternoons, falling leaves and pumpkin spice everything - lattes, bagels, bread, cupcakes, oh my! Bring it! I have several harvest events on my calendar, and I hope to go to every one because I want Lily to really feel as connected as I do to the feeling of seasons and what makes them special. For me, harvest time is about working hard to prepare for winter and celebrating the bounty of the harvest and the last moments of mild weather, then tucking in and winding down for the long cold season full of indoor crafting and hot cocoa {and AWESOME seasonal beers!} and holidays. Fall is exciting and exhilarating, and I just love it.

I have a lunch date scheduled with a very dear friend tomorrow. This crazy life we lead keeps us from hooking up for girl time as much as we'd like, but I'm thankful for the times I do get to meet up with her because we are brain-twins and it's just so easy and effortless to be with her. We totally think on the same wavelength.  Our hubbies joke that we share a brain (and we don't argue!).

On that note, I am VERY thankful to have so many friendships that are solid regardless of how long it has been between phone calls or visits - when we eventually see each other, it's like no time has passed at all. Those are the friendships worth keeping, and I cherish them with all of my heart.


*linking to Thankful Heart Thursday on The SIMPLE Moms*


Monday, September 17, 2012

Just Write {3} :: Sometimes Real Life isn't as Romantic as Daydreams

Remember how excited I was to take a bike ride on the river bike trail this past weekend?  I imagined riding past lush river greenery, spotting some geese and maybe some quail, waving at other cyclists and families as they rode past, watching the rays of sunlight as they filtered through the trees and illuminated flecks of dust in the air as we rode along the sun-dotted shady path... what a romantic and picturesque day I had planned in my head...


First of all, it was 95 degrees in the middle of September when most of the foliage and grasses have dried to a papery straw color, so there was not a lot of greenery to absorb the heat so we absolutely baked in the sun.  Plus, there is much less shade than I remembered - the areas that did have a canopy of trees overhead were few and far between, but quite welcome when they appeared.  Because it was so hot, the river animals were hiding deep in the underbrush.  We did see one grey squirrel who just barely avoided my front tire when he darted out in front of me (OK, it wasn't THAT close, but he did startle me).  By the time we got home, I was torridly shaky and parched and had to go directly into a cold shower to cool off. I gulped water from the shower spray to ward off the heat stroke that was coming over me and could feel the heat pouring off me as the cold water was warmed by my body heat by the time it hit my feet.

And while we did see several cyclists and a few families along the trail, we also saw several groups of homeless people and druggies (doing drugs out in the open, so I'm not just labeling them randomly) and the skinny dogs that accompanied many of them.  Across the river we could see homeless camps set up under an overpass.  In a few places, the few green plants and bushes had been trampled flat by river people as they wore a path from the bike trail to the water's edge.  It was both sobering and saddening to see so many destitute and hopeless people along one 6 mile stretch of road.

Ultimately, we had a fantastic time at the brew fest - I truly enjoyed having some "adult" time with my hubby and we tasted some great craft beers, saw some good friends, enjoyed awesome cheeseburgers from one of the local gourmet food trucks, and had some good laughs.

But that 12 mile ride along the trail will stick with me for some time.  It made me thankful that I have a good job, a supportive family, and healthy living habits.  It reminded me not to take my way of life for granted, and to count my blessings every day.

*linking to just write*


Friday, September 14, 2012

Just Write {2} :: Of Brew Fests and Bicycles

Ah, it's FRIDAY!  TGIF is an understatement.

Tomorrow the hubs and I are going to the California Brewer's Festival and I CAN'T WAIT! Nana is watching Lily, and Jim and I will ride our bikes down the beautiful river bike trail to the brew fest.

I have two main reasons that I am excited.

1. Craft Beer
I am a craft beer nerd, and I haven't been to a brew fest yet this year so I'm totally ready to geek out! We used to work or attend several (like 10 or more) brew fests and beer tasting events each year and I had my finger on the pulse of the beer market, but this is the first one of the year for me, so I'm chomping at the bit to see what new beers (and SEASONAL beers) are out there. This particular brew fest is my favorite because it's in a beautiful park and it is a token event instead of a drinking free-for-all. You are probably thinking I'm crazy, but the free-for-all events turn into a drunken mess of binge drinkers and that's not my style. I prefer to hang with the more discerning beer tasters who are there to actually savor their samples, not just to get hammered. I'm also looking forward to running into friends we've not seen in a while, which always seems to happen at this event.

2. Bike Ride
I am really looking forward to going on a bike-date with my husband. Don't get me wrong, I love taking family bike rides, but we all know how important it is to take time out to have dates with our significant others. Plus, after the crazy hills we rode during the bike trek last weekend, I'm looking forward to riding my road bike on level ground! The bike trail is lovely - it's right along the river, so the flora and fauna of nature are abundant.  Riding this trail exhilarates me and makes my flower child heart happy.

In conclusion, Beer + Bikes = Awesome. Period. End of story.

CHEERS!!! Have a great weekend!

* linking to just write*


Thursday, September 13, 2012

Thankful Heart Thursday {1} #tht

I write for a blog called SIMPLE, and today is the inaugural day of a new project called Thankful Heart Thursday.  I like the idea of taking a few moments to really focus on what I am thankful for each week, so I am looking forward to taking on the challenge of remembering to do this every week!

I am thankful that Lily didn't break her nose when she hit her face on the couch arm last night - she sure does have a bruise though.  That child is a little daredevil, and my hubby has taken to calling her The Honey Badger because she's so tough!  She takes falls, bumps and bruises in stride and doesn't let them stop her!

This morning I am VERY thankful for coffee.  I don't think that my writing would be coherent without caffeine today.

I am thankful that we had such a great summer, and I'm looking forward to fall!

I am thankful for my health and the health of my family.  I have a dear friend whose mother was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer recently, and her father died of pancreatic cancer when we were in high school... I have been talking with her a lot about it, and I just pray for her sanity and serenity every day.

I am thankful that I have grapes in my lunch today.  Red ones.  I love red grapes.  Especially when they come in a bottle.  But not at work, obviously.


Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Just Write {1} :: The Inspiration

Today one of my fellow bloggers at SIMPLE wrote a post that she linked to another post called Just Write. Those two words immediately impacted me with their simplicity and directness...



Don't overthink. Don't plan. Don't worry about what people will think or if it will be interesting or if it will be controversial. Just write! As someone who both enjoys and loathes writing, this is some of the most inspirational advice I've gotten in a while. My blog frequently comes to a standstill because of writer's block, or because I don't have "time" to plan a blog post. I need to stop trying to come up with topics and ideas and JUST WRITE!

So here goes...

Today I am working on a July 2012 photo book for my little one - I've been documenting her life in photo book form since she was born, and I am completely smitten with the idea.  They are a bit pricey and take time to put together, and sometimes I get behind by a few months, but they are fun to create and personalize and save me from having to bust out the tubs and buckets of scrapbooking supplies that I've tucked away in my office. {note to self: sell that crap already!}  I start each one with a little paragraph that serves as a snapshot of her development and our family time together.  I am glad to have these since my memory isn't the greatest anymore.

I'm very tired from the bike trek last weekend, but I'm recovering.  I need to just write about that experience.

When I get home, I plan to enjoy a Crispin cider.  Maybe tomorrow I'll just write about it...

So many things to just write about all of a sudden!


*linking to just write*