Put on your Christmas sweaters!

As you may or may not know, my family has a cat. Her name is Jasmine because my mom was adamant about not having a pet named Fluffy, Boots or Mittens. She’s an almost pure-bred Himalayan and she thinks she’s a princess. We got her after I shamelessly pleaded to my father that I was the only kid in my class who didn’t have a pet, and he said I could get a kitten.

That is Jasmine. Abby and I have both become allergic to her and I swear she only likes my mom. Well my parents were out of town last week and boarded her at the vet’s office where she was to be groomed before they picked her back up. Mom was telling me all of this a couple of weeks ago and I thought, “That’ll be nice, she always looks fabulous after a trim.” Well then my mom sent me this picture:

She looks like an old, gray lion, right?! Poor thing. Abby’s boyfriend has started referring to her as Rafiki because Mufasa was too manly of a name for her. After expressing my concern that she might get cold, my mom went out and bought her a sweater and sent Abby and I this picture with the caption “This one is a little too small. Will exchange for a medium.”

Poor Jasmine. Maybe I should buy her a fur coat this year for Christmas.

Catching up on my Thankfulness!

Day 10:

Jasmine! –  Just consider this post as a dedication to her!

Day 11:

CookOut milkshakes – Or as my dear friend Kristina would say “CookOut milkshakes from CookOut”. Their pineapple milkshake is to die for! Plus it’s the only fast food restaurant I’ve been to that offers to mix any combination of flavors into one milkshake to make you happy. And for added yummy goodness, order some fries and dip them in!

Day 12:

USA – How could I make this list without being thankful for my freedom? I’m blessed beyond belief to live in a country where I can go to school, get a job, and dream as big as I want. Yes, our country might not always get along, but I’m thankful to live in a place where I’m not told what opinions to have. Freedom is not free and I am so thankful to be American.

Day 13:

Good health – This one always goes unnoticed, but how blessed am I to not have anything medically wrong with me?! Aside from the tonsil incident in 2009, I’ve had a perfectly clean bill of health. How lucky am I to be able to get up in the morning, feel the coolness of my apartment, see what clothes to put on, and drive myself to work. I take it for granted every single day.

Day 14:

Peanuts Gang – This one is a little silly, I know. I love the Peanuts gang. Snoopy is totally my spirit animal. Since my senior year of high school when we did “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown”, I have just been in love with the comic strip and characters. Maybe I’m longing for my childhood…or maybe I’m just a real-life Lucy Van Pelt. 🙂

Day 15:

My Papa – I lost one of the best people in the world this year in March. You can read about him here. The world just isn’t the same without him, but I am so thankful for the time we did have together. From the silly Donald Duck noises he made to the wildly inappropriate sayings during card games, I will always cherish the blessing that was my Papa. To have someone so completely different from you love you more than he loved himself…now that is a gift to be thankful for. 

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playing catch up.

I called it, didn’t I? I said I would lose track of my thankfulness, and surprise, surprise…I did! This week combined with our girls beach trip has just been non-stop. Hence why I will be writing a paper for my MBA class tonight instead of doing usual fun Friday night activities. Boo.

Day 5:

My father – Oh this man is my favorite. He is like the Cary Grant of fathers.  I don’t think I ever really appreciated what an awesome dad I have until I started college and started embracing my own personality (instead of the one I thought I needed to have in high school). My dad is so funny – so so so funny. Not only is he funny, he is kind and giving and he really has been an excellent role model for me. He has been serving his community and saving lives for over thirty years now and he doesn’t do it for the credit or glory. I could go on and on about my dad. He really is the greatest. I’m sure we’ll do some awkward bouncy dance at my wedding or he’ll bring the family oven mitt (inside joke) with him to make a toast.

Day 6:

My parents’ Christmas tree – I know this one is silly, but Christmas is coming up! I mean it’s already the ninth of November! In my opinion, there is no finer Christmas tree than the one my mom puts up in their living room. Mom (like my grandmother, sister and myself) is big on themes. When my room was red with black and white photos, the tree in my room was decorated with red and shoes/purses/makeup ornaments. When Abby’s room was yellow and blue, her tree was decorated in blue and white snowmen. So on and so forth. But the one exception is the living room tree. It is packed bough to bough with ornaments from far-off places, ornaments with our names on them, ornaments that we’ve made, and ornaments that are older than I am. I swear it’s going to fall through the floor one of these years from the weight of everything that’s on it.

(You can’t see it all from this picture obviously, but you get the picture…oh and that’s Dad’s Star Trek tree behind Abby…love that one too!)

Day 7:

My apartment – I whine about my apartment at least five times a month. It’s a bad habit of mine. I whine about it being too far away from work, too close to Durham, too expensive, and too lonely. But when it comes down to it, I am so thankful to be able to afford to put a roof over my head in a safe neighborhood with friendly neighbors. Plus it’s pretty darn cute.

Day 8:

My Meme – I think by now you realize I love my family. My grandmother takes the cake. I’ve posted previously about her here so please check that out. She really is an incredible woman. She keeps me in line, too! But after putting up with my mischievous Papa, she’s had a lot of practice with keeping people in line.

Day 9:

My coworker Pam – I try not to bring my work life into my blog for professional reasons, but Pam is a fighter. She has become a mentor for me in my time at work and I will always be grateful for her kindness and guidance. On top of that, she’s been kicking cancer’s butt all year without complaining. Yesterday I was honored to be referred to as “mini Pam”. The woman is a miracle.

All caught up for now, but I know I’ll get behind again. Thanks for being patient!

tolerance

November 7 – we can all come out from the rocks we were hiding under or the campaign offices we were working in. We can stop bickering at work over the bumper stickers on our cars. We can turn on the radio or television without listening to “I’m such and such and I approve this message.” We can finally stop agonizing over the future of Big Bird. Personally, I tried to stay out of the realm of politics as much as possible, I chose to stay under a rock. I’m not saying I voted uninformed, but I tried my best to keep my rants to myself and off the Internet. Judging from the amount of hate and harassment on Twitter and Facebook, I decided there was enough negativity without adding my two cents.

I fell asleep reading last night and woke up around midnight to turn off the lights in my apartment. I briefly checked my phone (as I always do when I wake up in the middle of the night…seriously I feel like my phone is a security blanket or pacifier sometimes) and saw the results of the election. Well not really the results, I saw the hatred and gloating that were caused by the results of the election. In my hazy, mid-slumber state, the only word I could think of was “tolerance”. Has our country forgotten the meaning of this word? We have Democrats who criticize Republicans for not being tolerant of others, but they aren’t being very tolerant of Republican beliefs. We have Republicans who don’t listen to anyone. We have religious groups who shun people when the foundation of the religion is love. We have families torn apart because of a difference of opinion. It’s heartbreaking. It’s as if we are so focused on picking sides and picking a leader that we forget that the heart and soul of our nation was founded on breaking away from a leader and the oppression that came with him. The Declaration of Independence states, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.”

With that guiding my thoughts and my actions, I pray that our nation can overcome hatred and learn how to be a united nation. If we are so busy arguing amongst ourselves and refusing to work together, we are setting ourselves up to fail, to be disbanded, and to be destroyed. I sincerely hope the American dream does not morph into “What can I get out of my country?”, but rather it continue to be “This country is the land of the free, what can I do to help it?”

I know I have lofty dreams and thoughts about politics. I’m sure the generations before us argued just as badly as we do now (there just wasn’t information overload and no-filter-say-what-you-want Twitter), but I believe in America. I believe that united we will stand, and divided we will fall.

“I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” – Evelyn Beatrice Hall

Amen, Ms. Hall. Amen. I’m going to do my part, what about you?

Rabbit, Rabbit, Rabbit!

November 1st. Wow…it feels like yesterday that I was ringing in the new year and celebrating my golden birthday. I was always told not to wish my life away because it goes by so fast…boy, were they right about that! Anyway, Happy November! I hope your Halloween was splendid and that you gave away candy to more superheroes and princesses than goblins and ghosts. To honor the month of Thanksgiving, I would like to write about things I’m thankful for throughout the next thirty days. I have hopes to write something every day, but without even glancing at my schedule I know that won’t happen. I’ll do my best to make time to take this task on.

What I’m thankful for…Days 1, 2, 3, and 4  (I’m going to the beach tomorrow…and I refuse to take a laptop with me!)

Day 1:

My mother – without a doubt she is my best friend. She has been listening to me whine about my day over the phone for the past five years. Before that, she had to deal with me as a teenager, preteen, and child. The woman deserves a medal. She has graciously taken me back after I’ve put someone else’s family above my own. She’s Wonder Woman, I swear. I just haven’t found her invisible plane yet.

Day 2:

Scarves – I mean seriously…it’s like a sweater for your neck that you can remove in public when you get too warm (and not get judgmental looks!). How can you not be thankful for that? And they come in so many shapes, sizes and COLORS! Why, yes, I do think I’ll pair this lime green/chartreuse number with my all-black ensemble. Thanks, scarf, for not letting me look like goth/hipster-Leah from 8th grade.

Day 3:

Heartbreak – hear me out here. Heartbreak sucks. (Sorry, Mom, I know you hate that word). Heartbreak makes you feel miserable, it makes you walk around in sweats for days because you’ve been too busy crying your eyes out that you haven’t done laundry in three weeks. I’m not just talking about romantic heartbreak. I mean the heartbreak that comes with grief and disappointment too. But I’m thankful for it. I mean without disappointments and goodbyes, we would have no foundation for appreciation, love, and thankfulness. As A.A. Milne penned in Winnie-the-Pooh, “How lucky am I to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.”

Day 4:

My sister – never in my life have I encountered someone who can be so frustrating one minute and my partner in crime the next. She keeps me grounded and tells me when I’m doing something dumb. She really has been my role model since day 1. I think this picture proves that:

Happy November, y’all. Before you know it, we’ll be trimming the tree and looking out for Santa. Oh, who am I kidding, I’m totally going to decorate next week! 🙂