Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Let's All Give Thanks!

Here it is, the best time of year!  And by that, I mean fall.  Autumn is by far my favorite season.  Crisp apples, brightly colored leaves, spiced pumpkin, the chill in the air. . .everything about it is perfect.  I love autumn vegetables, autumn colors, autumn foods, autumn activities, autumn holidays. . .  It is so lovely in every way.  This year I really got into the fall flavor of things, and I am sure next year will be even better, now that I have a general idea of what my husband and I like doing.  

We have had a grand old time this year.  P and I have cooked all manner of autumny things -- I even made an apple pie.  What ho!  We went and saw the leaves changing, we carved pumpkins, and we wore scarves.  I literally cannot wait to do it all over again this next year.

However, it is time for Thanksgiving!  My second favorite holiday of the year!  My first is Halloween (how can you not love dressing up, trolling for candy, and celebrating an ancient pagan holiday?).  Thanksgiving is a close second because it incorporates two things I very much love: family and food.  Not necessarily in that order.  Haha, just kiddin'.

And like I do every year, it is time for my ABCs of thanks.

A-  Apple cider.  I usually am not too excited about apple cider, but this year I have taken to it full force.

B-  Business dress.  I very much like looking nice at my job and I feel fortunate that I can do so.

C-  Chums.  I am always thankful for my friends.

D-  Driving.  I no longer feel terrified to drive stick shift.  I am finally getting it and I am so glad.

E-  Excitement.  I am still able to get excited about things in my life and I am grateful for that.

F-  Fifth graders.  They are continually entertaining, adorable, and annoying. They are my favorites.

G-  Greenery.  How nice it is to live in a town where there is an abundance of trees.

H-  Husband.  First year I've been able to say that.  I love my husband so much and he is the best thing in my life.

I-  Independence.  For the first time, despite the fact that I have a partner-in-crime, I am really an adult, responsible for all those things you think of as being adult things.  I earn money, I have a savings account, I use a credit card and make regular payments, and I go to bed before 10 PM.  Woot.

J-  Job.  It is so incredibly wonderful to be employed.  Except for my husband, I am most thankful for this.

K-  Kisses.  One of life's little pleasures.

L-  Libraries.  A free opportunity to expand your knowledge and horizons.  Lest we forget.

M-  Moms (and Dads).  How lucky I am to have two of each now.

N-  Nest.  No, I'm not "nesting," but we have a nest just for the two of us.  It's little and cute and suits us just fine.  It's perfect and it's home.

O-  Olives.  I'm not kidding.  I freaking love olives.

P-  Parks and Recreation.  New favorite show.  I want to be Leslie Knope.  And P is my Ben.  He will try and deny it and say he is really Tom, but we all know he is Ben.

Q-  Quinoa.  After all, it's very good for you.

R-  Roasted vegetables.  The best way to eat them.

S-  Security.  It is such a relief to finally feel secure in my love, my life, and my heart.

T-  Tulips.  I have a bunch in my apartment right now (they're pink), and they are very sweet and nice.

U-  Unconditionality.  This has played a big part in my life of late and I am always sensible of it.

V-  Variety.  My life recently has been nothing but varied, and it leaves never a dull moment.

W-  Watermelon.  I got to have some of the most delicious watermelon ever over the summer and I can't wait until next summer.  I'm going to get a whole orange Navajo watermelon. Noms.

X-  X-rays.  No, genuinely.  I went to the ER over the summer because of chest pains and they took a full chest x-ray.  It is still hanging on our fridge.  It was able to show that I was perfectly fine.  I was very relieved and thankful.

Y-  You, whoever you are.  I bother to keep writing in this blog because I hope someone might read it. So thank you, good ol' you.

Z-  Zion.  Because you always need something to look forward to, and I would like to eventually travel to Zion and camp.  Maybe with my cousin and her new fiance, who I am also grateful for.

Anyhow, there's lots more, but that's my basic ABC.  Thanks for reading and I hope you have the best of Thanksgivings.  It is a delectable holiday, you know.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Trial by Fire


These past two weeks have been insane.  And I know I've said that in the past, but this time. . .wow.  This past week was nice -- we worked hard, we did good stuff, we did some fun stuff, I may have caught something but it's still brewing and not in full swing so I can still kill it. . .

But last week was the week from hell.  Every day was somehow just horrible.  Thursday was the worst day possible.  I was running around all day, there was a choir rehearsal during their study period, and there were major student issues.  I was so swamped with grading I didn't know which way was up.  Somehow, Friday did not make anything better.  There was a school dance, which was very fun, but then someone stole my iPod.  So instead of getting home around 8 PM, I got home around 11 PM.

The next day, we had to get to California for a wedding, which turned out to be an experience.  On the way out, we had to fly out to Phoenix, so I woke up at 4:50 so I could do the packing I neglected to do the previous night.  Then we got held up in Phoenix for a while, so we left a little later than anticipated. Not too bad, we were still on time, but then there was a fire on the freeway we were on.  Exciting, yes. Relaxing, no.  The nice thing is that when we got there, we had a great time.

You hear so many different stories about extended families, new families, in-laws, etc., that you aren't quite sure what to expect when you get one.  I got lucky.  I got extra family I am just as happy to see and excited to be with as my "old" family.  They are lovely, wonderful, fun people and I am always thrilled to get to go out and visit with them.  Plus, there are a lot of little ones on the California side of the family, so I always get to play with them, which I love.  They are a hoot and a half.  For example: K: "I have this one friend who is a princess."  S:  "Is it my cousin?"  Hahahahaha.

In addition to which, the wedding was gorgeous.  P's cousin was getting married to his long-time girlfriend.  She looked stunning (her veil was exceptionally cute and stylish, btw), he looked very handsome, and they had wedding advice mad libs.  Oh yeah, we used the word "Led Zeppelinesque."  The ceremony itself was long enough to make you feel like you really got to experience their commitment, but short enough that everyone didn't get overheated or tired (easy to do in the surprisingly warm SoCal morning heat).  In short: perfect length.  Watching them say their vows was well worth any inconvenience in the travel department.  The wedding itself was held in a beautiful garden, overlooking a valley of fields and a big mountain/hill in the background.  There were creative photo opportunities for the guests, an easy connect to an online wedding album where we could add our photos, and a big cardboard house for the kids to color and play in.  Then, the food they served was brunch (noms!) with a donut and candy bar.  The songs were great, too.

All in all, the wedding was wonderful.  We are so happy for the new couple.  They are two amazing people and it is a blessing they found each other, and I do not use that phrase lightly.  I think they mesh really well and I'm really looking forward to having such a great new addition to the family.  I am so grateful to have such a wonderful family.

The nice thing in adversity and struggle is that when you can calm down, take a breath, and look around, you either realize that you are all alone and you have done it yourself, or that you have fabulous, supportive people surrounding you and quietly lifting you up.  I realized the latter.  I have wonderful coworkers, a supportive husband, and a kind family. Every which way I turned in these past two weeks, there was someone to help me out or give me a piece of advice or a reassuring pat on the back.  I am very thankful.  And it's not even Thanksgiving yet!

Speaking of Thanksgiving, I AM SO EXCITED.  I can use all-caps here because it's silly.  When you are genuinely excited about something that matters, you need to present it with seriousness.  I'mma serious.  But no, really, I am stoked for Thanksgiving.  It is my first big holiday as a new wife, and I really don't care if my hubband doesn't particularly like Thanksgiving food, I am making a huge meal.  I love Thanksgiving food and I am making enough to feast on for several days.  I am putting my heart and soul into it and I'm waiting not so patiently.  Errrghhhh, please hurry by, next two weeks!  And then four more weeks until Winter Break!  The schoolyear is pumping along and it doesn't feel unsurmountable.  Hip hip hooray!

That is all.