Tuesday, July 31, 2012

I have gratitude today for...
* the pretty roses I got to look at all day from my honey.
* committing to no meat in August; I've been back and forth but I've done it before and I know I can do it again!
* renewing my BJ's membership and buying lots of great stuff to start out our healthy eating endeavor. I got mini packs of hummus and guacamole as well as organic tortilla chips, Fiber One bars, individual packs of almonds and huge containers of fresh greens and spinach!
* an incredible yoga class with Marissa--I was extremely challenging but I got through it, I'm getting used to the hot yoga. She also read some quotes that resonated with me as I try to get past some stuff that's been weighing on me for the last year.

"Learning how to cultivate a non-reactive awareness is the essential skill, which deepens your experience of both feeling and thought. An intimacy with self results when you can feel powerful emotions arise in the body, or see distracting thoughts and conditioned responses arise in your mind, without losing yourself in them. Self-observation as prescribed by Swami Kripalu is not a way to distance yourself from experience to produce a disembodied, arms-length or dissociative state. It is being right there in the midst of whatever is arising in the body and psyche, choosing to experience it fully while refraining from judgment and reaction".
* watching the U.S. Women's Gymnastics team win Gold! I don't know how they do it or how their parents watch. I had sweaty palms the whole time. They were almost perfect, what a great job by all 5 women!

Monday, July 30, 2012

I have gratitude today for...
* getting my ass to yoga even though I didn't really feel like going.
* an excellent dinner at Bacco with Erin. It was nice to catch up with her and the food was amazing!! I can't wait for their vacation week in Sea Isle to get here.
* the gorgeous roses and sweet card Andy had for me when I got home.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

I have gratitude today for...
* a yum smoothie with fresh strawberries and other frozen fruits mixed with a little seltzer water for breakfast. I'm glad I've started using my Vitamix again!
* reading a whole bunch more of "The Help."
* spending some time floating in the bay before the crazy thunderstorms arrived.
* Erilin's "Ladybug" 1st Birthday Celebration---Megan's family came over and we had Primo's hoagies and birthday cake.
Happy 1st Birthday Sweet Girl
* sitting up on the deck with Andy for a bit after the party talking and then watching the Olympics.
* the Groupon I bought for a leather bound photobook. Maybe I'll finally work on a wedding album for Andy & me. 

Saturday, July 28, 2012

I have gratitude today for...
* the new chair float I bought at Sports Authority. I spent a couple hours floating in the bay, reading my Kindle. It was great!
* making fresh salsa and guacamole this afternoon. We had an excellent Mexican dinner tonight!
* visiting Leslie & Terry's house to watch the Olympics with their gang.

Friday, July 27, 2012

I have gratitude today for...
* finally getting the Evite out for the Women for Women fundraiser I am hosting for Aunt Kathy.
* spending some time at the beach after work reading "The Help." I'm so glad I started reading this book, it's been on my list for several years and it deserves the hype.
* a relaxing evening watching the 2012 Olympic Opening Ceremonies. Although I find them kind of boring it would feel funny not having them on. I worked on the photo project while we watched.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

I have gratitude today for...
* Motorola agreeing to send me a new phone charger. I was hoping I wouldn't have to pay for one since it's less than a year old.
* a great experience at Bryn Mawr Running Company. After last week's race I decided I need real running sneakers. I loved how knowledgeable they were and I felt like they cared about finding me the best fit, not necessarily selling me the most expensive pair. I will definitely go back.
* ING Direct coming out with photo check deposit. Now I'll never have to go to the bank!
* Yangming for lunch---no meat in August so I'm eating what I want over the next few days.
* a great call with Sam. He told me I'm doing a great job and he's been very pleased with our region. I feel so lucky to have this job.

* going to yoga tonight. The class was 1 1/2 hours and it was challenging but felt great.
* dinner at Bertucci's with Andy. We hadn't been there in a long time and it was excellent.
* the crazy lightning tonight, I've never seen anything like it.
* starting a big project with all of our family photos tonight, I've been wanting to do something like this for a long time and I finally started it.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

I have gratitude today for...
* Steve giving us his friends & family discount code for the Hyatt in Aruba. Now we can go back to where we celebrated our honeymoon. They are also going to try to come for a few days! So excited!!!
* all of the kind words from friends and family after I posted my race pictures.
* visiting Chrissy & Bella when I got to NJ. We sat out back and talked for a while. I also stopped my favorite $ Store near her house and picked up a bunch of cards.
* a nice visit with Mom & Dad. We had a really good talk about lots of things that have happened over the last year. Dad made a great dinner with chicken, rice & salad. Then Mom & I went to Bed, Bath & Beyond to get her the Shark Navigator. I bought another float for the shore, they had it for a really great price.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

I have gratitude today for...
* the really nice email John sent me this morning. He thanked me for coming last night, that he's proud of me, and thinks of me as a little sister. That meant a lot after all we've been through. 
* lunch at The Great American Pub with John, Sharon & Jocelyn. 
* Andy coming home after work and being able to drive to the game together. 
* talking to Aunt Colleen and wishing her a Happy 50th Birthday!
* a fun time at the Phillies game with Mom, Dad & Andy. It felt great to be able to take them to the game, neither of them have been to Citizens Bank Park before. Dad was like a little kid, excited to be so close up! It ended up being a fantastic game with a 5 run comeback in the 8th inning. I told Mom it's not everyday you see a game like that!

* the email I got from Megan in Pittsburgh that we met during Starlake weekend. She was so nice and hopefully we can meet up at another show. 

Monday, July 23, 2012

I have gratitude today for...
* lunch at Iron Hill with Ian after our presentation at Westfield. 
* my first Jin Shin Jyutsu appointment with Hannelore. I am so glad Lori recommended her to me. I've decided to invest in myself and work on getting past the things that have been weighing on me from last summer. My shower, the wedding planning, the tension with some people that I still feel today. I realize the only thing I can do is work on myself, I can't change anyone else. This was a great thing for me to try and I'm looking forward to my next session in two weeks. 
* an incredibly good time at Suburban Life's "Best of the Best" party. It felt so great to walk into the room knowing so many people. Everyone seemed genuinely happy to see me, especially Ed & Gerry. Ed even said to me "are you ready to come back yet?" It's nice to feel valued. It was fun having Andrew, Viki & Lori there as well as the whole Suburban Life gang. I feel very lucky to be able to go back to events like that without there being hard feelings. It makes me that much more certain (if that's even possible) that I made the right choice. 

Sunday, July 22, 2012

I have gratitude today for...
* finishing my first 5k this morning!! Ok, so I ran one when I was in high school---but I haven't ran a 5k in over 15 years and I'm so proud of myself. I did it without stopping and my time was 37 minutes. Although my time was pretty bad, my goal was to run without stopping and I reached that goal. There were 11 of us that ran the "Run from the Sun" in memory of Melissa. I was so happy Pat & Joyce and Kristin & Tim were able to make it. 

* spending time with everyone after the race back at the house.
* hanging out at Jess & John's house before the Counting Crows concert. Their new pool and patio are gorgeous!
*the awesome Wrigley Field photo print Jess gave me from the DMB shows @ Wrigley in 2010. She also gave me a few DMB t-shirts. :-)
* Wawa chicken salad shortie for dinner before the show, I really enjoyed it for some reason today. I'm usually not the biggest fan of Wawa hoagies. (for you Deb!)
* a great time at the Counting Crows concert with Jess & John. I could listen to them forever. They played a few songs I really wanted to hear, a few were left out but oh well. It was great to see them!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

I have gratitude today for...
* the fantastic chicken marsala dinner I made for Andy & me tonight. 
* watching the movie "Water for Elephants". I thought it was pretty well done. I found parts of it hard to watch, maybe more so because I knew what was coming. I really loved how they started the movie with the ending of the book.

Friday, July 20, 2012

I have gratitude today for...
* the animal crackers I bought at the airport today They were the good kind I remember Mom-Mom buying for us when we were little. They came in a little cardboard box with a string handle. She used to "surprise" me with them when she would come back from the grocery store. 

* making my connecting flight to Philly. We were late getting into LaGuardia and I was nervous I missed it. I normally wouldn't care but it's Friday and I didn't want to be stuck in an airport all night trying to get on another flight. 
* Mack's Pizza for lunch/dinner. I only had animal crackers and Vitamin water all day so I was starving!
* finding some cute running shorts at TJ Maxx.
* starting "The Help." I've been wanting to read this ever since Jean Hepke recommended it two years ago. I love it so far!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

I have gratitude today for...
* fresh cantaloupe and pineapple at the breakfast buffet in the hotel. I was craving fresh fruit and it was really good. The waitstaff was extremely friendly too!
* a nice time at lunch with several ESIS adjusters. We went to a place called Hogshead and it was a fun, family-owned restaurant with a busy lunch crowd. It reminded me of a place that "Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives" would feature. My favorite part was the house salad, it was really good.
* a wonderful experience at Syn Nails. The salon was beautiful and they did a great job handling such a large group. The salon is run by a brother & sister and her husband and I really enjoyed working with them. Cynthia did a fantastic job on my eyebrows and my nails look awesome too.
* dinner at Carrabba's. I really enjoyed the minestrone soup tonight and was happy I just had the chicken marsala with spinach--skipped the potatoes and still left stuffed.
* talking with Andy for a bit when I returned to the hotel.
* chatting with Mom on Facebook and making plans to get together next week.

Anybody Out There?

Oh boy, it's been a while (again)! I can not believe it's been almost 3 months since I last updated the blog (again)! How is this possible? How is it mid-July? How is summer half over? Where is 2012 going???

So I have all of May and some of June logged in my planner for my "Gratitude" blog. I'm trying to piece together the rest and hopefully will be caught up by the end of this coming weekend. Why do I do this to myself? It takes 5-10 minutes a day to do the blog and I keep falling so far behind. I had Dr. Oz on the other day and Dr. Weil was his guest. He said keeping a gratitude journal makes you live longer--how about that?

A quick update on the last few months:

- I lasted with not eating any meat whatsoever for 7 weeks. It was a great experience and I will definitely do it again. I visited Grandma & Grandpa in the beginning of May and had a little bit of chicken. I've been gradually inching back to eating chicken 1-2 times a day. It's time to read a book or two that will totally gross me out---my plan is no meat for at least one month each quarter. August is my "no meat" month for Q3.

- I started running! Yes, me. I mean, I'm not running everyday or anything, but I'm trying to not hate it. A bunch of us in Andy's family decided to run Avalon's "Run from the Sun" 5k this summer in memory of Melissa. I ran for the first time in years in June; I did 1 mile and thought I was going to die. Yesterday, I ran 3.2 miles (on a treadmill, no less) and I was so excited. The race is Sunday and I'm confident I'll be able to run the whole thing. I'm in love with "yurbuds"---earphones that are designed by marathon runners that stay in your ears and sound great. I saw them on The View one day and had to try them out, they've made a huge difference!

- I've been to 6 DMB shows so far and each one has been filled with incredible memories. A few were lackluster sets but I was happy to spend the time with such special friends. Mansfield N1, Camden N1 and both Pittsburgh shows were especially great.

- I've fallen in love with reading again. It had been so long since I read a book and now I have a list a mile long of books I want to read. So far this summer I've read The Necklace, Water for Elephants, The Middle Place, American Idol- The Untold Story (please do not judge, it was very interesting and it's actually fascinating what a business/brand American Idol has become) and half of 50 Shades of Grey (so far I could take it or leave it). Next on my list, The Help.

- I'm loving my job at GlobalOptions. I get to meet new people all the time and I never have the same day twice. I still feel like I have a lot to learn but I am getting there. I feel so lucky that this opportunity fell in my lap (thanks Ian!)

- Andy & I decided to extend our lease for at least an additional 6 months. We love the house (minus a few quirks and a very hot 3rd floor; ie: my office.) We have no desire to move again unless it's into a house that we are buying so it works for us to stay a bit longer for now. It kills me to pay such high rent but we are in a great area and it is nice not to worry about the bills when the A/C isn't working, the sink is dripping, screens need replacing and so on.

- We booked a couple of trips and I'm reallllllly looking forward to them! We're going to CA in September. I'll spend a couple of days with Becky and then Andy will meet me and we'll stay with Craig & Debbie for a few days. We're going to the Irvine show and will get to see Maureen and a few other Cali friends. In November we're re-doing our honeymoon; 9 days in Aruba!! I hate to wish the summer away but this fall is going to be awesome!

I'm sure there's a whole lot more I could write about but it's time to get working on the Gratitude blog. Hopefully this is the last time I have to play catch up like this!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

I have gratitude today for...
* finally mailing out Vanessa's 30th birthday package. It's embarrassing how late her gift is, good thing she is 30 all year long!
* being able to say hi to John when I parked at Colonial today.
* not being afraid to fly. On my flight from Philly to JFK airport I sat next to a girl who was visibly trembling and hysterically crying. I felt so bad for her--she didn't speak much English and I asked her if she was ok and she just nodded. I can't relate to how she felt but I know she was full of fear and anxiety. I believe if the plane goes down, it goes down. There's nothing we can do about it---we are subjected to possible car accidents many times a day so there is no point in getting freaked out when flying.
* getting an upgrade on my rental car. I was supposed to have a small economy car and ended up with a Dodge Avenger. I feel like I'm driving a boat but it's really comfy and has good speakers. :-)
* making myself go to the fitness center after I arrived to the hotel, and then making myself run 3.2 miles on the treadmill. I proved to myself I could do it so I know I'll be able to do it on Sunday. I really did not like the treadmill at all---I don't mind the elliptical but the treadmill was dread full. I like running outside much better!
* resorting to Applebee's for dinner because it's on the other side of the parking lot from the hotel and I didn't feel like making a big production out of getting dinner. I had tomato basil soup and some pasta w/chicken and veggies. The soup was awesome, the pasta was not. Oh well...
* watching Chemerical on Netflix. Everyone should watch this, especially mothers. Another appalling look at what goes into the products we use everyday. I'm glad I'm learning more about this and changing how we clean. My next thing is making our own laundry detergent.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

I have gratitude today for...
* asking Jess if she is a Counting Crows fan. She was so excited about me inviting her to go on Sunday and got John to come too. Yay! We got great seats for under face value and parking is included. I love summer and outdoor shows!
* going to Marisa's hot yoga class tonight. I'm pretty sure I sweat out a few pounds. It was hot as hell but I'm glad I went.
* Jeff visiting us and staying for dinner. I made a huge salad, grilled chicken, quinoa w/veggies, corn and broccoli. Everything was really good.
* going for a walk with Andy through town for an ice cream cone---there goes all of the calories I burned tonight.
* my new vacuum arriving from Bed, Bath & Beyond. Who knew I'd ever write that on a gratitude journal?