Sometimes it seems like the Universe is stacking up blessings at your feet. They are usually disguised as everyday ordinary occurrences, or opportunities to spend more time smiling. Like this weekend, for instance. Friday the King and I spent the evening with our friends Jacob and Cathy. We had a wonderful dinner at Sushi and Saki (although, that is the last all you can eat sushi I attempt) and then we went bowling at the bowling alley next door. For those of you that know me at all, you know that “inconsistent” is usually the nicest thing you can say about my bowling abilities. But Friday I got my highest score ever, despite an incredibly slow start to the game. I have no idea how I pulled this off, but I guess bowling isn’t so bad…
Saturday, I actually slept in for the first time in months. I stayed in bed until almost 8:30! (well, after waking up at 5:30 and putting the dogs out, I went back to bed and stayed there.) Ed and I grabbed a couple of burritos and then went to help my WODsister move into her new place. It was a really pretty day, and it was nice to be outside together. Ed tends to stay inside when he is off. I guess when you work out in the sun all day, its not as much fun to just be outside. At least without a fishing pole.
After that we tried this new restaurant for lunch, Flamez. It was a little pricey, but OOOOHHHHH EMMMMMMM GEEEEEE! It was delish! They had a great selection of different kinds of burger patties to choose from, check it out:
Ed declared them to be the best burgers he has ever eaten. That is pretty impressive coming from him. I am not really a big burger person, so I had the Caprese sandwich, and let me tell you…. Yum! We had two meals and an appetizer and it was about $35.00, so not outrageous. Check it out if you are in the area.
I also got several of the plants I requested from Spring Hill Nursery, they were delivered on Saturday. The grab bag of full sun perennials ended up being four potentially large shrubberies (which is a word that never fails to remind me of Monty Python. “we are the knights who say Ni!”) We will see if these plants manage to live. We may have over fertilized the yard area a little when we were planning on putting in grass, so the soil there could be anywhere from perfect to highly corrosive. It should be interesting to find out which end of the spectrum it falls on.
After lunch we went to our friends’ house for a barbecue. These were the same group of friends that went with us to the lake, and so we had to have a corn-hole rematch. The new boards are a little slick, so it will take a little more practice for Jenn and I to take back the crown. But we will…. oh yes, we will. I am wondering how much the margaritas had to do with our less than killer scores. Maybe the jello shots were a factor. Hard to say.
Sunday morning was my first PiYo in the Park with my friend Angie teaching the class. It was great! What a nice way to start the day! Grisham Park in Northeast Albuquerque is a great little park with exorcise equipment and big shade trees. Its also right down the street from my house. It was a good stretch and a nice start to the day. And with that out of the way, the rest of the day could be spent in Father’s Day mode. I called my Daddy (who is the paramount example of fatherhood on the planet, thank you very much) and we talked about the US Open and yard maintenance, as well as his and mom’s upcoming visit. If only he were closer, I would have loved to see him for Father’s day.
But, the King woke up to a nice card, courtesy of yours truly. He also got to play his Xbox all uninterrupted-like while I was out at PiYo. Then he got homemade brunch, also courtesy of yours truly, although the cat helped (mostly by sitting in his lap.) After brunch he got calls from all of his kids, from his Auntie Jenny, his mom, and a really nice facebook post from a young man he essentially helped to raise. He also got a call from Jay, which was very sweet but I am not sure how he rates. On mother’s day, all I got was a text from my son, yet Ed gets a call…. hmmm….
Since both of the boys were working, we went to BWW to see them, and the girls also came by with their boyfriends. They got Ed his very own cheesecake and a really sweet card for Father’s day, and of course, several rounds of drinks for him to share with his kids. Needless to say, he was in heaven.
I even “let” him play more Xbox.
A whole lot of happy memories rolled up into two days, some good food, great friends, and loving family.
Have you ever noticed that a lot of prep work goes into how Monday is going to feel? Most Monday mornings are a mixture of disbelief and despair. Disbelief the weekend went by so fast, and despair that you have 5 days and nights to get through to get to the next one.
I have noticed that if I end Sunday with a session of hot yoga, I can often greet Monday with a little less resentment. If my Saturday was filled with something other housework, it will go a long way toward a blissful Monday as well.
This weekend was a perfect example. Friday night with the King’s family and a fantastic game of cards. (Fantastic mostly because I won.) Good food and warm and welcoming company is a great way to spend an evening! Then up early to fuel up for CrossFit, where my Miss Rebekah joined me to try her beast mode skills. She did great! and I was happy to finally get her into the box. Of course she hated the wall balls, but honestly, who doesn’t?
Saturday night we went to the bowling alley with my friends Carley and Jerome, and some people from work. It was a lot of fun, and I only threw the ball backwards once, and their were no reported injuries. I actually didn’t do too bad for someone who has only bowled about eight times in their life. (Yes, I know, I live next door to a bowling alley! I never go, what can I say.)
Sunday morning we celebrated King Edward’s birthday yet again. This time we were treated to brunch prepared by his daughters and their boyfriends. It was wonderful! His girls are amazing young women, and I am thankful to count them in both my family and my blessings.
Unfortunately, Ed is getting a little too used to the attention, so hopefully this will end the birthday festivities.
After brunch I was able to convince Ed to go to a nursery to look at plants. We spoke to a really helpful guy at Jackalope, and got some great ideas for the yard. We also got some valuable advice about the benefits of xeriscaping and how long to wait before planting in the newly fertilized earth. Then we took a little drive looking around looking for the kind of tree the king wants in the front yard. Its called an umbrella catalpa, by the way.
And of course the evening wrapped up with hot yoga. Blissful and energized for Monday, I am able to find a little gratitude for the end of the weekend. At least I should get a little rest at work!
As my school semester gets more complicated, the time I get to spend on things that are not (1) Work; (2) School; or (3) Family/Home has gotten shorter and shorter. Throw into that mix the puppy, all my training goals, and trying to find time to finish our taxes and you get the image of a woman at her wits end.
That’s not really true of course. The truth is, although I have not had a chance to sit down and blog daily lately, I am still on an amazing journey of gratitude and thanksgiving. Its the little things, after all, that make living into a life.
Here is a little thing, I finally got my Keurig coffee maker! I have been wanting one of these for about 5 years now, and I found this little read one on sale at Kohls for $80 (with my coupon). I spent three days playing with it, before I realized I was wasting K-cups and if I wanted that much coffee I should just make a pot. Before you ask, yes I got the red one, and it looks perfect in my kitchen!
Another little thing, I spent about 3 hours on Friday working on my Irish Music playlist. You have no idea how much happiness I get from listening to the Irish fiddle and the lilting brogue of Makem and Clancy. Spending an hour dancing around my living room like the “Lord of the Dance’s” accident-prone cousin just makes me happy and it entertains the cat. (At least until I stepped on her tail in a frantic bout of Irish Jig-ing.) I ended up with a nice mix of Irish folk, punk, and metal, and I felt ready to show my Irish pride.
Saturday was I dragged my friend Mechem to Cantina CrossFit and watched her face go from fear to disbelief to sheer joy as she had her first go at CrossFit training. I watched her eyes light up that moment that she realized she could do so much more than she thought she could. It makes me happy to see someone else fall in love with this sport. She will definitely be back.
And after CrossFit, I got to grab a beer with my friends, have some coffee with my Auntie, and spend the afternoon with Ed as he looked for the perfect RV with which to live his camping, hunting, and fishing dreams. We had a little lunch and even treated ourselves to dessert from the Flying Star. (Try the Naranja!)
It was nice to wake up on Sunday and have a little quiet with my coffee. (My awesome Keurig K-cup coffee! Woo hoo!) As a special treat, I made “Gringo” breakfast for King Edward and myself. Fresh eggs from my friend Alyssa’s chickens, potatoes O’Brien (it is St. Patty’s day) turkey sausage and 9-grain toast. No chile anywhere. No tortillas. Strictly East Coast style. And I even gave the King the last of the O.J.
I got a lot of homework done, got a lot of puppy cuddles with both the dogs, and even made it to hot yoga with my girl Carley and her fiancee Jerome. Not bad for a rest day!
This week, I have been busy at work, busy with school, busy with home, and busy moving my butt. I started a new fitness challenge with my friend Rebekah, and I know that what I get from my training at CrossFit will really give me a plus. I still manage to find some serenity inside my hoop, at least once a week. And I am enjoying getting back outside to walk during my work day.
The King and I celebrated not feeling like cooking with a trip to the Samurai Grill. And last night we cheered on the Lobos in their March Madness appearance against Harvard, at BWW. They lost, but they had a great season. And it was definitely a win for me. I got to spend time with some of my favorite people on this Earth.
So there you have it. A wide assortment of little things. Nothing fancy, nothing over-the-top. Little things that make the big impact of bringing me happiness, making me smile, and reminding me that a life is more than the time you spend living. Life is about recognizing the joy that living brings you.
Love hoops and happiness everyone!
So today is the last day of the month. January 31. I have managed to find some pretty amazing things this month that simply make me grateful. Thanks for following along with me. I have found thankfulness for my health, for my friends, and the ability to slow down and enjoy the moment, among many other things. The process of isolating one thing each day and embracing it as a unique and special gift has given me the ability to see my life much more clearly and from a place of humility. I am blessed. Truly blessed.
And just to round the month out, today was another day filled with more little blessings to embrace.
So for my Thursday I packed up my new Lulu and headed out to work. My mid-day break at yogalates was INSANE! And thanks to my awesome instructor, I now can’t listen to the song, “Drive By” by Train, without my thighs hurting. Drive-By thighs were three minutes and ten seconds of agony followed by a five minute plank-a-thon. Sometimes I wonder if I have had a head injury that I forgot about. I am not sure why else I would keep doing these things to myself. (If you want to try some great pilates-based workouts, check out Cassey Ho at Blogilates. She is a great instructor, very motivating, and only slightly insane.)
I also got to see my friends for after work coffee. This something that several of my friends do as close to once a week as possible. Its nice to catch up and talk about how everyone is doing. We may not always be able to find time, but when we do we spend it well. Over the years our coffee date has grown from just Steph, Toni and me, and now often includes several other friends, even some of the kiddos, and every now and then the men will join us. We take turns on hosting and always have the best conversations. More than that, its a way to find support, camaraderie, and encouragement. Its mostly a time we devote being there for each other. And it is amazing that we can still find time for it, after 5 years and countless life changes.
And as always, I have the blessing of life with my furry babies and my King Edward. Its always nice to come home to a warm welcome.
So for the first month of 2013, I can say with absolute certainty that I am truly grateful for everything and everyone that fills my life with joy. There are so many things to be thankful for…
Sunday was an amazing day all around. I slept in again (NICE!) and the king took me to “brunch” at our regular hangout, Garcia’s Kitchen. Ed loves Garcia’s for the food, which is good and pretty close to home cooked New Mexican cuisine, but I love the restaurant’s atmosphere. The food is good, don’t get me wrong, but the best part is the service. I have never had anything but friendly service at Garcia’s. They seem really happy to have us join them for a meal. How refreshing is that!
After our breakfast/lunch, Ed decided to spend a little quality time with his Xbox. Apparently double xp points are very valuable in the never ending quest to level up. Whatever that means. Since he was busy blowing up imaginary enemies of world peace, I decided to go grab myself some peace of my own. I recently hit my 50lb weight loss mark and I had been looking for a way to reward myself. I spent almost a month narrowing it down between a new Hoopnitica hoop, a Lululemon shopping day, or a spa day. I chose the Lululemon. I think it was the right choice!
If you have not Lulu’d get your yoga/running loving self over there! The staff was great, the store is adorable, and the clothes… The CLOTHES! Sweet Mother Hubbard! The best active shorts I have ever tried on are the Lululemon Groove short. So comfortable, so soft, and they fit like skin! Add to my new shorts, two very cute (and clearanced) tanks and I walked out a happy happy girl.
I ran home with my goodies and starting drinking water like a fiend. I had to try out my new pretties at hot yoga tonight! And they were sooooo comfortable. I love the fit and I am happy to have them for my weekly practice.
But the very best part of my Sunday came after brunch, after shopping, and after hot yoga. The best part of my Sunday came when I got home and called my beautiful grandmother for her 88th birthday. My grandma lives in Arkansas, so I don’t get to see her very often. I was really glad to spend time with her and my Aunt, Uncle and cousin over Christmas, but I could always use more time with her. She is a straight-up woman of steel. Smart, self-sufficient, funny, devoted, and one of my personal role models.
Grandma said she had a great birthday weekend. She spent time with friends and family and even got to stay in her pjs while a friend brought her breakfast. It was good to hear her voice so full of happiness and joy. I loved it. I always love time with Grandma, even on the phone. But even more than hearing her so happy, Grandma gave me the greatest gift. I was talking with her about school when Grandma said she was proud of me. I thought she meant about working to continue my education, but she went on to tell me that she was just proud of me. How I had gone my own way and made my own life. She said she knew it hadn’t always been easy for me, and that I had not done things the way others had expected, but that I never gave up and that she was proud. I don’t think anyone has ever given me a greater gift than that and for that, I feel truly blessed. Thank you Grandma.
TGIF! Especially a Friday off! With my work schedule, I have every other Friday off. Today is one of those days and I love it! That alone is worth being thankful for….
But today is a busy day full of wonderful things to appreciate. I got to start the day with Hot Yoga, one of my two new favorite exercise addictions. Carley and I headed back to Cloud 9 Divine for their Warm and Gently morning yoga. The class wasn’t my favorite, but the instructor was great, and yoga is a great start to the day.
After yoga, I did a little shopping, and finally got a pair of jeans that fit! Much to the relief of my friends who are constantly telling me I look like a homeless person in my baggy pants. (What do you want, jeans are expensive!) I also picked up some groceries, and headed home to do a little straightening up, and got ready for Rebekah to arrive.
My Biggest Loser team mate, Rebekah, and I are preparing for a speech we have to give on Wednesday. As the Season IV winners of the Biggest Loser, we are presenting at the kickoff for this new season. Over the last year Rebekah and I have each lost 50lbs, or as I like to put it, between us we have lost an Olsen twin. So we are trying to sound motivational and inspiring without being overly emotional and annoying. It is surprisingly a very fine line.
Rebekah and I were later joined by Carley and her Mom and headed to my friend Jenn’s for a Scentsy party. (If you haven’t tried this stuff yet, check it out! It makes your house smell amazing!) We had so much fun, food and wine, great conversation, wonderful friends, and of course, the Scentsy yummy smells. What a great night!
After dropping Rebekah with her car and heading inside, I spent the rest of my evening with a hot cup of tea and my furry kids. This is the kind of day that makes me realize how much I have to be thankful for, health, happiness, and the love of family, friends, and furries. To borrow a phrase from the 49ers, “Who’s got it better than that? Nobody.”