Today I am thankful for having a full freezer, pantry and fridge…and our new fridge! Every day I thank God for blessing us with enough, even more than enough. Whether it be food we grow, buy or prepare, we do not go hungry. The fact that there are people who don’t have enough to eat does not get lost on us, we donate food to the food pantry often (and don’t forget the leftovers from one of my birthday dinners). And with this blessing, we have the privilege to host dinners at our house and share meals with our friends.
I am thankful for my iPhone, computer, iPad and all other technology that allows me to communicate with friends and family. My friends live all across the world, I literally mean spread out from Boston to Alabama to Cambodia and everywhere in between. Thanks to technology, my friends are literally at my fingertips any minute of the day. I am able to see their faces thanks to FaceTime and hear their voices, even when they are halfway around world. When we can’t figure out the time differences with our crazy schedules, we are able to stay in constant communication, with updates and advice given via email and text. It’s one thing to have Facebook or Instagram, but it’s not that personalized love you need from your best friend – but I’ve got other apps to cover that 😊
I am thankful that this year continued the #ktomandlamargotimlbtour! The ‘tour’ actually began on Patriot’s Day 2005, when I went to my first Red Sox game (I know, I know!). But…I was invited by Katelyn, who was going to be my college roommate the following fall, and with a three day weekend, why not do something fun? At that time neither Katelyn or I would knew that we would continue to remain roommates for the remainder of college and how much our mutual love of baseball would bring us to a new tradition. Katelyn was brought up the same as me, we we raised fans of our teams (they just happen to be mortal enemies 😲). Over the next few years, we went to many games at Fenway (it was the local stadium).
After graduation, we made it to the original Yankee Stadium so Katelyn could take in a game there. We also went to the new Yankee Stadium and Citi Field. Somewhere in there we decided to make a plan – both of us wanted to go to all the MLB parks in America, so we made a pact that every year we would go to a new park together.
Last year we celebrated #katelynstrikes30 with a road trip to Philadelphia, Baltimore and D.C. to kick off leaving our respective home towns for games (and to celebrate Katelyn’s 30th)! This year instead of seeing multiple stadiums, we had the idea to see both the Yankees and Red Sox play; there was a week in September that they’d both be at Tampa Bay back to back, so in February we planned our trip and booked it! Then Hurricane Irma hit and the trip was cancelled, so we rebooked and headed to Cleveland.
And for anyone wondering, no I will never try to turn her into a Yankees fan, just like she’ll never try to make me a Sox fan. We respect each other’s families enough to understand being raised as a member of either fandom.
Today I am thankful I was able to cross three more states off my bucket list this year! This spring I flew out to PDX to visit my best friend from college and while we explored Oregon, she also made sure we made it to Washington (via the Bridge of the Gods) so I could check out Walking Man Brewery and make it to two new states on my trip. I am double thankful today as this trip also allowed me to see the beautiful land along the Gorge and to see Multnomah Falls before the devastating fire at the end of this summer.
This past week I also had the opportunity to travel to ATL for work. While I have been at the Atlanta airport a number of times before, this was my first time leaving the airport and stepping out on Georgia land! I didn’t have a ton of time to explore the city (though I do plan to head back for that one day) but I did have a fabulous dinner at Two Urban Licks and would recommend that anyone looking for some good smoked BBQ hit them up (and their cocktail menu is pretty good too)!
I am thankful for #charlieandcharcoal! In case you’re wondering what or who that is, you clearly don’t follow me on Instagram as I may have an obsession of posting adorable pictures of our cats. Who would have ever thought I’d become a cat person? Certainly not me (and I do still want a puppy – I may ask the cats a couple days a week if they want a puppy brother…)
About 19 months ago, Tom called and told me our friend took in a pregnant cat that had been hanging around his house. Tom wanted to take I the pregnant cat and then adopt out the mom cat and whichever kittens we didn’t want to keep. Before we even had a chance to discuss, and I was not on board at all, the litter was born in our friend’s garage. When they were a week old, we went to meet them – there was an orange tabby (male), two black tabbys (female) and two part Maine coons (male and female), [also, fun fact, a female cat can get pregnant by more than one cat at a time, hence three tabbys and two Maine coons].
So after about an hour with the kittens, I knew the orange one was special and I decided we could adopt him and we would name him Charlie. We left Charlie with his siblings and mom and visited him about once a week. We decided about a month later that maybe we wanted a second one so Charlie wouldn’t be lonely when we were at work. We knew it would be one of the Maine coons (the black tabbys were scaredy-cats and lame!). We finally settled on the female Maine coon since she was always playing with Charlie (the male Maine coon was also a bit of a bully and I may have nicknamed him ‘Fat B@st@rd’) and we eventually named her Charcoal.
When they finally came home, it was a bit of a shock to me – I had never had a pet until last summer. They love to cuddle and help keep my spirits high. When I’m sad and down, they know, I’m not sure how, but they do. They have some sixth sense and know that I just need to cuddle or pet them. They are cute, adorable and soft (especially Coal). They let me pet them constantly and don’t destroy the house (as in have not broken anything, ever), but they sure do like to run around the house, all around the hardwood floors in the middle of the night so we can hear the putter-patter of eight paws at 2:30AM. But it’s OK because they also act as alarm clocks, as in they wait for the actual alarm to go off and then they make it a point to make sure I know I need to get up to feed them, but that’s OK since at least now I have an ‘alarm clock’ that doesn’t come with snooze!
I am thankful for the Serenity Prayer. It is a simple, short prayer that allows me to center myself and remember that not all things are able to be controlled and to continue to push through the tough times. It also makes me feel comforted as I have been praying it for most of my life – and it used to be in the bathroom at my parents’ house when I was growing up so it also gives me a sense of feeling safe.
I am thankful for my home. Exactly four years ago today, Tom & I saw our house for the first time, 31 days later, we were homeowners. It was a whirlwind four years ago going through the whole process, but it was so worth it.
We had been looking for a house for about six months when we stumbled across this house – we were in no rush to buy a house and would not settle for anything we we’re happy with. After issues with one realtor, we found a new one. In the process of switching realtors, we had found a house that we loved, and by an odd string of events, we met the owners and started talking directly with them – unfortunately we weren’t able to agree on a number, but we were so excited about that house and I had done lots of research on the town and neighborhood. About two months later, it was a Saturday morning and I woke up before Tom — we had planned to do our 16 mile bike ride and have a campfire with some friends that night. Since I was up, I did my daily check-in on all the sites to see if any new homes had been listed and there I saw a house in the exact same neighborhood we looked at in September, the back of this property butts up to the other property. As soon as Tom woke up, I showed him the listing (I’m pretty sure I put the iPad in his face before he was actually awake) and we decided to drive by the house after our ride to see how it looked from the outside. While we were there, our new realtor sent me the listing and said she thought the house would be perfect for us. We agreed and asked her to set up time for us to see if Monday after work.
Monday came, and we spent nearly two hours looking at the house and property (while the realtor’s husband sat in the car waiting to go to dinner). We all knew, this was it – we absolutely wanted to make an offer. Tom and I talked about it for hours, talked about it some more in the morning, and more over lunch, and then after work on Tuesday, we met with our realtor to fill out some papers and put in our offer. We heard back the next morning that they wanted our best and final offer since they had others, so we gave it and waited. On Friday morning, all of three minutes before I was about to head into a big meeting at work, our offer was accepted! By the time I was done with the meeting, we had 48 minutes to call the bank to start mortgage papers since Monday was a bank holiday and our bid was accepted partially because we agreed to close exactly four weeks from the day our first offer went in (which also happened to land on our anniversary). Even with Veteran’s Day and Thanksgiving in between our offer being accepted and our closing, we managed to get everything done (also in part thanks is owed to my very understanding bosses who let me prioritize anything house related for a month) and we closed on our anniversary just 31 days after we first laid eyes on the house.
We still have a lot of work to do on the house (we knew it was a fixer-upper when we bought it) but it is ours and each project we finish makes it that much more ours. Our first projects involved upgrading the electric and buying a new washer, dryer and oven. This year’s projects got put on hold due to other plans life had for us, but we still managed to get a lot of tree work done, including felling three tress, buying a new fridge and switching from an oil fired hot water heater to an electric hot water heater.
I am thankful for my boyfriend. Not because I have one but for all that he does and who he is. He makes me a better person, always pushing me to be better, pushing me to be the best me I can be.
When I mentioned that I was thinking maybe I could go back for an MBA (even though I already have my MSM), he wanted to know why — how would it help me and my career, what would it take, what (if any) would the downfalls of it be? When I lay it all out, it’s and obvious decision, go back and get it, he sees that and he is pushing me to do it, even though it means we will have less time together and I will have less time to do work around the house.
This year, when the unimaginable happened, he was there for me, no questions asked, ever. Mom needed me and he knew that – my top priority was her and doing everything I could for her. When that meant I stopped doing laundry or cleaning dishes, he picked up my slack. When it was time to empty mom’s house and pack up boxes, he moved all the heavy stuff, he emptied the attic, he cleaned the basement, he made sure everything around the house was fixed up to sell it. When it was time to move the boxes out of the house, he loaded it all up and brought it home. He knew going through everything took an emotional toll on me and he did literally everything he could so I’d have less to do.
One week from today I launch a mini-project of my own making! 30 days. 30 posts. 30 things I am thankful for. November is almost upon us, we will start to see posts about No-Shave-November and #30daysofthanks everywhere, and here is going to be no different!
You’d think that I might be a bit further ahead, you know, stock piling and scheduling some posts, but that would be to simple. I am going to try to have a few prewritten (just in case life gets in the way and I don’t have time to write), but the plan is to spend time each day in November to write a post about something I am thankful for that day. Some posts will be short. Some will be long. Some will have pictures and links. Who really knows what is coming? Not me, though at least I have a general plan. I can’t wait to start this journey with you!