… that the fitting problems with the skirt the other day are not due to any change in my measurements. (I had to check, seeing as how I was going to attempt a different, also untried skirt pattern.)
… for my age (sometimes). I am the youngest of the 5 graduate students in my class, and yet I still feel incredibly old when I look at about half of my classmates. Also, on Monday I found out that the high schoolers in the after school program were born the year I graduated high school. Oh dear.
… for patience, though I’ve not had much of it today. (And what I’ve had has been sorely abused. But that’s not really in the spirit of thankfulness, now is it.)
… for Reese’s miniatures, which are far superior to the regular thing. I wish I had some right now.
… for time to be creative, no matter how superficial or insignificant. (Class was cancelled last night, but only after we’d all sat there for 45 minutes – devoted group, are we not? The free 2 hours were a pleasant surprise. I prepped the pattern for McCalls 5523, and then spent way too much time painting my nails and catching up on soaps on Hulu.)
… for technology that has completely changed the way we live.
… for the hope of seeing some sunshine this weekend (it’s already starting to feel like I never see daylight, with it being mostly dark when I leave for work and the sun setting shortly after getting home).
… for weekend plans that are not limited to homework and yard work.
… for tweezers, because, let’s be honest, sometimes hairs grow where they shouldn’t. (Though at the moment I’m “growing out” my eyebrows, and there are a few that have decided to grow perpendicular to my face, as in they’re sticking straight out from my face, and they won’t be tamed by anything. They may have to go. I had this crazy idea to re-discover the original shape of my eyebrows. I’m thinking it was a silly idea, but I’m already committed now.)
… for a husband who keeps track of little details that I would forget, like backing up the server, or paying bills. 🙂
… for the freedoms and rights we experience in America (even if it does mean I’m spending next week on jury duty).
… the farmer’s market, as long as it sticks around.
… family who share the bounty of their squash harvests, especially since we didn’t do any edible gardening this year.
… tomorrow night’s Twins’ game excursion.
… nail polish and all the ways one can be creative and make oneself feel pretty with it. (Seriously, y’all, I did a terrible job last night on my nails and they still look fun and fabulous, and no one else seems to care that they’re not perfect, they’re just impressed that my nails are teal and black plaid. For real.)
… tennis shoes and flip-flops and all the other comfortable shoes that are out there.
… everyone who has been willing to entertain me on the drive home from class.
… getting the chance to complain, and then letting it go. It is what it is. Now let’s go from there.
… thick-cut peppered bacon.
… making new friends in class, and reacquainting myself with some people from the spring semester (who seem much nicer now, which is good, because there are only 4 of us who are grad students, and I know it’s incredibly snobbish and elitist of me, but there’s just such a difference).
… the internet, and how it means I can buy just about anything I can think of, teach myself lots of things, read and learn about stuff, and just generally expand my horizons.
I think I did a decent job of turning today around. Thanks for all the support!
Haven’t done this in a while… the last few Thursdays I haven’t had my usual schedule, but things are back to normal (relatively speaking), at least this week. (Next week I could very well be managing the office as we brace for shutdown. But let’s set that thought aside for now.)
… for all the rain we’ve been getting. The new grass seed we planted on the corner is doing well, as is the rest of the yard. And the weeds. And the mushrooms. We have very fertile soil. Next year when I’m gardening again, I’ll be very thankful for that. Also, I think the rain has prevented our chainsaw-yielding neighbor from making noise all weekend long.
… for birthday week! Starting Monday, I’ve received at least one birthday card every day this week. It’s like birthweek! It’s helping ease the blow of 33 (which is turning out to seem way worse than 30).
… I don’t feel 33. Not a day over 26. Seriously. (I could have gone younger, but I have been married for nearly 4 years, and we own a house. 26 seems old enough for all that.)
… for all of my nearly-33 years. Not that all of them were pleasant, but they have all shaped me and my life, for which I am thankful. Because I’m happy.
… that I have the summer off of school. I enjoy not having homework.
… for a governor who has refused to sign a bill reducing the state workforce by [insert percent here – it doesn’t really matter what percent, though the last number I heard was 15]%. I enjoy being employed. Though I’ve worked here 8 1/2 years, I still have almost no seniority, so if we shrink, I’ll probably get bumped. I’d rather not. It’s nice working for someone who appreciates and understands the value of the work I [we] do. (That goes for everyone from my immediate boss up to the governor, because I really do feel like they understand and value us.)
… that we got the ceiling up! It sounds like we’ll have house guests early next week, so it’s a good thing that we’re done with that. Now we’ll be able to get the spare bedroom presentable before they arrive.
… for whoever it is that introduced one of my friends to Bar Abilene, which has been our (my girlfriends and me, that is) go-to place for get togethers. I am eagerly anticipating guacamole and margaritas tonight.
… that children don’t sleep with blankets right away, because ‘s quilt will not be done by the end of the month, but he will be moving to a big boy bed July 1. Wouldn’t want him to be cold!
… for the cute conversation relayed to me, wherein asked her if was going to have a “J” blanket like his. That made me smile.
… for opportunities to be creative, whether presented to me or just taken when I see them.
… for the dress I’m wearing today, which makes me feel pretty and grown-up, similar to yesterday’s outfit, which made me feel professional and business-like (black floral Anne Klein silk shell that I bought on ebay with black pants – apparently it made me look skinny too, because I was asked if I lost weight, which is the opposite of reality).
… for the cavities I had filled last week (no really, stay with me here). They were in the very front of my mouth, and I had to actively talk myself out of being terrified, because that needle of novocaine, right up there in the top front gums, that’s no fun at all. It wasn’t really that bad in the end, but I’m using the terror and extreme dislike of the experience to force myself to floss every night and rinse with fluoride. I’m hoping that if I visualize that every night, I won’t get lazy and take a day (or month) off, and then I will have fewer cavities. It could work.
… for very thoughtful co-workers, who always remember my birthday despite the fact that we don’t celebrate birthdays here. Tomorrow someone is bringing treats to celebrate the June birthdays (myself and the other redhead, whose birthday was last week), which is pretty awesome since we don’t do that.
… for guests coming next week, which means that, for a short time, my house will be very clean. I’m even going to wash the bathroom floor. Yech.
… for the guy at Caribou who remembers my name every morning and greets me with a smile. It’s nice to interact with someone who is happy to see me that early in the morning (even if it’s just his job to be friendly and a morning person). It’s also nice that he’s not 18. (The last person I had a good rapport with was a guy at the tea place downtown, which has since closed. He was friendly and it was enjoyable to talk with him. I’m totally cool with my service person flirting a bit with me. It’s not real – it’s just their job. Anyway. At one point, months into our interaction, in the process of telling me a story he mentioned his age. He was 18. That kind of took all the fun out if the experience and made me feel icky. I could have sworn he was 25. Not that it mattered. I was married. But still, a little harmless flirtation with my coffee was fun and games until that point.)
… for Caribou’s chocolate selections, which are all decaf.
… for my Rav, which has made furnishing our family room so much easier. It also makes trips to Home Depot easy, and it’s fun to park it next to the trucks near the “Contractor” section of the lot. I’m easily amused, apparently. You would be too if you spent as much time at Home Depot as we do.
… for Twitter, which is the only way I learned that sign-ups for the next Doll Quilt Swap just opened up. I didn’t participate in the last round, and had stopped checking the group message boards, so I wouldn’t have known if someone hadn’t tweeted about it. (Well, if I wasn’t so behind on blog reading, I probably would have found out that way, but my reader has about 300 unread items right now, and that’s after I unsubscribed to a ton of stuff.)
… for all my life experiences that make it easier to deal with persons with mental illness. It doesn’t happen a lot here at work, but when it does, it’s good to be understanding and compassionate.
… for the little opportunities to make someone else’s day a bit better. I don’t take advantage of all of them, but I feel better about myself when I do. And I’m thankful for all the people I interact with who take the opportunity to make others’ days better too. The world is just a nicer, friendlier place.
Finished the Cascade Cozy Shrug Tuesday night before dinner. Haven’t gotten to wear it yet because the weather hasn’t been cooperating (sleeveless shrug? not when there’s snow on the ground). Photos below….
Started and finished Butterick 5525 Tuesday night (2 1/2 hours), but can’t wear it until I wash it, because the blue wash-out pen I used won’t wash-out. It’s cute, though. The neckline is a bit wide, but I’m hoping maybe it’ll tighten up a bit in the wash.
Started Butterick 5398 last night, the dress (in the pink stripe). I need to do the topstitching on the neckline, assemble and attach the sleeves, and hem it, and then I’m done. That sounds like… 90 minutes worth of work, don’t you think? It’s a bit shapeless, but I have a plan. Also… that pink stripe is a bit thinner than I thought, in that I will have to buy a full slip to wear underneath it.
I have about 1/3rd of my last paper done.
Easter dinner is planned and shopped for. All interested parties have RSVP’d. I plan on doing as much of the cooking as possible on Saturday – we’ll see how that goes.
I was going to say that the highlight of my day was the voicemail I got from , telling me about how his hand got hurt and that he got a sucker. But, I called when I was done with volunteering and got to talk to him in person. And then and I talked for a while, and that definitely takes the cake as for “best part of day.” Can I tell you how much I love talking about education, and processing it? I find it thrilling. Also, she had some good ideas for me to float as options.
purchased the much-anticipated Portal 2 on Tuesday, and “finished” it last night around 10:30. I only say that because it meant that I was left to my own devices for all of Tuesday and Wednesday nights, hence all the sewing.
Some of the major construction they were doing downtown is finally wrapped up (they’ve started new projects, but they seem smaller), which means that I can again find parking in the lot across from my building in the afternoons after volunteering. (Up until this week, I had to park in… Wisconsin and walk about 10 minutes to my building. It cost less, but it was really cramping my style.) Maybe parking shouldn’t be that important, but I was thrilled to find a spot today, especially since it’s in a location that didn’t require me to do a 20-point turn to get into it (the Rav4 does not have as tight of a turn radius as I’d like – that might be my second or third “complaint” about it – really, I love this car!).
The weather is good, and maybe yard work will be accomplished this weekend. Apparently it’s not too early to plant “cold hardy” vegetables, whatever those are. (I think Brussels sprouts were on the list. And celery, but I’m not planting any of that.)
So… that was me trying to be concise. Now you know why I laughed at the idea of a 4 page paper – I can do that in my sleep. Though it’s not in my typical format, I think the above fits for my Thursday Thankful Thoughts.
What are you thankful for? (Be as concise or verbose as necessary.)
… getting connected with a great cooperating teacher for my field experience (before our field experience coordinator left the program last week – that’s right, left – chaos has ensued). He’s enthusiastic, laid back, flexible, (a grad of the program I’m in right now too), and willing to let me do anything I want in the classroom… now if only I could think of something to do with 9th-12th grade social studies classes (studying mostly econ). Bummer I haven’t thought about that at all.
… the beautiful weather we’re having right now in Minnesota. It could not be nicer outside. Seriously.
… the snow that is gone from our house and yard. Well, there may have been a few bits hanging on yesterday – I didn’t check. But it’s 65* today, and hasn’t been below freezing in about a week, so what little is left doesn’t stand a chance.
… speaking of good weather, I took a walk yesterday. Outside. Without a coat. In short sleeves. And I got hot! (Sorry if you follow me on Twitter and already heard me say those exact words.) I walked to Michael’s last night to exchange a jewelry finding that I had purchased broken – trying to return it was a bit confusing, especially since they didn’t have one for me to exchange it with and I didn’t have a receipt and there was a sale and the clerk was… interesting. But, they took it back, and I got some other stuff. I didn’t get anything that I came for (I made a list and everything), because apparently I can’t get what I want at real stores, only online. So… making jewelry this weekend with and should be interesting, or at least creative. Did I mention I walked there? 🙂
… two healthy babies born to friends’ wives this week (within 8 hours of each other). Everyone is healthy and happy and home.
… being at the school today made me excited about teaching again (despite all the negative news lately). Because, let’s face it, teenagers are awesome and they make me smile. I’ve missed them since I left my last church.
… and I have the face frame for our built-in completely assembled! And it only took us a month! (OK, most of that month was spent recovering from that power tool accident and then just lazing about. It really took about two days – they were just really spread apart.)
… I’m no longer feeling dragged down by school. This is good, since there are three weeks left (really? that can’t be right), and I could be feeling complacent about it all. It’s amazing what good weather can do for a girl’s spirit.
… I think I could be a cheerleader right now. Clearly the good weather (had to walk a ridiculous distance from where I parked my car downtown) and the not-decaf iced coffee I have consumed are affecting me. Caffeine was probably a poor decision on my part, but I had a headache (which it hasn’t killed, nor has the Advil, but they took it down a notch). I might have more pent-up energy in me right now than I did all winter long.
… I’m totally confident about tonight’s class activity. We have to lead a 5 minute discussion. There were all these parameters, and it was kind of difficult to put it in that framework, but our professor said that being able to lead a quality discussion is like a golden ticket into a teaching job. Little does she know that leading discussions is just about all I did when I worked as a youth pastor. Well, that and play Crazy Ball. I’m excellent at leading discussions. (Conversely, last week when we were discussing this assignment, she picked volunteers out of a hat to practice with topics that she provided, and I was terrified that I would be chosen. The topics were “people who let their dogs poop in other people’s yards,” “teacher jobs usually get cut before administration jobs; why is that?” and “what is cool and who defines it?” Yeah… not excited about those.)
… my unit plan is taking shape, and I feel OK about it. Now if only I could figure out what I was supposed to include under “formative assessments.” (Yes, I did have a whole class about this last semester. It’s gotten fuzzy somehow.)
… I checked out the draft Social Studies Standards [link removed] (still draft, set to be fully implemented during the 2013-2014 school year) and like most of the changes they’ve made. They’re easier to understand, there are less of them, and they’re organized better. Unfortunately, they seem to have dropped the “Historical Skills” section. I take issue with that. Otherwise, I’m quite pleased. (They are drastically different from the current standards in many ways. I was not expecting that.)
I’ll stop rambling now. I want to hear from you. What are you thankful for?
What can I say, it’s hard to be thankful when it’s -10* outside. We’re all finding it hard to be motivated about anything. I’m dreaming about beaches and warm bodies of water and sunshine and sewing up sundresses. Ooh, and wearing sandals and tank tops. Sigh.
On the bright side, it’s going to be 40* warmer tomorrow.
… for that free hour last night where I went to JoAnn (and spent less than $20) and Target (since when does foundation cost so much?*)
… for the will power to get my butt into bed around 9pm each night, even if it does make my life very boring.
… for really enjoyable classes this semester (I say this now, while the only homework is reading, before classes start kicking me).
… for photographs, and especially for guy who photographed our wedding reception (3 1/2 years ago) – I am so thankful for the memories captured (that fill my cubicle).
… for the massage I have scheduled tomorrow night. I’m relaxing just thinking about it.
Whew! That was a lot better than last week, don’t you think?
*My skin had been weird lately, so I checked my foundation, since I was nearly to the end of it. It expired in 2006. Hrm. Thought that could be the problem. So, obviously, it’s been 5+ years since I bought foundation. Prices have gone up a bit.
It’s hard to be thankful when the outside temp has been near or below zero for so many days in a row. However, I will attempt to find some positives.
‘s car is finally back from the shop. Much of the service was paid for by the manufacturer, so that was cool.
My co-workers seem to be unable to answer the phone this morning, despite it being their responsibility today. Bright side: I’m still employed.
I think the sun might be shining. That’s usually what happens when it’s bitter cold. (Cause and effect, clouds = trapping in warmth.)
I finally took the Christmas tree down on Tuesday. Still have the rest of the Christmas decorations out, but one thing at a time!
Step 1 of the grey dress is done! It was “just” darts in both the front and back, but you know those take a long time. I am, however, regretting my choice to be lazy and cut out the whole thing as a size 14 (because I’m a size 12 at the bust, but not at my hips). I think the darts may be too wide (and perhaps too… darty too – I don’t need to add too much dimension in that area). But, it’s progress!
While the weather will be really, really cold tomorrow, it is jeans day at work, and I find jeans to be much warmer than dress pants, so… yay for that.
I had a lovely Christmas on Sunday with and , and am quite thankful for my friends.
There! That wasn’t too hard, was it? (Yes, yes it was. It took me 2 hours to write this post.)
Let’s do this first, shall we, before we get to the remodeling update pictures?
Today, I’m thankful for…
… long underwear. It’s cold!
… electric blankets.
… that one last evening of free time without guilt. I got the rest of the squares for ‘s quilt stitched and ironed, and now they just need to be trimmed to size. And I cut out a skirt. And we added a bit more paint to the basement.
… kind words from family and friends.
… the card I received in the mail yesterday from one of my aunts (hi!) that succinctly summed up last weekend: “They lived and laughed and loved and left. And the world will never be the same.” That pretty much does it for me. So many interpretations, and all of them ring true. (Also, this was the first real bereavement card I’ve ever received, and I’m quite thankful about that too.)
… selling a book on Etsy. One piece at a time sure is slow, but I’ll get rid of the excess eventually.
… the upcoming long weekend.
… fun new TV shows we’ve discovered thanks to Netflix Watch Instantly. Since we don’t have cable, it’s a great way to find out what’s out there and what we’re missing. Sometimes their recommendations are almost good, too.
… the knowledge that friends and family so willingly provide when asked, especially as it relates to home repairs.
… being signed up for classes, having tuition paid, and books purchased (and currently being shipped). I only have three semesters left – do you think it’ll get easier before I graduate? That said, I am thankful for the quick help of my advisor and the registrar’s office that fixed all the error messages for me.
… quick and easy car maintenance [at the dealer, no less!] that went exactly as expected with no surprises or additional costs.
… 24+ hours of quality time with this weekend. Hopefully only a small portion of that will be spent being totally bummed out. Also, getting to see a lot of family that I haven’t seen since… the last family funeral. Gee that’s depressing. Exciting to see people, though!
… my brilliant husband and his talent at mudding. Not that I didn’t do my fair share, but Mr. Perfectionist gets most of the credit for the awesomeness that is our family room right now. Also? We get to paint tonight! Well, primer, but that’s still paint. I’ll throw some samples on the wall Friday morning and then we can do the actual painting on Sunday.
… I think my registration woes are nearly cleared up. I sent a long and… strongly worded email to my advisor yesterday detailing things, which he then forwarded to his support person. Unfortunately, it seems that since my problems with the school website earlier in the week (it was giving me “runtime exception” error messages on Monday), the email forwarding no longer works, so I didn’t know things were in motion until this morning. Regardless, it’s still good news.
… memory. I was briefly contemplating taking 3 (actually 4, but one is a 0 credit course) classes this spring, to avoid having to take a summer class (I thought we’d avoided that, but it’s there on my plan, and I have no way of finding out when else it might be offered in the future because the school website isn’t nearly that helpful). I know I could do it, even with working, and still keep my GPA… but then I remembered last spring when I was taking 3 classes for the first half of the semester, and how unhappy it made me because all I did was homework, work, and sleep. So, I have saved you all (and myself) a semester of miserable grumpiness.
… food and Skyway vendors. For some reason, I was starving this morning when I got to work, even though I had my usual breakfast. There’s no food in my cube right now except for fruit leather (of which I ate a piece – staved that hunger off for a whole 15 minutes), prunes (can’t eat those and fruit leather at the same time – bad things happen), and a box of very stale Wheat Thins. Skyway vendor to the rescue! Fixed that whole dying of starvation feeling, and yet I’m still ready to eat lunch soon.
… one last crafting spell before classes start. I’ve stayed on track with the blocks for ‘s quilt (I’m up to 40, I think), started knitting a small scarf and have about 6″ done, and I’m wrapping up an embroidery piece from Christmas (didn’t finish in time). We finished Dexter season 3 two nights ago, during which I could read because it wasn’t necessary to catch every little thing that was happening on the screen. But we started watching Mad Men (both Dexter and Mad Men were Black Friday purchases and $15 each season – we’d seen seasons 1 & 2 of Dexter on Netflix Watch Instantly, but they didn’t have 3, and Mad Men had gotten such rave reviews, we decided to buy all 3 seasons of it), and since it’s new and there’s so much going on (really there are just too many characters that all look the same), I can’t read anymore. But I can knit and embroider. So… yay? (We’re not sold on Mad Men yet – we’re 3 episodes in, and nothing makes sense.)
… the snow is slowly melting. Our piles no longer reach the roof. That’s… something.
… one of ‘s co-workers came over last night and took all of our leftover drywall (3 full sheets and a whole bunch of partials). Now we don’t have to worry about taking care of that as construction waste, or trying to save those 3 sheets for the next project (guest bedroom next December).
… it’s 15* warmer in Illinois than it is here, and projected to stay the same on Saturday (where it will be bitter cold here). They have no snow. Glad it was our year to stay here for Christmas (in so many ways… gosh that would have been awful), glad to get to visit and feel a bit of warmth (if you can call 22* warm).
… short work weeks, vacation days, and sick days that can be used for bereavement.
… this upcoming week, which is the last one before classes start again.
… all the progress we’ve made on the family room. It’s starting to look like a real room again! (Pictures posted soon.)
… Christmas celebrations with family.
… 4-wheel drive.
I have a lot to be thankful for when I look back over the last 12 months.
… my new car (July).
… 4.0 GPA all 3 semesters (5 graduate-level courses total).
… along with the above, working with my advisor to make a plan for finishing up the program. Always nice to be able to see the light at the end of the tunnel. (Two semesters of classes and one semester of student teaching left.)
… lots of time for crafting (look for 2010 review posts next week). I also had time to play the piano and watch TV, an impressive feat amid working full-time and being an almost-full-time graduate student.
… having a job. It might not be much, but it’s more than many others have.
… all the help family has given us in improving our home. Namely, for interior projects and for exterior ones.
… new family members ( and several babies born to cousins).
…. that trip to California back in April. It was nice to have a break from normal life. Also the trip to Chicago in September was good.
… the reminder (while looking over my thankful posts for the year) that, though it seems we will be forever buried in snow (snowiest December in Minnesota ever), Spring does come, the snow does melt, and life gets green and warm again.
… my allergies stayed under control all year. It was blissful.
… the health of those I love (and myself). had emergency surgery last January, but recovered quickly. For the most part, everyone else has remained healthy, both physically and mentally.
… though I’m sad to say goodbye to my grandfather, I am very thankful for the 32 years I had him in my life, and that he lived to be 97 years old. Also, in the end, he didn’t suffer at all.
… this blog, which allows me to keep in touch with family and friends (even if they don’t comment, I still know they’re reading, and it makes me happy and I feel connected). It started out a long time ago as a way to keep in touch with one friend, and kind of snowballed from there. That’s not to say that I’m at all popular in the blogging world, just that I can rarely say something with brevity (and I’m glad I can’t count how many words I’ve written, only the number of posts…).
… this year I discovered Tumblr, which has consequently helped me find my voice in relation to the education field.
… made some new friends this year. Not super-close, best-friends people, but people I’ll call “more than acquaintances.”
… our last trip to Sponsel’s Orchard, and for the eight years of annual visits with friends.
… I got new glasses, so I no longer have to wear the red ones I’ve hated for as long as I’ve owned them (4 years).