Things I Love Thursday: Getting Together

This past weekend I was invited to a local get together and I got to catch up with a couple of friends, meet a few in person that I’d only talked to online and also be introduced to some others for the very first time.  Nerve-wracking to be sure.  But, I was so completely honored to have been invited and so glad that I was able to go.  We had a couple of ladies from Canada, one from California, two from Nashville, and so on.

I had a fantastic time and there was so much amazing food (see the Pavlova our hostess made above – photo courtesy of one of the other attendees).  We had some planned shopping outings as well as dinner out each night.  I mostly behaved myself on the shopping!  But, as you can see on my previous post, I had lots of inspiration going on, so there will probably be polish shopping and swatching going on here soon!

It really is so amazing to get together with women who share the same interests and be able to share, laugh, support and inspire each other.  And I loved floating between conversations and also sitting still and just listening to the flow go on around me.

So, that’s what I’m loving this week – getting together and enjoying the company of other women.

And I thought I’d spend a few minutes and list some other things I’m grateful for this week:

  • Pretty polish on my nails
  • Coca Cola in a bottle (Mexican Coke!)
  • Listening to A Little Crazy on my iPod that I’d forgotten was on there
  • Meeting someone that was so helpful and kind to my dad
  • Ramses and Thutmose sleeping with us at night
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Manicures, Polish Hoarding, and Swatchicles

I painted my nails for the first time in several months (horrors, I know) last week.  I had a function to go to and COULD NOT show up with naked nails.  After much deliberation, I decided on my very favorite polish – Chanel Peridot.  The last time I wore this polish it chipped badly within a day or two.  But this time I’ve had a lot more luck with it, and almost a week later it’s still going strong.  This could be because I now have my nails cut super short.  Since taking off the acrylics, my nails are horribly thin and flexible.  I miss my acrylics!  Of course, if I could get my nails to grow strong again, I’d be just as happy with them.  But, anyway, I’m very happy my Peridot is lasting this time.  It really is a gorgeous color, and I’m so glad I gifted it to myself last summer.

It’s been awhile since I purchased new polish too.  Back in May, I was tempted (and caved) by the China Glaze Hunger Games polishes.  It was so hard to narrow down my pile of must-haves, but I ended up with three: Smoke and Ashes, Agro, and Luxe and Lush.

I like Smoke and Ashes, but I wish the subtlety of the color showed up better.  Of course, it looked good with the book I also picked up back in May. I’ll have to see if I can get a better photo when I wear it next time.

And Agro was really beautiful on.  I wish I’d gotten a better photo of it, but you get the idea on the color.

I haven’t tried my Luxe and Lush yet, but I think I may when the Peridot begins showing wear.

Photo from here

And this weekend, I got to take a look through a friend’s swatchicles.  I really love the idea of doing this with my polish stash.  What a great way to compare colors!  I’ll have to think about doing this.  I think the first thing I need to do for sure is get out my polish and do a little organizing.

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Things I Love Thursday: Embracing Gratitude

Earlier this week I was having a little mental downtime and playing on Pinterest, when I came across a pin that led me to this blog.  I started reading through her posts, and as is most often the case in life, it was exactly what I needed at exactly the right moment.  Her weekly Things I Love Thursday posts are something I’ve been thinking about doing here, and this post of hers pushed me over the edge.  I’ve spent the last several months dealing with a lot of stuff that presented me with a lot of opportunity to sink into despair.  But, everything also presented me with so many opportunities to recognize the blessings in it.  I’ve been a huge proponent of expressing gratitude daily for a long time – so much so that I end every post on my other blog with a gratitude statement.  And I’ve been doing that since I started the blog.  I love that others have started doing this now too!  But, lately, it’s been hard for me to find the gratitude.  It’s been so easy to find the excuses, the poor me’s, and the why are you kicking me when I’m down mentality.  But, I know that it has to stop.  My life is so good, and I’m blessed beyond measure, and I need to recognize it with every breath.

So my promise to myself is that I’ll start embracing the gratitude here every week.

And to start TILT off with a bang, here are some things I’m loving today:

Thutmose and

Ramses

They are two little black kittens (16 weeks old now) that we adopted almost three weeks ago.  They are brothers from a litter of five and they are just the sweetest things.  They’ve brought a lot of joy into our home, and it’s been quite an adventure becoming a “new mom” again.

I’m also grateful for:

  • the funeral I attended on Saturday, where I saw how a life well-lived could be so impactful to those around you.  That living a life serving is so important.  Where you ask “how can I help you?”  Where you celebrate during scarcity and celebrate during abundance equally.  So many lessons to be learned here.
  • the inspiration I received being in the presence of women who live a healthy lifestyle and seeing what it looks like to eat mindfully and exercise joyfully
  • the opportunity to travel for work and run a high visibility meeting
  • getting some uninterrupted reading time on the plane
  • a co-worker breaking into Neil Diamond’s “Sweet Caroline” in the Wichita airport
  • a co-worker bringing me a book on Hieronymous Bosch leading to a little bonus art history conversation
  • a great blog post that reminded me to surround myself with beauty and things that I truly love (a perfect read on a Monday morning!)
  • Finally finally getting in touch with my doctor
  • a text from a friend with photos of her new garden outside her front door – knowing how much joy it will bring her
  • qualifying for my healthy lifestyle discount at work
  • signposts that when I’m paying attention show me I’m on the right path – literally and figuratively
  • the first day of Summer

It’s a big list!  Who knew?!

And finally one last thing I’m loving on Thursday…

Fried Green Tomatoes (image from here).  Eric made these Tuesday night with dinner and it’s the first time I’ve ever had them.  They are soooo good!  Yum!

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Tuesday Thoughts

 

  1. I am in dire need of a mani/pedi before my get together this weekend.
  2. I’m feeling the need to get back to the gym.
  3. I need to Feng Shui the shit out of my house – I think the energy in there is getting to me
  4. I’ve really missed blogging on this blog.  I’d like to do it more regularly.
  5. My mom and I want to go and see the Chihuly pieces on display at the Arboretum…I can’t wait!
  6. I have a whole host of things on my to-do list and it just keeps getting longer
  7. There are a lot of things I’ve been missing lately: yoga, church, fresh flowers, sunshine, reading, walking, photography, travel, writing.
  8. I think it’s time to make some changes and breathe some energy back into life.
  9. I want to learn Tai Chi
  10. I’ve run into two references to Kabbalah in the last week, which doesn’t seem like a coincidence.  Maybe I should check it out.
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Father’s Day

So, I mentioned a few posts ago that my dad died at the end of February and I haven’t been really sure how to blog about it.  But I do feel like I need to.  I feel like in some little way, I need to share who he was with the Universe.  And, after three months, it just seemed like I need to just say what I want to say and get on with it.

On the 29th of April my mom, sister, niece and I went to a butterfly release that hospice was holding in memory of the people they’d cared for.  The photo above is actually from a trip Eric and I took to Philadelphia a few years ago, but I thought it was appropriate.  The ceremony was very nice and I think it was a nice way for families to say goodbye.

It seems like though, the past few months have been a series of goodbyes.  On Memorial Day, we went to the National Cemetery to visit my Dad’s grave and see his headstone for the first time.  I can’t even begin to put into words how hard it was.  Seeing his name and dates on that stone made it so real, so permanent.  But, the ceremony for Memorial Day was really moving and it was so nice to see so many people out there celebrating their loved ones and honoring those that have served their country.  It was refreshing to spend Memorial Day in the spirit of the day.

Last week was my Dad’s birthday.  He would have been 68.  I spent the day in Wichita in meetings for work, but he was never far from my mind.  Eric took my mom out to lunch and brought her some flowers, because he knew it would be a hard day for her.

And today, is Father’s Day.  And I am missing him something fierce.   I went to a funeral yesterday for the husband of a friend who died suddenly.  And it truly made such an impression on me.  My parents spent the last 47 years at each others’ sides.  And I know that the loss that I am feeling probably doesn’t even touch the loss that my mom is feeling.  My dad was truly an amazing man, and I hope that one day I can live up to the legacy he’s left me.  I hope too that one day I can look back and say that I spent my life with my best friend by my side.

I found these photos recently, photos I’d never seen before, of the two of them on one of their adventures.  They loved to visit the National Parks and explore and take photos.  I get my love of photography from my Dad.  They set up the camera on a tripod and snapped these photos, and I think they speak for themselves about how they spent their lives together.

I imagine that one day, they’ll be off on yet another adventure together.  But, for now, we’re just missing him.

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