Well looky-here! I received, and most unexpectedly I may add, an award for my blog! Actually this would be the second in as many weeks so now I've gone all Kate Winslet on you because I'm such an "old hand" at this...not like Susan Lucci who was only nominated about 26 times. I actually won! But with this award comes responsibilities...which I am totally up for. So before I get started, a BIG thank-you to Kallay who writes a fantastic blog about her furbabies, life in the re-employment world, and how to make cookies with red wine (seriously, does life get any better than when you're able to drop a little of your cocktail into cookie dough?)
So, the 10 things that make me uber-happy (in no particular order, of course, because...y'know..I have a thing about that):
- First and foremost is my family. This includes my husband, my parents, my sister and her family, my aunt and her family...all the way out to my cousin Ted who used to be the road manager for Exile. They make me laugh, they support me, and without them I would be incomprehensibly lost. Of course, I have to remind myself of this when my husband mocks my grilling skillz, my mother reminds me that I could have a Virgo baby if I got pregnant right now, my dad burns up all my cell phone minutes re-counting the ways Mitt Romney is going to save this country from ruin, and my aunt sends me completely illegible text messages because she refuses to spell-check. I love them all...and they make me really happy. Plus they let me blog about them without disowning me. Bonus!
- Second are my friends. I have friends I've known since I was 5 and friends that I know through blogging who I would only recognize on the street by her sensational pink boots. Each one makes my life richer in his/her own unique way. My mother once said to me that some friends are only in your life as a result of circumstance...you work together...you have class together...you be-friend your boyfriend's friends. And this is all true, but I've managed to hang on to many of those people and come to love them in whole new ways. Yes, I have friends that I picked up through an ex-fiance, but they also have wonderful stories to tell about life with kids and life in a non-continental U.S. state. And I have roommates from college who now serve an indispensable role in my world as advocate, gossip columnist, and retail therapist. Our relationships ebb and flow but that's the tide of life.
- This is Poppy and LuLu. LuLu climbed up into my lap one afternoon at my hairdresser's shop and I fell hopelessly in kitteh-love. As my ex said, "she is either the most beautiful cat I've ever seen or the ugliest." Well, I kept her but not him so I guess we know where I stand. Poppy was more aloof in the beginning but now she's on my heels all day...so much so, actually, that I've stepped on her more times than I can count. These girls have moved 4 times since I adopted them from the Lifehouse (be forewarned...if your hairdresser also runs a no-kill shelter, you will most likely leave with less hair and more fur). They've adapted flawlessly to every situation. They are total cuddle-whores and must be locked up whenever we have a party because they've never met a stranger. If they were children, we would have serious chats about going with strangers offering candy.
- This is going to sound so lame, so affected, and completely untrue (because if it were true, I would weigh 100 lbs soaking wet with arms like chiseled marble...) but I really love to workout. Weight training is like church for me. I strengthen the supports of my temple while God and I wrangle topics like death, faith, and free-will. It goes without saying, then, that I was a rockin' Pilates/Yoga/Spinning/Aqua kickboxing instructor and a Jillian-esque trainer (although that bitch is crazy. I have never, read: NEVER worked someone so hard that their hip joint shattered). But as with all things related to the American dream, if you live it, eat it, breathe it...someday you will burn out on it. And that brings us to here.
- And speaking of the almighty J-O-B....I love what I'm doing now. And perhaps it's the whole "I work completely alone. I'm not an independent contractor, I answer to no one but the bank account" that I love. As it turns out, I seem to have an issue with authority. Shocking, yes? But I also seem to have an eye for this whole jewelry designing thing. So, until Neal sends me out into the world with a stack of resumes and references, then this is where I'll be...honoring my grandmother's memory with making what she adored most (well second to her grandchildren, of course).
- I can't believe I'm listing this 6th...which just goes to prove, this is in no particular order because really writing should definitely be in the top 5. I've always had a very active imagination (this comes, I'm sure, with being an only child for 21 years. There is only so much adult conversation a kid can take before they must excuse themselves to their room to create a love triangle with Barbie, Ken, and GI Joe). In middle school, I won an award for a story I wrote in French class. I can't remember what it was about, nor do I think I could read it today (because y'know...it's in French...but apparently it was glorious). I've always kept diaries/journals/napkins with chicken-scratch. So, blogging is like the big "O" for me. The only thing that makes me happier than blogging is knowing that I don't suck at it like I do chess.
- On a related note, I read like it's my second full-time job. But then, I think that if these 2 don't go hand-in-hand then chances are, you are not good at the writing part. I will read almost anything...except dry historical accounts of wars and the manual that comes with any appliance/technological gadget/cars that I've bought. I consider the manual to be more of a "resource guide"...only to be dug out when you've gotten your 4WD stuck in ice or the wine fridge craps out (PSA: when the wine fridge manual says "do NOT plug into the same outlet as the refrigerator," they aren't kidding. I just saved you $500. You're welcome).
- Again, this should not be so far down on the list because it really deserves to be in the top 5 (I mean, if the top 5 had sub-categories like 5A, 5A1, etc. Who says I didn't learn anything in college? I can outline like an English double-major!)...but I have a hard time imagining a world without coffee. And the thing is, I can vividly remember hating coffee...but I think Speedway changed all of that. Sometime in college, I started drinking cappuccinos from the gas station and, coupled with the chocolate-covered coffee beans that my roommate found at Meijer, I was on the highway to hell. Suddenly, I had a new bad habit (which is not bad if you can limit your caffeine intake, but I have graduated to espresso everyday. That is not control...that is the need to feed).
- The beach, and really specifically, Hilton Head Island is a drug to me, too. I've been going since middle school and while I may vacation in other places around the country...there is nowhere else I'd rather be (well, in the continental U.S. because I have to send out some love to Italy which was dripping with history and oozing with culture and that is a whole different kind of drug). We were married on the beach in Hilton Head and I will always go back at any opportunity. Bike paths that wind behind houses of the rich and not at all famous, fantastic shopping, clay tennis courts, and Marley's Restaurant (which serves a sangria margarita)...honestly, does it get any better??
- And since we're on the topic of travel...while Lexington is a fun little college-town with its $1 drafts and Big Blue Fever...it is not the city. Even Louisville comes in short. Given the choice, I'd be living in Chicago or NYC or Atlanta. I become all giddy on mass transportation...with my iPod and my newest Jen Lancaster book. And I find something intoxicating about busy sidewalks...fashionista strolling next to goth tween, men in "double-take" suits and the conversations overhead at the cross-walk...it's like coffee and birthday cake.
Consider the Lillies
The Fox Den
Keep in Touch with Mommakin
Knitting in Public
Jeannie's Happy World
A Day in the Life of a Surferwife
All Things Sweasy
I start and end my day with these bloggers...just in case they had some strike of inspiration over the course of the day. Although often, it's just fun to re-read their posts because damn, they are just that fantabulous!