Thursday, July 5, 2012

365 - a month in pictures

As promised (as much to myself as anyone else), this is the update on my 365grateful project.  It is a little more than a month in pictures, but you get the idea. It makes for a very long post, but you will forgive me as you can just give up at any point, whereas I will repeatedly look back at this, be overwhelmed at the sheer volume of gratitude here, and conclude that my birth was sprinkled with fairy dust, overseen by magical fairies.  You wouldn't take that away from me, would you?

Thursday, May 24  2012
The last day of school all the boys in G's class shaved their heads- including their teacher!  It was a great bonding experience he sometimes does if all the boys commit.  We will hugely miss such a great teacher and were no less than *blessed* to have him this past year.  It is inspiring and rare to meet someone who is so devoted to their job that you want not only to do yours better, but to be a better person overall.  Truly. Grateful.

Friday, May 25  2012
I had the idea for a "summer jar" last year, but this year I recruited the kids to help me fill it with ideas; that way I have their buy-in when it's time to pick from it, and I didn't get writer's block and carpal tunnel filling out a million little slips.  Unexpected benefit: we had a great time doing it, actually.  A lot of fun conversations about the possibilities of summer, and a lot of optimism and anticipation.  Yay. 
Saturday, May 26  2012
View from our first group run with Team Chances, along the Chandler canal.  An even better view than the picture makes out.

Sunday, May 27  2012
An old picture, but grateful today for these two ridiculous friends; Jen and Matt came over and we did *nothing*, while drinking and eating and generally I enjoyed it more than a lot of evenings I've paid other people to entertain me.  I should have taken a picture at the time but I was too busy loving it.   

Monday, May 28  2012
Grateful for the little bits of magic in my life, and grateful that things can still stop me in my tracks sometimes. :)
Tuesday, May 29  2012
Garmin, my trusted and much-loved workout companion.  It's a tossup whether I'd rather my ipod or my watch, if I could only strap one on at a time (twss?)...This seriously is the best watch, the best garmin model, the best thing I ever spent a ton of money on adding to my running career.  It does everything, including giving me credit for walking 2mph even while in my office taking pictures of it.

Wednesday, May 30  2012
Went to a concert today, for the first time in ... I have no idea how long.  Years.  Reminded me how much I *love* going to concerts!  Seriously, self, note to you: go. to. see. live. music!  (This is a crappy phone picture of Of Mice and Men, btw, and big ups to The James for bringing me to this show!  I had such a great time and glad to find new music!)

Thursday, May 31  2012
Sometimes, I am just grateful for blogging.  Sometimes I let it be yet another thing that stresses me out, but then other times I just do it, have a great time doing it, and love seeing my words and pictures somewhere other than behind my eyelids.  Thanks for being a part of its randomness! 

Friday, June 1  2012
A gorgeous day greeted us in downtown San Diego when we drove in.  Can't capture the magnificence of whatever those trees are with the purple flowers all over them...seriously, inspiring even for my cold cold heart.

Saturday, June 2  2012
Grateful for this ridiculous girl, this funny group that kept us company on our race trip, and this *awesome* ride at Sea World.  Definitely the best part of the whole park.  Manta.  Look for it.

Sunday, June 3  2012
Is it weird that I have a place in a whole other city where I "always drink too much"?  Shouldn't that be more of an at-home thing-?  Then again, I super love that I get out enough to actually form habits in places I don't even live, so I'm going to present this picture as evidence that I have an awesome life.  This is such a great dive bar I forget the name of, where we've now spent two of Abby's birthdays in a row.  Hark, tradition!!
(And I just realized The James is missing from this picture, which is clearly a travesty bc I remember her being there rocking out with us and wish she actually was.  Just like high school.)

Monday, June 4  2012
Again, not a pic from this day, but standing in because I didn't think to snap one of James behind the wheel, driving us all back from California in the swank car we managed not to trash.  Lucky to have this responsible, generous, fun, loyal, sane friend joining me for ridiculous adventures, twelve years on.  Thanks for doing all the driving while we slept it off!!

Tuesday, June 5  2012
Food blogger, I am not.  What I am is grateful that one of the places I regularly work has a sweet cafe inside it, where I am miraculously able to always cobble together something delicious that meets my dietary restrictions of the moment.  Sorry for the not-at-all appetizing picture- but this discovery was worth documenting: mongolian stir fry over refried beans.  If this does not sound good, *eat it and be amazed!* Low carb, warm, filling, and other words people use to describe delicious food.  And depending how you mix it, it can be chinese food, mexican food, or *both* because you know you like it like that!  I can tell your mouth is watering now. 

Wednesday, June 6  2012
I don't know how I got lucky enough to live in this little oasis in the wasteland that is Phoenix, but this is how close I am to crane(s!) on my morning runs through the park.  It's like living in a pretty city except I don't have to move away!  ;)

Thursday, June 7  2012
  I don't think I can explain to you why, but I have recently decided I love puzzles.  Try not to come *all* the way out of your chair.
Friday, June 8  2012
  Omg, I am in the air *again*.  I am travelling for the second time in two weeks!  I am jack's unbridled enthusiasm!  Truthfully, flying has started to make me just a touch nervous...more and more as I get older...but looking out a window and seeing THAT never fails to make me feel like the super powerful pinnacle of human evolution.  I mean, we are in. the. SKY.  The sky!!  That is completely amazing, every time.  If you don't think so too I am very, very sorry, and I think you must be deeply hard to impress.

Saturday, June 9  2012
This is the beautiful venue of the South Carolina wedding that TnT went to this weekend. (T and nT- I know you get it.)  I tried to stop for one with us actually *in* the picture, but people were arriving behind us and nT didn't want to hold up the show.  Rest assured, he looked very handsome and I was not too sweaty.  nT's family was charming and fun, probably even more so bc they actually drink together at family functions, which my family definitely does not.  Drinking wins.  And I really couldn't resist his aunt Janet who made us both cry with stories about her husband before he died.  Altogether a wonderful night, even if it hadn't ended with my garmin on. 

Sunday, June 10  2012
This cracked me up.  Traffic jam? TOE jam??  Yes apparently, orange-elderberry-something-that-begins-with-T-and-can-go-in-jam is quite the seller at the farmer's market we went to in Charleston.  I didn't get to try it, but I did try boiled peanuts for the first time, and it was a *revelation*.  I couldn't put them down.  Why did no one tell me about this miraculous invention?! I really wish I could remember what goes in jam and starts with T tho...tangerine? It can't be tangerine-orange-elderberry, could it?  I'll just have to go back there and find out.  Oops, plane tickets: booked! ;0
Monday, June 11  2012
 This was such a short trip for how far away we went, so we didn't have a ton of time to spend in South Carolina.  But we did manage to get out a little and eat a couple things, see a couple things, drink a couple things...and we played a little pool, which we haven't done together in years.  It isn't my favorite thing since I'm not good at it (childish? yes.), but I love doing anything out of the ordinary and am glad we had a chance to do this!
Tuesday, June 12  2012
I love LOVE this artist and everything he does; you might have seen some of his prints at Cost Plus and Target.  His name is Rodney White and I just wanted to give him a shout out here because I spent quite a while today looking at his prints and they make me happy.  **note: I sent Rodney a love note one day when I was admiring his work, and when he (wow!) emailed me back, he surprised me by saying that those prints of his I'd seen at the aforementioned stores were *stolen*.  He says he has no contract with either company and gets no royalties when they sell reproductions of his work, and would I mind buying direct from his website if I decide to buy his prints in future.  Uh, would I *mind* if you get paid and can keep being an awesome artist?  No, I would not mind that.  Anyway, Rodney seemed super cool and I feel inspired every time I look at my growing collection of his art. :)

Wednesday, June 13  2012
Cleaning out a closet the other day, I almost threw away this old scrabble game. (Yes, we have another, even tho we play on our phones more than anything else.  WordFeud, anyone?)  But then I got a wild hair to glue the letters down in a TnT-themed board, and put it up as art; I probably saw it on pinterest or something, since this is clearly an awesome idea and I'm not saying I thought of it myself.  After a couple weeks of arranging and rearranging and some unexpected intervention from nT, we did come up with a board that's about us- and YES, we used *all the letters*!  And yes, that does make me feel like a super genius.  I love how it turned out and I love looking at it now, because it reminds me of our inside jokes and the good things about us, and how we can use up all the letters talking about us and never say "irritating" once!  
Thursday, June 14  2012
Epictetus, you wily pragmatist.  I loved this entire book so much I almost refused to return it to the library.  I found a similar book of his writings for free on kindle, or I might not have given it back after all.  Epictetus is one of those ancient philosophers who seems so profoundly *right* to me that I love just absorbing his words.  He says things like "Make the best use of what is in your power, and take the rest as it happens."  and "It is the action of an uninstructed person to reproach others for his own misfortune; of one entering instruction, to reproach himself; and one perfectly instructed, to reproach neither others nor himself."  I mean, that makes it sound like he's good with pithy bits of advice; this book gave more of his in-depth treatises, delving into why and how he arrived at these little sound bites.  Whatever, enough explaining.  If you too love philosophy and people who think about how life should be lived, you will love Epictetus.  I think.  Therefore I am. Sorry, that was ridiculous. 

Friday, June 15  2012
My awesome little progeny and I ventured to our local dive-sports bar to play some shuffleboard in the middle of the day.  No school, no work, no pressing places to be...something out of the ordinary and being a grownup who gets to say "I took my kid to a bar"- this made for a great day. 

Saturday, June 16  2012
Some unexpected wind this evening and in a rare show of cooperation, we all suddenly decided to fly kites together.  I am really learning the unbelievable power and value of "doing nothing", because I honestly felt inspired and grateful just sitting in the street, watching the kids watch their kites as a typical brilliant Arizona sunset closed in on us.  I guess I'm not as incapable of being at peace as I thought.  I must be going soft.   

Sunday, June 17  2012
At last, I finished my new calendar!  I print one for myself every year or so, and bind it with pictures I've taken since the last one, so I have exactly what I want.  I can't do electronic calendars and the ones for sale are so generic and not the size/style/layout/anything I want.  So now, I make my own, I love looking at my pictures all year, and it costs $4.  I'm not Oprah but this is one of my Favorite Things, and I get to carry it with me and look at it every day.

Monday, June 18  2012
Sunrise is not as spectacular as sunset around here, but I do feel pretty grateful when I'm up and out to see it.  Bonus: crazy neighbors have moved out, and took their view-blocking ghetto roof patio set with them!
Tuesday, June 19  2012
I went out this evening to an unexpectedly cool event downtown at the last minute, and even though there wasn't time to bring anyone with me, I and my tiny little purse had a great time. 
Genius detail: this is actually a pacifier holder I couldn't resist while shopping for a baby shower gift, which I now use as the possibly tiniest purse ever.  Love.
Wednesday, June 20  2012
This is not a huge deal, but I did have a moment with these bumper stickers.  "Art is a way"..I haven't heard that before, but I love it.  Thanks, random car, for being in my path today!
Thursday, June 21  2012
Love when I get invited out to stuff and actually *go*!  It's all too tempting to give in to guilt when you have kids, and forgo things that are just "superfluous" in favor of projects, errands, and just "being" with the kids...but the more I test the waters, the more I realize we're all better off for our time apart, and our family time together is better when we all allow ourselves to take it.  Also, glad to have patient friends who understand I need to learn this over and over, and continue to invite me places even tho I often stay home! 

Friday, June 22  2012
Two field trips in one weekend?! It's like I'm childless and single or something!  Rage on, wild T! 

Saturday, June 23  2012
 I am so glad Jaime found this bloggers' group!  I have a hard time living here and I often let it make me churlish, and make the mistake of ascribing the same grim traits to other Phoenix residents that I associate with the city itself.  I probably shouldn't have been even mildly surprised to find an awesome collective of interesting and funny women getting together just for the hell of it; but I wasn't mildly surprised, I was floored.  I thought this kind of thing only happened in cool cities!  Color me over the moon!  I've been to two gatherings so far, and will definitely continue to make a point of showing up- you can't know too many awesome people, can you?  Plus, if you're counting, this is *three field trips* I had this weekend- *four* if you count the group run I did in the morning!  What is the world coming to?!

Sunday, June 24  2012
Roller Derby.  An incredibly cool brainwave that brought my field trip total to FIVE for this weekend.  G and I went to check this out, and I definitely felt the need to purchase some skates by the time the first round ended.  So. Cool! 

Monday, June 25  2012
I am pinching myself today that I am on a trip for the third time this month.  On our way to Orlando for The 10th Birthday of my little boy, I had a moment of thankfulness for Southwest, their low-key vibe, the great rapid rewards thing that enables so much of my wanderlust at little to no cost, and their choice to have a hub in Phoenix so I can get tons of places without having to change planes.  Southwest makes Phoenix suck less!
Tuesday, June 26  2012
The view from our window in Orlando as we head to Universal Studios for Birthdaypalooza 2012.  Does it look dreary? To me it looks like 70*, no crowds, and "probably" not getting sucked into a tornado!  A perfect day!!

Wednesday, June 27  2012
(He didn't really get the perspective right, but what do you want? The kid is ten.)  So, so grateful to be in this ridiculous place, and be able to completely enjoy it.  I learned a lot about letting go of my expectations, and today am grateful for that too; we've done things that surprised me, and I saw us both in a different light.  If you have a kid you should travel alone with them sometimes.  Just in case you need my advice, that's what you should do.
Thursday, June 28  2012
I want to wipe away a tear for the fact that there are gluten-free option(S!!) to eat all over the park.  Who has done this miraculous thing?!  Everything I had was really good, and somehow people seemed not at all surprised when I asked for it.  Universal, seriously.....moment of silence for this good deed you are doing.  Being able to EAT, *and* with no more hassle than a normal person- this is the dream of every weird-diet-having outcast out there.  Oh! and not upcharging me for it = this actually might have been heaven and not Universal Studios.

Friday, June 29  2012
...and the magic went on longer than it even needed to.  I can't say anything else, other than I just loved this trip.

Saturday, June 30
This saucy little girl graced my day by babysitting me after my own little saucer left for his other destinations.  I really don't think of myself as a kid person, but I am starting to, slowly, meet children of my friends that I catch myself *opting* to be around.  As in, when I don't even have to. 
I guess this is how a tribe is made.  It is turning out to be a pretty great one.  Welcome to it, little monster!

1 comment:

  1. Awesome, awesome post! Love the pictures and thanks for including me and saying nice things and not mentioning how all we used to do is drink, smoke, be stupid and obnoxious! (oopsie! Gave away our little secret!) Now we're almost none of those things, excpet maybe obnoxious. I like to think of it as exuberant. Cool pics!