These arrived at the office today from Jeff for my birthday...
If he didn't already have my heart, I'd say he would have won me over with these...but then again, I don't think I could be bought. They would have helped though. Lol that is, if he didn't already have my heart. Lol
I am so lucky to have a man in my life who not only tolerates my love for shoes but also seems to encourage it from time to time. :)
One of the best parts about Christmas is the atmosphere! I spent some time at Bryant Park and while I would not brave the lines to ice skate myself, it was nice just to take the scenery in! I'm loving all the Christmas markets around the city! :)
...and in our family, any kind of turkey will do... including the tissue box turkey Matty made at school... since we didn't actually have a turkey at our feast...
...well, we did have turkey meatloaf! And it was delicious!
It's crazy to think that Thanksgiving is already here...which means Christmas is almost here...and then soon the new year... which means that this year is almost done! So much has changed for me... I have changed. I'll probably save the whole how-I've-changed or whatever post for closer to the new year... I probably won't even touch upon what I've learned yet either. Instead, in the spirit of Thanksgiving, I guess I will stick to giving thanks! :)
This past year has been pretty crazy, and I feel very happy with myself that even though I gave myself time to be sad, I spent a lot of time celebrating life and being thankful for all the great things I DID have instead of focusing so much on what I thought I lost. On one hand, it was so difficult to deal with the heartbreak, but on the other hand, it was also difficult not to see all the blessings I had in my life. I have a lot!
I'm so thankful for each day I get to wake up and start the day. Sometimes, I want to sleep in longer and when I can't, I'm a little cranky, but on the whole, I'm happy to be alive and kicking. :) I get to sleep in a comfortable bed, and go to work (which is also a pain sometimes, but) that helps to keep me living a fairly comfortable life where I'm never hungry (at least not involuntarily).
I have a wonderful set of parents who've loved me and supported me in all that I do and in all that I am and they raised a set of awesome chilgren which means I also have an older brother and sister who love and support me in all that I do and that they expanded our family to include two amazing spouses (one for each of them, lol) and five ridiculously cute and fun kids... I don't think I could have asked for a better family even if I had tried...
I'm thankful for the people who stood by me to cheer me up and make me laugh and let me cry; for the ones who made life better by just being there. People I never had to explain myself to in order to be loved and accepted...
I'm thankful for the opportunities I've had this year to make life what it is: full of fun and surprises and new experiences....
And I'm thankful for the love I lost...because it prepared me for the love I found! My life is richer and fuller than I could have ever imagined because of it! I'm so lucky to be loved and to be happy and to have found someone who does nothing but continue to bring joy into my life, even from halfway around the world. I am continually amazed at how one person can love me for all that I am with all that he is without question, without fail, and completely without obligation.
I think of what I have and what I don't, and I am grateful for all of it....
I didn't need a day to be thankful. I need a whole life...:)
Spent the night before Thanksgiving with Rich and Brandon just hanging out and playing Super Puzzle Fighter... I find that my history with the game is filled with nothing but goodness...
Like discovering the game on the original Playstation (which I still have in my possession) with my siblings when I was like, fourteen (almost half a lifetime ago! oh geez!!) and having these huge tournaments well into the night with all my cousins. (My sister was champion a lot.) I love how as teenagers, we all kept each other out of trouble by just hanging out together and doing random "cousin activities" like piling into my sister's four runner (I always ended up in the trunk area by myself) and going bowling or to eat seafood spaghetti at Capricciosa or hanging out at someone's house watching tv or playing video games. We could have been losers, but surprisingly enough, I think we all turned out fairly social/well adjusted and I don't think any of us ever got judged for hanging with family all the time...
After high school, I don't think I revisited the game until after I graduated college and moved to Japan. I went home to visit my brother and he relinquished the Playstation and all games to me (Puzzle Fighter was really the only one I wanted. And maybe Point Blank. If he had Time Crisis, I would have wanted it too, but I think my sister took that when she got married)...And one day, when me and my friend Devin were suuuper broke but wanted to hang out, we ended up spending twelve hours playing Puzzle Fighter...most of which I spent kicking his ass. haha
I took it home to Vegas for Christmas that same year and dethroned my sister as champion. Woooo hahaha That was also the same time we introduced the game to my nephew AJ...and how he learned to trash talk. ("You like that, Auntie Joyce?? Eat that!!!" lol We had to begrudgingly reteach him how to be a good sport.)
You can now download Puzzle Fighter on the Playstation 3, which is what Rich did one night last year when we were jonesing for it...and we've played it sporadically ever since.
...Like that one random Saturday night this past summer where I stayed at Rich's until 4 in the morning, taking turns playing this game...not just because it's fun and I like it, but because I wanted to sit next to a certain boy for as long as I could, holding hands when the two of us weren't playing the game. I almost wanted us both to lose our turn each time....:)
These are things I think about when I play each time. I love in life how there are certain parts that never lose its magic or its good feelings. I feel like there are so many things that lose its luster as we get older. We become disillusioned about things; our perfect bubbles get burst; our innocence gets lost....but that there is always something that will stay awesome when you revisit it throughout the years...well, that's the kind of stuff that makes life great. :)
One of the things I love best about Christmas is the atmosphere. The cool crisp air, the Christmas carols that start playing, and best of all, the decorations...
Last year, I was so stupidly heartbroken and depressed about not spending Christmas with my parents that I didn't really get much into the spirit of it... but this year! Even with Jeff away, there's so much in my life to be thankful and happy for and I get to go hang out with my entire Dad's side this year and see my brother and my sister and all the kids and my parents so this year is clearly kicking last year's ass!
Anyway, I went to Target the other day and found this awesomely cute Christmas tree! I got some Christmas lights and tiny Christmas balls and voila! Christmas in my apartment this year! Yay!!!!
Finally got to skype with Jeff!!! Like, video chat! Yay!!! Skype, you are the bestest!!! lol
Cousin Jennie (whose husband was deployed last year) wasn't kidding when she said Skype would be my best friend this year. Totally is. Skype bridges the thousands of miles between here and the other side of the world to bring Jeff right to me.... well... at least as close as possible...
On one hand, it's a little bit torturous to see him and not be able to reach out and hug him, but on the other hand, it's suuuuper awesome just to see him! :)
In the spirit of 2010, I took another random class. Most of my classes have been fitness related, and I find that I thoroughly enjoy looking for different ways to "cheat" going to the gym and staying healthy.
Fitness flavor of the month? Burlesque Bikini Boot Camp. No, we did not dance around in bikinis. The whole idea behind this class is that you first tone up and do exercises boot camp style (to fit you into a bikini) and then you learn a burlesque dance.
Of all the classes I've taken this year, this had to be the most random one. We started with our "showgirl pose," (one foot in front of the other, toe pointed, chest and ass out, hands up in a V shape) and repeated the mantra of the day. "I am a joy to be loved." lol So awkward to be saying something like that out loud. We then warmed up with some "cutesy burlesque dance moves" that required a red feather boa and a chair and I'm thinking, "yay, I can do this, it's sooo easy and fun." But THEN!!! oh lordy, and then the boot camp section started and it was like, "Pushups! Tricep dips! Wall sit! Sprints! Faster! Harder! Lower!" Kill me. lol
And then we finally stopped and learned a routine set to "Diamonds are Forever" complete with "diamond fingers" (less jazzy than spirit fingers), cat crawling and rhythmic hip thrusting.
So random. Definitely an experience. :)
My teacher (her name was Lady Chardonnay) was a trip.
Tried on the Vibram FiveFinger shoes at my dance teacher's recommendation... Holy cow, they feel soooo good!!!! Especially the one made for running!!!! Though, they're sooo hard to put on. Like gloves. And my toes are not as cooperative as my fingers~!
I hate eating apples that aren't cut. I get really paranoid about my teeth breaking off if I bit into an apple...
...but desperation makes you do crazy things. Was sooo hungry after my first physique 57 class (hello asskicking, nice to meet you!) that I ended up scarfing the free apples they hand out at the front desk. Like I'm gonna turn down free fruit!
My schedule has been pretty crazy lately, what with Jeff and weddings all over the place and work... It's made it hard to commute to Jersey for regular visits this past month and a half... But I finally got to see my babies!!! Daji looked fairly happy to see me at first...until he got sleepy-cranky... At least, I hope that's the reason he got all sullen and wouldn't talk to me... :(
Here he is sitting in the corner avoiding everyone... soooo cute.
Jed came to visit and before he left DC (where he is stationed as a Marine), he asked me if I wanted anything from the commissary (yay commissary! I love the commissary!) and of course, I asked for nice toilet paper considering a 4pack of Charmin is $8 at Duane Reade! Eight stinking dollars!!!
Thus the beauty of the commissary: This 24pack was like $14.
Went back for a second try at antigravity (aerial) yoga... This time was way better. I liked our teacher! He was very challenging, but also reassuring and encouraging. I was able to do almost all the stuff he introduced in class, but I did NOT look as good as this girl. She was amazing!
Ah well, I was not meant to be an acrobat. It was fun while it lasted though.
My friend Pooja's answer to battling loneliness while Jeff is away is to go to yoga class... I'm not that much into yoga, but hey, I'll try pretty much anything. That's what this year is about, right? And anyway, if not for my openness to try new things, I might not have even met Pooj, and she's awesome. :)
Soooo... antigravity yoga it is! For anyone confused as to what antigravity yoga is, it is basically yoga that you do with a sling/hammock that is suspended to the ceiling. Some of the positions (like the goddess pose) are done while you're sitting IN the hammock (which is pretty cool and feels like you're floating on air) and some of the stuff (like the warrior pose) are done on the floor with the help of the sling to keep you balanced...
I'm only doing a one week trial (to be on the safe side and not to spend unnecessary moneys in case I absolutely hate it), and so far, it's definitely interesting! Though quite daunting since I walked in and my teacher, while nice, did not offer any comforting words. She basically told me I was in for it. LOL and goodness was I in for it. Hanging upside down is a challenge!
I will say, however, that it was pretty cool and a lot more entertaining than the yoga I know about. It's pretty challenging, and I'm sore as all hell this morning, but I'd do it again! Which I am. Tonight. Because I paid for a one week trial and I am going to make it worth my moneys. And maybe tonight I won't get someone who will yell at me (out of concern that I would crack my head open after falling) when I get the upside down pose wrong the first time. haha (I finally got it right, btw, after her demonstrating the pose again, and it felt like an awesome accomplishment that I got it right! wooooooo!)
I'm going to ask the new teacher straight up beforehand if I can take a picture of us when we're all upside down. It will make for an awesomer blog post than just my hot yoga teacher posing in the sling...
Jane (our awesome receptionist) gets the best seat in the house because she gets to look out her window (basically the only window in the office) which is right in front of the door which means she gets a front row seat (the only seat) to the outside world for the duration of the workday. So even though she sometimes gets the super cold or super hot air (depending on the season), she also gets to see some sunshine all day. The rest of us... well, I go to work when it's dark and leave when it's dark nowadays. How depressing. :(
Made it through the wedding on two hours of sleep and an intense day of prepping and the ceremony and the reception and the afterparty and I THOUGHT we were all done once the shuttle picked us up and dropped us off after going to the bar...but I was wrong. Like I could miss out on a Whataburger run with Matt and Steven. It didn't help that the driver was so nice and was like, "Do you want anything?" Awww, people in Texas are SO nice!!!!
Between staying up til 4 in the morning and waking up early to make my 1230 flight and then traveling the entire day only to get home at 1030 in the evening, this ended up being the only picture I actually took that night.
It's been almost seven years since I've gotten to spend any real time with the two cousins...but...nothing's changed. They're still fun and still hilarious and still sweet. :) I got lucky getting to hang with them even for just a little bit. :)
Second and last wedding for the year! Val and Jon finally, after six years or so, got married! That's pretty nuts to think that that much time has gone by. Unfortunately for me, I did not take a lot of pictures due to preoccupation and a dying battery... so no really good pictures of the bride and groom. Poopoo for my failure!
Instead, you get a self-portrait. Because I'm rarely ever this dressed up and put together! lol
We had a little bit of down time before the shuttle came to get us and I was glad for the sunshine... such a beautiful day for them to get married!
Got a call in the middle of the day from Jeff telling me he might leave in a few short hours instead of leaving on Saturday as scheduled... That sent me into a little bit of a panic and made for a very uncomfortable afternoon of stomachaches from the anxiety...
But oh, the skies were beautiful...
(...he didn't leave, by the way. Which is kind of a relief but also kind of... well... saying goodbye again kind of sucks.)
I like prunes. No, I'm not eighty years old. Though sometimes I feel like an old lady, I don't eat them to be "regular." Nope. I actually like the way they taste. I'm not exactly sure why. Maybe it has to do with having my grandpa as my best friend, though I don't recall ever eating prunes with him (usually ice cream sandwiches or candy or jello or whopper jr. meals). In any case, I like them. They're good!
I hadn't had them in a reeeeally long time, but I saw them at Duane Reade and suddenly had a craving for them. Even better, they're now individually wrapped so it makes me feel like it's candy! And they have random facts about prunes on the wrapper. Like... did you know prunes have more fiber than an apple and more antioxidants than blueberries? Yup! They do!