Thursday, January 18, 2018

How wonderful life is while you're in the world


Today marks exactly two years from when I was hospitalized due to a DVT in my left leg. It’s incredible how much that experience really changed my outlook on life and how because of it, it’s rare that you’ll hear me complain about anything.

That experience reiterated for me just how unpredictable life is. One day you’re fine and the next you’re at death’s door. It taught me that so many of the worries I had, wouldn’t be worries in the following year, so what was the point of worrying so much? It revealed to me how much I would appreciate exercising because my body could actually do so. It was hard to see how my body had gone from doing everything on its own and then needing assistance for simple things like literally getting out of bed.

It taught me how much I appreciate working because I could physically get into my car, drive the distance and sit at my desk to work. It’s not easy being told that you are not even physically fit to do a sedentary job. It was hard to feel that even laughing (although I didn't do much of it around this time) caused me pain. It was hard to know that walking, climbing up and down stairs, showering, putting on clothes and attempting to put on makeup was a chore. It was hard to have to stop every hour on car rides because sitting was painful and your doctor said that you had to do it to make blood flow in your very swollen leg. It was hard to not be able to do things that were once annoying to me like house work or grocery shopping because it meant that I was not well.

That experience taught me that it is an actual gift to wake up healthy and live life without constant pain.

How amazing it is that your body can actually exercise.
How amazing it is that you can actually work.
How amazing it is that you can clean your house and grocery shop.
How amazing it is that you can cook your favorite meals.
How amazing it is to be able to enjoy long road trips.
How amazing it is to laugh hard and feel nothing but joy.

Don’t spend your short time on this earth worrying about things that have no significance. Don’t waste time trying to be like the Joneses. Give, give, give as it is far better to give than to receive. Whether it be money, time or your services. And to be honest there’s no better feeling in this world than to know that you made a difference in someone’s life. Smile, even when you’re feeling sad; you know the saying, fake it till you make it. Spend less time judging others and more time evaluating yourself on what you can do better. It's incredible that just by doing that, you'll be able to see all the things that you could do better.

January 18th will always be a day that I will stop to reflect on how far I’ve come and how much I have to be grateful for. January 18th could have been my last day on this earth but instead I was given another chance. I still don’t have it all together. I'm not really sure I ever will if I’m to be honest; but I am working on it. Every single day, simply because I can.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

No spend January

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Last year we did a no spend January and really enjoyed it so we’ve upped it for 2018 to three no spend months this year. It’s a real eye-opener to see the amount of money that is spent on frivolous things such as coffee at Starbucks, orange juice from the vending machine at work, etc. Obviously money will be spent during our no spend months but only for items that are needed. No new pair of shoes, no trying of new face/hair products and no snacks from that damn vending machine at work. We haven’t decided yet if we should strip out date nights at restaurants for our no spend months but we decided that for the month of January we would.

I should note that any arrangements I made prior to January I decided I would keep; like the brunch date with Cinthia last weekend and a dinner to celebrate a friend's birthday this weekend.

Doing this really allows me to focus on the things that I already have and I feel such gratefulness when I realize all that I really do have. It’s not necessarily a bad thing to want a little more but it is such a great quality to feel content for what you already do have.

Have you done no spend months? How did it go? And if yes, are you doing it again this year?

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Slow paced winters


I completely welcome the slow paced life after the holidays. I actually become quite the hermit in the winter and it takes a lot for me to want to venture out. After the last week of extremely frigid weather, we are welcoming digits in the 40s and 50s so it kinda feels like a heat wave. I just might make myself get out of the house this weekend. But to be honest, there is truly not much I like to do outdoors in the winter when I could just be cozy and warm at home. This year one of my goals is to read more books and what better time than in the winter? It’s also around this time that I feel that my blog gets rather quiet and it’s mostly because I don’t have much going on and in turn not much to write about. Because I feel I’ve been consistently blogging at least three times per week the last few months, I feel the need to note that my blog posts may become a bit more sporadic and less while I enjoy the quiet and stillness that the winter offers. What are some things that you do in the winter that help to not make winter seem so long?

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Lunch at The Shelby

I love having go-to restaurants but I also enjoy trying new restaurants; as I’m always hoping to add a new favorite to the ever-growing list. When I checked out The Shelby for the first time several months ago, I knew that I had to go back again with my camera to take proper pictures as I found this place to be so striking. What better place to share than on here?

When I got the chance to visit again, I made sure to bring my camera along. Cinthia and Sean haven’t had the opportunity to try this place yet so I know another visit is in my near future and I already can’t wait. How funny is it that gorgeous restaurants (and good food) get me this excited? Their cheese curds are amazing. Although, they tasted a little different from the first time I tried them, still so good! Their drink list is also so extensive and I’m looking forward to trying more things on their food and drink menu.



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Friday, January 5, 2018

Happy Birthday to my lovely niece.

It feels like she was just born but I announced her birth five years ago. How does time fly this quickly? It moves even quicker when you get to see someone grow before your eyes. This blog often talks about my family and I’m grateful for that because I can really see her growth in the last five years. This girl right here is so confident, kind, hilarious and so smart. She loves to dance (and is quite great at it, I must add) and truly has such grace which isn’t surprising considering it’s her middle name. She calls me when I’m at work to discuss things on her mind and it makes me laugh every time. I love how she is willing to play dress up at any time but will also ask me if I want to climb trees with her. Unfortunately for her, my answer to that question is always no. Maybe one day I’ll be cool enough to reply with a yes. Anyway, I feel the need to take a stroll down memory lane today to celebrate my precious niece.


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Happy birthday Noa Grace.
I love you so much and wish you the happiest birthday and the loveliest life! ♥

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

2017 in Review

I had no expectations for 2017 mostly due to fear of disappointment. The last few years have been very difficult on me and my spirit. I was always the optimist and then the last few years stripped that positivity from me. For the first time in the longest time I actually feel positive, I feel hope and I feel safe enough to expect great things. I think what set me apart from the last few years is that I’m OK with knowing that things don’t always pan out or go as planned. It's knowing that regardless of that fact, I am still here surviving, living, smiling, loving and enjoying life. As I’ve been doing since 2012, here’s 2017 in review.


Started the year off with a bang by doing our annual trip to Vegas with Sean’s parents.


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Sean celebrated his birthday on the 14th and we celebrated ten years of being together.
It doesn’t appear that I took pictures of this weekend (shocking) but it did indeed happen.

Visited my sister in her new home in Connecticut.
Looks like I didn’t blog about this either, oops, but I did take a few pictures!

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This was one of the best highlights of 2017. Going to Mexico with Colleen plus Sean and I
being able to take my niece along with us! We had such an incredible time.

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Celebrated my sister's (Priscilla) birthday with my family and her friends :)



Visited a college girlfriend in Washington DC.


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Had a not so tasty date night with Sean.

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Went to see my nephew get dedicated at his new church and afterwards celebrated him at his dedication barbecue

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Went to Fort Launderdale for a weekend getaway

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Celebrated Memorial Day weekend with a visit to the farmers market for my favorite baguette, yum!

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Hosted a spring bunch at my house for a few girlfriends


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Enjoyed weekend brunch(s) with Cinthia

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Took pictures for an engagement ceremony and for the first time decided not to let fear take control.
As a result, those pictures are some of the best that I’ve ever taken.

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Enjoyed a lunch alfresco with Cinthia and Margaret



Went to Jim Thorpe for the first time July 4th weekend and we both really enjoyed the little town


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My little sister got married!

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Went cherry picking and for the first time ever enjoyed eating them!


Hosted our yearly summer barbeque for friends and family


Tried new restaurants and blew bubbles due to our summer to do list


Had landscaping done on our front lawn



Visited New Orleans for the first time and had the most incredible time!


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Enjoyed a music festival

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Began our Sunday dinner tradition which I’m happy to report is still going strong!


Went to a pampered chef brunch hosted by Colleen

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Celebrated my nephew turning one!


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Went to the summer fair


Went to my sister’s annual labor day bbq

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Tried a Peruvian restaurant for date night and loved it!


Had a really fun weekend with my sister and nephew ♥




Took pictures for my girlfriend’s daughter and finally listened to my sister and Sean to charge for my work.

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Went to a local arts festival with Cinthia


Turned 35!


Went to the city for our annual girl’s weekend

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Sean and I went to Vegas with Cinthia and her mom

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Celebrated 8 years of marriage


Enjoyed a girl’s day with my niece

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Celebrated Thanksgiving with my family



Celebrated 1000 posts on this blog!

Visited Colleen for a quick 24 hours.

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Took pictures for friends & family

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Decorated our home for Christmas

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Celebrated Christmas with my inlaws


Rang in the new year with my love!

And that's a wrap on 2017!