Friday, November 30, 2012

thankful (twenty nine and thirty)

hello weekend, it is really - really - really good to see you. finally.

on the twenty-ninth and thirtieth days of this month, i am thankful for:

+++  the work day being over. i was thankful for this on both days.
+++ hanging out with my mom-in-law for our annual holiday girls night out - very fun (thanks jo!)
+++ matador fajitas, so good
+++ getting to sleep in a little bit on a friday day off (which wasn't entirely a day off unfortunately - reference the first thing i am thankful for)
+++ taking malena to preschool which equals morning time together and extra hugs and kisses to start the day
+++ kettle chips, new york cheddar flavor - good thing i only got a small bag, because today i easily could have taken down a large bag in no time
+++ did i mention being thankful for the work days being over?
+++ jeremy my hairsylist (aka my hair angel)
+++ good scan news for a friend's beloved mom (woohoo - we really love good scan results!!!)
+++  fun comments on the blog (lisa - so glad that you checked out the christmas store, isn't the little cabin o' christmas so fun? & kristy - love that we will be making the same type of ornaments this year & nerd - duh;))

it has been a fun thirty days noting all that i have to be thankful for, thanks for coming along on the ride with me. i am going to miss sharing these daily thankful lists with you.

have a good weekend peeps. mine looks like it will include a dentist checkup for malena (which she is less than thrilled about so i am sure that will be fun for all involved) + a trip to jamba juice (which will closely follow the dentist appointment if all goes well) + holiday decorating + girls time + some work (boo!!) + sleeping in + reisling (already underway) + training runs + card making.

bring it all on.

sidenotes:
+++ ali edwards put together a great gift list for memory keepers and i am of course drooling over some of the ideas (barrett - i know you are reading this. your wife would really love gift idea #5. consider this a strong christmas hint. please and thank you.)
+++  bloom is one of my most favorite books. ever. this list gives you some great ideas for the women in your life that you could give it to. genius.
+++ i got an awesome thank you card from my friend kadeena today who used this site to design and send them. i am totally going to try it. very cool.
+++ if you want a choice of ten great options for free christmas cards designs (all you have to do is insert your picture and get them printed), you need to go becky higgins free stuff link
+++ i could relate to this post by leigh (curly girl), there are often times i too wish i could be a human blanket for friends and family
+++ send me some good mojo for being selected for the design team i submitted for - announcement comes next week.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

thankful (twenty eight)

yesterday i talked about an update on a melanoma warrior who did not got good news regarding her treatment. her mom posted this update today. please send good thoughts, they need them.

on this twenty-eighth day of the month, i am thankful for:

+++ my friend christina who turns a year older today, sending her good wishes for another healthy and happy year
+++ bruce springsteen for putting on a show in portland tonight for christina's birthday;)
+++ an unexpected break at work so that i could actually have five minutes to eat lunch
+++ having a chocolate gluten free muffin dropped off on my desk. yum.
+++ diet coke when i am dragging due to lack of sleep
+++ a friend getting good news
+++ getting some awesome music from my sister (again, she rocks)
+++ having my first christmas card of the year show up in my mailbox. every year, my first card is from my friend kris - a favorite holiday tradition of mine. in addition to loving the card because it is from one of my oldest friends, i love opening it because it signals the beginning of a lot of fun mail coming in december. you know how i feel about fun mail.
+++ girls night with malena
+++ dinner at "chicken robin" and playing games in the arcade. both of us trying multiple times to win a stuffed animal in the crane game, which i know no one ever wins. but boy did we have a good time trying.

happy thursday, one more day. we've got this.

sidenote:
+++ salted caramel brownies - enough said.
+++ perfect time to be reminded of the most important gift
+++ a holiday cocktail that looks pretty tasty
+++ easy chocolate fudge , mmmmmm......



Tuesday, November 27, 2012

thankful (twenty seven)

the last 24 hours was an interesting mix around here.

malena woke up at 2am having nightmares that a bee was on her pillow. she could not go back to sleep upstairs because she was so afraid the bee would come back. so her and barrett slept downstairs, but they didn't really get much sleep. i apparently caught the nightmare bug because i then had nightmares non-stop (not about bees, i wish that was my problem) until i dragged (literally) myself out of bed to go to work. this morning malena was really tired and had stomach problems so i stayed home with her.

while she was resting today, i was checking out some updates on blogs that i follow. a couple of them - melanoma related - shared sad news. a patient whose story i have been following received news yesterday that her treatment is not working. the chemo isn't working, and the melanoma is inoperable. hearing news like this is really hard for me, and honestly, my first instinct is always to stop reading because it is overwhelming. but, i don't. they deserve to have their stories heard, so i will listen. it is the reality of a world with melanoma. it always rocks me to my core, but really, not much about melanoma doesn't. i hope beyond hope that i see a day when there are no more melanoma stories to be share. with each day that passes, i hope it means we are one day closer to a cure.

so on this twenty-seventh day of the month, i am thankful for:
+++ all of the support within the melanoma community and the continual thoughts and prayers that get sent out on a daily basis, some of which have been for yours truly
+++ being able to stay home with malena when she doesn't feel well
+++ more hugs and kisses from malena today than i would have had if it had been a normal work day
+++ malena feeling better by days end
+++ naps
+++ cartoons
+++ malena's patience while i had to be on a couple of calls for work
+++ barrett making it home early enough for me to get a run in before it got too dark
+++ christmas lights keeping me company on my run, i think that the fall leaves made a deal with the lights so i wouldn't get lonely without them
+++ fajitas with yellow/red/orange peppers
+++ my sister helping me out with a little photo problem i created, she rocks (duh)
+++ a surprise package of very fun mail (thanks ann) and a super funny card (thanks kadeena)
+++ fun plans already being made for 2013

hello wednesday, you signal the half way mark, i love you for that.

sidenotes:
+++ a free holiday card that you can customize
+++ free "cup of cheer" download that would be fun to use at holiday parties
+++ you know i love this i know and you can get the book and a special note from susannah for the person you are giving the book to. awesome.
+++ good reminders in this holiday guide to living and giving
+++ spaghetti with kale and sundried tomatoes
+++ i am in love with this idea by kelly rae roberts for using plates as wall decor
+++ i love holiday gift guides like this one from rachel cole
+++ pulled pork tacos? yes, please. this recipe makes my mouth water.
+++ i think that these salt dough ornaments will be a project that malena and i do in the next couple of weeks

Monday, November 26, 2012

thankful (twenty six)

on this twenty sixth day of the month, i am thankful for:

+++ a gorgeous sunset out my office window
+++ cancelled meetings which allowed me to get some things crossed off my work "to do" list
+++ leftover fruit salad for lunch
+++ another day with my mom and dad, which i am thankful for everyday, but am reminded of especially today as a friend mourns the loss of her dad
+++ being able to choose a glass of wine off an ipad at a restaurant, how cool is that?

+++  a much needed catch up session with a good friend over dinner
+++ being better at math than my friend (haha!)

+++ making it home in time for stories and cuddling with malena at bedtime
+++ mom/dad-in-law who take good care of malena every monday and spend time taking her on fun adventures including swimming, frozen yogurt, and visits to the pet store to say hello to her animal friends

happy tuesday all - hope your monday was as good as mine.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

thankful (catching up) + ormolu

i hope that you you all had a great thanksgiving, i definitely did - and now i am wondering where the four days off went? how it is already sunday night? i am not sure either but i am not liking it. i would like another four days off please, with sugar on top.

on this twenty fifth day of the month, i am thankful for:
+++ spending time at my parents house with my family eating turkey sandwiches (yearly tradition), laughing, watching apple cup, eating some more, laughing, eating....
+++ seeing malena play with her cousins, the three of them playing reminds me of how much i loved playing with my cousins when i was younger. i still have a ton of fun hanging out with them. i love to watch those little girls play and sing (they put on a the concert for us in the dining room saturday night and it was awesome/hilarious/super cute).
+++ girl time with my mom shopping local on saturday and getting a start on the christmas list
+++ being able to support local artists by going to the handmade etsy event late saturday when we got back into town. so many fabulous artists, it was really inspiring. i could hear my etsy shopping following me around saying "when are you going to have a booth here?" in addition to being inspired, i got some serious shopping done. of course, you know that i found a couple of things for myself that i could not live without;) the highlight was meeting kate endle, as you know from my posts about her work before, i am a big fan. it was great to meet her in person, and barrett was able to pick up an original piece for me for a christmas present (i promised to act really surprised when i open it). i am definitely putting that event on my must-do list for next year's holiday shopping. i love supporting local artists.
+++ blue moon burgers, we worked up an appetite after all of that shopping
+++ watching malena pretend to be a fairy, and watching her "fly" as she ran around the house and jumped into the air (hence the flying part) while she ran. so fun to watch.
+++ a 3 mile run this morning, thank you weather gods for taking it easy on us this weekend. the 5k is two weeks away. yikes! more training, more training, more training.
+++ a first - building a xylophone thanks to our kiwi crate project. we had a great time, and it was a ton of fun getting to watch her play (em - you are going to looooove having these kits come every month).
+++ chocolate covered pretzels, thanks mom!
+++ leftover turkey sandwiches, so good. my favorite part of thanksgiving.
+++ getting to use the gift certificate to curly girl that you all helped me win;)

remember a week or so ago when i told you that i was planning to submit for a design team? well, i did it today and am pretty excited about it. ormolu is accepting applications for a design team starting in 2013. i have loved her products for quite a while and am always excited to see the new products she creates. i promised myself that next year i would start submitting my cards to design teams and different card forums - you know, working my way towards that etsy shop. this seemed like the right opportunity to act on that promise i made to myself. i submitted three of my cards and they will announce the winners next week. fingers (and toes) crossed peeps. too bad that part of the application isn't having people from my blog let them know how much they love my cards. if that was the case, i am sure that you would seal the deal for me like you did with the curly girl design contest;) so i will keep my fingers and toes crossed and you do the same please. i would be so, so excited if i was picked, i think that it would a good sign for my luck in 2013 and we all know i could use it heading into january and scans. here are the three cards i submitted, you would pick me if you could, right? thanks, i thought that is what you would say.




i hope that you all have a great monday and a good start to the new week. this week ends in december. really? no clue how that has happened. just realized christmas is one month from today. hmmm....i don't think that little realization just helped my stress level;)

Thursday, November 22, 2012

thankful (twenty two)

on this twenty second day of the month, i am thankful for:

+++ being here for another thanksgiving
+++ my awesome family (melhoffs, sheehans, nelsons, hansons)
+++ my great friends, who are my adopted family
+++ all of the million things that i am thankful for and appreciate on a daily basis
+++ my doctors
+++ seattle cancer care alliance
+++ hope
+++ sleeping in
+++ a lazy morning watching movies and playing games
+++ my legs carrying me for a 3.2 mile run, the blue sky and sunshine, and time to focus on all of the things that i am thankful for today
+++ my mom-in-law making a totally gluten free thanksgiving dinner so that i could eat anything (and everything) i wanted
+++ reisling (you knew that would be on the list)
+++ catching up with my nephew on the latest girls issues, oh -  to be a teenager again:)
+++ lots of love from family and friends throughout the day with thanksgiving day messages

another holiday. more laughs. more love. more time. can't ask for more than that. i am a lucky girl, i know that, and i am very thankful for all that i have - including all of the people that i am lucky enough to love. xo.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

thankful (twenty one)

(graphic from ali edwards)

on this twenty first day of the month, i am thankful for:

+++ my friend michael, my life literally got better the day that i met him
+++ starting the day by getting to catch up with one of my most favorite people for an hour
+++ gluten free pecan pie
+++ fun mail that made me feel appreciated (thanks marcie-roo), made me laugh (thanks mom and dad), and reminded me that my friends love malena (thanks ann)
+++ getting to be one of malena's "customers" that she waiting on all night whipping up good meals from her new kitchen. i love to watch her play.
+++ music
+++ charlie brown's thanksgiving being on tv

happy thanksgiving peeps, enjoy your day and all you have to be thankful for.

sidenotes:
+++ curly girl is having free shipping all weekend from friday through monday - woohoo!! you know that i will be using my gift certificate and doing some shopping:)
+++ if you need a great camera for a woman in your life, i have bought ones from this site and they are awesome.
+++ the thanks you give in your heart
+++ how awesome is this kids thanksgiving table? pretty awesome i would say.
+++ i am going to remember some of these great ideas for thankgiving next year

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

thankful (twenty)

"it will be gone before you know it.
the fingerprints on the wall appear higher and higher.
then suddenly they disappear."
(dorothy evslin)

malena turned 4 today. i have a four year old daughter. wow. i can remember vividly the second my water broke, and we knew she was on her way. i can remember the moment she entered the world, and i became a mom. i can remember how much my world shifted in that minute when i first laid my eyes on her. what a wonderful ride it has been for the last four years, i have loved every single second. i have watched her grow and i have grown right along with her. i am not the same person i was four years and one day ago. so today, i am thankful for my daughter and all of the joy she has brought to my life. she is my best accomplishment, my strongest inspiration, and my proudest legacy.

on this twentieth day of the month, in addition to malena's four years of life, i am thankful for:
+++ getting to celebrate our dear friend kadeena's birthday as she starts another awesome decade. her and malena share their special day. getting to celebrate with two birthday girls in one day. awesome. wouldn't have had it any other way.
+++ mickey mouse pancakes for breakfast
+++ gluten free swedish pancakes with lingonberry butter. so, so good.
+++ fun at the aquarium, how excited malena gets to see animals of all shapes and sizes

+++ playing tourist and going for a ride on the great wheel, and the weather breaking for us so that we had a little blue sky and sunshine on our trips around the wheel






+++ the happiness a new big girl kitchen can bring. barrett and i ate about a million different dinner and desserts today.

+++ the birthday notes that malena gets each year on her birthday. at my baby shower, each person wrote a letter for her to open on her birthday from her first through her seventeenth birthday. this year's letter was from our good friend kimberly. starting her birthday each year with the opening of those letters is such a special tradition for me. i love getting to read the wishes that were made for her before she even arrived, and how much she is loved by so many great women.
+++ red mango frozen yogurt with m&ms
+++ a day full of fun and love. perfect.

sidenotes:
+++ i am totally drooling over and inspired to make one of these 2013 calendars
+++ love these gift ideas, already have two and am making one for christmas - woohoo!



Monday, November 19, 2012

thankful (nineteen)

on the nineteenth day of this month, i am thankful for:

+++ my decision to drive in today to avoid being soaked while waiting for the bus in the sideways pouring (and i mean pouring) rain. that decision paid off when i got soaked later in the day walking to one of our construction sites. at least i was only totally miserable for part of the day. that is what i kept telling myself anyways.
+++ paper towels. i needed them when i spilled my full water bottle and soaked all of the papers that were on my desk. yep, that was a really good part of my day. a total highlight. i am so, so in love with mondays.
+++ tough work issues being resolved without complete crises occurring. but, it's only monday.
+++ the work day finally being over. please refer to the above three things i was thankful for.
+++ a gift with special meaning being appreciated for all of the love behind it
+++ broccoli blast at black bottle (hooch, i was there without you today. feel like i was cheating on you. will make it up to you on a date night soon;))
+++ seeing a ton of smiles from malena during her swim lessons
+++ fun mail waiting for us on the porch when we got home (thank you aunt megan and chris)
+++ knowing that i am not going into the office tomorrow, i am spending the day celebrating milestones instead

sidenotes:
+++ i kind of love this idea
+++ handmade holiday gift ideas
+++ yum
+++ chocolate sale
+++ i have felt the same way she does many times this month as i have been thankful for the routines and the daily occurrences that make up the sum of my life
+++ i feel this way about malena's 4th, but i think that i feel pretty weepy every year on her birthday;)
+++ identified with the lines "...i have a will to live...that will comes from loving people" in this post
+++ ummmm.....the food on this site looks really, really, really, really good
+++ ooooooohhhh, these  look like a project i would love

Sunday, November 18, 2012

thankful (seventeen + eighteen)

on the seventeenth and eighteenth days of this month, i am thankful for

+++ barrett celebrating a happy and healthy 34th birthday (he has started (barely) to come to terms with the fact that he can no longer say he is in his early thirties)
+++ friends and family coming to celebrate malena's 4th birthday (how is it possible that my girl is turning 4 on tuesday? i don't know either, tell me if you figure it out).
+++ all of the people who love malena, she is a very lucky girl to have so many who care so much. in those little moments i talked about last week when the voices creep in, one of the things that makes those voices go away is knowing that no matter what happens with my health, she will always be surrounded by love.
+++ all of our family making it home safe and sound
+++ going to our favorite christmas store and checking out the train
+++ the kindness of strangers
+++ shopping with my sister and my neice, and finding a new coat that i definitely could not live without (the coat felt the same way about me, we are really happy together)
+++ one on one time with my neice to get caught on the latest and greatest in her life
+++ chocolate/heath/peanut butter cookies, you can't eat just one
+++ cracking up at how quiet it gets when our family is hungry and the server brings our dinner out to the table. food = stop talking.
+++ surprising barrett with a night out with his best friends
+++ old friends
+++ a musician, with only his voice and his guitar, filling the bar with great music
+++ lazy sunday morning at the coffee shop with my sister and malena
+++ gluten free banana bread and marionberry delight. yum.
+++ completing a project for thanksgiving, taking time to reflect on how much i have to be thankful for
+++ my mom's gluten free macaroni salad with dill pickles for lunch. so good. thanks mom!
+++ malena reading the entire cinderella book and watching her storytelling skills growing day by day. i love to watch her read.
+++ a lot of time with family and friends to look forward to this week

happy monday peeps, the holiday will be here before we know it.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

thankful (sixteen)

on this sixteenth day of the month, i am thankful for:

+++ seeing malena in the morning, watching cartoons, and hanging out for a little bit before pre-school
+++ finishing a 3 mile run just before the sky opened and the rain started to dump
+++ not being in the office - and nothing critical happening so that i could spend more of my day taking care of things in my home life than my work life
+++ knocking out a ton of errands in a short amount of time
+++ my sister and niece making it over safely from pullman
+++ splitting a bottle of wine (ok, maybe a little more than one) with my sister
+++ laughter filling our house all evening long
+++ our house being filled with people i love
+++ malena being so excited about her birthday party tomorrow - imagine what it would be like if we were always as excited about our birthdays as we are when we are kids
+++ our house smelling like cookies
+++ eating a heath toffee/peanut butter/chocolate chip cookie that has just come out of the oven
+++ finding the perfect napkins to send to my mom to continue my yearly tradition of sending her funny ones that she can use at christmas when she hosts our entire (large) family
+++ friends that i love very, very much

happy saturday everybody. i will be celebrating barrett's birthday and malena turning 4. a day full of fun and celebration in the hanson house. love that.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

thankful (fifteen)

"we are all cups, constantly and quietly being filled.
the trick is, knowing how to tip ourselves over and let the beautiful out"
(ray bradbury)

on this fifteenth day of the month, i am thankful for:
+++ awesome fun mail from the pattersons in wisconsin, you rock! xo
+++ my assistant being kind of enough to do me a favor and pick something up for me so that i could actually eat some lunch today
+++ a staff person that has been a tremendous asset to my team, and knowing that he will do great in his new position with a different part of our agency (boo hoo)
+++ being able to be there when a friend got the call that she needed to leave immediately in order to be able to go to the hospital to say her goodbye to her dad
+++ catching up over a late dinner and drinks with a good friend
+++ laughter
+++ my sister coming tomorrow to stay with me for two days. awesome.
+++ not going in to the office tomorrow, i didn't say not working tomorrow, just not going into the office. small victories.
+++ knowing that i get to hang out with malena in the morning, especially since i didn't get to see her at all today
+++ chocolate chex mix
+++ getting our next kiwi crate project in the mail which equals a fun new project to work on
+++ genuine kindness

for the "grateful" giveaway, marcie-roo is the winner;) i will send out the cards to you in the mail tomorrow so that you have them in plenty of time for thanksgiving. enjoy!

happy friday everyone, the weekend is here. ours will be full of lots of celebrations and fun. i hope that yours is equally as good. xo.




Wednesday, November 14, 2012

thankful (fourteen) + a grateful giveaway

last night we were watching tv and a promo for "parenthood" came on. we used to consistently watch that show. on the promo, it was clear that something was wrong with one of the female lead characters. i said something to barrett about being curious what the new plotline was. when the time came for "parenthood" to come on, he had changed the channel. i told him to flip back to "parenthood" because i wanted to see what the episode was about. he looked at me and said "she has cancer". hence, the channel change. curiosity got to me and i flipped to it about 20 minutes later after barrett had gone upstairs. i respect that he didn't want to watch it. 

it wasn't clear from the portion i saw what type of cancer she has. but the focus was on her getting ready to start treatment and how she was coping early on with the diagnosis. i thought it was well done, it captured a lot of what i felt during that time. the feeling of just wanting life to be normal, but knowing it was anything but. the look on her face when they put the iv in her arm was exactly what i think my face must have looked like. her eyes watering, a mix of fear and a million other emotions on her face. needless to say i was in tears by the time the episode was over.

there were things in that hour that struck very close to home for me. in addition, november/december are really great months with a ton of celebrating. but they also carry a little undercurrent for me, less this year probably than the last two. the undercurrent is that little voice that i still hear on birthdays/holidays when i may briefly wonder what the future holds. will i be a part of the celebrations to come in the future? i try really hard to think positively as much as possible, and i think that i do a damn good job. but i would be lying if i said that the voice isn't there at times, and sometimes in the dark, those tears feel really good to get out. i don't think that they deserve to see the daylight. i also know that the email is going to come any day now with the dates of my scans in january. i actually wish the email would just come so i would know the dates. not knowing the dates is almost worse for me because of the unknown that looms ahead.

on the fourteenth day of this month, i am thankful for:
+++ it not raining when i had to walk to the office since i forgot my umbrella at home
+++ working with some fun people that make meetings better
+++ strolling through one of my favorite paper stores with malena and both of us having a good time
+++ malena's excitement over the upcoming snowflake lane event that we go to each year, and her reminding me tonight that "last year when we went mommy i was just a little baby, do you remember that?". hilarious.
+++ a great swim teacher
+++ grandparents 
+++ signing up for wisdom notes, i am excited for a little love in my inbox each day through the holidays
+++ excitement over putting my hat in the ring for a design team from january through june of next year. you never know unless you try, right? right. plus, the trying part (aka making cards) will be fun.
+++ top chef's new season being based in seattle.
+++ laying forehead to forehead with malena as she fell asleep...and as i almost fell asleep.

today when malena and i were wandering around paper source, i saw these "i am grateful" cards. they would be perfect at place settings or just to give to the peeps you are spending thanksgiving with. so i thought that they would be perfect for a little giveaway. they come in a pack of ten. if you would like a chance to win, leave a comment on the blog (click over to the blog if you are reading this via an email) noting one thing you are grateful for today. leave a comment by 8pm thursday. i will use the random number wizard doodad to select the lucky winner and will send them out on friday. good luck peeps.

sidenotes:
+++ these are the best pencils i have ever seen. i am also totally buying this stamp. i see great cards in the future with that one. perhaps those will be another giveaway opportunity.
+++ the book in this post looks like it is full of some great ideas
+++ if you are going to have a kids table at thankgiving, it looks like this site is going to have a cool idea to make it fun for the munchkins
+++ oh man, i so want to make one of these
+++ life, interrupted. exactly.
+++ cute baby announcement pillows

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

thankful (thirteen)

on this thirteenth day of the month, i am thankful for:

+++ the view from my office
+++ starting a new project with malena for thanksgiving

+++ having a seat on the bus into work, since i never have a seat on the way home from work. never. ever.
+++ tickle fights
+++ sweet potatos
+++ hot glue guns
+++ hershey kisses
+++ ann leaving the hospital - woohoo ann!!
+++ the beginning of new traditions. i ordered one of these santa cookie plates today. saw them. loved them. thought it would be the perfect plate for putting our cookies on this year and for years to come. i also thought that it would be a plate that malena could someday use for her own little ones. can't wait to put cookies on it, with some carrotts for the reindeer. (ps, lisa's site also has awesome jewelry and if you sign up for her newletter you get a code for 15% off your next order - so you can get the code before you purchase your first item. woohoo!)

happy wednesday peeps, we are already halfway there. i am digging that. xo.

Monday, November 12, 2012

thankful (twelve)

guess what? i won the curly girl design contest!!!!! thanks so much to all of you that wrote on her blog, facebook, and tweeted, i really appreciate you taking the time to do that. i am still a bit in shock that i won. i am so excited, i can't even tell you. what i love even more is that we did it together, i would not have won without your help. but, i am not surprised, i don't do anything without bringing you all along with me one way or another. thank you, thank you, thank you. if you want to see the kind words that she wrote about me winning, go to the blog update from today announcing that i won. so cool. i am a very happy girl. i so love when good things happen.

in addition to that exciting news, on this twelfth day of the month, i am thankful for:
+++ a slow morning with cartoons and pjs
+++ hearing a little voice next to me say "mommy, i want to help you"
+++ pottery with friends
+++ believing that reindeer can be any color that you want them to be

+++ cupcakes (and really, really good gluten free ones - yum)

+++ the excitement of kids when they think that they just might get an unexpected chance to see santa, and their true confusion over where all of the reindeer are;)
+++ the pure joy that comes from 50 cents and a horse ride (sasha, are we totally sure that she isn't yours?;))

+++ the end of a string of errands and stops along our way home, and still having a happy camper with me

+++ her imagination. pretending that the space under a table is her store and being so entertained by all of her pretend activities. i love to watch her play.

+++ my legs carrying for me a 3+ mile training run - we are coming up on four weeks from the 5k peeps. more training. more training. more training.
+++ tacos
+++ hershey's special dark chocolate miniature bars
+++ already having fun craft classes to look forward to with malena and friends in 2013
+++ feeling inspired to make a card and submit it for this contest, wish me luck!
+++ encouraging text messages from my friend kristen
+++ ann making good post-surgery progress
+++ friends with colds kicking them

hello tuesday, i am not afraid of you. bring it on.

sidenotes:
+++ today my sis and i submitted our mom's party for mingle's april issue, fingers crossed peeps. fingers crossed.
+++ didn't see the water bottles until today, also a cute gift idea
+++ click here for free downloadable thankgiving cards
+++ so glad that i said yes to a weekend of fun and let all of the work that is constantly piling up wait. like it deserves to. it will be there tomorrow. it can wait just a little bit longer.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

thankful (eleven)

"it is a miracle if you can find true friends, and it is a miracle if you have enough food to eat, and it is a miracle if you get to spend your days and evenings doing whatever it is you like to do, and the holiday season - like all the other seasons - is a good time not only to tell stories of miracles, but to think about the miracles in your own life, and to be grateful for them"
(lemony snicket, the lump of coal)

on this eleventh day of the month, i am thankful for:
+++ all of the men and women who have served our country, both those that have served previously and those that are serving now. i am very grateful for all that they do for our country, and for all of the sacrifices that they and their families make on a daily basis. we are very proud of all of our family members who have served, and are proud of kevin and tyler who serve currently in the navy and air force. we love you and are very proud of you both.
+++ sleeping in, day two
+++ a 90 minute massage to start the day. total bliss. i so wish everyday could start like that, i think i would much happier at work each day.
+++ a walk along the canal in the early morning while it was still fogged in and the rain was just starting to fall


+++ all of the time spent at alderbrook, and how i can't wait to return again. i was talking with barrett about how many times we have been there, and thought about the trip we took there to celebrate when i was halfway through my treatments. in some ways, that seems like so long ago. in some ways, it seems like i can close my eyes and be back in that very moment captured in this picture. i remember the way my legs ached, how the nausea felt, how i clung to that hat so no one would see my head, and how i was mentally getting ready to dig deep to push through the next 6 months.

+++ getting some time to shop in a couple of stores to pick up some christmas gifts, walking along rain soaked, brick paved streets while doing it
 +++ getting to see malena after missing being around her for two days, her hugs, her kisses, her laughter, her smile.
+++ finding a new bag for work that was exactly what i was looking for. yep, a new bag can make me pretty happy. if it wasn't associated with work, it would make me totally happy.
+++ having lunch with my mom and dad and catching up on the weekend and all of the activities ahead for them this week
+++ my friend ann doing good after an emergency surgery due to her appendix bursting (ann - you better be eating jello and reading "wild" when you are reading this, you are busted if you have your laptop out and are working)
+++ our day working out so that it was possible to go to the hospital and check in on ann
+++ a safe drive home in the rain, not being one of the many people that were involved in car accidents today, many of which we passed on our way home
+++ being home, back into the routines (bath time, reading, brushing teeth) that ground our day to day lives
+++ time in my craft room listening to music and making cards
+++ cocoa pebbles...yes, i still sometimes eat cereal as if i were 6 years old. yes, i still feel good about it.
+++ fun mail waiting in the mailbox from alexis, jen, and jessica

sidenotes:
+++ i have never bought anything from red envelope, but i got a catalog from them today (no clue why), and i was pretty much loving the pictures of the wall art they have. also kind of love the pillows.
+++ got my newest issue of mamalode and the theme is "balance" - i can always use some of that so i am excited to dive in
+++ i have to say that iphone cases with pictures of family/friends on theme is an awesome idea and would make for great christmas presents. shutterfly is pretty genius.
+++ read about apartment therapy and the kitchn this weekend and am planning to check out both sites
+++ haven't heard yet who won the curly girl design contest, my fingers and toes are still crossed.



Saturday, November 10, 2012

thankful (ten)

alderbrook, i love you. it is so good to be back. last time i was here was when i came solo in january. being back again just confirms how right i was to take that solo trip in january. i knew then that trip was a turning point for me, and being back now just reconfirms it. this place will always represent healing for me. i feel so calm here. ironic since i am not sure that we would have ever come to alderbrook if i had not been diagnosed with cancer. the entire reason we came here the first time was to have some down time the weekend before i started my high dose treatments. we came across alderbrook when looking at places to go, we had never heard of it before. completely random. now it doesn't feel so random anymore. it feels like this was a place i was always meant to find. i consider this place to be one of the good things that came from my diagnosis, or maybe it is one of the things the fates decided i deserved because of my diagnosis. either way, i am thankful.

on this tenth day of the month, in addition to alderbrook, i am thankful for:
+++ sleeping in
+++ a late morning nap (man, i miss getting the chance to take those on a regular basis)
+++ blue sky
+++ sunshine
+++ calm waters

+++ the sound of a stream traveling over rocks as it tumbles along towards the canal
+++ total quiet on the canal
+++ time over and next to the waters edge






+++ beating barrett at a game of crib in the main lodge, not sure what happened during the other two games, those results are a little fuzzy to me although i think that barrett would tell you that he won (although he has no witnesses to prove it)

+++ all of those who wrote on the curly girl site to help me try and win the $50 gift certificate - huge thanks to karen, hooch, kerry, crystal, kadeena, marcie and tracy. you guys rock! beth, you rock too for trying;)
+++ time to read my "where women create" magazine cover to cover. total inspiration. yes esty shop, i hear you calling me and plan to answer you soon.
+++ time to look at my november issue of "cards" magazine and get inspired to create some new cards. itching for some time in my craft room. i am going to submit an entry for their next round of submissions. if they pick one of mine, i will be super excited and you will definitely be hearing about it. stay tuned.
+++ my parents and bro and sis-in-law making it a fun saturday for malena with football games and family time
+++ awesome dinner, with tons of seafood and some creme brulee for dessert (and of course some reisling). so good. so full, at maximum capacity.

happy sunday everyone, make the most of it. xo.

Friday, November 9, 2012

thankful (nine)

on this ninth day of the month, i am thankful for:

+++ my nephew tyler who celebrates his birthday today, i was so lucky the day he joined my life 20 years ago today. could not be a prouder aunt.
+++ a walk down the seattle waterfront on a crisp and cool november morning on my way between meetings
+++ all of the peeps that have done me a huge favor by entering a comment on the curly girl design blog to help my chances to win a $50 gift certificate for shouting out my love for curly girl designs. you know i love her work, i have posted about her designs many times before on the blog. you may have gotten one of her cards from me or some other piece of her collection - her work is some of my favorite gifts.  in my post from yesterday, i told you told you how you could help me out. huge thanks to wallace, kristy, jen, barrett, nerd, janice, joanne, doreen and kevin. you all rock!!! for those of you that want to help me out, you still can! go to the curly girl design blog, and leave a comment that you have heard about the site from me. she is giving out two gift certificates, one at random, and one for creativity. i figure that you all know how much i love her work from my posts before, i might as well try to be creative in letting her know too. thanks in advance for your help:) she is deciding a winner on sunday, so if you can leave a comment on the site by tomorrow, i would really appreciate it. i love curly girl. you should love curly girl if you don't already. we all win. thanks peeps.
+++ leaving work at 4 on a friday, not at 5. leaving an extra hour early felt like total bliss.
+++ finding the perfect birthday present for malena, being so excited to give it to her. i am going to have a hard time waiting until the 20th.
+++ a date night with my husband, and a weekend away at alderbrook, hands down one of my most favorite places in the world. i love it here.
+++ driving along hood canal at night, the calm water and  the lights reflecting on the surface
+++ fajitas
+++ reisling. three glasses. yep, loved all three, every single sip.
+++ knowing that i get to sleep in tomorrow morning
+++ not having to go in to the office tomorrow
+++ nice comment from my friend kristy  - yes kristy, we are so doing fun stuff when you come back. can't wait!
+++ my friend jon coming back to washington for a visit in december. tick tock. tick tock. counting the days. miss you. hurry up please. xo.

happy saturday everybody, i am pretty excited about it. i hope you are too.

sidenotes:
+++ exactly.
+++ i hope you will watch this, a story about a a melanoma survivor who starts running, sound familiar?
+++ love this list of holiday reminders from brian andreas, one of my other most favorite artists. his work is displayed all over our house. big love.
+++ thought about this post today about the first christmas gift when i bought malena a wooden train set for christmas morning. she loves trains, i can't wait to see how excited she is to have her own.
+++ jessica swift now has iphone 5 cases - fun jen, is one of these meant for you?
+++ love, love, love this print by lindsey freitas hopkins and you can find it here

Thursday, November 8, 2012

thankful (eight)

i am not sure what it is about this week, could be combo of being sick earlier this week and nightmares taking their toll and work being brutal, (and all three combined), but i am so tired. feels a little on the edge of exhausted actually. i just want to curl up in a little ball and sleep all day tomorrow. but i am pretty sure that my jam packed calendar from 7am through the rest of the day isn't going to let that happen. bummer. i guess that i will just have to buck it up, grab a cold diet coke at some point along the way, and plow through. like i always do. onward i go, just maybe a little bit slower than usual.

on this eighth day of the month, i am thankful for:
+++ a confrontation i was kind of dreading getting diffused before i had to blow it up. whew.
+++ hot rosemary garlic bread. so good.
+++ invitation for a play date, and even though i can't make it work, loved being thought of and the hope of making it happen sometime in the future
+++ my daily emails with my friend meg in cali, love our daily catch up sessions
+++ watching my mom and dad play hide and seek with malena, hearing three sets of laughter all around our house while they are doing it
+++ pulling into my driveway and seeing my parents
+++ hearing the words "goodnight mommy, i love you too"
+++ my parents kindness in always, always taking care of others. like today when my dad mowed and edged the yard of our friend who lost her dad earlier this week, because my dad wanted to help her, but also because we knew her dad had said he would take care of it for her this week. i don't think that they could set better examples for me and my bro and sis to follow.
+++ whole foods having a kids section where malena can pick fruit or raisins to eat while we shop. it makes her happy, and we all know, happy kids makes for happy grocery shopping.
+++ getting to daycare to pick up malena, her playing tag with one of her friends, and laughing so loudly i could hear her before i could see her
+++ playing candyland with malena and my parents

happy friday peeps, we made it - i wasn't sure it was going to happen, but we pulled through. enjoy it. xo.

sidenotes:
+++ i am going to order one of these memory games for malena for christmas. she is going to freak out. we love memory games in our house, and i am going to love flipping over cards that show something other than princesses, dora, and spongebob.
ps) i see some other pretty great looking things like calendars on their site too. might have to do some more shopping.
+++ love this holiday craft project that is kid friendly, might have to try something like this for malena's room
+++ this post was a good reminder for me to continue to try and slow down and enjoy
+++ ok, this is the most important sidenote i may ever have (even more important than the post last night about the couch, and we all know that was really, really important). here is the deal. curly girl design is having a contest for a $50 gift certificate for those who shout out their love for curly girl. so i am shouting it out to you, and here is how you can help me win. leave a comment on her blog post or on her facebook page (curly girl design) and tell her that you heard about curly girl from me and list my blog. please do it by saturday evening. if i win the $50, i will love you forever. seriously. if i win, i will for sure let you know. if i don't win, i won't let you know because i won't be talking to you anymore. just kidding, kind of. tnx;)

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

thankful (seven)

on this seventh day of the month, i am thankful for:

+++ a good nights sleep last night, thank you nightmares for packing up and heading out - would love it if you would do the same tonight. thanks in advance if you do.
+++ the work day being over
+++ the work day being over
+++ the work day being over
+++ cold reisling, after the work day being over
+++ red mango
+++ that she loves swimming, i love to watch her swim.


+++ this art piece that was made for me and the gratitude behind it. i am working on another project with jenny, and i can't wait for it to reach the person it is inspired by.
+++ to get to do more party planning this month to celebrate peeps i love
+++ my favorite blanket. it has kept me company through so many rough days. i feel a bit like linus (minus the sucking my thumb part), but i am ok with that.
+++ the fact that the weekend is now only two more days away

happy thursday peeps, one more day. one more day. we can do this. i think...not totally convinced quite yet.

sidenotes:
+++ pretty much love this couch, ever since i saw it in her studio. if anyone needs a christmas present hint for me, here you go. it is only $2000 but the shipping is free. i know, awesome deal right? talk amongst yourselves because i really only need one, and if you all rush out and order one for me, i am not sure where i will put them;)
+++ i could not agree more, especially after the work day being over
+++ here  are some pretty cool, free, ideas for a diy carnival
+++ next time i am in portland, i would totally check this place out
+++ heard about for the makers today for the first time, very intrigued
+++ might have to check one of these out next year

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

thankful (six)

on day six of this month, i am thankful for:

+++ re-elections
+++ tickle wars
+++ nightmares not coming every night like they used to. i am reminded of how grateful i am for that when they come back with an awful vengence like they did last night.
+++ homemade gluten free pumpkin muffins and an awesome necklace as a surprise gift
+++ another team member signing up for the 5k - go team!
+++ encouraging text messages
+++ a message from a friend that says "you seriously might have a window into my heart. you always know exactly what i need and when i need it." being reminded that i help to make days better for my friends.
+++ peanut butter and jelly sandwiches
+++ fun mail waiting in the mailbox

wednesday, i am pretty excited about you. half way there my friend. thanks in advance for bringing the weekend one day closer.

sidenotes:
+++ ali edwards did a great summary of the kiwi crates with holiday themes if you need a fun gift/project for kiddos
+++ loved this story 
+++ wish i had been invited to this circus party

Monday, November 5, 2012

thankful (five)

on this fifth day of the month, i am thankful for:

+++ all of my family and friends being safe and sound at days end, thinking of our friend who unexpectedly lost her dad today

can't be more thankful for anything else than that today. hug them. kiss them. love them. be thankful you can.

sidenotes:
+++ if you need a great little present for under $10, click here
+++ i saw this picture (http://pinterest.com/pin/85849936618208780/) on mamalode's facebook page with their words "moms. every. single. day"
+++ new holiday cards out from kate endle
+++ drooling over jessica swift's iphone and glass classes
+++ how awesome would it be to get one of these in the mail?
+++ i could totally relate to this i am enough post
+++ identified with so many things in this post for many different reasons, i really hope you will take the time to read it
+++ love this idea of framing wallpaper as art. brilliant.