Appreciation

Lately we’ve been listening to a meditation entitled “abundance”. I don’t recall much about it, as it plays while we’re falling asleep but I have it on the brain today.

So full. My life is abundant.

Yesterday I studied math in the sunshine, went for a run, studied in the sun while Lover grilled a delicious dinner, went to a meeting. It was so great.

Even more so because I normally don’t run unless, kickball. (Holy SHIT do I hurt today)

On the way to the meeting last night, we stumbled onto a radio interview with a former baseball player who now does some sort of counseling/life coaching. He was talking about appreciation. It was really interesting, he said something to the effect of “no one ever comes up to me after a talk and says, ‘I’m so over appreciated’.” He said theres a chemical reaction in the brain that happens when we give verbal appreciation to another person, and also that marriages without mutual appreciation fail.

It made me think about my relationship with Lover. Something we talk about is recognizing and speaking our gratitude and appreciation for each other. How good it feels to hear it. And how it is heartfelt when its said. (So many warm fuzzies right now)

I was also thinking of this today when emailing a colleague to ask her to stop copying myself and others on her approval emails. I threw in a paragraph about how much I appreciate her prompt approvals for her orders, and it makes my job easier that she does it. She responded that I made her day. Something so simple as telling her the truth about how I appreciate her work made her day. Which in turn, made mine.

  1. Grapes. Omg…my boss brought in these juicy red grapes and they are so good!
  2. A fantastic GI doctor. We made a plan for treating my stomach stuff that is homeopathic and unique to me. I’m excited, and feel really good about it. Plus. She’s just cool and I enjoy talking to her.
  3. Sexistential Crisis, by Battle Toys. I got a prerelease of their new music and have been enjoying it all morning. I think that song is my favorite so far.
  4. Seeing my girls tonight after a long weekend without them. I miss my girls.
  5. An amazing breakfast from Lover, cooked for me, and eaten while discussing Nothing Compares 2 U. My breakfasts with him make me so happy, and it’s so hard to leave for work. The best part of my day so far.

Now, please enjoy this artwork my two year old did on my phone. I think its great.

The year in review

Best described by the music I lived in…

January

One word…Phantogram. I must have listened to Cruel World and When I’m Small 3x a day at least. I was gearing up for leaving my ex, and these were the emotional songs to do it. Electric Love from Borns just came out and I wanted a love like that so badly.

February

It’s done. The marriage is ended. Human, by Rag N Bone Man. Love N Hate by Michael Kiwanuka is also on the playlist a lot.

March

Adjusting to new realities. Making new friends and connections. Hot Thoughts, by Spoon, Paisley Park by Prince, Soothing by Laura Marling.

April

More Phantogram, You Don’t Get Me High, and You’re Mine. 

May

Ubu, by Methyl Ethel, Feel it Still by Portugal The Man, Wes Anderson by Alex Lahey. Although, I must add in that I understood what Alex Lahey was talking about months later when Lover and I became a thing. Ran, by Future Islands releases and I download and play it on repeat. For weeks.

June

I’m homeless, divorce papers filed and stressed to the max. I take it out by hula hooping and starting a 30 days of positivity. Hula playlist includes lots of Har Mar Superstar, Clearest Blue by Chvrches, Wake Up by Chastity Brown, and The System Only Dreams in Total Darkness by The National. I’m living like I hadn’t lived since before the ex and I’m remembering what it feels like to be me. In a good way.

July 

I’m letting go. Nothing is working so I just let go. And amazing things happen. Like J-Boy by Phoenix. Swish Swish by Katy Perry. Everything Now by Arcade Fire. Gimme Sympathy by Metric. Angry Johnny by Poe. Lover and I start dating. Life feels so good. 

August 

Linger, by The Cranberries on August 4th during the best date of my life up to that point. Eclipse month. Carnival by Natalie Merchant. Fatal Gift by Emily Haines and The Soft Skeleton. Lover and I are seeing each other weekly by the end of the month.  

September

Don’t Delete the Kisses by Wolf Alice makes me think of Lover every time I hear it. I move into my new apartment. A has a hard time adjusting, but we made it to the other side and things settle down. Got to see Spoon play a show and it was everything a concert should be. 

October

A blog post about listening to music in a dark twisty bar triggered a lovely memory. So many fun experiences this month. Saw Battle Toys perform, went dancing for my birthday. Halloween parties. Fresh Blood by The Eels. The Silversun Pickups album.

November

No Roots by Alice Merton. I fell madly in love with  Deadly Valentine by Charlotte Gainsbourg. So much baking. Dance classes with Lover start, and it is so much fun.

December 

Eartha Kitt dominated my holiday playlist with Amy Grant and Michael W. Smith. The Wombats released Lemon to a Knife Fight. Beach House’s Space Song will forever hold a memory of a late night and the scent of lavendar.

2017 has been the most eventful year in my life since I was 20 and moved 5 times in a year. So much has happened, good and not so good. I’ve felt all the feelings, and am learning from all my mistakes. I am truly happy to be right where I am in life now.

Here’s to 2018!

My song of the day and other things

Its a music day. I have these days from time to time where I find really awesome songs, download them, listen to the shit out of them, then wonder why I’m not hearing anything new. It seems to only happen at random too…I can’t just go out and look for it. It has to find me. 

My downloaded song today is called Unbuild It, by The 2 Bears. I heard it on the local underground college radio Lover got me hooked on, and it is so good. I was a little surprised because it has kind of a pop sound to it and this station doesn’t generally seem to play pop sounding songs (but, I’ve been listening to it for only a few days…so…). In any case, love it.

Also, Line of Fire by Junip. I had the treat of hearing some of their other songs, and I kind of love their sound. Slow and dreamy. 

To kick it up a notch, Sports, by Fufanu. I could see myself working out to this. If I worked out, that is. Nice even tempo. Definitely getting added to the hula hooping playlist.

Lover and I took another dance class last night, Tango and Hustle. The Tango was hard, I do not have the steps down for that, but the Hustle….ooooo. I like that one. I have that one down pretty good I think and it’s SO FUN getting spun around. I’m hoping we’ll get to do more with that. Or even just adding on our own stuff to it. Since we started dancing, half the songs I hear now I’m thinking about dance steps to. I think that’s a good thing. 

Lots of good things going on. I’m pretty appreciative of them all.

Day 94

Sleeping in is the best. I tend not to sleep in all that late when I have the opportunity to do it, but it’s soooo nice when I get the option to do it. Just snuggle in the bed, half asleep, and not be expected to get up or go anywhere. With my custody schedule, I get one day every two weeks to do this. One day in every 14. It makes me appreciate it so much more than I ever did before. When I was with my ex, there was never sleeping in, ever. Either the kids got me up, or on the extremely rare occasions grandma took them, they were being dropped off as soon as possible. 

Anyway, I’m grateful now that I have the opportunity. 

1. A relatively easy morning with my children, before dropping them off with their dad.

2. Plenty of me time. A little cleaning and laundry, and catching up on Outlander. 

3. Two walks by myself. I found a pretty little park about ten minutes walk from my place, and while it’s not very child friendly (not much grass area, a large pond) it’s gorgeous and an ideal place to meditate or read a book.

So pretty

4. Fresh baked bread. Almond millet bread. Might have been my best loaf yet. We’ll see how it kept overnight.

5. Girl time with my friend and a really fun show. It was a good time. Battle Toys puts on a great performance. 

Day 88

Yesterday I kept so busy I didn’t have a chance to write anything up. 

Today…not much happened.

Not necessarily a bad thing. But to be honest, I spent most of the day fighting a migraine, and then when that went away I was so tired I was falling asleep at my desk. But hey, the migraine was gone!

1. Got up in my favorite way, and got meditation and breakfast before hauling ass out the door. I’m disorganized as fuck, but I got my coffee, and was fed and not running late for once.

2. Chipotle for lunch. 

3. Got into some classical music at work. It’s not my favorite genre, but I stumbled across a composer I’m batshit crazy for and it’s opening me up to new stuff. Like this.

4. My friend Marta gave me some vetiver essential oil to try on A a few weeks ago. It promotes calmness, and when you breathe it in, it literally relaxes you instantly. Ive noticed a huge difference since we’ve started using it. We call it her “perfume” and she dabs some on her wrists pretty much right before we leave from daycare. It’s insane. I honestly didn’t think it would work but it does. She was so worked up when I went to get her today I was sure it was going to be one constant meltdown but instead she whined for a couple minutes and fell asleep on the ride home. And then was a normal happy kid when we got home. Now, we still have bad days and meltdowns but they are so much more manageable.

I believe God puts people in our lives at just the right moment when we need it. I have been at my wits end all summer with this kid, and truly believe it was a God thing when she walked into my office randomly and happened to have this oil on her. 

5. A lovely dinner of cheeseburger pie, then the Trolls movie with two happy little girls. The dishes are done, laundry is in the machine, and bedtime is drawing near. 

Day 87

Ok. Somebody needs to cut me off.

Apple cinnamon donuts 

You’re going to have to roll me to my car so I can go to work tomorrow.

I based the recipe on the pumpkin maple glazed donut recipe from Oh She Glows, but made some changes, like making it gluten free. And making with Apple instead of pumpkin. 

1/2 tsp vinegar, 6 tbsp almond milk, 1/2 cup plus 3 tbsp unsweetened applesauce, 1/4 cup sugar, 2 tbsp brown sugar, 2 tbsp earth balance, 2 tsp baking powder, 1/4 tsp baking soda, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp ginger, 1/4 tsp nutmeg, 1/2 tsp salt, 1 cup white rice flour, 1/2 cup oat flour.

Baked at 350 for 12 minutes

If I had half a brain I would have put a 1/4 tsp xanthan gum in, but I didn’t so they’re crumbly but so so delicious. Dipped in melted earth balance and cinnamon sugar.

So good.

1. Eggs fried in bacon grease on “girlfriend bread”, aka gluten free. Delicious.

2. Taco Tuesday! 

3. A’s dance night! She’s so effing cute in her leotard and tights. 

4. Fucking donuts. I need a bakers anonymous meeting. Still positive though. The reactions from Hannah and A were worth it 100 percent.

5. Hannah came over and hung out. She watched Barbie movies with A while I did dishes, then we looked through photo albums from when we were in high school and younger. I must say, we were awesome even when we were awkward. But thank sweet baby Jesus we don’t look like that anymore!

Edit: listening to Sugarray Rayford, The World that We Live In. Dirty bluesy goodness. I recommend.

Day 86

Donuts.

Oh God.

Death by chocolate. 

I completely forgot to take pictures of the finished product, but let me tell you. Wow. Super good.

I used the recipe posted by Angela Liddon on Oh She Glows. I didn’t get permission to post the recipe, so follow the link if you want to try it out. They were a huge hit with everyone who tried them. It was said, however that they were more like a brownie than a donut but no one cared. Except me. Im going to test out a couple more of the donut recipes she posted soon to see if I can get more of the donut like texture to it.

So good. 

Both weekend days were pretty packed full of awesome. I was in motion pretty much the whole time, so I didn’t post either day like I should have. I’ve decided to make just one post for both. 

1. Good parenting day. Granted, I only had my kids in the am before they went to their dad’s, but it was good. They were up at 530, so I feel like we got a lot of quality time in. At the repair shop. And the grocery. And the park. All before ten am. It was good.

2. Those donuts. Maaaan.

3. Went to a crafting AA thing. The meeting was excellent, and it felt like I got closer to people I am just acquainted with. Plus, I made a new pair of earrings!

4. A delicious dinner made for me. I don’t recall what all was in it, but it was super good.

5. Music at a dark twisty bar. The whole experience of listening to romantic music while lounging on a couch in a dark, candlelit bar while passing a notebook back and forth. I blew off two parties for this and have zero regrets.

6. Slept in. It was amazing. Probably my only day to sleep in for the next two weeks. I woke up with a migraine which was not wonderful, but I slept it off and the day just got better from there.

7. Cleaned the apartment. It didn’t take long which was even better. 

8. Went boating. It was almost 90 degrees. In SEPTEMBER. IN MINNESOTA. I know, right? The opportunity presented itself to go boating and I took it. The water wasn’t as cold as I thought it’d be, and I loved/hated (hated to love?) getting yanked into the water. It was fun and I thoroughly enjoyed it. 

9. Made that amaaaazing sausage mushroom dish again. I’m starving again just thinking about it.

10. Practiced piano briefly while talking on the phone with my girl then tv and bed. The tv wasnt on long. 

Absolutely content with life. 

Day 85

I’m feeling incredibly claustrophobic at the moment. 

I’m good at compartmentalizing. Especially with the people in my life. And I’m so good at it, that it never occurs to me that this is a small town and people know each other. Or that people from the past that I don’t expect to ever be in my life again pop up.

So last night, I’m in bed, sorting mentally through information I’ve gotten in the last few days and weeks and I feel suddenly claustrophobic. All these separate people are popping up in places I don’t expect knowing people it never occurred to me they knew. And I’m not sure why it makes me uncomfortable. It shouldn’t, but it does. It’s not like I have anything to hide, I don’t. 

I’m also seriously considering not going to a party I was really excited about going to because I found out a person would be there that I dont want to have any interaction with. I have two alternate sets of plans for that night, it’s not like I’d just sit at home with the cat and Netflix. I should shut up…a year ago that would have been me on a Saturday night. 

1. No Doubt, Spiderwebs. I SO wanted to be Gwen Stefani back in 1999. But, let’s be honest, who didn’t? Love that song. 

2. Back in March, I think, I was bitching that I never had time or money for a yoga class and someone suggested you tube for doing yoga. And it was amazing! I started doing it at home and it was great, my back pain was completely gone and weight loss plus body sculpting. A month or two later, I was talking to a girl I work with about her struggle with weight loss after her second child and I passed along the suggestion. She stopped by my office today, visibly smaller, and told me it was thanks to my suggestion because she was now doing the you tube video yoga exercises at home. I feel like I can’t take all the credit, but it feels so good that someone made a very positive change in their life because of something I said. 

3. Got my donut pans! I’m making donuts tomorrow and I’m soooo excited for it. Pictures and recipe to follow.

4. My weekend is filling up with plans fast. I’m pretty happy about this. In January, I was very isolated and lonely. I had very few friends, and made the decision to leave my husband with very little support. I had lots of friends before I started dating him, but slowly became more distant and over time only a few remained. I decided that needed to change and started making the effort to go out after meetings to meet people and make friends. And I did. I’m building a network, where I had only a couple close friends that I didnt see often before. I’m getting invited to events, have multiple text conversations going. Planning tea dates and baking adventures. I am so grateful to God for this. And when things got really hard, these new friends (along with my old close friends) were there for me, letting me cry on the phone and taking me out to do things. AA didn’t just get me sober, it saved my sanity over and over again. The people I’ve met and made friends with loved me when I needed it the most. I truly hope I can pay it forward.

5. Board games and the new Beauty and the Beast movie with A. These are the moments that make parenting worth all the struggles.

Day 84

For some reason, Atmosphere, Like Today song is coming to my mind when I think of this morning. 

Woke up, got up round 11’oclock

Butt naked except, I was wearing my socks

And that’s cool ’cause most of the time this floor is cold

Stand up and stretch, look around this mess

I certainly woke up much earlier than 11 and not naked. Or wearing socks, for that matter. But the mess part is true.

Anyway.

1. A little Wolf Alice to start the day on the right note…first song I heard in the car this morning. Followed by Across the Universe by The Beatles, and then the Postal Service with Such Great Heights. Maaaan… made it even better when I was texted by someone that they were also listening to the same songs. Love Such Great Heights. It reminds me of a time long gone while also making me want to climb a tree with someone. 

I feel like climbing a tree now. 

2. Listened to Barbara Walters you tube interviews while working this morning. Fascinating. Also made the morning fly by.

3. Listened to Atmosphere Lucy Ford album while making dinner. When i was thinking of Like Today, I felt like listening to it. I forget how good this album is, probably the best Atmosphere ever did. The song, If I Was Santa Claus was my absolute favorite in high school. For a long time, that was my ideal of love. Or, Don’t Ever Fucking Question That. Now I’m older, I have different ideas of love. I don’t want to rescue anyone like I used to, or solve their problems for them. Or rather, I stop myself from trying to. (Al Anon was huge on this) I don’t want to be rescued either. I want a partner in crime. To bring out the best in the man who brings out the best in me. If I Was Santa Claus made me a little sad listening to it, but in a good way. I’ve grown. And those are still some amazing songs.

4. Came home to a clean sink with no dishes in it. I promptly filled it with prep dishes but it was soooo nice to start out fresh! (Note, they’re mostly all clean again)

5. Made homemade pizza from scratch tonight. Ugh. So full, and in a good way. 

I started my day with snuggles and music. My apartment smells like spices and pizza, I have happy children and my heart is so full. Life is so good today.

Day 77

Fall has a smell to it. This sweet smell of leaves. It’s almost indescribable. I noticed it when I left my work on my lunch break. It’s warm and humid, and the leaves coming off the maple tree are giving off that scent. I kind of love it. It makes me want to be outside and pick apples and visit farmers markets. I’m thinking the annual orchard trip will be very soon.

Fall has always signified major changes in my life. New schools, new homes, new relationships or the end of them. This year especially. On years where there aren’t changes, I feel strange, like there should be. This year…plenty of changes. I’m completely good with it. It feels right. 

1. Another early morning yoga, meditation and breakfast. It was SOOOO HARD to get out of bed today. But I did it, and I’m very pleased I got to start my day the way I did. 

2. The bathroom light has been fixed. It decided to not work last night. There was also a moment of panic when I wasn’t sure if the candle I’d lit to shower by had been blown out. Visions of the cat lighting himself on fire, and running batshit crazy through the apartment setting fire to everything flew through my head. However, maintenance confirmed I did not leave it burning. And I have a working light. All positives. 

3. Taco Tuesday baby!

4. I signed up for classes today. Pilates+yoga power workout for 6 weeks, and then a homeowners class on plumbing as well as one on basic electrical. I’ve wanted to do all three of these for AGES. Also, the incident with the light brought it to my mind. Useful things to know. I like the idea of fixing my own stuff. 

5. Dance night for A. ❤ Also an early bed for both kids. I’m not sure what to do with myself!

Jack White, Blunderbuss album on the playlist today. Completely fits my mood.