Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving

I don't know about you, but at our house the turkey can run but he can't hide.

May you have lots to be grateful for this year!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Birthday girl's big day

Katharine's day started with a few presents, her favorite being a Nintendo DSi from Nanna.

Then we drove to Columbia to see Grandmomma and Poppa, opening a few more gifts. Then we went to Yamatos for Japanese show cooking, which Katharine loved but Matthew had mixed feelings about. Mostly, Katharine loved that her cousin Morgan could join us.

I think she had a good day!

Happy Birthday, Katharine

Seven years ago today our beautiful baby girl came into our lives!

We love you, KK!

Friday, November 16, 2012

...and I was teaching!

So, Paul invited me to come and guest lecture in  his research methods class this past week.  I did a lesson  on focus groups and this is me in action!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Attitude of gratitude

So, somehow I didn't hear about this year's Facebook/Twitter/Wherever it started trend of posting something one is grateful for each day in November -- 30 days of gratitude. But, I caught wind of it somewhere in the second week and while it didn't change my posting behavior (as in, I almost never post anything and still don't), it did get me thinking.

I'm not really the kind of person that people are likely to describe as "Suzy Sunshine" or "bubbly" - I'm an introvert, always have been and probably always will be to some extent. I'm also not always the "cup is half full person". I like to think of myself as a realist rather than "negative" but the reality is that I can bogged down in the "what ifs" of life. Thus, gratitude is something I have to make a conscious effort to think about and practice. That being said, I'm doing my whole 30 days of gratitude right here, right now. Here we go:

1) My kids -- so obvious right? But let's face it, you grow another human inside your body, you loose all objectivity about the little creatures. I happen to think mine are too stinkin' cute, smart as pins, and funny as all get out. They test my patience everyday but I also marvel at their very existence everyday as well. They make me feel lucky, loved, and special just by being who they are.

2) My husband -- 10 years of marriage plus 5 years of dating and we're still going strong. We've grown together and become so many things together -- parents, homeowners, pet-owners (again and again), and (to some extent) grown-ups. We've moved, we've changed jobs, we've lost loved ones, we birthed babies but most importantly, through it all, we've loved and respected each other.

3) My Dad -- While we've never really celebrated it in the "daddy's little princess" kind of way, I've always been a daddy's girl. With the exception of a few rocky and hormonal years in my teens, we've always been a bit of kindred spirits -- being with him is easy and we seem to be at ease and in sync most of the time. He is my number one confidant, is always interested in what I'm doing, thinking, or feeling and always willing to help me think through a problem. And, most importantly, we laugh together -- we have a sense of humor that is unique to us and we never fail to crack each other up.

4) My Mom -- While it hasn't always been easy between us, we have grown into a relationship of mutual respect and inter-connectedness. She provides a safety net of love that helps me to feel that I'm not alone, won't end up homeless, or fall into the depths of despair without her trying to do everything she can to pick me back up.

5) My step-parents -- while one probably shouldn't be grateful for divorce (and this is not to say that I necessarily am) but I am grateful that my parents re-married to the people they did. While I lost iPop this year, both he and Jeanette were able and willing to provide things in the parental role that my biological parents didn't. I had the opportunity to have 4 parents and I will always feel blessed for that.

6) My in-laws -- I also got lucky in the in-law department and am grateful that the Roof clan immediately took me in and loved me as one of their own.

7) My education -- I am fortunate to have had the opportunity to spend not 4 years in college but 10, earning not one degree but three. I was fortunate to have the support of family and the mental fortitude and persistence to achieve (sometimes read, survive) all that work.

8) My house -- I love my little two-story yellow house and look at like a friend everyday as I drive away in the morning and pull up at night.

9) My church community -- I love the JIPC folks and all that they have brought to my life in the last few years.

10) The Sisterhood circle -- I love being surrounded by these wonderful women once a month and sharing and learning together.

11) My co-workers -- we're all pretty human but, overall, we make a pretty darn good team.

12) Employment -- While my job can be stressful and demanding and I can come home pretty grumpy, I am grateful to be employed, to have a decent salary, to have benefits and paid days off. And, while it doesn't always make me happy, I am grateful to be in a job that challenges me in ways I don't think I have fully grasped yet.

13) Our pets -- there is nothing like the unconditional love of a happy dog or cat!

14) Novels -- I love to read, it's like candy for me. And nothing is sweeter than a good trashy novel.

15) British TV -- Even the trashiest of shows is ok with me if the accents are British. Some of my favorites this year have been Downton Abby, Shameless, and Being Human.

16) Modern Family and Parks and Rec -- while the accents are American, they still crack me up.

17) Humor -- I love to laugh, to make people laugh, and to share in a joke.

18) Sweets -- I'm a sweet tooth: chocolate, cupcakes, pie... it's all good by me.

19) Carbs -- potatoes, pasta, pizza, bread...yumm

20) Melted cheese -- seriously, there is almost nothing better than melted cheese.

21)  A fast metabolism -- see 18-20.

22) Good health -- this probably shouldn't follow 18-20 but I do feel blessed to have had two easy, healthy pregnancies (and babies) and no major health crises to date (knock on wood).

23) White egrets and blue herons -- I love looking at these beautiful birds.

24) Coastal living -- I'm a water girl and I'll never tire of seeing the coastline.

25) Being a Yankee -- while I've been in the south a long time, I'll always be proud of the Yankee upbringing I had and those chilly origins from which I came.

26) Laptops -- for allowing me to write this post from my bed.

27) Halloween, Thanksgiving, Easter, Birthdays -- there is nothing like holidays that involve presents, candy, hiding candy, or massive amounts of food.

28) Kittens -- there is nothing like kittens.

29) Online shopping -- love it! A working mom's dream.

30) Being able to come up with a list of gratitude this long (some might call it cramming, I call it a very good session of positivity).

Monday, November 12, 2012

8th tooth out and delivered

On Saturday night, in the car on the way to Disney on Ice,  Katharine's tooth popped right out in her hand! She was so surprised and excited, giggling and trying to study it in the dark car. The tooth fairy faithfully picked it up to deliver it to wherever the next destination will be!

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Helping hands

Manual labor never feels as good as when it is done to help someone else who needs it. Trust me, because I have done manual labor for minimum wage and I didn't enjoy it nearly as much.

Twice a year the CSU sociology club heads out to a small church on John's island to pack grocery bags for local folks who need it.

The kids help and we all have a blast. Tonight I was the counter, organizing the various orders heading out to different parts of Charleston.  The time flew by as I made tidy rows of 6 and kept the fellas on track as they carried bag after bag to my various stations.

Thursday, November 01, 2012