The days we love

The days we love

One thing has become so very evident to me in the past year — we must embrace every moment of the days we love.

Losing a loved one puts so many things into perspective. And sure, there’s nothing earth shattering or life-changing about canoeing. But, there will only be so many warm November days in my lifetime and I intend to embrace every one that I can.

So Husband and I invited my MIL and SIL to an afternoon of canoeing/kayaking/beach walking. I can’t think of a better way to embrace 73* in November.


The pup canoeing

Sunday afternoon

Back Bay

And even better, as we were loading up the boats to head out, a nice fog rolled in. We headed straight for the beach and watched it get thicker and thicker until we could hardly see the waves. There is nothing more magical than fog on the beach.

Fog rolling in on the beach

I hope I never begin to take these days for granted again. I hope that with all the tears of grief, there also remains the hope of life today. Carpe diem!

The pup in the fog

“Home” for Thanksgiving

“Home” for Thanksgiving

I remember so fondly the moment I arrived in Montana for college, it was a whole new world, and a wonderful adventure awaited me there–I was sure of it!

At the age of 18, I was on my own, and I was 41 hours from home.

Montana was the right choice for me, the best place for college. Sometime I’ll have to tell you more about it. For now, suffice to say that it was a dream come true and I now have “Live in Montana” checked off my bucket list.

That year was the first time I spent Thanksgiving away from my family. Before long, my best friends and I had established our own little Thanksgiving traditions and the day was a greatly anticipated one. After undergrad, I was only home for the holiday once before heading off to graduate school.

My first “married” Thanksgiving was spent at my mother-in-law’s house. It was a whole new experience for me–somewhat unlike my own family Thanksgivings, and wholly unlike the holidays my roommates and I created for ourselves in Montana. But I loved the chance to peek into Husband’s world and see things the way he sees them.

This year will be the opposite, circumstances are taking us to my family for Thanksgiving this year and Husband will have the chance to take a look into my family’s traditions. Of course, my family has changed a lot in the last few years, what with the addition of six children and another on the way.

I am excited to be visiting my family–we’re all going to be there, something that doesn’t happen very often. But at the same time, Virginia has become my home and I will miss home.

Is it terrible to admit that I am glad we will be staying here for Christmas?

So often people ask where we’re going for the holidays. When have the holidays become such a popular time to travel? The holidays I remember were spent at home, with family, all hunkered down together enjoying the warmth of a happy house and ignoring the often cold and snowy outdoors.

As much as I am excited about heading to Ohio tomorrow, I want to have those homey kinds of holidays in my life. It’s not that I don’t want to see extended family, but there is something special, something magical, about home, especially at the holidays.

So here’s to finding the right balance this year–traveling for Thanksgiving and staying home for Christmas!

TC 5: Bike Rides

TC 5: Bike Rides

Today I am thankful for evening bike rides with Husband on the rare warm days of November. It was nearly 70*, so as the sun fell gently behind the harvested farm fields, we took our beach cruisers out of the garage for one last ride. We didn’t go far, there were things to do, but for a few moments of bliss, we pedaled down the street and took in the falling leaves, the muted pink of twilight. We laughed and chased each other down the street, reveling in the freedom of a Sunday afternoon.

I love fall and winter, I truly love Christmas. But today, I am grateful for the last vestiges of summer.

TC 12: Home

TC 12: Home

I love my home. Can I just throw that out there? I unequivocally love the home Husband and I are slowly building.

Of course, it’s not really MY house–it’s a rental. But I love it. I love the house itself, a 1949 Cape Cod style built by a master craftsman (our landlady’s father). But mostly I love the inside. I love that we have made it cozy and comfortable, a place where friends and family can gather. A place where Husband can cook to his heart’s content. A place with almost enough room for all my books and plenty of reading chairs.

Having been married for just a year, we are still building our collection of furniture, slowly trading out hand-me-down pieces for slightly nicer hand-me-downs, and every once in a while finding an affordable piece that’s brand new.

Today we happened by a furniture store that was being liquidated, so we decided to go inside. We are planning to save money for a full size couch (we want a nice leather one), but our home isn’t terribly conducive to that right now. So when we saw this lovely leather love seat and matching ottoman for an unbeatable price we were snagged.

It took a while to make the decision (I think we sat on every brown leather chair/loveseat/sofa in the store), but this was by far the most comfortable and the most affordable. We had funds available from some house-sitting that we had undertaken in the fall (most of the $$ went to repairs on my car), but we had a little tucked away waiting for a rainy day. Today wasn’t rainy, it was a beautiful sunny 68*, but we liked the idea of switching out our worn (17 years old) green leather loveseat and chair for something a little more our style. And the floor manager was willing to cut us a deal…

A view of our living room with the new loveseat.

So we went ahead and purchased the piece and brought it home. We did a bit of rearranging and it fits beautifully into our living room. Sure, we still have a whole list of furniture purchases we want to make: end table, two bedside tables, end table lamp, two bedside table lamps, a bench, a trunk, an entire dining room set, etc. But this is one piece for our home and we are patient enough about collecting the rest.

So we settled down with some yummy Chinese takeout and a Redbox movie to enjoy our loveseat. Sunday evenings are the best…

We had Chinese takeout for Sunday dinner.

Here’s another view of the living room…

A view of our living room.

And a sneak peek at our bedroom (still in progress, but you can see how the walls turned out)…

Our bedroom is in progress.

TC 24: My Job

As it is the first day of November, I am going to start a thankfulness countdown to Thanksgiving.

Today I am thankful for my job. Just like anyone else, my Monday mornings can be the worst. But I am lucky to be able to remind myself how much I love my job.


I love my job.

I work at an international humanitarian aid organization, where I am part of the integrated media team, developing web and print media to connect our field workers with our supporters.

I get to work every day toward a goal that seems almost unattainable, and yet we make progress. I get to use my writing to break the cycle of poverty, to feed the hungry, to offer hope to the broken. I get to see tangible change.

I wish everyone could be as lucky as me, I truly do. Because when you work for something you really believe in, work itself is a joy–even on the hard days.

I am thankful for my job.