Gratitude

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Family

I just came back from a week-long trip to Florida. Intended to be a business trip, my boss gave me the blessing to make it a personal one as well. I have over a dozen first cousins (my Dad being the oldest of 10 children) in Jacksonville, Florida; I haven’t seen most of them in over 10 years! They were kids when I last saw them and now many of them are college grads, in their career, homeowners, parents, etc. Even though I only had a few days with my cousins, we were able to build amazing memories together that make me smile or giggle when I think about them. Truly, truly grateful for these amazing people I call my cousins and my family. I miss them so much. :(

My Little Belieber

A few years ago, when Ella was only 2 (and already a huge JB fan), she had the opportunity to attend his concert. Unfortunately, she was feeling under the weather and I just didn’t think she was well enough, or even old enough, to enter into the pandemonium that is known to all as “Bieber Fever”.

I thought maybe she’ll grow out of her love for Justin Bieber, perhaps she will like a new artist…but no. She has been a loyal fan for the past 3 or so years! So I decided to make it a goal for myself to take her to a Justin Bieber concert and make this a special memory for her.

It happened last Saturday – I seriously stayed home all day to save all my energy for what we were getting ourselves into that night. From the moment she opened the surprise package with the tickets inside to the moment JB himself stepped onto the stage, she was ecstatic, and I found myself just watching the excitement on her face and really relishing that moment.

Ready for her very first concert experience

Ready for her very first concert experience

Ella and Mommy

Ella and Mommy

Her official 2013 concert tour shirt

Her official 2013 concert tour shirt

Popcorn...of course!

Popcorn…of course!

JB on stage!

JB on stage!

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Gratitude

Today, I am thankful that these days when I come into work, I do not feel anxiety or stress. Although it is super-busy at times, I am grateful that I have a flexible schedule, an awesome boss, great co-workers and that my work is valued and appreciated. I have to say that a lot of my stress these days is not work-related.

36 Things to Do Before I Turn 37

So…I started compiling this list and before posting, was able to cross off one thing. :) Some of these items are ‘rollovers’ from past lists but as you can see, if they make it to the next one, it’s obvious that it’s something I really want to do. Here it is!

  1. Take my parents on a vacation.
  2. Do a run/walk.
  3. Get down to wedding weight.
  4. Go to a concert. (watched Maoli and Katchafire on 5/24)
  5. Try a new, complicated or a copycat recipe.
  6. Keep a gratitude journal – post at least one positive thing on my blog as frequently as I can.
  7. Teach my kids how to cook a favorite dish.
  8. Visit the museums…or a museum.
  9. Watch a musical.
  10. Paint a utility box with friends and family.
  11. Take family pictures with Phoebe :)
  12. Take a day off from work and do whatever I want.
  13. Be a tourist in our own city (San Diego).
  14. Go on a food adventure.
  15. Go strawberry or apple picking.
  16. Travel to a new place with the Hubby.
  17. Take my kids to a live show.
  18. Go to church more often.
  19. Exercise regularly…I.CAN.DO.IT.
  20. Pamper myself more.
  21. Be more honest about who I want to be a part of my life and give my time to them.
  22. Splurge on something I usually don’t splurge on even if it’s ridiculous!
  23. Have afternoon tea with the older girls and perhaps make it a tradition.
  24. Watch the sunset with my Hubby and have a romantic picnic.
  25. Go on a hike with the family.
  26. Plan a vow renewal for our 7 year anniversary.
  27. Have a picnic in the park with all of the kids and the hubby.
  28. Host a fun themed party.
  29. De-clutter regularly.
  30. Do a 1:1 with each kid.
  31. So what if it didn’t get done – work on not being so hard on myself.
  32. Be better at ‘leaving work at work’ and just being present for my family when I get home.
  33. Start photo books for the littles.
  34. Get involved with Ella’s school.
  35. Exhale more and let it go…especially if you had nothing to do with it and aren’t in a position to change ‘it’.
  36. Start that children’s book.

Here are some notes on why I chose some of the things on this year’s list:

31. So what if it didn’t get done…
I think it’s completely true what they say – “you are your own worst critic”. Yep, that can be me. But lately, I’ve been giving myself a pass…sometimes several passes. I’m a creature of habit, lists and routine. I’m kind of addicted to order. So imagine me when I can’t get things done when they’re ‘supposed’ to get done. Nowadays, I’m working on giving myself some extra time to breathe and ‘getting to it when I can’. I’ve realized that I am doing my very best every day, and sometimes I need to realize that my best is good enough.

34. Get involved with Ella’s school.
This was something I missed out on when I was a kid. My Mom and Dad weren’t involved really – yeah, it’s a bummer. But I want to give my kids what I missed growing up. I think it’s very important that kids see their parents involved and interested in their school activities. Every opportunity I had to volunteer for Ella’s pre-k class, I was there! This coming school year, I have ‘unofficially’ been named the Family Nights Coordinator for the PTA, a position that is so fitting for me. :)

35. Exhale more and let it go…
If anyone has walked a day – even a few hours – in my shoes, then maybe they’d understand the level of stress, pressure and anxiety I can feel at times. I have been better, however, at letting things that are out of my hands, just go. This is a challenge in my life. By nature, I am a worry-wart and can be emotional, even outspoken if I feel passionate about it. Guess that means I just care too much and am extremely protective of people I love. But what I learned about myself last year was that I need to show myself some love and take care of myself more. Unnecessary stress is just that. Unnecessary. I’m trying to spend more time focusing on things that make me happy and finding ways to just relax.