Wednesday, September 26, 2018

What's Up, Wednesday (9/26)

Ready for WUW this week! 

What We're Eating This Week
I made a big pot of chili this week as the temps are starting to drop. It was good, but I feel like I'm still missing something. On the hunt for that perfect chili recipe.

But I did make what I think is the perfect cornbread recipe. I knew we didn't have cornmeal in the house, so I searched for recipes sans cornmeal and was surprised at how many there were. This recipe is SO good, people. Highly recommend.

And meals around the office have been looking a lot like this recently...
There's no cafeteria in my new building, so I've been in our cafeteria every day this week soaking it all up haha.

What I'm Reminiscing About
Since Sammy and I are officially one week away from getting on a plane to Paris, I've definitely been reminiscing about the trip I took there with my mom a few years ago. Can't wait to be back.

What I'm Loving
This guy even though he's been kiiiiiiind of a pain in the ass this week ;) we're in the teething/chewing phase and it is NOT a joke.

What We've Been Up To
All things Henry, first and foremost. Trying to keep the progress going on potty training, leash training, crate training, skill training, and the blessed chewing... ALL the trainings ;)

Sammy has been working on our basement. He mounted the TV with his dad last weekend and is in the process of figuring out his shelving and bar situation. Right now he's digging something like this and I'm here for it.

And I'm working on not losing my shit in the next week as I prepare to change jobs, handle a packed weekend, and pack for our trip.

What I'm Dreading
I'm mostly super excited about my last day on Friday, but I'm also a little bit dreading all the goodbyes. In part because there are some serious things I want to say before I leave regarding some concerns I have and feel a responsibility to call out, but mostly because I don't want to say goodbye to these tremendous people I work with. There are several I'm going to see often, especially one who has turned into one of my very best friends, so I'm not concerned about those folks, but I'm sad about leaving others I'm sure I won't see again unless by accident. They've made the hard days a little easier and are such a bright light in my day.

What I'm Working On
Currently working through my never ending to-do list as I wrap up 1458 loose ends at work.

What I'm Excited About

I woke up to both of these emails this morning (!)

What I'm Watching/Reading
I watched the first Fall Harvest Hallmark movie last weekend and thought it was pretty cute! Definitely gearing up for the Christmas movies to start. I've also been watching Seinfeld from the beginning. 

I currently have two library loans checked out on my Kindle:

The Paris Apartment -- this isn't a difficult book by any means but I'm having a hard time explaining, so here's the plot from Amazon haha.

Based on the fascinating true story of a treasure-stocked Parisian apartment opened for the first time in seventy years.

April Vogt, Sotheby's continental furniture specialist, is speechless when a Paris apartment shuttered for seventy years is discovered in the ninth arrondissement. Beneath the cobwebs and stale perfumed air is a goldmine, and not because of the actual gold (or painted ostrich eggs or mounted rhinoceros horns or bronze bathtub). First, there's a portrait by one of the masters of the Belle Epoque, Giovanni Boldini. And then there are letters and journals written by the very woman in the painting, Marthe de Florian. These documents reveal that she was more than a renowned courtesan with enviable decolletage. Suddenly April's quest is no longer about the bureaux plats and Louis-style armchairs that will fetch millions at auction. It's about discovering the story behind this charismatic woman.

I'm really liking this one so far and am excited to get further in. I already know I'm going to be reading more of Michelle Gable's work.

Meet Cute -- this is an anthology of "meet cute" stories written by popular YA authors and I'm super excited to get into this one.

What I'm Listening To
Pretty obsessively listening to either Lauv, Cardi B, or Parisian cafe music ;)

What I'm Wearing
Transitioning into fall over here. Trying my best to use some of my summer pieces as fall pieces, like throwing a long sleeve under a sleeveless jumpsuit. Really loving the combo. 

What I'm Doing This Weekend
On Friday night I'm going to run a few errands with my mom and then stop by my girlfriend's for girl's night game night! I'm excited to have many drinks and spend time with my best girls. 

On Saturday I'm participating in an apple pie contest, so I'll up early baking and then we're spending the day in town at the Johnny Appleseed fest. The evening plans are still up in the air although, I hope I can get out of them and spend a quiet night at home ;)

Sunday we were maybe going to do something with Sammy's family, but I'm not sure those plans stand anymore. I would love to have the day to prepare for my first day at work on Monday, but we will see how it pans out.

What I'm Looking Forward to Next Month
Paris (how many times can I say it?), starting my new job, Halloween (especially with Henry) and some other festive events, seeing Elton John in concert, and seeing my girlfriend's townhouse for the first time.

What Else Is New
People keep texting me stuff like "Omg, so many things are happening for you lately!" New job, Henry, license, going to Paris, etc. It's all wonderful stuff and I'm so grateful, but I'm also looking forward to not having any "new" stuff happen for a little while. Excited to let all of this sink in.

Bonus question: What’s your favorite way to eat or drink pumpkin?
Any and all ways. Seriously, I'm not picky when it comes to pumpkin. Give me your muffins, your cookies, your coffee, your chili...actually, chili might be my favorite way. So damn good.

That's it for me! Excited to see what everyone else is up to! xo

Monday, September 24, 2018

Weekend Recap

Happy Monday, all! This was a good weekend. We packed a lot in, but we got to relax as well which was needed.

It's my last week at work and I'm definitely feeling the feels. We'll see how I do on Friday ;) Until then, let's recap.

My girlfriend came over on Friday night to meet Henry and see our house.

She gave us a sweet "Home Sweet Home" sign and this lovely gold Eiffel Tower that has aromatherapy beads inside of it (!) which fits perfectly on our entryway table where I've been featuring Paris related items (an old map my Grandpa used when he was there as a sailor in the Navy, books, etc.) upon our upcoming trip. 

We caught up which was SO nice and needed, planned a little bit of our upcoming girl's trip to Florida, and marveled at how big this guy looks already.

I got up earlyyy on Saturday morning so my dad and I could make it to the DMV near my house before it opened. I had decided early last week that I would attempt at getting my license on Saturday morning because if I didn't do it this past weekend, I wouldn't be able to go for another few weeks, so I decided to try my luck (and nerves!) and see what happened.

And what happened was...I passed! 

I've mentioned it a few times on here in an attempt to be transparent in documenting my life, but it's still something I've been embarrassed about, and therefore, don't mention to a lot of people. I'm twenty-six years old (about a month shy of twenty-seven) and, up until a few days ago, I didn't have a license. This is a decade in the making. A decade of feeling lesser than everyone else in my life because I haven't been an active driver, a person without a license. I've allowed it to control my thoughts every single day for the last ten years. One would think that would be enough to motivate someone to deal with their own shit and anxieties and just get going already. But it hadn't. 

It wasn't until last Spring when I sought therapy that I decided I needed to deal with my anxieties around driving, which, as it turns out, is a result of a deep rooted fear of (essentially) performance anxiety and/or being judged for doing something "wrong." It's weird how our insecurities from childhood manifest into adulthood, especially when they're not dealt with head-on. 

Over the last ten years I've thought getting my license would be SUCH a relief. Finally I wouldn't have to think about this thing that I'm lacking anymore. But since going to therapy, I've realized that not having a driver's license doesn't make me less of an adult or functioning individual. Certainly having it will make my life (and other's close to me) much easier, but I've always managed to remain relatively independent without it. A plastic card doesn't equate my self worth or worth as an adult or human in our world. 

I will admit to being a little disappointed when I didn't feel all that different after getting it. Like I said, I thought I would feel this huge relief, and when I didn't, I was kinda sad honestly. Like, that's what I waited all this time for? Haha. But I think it further proves that I didn't need that card after all. I mean I need it haha but I didn't need it to feel good about myself.

That being said, I am immensely proud of myself for overcoming my insecurities, anxieties, and fears that were exceptionally deep rooted, especially so after the last ten years. I will sing praises of therapy and the wonders it works (especially when you have a therapist as exponentially wonderful as mine) forever and ever, and while therapy is what gave me the tools to make some changes in my life and opened my eyes to the real issues, it was ME who did the lasting work. And for that, I'm very proud.

And I'm incredibly grateful that everyone in my life has been SO supportive. They've been supportive in many forms over the years, especially in the form of driving me around for ten years longer than they should have, but especially supportive in how excited they've been for me. Case in point, the man of few words sending me this text (and me, being the vain person I am, only worried about my picture ;) ).

I've always been worried (and unnecessarily so) that some people would respond with "finally!" or make a well-meaning joke that I would inevitably take personally haha and no one did that. Everyone acted as I suspect they would have to my sixteen-year-old self, and that made this experience that much better. And I was so happy to go with my dad who has been my guiding force (with the help of my siblings, my mom, and Sammy, of course) in this driving adventure. 

This may seem super boring or weird to some, but it's another part of my journey and a part I definitely want to document, although I'm sure I wouldn't ever forget even if I didn't blog about it. So after receiving my temporary license, we booked it out of the DMV and headed over (with me behind the wheel ;) ) to Allen's Corner for a celebratory breakfast.

Absolutely the greatest breakfast place around. If you're ever in Hampshire, IL, or anywhere remotely close for that matter, do yourself a favor and stop in.

After my dad dropped me off at home in CL, Sammy and I took Henry to downtown CL to walk around and stop by the farmer's market. We picked up some tomatoes and corn and Henry was approached by every adult and child around...and we lived for it. Not ashamed to admit how much I loved everyone fawning over our boy haha.

This is Henry fully laying at farmer's market haha I think he was getting tired out from all the socializing!
We stopped at three flower nurseries in town before heading home with a cornstalk, hay bale, and some mums.

Henry and I proceeded to sit in the backseat because the corn stalk extended all the way from the trunk to the front seat of the car haha.

Obsessed with these views. We didn't end up leaving the lanterns up there, but I loved seeing all these pieces situated together.

We're not sure how long the mums are going to last because they won't get any light on our porch unfortunately, so if they end up dying, we're going to move them to our patio in the back which gets a ton of light, and we'll replace with a bunch of pumpkins which I think will actually look even more festive around Halloween and Thanksgiving time than the mums.

We were home long enough to style our porch before heading over to Sammy's brother and SIL's house so we could babysit our niece for the evening. I was incredibly pumped to lay on the couch and read and nap and not be disturbed once Eliana went to sleep.

But before that, we played on many toys with wheels...

and in our fort with many balls...

And we read many books, which is this zia's favorite ;)

Of course we had a snag in the evening. As Sammy and I were eating dinner after Eliana had gone to bed, we realized their dog had been skunked, poor girl. So we dealt with that (well, Sammy dealt with the dog while I cleaned everything else, thank god) and tried to get the smell out of the house as best we could. Luckily she only got skunked a tiny bit and the hydrogen peroxide mixture we made seemed to do the trick.

And I got to read and nap for the rest of the night until they came home which was pure bliss.

Meanwhile, back at our house, my mom and brother saved the day again by coming over to watch Henry so he wouldn't be in his crate the entire time we babysat. We got home around 2 a.m. and I was exhausted having been up since 6:30 a.m. that morning, so I immediately crashed.

I got up around 8 and took Henry out and met a woman (around my age!) who lives on the next street over. We exchanged numbers and plan on getting together which was a nice way to start the morning. 

I made some coffee (added some cinnamon for seasonal measure), brought a load of laundry upstairs to fold, and watched a Fall Harvest Hallmark movie.

I also intermittently studied the style guide my new employer uses which is one of the dorkiest things I've ever done and please note the amount of hair Henry has started to shed thank you.

Sammy's grandma and parents came over for dinner (and so Sammy's dad could help him mount the TV in the basement) and so his grandma could see the house for the first time. Her reaction was really sweet, but she also told us now we have to get married because we "don't have anymore excuses." OKAY.

His parents saved the day by bringing over the crate their new German Shepard has already outgrown because Henry has outgrown the little crate we got from my mom. I think he's going to be much happier with a little more space and we'll definitely have this one for longer than the first. Sorry you had to look at this phenom picture. Not sure why I thought this was vital to this post. But whatever!

Anyway, there ya have it. A packed weekend followed by a pretty light week which I'm happy about. I have several things to get done this week on my personal to-do list, so a light week should help out with that a lot.

I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend! xo

*linking up with Biana!

Friday, September 21, 2018

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday, people! This was a good week. Nothing exceptional happened outside of resigning from my job (!), but that resignation made for a shift in energy around the office which made the week go by seemingly quicker. It's amazing to no longer be bothered by things happening in the office. I mean, I'm still bothered by things because things that are wrong should bother you regardless, but they don't effect me anymore, so without that investment, my days have been happier.

Some favorites from the week...

// Realizing Sammy and I leave for Paris in less than two weeks. Surreal.

// Walks with Henry. We don't go very far, but we're making progress.

// Receiving some official paperwork and company handbook from my new employer.

A hint at who I'll be working for next...
// Snuggles with Henry. He naps a ton on the floor, but we haven't gotten him to sit still enough on the couch to nap, but earlier this week after his shower, he conked out. 

// Finding a phenomenal cleaning product for our jute rugs (that were seemingly impossible to get stains out of)

// Starting to look for Disney and HP shirts for our girl's trip to Florida at the beginning of November!  (I love this one that feat. a dark horse Hagrid quote.)

// Homemade meatballs and (store-bought) tortellini

// Finding this on my desk one morning at work from my favorite coworker. How cute is that cookie?

That's it for me! My girlfriend is coming over tonight to meet Henry, we're babysitting our niece tomorrow night, and Sammy's parents are coming for dinner on Sunday. Hoping to get some relaxing in there somewhere!

Have a great weekend, all. xo

*linking up with Christina and Andrea!