Thursday, May 31, 2012

Thursday 13: Family

How has a week gone by so quickly!? I guess that's what starting a new job will do to you! Even with a long weekend, I haven't seemed to have enough time this week to get things done--and that includes blogging!

But, alas, here we are at another Thursday 13, and this week's theme is family. I love my family--they are the best. I've written about them a lot throughout my blog. But this week, since I am a little low on time and energy, my list is going to be 13 things that my family and I like to do together. And so...

1. We ski.

2. We go to church.

3. We hike.

4.We laugh.

5. We play dominoes.

6. We sit on the porch and chat.

7. We drink wine.

8. We talk--a lot.

9. We eat.

10. We argue.

11.We hug.

12. We kiss.

13. We accept each other.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Thursday 13: Romantic Dates

Oo la we are linking up with Miranda, talking about romantic dates. I don't know that I have been on too many super romantic dates with all those stereotypical symbols of romance, but I'm going to share some of my favorite dates or types of dates that James and I have shared together.

1. Our first date--because it was a semi-blind date (we met online), we met at a bookstore. We ended up spending a good chunk of time in the children's section reading silly books to each other (which I later bought him for Christmas). Then we had dinner together. This is still something we like to do together--just poke around a bookstore and then get something tasty to eat!

2. Walking on the beach. James and I vacationed on the Massachusetts coast two years ago (wow!) and it was nice just to walk on the beach.

3. Learning something new. James and I are all about having new experiences, so we go to lectures, museums, film screenings...whatever it may be...that is something new to us.

4. Hiking. I find the time outside so peaceful and it always seems to bring us closer together.

 5. A day in Saratoga. I think we've only done this one or two times, but it has always been romantic. Sometimes we check out the track, or walk around town, or picnic in the park; whatever we're doing, we have a good time.

6. Spontaneous adventures. I love when James says, "Let's go to (fill in the blank) today." Our best spontaneous trip was to Lake George last summer. We went all out--eating all sorts of tasty food, shopping, taking a boat ride, watching the fireworks, and swimming at the beach.

 7. Taking a walk and going for ice cream. Our favorite thing to do, hands down. We have a park that we love to walk at, and it is right next to an ice cream shop. Walking makes us feel a bit better about pigging out on sundaes!

8. Going for a drive. James and I have great conversations in the car, and these are not necessarily romantic, but they make me feel so close to him. We usually talk about our future, things that are troubling us and, ultimately, how much we love each other. Then I snuggle up with my head on his shoulder while he drives us home.

9. Movie nights on the couch. I mean, who doesn't love to just snuggle up at home?

10. Going to church together. No, it's not a "date," but it is such special time that we share together.

11. Concerts. We've only been to one big concert together, but it was really special. We sat in the rain and got soaked, but we danced together to our favorite songs. This concert, it was Elton John, even inspired our wedding song!

Oh, I love that dumb face!

12. A trip to NYC. We go to New York often because my brother and sister-in-law live there, but last year we decided to take a trip down and be real tourists. We stayed in a hotel right off of Times Square, saw a Broadway show, and went shopping and sight-seeing. It was special for me (I know the city pretty well) to see James enjoying some of his NYC firsts:)

13. Picking out our Christmas tree. This was our first year finding a tree together, and it was incredibly special and romantic. I look forward to sharing this tradition with James for years and years to come!

All Things Lovely

Monday, May 21, 2012

A letter to my younger self

I almost forgot that I decided last week that I would link up with Jessica today for her link-up series "Smell the Roses." This week, participants are to write a letter to their younger selves--this could not have come at a better time. And so...

Dear Jennifer,

 I know you are reading this with an attitude--you don't want to listen to some 26-year-old who thinks she has it all together and wants to share her wisdom with you. You have all the answers already, don't you? 

You're right, you are a smart girl, and you should always trust your gut. But, let people in and let them love you. You'll be surprised at what a mush you turn into the older you get. 

I know sometimes you feel lost and unappreciated. I promise you that the people you think least appreciate you now are going to be the ones who most need you and admire you later. 

Keep marching to the beat of your own drum. You are confident, smart and beautiful--you deserve to feel that way every day. Know that every taunt you here and every person who tries to tell you that you are wrong is only going to make you more empathetic and understanding of the marginalized and misunderstood around you.

Believe that you deserve to be loved. I know you've been hurt. I promise that these feelings will pass (even though it feels like they never will) and you will end up in a better place with a better partner by your side.


You have excellent intuition. Trust it. Always. It has not lead you astray yet, and I am confident that it will only continue to serve you well.

Don't doubt God. I know you worry. I know how hard it is to trust Him at all times. But, you've been shown His great mercy so many times. Start to believe that He will always provide, and live in that peace.

Be persistent in building the relationships that are important to you, and recognize the ones that are not good for you. Do not feel guilty about doing something that is right for you, even if it may hurt another person's feelings for the time. You will both grow and learn from the experience.

Be open to new experiences. Don't try to control everything. You can't. 

Cherish your family. Be aware of and thankful for the blessings of health, happiness, freedom and comfort that you, and they, experience.

Give what you can. Sometimes, give more than you can. It will be returned to you when you need it most. 

Believe that, someday, you will look back on all of this and know that you were always right where you were supposed to be. Do not regret. Learn. Grow. Gain knowledge. Seek wisdom. Sow love. 


Lovely Little Things

grad school? check!

Well, this past weekend I officially completed graduate school! Phew! These past two years have been long and tiring, but well worth it!

I celebrated with two commencement ceremonies--one university-wide on the main campus, and one for the School of Social Welfare on our little downtown campus.

My mom, sister and little brother joined James and I in Albany to celebrate. This consisted of eating out at one of my favorite restaurants and getting ice cream! Why I don't have any pictures of the food is beyond me! Everything was delicious!

It was really nice to have my family here to share this accomplishment. In my initial thinking about graduation, I really didn't think it would be such a big deal, but as it got closer, I realized that I wanted to truly celebrate all that I have been working toward for the past two years. So, I'm glad we made a little bit of a big deal about it.

Graduation day made me realize just how far I, and we (James and I), have come. I feel like with the end of school, my "real" life can begin. I know I shouldn't think like that--it's not like I wasn't living while I was in school. But, it has felt like some parts of my life were in "pause" and now everything can move forward! That means having a real job and a real paycheck, being on a normal schedule, being treated like an adult again, and getting ready to build a married life with James. All GREAT things!

...speaking of real jobs, I started my new job today and can't wait to tell you more about it this week!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Thank you

I need to say "thank you" to someone really special today. Her name is Maggie and she blogs over at Finding Myself.

Maggie was one of my first "followers" and she has been a true-blue blogging friend. I absolutely love her blog and all that she shares over there--I never miss a post. And, I appreciate all of the nice comments she gives to me here at What's Mine Is Yours.

On Tuesday, I shared the issues that I am having with eating, and my fears about getting unhealthy. Maggie responded with a supportive comment that got us going back and forth sending each other emails about our days, our exercise, and what we are eating.

We both know people in addiction recovery groups, and we like the idea of having an accountability partner, so that is what we're being for each other. And you know what? It's working. I've tried this before with people close to me, but it hasn't worked. But, it is working with Maggie. Maybe it's that I don't know her in person or that she is new in my life and I want to keep her impressed. At the same time, I don't feel afraid that she would look down on me if I had a bad day.

I know it's only been a few days, but what we are doing is working for me, and it sounds like it is helping Maggie too. I really hope it is.

So, thanks Maggie! I hope we share many, many more emails and can support each other for a long time to come!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Thursday 13: Favorite Snacks

Ah, I am late getting my Thursday 13 ready! Sorry! It has been a crazy week (more on that later), and a crazy morning! I started working on my list last night, but I just finished it. This week's topic is favorite snacks. In no particular order (and with a little regard to health):

1. Pretzels. Duh.
Source: via Debra on Pinterest

Don't you love this pretzel painting?

2. Dried fruit. Expensive, but worth it. Maybe I will steal my mother-in-law's fruit drying thingy--what do they call those things?
Source: via Jack on Pinterest

3. Banana with peanut butter. All time favorite, especially in place of bad-for-me goodies that I am trying to stay away from.

4. Granola bars. I like the crunchy ones that make lots of crumbs!

5. Trail mix. Granola, raisins and M&Ms: done!

Just like my Momma made it!

6. Cheese. Another duh. If you don't like cheese, we can't be friends.

I love it ALL!

7. Kisses. Made of chocolate, that is.

8. Fresh fruit. Except apples. I'm sick of apples.
Source: via Rowan on Pinterest

9. Yogurt. I mix vanilla with frozen berries.

10. Chocolate milk. Filling. Sort of nutritious. Good substitute for the brownie I am craving.
Source: via Angelica on Pinterest

11. Oatmeal. Sometimes it's all I need to fill my belly until the next meal. To bad it's supposed to actually be a meal.

12. Carrots. Dipped in something delicious. Like blue cheese dressing. Or it's healthier cousin, hummus.

13. Ice cream. A third duh. And the death of me. Oh, ice cream, I love you.
Source: via Cindy on Pinterest

My favorite!! 

Go check out what Chloe's favorite snacks are, and link up!

What's Mine Is Yours

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