Posts tagged ‘writing’

June 11, 2013

Two Months to 30

I’ve been thinking a lot about time lately. And without going into my entire complicated train of thought, I’m going to give you what it all boiled down to: It’s finally hit me that I’m going to be 30 in two months.

Now I’ve never been one of those people who fears birthdays. To the contrary, I LOOOOOVE my birthday. I have a policy of no driving myself anywhere and no doing dishes on my special day. It’s the only day I make ridiculous demands (like this year I NEED H&H Bagels from New York for breakfast. NEEEEEEEED, people!)…granted, my husband would disagree. Despite the fact that my wedding and subsequent events made me feel self conscious, my birthday is the only day I love being the center of attention.

And this year is the big 3-0. Which is fine with me. I’m kind of excited about it actually. And up until just the other day, it wasn’t that big of a deal.

So what happened the other day, I’m sure you wonder. Well I was on the elliptical machine at the gym and I was scanning the eight or so televisions lined up hanging from the ceiling, each broadcasting a different program, and my eyes landed on a commercial. I think it was for an iPhone, but I’m not 100% sure. It portrayed these 20-somethings in different scenarios: on a college campus, in different landmark locations around the world, hanging with friends, at the gym, blah blah blah. And I realized it: I’m not one of them anymore. I’ve passed that phase of my life.

And it sort of took me to this concept of time, and I spent a few minutes feeling sad, like my opportunity to go after my dreams had passed.

Of course, that’s not true. But I feel like I spent my 20’s stagnant when I should have been out having adventures and trying new things and being a little more carefree. And then I think about all that I went through in my 20’s, all the growth and all the change and, as Jim reminds me, all the adventures I DID have. I mean I traveled to Europe and New Zealand and Hawaii and to all 50 states. I worked for a professional sports team. I got a bachelors degree. I wrote a novel. I got engaged…and broke off a six year relationship with a man I thought was my forever only to find an even better one waiting for me a few years away. I married that better man. I started writing a blog. I started a photography business. I bought a house. I’ve done a crap-ton of things in the last decade, probably more things than a lot of people my age have done.

But among the things on that list are not: living in another country…or living somewhere else in the US. Publishing a novel. Ceasing to work for my parents. … … thinking… … thinking… … I guess that’s it. I guess those are the major things I haven’t accomplished that make me feel like I’ve accomplished nothing. Wow, I’m kind of a whiner, aren’t I?

By the way, I literally just figured that out for myself. See? Writing it down does help you figure out life’s problems.

And since we have some more time in today’s regularly scheduled program, let’s check out my list of 30 things to do before I turn 30 and see how I’m doing with a little over two months to go.

Ok, so I simply copied and pasted the exact list from the “30 things to do before my 30th birthday” page.

1. Try (or create) 30 new recipes

             End of Summer Stuffed Squash

            Carrot and Fennel Soup

            Gluten Free Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes

            Granola Balls

            Blueberry Lemon Ricotta Pancakes

2. Buy a house

So excited to finally be a homeowner! Photos to come!

3. Write a(nother) novel

I’m working on this one. It’s about half done, and I’m pretty excited about it. It may be THE one! 🙂

4. Go to a storage auction (like Storage Wars only I’ve wanted to do this since I was 7 and my friend’s parents brought home a whole crap ton of treasures from one!)

– I still want to do this. I suppose I could call the place where we had out unit from the apartment and see when they do them.

5. Read 30 books

            Where we Belong by Emily Giffin  – Not her greatest, but still entertaining.

            Girl Walks into a Bar by Rachel Dratch – I have never been a fan of SNL and maybe that’s why I didn’t get this book, but it was really not very entertaining to me. I wouldn’t recommend it.

            The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak – This book was so hard to get into. The whole first section was a bit confusing, but by the time the second section began, I couldn’t put it down.

            The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield – I enjoyed this one enough. It was sort of strange, but it kept my attention throughout the whole book. I wanted to know what was going to happen.

            The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald – For the seventh time, I adore this book!

            The Paris Wife by Paula McLain – It was good..and it was not my favorite at the same time. 

            The House at Riverton by Kate Morton – I enjoyed this book far less than The Forgotten Garden, but it still kept me interested through the end.

            Crazy Sexy Diet by Kris Carr – This book was amazingly enlightening. It made me rethink my entire life starting with what I put in my mouth on a daily basis.

            Marrying Daisy Bellamy by Susan Wiggs – Susan Wiggs is one of my favorite authors. Her stories are relatable, yet always end happily, which I love.

6. Sell one of my photographs

– I need to try harder here. If I don’t put them out there, no one is going to buy them, right?

7. Paint pottery

This one is just a matter of doing it. There are two pla

8. Create my own signature cocktail

– Again, just need to do it. Get in the bar and mess around with some stuff!

9. Throw a party (in our new house!)

– Technically we threw Jim and 30th birthday party and we had a housewarming party. I guess that counts, but I sure want to throw a really good party still!

10. Learn to be happy with my body

I’m trying. It’s hard, but I’m getting there. Maybe not 100% in two months, but it’s a work in progre

11. Revamp my wardrobe (get rid of crap I don’t wear, update my style a tick)

Began this by getting rid of a ton of clothes, and slowly I’m building it back up with new stuff. It’s hard to save money for things like windows and vacations AND build up a new wardrobe, so this is slow going.

12. Figure out who I am and what I want to do with my life

-The neverending challenge for me. I’m getting there, though. Again, slowly. One year was a bit of a small time frame for such a goal.

13. Learn to be happy in Roseville

-Again, getting there. I’m trying to be as involved in town activities and such as I can, and it’s helping. It’s also helped that we now own a house here instead of just renting. I may never be 100% happy, but I think I can be content here…for the time being.

14. Get rid of everything I don’t need (We finally had our yard sale! So nice to have all that stuff gone!)

15. Find my perfect lipstick (inspired by my good friend, Jenny, who feels lipstick is a necessity in life)

-Another one I just need to do. Note to self: text Jenny and go to Sephora.

16. Find the perfect little black dress

– I got A black dress. It’s not THE black dress. So I need to go for take-two on this one.

17. Pay off all debts (excluding house from item 2 and car)

-Getting there! By my birthday our wedding rings will be paid off as well as almost everything that we charged before I wrote this. Since then we’ve had to make a few large purchases (mattresses and appliances) that we’re not going to be finished paying on by late August.

18. Try one of the crafts I’ve pinned on Pinterest

-Still need to do this.

19. Take a photo that really makes me go “wow”

-I take a lot of photos of people. And a lot of them catch my breath, but the one I’m thinking of isn’t going to be of a person…see? I might just be too critical of my own accomplishments…how many times now have I written “I did this, but it wasn’t good enough to cross off the list”….oy. Gotta work on that.

20. Go hiking in Yosemite

-Probably not going to accomplish this one, but hey, I’ve got two months!

21. Purchase a nice (non-Ikea) piece of furniture 

master bedroom3

22. Read a whole book in one day

-Oh, to have time for stuff like that these days…

23. Learn the live completely in the moment (starting with practicing mindful breathing and meditation)

-I think this is going to be another work in progress item. It takes time!

24. Take a class with Jim (maybe a cooking class, maybe a photography class or a tennis class, to be determined)

-Just gotta do it…

25. Learn how to fold a fitted sheet

-Jim learned how to do this one and showed me…although I have yet to do it for myself.

26. Compile a cookbook of my most-cooked recipes

-I’ve been doing this on the blog, but not in a book format

27.  I need to come up with something new because I couldn’t donate my hair to Locks of Love

28. Get a dog This is Katie!

29. Take a yoga class My sister-in-law and I have been going to yoga for about two months now and we love it!

30. Have an amazing 30th birthday

 

So there you have it. Progress for the most part. I haven’t really given up on any of them, and I sure have a lot to do in the next two months!

Is anyone else turning 30 this year? Do you have a list like this? Does anyone turning a different age have a list?

April 25, 2013

Mr and Meatless’ Thai Noodles and a little update

I love Thai food. Jim does not. I mean he’ll eat it every once in a while, but we don’t go out for it nearly as much as I’d like to. So when I decided to make a Thai-inspired dish for dinner last night, I was a bit apprehensive. I needn’t have worried, though, because Jim loved it. And I think you will too.

thai noodles1

This really is the simplest dish to make. Which is a good thing because Jim and I got home late last night. And honestly, I’m super proud of myself because in the past, after an hour and a half yoga class followed by grocery shopping and returning home after 8 p.m., I would have abandoned my dinner plans and picked something up while we were out instead of cooking. We would have spent more money and inevitably put crap into our bodies that we didn’t want there.

I must be making progress. This new lifestyle Jim and I have been living must be working. That alone is proof of it.

Anyway, I promised you a recipe and taunted you with a photo, so here we go! The update can wait.

Mr and Meatless’ Thai Noodles

2 tbsp toasted sesame oil (you can use whatever oil you want, I just like the sesame flavor for this dish)

1 tbsp red curry paste (more if you want…or less. But don’t worry, it’s not that spicy)

1 heaping tbsp peanut butter

A few squirts of Sriracha sauce

1/2 can coconut milk (I used full-fat for a creamier texture, you could probably use lite too if you wanted)

1 1/2 cups veggie broth

As many veggies as you can stand, cut into spearish shapes (I used carrots, zucchini, little mushroom guys, broccoli and spring onion)

Handful of rice noodles (again, use as much or as little as you want)

Water for boiling

Bring water to a boil in a saucepan. Remove from heat. Add noodles and leave them while you do the rest of your preparations.

Heat oil in a large pan. Add red curry paste. Mix it all around and let them mingle for a moment. Add your firmer veggies (carrots, onions and broccoli for me). Let them saute for a few minutes. Add more oil if you need to.  Add the rest of the veggies and saute for about a minute. Add veggie broth. Cover and let the steam cook your veggies a little bit more, maybe 2 minutes. Remove lid. Add coconut milk. Let the milk warm, about a minute. Stir in the peanut butter and Sriracha. If you like it a little thinner, add more  broth.

Drain the noodles and divide them between your bowls. Spoon vegetables and sauce over noodles. Enjoy!

 

thai noodles2

*Note: This recipe is very versatile, and you’re not going to mess it up by changing things, adding things, etc. Jim likes his extra spicy, so he added a bunch more Sriracha. If I’d had some cilantro, I probably would have put some on top to garnish. You could add shrimp or chicken if you feel it lacking in protein. I actually sprinkled a little bit of salt into mine. You could add soy sauce. It’s not terribly Thai, but then again, I don’t think salt is either. I don’t claim to be any kind of an ethnic cook. That’s why I said this recipe is Thai-inspired.

We both thoroughly enjoyed this meal. There was some sauce leftover, so we’re excited about using it with some brown rice and veggies on nosh night this weekend.

A Little Update

As of April 18th, Jim and I have been juicing, eating mostly vegan, avoiding caffeine, working out weeks we don’t juice, getting enough sleep, I’ve started doing yoga, and overall putting our health before anything and everything else. Mostly. Hey! We’re not perfect! And honestly in those moments of imperfection, I’ve paid dearly. For the pizza and alcohol I consumed last weekend, my tummy paid all Saturday night and most of Sunday. For the hash brown casserole we ate all day the Saturday before, I paid dearly. And when I finish this lovely soy latte my amazing little brother brought me at work (and forgot to get decaf) I’ll be paying dearly this afternoon with jitters, a racing mind and a need to run nine miles. My body is losing it’s ability to handle having crap inside of it. I’m healing!

But mostly, I feel amazing.

I have energy. And without a daily morning latte!

I have a clear mind. I have control over my mind.

I have motivation. To workout. To eat well. To write. To work on my business. To do crafts and hobbies I lost the will to do long ago.

I have a positive attitude. Even about this job which drives me mad but is necessary for, well, every thing.

I have confidence. I KNOW I can succeed. At yoga. At photography. At getting my novel published (you know, once it’s finished).  At losing weight. At being a good wife. Maybe even someday a good mother.

I’ve lost 12 lbs.

I’m happy. Content. Looking forward to the rest of my life. Looking forward to seeing my husband tonight, to going fishing with him on Sunday. To my lovely friend Stephanie’s bridal shower this weekend. And her wedding in June!

I’ve never felt so good in my life.

And that’s your little update for today.

And while I’m feeling so damn positive, what’s your favorite thing about life right now? Anything. Tiny or huge. Share with me!

December 30, 2012

End of one chapter, Beginning of another

I’ve written before about how anti-Resolution I am when it comes to the new year. And I maintain that position because of how particularly useless traditional resolutions are. That does not, however, mean that I am completely oblivious to the convenience a new year provides for making goals and starting fresh.

And this year, in light of having a new house and a new pooch, I’m feeling a fresh start with an acute ping. How could I not? My entire life has been flipped upside down. Where I once was a newlywed living in a 900 square foot apartment, now I’m a full-fledged wife with a 1500 square foot house, an adorable black lab mix and a million new opportunities that I didn’t have a month ago.

I don’t necessarily mean that all of a sudden huge doors have opened. I don’t suddenly have contacts in high career places or anything like that. But I’ve always been a firm believer that it’s the small things that matter most. Like inviting friends over for dinner and dog sitting for my mom while she’s out of town (for better or for worse…..). I have enough space in my living room to bust out my 30 Day Shred DVD without having to rearrange the furniture to do it.

These little things can be as life changing as huge things. And I’ll keep you posted as I make this journey to finding my new self in my new circumstances. But since it’s a new year, I decided to do something I’ve thought about but never actually done until now: make a vision board. And I invited my friend, Reanna, over to make one with me (something I wouldn’t have done at the apartment).

The stack of magazines we were working with. It took HOURS to go through them all!

The stack of magazines we were working with. It took HOURS to go through them all!

I’ve seen multiple people do them. And people all seem to have their own philosophy and strategy when it comes to content, layout, purpose. I know people who look at the vision board as a request to the universe for the things that they want. Some are almost superstitious, being careful not to use words or images that might be taken too literally. I look at it as more of a reminder of the things I wish to accomplish in the year to come, an organization of thoughts and goals in a place where I can see them on a daily basis. I don’t expect them to come true simply because I put them on the board. But they’re there. Sort of like a paper Pinterest for the new year (anyone else see the irony of a “paper Pinterest?”).

Getting there

Getting there

While I don’t believe that the universe is taking note of my desires, nor do I believe that by putting my wishes/goals on a board that they will come true, I did notice that certain patterns emerged. I do believe in the psychology of our choices, the subconscious repetitions based on things we don’t necessarily notice at first sight. Like my friend Reanna. She got all of her photos and phrases on her board and realized that her overall theme was more of self-improvement than it had been in previous years. She also had far more wording than she was used to. She left our house with a lot to think about.

Since I haven’t done a board before, I didn’t have anything to compare to, but I did notice patterns. Like I cut out more than one phrase about “fear.” Likewise with “happiness.” I had many photos and phrases about travel and a handful about food and several about photography. While some people feel that using words on a dream board is a bad idea, I feel like my board without words wouldn’t be MY board. Words are such an important part of my life, it would just seem wrong not to have them present. I like my board. I think it feels very “me.”

The finished product

The finished product

I’m really excited for 2013. The past twelve months have been challenging to say the least, but I am really optimistic about the coming year. I think there is a lot of growth, a lot of fun, a lot of excitement and a lot of change on the horizon. For the first time in my life I feel like I might just be where I’m supposed to be. I feel like I might be getting a clear picture of who I am and who I want to be. And I can’t wait to see how the next year unfolds.

Happy New Year, everyone! Do you have any goals for 2013? Do you make a vision board every year?

September 13, 2012

30 things to do before my 30th birthday

Last month I turned 29. I am not like most people when it comes to birthdays. I freaking love mine! I love that there’s a day that’s just mine and I don’t have to drive or pay or do dishes. I can’t change the fact that it comes around once a year, so why fight it?

Lil Man helping me finish my birthday ice cream…

But this was the last of my twenty-something birthdays. So far I don’t feel like that carries any kind of stigma, at least not for me. I know people tend to go bat-shit crazy when they turn 30, 40, 50…you know, the milestones after 21. But for now, I don’t feel like the world is going to end or that I’ll be instantly rocketed into senility. That being said, I do realize it’s a milestone and it’s caused me to reflect on my prior 28 years and nineteen days and I’ve made a list: 30 things to do before I turn 30. It’s more fun stuff than crazy “Oh my god, I haven’t DONE THIS!” type of stuff, and while I’d love to finish it, it won’t completely screw up my life if I don’t. It’s for fun, for motivation, a little bit of enrichment and some of them are just so I can say I did.

Without further adieu, the list!

30 things to do before I turn 30

(This list can also be found in a tab at the top of the page!)

1. Try 30 new recipes

2. Buy a house

3. Write a(nother) novel

4. Go to a storage auction (like Storage Wars only I’ve wanted to do this since I was 7 and my friend’s parents brought home a whole crap ton of treasures from one!)

5. Read 30 books

6. Sell one of my photographs

7. Paint pottery

8. Create my own signature cocktail

9. Throw a party (in our new house!)

10. Learn to be happy with my body

11. Revamp my wardrobe (get rid of crap I don’t wear, update my style a tick)

12. Figure out who I am and what I want to do with my life

13. Learn to be happy in Roseville

14. Get rid of everything I don’t need

15. Find my perfect lipstick (inspired by my good friend, Jenny, who feels lipstick is a necessity in life)

16. Find the perfect little black dress

17. Pay off all debts (excluding house from item 2 and car)

18. Try one of the crafts I’ve pinned on Pinterest

19. Take a photo that really makes me go “wow”

20. Go hiking in Yosemite

21. Purchase a nice (non-Ikea) piece of furniture

22. Read a whole book in one day

23. Learn the live completely in the moment

24. Take a class with Jim (maybe a cooking class, maybe a photography class or a tennis class, to be determined)

25. Learn how to fold a fitted sheet

26. Compile a cookbook of my most-cooked recipes

27. Cut my hair and donate it to Locks of Love

28. Get a dog

29. Take a yoga class

30. Have an amazing 30th birthday

So there ya have it. They’re not all amazingly exciting or anything. Some are downright boring and serious, but these are the things I hope to accomplish in the next year. I’ll keep you up to date as I tick them off.

June 28, 2012

Side effects

Yesterday I posted about the foods I miss since I can’t eat corn or wheat. Today, I figured I’d balance it out by sharing with you the positive “side effects” the change has had.

1. I get ideas

I used to get these fabulous ideas for things I could do: creative birthday gifts, DIY projects around the house, new recipes, get togethers with friends, weekend plans. I think eventually my brain got tired of these ideas being rejected that it just stopped having them. I used to feel so guilty when I would come up with such a cool idea and then not have the energy to go through with it. I am finally starting to get these ideas back…and I’m doing them!

2. My apartment gets clean

I won’t say that it IS clean because I’ve been in sort of a slump. The pain from my knee kept me awake at night for a whole week. Pair that with last weekend’s adventure and I’ve been feeling less than motivated. I know, however, that it is temporary and will pass (that in itself is an amazing feeling!). And probably, with any luck, by this afternoon, our apartment will at least feel clean again.

3. I want to wear high heels

I have so many pairs of heels that I love. And in the past few years, it’s just seemed like such a pain, so much more effort than I could afford to wear them….now I just need my dang knee to finish healing.

My fabulous wedding shoes may see the outside of their box again!

4. I’ve started writing again

I think I mentioned this one before. I stopped working on my large writing project just after we got engaged. I told myself I’d be too busy planning our wedding, but beyond that there was a little nagging feeling that I just didn’t have the energy to produce anything good. And that’s partly my own self-loathing speaking (fueled by a number of rejections of my first novel… “Can I really do this?!”), but somehow, I’ve found the courage and energy to pound out some words and have started a fresh draft of my current project. Wish me luck.

5. I want to redecorate

I won’t claim to be the world’s most amazing decorator. Hell, I won’t claim to be one ounce of good at it at all, but ever since I was a kid, I’ve had this amazingly keen desire to redecorate, rearrange rooms every few months or so. I was actually a little hesitant to move into my first apartment after college because my bedroom was too small to move the furniture around. Could I really live like that? Well, I managed. And again, our room is too small to do much moving around. But for a while there, I had no desire to make changes at all, and while I still can’t move the furniture, I have this desire to freshen up the decor and find myself often cruising House Beautiful and numerous home decor blogs in my free time.

6. I want to be my best self

And I feel motivated to make the changes necessary. Not major changes. Just little things like making time for exercise every day (and not just when I already have time for it). Taking time for MYSELF every day…to read, to write, to watch a television show. And sticking with my new diet…lifestyle really…because that’s what makes all of the items on this list happen.

Prior to finding out about these allergies, I wasn’t sure I’d ever be able to feel “normal” again. I was sure there was a good possibility I would just be tired forever, unable to muster the energy to get through every day. The “side effects” have been amazing. Now I believe there’s a good possibility I may actually find a bit of contentment in my life, a bit of happiness that lingers rather than falling away as soon as it arrives.

Have you ever been so discouraged by something you can’t control that it feels like it may never go away? How did you cope with that?

January 18, 2012

10 things to be happy about

I think I need one of these today. It’s shaping up to be one of those days… the ones where every little thing that can go wrong does? Like I went to pick my keys up off the counter and in the process knocked a stack of papers onto the floor. And my coffee mug wasn’t letting any coffee out…until it was…and then it was flooding my face and choking me in the process.

So since my crankiness meter just shot through the roof, I thought it was fitting that I spend some time trying to turn my frown upside down and find some gratitude in this day.

1. I got some groceries last night….so I have my usual latte this morning (even though it tried to drown me on my way to work).

2. I’m working on editing some photos today….while I should be working.

3. I get to spend the evening at my favorite place in the world with some of my favorite people.

Rome Valley Vineyards, where we were married in October.

4. We got a new router at work. Crossing fingers for faster internet! This may not seem like such a big deal, but we have regular outages that leave us with NO internet sometimes.

5. I have a delicious homemade gingerbread soy latte to drink this morning. De-licious!

6. I have a reason to wear my favorite fancy dress again! We’re going to a party next weekend, and it’s a dress-up occasion.

Me (in the dress) and my mommy (in red) and the two favorite people from #3. Gosh that was a good night.

7. I get paid on Friday!! That’s always happy, right? I think it’s time to get my nails done. It’s been….months. Since before my wedding actually…so late September. Eek!

8. I have delicious leftover lentil soup for lunch today…which is in less than an hour.

9. Despite what seems to be an unknown crippling fear, I’ve been writing.

10.  I have to do it. I have to put him every time because he makes me happier than anything else in my life. My husband.

In Santa Cruz for our one year anniversary.

Done. Phew. That was hard today! But I think I’m feeling a little bit better…

January 4, 2012

What to do with all this fear

I’ve spent the majority of my life in some sort of fear. I think after all of my contemplating lately, I’ve narrowed it down to that.

source

I’m afraid of disappointing the people I love.

I’m afraid of being wrong.

I’m afraid to let my true self show….to almost anyone really. In fact, last night I printed out the first chapter of the novel I’m working on and let my husband read it. And you know what? The world didn’t end. He didn’t laugh in my face and tell me I should give up now because my writing sucked harder than our vacuum cleaner.

I’m deathly afraid of failure. I wrote a novel. I sent it to a few agents. It was rejected and suddenly I’m so terrified of being rejected again that I can barely get words on the screen. And I want to start a professional photography business but I’m so scared that I will mess that up that I’ve been carrying around the paperwork to get the business started for over a week.

The thing is, I think I’m pretty darn good at photography. It’s like when I was in school. I always had the right answers, but I never raised my hand because there was a slight chance I wasn’t right.  I did start a facebook page for my photography, though. I guess that’s a good first step?

One of my favorites from this past spring

So this year, I am trying extremely hard to embrace the things I love, get go of the fear that holds me back and become the person I want to be.

I’ve started working on my novel again. It’s hard, and I still freeze up every once in a while, but when I can send the rejection out of my head, my thoughts usually flow pretty easily.

And, of course, how I feel about myself is directly correlated with how I feel physically. So I am on day 1.5 of my mostly plant-based, as “whole” as I can manage diet, and we’ll see what my energy does from there!

December 17, 2011

Holiday parties and half-asleep days

I just checked my last post. It was ten days ago.

And in those last ten days, I thought about posting, even opened up a new post and stared at the screen for sometimes hours (between other things of course), but I just haven’t been able to bring myself to write.

For starters, I had no idea where to start, what to write about. I stared at the screen and nothing came to mind.

The other, probably more prominent reason, is that I’ve been walking through life only half awake. I feel like all I want to do is sleep all the time. Everything feels hard. Cooking dinner feels hard. Putting up our Christmas tree felt hard. And writing a post just seemed too hard. Every time I went to write, I stared at this screen and almost cried. If I can’t even come up with the energy to do the thing I love most, how am I going to get through…life?

So I did what any normal person would do: I called my doctor. A prick in the arm and vial full of blood later and I’ve got myself low T3 thyroid hormone uptake. Another visit to the doc’s office and I’ve got a possible referral to a specialist, potentially more pricks in the arm (I hate those!!) and still no answers as to why I’ve been so tired.

That being said, life goes on and there’s still fun to be had in the world, so while it took me ten days to find the energy to write on my own, when there are other people involved, there aren’t many other options besides sucking it up and putting on a pretty face.

Fortunately, I was able to find a small amount of extra energy at the end of the week and even managed to bake three different types of cupcakes for our annual holiday party at work.

Gingerbread with eggnog frosting, Maple walnut, and Peppermint hot chocolate. They were quite the hit!

And the whole evening was a lot of fun. Despite a beyond-crazy day wrapping 40 prizes for our casino-themed party as well as a gift for every employee, rebaking chocolate cupcakes (I tried a new recipe and it turned out SOOOO dry!), frosting all the cupcakes, decorating the room where the party was held, and squeezing in six sporadic hours of work, I had an amazing time and didn’t once count down the hours until my bed and I met again.

We also decided this year that we would invite more than just our employees to the party. We invited everyone who was important to us, to our family, and we ended up with a room full of people we love and care about. I don’t think it could have been a better evening.

My brother, Matt, teaching my little nephew to play poker.

Our employee’s daughter playing with her winnings.

 Christie married Jim and I. Her husband, Nic, is to her left and our employee, Mark is to her right.

My sister-in-law’s camera had all the photos of me and Jim on it. Obviously, I can’t take photos of myself so well. I’ll have to post a few of those when I get them from her.

But the party really was the perfect holiday celelbration. Filled with good food, amazing friends and family and all the laughter you could ask for! I hope everyone’s holiday season is exactly that!