ThxFriday, All the Way Off Edition.

Friends and family with pools; massages and chiropractors and much-needed relief; x-ray confirmation of the uneven hips, getting down to causes and conditions; making room for all the good, including and even the closet; mimosas and meat; lengthy afternoon naps; last-minute conference travel to one of my favorite towns; bonding with co-workers, learning all the while; Garrett’s, Weber, Gino’s East, Ghirardelli, and all the other deliciousness Chicago had to offer; the return of the sweetest heart; latte and croissant delivery; powering through the longest days with a modicum of dignity and grace; taking Friday all the way off; and three day weekends filled with plans for friends and fun (and massages and hair appointments and naps and swimming and eating and drinking and…). HAPPY.


ThxFriday, I Am A Champion Edition.

Final Friday night studies; the detailing of the Precious; running all the errands; knocking out them rekkid reqs; finishing up assignments; the return of the bear on his last weekend out; shopping for fancy pants; getting all dolled up; opting for the Superman Chucks; celebrating the love of two wonderful folks on what couldn’t have been a more perfect day; that look when he saw her for the very first time; befriending an ex’s ex and laughing it all away, swapping stories and telling truths; further confirmation of functional gut feelings (and the realization that it truly no longer matters); being in the company of the very best one; sushi Mondays, chili Tuesdays, and half-priced wine Wednesdays; the acceptance of Grace and all that it entails; sweet little love notes left around the house; flowers of appreciation, third time’s the charm; celebrating grad school graduates; being given the loving space to be human, and cranky, and sad and moody and whatever else may come our way; submitting that final post and welcoming a month’s respite; men who cook (and do it well); Big Rock Candy (Yogurt) Mountain sweetness; tenderhearted lamentations holding presence with the joy of looking forward; waking up – together! – on a Friday; and looking ahead to a night of joyful preparation, a Saturday of celebration, and a Sunday of whatever dreams may come.

Also, this Katy Perry ear worm ain’t so bad.

ThxFriday, Sunny Saturday Morning Edition.

Friday nights and SHJ sushi; the glorious peace & quiet of the office on a Saturday, paving the way for a better week; the very timely return home of my sweetest sweetheart; getting to be here and available and able to show up for a family member in need; laughing our way through the trauma; late afternoon porch sitting, complete with homemade raspberry puree cocktails; when chicken works just as well as pork; moving forward with filling a space and multiple viable candidates; when squeaky wheels no longer need the grease; dinner date nights with the very best man; the second to last week of school for the semester; rocking the hell outta them grades; taking time to mourn and remember, with Purple Rain on the brain’s repeat; flashers and car chases, all in a Thursday’s work; chips and tacos date with a friend I haven’t seen in 15 years and her cutest little one; reaching the point of resignation and the willingness to do whatever it takes; seeing behavior for what it really is; being self-aware enough to call out the conflict and let the silly misplaced insecurities go; a good night’s sleep more than two nights in a row; and a weekend ahead of restoration, reclamation, and the ever-important celebration of love.

ThxFriday, Rounding the Corner Edition.

Quiet Saturdays for reading (and diagnosing, ahem); Consuelo of the magic hands; Sunday Sounds to kick off opening weekend with sunshine, good friends, the very best man, and all of the fun; middle of the night tending; morning stretches; absence no longer being needed for the heart to grow fonder; flowers of appreciation; making it through that public speech; visiting uncles; visiting babies; completion of papers without pulled overnighters; kindred work spirits; the cognitive dissonance from holding on to old, untrue beliefs about yourself and being confronted on the daily with what’s right and real and true; using that discomfort to shed the old skin and become; and a weekend ahead of dismantling semester stress, handling all the business, and the Sunday return of my sweetest heart. ❤

ThxFriday, It’s Actually Friday! Edition.

Longtime friends who gather for an out-of-towner visit; much needed laughs and hang time; impromptu road trips to one of my favorite cities, to spend a little time with my favorite fella; cream of Havarti cheese toast with pickled onions and a Last Word (or two); some hours being better than none; back outages serving as much-needed reminders to do stretches (and exercise and yoga and stress management and self care and and and); parents of roommates necessitating additional overnights; the silliness of Snapchat; garage beers and Thomas the cat; 2am phone recovery missions and a relocation; making peace with the simplicity and ease; better late than nevers and the promise of cupcakes in our future; falling asleep to the sound of thunderstorms; waking up to the sound of birdiess chirping; the season of bun-buns; feeling my feet; making those videos; a renewed determination to keep it positive; and looking forward to a few days of quiet, calm, restorative tending to all of the things.

ThxFriday, Back in the Gratitude Saddle Edition.

Navigating a Friday night work emergency with relative ease; house and dog and turtle-sitting in the comfort of a lovely home; the horrible and tasty discovery of BOOMCHICKAPOP; Saturday night fires and wine; a beautiful day of walks and books and naps and later-night homecoming visits; dinners with my sweetheart and our teamwork in the kitchen; the glory of beets and goat cheese in salads; perfectly-timed appreciation flowers; remembering to breathe and crowd-sourcing support; working from home and all that was achieved; waking up in my own bed once again; acknowledging the silly in the stressors (fire drill nightmares, anyone?); some very much needed time with friends, and the very much welcome reminders of things; and today, with the shine of the sun and the promise of good things to come.

I’d gotten way out of the habit of revisiting all the good from the prior week, and I can tell and feel a difference in mentality and perception. Gratitude needs to be an active practice; it’s way too easy to fall into the negative otherwise, because of how I’m wired. With all that goes on, between work and school and navigating relationships and friends and wanting to prioritize good health and wellness and and and… these posts remind me to just breathe and appreciate and remember the good. That way, I can stop going into work and announcing that people aren’t allowed to talk to me unless they have something positive to say. (That may have happened last week, ahem. Navigating ends of ropes and boundaries is fun!)  🙂

ThxFriday, All My Valentines Edition.

Vacation time from work (not only allowed but encouraged!); family trips to Mexico (Missouri, that is); the frequent happy contact, with smiles all the while; charming B&B’s and scoring the sweetest suite; finally seeing my nephew proud and in his element; getting gussied up for a Gatsby-themed event; watching the girls navigate their beautiful ways; another day’s buffer for studies and sleep (and recovering from another back outage); a quick little visit to brighten up the night; returning to work to find no fires to fight; a belated and lovely Valentine’s dinner, complete with roses, wine choices, and homemade crème brûlée (talk about swoon); open conversations about all of the things; people who show you who they really, truly are, affirming reservations and hesitations as they show their asses on the way out *punt*; powering through the readings and more 100 percents; when challenging yourself opens new and necessary doors, and when policy analysis actually sparks your interest; getting woke and staying there; warm chocolate chip cookie delivery; the freedom and willingness to speak up and out: asking clarifying questions, being receptive to the answers, and basically just saying what you need; a well-timed “TWSS” that makes a co-worker blush (and snort); the arrival of the weekend, right on time; and the excitement that comes from planning a special-made dinner for a special-made someone in return.

ThxFriday, Well Whaddya Know Edition.

All-nighters that beget 100 percents; Monte Gras and celebrating sweetest hearts; darts, snacks, hot tubs and fire pits (complete with a whole lot of laughter plus a Spider Pig); productive Sundays; Beyonce in Formation: afternoons spent out of the office, connecting and progressing through the lists; Taco Tuesdays that turn into Burgers, Booze Shakes, and Beer Tuesdays; six of the best and fastest flying hours in existence; a repeat performance the following night; marveling at the good, indulging in the goofy, reveling in the gratitude; coffee dates and random run-ins; co-worker check-ins with nothing but good to report; twice in a day, taking all the time you can; dinner with old friends at new restaurants; and looking ahead to a few chilly days with warm-hearted loved ones, every last one my pride and joy.

ThxFriday, Nephew’s Edition.

Getting all the necessary sleeps; early morning productivity with a massage reward; checking things off that list like a boss; carving out the time to laugh, drink wine, paint some mason jars, and share in upcoming nuptials excitement; instant clarifying phone calls; riding the nope-asaurus all the way home; laughter as a stress response; unexpected reprieves; people who think you’re funny; feeling actual heart movements; having the nerve to make that move; old men on treadmills who sing (terribly) while they walk; friends who reach out to say hi or they miss your (unfiltered) face; upcoming plans for tacos and boss-turned-friend reunions; and a weekend ahead of celebrating others, taking care of others, and handling… well, everything.

Today is my oldest nephew’s 18th birthday. When he was born, I was still in the throes of one of the most challenging times in my life; it wasn’t long after when I turned it around, but it was only because of my family. His arrival was my introduction to finally understanding unconditional love, and he broke my heart wide open. A lot’s changed in the last 18 years, but one thing has never wavered: that love and gratitude. I couldn’t be more grateful for that, or for him. ❤

ThxFriday, Early Departures Edition.

The beauty, freedom, productivity, and revised perspectives of getting snowed in alone; cheerful yellow birdhouses and the smiles that they bring; Sweet 16 celebrations, complete with candy bars, helium songs, and photo booth shenanigans; continued reminders of the crazy left behind with a smattering of hope for those still entrenched; hectic days that pass right by, filled with enough challenge and grace to make it all worthwhile; finding the positive sides again; neighborhood watches and awareness of the fires; employing that skill of perspective gained; boundary establishment in the face of heart string pulls; embracing RBF in all the right places (like the Macy’s at Green Hills Mall, pffbt); finding two perfect fits (without having to have one); circling the gratitude wagons; getting all the sleeps and finishing another quiz; lavender everything; turkey confit; and gearing up for a massage to knead the way into another productive weekend, with little bits of fun built in.