Things I’m grateful for.

On Thanksgiving (well, everyday, really), I try to think about what I have in my life that I’m grateful for. They’re not all deep, profound heartwarming things, for example, I’m grateful for my body pillow, the longer battery life on the iPhone 7, and It’s a 10 Miracle Leave In Hair Conditioner. Here’s a list of things that make me super grateful.

What things can you think about that you’re grateful for, too?

(Side note: I’ve been focusing on gratitude a lot the past few years. It’s an excellent way to move past feelings of anxiety or stress. Try it sometime — when you’re freaking out about say, your car having to go to the shop for another crazy fix (yes, it sucks – my AC is out), be glad you have a (usually) running car and access to a good mechanic. It can feel a little bit Pollyanna, but gratitude and the reminder that someone is ALWAYS unfortunately struggling more than you are can really help you turn around a sour mood.)

  • Holly and Matt. These two are my sun and stars and my biggest fan club. Baby giggles can turn me from Grinch to shiny sunflower, and my hubby is pretty much the kindest (and smartest) person I know. It’s been awesome turning into a parent with him as a partner. Plus, he has a great butt.
  • My parents (Lynn, Bill, Mike, and Angel Shirley). Seeing these three become grandparents has been a great source of joy. (And I know my MIL Shirley is around somewhere, watching over us.) Our parents are always hooking it up with babysitting and baby clothes and gifts, advice, and love. It takes a village to raise a baby and thank goodness we have supportive, loving parents.
  • My siblings April and Tommy. April would give you the shirt off her back with no questions asked in freezing weather, and Tommy is always the first to tell you he loves you and why. My parents did good… they have some amazing kids.
  • My bestie Katelyn. We’ve been pals since the sixth grade. She’s the funniest person I know! Even though I don’t get to see her as often as I’d like, we never struggle with reconnecting when we finally get together on the phone.
  • My dear friends. I am blessed to have several close friends (and I’m not calling them out by name because knowing me I’ll forget someone). These people have made our transplanted home in Los Angeles truly feel like HOME and for that I am so grateful.
  • My mommy tribe. I couldn’t have gotten through pregnancy and year one without the help of my girlfriends. There’s nothing in life like someone saying “Oh yeah? Me too!”. Plus, it’s nice to have people to text in the wee morning hours when your kid won’t go back to sleep and you’re four minutes away from losing your sanity.
  • My job. I’m approaching three years at Event 360, and being out on our 3-Day event in San Diego this past weekend was a heartwarming reminder that the work I get to do is not only super fun, it MATTERS. I work with a group of kind, talented individuals, and for that, I am grateful. I’m also grateful that I found a career path I love. Social media and copywriting are the bee’s frickin’ knees.
  • My blog. Blogging and social media has opened up so many doors for me, in terms of opportunities, endeavors, and padding my bank account. I never dreamed these little blogs would be a small source of income, and that’s awesome. THANK YOU for reading. You guys clicking links and reading just helped me pay for a root canal. (Nothing like a good cause, eh? Haha.)
  • My health. I’m always a work in progress, but despite some annoying small things like a heel spur, needing a root canal, and the persistent weight problem, I’m healthy. Working with a group of people afflected by a devastating disease is a sad reminder that health is usually taken for granted until it’s gone. This body of mine though imperfect, works, walks, moves, and celebrates life.
  • The Internet. From Reddit to cat memes to safety pins to mannequin challenges to Lightning deals, I frickin’ love the Internet. Yes, deep, dark harbored secrets and horrible things happen on the Internet but… for the most part, this is an incredible communication and information tool that has changed the way we live.

So those are the big things. I have A LOT to be grateful for.

Here are some of the smaller, sillier things I’m grateful for, too.

  1. PG Tips Tea. I fell in love with this tea on a trip to London in 2000, and I’ve had a cup every morning since. It’s strong. Super strong. And it’s awesome.
  2. The smell of orange blossoms on a summer day.
  3. When you get in a tunnel with a bunch of other cars in traffic and all the cars start honking just because.
  4. Slippers.
  5. Purring cats.
  6. The Pantsuit Nation Facebook group.
  7. My blogging mastermind group.
  8. A good yoga class.
  9. Writing.
  10. When your jeans feel a little bit looser.
  11. Freshly washed sheets with freshly shaved legs.
  12. When people you don’t know start liking your comment on a friend’s Facebook post.
  13. Plums.
  14. Allergy medication.
  15. Busting the mental health stigma.
  16. Gel manicures
  17. Sunshine
  18. Sarcasm
  19. Back Up Cameras in newer cars. (I’ve been driving a lot of rental cars lately, and man, this is nice. Makes me want a new car… but not a car payment.)
  20. Browsing real estate apps for my future house. (Yep — hopefully this is happening in 2017!)
  21. Getting real mail.
  22. Extra percent off clearance sales
  23. Baby hats
  24. Tubing Mascara (You literally just pull the mascara off your lashes in the shower. Perfect for sensitive, runny eyes like mine, and no mess to have to rub off with soap or anything. This one is only $8.)
  25. My personal trainers who were mean yet simultaneously awesome because they demoted me from mayor of Excuses Village and got me into shape.
  26. Sweet potatoes with butter and brown sugar and marshmallows.
  27. Silicon Valley (the show.)
  28. My neighbors
  29. The beach
  30. Baby babbling
  31. Clementines
  32. State Parks
  33. Doing a good parallel parking job
  34. That feeling of reading a book so good you can’t put it down.
  35. Dark chocolate chips with a cold glass of milk.
  36. The person reading this blog post right now.

I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving, friend. Thank you so much for being you, for putting out into the world who YOU ARE and your own individual contributions. You rock.

 

Bun in the Oven Update: Week 15

Howdy! I’m still on the fence about if I’m going to blog my pregnancy, because while part of me likes the idea of documenting it all, the other part of me goes “Eh, does anyone care?” We’ll see! (Pssst… if you do want to read about it, let me know. Remember, I always assume my dad and one person in Alaska reads my blog and that’s pretty much it… so if you’re out there, say hello!) I do have a pregnancy journal I’m using to document week by week, when I remember. (AND, it forces me to put a pen to paper. Handwriting… a miraculous thing!)

But, I figured I’d share today in case anybody is interested.

PROGRESSPANEL

How far along? 15 weeks, 6 days – 16 weeks tomorrow! Now that I’m “out” time is going much faster, thank goodness. Those first few weeks in hiding were agony.
Baby’s Size: A delicious California Avocado
Weight Gain: Zero. Woohoo! (Disclaimer: my OB is totally fine with this! Because of my pre-pregnancy weight, it’s not necessary for me to gain more than 15 pounds during this pregnancy.)
Maternity clothes? I just broke down and bought a bunch of shirts at Motherhood last weekend, and I have a pair of capris and jeans I got from Penney’s. While I still fit in all of my other clothes, I can feel things shifting. Despite not gaining any weight and not really looking like I’ve popped (in my opinion – maybe in the last picture I look like I ate a large burrito), I can feel my body changing, shape-wise.
Best moment this week: Our neighbor is so sweet and dropped off a TON of baby stuff for us to have. Her seven month old has outgrown his bassinet and vibrating chair and things like that, so she wanted us to have all of the stuff she’d donate to Goodwill anyways. That was super helpful! Now we just need to clean out our guest room closet so we can store the stuff. Oliver is currently enjoying sleeping on the changing pad that he thinks is his (boy, is he in for a surprise come November.)
Miss anything? I had a little twinge of lust when I was at Trader Joe’s and passed by the pineapple hard cider, and I do miss guzzling caffeine freely if I’m feeling sleepy (which is pretty much every day as a prego!).
Movement: Nope.
Food cravings: I reaaaaally wanted a pretzel when I walked by Wetzel’s in the mall, but I refrained. I’ve been craving sliced tomatoes with salt and pepper, beef (yay, meat!), and my fruit kick continues with cravings for cherries and nectarines. Last week I was all about potato chips and had a few servings over the week, but now I’m over it.
Anything making you queasy or sick: You know how I bragged about not having morning sickness when I made my announcement? Well, I jinxed myself, because week 14 was nausea city. Thank goodness my barfing episode from last week is over. It was the first time I barfed during my pregnancy, and it was on my 30th birthday on the airplane going to NYC (And I actually barfed three times in the nasty plane bathroom. Gross.). I ended up getting a prego-safe prescription for nausea that week, because I was not enjoying being super queasy as I ran around NYC. I’ve had a few small episodes of nausea this week but am feeling much much better. I still have zero interest in eating chicken.
Gender: We know, and close family and friends know 🙂 I’ll be sharing once we get final confirmation after 20 weeks, just in case early predictions were wrong!
Labor signs: Nope. Let’s keep it that way.
Symptoms: Still more tired than I’d like, some lower back soreness, and still having to make a few bathroom trips in the middle of the night.
Happy or moody most of the time: Mostly happy but I find myself more sensitive than usual. I may have cried this weekend after I tried to make pancakes and screwed up the water/mix ratio, and then dropped a glass in the kitchen that shattered, and then somebody made a rude pregnancy comment. Cue the tears. Whatevz. It’s all part of the journey and I’m trying to remind myself that moments like that are somewhat inevitable during pregnancy.
Looking forward to: Attending Bloggy Boot Camp this weekend in Temecula, and heading up to the Mojave Desert next weekend for a petroglyph tour!

 

Succulents don’t suck.

One of my favorite things to do on weekends is dig in the dirt. Even when I still lived at home as a teenager, I bought tons of house plants, and started cultivating mini gardens in my bedroom. Some of my favorite plants still live in my parents’ house, but I brought a few with me when I moved to Southern California. Once I got to LA, I learned about the awesomeness of succulents. Most of them are simple to grow, require infrequent watering, and thrive just sitting in a bright window. Last weekend, I spent some time potting new plants (I love using old containers I buy at garage sales). Aren’t succulents awesome?

Succulents_lalalyssa

My favorite part about succulents is that they’re self-propagating, which means you can pull baby succulents off of big ones and make new plants. All of the succulents in the pictures below are babies from my other plants. Hooray for bargain gardening!

GardenGnome_Succulents_Lalalyssa

This one was a pain in the butt just because it was tedious to get the plants arranged in the jar. I used a chopstick to carefully push the tiny roots into the soil. But the end result was worth it, because this is adorable and sits on my desk for me to stare at when my eyes need a break from social media.

BellJar_Succulents_Lalalyssa

If you’re new to gardening and would like to learn more about it, I’d recommend the book You Grow Girl. It’s cheeky, helpful, and realistic when learning to practice with your growing green thumb. Here’s a gratuitous photo of my grumpy gray cat, Lucia.

GrayTabbyCat_Gnome_GardenStuff_RaisedBeds_Lalalyssa

Do you have any succulents? Which ones? This is one of my favorites. It’s called a Lithop, but you’ll see them marketed as living stones. Pretty cool, right?