Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Day 30

Today, I'm thankful for one of my cousins (a particular one).

I have mentioned, sometime in the past, that I have lots of cousins, mostly female. This means several things: a cousin of mine seems to be pregnant most of the time, given that I have less contact with my cousins than most of them have with each other I feel left out of most family things, and if I talk about one of my cousins in two different posts I'm likely talking about two different cousins.

One of my cousins sent me a message on FaceBook earlier, inviting me to Christmas. She's trying to organize my mom's family's Christmas, and she wanted to let me know that they would love to see me. She also wanted to let me know that she understands why I've stayed away. It's meant a lot that someone close to my age is actually reaching out, most of my extended family hasn't reached out.

It was an invitation extended without any demand for anything other than a response on if I'd be willing to come. Someone offering an olive branch of peace and a reminder that at least some of my extended family would love to see me.

I haven't decided yet on if I'll go. I need to think about it for a little bit first. I need to figure out if it's a situation I think I can handle emotionally. But the fact that someone, other than an aunt who bruised our relationship, asked means the world to me. It helps me to feel that me reaching out earlier this year has brought about some kind of bigger positive response. It would be nice to see those who I know care about me. I don't want to take too long on this decision, because there are other things that are decided based on my decision, but I also want to make sure I make the right choice for me.

My cousin gave me something that warmed my heart and helped heal some of the hurt that this year has brought. And for that, I am truly grateful.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Day 29

Today, I am thankful for World of Warcraft.

Ace and I play a lot of WoW. We spent most of the weekend playing WoW, since he wasn't working. It's a game that I don't play nearly as much as Ace does, but it is something we do together.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Day 28

Today, I am thankful for Anthony Bourdain.

I have already professed my admiration for Mr. Bourdain. I've expressed how he makes me want to be more adventurous with my eating. Right now, I am thankful for his book about his show No Reservations.

After reading a book full of words and comparisons on meanings of words, I'm thankful for his book. There are a lot of pictures from his travels around the globe. The pictures are wonderful, and I would love to buy this book just to look at the pictures and dream of seeing these places in person.

But after a wordy book (I will confess, I chose the other book and greatly enjoyed it), it's nice to read a book that gives Tony's thoughts on a country and then shows me lots of pictures (with explanations). There are just the right amount of words to help cleanse my mental palate before delving back into the library for more books sometime later in the week.

Tony, or Mr. Bourdain (whichever you prefer), you've done such a great job writing this that I can hear you narrating it in my head as I read. I only wish that it covered more than just the first 3 years of your show. I can only hope that sometime, in the future, you will put out another similar book about more of the world. But if not, I'll be content with what you have shared.

And now I must go to bed, as it is late (roughly 2:30 in the morning) and my body has been demanding more sleep since I got up.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Day 27

Today, I am thankful for YouTube.

YouTube has provided me with hours of entertainment, listening to music. In fact, if I don't have some song I like on my iPod (and there are a lot I don't), I'll look for it on YouTube. I'll look for songs I do have on YouTube too (if I'm already searching for something else.

I also appreciate watching celebrities from the 40s and 50s on What's My Line on YouTube. I realize that most of the celebrities are dead or no longer working, but it's fascinating to see how they try to disguise their voices.

YouTube is just a fun site for me to go spend time, so I'm thankful that someone (or a group of someones) made the site. Thanks for all the fun!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Day 26

Today, I am thankful that soon Ace and I will have our own place.

I am ready to be out of my in-laws house. I've been ready to be out since we moved in. I am trying to be patient, but I'm ready to go.

But, soon, we will be out of here and on our own. And that's something to look forward to.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Day 25

Happy Thanksgiving!

Today, I am thankful for smoked turkey.

Today, I am making a day trip to see my dad and step-mother. My dad smokes a turkey for Thanksgiving (he smokes a turkey and a ham for Christmas, but that's not for a month). It's wonderful.

And now, I must go to bed, so that way I'll be closer to eating smoked turkey. Enjoy your holiday!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Day 24

Today, I am thankful for my step-mother.

I don't talk about my step-mother much, except when talking about my dad. And that's a shame, because she's a special woman.

I met my step-mother the weekend before I graduated from high school. I don't really remember meeting her the first day we met, because I don't really remember much about that day (I was busy thinking about graduation stuff, I imagine). I remember that my first impression wasn't favorable, but it wasn't her fault. I'm pretty sure that at the time, I wouldn't have liked anyone my dad was bringing with him.

But, shortly after I graduated from high school, I got to spend some time with her (2 weeks). I started to get to know her. I think she was nervous about me coming there, as my brother and sister had started to slightly warm up to her right before I got there, but then they almost stepped backwards in any affection until they saw how I reacted to her.

She has treated me kindly ever since I've known her. She's given her love to my siblings and I, and to Ace too. She's never said anything mean, even when I have lashed out in pain (for which I've apologized). She's one of the best cooks I've ever met and she tries to make everyone feel at home in her house.

She's shown incredible patience with my brother and his rambling narrative on his video games, listening (or faking it well) for hours without telling him to shut up (something my sister and I have done). She's tried to give him extra attention, to a degree, since it's obvious that it's been something he's lacked.

My step-mother has made my father happy. If that was all she had done, besides being fairly easy to get along with, I'd love her and be thankful for her being in his life. But, she's also tried to fill some holes in the lives of her step-children where she can.

My step-mother, who doesn't have any natural children of her own, sees her step-children as her children. And I'm happy to call her one of my parents. She doesn't feel a need to add the word step to her relationship with us, and I only add it out of habit.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Day 23

Today, I am thankful that all the relatives I travel to see live within driving distance.

I'm happy to not have to go through airport security. I'm happy that even from Springfield, the drive to Tulsa and NW Arkansas is bearable. That we could drive to OKC from Springfield if needed, with a stop to stretch on the way.

Of course, living in Tulsa currently, the drive to Tulsa anywhere in/around Tulsa is short (10 to 15 minutes, in general). In roughly 2 hours, I can be at my dad's house or visiting my sister in OKC. We can make day trips to either one. And 2 hours alone with Ace is nice.

We have no question that one of us will be screened or patted down by driving. There are no screaming babies or kids kicking our seats (at least, none yet). We can leave our cell phones on and use other electronic devices (such as an iPod). If I take my shoes off, it's because I want to, not because I need to let them get x-rayed.

It's nice to know that we live close enough to drive, that flying would actually take us longer than driving. It's nice to know that our only delays are the ones we make for ourselves. Our privacy isn't invaded. No one checks our luggage/pats us down/x-rays us. We can buy whatever we want to drink from wherever we want to. And at the end of our trip, I'm not exhausted just from getting through the airports, so I can enjoy spending time with family or I can enjoy being home again.

So, I'm thankful for being within driving distance of my family. Because right now, the idea of flying somewhere isn't appealing.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Day 22

Today, I am thankful for naps, as I'm fairly sure I'm going to need one today.

Last night, I stayed up too late. I got caught up reading stuff online and found that it was way later than I expected. I got up to go to bed and realized that I was hot, so I stripped down before climbing into my bed.

Unfortunately for me, I have to be just right temperature wise to go to sleep, so sleep took a while in coming. Eventually, the fan (that was already on) cooled me off enough for me to sleep.

Roughly 2 hours later, I woke up feeling cold. I had to get up and get dressed in order to go back to sleep. I also turned the fan down so it wasn't moving quite as much air.

30 minutes before my alarm went off, I woke up cold again. I put a blanket on top of me and dozed for the next 45 minutes (I slept in, partially because I didn't want to get out from under my nice warm blanket).

And now, I think I may go take that nap I'm already thankful for. The bed is calling me, loudly, and I don't think I want to resist.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Day 21

Today, I am thankful for my sister.

Since Thanksgiving is coming up, I'm thinking of my family lately. Especially my sister. My sister has one of the biggest hearts I've ever seen. I've seen her give of herself when she didn't have to. She offered to help Ace and I last year when we had our big, unplanned move (in order to let us keep a few more things than just what we could fit in our car).

This offer was after picking me up and then dropping me back off at my old house so that all three of us siblings could go see our dad to see that he was fine after his accident (she dropped me off and then drove back to Tulsa from OKC the next morning after probably not enough sleep). This was a trip that she coordinated. She offered to let me sleep on the one free bed available when we got there too.

I wish she and I could spend more time with each other. We love each other dearly. I know that we get along so much better now that we no longer live together (especially since we don't share a room). We miss each other and both wish we lived closer together. My sister shows me what kind of person I could be, if I would just stop focusing on myself so much. She's one of my heroes, even though she's 10 years younger than I am.

One of my favorite pictures of my sister and I is from when she was 2 and I was 12. We're playing doctor. I'm all dressed up in a dress (probably for church) and she's still in her nightgown. There's a glare or something, it's hard to determine what without the physical picture. The picture isn't perfect, but it's just such a sweet moment in time. It's two sisters, despite their age gap, playing together. It's something I wish I remembered from back then. I wish I knew what happened next.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Day 20

Today, I am thankful for sex.

Ace and I don't get to have sex as much as we'd like. We are ready to be on our own, for the sake of our sex life if nothing else.

But when we do have sex, it's wonderful.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Day 19

Today, I am thankful for my new pillow.

Ace and I had been using pillows my in-laws had (fairly old pillows) since we moved in here in April. Recently, we decided that we could treat ourselves to new pillows (ones we'll probably take with us when we move out).

It's nice to have a pillow that's only been mine again. Ace and I, in our rush to move, forgot to grab our pillows (We kept the mattress, forgot the pillows. True story.). Before we bought these pillows, it had been over a year of using other people's pillows.

My pillow is a memory foam pillow. Our mattress, the one waiting in my dad's garage for us to come claim again, is a memory foam mattress. I miss our mattress and am glad that I can at least have a pillow similar to the one I lost last year. It's a small piece of starting to fully put my life back on track.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Day 18

Today, I am thankful for blankets.

My in-laws and I seem to be having a war over the thermostat. I keep turning the heat back on (because I'm cold) and they keep turning the heat to off or, worse, turn the a/c on. Most of my external heat is coming from wearing my hoodie and keeping covered with a blanket.

Have I mentioned that I'm looking forward to moving out of here? Because I am so ready to be out of here again. I'm ready to be able to know that the temperature will stay within a few degrees and that my body won't keep telling me that I'm freezing.

And after Thanksgiving (hopefully), I'll be even more thankful for blankets since I'll have my thickest, warmest blanket back.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Day 17

Today, I am thankful for good manners.

Actually, today I am thankful that I have such good manners, because otherwise I'd be saying extremely inappropriate things/throwing things a lot this month.

I'm not sure why, but everything seems to be getting on my nerves lately. My in-laws watching TV louder than I'd like, I'm trying to refrain from rolling my eyes and throwing something. Ace wants us to do something that deviates from my plan and I'm trying to remind myself that I love him and he's not really annoying.

I think my hormones have gone nuts again. Or there's something up with the food my mother-in-law is making and serving that is seriously jacking with me. There's something off, and the only reason I can tell is that I'm annoyed at things that don't normally bother me.

Nicely, I have good manners. They are what's truly helping me keep my mouth shut. They are keeping me from doing or saying something I'll regret. And for that, I am thankful.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Day 16

Today, I am thankful for laughter.

Ace and I had a stressful, long, one-thing-too-many kind of day Monday. It didn't seem to want to be on our side. Everything seemed too much, too loud, too big to effectively deal with.

But I've spent some time finding things to laugh about. Things to help me feel like I can make it through this week and this month and the rest of this year. The laughter helped me drop some of the weight that I seemed to be carrying. It soaked into my mind and left me feeling better about life.

I may have felt like a few things were too much at one point, but it was just a point in time. It passed and things, while not necessarily tons brighter, are livable. I don't know what the day might bring, but I know that I can handle it. And that makes all the difference.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Day 15

Today, I am thankful for chocolate.

Chocolate is one of those bright things in my daily life. Ace and I keep some chocolate on hand, and have for a while. It helps make living with my in-laws more bearable. It helps lift me up when I'm feeling blue.

Yep, thankful for chocolate.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Day 14

Two weeks into this month and I'm still finding things to be thankful for, something that doesn't surprise me in the least.

Today, I'm thankful for access to a hot tub.

Sometimes, my back hurts. It gets worse when I play World of Warcraft all day long (something I rarely do, a fact that Ace mourns some days). I need to get a better, more supportive chair/seat. Since that isn't an option today, I need something that will help alleviate pain.

I will admit, I took pain killers in addition to getting in the hot tub. I needed more relief that just hot water could provide. I'm still extremely grateful that I have access to a hot tub. It is one of the perks of living with my in-laws (one of the few).

And now, I'm going to go lay back down. Sleep is calling me and I have no reason to stay up. Hopefully a good night's sleep will finish helping my back feel better.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Day 13

Today, I am thankful for emotional releases.

An odd combination of things led me to an emotional breakdown a little while ago. I cried, sobbed really, for a few minutes. Ace was concerned and slightly annoyed at the timing of my emotional outburst (he was doing something semi-important and my crying was distracting).

Once he finished what he was doing, he came and cuddled with me. He allowed me to talk for a bit, to explain my emotions and why they had popped up. He tried to get me to laugh. He said supportive things. He hugged my legs (the only part he could easily get to). He showed tons of patience and understanding. He let me express my pent up pain and helped me build myself back up again.

In the end, I felt better. My emotions had been cleared up quite a bit and the pain of dealing with them was minimized by having someone who cares so much being there to support me. He reminded me again why I feel he'll be a great dad. He pulled me through my emotional release much more quickly than I would have on my own.

But, I'm thankful for the emotional release, because I needed to deal with those emotions. I needed to confront my feelings on a situation that happened in July so that it won't haunt me for years. I needed to give myself some closure on some things that have been waiting for roughly 4 years now. I needed to cry to help wash out my emotional wounds and let them start healing. It's time to start moving forward in my life again.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Day 12

Today, I am thankful for my dad getting a job again!

My dad was given an opportunity to explore new horizons in the extremely early part of this year (February or March, I think). He's been looking for a job ever since. He got called earlier this week with a job offer.

He found a job that will allow him to continue to live in his current house. He starts his job next week. He'll be able to finish up his degree where he's currently going to school too (I'm pretty sure he's getting his master's degree).

We are excited and celebrating the fact that my dad, who has probably been driving my step-mom a little crazy most of this year, will be working again. He's the kind of guy who will continue working as long as he can, because he likes to work. Hopefully, his new job will be perfect for him.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Day 11 Part 2

Today, I am also thankful for our veterans.

I will always support our men and women in uniform. They join the military, knowing that they may have to give their lives to keep us free.

Thank you, veterans and current military people. Thank you for your service for me and my family. Thank you families of veterans and current military people. Thank you all for your sacrifice.

Day 11

Today, I am thankful for belated birthday gifts.

My card from my grandmother arrived. She packed it in a box and sent a stuffed pig with it (I like pigs, especially cute stuffed ones).

In my birthday card was some birthday money too. I've now had 3 different birthday dinners and 3 different people give me the exact same dollar amount for my birthday. Turning 30 has been profitable for me.

I'm not fully sure what Ace and I will do with my birthday money (I'm thinking possibly dress shirts for Ace for work, but I haven't mentioned it to him yet). I do know that this was something that touched my heart and I need to spend a bit more time on the phone with my grandmother later since I have briefly talked with her to thank her for her generosity and the phone call wasn't nearly enough to express my appreciation or to talk with her about anything.

But today, I'm celebrating mentally getting a belated birthday greeting and the love shown in the thoughtfulness of the gift given.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Day 10

Today, I am thankful for nudity.

After we move (January, I'm waiting somewhat impatiently for you), I'll get a lot more nudity in my life. I'll get to control the thermostat, so I can get it warm enough to walk around in my underwear and an undershirt if I want to.

I'm not particularly in love with being nude, but the lack of an ability to freely move about our current location in whatever I happen to be wearing is starting to grate on my nerves some. Soon, I'll be able to walk around naked if I want and that thrills me.

Come on, January. I'm ready to move already!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Day 9

Today I am thankful for my laptop.

Without my current laptop, even as inadequate as it is, I wouldn't be able to get online. I wouldn't be able to read blogs, play WoW, or write posts for NaBloPoMo. Without my computer, I'd be frustrated with little to do to entertain myself between the time Ace's goes to bed and the time I go to bed.

I may want a new laptop, I may have needed one for a while now, but I do appreciate the one I currently have. It's much better than nothing.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Day 8

Today, I am thankful for Midol.

Cramps suck! Midol helps.

Note: Midol is not paying me in either money or Midol to say their product works. In fact, I have to pay to use their product. This also sucks, except for the fact that their product does work and I stop hurting, so I'm not too upset about it. I just though I'd make it clear that Midol isn't paying me anything.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Day 7

Today, I am thankful for Ace.

He helps take care of me when I feel bad (right now, my sinuses aren't fully sure they want to allow oxygen in through my nose seemingly because it's cold). He makes me soup and hot chocolate and is all caring about making sure I'm doing well and starting to feel better.

He makes me laugh, even when I feel like crying (even when he's the one who made me feel like crying). He brightens my day. He talks in silly accents randomly, just to make me laugh. He works good paying jobs so I can be a housewife.

He listens to me when I need to talk and even normally listens when I start babbling. He teases, but will back off quickly when he can see it's not getting the desired response of a smile. He puts up with my quirks well most of the time, and encourages me to be a better person.

He's perfect for me and I wouldn't trade him for anyone else. He's my other half. He understands me better than anyone else, I'm fairly sure. He's seen me looking my worst and still finds me extremely attractive. He's the kind of spouse I know I should be more often, and the kind of man who will be a wonderful father.

I love you, Ace. Thanks for being MY husband.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Day 6

Today, I am thankful for God.

I originally intended to wait until day 7 for saying that I am thankful for God, but it seems somewhat appropriate to appreciate God on the Sabbath, even if I'm not Jewish.

God has been the one completely stable thing in my life. He has been with me from the beginning and will be with me. He helped me live through all the crap my mother said and all her insanity that I put up with for years. He brought me Ace at a time I desperately needed something good to start happening in my life. Since I've met Ace, I've had two stable influences.

God gave me strength when I started realizing that I probably needed to cut my mom out of my life. He gave me strength enough to actually cut her out about a year and a half later, when it was obvious that my mother could never give me her love and approval in any sort of recognizable way. He helped me patch my broken soul back together afterward when part of me wondered what was wrong with me that my own mother couldn't love me.

Since I've decided to leave the topic of my mother alone (seriously, I've poked at that tender area enough to realize that there was nothing healthy to be obtained by continuing to poke at it), God has been able to heal me even more. I can talk, briefly, about her without hurting. My mourning for the relationship I didn't have has passed and I'm just wondering why I held on to the relationship I did have for so long.

Through it all, the good times and the bad, God has been there for me. Even when I wasn't looking for him because I was too busy just trying to survive mentally intact. I can look back and see God's blessing on my life. I can look ahead and see what God's Word has promised me for my future.

I'm done looking back on my own life. There's nothing new to learn there. I'm looking ahead to God's promises and I'm moving toward them. And I know that God will be with me every step of my way. And for that, I am truly thankful.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Day 5

Today I am thankful for time with Ace.

Since Ace is working regularly now, I'm having to adjust to not having him around as much. It's been a few months since we've regularly had time apart like this. This change, while odd, is a good one to adjust to.

The time we now have apart makes our time together seem even more special, since there is less of it. It makes me appreciate him more when he is here, paying attention to me. It gives me an opportunity to miss him when he's gone. It helps keep me thinking of all his wonderful attributes. It makes it easier to overlook his shortcomings.

And when he gets extra time off, time neither of us was expecting him to have, it makes the day feel extra-special.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Day 4

Today I am thankful for sleep.

I will admit, this is not just something I am thankful for. After I mentioned my plan to be thankful for something unique each and every day for November, Ace suggested I be thankful for sleep.

He's right though. I am thankful for sleep. Even on those nights where I'm noticing insomnia, the nights that signal some emotional struggle coming on my horizon, I still appreciate getting to sleep. It's even more precious when I've been missing sleep for any of a variety of reasons.

Speaking of sleep, I should get some soon. See you tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Day 3

Today, I am thankful for pleasant surprises in the mail.

Yesterday, Ace and I went to get our mail. This undertaking was made more difficult because of all the construction happening around Tulsa (How many different projects are they working on here?).

After Ace got our mail out of our box, he asked me if I had been expecting anything since I had suggested we go get our mail. I hadn't really, although my grandmother is supposed to be sending me a birthday card (or so I've been told).

It turns out I got a surprise piece of mail that made me smile.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Day 2

Today, the thing that I am thankful for is libraries.

I love to read. If I could, I'd happily spend all day reading/wandering around/shopping in a bookstore. I could find a book in almost every section of a store that I "need", and several in the humor and fiction sections. Since I'm not currently financial able to splurge on that kind of shopping spree (except in my dreams), I have to find ways to fulfill my reading habit for free. While the internet is great, as my many hours a day habit surfing it can attest, there is nothing quite like holding a book in my hands and reading it.

Tulsa's library system allows me to not only check out an extremely ridiculous amount of books at once (as I found out a few months ago, when I ended up with at least 8 books checked out all at once and I was trying to read them as quickly as possible), but they allow me to request a book be sent to my local library from anyone in the system for free. Apparently, for a very reasonable $1 a book fee, I can check out books from outside the Tulsa City-County library system too, although I'm not currently interested in finding any specific book enough to request that.

I currently have 3 books out of the library. Hershey: Milton S. Hershey's Extraordinary Life of Wealth, Empire, and Utopian Dreams (a biography of Milton S. Hershey of chocolate fame), The Men Who Stare at Goats (yep, a book on the same topic as the George Clooney movie that's based on a real government program), and The Picture of Dorian Gray (Do I need to tell you what this one is about? Google it, if you don't know!).

When I checked them out, I was sure I'd enjoy The Men Who Stare at Goats and The Picture of Dorian Gray, but I wasn't sure about Hershey. So far, Hershey is the only one I've read on (since I checked them out yesterday), but I'm greatly enjoying it. The author is mixing in a lot of history of the U.S./the world in with the biography so that it's easier to understand what events were surrounding Mr. Hershey's life and decisions. It's fascinating and I'm extremely glad I checked the book out.

I'm thankful for libraries. What are you thankful for?

Monday, November 1, 2010

Day 1

Today, I embark on a tradition that I have done 2 years before this. Today, I start posting everyday for a month.

If I was saner, I'd do this in February, when there are only 28 or 29 days (not much savings of time). Instead, I'm doing this in November, because while I have at least one novel to write, I'm not going to try to write it in just 30 days. I'm not that crazy.

In addition to making a determination to post every day in November, I've just decided to push myself into posting something different I'm thankful for each day, hopefully with an explanation added to why I'm thankful for each thing (but that's not going to be a guarantee, because I have a feeling there will be at least one day I'm thankful that I'll be moving soon).

For day one, I'm thankful for an idea to tie this whole month together. Normally my posts are random from day to day, so it'll be nice to focus on something here for more than a day or two. It'll also be nice to focus on the good things in my life for a while.

See you later.