Grateful 365 #45 – Love

loveHappy Valentine’s Day! Over the years, this holiday and I have had a strange relationship. I recall one time when I had a Valentine, and it was very nice. The funny thing is that I remember the Valentine’s Day I spent downing monsters in the Plague Wing with my guild on WoW better. Why? Because everyone was far more surprised by the latter and so I wound up discussing, thinking about, and writing on it.

I like Valentine’s Day. I think it’s an awesome time to appreciate your loved ones- romantic, platonic, and familial. I like to take a moment to reflect on all the love that I’ve recieved over the years. The family that raised me. The friends that supported me. The people who believe in me and stand by me day by day.lifelove

If we’re going to get romantic, I’m grateful for every moment I spent in a relationship. I’m glad I had those experiences and got to know those people better. I hope I’ve learned from each attempt so that if and when it’s time to give it a go again, I can do so a wiser, stronger person.

So today I’m grateful for love in all it’s many splendid forms and all the faces it’s worn in my life.

I hope everyone out there has a beautiful day filled with love!

~all the love~

Grateful 365 #43 – A Beth

bethI talk a lot about friends in these grateful posts…and I regret nothing! Even if you don’t know my friends personally, I sincerely hope that everyone has had the good fortune to know people like them. If you haven’t found people like them, you should go out and start vigorously looking for some. (Pro-tip: I’ve found that the short ones tend to be fiesty. Bring extra pokeballs.)

beth balloon

Beth brought the balloons. And the tiaras (unfortunately not pictured.)

Today though, I’m grateful for Beth. She’s far and away one of the hardest working, most selfless, big hearted people I have ever run across. Here’s a perfect example: It was set to snow Tuesday morning (or so the weather said), and without any prompt, she offers to come pick me up to take me grocery shopping before the storm hits.

If that’s not impressive, keep in mind that she works hellishly long hours, is always running around keeping social appointments with people, and probably had slept like…4 hours in the past three days if I were to guess. She also lives a good 20 minutes away and had already brought me V8 & Mio and then driven me to Microcenter during my chemo-computer crisis last weekend.

beth2This is a girl who chases her dreams and ambitions with tenacity and purpose. A girl that cares deeply, genuinely, and unconditionally for the people in her life. A girl who knows loss and fatigue and frustration, but never lets them get the best of her. A girl that faces the world fearlessly and honestly. Everyday. She even manages to continuously care for people who have hurt her– an epic feat of strength and will and something we should all aspire to.

If there were any hours left in her days, I would wager that she’s a superhero on the side too. Knowing her, she could probably pull it off.

Even with everything she has going on at all times, she somehow manages to always be thinking of others. No, not just thinking–figuring out ways to help others and acting on it. It’s really unbelievable.

If you can find a Beth, hold on to her tightly…because she’s a friend that will always leave you in awe and make you want to be better at friendship yourself.

~all the love~

Grateful 365 #42 – Lint Roller Toilet Paper

DSC_0520There are many amazing things about living with housemates. The first is the housemates themselves (and mine are spectacular to say the least). Another is arriving home and finding surprises. Surprises like having your toilet paper replaced by a deceptively similar looking lint roller spool.

I believe it was placed in the shared bathroom over a week ago now, but I’ve left it because it makes me smile everytime I see it. A little practical joke (and a nice one! They left all the real toilet paper) of the sort we all need now and again. It’s only gotten me twice, but reaching over and feeling something sticky where soft cottonelle should be definitely gets your attention.

So I’m grateful for my housemates and the strange ways they make me smile.DSC_0521

~all the love~

Grateful 365 # 35- Impromptu Metal Hair Band

rockstarsOne of the greatest joys I’ve had since losing hair has been taking off my skull mop around friends and playing with it. No but seriously, you should try it– it’s super fun.

Not only do I always have a tribble puppet a neck length away, but if you tend to like the longer versions (like I do) you can make moments like this happen. What kind of moments? Oh just transforming a group of friends with rockband props into heavy metal rock gods!

It was enormous amounts of fun and I spent more time laughing than I have in awhile.

A picture is worth a thousand words…and I took lots!

rockcollin rockryan singergabby drummer andrew fangirlsofia

~all the love~

Grateful 365 #32- Sleepovers

Sleepovers are a funny thing to write about when you’re nearly 30, but dammit, I’m grateful for them! (So there!)

Art by FerioWind

Art by FerioWind

I’m grateful for the sleepovers past where deep dark secrets were shared and groups of girls and boys worked out who they were and who they wanted to be. I’m grateful for every conversation that started with “Hey, are you still awake..?” I’m grateful for the sleep-deprived laughter, the ridiculous injokes, the hours devoted to nothing other than learning more about and being with the people you cared about. I’m even grateful for nights of whispered terrors- ghosts in the spare room, something behind the shower curtain, ceiling fans that kept getting lower and lower…

O.O Horrifying....

O.O Horrifying….

I’m equally grateful for the recent ones though. The road trips, the impromptu ‘can I just stay here tonights’…the hospitality of a friend allowing you to invade their home and share their floor or sofa for an evening.

Even if there’s now the looming threat of ‘work in the morning,’ even if some of the night is devoted to things some might consider work, there’s this amazing sense of freedom when you know you have the whole night. shellycloset
I used to harbor some anxiety when sleeping in places that weren’t ‘home’. It lead to a lot of people staying over at my place back in the day and a lot of restless, sleepless nights later on. Even now, I don’t like to sleep in strange places when I can avoid it… However having just one person that I trust explicitly, one true and genuine friend…I could be in the middle of an alien encampment on Mars and feel comfortable.

It’s kind of super awesome.

So thanks to Krissia for having me over last night and reminding me exactly why I’m so grateful for sleepovers~!

~all the love~

Grateful 365 #31 – Sushi

sushi2Sushi is delicious.

End post.

Actually, that wouldn’t be a bad entry, would it? Sushi is damn good and as far as things I like to put in my mouth, destroy with my teeth, and send down to my digestive tract to further besiege it with acid and bile, it’s ranked among my favorites.

It also has a strong nostalgia to it. I remember piling wasabi on top of Kroger supermarket tuna rolls in progressively larger and larger globs for no reason other than the amusement of a friend and myself pre-highschool. I remember $1 sushi nights and cheap bento lunches during highschool. We’d order and loiter for hours on end as we talked and laugh.sushi4

Sushi is delicious to me the same way that “mom’s meatloaf” or any other comfort food might be. It’s good by its own right. It’s better with memories. It’s best with memories and great company.

So thanks for taking me out for sushi tonight, guys~! It was a delicious, nostalgic, memorable blast!

~all the love~

Grateful 365 #25 – Pictures


I can’t help but hear “Look at this photograph/ everytime it almost makes me laugh” playing in my head right now.

Thanks for that, Nickleback.

Between yesterday and today, I have done an awful lot of looking at pictures. Old pictures. New pictures. I even combined and altered some pictures.
They’re amazing things though when you think about it. Each one is like a flat solidified memory. A captured fragment of time that you can relive whether you were there or not.PictureWall

I’ve become a regular paparazzi lately, but it’s exactly for this reason that I’ve become so adamant about keeping a record of times shared.
You know how people say that if you smile at someone, they can’t help but smile back? Same thing applies with pictures. Whether it’s me smiling, or us smiling, or someone else entirely smiling, I can’t help but echo that sentiment.

Each picture is a little window to happiness.

So I’m grateful for pictures and all the people they show.

~all the love~

Grateful 365 #22 – Mementos


I often say that I wear any jewelry given to me until it falls off, and with rare exceptions that’s the truth.
I have a fondness for things that remind me of important people in my life, and have a weird sense of comfort when I can keep those things near me.
Yesterday I donned a T-shirt from Shelly, a necklace with charms from Nuts and a student, a pin from Becky, a bracelet from Mandy and another bracelet from my mother. Anything I couldn’t wear, I put in my box of happy thoughts…something I bring with me every visit to the infusion center I make.

The box has drawings from my students, christmas cards, printed prayers, letters, tiny figurines, jewelry I couldn’t fit on my limbs.

I don’t always open it.
I just like knowing it’s there.
It’s sort of like that ‘strength in numbers’ thing in portable form. (Yes– I can now take my friends and family everywhere whether they want to go or not! Wahaha~)

I love my momentos not because of what they are, but because of who they remind me of and all the good memories and feelings that go with it.
So thanks everyone for being there even when you didn’t mean to be. I promise not to think too fondly of you while on the loo. :)

~all the love~

Grateful 365 #21 – My Bed

bedWhen what you want most is sleep, there is nothing more alluring or seething with comfort than a freshly made bed.

The one I’m settling into as I type was given to me by my friends, delivered with my friends, and set up by my friends.

That makes it better.

It’s also big, and I can already feel my body relaxing against the matress as the sheets begin to warm.

I now commence cocooning inside its blankets.

emote bed

~all the love~

Grateful 365 #20 – Unexpected Grace

Today a friend’s mother called me at work. Fortunately, she called while I was changing between the wet and dry portions and was able to pick up. I say fortunately not because I’m a conversationalist to be envied, but because in my rush to stay busy these past few days I’ve been guilty of neglecting phone calls here and there. It was fortunate because I’d meant to call her back days ago and would have felt awfully if I missed her again.

Once we connected, it was only a few moments before I had to sit down. Not bad news, mind you, but I was so touched that I nearly welled up several times as we chatted.

Not only was she aware that my treatment is tomorrow, but also remembered that as a general rule…I hate spending the night before chemo alone. Too much time in my own brain, you know? She offered to take me out to a Chinese buffet, and after accepting, we hung up.

I think I spent the rest of the workday gushing about how grateful I was to just about everyone I saw.

Not only was it an astonishingly thoughtful, loving gesture, but as dinner went on and we all (her sister, brother-in-law, and nephew) had a great time, I was reminded just how interwoven our lives can be and how fortunate we are when experiences merge and become something positive.

Beyond companionship and the present, we sat at the table as individuals with very different paths trailing behind us…but there were more common threads than one might expect on a cursory glance.

It sounds trite, but I really needed tonight. I needed to be with people whose stories I hadn’t heard in completion before and whose laughter I hadn’t shared as an adult. I learned a lot and left feeling loved and very, very blessed to know and be welcomed in the company I shared.

On the car ride home, Cathy and I spoke about the past her daughter and I shared and how long it had been since I’d spent time with their family. It really had been ages. We hit a point in the conversation where the phrase “at a certain point, age doesn’t matter anymore,” came about. Too true. Yet another thing I’m grateful for tonight.

I had trouble picking a phrase for today’s gratitude, because I have so, so much to be grateful for. I went for “Unexpected Grace” because a single, unforeseen phone call wound up changing my whole day, lightening my evening, and providing me with more goodness than I could have thought to wish for.  It seemed fitting.

I think I’ll be able to sleep easily when I finish this entry, and I’ll hold this warmness in my heart tightly through tomorrow.

emote warm heart

~all the love~