31 December, 2014

Merry Christmas, Happy New Year



It's a few days late, but here it is nonetheless - our Christmas Card. I love Christmas mail. Adore it. It is so fun to get. Our entire fridge is covered in well wishes and beautiful family pictures and since I frequent the refrigerator more often than your average bear, I am consistently mandated to enjoy myself, prosper, and be merry. Fantastic reminders and I endeavor to take their advice.

We spent the holiday here in D.C. by our lonesomes, but it wasn't really all that lonesome. We missed our families but we did Christmas by ourselves in NC a few years back and, while it isn't home, it is cherished because it's us.

I thought a bit guilty as I though I should be more sad, not being in California for Christmas, but I also felt really content because I love that Dan is my family. We are at home wherever the other is and I feel so comfortable in this environment. Again, and not to beat a dead horse, but it's not that I didn't miss my family and the traditions, of course I did. I missed our cookie making extravaganzas, our Christmas morning brunches and present opening, and our big family dinner. I missed walking around Deacon Dave's who every year does an incredible Christmas light display (not kidding, better than any Christmas display you have ever seen. I dare you to find better.). I miss those things. They are so entertained with Christmas.

But. But, Dan and I have a good thing and sometimes lounging on the couch, drinking mimosas all day long, and having chorizo con papas for breakfast is just the kind of Christmas you want even if you didn't know it. It was different and wonderful.

Anyway, enough about that. The New Year is coming! 2015: the year I will turn 27 (Dan turns 32!), finish my second year of law school, start my third year of law school, and... those are the only things I know for sure. 2014 had its rough patches that we trudged our way through and it had some wonderful moments with family and friends. I'm hoping that 2015 is smooth sailing. For auld lang syne!

23 December, 2014

on break


Today has been a day for a Katharine Hepburn marathon, quilting, and tree admiring. If I had it my way the tree would be lit twenty-four/seven but energy saving and fire risks, etc., we don't leave it on while we sleep. So, instead I turn it on the minute I wake up and that seems to work just fine.

Christmas is the best time and I am so excited by the gift Dan is getting this year, I just can't hold it in. Good thing we get to open presents in two days otherwise I might just tell him by accident and that would spoil it because I am hoping that he is surprised. The man is hardly ever surprised and it would be nice, just once, to get a burst of emotion out of him due to something truly unexpected.

I've been putting off researching my stinking note for school and I know I'm going to pay for it but its much nicer to make food, and sew, and watch movie after movie. I wish I could say I am catching up on pleasure reading but even that hasn't made the to-do list yet.

Back to Katharine Hepburn. I was watching Little Women and I realized, it doesn't matter which version I watch I always want to kick Jo March for not choosing Laurie. I always wondered if I was only partial to him because I first met him as played by Christian Bale, but no, I like him even as played by Douglas Montgomery and I hate Professor Bhaer.

Maybe if they ever used a more attractive man. The accent plays to his favor but they always choose the most... unattractive men. Well, that's not entirely fair. Gabriel Byrne is somewhat distinguished but I've just always found Bhaer so snivelly (not a word - go with it). Which, some would disagree and say that Laurie is more moony but he also goes after what he wants. He should have stuck with Jo. And here ends my diatribe on Little Women.

Guys, break is glorious. Trees and presents and overthinking classic films (never read the book, I know, I know, I should). This is my life for a couple more weeks and I am relishing every second.


19 December, 2014

Post-finals laze



 Finals have come and gone and this household could not be happier. This was a pretty intense finals period. Like, at least two major meltdowns. Like hyperventilating, I-don't-know-anything, tear-filled meltdowns.

Dan. He is the unsung hero of finals. Actually, I'll sing it right now. That man deserves an award. I reached crazy town levels of insanity this semester and he took it all in stride. He made me hot chocolate with about 2 parts hot chocolate and 1 part whipped cream (a 1/3 ratio is good for the soul). He made christmas happen and I came home to lights draped on the walls and stockings hanging from the windowsill. He made nourishing meals more times than I can count. He held me and prayed for me when I thought I had lost 1/3 of a nearly finished government contracts outline (thank God Macs are miracle machines that back documents up more than I do). He was just fantastic. Enough things cannot be said.

If I do well this semester it will in large part due to him.

I've spent the last three days sleeping, lazing about, streaming netflix and eating christmas colored m&ms (I can never pass the big bags up. All the red and green!). I've been finishing up some christmas shopping and prep and getting ready to spend the holidays, just me and Dan, in DC. We are finally getting a tree this weekend. Dan is making latkes on Satruday and we've been lighting the menorah candles each night.

The holidays are here, folks. And I am so excited to enjoy them and forget all about admin law. If no one says Chevron ever again it'll be too soon.

28 November, 2014

happy thanksgiving




You know that thing, where your house is always cleaner when people are coming over? Like, you don't want to appear to be a slob, so you clean every surface, move every scrap, and pretend like your place is always this tidy? It happens so infrequently these days because we live pretty far from any friends we would invite over but for Thanksgiving my best friend in law school was joining us so Dan and I did a massive clean in the morning. What's great is that it's still clean. It feels so good to not feel guilty about that pile of clothes that sits unfolded or the bathroom trashcan that can't fit one more q-tip. Nope, it's all been taken care of. We should have people over more often.

So now, Dan is driving two hours to meet his buddy so they can watch Dumb & Dumber To together and I sit here, in the clean house and study and contemplate eating all the leftovers. I maybe had mashed potatoes for breakfast. It was a close call between the potatoes or a big slice of apple pie with my coffee, but I figured I would enjoy a the pie after I'm done with my long day of studying -- something to look forward to.

This year I'm just thankful I'm not a 1L anymore. I mean, finals are here and there is some stress but nothing like last year. Woah, boy, am I glad I am not in 1L land and I will never be there again. I'm also thankful that Dan makes the turkey every year. Hope you had a great thanksgiving, ours was relaxing, tasty and filled with great conversation and a viewing of Pitch Perfect because our guest hadn't seen it and that had to be remedied. Duh.

25 November, 2014

Whole ::: Wrap Up




Whole 30 Challenge: dominated.

But seriously, the biggest thing I have to say about this experience is that I feel empowered. I like things I didn't know I liked. I exercised will-power I was unfamiliar with. I survived and I feel good. 

During:

Of course there were days when I craved something that I couldn't have. But those were days came around less than expected. My body was running efficiently and it showed. 

I will say I did not follow the strict program that requires only 3 meals a day and no snacking. While I (kinda) get the purpose behind what they are trying to achieve, my purpose was to treat my body better and, if I am hungry, withholding nourishment simply because "our ancestors" didn't snack was counterintuitive to what I wanted out of this. Listening to my body was important and so I kicked that rule to the curb. 

I ate so many vegetables and I am so proud of myself! Carrots, cauliflower, zucchini, spaghetti squash, brussel sprouts, butternut squash, sweet potatoes, onions, mushrooms, tomatoes (it acts like a vegetable so I consider it one). And I liked all of them. I feel like an entirely different person and I like her.

Though this wasn't a priority for me, I also lost weight. I lost just over 10 lbs in 30 days. Which sounds crazy to me but I was eating food. Real food. And lots of it! Like I said, if I was hungry, I ate. Im chalking the weight loss up to cutting out sugar and grains.

After:

I really want to keep this up to some degree. Not crazy strict (I missed beans and cheese too much!), but I think I'm going to keep grains to a minimum and same with sugar. I also want to keep the vegetable intake high which seems so much easier now that I know I like so many of them and how I like to cook them.

A big test for me will be to see how I do over finals. Last year it was all, study for 12 hours then come home and make 7 minute mac&cheese. I still have some blue boxes in my cupboards (how's that for will-power!) but I'm thinking I may just donate them... I don't know. It's not like I'm never going to have mac and cheese again but maybe not to the extent I have in the past.

I am definitely splurging today. I am eating chipotle with beans and rice and cheese... and it's going to be freaking-fantastic. I'm robably going to pour myself a glass of wine tonight, too. But this whole process has made me reconsider what it means to do things in moderation and I'm hoping that most of this sticks long term.

Huzzah to me and all that. I did it. And I'm pretty dang proud.