Wednesday, April 2, 2008

32 things

In an effort to embrace my birthday this year I've made a list of 32 things that make me happy. :)

1. My boys--Mat who knows me better than anyone, Braeden whose sunny disposition and sweet laugh make my heart burst with love, and Gage, my smiley, chill baby boy
2. My family--we know each other so well and have shared so many silly, funny, sweet, and just ridiculous moments over the years
3. Cool fall days in NY when the air is so crisp it's almost hard to catch your breath...the air smells so clean and the leaves are shades of fire--reds, oranges, and yellows
4. Driving with the windows down on warm days blasting Springsteen
5. Daffodils, but especially mine--I love that for months at a time they lie dormant under the ground, but come the start of spring little green buds pop up from the dirt and grow into sunny flowers
6. Opening my kitchen cabinet to see all of my Fiestaware plates, bowls, and mugs. I LOVE seeing all those colors mixed together!

7. My most favorite holiday of the year--Thanksgiving. I love that it takes days, sometimes even weeks, to prepare for it. A day of football and stuffing yourself with turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, and butternut squash...who isn't just over the moon for this holiday?!
8. Blogging...I love posting silly stories, videos, and beautiful pictures of my boys on their blogs. I've never written in a diary for more than a month but I've been blogging for three years now! I'm incredibly proud of myself for that.
9. Breastfeeding. While I was pg with Braeden I knew I would nurse him and I was certain it would work for us. It did, and I stuck with it for 15 months. I would have gone longer, but Braeden chose that point to wean himself and who was I to argue with him? It's even easier with Gage because he doesn't have reflux. I have every confidence we'll go just as long as B and I did.
10. I LOVE the beach, actually the ocean. I love staying right on the beach so I can fall asleep to the sound of the waves and wake up the same way. I love the feel of sand under my feet. And I love that Braeden loves the beach.
11. My kitchen and the things I make in it make me so happy. We bought this house for its kitchen. I picked out the countertops, cabinets and hardware, and appliances. Braeden has begun helping me in the kitchen, measuring ingredients and stirring things. I love sharing this passion of mine with him.
12. Bags, purses, totes, wristlets, all of them. I LOVE bags. I love shopping for new bags. And I love going through my stash and rediscovering old favorites. I definitely get this from my mom!
13. This picture makes me happy!

This is my dad's mom when she was a young woman. I love thinking of her this way!
14. My Super Bowl champion NY Giants make me so very happy! Since I've blogged about them before (here and here), I won't go into it again except to say who would have thought they'd be the winners and the Patriots would have been the team going quietly into the night with heads held low??
15. My friends. It took moving to North Carolina to reconnect with two friends from childhood. And once I got here, I made some great friends at Elon, truly the best thing to come of working there.
16. Bargains make me happy. I hate paying full price for anything. I love TJ Maxx and Marshall's. I love shopping at outlet stores. I sign up for e-mails from my favorite stores for the coupons and special sales. And I love rewards cards and accumulating points for free stuff.
17. The internet makes me happy. It's great for bargain-hunting! I get my news from the internet, the serious stuff from the NY Times and CNN and the not-so-serious stuff from Perez, Pink, and People. :) There are so many blogs to read, sites to explore, and message boards to stalk. When my internet connection is down, I feel lost. Disconnected.
18. Being greener makes me happy. Making my own tote bags from dish towels to use while shopping. Using a refillable travel mug at Starbucks. Quitting disposable diapers for gDiapers and cloth. Decreasing our water consumption. And hopefully raising children who respect this planet (and the other people on it) enough to do all that they can to ensure it's protected.
19. Books. Books make me happy.
20. Cloth diapers...I know that one sounds strange. But there are so many really cute diapers out there. There's honestly something for everyone. Diapers with skulls. Diapers to show off your alma mater. Diapers with cow prints!

And so many of them are made by WHAMs (work at home moms); it makes me feel good to support their efforts.
21. Really, really good TV like The West Wing...This was, hands down, the BEST show on TV. Ever. So smart. Thank you, Aaron Sorkin. It never hurt that it depicted a liberal White House full of smart, passionate, people trying to make the world better. Or that the actors who played those people were so good. And so good-looking!
22. Talking to Braeden. This is a work in progress for us. His language skills are getting SO much better. We can really carry on conversations now. He's always repeated back things he hears (whack the badger) but lately he's been using really grown-up expressions in the right way. The other day we went shopping at Old Navy to get something for his friend Makena's birthday. Makena's mom didn't want toys and I was only too happy to buy her clothes! Anyway, I picked up a cute little dress and asked Braeden if we should get it for Makena. He said, "Let's get that for Makena. She'll look cute in that." One day he told me I should wear a certain shirt because I would look pretty in it. :)
23. Getting a perfect score at a NYSSMA competition playing Claude Debussy's The Little Shepherd. I honestly have no idea what made me remember this, but I smile remembering that day. In addition to playing the piece perfectly, I also had to do scales and sightreading. I remember walking out with my perfect score and rushing to call Sylvia, my piano teacher. She had the sweetest miniature schnauzers, Hector and Sarah, that she kept shaved. They were so soft. Because of her, I have always wanted a miniature schnauzer!
24. Going out to eat ALWAYS makes me happy!
25. Using my dish towel totes makes me proud (and happy). Emily mentioned wanting to see a picture of the new one I made with the towels from Target. I used it when we went to Fearrington Village last week (post coming soon on Little Boy Braeden, I promise) to carry extra clothes (in case of accidents).

The longer handles are nice so I can put the bag over my shoulder.
26. Watching Braeden play with his friends...this weekend we went to a birthday party for his friend, Zander, at a local bowling alley. Zander, Braeden, and Makena loved watching the ball pop up after it had been bowled (I don't know what that thing is called). They would lean down and just wait till a ball would pop up and then laugh with these huge open-mouthed smiles. Idiot that I am, I left my camera home. I snapped some pics with my cell phone, though, and I promise to post those to B's blog too.
27. Watching my babies sleep. They look so sweet. Some of my favorite moments with my boys has been when they've fallen asleep in my lap after nursing. Both boys have these fantastic lashes, thick and long, very full lips, and perfect skin. After nursing, they smile in their sleep which I always think of as their way of saying thank you. :)
28. Not being at Elon anymore makes me pretty happy!
29. Being from NY has always made me happy. I don't think I'm wrong when I say it's the best state. And growing up in Rhinebeck was the best part. The Hudson River is gorgeous. NYC is less than two hours away by train. And there's so much history the Hudson River Valley--beautiful, old homes once owned by the Roosevelts and the Vanderbilts. There's even a school of art named for my home region--the Hudson River School. One of the most famous was Frederic Church who built this INCREDIBLE house overlooking the river.

30. Coffee. These are in no order, really, but I can't believe coffee came in so late on the list! Mochas, lattes, iced, anything.
31. That my kids are so Mat and me, by our parents, our brothers and sisters, by their great-grandmother, and by our friends. And I know that they will grow up to be beautiful people, inside and out, because they will never doubt how much Mat and I wanted them or how full they've made our lives.
32. Being done with this list makes me ecstatic!

Is that a cop-out? Well, too bad. It's my list! :)


Emily said...

wow, your list made me a little teary.

HAPPY, HAPPY birthday to you!!

p.s. You didn't say if that fabulous cake made you happy?

Melissa said...

That cake does make me very happy! And so did letting Braeden put candles on it and then blowing them out together.

Lunch and diaper shopping yesterday made me very happy too. Thanks!

Me-ma said...

I loved reading your 32 made me feel special that you shared all of those things with us readers. Thank you.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.