Friday, November 23, 2012

I am eternally, consistently, overwhelmingly Grateful:

for arriving back to America (on Sept 27), greeted by about 10 signs of a most pure welcome home. Having one of my best friends, Jill-do-ram-ulus, tell me I smelled terrible after 38 hours of travel, and still getting a hug, albeit short ;).

This makes me smile every time I see it.
Please note the picture of us holding hands at the bottom :) 

for having an expired license (since April!) and being turned away from the rental car agency... oops! Thus having to spend the next few days riding a bike around Arlington, VA, an unexpectedly amazing gift! This place is a little heaven on earth of colors and trees and crisp air and cute houses and hills and friendly people :) 

for getting the opportunity to be a wedding servant over the next few days (making up for my absence in the planning!), making flower arrangements, name cards, frames, balloons, ribbons, and especially rounding up and harassing the whole family to sign the guest book! I absolutely loved feeling helpful, useful, having a duty and a purpose for such a wonderful event and friend. Oh.. and there was a bachelorette party in there too... yaaaa buddy :).

Ohhhh baby.. that was a bachelorette party ;) 

for discovering Long Island (and Virginia) and having my fear of returning to America severely diminished. I was floored by the courtesy, kindness and beauty of a people I had unfairly stereotyped as all superficial. Sure, it exists, but it exists everywhere, and I was pleased beyond pleased for a return to see that goodness abounds, and an honor system fruit stand on the side of the road can still be found :). 

for getting to see and be a part of a beautiful merging of two people in love, two people I love. One of which I’ve loved for 11 years, and have shared many a fabulous memory, and the other, being the relationship critic that I am, whom I wholly honestly love and feel blessed my friend found such a partner.  They busted out in Gangham Style in their first dance!!!  How awesome is that?? and... for getting to invent “limo surfing” that night at the afterparty!!  Tip: don’t do it with a strapless dress on, oopsy! ;). 

Congratulations Jill and Andy! 
Just after limo surfing and accidentally traumatizing her lil bro... love you Jilly-hoo! 

for getting to experience Central Park in the fall. One run and I fell in love with it. NYC I see your power. Fall is like kryptonite to me. Give me green/red/yellow/orange and smells of chestnuts and cinnamon and pumpkin and I’m won over :) 

for friends like Danny, who know exactly how my brain works, and surprises (and treats) me (despite my whining about distance and price) to a ridiculous 'NYC World Famous Foam Party'! Yes, like bubbles foam craziness party. Ha, that happened :) 

I love this guy! College flashback ;) 
for coming back to Miami, only to be greeted by some of my absolutely favorite people in the world, and it turning into one of the best reunion/trivia/karaoke/dance/I-feel-so-loved events I’ve ever had!  Kudos to my pals who stayed out till 3am only to have to go to work the next day. That’s love :) 

Bienvenidos a Miami! 

My first night back, Sharkey and I, working the karaoke ;)  I LOVE him!! 

for getting back on the dragon boat, and loving being on the water, but more for the incredible welcome back, of feeling so missed by the veterans, and famous by the newbies!!   

for starting to plan, then realizing I didn’t want to have, a party, ditching the idea instead to go to a Journey concert, learn about geocaching, and gorge on fatty food with the Trotters for the weekend.

Whoa... did we just eat ALL of that? haha

for finally seeing Ryan (if you don’t know who he is, watch this video) after a year of suppressed anticipation, and feeling the butterflies and giddiness and brain-less-ness that comes w/ young love. for spending 4 days barefoot in the woods and the water and meeting his friends and following him like a puppy thru Orlando,Tampa and Gainesville ;). 

Ichetucknee Springs, Gainesville!
We tried to hitchhike back from Gainesville...can't believe no one picked us up! 

for having a friend like Kevin, who welcomed me into his home as family (for 5 weeks!), who is one of the most intrinsically intelligent, intuitive, and lovely people I know.  A fabulous host, a dear friend, a down-for-anything-real-gem-of-a-human. Thank you :)

Typical Kevin and I :) 

for getting to be a statue model at a GLBC Halloween event called Hellrotika w/ Ryan, as Apollo and Aphrodite. I never thought I’d say it after some of the nights I had in college, but that was the craziest night of my life! Put me in a costume and I can become anything, do anything. Whoa. Details withheld :).  

One of our statue poses... whoa baby. The party was called Hellrotika ;) 
for going on the absolutely most amazing camping/canoeing trip I’ve ever had. Set aside that it’s the most beautiful of South Florida’s scenery, the rope swings, the random canoe fun-stops, the group bath, the cow run, the midnight gator canoe.... it was the entire group of fun, easy going, down for anything, friendly, eco and nature conscious beautiful people that had my heart singing the whole time ;) Christopher Scott Boykin, everyone in the world should have the pleasure to meet you. No would argue gay marriage after spending some time with your amazingness :)

Seriously love this place

Seriously love these people :)

For spending a ridiculously awesome day w/ Tom (of The Weber Studio, my old office), on our one year anniversary of my last day of work, and remembering/appreciated/ loving this person who has inspired me to no end. There is NO one as generous, and I am forever indebted that our work has allowed me to be where I am today!!! One day when I am loaded, I am hooking you up wuss ;).

Tom and I! We wore those wigs all day :) HAAA!  Impossible not to love this guy!
for catching up with old friends over lunch, over coffee, over dinner, over a drink, over a puzzle, over a walk on the beach. For downtown concerts, for girls night, for halloween ridiculousness, for a home cooked dinner invite complete with 4 dogs in sweaters :). For a surprise, she’s 8 mo. pregnant coffee date, for an I’m-so-honored invitation to help Ms Kim wiggle into, then dazzle and shine in/at her wedding dress fitting :) For a painting class, where I got to satisfy my creativity craving, despite being the only person of 12 people to not follow the rules and paint the painting the teacher taught ;). 

It makes me happy to know this happy family!!! 
A feather duster and LMFAO! 
Can you find the odd one out? hahah
I need more of this... painting and the woods :) 
For a date night with Edith, my soul twin, whom I love more than seems possible. Around who I can do/say/be/change/act in any way, and we’ll support each other, and probably clap and jump and cheer and bear hug about it too ;) 

She even brought me a rose :)  So cute! 

For a ridiculously crazy simple trip to the beach turned party turned all day and night yeeeehaww with my future commune neighbors, further establishing I love this idea of Barefoot Village :)

Future communers!!! YES!
For starting Ryan’s birthday with an immensely powerful peaceful morning yoga session (we all need some of this), followed by a big ol’ celebration of an amazing life. For seeing how his family came together with nothing but love and being so pleased to witness such a bond.

Friends and family of ALL ages lining up for the Birthday Spanking Machine.  
Everyone should experience this at least once :) 

Ryan's bday... just before the epic Hammock Crash of 2012 ;) 
for day parties and then slumber parties at the Trotter house, where they, Kate and Sam, set out pajamas, cooked delicious meals, gave me a shoulder and a big head ;), and secured their spot in my soul as the most amazing couple I’ve ever met. I have a goal to be next door neighbors with these two, and I aspire to have a love like they have after 11 years together ;) 

Slumber parties w/ the Trotters. We are all wearing their pj's :)  LOVE!
for my last dragon boat race, with a group of people, Team Puff, that almost suppress the idea that I can’t live in Miami ;). The camaraderie, the encouragement, the teamwork, the fun of the celebrations...  I would not be dragon boating if it weren’t for my awesome teammates.

Team Puff. Join them, they rock. Beginner practices every weekend! 
Typical day w/ the Puffers :) 
for recognizing that I’m missing a balance I know I need. Seeing that my severe case of FOMO (fear of missing out) contrasted with my need for solo/create time is a partial reason why I’m dipping from Miami. Realizing that is a cop out, and that I more so need to learn how to say no from time to time :) 

for Ryan, with whom I again fell almost instantly in love, with his inspiration, his motivation, his zest for life and ability to encourage and praise others unabashedly. for our shared love of the mountains and doing all things differently and with positive energy. all of these which I can (and did) drawn on in his presence, but more importantly in his absence, as we will part ways again for the second time. 

Worthy to make any woman a cougar, even without the awesome Tarzan hair ;) 

for my own ability to recognize truth and honesty, listen to my intuition, and believe to my core that everything happens as it should.  As I prepare for my next adventure (still completely unknown at the moment ;0) I can continue to love and reap all the goodness from all these people who I will leave, again, despite distance and sadness... it's so bittersweet!  It is such a good testament to who the most important people are in your life. Who lifts you, encourages you, makes you smile with just a thought of them? Who are you thankful to have the privilege to know? I love to love, I love to be grateful, and I’ll tell you some good advice: I think my life is fabulous because of these two things, even when things don’t turn out as you wanted. 

for the million other moments and people and feelings and talks that happened in the 56 days since I’ve been back in the good ol’ US of A, filling me up to the brim with so much love and fun and happiness and gratitude, that all that can happen is that it will spill over and be passed on back and around and all over!!

for coming to the only place I can really call home, to my mom’s. Currently in Alabama, but really I think, wherever she is where I call ‘home’. Where every single ounce of air is saturated with love.... and for being home so I have a few weeks to detox after the craziness that was 41 days in Miami ;). 

for seeing my sister, who IS the cutest girl in the world (cute as a Jule button!), and especially getting to meet her boyfriend, Josh, whom I love instantly because I see that he loves her so very much, and she is sooo soo very happy :). and because I love the honesty she has with me... ‘Go Away Beej’ she says when I’m pestering her :) Haa!

A pig, a frog, a koala and an angry bird go geocaching on Thanksgiving!!
What's not to be grateful for? ;) 

for my family all over the world, new and old, blood or not, who fill my life w/ joy. Happy Thanksgiving :).

for my inexplicably extraordinary life.  I realize I am blessed beyond blessed and will never take that for granted. I am so grateful for this past year of the most incredible adventures and experiences.  We all have different paths. Mine is eccentric, to some awesome, others crazy, to lots unappealing... to me it’s perfect.  If tomorrow everything halts, if I lose the ability (physically, emotionally, financially) to keep it up,  there is still the air we breath, and the power inside to decide on happiness. It is a choice, an attitude. Be grateful for whatever it is you have! I am a living testament, that being thankful and happy brings more happiness and things to be thankful for :).  My soul is brimming over... can you feel it? On this day of Thanks, my favorite holiday of them all, I pray each of you can take time to make a list of all the things you are thankful for.  I start with you :) ... (and then the leftovers I'm about to go devour)!!!!