The Claw.

SO.

In case y’all haven’t heard, I’ve FINISHED my AmeriCorps hours (more on that later) and started my MASTER’S degree at the University of Denver.

I also just returned from an AWESOME vacation. FINALLY, some TRAVELING.

And now, for your viewing pleasure, and lovely new quirk I’ve developed while taking photos over the last year…

THE CLAW.

this was over a year ago. so it’s not quite the fully formed claw…

another fist…

it’s almost cute here!

CAN YOU SPOT THE CLAW?

Can you tell I’m never been able to rub my stomach and pat my head? I can’t take a picture with one hand, either.

grabby grabby

I take a lot of pictures of myself. Luckily, I am never really alone, because I have The Claw. A true friend that never goes away and subconciously appears before you even know it’s there.

The Quarter-Century Arrives

Today, is the day.

The day I usher in my 25th year and say sayonara to the first quarter (ideally) of my life.

I don’t know if you can tell, but I find this a wee bit depressing.

Which is simply not acceptable since it’s my birthday, and it comes with everything that entails, like an ice cream cake, presents, a birthday dress and many other happy things.

Since it’s not okay to be sad when I’m still a “youngster” (as my younger sister put it…she’s always been an old soul) I started off my birthday by compiling a list of the all the great things about life in general.

And since that was so broad I started to stress myself out, I decided to find 25 simple things that prove the cliche “it’s the little things.”

1. Crossing things off my life to-do list. (If I start counting how much I still need to do I cry. So I re-cross off a lot). To broaden it, crossing anything off any  list makes me quite content.

2. Pets. All of them I’ve ever had have brought some smiles to my life. Even the frog my sister killed. Even my brother’s snake. (I suppose I can’t really remember when the snake itself made me smile. It’s a snake. But it was named Fluffy so that brings a smile).

3. The Office.

4. Love.

talk about love. these two (my crazy grandparents) just had their 60TH anniversary!

5. Baby things. Baby animals, mostly.

6. Trees.

7. Coffee.

8.  A birthday dress.

9. Fall fashion.

LIKE THESE BOOTS.

10. A new planner.

FOR MY NEEEEEW SCHOOL!

11. Instagrammin.’

12. Helping my best friend with her wedding. Even though I might go insane, it’s really fun. And watching another of my best friends getting happily married, too… 🙂

happy happy bride!

13. BIRTHDAY CARDS!

LOOK AT THIS CARD MY FRIEND MADE ME. AH-MAZING.

14. My dog that wags her tail every time I look at her.

LOOK. AT. THAT. FACE.

15. Books with happy endings.

16. Ordering new glasses.

17. Travel books.

18. Ice cream cake. And cake in general. And cupcakes. Especially from friends on your birthday!

LOOK AT THIS PRETTY, PRETTY CUPCAKE.

19. Humans are lucky: we get a lot of fresh starts. Even if we have a short life, every day is fresh.

20. Yoga…outside.

that’s my grandma again, doing yoga. Outside. And she’s way better than me. I might be ashamed if I wasn’t just in awe.

21. The best month of the year (besides December and October…) living up to my high standards.

22. Finishing my AmeriCorps hours!  Service year, check!

23.  My peeps. (And the fact that I’m lucky enough to have peeps, and to have peeps who don’t stop talking to me because I call them “my peeps.” I am eternally grateful that none of my friends have ever disowned me…including the Boyfriend…when I let my love of vernacular and accents carry me away. Sometimes this happens in very public places so really, thanks, peeps.)

24. The Boyfriend. (Read this post. I’m lucky).

25. Oh YEAH! Redesigning my blog and finally getting back into it make me really, really happy. (And I hope this makes YOU happy, too).

Lakeside

This past week, I have been at Roy Lake/Gull Lake/probably 10,000 others since this is truly the land of ’em, Minnesota.

It’s been a long summer, and a long year, and all I’ve been doing is spending every second I can on the water, eating chips, playing bingo and hanging with the family for my grandparents’ 60th wedding anniversary.

Heaven.

And yes, even with my family kind of driving me crazy, it’s still heaven, which tells you how nice this lake is.

Can I please be able to do yoga, like you see my grandmother doing below, at 82? And while I’m asking for things, can I inherit her skin, too?

The Boyfriend’s Birthday

Today, the Boyfriend turns…drumroll please…25!!

To celebrate, we are going to JumpStreet.

We’re really grown-ups now.

courtesy of xkcd comics

Boyfriend, I hope you have a great day, and a better year. You deserve it. I’m so grateful that we get to define being adults, together.

Now,

Please can we stop time for a little while to put this getting-older thing oh hold for awhile?

Thank you.

and in 25 other ways, I also thank you…

For showing me how much being passionate about your job matters…for showing me how far that can get you and how happy that can make you (you’re a really good example of that).

For always telling me I look cute even when I know I don’t.

For making me laugh at all of our inside jokes that no one else would ever get, nor would they ever want to.

For letting me take a million pictures until I find one that I look good in.

picture #3982. But I think it paid off.

For turning your cheek at my boot obsession.

but really, who doesn’t love boots

For letting me keep dreaming about the world.

For letting me write about you in my blog.

For sending me pictures of adorable puppies a million times a day.

For making your family send me birthday cards every year (and making them like me enough so they kind of want to).

For letting me be exactly who I am, even when it drives you insane.

For being proud of me for every damn thing I do, including figuring out the vacuum and color-coding my closet.

For always taking my side in every fight and instantly disliking anyone who has done me wrong, even though it’s usually my fault.

For sharing the fault in our fights, even though those are usually my fault, too.

For the compass.

For looking at a million apartments and finding one with two closets, just for me.

For putting down the video game controller when I have a bad day and need to vent.

For being a terrible editor…i.e. loving everything I write.

For letting me always win the grammar wars.

For loving every. single. thing. I make in the kitchen…even the fat-free stuff that has turned out nasty.

For letting me watch T.V. in bed when I can’t sleep.

For thinking my hair is awesome even when the rest of the world knows it’s really just unruly.

For being an engineer who can fix EVERYTHING from doors to computers to ovens.

For wearing all the red shirts I buy you (you look really good in red, ok?).

see? red.

For driving me twelve hours back to Montana just so I can get my dog fix.

you’d want to come visit her, too.

And, finally…

For being my guy.