happy thanks

I LOVE Thanksgiving–the food, the parades, the time with family, there’s just so much goodness going on. I also love it cause it’s the official beginning of the holiday season. This year will be our first getting a real tree, I am so excited to go pick one out!

Thanksgiving is such a natural time to start thinking about all the things we are grateful for and reflecting on those things is a great way to usher in the holiday season. I thought I’d keep it light, after all we have the whole year to stress about everything that’s going on in the world. Sometimes it feels nice to think about the little things–they make life so wonderful!

1. Awesome Fall weather. Err, Spring weather? I know I know, global warming is bad. But in this moment, I just can’t be mad about the fact that it’s 60 degrees outside. It’s been so amazing to be able to enjoy the outdoors this late into the year.

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2. DoorDash. This company has been a game changer. While we still use Seamless for very local restaurants, DoorDash allows us to have food delivered from amazing restaurants all over Brooklyn that we never would have had access to. Plus, I love that the driver gets to keep the entire tip–that doesn’t seem to be the case with Seamless. The only downside to this service? We’ll rarely get our butts out of the house this winter now that we can get our favorite steak delivered!

3. Dark chocolate bark from The Chocolate Room in Brooklyn. Amazing dark chocolate, almonds, sea salt. Need I say more? My go-to treat!

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4. The East River Ferry. AKA my ride to work. My work location can change based on the job, so I’ve been so grateful to be in the spot I am all year. Getting to ride the ferry to work is such a different way to start my day. Instead of the crowded subway I get 12 minutes of peace with a view that never ceases to inspire me.

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5.The Wire. I would go so far as to say this show has changed my life. My husband and I just finished watching it for the first time. The complexity of the characters and unyielding focus on the truth had me glued to each episode. Season 4 should be required watching for all Americans–you heard it hear first! (Or maybe not, I’m only like 10 years late to the party right?)

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6. Modern Family. While we are on TV shows, this has been my other favorite this year. We started watching it during our trip to Europe–it’s available on Netfilix there but not here. We love it so much we broke down and bought a few seasons on Amazon. It’s been a while since I’ve found a sitcom (really since Friends and Seinfeld!) that I enjoy watching episodes over and over again. Phil Dunphy is my hero!

7. Whole Foods Brooklyn! It’s been so amazing to not have to go into the city for groceries. Our WF is beautiful and it has something none of the Manhattan stores have–parking!  Is it just me or do parking lots give a place a really homey feel? (Must be my suburban upbringing!)IMG_0232

8. My “maintenance” ladies. I have a waxer, a facialist, and a colon-hydrotherapist and they’re all amazing at what they do. When I first moved to New York, I had a woman who I went to for waxing; she did a great job but she had such negative energy I would always dread going to that appointment. Over the past couple years I have finally established relationships with people who do great work and are also amazing to be around; I actually look forward to chatting with them. When you can look forward to a wax or a colonic, you know you’ve found the right person! (P.S. I tend to get a lot of questions about the colon hydrotherapy from people–perhaps this deserves a full post in the future!)

9. Our new bed. We bought a new bed this year. It is my happy place. After quite the deliberation at a Brooklyn Sleepy’s we decided on a king-size tempurpedic and I have to say it is one of the best decisions we’ve ever made. It has completely changed the way that I sleep. I have less back pain, I’m more comfortable because we have more space (my RLS can go wild!), and I wake up my husband much less frequently when I get up to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night because the bed does not transfer motion like a regular coil mattress. We set the mattress upon the most beautiful mid-century modern bed from Crate & Barrel. It’s created such a peaceful oasis, it is undoubtedly my favorite room in our apartment.

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10. My closet. Ok, did I mention the other reason our bedroom is my favorite room in the apartment? It houses my walk-in closet! I know, it’s something most New Yorker’s can only dream about. I would feel bad about bragging, but I believe I’ve paid my dues. My first apartment in NYC had NO closets. In my 2nd apartment, which I shared with my husband, I used the small, dark, coat closet for 3 years.

I think the best part of the closet is just that I can actually see everything. Before there were things I didn’t even remember that I had. This has really helped with the new commitment I have made to spending money on experiences rather than things. Now that I can see all my clothes I’ve made it a little game to challenge myself and get more creative using what I already have. Now I get the same high from not spending on clothes that I used to get after I splurged on a few items. I close my Zappos app and open my Delta one instead…it’s been great.

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11. LIVE performance. Speaking of “experiences”, this year we got to go to The Met for the first time ever and we got to see George Costanza (aka Jason Alexander) on Broadway. We were also lucky enough to see Merchant of Venice performed by the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford-Upon-Avon. I love live performances because you get to have one completely unique experience with that audience and those performers; it’s such a different energy than going to the movies (although I love that too!). We’re gonna end this year by taking in a comedy show at Second City in Chicago–it’s one of our favorite spots!

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12. Being a FAN. Whether it was cheering the Mets on to the World Series or watching Jim Harbaugh resurrect our Wolverines, it’s been a an amazing year to be a sports fan. I recently met a guy who said he didn’t “get” people who could just sit and watch football all day. By the end of our conversation all I could think was “Man, this guy is missing out!”

GO BLUE! BEAT OSU!!

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13. Yoga. I’ve been doing the same 26 postures for over 7 years now, and I still learn something new every day. I ♥ Bikram!

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14. Road RunningI signed up for 9 races this year. That’s what you have to complete to qualify for the next year’s New York City Marathon. Unfortunately after completing only 3 of the races, I was sidelined with unbearable tendonitis in both knees. I’ll reflect later on on not being able to run, and my journey back. As of now, I’ve been on the treadmill for a couple of months just doing short distances; today’s Thanksgiving Turkey Trot will be my first road race back. Not sure I’ll be going back to racing or running long distances, but I didn’t want to miss out on our tradition. I’ve grown especially grateful for everything my body can do. Wish me luck!

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15. Travel. Homebodies that love to wander–that’s how I’d describe my husband and I. I’ll never stop being grateful for travel. It keeps giving something back to me long after we’ve taken a trip. This year, we got to visit:

  • Washington, D.C.
  • Ann Arbor, MI
  • London, England
  • Stratford-upon-Avon, England
  • Paris, France
  • Amsterdam, Netherlands
  • Haarlem, Netherlands
  • Bruges, Belgium

Right now we are in Upstate New York visiting family for the holiday. We’ll be back in Ann Arbor for Christmas, then we’ll bring in the New Year in Chicago!

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16. Classic films. I often watch movies because I want to be transported to another time and place. There’s been so much serious stuff going on in the world lately, sometimes you need to just be taken away for a couple of hours. It Happened One Night is one of my all time favorites. Bogged down by hours of the latest news, I put it on a couple Sundays ago. It’s gotta be my 20th time or so seeing this movie and yet somehow, I love it now more than ever. Below, one of my favorite scenes!

 

17. Social Media. Alright, this may seem like a strange one. Truthfully though, I am grateful for Facebook! Although a lot of the things I see each day drive me bonkers, it’s allowed me to stay connected to so many people I never would have before. It also keeps my mind more open to opinions that are different than mine, and that only helps me grow. My world is bigger with social media–and I’m glad that it is.

18. Coworkers. I laugh all day long. Hard. I am so thankful to have a great boss and coworkers that I genuinely enjoy sharing an office with. I may not be doing my dream work (yet!), but I never wake up during the week with that feeling of dread. The days are amusing, varied, and always seem to fly by. Work hasn’t always been this way for me. Now that it is, I’ve decided that life is way too short to ever wake up with that feeling of dread again.

19. Friends. I don’t have a lot of friends. I’m convinced the couple I have are the best people in the world. ♥

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20. Family. My sister texted me a couple days ago to tell me how much she was going to miss me at Thanksgiving (I’m Upstate with my husband’s family). Her text meant so much to me. I had this kind of silly thought that after a few years away, they had forgotten about having me there. It was really nice to know that I was missed–cause I miss them so much too. Can’t wait to see them in a few weeks for Christmas.

If you are with your loved ones, hug them. If you are away from them, tell them you miss them! It means something. It means everything.

I am so grateful for ALL of my family, near and far. They are the best part of everything. Happy Thanksgiving Everyone! ♥

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