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October 2014
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December 2014

Friday Five: The Thankful Edition

I suppose it's a cliché to write a "What I'm Thankful For" post this time of year, but whatever. There are lots of things and people I'm thankful for, and I never really say it out loud. I mean, I figure everyone knows I love and appreciate them, but ... maybe not. So, here's my list of five things/people I'm thankful for. Cheers!

1.  My awesome family. Of course they would be number one! My dad was the best dad ever and I miss him every day, my mom is fantastic and I'm thankful I still have her in my life.  My grandparents were wonderful and I miss them terribly. My aunts, uncles, and cousins are all so fun and fabulous, and I enjoy hearing of their adventures through FB! I'm definitely very lucky to have been surrounded by such amazing, loving people my whole life.

2. My amazing friends. Throughout my life I've been blessed to connect with some of the most brilliant, intelligent, creative people on the planet, and really so many of them are more than just friends, but are really like family to me. They inspire me, encourage me, and make me laugh. It doesn't get better than that!

3.  My job. I'm not just thankful to have a job, I'm very thankful for the job I have. It's a very tough job in so many ways, but it's also a very rewarding job in so many ways. I'm also very lucky that I have wonderful co-workers I like and enjoy working with eight hours a day, five days a week!

4. My health. That may sound odd considering I'm dealing with polymyalgia rheumatica and possibly some arthritis in my knees, so I'm not 100%, but for the most part I've been totally healthy my whole life - I was born without any defects or challenges, and until the last couple of years, I've been healthy and active. (And, I'm quite confident I will be again very soon!) Considering I haven't had the healthiest of habits throughout my life, I'm quite lucky to still be so healthy, and I'm very thankful for that!

5.  My freedom. The USA might not be the world's most perfect country, but we have a lot more freedoms here than in other countries. Here I am free to openly carry my Bible and read it wherever, whenever I like. I am free to be a single woman, and should I ever decide to marry, I am free to choose my own husband. I am free to share my opinions out loud, even if they're not popular. I am free to own property and have a job. I also know that most of the time I take these freedoms for granted, and sometimes it's good to remind myself just how lucky I am to have been born in this country.

Unconventional Holiday Plans

So, my mom and I have decided to think totally out of the box with the holidays this year. We're going to have Unconventional Holidays!!

You see, originally I was totally planning to do a traditional Thanksgiving feast for the two of us - a turkey (albeit totally wee; there are just two of us after all!), stuffing, green bean casserole, baked sweet potatoes with marshmallows, biscuits, cranberry jelly, pumpkin pie ... the works! I was seriously craving Thanksgiving dinner, and I couldn't wait!

However, after binging on KFC this past week, neither of us are really in the mood for more poultry, so I thought, hey, let's have something completely different for Thanksgiving this year: New York strip steaks and baked potatoes with steamed green beans or roasted Brussels sprouts! Yup. That's the Jordan Family Thanksgiving menu for 2014! Heck, this Unconventional Holiday Meal might just become the norm for us! 

And for Christmas Eve dinner, I think a sampling of a variety of desserts might be fun. Mom and I always say we should just have a light lunch, or just a snack, then go to a fancy restaurant and share a couple uber awesome desserts. But, then we never do. We'll either have too big a lunch, or a full dinner, and have no room for dessert. So I'm going to hit up Von's and pick up some of their mini desserts - cake slices, cheesecake bits, cream puffs, mini pies, a fruit torte, or some other delicious pastry. Just something sweet, delicious, and different!

For Christmas Day dinner we might do a Mexican feast with tacos, enchiladas, chips and dips, guacamole, refried beans, nachos, and, of course, margaritas! And, New Year's Eve might be a selection of appetizers or a fancy cheese and meat plate. I haven't thought that far ahead, yet. Right now I'm just concentrating on Thanksgiving. And, I'm very, very excited about it!

So what are your Thanksgiving plans? Traditional? Non traditional? Nothing at all? Whatever you decided, I hope it's awesome! Cheers!

Friday Five: Highlights from My Long Weekend in Monterey

Hello, all, I'm back! My mom and I had a great time in Monterey, CA - it's so beautiful there, and we had fantastic weather pretty much the whole time! Anyway, here are a few highlights of the weekend:

1.  Well, the view is obviously a huge highlight! We stayed at the Monterey Bay Inn with an ocean front room. It was awesome (except the beds  - one King for mom and a sleeper sofa for me - weren't too terribly comfortable, and I smashed my finger in a slider I assumed would be bigger than two feet wide, but, that's just nit-picking!)! The sound of the waves (and gulls and seals) was so soothing, and my mom and I spent many, many hours just sitting on the balcony sipping wine or tea, watching the boats, birds, otters, and other sea life go by.

2.  The whole reason we were even in Monterey was so I could participate in the Pacific Grove Lighthouse 5k race on Saturday. It was a perfect, beautiful day - sunshine and cool temperatures! The course was great, too. Mostly flat with a couple small inclines, and it ran right along the coast, so the view was gorgeous!  Luckily I had enough predesone to get me through the race weekend, because I never would've made it without! I ended up finishing in 53 minutes 44 se3conds; my best 5k time this year! And, I got a medal!! So cool!

3.  After the race, I stopped by the Monterey Bay Aquarium to see the fishes and other critters. I've always loved that aquarium, and this visit didn't disappoint. It was really crowded, so I'm not sure how good any of my pictures will turn out, but I did get to see the gorgeous jellyfish display, and in the big tank I got to see a sting ray, hammerhead shark, and a couple giant sea turtles swim by! Totally awesome!

4.  On Sunday, mom and I wandered around Cannery Row and checked out all the quaint little shops, as well as some wine tasting rooms. I didn't remember there were so many wineries set up along there, but I guess it has been a long time since I've visited.  We got to try a couple new wines, and even picked up a couple bottles to enjoy during Thanksgiving and Christmas!

5. And, finally, this view, y'all. This view: