Thursday, February 20, 2014

For the Love of Winter

Y'all know I wasn't the biggest fan of living in South Carolina. Like how I intro'ed that with y'all? I'm hilarious.

After living there for two years there I made the decision to return to New England because I love it here. Yet I realized recently that I spend three months of every year being miserable....basically waiting for warmer weather. Stupid right? When I was little I loved winter. What's not to love as a kid? Building snowmen, sledding, tubing, throwing snowballs at your brother, drinking hot chocolate, and of course...SNOW DAYS.

But as an adult, I've hated it. I've sat inside grumbling and waiting for spring. Well this year I got sick of waiting...sick of wasting three months of every year not enjoying myself. So I decided to live the shit outta this winter, and it has strangely given back to me by teaching me some ironically timed life lessons and conquered fears, so I thought I'd share.
For one I started driving again. I know that sounds ridiculous but after my 2004 accident where I totaled my very first car, I have been terrified of snowy roads. I figured after ten years it was about time I did something about that, so this year I just started driving again. I have all-wheel drive for a reason, right? So during the first blizzard of the year....I went out. In the middle of it. And I was fine. So....fear conquered. BAM. Take that winter.

For two I started winter hiking. Oats is thrilled.

I've always loved hiking in summer but never went in the snow before. Holy hell. I almost don't wanna tell anyone how wonderful it is cause then it will ruin part of why I love it. Here's the two reasons it's already better than summer hiking:
1. No people
2. No bugs
Also, you don't have to carry water cause you can eat the snow. Whaaaat?!? Who just said that? Gross!  ;)
Plus, look at these photos. It's insanely gorgeous and peaceful. Sorry summer...in the case of hiking and in the case of the Olympics, winter kicks your ass.

And for three, I started skiing.
Yes I did and yes it rocks my world. I just decided one day that I was sick of saying I wanted to learn but not doing anything about it, so I drove to the mountain and took me some lessons. The first day I was all....whyyyy would anyone do this?? But the second day it clicked. And I might be a little addicted already. I'm still terrible but I don't care. Plus the life lessons in skiing are so many it actually gets comical:
Thanks to Pinterest for the little quote pictures.

You're going to fall. It's gonna hurt and sometimes it's gonna be embarrassing. And sometimes it's hard to get up. But just like in life, you have to get up and keep going...keep trying. You can't sit in the middle of the mountain. Or bunny hill for me.

I also learned that sometimes you need to just be outside alone in a beautiful place to get a little perspective and a little peace. Hiking, skiing...it's all the same. Sometimes you take a wrong path, sometimes you fall, sometimes it's hard and sometimes you get tired. So, you take a deep breath, relax for a moment, and carry on. Life waits for no one. It's all just so goddamn symbolic it's funny.

Other random crap I've learned recently: 
- Despite all my efforts to hate her, I love Taylor Swift. I actually had a dream last night she and I were friends. Could happen. Also on my playlist lately...OneRepublic and Christina Perri. It's nice when music just gets you.

- I love Jimmy Fallon but I'm too old to stay up til midnight every night. Thank God for YouTube.

- I am going to be devastated when the Olympics are over. And I totally love Charlie & Meryl. They are adorbs.

- Mark Wahlberg used to be a rapper. Yes I genuinely just learned that. Blew my mind.

- I need snowshoes. We'll save that for next winter. Along with ice dancing. I'll conquer those next year.

- It feels great to blog again :)

Hope y'all (ending the post how I started it) are enjoying the winter as much as I am. If not, go outside and try to soak it in. Make a snow angel. Go for a hike. Throw a snowball at your brother. Any of those will help heal your winter blues. I promise.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Resolutions

Like I said in my last post, this year I'm committing to slowing down and refocusing on myself and my goals, so that's what these are about. I just made a few simple ones.

1. Read more books 
I already started - halfway through one I bought and I checked a couple more out of the library. I should just stop here and be at 100% completion of my goals for the year. Nahhh that would be too easy...

2. Spend more time with friends
Also already started. Looking forward to this one the most.

3. Take more pictures
Is that even possible? Oh yeah...everything's possible :)

4. Get health insurance
Oh yeah...that old chestnut.

5. Run
After I accomplish #4 and get my ankle fixed, this will happen. Get ready Oats.

6. Learn a new skill
Let's see what kind of craziness I come up with.

7. Pray every day
I've found in the past that this is the best way to heal.

8. This one's a secret...but I can't wait to share it :)
Hahahaha.

I believe that if I relax, stop rushing to figure everything out, and focus on little things that make me happy, the rest will eventually fall into place. That's what this year's resolutions are about...except the insurance. That one's just smart. Oh and now a legal obligation too I guess...thanks a lot Obama.

Happy January. Happy resolution-ing. Happy New Year :)

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

A New Year

I wrote a long, heart-spilling post the other day but I have since taken it down. Perhaps I wasn't ready yet. Obviously I haven't blogged in a while but I intend to pick it up again soon. Life has been complicated and challenging lately, to say the least. I've been fighting a lot of inner demons and dealing with a lot of life's harsh realities. That doesn't mean I'm not going to pick myself up and keep going. I do believe everything happens for a reason. And I believe the best is yet to come. I have to keep believing those things. There's no other option.

I am flawed. Sometimes I suck at handling my own life. Sometimes I do the wrong things and say the wrong things. Sometimes I eat Christmas cookies for breakfast...and lunch. Sometimes I sit in my sweatpants all day and watch Parks & Rec reruns. Other days I'm Leo on the Titanic...freaking king of the world. You just never know. You never know what each day has in store, how you're going to feel, and who's going to walk in or out of your life. The point is don't stop believing it's going to get better. Journey doesn't like it when you stop believing.

2013 was weird. It was messy and complicated. But it's over. So for me, this year is about starting over, picking up my messes and being true to myself. Something amazing is just around the bend.

2014 - give me all you got.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Hiatus

So I've been MIA again. Worst blogger ever. I apologize for the break but I'll be back soon with some fun posts :)

Thanks for your patience and I hope everyone has a fantastic Thanksgiving!

Love Jenni

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

It's Just a Bunch of Hocus Pocus!

I went up to Boston to visit my friend Laura recently, and it ended up being the day of the Red Sox parade...not spectacular for two Yankee fans. We didn't go to the parade but did try to catch the duck boats on the Charles River.
Even though they never came even remotely near us it was still an outrageously gorgeous day.
And we met some really cute die hard Sox fans.
This is just a small glimpse of what the city looked like....after the parade mind you.
And these are all the soon-to-disappointed peeps when the duck boats stay one mile away.
After the duck boats disappointed us, we headed to Salem and spent the afternoon doing a bit of sightseeing. I'm convinced this was a fake graveyard. Laura's convinced it's real. We're still undecided on that (wink).
We saw the Bewitched statue...
And an actual witch....I guess.
Then after debating our Salem plan over a few beers, we decided that the best plan of attack would be to find all the places from the amazing Hocus Pocus movie. So without further adieu, here they are.

The Salem Town Hall:
In the movie they have the Halloween party here and it's where the Sanderson sisters sing "I Put A Spell On You."
Then we went to Allison's house. Or, you know, some actual person's house.
In the movie this is where Dani tells Allison that her brother Max likes her "yabos." Classic. Nothing better than throwing your brother under the bus :)
This is SUPPOSEDLY the cottage of the Sanderson sisters. I'm not sure I believe it. It's now some weird museum.
This was the sign in front of the house and I just thought it was pretty.
Then we headed to another area of town by the water to find Max's house.

This is what happened when I told Laura to "point at the house...."
Ok, take two. This time don't pick my nose please.
Yes...definitely Max's house!
This I just thought was comical. If you've seen the movie you'll understand. If not, then drop everything you're doing, go back in time to when you were old enough to watch movies and watch it every single Halloween six times. Got it?
We hit golden hour so I took 10,000 photos.
Let's end with this one.
So that was my brief trip to Boston/Salem last weekend. Thanks Laura for a wonderful time!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

So.....this happened...

Remember when I told you back in April I couldn't finish the living room until we got couches? Well, we did it...we finally bit the bullet.

We saved up, waited for a good sale, and snagged these beauties. A sofa and a loveseat.

It was time...look what we were dealing with. It was getting embarrassing. I mean, these were around twenty years old, they've done their time.


You must be thinking....is she crazy? White couches? With a dog? And a husband!?! No, I'm not crazy, and here's why...

First, they are slipcovered, so in the event that they get dirty, which I'm sure will be alllll the time, I can wash the covers. I did a lot of research on this and it seems that most people that have white couches actually think they're easier to clean than upholstered sofas. If there's one chore I actually enjoy, it's laundry. Thanks Mom.

Second, we bought them at Raymour & Flanigan, who offers a 5 year protection plan on furniture. If we get any stains whatsoever on them, we can call them and they'll take care of it. If they can't get the stain out they'll replace the cover. I mean....seriously??? That makes getting white sofas a much easier decision. R&F, you had me at hello.

I am planning to get a nice dog cover for the sofa anyway, although we're convinced that Oats will take one sniff and lay everywhere but on the cover.

Here's the room before:
And here's the room now:
It's been gloomy out so there wasn't a lot of sunlight and I had to take these with the lights on. Thanks a lot rain. If it's pretty out tomorrow I'll update this post, mmmmkay?
We are going to have the corner chair slipcovered, and a new coffee table is coming....stay tuned :)

P.S. The old sofa and loveseat didn't go far - we now have a seating area in our dining room. As much as I'm kinda diggin' that, if anyone would like dibs on the old ones for a basement or something, please let me know :)

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Dock Diving

I've mentioned before that Oats has an excessive, unending amount of energy. If I could suck just one ounce of it from her every morning I could be President. We do our best to keep her active, so this summer we added dock diving to her workout repertoire. I'd been reading that for some dogs it takes a while to catch on or gain the courage to dive, but I'm sure you guessed....not for Oats. This dog dove right off the dock...no hesitation. She's a natural. Just wanted to share a few fun pics of her in action.

These were from the first time we went this summer...
David does the throwing, I take the photos. Pretty typical.



And these are from just a few weeks ago at the very beginning of fall, so the trees were looking quite stellar. This is the night I sprained my ankle, but at least I was able to get a few nice shots first.







She isn't jumping any crazy distances, but maybe that will come with time. She loves it, so it's already fun.

I should also add congratulations to the Red Sox. I'm not a fan but David and Oats both seem to be...just a little bit. Much deserved by the incredible city of Boston. #BostonStrong
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