The One in Which We Become Parents

Obviously I have been very remiss in posting this year, so allow me to hit you with a double feature.

It has been an absolutely crazy year. And one reason is because of these lil nuggets…

Introducing George Michael and Maeby. Our two love muffins that keep us entertained, often times annoyed *cough every day lately because they won’t stay off the kitchen counter cough*, and so full of happiness. I already miss how little and snuggly they were two months ago when we adopted them, but it’s been so fun to watch them grow.

I am now officially an old, cat lady. IMG_20160824_212310

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A Few of My Favorite Things 2015

Another year, another list of favorites. Here are my favorite things of 2015:

Favorite Movie: Mad Max: Fury Road. Come on, this had to seem obvious, right? Yes, yes, because Tom Hardy is in it. But really what made it my favorite of the year wasn’t just getting that warm fuzzy feeling from Tom on the big screen. It was the strong, ass kicking, feminist character, Imperator Furiosa. The movie is truly about Furiosa, and then about Max who, for all intents and purpose, is her sidekick. I could go deeper into this, about how the film itself is a study in how women are treated now, how would women be treated in the apocalypse, but, to put it simply, Mad Max is my favorite movie of the year because damn do I love to watch a woman take the lead in an action movie and not have to use her sexuality, to truly just kick ass using nothing more than physical and mental strength, wit, and resourcefulness.

Some runners up are Trainwreck, Jurassic World, The Martian, and Fifty Shades of Grey (because sometimes train wrecks are just REALLY hard to look away from). It should also be noted, I slacked in the movie department in 2015. There are many that still need to be seen, and will likely be better than any I’ve listed here.

Favorite Album: You know me, I can never have just one! Last year I was lucky enough to see my top two artists live (and will get to see them again this year) and their performances only solidified my love for both of their new albums. At Bonnaroo during both Florence and Mumford’s sets I was brought to tears because both albums brought out so many emotions in me throughout a turbulent Spring. But, despite having both How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful and Wilder Mind on repeat, I once again had 20 albums I just couldn’t get enough of…

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Favorite Book: Why Not Me by Mindy Kaling was by far my favorite new release. Partly because I didn’t read a lot of recent releases in 2015 (I found myself reading a lot of murder mystery series… don’t ask me why. I just can’t seem to get enough of serial killers as of late.) and, mostly, because Kaling has this voice I cannot get enough of. She is easy to relate to, open, and whenever I read her I’m always fairly certain we should probably be best friends.

My non-2015 runners up were Yes Please by Amy Poehler (also on my list of imaginary best friends) and the Archie Sheridan and Gretchen Lowell series by Chelsea Cain (like I said, allll the serial killers, please!).

Favorite TV Show: Laugh if you must, but my favorite TV show last year was the amazing (and awful) The Only Way is Essex. This is a British reality show (slightly akin to Jersey Shore- think lots of plastic surgery, make up, and tanning, but less partying and physical fights) I discovered by chance three years ago. The reason it became my favorite this year is because as I was catching up with the 15th season, yes FIFTEEN SEASONS, Mr. T caught me watching it and instead of being embarrassed by my terrible taste I told him he had to watch it with me from the beginning. It began as a joke, but now it’s something we love to laugh at together, something that, early on in our relationship, truly showed me that he was the type of man who could laugh at the absurd with me. Also? I just truly am an anglophile. Give me more Brits, dammit!

Runner up: Jessica Jones. Yes to all female ass kickers. YES.

Favorite Concert: If I thought the 150 shows in 2014 were hard to choose between, the nearly 250 shows I saw in 2015 are even more impossible. This was the year of amazing music for me. This was a year unlike any other, and a year I will probably never get to repeat again. Tiny ten people shows, arena classic rock tours, Coachella, Bonnaroo, local music fests… all of it made for a year that was, quite literally, music to my ears. But the best shows have to be the nights I got to see women who have influenced my life. From childhood to adulthood there have been a handful of strong, vulnerable, beautiful, romantic women who have shaped me through their music. Heart, Blondie, Florence and the Machine, and Fleetwood Mac have been the soundtrack to my life throughout the years. I have cried and loved and danced my way through happiness and heartbreak to the Wilson sisters, Debbie Harry, Florence Welch, and, more than anyone, Stevie Nicks and each of their shows surpassed everything I hoped they’d be.

Favorite Purchase: Pearl! My 2012 Hyundai Accent. It was a sad day when I finally had to give in and put ol’ Ruby, the first car I had every truly owned, out to pasture. But driving home in a new (to me) car that I knew wouldn’t break down every month (literally. Every. Single. Month. I’m looking at you, Ruby…) gave me such a feeling of comfort and relief. In the 367 days that I’ve owned Pearl I’ve put 10,800 miles on her. Two trips to Denver, one to Mobile, Alabama, and soon, a quick trip to Omaha. Yep, it’s great to find a gal that loves to travel as much as I do.

Favorite Meal: Having a meal made for you is always a treat. Having the best steak you’ve ever eaten (literally. This is not a joke, people. Buttery, medium rare, mouthwatering steak.) made for you is even better. In our relationship, I am more often than not the one cooking for Mr. T, and I very much enjoy it. But one night, for no special reason, he grilled up a steak on his salt block (look it up. Buy it. You’ll thank me.), sauteed me some veggies, and baked me a potato. It was not only a sweet gesture, it was absolutely delicious.

Great. And now I want steak…

Favorite Date: This is by far the hardest for me to determine. For possibly the first time in my life I had SO MANY good dates, I’m having a hard time just choosing one. Mr. T has surprised me with concert tickets (to shows he definitely would not have wanted to go to, but I definitely did), taken me to the drive in, out for my favorite comfort foods when I’m needing it, out to breweries, on road trips, taken me home to meet his friends and family, and even out for sunset walks on the beach in the Gulf Shores, so trust me, it’s really hard to choose just one date. But, if forced, I guess there is one day that always sticks out in my mind.

Our first mini-road trip together was to Omaha, where we will soon celebrating our six month anniversary (yes, because I’m cheesy). The week prior to the trip over Labor Day we both had been battling summer cold/tummy sickness and overall, just not feeling the best. This was still lingering on our second day there and I was worried this would put a damper on our brunch and brewery tour plans. By the time we were halfway through brunch though, I knew we had nothing to worry about. Our food was amazing and we both ended up feeling better than we had in days. We found some of our new favorite beers, we talked and laughed all day, and even when the rain started to roll in and we both had a few too many to really want to hit anymore breweries, the date continued back in the hotel room with pizza and HGTV. (Seriously, if you haven’t made fun of the people on House Hunters, you really haven’t lived. Go, do it now.) In a way, the actual date was nothing special, just a day exploring the city. But in another way, it was and always will be one of the most special to me. At this point I was already crazy about Mr. T, happy and in love, but being in a different city where it really is just the two of us I fully felt the certainty that if it was always just the two of us, no matter where we were or what we were doing, we would always find a way to have fun.

Favorite Guy: I think this one may possibly, just maaaay be a given…

Almost six months ago (5 months, 26 days, and about 8 and a half hours ago if you want to get specific) Mr. T met me at the shitty dive bar I mentioned I’d be at and my life has been infinitely happier ever since. He is this caring, giving, cute, loving, goofy, sincere, loyal, committed, sexy, appreciative, happy, serious, music loving, crazy about me guy I have spent years dreaming of. At times I still find myself questioning us, like after all the years of struggling with bad relationships things can’t go this smoothly and feel this right, can they? But every time that inkling of doubt even creeps it’s way in my mind something comes along to remind me yes, sometimes things can be this easy. That’s not to say it’s always easy and it’s perfect, but that does mean that there is finally a person there fighting for me as much as I am fighting for them when things aren’t easy. There is finally someone who makes believe that maybe all these years I haven’t just been a hopeless romantic believing that someone was out there who would compliment and also challenge me in ways I’ve always wanted and ways I didn’t even know I needed until I felt. It wasn’t me just being a hopeless romantic, it was just me waiting patiently, and more often that not, impatiently, on the two of us being at the right place and the right times in our lives to finally have this love. There is finally someone who makes me fully believe in the phrase ‘when you know, you know.’ And I very much know. He is my favorite guy of 2015, and will be for many more years to come.

 

A Few of My Favorite Things 2014

Another year, another list of favorites. Here are my favorite things of 2014:

Favorite Movie

Gone Girl. Hands down one of the best book to screen adaptations I’ve seen. I know not everyone agrees with me on this, but seeing as how I saw it in August and still find myself thinking back on it, it was pretty damn good for me. Some runners up: Locke. Tom Hardy at his best. Seriously, only someone on his level can pull off a movie that’s only action is him driving for two hours and still leave viewers totally engrossed. Obvious Child. Jenny Slate is climbing her way up my Girl Crush list reeeeeal fast.

Favorite Album

Zaba by Glass Animals. Clearly if you see a band four times in about five months, you’ve got a bit of a thing for them. It doesn’t matter where I am, what I’m feeling, I could listen to that album all the way through and enjoy the shit out of it every time. A close runner up: Singles by Future Islands. This band seems to be a love ‘em or hate ‘em for a lot of people with no middle ground and I am firmly planted on the love ‘em side. I get why people are turned off by them, they are a bit weird and don’t quite fit into one solid genre, but that’s probably what I love the most. That and they are fantastic live. I actually have about 20 albums I was pretty obsessed with this year, so instead of listing them all here, I’ll leave you with this…  

Favorite Book

I’m an absolute crap book nerd. It was such a busy year I maybe ready a dozen books at best. I have at least another dozen I’m about halfway through, and damnit, I will finish them! And of the dozen I actually finished, none of them were published this year. So, my favorite book this year was Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me and Other Concerns by my favorite lady crush, Mindy Kaling. Yes, this was a re-read, but it was just as perfect the second time around. It was most definitely the best thing I could have read post-breakup, and it also doesn’t hurt that she mentions the name Thalia and in my mind, that basically means we are best friends now.

Favorite TV Show

Sons of Anarchy. Seriously. What will I do with myself now that my favorite show is over? Sigh. I guess I’ll rely on the Mindy Project to keep me company on Tuesday nights.

Favorite Concert

If you read my previous blog you know this will be nearly impossible for me to choose. Basically all I did in 2014 was go to concerts. It would seem like an easy choice, Coachella. And yes, totally amazing. But, I also got the chance to see some of my favorite bands in really small venues and that’s kind of hard to top. So for favorite concert I’m going to just go ahead and say all of 2014 was my favorite concert. I have no idea how I’ll top it in 2015, but I can’t wait to try.

Favorite Purchase

A trip to Cancun! What do you when you have a ton of frequent flyer miles you were planning to use for a long distance relationship that ends up going kaput? You use them miles to go on an awesome mini-break with a great friend. In less than three weeks my life will be all sand, sunshine, and all you can drink margaritas!

Favorite Meal

Dear Margaritas in Palm Springs: You are my favorite place in the whole wide world and I dream of your sushi/Mexican/brunch buffet daily. Please stay open forever and ever. Just knowing there’s a place out there where I can get all three of my favorite foods in all you can eat quantities gets me through all the nights of kale salads I intend on eating after the new year.

Favorite Date

This year I, sadly, had the best date of my life. I say sadly because clearly I’m not with the person I had this date with anymore, but, regardless, it really was my favorite date of all time. Long Distance Ex was still working night shifts at the time, so we decided to meet for dinner up by his work. Unfortunately we picked a place that just happened to have two locations on the same street about 10 miles apart, and, unfortunately, OF COURSE I went to the wrong location. I felt like a giant moron, but it was actually kind of great because our relationship was still new and it totally set the tone for us, always able to laugh about anything. Eventually I got to the right location and we had a really great dinner. I mean, the food was fine, basic chain restaurant food, but being together made it great. And that wasn’t even the best part of the date. The best part comes later when he decided to leave work early because he didn’t want our date to be over. It was a perfect night in the beginning of July. Not too hot, not too humid, perfect porch night weather. So that’s exactly what we did. We sat on my back porch, under white Christmas lights and lavender citronella candlelight, listening to music, drinking, and talking for hours. It was almost 1 a.m. before we even noticed how long we had been out there. True, it kind of kills me to write about it now, because looking back, I know that was the night I fell in love with him, but I try not to let that take away from now knowing that every once and awhile perfect nights can happen. Maybe they won’t lead to perfect relationships, but you can always have those perfect nights.

Favorite Guy

None. Despite that perfect night I just described and a lot of really other great times, Long Distance Ex is not my favorite guy of the year. I will forever love what we had together, and probably, in some way, forever love him, but I guess I’m just not willing to give neither he nor any of the other guys I dated this year that title. But, you know who does get it? My friends. Because, in the words of the great Leslie Knope, ovaries before brovaries! Who needs a guy when you have great friends who truly take care of you when you need it? If you’re a frequent reader, you know I’ve been through some shit with men, and this recent break up was no different. What was different was the support I received from my friends, and never once did I have to ask for it. I broke down probably a million and ten times and never once did they do anything but support me. If I were them I would have been really tempted to leave me in my sad-sack state to wallow, but instead they showed up with ice cream and tissues in hand and endless hugs. And, even when they may have pushed a little too hard to get me out of my funk, I knew it was because they cared. So to all my friends, THANK YOU for being my favorite people of 2014. Well, you and Tom Hardy and Charlie Hunnam because… Well, come on. You know why…tumblr_mct2z5kjgz1rvjbdjo1_5002lw9nqdjpg

Lucky Number Seven

Almost a month ago I booked my tickets for a long weekend in California. I’ve been waiting for. a. month. and I still have seven days left until I leave. As some of you darling readers may know, I am not the world’s most patient person. When I’m excited, truly excited for something, I CANNOT WAIT for it. I turn into the poster child for antsy in the pantsy. Well, in a feeble attempt to distract myself from the torture of these next seven days slooooowly crawling by, I’ve thought up my seven favorite things about the first seven months of 2012. Ya like to hear it? Here it goes…

In no particular order, I present to you:

Thalia’s Top Seven of 2012 (so far…)

1. Officially losing 20 pounds

This has been a goal of mine since I started working out pretty religiously. Ok, so it took me almost three years and there was a lot of losing and gaining then re-losing and re-gaining and finally re-re-losing. And, ok, so the goal was actually 30 pounds and I still don’t have Jennifer Lopez’s body, but, you know what? 20 pounds was really tough! And on top of that, I ran 10 damn hilly, hot miles and I NEVER thought I’d do that. So, I’m still striving for 30, but I feel damn happy with the first 20 being gone.

2. Getting rid of toxic people

Yeah, I’m looking at you bad boyfriends and bad friends and bad, absent father. I will be the first to admit I hold on to people much longer than I should. When I love, no matter what sense of ‘love’ it is, I love deeply and that connection takes me a really long time to break completely. It’s taken plenty long to finally just understand that these people are who they are and nothing, absolutely nothing, I do or attempt to do will change that. And really, I don’t even know how this detox, I guess you can call it, happened. I don’t know if it was the gradual, persistent “I deserve better than this.” thoughts or if I magically woke up one day and things finally clicked, but whatever it is, I just know now that my happiness does not depend on these people. Yes, I still care about these people, but only in the general ‘I wish them well in their lives’ type of care. They no longer hold my emotions hostage, and, honestly, I feel even lighter than the 20 lost pounds without that baggage holding me down.

3. Opening up to new non-toxic people

Generally, I’m not keen on meeting new people. Not because I have great desires of becoming a hermit (although, some days…) but just because I’m a hot mess when it comes to people I don’t know. I’m usually shy and awkward and I can’t tell you how many people have told me they thought I hated them when we first met (I get it, I look like a bitch if I’m not smiling or laughing. I GET IT!), so, in general, I usually just stick with the people I already have in my inner circle. But, this year I went out of my way to expand my social world. I wanted to push myself to open up more and I am damn glad I did. If I hadn’t, I wouldn’t have some fabulous new girlfriends, and I certainly wouldn’t be on my way to California next week (and holy shit, am I DAMN GLAD I am!!!).

4. Being told I rock at work

Ok, so those weren’t the exact words used, but that was the gist of it. I know, I know, I’ve gone on record saying this isn’t my dream job, but even if it’s not, I like to do well. And I like praise. I mean, who doesn’t like praise? So, after letting things slip a bit last year while in my post-break up melancholy, I was REALLY happy to hear that my work this year has been really great and appreciated. Even better? Being specifically requested for big projects by people I’ve never worked with before, but hear great things about me. Why yes, after hearing that, I’d love to help out! 

5. Having fun

This year isn’t even close to over yet and I’ve already had way too much fun. I’ve seen great shows with great people. I’ve had crazy adventures at the X Games. I’ve danced my ass off on more than one occassion. I’ve gotten rowdy at soccer games (and over David Beckham’s abs). I’ve cried after mimosa came out my nose while laughing too hard at brunch with the gals. I’ve danced and sang at the top of my lungs with my sister and The Black Keys. I’ve lounged with my family at the lake. I’ve been to more baseball games than I can count. I’ve swooned while meeting players for said sport. I’ve celebrated friend’s birthdays and had amazing friends celebrate mine. I’ve kissed a boy and felt it all the way in my toes. Yes, these first seven months of 2012 have been FUN.

6. Feeling hope

Nothing feels better than feeling hope after you thought you’d lost it for good. Maybe all the things I’m feeling hopeful about right now (yep, looking at you boy I kissed and felt in my toes) won’t turn out the way I’m hoping they will. But, the point is, I’m letting myself hope.

7. Knowing there is so much more to come

Aside from my upcoming weekend getaway, there is SO much to look foward to in the next few months, that the excitement of it all is already one of my favorite things. Taking my mom to the Book of Mormon. My friend’s baby girl on her way (yeah, Brandon and Kirsten!!!). My cousin getting married (yeah, Jamie and Dustin!!!). Getting tickets to BRUCE fucking SPRINGSTEEN! Concerts at Red Rocks. Dancing to a funk band with my favorite roomie on Halloween. Camping. Water World. Great American Beer Fest. Holidays with my family. The list could go on, so here’s lookin at you, next five months!

You know what would easily make this list? If someone where to, say, invent a time machine so it can be seven days from now already! Come on, scientists of the world. Let’s all put aside curing diseases and finding ways to prevent global warming and focus on ME and my selfish needs!!!

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Where’s crazy ol Doc Brown when you need him???