Wednesday, November 25, 2015

The best part of this thanksgiving season is that it's one of the first I've really embraced and celebrated in a long time.  I will admit that next year I will probably put my tree up before Christmas again, but I really enjoyed my gratitude practice this month.  I wrote up a collaborative list with all of my daily thanksgivings and it made me so happy.  I am truly a blessed woman.  And even though I wasn't able to spend my thanksgiving this year with my own family, I was lucky enough to get to spend it with Ryan's extended family! 

So without further ado, my last few days of the thanksgiving season!

November 24th: A wonderful place to live--the condo I live in right now is truly a blessing! Ryan's parents own it and are letting me stay in it for free. It has a beautiful view of the city and really feels like home. 

November 25th: My health--I am so grateful for fairly good health, other that absolutely needing dental work done! This year (knock on wood) I haven't gotten the nasty cough I typically do around this time and I am so grateful for that!! 

November 26th: My family (and my soon to be family)--this is one of the first thanksgivings I haven't been with my family and it has been so hard! But, Ryan's extended family located in MD and VA welcomed me with open arms today. Neither of us were able to be with our parents and it was so nice to be with his aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandpa!! They have plenty of traditions too which was a great distraction from missing my own! 
And this adorable screenshot I took of JM today! 


Love and turkeys!


Tuesday Thanks

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

It has been a while!  My last week has been so chaotic.  A lot of the chaos was in my head, but the past couple of days have been filled with prep for graduation and the beginning of prepping for the big move to DC (less than a month--that's crazy)!  I have been meeting with my advisor, purging my closet, applying for as many jobs as I can every day, and slowly working through the last few assignments I have to complete before graduation.  Rather than overwhelm myself (and you) with agonizing detail of the stress of all of it...I have my second to last thankfulness post to write!  It's crazy to me how fast November has flown by!

November 17th: My mom--seriously I don't know what I would do without her.  This past week, in particular, she has been amazing talking to me every day even when I was an emotional best.  She (and Emily) are really the only people I ever trust to give me sound advice and she has really been there for my, always, but even more so in my time of crazy need.  It was also so relieving to hear her tell me that I finally sounded back to my old self after everything that happened in DC.  I can't wait to see her next month!

November 18th: Emily--I am so thankful for Emily EVERYDAY but even more so last Wednesday.  Through all of the DC craziness, Emily has been one of the very few people that has known exactly what to say and has offered amazing support.  Her support and advice has really helped me find peace and let go a lot of the fear that I was holding on to.  Lately, I've been feeling much more like a little sister than a big sister :)

November 19th: Being able to sleep in--I feel ridiculous but the one plus of one of my nanny families moving away is that most morning I don't have to set an alarm...it is a gorgeous and wonderful temporary luxury that I am not taking for granted!  I am ready to be back working 40 hours a week soon but for the time being...I'm going to enjoy myself!

November 20th: the first snow--I love the first snow of the year.  It is the most peaceful and happy moment for me every winter.  This year, I was babysitting for a new family and wishing I was with Ryan watching a Christmas movie in front of our tree, but instead I watched a lot of hallmark Christmas movies while getting paid for it---so that was okay too! 

November 21st: Baby quilting--so when Emily told us that she was having a baby I immediately jumped into making my first ever baby quilt with Mrs. G (the mom of the family I lived with last year) and it was so much fun---it was a chaotic learning experience, but a fun one for sure!  So when Stephen and Preston called with the good news that there would be another baby joining the family, I anxiously awaited the gender call (I am desperately waiting to make a beautiful pink and floral baby quilt) and set out to shop for fabric with my quilting guru, Mrs. G!  We are working our way through it little by little and got some serious work done on it this weekend!  It needs to be finished by the move date so we are hustling but I can't wait to see baby Stephen laying on it when he gets here!  That was the very best part of giving JM his quilt!
Working on Baby Stephen's quilt and JM on his quilt
November 22nd: The G's---Speaking of Mrs. G...the G's are amazing family friends of the Session's (my future-in-law's) and welcomed me into their home last year when I needed to quit teaching to complete my (unpaid) internship.  I've known then the entire duration of Ryan and I's relationship and they have become like a second family to me.  They have three kids/adults (Mikey, Aubrey, and Hannah) who are all standing up in our wedding (and Ryan is Mikey's best man this July) and they have become like siblings!  I was and am so lucky to have them.  Especially, when they have me over for awesome dinners and give me amazing insight on anything I am struggling with at the time.  They deserve their very own post because everyone should get to know the amazingness that is the Giammarco family! (coming soon)
Aubrey, Hannah, and I two summers ago

November 23rd: Grad school--I have a love/hate relationship with grad school.  It is an amazing accomplishment that I am really proud of, but it is also keeping me away from Ryan!  I am really excited to have this finished and am really proud of myself but mostly I am ready to never again ever ever have homework :)  I am so close yet so far!

Phew! I now have that feeling after a long conversation with someone where you feel like you did all the talking...if you made it through that post kudos to you!  Hopefully the next post you read has me talking about being done with even more homework (and maybe a job interview lined up)! 

Happy Thanksgiving! Love and mashed potatoes--


Adventures in Prayer

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

The past few days I have been unable to relax.  I am terrified about what happened to Ryan and I last Saturday and I don't know how to put into words the constant feeling I have in my chest.  There are definite moments of relief--when I facetime with my sister and JM, when I find the perfect wedding shoe (no shame), or when I get distracted with something else--but most moments I am trying not to cry, trying not to focus too much on the absolute terror I feel about moving to DC, trying not to get too caught up in just wishing Ryan could come back to Milwaukee and we never have to move. 

I am really struggling.  And it is really hard to talk about because he was the only person with me and if we both talk about it...then the feeling is TOO much.  I feel like it just doesn't make sense to put into words.  SO...I am heavily relying on the power of prayer.  I have been praying nonstop, for peace of mind, for peace in the country, for peace in our world, for the ability to breathe easy, in thankfulness that Ryan and I are safe.

It is so hard to not think, "it could be so much worse, this wasn't that bad, I am bring a baby," and then sometimes I think, "oh my gosh, that happened to you!  freak out! you are totally allowed to sleep 11 hours because you need it right now." 

I am just trying to find a place in between and seeking and looking forward to a time soon where this will be just a story tell and not a feeling so heavy in my chest that I don't want to leave my apartment.

This isn't what I ever wanted my blog to be like, so I hope you can forgive one non-light hearted post.  I just needed to write this down somewhere.  Please keep us in your prayers and I will continue praying for all of you too :)

To make us all feel better, enjoy this adorable picture of JM (and my very enthusiastic laughing face)!

And my beautiful wedding shoes 

Thankfulness Continued

Monday, November 16, 2015

I just got back from my weekend in DC and 90% of the trip was amazing. 

Because of that 10%, I am feeling like this would be a great time to focus on my gratitude for the Thanksgiving season as I work to sort through some crazy emotions.

November 11th: I am thankful for girlfriends (this might be a repeater?).  This past Wednesday I went to dinner and did Christmas shopping with two of my wonderful friends.  They always know how to put a smile on my face.  PLUS I got a LOT of my Christmas shopping done so that was a major win too.

November 12th: Adult coloring books...On Thursday, I bought a new Christmas adult coloring book (to add to my collection of many) and bought the new Crayola nicer colored pencils as well...it was a pretty big day.  Coloring is a major coping mechanism for me...it was almost like I knew something bad was coming up...but now I am totally prepared!

November 13th: RESEARCH! ---what? Really? This research I am working on for grad school is SO stressful and incredibly outside of my comfort zone like I have mentioned before! But, I am learning a lot (about myself too) that I know will make it all worth it in the long run. 

November 14th: RYAN.  A million times over. I am so grateful for Ryan.  On Saturday, I flew to DC for the weekend.  I was so anxious to see him...it had been 6 weeks which is the longest we have ever been apart.  It was wonderful to see him and finally get to have a very cherished airport hug.  I am so grateful for him.  I sound like a broken record, but on Saturday night Ryan and I were in one of the most dangerous situations that we (hopefully) will ever be in.  And he threw me in front of him (it was happening behind us) with the intention to save my life/ literally take a bullet for me.  We were at Union Station waiting at our platform when out of no where we heard rapid gunfire that seemed to be coming down the tunnel we were waiting at.  He threw me in front of him and pulled me out of the station (it felt like an eternity---I have no idea how long it really took).  We fled to safety and frantically looked at the news to find out what happened.  The news is reporting that an off duty cop shot repeatedly at a stabbing suspect, but it really seemed like an active shooter when we were there.  We don't know what really happened.  What we do know is that it happened right where we were and we made it out safe.  We are both working on being okay and being there for each other through the processing stage.  I truly have the bravest, strongest, most selfless fiancĂ©.  And even though I already knew that, it was definitely reiterated on Saturday night.
Right after the airport pick up!
Ryan's new office! So fancy!
The most beautifully captured pizza/garlic knots/diet coke combo
Some delicious macaroons from a little shop called "Treat Yourself"
November 15th: Ryan (and I)'s roommate (future for me).  Willie is a great guy that Ryan went to law school with.  He is definitely one of the funniest people I know.  And last night when Ryan and I wanted to go back on the metro (more so ryan, less so me) I called upon Willie to crash our date to help keep us light hearted.  We went to a great BBQ place in the Naval Yard area and then took the metro a few stops further for ice cream...the second ice cream of the day.
Chipotle and the grocery store with Ryan (our absolute favorite errand to run together, seriously)!
The first ice cream of the day....(did I mention we also got ice cream at the grocery store?)
Ryan and Willie in front of the town home
Walking around the Naval Yard post-dinner
So grateful for this man
And of course, ice cream part 2

November 16th: Today I am particularly grateful for my dad.  I just got home from the airport and was immediately freaking out.  I am shaken up about the weekend and terrified for Ryan's current safety in DC and just needed my dad.  And he answered, and was awesome as always.  I wish so badly that I could go home to see my parents right now, but the phone call was a close second to exactly what I needed. 

Now, I am off to finish more grad school work and send a big shipment of old clothes to ThredUp!

Wishing you LOTS of ice cream and happiness today!

P.S. No matter how many times I try, I can't get my photos to stay centered! Help! Any advice?

Gifts for Your Gals

Friday, November 13, 2015

Hi ladies (and my dad)!  I was inspired by my sis to create a sort of Christmas wish list for your gals.  Your grandmas (particularly if they are as hip as mine), your besties, your cousin, your sister, or in my case, your sister-in-law who you never know what to buy for!  This list may also be the exact list I gave my "Santa Claus", but that's neither here nor there.

I could make a list a thousand items long, BUT I don't really NEED anything and tried desperately hard to keep that in mind. 

Ideas include: these pixie pants from jcrew (I currently have them in black and gray and obviously can't get enough, so I had to ask for the pleather stripe as well); Toms booties (booties are all the trend and this way you are supporting a great cause too); Disney Alex and Ani bracelets (I LOVE these and I am not even a Disney nut); a great pleather tote (especially these reversible ones); cute new fitbit covers for your active gal; this adorable Stella and Dot necklace (especially if you have a lady in your life who sells Stella and Dot--you get to support a gal and give a gift); a Yankee Candle (if you're like me and have a dad who spends at least an hour in the store picking specific scents for each person, you would want one too); a new planner!; always new Loft tops, ALWAYS (or the store your gal likes most); a Lux and Trip purchase (her guarantee-by-Christmas date is coming soon!); and last, but not least, some adorable winter patterned leggings that can brighten any dreary day.

I hope this epic galpal Christmas wish list left you with ideas, whether they be for yourself or for the ladies on your list!  Happy shopping (and wishing)!

Love and Christmas Trees!


Adventures in Girl's Weekends and Thankfulness Continued...

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Everything going on with grad school has definitely put all other things behind...including this blog!  I have been keeping track on a little post-it things that I am particularly thankful for each day in hopes of continuing my days of thankfulness until Thanksgiving rolls around :)

This past weekend was spent in MN with some of my very best girlfriends.  36 hours is not enough time for catch up!  Four of us drove down on Friday after work and got there around midnight to visit our friend, Kristina!  Four of us were in undergrad together and then the four of them were all in the Marquette Speech Pathology grad school program (I know more about speech path than ever will be necessary).  I love them all dearly and we had so much fun shopping, getting coffee, talking weddings, babies, and life, drinking, and playing a million games of Tenzi (which I highly recommend).  Sadly, the weekend came to a close much to soon, but Kristina will be back to visit us with her husband next month for a Marquette game!
Our self-timer picture didn't totally go as planned
Nothing beats Tenzi, sangria, and best friends
Thankful Updates:
November 4th: I am so thankful for the fact that I get to spend so much of my days babysitting and nannying the cutest kids.  It is such a satisfying job.  And if I wasn't in grad school right now (or worried about health insurance) I would completely be willing to do this full time.  With the right family, I can easily say it has been the best job I have ever had.  Today I spent my day at the zoo and qdoba...how can I complain?
November 5th: I am so thankful for my time at my old internship site.  Last year, I was supposed to be at SLI just for the fall.  That turned in to me still going in one day a week in the spring and....still going in this fall even though it doesn't count for hours anymore.  I LOVE my supervisor (she is a serious rockstar turned friend) and the women in the office alone are reason enough to endure the 50 minute drive there and back every Wednesday.  I will be so sad to leave them and my little anxiety group that I lead!
November 6th: I am so thankful for...finding the exact tulle skirt that I was seeking in my last post.  Is that superficial?  It is a little bit.  But, really! I am excited and anxious to try and put the outfit together (I am still not totally convinced I can pull the skirt off) but I am going to try my hardest!
November 7th: Girlfriends.  The girls I went on my trip with are serious confidants that I don't know what I would do without!  They are all standing up, or taking part, in my wedding and I am so glad that I will be able to share all these major moments with them like I have for them in the past.
Our lovely host
November 8th: I am thankful for roadtrip survival foods and having no shame!  I ended and began the trip with hot Cheetos and diet coke...just as it should be.
November 9th: I am thankful for sweet friends who lend me their Marquette season tickets to take other sweet friends to the basketball game :) exhibition game or not, when nachos, beer, and good company are involved, I am a happy camper!
November 10th: JohnMark! My sweetest little nephew.  He had his first solid food today!  And yesterday he army crawled his way to the phone while I was on FaceTime--it doesn't get much better than that!  I can't wait to see that little nugget at Christmas time! I am such a lucky auntie.
You can see my past updates here.  Fingers crossed that maybe at some point I will be thankful for a new job in DC :)

Happy Tuesday, guys!!

Adventures in StitchFix

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

I know I already talked about my stitch here BUT today I went crazy on my pinterest board hunting for ideas for Ryan and I's engagement photos!  I am dying to find a perfect tulle skirt or dress...and it would be even more perfect if it was delivered to my front door! 

If anyone knows where I can find one, I would buy it myself!  But, I have never seen one in stores.  I am dying just thinking about a big tulle skirt outside with snow on the ground (beauty is...freezing?).  We get three outfit changes and I wanted one to be on the fancy side and I think this would be perfect. 

I love the ease of adding items to my pinterest stitch fix board and writing them a note along with my order!  I am putting a lot of hope into this next shipment...I need an engagement picture outfit and something for graduation (which is in 5.5 weeks...WHAT?).

You should DEFINITELY order your own if you haven't already.

Adventures in Thankfulness

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Usually, I skip right over Thanksgiving and hop on board the Christmas train. BUT this year my Christmas tree is in a storage unit and Ryan has the only copy of the key...in DC! So, it's forcing me to embrace a holiday I typically like to skip over (solely because of my love of all things Christmas and my distaste for turkey)!

In doing so, I thought I would use my blog as a space to reflect on all things I'm  thankful for this year (which is never ending)!  I think I'll list something daily and put it at the end of my twice-weekly (when I'm on top of it) posts! 

This week:
November 1st: I am thankful for my insanely supportive fiancĂ©! (Starting the list off strong! He has been so supportive of me from afar and I am so grateful for that. Things have started to go VERY well for him in DC as of late which is also making things easier for him. It's been an overall win-win lately! 

My favorite forms of his support as of late
November 2nd: For coloring dates with friends! Last night, I had a coloring and dinner date with a good friend of mine from the church nursery and it was so relaxing and rejuvenating. Just what the doctor ordered. 

November 3rd: Today I am thankful for, hopefully, a passing licensure exam.  (Update: the exam has been passed! I definitely got a speeding ticket on the way home...but I would have rather passed and gotten a speeding ticket than failed and no ticket at all!) And all the Diet Coke that helped get me here! 
A celebratory meal for one and a coke float to go!


Adventures in Snapchat

Sunday, November 1, 2015

So life this past week has been...crazy.  I feel like it's finals week of college and it was only the last week of November.  I WAS able to enjoy myself last night in the midst of work and working though so that was a win!  I have SO much work to do in preparation of my licensing exam that I thought my snap chat story would currently depict my life better than words would.
My Halloween consisted of onesies with one of my best friends, lots of pumpkin beers, and Halloween movies with her and her husband.
In attempt to be productive, I have left the condo to study at a coffee shop.  And I am one of those annoying people who start listening to Christmas music on November 1st. NO SHAME.
Happy Sunday!
site design by designer blogs