A project that builds gratitude day by day to build resilience.
Creator of the Happiness Box Project Initiative, a project where you write your happiness or gratitude each day, then open the box in the New Year. The Initiative is to teach joy and gratitude, to pass it on to others.
Today I am thankful for my health. I had my yearly physical and all my numbers are normal, including my liver. Five years into the celiac journey, I lost weight and normalized my liver. Huzzah! I’m grateful for my healthcare team too.
I’m feeling much better than last week. Hormones amp my anxiety. I’m thankful for David, for taking those punches. I’m beyond grateful.
I’m also thankful for friends and family. What are you thankful for today?
David was originally planning to surprise me today. And no, it wasn’t because of the fit. He wanted to surprise me because he knows this day means something to me. We did talk about when I get into funks and a lot of it is anxiety related. He knows that at times he will need to let me step aside, swing, walk, or create and just be alone until I’m out of anxiety. He does love me.
David surprised me with a floral unicorn. It’s artificial, so I don’t need to preserve it. Huzzah! We also walked along the river and he surprised me by taking photos. David said to me, “this is the best Valentine’s Day ever. I just wanted to spend the afternoon with you.” I agree.
I absolutely love her. David and I named her Suki; “Suki” is the Japanese word for “love.” Our Suki, our love.
The metal show was at JD Lovedraft in Downtown Harrisburg. JD Lovedraft was also awesome. I had no intention of moshing and David was trying to be careful of his sprain, but we both got pulled in during Casket Maker’s performance and definitely during Flesh of the Lotus. It got nuts during Flesh of the Lotus. I was trampled on, I was kicked in the knees, I was punched, and punched in the chest. My chest is still a little sore. However, David and I both laughed and said, “it wouldn’t be a metal show if we didn’t mosh.” Since things got crazy during Flesh of the Lotus, a wet floor cone went flying and a group of people wouldn’t calm down. I was on alert. We left after Ground, we had enough.
I loved watching David head bang and mosh. Although, when it got rougher, he almost got dragged into a punching match; I pulled him out. He was grateful for me.
We got back to the Air BNB and got ready for bed. Since it was well past midnight and since Saturday was Promise Day of Valentine’s Day week, I made my promise to him: that I will always take care of him and love him unconditionally. He made a similar promise to me: he’ll take care of me, protect me, and love my unconditionally. David also told me that he’s going to be doing a lot of firsts with me as well: he’s not used to traveling and he can’t wait to travel with me. David and I will be doing firsts together. 🙂 We happy cried in each others arms and just held onto one another.
Before we fell asleep, David said to me, “didn’t you want to get a selfie of our first sleep over?” I sent him a Catana comic earlier in the week where Catana’s husband takes a selfie of them cuddled up in bed and he makes it their phone’s wallpaper. I totally forgot, but David remembered. I hugged him and we took a selfie of our first sleepover, all cuddled up. He remembered and that says a lot! David knows me too well. I’m rubbing off on him, and David said it best, “I stole your heart as you stole mine.”
Saturday morning was much calmer. We had a nice breakfast at Yellow Bird Cafe before returning home. Me and an older woman sitting at the table next to us commented this one little girl and her red glasses. I know being different can be traumatic for children, so we both told her how pretty she looked in her red glasses, how sophisticated and fancy they were, and we asked her what good things the glasses brought her. She happily told us that she loves being able to see clearly when playing with friends and when reading. She smiled and we made her day.
We made it back home at 1 PM. Lots of good memories made and I can’t wait to make the sn@p album. I ordered the 6 x 8 photos and 4 x 6 photos, I just have to order the 2 x 3 photos. I can’t wait to start.
Our first overnight trip was a success. We were nervous for naught and once we were on the road en route to Harrisburg, our nerves settled down.
I was the navigation unit and once we got past the tolls, it was 78 miles of straight highway. David and I held hands for a bit, and chatted a lot. Heavy metal also was our soundtrack and his Spotify playlist played songs I haven’t listened to in a while.
We made it Harrisburg at 1:45 PM, and our Air BNB check in was at 2. We were able to check in early and both David and I were amazed with this house. As soon as you walked into the kitchen, there was an upstairs, but we quickly learned that past the living room was another stairwell, that stairwell would lead to our room on the third floor.
Our room reminded me of a bridal suite. It was gorgeous, comfortable, warm, and cozy. They had a fan, which we turned on. David and I both like cooler rooms. The day bed was interesting and we ended up relaxing for a few hours.
After a quick nap, we took a walk by the river and took photos. Our Air BNB was directly across from the river and the views were awesome. I know Harrisburg can be iffy, but the area where we stayed was really nice. When we were walking to the River Trail, one of the barbers saw my camera and started posing for photos. I took two photos of him and we all chatted for a bit. David and I told him we were from King of Prussia and Bridgeport. He was originally from Philadelphia and will be visiting on Sunday for the Super Bowl.
Shady, I even took a special photo for you!
It was a warm February day and we were able to walk without a jacket. David is really good about taking photos with me and he helped me pick out some lovely spots for a photo shoot. I’m beyond grateful for David and we took a bunch of lovely photos. I really loved the ones of us looking out at the river. Some of them are over exposed, some are dark, but winter late afternoon sun can be a challenge. They still look great.
Went back to the Air BNB and I gave him his Valentine’s Day gift. He knows what he’s going to get me, and he’ll surprise me next time he gets paid. Movie Tavern cut his hours and as I told him, “every day is Valentine’s Day. I can’t wait to be surprised whenever.” He smiled. David absolutely loved his gifts and the card I found him made him tear up a bit. Happy tears, of course.
This is what I made him:
I cooked us a lamb steak for dinner. I was going to cook it in the oven and after 25 minutes, I realized the gas oven didn’t light. We couldn’t figure it out, so I used the gas range instead.
David helped me and as he was going to set the table, he realized there was only one fork and a bunch of spoons. I looked in the sink and it was a bunch of spoons, no other forks.
He let me take the fork and said he would eat his dinner with a spoon. I said, “are you sure? I could take the spoon.”
“No, you eat with the fork.”
We couldn’t find any other steak knives, so we shared the knife. He loved the lamb, and we couldn’t help but laugh about the absurdity of eating with a spoon. We laughed for the entire dinner. I think of “Ironic” by Alanis Morrisette as I type this story. “All you need is a knife, but there’s 10 thousand spoons.” We needed forks as well.
Apparently, it’s love week. This is new to me. I thought this was a new trend within the scrapbooking community. Nope.
I’ve been a rollercoaster of emotions regarding Valentine’s Day. David isn’t a fan because it’s a lot of pressure; not only that, one shouldn’t show love on one day only, Valentine’s Day is every day. I agree with that sentiment, but I wanted to erase what happened last year. It was obvious that he who shall not be named only wanted sex and that’s why he went all out. Valentine’s Day was a nightmare last year; he who shall not be named and I fought the entire time and it wasn’t fun for me. However, if I look at Valentine’s Day as being every day, the relationship I had with him was icky from the start and his behaviour didn’t change. David and I have a beautiful relationship and partnership. We do celebrate Valentine’s Day everyday.
We both have to work on the 14th, but we talked about doing a little something during our Harrisburg trip tomorrow night, then dinner next Sunday (the 19th). We’re staying the night in Harrisburg, our first overnight trip together, and we’re both really excited but also a little nervous. This is a big step. We’ll be there for each other, and I will be documenting our first trip together. So thankful he agrees to this.
Yesterday I felt depressed. Some library co-workers don’t understand why a new couple wouldn’t want to make plans to celebrate Valentine’s Day on the 14th. Both David and I need the money and we’re not trying to call off work a lot. I also have work the next day, both jobs, and after a day of working two jobs I just want to go home. Someone kept pushing it and I finally saw what David was talking about. It’s not only a lot of pressure on men, but couples in general. I’m thankful that David listened and that we understand each other. I told him this morning that I know I shouldn’t care what others think, especially since they sometimes give bad advice, and it’s truly none of their business, but I don’t want them to think we are broken. We talked about it and we’re not broken, we love each other very much and Valentine’s Day isn’t only one day, it’s every day. He has a surprise for me tomorrow when he picks me up and we go to Harrisburg.
I got my hair done today at lunch at a new hair salon: Hudson’s Beauty Boutique. Latese was awesome and I loved chatting with her the entire time. I’m thankful for everything she did and I can’t wait to go back next month.
I’m also thankful for friends and family. What are you grateful for today?
Lucy was his mom’s cat. She warmed up to me rather quickly and I now have a new friend. Glad David has his phone AND I’m so glad he remembered that I wanted a photo or two the next time Lucy warmed up to me. I didn’t have my phone on me, but he had his. I’m verklempt. I love him and I’m so grateful for him.
February already!? It’s crazy to think that we are on the second month of 2023; today is Groundhog Day, tomorrow is Liz’s birthday, and yesterday was Justin’s birthday.
Yesterday was Justin’s 21st birthday and I took off from the library. I also took off today from the County. What a fun evening and I’m so grateful that I was included. Justin said, “I hope you come to more events. This is awesome.” David said to everyone, “don’t worry guys, she’s sticking around for a long time.” I’m not verklempt.
Thank God for David. He ran back to his house, got me my GF mac and cheese and two cans of soda. I need to eat when drinking, and I needed that Sprite. I almost got emotional again… but instead of upset tears, they were going to be tears of joy. I held back. I opted for holding onto him and saying, “I’m beyond grateful for you. I love you so much.” Also, Devon gave me a hug. Friendly hug, as in “welcome to the group.”
David also gave me his jacket last night. It was colder than I anticipated. He also said, “this is forever yours, my love.” 🙂
I’m also grateful for friends and family. What are you grateful for today?
I remember Friday, 25 January 2013 like it was yesterday. I had stayed with Nan for her final few days; it was getting harder for her to breathe, she was on full oxygen. Hospice came with Ativan to help with the anxiety that is felt closer to death. I probably could have used that Ativan too. It felt so weird sleeping in Nan’s bed without Nan by my side. I didn’t sleep well, I kept going downstairs and checking on her. I would often hug her and lay by her side for a bit. I was so afraid of finding her dead. Yet, I couldn’t abandon her; she cared for me my entire 23.5 years of life at that time and I wanted to take care of her in her final days.
It was evident that she was going to pass on the 25th. She was holding on because of me; hospice recommended that I say my goodbyes and spend time with friends, my parents agreed. I spent time with Christine and I felt so blah throughout the day. I remember crying as I said my goodbye to Nan. I walked outside, to her red porch, snow falling down, dad behind me. He was going to drop me off at the P&W.
The next morning when I came home from Christine’s, I was on the red porch again, in the bright sun. Nan’s house empty since she died on the night of the 25th. It felt surreal and I felt so numb.
10 years. I miss you more and more each day. I wish you were here to meet David, you would love him. I wish I could verbally tell you how much joy, laughter, and light he brings into my life. I wish I could tell you all about the Public Defender’s Office and how well I’m doing. 10 years ago I wish you could have watched me graduate from WCU in December 2013, now I wish you were here for a possible wedding (David is talking about it) in the future. I wish I could experience life with you again. I know that you are watching over me and smiling. I love you and miss you.