Sunday, November 27, 2016

Five Years Ago in Paris..I said YES!

This time of the year provides the SeƱor and me with plenty of time to reflect on the wonderful life we have and the amazing places we have been and seen together. 

One of the places that will always be extraordinarily special to us is Paris. 


It was five years ago today that my sweet husband asked me to be his wife, and so today, I remember Paris, the City of Lights and our forever City of Love. 



Before they cut the locks off the Le Pont des Arts bridge, we had our own lock. 


Amor para siempre...Love for always


It was a perfect moment. 

But he didn't ask me. 

As we explored what is thought by many to be the most romantic city in the world, I thought about the journey our own relationship had taken over the last four and a half years and wondered where it would take us next.

And then, on our last morning in Paris, as we looked for a place for coffee on our way to the airport, we found a little cafe in a little street market lined with cobblestones and tasty treats.


Over cafe au laits and croissants, he asked me to be his wife, in his own sweet, quirky way. 


And like every romantic cliche, I said YES! 

And with all my heart, I still say YES, each and every day.


Amor para siempre, indeed. 

Thursday, November 24, 2016

I am grateful for...




Things I'm grateful for this year

  • my husband and our marriage
  • family, rooted in love
  • our sweet Gracie-girl
  • fabulous friends and partners-in-crime
  • a healthy body and mind
  • big dreams in motion
  • a job that I love; one that is aligned with our goals
  • road trips and coffee dates
  • my passport stamps and a welcoming world that is ready to explore
  • peace that comes with time and healing
  • access to information and the freedom and make choices
  • this space online, the visitors who have stopped by, and the friends I have made because of it
  • the kindness of strangers
  • people who are willing to fight for human rights
  • clean water, healthy food choices, and access to health care
  • the women who fought for my right to vote
  • our U.S. National Parks

    And mostly...
    • having what we need and most of what we want and loved ones with whom we can share our lives.


    What are you thankful for this year?

    Happy Thanksgiving!



    Happy Thanksgiving, friends. 
    Blessed to have what we need. 
    Grateful to have most of what we want. 

    Wishing you a bounty of blessings, today and always. 


    Tuesday, November 22, 2016

    Reverse Advent Calendar: 10 Ideas

    For many, Advent is a time of preparation. It's a time marked by an awareness of one's blessings and an empathy for those less fortunate. 

    As Advent calendars build excitement of what's to come, a reverse Advent calendar can bring similar excitement in knowing you made a difference in the lives of others. 




    Here are some ideas for your own reverse Advent calendar. 

    • one food item or more per day or one food category per week to donate
    • one dollar or more per day
    • one closet item purge per day for donation or one clothing donation per week, like socks or outerwear.  
    • one hour of service per week
    • one toy per week
    • one book per week to a school, cancer treatment center, nursing home, local library
    • one care bag to local homeless outreach (socks, personal care items, toys, towels)
    • one bag of pet food per week to a local shelter
    • one pay-it-forward per week; for example, someone's coffee in the drive-through
    • Determine a pre-set amount and pay toward or pay-off someone's holiday layaway.


    Have you ever done a reverse Advent calendar or holiday service project? What was your experience?

    Sunday, November 20, 2016

    Thursday, November 3, 2016

    Ahora 19: Peeking out of the Rabbit Hole


    I know that it has been a while; for me too. 

    Every time I think about sitting down to write, something else take precedence, and it just never gets done.

    While I have a few minutes this morning, I wanted to peek out of the rabbit hole and say hello. 

    I miss you. 

    Thanks for sticking around. 

    Here's what is trending in my world these days. 

    Learning
    The in's and out's of my new job. It is like a rabbit hole; I begin one project, which detours into another and another. I LOVE my new job. I love working with my students and my co-workers, and the flexibility of location independence is a dream come true. Learning the platforms and grading assignments in a fairly self paced curriculum take time. There are times when I am inundated and other times, less so. I wouldn't change a thing. 


    Drinking
    Hot mulled apple cider. And Cinnamon Dolce coffee; I can thank my niece for this new obsession. 


    Reading and planning to cook my way through...





    Eating
    Dinner With Julie's quick cassoulet. It's quick, it's easy, and it is delicious! It makes the house smell amazing too! With a glass of red, an arugula salad, and a warm baguette... bliss.





    Watching
    This is Us. If you haven't started this series, you can stream it free on Hulu. It's that good. 
    And the soundtrack is playlist worthy. 



    Exploring
    Boston. We had friends in town last weekend, and we had the chance to play tour guide. 


    In Baah-stin speak, the corner store. 

    No matter where I go, Boston, you're my home. 

    Loving
    Being somewhat of a stay-at-home-dog-mom. It sounds ridiculous, I know; however, I love having the flexibility to take Gracie outside at lunch time to play. 

    video

    She seems to like it too. 


    video

    And squeak toys are the best. 

    Fall colors? Yes, please. 



    And Snap Chat filters for days...if you're on Snap Chat, add me... https://www.snapchat.com/add/alovelylifeind. I'm always looking for fun accounts to follow. 



    Celebrating
    My Mom and Dad's 50th Anniversary. My brother and I planned to surprise my parents back in July. We did it, and it was wonderful. 



    And Happy 4th Birthday to my lovely space in the universe. A Lovely Life, Indeed turned four on November 1st. 



    Stressing
    About the election...


    This election gives me anxiety. The energy, the ads, the Facebook rants, the surprising jaw-dropping views of those I hold dear...I guess I do live in a bubble. A warm, happy bubble.

    And this election compels me to retreat. 

    But, it's critical that we get out there and vote, my American friends. 

    We don't have to agree on candidate or ideology, but we do have to voice our choice. 

    It's a big deal...and the world is watching. 

    Still not sure? Take the quiz from I Side With and see who parallels your thinking the most. 

    Also, read up on your state's ballot questions and carefully consider your options down ballot. Consider future legislation and the Supreme Court; it's not just about the executive branch. 



    Okay. I am going to go and get some work done. Tell me...
    What's happening now in your world? 
    Let's catch up. 




    Linking up with Kristin today.