Friends, Fathers, and Fitness #100HappyDays

Day 67:  Great conversations make me happy.  Cornelius (my bestie from college) and I had a wonderful phone conversation–I love catching up with him!  We even made plans to get together in person later this summer and I can’t wait.

13244884_1311656935517998_3678825434975494268_n

Corn and me last summer. You could say we were excited to see each other.

Day 68:  Fridays make me happy.  Sometimes you just gotta celebrate the end of the workweek!

Day 69:  Morning walks make me happy.  My boyfriend and I took a walk around the neighborhood before the heat of the day (and the rain) set it, and it was awesome.

Day 70:  Celebrating fathers makes me happy.  Father’s Day!  This day is tough for me (check this post for reasons why) but I was joyful because I got to celebrate two awesome men in my life.  My stepdad (whom I just call “Dad”) is one of the greatest men I’ve ever known (look here to see just how awesome he is).  Even though we didn’t get to celebrate together, I loved hearing his voice on the phone and was glad I got to tell him how much he means to me.  My boyfriend and I also made dinner for his parents so we could celebrate his dad–a great day spent honoring great men!

19113760_1721458247871196_9023167850212358330_n

The two men who shaped me into who I am: my biological father (top) and my stepdad (bottom).

Day 71:  Learning more about fitness makes me happy.  I had a session with my personal trainer and we talked about how diet impacts fitness goals.  He sent me home with a task to complete–track all my food for the day so we can review it during our next session.  I’m excited to find ways to improve my diet (and hopefully improve the results from my workouts)!

Day 72:  Office days make me happy.  This is my last office day before a straight week of training customers.  Trust that I’m savoring the moments of working in solitude with my headphones in.  🙂

Long Weekends and Lifelong Friends #100HappyDays

Day 47-51:  Long weekends make me happy.  I originally planned to go back home to Kentucky for Memorial Day, but ended up doing a staycation instead.  I got so much stuff done around the house–I wish I had a four-day workweek all the time.  My house would be spotless!  For Memorial Day, my boyfriend and I relaxed and grilled veggie kebabs.  This long weekend was the perfect blend of work and play.

Day 52:  Office days make me happy.  This was my first day back after the long weekend and I’m so glad I didn’t have to jump into teaching right away.  Having the time to get through my backlog of email and work on projects (with quickly approaching deadlines) was a great way to come back from vacation.

Day 53:  Lifelong friends make me happy.  I’ve known my best friend (Gabby) since fourth grade.  We went through middle and high school together, but ended up at different colleges and now live in different states.  Our bond is still just as strong though; she is the sister I never had.  We chatted on the phone and it was like no time had passed, even though the last time I saw her was at Christmas.  I’m so happy that she’s still in my life after all these years!

Besties!

Seeing New Kids on the Block and Backstreet Boys–we dreamed of this day since we were kids!

Money in the Bank #100HappyDays

Day 46:  Having available funds makes me happy.

In my last post, I mentioned that my garage door wouldn’t open.  Well, a repairman is solving that problem literally as I type this…for the (not really) low, low price of $425.  It turns out I needed both tension springs replaced (one of them broke, which is why the door wouldn’t open) as well as new cables and rollers (because mine were corroded–yuck).  The parts are originals, and my house is almost 20 years old, so it makes sense that they failed.  But damn Gina!  They can’t make indestructible garage parts yet? #homeownerproblems #goodlawdthatsalotofmoney

Now, please don’t think I’m jumping for joy at paying damn near five hundos for this repair job.  Y’all know I’d rather spend that money on makeup and snacks!  But I am thankful that I had the funds to cover this unexpected expense.  I worry about money constantly, but my worries aren’t nearly as severe as they could be.

There are plenty of people here in America today who are struggling to find money to get their next meal or clothes and shoes for their kids.  Across the globe, people are walking miles for clean water and dying from curable diseases because they don’t have access to basic healthcare.  So, I’m happy that I had the funds in my bank account to cover this expense.  I’m not rich, but I do have enough, and that’s a lot more than some have.

(And for the record, if anyone wants to donate to the “Ashley Loves Makeup and Snacks Fund” you are more than welcome to PayPal/Venmo/Chase QuickPay me anytime!)

Anniversaries, Work Life, “…and a brand new car!” #100HappyDays

Days 40-41: New cars make me happy! It’s my great pleasure to introduce…Stella. She’s a 2017 Subaru Crosstrek and she’s ALL MINE. She’s stylish and, most importantly, good for these Wisconsin winters. Last winter I got stuck in a (pretty shallow) ditch and had to be towed out–I’m hoping Stella will get me out of those sticky situations if they arise in the future. 

Day 42: Anniversaries make me happy. One year ago, my boyfriend and I went on our first date. We’ve been together ever since, and I am so grateful for him. He lets me be me, which is something I’ve never had in a relationship. We make a great team and I’m looking forward to spending many more years with him!

Day 43: Doing new workouts makes me happy. Each month, my trainer comes up with a new set of exercises for our sessions. I really like learning new stuff, so this is always a fun time for me.  I’m sure my trainer gets tired of my constant questions about what muscles will be worked and if my technique is good though. 

Day 44: Coworkers who are also friends make me happy. Imagine my surprise when I go to leave for work and my garage door wouldn’t open! I couldn’t get it open manually and had to be at work at 8am, so I called my officemate. She came to pick me up and I truly appreciated it! She is an awesome person to work with and also a good friend, which is a tough combination to find sometimes. 

Day 45: Teaching camp makes me happy. I’ve been teaching classes to internal staff this week–we call them “camps”–and I have really enjoyed this group of campers. They ask great questions and even laugh at my corny jokes. 🙂

Colored Pictures, Classes, and The Wheel #100HappyDays

Day 37:  Wheel of Fortune makes me happy.  Yes, I’m serious.  My boyfriend and I try to have dinner together at least once during the week, and every single time we do we end up watching The Wheel.  If anyone knows how to get on the show, let me know–based on the number of correct answers I shout at the TV, I’m pretty sure I’d do well on the actual show.  🙂

Day 38:  Pictures from kids make me happy.  On occasion I’ll babysit my officemate’s kids, and the oldest colored these awesome pictures for me!  The last time I babysat them was in February, so I brought some Valentine’s Day and Black History Month pictures for us to color together.  Apparently they are still fun to color even in May (and she even told her mommy the story of Rosa Parks as she was coloring it)!

Pictures from Kids

Look at these cute pictures! She did a great job staying in the lines.

Day 39:  Finishing a class makes me happy.  Today was the last day of a three-day course I was teaching.  Wrapping up a class is always bittersweet; I love getting to know new trainees and so it is kind of sad to see them head home.  However, I know they are ready to see their families and sleep in their own beds, so I’m happy they get to go back to everyday life.  Luckily, all of them will be coming back for another class in early June so we’ll get to have a “class reunion.”

Solving Problems and Celebrating People #100HappyDays

Day 32:  Solving people’s problems makes me happy.  This was my last day of customer class this week, and I love seeing how our software will solve the problems people have at their organizations.  I spoke with a woman who was very excited about the provider suspension workflow she saw in class–apparently it would make her job much easier–and her excitement made me excited.  I know I didn’t develop the software, but being able to share it with customers and see their delight makes me happy.

Day 33:  Finalizing decisions makes me happy.  This day was a rough one.  I had a headache that just wouldn’t go away, a rough morning class, and a million things on my mind.  However, something did make me happy–I signed papers to purchase a new car!  I love my current car–I’ve had her since I graduated college–but she is not the best car for Wisconsin winters.   I’d been stressed about my car situation all winter, so finally making a decision on which car to get and getting everything signed was my happy point of the day.

Day 34:  #HomeownerProblems make me happy.  I know it’s odd to be happy because of a problem, but that’s the case for this day.  🙂  This summer I finally decided to do my lawn maintenance myself, only to find that my lawn mower wouldn’t start.  I was initially very frustrated by this–once I made up my mind to mow the lawn myself I just wanted to get it done–but the situation taught me a lot.  I learned how to change a spark plug and that a clogged carburetor can cause small engines to refuse to start (#TheMoreYouKnow).  I got an exercise in patience and realized that I have a great support network.  And now I’m extra motivated to mow the lawn myself sometime soon.

Day 35:  Boyfriends and moms make me happy.  This day was twice as special as most days–it was my boyfriend’s 31st birthday *and* Mother’s Day!  My mom is the most spectacular human being–she is my role model in life and I love her more than anything.  My boyfriend is such a great man; he’s kind and patient and funny and actually lets me be myself.  Honoring both of them on the same day was so powerful and I’m so blessed to have both of them in my life.

Day 36:  Travel agents make me happy.  I’ve been trying unsuccessfully to plan my sabbatical, but thanks to the advice of my officemate I now have a travel agent to help me!  Originally I thought that a travel agent would be too expensive, but her rate is very affordable and she’s got decades of experience too.  Planning this trip has been stressing me OUT and the thought of someone doing the heavy lifting for me makes me so very happy!

Clean Sheets for Sweet Dreams #100HappyDays

Day 31: Fresh clean sheets make me happy. 

Making the bed is one of my least favorite chores–always has been. But there is nothing quite like climbing into a bed with freshly laundered sheets on it. Hopefully I will sleep easier and have sweeter dreams. 

Bonus: I made breakfast for dinner tonight and it turned out really well! It was a late dinner that I honestly didn’t feel like cooking (I had just gotten in from the gym) but it tasted great. Scrambled eggs with salsa, kale, and vegetarian sausage links–all I was missing were some hot biscuits!