Roses! #100HappyDays

Day 66: Roses make me happy. Imagine my surprise when my boyfriend walked in with this adorable mini rose bush for me yesterday! He usually brings me cut flowers–which I also love–but they don’t last very long. I’m excited for these roses to stick around for longer than a week (at least I hope they do–I have a tendency to overwater plants). My boo is the bomb! 

Red roses to match my kitchen–my boyfriend is awesome!

New Developments #100HappyDays

Day 60:  Developing new processes makes me happy.  I worked with a few coworkers to improve a process for getting trainer review for updates to our software and I think it’s going to make everybody’s job a lot easier.  No complaints there!

Day 61:  Seeing where my company is going next makes me happy.  I had the opportunity to preview some development coming in the next version of my company’s software, and it was so cool!  I never imagined I’d work in IT–especially healthcare IT–but I truly enjoy what I do.

Day 62-63:  Spending time with my parents makes me happy.  My parents were in Wisconsin for a motorcycle club event and I got to hang out with them!  I know I post a lot about my parents, but they really are the most wonderful people on the planet and any opportunity I have to see them is really special to me.  We went to a fun ’70s themed dinner and dance and then hung out in the RV talking until almost midnight.

Day 64:  Small classes make me happy.  I taught a class of 10 students today.  Most of our customer classes are somewhere between 20-30 students, so having this smaller class was a welcome reprieve.  Also, I feel like I’m able to really connect with each student when the class size is small–I like being able to answer out of scope questions and spend extra time with them one-on-one.

Day 65:  International travel makes me happy.  My sabbatical is in October, so my mom and I will be heading to…Costa Rica!  I had a call with my travel agent today to go over our itinerary and I am PUMPED!  My last jaunt to a foreign land wasn’t the best experience (Long story short:  I was racially profiled by a hotel employee and accused of being a prostitute.) but I’m really looking forward to this trip.  Most of all, I’m looking forward to traveling with my mom!  This chance to take her around the world is the least I can do to thank her for being the best mother ever.

Mail call! #100HappyDays

Day 59: Getting things in the mail makes me happy. 

Quick clarification: Getting things in the mail that aren’t bills makes me happy. 😉 I ordered some pictures to hang up in my home and they finally arrived! For so long, my walls have been bare. But my boyfriend’s recent home decorating inspired me to do a little decorating myself. Family, friends, travels, and of course my favorite drag queens–I’m covering the walls with them! 

Looks like I’m gonna need to do some thrifting to find frames for all these (and the ones I still need to order)…

Yes, the picture of me with RuPaul is an 8×10. To quote Queen B, “And I don’t feel bad about it.”

Movies, Flea Markets, and Parental Advice #100HappyDays

Day 54: Curriculum design makes me happy. I spent most of the day working on new stuff for work, and it was…kind of awesome. Most people wouldn’t be geeked to spend a whole day in front of Word documents and Excel spreadsheets, but putting together this new program to help people learn our software better makes this geeky gal pretty happy. 

Day 55: Movies make me happy. Especially when you can watch them in the comfort of your own home–DVDs from the library for the win! 

Day 56: Flea markets make me happy. Yes, you read that right:  flea markets. My daddy and I used to go to the flea market all the time when I was little; I loved seeing all the cool stuff for sale. So, when I found out a flea market was going on near my house I definitely wanted to check it out. I didn’t buy anything, but I did see some interesting stuff–I’d love to go to more flea markets now that the weather is nice. 

Day 57: Parental advice makes me happy. At least once a week, I call my parents to catch up…and also ask for advice (usually about basic adult stuff that I should probably know already, but don’t). Lucky for me, they are always willing to give it andddd it’s always great advice! Win-win!

Day 58: Being in a supportive relationship makes me happy.  My boyfriend is there for me whenever I need him, and I am so lucky (and happy) because of it. 

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!)

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!