Friday, November 5, 2010

A list of things I am grateful for this week...

A while back I started a gratitude journal with hopes that it would help me maintain a more positive outlook on life and remind me of how great things really are for me. Unfortunately, I am infamous for going from sleepy to out cold in about two seconds flat, so journaling before bed = kinda of hard for me. Although I haven't kept it up as much as I would like, it's something I try to do as often as I remember, provided that my eyes remain open long enough to jot a few things down. It actually has quite an effect on my disposition. Today, I am journaling right here on my blog.

Also, somewhat related is my recent spending freeze. I decided to see how much money I can save by only purchasing food and absolute necessities for the next month. Tough, right? Surprisingly, however, it hasn't been difficult at all. Part of the reason is that I have a tendency to seek out deals and free stuff. So be grateful that I am grateful and am sharing with you my gratitude list. It's full of free stuff! Plus, when you think about it, most of the stuff that is really awesome in life doesn't really cost that much, if anything at all.

1. $10 coupons at JCPenny, or as I like to call them, "free money."
Jake likes to make fun of my coupon obsession. I am a deal seeker and I am convinced that it probably makes me a better person, or least smarter, or maybe just a wee bit richer... Either way, he can snicker and tease me all he wants, because there is no minimum purchase on these JCPenny coupons. Next time you're there you should ask how to get on their coupon mailing list. Ten buck coupons means anything ten bucks or less is mine for the taking, and I got my eyes on those sassy triple packs of Christmas themed socks. Ho! Ho! Ho!

2. My awesome dental hygienist.
Getting your teeth cleaned is not really a fun thing to do, but the dental hygienest that cleans my teeth is hilarious. She is super sweet and polite but at the same time very quirky and little crazy. During my appointment this week, we waved at the cars out the window together while I was biting down on the xray film, giggled at the awkward noises made by the suction wand thingy, and she told me all about how she and her husband couldn't decide on who was going to be the designated driver on Halloween, so they stayed home and partied by themselves. I found it very entertaining. Funny people are great.

3. Laughing till I cry while watching funny shows about funny families with my own funny family.
On Wednesday night the Westby clan gathered for dinner at home. Mom made a delicious dinner AND my grandpa's apple pie. Sooooo good. Then we made out way to the living room to watch The Middle and Modern Family and laugh out loud till our eyes watered. This is something that has long embarrassed me - when I laugh hard, my eyes water A LOT. It looks like I am crying. This also happens to everyone in my family though. Laughing with tears in your eyes is much less awkward when everybody else is doing it too.

4. Being a ski coach
Winter is just around the corner, and while this might send some spiraling down into a deep seasonal depression, it makes me giddy with anticipation. Jake has been in Colorado for a week already this season at a Central Division training camp in Loveland and I am more than a little jealous. Skiing is a huge part of my life. Last year was the first season in fourteen years that I was not a part of a ski team in some way, shape or form. It was reeeeeally sad and I think I may have died a little inside. I participated in a fundraiser race, attended a couple events, and participated in some open training nights at Buck Hill, but it just wasn't the same. I felt so out of the loop, like a Gomer, a Yambo, completely out of touch with what was going on. I volunteered at a race in January and they gave me the job of handing out bibs. HANDING OUT BIBS! That's something ANYONE could do. I could be a gatekeeper, a hand timer, a starter, a course maintenance worker and you want me just to HAND OUT BIBS!?! I was so depressed. That's when I decided that I had to get back in the game and start coaching again. This year I am back at it and super excited. Just sent in my order for my sweet new coaches jacket yesterday. Did I mention that I GET PAID to do this too!? Now, if it would just snow!

5. Trick or Treats
Remember being a kid and thinking that when you were an adult you would be able to buy all the candy you wanted!? Well, I do. Anyway, the point is that even though I can, I don't. Thankfully everyone else is happy to give me candy this time of year. If I was ever sad about not fulfilling my childhood dream of keeping a stockpile of candy in my closet, Halloween has reminded me that there is a limit to how much candy one should eat. And by "reminded" I really mean that I am currently pushing that limit by walking the thin line between sugar high and self-induced diabetic coma. I can't help it. It's those delicious Kit Kat bars. Gimme a break.

6. Free undies at V.S.
Okay, this is one of those things that I may regret sharing with the world. Not that it's so embarrassing, I mean, everyone wears underwear right!? I mean it would be MORE embarrassing if I told you I didn't, right!? Oh geez... I am digging myself into a hole here, aren't I? Anyway, I am trying to tell you about Victoria's Secret's coupons. Folks, I have not purchase a pair of underwear in yearrrrs (again with the digging of the hole). The reason is that Victoria's Secret sends me coupons in the mail for free undees every month. That's right, I call them undees, deal with it. Sometimes they even send me ten dollar coupons too - like "free money" style with no minimum purchase. Every time I go in and redeem on of these things, they have me enter my email address or phone number and bingo bango I get on the list to receive even more free undees and ten dollar coupons.

7. Free baked goods at Panera
More free stuff? Yes sir. Our office spends a TON of money at the Panera across the street. Pretty much every other meeting involves food from Panera. Recently, they came out with a new deal called "My Panera" where you earn free food and beverages by swiping your My Panera card every time you visit. What does this mean for me? I get to swipe my card multiple times a week without spending A DIME. So when I am driving into work and I decide it's a blueberry muffin kind of morning I just pull in, hand them my card and score a free muffin. Yeah.

More stuff I am grateful for this week...
The glittering gems of hilarious drama/comedy that unfold at work and keep me from becoming a pile of mush, my wonderful boyfriend Jacob that is coming home TONIGHT, the YMCA and awesome group fitness classes, Oregon Chai, the right to vote, the fact that I only have five weeks of Physics left, and Boboli personal sized pizza crusts. OH! And it's FRIDAY!