Let’s Make a List!

It’s Wednesday, so I figured today I would make a list. It might be kind of like high/lows. Or maybe just random stuff I have been thinking or doing. Perhaps I will just make a list of things I love about Branch — though I do think that list would be too long to post on the internet. {what’s NOT to love about him?!? he’s the best!!}. At any rate, here we go.

1. I have just about had it with promotional e-mails.

Does ANYONE like getting ten plus e-mails a day, none of them actually written to you, all of them trying to sell you something? I try to unsubscribe but then somehow things keep. on. coming! In my grief-ridden state, my patience is muuuuccchhhh lower than it used to be, so anything that was “on the fence” or “slightly annoying” prior to Branch dying, is now excessively obnoxious and immediately eliminated.  If it’s not careful, the entire internet may get the boot.

2. We spent Sunday afternoon walking/hiking with Kimberly.

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Sunshine! Ocean breeze! Torrey Pines is the best! And I can check “6 mile walk” off my half-marathon training list.

3. Thin-crust pizza is delicious.

4. We stayed at the #1 hotel in America.

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I don’t know who decides things are #1, but whoever it is named The Grand Del Mar as their favorite place in the US, and boy can I see why. We were gifted a two night stay there earlier this week, and wowzers! Sooooooooooooooooooooo fancy! Beautiful landscaping, gorgeous pools, yummy food, and incredible service made our “getaway” totally extravagant and relaxing. What a treat!!! Thank you thank you thank you for your generosity, my lovely friends. {you know who you are! hi!!!}

The pools at The Grand Del Mar are always warm, so even though it was a little crisp and not exactly pool weather for our stay, we spent time wrapped in towels laying on comfy lounge chairs and reading books and magazines. A neighborhood duck apparently had the same idea, and hopped in for a quick swim.

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5. I am not looking forward to Easter.

It’s not even April yet, but it seems like Easter is just around the corner! I don’t usually have anything against Easter — it is, after all, an incredible holiday celebrating Christ’s Resurrection. I honestly just don’t know if I can handle it this year. Holidays are super hard, and I have found that EVERY holiday — even silly ones like Valentine’s Day and St. Patrick’s Day — has been more difficult and sad than I had anticipated. I am not planning on avoiding all holidays forever, by any means, but this first year I would just like to take a back seat. To skip anything official. To visit Branch’s grave and drop off little flowers or plants.  To take a trip to Paris and cry with Glenn there. Hey, at least we would be in Paris! I bet tears taste a little less bitter when you’re sipping champagne and eating a baguette under the Eiffel Tower.

6. I am cooking again.

I don’t know if I told you guys, but for a while I didn’t cook. Pretty much for my whole pregnancy, actually, and then for a month or so after Branch. Well, I’m proud to say I’m back at it! Most of my recipes have been simple and Weight Watchers friendly, but it has been fun to plan our meals, grocery shop, and be in the kitchen again.  It has also been a lot easier to eat at home since we are still in hibernation, with no plans of emerging anytime soon!

There’s my list! Hope you all have a lovely Wednesday. And, just for kicks, here is a picture of us with Branch when he was 3 days old. What a cute little muffin!

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Much love,
~Kristin

Families CAN be Fun!

Families. We all have ’em in some way or another. Sometimes they can be stressful, sometimes they make you mad, and sometimes they are a hoot and a half. Lately I’ve been thinking about how important it is to just SPEND TIME with family, because at the end of the day they really are your history and your legacy — and you are theirs.

If it’s been a while since you have done something fun with your family, might I suggest an excessive dinner out? At the famed and oh-so-fancy Bertrand at Mister A’s perhaps? That’s how my sisters and I roll. We choose one fancy dinner with a bottle of wine and cappuccinos over eating for the rest of the month. This is moderately acceptable behavior for us, as none of us are responsible for others at this point in our lives. If you have seventeen children and are living off one income, or, worse yet, are living at your parent’s house, I would not recommend this course of action.

Wait. Did I just say living at your parent’s house? Drats. That’s me. I take it all back.

For spending time with parents, here are the activities I have found most enjoyable:

Walking or Running Marathons
Calling the political opposition idiots
Taking walks around the neighb, or around the hood – whichever you prefer
Eating tacos, burritos, Eastern European fare, or sushi {even if they fight you on it, they love spending time with you!}
Visiting historical sights

Another great option for spending time with your family? Force them to make you dinner. Check out this fig, prosciutto, and arugula pizza #3 whipped up for us last night for our Debate Party. Highly Presidential!

Mostly, this blog post was just an excuse for me to tell my family I like hanging out with them, and for me to remind YOU to hang out with your nearest and dearest. They love you, even if it’s kind of hard to tell sometimes. {yep, I’m talking to you my precious friend!}

Happiest of Thursdays,

~Kristin

 

My Mom Jumps

My lovely spouse, Mr. G, informed me recently that on our next vacation we will be taking only “jumping” pictures. Yes, you read that right. ONLY jumping pictures. I think this will be quite entertaining especially since we will be relying on random people on the street/other tourists to TAKE the pictures. I envision an album filled with the awkward squat-before-the-jump photos. Like this one.

While at a very Southern restaurant with a very unusual name {Cock of the Walk. More on that later.} we took it upon ourselves to practice THE JUMP. My mother, who had told us she didn’t know how to jump for a picture {Mom: it goes like this. You jump. Glenn takes a picture.} jumped with all of her might. Mr. G captured it on film.

Inevitably, someone (me) threw off the photo by hurling their hands in front of their face, or not actually getting off the ground at all. So we tried again.

Perfectly frame-worthy.

We used to do jumping shots all the time at Disneyland. I’m not sure what it is, but something about Disneyland makes me want to jump. And dance.

Last Chance Workout

This summer my sisters, Mom and I did a Biggest Loser challenge. I totally lost the competition. I mean TOTALLY. I think I might have actually gained a pound. Mom, who had the lowest starting weight, creamed us all. And by creamed I mean completely smeared. Scraped up our remains off the floor and turned us into dumbells to do lunges with. It wasn’t pretty.

At one point in this competition, my lovely mother sent me a DVD called “The Biggest Loser Last Chance Workout” which features Jillian Michaels and some of the TV show peeps (insert funny story: my sister told me that Mom asked her the other day what a “peep” was – confused, and thinking of ways to politely describe an x-rated show to our mother, my sister asked Mom to use it in a sentence. “Like, I’m hanging out with my peeps” Mom said. Apparently she had read it on my blog and had no idea what I was talking about. She’s a funny lady, that Mom of mine.) anyway – the TV show contestants and trainer Jillian do one of their super intense workouts RIGHT THERE IN YOUR LIVING ROOM.

I just did the workout for the first time. Here are the highlights:

1. Jillian saying “Don’t quit on me! You bought the Last Chance Workout DVD! Do you want to be skinny or not?” right as I’m about 50 mountain-climbers in and definitely contemplating quitting.

2. Doing this workout alone in my living room. Nothing screams cool like doing Biggest Loser DVD workouts in leggings and colorful mis-matched socks and no shoes, as sweat drips, no, pours, from your forehead to the floor of your Little Rock apartment’s living room.

3. Comparing myself to the contestants on the show. The “peeps” who are showing me how it’s done on the DVD are ALL over 300 pounds, yet they seem to have no problem pushing through the FIVE BILLION push-ups. This does great things for my self confidence.

4. The awkward “you are so great!” and applause – APPLAUSE – at the end of the workout, when I’m lying in a puddle on said living room floor.

5. The fact that, once I catch my breath, it really does make me feel like I’m so great.

Thanks, Mom, for reading my blog and for pushing me to be the best I can be, and for sending me that DVD all those months ago. The Arkansas version of myself is grateful.