As I look back on some older posts, I realized that I used to bore all of you with lists. I did a list every Friday and then some other random ones during the week. Either I was lazy, felt like plagiarizing (I think this is the same as being lazy), or I just didn’t know what to write. In short, it has been way too long since I last bored you with a list so today is that day I bore you once again. I know that I used to make lists every Fridays like some kind of segments, but let’s be real. Segments are for the ambitious. While I find myself being more and more go-getting, let’s not get crazy. I don’t want to set myself up with something that I may or may not do. Friday lists be gone and welcome to “I can really do whatever I want when I want because it’s my blog and I am probably one of the only people who read what I write” frame of mind.  So today’s list is brought to you by the optimistic mood I have been in and by the moments in the past couple of weeks that have made me smile. I hope most of you will relate to this and smile yourself.
Life’s Little Pleasures in Em’s Terms
1. The scrumptious residue left on your fingers after eating Doritos or Cheetos products. Or anything with the substance of powder cheese.
2. Completing a form on the internet without missing a required field, on the first attempt. Okay. I will be honest, this didn’t happen, but it did cross my mind how great it would be!
3. The smell of rain. Which oddly I was able to enjoy a couple days ago. The smell of rain in January. Who would have thought.
4. Months with three paydays. Those who get paid bi-weekly know what I’m talking about, three checks in a month is always splendid.
5. Lying in bed with freshly-washed sheets. My mom taught me a trick known as freeze drying. Yes, this crazy lady I call my mother washes sheets and hangs them outside on the clothesline to dry. In the middle of winter. In -30 degree weather. I guess that the sheets freeze dry and then they smell that much better for longer. I have yet to try this out, but it will happen. Not if only I had a clothesline….
6. Getting cutoff by an overanxious driver, then pulling up right next to them moments later at a red light. Yes. This does bring me joy. It does to all of you also, so don’t judge.
7. Having the exact change to pay for something. Having Cash on hand for me is one thing, exact change just feels great!
8. Sticking that leg out from underneath the blanket and feeling just right.
9. Happy hour at bars and restaurants. Save money and drink. Who can go wrong?
10. Movie previews full of trailers you’ve never seen.
11. Removing all of the shell off of a boiled egg in one try. This is a task that is hard to accomplish. When it happens, take a picture. It will be a great feat!
 12. This video of kitty.

13. The moment the credits hit when someone forced you to watch a boring movie for the past hour and a half.
14. Dancing in the car and reciting entire songs, making noises to recreate instrument solos.
15. That first intense body stretch after waking up.
16. Funnel cakes and root beer floats.
17. Correctly choosing the quickest check-out line at the grocery store, or the fastest moving lane on the road. We all do the line merge. It is so gratifying knowing you picked the correct line.
18. Getting wrapped snugly in blankets when it’s freezing cold.
19. Spontaneous adventures. Plans are good; spur of the moment is better.
20. Waking up, checking the clock and seeing that you have plenty of sleep time left.
21. Laughing at something so hard that you cry. Or, laughing so hard that no noise comes out. If one of these two things happens, you’re having a ball.
22. Driving over little hills in the car and getting the mini roller coaster feeling.
23. Having someone exiting the bathroom directly in front of you, so you don’t have to touch the unsanitary door handle.
24. Clocking out of work when you’re off for the weekend.
25. When plans you didn’t want to attend get canceled. Seriously. This is a great feeling.
26. Finding money you didn’t know you had in your pocket. Okay, so this only happens to other people because I spend all of my money. Especially Cash. But I did find some in Cory’s pants and took it. That was a surprise.
27. The anticipation and hype on days before a big vacation or trip somewhere. (No I just have to plan a trip……)
28. Using a new Chap Stick for the first time.
29. Night time drives. (Only if someone else is driving. Otherwise it’s down right scary because I don’t have very good night vision. Like at all.)
30. Catching a song you enjoy on the radio, right as it starts.(This one is for you Cory)
31. Finally lying in bed after an exhausting day.
32. Waking up, feeling extremely thirsty, and having water nearby to quench it.
33. Getting home so late that the sun is coming up. Okay, so this didn’t happen either, but I really want it to and I think it will happen in the near future. Hopefully.
34. Landing the gas pump on the precise amount you wanted. Not 10 cents over, but directly on it. We all try to do this. It’s like a game that makes the price of gas just a little bit more bearable.
35. The additional French-fries at the bottom of the bag.
36. The other side of the pillow.
37. The relief of taking your shoes and socks off, after a long day of wearing them. (This I can relate to.)
38. Opening presents. The gift doesn’t necessarily have to be amazing if you’ve wrapped it, being that tearing off the paper in anticipation is 75% of the pleasure.
39. The bond shared by two people over a mutual disdain for another individual. (Again, don’t judge.)
40. The smell of gasoline (Or am I the only weird one that likes this smell?)
41. The various bottles of booze and beer left in your refrigerator after hosting a party.
42. Making a witty comment that draws a lot of laughs and even surprises you.
43. Asking a question on Google and seeing it finish your words, meaning there are others out there wondering the same thing as you.
44. Late night/early morning conversations with good friends
There you have it. The small things in life that really do make each day worthwhile. I hope you all can come up with a list of your own and really think about how great it is to be able to wake up each day and live your life.
Oh, and here is another cat video. You’re welcome.

Does anyone else think that the world can be a cruel circle sometimes? Don’t get me wrong, I still love the little things and I am not posting about how bad my life is. I, in fact, still know that I have a great life. There are just some things in life that don’t make sense. People can ask why is the sky blue, and get relatively correct answers that or very philosophical ones. I am not looking for answers, I just would like to complain to someone about things that don’t make sense.
Let me clarify a couple of things for you. A week or so ago, I posted telling you all that I am getting a little bored and am looking for a new goal or hobby to get into. I have looked into making my own tea, yoga classes, spinning classes, and so on. Getting right down to it, things cost money. Money that right now is a little tight. We are trying to save money so it doesn’t seem practical for me to spend $46.00 for a one night class on tea making. Do I want to do this? Of course.  Are there other things my money should be going towards. Sure thing! After thinking about it some more, I came up with the perfect answer. You all also know that I have wanted to get back into photography more and more. Well, my answer to my boredom and wanting to start a new hobby along with photography has led me to Polaroid Pictures. Yes, you read that correctly. Pictures that you take on a huge camera that prints photos right away. Your Grandma had them. You parents carried them around their neck when you were little. They were about as big as Flavor Flavs (Did I get that right) adornments that he wears. They took mediocre fuzzy pictures that people made fun of. Well, I want one. I want to take as many pictures as I can, decorate rooms/fridges/frames with them. Take pictures that memories are made of and hand them out at a moment’s notice.  They are now vintage cool and I think that Polaroid Pictures are the answer to my prayers. What’s the problem? Well, just like Bell Bottoms, slap watches, and big glasses, Polaroid Cameras are the new ‘it’ thing. Meaning hipsters all around are starting this trend. Meaning these so called hipsters have made the once lack luster photo buster very expensive.  Why is it that something that cost $10.00 back in the day is now over $200.00. Yes, you read the right. I can’t seem to find one of these gems under that amount, not including the expensive film that the cameras call for.  Well you Urban Outfitters wearing, Polaroid Picture taking hipsters, you have crushed my dreams (okay, so I may be exaggerating just a bit). Go put on your purple skinny pants and be cool because I will not be joining your posh hobby anytime soon.

Well, onto my next idea…… I just have to figure out what that is first and grab it up before it becomes popular (dirt art)?
Well friends, despite this post, the world isn’t actually a cruel circle. Life is good. Laughter should happen often.  Love is grand.
Until next time,
Also, just so you all don't get the idea that I am turning into a Bitter Old lady, I thought I should include a picture of a Unicorn jumping over a rainbow (Brought to you by the one and only Lisa Frank. Anyone?). You're welcome.

Happy Tuesday!
I hope the weekend treated as good as mine did. In a nutshell, I did everything I wanted to do, which was unexpected. Not only did I get to have a very interesting (and hilarious) time with my parents, Cory and I made it up to Duluth as well. It was one of those weekends that goes by way too fast and you are more tired on Monday than usual, but it comes with the territory of having a great weekend. In the sense of the weekend, I am going to steal a fellow bloggers idea and update you on a couple of things I realized this weekend.
This Weekend I….
Was once again reminded about how awesome my parents are. Seriously.  They drove all the way up to see me for a night. Yes, I said that correctly. They drove 3+ hours to hang out with me for an evening, take me out to supper, and gave me quite a story to tell. I think they secretly knew I really wanted to see them, so they made it happen.

I realized that my dad should never pick out hotels. Due to many sporting events in the area and the last minute decision to stay the night, hotels were full to capacity. My dad found a hotel that had rooms open. Many many rooms open. Now on such a busy weekend, this was very strange, but he booked it and it was something else. It reminded of the hotel in The Shining. Long long hallways. Peeling wallpaper. Boudoir motif. Floral curtains. Unheated hallways (did I mention that they were long?). And to top it all off, my parents asked for a Jacuzzi suite. What they didn’t know was that this ‘suite’ was at the opposite end of the hotel. Where no one else stays. Where people wouldn’t hear if we screamed. This hotel was also a double for dinner theater and a lounge straight out of 1920. Back in the day, I am sure the hotel was hopping and was the place to be, however, in the year 2013, it just has a haunting feeling like someone could have died in the room we were staying in. Now, most people would have left, but not us. What we did find was a gem of a pool and peace. The pool area was something you would see in a magazine (historical magazine). It was elegant, clean, and the hot tub was deeper than most pools in hotels and it was fantastic. Add a couple glasses of sangria and we have a recipe for a fun relaxing evening. We also went to the lounge, had a couple jack and cokes, played cards by the fire and played a little bit of pool. It was refreshing, exciting. The kicker to all this: We will probably stay there again. My parents never disappoint and we had us an adventure! (It would have made you proud Sara!)

Cold Hallway to main lobby. I should note that we had to walk down another one of these before we actually made it to the main lobby. And the we had to walk down two more to get to the pool area. Need I remind you that the halls were unheated.

I noted that the word home has changed for me. I still referred to Duluth as home. I have gone back a couple of times and it has felt like home still. This weekend, it changed. While I had fun and it was so good to see people I haven’t in a while, I realized I didn’t fit in as well. I know where things are and still have my favorite restaurants, but it is no longer home for me. It was a very bittersweet feeling and I am still not sure how I feel about it. I still have a sense of longing and sometimes question the big move we did, but friends have moved on. Friends have changed. While it is nice to talk and catch up, the sense of belonging just isn’t there. I think it is time to grasp that I am no longer one of them, but merely a good friend who is visiting. 

I came to the conclusion that it is time for us to go on a trip. With the baby talk hovering around every conversation, I feel like I need one more trip of freedom. One final hurrah where I can sleep in as late as I want, have one drink too many, and stay up all night because I choose to. Can we afford anything like this? Nope. Will I be looking at places to go and dreaming of the possibilities? Sure thing!

I hope the workweek passes quickly and the weekend gets here soon! In the meantime, enjoy the last two pictures. One of them is better than the other (I think I love my cat too much).

 Thirsty Thursday, Taco Thursday (or is that strictly for Tuesdays?), Thankful Thursday. No matter how you look at it or what adjective you put in front of it, we have arrived to Thursday. We have gotten over the mid-week hump and have cleared the foothill that will bring us closer to Friday.  Friday, glorious Friday! You all know how much I look forward to Friday’s because it means the start of the weekend. It means sweatpants until noon, laziness, glasses, and no make-up. Yes, my friends, weekends bring out the best (and the sexy) in me.  Friday’s have also become even more exciting for me because my hours switched at work and I now get to leave the workweek behind me an Noon. Yes, you heard me right. I am done by 12:00 on Fridays from now on. It seriously can’t get any better than that!
This weekend for me holds options. Many of them. I have to choose between hanging out with my parents (which you all know I love to do), or drive up to Duluth to attend a benefit. Here is my dilemma:
I love my parents and have been missing them a lot lately. I always have fun with them, and they are some of the best company a gal can have. They are two people always up for adventure and make me laugh.
I also love Duluth and have been missing a lot of things back in that neck of the woods (not to mention a lot of people). The benefit is for one of Cory’s good friends and it would mean a lot to her if he went. If we go, I might make Cory take me winter hiking. He doesn’t know about this, but again, he never reads my blog so I am not too worried.
What to do, what to do. If I have to choose between two adventures as good as these, I have it pretty great!
Well, that is all I have for you. I hope you have a wonderful Segway day into Friday and I will talk to you soon!
Also, for your enjoyment purposes, I have included a picture of Cory and I. I feel like I don't include enough pictures on here, so hopefully, I can change that. Don't worry, the pictures won't be limited to my face.
 Happy Tuesday! I hope the weekend treated you all well and that those of you living in the cold tundra that is the Midwest right now are staying cozy.
My weekend passed with laughter, friends, and some good food to boot! Because of the cold and my lack of friends that are really close, I haven’t been getting out and doing much and was kind of going stir crazy in the house so it felt nice to see some people that don't look like my husband. Don’t get me wrong, he has a very handsome face, it was just nice to see some other faces as well. J (Love you Cory)
As I return to calmer levels in my life, I can’t help but think how nice it is to take a deep breath, relax, and just feel good. I know life gets crappy. It happens to me to. Sure our house feel s just a bit warmer than outside because we can’t afford another $600.00 electric bill like last month, but I still have a roof over my head. I may not see Cory as much as I would like, but it means that I still am head over heels for him. Life can take a turn for the worse and then something happens that makes it worthwhile and makes you feel good. It is this constant change in life that should make you feel alive and happy. No matter what, there is always something good to see and right now, I see the good. I hope you all do to.
Well friends, stay warm. Stay well. I will talk to you soon.
"Challenges are what make life interesting;
overcoming them is what makes life meaningful."
Mark Twain
It’s Friday Afternoon my friends! It’s Friday. It’s my second post this week. What is happening?
It is official. Things have started to slow down for me. I dominated the first week of classes and I have organized and cleaned up my Bookstore. This means two things: 1. I am in a wonderful mood because of all the things I accomplished this week and 2. Since I feel like I have done everything that needed to get done, I am going to sit here the rest of the work day and Google cute pictures of cats, post my blog, and check Facebook every 5 minutes just to be sure I don’t miss anything.  Yes, this is exactly what is going to happen and I feel great about it.
With this spare time, I am also able to catch up on my e-mails and am so excited for some of the book reviews coming up. It makes me jolly just thinking about them! I think I am having a burst of ambition (that or too much coffee today) because I can’t wait to make these deadlines and get back in to the writing way. I may even post again tomorrow. Now I know this is crazy talk, but we will have to see!
I hope everyone has a fantastic Friday! Double up on those socks, because it is going to be a cold one. (Am I the only person who wears more than one pair of socks when cold?)
Until next time, find joy in the small things, smile at a stranger, and be confident in yourself, and Think Happy.....

and now I am going to check Facebook.....

 Good Morning Friends!
 In case you all forgot who I am, I am Em. The extremely optimistic joyous person who has rejected her blog for far too long. When I first started this, my friend warned me that blogging is like a part time job. You have to do it every day or the interest starts to lack and pretty soon, you are writing to yourself. And only yourself.  *Sigh* I hope this is not the case, but understand if you all feel that I have been lacking in my duties but that is about to change. Yes, my friends, it is. I was swept up in the Christmas Cheer, the new Year celebrations, and then the start of a new semester where I work. Things are starting to get back on track, resolutions have been made, and plans for the future were made. All these things are extremely thrilling to me and I can’t wait to keep you all updated once again with the exciting (and sometimes not so exciting) times.
With the New Year (I can’t believe we are already two week into 2013), comes the word resolutions. Now I know I am late on this yearly bandwagon, but my resolutions kind of play into why this New Year is going to be limitless and it’s never too late to set goals of any kinds.
My Top Ten Resolution for Twenty Thirteen (It sounds like I am going for a David Letterman thing here. That is not the case)
1.       Bee Healthy. (All I picture is the Honey Nut Cheerio’s bee telling me to do this. Subliminal (or not so much) messaging worked on me.  This includes eating better and watching the portion size. With this, I am also going to try and monitor my sugar intake. And by monitor I mean that I will try to cut back on sugar…. But not pie. Or cake. Or brownies. Or cookies. Hmmm. How am I doing?
2.       Drink more water. I guess this could be categorized with #1, but I felt it was important to have its own number.
3.       Start running again. Since the weather took a turn toward winter, I have been much slacking in this aspect of my life. I loved how I felt when I was an avid runner, but I just stopped. I started to make excuses about why I shouldn’t run on the treadmill. One of these excuses was that I didn’t want to run without a rub underneath the treadmill (yes, this actually happened). Much to my surprise, Cory went and got my workout station all set up for me (complete with carpet)…. Now what can I use as my excuse?
4.       Pick up a new hobby. Last year was running, cake decorating (opposites attract?), stained glass, and bread making. This year I am looking at a couple of options. One is Yoga, another one is making my own tea. As always, I am open to options.
5.       Start a book club. This is self-explanatory, but at the moment, I don’t really have too many friends that are close enough to be in a book club and I don’t know too many people in town to do this either. We will see what happens.
6.       Have the Baby talk. Cory is ready.. like now. Me… I still like my me time. More on this later.
7.       Work more on the theater. Geeze, it has been so long since I have posted on here, I don’t even remember if I have mentioned that my in-laws bought a theater in our town that we will be renovating and hoping to open by the Spring. Lately, my help has included eating the theater candy (I should really rethink this sugar thing) and painting a bit. I am super excited and it’s about time I show my support.
8.       Spend more time with Cory. Lately it has been as if we are living two different lives, which is no change for us, but the time we do have together, I spend reading or watching my reality TV shows. I think I take out time together for granted, so that needs to be changed.
9.       Start to write more. This includes starting my book…..again.
10.   Meet new people!
So, hopefully all of these will happen and this year will be one for the records. I look forward to keeping you all updated with my happenings. Also, I do have a bunch of book reviews coming up and I can’t wait to share with you some of the great books I have been reading!
I sure am one lucky gal!!!
Until tomorrow (or Friday), Cheers! You all have been missed!