wimmhtw* 11.11

1. Sporting KC won today against Real Salt Lake, making us the Western Conference Champion and in the running for the MLS Cup. I am so happy for them and proud of them!

2. This is an especially difficult time for me and my family, but I am trying to focus on things I can make better. One thing that I’ve been struggling with for several months now is getting enough sleep. I have been trying to go to bed early this weekend, and it has helped. Last night I spent 12 hours in bed. I wasn’t sleeping the entire time, but I slept for a lot of it. I needed that. Sleep is important.

3. I feel very fortunate to have a fantastic boyfriend who is being super supportive during this stressful time. Also, a good friend at work stepped up for me last week when I needed a ride to work for several days. I am so grateful for these people! Also, for the guy shown below, who is purr-fect.

*what is making me happy this week

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wimmhtw* 10.28

1. A really good sports weekend here. The Nebraska Cornhuskers won their football game. The Chiefs won. And Sporting ended their season at the top of the western standings. It was a hellacious game against LAFC. They brought it, but even a man down we managed a 2-1 victory. It was a beautiful fight, and the perfect ending to the regular season. Go soccer!

2. Supportive friends and family. While my mother is in a rehab hospital, we had to move her from one apartment to another due to an allergic reaction she’d had. I didn’t know how we were going to get it all done and have her place ready for her when she gets out of the hospital. But thanks to many supportive friends, a super helpful apartment office, some amazing family members, and some freakishly fast furniture delivery dudes, we have pulled it off. It’s not perfect, but it’s so much better than I thought it would be at this point that I’m totally okay with what’s left. That has been such a relief to get all that taken care of.

3. The photo below and my amazing boyfriend, who shares this weird life with me. Love you!!

*what is making me happy this week

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wimmhtw* 10.21

1. It was a better week, but things are still tough. But it was a lot easier to come up with 3 things that are making me happy, so that right there is something big to be grateful for. My first happiness this week was good friends. Friday night we headed out to our favorite barbecue place for dinner and ran into a wacky couple that we hadn’t seen since spring. As they are some of those outdoorsy people, they spent their summer camping and fishing and hanging out with bugs, which is so not our scene. So bumping into them and enjoying a delicious meal was a lovely surprise. And then last night, we had our other wacky couple friend over for roast chicken and their tagalong-type bars. Everything was delicious, and we had so much fun. I think we all needed that. So tonight’s first thing making me happy is good friends.

2. After last night’s dinner, we settled into the too-comfy sofa and the recliner to watch some Food Network. After some reruns of Iron Chef America, we watched the reboot of the Japanese Iron Chef from several years ago that the network has only recently started running. It is so completely cheesy that it is now unmissable, from the corny interpreters to the melodrama of the stadium to the porny yummy sounds that they insisted on playing while the judges were eating. I highly recommend this show, and if you have a strong constitution, you should use it for a drinking game. Choose your favorite cornball expression and make sure you have plenty of alcohol waiting for you. It’s refreshing!

3. This afternoon, my beloved Sporting KC took on Dallas FC. The competition between them and us runs deep, with most games getting chippy almost to the point of blows being thrown. Today was no exception. The season is winding down, and they’ve been number one for several weeks heading into this game. We were number two for several weeks, sometimes tied with LAFC, but we had fallen to third for awhile. Honestly, I wasn’t sure we could win this game. Mostly I just wanted a clean-ish game, where we had no major injuries going in to the playoffs. Incredibly, my Sporting guys pulled off a 3-0 win, while Vancouver was able to tie with LAFC in their game. We are sitting at the top of the standings right now, and it feels good. Sporting has played so well this year! They brought in a lot of new talent, and they’ve been able to integrate the new with the old and create a strong team that can fight and can defend with equal skill. It has been such an amazing ride this season, and I can’t wait to see them next Sunday go against LAFC.

*what is making me happy this week

wimmhtw* 10.14

1. This is a tough one. This has been a very challenging week, with each new hurdle turning into a series of hurdles for me and everyone I love. We are stressed out and exhausted, and it’s going to be a very long road. I appreciate everyone who has been so supportive recently, and for now I’m just trying to take things one day at a time.

2. Sleep. Sleep is a good thing, and I am very grateful for the hours that I get to sleep deeply and restoratively, before waking way too early to bad dreams and large to-do lists.

3. Routine, which makes it easier to keep moving forward. Knowing one small step I can take next, because it’s the same thing I’ve done the last 50 Sundays, makes it possible to take that step, and then another, and then another. It doesn’t feel like much, but when it’s all you’ve got, you grab on tight and keep a hold of it.

*what is making me happy this week

wimmhtw* 10.7

1. New episodes of Murphy Brown. I am a huge fan of Candice Bergen, so I am thrilled to have Murphy back. It would be even better to have Shirley Schmidt back, but I’ll take this for now.

2. I am very grateful for clean laundry. Our dryer stopped working last week, but yesterday we went to our favorite furniture store, Nebraska Furniture Mart, and not only were we able to get exactly the one we wanted with minimal effort, but they were ale to deliver it today. So the clothes for the week are clean, the old dryer is out of the way, and life is just a little easier again. Which is welcome, as other areas of life are not getting any easier yet.

3. Sporting KC is clinched for the MLS cup playoffs. I am so proud of my hometown team and so happy for them. They have obviously worked so hard, and it’s great to see that pay off. I’m excited for the playoffs, but I also realize that will signal the end of the season, so I hope they don’t come too soon. But when they come, I will be cheering so loud! I believe that we will win! I believe that we will win! Go Sporting!

*what is making me happy this week

wimmhtw* 9.30

1. New television season! Woot!

2. Our cat has been having issues lately. He’s been throwing up more than usual and has had some diarrhea. We took him to the vet on Saturday, which is traumatic for both cat and boyfriend, and we learned that he does have some kidney disease. But the good news is that it is treatable with a high protein food, and he can continue to live a healthy, happy life of being my master and teaching me how to serve his every need. I am very happy tat he will continue to be such a sweet, loving part of our lives.

3. September is ending. Usually, I love September. It’s my birthday month, and it’s a transition from summer to fall, which I love. The baseball season is ending, and the MLS season is getting closer to the championships. There is Husker football and sweatshirts and apple cider (and apple cider doughnuts!) and school buses. It gets darker and the sleeping is better, for the heavy blankets to snuggle under. But this September has been difficult. There has been lots of family drama, some bed bugs, a couple of hospitals, and lots of pain. I’m ready for it to end. Here’s hoping October has less drama and more candy, less pain and more laughter. But I’m grateful that we’ve made it through and can keep moving forward.

*what is making me happy this week

wimmhtw* 9.23

1. There is a trailer for the new Kevin Hart movie where he’s trying to get his GED. His night school teacher is relentless (Tiffany Haddish), and there are times that she goes against him in a boxing ring. There is one scene in particular where she asks him, “What’s the capital of Belgium?” and he answers, “Waffles?” I love that scene, and I love waffles, and I am excited that tonight for dinner, we are having waffles. And bacon. Because: bacon.

2. Rubbing alcohol in spray bottles. My mother has bed bugs. Her apartment has been treated once (the second one is Tuesday, the third one two weeks later), but an easy way to kill any bugs that survived the treatment is to spray them with alcohol. I stopped by CVS last week to pick up some rubbing alcohol, just in case I saw any bugs in the laundry of hers I brought back here or when I went to her place to pick up things she needs. CVS has been so thoughtful as to put alcohol in little spray bottles already, so they are ready to go to fight off the little buggers, or boo-boos or whatever else you’re wanting to spray alcohol on. It’s genius, and I’m so happy that they did that for me!

3. We have had some amazing servers this weekend. I am a big fan of servers. They do a tough job for little money, and when they go out of their way for me, it makes the meal so much better. Yesterday we went to a local chicken restaurant, and our server was super friendly and anticipated everything we needed. She filled our drinks quickly, brought out extra food (it’s family style) and takeout boxes at the perfect time. And she brought us a couple of extra rolls. Her enthusiasm was adorable and her professionalism was top-notch. And today, we went to our near-weekly sports bar for our pre-grocery store lunch. Now, we’ve been there enough that they know us, but it’s still really nice that they get our drinks for us as we’re sitting down and take care of us throughout the meal. It’s just so heartwarming to feel welcome and to know that people are taking good care of you. Thanks to all the servers out there! We appreciate your bringing us food and drinks!

*what is making me happy this week

wimmhtw* 9.16

1. This was a tough week. My mother’s been in the hospital for several days. This afternoon she was moved to a rehab hospital, where she can continue to recover from a couple of infections and a lot of pain. However, I am grateful to every one who helped her through all this—the paramedics who took her to the ER, the nurses and doctors who have helped her try to figure out what’s been wrong and are working to fix it, and the physical therapists who are making sure she doesn’t have to go back to her apartment until we can all be sure that she’s safe. And special thanks to my boyfriend who has sacrificed his time to be with me and help me out.

2. After waking up in the middle of the night Wednesday night with a bad allergy attack, I am very grateful for Claritin D and for those who made it available over the counter so that those of us with sinus issues can continue to breathe freely. Or relatively inexpensively anyway.

3. Pepperidge Farm Milano cookies. I’m not sure how to get through a week like this without them.

*what is making me happy this week

wimmhtw* 9.9

1. Today I started seeing commercials for the new fall tv season, and there are some definite bright spots in the lineup. I am so looking forward to the new Murphy Brown! I loved the original, loved the mix of characters and the strong voice of Murphy herself. I can't wait to see how they're going to update it. I also saw commercials for the new (and final) season of The Big Bang Theory, which looks like more fun that is Chuck Lorre unique blend of clever writing and wacky characters. So excited! Oh, and also: Hell's Kitchen! 

2. Labor Day we had to go to CVS, and the pharmacy was uncharacteristically slow, so the pharmacist suggested we go ahead and get our flu shots. My boyfriend had just signed up at work, so he declined, but I decided to go ahead and do it. So I got my flu shot for the year already, and it cost me nothing because of my health insurance. After last year's deadly flu, I'm so glad to be ahead of the curve on this one this year. Thank you, CVS!

3. The Boy Scouts were out in full force today, selling popcorn. I love the Boy Scout popcorn, so we've started stocking up. We love to eat popcorn and I'll make it in a big Dutch oven on the stove usually once a week, so I'm excited to get the good stuff back in stock in my pantry! Oh, and it's nice to help the kids too. 

 

*what is making me happy this week

wimmhtw* 9.2

1. Three! Day! Weekend! 

2. College football is back. And while it's certainly not my favorite sport, the fact that it's back means that it's almost officially fall. Cooler temperatures, my favorite hoodies, soft fleece blankets, and the soothing darkness that is so good for sleeping are all coming back, and I am very happy about that. I will make some hot tea and roast a chicken and stock up on Halloween candy, in case we eat it all before the end of October, and I will get excited about football (Go Huskers!)

3. Yesterday was my birthday, and it was a lovely, quiet, relaxing day. It gave me a chance to think back over this last year and reflect on what has made me happy and what hasn't, about what's working in my life and what isn't. It's helped me focus on what I want to accomplish this upcoming year and what I can cast aside as an idea that isn't working for me right now. For example, I need new strategies for a job where I stare at screens all day (it used to be paper, which was easier on my eyes), and I'd really like to clean up the basement and get more things down there organized. Because they're not. And last year I was reading like a crazed woman, going through 4-5 books a week, and that really burned me out. Lately I've been working on just 2 or 3 a week, and that's helped immensely. So it's all about finding balance and holding on to what's important and letting go of what's not. Also, I think I should eat more cake. Unless, of course, there's pudding. 

 

*what is making me happy this week

wimmhtw* 8.26

1. A great soccer weekend! My MLS team, Sporting KC, is on a roll with its 4th win in a row. It's so exciting to watch, now that they're past most of the injuries and playing great soccer. And Bundesliga is back, and our favorite teams (boyfriend's: Bayern and mine: Dortmund) both won! It's so much fun to be able to watch good soccer! 

2. My birthday is next weekend, and my email is getting stuffed with restaurants giving me free food. Desserts, entrees, you name it. I will be eating good for quite awhile! 

3. And speaking of good eating, my boyfriend made dinner tonight: pork chops, new potatoes, corn, and really good dinner rolls. It's so nice to get a delicious homemade meal cooked for me while I sit on the sofa and read. I love that! Thank you, Sweetheart! Love you! 

 

*what is making me happy this week

wimmhtw* 8.19

1. With last week full of stress and eyestrain, I bought one of those sinus masks that you put in the microwave for 30 seconds and then put over your eyes, and It has been heavenly. Having a perfect excuse to just lay on the sofa with the mask on for 20-30 minutes at night is so relaxing. It helps my eyes to rest. It helps my brain to calm down. And it just feels good, with its softness and warmth, while I let the stress roll away. I highly recommend it. 

2. My birthday is coming up, so today I got some cake. Pre-gaming is making me happy. And there will be lots more cake to come. Woot! 

3. It was a really rough week at work, but I made it through. I'm not too far behind, and while this week will be tough also, it feels doable. I can get through this. And then I am hoping that things will slow down a bit so I can get caught up on some other projects. But we'll just have to wait and see about that. For now, I am okay. And that makes me happy. 

 

*what is making me happy this week

wimmhtw* 8.12

1. Things have been intense at work lately, and the next couple of weeks will be more of the same. More spending all day, every day staring intensely at a screen. So I've been trying to reduce my screen time at home, and that's actually been really nice. It means I'm not reading as much, but it's been good to pull back a little and just try to make life easier. Easier is good. 

2. The cicadas are back. I know a lot of people get annoyed by the nightly concert they put on, but I find it soothing. Plus it means that summer (and all that heat!) is almost done and fall is coming. Cooler temperatures, the leaves changing colors, my seasonal allergies changing seasons. Very happy. 

3. Last night, my Sporting KC guys played LAFC out in California, and it was a great game to watch. First of all, they won, which is always nice to see. It was a game that didn't get out of hand as far as penalties and chippiness, which I appreciate (is it so bad to want soccer players to be nice to each other?!). But most of all, it was an amazing game because one of my former favorite players was lost (kidnapped!) by the expansion draft to LAFC, and last night I finally got to see Benny Feilhaber back on the field (albeit in the wrong jersey) with the rest of my Sporting faves! It was great to see him after the game, hanging out on the pitch getting to talk to and laugh with and get big hugs from the Kansas City guys. You are missed, Benny, but I hope we get to see you again in the playoffs! 

 

*what is making me happy this week

wimmhtw* 8.5

1. Today we watched the new show Making It, that had been sitting in the DVR. It's a competition show for crafters of all kinds, and it's hosted by Nick Offerman and Amy Poehler. It's super sweet and adorable. I like how they have figured out a way to have crafters of all types compete against each other, so a woodworker can bring their vision to life with their own medium, and a paper-crafter can bring their vision, and a fabric crafter can bring their ideas, and so on. And they get to throw around words like decoupage and vellum, taking the time to define them for viewers who might not know. It's just fun. I hope this one sticks around for awhile. 

2. This weekend I rewatched the movie Heartburn, and there are just so many things to like about this movie! Script by Nora Ephron, based on her novel. Directed by Mike Nichols. Starring Meryl Streep. With smaller parts from Stockard Channing, Caroline Aaron, Maureen Stapleton, Richard Masur, Jeff Daniels, and so many more. It's an amazing story (even more amazing if you know the real-life story behind it), beautifully crafted, and incredibly entertaining. It made me so happy to revisit it! 

3. I feel like the part of my brain that writes fiction is engaging itself, getting geared up to take on a new project. I keep seeing connections everywhere. A movie I watch reminds me of a book I read that reminds me of thing I heard the other day that reminds me of a dream I had that reminds me of a story that I wrote back in college. When I'm writing fiction, it feels like everything comes together and makes sense in a new way, like everything I bump into fits into a story I'm telling. I only feel like this when I'm writing fiction, and then it falls away. So I guess it's time to get writing again. Life is saying it's time. 

 

*what is making me happy this week

wimmhtw* 7.29

1. One thing that's not making me happy is that I'm sick again. A cold that's morphed into bronchitis, maybe? All I know is that I'm stuffed up and coughing and sneezing and miserable and grumpy. But what's making me happy is that my boyfriend is being super sweet about it and checking in with me, asking if there's anything he can do to help and just being my hero. That makes me very happy. 

2. While it feels like July has flown by, I'm happy to be closer to fall. I am looking forward to the cooler temperatures, the leaves falling, the Halloween candy, and just the feeling that time is moving forward. Having a bad day? It will pass. Got a cold? It will pass. Stressful week of work? It will pass. Time moves on. It heals some wounds, lets us recover from bad decisions, gives us perspective, and ultimately moves us forward in life. 

3. Yesterday, I caught the end of one of my favorite movies, so that made me very happy. Kudos to Renee Zellweger, Hugh Grant, Colin Firth, Helen Fielding, and everyone else who brought Brdget Jones' Diary to life. She remains one of my all-time favorite characters, and I adore the movies and the books starring Bridge. That makes me very happy. 

*what is making me happy this week

wimmhtw* 7.22

1. While I am sad that the World Cup has ended, with all the extra soccer on my happy tv, it's also nice to relax a little more and watch some soccer that doesn't have such high stakes attached. Our MLS team Sporting KC got knocked out of the Open Cup, so now they just have regular league games. And I'm certainly not going to say that it was a good thing they got eliminated, but having the extra time between games means they can rest and heal, which is a very good thing, since we've had too many injuries this season. Plus, we've discovered he International Champions Cup, which includes some of our favorite European teams. So that's been a nice bonus. 

2. A relaxing Saturday evening. Last night was very nice and chill, with some friends over, some Great British Bake-Off on tv, a big bowl of homemade popcorn, and snickerdoodles. There was no drama, there were no crowds, and there weren't too many soggy bottoms. A truly lovely evening. And with a quick trip to a local computer store, our computer go-to guy installed my boyfriend's second monitor (Amazon prime day!) and got it working brilliantly. 

3. This was a good week overall. Work has been steady but not overwhelming. The temperatures have come down a little. We got a little rain. There were new episodes of he Great British Bake-Off and Forged in Fire. All good things. It was a good week, and that made me happy. 

 

*what is making me happy this week

wimmhtw* 7.15

1. A really good weekend. We headed up to Nebraska to see my boyfriend's sister perform with her country band. I wasn't really sure what to expect, and neither he nor I are really country music fans, but it was amazing! Emily is a fantastic singer and can play the guitar and keyboard as well. And while there was a lot of country music that we didn't recognize, there was also a fair bit of Eagles, some older country songs that we knew from somewhere, a Jimmy Buffett (of course), and even Billy Joel's "Piano Man." It was so cool to sit and watch Emily perform, and it was great to see the rest of the family. We also got to spend some time with his mom, fixed a couple of things around her place, took her out to eat, and made sure everything was okay on her end. And it's good to just get out of town every once in a while, to reset your perspective and catch your breath. And even better, when we got back home, the cat seemed to forgive us fairly quickly, which he does not always do. It was a good 3 days, and I feel like I"m in a better head space to deal with the coming week. 

2. Maybe it's the fact that the Fourth of July has passed us, or maybe it's all the sales on school supplies, but I'm feeling like fall is coming. It certainly doesn't feel like it outside (although today the high was merely in the low 90s), but I can feel it. I can feel it coming. Cooler temperatures, leaves changing colors, school buses back on the roads, and people counting down to Christmas. I'm not really looking forward to that last thing, but there are lots of aspects of fall that I love. And it makes me think that we'll survive the heat of summer. 

3. I say that life is good a lot. Sometimes it's a reminder to myself. Sometimes it's a wish for a better day. Sometimes it's a mantra to center myself and try to see the best in a situation. I'm not sure exactly what's happened this summer, but I feel like my perspective has shifted a little. Life really is good these days, and it feels good too. A lot of my anxiety has melted away. Things are okay. They're not perfect. But they're good. We're healthy. We can pay all our bills. We have love in our lives. I feel lucky. I feel blessed. And I am happy. 

 

*what is making me happy this week

wimmhtw* 7.8

1. Good eating. For July 4, we got fried chicken from one of the best fried chicken restaurants in town (Rye), and one of the benefits of going to Rye is: pie. And then yesterday, we tried a new brew pub (technically, a new location for a brewery that's been around for awhile, but we'd never gone to the original location), Martin City Brewery. They had a pretzel app that was wonderful and a Cuban sandwich, my personal favorite. Basically, I've been eating my favorite foods all week long. Add to that yesterday's trip to a new location for a family favorite bakery (cinnamon rolls for breakfast this morning and macrons to snack on for days). And tonight we're heading to a steak house for dinner with my boyfriend's cousin, and they have prime rib, another of my favorites and one our usual steak house does not offer. So much good food! 

2. It's July, so that means that school supplies are out and they are all on sale. It does't matter to me that I'm not in school and that I have no children. I have a serious weakness for notebooks, and when they're only 25 cents each, I can do some serious damage. I let myself make one Staples run, but it's only the beginning of July. These delicious sales will continue for weeks. I am excited! 

3. Tea. It's rally hot out, and I love iced tea. Again this year, I am so happy to have my Twinings cold brewed tea bags, which makes iced tea so much easier. They have a peach version, which is good, but all week I've been so happy with just the basic English classic, which is so delicious. Brewed iced tea taste with only seconds worth of work. I wish everything was this easy! I've never seen these sold in stores, but you can order them very easily through the website, just click here and drink happy!

 

*what is making me happy this week

wimmhtw* 7.1

1. Still, the World Cup. It's fascinating and heart-breaking, but it's a lot of great soccer that is fun to watch. And there were 2 games today that went beyond extra time to shootouts. I love shootouts! Go sports! 

2. This week is the fourth of July, which is big for those of us in the states. We get to stop and celebrate all the great things we love about our country, which hasn't always been the easiest thing this year. But still, I am grateful to be an American, and to be able to disagree with those in power if I want to. (And we get the day off of work, which makes me very happy!)

3. Air conditioning. Our temperatures have been in the mid to upper 90s for most of the week, and I have no doubt that will continue for many weeks (thanks, Kansas). So I am very grateful for air conditioning, so that I can stay sane, so that I can breathe, and so that I can sleep, because without it I'm not sure I could do any of those. So, so, so very grateful for that! 

 

*what is making me happy this week

wimmhtw* 6.24

1. Dinner with friends. Last night we went to a local brewery, Emperial Brewery, for beers and good food and lots of laughs. And we loved the beer! 

2. Very excited about dinner tomorrow night. We will be heading to Lidia's, Lidia Bastianich's local restaurant, for an amazing dinner and a chance to meet Lidia and get a signed copy of her latest book, a memoir. It's always a good time at Lidia's!

3. It's summer, which means it's ice cream time! I mean, you can (and I do) eat ice cream all year round, but there is something about ice cream in summer that feels special. So plans for summer: read books, drink beer, eat ice cream. I may be able to accomplish all of that! 

 

*what is making me happy this week