Yes, it’s very unlike me to NOT have a tree completely decorated with merry stuff galore by the Friday after Thanksgiving. However, here it is December 9th and I’m still struggling to get it done. [Damn.] The reason? Well, that’s the beauty of “starting over.” Last year, me and D were so focused on moving into the house we currently reside in that I didn’t have much time to get into all the festive details. I mean D already had this pretty sweet tree, so that worked out in my favor. We purchased a few ornaments and that was that. Anyway, this year, I wanted to get creative [SHOCKER ALERT!] and make some unique stuff for our yuletide décor. And I’m just starting now :/
“The lights on my tree. I wish you could see. I wish it every day.” – The Carpenters
But, it’s all good ;) starting Wednesday, there will be some cheerful holiday D.I.Y.’s here on LLM! I just have to remind myself to not let “the perfection ruin the good.” Oh, and the location of my hot glue gun . . .
So, starting today, I have decided to make this a yearly thing – an annual present to Jenna.
“28” was giant leap in the right direction.
You are a purely creative soul, who should be doing just that: CREATING! Thank you for having the bravery to quit your steady paycheck and give your crazy ambition a chance. It was scary. [Hell!] It’s STILL scary, but it makes you feel alive and oh so free. It has taught you about YOU: how to will yourself to get-up-and-go [even when you don’t want to], how to shut-up that negative inner voice [damn gremlin!], AND how you can be artistically brilliant if you just let Jenna be . . . Jenna.
Besides your artistry, you have opened your eyes to the real world. Thank you for learning how to stand up for yourself. I mean sure no one likes added drama, but you need to continue the progress you have made. The real fight in you started at the beginning of 2012 and has continued to blossom throughout “28.”
Jenna, you ARE a good person.
You deserve to have worthy people in your life. And yes, at times, it’s hard to stomach, but a large majority of the world is filled with a bunch of crap weasels. [Sucky, but true.] You must trust those instincts of yours better and know who is valuable of your time and who should ultimately become a distant memory.
Now, why is it you have so much gumption these days?
Well, the answer is simple. Sometimes all it takes is one person to show you that it’s okay to let your guard down, be yourself, and love with no regrets. Thank you for continually opening yourself up to life’s greatest gift. So many fight the urge and do not keep their eyes on what’s truly important. Your spirit is awake and you have grown tremendously in heart. Always remember to make your person the most important thing in your days. The “to-do” list can ultimately wait. Your D is in the here and now.
“The more you praise and celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate.” – Oprah Winfrey
In closing, you have so much determination. Apply it to the year ahead. You will get things done. Maybe you’ll even learn how to FINALLY swim! But whatever happens [at this rate] “29” should prove to be anything but ordinary.
My beloved Grandma Margaret turns 86-years-old today.
She is simply an inspiration: so smart, amazingly independent in her nature, and the kindest soul you will ever meet. I am so insanely grateful to still have her in my life = my last living grandparent. Ever since her and my mom visited in October, I’ve realized more and more how much my current life resembles hers with my Grandpa Herman. She was lucky enough to have a man that loved her for her with all of his heart and let her just be Margaret, hell or high water ;) and looking back, I don’t have a single childhood memory or life milestone that doesn’t include her in it. She has always been there for me and has honestly had more of an influence on “me” than I ever actually knew . . . until now.
“We should all have one person who knows how to bless us despite the evidence, Grandmother was that person to me.” – Phyllis Theroux
Anyway, I must go – I have an Ethel Merman-styled “Happy Birthday” to sing to her over the phone!
What’s that saying? You can take the girl off the farm but you can’t take the farm out of the girl . . . well, whatever it is, there’s just something I STILL love about a nice warm, thermal vest ;) I wore this sort of look in high school, college, and even [now] in my late 20’s – I guess that’s just Jenna! [Lol.]
“I still can’t shake the Nebraska off of me.” – Andrew Rannells
Ever since my move to San Diego four [short] years ago, I have made the ultimate Thanksgiving feast:
Apple Cider Gravy
Toasted Cornbread, Bacon, & Chestnut Stuffing
Golden Potato Mash
Green Bean Casserole
You know ;) the works! But this year was different. Instead of me slaving away in the kitchen [which I truly love b.t.w.] our holiday was filled with authentic fall weather, restaurants galore, and some of the most stellar wines I have ever had the pleasure of tasting.
Yep, me and D went to Napa Valley, folks!
We went with our dear friends, Matt and Leslie, who [if you remember] also traveled with us to Kauai this past May and on our most recent Vegas excursion in October. The trip, itself, was dreamt up on one of our many beach days with them this past summer. It was my first to this region of California and was everything I had hoped it would be: absolutely gorgeous, extremely tasty, and utterly painless.
The reason our journey was such a success?
Sure, the location was [of course] a contributor. However, due to Leslie and her experience wedding planning, the entire expedition was insanely smooth. I mean we even had an itinerary with reservations and everything! She is just simply amazing. Anyway, I contributed in the usual way = with my camera. So, here is a small peak at some of the unique beauty we saw on our visit.
Prager Winery & Portworks was my personal favorite. So much so, it was the only place we purchased bottled adult beverages. Oh, and one of these fabulous Portuguese “Rooster” corks. I was told by the winery that it’s Portugal’s animal for luck. I guess time will tell. Either way, I think we won with their Port and Twany!
The stupendous vinery outside the Clos Du Val Winery.
A peak-through the screen of the barrel room at Caymus Winery.
I didn’t realize how much I missed the fall until this . . .
D being goofy for the camera and making me laugh [like always]!
“One should always be drunk. That’s all that matters . . . But with what? With wine, with poetry, or with virtue, as you chose. But get drunk.” – Charles Baudelaire
Some of the lovely landscaping at Domaine Chandron Winery. We ate at their Etoile Restaurant for Thanksgiving supper and it was SO DELICIOUS!
I discovered this artist while tasting at Chimney Rock Winery. His name is Clifford Bailey. I was instantaneously drawn to this particular work!
Thanks to the truck bed of some winery worker’s truck at Plumpjack, I was able to set my camera’s timer and snap this quick pick of us all.
I hope you had a wonderful few days as well with the ones you love – now bring on December festivities!