Weekly Gratitude

It’s been a really long time since I did a Weekly Gratitude post.  Sometimes when I’m stressed out or just really busy, I forget about the things that are really important.

I’m thankful for dance.  This is a frequent flyer on my Weekly Gratitude list but it deserves to be there every single time.  I’ve had the amazing opportunity to choreograph, see my visions come to life, meet some of my best friends, and be a complete goofball (aka be myself).

How'd that get there?

I’m thankful Thanksgiving is next week.  I get 2 Thanksgivings.  Stephen and I start at my house, have some dinner with my family and leave before dessert to get up to his aunt and uncle’s house in New Hampshire for pie.  We chase it down with Christmas movies because with our families, Christmas starts the moment the Thanksgiving turkey is gone.

I’m thankful for my BU friends (and that our semester is over in 3 weeks).  They are fun and I like them.  Plus, they understand why I want to rip my hair out from stress, mainly because we are all in the same boat.

I’m thankful that I chose BU.  Yes, it’s a ton of work and yes, the commute blows but I already know so much more than I did a mere 3 months ago.  I had almost no experience in front of the camera, minimal experience with editing and didn’t even know what a JVC HD was.  Now, I’m shooting, editing and putting together all of my own stuff and it’s incredibly gratifying when other people like the projects you spend hours and hours on.

I’m thankful for my AC friends.  I don’t get to see them everyday, but the occasions we do get to be together are the absolute best.  I’m so excited for Christmas on the Cape and to give my awesome Secret Santa present.  But I digress.

This is Alyse. I do not have her for Secret Santa but she'd appreciate my gift.

I’m thankful for my family.  Even though sometimes they drive me nuts, family is family and I love mine.

I’m thankful that I have someone special who loves me.  Mushy?  Yes.  But it’s true so it’s there.

He's a saint because he puts up with me. Seriously... ask anyone.

I’m thankful for crafts I can do.  I’m not a crafty person.  I can’t draw, paint, build, sculpt.  But once in a while, I’ll come across something that is “so simple, you can do it with your kids.”  Well, if small children can make these Christmas gifts, so can I, damn it.

I’m thankful I have a 5K tomorrow.  Did I really just say that?  I probably won’t feel that way when I wake up tomorrow but it’s still true.  After last month’s rough Witch City race, I’m ready to get back to PR-ing.  Here that stomach? Be cool, okay?

TELL ME!!  What are you thankful for today?  I’ll be thankful you told me!

Weekly Gratitude: Birthday Edition

I realized I haven’t done a Weekly Gratitude in quite some time now and I have SO many things to be thankful for.  Bear with me, this list could get lengthy.

I’m thankful I have a wonderful family.  Seriously, people, my fam puts up with a lot.  When I’m moody, aggitated or tired, watch out.  Hurricane Marie will bulldoze you right over. 

Cupcake charm = birthday present from Mom & Dad. Super cute next to my giraffe and seashell.

I’m thankful for mid-morning snacks.  Fruit, nuts, quinoa (?)… whatever.  It helps me get through the first 5 hours of my day and makes me smile.

My aunt's quinoa: Roasted eggplant, peppers, onions, squash... Delicious despite the crappy picture.

I’m thankful for dance.  Towards the end of college, I was completely burnt out.  I no longer wanted to go to practice, couldn’t stand the thought of running our routines “one more time” and didn’t even enjoy the sweating aspect of it anymore.  I felt like I lost a piece of myself.  After graduation, I spent my summer with NDA, and although I loved every minute of it, I felt strangely out of place.  As the year progressed, I joined DanceWorks Boston and my outlook changed.  I found my love of dance again and with it, a love for myself again.  Even this summer with NDA feels completely different than last summer and my confidence is soaring higher than ever before.  Thank you DWB and NDA; you gave me a piece of my heart back.

DanceWorks Boston, Spring 2011
NDA circa 2009

I’m thankful for my friends.  Family friends, dance friends, home friends, school friends.  I’d be so lost without you. 

Oldie but a goodie. And go figure, even at 10 years old, my mouth was never shut.

I’m thankful for my job(s).  That I do things that I like/love, that I work with great people and that I get a paycheck to pay my school loans so my parents don’t have to sell the house.  Win.

I’m thankful for exercise.  Sweat = love.  I’m especially thankful for two of my oldest friends, Lauren and Joanna, for convincing me to take a Cross-Fitt class at the gym on Tuesday afternoon.  My inner thighs and lower back STILL hurt.

I’m thankful for Weight Watchers.  6 pounds down and eating what I love? Yes, please.

I’m thankful for my boyfriend.  Words do not express this at all.  He is the kindest person I have ever met, has a heart of gold and would do anything and everything for me.  He took me out to dinner last night, gave me a beautiful gift and even indulged my desire for (more) frozen yogurt.  The whole time I was thinking that I must be the luckiest girl in the world. 

Oh hey, Boyfriend
So good to me...
I like diamonds.

I’m thankful that tomorrow is my birthday.  I’m happy, healthy and ready for 23.

What are you thankful for today? 

Weekly Gratitude

Thank you AGAIN to everyone who came out, sent me e-mails, comments, text messages and supported me for my first 5K race.  It was an unbelievable experience and I can’t wait to do it again.  (And I think I may be getting roped into a HALF MARATHON in August?!?!? Oh. My. God.)

Thank you to my cousin Ali for taking gorgeous pictures at my race.  She’s legit.  And hysterical.  And an all around great kid.  She takes after me.

Thank you to Dunkin Iced Coffee.  It’s Friday and I NEEDED you.  Small with skim milk and 2 sweet-n-low if you were wondering. 

Thank you to my boyfriend.  I don’t give this kid enough credit.  He puts up with a lot on a regular basis.  (I am a HUGE pain in the you-know-what.)  Last night, he brought me a bottle of wine for no reason whatsoever.  One word: Keeper.

Thank you to Tracie for making the best American Chopped Suey that my sister and I absolutely hoovered last night.  Comfort food at it’s finest.  Oh and for my b-e-a-utiful flowers for my race.  What a Work Mama she is.

Thank you to NDA for the best summer job I could ask for (not that I don’t love my hospital peeps!)  I get to travel all over the country, meet incredible people and dance all.summer.long.  I go to Oklahoma in exactly one week and I cannot wait.

Thank you to the gym.  I love you, enough said.

Thank you to DanceWorks Boston for having fall AND spring sessions next year.  I want to choreograph again…. pom, jazz or contemporary?

Oh.. and a big HAPPY 23rd BIRTHDAY to my best friend/college roomie Swy! 23 is the new 21…

Me & Swy

It’s Friday.. what are you thankful for?

Weekly Gratitude

I love Fridays for obvious reasons.  It’s the beginning of the weekend, it’s sunny and has FINALLY hit 70 degrees here north of Boston, I have lovely plans for the weekend and a glass of red wine calling my name.  That being said, I had lots of things to be grateful for this week.

  • Thank you to St. Pius V School, my own Kindergarten through 8th grade home.  Today, they gave out the annual endowment scholarships to students and this year was the first year my family’s scholarship in honor of my grandparents, the Leonard and Lena Torto Endowment Scholarship, was presented.  My sister and I were able to give it out and it was a very proud moment for my family.  Plus, I got to go back to my days in elementary school, see all the changes that have been made and visit with my old teachers.
  • On that note, thank you to all of my old teachers that I saw today.  It is so nice to be told over and over again how grown up and beautiful I am and how proud they are of the person I’ve become. [GLOAT.]
  • Thank you to Forever 21 for making the cutest clothes for summertime.  I love my new sundresses, sandals, sunglasses.  You better believe I’m hitting that place hardcore before my cruise.
  • Thank you to my Daddy.  His 59th birthday is tomorrow and he is the best Dad I could ask for.  I love you Dad!
  • Thank you to my Mom (and to all moms) who we celebrate this weekend for Mother’s Day.  You go above and beyond and I love you very much.
  • Thank you to music.  Man, I couldn’t do anything without you.  Life would be incomplete.
  • Thank you to my friend, Miriah, and her husband John for letting me visit last weekend.  They are brand new parents to abeautiful little baby girl, Adrianna.  She is 6 weeks old already and I fell in love when I saw her.  And of course, Miriah is her same skinny self.  Genetics were good to her.
  • Thank you to summertime.  You are so close, I can see you like a finish line.  I’ll run to you.

Me with baby Adrianna

Weekly Gratitude

Thank.God.It’s.Friday.  That’s really all I need to sum up this week.  However, there are always more things to be thankful for…

  • Thank you to my Aunt Deb who surprised me by getting tickets to go to dinner and see a live taping of “The Cooking Show” at The Rustic Kitchen Bistro & Bar in Boston tonight.  I’ll be the complete DORK in the audience taking pictures of her food.  (Seperate blog post to come about that.)  I’m so excited to spend quality time with my auntie, eat good food, drink good wine and maybe pass out some blogger cards.  Opportunity beckons.
  • Thank you to BU’s College of Communication for giving me a $10,000 scholarship to help me pay for my Master’s Degree program.  Without it, I’d be slightly more panicked.
  • Thank you to Claire for being in the Royal Wedding spirit today.  Not onlydid she don a tiara all morning at work but also brought in a Queen Elizabeth doll, English tea and a teacup from 1984.  Classic.

  • Thank you to Shazam for being able to capture any song on the radio so I know it’s title and artist instantly.  Have you heard Lifehouse’s new song “Falling In”? If not, download it.  It’s Stephen’s new ring tone.
  • Thank you to this weekend.  Lots of working out, some healthy cooking, maybe a bike ride, a trip the Newburyport farmer’s market, time with the family and the boyfriend, lots of sleep, wine and relaxing.

Weekly Gratitude

Hooray for Friday!  I know I’ve only had a 4-day work week (so spoiled..) but I’m really excited about this weekend.  It’s Easter .. duh .. and that means spending time with my family, eating good food and being thankful… I figured a Friday Weekly Gratitude was appropriate.

  • Thank you to my sister, Melissa.  She’s home from college for Easter break and man, she’s a funny kid.  She came with me to 2 nights of dance practice and totally showed me up in hip-hop.  I told her to stop being better at it than me.  She doesn’t listen.
  • Thank you to Marathon Monday for giving me the day off from work and giving me something else to strive for.  Those Boston runners are incredible!
  • Thank you to the sun.  It’s nice to finally see you.  Would you mind warming the Boston area up just a bit more?
  • Thank you to flip-flops.  I’ve missed you.
  • Thank you to Boston University’s Accepted Student’s Day.  It was so well-organized and everyone running it was beyond helpful.  I know I am making the right decision to go there for graduate school and I pray that I get picked to study abroad in London next summer to cover the Olympics! ::Fingers crossed::
  • Thank you to my high school friends who have recently gotten back in touch.  We’re getting together tomorrow and it’ll be so great to talk and catch up after a long time apart.
  • Thank you again to the people I work with.  The days go by faster and the crazors are a little easier to deal with because of you.
  • Thank you to my Nuna for everything she has given me.  Most recently paying my (very expensive) BU deposit.  She is amazing.
  • Thank you to my grandmother… another Easter with us and still going strong.  She is the cornerstone of our family.  We love you Grammy.
  • Thank you to Easter Sunday.  A day of love, family and faith.

Weekly Gratitude

I realized that I missed my Weekly Gratitude post last week so I’ll do two this week!  It’s always good to be extra thankful.

  • Thank you to the spring weather.  The snow has finally melted, the chill is leaving the air and I can enjoy being outside again.  I feel the summertime approaching and man, it feels good.
  • Thank you to my friends Alyse and Swy, without whom I would have been flying solo in Zumba class and looked pretty ridiculous dressed in full-blown 80’s getup dancing in a club a few weekends ago.  Oh and for Blitzkrieg, because somebody’s gotta be Germany.
  • Thank you to my friend Kimmy for being an awesome gym date and shopping buddy.  I couldn’t have run 20 straight minutes and dropped $80 at the BU bookstore without her!
  • Thank you to my Mom who was more than supportive when I told her that I signed up for my first 5K race in May.  I knew she’d be happy for me but when she offered to come for the race and cheer me on at the end, I was elated.
  • Thank you to my Dad for being absolutely hysterical whenever we are with company.  He knows how to light up any conversation and make people laugh.  Must be where I get it from.
  • Thank you to the Stonehill College Dance Team for making me one of their own.  They are not only a beautiful group of dancers (my younger sister included) but they are genuine, kind girls who know how to make someone like me feel loved.  Congrats on your top 5 ranking at Nationals, ladies.  You earned it!
  • And thank you to my wonderful boyfriend, Stephen.  I told him I’d sneak him into these posts every once in a while and since he just started reading my blog, maybe he’ll catch this one.  He is everything I could ask for in a guy and then some.  Not many people could put up with me the way he does and he loves me unconditionally for the person (..and pain in the ass) that I am.  He is simply amazing.

Weekly Gratitude

This morning, I’m in one of those moods.  The weather is crappy, I fell down my front stairs before work (soaking me, of course), work sucks and my body is sore from the ringer I am currently putting it through trying to be beach/bikini/Bahamas ready.  I want to whine, cry, mope, pout.  In an attempt to keep my crummy attitude in check, I started thinking about what I’m grateful for… hence, my weekly gratitude.

  • Thank you to my mom and dad who came running the moment they heard me crying as I stumbled back into the house after falling down the front stairs this morning.  I was fine, minus a cut on my ankle, but they were ready to call an ambulance had I needed it.
  • Thank you to my Starbucks cup.  I know it’s an inanimate object but it holds 16 fluid ounces and it is much easier to drink water this way.  I’m pushing between 120-160 ounces of water per day and my awesome cup makes it so much easier.
  • Thank you to everyone who has been so supportive of my new running endeavors.  You keep me strong and push me to keep going.  I hope to run with some of you someday; it would be an honor to wear a number next to you.
  • Thank you to fat-free hot chocolate.  You make a bad day better.
  • Thank you to my good friend MK for inviting me to the Boston Bloggers Brunch event this Sunday at the Biltmore Bar & Grill in Newton.  I’m so excited to meet new bloggers and taste the restaurant’s amazing menu!
  • Thank you to the Stonehill College Dance Team for loving me like one of their own.  I’m an SCDT member at heart.
  • Thank you to Hungry Girl, Lisa Lillien, for putting out ANOTHER AMAZING COOKBOOK.  300 Under 300 might just be the best one yet!  There are so many recipes, I don’t even know where to begin.

And speaking of 300 Under 300… I may be embarking on a special Julie/Julia-esque project in the near future.  More things to be thankful for.

Weekly Gratitude

My friend Christine recently went to Barcelona and had fellow bloggers guest post for her while she was away.  One day, Tatiana from Love, Life, Lace posted.  Naturally, I clicked into her blog and found that she was the founder of Weekly Gratitude – a way for her to post about how thankful she is about what she has in her life.  She has extended it into the blogging world and it is rapidly growing into a very powerful movement.

I love the idea Weekly Gratitude and told Tatiana that I wanted in immediately.  This is my first Weekly Gratitude post and I am thankful for that.  Check out Tatiana’s site – I promise you won’t be disappointed.

  • Thank you to my family – the ones who love me, support me and push me.  And are always willing to try my food.
  • Thank you to my professors who wrote my grad school recommendation letters.  I’m convinced they are the reason I was accepted and have the opportunity to go to a school that until this point, had always been a reach.
  • Thank you to DanceWorks Boston.  Without you, I would have no outlet to dance, choreograph or do what I love to do.
  • Thank you to the Radiology department of Union Hospital, especially the women I work with.   Not only do I have a job and money to pay my college loans, but also the opportunity to work with some amazing people.  Others may not understand our humor but that’s what makes it fun.  Sink or swim, people.
  • Thank you to the Couch to 5K program.  It gets me to the gym and guarentees at least at least 30 minutes of cardio per day.  Bless whoever came up with it.
  • Thank you to my Shen Dance girls.  You inspire me and give me another reason why I love to dance.  You don’t know it now, but you are also giving me a reason to make one more weekend trip to New York to see you before camp in August.
  • Thank you to my good friend, Miriah.  You are like an older sister to me and your heart is bigger than anyone’s I have ever met.  You brought a beautiful little girl into the world and I know you will be an amazing mother.
  • Thank you for the patience to deal with people on a daily basis without losing my mind or blowing a gasket.
  • Thank you to Tatiana for creating Weekly Gratitude.  It makes me examine my life and take the time to appreciate every aspect of it.