My Favorite Things About Home

Linking up with Brianna today for her 10 Favorite Things linkup!

Today’s prompt is your 10 favorite things about home–whatever place you consider home. I’ve been a Fargoan for close to 10 years now, but I lived in Indiana for 18 years before that, and since it’s where I grew up and my old stomping grounds, it’s truly where I consider “home.” Plus I love being nostalgic. So here’s my favorite things about good ol’ South Bend area, Indiana. #HoosiersRepresent

1. My friends there! All of my best friends from high school still live in the area, so every time we come home we just have a ball catching up and telling old stories and inside jokes. (And if any of you are reading this: “Katie wash hand.”)

indiana 4H

With some of my 4-H friends for my last 4-H parade during my senior year.

2. My family there. My parents still live in the house I grew up in which is probably what makes it still feel like home to me. I love going back to visit and be in the house I have so many memories in.

3. Hacienda. The greatest fake Mexican restaurant ever. Not even kidding, I LOVE me some Hacienda. Every single time I come home I make it a point to go there. Every. single. time. It’s also the spot where many of my birthday parties were held as a teenager because you got a free sombrero. I wish I could find one of the photos from there to share with ya’ll, but sadly I think it’s at my parent’s house.

4. South Bend Chocolate Factory. We have some of the best chocolates! I even used some as favors for my wedding. They also have a store downtown that sells ice cream, has a fireplace and a chocolate fountain. Another place I love to go.

5. The walk along the river. The St. Joe River runs right through South Bend, and in the downtoan area they have a lovely boardwalk, trails and a gazebo along it. Great place to take a stroll, and it’s where we took pictures for my junior prom!

6. Being so close to so many other places. There’s a reason they call Indiana the crossroads of America! We’re super close to Chicago, Michigan, Ohio. I took tons of road trips to Indy and Merrilville with my best friend for shopping with her mom and had so much fun.

mexico indiana

On a road trip to IU to see a friend, we stopped in Mexico, Indiana, because it was funny.

7. The now-defunct Scottsdale mall. It was this rinky dink local mall with random stores, but it was the coolest place to hang out. I spent tons of time there with my friends in high school. And then while I was in college, they demolished it and turned it into an outdoor strip mall. Sad.

8. How crazy the town gets for Notre Dame games. I’m really not into sports at all, but being so close to such a big team and seeing the town get so into it is pretty cool.

9. Corn. Indiana is the land of corn. Forget Iowa. Cornfields are everywhere, especially out in the country where our house was. I played in them growing up with friends. It was never creepy at all … until I saw Children of the Corn. Oops. Also side note, speaking of movies related to Indiana, my computer science teacher from high school was totally in the movie Rudy.

10. It’s where I grew up. There’s something a little bit magical about anywhere you spent your childhood, I think. That alone makes it special to me.

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10 Favorite Things About My Husband

Linking up with the lovely Brianna today for 10 Favorite Things! In honor of Valentine’s Day coming up soon, and our 9-year dating anniversary in about a week (I know the dating anniversary doesn’t matter anymore, but I want to keep celebrating it till we hit 10 years), it was a perfect topic.

10 Favorite Things About That Special Someone

1. I love my husband’s sense of humor. It’s cliche, but so true for us. He is the funniest person I know and we laugh together a lot.

2. I love that we have lots of things in common, but are very different in many ways. He rounds me out:)

3. I love that while 99% of the time he’s a big tough man, I get to see some occasional moments of weakness and deep down emotions.

4. I love that for the most part, he’s tidy. For some bizarre reason, he loves vaccuming and doing the dishes. And I’m forgetful and get distracted easily, so he often has to pick up after me.

5. I love that he very rarely complains about my shortcomings. I know I have a lot, but he never points them out, though I can be a nagging wife and point his out. Which is unfair, and I need to change that.

6. I love that every time I get groceries, he helps me carry them in without a single complaint. And he always takes the heavy bags so I can have the light ones.

7. I love that he makes voices and personalities for our pets and has conversations as them.

8. I love that he lets me deck out our apartment like a crazy cat lady. I have cat pictures, figurines and trinkets all over the place. I know if it was entirely up to him, none of that would be there, but he lets me create the surroundings that I like without complaint.

9. He is truly a really nice guy. He likes to put on a show when he’s in a crowd and tell jokes and be the center of attention, which can make him come off as loud or inconsiderate to some who don’t know him, but I’ve seen another, very caring and considerate side. When it comes to defending his friends or his family, he will do it to the death, and he cares about the people he loves so much.

10. He is going to make a great father one day. He grew up in a large family with lots of kids, so maybe that’s why it comes natural to him, but I am the total opposite. Knowing that he will be there to help me through parenthood makes me feel really good.

And now, just because, a bunch of photos of us!

Quite possibly our first photo together, circa 2005, in the college dorms

Quite possibly our first photo together, circa 2005, in the college dorms

Before we went to our first concert (and road trip!) together

Before we went to our first concert (and road trip!) together

At my best friend's wedding. Our first wedding together!

At my best friend’s wedding. Our first wedding together!

and then we got engaged!

and then we got engaged!

and then we got married!

and then we got married!

and then we honeymooned in New Orleans!

and then we honeymooned in New Orleans!

Ten favorite things about the holidays

Welcome to December, eh?! Here in Fargo, we have a storm on the way. The HIGH in a couple days is 8 below. Sigh. The less than ideal weather here aside, the holidays are pretty awesome. So, here’s my 10 favie things about the holidays. Part of Brianna from Endlessly Beloved‘s linkup!

Endlessly BeLoved

1-The food. Always. Specifically, my pumpkin cheesecake recipe, courtesy of Miss. Paula Deen.

2-The lights. Come on, Christmas lights just make you so happy.

3-Decorations. I love making my home look festive, from stockings on the wall till we have a proper mantel, and cute little figurines. One of these days I hope to get a nice Nativity set to display. For now, my cute little glittery snowman from Pier 1 will do.

4-Spending more time with family and friends!

5-Presents. I actually love the list making process every year, writing down everyone I need and want to buy gifts for, and what I plan to get them, then, going out and finding something for everyone. It makes me feel so fulfilled.

6-Receiving some prezzies too. Unwrapping a mystery is so fun!

7-Costumes for the pets. Captain has a reindeer antler hat, and Little Girl has a Santa beard. Better bring those out soon and take some pics, eh?

8-Holidays parties and treat sharing at work!

9-Doing all of the above things now as a wife! Wheee!

10-Sharing all my holiday related experiences on my new bloggy!

Ten Things I’m Thankful For

This may be only my second post ever, but I’m gonna give this link up deal a shot. Dive right into to the blog world, I say!

So, one of my top few fave blogs I’ve been looking to for inspiration is Endlessly Beloved. Her link up is about listing 10 things you’re thankful for. What a wonderful idea! Sure, I’m grateful for stuff, but I don’t think I’ve ever actually thought about and defined them! Yeah, maybe one thing as we go around the table on Thanksgiving, but surely I have more than one thing I’m thankful for, right? Well, here goes.

1) My marriage. I may not be one of those women who has always dreamed of being a mother, but I HAVE always dreamed of being a wife, and it feels so darn good to finally be one. In jr. high, I remember thinking about what my future husband would be like, and I think the one I got is pretty darn awesome.

My new sister-in-law!

My new sister-in-law!

2) My (growing) family. I come from a very small family. I only have two cousins, one aunt, and no siblings. I wondered what it would be like to have a sister, and now that I have TWO sisters-in-law, it’s pretty awesome. All of a sudden now, I’m also an aunt! And I have two more honorary parents! And I like ’em all! Phew:)

3) My friends. Sure, I have a large extended circle of kind of friends and acquaintances throughout the years, but I’ve never had many really CLOSE friends. So the ones I did and do have mean the world to me.

4) Food. I just love food so much. Especially junk food, like doughnuts and popcorn and chips and ice cream, but some healthy things too like salad and lentils and hummus. I’m kind of an odd duck when it comes to food, but that’s OK.

5) Life. Sometimes I can be pessimistic (especially when in the masses of the general public like at the grocery store or on the road), but those moments in life that make you feel so darn special or a part of something larger, are awesome. Hearing stories of men who rescued kittens from awful situations and the like just warms my heart. On a kind of similar note, experiencing life is just awesome in itself. I think there are a TON of things I do not yet know, and maybe never will, but I’m trying to take in more experiences and open my mind more than I once would have.

My pets--Captain and Little Girl, and Brick.

My pets–Captain and Little Girl, and Brick.

6) Animals. I’ll admit, sometimes I like animals more than people. It likely stems from the fact that I’m an only child and came from a small family that was spread out over the country, so I just had far more interactions with animals than I did with people, and a lot of my childhood memories involve animals. I seriously considered my cats my sisters growing up, and I’d put them in dresses and play house with them. I’ve just always had an affinity for animals, and one of the best feelings is coming home to my cats and snuggling them at the end of the day. Animals are absolutely incredible.

7) Cat videos. Can you tell I’m a crazy cat lady yet? Yes, cat videos make many of my days. If I feel sad or unmotivated, a good cat video will quickly turn my frown upside down. On a similar note, of my favorite discoveries in the last year or so was Disco the Parakeet videos. It annoys my husband, but I just feel so darn good and happy watching those things. It’s the little things sometimes. Go ahead, google Disco the Parakeet if you haven’t seen him yet. Also Surprise Kitten.

8) My car. I really don’t mean this in a braggy way, and it sounds kind of silly to be listing a materialistic item as something for which I’m thankful, but I really truly am. For years I drove a jalopy I called Connie the Contour, and she was AWFUL. She would go from 0-60 in about half an hour, and often completely shut down for no apparent reason. She was in the shop for something every couple of months, and the mechanics sure got to knew her and I well. The timing for buying my new car (a white 2010 Subaru Legacy I named Leslie) was impeccable. I was driving Connie to go pick up and officially purchase Leslie when she started dying just a couple blocks from the dealer lot. Like, she wouldn’t accelerate, breaking was unreliable, the wheel locked up, and she was making very awkward and alarming noises. I somehow managed to get her into the lot, and she died right then and there. Thankfully I drove away in Leslie, and Leslie is incredible. She accelerates and brakes when I ask her to, she doesn’t make bizarre noises, and she’s just so pretty. I love my Leslie, and having a reliable car is incredible after years of suffering through Connie.

9) Religion. For reasons I’ll expand upon in future posts, I have some issues with some religious ideas, but I am incredibly thankful that I have some sort of solid base of a religious upbringing. I liked growing up in church, and we had a great community at mine. Whatever your religion is, I think it’s important for everyone to think about things that are beyond what they see, know and understand right now. Even just being spiritual is important, I think.

10) My dermatologist. This last one was the hardest to list, but it was the first thing that popped into my head. We all have insecurities about ourselves, and getting over them is a great feeling. I struggled with acne from age 12 on. Not just a couple pimples here and there like many of my classmates, but full-on breakouts at times. It was so embarrassing, and I just could never seem to get it under control. Finally, sometime in my later college years, I decided to tackle it head on and I went to a dermatologist. I tried countless things, but finally, we found the right recipe, and I’ve mostly gotten rid of it. Sure, I will get a pimple or two here and there now (which is most likely the result of my laziness and not wanting to wash my face before bed sometimes), but I have never had a breakout as bad I used to. The last one I can remember was senior year of college, so I’ve been mostly acne-free for about six years now, and it is awesome. I still have some scarring that may never go away, but I’ve accepted those. I don’t have to be perfect –no one is–but I feel much better about myself having a face that I’m not embarrassed of.

11) My new blog! Duh!

What are some of the things YOU are thankful for?