Tonight I'm knocking around the house, solo for a little while. Austin's playing FIFA Soccer with JB. I had planned to spend the alone time working on the filing drawers in the desk in the office I excavated yesterday. Instead I poked around online, played a game, read some educational wedding-related articles. Then I straightened up the house, put away the remnants of our crackers-and-soda snack from this afternoon, and got out the ingredients for tonight's Mexican pineapple salad. And I realized, while I was moving around the house, going through mindless motions, I was smiling the whole time.
I don't talk about religion, on here or anywhere. I'm not a subscriber of any specific doctrine. We don't go to church, and we don't follow any scriptures. I don't have astral convictions, and I don't miss them. But the only word I can find to describe this feeling, this day, this place I'm at in my life, is blessed. I am saturated by blessings. It washes over me, so many times a day, and I wish there was a better way to express my gratitude.
I love our home. We cleaned it yesterday, got the office near to full function, and made some decorating progress. It is safe and warm and comfortable when it's filled with girls, sprawled on the couch with popcorn and ice cream, or when it's just us and our pets, on quiet tv afternoons, or when it's just me and my iTunes. There literally isn't a day that goes by that I don't think how utterly lucky we are that we found *this* house. It felt like an arduous search, and it turned out exactly right.
I love my job. One of the bigger wedding-related dilemmas I've faced (as with every bride in the history of the world, I know) has been the size of the guest list. And this is complicated by the fact that I have 70+ coworkers who are also friends who I can't imagine not celebrating with. It's probably not going to be realistic to invite every Emma staffer plus one, but right now I'm doing my best to find a way to include as many as we can. I think about the very best days at Hatch, when we all felt like a productive family full of friends, and that's how Emma is too. I love it when I make a breakthrough on a collaborative project, I love it when I've finished processing the daily check run, I love it when the power goes out and I wind up laying on the carpet of the second floor lounge doing half-assed pilates with Brooks and Rami and Rachael's puppy. I think I've said this before, but you don't realize how much of your self-esteem is caught up in the work week until you find a job that fulfills you.
I love our pets. We both do, equally, with an unreasonable fervor. We're those crazy pet people and aren't remotely ashamed. Digby is getting closer and closer to being a good dog, and Bridgette is such a sweet girl. We had a brushing session on the back patio last weekend (shedding time is definitely here) and they were both just inhaling the affection and attention. Mackenzie is completely back to her old self, running the house with her larger-than-life attitude and making sure she gets quality time with us before bed every night. Corvinius is, well, an oddball, but a loveable one, and spent a large portion of this afternoon rubbing his face on the corner of my computer screen over. and over. and over again. Oh buddy. And look, we don't like to play favorites with our pets. But every single day, Mischa and Charlie Murphy fill us up with love. Mischa got a new toy today, and she's currently sacked out on her spot at the end of the couch with this new red stuffy wrapped in her arms like a woobie. I just want to hold her so tight. Charlie Murphy loves weekends, particularly couch weekends like today, and the absolute peace and joy he spreads when he's sleeping leaned up against my lap... it's just the best.
I love my friends. Book club friends, work friends, people who don't fall in either category (there aren't many...), I can't get over the support network that surrounds me. I spent a lot of my adolescence thinking of myself as not a "girlfriend" kind of girl, and I'm so happy that I was totally wrong about that. We threw a surprise bachelorette party for Agnes last night, and the house was about to burst from all the girlie love. Lisa and Jenny were missed, but otherwise it couldn't have gone better and I was so glad we could all spend sweet time with Agnes before she takes off for the Great Alaskan Wedding Adventure.
I love my family. The reason I didn't think of myself as a "girlfriend" kind of girl was, obviously, because I have the best built-in girlfriends on the planet, my sisters. We talk every day and nothing feels complete unless it is shared with them. I'm so glad that we live close enough to my dad that we can just have low-key evenings of ceiling fan installation and (really good) chicken wings with him and Lynn. We're so lucky to have them both nearby. I miss my big crazy California family so badly, and one of my absolute favorite things to imagine about our wedding is having them all here together again. And I am just chomping at the bit to get to Seattle (next weekend!) and give my Mom one gigantic hug, followed by a series of smaller ones. It's been almost a year since we've seen her and I can't wait to spend a week on the lake with her and Kam (and Casey and Trent and a deck of cards!).
And of course you knew this was where I was going, but I love Austin. I'm not going to detail all the reasons that he's the man I'm going to marry (I've done that before and certainly will again) but the place where we are in our life together is just especially good right now. I am excited to see him EVERY DAY. How silly is that? I start to feel restless and shifty if it's been more than a couple of hours since I've checked in with him (thanks to IM and texting for completely spoiling me by having my fiance´ available to me at all times). We're on the same page about all these major decisions we've made in the past year and will be making in the next year. We're not exactly wealthy, but it's been a long while since we've had to look at anything and say, from a financial standpoint, "How are we going to make this work?" We carpool almost every day and talk about the stories we hear on NPR. If it sounds idyllic, it is. I can't think of an aspect of my life that isn't made better by just having him with me. We don't have to do everything together (see: FIFA Soccer) but when I'm walking around our house by myself, smiling, it's mostly because of him.