Howdy doo, Internet.

‘Howdy doo’ isn’t something I say in my real life, by the way. Or at least I don’t think I do, unless I’m hyper, then God only knows why such random stuff flies from my brain to my mouth.

So, anyway. Hello. It’s Wednesday, a relatively crappy day here in North Carolina. We don’t have many crappy – and by crappy I mean chilly and overcast – days in this state, but I feel like we’ve had a long succession of them lately.

Believe it or not, when I was in Pennsylvania last week for Thanksgiving, the weather was actually quite nice. Upper 50’s and sunny the whole time. I didn’t even bother to take a coat. Usually I have to batten down the proverbial hatches when I head up there, but not this time.

Also a first for the annual trek to Pennsylvania: no traffic! No traffic up and no traffic back. Twas awesome. We left at 2:30 on Wednesday afternoon to get to Jason’s, and we left at 7:00 Saturday evening from my parents’. We made excellent time each leg of the trip.

Want another Thanksgiving first? Okay! Babies! Two of them! Two beautiful, lovable, huggable, kissable babies. I held them and changed their diapers and put outfits on them and rocked them to sleep and fed them bottles… and was so glad to hand them back to their parents and head home to my childless house. Those little, itty, bitty human beings are a shit ton of work! But, man are they sweet. So, so sweet.

Okay, so I’m a Pepsi addict. Did you know that? No? Now you do! I love Pepsi. I try not to drink it too terribly often, but I still drink too much of it. Something salty? Need a Pepsi. Something with cheese? Need a Pepsi. Tacos? Pizza? Definitely need a Pepsi!

On Monday morning the corporate cafeteria was out of oatmeal, so I got some greasy, salty breakfast potatoes. Which meant that I needed a Pepsi. I bopped on over to the vending machine, it sucked up my dollar and spit out a WARM Pepsi. Yuk. So I stuck it in the fridge and tried my damndest to enjoy the taters minus the fizzy goodness of Pepsi.

Then at lunch today, I had a grilled cheese and mashed potatoes. Grilled CHEESE. It called for a Pepsi. So, again, I visited my local vending machine, fed it a dollar and this time, a cold Pepsi came out. Yesssss. I unscrewed the lid and, instead of hearing a whoosh of carbon, I heard a dull fizzle. I checked the cap and, sure enough, the bottle expired 23 days prior.

I think it’s a sign from the Universe that I need to stop drinking so much damn Pepsi.

Today, Wednesday, November 23, I am thankful for my grandmother’s emerald ring.

I hate that I forgot to take a picture of it, but I own a beautiful, deep green emerald cut emerald surrounded by diamonds that once sat on my grandmother’s dainty finger. My grandfather was a roofer and didn’t have much money for flashy gifts, but he saved and saved and got my grandmother – born in May – the ring of her dreams.

When I turned 21, my grandmother came to Morgantown to have lunch with me and told me that she wouldn’t be around when I graduated from college, and that she wanted me to wear her ring. She wanted me to promise to wear her ring. I told her she was crazy to talk like that, but I told her I’d wear the ring.

She died five weeks later.

When I graduated, my grandfather presented me with a tiny blue velvet bag, inside of which was the emerald ring, my grandmother’s best piece of jewelry. He said she would want me to keep it, not just for the day, but for the rest of my life.

I wore it when I graduated and I wore it the day I married my husband. I wear it when I miss her, I wear it around her birthday and it’s my something green every St. Patty’s Day. It makes me feel connected to her and it’s a reminder of how lucky I am to have such a warm, feisty, loving grandma.

She died 10 years ago this Thanksgiving, and as I write this on my iPhone driving through Richmond, I am kicking myself for forgetting to slip it on my finger before I left my house.

Thanks, Grandma, for asking me to wear your emerald ring, which is one if my most prized possessions.

Today, Tuesday, November 22, I am thankful for music.

I had a dentist appointment today – my six-month cleaning – and thanks to the blaring tunes coming out of my iPod, the sounds of the instruments scraping my teeth were drowned out. When I sit at my desk wracking my brain for the perfect word or phrase for a press release, an upbeat song will come on Spotify, amplify my energy levels and make it easier to write. When I drive down the highway and a song about friends turning into lovers comes on the radio, I smile and think of my husband. When I hear “Renegade” I think of the excitement of being at Heinz Field watching the Steelers play, and when I hear Neil Young I think of my father before changing the channel. Music enhances my mood – whether it be good or bad – and jogs my memory. It makes my days fuller whether I’m at work or at home. Everything is better with a soundtrack.

Thanks, music!

When I was driving to work this morning, all I could smell was Allan. I’m obsessed with kissing that boy and this morning’s smooches left his aftershave all over my face. And I don’t mind smelling like Allan – he definitely smells good – but I would have been happier if I smelled like the perfume I spritzed on: Dolce and Gabbana Light Blue.

I have only worn three different perfumes in my whole life, and now, as I type this, I realize they’re all in blue bottles. Hmmm…. Okay, so I started in college with Cool Water for women. I still love it. And then I was introduced to Ralph Lauren Blue. I loved it less, but I thought it was more grown-up. I soon tired of the scent. And then I discovered Light Blue, which I still love. But my husband doesn’t love it. I think he actually doesn’t even like it, which is a bummer. While I don’t bow to his every command, I don’t want the man in my life to think I smell bad, you know?

So, about two years ago, my quest for a new perfume began. I tried dozens of them. I’d stick card stock strips in my pockets, I’d spray some perfumes on my wrists and neck and clothes and… nothing. I really couldn’t find anything I liked. I’ll totally admit that I’m particular about how I smell – and what I smell – but I honestly didn’t think it would be so hard and time consuming to find a scent that I loved and that my husband didn’t loathe.

And then, about a month ago, I found it. (Queue the heavenly music, by the way.) I was in Sephora, looking closely at all of the bottles of perfume to see if perhaps I missed one – the magic bottle – amongst the shelves. But I saw nothing. And then I was approached by one of their perfume magicians who asked me a bunch of questions and presented me with – wait for it – my new favorite perfume. Burberrry Body. Holy moly, Internet, does it smell good. It has elements that are similar to the blue perfumes, but it’s also a bit more feminine and delicate. The Sephora Perfume Magician gave me a tiny little sample bottle with about a week’s worth of perfume to take home and try out, and as a result, my love for Burberry Body has only grown.

If you’re wondering how I missed the perfume in my years of trying to find it, it’s new. Burberry just released it in September. So it wasn’t that I overlooked it, it didn’t exist.

And I haven’t yet bought any, which is both frustrating and makes me proud. I’m frustrated because I’m an impulsive, gotta-have-it-now kind of gal, but I’m proud because I haven’t broken out of my weekly budget to get it. Instead, I have the Burberry Body on my Christmas wish list (you’ve seen it on there, right, husband of mine?) and am patiently waiting for it to arrive under my Christmas tree in about a month.

I feel like the wanting and waiting thing is good for me. I don’t do it often. And it’s not like I’m going to die without the perfume. I still have a little bit of Light Blue left, and I have a tiny, travel sized bottle of some Banana Republic (that I don’t really like) perfume to hold me over until the holidays. But every time I walk past a Sephora, Ulta or department store, I run in and spray Body all over me. And I make sure to tell Allan over and over (and over) how good I smell.

Oh! And you might be wondering if Allan’s a fan of Burberry Body since his dislike of Light Blue was what started this whole perfume quest in the first place. No, he’s not, but he likes it better than Light Blue.

Today, Monday, November 21, I am grateful for my job(s).

I know how lucky I am to have a job, let alone a job that I enjoy, one that challenges me and one that allows me to be surrounded by smart and supportive women. I’m lucky to be able to get in my car and drive to this beautiful campus, to settle into my office with a window, and go to work on a powerful computer loaded with more software than I could ever need. Because of my history with lay-offs, I’m reluctant to assume I’ll be here for a long time, but I hope I am.

And as for that other job, the one at the arena. Believe it or not, I’m thankful for that job, too. I have had some pretty incredible experiences in that building. I saw the Stanley Cup raised after a game seven, I saw Billy Joel play James Taylor songs on his piano while warming up for a concert, I’ve seen rodeos and wrestling matches and monster truck races. I’ve seen Disney on Ice and the Trans Siberian Orchestra, I’ve seen Beyonce and Dolly Parton, I’ve seen the NCAA tournament and watched NC State beat Duke. I’ve met some really wonderful, hard-working, funny and charming people.

And that’s why it will be bittersweet when, next week, I submit my letter of resignation.

Thanks, job(s)!