As I typed the title of this, I initially typed 2019 instead of 2020, and if that isn’t just a great illustration of how this year is going, I don’t know what is…
Actually, I’m feeling really good at the start of this new week. While I admit that I have to work a little harder to find the bright spots some days, there is still a lot to be grateful for in each day. I took last week off from the blog to spend some time with family, but more on that in a minute. It felt good to disconnect and recharge, but I’ve got ideas and goals heading into July (which is in TWO DAYS…HOW?!), so I’m excited to dig in and make it happen.
But for now, here’s what’s been bringing me happiness lately:
- Juneteenth. This holiday is actually not a new concept to me. Tulsa had a big Juneteenth festival every year when I was growing up, and my dad loved going. He took me along several times, so I remember it well. However, that dropped off as I got older. With the surge of support for our black community, our country rallied around this holiday in a big way. Our company actually declared it a holiday and gave all employees a half day off, with plans to increase that to a full day next year. They urged us to use the time to continue to educate ourselves and to support our communities. So Chad and I did just that. We drove down to Troost, grabbed a couple of smoothies from Ruby Jean’s, and spent some time walking around and talking about the past few weeks and what we want to do in the future. There have been some difficult days, and there will be more to come, but it brought us a lot of joy to see our black community being celebrated.
- Best Regards Ice Cream. Got your attention, right? Best Regards is one of the best bakeries in our city. They have some of the best (and most adorable) cookies, and their Gooey Butter Cake is incredible! Recently, they launched their newest offering–ice cream and gelato. I was lucky enough to get an invite to sample the goods and to bring home some additional flavors. Y’all, they use their baked goods in the ice cream, and I can’t even deal with its goodness. And picture it–some of this ice cream between two of their warm cookies. Drooling…
- Visiting Family. Chad and I both had last week off of work, as we had originally planned to go to San Diego for vacation. Although we rescheduled the trip, we knew that we needed the break from work, since we hadn’t taken any time off since Christmas. And since we also had not seen family since that same timeframe, we decided to spend a few days in Tulsa with family. It was great to see our parents and to relax! And you know, Oklahoma is basically the same as California.
- Our 13th Anniversary. On any given day, in my head, I am still 22 years old. So when I think about the fact that I met Chad 18 years ago and that we’ve been married for 13 years, I can’t even comprehend it. But last week, we celebrated 13 years of marriage. A friend asked me what advice I would give after that long, and I hesitated. Because I will never claim that it’s been 13 years of perfection. We were young when we married and we’ve grown up together. But we have learned a lot, and honestly, I’m happier in our relationship than I have ever been. So I told her that communication is key, and that forever is a really long time, so if you want to be married forever, let the little stuff go. Since we couldn’t celebrate in San Diego as intended, we did a mini staycation in Tulsa (again, OK, CA, same same). We stayed at a hotel downtown, walked around, laid by the pool, ate dinners at The Goat and Amelia’s, and more importantly spent the only one on one time we’ve had in over 3 months.
- Cultivare. The very first local influencer that I ever followed on Instagram was Kasim Hardaway. Admittedly, it was to keep track of all the places I must eat in Kansas City. But over the past couple of years, it has been so fun to watch him evolve and grow, and his most recent venture is opening his own restaurant. A couple of weeks ago, I was fortunate enough to get to sample some of the menu items, but a couple of days ago, I got to go to a sneak peek for local influencers, where we enjoyed a meal in this beautiful space. Cultivare opens on July 8th in Overland Park, and they will offer small plates, salads, grain bowls, and cocktails, all of which are the creation of Kasim. I can assure you, everything that I have tasted is exceptional, and he is truly gifted. This spot will be a welcome addition to the area, and I know that I’ll be eating there often.
I’m excited for this new week and a renewed opportunity to find the happiness. I hope you have a wonderful week too!