Shock Value

My boyfriend said something to me earlier this week that shocked me. It rocked me. It picked me up and dropped me.

He, the love of my life, had never EVER carved a pumpkin for Halloween. What kind of American is he?  My dad will never approve now. Ok, I’m being melodramatic, but I was still surprised. Carving a pumpkin is an easy, fun, and traditional way to celebrate Halloween in the U.S. I thought at first is was his major aversion to being creative/crafty/artsy, but he told me they just never did it in his house.

Maybe my shock was also related to the extreme amount of love I have for Fall in general. I love Halloween and my birthday is in the fall. I often celebrated my childhood birthdays with pumpkins, hayrides, or apple picking.  With much begging and reassuring that it would be fun, I convinced him to carve a pumpkin with me.  He watched me cut a hole in the top and scoop the guts out, then I handed him a knife and scoop and told him to have at it.

I could tell by the concentration in his face that he was at least interested in facing the challenge. I think the magical moment when we lit the candles in the finished pumpkins I knew he was sold. He even admitted to liking it. This is a major victory.

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His is on the left, a classic jack-o-lantern. Mine is the character Totoro from a movie I’ve loved since I was a child.

What traditions do you hold dear? Any common traditions you don’t?

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Katie Says Relax!

I’ve long been a fan of yoga pants. Pretty much since the day it seemed to be ok to wear them outside a yoga studio I rock them almost everyday at home. As far as my experience doing yoga…I had one class in high school as part of a World Religions course with a very VERY odd teacher. I decided to reserve my judgement for a later date when I had a normal yoga experience. So I wore my yoga pants and didn’t really give it much thought.

Until recently, that is. My wonderful (seriously) boss’s sister teaches a free yoga class every Tuesday and she pretty much demanded I go. I Love it. Yeah, capital L. Love. I have always had a tense body. I cramp up my shoulder all day without realizing it and I clench my teeth constantly.  This makes for some sore muscles.  So when I tried this yoga class I was blown away at how I could finally relax. The emphasis on breathing and a mantra is spectacular. I never sleep better than Tuesday nights.

Yoga makes me feel more relaxed, more in tune with my body and more flexible.

I did have some reservations before going to the class at first.  I imagined a classroom full of those women in gym commercials. You know the ones. Yoga pants and sports bras and tights abs and I am a far cry from that kind of woman. That couldn’t be further from the truth. There are all types in the class and the teacher is really accomodating to people who need to modify the poses. It doesn’t feel like a high pressure situation. 

Incredibly relaxing. Trust me, I needed it.

Do you do yoga? How do you relax?