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Thursday Thoughts: Grief

Today, I wanted to bring back a series that has been a long time coming. I have taken up journaling every night as part of my New Year's resolution. As much discipline as it takes to unplug and write for 15- 20 minutes, I know that the product will be invaluable. I wish I could say it was a wonderful experience that inspired me to make time in my full time working life to write again. 

Apart from my mother, we have not really put this on social media, but on Monday, we lost my grandfather. I'm incredibly fortunate to have lived to the age of 22 with four living grandparents, now in their 80's. This is the first death of a close family member, and it is proving to be more overwhelming than I could ever have imagined. I distinctly remember a Lemony Snicket quote that I could never truly relate to until this week:

“If you have ever lost someone very important to you, then you already know how it feels; and if you haven’t, you cannot possibly imagine it.”

I knew what the call from my dad was about before I answered it. My grandfather had been in and out of the hospital a lot for the past year. I have only seen my dad cry twice in my life- when I left for college and that moment in my office on the other end of the phone- it killed me. 

I remember one of the last times I saw my grandfather last year. My brother T.R. and I took a red eye flight on New Year's Eve from Seattle to Boston. It's hard to see someone you love sick- T.R. was particularly nervous of needles and medical equiptment. It was a Sunday afternoon and the only thing that he wanted to do with us was watch the Patriots game. For a few hours, we sat and watched them beat the Dolphins, talking occasionally to tell him about school or our younger brother, Jackson. Our whole lives he had been the one who instilled our love of sports, particularly the Red Sox. The year they won, in 2004, T.R. was gifted practically the entire gift shop. Other years, after a devastating football or baseball playoffs loss, we would ring up his usual 508 number to be on the receiving end of a "we'll get 'em next year." He was the kind of guy who was always a little too tan in the winter and was rarely seen without his aviators. 

Last summer, when I lived with them, my grandmother always reminded me to adjust the driver's seat the way he liked- with the seat and recliner back all the way, the way no person should ever drive. I hope to one day display his "TS1" Massachusetts license plate that he had to retire after a few years because it was too easy for the cops to pull him over in the 70's. We had time to prepare for his death, but nothing can really prepare you. What chokes me up is thinking about him not being there at our small Sheehy family events, quietly watching with his magnifying glass, reading a newspaper or whatever book was on the coffee table. Every Christmas, he and Gramma would make the 9 hour drive down to D.C., and they would celebrate Christmas with us before we would leave to celebrate Christmas Day on the West Coast. This Christmas, we went to Cape Cod, hoping he would be able to make the journey down. He couldn't come, but even still his presence was there. I remember one of the last things I said to him on the phone Christmas night a few weeks ago to his hospital room: "I love you, and I'll talk to you soon." Even after this week, I will always be talking to him. Death doesn't change that. 

I expect that grief will come and go in points. There are many things that will forever remind me of him- every time I pass through Saratoga and think of the early mornings in August we would drive up to see the races, smelling a cigar or wonder how he ever met Whitey Bulger (even in the early years). Seeing his seat at the hockey rink at Trinity College or the beautiful view of Fenway Park. The peeling stickers of our colleges on the back of his car. His thick Boston accent that could never locate an "R." I will miss asking about him on the phone when I call my grandma, or addressing letters to the two of them at 79 Pine. 

This weekend, I will be taking a train up to the familiar station of Route 128 to be with my family, and I will meet them at the end of the long escalator as always. 

At 3:05 PM on Sunday, we will be watching the Patriots kick off against the Jaguars at Gillette, together in Natick. Be it at a local bar or in the family room with the terrible red carpet, where he has watched Lord knows how many AFC championships, I know he will be with us. (Image)

I would like to dedicate this post to my wonderful, beloved grandfather, 
Thomas Mago Sheehy 

Weekend Links

Happy Saturday! As it currently feels like -2 outside, I am spending the day in my apartment writing, which is honestly my perfect day. After a week of getting back to the grind, here are some of the things that have been on my mind. {Image}

Since watching Master of None, the scene of Dev making homemade Spaghetti Carbonara has made it an easy go-to at any Italian Restaurant. I am hoping to try this recipe in the upcoming week.

The photo above is from a friend's criminally underrated Instagram account. I wish I had the eye that Marisa does!

2018 | Living With Less

Happy 2018! I hope you had a wonderful holiday. After a great week in Cape Cod with my family and NYE in the city, it felt great to get back to work. I know this is around the time that most people reflect on the year and set goals, and while I will be doing that this week, I wanted to touch on something that has been on my mind recently. 

Recently I have been reading a lot about The Minimalists after watching this documentary. Something I have noticed a lot in the past couple of months is the amount of stuff that tempts our every day life and pressure to buy. The next sale, have-to-have item or deal makes it feel like it is our duty to take advantage and can cause comparison and stress. I am not trying to call too much out, but I am trying to cut a lot of blog reading out of my life. Seeing the amount of time off, constant vacations, and shopping makes me feel bad and as someone with an entry level salary who gets up at 6 a.m. everyday, sometimes frustrated. (How's that for honesty.) I love my job, but your girl isn't jet setting every month here. Piggy backing off of that, the amount of excess promo items that companies send often go unused and is wasted. 

Minimalism isn't about getting rid of everything, but rather prioritizing time, money and value. With the rise of technology, minimalism is easier than ever. CDs, books and photos can be digitalized. I have tried to take small steps in my life with this. I started with my makeup bag- only keeping one or two high quality items of a product (ex: eyeshadow palette, brow pencil) and only go to the store when I run out. It's a small step, but having a manageable makeup bag that's easy to organize and clean makes all the difference. 

This can also be applied to social media. I don't use Twitter and Facebook too much, but found myself following so many people daily on Instagram. I decided to unfollow accounts of people I didn't know, and accounts that weren't close friends or brought me happiness. This may sound weird, but I recommend it for the new year. Realizing that you don't have to follow an account is incredibly freeing. With more time and money, I want to put it aside for amazing experiences, travel and hopefully a move to Manhattan in the summer. Here's to the new year ahead!

Last Minute Gifts for Anyone (That Aren't Candles)

Ironically, the year I am most on top of the holidays is when I post the least. Between moving and starting my full time job, the last few weeks have escaped me. However I am back- with some last minute gifts that are affordable, easy to get your hands on (or similar) and good for nearly anyone. I was sent this video recently, and no- there are no candles. 


Sugarfina | These candies are everywhere in New York City and are the go-to gift for anything. They are seriously addicting and are a perfect host/hostess gift. 

Trader Joes's ANYTHING | If you have read for a while, you'd know that I am in love with the store and pray for the day I get a sponsorship, but they are a go-to, especially for housewarmings. A bottle of (reasonably priced, yet yummy wine), some desserts and a card- you're good to go. 

Netflix/Amazon Gift Cards | I was very generously gifted an Amazon card and recently read in an article that more people have Netflix accounts than pay for cable. The Amazon ones also come in a cute (and free!) case. 

Blue Light Glasses | Felix Gray is the cult brand, and many of my friends swear by them. Almost everyone uses a computer daily, and I predict they will only grow more popular in 2018. Amazon has a great selection too!

Personalized Stationery | A no brainer. (And perfect for thank you notes season.)

A Box of Memories | I used a Tiffany box for the example, but any (nice) box will do. This was a gift I recently gave and they were touched by the collection of stories, memories and plans for the upcoming year. 

2018 Planner | They are something that virtually everyone needs- and are a great gift for kicking off 2018. For girl's, I recommend Lily Pulitzer and ban.do.

Flowers | Although Valentine's Day and Birthdays are the times most associated with flowers, but who wouldn't love flowers sent to brighten up their home? Bonus: If you have a Prime account, the delivery is fast and free!

Bags | Again, everyone needs 'em and no one wants to buy them. 

Weekend Links

Hope you are having a great Monday! After several weekends in a row traveling, starting a job and moving, I had the best time in New York getting my room together, doing some thrifting and getting to see Bette Midler in Hello Dolly! There is something about getting a place in order that makes your life feel infinitely better- overall it was a very solid weekend in the city and a reminder of why it's worth living in a shoebox. Here are the things I have been reading and listening to on the subway to work. Have a great week! {Image}

One of my favorite sales is currently going on now! (I even convinced my boyfriend Luc to get in on it.)

I have found this financial advice channel and MY GOSH I wish it had been sooner. Some of my favorites include this, this and this.

I will be making a whole post on this, but grabbing some contact paper can totally change any desk or surface. Get yours here.

Everything about this party is incredible. (Regardless of if you are planning a wedding or not, some ideas are worth saving for any entertaining in the future!)