Sunday, December 21, 2008


Some pictures of the "Snowstorm"

My car on Friday morning

Me - selfportrait in the backyard

Our house this morning after our latest round of snow

I just though this was funny - our recycling bin with the vodka bottle poking out

Pretty trees on the street covered in snow

Our mailbox (on the left) with a mountain of snow "crushing" it

Our rock wall - I thought it looked cool with the bits of snow on the ledges

We got about 4 1/2 inches of snow last night

We have about 6 inches on the ground total collected since Thursday

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


I feel like writing tonight but I don’t necessarily have a topic. There isn’t a whole lot to share and at the same time I think I could go on for pages and pages just filling up space sharing about my day and the randomness of the world I experience. There is so much to say and yet nowhere to begin. Maybe I should work on my book … hmm …

My heart is beating rather strongly tonight. I’m not sure why. I think I’m anxious. I want it to snow. Badly. I want work to be delayed tomorrow – but not canceled. It wouldn’t be awful to have it canceled, but we’re supposed to have a Christmas lunch and I’d like to get free lunch. I’m such a mooch, I know.

I can feel my heart in my throat. It’s a strange feeling. It’s like butterflies, but not quite as strong and I’m not about to do anything that would cause me to be so nervous – at least that I’m aware of. Maybe it’s subconscious and my body knows what is going to happen before it happens.

I’ve actually been feeling this nervousness off and on for the last few weeks. I had the feeling on the 6th when I went out for my birthday (the first time) and that ended up being a fun night. I then got the feeling again last week – I don’t remember which day, but I’m pretty sure that was the night that I found out someone wanted my number. Unfortunately it was not a boy I’m interested in, but it’s always nice to know that someone is interested. So what about tonight? I don’t know. Maybe it’s just the snow. Although, I suspect that it is more than that.

Perhaps it’s the lingering excitement of having dinner with friends that I hadn’t seen in awhile. I enjoyed my time catching up and didn’t really want it to end – although our dinner lasted almost two and a half hours. Overall, I just had a good day and I’m thankful that I have people in my life that I can share time with.

I thought that perhaps by writing something the source of my anxiety would be revealed but I still feel the fluttering. It’s actually kind of intense. It’s a fun feeling but almost depressing at the same time. Maybe I would feel better about it if I knew the source of this feeling. Perhaps my subconscious will reveal itself in my dream tonight.

I guess that means it’s time for bed.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Party Pictures

I finally have pictures from my parent's surprise party to put up. Please enjoy! :)

The invitation.

This was the entrance to the gym - we put up black paper and Christmas lights to direct people to the party.

Inside the gym we had lights up and covered the floor with black paper. Parker put together a slide show that played up agains the wall.

We brought our deck furniture inside to use.

Karis put Mom's wedding dress and Dad's tuxedo on sewing forms (you can see them faintly in the background).

Fun table decorations ...

Mom and Dad were greeted by a large crowd of people as they arrived! Surprise!

Mom and Karis.

The gym full of all our family and friends!

We made Dad wear and Afro-Wig and Mom wear a veil to represent their wedding picture that we used for the invite.

We had a Birthday Cake and an Anniversary Cake.

Parker (the lumberjack) got some love from our Aunt Cheri at the end of the night.
He loved it.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


A friend of mine is working on a project about beauty and what it means to different people. She asked several people to submit their ideas to her. This is what I submitted ...

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Creepy Picture

I'm working on a project for work for Camp Casey (we're putting up some old picture in the mess hall to liven it up a bit) and I came across this creepy picture.

The kid looks like a ghost who is haunting the soldiers ... so creepy!


For the last few years I have been watching my grandma deteriorate. She went from being a fairly independent woman who cooked, cleaned, drove, exercised, and could carry on a conversation to a vacant shell of a person. That may sound harsh, and maybe it is, but it’s the truth. My grandma is still physically here – but she’s not my grandma anymore.

I’ve always had a good relationship with my grandma. When I was younger I used to spend the night at her house once a week and she would let me watch Nick at Night and Alfred Hitchcock Presents, and she taught me how to knit (although I forgot and had to re-learn years later). When I was in Middle School she moved in with our family into a Mother-in-Law apartment and I used to visit with her just about every night. I’d watch ER with her and tell her about my day and we’d just talk. It was fun and I loved it.

Two years ago she moved in with my aunt because she couldn’t drive anymore and getting to and from doctor’s appointments had become a huge burden. After a year of living with my aunt, everyone decided it would be best for my grandma to move into an assisted living facility. She had her own kitchen area and bedroom and whatnot, but there was a cafeteria and someone checked on her routinely to make sure she had her meds and helped with showering and getting in and out of bed. Eventually it got to be too much work for the facility and so now she is in a group home where she still has some freedom, but not much due to her limited mobility. The hard thing is that my grandma isn’t that old. My grandma on my mother’s side is older than my dad’s mom but she is much more mobile and independent. She still drives, lives alone, and travels very frequently.

As long as I can remember my grandma (my dad’s mom) has been the one person in the family who has taken vitamins regularly and shopped at the health food store and exercised on a daily basis. She is the only person in my entire family who has done that, but ironically she’s the only person who has had cancer and has had to have hip replacement surgeries and knee surgeries and all kinds of other random stuff. Now, I don’t know exactly what my grandma was like in her younger days, but I do know that she used to be a nurse and from the stories I’ve heard, she doesn’t sound like the kind of person who put her body through a whole lot. She did smoke in the 60’s (like everyone did) but quit once they realized how bad it was for you. I’m sure she wasn’t always so careful about her health, but I seriously doubt she was ever careless.

Watching my grandma go through this period of her life has been hard. It’s difficult to see her so upset by her physical inabilities and restrictions. It’s painful to help her get around and do the normal things that I take for granted every day. I know it’s a part of aging and the life process, but it seems unfair that someone who has worked so hard to be healthy has ended up this way. It makes me wonder what the point of trying to be healthy is.

Last February I made a conscious decision to try and eat healthier and make better choices. I started exercising and looking at food labels – something I’ve never done consistently before. I didn’t make a big deal out of it and I only told a few people. I just wanted to see if it would really make a difference in how I felt and if my energy level would increase (like everyone says it does) or if I would even notice a difference. Since I already had knee and back problems I figured with my grandma’s history, it couldn’t hurt to try and improve my lifestyle. It didn’t take long before I noticed that my clothes began to fit me differently and people I hadn’t seen in awhile began to ask if I’d lost weight.

Now, almost 10 months later, I can see a physical difference in myself, but I don’t know if there has been an emotional or mental change. I still hate exercising as much as I did before, but I do it because I know it’s good for me and I still crave certain foods that I shouldn’t eat, but I don’t forbid myself from anything. My idea of a perfect day is still spending the whole day in bed sleeping in and watching movies and eating my favorite foods. I haven’t changed that much – or at least I didn’t think that I had until last night and this morning.

Some friends took me out for dessert last night to the Melting Pot for my birthday. We had a great adventure and laughed a lot. They had never been to the restaurant before so we opted to get two small chocolate pots in order to try two different kinds of dessert. The waiter brought our chocolate and our two large dishes of stuff (fruit, brownies, cheesecake, marshmallows, graham crackers, pound cake, etc.) to dip in the chocolate. He also brought us an extra piece of cheesecake since it was my birthday. Basically we had A LOT of sugary goodness to consume and I definitely enjoyed every gluttonous bite that I ate – until I had had one bite too many.

I woke up this morning on such a sugar high it wasn’t even funny. I still loved every minute of last night and wouldn’t change a thing (except maybe I wouldn’t have wanted to wait an hour to be seated – but that’s a whole other unrelated issue). What I’ve realized that maybe I have changed more than I’d thought since last February. My body has adjusted to my new lifestyle and I didn’t even notice. I don’t think that going out and eating like I used to is the worst thing in the world to do, but only if I only do it every once in a while. It’s funny that it took a moment like last night for me to be able to recognize this change. It’s strange how such a gradual change isn’t really noticed and it doesn’t seem like it was that hard to do now that I look back. I guess I’m learning that I can form good habits and it’ll help keep me in line or I can form bad habits and my body will allow me to perpetuate my vicious cycle.

Ultimately it comes down to me and I have to decide how I want my body to function. I can’t control what will happen to me in the future. It’s possible that I will end up just like my grandma whether I try to prevent it or not, but I think I’d rather try to create as many good habits as I can now and give myself a fighting chance instead of waiting until it’s too late. I won’t stress about being super healthy but I also won’t ignore it. I think I’ve found the balance that is right for me and I’m thankful and amazed to see how far I’ve come in less than a year.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Last Night ...

I had the first of my birthday celebrations last night.

All I'm going to say is that I had a lot of fun, and it's going to be hard to top it. :)

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Why TV Frustrates Me

This may seem like a strange topic for me to discuss – at least if you know me well this should seem like a strange thing for me to say. I love television. It’s definitely up there on the list of my favorite things as most media is, but there is one thing about certain TV shows that I hate – absolutely hate – and that is their lack of communication skills. I do know that this is all done on purpose to create drama and lengthen the duration of a series’ life but it drives me crazy!

On Monday night I was enjoying one of my new shows, Privileged on the CW. It’s a cheesy but cute little show that I don’t give much credence to, in fact it’s really quite dumb and not worth anyone’s time, but you know me – I like these kinds of shows. It’s basically my Gilmore Girls replacement. The show’s premise is that this girl, Megan, has been hired as a tutor for two very rich and “privileged” girls living in Palm Beach (I think it’s Palm Beach?). She lives in their mansion and make sure they study and yadda, yadda, yadda. If she is successful in getting the girls into Duke then she will have all of her student loans paid off, in addition to the salary she receives for being their tutor – a pretty sweet deal, I must say. The only issue is that (of course) there are all kinds of traps and roadblocks along the way – hence the reason people watch the show.

So this last Monday night, I’m watching my guilty pleasure of a show, when I find myself becoming ridiculously upset with the main character, Megan. She is in a relationship with the hot, rich neighbor and they’re talking through some stuff that has happened and she basically turns the whole thing around to be about her. Then she starts to put words into her boyfriend’s mouth and basically breaks up with him because of what she thinks his motives are. When it comes time for him to give an explanation he doesn’t (of course) until later when he comes back with this whole speech and makes everything right and they end up back together (sorry if I just spoiled the episode for you).

What frustrates me isn’t that they couple broke up and then got back together. I’m annoyed that they broke up in the first place. Basically the episode shows how ridiculous this relationship is – and how dumb so many are.

Relationships should be founded on open communication. Granted there needs to be some judgment about how much to disclose right off the bat, but keeping things hidden and assuming how someone else feels or is reacting to something is just a set-up for a disaster. There might be a perfectly reasonable explanation for something or there might not be, but you have the give the person the opportunity to respond to the situation and clarify what is going on. It’s your decision at that point to decide if you believe the person, but that is a whole other issue – at least give them a chance to state their case!

I think this is true for all relationships, romantic relationships and friendships. It even has its place in the workplace and frankly in pretty much any human interaction in everyday life. I’m not saying we need to over-analyze everything or start becoming so touchy-feely that the relationship drowns in questions and communication, but there is a balance and in order to strike it, you have to let each person speak his or her piece.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

One Look

I have been working hard these last several months to become healthier. My goal was to be more aware of the foods I put in my body and to exercise on a regular and consistent basis. I would say that I have achieved this goal for myself, and now I am in the process of making it a lifelong habit. I’m pretty good about keeping on track with my plan most of the time. I don’t forbid myself to have anything but if something isn’t great for me, I’ll limit myself to the quantity. I’m doing well, and I’m proud of myself. It’s almost as if I have forgotten that there are “other things” out there that are bad for me. They aren’t a part of my life anymore, until suddenly, that craving for my most favorite thing floods over me.

Homemade cookie dough is one of those things I just cannot resist. I am going to be the worst pregnant woman ever because the thing that I am going to want is cookie dough – for those of you who do not know, raw egg is bad to eat when you are pregnant, even worse than normal – and don’t try to tell me I can just make it with fake egg or without egg or buy the pre-packaged kind. No. Those alternatives are never as good and never hit the spot the way a fresh batch of REAL cookie dough does.

I do not have any cookie dough in my vicinity right now – but that is because I ate all of it that I made two weeks ago. I had a bad day and all I wanted was my glorious cookie dough, so I let myself have it. I made most of it into cookies (not quite as tempting as the dough) and just saved a little bit of the raw material to enjoy later. I made the batch on Friday and everything was gone by Monday. An entire batch of cookies – gone. Granted, I did have some help, it wasn’t all me, but I’ll be honest; it was mostly me. I just can’t help myself when I get that craving or see that dough, I fall back into old habits. This last week, I discovered that this problem of mine is not just related to food, it also pertains to boys.

As I have said before, I am a crush slut. I crush on more people faster than anyone else I know. It’s quite ridiculous. There are some people in my life that I have been able to move on from. I’ve crushed on them and it’s out of my system and I no longer like them. Then there are the boys who are my cookie dough. I see them and as much as I know that I should not like them, my heart just goes to mush the second I see them. They walk by and my heart practically jumps out of my chest in anticipation that they might talk to me – and when they do, the best thing I can usually come up with to say is some sort of garbled rambling mess that not even I understand. Someone should really send me back to junior high.

All it takes is one look from him, one small touch, or one whiff of his cologne and I am ruined for the next two weeks. It’s so dumb and so silly and for some reason, so fun.

As much as I hate it, I will admit, that I love it too. It’s the excitement and the rush that makes it this way even though I logically know that nothing will happen. He is not in to me, and honestly it’s ok, because I don’t know if I’d really be into him down the line if something serious ever happened, but the superficial high is good enough for now.

To all of my friends who will hear me gush about him (whoever “he” is at the moment), I am just going to issue this apology in advance – although for many of you it is probably more appropriate to say this is a belated apology. Thank you for indulging me, thank you for humoring me, and most of all, thanks for just being there when I am craving all the things I shouldn’t have.

Monday, December 1, 2008

It's Here!

Today is the first day of the best 31 days out of the entire year. December – ahh, just listen to how the word sounds. Every year I wait for this wonderful time when I can announce that it is December. It is the best month ever and I am glad it is the last month of the year because the anticipation makes it all the more exciting once it is finally here! Your last moments of 2008 have begun and it is during this last month when all the fun happens.

Two of the most notable and biggest celebrations happen in December.

First, there is Christmas. This year we have a glorious 26 days to prepare for this holiday (unless you started before Thanksgiving – in which case, “shame on you!”). Holiday lights are put up, cookies and other holiday treats are always around. Santa appears in the stores and there are candles and bells and snowflakes everywhere! How could you not be filled with the Christmas spirit?

Then once Christmas is over there is New Years Eve to look forward to. New Year’s Day is great, but December 31 is when all the real fun happens since everyone leaves the parties once the countdown is over. This holiday is wonderful as well because there are treats and goodies and champagne! Plus friends are all around and you get to make a lot of noise at midnight – something I’m rarely allowed to do.

December is also a time when people are just generally happy. Yes, there are some scrooges out there, but they can’t ruin it for you unless you let them. December is a time to share the wealth – even if it’s just a smile - and you can’t help but smile when the Christmas lights sparkle and you’re listening to your favorite Christmas carols. The ultimate December treasure is the first snow of the year. You can hear it coming by the silence that fills the air and the color of the horizon. It’s a beautiful time that only happens once a year – and in the Northwest, it’s almost always a December moment.

Of course there are some selfish reasons that I love this month. Obviously there is my birthday (December 13) but there are also several friends who have birthdays and a few family members with anniversaries.

Basically – I think that the entire month of December should be a national holiday. Who does work between Thanksgiving and the New Year anyway? It’s all one big party month. If you’re not out at a Christmas party, you’re celebrating a birthday, or out Christmas shopping. No real work is ever done – nor should it be. December is a time to be still and prepare for your last moments of the year. It’s a time to get everything done that you haven’t done yet and a time to do all the “bad” things that you've promised yourself you will stop doing in the New Year.

So, join with me wont you? Welcome in December with a shout, a laugh, or maybe even a dance? Eat a cookie or two, drink some cider or hot chocolate, and cozy up by the fire – or by the window to watch the snow fall – or in front of the TV and watch your favorite feel good Christmas movie. Do it now before 2009 is upon us and you feel the pressure of a new start. Enjoy this time because you’ll never see 2008 again!
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