Thursday, February 24, 2011

Picture This: Day 28

(Monsters under the Bed, Mike Cressy)
Day 28:
A picture of something you are afraid of. 
This is a hard one. I am debating on posting with complete and total naked honesty that may make me more vulnerable than I ever wish to be (which is scary enough in itself), or....maybe I should admit to something surprising and silly. Do I take the easy route or the hard one?? Hmm.....
Easy route wins out...sorry.
When I was little, it wasn't so much the dark that I was afraid of, or imaginary monsters hiding under my bed, I was afraid that someone was going to come through my window in the middle of the night and take me away. I grew up when 'Code Adam' was implemented in every shopping center and when Polly Klaus was taken from her very own bedroom, during a slumber party. Neither of those poor children survived. It was a scary thing growing up.
I had a line of defense though...I thought it was a very legitimate defense at the time. The plan that I had worked out in my head was this. As long as my feet were carefully tucked under my blankets, and I stayed very, very still at any noise I heard, then a would-be kidnapper would never see me and I would be safe.
Excellent plan...right?
I thought so highly of this plan that years later when I spent my first weeks (by myself) in my first apartment (BY MYSELF!) in San Francisco, I put this plan back into action.
I had never lived in an apartment before. I never realized the walls were SO paper thin. Waking up one Saturday morning, I heard (what I thought to have been at the time) footsteps in my front room. I was scared OUT OF MY MIND! Survivor mode kicked in. Immediately I covered my feet and laid as still as I possibly could....for 2 hours!! Finally, when I thought it was safe to get up, I carefully crept out of bed and carried on with the rest of my day.
Come to find out, this was typical apartment living.
I still cover my feet, even though I now have the Pup and the Mr. to protect me.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Picture This: Day 27

Dad and I right before he walked me down the aisle.
(Photo by Noel Hadley)
Day 27:
A picture of you and a family member.
I have mentioned my mother, my brother, the Mr. and my grandmother. The one family member that I haven't said much about is my father. I wouldn't say that I am your typical 'Daddy's Girl' but my dad and I have a definite bond and we have become great friends. Every Sunday my dad (along with his dog and the Pup) walk for a couple of hours in the morning, rain or shine. It is our time to catch up. It is a time that I can get his advice on big life decisions and at the same time try out a joke to see if its funny. I love this time that I get to spend with my dad. I look forward to it every week.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Picture This: Day 26

Day 26:
A picture of something that means alot to you. 
I know that I rarely talk about it much anymore, but going to school to become an esthetician was a big life changing event for me. Unfortunately, right after I graduated, the Mr. lost his job and I had to look for more stable work. One day I hope to return to skin care and make it more of a career. Until then, I make it a big point to take care of my own skin.

Picture This: Day 25

Day 25:
A picture of your day. 
After a very adventurous weekend, more specifically the culinary adventure I went on in San Francisco on Sunday, my Monday was spent making my way through half my workday only to go home feeling sick at lunch. I had been up at 20 minute intervals since 4 AM (TMI??) until the time I had to get ready for work. Not what I wanted to share for my picture of the day but at least the kitty is cute.

Picture This: Day 24

Day 24:
A picture of something you wish you could change.
I am so over the central valley. I was born and raised here and when I was younger I tried to leave. At 19 I moved away to Orange County, California. I spent an amazing year there being selfish while I immersed myself in the Theater Arts program at Fullerton College. I loved, loved loved it. Then the gravitational pull of my hometown dragged me back. Fast forward five years. I made my way to San Francisco, California. Again, I spent an AMAZING year there rooming with my kid brother for his first year at SF State. Ran out of money and again was sucked back to the Bermuda Triangle in the arm pit of California. A month after I moved back, I met the Mr. and the rest is history. Now that I am a settled married lady, I get restless that we stay here in the valley. The job market has dried up and our options seem limited. In my dream of dreams I would move back to San Francisco in a heartbeat (its seems almost obvious by most of my posts) but that isn't an option that the Mr. wants to consider. At this point I wouldn't mind starting anew almost anywhere. Wherever the wind takes us, as long as we're together is fine by me.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Picture This: Day 23

Day 23:
A picture of your favorite book.
This is one of the hardest entries for me because I am an avid reader, will read everything that is put in front of me and I have been affected by so much literature that I normally wouldn't have considered reading if it had not been recommended to me first.
My first 'grown up' book that I read completely for pleasure was probably 'This Side of Paradise' by F. Scott Fitzgerald. To me, Fitzgerald has a way of evoking a feeling about the space that he writes in. I know that probably sounded disgustingly pretentious but that really is the only way I could put it. While reading his books, you feel as if you are in those rooms with his characters and sneaking peeks at their lives. From that book forward he became my favorite author and I have since read everything that he has written (that I am aware of). One of my greatest finds was a first edition reading copy of 'The Last Tycoon' (another favorite) that I covet.
Whenever I want to be whisked away to another time, another place, I pick up one of his books or short stories and I am on my way there.

Picture This: Day 22

(Organization is for Squares at Making It Lovely
Day 22:
A picture of something you wish you were better at. 
Organizing my life. many days I wish I was more 'Type A' and could keep my shiz together but in reality I am all over the place. My house is fairly clean but not nearly clean enough for the Mr.'s standards but then again he seems to forget that he used to have to hike through piles of laundry when he would visit me when we were dating. Its not as bad as it was then, he should consider himself lucky. I make plans but never get through some of them because I am so disorganized and such a procrastinator. Every year 'Get organized' is on my list of New Year resolutions and every year it falls to the wayside. One of these days (weeks, months, years) I will be better at keeping it together. Until then...where did I put my car keys???

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Picture This: Day 21

Day 21:
A picture of something you wish you could forget.
I have no idea what to put for this. I wish I could forget my parent's disappointment years ago when I was at my lowest low. For a long time I wish I could forget a certain someone and how much anguish I put myself through because of said person. I wish I could forget some other things that have happened as well...
For the most part I have. Everything that was in my past is finally staying there and everything painful I have had to face is getting easier with each day. It is easy for me to only remember the good times and not the bad.
What picture goes with that??

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Picture This: Day 20

(Spring in Paris by Isismas)
Day 20:
A picture of somewhere you would love to travel. 
Anywhere and everywhere. Italy, Portugal, Spain, Australia (and now thanks to my foreign coworker) New Zealand as well.
Most of all, France. More specifically, Paris.
(Now I will tell a story that may seem to have no relation to my wanting to go to France but, in the end, will all make sense. Please bear with me.)
When my brother and I were growing up, we were very curious about a certain 'black sheep' uncle we had never met. He was quite the mystery to my brother, cousins and I that he became somewhat of a legend amongst us. Years passed and we reached early adulthood. One day my cousin casually mentions to me that she has met this mysterious uncle. I pleaded her to not spare any details. The most I got was 'Eh....not too impressed. You really aren't missing much'. I told my brother who was equally interested. A few years pass and my very own brother casually mentions that he has met this uncle, and again, I get an apathetic review. At this point, I am the only one that has not met this family member. A few years pass and, at the wedding of another family member, I meet this uncle. I have to agree, eh, he's just another guy.
I tell this story because it relates to both my mother and brother's opinion of Paris. My brother traveled to Europe and backpacked his way through for a few weeks until he reached Prague a few years ago. I have dreamed about going to Paris and when he came back he gave me the same opinion of what he gave me of our uncle....'eh'...My mom and I were not convinced and my mother vowed she would make it to Paris. A few years after that my mom traveled there with my grandmother. When she came back she let me know HER opinion of Paris....another 'eh'.
I am really hoping that Paris doesn't end up like my 'black sheep' uncle.
I feel the only way to know is to find out for myself.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Picture This: Day 19

Day  19:
A picture of a letter.
At first I took this to mean a letter of the alphabet and almost began my search for the perfect 'J' until I remembered I had this gem. I love it. I want to blow it up and hang it in my bedroom. The Mr. isn't as in love with it as I am.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Strawberry Fields

With Valentine's Day coming up, I knew that I wanted the theme of this month's pie to be red. I had considered chocolate but ultimately decided not to because of the S'mores pie I had made just last month. 
Because Puxatony Phil came out to play a couple of weeks ago without seeing his shadow, spring was promised to arrive early. It seems to have reached us here. At springtime in the central valley, especially where I live, you can't throw a stone without hitting a roadside vendor peddling their wares. On Sunday, returning from my walk with my dad and the dogs I noticed that strawberries had made their debut. After a quick shower, I headed out to the corner and bought half a flat for the bargain price of $10. I had something in mind for them when I brought them home. 
This month's pie is Strawberry Raspberry Pie. Oh yeah, did I tell you that I was going to make it extra special by making pie in a jar? Oh? No? Well, here it is. 
The jars I had in my house make this pie extra special because they were large enough to perfectly hold a pie that was just the right size for two. How romantic! 
Gather supplies...mix up some berries, a little sugar, a little flour and a dash of lemon juice...
...fill up the jars and make sure to add a pat of butter to each...
...prep the tops. 
Make sure to cut out holes to vent, I used a little heart for the occasion....
...seal em' up to give as gifts or....
...bake one up for you and your valentine. 

If you want to save them, they freeze well. Keep some in the freezer and take one out when needing that little something sweet. 

Picture This: Day 18

('My Insecurities' by Cheryl McLaughlin)
Day 18:
A picture of your biggest insecurity.
For me it is hard to pinpoint my biggest insecurity. I have moments of it everyday. Sometimes reoccurring thoughts that I have carried with me from adolescence, sometimes over things that I have encountered only since becoming a full fledged adult. I figure, for those at my age, that is probably how it goes for most.
When I was younger I was consumed by my insecurities. I hated my body, my face, my voice. I felt like I was a spazz and as long as I kept my mouth closed nothing stupid sounding could come out of it. I never kept my mouth shut and in turn constantly felt embarrassed of what came out of it.
As an adult, I love myself much more than I did then. I am chunky but don't feel disgusted by seeing my body in the mirror. I can hold a conversation and walk away feeling as if a stream of words flew out that were actually understandable to other people.
Because I couldn't think of an appropriate picture to illustrate 'insecurity', I took to Google to help me out. When I typed in 'insecurity' the above pic was one of the first to show up. It is sad to me (only because I struggled with it for so long myself) that insecurity is most identified with body image. As clich├ęd as it might sound, I hope one day we can determine how we feel about someone by the ideas that they bring to the table and not by how they look like.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Sensing Sunday: February 13, 2011

What I am:

Hearing: 'Stop Dragging My Heart Around'-Stevie Nicks and Tom Petty
Seeing: My Valentine roses on the kitchen table next to the half flat of strawberries I brought from the roadside vendor. 

Smelling: My husband's delicious clam chowder bubbling up in the kitchen. 

Tasting: A glass of Pinot Noir. Mmmm....

Feeling: I was hoping to get some rest this weekend, but with the Crab Feed on Friday, the 4 miles in the gym on Saturday, the 6 miles with dad and the dogs on Sunday, the brunch of the Mr.'s homemade crepes and strawberries on Saturday with the brother in law and the kiddos, the evening of karaoke with the Garcias on Saturday night, the grocery store with my mum and then again with the Mr. to get supplies for her cake, my pie and his clam chowder....I am exhausted. To think, I still have to help mum with said cake tonight and I have to attempt my pies....thank goodness for my little glass of wine. 

Picture This: Day 17

(My new, totally awesome Saucony running shoes
Day 17:
A picture of something that has made a huge impact on your life recently. 
Training for the half marathon is all I seem to talk about these days. I can bore people with long drawn out conversations about what type of shoes I wear on which day and why (oh, by the way, I was stoked to get these shoes that are specific to running, I have never had the need to make this purchase before). Last night in fact, I had a dream about Bob and Jillian from the Biggest Loser (and I don't even watch that show on a regular basis).
It went something like this:

(scene opens to Bob and Jen sitting on gym equipment in a busy gym)
Jen: Hey Bob, did I tell you that I am going to run a half marathon in July?
Bob: What? No way! That's awesome! I am surprised because that's something I never thought you would do. I almost can't believe it...hey, Jillian...
(Jillian pops up out of no where from behind some random equipment)
Jillian: Yeah, what's up?
Bob: Did Jen tell you that she is going to run a half marathon in July?!?
Jillian: What?? No way! That's awesome! I am surprised because that's something I never thought you would do. I almost can't believe it....

(Something like that anyway, what she said sounded exactly what Bob had said to me in the dream. That's how I remember it anyway)

I enjoyed the dream but after thinking about it for a moment, I had to ask myself 'Why did it seem so unbelievable that I would run a half marathon?'. My subconscious insecurity rearing its ugly head I suppose...

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Picture This: Day 16

Day 16:
A picture of a person who inspires you.
Could it really be anyone else besides my mom? She is my biggest inspiration. She has accomplished so much and is a machine that won't stop. Sometimes I get irritated because she is so focused that I feel a little left out. She is always busy. I used to not understand it but as I get older and hear more often 'You are going to turn into your mother' it makes me beam with pride. I can only hope. At the end of the day I respect her because she is living her life exactly how she wants to and makes no excuses for it. She is one ballsy lady in a little body...and I look up to her everyday.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Picture This: Day 15

Day 15:
A picture of something you would like to do before you die.
This has always been on my bucket list. It was only since the first of the year that I could even consider getting it accomplished. Amongst the many, many, many things I would like to do before I die, currently at the top of the list is to get through a marathon. For me, a marathon will most likely be a once in a lifetime thing. Because of this I am hoping that 2012 will be my year, more specifically November 2012. You see, if I am going to do a marathon, I am going to make it more special than say...the time I jumped out of an airplane. I did that over farmland in central California and to think about it now, if that would have been the last thing I was looking at before the chute potentially didn't open....well, that would have been pretty lame, right? I promised myself, if I am going to do a marathon, I am going to do it up right.
Something I would like to do before I die? Run a marathon, in Australia, during an eclipse! Lucky for me, there happens to be an eclipse in Australia in November of 2012...funny how that works out. I think Cocodoodle, Camo and G might come along for the ride.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Picture This: Day 14

Day 14:
A picture of a person you couldn't picture your life without.
These two, more specifically the guy on the left. The Mr. doesn't like to have his picture posted and I want to respect his privacy. We both work hard at our marriage and try not to take it for granted. I have never worked so hard, or wanted to work so hard, at something in my life. Sometimes we argue but in the end there is no one in the world he, or I, would rather spend the rest of our life with.

Picture This: Day 13

Day 13:
A picture of your favorite band/artist. 
I like music but it is hard for me to make that commitment to say 'so and so is my absolute favorite band/artist'. I think the longest stretch for any sort of favorite was when I was in my very early 20s. I was in love with Big Bad Voodoo Daddy. I had memorized 'Swingers' verbatim after seeing it when I was 19 and BBVD played a heavy influence on that flick. If you ever get the chance to see them in concert, especially in a smaller venue, DO IT! You won't be disappointed.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Picture This: Day 12

Day 12:
A picture of something you absolutely love.
This was a tough call. I love too many things. I love spending time with my little family. One of the things I cherish, and this will sound pretty cheesy, is the relaxing time I get to spend with the Mr. During the summer we fish and he lets me read while I wait for something to hit on my pole. Even better is when we take the boat out with the wind whipping through the Pup's ears. I love the moments that allow me the chance to just breathe and take in the little things in life that make the biggest impacts.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Picture This: Day 11

(Romy, Michelle and the 'A-Group')
Day 11:
A picture of something you absolutely hate.
I run the risk of really pissing some people off here but this is my current annoyance. I can't really say that I hate it, but it is something that I tend to give too much thought too lately.
Smug, pregnant women.
I know, I know. I will most likely have EVERY woman that has ever had kids wanting to make sure I hear THEIR two cents on the subject, but this is my blog and as the administrator I can delete any comment I there.
The thing is that too many people that will want to make themselves heard will think that it is a choice that I don't have children. The same people that tell me that 'I don't understand because I don't have children', 'Just wait until you have kids...' need to show the same understanding and sensitivity in return. I want to snort back 'No, YOU don't understand because you conceived the first or second time you tried. You haven't had to dislodge angrily thrown pregnancy tests from the bathroom walls every month for the past three years. You haven't had to hold back tears or excused yourself from the room after holding the most precious baby in your arms and wanting so bad to be holding your own.
I know there are others that will try to be compassionate and tell me that they 'feel my pain' because they were once in my shoes, feeling the same things I go through. I appreciate that, I really do because there are some that have been there and I don't wish anyone to have to feel it. At the same time, and it sounds awful and selfish, those people will tell me this after they have been successful at having children. Its all empty support.
Ah, hell, at least I can have a glass of wine when I its not all bad.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Picture This: Day 10

(Sally, Betty, Bob...end of an era)
Day 10:
A picture of the person you do the most messed up things with.
Me (Betty), G (Bob), and 'Sally'. All aliases, no real names used. No evidence of all the things we have done together. That is our story and we are sticking to it....I can't tell you more because then I would have to kill you.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Picture This: Day 9

Day 9:
A picture of a person who has gotten you through the most. 
I am so thankful that my parents didn't stop after one child. They very well could have because perfection had obviously been reached. Because they decided to have another, I was blessed to have been given a lifelong friend. My brother was my first best friend and we have seen each other through a lot, both good times and bad.   We speak in shorthand and inside jokes but when we have to get real with each other we do. Growing up he had to put up with my crap because I was the oldest and that was just the way it was. Today, I look up to him.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Picture This: Day 8

Day 8:
A picture that makes you laugh every time you look at it. 
There are no other words....

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Picture This: Day 7

Day 7:
A picture of your most treasured possession.
I have lots of treasured possessions but tonight my rings and a crochet hook are my most treasured. My engagement and wedding ring are with me always and today I picked up my birthstone ring from the jewelers and will wear it everyday. My mum gave me my birthstone ring when I turned 18 and it was the first piece of grown up jewelry I ever owned. It is very special to me.
Crochet hooks are very special to me as well because every time I pick one up it reminds me of my grandmother. I don't think that there will ever be a time in my life where I won't have at least one crochet hook in my home.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Picture This: Day 6

Day 6:
A person you'd love to trade places with for the day. 
Not really a person, but the pup. I mean, come on! All she has to worry about is when she gets to go for a walk, when she might get a treat and if the toilet seat is up so she can ignore bowl of water we put out for her every day and drink strait from the source. When she is not snoozing on the couch or under the covers, she is preforming her duties as the ever diligent guard dog by keeping a keen eye to the window above the door. Its a tough life...dare I say, it a dog's life. (Ok, go ahead and let out a collective groan...that was a pretty awful joke.)

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Picture This: Day 5

Day 5:
A picture of an old memory.
Oh how I hate Nebraska.
The Mr. and I drove cross country to Chicago shortly after becoming engaged to visit his family back east. The trip was a blast and I would do it again in a heartbeat, as long as I got to skip Nebraska. It was the most boring state to drive through and there was so much road work in Omaha that we detoured and ended up lost for over an hour when trying to find a hotel at the end of a very very long day. As we were leaving the horrible place, a tire on the truck blew out. The 'soon to be' Mr. had to change the tire on a super dangerous curve that almost brought me to tears. Thank goodness Des Moines was the next stop where we met some of the nicest people in the country. Sorry Nebraska, but my heart will forever belong to Iowa
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