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Friday, December 30, 2011

In (Quick) Review

I will join the blog masses and do my version of an end-of-2011 recap. I should preface this post by saying, I'm sitting in a crowded coffee shop, with my Hillsong Pandora station blasting through my ear phones. I've been an emotional wreck this week, maybe it's hormonal, maybe I'm just processing though some things.

I don't have one single word to describe 2011, at least not right now I don't. We'll see how writing this post goes and maybe I'll come up with one.

January 1st 2011 I accomplished a major goal in my life by running a 5K. I wish I had sailed on my excitement and pride longer than that one night. Creating a lifestyle that needs working out is on my list for 2012.

The plague hit our house in January and we spent two weeks feeling crappy.

January we celebrated my sister's Associate degree and was the last time we saw my dad. Ever. Oh how many things I would have done differently had I only known.

February brought Valentine's day and a last-minute get away to Edgefield for massages and soaking in the hot tub while rain gently fell on our heads. We also celebrated my 26th with a lovely day together, just Ben and I.

March we celebrated my sweet husband with a party - I had food and drinks for 17 people, but only 3 showed. Oh well.

April was big and we decided to move from our lovely home to our new lovely home.

April also crashed our world down when we found out about my dad.

We simply survived in May. We celebrated my dad's life and grieved as a family. So bittersweet.

May marked 4 years for my sweet husband and me. Wow, where did the time go?

June was Hannah's graduation from MSU and a mini family reunion with Ben's family. We spent time in Bozeman and in Yellowstone. On this trip we had the best ice cream ever (homemade vanilla with hand picked blackberries blended in...oh my. I'm salivating). Ben's family rented a cabin just outside of Yellowstone and we enjoyed our time together with his aunt, uncle and grandmother.

July brought long, lazy days and a lot of unpacking, as well as a life change I've yet to reveal on this blog. We also tried to go backpacking but were waylaid with snow.

August was lovely and low-key.

September brought a new car and a California road trip and a few days spent in San Francisco, Sonoma and the Redwoods. I love road trips with my little family.

In October I got a glimpse of my dream by babysit my friend's daughter for 5 glorious days. How sweet it was to care for a precious babe for so many days. It did my heart good.

October also marked Ben's last show with Painted Grey.

I was so thankful in November. Thankful for our home, for our friends, for our health, for my family, for  a solid marriage, thankful for my job, even when it breaks my heart.

December has been bittersweet. We were so blessed with a cozy little Christmas, but I was very aware that my dad was not here to share it with us. When we went to Hallmark to pick out our ornament for the year (a tradition from my childhood I've adopted as ours as well), we couldn't figure out what best represented this past year. I had forgot. Forgot I lost my dad. Forgot the pain and emptiness. Forgot my siblings would not have their dad at their graduations, their weddings. Forgot there would be a grandfather my children would never meet. Forgot. Then, like a ton of bricks, it hit me. We choose an ornament about remembering.

It may sound harsh to say I forgot about my dad, because of course, I never forget, but sometimes, my mind blocks it out. It's funny how life just goes on. The next day comes and has expectations for you. You cope and adjust your life in order to keep going. You just gotta keep going. I was talking with my mom this morning and she echoed my feelings of how sometimes, without warning, the grief and sadness comes flooding back. But you know what, we have to embrace it. These feelings of missing the ones we love honor their memory. Learning how to make a path around this roadblock is a testament to the love we feel for them. And as my mom said, it's a blessing that my dad was someone worth missing, because he so is.

Friday, December 2, 2011

So, yesterday after finishing my post, my back started to ache again. I began to worry and though I should get it checked out, if for nothing than a paper trail. With work-related injuries, no matter how small, you should always be sure to cross your t's and dot your i's. I called my primary care (turns out I have one, I didn't know) but they couldn't see me until tomorrow so I decided to the ED. I hate that our hospital system doesn't have an urgent care because using the emergency room for non-serious issues is one of the reasons why our medical care costs so darn much, but considering I have insurance and it's at my work, I gave it a go. Thankfully, they weren't very busy and the whole thing took about an hour and a half. The NP I saw thought I had pulled a muscle in my "thoracic region" and sent me on my way with big-gun Ibuprofen, a muscle relaxer and a recommendation for a massage - yee ha!

After the ER, I met my hubby at his work to do a little shopping and visit with him on his lunch break, and, then, much to my surprise, I actually went to the gym! I usually make plans to go to the gym but then take advantage of any excuse to keep me out of it (traffic, I'm hungry, it's going to be so busy, I have groceries to get, I'm sure there's laundry to fold at home, etc.). A doctor at work suggested I swim for a few days to gently stretch my muscles, and I didn't want to tell him I didn't when he asked, so I just trucked my butt over to the gym and made myself get into my swimsuit and into the water. 

Getting to the gym is indeed the hardest part. Once I started swimming, I felt so good. Yes, my lungs were burning and I tried to swallow a good bit of water, but I was so proud I actually went. I was also proud I actually did as many laps as I said I would do - I usually only do half of what I intend to. I sat in the sauna for a while after my swim and just enjoyed how my body felt. 



It was well into the evening when I was done at the gym and I was pooped. Ben was on his way home as well, so I asked him to stop and pick up a pizza while I got my prescription. He was tired from work and I couldn't even think about starting to make dinner at 8:00 pm. When we got home, my sweet husband held up the two RedBox movies he rented while waiting for the pizza, one of which was the same I got from the RedBox while I waited. I guess we know each other pretty well ;)

We enjoyed our pizza and a movie and then I tried one of my muscle relaxers (which I was warned would make me sleepy) and then went to bed. I guess those meds really work, because I slept for 12 hours! I guess my body was really needing some rest!

Now, I'm catching up on my biggest, most daunting chore: laundry. At least I have Gossip Girl and a movie to keep me company. 

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Randoms


  • Holy moly! It's December? When the heck did that happen? I can't even believe it! Christmas is in 24 days...wow!
  • Ben and I are not doing gifts this year, kind of. Instead of presents we purchased a new TV at the insistence of my sweet husband who has assured me our current TV is much too small. That will most certainly not be the case when this arrives in a few weeks:



  • I hurt my back at work yesterday. I was helping my adult-sized patient with left sided weakness "scooch" up in bed, and even though she had done so twice, on the third "scooch" I was the only one who moved. The combination of me pulling her arm up, and her lack of movement pulling me down toward her tweaked my muscles and I have had pain ever since. I even left work early in order to come home and lay flat on the couch. I am too freaking young to hurt my back! I will be going to the gym to swim some laps at the suggestion of the PICU attending yesterday, hopefully that will help.
  • I have been itching to do some crafting, but I don't know exactly what I want to do or where I would put it if I did. I have pinned so many cute wreaths, but really, I have a small house - I can only really use one at a time. Ben ordered a fresh wreath from the local high school and I am looking forward to its arrival so it can grace my front door. 



  • I think my next project will be this, for over our bed

  • Or this, spelling out "JOY"

Ok, that's all for today, have a lovely Thursday!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Stuff I Love

I love when people do posts of random stuff they love. Sometimes when I am contemplating getting something and I see someone do a review about whatever it is (no matter how random), it helps me pull the trigger.

So, this list will probably be all over the place, but here goes. Stuff I'm loving right now:

Cucina Coriander and Olive Tree Dish Detergent
Silly that I'm loving a dish soap, but seriously, this stuff is so good! It smells delicious and actually has enough suds to wash dishes (I have found lots of natural soaps leave much to be desired in the amount of suds to products). This is my new favorite soap!

Method Laundry Detergent in Fresh Air
While we're talking soaps (yes, yes, my life is super exciting), I am going to shout out about how much I love this product. I have been a loyal Costco laundry detergent purchaser for years, but when we moved, I just did not have the space to store a big-ole bucket of soap in my tiny laundry closet, so, to conserve space I thought I'd try this little sucker out for size. Well, it's awesome! 4 - 5 squirts cleans a whole load of clothes (and I do big loads) and give them a nice, gentle scent. I love that we can buy a refill bag and reuse the plastic container, which is both good for the environment and good for my wallet. Plus, it fits perfectly in the little basket I have suction cupped to the side of my washer. I love this! The next time you need to buy some soap, I dare you to give it a try!

Lisa Leonard Teenie Tiny Initials Necklace
I have blogged about this before, but I love it so much it deserves a second post. This is such a beautiful little necklace. I get compliments on it all the time, and I love that I always have a special little memento of my sweet husband right next to my heart. It's dainty and unobtrusive, but perfectly sweet and pretty. It's one of my favorite Christmas gifts ever. xoxo


Anderson Valley Brewing Winter Solstice
I know it's kind of weird for me to post a beer in my list, but OMG you guys, this stuff is pretty stinkin' good! I enjoy a nice beer every once and again and I tend to enjoy seasonal microbrews best. This stuff however, takes the freakin' cake and it is the best! Winter ales are my fav in general, and this is perfectly light and refreshing (reviews on the website call it "Christmas in a bottle". I cannot deny this.). Next time you're at the market, pick up a six pack (which we can only buy in cans, btw) and surprise your honey (and yourself!).

Lodge 12" Cast Iron Skillet

I have been dreaming of a Le Cruset French Oven for a while - but mostly because it's so pretty. I just can't justify dropping the cash on one. So, when my husband suggest skillet, I was down to try it out. So, now I've been googling recipes to make in it and I have been so pleased with the few I have used so far (I only got it two days ago). Even though it's super random, I've just gotta say, I feel like such grown up with a piece of cast iron cookware. It's like I'm legit or something.

Ikea Norden Gateleg Dining Table
We are finally grown up enough to have a dining table we have actually purchased! It's about time we have a place to eat (other than the couch). I love that we can push this baby up against the wall and just open one side for just the two of us, but then pull it out and open the other side for a bigger party. Tonight we sat 8 people for Thanksgiving dinner! We were cramped but cozy and no one had to sit on the floor!

Erin Condren Life Planner
Of course I am still loving (and actually using!) my life planner! I love this so much, the only thing is it's a little big, hopefully next year she'll have a more compact version, but overall, it's awesome! See this post if you want more details.


Wii Just Dance 3
Ok, this is super fun! If you seriously like to dance, this probably isn't for you, but if you like to be silly, make your friends look like fools and work up a descent sweat while your friends laugh at you, this is most definitely the game for you!

Ok, putting these images in this post was more work than I intended, plus, I have some of this to go tackle:

Pie That Will Make You Cry (aka Pecan Pie) a la the Pioneer Woman
This is my second Thanksgiving making a Pioneer Woman pie, and let me tell you that woman can bake! Oh man! This sucker is so, so, so good! Ben said, and I quote, "I was proud of you for making it, but I wasn't really excited about it, I never really liked pecan pie, but there was something about it, with the vanilla ice cream, it was magic, like heaven in my mouth."
I concur Mr. G, I concur.


Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy (turkeyless) Thanksgiving!

So, I have unintentionally abandoned my "In Great Detail" series. I made it six days...oh well! I'll probably pick it up again every once in a while, but I'm not going to make any promises.

This last week was just super hard, between work, little spats with my hubby and fighting a cold, I was not on my best game and blogging was the last thing from my mind.

Our Thanksgiving this year was a bit untraditional. We slept in, had a nice breakfast (pancakes, eggs and bacon a la my husband!), and then busted out butts cleaning. I deep cleaned the kitchen (including cleaning the oven by hand - not using the self-cleaning cycle) and Ben vacuumed & steam cleaned the carpet. Big, ugly tasks that I'm glad are over. We are ending the night with a fancified frozen pizza (soppressata, tomatoes and basil added to a plain cheese Costco pizza) and a bottle of Merlot.

Rest assured, a traditional Thanksgiving dinner is in our future, as we are hosting our 4th annual "Orphan Thanksgiving" with our closest friends on Sunday. Here's to hoping I get tomorrow off of work so I can try  to score a sweet deal on a turkey (organic and free-range would be ideal, but I wont be too picky!)!

 I guess I'll up the cheese factor of this post a little bit by saying just exactly what I am thankful for (since I abandoned my "Thankful Thursdays" last week as well): I am so, utterly, supremely thankful for my life. Yes, I realize that sounds super big and way too vague, but seriously, I am so thankful for it. I am so incredibly blessed. I have a beautiful home, which I share with a beautiful man and a sweet-as-pie pup, a good job that I feel so fulfilled by (even when it breaks my heart). I have wonderful friends - the kind that are real and you don't have to spend every second with them in order to know you are actually friends. My family is not at all what it used to be, but I am so thankful we have grown together and grown stronger despite the changes made in the past few years. I could cry thinking about how much I love my little siblings (all 4 of them!), and what an honor it is to be their big sister. I love being a big sister! I have food in my fridge and a steady paycheck. We have reliable cars and a clothing-stuffed closet. Seriously, we are so, so, so blessed beyond measure. Words really can't even describe. Blessed, blessed, blessed.

I pray your Thanksgiving was all you dreamed it would be - turkeyless or not! Here's to the start of a beautiful season!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

In Great Detail - Day 6

My day, in great detail


Today has not been something to write home about by any means, but for the purpose of this list, I'm gonna stick with it and write it out.


I picked up and extra shift last night (2300 - 0700). I don't mind working the occasional night shift, but to be a full-term night shifter is not for me. However, considering the amount of money I would be making (time and a half, plus on-call pay, plus night shift differential, plus critical need incentive, plus overtime!), I would be crazy to not have volunteered. 


Well, because traffic to our new house is absolutely horrendous, it took me twice as long to get home and was barely able to drag my butt upstairs and I crashed as soon as I got there (well, I washed my face and brushed my teeth, but that's all - I couldn't even muster a hearty greeting to Bridger!). 


I had a meeting at work at 1400, so my wake-up time of 1200 much all too quickly. I jumped in the shower and got ready as quickly as possible because I had to take Ben to work on the other side of town before my meeting. I made it out the door just in time but wasn't able to have breakfast or even a cup of coffee. I drove like a mad-woman in hopes of making it to Starbucks before the meeting. Well, I couldn't find a parking spot and the Starbucks line was 20 people deep, so I went into my meeting hungry and under-caffeinated. 


The meeting was good, despite my lack of nourishment or espresso, and I only snapped at one person (I don't do well on little sleep). After I had some time to kill before leaving to pick Ben up, so I was able to go visit one of my dear friends who was working upstairs. I lucked out and she was able to take her break and chat with me for a bit. Have I mentioned how thankful I am for my sweet friends? I am!


We visited for a while until I eventually braved the 1630 traffic across town and am now waiting for my husband at Peet's. I've been doing a bit of blogging while sipping on this naughty little sucker:




Once Ben gets off (which should be soon), I plan to pick up sandwiches for supper and then plant myself on the couch with my electric throw blanket and turn this tired brain off. 


I'll feel human tomorrow :)


Day 01 - Introduce yourself, in great detail
Day 02 – Your first love, in great detail
Day 03 – Your parents, in great detail
Day 04 – What you ate today, in great detail
Day 05 – Your definition of love, in great detail
Day 06 – Your day, in great detail
Day 07 – Your best friend, in great detail
Day 08 – A moment, in great detail
Day 09 – Your beliefs, in great detail
Day 10 – What you wore today, in great detail
Day 11 – Your siblings, in great detail
Day 12 – What’s in your bag, in great detail
Day 13 – This week, in great detail
Day 14 – What you wore today, in great detail
Day 15 – Your dreams, in great detail
Day 16 – Your first kiss, in great detail
Day 17 – Your favorite memory, in great detail
Day 18 – Your favorite birthday, in great detail
Day 19 – Something you regret, in great detail
Day 20 – This month, in great detail
Day 21 – Another moment, in great detail
Day 22 – Something that upsets you, in great detail
Day 23 – Something that makes you feel better, in great detail
Day 24 – Something that makes you cry, in great detail
Day 25 – A first, in great detail
Day 26 – Your fears, in great detail
Day 27 – Your favorite place, in great detail
Day 28 – Something that you miss, in great detail
Day 29 – Your aspirations, in great detail
Day 30 – One last moment, in great detail

In Great Detail - Day 5

My definition of love, in great detail


When I was young (not unlike much of you, I'm sure), I had visions of what my "great love" would look like. My handsome suitor would shower me with kisses and roses and compliments. He would look at me as a great treasure and never fail to see my value. I, in turn, would lovingly serve his every desire. We would be ooey-gooey and sappy in love. We'd never fight - because, we'd have a perfect love, what would there be to fight about? 


Real life happened shortly after these thoughts took place, and even though my actual "great love" looks very little like the above picture, I consider myself very blessed to have a love like I have. We may have moments of weakness and take each other for granted, and I may snap too quickly and he may not hold my hand as much as I would like. We may often miscommunicate and spend time on completely different planets every once in a while. Sometimes stressors like money, family, time together and life in general creep into our perfect life and get the best of us. I may want to hear "baby, you're so beautiful" more and he may want me to stop asking him to call whoever he needs to call/do whatever he needs to (i.e. just leave him alone!). He may even just need a breather and may just need a hug...from my mama...and sometimes we just don't mesh just right. Despite the fact that somedays look so far from what I described above, I wouldn't trade this real life love for anything in my fantasy, because in my wildest dreams, I never imagined Ben, and now that I know him, no dream could ever compare. 


To me real love is: selflessness, removing your pride, opening your heart and being vulnerable, cuddling on the couch, making my coffee in the morning. It is the comfort of knowing what/who you are coming home to, and the opportunity to make a home with someone. It is someone who takes the dog out when it's raining and let's you stay cuddled under your heated blanket back in the house. It is making dinner and breakfast on days when you get to sleep in. It is listening to my day, even when the details of it are hard for you to hear. It is giving good advice, even if it's hard to hear. It is holding me to a higher standard because you know I am better than how I may be acting. It is knowing your partners habits, nuances, likes, dislikes and how to order their cup of coffee.


Real love is racing your tired, mud-caked, overall-clad bootie into the mall and buying the daintiest, most beautiful, perfect ring for your love so you can give her the best gift of her life on her 22nd birthday. Real love is planning for a future, and having big dreams for your life together. It is standing strong and faithful through the days that suck and looking forward to tomorrow. It is the familiar smell on your pillow and the feeling of a warm, sleepy body pulling you closer as the night drifts on. Real love is contentment, peace and a feeling of wholeness. 


Real love is a blessing, and I am blessed beyond measure...xoxo




Day 01 - Introduce yourself, in great detail
Day 02 – Your first love, in great detail
Day 03 – Your parents, in great detail
Day 04 – What you ate today, in great detail
Day 05 – Your definition of love, in great detail
Day 06 – Your day, in great detail
Day 07 – Your best friend, in great detail
Day 08 – A moment, in great detail
Day 09 – Your beliefs, in great detail
Day 10 – What you wore today, in great detail
Day 11 – Your siblings, in great detail
Day 12 – What’s in your bag, in great detail
Day 13 – This week, in great detail
Day 14 – What you wore today, in great detail
Day 15 – Your dreams, in great detail
Day 16 – Your first kiss, in great detail
Day 17 – Your favorite memory, in great detail
Day 18 – Your favorite birthday, in great detail
Day 19 – Something you regret, in great detail
Day 20 – This month, in great detail
Day 21 – Another moment, in great detail
Day 22 – Something that upsets you, in great detail
Day 23 – Something that makes you feel better, in great detail
Day 24 – Something that makes you cry, in great detail
Day 25 – A first, in great detail
Day 26 – Your fears, in great detail
Day 27 – Your favorite place, in great detail
Day 28 – Something that you miss, in great detail
Day 29 – Your aspirations, in great detail
Day 30 – One last moment, in great detail

Monday, November 14, 2011

In Great Detail - Day 4

I have never done a post like this, but in keeping with my goal to actually finish this list - if not in the set number of days - I did one today. Alas, here is what I ate today, in great detail:


I am one of those people who sleep in until the absolute very last moment and give myself just exactly enough time to get ready. Every morning I have grand intentions of actually getting up when my alarm goes off and giving myself enough time to sit down and actually enjoy my breakfast and cup of coffee. But, when 0525 rolls around, I could care less about breakfast and all I want is to close my eyes for five more minutes. I usually force myself out of bed at 0550 and race though my shower & makeup routine (blow drying my hair is out the window) and be downstairs getting my lunch ready by 0610 in order to leave by 0625. I usually scarf a bowl of cereal or down a protein shake on my way out the door, but today I had the good fortune of having bread for toast (my fav), so I combatted both hunger and a random case of hiccups, with some yummy toast, peanut butter and honey.



Oh, and of course, any morning that starts before the sun rises earns a cup of coffee

This is in the car on the way to work. Do you see how dark it is?? Tears!

Maybe I'm weird, but I tend to pack huge lunches for work. I rarely actually eat everything I bring, but I like to give myself a variety of options for nourishment during the days that seem to last forever. Today my snack options were:

Chobani Greek yogurt - Peach, Maple streusel muffin oatmeal, Kashi TLC Pumpkin Spice Flax bar, and a Ritz multigrain & veggie Crackerful

I usually put a little sometime sweet in my lunch, but today I intended to meet up with a girlfriend on our break and enjoy an Eggnog latte as she filled me in on the details of her recent trip to Mexico. Having a Starbucks in the lobby is both a blessing and a curse (but mostly a blessing!).

But, when 1030 rolled around and I realized I hadn't yet had a chance to stop for a moment, nor was a stopping point going to present itself anytime soon, I grabbed an ICU nurse staple out of the pantry:

Saltine crackers & Tillamook cheese - I think our unit alone keeps Tillamook in business
I finally got to enjoy my oatmeal around noon and was able to take my lunch at 1400. I never used to be a fan of leftovers, but now there's nothing better on a busy day at work. Today it was leftover orzo and red peppers, tomatoes, spinach and a little bit of bacon. I had grander hopes for this dish, but when the pasta was in the water and the veggies were all sliced I realized the roasted red pepper and spinach chicken sausage I had planned on using was moldy. Gross. Hence, the bacon (the only other meat I had thawed). I threw some fancy olive oil over it and topped it with a little parmesan and it was pretty good, but I have higher hopes for next time.

Miss fancy pants eating out of my tupperware with a plastic fork. Luxury folks, luxury!

My yogurt was my "lunch dessert"

I get a serious case of "oh my gosh I'm starving" around 1700 each day. I really should take it as a sign to chug some water, but instead I use it to finish my lunch.



I tried to only eat my crackers, but I had my Kashi bar also (which I just tried for the first time today and it was really good! Very "fall"!).

Well, today was crazy and I never made it to Starbucks, but it's probably good, because for dinner my sweet husband pulled out the big guns and stopped on the way home at Burgerville (can you even handle our fanciness?!?). We try to cook at home as often as possible, but sometimes, grabbing a quick bite to eat on the way home is so stinking easy! If you are not familiar with Burgerville, it's a fast-ish food restaurant that uses all local and mostly sustainable products. They use high quality ingredients and make delicious burgers (and shakes, but we didn't go there tonight).

I thoroughly enjoyed this Tillamook cheeseburger!

And the reason I'll be skipping Starbucks tomorrow too is this, just waiting for me in the freezer:




See you tomorrow!


Day 01 - Introduce yourself, in great detail
Day 02 – Your first love, in great detail
Day 03 – Your parents, in great detail
Day 04 – What you ate today, in great detail
Day 05 – Your definition of love, in great detail
Day 06 – Your day, in great detail
Day 07 – Your best friend, in great detail
Day 08 – A moment, in great detail
Day 09 – Your beliefs, in great detail
Day 10 – What you wore today, in great detail
Day 11 – Your siblings, in great detail
Day 12 – What’s in your bag, in great detail
Day 13 – This week, in great detail
Day 14 – What you wore today, in great detail
Day 15 – Your dreams, in great detail
Day 16 – Your first kiss, in great detail
Day 17 – Your favorite memory, in great detail
Day 18 – Your favorite birthday, in great detail
Day 19 – Something you regret, in great detail
Day 20 – This month, in great detail
Day 21 – Another moment, in great detail
Day 22 – Something that upsets you, in great detail
Day 23 – Something that makes you feel better, in great detail
Day 24 – Something that makes you cry, in great detail
Day 25 – A first, in great detail
Day 26 – Your fears, in great detail
Day 27 – Your favorite place, in great detail
Day 28 – Something that you miss, in great detail
Day 29 – Your aspirations, in great detail
Day 30 – One last moment, in great detail

Sunday, November 13, 2011

In Great Detail - Day 3

My parents, in great detail:

My family situation is a bit unique. As I said in my previous post, my parents divorced when I was just a baby. I never knew life with my mom and dad as a single family unit, so having two homes and two families was never a big deal to me, it was simply my life. I was fortunate though, to have amazing parents who put me first and put whatever marital issues they struggled with before away.

I can't tell you if being a divorced kid was hard, I never knew anything different. I also can't say if switching homes every two days was hard, because it was my life, and it's what I had always done. I will always maintain that though I strongly believe in marriage (especially now that I am an old married lady myself), for my family, I wouldn't have changed my life because it allowed me to have three wonderful parents and after knowing the love that came with that, how could I give it up??

Ok, anyway, onto my parents. Let's start with my Daddy, Steve:

*Sidenote: the two dad situation can get a bit confusing, simply because I call them both "Dad". "Daddy" was reserved for my "real" (I hate calling him "real" because it indicated Tom was "fake", when in fact, he was very "real" as well!) dad, Steve, and Tom, my step-dad. As I became older, both dads were called "Dad."

My dad is every bit a man. He steps into situations and becomes the leader, the strong one. He has epic stories of being young and giving my grandma a run for her money. Despite his crazy stories, he grew up quickly after his dad left. Even as a young man he made sure my grandmother was taken care of, and his dedication to her never faltered, even when it was hard. Then, after his brother died and left my baby cousin Kristi fatherless, he drove from So. California to Arizona every weekend just to make sure she was OK and that she had a dad-like presence in her life. My dad is a mechanic and has owned his Honda shop since long before I was born. He is a hard-worker and very responsible, despite his penchant for having fun. He likes to think he is rough and gruff, but really, he's soft and sweet (I however, wouldn't want to make him mad!). He made some big mistakes when married to my mom, but he never shied away from his responsibilities as my dad. As a father, he was loyal, loving and fun. Rare were there weekends spent at home doing chores. Whatever we did, we did together, and it was usually fun! Summers were filled with trips to the lake and winters we spent dirt bike riding in the desert. I don't think my dad quite knew what to do with a girl, but he figured it out. One of my most cherished memories is of him taking me on a "date" (I wore my fanciest dress and got my hair done and everything!) up to Santa Barbara for an American Girl luncheon/tea party. He was the only man there, but that didn't stop him from sipping his tea and making sure I was able to see every outfit in the fashion show and that my Samantha doll was well cared for. What makes this memory even more special is the next year, when the event rolled around again, he bought three tickets, so that my cousin Katie (whose dad would never take her to an event like this) could go with us. The significance of that move means more to me now than it did then, but I did realize just how special my dad was (is). 


Today, my dad and I are not as close as we once were - it's hard maintaining a close relationship when you are so far away, but, when we do get to visit, we have fun and absolutely love our time together. He finally figured it out in the woman department, and his new wife, Allison, is lovely and totally perfect for him. They've been married almost as long as we have, and they're still ga-ga over each other! I know he is so proud of me (I think every one of his customers knew what college I was going to and now where I work, he is quite boastful of me, ha!) and he takes every opportunity to tell me so. Though our visits are too far in between, our relationship is very sweet and our love very strong!


Next, I'll tell you about my other dad, Tom:


Tom was friends with my parents before I was ever born. He was actually the best man in their wedding, and then their neighbor. When my parents divorced, he continued his relationship with my parents, but mostly my mom, as they lived so close. He was quiet and reserved, a long-term bachelor. Him and my dad eventually grew apart, but he never gave up on my mom. He claims to have had feelings for her long before he ever made his move - and considering who he is, I believe it! He finally made his move, and when I was five years old, he became my step-dad. They adjustment was hard on all of us, but Tom was steady and faithful. Though it took a while, he became a strong, wise parental presence. He rarely disciplined me (neither my mom nor I would let him), but I valued his opinion and his say, so I rarely gave him means to - in my older years at least. 


Tom was a hard-worker. He never stopped working, ever. He rarely took a sick day and he never allowed something that needed to be done go undone. He was silly and fun and always had a smile on his face. He was kind and loving. His faith was strong and uncomplicated - He just loved Jesus, that was all he needed. He loved his kids more than words can properly convey. He was a really, really good dad. I can't imagine my life without him, even though I've been doing it for the last 7 months. He was really looking forward to being a grandpa and how my heart breaks knowing he will never meet my kids here on earth. Tom was a good dad, a loving dad, my dad.


And finally, my mama:


Where do I start when I talk about my mom? Never was there a time when we weren't close. Of course, I had my horrible teenager moments when I yelled and screamed at her, but when my hormones died down, I was still always lucky enough to say my mom was my best friend. My mom was #7 of 10 kids and had a crazy childhood - I don't know if I'll ever know all of her stories, nor if my heart could handle it, but her growing up adventures were much different from mine. The circumstances of my birth were not ideal for her, but she didn't let that stop her. My mom was all about me from day one. Never did her priorities sway, it was always her and me against the world. Even when Tom and then my siblings came along, she always made time for me. Our "girls nights" spent grocery shopping or searching for the perfect outfit for whatever event I had are cherished memories of mine. I don't really know how my mom learned to be the kind of mom that she is, but I hope I can love my own kids as fiercely as she loved us.


My mom is the most supportive and encouraging woman I have ever known. She would never allow me to wallow in self-pity and she worked hard to instill self-confidence and self-worth within me. She is fun and loving too. My friends always liked coming over to my house, because my mom would give them some good mama hugs and some perfect words to help take away whatever self-doubt was nagging them that day. My mom never let me go - she was always involved and invested in my life, even when I protested. She knew my friends, my hobbies and my whereabouts, she always made sure to make me a priority. She was the best mom - she IS the best mom!



Well, those are my parents. As I said above, my family situation is a bit unique, but I wouldn't have changed it for anything. I have amazing parents - all three of them!


Day 01 - Introduce yourself, in great detail
Day 02 – Your first love, in great detail
Day 03 – Your parents, in great detail
Day 04 – What you ate today, in great detail
Day 05 – Your definition of love, in great detail
Day 06 – Your day, in great detail
Day 07 – Your best friend, in great detail
Day 08 – A moment, in great detail
Day 09 – Your beliefs, in great detail
Day 10 – What you wore today, in great detail
Day 11 – Your siblings, in great detail
Day 12 – What’s in your bag, in great detail
Day 13 – This week, in great detail
Day 14 – What you wore today, in great detail
Day 15 – Your dreams, in great detail
Day 16 – Your first kiss, in great detail
Day 17 – Your favorite memory, in great detail
Day 18 – Your favorite birthday, in great detail
Day 19 – Something you regret, in great detail
Day 20 – This month, in great detail
Day 21 – Another moment, in great detail
Day 22 – Something that upsets you, in great detail
Day 23 – Something that makes you feel better, in great detail
Day 24 – Something that makes you cry, in great detail
Day 25 – A first, in great detail
Day 26 – Your fears, in great detail
Day 27 – Your favorite place, in great detail
Day 28 – Something that you miss, in great detail
Day 29 – Your aspirations, in great detail
Day 30 – One last moment, in great detai
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Friday, November 11, 2011

In Great Detail - Day 2

My first love, in great detail


Oh, your first love. Everyone has one, and every girl remembers hers. I remember mine. It was deep and true. For five years I was head over heels for Joey T.  Fate brought him to me in Mrs. Bayer's first grade class. I saw his dreamy face and that was that - I was a goner. He was so cute. Oh man, in my little girl head, nothing could come close to his cuteness. 


I loved him from first to fifth grade. No other boys could catch my attention, I only had eyes for cutey-pie Joey T. Sadly, he never seemed to notice me, no matter how many times I chased him around the playground or had my best friend Lindsey call his house and ask him if he liked me (his poor mother!). His priorities were all wrong, he seemed to care less about me and more about baseball and beating all the other kids at wall ball. Silly boy. 


After a hundred games of MASH predicted our eventual marriage, our romance finally blossomed on our end-of-the-year fifth grade trip. Some other schools in the county had epic trips to the Catalina Islands or to Disney land, but Juanamaria, we went all out and spent two days in the Ojai mountains at a family camp complete with Tee-pees and nature trails. Sailing would have been cool, but sure, I'd rather pick up firewood and learn about leaves. However, fireworks finally flew when our group ventured out onto the trails on a star walk. Joey T and I walked close together...very close...our fingers even brushed together! It was epic! After our pinkies finally met, I ran back to my girlfriends and giggled as I step-by-step replayed what had just happened. Love!


Sadly, school ended a few days later and since we went to different middle schools, our romance ended. I was heart broken, until I met Michael, and well...I'll tell you about him on day 16 ;)


Day 01 - Introduce yourself, in great detail
Day 02 – Your first love, in great detail
Day 03 – Your parents, in great detail
Day 04 – What you ate today, in great detail
Day 05 – Your definition of love, in great detail
Day 06 – Your day, in great detail
Day 07 – Your best friend, in great detail
Day 08 – A moment, in great detail
Day 09 – Your beliefs, in great detail
Day 10 – What you wore today, in great detail
Day 11 – Your siblings, in great detail
Day 12 – What’s in your bag, in great detail
Day 13 – This week, in great detail
Day 14 – What you wore today, in great detail
Day 15 – Your dreams, in great detail
Day 16 – Your first kiss, in great detail
Day 17 – Your favorite memory, in great detail
Day 18 – Your favorite birthday, in great detail
Day 19 – Something you regret, in great detail
Day 20 – This month, in great detail
Day 21 – Another moment, in great detail
Day 22 – Something that upsets you, in great detail
Day 23 – Something that makes you feel better, in great detail
Day 24 – Something that makes you cry, in great detail
Day 25 – A first, in great detail
Day 26 – Your fears, in great detail
Day 27 – Your favorite place, in great detail
Day 28 – Something that you miss, in great detail
Day 29 – Your aspirations, in great detail
Day 30 – One last moment, in great detail