Sunday, December 28, 2008

Northwest Bound

This afternoon we are finally on our way to the lovely Pacific Northwest. Because of the snow, our trip has been cut in half: from 10 days to 5, but we will make it work. With a wedding, a party, and a few friendly get togethers along with family gatherings, it it sure to be a busy but memorable trip.

And please, mother nature, please keep the snow at bay while we're up there!

We had a very pleasant first Christmas in L.A. this year. Matt wrote everything I wanted to say, so you can read all about it here.

And with that, I must go. The cab will be here any minute! Happy New Year to all!

P.S. I have to add that Christmas with palm trees just isn't the same.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Traditions in L.A.

This is going to be our first Christmas away from our families, and yet, we will be with family this Christmas.

We have many friends who are here for this special time of year and feel very grateful that we have places to go and things to do. And we are grateful that we are home and comfortable. My heart goes out to those who are still fighting to go home via plane, train, and bus.

Last night I made some of my Christmas presents and then we decorated the tree. Matt even said that next year we could get a real one or a bigger fake one! :) We watched Chronicles of Narnia with cups of tea, and then Nathan came over. We ordered pizza, drank beer, and watched old episodes of The Simpsons. Poor guy has to work today and tomorrow!

Today I'll finish the Christmas presents, get some wrapping done and go shopping for Matt's stocking (something else I didn't plan for). Tonight we'll have a get-together with friends (Jeremy, Katy, Paige A, and hopefully Matt and Jessica). Tomorrow we'll catch a movie or two (hopefully Nathan will join us) in the morning, and then head to Pasadena for dinner with Gayvin, Eric, and their 4 year old son, Jack.

While we have plans, and are grateful for all that we have here in L.A., I am still missing my family and our traditions. I know there is no time like the present to start our own, I guess because this was so unexpected I am not prepared for these emotions. It's a bit of a rollercoaster. Having our place decorated is so important to me, and yes, we have our tree, and our stockings are on the wall, and I really hope we can hang some lights tonight.

It just occured to me why this is so hard. My mom. She made Christmas so special. Presents were artfully presented under the tree, with the main gift or gifts not wrapped in boxes. I remember one year, when I was 10...I had begged and begged for an American Girl Doll, specifically Kirsten. I wanted her because everyone else I knew had Samantha or Kirsten, and I felt she deserved some attention, and I loved her story. Anyway, come Christmas morning - must've been around 5am - I went upstairs and there she was!! Just waiting for me as if she had planned the trip herself. I was so beyond thrilled. There were some other things I got that year, that were out on display, so I carefully removed her from under the tree and then bolted to my parents bedroom to share my excitement. They smiled, gave me a hug, and promptly told me to go back to bed, that it was too early. So I went back to my bedroom, but took my new doll with me. Over the years, I got more outfits and even her trunk and bed. Now she's in storage, awaiting perhaps our future daughter to play with her.

But I digress. Mom was an artist, and her artistic ways really shone through when the holidays came up. Advent calendars on the wall, stockings, decorations, our tree with all of our old ortaments, the one year we got Coconut and she was quite lively so we got a small tree and put it on a table so she couldn't destroy the ortaments. There was just something so cozy and warm about the house, the love and attention she put into the details. And the cooking...oh my gawd, the food was delicious! All kinds of Christmas cookies, the baked ham, mashed potatoes, brownies, Keith's chocolates, egg nog and homemade apple cider...YUM!! My Dad said they don't even have a tree this year, no decorations, and I doubt he'll even hang stockings. I hope weather permits Diane and Gregg to make it to his house for Christmas dinner. Hopefully a neighbor will offer to drive him to church.

Like I said before, it's a mix of emotions this year. I'm happy to be in L.A. and not dealing with the stress of traveling somewhere, but I'm also missing my family and traditions. It's up to me to try and keep those traditions going while creating new ones and making the old ones work for our little family. With this being our first Christmas away from the Pacific Northwest, I think we're doing pretty well so far. :)

Monday, December 22, 2008

So far, not so good.

For those of you who haven't heard, our flight was cancelled last night.

I have been trying to get ahold of Alaska Airlines since 8:15pm. The last attempt I made before going to bed was around 11pm, and this morning, well I tried just now and everything is still busy. I'm not sure if we'll get out today or even tomorrow if I can't get ahold of anyone. I might venture out to Burbank Airport and check out the line at the Alaska desk, see if there's a long line. But at this point, so many people are in the same situation as me, it might be easier to to wait it out. I want to be proactive, so maybe I will just go to the airport and see if someone, preferably a nice ticketing agent who hasn't been up all night, can help me.

I also will be calling Customer Care at Alaska Airlines, and getting the phone number for Kari C.'s well reccomended travel agent. She might be able to help.

We have a few offers from friends down here to spend Christmas with them should our plans completely fall through, which has been wonderfuly comforting. We can always celebrate Christmas with the family next month if this wacky weather and inability to get ahold of the airlines continues.

Thank you for all your suggestions on warm weather ideas and travel suggestions!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Getting prepared

So in order to prepare for the wintery Pacific Northwest, I'm trying to figure out how I'll stay warm. I have a ton of scarves, a few wool coats, and my Eddie Bauer parka is at my Dad's. Can't find any of my hats as of yet, and to see how bad the weather is, I checked the flight status today of the flight we're supposed to take tomorrow.

And it was cancelled! Effing cancelled! Trying to not panic right now. Seriously, there is nothing I can do. I don't control the weather!

Of course this means we might get to sleep in tomorrow. :D

However, this puts a kink into our plans, so in a way I hope we do make it. You can bet that I'll be up this early tomorrow to see if our flight is still on.

Any suggestions of what else I should bring to stay warm? Hot cocoa perhaps (with a shot of brandy)?

Thursday, December 18, 2008

My latest obsession

I don't know where this comes from, and I know it's overly played on the radio. That wasn't enough for me. I had to go out and buy the CD. I listen to this song every chance I get, mostly when I'm alone because Matt's sick of it. But we spent a week figuring out the lyrics (I looked them up on line and we were almost dead on), and now it's even more fun to listen to.

I heard this song for the first time about a month ago, and it was as if the musical part of my persona had finally woken up. I used to be obsessed with music and bands, seeing concerts and listening to all different kids of bands. I don't know what happened, maybe it was after Mom died, or I just got really comfortable with my favorite singers. Maybe I got tired of the latest brand of Pop music, I'm not sure. But what I am sure of is that this song means so much to me, ..."for reasons I can't explain" (thank you, Chris Martin).

I have told Matt on many occasions that the next band I'm seeing in concert is Coldplay. They were in Orange County twice last month and I missed them, but hopefully they'll be back. And when they are, I'll be singing along with them...from the nosebleed seats.

And if you are sick of the song, I reccomend that you don't play the video. This song tends to stick in your head for awhile.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Isn't she beautiful?

(Photo courtesy The Seattle Times.)

And I'm home!

It feels so good to be home. Hubby, kitties, christmas tree, and a little junk food. Ah, life is good.

Dad is doing well for the most part. Yesterday we had a bit of anger due to him not being able to walk - and he won't be able to for the next 2 months - but it all worked out and he's feeling ok for now. I was a cooking queen - I made 2 lasagnas, lentil soup, lamb stew, and sausage/spinach soup. Dad is on a pain medication that's taken every 4 hours, and he has to take it with food. He yummed up the meals that I cooked, and so I froze all the leftovers so he can have some healthy meals while I'm gone. The healthy food has helped keep his nausea at bay which is excellent news. It's no fun to be bed or couch ridden, in pain, fading in & out from pain meds, and not being able to keep food down. We're all hoping for a safe and speedy recovery.

It was hard to leave yesterday, and yet it wasn't. I could have stayed another week, but I knew I had to leave. I can't be there all the time, every minute of every day. It's exhausting. And this was my first experience at being the #1 caretaker. When Mom was dying, it was easy to let others take over. But this time it was just me and my sister, and with Katie taking the ACT test and having a college interview last weekend, it was primarily up to me to make sure that everything was taken care of. It was harder than I thought it would be, but I didn't get emotional seeing my Dad like I thought I would. I'm also grateful that he's now my boss. How else could I travel up there in an instance to help out?

Speaking of travel, I'll never forget the time when Cindy commented that we Mesmers travel a lot. Yes, yes we do, and frankly I'm looking forward to a month without a plane trip. But this Christmas holiday should be really fun. We'll see family, of course, but I'm hopeful that we can see some friends that we've not seen in a very very long time. It will all balance out and instead of stressing out, I'm going to do my best and just roll with the days. I will enjoy my time and cause Matt less stress if I can just relax and go with the flow this year.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Here I go again...

I'm off to the Northwest. Again.

Now while all this travel seems wonderful and perhaps slightly glamourous, it's really not. Come Christmas, it will have been my 4th trip to Washington in the last 2 months. And frankly I'm starting to get a little travel tipsy. I check my bags so I deal with the cranky security people as little as possible. I dress properly so I can get dressed quickly after practically de-robing at security. I know I've been traveling a lot because I recognized a few flight attendants on my way home last time!! That is NOT ok.

This time I am heading up for a few days to help my Dad during the first few days of his surgery. His knee is not well, there's 4 things wrong with it, so I'm heading up to help him get settled and also cook a bunch of meals for him. Meals that he and my sister can just pop in the microwave or heat up on the stove. So I've been double meal planning which has been fun, and also exploring some new recipes. I hope they turn out well. I also sent out an email to some of my family members, asking for some new recipes so that Dad doesn't get bored. (Thanks to Uncle Gregg for offering to come over on Friday and help out!)

I'm a bit worried about how everything is going to turn out. Dad is getting older and I'm afraid that I'm just going to have a mini-meltdown seeing him unable to move. I know it will only be temporary, and that he's in great health. But it's not easy watching your parents get older, no matter how healthy they are.

(insert plea for a ride to Sea-Tac on Sunday afternoon here)

Monday, December 08, 2008

An Unexpected Saturday

I didn't have plans this weekend.

Well that's not totally true. Matt and I went to see Stephanie Paige's show on Friday night. We got all dolled up and had a great time. It was opening night and the cast was really excited and had first night jitters. Definitely got me in the spirit of the season! Afterwards, we waited around for Paige, and she came out all glow-ey (and looking slightly relieved that the first night was over with) and full of smiles. I was so excited for her - this is just the beginning of her performing career in L.A.!

I wound up spending the day with Sarah, a new friend of mine and a very close and dear friend of Paige's. She's fascinating - a pilot for SkyWest Airlines. It was a very warm day - mid 70's - and so without our jackets, we set off for The Grove, a must see for any visitor to L.A. An outdoor mall connected to the farmer's market that screams "Los Angeles is the center of the world, SEE???" Complete with a giant Christmas tree with a fountain choreographed to christmas carols, I guess there's nothing like that plus blue sky and palm trees to get a couple of Pacific Northwesterners into the spirit of the season.

Poor Sarah. She's not the biggest fan of kids (which we talked about at length) and it being a Saturday afternoon, there were kids EVERYWHERE. Not to mention we had to pass by Santa's house a few times, which I have to say Sarah was an absolute trooper. I had a great time with her. It's always fun getting to make new friends (I know I sound like I'm 12, but it's true), and I don't think we stopped talking the entire time. We went to Banana Republic, Barnes and Noble, had lunch at The Farm (and for dessert, had a giant home-made oreo cookie - YUM!), and looked at the American Girl store - turns out we both had Kirsten as kids - and discussed that lots of people must've gotten busy early on this spring because there were babies all over the place.

We headed back to the valley - I had to get her to Paige's work in time for Paige to leave to get to the theater - and bismally failed at finding dinner for Paige. There are no teriyaki places! Just sushi. Everywhere. So I dropped them off, came home exhausted and hung out at home. Then 1am rolled around and the 3 of us headed out to Fred 62, a funky 24hr diner in my neighborhood that has a huge menu and great food. We talked, we laughed, and promptly got sleepy after eating a very late dinner. They dropped me off, we said our goodbyes, and I don't know about them, but I felt it was a great ending to an unexpected Saturday.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

This says it all!

See more Jack Black videos at Funny or Die

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Curs-sed Thoughts Keeping Me Awake...

I'm having trouble sleeping.

For no particular reason other than I can't stop thinking.

About all sorts of things. Random memories. And "memories" that haven't occured. Like meeting my friends' kids for the first time, and what our eventual kids will look like. Wondering what will happen to my Dad after he has surgery next week (knee surgery, and yes I'm heading up again). Random high school pep assembly memories popped in tonight, screaming with my friends "NINETY SIX" at the top of my lungs as though it were the most important thing ever. I think about Mom and if she'd be proud of me (maybe a little frustrated). I think about my sister and hope she'll sort her life out someday. I think about my friends and how eternally grateful I am for such wonderful people. And I think about my marriage, this incredible man in my life who puts up with my mood swings, my random phrases, and how much closer we've grown together in this last year, even in the last few months.

I'm not sure how to turn my brain off. I'm exercising like I should, try to not eat sugar after 9pm, and don't watch tv. I read. Maybe I shouldn't do that either because I start thinking about the characters and the time I went to my favorite author's book signing (it was so much fun. She used to write for the Cosby Show and do stand up comedy in NYC years ago. I laughed so hard). Should I go talk to my doctor about a sleeping pill? Tylenol PM seems to do the job if I take it early enough. I just don't want it to become a habit. I've got an addictive personality.

Any suggestions?

I'm starting to get tired again now. I'll stay up a little later and see if I can just exhaust myself. And no work out for me. I can't run 2-3 miles in the morning on 4-5 hours of sleep. So perhaps it will be yoga instead. Or maybe I should start doing a little yoga at night to calm myself down.

See? This is what happens. One thought leads to another and before I know it I've been laying in bed for an hour and a half without a wink of sleep.


Well if you have any suggestions please let me know. I'll try anything once. Well, almost anything.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Domestic? Me?

I made a pie. From scratch! Even made my own crust. Called Aunt Diane for advice.

I cleaned the bathroom and washed the dishes.

I even found a few minutes to make homemade pesto sauce which is now freezing in an ice cube tray.

What's going on with me?

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Recovery...kind of...

I went back to bootcamp yesterday and my legs hurt pretty bad this morning. Of course, I went back today for more (we have a shortened week due to the holiday) and we have a new trainer on Tuesdays and Thursdays now. His name is Nandoor and he is a human version of the energizer bunny. I don't know where he gets it or what he's on, but I came away feeling utterly exhausted and yet rejuvinated. I really hope he sticks around. It would be great for all of us campers if we have Ricardo MWF and Nandoor T/Th so we can work different sets of muscles. And since I've missed a few weeks due to being sick and then out of town, I'll be going 4x a week for the next 3 weeks so I can maximize the benefits before Christmas.

I haven't cried over Grandpa yet. I expect it will hit me later, or not at all. He lived a full life and while he was in such pain at the end, he's finally at peace and that's where he should be.

Thanksgiving is coming! I love this holiday and all the food that comes with it. We are hosting this year and I'm afraid it's going to rain. The plan is to eat on the rooftop deck but if it is raining...well, we have enough chairs. We'll just be cozy. I'm making 3 pies, cranberry sauce, and green bean casserole. I might make an appetizer too, we'll just have to see how adventurous I'm feeling. I'm a bit nervous about the pies. I am making my own crust this year - it's Mom's recipe - and we all know how I get when I open up that box! But I'm going to do my best. I've never made pie crust before. To my Aunt Diane - I will be calling you! :)

P.S. Thank you IRS and our awesome accountant for the nice refund this year!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Goodbye, Grandpa.

Richard Mesmer
September, 1924 to November 15, 2008

He was a character. I will miss him terribly.
Grandma Betty - I hope you're ready for him! :)

I'm still reeling from losing my last living Grandparent. It was a strange day yesterday, with the burial, and then flying back to Seattle. Not having Matt here has been hard, and yet very rewarding because I've had to toughen up and deal with myself and my family all on my own. But with my family, I'm never alone. As Matt said, we are a pride of lions. Fiercely loyal until death.

I can't say much more right now - I am still processing all of this. I know it will hit me hard when I get home, or it may not hit me for awhile. Maybe on the plan when I'm among strangers. Who knows? But I can't wait to get home and get back to work, get back to living my life. Right now I feel as if I'm in limbo and it's driving me slightly crazy.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


I've been reading various blogs today and seeing how so many of my friends are going through loss. Miscarriages, lost loved ones, having to give away's very humbling. And while I'm not yet fully dealing with the impending loss of my Grandpa, I will be shortly as I leave Friday for a week or so. I know it will bring back many memories of Mom, but I will take her with me. My aunts, cousins, uncle, sister and Dad will be there. We are so lucky to have each other. I don't know what I'd do without them.

Yesterday Dad called to tell me another colleague of his had passed away last week due to complications from Alztheimers (sp). He sounded so tired, and so sad. I really didn't know what to do except support him in every way that I could over the phone, which is so hard. I just never know if I'm getting the job done, you know? And as I talked to my Aunt last night, I suddenly thought about how as a child, I never thought these days would come. I never really thought about how my Grandparents would die. I thought everything would stay the same and we'd always see eachother at the Holidays, birthdays, and even the yearly family reunions. Now it's so hard to get together. We all have our own new families now and while we're still all connected, our family has changed so much over the years. Thinking of this makes me a little sad, but I know it's just part of life. And there are some things in life that I just have to accept. This is one of them.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Renewal and Reflection

It's been a rough few weeks, full of surprises and hard truths. It's forced me to recognize some things about myself that I knew but didn't want to admit. I wouldn't say that I deny things, but I can certainly delay dealing with certain aspects of my life and personality for quite awhile. I think it's a defense mechanism, I deal with them either until I'm ready or until I have to.

Most of this stems from wanting a family. I've been putting myself under the microscope and thinking about who I want to be for my future kids, and frankly I'd love to be just like my Mom. She was the greatest Mom, in my opinion, because she was mine and she understood me like no one else ever could. I never hated her, never fought with her (except over homework), deep down I always loved her. I always had the sense that she took pride in being a parent, even when it was difficult. She had a certain grace and air about her that, to a child, always seemed calm. But I'm not calm. I'm not Mom, and I'm not Dad. I'm me. And who is this person that's evolved? And how can I be a better human being? How can I feel more satisfied with my life? Changes need to be made. So if I've seemed reclusive, if I've making statements that sound like questions, if I seem to be in my head all the time, well, that's because I am. I am trying very hard to make some very substantial and important changes in my life, and what's great is that Matt's doing the same thing. We have made some very tough decisions these last few weeks regarding our future which ultimately have brought us closer together. We've cried a lot, we've argued a bit, but mostly we are excited for what's to come. And that's a really good feeling.

Part of this reflection of self is also stemming from my Grandpa. He's my last grandparent and while we are not close, it is still hard to say goodbye. I will most likely go up this weekend to Spokane and see him one last time. I know it's been difficult for our family because it is bringing back so many memories of taking care of Mom in her last weeks. He's not eating or really drinking - he just takes his pain pills and goes back to bed. I have been having a hard time figuring out how much time he has left. Dad says weeks, Sharon says maybe 4-6 weeks, maybe even past Christmas. But no matter what, he's still here right now and I need to go see him. I do have great memories of him from my childhood. Like how he was always the cool Grandpa with the latest video games and cool gadgets. He and Grandma would let me stay up late with them and drink diet pepsi, eat cheez-its, and watch Johnny Carson. I'd get to eat those lovely sugary cereals during my visits to their house with the orange shagg carpet and mirrored hallways. I'm really going to miss him, and I also want him to be at peace. I hope Grandma is ready for him. He's a pistol.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Still in awe

I am still pondering what we did.

We elected Barack Obama as our next president.

President-elect Obama? Sounds good. Has a nice ring to it. But I must be dreaming...??

I know he won't be able to accomplish everything he wants to within one term (but hopefully some things will get turned around in a hopefully 2nd term). I have never been more full of hope than these last few days, feeling as though everything (eventually) will be ok. My heart was touched by all of my fellow citizens that were celebrating in the streets and had I not been sick, I might have joined them.

And while the US elected a president that will change our future, it is unfortunate that my state elected to ban gay marriage. I am very disappointed and hope that this will be overturned. Rumors are already being whispered that it's going to be taken to the state supreme court as unconstitutional. Let's hope so.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

I voted!

Did you?

We had to wait about a half hour in line to vote, which was kind of exciting! Normally I vote by absentee but this time I wanted to be part of the experience. We filled out our sample ballots at home and then walked the half block to our polling station. There were so many people crammed in those little booths with their brochures, trying to figure out what they wanted to vote for. I felt proud that we had made our decisions already and would save time (and patience for those in line behind us) by being so efficient.

While I was voting, I thought to myself that we are pretty lucky live in a country where not only we can vote to change the future but also express ourselves by going to rallys, voting, blogging, etc. Free speech is pretty dang awesome.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Pictures from Cambria

For Cindy, a picture of Matt's Sandwich - turkey, pesto, goat cheese, roasted red peppers on fresh ciabatta bread.
We went for a hike at the start of sunset before dinner, and there were these cool driftwood benches. If we ever lived near the water, I'd love to have one in our yard.

Just up the hill outside of town. It's good to be on vacation and celebrating each other!

A panoramic shot of the beach just south of Cambria.

Wine, dessert, and my best friend.

For details on our trip, visit hubby's blog. He put our trip into words that I can't muster at the moment.

Friday, October 24, 2008


Last night I had a tough time sleeping. I was anxious and upset for no particular reason but with Matt out of town and being all by myself with my thoughts, my mind just started racing. I had a terrible time falling asleep and once I did, I had this wonderful dream where I got to see an old friend. I dreamed that it was my mom's memorial service and there he was. I gave my friend a huge hug and felt so happy to see him. I promised that we'd catch up after the service but that for the time being, I had to greet other people who were arriving. To make a long story short, I didn't make it to the memorial for whatever reason and missed seeing my friend. I was so overwhelmed and upset that I just wailed. Cried so hard that I was heaving, huge alligator tears, and totally red in the face. But I did wake up feeling better, and I was thinking this morning how interesting it is that sometimes we do in our dreams what is so hard for us to do in real life.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Outta here!

We're just about to take off for our much needed anniversary trip to Cambria, CA. We are staying at a lovely little inn just across the street from Moonstone Beach. I cannot WAIT to get out of the city and away from the noise that comes from living just a mile from a major hospital. I've noticed a trend in the last few years...we always seem to schedule our getaways about every 6-8 months. We just need to rejuvinate and get re-foucsed, re-motivated. It's also nice to get away from the internet, tv, and the distractions of everyday life. We really do reconnect as a couple on these trips and that is definitely my favorite part.

(Thanks again to Matt and Jessica for watching our meows while we're away.)

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Happy Anniversary!

Can you believe it, babe? Seven years tomorrow and we're still here. It's been an amazing, sometimes difficult (and yet interesting) journey, but I wouldn't be here with out you and I'm so blessed to have you in my life. Here's to another 7 years filled with you, me, and whatever (and whoever) awaits us! Love you always!!


Thursday, October 16, 2008

Wedding Weekend

Most of you know that my dear friend Kari M. got married last weekend and that I was in the wedding. It was great to see so many of my college girlfriends. Some I hadn't seen or spoken to since graduation while others I only see very intermittantly. Most of them had lived in the famed Wheeler house and one point or another. Then at the wedding, I got to see some more college friends and it just turned into a huge reunion.
The Bridesmaids: (l-r) Lewissa, myself, and Amanda.
Kari looked absolutely stunning and Paul looked good too. They had a very classy wedding day, full of smiles and positive energy, and I couldn't be happier for them! (More pictures to follow later on.)
The lovely bride and one of the mimes at the reception.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


I just wanted to thank everyone for their comments and support about my depression issues last week. It passed, as I knew it would. You all gave me some serious things to think about, specifically what moving on means to me and to have joy even in tears. Yesterday I opened that recipe box again to make chicken soup, and to my surprise, even though I felt sad, I remembered what Noreen had to say, which was to "eat up!" and it made me smile. So thank you, friends and family, for getting me through this. I'm on the other side now, and feeling good.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Monday, October 06, 2008

Recipe Box

Just after Matt and I got married my Mom made me a recipe box. It's got index cards with her handwriting on them, and some of the recipe cards are written in her handwriting while others are printed. Going through this box is always an emotional ride, and Saturday morning (which was Matt's birthday) I decided to make Dutch Baby pancakes (see cooking blog for recipe). I have not picked up this box in quite sometime because I always wind up crying. Well I didn't cry on Saturday and I was pretty proud of myself. But when I push things aside, they always come back.

This afternoon I posted the above recipe and had to get the box out again. As I put it back, I came across her pie crust recipe, a classic one that brings back so many memories. She and my Grandma Elizabeth (her Mom) were famous in our family for their pie creations. I'm not so sure how I'll do as the years go by. Anyway, as I came to the last recipe, the tears just started falling down my cheeks. It was the recipe for Cabbage Rolls, which was my favorite dish. As the years went by and I moved away, she'd make it for me every time I came home. And even as I type I can't keep from crying.

You see, her birthday is tomorrow and I'm having such a difficult time moving on. Ever since the second anniversary passed in August, I just can't seem to shake this overwhelming feeling of sadness. Everything I do seems to bring her back into my mind. Maybe posting about this will help, maybe moving on would help. In some ways I feel like I have moved on and in other ways I feel stuck. There are moments such as these where it just hits you that this person, your loved one is GONE and they're never coming back. It just know? I don't know how else to put it. Except that I miss her terribly and like a little girl, I just want my mom.

Friday, October 03, 2008

It only took me 5 hours...

But I got them! Thanks to Paige for driving me around. I had such fun perusing the mall with you!

Thursday, October 02, 2008

It's hot today...

...among other things. Where did this muggy, humid, sticky weather come from? I mean it's October for pete's sakes. I guess I'm still a Northwest girl at heart because I expect wind and rain at any minute rather than nights where even a sheet at night is too much...when we have to keep the a/c on at night (and can I just say how grateful we are for central air conditioning right now). Hopefully it will cool down over the weekend as it is hubby's birthday and I want him to be comfortable doing whatever it is he wants to do.

At the moment I'm at Paige's place. We're going to have lunch and then go shoe shopping. She needs comfy "standing all day" shoes and I need a pair of shoes to match 2 dresses that look vastly different from each other. If I can find a deal, I'll get two pairs, but I'm pretty specific on the look, so if I can't find one I know I can find the other. As most of you know, Kari is getting married next weekend and I have a fabulous DVF dress that I snagged for an insane discount and it's perfect for the rehearsal dinner next Friday night. My bridesmaid's dress was also insanely cheap, and it's beautiful to boot. My initial plan is to buy a pair of pointy black shoes that will match both, but if I can swing it, I'd love to get a pair of cream colored pumps to go with my BM dress, while finding a pair of pointy black shoes to go with the DVF dress. We'll see what happens, and yes, after the wedding, I'll post pictures. It's sure to be a classy affair.

And last but certainly not least, Matt does have a job! I'm very proud of him and it's a really good fit. The hours aren't much and the pay isn't what we'd like, but he's got his foot in the door and that's what matters. You can read all about it here!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Post No. 1

I have started another blog - yes, that's all I need, another website to maintain - but I'm really excited about it, and I hope you'll stop by and check it out.

As you know, one of our favorite areas in California is the Central Coast, specifically San Luis Obispo County. And since we go up so often, I thought it would be fun to start a blog documenting our favorite places to stay, where we've gone, our favorite restaurants, etc. It will help me, er...US, figure out what to do next time we go. And since our next trip is coming up next month, I thought I'd better get started.

Enjoy, and please let me know what you think!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


This is my 4th week of Fitness Bootcamp and I'm already noticing fabulous results. Already my arms are stronger and more defined - my biceps are really strong - and my triceps are starting to get more definition. Also, I'm excited for the day when I will not "wave goodbye with my whole arm". My waist is getting smaller and my shirts are looser. Matt and my friends say they can notice weight loss in my face, neck, and waist. My legs aren't looking as good as I'd like them to, but that will come with time as I've already signed up for the next session.

Today while we were doing lunges, I was thinking of all the reps I had done this morning, and how without this class, I'd give up so much sooner than going the full hour. Here's what I think I did today:

Ran/walked 2 miles at least;

3 or 4 sets of lunges (20 each), push ups (various applications, probably over 50), crunches (60), and I'm sure there's more, I just can't remember them all.

Running up the hill backwards...twice;

Monday we did the Bermuda Triangle, which is basically this giant planter that you step on with one leg all the way around, and usually Ricardo (the trainer) has us go around it twice on each leg. Sometimes 3 times. And then you run up the stairs 3-5 times. And then go for a running get the idea. Anyway, my hamstrings are still sore from the planter on Monday and today during my laps I seriously thought my upper legs had turned into lead. But you just push through and walk when you have to. Suddenly, you're further along than you thought!

I take a nap (after a shower and breakfast) from about 10 to noon because my body is so exhausted. And even with that, I am sleeping better at night and feeling much better about myself. Hubby is swimming over 3 miles a week, and both of us are significantly noticing how much better we feel about ourselves and each other.

P.S. As most of you know, we went to Spokane recently to visit my Dad's side of the family. Please see hubby's blog for a recount of our travels.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Wedding time!

No no, I'm not getting married. Been there, done that, and still going at it. :)

My dear friend Kari is getting married next month and today is her bridal shower. I am up at this awful hour on a Saturday to go get munchies from the bakery in West Hollywood and then drive to Pasadena to help with favors. I am the hostess with the mostess, though Kari and her Mom have done much of the planning and have simply asked me to help with little details.

All of this has brought back memories of our wedding, especially with our anniversary coming up. We had so much fun, and I think if we could do it all over again, we would, but on a much smaller scale!

P.S. Don, those vodka drinks you made last night tasted like liquid candy. You are not only the grillmaster but a mixmaster too!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Traveled Out

So here's where I've gone sine May of this year:

May - Santa Barbara wine country with hubby, Katy, Jeremy, Don, and Cindy;

July - Solo trip to Spokane;

August - Hubby and I went to Seattle, drove all over, and then came home just in time for me to turn 30. THEN we left a few days later for GenCon in Indiana.

September - Just got back yesterday from visiting relatives in Spokane.

Future trips:

Ocotober - It marks Matt's birthday and our 7th anniversary! We plan on going to Cambria for a few days, but we'll see how that goes with his new job!!

November - We plan on staying home for the holidays, but found an amzaing travel deal through Alaska Airlines, so we might go up to Seattle the week before Thanksiving to celebrate with the 'rents.

December - No question we'll be gone for at least a few days, but I can almost garauntee that next Christmas we'll be in Los Angeles.

May of 2010 - Julia graduates from college and I'm hoping that we'll make it to Hawaii to celebrate this major event with her.

I'm tired. Matt's tired. But we can't really complain because Lena travels by herself with 2 young children overseas. She is the champion!

Monday, September 08, 2008

Real quick:

-Bootcamp is totally kicking my butt. Literally. I couldn't walk well on Friday but slowly over the weekend my legs have returned to normal. Just in time for Bootcamp this morning. :) At least this week the sessions are broken up a little bit. My motivation is how awesome I will look by the end of the 5 months, not to mention how amazing my muscle definition will be by Christmas. And I'll be healthy too. :)

-Gamers: Dorkness Rising will soon be available at Target! You can buy it now at Paizo, Amazon, and rent it from Netflix (where it has a very long wait). I'm so proud! Hopefully soon it will also be available at Blockbuster and/or Hollywood Video. Stay tuned for more updates.

Gotta go! I'm gonna be late!

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Back to work

Everything is finally set up for me to really make some headway for work. Right now I'm in the process of transferring all the text and images that Mom had gathered for the catalog to the FTP site. Then it's a matter of figuring out what we still carry, which ones we don't, and which ones are on their way out. It's a massive undertaking - however, the fact that I'm home, listening to Pandora, and still in my PJ's makes for a very nice work environment.

Tomorrow I start back up with fitness bootcamp and I can't wait, though I'm a little afraid of how sore my muscles are going to be. I'm scheduled to go 3 days a week, and since this is a 3 day week for camp, I need to go all three days. I've asked Matt to help drag my sorry butt out of bed, and on Friday, to literally gently yank my tired legs onto the floor. I know to drink lots of water and take warm baths to relax my future aching muscles. If anyone else has suggestions on how to relieve sore muscles, please let me know.

Next weekend Matt and I head off to Spokane to visit Grandpa. He's not well, but he's not in such dire health that he's unconcious. Quite the contrary, he's up and about as much as he can be. He's on better medication that relieves the pain. Unfortunately, they had to take away his car, and he can't work in the yard as much as he'd like to. But I'm looking forward to spending more time with him. Matt hasn't been in over 3 years, so this will be a great time for him and that side of the family to spend some time together. Speaking of which, I should call Grandpa today and also rent a car at the Spokane airport. We might need one...

Saturday, August 23, 2008

B. w/ D.

Battle with depression.

I hate it. Usually I'm fine with everyday and so cut me off, why doesn't my phone get reception here, I am so sick of the heat...etc. But yesterday we got some bad news about one of Matt's projects. The network turned it down. It was going so well, it had gotten further than any other project in terms of almost getting a deal that would pay big bucks. But no, the one VP couldn't wrap the idea around his head and BAM! Dream shot down.

I tend to bounce back fairly quickly after getting news that hinders Matt's work, and gets him feeling like "What's the point." I can be positive and upbeat, and say "It's ok, baby, this isn't your fault, the big one is just around the corner." But this one hurt. It stings. I was the one who burst into tears when Matt gave me the news. I makes me think "What's the point?" I know we've been here for a few years and we've come so far already. However, it's times like these where we just want to toss in the towel and say "F--- it!" and move back to Washington with our tails between our legs.

We've come so far already, though, and to give up now would hurt even more. So we'll keep slugging along. But know that for the next few days, it's going to be hard to feel cheery when all I want to do is just burst into tears and have my own pity party on the outside.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

GenCon Recovery

Tip: When your husband's movie premieres, you know, the one he's been working on for 5 years, try to not scream at the top of your lungs all the time because it will turn into slight laryngitis and then a cold by the time you get home.

GenCon was AMAZING!! I had so much fun. It was like I was back in college again with my friends and the whole weekend was essentially one big party. We stayed up till 4am, went to Karaoke, ate great food, and I even smoked my first cigar (well, little bits, it's not my cup of tea really). I also got to know some amazing people, like Jamie and Renee Chambers from Margaret Weiss, and Sean Reynolds from Paizo. We shared a hotel room with Brian Lewis, and his wife Tiffany, which was great because we don't get to spend much time with them. All in all, I can't wait to go again next year.

For more details on GenCon, check out hubby's blog. And to view pictures, check out Photobucket. Here's a few to give you an idea of how much fun we had!

top to bottom: Chris and Tree, Nathan and Sean, and what can happen at Karaoke night if you're not careful.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Thoughts on this new decade...

1. This is going to be the year I get in shape. Boot Camp, here I come! My goal is to get in shape just so I can get chubby again, if you get my drift. :)

2. Los Angeles is really growing on me. My friends, the weather, all the artistic opportunities that are at your feet (even though I can't afford them right now), and the bounty of farmers markets. Not to mention the beach, the desert, the woods, are all within a reasonable distance.

3. I still dream of running a B&B someday, but I know now that may not happen for some time, and that's ok. Matt's career is just on the cusp of taking off, and I'm so exicted to see what happens in the next year.

4. No one has asked my age yet, so I've not had to say "Thirty" out loud. But in my mind, it just sounds funny. And my throat catches every time I say it at home. It's odd. Did anyone else have a reaction?

5. We are taking off for GenCon tonight. We were in Seattle last week. I may be going to Spokane in the next few weeks. Next travel plans: Christmas. I am tired of airports and living out of suitcases.

6. I've been thinking about Mom a lot these last few days, and seeing "Mamma Mia" again yesterday didn't help. There's a scene between the mother and the daughter getting ready for the wedding, and Gayvin and I just burst into tears. Tomorrow marks the 2 year anniversary and I don't know how I'll be. I could be ok, I could be an emotional mess. Who knows?

7. Please send healing wishes to my Grandpa. He's been diagnosed with cancer for the 4th time and it's not looking good.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Turning 30? Already?

I'm turning 30.

On Sunday.

This past year I've been so excited and thrilled about starting this new decade, where everything is supposed to come together, where I'm no longer "a baby" but I'm not old either. But last week I suddenly realized that I'M TURNING 30. And I'm starting to freak out. I don't know where this came from. I don't anticipate everything "heading south" when the clock strikes 9:52pm on Sunday night. And I wonder if it has to do with the expectations I had as a kid, where I expected to be by the time I was 30. But I didn't, and I still don't. So why the anxiety?

In any case, I know that for some people, birthdays can be less of a party and it's just another day. But for me, I look forward to it every year. A definite excuse to have a good time with family and friends, to party hardy, and to celebrate how far I've come, and that I'm still around.

(And I hope to be carded at the store on my birthday. That would be a nice gift.)

Tuesday, July 29, 2008


I'm temping today and this happens. Holy cow, my equilibrium is totally shot. I still feel like the building is moving, and I'm expecting an aftershock at any minute. Please, not while I'm driving!

Here's the news I have so far: It was felt in Las Vegas & in San Diego. Magnitude of 5.8, aftershocks in San Bernadino already (though very small). Lasted probably about 30 seconds. I'm ok, just wonky and dizzy.

Matt is pitching his show at a network today. A very memorable pitch indeed!

Monday, July 28, 2008

A sign of things to come.

This last weekend was very hectic but very fun and we enjoyed every minute of it!

Friday we got up at the god awful hour of 5am and headed down to San Diego with Matt DeMille, Cindy, Don, Jeremy and Rian for Comic Con. The Gamers: Dorkness Rising at long last, screened! It was amazing, and I must say that my performance as "Barmaid" was enhanced by the big screen (if you see it you'll know what I'm talking about). It will be released next month at GenCon, but if you can't wait that long, see if you can get it from Netflix. You'll also be able to order it on Amazon (and according to Amazon, David Duchovny is in the movie). Holy s***, isn't that cool!? I'm so proud of Matt and the Dead Gentlemen. They've worked so hard and waited so long for this. Check out Matt's blog for details on our visit to Comic Con and more good news.

Saturday night I went out with Paige and Paige, and had a horrible hangover the next day.

Sunday night we went to a screening for The Empire Hotel, on which Matt has a writing credit. It was a fun premiere and I really enjoyed the little details in the pilot.

Saturday night we are finally going to see a concert at the Hollywood Bowl! Eric Idle, of Monty Python fame, is performing and we're going with a group of friends. We have nosebleed seats, but who cares. I can't wait!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

80 acres and loving it!

Approach to the house! I can't wait!

I got quite a few snapshots of Sarah over the week. She loves the camera. This was my favorite of the bunch.

Jessica and her team won the division championship game!

l-r: Dad, Sarah, Sharon, and Terry. I miss them terribly.

Katy, this picture is for you. This is Sharon's garden, and it's HUGE. All kinds of fruit and veggies. Sharon picked strawberries every other day, and Cherries early in the week. I think I'll start with something smaller when Matt and I get a house though! :)

Sharon with her dahlias. They are just about ready to bloom!

This is the view across the street.

Their sweet dog, Casey. I miss her.

Front yard kitty, M.J. Back yard kitty, Jack, was unavailable as he was mousing.

Sunset on Four-Mound prairie.

Casey running to Sharon during our walk on my last night.

Ready to go home...well, in a way. I loved being with my family.

Cascade mountains, and HELLO Western Washington!

Mt. Rainier from the air.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Goodbye, Golden Girl

July 25, 1923 - July 22, 2008
As many of you know, one of my favorite shows is The Golden Girls, and Estelle played the wise-cracking Sophia with wit, charm, and understanding. She will be greatly missed.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Hazy eyes

I can't sleep here. I don't know what my problem is. Well, last night I know. We went to a birthday party over in Silverlake, which was really fun, and then went out to the 101 cafe afterwards for late night dining. I made a bad choice and got a chai tea latte. Guess who was up until 4 in the morning and slept only 4 hours, POORLY? Perhaps this is preparing me for motherhood, who knows. All I know is that I'm getting crankier by the minute and want to go back to sleep. But each time I try to lay my head against that pillow and close my eyes, they just pop right open again.

So with this situation, I've spent the morning putting new recipes in Master Cook thanks to Cindy's trick (Thank you, Cindy!) and trying to muster up some calm, peaceful energy so I can go to the Hollywood Farmer's Market. It's a nice cool morning, and I don't want to waste it being grouchy.

And pictures to come from my trip to Washington. I had a great time, and am homesick. It was nice to be taken care of in that motherly way.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Peace & Quiet

I am finally relaxed and can sleep at night. I don't sleep much, but I sleep hard and then take a nap in the afternoon. I am so lucky to have an Aunt and Uncle who let me laze around their home. I think my favorite part of this trip is that I'm being mothered. Sharon makes breakfast, lunch and dinner, asks me my preferences, wants to take me shopping, and I just love it. It's been awhile since some one has taken care of me in that way.

I can't imagine being any where else right now, amongst 80 acres of nothing, hearing the birds in the morning, watching the sunsets from the prarie, and watching deer graze in nearby fields. The air is so crisp and clear late at night, you can see the stars without hardly any light pollution. It's just magical. I wish I could stay longer, but I'm just going to have to make more of an effort to come back more often.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Off to Spokane!

This afternoon I'm taking off for Spokane, WA. It's a much needed vacation from life in the big city. Peace, quiet, and family. My Dad is even coming over to my Aunt's house so we can see eachother. I have gifts for my younger cousins, and I just can't wait to see everyone! My Aunt Sharon is like my second mom, and my Uncle Terry, well, he's just a hoot and we have great breakfast conversations. He still teases me about sleeping in. When I was a kid, I'd sleep until 11 or noon. Now I sleep till 8 or 9, but for him that's still over sleeping since he gets up at 5 or 6!

Sharon and Terry have a great big yard, and about a third of it is Sharon's garden. They have a dog, cats, and used to have chickens, cows, and horses (so I hear). They own 80 acres just outside the city. I'll be in the middle of nowhere, and I can't wait! :)

I will blog if/when I can, but will bring home lots of pictures. Unfortunately I won't be beating the heat. Sharon says it's supposed be in the 80's all weekend and in the 90's by next week!

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

4th of July weekend

Cindy and I at a great cantina in Santa Monica. The mojito's were fantastic!

The Santa Monica Pier. Weather was hot and the water was very refreshing.

Katy and I in our new floppy hats!

Pedicured feet in the sand.

View from my beach blanket.

Even at the beach, we couldn't get away from advertising.

The biggest sunflower I've ever seen!

It was a great weekend!

Monday, July 07, 2008

The neighborhood

I went for a much needed walk this morning, and even better it's before the heat of the day. Once I get off the major street (that I just happen to live on) the neighborhood quiets down and I feel like I'm back in time, somehow. If I ignore all the fancy cars and focus on the lovely bungalow homes, I can hear the birds chirp and say hello to my fellow walkers. I found a really nice path today that leads to Bronson, which in turns leads to the western entrance to Griffith Park and the Hollywood Sign. So many different colors, and the blue sky as a backdrop to all the palm trees is quite beautiful. I know people don't like coming over to visit, mostly because the parking situation is dire. But if you ever feel the need, come over early in the morning and I'll show you around.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

A trendy evening with friends

What the eff??

By the time I took this picture, I'd had a few too many...

"Ok, you're driving...." " are..."
Self portrait with the trendy hairstyle (I'm growing it out and saught help from my hairdresser on how to make it look cute for the evening).
The soon to be newlyweds, Kari and Paul. Congratulations!

The best sweet potato fries. EVER.

My had peach brandy in was awesome.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Almost done...

My last day is tomorrow. I can't believe it. This job has caused sleepless nights, many tears, fits, and temper tantrums. On the upside, it has brought me to a place that I would not have found otherwise. A place within myself. I am stronger, more independent, not afriad to say what I think, and by leaving this place behind, I can take these qualities and make them part of the person that I did leave behind about 6 months ago - happy, thoughtful, excited, and positive.

This holiday weekend is a definite cause for celebration! I hope you all have a safe and fun holiday!

Saturday, June 28, 2008

A clean slate

So I changed the blog address. Sorry to do so, but I had to make a change to signify how things have changed since this blog began over 3 years ago. Hubby and I are entering a new phase of life, actually craving stability, and we hope for a wee one in the near future. I can't tell you how nervous and excited I am to start this new chapter of life!

May the 30's be everything that I hoped the 20's would be, and more.

Friday, June 27, 2008

New beginnings

I keep trying to figure out what to say on this blog. Seems that I always think of really good, introspective, and interesting posts in the car, at work, before I go to sleep, on a hike, anywhere that I'm not able to blog. Of course, by the time I sit down, all of this goes out of my head. So, I'm thinking about starting a new one. Not yet, but it just seems about time. This blog was started to keep family & friends up to date, to relish in the new city, to experience being a grad-student-wife, to explore the city, amongst other adventures.

But see, we're cheap. And homebodies. So to really give purpose to this blog, I need to take more pictures. Reading previous posts, this should be called "Camille's Adventures". It was our blog, kind of, and now that Matt's made his own and now he's done with school...I don't know. I know that if we do move to the Central Coast (not anytime soon, it's a dream of ours), I have a great a idea for a blog: "The SLO Life" (SLO = San Luis Obispo). And I've thought about starting it up anyway because we go up there so often. But that's all I need. Another website to update. I can't even keep up with this one! :)

I feel as though I am in a place of transition. I think part of it has to do with turning 30 this summer, and I'm really excited. But it also has to do with the fact that I finally quit my job!! Yes, I gave notice on Monday and it felt really good. I walked out of my boss's office and couldn't help but smile a big toothy grin. It's time to move on. Personnel issues aside, I've been an Admin for 10 years now, and I need to find some other way to make a living. Don't worry, my fiscal friends. I've got a plan and it's going into place.

Big news this summer: The latest film from Dead Gentlemen, Dorkness Rising (aka Gamers 2) has finally gotten distribution! You can pre-order the DVD here, and we'll be releasing it at GenCon this summer. Read Matt's announcement. I'm so proud of him, and the rest of DG. It's about frickin time! Matt also has talks with some cable companies (big-time networks) about a couple of shows he's written. I can't say anything more except to say THIS COULD BE HUGE. But this is L.A. We won't hold our breath.

Tomorrow we are going out to a trendy bar downtown with friends Kari and Paul who are getting hitched this fall. If I remember, I will bring my camera and attempt to have more adventures that speak to this amazingly wonderful but odd and crazy city that we live in.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Heat Wave

We found out our a/c and heating is powered by solar panels on the roof! So we leave our a/c on all the time now because it's 100 degrees outside. Literally. Our poor friend Amanda is suffering in Woodland Hills with 110+ temperatures. Ew.

We are surviving this heat wave though. Lots of water, lots of cold salad, and no cooking. I hate to say it but ordering in has been a way of life these last few days. It's just too hot too cook.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Feel our pain.

106 today. I'm getting nauseated from coming in from the hot hot air to the freezing air conditioned buildings.

Seems that all sorts of places are having major weather issues these days. Earthquakes, floods, tornadoes...

Global warming, anyone?

Friday, June 13, 2008

A better attitude, and a promise of more pictures.

I've been trying to think up a really good blog post lately. The problem is that I don't right it down and then when I need to come up with something, I've forgotten all the good stories and insights that have passed through (and left) my brain over the last few days. I apologize for the short posts and bullet lists, but I honestly haven't had much to say.

I've been working on my attitude and part of that is not talking about my job. I'm so unhappy here, but by talking about it I'm constantly re-living what I hate about it and it just zaps my enthusiasm and happy disposition. In an effort to be more positive, over the Solavang weekend, I decided to not talk about work for the next few days (I could tell that hubby and friends were quite relieved). I decided to continue that effort into my vacation. I've now gone 2 weeks without complaning about my job (aside from the really stupid stuff, such as things that should occur in 7th grade but not in a professional office), and I can tell that my attitude has significantly improved. My energy level is about the same, but I'm feeling better about my life in general. It was a good decision, and I'm going to continue with it.

Unfortunately I forgot my camera when we left for Napa, but no worries! I bought a disposable digital camera. I just have to finish the roll (which I will do over this weekend - we're going to her birthday party tomorrow night) and pictures will be posted. I promise! I know I made an effort there for a little while to post more pictures, but the past few months have obviously gotten away from me. I pledge to try harder! :)

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Guess who's blogging now?

Welcome to the world of blogging, honey! :)

His latest post describes our trips to Solvang and Fairfield/Napa in great detail. I'm feeling lazy, so that's all you're going to get for now.

Thursday, June 05, 2008


Hubby and I are off to Napa and possibly another day trip to San Francisco. Leah is getting married - who knew? When we visited her and her family (Matt's side) at Thanksgiving, there was talk of Colin proposing. And now, here we are.

I really should be getting to bed but I know I'll sleep in the car. There's a few loose ends to tie up, and a BIG HUGE MONGO thank you!! to Paige for watching, feeding, and attemping to medicine our kitties. (And sorry for the early wake-up call.)

Pictures will be taken. Unfortunately I don't have any from Solvang, but hopefully we'll be back at the end of the summer and can snap some shots then. It was great fun, and for more details see this blog and this one too.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Running late...

For work, but I don't care.

I've really missed Matt these last few days. And I'm so excited to have some time with him on our upcoming trip to Napa/San Francisco for his cousin's wedding. We'll be sharing a hotel room with Uncle Terry and Aunt Lisa, whom we almost never get to see, so this trip will be extra special. Add to this that I'm taking 2 days off work and I'm extra excited!

There's been a lot going on this last week, with last weekend's trip to Solvang and some insights that I've had. But I seem to be at a loss for words (I know, this almost never happens). I'm not sure what to say or even if I do, how to say it.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Hanging in there

Sorry for the bullet list, but I just can't think right now.
  • 3 cats on 3 different kinds of food. PJ on wet food because he has bad teeth, needs to gain weight, never mind he's also on inflammatory meds for his chronic pain in is vertabrae that fused together; Quinn needs a high fiber diet and has to lose weight; Bean is still young and are we supposed to manage this, especially when we're out of town for the next 2 weekends?? Kind of panicking here.
  • Work is very hectic and busy, but at least the days go by fast. I barely have time or energy to blog these days.
  • We're going to Solvang this weekend which will be a welcome escape from the busy city. Next weekend I'm taking a few days off work and we're heading up to Napa for Matt's cousin's wedding. We're sharing a hotel room with his aunt and uncle from Washington which I'm looking forward to as we hardly ever get to spend time with them.
  • Katie went to her senior prom a few weeks ago, still waiting for pictures...
  • Must get back to work, loads to do, but at least now we're moved in.
  • Oh, and I'm back under 160 pounds! Just 15 to my goal...
  • One more thing - Did anyone else watch the season finale of LOST last night? WOW.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Who really enjoys moving?

We move our offices today. Finally! After 2 weeks of packing and putting up with co-workers asking me for stupid stuff, we'll finally be in our new office. It's really pretty, and I will have natural light coming into the reception area. Before and after pictures to be posted this weekend. Unfortunately I do have to go back to work tomorrow morning but it will just be me and my boss, and we're going to get things put away. It should only take a few hours. That way when I go back to work on Tuesday, I can be more organized and help everyone else get settled.

These last few weeks I've been blessed with very patient friends and family, and I have to single out my husband. What a trooper. I've not been easy to live with and I made a promise that after this weekend, I'd seriously work towards being happier and not bringing my job home with me. Part of that will entail 20-30 minutes of quiet time when I get home.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Um, I remember this but not really...

(Photo courtesy of Paige. l-r: Paige, Cindy, me, Mary)
I don't remember the last time I went roller skating. Well, now I do because a few weeks ago, Matt and joined Paige, Mary, Don, and Cindy at Wump Skate, a fantastic once-a-month themed roller skating event where you can skate to your hearts content. Read Paige's blog for more details. I can't wait to go back, it was a blast! My favorite part was when Matt said "Oh, I suck at skating, I'm going to have a horrible time." Yeah right. The man is a natural!
One of the most interesting parts of skating after at least 10 years of not putting on skates, was the feeling of my mind and body trying REALLY hard to remember what to do, and I'd have moments of bliss, where it was like muscle memory, and then I'd suddenly get out of it and nearly fall on my butt! It was awesome!

At peace...for a little while

Do you ever have those moments where you get fantastic news and then the right song comes blaring over your car speakers as you're driving home from work? That happened to me on my way home today. I can't share the good news just yet but it does have to do with a project that Matt's working on. After all this time, it feels like the both of us are on the cusp for this new decade, I feel like everything is slowly but surely finally coming together.

And it feels really good!

Friday, May 16, 2008

Overwhelmed and overloaded.

  • Relieved though, because the landlord is going to take care of that awful cat-peed-on carpet in the next few weeks. Soon we'll be able to have friends over again. I can't wait! I have requsted that they treat the wood underneath, or let me do it. I don't want to have to go through this again.
  • Our office is moving upstairs one week from today. I'm so sick of packing and it makes me cringe of the thought of moving into a house this fall or winter. No more boxes, please!
  • Work is very stressful with all that I am responsible for - including packing up all the office files. Luckily we're getting all new furniture. I should lose about 5 pounds in the next week from the stress. Not the best way, but it will get me off the this plateau.
  • Tonight Matt and I are going to see his favorite group play in West L.A. The Proclaimers - 500 miles anyone?
  • Sunday includes a much needed bike ride in Venice Beach with Cindy and Mary. Anyone else want to come?
  • And did I mention it's supposed to be 100 degrees for the next four days??? Thank goodness for central a/c.

Sunday, May 11, 2008


Well, what an interesting way to spend Mother's Day.

A friend of ours came to visit from Seattle. She has been part of my life for many years now, and she happened to be in LA overnight on her way back from a Mexican Cruise. She has been studying and learning about Scientology for many years now, and decided to stay overnight at the Celebrity Center, just 4 blocks from where we live. She invited us to brunch along with her godson, Chris, and that's just what we did today.

I spent the afternoon at a Scientology Center.

It wasn't what I was expecting, and yet in many ways, it was.

First off, the architecture was beautiful. All the rooms were very welcoming and open, beautiful furnishings, and the "ora", if you will, was very positive and calm. Everyone seemed friendly and welcoming.


And that's a big BUT.

L. Ron Hubbard is everywhere. On nearly every wall, there's some sort of explanation about his methods, about dianetics, the difference between dianetics and scientology, and how one is extremely separate from the other. We got to try out an e-meter, which consists of the tour guide asking questions to help you pinpoint sources of stress and negativity in your life. I was very protective of myself the whole time, not really wanting to open up because I honestly felt like they were trying so hard to sell this to me. And I wasn't interested. Of course, I was happy that our friend wanted to share this with us, she was so happy and excited. And I guess that's really what the afternoon was all about - being open to something that I may not understand, and spending time with someone who has been very influential in my life.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Tired but having fun

This last week has been such a blur! Paige is here now and I think we've gotten together every single day this week. It's been so much fun having another Washingtoninan here, and showing her around town.

I realize that I haven't posted any adventure type photos for awhile, but believe me when I say the most hysterical video is on Cindy's blog right now. It sums up our wekeend celebrating Don's birthday.

Tomorrow is Mother's Day. I've been struggling with my thoughts and feelings this year quite a bit, trying to figure out if what I'm feeling now will ever go away, will ever slightly subside. Last night I had a "let go"crying fest, talking about my dreams where she had visited me, what I missed about her, and that it's just not fair that she's gone, trying to work through all of this. I also know that I have grown leaps and bounds from this, it is a profound experience, affecting all aspects of my life. Selfishly, I wish she was still here, but honestly, I am just relieved and happy that she is finally at peace. I would love to be at peace, but what I have discovered is that those of us who are left behind will find peace when it's time.

Monday, May 05, 2008

It's May?? Already??

Seems like just yesterday I posted this!

On Friday Don turned 30. And surprise! Nathan and Jessica, 2 very dear friends from Washington, showed up at lunch. Sneaky Cindy had arranged the the whole thing and watching Don's expression of "holy crap!" was really fun. We celebrated the whole weekend with lots of beer, barbecuing, gaming, guitar hero, and ended with seeing "Ironman" at Sherman Oaks ArcLight. Added bonus: Paige moved down! She got a roomshare in Valley Village just 1 block away from the community garden that Katy belongs to. It's a great place for Paige, and I'm just really excited that she's here.

Weekend plans include ripping up the carpet in the bathroom. There's enough cat pee to smell up the whole place and I'm just sick of it. So, I'm calling my landlord this week and letting him know that this is what we're doing, whether he likes it or not. I just can't take it anymore. First thing Saturday morning, I'm off to Home Depot to get a decent knife and suggestions on what to do. I also need to figure out if the floorboards are saturated, which they probably are, and how to get the smell out of them. And is it worth it to replace the carpet or just cover it with area rugs until we move? Ideas? Suggestions?

P.S. Lena, thank you for your email, you are so sweet. Sorry I haven't responded yet, but I will! xo

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Mother's Day

I understand for the majority of people, this can be a happy holiday. Celebrating moms is a wonderful idea and concept. I don't want "rain on people's parade" so to speak, but I have the feeling that each year, this is going to be a difficult time for me because I'm constantly bombarded with commercials, email blasts, and even the drug stores scream "BUY MOM SOMETHING!!! DON'T FORGET HER!!!" I just find it really annoying that at times when I'm at peace, suddenly my personal space has been invaded and I can't help but flash back to what I'm missing. Granted, I have a wonderful support network: best husband ever, friends, and family. But nothing can ever replace her, and I don't appreciate being reminded when I don't want to talk about it.

Monday, April 28, 2008


As of April 23, I've been blogging for 3 years. I wonder how long I can keep this up? :)

It's difficult to go back to those early posts, mostly because there's stories in there about Mom, and what a hard time I was having when we first got here. But I love that our journey has been documented so thoroughly and it will be such an interesting story to share with family down the road.

Thanks for reading!

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Not a happy camper

I've been sick since Wednesday thanks to that candidate who came in the the flu Tuesday night. I wanted to yell at her to go home, but instead I ran to the back offices as fast as I could. Too late. We've had so many people, staff and candidates, come in sick that I think my immune system just couldn't take it anymore. It started off with a touch of the flu and is now a head cold. While I'm feeling better I'm still not 100% and to top it off my sleeping pattern is totally off thanks to these 4 hour naps my body has been craving.

In addition, PJ is at the vet until Monday due to a high fever and a limp that the vet couldn't see (because PJ was so scared at the vet, he didn't really walk, he just did that cat hunker down thing). So while I'm a little freaked out about the cost of all this, I'm more concerend about my kitty and hoping that he's going to be ok. I honestly believe it's an infection due to the limp, but you never know. We just have to wait and see.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Happy Birthday, Aunt Constance!

She is turning the big 95 today!

Aunt Constance is forever labeled in our family as "The Pink Lady". Every year, at any event, she'd be dressed in a pink suit, or a lavender suit (with a pink scarf, or have a pink purse)...even at our annual apple cider pressings she'd be there in all her glory - makeup, scarf, pants suit, heels - washing apples with those attractive bright yellow dish gloves on. They almost seemed to appropriately accesorize her outfit.

She is my Mom's aunt, sister to my Grandpa Wesley (who died when I was in high school). I don't know her well, but every time we talk she's so honest and chatty. I adore her.

Unfortunately this year, she'll be spending her birthday in a skilled nursing facility recovering from a fall and knee surgery. She's due to be out of the hospital next month, so here's hoping she'll be able to celebrate in style, pink ribbons and all! :)

Monday, April 21, 2008

Don't feel like you get to read a survey!

1. WERE YOU NAMED AFTER ANYONE? My first name was found in a baby book. But my middle name is after my Grandma.

2. WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU CRIED? Last week, over stupid stuff.

3. DO YOU LIKE YOUR HANDWRITING? Most of the time. Wish it looked like Kari's though!


5. DO YOU HAVE KIDS? Do cats count?


7. DO YOU USE SARCASM A LOT? Yes, especially now that I've been with Matt so long (love you, sweetie! And no, I'm not being sarcastic. GEEEEZ!)



10. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CEREAL? Grown-up healthy stuff: Peace Cereal (maple). Kid stuff: Golden Grahams.


12. DO YOU THINK YOU ARE STRONG? Mentally? For the most part, though I have times where I want to shut down. Physically? Working on it...

13. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE ICE CREAM? Ben & Jerry's Cherry Garcia.


15. RED OR PINK? Red.

16. WHAT IS THE LEAST FAVORITE THING ABOUT YOURSELF? My weight. And the ability to just shrug off stupid people.

17. WHO DO YOU MISS THE MOST? My mom. Everyday. All day. (again, ditto)

18. DO YOU WANT EVERYONE TO SEND THIS BACK TO YOU? Better yet, post it on your blog!

19. WHAT COLOR PANTS AND SHOES ARE YOU WEARING? Gray pants, black shoes.

20. WHAT WAS THE LAST THING YOU ATE? Chocolate cake from porto's! It's admin day! :)

21. WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW? Hum of the, it's super quiet.


23. FAVORITE SMELLS? Saltwater, hubby after he's bathed, clean doggies, good food, desert wine.

24. WHO WAS THE LAST PERSON YOU TALKED TO ON THE PHONE? A candidate calling in available.

25. DO YOU LIKE THE PERSON WHO SENT THIS TO YOU? I've never met Kate, but I think she sounds fabulous.

26. FAVORITE SPORTS TO WATCH? Nada. Baseball and soccer on occasion.

27. HAIR COLOR? Dark brown.

28. EYE COLOR? Brown.

29. DO YOU WEAR CONTACTS? Yessirree!

30. FAVORITE FOOD? Fresh seafood, steak, pasta, yogurt, homemade raspberry jam.

31. SCARY MOVIES OR HAPPY ENDINGS? Happy endings. (ditto)



34. SUMMER OR WINTER? In Seattle? Summer. In L.A.? All the other seasons. :)


36. FAVORITE DESSERT? Lemon bars.

37. MOST LIKELY TO RESPOND? No idea. (ditto)

38. LEAST LIKELY TO RESPOND? No idea. (ditto)

39. WHAT BOOK ARE YOU READING NOW? "Economic Hit Man" is in the title...see list to the left.



42. FAVORITE SOUND? Matt's laughter!

43. ROLLING STONES OR BEATLES? A little bit of both.



46. WHERE WERE YOU BORN? Group Health Hospital, Seattle, WA


Snow?? In April??

I just got back last night from a quick weekend in Seattle. Dad turned 60 on Saturday and we had a great party. Tons of food, drink, and conversation to be had. I was so happy to be there and Dad had a great time, which was the whole point! Pictures to come so stay tuned...

And, yes, it snowed every day I was there. Sunday included snow, hail, and sunshine!

I slept great the whole weekend and even on the airplane, but last night stunk. It's going to be an interesting day at work as my fuse for this place is getting shorter and shorter every day...