Saturday, December 19, 2009

Checklist

1.  Realtor?  Check.

2.  Lender?  Find house first.  Then decide. 

3.  House?  Looking on 12/29.  

4.  Living in the present and not focusing so hard on what hasn't happened yet?  In progress.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Distracted

I can't seem to keep focus. I just keep dreaming about the fabulous houses we'll be looking at with our wonderful realtor at the end of the month. I can't seem to get much work done. At all. At least the workload is mildly light and I have blogs like Emilie's to keep me highly entertained while I plug in numbers during the afternoons.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Calm Before The Storm

So most of you know that we're doing all we can to move to Tacoma in February, yes?  

Ok.

We are supposed to be hearing from two more lenders this week about pre-approval and a grant program that would give us extra $$ towards our down payment, closing costs, or whatever.  We are pretty sure we've picked our our realtor but want to meet with another one just to be sure.  We narrowed our favorite houses from 25 to 10 to 4, most of them being in the vicinity of Fred Meyer and 6th Ave.  :)  We are taking a first-time home buyers class on the 28th in Parkland.  

It's a crazy time in my head these days and I'm really grateful I've been exercising so much (even though I'm the weakest in my class - grrr) because otherwise no one would want to talk to me, much less comfort me when I call all stressed and anxious because I'm trying to learn about what's going on.  Too many terms and numbers were floating around in my head last week.  

Oh, and on a completely different subject, my in-laws have a blog about their adventures in Istanbul!  You can read it here.  Enjoy!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Big News!

Dear friends and family,

We know that much of this will come as a surprise to you. Most of you know that we've been seriously considering a move back to the Pacific Northwest for the past six months, maybe more, maybe less. In any case, that dream is about to become a reality! We just got pre-approved for a house this week in the Tacoma area and are starting the process of buying a home. Right now we are still working with a few other lenders to try and get the best rate possible. We are also meeting with a few Realtors while we're in town at the end of the month, and it is our hope that while we're there, we'll find a couple of houses that we love.

If everything continues to happen as it has been, then we'll be moving in February. We'll miss our family of friends here, and I know I'll miss the warmer winters. But in order to move on to the next phase, we need to make a major change. And we're excited for what is to come!

Much love,
Camille and Matt

P.S. One favor to ask of you. Please don't post anything about this on Facebook as Camille has not told her employers yet that she is leaving. Thank you!

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

-insert title here-

A few major decisions have been made but nothing to be updated yet.  Still in the waiting process. 

I wish I could say I've been busy, but my part-time job doesn't have much going on for me now, which is going to make the holidays a little financially challenging (looks like people are getting recipes in a jar again this season).  

I've been to my new fitness bootcamp several times in the last three weeks - only missed one day - and I can already feel the difference.  Now if I could only see it.

Booked our tickets for Christmas, we'll be in town 12/26-1/2.  Hoping to see PNB's Nutcracker and visit with family at a cabin in white pass.  Wondering what to do for New Year's.  I think crashing someone's party sounds like fun.

It's great to have Matt home.  I missed the giggling in the morning.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Loss and Gain

This year has been an interesting one.  I've had many friends move away, and they're not done yet.  It's difficult for me to see my friends go as they're my family down here.  We all rely on each other, see and support one another through ups and downs.  Every time one leaves, I feel as though I've been "dumped".  I know that sounds harsh, but when then latest friends told me they were leaving, I just burst into tears.  I can't help it.  Even when I was little, I was incredibly attached to my friends, never wanting them to leave, always feeling like there was just never enough time...to do or say what, I'm not sure, but I still feel that way now.  That there's just not enough time with the people I care for.  

I got my hubby back though, after him being away for 9 days location scouting in WA.  It's prompted a huge and long drawn-out talk about the future and what we want to do.  However, as my MIL says:  "If you want to make God laugh, make a plan."  So we're keeping our options slightly open because life is definitely full of surprises.  But in the meantime, I'm working hard to stay on track.  I have goals and I plan to see them through.  When they'll happen, well, I can't plan everything.  Sometimes I just have to be flexible and patient.  

I also became a fan of the bootcamp I attended all last week!  I am so proud of myself.  It was my free week and since I enjoyed it so much and did so well, they're offering me a payment plan so I can afford to go back for the six week special.  I plan on going every day or as much as possible so I can really get in shape and feel better about myself, feel more confident.  I'm lucky to have a spouse who thinks I'm beautiful and tells me so every day.  I just wish I could feel that way about myself that often.  But back to bootcamp, it's run by these 2 amazing women who really work with you to see your fitness goals through while working with your individual limitations.  I'm excited to see what differences I'll have in 6 weeks! 

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

OW!

This was my third morning at bootcamp. 

I can't believe I've gone 3 days in a row.  If you know me well, you know that I take after Grandma Betty and am a night-owl at heart.  So getting up at 6am isn't really my favorite thing.  Especially when my lower body hurts so much (getting up, sitting down, walking, stairs are currently evil).  Hopefully tomorrow's visit to the chiropractor and my schedule massage will help my aching, screaming muscles.

The upside is my stress level has continued to go down and so has my appetite.  Well, my appetite is as hearty as it ever was, but I certainly can't eat as much as I used to.  I really like the trainers, they have lots of stretching exercises before and after the workouts as opposed to the other bootcamp I attended earlier this year.  You know, the one that said it was my fault that I got injured?  Yeah, right.  Anyway, I think this could be a good fit, and I'm hoping to squeeze some $$ out of the budget so I can sign up for the 6 week special sometime next week.  I plan on going the rest of the week since it's free, and then give my body a few days to recover before torturing my muscles again.  

We all know that I get bored quickly.  We'll see how long this lasts!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Strangest Thing

Matt's been out of town on location scouts for his upcoming webseries that just got funded - JourneyQuest.  He'll be back next Monday, and whenever he's gone, I tend to get so much more done around the apartment.  This weekend I cleaned the kitchen, changed the sheets and made the bed, cleaned the shower, swept up the main rooms (thank goodness for hardwood floors), cleaned out my spice cabinet, did several loads of dishes, and managed to cook a healthy dinner last night (I love my slow cooker).  Why is it that when Matt is home I'm so lazy?

Today is my first day at a new fitness bootcamp.  I have a one week guest pass, and then if I like it, they have a new member special which happens to be a great deal.  But first, I need to test out the program and the instructors.  Luckily it's very close to where I live, and I'm actually excited to start exercising again.  Wish me luck!  

Friday, November 06, 2009

A bit of a rant:

To the young man and the young woman yesterday:

Just because I exit from the grocery store with a cart full of groceries or depart from Fantastic Sams does not give you permission to immediately assume I'm ready to deplete my bank account again.  Don't give me sad eyes and tell me how much your charity needs my money after I've told you I can't afford to give you any (I need my money more, bucko).  

And to the young man?  You got my attention with reversing the Prop 8 decision, you got me all rev'd up about making sure our state gives people equal rights, making me believe that you wanted me to sign something.  Instead, you hand me a donation form and ask for $88?  What the hell?  We're in an effing recession, DUDE.  You're not going to even tell me where my money is going to go.  Paying your salary?  Don't make me feel guilty when I already contribute to 2 charities yearly.  I can't afford to help save everyone and everything.  I already help feed the hungry and contribute to saving animals.  You'll have my vote when Prop 8 is on the ballot, but you won't have my money.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

It's been quite a month! (Part 2)

Hubby and I waiting for U2 to get on stage! You can see the concert here.

I think I just lost myself when the Black Eyed Peas showed up to open for U2. Wish I could have gotten a better picture, but this one just captures the craziness of the evening!

Gustavo Dudamel at the Hollywood Bowl earlier this month. I had the great privalege of going to the free concert at the Hollywood Bowl...he's amazing!

Jason and I at the Hollywood Bowl, enjoying wine, good company, fantastic music, and eagerly awaiting Gustavo's arrival!

Yep! That's me and Herbie Hancock! This picture is for you, Dad!

Friday, October 30, 2009

It's been quite a month! (Part 1)

video

The Black Eyed Peas opening song at the U2 Concert! We were definitely in for a treat. Then Slash showed up and we really went crazy!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Everything and Nothing

Hello? Anyone still reading this?

You ever have so much to say you just don't know where to begin? And suddenly when you feel like talking, you clam up because suddenly you don't want to talk about anything, feeling overwhelmed with all that's going on in your life? It would just be easier for the other person in the room to talk so you can escape from your world for a little while?

Welcome to my world.

October has been a whirlwhind of events. Three trips to Washington in a month, concerts, plays, a funeral, Matt's career talking off, moving possibilities, the talk of starting a family...my brain can't keep up. Just when I thought I might have time to process everything over vacation last week, I got food poisoning on our 8th wedding anniversary. Joy! So now my appetite is gone, and I have to force myself to eat and drink water. More joy! But it's not all bad. Yes, it's overwhelming, but it's nothing I can't handle. And now that I'm home, with hubby, everything seems to be settling down. For a short while. Then he's off to WA again for location scouting for 10 days next month and while I could go up for a few days, I think I need a month to go by where I don't get on a plane.

Pictures to be posted from past events soon, I promise. Just give me a few more days. I appreciate your patience and words of support.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

So much to say!

But I don't have time or the energy, frankly, to go over it in detail, so here's some highlights:

-Matt lost his job at Epic Level due to funding issues;

-Matt's grandfather died so we're heading up to Olympia tomorrow for the funeral;

-Crazy cat had dental surgery and has recovered beautifully;

-In-laws are pretty well settled in their new place in Turkey, only to fly back to WA days later;

-Both of my jobs are insane, but that's the way I like it.  Perhaps there's a raise in my future;

-8th wedding anniversary is on 10/20.  Where has the time GONE?  Oh, who cares, it gives us an excuse to go to the Oregon Coast and live it up for a few days.  

-I joined Matt's church.  I think.

-Grateful for my awesome girlfriends who have helped me keep my sanity over these last few nutty months.

-Have gotten addicted to the following shows:  Weeds, Drop Dead Diva, Army Wives, Project Runway, and desperately waiting for LOST season 5 to come out on DVD.

-Oh, and did I mention that my picture (and Paige's too) got in the LA Times?  See picture number 16!  

Friday, September 25, 2009

Yo from Evergreen State

I went to Pacific Lutheran University, a small liberal arts (and obviously Lutheran) college in Tacoma, Washington. Eleven years later, my little sister is off to college and she chose Evergreen State College, a very liberal college in Olympia, our state's capitol and with a reputation of being a bit odd. Having now spent some time here and hearing Katie talk about the community, I think that this is the perfect place for her. And at Evergreen they really push for taking care of your environment, they have an organic farm, require that all students recycle, and the campus is aiming to be waste-free by 2020. I think that's pretty amazing. I did express to Katie that maintaining this kind of lifestyle to this degree will be hard when she leaves campus, but she already knew that, and is just excited to learn as much as she can.

It's been great to meet some of her suite-mates, to see these baby-faced kids so excited and enthused about learning and about their futures. The gal across the hall, Audrey, her ultimate goal is to be a tree-hugger and to save the whales. My thought was "Well, you're at the right place then." It's so not my place. I needed structure and grades at that age, hell, I still do. I think it takes a certain kind of student and person to succeed here, and I think my kid sister is just the type to make the most out of her time here.

Yesterday we went shopping for 10 hours, and spent 5 more today, getting supplies and all kinds of stuff for her to cram into her single/single room. It's been fun, tiring, and interesting, seeing things from her perspective. I am so stinkin' proud of her!

Why am I still hanging out here in a dorm room that is in a bulding that looks like it was made for public housing in Philadelphia? Because Interstate 5 at this hour would be much much worse than listening to my sister sing along to Sublime and un-pack her stuff...

...I gotta go. I guess it's time for me to get to work and put together her "steam buddy".

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Old Friends and Lots of Laughs

Tonight I had a fantastic time with old friends. Matt, Phil, Curt and I all went to PLU together. Phil, Curt and I lived in Hinderlie for at least 2 years, and many of my freshman year memories involve hanging out with those guys and their roommates, Jeff and Shawn. Phil happened to be in San Diego for a conference and very generously offered to drive up to see us for dinner.

I haven't laughed so hard in a long time. We shared memories and cracked stupid jokes, predicted what Curt's daughter, Lyla, will be like in 21 years, and created new memories. The setting was perfect - Bucca de Beppos (if you haven't been, you must go) - and again, we laughed incredibly hard. I hung back and let the guys do most of the talking which was fun. I realized how long it had been since I was the only girl in the group, and I rather enjoyed it. Well, that's not true. Lyla was there, and she was quite a scene stealer at 7 months old.

In any case, the night couldn't have gone better. And now that I'm full of Italian food and gelato, it's time for bed. That much laughter takes a lot out of me!

Thanks, guys (and gal) for a wonderful evening!

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Life Lessons Essay

Most of you know that I wanted to enter this contest for Real Simple Magazine. The subject was "When did you realize that you were a grown-up?" I knew instantly what I would write about, and had all summer to work on it. I ripped out the essay advertisement and kept it on my desk to remind myself to get to work. And of course, each day that went by I'd think "Tomorrow. Tomorrow I'll start the process." (If you're curious, I wrote about the death of my mom.)

Not so much.

Fast forward to last Friday. Deadline is Labor Day, four days away! I write out what happened, but there's no emotion involved, it only listed the events of what happened. Matt it's ok, but that I need to tell my story. As I get feedback from my friends who are writers, I hear the same thing. So I dive a little deeper, and get more involved. But my emotional core is still locked tight. This isn't a place I want to go, mostly because it's hard to get back to center when I'm in that place. So, Labor Day arrives and the essay still isn't ready. So I sit at Matt's desk and he helps me edit and tighten up the phrases. I crack, I start to sob, and walk away, telling him that I just need a break.

And then, ahead of time, it's done. I get ready to send the essay. I type out "please consider this essay blah blah blah" and press send. Done!

The email bounces back.

I re-send. Bounced back. Again. Bounced back.

WHA???

I hop on the phone. Call customer service. Closed because it's Labor Day. Freaking out and over-emotional, I get into bitch mode and twitter about what's going on and does anyone know someone at Real Simple mag?

Enter co-worker Meghann. VP of Publicity and awesome at Roadside. She gives me an email address to one of the associate editors. YAY! I email the contact explaining how I got her email address and could she forward my essay on? Thank you! Ah, relief.

I call customer service this morning. They tell me I wasn't the only person having trouble and here's the alternative email address you can send your essay to. YAY! So I email my essay to that address and send another to the A.E. to please disregard my last email and thanking her for her time.

I would love to share this essay with you, but contest rules clearly state that upon submission the essay becomes property of the magazine. I don't want to risk publishing it because I could be disqualified.

That said, I think writing this essay has helped me move on to the next stage of grief, whatever that is. I know that whether I win or don't, the point is that I did it...

...

But I still want to win!

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Smokey

We do live in Glendale, but we are safe from the forest fires. The Station fire has to jump the 210 freeway, another hill, and a bunch of houses before we need to be concerned, and I don't think that will happen. I am very grateful for experienced fire fighters who are doing the very best they can.

The air is gross, the smoke combined with smog makes for painful sore throats and a little dizziness, and combined with the heat...well, it's just safe to say that we're living indoors with the a/c on all the time now. The sun is an eerie red tonight, and the thick layer of smoke is just plain gross. I can't believe we have to breathe that air into our lungs.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Home!

I got back late last night from a rousing trip to Seattle. I had a great time and stayed busy, visiting with family and friends. I will write more later, but I just wanted to let everyone know that we are so far, safe from the forest fires. When we flew in last night, we could see the fires from the air and it was quite scary. I overheard another passenger say that those flames could be 100 feet high! I'm not sure if that's true, but there was one patch that seemed...well, angry. Bursting with orange, red, and a little bit of yellow, it seemed to grow in size right before our eyes.

Outside it's hot and dry. I had dreams about things catching on fire last night and us evacuating with just our cats and clothes. It occurred to me that we wouldn't know where to go should that happen. A hotel for a night or two, probably. We aren't in the fires path, there's another hill before we have to be too concerned, but the air quality is pretty nasty so we'll be leaving the a/c on for awhile. It smells like we have a campfire in our backyard, which would be great if it were actually a contained campfire and the air didn't look consistently foggy.

I won't be renewing my monthly membership at the outdoor pool anytime soon, not until the air clears up. The warnings state that we have to not exert ourselves outside, drink plenty of water, and to be inside with air-conditioning. I think we can manage that!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Traveling Girl

I travel. Alot. Every two months I go up to Seattle for work, get to see my Dad and my sister, and hang out with family and friends. Many of my friends here in L.A. gaffaw at the image of the air miles I've racked up, saying "I can't believe how much you travel!" and sometimes I do too. It can be annoying, packing and unpacking, living out of a suitcase. I don't like being away from Matt so much, and all this travel does tire me out. I have to take a few days upon returning home to settle back into my life here. And most of you have heard my complaints at time that going up North means that I also have to deal with drama-mama. I don't think anyone ever looks forward to drama.

That being said, I don't have a traditional life. I don't work a traditional job with traditional hours. My husband is a writer, and I guess you could say I'm kind of a contractor at this point. The jobs that I've had, and the work that I am currently doing, they are all helping me meet my goal, which is to eventually run a bed and breakfast. It is really exciting for me to finally have a sense of direction, to know that what I am doing now will pay off in a big way later on in my life. The fact that I have 2 jobs in this economy is pretty darn good, I'd say, and rather than thinking of "Gawd, I have to travel to Seattle again, " I'm going to start thinking of it as "Guess what? I get to go to Seattle and see my family and friends on a regular basis. How awesome is that?" Because truly, it is awesome. I have friends who don't get to see their loved ones on a regular basis, not even once a year. I am blessed to have this opportunity because it won't be around forever, so I may as well take advantage of it while I can. An extra bonus is that I meet all kinds of interesting people. I met a VP of Disney and a former trustee of a Pasadena Museum. I wonder who I'll meet tonight?

Guess what I get to do tonight? Travel to Seattle.

And next month? I'll head up for a quick few nights to help Katie shop for and move into her dorm at Evergreen State College in Olympia. Freshman year is a big deal, and I'm glad I am around to help during this transition.

October? Heading up for a week to visit with Dad, go to the family cider press, and head to Gearhart, Oregon for 3 lovely nights to celebrate our 8th wedding anniversary.

Christmas? The only way you'll get me on a plane is if my in-laws are visiting from Istanbul. :D A girl has to set her boundaries at some point!

I am traveling. On a plane and within my life. Aren't we all?

Friday, August 21, 2009

Confused

August is always a tough month for me. It's full of birthdays and celebration of life, but always seems to be overshadowed by another event. And it's why I haven't blogged much lately. I'm confused by my thoughts and feelings, trying to sort them out, but I get frustrated and stop.

Last Saturday was so much fun. We met up with a bunch of friends at Malibu Family Wines, drank excellent wine and ate good food. The company was fabulous and the after-party was equally entertaining. Rock Band at the Early's, what could be better?

I bring this up because my friend Dave asked me what was on my mind and I said, without missing a beat, "My Mom". And he looked surprised, and Katy, who was standing next to me, put her hand on my back in a soothing manner, and I continued with "I'm not sad, I just miss her." And that's just it. I am missing her every single day. I think of her all the time. Sometimes with anger and sadness because she was taken away too soon, but sometimes with happiness and awe, that I got to have her as my Mom, I was that lucky to have her in my life in such an amazing way.

I get tired of talking about it. I am sure that people sometimes get tired of hearing or reading about it. But I'm also getting pretty good at reading people, and can tell very quickly if they don't want to hear about it, so I quickly change the subject. I'm not offended, sometimes they are tired of the subject and/or fret because they don't know what to say. And that's alright. This is ultimately my own journey through grief and it's up to me to figure it out. I am so incredibly grateful for my amazing support of friends and family. I don't know where I'd be without you guys.

I've been reading old blog posts from 2006 and 2007 to help dig up old memories about the experience for this essay that I'm writing. First prices is three grand and two round-trip-tickets to NYC plus lunch with the magazine editors. I doubt I'll win, but why not try? Maybe this is what I need to do to move on with my grieving process. I feel stuck and I don't like it. But at least I can open that recipe box now without bursting into tears.

Friday, August 14, 2009

I can't help myself

I am missing her today, of course, of all days. Memories are flooding my brain, emotions are running high.

These days don't happen too often anymore, but this particular week, for the past few years, has been especially rough, and luckily every year I seem to be getting a little better. Progress, I guess.

I won't let the anger and sadness overwhelm me today, but I'll let them settle somewhere. I have fun plans today, and I'm going to do my very best to not let them get in the way of me having a good time.

And I have the greatest husband, who listens to me, even in the wee hours of the morning.

Monday, August 10, 2009

My idea of a good birthday...

Swim in the morning... (maybe)

Massage...

Work, and my yearly review (yay)...

Dinner at the Tam O'Shanter...

Movie - Julie and Julia...

Time with hubby...

It's been a wonderful 30th year, full of growth and realizations. At this moment, I love my life, I love my friends and family. 31 will be a good year. I can tell.

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Journey of Emotions

Since my last blog post about depression, I've actually been doing quite well. Denial helps, so do distractions with work, movies, and cooking. I have been sleeping more, feeling exhausted for pretty much no reason. But at least I know what to expect now. I was talking with Paige about this earlier, and she reminded me how far I've come. That the first anniversary I was so upset and crying all the time, and that last year I was just really angry and pissed. This year I think it's a mix of both, but I am far less emotional. I don't know if I'm just keeping it all in, or if I'm just doing my absolute best to accept the truth, accept that she's not around anymore, and move on. I can't tell. Maybe after this month, I'll know. When you're in it, it's difficult to see clearly.

I have been feeling good for many reasons. I really enjoy my job at Roadside. It's challenging in many ways, mostly because I suck at numbers. My cousin Gus, who works for a high-profile accounting type firm, said the great thing about working with numbers is that at the end of the day, it all has to add up properly or you know something is wrong. I remember that advice every time I go into work. And as far as my other job goes, they are certainly keeping me busy. I have lots to do today, and most of it involved sitting at my computer and getting caught up with projects. Matt had a job interview last week for a writer's assistant position, and that was exciting! We'll find out next week if he got the job. He also got re-hired at Epic Level, which is wonderful, and he is getting paid to write, which is the best part. I'm really proud of him.

I'm also more committed to swimming and getting healthy. I may always have hips and thighs the size of small tree trunks, but I also remind myself that I've lost 25 pounds during the last 2 years and have managed to keep it off. I went from a size 14 to a size 8/10 (depending on the brand of clothing), and I think that's pretty good! Now it's all about toning, and when I work out, the stress level goes down, I sleep better and I am more conscious about what I eat. It all balances out, and I am starting to feel a little better about the body I have. Working with my curves can be fun and not a challenge. I have to remember that.

All in all, I'm ok. Not bad, not super-duper-happy. But I am satisfied. In talking with Jenny last night, I realized how much I love my life, and our life. Kids will come along eventually, but for now, I'm overall very happy with where I'm at.

P.S. My in-laws leave for Istanbul very very soon! Greg takes off on Tuesday (yes, meaning 8/11, like in 3 freaking days) and Nancy leaves 8/20. Can you believe it?

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

It's that time of year...

...and so the battle with depression begins.

The signs are always the same. Lack of energy, always wanting to sleep, not wanting to do anything, but feel lonely because I'm NOT doing anything. (Matt's not home until Monday, so it's really quiet around here.)

Three years ago yesterday I flew up to Seattle to help take care of Mom and within three weeks she was gone. The shock of her in a wheelchair, unable to use even a walker, and her voice and surprise as she saw me in the living room that day...images are continually flooding my memory and I struggle to not cry throughout the day.

Every year, I always hope that I'll feel better around the end of July, that it won't be so bad, but it just is, and I have to just let the feelings wash over me while still living my life, and it's not easy. This is my grieving process and no matter what anyone says, no matter how many times I hear the words "You have to get over this", for me, it's easier said than done. Grief is a process and some days, some months, even some years are better than others.

It sucks. It just plain old SUCKS.

Today I broke down at work, not expecting too...poor Katy just asked me how I was doing and I launched in as the big alligator tears came spilling out. Crying is bad enough, but at work or in public just feels so embarrassing. She kidnapped me to lunch and I felt better after a hearty lunch with a side of root beer. But by the time I got home, I was feeling sad and sleepy again, so I ate and took a nap. I'm going out dancing with Katy tonight, even though my brain is fighting me. It wants another pity party. But I'm refusing.

It's complicated.

It's just that time of year.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Pictures from our trip to Cambria

Our fabulous picnic at Kelsey Winery. We couldn't resist opening up 2 cold bottles of wine, it was hot that day!

Panoramic shot of Moonstone Beach in Cambra. It was such a windy day. I forgot how long my hair was and it got so tangled on the beach and in their rented convertible!

Dinner at FC McClintocks at Sunset in Pismo Beach. Gorgeous! The food and company were equally amazing!

Cool shadow shot.


We had such a great time sharing our favorite area of California with Brie and Steve. I hope they can come back soon!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Quick Update:

My in-laws are moving to Turkey next month;

We are going to Comic Con in San Diego next weekend (I think);

Matt is going to Seattle at the end of July to help the folks pack up;

I think we're getting their sofa, chair, ottoman, camping gear, super scrabble, and a few more boxes of odds and ends;

I'll be up in Seattle at the end of August, hopefully able to make it to Ben and Rita's mystery party extravaganza;

Still have baby on the brain;

It's hotter than hell here in Glendale, having trouble sleeping at night because of the heat and pondering the purchase of a portable air conditioner;

Haven't been exercising, been quite lazy actually, need to get back on track;

Both jobs are crazy busy, which is good, I like being busy, helps me not waste (too much) of my time;

I turn 31 in 4 weeks? Really?

(Pictures of last week's trip to the California Coast will be next, I promise.)

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Out of Town? Again?

It seems all we do is travel!

Hm, let's see...the start of this year we were in Seattle...followed by four lovely months of not ever getting on a plane!

Thank goodness for air miles. And helpful kitty sitters.

Tomorrow we head to Cambria, a trip we've had planned for several months now. Steve and Brie are already there, celebrating their anniversary. We'll be staying at a new b&b just half a mile from their rental house. It will be a fun challenge staying within our very strict budget. I am also looking forward to sharing one of our favorite spots with good friends.

I can also tell you that I am sick of plane rides and the convertible that Steve and Brie rented will be a welcome opportunity to feel a little more free during our travels around San Luis Obispo County. :)

Bon Voyage to KT who's traversing the East Coast now, to Gayvin for braving NYC in the summer, to Katy & Jeremy attending DragonCon in Atlanta, and to our friends who are heading to Germany in September! (See, I'm not the only one who has the travel bug!)

Monday, July 06, 2009

Lack of Communication

I'm a talker. Always have been. Matt says there are no strangers for me, only new friends, which is a very nice way of saying I'm a chatterbox. :) But I do have the ability to recognize signals when people are done chatting, and I can also end a random conversation easily, unlike some members of my family *cough*.

Where I notice my lack of communication is on the bus to and from work. Everyone has their iPods plugged in, mp3 players, reading the paper or a book. A packed bus full of people at rush hour is compeltely silent. It's weird. And I'm one of them. I don't want to talk to anyone at the end of the day. I'm tired, my brain is full, and I really just want to eat. (It didn't help that on my first bus ride home I got 2 requests for my phone number from strange men.)

So, for about 80 minutes on M/T/W, I don't talk to anyone. I happily plug my earphones in, and listen to podcasts like Savage Love, This American Life, and Fresh Air. Sure, you can ask me what time it is, where this bus goes, and that you like my shoes. But please don't ask me for my phone number or email address. And avoid the seat next to me if you smell. I have a sensitive gag reflex and just might throw up on you (hasn't happened yet but I came close last week).

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Monday, June 29, 2009

Rest In Peace, Michael Jackson

I remember watching this with my parents when I was a little kid. I remember thinking that I was watching an amazing performer, entertainer, and that no one would even come close to what he could do.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Notes

I lifted this quiz from a wonderful blog that I check in on now and then. Thank you!

Outside my window ...
I hear the the crickets chirping, a baby crying, cars driving by, and loving the cool breeze coming through, rattling my blinds. It's very peaceful.

I am thinking ... about my mom. Determined to not flip out about our finances this month and instead be proud of how far we've come. wondering why I still have babies on the brain.

I am thankful for ... my husband, my family, and friends. To have a roof over my head, food in the fridge, and money in the bank. Very grateful to have 1.5 jobs (one is part-time). To have support and to be supportive.

From the kitchen ... this week's meal plans includes Salmon Pasta Salad, Sesame and Cilantro Vermicelli Salad, Turkey Burgers with grated zu
cchini and carrot...mmmm...

I am wearing ... my favorite blue t-shirt from Marshalls and my favorite clam-digger shorts that are way too big.

I am creating ... my future. Learning bookkeeping skills, communication tools, and a more positive attitude in addition to being healthy and happy.

I am going ... to not travel for at least the next month, hopefully for the next 8 weeks. With my recent promotion I'll be going up North about every 8 to 10 weeks for a few days.

I am reading ... Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. I forgot how much detail is in that book.

I am hoping ... that I can continue the positive path that I am on, that my husband's projects will find funding, that my Dad will be happy, and t
hat my in-laws have an amazing journey in their new life in Turkey.

I am hearing ... birds. Crickets. The ceiling fan.

Around the house ... So much to do! Clean out closets, cleaning in general, clear out the clutter.

One of my favorite things ... Seeing my husband happy and content.

A few plans for the rest of the week ... Cook d
inner every night this week, going to church with Matt tomorrow as he's the cantor at services, create more posts for the travel blog, swim at least 3 times this week.

A picture to share ...

This is one of my favorite photos I took while in Etna, CA visiting Gayvin, Erik, and Jack. I love the contrast of the colors and yet they seem to blend together beautifully. Etna and the surrounding mountains are so tranquil and beatuiful. I can't wait to visit again.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

I. Can't. Wait.

How long until July 15???

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Etna vs. L.A.

I can't believe how small this place is!

It reminds me of St. John, WA where my cousin and her family lives. There is one grocery store, one police officer (the police office headquarters is open from 8am to 12pm). "Downtown" consists of 2 or 3 blocks, and the most popular hangout is the local pub where they brew their own beer (the blackberry lager is amazing). The drugstore has an old-fashioned soda fountain, and the shelves are stocked with pretty much just one of each item. The air is clear, the people are friendly, and I'm surrounded by mountains. It's so beautiful and quiet here.

I have the same feeling here that I had in Hawaii - I miss the mountains, the green, nature in general. My skin and allergies aren't freaking out, and I sleep SO much better here. My wrinkled, puffy eyes are significantly less wrinkled and puffy since I arrived. I was laughing at myself when I had to go around town to find an ATM, and I was walking so fast! I told myself that it's ok, no one expects you to be anywhere, you're in no hurry, slow down and pace yourself.

I find myself really struggling to want to stay in L.A. It's an absolute challenge sometimes because my health improves whenever I leave that city. Even if it's just a few days in Cambria or Spokane, I'm so much happier without the hustle and bustle and craziness of Los Angeles.

However, I am not struggling to find friends and meaningful relationships, and I have a fantastic husband who's career is on the brink of major success. I must continue to focus on the positive, go to my last few counseling sessions, and work out on a regular basis. My life is what I make of it, whether I'm in L.A. or elsewhere.

(I think Etna won this round.)

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Moving Up & Moving On

No, we aren't moving again, at least not anytime soon. But I hope to whoever is in charge that this is our last apartment. Not that I don't love it, but I would love to have a house/condo/townhouse be our next home, whether we're renting our buying.

I was just thinking about some friends of mine that have moved and others who are planning to move. Gayvin and Eric (and of course their son) moved to a very small town in Northern California, about 1.5 hours away from the Oregon border. Another good friend of mine, Paige A., got a job in New York City, so she's moving away this summer. A few of my other friends talk about leaving L.A. not because they don't like it here, but because the opportunities that were once available have left this city and they can't make things work. Matt and I definitely talk about leaving, going somewhere cheaper where he could have an easier time finding work (with 11% unemployment, trying to find a job in California is like trying to find a needle in a haystack - nearly impossible). However, moving never solves problems, it can actually add to the ones you already have. So I think our ultimate challege, for right now, is to stay here for as long as we can. I encourage Matt to look beyond L.A. and California for other opportunities and that if he finds work that's worth moving for, well, we can cross that bridge when we come to it. But I'm not going to plan on a "what-if" kind of future...I'm going to plan for the future that's happening tomorrow.

So to those of you who have left - I miss you...

To those of you who are leaving soon - Let's get together as much as we can before you go, and I'll miss you...

To those of you (and to myself) who are thinking of leaving - You have to do what's best for your life, what will get you where you need and want to go.

We all need to support each other in this incredibly amazing (and sometimes stressful) time in our lives. So go team! Move up, move on, and continue the journey.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Busy Bee

My part-time job is supposed to be 3 days a week, 5-6 hours a day. I'm really enjoying the work that I'm doing, aside from learning "techie-speak" which may as well be Swahili. However, there was an accounting-time-sensitive project that I needed to help with yesterday, and I needed the money, so it worked out (only bummer was I had to cancel plans with Mary at the beach). Yesterday I left with the solid knowledge that Friday I had to focus on my other job and get some things done around the place.

Not so much.

I got a call from one of the Marketing people, who needed some help with some "drudge work" (those were his words) and was I available to help? I was on the bus at the time I got the message and took the rest of the ride home to decided what I wanted to do. I could stay home, get stuff done, swim, maybe even sleep in a little. Or go into work, and earn money that is needed.

I went with the second option.

I know that I can be empowered by "no" (as someone at work so delicately said), and that I don't always have to be available. I am part-time and by definition I am not expected to come in every day. I don't want to become the office go-to girl, meaning that just because I have a day off doesn't mean that I'm always free. But I did just start a few months ago, and I do want to be a team player, so I will go in today and earn a bill that I can pay without worry. And it is a chance to take a break from those dang purchase orders that fill my mind's eye when I'm on my way home.

On a happier subject, this next month is going to be a busy travel month. Thank goodness for air miles and companion fares. We are very excited about a trip to San Luis Obispo in July with our dear friends Stephen and Brie, who will be visiting from Washington! We found a great place to stay in Cambria that's only $95 a night, and you bet your behind I'll be blogging about it after the trip. We're also going up to Seattle at the end of the month for a very quick trip, mostly business for me and mostly Matt helping his parents tie up loose ends.

Oh, and I'm totally addicted to Scrabble on Facebook. Sigh.

Monday, June 08, 2009

Getting Spiritual

Depending on how long I've know people, this conversation is bound to come up. Am I religious? Spiritual? Did I go to Sunday School? Did I go to church on a regular basis? What does/did my family do? It's an interesting story, one that's not complete yet. I wouldn't say that I'm searching for a church or even a religion, for that matter, because for me, they go hand in hand. But I'd say that I'm spiritual in my own, private way. I try to be a good person and do the right thing. That sort of stuff.

My mom was a stained glass designer. She designed windows for private-home installations (privacy windows, decorative, etc). The most impressive, however, were the church windows. Built from scratch or restored, her play with color and light was always incredibly awe-inspiring and impressive. When these windows were done, naturally there was some sort of dedication ceremony and more than once, my parents took me with them. I never felt comfortable going, and could never explain why. To this day I couldn't give you a concrete reason, just that "It's not my thing."

My Dad's side is Catholic and from what I know, my Mom's side was Lutheran. I was baptized Catholic but never confirmed. This is something they, especially my Dad, always regretted, but as an adult I just wish I'd had the chance to attend Sunday School or a youth group, something to give a basis to grow on. Growing up, my parents said it's OK if you're not Catholic, you can be Jewish or Buddhist, it doesn't matter as long as it suits you. I always respected that decision and was grateful for the opportunity to go on my own, personal spiritual journey. Because like politics, spirituality is completely personal and it's not up to anyone but me to decide how I am going to pursue this path.

Matt is Lutheran/Buddhist. He prays, he medidates, but has been searching for peace, and he's found it at a new Lutheran church in North Hollywood. He joined the community officially last week, and is singing in the choir. It's been wonderful to see him connect with these people, to be part of a community separate from our friends and AFI. I have not joined, obviously, and before yesterday, had only attended services on Easter in April. When Matt decided to become a member of the church, I suddenly found myself in my Mom's position after Grandma Betty died. She passed in a horrible way, thank goodness it was quick. The trauma sent my Dad back to church soon after, where he started attending services more regularly. Mom didn't go often, probably every once in awhile to support him, and certainly when he asked her or was excited to for her to meet particular people. I think really he just wanted to show her off because she was so talented and wonderful. :) But I digress...I went to church yesterday with Matt for the same reason. I wanted to support him, and see/hear him sing again. He gets so much joy and comfort out of this community, there was a bounce in his step yesterday that's been missing for awhile. He and I both know that I won't go every week, but I will go once or twice a month to support him in what he's doing.

I do get something out of church in general, and this is the particular reason why I wanted do this post in the first place. The sermons always seem to speak to me in an incredibly personal way, and I know that's the whole point, but yesterday's sermon was eerily close. Dealing with death, depression, even suicidal thoughts. It was Holy Trinity Sunday, and her sermon was about each person's individual concept of God. It was fascninating. Even more interesting was after the service, when Pastor Sue invited me out to coffee or lunch, which generally she does only with those who are interested in becoming members (which I'm not). I do enjoy her company, however, and would welcome the opportunity to get to know her.

As far as being spiritual goes, I find the best way, for me, personally, is to try to live my life the best way I can. To stay positive, to be a good friend and family member. Being outside on a hike, or on a quiet beach, a sunny drive along the coast, dancing to good music, these are the times that I feel spiritual and connected to the world. I can't explain why or how, but when it happens, it's amazing and I hold onto that feeling for as long as I can.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

It's all about perspective

Yesterday was supposed to be a busy day, but instead it turned into one where I didn't want to be alone and needed alcohol to settle my nerves.

On my way to Mary's baby shower, I was *this* close to being in a major accident on the freeway.

White car and I nearly merged into each other going 60mph.

Thank GOD for my heavy car, I guided her back into my lane and she just kept going.

White car suddenly spun around...and then across the left side of the freeway...and then spun all the way over to the other side...and smashed into the retaining wall.

Have you ever seen a car spin around and around on the freeway, surrounded by other cars, thinking "that could be me"? Terrifying. Absolutely. Terrifying.

I stuck around as a witness to the accident, was late to the shower, and thank God I was carpooling with Paige who helped me stay calm and distracted me from my thoughts.

I don't want to discuss any more details because I haven't heard from the nice police officer who said he'd give me a call if white car's driver decides to file a report. He didn't take my insurance information, nor did he issue me a ticket or a warning. Basically, I'm not at fault, and thankfully no one was seriously injured. A visit to the chiropractor and massage therapist is what white car's passengers need.

On my way home from the shower, after dropping Paige off at her apartment, I got back on the freeway and had to merge with the other cars. Suddenly I was 16 again, and feeling overwhelmed and scared of these cars going so fast. I noticed that I was death-gripping the steering wheel, and my entire body was tense.

Paige said I'm in shock, and I know she's right. That car could have so easily been me instead. There's nothing like witnessing something like a car spinning across the freeway twice to give me a little perspective on driving, though I don't think I'll be driving anywhere for a few days.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Back in the swing


It's been an interesting week being back home and getting back into the routine. I've fought it tooth and nail, watching movies and reading books, playing scrabble online, rather than doing what needs to be done...cleaning out closets, vaccuming, going over the budget again...reality is such a kick in the pants sometimes. I think about how much I want to go back to Hawaii, but then if we lived there, our problems would follow us and we'd probably be worse off since it's so expensive there, and it's even harder to find work. So I'm getting back to my positive attitude despite some financial surprises (did I mention how much I despise our car). I have a busy social weekend ahead of me, full of dinners, bbq's, and even a baby shower.

One thing that I realized during the trip, and rang very true after we returned to L.A. was that I don't believe Matt & I are here for the long term. We may be here a few years, maybe more, but this isn't where we belong. I don't feel like this is my "home". I know that if we didn't have such wonderful, supportive friends here, it would have been easier to leave L.A. altogether in February rather than simply moving to Glendale. What I need to continue working on is creating those elements that I miss about other places in my life here. Maybe join a book club, or a hiking group. Re-learn Japanese. Continue healthy habits (eating right and going swimming), keep in touch with friends that I don't get to see that often, and get that passion back for running a bed and breakfast...so much to think about, but I don't have to make these decisions today. I will not anticipate, rather I need to work on taking each day as it comes and being proud of what I've accomplished that day, even if all I did was feed the cats and make the bed.

And with all that, right now I just want to take a nap. Instead I'm off to work!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

More Hawaii Pics

Dad and Aunt Sharon on a lovely Sunday morning. Those mountains were our view on the other side of the deck.

Saying goodbye to Oahu. We still miss that beach.

Feeling good in my new swimsuit at Waimanalo Beach!

Crazy random cliff jumpers on the north shore!

Our fantastic accommodations!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Some Hawaii Pics

The beach at Waimanalo State Park which was just 50 yards from our cottage. It was hard to leave this place.

Dad and the boys playing Bochi Ball at Lanikai Beach.

Julia and Matt...they look different after a couple of drinks...

The view from our balcony.

The happy family. Congratulations Julia!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Aloha from Oahu!

It's been an amzing trip so far and we still have 3 days left. We've been to Waimea Beach, Lanikai beach, dinner at Lucy's in Kailua, and twice we've been to a fantastic little place in Kailua called Boots & Kimo's where they have the most delectable macadamia nut pancakes (Emilie, when you and Matt arrive, you have to make a stop here. It's a must!). I've certainly got a tan, which will require very little work this summer. I've loved nearly every minute with my family and aside from the bickering that ensued yesterday, I realize how lucky we are to be here and together, in this place, this tropical wonder in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. I've had some time to reflect on myself and who I've become, and while I've made strides in some areas, there are still some things that I have to do. Who knows what will happen today, tomorrow, or next year? I'm going to continue to work on living in the present and what better place to do that than in Hawaii?

And being 50 yards from Waimanalo Beach doesn't hurt either. :)

Monday, May 11, 2009

Aloha!

Today we leave. I was packing well into the night while Matt continuously worked on his script, which I have to say worked out perfectly. His calm, focused manner allowed me to get the laundry done, sort out the clothes that I need to take as opposed to wanting to take. This morning I have just one more major task, and that is to take our car into the mechanic so they can fix our leaky radiator while we're gone.

Weather on Oahu today: 90 degrees. It'll feel just like home!

Tankini? Check.
Sunscreen? Check.

Yep, that's about all I have in my suitcase.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Preparations for Aloha

On Monday we leave for the infamous 9 day trip to Oahu for Julia's graduation. It's really only infamous in my head because of all the planning I've done, and the craziness that's ensued with who's coming and who's not. I am thrilled to be going and yet don't feel that I deserve to go. I don't feel that I've worked hard enough to deserve such a special and fun trip, but then my friends have said I'm crazy, that I work hard, and that I should go and have fun. So I keep that in my head and I'm getting to the point where I'm not going to get down on myself anymore. We will be 50 yards from the beach for goodness sake, so I will just go and work on my tan, hike some beautiful trails, eat some good food, and have fun with my family.

We are also preparing ourselves for some good friends to move away. Our very close friends, Gayvin and Eric, are moving to Northern California (like way north of San Francisco) and while we'll see them a few more times before they leave, and during the year while they're gone, it still stings. I'm not going to dwell on it, though, because they are still here, and so are we (they move a week after we return on the 21st).

Aloha means hello and goodbye. So it's hello Oahu and goodbye friends. But neither one is forever, and I'm ok with that.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Processing

It's been an interesting few weeks. Lots to think about and changes are on their way (no, I'm not pregnant). It's all too overwhelming and exciting (and sad, too) to think about so to put in on the internets would take more time and energy than I'm willing to give right now. I will, eventually, but right now I need to get ready for work (which I'm enjoying) and just enjoy the process of...well, processing everything that's been happening.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Catching Up

Courtesy of Brie. The happy newlyweds, Emily and Michael!

I went to Seattle healthy but tired, and came back to L.A. tired and with a nasty cold. I spent my first day at work in a fog of day-quil, followed by a few sleepless nights thanks to coughing and hacking. My poor husband. His first few nights back at home and his wife can't seem to stay quiet. :(
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It's been a busy but good week aside from being sick. I've caught up on some posts for my blog and am thoroughly excited about my new part-time job. Working on Sunset & Fairfax is just a hoot. It's such a different community than from where I live, so it's great to go outside and people watch for a few minutes. It's wonderful to be working with and for a friend who is excellent at explaining what I need to do, especially since I've never done bookkeeping before. I feel bad interrupting her all the time!
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The wedding was amazing. Em looked beautiful and Michael looked very handsome. I got to see friends that I almost never get to see during my frequent trips up North. For the first time, I felt a huge pull to move to Tacoma since we moved to L.A. back in 2005. (4 years this year, sheesh!) I know that we might be back eventually, but I'm still determined to make this city work for us and not the other way around!
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All in all, it's been a good, busy, productive week. I send my heart and love out to those who had rough days today - you know who you are - and wish for good news for loved ones.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Lovely Meows

With the last weeks being so stressful and today being quite hectic - packing and cleaning up this place is hard to do by myself - my little kitties have been such a comfort to me, especially when I'm lonely/sad/scared. Here's a shoutout to my precious kitties!
Precious PJ. He's just a love.

Princess Quinn, and don't you forget it! I took her to get groomed today and the groomer gave me $5 off because she was so sweet and well behaved!

The tomboy - Bean. She's Matt's cat through and through, and misses him terribly.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Limits

We all have our limits and I have definitely reached mine. I am a moody you-know-what these days and since Matt's not here I've unfortunately been taking it out on my friends. Bursting into tears at random moments, having a hard time sleeping, finding comfort in food and friends...thank goodness I've known them long enough that they're not telling me to bugger off.

I am tired of talking about how I'm doing, how Matt's doing, how my life has been these last weeks, especially the last few days. I don't want to think about friends possibly moving, family members dying, phone bills...my inbox is full.

Check out his blog, and that'll give you a good idea of how we're both doing. Em's wedding on Saturday will be a welcome relief from the stresses of everyday life.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Comfort

When Matt & I moved to Puyallup (pronounced pew-al-up), I started a new job as assistant director of a daycare (kids from wee newborns to challenging 12 year olds). Depression set in as I hated my job but did my best because those kids deserved better. I gained weight almost immediately and was grieving my grandma's sudden passing. Days were filled with naps and eating, and more sleep. And eating. I found so much comfort in food. Finally I saw a counselor that knew what she was talking about (and I was also ready to listen), and diagnosed me with severe depression. I burst into tears and called a good friend afterwards who told me that depression isn't always a life-long struggle. Sometimes it's just temporary. So I started taking anti-depressants and for the first time in a long time, I felt normal. I didn't feel out of control. I could handle my emotions! I wasn't abnormal! Through counseling and this medication, I worked through my issues and was done with being medicated after one year. Of course, after Mom died, I went back on meds and to counseling for awhile (I'm off the meds, but still in counseling).

These days, when depression hits, I force myself to go out and distract myself from the thoughts and moods in my head. I still find a lot of comfort in food. In Washington, I'd cook a lot of comfort food to make myself feel better (and also warm myself off beacuse it was frickin cold!) Macaroni and cheese, tuna casserole, cheesecake, chicken strips, chicken noodle soup, all with salads that were heavy on cream-based dressing. It's no wonder I gained 20 pounds. Today I still struggle with my relationship with my old comforting friends. I don't buy snacks, ice cream, soda becuase I'll eat it. It's hard, but what's worth more? Drinking water and eating apple slices or feeling guilty because I ate a box of cheez-its in 2 days and now I have to work it off? It's a struggle every day for me to make the right choices when it comes to food, and lately, I need to find comfort in my real friends rather than that 1/2 pint of Ben and Jerry's that is still in my freezer.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Like a fish in water

Gayvin and I have been going swimming 3 times a week for almost the past month and I can't believe how much I'm enjoying it. It's far less impactful on my joints and I feel as though I'm burning more calories. I think I'm even starting to show some weight loss around my mid-section which is always a good thing! I may not be a size 6 ever again, but I'm doing my best to look and feel good about the body I have been given. The best part is going with a friend and talking part of the time. Then we start doing laps and it's great to have someone else there to keep tabs and motivate you. I am motivated by her being in constant motion, always trying to keep up with her.

Every Thursday we have a little routine. We go swimming and then head over to downtown Glendale for the farmers' market to split lunch at a delightful little cafe called The Lunchbox. We split the amazing gyro sandwich - the best one since I've left Seattle - and munch to on delicious chips and a drink. All for under $10 total! With the exception of today, we then usually hit the farmers' market and wind up feeling really good about how we've spent our day and how we are being good to ourselves and our health. Going swimming always puts me at ease. I release so much pent up stress, anxiety, even anger and sadness. I wish we could go every day, but I guess 3 times a week will have to do!

Bonus to living in Southern California - I get to go swimming in an outdoor pool year-round!

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

What a day...

Nothing that $3.00 margaritas can't fix! :) Woohoo!

Well, it's a temporary fix. Matt is having a tough time in Washington and he got some bad news today. Until he shares it on his blog, or with others, it's really not my place to say on the Internet but it's safe to say that eventually, we'll be back for a funeral. I miss him terribly and wish he was coming home soon. But I'll stay tough and get through the next week because that's what I do. It's amazing when you realize your own strength. Friends help. :)

It seems that everyone is having a tough time these days. Emotions are running high, stress is rampant, and so many of my dear friends are out of work and finances are just...UGH...(need I say more?) So it's with that in mind that I'm attending church with my friend Cindy on Easter Sunday. I'm not religious, but I do consider myself spiritual, and maybe going to a place of worship with a good friend is what my spirit needs to get re-focused and re-centered.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Random Pics

Jeremy is stah-ving! And so is Cordy, apparently!

Don's just smokin', that's all I can say.

Yeah...I snapped this picture just wanting to get a shot of the barbershop quartet, and this photo turned into something else entirely...

Matt D, Paige, and Jessica in line for a ride at DISNEYLAND!!!

Really proud of this picture. The Kyoto Grand Hotel is reflected in the water of their Garden on the 3rd floor in Downtown L.A.

By Myself

Matt is in Seattle/Tacoma for the next few weeks helping out his family.

It's a strange feeling being the one holding down the fort. For the past few years, it's been me that leaves to help out and leave him here, at home. It's a strange role reversal and suddenly it occur ed to me is how he must have felt when I was gone in Seattle for 2 months, helping Dad and Katie adjust after Mom died. How frustrated and lonely this position is, how I just want to keep myself busy and entertained, exhaust myself so it's easier to sleep at night.

He and I talked the other night and he mentioned what a strange marriage we've had. So much time apart and yet we always make it work. Our relationship certainly isn't conventional, that's for sure, but then what relationship is? Each one has a unique connection and quirks that make it tick, that make us want more from ourselves and the other person involved. These last few weeks I've certainly come to appreciate and count on friends that I'd lost that connection with. Or maybe lost is the wrong term...that connection had just been resting.

I know that famous quote "distance makes the heart grow fonder". But it's dangerous to like having the bed all to myself so I can sleep in the middle of it. It's not OK to get used to doing things my way all the time. It is difficult when the other person comes back and suddenly the old routine is back. It was really hard when I came back from those 2 months away, and emotionally I was completely spent. I imagine it will be the same for him, and the adjustment will be different because the circumstances are different. Marriage is about being together, no matter what. I never thought mine would have so much travel back and forth involved, especially by ourselves. But again, we always seem to make it work. And when the 16th rolls around and I get to see him again, this will all be worth it.

(I love you, babe. I'll be in Seattle soon. Hang in there, you're stronger than you think. :) Don't worry, I'm staying busy and I'm OK.)

Friday, April 03, 2009

There Is Hope!

It's amazing how when you really put yourself out there, really try to do the right thing, and do your best to remain positive (I've failed at that later part this week), the universe sees fit to reward you. My friend Katy has been needing some help at work for some time now, and I've been needing a part time job for a few weeks now. Will this work out? I certainly hope so and I have a meeting with the company on the 13th to see if we'd be a good fit for eachother. Matt is looking at tutoring jobs that can pay up to $35 an hour. (And if I'm not a good fit, Matt expressed interest in the job with Katy as well.) I'm not counting on anything yet, but really I am feeling much more hopeful that things just might work out (for now).

(And a big thank you to Katy for telling me about this position!)

(Thank you also to friends and family who've counseled and listened this past week. I'm extremely grateful.)

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Survival Mode

I have many reasons to be in this mode, most of which for what my husband is going through right now with his family. My mother gave me some wise advice when I got married - "Protect your in-laws." And that's what I'll do, but it's safe to say that I'm worried for Matt and his family. I'm not sure what will happen, I have never been in this situation before. Matt is in Seattle now, and I can only support him in what he chooses to do from here on out. If you pray, please pray for his family. If you send loving/supportive thoughts/energy, please do so. I'm worried.

As for me, I'm in survival mode for other things too. Personal things that are slowly being uncovered and I don't want to get into on the internets. I am still mad, still angry, still pissy and moody. Not a pleasant person to be around these days. I'm easily distracted and just want to escape. I think Cindy said it best in a blog post a few months ago - "I just don't feel like being responsible today." Except instead of one day, it's been many days and I need to keep going, to keep living.

I wish I could say more, but really I just wanted to get this out in the open, where I'm at and where I stand. I thoguht I'd get out of this mode in a few days but I think it will be a few weeks, maybe a month or more. I just have to ride this wave and see where it goes.

P.S. We did have some fun last night, thank goodness!

Friday, March 27, 2009

New SLO location!

To have my new blog as part of my upcoming website, I had to move it to wordpress. Sorry for the confusion but best I take care of this now rather than later on!

http://liveslo.wordpress.com.

Hope you'll visit soon!

I finally understand our economy's troubles!


The Crisis of Credit Visualized from Jonathan Jarvis on Vimeo.

Thanks to Katy for posting this video in the first place! :)

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Mood

I'm just in a funk today. Nothing bad has happened. Went swimming at the fabulous outdoor pool with Gayvin, went to the farmer's market, picked up yummy veggies and had a delicious lunch. Pagie B came over for a bit and now I'm wandering the internets in search of something to help me feel better (this is why I don't keep snack food in the house -- emotional eating is not good for me). I don't really want to be around anyone now, don't want to talk about "it", just in a funk. I don't want anyone to make me feel better, I just want to let it pass without feeling the pressure to have to be perky and happy.

I hate this mood. Maybe I should go take a nap and see if that helps get rid of it.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Momentary Financial Panic

About once a month, I go through a momentary panic where I truly believe we're going to run out of money tomorrow, that no raises are coming, investors and managers won't sign Matt, movies won't get made and we'll be left in the dust, broke and heartbroken.

Yes, I'm being dramatic, but at midnight that's about the best I can do.

I worry that we'll have to move back to Seattle. I worry that we'll have to move in with my Dad or his folks and be reliant on others rather than ourselves. I worry that we'll never not be broke, that we'll never stop living paycheck to paycheck. I worry that I'll never stop worrying and yet I'm always hoping that maybe next month, maybe next year, things will be better.

I've been talking about how confident I am about our financial situation but the truth is I'm terrified. Really and truly. I don't know what's going to happen in the next few years. We want a house of our own, and a child. But there's this giant black cloud of graudate student loans in deferement that seems like it will never be paid off. Our monthly bills aren't completely covered, even though we have cut costs significantly. More than significantly. I guess I shouldn't have bought that domain for my new website. And I didn't really need red flats. Shouldn't have gone to Disneyland today (even though we got in for free). See how I make myself feel better? Ugh.

I have to get creative. I have to be confident in the (occasional) fun (on sale/clearance) purchases I do make while sticking to a strict budget. We have to cut our grocery bill even more, and look into buying bottled water rather than continuing with the water delievery service. We've already cut cable and his health insurance payments went down.

I don't meant to whine, but this is definitely a sign of the times. I want to look back on this time in our lives and be proud of the decisions and choices we made rather than thinking What the eff did we DO?

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Updated New Blog

Hi Folks!

I've been posting on my new blog http://liveslo.blogspot.com. It's full of tips for travling to this wonderful place and also includes some handy travel tips in general, especially useful during this tough economic time. Please follow it and/or check it out when you can. I'd love to hear your thoughts and suggestions! Postings will be up every M/W/F.

Thanks in advance!

P.S. We went to Disneyland today. Pictures to come!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Going UP?

There is nothing like hiking up and up to tell you how out of shape you are (still). But I did better than I thought I would, and overall yesterday morning was a perfect day for a hike at the Los Angeles National forest. We didn't find our original destination - the waterfall. Instead we stayed on the fire road (did I mention the trail went UP). My calves are still feeling it this morning!

A family pic.

Beautiful views all the way UP.

Paige and Katy rock!

The Early girls.

At the top!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Productivity

I am very proud of myself these last few days. I've been working out, resting when needed, having fun when the time arises, and spending my "off" working on my website with Paige T and researching for my SLO blog.

I definitely don't feel useless anymore. :)

We also bought our tickets for Seattle next month. We are going to Emily's wedding, and I can't wait. It's sure to be a fun and classy affair, as that's Em's personality.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Pondering Thoughts

I am really loving my life these days.

The man and I are doing so well, I'm nourishing relationships and releasing tension from others. I'm just feeling GOOD. And I like it! I can't explain why. Maybe it has to do with finding my career path and spending time being creative. I've taken to posting a few articles a month for a friend's blog which has included spending more time writing and editing my work. That has been so helpful because soon, I'll have my own website with my own content and be working on my creative process every single day. How exciting! I've also created a profile on YELP to encourage me to write reviews on restaurants that Matt and I go to.

There are some friends that I'm sorely out of touch with. You know who you are, and I'm really sorry. I promise to call this week and check in.

Now if I could just get back on track with eating better, I think I could upgrade from "good" to "excellent"...the no-drinking-soda is helping...

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Awwwww, Freak Out! (Just a little)

I'm having moments of momentary panic and anxiety.

The development of my future website and the strong resurgence of commitment to my travel blog, finally figuring out my path and direction in life, it's all overwhelming. Exciting, definitely, but overwhelming in such a way that all I want to do is walk (or sometimes run) from the office as fast and as far away as possible. I have searched long and hard for some sort of direction in my life in terms of my career, and it's always been here, just waiting to be pursued. It's funny how we don't notice those things right that are right in front of us, yelling and waving to be noticed and cultivated.

In any case, I'm trying very hard to not pepper Paige A. with loads of questions about what to do because she already told me on Sunday what needs to happen next. I just have to settle my anxiety by getting things done. I must force myself to stay in this char and make progress!

Please check out my new blog and let me know what you think. It's really not all that new, but I'm really determined to post 3x a week so that maybe, just maybe, I could get sponsorship. This is what I love to do, and I'm hoping you'll be as excited as I am.

http://liveslo.blogspot.com