Sunday, December 13, 2009

The Kind Gift

It’s probably safe to say that most little girls, at one point or another, dream of their wedding day. It’s also safe to say that when those dreams occur, it’s consisted of common aspects of what makes a wedding. A gown. Flowers. The Cake. Maybe a dream about a glorious veil cascading around; flowing and dancing as the one you love more than anything becomes your husband.

It is these aspects that create the fond memories once the big day finally arrives. But there are other things; unexpected and unplanned things that bears a permanent mark on what becomes the story of your wedding day.

My husband and I made the decision to elope in Las Vegas, Nevada. We wanted our day to be private, relaxed, and easy. I was met with inquisitive looks by several people when I mentioned “relaxed” “wedding” and “Vegas” in the same sentence. However, Vegas can be anything you want it to be when it comes to wedding planning. We chose a small little Victorian chapel on The Strip and planned on a small ceremony followed by professional photographs at various locations on Las Vegas Boulevard and dinner at our favorite restaurant in the city. We certainly looked the part of a typical bride and groom. I chose a gown made creamy ivory chiffon, satin, and beads with a beautiful train. The fabric felt cool against my skin and the skirt flowed around my feet. My husband looked amazingly handsome in his tux and cymbidium orchid boutonniere. We had flowers, a photographer, and a cake. Everything a little girl dreams of; just on a smaller scale in the grandeur of an entertainment capitol of the world.

We were blissfully happy. My cheeks ached from a day of smiling and laughing.

Once we had finished taking pictures around Las Vegas Boulevard with our hired photographer, we went inside The Bellagio to celebrate our new marital status at one of the Hotel’s restaurants. The Bellagio is situated in the near-center of the Las Vegas Strip and towers over a massive man-made lake that doubles as a fountain. Every fifteen minutes, in the evening, the fountains are set to music and lights. The water dances to the beat of the music – Sinatra, AndrĂ©a Bocelli, big band songs of the 40s - and the effect is awe inspiring. I have spent a lot of time in front of that hotel, gazing at the grandeur of the hotel itself and taking in the beauty of those majestic fountains.

The restaurant we chose to celebrate our marriage was situated inside the hotel and overlooked the Fountains of Bellagio. The entire back wall of the restaurant was made up of magnificent arched windows and drapey velvet curtains. Candles flicker on the tables and the lights are dimmed allowing for most of the light inside the restaurant to come from the dancing waters themselves. The only thing that could make it perfect is a glass of wine; and they have that too.

We were seated at a round table near the windows, and within seconds I observed that we were definitely the only bride and groom in the place. We followed the hostess to our table as I wandered between chairs and other patrons, with my hem brushing everything within its reach. Every face within a ten-table radius turned our way and smiled. I heard muffled voices saying “look at that dress!” and “congratulations you guys!” I felt almost celebrity and I would be lying if I said I didn’t enjoy it just a little bit.

After we were seated and ordered our first round of drinks, I held my bouquet close to my nose and took in the sweet scents of Casablanca lilies, roses, and orchids. The flowers were tied with a sweet satin ribbon; soft to the touch. The fountains outside were reaching a crescendo as I drank in everything the stimulated my senses. Roses, candles, pinot grigio, the twinkling of the light through the water, the music reverberating as the fountains came alive. As we sat, knees touching under the table, I could see dozens of people outside at the edge of the water. Onyx silhouettes illuminated by the radiance of the thoroughfare outside. I took several deep breaths trying to commit everything to memory. I thought the night was winding down but little did I know the best part had yet to be. There is beauty in sweet surprises and kindness that runs deep even in strangers.
We celebrated with delicious cuisine and libations interrupted by restaurant patrons clinking their forks against their water glasses demanding that the newlyweds kiss. A roomful of strangers and it felt like a grand reception with dear friends. It felt like community.

My husband and I conversed with those around us, laughing and commemorating the evening with patrons whose names I don’t even know. Where there is unspeakable joy, there can be friendship. In a world filled with hatred, crime, pain, loss, and despair there are moments where normalcy creeps in and fills you with the gentle kindness of those who share a piece of your heart looking for refuge and solace; finding it in the joy of new beginnings.

My husband and I had just finished our appetizers when the restaurant manager appeared at our table. Silently, they arranged an extravagant ice bucket and bottle of champagne at our table. I exchanged looks with my groom that said ‘I didn’t order this, did you?’ The words hadn’t even crossed my lips when he shook his head telling me that he, in fact did not order the champagne bottle.

I turned to tell the wait staff that they had the wrong table, and before the words that had formed in my mind could be verbalized the manager said,
“We have a very special guest tonight. They are here, dining as well, and today is their fortieth wedding anniversary. They wanted to give you this bottle of champagne as a gift and said to tell you that this day is a very good day to be married. Congratulations.”

Stunned, I thought about these strangers celebrating their own mile-stone and sharing this sweet gesture of a wedding gift with us on our first day of marriage. One day. Forty years. Unspeakable kindness.

As the first two glasses were poured, tears filled my eyes and spilled over. I’d love to tell you I cried sweet tears that slipped down my cheeks, eyes glistening in the candlelight, but I would be lying. It may have started out that way but I quickly transitioned into a scrunched-faced snot-flying sob complete with heaving shoulders. Lovely. I asked the manager if I could personally thank them and was informed that they preferred to remain anonymous. Respectfully, I asked if the restaurant could inform them that we were extremely grateful for such a thoughtful and considerate gift and to tell them that their generosity brought me to tears. Kindness comes in all shapes and sizes; sometimes it even comes in the form of a champagne toast.

After the last drop had been emptied, I requested that the bottle be wrapped up so I could take it home with me. The champagne bottle sits on my bureau where I can see it daily. It serves to remind me that kindness comes in the least expected places. A kind heart and sweet gift. We may not know their names, or their faces, but it is actions and gestures that impact our hearts with kindness and joy.

Kindness knows no bounds.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The Blossom

"What you don't see with your eyes, don't witness with your mouth."

I try to refrain from making generalizations, blanket statements that shouldn't be applied to everyone. However, I believe all of us are guilty for gossipping at one time or another. I once heard someone say that trying to undo a rumor is like trying to unring a bell. Once it has been spoken, it reverberates and branches out to depths not anticipated when the whisper was first spoken.

A drop of water. A ripple effect.

Maybe you're guilty of it too. I know I am. Or maybe you've been victim of someones bitter tongue. I know I have been.

She said what about me?

Gossip can lash out with an unseen force, its scars are sometimes unseen but they imprint on one's soul ensuring you carry with you someone elses opinion and label for who they think you are. And while we learn of what other's negative views of us are we become guilty for gossip too. We're talking about being talked about.

But it's not always easy to hear bitter things and promptly put them away. And where do you put something that has brushed your heart? There's no internal filofax for hurtful words. Is there?

Sometimes I have ideas of what I want to write about but I will first look up the topic online to gain some sort of inspiration on where I want to take the topic. Maybe it's a quote, or a song. Sometimes I find a picture, or I take one that ends up inspiring to write the words that had teetered on the edge of my fingertips. Today I googled (ick...I googled) one word: "gossip". I expected some witty quote or powerful paragraph to pop up that would be the perfect match for what I was looking for. Instead the entire first page of search results returned things like "HOT celebrity gossip!" "GOSSIP on myspace!" and links similar to the aforementioned.

We live in a world obsessed with celebrities and gossip. We're swallowed by needing to know when, in reality, we really don't need to know.

And while these things surround us they also unknowingly can consume us. This week I heard several things that have been said about me to others. I've been gossipped about. And while defending myself, I caught myself saying things like "ha! She's one to talk!" and "Really..THAT coming from HER?" And thus I gossip too.

And it when I look at myself I see that chapter of who I am as withered and faded. A loss of vitality and sustenance of the person I want to be. When you look at a flower, it's easy to focus on the brown and worn withered edges. But we can all strive to be a beautiful blossom growing in hope, growing in patience, growing in peace.

Bitter tongues can blossom into beautiful petals.

I took the photo below this past spring while at a glass exhibit at a local botanical garden. The pink bloom captured me. It's soft beauty protruding from needles. Pure beauty from the thorns of the cactus plant. It serves to remind me that I can not change sharp words spoken that I later regret. I can't change what someone else is or what they say about me or my husband. And I cannot control being punctured by someone needles of gossip. But from the sharp cut can come something beautiful. And that is the blossom.

Monday, August 10, 2009


Twice a month I make my way to Target to browse and usually end up spending no less than $50. I love that store and all of it's worthless crap.

Did I really need that candle holder? Probably not, but it was calling my name and wouldn't let me leave without it.

Besides, where else can you buy milk, zip-lock bags, and underwear?

Last week I went there by myself late in the evening and looked around for almost an hour. I was feeling a little down about some things, and if there is anything more therapeutic to mild depression than shopping, I'm not sure what it is.

If you know, can you please share? My bank account would love you for it.

There are times I find myself thinking about the past and what I would like to change. There are some memories that look somewhat unattractive and choices made that lack wisdom and thought. The truth is, trying to change the past is like trying to grab a fist full of water. The efforts are futile and the results are always the same.

I've always seen myself as a "fixer". To say my family had dysfunctional moments would be an understatement, but nevertheless, as a kid I would always try to find the right things to say, or the right things to do to make everything right.

Things would be so much easier if you could wrap up all hurts in a tidy box with a neat little bow. Or maybe it would just look better from the outside. It may be more work to gather, comfort, and try to mend, then it is to sit back and watch the storm blow through. But sometimes watching the storm blow through while your hands are tied requires a greater strength: being weak. Sometimes the pain has to wash over you before you can find new growth in the ashes. I know I'm being vauge, but if you have been in the hole you will understand where I am coming from.

The year I turned 4 my parents put together a birthday party for me and invited over 7 or 8 little girls my age from the neighborhood to celebrate. They celebrated the way most 4 year olds do with lots of "mine!" and "no!". It wasn't exactly smooth and there was quite a bit of quarrelling. My dad got a lot of it on film and there is one part where we are all gathered around the kitchen table for birthday cake. You can see me observing two of the girls very closely who were in mid-fight over who got the better paper plate. I had the handle of my fork in my mouth, brow furrowed, staring. I piped up in an attempt to intervene and fix by saying "STOP ahh-guing (arguing) you guys!"

I didn't even see the cake in front of me with 4 flickering flames waiting for me to extinguish with whatever a 4 year old wishes for.

I was sidetracked. Mending.

Life isn't free of pain. It isn't free of loss, confusion, despair, or hurt. Tears fall. Hearts break. But it is these pieces, these tiny pieces that make up the whole picture. And there is freedom in making the holes whole.

And sometimes if you look deep enough, you will find beauty in the cracks.

Back to the Target trip.

I was wandering through the kitchen gadget aisles in an attempt to find a Cupcake Courier (which I have since determined is elusive an next to impossible to locate) when I stumbled upon a perfectly white porcelain pitcher. I have a lot of pitchers in my house and really didn't see any need for another one. But I started thinking about a post I read awhile back on another blog. The writer had just lost her daughter, and shattered a pitcher as a form of therapy. She wrote a beautiful entry about it and it has stuck with me ever since. I haven't lost child, but some hurts have certain common denomiators and it's easy to identify with similar aspects of suffering. To be honest, haven't we all suffered in some way?

As I stood in aisle 17b next to the slow cookers and toasters, something clicked. I had to have that pitcher. I need to throw it against the wall and shatter it.

Imperfectly perfect.

We are all shattered, and those pieces aren't always beautiful and some of the edges are still sharp, but there is grace in the gaps and perfection in the brokeness. It is the broken pieces that have gotten me here, now. I am made of cracks and chips. I am not perfect, nor am I smooth or flawless. But it is those pieces that make the bigger picture. From struggles grow strength; wisdom from changes.

Each piece has contributed to who you are, now.

I plan on rebuilding the shattered pieces to serve as a reminder to where I have been and how that has contributed to my whole.

There is strength in the brokeness.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Cue The Circus Tunes

I've been absent from the blog again. I'm really good at this neglect thing and I'm thinking that it may be a sign that I shouldn't reproduce for two reasons. The first being that the children probably wouldn't survive because I'm good at neglecting things (I walk by the flower department of a grocery store and the roses immediately turn's actually quite impressive), and the second reason being that I honestly don't think I should continue these genes. I have some pretty strange phobias, I lack rationality at times, and innate objects sometimes scare the crap out of me.

When I was a kid I had close to 100 dolls. Dolls of every variety from stuffed rabbits, porcelain, QP dolls, Cabbage patch kids, to Ice Cream Dolls and lots of basic Baby Dolls. I had a wall of Dolls that hereby shall be called "The Wall of Dolls".

The Wall of Dolls is the reason I learned how to sleep completely under the covers with no ventilation whatsoever. I'm fairly certain the increased levels of CO2 have caused some sort of permanent brain damage...or maybe it's just the weird genes.

These dolls would stare me down all during the night. It didn't help matters that the shelves where built into the wall across the room from the foot of my bed in perfect position for me to stare at The Wall of Dolls and for them to stare back. It made for a few really awesome sleepless nights.

Perhaps the most prominent doll would be a clown doll that originally belonged to my sister. If you took one look at this creepy little bastard you would fully understand why he was left behind when she moved out. I can't imagine what parent would buy him in the first place (oh wait, my mom did - that 'splains it). He had a stuffed body with stuffed arms and legs and a hard plastic painted face. His hair was stop-light red and stuck out in all directions that perfectly complimented the crazed look in his eye. I tried to google search for this doll and was unable to turn up anything that could remotely compare to the demented level of fear that this doll could conjure up in a child's brain. This is as close as I could find.

As a delightful bonus, my room was sprinkled with the sand-bag clowns that were so popular in the early 90's at Hallmark. Eample A:

I would have much preferred 500 sandbag clown dolls over the Hellish figure that sat high atop The Wall of Dolls. There he sat, each night, staring and waiting. All rationality tells me I am wrong, but I am certain he came to life after 9:30 and stood at the foot of my bed casting a demonic gaze my way. I'm also fairly certain he likes to snack on small children with a side order of infant baby.
One night in the middle of summer, I could no longer sleep cocooned under the blankets. I threw my covers back, grabbed a chair out of the guest room and climbed up to the top shelf of The Wall of Dolls. Grabbing the clown by the arm, I yanked him from his lair and threw him so hard into the closet he may have sustained some blunt force trauma to the head.
The next day I dug him back out of the closet and returned him high atop his evil little perch. This cycle went on nightly for probably 4 years. For some reason, my mom was pretty fond of that clown and would have belted me if she knew I threw him, nightly, into the depths of my clothes closet.
Some things are better left unknown.
Besides, it's not easy growing up in a room full of glass, button, and painted eyes. To this day I refuse to have anything hanging on my wall that has a face. The Mona Lisa gives me the creeps. It's almost phobic.
Now, if I ever saw a clown version of the Mona Lisa, I'd probably freak out screaming.
I have some good genes for that, t00.

Saturday, June 27, 2009


I haven't felt myself this week, which basically translates to me being nuttier than usual paired with actions that further Adam's theory that I am missing some marbles.

I have felt like my face was going to split open all week, so I took a benadryl thinking it would help with my sinuses. It did help a bit, but it turned me into a cracked-out whack-case that most people mistook as a drug addict. I really wanted to just curl up in bed and hibernate for the next six weeks, but there were errands to run so I put on a brave face, over-sized sunglasses, pulled my greasy hair back, and ventured out into public spaces.

First off, the "slicked back pony-tail" doesn't look good on me. At all. I so desperately wish I could be one of those girls who can slop their hair into a pile with no make-up and look completely hot. But, alas, I am not one of those girls. Instead, I look like a tweaker who just barely rolled out of the campsite complete with a hint of a double chin.

I have no idea what a "hint of a double chin" has to do with being on a campsite, but I had to throw it in somewhere in hopes that I would get some pity.


The sunglasses managed to cover my dark under eye circles and puffy upper eyelids. It's a genuine gift that large sunglasses are "fashionable" right least something is working in my favor. I can leave the house looking like a fly and still be considered "fashion forward". Or something.

Adam and I toddled over to Wal-greens to print some digital pictures. My mother-in-law's birthday is this week and I figured she would want nothing more than a framed print of one of MY photos. What a gift! I thought about autographing it and inscribing it with "thanks for being my biggest fan", but decided that was a bit much. I would like to charge her for it and make a small profit on my sweet skills, but thought that would be a little inappropriate as well. Charging the mother-in-law for her own birthday gift is about as classy as me walking up to a Victoria's Secret employee and saying "Y'all got any underbreeches to cover up these thar fat dimples on mah butt?!?!"


So while I wish I was the female version of Ansel Adams, I'll just keep dreaming away. Once I went back to Wal-greens to pick up the pictures, the photo counter employee complimented me on the print by saying it's "one of the best pictures I have ever seen come through here" and said she wished she "could have one of the prints for herself."

I giggled with glee and nearly came over the counter to plant a sloppy one on her cheek. She will never know what she did for my ego.

Although, she probably was just complimenting me because she was scared of the greasy pony-tail that was taking on a life of it's own.

After wal-greens, I was on a photography high. That, mixed with benadryl makes for complete lunacy. Adam and I decided to stop off for a gourmet dinner at "Rubio's". That boy really knows how to treat a lady. Nothing says romance like a $5 burrito plate complete with salsa in a little plastic cup. I still can't believe I managed to get him down the aisle!

After paying for our food, I took my paper cup in slow motion and stumbled over to the fountain soda machine. I suddenly became aware of everyone noticing the oily haired stumbling freak show and quickly tried to re-gain some sort of balance as I approached the ice dispenser. I raised my cup and filled it with ice, then sloooowly turned to try to dispense some ice tea. Suddenly feeling like I was about to fall over from the room spinning, I grabbed onto the counter to regain some stability. The guy behind me gave me a look and I could tell he was getting irritated with me coming between him and an icy coke. I quickly darted over to the trash can and grabbed onto the side to keep from falling over. I think I feigned wiping something off my arm and threw a napkin in the trash. I turned, wobbling, to see a family of four labeling me as 'destitute'.

I ate my burrito in slow-mo and spilled half a container of salsa (verde) on my gym shorts. If you ever are out of energy to invest in looking half-way human, I find that gym shorts can be worn to make people think you look hideous due to a strenuous 3 hour work-out. Just fake fitness, people.

I figured all dignity was out the window, so Adam and I sauntered over to BevMo for the 5 Cent Wine Sale. If I'm going to sport a greasy 'do and green salsa stained gym shorts, I'm going to do it right and pass myself off as a wino. The cashier carded me upon check out at which point I stared at him - with glazed benadryl eyes, and slurred "arrrrree you SEER-ious?" I guess he was, since his only response was to NOT respond and just look at me blankly as he labeled me "destitute."

I wobbled out to the car , dug up my license, wobbled back in, shoved it in his face and left with my 2 bottles of wine and 1 bottle of celebratory champagne.

Some things should just be celebrated.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Since Sliced Bread

At the age of 10 my mom decided that we would be leaving our Colorado residence behind and move across country to Vermont. The reasons are way too long to write here but involve nothing short of a messy messy divorce and the fact that she overheats if it's warmer than 43 degrees outside.

Just keeping it real, folks.


My mother is also a pack rat and has kept every school paper, drawing, note, nick knack, tangible item that any of us 3 kids, family member, or stranger could have conceivably deposited within our residence. If you are ever in need of $0.15 off a jar of Smuckers, mom might be able to drudge up a coupon for you, although it probably expired in 1985. Plus, it would take her two years to find it, so it's probably not worth the trouble. Although, the debacle that would surely ensue has the potential to be quite entertaining.

With that said, it took us nearly 2 years to pack up all of her crap mementos and belongings to move the 1925.92 miles across the country to the great white north. Yes. Two years. Two years of "tackling one room at a time" as she put it. If she had just hired movers to pack and move us, it probably would have taken two full size 18-wheelers. So, she sorted her way down to the volume acceptable for a family of 18.

Once we finally had everything in some semblance of order, mom had the Bekins truck packed with belongings and sent it on its 2K mile journey. Mom and I stayed behind packing the rest of our property that would fit into suitcases and be hauled by plane to the final destination. Of course, nothing goes as planned and the next two days were spent in a frantic frenzy of "flinging" unnecessary items in the trash and running in circles finalizing our plans.

Did I mention it was the middle of winter and I slipped 3 times hauling garbage to the trash bins?

Mom doesn't work too well with deadlines, so has the final 24 hour countdown to our departure started ticking away, so did her sanity and patience. We both (not my choice) stayed up the entire night before our flight freaking out over how much stuff was still left that didn't fit either a) on the moving truck b)in suitcases c) up our butts. In a state of delirium, a large quantity of "items" were left at our residence as mom ran out of both time and space to take care of everything. We frantically hustled to the curb with our bulging suitcases as our airport shuttle picked us up for the cross-country journey that is Denver to Denver Int'l Airport. We left the inside of our house looking like downtown Beirut and skipped into the sunset snow.


After sinking into a coma of exhaustion on the bus, mom woke me up upon our arrival to the airport. We unloaded our 17 suitcases at the curb and spent the next five hours checking luggage. There may have been a Bengal tiger or a small golf cart inside one bag for all I know. These things were bulging at the seams and I am so thankful one didn't actually burst because I would have died of embarrassment on the spot. After successfully ensuring that our plane would be flying on the heavy side, we ventured over to the security checkpoint.

All I can say about this next part is that we are both incredibly lucky that this was several years before 9/11.

We placed our jackets and carry-ons on the conveyor belt for x-ray and walked successfully through the metal detectors.

That carry-on, however, wasn't so lucky. Mom had managed to pack a 15" serrated bread knife into her carry on and sent the sucker right through the security screening.

I will say that again: My mom packed a fifteen inch long serrated bread knife in her carry on bag and sent it through the x-ray machine for all TSA security staff to view.

And no one said a thing about it.

I'm not sure which is worse. The fact that my mom thought she would need a serrated bread knife immediately upon our arrival to Vermont, or the fact that no one in the airport caught it.

For all I know, she had enough metal in her bag to construct a Winchester 1200 Defender.

We ventured to our gate and successfully boarded the plane. Much of that morning was a complete blur since I was running on zero sleep, but I will never forget her face once she realized that she had packed a bread knife and sailed through DIA Security like a pro.

If you ever find yourself on a flight sitting next to my mom and you need some bread sliced, she may be able to help a friend out.

Anyone hungry for sandwiches?

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


I got a phone call yesterday. One ring and then the caller hung up. A few minutes later, they called back. This time, they let it ring twice and then hung up. I pondered briefly who it might be and then went back to making mental lists of what needed to be done that day.

For the record, my list was something like this:

-laundry, whites
-mop floors
-return that awful swimsuit to TJ Maxx...the one that makes me look spare-tire(ish)

Also, for the record, I did none of those things and chose to play pathwords on facebook and browse the MAC Cosmetics website instead. Has anyone been able to pull off their "deep blue green" pigment eye color? If you have, I'd love to see pictures. I'm thinking about taking that leap but would probably end up looking like a baby doll whore, and am not sure I want to rock that look at this point in my life.


After the 40th round of pathwords, my phone rang yet again and this time, I was ready. I hit the answer key faster than you can say "prank call" and shouted like a grumpy grandmother into the phone with: "HELLO!?!?!?!"

It was my blog, Prudence, calling, and she was not happy that I had been neglecting her lately. She said, in between sobs, that she was feeling neglected and alone. It has been a month since her last update and she was feeling inadequate. I told to her to go soak her head, that I was busy with pathwords, and that maybe we could talk tomorrow.

I then hung up on Prudence before she had the chance to hang up on me, once more, like the nasty little tart that she is. Prudence, you really need to lighten up.

I may have been neglecting the blog lately, but one thing that has NOT been neglected is my calorie consumption. After discovering a 3 ingredient recipe for Peanut Butter Cookies, I made six batches within a 4 day period and have basically turned myself into a walking jar of Skippy. I decided it was finally time to lay off the P.B. after my last shift at work, during which a nurse was bathing her patient while wearing an N-95 mask, and blurted out "does anyone else smell peanuts?"

You'd think I would wake up and face reality, but instead I baked a red velvet cake the next day.

Whatever. At least it was peanut free.

I spent the first two hours of today laying on the couch like a comatose obese grizzly bear. I knew I should be at the gym burning off some calories, but instead practiced procrastinating. If I could get paid for my procrastination skills, I would seriously be a millionaire. While finding any means necessary to put-off my work-out, I was texting back and forth with my sister (thumbs need exercising too). The dog then proceeded to crawl behind the couch and throw up his entire gastric contents onto the carpet.

What bliss.

There is nothing quite like spending your day off cleaning dog puke from your carpet while the dog prances around like he just deposited a gift in your face.

After Vomitus Cleanius 2009, I made my way to the gym where I managed to crank out 2.62 miles on the treadmill without collapsing and seizing on the floor.

Small victories.

I have no idea where I am going with this other than to say that maybe by blogging skills (if there ever were any) have likely gone out the window in the last thirty days.

Does peanut butter cause loss of IQ points?

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Shredding It (Part 2)

As promised, Adam joined me for day 2 of the 30 Day Shred work-out. I could barely contain my glee since he did nothing but mock me and prolong my suffering during day 1. As I gasped and panted away - and could barely keep up - he was there to the rescue making sure to pause the DVD player at any moment that I lagged behind.

Thanks to Adam, I didn't miss a single jumping jack, push up, or crunch. And for each time that he hit "pause" I added another tablespoon of black olive puree to his dinners (olives are his enemy...simliar to my overwhelming hatred of spiders).

So on to day 2. He attempted to back out because I only have one set of weights. Oh no. No no no. I grabbed two family sized soup cans to use as weights for myself, and surrendered the hideous free weights for Adam's use.

He was not getting out of this.

After the warm-ups initial torture, we dropped to the floor for the first set of push ups. I'll admit he hung in there and did pretty well. After 3 more minutes of weights we collapsed into the push up pose for round two. At that point, sweat was beading on his forehead and he screeched:


Oh yes, my love. And we are only on minute 7 of this evil work out plan. Jillian, I hate you. Adam, I told you so.

As the minutes wore on, I could see him lagging a little behind and at one point he completely stopped to wipe his forehead (I think at the same point in the video when I was crying for water on day 1). I was cruising through Jillian's "butt kicks" as Adam was hunched over looking like he was 2 seconds away from collapsing. Or crying. Maybe both.

Me: Do you want me to pause the video? [insert snarky attitude here]
Jillian on DVD: There is NO reason to modify this move! Keep it up! I have 400lb people who do this move!
Adam: :GASP:Very funny::GASP GASP::
Me: Well, just let me know if you want me to pause it. I'd be happy to pause it if you need water or a break. Or a good cry. haha.
Adam: ::wheeze::Shut your face.::GASP PANT::

I'm loving this. What goes around comes around. I'm feeling very satisfied today.

And sore.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Shredding It

Last week I was browsing Amazon and came across a work-out DVD called "The 30 Day Shred". It features three levels - beginner, intermediate, and advanced. Each workout is 20 minutes. I thought it would be a great idea for when I can't get to the gym don't want to go to the gym. Twenty Minutes. Really easy, I thought.


The DVD features Jillian Michaels from The Biggest Loser, and her 2 body twin minions who collectively weigh 140lbs. I pretty much hate all three of them. My arms hurt just typing this and I'm not even done with day 2. Jillian may seem nice enough, but when your face is so red -30 seconds into the work-out - it matches the Red Velvet Cake you'd rather be eating, you know you have problems. As Jillian started screaming "You can do it! Now is not the time to quit!!" I started crying for water and let a few four-letter words fly in her skinny-arsed direction. I didn't know it was possible to sweat so hard in a twenty minute time frame. I think I may have had a small anxiety asthma attack somewhere between the first set of curls and the jumping jacks she puts you through.

Jillian on TV: Keep it up!!!! Only four more to go and you are NOT quitting now!


(for the record, Adam laughed at me and said I could have water when I finished the set. Jerk. Who's side is he on anyway?!)

Jillian on TV: Just think how great you will feel when you have completed this work-out series!

Me: HOW :::PANT::: IS ::PANT:: SHE EVEN ::PANT:: Carrying ::pant pant:: on a con ::PANT PANT:: versation right now?!?!:GASP PANT PANT:: WATER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! MY TRACHEA IS ON FIRE GIVEMEWATERRIGHTNOW!!!

I collapsed on all fours at that point. I think I was five minutes in. Adam made sure to pause the work-out...I wouldn't want to skip a single second, now would I?

To be completely honest, I got a little scared during the warm-ups. THE WARM-UPS. When a warm up simulates competitive swimming, you know you're in trouble.

The box cover declares that you can lose up to 20 pounds in 30 days. For the amount of misery I am in today, I think it should be 40lbs. Or I should have a written guarantee that Jillian herself will come out and train me if I don't lose the full 20. I may die first, though. I'm not sure yet.

After I completed the 20 minutes, I was crawling to the shower (if you think I am exaggerating, let me assure you that I am NOT) and trembling when Adam said "I think I'll do that with you tomorrow!"


Misery loves company. I can't wait for this.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

She Sparkles

For those of you that don't know, I was homeschooled from 1st grade through 8th grade. I attended a typical suburban kindergarten in Colorado before my mom decided to pull me out and teach me at home for the next 8 years. We moved to Vermont during 6th grade where I was homeschool for the next two years until I attended "normal" high school from 9th through graduation.

I could probably write an entire book on homeschooling and my opinions on it. For now, I will just say that my past has definitely molded me into who I am now. The decision to homeschool may not be an easy one, and it's definitely not for everyone.

And no, I never wore a denim jumper.

But I was sportin' some sweet hair that could also double as a scarf:

Last week, Adam and I went to a MLB game with a couple of friends. As I walked into the stadium I had a sudden flashback to my first day of public high school. Certain memories will come back to me with sudden urgency that serve to remind me where I have been, and how far I have come.

Having no real exposure to the typical American middle schooler, I was not prepared for what was ahead on that hot August morning back in 199_. Instead, I had spent the summer prior to my freshman year in blissful ignorance while everyone else hung out with friends they had made in elementary and shopped for the coolest back-to-school clothes. So, for starters, my mom picked out my wardrobe for the day. I'm lying. She picked it out for the entire year, but the first day of school is always the most important, and since it was basically my first day EVER let's multiply that level of fashion importance by a factor of 10.

She couldn't have picked anything worse if she tried. I nervously walked into high school wearing a bright-as-sun yellow top with black denim (I just vomited in my mouth again) cut-off shorts, yellow socks, and black keds.

It honestly elevates my heart rate just to put those facts in black and white. Or should I say black and yellow?

As if it couldn't get much worse, she insisted I wear a baseball cap that was completely covered in purple sequins. Apparently the atrocity still exists because I googled it and found an exact replica for your viewing pleasure:

They are still available for $10 if anyone wants one. Any takers? Anyone? Anyone?

Once I crossed the threshold, I made a beeline for the bathroom and tore the glittery monster off my head. Seriously, it had the capacity to pass all moral bounds and it was sitting on my cranium. I'd rather wear a marquee that flashed "HERE COMES THE NEW GIRL" in blinking lights.

As I shoved Sparkles into my bag, I glanced up at the bathroom mirror and saw the most horrific hat hair one could imagine. Seriously. There was NO fixing it, so I was left to determine which would be worse? The hat hair, or the hat. Just then a group of girls my age came prancing into the bathroom, took one look at my hat hair and my hat, made a 180, and pranced out as they erupted into raucous laughter.

And it wasn't even 7:05am yet. What joy.

Surrendering to defeat, I shoved the hat back on my head as the first bell rang. Immediately after the bell, the principle came on the PA system to remind everyone that there would be a school wide assembly in the Gymnasium.

School wide.


Sparkles and I merged in with the crowd and headed for the gym. I heard a sprinkling of giggles from behind me and felt pretty certain that I wanted to die. As I entered the gym I felt my first panic attack of the day wash over me as I saw over 1,000 bodies moving about. I sat in the first open place in the bleachers I could get to and twinkled away under the fluorescent lights.

Try to imagine what it's like going from 8 years of school where the largest class consists of 1 student, to walking into a packed gymnasium wearing sequins. Yeah, I have that pained look on my face, too.

If you're wondering, the day didn't get any better. In fact, I ate lunch crouched down in front of my locker and felt another bead of sweat run down my forehead each time a teacher asked me to stand up and introduce myself. Add one panic attack for each teacher that said "Nice hat."

I went home that afternoon, and made Sparkles "disappear".

Did you know homeschoolers are master magicians?

Monday, April 20, 2009


Working in health care is rewarding, hard, scary, and at times, wonderful. At times I feel as though I'm expected to have a magic wand inside my stethoscope, and when I am not able to fix it all?

Sometimes it feels like a failure.

Then again, there are some situations when I wish I didn't know something. I remember one night at work we had a very critical patient in the ICU. We, as a medical team, had done everything we could. But "everything we could" sometimes isn't enough. After the patient passed suddenly despite our efforts, I left the unit to finish some work on another floor. I walked past the waiting room where the family was seated and overheard one close family member speaking into his cell phone.

"Well, it was a bad accident but I think she is going to be ok. I hope that...I don't know. Just pray, ok?"

Sobbing into his cell phone he said "God be near us."

I knew she had passed and I knew the news they were about to receive. I heard the doctor's footsteps behind me, walking towards the waiting room to deliver the words no one wants to hear. As I distanced myself physically, I tried to distance myself mentally as well. The sounds of screams and sobs filled the hallway and I knew what they knew. Life was forever changed for them.

Life would be divided into before and after.

I couldn't help but think that just a few hours prior life was normal for them. Maybe they ate breakfast together and spent that saturday afternoon enjoying the weather or catching up with an old friend. Maybe they laughed as they drove down the road, not realizing that our paths would cross in a way no one wants to imagine. Maybe they discussed their plans for the week as I clocked in for my shift.

Tragedy can touch any of us. I truly believe life is more precious and delicate than most of us realize. And while none of us can fix it all or make anything perfect, I do believe we can take steps to humble ourselves and take nothing for granted.

Life isn't always fair, it's not always just, and at times we are inundated with a downpour of pain. I try to keep that in mind when I encounter someone who is less than *ahem* pleasant.

Later, that same night that I lost my patient, I encountered a family member in another unit that was less than polite with me. Let's face it, I was having a bad night. I felt down and I felt sad. This patient's daughter was rude and abrasive. She swore at me and I could do nothing right.

"If only she knew," I thought.

I left the room to fetch the millionth "petty" request for her. This time I think she had asked for a drinking straw. I had silently asked for a winning lottery ticket.

As I walked down the hall, the nurse stopped me and said "She just found out her mom's cancer is terminal. They are moving her to hospice tomorrow. Here's her new orders."

"If only I knew," I thought.

My approach with her was different, and although she remained verbally abusive and harsh, I knew that she was probably in the middle of her own personal storm and she probably didn't even realize how she was coming across.

What if, whenever you encountered rudness you treated that person as though they were in the middle of unknown pain? If you treated them a little kinder? It's not our place to judge others or seek revenge, but I know when I encounter hostility it's easier for me to be defensive than it is to give kidness. I can't always fix the whole picture, but maybe I can make it look a little better.

When I returned to their room I turned to the daughter and said "I'm so sorry for what you are going's that straw you asked for. If there's anything else I can do just let me know. " With tears in her eyes she said "Thank you...that means a lot to me."

If only we knew.

Sunday, April 5, 2009


A few years ago, Adam and I lived in NYC while employed by a health care travel company that sends RTs/Nurses/etc out to hospitals, that are short staffed, on a contract basis. We were contracted for 3 months, but later extended it to a full 6 months. I remember arriving in Manhattan and unloading the car behind what would be our home. I also remember stepping inside our borrowed apartment where we would be living the next 6 months. It was fully furnished, but in reality it was a blank slate because I had no memories associated to it. It felt cold and unknown. I felt intimidated by the big city. Like a small animal scurrying among the bulls and the bears.

After unpacking just enough to get settled, and walking to the nearest market for some culinary necessities, we came home and leashed the dog up for a walk. He had spent the first year of his life in Vermont, and the previous few months in New Jersey, so he wasn't prepared for the gauntlet that would be his daily walk. Sherman rode the elevator to the first floor and emerged eagerly into the marble floored lobby. Tugging and yanking he choked through the lobby as his gasps of hurried excitement echoed through the large entry-way. His nails made a "clickity" sound on the floor as his tongue draped out the side of his gaping dog smile. I remember the doors swinging open as a gust of wind greeted us both in the face.

Welcome to New York City.

Sherman clomped down the steps and I immediately tugged him gently to the right so we could join the flow of pedestrian traffic. It was shortly after 6pm, so the streets were very busy. We were housed on Broadway and Wall St., so with that in mind, I'm sure you can picture what it looked like at that time of day. You could see the instant our pup realized that he was in a big new world. He stopped dead in his tracks as people rushed past us, nearly tripping over him and darting around him. He gazed around with wide eyes trying to make sense of it all. He lowered himself to the ground and nearly laid flat as if to say "Stop! Just stop while I figure out what this new life is!"

I feel the exact same way, puppy. I'm with you on this.

I encouraged him to keep walking and slowly he gained the confidence he needed to enjoy his walk at a leisurely pace with his chin held high. And soon enough I felt encouraged too. Sometimes all you need is a gentle tug in the right direction to give you the push you need to keep going.

I remember the night before we left home; I had packed all my things for what would be a minimum of 90 days away from what had been my home for 10 years. I looked around my apartment trying to memorize the color of the wall, the scent that was my home, the feel of the tile under my feet, how my kitchen looked when I was cooking in it, and the lush green trees out my windows. I was memorizing the familiar in anticipation of the unfamiliar.

I was supposed to go to my mom's place that night so she could wish me a "fond farewell" (as she puts it). I still feel guilty about this, but I called her and said I wouldn't be able to make it over, that I had too much to do, so we would have to say a simple "see ya later!" over the phone. She understood and wished me a safe trip, I wished for a stronger character. Truth is, I just couldn't bare to say goodbye to one more person. I had already said so many good-byes to friends and co-workers that I needed a simple "see you later". I needed some routine. I needed to be alone with my fears of the unknown and let my heart break a little bit by myself.

Anyone that knows me very well knows that I am a "Nester". I love being home, I love being close to my family and friends. Once I get comfortable somewhere, I have a very hard time breaking the routine and venturing into the unknown spaces. The whole traveling/contract thing basically fell into our laps. Due to some major issues with our previous employer, we felt that we absolutely had to leave and do the "traveling thing".

It's actually amazing how sometimes life throws you a curve ball and while it seems scary and out of place, it's exactly what you need at that time.

Sometimes we need to fall to get to where we are supposed to be.

I learned so much those months, and I look back at that time as a period of huge growth. I may have started out panicked, but something tugged me in the right direction and gave me the courage to walk leisurely ahead.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Island Hygiene

When Adam and I went to Belize in November of 2007, I had never been to a carribbean destination before. I had not even been to a tropical destination for that matter. The closest I had been up until that point was Disney World. Spinning Teacups, Mickey Mouse, and throwing up a $9 hot dog from a place called "Goofy's Grub" can't really be defined as "tropical". But, Disney World has palm trees, people. So by that alone, it is very tropical.

It's all about the palm trees.

When we arrived in Belize City, we wandered through the airport to catch our connecting "puddle jumper" flight to Ambergris Caye. Philip S.W. Goldson Int'l Airport looks more like a Hertz car rental. They actually announce your name overhead when it's time to board the plane. Needless to say, the island vibe was evident as soon as I entered the country. I remember standing in line waiting for customs, and feeling a tad nervous. I had my fresh new passport in hand, declaration form filled out and patiently waited my turn. When the customs officer - a Belize native - motioned me to his podium I quickly realize my nerves were for nothing. He glanced at my passport and then stared directly at my chest and said "What does your shirt say?"
::blink blink::
My shirt had text in a circular shape over my, ahem, heart. I told him what it said, he smiled at me and welcomed me to Belize. I honestly don't even think he looked at my name on my passport.
So there you have it. All you need to get into Belize is a passport (for posterity's sake), and a shirt that has text over your boob.
Belize, I love you.
We spent the week in a beach front condo-style resort, with the ocean lapping gently against the shore that was our front porch. I'll never forget the bath-water warm waters, kayaking as the sun set, the lush island plants, bicycling through San Pedro, fishing, and most of all how relaxed I felt.

In addition to clothing, I had packed the usual travel necessities: hair dryer, flat iron, styling products, and make-up. After 2 hours on the island I realized I had wasted my time, and wasted space in my bag because I wasn't going to use any of it. I was an island girl, if even for a short time. I spent the rest of the week in shorts and t-shirts that would normally only be used as loungewear at home. One day I even ventured out to dinner in a pair of shorts and a t-shirt that I usually used as pajamas.

There really is nothing more joyous than eating dinner at a resort in your pajamas. If you ever get the chance, I highly recommend it.

As the trip wore on, I found my standard of hygiene slowly slipping. I was re-using shorts, sniff testing t-shirts, and recycling cover-ups. I distincly remember one morning grabbing a t-shirt that I had tossed into the dirty pile, sniffing it, and wondering to myself how I could have thought it was dirty enough for the "Take Home and Wash!" pile. It smelled of sand and SPF. Perfectly suitable for an afternoon of beachcombing and gorging on key lime pie. I probably would have considered a Wal-Mart t-shirt and some Hanes shorts "black-tie" by that point.

Like I said, the standard of hygiene was, umm, slipping away. It was really hard to return to work and have to actually make an effort on my appearance. It was even harder to drive through rush-hour traffic and drive at the same pace as everyone else, when I really felt like floating down the highway at 30mph. I was in slow-mo for a solid 2 weeks after that. What bliss.
I thought I wouldn't ever find a place as wonderful, and as conducive to relaxation, as Belize.
But then we went to Hawaii. And it was just as sweet. I spent many an afternoon lost in the blissful warmth of the island, sipping away at a banana smoothie with the scents of plumeria and tropical fruit in the air. I noticed a distinctive scent in our room each day...I still haven't figured out what it was (flower, fruit, etc) but it was there, each evening, as I fell asleep to the waves lapping the shores. It was the scent of the island. It was the scent of what it's like to take a deep breath and feel paradise all around you. That may sound like an exaggeration, but that is exactly how I felt.
And, once again, I found my standards of hygiene slipping away with my cares. I lived in ratty shorts and tattered shirts. My bathing suit was my closet staple, and my skin was smoothed by sand rubbing away the top layer of my busy life back home. There's nothing else quite like putting on gym shorts and feeling a tad overdressed for dinner.
But that's the island life.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Weekend Randomness

I have a shameful interest in all things celebrity. I'll admit I was all over when Britney was in her rock bottom state. If you have no idea what I am talking about then bless you. You have a more interesting life than me. I watched every episode of the Bachelor and cheered Melissa on when she called him a bas*ard. Seriously, was he NOT the most emotional man you've ever seen?

With the exception of my ex who cried when I told him I needed room to breathe. You would have thought I had just told him they discontinued Girl Scout Samoas.

I was also all over the gossip sites when Jessica Simpson wore those pants that should be removed from every supplier and burned to a crisp. Again, if you have no idea what I am talking about, bless you. You have a more interesting life than me. But for visual aid these are the jeans I am talking about:

Now I think it's completely ridiculous that the media called her fat. She's obviously not fat, she just fell victim to some bad denim. Or maybe a few Samoas. It happens to the best of us. And those pockets aren't doing anything for her.

She opened up for Rascall Flatts here in Phoenix last week. I thought she looked pretty small:

I'm rocking the sweet photography skills as usual. Is that a fingerprint on the right side? Anyway, all this to say if the media calls THAT fat, what would they say about me? I'd be on People magazine each week looking bloated and dense. Reaching maximum density would be the cover headline. Jessica, can I borrow those jeans?

We have been trying to eat more and home and less at restaurants so I've been experimenting a lot with some new recipes lately. Last week, I made Broiled Tilapia Parmesan. It was awesome and has become a fast favorite here at my house.


1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup butter, softened
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon onion powder
1/8 teaspoon celery salt
2 pounds tilapia fillets

Preheat your oven's broiler. Grease a broiling pan or line pan with aluminum foil.
In a small bowl, mix together the Parmesan cheese, butter, mayonnaise and lemon juice. Season with dried basil, pepper, onion powder and celery salt. Mix well and set aside.
Arrange fillets in a single layer - Bottom side of the fish facing up - on the prepared pan. Broil a few inches from the heat for 2 to 3 minutes. Flip the fillets over - right side up- and broil for a couple more minutes. Remove the fillets from the oven and cover them with the Parmesan cheese mixture on the top side. Broil for 2 more minutes or until the topping is browned and fish flakes easily with a fork. Be careful not to over cook the fish.

I paired it with garlic mashed potatoes because I'm on the Ineedcelluite diet. A nice salad and maybe some green beans would be a healthier alternative. We are allergic to salad in my house.

For your viewing pleasure:

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Friday, March 13, 2009

The Spider and the Doorway

If you've read my previous posts on this blog you are aware that I have phobias. I am afraid of heights, spiders, public speaking, spiders, scorpions, get the idea. Adam and I built our first house and moved in early Spring of 2008. After months of finding crickets, spiders, scorpions (on the porch), more crickets, and a few black widows, I was starting to question my sanity and my reasoning behind loving a guy who just didn't care about the same things I did.

How can you NOT be terrified of a spider? They're icky.

The house is structually sound and very well built. However, we live in the desert and these things just find their way in. Especially when you are married to a guy that never closes doors. Adam once got out of the passenger side of our car and waltzed into Barnes and Nobel, killed a half hour browsing with me, then walked back out to the car to find that he had left the car door open. Not just unlocked, but hanging open.

After finding a black widow by our garage door just chillaxin in the night on her tangled web of fear, I had an emotional breakdown (Hello, phobia! Good to see you again!) that involved me screaming crying (Scrying) about wanting and needing Pest Control services to frequent our house. If it was up to me they'd be circling our casa at all hours of the night blasting away at anything that scurries. Adam didn't seem to care; he told me to stop scrying and get over it. I told him to take a hike. I guess he took me very literally because he quickly left the presence of the Fire Breathing Spider Hater.

While Adam went for a walk to distance himself from the Scrying Wife Girl, I decided I needed to vent and started feverishly texting my sister. But instead of texting my sister I mistakenly texted my rant directly to Adam's phone.

Oops. Sorry hubbs.

After some apologies, and some serious conversations, we realized that he was just concerned about cost. It turned out to be very affordable so we scheduled routine appointments for the pest people to come blast the perimeter to oblivion. Peace for me..and peace for the husband.

Oh! And I realized that I shouldn't mouth off about my sweet hubbs in a text again.

Or at least be really careful about who you send it to.

It's been a blissful few months until we got home tonight after going out for dinner and a concert. As I unlocked the garage door (seriously, what is it about the garage door that attracts these things??) there she was.

Tan. Eight legs. Staring. Dangling from gossamer that glistened in the moonlight.

I think I launched the house keys into the next zip code and threw my hands into the air as I ran screaming into the night. Adam calmly tried to pick the Freak off the door to set her outside.

That's the true definition of someone who wouldn't hurt a flea, huh?

What is wrong with him??! Had I been alone (I shudder at the thought) I would have gotten a bottle of spray and a hammer and obliterated the arachnid until not longer recgonizable. It would have been my own personal CSI:Araneus diadematus.

Unfortunately for me, he dropped her and she promptly scurried into the house. Adam just doesn't move fast enough for me so I barrelled past him, grabbed one of his sneakers that was by the door, and started slamming the spider with my Nike weapon. I think I gave her 23 blows. Death by blunt force trauma.

I want to make this next part very clear: Never - NEVER! - use your own shoe to annihilate a spider. That will only leave you with spider remnants on your shoes, and thats just gross, ladies. However, your husband's shoes are perfectly acceptable. Actually, anything that belongs to your husband is fair game, especially if you have given birth to his child. (We don't have kids yet so I have to stick to shoes only.)

I told him I was going to set his shoes outside since there was spider pate on the sole. He scoffed at the idea while wiping the juice from his shoe. After he settled in for the night, I did this:

The wife always wins. :)

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Facebook Part II: The UNfriending Phenomenon

Lately I've come across a few people affected by the Facebook/Myspace phenomenon called "UNfriending". Basically, on these sites you have your personal page that you can use to communicate your interests, activities, and lifestyle. You can also load photos and "personalize" your page with fun quotes, glitter graphics, videos, and website links. Recently, I sent my sister a link to this: Spider you are my hero.

On Facebook and Myspace you also have a list of friends. You can freely add as many friends as you like to your friend list (as long as they, too have a Facebook/Myspace account - of course.). You can also freely remove friends from your list should you so choose to. However, this is the modern day equivalent of being publicly out casted on the elementary school playground. I speak from experience....It's like living that day over again when you just couldn't overcome your fear of heights and climb to the top of the slide during recess. It was an ominous looking slide that seemed to touch the sky at it's highest point. The slide that everyone was required to - via secret society - cycle through at least once if they wanted to be part of the Cool Kids Kindergarten Crowd (CKKC Inc).

I remember so badly wanting to be like the other kids, so I climbed to the top of the ladder, realized how high up I was, (my childhood was full of phobias) and promptly decided to gingerly lower myself back down to the bottom. There is also an accepted form of tailgating on the slide ladder. For example, once you have climbed to the top and are ready to "weeeee" it all the way to the bottom, you have a line of 5 or 6 kids already hooked on various points of the ladder eagerly awaiting their turn at the top. So, my change of mind required that approx. 6 other kids climb off the ladder so I could escape the Steel Hell Trap and get out of line.

I could hear the giggles, whispering, and teasing begin before I had even placed my foot on the last step.

But in the end, I just couldn't do it. All the other kids made fun of me and called me a "dumb scardy cat" because I was afraid of the slide. In my defense, this thing was HIGH. And stainless steel. And in the sun. I'm sorry but I still don't find it desirable to slide down something 35ft in the air burning my hamstrings along the way. That screeching squeaking sound of bare thigh skin on hot steel slide surface still makes me sweat with fear. Despite the taunting, I preferred to sit in my solitude and swing peacefully back and forth on the swing set.... Much safer that way. I was the risk analyst of 5-year-olds.

Although it was kind of sad watching from a distance 25 kids taking turns going up and down the Slide of Death, I was happier on the swings. I wanted to be cool enough for the Slide of Death too, but I just wasn't. I don't think the frilly dresses that matched my socks that matched my hair bows that co-ordinated to the colorful foods packed in my co-ordinated lunch bag was any aid in making me popular. Something tells me this only hindered it. I spent the rest of recess swinging away next to John, the Glue Eating King.

And so it began....a long list of bad male relationships.

Back to Facebook....

This thing called "UNfriending" is the modern day equivalent of saying "YOU are a poo poo head!! I don't like YOU anymore and YOU can't play with us!" which leaves you no choice but to gather your belongings and return home - alone - to hang out with mom while she makes Saturday Night Tuna Casserole while singing along to Lawrence Welk.

I have to admit, UNfriending can really sneak up on you and slap you silly. There I sat, clicking away on various links and pictures, catching up on the latest vacation photos of friends and loved ones, when I realized it: My friend list numerical tally had dropped by 1. I had gone from 25 friends to 24 friends since my previous log in. I immediately started scrolling through my friend list trying to determine who had Dirty Deleted me. Once I had figured out who was missing (because once you are added as a friend you have a contractual obligation to stay on my list forever...duh) I started obsessing over what would cause this person to not want to be my Myspace friend. I felt alone, betrayed, hurt, and most of all: UNpopular. This was like showing up to the Junior Winter Ball in THIS only to quickly realize that you are the ONLY ONE who is wearing red (sequins!!!!) to the winter ball. At least my mom didn't talk me into wearing this one. Oy!

I decided to take the mature approach and confront the UNfriender person face-to-face. I was met with complete shock (I guess no one thinks you will take the mature approach to appropriate communication) and a blank stare. After some uncomfortable silence, the UNfriender said "Uh....derrrrr....I had heard you said something bad about me."

Oh ok! So that means listen to what someone else says, Dirty Delete me, and then gallop off into silence while I'm left with the virtual Slap In Your Face. Niiiiiiice. This makes up for me being homeschooled throughout junior high.

The most outrageous UNfriending recently happened to my brother-in-law. Remember Mr. Auto? Well, after some not-so-pleasant exchanges back and forth between Mr Auto and his own sister, a serious family debate started over her klassy cheating and abusive boyfriend. Mr. Auto was just looking out for his sister and trying to encourage her in developing enough strength to leave an abusive and dysfunctional relationship. A few days later, Mr. Auto's sister Dirty Deleted him from her friend list. Yup, his own flesh and blood tossed him out on the streets of Facebook. She banned her brother from her friend I guess if she can't UNfamily him she figures UNfriending is a close second? I can only imagine her as she angrily clicked through her log on and password prompts, only to furiously click through her settings menu and then finally click click click away as she managed her friend list. The clock struck midnight as she Dirty Deleted her own brother.

I wish there was some sort of Internet badge of honor that said "I was DELETED by my sister, and I lived to tell about it!"

Maybe I'll make a flair button for that.

Delete Victims Unite!

Saving Money by Bargain Shopping

While reading some of my favorite blogs, I noticed that Kelly updated about dressing cute for less, and finding clothing bargains during a recession. I thought this was a good idea and decided to share some of my own ideas here. First of all, I rarely pay full price for my clothes. Occasionally I will splurge on some expensive jeans (think 7 For All Mankind brand, or True Religion brand) but when I last bought them from Macy's, I waited for a store wide sale and brought along a 20% off coupon I had which saved me A LOT. And these jeans last me for YEARS so I find it worth the money. But that's just me. For those that enjoy even more affordable deals, I have found some really good jeans at Old Navy and Target. Again, I always wait for sales/coupons. A few times a month I will go to some of my favorite clothing sites and look at the clearance pages to see if anything has popped up - on clearance! - that I'd really love to add to the wardrobe. For Macy's I will go to and click on "sale" and then click on "clearance". I recently found a really cute top that looks great with black pants on sale for $16! It was originally $50!

Old Navy has a clearance section on their website too. If you go to and click on Women and then scroll down on the left you will see "Clearance".

I saw a long sleeved shirt there after Christmas and bought it on sale (It was normally $15, I got it right after the holidays for $10). I love long sleeved shirts like this (Link here) to wear under my scrub tops at work. You can also wear it to run errands on the weekend with a pair of jeans and it even extends into spring with a pair of shorts. So, I went to the oldnavy website and just now found it - the same shirt! - for $2.99!!!!!!!

Now THAT's a bargain!!!!

I really love the clothes at but I refuse to pay full price there. The stuff ALWAYS goes on sale and it's easy to find sale items in your size. I had my eye on this top a couple months ago but didn't want to spend $48 on it. I'm so glad I waited because it's on sale for $20!

The right accessories can make ANY outfit more polished looking. Sometimes when I'm in a hurry but still want to look good, I'll pair a simple fitted T from Target (less than $10) with jeans and a scarf. Add some kickin' little boots and you got yourself easy style!
Charlotte Russe has a lot of fashion jewelry for really low prices! And they are ALWAYS offering sales! Forever 21 also has a lot of fashion jewelry for low prices too. The store is really similar to Charlotte, and you can ALWAYS find cute this for reasonable prices.
I have a love for Ugg boots (I know some people think they are ugly) because they are SO comfortable and basically go with any casual outfit during the winter. However, I don't love the Ugg price so after some searching I found a knock off brand at for half the price of real Uggs. And the cheaper brand are JUST AS COMFY! The brand is Bear Paw.
I'd love to hear other suggestions! Let me know your ideas!
Happy Shopping, and Happy Bargain Hunting!

Saturday, March 7, 2009


My computer has been officially put to sleep. It was a Dell Latitude from 2001 and had turned into such a piece of junk that I couldn't even access Facebook without it crashing.

Inability to do any online banking? That's fine.

Can't access the website to submit your work schedule? Ok, that can wait until I am AT work.

Can't log into the website needed to check a credit card balance? Eh, that's ok. While the Good ol' Dell was overheating and crashing, I dialed the 800 number on my credit card and did it by phone.

But once Facebook could no longer be accessed without some major difficulties including freezing, I was in the car and on my way to buy a new Laptop faster than you can say "Windows 2000".
$1220 later, I am the proud owner of some miracle piece of technology that can do things I never dreamed of. It's pretty sad, because you can most likely find me at 1am on the internet, with my iPOD and cell phone perched conveniently next to the keyboard. I am the material girl.

Four+ days without Facebook had me cryin' mama, foaming at the mouth, and muttering something about superPoke! and Flair. Adam wasn't sure what to do with me, so he turned on his PS3 and clicked away to Fallout3. Yeah, he didn't care.

Once I could finally log back into my account (at lightening fast speeds by the way - intel Centrino you are my hero) I had something like 14 requests for various time wasters and 2 friend requests. I clicked on the "14 New Requests!" only to be bombarded by such things as "Throw a Water Balloon!" , "ER scavenger hunt!", "Pass a Drink!", and "Lil' Green Patch". These are all highly educational and productive apps. I, for one, didn't know that there is a drink titled "Dirty Mother". Only on the facebook app "Pass a Drink" can these social necessities be learned.

The stuff they don't teach you in school.

The amount of time I spend on facebook is directly proportional to the number of IQ points I lose. I get dumber with each log on. For example: I can spell intelCentrino without any difficulty but I had to google "necessities" to make sure of it's correct spelling. I'm fairly certain my writing will be at 4th grade level within the next few months. But not to worry, I'm sure there is an app for that too. Or at the very least, a flair button to make fun of my inability to form a sentence.

I also love the selective anonymity of facebook. You can send a request to a long lost friend and use it as a platform for reconnection, or you can secretly search for the ex that scorned you right after high school, only to find out that he is still living in his Mamma's basement and is a proud owner of a 2lb Yorkie that he named Honeyfox.


That's hypothetical of course.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Klassy With A "K"

My brother-in-law, Mr. Auto, invited my husband to attend some sort of drag-race-car-man-thing for Saturday afternoon, so my sister and I jumped at the chance to have our own afternoon soiree. I guess we figured if there was "race" and "car" and "drag" all in the same sentence, it would probably involve beer, belching, sweat, oiled up Jaeger girls, and loud manmobiles. Maybe even some grunting and chest banging. We opted for shopping, gossiping, and spending money. We have class.

We all met up at a mall near the racetrack, and the boys drove off in Mr. Auto's pimped out '87 Firebird around 10:30 in the morning. Let me pause here to tell you that the car is a Klassy Shade of Primer Gray. Don't make fun, people. Primer Gray is the new Black. Oh, and the passenger side does not have an exterior door handle. Sleek. I think my sister needs to keep a close eye on that one because that car is a TOTAL babe magnet. I can envision Jaeger Girls writhing all over the hood as Whitesnake booms from the sweet sound system. (For all you youngin's: go here)

I could hardly restrain myself from writing "MARRIED!!!!!" on Adam's forehead. I felt the jealousy surging, even after Adam spent the entire 1 hour drive that morning chewing off his fingernails while flying down the interstate. Nothing gets me more excited than watching him feed off his hands. I wonder what the calorie content of hangnails would be? a little off track there.

So Sis and I head into the mall, and I quickly determine that out of the 8-10 malls in the entire city we have just chosen the second most shady one in the entire valley. Second only to the mall with the metal detectors. This place was rockin' the outlets! Every store was either close-out or deep discounted, except for the Victoria's Secret where the yoga pants where $65. We window shopped for a little while, bought some soaps at bath&body, scoffed at the $65 yoga pants, and then decided to browse the pet store.

As we approach the pet store, Sis stops dead in her tracks staring straight ahead. I followed her gaze to a security guard on one of these:

I'm laughing to myself because the mall hasn't had a fresh coat of paint since Reagan was president, but they can afford security guards on motorized Segways. I looked over at Sis who was clearly not laughing, but was frozen in state of shock. I realized then that I had missed it: Segway Security Boy was on his Playskool walkie talkie summoning police to assist in removal of a Drooling Drunk who was nearly passed out- on a bench - in the middle of Klass Act Mall.

And there he sat. Drool pouring from his mouth, running down the front of his shirt, as he slowly slumped over on the bench. He then proceeded to vomit all over himself as his eyes started to roll into the back of his head. Sis and I scurried into the pet store where we watched from the pet store window while playing with some small furry rodents situated near the entrance. I can't resist small and furry, and she can't resist a visual train wreck.

As we were elbow deep in hamsters, the cops finally arrived where they pulled Drooling Drunk to his feet who promptly fell flat on his face. I guess the local police aren't trained in Face Plant Prevention. But who am I to judge?

Drooling Drunk was hauled out to the curb and removed by police and EMTs. I went to Starbucks for a Skinny Tall Latte.

I had decided we had enough of Klass Act Mall, so we made a quick stop to the bathroom before heading out.

The horrors never cease: There was a sharps container attached to the wall in the women's bathroom. As in a safety box to deposit used needles.

As in this:

WHY would you need that in a mall bathroom?! Has the meth problem gotten THAT bad?

I hurried to the car to depart the Mall from Hell, and as I was starting the car I looked to my left and saw that the van parked next to us was riddled with bullet holes.

I'm serious. If I had thought about this post as I was fleeing for my life I would have taken some photos.

Sis and I decided to spend the rest of the afternoon painting pottery as a local pottery shop while we waited for the boys to catch up with us. We ended the evening at a lovely pizza bistro where I proceeded to make Sis laugh so hard she Peed Her Pants. But I'll save that for another post. :)

Friday, February 20, 2009

Chiropractic Crap

After 3 months of severe lower back pain, my sister talked me into paying a visit to her chiropractor. She declared him to be a god of the spine, a miracle worker, and a genius. He's not too hard on the eyes, either, so I was there faster than you can say "subluxation".

I have to say I am really glad I started going. I've just returned from my third visit and already I'm feeling some relief from my back pain. However, I apparently slept like a contorted fool last night because I woke up with a stiff neck and the inability to turn my head. Lucky for me, Dr. Sexy helped me there too. I really like the feel of his phalanges on my head.

Anyway, I digress.

At my first visit, I was required to fill out a questionnaire about my symptoms and medical history. To summarize, I have a lot of back pain, headaches, sciatica, and constipation (Oh yeah, constipation baby). On the final page of the history forms was a human body outline where I was supposed to circle my specific location(s) of pain. Ten seconds later, my outline looked like a 3 year old had drawn spirals all over the torso, and I was feeling pretty crappy about my pain levels.

It didn't help that I had spent that last four days pretty much writhing in pain, and rolling around on the floor like a seizing bull dog.

So after I submitted my forms, we moved on to a series of X-rays. Now I don't know if it's my medical background, or just general insecurities, but I am REALLY uncomfortable playing the part of the "patient". Dr. Sexy stepped out of the room while I could disrobe and doll myself up in that stupid hospital gown they give you. I caught myself hiding my bra under my jeans, as if he has never seen a racer-back target special bra before. I decided to keep my socks on and then realized that I looked like a complete doof in red socks up to my calf with little snowmen all over them.

So there I stand, braless and in a johnny, complete with red snowman socks. I could hardly restrain myself from taking a photograph and posting it on

It didn't take long to get the xrays back, and let me tell you, they are horrifying. My spine is twisted very much like a corkscrew and my right hip is 9mm higher than my left. But that's not the worst part....

My colon takes up my entire pelvic space. It looks like 6 Chipotle burritos end-to-end and scrunched into an intestine. No joke, and I just vomited in my mouth. After looking at my xray, and reading the part where I checked off "constipation" I'm pretty sure Dr. Sexy muttered to himself "Uh....Duh." I'm also pretty sure he secretly refers to me as "That Large Colon Girl". It's okay, Dr. Dreamy. I still love you.

I couldn't tell you a single thing he said to me while going over my xrays (something about it looks bad, but we can fix it) because I was mortified by my colon.

So, tonight I have traded my usual cup of tea for a very large glass of water complete with a soluble fiber supplement.

Benefiber you are my hero.

I found this tonight and it made me laugh out loud: