Saturday, March 31, 2012

With Heavy Heart

This is my 1200th post. I had been thinking of doing a giveaway or something especially fun, but I have been a bit downtrodden the past few days. A friend from San Diego passed away late Wednesday night from squamous-cell carcinoma, which is just a way of saying a nasty, horrible cancer. 

I wish I had a picture of her from when we ran around together but they're all in my parent's garage. Our time was pre Facebook and the heavy use of digital cameras. Crazy, right? Just a few years ago feels like a completely different lifetime. Carla was so special. I know that a lot of nice things are said about the deceased but anyone who knew her would have told you in life exactly what we have been sharing about her in death. Truly, she epitomized Christ-like love and positivity. I never heard her say an ill word about anyone. She was just such a bright light. Her smile, her lightheartedness, her black Beetle that we drove all over San Diego in, her genuine care for everyone - just some of the things that I'll keep forever in my memories.

Her struggle was a long decline but all the updates we got were laden with an "I'm going to beat it!" attitude. When I finally heard that she was gone I didn't immediately cry, I cried more during her battle than I did Thursday morning. I felt so relieved for her battered body and mind to finally be at rest. My heart went out to her family, especially her husband and two little ones, but at least she was done hurting. 

I know there is a plan for all of us. I know that a life of good works and love will only reap rewards here and in the eternities. Hug your family tight tonight and every night.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

I'm Obsessed With This

I would do anything to trade places with that girl.
Or just to have an elephant wave at me.
No where to go but down after that!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

My Brother, the Man

My brother is on a mission for our church in Chile. He will be back this summer!!! I am kind of the world's worst pen pal so I don't always get him an email every week. Here's what I wrote on Sunday,

"I'm sure you're super shocked that I'm emailing because I'm trying to win the award for Worst Sister in the World. How am I doing? Please write my letter of reference detailing what an awful sister I am to the committee who determines the worst sister of the year. I'm sure I will have ample evidence to sweep the awards this year. Yay for me!"

And you know what that punk did to me?

"By the way, in this past week I submitted your name and info to the committee and then to the board of the organization in charge of awarding the world's worst sister award and they actually sent your application back to me with a very rude response about having wasted their time and even included a few choice expressions which are not pertinent to the content of this email so I will congratulate you on your failure of reaching the award. You're actually in the running for the best sister in the world, you and three other of my sisters."

I have never shared his emails with anyone before but I had to take the opportunity to show all 7 people who read my blog that my brother is amazing. He just makes me cry! July can't come soon enough!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Caution - Disturbing Photos

I had some time between jobs the other day so I took advantage of my membership the Newseum and went for about an hour. There is a section dedicated to the Pulitzer prize winning photos from every year of the award. Most were heartwrenching, illustrating the tragedies of nature and mankind. I was struck by how many were dedicated to the atrocities that we inflict upon one another.

This one in particular took my breath away. I stood there and furiously wiped tears away while people milled around me and averted their eyes from the scene I was creating.

(photo of a lynched man in Bangkok who is being abused even further with a folding chair, as a crowd watches)

Upon closer inspection you can see why I was so upset

Children seem to lose their innocence so quickly. The older generations teach them more about hate than love, about how to hold a gun rather than a pencil. This is not a trait exclusive to foreign nations. Children are born as blank slates, only to have the nastiness of the world write on them. Some ink is permanent, some can be scrubbed away by an especially influential teacher, a family that fosters love and acceptance, or by the children themselves. Adults, we need to make the change! We can raise a better generation than our own!

"I believe the children are the future,
Teach them well and let them lead the way
Show them all the beauty they possess inside..."

Monday, March 26, 2012


Let me tell you about this girl. She is one of the most considerate people I have ever had the privilege to encounter. I got the mail yesterday and lo and behold, Justin Bieber was looking up at me. Becca sees something that someone might like, so she gets it for them. What an amazing quality to have! 

Did you know you could ship like this? Me either, but apparently you can! She sent me, Megan, and Nate Easter eggs. 

I adore that girl.

Spring Rain

We have had a beautiful Spring so far. Unfortunately we had rain all weekend and it stripped most of the blossoms off the trees! It made for quite a pretty sight though. Doesn't it look like lavender marshmallows all over the ground? Took lots of strength to stay in my car and not get a closer look.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

i never expected to find pictures of animals with added captions as funny as i do.
life can be surprising sometimes.

Five Hours

I was in NYC for literally 4 hours on Friday. One and a half were to meet with my accountant and the rest was spent trying to find the perfect dress for an event last night. More to come on that later.

Meeting = super success
Dress hunt = massive failure

Oh well, it wasn't really in my budget anyway.

New York is not my favorite, it's all right. This was my first time seeing Grand Central and the Chrysler Building so that was pretty cool. I love the beautiful architecture in the middle of the concrete jungle.

At least taxes are done - on time - and I don't have to worry about it again for many,  many months!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

We're All Quite Lucky

My youngest sister and brother went to an reverse mainstream preschool. Many people are familiar with the idea of mainstreaming but not reverse mainstream so please, let me enlighten you. Their program was at a public elementary school and it was for preschoolers with severe special needs. Every year they would accept several children from the general school population to be students alongside those with special needs. See how it's reverse? 

It was a wonderful experience for my sister and brother. They learned all they needed to about colors and basic math, yet learned the invaluable stuff like patience, tolerance, and understanding that can't be taught from a desk or a book. Eventually my mom ended up volunteering so much that they offered her a job in the classroom and she remained tied to the school long after Maria and Taylor had "graduated".

My mom was a one-on-one aide to a little girl for several years. This little girl was deaf, blind, had holes in her palate so she was fed through a portal in her abdomen, had twisted fingers and toes, and had a skin condition that made her quite fragile to handle. She also had a famous temper! There were many days that my mom felt frustrated, but I remember a few days when she would come home so thrilled that this little girl was signing TABLE, or better yet, signing ROSIE with real understanding.

I would go to the school from time to time to hang with the classroom. The little girl's favorite thing to do was to sit in someone's lap and rock. If you did not rock with her she would get mad! So therefore, you rocked. Walking the halls was another favorite and even though it took forever to get where you were going, it was nice. It was sweet. Sometimes, without apparent reason, she would start chuckling. She understood happiness in her situation and that was always a beautiful and moving experience.

My dad has talked about my family's time at this school in a very reverent manner. He has said that it never seemed to fail him that whenever he was feeling down, feeling as the world and all it's elements were working against him, he would end up at the school. Either to visit my mom or drop something off. 

And then he would take little Miss on a walk. Or be the rocking chair. Or sign colors with another student. Whatever it was, very quickly all his worries and burdens would begin to seem quite frivolous and vain. These children laughed without cause so why should he be asking, "why me"?

I love when my dad recounts his experiences and reflects on how blessed we all are. It's so easy to get caught up in the unfairness of life, comparing the haves and the have-nots. I am most certainly guilty of thinking I have been quite put upon by life and I'll not have any more of it, thank you very much, but is my life really so hard? Are my burdens so that I can't find beauty in simplicity and a reason to laugh out loud when all I feel is opposition? Nah. I am so much more abundantly blessed than I can ever articulate.

Have a wonderful weekend

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Am I A Don't?

Headed to NYC tomorrow for a meeting. Every time I go to New York I worry that I will end up in the back of a magazine with a black censor bar over my eyes in the "Don't" section. I have never been fashionable and I most certainly don't need Cosmo magazine to make that clear to all of America.

Also, I would really enjoy a ride in the Cash Cab.

Who's That Girl?

Devon and I were headed to church on Sunday in separate cars because she or I always have a meeting after and we're too impatient to wait for each other. Sometimes you think you're going to starve in church so getting home becomes your top priority.

On the freeway I saw that she had her blinker on so I let her in and waved like a crazy person until she saw me. Then last night I heard what really happened.

"On Sunday you let my car in and I remember thinking, 'wow that girl is pretty'. How nice of her! Pretty girls don't normally do nice things like let cars in. And then I wondered what her ethnicity was....."

Ha! Thanks for thinking I'm cute, girlfriend. Sorry about the picture. Anyone else ever curious about my ethnicity? I get the question OFTEN.

Monday, March 19, 2012

How About an Update?

No sugar has touched these lips for 20 days now. Please take a moment and cheer my victory from whatever far flung corner of the globe that you're reading this. Thank you, your admiration is appreciated.

In my mind I should probably have lost at least 10 pounds, 13% body fat and far too many brain cells from my fits of sugar rage. However, only one of those is true. My clothes still fit exactly the same but I am definitely feeling a wee bit dumber these days. The best thing about this is that I can take good habits, new recipes and more motivation to live a healthy lifestyle when this is all over (April 6th.....not like I'm counting) (although I may have plotted the demise of everyone eating an ice cream cone the other day).

In other news, Megan and I will be joining the Capital Bikeshare program in DC. It's rad! There are bike stations all over DC and Virginia and you rent them for a set amount of time, return them and you have a very non-committal sort of relationship with exercise equipment. Basically, it's right up my alley. Biking around DC is super fun, unless the tourists are out, then it's a game of "don't ride into oncoming buses or loose children". Totally fun.

I hope your week has gotten off to a great start!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Farmers Market

Megan and I had a very early start this morning at the Nordstrom Trend Show. They modeled parts of the Spring collection and gave descriptions of new facial products. I sat there and wept due to the pain caused from cinching my purse strings. It was fabulous! We had a great time getting rowdy in the AM with 700 other ladies.

On the way back to my house Megan spotted the weekend farmers market in our neighborhood. We went, she bought, and I made a blood vow to return.

So after a 2 hour nap (because that's how I roll) I went back clutching my somewhat crisp twenty dollar bill and silently praying that there was still amazing produce there. There was! 

I got:

1 bag of spinach
2 mangoes
1 bag of green grapes
1 avocado
1 pint strawberries
2 cucumbers
1 bag of oranges
1 2 lb bag of green beans
1 bag of apples

All for $19! I will be back next Saturday and probably every week after that because just mentally comparing prices with my local grocery store and I saved more than I care to report. Thanks to Megan for wanting to go to the market I have overlooked every weekend since moving here!

Have a fabulous weekend!

Thursday, March 15, 2012


this song has been popular for a couple months now and i just can't get over it! every time i listen to it i have a gigantic grin on my face until the first chorus....and then my heart bursts out of my chest. i want them to remake this video with all of my favorite friends and me. there would be loads of smiles and amazing slow motion videography. our hair would look phenomenal. and it would capture this beautiful moment in our lives.

i adore the message of the chorus. "tonight we are young so let's set the world on fire, we can burn brighter than the sun". the earth belongs to the next generation, let your light shine, y'all.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Nothing To Say

I haven't blogged the last few days because I don't have much to say. Or rather, I have plenty to say but I'm not interested in this becoming a journal.

Spring has sprung in DC and it is absolutely delicious. I will be in Utah April 8th-15th. Some friends and I will be spending May 18th-27th in Cancun, Mexico. We are just a few months away from all our family being back on the mainland. I am still madly in love with my family, friends, and job. Life is good, I just don't have anything interesting to say. 


I hope they clear up soon

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Under Control

I need to figure out how to make this my mantra. 

Prime example happened last night. I was at a restaurant with two of my roommates and a group of teenagers walked in and snagged the table next to us. They ordered a group serving of s'mores and within minutes had set a napkin on the point where the young lad had to feverishly stomp it out on the ground. I wish I could have seen my face! It really, really bothered me that they did that. Devon just kept saying, "let it go, let it go" but I was horrified!

Next example was from the same group (shocking, I know) and it involved one of my top pet peeves. One of the boys refilled his water cup with soda! He didn't pay for that! The nerve! I really am getting old, aren't I? 

Why I let these things bother me is beyond my understanding, but I have to stop letting these sorts of situations get to me. Things that are completely out of my control, that don't alter my life whatsoever, should not take up so much mental space.

I feel another personal challenge coming on......

Friday, March 9, 2012

To Bloom or Not To Bloom

Nature seems to waging quite the internal battle out here. The poor flowers and trees just don't know what to do with themselves! It looks like they're sending out some of their troops but keeping others  on reserve until they truly believe it is Spring when they can safely bloom.

Get it together, Mother Nature.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

"All things truly wicked start from an innocence."
-Ernest Hemingway

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

The Day I Ran Away

I was probably about 9 or so when I ran away. We kids had been playing outside when my mom called us in for the night. First things first, I asked to turn on the TV because there was a new episode of "Full House" on that night. My evil, rotten mother said no. (And she wonders why I gave her the nickname Maleficent....)

So I ran.

I ran down the street and hid behind a trash can for probably about 17 minutes, which I figured was long enough for my mom to learn her lesson. Once I was convinced that she was panicked enough, I made my way home. Obviously she would be so relieved that I came home that she would let me watch. It was basically a prodigal son sort of situation and in my mind "Full House" was totally equal to slaughtering a fatted calf.

I didn't get to watch. I doubt I got dinner. 
Seems like I've always had a thing for Uncle Jesse.

My mom is not evil or rotten, nor is the nickname, Maleficent, anything more than ironic because she is amazing. She has "adopted" too many of our friends to count because that's what she does. She's a mom. The best mom.


My buddy, Nate, calls me Julia because he thinks I look like Julia Roberts. I've heard that once or twice before but I've never believed it for a second until I saw this movie poster. I can kinda see it now. Kinda.

Have you seen the previews for this one? It looks a bit crazy but very colorful. Translation - I will see this. Anyone else? 

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

100 Years!

Today is Oreo's 100th birthday! Check out the website here. I love dunking my Oreo's but I often run into the problem of them disintegrating and falling into my milk. I know, what a tragic life. I have remedied this by inserting a fork in between the cookies and straight to the heart of the cream. This provides maximum coverage and superior sogginess - just how I like 'em!

Fun fact - Nabisco was originally called National Biscuit see what they did there? Awesome.

Happy 100th!

In Need Of....

I'm quite positive that I need a baby. Not a human baby, of course, so these are the acceptable animal breeds that I would like to join my family:

Panda (obvious, no?)
Mini pig (I would name it Hamlet)
Platypus (have you ever seen a baby? I have no words)
Sloth (the idea of being it's human jungle gym is thrilling to me)
Bulldog (I need. At some point in my life this will happen)

These aren't all the most suitable choices for a single gal with roommates in the greater Washington, DC area, but you better believe I'll get me a pig someday. And Hamlet and I will have wonderful adventures together. And I will have to stop talking to my dad because we all know he is going to make one too many bacon jokes.

Monday, March 5, 2012

i totally called it and it works

Sunday, March 4, 2012


I want to love working out. I really, really do. With this no sugar thing I am trying to make the most of it by working out and drinking a ton of water but I still don't love exercise. 

Have you ever heard people talk about how you just have to do it until you cross some imaginary boundary and then viola - you love it? Yeah, that better get here soon.