Sunday, May 18, 2014

Update on 30 before 30

It has been a very long time since I have blogged anything but on the day after turning 28, I was reviewing my 30 before 30.  It is amazing when you write goals down how you accomplish them.  So here is the update of events on the 30 before 30. 

4. Run a 5K
On Mother’s Day, I ran a 5K!  Well, I walked up most of the hills (mainly because I am learning how much I run on my toes…dang ballerina in me!).  But, I did a 5K and have another one scheduled for June (my cowokers got me signed up).  

The first one was the Color Run.  It was so much fun.  I had a great group to do it with and it was a beautiful day for a run.  I am proud of myself!  Here are some pictures:

5. Celebrate Kendal’s 21st birthday
I went down to California and celebrated Kendal’s 21st birthday.  On her birthday, her mom and I surprised her in her house, we went to dinner with her parents and boyfriend, and then her boyfriend threw her a surprise party.  On the day after, Kendal and I went to Disneyland and had a great day.  On that Sunday, we also went out to lunch with some of our “moms.”  I had a blast seeing her and celebrating with her.  I am so grateful for her and am AMAZED she is already 21 years old!

9. Read 15-20 books
I continue to read.  Although to be honest, the progress has slowed down.  I am not complaining… I have been having a great time and trying new things (see #19 below for an example).  I love to read still and continue to read as much as I can.  I am currently re-reading Big Stone Gap for a book club. I hopefully will get to reviewing more books. 

19. Do something creative that I am proud of
This one kind of sprung up on me.  I didn’t even realize I had done this until I re-read my list.  I was invited to a Paint N Sip class by an SMC alumna.  I have done three classes now and it is so fun!  The premise is to do a painting class with some wine or drinks or whatnot.  The painting process is broken down step by step.  I am very proud that I was able to create a painting that looks like what it is intended! 


Friday, January 17, 2014

Musical Memories

One of my favorite things to do on drives, especially when I am frustrated with my same old playlist, is put my iPod on shuffle. There are at least 7,000 songs on my iPod. I absolutely love music. I generally have music on (or the TV but we are focusing on music). For me, music is an essential part of my life. I honestly (not even being remotely over the top) have NO idea what I would do without music in my life. Musicians take emotions and feelings and put them into words. I am able to yell out emotions singing intense songs (especially in the card). I can get very excited or very sad due to a song. There are some songs I can’t listen to because they literally make me cry every time I hear them.  Music is an emotional thing for me. 

But, I don't think any of this is news. I always have my phone or iPod ready to go with a playlist based on a road trip. Kendal has come to expect it! And, I love that. What I really want to focus on with this post (which is 100% a reflection for me) is how some songs bring me right back to a moment in life. Memories are tied so strongly to some songs. So I am starting this blog post and will build on it as songs remind me of moments.

So here are some songs that put me right back in a situation:

Bleed American album by Jimmy Eat World – This entire CD makes me think of Lord of the Flies. Apparently, in 10th grade, I read this book for school with this CD playing enough that I still can picture entire scenes when I heard the songs.

Heirlooms by Amy Grant- This is a Christmas song.  I can picture being at our old house in Meadowview, in the front room where the Christmas tree was, home alone, putting a show on for the empty house, singing at the top of my lungs and dancing around.  "My precious family is more than an heirloom to me."

Bandages by Hot Hot Heat - My brother singing it in our kitchen.  He was so into it.  It was hilarious and it has stuck with me.  I laugh every time I hear this song. 

Jump, Jive an' Wail by The Brian Setzer Orchestra- my first dance competition.  It was a tap large group and three of us started on, me being one of them.  I was in the middle of a group (because I was actually the tallest... haha) and we start the show.  I was SO nervous.  I think I almost threw up before the show.  It was a huge step for me.  I hear that song and can feel that anxiety again, but then about two seconds later I laugh.  I can't believe how freaked out I was.  I came off stage and my mom was so worried about me because it was written all over my face how nervous I had been.  It is amazing that didn't end my dance compeition career. 

In This Diary by the Ataris- standing on a chair at my high school graduation looking for my parents.  Meredith and I had gotten seperated from them and I was standing on a chair looking around for them.  This song came on and during the three minute song (or whatever it is), three people came up to me and said this song made them think of me.  It really made me happy.

Home by Michael Buble- I can picture sitting in my little hotel room (dorm room) in Rome feeling homesick and this song brought me a lot of comfort.  I journaled a lot in Europe and wrote letters to people I never sent.  I really got homesick for my family and familiarity towards the ends. There is a line it in that really resonated with me: "I'm lucky, I know, but I want to go home."  This explains exactly how I felt.  I knew I was lucky to study abroad and I really did enjoy my adventures.  But that didn't take away that I really missed my family and my home. I missed SMC and the semester that was happening without me.

I Like It, I Love It by Tim McGraw- I always picture Kendal being a baby girl, old enough to have learned a few of the lyrics.  We would be on the way to the North County Fair mall and she would be in her car seat, singing, and kicking her chubby little legs.  I love that song because I picture this every time I hear this song! 

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

The Office

So one of my little cheats on the 30 before 30 was watching the remainder of the Office that I have put off.  This was Michael's last epsiode, and the entire last season.  I finished last night.  And I, as expected, was bawling. I watched Michael's last one and the finale back to back... too much emotion!
I loved this show: through its ups and downs, awkward moments to sweet moments.  It was real.  Maybe not all the story lines were real but the people and their sturggles.  The emotions and the fears.   I loved the Pam and Jim story in its entirety.  I love the way Michael was ridiculous and Dwight was horrible but they were a family. The last episode was amazing.  I really apprecaite how the creators ended it with a wrap up. 
I leave you with Pam's advice. 

Saturday, December 14, 2013


So I have about 100 things I could blog about but the most recent thing to talk about it: I got a cat!  Last Saturday, I got a cat at the same place my brother and SIL got their cat, Snoop.  I had been preparing for some time.  I had all the necessary items waiting at home.  I just needed to find the right one.

I had gone to Petco a couple times near my parents' house and almost got a little gray kitty.  But the logistics made it feel like it might not have been the best timing.  So I waiting until after Thanksgiving and for a weekend, so I could be around for the cat to help both of us adjust. 

So I went to PAWS and talked to the people that work there.  They mentioned due to my work schedule, a kitten might not be the best idea.  It wouldn't have been fair to a little kitty.  So I went into a couple rooms and hung out with some cats.  I thought I had a girl cat picked out.  She was gray and beautiful.  However, she made it clear that she changed her mind with a little hiss at me.  But during this, a little orange cat kept coming up to me.  So I interacted a little bit with the cat named Elliot.  I decided he was the one.  So I adopted Elliot. 

However, I changed his name.  I will keep Elliot as a middle name because I can't just forget the name he came with and it is the name of the bay at the Seattle Waterfront (Elliot Bay).  So I decided to go with the name I wanted with Elliot as the middle name.  So meet Oliver Elliot.  (Oliver is from the Disney movie I grew up with, Oliver and Company, and after Olive, a teddy bear given to me by my two "little sisters.")

Oliver's first hiding spot was right behind some of my favorite books... clearly he was prefect for me!  He still loves hiding here. Ignore the scary eyes.  Flashes and cat eyes don't get along.

Napping and cuddling with me on the couch on our second day together. 
Oliver and his namesake, both with their new collar and tags.

Oliver kind of got in the way of my wrapping.  He was "helping."

I have a little residual fear from a previous cat my family had that wasn't very nice but we are working together.  He is pretty self sufficient.  He seems to sleep anytime I am gone.  He likes to cuddle, but in his own time.  He LOVES being brushed, which is good since he sheds quite a bit.  He likes to talk to me.  But overall, I am pretty happy with my little guy.  It is nice to have someone to come home to and someone to watch a movie with.  Hopefully this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Single Life

Warning: this is a ranting post.

I have a pet peeve.  It isn’t something I experience every day but I experience far too much and it is extremely frustrating.  So I give the general public some advice: stop asking the obvious questions

What do I mean?  If someone doesn’t have a job, don’t keep asking when they will get a job.  If someone is single, don’t ask when they are going to get married.  And if someone doesn’t have kids, don’t ask when they are going to have kids.  Trust that if it is happening, someone will share.  

The one I am dealing with is the marriage question.  Apparently, it is expected that at 27 years old, I am suppose to be married or on that path more than I am currently.  Let me tell you something: it isn’t just a decision I can make.  It isn’t a switch I can flip and have happen.  It takes time and a working relationship- two things I don’t have very well figured out.  If I were ready to get married, I would be engaged.  Stop asking me.  All it does is make me feel like I am missing something.  It makes me feel as if something is wrong with me.  It makes me feel like I am doing something wrong with my life.

What if… just what if… I am not meant to be married?  All your asking does is make me feel like that isn’t okay.  Plenty of people never get married.  And, if I do get married someday, what does the asking do for you or me right now?

I would like to someday get married, if God has that in His plan for me.  I do wanted children someday.  However, asking me and making me feel bad about not being married or even near getting married isn’t getting me any closer.  You are not helping.  In fact, you are hurting.  So stop.  Just trust that if it happens and you are supposed to know, you will. 

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Dick Van Dyke: My Lucky Life In and Out of Show Business

Book Title:Dick Van Dyke: My Lucky Life In and Out of Show Business (A Memoir)

Author: Dick Van Dyke

So I was at the Bellevue library with my dad.  He was looking up something related to his genealogy research.  I wandered around and found this sitting on the table.  I love Dick Van Dyke.  I have a lot of respect for him.  So I picked up the book and decided to read it. 

It took me awhile to read because to be honest, I got bored in the middle.  I am not good about reading biographies.  I love fiction so much more but for some reason do not enjoy non-fiction stories.

However, if you like Dick Van Dyke, I would suggest reading this.  I learned a lot about him.

  • He struggled financially.  His family was broke and just getting by in life.  His poor wife must have been so patient. 
  • He was actively involved in his church and turned down roles that he was uncomfortable with for moral reasons. He enjoyed doing family films, like Mary Poppins
  • He had an alcohol problem and smoked regularly.  He eventually quit both but neither was easy to leave behind.  They were part of his lifestyle and a choice to give up.
  • And, worst of all for me to read, he cheated on his wife. This was probably what made it hard for me to read through parts of this book.  It wasn't that he slept with another woman, but he realized he was connecting with another woman better than his wife.  This created problems in his marriage.  He and his first wife divorced. 

Dick is a great story teller.  He was a strong man to get through Hollywood.  Soon after I finished the book, I saw his car caught on fire and he was fine. I think he might be invincible!

I have been going back and re-watching his movies and TV shows now with his stories about them fresh in my mind.  It does make it a lot more fun... plus the Dick Van Dyke show is just a great TV show!

Friday, October 4, 2013

Silver Linings Playbook

Book Title: Silver Linings Playbook

Author: Matthew Quick

I read this book after watching the movie.  I enjoyed both but I realize whatever order I complete a book/movie combo in, I like the first one more (generally. If not, it will always be the book).  So unfortunately, I liked the movie better.  Maybe I was too influenced by the actors in the movie than the characters in the book. 

However, with that stated, I did enjoy the book.  It delves into the head of a person with a mental illness.  The book starts with Pat getting out of a mental institution, as demanded by the court system.  The story follows Pat’s “recovery” and return to “normal” life.  The story sheds some light on how someone with a mental illness thinks (or forgets to think). It goes through his recovery process and how it is hard and not at all linear.

Pat sends a lot of the story pining for his wife.  He doesn't have full memory of how their fall out went- he has blocked it out of his memory.  So he is trying to better himself for his wife (lose weight, take her interest, take others' feelings into account).  He meets a friend's wife's sister, Tiffany in the process. Tiffany has lost her cop husband and is mourning him. Together, they recover.  Most of it isn't necessarily the healthy processes but in the end, they both are able to move forward. 

The story develops around their friendship and I think there are good underlying messages: We all need someone to believe in us, we all need a friend, and family is an essential support system.