Saturday, February 28, 2009

Good friends & good wine

Today I went to be Lori's assistant on a photo shoot. We were taking some pictures for a friend's little wine venture. Where else do you go but wine country for that? ;)

We invited Aaron, Joe, and Nathan to come along for the ride. They tolerated us well while we hunted for good photo opps and while Lori clicked away, working her magic with the camera.

Since we're down here, might as well enjoy some of the vintners' creations, right? We only tasted at two wineries in order to avoid having too terribly much to drink. After tasting at Falkner (hooray for 1/2 off coupons) and Wilson Creek, we stopped at Round Table and enjoyed some lunch and came back to the house to check out some of the pictures and listen to Joe play guitar.

I think I'll have to make a point of trying new places next time I'm down that way. We'll have to shoot for a Summer weekday and get in on some discounts for that.

Lori left and the boys stayed and we watched Into the Wild Green Yonder.

It was a great day. I love that Lori loves these guys and that we can all hang out and get along. I think today's jaunt down to Temecula was a good note to end February on.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Devon & McKenna

First and foremost, I'm thankful for Kevin & Jen for opening up their home for us to hang out tonight.

My favorite part of the night, by far, was playing Guesstures. Not because the game is all that great, it's fun, but it's really just charades with extra rules.

The reason the game was so fun was because Devon and McKenna were helping. They were helping everyone pick cards as well as helping me make sure Aaron wasn't peeking (very important in this game).

I normally would have gotten really mad at the idea of losing the first round. But Devon and McKenna made it impossible to be mad or sad or anything like that. Just by being themselves, and helping us (of course helping the girls a little more than the guys), and doing their awesome rendition of the Howling Grapes, they made the game a billion times better.

Neither one of these girls heard Kevin's assignment last week for us to bring joy to the people around us, but man, they sure know how to do just that. Thanks, ladies. You're both fantastic joy-bringers in my book. :)

Thursday, February 26, 2009

New Recipe

I decided to try my hand at an Emeril recipe for Chicken Piccata tonight.

It took me quite a bit of time, I wasn't prepared for or expecting all of the preparation details, so I was disorganized and a bit frantic in the cooking process.

However, the meal was delish. It was really satisfying to sit down after all of that cooking and prep to a nice meal. Too bad I can't delude myself into thinking that chicken cooked in butter and olive oil and sauce that Aaron said tasted like "lemon butter" sauce (since that's what it essentially is) is a healthy option for making again and again. I enjoy cooking, actually, and even if I fumble around and it takes me a while, I enjoy it all the more if the result is great.

Any master chefs out there, I couldn't quite get the chicken as flat as the recipe called for, anyone think that's because it was frozen and then defrosted? It ended up taking a lot longer to cook because it was just too thick.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Spiritual Seasons

There is a reason that we have seasons. Life depends upon the ebbs and flows, much of it could not be sustained without some kind of change in climate.

Ash Wednesday marks the start of a spiritual season. A season of fasting, in order to truly appreciate what the resurrection means for the Christ-follower.

I believe that we live in a culture of even-keeledness, sometimes it's just too comfortable to stay at the same intensity with our religion, our exercise program, our relationships... what Lent does is it creates a season, an opportunity to change the tempo. To adjust the temperature a little bit, to make ourselves less comfortable so we can rely on and look to God for comfort.

In observing this season, I believe it's creating space for growth. The same way that Winter paves the way for Spring. It really doesn't matter if we do it now in step with many in the Catholic church and other Protestant churches, but the beautiful thing about doing it now is the unity it creates among those who believe. It lets my Godparents know that I still believe in the same God that they do, even if I don't go to confession. It reminds me that Cindy, for all her "go Catholic!" speeches is at her core, a believer in Christ in the same way that I am. It is a humbling reminder that we are all just trying to figure this thing out. It is a reminder that I create obstacles for myself, and this time, if I'll let it, is a time that God can use to help me move or destroy those obstacles.

Paul shared a great devotional in our ministry team meeting, and called our attention to John 17:20-26. It reminded me that this season really is a way to seek out unity with God and to do that in the spirit of saying we're all in this together. We're just a bunch of imperfect people, struggling with our various addictions and habits. In this season, we can try to put some of those aside in order to seek out how we might use the laying down of those things as a stepping stone for growth.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009


I had a few realizations today. Well, some of them I had long before, but today at least two were solidified.

One is that we don't need another dog. Aaron showed up rearing to go to the animal shelter and adopt this adorable little jack russell terrier mix. And she was quite cute, until she started barking at Scout and acting like the most aggressive little pup I've ever seen.

We stuck around and met a few other dogs, but none of them seemed to get along with Scout. Not that they were fighting, just that they weren't a good fit for her. Or really for us, either.

I would LOVE to get another dog, especially a puppy, but I just think it's not the right time for us to do that. And I'm glad we didn't settle for one of these. I think we could have regretted it.

The other realization is that I spend waaaayyyy too much time on the internet. Doing random things. Wasting time and energy. I was praying and thinking about what to give up for Lent, and this was the one that kept coming to mind.

It's impossible for me to "give up internet," mostly because of my job and the email communication and research it requires. But also because all of our banking is online and I pay da bills. So I'm giving up "non-essential" internet. Meaning, I get 30-45 minutes in the morning with which to check my email, feeds, write my blog, and do any internet banking that is necessary. Most of the bills are actually automated, so that's just keeping tabs and making sure receipts are entered into the budget spreadsheet, etc.

I guess I'm giving up"non-essential" computer time. I know I'm somewhat addicted, and I'm realizing that if I weren't here a lot of the time I might be doing something more valuable with my time. However, I also realize I'm depressed more often than I should be so if I'm not here, I might be vegging in front of the tv without caring enough to get up.

Anyway, this is a start, and we'll see if it helps me get motivated to do the things that need to be done. I have a feeling that since it was such a God-influenced idea, that He will honor it and something will change.

If nothing else, I'll probably at least be on time for work. :P

Monday, February 23, 2009

Saving Money

It's the last week of the month. Normally the week where Aaron and I are either already over budget, or barely have a couple dollars to get gas and food. Not this month! We actually have a little bit of moola left, not a lot, and it's technically earmarked for gas money, which means it should go into our irregular expense account for car maintenance, etc. It still feels good.

Part of the reason we still have money left is thanks to some savvy coupon shopping at Ralphs.

At one point, I was signed up for The Grocery Game, and maybe I'll give it another shot someday, but that was just too much work. I'm all about saving money, but I'm also all about my time. So I don't think I can ever be one of those people who regularly scours the coupons from the Sunday paper (but I do use them, so keep them coming, please Louise!), but I know which things I can usually find a coupon for and when I do I go find it and use it.

For instance, prescriptions. I had never filled a prescription at the Ralphs pharmacy before, and I knew there was a coupon for $30 on your Ralphs card in the weekly circular once. So I had this prescription and I waited on it for a little while keeping an eye out for that weekly coupon and I went to Ralphs and voila. I spent $10 on the prescription, but got $30 back towards grocery money.

I also had my $10 Ralphs rewards gift certificate, and when you add to that the coupons that they (Ralphs) sent me based on my shopping habits, plus the $5 off that can always be found in Clipper magazine, plus my "discounts" for sale items (ie buy one get one free Strawberries), I walked away having spent $49.50 tonight and saving $81. Although, I think that's misleading because of the sales. Still, my total before my pharmacy coupon, the rewards certificate, and the $5 off was $99. According to Ralphs overly enthusiastic savings, it was $81, according to my reigned in perspective it was $50.

Either way, I felt good walking out of the store with my loot. We have enough food for the whole week, no excuses to eat out, really, and that was my mission. We may not put that little bit of leftover money into our irregular expenses, but that's okay, because we're going wine tasting in Temecula on Saturday, and we can spend that without prematurely dipping into the March fund.

Now I am just hoping that we can cash in on a first-time prescription at Target. Maybe after that we'll hit up Walgreen's.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

The Color Yellow

For me, the color yellow has always represented some form of happiness or joy.

I was reminded tonight, while watching the Oscars, of how brilliantly Boyle (at least, I think it was his choice) used yellow in Slumdog Millionaire to represent hope and basically anything that was good.

During the performance of Jai Ho, I was glad to see the two women singing the song were wearing yellow costumes. I commented to Aaron about how nicely that was woven throughout the film. And how it represented whatever was lovely, whatever was admirable or good.

Then, Rahman alluded to the idea during his speech. Not about the color, but just about the hope and joy in the film. It made me feel like I got the answer right, it reminded me that I still do have this creative side, and seeing that color and hearing that song reminded me to smile.

Color symbolism aside, when pretty much the whole cast came on stage to accept the Best Picture award, it warmed my heart. It is my favorite Oscar moment so far. I hope that the Academy continues to imbue the ceremony itself with artistic intentionality the way that it did last night.

I'm thankful for the color, and I'm thankful for last night's award ceremony for recognizing such a beautiful film and for carrying itself with so much style & class this year (more so, in my opinion, than in years past).

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Heather M.

On this day, 26 years ago, was born a baby girl named Heather.

Heather had quite a colorful childhood. Think Amelie's parents + a menagerie of dogs, cats, miniature horses, horses, etc. As one might expect, Heather has quite the imagination. But as one might not expect from someone who had a fairly hands-off upbringing, Heather is kind, generous, hard-working, and thoughtful.

Getting to know Heather takes some work and effort, and there are a lot of people who are just lazy in general and don't want to put that kind of work into a friendship. That's their loss, because she is a gem. The kind of friend who will kick you in the shins if you're being a jerk, the kind of friend who will share the loot when she has a heap of Starbucks cards with random small amounts remaining on them. That friend who you could spend all day with working on a project and then join up with again for dinner and games afterward. She is a great friend, the kind that every girl should have, and I am so thankful to call her one of my dearest.

Too stinkin' cute

Friday, February 20, 2009

Grandma's Tortillas

Aaron's grandma Ruth makes homemade tortillas. Aaron used to help with the process when he was a kid, and we really didn't want to lose the recipe or tradition, so when we were dating we went to her house and did it with her once to learn.

It's not all that difficult, but it does take some time and can get pretty messy.

It has become something that we do every once in a while under just the right circumstances. For friends for small dinner parties, one time for a hangout we were having with our Bible study (had to make 2-3 batches for that one!). This time we had the pleasure of sharing them with Carol and Paul.

I'm sure these tortillas are absolutely one of the most fattening and indulging things that we eat. But they're so good, and it's really satisfying to eat them after spending all the time and energy making them.

For Aaron, it's a happy memory of his grandma. She's still around, but he doesn't get to spend as much time with her as he used to. I am really thankful for this little piece of heritage that we have. The recipe is even written in Grandma's handwriting on a 5x7 index card.

Thursday, February 19, 2009


So I'm behind a day.

I think I am going to change it up to write in the morning about what I'm thankful for from the previous day. Of course, I meant to start that this morning, but now it's 4pm.

To keep accuracy as far as what date I'm writing about, I'm going to date it for the day the post is about. It feels like cheating, but it makes the most sense to me.


Wednesday, February 18, 2009


I know it probably seems silly to be thankful for a television show, especially to those who find absolutely nothing of value in watching tv at all.

I try not to watch too much, sometimes I'm better at it than others.

Watching Lost though, feels more like reading a really good story than watching television. There are themes, and plot twists, and they actually leave things up to the imagination sometimes. Not only that, but this season it seems to me like Lost is more about redemption than anything else. Finding the path that will take each of these characters to the next level of being decent human beings.

So I'm thankful for the good writing, for the popularity that has kept it on for another season or two, for enjoying watching it with Aaron and discussing it and theories, for being able to talk to people about it at work, and sorry kids, but I'm thankful that Jin is ALIVE.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Quick Thinking

Today I arrived at work on time after stopping at the post office, around 9am. An absolutely unusual occurrence on my new schedule (I usually push the envelope with getting there closer to 9:30, when the office opens, but I make it up by staying late).

When I got there, Kevin came out to greet me and asked if I had gotten the breakfasty snack foods and coffee for a 10am meeting we were hosting at Flipside for some area pastors.

Noooooooooooooooo! Enter panic. I had approximately 45 minutes with which to get to Starbucks and get a "Joe-to-go" and the grocery store for juice and danish-type things, as well as cups, napkins, and the other usual suspects.

I went to Starbucks first and ordered the coffee. Then ran up to Ralphs (which is remodeled and did not make it easy for me to find what I needed), and back to Starbucks to pick up my bounty.

Made it back to the office around 9:47, with just enough time to set everything up before the "guests" started arriving. Yikes!

I know this is probably not that exciting to anyone else, but I would have been so embarrassed to walk into the middle of that meeting to bring the stuff, plus it would have made Kevin look bad. And what could have been an embarrassing day-ruiner of a situation turned out to be just a nice little adrenaline jolt to start off my day. Which, in fact, ended up being very productive.

Guess I have to let Remember The Milk send me my daily emails again now that I'm actually using it to keep my to-do lists. Yes, these tasks were all on my list, but somehow I still forgot them. Go figure.

Monday, February 16, 2009

New Tires

So it's rained 2 or 3 of the last several Mondays. Which has not been fun considering the state of my tires. Mondays are the only day I have to drive more than a few miles.

Today, however, was different. I got NEW tires on Friday, so today was not quite the wild ride to Chino that it has been, in spite of the pouring rain.

Yeah, call me crazy, but I like feeling safe and like my car is completely under my control.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Power Outages

Tonight as Joe and Aaron and I were sitting around in our living room, the power went out.

After the initial excitement of determining that it wasn't just our house, that all the street lights were out as well, and finding flashlights and candles and matches, we settled in to appreciate the change in environment.

As Joe and Aaron bantered about music and guitar chords, I grabbed my journal and started writing. I tend to get overly poetic in times like these, so bear with me. I really like some of what I wrote, but I don't feel much like editing so I'm going to just give you all of it:
Spontaneous creativity erupting from an absence of artificial lights, the kind that only emerges once you've jammed a few tapered candles into empty beer bottles. They that serve the temporary impromptu purpose of candleholders in a time of need.

The sound of an acoustic guitar filling and shaking the air, aiding in mixing the scents from various slightly fragranced candles. The smell of burnt dust adding to the aromas, as well as that of remnants of stale old beer trapped beneath flickering wick and wax.

An unlikely band forms, singing and creating their own versions of favorite melodies. Some are improved upon and others beg to be left alone.

One thing is certain, this room has never been more full of life than tonight, when lit by nothing more than candles, and filled with no more than three kindred spirits and a guitar.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Time Well Spent

I am thankful for a whole day with my hubby, just at home being together.

Friday, February 13, 2009


You know the phrase TGIF?

Yeah. I'm that today. I took the dog to work because of the rain, I worked hard, and then I got to cook a little dinner for myself since Aaron was out and then I got to relax and have some quiet time (and even a nap) before Lori and Alicia came for our night o' fun.

That was really fun, especially getting there... Cherry is evil when it comes to the 210.

Alicia and I finally got to see Made of Honor. It was cute.

And it's midnight, and I love my husband, but this little piece of independence is really really nice.

So, thank God it's Friday. Seriously.

Thursday, February 12, 2009


I was tagged in this little game.

Go to where you store your pictures, and post the 4th picture from the 4th folder.

I tag Elizabeth L., Heather M., and Dawn V., who needs an excuse to update her blog, I feel... :P

This is me and my friend Sally from our end of the year theatre department banquet. She and Connie were pretty much my first friends at Cal Poly. It's hard to keep up with everyone, but she definitely has a special place in my heart. I was pleasantly surprised that this was the 4th pic in the 4th folder. The one next to it was Barnsey and Sethie-Poo holding pinkies. hehehehe


Today, after I finished my big brain-taxing financial report (for the first time without Briana's help), I had time to check in with Kevin. We ended up talking for a good couple of hours and I feel really excited and encouraged about possibilities for my role in ministry. Yeah!

I got to thoroughly enjoy an email from my dad with some awesome cute dog pictures.

I left work ON TIME instead of staying late to finish something up.

I just feel like I had margin today. Like there was time to do what needed to be done as well as what was begging to be done, the things I wanted to do. I am thankful for the gift of time, or properly directed energy and effort, or whatever you want to call it.

I also took in the following cutest video ever:

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


First things first.

I cannot believe that 9 years ago today I was at Rock Honda in Fontana purchasing my car.

Somehow I was thinking earlier this week about how long I've had my car and it blew my mind. I know it's just a car, but seriously. I bought her brand new. I believe she had 8 miles on her. And I've had this car longer than I've lived anywhere, with the exception of the Bloomington house.

And sometimes, when it's cold, like it is tonight, and I turn on the heater, she still has that new car smell. Only for a second now, but for a while it would last as long as I had the heater on. I probably would not have blogged about her if it weren't for that second in the parking lot that I smelled that AND the fact that today is her "birthday." 171,000 miles later and still going strong. Oh, is that rude? To talk about a lady's age like that? ;)

So, on to bigger and better things. I had a really good chat with Heather M. tonight and I have about a million ideas that are starting to come to fruition.

Like... starting my own website! Yeah!

I just got my domain name today, after endless months trying to think of something clever and 3 days of trying to find something clever that wasn't already taken, or "taken" by some jerkhead spammers abusing the internet to stake domain names that they really have no vested interest in. Harumph to them.

Anyway, since I just got the name, I can't put anything on it yet - not even a placeholder or anything. But I can't wait to start working on a logo, I already have ideas, and designing the site. It's going to be very bloggy.

Oh, man, I'm so excited.

But for now, it's time to get my poor tired eyes away from the computer screen and change into my jammy's before Lost starts.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Pleasant Shopping Experiences

I think this is the first time Aaron and I have made it out of Costco for less than $100. And I actually feel as though we spent wisely. We took coupons (which, apparently you don't need to actually BRING the coupons), and bought things that we needed like Kleenex (happy, Mom?), trashbags, and ziplocs. Only the things that are actually more reasonably priced in bulk. Plus I got some Skinny Cow ice cream sandwiches, blueberries, a big bag of frozen chicken, milk, eggs, etc.

I know, this is probably one of my more exciting thankful posts.

But let me tell you, after Costco, I dropped Aaron off at home and went to the grocery store to pick up enough to get us through the week. Meat, frozen veggies, lean cuisines. Still boring, I know.

When I opened up my fridge to put the groceries away from stop #2, I had this crazy feeling.  It looks like actual GROWN-UPS live in my house. Seriously, we have enough food to actually feed people if they come over. 

It's not that we're destitute, we have a pretty sizeable food budget. It's just that I'm a terrible shopper. And right now, at this moment, I feel like I was a good shopper. All because I have a full fridge and a not-zapped budget for the week. Yay!

Monday, February 9, 2009


Rain is grace; rain is the sky condescending to the earth; without rain, there would be no life. - John Updike

In Southern California, any drop of rain seems to bring with it a "Storm Watch" on the news.

I find it ridiculous.

But I think the reason why we get so worked up here over the slightest variation from the average 78.6 degrees and sunny is because it just doesn't happen very often. 

Today, Rose's teenage son, Paul, came out to tell us that it was HAILING. Hail? Wow! Rose and I stood there and watched through the window and even opened the door to admire this "weather" we were having. It lasted all of 5 minutes, and the hail was no bigger than BBs... but it was exciting! It was a change. 

We even heard extraordinarily loud thunder rumbling, two different times, for what seemed like a solid minute each time. 

There was one summer when Brenda came along on vacation with my parents and I. We were headed to Colorado, and we stayed in Flagstaff, Arizona overnight in our motorhome on the way out. There was the most amazing electrical storm that night, and Brenda and I just parked ourselves on my parents' bed in the back of the motorhome to watch it from the back window. We could actually see lightning, like the stuff from the pictures, not the California stuff that makes you wonder if someone just took a picture with their flash on. It's one of my favorite memories. We were going into our freshman year of high school, so it got pretty silly. ;) Waaaaa!

On a rainy day, the greens seem greener, and once the blue sky begins to peek through, it seems somehow bluer than ever. There is a richness to every texture that just can't be properly appreciated in glaring sunlight. Nor can that sunshine be appreciated to the fullest extent without rainy days like these to remind us that it's beautiful.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

My l'il Sis-in-law

Tonight we went out to dinner (at Lucille's, yummy) to celebrate Aaron's youngest sister's birthday.

Ashley is a sweet and intelligent girl. I'm so proud of her for getting her cosmotology license, and getting hired on at a good "training" salon in the Montclair Mall. 

I had a really hectic crazy week, and day, but we had known for a little over a week about going to dinner tonight for Ashley. She actually called us to extend the invitation. That is definitely one thing that has been a struggle for me and Aaron. We are so busy that it becomes challenging to go to family events because they get piled on at the last minute. I love love our family, but I appreciate the consideration of giving a little bit more notice, too. 

With how crazy the week (month) has been, it could have been a lot more challenging to get down there today for her. But since we knew ahead of time, it was much less stressful. It was nice. We even got there early. *gasp*

So that's why I'm thankful for Ashley today. She let us know we were important to her by asking ahead of time, and we were glad to be able to go celebrate her today. 

I really hope this post makes sense. ;) I know it will to Aaron, but he speaks my language so that's not a good measuring stick.

Saturday, February 7, 2009


I went to a really awesome women's group this morning. 

It was a place where I could feel safe, and share something that was on my heart, and receive encouragement and blessing as a result.

I won't say much more. I will say that I am thankful today for women who love God and listen to what He has to say to them. Who seek out how they might share what has been given to them with other like-minded people.

Sure, in this instance it was a "Bible Study". But I think it's really important that even if you don't do the whole church thing or even if you don't believe in God, that you gather together with other people and just share life. It's so healthy and beneficial. There are many studies on the correlation between living a longer, healthier, happier life and having friends. I believe that the real friendships are the ones where people know the good, the bad, and the ugly.

So start a book club, organize a dinner party, just get some people around you who you want to love and share life with. Be honest with them and let them be honest with you. Learn to love the awkwardness of vulnerability. It becomes less scary over time (I think).

*I apologize if there's post/note overload... I'm trying to blog each day about something that I'm thankful for. This is the best I've ever done with keeping a "resolution". It's kinda fun!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Dad & Mom

This is sort of, though not completely, related to yesterday's post.

My mom and dad are incredibly supportive, in their own weird way. I will get the weird way explanation over with and then go on to the rest, the good stuff. The weirdness is that they think my political ideas are crackpot, and that they didn't raise me that way, so they don't understand how I could be something other than a George W. Bush-loving, dogged Republican for life. I don't think they understand why I give so much time and energy within the church. I think they think I'm passing time. 

But, they still support me. 

Even though my dad and I once didn't speak for three days over a political email debacle. 

They don't support me as in, sending money every month or anything like that. They support me as in helping with anything that they can. My dad is an all-around handyman, so I expect that over the years he will work on countless projects around our home with Aaron. My mom is great in the kitchen, and with a sewing machine. She's made me two aprons, is working on a quilt, and went out of her way to buy me things that my kitchen was found to be lacking when we were cooking Christmas dinner together.

Sidenote: Joe and Nathan are here and Joe is rockin' some Beatles on the guitar. It's GREAT. One of my favorite things about when these guys are chillin' at my house. Yes, they're all singing. I'm 99% sure of it.

So back in December, I was beginning to dread the thought of needing to purchase new computers for the Flipside office, because a couple of them seemed to be on their last legs. My dad is all-around handy enough that he was able to come take a look and see if it would be worth the investment to add more RAM to them or what other performance tweaks we could do. 

After he came and checked everything out, he sent me a great website to order through. Then we had a budget meeting and I thought I'd better hold off a few months on purchasing this stuff. Unless... unless I could get someone to donate that to the church. And, my parents are just awesome enough that they bought it and did that. 

Not only that, but my mom and dad came to the office to install the memory once it came. And when we realized I should have ordered a couple more GBs, he offered to go ahead and order them. And when I asked for his 2nd opinion on what I should order for my laptop (which is MUCH better now), he offered to throw that in with his other order. And when it was too late to put it on the other order, he went ahead and ordered it separately as an "early Valentine gift". And he isntalled that for me today, too. 

Oh, and while my dad was installing RAM and playing with computers, my mom helped me fold and stuff a huge mailing. Contribution statements, actually, which is perfect because she doesn't know anyone at church. I could not have gotten those out without her, at least not on time. I love how when my dad comes to do something, my mom is right there with him. They really are a team.

I could go on and on about how awesome and helpful my parents are, but I think this is enough blogging for one night. It's been pretty awesome to have my parents around at the office and getting to see them interact with my team of friends. I'm thankful for that, too. :)

For Heather M.

This stuff made me think of you. At Famous Dave's by the Ontario Mills.

Not the jucy [sic] pig sign, the stuff on the shelf that's kinda hard to see. It's really kichy retro picnic / thermos / kitchen stuff. :)

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Free Stuff

I'm really grumpy right now. My laptop is running at a snail's pace despite my best efforts to tweak performance. And here is where I sit down on the couch and think about what I am thankful for.

I am thankful that tomorrow my laptop will be running 4x faster. Why? Because the nw RAM that my dad bought for me as an "early valentine gift" got here today. I'm sitting here getting angry about the fact that I have to wait 12 hours because I'm missing a screwdriver.

For someone who's trying to be more grateful, I'm sure feeling like an ingrate.

On top of that free RAM I got today, I was also blessed via Larry's delivery of a warm beverage of the Starbucks persuasion. 

Then Alicia texted me about lunch, and since I really couldn't spend $, she bought.

It's really easy to get caught up in throwing yourself a little tantrum at 8pm and forget about all the wonderful little things that took place between 9am and 7:59pm.

Does anyone else get stuck in these knots of frustration?

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Creature Comforts

I'm working from home for the remainder of the day. Since things went so far off schedule, I'm just resigned to working until 9pm when Lost starts. With a dinner break, of course.

So it's a little chilly in my house, but it seems wrong to me to turn on the heater when I can just as easily throw on my comfy old Disneyland sweatshirt instead.

Right now, I'm thankful for this sweatshirt.

I got it on my 17th birthday, Brenda's dad may have bought it for me. I got to ditch school that day and go to Disneyland with Jaime, Brenda, and Brenda's dad. It was one of the best days I've ever had. We took silly pictures, ate lunch at the Blue Bayou, and did I mention I got to actually "ditch" school to go, complete with the blessing of my parents? 

To show for that day, I have this exceedingly comfortable sweatshirt. It's just the right amount of too big. I can't wear it in public, though I'm sure I did in high school. It doesn't have a hood. I love that. Don't get me wrong, I love me some hooded sweatshirt. But for just hanging out around the house it kind of gets in the way. And the strings get all caught up weird and it's bulky around your neck... this sweatshirt is just about perfect. 

It's light gray with Disneyland written across the chest. But each letter of the word is representative of a character. The D is dressed up like Mickey, i like Pooh Bear, s like Goofy, etc. It's simple Disney charm. No flashy glittery pics of Tinkerbell or huge character images. Just the good stuff. 

Even though it's not soft and fleecy inside anymore, it's still not itchy. It's a little dingy, but it's still got a few miles before it falls apart on me. And this is probably the one piece of clothing that I have this much affinity for.

And I guess you could say I'm glad that once in a while I get to work from home and wear it. I've never had a security/comfort blanket, but this comes pretty close.

Now, to immerse myself in Relevant Servanthood... :)

25 Things

Reposted for my non-facebook friends... to some of whom I say, come on, get a Facebook! ;)

Rules: Once you've been tagged, you are supposed to write a note with 25 random things, facts, habits, or goals about you. At the end, choose 25 people to be tagged. You have to tag the person who tagged you. If I tagged you, it's because I want to know more about you.  

1. Not like this is a secret, but I'm adopted. I was raised as an only child by my parents, who I love, quirks and all. When I was 18 I met my birth mother and her husband and my 4 siblings and a load of other family members. It's pretty awesome having such a unique extended family.  

2. I love love love animals. Like when I was a kid I wanted to be a veterinarian. Then I found out I kinda sucked at science.  

3. So, following up to number 2, I love our dog, Scout. She's stinkin' the best dog ever. I wish we could have more, but they're expensive, especially if you ever want to go anywhere for more than a day.  

4. I started college when I was 17, at a private very conservative Christian college. I couldn't afford to live on campus, so I lived in a travel trailer on some crazy old lady's ranch and took care of her 5 horses for her instead of paying rent. I'm pretty sure I was getting the short end of that stick. Thank God my friend Cari moved out there with me and shared the burden. I couldn't have survived that semester without her.  

5. That's right, I attended a really expensive private school for one semester, and left because A. that place was nutzo conservative, and B. that ranch living situation was just too much work.  

6. I moved 9 times between 2001 and 2008. Good thing they have us locked into 30 years on this place, cause I'm SO DONE moving.  

7. I spent most of my high school life in the theatre, doing anything and everything I could. I absolutely loved the theatre, but once I stopped feeling "good" at it, it stopped seeming worth the time sacrifice. I sometimes wish I could restructure my life to put it back in, but right now that doesn't feel possible.  

8. Speaking of theatre - worst/best memory was not getting cast as Viola in Twelfth Night, even though I nailed the audition / but then getting asked to assistant direct and feeling really really good about the accomplishments there. If I had it all to do over again I would go back and direct my little heart out.  

9. My parents were always scared I would be a full-time student. Truthfully, if I had access to the money to pay for school, I probably would be. I would love to go to grad school, even if it was back at CPP - just to sponge off of Baker, Sisney, and Rocklin. I would love to go take some classes on programming and networking and CIS and graphic design. I probably should go take a couple basic accounting classes if time ever allows. ;) But those are not on my wish list so much as my that would be helpful list.  

10. I don't like to let my legs or arms hang off the bed at night... because the scary things under the bed will get me. Yeah, that thought actually still goes through my head, and I am 28 years old. I know it's crazy, I know.  

11. I am one of those "scary" Christians who actually does want everyone I know to be one, too. Not because I get some kind of God-points, but because I really do think it's the absolute best way to live. (If you do it in the way that is real and truly follows Christ as a lifestyle and not the media's portrayal of the Christian right.)  

12. I've been very on again off again with that whole "crazy" Christian thing. I've got some skeletons in my closet that I imagine most would be shocked at. It took a lot of starts and stops before I finally got rolling and figured out how to live this way, and it's only by the grace of God that I can keep going.  

13. I think I read every Sweet Valley High book. I know I read a LOT of them, including the big epic saga (were there two of those?).  

14. When I was 22 or 23 I decided to seek out my birth father, more of a precautionary thing - trying to meet him before he died or some morbid reasoning. I met him and YIKES! I won't talk badly of him, but let's just say there is not a relationship to be had there with ANY of that side of the family. There may have been a mullet involved.  

15. Thriller so completely scared me that my mom and dad had to lie to me and tell me our copy of the video was in Arizona at my aunt's house. I did not want that thing anywhere near me. In fact, I'm pretty sure I had a really vivid nightmare with those dudes busting through my floor and walls as a kid.  

16. I don't like vacuuming when I'm home alone because I always think I hear noises. Because you know, someone is just waiting to break into my house and once I start the vacuum cleaner, they're gonna! ha.  

17. I actually did have a stalker in junior high, and a semi-stalker in high school. They were both really REALLY creepy. The junior high one was by far the creepiest. He is the reason I don't like being called Kimberly to this day.  

18. My favorite verse is Zephaniah 3:17, partly because my favorite band used it in a beautiful way in this song called Dandelions.  

19. My favorite band (ever) was this not-that-well-known Christian ska/punk band, Five Iron Frenzy. They were a bunch of nerds, the lead singer had his degree in Biology. They did some awesome satyrical stuff and used big uncommon words and challenged the status quo. Even during my "wild" days, I still enjoyed listening to them. But I turned it off if it ever made me feel too guilty about what I was doing. ;)  

20. I have two tattoos, both of butterflies.  

21. During one of the last earthquakes (that I was actually home to feel), I woke myself and Aaron up screaming bloody murder. I guess you could say I'm a little bit scared of earthquakes.  

22. The volume must be on an even-number when I can see it. Our TV drives me crazy sometimes because it's hard to get it on an even number.  

23. Not so secretly, I wish someone would turn me in to What Not To Wear. Aaron won't do it because he thinks they're mean. But I'll take the mean for 5k and a trip to NYC. Plus, I know I'm desperately fashion-challenged. Oh, and I want to lose my weight first. ;)  

24. Though I am an English major and self-proclaimed book lover, I think I only actually read about 10% of the assigned reading I had in high school and college. It's quite embarassing.  

25. I am a really really really sore loser. Especially when it comes to Ticket To Ride, Raving Rabbids, and Mario Kart. Okay, maybe just games in general. Not so much with sports.

16 more things...

Same rules apply, I guess... if you're "tagged" (see Facebook), do it, tag me back, plus 8 other people. Or just do it for funsies. I know this is time-consuming, I did it on my phone while riding back from LA. So no pressure if you don't have those kinds of minutes lying around. 

26. If a live performance is really bad, I actually get a little teary. As in, it physically pains me.

27. My car is named Skylar, and I think I will cry when I have to sell her or she dies. I bought her brand new.

28. I have to try really really hard not to hate myself for my weight, or not being confident enough, or funny, or well dressed. Read: I am extremely insecure and don't like it one bit.

29. I am a big nerd. an office supply lovin' lifehacker readin' techno smart bookstore wanderin' nerd.

30. I frequently abuse commas, ellipses, and even the occasional apostrophe (see #29).

31. If I could do anything, I would be a writer. If someone offered to pay me to just write, I would have to pinch myself to believe it.

32. But I LOVE my job, and sometimes, I'm pretty darn good at it. So I'm staying there.

33. My absolute favorite movie is a little French film called Amelie. It's beautiful and meaningful and poetic.

34. Secretly (okay, not really secretly), I want to get a big group of friends to go to Vegas for my 30th next year so we can see Love. I think everyone should see that show. But I don't think it's really going to happen.

35. If I could talk Aaron into it, I'd move to New York. Even if it was just for a year.

36. I feel like I have certain friends who mean more to me than I do to them. but I'm truly okay with that. I love them, and that's enough for me.

37. I don't know why I'm so argumentative, but I am. So deal with it.

38. Sarcasm used to be something I prided myself on. Now I wish I were less affiliated with it.

39. I used to say some pretty stupidly racist things (jokingly), without honestly believing them. But in the aftermath of Obama's election and inauguration, I've realized how much I take for granted and that these stupid, supposedly harmless, jokes that have infiltrated my view of the "norm" are insidious contributors to oppression and bigotry.

40. I have had 12 jobs. Yes, 12. Never once have I been fired.

41. I get super irritated when people sneeze. If I had cat ears, they would go back every single time.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Heather A.

Heather is my new Tuesday volunteer.

Today, she brought me a homemade latte.

As if it weren't enough that she was coming in and helping me count, she went out of her way to do something thoughtful and nice for me. On top of that, she's a great friend and she makes me want to be a better leader.

So, yeah, I'm pretty thankful for her. For her attitude and desire to make things better and to serve. That and she's really funny and gets it when I need to rant about things that are inneficient or otherwise lacking. She is a trustworthy friend and makes my day better every time I see her.

Thanks, Heather. I'm looking forward to seeing you more regularly. :)

Monday, February 2, 2009


Mondays offer me a sort of reprieve.

I still have to work, but part of it's in my friend's backyard and sometimes she is the only human being I have to see, which means I can show up in my gym clothes or grubby or whatever and it's not a stressor. The other part of my workday is done from home.

Today, I also discovered light at the end of our debt tunnel. Thanks to the good tax news, I felt like I was finally getting a leg-up with this thing, finally starting to see some results. There's another piece of good news coming our way this year as well, thanks to the change in the school calendar. An extra paycheck. Just this once. I do believe that means we'll be able to pay off 2 of the 3 cards we still carry an interest-accruing balance on. Color me excited!

Sometimes Monday does bring me just as much stress as any other day of the week, but I am learning to recognize that I only have to be as stressed out as I choose to be. 

I can either feel satisfied with the fact that today I've worked out a debt-elimination plan that might actually have us debt-free (except for mortgage) in 5 years, worked a few hours at Scheu Plumbing, worked a little for FS, taken care of some errands like grocery shopping, a Target run, and getting out cash for the week, or I can be stressed out about how many things I wanted to do but didn't do. Or how there's a deadline fast approaching for Stained.

I'm opting for the reprieve. It's not a resting day, by any means, but it's a day for me to get off of my own back and just accept what's done as what's done.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

This Exercise

I actually get quite depressed at times.

Today it was like depression was throwing sand in my eyes, trying to get me to give in to it like the big bully that it is. 

So I was sitting on the couch thinking about what it is that I'm thankful for today, and I think what I am most thankfulf for today is the fact that I'm taking the time to think about what I am thankful for each day. Sometimes it may not feel like I'm particularly thankful for anything. But right now, I'm thankful for being able to give depression a hand gesture or zurbit of some sort and think about something more positive.

I'm thankful for the accountability I have with blogging about being thankful for something every day, even when that something is hard to see with dirt in my eyes.

And I'm also thankful that one day Jane mentioned the Puppy Bowl and I get to turn that on at half time, much to my husband's chagrin and laugh and ooo and aww over cute puppies tackling eachother, drinking water, and playing with toys.