So, what is a blog if not totally random. Today I think I’d like to ramble about this concept of ‘just wait’. I’d never really run into this until I became pregnant.

For example.

“Wow, I’m so ready for this morning sickness to end!”  -me

“Oh, just wait until the 3rd trimester when you are huge and feel really terrible” -random person

Or.

“I’m ready to sleep comfortably in my bed again.” -me

“Just wait until you have the baby and never sleep again.” -random person

I don’t want to just wait. That sounds terrible. I would rather you commiserate in my present issues, thankyouverymuch. But I see what you’re doing. You are establishing that you, in fact, have been where I currently am and have survived and have now moved on to bigger problems. And I can appreciate that. But then I had said baby and it just got worse.

For example.

“Wow, this kid eats a lot!” -me

“Just wait until she’s a teenager.” -random person

Or.

“Man, this kid is fast!” – me

“Just wait until she starts walking!” – random person

Or.

“We’re going on a trip to Australia!” – me

“Just wait until she’s 2 or 3 and throws tantrums the whole trip. Good thing you’re going now” -random person

And, ok. None of those are horrible things to say. But seriously…buzzkill. I have always tried to live in the moment. To soak up the little things so when I’m old and crazy I have plenty to think about. There’s a scene in the movie Joe Vs The Volcano (have you seen it? It’s so fabulous) where Meg Ryan’s character is talking about how her father would say that everyone in the world is asleep…everyone you meet is asleep. But there are a few people that are awake and those people are in constant, total amazement. Ok, so it’s a paraphrase, but you get the point. I don’t want to live life asleep. Never have and don’t plan to start.

And bringing it back full circle…I don’t want to wait for something else. I want to enjoy my baby now. While she’s a baby. And then I want to fully enjoy her when she’s 3. And 5. And 13. With all the baggage that comes with those ages. And sure, I might be pulling my hair out, but that’s part of the gig, right? If I constantly ‘just wait’ in fear for all those other things to happen, then I’ve totally missed the amazing things she’s doing now. And I know that’s not what any of those people meant when they tell me to just wait. But it is how I interpret it.

Anyway…

One thing I haven’t been waiting around anymore for is my pre-baby body. I went shopping in my closet last week and some of my favorite clothes fit again! I had gotten up my courage to try different things on a few weeks ago, but after dropping another 3 pounds, I decided to try again.

And then my husband received the following photos on his phone. Because DUH.

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I think he was in a meeting with his HM (high maintenance) client, so I’m sure he enjoyed the break. Pardon the workout pants with my favorite Anthropologie shirt of all time…but clearly, I was excited. And on the right, was one of my favorite outfits to wear (still a tad tight, but I’m hoping in another week or 2 it will be perfect!). Anthro shirt and Dress Barn (of all places) skirt…with brown strappy wedges. It was one of those simple outfits that just made you feel put together, you know? But best of all, this made me feel like all those crazy dollars spent at Anthro were not in vain. Woo to the hoo!

I love when you can finally see some progress. Such great motivation. Except you may notice my dog in the background. He’s unimpressed. Jerk. (Just kidding…I love that dog, he’s my first baby from another breed).

I suppose that’s enough rambling for one day! Until next time…

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Stalling

So the weather is overcast, J just went down for her nap…this is typically when I go into overdrive and get as much stuff done as possible, including a workout. But I’m just so tired today. I have clothes in the dryer to fold, dishes in the sink, a body to workout, food and birthday presents to shop for…but I just want to stay in pj’s all day and have some quiet time. It really could go either way at this point.

Thanks for all the sweet encouraging words on facebook about my last post. Weight is such a touchy subject for women to begin with…add the crazy emotions after child birth and good grief. I’m so glad to hear I’m not all alone.

June’s been going through a lot of developmental changes lately and it’s been amazing to watch. Yesterday was a pretty big day. She learned how to flush the toilet. I mean really. I guess it’s normal to have an interest in the toilet, but it just seems early (9 months, anyone?). But I have literally nothing to compare it to. A few days ago, I scored her a little dino toy to help her figure out walking at a second hand shop (but it roars…I didn’t realize dinos roared like lions, did you? They didn’t on Jurassic Park. I’m just saying.). She loves it and by mid-morning had it down. And it saves my back a little bit of trauma because oh the walking. She also figured out how to take a bite out of a banana. She has been able to feed herself puffs for about 2 weeks now, but yesterday, I finally gave her an intact banana and after some trial and error, figured out how to take bites. And last but not least, I *think* I may have seen a sign for ‘milk’ yesterday. I’ve really stepped up the signs recently, focusing on food/eat, milk, cracker (which I’ve been using for puff), and more. I’ve read that once the first sign clicks, they just soak up the other signs. So, I’m hopeful. I haven’t seen another one since, so it may have just been coincidence.

Phew. That’s a lot in one day, am I right? And see, if I wasn’t home with her, I would have missed those special moments. And sure, I’ll include flushing the toilet as a special moment. She just looked so big when she did it! How is she almost 10 months? Wasn’t this photo taken like, yesterday?

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But no…this was yesterday. How?

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Until I get my act together for another post… I’ll be relaxing…or working out…or cleaning. Or just soaking up my baby while she’s still a baby.

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Baby weight

Babies get heavy as they get older. Did you know that? Seesh. But that’s not really the point of this post.

In 2011, I had a miscarriage and it was one of the most devastating things that has ever happened to me (I could write a whole separate post about that experience…perhaps some other time…). And it’s not like I hadn’t been around loss before…but nothing THAT close to home had happened. For a few weeks after, I cried myself to sleep. I’d see pregnant women waddling around, clearly miserable but all I could think is how lucky they were. And I decided that if God would ever bless us with a healthy baby I would never complain and count it all as a blessing. And I think I did a pretty good job. By the end, I was definitely ready to not be pregnant anymore, but I was just happy to have a healthy baby in there. I just wasn’t one of those women that LOVES being pregnant. I guess the 2nd trimester wasn’t too bad. When you aren’t sick all day, you have energy and you’re cute-pregnant.

But really…

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I digress.

Now I’m stuck in a new battle. I have the most adorable baby. Seriously, she’s awesome. Except when she doesn’t want to nap. Then she’s not so cute. But now I’m stuck with a ‘mom body’. You know, all squishy and soft. Ugh.

And I’m trying hard not to complain. I know there are women out there who would be awesome parents and are just having such a hard time getting pregnant. They would love to be squishy all over if it meant they could have a baby in their arms. I was one of them.

But it’s been 9 months. I had gotten in the best shape of my life a few months before I became pregnant. So I was hopeful that this would carry me through and help me lose the weight after. Here’s my before and after P90X (not to mention a much better hair cut… and some color on my face) from before my biological clock got really loud. Hi, cheek bones. I miss you! Come back to me!

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And typically I do pretty good, emotionally that is. Considering that according to my doctor, I’m basically going through menopause. Neat. But then there’s that one lady who shatters it and asks if I’m pregnant.

Seriously. You see the baby…just because Hollywood has ruined everyone’s perception of what your body is supposed to look like after birth, doesn’t mean you have the right to assume that I’m pregnant. Who asks that?! And sure, right after J was born and I still relied on my maternity clothes stash to dress myself, people would ask…but only if I wasn’t holding J. And I could understand. And they would feel awful. But now…now that we’re much farther down the road and just as I’m getting some sort of self-confidence/esteem back, someone has to ruin it.

But then a month ago, I decided enough is enough. I’m better than letting what other people say dictate how I feel about myself. I found out that the creator of the Insanity workouts did a free 15 minute workout on the Dr. Oz show. I made a little chart, complete with stickers (yes, I’m nearing 30 and like a potty training toddler, stickers work for me…). My goal was do do this every day while J napped. This is the start of week 5 and I’m down 4 pounds (so averaging a pound a week…not bad) and about 2.5″ in my waist. AND, perhaps the most exciting is my abs are finally coming back together (Did you know they separate? It’s the weirdest thing to try and do a sit up and seriously NOT be able to.) There are all kinds of articles out there with warnings about rushing to fix this problem so I was leery to do much about it. But with this little workout, you do so many squats and if you tighten your abs, it’s basically a little crunch…which seems to be working well for me! I still have a ways to go, but at least I can’t stick my whole finger between them! (Gross? Sorry…but it is what it is.)

And I’m tired of starting over. I tried doing P90X once I got ‘exercise approval’ from my Dr., but I couldn’t spend an hour doing that with an 10 week old (I had some complications healing which delayed my exercise). Then I tried another exercise video, a quick 20 minute cardio workout, but I was still too sore to be jumping and kicking. Anyway, I finally just threw caution to the wind and worked through it. And here we are. With my little bit of progress made, I really don’t want to start over again.

So there’s that. Not really much point (like my other posts have major points?) but after a conversation with another new mom, it just felt right to ramble about it.

J turns one in early June, and my goal is to be at my pre-pregnant weight by then. About 10 weeks. …I need to step it up and loose about 2 pounds a week if I’m going to make that deadline. I have a long way to go! Wish me luck…

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It cracks me up to tell people I’m a stay at home mom (SAHM). I get 1 of 2 reactions. The first is typically genuine happiness. They say things like “that’s great, I did that when my kids were young and I never regretted it.” Then there’s the other type. And I actually prefer this second type because it’s just hilarious. They are physically taken aback, sometimes coupled with an audible gasp. Then they muster out a “good for you”… followed by an awkward silence. I just let this silence to happen so they can take their time and contemplate why a competent, fairly successful, woman would choose to be at home with a baby. In their minds, doing nothing. Ha.

So far, I totally, completely, 100% do not regret it. My job wasn’t super high stress, but it came with it’s fair share of demanding clients and the stress of going over budget…and lest we forget any fights with the City of Austin to get a permit to start building a project that the contractor may or may not have already started. Shady.

BUT, I do find myself getting unbalanced pretty regularly. I’ve always been pretty creative. Not in a ‘I’m going to blow your mind, I’m SO creative’ way, but I’m just always thinking about the next little project, Interior Design or arts and crafts, and what little details I can create.

(The hubs used to always say I never never came up with ideas for our house. The truth is, I was so creatively drained after work that as long as the walls were still standing, I was happy. Now that I’m staying in our ever-standing walls of a house all day, I have a HUGE to-do list, in Numbers, of all the things that I want to change. I can’t tell if he’s happy about that or not…)

(Be careful what you wish for…)

Anyway, today, the afore mentioned hubs, graciously watched J while I went to meet some girls from my old work to knit. It was so lovely to just sit and talk. Now that The Bug is crawling and trying to walk…and getting into EV.RY.T H I N G, I can’t exactly follow a knitting pattern at whim. It was exactly what the doctor ordered. I spent my morning chatting with adults and not running after a 9 month old. It was divine. I feel like a new woman and that’s always awesome.

Next on my DIY list is, well, finish the maxi dress that I started MONTHS AGO, got really close to finishing, then my sewing machine lost its mind. But I’d love to make some fun (probably felt) magnets for J to play with on the fridge while I cook. She loves playing with the magnets we have already, but like the dog food, she tries to put them in her mouth. They are pretty good sized, but probably a choking hazard. I want to make food themed ones. Like a fried egg, maybe a carrot, tomato, etc. I have big plans.

I also would love to find the time to knit this: Elsia Next Tote We’ll see how that all shakes out.

 

You know, while I’m busy doing nothing…  And watching epic backyard battles of the dog vs baby.

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Meaty baby

Every now and then, D and I pause and comment on how crazy it is that we have a kid. It blows my mind. Like, how am I old enough and mature and responsible enough to have a kid?

I’m slowly getting back on my pescetarian diet and daily workout routine.  It’s a battle to get J down for a nap so I can really focus on keeping my abs tight and landing softly while doing jump-type training. Screaming can really alter ones ability to focus. Anyway, I’ve been trying to really be conscious of what I eat, too. Not to the point of writing it down like I did before, but eat at home and none of that nonsense at fast food places. I’ve been inspired by various documentaries (Forks Over Knives and Food, Inc to name a few) to keep it simple where I can.

I’m not an animal rights activist or anything, it just makes me sick to see how the food industry alters what God originally provided and I don’t want that junk in my body. Plus. when I cut out meat my outdoor allergies completely went away. No joke.

Which brings me to my current dilemma. Do I feed meat to my daughter? If I don’t want those chemicals in my body, I sure don’t want them in hers. I know you can buy organic meats, and buy from good local farmers…but I don’t know if I want to mess with it, honestly. People say that you HAVE to eat meat to get the right amount of protein, but I just don’t believe it.  I think those people might be more lazy than me and not want prepare a variety of veggies and legumes and beans… I crave brussels sprouts for cryin’ out loud.

Right now I’m leaning toward not giving her meats. I’m also considering not giving her cows milk either (go ahead…call me a hippie). I just feel like American’s don’t take the time to consider what goes into their food and as a result, the food and specifically meat industry take advantage. Wouldn’t it be amazing if we all just stopped eating junk? Like, just cut it out completely. To the point where we couldn’t even buy stuff like Twinkies anymore (almost had that one…sad day in ‘Merica). Or Coke. Or hormone infused meat that is making our young women in America hit puberty faster. It’s pathetic when you stop and think about it. At least to me.

In the end, I just want to raise a lovely daughter who loves fruits and veggies and is healthy (not to be confused with skinny…btw). Mmmm, may I peas have some more?!

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I have a blog?

I would appear that i do. Interesting.

I really had intended to be better about documenting things.  You know…like the life changing event that is having a baby.  And leaving your job to stay at home with said baby. Stuff like that.

I wasn’t quite sure what to expect when I started staying home. I loved my job, it’s exactly what I had always wanted to do since the age of, like, 10. But before I knew that at 10, I knew I would want to stay home with my baby like my mom did.  It took us a while to find our groove.  I let her make the schedule (naps, feeding, play, etc…) so for a while, we were all over the place. People would want to get together and would very kindly ask if our plans would interfere with nap time.  Uh…we’re still making it up.  But that’s done now. She’s sleeping through the night pretty consistently, she can entertain herself for a while so I can get things done.

I’ve had to slow down. My job wasn’t Wall Street fast or anything, but there were plenty of days where I felt like I ran a mental marathon. It’s taken me a while to really stop myself from getting frustrated that I can’t get something done because my mini me needs attention. And after all…she is the reason I’m at home in the first place. Not the dishes.

Speaking of dishes, I’m going to try really hard to bake things. Even stuff out of a box because even that stuff is iffy for me. I want to get the basics down before J knows any better so we can bake together. I would love for her to have fun memories of cooking AND baking with me (ok, ok…I want the memories). I’m also really looking forward to making her food. I have a lovely cookbook that is just so well designed that I just can’t wait to cook from it!  We’re getting close to adding in rice cereal so pureed food isn’t that far behind. Then she’ll be off to college.

We went to a Halloween party on Saturday and dressed J up like a mini cappuccino. She was adorable, but her costume (handmade by D) wasn’t the most comfortable thing so she didn’t wear it for long. D, who bought a nice home espresso machine a few years ago and is obsessed with making coffee, went as a barista. To make it a little different from our normal lives, we got him a tattoo sleeve, made an apron and he wore a hat. I went as a hippie mom…in clothes I already owned. So it was really a stretch. We (well, mostly J) won most creative which my friend says we just went as ourselves and there was no creativity about it.  Haters gonna hate. ;-)

Then, the following day we found ourselves at a coffee shop and this happened:

That espresso cup is just her size.  This was certainly a proud daddy moment.  And no – we didn’t let her have it. Duh.

I’m off – until next time. Hopefully won’t be too far away.  :) I hope to show some pictures of a cute little bootie and scarf duo I’ve made…just one bootie left to knit!

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Continuing on with my journals from my trip…below are days 3 and 4 (Sunday and Monday).  Enjoy!

 

Yesterday was Sunday. We were up and ready to go, but grandma was pretty shaky, so we opted to stay home from class to let her medicine take effect. We had been warned about where they worship now. Grandma said that they have a ‘come as you are’ motto which resulted in inappropriate attire. When we drive up, she was not kidding. Yikes. Girls in miniskirts, spaghetti straps…Jean shorts…  Madness. She also warned that the preacher taught at a kindergarten level…and she was right. It was a decent lesson, the best he’s given according to her, about the importance of family life. Lots of signing…some clapping.  Anyway, it was pretty sad. So many people that just don’t realize that these things that they are doing are not authorized in the bible. Grandma and grandpa don’t like it at all for that reason, but the whole rest of the family goes there, and it’s close…and you don’t have to get on the freeway to get there.

Grandma was making me smile. I had never entertained the idea that they thought I might move back to CA. She was introducing me to people who grew up with my parents and a couple of times she said “she went off and married a Texas boy.  Guess we’ll never get her back now.”. Then she would laugh and I would smile. Because I’m selfish and love that my grandma wants me to move back.  :)

We came home and Rick and Diana were the only ones in town to come over of my aunts and uncles. Joel dropped Spring and the kids off at the house and came over, too. We were pretty good around each other. Not too mean, like normal. My grandma made…well, bought, a ham and some sides. I made myself a salad with tuna meat on top with some of the tomatoes and cucumbers from their garden. Yum.

After we ate, D showed Rick and Diana Megan and Joe’s wedding video. Everyone thought it was really pretty.  We chatted for a bit longer and the everyone left. I asked my grandpa what was next and he said ‘checkers?’?  Um…yes!  So we played a few games…I won 1, he won 2 and we had 1 locked game. Then he turned to D and asked if he wanted to play. He said sure and they ended up playing for a good hour or two. My grandpa was showing him the ‘tricks’ to the game. Apparently D had a splitting headache, but grandpa was having a good ole time, and D was being a trooper.


We had gone back and forth about going to second service somewhere. Grandma was in a lot of pain, so they decided to sit it out. I looked it up and found Tustin Ave Church of Christ…about a 15 minute drive. We heard a good lesson on the Macedonian church and how they gave all Paul needed. The singing was so much like home, and no clapping. We had introduced ourselves to a few men before services and afterward, had a ton of people that we were meeting. So friendly!  The couple who was sitting behind us heard us say we were from Austin and apparently their daughter and son-in-law recently moved there.  They currently go to Northwest but are about to move to Kyle.  I said to let them know that if the drive is just too much up to NW, have them visit San Marcos.  It would be a lot closer for them, etc. So who knows, but it’s such a small world. Their younger son is big into The Nightmare Before Christmas and so D showed off his Halloween costume and he loved it. This same family has Disneyland season passes and go these every Friday night to eat and hang out. I can’t even imagine. I have no words.

We come back home to find Dave, grandpa’s brother, visiting. Such a nice surprise. He lost his wife about 2 years ago and she was such a sweet woman. He’s a very sweet man and in no time, they were talking about odd jobs they had…which they then started talking about jobs their father had…mostly working for Disney. I learned a lot of cool stuff.

Apparently, we was a union worker who was great at carpentry. He worked on a lot of different rides at Disneyland – the jungle ride making all the animals and making them move; an elephant ride (not sure if this is the dumbo ride, or something else); the Bobsled – and apparently when they were done, they were going to put a dummy in the car and sent it through the track to make sure everything worked properly. When my GGP heard that, he said why put a dummy in there?  Guess he knew his work was pretty solid and climbed in and was the first unofficial passenger in the ride. And then of course the tea cups. They had installed them, but couldn’t get them to spin. They had him come over and asked if he could make them work. He said I sure can and they said great!  And he was in charge of who got on and off the ride. Well, apparently while he was working on it, Walt Disney was making his rounds and got on the platform. GGP knew who he was but rules are rules. So he headed over to ask him to get off, but about the same time, an electrical contractor was arguing with a worker. WD stepped in and asked what the problem was. The contractor thought the worker was trying to stiff him out of money by saying he worked longer than he really did.  Well, WD said pay him what he says and bill me for it. It will go through and you won’t be out any money. So, GGP didn’t say a word…he wasn’t about to boss around any man that stuck up for the working class. WD also befriended GGP. GGP would hang out in the tunnels just in case a part of a ride broke. WD would see him in there and they would talk from time to time. WD told him that he knew everyone wanted to talk with him, and he liked talking with GGP. So he said in public, we’ll pretend we don’t know each other, but if ever want to talk about something to just let him know.

So anyway, Dave left and grandpa kept talking about his dad…our eyes were so heavy we just couldn’t help it. He and grandma also talked about when they were first married and grandpa was working the grave yard shift and working at Disneyland on the pirates ride during the day. Yikes. I’m not exactly sure when he found time to sleep. He was vague about it…might be that he simply doesn’t remember.

Anyway, we finally called it a night and I fell asleep in about 2 minutes.

Today they went to the doctor to find out the results from grandpa’s MRI (nothing major). While they were gone, we went to see my grandpa Fisher’s grave. My mom never took us to see it when we were growing up so we drove out there. The cemetery is huge and beautiful. There were a number of services going in while we were there – very sad. I had talked with my grandma Fisher a few years ago about their life together and when he died. I had mixed emotions while we were there. On one hand, I knew how he treated my grandma toward the end, but I also know he loved her very much and was really sick.

Grandma and Grandpa insisted that it would take all morning to go out to the Air Force base and get back. It took about 45 minutes to get there and we really only stayed about 15 minutes. So then we turned around and headed back and were really only gone about 2 1/2 hours. I looked through old photos while we killed some time waiting to go to lunch. I found some great photos of my grandparents when they were first married and…best part…GRANDMA LET ME KEEP THEM!!!  So. Excited!  (Pictured is one of my cousins Kate, Christina and I, and one of my Dad and his brother on his brother’s wedding day.  Nice Blue Steal…)


We ate at Souplantation…basically a soup and salad bar. They seem to really like it, and for a salad bar, it was pretty good. We have a lively conversation about their friend Lou…an elderly man (who died a couple of years ago) who had just a ton of money and a mind that was slipping. So Lou asked my grandpa to take over his checkbook to help (because poor Lou kept getting scammed and his slipping mind couldn’t understand that people were out to harm him)…and Lou just kept giving my grandparents money, even though they insisted he didn’t have to do that. On the way out, my grandma wanted an ice cream cone. I walked over with her and they had the tiniest cones I’ve ever seen. The perfect amount.  So I grabbed some, too. Grandpa kept paying for the meals we ate out for…when we said he really doesn’t have to do that, he would say “well, you don’t live here for me to spoil all the time, so I have to do it when I get the chance.”. Awe, shucks.


Next, grandpa took us to a specialty lumber shop and we walked around and looked at all the beautiful pieces of wood. Gorgeous pieces of wood. Mahogany, walnut, cedar…I mean huge thick pieces that I’m sure cost a fortune. An employee came up to ask if we needed help and grandpa said “well…this here is my granddaughter.  She’s a decorator [I interjected 'Designer' and the employee chuckled] and i thought she would like to see all the wood species you guys have.”  The guy smiled and said to let him know if we had any questions.  Yea, I have one – how in the world does anyone afford these huge pieces wood?  I digress.  I snapped a few photos of the various woods and then home we went. (Sorry for the un-edited and sometimes blurry photos – GP was too fast!)


We all took little siestas and woke up much better. I sketched a little, grandma went and worked on her rose bushes. We all ate our own dinner and started watching some tv. We talked about the birds that keep trying to set up nests on their porch. My grandma says ‘when are they going to learn?  I just go and grab my hose and evict them every time, but they just come back.” the seriousness in which she said that, along with the rest of the conversation was pure gold. So hilarious, I could barely stand it.

D hooked up to the Internet and we face timed with my parents and Chelsea…and Brodie who was very confused why he could hear us and not see us. We chatted for a little bit and my grandma…who hates technology…said “I feel creepy.”. Haha. Not THAT was creepy but that she internalized it and now felt creepy.  Cracked me up.  Then I got this photo in a text message:

Poor dog had nothing left to live for.  We were only heard, not seen and therefore no longer existed.
After some antiques road show and a quick phone chat with my Aunt Viv who was currently in Hawaii, grandma went to bed…and I had forgotten that D was sitting with grandpa playing domino’s…I have no idea how long they were playing. Had to be at least 2 hours. Yikes. There’s just nothing better than a spouse who genuinely enjoys talking with your family.  What a stud.

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Back in the Goove

Yikes.  I want to blog.  I like to blog.  But I seem to have a hard time finding when to blog.

We got back about 2 weeks ago from a really great 2 week vacation that involved driving the entire west coast.  It was magical as one might hope.  I’m getting back into the swing of things and I thought I would post my journals from the trip (I have to journal otherwise I have no idea what happened).  Today I’ll post our first day… well, I didn’t actully write this until the morning of the 3rd day so today you’ll get the first 2 days.  Luck you.

I normally get a notepad to do my trip journaling but decided to go digital this year.  Not sure how I like it so far, since we’re in day 3 and I haven’t written anything,  let’s back up…

We left on Friday evening at 7:15. I took the whole day off to finish packing, cleaning and getting B to my parents house. Good thing, because I took every minute of the day to get stuff done.  D’s sweet Grandma Helen took us to the airport and off we went. The flight left a little late, but we managed to makeup enough time to get there early. On the flight, D and I got split up and I sat next to some really un-chatty girls, and D sat next to a soldier who was starting his 4th (I think) tour in Iraq. Yikes. I heard them talking the whole flight so they hit it off pretty well. They started talking about God and church and stuff and the guy was going to look up our website for the sermons. So who knows!

Anyway, we arrived, got our checked bag and off we went to hop on the rental car bus.  The second we walked outside, we froze. It was probably high 60′s and our teeth were chattering. We saw the Thrify car rental shuttle slow down then speed up…well.  I guess we’ll wait for the next one. So the next one came up and didn’t look like it was going to stop.  So I start waving and he cut off 2 lanes of traffic to come pick us up.  Welcome to LA.  Phew. We jump on and off we went again. We get to the rental car place and started going through all the reservation stuff and he tries to get us to upgrade to something with power doors and cruise control. We politely decline and we move on. At the end of the transaction, he asks what brought us to LA.  We said my grandparents live in Orange County and we were coming to visit them for the first part of the trip. When he heard that he said “well I wish I knew that sooner” and upgraded us for free so we could take my grandparents around. So we picked out a little Nissan 4 door and off we went!  Next stop was the hotel…Stay Hotel.  We were going along just fine then BAM, hit a wall of traffic. Which was fine, we were able to slow down and look at the downtown skyline a bit. We find the hotel pretty easily, but couldn’t figure out where to park. After a quick call to the front desk, we get some direction and find a garage to park in overnight. The hotel wasn’t in the best part of LA, but we didn’t feel in danger…just felt a little odd walking down the street with so much luggage. TOURIST.  Anyway…we get there and the clerks were really nice.

We got in really easily and up we went to dump our bags and freshen up for dinner.  I had done some research about LA restaurants because I knew we’d be hungry and tired so I wanted to have a plan. I had found the Nickel Diner that was only a block and a half from the hotel that was featured on the foot network. If it’s good enough to show on TV, it’s good enough for me. I suspect the owner was our server…since he was really friendly but took really good care of us. I ordered the Smack and Cheese with tomatoes and bread crumbs…mmmm.  D got an avocado and something burger and really liked it. The Smack and cheese was perfect…it was a brisk evening and the warmth was so, so good. All those carbs helped me rock to sleep pretty easy.


Since Stay Hotel is technically a hostel, we went the cheap route and did the shared bath. It worked out perfect. I took a shower that night, since I didn’t know what it would be like in the morning.  I came back to the room and seriously passed out. I only remember laying awake for about 3 minutes and that’s it. Once we were up and moving the next morning, we checked out (only $68…woohoo!  Wish all our hotels could be that cheap…) and walked the 1/2 block to the car. We loaded up and were ready for our morning in LA. First stop was the Disney Concert Hall. Since it was still pretty early on a Saturday morning, we didn’t hit too much inner-city traffic. It took about 5 minutes and we were there.  We threw some money in the meter (so pricey!  $4 for 1 hour. Insanity.), enough for about 12 minutes and ran a block and a half to snap some photos. What a great time of day to go. With all the crazy metal, the light was just awesome.

Speaking of, the weather was magical. Warm with a crisp, soft breeze. Yes, please. Mmmmm. Anyway… Since we were tight on time, we had to rush quite a bit but I think we both got some great shots. We ran back to the car and when we saw that we didn’t have a ticket, we jumped for joy and got in.

D has been…oh…we’ll say in love with a CA based coffee shop, Intelligentsia. He. Loves. It. He had looked it up and said the closest one was in Venice…about a 45 minute drive in the wrong direction. ugh. But, we decide to go for it, since we came all that way…seemed ridiculous to not give it a try. So, I put it into Google maps and lo and behold, there’s one 15 minutes away. He doesn’t believe me. I show him, we click the website link that came up and proves that it’s one in the same. He says he’s a little sad since the Venice one is the original with the World Champion Barista (ooooo…..) who works there.  But, we press on, what a champ. 3 turns later, we drive past the red pin on the map and didn’t see anything. We turn around and see it (lucky me…could have been in trouble for a wild goose chase) and takes us FOREVER to park. All the street parking is limited to residence so we settle on a paid lot, because $3 for 30 minutes is well worth it. Such a cool little place, very well designed with a huge line. AND we saw Patton Oswalt (King of Queens and the voice of Remy in Ratatouille), and wouldn’t you know…the World Champ barista was in line. Crazy. Most crazy of all…David spotted them.  The guy who doesn’t know who anyone famous is spotted them. What a nut.

We sip our (most delicious ever) coffee and pastries…I’m a sucker for croissants….and head back to the car. Lucky for us, we hit the 30 minute mark on the dot.  If we had been one more minute, we would have had to pay another dollar. Next stop, we head to the Hollywood sign. We started driving up this really windy, steep hill. We almost had a few collisions along the way from crazy people taking the curves way too fast.  I digress. We wander up the hill with my phone signal cutting in and out, but we make it. Got some great photos really fast (since we parked in a no parking zone, and there was a sign that said “go away tourists” …how friendly) and headed back down the beast.

Next item on the list of the Chinese Theatre.  Because…I think that’s where the hand prints and stuff was. Apparently not. So…we just drove down Hollywood Blvd, drove by, saw the insane number of people and said that was good enough.  We headed back to the freeway to head to my Grandparents house. We were going along just fine and then BAM…a wall of traffic. Surprise. I called my grandparents to left them know we’d be there in about an hour.  We make it a little under that and pull in the driveway.

My grandma, who rarely shows any emotion, came outside to greet us. She threw her arms open with a huge smile on her face and shuffled us inside. We sat around and talked for quite some time, just catching up. We talked about our various house projects, my grandpa talked about some of the houses he worked on hanging gyp board… Around 1:30 we decided we were hungry. Apparently my dad told my grandma that we liked Mexican food (not exactly true, but we didn’t want to rock the boat…) so we headed off…in our free upgraded car…to Bobby D’s. A tiny hole in the wall that they love. No wait…LOVE.  I had a veggie burrito and stuffed myself silly.

We had planned to head over to the Nixon Library afterward, but I brought up the Crystal Cathedral and apparently it wasn’t far from where we were. I had to learn about it in school, so I was interested to see it in person. We drove up and it was pretty impressive with all the glass (architecturally speaking). But then we looked over and saw a sign in the parking lot for “In car worship”…um…weird. We unanimously shake our heads and move on. Anyway, we parked and walked around a bit. Apparently they declared bankruptcy not too long ago (go figure).  We found a little bench and grandma sat for a few minutes. D and I wandered around a bit and found the bell tower and snapped some photos of it.

I sat down with grandma and we talked about what a shame it was that they used up all this money on appearances rather than spreading the gospel. And with that, we got up and headed home.  We decided to drive past the Angels stadium to see the big ‘A’. Apparently dad spilled the beans about me not eating meat so grandma brought it up…a few different times. I guess she heard no meat and immediately assumed that I wasn’t eating anything. So I told her about all the ways I got protein and what all I ate so I think she she understands. Especially when I told her about my allergies going away. I’ll take breathing easily over eating meat. Thankyouverymuch.

Later we chatted some more about random stuff, ate a really light dinner (cottage cheese with blue berries) and turned on the TV and watched some HGTV. IT WAS SO LOUD!!  But, it was nice to just veg a little.  After about 2 hours I sat up and grandma promptly told me I didn’t look good, I looked exhausted and needed to go to bed. Well…okay then. So she went and turned on the TV in our room and insisted that I go to bed. I washed my face and off the bed I went. I promptly became dead weight and passed out – the fact that it is quite possibly one of the most uncomfortable beds in the history of modern-day beds is completely irrelevant.

What was that thing I said about writing everyday?

Anyway, life has been crazy. Lots of work and not much time to play. Sad face. At least its been fun designer work I’ve been out of the groove…of sleep, of blogging, of cooking…everything.

And with that said, onto my topic for today…quality time.

So, there’s this book. It’s called “The 5 Love Languages”. Have you heard of it? A brief overview… the author goes through 5 different love languages (meaning how we express/share love…like a language.) and takes you through case studies of each language. The languages include Words of Affirmation, Quality Time, Receiving Gifts, Acts of Service, and Physical Touch. The goal is to determine which you are and which your loved ones are and help to keep the ‘love tanks’ from getting empty.

I was first introduced to this book by my sister who was trying to figure out everyone’s love languages. After she initially brought it up, I forgot all about it. THEN I was at a coworkers house and she handed a copy of the book to me as a hard surface (we were crafting). After a brief discussion about it, she insisted I borrow it.

Long story short, D and I read it together. It’s life changing. As you may have guessed, I’m quality time. I’d rather sit and talk in a ditch for hours than go to a swanky dinner (…wait…maybe not all the time…) just because I like to connect with people. I would always try to connect with D this way. Talking. Not in that nagging wife soft of way, but like “how was your day?!”. …hoping for some elaboration, I always got ‘fine’. …super. Now what?

Obviously he is a different love language. He’s physical touch. According to his self diagnosis, anyway (I think he’s pretty heavy with word of affirmation, but that’s just me). While my family was the hugging type, I just lost that hand-holding, hugging thing somewhere along the way. But since I never thought to do it, he read that as me neglecting him. But I wasn’t …I was talking. Hello.

Seriously, guys. Once we read this, it totally hit us! Not that our marriage was bad…at all. But our love tanks were low because we were trying to show love in the wrong way. Genius.

So…all that to say… 1. Read the book. 2. Make your spouse read the book (or read it to them in the car, since that’s what I did) 3. With all my overtime, I haven’t really been able to spend quality time with anyone. Not even myself. And I’m totally out of my groove. Grr.

On the plus side, I think I’ve dropped a pound or two. I’ve been living on Whole Foods sushi, cereal and almonds… It sure can make you thin up.

Anyway, sorry about the lack of pictures. I normally try to include an instagram shot or two…but again…totally out of the groove.

Off to bed. Big presentation tomorrow and then some much needed recuperation. Ciao.

a

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Cold soup

Anyone out there like cold soup?  I like the idea…the concept.  But in reality, I’ve decided I can’t stand it.

As you may have guessed, I made it tonight for dinner.  I’m not planning on posting the recipe as I was totally unimpressed.  Blech.  D loved it.  I’m too big on grimy texture and it grossed me out – which is pitiful because I knew exactly what was in it…  it was corn and veg broth based…still icky.

Anyway.

In my last post, I mentioned that lemons and limes don’t mix well…IE: the lemon molds and the lime gets rock hard.  So, I needed more lemons and limes for the week and I bought one extra of each.  They are sitting next to each other on my counter…so we’ll see what happens to them, compared to the ones I have separated.  I will be sure to keep you abreast of any changes.  I know you’ll be dying to know.  Here’s what they look like today:

I’ve decided that I MUST get more sleep…an adequate amount of sleep for my body.  I suspect that I need 9 hours to really function as a human being without the use of an outside accelerant (read: caffeine).  So, I plan on being IN bed at 10:00.  If I make it there earlier than that great…but 10 is my new bedtime.

If you’re interested in why I’m suddenly interested in sleep, here’s a short little article at shape.com on why it’s important.  There are many other studies out there, this is just one small one.  It’s amazing that we neglect our bodies by not allowing them the proper time to rejuvenate.

And with that – I’m off to bed!

a