Tuesday, December 22, 2009

'tis the season...

Ahhh... the joys of Christmas! Shopping, family, friends, baking, gifts, snow, entertaining, parties, decorations, food... and the list goes on. This time of year should be filled with joy and merriment, but often times, it's dreaded and many people wish it would pass quickly so they can get back to the normalcy of life.

Well, I have a few things about this "holiday season" that I'd like to address.

The first thing is shopping. Even if you didn't procrastinate on shopping for gifts, you probably still have a few last minute things you need to pick up: stocking stuffers, a gift for that last minute relative who decided to come to the family party, groceries, or a bottle of wine for the family member who is hosting you this year... either way, you most likely will be out, battling the crowds, before Christmas day arrives.

It's very easy to get frustrated with the crowds and madness. Everyone is taking up the aisles, people have grumpy looks on their faces and are huffing and puffing at people in their way, no one will move out of the way so you can lean over and grab the one item you came in for, someone cut you off and took the last parking spot that you've had your blinker on for and been waiting for as the previous occupier was backing out, the cashiers are grumpy because, well, they work retail, and shopping takes twice as long just because it's a very busy time of year.

Here is a tip to help you keep a smile on your face and a bounce in your step as you brave the crowds. Understand that there will be lots of people, be patient w/others and give yourself plenty of time. If you go to the store knowing and accepting that it's going to take a while and that there will be tons of people in your way, you will be less likely to be annoyed. Don't go shopping if you have some place to be in 20 minutes. You will just get irritated. Be the person in the aisle who lets someone else go by before you cut them off. Be willing to walk a little ways from the parking lot to the store (if you aren't worried about getting the closest spot that will reduce some stress). And smile at those around you. Who can't use a little Christmas cheer? =)

The next thing I would like to address is family, friend and work get-togethers. If shopping and gift buying wasn't stressful enough, just wait till you host 20 of your closest friends and family. If you've hosted before, you know that it's stressful. You have to make sure your house is clean, food is prepared, entertainment is provided, drinks are available, coordinate who's sleeping where if you are having people stay over night...

If you are hosting, let your guests know where they can find snacks during "non meal" times, get them their first drink and then tell them where they can help themselves for any additional drinks they might want, and even ask for help preparing meals, bringing part of the meal and with cleanup. Don't stress yourself out with making an elaborate meal. The whole point is for your family and friends to get together to celebrate Christmas. If you need to make some frozen pizzas so that everyone has time to visit, then make a pizza. Christmas is not about ham, homemade bread, and pie... it's about celebration. So don't let busyness get in your way.

If you are going to be a guest somewhere, you better be a gracious guest. Offer to bring something, offer to help once you arrive and don't even offer to do dishes... just start doing them after dinner. There is nothing more annoying than entertaining a bunch of guests who just sit around on their duffers while the host/ess does all the work. They are their to "host" not to be a waiter or waitress. And make sure that if you have kids that they are gracious guests, too. Kids learn how to say please and thank-you before they even have their first memory, so no excuses.

Oh and if you don't want to go somewhere, then don't go. Seriously, there is nothing worse than feeling obligated to go somewhere or obligated to invite certain people over. If you don't want to be there, it will show, and then you will just look like a scrooge.

Finally, I wanted to discuss the whole "Happy Holidays" versus "Merry Christmas" situation. Okay, here is the thing. If your intent is to tell someone that you hope they have a good day on December 25th, then you should say "Merry Christmas" as that is what the day is called!!! It's called Christmas Day. Christmas. I get that some people don't celebrate Christmas, and if you know that they don't, then it's absolutely fine (and expected) to say "Happy Holidays" instead of Merry Christmas. If your friend is Jewish, wish them a Happy Hanukkah.

But if you, in good faith, say Merry Christmas and the person doesn't celebrate Christmas then hopefully they will say something and you will know for next time. If someone were to wish me Happy Hanukkah, a holiday that I don't celebrate and one where the only thing I know about it is that there are 12 days of it and something about a candelabra, I certainly would not be offended. I would just be like, "Oh thanks, you too" and then move on with my life. I mean, if someone gets so offended by Merry Christmas that they lash out or get all bent out of shape, then frankly, I'm more amused than sorry that they take things so personally. I mean seriously people, stop being so easily offended. Unless someone is trying to offend you, just kindly tell them what they said offends you and hopefully they will respect that in the future.

Don't get me wrong, I am not saying you wish a "Merry Christmas" to people who are clearly of another faith (sometimes you can tell by certain garments what religion someone belongs to, or sometimes you know b/c that person is a friend of yours). Know your audience. But I am pretty sure that most people will be pretty receptive to "Merry Christmas" and the only reason you hear people saying "Happy Holidays" is because they are afraid of offending someone and getting sued.

So anyway, the most important thing of all is to make sure you enjoy Christmas, New Year's Day and the events surrounding it. If you are stressed, find a way to relax. Ask for help if you feel overwhelmed. And remember the reason we celebrate Christmas!

*<<<-

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Let it SNOW!!!!

I'm hoping for...

LOTS of SNOW
to go along with this cold weather!


Saturday, November 28, 2009

It's official...

... I have fully and officially embraced the fact that I am a true Minnesotan.

I've known for a very long time that the moment I get a Minnesota based cell phone number I would have officially committed myself to being a Minnesotan.

And today, that happened.

I will still have my old phone for a few months b/c my contract isn't expired yet, but I am going to strip down the plan so it's not too expensive. So, while I can still be reached on that old number, I prefer to be contacted on my new phone (if you need my new number, let me know).

=)

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

JFF (Just For Fun)

Finish this sentence:

You know you have reached a whole new level of friendship when your BFF lets you borrow her/his...

Feel free to answer as many times as you want. =)

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Flight School

Have you ever wondered where pilots go to get their training to fly you around the world in a commercial airliner? Well, wonder no more; my mom and I discovered the truth when we were in the Minneapolis/St. Paul airport last week.



Pilots train in fighter pilot video games at the airport arcades. At only a quarter per game, it's a pretty cheap education! And we thought education wasn't affordable!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Start Seeing Motorcycles

I got the following as a fowarded email today. Thought I would share on my blog rather than forwarding in an email.
***********************************************
Do you see the motorcycle?


How about now?





The Honda crotch rocket rider was traveling at approximately 85 mph. The VW driver was talking on a cell phone when she pulled out from a side street, apparently not seeing the motorcycle. The riders reaction time was not sufficient enough to avoid this accident. The car had two passengers and the bike rider was found INSIDE the car with them. The Volkswagen actually flipped over from the force of impact and landed 20 feet from where the collision took place. All three involved (two in the car and the bike rider) were killed instantly. This graphic demonstration was placed at the Motorcycle Fair by the Police and Road Safety Department. A picture is worth a thousand words.


***********************************************
So anyway, the moral of the story isn't "don't ride motorcycles" (of course that's fine) or "don't talk on the phone while driving" (unless you live in a state where it's illegal like CA). Just be careful out there, pay attention, and if you are getting too distracted with your phone call, hang up and drive.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

2 Push Ups

If you read my post about setting goals, you will remember that one of them was to be able to do a "real" push up.

Well, today I did two! They were not in a row. One was around noon and the other was just a few minutes ago (9:20pm).

Yay.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

What I love...

I love when my dad, mom or one of my brothers puts a comment on my blog.

I love when other people do, too, but I really love it when my family does. Just saying....

True Story

We got snow last night.
Enough to stick.
Cold enough to still be on my car at 10am.

(PS: aren't my new tires great? And my new starter and Clutch Byspass wiring? haha)

Thursday, October 8, 2009

A Short Story

Once upon a time an average girl, with an average job, and an average life was trying to get her finances under control. She restructured her budget and consolidated her debt and made a huge effort to not spend any more money than she needed.

She even tried to anticipate and save for those expenses that were out of the ordinary. For example, when she knew she had a large, upcoming expense (4 new tires) she saved her money to make sure she could pay cash rather than having to put the expense on her credit card.

Everything was going great.

Then the universe bit her in the butt and her car broke down.

$520.00 later it was fixed.

The end.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

2 new goals

I like having goals.

Sometimes they are big and huge goals that take a lot of time, effort, planning, and are certain to have a lot of failures and successes before I have reached my goal. For example: Re-doing my budget and manage my spending better.

Other times, they are small goals that don't take much time but are nice to accomplish and then move on with my life. For example: Each day I hope to record my voicemail at work without stumbling over my words and having to start over.

Well, I have a new goal. Well, two new goals. And one actually stems from the other.

This year in hockey I am going to be playing Center. This means I will be the person trying to win the face-offs. After my first few attempts at facing off during a practice a few weeks ago it became very apparent that I do not have the upper body strength necessary to be overwhelmingly successful at winning face-offs. I realized that it would be a good idea to work on building my arm strength. And the day after my practice, my extremely sore triceps confirmed my idea!

So, I set out to build up my arm strength. (This is goal #1)

In the process, I solicited help from someone at work who also works out when I do and they helped me learn a few exercises to build up my arm strength as well as shoulder, chest, etc. Obviously one exercise that can contribute to this new goal would be the simple push up. Except for me, they are not so simple. I can definitely do the "girl" push ups (on my knees) but I cannot do a real push up. Well, I can do half of one.... I can lower my body towards the earth but the coming back up part gets me every time.

I really want to be able to do a *real* push up (This is goal #2 and eventually I will expand this goal to be able to do more than one push up!)

Even though I have been trying to do this for a few weeks now, I have yet to actually do a push up. But, I can tell I am getting closer to reaching this goal. Tonight, I almost did one... I could feel it; but my arms are still rebelling. I will try again every few days though!

Obviously goal #2 is easy to measure: I can either do a push up or I can't.

Goal #1 will take time to measure. The official hockey season for my team hasn't even started yet so I am not regularly doing face offs at this point. But through the year, hopefully I will become stronger as well as learn some techniques on how to become more effective at winning face offs.

Rain

It's raining here in Minnesota.

And not just outside.

I have a leaky ceiling in my bedroom. And about 2' x 2' "T" shape in the ceiling that is soft and squishy.

And now I am waiting for the maintenance guy to come and fix it.

Frankly, I'm not surprised there is a leak because when I moved in, there was discoloration on my ceiling that is clearly a water mark.

Luckily, it's not dripping on any of my stuff (yet!).

The worst part of it all: I was gonna take a nap when I got home!

******UPDATE*******
  • After no maintenance guy and no call from the apartment after an hour, I called and found out that the maintenance guy went on the roof, discovered some drain was clogged with leaves and that they will be here tomorrow to address the leak in my room. TOMORROW? Seriously?
  • I got my nap in!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Hockey!!!

I love hockey.

And it's officially hockey season for the pros! Even though Minnesota Wild lost their first game, I have high hopes for them. They are under new management and coaching this year and have undergone some big changes in regards to how they play the game (positioning, breakouts, etc) so even though it might take them a bit to catch on and get the new system down, I think we'll see a lot of good things from them this year! And if not, it's still fun to watch the Wild!

In about 3 weeks, my AHA hockey season begins, too! My team, the Diablos, have already been practicing, played in a tournament, and have had a scrimmage game. I think it's going to be a blast this season and I am so excited to be back on the ice!


When I am not watching a MN Wild game or playing with the Diablos, I hope to spend time playing JMS hockey (indoor pick-up hockey), pond hockey or broomball (OR taking a nap)! =)

Monday, September 28, 2009

Impeccable Timing

Last week, the very day that I made a financial plan and actually took action on that plan, I got a card in the mail from Tiffani and John. It was a thank-you card for "all the help with the girls" I gave Tiff the past few weekends I went to visit them. Now, as I told Tiff, my spending as much time as possible with Taylor and Hannah is my main goal when I head north so really, no "thanks" is necessary... but I certainly appreciate the gesture! And I am happy to "help" with the girls anytime!

Along with the thank-you note, Tiffani and John sent me a Target gift card. I was so excited to receive this for 3 reasons...

First, it's always nice to know you are appreciated (even if the "help" you gave was mostly for selfish reasons, like playing with your nieces).

Second, as I mentioned, the thank-you note and Target card came on the very day I started my new financial overhaul, and not knowing if my expenses exceed my income at this point, I don't exactly have the financial freedom to go to the grocery store and stock up on whatever groceries I want for the next two weeks. This gift card will feed me (don't get me wrong, I wouldn't have starved, but this allowed me to buy food without having to find a place from my budget to get the money from).

Third, if any of you have met Tiff, or have even heard me talk about her, you would know that Tiff LOVES and totally notices and appreciates the little things in life. And as I expected, she was so excited to hear of the divine timing of this thank you note and gift card, how it was such a blessing to me and that it came at a time that I really needed it.

So "thank you" Tiff and John!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Buy Now, Pay Later?

Unless you are independently wealthy, you have probably stressed out and even lost sleep over money, bills, debt, etc... some of us stress or lose sleep over money issues almost every single day. I am no exception. The debt that keeps me awake at night is not my car loan or student loan as those are pretty normal; it's the credit card debt that I lose sleep over.

I have always prided myself on my good credit and the fact that I never make late payments on my bills. Don't get me wrong, the above-mentioned are still true, but over the past 1+ years, I've accrued credit card debt that I am not proud of. I've gotten myself into this vicious cycle of spending money before I make it (before I get my paycheck), using my paycheck to pay most of my bills, and then my credit card to pay the rest of the bills. And then using my credit card to buy other stuff (necessities and non-necessities) along the way. And I don't know about you, but once I start accruing credit card debt, it's very easy to say, "another $20 won't make a difference," and before you know it, you've said that a hundred times! And it sure as heck made a difference. A bad difference.

So now it's time for this cycle to stop. (Because frankly, I want to sleep at night).

With the help of my parents and some trusted (and financially responsible) friends, I have created and implemented a plan. I transferred my credit card debt to a lower interest loan (the payments will come directly out of my paychecks so they will never be late). One of my very good friends is in possession of my credit cards. And my credit card statements will be mailed directly to my dad instead of me. As you can see, right now I am asking those who are closest to me to help hold me accountable to this new plan.

And this new plan is going to be very hard. It's going to severely change my standard of living - or make me live according to the standard of living that I should have been living all along. haha! But it's worth it. And I know for sure that it will teach me things, and cause me to grow in ways that I never would have otherwise.

And I don't care what the economists say, the value of a dollar just skyrocketed in my world.

So, maybe I will post every once in a while on my progress. And I certainly would welcome money saving tips or stories on how you controlled your credit card debt!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Things you secretly find funny

I think that there are things in life that we find funny, even hilarious, sometimes, that maybe others don't find so funny.

Like, someone could even get hurt, but you find it funny.

I definitely see or hear about things that, so long as no one dies and everyone is okay in the end, make me laugh.

Here is my list:
  • I LOVE when kids who use heely's (those shoes w/wheels) fall.
  • When someone leans too far back or forward in their chair and falls out of it
  • Pretty much any type of falling (like the other day I slipped on the cement and now I have a huge bruise on my knee)
  • When people run into things because they aren't paying attention
  • I like when someone who is driving like a crazy jerk trying to go around people on the freeway end up getting stuck in a lane going slower than the one they were in
  • When people trip on nothing and look down as if something huge made them stumble

I might add more things as I think of them... but please, add to the list in the comment section! If you feel guilty, just post as "anonymous."

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

O.C.D.'s

Obsessive Compulsive Disorders - While we may not all have an extreme case of OCD, we all have OCD's in one way or another. I thought it would be fun to hear what everyone's OCD's are!

Here are a few of mine:
  • I won't use a pen if it's supposed to have a cap and the cap is missing. I'll throw it away or give it away, but I will not use it.
  • When I drink coffee from a place like Starbucks, the hole in the lid (you know, the one used for drinking out of) MUST be lined up exactly opposite of the cup's seem.
  • Before I eat I will always make sure I don't have to go to the bathroom, blow my nose or have anything else going on that might make me uncomfortable while I eat (the only exception is if I am somewhere where it would be rude to prolong the start of the meal). Oh and I also make sure I have my napkin, something to drink if I want that, and even chapstick available if I think I'll want it.
  • If I have a paper cup with those plastic lids (you know, the kind of cup you'd get a soda/pop from at Subway) I always push down the 4 flaps that make up the hole the straw goes through. I hate the sound of the straw rubbing on the lid.
  • I always tie my hockey skates twice... as in, I lace them up and tie them and then, starting with the skate I put on first, I loosen the top 3 laces and re-tie them.
  • When I eat eggs or use them for baking, I always take out that white umbilical cord looking thing that is attached to the yolk with a fork before I make my eggs or mix in the egg to something I am baking.

I am certain I'll think of more later, but for now, I'd like to hear yours?

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Pictures

Since pictures are more fun than random poems I find, I figured I'd post a few from August.

This is at work on my birthday.
My very good friends Lisa (R) and Rebecca (L)
decorated my cubicle while I was away for a bit!
Was a very fun surprise and way cute!
This past weekend I went up to GR to visit the fam...
here are some pics of the girls!
Taylor chillin in a canvas "drawer" watching Cinderella



Taylor was being goofy when I took her picture =)


Hannah- chilling out in the play tunnel at my mom's house.

Way cute picture of Hannah riding in the new mini-van!
(the van has built in car seats)


Taylor loves her little kitty and is frequently seen cuddling it!

Another cute Hannah smile!



Taylor watching a movie.

Hannah Hann-ster!

Taylor discovers a juice box on the counter.
Maybe it was given to her; maybe it wasn't?
The world may never know,
and John and Tiff certainly will never know! hehe

Hannah was eating yogurt;
but she ended up wearing most of it though!

Hannah was chillaxing on the mini bean bag chair.

I took this the last night I was home.
Taylor was sleeping soundly with her arms
cuddling her little kitty.


I am so in love with these girls!!!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

A poem

Found this poem (although looks more like a song) and I liked it.

They say patience is a virtue
They must've never had to wait for you.
Is it still called patience when you are waiting
for something that's never gonna come?
I give up; I'm totally done.

You tell me to wait
That it's going to be okay
But you never give me a reason
to believe what you say.

Release me, Let me go
Stop making promises you aren't going to keep
I'll find my way, I'll be okay
I'll find someone who means what they say.

How much time have I lost
hanging on your empty words?
Opportunities lost.
It's all a blur.

It's time to let go; find the strength to leave
Broken trust, fading memories
Looking forward to tomorrow, the past behind
Taking control, it's my time.

Release me, Let me go
Stop making promises you aren't going to keep
I'll find my way, I'll be okay
I'll find someone who means what they say.

My hope isn't lost; just one step each day
I'm not totally broken
I just can't stay

Release me, Let me go
Stop making promises you aren't going to keep
I'll find my way, I'll be okay
I'll find someone who means what they say.

-author unknown-

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Firsts....

Life is filled with lots and lots of "firsts" - many of them are when we are young but some happen in our adult years, too.
  • First walked - 10 months old (I think... may have been 9 months)
  • First sibling - John Truax August 25, 1983
  • First day of Kindergarten - Summer of 1986
  • First Best Friend - Grace
  • First boy I remember having a crush on - Chris Mooney
  • First *big* move - to Minnesota
  • First time experiencing the death of a loved one - Grandma Jones
  • First time taking my driver's license test - failed
  • First time moving away from home - to Bozeman, Montana
  • First niece: Taylor
  • First car: Dodge Shadow
  • First job (besides Bloomers and babysitting) - Mc Donald's
  • First kiss - well, you get the gist

Today I experienced a new "first" and it is not a fun "first" -

I found my first gray hair.

Now, I know what you are thinking: "Oh honey, I have a head full of gray hair and if I didn't dye it I'd be a blue-hair." I get it... other people have it worse off than I do. But think back to your first gray hair... it's not a fun moment in life and it certainly doesn't make you any wiser.

So, while many other people are "worse off" in the gray hair department, it's the first time I've experienced the gray hair thing and I'm not gonna lie, it's depressing- it represents the fact that no matter how hard I try and how much I am in denial, I am not going to stay young forever.

So ready or not, here comes old age.

(at least my boobs aren't down to my knees yet)

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

An idea: 1 part serious and 1 part just for fun

So if I were to write a book, what should I write it on or about? I think it would be awesome to write one and I have someone thinking of ideas for me already, but just thought I'd throw it out there on my blog and see where it landed... afterall, aren't blogs the place for randomness?!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Hockey Jerseys

I had a team hockey practice today and I was able to pick up my new hockey jerseys and socks. The jerseys are really good quality (as they should be since I paid enough for them!!)- And as you can see from the picture below, we even get our names on them! My team is the Diablos (in case it's hard to read)! Yay! I am excited!


Thursday, August 13, 2009

Shamrocks - Nookie Supreme Challenge

John and Charlie and their friends Dan and Ben came down to the cities for a concert on Saturday. They crashed at my house and so I got to spend a little time with them. We went to the Mall of America, hunted down shoplifters and of course, went to Shamrocks!

Shamrocks, a little pub in St. Paul, is one of the best burger places in the world (if you don't believe me, come and visit and I will take you there). They have a burger challenge at Shamrocks that John and his friend Dan thought they could take on and win.

The challenge: eat two Nookie Supreme Burgers (each burger has two, 1/4 lb patties of beef with cheese and a bun between the patties) and the fries for both and you win a free t-shirt! I decided to capture the challenge on photo.


The group of guys when we first got there (the "before" picture)
L-R: Ben, Charlie, Dan, John
Dan is ready to take bite #1;
John looks a little nervous (isn't he cute?).

But nevertheless, John digs in!

And he doesn't slow down!

Quick sip of pop towards the end of the challenge.

John's LAST fry! And Dan is about done too!


They did it!!!

Shamrocks was out of t-shirts so they got business cards to take to
their sister restaurant (the Nook) to get their shirts.

Yay!!!!


Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Torchlight 5k - Downtown Minneapolis

On July 22, some coworkers and I ran the "Torchlight 5k" race in Downtown Minneapolis. It was a lot of fun, and like the first 5k I did, I finished in 35 minutes. Although this time, I think it was actually faster than 35 minutes and here is why:

There were thousands of people running this race through the streets of Minneapolis. I was somewhere in this extremely huge group of people and when the race began, it was a good minute or two before I even crossed the starting line. (You can imagine my disappointment when I realized that my first few blocks of running didn't count towards the 5 kilometers I was planning on running)! So either a) I ran more than 5 kilometers in 35 minutes, or b) we subtract the time it took me to cross the official starting line and I ran the 5k in less than 35 minutes.
Really, though, for me it's not about the time. I don't aim for running long distances. I prefer running intervals and have found a few effective running routines that provide the interval training I need to keep me healthy and conditioned for hockey. And I hear intervals are better for you anyway (although everyone has a theory on that). The cool part about this race was just being with so many people and hanging out with friends.
Speaking of my friends, here are a few pics of the friends I came with:

(L to R) John, me and Angelene (my roommate)


(L to R) John, Kris (who got me into Broomball! yay!!), me, and Angelene


Thursday, August 6, 2009

did you know?

Some things you may have known about me and some things you may not have known about me....

1. What Color Is Your Toothbrush? pink and white

2. Name One Person That Made You Smile Today: too many to name just one!

3. What Were You Doing At 8 Am This Morning? working

4. What Were You Doing 45 Minutes Ago? eating Subway! yummy!!!

5. What Is Your Favorite Candy?M&M's (mini or plain are my fav's but I don't discriminate)

6. Have You Ever Been To A Strip Club? never have. never will

7. What's the last thing you said out loud? "that's a good idea"

8. What Is The Best Ice Cream Flavor? Definitely chocolate fudge from Baskin Robbins!

9. What Was The Last Thing You Had To Drink? Dr. Pepper

10. What Is The Longest You Have Gone Without Sleeping? Oh I don't know. Probably around 24 or so. I don't do well with no sleep

11. Have You Ever Made a Promise You'd Die to Keep? um die... that is heavy. I have no idea.

13. The Last Sporting Event You Watched? hockey!!!

14. What Is Your Favorite Flavor Of Popcorn? regular popcorn with lots of butter and some salt

15. Who Is The Last Person You Sent an email to? My cousin Rebecca in Singapore

16. Ever go camping? oh yeah. Love it!

17. Do You Take Vitamins Daily? yep! Woman's one-a-day and citracal

18. Do You Go To Church Every Sunday? uhhhh... pass.

21. Do You Drink Your Soda With A Straw? if it's a cup with a lid, or at a restaurant yep. Otherwise nope.

22. What Did Your Last Text Message say? "hey I forgot to say, thanks for the subway"

24. Where Is Your Dad? probably sleeping at home!

25. Look To Your Left, What Do you see? My old hockey breezers

26. What Color Is Your Watch? don't wear one... have a cell phone if I want to stay "in the know" regarding time.

28. What did you do yesterday? went to work and target, baked cookies, made taco soup, ironed my pants, texted, showered, went to bed

29. Do You Go In At A Fast Food Place Or Just Hit The Drive Thru? I like to avoid most fast food, but if I go, I guess it's usually inside b/c I only ever go if I am with someone.

30. What Is Your Favorite Number? 7 is my favorite number

31. Who's The Last Person You Talked To On The Phone? Lisa

32. Any Plans Today? well the day is almost over... went to work, on a walk and went to a hockey skills session.

34. Biggest Annoyance In Your Life Right Now? I can't say what my biggest annoyance is on my blog, so my second biggest annoyance is not enough cash flow.

35. Last Song Listened To? Oh I have no idea- it was hours ago...

36. Can You Say The Alphabet Backwards? nope, at least not without messing up a few times. But if you want it said forward, I'm your girl. Oh that reminds me, I was singing to hannah the other day (poor girl) and when I finished each song, she'd do the sign language sign for "more" hehe SO cute!

38. Favorite Pair of Shoes You Wear All The Time? Any kind of flip flops. Oh unless ice skates count?

39. Are You Jealous Of Anyone? I'm jealous that my parents and brothers have 24/7 access to my nieces....

40. Is Anyone Jealous Of you? haha, yep but this goes with my #1 annoyance that I can't speak about on my blog. Some of you will know what this is and others won't - sorry

41. Do You Love Anyone? any"one"? I love so many people!

43. What Do You Usually Do During The Day? "I help people manage the risks of everyday life, recover from the unexpected and realize their dreams."

44. Do You Hate Anyone That You Know Right Now? Hate is a strong word... there are people I strongly dislike though.

45. Do You Use The Word 'hello' daily? Um, hello???!!! Yep, I do.

46. Meaning of life? good question!

47. Do You Like Cats? yep. but I can't eat a whole one (recycled joke, I know)

48. Have You Ever Been To Six Flags? yeah. Six Flags Magic Mountain

49. How Did You Get Your Worst Scar? when I was born, I had this cord sticking out of my belly and they cut most of it off. Then when I was a few weeks old the remaining part fell off and now I have this gnarly hole in my stomach. (I've used that before, too... it's not original)

50. Last big talk? Today with my roommate about work and other stuff.

51. Last Cd Played? Daughtery in my car on my way home from GR.

52. Last Bubble Bath? whoa... it's been so long I have no idea!!

54. Last Meal? Subway... chicken ranch sub. SO yummy!

55. Have You Ever Dated Someone Twice? yep. actually 3 times.

57. Have You Ever Fallen In Love? I think once....

58. Have You Ever Lost Someone? yes. But I found her.

59. Have You Ever Slept Until 1pm? oh yeah... and I love it!!

60. Have You Met A Famous Person? nope

61. List Four People You Can Tell Pretty Much Anything To? Lisa, Rebecca, Angelene, Rachel...

62. List Three Favorite Colors/shades: Pink, Green, Blue

63. Laughed Until You Cried? yep. Love it!

64. Went Behind Your Parents Back? probably. I can't remember anything blatant though

65. Who Posted This Before You? Heather

66. Opinion on Abortion? no bueno

67. Lowering The Drinking Age? nope.

69. Who Are The Best Huggers That You Know? whoa this is heavy. Honestly, to ME, the best huggers are those who aren't serial huggers, know when I need one or want one and just do it. hehe

70. Do You Believe In Love At First Sight? hmmm... I suppose yeah.

71. Is There Something You Want To Tell Someone? yeah, let's see. I want you all to know that my birthday is tomorrow - Friday August 7th. hehe

72. Something that makes you go "hmmmm?" fake people. Why pretend to be happy all the time when you know you aren't? nothing more annoying than overly fake-happiness.

73. Would You Kiss Someone you just met? nope- oh unless it's Cal Clutterbuck

74. How Many Kids Do You Want To Have? 4 (hopefully twins in there somewhere)

75. Do You Want To Change Your Name? my first name-no; my last name-maybe someday.

76. Last Time You Saw Your Father? On Saturday.

77. What Time Did You Wake Up Today? too early as always. 630 am.

78. How Old Are You? funny you should ask. I am 27 for another 1 hour and 16 minutes

79. What Were You Doing At Midnight Last Night? sleeping! yay!

80. What Is Your Favorite Thing In Your Room? hockey equipment. Oh toss between that and my teddy bear. Teddy bear. Final answer. Hockey equipment is replaceable. Teddy bear isn't.

81. Where is your bffae? Sleeping soundly hehe

82. What can you not live without besides food and water? chapstick!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Does "shower cap" = "grandma??"

The other day I was telling my roommate Angelene about my wonderful new purchase from Avon. I got some eye shadows, a little makeup bag and a showercap. She suddenly looked up and without hesitation said, "You grandma!"


Okay, here is why I wear a shower cap. I shower every day but I don't wash my hair everyday. My shower is small and I am short so if I don't use a shower cap, my hair would get drenched!In order to keep my hair dry on the non-washing days, I wear a shower cap. Until I got my new, Avon shower cap (which was a steal at $1.99 btw), I used a disposable one from the Westin that I had taken (they are complimentary). But now, I have a very pretty shower cap!
(see - not too bad - oh and the colors are brighter in person)

What I want to know is, for those of you who also shower daily but don't wash your hair every time you shower, how do you keep your hair dry if you don't use a shower cap?

Monday, August 3, 2009

Dare to Dream?

Think of a dream you have.

It could be anything from joining an underwater basket weaving class to going to the moon.

Now imagine that your dream totally depends on someone else.

You've done your part (signed up for that class... bought your space suit)... but now, you have to wait (someone has to teach that class or someone has to offer trips to the moon). And it looks like you will be waiting a while.

What do you do? Do you hold out hope knowing you most likely will never get to scratch that dream off your "list of things to do before you die?" Do you settle for a less lofty dream (like an above-water basket weaving class or going to a science museum); not as satisfying as your original dream, but something close enough? Or do you just give up on your dream altogether?

Do you have any examples?

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Hockey Pics

A while ago some of you asked to see some pics of hockey... well, a few weeks ago my friend Rachel was visiting from CA and came to a game where Charlie and I were both playing so she took some pics... I am pretty identifiable as I wear pink skate laces.

Note that while in the first pic where I am suited up I am wearing a black jersey, I was on the "white" team so I switched jerseys before the game began. Charlie and I ended up on the same team so we had a lot of fun!
Being goofy before the game. Waiting for locker room assignment.
Charlie and I before the game began.

Shot from the blue line.

Charlie (in front) and me (pink laces) skating up the ice.

Yeah, I'm the one running into the boards...
my knees weren't touching the ice haha


Charlie (second from R) and I (second from L) chatting on bench.
The guy on the far right is my friend Douglas...
we almost always play on the same nights.
I must be headed for the puck here or something.

Probably just took a shot... and probably missed haha.
I know I got one goal this night.

Reaching for the puck...
Waiting for play to resume...

Back checking...
End of game... we had tons of fun. I always enjoy when Charlie comes to play
with me. I hope Greg and John can come down sometime, too!
So there you have it... pics of hockey. Maybe more will show up this winter =)
I am way excited to play on an official team this winter... the diablos! I will be wearing #87.
I think I already had a blog about that though....

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Change

“Growth means change and change involves risk, stepping from the known to the unknown.”
(Author unknown)

Just over a year ago. I made the move to Minnesota from California. It wasn't a simple decision... on the contrary. Do you remember reading this blog post? Before I came to my decision to move, I really faced a lot of internal and external struggles. I was comfortable where I was at. I had great friends, a great job, lived in a great state, and had great family close by. I was just graduating college, so things would change a little but for the most part, life was hunky-dory and I was content.

Suddenly, out of nowhere, I decided to apply for a job in Minnesota and ended up getting the position. This, I knew, was going to change me. I didn't know how, but I knew it would. And I was okay with that because I like change. I've made 4 cross-country moves in my short 27 years of life and loved each of them for different reasons. I honestly thing this has been my favorite move though.

To reference the quote above, I truly agree that growth happens with change... and to get this you have to take risks. This move (risk... change...) has caused growth in my life. I feel as though I can be free to let people see my true personality (even if it's not always what some people like). I feel more confident in who I am as a person. I have had to face challenges and risks in my job, too, which has also promoted growth and change.

“Any change, even a change for the better, is always accompanied by drawbacks and discomforts.” (Arnold Bennett)
Change wasn't easy though. I actually didn't like it here when I first got here. I missed my friends, my old job and even the comfort of knowing my way around town. I honestly think that most of the time, when you want to make a change (like moving across the country), you really need to stick it out and wait for enough time to pass before you make a snap judgement to jump ship. It takes time to get used to a new job and it takes time to learn where you will like to grocery shop, where Target is, and what bank you should now bank at. And it takes courage to put yourself out there and meet people. You will probably meet lots of people before you finally meet those people who you will call friends. And it will take even more time to make close friends.
A year later, those things have finally come for me. Well, they happened several months ago, but honestly, every day gets better and every day I love the area, my friends, and my job more and more! And I love being close to my family! I am 100% certain that moving to Minnesota was the best decision for me. The one that took the most risk, had the most change, and was the biggest challenge. But it was the best.
“Life can either be accepted or changed. If it is not accepted, it must be changed. If it cannot be changed, then it must be accepted.” (Author Unknown)
I just saw this quote and liked it. I think something we all fall into at one time or another (some of us more than others) is complaining about various situations in life. And really, what it comes down to is we need to either a) accept it or b) work to change it.
For those of you who know me well, one of my biggest pet peeves is when people have a problem or a situation that they dislike and there is a totally viable solution to fix it or at least make it a little better, and rather than doing the work to make the change, they continue to complain about it. Now, I realize we all need to vent and get things off our chest... that is not the problem I have with the above scenario. We all need to vent and that is what friends are for! But if the venting continues day after day and there hasn't been a change, then it's time to man up, accept it, and drop it. Because "not changing it" is actually the decision being made. But if you want to make a change, I will be the first person who offers to help you figure out what steps to take to make that change.
"Change is inevitable - except from a vending machine.”
(Robert C. Gallagher)
haha!!!
This blog really had no direction when I began writing it other than I wanted to address "change" since it seems to be so prevelant in my life. I realize it's not a profound read or an exciting post... and I am certainly not perfect at handling, pursuing, or dealing with change.
Just for fun... what is your perception of change (unexpected, expected, and/or intentional change)? Is is something that is easy for you to handle? hard for you? Have a story? A quote you love? Do share!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Follow up to "Pizza and Religion"

I started to write this in the comments section of this post. But I wanted to make sure that those who posted comments knew that I truly am grateful for what they wrote.



First of all, I just want to say that I read, word for word, what everyone has written and I truly appreciate your comments. I know that what you all wrote took lots of time and research (as many people quoted books and websites and the bible)- so thank you!


There is a lot to take in and I will try to find time to re-read everyone's comments.



Having said that...



Sometimes, I feel that the simplicity of the Christian faith is a relief. I mean, who wants a works-based salvation? But other times, I feel like it's too simple and I get overwhelmed- feeling like there is still something I need to do- nothing else in life is free. I have been reading a little booklet (Case for Faith) that a dear friend of mine gave to me, and the more I read it, the more conflicting thoughts I have. On one hand, the defenses and reasonings it offers make total sense. But on the other hand, the author does a good job of explaining the "objections" that this book is trying to defend and I find it hard to not ponder the same objections.


Mom, in your comment on the last post you said, "I feel His guidance and His presence and I just KNOW that my soul will continue to love God and to live long after this earthly body of mine has ceased to exist." I have never felt that. This is just me being honest. I am not trying to stir anything up or make anyone freak out. Nor am I trying to say things to cause anyone to stumble or question their own faith.



I know that belief in God, the Bible, and the things I have grown up learning all require faith, but I feel like I need facts, too. Just like Lori's objection, I also wonder how Christians, Muslims, Mormons, etc can all be so certain they are correct when they certainly cannot all be correct.



Just to clarify, I am not turning my back on my upbringing, God, or anything (although I suppose some might wish to debate that). I just feel like I am in a place where I really need to get answers. And I think these questions are totally legitimate because I really want to find the answers. But for now, God feels intangible.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Just pick one

If you had to eat the same meal and drink the same beverage every day for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Let's assume that anything you pick will have all the required nutrients you need every day (so feel free to pick chocolate) and we'll also give you a freebie and assume that everyone can have water, too.

Mine: Homemade bread and butter (as in REAL butter, not margarine); and "Simply Orange" Orange Juice!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Pizza and Religion...

The father of a friend of mine from work died last week. The funeral was today. To show our coworker support, our team went to the funeral. This is the first funeral I have ever been to. I guess it was what I expected: sad, reminiscing about the one who passed away, songs, scripture reading, and lots of family and friends coming together to remember the life of some they loved so dearly. Even though I didn't know or ever meet my friends dad, it was very impactful and I felt very sad. It really got me thinking and has left me in this weird, emotional funk all day long. Lots of thoughts about dying and what happens after people die.

Okay, so pizza. There are probably thousands of types of pizza. There are all kinds of crusts, sauces, cheeses, toppings, and sizes. You can buy pizza from a restaurant, the frozen food section from a store, or make it yourself. Some like the thin, New York style and swear it's the best; other like thick, Chicago style pizza and can't fathom a better pizza. And there is everything in between.

But sometime ago, somewhere, someone made the first pizza ever. It was the original. THE pizza. And even though we have lots of different variations of pizza, none of them will probably ever be like the original. Still, there is probably something in every pizza that resembles the original. A thread that links all pizza's that have ever been or ever will be made and eaten. A common denominator, if you will.

Yet, despite the commonality of all pizza's everywhere, we will never know what the very first, original pizza consisted of. We only have remnants of it through what has been passed down from generation to generation. And if you asked pizza lovers everywhere to make a pizza and enter it into a "make the perfect pizza" contest, there would be a common thread, but no two pizza's would turn out the same, despite the fact that all the "perfect" pizza's entered would claim to be "the perfect pizza." But they wouldn't be, because there was only one, "original" and perfect pizza (Round Table Pizza.... hehe j/k well, it's my favorite pizza, I just don't think it's the original and first pizza ever made).

I find "religion" to be the same. Before people freak out, I am not saying that there are many ways (religious paths) to the top of the mountain (God). I think that theory is actually extremely ridiculous. If one religion claims to be the ONLY correct religion and it is, then all the others are wrong, so there goes that theory. If that same religion claims to be the ONLY correct religion and it's wrong, then all paths don't really lead to the top then because now we've found one that is wrong; so again, that theory isn't correct. I digress... anyway, I believe that there is one true religion/faith (an original pizza).

But it seems that no matter which church you go to, no matter what kind of service you attend or speaker you hear about religion (Sunday morning, Weddings, Funerals, Baptisms, TV evangelists, politicians), all the messages are pretty much the same: if you believe you will be saved. Yet, this is played out in people's lives in many different ways. And when you have one on one convos w/people, there are many more details that totally conflict amongst the various religions (lots of kinds of pizzas). Yet people build their lives and make huge decisions based on a belief system that they can only ever know only part of the truth because so much is not documented or provable.

What makes you so sure that your belief system is correct?? (btw: that isn't a rhetorical question... I want people to answer that).

Here's the thing though, I want facts. Personal experiences (like seeing the light and feeling stuff and just knowing in your bosom) don't count. Well, they count, just not for the way I want you to answer this question. Obviously a belief system (whether you believe in God or not) requires much faith. I know there is a lot of personal experiences and testimony out there, but for now, I want to just focus on the scientific, factual evidence.

What "facts" and evidence (like science) do you have to support why your belief system is correct? How do you "know" that you are correct about what you believe regarding what happens after death? When you are at a funeral and look at a casket of someone who is no longer physically alive, how can you be so certain that they are in Heaven, Hell, simply don't exist, or whatever else your belief system might lead you to embrace as truth.

I suspect that many people won't answer this question because it will require some research (at least that is what I am assuming). This would be easy to say, "I feel..." or "I just know..." or "the Bible* says..." - but I don't want to know how those sentences end for you right now. I want to know how science supports your beliefs.

I will not be answering this question btw. Just reading your answers.

FYI: I realize the pizza analogy was lame, but I like pizza and I like analogies so it worked for me. lol

*I realize the Bible is one piece of evidence, but for this, I don't want to hear verses unless it also aligns with something outside the Bible, too (ex: Noah and the ark *plus* there is actually physical evidence of a world wide flood and here is the evidence....).

Friday, July 10, 2009

Time to reflect: 10 years ago...?

First, if you haven't noticed this question, take a look at that first, just for fun!

Okay, so think back to where you were in life 10 years ago. Who were you? What were you doing? What were your goals and expectations about your life?

Think about now... how are you different? the same? Did you achieve your goals or did you make new ones? Are things better or worse than expected?

Give examples if you feel comfortable!

As always, I will respond once a few other people do first =)

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Another discussion topic

What do you think about moms in the workforce versus stay-at-home moms? And naturally this question also has to address kids in daycare if mom (and dad) is working.

Do you think one or the other is "right" or "wrong?" Is it a personal choice? Situational?

I will post my thoughts after the discussion has started and is well under way!

Have fun =)

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Taylor's First Haircut

Could she be any cuter???? I think not!


Sunday, June 14, 2009

I'm In Love...

...but it's not what you think...

I am in love with my nieces! I can't believe how much I love them... it's truely overwhelming! The past few times I have gone to my parents, I have Taylor stay the night for a slumber party. Last slumber party, she kept asking me for the slumber party.... She doesn't quite get that it's a "situation" and not a game or toy! haha She's so cute!

The first slumber party we had we played well into the night and watched Kung Fu Panda, which is pretty much her favorite movie. She tells you what is going to happen before it happens! Love it... anyway, we went to bed late, reading books before we fell asleep. Taylor woke up once in the middle of the night asking me if we could read books. haha. Obviously I told her no and to go back to sleep, which she did. I was very lucky as Taylor slept until 9am! Tiff was jealous btw! hehe

The second slumber party was much like the first. Games, Kung Fu Panda, reading books, waking up in the middle of the night and asking me if I could read books. The difference this time: Taylor woke up 6:45am!!! (Tiff was giggling this time). So we got up and found my mom downstairs just snuggled up on the couch. Taylor crawled in with her. I asked my mom if I could go back to bed and if she could watch Taylor... she said no. haha - It was worth it though!

And of course, Hannah is a joy as well! We play with toys and I especially like the ones with music because she dances and smiles really big! And bathtime is always fun with both girls!

Here are a few pics of the girls from recent trips home... (some of the pics there is some red eye... couldn't remove it before I posted)...

Hannah's happy smile and her cute little tongue sticking out!
This was at the first slumber party and Taylor saw me wearing
my hair band and washing my face and she wanted to do the
same so we put the hair band in and washed her face, too!

Hannah having a great time!

Taylor hanging out!

Video of Hannah having fun with the Jelly the Cat!
video