What it's all about...

I'm a 39 year old wife, mom, daughter, sister, aunt & friend. That should tell you who I'll be writing about most of the time.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Day 16

30 Days:Day 16-Dream house

I don't really have a dream house, kind of like I don't have a dream car or a dream vacation. What I do have is elements of each of those things that I would really love to have. So. Things about a house that would make it dreamy for me include:

  • Large bedrooms. Our master bedroom now is quite large, but the kids' rooms are very much not. I'd like for all the rooms to be big.

  • A separate room (not someone's bedroom) for the computer to live it. Our computer is currently in the living room and I'd like it to be removed from the main areas of the house.

  • A bathroom for each person who lives in the house. This would mean that there'd be two bathrooms in the master bedroom, which would really be perfect.

  • Double oven in the kitchen and a large cooktop with grill built in like the cooking shows have.

  • Windows that open from bottom to top instead of side to side. I hate having the windows open and the shades rattling whenever the wind blows. I wish I could match the shade to be open the same way as the window. I suppose this would also work with vertical shades.

  • A finished basement with bathroom.

  • Manicured lawns with flowers and trees. Maintained by someone else. I'd like a deck in the backyard with some type of awning or cover that won't blow away.

  • A dog door to the backyard so we don't have to open the door for the dogs a million times a day.

  • An interior decorator to help us coordinate colors and accessories and prints for the walls so it reflects us but still looks good.

  • No carpet. I'd like laminate flooring throughout, with some type of runners on the stairs. Big carpet tiles in the bedrooms for coziness, but no more wall to wall carpet, particularly in the main areas of the house.

  • Ample lighting. The lighting in our kitchen sucks and I always wish it was brigher in there.

  • My dream house would be paid for. :)

  • The best part about my dream house would be that my neighbors would be my friends and my close family members. You know, the ones I'd like to have near as much as possible. Even if it was just their vacation home, at least I'd know I'd get to see them more often.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

A substitute "Day"

Day 14 of the 30 Day Challenge is "A picture you love", but I haven't had a chance to do this one as my pictures are on my computer at home and I do my blog posts mostly at work. I'm trying really hard to only work on schoolwork when I sit in front of my computer at home and looking at pictures and posting to my blog doesn't apply. So, in place of Day 14, I'm going to do Day 15 and make it back to Day 14 when I can.

30 Days: Day 15-Bible verse

My parents were not church-goers. When celebrating holidays, we never observed any religious aspects of it. Easter was purely about dying eggs, baskets full of candy, easter egg hunts, and yummy food. Christmas was Santa, christmas trees, presents, stockings, reindeer...and yummy food. My maternal grandmother however, was and still is a very religious woman and when my sisters and I were young we would stay over on Saturday night and go with her to church Sunday morning. It didn't happen every week, more like a couple of times a month. And a couple of summers I stayed through the week to attend Vacation Bible School. But all that stopped once I started junior high school. And as I've gotten older and looked deeper at what I do and don't believe, I have discovered and accepted that I don't believe in God and I don't believe that the Bible is "God's Word". I consider myself an agnostic atheist.

Regardless of my views, I am familiar with many Bible verses. A couple that I am quite fond of are:

"Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble."1 Peter 3:8

"Place me like a seal over your heart, like a seal on your arm; for love is as strong as death, its jealousy unyielding as the grave. It burns like blazing fire, like a mighty flame.
Many waters cannot quench love; rivers cannot wash it away. If one were to giveall the wealth of his house for love, it would be utterly scorned." Song of Solomon 8:6-7

Monday, April 25, 2011

Day 13

30 Days: Day 13-Goals

Righ now, my goal is to complete this 30 Day Challenge, particularly because I found another similar one that has piqued my interest. Isn't that crazy??

Okay, so my goals. Bring on the bullets!

  • The end of this semester is in less than 2 weeks. Goal: To finish with strong final projects and be prepared to take my finals and do my best.

  • To complete the huge project I started over a year ago to scan my parents photos onto my hard drive.

  • To get my boy settled into his new space in the basement without it looking like we threw it together without taking his needs and wants into consideration.

  • To keep my sanity and perspective when Shell's mom moves in with us this summer.

  • Lose weight and be healthy.

  • Make spending time with Shell and the kids a priority, not an afterthought.

  • Get caught up on our recorded shows and watch the first and second seasons of Glee to get caught up before the next season starts.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Day 12

30 Days: Day 12-What you believe

This topic has me stuck, so since I've yet to come up with something wise and thought-provoking, I'm just going to play stream of thought here. Lucky you... :)

I believe...

  • that the decision I made 19 years ago (tomorrow!) to be with Shell was the absolute right choice.

  • that my children are the most perfect combination of myself, Shell, and the donor. Looking at his profile recently after so long made me realize how much he contributed to them.

  • in my ability to get my BA, because I have an awesome support group behind me.

  • that I will test the limits of my procrastination every semester and that time management will never be a strength of mine.

  • that in spite of my insecurities, I am a good mom.

  • that I'm not a very good partner.

  • that Shell and I are very mismatched in many ways, but that we still belong together.

  • that my wife thinks that I am the most beautiful woman she's ever seen. I disagree, but I believe that she believes it.

  • the children are our future.

  • that the previous statement proves that my stream of thought on this topic is complete.

I hope that everyone has a fantastic weekend, whatever you're doing. We're hosting dinner for my parents on Saturday (pork tenderloin, scalloped potatoes, sauteed green beans, rolls, fruit salad) and then going to their house Sunday morning for breakfast and the egg hunt. I have to work Sunday afternoon, but hope to still get some homework done at some point. Only 2 more weeks left in the semester and I have final papers to write and studying for final exams still. Come on summer!!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Day 11

30 Days: Day 11-Favorite TV shows

I used to watch A LOT of TV. Back when dramas were intense and had characters that were developed, when sitcoms were laugh-out-loud funny and had characters that were developed. Before reality shows took over and writers lost all originality. Most of my favorite TV shows are long gone now. Shows like The Facts of Life, Growing Pains, Life Goes On, Little House on the Prairie, Full House, The Cosby Show, ER, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Ghost Whisperer...you get the point.

And now especially, I don't have the time to watch shows that I don't absolutely love. Even the ones I love sit in my DVR for weeks after they've aired until I have a chance to watch them. But I do watch them eventually. The shows that are on the air currently and that I watch because I love them are:


How I Met Your Mother

Modern Family

The Good Wife

Big Bang Theory

I've also been watching Oprah's new OWN network shows and the ones I really LOVE are:

I've recorded The Judds show, but haven't had a chance to watch it yet and I am super excited that Rosie O'Donnell will have a talk show on OWN in the fall. The only other TV I watch is the Food Network which Shell watches on the weekends and I sit and watch if I have time. I'm excited that Pioneer Woman will have a Food Network show this fall and intend to watch/record every one.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Day 10

30 Days: Day 10-Something you’re afraid of

I'm not really afraid of things. Spiders are creepy and I am not a fan of them being on me, but I am the Spider Killer in my house and am always called for if one is inside. I am not afraid of small rodents or reptiles and I live for thunderstorms. Natural disasters are a frightening occurrence, but I don't fear them. The only "thing" I might put on a list of things that strike fear in me is heights. But even then, I'm not afraid of heights or even afraid that I might fall. It's just an unnerving feeling to have my feet off the ground high enough that I can't make one step back to ground. Also, this gets worse the more I weigh. Maybe I think that the extra weight will interfere with my balance. I don't know.

What I do fear more than anything is one day looking back and regretting how I've raised my kids. I would imagine a lot of parents do have regrets and I'm not talking about small things. I am afraid that my kids will turn out badly somehow and although I wish wild success with financial security for both of them, more than anything I want them to be good people with plenty of friends and someone they will love who loves them back in all the right ways. I want them to be happy. I know too many people who are not truly happy for various reasons and I don't want that for my children. I want to know that our decision to have them was not purely selfish, but actually placed good people on the earth. I want other people to think of my kids and be glad to know them. I fear the opposite.

Other than that, I fear death. Not my own, but that of my close friends and family. I fear the empty hole in my life that would result from the loss of them. I feel panicky thinking about losing Shell, my kids, my Eric, or my sisters to death. I dread losing my parents, but I know that the day will come when I do and it's inevitable. But I can not imagine feeling okay with losing any of the others. It's unfathomable.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Day 9

30 Days:Day 9-A picture of your friends

The two people who know me better than anyone. My best friend Eric and my Shell.

Two people who I could ask for anything from and they would try to make it happen. Shell's best friend (on the right) and her girlfriend.

Day 8

So before I tackle today's topic, an update on my life currently. If I just say BUSY, would that explain it?
My job responsibilities have grown and where I used to have a pretty sizable amount of down time if I planned my day well, now I have very little. Oh and all this with no extra pay, of course. Ugh!
The end of the semester is 3 weeks away and I am still getting caught up on some assignments that I should have done weeks ago. They aren't technically "late" because this very odd instructor only puts deadlines as a suggestion and the assignments are accepted through the end of the semester. I work better with concrete deadlines as it's too easy to put aside the ones that aren't "due" in favor of working on everything else. I'm getting there, but 3 weeks isn't really all that long. The biggest and most delightful surprise of this semester is how well I've done/am doing in my math class. I love it and have gotten A's on all the tests and really, really hope that my teacher teaches the class I'll be taking in the Fall. Fingers are crossed in a big way for that! Registration for fall classes is on Monday and I'm 98% sure of what I'm taking. Hopefully I get what I want!
Then summer...aaaaaahhhh summer. I am really looking forward to getting some stuff done around my house and enjoying the time off of school. There are discussions of Shell's mom possibly coming to live with us and it might happen as early as June. I think it's an awful idea, but she simply can't live alone right now and there is no one volunteering to take her in. If this happens, we have to move one of the kids, and it'll probably be my boy, to the basement which is unfinished and basically used for storage and laundry since the washer and dryer are there. It's going to take a little work to make it livable, so I may be tackling that project here pretty soon. Joy. This clouds my excitement about summer a bit, but at least I know that regardless of juggling everything else, school won't be added to the mix until August.

Oh and the Janet concert? Awesome. Our seats were fantastic, although we stood and danced through the majority of it. She looks so amazing and moves like no one's business. Although, I most certainly made it my business. What? She's f*cking hot! So. Moving on...

30 Days: Day 8-A place you’ve traveled to

Well, there aren't many to be honest. I grew up in Southern California and the most traveling we did when I was a kid was to visit my grandparents near San Francisco every summer. They actually lived in San Lorenzo, but we'd always drive or take the BART into the city for a day whenever we went. We used to go camping a lot too, but that was always in California too. We used to drive to visit my parents' friends in Nevada when I was about 4 or 5, but I don't remember. When I was in 7th grade, I went with my grandma to Missouri for the 50th wedding anniversary celebration of her sister and brother-in-law. It was the first time I'd met any of the people who lived there and I had a really great time. When I was 14 we drove to Utah for the wedding of my mom's second cousin and again I got to know family that I had had limited contact with before. Then we moved to Colorado when I was 21 years old. And we had our ceremony in Las Vegas in 2003. Other than driving through parts of Arizona and New Mexico on our way to and from California, that was all the traveling I had done outside of California. Until 2006 when we got the opportunity of a lifetime.

Every year, Shell's work has a big appreciation event for the top sales people in the company, but they also include employees who are voted on by their coworkers for exceptional service. In 2005, Shell was chosen. The prize was a trip to the Bahamas in January 2006 where we stayed at the Atlantis resort in Nassau. All the other "winners" stayed there as well and each day was up to you as to what you wanted to do then each night everyone got together for dinner and festivities. The first night it was a buffet dinner and cocktails followed by dancing. Another night we had dinner while an amazing costumed parade wound its way throughout the crowd. That night ended in fireworks over the water. The second to last night was the recognition of all the employees during dinner and ended with drinks and dancing. We spent our days wandering around the resort shops, hanging out on the beach (although we couldn't go in the water due to the high wind warnings), soaking in the sun at the pool, and even left the resort one day to shop and have lunch and sightsee in downtown Nassau. There were pools all throughout the resort with marine life swimming in them and the pool that was directly under our room had rays in it that I would sit and watch. It was beautiful and magical and I am so thankful that we had the opportunity to do something so amazing together. And for free! The only thing we spent money on were our souvenirs.

Unfortunately, this trip was prior to our ownership of a digital camera and the 35mm that we took was nearing the end of its life. Plus, I lost a roll of film (we took several) that had pictures from the big appreciation night and the fireworks and parade dinner. :( The pictures we have are not great, and not digital, but I grabbed a couple on my way out the door this morning so I could scan them in for this post.
Shell in the waters of the Bahamas. Due to the winds, she wasn't supposed to be in the water at all and right after I snapped this shot they yelled at her to get back. But it was worth it. :)
Us on the throne at the Atlantis.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Day 7

30 Days:Day 7- Favorite movies
Here's the thing about the question of "what's your favorite movie?" It's kind of fluid and depends on my mood and my life at the moment. Favorite movie falls under the same heading of Favorite Song. It's impossible to pick just one lest I leave out one that I really, really love. So here are some of the movies I love more than the vast majority of movies I've seen. And I will still leave out some...

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Day 6

30 Days: Day 6-A picture of something that makes you happy

I am a very lucky person to have many things that make me happy. I pulled out a picture of my family and one of my best friend, then realized that other 30 Days topics cover these. I decided to include one that isn't directly covered, plus a bonus one indicative of something that is making me happy today!

So this is a picture of 6 of my favoritest people in the world. My kids, plus my three nieces and nephew. It was a rare treat to have them all together at the same time and I am crazy in love with every one of them.

And in honor of the concert I am going to tonight and have been giddily looking forward to since we bought the tickets in January...

I am SO excited to see her again. I last saw her in 1990 during the Rhythm Nation tour and the last time whe performed in Denver I couldn't afford to go. But tonight, I am 6th row center and cannot wait! And that most definitely makes me very happy today.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Day 5

30 Days: Day 5-Your siblings

I am the oldest of three girls. My little sisters are twins and were born when I was 3 1/2 years old. They are 33 years old and not little anymore, but I'm the oldest so I get to call them that. S is older than K by one minute and they are and always have been polar opposites.

When we were growing up, they always wanted to be with me. I'm not being conceited, it's a fact. When I was outside playing, they wanted to be doing whatever I was doing. When I had friends over, they drove me crazy wanting to be in my room too. Sometimes, I'd let them "spend the night" in my room, and they loved it. They'd fight over whose turn it was. We'd listen to music and dance and sing together, even putting on little shows for my parents and their friends. We'd put on a record and perform. K would announce us and sometimes do a little goofy dance, I always sang the lead vocals and S would do the backing vocals, or whatever I told her to sing. When I was taking German in high school, I taught S a bunch of it. As we grew into our teen years and all of us wanted to use the phone, we each had a 30-minute time limit. For the day. Their junior high was a little closer than my high school, so someone would already be on the phone when I got home. (My parents were both working in the afternoons by then) So I'd get home and demand that whoever was on the phone got off. And of course they wouldn't. Naturally, this progressed to screaming and yelling and pulling the phone away or even pulling the cord out of the wall. There would be physical fighting even. Phone calls are a serious matter when one is a teen you know...

So, when Shell and I ran away it damaged the bond that my sisters and I were starting to discover. By the time we got back, they were starting high school and wanted nothing to do with Shell and I. S hung out with kids who ditched school, smoked pot and had no ambition. K was in color guard, was friends with a lot of the kids in band and got really good grades. When K got pregnant just before turning 16, everyone thought that it would ruin her. I think it only made her more determined to succeed. Her boyfriend was 2 years older and they decided together to keep the baby and get married. Both sets of parents supported them and at 5 months pregnant, they were married and moved in with his parents so he could finish school and graduate. When my parents moved to Colorado, they decided to join them. By the time my niece was born, K and I were growing closer and that has continued ever since. My niece will be 17 in August and my sister and brother-in-law will celebrate their 17th anniversary next week. They also have another daughter who will be 13 this month. They moved back to California years ago so that my brother-in-law could go to the police academy while they lived with his parents. He is now a detective. My sister graduated high school on time and although it took her a long time, she graduated nursing school and is an RN in an emergency department of a busy hospital. They have a gorgeous house and very nice cars and I am ridiculously proud of them. My sister and I are very close and talk as often as our schedules allow. We don't have a lot of the same interests; she is a fashionista and a shoe snob and I am very much not. But we enjoy being together and genuinely like each other. Which is more than she can say about her twin.

When everyone moved to Colorado, my sister S did not want to leave her friends and her school so Shell & I agreed to let her live with us. The same month that my niece was born, 16-year-old S got pregnant. Her boyfriend was a loser, but she "loved him" and wouldn't admit it. To take advantage of my dad's insurance over state insurance, she moved to Colorado until my nephew was born, but a few months later she moved back to CA to live with her boyfriend. This was just before Shell & I moved to CO and since they had very little money I didn't get to see them unless someone paid for them to fly out for a visit. When she finally broke up with my nephew's dad, they moved to CO. Shell got S a job where she worked and I babysat my nephew. I saw her a lot and that continued once my kids were born. When they were newborns, she would come over on her lunch and help me with them or do dishes or laundry for me. We relied on each other for a lot of things over the years and became friends. Unfortunately, life has not been as kind to her as her twin, although her choices really are to blame. She lives in Missouri now and was a single mom for so many years, but always wanted to try for a daughter. When she got pregnant 4 years ago by a guy she'd only been seeing for a few months, we thought it would end with her now being single raising two kids. She is still with my niece's dad, but they've decided to walk away from their money pit of a house to rent one. They struggle financially and I wish they lived closer so we could help with babysitting or have them over for dinner or something easier to do than loan them money, which we just can't.

So, like I said. Polar opposites those two. S resents the way that K's life has turned out compared to hers. S doesn't know why she hasn't gotten a break in life, whereas K went out and made her break happen. That's the difference. Ambition, motivation and drive. One has none while the other has oodles of it. A simple difference sometimes makes all the difference.

Me and S last summer.

Me & my baby sister K in January.