Monday, January 24, 2011

Well said

This is brilliant! I'm very much for free speech. When you're not an idiot.

Remember the phrase "Unless you have something nice to say, don't say anything at all?" How about we change that to "Unless you don't have anything smart and/or clever to say, don't say anything at all."

And I have had my share of stupid comments! HELLO! I have a problem keeping my words to myself in general, somewhere in there is bound to be a stupid comment! But seriously, it's 2011, we should all have equal rights, we should all have health care, we should all be willing to care for one another, we should all be willing to give some of our hard-earned money to society because we are all a part of it. We shouldn't be blaming the change in this country on one man when the change he is making is for the greater good. And we should stop judging based on color or sexual orientation. Because at the end of the day we all want to go home to someone who cares for us, put our feet up and heave a contented sigh.

Obama could be a short green man from the land of Umpaloompa and I would still be proud to call him my president.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

I love books. And photos.

I want to be this guy. For only a moment.


I'm not a parent but....

I swore the following words would never leave my mouth and yet they have fallen out and my inner eyes have rolled themselves at myself.

"Because I said so." Ugh. I HATED that phrase as a kid. I wanted a legitimate reason why I could or couldn't do something. I'm promising these 2 little girls here and now that if I say that again, I will stop, think for a moment and come up with a more creative and honest reason why they can or can't do what they are asking. Because if not, than what they want can't be that bad.

"Have fun and be safe." those words still leave my mom's mouth when I leave her house. And several years ago I was house/teenage sitting and when the younger one left to go skateboarding, I looked at him and those words fell out of my mouth. I couldn't stop them. And my next action was a big "Noooooo!" and I called my mom to tell her what happened. She laughed. We all become our parents some day.

I'm trying really hard to not necessarily treat these little girls like equals but I want them to have a say in their choices. I used to tell my campers "You have a choice. You can do what I ask and be angry about it or you can just do what I ask." Because sometimes it has to be done the grown-up's way. But I'm also really trying to have them understand why. "Don't put your hands in the toilet. It's where poop goes and it's very gross." "You have to drink your milk. It's good for you and will help you grow strong." Of course, it doesn't always work.

Being a parent is really hard. (And cue laugh track.) But it's even tougher when you're a part-time parent and even harder than that when you're not really a parent at all. It's a very fine and fuzzy line and no one really knows where the boundary lies. I'm learning and so are Chuck and the girls. And oddly I think I'm the one struggling the most. The kids are flexible and forgiving and Chuck is patient and kind. I get lost sometimes and a tad impatient. (Again. Me? Impatient? Cue laughter.) But I adore these littles so much and their dad is the best ever and there is more good around the 4 of us than I could imagine.

I also swear to never give spit baths. You know, where you like your finger and then scrub off some dried junk from the kids face. Annnnnnnd ick. 1. Talk about passing germs. 2. That smudge really can't wait til you find a damp cloth or a sink and soap?! And 3. It's embarrassing.

Many books have been written on parenting, but no one really knows the secrets. I'm learning and taking notes.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Pretty flowers

My mom rocks And here's the proof.

She's all arty and creative and crafty and stuff.

And I am quite proud.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

One year ago

I got this guy. Awe!

I only remembered this because the Humane Society sent me a reminder email saying "It's been a year since you took home the newest member of your family....yada yada yada." And he was a good little thing to bring home. As much as he drives me nuts when he zips around the apartment, he is very sweet. He has learned when we are cooking to come into the kitchen because he might get a treat tossed his way, his favorite toy is his tail or a toddler toy, likes to sleep on Chuck's pants and greets me every time I come home.

I do however, find it funny that I post something about my one year anniversary with my cat and nothing about my one year anniversary with my boyfriend.

Just so it's out there in the universe and the gods of gratefulness don't smite me down, Chuck and I met a year and 10 days ago. Best night of our lives and we didn't even know it!

Two special days within 2 weeks, I'm a lucky girl.

12/31/10 in a few photos

This is my friend Holly. She is fantastic and wanted very badly to be a new year's scrooge. Chuck and I wouldn't let her. This was the beginning of the eve, when we were still fresh faced.

Every night of more than 2 beers leads to a session of self-portraits. However, no one finds them as funny as the people in the photos.

The 3 of us had a good time. Holly went home early, seems our efforts to thwart her Debbie Downer mood weren't entirely successful. But we bar-hopped with her, and then bar-hopped without her. Chuck and I rang in the new year at the VFW. We keep it classy. I took a few self-portraits of our kiss too, but I'll spare you. It was a fun night filled with laughter and good discussion among awesome people.

I did a post about how awesome my 2010 was. I am feeling the itch to post something about what I'd like 2011 to have in-store for me. That is going to to take some thinking. I'll return with perhaps a bucket list of sorts for the next 350 days.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Pay it forward

Wanna do something good while you're still in the "resolution" part of the year?
Click here.

This woman, her words, her pictures, her children, her zest for life has helped me focus more on the good in life. Reading her posts is a highlight of my day. I have never met her and probably never will but I feel like I am lucky to have a glimpse into her precious, amazing life.

I donated. It felt good. I donated in honor of Nella but also in honor of all the little kids I met while I was a camp counselor. They impacted my life more than I thought possible. I still think about them and wonder what they have accomplished in their life.

Read, enjoy the joy, donate. It's good for you.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Not while I'm on the clock!

"Really, Dude?! You had the balls to do that?!" And then a good quick punch.

That is what I wanted to say and do to the asshat that attempted to steal from me today.

I saw him coming across the street in the cold cold morning in nothing but a t-shirt and a winter hat and I thought to myself "That guys is an idiot. It's cold out." Well I wasn't too far off on the idiot part. He came in and stood and stared at my bake case and the beverage cooler. A few minutes later he opened the bev cooler, took out a soda, looked at us and said "I'm taking this." And then he turned and walked out the door. As he did so I hollered "No you're not!" And then took off running after him. He didn't get very far. When I caught up to him and he turned around, I walked right up to him, ripped the drink out of his hand and said "You can't take things unless you pay for them!" Then I turned around and went back to work.

When I came back my heart was racing and I was shaking. I wanted to shake him and scream, "You punk! Who is your mother and what would she say about what you just did?!" Instead I just took back my product and went back to the daily grind.

I did however, have to regal my awesomeness to some of my regulars. I felt very hero-esque. I didn't have time to think but my first instinct was not to let that jerk take off with my product and get away with it. Apparently we aren't supposed to run after someone (which makes sense, people do carry guns and stuff) but that wasn't what went through my mind.

I caught someone else stealing from me at my store in NM and I did the same thing. What makes them think that they have the right to take what isn't theirs I'll never know. But not while I'm in charge, damnit!

May that social moron never come back, be thirsty from not drinking his stolen beverage, and cold from being dumb and not wearing a coat when it's 1 degree out! All of the other good people that came in today though can stay warm and cozy tonight!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Never ask a woman her weight or age

Unless she wants to tell you! I've lost 6 pounds since Christmas! I'm at a new low and I'm stoked!

I don't diet, I like to eat too much. But lucky for me I like yummy, mostly healthy things. There were a few things I did that helped. Since right around Thanksgiving I have not allowed myself any of our bakery items at work. I used to get a Reece's Peanut Butter Cookie almost every day, I was on a Rice Krispie Treat kick for a while, and our Blueberry Muffins are so moist and yummy. But that needed to stop, for me and my wallet. And both Chuck and I committed to no more fast food. When I wasn't getting around mostly by car, I rarely went to a fast food joint. But the drive-throughs are so easy and accessible in a car. And with the exception of a few late-night slip-ups, we've both done very well. At home both Chuck and I are huge fans of rice and veggies, sauteed with garlic and spices, hmmmmmmm delish!

And we've both been working out. Running on the treadmill, doing sit-ups together, it's so much easier and more fun when you have someone to meet goals with.

That's it. No South Beach, no Atkins (Dr. Atkins died of a heart attack so I really don't think his diet is all that great,) no crazy-latest-trend diet. Eat less and exercise more.

I've given up Diet Coke and fake sweeteners, partly for the $20 bet Chuck and I have going, but partly because they are bad for you. I've stopped the bakery goodness from work and I've stopped the fast food. I haven't stopped the grilled cheese and tomato soup the weekends the girls here. We both indulge in a pizza every so often, the wine is still flowing in the house, and I still like my salty-crunchyness. But I'm more aware of what I'm eating and when I'm about to lazy-up on the couch, I go work out.

In fact I count last night as a success. I was at a gathering with good family friends and there were plates upon plates of cheeses, breads, dips, crackers. I had a small plate of dip and chips and then walked away with my wine. After about 10 minutes I found myself no longer thinking about the fatty goodness in the kitchen.

I also need to point out that I've never been one to step on the scale, to take note of what I eat, to work-out on a consistent basis. But I've realized that I like seeing the scale go down, and I like the feeling of being healthier. A month ago my low on the scale is now my high. I'm just waiting to get past the set of 10. By that I mean going from 130 to 129. And I pick those numbers because 1. they are not mine and 2. they are so far from not mine, it's comical.

And I'd also like to say that yes I avoided the cheeses and breads last night, but tonight I totally just ate a Chicken Pot Pie, in something like 3 minutes. No shame in my game, baby!

Monday, January 3, 2011

From 2010 to 2011

New Years. Resolutions. Change. Becoming a better person. It's what we all strive to be, I hope. Yet I think I ask the same question every new year, why do we make these lists to accomplish in January, and not all year long? Once something is completed, I don't think we stop trying we just stop thinking about it.

I made 3 resolutions last year check 'em out here. And oddly enough I didn't do any. Oops. Not on purpose, life just happened. "Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans." And I didn't make any specific plans, life just took off for me and somehow those things didn't hop on the bandwagon. (Although I did do number 3 on the last from last year, but that wasn't until November. That still counts right?) And actually now that I'm reading over that post, I did do number 2, but all on accident. I met Chuck, he loves to cook and he got me more comfortable in an apron and in front of the stove.

So it turns out I did do a few of the things on last years better-my-life-list. Yea me!

Is it bad that this year I'd like to continue on last years list? My money is doing better. Moving in with the beau has saved us both, and I have started putting more of each paycheck aside. As for the cooking, it's so fun doing it with someone! He has great ideas in the kitchen and I'm a little chef in-training waiting for our next meal. The volunteering I'd still like to do, but before that I'd like to find something that I like more that someone will also pay me for. (I'm looking for a new job, but you didn't hear that from me.)

I've been working out. Again, so much more fun when you do it with someone! Chuck and I motivate each other to get on the treadmill, we cheer the other on when the running gets tough (yeah, I'm running. Who am I?), we hold each others knees during the sit-ups. It's great and I feel good about it. We keep joking that we are going to be the hot ones at the beach next summer. But I think both of us are actually serious about that. So this little paragraph isn't a resolution (because those never follow through,) it's simply a statement of what I've been doing. ;-)

Now my 2010 year in review...
Can I get a "Holla!"?? This year became so freaking fantastic and I have no idea when that was. Just looking back, there are so many amazing things that it makes it really hard to find a crappy thing. In maybe an order maybe not,

1. I met Chuck. He is everything that I have been looking for and everything that I didn't think existed. He makes me feel like the most beautiful, smart, amazing woman and I am so unbelievably lucky.
2. I really began to understand my business at my job. I have never been a numbers person (I majored in theatre for goodness sake, we don't do numbers, we feel things.) But I know now where the numbers come from and what I do has a direct result in raising or lowering those. The higher the better.
3. I got my cat. He's such a little furry friend and he's become my little greeter every day when I come home. He chirps at me and rubs on my legs and then flops down at me feet for a belly rub. As much as he drives me nuts when he gets "the heeby jeebies" and runs around the apartment, I adore him.
4. I met Chuck's daughters, (good thing too, otherwise us living together would be a bit awkward.) I think they are two of the most amazing little creatures on the planet. Through them I have learned that being a parent is really hard. I've been reminded that they are sponges, if nothing watch your language. I've discovered that they are susceptible to the littlest things and change moods on a dime. I've also learned that love is the best thing. You love them first and foremost and everything else should fall into place.
6. I've realized that I am still unsure what I want to do with my life, wait let me be more specific, for a living for the rest for my life I don't know if that falls into a kick-ass category but.... I'm 31, I'm working in a job I like and that I am good at, but I don't know what I want to do for a living for the rest of my life. Can I be one of those people that just figures that kind of thing out along the way? Perhaps.

I'm sure there are more, but at the moment Chuck and I are putting together a dream vacation list, where we want to go and what we want to do when we get there. So if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go dream about my awesome future!

A few hours later....

So I'm sure you've noticed my blog has gotten a makeover.

1. I'm very proud of myself, I figured out how to make my own header! I've been wanting to have one like this lady and this one. (Besides the fact that they both seem like awesome women, their headers are pretty cool too.) But I took the picture that is now my lovely header while in Ashville, NC last Spring and I clicked the right buttons and BAM! I have it as my new header!
2. I originally named my blog "Questions/Comments/Concerns/Rants/Raves" for a few reasons. One, I wasn't quite sure what to call it anyway. But two, I do tend to question and comment on concerns in my life and I usually rant or rave about said questions and comments. But I think I've changed since I started it and my life surely has changed.
3. So my blog needed to change with me. When things are pretty neat or cool in my life the word that tends to come out of my mouth is "Awesome." So I thought it fitting to put that word into my blog title.
4. Author's disclaimer: I may take a post or two to piss and moan about something that sucks, and I can not be faulted for going against what the blog title says. Everyone has off days and hell, it's my blog, I can write what I want.

But here's a toast to finding the AWESOME in 2011! My last year was amazingly awesome, I bet this year can top it!

And yes, I do still have a post coming on the past year in review, the goals for the coming one. It's my day off, I'm blogging in the midst of cleaning. Back in a bit.

Coming soon....

My New Years Post!

My goals, my year-in-review, my memories.

See, now that I wrote it here, I have to come back and finish! I'm committed.

All is calm

My Christmas was quiet. Calm, serene, comfortable, yet lovely and fun and filled with joy. Christmas eve Chuck and I went to my mom's for a 3 or 4 course meal that included a trifle for dessert, some wine (of course,) and some sort of champagne/grapefruit drink. We opened presents, laughed genuinely enjoyed each others company.

This is my mom's lovely tree. Not too bad a shot, if I do say so myself.

I gotta say, this year it was really nice to not have several places to go to. Every year in my past we went to my Grandparents house and in the later year that became the step-uncles house for Christmas Eve. But I think now that Grandpa has passed invites for things like that will no longer be. That sounds sad and that isn't my intention. We only saw that side of the family at Christmas and perhaps a graduation party, but that was it. And spending the Holidays with people who are close to my heart is what matters.

Me and my mom. With a bunch of sparkely stuff in focus in the foreground.

I got a new, lusted-after, much-needed, warm and stylish pair of winter boots from my mom! And I'm so excited! My old ones were big, ugly, 3-sizes-too-big, clunky man boots and they are going to the charity! Because I'm now warm and stylish!

The next day, Christmas day, my mom came over after we picked up the girls for breakfast of Cinnamon Rolls, and mad present opening! I remember some Christmases we would all take turns opening presents, which is all nice and good, to watch the people you care for open a gift you gave them. But with 2 kids and one of them not understanding Christmas, she just gets the fact that she is getting new things, it's a little tough and also becomes totally not worth trying to take turns. We just ripped into our gifts, hollering things like "Oh cool!" "Honey, look!" "Hey Dad, this is awesome!" It was sheer joy to see each one of us loving what was given. I got snow pants from my honey, which was awesome and a total surprise. He's going to teach my to snow board this winter, and I'll be able to use my new snow pants!

This was the aftermath. Awesome.

We spent the rest of the day not leaving the house. We put in A Christmas Story, the best Christmas movie ever, we all took naps, the 9 year old played with her new microscope, we read stories, we had some of Chuck's family stop over with wine and some gifts. Chuck and I discovered a bonus of having people come to you, when the night is over we had about 5 or 6 extra bottles of wine. We took it easy and enjoyed our day. It was perfect. The Sunday after Christmas we went over to my second parents house for a chili dinner. I love going over there. They are family and welcomed in my man and his children like they'd known them for years. There were laughs, hugs, wine, family photos, and gifts. It was a good night.

This Christmas was so much more than I thought. I'm so head-over-heels with the boy I'm living with that sometimes I am at a loss for words. We decorated together, we shopped together, we were more excited to watch the other person open their gifts than our own, we knew the season was going to be good, but the fact that we spent it together makes it so wonderful.

He'll take nerdy pictures like this with me! :-) His daughter took this after the 3 of us decorated our tree.

Our tree, post-decoration. And all 7 of our stockings for just 4 of us. I love Christmas.