Sunday, December 30, 2012

{reflections} Version 2012

This year...what a year.  I have never experienced so many deep, deep lows or so many skyward highs in such a short time period.  And to be honest, I hope I don't is exhausting to be on this roller coaster and I much prefer the boringness of calm.   

But I do not regret a single second.  Every low and every high has been an experience that I have made me learn and grow.  Some have made me better, some have made me bitter.  Some have softened my smile, others have hardened my heart.  But each individual experience has made me who I am today.  And beginning January 1, 2013, the person who I am today will take me to incredible new heights!

The deep lows included...

The divorce

And heartache, and more heartache, and a lot of disappointment that has recently happened that has not been dispelled to blogland, and won't be, because it's not worth anyone's time to read about.

And a lot of slipping backwards.

But the highs...oh the HIGHS!!

Goodness among the pain

A body transformation (still in progress!)

I ran my first 5k!

Falling in love again with this place

Dirty Dash...the beginning of an amazing summer!!

4th of July

First Annual Weekend of Awesome!

And please, let's not forget San Sebastian, Madrid, Valencia, and my absolute favorite, Barcelona part one and part two.

Friends, it's been a crazy year.  The most important things I'm thankful family standing by my side and always supporting me, my friends being pillars when I needed them, and you, you crazy kids out there in blogland who take precious moments of your days to be with me...I appreciate you so very much.  Thank you for finding me and sticking with me.  This new year?  It holds amazing things for all of us.  It will be my best one yet.  How about you? 

For New Year's Eve, I will be spending time with this crazy group of goodness...

Hey 2013?  BRING IT!  I'm waiting for you!!

Happy New Year friends!  Be safe and responsible!  Love you all so very much!!!


Wednesday, December 26, 2012


Hello my beautiful friends!

I just wanted to stop by and say hello.  I hope you're enjoying your Christmas weeks.

My long Christmas weekend was awesome!  I had so much family time and it was incredible!

And then I drove home in yucky snowy gross weather to go to work.  Talk about a downer.

But it's all good!  I have a happy heart that is overflowing with love.  It was a wonderful weekend, and I am thankful.

I'll be in and out over the next several days.  Just doing my deal over here, maybe taking a bit of a break until the New Year.  A fresh year, a fresh mind, more inspiration, less sarcasm and hidden (not so hidden) negativity.  Friends, this new year that's's coming quickly, and I am going to OWN IT!

Until then, be safe and happy.  And I will check in soon.  I LOVE YOU!!

Have an awesome day!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas!

From our funny faces to yours!

Have a very Merry Christmas!


Thursday, December 20, 2012

My Heart Runneth Over

A beautiful sunrise (the calm before the non-storm). 
Portland had snow; we had none.  So strange!

 A "Tis the Season, That's the Reason!" party, just for the girls.  Full of laughter and love, and a couple of new friends.  What a wonderful evening.  

I am blessed to have the most incredible women in my life.  We had a couple of "new to some" girls last night.  Man...we all have a knack for bringing just the right people.  This group of girls that gathered, nine of us...amazing.  I've never been a part of a group like this, for real.  I have several girl friends, don't get me wrong, but none that all hang out together, if that makes sense?  My girls in's mostly one-on-one, which is awesome!  But I have been known to be envious in my heart of a couple of my friends who had these groups of girls to go to happy hour with, or go shopping with, or just hang out with.  

And now I have that.

I have those girls.

And I love every single one of them.

And each of them fills my heart and soul with so much love and joy and happiness.

And I am blessed and thankful for each one.

And I wish this kind of happiness for each of you!

Have amazing days, my beautiful friends!  I love you!

OH!  P.S.  Today is Winter Solstice (NOT the end of the world, duh).  Do you know what that means?!  That the days will start getting LONGER now!!  We're headed back toward summer friends!  YAHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

He's Here!!!

No, not Santa (although I do LOVE Elf...really really a lot!).

Baby Nephew (who really isn't technically my nephew, but more so the baby boy of my very bestestest friend from high school) who has no name yet!

YEA!!!  He's here!

And I'm going to meet him very soon (although no one but me actually knows this yet).

And I'm so stinking excited!

I have one photo, but out of respect for the family, I will not share...but friends...he's beautiful!!  I hope his big sister loves him as much as I already do!

Little Baby Boy came into the world this morning at 10:51 weighing in at 7 lbs, 2 oz. 

He was due on 12/12.  I guess Shay's friend can continue to hold the special title of 12/12 at 12:12.  So cool! dear bestest friend, her birthday is this Sunday, the 23rd.  I was starting to wonder if the little man was trying to steal his momma's day.  But no.  HE'S HERE!  :)

OK, that's all.  Just wanted to share my excitement.  Thanks for reading!

Have an awesome day!

Monday, December 17, 2012

On Being Teachable

from here, copied to here.

Are you teachable?

Do you have an open mind?

Are you willing to set aside everything you know about everything you know and take on something new?

Are you willing to take on that something new in a way that you wouldn't expect?

Friends, I am Willing.

And I am Teachable.

And I'm ready to DO THIS!

Are you Willing and ready to run with me?

Have an awesome day!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

The Recap

The front...

The back.

The "Light Up" sweaters

The hilarious hostess and her equally hilarious daughter

The other "Couple."  Sorry about her head being cut off, but she really didn't want her photo taken anyway.
Sidenote: his vest was the same size as hers.  Perfection!

So incredibly sexy...

Our prize hats!

Oh friends, what good times!  This weekend has been educational and productive and just plain FUN!  I am sad that tomorrow is Monday already, but just one more week before the four day weekend!  YAHOO!

So, the weekend.  Let's start with educational.  Friday night I attended an AdvoCare training at my adopted leaders' home.  It was awesome!  Serina and Jahmal are amazing people and I am so very thankful that they have taken me (and my team!) under their wings like we are their own.  I am excited for the possibilities that this next year holds.  It WILL be amazing!

Next, productive.  Christmas shopping: COMPLETE!  Of course, it doesn't hurt that I only buy for my nephew and niece (my family doesn't do presents except for the kids, it's cool), but I think I did good and they'll LOVE their presents!  Besides, I AM Auntie of course the gifts are AMAZING!!  Duh.

OH! And I added a bit more garland to the Christmas decor in mi casa.  My fireplace and tv area were feeling neked/neglected.  More fake fir (not fur, come on now) and some lights?  Problem solved!  :)

And lastly, FUN!  Four little words: Ugly Christmas Sweater Party.  Holy my much fun!  And as expected, we won Best Couple!  I went with a friend from work, and the party was hosted by another coworker.  The food was awesome, the company was amazing, the hostess was hilarious, and it was just great to meet a whole bunch of new people! 

Friends, how were your weekends?  Any great festivities happening?

Have an awesome day!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Friday's Letters

This photo of my roof (from last year) makes me soooo cold!!

Dear Blog World Friends: I hope you all enjoy the caramel corn recipe from yesterday!  I still have a (large) bag of it on my counter...and there is still some at work too...that I might have started eating at approximately 8:15 this morning.  So sue me.
Dear Ugly Christmas Sweater Party:  I hope there's a prize, because I'm pretty sure we're going to win!  Matching sweater vests that will be adorned tomorrow evening with special Christmas goodness from Hobby Lobby?  Ummm, can you say WINNER WINNER CHICKEN DINNER?!
Dear AdvoCare: I'm coming for you.  Yes, I thought I forgot, but I promise that I have not.  I was temporarily derailed...obviously not from product use, because the products flippin ROCK, but from my passion, and using my passion to help others.  BUT I'm coming for you, my dear friend. Proof?  Training from 7-9 p.m. on a Friday night.  Yeah, that should keep me out of trouble (temporarily).
Dear Possible Snow Showers Tonight: PLEASEPLEASEPLEASE?  I'm not a fan of snow, and I certainly do NOT like the cold or being cold, but come on!  Just a dusting of snow, please?  The very first time each year, you're so awesome and exciting.  It's when you stick around that I become unhappy.  So just a dusting, and then you can go away.  And maybe snow all weekend, but be melted by Monday morning?  OK, thanks!  :)
Dear Bogey: Man oh man...I am so sorry that you were sick.  Your momma is very sad to lose you.  You were her savior during a very rough time in her life.  I know how she feels...when I lost Gobi, my heart was broken.  I told Diesl tonight that you went to Doggy Heaven...he misses you very much.  Auntie Ang loves you Boges!

Friends, it's been a wild week in this crazy world.  Be safe this weekend.  Enjoy and live the spirit of the season.  Be kind.  Be thoughtful.  Love and be loved.

Have an awesome day!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Goodie Day at Work and Other Christmas Happenings

Hello lovelies!  Happy Thursday!

Yesterday was Goodie Day at work!  YAHOO!  Many desserts, a few proteins, overall...holy yumminess!  My contribution was Microwave Caramel Corn.

This recipe has been in my family since I was young.  I'm not sure where my mom got it, but I'm so thankful that she has it!  It is tradition on Thanksgiving and Christmas that my sister and I (and now my nephew and niece!) make caramel corn...very first thing (10 a.m.?  OK!).  So YUMMY!

What's that?  You'd like the recipe?  Well of course you would!  I'm happy to share this goodness!

You'll need:
3/4 C popcorn kernels
1 C brown sugar
1 cube butter
1/4 C Karo syrup
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder

Use an air popper to pop the kernels.  Place the popcorn in a brown paper bag and set aside.

In a microwave safe bowl, combine sugar, butter, syrup and salt.  Microwave ingredients for 1.5 minutes. Stir.  Microwave for 2 more minutes.  Remove from microwave; add baking power and stir.  Immediately pour syrup mixture over popcorn.  Roll paper bag top to close and then shake vigorously to coat popcorn.  Microwave coated popcorn for 1.5 minutes.  Remove from microwave and shake vigorously again.  Microwave for 1.5 more minutes.  Remove bag from microwave.  Pour popcorn onto wax paper to cool.  (My mom has a giant pyrex baking dish that is perfect for this task.)  Devour!

In other news...

My Christmas tree is finally standing! 

And other decorations are up as well.  It's not finished, but it's started, and that makes my heart happy!

So tell me you go wild and crazy on the Christmas decor, or keep it simple?

Have an awesome day!


I apologize for the implication of the F, but I really have no other words...


At approximately 3:30 p.m. yesterday, a gunman carrying a semi-automatic rifle walked into Clackamas Town Center Mall in Portland, OR, shot and killed two people, injured a third, and then killed himself.

My bff, who lives in Portland, and a friend who lives in Tri Cities simultaneously sent me messages asking if I had heard.

This mall is no more than five miles from where my parents live.

Call mom.

Text sister.

Text husband of ex.

Everyone is safe. attention to the memories flowing through my brain.  This is the mall I grew up in.  In fact, it wasn't even built when I was born.  I shopped here.  I ice skated.  I hung out with friends.  I may have made out with a boy or two there (sorry mom).

And some crazy mo-fo decided that yesterday was the day that he'd ruin this place.

Anger.  Disgust.  Pain and sadness for families I don't know.

As you may recall, I own a handgun.  Owned properly, used properly, stored properly, I have no problem with guns.  But how the HELL do these freaking psychos get their hands on weapons?  With all of the talk in DC about gun control, how does this even happen?

Do people in DC realize that you can GO ONLINE and buy a gun, just like that?

How many states require background checks at gun shows before an individual can walk away with the purchase?

My heart is sad and angry. 

From The Huffington Post... "Shaun Wik, 20, from Fairview, said he was Christmas shopping with his girlfriend and opened a fortune cookie at the food court. Inside was written: "Live for today. Remember yesterday. Think of tomorrow."

Please do for today, live for NOW!  Pay attention to your surroundings.  ASK QUESTIONS!  If you see someone struggling in his or her daily life, ASK QUESTIONS.

Be safe, my beautiful friends.  I love you!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

I'm About to Drop the "H" Word...Repeatedly...

I HATEHATEHATE going to the eye doctor.  Like strong dislike time a million bazillion.  I would rather go to the dentist every single day for the rest of my life than go to the eye doctor.

That kind of hate.

And it's not because my doctor is mean or bad or anything...he's a super nice guy.  We have almost the same birthday except he's a year younger...and likes to rub that in every time I go.  Maybe he is a meany.  Anyhoo....

The reason for the strong dislike is due to my "special eyes" (insert 1-800-Contacts commercial here).  I have astigmatism.  Not that uncommon, and honestly, not that big of a deal.  The big deal is that I also have cataracts, smack dab in the middle of the back BOTH EYEBALLS.  Yeah...special eyes for sure. 

My eyes are pretty fascinating really, and if I could actually look inside them, well, I think it would be pretty cool (today, Dr. Brian told me that my specific cataracts are called "ground glass cataracts," can't remember the official name).  Basically, it's a big black mark that looks like ground up glass when looked at through the microscope. 

The yucky, and painful, part is the bright stinking lights that he shines in there to see that messed up back lens.  I believe this is part of the normal test, but because of the cataracts, I get the light treatment for longer than normal.  And because of the cataracts, it HURTS SO VERY MUCH due to the reflections from the cataracts, and the astigmatism too.  When I leave the doctor's office, I usually have a raging headache, not only from the bright lights, but also from crying...because I typically go into full anxiety panic attack mode in the eye doc's office.  Totally craziness.

What really gets to me is the discussion (every time) about eyeball surgery.  I mean eyes are screwed up, I get that, but I've adapted.  I've known about my cataracts since I was 19/20ish.  Who knows how long they were there before that.  I can (kind of) see, so why would I take the chance of pulling out the crappy lens and replacing it with one that may or MAY NOT fix my problem, and could potentially make me go blind?!  I'm not blind now, so don't "fix" me. 

BUT, my dear friends, I am so very happy to report that not once single tear was shed today!

And the headache is a mild one (maybe I should get on the Advil...).

I SURVIVED THE EYE DOCTOR!!! What a glorious day!

And that's really all I've got.  Tomorrow is "Goody Day" at work.  I'm bringing caramel corn...YUM!!!!

Have awesome days friends!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

That One Time I Set My Coat On Fire at the Bar

Hello my beautiful friends!  Welcome to a new week!  How were your weekends?

Mine was fabulous!

Friday I went with a friend to his football referee end of season party.  It was good food and presents of appreciation for the wives/girlfriends (of which I'm neither, but hey, a new clutch and some chocolates?  I'll play whatever roll you want me to play!).

Saturday morning (bright and way too stinking earlier), Jamie and I hit the road for Portland.  After sushi lunch and a score at H&M (MAN, I wish the Tri Cities would get an H&M...and Trader Joes...PLEASE!!!), we went to watch her brother's cheer competition.  It was awesome!  The stunts that they do...I had butterflies in my stomach watching those girls being thrown around.  And J's brother totally nailed his parts.  It was fabulous!

We joined up with my friends and went to Alexis for dinner.  Geek AMAZINGNESS!  It was so good and I ate so much!  After dinner, we went to Life of Riley and then Teardrop...and that's where the fun began.

There was a table full of us and I had tossed my coat up in the corner to make more room.  We all sat there and chatted, had a couple of drinks, enjoyed an hour or so at the lounge.  Suddenly I smelled something, and asked what "that" smell was.  It smelled like something was burning.  We all agreed it was gross and that we should leave.  I grabbed my coat and started to put it on when it burnt me...and then I realized the smell was really close.  I had tossed my coat on top of a light bulb that was conveniently placed on the shelf to light up some decor...and apparently it was really really hot and burnt a hole through my coat.  I'm fairly certain that we were about two minutes from having to call the fire department.

Yeah, that smell was me...or my stuff.  Sorry.  Gross.

Anyhoo...I guess I get a new coat out of the deal.  And Jamie and I had a wonderful time in Portland.  And we made it home in time for me to take photos of an amazing sunset.  You're welcome.

Side Note: Today would have been my ten year wedding anniversary.  On the drive home today, this Dave Matthews song came on, and I cried.  Kind of caught me by surprise.  But ya know, it happens.

So, tell me the story of your life?  What's new and exciting?

Have an awesome day and incredible week!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Friday's Letters

Rattlesnake Mountain

My "cheat" while I was cleansing...the yummy sugary dressing was supposed to be on the side...

Currently obsessed with these trees and the way the sun sets behind them.

Dear Cleanse: Thank you for helping me be better to my body.  I appreciate you mucho!
Dear This Week: You, my friend, have been great!  So very productive at work, so very positive at work.  That whole positive attitude thing that I wrote about earlier in the week must have been super subliminal or something!
Dear Baby Boys That Are To Be Born In This Month of December: Auntie Ang is so excited to meet you!  Two baby boys, two beautiful women, two amazing families...I'm so excited for you all!!
Dear This Weekend: Another road trip to Portland, but this time, with the Jamie!!  YAHOO!  J, I'm excited that we get to watch your brother's competition this weekend (he's a cheerleader for University of Washington), and I'm super flippin' excited to show you my version of Portland! We are going to have soooooo much fun!!!
Dear New Camera: I am having so much fun getting to know you. And I've decided I'm going to take a class in the spring.  Not sure where or who from, but it's on the to do list.  Good times!
Dear This Weekend: Did I mention that I'm really really excited to go to PDX with Jamie?
Dear Diesl Boy: You've been a bit grumpy and mopey this week.  Time to shape up or ship out kiddo! OK, not really, but you're freaking me out.  You better not die or anything or I'll be super pissed at you.  I love you buddy!
Dear Hair Appointment: Soooo very excited to go see Abby. These roots need some color!
Dear Random Ramblings: Has anyone else taken note of this yet?  Yeah...random.  And rambling.
Dear Friends: Thank you for coming here day after day, week after week.  You are so stinking awesome and I really appreciate you!

Have an awesome day and amazing weekends friends!  Love you!


Tuesday, December 4, 2012

This Post Brought to You By THAT Time of the Month

No, not that time of the month, you weirdos.  I don't write about that, I leave that topic for Jes and Alissa
Anyhoo, moving on.

Paying bills.  THAT time of the month.  The time when you think you have a bunch of money because you just got paid and then you realize that when you moved into your house, somehow EVERY BILL received the exact same due date and then with a few strokes of the keyboard, you checking account is empty.  Just.Like.That.

And then you cry.

And you shake your fists angrily at said keyboard for taking all of your money.


So, how do you change such fate, you might ask?

You find your passion.  And you turn it into a business. And you talk to people about your passion and your business. 

You believe in yourself.  You believe in your passion.  You acknowledge that your words are worth hearing.  And you speak to your hearts content. And you overcome your fears.  And you succeed in something that fills your heart completely...and maybe leaves a little cash in your pocket after the bills are paid.

here and here

Just thoughts friends...just thoughts.  :)

Find your passion and make it work for you!

Have an awesome day!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Positive Thoughts, My Friends

I found it here.  She found it here.
Today has been a wonderful day.  I attribute a lot of it to an awesome, relaxing, productive weekend. 

I also give credit to a positive mind set.  Work has has been a place that I haven't enjoyed as of late.  I try every day to look at it differently, and sometimes I think it's going to change, and then things happen and it all falls back into the same routine. Vague, I know, but it's better this way. Trust me.

So work...the place where we spend the majority of our's been rough.  But today, today was good day.  I woke up tired, but determined. 

I had an awesome workout, even though my legs weren't sure they were going to allow it.

I chose an outfit that makes me feel pretty dang confident.

I decided that today, no matter what work threw at me, I would accept it, and do so with a genuine smile and a positive heart.  I wouldn't accepting the negative.  And I wouldn't hide from it any longer either.  I still refuse to engage, but I decided that today would be an awesome day...and it was!  Two meetings that were successful, a list a mile long of tasks to accomplish by close of business on Wednesday...and I'm feeling good. 

I'm running with it.  I'm doing it.  Tomorrow, just like today, I will put my best foot forward, and I will be positive in my thoughts, and tomorrow will be another successful day!

Have an awesome day and incredible weeks, my friends!!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Weekend Goodness

What a wonderful relaxing weekend!  Clearly there was a lot of playing with the new camera.  And some sunshine!  YAHOO!

Friday night, I braved the world of our favorite bar, The Parkade.  One of the WolfPack members needed friends and togetherness.  Remember that I'm cleansing? I was fine with no alcohol, although even a beer sounded lovely (I don't typically drink beer).  And I stayed strong when my girlfriend ordered chicken strips and fries and fry sauce....drool.  But when one of the Ryans ordered a Works Burger (yes, it has the works on it), and another basket of fries, I ran for the door!  It was sooo tempting, but I left so that I could refrain, or else I might not have been so good!

Saturday consisted of a run, some errands, a nap, and some shopping with another girlfriend.  It was a very low key day.  And today was a lot of the same.  Errands, resting and relaxing.  OH!  And my first viewing of Elf for the season! I love that movie...and smiling, it's my favorite!

I did a TON of cooking at home this weekend (which I didn't take any photos of...I'm learning, sorry!).  I also learned how to replace a broken toilet handle, and helped install a new hinge on my garage door so that it doesn't swing wildly open on its own and put holes in my wall.  It's a great upgrade!  :)

Friends, how were your weekends?  I hope they were relaxing and peaceful.  Everyone needs a weekend to recharge every once in awhile!

Have an awesome day!