Friday, June 26, 2009

Painfully long

It's been months since I've published anything - that's not to say however that it's been that long since I've written. Just as with my previous blog, I find myself very conflicted when it comes to writing about personal experiences - not for my own privacy but for the privacy of others.

Truth of the matter is, I have a lot to say, because I'm feeling so much right now but am just so hesitant to publish anything.

To catch you up on the past few months I've been hella busy with work, I've been missing my parents a lot more than usual and basically doing a lot of thinking. For my entire life I've lived a few months ahead of every day, never able to enjoy the moment. Lately, I've focused a lot of energy on trying to only think about the week at hand, not a day more. No more 5-year plans or check-list of things that should have been accomplished. I really like the new me a lot more, I feel less pressure to please and more of a desire to have fun and appreciate the simple things we take for granted.

I've started watching (and obsessing over) The West Wing and am proud to say that in three short months I've watched five seasons of President Bartlet's administration. Where was I ten years ago when this amazing and exhilarating show came out? Probably at SG meetings but still, I'm ashamed it took this long. Late to the game for sure, but at least I made it, right?

My newest hobby and online addiction is Twitter. I just can't get enough of it. I don't follow that many people and I'm not followed by that many people but I love it. There is something very poetic about having only a few sentences to share with the world at any given time...

Anyway, not much else to report. I've probably lost all my readers so not really sure why I'm even back but whatever, I'm going to do my best to win back your loyalty.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Pet-owner mistakes and merriment

As I was scanning the news this morning I came across an article titled "The Top Ten Pet-Owner Mistakes." Assuming I've made few to none I started reading and to my chagrin, I'm guilty of more than half. I've blogged about Bailey before and while he really is a dog, I think of him more as a sweet, little best-friend (like a Lars but less vocal and much smaller). He's affectionate, selfless and very intuitive. While he may not be brilliant (or even intellectually mediocre) or a circus dog he offers many other great qualities including....a stellar sense of humor and a really optimistic outlook.

Here are some mistake from Real Simple's Megan Kaplan:

Mistake 1: Buying a Pet Spontaneously - Guilty

oopsies. I couldn't resist! He was on Christmas clearance....that and he was so sweet.

Mistake 2: Skipping Obedience Training - Guilty
I didn't realize I needed to be so firm.

Mistake 3: Being Inconsistent With the Rules - Guilty
I'm a sucker....

Mistake 4: Dispensing Too Many Free Treats - Guilty
Again, I'm a sucker....

Mistake 5: Neglecting to Socialize Your Pet - Innocent!
This I've done well, he has lots of friends...humans and dogs.

Mistake 6: Skimping on Exercise - Innocent
Bailey has some health issues so exercise is optional!

Mistake 7: Neglecting to Keep Your Pet Mentally Active - Not sure?
I'm not sure about this one.

Mistake 8: Leaving a Pet Alone for Too Long - Guilty
It's hard with working parents but if the economy keeps moving in the same direction one of us will likely be with him more :)

Mistake 9: Failing to Make Your Home Pet-Friendly - Guilty
B's legs are about 2 inches tall so it's not easy for him to jump around without hurting himself.

Mistake 10: Punishing Your Pet - Innocent!
Bailey is rarely when he screws up he usually knows he did something he wasn't supposed to....I'm a fan of self-inflicted punishment.....just not with criminals.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Boo for Mondays

I'm not going to lie, I feel like sh*t today despite the fact that I was on a serious high yesterday and most of this morning. Reading the news is depressing, work is totally exhausting and I can't help but feel anxious that the Dow has now dipped below 8,000 points. I definitely feel better when I'm not at work - things have become so serious around here. When I'm at home with DC, MMA and Bailey I feel at ease but since I can't stay at home all the time I've got to pull myself together.

Things that get me through the day lately:

1. I seriously look forward to Thursdays so I can watch 30 Rock AND Office
2. Watching Lost
3. Eating chocolate (dark chocolate especially)
4. Drinking Diet Pepsi (I go back and forth between Diet Coke and Diet Pepsi)
5. Reading friends' blogs

Also, I'm trying to eat more mood-boosting foods and I'm taking a lot of vitamins and supplements. See below for a list of favorites. I've almost completely cut out alcohol from my diet. It's a depressant and I'm a lightweight (bad combination so I'll just skip it) and I try to workout at least 3-4 times a week. Between eating well and working out I feel good. I'm going to start boxing with my trainer to get out some residual stress.
  • Bananas
  • Beans
  • Blueberries
  • Broccoli
  • Caffeinated beverages (1-2 per day)
  • Cocoa powder (or chocolate in small amounts)
  • Dairy
  • Nuts
  • Pomegranates

Anyone else going through some of this? Any tips or tricks?

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Top 2008 Moments

I promise this is the last "new year" post I'll publish - I've just been reflecting a lot about the 2008 and expectations I have for the next few months - (imagine Counting Crows "Long December").

2008 was filled with some sadness, a little heartache and a lot of weddings. I've made a few top moments lists of the year.

Favorite Wedding Moments
1. Drinking alone in Alabama at Alex and Susan's Rehearsal dinner
I'm not sure why I did this, and honestly it's all a little foggy, but I just sort of walked around and drank (a lot) and smiled at everyone. I was in a lot of pain the next day.
2. Dancing with Brad at Matt's wedding and falling down
If you've ever danced with me you know I love to dip (mid-song, end of song, within the first few words of a song). Brad and I were dancing and after an impromptu dip I landed on the floor. I remember bouncing a little after the initial impact. It was hilarious.
3. Gospel Choir
Priscilla's was one of the most beautiful and poignant ceremonies I've ever attended. The Gospel Choir took my breath away.

Favorite Being Married Moments
1. Voting together for the first time
We stood and waited together in the rain on a Saturday in November, it was awesome.
2. Election Night
Later that night we talked about how exciting it is that our kids will be born under Obama's presidency
3. Discovering Fillmore Street
Lot's of great shops, restaurants, people.
4. Stevie Wonder
DC and I went to see Stevie over the summer - it was an amazing, almost religious experience.

My favorite books of 2008
1. Water for Elephants
2. The Art of Racing in the Rain

Worst Moments of 2008
1. Thinking we were going to lose Bailey and leaving him at the hospital (he's fine now)
2. MMA getting laid-off
3. Having to learn about testicular cancer

Monday, January 5, 2009

Potential for 2009

Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Ellen Goodman has a really fantastic outlook on how to think about starting a new year:

"We spend January 1 walking through our lives, room by room, drawing up a list of work to be done, cracks to be patched. Maybe this year, to balance the list, we ought to walk through the rooms of our lives...not looking for flaws, but for potential."

I totally agree with her and plan on doing a little of both. I'm going to work on areas of my life that need improvement and do a better job of appreciating what's on its way to becoming amazing.

Things to work on for 2009:

1. Patience - in every area of my life
2. Greater appreciation of husband, family, friends
3. Take Vitamins (everyday)
4. Being more mindful and present in the moment (I'm reading a fabulous book on Buddhism)
5. Recognize that while my way is usually the right way....there can be more than one right way to do things ;)
6. Live a little less independently - I have great people around me, utilize them, lean on them
7. Be a better wife, in any way possible
8. Remember people's feelings before I make fun (except on American Idol )
9. Not obsess over money (weird thing I do from time to time)
10. Carpe Diem - less thinking, more action, more execution

Meaningful MO

A good friend sent this to me - it's very sweet and meaningful. I haven't put together my final list of resolutions but paying attention everything below is a high priority for me this year. Expect my resolutions in an upcoming post. Here's to a fabulous 2009.

For a moment, be still.
Count the ways you are blessed.
Be thankful.
Be slow to quarrel.
Search out a forgotten friend.
Suspend suspicion, be trusting.
Write a love letter.
Share a treasure.
Give a soft answer.
Encourage youth.
Show your loyalty in word and deed.
Nourish a grateful attitude.
Keep a promise.
Find the time.
Don't harbor a grudge.
Listen.Apologize if you are wrong.
Be understanding.
Be slow to envy.
Think first of someone else.
Show appreciation.
Be kind.
Count on miracles.
Laugh more.
Deserve confidence.
Be gentle.
Wage war against prejudice.
Gladden the heart of a child.
Decry complacency.
Take pleasure in the beauty and wonder of the earth.
Make every day a thanksgiving.
Speak your gratitude.
Speak it again.
Speak it still again.
Speak it still once more.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

An introvert I am not

I'm in the Bahamas with DC and his family. This is my first Christmas away from my parents and sisters which I thought would make me sad but seeing as it's 80 degrees outside and I haven't seen a single holiday decoration to remind me, I'm doing just fine.

In a conversation I had with my sister-in-law's husband I found myself having to defend my personality a little bit. For some reason, they all think I'm an introvert. Ha! Isn't that hilarious? An introvert I am not. I just don't feel it's appropriate to be the center of attention all the time. Also, I can't reveal too much of hilarious personality with people who may not completely understand my humor.

In an effort to prove that I'm not introvert, while at a restaurant last night I went up to the band and took the mic from the lead singer and started to sing "Isn't She Lovely" by my boy Stevie Wonder. I definitely made an ass of myself but I got the point across.

I can't decide what I was more upset about, being called an introvert or feeling that despite a few years of knowing each other, they didn't really know me yet. I'm a very transparent person - confident - comfortable - why do they think I'm an introvert? Anyway - I'll let you know if I do anything stupid tonight to further prove my point.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

How will I find the time?!

I often ask myself this question a lot about a number of different things. A few examples:

1. Workout more than twice a week

2. Cook dinner more than twice a week

3. BLOG more than once a week

4. Catch up and visit with friends

Part of me blames the stresses and nuances of everyday life and the other part me says I need to do a better job with time management. I already multi-task relatively well so I'm on a mission to find my daily time-sucking activities and modify accordingly. (I already know I read too much perezhilton and beauty blogs but the latter is for work :))

My usual go to for life advice (Real Simple) doesn't have much to offer which worries me because I'm wondering if it's even possible to find ways to add in a few hours a day. Some of their ideas included putting the kids to work -

I do make it a point to read every night and actually I read a million and one blogs/news sites so at least I'm getting that in but I just wish I could do a little more. I think I'll just have to quit my job and just start doing a better job at life in general.....I can dream can't I?

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Family Holidays: Awesome or Awful?

The Holiday season is definitely upon us. Last week I spent eight days with my husband, sisters, parents, nieces and brother-in-law. Usually with a group this large there is bound to be tears and fights and a few unintended words exchanged but for the first time in our family's recent history, there were very few arguments and disagreements. How did we make it through you ask? Well, there were many factors working with us, here are a few:

1. Make one person in charge of planning. All you need is one cook in the kitchen.
2. Cruises are the bomb. With a group of ten, it's extremely easy to plan for meals, play time, nap time, snack time, etc. Renting a house can be fun but without the wonderful amenities like housekeeping, a chef and predetermined activities you might be adding more stress than is absolutely necessary.
3. Avoid controversial topics. Try not to discuss hot-button topics like why sister #3 is single or why sister #2 often makes an ass of herself after only 2 glasses of wine.

My peeps at Real Simple do a great job of spelling out a few ways to keep the peace. See my interpretation in italics :)

1. “Thank you for your opinion. I’ll think about it.” Instead of "Are you kidding me, that's a terrible idea"

2. “Is this a good time for you?” Instead of "You never make time for me and my needs"

3. “Would you like my thoughts?” Instead of "I think my insight would be extremely valuable since you obviously have none"

4. “Why don’t we get the facts?” Instead of "Obviously, you don't know what the hell you are talking about"

5. “I need your help. Can you please…?” Instead of "Get off your fat ass and help me"

6. “Let’s wait on this until we have more information.” Instead of "Again, you have no idea what you're talking about"

7. “I don’t like that, so why don’t we do this instead?” Instead of "Seriously, I'm right, you're wrong and I am always right"

8. “I’m sorry you’re upset.” Instead of "I told you so. You should have listened to me."

9. “Let me get back to you.” Instead of "I don't have time for this bull sh*t. I'll call you when I have more than 2 hours of free time."

Friday, November 21, 2008

Thankful for....

I thought I'd just write about a few of the many blessings in my life. It's been a year filled with happiness, hardship and hope. Thank you to those of you have encouraged me to write this blog - I apprecate the support. TMSW has been a really great outlet for me and I'm grateful for that.

Thank you:

DC for your love and for making me laugh during good times and bad. I have a feeling 2009 is going to be our best year yet.

MMA for being my other half. You have no idea the positive impact you have on my life, everyday.

SDA and TA for being two incredible parents who do a fantastic job making their kids laugh

I'm grateful for the amazing friends and family DC and I have. We're blessed with people who care so much. I'm thankful for our jobs, our health, the home DC and I have made and the dog we both ridiculously love. This year I made new friends in Cali and I'm thankful for them and the role they've played in making 2008 a good year. Here's to a good 2008 and an even better 2009.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Life's regrets: Few and far between

Hello all, Happy Friday! Seriously, this week couldn't have ended any sooner. Tomorrow DC and I are traveling with the entire family to Hawai'i for a much needed vacation. DC and I haven't been on vacay since our honeymoon so needless to say we have been counting down the days to some R&R and fun in the sun.

I generally try not to look back and reflect on my life with feelings of regret but lately I've made two realizations about what I want to do differently in 2009. First off, I want to make it a point to take a vacation alone each year with DC. I'm not talking about a three day weekend to Napa but taking a few days off to spend together and enjoy alone without the distractions of everyday life. This seems like such an easy and obvious thing to do but it's been alarmingly difficult for the two of us to even plan weekends to Austin for weddings or trips to see friends. My good friend SP says that in her four years of marriage having an alone trip like that to look forward to has been the glue of their relationship and I wish we had done that this year.

My other major life's regret is petty, nothing significant at all but when I bought my car in 2006 it was a total impulse buy and I should have bought the Prius or Civic I originally wanted. Considering I've lived 28 years having 1 major life regret and 1 minor regret isn't bad.

I haven't fully developed my list of changes and resolutions for 2009 but I'm making a mental list of things I want to work on personally and professionally that will hopefully lead to a greater sense of overall happiness. One thing I'm particularly proud of myself for doing in 2008 is working out a lot. I'll admit this has been more of a Q4 thing but experts say you need to do something consistently for a month to make a habit out it and I think I've done that. I'm looking forward to continuing this in to the new year.

Besides planning on taking a vacay alone with DC I'm going to work a little on my temper. Now don't get me wrong 85% of the time I can keep my cool in situations where I'm frustrated, sad or just plain furious but I've lost it a few times this year and found myself in consequently worse situations after the fact. I'm least proud of the fact that I had a few very undiplomatic words with an executive at work about the layoffs last month. While I of course don't regret what I said I should have used a little more tact and diplomacy. Accosting someone in a packed elevator wasn't the best strategy in trying to get my point across.....

I hope you all have a rgeat weekend. I'll try to post from the islands but if I don't here's to a very happy thanksgiving.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Marital Bliss in Austin

I'm the worst blogger ever. Over the past few weeks I've been totally uninterested in being an optimist and cheerful, happy-go-lucky writer so today I'm just going to write about whatever I want.

This weekend DC and I were in Austin for PJP's wedding. We had a fabulous time visiting, eating and drinking with friends and even managed to hit up some of our favorite restaurants (Salt Lick, Hula Hut, Kim Phung, San Francisco Bakery and Amy's Ice Cream).

The reception was a great time with awesome music- highlights included an impromptu singer who had a very interesting voice and some really high-energy dancers from Beaumont. More importantly though was the ceremony which was breathtaking. It was definitely one of the most beautiful and emotional ceremonies I've ever been apart of -you could definitely feel the love and gratitude shared between the bride and groom. It definitely made me reflect about my own marriage and how I felt on my wedding. I remember being really happy and feeling an overwhelming sense of peace and preparedness.

Sometimes it's hard to remember the purpose and meaning behind a wedding between all the details, planning and of course the big party. The emotional, social and spiritual implications of marriage are huge. I don't think there is a lot more I could have done to prepare for the commitment and life changes brought forth by marriage but I do often think about ways to make my marriage stronger, more fun and more meaningful. This week I'm working on listening more and talking less :).

Again, thanks for reading and I promise to be better about posting.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Things are looking up

After a tremendous night of sleep, I woke up this morning with a renewed sense of hope. The rain had finally stopped, the sun was out, and it's election day. These three things alone would brighten any one's day but the icing on the cake was really the switch from white to red cups at Starbucks. This documents the beginning of The Season. November and December are my favorite months not just because I get lots of presents for my birthday AND Christmas but because I love Thanksgiving, Red Starbucks cups, sugar cookies with icing, Christmas carols, red nail polish and of course, spending time with friends and family.
Bottoms up!

Monday, November 3, 2008

An ugly break-up

I've been crafting this post in my head since last Monday. At first I thought I wouldn't even bother writing this week but SV said I had to and jW sent me and email asking why the blog has been barren. This post is dedicated to my girls at BE and of course, to MMA.

Long story short - BE did a very aggressive round of layoffs without any warning, explanation, rhyme or reason. I'm not claiming to be any sort of expert on human resources or corporate communications but laying people off on Mondays and Tuesdays seems to be a little strange, especially without a peep from senior management or HR. All week I've been sitting in fear that I'd be like one of the many vice presidents, directors, managers and coordinators who lost their jobs. I watched my friends, colleagues, teammate and most disappointing, my sister walk away from a company they loved and source of income they relied upon.

I'm being very selfish, I know. I'm bitching about what's happened despite the fact that I have a job and am "safe" but since the lay offs ended and the healing began I've been reflecting a lot on the economy, the presidential race and my greater purpose. I woke up feeling duped on Wednesday morning, I felt like a sell-out. I thought BE was different, I thought working for a company that helped women feel beautiful meant we weren't as motivated by the bottom line, yada yada yada. I should have sooner realized that working for a public company means I've already accepted and embraced the values and objectives of capitalism. Don't get me wrong, I believe in capitalism and am doing my best to "stimulate" the economy (I'm buying Christmas presents and lots of goodies on Amazon as I write this) but I stupidly thought I was a part of something different.

Today was the first Monday in months that I woke up and wasn't excited about work. I think I need a good kick in the ass because I have a job but I can't convey how affected I've been by all of this. First off, not seeing MMA's everyday is going to be hard and secondly my job is half as fun as it used to be. I almost wish it had been me. She loved her job so much, it's rare for a 24 year-old to find a dream job so early on in life.

Along with MMA went Paris who was my teammate but more than that the closest friend I've made since living out here.

I told myself that today, Monday would be a new start. It's so much easier said than done. If anything I'm missing Austin and my parents more than I thought I could at this point in my life. I've been remarkably happy the past six months. Between work, being so close to MMA and finding Paris I really felt like I was on my A-game. This week, not so much.

DC has been so supportive and understanding. If anyone gets me and MMA it's him. I'm really grateful he's so in-tune to my relationships with my family. Weeks like this remind me of the power and strength of marriage.

So on to tomorrow when I'm hoping it gets a little easier for everyone. Like Scarlett infamously said, "tomorrow is another day."

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Election Night Party

Hi All - I promise I have a good and juicy (and totally depressing post coming) but I wanted to share some really fantastic news. Two fabulous food retailers will be offering free sweets on election day next Tuesday.

1. Ben and Jerry's is giving out a free scoop of ice cream on election day from 5 pm - 8 pm

2. Krispy Kreme is giving out a free delicious star-shaped doughnut with sprinkles all day on election day.
Bon appetit!