Sunday, November 27, 2011

Thanksgiving and WINNING

 First and foremost:


As of Friday, I won NaNo. Meaning I officially wrote 50,000 words of my novel. But the story isn't finished. There are at least 10,000 words left to go, possibly more. 
I just ordered my winner's T-shirt, and I am so proud of myself! When I began on November 1st I didn't really know what I was getting myself into or how much fun I'd have along the way. 
Appropriately, I am thankful that I did NaNo this year.

On to Thanksgiving. I was in Los Osos with my family for almost 5 full days and I got a good amount packed into those days. 

On Wednesday I:
  • -Cooked two apple pies and three pumpkin pies
  • -Washed and prepped a 24.4 lb turkey (affectionately named Nigel; two years ago I named the turkey Carl)
  • -Pulled out Nigel's neck and bag o' gizzards (sick.)
  • -Slicked onions and celery for the stuffing
  • -When cracking eggs, learned that the umbilical cord is inside the egg. How gross is that?
  • Sauteed shrimp
  • Met my friend Jacey for a few hours in downtown San Luis and met a man named Wally. Then, at a restaurant, met five guys who tried to steal our chicken strips and onion rings. One of them, Jed, was shocked that we wouldn't share, and I was very stern with him about wanting to eat all of the chicken because I was so hungry. "You seem so genuine. Can't we be friends? Let's go to lunch." He was persistent, but to no avail.
On Thursday I:

  • Basted the turkey
  • Peeled and sliced 30 carrots
  • Peeled and cut 28 potatoes
  • Ironed a tablecloth
  • Went to Vons
  • Cooked Nigel (he was amazing)
  • Arranged two huge fruit platters
  • Served undercooked apple pies (convection ovens are different than regular ovens ... apparently.)
  • Did dishes
  • Thoroughly enjoyed my time with my entire family: (parents, aunt, two brothers, two sisters, one sister-in-law, one brother-in-law, 98 year old great uncle, grandma, brother's two roommates). We had a competition after we ate in which each person had to come up with either a Thanksgivinging themed poem, short tale, or trivia question, and there was a winner in each category. My family is very clever and funny, and hanging out with them is always an enjoyable experience!
On Friday I:

  • Slept in until noon
  • Got up for a few minutes, went back to bed and slept until 2
  • Visited my good friends the Phillips. Haven't seen them in months and it was wonderful to catch up with this fantastic family!!
  • Ate dinner with my parents, younger sister, older brother and his wife, and then played an exciting game of Catch Phrase
  • Won NaNoWriMo
On Saturday I:
  • Went for a walk down to the bay with my dad just like we used to when I was younger. We had coffee and breakfast at a quaint little coffee shop by the bay and it was a gorgeous day (68 degrees at 10am) and the water and sky were clear and beautiful.
  • Saw the Hugos, a missionary family to South Africa. My parents' church is their sending church, and they have adopted two children, a boy and a girl who are 12 and 10 respectively. Years ago they asked me to be the girl's godsister, and I feel blessed to have that privilege. This family is so amazing and a beautiful testimony of how wonderful God is
  • Put Christmas lights up on the outside of our house with my dad. Again, another thing we used to do together when I was younger
  • Picked up my grandma and great uncle and drove them from San Luis to Los Osos to see our remodeled house
  • Ate dinner with my parents
  • Saw Breaking Dawn with my aunt
Sunday was church, lunch with church friends, and then I packed and headed back down here. It was a perfect Thanksgiving weekend, with much to be thankful for and many reminders of just how blessed my life has been. Thank you God, for everything.

Friday, November 18, 2011

It's Friday, THANK GOD IT'S FRIDAY

I've been watching the girls since Tuesday morning. All day. All night. Getting up at 6 or 7 to take the older one to school, and not going back to sleep because the youngest one wants to PLAYPLAYPLAYPLAY. But it's fine. And it's fun. Until last night.

The refrigerator broke.

And I posted about it on facebook and got 88 comments on my status about it and more on a photo I posted, and I was cracking up, alone, in a giant kitchen, at how funny some people are. And then today it wasn't funny, because the milk and cheese and everything else was spoiled. And the first repairman who came to fix it {Dmitri} hardly spoke English and kept repeating "Joo have warranty! Too much monies for joo to feek! Iz dee kompressor! De freeeeeeon iz leek!" And then the Sub-Zero man I called condescendingly nicely asked me if I was sure it was plugged in and the door was shut all the way. And then the slightly rude nice man from Sub-Zero gave me a number to call, so I did, and no one answered. So now all the food is spoiled. And when I was outside trying to make one of the bajillion phone calls (because there is no cell reception in the house) the littlest one was going up the steep driveway, so I tried to herd her back down and she tripped and pulled me down with her, and now she had a bruise on her face. But if that's the worst that's going to happen, I can live with that.

Also, the cord to my laptop has been chewed through {I WONDER HOW THAT COULD HAVE HAPPENED. -__-} So I can't work on my laptop anymore. THANKFULLY I had recently e-mailed myself a copy of my NaNo work, so I only lost about 2,000 words. And I've lost a lot of time because I haven't been able to work on it as much at night.

And I am so so tired. BAH.
3 more hours ....

Saturday, November 12, 2011

A Wedding, Words, and a Write-In

The parents I work for got married yesterday, and the wedding was beautiful.
This was the ceremony site.
{Portofino Hotel & Yacht Club, Redondo Beach.)
The ceremony was at 4 o'clock, and it was a bit 

This was the lobby of the hotel, where the bride and groom had their photos taken. 
It was stunning.

And below was the amazing room I got to stay in with the four girls.
It was a suite, and the littlest one and I slept in the king-sized bed (but she took up over half of it because she's an active sleeper ... I got woken up by kicks in the face more than a few times) and the three older girls slept in the adjoining living room on a sofa bed and a rollaway.
There was a beautiful view of the ocean (someday I'd love to stay in an oceanside hotel on the East Coast and wake up to the sunrise), and the bathroom was beautiful also.
AND THERE WAS A KEURIG.
And a mini bar (which I didn't use, but it was fun to look at.)

The couple had a wonderful coordinator who made the day go by easily and with little to no stress.
Makes me anxious for my own wedding ... someday in the not too distant future (hopefully ... I'm still too selfish to get married!).

NaNoWriMo is so much fun. I'm so glad I've decided to really do it this year!
I've reached a milestone ... (drumroll)

more than 30,000 words!!! 
I decided that since I still have so much to write (writing without thinking makes my mind go off on tangents ... lots of things have happened to my characters and I won't be able to resolve everything in only 50,000 words) my personal goal will be 70,000-75,000 by November 30.
We'll see what happens.

I reached my 30,000 word goal while at a NaNoWriMo Write-In at the Grand Californian Hotel in Anaheim (downtown Disney). I decided to go because I thought it would be fun, even though I'm not fond of Disneyland every since I stopped working there (hard feelings, I have many). When I got there all the seats in the middle of the lobby were taken and since I'm not extroverted, I took a chair to the side of the room and made myself comfortable with my laptop (Max) and my lemon drops. I had had a bit of writer's block Thursday and Friday so tonight I was bound and determined to make something happen! And things DID happen, and I was excited. At one point I teared up because of what my characters were doing ... that's good right??? And then I was typing, not even sure of what was happening, and I was living every word with my characters, and all of a sudden a man came up behind me and said,
"Antisocial?"
I jumped out of my skin, figuratively.
"Uh, yeah, what?"
"You're antisocial."
"Oh. Yeah. I'm in my groove. Hehe. [Insert really awkward laugh here.]"
Then, as he adjusted his fishing hat, he walked away, and I went back to my scene. 
It was strange.

I also decided that after NaNo is over I'm going to edit it. Right now in my idealistic mind I want to have the editing done by December of next year. One year is enough time for that much editing, right? I have no idea. I may drive myself crazy, or I may actually make that personal deadline. It feels good to have something to work toward, and then we'll see what happens after that.

Either way, by December 01 I'll be able to say that I've written a 50,000 novel. =)




Tuesday, November 8, 2011

I Went Shopping.

I am not a shopper. I love makeup, and accessories, and most girly things, but shopping has never been one of those things I just love to the moon and back. On a Saturday afternoon, if you and I were trying to find something to do, shopping would not even be on the list of options. Anyway, I'm going to a wedding on Friday, and I needed a new dress. It's November, and the dresses I have are either A) too summery, or B) don't fit right. So, I decided it was time to get a new dress. One that I could wear to this wedding and beyond. So yesterday I went to the mall with Lisa and the 19 month old I watch to try and find the PERFECT DRESS. It didn't exist. I wanted something that hit right around my knee and didn't have an obscenely plunging neckline (and wouldn't break the bank). While there were plenty of dresses with fabulous necklines, NONE OF THEM CAME LONGER THAN 8 INCHES ABOVE MY KNEE. Well, that's kind of a lie. The ones that did hit my knee were so tight I felt like I was wearing spanx. It was not fun. It's FALL, so why are dresses so short? And then I realized: it's not that dresses are short, it's that I'm tall. Ugh. 

BUT. Today I decided to brave the stores again, and I found THIS


And I love it. It was the last one, it fits perfectly, it's long enough, high enough, and soooooo soft. 

And I still hate shopping.

Monday, November 7, 2011

This Bugs Me (don't you care?)

I HATE it when people (especially guys) say 

"We should [totally] hang out sometime!!"

Sometimes, I want to reply,

"No, we shouldn't."

OR

"Don't tell me what I SHOULD do. You SHOULD mind your own business."

It especially bothers me when people I never see, who I know I probably *won't* actually hang out with, say it.


A few times, instead of making faux plans to hang out with someone, I'll say,

"I would say that we should hang out, but we both know that isn't going to happen, so I'm just gonna say that it was so nice to see you!"

And I know that's kind of rude. And I've said it probably fewer than 5 times. 
When guys say it though, it immediately sends them straight into the friend zone.

"OK buddy, don't be bossing me around already ... we haven't even gone out yet!"

So please, don't ever say that.

Rant over {for now}.

A Scale

Today, I bought one of these:


And when I stood on it (right after I ate lunch. Big mistake), I felt like this:


And I choose to blame, rather than myself, this:


Because I have no self control when it comes to sugar, candy, desserts, and the like. And this is bad. 
NaNoWriMo is not helping with this, because all I want to do is sit on the couch and write and snack. 
BAD.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Nanotoons


This cracked me up. I have always wanted to write a book, though not necessarily in a month. But definitely while I'm single. The past 6 days have been so much fun and filled with so much creativity, and I don't want to do anything other than write, write, write! If I had a boyfriend this would not be fun. I already feel like I'm neglecting my roommates, but I just have to discover what's going to happen to my characters! Every time I sit down to write I think of new scenes and ways that things can play out. I'm way ahead of where I need to be, but that only excites me more. 

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Word Count.


NaNoWriMo is fun. I'm up to 12,000+ words, and updating my word count is addicting. So I think I'm going to try and only update once a day, or once every two days. That will probably be more fulfilling.

In other news, I bought new footie pajamas.
And now I own two pair. Probably two more than any 23 year old needs, but I don't care. At all.

I have had two amazing conversations with two different people in the last three days. And because of those conversations I am again reminded at the grace of God, the forgiveness of God, and most of all, the power of God. 
Joy.
Direction.
Peace.
Fire.
Desire.
Peace.




Thursday, November 3, 2011

Not just your ordinary cup of joe

Tonight I had the pleasure of meeting with one of my friends from Biola for coffee. And what I thought would be a short time of catching up and talking about snippets of our lives turned out to be one of the most powerful and moving conversations I have experienced in a very long time. In fact, I don't know if I've ever experienced what I experienced tonight. It was an incredible reminder of just how God can use anyone and any situation to speak the truths you need to hear. I am so thankful and overwhelmed at what I experienced tonight. Seriously, just what I needed, and I didn't even know it. Thank you, Lord. So much.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

This was a good day


I got my story back from the recycle bin. And I'm thrilled. 

And I got my hair done. It has red chunks and highlights ... it's so fun! 



NaNoWriMo FAIL

i had 3,048 words since i started nanowrimo last night ... and then today i deleted everything on accident. this does not a good day make.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

NaNoWriMo !!


     I signed up for NaNoWriMo last November, but after a day or two of pretending to write ferociously, I just kind of stopped. But this November will be different, or at least that's what I keep telling myself. I have 618 words so far, but I don't know what direction this is going. But that isn't the point, or at least that's what the NaNoWriMo admins say! So here's to a Sweet November of writing, drinking peppermint white mochas out of a red cup, scarves, and coziness.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Fill in the Blank

Fill in the blank Friday.

1.   Nothing says fall like    the weather getting colder and more crisp, the leaves changing color (as much as that can happen in Southern California), and scarves.

2.   My favorite autumnal tradition is  I don't really have any. Growing up we didn't celebrate the season, just the holidays and birthdays. But since college started, I've always loved when Starbucks gets the pumpkin spice latte back, even though I don't drink it. I'm more of a peppermint white mocha kind of gal (WINTER).

 
3.  My favorite fall treat is   I really enjoy hot chocolate. Since the weather has changed I have had about 4 mugs of hot chocolate with marshmallows.

 
4. Fall makes me think of   leaves getting crunchier    because   in college my favorite part of campus was the walkway between the library and Metzger Lawn beneath the trees that were covered in twinkle lives and the walkway was always covered in leaves in the fall. Crunch leaves.

 
5.  Autumn free form word association, go!   scarves, hot drinks, cuddling, fires, heaters, coziness, sleeping in.

 
7.  My favorite fall holiday is (Halloween or Thanksgiving)    Thanksgiving. My sister's birthday is on Halloween and growing up we didn't go trick or treating or anything so Halloween was never special because of Halloween, it was special because of my sister. But Thanksgiving is about getting the family together with food and fun and gratefulness, not gifts or anything. It's my favorite holiday period. Except now that we don't do Easter baskets anymore I might like Easter more.
6.  My go-to outfit in the fall is    jeans, boots (ugg like boots, not the cute ones because I'm not that stylish), a sweater, a jacket, and a scarf.

Xoxo

This is my and my mother's parents, Grandma and Grandpa Baldwin, taken at Christmastime in 2007, at the Madonna Inn.
After 2007, I saw them at my brother's college graduation, my sister's wedding, my college graduation, my brother's wedding, my grandpa's birthday, and a couple of other times.


This is my siblings and I at my grandparent's house two weeks ago. My grandma's health had been declining steadily, and we had been wanting to make a trip up there for some time, but it took a long time for us to make that trip happen.

On Wednesday, 10/19/11, eleven days after we visited them, my grandma passed awy.

My mom was able to be there, along with her brother, sister, and dad.

There is comfort in knowing that she is free from pain and happily in heaven, but there is sadness in the fact that she is gone, and is missed.

    

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

loss

dealing with the loss of my grandmothe ... and it's not an easy thing. finding comfort in knowing i will see her again and rejoicing that she is free from pain, but for anyone who is left behind there is a period of grief. i hope there's basketball in heaven for you, grandma.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

ow...help?

i have a splitting headache right now. and i've turned off the lights, drank water, took excedrin migraine, eaten, and tried to sleep. how do YoU get rid of headaches/ because this one is miserable. as in, i almost threw up.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Surrender.

Recently I took a quiz that informed me I am a wishy-washy person. SHOCKER, right? Not exactly, as least not to me. Though I've never used the phrase "wishy-washy", I think that actually is pretty acurate. I loathe making decisions, both big and small. What's for dinner tonight? Chicken? Tacos? Subway? Salad? Beef? Pasta? Stir-fry? And now I face another decision that seems to come around twice a year or so: should I stay or should I go?

I love my hometown. It's small, and it's familiar. There are memories there. And recently things have happened that have made moving back home seem like a really wonderful option. So I'm running it over and over again in my head .. and  huge part of me wants to move back. But there is a small yet strong part of me that won't let that happen. Something is keeping me down here ... but what is it? I feel like I need a really big shovel so I can dig down deep and figure out what I want.

BUT.

Then I remember ... it doesn't matter what I want. I keep forgetting that I'm not in control of my life, and I need to stop trying so hard to control it. I know in my heart that God is in control and all I have to do is listen to Him, but it can't be that easy, can it? And why can't I hear what He's trying to tell me? Is it because He isn't telling me anything right now? Meaning, I shouldn't make a move right now? Or is it because I am just not listening? Why can't I be more in tune to what God is trying to tell me?

I keep thinking about what I want, and the plans I have for my life, but those things don't matter! And tonight, as I was lying on a couch trying to fall asleep, I was reminded that it doesn't matter what I want for my life. I need to change my wants and desires. Because if I get back in step with God and seek HIS will, then His desires for my life will become my desires as well, and that may mean moving back home or it may mean staying here. But I really need to start listening to Him soon, because I don't have a lot of time to make this decision.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

I'm a MOM. (sort of.)

I'm getting a taste of motherhood. It's the good taste, because I get to have kids during the day but then give them back in the evening and have nights of uninterrupted sleep! Yay! I feel like I have learned so much in the past 6 months, and I have definitely had my patience tested more than once. So here are just a few of the most important things about pseudo-parenting that I've learned:

1) Don't dress a toddler in cute clothes and then feed her ravioli for lunch.
2) When a 10 or 11 year old come down with a sudden and mysterious illness right when it's time to do chores, something fishy is going on.
3) Life isnt fair, but when you're 10 and 11 it's a billion times more unfair.
4) Getting to sit in the front seat is the most important thing ever.
5) You can never have too many baby wipes.
6) It's sort of funny the first time you get food thrown at you, a tiny bit funny the second time, but every time after that it's just wrong.
7) Baby hugs are the best. Hands down..
8) Baby shampoo smells delicious.
9) When you tell a baby, "Shhhh!" she interperets it as "How loud can you be right now?//"
10) Kids are wonderfully challenging and rewarding, and I love them.


Friday, August 19, 2011

phone blogging

i'm blogging from my phone. it's annoying.
i'm allergic to my contacts. it's annoying.
my computer takes nearly an hour to turn on, thus preventing me from uploading photos. it's annoying.

BUT ...

i got a brand spankin' new car. it's awesome.
i found a lot of really inexpensive Tom Clancy/Dean Koontz/Dan Brown books at a local goodwill. it's awesome.

BUT ...

EMOTIONAL ROLLERCOASTER. happiness, sadness, anger, apathy, near-bitterness ... around and around we go. 

How do you keep yourselves from bitterness? How do you stay joyful? tips?

i hate phone-blogging.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

It's July? When did that happen!

     How is it mid-July already?? Before I know it Christmas will be here. I find myself saying that every. single. year. and every year I continue to be surprised at how quickly the years go by. But in the moment life seems to trudge by. Anyway though, let's do a quick recap of my life the past several weeks.

     I turned 23. Twenty-three seems so much older than 22. I have been in denial about turning 23 ever since I did, but I think I'm slowly getting used to the idea. (What am I going to do when I turn 25? Or **gasp** 30!?!?) Twenty-two was such a great year and I have been very apprehensive about giving it up. Is it just me, or do I sound totally dumb right now!

     I was able to spend two weeks as a couselor at a camp I used to go to as a kid. I spend two 5-day sessions at a Christian camp for elementary children, and it was amazing. During camp, the focus was on GOD and the KIDS. Not on me at all. I didn't have to schedule anything for myself, I didn't have to worry about how I looked, I wasn't reminiscing about college, relationships, or life in general ... it was amazing. And God did so much amazing work in some of the girls I was with! I was in complete awe at the end of both weeks. And I definitely got some work done on myself, as well. I learned so much about God, myself, and relating to others, and I wasn't expecting all of that. It was AMAZING. God is so good!

     Before camp I was on a great sleep/eat/work out schedule. I would get up just before 8AM and go to bed at 11PM (at the latest), my eating habits were phenomenal, and I was running. But now? S-L-A-C-K-E-R. It's 11:30p.m. right now and I'm still awake. I have ice cream bars in the freezer, and the most physical excertion I have experienced is walking to and from my car during the day. This is bad, people!!!!

     Things are good. God is good. Life is good.

Friday, June 10, 2011

an accomplishment

I used to be able to call myself a runner. then i started college and i got lazy. reeeeeally lazy. BUT tonight I pushed myself. and i made it two whole miles without stopping!! i want to run a 5k again with my dad sometime this summer, and i want to be proud of my finishing time. so, i am going to keep it up. meggie and i have been doing great for the past week and a half, and i am so proud of us!! and since i am so proud, i felt i had the right to brag a little.

ps: i know 2 miles isnt THAT far, but i SO. DO. NOT. CARE. 

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

The Highs to the Lows

     Today was one of those days that was just an all around good day. I only had the baby today, and she was happy for mostly the whole day. She took an extra long nap, and she was extra chatty and was trying to say more words, which is always fun. We went for two long walks, and the weather was absolutely perfect! Then when I came home, I finally got rid of two very large bags of clothes that have been clogging my trunk for about 9 months. But I didn't just throw them away, that would be wasteful. I found a Goodwill a few blocks away and donated them. Then I went to Farmer's Market! I was only there for about 10 minutes but I was able to get a half flat of delicious strawberries and 3 yummy zucchinis. Then when I came home I made myself a smoothie and had it for dessert. It has just been a very peaceful day (aside from the asinine dog barking up a storm and making me want to throw him off the balcony!!)

     However, even though it has been such a wonderful day, I am still annoyed. It seems that I am perpetually annoyed these days. Every little thing sends my mind off on stupid tangents of Seriously? Who does that!!?? and Why would she wear that? and Why would he even say that, let alone think it?? and it is totally stupid. I've been wondering for a while now why I have such issues with getting annoyed so easily, and then on Sunday I think I figured out the problem. It's not that I have a problem with getting annoyed, it's that I have an anger problem. I have a LOT of pent up anger, an it's been building for a while. It's like I'm constipated with anger, and pretty soon it's going to explode, and I'm not going to try and give you a visual because you could probably figure it out on your own.

     So, I'm trying to work through my anger. I'm beginning to discover just what and who it is that I'm angry at, and after I do that I will move onto trying to figure out WHY. It's not fun. It forces me to look inside myself and try to crack my wall of bitterness that I have so carefully built up. And it's not going to be easy, and it's not going to happen soon.

     I am me, right now. I am me, just me, and no one is going to be a part of me for a long time. There just isn't room for anyone else. And no one, no one, knows the parts of me that I don't let show. So don't pretend like you do. Just don't. Or I will cut you.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Worst Rapture Ever

     I remembered what it was that I wanted to write about. 


     I would be surprised if I encountered anyone who hadn't heard that the Rapture was supposed to occur two days ago, on 5/21/11. Like everyone else, I enjoyed the kicks and giggles that came from joking about how anyone could possibly claim to know the exact date and time of Jesus' return. But then I began thinking about the Rapture and what that means. It means that our time on earth is DONE. It's OVER. We're in heaven answering to and taking responsibility for what we did with the time God granted to us. 


     Are you ready? I am most certainly not! Of course, I cannot wait to join the Lord in heaven, in the perfect place He has designed for us, but I can't help but think about how little I have to show for the life I have lived. I would be mortified if God came up to me right now and said, "Hey Juliette, welcome to heaven! Here's a DVD of your life. Every second has been recorded, and there's commentary! Every thought you have had is on here and will be played out for us to listen to. Ready? I'll get the popcorn." I don't know about you, but I'm pretty sure I'd be coming up with excuses and rationalizations about every 3.2 seconds. Wait! The reason I didn't tell that person about You was because I REALLY had to pee, and no one wants to listen to someone who is sqirming or has wet her pants! or Ohhhhh when I did this I had just had a really long day and I just NEEDED that vice ... but I promise I was thinking of You the whole time! 


     Don't get me wrong, I know that my sins are completely forgiven and everything, but I also know that I will have to answer for everything. This whole "fake Rapture" deal kind of opened my eyes to what matters. GOD! His kingdom! His glory!!!


     What about you? Are you taking advantage of every day? Are you using every day for HIM, or for yourself? Are you constantly thinking of how bad you have it instead of realizing how GOOD you have it, and how BLESSED you are? Because you are. No matter how bad life is, there are always ways in which you have been blessed. 


     This is what I did today, and it helped:
     My car is old. 16 years old, and with just over 252,000 miles on it. Now, the face that I even HAVE a car is a blessing. (Maybe some time I will post on how I got that car; talk about an answer to prayer!!) I was thinking about how the paint is fading, it needs to be washed, one of the seat belts is cracked, etc. But then I turned it around, and here is what I realized:
     ~My car has air conditioning. How it has lasted so long is a mystery, but I am thankful for it every day, especially in Southern California!
     ~ Automatic locks and windows!
     ~ Some of the most comfortable seats I've ever experienced in a car.
     ~ A HUGE trunk!
     ~ Original engine.
     ~ The best turn radius of any car, ever, no matter what you say. That car turns on a pinhead!
     ~ My speakers haven't blown out!
     ~ I looooove the color.
     ~ It's so safe!


     I could go on, but I'm getting tired. My point is that I've been thinking about my life and have realized that it isn't being lived to its full potential. Is yours?

Life is FUN!

     So many things are coming up for which I am so excited!! 


-- I'm going back to camp this year. I haven't been since 2008 (I think ... I'm pretty sure I didn't go in 2009 ...) and I have MISSED it. And this year I will be going for TWO weeks instead of my usual ONE. Can't wait!!


-- Biola's graduation is this weekend. It is CRAZY that it's been a year since I walked across that stage ... those three seconds FLEW by! It will be really nice to see friends I haven't seen since last year, but I don't like the nostalgia that comes with graduation. Boo.


-- My birthday. I don't actually care about my birthday. Crazy, I know. BUT I'm excited because my birthday kicks off the 16 days I will be at home/camp. Three consecutive weekends spent at home with my family and friends will be SO nice.


-- Gas prices to go down. Seriously, the other day I was able to get gas at an Arco for $3.95/gallon!!! And I'm really excited to not think that $3.95/gallon is INEXPENSIVE. Stupid.


-- My wedding. Just kidding.


-- Going to Arizona. I've been planning on going to Arizona to visit the Williams' but it hasn't happened yet, but this August I'm bound and determined to make sure it does! It WILL happen. IT WILL.


I thought there were a lot more. The first three are the most imminent and thus the ones that demand most of my focus and attention and excitement, but I'm excited for the last three also!!


In other news, the new season of The Bachelorette kicked off tonight and is being played in our apartment as I type. I HATE how seriously some people take this show. None of this is real! Come ON! I mean seriously. Just come on. 


That's all for now. I'm sure more interesting things that I want to blog about will come to my mind while I'm on the cusp of sleep or when I have the baby sleeping on my chest tomorrow, but this will have to do for now.


P.S. I decided it's time to stop blogging about wanting a boyfriend/husband/family, because it will happen when it happens. I'm perfectly content and happy with the way things are right now, and why speed up my life when I don't need to? So, NO MORE wistful emo lonely posts, or thoughts of posts. The end. Kaput. Finite.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Silence

     I've begun to realize lately that I value silence. A lot. As in, I don't really like to talk very much. I would much rather sit in silence than try to make forced conversation, and I appreciate those few friends with whom I can sit in a comfortable silence. The past few nights when I've come home from my job all I've wanted to do is just soak in the tub or lie on the couch with a book, or just go to sleep. De-briefing the shenanigans of the kids doesn't appeal to me; neither does hearing about anyone else's day. THIS. IS. BAD. !!!! Help!!!! Suggestions????

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Ten on a WednesdayalmostThursday

1. If you could watch only one movie for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Probably Baby Mama. I think that movie is absolutely hilarious. But I also love the LOTR trilogy ... so maybe if the trilogy was on one disc I would choose that one. Maybe.
2. Let’s say someone wrote a screenplay about you; what actor/actress would you choose to play you and why?
Rachel McAdams. She's been the catty teenager (Mean Girls), the romantic girl (Notebook), the girl next door (Wedding Crashers), the BA (Red Eye), and the tortured artist whose life was planned out for her before it even began (Time Traveler's Wife). Plus she's had all the same hair colors I've had. And she's got a donk.
3. What’s the first movie you remember seeing in theaters?
The Lion King. I saw it once with my aunt and once with Morgan and her mom, and I cried both times. (WHEN MUFASA DIED.)
4. Did you ever make out at the back of a movie theater in middle school/high school?
Nope
5. Are you a Netflix-er, Blockbuster-er or a Redbox-er? (Or none of the above?)
Red Box on occasion.
6. Name one actor/actress who you would give anything to have a dinner date with.
Christian Bale or Johnny Depp or Rachel McAdams 
7. What’s the worst movie you’ve ever seen?
Lady in the Water. I HATED that movie.
8. Do you sneak snacks into the theater when you go?
Yes, but l don't really go to movies that often. And since I gave up sugar for May (except I've cheated a couple off times) I've only gone to one movie, and I sneaked in a bag of apple slices.
9. Movie theater popcorn: love or hate it?
I LOVE it.
10. What is the all-time best Disney movie in your opinion?
Disney or Disney/Pixar? Beauty and the Beast or Finding Nemo I think.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

The Curse of the Third Date

the third date curse. i'm pretty sure i've talked about it before, but in case of confusion let me break it down really fast.

-guy and girl have first date.
-guy and girl have second date.
-guy and girl have third date.
-guy never speaks to girl again.

i've decided that i suffer from the third date curse, and i think it's time to figure out why. for now i'll blame myself, and for two reasons: 1) i'm the only common denominator and 2) unlike beth in the book i just read, i'm fairly certain i don't have a jealous ex-husband chasing away my prospects and feigning protection of our 7 year old son in the process.

here is what i've come up with:

1) I'M INDECISIVE. i don't see this as a bad thing though, because as the girl i don't feel the need to make the monumental decision of where we have dinner. unless he picks fast food, because even though i'm not picky, i do have some standards.

2) I'LL LAUGH AT ALL YOUR JOKES. so what if you can't actually tell that I'm laughing? Though I may be grimacing on the outside, I'm almost always laughing (at you) on the inside.

3) HE WAS 32. 'nuff said. this one wasnt actually my fault.

4) I'M TRADITIONAL. excuuuuuuuse me for expecting you to open the doors for me and walk on the outside of the sidewalk and throw your coat over puddles for me. apparently chivalry IS dead.

5) IBS. Irritable Boy Syndrome. Basically, if he's annoying (which so many are!), you can expect me to spend excessive and unecessary amounts of time in the bathroom. most of the time he doesnt even know he's annoying.

part of me feels as though i should apologize for this list, but i won't. partly because this list is (somewhat of) a joke, and partly because i'm tired of apologizing for myself. sure, i may be a bit cynical, and sarcastic, and sometimes mean, but most of the time it's just a facade. granted, it's a facade that can be as tough to get past as it is to take any of the kardashians seriously, but it can be done. so i don't trust people (re: men), so what? so i think most people are lying, so what? so i think most people take themselves waaaaaaay too seriously, so what? and so what if i place as much importance on spelling as i do??

--side note: you're, your. to, too, two. there, their, they're. it can be done.--

so in conclusion, the curse of the third date is now resting his talons quite aggravatingly on my freckled shoulders. but that's ok, he hasn't bitten hard enough to draw blood (yet). 

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Lori-Who-Hit-My-Car

     On Monday my car got hit. I know, it sounds like a big deal, right? It's not. It is, however, extremely inconvenient!!! It happened while I was at "work." I was parked right out in front of the house on the (not too narrow) street. A mom in a van swiped my driver's side mirror and knocked part of it off and broke the glass. She came up to the door and told me and we exchanged information, so she'll take care of it. Correction: she'll take care of the FINANCIAL part of it. But that's only if I can actually get it to a shop and have them fix the problem. Unfortunately for me, most body repair shops are only open M-F, 8-5. Why is this unfortunate? Because I work M-F, 9-6. So technically I could get up and go drop off my car at 8 and still make it to work ... how? I don't have time! And she's paying out of pocket, so to set up a rental car is going to be so annoying!! Currently my mirror is being help together by zip-ties that were conveniently placed in the emergency kit gifted to me at Christmas a few years ago from wonderful Aunt Janet.


     She is now entered into my phone as "Lori-Who-Hit-My-Car!"


     Lots of other stuff on my mind. Mostly about exes. Ew. No thank you



Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Dark Days

"....and he suddenly understood what she already knew and felt inside: that while it would hurt to die, it would hurt even more to stay alive."

     The Pact, by Jodi Picoult, is a novel that emotionally (but is there any other way?) explores teen suicide and depression. Like many people, I have my own story of how these things have played a role in my life. It's a story I rarely share. Sadly, depression is growing more and more popular, and nearly every household has been infiltrated with some traces of its dark and slippery substance. I picture depression to be colorless, void of anything. Not even sadness is present in depression, because sadness (like all other emotions) requires too much effort. It's exhausting to be happy, or sad, or angry, because feeling those things only send you spiraling deeper and deeper, until all you can do is lie in bed, or on the floor, or on the couch, and stare. And think. And usually, thinking just makes it worse. And it always seems like you have these intense feelings in your mind, but you simply can't fathom sharing them with anyone, because they just won't make sense. So you keep it all inside. 

     "Emotionally constipated," my therapist called it.

     With all of these feelings and all of this irrationality going through peoples' minds, is it any surprise that suicide is more than just a fleeting thought? However, I think the biggest reason people think about suicide is because of the shock value it would bring. Most people who consider this option don't think past the initial act. It's more of I'll end my life, that will show them. Then they'll all regret not paying more attention to my obvious clues about my severe depression. But life isn't a Nintendo game. You don't get to kill yourself and then use one of your green mushroom extra lives and start over, or go back to the halfway point. You get ONE life. 

     It's the most selfish act, really. Sure, you don't have to deal with how overwhelming life can be anymore, but what about the people you left behind? That's a large part of what The Pact was about. The boyfriend is accused of murdering his girlfriend, and he claims it was a botched double suicide attempt gone wrong. Now he and the families and friends have to deal with the aftermath of losing a 17-year old girl. That's not fair, and it's not right. For Christians, especially. God has the timing for everything, and it's surely not our place to try and intervene. (I so do not want to even enter the realm of the Calvinist debate ...) God has a plan. So stick around and figure out what it is.

     The first third of the year is the time with the most memories for me. It's the time of both the beginning and the end of a relationship. It's a time of the first and the last, a time of hardship, a time of discovery, a time of despair, a time of more beginnings and even more endings. Two years ago was rough. But I had people who surrounded me and helped me and loved me. What saddens me immensely is that (save my family) none of those people are constant (or even close to) in my life anymore. Such a pivotal point in my life, and the people who hold such dear and tender pieces are gone. Some, I could reconnect with easily. Others I'm not expecting to ever talk to again. The kicker is this: one of the propelling forces in that time of life was that I felt like I was losing everything. And now, looking back, I see how I have lost everything from that period of life, but I have gamed what I never expected: wisdom, perseverance, faith, courage, a voice. 

     It's a sensitive issue, one that hits close to home for so many. But for too many, it's taboo. That's why depression gets so severe. It's frowned upon, and that needs to change. Feelings need to be acknowledged, affirmed, and dealt with. That's the only way the healing can ever come. Life will get better. It has to.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Whining like a two year old

     Dating sucks. I've always (somewhat secretly) considered myself to be a cynic, pessimist, glass-half-empty kind of person, and my views on dating are no exception. I think people who say "dating is fun!!" are smoking something. What's fun about it? The awkward, forced conversation? Trying to figure out if the butterflies in your stomach are feelings or just the pangs of a bad dinner? Making sure you keep your arms controlled at your sides so you don't hit his arm and make him think you're desperate? Having to offer to pay and making it seem sincere? HAVING TO PAY? Trying to figure out what to wear? Not getting another phone call and then eating your feelings and thus viewing yourself as too sad and pathetic to go on another date for a while? All of the above?

Yes.

     I despise mundane conversation. It's so BORING (duh. mundane.). And mundane conversation is even worse when it's in the beginning throes of a possible (yet unlikely) relationship. And sometimes it's really hard to keep yourself from yawning in the middle of a really boring story.

     I really haven't been on too many bad dates. I mean, there was the one that I was FORCED to go on (freshman year, and that's another story) where the guy bought makeup for himself and tried on girl jewelry and gawked at Gerard Butler's abs in 300. Then there was the date that I never actually went on, because I got stood up and years later found out that the guy who was supposed to take me out went on our date with another girl on THE SAME NIGHT. She and I are friends now. They're both married, not to each other, but how funny would that have been? Then there was the blind date late last year with the late twentysomething who talked excessively about his ex girlfriend of 4 years who had just dumped him 3 months prior, and they lived together, and would I like to do this again sometime?

    One of my least favorite things to hear is you're so young! Dating is soooooooo much fun! Don't settle down too soon! Be yourself! Blah blah blah blah blah. It's not like I'm itching to get married or anything, I just hate that I dread the beginnings so much. I've had to be talked out of canceling an hour prior to being picked up on several occasions. But it SHOULD be exciting. And I guess with the right person it will be, at least that's what everyone else says. But so far, nothing.

     And so for now, when Grandma asks me if there is "a special someone in my life?" I will continue to tell her "whatever are you talking about, Grandma?" and chuckle as I hear her say, "Well, it will happen sooner or later. Don't lose hope! Someday!" Thanks for the vote of confidence.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

A boring update.

     It's a lazy day today. After a week of sweltering heat (the suffocating kind, not the nice kind that a glass of lemonade will complete), the weekend has been disgustingly muggy and not cozy at all. When I think of April, I think of brisk clear days, and rain. Lots of rain. NOT THIS TIME.  I label myself as a scrooge of summer. I hate the heat. It's sticky, uncomfortable, and in no way fun or pleasurable. Let's move on.

     We're extending our lease on the apartment until the end of September. So until then, at least, I'll be staying down here.  [Side note: the dog is wheezing ... if he throws up I may throw him off the balcony.]  If I didn't have a job that I love I would probably be way more apt to move home right now. But, nannying is a joy because 1) I love kids, and 2) I get to be in charge and no one treats me like the scum between their toes. So for now, it's perfect. Not forever though. But for now.

     Math. I have NEVER liked math. NEVER. My mom would always tell me I'm "so good at math, you just need to try! Be patient! You can do it!" I am not patient. And I hate math. But now I get to help the 10 year old with her 5th grade math. It's like a weird ironic trick the universe is playing on me. I know you've always hated math, so now I'm going to give you a job you love, but you have to endure math! And you have to endure it with a child who hates it just as viscerally as you did when you were younger! Ha ha, universe. Good one. But we're making out way through it (and thank the Lord for google ...).

     Life is good. Things are coming along nicely in most areas, and I'm happy. Happy and thankful and continually amazed at the way God can work things out just perfectly. I know I rarely understand His timing and His planning, but it truly is perfect. Now, if I could just work on that patience thing!

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Babies, and God, and Ice Cream

     The past few days I've been absorbing books like they're water, or chocolate. My fascination of Jodi Picoult (My Sister's Keeper, Nineteen Minutes, The Pact) is still large and in charge, though after recent readings I may have to reevaluate just why I like her writings so much. As is the case when reading multiple books in a row by a single author, I came across several words and phrases that stuck out to me and made me think, "Really? She couldn't have used a thesaurus so it wasn't obvious she wrote this at the same time as that other book?" The one that won't leave my mind is this: VISCERAL.

characterized by or proceeding from instinct rather than intellect.

     I don't know why that word above all the other words stuck out to me, but it did. And it got me thinking about words in general. How come I use the same word to describe my feelings toward both ice cream and my family? How do idioms come to be? How can we expect everyone else to understand our words when there is no official dictionary for idioms and dialect? 

     How come I can never get the words to come out right the first time I say them, but when I rethink them in my head or write them out on paper, they're perfect? And why can I construct a perfect Oscar-winning movie scene in my head but then somehow not let it come out the same way in person? WHY WHY WHY WHY WHY????

     These thoughts (and more) came to my mind today while I was playing with the one-year-old. I was trying to teach her how to blow a kiss, and instead, she insisted on blowing spit in my face. Then I tried to teach her "thank you" and instead, she laughed and threw her pacifier. HOW do we learn these things?

     It's obvious, of course. Movies, societies, our families ... all of these and more teach us what we need to know in order to survive in the world. 

    The most  important thing I thought today was this: How can anyone look at a child, or even outside at the world around him, and NOT SEE GOD? I don't understand it. While the one-year-old slept, I looked at her tiny features and realized that I once looked like that. How can stupid evolution explain how our bodies grow in a uterus and then grow from an 8 pound infant into a 200 pound (give or take) adult? I mean REALLY. I just don't understand what else could explain it. How does our skin stretch and grow and not tear from growing so MUCH? How do our limbs know how to function? How do our organs work the way they do? 

     At such random times as when I watch a baby sleep, or I see the wind blowing the leaves into a flurry of a patter, I see God. And I become so overwhelmingly thankful that I KNOW Him, and that He created me. It is then when I am overcome with such a STRONG desire to do what HE WANTS for my life, other than what I WANT for my life. And it is then when I become SO FRUSTRATED because I don't know what that is.