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


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 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,
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."


"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. 

Sunday, November 6, 2011


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. 

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! 


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.