Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Coming to an End

2008 is just about over. And I’m happy. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t necessarily think that from Wednesday to Thursday there will be some immensely profound change in the universe and life as I know it will change forever, I just feel ready to put this year behind me. I am looking forward to saying and writing 2009. For so many years I had this intense focus on the year 2008. It seemed as if this year was the end point for everything I was focused on and it left me a little dazed and confused for a little while. (Read some older posts if you need to know what I’m referring to). I had this year mapped out in my mind for so long and it was everything but what I had imagined. It was a lot of disappointment, confusion, and a lot of heartbreak. Not to say that this year didn’t bring me some positive moments and some good memories, because I’m sure that it did. It most certainly has been a year that allowed me to learn a lot about myself and find out what I’m truly made of and I can’t say that I’m disappointed with the results because as with all things we are dealt in life, they happen for a reason.

I have yet to make any sort of real resolutions for the New Year, except to enjoy it and continue to work on myself. I’ve spent a lot of my life having very specific goals and sacrificing a lot to achieve them. In many ways it’s the only way I know how to live, but at my ripe old age of 28 (soon to be 29), I’m more open to going with the flow. I have my goals and aspirations but there is no ‘bulls eye’ year in my future right now.

The one resolution I am going to work hard at is something I stole from the pastor at Church this past Sunday. It has nothing to do with the New Year per say, but just an ongoing attempt at being a better person and treating people better. Anyway, the pastor’s advice was before you interact with anyone – the barista at Starbucks, your siblings, the person that cut you off on the freeway – say that you love them and then proceed. You don’t actually utter the words out loud, because of course that would be creepy and weird, but just in your head as a reminder that we truly are supposed to love our neighbor as ourselves. And when I thought about this, I realized what a difference it would probably make in how I treated people. It’s a simple thing really and just kind of reminds you that how you treat others is truly a reflection of what’s on the inside.

So here is to a healthy and happy new year. I don’t plan on bringing in the New Year with a bang; I just want to wake up on Thursday morning with a smile on my face and a positive outlook for the 365 days ahead.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Holiday Bloopers

I take a lot of pictures around the holidays, which makes perfect sense since I take a lot of pictures period. Today as I was browsing through my camera the pictures that stuck out most were the ones that told the story of my holidays the best. On their own they probably don't make much sense but I figured with a few captions thrown in, you all could experience Christmas through my eyes just a little. Enjoy...




My best friends and I have been having a Christmas gift exchange since we were 14 years old. That's quite a long time if you are doing the math. Over the years the gifts have been a reflection of who we are at that point in our lives. This year Jasmine and Melanie both asked for blenders. If that doesn't say grown-up, I don't know what does!



My sister received these god awful slippers as a gift from her son. The carrot nose even lights up as you walk. I know I shouldn't judge because he's four and all, but the kid can't go shopping by himself. Plus, he did not admit to picking them out himself so I believe it's a cruel joke from her baby's daddy.



There is nothing that interesting about a picture of a flat iron, I know. This was the gift I bought for my sister after she specifically requested in and reminded me on numerous occasions that this is what she wanted for Christmas. And what did she purchase for herself on Christmas EVE??!!! You guessed it.



My nephew Ty asked for a puppy for Christmas and he got two goldfish. That's almost the same thing. I keep asking what the names are and first it was Larry and Larry and then Mullet and Mullet. He refuses to name them different names even though one is clearly all orange while the other is white and orange so they are easily distinguishable. Today he told me he's just going to call them Fishy and Fishy.



My sister has had two kids and is not yet back to the svelte body she once had. But when she opened the pajamas my mom got her (yes, I got the same pair in red), it was as if Mom thought there might be two of her occupying the same pair of pants at the same time. Perhaps her next gig could be Subway commercials since she already has her "before" pants.




This is Ty Ty's gift from Auntie Bri. I'm so thoughtful.



My brother is quite possibly the worst wrapper in the world. When I got home close to midnight on Christmas Eve I was not surprised to see he hadn't even begun wrapping his gifts. So I really shouldn't have been so surprised when I saw this monstrosity the next morning. Buy gift bags buddy.



My niece was only interested in the wrapping paper. But she's as cute as they come, isn't she?!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Done!

I'm done.

Late last night, as I was wrapping up gifts I noticed that I had forgot a gift I had purchased back in San Diego. That means I forgot a present for someone I planned on giving one to. But I don't care. I'm not going to do a single thing about it. And maybe I'll apologize and promise to put the gift in the mail when I get home, but maybe I won't. Because what it would take for me to go out today and find another gift would be absolute torture and would put me in the worst of moods, and I simply refuse to make this day stressful and steer further away from the true meaning of Christmas.

So I'm taking a stand. And if you are out today or are thinking about going out, I beg you to reconsider. I plan on going to church and spending time with family and friends. That's it. No malls, no parking lots, no crazy lines, nothing. I will be a much merrier person because of it. And if you are reading this, and you'll know it's you because you will be thinking to yourself on Christmas Day "I know this heifer remembers that we exchange gifts every year!", please know that I love you and no amount of silly little trinkets, or smelly lotions, or pretty candles, or cute shirts can say it better.

Merry Christmas to everyone!!!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Picture of the Week: The Steal!

I'm sure many of us have participated in the tradition of the gift exchange at Christmas. Now, more than ever, it makes a lot more sense to get together with friends with the responsibility of purchasing only one gift that can be appreciated by anyone in the group. And to spice it up a bit, we usually allow the opportunity for steals. That is, when it's your turn to pick a gift you may choose from the pile of unopened gifts, or steal a gift from a person who has already chosen. A couple days ago we had our Christmas party with the ladies that train down here at the OTC. And while everybody knew the rules, all the girls decided to be polite and civil and only pick from the pile of gifts, never stealing anybody else's gift. Sure, they were secretly green with envy and wishing they could have been so lucky as to score such a fabulous pedicure set, but they restrained themselves. Well not me. We went through virtually the whole group without a steal and then it was my turn. (I was second to last). The following is the story told through pictures...




You can definitely tell I'm up to something



Secretly chuckling to myself



I want that!



Hand it over



Score! A gift certificate I will actually use!





And here is a picture of the whole group of us. I am probably smiling the biggest. ;)

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Angels and Athletes

Being at the Olympic Training Center allows for many opportunities to help out in the community, especially around the holidays. Not to say that there isn’t always opportunity no matter where you live, but here its organized and as easy as possible to be involved. And I love it. I love being reminded about what the holidays are really about and what our focus should be. First and foremost, it’s about celebrating the birth of Jesus. Of course. But the gift giving seems to always take center stage. To be honest, I don’t enjoy gift giving at all anymore. It stresses me out. I have to figure out who to buy gifts for, what I am going to get them, how I am going to afford it, what I will do in that one instance where someone has gotten me a gift and I have to come up with the lamest excuse as to why I’ll give them theirs two days after Christmas…it’s all just a headache and not much else. I certainly don’t give presents to get them, but it still makes me feel bad to get when I haven’t given. So I try my best to make it work on the shoestring budget I’m afforded.

Last week I wrote about an event that I attended that paired athletes with kids in the community and helped them shop for Christmas gifts for their families. All in all, it was a great event. I must say, however, that I probably wasn’t totally honest. I was definitely happy to help out and I felt it was a worthy cause, but I felt there was a bit of a disconnect with the child I was assigned to. For starters, she wanted to shop for expensive gifts. Now, the point of this whole event is to allow kids from the community who come from disadvantaged homes or may not have the opportunities to purchase gifts for their families the ability to do so. But when she wanted to buy blu-ray DVD’s for her dad and expensive games for Nintendo wii for her sister I was a little skeptical. In order to buy those DVD’s and games, one would assume you already have the proper equipment to play them on, right? Before she had finished with her immediate family she was trying to score herself a sweater for school. And the kicker was when she pulled out her Blackberry curve to show me she had the same phone as I did. Ok. I’m no genius but those Blackberry’s aren’t the free phones they hand out with a contract extension. Beyond that, she just seemed really bored and uninterested. I was starting to feel as if my own financial circumstances qualified me more for the shopping spree than the girl I was assigned.

So I was a bit skeptical when I went to a very similar event this week that paired athletes from the Training Center with foster kids from the community. Luckily I ended up feeling like I truly helped a young girl have a much more enjoyable holiday experience. These kids were encouraged to shop for themselves, namely for clothes that they probably really needed. Well this is right up my alley…I can shop for clothes all day long! My new friend Desiree was excited to find some jeans that fit, an outfit to wear to her school dance, and an awesome new Charger’s jersey (she’s a big fan of L.T.). I realize that none of these events are about me at all, but I was happy to leave this one feeling as if the holiday spirit was right where it was supposed to be.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

M.I.A.

Ladies and Gentleman, I have been missing in action just a little bit on this here blog. I'm not sure you've noticed it, but I feel quite badly leaving you hanging like this. I know...life just isn't quite the same. Just to give you all a quick update and let you know that I really haven't forgotten about you, the reason for my lack of words (besides the fact that life just ain't all that interesting these days), is because I am ordered to walk around with a new accessory these days...



I wish it were cuter and went better with my outfits but what are you gonna do. It seems they were out of pink. They have recommended I keep my arm in a sling 24 hours a day so I'm doing my best to comply and have managed to clock in about 22 hours on average so that's not so bad. Hopefully it doesn't last much longer and I do plan on putting together a few words in the very near future, but for the last week it just hasn't been high on the priority list. I refuse to type with one hand because that's just torture. But the next time I have a few cheat minutes stored up I will come right back here and share some more of my fabulous life.

Until then...

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

A RELAXING massage

I get massaged at least once a week. Before you start with your secret feelings of jealousy and envy, I ensure you that for the most part these experiences aren’t pleasant. I am poked, prodded, and dug into to the point of tears sometimes. It hurts. I don’t relax and drift off to a place filled with rainbows and singing cherubs. I am lying there oftentimes with a grimacing look on my face doing my best to reeeelax…not for my own enjoyment, but so that he is able to go deeper. Don’t get me wrong, in a twisted way I look forward to these somewhat tortuous sessions. Pain can be a good and welcomed thing. It means that the knot in your hamstring you feel every time you push off is hopefully getting smaller. It means that tight hip flexor might not be as much of a problem if you can loosen it up. When you beat your body up on a daily basis and it constantly reminds you of its unhappiness with you, the least you can give it is some work to try and keep the train going.

But that’s not to say that sometimes I don’t wish that I got to see rainbows. And hear cherubs. I like to be pampered just as much as anyone else. I’d love to have someone’s hands on me with the intent of making me feel great. So imagine my glee when I was informed that I would have the opportunity to experience that this weekend. I can count on a handful of times I’ve had a massage simply for the pleasure of it and I continue to be like a kid in a candy store. I NEVER pick the deep tissue option. It’s the same reason I almost never order a plain chicken breast at a restaurant. I’m looking for something different!

So Saturday afternoon I lay outside in a covered garden at a beautiful spa and told my masseuse that the pressure was just fine. I closed my eyes and marveled at the time spent massaging scalp. For goodness sakes, there isn’t even a muscle in my scalp! Pure bliss. The soothing sounds of a waterfall and the melodic sounds coming from hidden speakers sure did sound an awful lot like cherubs to me.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Spotted!



I've never seen this poster before, nor did I know it existed. But here I am, live and in color, at your local liquor store. Well, maybe not your local liquor store, as this one was found in the hood somewhere in Los Angeles, but perhaps they made it out to the suburbs as well. As you can kind of see, I am riding a motorcycle and looking slightly uncomfortable while doing it, if you ask me. This is because there was no motorcycle, and being that I've never rode on one I guess I wasn't a natural. But on a positive note, I guess my stomach looks pretty good. (I threw that in there in hopes of garnering a few more narcissistic comments about myself.)

Enjoy!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Shop with a Jock

Yesterday I had the privilege of attending an event hosted by Junior Seau, a former San Diego Charger, that allows kids from all over San Diego to come and shop with an athlete for Christmas. Each child is paired up with a jock, and after a great meal and a bit of dancing, we head into the store to help the kids shop for their friends and family with a $100 gift card. It's an amazing opportunity to help give back to the community by sharing our time and energy with these kids and it's so awesome to see them excited over the opportunity to spend money on those they love and pick out gifts they have thought long and hard about. It reminds all of us that the holidays are supposed to be way more about giving than receiving. Here are a few photos from the event...




-Myself and Jade...my partner for the evening.




-Junior referring the dance off to see who would win a new bike. fyi...these kids don't dance like they used to!




-Myself, Grace, and Jenny -- aka "the jocks"



-All the kids (plus Jerome!) doing the Cha Cha slide.

Monday, December 1, 2008

All banged up

What a day.

This afternoon I was in the weight room attempting to do this...



...and I ended up in the training room looking like this...



One dislocated shoulder later, here I am sitting around taking my painkillers. Last week I was out of commission due to the lower half of my body, so it only makes sense that this week I even it out. What fun is it having a healthy body? The shoulder is back in its proper place now but it does ache an awful lot so I suppose I'll just spend the next day or two figuring out exactly what movements require shoulder strength. Next week I'm praying for just a stubbed toe...something minor.

Friday, November 28, 2008

thankful.

While it may have been more timely for me to write this yesterday, I feel as if it should always be the appropriate time to share what you are thankful for and share how God has blessed you. The normal culprits are still on top of the list – friends, family, my health, the health and happiness of those I love, etc. But the list I’m going to compile for you today are those things that I may not always express my thanks for, the things I am more apt to complain and whine about. At the end of the day, my problems are not that big, and if looked at in the correct light, they still have blessing written all over them.

*I am broke… This is true. I am. This is one of the consequences of not being able to work for a whole year when you have a career that is dependent on the health of your body. But I have a roof over my head and food to eat and all the other necessities of life while still being able to pursue my dream. All the things that made it possible for that to come together for me this year was truly a blessing.

*I have a bum knee… This is obviously something I complain and worry about often, especially when earlier this year it started swelling up often and acting as if immediate surgery was imminent. But I have revamped my training and changed some things around, and I can go days without even thinking about it. Sometimes when circumstances force us to change things we would have been slow to change on our own, it can be a blessing in disguise. I’ll write more about this at a later date, but I truly believe this could be the case with my knee.

*I’m still single…but I might not be for long. ☺ Actually, that’s not the part that is the blessing because I have found happiness just being me and growing as a person and constantly learning about myself. And I do enjoy my drama free life, so being single is not always something to complain about; sometimes it’s something to savor.

*I am flat-chested...there will always be push-up bras. What other body part allows for this kind of quick fix?

*I get a fair share of rude comments on my blog…but I also get many positive ones. And at the end of the day, even the people who don’t ever have anything nice to say still find me interesting enough to even visit so that says something. It’s also been a free anger management course. These days I can read mean comments and simply erase them without posting them or responding and getting rude and sarcastic back…sometimes.

*It’s a recession…of course I don’t know how much it’s really effecting me directly because I’d be strapped for cash regardless probably, but I have never shopped less in my life. That is huge for me. In fact, my favorite shirt right now is my white v-neck from Target…if that doesn’t say recession I don’t know what does.


I guess my point is that I have a lot to be thankful for and there really isn’t anything I can think of to make me not be thankful. I am a blessed individual and I know that everything in my life has a reason and a purpose.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 24, 2008

for granted

In college all we had to do was take a trip down to the equipment room. That’s where Tom, our equipment manager, would happily hand out our shoes and equipment. Actually, Tom seemed quite stingy with some people, as if the shoes were bought with his own money, but with me he was quite the giver. I could always score an extra shirt or two if need be, and if I thought I could use another pair of spikes, Tom always assured me it wasn’t a problem. Then once I graduated, I really struck gold. My contract with Adidas assured that I could go months without doing laundry as long as I continued to just purchase more underwear. I had so many pairs of shoes, some I would never even bother to look at, I’d just pass them off to whoever was lucky enough to wear 7.5. On top of this, I had my equipment allowance…basically a chance to get whatever else I might want that didn’t come in the shipments already sent to me. Thousands of dollars to blow meant that each and every friend and family member could bet that every Christmas gift and Birthday gift would contain 3 stripes. I had everyone I knew looking fly at the gym – or just lounging around the house if the gym wasn’t really their cup of tea. After my contract with Adidas ended and I switched to wearing the swoosh, I rid my closet of every item I had accumulated. Most of it went to my friends, and the remaining items ended up at the goodwill. Sad as it was to part with clothes with the tags still attached and shoes never taken out of their boxes, I did what I needed to do to make room for a whole new brand.

Then the shipments stopped coming. For a while it was no big deal. If you’ve been a track athlete for long enough you accumulate enough workout clothes and shoes that will sustain you for quite some time. So maybe I have to wear last seasons sports bra to practice where in year’s past that would have been the first thing in the giveaway bag. No big deal. At the end of the day spandex is spandex. I’m not even afraid to cross-brand if I have to. (ok…it still bothers me a little). But the thing that you can’t get away with as easily, are shoes. I’ve always gone through running shoes and competition spikes quickly, knowing that there was always a pile in the closet to replace them. But there is no pile anymore and I’ve just about exhausted my current supply.

If I had to go back and do it over again, perhaps I would have hoarded a bit more. I never thought there would come a time when I might actually have to purchase shoes, but for the immediate future that seems to be the case. In my line of work, top of the line shoes are not a luxury, they’re a necessity. I use about four different kinds of training shoes in any given week. It’s times like these where I wish I could just go see Tom. I wish it were that simple.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

WWBD

I was talking to one of my good friends the other day as she was preparing to head out on a date. And not just any date…a first date. Totally unique and distinctive from all other categories of dates, it requires a different kind of preparation and mindset. So being the great girlfriends that we are, we prepared together. In case you are unaware, I am the dating guru. How can this be?, you ask, since you constantly read about my uninspiring dating experiences and are woefully aware of my status as an unmarried spinster. Well I suppose it’s because I have experience. Not necessarily the most or the best, but experience nonetheless. And she…does not. Not because she isn’t absolutely amazing, because she’s more than fabulous. She just doesn’t waste her time, as I sometimes seem to do.

So during the course of conversations, as I was explaining to her what to do and how to do it, I said that whenever she was unsure about which course of action to take, she should simply think to herself, WWBD. I realize this probably borders on being sacrilegious and I am hoping that Jesus is not too offended that I would borrow his phrase and use it in this context. But I do believe in following certain protocols on first dates and if you ever find yourself on a first date wondering what you should do in a certain situation, perhaps you might find yourself asking what Brianna would do too.

Some examples:

-Don’t Pay: Don’t even do the complimentary reach. Not for the tip, not for popcorn, not for anything. He asked to take you out, so let him. This is his time to wine and dine you, you can be a 21st century feminist at a later date.

-Don’t pick the date spot: Guys are lazy enough as it is. Make sure you have them show they’re willing to put in a little effort. It’s fine if they get your approval, but none of this …so whadda ya wanna do???

-Order a real meal: no side salads and hold the dressing. I have no idea if this is annoying to men, but it’s annoying to me.

-No hanging out before going on a real date: If you meet someone, just make sure you go on a real date first. Don’t hang out and have a Blockbuster night. It’s the whole laziness thing.

-Look like yourself: Don’t go too far out of your way to look so fabulous that any time after that will seem like a letdown. And don’t not put in any effort thinking your inner beauty will shine through. It’s the first date…he can’t see all that yet. Obviously look good, but everything in moderation.

-Go Home: preferably at a very reasonable hour and definitely by yourself.

-Don’t kiss: …or do. I have no set rule on this one.



So what do you think? Did I miss any important ones?

Monday, November 17, 2008

D.T.R.


I don’t claim to have much insight into the inner workings of a man’s brain. Especially when it comes to relationships… or beginning a relationship…or trying to define a relationship. What men think and why they think it doesn’t always make sense to a rational person (read:woman). You see evidence of this all the time. Her profile reads in a relationship, his says single. She can’t wait to introduce him to all her friends, his friends have never heard her name. He can go months-- even years-- just hanging out, she is asking after a few dates where this is heading. She's trying to have the D.T.R.(define the relationship), and he's having none of it.

I am not stereotypically ‘female’ when it comes to labels and such. I have been known to drag my feet a bit at times but if I had to fall on one side of the fence, I would definitely say that I prefer knowing that we are reading the same page, and that in fact we are turning pages in the same direction, at roughly the same place. I believe it is important for sanity’s sake. But men tend to have a different definition of sanity, one that believes life is easier and more enjoyable when you don’t have to “define” anything. I shake my head in wonder when one of my guy friends laments over receiving the D.T.R., that may come in the form of a face-to-face conversation, phone call, email, or text. Just when things are going perfectly in their mind, she has to screw it up and try and make sense of it all. The audacity!

So in my attempts at understanding the male mind just a little bit better, I want to know what about defining a relationship is so unpleasant. Why do you break out in a cold sweat when the conversation begins with we need to talk…. Is it an all the time occurrence or does it depend on the specific relationship in question? I realize this doesn’t apply to all men and does apply to some women so anyone and everyone is free to add their two cents as we figure out this phenomenon together.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Bumps and Bruises

I’ve experienced pain before. The countless times I sprained my ankle. My hamstring. Of course my knee has given me its fair share of issues. Even my little pinky I broke years ago put a severe hamper on the day-to-day activities. They were all very painful in their own right and a reminder of how we depend on each part of our body to feel healthy and wholesome. Let’s face it; God knew what he was doing. So I know that He is fully aware of how extremely uncomfortable I have been for the last day and a half. If I go to sit down or stand up, you’d swear I was 9 months pregnant and hiding it well. I will more than likely give myself a urinary tract infection if I continue to try and hold off using the bathroom. And trying to get a peaceful night of sleep is nearly impossible. As soon as I made the slightest adjustment I would be reminded immediately that even a centimeter or two could made a difference between comfort and misery. I even had to give up getting the front side of my legs massaged due to my inability to lie on my back without screaming in pain.

Ladies and Gentleman, please do your best to protect your tailbone. Just trust me on this one.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Imitation is the best form of flattery

Meet Bobby.





Bobby is a fellow athlete here at the Olympic Training Center. One of the first things people notice about him is his incredibly intense eyes and the way he looks at you. His eyeballs seem poised to pop out of his head at any moment and he grins as if he's the half brother of the Joker. In a good way of course...it gives him personality and makes him stand out in a crowd. It's not like he's doing it on purpose, but any time you see him you'll wonder if he's got a secret surprise he's wanting to share with you. More often than not, the answer is no. But this took me a while to figure out. I thought there must be a reason for this expression but it's simply the every day Bobby. He does catch a bit of flack for it, but it's all in good fun. So much fun in fact, that last Saturday as a group of us got together at the local dive bar, we took turns doing our best "Bobby" impersonation. The following is what we believe to be our best Bobby look. You be the judge...

1. Becky


2. Justin



3. Brianna


4. Carl


5. Jacob


6. Adam


7. Toby


8. Neely



To the best of my knowledge, Bobby does not read this blog. But if you ever do, please know that imitation is the best form of flattery and even in our best attempts, I'm not sure we did you justice.

Now vote.

Monday, November 10, 2008

A Charitable Donation

Yesterday, as I was driving home from church, I decided to make a pit stop at my favorite hole in the wall Mexican spot that sells the best breakfast burritos this side of the border. I had been craving one since the previous night, but had been too lazy to make the drive at 2 in the morning. This might have been the first time I’ve ever ate a breakfast burrito during normal breakfast hours so I was hoping they were as good as I remembered them to be.

I’ve had this large bill that has been burning a hole in my wallet for a while now and I figured that it was time to break it, since cash really doesn’t create interest sitting in my purse. So I paid for my $4 burrito and as is habit, counted the change when it was handed back to me. However, I think I must be more accustomed to seem like I’m counting money than actually making sure all the money is there. Because I counted it, and while something told me it wasn’t quite right, I stuck it in my wallet anyway. Part of the problem was I wasn’t really sure how much change I was supposed to get; so going through the motions didn’t really do me any good. And with this much change, I perhaps expected it to be counted back to me, but it was not.

So in the seconds that pass, I am thinking to myself that there is probably a discrepancy here, but I am unsure how to handle it. On the one hand I’m thinking I should take my money back out of my wallet, make sure that my kindergarten math skills haven’t failed me and prove that I did in fact get short-changed, and say something to the guy. On the other hand, I really hate to embarrass people and cause a scene. This is probably extremely irrational on my part, as it is my money and all, but I don’t want to tell him he made a mistake or call him out for purposely not giving me my change. And I really think this might be the case the more I think of it, because I did find it odd how he didn’t count my change back to me.

So as to not make the guy feel bad for stealing my money, I kept quiet. Sure, it could have just been an honest mistake, but I think somehow it makes me feel less retarded that I kept my mouth shut if I convince myself that maybe he just needed the couple extra bucks more than I did at that time. Like I did some sort of spontaneous charitable giving without even being asked. Lame, huh? And what is lamer is that I’m still thinking about it. Luckily, the breakfast burrito was thoroughly enjoyable so that partly makes up for it. And to punish myself for being a mute I have decided that I am banned from Starbucks this week to make up for the cash I should have had in my wallet still. Next time I’ll just stick to my debit card.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Possibilities

We all know I’m not seriously dating. In fact, because you all have been such phenomenal confidants over the past year, you probably would be the first to know if someone significant came into my life. I’ve told you about enough of the duds and I’d want you be able to celebrate with me once I meet my prince charming and he sweeps me off my feet; Or at least a good lookin’ frog.

Well last weekend I sent out an invitation to someone I may one day find myself interested in. There are no guarantees but it’s a possibility. And since possibilities are my bread and butter these days, I might as well give them their due. I invited him to church on Sunday. It’s not your normal date spot or the best place to get to know someone, but it can give you far more insight into a person’s character than a movie and dinner ever could.

So we went. And the other day he mentioned something to me that I haven’t been able to quite get out of my head. He told me how much he appreciated that I asked him to go with me, that he enjoyed it, and how it was his favorite time spent with me thus far. I know that really doesn’t say too much about the chemistry that may or may not be there, but I must say that I feel good about the prospect of that possibility.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Yes We Did

I realize that I should’ve posted yesterday, as probably every blogger on the face of this planet probably did. It was a historic moment for everyone and undoubtedly is a defining moment for our country. By the time I got home last night, after driving up to L.A. to vote, waiting anxiously to hear the results and the speeches that followed, and then making it back to San Diego, all I had energy for was to crawl in my bed and give in to the exhaustion. But I fell asleep with a smile on my face and a warm feeling in my heart. I am ecstatic. And while I have felt for a long time that this particular election was special and that I had a more personal investment in the outcome than ever before in my short time as a voting citizen in this country, I didn’t fully realize how emotional I would really feel.

I understand that what happens in our country and the progress we make in the next four years is yet to be seen. Right now I simply content in the hope that I feel and I am proud of this country for electing a man to become president who a little over 40 years ago barely earned the right to vote for that office. That makes me extremely proud of us and how far we have come. Even the millions of people who voted for a different outcome should be able to appreciate that progress and acknowledge the significance it holds for all of us. And now that he is our president and the person the majority of America has decided should be our leader, I would hope that everyone would give the man a chance and be optimistic about our future and try our best to be united as Americans. I mean, if Elisabeth Hasselback can support this man and be proud of what our country has accomplished, surely anyone can! (Oh, and Sherri made me cry)



P.S. I enjoy reading and experiencing what other people are feeling and thinking at this time. I didn't make this blog too long because I felt like it was still hard for me to articulate all that I feel...but I read other people's words and I want to just scream "ditto!" So if you feel like adding your two cents...please do so!

Friday, October 31, 2008

A Message for my Sister...

I know you don't want this on your shoulders. Please vote! :)






P.S. Please feel free to pass this along to anyone who might think it's ok to sit at home on Tuesday!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The dash isn't silent

I applaud uniqueness. In this day and age it’s important to stand out in a crowd, and what better way to do it than a one of a kind name. Just look at our soon to be president—it’s cool to have a name nobody else has. John and Jane have to worry about all the other folks people might be referencing, but when you have a name nobody else has, people will always know it’s you. Of course this can get a bit out of hand. Black people especially are known for always making up names that seem to take it just a bit too far. There is uniqueness…and then there is craziness. And I’m not so sure adding a –nique here, an apostrophe there, or a –qua over there makes it a desirable name. But to each their own, right? White people seem to be jumping on the bandwagon of distinctive names these days as well. And while they don’t seem to come out of nowhere, names like Apple and Shiloh still will cause a few eyebrows to rise. I just feel like there is a difference between words and names. But maybe that’s just me. I understand the need to stand out from a crowd, but let’s please all keep in mind that this moniker will stick with them for the rest of their lives. And do you remember how tough 2nd grade can be? Let’s not give the bullies more ammunition!

The other day however, I heard one that for me took the cake. Supposedly there is a young student residing in the great state of Georgia with the name La-a. My friend asked me how I would pronounce it. I suppose it’s like the name Leah but with an “a” sound instead of an “e”. This is really the only thing that makes plausible sense, right? Wrong. It’s pronounced LaDASHa. As in, the dash isn’t silent. My jaw stood open for a good 15 seconds before I started laughing hysterically. This poor kid. For the rest of her life she will have to explain to each and every person she meets that you pronounce the dash in her name. I’m all for originality but this is downright silliness! I’m wondering if anyone has heard of a name that tops this?

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Black Hair

On Friday my friend Jackie invited me to see an advanced screening of a new documentary done by actor/comedian Chris Rock out in Hollywood. The topic covered was one of extreme importance, as most documentaries are. Not global warming, not healthcare, not the religious extremists, but rather the uber-significant subject of African-American hair. I will say this…the documentary was both hilarious and informative at the same time and so I recommend people go watch it no matter what type of hair you’re working with. I don’t know what it is, but black women seem to have such a deeper relationship with their hair than other ethnicities.

My own hair relationship is a bit of the love/hate variety. I have plenty of friends that like to tell me I am not allowed to complain about my hair. If I call it nappy I am liable to get slapped and if I grumble about a bad hair day some eyes start to roll. But in my reality these types of occurances actually happen. It’s hard to comb, grows like a Chia pet in humid weather, and breaks off all over the place. True, it did take me until a few years ago to figure out what a nappy kitchen was, and I just recently learned how weaves actually operate, but I still like to claim unmanageability when it comes to my tresses. I think my hair truly is a mixture of my heritage—it’s definitely mixed girl hair. That doesn’t make it better or worse than anyone else’s but it does cause some difficulty when I try to treat it as if it belongs only on one side of the fence. It wasn’t a good look when I used to take my brush and simply brush it out and then curl my bangs with a curling iron and spray with a half a can of aqua net. And it certainly wasn’t a good look the first time I tried to use grease the way I saw other black girls doing when they straightened their hair. It was like I shampooed with Crisco and instead of individual strands I had stiff mop on top of my head. Not cute.

These days my hair and I have become better friends. I know better not to try braids ever again, I’ve left relaxers alone after half of my sister’s hair fell out, and I’ve learned that bangs are not for me. My hair is naturally curly and that works well for a low-maintenance person such as myself, but I do straighten in on occasion because once it’s done it’s easy to wear for multiple days. I’m still trying to figure out which look is best for me and if it changes my overall appearance. What’s your opinion? (This will seriously determine the look I go for the next time someone asks me out on a date so please treat this inquiry with the utmost importance--my future may depend on it.)

Curly: (edited to add a picture that didn't look like I needed a deep conditioning treatment immediately)


Straight:

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Bamboozled

I don’t ever stop. Not when they try and squirt a special lotion in my hand, not when they promise me my hair will be straighter and silkier than I’ve ever had it, not when they swear their fragrance will ensure the man of my dreams will fall madly in love with me…whatever it is, I keep it movin’. So why on earth did I stop this time? I knew I had been spotted and I considered for a moment crossing the street so that I wouldn’t even have to pass by and graciously decline whatever product it was she was trying to hustle. But I figured that was doing too much and so I continued on my path. And against my better judgment, I stopped. I suppose it was because she seemed nice and friendly and since I was at an outdoor mall early in the day with really nobody else around maybe I felt badly. Before I knew it the exfoliating salts were in my hands and I was scrubbing and then rinsing and proclaiming that “yes, my hands did feel incredibly soft…oh, and that smell from the shea butter…you’re right—absolutely divine.”

I admit, I was starting to feel a little guilty for even entertaining her this long because I knew as soon as she told me how much this special salt and lotion was, I’d quickly dismiss it all and find an excuse to back away. I mean, soft hands and feet are nice and all but they just aren’t that high on my priority list. But then she brought out this product, this facial peel, made with this super special berry found only in the mountains in the Himalayans, and tested in on the inside of my arm. And I swear to you that I took a shower that morning, but as I rubbed it these little white beady things started appearing. And wouldn’t you know that it was dead skin! And just imagine if that could be removed from my face and cause my pores to breathe, as they should. And not only that, my arm felt incredibly soft and I actually noticed a brighter, glowing color on that arm versus the other. Well, this is what I was told to notice so let’s hope I wasn’t delusional.

Now let’s be honest here. I buy my skincare products based on what’s on sale at the local CVS. I don’t ever do peels and in fact, I have recently started to use pre-moistened wipes to clean my face because it’s quicker and faster than washing the old fashioned way. But all of the sudden I’m realizing that my skin might actually need this…that perhaps I can glow the same way J.Lo does. And so now I’m partly sold. And once she lets me know that the promotion they’re doing to introduce their wonderful product is to offer it free once you purchase the scrubbing salt and lotion, I figured it was too good to pass up.

I was a sucker. And now I’m so pissed at myself because a girl who stuffs her feet in tight shoes and sprints and jumps and then goes in the weight room and calluses up her hands lifting weights, isn’t the gal going home at night to use some fancy exfoliating salt and expensive lotion. And because it cost so darn much, anybody that knows me knows that I will save it, and it will just sit there gathering dust because I deem it too expensive to use as an every day product just because. And they tell me the face peel will last a year because you just use it once a week, but I barely pluck my eyebrows once a week. I suppose this is a good reason to start taking care of my skin and make it fabulous, but I’m simply not happy about it. It was a bad idea and I’ve had buyers remorse ever since. I suppose the only way to make it ok is to convince myself that I started my Christmas shopping early this year. So those of you on my very short list…I hope you are excited about soft hands and feet.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Happy Anniversary!


Ladies and Gentlemen, today marks the 1-year anniversary of this here blog. It all started here. I figured I should make note of that fact because it’s amazing to me that I have come up with stuff to write about for a full year on a fairly consistent basis. I wanted to try blogging so that I could document an immensely important time in my life and share it with friends and family, as well as anybody else who might care. It turned out that more people shared the past 12 months with me than I thought would, and beyond people being interested in my goal, they also seemed interested in me. And because of that interest I felt a responsibility to be as honest and real as possible. I’ve caught some flak for it because I guess there is no way to please everybody but I still think it was a great experience overall. This blog truly helped me through some hard times. When I was stuck in Tucson, removed from my friends and family and dealing with the stress and disappointments of being injured and having surgery, I used this blog to express what I was feeling and to simply try and figure out my emotions by getting them out. And I believed it helped. A lot.

I don’t necessarily know what the next 12 months will bring but I am still writing because I suppose it doesn’t make sense to abruptly stop all of the sudden. Of course my reasons for starting the blog don’t necessarily apply anymore but I am still out here living my life, as fabulous or not as it is, and that is something I can always share as long as it holds some interest for people and continues to be a way for me to express myself. Luckily the title of my blog didn’t limit the scope of what you might find here. There are times I wish I could start all over and blog anonymously because I would be able to share in a different way and be more open but I couldn’t figure out a way to talk about a girl who runs track, lived in Tucson and found it quite boring, poses in bikinis, wanted to make the Olympic team more than anything, talks about her abs a lot, and had an untimely knee surgery. I simply had too many obvious traits that would have given me away unfortunately.

Anyway, I just wanted to make sure I took this opportunity to thank the people that visit. I don’t know what brought you here, how long you’ve been visiting, or why you even care, but I’m glad that you do. In fact, if you wouldn’t mind perhaps you can answer those questions for me in the comments and I can get to know a little bit about you as well. Regardless, I am glad that you are here. Being the narcissistic person that I am, I suppose I wouldn’t like it so much if nobody ever read what I wrote. I guess that’s why I’ve never been good about keeping a journal.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

rock on

It’s easy to stereotype people. You can easily look at someone and assume what types of things they would be interested in, how they spend their free time, and what they might consider “fun”. For instance…the other night the group of people I train with were downtown eating dinner and someone brought up stopping by a local pub to listen to the 80’s cover band they have there every Thursday. Immediately people looked to me. You wouldn’t want to do that, would you?...that’s not really your thing. Immediately people assumed I was not the type of person to listen to a band even though it was something people I am friends with seemed excited about. And to be honest, I guess it really isn’t something I might consider doing for fun. I just didn’t realize that I so obviously looked the part of someone who doesn’t really open themselves up for different types of entertainment. Granted, I am pretty sure I was the only person in the place with heels on (supposedly you can’t rock out properly with cute shoes on), and I noticed very few people with a tan as dark as mine in attendance, but besides that the people seemed pretty normal.

So I went. And before I knew it, there I was singing at the top of my lungs to Bon Jovi, Madonna, Queen, and any other popular band you could think of. Granted, I stayed off to the side and didn’t jump around in front of the band (mostly due to the shoe issue), but I sang loudly to songs I didn’t even think I knew so well, and I did the appropriate hand gesture…you know the one. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to wear old t-shirts and tennis shoes when I go out, but I still can find a way to embrace the lighter side of my heritage. I think some of my friends might be a little surprised by that, but it just goes to show how varied my tastes really are. Sort of.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

A Gamble

It’s been a little longer than usual between blog posts for me and for that I apologize. There are a few reasons for that, the obvious being that my mind has been a bit one-dimensional as of late and since I’ve already wrote one blog post on that I decided to not bore you with another one. Suffice to say I’ve been having serious one on one time with my knee on a continuous basis. I ask it how it’s doing every 2.5 seconds and it responds, oftentimes in ways I wish it wouldn’t. Nevertheless, we have become closer than ever over the last few days and I hope that we have come to understand each other a bit more. I’ve asked it for a bit of a favor. I have come to understand… after talks with multiple doctors… that more extensive surgery is a definite must if I want to avoid arthritis by the time I’m 40. Except in the case of divine intervention (which is a total possibility), this is what I have to look forward to in the very near future. The point which my knee and I have to be in agreement on is how near is near.

The doctor agrees with me that the decision would be much easier if I was 22. At that age I have many years ahead of me and the whole dynamics would be different. But you guys already know my story. I pretty much lost last season and this surgery at this time would mean there is a very good chance I would lose this season as well. We all know I ain’t the spring chicken I used to be! There is a good chance that my best years are ahead of me but there is no telling just how many of those years I have left. I desperately want this season. I feel like I need it more for my head and my heart than I do for careers sake. And all of that plays a part. It’s a surgery that needs to happen and sooner is most definitely better than later, but at this point it’s not absolutely necessary NOW.

So basically it’s a gamble. A gamble that right now I’m leaning towards taking because looking at all factors involved, it’s what I feel most comfortable with. I realize that it can (literally) blow up in my face, but honestly the consequence of that isn’t much worse than what it would be if I did something now. And if I make it through this year I will have surgery right after it’s over, regardless of what the future holds. I plan on being an active senior citizen anyways. But for this year I feel like I belong here and I haven’t lost that feeling. And I could be wrong, or the purpose could be different than what I thought it was, but that’s life.

Just the other night I read a verse in my bible that summed it up for me.
Psalms 62:8 Trust in him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before him: God is a refuge for us. Selah.
And it just put me more at ease. I know God knows my heart and even though that doesn’t mean I’m going to get exactly what I want, when I want it, it does remind me that I need to just trust him. I really didn’t understand why this had to happen now, why I couldn’t catch a break and get a bit of breathing room and it was really getting to me. But I’m just supposed to trust God anyway. And I’m trying. I will continue on with confidence until I’m shown that I’m supposed to do something different. But I’m not going to let it keep me down in the dumps. Right now all I have is a swollen knee that hurts a little bit…life could be worse.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Paranoid

I’ve only been here a week. One week after months of thinking that I wanted not to be an athlete any longer. But now I do. I really, really do. I am head over heels about my coach and my training situation and for the first time in God knows how long I feel like I’ve found the right combination. I didn’t realize I would feel so at ease in such a short amount of time but I totally do. And besides every muscle in my body screaming out in agony and being sore in places I didn’t know could even get sore, everything seems great. Better than great…FABULOUS. Until today.


When I was stretching last night the range of motion seemed a bit off around my knee and when I looked down I could swear that it was a little puffy. But maybe I was just paranoid. An old injury will do that to you. All that time I spent ignoring the red flags and signals that told me something was wrong with my knee taught me to be extra precautious now. I asked one of my training partners this morning if she thought my knee looked swollen before we worked out. Maybe a little, she said. So I went through my workout being totally conscious of whether or not I felt anything. I didn’t. But at the end of practice I still asked my coach…”Do you see anything different between both of my knees? He examined them for a second and said he didn’t really see anything. So I decided it was nothing and proclaimed myself a little anxious about anything and everything having to do with that darn knee. So then I lifted, and finished my work for the day. I hopped out of the shower and looked down at my knee once more and I didn’t need to ask anyone—the darn knee was swollen.

So I went over to see the doctor on-site. He’s not an orthopedic surgeon but he does have a specialty in sports medicine so I brought along my notes and post-op pictures from my surgery last year. I explained what happened then and what was done, how my knee didn’t really hurt now but it was still the same knee that is now swollen for some reason, and asked him his very doctor-ly opinion. And he gave it to me. I didn’t like what I heard. Not one bit. You see, I still have this hole in my cartilage and supposedly this small defect is not holding up well to the rigors of training. It’s not hurting yet, but the swelling is indicative of the fact that it’s not happy in there. I chose Option B when given the opportunity to fix my knee before the Trials because that was the only option that allowed me a chance to be ready on time. And now it seems that I might have chosen wrong. Well, not wrong per say because I would have chosen to have a chance 10 times out of 10. But now he is telling me in his doctor-ly opinion that it looks like I will need Option A after all if I plan on doing what I do for a living. (If interested, google Microfracture). And the healing time is not weeks…it is months. According to him, six of those bad boys.

I don’t know what this means. He’s not a specialist and next week I plan on talking to several of them. I want opinions from the best people I can find and I want them to tell me that the knee will be ok on it’s own. And I know that I shouldn’t be paranoid yet. But I am over here fighting tooth and nail trying to keep my calm and keep the worrying at a minimum. I know there is no use getting worked up for nothing. It’s possible it could be fixed with a bag of ice and a few Advil. Or not. And I am having a hard time getting the or not out of my head. I can’t quite explain the myriad of emotions and thoughts running through my brain and I probably shouldn’t even try because there is no use giving them life prematurely. But I have decided that I want this chance so very badly. It’s taken me a while to come to terms with that and admit that but now I have wholeheartedly accepted it. I want to train hard. I want to get sore and complain about how horrible ice baths are. I want to learn more than I ever have. I want to compete and finally be the athlete I’m supposed to be. So I’m just praying right now that I get that opportunity.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

The X-effect


Lately I’ve been finding myself gravitating towards those of the opposite sex that I’ve had previous relationships with. We aren’t always necessarily reconnecting in a romantic sense, but there is interaction nonetheless. On some level I suppose it’s possible for there to be truly platonic friendships between a man and a woman, but I am highly skeptical if those can occur between two people who have previously been in a relationship. So what’s the point? Shoot, I don’t know. I suppose that’s why I’m rambling about it on here because it’s hard for me to truly discount people who have been a significant part of my life at some time. It’s easy to have selective memory after some time passes and to look at people with a keen remembrance of what made them so fantastic and easily forget all the things that annoyed you to no end. And is it not easier to find comfort in something you already know rather than continually be met with disappointment after disappointment when you wander into the unknown?!

So I’m just wondering…how many people out there find success when they go with what they already know. Do people really fundamentally change (or do you)? I need to know if it is all a waste of time or if you can really find hope in the ashes. I’m all in to being green these days and so maybe this applies to men as well. Recycle – Reduce – Reuse.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Moving Forward

The last few months have been challenging to say the least. I tried my best to stay patient and to not panic, and for the most part I feel as if I succeeded quite well. I felt like I was facing the biggest decision in my life to date and I had zero inclination as to what the right move was. On a daily basis people would ask what I planned on doing, and while they might have thought that my non-committal answers were my way of not really wanting to share my decision quite yet, it was simply because I had no answer to share. None at all. My brain was about as empty as Paris Hilton’s on test day. All I could do was continue to pray that my next step would be presented to me. I knew there was a plan; I just didn’t have any idea as to when I was going to be clued in to what it might be. I just wanted to be open, and ready, and willing. If it was time for me to move on, I was definitely ok with that. In fact I thought that is what it must be because I knew I wasn’t feeling that fire…that passion to train and push yourself to the limit, that desire to continue to give my everything to be the best that I could possibly be. I know that is the only way you continue in this sport because without it you sell yourself entirely too short. Talent is one thing, but it’s not what gets the job done.

So I continued to be patient. Of course that didn’t mean sitting on my butt all day every day twiddling my thumbs and waiting for the answer to appear to me in my oatmeal at breakfast. I was somewhat proactive. I would search job sites, look into going back to school to get my masters so my knowledge would seem relevant, drive around Beverly Hills and try to find a sugar daddy nice young man to marry, check and see if Bill Gates was adopting any full grown children…you know, the usual. But nothing was really catching hold. And then I heard that a coach I had been trying to work with since back in 2004 might be hired down at the Olympic Training Center. In my opinion he’s one of the greatest coaches in the world and from our talks in previous years I know he doesn’t think I’m too shabby myself. So I asked him and found out it was true. But I knew that getting accepted at the Center was a long shot because of my age and my non-performance in 2008. After the less than stellar performance at the Games by Track and Field, the criteria were that much harder to get into the program. But now that I had talked to him I began to feel the fire lighting back up. I didn’t want to train just to train, but if I could train with him at a place where virtually everything is set up for success and we have access to the best of everything, it seemed like to good of an option to not consider. So I applied and despite my best efforts to not get my hopes up I started to picture what a great opportunity this could be and got excited in spite of myself. Luckily my excitement was not in vain.

I got accepted into the program because even at my age, they still see potential and think I’m worth investing in. I can live, eat, and train here and I get the opportunity to train with an amazing group of athletes with the support of a sports medicine team, sports psychologists, strength trainers, nutritionists, bio mechanists, and an amazing coaching staff, just to name a few. It is an amazing opportunity and I intend to make the most of it. I cannot tell you with certainty that this is what I’m supposed to be doing, but I feel like these were the doors that were opened for a reason. In my heart I truly felt like I was done. And that goes beyond the hurt and frustration I felt because of the circumstances of this past year. I honestly felt like it wasn’t there anymore. But today when I arrived down in Chula Vista, I know that I am feeling more enthusiastic and inspired than I have in a long time. I still plan on using my spare time to figure out some other things in my life both for income’s sake and for realizing that my life after track could begin at any time and I need to be prepared for that and start figuring out what that’s going to be. But for right now I’m still an athlete--and a proud one at that.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

missed


Today one of my very best friends, the girl who I have lived under the same roof with for the last few months, the one who has been my #1 road dog for the last 10 years, the person I feel most comfortable sharing anything and everything with, is moving away to Japan. This makes me incredibly sad. It is sad for her sake because she will be in a foreign land where she doesn’t know the language and away from her friends and family for two whole years, but also sad for myself for my own somewhat selfish reasons. I want her here, where she can be just a short drive away and an integral part of my life on a daily basis. I want to be able to get her opinion on what shoes go best with my outfit before I go out on a date. I want us to be able to go shopping and convince each other how that jacket is an essential piece of our wardrobe even after we promised not to buy anything else. I want her to be able to know what I’m thinking before I even say it. I want that friend who never tires of taking pictures of ourselves. I want to be able to see her face when we share gossip because there is nobody on earth who will give you more of a reaction when you are looking for it.


Nikkie has been my friend before she even knew it. Ten years ago when I went on my recruiting visit to the University of Arizona, a school I didn’t even think I had any interest in going to, I was struck by how at home I felt and how I seemed to fit in. And part of that was because of her. Nikkie was one of my hosts and I immediately was drawn to her. I could see myself at that school, as part of that team, and as her friend. I’m sure this is true for all people that meet her because she has this undeniable quality about her that makes you want to be around her, that draws you in and makes you love her. So for the past ten years I have loved her. Through all the escapades in college, through finding ourselves as young women, through transitioning into the next phases of our lives…through everything. If I tried to relive all the memories I have created with her, I could fill volumes.

But perhaps the most telling part of our friendship is how close we are now. Now that she is a wife and mother of two with dinner to prepare, diapers to change, and a house to take care of, and I am…me. Our lives, ones that had at one point been so similar, took two different paths and sometimes it’s not easy maintaining friendships when the roads you are on no longer mirror each other. But ours has maintained and flourished. And I also grew to love her family. Her husband isn’t just my friend’s husband, he is my friend. And her kids? I honestly didn’t think I had it in me. Usually I tolerate kids from a distance but I’ve grown to adore hers. I am legitimately sad that they won’t be around to show me things, to wear my heels, and to steal my phone.



I wrote this post because I am not good at goodbyes in person. Last night when I should have told her how grateful I am and how much I’m going to miss her and how much her friendship means to me, I could only manage to mumble a few incoherent words before the lump in my throat prevented me from saying anything else. And perhaps that sounds a little drastic because I know she will be back in a few years (hopefully to the west coast), but it’s hard not to feel like I’m losing a little piece of myself. So even though you are probably 30,000 feet in the air right now, trying to avoid the stares of people who have no idea what it is like to travel with two small children, I wanted to express how much you mean to me. You make me want to be a better friend and you’ve shown me how to one day be an excellent wife and mother. Thank you for being you, for opening up your heart and your home, and for always leading by example. Japan will be great for you because I know you always make the best out of any situation. They are lucky to have you.



P.S. Nikkie just started her own blog to document her time spent in Japan and what's going on with her family, so if you are one of my friends who knows her, or you can just tell how fabulous she is by how I spoke of her, check it out HERE. Leave her a comment or two...that kind of stuff makes her happy. :)

Monday, September 29, 2008

Picture of the Week: Road Trip!

This weekend, I hopped into the convertible with my BFF and made my way down to Phoenix Arizona, for some quality friend time and to go see the Alicia Keys concert. I realize that there are some of you who are quite tired of me living the socialite life, albeit the poor man’s version, but I still choose to share it because I feel incredibly blessed to be able to do exciting things and have the opportunity to spend time with the people I love. I do promise though that my life will soon be exhibiting a bit more structure and I will be back to routines and responsibilities in no time. But in the meantime, I will enjoy my youth and the fact that I have just myself to please.

Bianca and I heading out onto the open highway.



Bianca showing off all her hard work after an afteroon at the mall in Scottsdale.



Us at the concert...of course since we took it ourselves you can't even tell that we are at a concert, nor can you see the fabulous outfits we had on. Oh well.



The amazing Ms. Keys doing her thing. It really was a great concert and we had fabulous seats so that made it even better!




I know this picture is hard to see, but Alicia sang a duet with one of her backup singers and I have developed the biggest crush on him. I don't know if he's single or if he's straight, but Jermaine, if you are out there....call me.

Friday, September 26, 2008

More Brain

This post is going to be fairly short, due to the fact that this is not in any way a political blog nor am I adept at talking politics in a manner in which I feel thoroughly confident outside of passionate discussions with my closest friends or harassing my mother. All I know is that I’m excited. So excited that I read articles every day, I look at various clips and videos that get passed along to me, I watch the news channels—even Fox when I feel like I need a bit of a jolt, and I just finished the following book…



I just wish everyone would read it. Of course if you already love the guy then it probably just reaffirms what you already feel. But if you’re undecided it gives insight outside of the craziness going on right now and all the spin etc., and if you are not an Obama supporter, then perhaps you just read it in the event that he is your president for the next four years and you don’t know as much about him as you’d like to. Because I read his first book and liked it, but I read this book and loved him. And not because I agree with everything he says; I don’t. I think that I am fairly conservative even though my political views are more liberal than my personal ones. But I just got so much out of this book and I feel that so many others would as well, regardless of party affiliation.

About a week or so ago I was reading this book flying home from Mexico and the flight attendant saw it and said in broken English, “I like”, while pointing at the cover. And I nodded my head and agreed with him and told him that I liked him as well. And then he said, “He has, how do you say,… more brain."

I couldn’t agree more.