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


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


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


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.)


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.