Friday, March 30, 2012

10 years to the day

Its my niece’s 10th birthday today. She’s 10! This is crazy. What’s crazier is by next year, I’ll have a teenage niece! I’m sure my brother finds that crazier than I do…being that she’s his kid.

Don’t you remember when you hit double digits? It was the best feeling ever. 10 is such a big deal!

I remember this itty bitty baby.
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..and then an adoring big sister.
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This little girl is all girl, full of smiles.
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..and charm.
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She is so fun and silly to be around.
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A long time had gone by since we last saw each other, I admit I was nervous she wouldn’t quite remember me like I wanted. I heard she was upstairs in my other niece’s room and nervously climbed the stairs. The moment I open the bedroom door, she sees me and exclaims “Auntie” and runs, giving me the biggest hug there is.

At that moment, my heart literally melted, my fears were gone. She remembers me just as I hoped.
I can’t say I’m amazed she’s turned into a beautiful growing fast-not so little-girl.
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But she still keeps her silliness, which I love about her.em36

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Happy 10th birthday, sweet niece.

And happy weekend to you lovelies!

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Thursday, March 29, 2012

You’re in for a treat

It’s a vlog! Could you have asked for anything better on this Thursday? I didn’t think so.

A few things; Its my first…so be gentle. I say ‘stupid’ a few times..and ‘and then’ no and then... and I giggle at my own answers. Its just how I roll.



Picture of the feet…as I mentioned. Red from them heating up.
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My favorite verses:

1 Peter 5:8-11
Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.
But resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the world.
After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you.
To Him be dominion forever and ever. Amen.

Thanks again everyone for the questions. If you want to ship me Dunkin’…remember, I’m happy to give my address.
#justsayin
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Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Rise to the challenge

An idea has been forming over here. Not an original idea since I’ve seen it all around the internet, this blog does it ever other week, but one I want to participate in and encourage others to do.

Self portraits

What I want to do is to get us women more in front of the camera. By a silent raise of hands, how many of you new and not so new moms are ever in front of the camera?? How many of you are actually in the pictures with your kids…or your husband??

Or even just have that solo shot of yourself?

I can hear the majority of you now…I’m just not comfortable in front of the camera, I don’t think I look good, I’m not where I want to be body wise and having a camera pick up on that…bleh, no one is there to take the picture for me, and blah blah blah blah blah.

Yeah, I get it. But remember this…your kids will look back at all those pictures and think, ‘how come mom was never in these?’ ‘I don’t have any pictures of me and mom.’ {trust me, I say this now and its sad as the kid.} …sorry mom.

I’m singling out you moms but its for you single gals as well. Get in front of that camera! Pass it off to a friend, your man, or a stranger to get you in that picture. Its going to be OKAY that you won’t look 100% perfect all the time. Life isn’t 100% perfect so why should you think you need to look that way in the picture??

What am I proposing? I want to do a one time link up of us and our self portraits.

The rules are:
- You  must take the pictures yourself, whether its by timer, remote or arm stretched out (but only if you have mad arm stretching skills).
- No cell phone pictures

- Any poses or expressions you’d like (in the PG range). If you can pull off the pouty look, more power to you! (I always end up looking like an open mouthed mad woman)
- Any setting. Home, field, lake, building, by trees, holding a kid, with flowers, pretty much anywhere
EXCEPT BATHROOMS. –let’s be real.
- No nudity –again, let’s be real.
- have fun with it.
- embrace how you look right now

This is open to everyone, even those who don’t have blogs can participate. All you’ll need to do is email me your best (to you) picture by the date given below and I’ll include it in my own post.

No more eye rolling…are you with me??! It can be a lot of fun if you let it. And just think, you’ll finally have that picture of yourself that you’ve secretly been wanting but too embarrassed to admit.

In case you’re wondering, I’m already planning mine in a room that gets great light. I’m a generally shy person, so the thought of doing it in public scares me a bit. So no need to feel intimidated with this, stay indoors if that’s where you’ll be most comfortable.

The link up will be on April 11th. That gives you 2 weeks to take those pictures and create your post of your favorites. I really really hope you’ll join me, let me know in the comments. Just the thought of seeing your beautiful faces is getting me all excited!!

And remember, you aren’t the only one that feels they’re awkward in front of the camera…
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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

B-I-D

At 21 I was living in Los Angeles, working 2 jobs. One of those jobs happened to be at California Pizza Kitchen as a hostess. It was a job that allowed me to eat for free each shift. This was essential since I was very poor, unable to really buy groceries for myself. To say I took advantage of each shift’s meal is an understatement.

Full salads, full pizzas always finished off with a dessert. I ate every single bite in front of me. For 8 months of shifts, I ate every bite.

My other job supplied the sweets. Patients would bring cookies and chocolates as thank you and I would take my fair share. Eating chocolate every single day for a month straight. I craved it, had to have it!

And it all quickly began to show. 15lbs were gained. I weighed the most I’d ever weighed. Nothing fit as good; I felt gross, but I couldn’t stop. I craved it all, losing my sense of portion control.
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I was under a lot of stress in LA. Which attributed to my eating. I could barely pay rent, my first roommate was a chain smoker with a cat that threw up all the time-everywhere and after I moved, my living situation only got worse with my new roommates stealing my things. I couldn’t take it anymore and moved away.

I relocated to Pismo Beach with my uncle. My uncle, who was seeing a former body builder turned gym owner. After committing to working out 5 days a week and going on a drastic 40-30-30 plan (fats-carbs-protein), the weight was gone. People were commenting on how ‘ripped’ I was, but I never really believed it.
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I’d get measured regularly to see if I was losing anymore in my thighs or waist, because I believed I still had a way to go. For a year straight I worked out 5 days a week and probably in some of the best shape I’d been in but I never felt good about myself. Feeling my thighs and calves were never ‘toned enough.’ Never feeling I could wear shorts because of all that ‘jiggle’.

My uncle’s girlfriend said I had BID – Body Image Disorder. What I see isn’t what others see. (obviously) I’m getting told I look one way, yet all I see is this slob who needs to lose the chub in the hips and thighs. It’s a crazy way to think and over the years I’ve worked very hard on not viewing myself that way, but fall back to it sometimes.

What helps in those moments, is remembering what my mom said years ago, that if she looked as good as me {and my sister in law that was there} at our ages, she’d be in shorts every day. And the worse regret is looking back at those years you thought you were chunky or heavy and seeing that you weren’t. All those years wasted on not enjoying how you looked then.

I’ve been wearing shorts for the past 2 1/2 years. I fight the way I think my legs look in them, but I’m enjoying how I look now. I’m very critical of myself, but I want to look back 10-20-30 years from now and be content and not regretful at how I viewed my body and lived my life.

I want you to keep this in mind for yourself, if you struggle with this, tomorrow. I’m doing a little something that I’m really excited about that I hope you’ll join me in, fears and all.

Its time we believe the compliments we’re given.

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Monday, March 26, 2012

A thankful me - 12

Hi Ho everyone! Sure hope you had a great weekend. I woke up to the sound of rain Sunday. Best sound to wake up to, in my opinion. If it wouldn’t bring the cold, I would love it that much more.

Thanks for putting up with my craziness on Friday. I shouldn’t write posts after 10:30 with a horrible sweet tooth. Never ends well.

This week, I’m thankful for:
- my Dyson vacuum. Not to mention all my quality things that I bought when I was making the money, that have lasted for years. It pays to spend the extra money for quality than continuously paying for cheap repeatedly.
- the sound of wind chimes. I love the soft sound they make in the wind, so soothing.
- the generosity of friends. I’m thankful x10 for them.
- impromptu skype dates with my love. Believe it or not, we hadn’t ‘seen’ each other since I got home from Hawaii in February. Might have attributed to my moods lately.
- God always showing me that He’s there. I worry…and I always ask myself, why? He’s got it.
- the verse that is currently written on my whiteboard on my fridge.
Psalm 73:26
My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.

I happened to stroll through Pier One the other day and came across this atrocity. My thought is, really!?? Who thinks of this as a salt and pepper shaker? Although, I could see this as a perfect gag gift going back and forth between 2 people.
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This is a map of all the states I’ve been in. I thought it fun way to see just exactly where I’ve been in color. I hope to one day have a world map that I can pin each location I’ve been. That’s my dream, any way.
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I obviously need to make a trip up north… Go here if you’re interested in seeing yours, click the states>make it ‘large’>view map>right click and save. Easy peasy!

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Friday, March 23, 2012

Sugar with a side of salt

There are some things I’ve been craving, craving real bad.
- Oreos
- Quesadillas
- Ice cream
- Chocolate
- BLT’s
- Cheese
- Chocolate

I’ve ran out of chocolate…hence the reason its on their twice.
Oh shoot, I’m also craving peanut butter AND chocolate chip cookies…

Huge theme is evident. sugar sugar sugar with a side of salt.

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I’m getting some good questions from yesterday’s post. Some are having me really think and some are asking that 1 question that I never like to answer but darn if you asked it! ;) Feel free to keep asking away, I like a good challenge!

You guys have been pretty good to me this week, I have to say. Feeling completely undeserving of your sweet words and quick defense on Wednesday's post and praying for baby E. Thank you guys, its crazy how much ya’ll bring me happiness.

This is the menu from the fundraiser I shot. It was amazing food. Authentic Filipino food. Oh my goodness, I’m also craving this. I ate my leftovers entirely too quickly.
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Since we’ve established my crazy cravings and the fact that this is a truly random post, let me end it with telling you I saw a Hells Angels rider on the freeway yesterday. My first.. it was weird and surprising all at the same time.

Have a Hells Angels free…or any gang for that matter weekend.

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Thursday, March 22, 2012

You might have a question

I’ve been thinking about it lately and wonder if I opened it up for you to ask me questions, if well…you’d have any questions.

I’ve gotten a couple about prison already from last week’s post, so I wanted to let you ask any other questions that have been burning inside you about me. They can be about my old job (prison), me and G-man (respectfully, of course), me in general and just about anything else you can think of… ie. traveling, places I’ve been, family, blogging, life, retiring at a young age and the reactions I get, my love of coffee…
oooor….about the many times I’ve been pepper sprayed…
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or the moment I realized I will in fact never be a model…especially when I strike these types of poses…
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I think you get the idea now.

I know I have a lot of new followers buddies, so I’d love to get to know you more and me you…or you me (that sounds better).

As a possible enticement…or a way to make you run the other way, I’m actually considering doing a vlog about it, which scares me. My voice…its just not something I like to hear, but if I get enough goodies from you, I probably will bite the bullet and do it!

It would be my first ever!

The comments won’t be visible, so feel free to write your heart’s desire. Only these bad boys {pointing at my eyes…obviously} will see them.

I can’t wait to read your questions!!

**update: I turned the comments off, so if you still have questions you can email them to me
amazinggrape81{at}gmail{dot}com
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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The art of thick skin

What would you do if a complete stranger came up to you and said: ‘I was told there would be a photographer shooting this event {looks at you pointedly} but then I saw your camera.’

followed by

’I brought my camera and lenses if you want to use my stuff instead.’

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It happened to me over the weekend. I was taken aback by it to say the least. Since I was caught off guard, I agreed to look at her equipment. She happily showed me her telephoto lens, that I quickly gave back to her, her external flash, that I declared I didn’t know how to use and wasn’t going to ‘practice on’ that night and her other zoom lens that I said I’d check out.

She continued to tell me that I needed to use my built in flash in the low lit room and proceeds to take a picture with her camera w/flash to prove her point. Showing me the LCD screen, saying ‘see? this is how your pictures need to look.’

I took a picture with my camera, explaining I changed the white balance, lowered the aperture and fixed my ISO and showed her my LCD and said, ‘this is what my pictures look like.’

She then informed me she doesn’t know anything about that, and shoots from auto the entire time, where I let her know I shoot in manual.

At that moment, she turned around back to her bag of equipment and insisted I use her camera body, a Canon 30D. I said I wasn’t familiar with 30D’s and was content with my own Rebel, but she persisted over and over again. I again stated our cameras were different and I knew mine, so I preferred to continue using mine, but she kept pushing saying they had ‘all the same features’ and showed them to me.

I politely declined for the last time. But it seemed like what may have started out as kindness to her, became a ‘my equipment is better than yours’ game…that she clearly won.

After taking 5 pictures with her lens, I quickly took it off and put my simple (to others) 50mm 1.8 lens back on and went back to work.

I thought I was in the clear after crossing the room, but was approached 20 minutes later by a man with a very fancy camera and external flash, who began questioning my photography abilities and choice..or lack of equipment.

I was starting to feel defeated at this point. I realize I have an older model Canon, and I realize I don’t have an external flash for low lit rooms or a fancy zoom lens that looks more professional than my small 50 I had to use, does, but to have people…strangers! pointing it out is a whole other thing.

He turned out to be a very sweet man, who ended up knowing half of what I know in terms of photography and who in the end, paid me a compliment, but it was a rough start.

What made it all okay, was after both encounters; approaching my friend, who asked me to shoot in the first place; and her saying she trusted my abilities. That’s all I needed to keep going.

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There will always be someone who has better equipment than you, who will be better at something you think you’re good at doing, but someone will always have more and be better than them. Trust in what you can do. Don’t let someone make you think what you have isn’t enough to be good…to be great. It might turn out you know more with less.

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Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Prayers for baby E

Remember this cute little guy I did a shoot with a few months back?

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He’s in the children’s hospital with Botulism right now and could really use your prayers. I’ve had one other friend’s baby go through this and I know the tough road they face, especially with 3 other kids at home, so the more prayers and support the better.

Thank you sweet friends!!

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Monday, March 19, 2012

A thankful me - 11

Well if it isn’t Monday again. I realized just yesterday, that Monday was coming, but just a week’s later Monday. Does that make sense? Last week was a very very long week. Like 2 weeks in 1 week long, long.

The beautifully warm weather we were having went quickly away over the weekend and in it’s place was rain, hail, lots of wind and a chill in the air. I jumped the gun and turned the heater off, only to be forced to turn it back on when I saw it was 57 degrees in my apartment. Just a little bit too cold for me. I can normally handle 62 okay, but 57 was more than I could bare.

This week, I’m thankful for:

- talks with my Mom. There really is nothing better than being able to open up, share my ‘stuff’ and feel worlds better because its Mom.

- a friend who trusts me and my abilities. {I may do a post on this, still debating}

- sweet and encouraging friends who are there to lift my spirits with scripture.

- working out 3 days last week. I’m getting back on track and it feels so good.

- God’s continued healing over my sister and dad.

- a successful fundraiser.
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- copious amounts of leftover food from the event in my fridge.

I’m curious how this week will fair. As always, I hope its better than the one before. Why not? It can only get better, can’t it? God’s been closing some doors lately, so I’m just a wee bit eager to see which one will open…and stay open.

Tell me all about your weekends. How did you celebrate St. Patty’s Day?

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Friday, March 16, 2012

Blossoms galore

I’m feeling very flower child today. I’m sitting here in my extra hot pink oversized shirt from Tokyo that G-man got me years ago (that to this day I don’t know what he was thinking. hot pink and 2 sizes too big..we had just started dating, so I gave him a pass) and felt like brightening the day with pink blossoms.

If you remember a couple weeks ago, I gave you a peak at the blossoms. Its actually one of my favorite pictures at the moment, I’m a little obsessed actually. I look at it daily, if I’m honest.
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Since I have more, I wanted to share pretty with you this Friday.
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Most of the trees aren’t in bloom anymore. They’re turning green, ready to produce its nuts (I think its almonds or walnuts), so its nice to know that I finally caught a season of blooms. I’ve always been gone or incredibly busy the previous years.
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Spring is definitely in the air. I love it…minus the horrible allergies I get from it. But I think it a little sacrifice to be able to witness this beauty. It never ceases to leave me in awe every time I drive past an orchard.

Flower power, my friends…flower power.

translation: have a great weekend.

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Thursday, March 15, 2012

My clean record

I have to acknowledge all of your fantastic comments yesterday. I loved every single one of them. You ladies are incredibly insightful; so thank you for giving me your opinions on that subject!

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They say when you’re working in a prison that its not a matter of if you’ll get assaulted but when.
Also that at some point, you will witness someone being killed or find a dead body.

I’m happy to say in my 6 years, I never was assaulted and I never saw a dead body. But that doesn’t mean that I didn’t come close to either.

I was technically assaulted. An inmate did hit me. Hit me so hard in fact, I flew a good 10ft, ending with a concussion, whiplash and a permanent partial disability, not to mention a new form of migraine.

However, it was an accident. I knew it. He knew it. The 15 Officers in the building that witnessed it knew it. So after he apologized a good 100 times and made sure I wasn’t going to say he did it intentional, he was clear to keep working, while I got checked out by medical.

There were other occasions for me to get assaulted. I’m thankful I never had a hit out on me. Or if I did, I never knew. I did have my co worker protecting me after all, but I’m fairly certain I didn’t. Though, I put myself in enough positions to have it happen. You’d be amazed at how many inmates hate having a young white female tell them what to do.

And how the young white female hated when they didn’t do something she said.
graduation day. I was such a young {and fresh looking} pup
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can we all pause and acknowledge what 2 years did to my face?!! Prison will take it out of you, I’m tellin’ ya! any way…

I remember the first time I ever witnessed a fist fight. It was far away from where I was but I could tell they were about to fight. It was weird…and then they did.

But I came thisclose to having one die on my watch. I was meant to work my building one night, but got someone to work it for me instead. I hated that building, so any way to get out of it, I was all for doing.

There were 3 inmates doing drugs and one began to overdose. Since it was in the middle of the night, they thought the guy could possibly ‘walk it off’ and not tell anyone, including the Officer that was working for me that night. But when they noticed that he was only getting worse they thought the next best thing to getting medical attention {because after all that would just get them in trouble for doing drugs…} was to inject instant coffee into his vein.

should I pause so that’ll sink in…? Nah, I’ll keep going.

Wouldn’t you know, that killed him instantly. {you really should be careful with that instant coffee…}

Again, since they didn’t want to get caught, they put his blanket over him as if he were sleeping, got in their beds and went nighty night.

The poor Officer had to stay for hours to do a death report which is..well, a killer to do. {hardy har}, not to mention going under investigation for the death, until it was cleared and it was a big huge headache, that left everyone leery to work for me since ‘inmates die on her watch’.

Thanks to him, that kept my record quite clear. Morbidly, I’ve viewed several murders and murder scenes. Gruesome stuff that I’ve kept on my thumb drive that I really don’t know what to do with, since I can’t quite bring myself to watch them anymore. ..being all girly now and all.

Yet, I’m thankful I was spared. I was spared of so many situations that I truly would and even still do thank God for. I’m pretty sure He knew I could only have so many things give me nightmares.

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Wednesday, March 14, 2012

God on a timeline

Let me ask you a question. Have you ever given God a timeline on something? Or know someone who has?

Saying, ‘God, all this is going on and I’m ready for it to be done. By September I want this and that to happen. I believe its time.’ …or any other way you’d make it known..but expect to have it happen.
via design sponge

I heard a woman say at her bridal shower awhile back that she told God she wanted to be engaged by such and such month and married X amount of months later…and it all happened. She was engaged and bam! married within her timeline.

I remember sitting there pondering the idea. Could I really lay it all out for God, like I’m in charge and know what the heck I’m doing? Maybe I’m naïve to it, maybe I’m looking too deeply or think so little of my relationship with Him, that I would think I’m not qualified to ask, demand, lay it out for Him to get it done when I want it done.

There’s no need to beat around the bush with Him. He already knows every thought, decision, action I’m going to do, so why couldn’t I be blunt with Him like that?? Is it that I have to state with 100% confidence, my demand? That if I have even an ounce of doubt or uncertainty or fear about it happening how I want, when I want, that it won’t come about?

This has been swirling around me lately. Timelines in general. What is an appropriate timeline for something?

My friend recently told me if her boyfriend didn’t propose by the end of the year, she would break up with him. {Now, whether or not she really would is uncertain, but I think she was convincing herself she needed to do it.}

Of course, a few weeks after this declaration, he proposes and they’re now planning their wedding for this year.

My thought… **sigh** I have so many thoughts, but I’ll keep them tucked away for the time being.

Meanwhile, I’d really like to hear yours.

Do you believe you can give God a timeline on something you want? and I’m not just referring to marriage…these 2 just happened to be about it. it could be a timeline on getting healed from an illness, getting a job, or getting pregnant, whatever you’re wanting needing…

Do you know of someone who’s told God what they want? Did it work for them?

Are you comfortable with being blunt with God?

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Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Buts, tries and don’ts

Did you pick up on my little play there? Butt, tris and delts? I’m hilarious.

Anyhoo… I used to work for this leadership company that was very very big on not saying “but” “try” and anything with a “not” in it; don’t, can’t, won’t, shouldn’t…you get the gist.

To try just means you won’t do it. will you call me later? yeah, I’ll try to give you a ring. well, we all know it won’t happen. Its either, yes I’ll do it. Or no. Stop trying and just do.

Having a ‘but’ in a sentence completely takes away from your previous line. I love you, but… I wanted to hangout, but… I “tried” to call you, but…  So basically, that but is telling you that what was said before it, wasn’t really true. (maybe in some cases.)
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They did 2 1/2 day “retreats” where a group of grown adults from all over the country, were whisked off into the middle of the Nevada desert, away from all normal distractions to fully focus on the class.

The 1st class was the toughest. They screamed and yelled like drill sergeants. Wouldn’t crack a smile no matter what was done. Putting everyone in uncomfortable circumstances to essentially break them. Some would walk out and demand a drive home, but most stayed till the end, getting past the uncomfortable situations we were constantly put in.

As freaky as it sounds, I learned and grew a lot that weekend. They instructed us not to make any life changing decisions for 2 1/2 weeks after because everyone’s thoughts and ideas were always abuzz. That’s where I broke a 2 inch thick board in half with my hand. Yessir’ee I did.

The 2nd class was a lot more relaxed and the most fun. It was more about trust and self awareness and not giving into fear. Fear can consume us in our personal and professional life and they took us through ways to combat that.
me at 20…
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That’s where you might hear me say, ‘come down here. its safe down here’ and not have anyone but one person get the saying. Its where I had the ability to walk on a hot bed of coals, and be told I’m the slowest person they’d ever seen walk on it; and not feel an ounce of pain.

The mind is amazing to control.

Then the 3rd class was all about communication. Each class is an entire weekend long. They were done over a couple months time, but the last one was the worst for me. Communication. There’s so many ways to communicate. With the body only, in a made up language, with a look. All these different ways were explored and taught to help where you might lack. Finding that rapport with a person. Only, I was paired with a guy who creeped me out and later turned a bit stalker on me.

But this class is where I bent rebar with my hands. Where I learned how to get someone to trust me in a conversation with just my body language and where its possible saying “not” can keep someone from doing something you want them to do.

There’s a reason why I say to people, ‘take this the right way’ vs ‘don’t take this the wrong way.’ Which way are you more apt to follow? Generally, the moment I say ‘the right way’ they’ll chuckle, but I have their full attention. Say it the ‘wrong way’ and they’ll be more likely to…take it the wrong way.

I can get deeper in this if anyone’s interested, unless I’ve completely bored you. Cause that is possible. It was an interesting company, cooky but interesting. I learned a whole heck of a lot that I still apply today, 10 years later, believe it or not.

Do this for me. A little experiment if you will. The next time someone’s talking to you face to face, watch their body language. If they’re sitting forward with their elbows on their knees, mimic them. If they lean back and cross their arms, give it a minute and do the same. Subtly copy the position they’re in and see what they do. If they relax, appear more comfortable or talk to you more. BUT make sure they aren’t aware of what you’re doing.

..and let me know what happens. :)

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Monday, March 12, 2012

A thankful me - 10

The reset button has been hit for the week. A new week brings new possibilities, new attitudes, new outlooks. And maybe even new opportunities. Who knows. We can all hope, though.

My weekend was subtle, quiet and done mostly alone. But I needed it. That sounds deep, dark and mysterious, but do you ever have those days where speaking is physically difficult? Where you don’t even want to move your mouth or hear your own words; you just want quiet? Silence?

That’s been me lately. Its been difficult to talk to others because I haven’t wanted to talk. For no other reason (please everyone near me, don’t worry) than just not wanting to utter a word. Its hard to explain but today’s Monday and I’m ready for it to change.

I’m thankful for:
- not being paralyzed. Its true. I woke up one morning, put both feet on the ground to walk to my blaring alarm clock and sunk straight down. Both legs had no feeling. I had to drag my body to my alarm, reach to turn it off and drag myself back to bed to wait for them to come back. Its happened only 1 other time, 6 years ago. They don’t tingle, they don’t burn from that ‘sleep’ feeling they just slowly become mobile again.
- the extra hour’s sleep I got as I waited for my legs to come back to me…that came back within minutes.
- understanding friends. Sometimes I’m amazed I have any.
- encouraging words.
- resisting the 2 different kinds of cheese dips at a party I went to Saturday. To say it was difficult was an understatement. She had the multi colored chips too. I love those chips!!
- the pickles I ate instead.
- God’s strength.

Yesterday, I was going through old pictures, deleting the superfluous buns ones (name that movie) and came across this picture.
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When I took it I knew I wanted to work on it, but wasn’t skilled with editing yet, and kept it. I played around with it and wanted to get your opinion.

Would you yay or nay this? Either way is ok with me. Just curious.

I’m putting it out there for accountability. My broodiness is coming to an end, beginning today.
-what? you were broody??
- to the 10th power.

Its just sucking me dry. I’m going to get back into my regular workouts that I’ve taken 2 1/2 weeks off from and seek out a little bit of happiness daily. You have my full permission to smack me if I fall off track.

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Friday, March 9, 2012

Fabulous Friday?

Did your week turn out as good as we set out for them to be?

Mine completely wore me out, to be totally honest. I have few words in my head right now, so I’ll say thank you for your great response to yesterday’s post. I think we all could use a bit of pause in our lives for the good and bad judgment.

I’m feeling a little flashbacky, so enjoy my random trip pictures this Friday.

it was just a little bit windy.
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In San Francisco over Christmas. Blurry, but I still like it. The love took it.
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Have a superb weekend everyone. Enjoy one another’s company and give your loved one that extra squeeze.

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Thursday, March 8, 2012

I judge you

I think just about everyone would say they’re a good judge of characters, (whether they really are or not). Who wants to say they’re horrible at it, and risk the chance of someone taking advantage of that?!

Well, I guess me, cause I’m not that great at it. I think I am. Or used to be…maybe once upon a time, but I feel like I’ve lost the ability to properly and accurately judge a person.

There’s the obvious ones, of course. I can spot a child molester easily. {creepy, right?} But of course, that isn’t a normal type of judging given the fact I’m rarely at parks or near kids. But rest assured, if I’m hanging out with you and your kids, I’ll be on full alert.

I used to be bold with my judging. I remember walking into Longs to grab milk. I was still partially in my uniform since I just got off of work, so I was a target to everyone, but I powered through the doors, keeping my sunglasses on (because I believed keeping them on made me even “tougher”) and this semi rough looking man was staring me down. As I walked toward him-past him to grab the milk-and past him again. I watched him through my glasses following my every step. Finally I couldn’t take it anymore…(because I was “tough”) and whipped around and said, “What?!”

{let me just say, “work Emily” was so bold. Especially when she just got off of work since she was still coming down from being around inmates}

::and yes, I just referred to myself in the third person::
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That’s not me anymore. I’ve judged people so easily off of how they look or how they “read” only to find out I was all wrong. They turned out nicer than I perceived or ended up being a horrible person inside when I thought they were kind.

I’ve been burned countless times for believing someone is kind hearted. Shared things, opened up only to have me search every inch of my brain, hoping to remember all that I said so they won’t use it against me later, but always forgetting that one piece of information they’re waiting to play.

It’s left me guarded. Unwilling to share myself with others because I can never be too sure if I’m reading them all wrong, regretting opening up. My discerning button is broken and I’m not sure how to fix it.

I’m sure I’ve been judged because of it but that’s a given. I’m easily seen as a snob by most girls. Believe it or not, I’m really quiet. I keep to myself (which isn’t new) and apparently if I’m not smiling, or rather, if I have my ‘normal’ every day expression on, I look like I’m mad and unapproachable. I can’t tell you how many countless times I’ve been told that…or that they thought I was stuck up.

Its so funny how we judge each other. Whether wrongly or accurately, its done. Whether its before the person even utters a word or after they’ve uttered 10,000 words, we do it. We’re constantly evolving our judgment of each other. Which, I don’t think is a bad thing. Reevaluating a person’s character is needed at times, if not your own.

But maybe holding off on that initial judge until you truly get to know the person, is wise.

I know I could pause on occasion.

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Wednesday, March 7, 2012

3rd and final round of pictures and a request

I’m rounding out the February photo challenge today. Showing my final pictures of the last 9 days. If you missed it, which how dare you… then  you can catch up with the first round and second round while we wait.

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Day 21: Fave photo – I didn’t have a favorite since I was traveling that whole day, but my friend took this of me and her daughter (who, she prefers not to show her face) on her front porch.
Day 22: Where you work – at this moment, I work from my dining table. And truth be told, it isn’t that clean anymore.
Day 23: Your shoes – I love my moccasins. I live in them, literally. Even right now, I’m at the table, with them on. They’re the most comfortable shoes ever.

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Day 24: Bathroom cabinet – I use maybe 10% of what’s in there and what I do use is all up front. I should consider getting rid of the things in the back, but I find I’ll probably need them soon enough. Isn’t that always the case?
Day 25: Green – a picture I was editing for someone who is actually buying them. Very excited to  know they’ll be displayed in someone’s home.
Day 26: Night – what’s the best way to fix a cold night? With fire and soup of course, and a big thick blanket to boot.

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Day 27: Something you ate – sorry if this looks gross. It now looks gross to me, but its eggs and toast. Nothing fancy, just breakfast one morning.
Day 28: Money – I got this dollar ring when I turned 16 from a customer at the café I used to work. He was a biker riding through our town and when he learned it was my 16th birthday, he fashioned this for me. I’ve had it for almost 15 years and never plan to use it. I always wished I could make these w/the 1 showing.
Day 29:  I’m listening to – Michael Jackson’s “hold my hand”. G-man plays this song regularly for me and every time I hear it now, I think of him.

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In other news, I’m helping gather donations for a live/silent auction for a non profit organization, Rick Alonzo Ministries and wanted to see if there’s any handmade businesses or business owners who would want to donate something toward the fundraiser.

Not only are they raising money for his daily ministries to help the youth and high school kids, but also to fund a South African missions trip later this year to help and spread the gospel.

If you’d like to donate anything, please let me know. You’ll receive a contribution receipt for your donation.

Happy Hump Day!!

{{update: to clarify, I’m not going on the mission trip to South Africa, but rather Rick Alonzo is. I’m only helping gather donations for the auction to raise money for him going.}}

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Tuesday, March 6, 2012

My fox lent

Tell me I’m not the only one who says fox instead of faux, for fun?

I don’t do lent. Never have, and honestly, I probably never will. A lot of people do, for all different reasons, but its just not for me.

With that said, I realized there’s been something I’ve stopped eating. Something that I love. If you know me, you already know what it is because I’ve declared my love for it over and over again. I would eat it every single day, sometimes twice..sometimes three times a day, that’s how close we were. Not to mention I’ve sworn on it, to keep a promise.

Cheese!

I didn’t do it intentionally at first. Once I got back home from HI, I had no food and it was too expensive at my local stores, so I vowed to wait for the big Costco run to get it. But then by day 6 of not having it, I started thinking about not getting any at all.

I was telling my friend over the weekend how I’ve stopped eating cheese (by cheese I mean my sharp cheddar cheese), and I went on and on about it until she said, ‘except for that pizza you had Wednesday.’

Darn! Would you believe I completely forgot there was cheese in pizza?!!

Well, that one day I had 2 medium sized slices, I felt horrible. I don’t know if it was the pizza itself or the cheese but I certainly didn’t feel well after.

Every day before and after, I’ve felt great. Flat stomach, no bloating (TMI?), light and generally good. I’m still figuring out whether or not it’s me cutting out cheese as the reason or that I’ve been eating pretty healthy but I like the way I’m feeling.

I’m going to see how long I can go without having my beloved cheddar cheese. Some days are pretty tough, especially when I see my tortillas and tortilla chips sitting there all sad and lonely, wondering why I haven’t had nachos or quesadillas since I’ve been home, but I’m hopeful I can overcome!

Did you give up something for lent? Or in general just to do it?

I’m learning that the older I get the more my body doesn’t like certain foods. Maybe it never liked them and I would ignore it but I can’t ignore it anymore.

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