Thursday, September 30, 2010

Some insight.

One of my friends and I were talking earlier today... about life and love and everything in between. A lot of yuck has happened over the course of the couple of years but I'm in such a good place now, it almost seems worth it. Almost. AND NO, once again, I do not disclose everything on this blog. Crazy enough there are reasons for that.

I can say with certainty that I have no regrets for any of the decisions I've made and this road I've been down has led me to the place I am now... a place I've been very quiet about only because I seem to have thought I'd found it before everything kind of went to hell but then it did and AH CRAP, really? It sucked, I cried, I moved on, I found myself in the process, and somehow it wasn't all THAT bad. I mean, perhaps it was really never meant to be? We made it through that madness and stumbled into this somehow. AND WHAT? THIS came out of nowhere. This boy, that boy, my friend for a good long while, a friend who was angry with me and supported me and laughed with me, and also gave me a great ass in the process...BUT WHAT? I love him? He loves me? How did this happen?

And this is when sometimes we just shake our heads at each other and marvel at what we're feeling and say, "this is crazy." How did we go this long in our lives never knowing what this SHOULD feel like?

And it's young, granted, but it feels old. It's comfortable. It feels like I'm right where I was always supposed to be and I'm not fighting anything, compromising nothing. Is it really supposed to be this EASY? Everything feels different and has completely jumbled the way any of my perception of relationships ever were because HOLY CRAP, WHAT? This is crazy. And at the end of the day, I'm left wondering if I really had felt it before...or if I just wanted to feel it so convinced myself that I was. Because, before? Wasn't quite like this. Wasn't so safe, so warm, so, WOW, this is what this is? I've been missing THIS? Are you KIDDING ME?

And apparently it's so prevalent, that other people have seen it too, this change in me. So my friend, she tells me this, which seemed so infinitely simple, yet so infinitely wise and so completely spot on:

"Love should always come first. It is the beginning of and the reason for everything. You have it, you show it, I have never seen you so blissfully in tune with yourself, your life, and your future. And crazy enough, when it's supposed to be, it just IS. There's no questions. I've found it, I'm glad to see you finally have too. THIS is what I've been telling you about. Love."

Yes, I agree.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

It's fall in Seattle!

This is a picture of the bright red tree right outside of my house. It's absolutely gorgeous. The whole city looks like someone painted bright hues of reds, oranges and yellows all over. And then painted some more so that the colors stand out just that much more. And, not to mention, the weather has been gorgeous too... sun! What?! We didn't have it all summer but we have it now? Ooook, Seattle, not really getting it but I'll take it! Fall is by far my favorite season and I am loving all of the colors and fall foods (pumpkin? Apples? Chili? All of the above, yes please!) and the subtle chill in the air. Perfect.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Not the most brilliant idea in any regard...

I dropped a HUGE brand new jar of peanut butter on the concrete on my way into the house from the garage. It broke. Everyone who knows me and my intense love of peanut butter can figure out how sad I was. And why did it drop? Because you HAVE to get all of the groceries inside in one trip. DUH. It's like a little contest every time to see how loaded up you can get. What? Is that just me? Because I hate being in the freezing cold Seattle weather more than I have to be? Hmm. I'll entertain that option.

See. It did break. Big time. I wouldn't have cared if it was ANYTHING but peanut butter.

BUT, I decided, why not salvage it?! I mean, I am not one who really cares a whole lot about chucking food out if it needs to be. I don't feel compelled to keep it. Well. Apparently when a glass jar breaks there are tiny shards EVERYWHERE. You would think that given my penchant for not caring about throwing bad food out, I would just chuck the glass infested peanut butter. BUT I COULDN'T. I physically couldn't make myself throw out so much peanut butter. It was SO WEIRD. But, shortly, after a few glass chunk bites, I scrapped the whole salvaging idea. And promptly bought another jar. And only THEN did I feel ok about throwing out the glass chunk jar. Of COURSE. It was the natural progression based on the rule: the house must never not have peanut butter in it. Even if the peanut butter is taken over by little glass pieces.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

A little camping trip to the coast.

One weekend at the end of September Justin and I decided that we'd take advantage of some free time and go to Ocean Shores to camp and get away. Ocean Shores is a quaint little town on the pacific ocean...way, way western Washington. We had time, nothing pertinent to do, it was the last weekend where we might have reasonably warm weather, and it's only a 2.5 hour drive. Why not?

The funny thing about this is that we took the mini...completely loaded with camping gear. It was hilarious next to all of the RVs and big trucks at the little place we camped. And I'm pretty sure we were weighted down driving with all of the gear we had with us.

Annnd... our cute little tent. Cute and cozy, cozy.
Oh look! It's that cute boy! The frontside!

After a nice, long relaxing walk on the beach Saturday morning, it started to POUR. I mean, just dumping rain. Really, western washington? It was supposed to be 70 degrees and sunny. Huh. So we went into town, into a kite shop, got some ice cream (because ice cream and rain go together), drove around the little ocean towns and realized we'd only killed about 1.5 hours. Well then. What next? Bowling? YES.

I think we bowled about 5 games that afternoon and neither of us could believe how much fun it was. We just bowled and drank and snacked and stayed warm inside. And repeat. Times 5. And the craziest thing about small towns? You just talk to whoever about whatever. It was great. So much fun.

I bowled really well the first game...

Watching to see if I got a strike (I had a few)...

And another picture (exciting stuff, I know)....

A glamor shot, for sure. Sweats, bowling, and rain head. Beautiful!

Mr. V. bowling away. He started to kick my ass after the first game. By the last game his competitive nature had completely kicked in and he was pretty much getting strikes every time. These natural athletes are disgusting.

Action shot of the rockstar bowler...

After bowling we went to a local bar for dinner and to watch college football. It was some sort of eclectic pirate bar. Not really sure what that was all about but we had a good time. Then we headed back to our campsite... the rain had let up so we started a bonfire and had some snacks. Of course later that night, the hurricane came back in full force. It was quite exciting.

The next morning: trying not to light himself on fire by starting a fire to warm water for hot tea.

And again... I was fairly amused by the whole thing.

After we ate breakfast and packed up the campsite, we headed back to the ocean. It doesn't look like it here but it was actually a gorgeous day on the coast on Sunday. Warm, partly sunny. We tried to fly kites but after the hurricane winds the day before, the wind was tired and basically non-existent. So, we packed up and headed back to Seattle... I had gotten a couple of new pieces of furniture so we were trying to pick them up by 5pm. We made it, got some salad, put some furniture together, took a much needed shower, and then cuddled up for the night. It was a perfect weekend. And as a sidenote: most of you know that 9.25 is a special day to me, a day that came and went on this weekend. See my post here on the significance of what that day means to me, and always will.

Monday, September 20, 2010

A visit from the Californian relatives

The fabulous birthday party was followed by a visit from my aunt Layne and uncle Byron from California. They had come up from San Francisco on Saturday to go to the UW game and had extended their visit through monday so that they could explore the city since they've never been to Seattle. And, of course, so that they could see me. Naturally. On Sunday, I was the tour guide. The weather turned out to be GORGEOUS. We started off the day by going to Capitol Hill and then to the UW district. Even though they'd been to the game, they hadn't really seen the campus (and, I will say, it's an unbelievably beautiful campus). We then ventured to Pioneer Square and walked around there.

While there, we stopped at McRory's, a restaurant in Pioneer Square. It's actually the restaurant with the biggest collection of whiskey in the state (I think?) Something like that. It was quite tasty. We also got to watch some sunday football while we were there.

After that, we walked around pioneer square some more and then headed to Pike Place, a must visit for first timers to the city. We explored around there and then headed to Ballard and the lochs, another must-visit. It was cool because we got to see a lot of salmon run as we're getting into the salmon run time of year.

We eventually made it back to my house after we were all pooped of the tourist-y stuff and I went on a quick run while my aunt and uncle relaxed with some wine after a busy day of sight seeing. Justin and I had planned all along to make them a pacfic northwest dinner that night so after he dropped off Oliver, he came over and we started cooking. Oh, I should note: this boy came over STOCKED. I told him to bring wine and he brought 5 bottles. I do the exact same thing, mainly because every wine always looks good to try. So, we had 5 awesome bottles to choose from for our dinner that night. We opened a couple to taste and just snacked on cheese and bread, sipped, and talked while we made dinner. It was perfect. On the menu for dinner that night: wild alaskan salmon in some sort of amazing ginger/soy glaze that Justin made, mashed sweet potatoes, asparagus, and a tossed salad. We all had a great time together chatting, eating and drinking wine. It really doesn't get much better. The next day, Monday, Justin was back at work and I took the day off to take care of some personal stuff. Byron and Layne headed east to Leavenworth to check out that part of the state. They took quite a few recommendations from us given that is where Justin is from and he is a fabulous Leavenworth tour guide (see our trip here). I loved having Byron and Layne here and can't wait to see them again- a California trip might be in the cards!

Saturday, September 18, 2010


September 18 was a great day. Not just because it was Saturday which usually tends to exude greatness just for being a weekend day (well, you know, except for those 4 months out of the year where I question my intelligence in picking my career because I am working on that greatest day). Anyhow. Ahem, September 18. Let's go:

First off: operation bedroom remodel. Uh, IMPROMPTU, bedroom remodel. I was out running errands and ALL OF A SUDDEN, wouldn't you know, I just went into this crazy impulsive mode that sometimes defines me and bought all this stuff to give my bedroom a slight makeover. Remodel is probably a strong word. Redecorate. Better. And the impulsiveness? I don't think I'll ever change. I've tried.

A shot of the new stuff on the bed and surrounding the bed, including the impromptu saturday art project above the bed. I guess sometimes my creative side still works though it can sometimes tend to get suppressed in my day job.

And of the dresser. Trust me, it looks different. I just realized I have no before pictures. Picture white blah as the before. I didn't like it but was never motivated to update it. I do like it now. For the moment.

Later that day, I had the pleasure of sharing in such a cool thing: a birthday party for one of the coolest 14 year olds that I know. Ok, maybe THE coolest because come to think of it, I don't know that I know any other 14 year olds personally. But he'd probably still be the coolest even if I did. I spent the morning (see above, errands that morphed into operation redecoration) picking up a couple of things for him for presents and for that night for his dinner. Can I just say something? At 10am on a Saturday morning, the mall had JUST opened but somehow the lego store was INFESTED. I mean, a BAZILLION people. What in the hell was THAT about? I think I almost lost my legs 20 times due to little munchkins in a lego induced high. Luckily I made it out with what I had intended to buy but just barely. The yellow haze of the store coupled with kids trying to de-leg me was almost my death. Not that I didn't love the experience. It was quite cute and I do have a soft spot for legos but WOW. I need to mentally prepare for that next time I go. Or at least wear some sort of leg protection. The above picture is Justin at dinner, or I guess just after, as we are watching Oliver open presents. I think he's laughing at the card he bought Ollie which shortly became MAYBE, just MAYBE the most annoying card ever. Only in that I have never heard that stupid "car wash, meet me at the car wash" jingle so many times in 24 hours than I did following the receipt of that card. It was funny the first 4 times. And good christ, I now have that damn jingle in my head. THANKS BABE.

Justin's mom and little baby Ollie (he's 3 and possibly the cutest 3 year old I know).

The birthday boy! We made homemade pizzas that night per his request and they were AWESOME. Oh. Oh. OH. I completely forgot about The Cake. YOU GUYS. This cake. Ridiculous. I made it but I don't take full credit for its goodness. Oliver told me what he wanted in the mix which was basically more chocolate, reeses, marshmallows. And it was already going to be a double layer chocolate cake with chocolate icing. The pizza was fabulous but this chocolate cake? HOLY GOD. I'm pretty sure we all died for a second when we ate it. And then subsequently all gained 20 pounds. But who cares? We were all in a chocolate orgasmic coma at that point, doesn't matter what our asses look like! Ollie was basically a rockstar in his vision of that birthday cake of his. He's pretty much a rockstar anyway but that cake, WOAH. It's too bad I didn't get a picture of it.

Opening presents with a little helper.

And another one with the little guy. He wanted to know so badly what was going on. It was a great night, great day...great people, great food, great wine, oh, and GREAT cake. I'm so glad I got to be a part of it and was able to celebrate with this guy on his birthday. He's an amazing little man and deserves the world.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Fall trip to the midwest. September 10-15, 2010.

At the beginning of September, I went home to the midwest for 5 days. I needed to get home to see my family and PLUS. OH OH OH! A high school reunion. Crazy how fast THAT time flew by. Pictures tell the story best, as always:

I flew in Friday night and took it easy with dinner with my family but Saturday morning, I was up and ready to go. The weather out there was absolutely GORGEOUS. 80 degrees, sunny. Doesn't get much better. So everyday I went on a run-to burr oak woods (aka: picture, above), a nature park by my parents house. I used to go there on field trips when I was a little kid. We played with caterpillars there and it was the highlight of our days for, oh, about two weeks (because, you know, we captured the caterpillars and took them home as pets and then two weeks later they died. The end).

This was the view I had running to the trails. Looks like the midwest, eh? FLAT. It's funny, I remember the trails being so much more hilly. Not so much after running in Western Washington.

Once in the woods, I took a 3 mile trail to the back of the park...

Complete with a little lake where one day I saw people fishing. Really. I know, it seemed weird to me, too. I mean, what kind of fish could possibly have been in there? Maybe I'm just an ignorant non-fisher person. Yes, that's most likely it.

And a little stream running through the woods. So serene.

Some days I added another 3 miles to the trek by doing the Bethany Falls trail, a trail I LOVED as a kid due to the huge boulders on it (like the one above). It's funny how short the trail seems now as compared to when I was a little kid (kind of like how I remember the "hills" as true hills). I remember as a kid, I felt like it would NEVER end. When I ran it this time, I was all, "huh. well, THAT went fast." I still had it in my head that was the never ending trail. Turns out that as you get older your perception of time changes. As does the length of your legs. Apparently that makes a difference.

After I ran each morning (one time in the afternoon), it was onto bigger and better things. Like Saturday- a trip to an outdoor mall over in Kansas. Above- my brother and I on a turtle. (NOTE: I took this picture because that adorable boy I'm seeing tends to call everyone "turtles." Why does he do this? I do not know. But I think it is cute (aka: he's adorable) so I saw a turtle, thought of him, snapped a picture with my Jon bro and sent it off to that boy. And voila, the picture).

After shopping all day and eating dinner with my family, I headed to my friend Frank's condo. We had convinced each other over the course of the day that we should just go to the silly high school reunion. And if it sucked, we'd leave. Ok, decision made, we are going! The above shot is the sun setting over my hometown. I do miss that city.

We had to stop to get cash before going into the reunion to pay for the entrance fee. Frank decided to buy a blue raspberry shot at a drug store to get the cash back (I think it was vodka). It was pretty terrible, or so I assume by the gagging and hacking that commenced after intake. It was enough to persuade me that I wanted no part of that madness.

Frank and I hanging out after the reunion. I had SO much fun at the reunion. I was blown away. I never in my wildest dreams expected it to be as fun and as enjoyable as it ended up being. I was partially convinced to go by Frank, obviously, but also by the fact that I knew I'd have other friends there as well as college friends. Initially, I just wasn't sure I cared that much because I pretty much keep in contact with the people I want to see. But I have to say- there's nothing better than actually being PRESENT. It was such a great experience and so good to see people I hadn't seen in literally years. I only wish that more people could have made it. After the reunion Frank and I went out in Kansas City for a while. Again, BLOWN AWAY. Kansas City, you have grown up since I've lived there. You are actually fun now and have such cool pockets to hang out in. WHAT HAPPENED?!

On Sunday morning, I got up and went to church with my parents. You know, because it's important to my mom so I do things like that. Sometimes. And I do like going to church with them for the social aspect because there are so many old friends there that have known me since I was in diapers. It's pretty cool. After church, I went on said run (see above). It was HOT. Holy hell, I may have lost 10 pounds in sweat on that run. My aunt Layne and cousin Kristyn were coming to our house later that afternoon. They were driving from Texas back to California as Kristyn is starting a new endeavor in Denver and doesn't need a Layne flew out to drive back to Cali with Kris and leave the car there before Kris flies to Denver. Kansas City happened to be an overnight stop. It was pretty cool that they were going to be in town on one of the same days I was. Above- grandma and mom hanging out outside in the nice weather.

And- Kristyn and I enjoying the, especially, since god knows when I'll see it again as we enter fall in Seattle... Later that night we made a great dinner, ate outside and stayed up talking with Kristyn and Layne. They hit the road early Monday morning for their trek back west. I was told they stopped at an Oz winery once they hit Kansas.

Monday: I had plans for wine with my girlfriend Carolyn. YES! It just so happened to be on a day where the Royals and the chiefs had a double header. So heading into the city, the stadiums were alive and hopping. Another thing I miss about Kansas City: the amazing sports fan, irregardless of how bad the teams suck (though, that being said, Chiefs, winning streak, what?!)

And a shot of the Kansas City skyline from my drive in to meet CJ.

We went to a wine bar that we've been to before in downtown- JP's. It's fabulous and BONUS! Monday night is buy one bottle get one free night. PERFECT. We had two bottles of this spanish red. It was VERY tasty. I'm not usually a huge spanish wine drinker but I did quite enjoy this one. And, even more bonus, since we didn't totally finish the 2nd bottle, JP's gives away doggie bags. FOR WINE. SERIOUSLY?! I didn't know that was possible! Cool!

A picture of Miss Carolyn at the bar. I have known her sine 3rd grade and we reconnected in Phoenix. Pretty crazy cool.

And a picture of us with our wine after munching on some great appetizers and talking and talking and talking (OH and a sidenote: that talking was slightly interrupted by a call from my OB-GYN office wondering why I haven't called to get in for a colposcopy because my yearly pap smear in JUNE came back abnormal. WHAT?! (for the millionth time this post...) A) No one even remotely called to inform me of this and B) WHAT THE FUCK. and C) WHAT THE FUCK. I was a little freaked out listening to that voicemail and finally got a hold of the nurse there who assured me that it's fairly common for paps to come back abnormal and even if it (the abnormality) IS cancerous it's usually fairly slow growing. Great. Assholes. Good thing I was drinking wine. More on that OB debacle in a later post...) After a fabulous night with Carolyn (and deciding that she is coming to Seattle for Thanksgiving- YAY YAY YAY!!!!) I checked out her new apartment in Kansas City, we almost got killed in a mini-tornado leaving her apartment, and I headed home. In pouring rain. And winds. Love the Kansas City weather. Yes, yet another thing that I miss- the wild storms. Nothing better than a good thunderstorm. Anyone from the midwest will agree entirely.

Tuesday meant one thing: golfing with my family. A much acclaimed activity for our family, always. Above- my dad teeing off.

And a shot of my brother smacking the ball. Let me just say: for a guy that NEVER golfs except for when we do? He can hit that sucker. My mom scoring a winning putt for the double team of my mom/dad. My brother and I were winning the scramble through about 5 holes and then we started sucking and my mom dad started tearing it up. We ended up losing by one stroke. Boo hoo.

Me hitting a tee shot. I always rock for the first few holes after I haven't played for a while. Then it starts to get into my head, as this silly game always does. And I realize I should practice more.

Follow through action shot!

And a shot of the parental units in the cart. We ended the last night I had at home with dinner and just staying up talking. It was so nice.

Early the next morning, I was up and out the door on my way back to that rainy pacific northwestern city that I love. I had to come back a little earlier than anticipated but I was excited to be back... in Seattle. A city that I've come to love and I was so happy to see that boy who I love. It was good to be back in what was my home for so many years but equally as great to be back to my home now.

Love. Happiness. Life. Home. Doesn't get much better. Life is good.