Friday, December 31, 2010

Last Reverb Post of 2010

December 31 – What central story is at the core of you, and how do you share it with the world? (Bonus: Consider your reflections from this month. Look through them to discover a thread you may not have noticed until today.)

1 smidgen of Positive Thinking
1 sprinkling of Faith
1 heaping tablespoon of Hope
1 ounce of Childlike Curiosity
1 drop Remembering Where You Came From
2 lbs of Love
1 cup of coffee (maybe 2)
1 serving of Chocolate
1 dash of Survivability

In a large mixing bowl, Combine Positive Thinking, Faith, Hope, Curiosity, Remembering and Love.  Mix well to combine.  Enjoy Coffee and Chocolate while mixing.  Use and egg beater if mix wont come together.  Add Survivability when needed.

Bake, Cool on rack, and Enjoy!

Reflecting On All The Reflecting

I'm a little sad this morning that the Reverb 10 challenge has come to an end.  I have thoroughly enjoyed it. I had forgotten how much I actually like writing.  I had myself convinced that I wouldn't have time and that my calendar was already full.  Could I really add one more block to my giant game of Jenga? 

The answer...YES!  Look at that!  I did it!  I feel so accomplished.  Not only did I complete the challenge (during the holidays even!), but I loved it.  I know that not every piece is literary gold, and I am okay with that.  The challenge did what it was supposed to do.  I stated thinking, brainstorming and *gasp* self-reflecting.

And just so you wont miss me I have decided to keep the blog going.  Okay maybe that's not the ONLY reason I am keeping it going.  Over the last month my routine has changed.  I wake up and get Clover ready, sit down with my cup of coffee and my netbook and start typing away.  This morning I typed half of this post with one hand due to the fact that Clover wanted in my lap.  It was painfully hard to slow my thoughts down to the typing speed of one hand.  But I stuck with it.

So now what?  I have already signed up for another monthly theme.  I guess you will just have to stay tuned to see where this journey goes next.

See you tomorrow!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

A Public Declaration

I have thoughts.  Yes, I have them.  I am not sure if that is a good thing or not ;).  I have been scrolling my bookmark bar and browsing in the #reverb10 thread on twitter.  Reading, reading and more reading.  I always end up having more questions than answers.  A lot of posts about goals and where people are going in the new year.  And once again, a thought hit me

I have no goals.

Let me back up a bit.

I have no current goal.

I believe that it's important for people to always be moving.  Just like water, being stagnant is bad.  Sometimes we move forward through life, sometimes in the other direction, but we are still moving.  So I have decided that in an effort to move in some sort of direction, I need to come up with my own Personal Manifesto.

Until recently I had no idea what the heck a "Personal Manifesto" was.  So I turned to my be all end all of information i.e. Google.

Let me share from Ehow

A manifesto is a public declaration of principles and intentions. Determining yours will help you keep your life on a clearly defined path.

  • 1 Brainstorm on what is important to you. To start, list your roles in life, either current roles or ones you desire in the future. For example: father, mother, friend, worker, role model, volunteer. Just a word or two on the ones that speak to you.

  • 2 Also list qualities you value in yourself and others: Honesty, physical fitness, kindness, ambition, curiosity, affection, responsibility, humor.

  • 3 More brainstorming: What do you want people to say about you at your funeral? What contributions would you have liked to have made with your life? What are the important marks you will make on this world? List them. Try this, too: Ten (or twenty or more) things about me: (list them here). What do these say about you and what's important to you?

  • 4 Now boil it all down to as many sentences as you need to give a clear picture of who you are at your essence. You might find it helpful to start sentences with I am or I will. This is not cast in stone, come back and refine or change your personal manifesto as you grow and change.

  • I found another good link here at e.phanies.

    So here and now I have dedicated to myself and my oh so loyal readers that I will work on and complete a Personal Manifesto for 2011!  I will take you along on the journey with me...So let the brainstorming begin!  

    I Found One...

    December 30 – This month, gifts and gift-giving can seem inescapable. What’s the most memorable gift, tangible or emotional, you received this year?

    I am going with the tangible.  I get little emotional gifts all the time that I share with you.  So instead of being redundant I chose to write about the tangible.  Which is so not me.  This is a very timely prompt for me.  Not because of the whole holiday thing, but because I found it!

    For Mother's day this year I received a necklace from It's is a very beautiful piece.  It has three hearts and our names on it.  To say that I love it would be and understatement. 

    Somehow, during our chaotic month of October I lost it.  I was devastated when I couldn't find it.  For some strange reason I have lost a lot of things this year.  I blame the gnomes that wonder around my house and steal thing.  Naughty little mythical creatures!

    I thought I looked everywhere.  Obviously I did not.  Last night while I was looking for a lost apple cable, I found it, shoved in a cabinet behind the Hubby's stuff.  I have no idea how it got there or who put it there.  But I could not believe the excitement I felt when I found it.  Now if only I could find my wedding band :(.  Maybe perhaps this gives me hope that some day I will find it. 

    Then there was Christmas, in which I received a rockin coffee maker.  So as I sit here, I am sipping on some Kona blend, enjoying my morning.  Yeah, Hubs did good. 

    Wednesday, December 29, 2010

    A Series of Unfortunate Events

    December 29 – Describe a defining moment or series of events that has affected your life this year.

    I've never really been a fan of hospitals.  When I was a little girl my daddy was a nurse.  So I had always been around them.  Growing up in a farm town they were always small hospitals.  I can easily say that I have never been afraid of them.  Just not a fan.

    This past year we have visited three different hospitals more times than I can even count.  Seriously, I lost count.  Once a week, sometimes two different hospitals in a week.  A few times we took a week off, if to do nothing but save our sanity.  Hub's Aunt was fiercely battling Ovarian Cancer.  While at the same time his mom had suffered from a Seizure among other health problems.  Our family is no stranger to hospitals.  One year we pretty much camped out in a waiting room for longer than a month anticipating any form of news. 

    We have accepted that at this point there is nothing we can do, other than to visit and offer our support and love.  There are times that we feel that it simply isn't enough.  But at the same time we don't know what else we can do.  So we visit. 

    In October, his Aunt lost her fight with cancer.  We all knew it was coming.  For the last three years we had been waiting.  They had always been very honest with us about her condition.  Even when you think that you will be prepared to hear the news, you can never truly be prepared.

    Our year had been consumed by hospital visits and suddenly they were over.  Even though we are relieved that we are not longer making rounds we are saddened that his aunt is no longer with us. 

    My hope is that for next year we will not have as many visits.  I know that in all reality that we will be.  But at least I can hold on to some sort of hope.  Or at least perhaps that they are for a positive visiting brand new just born babies!    

    Tuesday, December 28, 2010

    Little Black Rain Cloud

    I usually try to keep it pretty positive around these parts.  But, sometimes you have a bad day.  I think with all of the Christmas rush I may have neglected my body telling my mind to slow down.  I really wanted to slow down today but with all the visitors coming through my house the pantry was near to bare.  So I had to brave the crowds.  I thought they would have dispersed by now.

    I was wrong.

    I wrangled the 2 and 3/4 year old and dressed her.  A feat in itself.  Then I motivated myself into getting dressed.  Another feat in itself.  Speaking of feet, I was lazy and didn't want to put shoes on.  I didn't think much of it when I threw on my flip flops and headed out the door.  That is, until I realized that five steps out of door, my feet were wet. 

    You know you live in California when it's raining outside and you are still in your flip flops.

    I had to hit Target and the grocery store.  Both were packed.  Parking lots were packed, roads were full.  Full of absolutely cheery and thoughtful drivers that know how to drive in the rain...oh wait.  I was daydreaming. 

    So I woke up in a funk.  Not even my beloved coffee addiction could help pull me out.  By the end of today it has turned into a little black rain cloud hovering over my head.  Hubs tried to cheer me up by taking me to dinner.  Dinner was really good and Clover did great at the restaurant.  But by the time we got out I was totally fried.

    Maybe I just need some hot chocolate and some rest.  I'm trying really hard to work my way out from underneath this rain cloud.  But like I said, sometimes you just have a bad day.   

    Workin On It

    December 28 – What’s the thing you most want to achieve next year? How do you imagine you’ll feel when you get it? Free? Happy? Complete? Blissful? Write that feeling down. Then, brainstorm 10 things you can do, or 10 new thoughts you can think, in order to experience that feeling today.

    I try not to forecast out my year in advance.  I usually come up with two or three things I want to do and then go from there.  Every year I come up with a resolution that I rarely keep until March.  It can be difficult at times for me to come up with anything other than the standard "drop some lbs".  That is an ongoing goal for me.  I did pretty well for the end of 2009 and the start of 2010.  I have to admit that I have been pretty relaxed about the holidays.  Hopefully that will give me more motivation for 2011.

    When I was younger I used to plan out my year with fantastic expectations for not only myself but everyone around me.  And that always ended with heartbreak.  We had a couple bad years hit almost back to back.  We stuck it out and have learned how to deal with what life has thrown at us.  But I have definitely learned not to have such high expectations.

    I think that other than that standard "dropping some lbs" I want to take some more family trips.  We took a few this year.  A ton of pre-work and planning on my part goes into them.  And they are blast. 

    Sometimes it can be hard to relax at home.  When we travel we are able to focus on being a family and being together without all of the distractions.  I am able to relax and not feel guilty about not getting my chores done.  No dishes, or laundry to haunt me.  I know it will all be waiting for me at home, but it can wait a little bit longer.     

    I know I want to go to Malibu.  But not for anything ordinary.  I want to visit the M*A*S*H site.  It's a hike to get to the spot but it will be worth it to visit the place where they filmed my most favoritest show ever!  And I'm not even a "hollywood" type person but I love that show so I definitely want to visit where they filmed.  And it's a state park so hopefully I can get a few beautiful shots of nature.


    Monday, December 27, 2010


    December 27 – Our most profound joy is often experienced during ordinary moments. What was one of your most joyful ordinary moments this year?

    I am a very lucky gal.  What makes me even luckier is that I recognize that. 

    I get those little joyous moments daily.  There are times where we take things for granted and get caught up in the daily grind of things.  All it takes is a little something to pull you out of that work mode.

    Sometimes the Red-Headed ball of Fury starts laughing and she wont stop.

    I may be biased is one of the most beautiful things I have ever heard!  It doesn't take much to get her started, but once she starts it's just fun to watch her in that moment.  What's great is that she will pull you in and make you part of her moment.  And all you can really do is smile.

    Sunday, December 26, 2010

    Soul Food

    December 26 – What did you eat this year that you will never forget? What went into your mouth & touched your soul?

    Sometimes, I can be a pretty simple girl.  I like down home foods.  Something made by someone with a lot of love and care.  Those are the things you don't forget. 

    I was the lucky recipient of a few Holiday Cookie platters.  All of them different from the others and all of them absolutely DELICIOUS.  Needless to say...they didn't last very long. 

    New paragraph, new thought.  Chocolate is always a good thing.  One of my friends brought over her family's Chocolate Mouse Pie.  I am amazed that I had the amount of self control that I did.  I could have dove head first into that pie and not felt guilty at all!  Yeah, it was THAT good!

    I've been working on lots of homemade goodies myself over here.  Yesterday I made fresh Cinnamon Rolls for Christmas.  And topped off the evening with homemade bread.  There is just something soul warming about a fresh loaf with butter right out of the oven.

    Saturday, December 25, 2010


    December 25 – Photo – a present to yourself
    Sift through all the photos of you from the past year. Choose one that best captures you; either who you are, or who you strive to be. Find the shot of you that is worth a thousand words. Share the image, who shot it, where, and what it best reveals about you.

    This shot was on the beach in Morro Bay.  Hubs and I have been going there since we were kids.  We got married there.  Now we share our spot with our daughter.  Every time I go to the beach I take a picture of my feet in the sand.  I think to remind myself of the ultimate calm feeling of doing nothing but sitting on the beach staring at the waves. 

    What this picture reveals about me...all of my pictures of me are the same.  The toe nail polish color changes but that's about it.  But this picture is special...wanna know why?  CUZ I'M NOT WEARIN JEANS!  I know!  How much of a big deal is that?  It's a pretty big friggin deal!  Jeans are like my security blanket.  I know I look good in them so I wear them everywhere.  But not this time.  This time I wore a dress!  *Gasp*  I know.  I almost fainted too.   

    Friday, December 24, 2010

    Everything is Totally Okay

    December 24 Prompt – What was the best moment that could serve as proof that everything is going to be alright? And how will you incorporate that discovery into the year ahead?

    So here is the blog post that I posted when that moment hit me.  I am in no way re posting cuz I'm lazy and it's Christmas Eve. 

    by Juju on Thursday, September 9, 2010 at 9:26pm
    I guess I never really thought about Clover's astrological sign.  I used to look up mine all the time.  For the most part, mine is pretty spot on.  It really never occurred to me to look up Clover's until her Aunt wrote it all out for us.  I took a step back and was totally like "whoah!" (Joey style from Blossom!)

    Lots of time to reflect and stuff after our recent vacation.  I thought about how lucky I am.  I couldn't help but feel a certain sense of pride as I looked at the family we have grown into.  I felt proud as a mom as I watched my daughter blaze the trails ahead of her.  I love that she is so adventurous.  She is totally comfortable no matter where we are.  She is up for anything. She lets nothing stand in her way.  Not even her stork bite!  I can't help but to think that I helped foster her sense of adventure…or I could be full of it and it could all be up to the stars!      

    Aries from
    "The spring equinox, March 21, is the beginning of the new zodiacal year and Aries, the first sign, is therefore that of new beginnings. The young ram is adventurous, ambitious, impulsive, enthusiastic and full of energy. The Arian is a pioneer both in thought and action, very open to new ideas and a lover of freedom. They welcome challenges and will not be diverted from their purpose except by their own impatience, which will surface if they don't get quick results."

    And welcome to my daughter in a nutshell! 

    I've been thinking about how life seems a little easier now than it was two years ago.  Life is still life, but sometimes it seems a little easier to breathe.  I've been trying to make more of an effort to play with her and not just let our daily routine get in the way.  Dishes, laundry and the overall daily grind all add up during the day.  Little minutes that I don't get back.  With the nicer weather sticking around we like to spend the evenings out in the yard.  And if there is a big o watermelon involved all the better!  I think that's where all the evening pictures have been coming from.  So y'all are just going to have to deal with them!  (go ahead…roll your eyes now) They are my lil reminders to myself to stop and enjoy the time I have.  To not let anything get in my way.  Just like my lil Aries (even if the dishes have to sit in the sink for a night).

    Today You are You Brought to You by Dr. Seuss

    “Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.”
     Dr. Seuss

    You are you and I am me, and between the two of us...that is pretty awesome!  I've spent a good chunk of my past wondering who I was.  And last night while on my many thought trains, it hit me in the face. 

    I knew who I was. 

    I am me. 

    So many years wasted trying to define myself.  Searching for my place in the world.  Trying to squeeze my way in like a puzzle piece.  All the time spent feeling uncomfortable in my own skin. 

    “Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple.”
    Dr. Seuss

    I have titles that define me...wife, mom, friend, daughter, auntie, cousin, sister, writer, knitter...they all pull together to help me be me.  

    I have spent so many moments thinking that I should be more, do more, be big.  Somewhere along the lines I figured out that I didn't need to be big.  I just needed to be me.  See, Theodor Seuss Geisel was right.  The answer was simple.

    “Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind.”
    Dr. Seuss

    I told myself once that I didn't care what people think.  For the most part that is true.  A small part of me cares.  Some are influential and some are just plain rude, but I don't let their opinions dictate my actions anymore.  That helps. 

    I have learned from experience to surround myself with great people.  You should too.  Even if it's just one or two great people.  They make a huge difference.   Trust me, you probably already have them in your life...and they already love you for you.  Sometimes when we get wrapped up in ourselves we have a hard time seeing around us. 

    “You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself in any direction you choose. You're on your own.  And you know what you know. You are the guy who'll decide where to go.”
     Dr. Seuss

    So today go out into the world with a smile on your face.  Why?  Because you are you!  And that is great enough! 

    “And will you succeed? Yes indeed, yes indeed! Ninety-eight and three-quarters percent guaranteed!”
     Dr. Seuss

    Dr. Seuss was a genius.  He knew you were you before you did.  How awesome is that? 

    “You are you. Now, isn't that pleasant?”
    Dr. Seuss 

    So you be you, and I'll be me.  Between the two of us, that's pretty amazing.      

    Thursday, December 23, 2010

    Just Plain Juju

    December 23 – Let’s meet again, for the first time. If you could introduce yourself to strangers by another name for just one day, what would it be and why?

    I'm not exactly sure when the transition took place.  But somewhere along the lines my name took a metamorphosis. 

    I think Hubs started it.  And it just kind of stuck.  It was easier for my toddlers to say when I was teaching.  It always sounded so cute when they said it.  So I didn't mind that my name changed.  It actually feels weird when someone introduces me as my's like.."Oh yeah, that's me."

    When I was a kid I used to write my name in all sorts of creative ways.  I would change the spelling or sometimes change it all together.  One teacher asked me if it was okay with my mother.  I just remember looking at her sideways.  Why would I ask my mom?  It was MY name.  For the longest time I wanted to change my name to "Jessica".  I'm not even sure why.  I just liked the name.  Eventually, I gave up on all the unauthorized name switches.  I don't have to change it.  I'm pretty fond of the one I've got.  I'm glad cuz...

    Now, I'm just plain Juju.

    Wednesday, December 22, 2010

    Are We There Yet?

    December 22 – Travel How did you travel in 2010? How and/or where would you like to travel next year?

    We ventured out of our house a few times this year.  We took a couple of trips to San Jose and Santa Clara.  We ventured out of our comfort zone and took a trip through Yosemite. 

    And ended up on the other side at Mono lake. 

    We have been up for our fair share of road trips this year.  I love that we have become so adventurous!

    We went up to the Sequoias. 

    When ever we need to recharge our batteries we hit the beach.

    And there was our more than one trip to see the Mouse.

    I don't have a preplanned agenda for next year.  Just like this year I think I'm down for whatever.  So get out of your comfort zone and see the world!

    Tuesday, December 21, 2010

    Dear Juju. Part 1 and Part 2

    December 21 – Future Self. Imagine yourself five years from now. What advice would you give your current self for the year ahead? (Bonus: Write a note to yourself 10 years ago. What would you tell your younger self?)

    To: Juju
    From: Juju from an undisclosed time period.
    Regarding: 2011

    I am writing this to you because the blog challenge that you decided to do in December of 2015 is making me.  Really with the challenges?  In December of all months?  Like you aren't already busy enough.  I understand that you need a small something to do for yourself but you really don't need to add one more thing onto your plate.  Okay that's besides the point...

    Back to the point.  What was the point?  Okay wait...I had to get the kids.  2011, oh yeah that's right.  2011 will have the normal ups and downs.  A lot of people are going to get a little nutz with the whole 2012 thing coming up but don't worry about it too much.  It's going to be like 1999, when everyone freaked out and guess what?  Oh yeah you where there...Nothing happened! 

    So ups and downs.  Nothing you haven't dealt with before.  Except your ups will be really up.  Be prepared for an awesome year.  That wont mean you wont have to deal with the bad...because well that's always there.  But be prepared for some SUPER FANTASTICAL AWESOMENESS. 

    Don't forget to take care of yourself.



    Ps.  This message will self destruct in 10 seconds. 


    To:  Juju
    From Juju2010
    Regarding:  The Fuuuuuuuture.

    I was just droppin a note to tell you that your life is pretty good.  There are some ups and downs.  You have moments in your life that knock the wind out of you and you feel that you can't breathe.  Then you have moments that take your breath away and you feel that if you inhale one more breath your heart will burst from all the love.  Time doesn't slow down for either of those moments. 

    Knowing you like I already do, I know that you try to make the best out of every situation.  Sometimes, no matter how hard you wont be able too in the future.  And that's okay.  You survive.  You are changed by events in the future.  But you are still able to wake up every morning and glance over and be thankful for the wonderfulness in your life.  That is important.

    People will come in and go out of your life.  You will be surprised when you look around and see who is there for you.  Because right now if I told you who becomes one of you good friends and a trusted mommy advisor you would not believe me in the slightest.  And that statement is relevant for like five different people.  The people who are there for you, you will love more than you know what to do with.  There are some people who you think are going to be there for you and/or the hubs and aren't.  Eventually you will make an effort to be okay with that.  It takes awhile...but you will get there. 

    Just remember to keep your head up like you usually do.  Enjoy all that you can and endure the rest.  Remember to take a shower even if you are's totally worth the loss of five minutes of sleep.  Don't forget to stand up for yourself.  You will regret it in the future if you don't.  Speaking from personal experience. 



    Monday, December 20, 2010

    C is for Cookie

    And that's good enough for me.

    Here is an excellent recipe for Lemon Cookies.  I have made just a few tweaks and elevated it.

    First off, I went to the fridge and surprise, no Ricotta.  So I subbed a brick o Cream Cheese (room temp) instead.  I also used really really really big lemons off of my lovely lemon tree outside.  So if you have scrawny lemons, go ahead and double the zest.  I still used the same amount for the juice (maybe a tad more).  I also added a teaspoon of Vanilla.

    I also used a mini ice cream scoop which happens to be 2 tablespoons.

    The texture is awesome and they actually taste like mini cakes.  They are surprisingly light and absolutely addicting!  So watch out!

    You're Avoiding the Question

    December 20 – What should you have done this year but didn’t because you were too scared, worried, unsure, busy or otherwise deterred from doing? (Bonus: Will you do it?)

    I read the prompt last night and tried to brainstorm some ideas.  Like the little bubble charts we had to do in English class. 

    There are probably a hundred things I should have done this year.  Most of them little.  A year is a really long time. 

    By the way, it is raining here.  Not sprinkling, but like build an ark and head for higher grounds raining.  I know that we need the water but this just seems borderline ridiculous.  And we are only midway in.  It's supposed to rain for three more days.

    So on the next few posts all you hear is...

    *guurgle guurgle guurgle*

    You know the water came up past the door. 

    Sunday, December 19, 2010

    Heal Thyself

    December 19 – What healed you this year? Was it sudden, or a drip-by-drip evolution? How would you like to be healed in 2011?

    There are moments when I convince myself that I'm healed.  That everything that happened is in the past.  Then something happens to generate a memory and it all comes rushing back.  They come rushing back but the feeling is a bit different.  The memories a tad fuzzier with the passage of time.  Tears no longer fill my eyes.  And for that I am thankful. 

    The sadness is still there but there is also a sense of pride.  I'm proud that we endured the hardest thing we have ever had to deal with in our lives.  We learned how to pull together as a family and continue to use that to embrace whatever the world wants to throw at us. 

    In time perhaps the healing process will be complete.  For now we continue to be stuck in the "process" phase.   We make progress little by little.  And for the time being, that's okay.        

    Saturday, December 18, 2010


    December 18 – What do you want to try next year? Is there something you wanted to try in 2010? What happened when you did / didn’t go for it?

    My life is not boring to say the least.  But it's not usually all that exciting either.  I balance being a Rockin Mommy and a Super Fantastic Wife, while trying to be a decent friend and squeeze some time in for myself.  I've never tried sky diving or got a tattoo or anything exciting like that.  So don't expect my answer to the question to be too thrilling.   

    Since my darling Clover will be three next year I am thinking that I may try to go back to school.  It wasn't exactly the easiest thing to do when I was working and going to school at the same time while trying to be a wife.  So I know when I do go back my juggling will have to improve.  Nothing is set in stone yet.  So if the time isn't right, it's okay with me for the time being.  But I think I may give it a try. 

    One of the things I tried this year and was successful at, was dropping some lbs!  During the end of 2009 and through the year of 2010, I made it a priority to get into better shape and take care of myself.  I successfully lost 30 lbs and kept it off.  I haven't set a goal or anything. but it is something that I worked for all year and want to continue working towards. 

    I try little things all the time.  I have tried lots of craft projects in 2010.  Once I have mastered it however, I tend to move on.  I did scrabble tiles and stamped washer necklaces.  I worked on my sewing skills and made Clover a nap blanket.  And every moment I can, I try to knit.  I love knitting.  I love that it helps reduce my stress level and I get something pretty at the end.  I lovey love love making baby blankets.  It gives me the warm fuzzies to know that one of my blankies is keeping a little someone warm. 

    One of the current knitting projects that I am currently trying to finish is the Hub's Link/Zelda blanket.  It started out as a small design but has grown into something that may actually be big enough to cover the whole world.  But how cool would that be?  To know that the whole world is snuggling under your knit Zelda blanket? 

    Friday, December 17, 2010

    Lesson Learned

    December 17 – What was the best thing you learned about yourself this past year? And how will you apply that lesson going forward? 

    The bestest, grandest, most fantastical thing I have learned about myself this year is...

    It's perfectly okay to tell myself to SLOW down.

    I bet you thought it was some big secret huh?  That I was going to deliver the meaning of life.  Believe me...if I knew it, I would share.  But only after I wrote a best selling book and became rich enough to buy my big red barn.

    Back to the slowing down part.  We all get in these modes where it's constantly GO, GO, GO, then stop for a bit to eat and then GO some more.  I'm not sure what spurs it or why we do it.  Someone always needs something or stuff around the house needs to be done.  There is always a reason.  Several times this year I have had to remind myself to slow down.

    And guess what?

    The world didn't end.

    I know, I thought it would.  And boy I was surprised when it didn't.  Those slow moments when you stop and take time to enjoy what you have been given.  Those moments are better than anything shiny.

    Thursday, December 16, 2010

    To Infinity and Beyond

    December 16 – How has a friend changed you or your perspective on the world this year? Was this change gradual, or a sudden burst?

    I <3 my friends and have even dedicated an entire blog post about them here.  But that doesn't mean I still wont write about them. 

    I have a lot of friends that lead by example.  They are great friends and experiencing that just makes me want to be a great friend back.  Friendship is definitely something that has to go in both directions.  For years I felt like I was the one that was giving. Now I feel like sometimes that I am the one that comes up a little short.  But that's the thing about wonderful friends.  They understand.     

    So you can be Woody and I can be Buzz, or You can be Buzz and I will be Woody.  You can pick.  Doesn't matter much to me.Which means that we will be here forever because we're both too nice and can never make a decision together. 

    Wednesday, December 15, 2010

    5 Uninterrupted Minutes

    December 15 – Imagine you will completely lose your memory of 2010 in five minutes. Set an alarm for five minutes and capture the things you most want to remember about 2010.

    Well, I am totally screwed then because there is no way that I would ever get 5 straight minutes of uninterrupted writing time.  With that being said, lets see how far I get...

    Starting off the year, us girls took a road trip to Ikea.  We climbed into the truck and off we went.  I was a little worried because Clover hadn't been on a whole lot of road trips.  It was a very successful trip minus the fitty fit from Clover after not taking a nap until 4 pm.  We only got lost once because I can't listen to garmin.  We tried Tex-Wasabi (Guy's Place in Sactown).  It was bar food.  We were a bit disappointed, but made up for that with cinnamon rolls and hot dogs from Ikea. 

    In Feb we took Clover to the park and got some excellent pictures of her playing.

    March was busy.  Hubs switched jobs and we all started juggling with the adjustments.  But we made it and we lived.  March was also our big family Disneyland trip.  We had a small party at the house for her fantastical second birthday.  Then we were headed down south.  So much fun packed into two days and an evening. 

    June was our carnival party to celebrate our birthdays.  Our family and friends stopped by to hop in the pool and enjoy some cotton candy!  We also took an unplanned day trip to Disneyland.  We left a little after 5:30 am.  How someone can be so excited and exhausted at the same time is beyond me but as soon as we pulled into the hotel parking lot we were bouncing out of our seats. 

    K in all reality my five minutes was up right around here.  But I can't just leave the post half finished so here is my year in review.

    July and August are kind of a blur.

    September we went on an adventure through Yosemite and ended up on the other side at Mono Lake.  We also had our only camping trip for the year.  Lot's of dirt...lots of fun. 

    October was busy.  It started out kind of sad with the passing of Hub's Aunt.  We miss her.  We also had another Ikea trip and finished out the month with our last Disneyland trip.  This time we took Hubs and he actually had fun, and a Churro.  We picked up a Hatter Hat for Hubs to wear for Halloween and at the last minute he had to fly out to go to training.  Trick or Treating with out him was kind of sad.  But we invited people over so we wouldn't think about it. 

    November had Turkey Day!  It was different this year without Hub's Aunt but not necessarily bad.  At the end of the month we welcomed our new baby Nephew!   

    December has been a pretty good month so far.  Getting ready for Christmas has been delightful with Clover.  She is older this year and has fallen in love with Christmas lights.  We have been down the lighted lanes and she loves em! 

    K, so this challenge isn't fair because really my five minutes was really up about ten minutes ago.  But there is my super quick year in review.  It's been such a busy year that I feel that if I went into anymore detail that this would have turned into an ebook. 

    Tuesday, December 14, 2010

    You've Got a Friend in Me

    December 14 – What’s the one thing you have come to appreciate most in the past year? How do you express gratitude for it?

    My Friends.  Plain and Simple. 

    I have a small list in my head.  You may not even know that you are one it.  It doesn't take much to get on it.  But once you are on it, you are on it FOREVER. 

    This past year my appreciation for the great people in my life has grown.  I've always had great people in my life.  I've always acknowledged that.  Only in the last couple of years have I grown to truly appreciate them.  I had started a journey a few years ago.  A journey that I had imagined that all my friends would be along for the ride.  They were all excited at first.  Then things got a bit bumpy.  After a few speed bumps, everything worked itself out.  But as I looked around, I noticed I lost a few people.  It happens.  In the course of life sometimes we grow apart.  I would like to say that I am working on being okay with that. 

    That point in my life just made me appreciate the people in my life all the more.  I know I can do more to show how much I appreciate them.  I try and verbalize it as much as possible, sometimes I assume that they know. 

    So just so you know here and now.  If you care enough to have been reading this novel, YOU are probably on the short list ;).  Brought me some sort of coffee...on it FOR SURE.  Had us over for a play date...don't worry bout it, you're THERE.  Listened to my rants and raves...ABSOLUTELY.  The list goes on for awhile and some of you are in multiple categories but like I said, once you are on it, your a lifer. 

    I'm working on showing my friends how much I appreciate them.  Even if it's something small.  Not only do I cherish all of these people, I am in awe of them.  They all have qualities that I love.  Qualities that have and continue to enhance my life.  How do you show your appreciation for something so special?     

    Monday, December 13, 2010

    The Little Red-Headed Ball of Fury!

    It started as a meltdown because I couldn't pick her up at the time.  Couldn't not wouldn't.  I was juggling a hot sheet pan full of mini gingerbread men.  At that exact moment she felt the need to be in my arms.  I asked her to back up a bit because I had a hot pan.  She could care less.  She wanted up.  So the meltdown turned into fit which led to an epic battle of wills.

    I won the first round.  I sat down next to her on the kitchen floor and tried to wait out the fit.  She progressively got louder.  And I sat there while she screamed at me to stand up and hold her then she wanted to lay in her bed.  I sat down and held her.  She wasn't happy with that.  She fell asleep.  I held her and sat on the couch and turned on the TV.

    Daddy came home.  She woke up and picked up the fit right where she left off.  At one point we contemplated driving to the local Children's hospital.  There is no way she could scream this much and not have something wrong with her.  Hubs tried, I tried.  Everything we tried just seemed to make her mad.  She was red.  Her ears were red, her head was red. 

    She had a bath and calmed down a bit...but not much.  As I put on her pajamas the screaming continued.  She said that she wanted to lay in her bed.  So we laid down.  Which is what she wanted in the first place.  The sniffles subsided and she quit screaming.  Five seconds later she declared...

    "I'm Happy now"

    It must be really hard to be two and three quarters.  I say that because sometimes it is hard to be the mom of a two and three quarter year old.     

    The Aim of Such Desire

    December 13 – When it comes to aspirations, it’s not about ideas. It’s about making ideas happen. What’s your next step?

    aspiration  (ˌæspɪˈreɪʃən) [Click for IPA pronunciation guide]
    1. strong desire to achieve something, such as success
    2. the aim of such desire

    I aspire to be a great Mommy - Life changes daily, so I like to think I am doing pretty good.  Sometimes I need to remind myself to slow down and enjoy the little things in life.  I also need to work on balancing my patience. 

    I aspire to be a fantastic Wifey - We have been married for eleven years so I think that I am doing something right.  We have to remember to reconnect at some point during the day. 

    I aspire to be an excellent Friend - Each one of my friends posses qualities that I adore.  Qualities I want to integrate into my own life.  Unfortunately, life gets busy and sometimes my social life gets knocked down to the bottom of the list right above "free time to sit on my butt and become a couch potato".  I need to be more vigilant about making time and making myself available.         

    I aspire to be the best Juju - Eventually I would like to go back to school and finish my degree.  The time isn't right.  But it will be.  And when it does it will be fun to get back in a classroom. 

    My aspirations are small and dear to my heart.  But they are so fulfilling that I have no desire to be a doctor/banker/mechanic.  I guess that's just the way I have always been and right now I am okay with that :).

    Sunday, December 12, 2010

    Simply a Cohesive You

    December 12 – This year, when did you feel the most integrated with your body? Did you have a moment where there wasn’t mind and body, but simply a cohesive YOU, alive and present?

    My body and mind are rarely integrated.  My body spends a lot of time yelling at my mind.  Like the time we hiked down to the lake thinking

    "It doesn't look that far..."

    My body was pretty mad at my mind.  Especially when we were hiking back.  I had the two year old on my hip and came to this...

    Now, I'm not a couch potato.  Nor am I in the greatest physical shape in the world.  By the time I got to the top with Clover in my arms, my heart was pounding out of my ears!  When we got back to the truck, my heart had stopped pounding like a bongo drum.  My body was tingly from all the exercise and looking back I felt a great sense of accomplishment.  I did feel alive, happy that the hike didn't kill me. 

    Saturday, December 11, 2010

    11 Things

    December 11 – What are 11 things your life doesn’t need in 2011? How will you go about eliminating them? How will getting rid of these 11 things change your life?

    This seems like an appropriate topic considering that I actually did some purging last night.  My Organizing Coach/Guru actually asked me if there was going to be a blog post about it.  I told her no, looks like I was wrong. 

    Last night we went through all of Clover's belongings and worked on thinning it out before the holidays.  I have four bags waiting to go to donations and probably a good 8 bags waiting by the door waiting to go to a local teen moms group that a friend of ours mentors. 

    So I can put that on the list.  In no particular order...

    11. Clover's Stuff - Getting her play area a bit more manageable so she can get to the toys she does have and play with them.

    10. My Clothes - I have to admit, I have a lot of stuff that doesn't fit.  I dropped a few lbs, but for some reason I am still holding on to some items.  Partly because I'm afraid I will bounce back up.  But so far so good and it's been a year. So I think it's safe to say that I can start to get rid of some of it. 

    9. The Monster Couch on the Back Porch - When we updated the living room, the easiest solution was to move the monster couch to the back porch.  So that's what we did.  It was still sort of warm so chillin out there on the couch was nice.  Hubby doesn't like it.  He thinks it's "ghetto".  So in 2011 it will probably be leaving.

    8. Diapers - We have been working on potty training around these parts.  2011 will be the year that the diapers are out of the house.
    7. My Wonky Acer Netbook Screen - Good thing I know people that can fix it, since Acer wouldn't. 

    6.  Some More Lbs - Of course everyone puts that on their New Years resolution list.  I think I could shed a few more.  I'm not going to torture myself over it.  Maybe just hit the elliptical a bit more.

    5.  My Recently Developing Ulcer - Every so often it decides to creep up on me and attack me while I am drinking my morning cup of coffee.  Tagament here I come. 
    4.  My Caffeine Addiction - Who are we kidding with this one?  Really?  Yes, I know that it's bad for me but I just can't help it.  To say that I love my coffee would be an understatement.  Even if it is aggravating my ulcer. 

    3. Negative People - We all have them in our lives.  No matter how things are going they can never recognize the good.  Ever.  All they see is the negative.  And heaven forbid you have something positive in your life, because for some reason they just can't handle that.  Yeah, those people need to go.  If I can't eliminate them from the social calendar maybe I can just surround myself with more positive people.   

    2. Clover's Two Year Old Tantrums - I can dream right?  As we move into the next year, My darling is all that closer to being 3.  So the tantrums stop right?  It's okay you can lie to me just this once. 

    1. Sleep Deprivation - Now I'm just stretching cuz I've been sitting here forever trying to think of one last thing on the list.  I know that I probably shouldn't stay up until one when I know that my darling daughter will be up 5 hours later poking me with her little finger reminding me that once again "it's time to get up Mom!".

    So there you have it.  11 things for 2011.  So that's roughly one thing to get rid of a month.  I think I can manage that.  I have a whole year to work on it.  I think it's do-able.  After getting rid of stuff last night I feel better about my house and that it's not as cluttered.  Maybe getting rid of some of the stuff on my list will make my life seem less cluttered.  I'm all for an uncluttered life. 

    Friday, December 10, 2010

    The Oscar for Supportive Wifey Goes To...

    December 10 – Wisdom Wisdom. What was the wisest decision you made this year, and how did it play out?

    At the same time last year, we were stressed.  My Hubs was unhappy with his job.  He had already survived more than five rounds of layoffs.  Honestly, I couldn't tell you how many there were because I stopped counting after five.  He decided to make a lateral move in the company.  New boss, new position.  He was excited at first.  He would be doing something that was in the same field that he wanted.  But we both quickly realized that the grass is not always greener on the other side of the hill.  I think that the last straw was when his boss called and wanted him to fly to New York two days before Christmas.  He knew he wasn't happy, and although he didn't say anything for awhile, I knew he wasn't happy.  So what do you do?  He stuck through it because he wanted to provide for his family. 

    Soon after that, wheels started turning.  Things were put in motion and a position opened up with another company.  A company that he had dreamed about working for.  There was some politics involved.  The company he was at didn't want to let him go.  So there was some stress about that as well. 

    Supporting him never seemed like a choice.  It was just a given.  We discussed it, and waited.  I told him to do whatever it takes.  I just wanted him to be happy.  At the time the risks were worth it.  Whatever happened we had each other, we had our daughter.  He has always been a great provider, that's just the sort of man he is.  I have no doubt that he will continue to be.  At the same time I don't want him to be miserable while doing so.  So, I stood by him while he took a giant leap.

    The adjustments in the beginning where a challenge.  Some took longer to get used to than others.  I think that nine months later we have done a good job of settling in.  The mood this year definitely seems different.  We seem to be focusing more on the holiday, the decorations and the Peppermint Mochas.  We don't feel as stressed as last year.  At least I don't. 

    Although, right now the Hubs is sick.  So if you ask him if this year is better I'm not sure he will give you a positive answer.  But that has more to do with the fact that he is grumpy when he is sick.  But don't worry, I will have a nice hot cup of tea and a bowl of soup waiting for him when he gets home  . 

    Thursday, December 9, 2010

    Party On Wayne, Party On Juju

    December 9 – Party. What social gathering rocked your socks off in 2010? Describe the people, music, food, drink, clothes, shenanigans.

    We've had a few fun gatherings in 2010.  This year was the first year that we have actively made the kid's birthday party circuit.  Clover is now old enough to be invited to her friend's birthday parties.  So this year we made the rounds.  She even got in a bounce house for the first time.  She needed help at first but by the end of the afternoon she had such a sense of accomplishment because she could do it herself.  I was a proud momma that day.  An added bonus I got to catch up with a bunch of girls from high school, and we got cake, so really it was a triple bonus.  At one party Clover got to watch a clown do magic tricks.  She went home screaming ABRACADABRA all afternoon!  We went to two swim parties, one which she jumped in the pool fully clothed while I was walking her shoes to the backpack.  I was conflicted, part of me wanted to be mad but I really couldn't help but laugh.  In her mind there was nothing wrong with getting in the kiddie pool fully clothed.  The five seconds it would have taken to change would have been too much for her little two year old body to handle.  I got lots of comments about how much of a "free spirit" she was that afternoon.    

    Family gatherings are new for us as well.  We came from point in our lives where it was just the two of us, Hubs and I.  We went out whenever we wanted.  We hosted a ton of get togethers.  I can't tell you the amount of gaming parties we had, or how many times I woke up to the occasional friend on the couch.  Once we had Clover things slowed down a bit.  Actually they came to a screeching halt.  Guess what?  Most single guys are scared by babies.  I say that because in our experience most of them disappeared when Clover came home.  That first year we tried to host a few parties thinking that nothing had changed.  Crickets.  We have a few loyal buddies that we keep in touch with. 

    I have to say that there has been a shift in our social calendar.  We have lots more family events to attend, which is new to us.  It's been a blast.  We were invited to a family camping event with multiple families with kids.  We got to camp out with great friends, made some new friends and watched Clover have a blast running through the forest with the other kids.  We also went to a very lovely Thanksgiving dinner hosted by a friend of mine.  We had great food, great conversation and once again got to watch Clover play with her friends. 

    I think my favorite of 2010 was the Carnival Party!  I might be slightly biased because it was the party I threw for my 30th birthday and Hubs 31st!  I decided that I wanted to throw myself a party.  I love throwing parties and love the details.  I printed ticket invitations.  We had carnival games and prizes.  We got to borrow a rockin popcorn machine to make popcorn.  There where so many details that pulled the party together.  We invited lots of friends.  We had one moment where we thought we may have invited too many people because it seemed like we just couldn't get around to talk to everyone.  And I can't forget the cotton candy machine.  Best idea ever!  I was a little shocked to find out that some people don't like cotton candy.  What?  Are you serious?  Of course having my birthday the beginning of June, it happened to be triple digits.  So hopping in and out of the pool was a given.  A friend made me a carnival popcorn bucket cake to pull it all together.  It was a nice way to end the party. 

    We've had a lot of great gatherings, fire pit night and Friday hang out nights.  The year isn't over yet.  It will be interesting to see what else we can squeeze into the next 22 days!             


    Wednesday, December 8, 2010

    The Cursor Keeps Blinking at Me

    December 8 – Beautifully Different. Think about what makes you different and what you do that lights people up. Reflect on all the things that make you different – you’ll find they’re what make you beautiful.

    I copy and pasted the prompt and my poor cursor is just sitting there blinking at me.  I can write on and on about things in my life, about my Clover, my Hubs, family or friends.  Easy peasy.  But writing about myself?  Actual deep down self reflection...everything comes to a screeching halt and the poor cursor just sits there blinking.

    I read the prompt probably an hour ago.  Then I sat on Facebook for awhile and avoided it.  I've repeated "beautifully different?" in my head a few times and I still have a blank canvas in front of me.  It's not that I lack self confidence to write about myself.  I guess I just don't think about it that often.  It's not like I sit around thinking about how I am so fantastical.  I do joke about how I can't hear anything over the sound of how awesome I am.

    Since I have sitting here thinking...the memories that have popped in my head have been about the little things in life.  I like to do little things that make someones day a little brighter.  Make the day a little easier.  Bringing someone a cup of coffee or posting something ridiculous online or harassing someone via text message.  I don't know if it makes me different.  I know it makes me feel a little better about myself to know that I helped someone out, even if it's just a little bit.

    On the physical side of "beautifully different"...I have to say, I really like my nose.  No really, I do.  I think it's a cute nose.  It even has a lil freckle on it.  I like it even more since my daughter has one just like it.


    Tuesday, December 7, 2010

    Social Networking

    December 7 – Community. Where have you discovered community, online or otherwise, in 2010? What community would you like to join, create or more deeply connect with in 2011?

    Online communities are everywhere.  I am a member of a few but only really active in one.


    I have to admit that I was a little late to the whole social networking.  I was probably one of the last in our little group to get a myspace page.  I'm not sure how the migration to Facebook happened.  We just all slowly started making our way over.

    Facebook has let me catch up with family member and reconnect with old friends.  I've formed wonderful friendships with people I haven't talked to in years, and my life is definitely better because of it.

    It's nice to keep up with everyone.  Now that we are all adults with our own families and careers, we don't get together as much as we like. 

    As for groups for 2011?  I thought about joining a mom's group.  Something to get me out of the house.  But I think that may take a little more commitment than I can commit to these days.  It's also hard trying to join a group when you have to share a vehicle with your hard working hubby (I'm not complaining, just stating).

    So there you have it.  A blog about a social network site.  Now back to Facebook to see what everyone is up to this morning. 


    Monday, December 6, 2010

    Keeping Track

    December 6 – Make. What was the last thing you made? What materials did you use? Is there something you want to make, but you need to clear some time for it?

    That would require me to keep track of the things that I have made.  I started to at .  If I had it in my mind that I was going to blog about it I tried to take as many pictures as possible.  Then The Great Mac Crash of 2010 (it's been a long year) hit and I lost all of my information.  I was fortunate enough that it came back on long enough for me to make a few hurried back ups.  I just haven't gotten back up and running on the craft site yet.

    I consider myself pretty crafty.  I am all over the place.  I love to knit.  My favorite by far is to knit baby blankets.  I know that somewhere one of my blankies is keeping a lil one warm and that gives me the warm fuzzies.

    I have started the biggest project I have ever worked on.  It started out as a lap blanket for the Hubs but has so far turned out to be quite large.  By the time it is completed it will be an 8-bit Link (Zelda) bedspread.  I have already went through more than a few skeins of acrylic yarn.  I like acrylic.  *Gasp*  All of the hardcore knitters just kicked me out of the club.  But it's easily washable and it softens up when you add fabric softener.

    I think that the last thing that I finished was Clover's bear beanie.  It was a knit beanie with crochet ears.  I worked on it in the car on our last road trip.  I used brown yarn with a brown bucle.  I have a washer necklace on the list of things to make and completing the large bedspread is on the list too but I am pretty sure it wont be complete til Valentine's Day at the least.    

    The Proof is in the Reading

    My day normally starts somewhere in between 5 and 7 am.  I have no idea why it varies.  There is no rhyme or reason.  In between that time span, my darling Clover gets out of her bed, opens her door and comes and crawls right in the middle of me and her daddy.  If it's closer to the 5 side of things, I will wrap my arm around her and she will normally go back to sleep.  If closer to the 6 side of things, she will flop around like a fish and start...


    Incoherent mumble from mom

    "Mom...It's time to get up mom!" 

    "No it's not...the suns not out yet" I am starting to be convinced that my daughter was destined to be a Starbucks Employee.

    "Mommmmmyyyyy...It's time to get up mom"

    I'm not a morning person.  My flannel sheets are way to warm and I just want to lay there, possibly roll back over, and go to sleep.  But I can't.  My human alarm clock wont let me. 


    If I don't get up she starts on her Dad.  Which she knows by now gets me up faster. 

    So now I'm up.  I start off my day by balancing our morning routine while patiently waiting for Mr. Coffee to brew my oh so delicious breakfast blend. 

    Turn the TV on.  Yes, we watch TV.  I know there are people out there who are against it, I don't know how you get through your day without some sort of distraction.  I admire you for that, I do.

    Meeska Mooska Mickey Mouse! 

    Before I've had my first cup of liquid caffeine, I have my netbook open.  I smack it a couple of times because the screen is all wonky.  Which makes me grumpy because even though I got it for Christmas last year, Acer believes that a one year warranty expires in October. 

    I check the prompt and start brainstorming...

    I grab a cup of breakfast blend and become acquainted with the Blogger window.  Before I have finished the first paragraph I have put my netbook down AT LEAST once for various reason.  When I stated in an earlier post that I had to run interference I was not joking.  I think that morning I was interrupted three times. 

    I feel like it's such an accomplishment if I finish a post, let alone proofread it.  It's not that I don't love you my readers!  I do.  I will try to be more vigilant in my proofreading or at least make an effort to remember to hit the spell checker button.        


    Sunday, December 5, 2010

    It Might Be Too Soon

    December 5 – Let Go. What (or whom) did you let go of this year? Why?

    I'm sitting here, trying to decide to write about the "what" or "who".  I have stories for both.  but here I sit.  The cursor blinking at me in the Blogger window.  It's yelling at me.  hurry up already. 

    I'm hesitating.  I'm questioning myself and my writing ability.  I'm asking myself if it's too soon to write this story.  If it's even mine to write. 



    I met her some fifteen or fourteen years  ago.  I don't remember when exactly.  She was a tall, blond lady who had no trouble speaking her mind.  I admired her for that.  And for the way she got her hair to do that puffy thing.

    A couple years after that I became part of her family.  I married her nephew.  She didn't like my lack of cleaning ability or the fact that I hated to do laundry.  She was very supportive and passionate about her family.  She watched over them and she knew I was going to take good care of him.   

    This small family is no stranger to what I call "medical drama".  But it was such a big shock when it hit her.  This woman had never been IN the hospital in sixty something years.  I can only imagine any sort of illness taking one look at her and running the other way. 

    In the same week that they had gotten the news that her husband was cancer free, after a year of chemo and surgery...she got the bad news.  She had cancer. 

    She fought and fought, then she fought some more.

    In October of this year, she lost that fight.  Three years from when it had all started.  

    It might be too soon to say that we have let go.

    Saturday, December 4, 2010

    My Wonder Cultivator

    December 4 – Wonder. How did you cultivate a sense of wonder in your life this year?

    This is such an easy question that I feel like as soon as I answer it there will be nothing else to write about today.  That just might be disappointing to my few loyal readers who came here and expected a novel.

    You see, I have my very own "Sense of Wonder Cultivator".  This person also happens to be my "All Things Wonderful" Tour Guide.  She has a tough job but she is always up for the challenge.  I have to imagine that sometimes it's tricky to slow those "Big People" down and make them look around.  But let me tell you, she is great at it.  Her job doesn't end at five and she rarely gets a day off, but she never complains.  She has just fit into the position naturally. 

    I try very hard each day to slow down and look around like she so frequently tells me too.  Sometimes life gets in the way and pushes us in other directions but she is always right there to point us in the right way. 

    Like I said in an earlier post, this year has been busy.

    And like I said, she is really good at her job.

    Even something as simple as going to the park gives her the opportunity to show off her skills.  There are just so many things that as adults we pass up.  Maybe it has something to do with being so far from the ground.  Just watching her explore the world around her leaves me in a total sense of wonder.  I could easily write this entire blog post about watching her at Disneyland.

    I haven't had to much at all to cultivate my sense of wonder this year or the year before that.  I'm pretty sure next year is already taken care too.  I don't have to look very far.  No, not very far at all.  I just have to look down at the curly red headed girl who is snuggling my arm, tucked under her Mad Hatter blanket. 

    Friday, December 3, 2010

    An Unexpected Stop

    Day 3 (just in case you were wondering)
    Pick one moment during which you felt most alive this year. Describe it in vivid detail (texture, smells, voices, noises, colors).

    It was chilly when we got out of the truck.  I almost felt guilty for making him pull off the road.  We had already had a great vacation, a busy great vacation.  I could tell he didn't want to add one more stop while we were headed home.  I felt that it would be a disservice had we driven through Yosemite and not stopped.  Timing worked out well.  Clover needed to get out of the car seat and stretch her legs.  She was getting grumpy.

    Yosemite is known for so many things.  Waterfalls being one of them.  So I thought there would be more road signs. You have to be actively looking or you will miss the one 2x2 sign that says Bridalveil Falls.  Now that I am thinking back there might have been more.  I only saw one. 

    The parking lot was shaded by a combination of the mountain and huge trees.  There was a slight breeze.  Once we hit the trail, Clover grabbed her Daddy's hand and off they went.  I trailed behind trying to situate my sweater and my bottle of water.  There she was ahead of me, all three feet of her in her bright orange tutu..  Who wears a tutu hiking?  Clover does.  She didn't know where we were going but she was ready and willing to get there.  Hubby was excited too.  We had all seemed to develop an adventurous attitude while on this trip. 

    The trail was paved which made the short hike to the falls very pleasant.  We hiked up to the waterfall.  There was a small stream next too the path.  A few more steps revealed the waterfall.  In all honesty it wasn't what I expected at all.  It was a little smaller than I had imagined.  It was still beautiful.  The sound of water off the mountain right above us was very calming.  I snapped a few pictures and we walked back down.  We stopped for more pictures.  I with my camera and Hubby with his phone. 

    We stopped for a moment.  As I stood there I had a strange feeling of familiarity.  I looked around...Clover handed me an acorn.  We had stopped in a small grove of Oak trees.  Yellowish leaves were still clinging to the trees but some had already started their decent to cover the ground below.  Natures way of telling you that Fall was on its way.  The moist fresh air combined with the smell of the Oak grove instantly put me in a good mood.  In my mind I was transported to the place where we played under a giant Oak as children.  A place where the fall wind carried the smell of the giant Oak to greet you when you pulled up the grandmother's house.

    Clover picked up an acorn cap and pretended to drink out of it.  I smiled, remembering the times when I did the same exact thing.  I could have sat there all afternoon creating new memories with my cute little family while being halfway caught in a sense of nostalgia.  After awhile the chill had started to penetrate my sweater and we decided that it was time to get back in the truck.  Clover picked up two more acorns to play with, and after a pit stop we were back on the road and headed home.   


    Thursday, December 2, 2010

    Enter Interference

    Day 2
    What do you do each day that doesn’t contribute to your writing — and can you eliminate it?

    I haven't had my good o morning cup of coffee.  I can smell it and it's tempting.  When I first read this prompt, I read it wrong.  No surprise...I have barely gotten the sleepy sand out of my eyes.  Gross, I know.

    I thought this question was way to easy...especially when I read the word "can" as "can't".  I started thinking of everything I do where I would rather be doing something else.  That list is long....and has dishes, sweeping, vacuuming on it.  You know, stuff you don't want to do but stuff that you have to do. 

    Now that I am focusing on the question as it was's a little harder.  I could have written on and on about how I hate sweeping.  You could ask the girls I worked with.  If begging and bartering wouldn't work, I was not above whining. ;)

    It's been a while since I sat down and wrote just for the sake of writing.  I used too.  English classes were always my favorites.  Then writing turned into blogging.  I am a little disappointed that craft blog has posed a little more challenging that I realized.  Writing at times comes naturally.  My challenge comes in finding the time.

    Speaking of time...I kid you not the last two times I have sat down to blog I have had to run interference.  I guess it's all about making time.  Which is what this challenge is all about :)

    So back to the question...something I can eliminate?  Eliminate seems like such a harsh word.  Maybe I should readjust my schedule to include more writing.  Less tv time and a lil less knitting time.     


    Wednesday, December 1, 2010

    One Word

    Encapsulate the year 2010 in one word. Explain why you’re choosing that word. Now, imagine it’s one year from today, what would you like the word to be that captures 2011 for you?

    I guess every year is busy.  2010 seemed to be the busiest year of years.  Lots of changes this year, lots of adjusting.  Some changes for the better.  Some annoying and some just plain sad.  I think at times I was keeping myself busy just to distract myself.  I have developed an anxiety where I am always weary about what's around the next corner.  At times I feel that if I allow myself to slow down and enjoy the ride, something will be waiting for me.  So naturally I gas it through each corner and curve at a speed that would make a nascar driver proud. 

    I should work on that next year.


    would be a good word for next year.

    So would


    I should work on that next year too!