Friday, April 30, 2010

I could really use a wish right now...

Oh Friday How I Have Missed You

This has been one long week. Work has been crushing me and my personal schedule has been bullying me. After my rant on this weekend's hike, I vowed to go back to my San Diego fantasy life as best I could (i.e. playing tennis, hitting the links, woosa with yoga, etc). Well I successfully attempted tennis and golf, but my performance was less than par as I am a bit rusty. I still need to figure out a suitable studio location for my yoga antics. But I am happy to report that I have been true to my hiking regimen thus far.

Despite my plummeting energy levels, I have even found time to complete a few French workbook lessons, write a chapter or two in the ole' manuscript, and attend our Amgen Tour of California volunteer orientation. Ha to Ryan who told me that my life pre-LA was not the real world. I will be damned if I don't partake in my activities to maintain my sanity and health...even if it eventually kills me!

Work is a whole other story. You can definitely tell that summer is approaching and our National Team events are kicking off because everyone is on edge and snapping left and right. My recent task of planning the Team USA Member Tailgates has been exciting yet time consuming. And with the addition of the rumor that the club affiliation deadline is May 1st, my phone has yet to stop ringing (don't mind the water polo lingo here).

Perhaps my favorite activity thus far this week has been my sweet treats. A surprise visit late Wednesday night by my love dove with a Sprinkles' bag in hand. An hour and a half indulgence at Yogurtland with Nikki last evening.

No matter how exhausted or lethargic I might feel at times, I like to make my loved ones a priority. Because when I look back at my life and when it is all said and done, I will remember the memories made and not the hours of sleep.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010


For those of you who read this (which I reckon isn't many) and who's hearts just skipped a beat...

I must confess that I have waited 2 long weeks to play this joyous prank on you. April Fools came almost a month late for this little trickster, but I can guarantee I got a few of you! Ha!

In all fairness, the title of this blog post is not totally false. We, being Amanda & Shane, are engaged. My little brother is growing up. Tear.

Back in August, I had the pleasure of accompanying him to purchase the ever so unique setting. It was a feeling of great honor to be a part of such a big spending so to speak. And then about 2 weeks ago when I was casually speaking with him on the phone, I oddly asked, "do you think you and Amanda will get engaged this year?" I was expecting a yes probably in the fall/winter. I was not expecting an alarming "did you talk to mom?" response (**this basically meant that an engagement was about to go down stat if mom knew what was up).

I got so excited that I nearly wrecked making my turn into work. I kept inquiring about the purchase of the lone diamond and the details of how. He told me to 'slow my roll' and that we would discuss options soon.

I don't know how to convey the importance to me of being involved in my brother's decision process of becoming a man. There is something so sweet about being the oldest and getting to be the first to know. To know that my younger siblings value my opinion and look to me for guidance is an amazing feeling.

So low and behold, we will be adding a new sister into our family. Congrats to Amanda & Shane. I love you both!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Talk Derby To Me

In honor of my great home state, I feel that I must address the event of Derby. The largest horse racing event in the world and perhaps one of the most prestigious events ever. This event draws crowds from all over (think Mardi Gras but more classy). Those who are non-Kentucky natives get caught up in the trendy aspects of the day.

But Derby is more than fancy hats, mint juleps, ponies, and gambling. It is about tradition, community, and pride. It is about beauty, authenticity, and culture. It is about hardwork, dedication, and love of the sport. It is about the thrills and chills of the final stretch. It is about My Old Kentucky Home.

Now that I've gotten the mushy part out of the way...I'll move onto the festive stuff.

My recommendations for first timers are as follows:

1. wear an elaborate hat

2. sip on a mint julep while in the infield

4. attempt to sneak some form of alcohol in just to see if you can get away with it

5. grab a post-derby drink on Bardstown Rd. (Molly Malone's or O'Shea's will do)

6. scream the whole way through the tunnel leading into the infield

7. dare to walk barefoot through the muddy tracks

8. admire the fillies on Oak's Day

9. sing My Old Kentucky Home along with the crowd

10. pretend for just a moment that this place, Louisville, KY, is your home...

Dear EJ,

I wanted to let you know that I miss you terribly. A few days ago, I was reminiscing about the night when you dropped me off at the airport. I was heading to Kentucky to attend Kym & Joey's wedding as Ryan's date. I was so nervous!

Anyhow, we stopped off at Starlite Lounge to grab a glass of wine and enjoy some girl time. We sat right at the bar and talked about anything and everything. We talked about our respective relationships, how I was falling for Ry, how you had fallen for Romee, the importance of having good girlfriends, the pros and cons of San Diego, and so on.

From the moment I met you, I knew that you would be a life-long friend. You have an amazing spirit that inspires me, and you have a heart of love towards everyone. That is something that I truly admire and strive for daily.

So thanks for being you. And thanks for being my friend.


Sunday, April 25, 2010

First. Finest. Forever.

It is no secret that Alpha Delta Pi is close to my heart. The first move I make when moving to a new city is to scout out the local alumnae association. Immediately, I become involved.

I guess it was destined to be really. When your mascot is the lion (the most fierce animal of the kingdom) and your symbol is the diamond (a girl's best friend), how can I not love you?

Truth be told, my favorite part of my sorority is the bond of friendship that surfaces, forms, and maintains throughout life. My 5 best friends are ADPis. The women that I share many common aspirations and dreams with are ADPis. In the past month, I have randomly met quite a few of my fellow sisters.
One of my favorite days of the year is Founders' Day. A day of community and celebration when sisters of all ages, pledge classes, and chapters get together to celebrate the women who founded this wonderful sorority. Today, we celebrated Alpha Chi's (UCLA) 85th anniversary of existence. To my amazement, we had attendees from the 1940's to the 2000's. Wow! The stories that were told.

There is nothing like celebrating friendship, love, and tradition on a Sunday.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Get Rich Wish List

In terms of financials, I am what the American public calls poor. Extremely poor. This should come as no surprise as I work in sports and I bring my lunch to other restaurants when my co-workers want to 'get out of the office.' I also keep a coupon book with me at all times and refuse to buy gas in LA (as it is 15 cents more per gallon than in HB). As many of you know, I am all about lists. I live and die by lists. Some are utterly absurd, but others are somewhat necessary to maintain my sanity and give life a bit of direction. So today I present to you my material wish list. A list of things that I would purchase if I was rich (or if you are rich, you can feel free to purchase for me).
Let's begin, shall we.
First up, a lovely pair of Tiffany's sunglasses, just in time for the summer sun.

Next, we have a set of animal-print luggage for all of the traveling to be done.

And what suitcase would be complete without a whole new wardrobe to fit inside?

Don't forget the can get cool in SoCal at nighttime!

A travel companion/sister for Beaumont

Somewhere to store all of our wine from Santa Barbara (either of these will do just fine)

And last but by no means least...

Should you feel compelled to purchase any of these items, please contact me personally so that I can give you the proper shipping address. Happy Shopping!

Sporting Around Los Angeles

Thursday evening 'the kids + Liz' headed to the ole' ballpark for some food, fast pitch, and fan fun. Using our USAWP Member Discount, we were able to purchase Anaheim Angels tickets for a whopping $9 (no tax or service fee!).

15 of us had an old-fashioned tailgate with nothing other than a 30 pack of BL (Bud Light for those of you who drink classy beer) and roaring stories of our recent personal activities. Just when we thought it couldn't get any better, we stumbled upon a Jack Daniels travel truck...and inside was a mini distillery. Heaven for this southern belle.

To top off the evening, we each received a FREE Torri Hunter figurine. Life is good for a poor sports professional when you get added-value plus a great experience.

Come to think of it, I have been dabbling in a lot of LA-area sporting events lately.

We caught the tail end of the Dodgers season last summer.

We went big time in our suite for the Clippers game.

We treated Tara Jean to the intense testosterone of the Kings.

Next up...the Galaxy?!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Surprise, Surprise, Surprise

Ever since August and our flawless first flawless I mean that my dress strap broke as we pulled up to the ever so fancy Bertrand at Mr. A's and my eyes looked like I had been partaking in 4/20 (National Weed Holiday according to one of my co-workers) for a decade thanks to my Lasik surgery 3 days prior...I have been surprising Ryan with little gifts. I have always been way better at speaking my feelings than showing so this has been my conscious effort in showing.

The little treats have been well received (who doesn't like presents), and they have made for some great times for the two of us. Items include homemade cd's, UK t-shirts, dinners delivered to his office during a long night, a be the change journal, and a mini Boxster. Experiences include couples' massage, LA Kings' game, and a trip to San Fran only to drive all the way back to LA along the romantic PCH.

So last night, I planned another experience for my sweet. A check to be made on his that I knew needed to be pushed along. A one hour harmonica lesson. This surprise sure was a hit. My ears enjoyed a great concert while Ryan learned and Leon (his teacher) played along on the guitar. And I don't think he has stopped playing the darn thing since.

I truly feel that we have (or have been) taken the sermon from Sunday's mass to heart:
fall in love and stay in love.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Spring Cleaning Brings Memories

I had originally planned to spend an extensive amount of time blogging about my obsession with wedding registries. But since I spent the morning 'cleaning' my personal email folders, I stumbled upon some great photos from over the past year that I am just dying to share.
(Do not fear. I will be having wedding registry fever until mid-June so it will be a topic of convo sometime soon.)

And so we begin....

Allow me to introduce you to the most angelic baby to ever be born

And show you how much he has grown already....

The angel resides here...

And he brushes his little teeth in here...

Some of you may have seen this picture already

'09 Celebrity Sightings

James Blake

NFL Player Chad Pennington of the Miami Dolphins

'09 Not So Celebrity Sightings

My Cowboy

Howdy Ladies...

And My All Time Personal Favorite Photo

I got a real kick out of reminiscing about these memories this morning, and I just had to share.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Motivating Make-Up

I do not consider myself to be a real girly girl. I enjoy dressing up, but I am frequently found in jeans or my sweet VS sweatpants (so much to when my car was broken into and they were stolen, I immediately went to Vicki's and bought a new pair).

I could, however, live in a spa. My bed would obvi be a massage table and my daily routine would include a morning facial, lunchtime mani/pedi combo, late afternoon exfoliation & seaweed wrap, an early evening waxing, and a bedtime massage. (*if anyone feels like this may be a real life possibility, please let me know asap.)

Despite my love for the spa, I do not have a love for make-up. I do not like the feeling of having a thick & heavy goo on my face. And I have a hidden fear of wearing make-up too often which eventually would lead to me looking like a completely different person should I choose not to wear it. Do not make fun of me for this. I have seen this happen to people before; without make-up, they get a sort of knee-jerk reaction from others. Kind of like, "Oh good Lord who are you?" Not something I want to be tortured with EVER. All of this being said, I have managed to find a make-up brand that I actually enjoy lathering my precious face in.


I have been using this make-up for almost 3 years now. I adore it. The concealer and liquid powder glide on smoothly without a cakey feel. The mascara makes my eyes pop, and the eyeliner doesn't give me a 'hooker who shacked last night' complex. The eyeshadow and blush provide a nice touch of color that stays with me throughout the day and night. And the lipstick is subtle but sheek.

I highly recommend checking it out. Whether you're a girly girl or not, you just might be motivated to become one.

Monday, April 19, 2010

The Changing of Seasons

As part of my "interview" phase with Ryan (**note I was not the interviewer but rather the interviewee), I was forced to endure a lot of physical pain, sweat, and outdoor activity. Truth be told, it has served me well in many arenas, and I have come to really enjoy our hobbies.

This past weekend, we had what I will call a "transition of seasons." With the sun peaking out more and more, snowboarding season is really coming to an end (insert sad face). To get one more run in, we headed up to Big Bear for a day sesh. The powder was pretty decent, and we enjoyed 5 hours of thrilling mountain riding. The views were spectacular as we rode the lift up...snow-capped mountains ahead with lake views and green hills behind.

Moving onto Sunday and into the "season of hiking." We made the PCH drive out past Malibu and into Ventura County, arriving at the Chumash Indian Trail just around 2:30pm. The Los Angeles Hikers' Guide warned us about the steep interface of the climb, the monsterous wildflowers, and the importance of caring a map for direction. They were spot on.

Once we trekked to the top peak, we dipped into a valley of gorgeous land. Land spread vastly across the hidden gem of Malibu. Tracks of mountain lions and florescent flowers made for fun sidebar convos.

So we concluded the weekend by designing our Summer Summit Series calendar. I can't help but laugh when I think back to January as we drove up to Mammoth for my first snowboarding experience. It was then that we made our "list o' stuff to do" for the year. I can recall Ryan having his turn and saying, "summit series" to which I casually put an * next to (asterisk meaning something he would be doing solo). Ironically, I think I might be more excited than him to take on this outdoors adventure.

If I had to guess, I'd say that I am getting an A+ in this interview.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Life's Little Lessons

#1. Full Circle. All Things Come In a Full Circle.

Friday, April 16, 2010

A Picture is Worth...

...a thousand words.

My ex (well we never dated so we couldn't have broken up)...

My old (err if she is old then I am old and we all know how the age of 30 makes me cringe)...

Let's just call her my former roomie, Shana.

Shana has a talent. A tremendous talent. One that she has turned into a pareer. Yes, a pareer. I just made that word up about 14 seconds ago. It is a combination of passion and career. When you get paid to do what you love/are passionate about.

Something that I have always longed to have. Something I am still searching for...

I have always known this special talent that Shana possess as I have seen her work- for the Padres, friends' weddings, our Neighbor Wars scavenger hunt, and the list goes on & on. Perhaps her most touching and rewarding work was on her adventure to the Dominican Republic with the Rock Church. Her pictures from this experience melt my heart each time I look at them.

While self-promoting my sweet blog yesterday, I inturn learned that Shana finally decided to promote her special talent. And I was blown away. Check out her site. Use her services. You won't be disappointed. I promise.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Hell on the Heart

I have long been a believer in the saying "everything happens for a reason." Probably a combo of faith and maintaining my sanity through life's little (or big) mishaps. So yesterday, once again, my belief in this very concept was solidified.

Timing is key in everything. I had to complete my last task at work, gather my belongings, sip my last drop of water, scurry to my car, fiddle to make sure all things were in place once I was in the car, and flip to the great country station of 105.5...just in time to hear it.

To hear the song that generated a new found confidence in me. The song that I have and will continue to play non-stop until I become one with it. The song that I pretend was written for me.

Eric Church's Hell on the Heart

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

True Friends Make My Heart Smile

Friendship: a relationship between people, organizations, or countries that is characterized by mutual assistance, approval, and support

It has taken me awhile to learn the true meaning of friendship and to realize who, indeed, are my true friends. I have been blessed with amazing people in my life, and I have come to find comfort in knowing who will always be there for me.

One of the most wonderful things about my true friends is that no matter how many days, weeks, or months go between our talks, I feel the same comfort in their voice as if we just left off yesterday.

Lately, I have been fighting a battle within myself. A battle brought on by the devil inside my mind. An obsession manifested and created by two people who really have no value or place in my life. And while I maintain that I am very much working to overcome this battle on my own, I have realized that the need for true, honest friends is at an all time high.

On my drive to work this morning, I found consolement (is that even a word?) in one of my dearest friends, Rachel. I have long admired her commitment to being a Christian, living life to the fullest, and having a 'can do attitude.' And I always find myself turning to her for guidance when I feel that I am on my knees with nowhere else to turn. She has this way, even through the phone, of touching my heart and making me smile.

And just like that I feel so much better.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

USA Swimming Wades in Sexual Misconduct

I spent 17 minutes of my morning watching one of the most distrubing and inhumane interview recaps from 20/20. The lack of character, professionalism, and overall sensitivity USA Swimming's Executive Director, Chuck Wielgus, portrays in his interview is enough to make any parent vomit.

Argueably the most powerful NGB and a front runner in Olympic hype, USA Swimming has operated with ease and arrogance in the past few years. Their "we do what we want" attitude was made apparent in Wielgus' interview.

No one is blaming Wielgus personally for the sexual misconduct of swim coaches around the country. Many of the instances reported were before his time as Executive Director at USA Swimming. The purpose of the piece was to generate action. Action to be taken that prevents these situations from occurring again. Action that protects young female swimmers from being violated by their coaches, their mentors.

As a National Governing Body, it is USA Swimming's duty to protect their members from harmful behavior and acts...especially those that are performed by their certified coach members.

I think it is high time someone took a stand and acted for the children. After all, they are the future.

Click here for the 20/20 interview.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Leading the Way to Healthy Eating...

I can't sleep. I am exhausted, but I am haunted by the same anxiety that I've been fighting for months now. And it is increasingly getting worse. So I decided to do what I do best when I can't sleep...write.

As I mentioned yesterday, I am up in Half Moon Bay for a work conference. I sat through 8 hours of meetings with the Produce for Better Health Foundation today. I have managed to learn nearly every fruit and veggie, categorized by color and alphabetical order. I know more about Gen X & Gen Y moms as well as their buying trends, feelings about being responsible for family meals, and thoughts on fruits & veggies. I have an inside peak at a few PSA's that will be launched this year in an effort to continue to highlight the message "Fruits and Veggies. More Matters."

Truth be told, I was not looking forward to this trip. Anything that cuts into my weekend (also known as Ryan time) puts a real damper on my mood. Additionally HMB is rather romantic so to be spending it with a female colleague rather than the manfriend is quite a drag.

I must say that I have been pleasantly surprised by the whole experience. The scenery and atmosphere is gorgeous. And I've had some scrumptious seafood meals courtesy of USA Water Polo. Most importantly, I was thoroughly educated about the importance of 13 servings daily of fruits & veggies. I even managed to snag some easy, healthy recipes too!

I am so on the F&V bandwagon!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Outside My Window...

There is something serene about being in a place other than your normal residence. Being out in the open, exposed to a new atmosphere, a new culture. I have always welcomed traveling, even if only for a night or two. Our world is large in size with something to be learned from each individual country, state, city, and town.

On this Thursday afternoon, I find myself delighting in the homey feel of Half Moon Bay. A small town just south of San Francisco where the bay breeze rocks 100's of sailboats and scents of seafood dance in the air. My dainty hotel, think nautical meets Key West with a hint of southern comfort, has a breathtaking view of the marina. The room is well decorated with french-like accents and modern art.

As I sit on the patio, I can touch the gorgeous pink rose bushes at my feet. The white picket fence surrounding the hotel is a symbol of safety in this beachy neighborhood. A symbol of how people, of how life can be so romantic and beautiful if you just take a minute to stop and appreciate it.

Anytime you are away from home, it is a vacation.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

With Words...

Over the past few weeks, I have been reading blogs of friends across the country. The topics are vast and entertaining to say the least. Many of my friends began blogs to journal about their newlywed adventures, baby bumps, and hobbies/interests.

I remember when blogging began not too long ago. A one, Austin Stair Calhoun, took the plunge ever so deeply. I was always so amazed by her tenacity and dedication to the project. Her overwhelming wit, attention to artistic detail, hodgepodge of interests, and astounishing ability to stalk any and all things made for daily enlightenment.

In my tenure, I have had 3 blogs. She helped me create my first one. I deligently wrote for about 3 months. The second was created and never used. Hence, here is my 3rd. I had a fabulous run on it for a good 4 months until I retired from 'kidding around' and became employed in 'the adult world.'

The truth is that I miss writing. I have a dying need to be busy, active, in touch. I have BIG dreams of entreprenurial activities; of impacting the world; of doing something with my life.

Perhaps that is as simple as touching people's lives with my words.

My goal is to finish my book by year's end. By finish, I mean printed, bound, sold. (Sold is a loose term as I am willing to produce myself and sell on I am becoming more and more aware that for this to be possible, I must make time for writing. I must take time to focus on myself. To focus on my dreams.

Friday, April 2, 2010

The Resurrection of Jesus

As Easter is approaching, I am feeling a bit overwhelmed at the thought of hosting 17 people in my one-bedroom apartment. For the 3rd year in a row, I will play hostess to a monumental holiday in the lives of all Christians. I favor hosting this holiday because it is one that rededicates me to my faith time and time again.

In concept, it is miraculous. God gave his only son so that we might be forgiven and have eternal life. I do not have children, but I am most certain that I will not be sacrificing them for anyone.

Throughout my RCIA classes, we have been learning so much about Catholicsm, and as we dive into the season of Lent, I find myself being moved to recommit myself to Christ. I am not a saint, but I find solitude in walking with the Lord daily. I have found peace in life, knowing that Jesus has saved me in a sense.

My Easter wish for everyone is that they might find that same peace and comfort in their own lives. Happy Easter!