Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Wedding Season is in Full Bloom

As the summer is coming to a point, so are the weddings of the season. The question is being popped, registries are being viewed, and I Do's are being said. I admittedly stalk many a registry because I love seeing what different people desire for a home.

Many years passed when I was boycotting attending weddings, but due to recent loved ones in my life, I am back on track. Kendahl & Peter had the destination/Christmas wedding which was an amazing time. Shane & Amanda's engagement happened just before we returned home for Bishop's Baptism so it was fun to celebrate with them. Now, Jennylynn & Davis are engaged and getting married in October. The first of my best friends to get married! So exciting!

I am so honored to be a part of so many special days. One of the most exciting and cherished things is to be along side two people who are making a life-long commitment to love one another in front of the Lord!

To JL & Davis, thank you for letting me celebrate with you!

Sunday, June 27, 2010


On a gorgeous Thursday evening, a few of us girls headed up the PCH to Malibu (I do not endorse this city for one key reason but it has its moments with me). 30 minutes later we arrived at Malibu Family Wines, a small hidden gem tucked off Mulholland Highway.

Theme: Girls Night accompanied by wine, cheese, gossip, and roaring laughter

Activity: aside from stuffing our faces and increasing our 6-pack abs via chuckles, watching the Indie film Corked

Review: a comical satire about the NorCal wine industry including rednecks, snobs, tourists, and all other random classifications

Highlights: Shizzle Creek wine, "And I'm from Sherman Oaks", wanting a "newer" bottle of wine, snootie all white tux guy, and enjoying an evening with the ladies

If you have a chance, pick up the DVD online. $15 for a well-deserved laugh is worth it.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

TAGline, You're It

A few weeks ago, I received an email from Mrs. T. She was passing along an inspirational piece that she had received via her daily TAGlines. Given our recent talks on spirituality, my RCIA classes, and the annoying obstacles that we have been "dealing with", she thought it would be beneficial to me and give me a sort of boost.

TAG is an acronym for Think About God, a Christian organization that is dedicated to providing its members with a thought provoking message daily.

I immediately signed up for these thought provoking email messages. They come every other day, stimulating my mind, heart, and soul. Topics include but are not limited to character, anxiety, and love.

I am fully endorsing this great organization. And I highly recommend subscribing to their daily thoughts. TAGline, you're it...

Friday, June 25, 2010

(Wild)Cat-tastic Draft

At the present, there are a lot of things going on in the sports world (and in my world for that matter). With so many topics to choose from, it often creates a sense of urgency and apprehensionon what subject to blog about.

EJ pointed out my neglect of Team USA in their last minute World Cup victory on Wednesday. My apologies as I sincerely had cold chills and was jumping up and down upon Donovan's goal. I might also note that I was hovered around the conference table at work, high-fiving CR at the height of it all.

I have clearly been following Wimbie, outlined by my 6 posts regarding the match heard round-the-world. It can also be said that each morning I arise with the hope that ESPN will have a heart and show me 25 minutes of London coverage before I have to trek to work. They actually do NOT have a heart, and I am always saddened by this reality.

But I think the most noteworthy sport-related news of all would be...


5, count 'em, 5 Kentucky Wildcats were drafted in last night's NBA 2010 Draft. This marks another historical sports event. UK is the school to have the most players drafted EVER in the overall draft. Boom! We may not have won a National Championship this year, but we definitely are fielding some kick a$$ NBA playas!

#1 John Wall (aka Jive Buggin) Washington Wizards
#5 Demarcus Cousins (aka Boogie) Sacramento Kings
#14 Patrick Patterson (aka P-Pat) Houston Rockets (joining my boy Chuck Hayes)
#18 Eric Bledsoe (aka Crank the Mustard) Oklahoma City (via pick to the Clippers to the Heat and back)
#29 Kyle Orton (aka Two Step) Orlando Magic (to play with that loser J.J. Reddick which serves him right since he has been talking smack about UK)

Do work boys!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Shieldy Arrives!

This, my friends, is what you call a mascot.

On Friday July 2nd at the Men's National game versus Montenegro in Newport Beach, Shieldy the Great will make his first appearance. For as long as I have been working at USAWP, which is over half a year, Shieldy's arrival has been a buzz around the water cooler. Around the conference room table, at our lunch outings, and in the kitchen. Hell, this guy is a celebrity and he hasn't even officially surfaced!

All of that will change next week.

Now, if we are being truthful, I have had the pleasure of running into Shieldy a time or two. He makes rare stops by our office to "check in" with the staff. We felt that unveiling him to the public needed to be somewhat of a spectacle though. Any old game just wouldn't do.

So, we created the Team USA Member's Only Tailgates to pump up the crowd, get our fans enthused, and indulge in a little food while beating our thunder sticks aloud.

Hope you can join us!

Isner vs. Mahut (Part 6, the final saga)

On day 3, John Isner, University of Georgia graduate, was able to not only make history but be victorious. He doted a 70-68 win in the 5th set of his Wimbledon thriller.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Isner vs. Mahut (Part 5)

The record-breaking Wimbledon match has commenced for the day. Pushed into a 3rd day due to the lack of lighting and a tick-tock time of after 9pm in London, Isner and Mahut will return to the court tomorrow...

Isner vs. Mahut (Part 4)

Isner returning for the match at 54-53...can he do it?! COME ON!!!!

Isner vs. Mahut (Part 3)

50-50 in this nail biting Wimbie match. Isner to serve...

Isner vs. Mahut (Part 2)

With an ace served up via Mahut, Isner is pushed to serve at 48-48 in the 5th.

Isner vs. Mahut

This could be the match of the tournament...

Started yesterday and moving into today, this 5 set thriller is keeping me on the edge of my seat.

If you don't know, in all grand slams, the 5th set can never end in a tie breaker. A player must win by 2 games.

Isner leads 48-47, 30-15...stay tuned

Monday, June 21, 2010

The Gentlemen's Classic

also known as Wimbledon

Perhaps the most prestigious tennis tournament ever, where players are referred to as ladies and gentlemen. The grass court grand slam began back in 1877. The All England Lawn Tennis & Croquet Club was founded nine years prior. The first ever Gentlemen's Singles tournament brought in an outstanding 200 people, each paying one shilling to spectate. Like all sports, the women were introduced later with a singles division in 1884. The rest is history, as they say.

Over 100 years later, Wimbledon still remains the most-favored of the four Grand Slams (for me anyway). Something about the grassy knoll, the purple & green symbol, and the classy structure makes me grin.

With Federer already being pushed to the limit and hanging on in a 5 set first round thriller, this year's competition will surely keep everyone on their toes. I, for one, will be getting up extra early each morning to watch the finest in tennis try their luck at the Gentlemen's Title.

Conquering Mount Baldy

With Half Dome less than 2 weeks away, our training schedule has been coming along quite nicely. Up until this past weekend, the most difficult hike had been the Will Rogers to Temescal trail. A solid 13 miles with 6.5 of them being uphill in a rather steep manner. It was fairly strenuous, but most of the trail was flat past the first climber series.

Saturday's hike brought us into a new league. Meet Mt. Baldy. A 14 mile hike noted as extremely strenuous with a 4,300 elevation gain. Our prep work included making 3 PB & J bagels, filling 9 water bottles, purchasing 2 apples and 6 Cliff bars, and stuffing it all into our 2 backpacks. Along with the nutrients, we produced a self-made First Aid kit just in case.

Lathered in sunscreen (well, my sweets was at least) and dressed for cold and hot temps, we left LA around 6:15am. 54 miles later, we reached the Angeles National Forest Visitor's Center to scoop our Adventure Pass. After a potty break and a deep breath, we were off.

The first 3 miles are paved courtesy of a fire road, making it easy on your ankles. With the sun blazing, we rounded the corner to meet the Mt. Baldy Notch. A few more miles north and we passed the ski lodge and snackbar. (*Note: we have a new snowboarding spot!) In the spirit of being adventurous, we took the road less traveled aka the ski run (where the rocks are slippery and the slope is too steep to hike). But we did it.

As we entered the Devil's Backbone portion, the views were breathtaking shifting from mountainous-city views to the deserts of land for miles upon miles. The path was narrow making us conscious in effort and technique.
Saving the best for last, the steepest part was a 45 minute trek to the top. Between zig-zagging switchbacks and straight up trails, we huffed and puffed to the top. Upon arrival, the atmosphere was amazing. A plethora of people, sitting exhausted yet elated, and enjoying the challenge as well as a much needed snack. Such a sense of accomplishment and community.

The road down was smooth, and with good conversation, the time flew by. There is a great sense of growth within a relationship when two lovers are able to come together, face a challenge, and succeed with flying colors.

Next up: Half Dome!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Ode to Daddy-O

You are my hero
In every since of the word
Though I don't always follow
Your advice is heard

You are my protector
Ever since birth
Even when others didn't
You knew my worth

You are my supporter
My biggest fan
Leading by example
Such an amazing man

You are my dad
How lucky I must be
To be blessed with you
And all you've given me

Thursday, June 17, 2010

A Taste of Summer Love

Windows rolled down
Feel the ocean breeze
She catches his eye
Making her weak in the knees

Their eyes meet
Shyly she looks away
Her mind races
There's so much to say

As he walks towards her
She quickly glances down
And just for a moment
It feels like no one else is around

He grabs her hand
Leading her to the beach
The water's cold
Even on their feet

Their bodies touch
Blue skies above
This is the start
Of summer love

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

What If...

...love was enough?

...people lived life with no boundaries?

...we did what we said we were going to do?

...there were no rules to follow in terms of relationships?

...a kiss could simply take away any pain?

...we didn't disappoint one another?

...love was enough?

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

A True Legacy- William Henderson Collins

Exactly one year ago, my Papa passed away. His final days and years did not reflect the man that he truly was physically or mentally. One thing for certain that they did reflect was his will of life and his determination to succeed.

Papa left behind a family name that surpasses any other in my opinion. I proudly refer to myself as a Collins (and have a feeling that I won't ever let it go). He left behind a wife whom he devoutely loved and cherished for 60+ years. That, my friends, is a rare thing to find these days. He left behind a son. A son who is a mini-Papa. A son who has modeled his life after my Papa. (You do not know pain until you see your father breakdown with the loss of his father. It is heart-wrenching).

Papa left behind a community that he helped build into an established, metropolitan area. His efforts to improve the city of Louisville included building and rebuilding homes that had been abandoned, turning the old Male High School into a center of arts, and a place of refuge for other Parkinson's Disease victims.

3 days of funeral service visitations were needed for all of those who my Papa had touched to express their gratitude and sympathy. The feeling was overwhelming, to know that someone so influencial in my life had impacted so many others.

Papa, I miss you.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Oh Happy Trails...

...Oh Happy Trails

When we rode...

...oh when we rode

Down to the beach...

...down to the beach

Through the dirt trail...

...oh through the dirt trail

And we saw, oh we saw...

...such beauty, ohhhh such beauty

Friday, June 11, 2010

I.Love.San Diego.

You never know how much you miss something until you revisit...

...heading to dinner with my loves with some much needed wine & gossip

Just what I need...desperately

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Enough or Not Enough

Have you ever felt like that being you just might not be good enough? That your best effort never seems to make the cut? That no matter how hard you try, there is always someone that doesn't think it is enough.

I am not sure exactly when this became the story of my life, but it often feels like it has. There have been points in my life and in certain areas that I have lacked enthusiasm or poise or serious effort. I freely admit this weakness at times.

But I also strongly believe that there have been ample amounts of time when I have poured my heart and soul into something, many things. Yet somehow I manage to fall short of someone else's expectations.

As a slight perfectionist, such a feeling is truly damaging to my mind and heart. I have strived to whole heartedly engage in life on so many levels. I generally feel a sense of self worth and accomplishment when I work so hard, giving something my all. The most devastating reaction is one filled with a lack of gratitude, appreciation, or approval.

The daunting feeling of not being good enough for anyone or anything. I don't so much enjoy it.


With the most fashionably iconic women taking the big screen for Round 2, Sex and the City 2 is a must see for the fashion conscious, the New Yorkers at heart, and all the single ladies. Sarah Jessica Parker leads the pack in a roaring 2 1/2 hour production of hysterical laughter, lessons of motherhood, sexual innuendos, and rules of marriage.

Carrie struggles with the lack of sparkle in her marriage to BIG. Charlotte hides her frustrations with motherhood and her bra-less nanny. Miranda quits her job. And Samantha attempts to avoid menopause at all costs.

Noted events include the "gayest" wedding featuring Liza Minnelli and a trip to Abu Dhabi to explore a touch of the "New Middle East."

Inspirations from SAT2:
1. I never want to take a break from my husband.
2. My closet could stand to have a serious makeover/face lift.
3. NYC is truly loved by those that inhibit it, and I think I need a trip there sooner rather than later.
4. My girlfriends are fabulous, and our girls' trips are to die for.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

A Lil' R & B

On our recent trip to Santa Barbara, Mr. T was admiring my collection of musical CD's stashed away in my side, passenger door. Sitting in the backseat, I must admit that I was a bit nervous about the selection that he pulled at first. I have a variety of music, and I mean a wide variety. The odds of him pulling out a 50 Cent or 2Pac CD seemed highly likely. Not the image I am going for here, ya know.

Luckily, my collection in the noted spot was mild: Gavin DeGraw, Kings of Leon, Josh Hoge, and (a hidden gem) JK's 2005 Mix Volume 1.

Out of sheer curiousty and a bit of boredom with my currently overplayed musical selections, I popped that bad boy in on my way to work Monday.

Boom! Rejuvenated. This mixed CD has some sick throwbacks. I am talking Keith Sweat, D'Angelo, Mary J. Blige, John Legend, and Aaliyah to name a few. And I have been jamming to their tunes all week.

My favorite pick, to be put on repeat: Lady by D'Angelo

Monday, June 7, 2010

Wine Down Weekend

What a weekend! With the future in-laws in town (yes I know that I am not engaged but I believe in wishful thinking), we planned as much as possible into 2 1/2 days. We were non-stop from Friday afternoon until Sunday night. Miraculously, we stayed on schedule and managed to get enough sleep to bring tremendous energy to all of our activities.

Friday was kicked off with a glass of wine, delicious homemade brownies (by me ;) ), and catching up with Ry's parents. Then we met him for dinner at Pitfire, our new local spot. We dined on woodfire pizza, paninis, and salad. To work some of the calories off, we strolled down Abbott Kinney to see the freaks, I mean sights, of Venice beach.

Saturday began with a solid 9 mile hike around Fish Canyon with blazing sun courtesy of being in the valley. The views were breathtaking though, and we worked up quite a sweat. If I had brought my swimsuit, I would have been dipping into the creek for sure. We enjoyed some KY-like outings post hike including a visit to the local Walmart and McD's for lunch. Yummy! Showering up, we drove down to Carson to cheer on the LA Galaxy to another "W" (still undefeated might I add). We threw back a few brews and banged our Super Mario Galaxy 2 glow-in-the-dark thunder sticks. The night wouldn't have been complete without indulging in Chipotle and Yogurtland.

Thanks to my RCIA class, we rose early for church at 7:30am. After a great service and message, we stopped for breakfast at Huckleberry. If you live in the area, it is a must. One of Santa Monica's newest gems. With our bellies full, we cruised the coast to Santa Barbara where we tasted all day. First stop, our favorite, Lincourt followed by a picnic lunch with Panino's at Foley. As if we hadn't been glutonness enough, we rounded out the weekend with In N' Out.

Such an amazing weekend with great company, conversation, and culture. If it was possible, I'd put the weekend on permanent repeat.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Top 10 Reasons Why I Love SoCal

10. I can wear whatever I want and no one even flinches at the sight of mismatched clothing

9. People of all professions take a 2 hour lunch break to surf

8. Words such as bro, gnarly, and rad are part of my daily vocab

7. It is completely acceptable to have a drink in hand at any time

6. My access to staycations is endless- think Pasadena, Catalina Island, Marina del Rey, & Malibu for starters

5. The sun shines 98% of the time

4. Half of the places I see on TV are part of my everyday life

3. I can hike the mountains in the morning then chill on the beach in the afternoon

2. One word- Yogurtland

1. Katy Perry writes songs like California Gurls about this place

Thursday, June 3, 2010

At A Creative Stand Still

You know my life is a mess when I can't even find time to blog (aka indulge in a bit of therapy). I have not written much lately. I feel that my daily blog posts have been cluttered with pictures and videos due to my lack of ability to put together a coherent flow of thoughts/words.

I have missed one deadline for my book, and I am approaching a second deadline that really has no chance of being met. I am feeling very uncreative at the moment. I assume that this lack of creative flow comes from working a 9 to 5 job, sitting at a desk all day, and not being exposed to the outside world in a positive light 80% of the time (I am exposed to some pretty negative lights while working).

Most importantly, my motivation to write has fallen. I desperately want to finish the book. Trust me. In terms of therapy, writing takes the cake for me. The whole process has been about healing, growing, and doing something for me. It is not about money. If it never sells one copy, I don't care. I just want to accomplish something great. And if completing the book is the only thing I accomplish, then I will be incredibly fulfilled.

I sincerely hope that I can regain focus, heighten my motivation, and simply write.

Write from the heart. Write from the mind. Write with experience.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Adult Bullies (aka USAWP Members)

My earlier post today of the simple video (kudos to Leann Rimes) explains how I am feeling at the moment. Something's Gotta Give.

Please click on the link below to understand how I feel each day at work. We all encounter adult bullies, but the brunt of them live in the water polo community. I promise.

Adult Bullies in Action

Something's Gotta Give