Thursday, March 31, 2011

Irish Birthday Getaway

Dublin, Ireland
If you're reading this, then I am comfortably walking the streets of Dublin, Ireland and have managed to pull off the greatest 30th birthday surprise trip to date. Yes Ryan turned 30 yesterday, a golden birthday for 30 on the 30th. We have a little tradition that includes surprise birthday adventures. I like to think I trumped him this year ;)

Nighttime City View

I had this idea months and months ago, but I was clueless on how to pull it off. For starters, traveling to Europe is not cheap especially from the west coast. Thanks heavens for our move and the need to sell my furniture. Second, how do you get someone out of the country without leading onto it? Well you fly from SF to Newark so that he believes you are headed to the good ole' NE for some Appalachian Trail hiking. Lastly, what keeps you from slipping up and spoiling the surprise? Being an awesome detective & secret keeper.
Hop Tour
Relaxation at its finest ;)

So as you read this, we should be strolling the streets checking out little relics, pubs, cobblestone ways, heavy beers, and very Irish food before we head to our couples massage appointment and our fancy dinner celebration!


Cheers to birthday celebrations!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Happy 30th Birthday To My Fiance!

Happy GOLDEN (30 on the 30th) Birthday to the one & only, Ryan Michael Thompson!

I love you more than Chipotle's 3 hard shell, steak tacos ;)

And  I am looking forward to your surprise birthday trip to...

Wouldn't you like to know?!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Fab Friends Friday

Just as I was complaining to Ryan that I was feeling lonely with a lack of actual friends in the city (aside from Julie who travels approximately more than we do ;) ), I was overjoyed with an abundance of friend time this weekend.

Kim called Friday afternoon to check our plans for the CATS well we will would have been watching it at home had she not called. Calling an audible, we scurried up to Petaluma sliding in on two wheels to TAPS with a moment to spare before tip-off time. After a nail-biting victory over the #1 seeded Ohio St., we enjoyed a few adult beverages in the town square of their hometown. A massive slumber party emerged including Kim, Jerrad, Ryan, Miller, & I...Miller is their 130 lb. puppy ;)

Saturday we headed back into the city with a surprise visit from L. Grimes, my former co-worker at USAWP and dear friend. We caught up over basketball highlights and parmesan & garlic triscuits. It was magnificent.

Logsdon was in town Sunday so he came over to watch the CATS destroy the Tar Heels with us. Then he accompanied Ry & I for dinner at our new spot, Roam. I can assure you that Ryan appreciated sipping a bourbon and enjoying guy talk.

The Lord truly does know what you need, when you need it ;)

Monday, March 28, 2011

The Woman at the Well

 "Donne-moi a boire" dit Jesus. 

In Sunday's gospel, the story was told of Jesus at the well of Jacob with the Samaritan woman. He comes to her, a Jew, asking for a drink of water while trucking through the desert at high noon. Stunned and confused, she guards herself as back in the day Jews and Samaritans did not speak to one another. As the story continues, Jesus knows of the woman's faults pointing out that she has been married 5 times and resides with a man now who is not her husband.

Our first reaction is to condemn or judge the woman. 5 marriages can only mean that she is not too good at marriage right? However, we do not know the circumstances. Her husbands could have all passed on leaving her a widow times five. These details are not explored nor are they relevant.

We may not have all been married 5 times, but we have faltered several times at one or more things. As Father Etienne Siffert reminded us in his homily, some of us have had 5 careers, 5 relapses, 5 churches, 5 collegiate majors, etc. We are not to judge the woman because we too have faltered in our own ways. Jesus knows our mistakes, our weaknesses long before we admit to them. Yet He does not abandon us. Instead He offers us une eau merveilleuse qui etancherait sa son spirituelle, a marvelous water that will satisfy our spiritual thirst.

As we go forth in this Lenten season, I pray to have the strength to fill my spirit with the Lord's quenching water.

Music Mondays

On this Monday...

"nothing to do, nowhere to be...'cause I'm perfectly lonely"

Sunday, March 27, 2011

We're Not Afraid...

Sunday Supper Series

Sooooo, in continuing with tradition, and not to jinx our CATS ;), we headed back to Roam tonight. Mainly because it was just that good and we wanted to show M. Logsdon how good an artisan burger can really be. Plus this time we picked up a delicious cupcake from American Cupcake!

How could I resist?

Stay tuned for next week as we will be branching out a little more... 

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Nieces & Nephews, Part Deux

And so the picture texts continue of my little munchkin loves...

Bishop & I while I was home in February

Highlights include:

Bishop taking after his father:

Hello Ladies...

Little B eating a big boy lunch of PB&J:

Too Cute for Words!

The final preparations for Collins' arrival:

Matching Chairs

Friday, March 25, 2011

What's Your Favorite Color Baby...


So in honor of the 2nd week of March Madness, I have limited myself to wearing some sort of white each day this week in honor of the Kentucky Wildcats. As to not get made fun of by Mrs. JL Bond, my wardrobe has steered me clear of white pants in March, meaning I have exponged all of the white shirts I own. Good thing the CATS play today ;)

Day One

Day Two

Day Three
Day Four


Thursday, March 24, 2011

Happy 91st Birthday Mama Comley!

Just shy of her 90th birthday, Mama Comley was called home to Heaven. Today, in honor of her, I will be doing many crossword puzzles, reading a good book, putting rollers in my hair, and smiling at all of my blessings!

I love you and miss you MC!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Music Mondays

And so as my obsession with music continues, I thought a little Music Mondays would be a nice way to kick-off the week...

Here's to Forget You Monday ;)

Sunday Supper Series

Last Sunday, without really knowing, we created a newer tradition, yes newer. See in Los Angeles, Sunday was our guilt-free day. We'd head to church, check off another activity on our bucket list, and then indulge in tasty Chipotle. I have a strong loyalty to the hard, steak tacos. Ryan, on the other hand, teeters between the salad or burrito depending upon his level of fattiness that day.

Date Night

We kept up with this tradition sans the bucket list check mark when we first moved up to SF. Last week, we found ourselves driving around after church exploring a new neighborhood and salivating over the endless restaurant options. Finally apres circling Hyde & Polk for what seemed like hours to my growling tummy, we decided on Toast Eatery. I elected for the classic burger (no surprises there), and Ryan dined on the chicken club I believe. The food was delicious and the atmosphere wasn't too shabby. Any place that has a TV sporting college basketball is a win in my book.

So low and behold, last night after botched dinner plans with friends (do not even get me started on my dislike for Macy's Santa Clara right now), we headed out on our own to scout good locales for Elizabeth & Barry's upcoming visit. Marengo on Union was closed so we decided to branch out and try Roam. An artisan burger joint with a cozy feel and 3 TVs sporting March Madness. Could this place really be better than the last? Yes, it could. Ryan enjoyed the Tejano burger and sweet potato fries while I created my own artisan burger complete with beef, blue cheese, avocado, and egg. Topped off with a little thousand island dressing and a side of french fries, I was full as a tick and a happy camper.

Yummy to my Tummy

Looking forward to continuing this tradition each Sunday!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

A Preview of the Couples Shower...

As soon as we found out Liz & Win were engaged, I went into party planner mode. I love throwing events for others specifically those that celebrate such a joyous occasion. Ryan likes a good party as well so a couples shower was a natural fit.

And my obsession with cupcakes and champagne was most definitely going to play a part in this soiree. Invitations have gone out, but the event is still a few weeks away. However, I wanted to share a sneak peek into what is yet to come...

From the envelope...
Matching return address labels & stamp

Soon-to-be Gaffrons stamps

To the inside...
Dessert & Champagne

And to the party...

Recipe Card for the bride & groom

Friday, March 18, 2011

Making A House A Home

One of my favorite things is seeing what people put in their home to make it their home. While I am not a knick-knack person (OCD-ness doesn't quite allow for that), I do love the personality that people bring to their personal space. My mom flowers our house with photos galore helping to preserve the memories of our her childhood and ours. Mommy T places special trinkets and memorabilia from her various travels throughout her home. Kendahl displays her Swarovski collection in a large, corner curio cabinet. Amanda (my soon-to-be SIL) showers her office and den with pictures of family afar. I too have a few of my favorite things that I feel add a bit of character to our new home (when Ryan allows me to be the female in the relationship and use my feminine touch).

Corner Curio Cabinet

Swarovski Collection ;)

My Swarovski and all things crystal/glass cabinet. Not my first choice for a storing space, but the rustic green fits well with our office feel.

Cluster of Love

Mom & Mama Comley on my parents' wedding day

Newlyweds, August 7th 1976

Ryan, Mommy T, & I

Newly Engaged

After spending time at home for my Mama Collins' funeral, we spend an evening up at her house going through boxes and boxes and boxes of photos. We ripped and roared on styles dating back to the 1920's, those of my parents "ugly" years, and sadly our own "ugly" years. I have always been fascinated by old-time photos. The black and white, dated look intrigued me at a young age, and I would find myself searching my grandparents' house for anything that looked pre-my birth. I was mesmerized by it all really. So I decided to combine old and new...

Julia Child might be jealous

Cookbooks inspire me. I am always dreaming of whipping open a cookbook to a random recipe and dazzling guests with my Julia Child-like skills. Plus they help make our kitchen look more used ;)

Halfdome at Moonlight

Lastly, we received this amazing wall picture of Half Dome at moonlight as an engagement gift from the Campisanos. It is so touching specifically because it commemorates our first big hike together, something we will forever remember! (please pay no attention to the plastic wrap still on it as we are doing some changes to the office and didn't want to scratch it ;) )

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

March Madness

Love My Wildcats

I am going to take UK's first game being played on St. Patty's Day as good luck. I am also going to acknowledge my extreme outward fandom for the entire week. Ever since the SEC tournament started, I have worn blue every single day. Yes that is almost 7 straight days. (I will be wearing green underwear tomorrow so do not attempt to pinch me. Thanks.)

electric blue & mocha

ice blue skirt suit

royal blue polo

Here's hoping my spirit pulls us through...

Points to Ponder

On my walk into work, I often let my mind wander (when I am not on the phone of course) leading to life's little mysteries and a few unanswered questions...

1. Why is it that we are taught not to lie yet we excuse ourselves for the little white lies claiming we are protecting someone's feelings? Are we really protecting someone else or are we protecting ourselves?

2. Where do all of the homeless people in San Francisco go when it rains? On a normal day, they fill every street corner, every nook and cranny, but on the days of rain, they are nowhere to be found.

3. Why do weddings cost so much money? Isn't it about the commitment being made to one another?!

4. How do natural disasters occur? Is it a force of God trying to teach us a lesson or is it just part of how He created the world?

5. Where do million dollar ideas come from? Do these people have an epiphany or something??

6. Why wasn't I blessed with an amazing talent or something? I would have done a phenomenal job of singing Amazing Grace if given the right vocals!!!

7. Why do I so love the smell of rotten eggs?

8. Why was Satan created (damn you Eve)? Wouldn't it have worked out much better to just all be good??

9. What was the NCAA Selection Committee thinking when they decided to make UK a #4 seed and Florida a #2 seed? Did they somehow miss the results of the SEC Championships game?

10. How can cupcakes taste so good but be sooooo bad for you? Honestly, its not right.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

No Judging Here

I am on week 3 of my women's bible study. I had been looking for one ever since I left San Diego in 2009 with no luck. The first Sunday I tried out Notre Dame Victoires their bulletin was like a flashing red light as my eye caught this: Women's Bible Study, Thursday mornings 9am.

Due to the flu going around the city like lice on middle schoolers, the class was cancelled for the next 2 weeks so I started attending 3 weeks ago. They are a lovely group of women ranging in ages of early 30's to their 70's and a wealth of knowledge when it comes to the Catholic church, biblical teachings, San Francisco history, and all things family. With welcoming arms, they accepted me in the group and have reached out several times to see how I am adjusting to city life and making way with the new church.

If you would have told me 5 years ago that I would be attending a women's bible study, I would have politely declined the possibility. Not because I didn't believe in God or because I didn't want to have a stronger relationship with Him, but because it just wasn't the time for me. I was battling so many things inside my heart and my mind so much to where I was rather angry with the Lord. Let's just say I have come along way since that time.

So when one of the group members was reflecting on our questions for self-reflection last week, it took me back to a glimpse of how I used to be and allowed me to see how far I had come. My dear woman friend confessed her struggle with being outwardly Christian and broaching the topic with family and friends. She referenced her son's birthday party where her mom sat down and had the whole group bless the meal before they ate. She went on to explain how this turned into a major fight because she was afraid that her mother had offended guests who might not be of practicing faith. Her mother was offended that her daughter would be ashamed to show her faith. In the end, my group member explained that she was embarrassed to be embarrassed basically. She followed up by pointing out my cross, saying how brave and noble it was for a young person to be fearless in displaying her beliefs so openly.

I felt like I needed to tell her that it wasn't always that way, that I didn't always feel comfortable openly sharing my faith. I started with the tidbit that I got the cross from Ryan as a confirmation gift. I probably would have never bought myself one as I am not in the business of buying things for myself. My money goes to buying things for Bishop, soon-to-be born Collins, Ryan, Kinlee, little Shane, my parents, The Thompsons, our siblings, and my besties (basically anyone but me). But what I shared second was the most important part. For so long, I was always afraid to express my faith and belief in the Lord, not because I was ashamed but because I was scared. I was fearful that those who knew me during a less flattering time, those who knew my sins and bad habits, those who knew my mistakes in unhealthy relationships or with substances would judge and call me a phony. I was terrified to rejoice in the fact that I was finally able to get to a point in my life where I was comfortable saying, "God, I am giving you control; the control to do what great plans you have for me. And I will make many more mistakes to come certainly, but I will have you in my heart and in my thoughts. I will strive for faithfulness in You and Your will, and I understand that perfection is not the objective rather faith."

I think we all struggle with judging ourselves, fearing the judgement of others, and still being able to believe in the person we are. But when you cut away all of the BS, you realize that there is only one God who judges. And then you realize that He isn't judging at all.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Scrapbook Sunday

This weekend was relaxing to say the least. I didn't get out of my pj's until 6pm Saturday and only to make a run to my fave...Chipotle. I was content watching basketball, cleaning the condo, and shredding my old file cabinet. A nightcap and my first episode of Secret Millionaire, a must see show, rounded out the grand Saturday evening.

So as the Sunday morning sun rose, I crawled out of bed to the couch to cheer on the Kentucky Wildcats to their 27th SEC Championship title. Talk about kicking off the Sunday right! Inspired by the Cats offensive and defensive creativity, I decided to get out my little scrapbook kit and get to work.

For my birthday, I got 2 new scrapbooks: wedding and travel. I completed 4 pages in our wedding scrapbook yesterday! It was so fun to look back and remember our engagement as well as look towards the future! I also added to some pages that I started in November for our San Francisco scrapbook.

I am not the most artsy or crafty, but I try really hard :)

Will You Be My Wifey?!

Lincourt Memorabilia

Dinner at the Ballard Inn & room at Santa Ynez Inn

Engagement cards from loved ones!

How I asked our bridesmaids to be in the wedding...a cookie poem

Allison's witty response & acceptance

Wine & Wishes Wedding Theme

Save the date: 11-11-11

Excursions around San Fran

The start of our Napa page

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Blogging Believer

Over the past few days, I have been doing some much needed blog stalking. I used to stalk others' blogs frequently, almost a part of my daily routine. Somewhere between moving to a new city, planning a wedding, and trying to figure out the "big picture" for my life, I stopped stalking fellow bloggers.

With a little down time this weekend and a peaceful house (Ryan went for a Golden Gate Bridge bike ride and worked for a few hours), I was able to catch up on the lives of others and delve into their hearts. Some are funny, recaps of their daily activities with children or spouse. Others exhibit photos of their loved ones and recent adventures. But so many inspire me. They inspire me to fulfill a purpose in life; to do something extraordinary; to live a Christian life; to be a better fiance (and wife when that day comes); to be an amazing mother (God-willing that day comes); to love myself, to love others, and to love God above all.

I would be lying if I said I didn't often get blog envy, in a good way. I see the following on several friends' blogs and I wonder how so many people came to be followers. Then I realize that these women and their stories are touching lives daily. Maybe not every post touches their heart, but something sometime did and that made people follow them. The inner workings of a woman's mind and heart are a powerful thing.

Through my blog, which exploits my fears, my failures, my inhibitions, my successes, and my dreams, I hope to touch the lives of people too. Because what better way to pay back those who have touched mine.

Give credit where credit is due:

When a Duet Becomes a Trio 

Dave and Brit Plus One

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Nieces & Nephews

The over zealous excitement I felt when learning that I was getting a nephew was overwhelming and like nothing I had ever felt before. Bishop was a God send, before we ever knew it, as the events that would unfold prior to his arrival where rather dim and grim for our family. He continues to bring smiles to our faces, especially to me even from afar. Kendahl, Taylor, and mom are particularly good about sending me photos and videos of the little man growing up. All I can say is thank the Lord for iPhones and its ability to do all things technology.

A few examples include...

Baby Bishop on his top bunk

Playing hid n' seek

As precious as this little guy is, we lean more towards the girly side with the Collins Clan. After all, we grew up in a house filled with 4 3 little girls, making every attempt to turn Shane into a girl. Let's just say that his rehearsal dinner video is going to be one roar of laughter as his younger year photos contain mostly him in tutus, high heels, and dresses ;)

Bishop taking after Uncle Shane

So when Kendahl announced that their 2nd child would be a girl, the wallet became a little lighter in terms of cash as the spending frenzy began. Little girl stuff is too adorable to pass up, ever. K & Peter have done a phenomenal job of turning Bishop's Winnie-the-Pooh themed room into a sweet, serene environment filled with pink, pink, and more pink making it fitting for a newborn baby girl.

Take a look at the finished product! So adorable :)

Baby Collins' room!

The serene crib
Love the little mobile with the zebra print
Animal wall hanging
Her dresser...piggy bank & all

Love this lamp!

Wall decals
Zebra wall decal

Monkey see, monkey do
my first tooth & curl set that I bought for her