Friday, July 31, 2009
Work Like a Dog Day
National Mustard Day
National Chocolate Chip Day
National Night Out
National Halitosis Day
Particularly Preposterous Packaging Day
The Date to Create
Happiness Happens Day
Sneak Zucchini on Your Neighbor's Porch Night
National Garage Sale Day
International Left Hander's Day
International Youth Day
Sewing Machine Day
National Underwear Day
Assistance Dog Day
National Navajo Code Talkers Day
Best Friends Day
National Relaxation Day
National Homeless Animals Day
Meaning of "Is" Day
Bad Poetry Day
"Black Cow" Root Beer Float Day
National Personal Chef's Day
Southern Hemisphere Hoodie Hoo Day
Be An Angel Day
Pony Express Day
National Waffle Day
Kiss & Make Up Day
National Dog Day
Women's Equality Day
Race Your Mouse Around the Icons Day
Crackers Over the Keyboard Day
Dream Day Quest
More Herbs, Less Salt Day
National Holistic Pet Day
National Toasted Marshmallow Day
Thursday, July 30, 2009
Well, not a blood aunt, but an honorary aunt.
My bff in the whole wide world announced that she and her hubby are expecting.
Rylen is PREGGO!
See. Baby A and Baby B.
Please pray for Rylen's pregnancy. That it would progress without trouble and problem. That it will progress with ease and without discomfort. Pray that God will bless Jim and Rylen as their family grows from 2 to 4 (practically over night).
I do know this though. Pea A and Peanut B (a girl and a boy) are going to be spoiled by their Aunt Courtney!
Now to figure out how to convince Rylen that she should start a blog... Ashley, help with this one!
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Relax. I'm in control.
"Don't worry about anything, but in all your prayers ask God for what you need, always asking him with a thankful heart."
- Philippians 4:6
After two failed attempts to land, a balloonist panicked. Knowing he had only half of one tank of fuel left, he frantically scanned the thick woods for a spot to attempt another landing. Nearly paralyzed with fear, he cried out to God, "Help me. Take control of this situation. Lord, find me a safe place to land!" With that prayer, a feeling of calm came over him. His fingers unclenched, and he felt a wave of peace.
A few seconds later, the balloonist spotted a small clearing directly ahead... and in it, two of the biggest bulls he had ever seen. He held on tightly as the basket hit the ground, tipped over, and was dragged for about fifty yards.
To his amazement, the bulls seemed oblivious to all the commotion. As his ground crew came racing toward him, one of them said, "How were you able to keep the balloon under control?" The balloonist laughed to himself for he knew the truth. He had landed safely because he had given up control to God.
Does your life seem to be out of control? Ask God for help. He's done a great job with the universe. Being invited to help you get a grip on your life will be His pleasure. Remember, He loves you!
Discuss this devotional or join the GodSpeaks.com Fellowship Community at http://Community.GodSpeaks.com.
Copyright 2008 GodSpeaks, Inc.
All Rights Reserved
Monday, July 27, 2009
But when there is an accident on I5 closing down 2 lanes things got a little slowed up.
Oh well. No biggie.
I got to Claremont just in time to hop out of my car and jump into my parent's car to go grab some lunch along Foothill aka Route 66. Interesting little diner type place.
Back at the hotel there wasn't much time to rest before having to get ready for my cousin's wedding. I like to call Megan my "surprise cousin" because she comes with my "surprise uncle". I'll have to explain that story sometime. It's a good one.
Remind me later. I'll forget.
Dad walked into an all girls hotel room. I don't think he realized how big of a mess Kaitlin and 2 of my cousin's could make.
It was really hot that day. Like really hot. Like my butt sweated a lot hot. Not a good thing when you're all spiffied up. Luckily these fans here were the favors. And Kaitlin was a lovely model.This would have been a great shot of my Uncle Mike and Megan had that darned photographer not been in the way. I'm not joking you, there were like 4 photographers there. I think 3 of them worked for 1 of them. (Good math, eh?) They were part of an art program on campus. My Uncle was beaming and my cousin looked gorgeous!
The newly married Mr. and Mrs. Heisterman. Hiesterman. Matt and Megan!Here I was testing the lighting. I need to work on testing the lighting. I'm not so good at it. Good thing Breanne already has red hair, or else it would just look red from the lighting.
Father and daughter first dance. (See. I need help with lighting.)
Had to break out the flash here. I gave into peer pressure. Everyone else was using their flash. Why couldn't I? Oh, because I don't like how the flash ends up giving you a shiny nose and chin. This would be the next Arnold kin to attend Cal Poly. Keepin' the tradition alive, Tricia!
Outside the auditorium. Where it was slightly cooler than inside the auditorium. Still not completely cooled down. Still totally warm out. Sure was a pretty building though.
See, still needing to use the props, I mean the fans. Still needing to fan themselves off.
We left shortly before midnight. The party was apparently moving to some bar called Piano Piano that was right next to the hotel. Mom and Dad obviously weren't going to go. Tricia and I were beat. Kaitlin and Breanne totally wanted to join the rest of the crowd, but being as Breanne is underage (and going to be the next of Arnold kin starting at Cal Poly in the fall) they didn't go either. We all fell asleep shortly after getting back to the hotel.
Sunday morning we went to a brunch with with Bride, Groom, and their family. It was a lovely (aka HOT) morning. We ate, we visited, we left.
What did you expect? We still had a 5-6 hour drive ahead of us. After a quick stop at 21 Choices, meaning they only had 6 choices of froyo, we hit the road. Mom hopped in the car with me and away we went. Smoothly too.
Until the grapevine. Where there was a fire about 1/3 up the road. So we crept. And we crawled. And we watched my radiator gauge slowly climb. And we had to turn the AC way down. Then we had to turn the AC completely off and depend on 4-60.
Except it was 4-5. Which equals sitting in the still heat for, oh, roughly 45 minutes to an hour.
Got going again. Got some air circulating around the engine and it cooled down rapidly. Then so did we with the AC full blast!
Uber quick stop in Bakersfield at Starbucks to use the facility and get a cold, caffinated beverage. Then away we went. Non stop. Cruise controllin' around 75.
And we were home around 6. And I was beat. And my dog missed me.
And that was my vacation.
Sunday, July 26, 2009
We parked. Had lunch and a frozen chocolate banana, shopped a little, then walked to the ferry to take across to Balboa.That restaurant there, that's where we had happy hour appetizers and margaritas before heading home.
After we got to the Balboa side, Mark and Macie went on the Ferris Wheel while Melissa, William and I looked around at at couple shops.
And Macie went on the super trampoline, which she LOVED!
We then walked to the other side of the peninsula. Well, some of us walked. Others of us hitched a ride.Mark and Macie few a kite while Melissa and I watched. William just hung out looking adorable as ever.We walked back to the Harborside something a rather restaurant for dinner/drinks. It was good. Our waitress was not. Then back to the other side we went.
We got a little lost while looking for the car. But we got to look at beautiful multimillion dollar homes. We eventually found the house, loaded up, drove home. Mark put the kids to bed while Melissa and I went out to get pay by the ounce frozen yogurt. I love pay by the ounce froyo. And this place had like 15 flavors, maybe more. I was in awe.
You know what I've learned, our little central valley greatly lacks pay by the ounce frozen yogurt places.
Once back at the house we ate our froyo and watched another movie. Everyone stayed awake for this one. :)
- Run (not walk) a 5k race.
06 - How do you spell out the sound that is made on games shows when they get the wrong answer? Yea, that's the sound I'm making right now.
05 - Ummm... I admit it. I SUCK! Besides moving the massive pile of bricks from my backyard I did nothing.
04 - HA! Well, I maybe went on a couple walky-jogs. I've yet to sign up to race in anything. Need more training!
03 - Definitely went walk/jogging more often in March. Oh, and crunches, I've done some crunches!
02 - I've gone walking a few more times than I did in January. That's progress!
01 - So, ah, I've gone walking once or twice. That's a start!
- Read the Bible in a year.
06 - On track! Finished reading Romans, 1 Samuel, 2 Samuel and Daniel.
05 - Keepin' up! Finished reading through Judges, Job, Ruth, Acts, and Joshua.
04 - Still goin'! Finished Matthew, Numbers, and Deuteronomy.
03 - On track! In March I've finished reading though Leviticus, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Song of Solomon.
02 - I'm doing just dandy with this. I've completely read through Genesis, Exodus, and Hebrews. I'm almost done with Leviticus and Proverbs.
01 - So far, so good!
- Lose 10 pounds.
06 - From the first day of June to the last day of June I weighed the same. There of course was variation throughout the month.
05 - Broke even...
04 - I warn you, I wasn't down. I kinda slipped. See chart below... (Shown is March and April)
03 -Down 1 pound. Hey, it's a loss! See chart below...
02 - 5.5 pounds down...from returning cruise weight...
01 - So what if I told you that I was down 9 pounds by my own scale in just January alone? Yep, it's true. Wanna see my chart? Of course you do!
- Post a picture a day...taken on that day... instead of a quote a day.
06 - Something like that. It's getting done regardless. I have been playing more with photoshop and have been using photoshopped pictures.
05 - Yep. A picture is going up each day. Sometimes there are lags between days due to intermittent internet.
04 - Still not a picture from that day, but posting pictures from within the time frame of the date. Flowers are in bloom and beautiful, plus they're easy subjects, so I've taken a lot of flower pictures.
03 - Still not doing the best on the picture being from that day, but whatever, I'm posting a picture a day.
02 - After the cruise I slacked on taking a picture a day. But I was still posting a picture a day. I'll work on that...
01 - Ok, so I've slacked a few days. But I get caught up!
- Have monthly dinner party, or at least invite some friends over for dinner.
06 - TND was at my place last Tuesday of June. Other than that it's just been my family. Nothing new and exciting has been made though.
05 - Boo! I've had my family over. But I did gather friends for my birthday dinner!...at BJ's...
04 - Well, I had people over, wait no that was May 1st. Ah! Yes, I had a lunch buffet sandwich building business thing for those giving souls that helped work on my path. (I still need to share my path don't I?)
03 - Woot woot! Hosted TND on the 5th Tuesday. Total about 15 people came. I made this for dinner. It was good! Making a vow to have people over more often.
02 - The last couple weeks I've had my family over for dinner on Friday nights. And I've volunteered to have TND at my house the 5th Tuesday of March. I'll let you know how that goes.
01 - I failed for January. February isn't over yet though...
- Down size possessions...aka clutter
06 - Finally got the stuff from my baby box transferred into a rubbermaid box. I've found a few things around the house to move into the yard sale pile. Always a work in progress.
05 - I rearranged my back room. Now when looking in it looks less cluttered. That counts, right?
04 - Decided that my back room needs to be cleaned out and rearranged, especially the closet. So that is going to be my project for May.
03 - Sure...? I actually physically removed the bags of stuff to get rid of. So I guess that counts since it was cluttering up my room.
02 - I rearranged the living/dining room and went though some more of my closet.
01 - I've gone through my closet and through my pile of purses.
- Try new recipes from the cookbooks I have. (see #5, they will be guinea pigs...)
06 - See #5.
05 - New recipes tried for Memorial BBQ. One recipe is posted on my recipe site, the others will come shortly.
04 - Sure I've made stuff. What have I made...? Cake pops, I made cake pops!
03 - Family = guinea pigs. Poor family...
02 - Ummmm... I haven't tried anything new. But I've tried new things that my mom has made. Does that count...?
01 - Boo me! How does cereal sound? Mac & Cheese...?
- Exercise a minimum of 3 times a week (walk/jog, Wii Fit, DVD, etc., see #1 which will lead to #3)
06 - See #1. Eeerrrrnnnnttttt, maybe that's how you spell it.
05 - Boo...
04 - See #1. I really need to start doing something, anything.
03 - Need to make a REAL commitment to do this on a regular basis. Once the habit is made I'll be in good shape. The time change has really kicked my butt though, I get home and I just want to be lazy.
02 - Boo! I'm still on the once a week average. Time to kick it into gear!
01 - I've averaging about once a week of exercising on purpose. But I do activities that include activity.
- Daily make time for God.
06 - Reading the bible daily is a help, fo shizel. Daily being stretched and molded.
05 - Will be a continuous work in progress for the rest of my life.
04 - Prayer, reading, bible study, church, worship, etc. I do it all, but I'm still lacking. I'm by no means perfect.
03 - If you count my daily readings as time spent with God then I'm doing well. Although it's not always necessarily quality time though...
02 - There is always room for improvement here. But I'm human and I'm trying. I pray more regularly and I'm in the Word daily. That's definitely moving in the right direction.
01 - Doing well. Spending lots of time in prayer. I'm not even kidding.
- Travel somewhere new.
06 - Didn't go anywhere in June. Stay tuned for later months.
05 - Traveled to ummm, the big town of Lodi. For the Zinfest. I had never been to that part of Lodi before, so it was new, therefore I traveled somewhere new. Go me!
04 - I went to my favoritest place in California, back to where I went to college, San Luis Obispo. Although it was a quick day trip, it was well worth it. I saw family, I drank wine, I ate at Firestone's and walked around downtown, and went to Pismo. I need to go back again, but next time for a little longer.
03 - Currently there are no travel plans and I don't like that! I need to plan something asap to make me feel human again!
02 - Um, did I go anywhere in February? I don't think so. But that's ok!
01 - Just got back from a cruise to Cabo about a week and a half ago.
Saturday, July 25, 2009
Most of you already know that I'm going to Florida in September. Some of you may not though. So here's the story for all.
When Dennis and I were dating I decided to get an Alaska Air credit card to earn miles to fly back and forth visiting. Just signing up I got 25,000 miles, but in addition I'd also get an annual companion ticket. Anyone can fly with me on the same itinerary for $50. As of last fall the plan was to use that companion ticket and go to Florida with his kids to visit (and meet) his parents.
Fast foward to now...
About 2 months ago while D and I were talking on the phone I threw out there that he should use the companion ticket with his kids since I have no plan to use it. He declined saying that it's too expensive to travel with them, yada yada yada. He told me to use it, go somewhere with a friend or family. I told him that everyone that would want to go can't afford it. So we're at a stall mate. He threw out there, well, would you want to go somewhere together.
(Please note, we're not dating again. We're friends.)
Hummm...well, I definitely wouldn't mind traveling. And it would be nice to see him again. This is honestly what I thought to myself, I'll say yes and not push it. Let's see if he brings it back up. Well later that night, he did. And he was excited! So I started getting excited.
But now we had to decide where to go. I told him that one of my life goals is to visit every state at least once, so I'd prefer to go to one I haven't been to yet but I'd be fine going where ever.
We settled on Florida. Why Florida you ask? Well, financial reason primarily. Dennis' parents and sister live in Orlando, so we'll stay with either of them. His mom hardly ever drives, so we'll borrow her car. And well, full access to a kitchen to be able to make a lot of our own meals. Score on the deal! It'll be good also for him to see his family.
And I was told that of all his friends he's most honored to introduce me to them; that he 100% respects me. Great, now I have a reputation to live up to!
So after some time of nailing plans down with his parents and making sure we both got the time off approved, we booked the tickets.
It's official. September 3-13 I'll be traveling to/from Florida. Actually, I'll be flying to Seattle on the 2nd on the latest flight out of Sacramento and staying the night at a nearby hotel. Dennis will fly into Seattle around 6:30am on the 3rd (used miles for his round trip flight from Anchorage to Seattle), and together we'll be flying to Orlando at 8:45am. The earliest I could get to SEA on the 3rd was 8:52am, which would mean that we'd miss the first flight out (the next one to Orlando doesn't leave until 1:30pm). We're flying extremely cheap, which just makes it that much better.
So we have big plans of places to go while we're there. And I'm hoping we can take a side trip down to Key West, stay the night, and hit the everglades on the way back to Orlando.
That's the plan. That's how it came to be. That's what's going to happen.
Am I excited? Yes. Am I nervous? A little. But I'm going with no expectations.
Please pray for me leading up to and while I'll be traveling. Not only for travel mercies, but also to keep my heart guarded and that God will be the center of the friendship.
The kids wake up anytime between 6:30-8ish. They play, have breakfast, etc. Then William goes down for a nap between 9-9:30 until around 11. After 11, then your day can really get started.
Ok, now that that's out of the way.
Thursday we decided to get out of the house and out of Rancho Santa Margarita. Being as Disneyland was out of the question (crowds, heat, maintaining 2 youngens), we went to Downtown Disney instead for lunch and some shopping.
Melissa and I had both never been to Rainforest Cafe, so we made the executive decision to go there for lunch, much to Macie's cringe. We got there and oh man was she in awe of the decor and moving animals and the aquarium and the waterfall.
William was a bit freaked out with the thunder and lightening "show".
After lunch we walked around a bit. I snapped a few pictures. Cause I like to do that...snap a few pictures.
Poor William started to get very, very restless in the stroller. So after ice cream (Haggen Daz Bailey's Irish Cream and Double Chocolate Peanut Butter), a few more shops, and rewarding Macie with a toy from the massive Disney Store for being a good girl we headed home. But we also made a wish at the fountain.
Oh, and, well, I got to be a princess for about 30 seconds.
Quick! Gotta get home, get dinner going, and get off to a birthday party! While Melissa worked in the kitchen, I played outside.
We ate really quickly, while our lips burned with spicy heat. Melissa, can I get that recipe from you? Took the kids to the party. Watched Macie play in the pool with her friends. Washed up the kids. Took the kids home. Put kids to bed. By this point Mark was home and ready to relax after his long day at work. So he told us about the mediation he participated in (he's a lawyer) and we watched a movie. I think I'm the only one that stayed awake for the whole thing. I blame Dennis, he started texting me.
End of day 2.
(To see the complete album, click here)
So sure, I went on a cruise already this year. But it was all the way back in January. This one was a long over due and much needed getaway.
Being as I knew my cousin was getting married in Claremont, I decided to extend my day off and make my drive over the grapevine worth it. So I bummed a room from my old college roomie and stayed with her family for 4 nights.
So Tuesday around 3pm I left work, went home, loaded up, said goodbye, kissed my dog, and drove away. This was the part I was not looking forward to, a 6-7 hour drive down 99 through country nothingness alone. To bad, I ah, was a bad girl and twittered every so often. Had to keep my peeps up to speed.
Get it. Speed.
That I did not. Much. I kept cruise control cruisin' between 70-75. Honest. Ok, maybe I hit 80 once or twice.
Anywhosel. After one stop in Bakersfield where I met up with mom and dad as we passed on the freeway to have a quick burger (like 20 minute stop tops!), I was back on the road. After getting through the grapevine I got the go ahead that the 405 was clear of traffic. So that's the way I went. I'll admit, I was a little panicked. It's not everyday I drive in big cities with vehicles passing me.
I arrived at my destination, Rancho Santa Margarita, just shy of 9:45pm. Before even unloading my car Melissa and I went on a quick brisk walk around the neighborhood. That's exactly what I needed too. Walk off the cramped muscle tightness. So good!
Unloaded. Chit chatted with Mark briefly, but he was working. Chilled on the couch. Went to bed.
End of Tuesday.
See, now, I made the mistake of telling Macie on the phone the day before giving her permission to jump on my bed to wake me up. Luckily, it didn't get that far, mainly because I heard her whispering outside my door around 8am. So I got up. Meet the flirty little William, had some breakfast and chilled while the little tyke took a nap.
It was hot. We wanted to be in that water. So to the "Beach Club" we went! The "beach club" is a community pool. By pool I mean, chlorinated, filtered water. By beach I mean there was sand like a at beach. Standing up in the deepest spot was about up to my thighs. So perfect for the kiddies.
Macie eating lunch.
William just had lunch.
Every hour there is a mandatory 10 minute break. Macie was anxious to get back in the water. Did I mention it was hot outside?
After William got showered and cleaned up Melissa went in the water for some special Mommy and Macie time. I had the privilege of introducing William to the art of self photos.And then it was time to clean Macie up and head home.
We stopped at a grocery store first to get a few more supplies for dinner. Yum!
Melissa made margaritas. YUM! We ate way too much chips and guac. We fed the kids. We took a walk to wear them out. Then we put them to bed before having some more margaritas. Then Melissa made tacos for dinner. Yum!
We kicked back. Watched some boob-tube, chit chatted and visited. Facebooked. Laughed. Reminisced. And went to bed.
End of day 1.
(To see the complete album, click here)
Friday, July 24, 2009
Did you notice?
Over there ---------->
I've added my twitter feed.
So you can follow my ramblings throughout the day.
But on my really full rambling days you'll probably get them on here.
On the blog.
So watch out people!
Watch it over there. ---------->
Or just follow me on twitter.
It's that easy.
FYI...all twitter tweets also are my status changes on facebook.
Thursday, July 23, 2009
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Let me preface. Or did I already? Facebook won't allow me to use their fast uploader thing. So I'm stuck uploading 5 at a time and...it...takes...forever...
On my computer I have Picasa (google's picture manager). And I upload pictures to Picasa online. I like Picasa. And I don't want to have 3,962 other uploader programs hanging out on my computer.
So after I got back from my SoCal mini vaca, I had a lot of blogs to get caught up on. And I mean a lot.
I came across this one from the Digital Photography School site. Follow the grid at the bottom and tada!
So not only can I upload pictures to facebook from Picasa now, I can also upload to Flickr. And since I only have about 3.17% free space left on Picasa online I think I'll be using Flickr. And I'll probably become a big girl and pay the annual fee for unlimited uploading and storage space instead of the limited monthly uploading.
So that's that. It's easy. And a wonderful convenience to my life to aid in my laziness, I mean effiency.
I recommend it!
In fact, I recommend the Digital Photography School site for anyone that is interested in learning more about photography.
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Today I found a plugin for facebook with picasa. So I can upload to my photos through picasa. Sweet!
In a matter of 5 minutes (not consistently) I've uploaded about 70 pictures.
That makes me happy.
And that's a good thing.