Thursday, May 27, 2010

I got nothin but mush on the brain.

The next month is going to be ridiculously busy, and who knows when I'll blog. The muffin top was at the top of my blog for far too long, and I guess I shouldn't leave the last post up top for too long either.
I feel like I've got so much to say and so much going on in my mind, so who knows if I'll get it all out. Here's my best attempt:
  • I didn't think it was necessary to mention that the photo of the muffin top was not of me. Yes, I have one, but thankfully it's not quite so plump. :) But listen, if yours is, it's fine, just don't dress like that! Sheesh, cover up honey!
  • Also, I noticed a few posts back I mentioned something like how sometimes I might be sad when I don't hate roommates. I did NOT mean to write hate! I meant HAVE. Someday I'll be sad when I don't HAVE roommates. Sorry if anyone thought I hated them!! :( I love my roommates! They're great!
  • I'd always planned on not going to Duck this year. I just had no desire. It's hard to explain. Duck is a lot of fun, but I've gone the last two years and I just feel over it. And thennnnnnnnn, I got sucked in. I asked for a spot, and then got one, and then baled. And then I got sucked in again, asked again, and got a spot. And wanted to bale. But felt guilty. I'm glad I'm going. It'll be fun. The weather doesn't look like it'll be great which is lame. But I'm looking forward to experiencing Duck without the relationship drama I had the last two years. I'm looking forward to catch up with one of my favorites, Rachel M., who is my true Duck Beach love who I met my first year at Duck. I haven't seen her since December when we met up at the Berkshires which is far too long. I'm looking forward to venting, gossiping, and catching up, whether it be on the beach in the sun or on a cozy couch while it rains. And I know the guys are looking forward to a Rachel sandwich. :)
  • I should probably also mention that when I wrote that "what you don't see" post I wasn't sad or down, and I hope it didn't come off that way (although I admit, while writing it I did get a little blue!) I'm in a really good place right now and life is never totally easy, but things are good!
  • While I'm at it, I really want to say THANK YOU for all your comments. They were so sweet and uplifting and I really loved them. It seems like the posts that are the most real are the ones most people relate to (or at least feel the need to comment on) so I'm going to try to keep it real up on this blog.
  • I'm sorry if my last post was cryptic and/or confusing. I suppose I should clarify, in case it needs to be said, that I am healthy, and I apologize if I confused anyone. One of my best friend's mom is battling the big C right now, and yesterday a dear friend was just given a diagnosis that was not what we were expecting. It's crazy how fast life can change. I mean like, unreal. Sorry for not going into more detail. If you're curious and want to know more about what's going on feel free to email me, I just don't want to put any more details on the www for just anyone to read.
  • And I guess that's about it for now. My brain is mush. Seriously. You know when something tragic happens and you can't focus or think straight and make mistakes all day and forget things? Today was the first day I really experienced that. It is really weird. I'm typically a pretty organized person who can keep it together for the most part. My memory isn't what it used to be and I have to write things down more, but I mean, after getting the news last night and having a few hours to let it sink in I just can't get it together. I was a stammering fool all day, and switching my words non stop, like asking my coworker if heartburn is what you use for Tums. And having to repeat myself over and over. When trying to ask my boss something today I kept stumbling over my words and tearing up and stuttering and I finally just plainly said to my boss, "I don't know what I'm doing." Praise the Lord for that bossman. He is the best person to work for in the entire world. I'm serious. He gets it and he understands and is gracious and generous and the most kind man. Ever.

Anyway, I don't mean to end on such a downer but, like I said, I'm keeping it real up in here and this is me today. Oh yeah, here's something happy! My brother was in the city today and even though he and I were both incredibly busy and incredibly stressed we were able to work it out so we could meet up for a little grub and a lot of laughs. He always does that for me and it's seriously the best medicine. Nothing like laughing to the point of banging your hand on the table, clutching your gut, and annoying the patrons around you. Nothing. When we were standing in line for our food the thought hit me hard, "Wow, it is really great to see him."

Alright, I gotta go pack. Boo. I hate packing.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Dear cancer

My friends are going to kick your @$$. Big time.

Friday, May 14, 2010

What you don't see

One of my favorite bloggers recently linked an article that gives a fresh reminder that what we read online about our friends' (and friends of friends) lives isn't always the entire picture. I'll be honest, I don't find too many blogs I feel are that fake or that frustrating. I feel like a lot of the blogs I read can get pretty real. However, that doesn't stop me from getting frustrated in myself for lacking the talents I see others possess. I wish I could say so much in so few words like Katie, or take awesome photos and decorate my home so beautifully like Elise, or always be dressed super cute and be so funny like Reagan. I could go on and on about all my friends and their talents. And if you haven't noticed, I feel like all my siblings (and in law) tend to pretty much just have it together. I can find myself feeling overwhelmed, inadequate, and worrying that I won't live up to my potential.

Then again, I have people telling me how I'm so lucky to live such a fun and carefree life in New York. How I'm always traveling or doing something fun in the city. How I'm lucky to have the best job ever and can do whatever I want and take off whenever I want. I try to be pretty honest and paint an accurate picture of my life, but there's plenty you don't see.

Katie linked to a few other blogs whose authors posted "What you don't see" confessionals, if you will. I loved reading these. They remind me that no matter how great others' lives seem, we all have bad days. We all have bad things happen to us. We all have flaws. We all have insecurities and things we'd like to change about ourselves. So in the spirit of spreading the reminder that we're all human, I give you my version of "What you don't see":

What you don't see is how even though it drives me crazy I let the bathroom trash get a little more full than it should.

What you don't see is that I don't wash my work out clothes every time after working out in them.

What you don't see is that sometimes I get ready to go to the gym, and instead sit on the couch and have goldfish and a soda for dinner.

What you don't see is the part of my job where I clean out personal items of just-let-go employees to put in a box and ship to their home. The pictures of their kids and wives they have to go home to and tell they don't have a job anymore.

What you don't see is the pressure I feel to get a more prestigious job because I live in New York and everyone else does something really sophisticated.

What you don't see are the times I take bike rides or go to the movies or make dinner by myself, wishing it was shared with a significant other. (For the record, sometimes, a lot of times actually, I don't mind and even sometimes enjoy doing these things alone, so don't feel sorry for me if I blog about it later. I don't always feel sad about it.)

What you don't see are the moments I feel like an idiot because people at work are talking about the market and I don't understand 95% of what they're saying.

What you don't see is the fear I have that I won't ever have that desire to have kids so many girls talk about. So many girls say how they wish they were just married and having babies. Yes, frequently I wish I was married, but I don't feel that burning desire to have babies. I'm hoping it develops after marriage. But I don't ever hear anyone else say they feel the same, so I sometimes wonder if something's wrong. I adore my sibling's and friends kids, but I don't feel that little something at this point that makes me crave my own.

What you don't see is the dust on any flat surface in my room because even though I hate clutter and try to keep things looking tidy, I hate to dust and deep clean.

What you don't see is when I stress out over making ends meet because I took a vacation.

What you don't see is when I feel like a hill billy because I'm sitting at a nice restaurant, looking at the menu and I don't know what half the dishes are, and the other half sound disgusting and I find myself thinking, "I wish I was at Olive Garden."

What you don't see are the countless nights I've spent up all hours upset and fighting with boyfriends that should have been out of my life months prior. You don't see that I've never been someone who can break up once and cut ties. It always drags out, and that's usually my fault.

What you don't see is that I've always been the one more in love, and can't imagine being completely adored and how it would feel to receive the love at the level I've given it.

What you don't see is that even though I am ecstatic for my friends and so happy for them, and love being involved in their weddings, there's always a part of me that feels a little sad while I'm there that I'm still on the single side.

What you don't see is how I work really hard at accepting that marriage may never come to me in this life, and how I focus so much energy on making the most of a single life.

What you don't see is the anxiety I feel at parties, and the guilt I feel if I don't go.

What you don't see are the poor decisions I've made and make.

What you don't see is that most of the time I'm bored in Sunday School.

What you don't see are the times I gossip and speak negatively of others when I should be more positive.

What you don't hear are the curses that come out of my mouth way too casually now.

What you don't see is that sometimes the reason I'm on time to church is because I broke the Sabbath and took a cab because I needed those few extra minutes.

What you don't see (or do, if you're my roommate) is the food I've left in the fridge for weeks because I always forget about it.

What you don't see are the super easy to read books on my Kindle.

What you don't see is the muffin top over those skinny jeans that look like they fit perfectly.

All this doesn't take away from the fact that a majority of the time I do feel confident, fabulous, and happy, because it truly is a choice. I enjoy my life and count my blessings frequently. There's a saying that if everyone threw their trials in a big pile and could choose whose to take on, we'd all go back and pick out our own. I completely agree with this. However, that being said, there's plenty of super sucky days and weeks and months and we all have them. Let's celebrate our differences and lift each other up during those bad times.


Last night some girlfriends and I tried out a class at Physique. It. Was. Rough. But a great workout. Today I can definitely feel it in my arms, legs, booty, and especially my back. Thank goodness Maria was with us, she's become a pro since she started taking classes a month or so ago. It was brutal but great to do it with friends. I had a hard time controlling my laughter when I'd catch one us pulling a "Lord help me" face. I have to admit though, it was one of my favorite Visiting Teaching get togethers.

I keep thinking I'm going to do an update post with photos of what I've been up to but it just hasn't happened, and it won't happen in this post either. Tonight I'm watching a six month old and seven month old. Yep, basically twins (but they're cousins.) I have little B in my lap as I'm typing in this because he just likes to be held, and little S laying next to me, happy as a clam. These are some happy babies! Oh yeah, and for some reason the only song I can think of to sing is the elmo song. Okay, time to go....

Monday, May 10, 2010

Happy 36th anniversary Mom and Dad

My favorite photo.

Too busy (and unmotivated) to blog

But check out these photos Elise got of me with the kids. I saw these little wooden toys in Buzios that were just like the ones we had as kids, almost 25 years ago. (Am I that old??) I flew home to California to surprise my mom for Mother's Day, and boy, surprise her did I! I've never seen her so shocked. The story, more photos, and updates later. For now I'm catching up on my sleep after that 36 hour cross country trip.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Meet my BFFs: Jason

After painting the ceiling in his new house, 2010.

It's Cinco de Mayo, and more importantly, Jason's birthday! I always look forward to getting the answers back for these interviews, because I usually learn something new and I'm always surprised by an answer or two. I really expected Jason's interview to be pretty straight forward, and not very wordy (although, that's pretty typical for any man.) I didn't really expect to see so much of Jason's softer, fuzzy side. Up until Jason's mission, he always was just pretty much the rational, logical one in the family. After he got back I started to see a little more of his emotional side, and since he's been married it has really developed. After finishing reading Jason's answers I said, audibly, "Awwww, that is so dang cute!!" My roommates asked me what I was talking about and I filled them in on my *favorite answer he gave. Jason has always been a good man, but Elise and marriage have made him an amazing man. I can see as he's in the beginning stages of fatherhood (Bambino due in September!) he's only becoming better. He has become so well rounded and successful in about every way possible.
Jason is another one who's really just got it together. When I think of someone I should go to for advice for so many different things in life, Jason comes to mind. He always makes smart decisions. He's responsible, very dedicated, extremely hard working, funny, balanced, honest, and, just like my sister (and other brother, for that matter), just does what's right. He does his home teaching, he magnifies his calling, he doesn't lack in work ethic. He makes a point to go around and say hello to everyone at social gatherings when it's sometimes so much easier to sit in a corner with those with whom you're comfortable. He stands up for what's right and doesn't tolerate someone rationalizing otherwise. He looks out for his family and protects those he loves. I remember a letter he wrote to me when I was a freshman in college while he was on his mission. He warned me to watch out for the wolves in sheep's clothing (regarding dating.) This is something that's stuck with me, even almost ten years later. A funny example of his protective nature (that wasn't so funny at the time) was my sophomore year of high school (he was a senior.) I was watching tv in my parents' living room with a boy I liked (that Jason didn't trust) at about 2am on a Saturday night. I'll never forget him yelling down from the hallway upstairs, "Rachel, I think it's time for bed." I. Was. Livid. How dare he embarrass me and treat me like a baby. (16?? I was a baby. Who was I kidding?) Now I look back at that moment and laugh, and hope I'll have a son who watches over my daughter that way.
I really miss the days when we were both in college and could hang out on any given weekend. Life has gone on, and now we're 3000 miles apart and have jobs and responsibilities. I'm so grateful, however, that we've been able to remain close, and have only gotten closer thanks to his choice of a wife. I'm lucky enough that Jason occasionally comes to the city and we can get together for dinners. I'm also grateful we both work in the financial industry. Jason and I don't have a lot of similar interests, however since I've worked in this industry I've found we have so much more to discuss, whether it be finances or politics. We both have CNBC on all day at work, and I love when one of us emails the other about some goofy looking person on tv. Sometimes I'll just get an email saying, "Quick, look at the tv." It makes me laugh and at the same time so happy because I feel like we're sitting in the same room, and not on opposite sides of the country.
Jason is such a good husband and the the love he has for his wife is what I dream of my husband having for me. He absolutely adores her.
Happy birthday Bay! I hope your day was awesome!! I love you! (PS I'm also grateful there's another person in the family who will root for the Yankees!!)

Taking me for a scoot in San Diego, Thanksgiving 2008

Jason and Elise, December 2009

Describe your perfect day.
Laying at the beach on a summer day with Elise, a good book, and a tan so I don't have to worry about burning. Then to Ruth's Chris for a porter house afterward.

If you only had time to watch one tv show a week, which would you choose?
Amazing Race
(Me too!)

What's something people would be surprised to know about you?
I am not a big fan of guacamole.
(Hey, me neither! I thought I was the only one in the family.)

When you've had a really bad day what makes you feel better?
Coming home to a happy wifey.

Who's your celebrity crush?
Britney Spears pre-loss of virginity.
(It's true, I think the poster of her might still be up in his old bedroom at my parents' house.)

What's one of your favorite childhood memories?
Tending to my pumpkin patch.
(Jason I had totally forgotten about this. You did definitely love that pumpkin patch so much!)

What's one of your guiltiest pleasures?
Treats. I love dessert. Chocolate molten cake, creme brulee, ice cream, chocolate chip cookies...

If you could change one thing about the female race what would it be?
Don't need new clothes constantly. I wear the same clothes I wore years ago.
(It's not our fault! Styles change more for women than they do men.)

What's one of your favorite things about living in southern California?
The weather. Does anyone live here for another reason?

What part of being a dad are you most looking forward to?
Playing with the kiddies.

What book(s) are you currently reading?
Book of Mormon and CFA study materials.
(Remember when I said he's hard working? When I talked to him tonight he was studying....on his birthday!)

What's your favorite comfort food?
Grilled cheese and tomato soup. Elise makes the best.

If I gave you $100,000 with the stipulation that you couldn't save it or invest it, and had to spend it in within a week, what would you do with it?
Put in a new kitchen. Is that an investment? I would pay someone to finish all the work on our house and yard. It'll be a never ending project.

What is a piece of modern technology you could not live without?

Where is the most beautiful place you've ever been?
Maui/Cancun. Can't decide.

What book should be required reading for every American?
Atlas Shrugged.

You've been married for almost five years. Is there anything that still surprises you?
How happy Elise always is.

You've got two round trip tickets to anywhere in the world. Where do you go and who do you take?
I take Elise to Bora Bora.

If I could give you front row tickets to any concert, which one would you go to?
Coldplay. Saw them at Cricket in San Diego. It was amazing even though our seats weren't great.

What's one of your biggest pet peeves?
Rude drivers. The amount of time you save by going 80 instead of 70 when you're driving 20 miles is like one minute. Slow down and enjoy the ride.
(Another way Jason's gotten better with age. He didn't use to be such a bad driver. Just ask his friends, I'm pretty sure I got him grounded one time for complaining about his driving and they never let me live it down. Sorry again....)

If you had an hour all to yourself, how would you spend it?
Probably watching TV. I love Entourage. Guilty pleasure I guess and also something people may not know about me. Ari is so freaking funny.
(I totally didn't know that, and have now added the first season to my Neflix que.)

What three material possessions do you value most?
I really don't have anything I guess. My house.

What are you looking forward to?
Being done with the CFA once and for all.

What are three things on your bucket list?
Machu Pichu, run a marathon, African safari.
(I will do the marathon and safari with you.)

Who is someone who has changed or shaped your life for the better?

What piece of advice would you give to your younger self?
Slow down and enjoy the ride.

What do you know to be absolutely positively true?
*I love my wife. I know not just because I know, but because Elise woke up to me talking in my sleep saying, "I work so hard because I love that girl so much." You can't lie when you're asleep.
(See what I mean???)

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Meet my BFFs: Rebecca

Steve and Rebecca (+ baby bump!) this year on her birthday in Palm Springs (at the top of the mountain, hence the coat.)

Happy (belated! :( ) birthday Rebecca! I can't put into words what a jerk I feel like that this is two days late. A combo of temperamental internet, poor planning, and committing myself to too many other things that kept me away from the computer are to blame.

One thing I can tell you about my sister is that she'd never be writing a paragraph like this one, because she is one of the most organized, punctual people I know. Even being a mom of two (soon to be three!) she's just got it together. I don't want to make anyone feel bad, but she's really one of the best mothers I know. She is blessed to be at home with the kids and really makes the most of it. They're always going to museums, the beach, play dates, the pool, etc etc etc. Her kids are well behaved, happy, and well mannered.

She is the kind of person who you can just count on. She will never commit to something and then not follow through. She is honest, fair, and has no guile. She would never even consider doing something that would cheat anyone out of anything. She stands up for what's right, makes her home a place where the Spirit always resides, and welcomes everyone. She is easy to please, easy going, and happy to just be with her family. She's unpretentious, patient, and just plain good. She's real. She has her priorities in order and has her head on straight. I can't even tell you how many times when talking about my sister to friends or other family I've simply said, "She's just got it together." There's no other way to put it.

I love you Rebecca, and hope you have had a wonderful birthday week. Thank you for your constant example which makes me want to be better. Thank you for raising such wonderful kids who bring me happiness I've never known.

And to anyone else who's reading this, I'd link her blog but she's private, so feel free to leave your happy birthday messages on my blog for her to see!

Ryan and Megan this year visiting the flower fields in Carlsbad.

An oldie but goodie. My mom, Rebecca, and me celebrating her birthday in 2006 at my grandparents' in Rexburg.

Describe your perfect day.
Sleep in, perfect weather, uncrowded Disney Land with the family, everyone is happy, kids in bed early, hang out with Steve.

If you only had time to watch one tv show a week, which would you choose?

What's something people would be surprised to know about you?
I'm pretty much an open book, so I'm not sure???

When you've had a really bad day what makes you feel better?
Steve coming home from work!

Who's your celebrity crush?
Has always been Tom Cruise (since Top Gun.) Brad Pitt is up there too though.

What's one of your favorite childhood memories?
Family vacations and time with grandparents.

What's one of your guiltiest pleasures?

If you could change one thing about the male race what would it be?
??? I asked Steve if he could think of something that I have complained about and he said, "Make them less hairy." Haha, Steve barely has any hair, but he knows that was an issue with people I dated in the past.

What's one of your favorite things about living in southern California?
The weather!

What's your favorite part of being a mom?
Watching the kids discover and accomplish new things.

What book(s) are you currently reading?
Just my scriptures.

What's your favorite comfort food?
Sugar and bread.

If I gave you $100,000 with the stipulation that you couldn't save it or invest it, and had to spend it within a week, what would you do with it?
Maybe buy two new cars, since we have had car problems with both lately, a big TV and entertainment center/home theater, give some to humanitarian aid or family/friends in need.

What is a piece of modern technology you could not live without?
Cell phone, computer.

Where is the most beautiful place you've ever been?

What book should be required reading for every American?
I know it sounds cliche, but the Book of Mormon.

You've been married for almost nine years. Is there anything that still surprises you?
Yes, but I can't say it out loud. :)
You're killing me! Maybe you should email me your answer. :)

You've got two round trip tickets to anywhere in the world. Where do you go and who do you take?
Europe and Steve.

If I could give you front row tickets to any concert, which one would you go to?

What's one of your biggest pet peeves?
Flaky, lazy people.

If you had an hour all to yourself, how would you spend it?
I might relax or I might clean/organize the house, or I might run errands, or I might make some phone calls...the possibilities are endless!

What three material possessions do you value most?
Home, cars, cell phone.

What are you looking forward to?
I'm always looking forward to something, but try to enjoy the moment too. Kids grow up way too fast!

What are three things on your "bucket list"?
Traveling the world (aren't we all?), serving a mission with Steve, watching grand kids grow.

Who is someone who has changed or shaped your life for the better?
Steve, my kids, Ricks College, my parents/grandparents, and Carole Brown.

What piece of advice would you give to your younger self?
Study harder in school.

What do you know to be absolutely positively true?
The Gospel