Wednesday, December 28, 2011

That one time I went to Boston for 12 hours

I was looking through the last year of my blog to start drafting a year in review post and was reminded what a pathetic blogger I was this year. The only things I could think of that I didn't blog though, were Thanksgiving and Hurricane Irene.

It all started earlier in the summer when I was thinking about how I've never been to Fenway. Any good baseball fan should see Yankee stadium, Fenway, and Wrigley. I grew up going to Wrigley but still hadn't made it to Fenway. I emailed Brad and it turned out there was really only one weekend the Sox were at home that worked for both of us - late in August. It would be hot, but we decided to at least go to the Fri night game vs the Sat day game.

At the beginning of the week there was a lot of talk of Hurricane Irene that was supposed to hit New York. Everyone was running out to the stores, stocking up on batteries, flashlights, candles, food, and bottled water. I was planning on being at Brad and Nadia's all weekend, and as Friday got closer, I realized I would miss the hurricane. I really didn't sweat it.

Part of the reason I didn't stress was knowing I'd be out of town, the other part was because every winter we have at least one storm that is supposed to be so dramatic and everyone gets all up in a tizzy. While I think it's smart to be prepared, I'm not one to jump on the drama wagon. These storms are never as bad as they predict (at least not in the city.) In fact, since I've lived here I've never once been inconvenienced because of a storm. Every time people have gotten the day off of work for a snow day, I've never been able to partake. If the market is open, the finance world goes on. In almost five years there has only been once the subways have shut down, and I walked the 4+ miles to work.

Anyway, I didn't sweat it.

I left on Friday and was headed up to Boston when I started getting emails like crazy. People from church were forwarding emails around, everyone was making sure everyone had a place to go to weather the storm, church was canceled (never seen that happen in my life), and then came an email that made me sort of scared for the first time. Caroline forwarded an email which stated that beginning at noon on Saturday all subways would be shut down, and depending on the wind levels, bridges and tunnels into the city would shut down as well. If this were the case, there would literally be no way off the island other than to swim. Sort of creepy...

I had already changed my Sunday return bus for Saturday evening because it looked like the Sunday buses might be canceled. Then I started getting alerts from the bus company that they were canceling more and more buses. (At this point they were guessing the storm would hit sometime between Saturday night and Sunday.) I changed my bus again to leave Boston on Saturday at 1pm. This is about the point that I realized I'd be back in New York with no emergency food or water. Like a virgin without oil, I got in touch with Emilee and desperately asked her to pick some things up for me at the grocery store and leave them with my doorman. That Emilee is a saint because the grocery stores were a nightmare.

I finally made it to Boston and quit thinking about the stupid hurricane. Brad picked me up and we went straight to Fenway. I immediately fell in love. Even though it's enemy territory, as a baseball fan you just can't help but be enamored with this charming park. I absolutely loved it and vowed to come back the next year when the Yankees were in town. They were playing the A's who I very quietly rooted for. I would have been louder but I was seriously pretty singled out there.

While I was at the game I received an email letting me know my 1pm bus was now canceled. Crap. I was really paranoid because I didn't feel like I could miss work on Monday. Luckily I was able to secure a spot on the 8am bus, the last one headed into New York that day.

Brad and I got back to a quiet dark house around 11pm and after a long talk with Nadia I finally went to sleep only to wake up to leave five hours later. The worst part of it was Madeline went to bed Friday night knowing her Auntie Rae Rae would be there when she woke up. Except, I wasn't. I was already gone. My heart was totally crushed knowing Nadia would have to try to explain to a three year old why I wasn't there.

On the way to the bus Brad took me to a grocery store because Emilee said our stores were totally picked over. There was no peanut butter, and hardly any bread. I was trying to get food that wouldn't need to be refrigerated and I could make without heat in case the power went out.

I got into town around 1pm on Saturday and it was strange, everyone was out and about as if there wasn't a potential deadly storm headed our way in a few hours. I was worried I was going to have to schlep my stuff the 30+ blocks home, since the subways weren't running anymore, but luckily I found a cab really easily. I later heard on the news that cabs were instructed to pick up any passengers, even if they already had someone, and if you saw a cop car you could hitchhike.

Getting to my neighborhood was a little eery. Windows were boarded and taped up in all the shops. There was a line around the block to get into grocery stores. The movie theater was closed with a sign saying it would reopen in a couple days. It was like a post apocalyptic world.

I was insanely exhausted and just wanted to sleep. I knew I should stay out as long as I could because who knew how long I'd be quarantined, but I gave in to my heavy eyelids and took a nice long nap. The below was the note that greeted me in the elevator of my building.

It wasn't until later that day I really started to feel alone. I hadn't felt nervous or worried at all up until that point. My bishop lives two blocks away. The church which was a safe zone is five blocks away. I've got friends nearby. Everything would be fine. The constant flow of incoming texts, calls, and facebook messages from friends all over checking in on me made me feel really loved. But the nonstop news coverage I had on in the background started to get to me. As I was getting ready for bed that night I realized maybe I should pack a bag in case I needed to leave in the middle of the night. That was a little nerve racking. The way my building wraps around, it would be REALLY hard for my window to break due to wind, so I wasn't really worried, but I still had that thought in the back of my mind. I started feeling lonely because I realized, I really don't know my neighbors, and if I had some sort of problem, it's not like anyone would be looking out for me. I really started thinking about how, if I had a real problem, I couldn't call my parents. There's nothing they can do. I can only recall one other time feeling like that, and it's when I was lost in Queens around 2am without a cab in sight. (Long story, I was still new to the city and got on a wrong bus. It sucked.) Anyway, more and more I was grateful for my membership in the church. My Elder's Quorum President, Relief Society President, and Visiting Teacher had all checked in on me. I guess what made the whole experience a little scary was having to go to bed and knowing that if something was going to happen, it would be when I was sleeping.

I had a hard time staying asleep, waking up every couple hours. When it was about 4am I woke up to pounding rain. It was so eery, knowing we were in the middle of it at that time. Eventually I fell back asleep, and woke up around 9am to sunny skies. I think I said aloud, "That was it??" Honestly, it was so anti climactic. I've experienced New York summer thunder storms that seemed worse. We'd been told on the news to stay inside most of the day because there'd be branches falling, but I did step outside my building for a minute to snap the below photo of my street. Only a few fallen branches, nothing major.

I think Mayor Bloomberg did a great job preparing the city. I don't think it's crazy to prepare the city for the worst, it just drives me nuts when people get hysterical before it's necessary. If I heard, "Batten down the hatches" one more time I think I would have lost it.

The best news is, I was able to partake in my first ever "snow day." As a kid I lived in Chicago for six years and never once had a day off school for the snow, and as previously mentioned I never have had a day off due to the snow in the city. But since the hurricane really did destroy Long Island and some of the other boroughs, a lot of the mass transit was down, so our office closed on Monday.

Monday was an absolutely gorgeous day. Emilee, Brittany, and I rode our bikes down the Hudson to the Shake Shack, and then went to Central Park with Ashley as well. It was the perfect unexpected day off.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The most thoughtful gift

Christmas is such a fun time for me,
I love to spoil my family.
When thinking of gifts to give someone,
I sometimes have to put my thinking cap on.

I love to read our children's blogs,
To see what they have done.
And saw that Ryan and Megan
Had really had some fun.

One day as I was reading,
The comments of those blogs,
I came across a comment,
Of one I love so much!

She says she has a bucket list,
And some things she has done.
But I saw something there,
That I knew she would have such fun!

How fun, how fun, I yelled to your dad,
We have to do this for her Christmas gift.
I know she will love it...oh, yes she will,
She will really smile and get such a lift.

So off I went to get online to see what I could find.
Elise found it too so I wouldn't be in a bind.
Yes, up, up and away the three of us will go,
Yes a balloon ride for BooBoo, Dad, and me too!

So when you come back and the weather is warm,
Away we will go in the basket you know.
We hope you like this Christmas gift to you,
We love you so much our little BooBoo!

Merry Christmas 2011! Love Dad & Mom.

Best surprise ever.

Christmas weekend highlights

-I was sent home from work before the market closed on Friday, that's never happend before.
-I was able to get on a bus that left an hour earlier than my scheduled departure.
-No traffic and very minimal travel stress.
-The usual late nights filled with long chats and hearty laughs with Brad and Nadia.
-Feeling like a hero when Madeline is so excited to see me.
-Tossing Spencer up in the air a million times and hearing him laugh and seeing his adorable smile.
-Snow magically falling while we were opening presents, even though the weather called for clear skies.
-Delicious food all weekend long.
-Catching up on sleep.
-Watching National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation. Twice. Laughing just as hard both times.
-Skyping with our family back in California.
-Being able to cross one off the bucket list next time I'm in California because my mom got me a hot air balloon ride.
-Extremely thoughtful gifts from Brad and Nadia's family.
-A very sweet Santa who still finds me in New Hampshire and leaves me a full stocking.
-Opening our last present to find out our family will all be together next summer in Kauai! So excited! I have never been so spoiled.
-Being able to skip the bus home and ride with Chloe.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Why do we blog survey

From my cousin Tri's blog.

1. How long have you been blogging?
My first post was May 3, 2007.

2. Why did you start blogging?
It was maybe six months earlier I had started reading a few friends’ blogs and my sister’s as well. I didn’t really get blogging, had no idea what a community it is. I started reading more and more blogs after I started at my first job in New York. My first few months there were incredibly slow. There was no room for me on the trading floor so I sat a floor below. Being out of sight meant I didn’t get a ton of work and would get so bored. There are crazy firewalls at the banks so I couldn’t access my email or facebook, and this was before smart phones so I couldn’t kill time on my phone. (It seems so strange in hindsight to have to go all day without checking email.) I got so bored I started reading Wikipedia articles. It’s interesting how many more sites there are to kill time now than there were five years ago. Anyway, between my boredom, and constantly getting requests from family and some friends for photos from New York I decided to start a blog of my own.

3. What have you found to be the benefits of blogging?
I think the biggest benefit is having a record of my life. I’ve never been a good journal keeper, and haven’t been the best blogger the last year or two, but I really blogged a lot my first few years here and am so grateful for that. One of these days I really will print off some books of my blog so I have it in hard copy. I keep thinking (hoping) one day I’ll have grandchildren and maybe they’ll take interest in the fact that Grandma didn’t get married young like most other Mormons and had an amazing adventure being single. I don’t say that implying those who married young do not have fun fulfilling lives, not at all. It was just a really difficult time when I was in my early twenties and so many of my friends and all my siblings were married. I hope that if I ever have a child or grandchild in the same position, they will see their single status as an chance to take advantage of opportunities they may not have if they were married.
Blogging has also helped me to feel like I’m a part of so many friends’ lives, even though we live thousands of miles apart. As an adult it’s just not realistic to stay current on the lives of everyone you care about. It’s been nice to keep up with everyone this way. I also feel like it’s brought me closer to cousins who blog.
Blogging can also be really therapeutic. I try to stay pretty honest in my posts and sometimes it’s just a nice outlet. It’s pretty surprising how encouraging it can be to receive comments of support from friends, family, and even strangers. When I lost my job last year I felt so much support from everyone.

4. How many times a week do you post an entry?
These days it’s about twice a month. I just haven’t had the time and when I do have it, usually the last thing I want to do is get on the computer.

5. How many different blogs do you read on a regular basis?
A lot. My reader probably has around 100 but some of those rarely post and some of those post so frequently I can’t keep up.

6. Do you comment on other people's blogs?
I typically have something I want to say in response, and I like to know when people are reading my blog, so I will always comment unless a post doesn’t make me really have a thought one way or another. It’s always surprising to me when someone tells me they read my blog, and have for a really long time, but has never commented. I will say one thing, if you want lurkers to come out, I’ve learned the best way is to start a story and leave it on a cliff hanger for a long time. This wasn’t my intention but I found out about so many more readers this way.

7. Do you keep track of how many visitors you have?
Not really. I’ve set up an account with Statcounter but I rarely look at it. I don’t really trust the stats and haven’t spent enough time to find anything really that juicy.

8. Do you ever regret a post you wrote?
No, but I don’t write about my dating life until the person is pretty much not in my life anymore. The next serious relationship I have I will probably be more open about, but not nearly like I was in the past. Anyone else I go out with doesn’t get mentioned unless we’re basically exclusive.

9. Do you think your audience has a true sense of who you are based on your blog?
Hopefully. I try to be pretty honest.

10. Do you blog under your real name?

11. Are there topics that you would never blog about?
I’m pretty open but struggle to find the right balance of being open and real, and being one of those bloggers who shares too much. Then I remember everyone has their own opinion and there will always be people who think negatively about me, so I think I should just write what I want to write and try not to spend time worrying what people are thinking. Sometimes I brush over topics because going into more detail would require sharing details about others I don’t think they’d want shared.

12. What is the theme/topic of your blog?
This question is probably more for people who actually blog about things like travel, books, food, etc. My blog is just about my life and random thoughts.

13. Do you have more than one blog?
At one point I had a private blog no one had access to, but I rarely wrote on it and I think it may have been deleted.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Leaves, leaves, leaves

Happy Friday! It's been a tough work week. So looking forward to this weekend and only working Monday of next week. Hurray!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Soundtrack of my life.

I've been wanting to do a post like this for months but just got too lazy. Sarah posted one like it (but was able to trim her songs down to ten) and it inspired me. It's so strange how puting your iPod on shuffle you can hear a song that just takes you back to such good, or hard times. I remember Katie once mentioning before she and Cam take a vacation they purchase a new album and listen to it a ton on their trip. That album then forever takes them back to that trip. Such a great idea.
I put my iPhone on shuffle and the below is what came up.

One Two Step – Ciara feat Missy Elliot
This song will forever take me back to the many dance parties that happened in the three building at the Ridge. It makes me think of Toni, and especially Becky doing her choreographed solo to the Missy Elliot part. That girl can shake it.

Cemeteries of London – Coldplay
This whole album takes me back to a cold New York winter. This came out around the time Curtis moved to Kansas City and I was holding on to a straining relationship that was just beginning to be really unhealthy. It’s sort of fitting it was a long, cold, dark winter because I was very much in that place. There were some serious lows.

I Can’t Stay – Killers
I hear this song and immediately feel like I’m walking the hot pavement of 40th Street from 6th Ave to 5th, to the office in the morning. It’s a humid New York summer and I just want to salsa to this song, the whole way to work.

Why Do I Keep Counting? – Killers
I’m driving my little Civic from Murrieta through the pitch black dark where there’s no lights anywhere on my way back to my parents after visiting Nathan, who I was dating before moving to New York. I would scream this song (and the whole album, really) at the top of my lungs.

You’re Not Sorry
– Taylor Swift
Hands down the lowest point of my life, when things were the absolute worst with Curtis. This song, word for word, summed up my thoughts perfectly. Ugh. It was brutal. After reading this I can't help, "Why did you let this go on so long?" It's incredible how much I was willing to torture myself. Thankfully I learned. A lot. (And I’m starting to think I should remove all the sad songs that have ties to exes from my iPhone.)

Swell Charger – Hey Stroker
High school. No specific memory, but hearing this just makes me feel young, carefree, and like I’m headed to the beach.

Forever – Chris Brown
Oh gosh. I can distinctly remember dancing to this song with Britt at a party at Curtis’s old apartment (he didn’t live there anymore at the time) and she was crushing on someone who will remain nameless and I remember he came over to dance with us and I just wanted them to fall in love so badly, as he’s like a younger brother to me. However now I’m so happy she’s marrying Logan.

Such Great Heights – Iron and Wine
M & Ms. Kaleidescope. Commerical. Oh man, Toni Evans I hope you’re reading this. This song used to come on my favorite mix of Danny’s. My last semester of college a few of my girlfriends and I spent so many nights at our friend Danny’s playing cards from about midnight to 4am or sometimes later. Danny had a mix on his iPod that I absolutely loved and when this song would come on Toni and I would always say those three words because this song was on an M&M commercial. Danny lived in married housing because there were no rules there, and he wasn’t going to school at the time so he didn’t have to live in approved housing. He always had tons of Skittles and Dr. Pepper. Man, good times at Danny’s. He was like 27 and we always thought he was just a big kid who would never grow up. Now he’s expecting a baby girl with his wife.

Love Song – Sara Bareilles
I played this song on repeat like crazy around Christmas/New Years 2007. Curtis and I were in the honeymoon stage. We’d only been dating a few weeks when we both went home for 10 days for Christmas and it was like torture. I was completely twitterpated.

God Bless the Broken Road – Rascal Flatts
I love this song but it also has an annoying connotation because it came out when I was in college and so many kids were getting married and thinking this was their song. As if 21 year old BYU-Idaho students had had such long and broken roads to finding their ECs.

Misery – Maroon 5
Flying down the 15, rushing to see Dave in California. I couldn’t get there fast enough. (Foreshadowing)

Blow – Ke$ha
This might be the anthem of summer 2011. I traveled a lot, especially to Utah, and had a LOT of fun with friends. The first time I heard this song was in May, the last time I drove up to the Berkshires. Courtnie, Libby, and Ashley were in my car and I fell in love immediately. We had a dance party the whole way and I knew I had to download this song immediately.

Flashing Lights – Kanye West feat. Dwele
I absolutely love this song. I feel like just hearing this song immediately makes you cooler. I’ve loved this song for years but one distinct memory I have tied to this song is when I was in Rio driving to Buzios. The sun was shining, we were driving along the sparkling water, the windows were down, and this song was blaring. It was such a good day.

A Little Bit Stronger – Leighton Meester from the Country Strong album
This song (and whole album) take me back to all the early mornings during unemployment. I came back from Paris and had a really hard time adjusting back to New York time. I’d wake up around 5am every day and by 8 was ready to go do something, but had no job to go to. It was nice to live only a block away from a movie theater (especially since it was January.) I saw so many movies. When the nominations for Academy Awards came out I’d already seen 9 of the 10 best films nominated for best picture. Country Strong was a movie I really loved and I loved the soundtrack even more and played it over and over again. Dave was flying out a lot at this point so this album also has strong ties to him.

Any Other Name – Thomas Newman
This song is on the American Beauty soundtrack but I just fell in love with it in the last year. I guess maybe it’s sort of weird, but the music I listen to during most of my runs is melancholy, or thoughtful. I have my best runs when I’m down about something, or just have something really heavy on my mind so I guess that makes sense. This song is absolutely perfect for a thoughtful run around the reservoir at twilight. It almost makes me cry to think about. Those runs are just so therapeutic. I think so much, meanwhile looking around at the most gorgeous scenery, falling completely in love with my city all over again. I frequently think about what it will be like to leave the city someday and how heartbroken I’ll be when that day comes. It’s a really strange mixture of feelings of sadness and gratitude, and somehow in the end my head is clear.

New York, New York – Frank Sinatra
Oh wow. What doesn’t this make me think of? When I was visiting the city to decide if I wanted to move here I’d made a New York mix and of course this song was number one. I made sure it was playing when my cab drove into the city and it was magical. This will always make me think of Yankees games where they play it (whether we win or lose) and inspire me to run the New York City marathon (one day!) because they play it after the the gun fires, starting the race.

Swallowed in the Sea – Coldplay
Oh Kevin. I was so in puppy-love. Kevin took me to a Coldplay concert in 2005 and really kick started my love of Coldplay. A little part of Coldplay (I guess just the earlier albums) will always be tied to him. (PS Is it awkward that every guy I’ve mentioned, except one, is married now? Sorry to the wives if you’re reading this…)

Closer to Love – Matt Kearney
This song is me, riding my pink cruiser, up and down the West Side Highway along the Hudson River, so many days after work, summer 2009. Pure bliss.

Last Request – Paolo Nutini
This song was playing on repeat in my room the (first) time Curtis and I broke up. It was the least messy break up (funny how if you break up over and over again it just gets worse and worse.) The lyrics were perfect. I just wanted one more night.

My Milkshake – Kelis
This was my ringtone in college and I’m not even embarrassed to admit it.

Halo - Beyonce
This is a really great song. But even greater is a memory so many of my New York friends have tied to it. There’s a game we call iPod karaoke, that you can only play with really good friends, and everyone’s gotta be on board. Someone picks a song they know really well, and sits (or stands) in the middle of the group. The put the song on their iPod and crank up the music as loud as they can, and are also blindfolded at the same time, then sing along (and hopefully bust out some sweet dance moves.) It. Is. Awesome. And obviously not for the insecure. We haven’t played it in a couple years and I think we’re all kind of over it, but the times we played in the past were great. There’s always a couple people who bust out a song totally shocking. Like this one, for example, which was sung by our great friend Jeff. He pulled up a stool and sang his heart out. He knew every word and hit some serious high notes. One of my favorite moments was when I leaned over to his roommate and said, “Something tells me this isn’t the first time you’ve heard this” and he just laughed. Oh Jeffy, thank you for being such a good sport.

4 Minutes – Madonna feat Justin Timberlake
Man, I am so glad in every phase of life I always have friends who love to dance. I think summer 2008 was the summer for dance parties. There were a ton of parties that year and this song was one of the musts. When I hear this I’m immediately taken back to 7A in 71 Broadway, having a dance party, either with a completely packed apartment, or just my roommates.

God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen – Manheim Steamroller
Did anyone else grow up on Manheim Steamroller every December? This album makes the spirit of Christmas for a child come flooding back. I can feel the excitement all over again. It’s crazy how as adults we’re always saying, “I can’t believe Christmas is only xx days away,” but as kids it’s like torture waiting for the countdown.

Little Lion Man – Mumford & Sons
I was sitting in a bar on a date this summer and this song came on. I haven’t ever heard Mumford anywhere like that and got super excited. Here’s a funny story that maybe isn’t so funny if you’re my mom (sorry, if you’re reading this.) I’d met an older gent we’ll call Don Quixote earlier in the summer and we hit it off. He’d asked me for my number the first time we met and I didn’t really ever expect to hear from him. But I did. I didn’t think anything of it and was sort of oblivious to the fact that he was interested, because of the age difference. He’d text me pretty regularly and it was fun and flattering. I’d been with a friend when we met, and he’d been with a colleague. We happened to meet on a Tuesday at my favorite Yankee bar, and apparently he and his colleague went there every Tuesday. For the next few weeks after we met he’d always ask me on Tuesdays to swing by and the four of us always had a great time with tons of laughs. I would go when I could, but it was usually just for an hour or so because I always had something else going on.
One particular Tuesday I met up for about 30 minutes and then left because my mom, aunts, and grandma were in town and we were having dinner. He continued to text me while I was out, giving me a hard time for always being too busy. I finally agreed to meet him after dinner with my family.
While I was at Shake Shack with my family (the original, outdoor Shake Shack) we had one of those New York summer downpours that comes out of nowhere that leaves you completely soaked head to foot. I ended up going back to their hotel to chat for a while, and then used their ladies’ room to freshen up my makeup and blowdry my hair. My mom was worried about me going home “so late” (10pm.) She kept asking me if I was really going home and I kept smiling and saying of course, thinking it was obvious I wasn’t primping for the subway ride. My aunt Vicki just laughed and said, “Of course she’s not going home. She’s young and single. She’s going out and she should!” I just smiled.
I met up with Don Quixote and we were sitting in this bar chatting and flirting away and I found myself having a really really good time. We’d been talking about what kind of music we liked when this song came on and I asked if he knew who it was. He said without hesitation, “Mumford & Sons.” I was really impressed because I wouldn’t necessarily expect a guy in his 20s to know who it was, let alone someone who’s 50. There. I said it. Judge away but it was one of the most fun dates I’ve had in years, and one of the hottest New York makeouts after outside of my building. (Again, sorry Mom.)

First Cut is the Deepest – Sheryl Crow
Fall 2003. The girls in 303 and 304 were absolutely obsessed with The Very Best of Sheryl Crow, mostly this song. We’d have it on repeat in the apartment or the car and sing at the top of our lungs. Over and over and over again. I miss those girls and those days of 303 ½.

Apologies – Grace Potter & The Nocturnals
Last winter I was sitting on the Eurostar at the station outside London. I was waiting for the train to depart to take me to Paris. My very first trip to Paris and my very first solo trip. At the exact moment the train pulled away the beginning piano keys played into my ears and it was this moment. I wish I could put it into words but it’s a moment I’ll never forget. It was like this moment of reason where I felt like a bona fide, independent, grown up. I was taking a trip to a foreign country all by myself. I was going and I didn't know a soul on the whole continent. In less than a week I’d come home to my own apartment for which I'd just signed the lease four months earlier, and I’d face a life of unemployment and bills that don’t stop and deal with it by myself. It sounds a little sad, and I actually did tear up, but it wasn’t a sad moment. It was like a step into a new phase of adulthood, taking a new step by myself, and also dealing with a new problem that most people face in adulthood.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Fall in New York

I snapped this photo yesterday on my walk through the park to work. I have to admit, my Instagram app enhanced the colors a bit, however, an untouched photo from my phone didn't do nearly the justice.

I'm sure I'm so obnoxious always talking about the leaves and how much I'm dying over them, or really anything in this city that I talk about all the time. Although, I read over and over on blogs and facebook about how my friends are so lucky for their husbands, and so obsessed with their kids, so I guess I'll feel free to continue to talk about what I'm blessed with and can't get enough of. :)

The twenty or so minutes I spend in the morning walking through the park is potentially the best part of my day. Since it's the morning my mind is clear. Now that we've turned the clocks back the sun is so bright and shiny, and there's a million dogs out since it's off leash hours. They're all running around, so happy and socializing with each other. Take all that and add in the gorgeous surroundings, and my quick pace getting the endorphins pumping, and it just makes me really really happy.

Yesterday was the first day the leaves were really changing and just popping. I walked to work in awe and kept looking around, feeling like the moment was unreal. Leaves were slowly falling around me, like I was in a movie. I kept thanking my Heavenly Father for giving me such beautiful surroundings, and the good health to be able to experience it all. As I was walking and having these thoughts I became so overwhelmed with the knowledge that there truly is a loving God. I couldn't help but think of a friend of mine who's an atheist. We've had a lot of friendly conversations about it because I just can't wrap my mind around his beliefs. He's done a lot of research and studying and is solid in his beliefs, which I respect. However, I don't believe there is a thing in the world that could change what I know to be absolutely true, that there is a God, and He loves us so much. There is not a thing I know to be more true and I can't imagine a writing in the sky or witnessing some miracle could make me know any more than I do now that He does exist.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

My Halloween

One of many decked out brownstones on my street. Photos don't do justice. I think my block and the one in between me and Central Park are like those blocks with the amazing Christmas lights everyone goes to see, but for Halloween. Almost every brownstone is decked out like crazy. So fun.

I have to admit, when it comes to Halloween I'm sorta like, "eh." Every year it seems like it's just one more thing to add to the to-do list. Figuring out a costume is always a headache. As a single person it's assumed I'll go to a party. This means I'll be in a small apartment packed with a million people, so it's going to be really really hot. My first year I actually went to the annual regional Mormon singles Halloween dance that used to be where all the cool kids went dressed as a cat in a suit that was basically like a wetsuit and thought I was going to sweat to death. So you can either freeze your hiney off outside, or be uncomfortably hot all night. Then there's the footwear, it seems like most costumes require heels and I'm just not one of those girls that can stand around in heels all night. And then deciding on a costume. I'm not one to dress slutty for Halloween, nor am I creative enough to put together a cute costume myself. Almost everything you can buy is too skimpy for me. Not to mention, there is always the little bit of pressure to not look stupid... So needless to say, it usually just feels like a headache and I'd rather not deal with it.

Saturday came and I still didn't really have a costume figured out. Luckily, I was looking for something under my bed when I came across the outfit I'd worn for NYE in London when Karen and I dressed up as marionette puppets for the circus themed party. Score! I'd totally forgotten I'd planned on recycling it for this year's Halloween costume.

However, Saturday's weather was atrocious. Snow/rain/sleet/wind all day long. It was hideous. I finally made a decision I just wasn't going out. I had zero desire to schlep through the elements up to Harlem to the party where everyone would be, to stand around in a jam packed apartment and socialize (not really my thing, Halloween or not.)

I ended up over and Aimee and Jerry's for dinner and cards and had no regrets. I think one huge perk to marriage is no one judges you for being a home body. If you stay in on a weekend as a single person so many people think it's sad, lame, etc, but if you're married? No big deal. I'm looking forward to that day.

I finally left Aim and Jer's around midnight only to run into a former coworker outside their building. He'd been there at a party, and another of my former coworkers was on his way out with his wife, who I'm also friends with. They came out and we all chatted up a storm, so happy to randomly run into each other. They told me I was going downtown with them to the next party, no excuses. Being that it was midnight, I was five blocks from home, wasn't in a costume, and am generally not that spontaneous of a person I protested, but I must have been in a good mood because it didn't take much convincing.

I'm so glad I went. We ended up at one of those apartments that's ridiculously amazing. Everyone was really decked out in costumes so it was a little awkward that I wasn't, but it was one of those moments when I can choose to feel awkward, or choose to get over it and have fun. I chose the latter. The guy throwing the party had hired a doorman, bar tender, and dj. The dj was great and we danced the whole time. I have played 5th wheel before with this married couple at a wedding and they're so easy and fun to be around. There was another girl with our group as well, so I really was fifth wheeling it, but she was so great and friendly and I didn't feel like the loner without a date at all. We had a great time and I got home around 2:30am so all guilt of being an old lady and no fun was banished.

Yesterday we found out we could leave work early, as a lot of people were so they could trick-or-treat with their kids. I was thrilled at this unexpected news. I had no plans for the holiday but it's always nice to get out early. I go to kickboxing Monday nights but it's not until 7:30 and I didn't want to stick around midtown so I just went to the gym and then over to Aimee's. Jerry was working late so Aimee made us chili and we handed out candy to trick-or-treaters. I really haven't ever done this, as I've always either been trick-or-treating myself when I was young enough, or out doing something with friends when I was old enough. After last night I'm pretty sure from now on I'll be staying in to hand out candy. These little kids were so adorable! I wanted to squeeze every one.

And now here it is, November. How did that happen? This weekend I'm cheering on Em and other friends at the marathon, the following weekend throwing Britt's shower, the following weekend may have visitors in town, the following week my family comes for Thanksgiving, the following week I'm out of town for a long weekend, the following week may have visitors in town, and then it's basically two weeks to Christmas, and then it's Britt and Logan's wedding, and then it's New Year's! 2011 will be over before we know it!

PS Don't be surprised if Halloween 2012 you see me dressed up as a marionette puppet...

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Exciting things coming up

My parents, Brad, Nadia, Madeline, and Spencer are coming to New York for Thanksgiving!

Jason, Elise, Hudson, and BABY (I'm guessing girl) are coming out the week before Thanksgiving! And baby will be here in April! Wahooooooooo!!!

Now if I could just get the rest to come out. :) At least I'll see them in December.

PS I stole all these photos from their own blogs. Thanks guys. :)

Friday, October 21, 2011

A question I'm frequently asked

"Do you ever miss having a car?" No, I don't. I took this photo one day last week on my walk to work. I've said it before but I have the world's best commute. I get to walk. Through Central Park. There honestly isn't a better way to get to work. I get to work happy every morning. Every day I'm reminded how thankful I am for my legs that let me walk and get the endorphins pumping, and my eyes that take in such beauty.
I think about how this is how I get to work, and how I used to sit, filled with rage, in a parking lot on the 405 every morning. No. I do not miss having a car. Not one bit.

Thursday, October 6, 2011


I will continue with the story soon. How did two months fly by? Where is my life going? In all honesty, aside from being busy, I’ve been really intimidated to write this next section. I don’t think putting it in words will do justice to explain what happened and how difficult it was for me to process. And I realize when people write words like that, it’s because something actually legitimately tragic happened, verses what my situation was, which was hard, but not quite as dramatic as I’m making it sound here. I’ve struggled with finding the words that exactly explain my thoughts, and also protect the privacy of others. Additionally, I feel like unless you know me really well, and have known me for a large portion of my time in New York, you won’t understand why the next part of the story is as significant as it really is. I’ve had some people comment who I don’t know personally and I think, “This is a whole lot of leadup and they’re not going to get it.” I feel like there’s expectations that I’m not going to meet. Actually, I think it will be sorely disappointing because I’ve realized because I’ve written so openly and honestly about how I’ve felt, it’s sort of been a big lead up to what some might expect to be a big dramatic event. And it’s really not.

And then I think…I started writing this because I wanted to write it all a year ago but it was just too dang fresh and too much and I just didn’t have it in me and didn’t know how much I wanted to share with the www at the time. I finally felt comfortable enough to write it, and still felt the need to put all my thoughts and experiences down, so I did, for me. Obviously blogging is not one hundred percent for me because otherwise I’d be putting this all in a private journal. But this is mostly for me, and the comments make it a little more fun :) and also encourage me to write more frequently than I would in a private journal.

So….I apologize for seemingly quitting. I didn’t, I just didn’t know how to get it all out into words. And you know what? I don’t even know where the story is going. I was talking to one of my best friends who really pretty much knows all the details and she said, “I’m so interested to see where this is going to go.” And I said, “I am too!” And laughed, because there’s not exactly and end.

So. I guess we’ll see. I promise more soon.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

I know what you mean Amy

Just a wee 23 year old at Coney Island May 2007

Moving to New York and trying to get a show - oh my (gosh), we were naive. But the great thing about taking big chances when you're younger is you have less to lose, and you don't know as much. So you take big swings.
-Amy Poehler

Monday, September 26, 2011

Do we look alike?

This photo with Mel and Felicia from my ten year high school reunion was posted on facebook this weekend.

My mom forwarded this picture from her ten year high school reunion to us last week. I guess it's hard to tell because the photo's kind of small, but Brad's response was, "Scary how much Rachel looks like you." I've been told this my whole life but I just can't see it. I see similarities, but I wouldn't say it's uncanny. I've finally started to see how similar my sister and I look, and when I was little I confused childhood pictures of my mom to be myself.
What do you think? In my opinion, the crazy part is my mom had recently had her fourth baby (me!) and is still looking smokin. (She is the foxy lady standing top right. If you click the photo it will get a little bigger.)

Thursday, September 15, 2011

The week for celeb sightings I guess

Last night I saw Celine Dion walking out of the Ritz on Central Park South. It was a relatively small crowd waiting to see her, but the security was ridiculous, and understandably so. When she walked out everyone pretty much rushed her.

The crowd was, however, really really strange. Usually the kind of people waiting around for a celeb are girls, tourists, and gay. This crowd was 95% men, and the kind you'd expect to stand in line to meet a line backer for the Steelers or something. It was bazaar. And there was one guy who seemed like he was homeless or crazy or both, but he had his poster of Celine, waiting to get an autograph. He started talking to me and saying, "Take steak." I was like, "Ummm, what?" And he kept saying it and finally this other dude was like, "He wants to take you out for steak." Oh. One of the hotel staff saw this guy and was like, "What are you doing here??" And looked like he was ready to escort him away, like he's always there hounding celebs or Celine has a restraining order against him or something.

This other random dude missing teeth rolled up on a little girl's bike, wearing nothing but the tiniest jorts I've ever seen and a pair of sneakers, and a weird hat. I swear I thought I saw something peeking out of those jorts. It was so weird! I didn't have my phone on me so I couldn't even take pictures.

I saw Celine for a minute. She seemed nice despite the freaks crowding her. I booked it out of there. It was seriously weird ya'll...

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Clearly I've joined Pinterest...

I once watched an episode of Oprah where they discussed the effects on girls hearing their mothers speak negatively about themselves. Obviously research like this is variable, but I thought there was really something to it. I mentally committed to myself that I will try my hardest to not criticize myself verbally (in general) and especially in front of my daughters.
Additionally, I once discussed something similar to this (years before I saw the show) with someone. We sort of came to the conclusion that the women who seemed to be genuinely content and happy in life, with good confidence, tended to have children who were that way as well. I know this is not the case with every family out there, but it seemed to be pretty accurate with everyone I thought about. And yes, I realize I don't know how happy or unhappy people actually are, but I think you can generally tell if a person feels good about themselves or not. Just gave me even more motivation to not only be happy for myself and my husband, but for my children as well. (When I have them someday.)

Well hello Greg Kinnear

For some reason blogger wouldn't let me upload my editing instagram version of this pic, so here I am in all my post - gym, new zit, nastiness. Greg was very sweet, handsome, and looked younger in person. New crush.

Something I have to tell all boyfriends

I think I'm the most ticklish person in the world. People have gotten mad at me for shreiking so loudly and kicking, yet they're they ones tickling me. Makes no sense. Curtis once tickled me to the point that I completely burst into hysterical sobs. He stopped and looked at me like I just grew a second head. It actually sort of surprised me as well. But freak......stop tickling me! I can't take it.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

September 11, 2001

The Freedom Tower, September 11, 2011 around 2am

Today is a day marked in history. It started off at 8:30am when my mom called and said she had to tell me something. First she said, "Rebecca's okay." So I thought she'd been in a car accident. She then went on to tell me that a plane had crashed into the World Trade Center. I assumed Rebecca was on the flight but then she told me she wasn't. She then went on to tell me that there were all these terrorism acts going on. Four planes had been hijacked. All were American or United Airlines. One crashed into the *west building of the World Trade Center, one the east building, one in some woods in Pittsburgh, and one in the Pentagon in Washington D.C. It's horrible. One flight was from Boston and was headed to LAX and my mom thought if I heard I would be really worried, which is true. I'm so glad she called me. Rebecca had flown to Austin, Texas last night.
I called all my family to let them know I loved them and when I talked to her she was really upset because she was sure she'd know some of the crew. I was nervous for my family because on the radio they said they expected more things to happen. It makes me grateful I'm in Rexburg. Usually terrorists will hit big cities like New York, Chicago, LA; no one's heard of Rexburg, so I think I'm safe! I'm worried for my family. Also, my dad was on a plane at Orange County headed to Ohio, but thank goodness he hadn't left the gate when they heard and evacuated the plane. I wonder when Jason will find out? Rebecca was worried since he's on a mission and we can't call so hopefully he won't worry when he finds out.
When I was listening to the radio today they went live with someone in Jerusalem and I could hear them all chanting, "God is great." They were all celebrating. It makes me sick. They also went live with someone in New York and I could hear sirens and people screaming in the background. It was so eerie.
I've cried a few times today because it makes me sick to think my dad or my sister could have been on one of those flights. I can't imagine the terror they must have felt. I can't imagine if I was a mom and had little kids on the flight. I think I would pray for forgiveness and to die quickly after we crashed.
It was all over campus today. They talked about it at devotional, and we had a special ward prayer tonight and the Bishop spoke to us. I can't imagine how many people are affected because of this. Hundreds, maybe thousands of people were injured or killed, and to think about how many people would be devastated over one person. I can't imagine having someone from my family killed and then having to stay here in Rexburg, not able to get home to my family. Or what if my whole family had been killed? I don't know what I'd do.
It was awesome to hear all the missionaries in New York were accounted for and okay. Twenty one left from the MTC this morning, headed for New York, but landed in Denver, Colorado.
My English teacher's daughter lives two blocks from the World Trade Center. She was okay, but this morning her roommate left for an audition in the WTC, got down out of the elevator, and turned around and went back and said, "I don't think I'll go today." That's so amazing.
On the news they were comparing it to Pearl Harbor, but saying at least with that they knew who they were fighting. I guess some leader from Jerusalem made a threat against the US three weeks ago so he's a suspect. George W. Bush has every intention to "...hunt down and punish..." the terrorists. They said it's the worst attack of terrorism in the US history. And it's also the first time they closed down all air traffic in the US. Tomorrow is USA Pride Day, I'm wearing red, white, and blue.
It's a sad day.
*I clearly didn't have some of the details accurate, as the Twin Towers were the North and South, not east and west.

I can remember so clearly my mom calling and my roommate waking me up to tell me she was on the phone. I remember her telling me what had happened, but I was groggy, and naive in the ways of the world at the age of 18. I didn't realize the seriousness of what had happened and went back to sleep. After I woke up for the day I started listening to the radio (we didn't have tv in the dorm) and I realized this was a big deal. I called my mom back to ask her to tell me again what had happened. Looking back, I realize it still only sunk in so much. I should have noted in my journal entry above that Jason was allowed to call my mom from Mexico to find out my sister was indeed okay.

Even though I've lived in New York for almost five years, I will never understand what it was like to be here. I've talked to so many coworkers who were here on that day and have heard their stories. I wish I could wrap my head around it more, to really know what it was like.
Last night I found myself out in the city with a friend who was in from out of town and wanted to go out. We ended up in a bar in Times Square, filled with cops and firemen. Sometime shortly after midnight someone made a speech in the jam packed bar and then Lee Greenwood's Proud to be an American was played and everyone sang along and toasted to those who'd lost their lives trying to protect us. It was a powerful moment.
Sometime after 1am we headed down to the financial district, as my friend wanted to see if we could get close to the World Trade Center. There was a huge memorial service planned for the day so I didn't anticipate being able to get close, however, there was no issue at all. As usual it was pretty quiet in that neighborhood, but there were people at World Trade, there to pay respects and see what was to be seen, like us. I snapped the above photo of the Freedom Tower. I can't wait to see when it will be finished. Tomorrow the memorial opens to the public, so I'm looking forward to seeing that as well.
Today I am even more grateful to live in a land of freedom. I'm grateful there are so many willing to risk their lives for that freedom. I'm so thankful to feel so safe living in New York by myself as a single female. There are always so many police men out, protecting my safety.
So thankful I could be here in my favorite city in the world on this tenth anniversary of 9/11.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

How is this possible?

This is the most cliche, but how is my squishy little babe...

already this grown up little preschooler? I can't handle it. I wanted to die when Nadia sent pictures of Madeline's first day yesterday. I feel like all my nieces and nephews are growing up so fast but this one especially. I swear she looks twelve. Make it stop. But don't. Because I love every little phase of her.

Thank goodness I have this little man to get my squishy babe fix.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Even better

I get to squeeze Mad and Spenc all weekend!

Enemy territory

Tomorrow night I'm going to Fenway for the first time ever. Despite my loyalties, as a baseball fan I am so excited, especially to be going with my favorite Sox fan. It's an akward feeling because they're playing the As, who I don't care about. Who do I root for? I'm afraid I'll get distracted and accidently start clapping along with the crowd for the Sox. It's hard to sit indifferently at a baseball game.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Britt & Log

Brittany and Logan, moments after he popped the question.

I could not be more thrilled two of my favorite New York friends are tying the knot this December. Congrats Britt and Log!!

I like to jokingly take credit for their love, since I invited them to this game:

and this very first weekend in the Berkshires:

but the truth is they didn't start dating until almost a year after the Berkshires. Regardless, so happy to call these two my friends and so happy for them to spend eternity together!


Yesterday I was sitting at my desk when I thought I felt a little shaking. It took me a second to realize it wasn't my imagination. There was a little more and then I realized others were looking around wondering what it was. I stood up and could see the blinds shaking in an office. It felt like an earthquake but my immediate thought was, "No, this is New York." But it felt awfully similar to an earthquake...

Then one of our guys walked out on the phone and said, "That's a ****ing earthquake. They felt it in Jersey. We need to ****ing evacuate. They guy I was on the phone with in Jersey's building alarms were going off."

This is the point where people remained calm on the outside, but were clearly panicing on the inside. I had the thought to grab my phone but left my handbag behind. You really just don't think in these situations. I can't tell you how many times at my last job we had fire drills and had to leave the building, but I believe this is the first time it was for anything real.

As my colleagues and I walked the twenty six flights to the ground all I could think about was 9/11, and the people who were going down flight after flight after flight. I'd only gone about ten flights before my eyes started playing tricks on me and I was really losing my depth perception. I kept worrying I was going to trip down the stairs.

I also couldn't help but think about potential terrorist attacks. At the time I wasn't even thinking about the tenth anniversary of 9/11, but when you're in New York and something suspicious happens, the first thought you have is "terrorist."

We got outside and walked over to Central Park to get away from the buildings. Everyone was on the street, nervous because we still didn't know what was going on. I was able to make one call before I lost service, and then occasionally I'd get a text but couldn't send anything out. We finally heard the epicenter was in Virginia and it was a 5.8. I realized it wasn't that large on the scale, and have definitely felt stronger earthquakes and haven't been as nervous, but when you're in New York, and you're so high up, it's scary.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Nothing is sweeter

Hudson, 11 months

The thoughts of being a mom someday are intimidating to me. Really intimidating. But when I see the sweet faces of my nieces and nephews I think maybe someday I could do it.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Kathryn and me at the Bees game, watching her boyfriend Andrew Romine.

You cannot let your circumstances change you, you are the one who can change your circumstances. No one and nothing is holding you back but you. You are the reason you are where you are now, and only you have the power to take yourself to where you want to go. You make the decision, you are in control, every action, every choice, every moment depends on you.
Without the acknowledgement of your sole control over your success, you will always find a way to play victim. Change your mind, change your future. You WILL achieve the goals you have set, you just have to decide to make the full commitment to the success of your dreams.
-Kathryn Gosztyla

Monday, August 15, 2011

A Story: Part II

It was gorgeous Sunday afternoon and I was sitting in the car with my mom as we were driving home from picking up my niece and nephew. We were chatting away when my phone started buzzing. Court was calling. Strange. Mostly because when I go out of town it’s like my New York life sort of stops, and I don’t really hear from my friends other than an occasional text here and there.

I picked up:

R: Hey Court, what’s up?
C: Oh nothing, what are you doing?
R: I’m just driving home with my mom. We just picked up my niece and nephew to spend the night. You?
C: I just got down to your apartment. A bunch of us are over here hanging out and we’re going to play games.
R: Oh that sounds fun. So what’s up?

At this point I’m thinking it’s random she’s calling, especially when she’s with a group of people and obviously stepped away to make this call.

C: Wellllll, do you want to just call me back when you get home?
R: No it’s cool, I can talk. Is everything okay?
C: Hesitation….Yeeeeeah……yeah, everything’s fine, just call me when you get home okay?
R: Oooookay……no problem, talk to you soon.

I hung up and my mom asked what that was about. I explained the conversation and then just sorta thought, huh, weird. And then immediately I thought aloud, “Curtis is engaged.” I can’t remember my mom’s response but then I continued thinking aloud, “That has to be it. I can’t imagine any other reason she’d call unless it was an actual emergency, and if that were the case she would have sounded more urgent.” I remember my mom asking me how I’d feel about that. I wouldn’t feel great, but it wouldn’t devastate me. We’d had real, final closure back in March, and although really weren’t speaking, were otherwise on good terms. I knew he was dating someone then, and when we’d talked about her I told him then he’d marry her. He laughed and said they weren’t even serious, but I just knew. For over two years I knew him better than he knew himself. I knew he was in a really good place in life and was ready, and I could just tell. We’d texted earlier in the summer and he’d told me he was in love. For some reason that hurt a lot more than news of the engagement. Even though I knew it all was coming, that hurt the most.

I got home and went upstairs to my bedroom to call Courtnie back so I could get the news in private. Sure enough, according to facebook he’d popped the question. All my best friends happened to be in the same apartment when someone mentioned having seen it, and then they discussed whether they should call me or not. They knew I wouldn’t know already because I’d deleted him months before. She didn’t want to be the bearer of the news, but also didn’t want me to find out from someone else who maybe wouldn’t be as sensitive. We talked for a couple minutes, and I was surprised when I felt myself tearing up. I quickly thanked her, said goodbye, and threw on my running shoes.

I headed to RSM lake and pretended I was at the Reservoir, my real place of therapy. It wasn’t the same, but it would have to do. I would be lying if I didn’t say I felt partially relieved. I knew this day was coming and now it was over with. It was such a weird mixture of emotions.

When I got back to the car I was reminded how grateful I was that my friend had called, as I already had a nonchalant text about the news. My mom had also called telling me to meet them at Golden Spoon. It was a nice follow up to my run, and even nicer was the text waiting for me from Dave when I got back to my car. Nothing like a little pick me up.

I got home and showered and into comfy clothes for the night. I was ready to watch Mad Men when my dad came downstairs and started to discuss some things with my mom that were happening with my grandma’s health. He was exhausted and the conversation turned tense. I was so not in the mood. I decided to go for a drive, and impulsively text Dave and see if I could come over. Yes, I was looking for some TLC. I was fully aware of the state of my appearance; yoga pants again, tshirt, flip flops, wet hair in a bun, no makeup other than powder, and glasses. I figured he’d seen me dolled up Saturday night, and hit on me when I didn’t look much better on Friday, so what the hell? Was it a little reckless to just go to his house alone? Yes, I’ll admit it. But at some point you have to make the decision to trust someone, and I chose this point.

When I walked in I was immediately impressed. This was a man’s home. A three bedroom condo. A dog. Real furniture. Appliances. Decoration. Such a change from the guys I typically spend my time with who have been known to be sharing a bedroom and sometimes even sleeping in a bunk bed dorm style. I wish I were joking. I was instantly more attracted.

I sunk into the couch and we talked and talked about everything and nothing. He was charming. I was spunky and made him laugh. He was up front about really enjoying time with me. It was one of those scenarios where you felt like you’d known someone a month when in reality it’d only been a few days. I finally said something along the lines of, “I don’t think you really like me. I think you’re amused by me.” He responded with, “Why, because I’m not jumping on you right now? Because I didn’t kiss you last night? Because, don’t get me wrong, I wanted to kiss you.” Without hesitation I responded, “I wanted you to kiss me.” He then told me he could tell my guard was up when I came into his home and that even though I’d relaxed, I just wanted to talk, and that was fine. All I wanted him to do was kiss me.

We talked some more, and at some point he said, “So you don’t drink, what else don’t you do?” I said, “I don’t have sex.” “Okay.” “And I don’t do other things.” “Okay.” We’ll see how long this lasts.

Around 1am my mom texted me asking me to come home. I had to laugh as I asked a 41 year old man if he felt incredibly juvenile, having to say goodnight because my mom wanted me home. He was sweet about it and did nothing but make me feel more comfortable. He walked me out and confidently leaned in and kissed me goodnight. I can’t remember the last time (if ever) a guy just kissed me, just like that, without having to have the safety of watching a movie in the dark and cuddling, or being half way asleep, to work up the courage. This guy cut all the crap, gave me a hug, and then went straight in for the kiss. It. Was. Amazing. Being 5’11” it’s not common I feel petite. Even though I’m okay with my height, it doesn’t mean I don’t frequently feel awkward with men. I find it nearly impossible if I’m with a man who’s short, or my height, or maybe a little taller (when I’m lucky) and not too skinny, to not feel “big.” And feeling big does not feel feminine or sexy. So to be embraced by this dark Ecuadorian man, who quite honestly is only an inch or two taller, but so built, was heaven. He had 100 pounds on me. I’d even blurted out as we were sitting on the couch, “You have the hugest chest,” because the guy is just big, without appearing like a body builder. To this day I’ve never been as physically attracted to someone. Needless to say, it was steamy, and I couldn’t wipe the stupid grin off my face the whole drive home.

The next day he had an overnight layover trip so we didn’t see each other, but it didn’t stop the texting all day. I don’t remember what I did that day or night, but I do remember what I was doing when the next, far more devastating phone call came Tuesday morning.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Vacation by Instagram

Vacation was so much fun, but so exhausting. I can't imagine how I would have really changed anything though. There's never enough time. Here's how it all went down.

Airport was a zoooooo. I've flown on Christmas Eve and haven't seen it this bad. Was happy I'd gotten there extra early and didn't need to stress. Happy as a clam as we're set to take off on time and the captain announces we're first for takeoff. And then, the rain and lightning storm hits. We sit on the ground for 2 1/2 hours. Before a 4 hour flight. Awesome. Luckily we finally took off and made up good time, only arriving an hour late. When we landed I was so tired I could hardly see straight so it was straight to bed.

Brunch at The Wild Grape with Lance and Melissa.

Shooting with E. So so fun. I shot a 22 rifle, 22 pistol, and a 9 mm. When it comes to guns I'm a total girl so I don't even know if I wrote that right. Even though I don't consciously feel nervous, I get so tense and Ethan had to keep reminding me to relax and breath. I had so much fun and felt like Jack Bauer. The craziest part was when we walked into the range and some guy shot a sniper gun. It was so loud and literally physically brushed me back. I've never experienced that before.

I posed like this and then Ethan said, "Is that your tough face?" So I took another, smiling, and looked totally stupid.

After shooting we met up with Alex for Cafe Rio and the Demolition Derby in Heber. I've never been to a derby before. I expected it to be fun but I enjoyed it even more than I anticipated. I'd picked this purple truck below as a winner for a round. It was super exciting when he hit this other truck and flipped it over. At another point he hit a truck and completely took the bed off. Pretty sweet. I was feeling very tough after my day of shooting and enjoying the derby.

Brunch with E, relaxing at Grandma's, and then tons and tons of cousins, aunts, and uncles over for dinner to celebrate Grandma's birthday. Was really wishing Shellie and Tri could have made it. We need a cousin reunion.

Drove up to Boise. Everyone kept telling me I was driving so much in such a short amount of time, but I love it. I don't drive in the city and it's absolutely wonderful to get in a car, have an open road, and blast the radio. Last year on this vacation I drove from Orange County to Salt Lake on a Friday, up to Rexburg on Sunday, back to Salt Lake on Monday, and back to California on Tuesday. I loved every minute of it other than the bad traffic I hit in Vegas.

I got to Shantay's and we hung out for a bit and then met up with Brittney for dinner followed by dessert. We had such great girl talked and laughed so hard at one point that Shantay spit her water out.

I drove to Rexburg and went straight to Chelse's. Man I love that girl. I wish so badly we could live by each other. She humored me and had lunch with me at Gringo's, my all time favorite Mexican restaurant. Shantay and I had "Tuesdays at 2" lunch dates forever in college and most of those were spent here. Chelse and I had some great girl talk and caught up. It's so hard to stay up to date in the lives of my married friends who live in a different time zone so these meals are so fun.

On my way to my grandparents' I drove through The Ridge parking lot and stopped for a minute to look at my old building. I lived in 303 for four months and 304 for from September 2003 until July 2006, only going home January-August 2004. I love love loved that place and made some of my best friends there.

Got to Grandma & Grandpa's and started helping with the raspberry picking. I picked about two buckets worth.

Idaho has the best sunsets I've ever seen. View from the back porch.

The White House.

After Grandma and Grandpa had gone to bed, I went over to Chelse and Ryley's. We sat around talking about the good ol' days and reminisced about the first time I visited Rexburg after I'd graduated and we went skinny dipping in Rigby Lake with Aimee and some unnamed boys. We then decided maybe we hadn't quite turned into old ladies yet....

Ready for a little mischief...

There are few things that will make you giggle harder than being in almost a pitch black night at 2am, standing on a dock naked, holding hands with one of your best friends, working up the courage to jump into the freezing lake. It took us a few minutes of standing their laughing but we finally did it.

Wednesday morning I drove back to Salt Lake and saw this as I was headed out of town. So so true. Chelse and Ryley were headed to Bear Lake so Chels drove with me as far as Pocatello. You know you are real friends when you're giggling like little girls one minute, and then six hours later driving in a car together talking about serious grown up stuff and trials in life.

After I got to Salt Lake I met up with Maria for lunch at The Robin's Nest. It was so yummy and even better to see my Maria. Sad we didn't take a photo.

Next I was off to SLC airport where I was able to meet up with Steph who was flying to NYC for the weekend.

I arrived in Orange County and my mom picked me up and we went straight to dinner at my high school hang out, Rubino's. I couldn't have been more thrilled to see the Yankees game on their tvs. My mom and I ended up chatting for about thirty minutes with lovely couple next to us, she was from New York and he was from Philly but they'd lived in California for thirty years. They were both still total east coasters.

Then I was off to my sweet Gina's new Irvine apartment. I'm sad we didn't take a photo but we were both not looking our best, to put it lightly. She always looks beautiful but I don't think either of us felt photo ready. We sat on the couch and talked and talked and talked and then had a sleep over and it was all lovely.

I was up early again to meet up for breakfast with Denise. More girl talk, and more hysterical laughter.

Next I rushed home to get my mom and we headed to Elise's to meet up with her and Hudson, and Rebecca, Ryan, Megan, and Jared for some pool time, cupcakes, and relaxing.

Hudson's tooties while he napped.

A little leisurely shopping and Golden Spoon at the Spectrum with Jane followed by a much much needed nap at home.

Then I was off to Felicia's so we could head to our 10 year high school reunion together. The committee did a really great job planning and choosing a location. The golf club at Coto was really nice. It was great to see people I haven't seen in so many years. I felt like it was really hard to actually catch up with people though. I'd see someone and get through the initial surprise and "How are you??!" and then suddenly there was someone else. It was like stimulation overload.

Got up early to go for a ride with my dad. Brace and Karen came along, as well as Mark and Carley. We drove along Ortega Highway through the canyon and it was so pretty. We ate at a really yummy biker breakfast spot called Hell's Kitchen and had a ton of laughs. I didn't want the ride to end.
After we got home my sister and the kids were at the house and we all went to the beach. I've said it before but I really can't believe how much I prefer New York beaches. It is SO nice to just hop on the train and then you're at a nice clean beach where the water is warmer. I absolutely hate driving in traffic, waiting forever to find parking (I waited 20 minutes) and then schlepping down to a beach full of rocks, wood chips, and other debris, and an ocean full of rocks and seaweed. I know there's beaches that are a lot better than San Clemente but you still have to drive and find parking.

Rebecca left early to take Jared home and my parents, Ryan, Megan and I stayed until close to 6. It was so nice. We drove home and got pizza, put the kids to bed, and then I just packed, did some laundry, got one last Golden Spoon, and went to bed.


Got up so early, stopped for an asian donut and Diet Coke (breakfast of champs) and then my dad dropped me off at the airport. I was so happy to see I was able to get an exit row, and also happy I was flying out of Orange County since they sell the New York Post. I love my newspaper.

We took off with no delays, landed a half hour early, and I was in my apartment by 7pm! Such a nice change from the usual midnight landings when coming from the west coast. I was sooooo sleepy and luckily Courtnie came over and kept me company while I unpacked so I wouldn't fall asleep.

After I'd unpacked I found these eleven tootsie pops Lance had snuck into my bag. Sneaky sneaky!
It is good to be back in New York. We've had great weather this week, I've been busy, and now it's Friday and I'm exhausted. So happy to have a mellow weekend at home.