Friday, December 28, 2007

Reasons To Love The Season

So I was at the gym yesterday (after not going for about 2 weeks) and as you go around the Curves work-out circle, they have little signs on the floor with quotes and health tips - you know, something to read so you don't get bored doing the same work-out day after day.

Anyway, as I worked my way around the circle I noticed a list of "Reasons To Love The Season". There were things like "Because its rude to not take seconds of Mom's apple pie" and "Because you are expected to go shopping". While this is true, the thing that got me was the number one reason to love the season...

"Because when else are you allowed to wear musical jewelry."

That was the number one reason to love Christmas? Really? Who are these people?? I almost took that as my cue to leave and never return, but instead I rolled my eyes and then laughed very hard on the inside as I continued my work-out.

When I started my walk home, I laughed very hard on the outside and couldn't wait to tell people this story. I honestly can't say I've never worn a piece of musical jewelry, but I'm pretty sure the last time I did, I was about 6 years old. And I'm almost positive you're not allowed to wear it again until you're over the age of 70. But I haven't seen that many 70-year olds at my gym.

So I don't know who wrote that list, but I veto their number one reason to love the season! Come on!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

I Have What You Might Call A "Problem"

Don't get my wrong. I still bought everyone Christmas gifts and didn't have to leave anyone out to satisfy my own cravings; But I spent so much money on myself this Christmas!

I will be out looking for the perfect gift for someone and realize it's also just what I wanted! Even though I've never necessarily needed it before, I definitely need it now. So let's get two. And maybe one extra in a different color - just in case someone else pops up on the shopping list. While inside, I have every intention to keep it for myself. The next time I go shopping, I tell myself "OK. Only gifts for other people. You don't need anything." And I walk out of Macy's with the same problem. Probably because there was an amazing sale. But there is an amazing sale like once a month!

My husband just laughs at this point - until I start cleaning out my closet. I do that about every 6 months. I love that cleansing process. And he understands when I get rid of the things that are outdated or things that don't fit. But it drives him crazy when I get rid of things I never wear and now realize I never will. That makes him furious. And I completely understand why. It makes no sense and is so wasteful. But I can't stand to hang onto things that I don't like. Gotta make room for the stuff that rocks!

I have thought many times about where my shopping addiction comes from and I think its a variety of things. First, its just the fact that I can shop. Growing up, we never had very much money so I mostly lived on hand-me-downs and thrift store goods. Which isn't bad. I had a lot of great stuff. But I have just grown to love a real store. Secondly, as a teenager and young adult, I was never comfortable with my body and felt that nothing ever fit. So shopping was just a major frustrating challenge. Now that I know my size and what works for my figure, I find things that fit more often than not. And when it fits well, I get all excited and feel like I've got to have it! Thirdly, living and working in L.A. and seeing all sides of the fashion triangle, I like to try and keep up. I have never been one to really care too much about image and what people think, but I do like to leave the house feeling good about myself. It makes a big difference in your day. And you have to admit when you respect yourself and the way you look, other people respect you too.

The excessiveness has also spread to other areas of my life - make-up, music, movies, jewelry. Just overdoing it across the board. Probably because that stuff ALWAYS fits.

So, there ya go. It all makes sense. But that doesn't mean its a good thing. I still need to relax my debit card. I think I've literally almost worn through the plastic! I guess there's always that New Year's Resolution to make...

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

How The JOB Stole Christmas...

The holiday season has always been a favorite of mine. It all starts with that big Thanksgiving dinner (what is better than a holiday that is centered around EATING?) and ends with a party to ring in the new year. The weather changes and you feel that chill in the air. We obviously don't get snow in L.A. but it's exciting when you can see snow on the mountains and it gets down in the 30's at night. It actually starts to feel like winter. We turn the heater on and I get to wear all those cute jackets and boots I've been storing the whole year.

Well, there is nothing that puts a bigger damper on your holiday spirit than a stressful job, where you are the MOST busy
this time of year. I work in the liquor business and people love to drink during the holidays. The last few months have just been insane. And the last few weeks have just gotten more and more crazy. Working a lot of 15-hour days and not getting enough sleep. I hadn't put out any of my Christmas decorations, sent out any Christmas cards, done very much Christmas shopping (highly unusual!). I began to curse my job and curse the holidays in general. So I was actually counting down the days until the season is over.

But after last weekend, Paul and I retrieved our Christmas stuff from storage and I began setting up the lights and the tree and
my pretty nativity scene. When I was through with the living room, I realized how bad the rest of the house looked in comparison. So my husband humored me and spent his day off helping me clean. Like, REALLY clean. Now the house feels so warm and cozy and happy that you can't help but be in the Christmas spirit.

I still have plenty to do, but at least I'm in the right mindset to have a Merry Christmas. I just gotta remember to slow down every once in awhile and the best way to do that is to park myself on the couch and enjoy my cozy living room.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Cowboys Wear Them Hollisters...

Paul and I arrived in Southern Utah on Thursday in the late afternoon. We didn't miss Thanksgiving because my Mom usually prepares the meal on Saturday to make sure that everyone has plenty of time to get there and we can enjoy each other's company before pigging out. Works for me.

And enjoy each other's company, we did! That night, we played a rousing game of Scattergories (twice) and pretty much laughed our butts off. Mom and her sister Irene were on a team for the first round and if that doesn't spell trouble, I don't know what does. My mom is notorious for mispronouncing and sometimes butchering the English language, so it can be pretty comedic.

One of my favorite examples was when we had to come up with a "Type of Clothing" that started with the letter "H". Most of us put down Hat or something along those lines. Jake was clever enough to think of Hollister (the clothing brand) and we all thought that was pretty good. Mom was the most impressed, saying "Oh yeah! Cowboys wear them Hollisters!" It took a moment to register with us before we all basically fell to the floor with laughter. Then I explained that cowboys don't really wear Hollisters so much as they wear HOLSTERS. Classic.

For the second round, Mom and Jake were on the same team and besides her constantly giggling in his ear, the best part of that round was when we had to come up with "Items in a Medicine Cabinet" that start with the letter "T". Mom's brilliant answer was "Toilet Plunger!" and Jake's retaliation was "I want a new partner!" Cue laughter.

So Thanksgiving was great, Zion Nat'l Park was great, bowling was great, the company was great, and overall it was just a great weekend. The only bummer is that our 7-month old car broke down, and no repair shops are open on Sunday. So we will be here for another day.

But being here isn't all that bad.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Have You Gone Pooh?

Today is my Aunt Jean's 60th birthday and I am wishing so bad I was in Utah celebrating with everyone! So in honor of the big event, I thought I would just share the little book I wrote for her. As you will see, it was inspired by all the amazing summers I spent in Sunnyvale with that side of the family. When I first started going there, I would get homesick so easily. But the older I got, the less I wanted to leave. Amy and I always had such a blast and the family has done so much for me over the years. There's no way to repay that. I can only hope I have been as good a cousin to Amy as she has been to me, and that I will be as good an Aunt as Jean has always been.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Dangerous Curves Ahead

I have always been envious and resentful at the same time of people who go to the gym. I am envious that they have the time to go. I am envious that they have the money to afford a gym membership. And that they are doing something good for their bodies. That maybe the gym actually works for them. And I am resentful because...I guess because of all the things that I'm envious of. Make sense?

Even just the word gym gets under my skin. I've always enjoyed being active and playing outside, but being stuck in a little room with a bunch of sweaty people has never appealed to me. Its so much nicer to come home from work and watch all the shows on Tivo that you missed the night before.

Well regardless of my feelings on the gym, I forked over a small fortune and joined one a couple months ago. It is an inner battle every day to get myself there, but since its only a 30-minute workout, I somehow muster the strength.

When I get to the gym on my first day (a little place called Curves - you may have heard of it) the"personal trainer" - I use this term VERY lightly - takes my weight and measurements and asks me what my goals are. I basically want to tone and build strength, since my hubby and I are trying to get pregnant and I know it will be easier to carry a baby if I am in shape. I am not dying to lose pounds. Only because I have a SERIOUS wardrobe that I am not ready to give up just to be 10 pounds thinner. Besides every time I join a gym hoping to lose weight, I just get aggravated. (Case in point , I have gained 2 pounds since I've joined Curves. Haha.)

Anyway, after explaining all that to the trainer, she looks at my measurements and body fat and tells me that I am in the DANGER ZONE and need to lose about 30 pounds to be in a SAFE ZONE! Without knowing anything about my health or background, I'm automatically put in a DANGER ZONE because of how much I weigh? I'm sorry, but since when is a size 10/12 dangerous?

I've never been an UNHEALTHY person. I mean I know I don't always make the best choices when it comes to food, but my blood pressure is perfect and my doctor knows I'm healthy. I walk a lot and carry heavy wine boxes all day at work. I've never struggled to keep up when hiking or playing sports, and I'm fairly comfortable with my weight. My health has never been an issue.

So instead of getting mad and walking out, I took what the trainer said with a grain of salt (on some french fries) and just decided to try my best. Whether or not I lose any weight and get out of the Danger Zone.

But I will admit, it made me feel better when she brought McDonald's to the gym and ate it in her office. Because then I could tell myself she didn't know what she was talking about. Cow.
I know, that was mean.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

9 Years

So I wasn't really thinking about it because of a busy day at work, but my husband reminded me that we met 9 years ago today! I was 18 and he was 18 and we had been chatting online (AOL used to rule my world) for a little while. He invited me to Universal Studios Halloween Horror Nights. I had never been there and it sounded like fun, so I decided I would go.

Now thinking back, it was a really stupid thing for an 18 year old girl to do - driving an hour out to a city she'd never been to before, planning to hang out with a guy she'd never met, and being the naive, trusting girl that she once was. It was a fun night though. He was harmless and we kissed for the first time during the Wild West Stunt Show (romantic, I know). He never tried to go too far during the kissing in the car as the night came to a close, either. I thought he was cute and respectful. And he thought my name was Jennifer.

Yes, I had lied about my name, because:
1) The pronunciation of my real name can be complicated and
2) He was a total stranger!

I thought he might be into me when my Dad mentioned that he kept getting messages for a Jennifer on our voicemail... All I said was "That's weird..." But he found out my real name on our second date. After a close call with a Jennifer Leather and Convertibles store (I couldn't understand why he was pointing it out to me) I sat him down and told him the truth. He totally used a line, and it worked... "I'm falling for you, not your name." So smooth. I thought it was sweet and we kept taking the hour drive to see each other on weekends.

Its been up and down for the last 9 years, and we had a really rough patch when we weren't together for almost 3 of those years. But I must say the last 3 years that we've lived together and the last 1 year that we have been married has been amazing. I literally love him more every day.

Things are actually SO good, that I keep wondering when something terrible is going to happen. I know that's a horrible way of thinking, but its human nature. When you get used to going through hard times and then all of a sudden things are great - you naturally get suspicious.

Knock on wood that it stays good for a LOOONG, LOOONG time!