Thursday, December 31, 2009

A Few Things I've Learned in 2009

1. I could go awhile without another trip to Vegas.
2. Painting the house gives me a buff right arm.
3. I think I'm finally getting the hang of this whole photography thing.
4. If I don't buy the cheese pre-sliced, I will likely sit and eat a whole block of it.
5. Running isn't so bad.
6. Cat barf is easier to clean when it's dried up.
7. I like Tabouleh.
8. Sunscreen really is important.
9. When you meet up with old friends, it's not that hard to pick up where you left off.
10. Chicago is one of the coolest cities ever.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009


I'm so mad at myself! (But kind of excited at the same time) Check the photo blog for this story:

photography by jaana

Monday, December 28, 2009

Christmas 2009

We went to Utah for Christmas to visit my side of the family. It was a lot of fun. We ate so much dang food. But thank goodness it's not just me. From the looks of other blogs and facebook updates I'm reading, it sounds like most of us kept with the American tradition and over-ate. Phew.

Here are a few things we did:
White Elephant gift exchange at my step-sister's house.
Tried on funny santa hats.
Laughed at the "ugliest" ornament.
Exchanged Secret Santa gifts on Christmas morning.
Played with the nephew.
Envied my brother's Snuggie.
Learned how to pick a lock.
Ate that chocolate & peanut butter chex mix my sister makes.
Played in the backyard with the nephew and the animals.
Took a little trip up to Zion National Park.
Froze our buns off.
Laughed really hard at my husband when he used oven-mitts as mittens.
Got really close to a live wild deer!
Cuddled under a large blanket to warm back up.
Went to Sherlock Holmes and shared a LARGE popcorn.
Ate a huge Christmas dinner.
Played Cranium.
Hung out with my Southern Utah besties.
Got a long lecture on coffee from the owner of "Baristas".
Had good chats with Mom.
Ate Finnish Pancakes (a.k.a. crepes)
Kissed my nephew's face off.
Drove home in lots of traffic + an hour detour because our Garmin gave us faulty directions. (BOOO!)

And that pretty much covers it! Hope everyone had a wonderful holiday!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Sherlock Holmes

Gaaaah, Robert Downey, Jr. and Jude Law and Rachel McAdams. You are all lovelies. Even though RDJ is a total weirdo in real life, I loooorve him. And Jude Law - oh brother. Your 'stache and limp made me swoon. Yummers.

OK let me speak English now. I dug this movie. I liked the plot, I liked the acting, I liked the action, I liked the look of it. It was witty and fast-paced and a little creepy. Cool, cool cinematography. Good, good chemistry between all the characters. Fun, fun movie. I wish it had been about 15 minutes shorter, but other than that I have no complaints. Go see it!

Robert Downey, Jr. Jude Law. Rachel McAdams. Oh, and how could I forget? They all have English accents!!!!

Monday, December 21, 2009

I've Never Had a Ride in the Ambulance Before!

So this is for my Grandpa. He is just dying to know the details of my hospital visit.

Last week, I had gone out for my normal jog (about 1.5 miles). Nothing too strenuous, just to get the blood moving. When I returned home, I walked into the gate of our complex and I felt a little pain in my chest. Almost like an air bubble trapped in my throat. So I coughed and kind of hit my chest to see if I could just get rid of it. By the time I got up to the 3rd Floor where our condo is, the pain had increased so severely that I could hardly breathe. It felt as though I had swallowed a large stone and it was just caught in my esophagus. This made it so I couldn't swallow and even breathing brought a sharp pain to my chest. I stumbled into the house and went straight to the bathroom for some reason. Sat on the floor and tried to figure out what was going on.

I have had a reaction like this once before, when I found out I was allergic to feta cheese. I would eat the cheese and shortly after, it felt like my chest was completely closing in on me. As if my throat was swollen shut. But this time the pain was much sharper and I sat there clutching my chest. I tried to make myself throw up to relieve some of the pressure but couldn't. So my next reaction was to call my husband.

He was at work talking to his bosses and got the terrifying phone call of "I'M HAVING REALLY BAD CHEST PAINS! I CAN'T BREATHE OR SWALLOW!" It totally freaked him out and he instructed me to call 911 and immediately left work (which is about 30 miles away from home). So I called 911 and the dispatcher told me to stay seated and put my head back to open up my airways. That did seem to help as I waited for the paramedics. Within 5 minutes, I had 4 (very handsome) paramedics and 3 (very good-looking) firemen in my house. They asked me to move to the living room and began a process of checking my blood pressure, heart, pulse, lungs, etc. Everything looked completely normal, but I still had the pain. On a scale of 1 to 10, it was probably an 8 or 9. So the paramedics thought since it wasn't a heart attack that I was probably having anxiety. But I don't have anxiety. So there was no real answer and they recommended that I go to the hospital.

Coming from a family of cheap-skates, all I could think about was how expensive the ambulance ride would be. But since my husband was still about 20 minutes away, I decided it would be best to just take it and get to the hospital as quickly as possible. While in the ambulance, they gave me chewable aspirin for the pain and nitro glycerin to slow down my heart rate. By the time we reached the hospital, my pain was down to about a 4 or 5. In the hospital room, they took blood/did an EKG/checked my heart rate/ blood pressure/lungs again. We had to wait about 30 minutes for the results but everything was totally fine and normal. The doctor said "You know, we get about 5 heart attacks a day, but they are not 30-year olds. They are older, obese people with high blood pressure and health problems." I couldn't help but think "Brittney Murphy was only 32!!" but I also knew I wasn't in the same category as her.

By this time, my husband and Mother-In-Law had arrived and I was feeling much better. My pain was at about a 2 or 3 and I was starting to feel more embarrassed than anything! It was all such a fuss for nothing! When the doctor came in to release me, he assured me that it wasn't my heart and I said "I know that! The pain is not where my heart is. It's where my esophagus is." So his educated guess was that I had severe acid reflux of some sort. I asked "REALLY?!! Acid reflux can cause that sort of pain?" He said that occasionally it could and also gave me some literature on Gastritis and Ulcers, along with a prescription for a Prilosec-type of medicine. And home I went.

I'm still not convinced that it was any of the things he mentioned. I have no other symptoms to indicate Acid Reflux, Gastritis or Ulcers. So my self-diagnosis is that it was a severe allergic reaction of some sort. I had eaten an omelet earlier that day with cheese and milk, so I am betting one of those dairy products got the best of me. Hopefully there is no next time, but if there is I'm going to try using my Epi-pen to see if that relieves the symptoms.

All in all, I'm totally fine. I start jogging again today (I have to, after all the holiday treats I ate!) and the one good thing that came from all of this is now I have an interesting story to tell my Grandpa! Love you Gramps!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Christmahannukah Party

OK so after all my un-merry talk, I had my first twinge of holiday excitement when I attended the fabulous Christmahannukah Party put on my one of my besties. Festive cocktail attire was required and we had a Secret Santa gift exchange. Her apartment was decorated so cute and we all had so much fun, you couldn't help but get in the Christmas spirit. I loved every second of. Even as I was getting ready, I was like "OK, I feel a little Christmas warmth in my belly and it makes me happy." Then later, that warmth came from laughter (not to mention all the cheese and goodies I ate) at the festivities. But all the feelings in my belly were good that day. Too much fun.

Thursday, December 17, 2009


Want to hear the saddest news ever?

There are no Christmas decorations in our house this year.

Dun-dun-DUN!!! I know. I am usually a big Christmas nerd, but it has just been so busy and we still have home improvements that we're in the middle of, so we decided it would be too much to pull out all the Christmas stuff too. Even if we did decorate, it would only be up for like a week, and then back into boxes it would go. We won't be here for Christmas either. So really, the cards were stacked against us. (OK, they were stacked against ME. I don't think the husband cares all that much!)
The extent of my decorating this year...
I feel so un-merry this year. I am SO not that person... But I think the main reason is that time is just getting away. I talk about that a lot, I know. It pretty much scares the crap outta me!! I'm starting to understand what our parents were talking about. I remember when I was younger, my Dad would always wish Christmas didn't come, because then in the blink of an eye it would be over. As a kid, I thought he was crazy. Of course we wanted Christmas to come! We spent 11 months anticipating it. But now I kind of get what he meant. It's just another representation of how quickly time moves.

For us, 2009 was supposed to be the Year of the Baby, but obviously that didn't happen. So we'll keep our fingers crossed for 2010 and keep practicing! Honestly? It just gets tiring thinking about it constantly. I haven't started my Christmas shopping yet. The few trips I've taken to Target or the mall just made me more grouchy with the lack of parking and rude, pushy crowds. I swore I would see Disneyland decorated for the holidays this year, and while it's still a possibility, it doesn't seem likely. And heck - last year at this time I was in fabulous New York City. There is nothing quite like it to get you in the holiday spirit. I wanted to go again this year, but...yeah. Maybe I'm just expecting too much so I'm feeling let down that things haven't happened. There is just so much I want to do and see!! Then the days and (gulp) years are here and gone before we know what hit us.

I'm glad I'm the kind of person that always wants to be moving and growing and seeing new things. But it goes with the territory to face a little disappointment once in awhile. The thing that keeps me going is knowing we still have a lot of good years ahead of us and plenty more adventures to pursue.

A very fitting song for today, check the lyrics:
(Sorry for the ├╝ber-cheesy video, its all I could find on YouTube)

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Dave & Tim

Aaaaah.... what can I say? Drove all the way to Vegas for one night to see the Dave Matthews & Tim Reynolds acoustic show. And it was sooo worth it. Freakin' amazing. My very first Dave Matthews concert was an acoustic show all the way back in March of '99. And my life has never been the same since. I've been following him & the band religiously for 10 years now. But you already knew that!

We sat by a couple of weirdos (again) and it made me wish I had written down all the strange fans we've come in contact with over the years. I could have a blog solely dedicated to that! From the drunk girl behind us screaming "Gravedigger!!!!" over and over again through the whole show, to the dancing fools, to the very loud off-key singers, to the people who insist on being friends just because you happen to be sitting next to each other. It's a wonder I can stand to go to shows at all. DMB fans tend to be pretty obnoxious. But the two unstoppable high-fivers at this Dave & Tim show in Vegas were a couple of my favorites. They didn't know each other, but would reach across us to high-five before and after every song. It was bromance at first sight.

But hey, if the kooky fans can't keep me away, then nothing will. I hear DMB is doing a European tour next year. Any takers? ;)

Monday, December 7, 2009

Falling Behind

Well things have been busy, to say the least. Luckily my 30/30 photography promotion has been a success, but it has also taken up so much time that other things are falling to the wayside. For instance: I was supposed to have our other two rooms painted by Thanksgiving. Haven't started the office yet and the bedroom is currently half old color and half new color. I'll get there. But here's a few things I have done:

11/24 - Went to the KISS concert at Staples Center. Had really awesome all access passes that let us be anywhere on the floor, so we got some sweeeeet pictures and had a great time.

11/25 - Thanksgiving was good. Nice and quiet - a far cry from the "usual" Thanksgiving. We stayed close to home and enjoyed yummy food with Paul's parents, his sister and my bro. Topped off the night with a solid game of Scrabble and took turns trying on Dad's glasses. What can I say, we are easily entertained...

12/2 - Left for Utah to visit family and take photos. Lots of photos. I asked my mom and sister if they thought anyone would want the 30/30 deal out there and when it was all said and done, I ended up taking pictures for 14 families! In two days! It was exhausting and fun and surprising and an overall good experience. My brother helped me out so much as my awesome assistant and it was fun spending the days with him and being able to catch up. Of course, I also got to spend a little time with the rest of the family and my cuddly nephew. Ugh. He is just the best! When I first got there he goes "Naana take picture" and posed at the kitchen table for me. Haha. He always knows I'll have the camera handy. SO cute.

The rest of my days have been spent either taking pictures or editing them. And this week will be no exception. Better get crackin'!