Charlie is not a bad dog by all means. But he IS a hyper dog who coincidentally is used to constant attention since my parents are always at home. The same goes for my mom's cat- attention wise. Top that off with the fact that I now have my own 4 month old puppy and Newps, and I am now the proud caretaker of a zoo. Let me give you the basic run down of the past week or two:
*Wake up at 6:30am to Newps grinding my arm and purring that she needs her breakfast immediately upon penalty of over-loving.
*Charlie has now heard me get up and is awake and whining to go outside to go potty, although he has already gone all over the bathroom (in all fairness this was only ONE day). Clean up bathroom.
*Stumble to find a sweater and sweatpants, also slippers. The slippers are most likely underneath the bed because Nora likes to hide them from me. I find it somehow less funny.
*Let Charlie out. The past 2 days have been the first 2 without rain, so lately he just stays outside for a while. The first week consisted of me having to wait around the corner (so he wont see me and fuss) while he does his business, then let him inside and towel him off from rainwater before letting him loose in the house.
*Now Nora is awake. Her whining is a lovely thing to hear when one is not quite up yet, I highly recommend it. For more on Shiba Inu's cries, go here:
*Towel Nora off from rain water while she and Charlie try to murder each other. In a perfect world you would have put Charlie someplace else but your brain doesn't work this early.
*Finally let them lose to kill each other. They actually love one another, but they nip each other and wag tails until you separate them. This actually IS funny to watch.
*Attempt to lay back down in the bed for another 15 minutes before the alarm goes off. You know- the alarm you are SUPPOSED to wake up to. Thanks, Newps.
*Alarm goes off. Which doesn't matter because you're awake already. Crawl out of bed, turn on the hair straightener, brush teeth, etc.
*Put Nora in her kennel while Charlie eats his breakfast. Feed Riley and scoop her litter box.
*Get ready for work, taking a break to let Charlie out again.
*Make the bed, put Charlie in the dog run, Finish getting ready.
*Pack Nora up, leave for work. On a good day, stop for a Chai Tea to wake up a little bit.
*Get to parents house.
*Take Nora to go potty.
*Let Charlie in, watch he and Nora play Murder Dog. Put Charlie in his kennel and take a shower.
*Feed dogs in separate rooms.
*Let dogs out to go potty.
*Sometime before doing those things, make sure to have gotten fully clothed from the shower. Pile wet hair on top of head and be amused that the neighbors have never seen you out front without you looking totally disheveled.
*Start making something for dinner.
*Clean up mystery upchuck on the living room floor. Blame Riley.
*Finish making dinner and eat something.
*Take the dogs out again.
*Come to the realization that the song "Who Let the Dogs Out" is actually autobiographical because you, in fact, have let them out. About 15 times today.
*Clean up the dishes from making dinner.
*Sit down for the first time all day.
*Get up 30 seconds later because it's the week before Christmas and you are making home made presents this year. Realize that that whole "thought that counts" thing is bologna and you should have just gone shopping for gifts.
*Sew, cut, paste, stuff, wrap, bake.
*Put the dogs out one last time.
*Clean up the potted plants they decided to knock over.
*Put Nora in her kennel, Charlie in the office.
*Put Riley away and let Newps out since she has been locked in a room all day. Let her have run of the house for the night.
*Wash face, brush teeth, etc.
*Go to bed around 11:30 or 12.
... I miss having my house. I miss my stuff and having more than 5 rotating outfits. I miss my cute dog bowls and not having to wash the same 3 bowls every day to reuse them. I miss my warm upstairs bedroom, my ipad music player, and my bathrobe for the cold mornings of letting Nora outside. I love having my parent's place to myself and peace and quiet without anyone else home, but I sure do miss my house. One more week of this. I can't wait.
I cant figure out where to get this, but it's a gold (and edible!) spray paint that you can basically cover anything in. Absolutely amazing!
And last but not least is this set of serving trays for toast and cupcakes. I wonder how easy it would be to just make the cupcake tray(?) It would just be a matter of finding some butterflies I could spray paint and glue on, plus the cups and plates. It's definitely worth looking into!
If there is one thing that the past few years has taught me, it's the validity of this quote. Ever since I can remember, I have been on the "non-planned plan." I mean, really, aren't we all? Even the most unplanned life has SOME sort of pre-empted pathway to follow. I think we all sort of have this life that we plan to have by a certain point. For some girls, it's that white picket fence in the suburbs and 2 kids by the age of 25. For others, it's your adventures abroad and visiting every continent before you die. Either way, you have someplace you'd like to be and some time that you'd like to be there by. There is nothing wrong with that, with having "plans." The only thing you need to realize is that even the best laid plans can go to waste. Even the WORST laid plans can go to waste. Even the non-plan plan can go to waste. Life happens, whether you try to plan it or not.
Last year I turned 26. Officially in my mid-to-late 20's. Here I am on the pathway to 30, with no looking back. Trust me, I don't see 30 as old whatsoever. But like every age, it's a milestone. And a big one at that. I think that, for me, I tend to gauge my life on where I thought I would be by now when I was a kid. Which now that I think about it, is pretty absurd considering how little I knew about life when I was younger. The naivety of those rose-colored glasses and how I and I alone was the exception to every life-rule. The innocent arrogance of it all...
Having realized how ridiculous that version of me is, 26 hit me like a bag of feathers. I embraced it and even though the 12 year-old Megan saw herself perhaps married with a kid by 26, I have never been too worked up about making certain to follow any path in particular. And I felt like the no-plan plan was working splendidly for me, nobody to look after and no life to keep in order for someone else. So the fact that I was not who I meant to be as a child meant little because who I had become was still a "planned me." I'd read all the self-help books and polished my best version of me until I shined as best I could. I had still managed to plan myself out, despite the detours along the way.
Then one day I got a call from my doctor. He told me that I had a tumor in my chest (I know I have mentioned this all to you) and that I would need to have a major surgery in the near future- which upon further exploration became the IMMEDIATE future. And the thing was, that for a 6-month period of time I was no longer Megan the 26 year-old Office Manager with brown hair. I had now become Megan the girl with the tumor and the giant scar on her chest. And obviously I get it that I am not the only person on God's green Earth that has had medical issues... but it certainly took me off of the no plan-plan and put me on the out-of-my-own-hands plan. You see, whether I took my non-plan and ran with it or not, life was happening to me. And I couldn't do a damned thing about it. It was the most humbling experience of my life.
My medical situation got to the point where I am almost fully recovered now, and I think that may have been something beyond my power as well if you catch my drift. But as I turned the corner of 27 I had another moment where I had to let go of the reigns of my own life and let it run itself. I wont get into specifics but my wonderful, amazing boyfriend of nearly 2 years has some things going on in his personal life. Just before my 27th birthday they became much more apparent and we had a forced distance that I had no control over. I remained as patient as someone can be when important facets of their lives are out of their control. And as the time went on I think things started to become more clear for me. The distance allowed me to set some limits and some boundaries that, until this point in my life, were pretty blurred. I figured out what I wanted in my life, and how much I would allow to prevent me from getting there. In the end- the things I planned for my life meant that the person I'd planned on sharing them with would not be continuing with me on that path. Of course there is that whole 'mourning process' that HAS to happen. When a relationship ends, it really is similar to a death and you have to properly mourn it in order to move on with your life. But as a result of that moment of realization a year earlier, I realized with or without my say in the matter: life was happening.
Life happens to you, no matter what. And you can choose to play it's victim or it's humble partner. It doesn't mean you should stop making plans. It means that you need to make them flexible and realize that whatever you plan can change in the drop of a hat. Who I planned to be at 12 certainly isn't who I plan to be now that I'm 27. Who I am going to be at 30, or even 28 for that matter, is a mystery. Parts of me will be planned. Parts of me will be a summation of circumstance. And that's okay. You can't get too worked up over life happening to you while you were busy making other plans.
There was a man who was asleep one night in his cabin when suddenly his room filled with light and the Savior appeared. The Lord told the man He had a work for him to do, and showed him a large rock in front of his cabin. The Lord explained that the man was to push against the rock with all his might. This the man did, day after day. For many years he toiled from sun up to sun down, his shoulders set squarely against the cold, massive surface of the unmoving rock pushing with all his might. Each night the man returned to his cabin sore and worn out, feeling that his whole day had been spent in vain. Seeing that the man was showing signs of discouragement, Satan decided to enter the picture placing thoughts into the man's mind such as; "You have been pushing against that rock for a long time and it hasn't budged. Why kill yourself over this? You are never going to move it? etc." Thus giving the man the impression that the task was impossible and that he was a failure.
These thoughts discouraged and disheartened the man even more. "Why kill myself over this?" he thought. I'll just put in my time, giving just the minimum of effort and that will be good enough." And that he planned to do until one day he decided to make it a matter of prayer and take his troubled thoughts to the Lord.
"Lord," he said, "I have labored long and hard in your service, putting all my strength to do that which you have asked. Yet, after all this time, I have not even budged that rock a half a millimeter. What is wrong? Why am I failing?"
To this the Lord responded compassionately, "My friend, when long ago I asked you to serve me and you accepted, I told you that your task was to push against the rock with all your strength, which you have done. Never once did I mentioned to you that I expected you to move it. Your task was to push. And now you come to me, your strength spent, thinking that you have failed. But, is that really so? Look at yourself. Your arms are strong and muscled, your back brown, your hands are callused from constant pressure, and your legs have become massive and hard.
Through opposition you have grown much and your abilities now surpass that which you used to have. Yet you haven't moved the rock.
But your calling was to be obedient, to push and to exercise your faith and trust in my wisdom, this you have done. I, my friend, I will now move the rock."
Mary was the kid who, growing up, was exactly who she wanted to be. I never felt like Mary tried to be someone else. Even in middle school and high school when everyone wanted SO badly to be "cool," Mary never put effort into that sort of thing and (as any adult knows that whole cool thing works) as a result it just came naturally to her. The irony of it all is that Mary is GORGEOUS- so you'd think she wanted to flaunt that. But she never threw it in anyone's face. I always thought she looked like Katie Holmes but with straighter teeth and bright blue eyes. She was also an athlete- even getting a scholarship for water polo to a school in upstate New York.
But what I love most about Mary is the person I feel like I was when we hung out. Every single memory of us growing up makes me laugh out loud. And that is her gift: she allows you to be exactly who you are and actually enjoy it. I think that so often, we focus on who we want to be in life. Don't get me wrong, this is very important to develop and move forward in our personal lives and goals. But I think that focusing so much on our futures often forces us to ignore our present. We forget to enjoy our lives AS THEY ARE and ourselves as we exist at each moment. Which, when you think about it, is kind of a bummer considering that who we are now is (hopefully) somebody we once strived to become. Especially in our twenties... when we are finishing college and starting careers and maybe marriages and families, it becomes so easy to sit and dwell on our "plans." We budget much of our time between working towards a future career and investing ourselves for that future relationship with Mr. (or Mrs.) Wonderful. I think we forget to enjoy our current surroundings. We forget to notice how lovely it is NOT to be the head of your work industry- less stress, more downtime. We forget to savor the fumblings of a newer relationship... getting to know someone, figuring out for the first time that your boyfriend is incapable of leaving the toilet seat down and how funny that really IS.
My point is that there will never be another rightthismoment, and it's important to enjoy it while it lasts. Mary taught me that. She taught me how to be okay with the person I am right now, all geeky, awkward, and best of all unique. We could sing No Doubt's I'm Just A Girl while we walk around through the neighborhood, and who gave a crap? Not us. She was the first person I knew to shop at The Lab (back then we called it The Anti-Mall)... she was cool before cool WAS cool. And it was all a result of knowing exactly who she was and embracing it. There is nothing more attractive in a friend or a significant other than knowing yourself. It's funny how all growing up I would read these articles in Teen Magazine saying that "the thing guys find most attractive is self-confidence." I never really understood that (whilst sitting there in my training bra and thinking that if only I had boobs the guys would like me!)... but now that I'm older it all makes sense. It couldn't be more true. The people that I know whom I find myself gravitating towards the most are those who know who they are and just live their lives as that person. They aren't sitting at a party staring jealously at the other girls and their clothes or designer purses. They are never the guy who wears designer jeans or a bunch of gel in their hair. They've always been the people who considered themselves the "uncool" ones, and by default were suddenly THE cool ones.
My point? Be you. And be you now, not you in 2 years. Enjoy it and let your freak flag fly. You may just discover that the parts of you that you think people wouldn't understand are the parts people identify with the most.
The walk up to Red Rock Amphitheater
Mr. Tom Petty himself!!
Breakfast at Snooze (officially my favorite place on Earth). Home-baked English muffin topped with prosciutto, topped with brie cheese, topped with a poached egg, topped with hollandaise sauce, topped with arugula, topped with balsamic syrup. I may or may not be drooling just describing it...
Charity and Blaine's friend's band: Synthetic Elements.
Charity and I :)
Another of Charity and I. Charity was a trooper to go out even though she had a hair mishap the day before.
Walking around in Denver
Making fun of the dolls behind us.
This was the amazing sidewalk chalk fair we went to on my last day. This was one of the most amazing ones there- even though they were all pretty stunning. I LOVE this kind of thing!
Please excuse the lack of pics with my other sister Jill! We also did other stuff but somehow a camera never came out on those ones which is a bummer because she's so cute and pregnant! We saw Sex and The City 2 together, went shopping and got some yummy food from my new favorite sandwich place, Which Wich. If you ever see one of those GO INSIDE. It's bomb!
Apparently sunscreens containing Vitamin A can be dangerous for your skin, and what's even more alarming is that the FDA sounds like they've known this for ten years and kept it under wraps... I'm curious to know if that's true. All in all, though, I don't think it's worth the risk when there are other options out there. The bottom of the article has a link to the site with recommended sunscreens not containing Vitamin A. It looks to me like the only ones available in the Huntington Beach area might be Jason, Alba, and Burt's Bees (although Burt's is lower on the list). I will be heading to Mother's Market in the next week or two and try to give you an update on any natural sunscreens I find there. And feel free to leave a comment of what other Sunscreens you use and like!
Do you ever feel bad for venting about your personal life? I know I do. I feel liiike... like I'm burdening other people with my dramas and "woes," you know? And to a certain extent I think that's probable.
But here's the funny part too: Do you ever (for you fellow bloggers out there) feel guilty for venting about your personal life on your own blogspot? I totally do. Isn't that funny??
I mean, here is your place where you can be you. Where you can say, you know, whatever you want... and yet you/I feel bad for bumming out these people you don't even know are reading about it. Hell, no one might be reading it for all I know.
Sometimes I read people's blogspots and they're all about how great Kid A is and how great their perfect husband is at his new job. And then I go to post something, and sometimes I think..."you know what? This week sucked. And it seems like _______'s life NEVER sucks. How unfair." And then maybe I proceed to talk about some totally irrelevant topic of conversation just so that I can avoid pointing out how much less awesome my life is than so-and-so's.
I'm sure everyone has hard days or months or years. And maybe some people just keep their issues to themselves, and honestly that's totally cool. I guess my point today is that sometimes it's comforting when I feel guilty for burdening people with my problems on here... in hopes that someone else out there might wonder where all the imperfect people are.
Our intention determines all. That's why it's important to consider the person with whom we are speaking and to know where our heart is.
Today, think before you speak. Be in control of every word that leaves your mouth. Use your words as a force for helping people.
My point is: how many of us blog about the minute details of our lives? And more importantly, why? Does this blogging create or eliminate isolation? I mean, even in our social networking pages like Facebook and Myspace, we are reaching out for some kind of confirmation. Here we post our daily updates and goings-on. Even worse becomes Twitter, where people "Tweet" about every single detail of their lives. "I'm waking up," or "About to eat a turkey sandwich..," how much of this is necessary? And does this, in fact, bring us closer to people or isolate us in that we are now more clearly able to discuss our feelings via "post," rather than verbalize it to our friends?
I also know plenty of people who will attempt to take a jab at a frenemy by posting something on their own Facebook page. These social networking sites have become an open door for people to eavesdrop on you, be it good or bad. "Oh, you noticed I said that? How weird!!" No, it isn't weird, you posted it in plain sight where you knew they had about a 75% chance of reading it.
People naturally reach out to one another, only now you have created the chance for someone to reach out to you without actually acknowledging that your voice is heard. And I feel that this also give people a sense of false importance when they assume that all 5,002 friends they have see or even care about their daily grind. At what point do we just stop droning on about nothing and sign off?
I am not preaching this by all means, but sort of talking to myself about it. I guess to talk myself out of sharing so much information... by blogging to the world about it, Lol. It is an interesting thought.
I met Sara when I had first moved into the Huntington Beach 5th ward at church. I had lived in HB6th for pretty much my whole life and I remember being terrified to move. All of my best friends that I had were in 6th, girls that I had known since I was literally still in diapers. I was really reluctant to befriend anybody in 5th ward when I moved there because I was so mad to have moved away from pretty much the only friends I had known. And on top of that, here I was moving into a ward where all of the girls were in the same boat- they'd been friends since the dawn of time and a lot of them were cousins or somehow related... I didn't realize at the time that was because this ward was so awesome that most people didn't want to move away from it once they'd grown up and had families of their own.
I remember meeting Sara, but I can't quite remember when. She seemed to be quite comfortable with me right off the bat, but I was intimidated by this tell-it-like-it-is stranger. I can remember wearing a tank top dress (not exactly the Mormon dress code) and Sara coming up to me several times and simply saying, "Umm... nice tank top, Megan!" in kind of a teasing way. I might be imagining but she may have even put the word "slutty" in there somewhere. Nothing like that would surprise me from Sara. But Sara never made me feel like she disliked me, instead I knew that when she teased me like that it meant that we were somehow now friends. Weird, right? I remember being kind of blown away by statements like that because no one else would dare say anything offensive to "the new girl," but Sara did what she felt was right by letting me know that wasn't "cool" to dress like that there. I know this whole thing sounds totally bizarre, but those were terms of endearment and familiarity for me.
I remember one time, when we were maybe 14 or 15, and I had a HUGE crush on this boy at church. He, of course like most boys, liked Sara. I was sooo jealous! I was in a classroom at church and he and Sara were innocently flirting, and I remember that I left the room and had told a couple of his friends that he and Sara were "all over each other in there." Of course they ran to go see, and came back complaining about how much of a liar I was. I somehow managed to mutter that what I had actually said (I hadn't) was that they were "all alone with each other in there." It's funny how ridiculous I was at that age. The whole story still cracks me up every time I think of it. (By the way: in case I never told you, sorry about that one, Sara!)
Later in high school I went through my rebellion from church-related things and Sara and I stopped hanging out as much. But, and here's my point about her, Sara never stopped being my friend. Even when I would report back to her about these really dumb things that I was doing, Sara always accepted me for who I was and never for the choices I made. She has never, not once to this day, made me feel uncomfortable to tell her anything I have done that may not have been to her standards. I guess it all must stem back to myself, her, and that tank top dress. I just always knew that Sara would probably tell me I was dumb, but always love me just the same. This is why she is a great parent and will always be one.
We touch base every now and then. I got to visit her in Hawaii once and she comes home to visit from Europe. I wouldn't say that Sara and I are best friends or that I expect to be closer than we are now. That's the great thing about Sara... you can just "be" with her, and that's enough. I would be willing to bet that any person in her life feels special and lucky to have part in that experience.
So, well... Sara: you're great. I like you.
Thanks for telling me I dressed like a slut when I was 14. (Haha...)