12.28.2010

My sister...

...is talking today.

Home.

The past few weeks have been HARD for me. Besides the obvious struggle I'm having with my sister being in the physical rehabilitation center (although this is MUCH better than what could have been), it's just been personally draining and stressful for me to have so many things going on. My parents are both in Colorado and have been for several weeks. I found out 2 days before my Dad left that he needed me to house sit for them while they were gone for almost 3 weeks. And house sitting for the Harvey parents means taking care of their dog, Charlie and their cat, Riley. Awesome.
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.
*Feed Newps.
*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:
*Take Nora out to the front yard to go potty since she only likes to "go" on grass and my parents don't have any in the back yard. Nora will usually go #1 right away, then take her sweet time to go #2 while you stand there in the rain/cold. She's really, really funny like that. REALLY funny.
*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.
***WOOORK FOR THE MAN***
*Leave work and head home on the stupid 22 freeway. Find a shortcut to avoid the 5 to the 22 traffic. Rejoice. Tell Nora about how happy you are while passerbys look at you like an idiot.
*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 Newps.
*Feed Riley.
*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.

12.02.2010

Self.

"We teach people how to treat us."
...Think about that one for a minute. It may be my new credo.

11.30.2010

Lately.

Anyone who knows me knows what has been going on with my sister Jill. I got a call last Monday from my Dad saying that Jill had suffered a Cardiac Arrest and was in the hospital in Parker, Colorado in a medically-induced coma. The details were limited and the reasons were even more limited. I was in Colorado Wednesday through Sunday with her.

It is now Tuesday. Jill has been in a coma for over a week.

This sort of thing is so surreal to me. I feel detached from it, like I'm reading it in a book about another person. And not a friend, but a person I don't even know. Some days I feel like I ought to be more emotional about it... more distressed, I guess. But there is this level of detachment from it all, and it's both unnerving and peaceful at the same time. It isn't that I don't care, but more so that I know how completely out of my hands this is. Sort of one of those "give it to God" situations.

I love my sister. We haven't always gotten along growing up, and I think that makes our friendship THAT much more precious to me. Since we have both been adults, Jill has always been my number one confidant. Her advice has always been both rational and emotionally fulfilling. She just always know the right thing to say. If I am lucky, that will have rubbed off on me a bit.

I have never been an overly emotional nor (in these situations) a dramatic person. I almost feel like I should be crying all the time. And people keep asking how I'm doing and in a lot of ways I feel like my answer should be "I'm awful. I can't eat or sleep. I can hardly function." But it really isn't the case. I have an aura of calm about me and while I am grateful for it I also feel a bit of guilt about it. Shouldn't I feel completely consumed with anger and fear? Because I don't. I don't know if it's denial or faith, but for some reason I know Jill will make it through this okay. I know that her family will make it through this okay. I know that a greater power besides myself and my selfish desires is at work here and whether I want something or not, a decision has been made about this outcome. My only fear and regret is that I am not THERE, at her side and helping out with anything her kids and husband need. I know that makes me sound like I'm trying to be some kind of Martyr, but that is 100% how I feel. I can't help Jill right now. Even while in Colorado I couldn't do much besides hold her hand, or paint her nails, or play music she likes. But that feeling I felt when I helped with the people who were there for her- kids, sister, nephews, parents-I guess I just felt a little less helpless. And it may have been for selfish reasons in that I just wanted to FEEL like I wasn't so helpless... but it was good just the same.

I don't know that I need to go on some tangent about how amazing Jill is. Anyone who knows her knows that she is one of the most amazing people on this planet. A few years ago, I was talking to my Mom about her. My Mom asked me if I ever got jealous of Jill, because she always seemed to live a charmed life. People wanted to give her things and help her, it was never difficult for Jill to get by. My response to that was that no, I couldn't possibly be jealous of Jill. Jill is a better PERSON than I am. And I mean that with the utmost sincerity and not trying to tug at heart strings. Jill is that person who, no matter how tired, will talk to you and help you with your problems. She is a person who is nice to you, even when you aren't nice to her. She tries, always, to be positive and kind and uplifting. She calls my Mom every single day, sometimes multiple times a day. Jill deserves every single positive thing that comes her way because she has earned it.

But I will admit, as the days wear on I feel a bit heavier. That optimism that I held at first is still there, but questions of "why is this taking so long?" start to arise. I know that God has a plan for Jill and for my family. And I know that he has his reasons for keeping Jill in this state for so long. I guess I just wish those reasons would manifest themselves. Maybe this is a trial of strength not for Jill, but for the rest of us. Sometimes when you think the hard part is over, I guess God gives you just one more nudge to help you prove to yourself that you can still stand.

Today Jill is trying another seizure medication. She continues to seize every time we try to wake her up by lightening up on the sedatives. I'd really like my sister back soon, God. I really really would. Like I said, I know there is a reason for all of this. But it would be nice if this were over sooner than later. I have my one-year follow up CT Scan today. And all I kept thinking while I was in the hospital is that if God could wake Jill up alright, I am okay with having the tumor come back. Its something I have been through and it's familiar and I know that I could handle it. I don't have kids waiting at home for me and wondering why I'm in the hospital. Parenting is a job that she can't take time off from. I don't have that. A part of me is really pulling for my CT to come back with news that the growth is not as benign as we'd thought back in May- because it would mean that my prayer was answered. I don't know. I'm sure this is typical for people to have thoughts like that in this situation.

My brother in law has shown his true strength this past week. And it has been one of the most amazing things I have ever been witness to. He has been a pillar of strength and even the last day that I was there, I woke up to him giving my other brother a blessing. Then my sister. We left the hospital shortly afterwards, and Blaine explained to me what had happened. He said that Dave had requested to do that. He told Charity and Ryan that he felt very strongly that God wanted to have him give them a blessing for comfort. What kind of person DOES that? I never knew what true strength was until Sunday afternoon when I saw Dave put his own fears aside and offer peace to the people around him. This is my family. I must be the luckiest person alive to have been surrounded with people like these.

Hopefully I will know something more today. Hopefully Jill is responding to her new medication and coming back to us soon. But I guess it's not up to me.

10.13.2010

Oh Joy Eats!

Well, I literally went through every single post on
and fell in love!
This blog is my new favorite as the author (I'm assuming her name is Joy) simply has the cutest taste and the most amazing online finds of all time! Her posts vary from places to eat in various cities around the world to cute things she's found to buy. Just about everything has to do with food, or course! Here are a few of my favorites from the site- I suggest you scope it out yourself!
These sushi-shaped cookies were WAY too cute!
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!

These refrigerators are seriously too cute!!
Adorable poster!
How stinking cute is this cutting board? And it's actually sorta practical too! Only catch is do I want to spend $45 on a cutting board...?
These ingenious little babies are chunks of chocolate that you simply stir into hot water for a single serving of hot cocoa!

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!

10.12.2010

10.11.2010

Lennon.

"Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans"
-John Lennon.

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.

9.30.2010

Rifle Paper Co.

How stinking cute are these cards from Rifle Paper Co.?? I'm borderline obsessed.
Invitation to a Spy Party.
Halloween Cards (The Witch one is my favorite!)
Thank You Cards.
They are just starting to come out with Holiday Cards, starting with Halloween. I cannot WAIT to see their Christmas Cards. I'm totally getting them here this year.

8.19.2010

Eat Pray Love (yourself)

It seems to me that, so far, August has been kind of a crappy month. And perhaps it's just me not trying hard enough to make it better, but I feel like I've become sort of disillusioned as of late. People just seem to be continually letting me down, and I wont lie- it has really sucked. I used to get this feeling a LOT when I was younger. I remember having friends who flaked on me constantly and would really just make me feel like crap about myself. And even as I am typing this I am trying to remember what exactly I did about it. What changed that for me?? I think I just got new friends. And maybe it's time to re-evaluate my friendships again. Focus on "me," or whatever.


I'm reading the book Eat Pray Love, by the way. I very much needed it. I think this might be the best thing I could have done in August. It seems like every chapter (and they're short chapters so there's a LOT) really speaks to me. All of my frustrations, all of my insecurities, my doubts... they are all coming to a point by reading someone else's experiences with the same emotions. It really is turning into a book to use for my personal research project. I have promised to loan it to several people but I really don't think I will (sorry) because I don't want to chance not getting it back for whenever I might get in a bind like August has been. My only other book like this has been "He's Just Not That Into You." There are certain truths in both of these books that I will/do look back on for guidance.


The applicable one for today has been the author's Yogi telling her that she needs to basically stop feeling sad- lest it become a habit. How true is that?? I feel like whenever I get down in the dumps it feeds on itself until it's become almost my new "me," and that totally sucks! Another part of the book that has helped me was something along the lines of that we have two parts of us: the crazy part and the part that is calm, collected, and rational. I can CERTAINLY identify with that because I feel it 100%. Any time I have an issue in my life, there are always two voices in my head about it with two totally separate reactions. One voice says


"What the hell? That is NOT fair! I'm flustered and I feel helpless and overwhelmed and I want to just cry and yell about it."


The second voice, which has been the louder of the two the older I get, says something like,


"Well. That's life. And life isn't fair. Nor did it ever claim to be. Either let it go- or DO something about your problem. Now what are we doing tomorrow- lets plan something fun and forget about all this mess."


Sometimes it makes me feel a little bipolar, but I think it's not so much that as that I'm learning to tune myself into my own little voice of reason. I have always been a sensitive person, and very emotion-led. Now that I am getting older I think I have been sort of forced to drag myself out of that and toughen up. I can't dwell on everything and I cant control it all. And sometimes the honesty of it all hurts my feelings, but I think Id rather know honesty and be settled than to be left wondering and have a glimmer of "well maybe that person didn't MEAN to hurt your feelings. There's probably a good reason for it." I don't think that people ever really intend to hurt one another, but it happens. For instance when a friend completely flakes on you to hang out, the blunt version of what happened goes something like this: They flaked. For whatever reason- you were not important enough to them to follow through or even to advise of the plan change. It isn't that YOU aren't important, but that this person is ill-mannered. They aren't a BAD person. Just a rude one. And unless their immediate family is in the hospital and they rushed out and left their cell phone at home (which is unlikely), do you really care why they flaked? Do you really want to invest your time into rude people who hurt your feelings? Probably not. And sometimes it's as simple as that. Then you move on from your negative thoughts where you feel like you're the problem, and focus on doing something that does make you happy.



...like reading a good book.

8.09.2010

Did I Miss The Bus??

Anyone who has seen my backyard is well aware of the weed problem we've had back there. I finally convinced my management company to do a one-time-only free gardening job. And although it's not perfect, it's a good start. I now need to get a basic upkeep kit going for myself, but I don't know where to start! I also want to start a garden but-again- no clue where to start with that one either. My yard gets partial sunlight, which makes it difficult. We have pretty high humidity since I live close to the beach... I'm not sure if that's a good thing or a bad thing. My other dilemma becomes that I am planning to start planting sometime in September (August is far too busy and financially tight for me to take on any new projects just yet.) According to Realsimple.com, this is not the most opportune time to start anything. My plan was, at some point, to grow a salsa garden I figure this is easy enough and I will actually use what I grow. But I think the time for growing tomatoes is slowly passing me by...
I guess now would be a good time to buy some gardening tools, right? I assume they'd be on sale the way a winter coat is in June, but I really have no clue what I'm talking about there. Ross seems like a good place to stock up on some pots, right? Anyone know of some good spots to hunt down deals on planting pots, watering cans, etc.? Give me the scoop!! Also if you know anything that would grow well in SoCal in the fall, let me know!!

7.02.2010

Perception.

Pushing Against the Rock
Author Unknown

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."

6.10.2010

Mare Bear.

As I was driving to work today I heard a song by The Violent Femmes on my iPod. For some reason I just couldn't stop smiling. Upon thinking about it I realized that this song, well this band, reminds me of a friend of mine- Mary. Mary is a girl I knew all growing up from my neighborhood. We kept in touch even once our lives stopped intersecting- her family moved to a city 30 minutes away from my high school home, then she went to college in San Fransisco; then New York; and now lives in Chicago. While we hardly see each other, maybe once a year, Mary holds a very special place in my heart. I would NEVER ever allow myself to lose contact with someone so special to me.

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.

And speaking of freak flag (haha) here are my pictures from Colorado

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!


5.25.2010

Just In Time For Summer.

I thought that this was a very interesting article about sunscreen:
http://www.aolnews.com/health/article/study-many-sunscreens-may-be-accelerating-cancer/19488158

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!

4.21.2010

Imperfection.

You want to know something I thought of today that I found rather amusing? Okay here goes:
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.

4.16.2010

Silence.

As you know I often read the Kabbalist website for wisdom I cannot attain on my own. This entry was from a few days ago, but I just got to read it for the first time today:

WORDS ARE POWERFUL
Words have tremendous power to heal & bless, and terrible force to harm & curse.
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.

I really liked this. How many times do we say things without thinking. My friend Lori calls it "word vomit," and it really is. It seems like whenever I get upset about something, I just start talking. I don't know where my sentence will go and who it will affect. I don't even know why I'm saying things I say half of the time. I liked the concept this post brought up of being in control of every word that leaves your mouth. Because I'd say a good portion of the time, I don't have control over my words... and that's just absurd. These are my thoughts, and on a scientific level there is zero reason at all why I shouldn't be able to control the manner in which I relay them to the world. It's like when you get in a fight with someone and call them a name... I mean, really? Did you mean to say that? Half of the time you know they aren't that thing, and even if you really think that they ARE that- I highly doubt any person would want to say it to them. I mean what person in their right mind would actually, when you sit down and rationalize the consequences of it- be the type of person who calls other people names? For starters it makes you look VERY weak. Similar to curse words, I think people name call simply for the shock value and because they can't think of anything more intelligent to say. I mean, who really name calls anyways? Usually it's kids in like middle school or something.
On another note- who WANTS to be mean to other people? I mean, sure, you can sit there and say, "I don't care about other people. If they're lame I'm going to tell them I think that!" Okay, freedom of speech and fair enough. But what about when I ask you, "Why don't you care? Why is it, exactly, that you don't care about other people's feelings?" I don't think there is any answer one person can give that legitimizes that question without being immature.
My point is, without going too much more into it, be nice. Be respectful, be compassionate, be kind. These things are not a sign of weakness, they are a sign of maturity. If you've got the brains to discuss things with people and control your words before they leave your mouth, there's no reason to stoop to cruelty or rash thinking. You'd be amazed at how easily your world can be managed with a little understanding and some patience.

3.09.2010

Blog on.

Recently something has been brought to my attention. Yesterday I went to visit with a friend of mine, and she poked fun at me for all the updates I post on my Facebook page. I shrugged it off, but then went home to watch an episode of House where this woman was blogging her entire life story. Her boyfriend was becoming increasingly irritated with her blogging when she blogged to ask advice on what type of surgery to get... he said it should be up to HER and her alone. I feel that he made a good point when he said that blogging invites too many people into your life. Nothing is sacred or secret.
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.

1.05.2010

Here's to you, Mrs. Horrocks

I know that at some point she will read this, so it probably comes off as being a kiss ass, but have I ever told you how much I absolutely love, love, love my friend Sara (Powell) Horrocks? This is my friend that I mention often who lives in Germany- and she's pretty much the greatest thing since sliced bread. That's her in the picture above.

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...)