Christmas in California!

This is our first Christmas in California and we aren’t quite sure about what to do with ourselves! After we quickly peeked in our stockings to find a couple little gifts from each other, opened a couple more from our parents and then proceeded to watch the dog and cat “play” with their gifts it was quite clear that Christmas without your family can be BORING! No screaming children. No nagging grandma that likes to squeeze the life out of you! And definitely no traditions…at least not the ones that involve having your family around. It was a little depressing and after staring at the dog for about 30 minutes while the Macy’s parade filled the silence, we decided to go skiing!

What better way to spend your first Christmas in California than on the slopes? We hopped in the car and headed for Big Bear. Traffic was obnoxious at certain parts in the road and the narrow and windy route didn’t seem to help. We would be stopped for what seemed like days and then we would be on our way again. When we caught a glimpse of snow we were beyond thrilled. Soon enough, but not really, we were suited up and ready for some snowy fun. It took all of about 10 seconds before I fell and was over the snowy “fun.” I had skied once before back in high school, but couldn’t exactly get the hang of it. Not so much like a bike. I would crash and burn and crash and burn and then…crash and burn. Finally Kevin convinced me to take another turn. I headed to the lift, got into position and was up and away.

“Bend your legs. Sticks up. Now stand up!” I was still standing! As Kevin attempted further instruction I felt the sudden urge to just go for it. I bent my legs and turned my skis in and headed in a diagonal downhill. A few feet and I redirected. A few more feet and I redirected again. Down further and further I went. I could feel the wind on my face and the snow flying up as my speed increased all the while amazed at the fact that I hadn’t fallen. I felt free and fearless. I couldn’t believe I was still standing when I made it down to the bottom. What a rush! Naturally I was back on the lift and ready for another go at it, and another…and another.

Needless to say, it was a Christmas to remember and California continues to live up to its reputation!

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And so it begins…

All packed up and ready to go! As we looked back at San Antonio, TX in our rearview all we could focus on was the journey ahead. The adventure and excitement that California offered was a big reason we decided to make the move. San Antonio has always been home and my comfort zone so the thought of moving was not only exciting but terrifying at the same time. It takes a lot of confidence for one to leave their friends and family behind and start over. With my partner by my side I knew this was a move that would be worth it in the end and we took the leap!

We headed for El Paso, TX and while the drive was less than scenic, it was a reminder of what we left behind and what was to come. Our time in the car was full of audiobooks, snapping pictures of the dog and cat sleeping in the backseat and frequent stops to stretch our legs. Eight hours later we were crashing into a hotel bed and dreaming of our next stop!

With the Mexican border on our left, we put the pedal to the metal and aimed for the Grand Canyon. The drive was yet again long and there was little to look at the majority of the way, but ever so often we would come across an empty field with a cactus or two reassuring us we were headed in the right direction. As the sun set, we became anxious to arrive at the hotel. Before we knew it, the roads were pitch black, patches of snow outlined the trees and hills and there wasn’t a single car on the road. After fighting with the GPS, whom I had named Pam, we eventually pulled into the Red Feather Lodge. Lights out as we prepped for the day ahead.

The Grand Canyon was unlike anything I had ever seen. The swirls of reds, yellows and creams that could be seen in the sediment reminded me of Tiramisu. There was snow outlining the paths and topping off the trees. Lola, my dog, sampled the snow as we walked along. We hiked on and looked out over the edge. Breathtaking doesn’t even begin to describe what could be felt in the depths of my stomach. The eerie thought that one wrong step would lead to certain death made it all that more exciting. We took in the view, along with a few snapshots, and headed back to the hotel.

The next morning we took off for our final destination. We drove and drove and drove. From The Kite Runner to murder mysteries, we had exhausted our audiobooks and were growing restless. As soon as we hit the California state line a sigh of relief rose above the fumes. Pasadena was a couple hours away and we weren’t stopping for anything! Soon enough, we pulled up to the house. The empty house felt like paradise as we set up an air mattress, munched on pizza and passed out dreaming of the movers to arrive the next day!

The trip had been a success and we were eager for our lives to arrive. Let the fun begin!

[Unemployed] White Girl Problems

It has been a month since I left my job and I must say, the problems I once thought were problems no where compare to what I have to deal with on a daily basis.

Every morning I wake up and the first thing I contemplate is whether or not I plan to change out of my sweat pants. If I want to leave the house I will need to change but that will involve me having to look presentable and actually getting in the car and driving, so no. Then again, it might be good to change just so I am not wearing the same thing for days in a row. Changing also means laundry. If I don’t change then I will have less laundry to do, but why do I care the laundry is going to be the most climactic part of my day!

The TV automatically goes on so I can see what is happening in the world and catch up on the latest news. Lately, Horatio has been really tough on his team but they have been able to finally arrest a gang they have been chasing for months. Olivia and Stabler are catching pedophiles as if they were falling from the sky. Let’s not forget Hotchner and his team of profilers. They are on to a serial killer in Minnesota and just released a composite sketch. I swear I saw this guy at the grocery store yesterday.

My eyes tend to start hurting after a couple hours. Probably from the TV screen and the laptop and the cell phone. By this time I consider getting up and doing other things but am afraid of the silence so I just relocate the screens so they are visible while I get some work done around the house. This way I can at least listen to the TV while I do the dishes. Then again, it is awfully loud when you are doing the dishes so it makes it difficult to hear. So I find myself unloading and loading the dishes as carefully and quietly as possible. I don’t turn the water on until it gets to the dull parts and I try my best to keep the clinking to a minimum. That is the most frustrating thing let me tell you! It generally takes me quite a bit longer but it is a worthy sacrifice.

I thought my desk chair was the most uncomfortable thing in the world, but my couch is much worse. The cushions sink low and the backs are not very stable and tend to move around. There is no convenient way to sit so that I can reach my laptop on the table in front of me without putting too much stress on my back. My only option is to put the laptop in my lap- go figure! Of course, when I do this the charger gets knocked by my knee or the blanket and falls out! Thanks Steve Jobs for thinking a tiny magnet was the best way to keep my charger connected-didn’t think that one through. 

On the days that it is nice outside I consider taking the dog for a walk or going for a run but then that would entail a change of clothing so it is out of the question.

I thought my co-workers and clients were bores but when it comes down to it, no one can beat my cat! He just stares at me with this look of confusion immediately followed by a pounce and a scratch to the face. He is not the best to have deep conversations with. Naturally, I text my boyfriend all day so I can share my thoughts with him. Since he is working, his responses are few and far between so I resort to the dog. She is a great listener and never argues!

The highlight of my day is undoubtedly dinner and not just because I skipped breakfast and lunch, but because it is my creative outlet! I pick a recipe and pull out the ingredients and start experimenting. The challenge here is to time the finished Imageproduct with the time the boyfriend arrives home so it is ready when he walks in. After all he has been working all day and if he comes home and I haven’t cooked anything the first thought in his head will probably be “What did she do all day?” Dinner on time is the only way I can get away with the half done laundry and dishes.

When we finally sit down for dinner, all I want to do is hear about his day. After all, he has been ignoring me all day so now is the time to share. “How was your day?” “Were people nice to you?” “What did you eat?” “Tell me everything!” Usually he is exhausted and the only thing he wants to do is not talk. So we end up turning Netflix on and enjoy each others company in silence. 

Before you know it he is ready for bed and I am just getting my day started! I finally finished my posts for the day and now it is time to start folding the laundry, while I catch up on the news of course. I usually concede and we head to bed with Netflix in hand. Our nightly lullaby is It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. A few good laughs as we drift off to sleep and wrap up the day. My final thought being “thank God I didn’t change out of my sweatpants!”

Can’t wait to see what tomorrow holds!

 

28 Things I am Not Thankful For in 2013

  1. A family that is unconditionally supportive no matter what choices I make
  2. A healthy body that is able to wake up and move and think every day
  3. 2 adorable pets that never fail to make me happy no matter how bad my day may be. They never judge. They never disappoint.
  4. An education that has allowed me to not only think, but to do
  5. A car that starts with AC/heating and gets pretty good gas mileage
  6. Clothes for my body and shoes for my feet every day
  7. A fridge full of food and the knowledge of what to do with it…kind of
  8. A soulmate that loves me even when I don’t deserve it
  9. A cell phone so that I can be in touch with anyone at any moment if needed
  10. Career opportunities that don’t just fall into someone’s lap
  11. The kind of friend you only find once in a lifetime
  12. A brain that works…most of the time
  13. An opinion about things that matter
  14. A passion that can often be terrifying
  15. A support system that never fails
  16. A faith that is unfailing
  17. A voice that wants to be heard
  18. Technology to keep me connected to people that I may never know otherwise
  19. A country that is not perfect, but provides us the freedom to enjoy our imperfections
  20. Music that makes me sing, dance and jump around like a fool when no one is watching…and sometimes when they are
  21. A bleeding heart that often causes me to become anemic
  22. The motivation to do something and be somebody
  23. An appetite for life
  24. The desire to travel and experience the world
  25. A full head of hair
  26. Literacy
  27. A sarcasm that some may never fully understand
  28. Kindness that is bestowed upon me even when I haven’t earned it

…but next year I will be.