Sunday, October 29, 2006

It's Been Awhile (Staind)

It seems it's been a long, long time since I've posted. I guess not a whole lot has been going on. Well, that's not entirely true:

Heather, who is part of my (okay, she's my only) Stampin' Up downline has asked me to represent Stampin' Up at two holiday bazaar type deals she's putting together. The first one, on November 11th, is at the clubhouse in her community in Gig Harbor. The second one, is either at the end of November or the first part of December (dates TBD) is at her jobsite. From what I understand, they're not really a traditional bazaar where you go out and buy stuff from the vendor's table, but just a bunch of DSAs representing their products. Terry, who is my upline has told me that there usually isn't much generated from these type of events, so I'm not holding my breath. I am hoping to meet some new faces, generate even a little interest & hopefully get at least one or two camps from it.

Since getting engaged in May, I've really let my business go. I'm still an active demonstrator & it puzzles me how that's possible since I really haven't done anything. I am excited to say I do have one camp scheduled in 3 weeks, however, those girls don't usually buy much. Perhaps since it's near Christmastime, they will buy some supplies to get their holiday cards started. Here's hoping anyways.

I had my first post-Hawaii weigh-in this past week. I gained a whopping 1.2 lbs from the last weigh in (2 weeks earlier). Not too shabby, I'd say, considering all the Lava Flows, Macadamia Nut items & other not-so-good-for-you-but-oh-so-tasty foods & beverages I consumed. I really need to get back on it & lose the rest of the weight. Just 7-ish lbs to go til I reach my goal.

My childhood friend, Jaime, got married last Saturday. This was her 2nd marriage. I was really surprised how similar it was to her first wedding. Mind you, it's her first wedding to Arjun, but it was so much like her wedding to Rick - she had the big, white (beautiful!) dress, the huge cake, first dance w/her husband, father/daughter dance, tossed the bouquet & garter. And dancing. There was lots of dancing. The two main differences were about halfway through the reception, she changed out of her white wedding dress & put on a traditional Nepalese gown & they continued the reception with Nepalese music & dancing. It was fun to watch the other dancing. I did get up & do one of the dances with them.

This past Friday, I went out to Girls Night Out with Jaime & her family & a couple high school friends. This was probably the closest thing to a bachelorette party for Jaime, but it happened after the wedding instead of before. We had dinner at Azteca & then went to Pumpernickels for Karaoke & drinks. I'm just going to say that some people should sing more, some should sing less and other should not sing at all. I could have made some serious Simon Cowell remarks, but these folks weren't trying out for American Idol (thank goodness!!).

Joanna called me yesterday, saying she got in a car accident. I was actually very shocked when she said it wasn't her fault; she is, in my opinion, the worst driver I know. She was rear ended by a mini van & then pushed into the car in front of her. This sounds familiar as the same thing happened to me 11 years ago, except I only tapped the car in front of me. It sounds like Joanna's car was totalled from the accident, but fortunately, she's okay. I'm curious what kind of car she gets next.

Last weekend, Trina's greyhound, Tigger, escaped through a loose board in the backyard fence. Joanna & I went over there & walked the neighborhood for a few hours on Sunday looking for her. As it turns out, one of the neighbors had her dog & she was returned safely the next day. Whew!

My cousin, Deborah, had her 4th baby last week - another girl, Rachel Joy. I haven't talked to her, but through her husband's blog, it sounds like everyone is doing well. She says she wants a big family (at least 5 kids). I wonder when they'll stop & how much it really costs to have a family that big.

The mystery gift has been solved! When we returned from our trip, we had a wedding gift from Macy's mailed to us - a gift card tucked inside a little photo album. All the box said was it was from OH. I thought it was from David's parents because they're the only ones I know in OH, but they said it wasn't theirs. As it turns out, it was from Jeff's aunt & uncle & Macy's screwed up & didn't put in the notecard that was supposed to go with the gift.

Now, I gotta get those thank you cards out!

Today, I am thankful for:
1. Apologies
2. Velcro
3. Oatmeal
4. Love
5. Mexican food, even if it doesn't taste good.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

I Feel the Earth Move (Carole King)

I'm blogging from not so sunny Maui, Hawaii. Jeff & I are here, along with some awesome friends (& family) who flew across the Pacific Ocean to witness & celebrate our wedding, vacation & have fun in general with us. I couldn't have asked for a better time than this.

A basic breakdown of our vacation so far:

Wednesday, October 11th: we left Seattle for LAX. Took a shuttle on the tarmac to our next plane & flew to OGG. We got our car, found our condo, called Kat & found Pizza Express & had a late night dinner that was mighty tasty, except for the one we got with all the 'shrooms. Ewww.

Thursday, October 12th: Jeff & I woke up early (6am-ish) & got ready for our bikeride down Mt. Haleakala. Our driver, Mark, picked us up shortly before 7am. He was a hoot. Reminded me an awful lot of Gary Busey for some reason. I was a little disappointed in the bikeride. I thought it was going to be so much more fun than it was. Don't get me wrong, I did enjoy myself. I just wish I wasn't such a weenie when it comes to things that are scary. Riding 38 miles down the volcano's many turns at 20+ miles an hour when I have no protective gear other than a helmet is scary to me. Like I said, I'm a weenie. Jeff had a blast & would do the bikeride again. I think I'll sleep in next time. I did get a cool pic of some sort of horny lizard on his shoulder. Heh... I said horny.

Also, on Thursday, most of our friends & family members flew in. Jeff, McCarthy Mom & Dad, Randy, Kat & I had dinner at Moose McGillycuddy's restaurant. I *think* Jeff & Randy got their fill of the all-you-can-eat crab legs. The Lava Flow drink was mighty tasty. The Mai Tai, not so much. Afterwards, we were so exhausted that we just ended up going home & pretty much going to bed early (most nights, we were in bed long before 10pm!).

Friday, October 13th: Friday night, we met up with EVERYONE for the luau in Kaanapali. I hadn't been to a luau before. I thought the free (& free flowing) drinks were a little on the weak side, but the communal pineapple drinks (pina colada) were excellent! I think we all have shared cooties now. The all-you-can-eat buffet wasn't bad either. Having worked in a buffet restaurant before, I assumed the food wasn't going to be super tasty. I was wrong. I especially enjoyed the kahlua pork, chicken & mac salad. I hope Steve, Randy & Jeff enjoyed their chicken nuggets. I thought the show would have been longer, but if it was much longer, I probably would have been way bored.

Saturday, October 14th: This was the intended highlight of this whole trip: our wedding. The day started off with Kat & Mar picking us up, & dropping Jeff off while picking his mom up & getting manicures. See, I can't keep a mani to save my life so I wanted to get one as close to the wedding as possible. I don't think I could have gotten one much later than we did. It was really cool, though. This was Penny's first mani. It's always nice to be pampered just a little. I had wanted to get a massage after the mani, but by the time we got done with lunch at Stella Blues, it was too late to get one. Instead, I got a little more pampering by having my hair & makeup done (in my room) for the wedding. Funny thing is, I didn't have a mirror in front of me while she was doing my makeup so I totally felt like I was going to look like a clown. Thank goodness, I didn't. I was pretty happy with the result.

When it was time to go, Jeff & I drove down to Makena & found our beach where we were to be wed. I'd say half our party was there when we got there & the rest came soon after. There were lots of pictures being taken by EVERYONE. It was hard to focus on where to look because there were photos being taken from all directions. A giant thank you to Mar for using my camera. I looked at the photos & found some really cool shots in there. Thank You. Thank You. Thank You.

As far as I could tell, the wedding went just fine. We'll see what the video camera captured. Thank you, Randy, for being the smooth operator of that one. Airi, I still hold that those tears were for you :o)

After all the pics John took, we all headed back out to Moose's for our post wedding dinner. Matt, our waiter for the 2nd time, was incredible. Unfortunately, we missed my dad & Helyn & for those of you who hadn't heard & was wondering, dad got sick & had to leave. Stat. Enough said.

Sunday, October 15th: The great Hawaii earthquake 2006 happened on this day. There were actually 3 earthquakes and several expected aftershocks. This is my account of what happened/what I felt. We had planned on waking up early & going swimming in S. Kihei with Kim & Randy around 7am, so Jeff & I were on the road to Kim's hotel when it happened. Unfortunately, being in a car, moving already, you don't feel as much as if you were standing still. We had heard there was going to be a storm coming in & it appeared cooler than other mornings & a little windier too. While on the main road through Kihei, we noticed the car kinda shaking a little & attributed it to the wind. Further down, I saw a traffic light that flashed yellow 2 or 3 times & asked aloud if it was flashing yellow before or if it was a red/yellow/green light. Then, the radio went dead & again, we figured the power must have been knocked out due to the wind. While waiting in the parking lot for Kim to come out, the car starts to shake a little again. I think I/we initially thought it was wind or maybe the car having problems so we turned the engine off & we're still shaking a tad. Funny thing is, it really wasn't THAT windy. Jeff then said that he thinks it was an earthquake or something.

After picking Kim up, we drove the rest of the way to Jeff's parent's condo & that is where we all convened for a couple hours at least. There was a pool to guess just how strong the earthquake was. Thanks to Henry, we found out it was a 6.7, but was eventually lowered to 6.5 or 6.3 & that no tsunamis are expected to come. Good thing considering everyone is REALLY close to the ocean. A bit later, we headed down to the ocean just to check it out. Nothing going on. Still a bit windy & chilly to get in so we start heading across the street & Trina & David spotted us as they were driving by so they stopped & hung out with us for awhile. A couple hours later, we did end up going in the ocean. Lots of good waves. Lots of nasty waves that just pounded us. Lots of sand pushed into places it didn't belong. All in all, there was absolutely nothing to worry about as far as the earthquake was concerned. We didn't have stuff falling off the shelves. Nobody was hurt. According to Randy, the worst thing that happened was we (he) had to hurry and drink the beer so it wouldn't get warm as the power had gone out.

Sunday, we also celebrated David's 31st birthday at Stella's. I thought their food was pretty tasty, but too expensive for dinner. And, they have a silly 1 refill on your soda rule. Lame. After dinner, we headed back to Bob & Penny's to have some cheesecake that Kat & I bought earlier that day. Happy Birthday, David! Sorry about the check confusions. You'll note this type of thing always happens when we go out in a large group. :o)

Monday, October 16th: This morning, we were supposed to go snorkeling at Molokini & Lanai. When we got to the departure place, they let us know that we could only snorkel at Molokini & that we were going to combine our tour with a tour that left over an hour later. This was all due to the weather, I think. See, it was POURING!! Fortunately, it was a warm rain. We were wearing tanks & shorts & it really wasn't all that bad. So, we go to change our boarding pass to ride the other boat & about 5 minutes later, the dude comes out & says they're actually cancelling the trip altogether. Honestly, I wasn't saddened by this at all.

We ended up coming back to Kihei for breakfast with my dad & Helyn, Bob & Penny, Kim, Randy, Jeff & myself. I had huevos rancheros for the first time. Kim warned me against having it, saying it wasn't that good, but I had nothing to compare it to & it just sounded good. I don't think I'd ever get it again. Anywhere.

After breakfast, Kim, Randy, Jeff & I went to Lahaina to do a little shopping. Okay, Kim & I went shopping while Jeff & Randy had a beer or two. We saw a garbage truck nearly turned over, stuck in the mud on the side of the road. I tried getting a picture on the way back, but we were going too fast & the rain was too much, plus there were cars goin by that made it near impossible to get a clear picture. There were several "rockslides" on the island & so plenty of rocks in the road. Also, many puddles on the roads. I got a few pictures of all the water on the roadways.

Tonight, Katt & David Turner & Kim left the islands. Hopefully their flights have made it out safely & on time. Tomorrow, Bob & Penny, Kat, Trina & David & Randy are leaving. But, their flights aren't until a little later so we'll still get to see them before they take off. Don't think we'll get in the ocean again (the rain is STILL coming down), but maybe we can have one last lunch at Maui Taco or one last beer (for Randy) at Moose's. Wednesday, I think Jeff & I will have breakfast at Charley's in Paia (supposedly, they have awesome macadamia nut pancakes. I hope they're not as big as Kim's at Fred's this morning!) & hopefully pick up our wedding photos/album from our planners. I'm really looking forward to seeing these pics we spent so much time posing for. I know everyone else is looking forward to these pics too. And you will see them - at our Open House/Reception on November 4th.

This post is super long so I'm ending it now.

Today, I am thankful for:
1. Getting to call Jeff my husband
2. Hearing Jeff call me his wife
3. Kim's blackberry
4. Henry is a nerd
5. Benedryl

Saturday, October 07, 2006

One Week (Barenaked Ladies)

As the title suggests, there is a pretty big event happening one week from today. I'm getting married! I've been looking forward to this event for a long time. I also know my readers have been looking forward to this for a long time. I'm so thrilled & thankful that my chosen family will be able to share this life altering event with us.

Anyone who knows me knows I'm a pretty patient person. I think, somewhere deep inside, I always knew that 1. I would end up with Jeff & that 2. we would be together in that forever sort of way. He's very special to me in ways that I can't exactly articulate. I know from the bottom of my heart some things are worth waiting for, even though I often wondered how long I was going to wait for this magic moment to happen. Though I've waited for a long time for this, it still feels so unbelievably surreal. The next week will go by so fast, yet not fast enough.

Fortunately, there are some things scheduled for the next week that will make the time (hopefully) go by just a little quicker:

Monday, though a holiday (yes, Columbus Day is a holiday to some), I still have to go to work. We're closed to our membership, but we have some in-house training/team-building to do. Whoopidy-freakin'-doo. Shouldn't be too painful; just a waste of the day, if you ask me. Monday night, Kat & I are getting pedi's. One final relaxation before the trip.

Tuesday, I'll be running around like a chicken with her head cut off at work, trying to get everything caught up & make sure my co-workers are cross trained well enough before leaving for the next week & a half. Jeff & I already have plans for dinner on Tuesday - some yummy grub at BB Magraw's.

Wednesday, we leave in the afternoon. I'm sure there will be some last minute packing, er shall I say panicking? We arrive in Kahalui around 8pm. By the time we get checked in, get some dinner, etc. it'll be pretty late & I bet we'll be tired.

Thursday, we are doing the morning bikeride down Mt. Haleakala. I'm really looking forward to this. We have nothing planned Thursday eve, but this is when the bulk of everyone flies in & so maybe we'll meet folks for drinks or something fun like that.

Friday we meet with the lady who gives us our marriage license. It'll become more official after meeting her. Friday night, everyone is meeting for a luau. I'm also really looking forward to this as I've never been to one before.

Saturday, Kat & I, along with Penny & possibly Erin are getting manicures. I figured it was better to get one the morning of the wedding vs any earlier. For some reason, I can't keep a mani to save my life & so getting it as close to the wedding date as possible was important to me. Okay, so this will be the one last pampering before walking down the beach to marry my groom.

Sunday is reserved for Jeff & Jenn. We have absolutely nothing planned for this day & at this point, I'd like to keep it that way. I just want to spend the day with my husband. Wow, that's kinda trippy to say. I love the way it sounds.

Monday, a bunch of us are going snorkeling out to Molokini. I'm not 100% excited about this for a few reasons. Primarily because I can't swim & I hate sticking my face under water. Who knows? I may get over the fear of water & find this to be the best thing ever!

Tuesday & Wednesday are also wide open. When I go on vacation, I like to have a general idea of what we're doing, but having some days with nothing planned is also nice.

Today, I am thankful for:
1. Waxing
2. Eyebrow tinting
3. Highlights
4. Manicures
5. Spa pedicures

Monday, October 02, 2006

Friends (Michael W. Smith)

So, the song goes: Friends are friends forever...

*note* Throughout this post, I am using the term friend very loosely.

I've been thinking a lot lately about my friends & the relationships I have with them. I've had the "friend" conversation with Kat numerous times. We've talked about levels of friendship, making new friends, people you're no longer friends with (& why) & people who are returning friends.

We agree there are levels of friendship: strangers, acquaintences, buds, friends & dare I say, best friends. I have people in all these catagories. Well, except for the best friend catagory, but that's out of choice.

So, what if I think of someone as a friend & they think of me as a best friend? Should I feel guilty for not reciprocating the relationship? What if I have someone in my friend catagory & wish they were in the acquaintence catagory? Should I feel guilty for that?

How DO you demote a person to acquaintence status? I'm guessing you can ignore that person as much as possible. Certainly, you wouldn't include/involve/invite them to certain events (birthday parties & bridal showers, for example). And, when you're invited by them, you don't go. You put as much distance between the two of you as possible. But, since you don't want to look like the ass in the friendship, you still send them Christmas & birthday cards, until you've completely faded away. BUT, what happens if you see this person daily? That, I don't know. It's a little more challenging, but I don't know how you slowly fade away when you have no choice but to see them.

Early Sunday morning, I was reading the blog of a "friend" of a "friend". Then, I began wondering... I wonder when the last time "friend 1" spoke to "friend 2". Well, it's been a few days at least because "friend 2" is currently in Japan. I wonder if "friend 1" knows this. If you were really friends, shouldn't "friend 1" know?

Okay, then I was thinking about how some of my friends weren't always my friends. I couldn't stand Kim for the longest time. The feeling, I believe, was very mutual. Then some day, something happened. I can't pinpoint what it was that changed the way I felt, but for whatever reason, I let go of my jealousies & I saw her for who she is: a really good person with a big heart & wanting the same things out of life that I did. I'm SO glad you're a part of my 'friendship' circle, Kim. And I will come visit my friend in England should you move again. :o)

I don't know if it's fate or "God's will", but I do believe people come into your life for a reason. It's kinda funny to me, though, to see who's come & gone from my life & I can say to myself, "in retrospect, this person was here for this reason." and I can usually figure out what the reason was.

Today, I am thankful for:
1. Past friends
2. Current friends
3. Future friends
4. Girlfriends
5. Boyfriends