Thursday, January 1, 2009

Looking back

Too lazy to write a synopsis of the year, I thought I would attempt a list of the year in review. My goal is to come up with 100 things. We'll see how far I get.

In no particular order, both good and bad, in 2008 I...

  1. grew another year older, bringing me well in to my "early thirties" (32 to be exact)

  2. found out I was pregnant

  3. realized that all those girl names would have to go on the back shelf for now

  4. celebrated my 2 year wedding anniversary

  5. found sand dollars on the beach in Costa Rica (which broke on the journey home)

  6. learned to drive a four wheel drive (kind of)

  7. bought a new car

  8. moved to a new place by the beach

  9. traveled to New York twice for the bridal market

  10. joined Facebook

  11. met and spent four days with my blogger bff, Jihan

  12. became virtual friends with fellow blogger Tina

  13. figured out what paper prints the best quality cards

  14. planned some great weddings for great clients

  15. got published in my first wedding editorial (thank you Los Angeles Weddings!)

  16. spent a girls' weekend in Palm Springs

  17. traveled to Guadalajara, Mexico

  18. welcomed my new nephew, Smith

  19. welcomed my new quasi-nephew, Ethan

  20. ate escargot at Gordon Ramsay's restaurant

  21. went to Costa Rica for the third time and still didn't make it to a volcano
  22. did a trunk show in Florida

  23. read The Glass Castle and Eat Pray Love

  24. lit my first fire in my first fireplace

  25. got a camera phone (and learned to use it)

  26. hosted both Sarah's and Natalie's baby showers

  27. learned the importance of friendships as we had to say goodbye to a close one this year

  28. lost a 16 year old student to a sudden heart attack

  29. made an effort to tighten my bonds with the women in my life

  30. mastered the "Country Apple Tart with Spiced Brown Butter" which took more than 24 hours to make

  31. pulled off another Christmas dinner

  32. lost 10 pounds

  33. gained them back

  34. got a new haircut

  35. bought a map of stars homes and followed it (I now know where Ellen DeGeneres lives though we were swiftly kicked off her property)

  36. bought my first major appliance (a beautiful new stainless steel refrigerator)

  37. had a garage sale

  38. almost bought a house

  39. was mature enough to walk away when I couldn't afford it

  40. struggled with the balance of self and family

  41. attempted to be a more supportive wife

  42. made the effort to cook more dinners at home

  43. went on a tv diet

  44. took many pictures that still need to be downloaded and categorized

  45. went to the Orange County Fair

  46. got on a surfboard (on my stomach for about 8 seconds)

  47. took both cats to the vet

  48. hung Christmas lights on the outside of the house for the first time

  49. rediscovered my love for Tom Petty

  50. saw The Bad Plus play at a jazz club in LA

  51. became a master hair cutter for my husband

  52. started using coupons at the grocery

  53. paid too much money to the dentist

  54. sold the Saturn

  55. watched my husband turn into a total surfbrain

  56. made the effort to enjoy the sunsets and the full moons

  57. began to use a calendar to keep track of life

  58. put hours of research into the best baby strollers

  59. hosted the second annual Palmer "After Christmas and Before New Years Open House"

  60. made about thirty loaves of pumpkin bread

  61. paid over $50 to fill my gas tank

  62. paid less than $20 to fill my gas tank

  63. went on a bike ride from Belmont Heights to the Queen Mary

  64. have not gotten any better at saying "no"

  65. stayed home alone while Gabe went on tour

  66. learned how to use about a tenth of the functions in Illustrator

  67. got a couple's massage on the beach

  68. put my master's degree to use

  69. joined LinkedIn

  70. helped Shondra plan her wedding and find her dress

  71. got regular pedicures

  72. spent a lot of time with my parents

  73. added a new ring to my wedding/engagement ring set (I call it the "baby band")

  74. got very lazy about blogging

  75. started watching "Intervention"

  76. discovered how great it is to sleep in Gabe's t-shirts

  77. went to Palm Springs with my husband and my parents

  78. got a few more wrinkles under my eyes

  79. spent a lot of time thinking about family

  80. switched to fluorescent light bulbs in most rooms

  81. did not have time to make toffee for Christmas

  82. went to Disneyland

  83. returned a DVD case without the DVD (can't ever go back to that movie store!)

  84. read lots of "chic lit" books

  85. started reading many other "smart people would read these" books without finishing them

  86. missed my connecting flight in Atlanta

  87. had a barbecue for the neighbors on Newport Avenue

  88. lost all of the songs on my ipod and had to reload them

  89. learned to let go of a lot of useless possessions

  90. used a video camera for the first time

  91. failed to go to the gym more than a handful of times (and failed miserably at kickboxing)

  92. beat Gabe in "Seinfeld SceneIt"

  93. learned to love Gabe's beard

  94. took Sawyer and Sully to the Discovery Science Center

  95. started using cloth bags for the grocery store

  96. almost didn't get the Christmas cards finished

  97. watched season 5 of Curb Your Enthusiasm

  98. paid off my personal loan

  99. spent the last night of the year having a nice dinner with my husband and going to bed at 10:30

  100. spent some much needed time reflecting on my life and my relationships

Wow! You would think it wouldn't be so hard to think of 100 things that occurred over the course of 365 days. I guess that goes to show that I need to do a better job of recording the moments this year (or that I need to lead a more exciting life!). Of course now that I've finished I can think of a few more. Figures. Whether captured by blog, video, diary, or pictures, there will be so many life changing moments this year. I welcome 2009 and look forward to all of the changes it will bring. Happy New Year.

Don't call it a comeback...

...because I don't know how long I can keep it up! It is nearly impossible to explain how over 4 months have passed since I have visited either one of my blogs. Or any blogs, for that matter. Between experiencing all of the ups and downs of my first pregnancy, being overloaded with work, and just trying to get through the day to day, priorities seem to have shifted. Blame my swollen ankles, my lack of sleep, or my new found friend Facebook. Nevertheless, I have made it a resolution to return to this little time capsule in an effort to capture the highlights of life as I know it.

I make no promises that I will ever get around to posting what has transpired in the last few months, but as I hold up my two fingers in what seems to resemble the Girl Scout honor code, I swear I will try to be a more regular poster. I said try. Let's not get too crazy with promises for the new year.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Happiness is...

having a neighbor who works for Dreyer's ice cream. (Watch out for the chocolate peanut butter, it can most definitely be devoured in one sitting.)

Monday, July 28, 2008

Welcome, Smith!

My nephew Smith Bradley Spivey was born last Tuesday while I was in Mexico. Go figure. I knew that little guy wouldn't wait for me. 2 weeks early and absolutely adorable, I cannot get enough of him.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Se habla espaƱol

We're back from Costa Rica! It was wonderful, as always, and it is such a shame to have to get back into the swing of everyday life. Though we traveled only to areas where we had been before, this time around was different as we traveled with Gabe's dad. The two of them surfed a ridiculous amount and I spent much time relaxing and doing a whole lot of nothing other than lying on the beach or next to the pool. We went on a couple of adventures and experienced the most intense thunder storms of our lives.

This was our third trip to Costa Rica since 2004 and every time we go it is amazing how much development has occurred. What was only 4 years ago an area of dirt roads and small mud-hut and corrugated tin-roofed houses is now paved and full of billboards for pricey resorts and American looking condominium developments. It gives you a rather bittersweet feeling as you mourn for what seems is the inevitable loss of the beauty of this once unspoiled landscape, but at the same time understand the excitement of the locals for the amount of work available and the convenience and economy boost that comes with such progress.

We spent our time divided between Hotel Bula Bula in Playa Grande, Hotel Playa Negra in Playa Negra, Cabinas El Oasis in Playa Langosta, and La Posada at Hacienda Pinilla in Playa Avellanas. We returned home with nearly 500 pictures, so I'll try not to bore you with thirty seven photos of the sunset (though every single one is fabulous!). Here's enough (probably more) to give you an idea of how we spent our ten days.

We always stay on the Pacific side, on the Nicoya Peninsula in the Province of Guanacaste.
I found this most perfect sand dollar. And then I left it at the hotel.

We celebrated our two year anniversary at Hotel Bula Bula, where we spent our honeymoon.
Family pics.
Our anniversary gift from Gabe's dad was zip lining through the rain forest. Gabe and I had been before, but it was a brand new experience for Gil to be hundreds feet in the air hanging from a cable. I was the only one brave enough to do "Superman". Driving in Costa Rica is an adventure in and of itself. I drove for the first time on this trip and had to do a little 4 wheel drive action. I did stop at one point, however, and make Gabe drive. I'm a chicken when it comes to driving through a river. There was no way I was going to be the one to get the car stuck this time. (On our honeymoon we got lost and stranded and had to have our car pulled out by a pair of oxen. No joke. But that's a story for another day.) To give you an idea of some of the challenges you may face on the road... We went on a two hour horseback ride through the rain forest and then down to the coast. In just two hours we say monkeys, vultures, deer, and an alligator. Oh my.
The view from where I sit.

There are bugs in Costa Rica, in case you didn't know. When I counted 56 bites on just my arms, I stopped counting. I most definitely returned with over 100 critter bites. Gabe and his dad? Not one! This is just a sampling of the creatures that were either in, on, or around our hotel rooms. Oh yeah, and the spiders, they were INSIDE our room. Needless to say, I slept with a flashlight hooked on my finger all night long. After one night in that room, we left.

Gabe and Gil surfed a minimum of twice a day while I slept in and took walks along the beach. I only got grumpy about it once or twice. I mean, really, let's not forget that there is someone waiting for you on the beach. I can only get so much joy out of video taping and photographing them catching waves. At least this time I think all of the pictures are actually of Gabe and Gil. Last time I was informed that half of the great surfing pictures I took were not of my husband at all. Oh well, they all look the same out there in the water.

This is how Gabe and his dad would spend endless amounts of time. I don't surf, so I don't know exactly what they are looking at, but they would look at those waves forever before making a decision on whether or not to actually go out.

This was as close as I got to surfing this trip. I don't swim in the ocean and I certainly don't surf.

Here's the sunset. I told you it was awesome.Hasta la proxima vez...

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Best Blogger BFF Ever!

I arrived home the other day only to find a package on my doorstep only to find that it was a little gift from my blogger best friend, Jihan. It was Jihan's "Favorite Things Swap" that got me into this whole blogging world in the first place. Though we have yet to meet, it is going to happen soon and it is going to be great! Thank you, Jihan. You always make my day!

Inside the goodies included some tall candles (to celebrate our 1 year friendship), some jelly pens, bath tea, a candle holder, orange-shaped nail files, and letterpressed cards. It's amazing that someone I have never met can know me so well!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Girls Just Wanted to Have Fun

I took a little pre-vacation to Palm Springs last weekend with my sister Sarah and my friend Beth. We left husbands and babies (theirs, not mine) at home and took off. Though my sister's 7 month pregnant belly prevented us from partaking in the usual mass quantities of margaritas by the pool, we managed to survive on Arnold Palmers and iced lattes. The weather was perfect (only about 100 degrees) and the free room upgrade was so appreciated.

The girls.

Here's just some of the room. I realize I should have taken pictures before we messed it all up, but I had other priorities like getting to the pool.

This script was left in the room. I read through it and was not all that impressed. Just watch, the movie will be a blockbuster and I could have sold the draft of the script for a million dollars.

I can't believe some people only bring out a towel to the pool. Amateurs.

This is what happens to magazines when they sit in the sun for too long. I had more than a few months of reading to catch up on. I still have a few left.

No pictures of us in our bathing suits. No pictures in the pool. I'm not crazy. Nobody sees me with my swim noodle. Nobody.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Did you miss me?

Where on earth have the last two months gone? I find it unbelievable that June has crept up so fast and is now clouding us with its gloom as it quickly moves along. Last post April 9? Really? Say it isn't so. I have been such a neglectful blogger and for all four of you reading, I give you my sincerest apologies. It's not as if I have been jet setting or crime fighting or even doing anything remotely interesting. Nope. I have just been enjoying life (as the title of this lovely little blog reminds me to do) without taking the time to slow down and capture it all in words. But enough of that. It's time for an update. Trust me, you won't be all that impressed. But this is my outlet. This is where I log the happenings of my life so that I may go back later and reminisce. No, I do not mean that you are inconsequential, rather that even when my life seems somewhat mundane I must carry on. Even if it may not appeal to the masses. For this is not a place to gain popularity. It is just a place to jot down my thought and record my memories. Thanks for coming back. I'll be better about posting from here forward. I promise. Except for the next two weeks while I am on vacation. But when I return, watch out. You won't be able to get rid of me. You'll see.

Since April 9, I...
  • celebrated my sister in law's, my nephew's, and my niece's birthdays
  • celebrated Mother's and Father's Day
  • cracked up as I watched Gabe and Chris (my cousin's husband) jam in the living room
  • watched Sawyer learn to ride a bike
  • attended Connor's First Holy Communion
  • spent time with my husband's family
  • laughed hysterically as my brother and brother in law "borrowed" the neighbor's Ferrari for a "swing around the block"
  • learned to play not only Wii boxing, bowling and tennis, but also Guitar Hero
  • realized we need to buy a Wii
  • went to Palm Springs for girls' weekend
  • read a couple of books and finally caught up on my magazines from January
  • planned and threw a baby shower for my sister
  • lost 8.5 pounds
  • rediscovered the fun of bubble gum (Bubblicious, to be exact)
  • got a terrible sun burn
  • finally organized my office after 2 years of using it as "the everything room"
  • decided to get serious about pulling my website together
  • realized that I need to be more focused on all of these little projects (read: this blog) and follow through

So here it is. April and May in pictures. Enjoy. June will be up tomorrow.

Gabe was a very good uncle these past two months. There seemed to be an inordinate amount of family functions.

Needless to say, I am terrible at Guitar hero. Gabe was quite the virtuoso.
If I ever owned a Ferrari, I really don't think I would just be letting the neighbors take it out for a spin.
Sawyer can now officially ride a "big boy bike".
Don't get me wrong, I love being married to a drummer. But it would be sooo much quieter if he took up guitar.

Randi and Lyndi don't always get to have rock concerts in their living room. I don't often get to hear Gabe play High School Musical numbers on the drums.

This is Gabe's Wii guy. The resemblance is uncanny.

Yes, it hurt even worse than it looked and no, I was not naked in this picture. I had a towel on. Please wear sunscreen. Please.