Saturday, May 31, 2008

Road Trip

This video was shot by Ryan (Rza) on the move out west last year.

He was my designated co-pilot, kept me company, and was in charge of video production!

I kind of forgot about some of the scenery - well, minus the train tracks since he took Amtrak back home - but seeing some of the run down towns and homes reminded me of the conversations that we had about what those people do for a living, where do they go to have fun, etc.

The 'rest area' made me laugh because I forgot about how scared I was to go in there - they had signs warning you not to leave the toilet seat up because of racoons coming up through the holes in them! Talk about having stage fright.

Thanks for putting this together, Rza! (And I guess thanks for making me stop in Salt Lake City at Wal-Mart to buy Modest Mouse - I thought you were going to punch me in the neck if I didn't actually stop so you could buy it on it's release date.)

Glad I did :)

Friday, May 30, 2008

Concert in the Park

Tonight I went to a concert in the park and it was such a beautiful night to be out enjoying the cover band, Dam Road Closed.

I have forgotten how many things I used to do by myself and tonight was no different. I suppose some people would feel uncomfortable going out into public and sitting alone. However, I'm not going to lie and say that I wasn't somewhat shy about heading in front of this massive crowd to take a seat, but I did it. I kept telling myself that I drove across the country to (essentially) live by myself; listening to music alone is the 'easy' part!

My little blue lawnchair and I pulled up to a spot on the outskirts of the crowd behind a family of 6, plus their little dog. Everybody had picnic baskets, there was some food for sale on the street, and train rides going around the park.

I think I'm a closet-people-watcher. Normally I don't like staring at people when they walk by (because I know people are watching me walk by and it creeps me out), but tonight I totally enjoyed it! I got some friendly smiles, some hello's, and was able to pet most dog that roamed by eating leftovers off the ground.

I always wonder how people met each, if they're happy, where did they come from, and thoughts of this nature...some people looked bored out of their mind, others were dancing and singing with the band. There was a young dad there with his son, who was probably about 6, and he looked disgusted the entire time. The kid was running ALL over the place and the dad wouldn't even try to find him. Maybe he knew he'd come back, I don't know, but it made me wonder what kind of relationship they had between one another.

The smells reminded me of tailgating up at ISU...that bbq smoke blowing over the crowd, people were talking and laughing and just having a good time. What I did find kind of funny was the fact that where we would have beer/kegs/cases, most of the people were drinking wine and some of the bubbly goods. You can tell you're in a different part of the country when folks are walking around with actual wine glasses filled with their favorite red or white wine and not cans of Bud Light!

Oh and I love watching little kids dance - it makes me laugh out loud and I literally had tears in my eyes watching this girl next to me, who was probably 3. She would pull her shorts from the bottom of the legs WAY up, so you could see her little undies and then she would turn around away from her mom and shake her little booty... oh my gosh, it was the funniest thing! I totally would have taken a picture, but I didn't want her mom to think I was some lunatic.

I watched a big dog and it's owner walk in front of me and while she was talking to somebody, the dog was eating cheese out of a bowl that some people had sitting next to their wine glasses on a tiny table. I didn't have the heart to tell the guy not to eat it after watching the dog drop a piece back in the bowl. I silently laughed though.

Maybe I'm getting back on track and putting myself out in situations that I haven't faced on my own for a while. It felt good to be out and about on this beautiful summer night.... but I also know deep down that I want to have a picnic and take my own family to a concert in the park some day, too.

Some day.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Memorial Day

Today is a day of remembrance and one that always hits my heart in a profound way.

When we were in high school, the band always had to play a Memorial Day service at our home town cemetary. I can't say as though I thoroughly enjoyed waking up early to play the Iowa Corn Song, but I always felt sentimental looking out into the crowd of veterans who would come pay their repsects.

I played the trumpet and became the regualr TAPS player at funerals and let me tell you, I can't hear that song and not get tears in my eyes... one fundamental song that speaks volumes to so many people. I remember hiding behind a tombstone at a man's funeral playing TAPS and crying at the same time - not an easy feat, but knowing the family was there to hear me and say their last good-byes made a world of difference.

Every year the legion would have a ceremonial flag burning and I would have to play at their event as well. I never fully understood how much the American flag meant until I watched the men carefully place those old, tattered, and faded flags into the big, metal barrel and salute each one. It brings about a whole new perspective on our freedom and the men and women who are still fighting for us thousands of miles away.

Memorial Day is also a day that my parents go around to cemetaries and place flowers on the graves of loved ones. On the occasions that I would go with them, it was a nice time to reflect on the family and friends that were in our lives and what they meant to us.

Yesterday at church, the pastor was talking about the legacy that people leave behind - what sort of legacy do you want people to remember about you?

Celebrating this day means remembrance, bbq's, fun, friends, and family - I hope you each take time out to remember the people in your life and how much they mean to you....tell somebody that you love them... and to my friends and family, I love you.

Saturday, May 24, 2008


First and foremost, thank you to all of you that lifted me up in prayers after my last posting. I can't even begin to tell you how everything changed within the next day! I was so touched by the swarm of emails that filled up my inbox and the phone calls that followed... THANK YOU!

Yesterday I had to say good bye to my little car pool buddy from work. I was sad.

We rode to work together for almost 7 months and became to know and learn about one another, and sit next to each other in our little cubes. He made fun of me when telling stories...for example, when I would say, "Mom called last night." His reply would be, "Our mom or YOUR mom?" I guess I was supposed to say 'My mom called me last night.' Or he thought it was funny to say, "Hey is mom giving us pop for supper tonight?" Oh, you funny guy...He made a big deal about taco pizza and thought it sounded like the worst meal ever....same with tator tot casserole - until I made it and he liked it!

He was the little brother that I never had and made me listen to music that I would never listen to and a morning sports radio talk show that I became addicted to hearing every day.

I'm all about chasing dreams and grabbing opportunities that present themselves and that's exactly what he's doing... I'm so proud of my little friend!

He's off to become an umpire in a midwest league/division after attending umpire school in FL back in January. This is his dream job - how cool would it be if we could all do what we had dreamed of doing as a child? I'm so happy for him and will miss his laugh and the way he would say, 'Uh...hey, man' in his fake southern accent. Kid had a big heart and I'm fortunate enough to have become his friend within the first week of working at our company.

Showing off the skills

Good luck, Ice - I'll miss ya!

Monday, May 19, 2008


Funny how things change after a little bitty post...

I have to admit that I am being shaken right now...there is some sort of spiritual warfare going on in my heart and I don't like it one bit.

Over the weekend I started reading a new book that is giving me quite a few "A-HA!" moments - like how to recognize that feeling of suppression that comes on our hearts when we ask God for a change. I want to change. I want to denounce the ugly feelings of desolation that keeps rearing it's ugly head and telling me that I'm not 'good enough' or that I'm all 'alone' when really, I know deep down that I'm not.

This whole breaking up thing is for the birds. I hate becoming attached to somebody just to have them leave. (Granted, this break-up was pretty mutual for the most part.)

I'm tired of having this pit in my stomach and emotions going all over the board trying to tell me that I'm ok with it, or that I'm in a better place, or that he just wasn't 'the one', and it's alright to remain friends. Is it really??

This is the first time in my life that I have tried this 'friend' thing with somebody and there are days where I like it and some days (like today) that I don't. I shouldn't look at him and want to burst out crying (I'm visualizing cartoons where their mouths are open really wide and tears are squirting out like a sprinkler..). But then again, I feel like I appreciate him more now than when I did when we were in a relationship...why or how is that even possible?

He was my family. He was my friend. He was the one that I turned to for everything this past year. And now he's going to the place that I called home for 32 years without me so he can work for the next couple of days. I wanted to take him there to meet MY family, to meet MY friends, and show him where I was raised. I guess there is a little bit of jealousy going on or something.

I really wanted this to work with him, but it didn't and sometimes it's hard to move on. Especially when you have PMS.

Now that I completely got off the subject, my book is talking about how we are able to take on others' feelings and anguish through that little gnarly demon that is oh, so cunning. We may be trying to help and really praying for people that have asked us to step in and pray for them - so we do.

The author was trying to get at how we need to counsel God first and ask Him what we need to be praying for that particular individual because He may just want us to give it all over to Him and not try to make that other person 'feel' better because we can't do it all... so what happens is that we start internalizing their problems and empathizing over the top with them. The devil starts to see this as a maybe a weakness of our own and then swoops in to really tear us apart.

Hence, my spiritual warfare.

I have a couple of very close people in my life going through some really crappy things and being so far away and not exactly able to 'help', I'm beginning to feel this weight that they are also carrying.

It's that tightness in your throat, the heaviness on your chest, and the urge to cry at the drop of a hat. Check, got it. This is why I think that I'm also being attacked by these break up feelings all over again... I was doing fine (seriously, maybe a little too fine), then some jerk of a spirit told me that I wasn't going to be able to find anybody who would love me again and that I would end up being all alone anyway. Liar.

To all of you reading this, please lift your little CA Girl up in a word of prayer - I don't see my bible study group anymore because we're taking the summer off and this is where they would come in. I need YOU to help me through this - I need to let go of these feelings that I'm still holding on to with the ex boyfriend... I want to turn my thoughts away from what could have been, what did I do wrong, why didn't it truly work out, does he still think about me, would we ever get back together, blah blah blah to more meaningful thoughts on what lies ahead and what is in store for me.

I believe it's going to be good... I really do. I just need help getting through this muck for now.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Not Shaken...but Stirred

Something is going on inside of me. Not sure what it is, but it's a feeling that I can't quite explain.

It reminds me of when I got the 'confirmation' that I was supposed to move westward - it's a combination of excitement, anxiousness, nervousness - but in a good way.

I think God is stirring some things inside of my heart and I'm so exctied to see what it is! I have to remind myself about God and the timing in which He answers our prayers - yes, no, or wait - lucky me, I'm waiting. (sigh)

Aside from that, today was possibly one of the most stressful days that I've had at a job - you know the kind of day where you just want to get up, take your car keys, and walk out? Nobody would know where you went, you were just gone. Toodles. I have always been so good about letting things roll off my back when it comes to my job, but seriously...this took the cake. All is good now that I'm home and got to talk to my good friend on the phone...always puts things into perspective for me!

And can I just let you know how excited I am to be going home in a couple of weeks? What is it with me and WAITING?! I hate waiting. I just want to be there already - seeing my friends, hugging my niece and nephew, talking to my family - oh, and eating a good meal! My mouth waters when I smell somebody grilling at the complex...mmmm....

As much frustration that comes of these 'stirred' up feelings, I know it's all good and the reward will be great!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday to you,
Happy Birthday to you,
Happy Birthday dear Windy Lindy,
Happy Birthday to you! :)

I hope you have a great birthday, mom! Too bad I can't be there to split a tasty treat from DQ with you...I love you bunches and will see you in a few weeks! WEE HOO!

Again, happy birthday!

How funny (and fitting) is this picture? Isn't the frosting supposed to be 'drizzled'? Bwaaa ha ha ha!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Happy Mother's Day...take two...

Happy Mother's Day, Hot Mama!

I would do (just about) anything to be with you to celebrate today! At least I'll be with you soon and you know I'm always thinking of you :)

A year has gone by and you've done nothing but shown your continual support, love, and affirmation in all that has been thrown my way while we've been apart. Thank you for sharing my tears, laughter, and stories over the phone, email, and through cards and letters.

I could never have asked for a better mom - you have given advice, counsel, and heartfelt understanding in ways that I wonder if I could do in return... you are an inspiration, a role model, a caregiver, and comedian... you are my true Frother :)

You are the perfect example of what sort of mother, wife, and woman that I want to be - you are the backbone of the family, you have faithfulness that will be rewarded, and an outpouring of love towards every person you meet.

As I have watched you over the years, I see so much of Grandma Ar in you and a smile comes to my face (like right now)! What a true embodiment of how love radiates in a humanly form... the stories that you tell of her and the 14 years of memories that I've kept of my own, show how you have continued her legacy of sorts... thank you for being a great example!

I hope you have a great day, mom, and always know that you're on my heart and being loved and thought about daily! Happy Mother's Day - I heart You

Your Sweet Baboo

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Girl Time

This past weekend was such great 'girl time' with an old friend from home - ahh...good times :)

Kelli flew in on Friday afternoon to San Francisco and drove over to my place to meet up and hang out with me for the weekend. We had such a great time together and I began to remember why I have always liked her - she is caring, she is a great listener, she is super intelligent, funny, loving, and just easy to get along with... I loved hearing stories about her kids, husband, and her life in general.

We 'met' when we were 3 years old when her grandpa and grandma lived next door to me. (If you remember me talking about Lyle and Kate in previous blogs, this is their granddaughter). I loved it when I would see their 'hot' van pull into the driveway because I knew that we would get to play outside - even though mom and dad would have to 'remind' me that she was there to see her grandma and grandpa and not ME - after all, we did get to see each other at school every day!

The afternoon started off with lots of chatting, reminiscing, and laughing followed by supper at my favorite place across the street - it was a celebration of sorts, so a pazookie was in order! Great food and great company, who can beat that?

She had spent 40 hours awake by the time we decided to call it a night and head to bed! I don't know how she did it... maybe it's because she's a mom and can easily run on fumes, I don't know? :)

Saturday we decided to head down south to a couple wineries (even though we don't drink wine) and scope out a few places - it was beautiful weather and so nice to be outside enjoying the sun with one another. We had a bite to eat and headed off to another winery before heading back up to my place and relax for a while. The drive was really scenic and peaceful (even though she thinks I ran over a rattlesnake on the road) and it was such a nice backdrop for a day of friendship. I could have stayed there for hours...

That night, my friend Jason came over to go out for supper with us and then head to the drive in movies to see Baby Mama...(Woo WOO!). I think she had the excitement that I did when I first went there, but I don't want to speak for her - I still get excited going there! Once he dropped us off, we stayed up until 1am talking some more (I mean seriously, what more can we talk about?!)

Sunday morning we headed off to church and it was so much fun to be able to share my church home with her. On our way out she said, "How can people know that this place is here and not want to attend?" I thought the sermon was great and the music was all acapella that day... something they have never done before. And just for the record, her singing did not sound like a dead jellybean ;) ha ha ha... (I believe I told her than at a very, very young age in music class!)

After church, we headed downtown to Old Sac for some souvenirs for her kids and look around at the sights. There was a Cinco de Mayo celebration going on that was fun to watch, but I think our day was catching up to us and we decided to head out. However, we had to wait 40 minutes just to get out of the parking ramp (well, if you ask her, it was an hour and a half!) and by then, my nerves were just about shot! We headed back here and grabbed a bite to eat and then she started the sad process or repacking so she could head home in the morning. Boo.

Monday morning was the day I was dreading because I knew my little apartment would be empty again - I miss the smell of her perfume, her hugs, her laugh, and just having a best friend to share my time.

Kelli, thanks so much for taking time out of your busy schedule to come see me, comfort me, and love me. Thanks to your husband for taking care of the three little ones and home and knowing when a friend was in need - I appreciate you more than you know or more than words will be able to express. I love you and thank you so much! I'll see you next month, my 30 year friend :)