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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Walking to & fro

It's Wednesday.  I've made it through another three days of work...without a single tear, I might add!  And I'm enjoying the data entry work.  It's peaceful.  I get lost in my own thoughts...the music I'm listening to.  We're allowed to wear headphones & listen to internet radio.  So I've tuned into the Glee station on Pandora.  (For those of you that don't know, in Pandora you pick an artist or genre & Pandora selects music you may like).  I must say, I love it!  It's not all Glee.  It's filled with the original versions of the Glee songs, show tunes, and stuff that sounds like it might be on Glee.   I also have a Vampire Weekend station (love them!) and Gin Blossoms (love them, too!).  It makes the day go by very nicely.  I may have to see if I can listen to books on Kendall's Nook...I think I can handle only so much music...or maybe I'll listen to motivational speakers...who knows?

It's still been a huge adjustment, this getting used to working a regular job.  My stress release has been walking.  And I've been very consistent again.  I find it to be a huge release, both physically & mentally.  I've been walking a mile on my morning & afternoon breaks & trying to walk at lunch.  Then I come home & walk Maggie a couple of miles.  Plus there are the walks a couple of times a week with Audra.  Couldn't do without those!  I've even been doing the dvd's now & again.  It appears I cannot drag my ass out of bed early enough to do them before work.  So I try to do it after I walk Maggie.  My husband has even started doing them when he gets home.  (They're really very good).  One would think that all this walking, exercising & healthy eating (with the exception of tonight) would result in the pounds I gained since I sold the store just melting away.  One would be wrong.  But I'm not giving up. 

As I sit here & type this I am feeling somewhat guilty for not doing the Year in Review class for the store yet.  I am so tired in the evenings, it's a wonder I'm not asleep by 7 pm.  (after all that walking!) I have the photos.  I have the papers & embellishments.  And this weekend I will have the pages done.  Promise.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Fisher Point

It's no secret, I love hiking.  And I especially love hiking to Fisher Point.  Mostly it's because you really only have to drive a few miles to get to the starting point.  (And with Fisher Point, there are a great many starting points, which is so cool!).  Today we went via the Sandy's Canyon Trail.  I think most of Flagstaff thought that the trails were still covered in snow...at noon when we started, we saw hardly a soul.  It was really nice!
That's my silly husband at the top of Fisher Point.  He likes to kid around like that...freaks me out!  The route we took today was about 7 miles round trip.  The way Audra & I like to go is 10 miles.  And my friend Kim & I go a route that is about 5 miles.  Like I said, it's cool to be able to go so many routes.
That's my dog Maggie on the left, and my mom's dog, Teaka on the right.  Maggie loves to hike!  Teaka liked the idea of it, but was exhausted when we were halfway through.

One of the things I love about hiking is being outside.  I love the outdoors.  And for some reason, over the past few months my love & appreciation of the outdoors has intensified.  It's like I need to be outside to be able to breathe.  The Peaks were so beautiful the other morning that I burst into tears.  What's up with that?  Maybe I'm pre-menopausal, I don't know, but damn, the sight took my breath away!  Wish I would have had a camera with me!

Anyway, we're hoping to tackle a hike once every weekend.  This weekend we happened to hike Fat Man's Loop on Saturday (it sounds like it's not hard...but it is!) and then the hike today. The reason we're slacking off & not doing two hikes is that Don just had his shift put back to normal & for the first time since August he'll be working days again....woohoo!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Touch & Go

This week was the first week of my new job.  The first three days it was touch & go.  I went to work & was fine, but when I left?  So NOT fine.  Cried my eyes out, actually.  It's not the job.  I think I'm finally realizing that while I had felt like I had no freedom with the store & that it was smothering me, I had control.  Does that sound weird?  I mean, I couldn't control who came in & who didn't (damn it, don't I wish I had that kind of power!).  But I was in charge.  The decisions were mine.  I got to wear what I wanted...what was comfortable.  And I was working for me. 

Now?  Well, I have this really strict dress code, yet the only people we see are other employees.  Business casual for what amounts to data entry?  Are you kidding me?  The other employees are all really nice, but honestly, they're there for the benefits.  It's one of the reasons I flipped out the first three days.  Many of the employees that I met have only been there 2, 4, 6 months.  Out of about 30, there were maybe five or six who have been there over two years.  That's a huge turnover.  I'm not a turnover kinda girl.  I stick it out...until I get so fed up that I cannot stand it anymore.  That seems to happen around eight years.  Not months.

Friday, though, was awesome.  I finally got to try out a part of what my job will be.  And though it's data entry & you're sitting there thinking you'd rather pull your eyeballs out with toothpicks, I actually really enjoyed it.   It's a good start, right?  And it made such an improvement on my attitude to like what I was doing...whew!  It was touch & go for a few days, but you know what?  I'm gonna do just fine.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Working Out

My sister in law, Brenda, turned me on to the Biggest Loser workout dvd's.  She was telling me how fabulous they were & said we were going to do it every day while I was in San Antonio (um, does one day count?)  We did this one:
And let me tell you, my thighs burned the next day.  There is some serious lunging in the Power Sculpt dvd.  For the record, I think very unflattering thoughts of workout dvd's....lame comes to mind.  This dvd was a great workout!  Lots of functional moves.  Now you have to realize, I only did one workout & the dvd contains a bunch.  Look out!  Actually, it was so good that I was inspired to use Kendall's nook & order three more dvd's at amazon.com.  Seriously. (they're cheap)

Because I knew the workouts with Brenda were looming, before we left I bought The Last Chance Workout and Bob Harper:  Pure Burn Strength.  Now ask me if I did them.  (nope)

You see, I just bought new clothes.  And I'm not happy about the size (at all).  And I just got back from our family vacation & saw the photos (cringe).  I start a new job tomorrow.  So why not a new exercise program?  Coupled with better eating.  Why not just start everything brand new & give my mind something else to obsess about all night?  What the hell, maybe I should just jump on the scale, too!  I have no idea what the real number is...maybe I don't want to know...

Tonight I thought I'd take The Last Chance Workout for a spin...OMG!  It was HARD!  In a good way, but hard, none the less.  Seems I have a long road ahead of me.  Oh, and I won't be poking fun at workout dvd's again.  Are you kidding me?  Now the dilemma is do I try the Bob Harper one tomorrow?  Can I handle it?

The Alamo

We really had a great time in San Antonio!  Not too many touristy things, which is fine by me.  The one really touristy thing we did was visit the Alamo.  I don't know if I've just matured or if history is just starting to mean something to me, but I was very affected by it & found myself wanting to know more.  Even though I had been there before (about 12 years ago), I didn't realize that what we call the Alamo was just a building in the Alamo.  And a tiny one at that.  The Alamo was actually a compound.  We hung around & listened to a story teller explain some of the Alamo's history & we wandered around the grounds.  There were so many people there (being spring break & all) that I left feeling like I missed something.  A few days later we ended up watching the John Wayne version of the Alamo & I kinda pieced it together.  What a sad, sad event. 
We also walked along the River Walk.  That I do remember.  It's beautiful down there!  We ate at The County Line & I had the best pork ribs & black eyed peas ever. 
Kendall's favorite photo.  The girl who used to shy away from the camera kinda enjoys it now.  Nice change!

This post wouldn't be complete without a photo of our adorable new great nephew, Jaxson:
Not the best photo...I forgot how fast babies move...dang!  He's our niece Aimee's son.  We spent a lot of time with him this week.  Kendall says he adores her.  It's true, too!

Many more things to tell you about, but I have just a few hours left of my time off & well, I'm on to other things!  Have a beautiful day!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Almost back to normal...

Here we are at the end of spring break.  How did it end so quickly? I'm starting my new job on Monday & while I'm excited, I'm also profoundly sad to be giving up this much needed rest.  I asked the universe to give me a month off between the store & whatever new job I got.   I got exactly what I asked for (why didn't I ask for 2 months?) I can't really explain the feeling to you other than to say I feel like I've missed out on so much with my family...both near & far.  Hoping I can make up for that with this new job...I mean seriously,  its only 40 hours a week...that's a nice change. 

We had a great time in San Antonio.  I hope to visit again soon.  Its beautiful there.  It was nice to have time to spend with my sister in law...we don't see eye to eye on a great many things, but this is the first time I've felt ok about that.  We got to snuggle with our new great nephew who is just three months old.  And we got to see our niece who has been struggling to find herself for the past couple of years.  Seems having a baby has changed her path & we're so happy for her.  I didn't want to go...but I'm so happy I did. 

We're driving up from Phoenix as I type...gotta love technology!  I've finished skimming my Google reader...caught up on Facebook...Twitter,  too.  I'm wondering if I can get my husband on board with no directv,  like Rachel (nice thought but I suspect that's a pipe dream).  Wondering about what I learned in my Dave Ramsey FPU class & getting gazelle intense (gotta do he budget now that the trip is over...shoulda done it before the trip, but then there wouldn't have been one).  Wondering about my taxes since my accountant has seemed to blow me off.  And wondering if changing altitude can actually explode your brain because I'm fairly certain thats what's happening...dang my ears hurt.  So many things are going through my mind I can hardly keep up.

Photos & San Antonio tidbits coming soon!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

San Antonio or bust!

Finally....a family vacation!  We have not gone on a family vacation together since 2007.  That's the year we went to Disneyland...so much fun!   I did go to Oregon in 2009 for a long weekend...Don & I went to Colorado for two days in 2010...that's it.  Sounds kinda pathetic,  but that's what happens when you own your own business.  And its one of the many reasons selling the store was the right move for my family.

So we find ourselves on spring break headed to San Antonio to see Ron & Brenda (Don's brother & sister in law).  We're pretty excited!   Kendall has been there to visit them but this is our first time.  Kendall loves San Antonio...she adores her aunt & uncle...she's been begging for us to go visit them for a while.  So here we are, on our way...

Now to be totally honest, I didn't want to go.  I didn't want to spend the money on a ticket for me.  I didn't finish my immense to do list of everything I needed to accomplish before I start my new job.  And honestly, I was looking forward to some time alone.  So the past three days I have behaved pretty badly.  My husband refused to go on the trip without me, forcing me to go.  I've been taking it out on him...every little thing he's done the past couple of days has pissed me off.  Everything.   As I type this I'm thinking that an apology is in order.  I'm also finding myself more & more excited to go.  To do list be damned.  We'll have a great time (once I get over myself).  Vacations are fun,  right?  

I love my in-laws & we'll get to meet our new great nephew Jaxson.  Hopefully we'll see some touristy things & do lots of relaxing.  Take some photos. And not let that to do list nag at me...

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Shopping for Clothes

Thanks to suggestions by some of my Facebook friends I headed down to the Valley yesterday to shop for some new work clothes.  I enlisted my cousin for help & we tackled some shops at Scottsdale Fashion Square.  I have to say, this was the best shopping trip I've ever had!  Why?  Because the sales clerks were SO helpful!  I told them what I was looking for & they pulled all sorts of clothes for me to try on.  Seriously, I've never experienced anything like that! 

I tried on a whole bunch (and I mean a whole BUNCH!) of stuff at Anthropologie.  I think that what I like about Anthropologie is their eclectic taste in books, dishes & linens.  The clothes are just not for me.  Didn't buy a thing.

I had my first success at White House/Black Market, much to my surprise.  I thought I couldn't afford anything in there & had never once even been in the door.  I ended up with a beautiful skirt & a matching sweater.  Love, love, love the skirt!

(photo from White House Black Market)  Here's the sweater:

(photo from White House Black Market)

As suggested, I tried Banana Republic & found a shirt I adore.  The pants there?  Um, no.  I mean they were ok, but they didn't have much of a size selection & told me repeatedly that I'd need to order others online.  Nothing like making a girl feel fat.  So just the shirt came home.
(photo from Banana Republic)
I tried other stores...without much luck.  I've put on a few pounds since I sold my store & even on the best of days I end up beating myself up over my size.  Try spending a whole day trying on hundreds of items of clothing.  It was tough.  I tried really hard not to go down that road.  And mostly I was successful.  My cousin helped.  This just wasn't a size I hoped to ever see again....sigh, life goes on.

I tried on the best pants ever at Ann Taylor.  LOVED them.  Each & every pair was dry clean only.  I am morally opposed to dry cleaning.  I think it's a waste of money.  The chemicals are bad for the environment.  Don't even get me started.  I know, there are some things you just have to dry clean, I just didn't want to own any of them.  As a side note, not one thing I purchased was dry clean.  Woo hoo!  So Ann Taylor was a bust.

With no minutes to spare (we had to pick up Jen's kids) we ventured into Talbots.  Another store I never considered shopping at.  Audra told me I should give them a chance, and since she knows all things fashion, that's where I went.  And I hit the mother load!  They were having a great sale ($20 off every pair of pants!) and the sales clerk was so helpful!  She brought me a ton of stuff to try on.  I tried stuff on so quickly that it should be an olympic sport.  I ended up with one clearance shirt ($13...the score of the day!) four pairs of work pants & one pair of just because I loved them pants.   Had we had more time, I likely would have pared it down to just one or two pairs.  But I'm not sad that I have such fabulous pants to wear now (well, a little sad...).
(photo from Talbots) Got them in mink & navy. 


I can't copy the picture for these, but got them too.  And the fun pair here.

Ohhh...I found some shoes at the Nordstrom Rack store this morning:
(photo from Zappos.com)

Sofft shoes are always super comfy & cheaper than what you'll see on the link (by a LOT).

(photo from Zappos.com)

These Naya shoes are so soft!  They are padded on the inside like the Sofft shoes.  The heel is nice & low & again, they were WAY cheaper at Nordstrom Rack than on this link (by $80!).  And they're so cute!

Other than a few shirts from here & there (H&M, Macy's) that about sums it up.  I spent a fortune & I had HUGE buyers remorse all last night.  As a matter of fact, I wanted to take it all back this morning, much to my husband & cousin's grave dismay.  (I took back almost everything I had bought in Flagstaff).  But I seriously had nothing to wear to work...nothing appropriate.  I feel really, really guilty about it.  I'll get over it....but damn.  I think the clothes are all dressy enough for business casual...or even just business...& can also go casual if the office is more informal.  They are practical, good quality clothes.  And I'm gonna look so good in them! 

And to thank my four readers for reading all the way to the bottom, I'll share an embarrassing story with you.  This morning I was leaving Macy's after returning a pair of shoes that I didn't love & I held the door open for a lady with her hands full.  I walked out in front of her & she said, "Excuse me, ma'am, I don't mean to offend you if this is your style, but did you know your dress is on inside out?"  Um, no, no I did not.  I damn near died...

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Fashion

Fashion has always been an issue for me.  I have no fashion sense.  Not ever in my life.  It is difficult & almost painful to shop for clothes.  I don't know how to accessorize.  I don't know how to make an outfit cute.  It was a little easier being at the shop because I could just wear whatever I grabbed out of my closet.  Didn't really matter what it looked like.  Well, it probably did, but I didn't care.  Now I'm starting a new job & what I have is a closet full of old, ill fitting clothes.

I've done a little shopping for this new job...it's business casual.  Unfortunately, I'll be taking back most of what I purchased today.  I bought Dansko shoes like these:
And I bought a pair like these, too:
Kendall insisted that these go back.  Both pairs.

So why the ugly, practical shoes?  Because my feet hurt all the time.  I cannot wear heels.  I have had plantar fascitis off and on for the past six or seven years.  Then there's that breaking my foot episode last year...and in 2006 I fractured my right ankle.  Coupled with my size 10 (or even 11) feet, I just can't wear heels.  Every pair of Born's I tried on yesterday didn't fit.  (And I've worn Born's for years.)  But don't worry.  Practicality took over.  I cannot spend this kind of money on shoes that are that ugly...even if they are practical.

I bought this dress at Kohl's on Sunday.  Kendall hated it.  It's going back.

I also bought some dresses from Target.  I bought this one in black (big shock) and this one in black (again big shock).  Why these dresses?  Because I saw the first one on the Already Pretty website & she looked so cute!  But as I discovered last night, you can't just throw on a dress & look good.  You need to accessorize...and that my friends, is where I fail.  I did buy this sweater, too (in black), thinking that you always need a black cardigan.  I did score some cute tights at Dillards for $1.99 a pair.  I bought 3 pairs for myself & 1 pair for Kendall.

Bright colors...to brighten up all that black.  And $1.99?  Had to have them.

I posted on Facebook where should I go to look for clothes that are business casual & just about everyone said Banana Republic.  That's fine when you're tiny & petite...that is not me.  I tried on clothes at the outlet store in Anthem a month ago & it almost made me cry.  I'm thinking about going to Phoenix tomorrow & walking into Nordstroms & asking someone to please help me find something appropriate.  Something cute.  Something that makes me feel like I am not lame at dressing myself.

I'm drawn to Mod ClothAnthropologieAthleta.  How does one put together a wardrobe that is practical, affordable, flattering & stylish?  How does one find their own style?  This is so frustrating...

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Scrapbooking, again...

I'm teaching a class at my former store March 12th called Year in Review.  Each month we use photos from the previous month to create a two page layout.  If you take all 12 classes, you end up with an album that at least has a representation of the past year, even if you don't scrap another photo.  Here's my layout:


I am awful about taking photos January through April...every year.  At least I'm consistent!  I had plenty of snow photos from our sledding trip, but the paper was ordered before it snowed & this just did not work with it.  Go figure...  So all of my photos are from Audra's birthday party at the bowling alley.  We had such a good time!  Everyone needs to bowl now & again!

I enjoy teaching this class.  It's a way for me to keep in touch with customers that I've come to enjoy.  It's an hour and a half of catching up, scrappin' & just having a good time.  And you get to use some pretty cool product...in this case, Union Square from My Mind's Eye.  It's all glittery & sparkly...love it!

Already Pretty

Audra introduced me to this blog called Already Pretty.  It's a gal who takes a photo of what she wears everyday & posts it.  There are links to what she's wearing in case you'd like to purchase some part of it.  She's also a body image consultant & stylist.  The best part?  She's a real person.  Has concerns just like you & me.  She's normal sized (an 8, I think...although that's not been my norm for a few years...) & she dresses cute.  Already there are many things on my wish list that I just have to have.  (These boots are at the top of that list, you know, when I win the lottery...)

So what's the point of me telling you this?  Well, today she did a post that really resonated with me.  And I think you'll like it, too.  Here's the link...enjoy!

Scrapbooking

I haven't been doing much scrapbooking since I sold the store.  Mostly I've been catching up on stuff at home.  And that dreaded photo project is still hanging around...although I got through 3 more boxes today!  Woohoo!  (Only 1 box of negatives, 1 box of completely random photos...most of which are pre-marriage...some miscellaneous scrapbook pages that are waiting on protectors...and that last dreaded box filled with who knows what.)  So when Anna asked me to do a make-n-take for the JLB Project Scrapbook Fundraiser, I hesitated.  Actually, I hesitated for weeks.    Did I want to be involved with store stuff?  Ultimately, yes I did want to help.  I may even volunteer with Anna's organization.  So here's the page I did for the fundraiser:
I'm all about simple pages nowadays.  I would like to make masterpieces that take hours per page, but the reality is, it's not going to happen.  The photos on the page were taken with my Fuji Instax Mini camera, which I adore.  It's funny...I had put it away & hadn't used it in a while...but I do love it!  The film runs around $1 per shot, but it's so worth it!  (The tulips are leftover from the fundraiser...aren't they lovely?)  It was fun to teach the page!  It was even better to feel no responsibility...no need to rush back to the store!  It was great to just be a participant!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

To Do Lists

Do you make To Do Lists?  I find myself making more & more of them lately.  I just discovered the Tasks option on Gmail & it is quite satisfying to check off.  I can even email it to myself...how cool is that?  It's the little things that keep me happy :)  Here's what my current task list looks like (in no particular order):
  • Organize Craft Room
  • Reprint & re-organize recipe binder
  • Purchase sheet protectors for recipe binder
  • Clean guest room (dust, purge, change the sheets, change the comforter)
  • Clean our bedroom (dust, purge, change the sheets)
  • Get the cobwebs out of Kendall's room
  • Clean the upstairs bathroom
  • Clean the downstairs bathroom
  • Clean out the downstairs closet
  • Clean out the coat closet
  • Paint the living room (trying a gray)
  • Clean out the kitchen cabinets & purge
  • Purge the spice cabinet
  • Order Snow photos from sledding
  • Pack for Saturday's Crop
  • Talk to my dad about the bathroom tile downstairs
  • Menu Plan & make a grocery list
  • Post more sledding photos on blog
  • Figure out a reasonable workout schedule for when I start my new job & a schedule of daily chores
  • wash mini
  • wash kendalls truck
  • vacume the pathfinder
  • clean garage
  • year in review page for krista
  • Purchase 12x12 & 6x12 sheet protectors
  • Finish photo sorting project
  • Pack for San Antonio
  • Purge my closet & dresser
  • Buy new underware
  • Excercise every day
I have a lot of things I'd like to accomplish before I start my new job.  I've been putting things off for years because I was working so much.  I'm trying to cram as much into the next two weeks as I possibly can.  That includes reading again (I stayed up til 2:30 am the other night to read an entire smut book...it was pretty good, too!).  Hanging with my family.  Doing the chores that I want done.  Being present.   And drinking a little wine...off to buy a bottle (and a dish drainer) now.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Busy

I have so many photos I want to post for you.  Images like this one...

But I've been a little busy.  You see, last week I decided to finally tackle that nasty photo project of mine.  The one where I had boxes & boxes of photos & memorabilia stacked up all over my craft room floor.  I'd been putting off dealing with it for a few years.  Ever since I switched all of my albums over to the ring albums with the 4x6 photo protectors.  I did most of it, but I worked on it for a huge amount of time & burned out before I finished.  I made myself actually clean my craft room before I started again & that was another bump in the road.  It was relatively clean before I sold the store, well, there was that pile of photos & memorabilia, but still....  Then I brought home pages & photos that I'd been storing at the store.  So I moved the pile for this project into the family room.  Here's what it looked like (this is a photo from my phone...not the best):
You're probably thinking that this doesn't look like much of a mess...ah, but it was!  There are at least 9 photo boxes filled with photos & memorabilia, two enormous boxes of scrapbook pages, two boxes filled with photo cd's, and one huge tub filled with who knows what.

So I took a great deal of this with me to the JLB crop on Saturday.  At one point I was so overwhelmed I grabbed a cocktail (Cosmopolitan) & just stared at the mess:
What did I accomplish?  Well, I ended up throwing away a huge bag filled with photos at the crop.  On Sunday when I worked on it some more at home, I threw away another huge bag filled with photos.  Made me sick.  They were duplicates, mostly.  I cannot believe that I wasted so much money processing all those photos only to throw them away.  Sigh...

I also managed to merge in a bunch of photos that were not duplicates into my albums.  And I merged in almost all of the scrapbook pages.  I didn't get them all in because I ran out of page protectors.  I'll have to get some more of those soon!

What do I have left, you might ask?  
  • I have a photo box filled with negatives that need to be put in negative sleeves (which I am out of) & put into the 3 ring binders that I use to store them.
  • I have a box of photos from the 1990's that I either need to merge into my scrapbooks or toss.
  • I have that HUGE tote filled with who knows what that I need to go through.  I know there's some important stuff in there...I accidentally found my social security card in there one time...
  • I have a few more pages to merge into the scrapbooks once I get more protectors.
And you know what?  I am never, ever again printing a duplicate photo!  When I process my photos, they are going directly into an album when I get them.  No more storing this stuff forever.  And something sad that I realized, I don't remember a lot of what was happening in the photos & most of the journaling I put off.  So from now on, I'm going to journal about the photos I take, whether it be here on my blog or in a notebook so I don't forget.  

Did I mention that I'm going to have this done before I start my new job on the 21st?  Oh, and that now I've added in transferring old video of Kendall to something we can actually view to my to do list.  That was a job I assigned to my husband years ago & it never got done.  I have no idea how to do it & thank heavens there's not much to do.  This trying to catch up with everything I've been putting off is exhausting!