Wednesday, December 31, 2008

2008 in review

2008 was a year of new beginnings for Jon and I. It was a good year. That's not to say that we didn't have our obstacles to overcome or hurdles to jump, but overall - it really was a great year and we are looking forward to whatever 2009 has to bring us (like, I don't know, our wedding!!!)

In 2008:
~we got engaged
~we bought a house
~we watched my best friend get married while I stood by her side as a bridesmaid
~we spent Spring Break / St. Patrick's Day in San Diego with Ryan
~we celebrated our 28th birthday's
~we spent countless hours at numerous game nights with our nearest and dearest friends
~we had an amazing engagement party thrown for us
~we started planning our wedding (aka - the biggest party of our lives)
~we overcame obstacles (Jon receiving a pink slip and then waiting to find out if he would get rehired & struggles at my job that had me temporarily searching for other employment)
~we ran numerous charity 5k's and I consistently broke my personal records
~we made lifestyle changes to our diet and exercise, which led to Jon loosing over 40lbs and me loosing almost 20lbs & both of us being healthier and happier
~I became a runner :) and enjoyed it every step of the way (well, almost every step)
~we celebrated Halloween, Thanksgiving & Christmas in our new home
~and together we continue to make plans for our future together :)

Tuesday, December 30, 2008


Yesterday was our 1st 4.15 mile run (read: run/walk - yep, I still walk just as much as I run, but I'm okay with that - I've made peace with the fact that I'll probably never be a marathon runner, but I might be a marathon run/walker someday - or at least a 1/2 marathon run/walker). Anyways, back to the run. We talked about increasing our mileage in January but I mapped out a 4 mile loop in our neighborhood yesterday so we went ahead and did it. It wasn't that bad but I walked a lot because we hadn't ran in a week. I got off work yesterday early (because i had to go in early) and the husband-to-be is still on vacation (lucky teacher dude) so we headed out for our 4 miler around 1pm. It was pretty warm yesterday - well, warmer than it has been (I think it was in the upper 50's or low 60's) and the sun was beaming down on us so I got a little hot, but other than that (and my damn hip hurting, again) the run was overall pretty good. I'm looking forward to this new 4 mile loop - and to running it again today after work :)

Monday, December 29, 2008

We survived!

The holiday season is almost over AND we survived!

I make it sound like it was painful. It definitely wasn't. It was so nice to spend some time with our families ... and each other (since I was on vacation, too).

Originally (when we first purchased our new home) we had grand plans for painting and working around the house over our Christmas vacation ... but as the holiday got closer we realized that we had way too much going on and not enough money to make those dreams a reality. Instead we spent our time with our families and tried to relax as much as possible. We also spent some time working on and finishing our wedding invitations. Running got pushed aside ... as did eating sensibly ... and I'm dreading our weigh-in this afternoon ... but today is a new day, this week is a new week, and its almost a new year ... lot's of new beginnings are on the horizon!

We'll be spending New Years with my cousin and her boyfriend down in the Santa Barbara area ... and after the new year we'll be focusing on preparing for our wedding!

Friday, December 26, 2008

100 things for my 100th post

***Update - a friend just pointed out that there's a duplicate listed below - she said #26 & #92 and when I went to check it out I noticed that my numbers were off, too! So, I fixed the number sequence and now I have 111 things for my 100th post! See if you can find the duplicates!

Some interesting (or not so interesting) facts about me that you may (or may not) know

1. I’m 5’1” inches tall ... my husband to be is 6’6” tall

2. I was born and raised in Oroville, California

3. I love the ocean, but I never go in it

4. I have one brother, who is 8 years older than me

5. My parents are divorced, and both remarried

6. I graduated from CSUS in 2005

7. I did not want to go to college, but I did anyway

8. It took me 7 years and 4 different schools to graduate

9. I did not walk with my high school class on graduation day

10. I lived in Berkeley for 4 years

11. Since I was 17 and moved out of my parent’s house, I have moved 10 times

12. I love The River City (aka, Sacramento) and miss living downtown

13. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday

14. I have a love/hate relationship with Halloween

15. I always decorate for Christmas on December 1st

16. I’m an organizer and a to-do list maker

17. I love cooking and baking – it soothes my soul

18. I have an excellent memory for mundane information

19. But I often block out memories from my past and have to dig deep to conjure them up

20. I hate scary movies but I love to watch them

21. I am very, very passionate about a lot of things

22. I love taking and looking at photos – I usually carry my camera every where I go

23. The only things I miss about working in a brew pub is the beer, the brew fests, the friends, and the money

24. I have been to Vegas three amazing times and I want to go again, and again, and again

25. Until I met Jon my music knowledge was very limited

26. I hate spiders

27. I love my last name and refuse to loose it when I get married, so instead I will have four names

28. I love food

29. I want to love to run so I run as much as possible and my love for it is growing more and more

30. I want to run a ½ marathon

31. When I (we) have kids, I wish to be a stay at home mom

32. I want to go back to school so I can take the classes need to work with small children (like in a daycare or preschool or kindergarten)

33. I stopped drinking soda in February of this year

34. I often crave Sprite so instead I drink carbonated flavored water (lemon lime flavor)

35. I try not to eat ground beef – its makes me physically feel ill

36. I eat a raw lunch (all veggies and fruit) everyday at work

37. My favorite color changes, but not too often – currently its red (one of our wedding colors)

38. I believe in miracles, fate, luck, and LOVE

39. I look and act just like my mom

40. My niece has my eyes

41. My nephew was born when I was 9 years old – he turned 19 this year!

42. My towels have to be folded a certain way

43. I’m only a perfectionist sometimes

44. I hate shopping alone

45. I have a growing fear of malls

46. I like talking on the phone – mostly when I’m driving (yes, I have a new hands free device)

47. I (we) have two cats – Lucky and Layla

48. We also want two dogs (eventually) now that we own a home

49. I love to read

50. Sometimes I’m selfish – and I think that’s okay

51. I have four tattoos – and yes, my Polish flag is upside down – its okay – I’m Polish

52. I have a mean jealous streak

53. I am a Scorpio – and I have every single Scorpio tendency

54. I sleep with two pillows to ward off migraines, neck pain and heart burn

55. I have chronic migraines – they are stress related

56. I have chronic neck and back pain – from a car accident I was in when I was 15 years old

57. I have Acid Reflux Disease and asthma

58. I didn’t get asthma until I quit smoking cigarettes (on September 1, 2005)

59. I drive a VW Jetta – it’s a VR6 – and yes, I use premium gas – even when it cost almost $5 a gallon over the summer!!!

60. I love beer ... but I use to hate it

61. A dry, vodka martini, extra dirty is my favorite drink

62. I love watching baseball live – but it bores me to watch it on TV

63. I’m a Yankee fan – and no, I’m not on any bandwagon

64. My dad was born and raised in upstate NY

65. My mom was born and raised in Eureka, CA

66. I will always be a California Girl and plan on never leaving this wonderful state

67. I love the rain

68. But, I hate thunder and lightning

59. I love the snow

70. But, I hate driving in it

71. South Lake Tahoe and Monterey are two of my most favorite places

72. I love hiking, but we don’t do it often enough

73. I use to hate red wine – but now I hate white wine instead

74. I love game nights and hanging out with friends

75. I love that my friends are like family

76. The fall and spring times are my favorite season

77. I like the feel of the cool crisp fall air and the warm spring breezes

78. I see the glass as half full almost always

79. But I also easily get discouraged and have to remind myself to think positively and remain optimistic

80. I watch a lot of TV and thankfully we have two DVR to record all my programs when I’m too busy to stay caught up

81. I love music, almost all kinds, and song lyrics often stir up strong emotions in me

82. I love to watch chick flicks and feel-good movies, both of which most often make me cry

83. I am a very emotional person, and sometimes even a sappy commercial can make me cry

84. Every time I cross the finish line at a 5k I’m amazed that I actually completed it because often I feel like I’ll never make it to the end and even when I am racing against the clock to improve my time, at the end all that matters to me is that I finished

85. I love the fog and after 6 years of living in the River City, the only thing I continue to miss about Berkeley is the fog

86. I love watching the sunset into the ocean – it’s make me feel peaceful inside

87. I love designer handbags (Coach is my fav) and jewelry (Tiffany’s to be exact)

88. I wish I was more creative

89. I love to paint, even though I’m not very good at it

90. My oldest cat, Lucky, purrs louder than any other cat I’ve ever heard

91. My youngest cat, Layla, likes to open the closet doors with her claws and sleep on the blankets

92. We recently purchased our first house and we are very excited to make it our home

93. I prefer to read love novels, and I prefer only to read a particular author

94. I read every day on my lunch break

95. My favorite movies are: The Sound of Music and 10 Things I Hate About You

96. My favorite song is “The Way You Look Tonight” by Frank Sinatra and I’m very much looking forward to dancing with my dad to this song at my wedding

97. I have been to more concerts in the past 3 ½ years with Jon than during the entire 24 ½ years before I knew him

98. My favorite artists are: Jack Johnson and The Killers

99. When I was two years old I was bit in the face by a Austrian Shephard dog and had to have reconstructive surgery on the tear duct of my eye – there are no scars and I don’t remember the incident at all

100. When I 15 years old I ditched high school for the first time with 3 other friends and we ended up getting into a car accident – we hit a tree head on at 50-60 mph – everyone was okay and we are lucky we all walked away

101. I did not walk with my high school glass on graduation day, I graduated early because I was on the home school program and I was already living in Berkeley by the time graduation rolled around

102. Walking with my graduating class at CSUS was a very big accomplishment for me

103. My favorite color changes, currently its red (one of our wedding colors)

104. I love sleeping in but at the same time I hate it because I feel like I am wasting my day

105. I wake up at 4:45am 5 days a week to get ready for work and even though that is very early in the morning, I wouldn’t trade my work schedule for anything because I get home from work everyday at 3:15pm

106. After our wedding, I want to start focusing on volunteering more and giving back to my community and helping those in need

107. I am very excited about spending 5 days in Maui for our honeymoon (that we just booked recently)

108. Every apartment that I ever lived in I always found something I hated about it after I moved in, I keep waiting for that to happen in our new house BUT I love it so much I can’t find anything wrong with it to hate

109. I never wanted kids until I feel in love with my soul mate and best friend and we started planning our lives together

110. I can’t wait to start a family with the man I love

111. I can’t wait to be Jon’s wife and to share my life with my best friend

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas

My Christmas Wish For You

My Christmas wish for you, my friend
Is not a simple one
For I wish you hope and joy and peace
Days filled with warmth and sun

I wish you love and friendship too
Throughout the coming year
Lots of laughter and happiness
To fill your world with cheer

May you count your blessings, one by one
And when totaled by the lot
May you find all you've been given
To be more than what you sought

May your journeys be short, your burdens light
May your spirit never grow old
May all your clouds have silver linings
And your rainbows pots of gold

I wish this all and so much more
May all your dreams come true
May you have a Merry Christmas friend
And a happy New Year, too

We wish you a merry Christmas :)

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Ready for Christmas at our new home

We're all ready to celebrate Christmas in our new home! We've got the tree decorated (well, 1/2 decorated - with two kitties who L-O-V-E toys, we tend to avoid placing any ornaments on the bottom half of the tree), we've got the lights hanging outside and we are rested and ready for our 4 Christmases (well, 5 really - if you count that Christmas day we spend just the two of us).
Here we are in front of our tree just before we went
to Jon's work Christmas party

Here is our tree, all lite up :)

Lights around our fireplace

Our totally awesome new ornament!!!
I wrote our address for our first home on the back and the year

Here are the lights on the outside of our home ...
and three little pre-lite trees that on our our walkway
up to our front door :)

And us again :)
We don't even need mistletoe!!!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

A Karaoke Exclusive

Last Saturday night we attended Jon's staff Christmas party at a local golf course club house. We had a good buffet dinner and then a fun white elephant gift exchange followed by karaoke. My husband-to-be was badgered (by me, mostly) into getting up there in front of his peers and performing. He picked out and sang "Hey Jude" by The Beatles ... here's a little clip from his performance!


Monday, December 22, 2008


I guess I just realized that I never blogged about our trip to Monterey back at the beginning of the month! The husband-to-be attend a math conference (yuck, math) and I got the chance to hang out and catch up with an old friend ...

We had beautiful weather ... good company ... and a great time!

The view from Big Sur at sunset
With my girl-friend at the Monarch Butterfly Grove (she volunteers there and taught us all about the monarch butterflies)
Jon and on the 17 Mile Drive

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Ba Humbug!

It's a mad house out there! My best friend and I went to a party supply store this morning to get some supplies for my upcoming bridal shower and then we decided to hit up a few other stores, too - and by the time we decided we were calling it a day it was pouring down raining and starting to be a mad house in the shopping center! I don't want to go back out there but I have just a few more gifts I need to get for the husband-to-be and then I'll be done.

I'm not really into the Christmas spirit this year - which I think a lot of people are experiencing. The economy sucks and with the purchase of our home and our upcoming wedding, our budget is stretched pretty tight. Christmas is also a very stressful time of the year for me. Don't get me wrong, I love my family dearly and I enjoy spending time with them - but when you have four sets of parents (both our parents are divorced) it makes things a lot more difficult. We actually plan on going to see the movie Four Christmases either today or tomorrow because we are pretty much convinced that the 2nd half of this upcoming week is going to be very similar.

In other news - it was freezing cold this week! We only did one run. We had a run planned for yesterday morning but I woke up with a migraine (that I still have) and so I laid in bed until I absolutely had to get up and get ready. I struggled with the migraine all morning then it got dull and almost went away for part of the afternoon then returned at the Christmas party we were at last night (for the husband-to-be's work) and I woke up with it still pounding away this morning. Today the pain keeps coming and going in waves ... I just wish it would go away! Ugh. I haven't had a migraine since my birthday. But, like I've mentioned before, even though they are getting less frequent - the intensity is growing with each one. Yesterday the nausea was horrible. Today I'm sensitive to noise.

I think the only up side to this depressing post it that I am on vacation for the next week and I'm looking forward to spending some quality time with my husband-to-be ... we get a nice little break on Christmas Day (when it will be just the two of us and our kitty cats in our new home) and then we start traveling to see all my family. Then I have to go back to work for two days then I am on vacation again and we will be heading down to Santa Barbara to celebrate the New Year with my BFF/cousin and her boyfriend (my college roommate). I can't wait :)

Thursday, December 18, 2008


Every once in a while you'll be dredging along in your day-to-day business, not having a particulary good or bad day, just an average one - and then out of no where BAM! You get hit with something that changes everything. Today I am having a day like that. I'm working along, with a serious case of vacation-itis, trying to get through my average day (nothing too exciting going on here) and then I got hit with a serious BAM! It was a good BAM and heartwarming and it lifted my mood and is carrying me through the day on a cloud of general happiness! My particular BAM that I am speaking of was nothing too exciting, nothing too big, nothing really at all ... except a general feel-good-feeling that made me realize that I am very lucky and blessed to have such wonderful people in my life!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Baked Goodness

Last week at work I organized a Holiday Cookie Swap/Party that we held yesterday. I baked sugar cookies and white chocolate candy cane fudge (peppermint bark). We had quite a turn out of baked goodies and I spent most of the day in a sugar high. I didn't get any pictures of my fudge, but I thought I would post the super easy recipe anyways :)

White Chocolate Candy Cane Fudge (peppermint bark)
1 pkg of Ghiradelli white chocolate chips
1 16oz can of sweetened condensed milk
1 pkg of 12 candy canes

Put all the candy canes in a plastic sandwich and break them up into small pieces. Using a double boiler (or a pot with a glass heat proof bowl - like I use) melt the chocolate and condensed milk. Once melted and creamy and smooth, add the candy cane pieces. Spread into a foiled covered dish, let cool. Once cool, cover with foil and place in the fridge for a couple of hours until hard. Cut into desired pieces. Enjoy!

This recipe is so easy and quick and the results are worth every calorie filled bite :)

Monday, December 15, 2008


I guess I was a little MIA last week. We've entered double digits on the countdown to the wedding and I'm starting to get frantic even though we are right on schedule and I've got everything totally organized and all figured out. Still. I'm frantic. I have the right, right? Sheesh.

Anywho. Last week was okay. We ran a few days. We did all our Christmas shopping in two trips with a few loose ends we finished up on Saturday morning. We also played darts with the best friend and Jon's mom and we had a movie night on Friday with the same before mentioned best friend and we attended two Christmas parties and cleaned the whole house! I guess it was a much busier week than I realized.

This week looks a lot less busy, but more jam packed with wedding stuff. And other random stuff now that I think about it. Like today for example. It was a busy afternoon. I picked my car up at the shop (where its been since last Wednesday) and after I paid almost as much as my mortgage payment to the auto repair shop I drove The Jetta home and then we headed out for a run (which ended up being a great run - I think the freezing cold weather really motivated me tonight) then I made white chocolate candy cane fudge (again - I had made a batch on Saturday to take to a friends Ugly Sweater Holiday Party) and sugar cookies - both of which I am taking as my contribution to the office holiday cookie swap that I organized that we are having tomorrow. We ate dinner and then headed to the office to finish up the wedding invitation printing. We are this close (as I mentioned in my wedding planning blog) but at least the bulk of them are done. The rest of the week is pretty low key. We've got some shopping to do, some presents to wrap, and a few other small wedding projects to work on. And some runs planned. Let's just hope the weather cooperates on that last one.

Sunday, December 7, 2008


I was tagged over at my other blog, 03.21.09!

Thanks, Stefanie!

The rules:
1. Link to the person that tagged you
2. Post the rules on your blog
3. Share six non-important things/habits/quirks about yourself
4. Tag six random people at the end of your post by linking to their blogs
5. Let each random person know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their website.
6. Let your tagger know when your entry is up.

The non-important random facts about me …
1. I'm a list maker. To-do lists. Grocery lists. Meal plan lists. Christmas card lists. Christmas present lists. List of lists to make. Lists of tasks to do. Lists of projects to complete. It goes on and on and on.
2. I did not graduate from a high school in the traditional sense. When I was a junior I dropped out of traditional high school, waited a few months until I was accepted into home school, then finished up all my credits about 3 months before the rest of my graduating class. By the time the graduation ceremony came in June, I was already living in Berkeley, and I chose not to walk with the rest of my class. That of course ended up being one of the only reason I decided to walk with my graduating class from CSUS in 2005 (along with being able to share the moment some great friends I met that semester)!
3. My favorite number is 3. For the longest time I never had a favorite number, but over the years I just kind of adopted 3 as my favorite because it was my best friends favorite number. Now its all over my life. It our wedding date, in our address, always on our weekly lotto picks ... its everywhere!
4. Since I was 17 years old, I have moved 11 times. That's an average of once a year (since I'm now 28) but that average is deceiving. I moved from Oroville to Berkeley (1), from Berkeley back to Oroville (2), Oroville to my first solo apt in Sac when I started CSUS (3), from my first solo apt into a duplex (4), from the duplex back to Oroville with all my belongings in storage someplace in Sac (5), from Oroville to a 4 bedroom house with 4 roommates (6), from the 4 bedroom house with 4 roommates to a 3 bedroom house with 2 roommates (7), from the 3 bedroom house with 2 roommates to the 2 bedroom apt with my official "college" roommate (7), from our 1st apt together (me and "college" roommate) to our 2nd apt together (8), from my 2nd apt with "college" roommate to my 1st apt with husband-to-be in downtown Sac (9), from downtown Sac with husband-to-be to awesome-at-the-time with it's-own-indoor-laundry apt in Elk Grove (10), from awesome-at-the-time turned I-hated-that-apt-at-the-end to our first home (11).
5. We have two cats, Lucky (he turned 10 this year) and Layla (she's just a baby at 2). Lucky is a river cat that I got from calling an ad in the newspaper in Oroville one weekend when I was home visiting from Berkeley. Sadly, Lucky the kitty has moved more times that I have (there were a few instances when I had roommates (moves number 6 & 7) where Lucky moved back and forth from where I was living to my mom's house in Oroville - some of the places just were not good places for a kitty to be). Layla is a SPCA rescue that the husband-to-be and I got together in 2007. She has been a struggle, but we love her dearly. Soon after we brought her home, we discovered that she had a rare kennel disease that usually only affected cows. It was very sad because she was very sick and it was hard on us all. She survived, thankfully - even though the vet said it was untreatable and most likely the medicine would be toxic to her and she would not make it - and a little over $1k and 3-4 weeks later, she was doing great. Those 3-4 weeks were pure hell. H-E-double L.
6. Most of the animals I've had in my life have had names that start with the letter L. I had a cat named Lacey that I got when I was about 11 or 12. When I moved to Berkeley after high school she stayed with my parents, and when my parents got divorced she moved in with my dad. He had to put her down last year, she was getting too old and sick. I miss her. I had a dog named Lily. Again, when I moved to Berkeley she stayed with my parents, and when they got divorced she moved with my mom. She is a beautiful black Lab. My mom still has her. Then I got Lucky the kitty. And now we also have Layla. I'm hoping to keep the L names going, I've even got a few picked out that would be perfect in the future because we hope to get at least two dogs someday, and probably more cats will be in our future, too.

Pretty random facts, I know. But, I'm a pretty random person :)

I'm going to tag:

Saturday, December 6, 2008

In the spirit of the season

Things that I'm thankful for

Jon ~ for being my constant, for accepting my faults and loving me the way I am, for giving me hope when I have none left, for picking me up when I fall, and for teaching me that love is a wonderful, beautiful, amazing thing!
My family ~ I'd be lost without them
My friends ~ I have some of the most amazing friends ever
Lucky & Layla ~ the two best kitties in the whole wide world
My health ~ even if I'm not as healthy (yet) as I want to be
Running ~ even if I walk, a lot
My job ~ especially in this economy
Jon's job ~ being a teacher is tough job, but someone has to do it (I'm glad its not me!)
Our new home ~ because not everyone's dreams can come true
My hope and dreams for the future and knowing that Jon is going to be right by my side :)

Friday, December 5, 2008

I love the ocean

Today we are headed to Monterey for the weekend. Jon is attending a math conference (yuck, math) and I'll be meeting up with an old friend from my slave days as a hostess/server/manager. Monterey is, without a doubt, one of my most favorite places. I'm looking forward to the ocean, the weather, spending time with my husband-to-be and catching up with an old friend! Have a great weekend!!!

Thursday, December 4, 2008


It's something I just don't understand. Why are some runs easier and some harder? Why do my shins hurt more one day and less the next and then even more the day after that? Why, after more than a year, am I still struggling to complete one mile without stopping. I want to be a runner. I enjoy it for its many benefits both physical and mental. But, I'm not a runner. I'm a walker who tries to run as much as she walks. Is it because my legs are sooo short? Is it because I have the wrong shoes? Is it because I just suck as runner? I don't know the answers to any of these questions ... but I sure wish I did. I use to think that the more I ran, the more I could run. Well, it just doesn't feel that way anymore. Will my legs get stronger? Will my asthma get better? Will I ever be able to run an entire 5k without stopping? What about participating in a 1/2 marathon? Out of the question for now. Is there something I'm missing? Some step I'm not taking to get stronger and run longer and faster? Sometimes I think I can walk faster than I run ... seriously!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008


It's not often that I find myself missing living in Berkeley. I spent the latter of my teen years and my early 20s living in an old restored Victorian home that had been remodeled into apartments while attending community college and working like a slave. I lived in Berkeley for almost 4 years. It's not something I usually miss, living there. It's not a part of my life I look back on often or fondly. But sometimes I miss it. On Monday when we went running in the evening in the dense cold fog I missed it. Fog is the one thing I loved about Berkeley. Well, I'm sure there are other things ... but like I said, its not a time in my life that I look back upon fondly so for now - the fog is it.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Miles for November

November - total 26.6
11/1 - rest, raining
11/2 - rest
11/3 - 2 miles (in the pouring down rain), abs & pushups
11/4 - 3 miles biking, squats & lunges
11/5 - 1.25 miles, abs & pushups
11/6 - rest, lunges & squats
11/7 - rest
11/8 - rest
11/9 - abs & pushups
11/10 -rest
11/11 - 2 miles, abs & pushups
11/12 - rest
11/13 - pushups
11/14 - rest
11/15 - rest
11/16 - rest
11/17 - 2 miles, abs & pushups
11/18 - 1.25 miles, abs & pushups
11/19 - 3 miles
11/20 - 2 miles, abs & pushups
11/21 - rest
11/22 - rest
11/23 - rest
11/24 - 3 miles
11/25 - 2 miles
11/26 - rest
11/27 - Run to Feed the Hungry 5k, 37:59
11/28 - rest
11/29 - 2 miles
11/30 - 50 min bike ride