Monday, August 21, 2006

My Little Nephew




I am thrilled to announce that I am the aunt of Samuel Jacob Mote (my second nephew)! He was born on Sunday August 20th at 9:31 pm. He weighed in at 7 lbs 14oz and was 22 inches long.

His parents made it to the hospital with little time to spare, more than they could say for the doctor who arrived 30 minutes after Samuel made his grand entry.

It is bittersweet though, because we are nearly 3000 miles away and more than anything I just want to be there and help welcome him into this big new world. He looks like his big brother, Noah. My sister-in-law looks fabulous too, especially for just having an all-nautral birth. Way to go Melissa!

Congratulations Melissa, Brian and Noah! I can't wait to meet my new nephew in person.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Stranded

We are on our way to San Francisco for the weekend to hang out with our friend Cory who is there. We are just barely out of the city and in the mountainous wilderness, with no gas station anywhere to be found. We ran out of gas a mile from the exit with the only gas station for 20 miles. It really is my fault because I should have filled up on my way home from work. I truly didn't think that we would run out because there wasn't a station outside the most populous city on the west coast! Thank goodness for AAA, they brought us a gallon of gas but it took about an hour. So much for getting there on time. Hopefully we'll make it...

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Five Things

I've been tagged once more by Anne, so I must list 5 things from the below categories:

Five Things in My Closet:
I must first tell you that I do not have my own closet. My apartment has only 2 tiny closets and Luke and I share them both. The closet in the second bedroom is used mostly for misc things, so I'm only counting the closet in our bedroom

Lots of clothes hanging so tightly together that it is hard to get anything out
A pile of folded sweaters
A nice Ikea hanging shoe rack with at least 2 pairs of shoes per space
A plastic drawer tower that holds jewelry, bathing suits, and cards worth saving
My Benjamin Moore paint deck (huge green suitcase like contraption)

Five Things in My Fridge:
Ezekiel bread (2 kinds - cinnamon raisin & regular)
Organic vanilla yogurt
Cheddar cheese
Corona Extra (with limes!)
A big bag of California oranges

Five Things in My Car:
Lots of big sunglasses because the sun is always shining
United States road atlas
CD visor full of music
Wireless transmitter to play my ipod through the car stereo
Longboard (yes, it needs to be taken out!)

Five Things in My Purse:
These are the things that always move when I change purses and never get left behind

Burt's Bees lip balm
Ipod & earphones
Pink leather wrist clutch that serves as my wallet
Wellness calendar
Migraine medicine

This one was a fun one! :)

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Four Day Weekend

I am halfway through my four-day holiday weekend. It started out great yesterday. We slept in, had a leisurely breakfast of french toast and coffee and took our time getting ready and getting a few things done. At 2:00 we left for Manhattan Beach. An hour later we were sitting on the beach under the cloudless blue sky soaking up the sun.

It was the perfect afternoon for the beach. And at over 20 degrees cooler than Pasadena, we had found the relief we needed. Luke hit the waves and I started a new book, worked on my tan and didn't even break a sweat - it was that nice. I couldn't have enjoyed the afternoon more.

It began to cool off around 7 so we headed back to the car to stash the surfboard and cooler. I love Manhattan Beach. It it's a great coastal town that isn't really a tourist destination or overly crowded, but is unique and quaint in its own way. We decided that if we were going to live along the coast we would definitely live in Manhattan. It is exactly our style.

There are a lot of little boutiques and unique restaurants along the downtown strip. It is very laid back and is a great place to walk around. We stopped in to Starbucks and got coffee and walked down the pier. There is a really tiny but very cool aquarium at the end and is free to go into. After checking it out we sat on a bench on the pier and watched the surfers below as we sipped our coffee and the sun began to dip over the water. It was a beautiful sunset. When it had disappeared completely we headed to the car and cranked up MXPX the whole way home.

Luke grilled us some delicious burgers and I fixed up the trimmings and we had a very romantic candlelight dinner outside under the stars. We finished off the evening by watching the new Pride and Predjudice movie. Amazingly Luke lasted through the whole thing, but that was probably because for an hour and a half of that time I was giving him a back massage. It was a very good movie, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Ah, what a wonderful Saturday! If only they could all be so perfect! Today was rather ordinary, went to church, had a picnic lunch in Griffith Park in the mountains and picked our friends up from the airport. Nothing too exciting, but Luke is out picking up pizza (mmm...) and we have a whole pile of new movies to watch, so it is sure to be a nice relaxing evening. And the best part of it will be knowing that I am NOT going to work tomorrow, but I am getting paid all the same! One of the few advantages of being a corporate slave I suppose.

Happy Independence Day and enjoy your weekend, whether long or short! Love from CA

Thursday, June 29, 2006

The Perfect Day

Yesterday was the perfect day, or at least about as close as it gets for a weekday. I had a dentist appointment at 8:15 am and the dentist office is only a 5 minute drive from my apartment, which meant that I had to leave my house at approximately 8:10. I normally leave the house at about 6:45, so this was a wonderful treat.

I slept in for an extra half hour and was wonderfully awakened by my husband who suggested that we go out for breakfast to Mexico Joe's, the little place around the corner that has our favorite breakfast special. It is hard to beat 2 eggs, 2 pancakes, bacon and sausage for $2.99. It is so much food I can never eat it all and it's very good. Oh and did I mention that they have the good kind of flavored creamer too? It was an excellent way to begin the day. Even better than a Saturday because I didn't feel like I had to do any cleaning or laundry.

I took my time getting ready and headed out to the dentist. Thanks to my Sonicare toothbrush (thank you Leslie!) my teeth and gums have never looked better. I left feeling great, though I had the long drive to work ahead of me. At that point it was nearly 9:00 and I've never driven to work that late before, so I wasn't sure what to expect. I made it to the office by 9:30, practically flying the whole way there. No stops! That's a rareity on my drive to work.

I only worked a 6 1/2 hour day (which was very nice and short) and amazingly the drive back home was almost as quick. I got home just in time to relax for a bit and preview the latest West Elm catalog and then walked a mile to the gym to my yoga class, and then walked home. I always feel great after an hour of yoga.

Our friends are on vacation right now and we are taking care of their dog while they are gone and are also using their Netflix account which is so nice because we never rent movies. We watched Casanova last night and it was so good! It even starred my "boyfriend" (as Luke calls him), Heath Ledger. It was kind of a chick flick, but Luke watched the it too and probably enjoyed it as much as I did. It was hilarious! I highly recommend it if you haven't seen it yet.

It was 11:30 by the time we got to bed, but I didn't want the day to end - it was the best day I've had in a long time. Sorry this was such a long-winded post, but I though I'd share my excellent day.

I hope you are having a wonderful day!

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

What to do?

I really hate my job, and have been hating it for the last several months. Today I got to spend the day on campus at UCLA for a few projects I am working on, and it was so refreshing to be out of the office. I think it hit me today how unhealthy of an environment it is and just how incompetent the management can be.

The design supervisor was recently promoted from senior designer and now has a management position without ever having any managerial experience or training. And this woman has no interpersonal or communication skills. She frequently gossips about the designers behind our backs and now rules the design department with an iron fist. She really has it out for me for some reason. I think she feels threatened by me and so does everything in her power to make my life as difficult and complicated as possible. I'm really tired of it.

I actually got home early today. That almost never happens. So I have spent the last 2 hours posting my resume online and searching for job listings. I really wanted to give my job at least a year, which I still may, but what's the hurt in looking? I just don't know what to do right now.

My supervisor hates me for no good reason and that isn't going to change. Do I keep myself in that kind of situation and see where it goes over the next 6 months or do I go somewhere else and go through the stress of starting a new job all over again? I guess I'll casually start looking and see what's out there. Wish me luck!

Monday, June 19, 2006

Catching Up

So you may be wondering where I've been for the past few months. They have been very eventful to say the least! I am finally feeling refreshed and caught up on everything in genenral, so I'll do my best to fill you in.

Life has been crazy the last several weeks. First of all we had our friends out to visit at the beginning of May and had an exciting adventure in Joshua Tree National Park. We discovered our new favorite Mexican restaurant with the best margaritas ever on Cinco de Mayo. It was a great weekend. I'll tell the whole Joshua Tree story in greater detail later.

About two weeks later my in-laws came to visit for a week and a half. Their trip was over Memorial weekend and we went up to Kings Canyon and Sequoia National Park. We did lots of hiking and drove through the parks to see the beautiful sights, including giant Sequoia trees, a rainbow stretching from one side of a canyon to the other, and even a black bear! It was great to spend time with the family and get out of the city for a few days.

Wil packed up his life here and moved out a few days after his family left. He is a camp counselor for the summer at Spring Hill in Indiana. It is great to have an extra bedroom and closet, but it still seems strange not to have him here. After all, he moved into this apartment with us and lived here for 6 months. We miss having him around.

Only 3 days after Wil left I flew home to Michigan. It was probably the worst time I could have gone home, but I was in a friend's wedding on June 10th, so I decided to take a whole week off and go back the weekend before to see my family and friends. Unfortunately that week fell on exam week for Luke so it was a solo trip for me.

I arrived on Saturday night and my family took me out to my favorite pizza place in the world (Fricano's in Grand Haven) and Sunday I got to go to my favorite church (Ada Bible)and see my friends, then ate a huge dinner with my family and grandparents. The next few days were blissfully spent with my family, my sister and my closest friends, catching up on the last 6 months since I had seen them face to face.

On Thursday afternoon I left for Mt Pleasant to begin the wedding festivities for my best friend from high school and early college. It would have been nice if the wedding was in Grand Rapids - more time for family and friends, but I thought it would be fun to spend the last few days with my friend before her wedding. I figured we would spend a lot of time talking and catching up and preparing for the wedding. How wrong I was!

The bachelorette party on Thursday night, rehearsal dinner Friday night and especially the wedding on Saturday could not have been more of a disaster! I hadn't met her fiance and when I finally did I had a very bad feeling. The sort of feeling that keeps you from being happy for your friend because you are so concerned. I had hoped that my fears we unwarranted, but even in my naievety I knew there was reason for concern.

I'll spare you the details. To sum up a very long story, I returned home on Sunday night exhausted and emotionally drained, but at least I thought the drama was over. I went back to work the next morning feeling very much like I needed a very long vacation after my vacation. Later that same day I received an angry call from my friend and through the grapevine found out that she and her groom are both cocaine addicts and her parents found them out. It all makes sense now, all of the unexplainably strange behavior. However she blames me for her parents finding out, even though I didn't know it myself! I really should have figured it out though, after staying with them for 3 days.

Her parents went to take her out of her situation and get help for her. She is going through rehab and I hope she will come out of this completely and learn to make better choices with her life. The ironic thing is that she isn't legally married, even though she went through the whole wedding ceremony. They didn't apply for the marriage license until 2 days before the wedding, so it was going to arrive in the mail on Tuesday after their wedding.

She was back at her parents' house on Monday night. I hope she sees how lucky she is that she's not married to a dishonest drug dealer and decide not to go through with actually signing the marriage license. I'm really not going to hold my breath that she's going to choose a better life than that, but I will be praying for her. Beyond that, I am not even going to think about it. Never mind that I was her only friend who was there for her and spent a week of vacation without Luke at hardly the ideal time to come home, only to receive a verbal slap in the face accusing me of telling on her to her mom and dad! I really don't need friends like that, though the whole situation breaks my heart. Maybe someday she'll call, but who knows? I'm not making any more effort. I just can't deal with any more.

Anyway, I've been home for just over a week and finally tonight feel caught up on life. The kitchen and bathroom are clean, the laundry is done (almost) and my lunch is made for tomorrow. I am home relaxing with my wonderful husband. Finally there is rest for my weary body and soul. I am going to sleep good tonight...

Love from California