Monday, June 28, 2010

My Life on June 28, 2010

Outside my window... Today was sunny, warm and beautiful.

I am thinking... about my super sweet cousin Tyler who had surgery today to remove part of his kidney due to cancer. {Prayers to you Ty}

I am thankful for... AHA! moments.

I am wearing.... Brown velvet running pants and a Tshirt. I know I've said this before, but I really do wear normal clothes 90% of the time, just not early Monday mornings or Monday nights. Or sometimes all day Monday.

I am creating... I have a half finished necklace in the craft room and a big wooden "A" waiting to be painted.

I am going... to floss, brush and rinse in about 10 minutes, then it's off to bed early for a 2am wake up.

I am reading... Eat, Pray, Love. Only on chapter 18 but I am adoring it so far.

I am hearing... a fan running in the dining room and American Pickers on the TV in the living room.

On my mind... what ifs.

From the kitchen... Did you know you can put a chicken in a crockpot with nothing else and cook it on low for 6-7 hours and it comes out as fall-off-the-bone perfection? It's true!

The rest of the week... Two days in Billings, home one day, two days in Boise.

Pondering these words... "Life is made of moments, small pieces of silver amidst long stretches of tedium. It would be wonderful if they came to us unsummoned, but particularly in lives as busy as the ones most of us lead now, that won't happen. We have to teach ourselves now to live, really love the journey, not the destination."
- Anna Quindlen

A picture to share...

From the Captain's Dinner formal night on the cruise. Doesn't Jim look happy to be having his picture taken?


Friday, June 25, 2010

Back on Track

I read this exerpt recently from the book Eat, Pray, Love and it struck a cord.
"...people universally tend to think that happiness is a stroke of luck, something that will maybe descend upon you like fine weather if you're fortunate enough. But that's not how happiness works. Happiness is the consequence of personal effort.
You fight for it. Strive for it. Insist upon it. And sometimes even travel around the world looking for it. You have to participate relentlessly in the manifestations for your own blessings. And once you have achieved a state of happiness, you must never become lax about maintaining it, you must make a mighty effort to keep swimming upward into that happiness forever, to stay afloat on top of it. If you don't you will leak away your innate contentment."
Last year I did a good job of seeking happines. I pursued it. I got to the point that I felt really happy all the time. Then, like most people, I quit focusing on it. I quit being active. I quit reading and writing positive affirmations. I just let it slip away. Not that I'm unhappy now, just not as happy. It really is something that takes a conscious effort.

So here's to refocusing on the relentless pursuit for happiness! One (nerdy) thing that makes me happy is lists. You will begin to see lots and lots of lists. Yay!



Friday, June 18, 2010

Hairy Men, Cornrows and Cougars

You all know I love judging people admiring the uniqueness of strangers. A cruise is the perfect playground for someone like me. People are either completely relaxed and unguarded, trying to put themselves on display, or my favorite - drunk.

It’s amazing to me, a person of relative modesty and self-consciousness, that so many people are 100% comfortable with themselves. Seriously, even though I did lay out in a bikini, I only walked away from my chair one time without putting a swimsuit cover on. And I would have, but I was walking to the pool to cool down before I had a heat stroke and I thought I might draw unwanted attention if I got in the water all covered up like a nun.

Anyway, one of the things I noticed about the guys was that they were either all puffed up, or they were oblivious to their hygiene. There was no middle ground.

I am so glad I have my iPhone because anytime I was listening to music (all week), I had a built in camera, ready for action.

And, of course, sometimes I got caught. One of the hazards of my chosen hobby.

At one of the comedy shows my eye was immediately drawn to this lady below. I'm sorry chickee-poo, but white girls can not pull this off.

I was bummed that I couldn't get a better picture of her, then SCORE! She sat right in front of me on the flight from Orlando to Denver.

The week before the cruise, John, one of my absolute favorite people in my company sent me this email:

Check out page 4 of the Life section of today’s USA Today. Patrick, Jim and I will need to tone down our boyish good looks next week.

I busted out laughing in my hotel room when I opened my paper and saw this:

Well, I don't think any of them were attacked by too many Cougars, but I don't think they were too upset considering this is what they might have been fighting off.

I wanted to bring her home with me.


Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Bahamas - Day Three

Welcome to Nassau, Bahamas!

We stopped off on our third day at the capital of the Bahamas. When we got there we asked one of the locals where to find a beach. The plan was to find the beach, lay out and swim for a few hours, do a little sight seeing and then hit the shops for some vacation memorabilia.

It didn't exactly work out that way.

The local gave us some pretty simple directions. Go to Bay Street and follow it around the corners to the beach. Sounded easy enough. Let me interject that Nassau is a beautiful place but for this small town girl it was a wee bit scary. It is a very, very, very congested city with a lot of honking and yelling. Everything is old and run down, which I would normally consider quaint, but in this particular circumstance it was not. We were the out of place tourists with the neon signs over our heads that read: ROB US. Anyway, the simple directions turned into a 30 minute walk with me clutching my camera case until my fingers got tingly. As soon as we got there we decided it was not the place for us, so I white knuckled my camera case and we headed back to where we started.

One hour later we were on a ferry to Paradise Island. This was the place to be! This is where the richy riches live. We began beach search: The Sequel. It would take a million words to explain this experience so I'll short hand it. Island is only 3 miles wide. Several people gave us wrong directions. We walked past the same spot 18 times. We found the beach two hours later.

Finally!!!! Beach time! We did a little sunning. We did a little swimming.

Now for the much agonized over swimsuit picture.

I'm the one way off in the distance, not the one covered in scarves, although that wouldn't have been a bad idea.

And since guys are guys, Jim took another swimsuit picture.

And I figure you all need a shot of my crotch.

You're welcome.


Monday, June 14, 2010

Bahamas - Day One and Two

Every year my company sends some of its employees on a cruise. This is the first year I have been honored to go. Last Sunday we flew all the way from Washington to Florida. That is one heck of a trip. I dare you to fly that far and not be a little grouchy. Can't happen. Not possible. Trust me. Or ask Jim, he'll tell you. We both could have beaten up any stranger that so much as looked at us wrong.

We stayed in Orlando Sunday night then drove to Port Canaveral on Monday to catch the boat.

We cruised on The Monarch of the Seas by Royal Caribbean. It's the only cruise we've ever been on so we have nothing to compare it to, but it still seemed like a very lovely ship.

This was our cabin. It may look kind of small, but I guess the rooms below us were much smaller. It was actually very comfortable, with the slight exception of the bathroom. It was so small you couldn't even dry off in there. Small price to pay for a free cruise!

Day One was all about settling in and learning the ship, and there is a lot to learn. About the time you start figuring out where everything is, the trip is over.

On Day Two we stopped at CocoCay, a private island owned by Royal Caribbean.

The island was GORGEOUS! By far the most beautiful place I have ever been. Everything is so bright and vivid. We spent the day snorkeling for the first time. I loved, loved, loved it! I am really kicking myself in the rear for not getting a water camera ($18 be darned) so I could share all of the amazingly colorful fish I saw and swam with.

The whole day was something like this: snorkel, sun, snorkel, sun, boat, nap, dinner. It was rough.

Even on vacation, Jim was germ obsessed. Maybe even more so. It took me until day two to convince him to eat from the buffet.

Day Three and Four, plus my favorite strangers coming soon!!!


Sunday, June 13, 2010

Cruising The Bahamas

Yesterday we returned from a trip to the Bahamas! Over the next couple days I will recount our adventure to you. See ya then!


Thursday, June 3, 2010

I'm Tripping!

Over the last week I've been way down south in Corpus Christi, Texas. This is my second trip here and I have to say, I would loooooove to live here! My hotel is within viewing distance to the waterfront and I am seriously just about 5 minutes from Padre Island. The weather has been absolutely beautiful both times. Only one day of high humidity, but it felt comfortable like an old familiar (wet) blanket. So cozy!

I know come August I will deny having said this, but I really miss the hot Missouri summers. Washington is gorgeous, but I am so over the cold, rainy days we've had this year (again, remind me I said all this in August when I'm complaining about not having air conditioning).

One thing I do love about Washington is the lack of bugs. We have bugs, but they aren't a problem. You may only swat at 5 mosquitos all summer long and we don't have ticks, which in my opinion is a major perk. Zero humidity. Breathtaking mountains. Where was I going with this? Right. Bugs. Two nights ago I ate a bag of popcorn for dinner, something I do on nearly every trip. In the great northwest I always leave the empty bag on the nightstand then throw it away in the morning. Never a problem. In Texas, it's a problem. I woke up around 2:30 am to find a gazillion ants all over the nightstand, including on and in my laptop. Even today the darn little suckers were crawling out from under my letters as I typed away.

I was lucky enough to spend some time on the beach Tuesday AND I got to tag a new destination for #30 on the list. Yay! Sometimes it's good to have little reminders that make me see the benefits of traveling so much. I really am thankful for the blessings of my job.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have an ant crawling up my arm.