Thursday, April 29, 2010
I just returned from an amazing week-long vacation in Arizona. And by amazing, I mean... amazing.
I am blessed with a very generous and kind aunt & uncle who have a guest house and family center attached to their home in Paradise Valley. Their home is built into a mountain. Literally, you can climb their backyard to the top and see the city below.
This past week, 4 of my other great friends joined me to stay there and relax in the sun, enjoy the pool and jacuzzi, and go out on the town. Some highlights & memories of the week:
-Flying into Phoenix on Wednesday afternoon around 10:30 am, just in time to... lay out in the clouds. It was overcast, so we spent the rest of the day grocery shopping, which took place at 3 locations: Trader Joe's, Whole Foods, and Alberston's.
-Waking up to a frigid and cloudy day on Thursday. We decided to spend the day in Sedona at Tlaquepaque, and ate lunch there.
-Deciding to drive from there to the Grand Canyon, which we thought was in Flagstaff.
-Taking a detour to stop by Oak Creek Canyon to see my family's cabin there, on the way to Flagstaff.
-Driving through the switchback mountains, and into a snow storm once in Flagstaff.
-Finding out, while in Flagstaff, that the Grand Canyon was still an hour and a half away.
-Forgoing the scenic site (which most of us had already seen, anyway) and going shopping at an outlet mall instead.
-Going to Jester'z, a family-friendly comedy club with people who specialize in improv. It was hilarious! We quickly made our presence as the girls from "Illi-NOISSSSE."
-Visiting Starbucks at least 8 times.
-Eating at amazing places (2 meals which were free!) at PF Chang's, Ruth's Chris, In N Out, 25 Degrees, & Marcella's.
-We enjoyed 3 different yogurt places, all with the same general theme: You grab a cup, put as much (or as little, but in my case, AS MUCH) yogurt as you want in whichever flavor you choose. You can combine flavors, choose just one, or mix them. Then, you head over to a long stretch of toppings which include but aren't limited to fresh fruit, candy pieces, and syrups. A make-your-own ice cream delight: you pay for what you pick, based on weight.
-Laying by the negative-edge pool with beautiful scenery, pure blue-sky days, and good company.
-Spending some cool nights in the jacuzzi's hot bubbles.
-Climbing Camel Back Mountain with Holly, Tracy, and my cousin, Stefanie. It's quite a climb... a little challenging, but very fun, and definitely worth it!
-Eating at Cibo's, an amazing pizza place at a charming place in downtown Phoenix with the Knochels (Bethany, Tyler, and Andy), and a couple others, including Carissa K. Topping it off at Lux, a lovely coffee place tucked away in a vintage-y building with a lot of mac-users and delightful iced coffee.
-Our visit to Sprinkles. They have numerous cupcakes- you pick your flavor and they give it to you in a lovely little bag. They even had a gluten-free cupcake for Heather with a big "G" on it. I tried the peanut-butter chocolate cupcake- it was very tasty.
-Assigning oxymoron names to everyone on the trip:
-Seeing almost all of my AZ family & friends while on the trip. I love them all, and I love that place!
Below are some pictures so you can have a visual taste of our trip. Love you all, be back soon. T
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Monday, April 12, 2010
So I have 10 nieces and nephews under age 10. I love them all. But there's no one quite like Beau. He's 3, and he's goofy.
Two of my favorite quotes from him:
"Coffee coffee coffee I WANT COFFEE!"
And the other one happened tonight. I was eating dinner with him and his siblings and he was looking at his cousin Sylvia, who is 7 months old.
"Oh, it is laughing," he said.
"Honey, the baby is a 'she," his mom pointed out, assigning the proper pronoun.
"A sheep. It's a SHEEP!" he said.
This kid is a lot of fun.
In other news, my knees are healing quite nicely. They are still a little tender to touch, but I am thankful for the quick recovery. Since my accident, I have purchased knee pads and a helmet. Hold back your laughter... I am simply trying to learn from my mistakes. And to be completely honest, I actually quite love my helmet. If anything, that's what is going to kill me is a head injury. So the helmet has to stay. I'm willing to work out an "as-needed" contract with my knee pads, but I consider the current time period as needing them. If by some unforeseen chance I would fall again and hit my knees, it would be a really bad thing.
So. These days, I bike in style. Heather even biked alongside me the other night (after making fun of me.)
I saw a movie last night I would highly recommend. My mom and I ordered a large bucket of popcorn and I'm not ashamed to say that we had the whole thing gone by the time we were 10 minutes into the movie. In fact, she went out and got a refill, and we ate about 1/3 of that.
I love popcorn.
Anyway, the movie-- it's called "Letters to God." It's a Christian film, and often times these religious films are poorly casted and a bit cheesy, but this one was overall very well put together. Not to mention an enormous tear-jerker. I cried through the whole thing. But it was SO good, awesome message, and I love it that movies like this with a worth wile story are making it to the big screen. It's based off of a true story. It's about a kid who has cancer who writes letters to God and puts them in the mail. The mail man gets them and doesn't know what to do with them. Anyway, I don't want to say too much more without spoiling it.
So I walked out of that theater looking like a disaster. Seriously. But I love crying through movies because then it means that it meant something. It told me a heartfelt story. It moved me emotionally. Any any film that can do that has done its job.
Well, I'm hungry. I had an idea about an hour ago to eat a bowl of Lucky Charms and so now I should go make it happen.
Love you all! And loving this weather!
Sunday, April 11, 2010
Tuesday, April 06, 2010
I do love to exercise. Although anymore, walking seems to be about the safest option for me. I used to roller blade ALL of the time. Loved it. I went almost every single summer evening with a good friend, and we had a nice little route we would complete while chatting away. Well, when you do something often enough, while you should improve over time, it always opens up more margin for making a mistake. I can recount 2 huge wipe outs in my years of roller blading, all in which resulted in some nice injuries.
My newest love has been riding my bike. I love it. Last night, I really wanted to go on a bike ride. The weather has been very pleasant… in the 70s, mild & warm. Last night was the perfect evening for a ride. So I hopped on my bike and pedaled off, taking a route I often walk on with a friend. After the route was complete, I just wasn’t satisfied. The night was too nice to leave behind, so I just kept going. I biked all over town.
I had headphones on and unfortunately, I had forgotten to put my ipod in its case so I was holding it in my hand to avoid dropping it. Every once in awhile, I would look down to select a song or to advance to the next one, as I wouldn’t like what was playing.
I decided to end my trip after biking down the street right by our High School. It is literally 3 blocks away from where I live. While doing so, I was approaching the busy street we live off of (Jackson St.), but I was also preoccupied with my ipod, trying to select the perfect song to end my wonderful trip. As I was doing so, I noticed that out of the corner of my eye that Jackson St. was approaching much more quickly than I expected. Without looking up and in a split second, I panicked and slammed on my hand brakes.
Big mistake. My bike jolted, stopping immediately and literally launching me off of my bike. I knew what we coming but could do nothing to stop it. My knees were the first thing to hit pavement, followed by the rest of my body landing on top of my bike and my hands on the road. My ipod safely hit the concrete and escaped with no scratches. Figures.
It was painful. I have always wondered what it would feel like to be hit by a car (weird, I know) but now I don’t want to know. The instant shock was to my knees… they hurt pretty bad.
I was literally horizontal on the ground, on top of my bike. I felt very out of control. In order to regain some sense of composure, I immediately stood up and picked up my bike. My pants had a hole in the knee. I had no clue what damage had been done, but pride caused me to start walking my bike on home without making a show of it. No tears, no emotion, I just started walking as if I had simply dropped my phone on the ground and had bent over to pick it up. As I approached Jackson St., I noticed a lady who was walking her dog who had turned around and was gawking, and most likely saw the whole thing. I smiled sweetly at her and kept walking.
Once I was at the safety of my driveway, I parked my bike and sat down on the step and examined my injuries. Pulling up my black pants, now equipped with a hole to the knee, I saw that I had completely skinned both knees and big, red patches were there. I had a knot the size of a golf ball on my right leg, and my feet were a little scratched. Amazingly, my hands suffered the least damage, just a simple road burn from landing so hard and fast.
I limped inside and cleaned up my wounds. Today, everything is doing alright. Nothing too life-altering, although I will have some nice black and blue bruises on my knees, and I may not be kneeling for awhile. Also, I noted that a lot of the strange positions I find myself in while taking pictures on photo shoots may have to change.
I am thankful that I didn’t knock teeth out or fall flat on my face… thanks to my knees for footing most of the crash.
As I think about all of this, though, it really is confirmation that I’m in the right field—doing something creative, safe, and for the most part requiring no coordination or athletic ability. Not that roller blading or riding your bike requires too much athleticism, and actually, my fall was moreso due to a panicked attempt to avoid biking into oncoming traffic rather than biking technique, but, you know. Well, that, and distraction due to my ipod. I’ve been avoiding buying one of those arm straps for my ipod but maybe it’s about time.
So here I am. Doing what I do best. I won’t stop biking… love it too much. But next time, I’m going to be more careful.
Love you all!