Wednesday, December 18, 2013

All I want for Christmas.....

I really can't complain.... for a year that I said I wasn't going to travel much, I did get to see quite a bit.  I went to 8 states and 2 countries..........

But I've been dreaming about traveling again...... So I came up with my top 5 places I'd like to visit in America.
5. New Orleans.  I'm sure it's Disneyland's fault but for some strange reason I have this desire to visit Bourbon Street (Not during Mari Gras heaven forbid....)  I love the romantic thought of  eating beignets and shrimp while listening to happy jazz music........





4. Myrtle Beach, North Carolina
I've experienced Florida beaches (both Gulf Coast and Pacific) and I've experienced Maryland/New Jersey beaches.... but I feel ripped off to never have experienced a Carolina beach.

3. Savannah, Georgia
There is a part of me that wishes I was a southern belle.... and I feel like Savannah is the place to experience that.  (although I hear that as far as houses go Charleston is WAY better...)  but of course I would also love to visit Paula Dean's restaurant.





2. New England



But if I could travel anywhere for a Christmas vacation excursion there is no question where it would be................................



1. San Francisco




I know, kinda embarrassing that I have probably traveled to California.....150 times in my life? and never been north of Santa Barbra.  Someday that'll change..... but until then I guess I'll have to settle with visiting paradise.
 Count down to Southern California: 7 days. Weather forecast: 75 and sunny.  Can not complain about that.

Monday, December 16, 2013

A.D.I.D.A.P.

Urban myth says that Adidas stands for All day I dream about Soccer.  Now whether that is true or not I have no idea.... but boy can I relate.  Right now my life revolves around one thing.  Peppermint.

Who knows where this love for peppermint came from.  I don't remember loving it as much as a kid.  But right now and the past few Christmas seasons there is one and only one treat that I want.  Peppermint.  So here are my top 7 favorite Christmas treats:

Number 7: This is probably actually my least favorite of the peppermint treats, but I'm a sucker all the same.  (How do I know they are my least favorite... we bought some at Costco 2 weeks ago and I take one baggie of them to work every day.  Sounds normal..... except that is not normal for me.)
 Number 6: I had to throw these on the list because they were once my favorite.  But we'll get to this in a minute!

Number 5: These were my favorite all growing up.  And they still are fantastic, but with all these new peppermint additions to my Christmas traditions, they got pumped down to number 4.
 

Number 4: Back when I used to count calories, which I am now learning is totally over rated, I would lick the bowl of this stuff.  I thought it was heaven on earth..... boy was I wrong.

 

Number 3:  I love these things more than life itself..................... I can not wait for Christmas just to get bags after bags of these.  How in the world did this get moved down to number 3?


 Oh yes. Number 2.  You see I thought my life was complete.  I thought I had every single peppermint treat a girl could ever ask for.  I had my taffy, my cookie, my ice cream.  And then Friday Happened.  Franci made me try one of these.  And quite frankly, my life has never been the same since.

 

Which of course brings us to the mother of all deliciousness.... the thing that makes the world go round in my Christmas Season.... I had no idea that life could taste this delicious...... the best thing ever invented.



 Now it's really quite embarrassing how addicted I am to this stuff.  My goal is to eat a half gallon every week until Christmas.  You know, just to get into the Christmas spirit.  And don't you worry, I am accomplishing my goal.




Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Beaches.

I'm currently teaching about the different regions of the United States.  I.E. excuses for me to just scroll through all my pictures from around the country and remember how awesome my trips have been.  So as I am sitting here in my big puffy down coat freezing to death, I'm dreaming about being somewhere, anywhere but here.  But since I'm stuck in this seat for at least 3 more hours................ I'll create my 10 ten favorite beaches of all time.


10. Lovers Beach, Cabo, Mexico

(technically this is divorce beach but who's counting? :)
9. Waimea Bay, North Shore, Hawaii

8. Sorrento, Italy
 

 Definitely not the best sand or prettiest beach but with a view like this and food like this.... it probably should have been number 1.


7. Sunset Beach, North Shore

 


6. South Beach Miami, Florida


Ridiculously warm, even at Christmas


5. Dubrovnik, Croatia


The water was INSANE.  Here is a picture from a water camera.


4. Newport Beach, CA
 
totally cliche but I'll always feel like this is my easiest beach of choice. 
(I have a bazillion pictures from here but am too lazy)

3. Plama de Mallorca, Island in western Mediterranean




2. Pensacola, Florida

Who knew there was such thing has perfectly white sand and beautiful tortoise water???



And the number one beach in my humble opinion????





 Any beach.  Any time.  Anywhere.  As long as there is sunshine and warm enough to enjoy it.  (this is Huntington Beach, CA)



That being said, how many days until Christmas Vacation?????

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Just in case you need someone new to stalk....

This morning I was enjoying a few last minutes in my comfy flannel blanket before I ventured out to the cold cold cruel morning..... sometimes I think I remember how much I hate the cold.  All summer long I try and remember... but I truly don't think it's possible for me to remember.  I was telling Jason yesterday I would much rather feel the pain of running for 2 hours than 10 minutes of freezing cold.  Anyways, that is off topic.

I was trying to stall going out in the cold.  So I was wondering around when I remembered back when my brother started dating this cute new girl and he told me she had a blog.  I remember at the time I was kinda disappointed because she hadn't divulged the feelings of her heart on her blog.  (I mean honestly....) So although it was fun to see her pictures from her semester at BYU Jerusalem.... I kinda forgot about her blog.  Until this morning!  I LOVED looking through all the her posts about her relationship with my brother.  I will admit, I even cried on one of the posts talking about how happy is she that she found him.

Anyway, so in case you'd like to have a new girl to stalk.... I am excited to introduce my darling new sister in law,

Marcie Parson.

Words can't express how thrilled I am to have her in the family.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Thanksgiving Heart to Heart

One of my favorite analogies by Delwin:
There once was a beggar homeless woman that sold muffins on the corner every day to make money.  Each day she would put out her cardboard sign that said, "Muffins 5 cents" and a little tin to collect her money.

One day a businessman walked by in his fancy suit and polished shoes.  He looked down and saw this poor beggar and put a nickle in her tin.  When she handed him a muffin he waved it off and said, "Have a good day."

This became a regular occurrence between the beggar and the businessman.  Any time he walked by he would drop a nickle into her tin, say, "Have a good day." and continue on to work.  This happened for weeks, months, who knows maybe even years until one day the man walked by and notice her sign had changed.  Where it once had said 5 cents had been crossed out and now it read 10 cents.  He smiled at her, dropped his nickle into her tin and said, "Have a nice day."  Within a few seconds as the man was walking down the street he heard the beggar woman running after him calling, "Sir! Sir!"  And when she finally reached him she grabbed his arm and said, "I don't think you saw my sign, the muffins are now 10 cents."

Often times us punk teenagers think that the world revolves us.  We think that everyone is here to serve us.  How often is it that people make sacrifice for us or it happens so much that we don't even notice.

But why?  What benefit is it for us to notice all the wonderful things that people are doing for us?  What value does it add to our lives?

Here is a video that shows the value:


I could easily look out at you and say "Be Happy."  I mean you are 15 years old, your life doesn't get any easier than this.  But I get it, from my past experience of being a teacher of 15 year olds I know that many of you are going through hard things that I don't know about or maybe can't even imagine.  And the rest of you... I understand, at 15 a zit on your forehead can be pretty traumatic.  So rather than just tell you to be happy, I love this video because it shows you are way that no matter what's going on in your life you can be happy.  It reminds me of another of my favorite stories,

Once there was a set of twins.  Although the twins were identical they acted completely different.  One was always happy the other always sad.  They wanted to do a test to try and better understand these twins.  They put the grumpy twin in a room full of the most wonderful toys imaginable.  Within minutes of entering the room the twin started breaking the toys complaining that they weren't the right size, color, or style.  The researchers tried to think of the worst thing they could do to the happy twin.  The put the happy twin in a room completely empty except a huge pile of manure. Within seconds of the twin entering the room they heard the twin giggling.  When they entered the room they found the twin right in the middle of the pile digging around in the manure.  When they asked the twin, the twin said, "With all this manure there must be a pony somewhere!"

Sure, we can't change our circumstances sometimes but we can do things to make us happy.

Something I've been struggling with.


Sometimes I just crave to be understood.  I think everyone probably feels that way but I am learning through being married to someone completely opposite from me that not everyone feeds that desire by exposing themselves.  Some day maybe I'll change but probably not.

I've talked before about being a morning person.  I've talked how I hate that I am a morning person.  Even with all the research and positive spins you can put on the benefits of being a morning person I still hate it.  Why because I love people.  And 90% of all social events happen when I would rather be in bed.  Why oh why can't a party or a social or a group of friends get together at 5 am?  Sounds absurd right?

Now don't get me wrong I really do love my mornings alone.  I love having time to sit and think and ponder the mysteries of the world (right now at 4 am before I hit the gym at 5) but sometimes what I wouldn't give to actually have to set my alarm clock.  Yes.  You read that right.  I wake up every morning right now at exactly 4 am.  Well today it was 4:03.

The problem?

I've concluded the way my body works is I have about 1 hour possibly 2 after the sunsets before I literally turn into a pumpkin.  Now that gets really really really embarrassing when the sun goes down at 5 or 6.

It was really frustrating my whole single career because I felt the guilt of having to go out and be social when I'd much rather be cuddled up in my cave asleep.  And I guess I just hoped that once I was married the guilt would disappear.  Sadly... if anything it is worse.

But the purpose of me writing this today.... is to try and describe what it is like to have S.A.D. because it's frustrating how socially unacceptable or misunderstood it is.  Perfect example.  Last night I was supposed to attend a meeting.  Long story short, I wasn't going to get to the meeting until 7:15.... that sounds like a reasonable time... it's true.  But the meeting was an hour away, and the "meeters" were just getting ready to go to dinner.  So by the time we really started on the meeting it would be 8:30.  Which means the meeting wouldn't end until 10.  Which means I wouldn't get home until 11.  So I didn't go.  That's a lie, I drove 45 minutes to where I thought the meeting was, found out the meeting was another 20 minutes farther way from my house, did the math, and THEN drove the 45 minutes home....

Yeah kinda pathetic.

So what am I doing this morning when I woke up at 4 am?  Dreaming of a world where people meet at 4 am...... when I am fresh.... when I am on my A game.... when I am ready to take on the world.  But alas....... instead............. I guess I'll just head to the gym.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Craig and Marcie Parson. It's Official!

It was an amazing day!  But rather than words... here's the pictures!















What it takes to get kids to smile.....














And they lived happily ever after.....