Monday, February 28, 2011

The Story of Us: He calls, I check my list

I'm not sure my family really took my announcement seriously, and life went on as normal. I hovered over my phone, waiting for anything from E.

Weeks later, my phone buzzed a text message while I was on my lunch break. My heart leaped.
I looked at the screen and his name blinked up.
Opening the message, I took a deep breath and read "Would it be alright if I called sometime? ;-)"

stomach flutters. cheek flush. a smile
I wanted immediately to respond with a resounding "YES!" (finally!) but he had played a hard-to-get game and it was his turn in the hot seat. So I kept it cool, waited for a few minutes, and responded: "hmm, sure. that will work."
(I know, I'm such a player. It made so much sense at the time)

I never let my phone leave my sight, or turned the ringer off. A week later, I had plans with my friend, Mocha, to celebrate her belated birthday with a surprise helicopter ride her parents had won in an auction.

helicopter with Riss

Of course, E calls right as we're about to leave. We chatted for a few minutes, and I told him I had to go to get on a helicopter--I don't think he believed me!

The next day we got to talk. It was a long, meaningful, but fun conversation that finally gave me confidence that we could be a 'thing.' One of those late into the night conversations where we just clicked. I kept running over my mental list of must-have's and couldn't find a thing missing. I had determined to be pickier this time around, but (as cheesy as it sounds), he really was a perfect match.

But there were still four weeks before school started...and do you think the phone rang again? I can laugh now, but then it was a torturous wait.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

'Sno More

This weekend turned out to be really stressful due to car problems, snowy roads and traffic which put use on the road for a total of 10.5 hours (instead of 5) and cost a LOT of money.
Goodbye tax return.
After Sunday, E and I were ready to pack up and move to a city where we can exclusively use public transit.

Instead of focusing on the negative, here are some pictures of our weekend in the beautiful snow near Lake Arrowhead:

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At one point it was snowing these mini snowballs (they weren't ice, but definitely not flakes!) I called them snow dippin' dots

snow dippin' dots

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The first time our little car has ever seen snow! It obviously disapproved, based on it's behavior the entire way home.

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snow covered trees

despite the beauty of the snow, we were happy to turn the heat off and stop worrying about slipping and sliding down the mountain.

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I'm still amazed that palm trees and snow-covered evergreens can exist so close to each other (30 minutes!) Another reason why I love living in California.

Friday, February 18, 2011

A New 'Do

Its usually around spring time every year I feel a little adventurous when it comes to my hair. usually that means a little shorter than normal. I know, I'm pretty crazy.

Yesterday, I asked my hair stylist to try something a little 'edgier', without really knowing what I meant by that. Thankfully she is awesome and I love how it turned out!



it's shorter, razored and she used pomade for the textured look.

hair day 1

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I love the idea of doing something different with my hair, but anything beyond a blow dry is usually really difficult to replicate at home.
What is it about hair stylists that make styling look so easy?

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Here's Day two: my attempt at recreation of the style.

hair day 2

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(pictures are bad bc the bathroom light was out so I had to use a hall mirror at work.)

I have a ways to go to get the styling down...getting the back flipped out more and the front a little sleeker.

We are off to a youth group retreat in the mountains this weekend. E is speaking (!) and we're supposed to get 1 foot of snow. I guess we deserve it after enjoying another tough SD winter :-)

I got the baking bug, so I'm taking these along for all the kids.


Happy weekend!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The Story of Us: Summer and a visit

Sorry to leave you guys hanging on this for almost two months! Yikes.
If you're new here, in November I decided to start writing E and I's love story. To catch up, read about our first meeting, spending 4000 miles apart, & the letter.

Summer of 2007
Our letters came to a sudden halt while E spent 5 weeks traveling in Europe with his best friend Alex. I followed his blog to keep up and when we got home--my roommate and I and Alex all bought tickets to fly out to California that summer for a friend's wedding and a reunion.

Early in the summer I enjoyed my freedom and dated a little, but didn't let anything get too serious, keeping my trip to see E in mind.

The four of us spent a long weekend in CA in July seeing local sights, including my first trip to Disneyland!
I got to see E in his comfort zone, and I spent the long weekend falling for him. I got the feeling it was a little bit of a test for me too. We did a lot of E's favorite things and I could feel his attention on me to gauge my reaction (he later confirmed this). He wanted to know what I thought of his favorite movie, coffeehouse, Mexican food joint, friends, dog, family.



E was flirtatious: intentionally sitting next to me on rides, buying me a churro, taking pictures together, having one on one conversations. I kept looking for some commitment (I like you, I'll call you, I'll miss you?) but E left me at the airport without even a hope of further communication. Just a "see you in September".


I spend the entire plane flight home with nervous butterflies. I was anxious that he hadn't made a significant move, but I was also really falling for him.

My concerns didn't stop me from telling my parents when I got home, that E was the guy I was going to marry.

Days went by, then weeks. And still no word from E!

Monday, February 14, 2011

mixed and matched

When Kim was out visiting, we stopped at a couple of consignment shops. I didn't expect to find anything, but on the clearance rack for 70% off of $80 was this adorable denim pencil skirt and jacket suit.

It fit pretty well and I took it home with me, imagining a colorful floral top to break up the dark denim top and bottom.
Then I realized how many options I'd have to remix if I wore the skirt and jacket separately!

Here are a few ways I wore the pieces last week:

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(I was loving the late afternoon sun glare)

Jacket: thrifted
Sweater dress: Ruche (christmas gift from E!)
Belt: Charlotte Russe
Wedge boots: Target
Green tights: Target


Floral button up: Charlotte Russe
Back cardigan: Target
skirt: thrifted
belt: Banana Republic
shoes: ? (stole from my sister)
Necklace: the "Oprah" necklace (I owe you a post on this!)




tank: thrifted
jacket: thrifted
pants: Gap
Shoes: DSW
Necklace: purchased in Malawi
lips: burts bees lip shimmer in rhubarb

The indoor pictures are so difficult. (the 3rd set are in my office on self timer and I could not get my head in the pictures no matter where I put the camera!)

I'm excited to see how many ways I can mix and match this set!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Update: A Healthy New Year

After the holidays, I reported that E and I had talked about some lifestyle changes.
I wanted to share our progress and hope we can keep making small improvements.

Our original goals were:
  1. no red meat
  2. chicken and/or fish 1-2 times a week
  3. mostly vegetarian
  4. Give up alcohol
  5. Start walking for exercise
We quickly realized how unrealistic it was for our lifestyle to make commitments to skip red meat altogether. We were invited over to a friend's house and served tri-tip, then nothing sounded better than a fast food burger when we were dealing with our house disaster.
What we were able to do is not purchase any red meat from the store, or eat it at home. Success!

We ate fish/chicken 2-3 times a week and I made a few new vegetarian recipes:


(clockwise, from top left: Grilled swordfish, taco soup, vegetarian spinach lasagna, spaghetti squash) We also ate stuffed peppers, veg. stir fry, and a lot of salads I didn't photograph.

With alcohol we had the same problem as red meat--we avoided it when it wasn't awkward to refuse (of course, I made exceptions when Kim was visiting). I would say we cut back 75%. We haven't had wine or cocktails at home, maybe just 1 beer (also the weekend of our house disaster).

I also joined Jenna's That Weight Loss Challenge (#TWLC) to motivate myself to better watch what I eat, and how I use my calories. Using the challenge site, Daily Burn, I calculate the nutritional value of all the food I eat. I can see much more clearly the impact of my many empty carbs consumed every day.

On a regular day I eat 1/4 the protein I should and almost 3x the carbs. Some slight adjustments and I'm currently eating about 1/2 the protein I should, and only about 2x the carbs. (baby steps!)

This morning I stepped on the scale and couldn't believe my eyes. I've lost 5 lbs in the last 10 days! It seemed really fast, especially since my total goal is 15 lbs, but I haven't really changed how much eat, just what I eat. Like Jenna says, calories are like money. When you use them responsibly, you can occasionally splurge.

scale photo day 1 and day 11
*ps. it takes some guts to show the world my actual weight. I realize this is really low for some people, but my weight goals are really realistic for my situation. Please be gentle in your comments about it!

Working out has been the worst part (as expected). I've gone on two walk/runs on my own and about three good hikes (5+ miles on hilly terrain). I've started listening to podcasts or books while walking/running and I'm feeling much more motivated to keep going because I hate to quit before the program or chapter is finished.

So there's my 6-week progress report. I'm going to share a few of my favorite recipes (including an awesome breakfast smoothie) soon.
If you have any current food/weight/fitness goals--how are you doing?

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Greener Pastures

The other night I babysat for a couple friends so they could go out to celebrate a birthday. After they got back we ended up chatting for almost an hour about life, expectations, marriage and kids.
It was a really great conversation. Wonderful to hear from a couple that were once in a similar situation to E and I, that they were glad they waited to have kids for 5 years. What opportunities they had and how much they learned in the meantime.

But something that came out in the conversation especially struck me. Something I hope I can say in 10 or 20 years.

"It's green on both sides"

They were referring to life pre-kids, and post; pre-marriage and post.

Both are smart, degreed, accomplished. A (the wife) stopped working to raise two kids (so far) and move from Atlanta to San Diego where her pastor husband found his dream job.

They acknowledged the fun of singleness and the beauty of marriage, the freedom of childlessness and the wonderment of having kids as all good.

And they have no regrets! I was really inspired and encouraged to find the joy in every stage of life.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Lattes and Margaritas: What Girls Are Made Of

ps. Kim just sent over a bunch more pics, so I added a few on the last post if you can find them!

Friday morning we headed for the hills a few miles away to hike at San Elijo Hills.


I've never hiked here when it's been so clear--so crazy to see the ocean (20 miles away)!



I wasn't really planning well when we left. We intended on a leisurely morning hike.
We ended up walking over 5 miles, all very steep inclines, in about 2.5 hours. (lots of breaks)

is it over yet?

Exhausted, we dragged our selves for some refreshment from In 'N Out!



Can you guess from the attire where we spent a leisurely afternoon? Sadly (ha, this is going to sound so snotty), it was a little windy and cool for the perfect day at the beach.


but the sun was still shining, surfers still surfing, margaritas still in order



One of Kim's requests for the visit was to visit coffee shops. A latte lover never turns down those opportunities! Friday night we went to Old California Coffee House (formerly, Mocha Marketplace) Its frequented by undergrads, but has a great setting--eclectic art and thrift store furniture. Outside, two fire pits, live music on the weekends and a huge latte menu keep it busy!

Dessert favorite!
Kim tried a Mexican mocha


and I got caramel butterscotch



Saturday morning brought more coffee--at our favorite roasters, Safari
Eric's group of friends has been spending Saturday mornings here for over 8 years!

I convinced Kim to take a pound of beans home (She loved them!) and we headed off to the Island of Coronado for the day.

First stop, Hotel Del

We walked through the basement shops and checked out the display showing the history of the hotel.




Picked up some sweet souvenirs! (Kim had lots of people to buy for!)


We ended the day at Miguel's--a great mexican place across the street from Hotel Del, but hidden down a small walkway.

Margaritas and tacos. A great end to a great (long) weekend!

margs at miguels

I love entertaining and was excited to see some new SD sights. Any SD'ers have some suggestions for our next guest? (I'm thinking Point Loma, Mission Beach, Temecula)

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Rocky Beaches and Sweet Treats

While the Chicago area is in buried in their biggest blizzard in ages, I'm sitting here with some residual sun burn from my fun weekend. (though I can't say I wouldn't love a snow day or two!)

When Kim arrived Wednesday evening, we headed off to C level for a lovely dinner watching the sunset in the harbor. I love this place! We both enjoyed Syrah, Kim ordered the roasted lamb on rosemary foccaccia (the chutney they put on this sandwich is out of this world!) and I had lobster BLT with lobster bisque.





and we headed off to the Old Globe for a musical production of Jane Austen's Emma


i love grabbing a hot cocoa at intermission. yum!



After a much needed sleep-in, Thursday brought us to La Jolla. It was a perfect day.



( need to learn photoshop to get that crazy sign out of this picture!)

Brunch at the Brockton Villa at my MIL's suggestion was delicious.
Check out the view from our table!


Kim got the artichoke, asparagus and goat cheese omelette, and I got the house special orange Coast Toast.

they served my (hot) latte in a clear cup with a straw!

brockton villa



cute little sea lions on the rocks. they had lots of little pups!

Kim's first dip in the pacific



After a long stroll around the coast, we headed inland for some leisurely shopping.

must. get. gelato. (though it's nothing like the real deal)


a first for everything--this is the first cupcake shop I've been in. They even had a gluten free option for Kim!


Consignment shops galore provided some new duds for both of us.

We finished up the day at a local winery, Orfila, where we did a tasting and enjoyed the sunset.




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