Sunday, June 28, 2009

What am I doing and other mysteries answered.

TC and I are going to Uruguay for a wedding, TC's little brother's wedding, next week. I've never been to Uruguay! And I've never been to an LDS temple sealing in Spanish. I'm excited to say the least. Also, to answer Melissa's question which I so rudely did not answer before, the dress, dress #5, is for their reception.

For those of you who don't know, Uruguay looks like this:

View Larger Map

I'm excited for many reasons. One reason, I get to meet my brand new SIL. That right there is exciting because she seems really cool. And we get to spend nearly a week with the suegros (TC's mom and dad) AND TC's aunt.

So that's what's going on. We're running around getting everything prepared to go, like a suitcase full of chocolate, 23.5 lbs of chocolate specifically. So much to do and so exactly enough time to do it all in.

And don't worry about all that chocolate. I already packed it so I wouldn't be tempted to lighten the load.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Nordstrom makes my dreams come true

On Monday, after I wrote saying that there was no news on the dress, I decided to make some news. I pretty much had my mind set on dress #5. And then I panicked, thinking that if I didn't order dress #5 then, there was no chance I'd get it in time for when we leave next week. And I continued panicking thinking that there's no way that I was going to find a different dress around town. So, I decided to order it with the idea that I could return it if I found something else.

There was one teensy weensy problem though: the two Nordstroms I have access to don't carry that dress. And Nordstrom online would have to order the dress from their vendor and THEN ship it to me, which would mean I wouldn't get the dress in time. My situation looked bleak. I nearly started crying (not really, but it adds drama).

So, here's how Nordstrom made my dreams come true. They found one of their stores that had it and passed my information along to them. Nordstrom at the Houston Galleria shipped my dress to me. How special is that?

In the meantime, from Monday to yesterday when I received the dress, I was trying to convince myself that I was going to hate it, return it and move on with my life. We searched for alternates on Monday evening and found nothing.

Then yesterday was the day that changed my life. Dress #5 arrived, I tried it on and fell in love. Serious, deep, lasting, true love. So there's nothing I can do but hold on to this dress and make up excuses and reasons to wear it.

So there you have it. Thanks to your encouragement and support I decided to get the dress that the majority of you voted for. I'm a sucker for peer pressure.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Age Appropriate

I'm 30. There, I said it.

I'm 30. I'm no longer in my twenties.

I'm 30.

I didn't think it would bother me to turn 30. Each year as I've gotten a year older, it's been a happy and joyous thing for me. Birthdays are wonderful. And I've never understood those Hallmark cards that tease people about being ONE YEAR OLDER.

Except this year.

This year's birthday a few months back was fraught with unfulfilled, unrealistic expectations. And now, all I have to show for this birthday is my age. I'm 30.

So what does being 30 mean? I really have no idea. I've never paid any attention to age appropriateness. I have, however, decided that being an adult in my thirties means that I shouldn't dress like a teenager. But what does that mean? This is where I struggle in figuring out who I am as a 30 year old. I want to dress my age, but I don't want to look older than my age. I've been told that I look younger than I am, but is that because I've been dressing younger than I am? What if granny clothes appeal to me? What if the mystery department store I went to a few weeks back really is the place for me?

And then this line of thought leads to this other line of thought: have I accomplished everything that a 30 year old should have accomplished? What are those things? Do 30 year olds own their own homes? Are they successful in the business world? Do they have children? (I know the answer to that one. My parents had four children by the time they were 30. They also owned their own home.) How does a 30 year old act? Is it okay for me to use slang, or does it just sound like a lame attempt to be young? Is my slang dated? Is my hair dated? Do I look old? Do I act old?

What if I'm supposed to act old?

And then I full on panic for a few seconds.

And then I take a deep breath and tell myself that personal progress is all that matters. I was immature when I got married at 20 (this is the benchmark I typically use). Have I progressed since then? Am I at least a little more mature then I was then? Have I grown? Have I learned to overcome at least some of my weaknesses in at least some small measure since then? Have I learned and grown spiritually?

And then I can breathe easier.

Rational me realizes that this is the true and only way to measure myself. I don't have to fit into a category of 30 year olds; I just need to be a better version of myself. Irrational me worries about all those other things. Irrational me gets on my nerves. Irrational me is out to get me. Irrational me might be writing this right now.

Rational me says that I just need to be a better version of myself, always improving and growing and learning. But what does a better version of myself wear?

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Retro Hair

I was looking for cool haircuts yesterday because I decided that I need one. But then I found this website

and I went home and tried out the do following Casey's instructions, and guess what? It totally worked. This is wonderful because now I no longer want to shave my head. I CAN have long hair and not be boring.

And then I took the time to check out the rest of her blog, and I fell in deep like with her style. Just thought I'd share a great find.

Monday, June 22, 2009

A Case Study in Family Relations

This is a small window into what it's like when my family gets together.

I read an illustrated book about dinosaurs to my niece.

Then she loses interest and I get confused.

We somehow convince Dad to play Guitar Hero. He chooses the hardest setting and loses within 15 seconds.

We stand around looking awesome.

Cheyenne looking awesome.

We get really into singing "Livin' on a Prayer."

Update on the dress

The update is that there is no update. I've been obsessing over this decision all weekend. TC and I went to a few places around town to look for dresses, and didn't find anything that we were really excited about. I have a few options as far as making myself something, but I'm pretty sure I won't make the retro dress because it will be a challenge and I'd rather have adequate time to finish it instead of being rushed.

I'm leaning toward #5, but the whole money thing really gives me pause...

Anyway, I thought I'd give you all an update since you were so supportive and helpful in giving me advice. Thanks!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Marital Scale. Are YOU very superior like me?

According to this scale, I'm very superior, not like I needed a quiz to tell me that.


As a 1930s wife, I am
Very Superior

Take the test!

Check it out if you're interested in finding out how good of a spouse you are.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Humble request for opinions

I am in need of a semi-formal dress, and I'm having a hard time figuring out what I want. Actually, I have in my head exactly what I want, and I've found some close approximations, but I'm having a hard time choosing. So I am calling on my friends for help. Help me!

1. Vintage Vogue.

(This is a photo I got from It's a beautiful rendition sewn by "Beezy.")

(This is the pattern front.)

Pros: It's vintage, has a stand-up collar (which I'm obsessed with right now), is warm (because it's going to be cold where I'll wear this dress), I can choose any color I want (I would probably make it in a deep red satin). I have the pattern and have just been waiting for the perfect excuse to make it. It seems with my new-found need for a dress, I've found my excuse.
Cons: I have to choose the fabric and make it. I have two weeks. This is possible, but I'll be pressed. It might be good to be pressed to finish something. But then again, there's always the fear that it might not turn out.

2. Calvin Klein sheath.

Hee hee. Ha ha. What a freaky photo. I promise, I won't do that again.

Pros: The stand-up collar on the jacket is a major plus. The pleated bodice is so stylish, and it has 3/4 sleeves for warmth.
Cons: The color. I'm not sure how that color will look against my super pale skin.

3. Maggy London Mock Two Piece Ponte Knit

Pros: It's classic black and white. It's got a high neck and is knee length, so there won't be any pulling or tugging to make sure everything is covered up. Plus I love the high waist skirt.
Cons: It's ponte knit. Is knit fancy enough for a semi-formal event? Nordstrom says it is since in the cocktail dress category, but I'm not positive.

4. Suzi Chin Maggy Boutique Royal Blue

Pros: I love the ruching on the side, and I LOVE the sleeves. It's so sexy. And the color is amazing!
Cons: I might have issues with the low-cut neck line.

5. Tadashi Flower

Pros: I love the flower! I can't stop thinking about that flower (click on the photo to make it bigger and you just might fall in love with the flower too). I love the pleatedness of the dress. So much fun. It's a great length, there won't be any issues with the neckline.
Cons: Price. Stupid Tadashi people think they deserve a small fortune for being creative and clever and stylish enough to come up with such a wonderful creation. Oh and this dress may not be everyone's cup of tea, but when has that bothered me? Another consideration: is this dress too "in the now" to be a classic to wear again and again? I suppose that question applies to all the options.

Numbers 2-4 are pretty much the same price. Number 1 would be the least expensive, even if I bought fabric on the pricier side. And 5 is pricey, but I could justify it (when have I NOT been able to justify spending money on myself). I haven't tried any of these dresses on, so that could play into my decision, but still I want to know what you think. So what would you do? Please opine!

Also, we've already established that I'm vain, so I make this request unabashedly.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Stranger Danger

I discovered last week that I am officially a stranger.

I went to my six year old nephew's piano recital. He played the theme from Pirates of the Caribbean, and was even dressed in a Jack Sparrow get up. He's a cool kid.

Several other talented children played at the recital too, one of which, a boy about nine years old, really impressed me. After the recital was over, I thought since he was sitting behind me I'd take the opportunity to tell him that he did a great job. So I did. This is how it went down:

I turned around, smiled and said, "You did such a good job on your songs. I was really impressed." He looked at me like one of us was crazy (in his mind I was probably the crazy old lady talking to him), looked away and then walked toward his mom, who was sitting as far down the row as he could get from me. He left me hanging. I was figuratively high-fiving him, and he straight up dissed me leaving my hand in the air. Since he's a kid, I forgive him.

But that's when I realized that I'm a stranger. ME! I'm a "stranger." I'm nice; I'm not going to hurt anybody, much less a kid. But children don't know that. All they see is a lady they've never met, who for all they know is 100 years old and throws little kids in ovens a la the witch in Hansel and Gretel. Weird to think of myself of a stranger. But good for that kid for following the instructions of countless parents and teachers to not talk to strangers.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Unnamed discount department store

This weekend a good friend of mine (me) convinced her husband (TC) to go to an unnamed discount department store with her. When she told her husband that the recommendation to go to that store was from a friend of hers (who happens to be much older than her), her husband was a little leery of the place, but was a good sport about it and went along.

They entered the store and her husband immediately determined that the locale catered to a more mature class of consumers than themselves; it was more suited to ladies in their sixties and older. But my friend really wanted to see everything they had, and kept hoping that around some corner somewhere there would be something age appropriate for her, being in her early thirties.

They spent 30 minutes or so inside, looking at everything. Her husband kept telling her that this store was not meant for her age group. He might have used words like "granny style" and "para viejas." But she really REALLY wanted to see everything. There HAD to be something her style. There WOULD be something her style. She would find something and buy it and then her husband would be sorry for teasing her. She'd show him. Ha!

But there wasn't anything her style, she didn't find anything she liked. So they left, and got gelato, and dinner, and then drove home. And as they were riding in the elevator to go up to their apartment, two older ladies (who are very nice and dear to their hearts) that live in their building got on the elevator with them, with bags from the Unnamed Discount Department Store. They had just been there, and were gabbing excitedly about their purchases.

And once my friend and her husband got to the privacy of their own home, he looked at her smugly ready to say something smugly smug and "I told you so" like, and she said, "Shut up. Don't say another word. Just shut up." And he laughed and got to gloat for a little while.

And she decided that it will be another 30 years before she will shop there.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Losing myself continued

It's been nearly 6 years since I got fed up with my weight and decided to do something about it. What have I learned in that time?

  • Regular soda just isn't worth the calories. Neither are juice or punch.
  • Water is so super awesome, especially when it's ice cold.
  • You don't have to count sacrament bread in your points tracker.
  • I can't bake with splenda or low fat margerines. Stick with "real" ingredients and just eat less. I'll enjoy the treat more.
  • Being hungry from time to time isn't the end of the world.
  • It's nice to feel full.
  • Sometimes I think I'm hungry when I'm just thirsty. Have a drink and see how I feel in a few minutes.
  • It is possible to find inner peace eating just one cookie rather than twelve.
  • I don't need guacamole to be happy, and sour cream is optional.
  • Toast tastes just fine with only jam rather than butter and jam. Even dry toast is pretty darn delicious too.
  • My self-worth is not defined by how much frosting is on my slice of cake.
  • I only need mayonnaise on one piece of bread in a sandwich.
  • I can make my own pizza and not break the points budget. This is great because I LOVE pizza.
  • While we're talking about pizza, Little Caesars pizza actually isn't terribly pointy. It's not for everyone, but I enjoy it from time to time when I need a quick pizza fix and I don't have time to wait for a crust to rise. It's always hot-n-ready.
  • It's fun to binge. (I've always known that.) But it's even fun to go to town on a bowl of salad (with vinegar for dressing), carrots or a heap of grapes. Sometimes for me, it's all about quantity, rather than quantity of fatty stuff.
  • Speaking of "bingeing," low fat microwave popcorn is tasty, especially when you experiment with spices to top your popcorn. Mesquite flavored popcorn? Spicy, but tasty. Curry popcorn? Same. Garlic salt? Yum, but bad breath later.
Keep reading! You can do it. You won't be disappointed.*
  • Smoothies are an awesome treat. Just put milk, bananas, strawberries and some splenda or sugar in a blender, and blend until smooth. If you want it super cold, add ice to the blender. Want variety? Change up the fruits.
  • Fruits and vegetables have a magic power to help me feel satisfied without using up a bunch of points. For that, I love vegetables and fruits.
  • I don't have to feel deprived; I just have to find ways other than a towering bowl of ice cream to treat myself. Diet soda is a great treat. Especially diet Dr. Pepper. So my favorite!
  • Cafe Rio is worth every single last point. We get it once a week as a treat for eating well during the week. I don't spare any grain of rice and my "No black bean left behind" policy is in full force. Pointy but entirely worth it to me.
  • Exercise can be fun. Seriously people. This is coming from a contender for "the laziest person on the planet" award. I hate sweating, I hate jumping, I hate panting. But get the right exercise buddy (mine is TC), and a routine you like (we do Tony Horton's Power 90), switch up the routines from time to time and it can be fun. Make fun of the exercise video and listen to great music and it can be a good time. Plus, it gives me an excuse to indulge a little bit later by having a smoothie or a yogurt.
  • Speaking of yogurt, it makes an awesome snack. It's sweet and cold and creamy. Way yums.
  • I have collar bones and wrist bones! And I'm not actually big boned like I always thought. Who would have thought?
  • People are judgmental no matter what your weight is. Heavy? People judge you. Not heavy? People judge you or assume you're naturally thin, or that it's easy.
  • On that note, weight loss is a constant battle for me. Food is a pretty common subject around here because it's on my mind. How much I eat, when I eat, what I eat... It's all something I need to be aware of because when I wasn't I would eat insane amounts of food and wonder why my pants kept getting tighter and shorter.
  • Knowing how much a food is worth in points helps me evaluate if I really want it or not. And the whole concept of eating less than you burn off really works. Gordita's honor.

There's more to this story, but just like last time, this is getting long. Stay tuned.

*You may be disappointed. ikrod makes no guarantees about satisfaction or disappointment when spending time on this website.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Losing myself

Back in the summer of 2003 I realized that I was portly. It seems odd that it took a realization to know this, but it did. I suspected that my weight had creeped up, every once in a while I would complain to TC that I was too flabby, too chubby, too round. But each time I complained, TC would be so soothing, telling me that I was beautiful no matter what, and that if it really bothered me he would support me in doing something about it, and then I would feel better. And then I would forget that I was unhappy with my weight.

But the summer of 2003 was pivotal for me. We took a trip to Northern California to visit my home. I had been looking forward to this road trip, and in preparation bought some new clothes so I would look fabulous. When I saw the photos I realized it was more like flabulous. I was disappointed and may have thrown a fit befitting a spoiled child. I admit nothing.

In the Bay Area that fateful summer.

Around that same time I realized that the immortality of my youth was wearing off. I was getting older (I was old at the ripe age of 24) and could have health problems because of the 40 extra pounds I was lugging around. So that very same day that I had a break down about being heavy, with TC's support and encouragement, I joined Weight Watchers online.

We got to work right away looking up the points values of foods that I would typically eat. I was shocked that my favorite breakfast, a bagel with cream cheese and a glass of orange juice, was a little less than half of my daily allotted points. Also shocking was that in a typical day I regularly ate around twice as many calories as I should. I was determined to make better food choices and determined not to fail. This HAD to work because we were paying a monthly fee!

We went shopping for low points foods and made a plan for what I would eat each day. And with how much I love lists, I was really excited to have a list that would tell me what to eat and when to eat it. This was right up my alley! My determination led me to be beyond diligent that first week. I made sure I did not go over points, I drank all the required water, and I even tried to eat some vegetables. I was even worried about eating the sacrament bread, wondering how many points I should add to my points tracker for that. That's dedication!

I lost 4 pounds that first week. My skepticism that this would work was dashed. So I kept going, and kept losing. TC's encouragement and support kept me going even when I threw fits about "how hard it is" and "how hungry I was" and "how I just wanted to lose control and polish off an entire bag of Doritos in one sitting like I used to" so that by October, just three months later, I had lost 22 pounds.

Notice this is the same outfit I wore on our vacation just three months before.

By December I had lost 30 pounds total.

January through March were slow. My weight fluctuated. I was constantly losing and gaining the same 5 pounds. But finally, in April I reached my goal weight.

At goal.

And I celebrated, and the heavens sang, and I went shopping. Thus began my love affair with buying clothes.

Since this is so long, I'll cut this off here for now. But I'd like to tell you all a little more about this making better food choices business, just in case what I learned so slowly will help someone else. For now, enjoy the photos.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Adventures in Mesa

Last month we went to Mesa, Arizona for a few days for my niece's high school graduation. Other than the fact that it was nice to spend time with nieces and nephews there's really not much to report. Except that, likely because TC and I went prepared for scorching hot weather like the last time we were there, the weather was fairly mild, and rainy. In fact, it rained during the graduation, which was held outside on the bleachers. Suffice it to say that we got wet.

The real adventure began after the graduation. Not knowing our way around, TC and I relied on GPS to get from point A to point B. GPS definitely took us the most direct and fastest way, but we found ourselves in some neighborhoods that we would have rather avoided. Such was the case when we were returning to our hotel after the graduation ceremony.

As we waited at a stop light for a green left turn arrow, we noticed that the SUV across the street directly in front of us was surrounded by police vehicles, four or so. In the darkness we could make out figures with long arms stretched out in front of them cautiously approaching the SUV. Naturally, I got nervous once I realized that those figures were police officers with guns drawn and was grateful when our left turn light went green. Just as TC was about to hit the gas, a police car came from behind us, swung around and parked in front of us. The passenger in that police car got out, drew his gun to cover his partner, the driver, while he opened the trunk and pulled out a gun case about 3 feet long. Then he pulled the gun out of the case. Then he crouched behind the police car. Then he pointed this hefty semi-automatic rifle toward the SUV across the street.

TC and I sat there stunned. As interesting and COPS-like this scene was, neither of us were too thrilled to be in the thick of it. Plus I've never been a fan of that show; it's too stressful (law enforcement obviously is not a good career choice for me, which is why I work in an office). But we couldn't go forward because this was the scene in front of us:

So we sat there for a few minutes, worrying that we might get shot at until a police officer who had parked behind us (by then there were ten or so police cars on both sides of the street) came over and told us to get the heck outta there by making a right turn. The right turn messed up our route, and we had to find our own way to the freeway.

But we found our way back to the hotel and did not get shot at, so right there we gotta be pretty excited, right?

Monday, June 8, 2009

Nutra Nail

Have you ever used this stuff? I bought a bottle last week and have never been happier. At all. Ever. In my whole life. Seriously.

Nutra Nail Nail Strengthener totally works! My nails are SO hard and strong. TC has started calling me Wolverine. In addition to providing a beauty clear gloss sheen, it seems to make it nearly impossible for my nails to break or tear, which normally they do quite often (stupid weak nails).

Also, the gloss does not chip off by itself like other clear glosses I've used. In fact, the first time it showed any signs of weakness was on Saturday when we cleaned and my nails came in contact with some harsh chemicals. This makes me think that perhaps I should start wearing gloves when I clean... Yeah, I probably should.

So if you're like me and have stupid weak nails, get some Nutra Nail. I don't know if you'll be able to open a can of soda using just one fingernail like in the commercials, but I have noticed a considerable difference in my nails. It's pretty awesome.

Thursday, June 4, 2009


TC has the most beautiful sisters ever. Just look:

SIL #1. Gorgeous and more! She is becoming a domestic diva and impresses me with her creativity and style. For reals. She bakes bread and is planting a garden and decorating her home, and teaching her boys to be kind and loving, and accomplishes the goals she sets out to accomplish. She's great at keeping old friendships alive. Plus she can tell a story like it's nobody's business. Also she's a smart girl that has a Masters degree. She's got a great husband and two adorable little boys. See:

The two adorable little boys.

SIL #2. Stunningly beautiful plus, she is an artist through and through. If you want something to look wonderful, ask her to put it together. She has a talent for creating, designing. She has an eye for art in photography. She has taught herself all sorts of design software and is capable of mastering anything it seems. She's passionate and a good aunt and she's really funny. I mean, wet your pants funny. She's awesome and deserves the best there is.

SIL #3. This lovely is sweet, thoughtful and sensitive. She's good and wants to do good things; I love this about her. She makes me laugh and has since she was a small child. She's especially tolerant of my bad Spanish (and English for that matter), but isn't afraid to tease me when I say something dumb, or yawn like Chewbacca or use my hands when I talk. She remembers our inside jokes and will play Karaoke Revolution with me, and doesn't even love me a little less when my voice cracks. She is the little sister I always wished I could have. Plus she's really good at Dance Dance Revolution, so what more could you ask for?

I find qualities in each one of these ladies that I appreciate and try to emulate. It's harder to say these things out loud than to write them, so here it is, my cowardly way of loving my SILs. Thanks for being my sisters-in-law (even though you didn't have much say in the matter).

Monday, June 1, 2009

Circus Animals

The animals are back in stores. Well, the Smith's in the Avenues has them. And I bought a bag for $2.50.

I did well for the first few days, counting out one serving of six cookies and eating only that much, enjoying and savoring every bite. I may or may not have lost control and eaten the rest of the bag in one sitting. I got sprinkles everywhere. It was fantastic.

Just thought I should let you all know that my anxiety over never having the opportunity to enjoy those pink and whites again has been attenuated. YAY! So go and get yourself some circus animals.