Wednesday, December 29, 2010


Dear readers,

I have hit a busy patch, due to an unexpected illness at work. I've been covering a lot of shifts that I don't normally cover, and also beginning to work out like nobody's business. Starting next week, I will be attending 7 exercise classes Monday-Friday. I personally think it's a ton of fun, but it does get old quickly. At least I got to eat all I wanted tonight since I'm aware of my vigorous future...

More soon!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas Inside My Head

I've heard a lot of "What are you doing/did you do for Christmas?" I keep responding with, "I think I'll write a blog entry on my Christmas and you can all see from that." So, here it is. :)

My Christmas started on the 23rd, when we went to Aaron's family's house. Before we left, we opened gifts with Cassie. From that session I ended up with a huge, lovely jewelry box from Aaron...
It looks something like this, but much more decorated and beautiful. I'll get pictures after I empty my camera. From Cassie I got Despicable Me, and a video game. Despicable Me is one of the cutest videos that came out this year. I quite love it.

When we showed up at the parent's house, we played card games for a while. I'm pretty good at playing Bullshit because I sit quietly, under the radar, and don't put down more than one card at once. Golf, I don't really do well because the rules are sketchy to me. Enough of games. On to the roast. It was amazing, with mashed potatoes... and pie... I love eating homemade food, and this was very good.

When we finished eating we decided to open presents. The tree, which is gigantic, looked like it had exploded at the bottom with gifts. I laughed cause I thought of our little tree that my family had growing up-it was usually a 4-6 footer-next to their really big one. Aaron and I have a 6-foot tree, and it is still a lot smaller. Good thing we were small little people in a small house with our small tree and small presents when I was a kid.

Aaron and I got an LCD big screen tv... That was the highlight as far as Aaron was concerned! Let's just say I would have been content with the yoga/pilates outfits and the Maurice's gift card. We got a griddle which turns into a waffle griddle and makes all kinds of things. I used it just this morning to make pancakes. :) And I got the coziest pj pants and slippers, and Aaron and I got 'exotic' alcohol from his brother... It was amazing.

We did watch Despicable Me afterwards, followed by the rousing movie Shoot Em Up, which reeked of sex and assault and guns. Somewhere in there Dan and Aaron and I also played a pretty awesome video game called Castle something, where I, as a beginner, got to kill about 26 bad guys my first round! (The guys were helping me a lot, though.) By the time we went to bed it was pretty late...

On Christmas Eve, we went to the first set of grandparent's house. They are the center of activity, as far as I've seen. We go to their house on the 4th of July to be part of parades, races, food, games, etc. Every Christmas Eve they host a huge bingo party. I've heard a lot of funny things about the past year's parties, so I was intrigued to go experience it for myself this year.

We got to do a craft first. All the ladies made watches. We started with watch faces and made our own personalized wristbands to attach them to. I made 3, and made Aaron's mom one. That was a fun project, and we followed up with some prime rib, more mashed potatoes, and a ton of other foods...

Let me tell you about mashed potatoes. Where I come from, that is the most highly appreciated food you can cook. When I was younger, my sister Berea and I would sit and peel a couple dozen potatoes. Then we would chop them, boil them, and finally whip them up with milk and butter. We never had instant mashed potatoes until the divorce, and even then, REAL mashed potatoes prevailed. We would ignore whatever other food was on the table: meatloaf, corn, yams, stuffing, rolls-and load our plates with these potatoes! Every time. This was our addiction.

So we ate this amazing dinner where I had 2 plates of mashed potatoes, because that is my personal rule. Then we sat around and groaned for a while about how full we were. Then we played Bingo. With their rendition, when you win a prize you can either open a new gift or steal someone else's. They have a lot of silly prizes and a lot of really nice ones. I didn't think I would fare too well since I'm a quiet person, but I actually was very pleased with my prizes.
I got this Husker hat, which fulfilled all my Christmas dreams. I LOVE this hat!!! To prove it's my favorite thing, I have worn it practically nonstop since I got it. I also got a set from Bath and Body Works called Pink. I love the scent of it. And a couple of Itunes gift cards, and a nice set of dinnerware... and a marshmallow sucker... and other stuff... plus Aaron's grandparents gave me a couple nice gifts as well.

We got to eat again before we went home, and sit around and groan some more. Then we returned to the house for the night. Christmas Day we came back to town. I had asked to work Christmas Day because I get time and a half. I worked 11.5 hours, so I definitely get a good paycheck this period!! Plus family came and visited me all day long, and I got to party with them and my coworkers. This is my second cousin Jessica:
She's pretty much the sweetest doll I have ever met! She played with me for almost 2 hours and never stopped hugging me and grinning. She looks so much like my cousin, her daddy Jon. Jonathan and I talked for a long time, remembering our past life of crime with wistfulness. Like how we ripped up my mom's new grass with our awesome waterslide. Or how we would con our moms into believing we were working, when in truth we were doing anything but. My cousin Nate was there too, and he bitterly recalled our adventures involving himself and duct tape. Jessica's mommy is a sweet, sympathetic girl who has become close to me in the past few months. We got to talk about family issues, both hers, mine, and Jon's. She also gave me a fruit roll up from my little brother, which was really cute. Aaron and I ate it while watching A Christmas Story in the bar last night. that's how fun my work is. :)

Last night I got off early, which was nice, and went home for some quality alone time with my husband. We went out and admired the snow, the stars, and breathed in the deeply frosty air for a while. We set up our new tv, which now is in competition with our tree for the most space on that particular wall of our living room. I think it's winning! And then we had a few celebratory shots of buttery nipples and went to bed. Today I am meeting my old neighbors for pizza, then meeting another friend for my baby fix. And then I might do a little shopping for my Secret Santa at work, play some video games, and relax until Aaron comes home with the rest of my gifts and more homemade food.

This holiday season has actually turned out to be probably the second best one in my life. Amazingly I say that, because I really went into it with a negative attitude. But I ended up having a wonderful time, and maybe this is what Christmas is actually supposed to feel like. The anticipation of giving Cassie the beautiful opal ring we saved up for. The look on Julie's face when I announced that she, Cassie and I were going to get a spa package (1-hour massage, 1 hour facial, pedicure, manicure, and hairstyle... mmm!!!) on us. Looking for just-the-right gift for Gloria and Chad and the triumph Aaron and I shared when we found it. Christmas movie marathon while we baked cookies and red velvet brownies. Realizing how much work my mother and father-in law went to to make my Christmas memorable and perfect. Maybe these are the things that Christmas is made of. If so, I'm very glad I've found it. And now, in the words I am learning to speak fluently,

Joyeux Noël, et puissiez-vous trouver votre bonheur!

Monday, December 20, 2010

White Vanilla Christmas

When polar bears dance,
Not clumsily like they ought but with magical grace
When gingerbread men speak
The moment you paint a frosting smile on their face
Then you know it's Christmas...
Once you're sick of shopping
And content to snuggle at home with homemade treats
Once the presents are wrapped
All our friends at the house, fighting over the coziest seats
You know it's got to be Christmas!
If you step into the great outdoors
And somehow the bitter, piercing cold feels right
If you can skate in the driveway
Your best friend starts an all out snowball fight
Of course it has to be Christmas.
When sleep brings sparkled dreams
Reminding you your wishes have come true
And little frosty penguins shine
On a pendant at your throat in ivory and blue
It makes you glad it's Christmas...
As Santa's elves frolic about
Singing songs of Christmas joy and cheer
And you look forward gladly to
Whatever awaits you in the coming year
Dear Readers... Merry Christmas.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Love That Holds Meaning

Last night, as I snuggled next to my husband, he murmured a sleepy, "I love you" which I returned. He drifted to sleep quickly, but I was lost in thoughts. One particular one, which struck me as exceedingly simple yet complicated. What is love? Does it exist? Is it intrinsic, or do we create it? Is it a feeling? An action? What is it?

This is one of the great undefined mysteries of life. The fact that the perception of "love" can be viewed in so many different ways by humans often clouds the true definition of the word.

It must be many things. The way I feel towards Aaron is not entirely affectionate. Sometimes I'm irritated with him. Some days I'm too rushed to pay attention to my feelings about him, and yet I still pause to say, "I love you, hon". Often I'm filled with deep affection that makes me want to be physically near him constantly.

My brother, who I claim to love more than anyone in the world, inspires different emotions in me. When I think of him, I am filled with unmistakable pride, to be able to say he is my relation, and that I raised him. I am overwhelmed with fierce protective urges, and a frantic desire to see him safe, and happy. I want him to know I'm there for him, that I am his biggest fan, and that he is never alone.

I adore few things more than my black fingerless gloves. I wear them almost daily. Does that mean I love them? Can I love an object? What about an activity? Martial arts brings me clarity, peace, adrenaline, and yoga contributes a vastly critical addition to my day. One can exclaim, "I love yoga!!!" But can they?

What is love? Love can be portrayed through actions, as displayed in 1 John 3:16: This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. Love can be a motivator for sacrifice, like in John 3:16: For God so loved the world, that he gave his only son, to die for us. Love can be a feeling, as referenced in Jordin Spark's song, 'Love Feels Like a Battlefield', or Vince Gill's 'Feels Like Love'.

Love seems to be instinctual for humans. A child is born, and a mother is inexplicably bonded with her child. Is it love? Or innate behavior? A grown man is brought to his knees by the staggering emotion he feels towards the woman he yearns after in his heart. Love? Or desire? A man and a woman spend a night of passion, needing to be brought together as one. Love? Or lust? A ten-month-old baby kisses her mother on the cheek. Love? Or learned behavior? A man lays down his life for the world-at least, in his opinion, he does. Is that love? Or is it a martyrdom disorder?

It certainly doesn't seem to be long-suffering, in most cases. Divorce is a common occurrence. Mothers eventually lose interest. Many things can distract one from loving. A best friend can turn enemy at a misunderstood comment. A family can be torn apart over money problems. A child can turn away easily from a friend they no longer relate to.

Is this love a thing you can trust? Does it exist? What is it? I'd love to know.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Top Ten of O'Ten

These are the most momentous moments of my year. Kind of in order.

10. May 9, when Aaron and I spent half a day at a scenic park, before going to Target, where he proposed... and the rest of the day, who knows where we went. I don't, cause I was on cloud 9.

9. May 6, when I became the first person in my family to graduate college!

8. July 7, when Aaron and I legally married, for the Navy's sake. It wasn't a big deal, but we got to sleep in a hotel together after, which made it a special day.

7. July 12. That was the day I stood next to my pal for life and made an 8-year commitment to the United States Navy. A commitment I have not regretted for a second.

6. August 6th. That was the day that Aaron's mom and I went to pick out my wedding dress. With Robert in tow, we shopped for about an hour and found the perfect dress. That was the day I felt truly accepted into my new family.

5. August 14th-I stood with Cassie, Aaron, and Robert and sang 'Don't Stop Believing' by Journey, on top of a water tower at Oceans of Fun. By the second chorus, we had the whole crowd singing with us. There is something exhilarating about starting a mass sing-along, and I very much enjoyed it. And of course, when we stopped singing, there was the thrilling ride down the slide of doom.

4. October 9th. When Aaron and I officially got married. I promised to be by his side, hand in hand, for as many years as we saw fit, hopefully forever. And he promised to do whatever I wanted him to, even if he didn't want to. :)

3. October 23 was my favorite day of our honeymoon. We spent it shopping for cozy hoodies, blankets, boots, and touring Rocky Mountain National Park. And of course, eating amazing burgers and candies, drinking, and soaking in a hot tub with hot cocoa and ending with a movie in front of the fire. Mmm, LOVE it!!!

2. November 13th. I spent that whole day in a cabin with my best friend in the whole world, reading books, watching movies, and being perpetually drunk. Oh yeah, sweet bliss. Also my first snow of the season.

1. Today! Nothing amazing about today. Just that Aaron and I went Christmas shopping together, and then wrapped gifts by the tree while watching holiday movies and eating lasagna and cookies that he made. Am I a lucky girl or what?

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Inside My Head, Installment #13

Wow!! The end of my 7th semester in college! I can't believe I lasted this long!! Today I finished 2 of my finals and I'm done with Human Relations and Medical Terminology. Actually, medical terminology was a lot of fun. I would cuss in medical slang. "You ligamentous salpingo!!" translates into 'ligament-imitating fallopian tube'. Ah, the sweetness of it...

This Sunday I'm co-hosting a party at my favorite store in the mall. The hostesses get 35% off our purchases, and everyone esle gets discounts too. The only problem is that we aren't sure where we'll be stationed next winter. If we are in Norfolk, then it will be no problem. But in San Diego I doubt that fleece and denim will come in handy. We were talking about Georgia, actually, and we hear that they have plenty of use for warm clothes-it gets down to a frigid 73 degrees!! Oh, the chill!!

Nebraskans... kind of are too hearty for that. It's been down to 13 degrees in the past month, snowed several inches, and iced over our windows many nights. And I've seen a total of 4 winter coats on people in town, the day after Thanksgiving. I'm torn between being a tough hearty Husker and a little freezing southern gal. hmm. Let me go to Georgia and get back to you on that.

This week, my friend Julie and I scheduled massages. I've had a few massages before and they were pretty good, relaxing, but not really anything monumental. My perspective changed though! Jennie, the therapist, dug her elbows deep into my back and shoulders. It was the most painful thing I had felt in ages. I moaned and gasped throughout. And yet, when it was finished, I felt like sleeping. The next day I was sore. Like I had worked out for about 3 hours. But the day after that? Oh my goodness. I walked around with NO tension anywhere. I was happy. Wow!!! Loved it!! Thanks Julie, you know how to pamper a girl!!!

Cassie and I have been rocking the pilates and yoga. Observe:
um.. those are called... crunches...
That's called cat. There's also cow, but it's unflattering. Cassie
did it, and then she wanted the picture deleted.

Oh, and I found Nemo!!
He was in my shoes the whole time-no wonder he couldn't
find dad!!!

And last but not least, I'm gonna let you in on a little secret as to why my life is suddenly perfect. I couldn't ask for better. Not only do I have a loving husband, doting family, a super Christmas coming up, a lot of friends helping me through the whole situation I'm in, and a best friend going into the Navy with me, but.... Introducing...
My baby. :)

AAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I love her!!!! My sweet Sailor.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

A Few of My Favorite Winter Things

Spending time with my best friend

Mmmm... finding the perfect picture I didn't
know I'd taken.

Decorating for the holidays...

And Christmas treats!!!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Wistful Dawn

The day pensively began. Slivers of pale light slithered restlessly across the ebony canvas of the sky. With deliberate tension, dawn began to fight the stars that sparkled like brilliant solitaires.Grudgingly, shadows that had hidden beneath the opaque cover began to melt away, revealing the frosty white-chocolate-covered earth and it's inhabitants.

This glimmery lucent atmosphere creeps into my little haven, where I have contentedly been given to peaceful rest throughout the witching hours. Enthusiastic tendrils of dawn begin to frolic over my face, and though I draw the comforter up and hide, their job is done and I am alerted to the new day breaking. My cozy cocoon is penetrated by the shaft of sunlight that promises warm welcome, but is deceiving. Slowly easing out of deep rest, the cool air kisses my skin and leaves me shivering.

These are the days of searching. What is under scrutiny is life, is truth, is reason. In ensuing thought processes come hours of wonder, light as an airy orange dreamscicle in Autumn. As often are the moments of waiting, considerably flavorless and yet sweet, like a vanilla twilight. And on occasion, the dark chocolate kiss of mourning, knowing what of life is bitter even as it melts into a sweet savory history. I wander from Memory Forest to Now Island and Vision Mountain, always aware that Dream Cove is my final destination.

The undercover of evening comes sweetly at the end of each working day. I curl up next to the man I call mine, pulling into my security where I drift away to Neverland. Once tucked beneath the waves of unconsciousness, rest is precious like air transforming to gold. Wintry nights fill my dreams with a rainbow of spices, nutmeg and peppermint, delighting sensations of soothing Groban and Owl City, and colors weave solemn arrays of astonishing hues. And so, I breathe in the tranquility, until the sun again seeps through, wistfully whispering in the dawn.

For the past few nights, I've taken melatonin before bed, as well as doing a yoga session in the daytime. It's helped me to relax and made sleeping much more pleasant. I'm also taking a relaxer for my jaw, and thankfully I'm not drooling or anything with it like I thought I might! :) Thanks for the suggestions!!