Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Looking Back Over 2013

When I think back over the last year, I can't help but to break it up into two parts. It started off so promising
and exciting, and then as the second half of the year began, it took a turn that I never expected to occur. I went from being so in love and excited for my future with KC to completely crushed and devastated about what I learned had been occuring while he was in Afghanistan and what continued when he returned. However beat up and hurt by all this cheating that occured, I refuse to allow it to define 2013 for me. When something major and negative occurs in ones life you can choose to let it consume you or you can let it be a learning lesson. I'm letting it be a learning lesson. It's been about four and a half months since his ex girlfriend answered his phone one Saturday night, revealing it all, and I've slowly been picking up the pieces of my heart since then. The sting of reality has subsided significantly, but I think it will always be there. The sting you feel because you've just gone from cloud nine to the cold hard floor of reality in about 2.5 seconds. I'll never know why he did this or why he would choose to hurt someone who truly loved him, but I've learned to allow those thoughts to go through my head without making me as upset. I still look forward to, and hopeful for the day where he doesn't cross my mind multiple times in a twenty four hour span.A friend once told me that one day, out of the blue, I will get that Top of the World Feeling. Suddenly everything will be good again and that's when I know I will be fully moved on. I've yet to have that feeling but I know that with every day that passes, I am closer.Even though relationship wise I had some pretty rough things happen, I also did some really great things this year. I figure the best and most fun way to remember those are through pictures.


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My friend and I took a trip to S. California to escape the cold! We fulfilled our life goal and saw the Beverly Hills 90210 Beach House, and dined at Sur (Lisa Vanderpump's restaurant). It was a great few days spent in the warmth


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This month I headed back to California, but to the North part. I grabbed a couple of girlfriends and flew to San Francisco. We also went a bit north for a day to visit my brother up in wine country. We had a blast and drank some of the best red wine ever!


This month I began the three week Elimination Diet. This made me a pretty boring person for a month because I couldn't eat or drink outside of my house because my diet was so restricted. I loved doing this diet because I felt so healthy during it, but I desperately missed caffeine, red wine, and chocolate. It really allowed me to search out the things I could eat such as raw chocolate I found at Whole Foods.


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In April I traveled to Norway for work. This was my very first international trip ever. I had a blast! Although the price of food and booze was beyond ridiculous it was a great first place to visit because almost everyone spoke English. Some of the sights we took in included the most popular tourist destination: Vigelands Parken, and Holmenkollen Ski Jump.


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This was an interesting month. KC returned in May and that began the beginning of the end of our relationship. He struggled with our relationship that minute he returned and looking back now, it all makes sense. I still managed to have fun, and attempted to mask my hurt and sadness by visiting my hometown, going dirt bike riding with my dad, and doing a girls night out at one of the local wineries. 


New Place

Matilda and I moved into a brand new apartment this month. I was so excited to be in my first place all by myself since I have become a real adult. I spent most of this month selecting decorations and furniture to move into the new space.


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My birthday was this month and was celebrated with a rooftop party with my friends. It was one of the best birthdays I have had in a few years because I spent it with some of my favorite people. For the Fourth of July I was invited on to a friend's yacht on Lake Union. I hope I can do this every year because being on a boat should be the only way to spend Independence Day!



August was a tough time. It was early in this month that all was discovered with KC. I didn't do a whole lot this month because I simply didn't want to. I did do some boating for a friends birthday, but it was a pretty non social month for me.

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One of my good friends from middle school asked me to be one of her bridesmaids this month. She came down to look at wedding dresses and to go to a wedding expo. We loved Luly Yang the most out of all the bridal boutiques we visited that day. As far as the wedding expo goes: I wanted to gouge my eyes out. Those things are not my cup of tea.


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I was able to meet one of my longtime favorite authors, Nicholas Sparks, and hear him speak about his writing and life. I held a girls slumber party at my mom's house with a group of friends that I went to high school with. We went to a haunted corn maze, watched scary movies, and caught up with each others' lives.


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I escaped to Oregon for a long weekend to relax, regroup and rejuvenate myself. I also used this trip to play around with my new DSLR that I had purchased. I hadn't had a break from work in a while and this was much needed. November also means the month of Thanks. I celebrated Thanksgiving and Friendsgiving. The latter of the two was a first for me. My friends did a beautiful job at creating a special experience for all of us. I hope to be part of their celebration for many years to come!


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I don't know about you, but Christmas sure came fast this year! I think it was the fact that Thanksgiving was so late. Either way, it was a good one. My brother was home and I got to spend plenty of time with family members. 

I truly am looking forward to 2013 coming to a close. It was a year like no other, and frankly despite a lot of fun things I was able to do, I don't ever want to re-live 2013 again. I'll take the fun adventures I had again but that's about it. I learned a lot this past year and I look forward to putting it to good use in 2014. I always like to go into each new year with a positive mindset, and this coming year is no exception. I'm ready and feeling good: Bring it on 2014!
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Thursday, December 26, 2013

Merry (Late) Christmas!

I'm a little late to the game, but I also left my laptop home for the past six days that I've been with family (Not sure this was on purpose or not!). Anywho, I hope that you all had a wonderful Christmas spent with family and friends and were filled with yummy food and beverages. I know I am ready for the holidays to be over solely for the fact that I feel so out of shape with all the baked goods and wine I've consumed in the last few weeks!

Scenes of my Christmas to follow soon.

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Thursday, December 19, 2013

Thursday Thoughts: You Live & You Learn!


You know what I really struggle with? Debt. I don't struggle in the fact that I can't pay my debt or that I have too much, it’s having any at all that really gets to me. Currently my only debt is student loans and a couple hundred dollars owed to Macy's for a couch I bought. The university I attended was a pricy one and I'm actually very lucky that I got out of there with right around $20,000 in debt for an education that would have cost me well over $100,000. I was fortunate in the fact that I received money from my grandparents and grant money. I'm also incredibly blessed that I landed a career right after college and it was also in the field of my major. Those are two things that are hard to do these days. In essence, I shouldn't be complaining about paying back a small amount considering what I've received in turn, but it's still hard. To go from never having any debt to being smacked with $20,000 is a bit of a shock.I throw hundreds of dollars at it every month hoping it will go away. It doesn't though. I've never been really great with money. I was never taught how to properly budget or how much money I should put away. I was taught "Don't spend outside your means". I'm happy I've never become one of those people to just blow through money, but I definitely am not good at knowing how to deal with money that well. I've been putting a lot of thought into student loans lately. I looked up one of my accounts thinking that I had put a major dent in my loans since I was blindly sending checks off every month for one and having automatic withdrawals for the other for the last few years. I was shocked when I saw one of my accounts. I had my payment date way off and in turn, was not paying on time and I had been penalized. I started to think: what can I do to pay these loans off as soon as possible? I pay all my bills fine right now, but I can't afford financially to put more into my monthly payments. I then realized what the easiest option would be. I need to move into a cheaper apartment.

This summer when my lease was up at my old place I knew two things. One, I was ready to live by myself again and two, I was getting a raise and wanted a nice, new place. It would be my first place as a career woman and I deserved it. I now realize that I was a little gung ho with my thinking and maybe I should have looked around a few more places first. You live and learn though, right? That’s what this is all about! It was just so alluring: first month’s rent free, the first person to live in my unit, garage parking, a bathtub that I could actually bathe in without wondering how many gross people have stood in it! The last reason was enough to get me to jump up and down giddy with excitement. Everything looks better when it is new so I knew no matter how I decorated; it would be cute and fancy looking. What more could a girl want? Well..six months later, a girl wants no more loans!

It sounds so exciting and liberating to think of not having any debt to my name! I really want to buy a house or a condo in the near future and I feel like these student loans are standing in the way of me and my new home. Although that would be bringing on new debt, it wouldn't be the same situation I'm in now where I am paying loans on top of rent.

My tentative plan is this: once my lease is up, I'm moving into a place that is cheaper. A lot cheaper. It saddens me to think that I may have to leave this wonderful city in order to achieve that, but for a year, I can handle it. If I do move into a place that is significantly cheaper than where I am now, I can pay my student loans off in a year and start to think about purchasing a home or a new car. And to me, that sounds the most appealing right now. Until then, I will continue to chip away at my loans, albeit slowly.

Linking up with those gals below today!

Life As Always 

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Sunday, December 15, 2013

Stay in Bed Day


It's a little before noon, and I have yet to really be out of my bed for more than a couple minutes today. I just don't find myself wanting to go out and face the world today. There isn't any particular reason; I'm not hungover, I'm not trying to avoid anyone but I just have that gross feeling in my stomach. The feeling that keeps me in my bed and entices me to escape the feeling by catching up on all my shows that I have yet to watch.Since we're on the topic of shows..


I recently started watching HBO's Girls. I am completely hooked. I love this show and I don't necessarily know why I do yet. The fact that there is quite a bit of comedy involved is one of the reasons I like it, but what else draws me to this show to the point that I am about to throw my ipad across the room because my Xfinitiy App can't play thirty seconds of an episode without getting choppy and pausing? I think I like the fact that Lena Dunham (creator and star of the show) presents viewers with four very different girls who are all friends yet have such different personalities. My friend who suggested I watch the show refers to it as "The voice of our generation". These girls are in the early to mid twenties living in NYC. It's almost as if this is the real life Sex and the City for people my age. They don't live glamorous lives where they can spend one month's rent on a pair of Manolo Blahniks and get away with it. Each girl is living with her own struggles on a daily basis. Not being able to pay rent after being cut off by mommy and daddy, being a virgin at twenty one and desperately and anxiously not wanting to be, continuing to date a guy way past the expiration date, and not knowing anything about the guy you are sleeping with on a regular basis. It has a raw and real feel to it, as if you're watching some one's real life occurring on your screen.

Through all this, they team up together and live life, albeit not always happily or with each other. This show has the potential to just suck you in and not let go until you've watched all the episodes the HBO app has to offer.I'm looking forward to seeing how everyone grows and transforms as the seasons continue. The newest season will be premiering in January and I'm almost positive I will catch up wayy before it premiers considering I spent multiple nights this week glued to my ipad screen.

Here's hoping that my Xfinity App gets less crappy playback so I can watch more episodes and in turn get pulled out of my Sunday funk.

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Thursday, December 12, 2013

Ghosts of Christmas Past


I'm not one who usually gets into the paranormal activity type of things. I don't necessarily have a stance on it either. I've never experienced ghosts. I've gone on ghost tours for a laugh or entertainment, but never felt or saw anything. Until last Christmas.

My step dad was married to a woman before my mom. This woman at one point discovered she had cancer. She fought a tough battle and unfortunately she lost that battle one night. Things took a turn for the worse one evening when she and my step dad were at their home. An ambulance was called and as she was being transported to the hospital, she passed away. My step dad was devastated. It was now just him and his recently passed wife's cat who lived in the large home that he had custom built for her. It included all the amenities she had asked for, and contained her personal touch in the curtains, wall art, and linens. My step dad went through a pretty rough patch, but then he met my mother. She was the light at the end of the tunnel for him. A reason to live again. 

Last Christmas eve I was at their house with my brother. My mom and step dad were at the hospital because he was having some health problems. I remember waiting up until late in the night to see if they would make it home. I really wanted us all to be together on Christmas morning. My brother was hanging out in the guest room upstairs and I was in the media room right outside the guest room, watching TV. I received a phone call from my mom telling me that my step dad would have to stay in the hospital over night but that she was coming home soon. Knowing that she would soon be home and that it was way past my bedtime I decided I would go to sleep. I grabbed a blanket and hit the light switch as I walked through the dark room back to the couch. I snuggled up on the couch and was just about to close my eyes when

 The lights came back on. The ones I had just turned off.

I immediately asked my brother if he had turned them back on. He replied with "I'm in the guest room, how can I do that?" I told him what had happened and we were both completely awake and upright at my discovery. I then proceeded to go through the entire house to make sure no one was 'creepin. Of course I found nothing, but it made me wonder: Is the ghost of my step dad's wife in this house?

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Sunday, December 1, 2013

One of Those Weekends


The best kind of friendships, and the only ones I choose to have, are the ones where you might not see the person all the time but when you do, you pick up right where you left off. The way I look at it is this: the older one gets, the busier life becomes. Too many hours are spent at work, social calendars become filled all too quickly, life moves us to new places-some near, some far, and twenty four hours in one day just doesn't seem to cut it as an adult. As they say "Life is too short", and whoever said this is beyond correct. Instead of focusing on the lack of time spent with a person, the time you do spend with that person should be focused on. Life is just too short to get upset about not talking to someone enough-especially when it's due to forces beyond either persons' control.

This weekend I went back home. I spent a good part of my time wondering about the last time I went back home. It had been awhile. Although I grew up there I don't feel the connection like I used to feel. Somewhere in the last few years I outgrew my hometown. I think this feeling has stopped me from wanting to return to it as often as I used to. Even though I feel this way, I still have some amazing friends and family that live in that town and I am filled with so much joy that we maintain such good relationships despite the fact that I have moved away. This weekend reminded and rekindled that warm feeling I get when I hang out with old friends and realize how fortunate I am to have great people in my life-no matter how often or not I see them. 

I caught up with an old friend for lunch
Grabbed sushi, talked photography and saw Catching Fire with my Dad
Drank hot cider while watching friends decorate their tree
Laughed and ate scones with girlfriends this morning
Met baby Diego while eating guac and Modelos

My heart is full this Sunday evening.
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