Monday, December 28, 2009

Riding Log: Day 4 (Hunter)

So today I took the kids to Hunter Mountain for my Day 4 and their Day 3. It was a good day. We drove up in some snow but it started to clear up the more north we went. The drive wasn't too bad, the little bugger slept and Amanda talked the whole way.

Once we got there we were greeted by a filling parking lot and intense lift ticket lines. I assumed it was the Holiday crowd and wondered if riding was a good idea. We were there and we'd make the best of it. Once at the ticket window, we were informed that the main quad was broken and wouldn't be running all day. I figured we were there so what the hell. They gave us $20 off coupons for each lift ticket. I paid $0 for mine since I had a free one sitting on my Big Lift card, Kyle was $10 and Amanda was $43... and I got $60 in gift cards sooo... it was WIN!

The lift lines were crazy long... like 20 minutes long. That got old fast. Especially when some of the park rat asses cut in line or refused to ride with strangers to make 4s. But I just tried to stay happy and enjoy my time with Kyle and Amanda.

Amanda ran through the runs like a speed demon which also made her fall tons. She took a few spills but skiing that fast with no turns will do it to you. I'm glad both kids start ski lessons again this coming week. They need to tighten up their technique and they don't always listen to me, so it will push them over their plateau into the next level of skiing.

Kyle continues to surprise me with both is natural skill and love for the sport. He doesn't want breaks, he doesn't want to wait on lift lines, he doesn't want to wait for me to strap in. He barrels down that mountain like he owns it and when he falls, he laughs it off, tries to get up as fast as he can and keep on going.

I'm really blessed to have family members who have the same or similar passions as myself. It allows us to bond over a common love and I really appreciate it. I'm sure some days I look to these days as wasted... I didn't ride hard or push myself, but it's a great time with them... and one day I'm sure they'll be slowing themselves down to allow me to keep up with them.

Snow karma... :) ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Riding Log: Day 3 (Hunter)

Bright ideas don't often come from me, but when they do, it can be exciting. I decided that I wasn't going to work on Christmas Eve. I had worked all week and got most of my things done. I spent many days just goofing off waiting for the break. With 1 vacation day left and only 1 week left in 2009, I decided I'd go snowboarding instead. I mentioned it to Paul and Andy and after some careful planning and help from my sister and bro-in-law for gift transport, I spend Christmas Eve on the slopes.

I tried out my new soft goods and I must say that they do the job. Maybe a little baggy, but it gets the job done. Unfortunately I had all my gear up at my mom's so I had to whip out the new Solomon F20's and they were super stiff and needed to be broken in. I couldn't feel my feet all day. I also had no goggles. I borrowed Paul's old one's but they were garbage after he chucked them all over the mountain.

Andy and Paul came up with me and it was my 1st day of real riding... big boy/girl riding on only blacks/double blacks. We got up there at 9:30 and left by 2:00. It was more or less a full day with no lift lines and no lunch break.

Me, Andy & Paul - Hunter Mountain (Xmas Eve 2009)

It was a nice day... the morning was filled with fog at the peak, but that faded as the day went on. We hit 2 runs on the backside which were nice. They were ungroomed and kinda hilly. I fell a lot but tackled a lot as well. The front side was good... some icy spots but it's the ice coast after all.

It was Andy's 1st day out on the snow and he sped through as always. He was bugging out a bit on the Evo, a little short and soft compared to what he's used to but then he strapped the TRS on and I think he liked it, but is still getting used to the MTX. Anytime Paul or I would talk tech, he'd say he doesn't understand French. Silly boy!

All it all it was good riding. My quads burned and were literally shaking by the last 2 runs. I had to sit 1 run out for my feet, another for my quads and in the end... I bailed while the boys did 1 more run. I felt a little pathetic but at the same time... I gotta get back in there.

We hopped in the car by 2:15 and were on the road. We all made it back to our respective families in time for Christmas Eve dinner... and I even got some sledding in with my baby brother. I'd say it was a win day!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Riding Log - Day 1 and 2 (TRidge & Hunter)

I was finally able to start my season and not at a moment too soon. I've been itching, scratching, and whining my way through late November and early December.

Saturday night I finally got my wish... we packed into my Mom's minivan with skis/boards in tow. We had Bryan, the 2 kids, Jomel and Paul together and we headed strait for the lift after some getting the kids ready. Kyle was a bit shaky at 1st... nerves and longer skis to get over, but once he found his own, it was back to smooth sailing. He wasn't as parallel as usual, but that will come as he gets used to the longer skis. Amanda disappeared as usual. Her 1st run had to be a blue. She's still wild and fearless on the mountain, but her form is a loose and wide... a winter of lessons should clean up her form nicely.

I was a little disappointed in myself. Forget being out of shape, I expected that. I was actually nervous... like skidded a bit on some ice (on a green!), was really stiff and apprehensive.

Sunday we woke up a bit late but headed to Hunter. We were hoping it got hit with some of that '' Blizzard'' Everyone was talking about, but we so no trace of it. Oh well, Hunter made a ton to play in. We stuck mostly to blue runs with the kids, which can get boring after a while, but the snow was decent and Kyle was booking it so it definitely wasn't a drag. Doing that many turns on such a short run and helping him up often definitely worked out some muscles and I'm sore today. Hopefully after the next week or two, the soreness won't happen anymore and the confidence will come back.

I can't wait to head up again after Christmas with the family. But I definitely need an only adult riding day soon... work them legs out and get over that fear.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Please Send Out an Extra Christmas/ Holiday Card!

When doing your Christmas cards this year, take one card and send it to this address. If we pass this on and everyone sends one card, think of how many cards these wonderful special people who have sacrificed so much would get. When you are making out your Christmas card list this year, please include the following:

A Recovering American Soldier
c/o Walter Reed Army Medical Center
6900 Georgia Avenue,NW
Washington,D.C. 20307-5001

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Neglected Blog

My blog is being neglected. I don't know why but I have no desire to write anymore.

Thanksgiving was good. My mom and grandma semi reconciled after almost a year. It was definitely a good thing. The Rios family was over and it was drama free. But I'm tired... and I'm down.

Paul is back in Boston and life resumes... at it's usual snails pace during crappy times and lighting fast during good...

I'm antsy to move out of NY... I'm sick of having to wait for Paul to finish up in Boston. I'm antsy for snow... my riding season cannot start without it. I'm antsy for change... b/c right now things aren't great.

I'm down... I wonder if I'm settling... I wonder...

Monday, November 23, 2009

So what is there to say...

My mood lately has been odd. I've had my ups and I've had my downs. Nothing too crazy has gone on but this freaky weather and my increasing lack of motivation are starting to worry me. I don't feel like doing anything most of the time and it's as if I have a one tracked mind. All I want is to relax, snowboard, read, take walks ... and otherwise do nothing.

I really hope we get snow soon. This abnormally warm weather is starting to depress me. I want the temperature to at least drop so they can make snow. I want my weekends to be filled with snowwwww

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Sierra Snowboard

SS & the community are pretty awesome... cool people who all have a common interest - riding! I have recently joined the crew and will hopefully be embarking on 3 of the 4 upcoming trips with them.

Jan - Colorado
Feb - Washington
March - Vermont
April - California

Colorado will probably be nixed for me despite my unending urge to go.

Long time no post

I've been feeling odd lately and have had no motivation or inspiration to write... but now I find myself back... with something to say.

Bored at work a while back I started google searching friends old and new on the internet for no reason but to see what would pop up. For some reason I decided I wanted to put in John Paul... my ex, my 1st love, and for sometime, my world. Well something did come up, which was surprising... his wedding registry.

I know, I'm engaged, I'm happy, why should it matter... I mean I suppose in the end it didn't matter but it was like I felt gutted and slightly empty. Maybe because despite everything, I still gave a small piece of my heart to him and now I finally know that part is free. Who knows, all I do know is that day I felt strange.

Saturday night I dreamed that JP and I talked... he found out I was getting married and was upset I had never told him myself. He was upset that despite calling every birthday and Christmas, I still couldn't tell him. So on Sunday night I texted him and we played telephone tag till Tuesday. And we talked... I told him about my engagement and he told me about his. We talked about how happy we were... and I wasn't lying. I'm so very happy for him and I'm so very happy for myself. When we broke up I thought I'd never find happiness ... I thought that he was my soul mate and that now I'd be selling myself short. Well I didn't and neither did he. We are both so ridiculously happy that we can talk about it without the least bit of guilt or awkwardness.

I wish him and his lady all the peace, happiness, health and blessings that God can provide for them. What a happy ending.

Friday, November 6, 2009

What lengths do you go for happiness?

Maybe this will sound crazy...

I feel like I need to be far away from the people I love in order to be happy. Don't get me wrong, I love them, but feel hopelessly enslaved by that love I feel. The unending sacrifices and unending depression that comes along with being related to my family is sometimes too much to bear. I know inside that no matter what I try, nothing will help these people. Misery is something they create for themselves. I will be sacrificing my own shot of happiness in order to fail at making other's happy. I know that I'll miss my family. For so long they've been my world. I think they will be okay... they will grow.

I need to be my own pillar of support rather than being everyone else's. But I don't have the heart to do it... I think there is only one way. I really think my will is weak in this regard and my only chance at persevering in finding my own life is to move far enough that they cannot rely on me and I can rely on myself.

I'm grateful that Paul is not just willing but looking forward to a move. I'll feel at ease next year once we have an idea of where we are going.

I pray for:
the Seattle area
the Portland area
the Denver area
the Vancouver area
I wouldn't even mind Vermont, New Hampshire & Maine - I pray that it works out.

Selfish & Selfless

I'm frustrated... I feel like lately I've given too much. I've given all I have and never expect anything in return... Well I do expect something. I expect that when I've exhausted all of myself... only holding myself together by a small thread, that people will understand when I say that I can't give more.

Paul's gotten all the best parts of me. I hope it's enough. I hope he doesn't need more; I have nothing more to give.

My Mother is in pain... physically and emotionally. I help her in all the ways I know how, but I had surgery yesterday and asking for me to help her now... it's selfish - I cannot and she needs to understand that even asking is ridiculous.

My friends - they notice my indifference to plans, yet seem not to understand why. I have responsibilities and I have needs... and without fulfilling them, I'll no longer be me.

Being ultimately unconditionally selfless becomes selfish... you spread yourself too thin not helping anyone and most of all - exhausting all of what you have left.

Self. Alone. Singular. You. Are. The. Most. Important. Piece. Of. You.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


Needtobeathe is a Christian rock band that I am just in love with and this is a song of their new album that I love dearly. On the bottom is a video of a live acoustic performance of the song. When I'm feeling low or unworthy... music really finds a way to lift me up. Enjoy.

In your ocean, I'm ankle deep
I feel the waves crashin' on my feet
It's like I know where I need to be
But I can't figure out, yeah I can't figure out

Just how much air I will need to breathe
When your tide rushes over me
There's only one way to figure out
Will ya let me drown, will ya let me drown

Hey now, this is my desire
Consume me like a fire, 'cause I just want something beautiful
To touch me, I know that I'm in reach
'Cause I am down on my knees, I'm waiting for something beautiful
Oh, something beautiful

And the water is risin' quick
And for years I was scared of it
We can't be sure when it will subside
So I won't leave your side, no I can't leave your side

Hey now, this is my desire
Consume me like a fire, 'cause I just want something beautiful
To touch me, I know that I'm in reach
'Cause I am down on my knees, I'm waiting for something beautiful
Oh, something beautiful

In a daydream, I couldn't live like this
I wouldn't stop until I found something beautiful
When I wake up, I know I will have
No, I still won't have what I need

Hey now, this is my desire
Consume me like a fire, 'cause I just want something beautiful
To touch me, I know that I'm in reach
'Cause I am down on my knees, I'm waiting for something beautiful
Oh, something beautiful (fade out)

Thursday, October 29, 2009


I've talked about it - I read ... a lot! I mean, I go through books more often than I need to throw out my trash. Yesterday, during lunch I finished yet another book. Luckily I had one waiting here on standby so my commute home wasn't filled with people watching, day dreaming, and reading the signs on the subway.

I stayed up till about midnight last night... curled up in my bed, reading... There aren't many other things I'd rather be doing. Well maybe laying out on the grass on a cool day when the sun warms you just enough to be comfortable... but that time of year is done. I also enjoy the occasional cushy couch next to the hot fireplace on a cold, wet day. But all those things are never appreciate for long... unless I have a book.

During my conversation with Paul, I talked about how I am again beginning to all too quickly fly through my stack of unread books. This is only 4 days after our trip to Barnes & Noble where I needed to buy just 3 more. Maybe I should have accepted the Kindle as a birthday gift this past spring. It would after all be better for the environment & possibly my wallet. I just couldn't do it though... I LOVE to read. I mean I cannot really express it any other way. But I LOVE books... the whole experience.

He talked about some friends at school who were very booky and had kindles and they loved them. But they probably aren't really "booky" they are probably just readers. Readers love to read. Now I am booky. I don't just like to read the book, I like to feel the pages. Smell the book. Look at the way it's printed. Feel the pages between my fingers. I am a booky. It's an obsession, but there are worse things. I still feel guilty ... the trees, the waste, the money... what to do?

I dream of one day having that home library - however small it might have to be. Windows. Natural Light. Fireplace. Pages and pages and pages....

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Monday, October 26, 2009

Snowboard Pants

Sometimes I wonder if it's me or the industry... the clothing industry. It was one thing when girls started wearing skinny jeans, but now men are too... and now even snowboard pants are coming skinny!

I recently ordered a pair of Sessions gore tex "Rush" pants and of course the matching gore tex "Pixie" jacket. I couldn't wait to get them in the mail and when I did, I immediately tried them on only to discover the pants didn't fit. I know I'm not a skinny girl, but I am not full figured... I'm a girl with an average waist and a larger than average ass. Well these pants were tight in the booty area. I did get them on, zipped & buttoned but I couldn't imagine riding in such tight pants. Then I looked down and noticed the pants were falling shy of my ankles. They were simply too small in all respects. I frowned as I went online to print out my return label to send them back. Even the pic on the left looks short no?

I just don't get it... for the butt to be small, I expect ... even regular jeans give me trouble. I usually have to get a size much to large for my waist to fit comfortably on my butt and thighs. But even length... what's up with that?

In any event, I just ordered the Roxy Shimmer pants which are also gore tex and though they don't match my jacket in brand, I think they will compliment them nicely. But it still makes me wonder who they are making these pants for... the girls who sit in the lodge sipping diet cokes and hot cocoa? The girls who can really bust through the pow, stomp landings, and grind rails have some muscular legs - where are they squeezing those muscles into?

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Some Very Exciting New Purchases

I say I'm not a shopper, but my fiancé would disagree. It's not to say that I shop often, or even in the most fashionable and trendy stores, but I do come home once in a while with a bag of goodies. Last weekend I was set on visiting my mother. My sister and her husband were going and I hitched a ride asking if at some point we can stop at Marshals to look at some winter coats. I was in need of a classic black, yet fashionable, coat. And boy was I in luck!

I walked quickly through the boots section because, lets face it, what girl doesn't love shoes. I found a pair of Coach Juniper boots in white. I looked at them and smiled explaining to my sister that these would be perfect under my wedding dress (the one I still haven't come close to trying on or finding or shopping for) during the outdoor photos at my destination Breckenridge, Co wedding. She told me to try them on and if I find a pair that fits, to just buy them. She said to throw them in a closet all boxed up just waiting for next year... white, perfect, warm. They aren't as cute as the guess wedge boots I found, but these are more practical. The soles are white and they are nice and flat... much more reasonable when trying to walk into the heavy snow. What do you think? - ooo I forget - I got these for a steal of $100 which is 50% less than the MSRP!

So now great purchase number two! I went into the coat section grabbing every black coat in my size that was wool, made well, a decent brand, and closed to the neck. I didn't want a traditional wool coat that left your neck exposed needing to be covered at all times in a scarf. That's when I found a Cole Haan wook and alpaca blend coat with an asymmetrical zip closure and tie belt. It looked adorable and was only $250. Also 50% off the MSRP. I have done searches online and haven't even come close to that price. I tried it on, got approval from my sister and threw it in the cart. Thoughts? I thought it was a classic style that won't be going out of style... ever.

So I made out great with those 2 luxury items at prices I could afford.

Then yesterday I stopped into a store where I bought my 1st pair of skinny jeans. Yes, I now own skinny jeans and a pair of skinny chords. Also for a steal! I love a good bargain. But now I cannot buy anything else... not till like um 2012 haha.

Happy shopping

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

girls + friends = fail

why girls + friends = fail...

When we envisioned our wedding many months ago, I was already a bit down about the fact that I have very few girlfriends. I mean, I do have friends; it’s just that God had blessed most of them with a phallus. There is just something different about being with a girlfriend though. I’m thankful for my few cousins I can treat as friends and my sister who doubles as all around lean to when I need her. Though we are all super different, we all care about each other and that always shines through.

My sister’s wedding marked a beautiful and amazing beginning for her and Bryan. They will forever remember that day as the day they start their married lives together. That day also marks the end of me and my best girl-friends relationship. Well maybe that’s a lie… it had been deteriorating well before then.

We had never been expected to grow close, we were never the ideal girl duo, we were never even particularly regular in our relationship but one thing led to another and we became friends. It went from brief meetings for drinks, parties and get together to dinners, shopping, drinks, midnight snacks, and sleepovers. We began to see each other more and more relying on each other’s company to fill some void that we ourselves created in our lives. Our only priority was to feel good and that we did. We would drink to excess, indulge in TV, fatty food, and people bashing. We could talk major game… but I doubt we’d have ever backed it up. Our mutual hatred for a former best friend would seal our bond.

About 2 years went by of this unhealthy behavior. Rather than encourage each other to pick ourselves out of our rut, we enabled each other by providing excuses for one another, being each other’s partners in crime. Then it all came to a crashing halt. Paul moved home and I found a new job. Life changed – it was picking up. I was happy. I started seeing this BFF less and less and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t one of the reasons. Granted she had her own daemons clouding her judgment which only made it harder, but I didn’t want a Debbie-downer in my life anymore. At one time, that negativity fueled the release of my own, but now I wanted only the positive and happy in my life. We tried… and it was not effortless.

More time passed me by and I began to feel like we had less and less in common. Things she did irked me. I’d constantly feel like we were building an ultimately unilateral friendship. Our only common ground was our negativity, our rut, our issues, but now that we were both evolving, we didn’t have that to grow on. Like a bacteria, we didn’t have that warm moist place to fester together and grow. We took a trip to try and celebrate a birthday, get away, and reestablish our relationship. I’d told Paul that I needed to do this, that I needed to see what we had going for us and show her that I still cared about her, but while I was there, I continuously noticed little things that just made me feel like I give to much and receive to little from this friendship. Never anything major, but the little things become significant sometimes.

In the end, the straw that broke the camel’s back was my sister’s wedding and the tactless and reasonless way she went about ditching it. An IM was definitely not the medium to let me know she’d no longer be attending my sister’s wedding in 2 weeks because she simply didn’t have a ride. I mentioned the LI Railroad or a cab, but she said she thought it was impossible. Needless to say this selfishness was enough for me to realize that I was wasting my time. She RSVP’d months ago with many opportunities to commission a ride or save money for a cab. She had countless opportunities to put some effort into this instead of making a last minute ½ assed attempt to show up.

My sister was upset and felt disrespected but clearly stated that thought it puts her out, she can just forget it because in the larger scheme of wedding related stress, this isn’t one she’s going to lose sleep over, where as for me, it was really a wake up call. The anger flooded me with no ebb in the flow. This wasn’t just disrespectful to my sister, but it was a blatant disregard for me and my family or the countless times we try to make her feel welcome… invitations to family holidays, to my mother’s home, my grandmother’s home, rides so she wouldn’t have to step a pretty little shoe onto a subway platform alone late at night, food, and for what… this? Oh no, not anymore. The next evening was the last time I have seen or spoken to her… why did I see her?

Because she actually showed up at my sister’s bachelorette party. She didn’t attend the dinner. She only came out for drinks afterwards. She walked into the room, no one expecting her to show her face, and the air literally left the room. I couldn’t even look in her general direction. It was like I was pained to even know I was in the same room with her after fighting to not be angry on my sister’s day. After attempting to talk to her for a small while, trying to make peace and make the best of the moment, she went into the bachelorette party she attended the night before. I couldn’t help but think that she had prioritized that party over my sister’s, but I didn’t care. At this point my only though was, why are you here? Why are you talking to me? Why are you drinking our drinks? Why are you ruining our good moods? And how can you do this all in a span of 2 days?

She finally decided it was time to go home and handed me some money… I told her it was too much and gave her some back. She did drink our alcohol, but I wouldn’t say enough for the money she had given me and then it struck me… why not stay home that night… keep the money she offered for a few glasses of cheap vodka and put it to a TAXI to get to my sister’s wedding… even if only from the railroad to the event. Oh wait, that would require putting thought and effort into it… God Forbid!

So that’s where I end up… I never really had any girlfriends to begin with and now the one who I thought was, I realize, now isn’t. I still thank my lucky stars I have my sister and cousins.

This is the 1st time I’m writing about this despite that it all began in August. I think part of me needed to push it to the side and ignore it for the sake of my sanity, but then it started to seep back in along with the anger I feel towards her.

In the end I know I’m doing the right thing by walking away and filling myself with positive energy and positive people. But sometimes I wonder what is going on in her head. I wonder if she’s happy with herself. I wonder if she feels lonely. I wonder if she is replacing me with her usual suspects of people who think she’s a good time and find her sarcasm and negativity entertaining, but would throw her under a bus before putting her 1st. Then I have to remind myself it’s not my business or my responsibility and to just move forward.


Today is melancholy. I woke up tired but excited after a late night celebrating Dave’s birthday. I came home after 12 – the E train was still not running ugh! – Anyway, Paul had fallen asleep and it was hard to have a good night sleep while I worried about him in the back of my mind. I worried something may have happened or less dramatically, that he had gone out and was not going to have a good night sleep and might miss his train to Mercedes today.

Thankfully, bright and early my phone chirped with a text from Paul. He was fine and had just fallen asleep before I’d gotten home. The worry wart in me was relieved but my realistic side knew better than to worry.

So this morning I woke up, shaved my legs, moisturized until my skin wouldn’t absorb anymore, threw on a cute dress and mega high heels (I fell short of make-up and cute hair). I put myself together in something I thought he’d notice. So he would know that I was excited for him to visit.

Then in the afternoon I got an email from him that there has been a change of plans. His train broke down pushing is meeting from noon till 4PM and that he wont be do home till after 8. So much for him seeing my cute outfit. Oh well – I won’t let it ruin the fact that he will be home … no matter when.

But then it left me hallow. I don’t know why. Maybe it was a conversation with a co-worker today. He’s engaged and his fiancé is also in an MBA program. I just don’t think you can compare as much as he’d like to though. Paul and I are in a similar boat, yes that is true, but Paul is in another state unlike his fiancé who is right here in good ol’ NY. I know that it must be hard for him just like it’s hard for me, but I just don’t think they are comparable. But anyway, our discussion was really beginning to upset me. He has such a negative outlook and me, being more positive on this one, was kind of brought down from my cloud with the things he said. I’m looking forward to seeing Paul tonight if only to prove him wrong.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Today is 10/20

Yesterday, I began a blog. It was going to be about wedding planning progress, but honestly, my wedding is over a year away and I'm ALREADY sick of planning it. So we shall get to that another time.

In the mean time, today is my ex-boyfriend's birthday. His 27th. I suppose this should mean nothing to me, but I'd lie if I said it didn't. John Paul is my ex-boyfriend, but he is still very much my history. We do not keep in touch per say, but we have not let a birthday or Christmas go by without at least a text message. So today he received his Happy Birthday text message and I always wonder when I send it what he might be thinking. I wonder if he wishes this weird backwards tradition of ours would stop. I wonder if he reminisces about the good times we might have shared. I wonder if he looks at it and says, why? But in the end, I just remind myself that it's a small act to remind each other that despite not being a couple anymore, despite finding our own separate paths, that we do care about each other. That we want each other to be happy and find love... even if that means elsewhere.

People have asked me if he's seeing someone, what he's doing with himself these days, where he lives. All I can tell you is that he has the same cell phone number and that he still attends American Martyrs Church, where I've seen him a few times during mass. I don't know what's going on in his life, but I pray on his birthday that he is content and happy with everything he's done. I hope he feels accomplished with his last 27 years and I hope he is positive about the next years to come.

Today is also my friend Dave's birthday. Tonight I'll meet him for dinner to celebrate. He is a vegetarian who occasionally eats meat (he's funny like that). Anyway, for his birthday he has invited a few people to join him in a vegetarian dinner. I'm excited to celebrate with him. He is a truly good person and I'm happy for his friendship. Sometimes I think he is a little different alone than in a crowd but who of us isn't. I prefer him when I have him to myself... I suppose it's because it's when we talk about personal or maybe even meaningful things... rather than endless chatter over endless drinks.

So today I am thankful for the birth of an ex-boyfriend... former best friend... and a huge part of who I am today. And for a not so new but still new friend... who I've found to be a true sweetheart.

And mostly I'm happy for Paul - who understands my need to keep in touch with John Paul even if it's in this strange way. He understands that John Paul is my past and that he will stay there, but that he was also my best friend for most of my life and that is something you can't always take away. I'm thankful for his trust and security. I'm thankful to have so much in my life - past and present.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Asian Disasters

I'm sure many of you have seen either on the news, internet or the paper about the death tolls in Asia due the the recent natural disasters.

Today it was reported that the Indonesia quake death toll rose to 739 people with 295 people still unaccounted for. Additionally, 2,219 people have been injured. 410 survivors are living in tents and makeshift houses. This is so sad.

Typhoon Melor hit Japan yesterday, Oct 8, 2009. The current death toll is only5, but 100 have been injured and over 400 homes have been damaged or destroyed.

And my home country - the Philippines. Much of the Philippines is under water after back to back storms across northern Philippines. Typhoon Melor managed to stop over the Philippines. The rain has caused major flooding and land slides. The death toll is now soaring past 540 after rain triggered landslides killed over 100 more people. Many people are still missing.

I tell you this because I ask for your prayers for all the dead, their families, and the families still suffering.


So we are 80% certain now. I've talked to my boss and he told me the weekend he thinks would be the most appropriate to get away. And get away I intend to do.

Paul and I are hoping to have a winter wedding in Colorado but we don't feel comfortable making arrangements from so far away. We are hoping to make it out there this winter to organize a trip.

From my preliminary research it looks like we will be able to and get in some ridding to! I cannot wait!


Missing the snow

Today started off as a slow day at work. That being said I took to the Transworld Snowboard website (for girls). I checked out the regular site too. I read up a bit about the now ended South American all girls snowboard camps and some interviews of sponsored riders who trained or filmed this summer. I even read all 40 reviews for the Goodwood test. I wonder... am I missing winter? More than just a bit.

Don't get me wrong, the fall is a pretty amazing season. It reminds me of soccer, school & the past, apple picking, family, and the colors ... they don't compare. I fall had always been a favorite season but it's also like a tease. It's like a Thursday... so close to Friday, yet not close enough. I yearn for snow... those snowy weekends that make my heart flutter and my head spin.

I'll admit, I'm no Leanne Pelosi, Torah Bright or Colleen Quigley ... I don't even deserve to touch the snow they ride on, but I will admit that I look up to them. These girls are from all different ends of the spectrum... West Coast Canada, Australia, New England... and they all shred like they were born with a deck on the bottom of their feet. Sometimes I look at their photoshoots and I can't help but feel in awe. These girls are hot... I mean like models. They have great bodies, beautiful faces, and fun personalities. But they are also smoking hot while they run the mountain like they were born to do nothing but.

I read a few articles about the women's snowboard camps... these are for girls who are already in the know! They have a skill set to be able to tackle at least the basic tricks in the park, can run every trail, and can handle their own off the trail. I am in no way qualified to be in a snowboard camp... not now and probably not ever. I am paralyzed on the mountain.

I progressed quickly. This will be my 4th winter on a board and off my skis. I can ride most marked trails at my own pace but I never feel confident. I clench my fists even on the runs I know I can handle. When I reach speeds that most would find exhilarating, I find myself bracing for my next big wipe out that will for sure knock me unconscious (at least that's what I'm thinking). It inhibits me from improving. It inhibits me from trying new things. It has become a horrible horrible thing because I know I could be better... a stronger rider.

2 years ago I was a completely different rider - 3 years ago I was more or less pathetic. I still remember 3 years ago, going to Windham mountain with Jerry, Paul and a few others. It was the 1st time Paul saw me on a snowboard with my new boots. We did a blue (that I thought was a green) together as a warm up. I amazingly kept my edges, held on, and did great. I not just surprised Paul, I surprised myself. I thought I'd have to go down the whole way on my butt. Even Jerry said I wasn't as bad as he thought I'd be. Especially seeing how scared I was even on my skis and that I've done since I was 8! But then came the recommendation to do the dreaded Upper Whistler. It's icy and steep on one side and moguls on the other. I was not ready and though I tried, I nearly broke out in tears. I could not get down even 5 feet before falling. Paul thankfully stayed with me. And of course it was located right under a lift so I had 10 year olds putting me on blast - but I got down. I don't think I tried to tackle that run the rest of the day... or the next.

Only a year later, I was faced with Upper Whistler again. I didn't shy away from it. I decided I needed to do it. I said nothing to anyone. I didn't object. I didn't vocalize my unending fear. I just followed the boys. And I did it! I was able to get down. It didn't feel as steep. It didn't seem so unmanageable. I did it - end of story. When we got to the bottom I stopped Paul and told him... I conquered it. Recalling last winter, he smiled. He was proud. But sometimes... making people see that you can do it can be worse than having them think you suck.

After that moment it become obvious I was improving and people expected that fast pace to continue. And it did... until my mental block became all too obvious. In the beginning it was Paul who lost patience. He sensed my aversion to tackling the scary, the big, the lumpy... and he'd get annoyed - pushing me to the brink of anger. But sometimes his being hard on me worked, other times it was discouraging. Jerry saw this a mile away and would tell me to ignore Paul. That maybe he was carving lines too tight for me to follow. He said Paul maybe was expecting too much. Being the most thoughtful I've ever seen him, he'd try to help me. He helped me get through some small moguls. He helped me gain confidence. And he'd wait at the bottom of every major hill to watch me get down... safe and sound. He became my "snowboard boyfriend." But only after a year and a half of his encouragement he saw right through me. I was better than I was letting myself be. This past winter he verbally put me down. Telling me I was being a wuss on the mountain (picture harsher words). They all made fun of me - let me have it. Now for the past season and a half rather than encouragement I get put down. I get told I'm not trying hard enough and that I'm riding scared. And when I do accomplish some small hurdle, it's overshadowed by the ones I didn't conquer.

I explained my discouragement to Paul. I told him rather than put me down he should be proud of what I HAVE done in only 3 years. He admits that maybe they expect so much because the progression was fast. But the constant discouragement was really bringing me down and he tried to cool it. Jerry - well not so much.

But now I'm even bringing myself down. The negativity is infectious. I've even retreated into myself just to give myself a few internal punches to the ego. It must be me trying to push myself.

There are expectations and they went from being good ones to being bad ones. I was expected to get better every year and now I'm expected to ... well to ride soft. To hold back. Now I know I need to change that. I am the only girl out of our riding crew. I'm the only one that hangs... and sometimes it's only by a thread. I've had my whining moments and I've had my angry moments. This year I need to buck up and show them I can hang... like really hang. I may not hit the park, I might not stomp out jumps or do 180's, butters of tail presses but I will hang... if not with my skill with my attitude.

For the love of shred!

Colleen Quigley

Leanne Pelosi

Torah Bright

Wednesday, October 7, 2009


Do you ever battle yourself... and then loved ones join the infantry...

I feel defeated... and I don't even know which side of this fight I'm on... because it's with myself.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


We all sacrifice... for our family, friends, lovers, even sometimes strangers. We sacrifice our wants, hopes and dreams. Sometimes we sacrifice time, money, and effort. When you are in a relationship, romantic or platonic, sacrifices are bound to be made... big and small. Maybe you really want to Mexican but he really wants Italian... one of you will have to sacrifice to make the other happy. Maybe next time you will get to choose. The problems really arise when sacrifices seem heavier on one end than the other.

I'm struggling with thoughts lately. I love Paul, but undoubtedly go through moments where I do not like him very much. This morning we spoke and I was thrilled that he was on the phone with me. I missed him a lot. I had had some strange dreams which were filled with my ex and Paul at the same time... I tossed and turned and was confused but the minute I woke up I was content - because I knew what was real and what was only sleepy thoughts.

It was this morning that he told me Andy was going to be here this weekend because he is going camping with his new girl. I don't know how serious they are, but he seems to really like her and from what I've seen, she is a nice girl. Maybe they can make it work... follow in our long distance footsteps... or plane flights. [tangent done] What annoyed me was that I didn't know this. We too are going camping this weekend and when I was asked to join the camping trips, I was under the impression that Andy wasn't going to be here. Therefore I chose not to - I mean that would have been weird, I hardly know the girl. I thought this was all suggested for Anthony's sake who was invited to both camping trips. Paul tells me he told me, but this isn't something I would have forgotten. I was told SHE was going camping not THEY. In any event, I suppose it doesn't matter. I think that the company I am going with is much older and acts much differently and I think we will undoubtedly enjoy are time together more so how it is set up than the way it would have been if we joined the groups. Though only a few years apart... I that that life circumstances leaves me acting a little different than some of our friends & family.

He then continued about how he wants to cancel coming home for his mother's birthday and see if he can come the weekend after instead to celebrate because there is a soccer tournament in California. I don't think I could have been anymore angry. I think soccer is a great hobby... for many years it was my passion, but I wouldn't put it before my family. His mother and I had dinner together last night and with tears she wouldn't allow to escape from her eyes she was telling me how sometimes it hurts her that Paul doesn't do the things for her he used to.

He used to come home and bring her and Daisy (step-mom) flowers. He used to receive cards from her and call her right away to thank her... she'd receive some acknowledgment. Those things have mostly stopped and she thinks it's because those efforts are now expended on me. I told her that she's right... Paul doesn't do those things anymore and not to worry because he doesn't do them to anyone. He no longer buys me flowers, he no longer calls me eager... he fits me into his schedule like an obligatory meeting. Yeah it hurts me, but I will sacrifice my hurt and hope that it will all be worth it. That through this experience he will be a more successful person, feel enriched, feel satisfied and ultimately it will improve our relationship... I hope. She smiled, but I don't know how much she believes me. I told her that he has saved every card she has ever given him. I know that consoled her a bit. But I'm sure him saying he'd much rather fly to California than celebrate her birthday on her birthday weekend with her will only hurt her... it even hurt me. It's a soccer tournament - like seriously?

But it also hurt me for other reasons... He said he was coming home... I've penciled it in. I looked forward to it. It's been a long time since Paul & Andy and I have all been in NY with his family with no other plans than to celebrate. And it would feel like old times... it would be nice to all be together. I was happy that we were celebrating Ana's birthday. She might not be my mother, but she will be and I think we are already strengthening that bond. I care about her and I love her dearly ... even when she tests my patience and even when she seems imposing... I just remind myself that it is her being a mother - or at least I try to. It also upsets me because financially things are tight... not just because he is no longer working and collecting debt like children collect snicker bars on Halloween, but also because I'm paying for our apartment solo... utilities and luxuries - solo. Everything is now on me with no one to share the burden. Is the apartment mine? No - it's ours, but I will keep it ours financially for the time being. This I was prepared to do. What I am not prepared for is our wedding.

We plan to get married sooner rather than later. This might be the wrong decision, but it seems to feel right... when we are NOT talking about it financially. Anyway - why would you want to spend money to go to California for a soccer tournament when we should be saving money for our wedding. I want to go to Breckenridge this winter so that we can select a venue in person instead of over the phone while looking at a picture but he disagrees with the costs... yet he will jump on the opportunity to jump on a 6 hour flight across the country for a soccer tournament? He seems to do research for that but not for us. I don't know what his priorities are but they definitely aren't the same as mine. I spend countless hours trying to do things for US and he spends countless hours doing things for him. I know there will be other business schools there, I know that he will meet people, possibly get business cards and phone numbers - a network if you will... on the west coast. But seriously - doesn't his program offer 100's of opportunities to network... why this expensive one and on his mother's birthday no less.

It makes me wonder about priorities... it makes me wonder where we stand... Me as his future wife and his family ... as well - his family. His friends... I wont even go there.

I don't know... these are the moments I have doubts. Not doubts that I love him, but doubts that we should marry... especially on January 2011... I don't think he's ready for that commitment... I mean it's quite possibly the biggest commitment you'll make in your entire life. Or maybe I'm not ready... I think I need more before I can commit to this. I still don't feel like I'm held high enough on the list to feel like I'm making the right decision.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Words... that mean everything

Paul and I have been talking weddings and marriage A LOT! Almost to the point that we don't want to talk about it at all and run away and just do it. But sometimes words mean a lot... and I don't even think he realizes it.

Last weekend... in the rain... kissing goodbye... sad tears escaping my wide open lids I asked if we were making the right decision to marry in January 2011. After all, he'd have to go back to Boston for another 5 months... of which I'd be sitting in NY waiting for his return. He looked at my face and said, I know that it will be hard to be apart, but I want to do this. I want to do it sooner than later. I don't want to wait too much longer.

I don't think he realizes how much it means to me... to hear him say that this is something he longs for. That he wants to be my husband. That he wants this next chapter of our lives to start as soon as possible. That he wants me... and he wants me for always.

This past Friday we had a late night conversation... I was going on about how I was nervous about planning a wedding. It is a lot of money, a lot of responsibility, and a lot of b.s. We were talking about everything from what we'd just seen on TV, to camping, to his weekend plans. At some point he stopped me and said, it never ceases to amaze me that we are together. We had the world against us and for some reason in the winter of 2005 so many stars decided to align to bring us back together. It's like a miracle really.

In 1998 when Paul and I met... 16 and 17 years old, we decided to date. But I'll admit, it wasn't exactly picture perfect. I was wild, adventurous and obnoxious. He was quiet, reserved, and naive. After two weeks are differences were obvious and I walked away easily... but not before hurting him. I can't imagine what I may have made him feel, but I'm sure it came along the lines of feeling not good enough. I regret that... but I don't regret walking away. If we stuck it out, this would never be a reality now.

After 7 years you'd think that all hope was lost for the quiet studious boy and the wild free spirited girl- but sometimes things are just meant to be. Andy (his younger brother) for no known reason decided to sign on to an ancient AIM account from H.S. ... most likely to eliminate that old account. At that very moment, I decided to check my buddy list - having been working late every day and needing a distraction. Through that brief conversation we set up a dinner date and hung out. Because of this, we re connected... Andy - not Paul. Only a few weeks later when I asked Andy how Paul was doing did he tell me to contact him in Georgia where he was getting his Masters. I was told to call him, but really, how WEIRD would that be. So I opted for AIM. I got his account and wrote him.

It wasn't long till he was rushing home to turn on his computer so we could write to each other for hours. We talked about how we were, what we were doing, what life had brought to our laps. He sounded jovial and fun. He had broken out of his shell... at least through this new means of communication. It wasn't till he picked up the phone to call me that I heard his voice again. It started then... weeks of talking late into the night, sacrificing much needed sleep to calm my fluttering heart. This is when shameless flirting ensued. And then only a few weeks later I was opening the door to his smiling face as he walked through the foyer and pulled me into his arms for one of the most satisfying hugs I've had in my life.

The rest is history... so yeah... I know I want to spend the rest of my life with him... and I want the rest of my life to start as soon as possible.

I also know... this is nothing short of a miracle... fate... destiny... dumb luck... who knows... what I do know is that its special. And I won't stop appreciating that it is.

I love you, Paul... and you will forever be my miracle.

*** I know I'll be getting an email shortly telling me I'm a corny mush ball loser, but don't say you didn't smile when you read this.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

The Knot

Paul & I started a wedding website... it's not much but here it is

Fall Camping

Next weekend I will be going camping with some of my friends and family. It will be the 4th camping trip this year and I HOPE & PRAY it does not rain. We've set up a tent in drizzle all 3 times thus far.

I'm pretty excited, but also worried about how it will turn out. My cousin Christina is going for her 1st ever camping experience and Lauren & Bryan won't be there. I love it when they are there. What worries me aren't the people, but the weather. I hope everyone manages with the cooler temperatures.

It should be nice to be surrounded by the colorful leaves and good company. I'm sure we were have a constant fire going. YEY!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Funny Momment

So wedding planning is in full effect... sorta. Thoughts are being passed around. I kinda want my sister around to discuss before I do anything rash. I'm excited. Now that her wedding has come and gone ... a total success, I know it can be my turn. I don't know why, but I felt it necessary to wait to do all planning till her big day was through. Why steal her thunder?

Anyway, Paul and I have a few things narrowed down... like a general date, location, and type of reception. It's just a matter of booking it all.

Today my mom and I were talking about weddings ... it all started when I asked her to scratch the crochet table cloth she wants to make us. I told her I want this instead!
I am seriously obsessed with this vintage stole. Unfortunately it was found at a thrift store. Who knows if I can find a similar pattern. All my digging today has left me empty.

I also managed to explain to my mom it's not okay for her to try and pick out my wedding dress, yet she insisted on sending me a few hundred photos online. I didn't like any. But then she had me laughing. I opened up a few links and they were all to Latter Day Brides. My mom was finding me modern wear dresses for LDS weddings. Why you ask... because THEY HAVE SLEVES! I told her I'd love a dress with sleeves. She didn't even realize.

Now I have nothing against LDS but, I'm not, nor am I THAT modest. I do want sleeves though. I was actually impressed with one dress, but I think it might have shoulder pads - which is NOT OK.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Texting XXOO's

6:28PM Paul -> Lilia Miss you, love you can't stop thinking about you
6:36PM Lilia -> Paul Me too. Tomorrow!
10:30PM Lilia -> Paul You are awesome in an annoying sort of way.
10:48PM Paul -> Lilia Yea? You are awesome in an awesome kinda way
10:51PM Lilia -> Paul Yes!!!
10:54PM Paul -> Lilia Fo Sho!

smiling... because he rocks!

Can it be true? Fall!

This morning was officially the 1st day this September that I put on a blazer to keep warm and actually needed it!

But I don't know how long it will last. It was in the low 60's this morning but is expected to reach a high of 70.

Tonight I'm heading north to Cambridge, MA. It's about time I visited my Pauly-face. He's been living in Cambridge for about 5 weeks now and I still haven't made the trip up. I know I know, bad fiancé. But to my defense he's been home a lot for my sister's wedding festivities.

Tomorrow is supposed to be a nice crisp 60 degrees in Cambridge... but sunny. I'm looking forward to it.

There is something about the fall that I just cannot get over. It reminds me of soccer, of school, of new beginnings (which is odd since most things are coming to their end). There is something about the smell that makes me happy. I love it!

Sunday it will warm up again and rain ... hopefully driving conditions aren't too bad.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Destination Winter Wedding?

cold. snow. intimate. dim. candles. purple. blacks. whites. elegance. family. warmth.

Picture taken from

Monday, September 21, 2009

Lauren's Wedding

Went by way too quickly, but it was a complete and utter success. Limited drama and lots of fun. My only complaint is that it's over.

There is way too much that happened and way too much to say, so instead I won't say a thing... and just let you look at how beautiful my sister looked!

It was their day - no doubt about that!

I like to think that's Papa's glow walking with her down the aisle

Bryan ... dapper no?

Husband & Wife

Walking away as 1

1st dance: Cheek to Cheek

"I wanna grow old with you" - Adam Sandler

There are obviously more photos... of the bridal party and guests... but this post is about Lauren & Bryan and I'd like to keep it that way.

I love you little sister... more than you will ever know... even now... that your last name rhymes with Panini!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


I should read that novel... by Joseph Heller... what do you think?

Anyway, I always prided myself on how I carry myself in my current relationship with Paul. I rarely have outbursts whether it be of jealousy, anger, or irrational (he may disagree), I do not play mind games, and I've communicated more and more rationally than I ever have in a relationship before. In prior serious relationships I couldn't say I practiced the calmness I practice now.

With John Paul, likely my 1st love and best friend, I acted like an unstable psychopath. While he tried to put up with me, he soon gave up. I would keep my mouth quiet while he did something I didn't like or felt was disrespectful, only to blow up in his face at a later date. I expected to be able to monopolize all his time, as if I was the only one who mattered. I would hint at what I'd want from him without being strait only to be disappointed when he didn't get it. I definitely didn't help that relationship grow, instead it flourished and began to flower, fruit and seed, but like all flowers, it began to wither and die.

With Paul, I took a different approach. Having undergone the heartbreak of losing John Paul, I walked into the Paul relationship (less than a year later) with very little expectation. I'd thought of it as fun... talking to him late into the night. He'd shamelessly flirt and bring up the happiness that was left in his memories of our past (because honestly I remembered little). It was flattering and uplifting. It was like the drug I had needed to get out of my lonely rut. Mind you - all of this was occurring long distance while Paul was in Atlanta, GA and I was in Queens, NY. As our relationship took on a more tangible form, we realized we really do care for each other more than just for ending the months of loneliness we both felt after losing our significant others.

Paul's 1st trip home to NY in February 2005 to visit me after not seeing each other since 1998. And it snowed like crazy the 2nd day he was there... we were meant to love the snow in the winters!

With this new understanding regarding our relationship, I decided it was time to act like a mature girlfriend and talk openly about everything from my past, my feelings, my expectations, and my needs. For the most part it's worked. There have been times where honesty was maybe too much to handle, but in the end we really both thrive when we are able to speak to one another openly. It doesn't mean we always agree, but at least we know where each other stand. I'm greatfull for this new translucent approach to our relationship. Because of this we have been able to survive 2 1/2 years of long distance split between 6 months of Paul in Atlanta, GA, 1 1/2 years in Dearborn, MI & 6 months in Louisville, KY, all the while I stayed in Queens, NY.

While living together in NY, we discovered that we weren't as compatible as we though. We live differently, and it was hard to fall into place, especially in our very small Manhattan apartment. My Grandfather's illness and death seemed to bring us further apart than closer together. We both dealt with grief in different ways, but after a few weeks, I discovered that I rather go though these happy and sad events in life butting heads with him than alone. It was around this time that I moved back in with him from staying with my Grandma into a larger apartment closer to my family in Queens, NY. What a change it made. We had space to breath and found our way to fit like a jigsaw puzzle while living together.

Unfortunately that was short lived, because only after 1 year, Paul was moving to Cambridge, MA with his acceptance letter to MIT Sloan. I'm proud of him... but that adds another 2 years to our lives being long distance. That isn't something anyone would be looking forward to. So here finally at the end is where I get into why it's a catch-22.

Our entire 4 1/2+ years together, I've been communicative and honest about my needs. Well one of my needs lately for surviving this 2 year stint apart was to bring back some of the old Lil & Paul. The mushy side... what we call mush ball. It makes you feel good on those lonely nights when the bed feels too big and too cold. I needed a little added romance - a little extra verbal love to hold me over till his next visit home. Instead I got a very formal Paul... one who would only talk about his day and when I would bring up anything remotely involving our relationship he'd make jokes and couldn't keep it serious for 1 second. Last night I decided to bring this up saying, "I don't get you. When I am content and say nothing you are all over me, covering me with hugs and kisses and saying the sweetest things ever - being romantic, but when I tell you I need you to be a little mushy and romantic and that I'm sad and feeling a bit lonely, you become cold and not even remotely romantic. Whats up with that?" His response is priceless...

"Well I don't want to be romantic because you tell me to be, I want to do it all on my own, so if I all of a sudden act all mushy and romantic now, it would seem like I'm doing it just because you told me to."

So despite his being non-romantic, I can almost sort of understand his reasoning... in any event, it did make me giggle a bit before bed.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


Music is a very powerful thing. Think about it... in H.S. many of us defined ourselves best on the music we listened too. The Nirvana, Alice in Chains, grunge crowd. The hip hop table. The pop music Whitestone gals. Yeah, we listened to a little bit of everything, but you were still defined somehow through the music you listened do.

Now as adults, it's still completely powerful. You are still judged based on what's escaping the speakers of your computer. People still grab at your ipod to check out your playlist. My boss enters my office hearing Pearl Jam and asks with disappointment and disapproval, "what are you listening to?" He is the pop music type.

Music is special for me. I've never been one to listen to what's in or what's popular... I'm usually off beat and never know the words while at a club or hanging out with my girls in the car, but what I do know are the songs that touch my soul. There are a good handful of songs floating around the air that can pierce through my chest and make me feel 100 different emotions I've been keeping buried deep down inside. I'm greateful for that release. None of these songs are well known, many are even buried deep down in the bowels of one hit wonders, but they are precious to me.

Music is my release...

Monday, September 14, 2009

WIP Wednesday

WIP - work in progress Wednesday is something I've seen on many people's blogs, so why not put up one of mine.

I bought this fabric that I love, that my cousins hate, in order to sew couch pillow covers. I looked up some patterns online, but in the end I just wung it. My fabric was cut crooked, my stitching wasn't perfect, and I cut one flap in the back too short, and sewed on an extra piece to make it work, but hey, it's the back so who will see it! So here is my adventures with pillowcase #1. I need to make a 2nd, but it probably won't turn out the same size knowing me!

you can click the picture for a closer and larger view

Saturday, September 12, 2009

All Natural Beauty

Today I went to the natural market near my home. There were a few things I needed like bread and lettuce, but I also needed some beauty products that I'd recently run out of.

I've been using Olivella Olive Oil Soap on my face and body for a few weeks now and I see no negative effects. My face feels clean and I don't get any spontaneous breakouts. I also use Dr. Bronners baby mild organic bar soap (unscented) to both clean my hands and diva cup. I decided to take my natural beauty routine a bit further. Today I made a oatmeal facial scrub to use once a day to help keep my skin healthy and clean.

Oatmeal is a great exfoliant, moisturizer, itch fighter, and cleanser. Basicfally your skin loves oatmeal as much as your tummy. I bought some organic oats from the bulk bin at my local natural market, costing me only 99 cents. I got this Almond Oatmeal Facial Scrub online. It calls for 1/4 cup oats, 1/4 cup almonds, 1 TBS corn starch, & 1 TBS chamomile - I had all on hand except for the corn starch so I just left it out. Chamomile flowers are great to have on hand - it makes delicious tea. I eyeballed it, never one to measure, threw it in my food processor and it was done. I poured it into a washed and dried recycled salsa jar (which I decorated) and threw it on my sink. To use it, you take a teaspoon and mix it with warm water. It produces this white milky liquid. You rub it on your face and rinse with warm water (you can leave it on like a mask as well). Other recipes call for just oatmeal, water and honey. I can always add honey to this mixture, but I think I like it as is... less fuss.

2 Other additions I've added to my natural beauty arsenal are Dr. Bronner Products. I've been battling dry scalp and dandruff for quite some time. I've gone to a Dermotologist who perscribed me several perscription shampoos and oils, but it just didn't seem right. Even after using them, my scalp still itched and my hair smelled medicated. I decided to try the Dr. Bronner's Tea Tree Liquid Soap in my hair. Tea Tree Oils are known for their healing properties as well as their usefullness in fighting dermititis. And since my hair is so long and conditioning necessary, I also purchased Dr. Bronner's Lavener Hair Conditioner & Style Cream. I haven't started this new hair regiment yet, but as soon as I do, I'll be sure to update with results.

My next step is facial cream.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Estranged... sorta

No matter how badly someone has disappointed you in the past, it is still hard to find out they are sick.

I have an estranged father of sorts. He is not completely a stranger I suppose. At one point in my life he was fairly involved... picking me and my sister up and having weekend sleepovers at his house. But while I was still young he simply disappeared - for YEARS. It wasn't until I was eleven going to visit my grandparents that I saw him again. He walked out of the back room of his parents house with a woman in tow and grabbed hold of each of us squeezing very hard. It was a surreal experience. We had to gather our thoughts and rethink who this man even was. Our minds seemed to connect the dots, but slowly. We smiled and continued the charade we would live for the next ten years of our lives.

It turns out he found a woman he wanted to marry and thus needed to reappear to finally sign the divorce papers my mother's been trying to get signed for years. They met at a support group for those who were sexually abused. He is also a recovering addict. He has been successful in his sobriety, but he trades one vice for another.

My sister and I tried to maintain a father daughter relationship as much as possible. We would travel to MD and visit them. We would make an effort, but we were never sure what we were opening ourselves up to. He would never call, remember a birthday, send a letter or go out of his way, but when you were in his presence, he was charming, forgivable, lovable, thoughtful, a father. As I grew older our relationship shifted and he become more of a peer, but the effort was never shown. I believe my step-mother pushed him to contact us and keep in touch. After they themselves had 2 children, their marriage began to dissolve and without her or my siblings to keep us latched together, our relationship with our father began to dissipate as well. He soon met another woman who had 3 kids of her own. Not the most stable woman, fighting to leave her abusive husband and running directly into my fathers arms. She was young, uneducated, and a mess. Her children have grown to resemble her in some ways... weak, judgmental, and uneducated. They are small town red necks... and this they may even admit to. For a while I tried, but soon realized there was nothing left of what I thought my father was and his new family was too unstable to communicate with and be a part of.

It was easy to walk away. Without my phone calls or planning visits, our relationship simply began to disappear. He didn't go out of his way after all. Once my grandpa passed away and he carried on like a child, and I retaliated like a bitch, I decided I'd never go back there again. And I didn't - for a long time, until passing his exit with Paul on I-95 on our way up from Atlanta I decided I'd try and find their house and introduce him. It was May 27th - the day before my birthday. I did find the house (memory is funny like that - a house still being built but not yet lived in) and he was home. He didn't act happy to see me but did offer to stay the weekend. When I reminded him that my birthday was tomorrow and I had to get back to NY to celebrate it, he seemed to just shrug. He didn't even wish me a Happy Birthday. That was in 2005 - we are now closing the year 2009. My grandfather passed away quite some time ago now... It has easily been 6 years. And life is more stable and happy without him.

Until my mother's father passed away last summer (the only father I've ever really known) and less than a month after his passing, I received a phone call that my father suffered a massive stroke that should have killed him. It didn't kill him - it left him blind in his left eye, with very little use of his left arm, slurred speech, and only partial use of his left leg. He can walk again, but awkward. He can use his hand, but not quite right. Despite his ability to move, he cannot control his movements. His brain is not sending signals properly and they expected vigorous therapy was in order. But soon after he suffered multiple other smaller strokes. Not one killed him (probably to the doctors surprise). He became frustrated and violent with his new disability. And with poor insurance, doctors weren't looking very hard to fix him. They eventually concluded it was a deformity in his heart which was there from birth but went unnoticed. After surgery all was to be well.

His recovery was slow and frustrating, and stories spoken by his wife were that he was not trying, he was frustrated, and would at times get violent, hitting the dogs and destroying the phone because he could not figure anything out. Her solution was to leave him. From what I understand, he didn't last long in the house alone (with her daughter and her boyfriend but without her) and decided his life wasn't worth living, but instead of ending it, he drove himself (a dangerous act) to the hospital and told them he was thinking of suicide and that they had to admit him and help him. He was later discharged into a 1/2way house at the church. That was the last I heard of my father. This was the last I heard and this was months ago.

Today I received an email that he is back in the hospital - the doctors have asked him to go to the ER anytime he feels he has a headache. During the last few tests, they found he has a tear in his corroded artery - whatever this tear is, it didn't kill him (which I still don't understand). They cannot perform surgery on him because he might die during surgery with a massive stroke. I found this out this morning... and have re-thought every step of his condition, progress, and lack there-of.

Now when I tell you this has been going on for 1 year and I haven't driven to MD once to see him, would you think I was a devil? I called him after the 1st stroke, but I didn't intend to. I called the nurse desk to find out his condition, and they transfered me so I could speak to his wife. She filled me in in her cryptic way and passed the phone to my father. I was not prepared to speak to him. He was understandable, but his speech was unorganized and slurred. I thought I'd go see him, but every time I tried, I'd break down and discover I just couldn't do it.

Now one year later, I find that I'm colder about it. I honestly don't think I intend to visit him. I ask myself, "If he dies, will you feel guilty and regret it?" and I don't know if I would. I wonder if he does, if I'd attend the funeral - and I don't know if it would be proper. I honestly don't know what this man is to me, but he isn't really my family.

I feel ashamed of what people might think of me - and that makes me feel guilty. How can someone else judge me without walking in my shoes and growing from my childhood.

Sometimes it's better to be cut off completely. Completely estranged. I don't need to know about his health, mental or otherwise. I don't need to know about his lifestyle, however perfect or corrupt. But he is only SORTA estranged. Just like he tried to be SORTA a dad.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

AHHHHHHHH Depression Sucks

What sucks the most is not knowing why you feel like this.

Grr - today is definitely better than yesterday, but still a struggle.

You have to wonder - why this happens in the 1st place.

Happy thoughts, happy thoughts...

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Today is...

a strange day indeed.

I'm definitely not myself...

or this is the 1st time I've been myself in a long time (lets hope not).

A Confession:

I suppose my blog is for me and not for anyone who reads it, but I've left myself guarded at times while writing - editing my thoughts as I type. Knowing friends, family & strangers maybe privy to my innermost thoughts can be unnerving - Yet isn't that it's purpose? I've tried to keep a diary of sorts... or to just jot down my thoughts when I'd think it'd help - usually stopping 1/2 way through, already bored with myself.

Yet this isn't my confession - maybe today I will delve deeper into myself and vent... not about my family, friends, or work - but about myself.

I have been thoughtful lately, about my feelings and the events in my life that trigger each one. I'm easily anxious - as a college student, I was prescribed medicine to counter this - paired with anti-depressants, which the doctor hoped would not just cure my anxiety & bouts of depression, but which would possibly help contain my IBS (related to high stress levels). Who would have thought that a teen could be under so much pressure? I shared this cocktail (paired with my back medicine) with my best friend who in turned shook his head and begged me to stop. He pleaded with me to not taking any medication - particularly the mood altering ones. Eventually I listened. I suppose I still owe him a thank you for that. Can you believe after leaving each other's lives more than 5 years ago, he still floats in my mind as a friend. Strange.

Today I can say that I'm medicine free (maybe a Tylenol or Pamprin once in a while), however, I'm still not free of the anxiety and sudden changes in mood. Small thinks make my heart flutter, my face pale, my breathing shallow, and my mind swirling. The anxiety is much more than emotional or mental but completely physical - almost debilitating. It many times takes all my strength to not scream... and many times I do (poor Paul). The depression, thankfully, occurs less frequent. Many times it takes me thinking of circumstances I cannot help for it to develop. Generally speaking, it is usually concerning family, loss, fights, etc... I think feeling depression due to these things is normal. What isn't normal is how quickly I am reminded of these depressing things... and how quickly a happy moment can be turned murky by my negative thoughts. It's something I am trying to work on - but how do you control those unwanted thoughts and images from escaping your subconscious and materializing in front of your minds eye?

I am maybe unusually cold and averse to showing signs of emotion. My mother thinks its strange that I can only say I love you without feeling unless speaking to a small child. I do not gush over many emotions unless it is the emotions revolving around anger (management... ha). Aside from devastating loss (my grandpa), I remain pretty mechanical. But I have to admit, it is a huge front. Inside I am whirling with 100 million feelings including love and compassion. When I'm alone I think of how much I love people, I cry, I feel with every hair growing out of every follicle. I just don't feel comfortable sharing. Except...

With Paul it's a bit different. I can say I love you - with emotion. I can hug, and cuddle, and smile... I feel like I can open up in front of him. I suppose it allows it to be different for me, yet I can't exactly understand what he does that allows it to be so. But I'd lie if I said I was never disappointed.

Like many women, I can be a hopeless romantic - waiting to be lifted off my feet by my price charming. To be treated like a princess - to be treated like the only living thing in this world that matters. But when you rationally think of these things - you have to be crazy to expect that - you are NOT the only thing that matters... this is not the movies or a novel. This is the real world and being loved unconditionally does not mean you have to be treated like a damsel in distress by a man you could have only dreamed about being good enough to glance at from across the room. That is for movies... especially teen ones! Let's face it... half of them are young, silly, overly emotional - and probably broke up before college! --> it doesnt stop you from envisioning you in her place though does it?

So there are some of my confessions - nothing too revealing, but I little bit more than I've shared before. Saying it - with words - typed up for all to see makes it a little more solid... it makes my heart beat just a little faster, anxious, but I'm glad I'm sharing... maybe in doing so I can more understand myself... and understand why I feel what I feel when I feel it.

Missing Paul makes me more anxious than depressed... he's gone now. When he's here, I get anxious knowing my routine is broken. I need to find a balance... and I will, eventually.

Life is like this I suppose... for us all, some of us maybe can just control it better.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Last Day of Summer Fridays

An unusually colorful photo from the main lift at Hunter Mountain, NY 2008

Today is our last day of Summer Fridays - leaving work at 3PM has been great! The summer is officially leaving us with shorter days and cooler nights.

I love the fall - Autumn is my favorite season. The smells remind me of soccer, the colors remind me of a family that got along, the sounds make me smile, and I love the comfortable temperature.

This fall, I hope to go on a camping trip - something where I'm surrounded by changing leaves, good friends, good beer, and fun conversation.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

A Note on Greenwashing

I got this from - please read for full article (by clicking on picture) to increase understanding though plainly obvious

Greenwashing is becoming all too popular and it isn't well regulated. Packaging and marketing laws were last updated before sustainability was really a question. Beware of false advertising. Please read labels carefully. And always always always do a little research. There are a few labels that you however can rely on:
Energy Star - backed by the US Environmental Protection Agency & US Department of Energy
Fair Trade Certified -
Independent nonprofit serving as US rep. of the Fairtrade Labeling Organization International, a global network
FSC Certified - backed by the Forest Stewardship Council, an independent international organization dedicated to forest management
Green Seal - an independent nonprofit organization based in Washington D.C., that tests and evaluates green products
USDA Organic - backed by the US Department of Agriculture

So don't forget to look for these green myths:
  1. When appliances/electronics are off, they don't use power- remember they use standby power. They need to be unplugged or a surge pmust be used and that must be turned off.
  2. Energy conservation = energy efficiency: FALSE. Energy conservation is an activity where one choses to use less energy (turn off your lights when leaving the room) and energy efficiency is a technology that requires less energy to carry out the same task.
  3. Eating organic is better = yes it's true, it's seemingly healthier (no hormones, peticides, etc... and they are grown using sustainable and regenerative farming methods), but you need to read labels and pay attention to FOOD MILES or the distance your food has traveled from farm to store. Shipping = use of petroleum. So buy local and if you can locally grown organic - try the farmers market.
  4. You have to do it all = remember there are many shades of green and every shade counts!
  5. Being green means I recycle = yes, recycling and upcycling are great ways to reduce landfill contribution but many recycled goods still end up in landfills. Don't just dispose of smarter, but purchase smarter. Do you really need individually wrapped goodies, water and soda? Can you buy in bulk and store in reusable containers? Remember, you need to change how you think when you buy, not just when you throw away.
  6. If it says natural, it's good for you = Currently there is no regulation on the term "natural" in cosmetic lines.
  7. Bamboo is green = it's true that it's a more sustainable wood, but it's not always green. It can be though. Bamboo demand is actually causing some companies to do the extreme - cut down natural forests to plant bamboo! Choice of supplier is important. It is not yet regulated. Currently, if it was between bamboo and locally cut FSC certified maple - some would say the maple is the environmentally better choice.
  8. Remember it's not always what you buy, but how it was manufactured, transported, and it's ingredients. Calling something organic, natural or eco-friendly means nothing. Do that adequate research. All I've written is up for debate, but I've read a lot and I feel comfortable saying it.
And don't forget the little things that make a big difference:
  1. Wash dishes and laundry in cold water (yes they still get clean)
  2. Buy products and foods local & organic when possible and always try and avoid products with excess packaging
  3. Bring your own grocery bags (paper or plastic... doesn't matter, they are both bad)
  4. Recycle based on your townships sanitation laws (NYC recycle #'s 1 & 2)
  5. Upcycling what you can (take out containers, cereal bags, tins, etc...)
  6. Buy used at thrift stores and craigslist
  7. Don't buy harsh cleaning materials - use a vinegar water solution (and baking soda)
  8. Buy healthy beauty products - organic, local, natural & healthy! It's not just what you put in your body but also what is on your body
  9. Homemade is always better
  10. Try and make your own toners, face wash, masks, etc...
Anyway if anyone has any other ideas or comments - leave them!

(I considered writing numerous blogs ... for personal use, green notes, wedding stuff, but I wouldn't be able to keep up, so use my labels!)