Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Campin' in the City

A few weekends ago I headed back up to the bay area to look for bridesmaid dresses with Amy and Rebekkah. This time Adam and Sydney accompanied Rebekkah and John accompanied me.

We drove up on Friday night and had a camp out in the Steinbuck’s trailer! It was awesome! I told John that if this was camping I was game! He told me I was dreamin’.

We woke up early the next morning and headed to the dress shop. We had an hour before the dudes showed up and dropped of the Kyd, so we were trying on dresses like we were goin’ for the gold in the ‘How many bridesmaid dresses can you try on in an hour?’ Olympic event.

As you can see, the dudes welcomed themselves right into the dressing room when they arrived!

Please note that the photo is blurry because the flash was turned off on my camera. This happened before we knew we could take photos of the dresses. (We were taking them incognito in the dressing room).

After the first round we went and Amy tried on her dress to see which veil she wanted. Syd could not stand the fact that she wasn’t getting to play dress up, so the worker let her participate.

Isn’t she the cutest?

Next we headed to lunch, where Syd and I enjoyed some French fries!

Next we went to another shop. We didn’t have quite as many customer service problems as we did the first time…mostly because we were on our own and were able to pick out our own dresses.

These were our favorites.

This one is the same brand and material as the red ones, just a different top option.

Oh I almost forgot! I had John pose with Sydney’s artwork. Man that kid sure has a violent imagination!

Monday, February 26, 2007


Don’t worry…I’m still here. These last few weeks haven’t given me much time to write. My grandmother had a stroke two weeks ago and passed away a little over a week ago. Then this past week I caught a nasty cold, which caused the blog to continue stay on the back burner. I’m hoping to get back in the swing of things this week.

Most of you have been fortunate enough to have met my grandmother, a.k.a. Gramoo. She lived in San Jose most of her life and recently moved up to Portland to be closer to my cousins and her great grand kids. Even though she was 87 I was still completely shocked when I heard she had a stroke. She has not had any major health problems and I expected her to live for another 5 to 10 years. Had I been more prepared for her passing I think would have lessened the sadness and made it easier to believe that she is gone.

I am very thankful that she did not have to be put into a home. I do not wish that upon any of my family or friends. I’m also thankful she got to spend her last 7 months of her life in Oregon close to family.

Over President’s weekend I flew up to Portland. We had a service for her on Sunday, which was really nice. My cousin Jodi works in grief counseling and had some really great ideas, which made the service really personal. She and my sister worked on a poem that consisted of certain things that reminded us of my grandma. Like wearing moon boots, and thermals all year long, and Wheel of fortune slot machines. My mom played two songs on her flute, which were beautiful, and Jodi’s daughter heather sang a song. She sounded great despite the fact that she had a cold.

Amy and Jodi had also planned for everyone to come to the front and take a small jar of sand and while pouring it into a larger jar share a memory of my grandma. It was really great to hear everyone’s personal memories. At the end of the service we bottled up the sand and each person got to take home a small jar of it.

Here is a collage my second cousin Ashley did. It was great.

Amy and Jodi asked me to create the programs for the service and I was really glad I was able to. Click on the images to enlarge them.

It was really great to spend the weekend with my family. I always have fun with them. I’m planning on proposing an idea that we all try to get together once a year. One year we can meet in California and the other we can meet in Oregon.

I had no loose ends with my grandma, and there was nothing I wanted to tell her that she didn’t already know. I am upset that she died, but I’m more upset at death it’s self. I can’t imagine having to go through this pain and sadness for every one of my family and friends. It was so hard to see how sad everyone else was. I wasn’t prepared for that.

It really is true that you don’t realize how much you miss someone until they are gone. Gramoo is the first person I’ve had a close relationship with that has died. We talked often on the phone and emailed each other. She pursued the relationship more than I did, and I am very thankful for that. It’s really saddening to know that I will never get to hug her or hear her voice again.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Winna Winna Chicken Dinna

During this past fall/winter, John and I were involved in a football pool at my work. Each week you would only have to pick one team, and if your team won, then you could continue to play. If you got two losses, you were out. Well poor John got out on week 7, but I made it down to the final 3. We went on for quite a few weeks, just the three of us, and then finally I was victorious! I was SO excited! Many of my co-workers wanted to know if John helped me pick, and I said ‘No way! He was out week 7!’ I also had to tell them that back in the day I won the football pool at my dad’s work… and there I was competing with a bunch of mill workers! Even then they thought that my dad was helping me out! I swear I get no respect!

This past weekend my company also had two Super Bowl pools. One was a grid where each square was worth $5 and the other was a grid with $1 squares. This pool was totally random and did not take any skill. Each square was assigned a number and if your numbers matched up with the scores at the end of each quarter then you’d win. So I paid for 4 $5 squares and 5 $1 squares… and what do you know? The first quarter I won BOTH pools!!!! Can you believe that one? I as so excited! I almost won one of the pools for the second quarter but the Colts missed a field goal (I think).

Anyway John told me that I can’t win EVERYTHING at my work and people are going to start hating me!

I only got a little harassment on Monday morning by one person saying I needed to bring in some treats for the office, (which is mandatory of the regular season football pool, which I did). However I told him that my gambling winnings are becoming a dependant part in my income, so he was out of luck.

Monday, February 5, 2007

30 Days

On Thursday afternoon, before we left town, I went to the post office to pick up my birthday package from Rebekkah. She had covered the whole box with ‘fragile’ and as you can see it looked like the post office really took that into consideration.

I personally think the post office staff was mad that she had insured it and that they could not steal it. (We have had many packages go IMA from SLO to Ukiah and vice versa on more than one occasion).

I opened the gift to find that w/ the help of my family Amy and Rebekkah had gathered 30 gifts of different items that remind them of me to celebrate the entire month of my birthday. I am to open a gift a day, except on my birthday I was able to open 2 extra since there are only 28 days in Feb.

I thought that telling you about every gift I received, but I didn't want to bore you. So instead I thought I would share the highlights with you.

Gift #4 was two scrapbook pages dedicated to my love of sweatpants as I grew up. I never thought I would see the day of a scrapbook page dedicated to sweatpants.

Gift #5 was this Punky Brewster t-shirt. Too perfect.

Sunday, February 4, 2007

Dealer Calls Winner

I could not believe how beautiful Tahoe was… and that I had only been there once 20 years ago! I don’t think I had ever been to a place like that before. There wasn't snow in the town, only in the mountains. I guess it had been 3 weeks since it last snowed there… but it sure was chilly!

We got up bright an early on Thursday and hit the slops. I was pretty hesitant about the whole day as I decided to try skiing again (after snowboarding for a few years). I was not prepared for being such a novice and having NO skills! I did not forget how to snowplow, but the majority of the time I was like a puppy on newly waxed floors. I could barely make it to the ski lift line!

I do have something to be proud about… I made it off every lift w/o falling!! Let me tell you that is a great feat for me as I could NEVER make it off the lift upright on my snowboard. I had a couple of good runs and then I had a bad one. Instead of going wide around this little snowboarder that had fallen I cut the corner and went down this super steep part losing my balance and falling. The fall wasn't too bad, but my right leg bent a little too much. There wasn't instant pain, as I only felt that something was kind of off once I stood up. But I didn't really worry about it because it just felt sore. However standing back up was an ordeal in itself! What the heck? Is there some special way of how to stand up on skis after biffing it? John finally had to come over me and help pull me up, which almost didn't work!

After that we decided to go on a bit steeper run. It went ok until I realized that my right leg would no longer snow plow! NO matter how hard I would try I could only snow plow w/ my left leg… which meant that I could not turn left! I was just making a constant sharp right turn! It was really scary not having ANY control coming down the hill, so we called it a day.

It wasn't until we took off our gear did I realize how sore my knee was. It’s been getting better each day and it’s only a little swollen.

That night we hit the casinos and it was really fun. I was looking for a $5 black jack table which I did not find at the nicer casinos, so John finally made me play the $10 table. I was a little hesitant, but I did pretty good! Well at least I didn't lose any money. There were multiple people at the table that kept whipping out the $100 bills, and here I was changing $40, hoping I could make the money last longer than 4 hands! I think I walked away from the first table w/ a $20 profit.

We stop at Wild Bills casino which wasn't as nice, but it was non-smoking and it had $5 tables. It was definitely a different crowd though…but my dealer was the real winner. On one hand he miscounted my 19 as an 18 and tried to take my money until John called him out on it. Then a few hands later he dealt himself a 22 and called it a 21, which John pointed out to him again, and John wasn't even playing!! After that I was out of there! I've never had a dealer not know how to count! I was $35 ahead there so I was pretty pleased…however John had lost $50 on slots and roulette. That was the first time that I was ever profitable playing too! I really enjoy it...probably a bit too much. I’m lucky I don’t live closer to any casinos!

On our last day we woke up early, (once again), and went on a snowmobiling tour! It was SO MUCH FUN! It was only for 2 hours and it was not long enough! It was so great to be up in the mountains w/ snow all around. Once I got used to the feeling like I was going to fly off on every bounce it was quite enjoyable. We didn't realize how lucky we were that we took the early tour until we got back to the base and saw 36 people get off the bus. Our tour had 7 people total! We were also lucky that we found a snowmobiling place that was open. The first place we called said there wasn't enough snow so they weren't running their tours. I thought I would be more sore from skiing, but my back and legs are aching today! I'm totally walking around like an old lady.

Here is the photo that they took of us at the beginning and then charged us an arm and a leg for. (How could I not buy it?)

Here was one of the places we stopped on the ride, and as you can see John was keeping himself quite entertained. (Nice form!)

We had arranged for a late check out of our hotel, hoping that we would be able to make it back to the hotel by 1pm to change our clothes before we hit the road. We made it back by 12:40 and rushed to the room… only to find two maids sitting and having lunch in our room with the TV on full blast! I told them that we didn't have to be checked out until 1pm and they said no prob. So while they packed up their lunch, John and I had to change in the bathroom! Totally ridiculous!

On our way home we decided to drive up the West side of the lake to check out the views. It was really beautiful.

On the West side.

We stopped off in Sacramento and met up with Molly for dinner. It was great to see her and she took us to a great place called INK.

Overall it was a really fun weekend and I can’t wait to go back! (More photos to follow on ofoto).