Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Celebrating Presidents and Freedom and Stuff

On President's Day James and I decided to take a hike up to the top of our little town, Black Mountain.  Going up is a steep, straight shot, then coming down the trail loops and encircles the mountain, so needless to say, getting to the top means the hardest part is over (and cause for victory photos!).  We are both feeling it today, but it was fun!

Shutter speed is fun to play with ;)

"Look at that mountain back there, we hiked that!"

Beautiful sunrays poking through the neighborhood on the way home.

Friday, February 14, 2014

My Funny Valentine

Today was such a fun day--I spent the whole day with a smile on my face!  This morning I woke up to roses and a hot latte, followed by a movie in bed and an incredible massage.  My hubby sure knows how to make a morning!  Then we headed up to a local park for a picnic and photo shoot which got a little out of control and had us rolling around in tears from laughing so hard (sorry, none of these laugh-inducing photos will ever be released to the public).  Then we came home for a bit before cooking our amazing surf-n-turf dinner, followed by a night of blogging and watching the Olympics.  We sure are spoiled sometimes!  (Can I also publicly express how much I love playing around in Lightroom 5?!)

Am I lucky or what?!  Not only is he handsome but he has the patience of a saint and lets me test out my tripod for hours on end....  (And then cooks dinner!)

Dear James,
I know you read this blog sometimes so in case you are reading today, I'm sorry I posted kissing pictures on the internet, and that I made you take so many pictures in general, but you have to admit we had a good time.  Thank you for always loving me despite my crazy whims, and for always supporting my dreams and passions.   You are the only person who understand me, you're my favorite shoulder to cry on, and the only person who can make me laugh any time I'm sad.  I don't think I say it enough, but I don't know what I did to deserve you and I will probably spend the rest of my life trying to pay it back.  I love you so much my funny valentine, you are my hero!
xoxo, me

Monday, February 10, 2014

Is this the Olympics or the Hunger Games?

I have to say, this weekend was another great weekend that lived up to its potential. I'm beginning to think I live for the weekends, which is something I have never done before (seeing as most of my life I have worked in the service industry and have spent most of my weekends at work!).

Something I have really enjoyed these past few days is watching the Sochi Winter Olympics!  We watched the opening ceremony on Friday night and even though I am not a Russian citizen it was still such a powerful performance to watch, chronicling the history of their country.  They have come such a long way since being confined as the Soviet Union and even the technological and cinematic elements of the ceremony showed that magnificently.

The one thing that, I think, made viewers across the globe chuckle a bit was when the 5th olympic ring/snowflake was delayed in opening--the memes going around the internet about it are hilarious.  I know some saw it as a controversial mistake, maybe one done on purpose (there was a even a rumor that the person who did it was found dead the next day, hunger games style!), but we just kind of laughed it off noting that if that was the only thing that went wrong in the whole ceremony it was still pretty amazing.

My favorite sport from the winter olympics has got to be figure skating.  I think it is definitely one of the sports that requires the most discipline and mental effort, not to mention the physical exertion.  I have SO loved watching all of the young ladies and pairs from team USA perform, along with the top contenders from Russia, Canada, Italy, and Japan.  Ashley Wagner and Gracie Gold are my girls!

Another highlight of my weekend was attending Padres Fanfest with my family.  We have always been avid Padres fans (no bandwagon fans here!) and baseball is my FAVORITE sport (I started playing when I was 5!) so the start of the season is a big deal in this house.  The Padres are notoriously a "bad" team, with little to no funds to attract the good players, but we love them anyway.  They are the perpetual underdog and I really do think one of these years they will surprise us all and maybe clinch the pennant if not go all the way!  At Fanfest we got to tour the clubhouse and dugout, "run" the bases, meet players and coaches, and lots of other freebies.  San Diego is such a beautiful city and in comparison to my time in college spent at Dodger stadium, it is always nice to come home to this pretty place.  :)

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

An Oldie and a Goodie

I've been listening to my iPod again for the first time in a long time and I just wanted to share two songs with you that have been stuck in my head all week.  One is "brand new" and one is a bit older, and granted they will put you in two completely different moods, but I promise they are worth at least three minutes of your time.

Oldie: Skinny Love by Birdy

Birdy - Skinny Love [MV] from Yoonji Reem on Vimeo.

Goodie: Love Alone is Worth the Fight by Switchfoot

Switchfoot - Love Alone Is Worth The Fight from MardelTV on Vimeo.

*Driving home the other night I heard a catchy song on the radio and I could't figure out who it was, though it sounded all to familiar.  After whipping out my Soundhound I discovered it was indeed a band I'd heard before, it was Switchfoot!  I know they've had many mainstream songs before, but they have a few new ones out right now that are really good.  If you're into them at all, check em out.

Happy Hump Day!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

World Cancer Day

I recently came to learn that February 4th is World Cancer Day, a time to celebrate and encourage those fighting cancer and those that have survived, and also a day to reduce stigma and dispel myths about cancer.  For me, it is also a day to remember friends and family members who lost their fight against cancer and while they are no longer here with us in flesh, they remain in my heart in spirit.

This past Christmas my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer and so far we have spent the first months of 2014 figuring out where to go from here.  After numerous doctor appointments and a lot of good literature, I think my mom has become one of the strongest contenders to fight this disease; on top of exercising more than anyone I know, she's even traded in her meats and cheese for a vegan diet.  As a child, we grow up thinking our parents are invincible and will be with us forever.  Then something like this happens and it sends shockwaves through your system.  I have many friends who have lost a parent or two at a young age and I can't say I know what they felt like, but I know what it feels like now to lose that false sense of invincibility.  I'm scared but I know my family and I are trusting in the Lord to bring her through this.

In 2013 my brother in law, Shayne, was diagnosed with testicular cancer and had surgery which successfully removed all of the cancer.  In October my sister, Kayla, had skin cancer removed as did my mom earlier in August of the previous year.  In 2012 we lost James' grandfather to cancer, and my mom's best friend was battling colon cancer (she is now cured).

At times I just want to throw my hands in the air and ask, "who's next?!" because it just seems inevitable.  After finding out that my mom is the 3rd generation of women on her side of the family to be diagnosed with breast cancer, I start worrying and wondering if I will be diagnosed, and at what age.  All of my friends and doctors are recommending that I get checked for the genes now, but what if I test positive?  Do I just live my life in fear waiting for that shoe to drop?

Cancer is a nasty, cruel, unfair disease, and it has taken too many people whom I love.  As much as I hate foul language, the "F*** Cancer" hashtag is growing on me day by day.  Haha.

In memory and respect for all my loved ones touched by this disease, I'm praying for and thinking of you all on this day.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Superbowl Weekend

This past superbowl weekend was one of those weekends that felt like it lived up to its potential, I enjoyed every minute!  Whether it was time with family, time spent with my kitty, or just time to myself, it was time well spent.  On Saturday we had a great big family breakfast complete with lattes and doughnuts and in my case, a delicious lox bagel.  Later my sister and my mom and I went on a 20 mile bike ride from our house to the beach and back... it was killer!  They regularly go to spin class together so they are in much better shape than I am and they schooled me.  They probably could have gone a lot faster and farther but stayed with me anyways.  I thought I was going to be super sore the next day but the only thing that hurts is where that bike seat rubs the wrong way if you know what I mean....  Anyway! After our epic ride my mom treated us to mani/pedis and can I just say those are always so relaxing.  After church on Sunday we all headed over to Kayla and Shayne's apartment to watch the superbowl and kick back.  Admittedly I couldn't care less about football but seeing as I married a football enthusiast I will be watching the superbowl for as long as I live. (I may or may not have slept through half the game, including the halftime show, but no one saw that, right?!)  By the time I crawled into bed on Sunday I was exhausted from the weekend, but in the best kind of way.

Happy Monday, everyone!