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Archive for the ‘That’s just life’ Category

For Valentine’s Day this year I woke up a little  earlier than usual so that I could, rather than buying flowers, make my own roses!….out of bacon! I used bbq skewers, bacon, and some spinach and voilà… Bacon roses for my love. I wish I could have gotten a video of his reaction…he immediately ate one right off the stick. Bahaha…Priceless.

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pretty yummy looking right?

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the special breakfast…omelet complete with an edible arrangement and coffee!

Not that I don’t like to receive flowers on occassion…but to be honest I’ve never been the biggest fan of Valentine’s Day. I love the idea of showing love and appreciation to those people who are dear to our hearts, but shouldn’t we do that daily? Plus, have you ever thought about where your flowers come from?

Did you know that most of our flowers come from Columbia and then Ecuador??? When I traveled to Ecuador several years back that was one thing that stood out to me…how cheap red roses were there and the crazy price that we pay for them here. If you’re interested check out this USA Today article here.

I’m not sure exactly what I’m getting at…but it was something I thought about a lot today, and even used for discussion in my Spanish classes. I brought in an image of one of Diego Rivera’s paintings to spark conversation and to hopefully bring some thought to the workers…creating the link between process and product. In many of his paintings, although esthetically pleasing and elegant, we are unable to see faces…as if to parallel the fact that often times the workers go unrecognized.

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El vendedor de alcatraces, Diego Rivera

Anyway, I’m not trying to put a downer on V-day….my  point I guess is to just a simple reminder to be aware and to always be thankful for what we have in life. I am so thankful for my loved ones, and even though this holiday may not always bring out the best in people (I can’t help but think about all the chocolates, jewelry, and silly stuffed animals purchased today just for the sake of giving someone something) I am thankful that the holiday has brought with it  some reflection.

Happy Valentine’s Day!!

xoxoxo

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Yikes! It has been an eternity (or at least it feels like it) since I last wrote a blog!! I have been busy, busy, busy since last August! People are not kidding when they say that grad school is a lot of work. Add teaching on top of that (which I’ve found that I really love!) and I have zero social life!! Haha I pretty much live at home, on campus, or in the yoga studio.

Looking back it really is hard to believe the greatness, as well as handful of challenges, that this past year has brought me and my family, but I wouldn’t change a thing. Everything happens for a reason right? Here’s a little photo tour of the past year. Cheers to 2014!

Exactly one year ago I was still living in Costa Rica as a Peace Corps volunteer. The month of January saw me working on my favorite project…teaching English to 20 incredible youth who were selected to participate in the fully donation funded JumpStart English camp. One of my favorite memories was encouraging them all to participate in a little ‘strange thing’ called yoga! February brought with it many ‘see you laters’ as I made my way back to the U.S. to begin the next stage in my life.

Back home my main focus was on family! I love spending time with my Mom and am so proud of her!! We were all happy to see her finish her treatments, celebrate her 50th birthday, and to see her healing…the new year has even brought her a wonderful new job! Congrats Mama 🙂

I was also accepted to grad school at CSU and was offered a Graduate Teaching Assistant position where I am the instructor for an introductory Spanish class at the undergraduate level. I love teaching this age group! In March I celebrated another birthday and not too long after fostered an adorable puppy, but quickly learned how much work having a puppy is! Ultimately Anthony and I were unable to adopt her…womp womp.

One of my favorite parts of entering into the spring/summer season was becoming a working member at Native Hill Farm. I loved being outside getting my hands dirty and it’s definitely something I hope to do again!

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This past summer brought with it more exciting life changes…Anthony and I moved in together! I loved getting the house all decorated and cozy feeling. One of the highlights of the summer was definitely our roadtrip to the Oregon coast. Can you believe that we (cough, cough…Anthony) drove all that way in one straight shot? Pretty crazy right?

August meant Anthony’s birthday and getting ready for grad school. I was able to get all of Anthony’s family and friends together to help me get him a Macbook Pro for his birthday and throw him one heck of a surprise party. It was great!! August also meant registering for classes. I took Spanish Word Formation and Morphology, Teaching Methodology, and Ethnopsychiatry and Spiritual healing.  Before the start of school I opted to take on a bootcamp…which was awesome! I felt so incredible after working out 1 hour a day for 6 days a week. Unfortunately, with the start of school came the end of my social life (and working out time), but I feel very accomplished after one semester. To finish the semester I turned in, among other things, a children’s story accompanied by a 100 page glossary of words (documenting etymology, definitions, synonyms, metaphors, you name it we included it!), and a 30 page research paper on Santeria in Cuba. The biggest reward of the semester, though, was to receive amazing compliments from my students….such a great group!

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The holiday season was filled with many interesting stories to say the least. In November we celebrated my brother’s 21st  by taking him out to an arcade bar. In the same month my Dad was in need of TLC after going through a major surgery. Apparently 2013 wanted to go out with a bang (haha) because one morning I woke up to find that my car had been hit in the parking lot, the only evidence being $50 and a cop card left on my windshield….womp womp for November.

Sticking to the theme of 2013 going out with a bang, Anthony and I rang in the New Year right….coming home at 1:00 am to Izzy dashing out the front door….us chasing her around the buildings and trees hoping she wouldn’t dart into the road just as she booked it back inside our house… She loves to play tricks on us.

After a busy whirlwind of a  2013 a quote that I found fitting for 2014 goes something like this…my goal for 2014 is not to stress…everything will happen in it’s time…

“Worrying does not empty tomorrow of its troubles, it empties today of its strength.” – Corrie ten Boom

Cheers to 2014!

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Happy birthday to you. Happy birthday to you. Happy birthday dear Annnnnnthonyyyyy! Happy birthday to you!!!

I think I almost had as much excitement/fun planning this special guy’s birthday as he did celebrating it! My heart feels happy.

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About three months ago I started scheming…his laptop was stolen during the previous school year and he somehow needed a replacement…..hm….

I looked to family and friends for help, and amazingly after a little persistence and a few obnoxious, coaxing emails/phone calls I had received enough spare change to purchase his dream computer. A huge thank you to everyone that pitched in to make this all come together! Anthony had noooo idea.

We threw him a little birthday party with lots of good friends, family, delicious food, and plenty to drink. It was marvelous.

Yummy kale salad...the kale is from the farm where we volunteer!

Yummy kale salad…the kale is from the farm where we volunteer!

More veggies from the farm

More veggies from the farm

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strawberry infused vodka

strawberry infused vodka

A friend making her famous egg rolls

A friend making her famous egg rolls

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After lunch we opened presents…he says it still hasn’t really sunken in yet. I wanted to share some pictures from the party and a video that I took of him opening his gift!

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From one of his buddies

Tada!!!

Tada!!!

And no birthday is complete without some cake…or in this case ice cream cake! mmmm…

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Ohhhhh….and did I mention the other “birthday present”?…We adopted a kitten from the humane society! I’ve never been much of a cat person…but she is sooo gosh darn cute! Her name is Izzy…she’s snuggly, loves to play, and is always chattering away about something! Maybe cats are growing on me…

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Meet Izzy!

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All in all I’d say he made out pretty well for turning 27, wouldn’t you say??

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Life is so busy these days! When did that happen? I think I’ll blog a quick photo summary of the last few weeks….they’ve been packed!

I finished with my summer job. For my last day of work I drove a group of kids to a Denver amusement park, rode a bunch of rides with them, said goodbyes and then got in the car with Anthony to begin our 17 hour road trip to the Oregon coast; our mission being to arrive there the next night in time to go out for our friend’s bachelorette and bachelor parties. It was a LONG drive, but we made it!

 

After spending a day-ish in Portland we headed to Cannon Beach, where our two close friends had their INCREDIBLE wedding.

 

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Driving, driving, driving…

 

 

I had PLENTY of time to do my nails...

I had PLENTY of time to do my nails…

 

Columbia River

Columbia River

 

We went to a coffee/motorcycle bar called SeeSees in Portland.

We went to a coffee/motorcycle bar called See See in Portland.

 

Neat helmets

Neat helmets

 

Exploring Portland

Exploring Portland

 

Woohoo!! We made it to Cannon Beach

Woohoo!! We made it to Cannon Beach

 

 

Bliss :)

Bliss 🙂

 

It was chilly...but oh so majestic!

It was chilly…but oh so majestic!

 

Anthony and me in the sunset

Anthony and me in the sunset

 

Haystack rock

Haystack rock

 

Indian Beach

Indian Beach

 

Bonfire on the beach!

Bonfire on the beach!

 

Doing some yoga on the beach

Doing some yoga on the beach

 

Anthony and I at the wedding!! Lookin' good

Anthony and I at the wedding!! Lookin’ good

 

Yay!!

Yay!!

 

So, so pretty

So, so pretty

 

One of the wedding gifts I made for the couple.

One of the wedding gifts I made for the couple.

 

Congrats!!

Congrats!!

 

 

 

 

Last day in Cannon Beach

Last day in Cannon Beach

 

 

 

Last stop in Portland before heading home...

Last stop in Portland before heading home…

 

Voodoo Donuts! mmmm...yes, there is bacon on that!

Voodoo Donuts! mmmm…yes, there is bacon on that!

 

Eating on the go

Eating on the go

 

Proof that I did do some of the driving!

Proof that I did do some of the driving!

 

We made it back to Colorado just in time to get Anthony all moved out of his old rental and into our new home!!! I can’t wait to post pictures of the furniture that my Dad made for us! He is incredibly talented!!

We are so happy, and now the goal is to relax a little before the school year starts!

 

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This past week was awesome…sooo many great things happened! I guess I should just start from the beginning right? For starters, Anthony and I signed a lease to rent a nice condo starting in August! Wooohooo!!!! I can’t stop thinking about how I want to decorate!! Haha, I look forward to seeing what kind of goodies I can find at yard sales this summer with my Mom.

I also started training for my new job as a summer Day Camp Leader. I am going to be the leader of the “Cub” group of kids ages 6-8. It is going to be a blast, and I can’t wait to tell you about all the kooky and fun things I envision myself to be doing this summer.

Another major event was my Mom finishing up her last treatment…so it’s all (hopefully) down hill from here! She seriously is like the toughest lady I know. “YAHOO! YOU’RE THROUGH!” was totally my grandma’s idea.

Sadie waiting for Mom to get home!!

Sadie waiting for Mom to get home!!

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Probably the biggest thing though, was that my Mom celebrated a very important birth year (I’m not going to reveal her age though, or I might suffer hearing “Riiiiley” accompanied by the stink eye).  My grandma and aunt were even able to come and celebrate with us!

For the "rock star" birthday girl

For the “rock star” birthday girl

My Mom can be a little stubborn when it comes to accepting gifts, so my brother and I thought this card was rather fitting.

"good birthday human, good"

“good birthday human, good”

Something else that my brother and I thought was fitting for this birthday  was a vacation. For that reason we’ve been planning something a little extra special for my Mom. After all she’s been through in recent months we figured she deserves to just get out of here and relax. For that reason, my brother and I planned a little escape vacation for my Mom and Dad to head to San Francisco, CA, rent a car and drive along the coast (something my Dad has always wanted to do) to their destination; Fort Bragg, CA. I titled the trip “Operation Relaxation”. Mom is looking forward to taking a ride on the Skunk Train!

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She requested two things for her birthday; a bird house and a strawberry pie, so that’s what we made her! Click here for the delicious paleo strawberry pie recipe that I used. It was nice because it wasn’t overwhelmingly sweet or bitter like some fruit pies can be. It had just the right balance. Yum 🙂

Sweet bird house my Dad built!!

Sweet bird house my Dad built!!

Dates, strawberries and lemon juice!

Dates, strawberries and lemon juice!

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The week ended equally full of sunshine. Anthony and I went on a great hike on Memorial Day and then had my Dad over to BBQ. How did you all celebrate your 3 day weekend?

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No, Walter is not another random, mangey pet that I’m attempting to adopt. It is however a bit mangey looking. Like many things over the age of 30, Walter just needs a little TLC. Walter is a 30-ish year old moped that Anthony bought out from under another customer on Craigslist for $80. Sounds like a steal to me! That other interested shopper just so happened to be named Walter, hence why we nicknamed the moped Walter. 

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Here’s a video that was captured of me being shown my surprise for the first time. Pretty amusing I think, haha. And no, it doesn’t run…

…yet.

But someday soon you’ll see me cruising around on this blue steed with the wind in my hair and a yoga mat slug over my shoulder. Oh happy Monday 🙂

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Dear Mom,

You are the bomb.

(a.k.a. you’re pretty awesome.)

Supporting my adventuring to everywhere but Guam.

How do you do it?

You are the rock, the glue that keeps us all from unraveling.

Thanks for always supporting my traveling…

…and helping me wash the puppy (smelly thing)…

…oh and stopping her from eating about everything, including my diamond ring.

And thanks for letting me make a mess of the kitchen…in fact, thanks for letting even me move back in.

And for defending me from crazy ex “friends”

Mom, actually, thanks for always putting up with all my shenanigans!

You are the strongest woman I know *comma*

and I am so lucky to call you my mama.

Happy Mother’s Day.

The past few months have been tough for us as a family and even more so for you personally, and yet you still manage to always have a smile on your face. You really are the bomb.

"Don't say it's a fine morning or I'll shoot ya."

“Don’t say it’s a fine morning or I’ll shoot ya.”

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