Thursday, December 15, 2011

So, I've been a little MIA because I just couldn't think or write a word without spilling the beans.
You see, when Mr. Big Dog asked me for forever, I screamed YES from the rooftop. Yes to being with him for all my life and yes to being is other half. But the more we talked wedding plans, the more my stomach knotted and all plans seemed overwhelming and expensive. Not to mention all for show, and not really for us. Don't get me wrong I love a beautiful wedding, (hell I've had one and so had he) but I don't necessarily like being the center of attention with planning and then the build up of it all. And Mr. Big Dog had the same feelings. We wanted our marriage beginning to be just about that, marriage and forever. We thought why not make a fun memory to boot? We wanted to be married, but not so keen on putting on a big show for it with months of planning and cash.

So after talking and lots of back and forth a plan was devised.

What if we planned something but didn't tell the guests? What if we could have our cake and eat it too? Not an elopement but also not something everyone knew about?

IT WOULD BE we started to plan and scheme.

We wanted it very small and intimate with all the closest people in our lives possible attending. Knowing that it would not be possible for everyone to attend that we would love to have there in our perfect fantasy celebration and still keep the secret part (sorry to those of you out there, but know we would have had everyone possible if you lived nearby, were here on the exact date, and could have been fooled into attending).

We knew it may not go over well for everyone, but we were willing to take the chance. Take a chance and hopefully have a fun surprise for everyone:)

We told white lies to everyone. All the family was cohered to thinking it was "just" a family dinner for both sides to meet and get to know one another. Others thought it was a surprise party for my mom turning double nickels. And even some thought it was a charity fundraiser for my sister's African cause with an auction planned.

We hated all the white lies and even started to get confused ourselves, and as the date grew closer and closer we avoided people more and more as to not let on what we were really doing.

So on December 17th, 2011 we said I DO with our family, some close friends and beautiful Multanomah Falls in the backdrop.

The looks on every one's face was priceless, we got our cake and ate it too, and I am now a wife to I think possibly the best man on the planet (sorry ladies he's now mine:) ).

I will have pictures very soon from our photographer and maybe even a knew banner in the works too.

More to come, but I had to let you all in on where I've been:)

P.S My mom's face was the best!!!

Monday, December 12, 2011

We have been so busy around our house. I was working consecutive days up until Friday and Mr. Big Dog was out of town twice in the past week. The dogs even seem confused as to if we are coming or going lately.
This weekend I got our house Christmas-fied for our first real Christmas together and I must say between my mom's creative assistance and my sister lending me some of the extra decorations she didn't want to use this year, our house is almost magazine worthy;) More pics later:)
Growing up, my mom always decorated to the nines for Christmas. I remember at least one Christmas with a tree in every room of the house. And I just love having a little bit of Christmas everywhere. From the family room to the bathroom, just a little here and there.
I've said it before but I love how my mom, sissy and I can trade decorations or home decor items back and forth. It's usually just a passing "hey I'm over that want it?" or "I am doing gold this Christmas, you have anything?" I'm telling you it is the cheapest best way to hoard things but also not just buy new stuff every year. I think I spend a total of $40 on new decorations (which is cheap for how much extra I really needed with the increase in house size). And then of course one of my besties beef cake husband is selling his Christmas trees again;) So we did make a donation (way less than they were worth) for our beautiful trees, he just wouldn't take more $$$ but I did try. A chunk of the money goes to charity and they are beautiful trees all the way from Seaside, OR via the beef cake:)
So my schedule's been full, my life's been hectic, and I have not been breathing much. I got a reminder this early morning of the need to slow down and enjoy. I woke up the other night with an achy head at 2 am. Sometimes I think god is just giving me a little nudge with the achy head. Like "hey, hey you, you need to slow need to breathe, and you need to take care of yourself. Oh and by the way, in case I was a little harsh waking you up:( I put a big full moon out for you to enjoy;)"
And the moon was beautiful. Full and bright, lighting up everything outside. Like a watchdog over everyone, and so constant. You know it will be almost gone, then back in full force. I never did learn the moon cycle but maybe this week I'll will. I do know it is ever changing, but always around. Which is a really nice thing if you think about it.
Hope you are all getting ready for Christmas out there:)

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Mr. Big Dog and I definitely share a lot of interests. We both like to be challenged physically, we are both very capable independent people, and in general we like a lot of the same stuff. We are starting to mind read each other, like some couples can:) But one thing we both share that not everyone does is the club of divorce. Yep, there I said it. Big ugly, pink elephant, but worked through it, tough stuff divorce.
And I think it is interesting how non-divorced and divorced people see us. I know I personally found out early on who my true friends were in the smoke settling of my big D. I learned some people judge you for it, and some just don't know how to act with you have cancer all of the sudden.
But something I think Mr. Big Dog and I are different about is the insecurity that comes with the history of the D. And maybe insecure is the wrong word, maybe it's just how I can feel some people may not think I am ready to be married again. Maybe because people can't understand how I found Mr. Big Dog in what seems like a quick amount of time from the outside, or how I was able to trust and love again like what was once described to me as a rubber band.....I just bounced back. (by the way none of these people are anyone close to me that I actually really respect their input on my life:) )
But really no one knows but me and him:) Divorced people might understand a little easier, but really it's a totally different world.
It's nothing like my past, it's nothing like anything I have ever known. It's so much more special, and so much less work. So much less drama, so much love and just wonderful all around.
I am not naive, I know we will have struggles....but I would not want to struggle with anyone else.
But tonight, when we told a complete stranger that we were both divorced and we're now getting married... I couldn't help but feel his judging eyes. Maybe he thinks we don't value marriage, maybe he's divorced and bitter himself, or maybe he was just in a bad mood...but for some reason I wanted to tell him...."this isn't round 2 buddy, it's just finally the right round."
But then I realized, it doesn't matter, I'm not him and he's not me...and I am so happy I don't even really care.

It's raining hard here this morning, it sounds like someone it throwing rocks at the windows. The dogs are all lying around my feet as I have my morning blog fixes and coffee. I look back over the past year and I am so thankful for so much.

2011 Thankful List:

I have a consistent great job, wait I have two:)

I sold my house in a week and didn't loose my shorts on it:) I didn't make much either but it was painless.

I rode 100 miles for Leukemia/Lymphoma and didn't die doing it.

I have my health and completed Hood to Coast for the 3 year in a row.

I am 99% sure my doctor found my migraine source:) YIPPEEE!!! So my life should be migraine free or at least less in the near future.

I am thankful to have a great partner in my life who supports everything, even my craziness at times.

We have a beautiful house, food in the fridge and sometimes even a roaring fire in the fireplace going as the cherry on top.

We have a great bunch of family and friends, near and far who we will have in our lives forever.

And today I am thankful for my constant restlessness, because I am going to get some stuff done:)
What are you thankful for?

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Where is this year going? Wasn't it August just yesterday? I can't believe Thanksgiving is next week!!! I will be at work on the holiday and I am planing on bringing my soon to be staple pumpkin cupcakes with maple frosting:) I've made them twice now and had rave reviews:) Mr. Big Dog definitely liked them, but he's so sweet I think he'd eat anything I make. I did eat them myself so I know they are tasty:)

I got the recipe here after a random pumpkin cupcake search:)

Try them easy:)

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Definition of Faith:

1. Complete trust or confidence in someone or something.

2. Strong belief in God or in the doctrines of a religion, based on spiritual apprehension rather than proof.

At least this is the definition I found tonight when looking it up online.

So when people talk about "having" faith, like it's something palpable, it gets me thinking. And I think and think about how to "have" it or really feel it. I mean, that is what it is....feeling.....having trust and confidence in someone or something would really be an internal feeling.

I hope I haven't lost you, stay with me.....I'm not trying to get all philosophical on you. Lord knows, I am as right brained as them come....or maybe that's left:) Anyways, I am very factual, I love proof and reassurance that point A will lead to point B.

So like others, I have some issues with faith in general. Not really faith in God but faith that I am not in control all the time. I mean, what if I am more than I think...then if I don't drive this bus for even a second...well let's just say we could be off in the ditch in no time. Right?

But when I really start to see my faith flame flickering and dimming, it seems that's when I get these thoughts like:

"It will all work out, all this fretting for nothing. You are making wrinkles in your forehead and you haven't even given it a chance to not work."

Let's just say work is a little distressing lately, wedding plans are a little sensitive, and my dogs are not behaving.

So even though none of this sounds very faith oriented at the first read, the foundation is the same. Everything will work out, everything will be fine, and I am thankful for so much...I'm thankful to have the stresses I have.

So tonight I am trying to put some kerosene on my faith flame, relax and get a good nights sleep....everything happens as it should and in the right time.

So go have some faith:)

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Well for awhile now I have had migraine headaches. Awhile being since 2000. I remember my first one, it was in college and it was horrible. But I always blamed it on something. Stress, eating habits, college alcohol ingestion, lack of sleep, not drinking enough water, too much sugar, no coffee, coffee, etc. You get my drift.
But as the years went on the headaches continued. And I tried to cut things out that may be causing them, I've tried to figure out the triggers. And they are better then they were ( were being every other week for about 3 months). But they still are affecting my life on a monthly basis.
I know I can give myself one with stress and lack of sleep, but then I have them out of the blue without warning or really any cause that I can tell.
I have had tons of doctors, tried tons of things. Medications, acupuncture, chiropractor visits, diet and exercise. But still they are always around and lurking. Just when I think " I haven't had a migraine.." bam I get one. Then I start to think I caused it by thinking about it. Seriously, I am so sick of having them.
So I found a new doctor that doesn't just brush me off with "you could be worse." And she is leaving no stone unturned.
Today I have an MRI I am not looking forward to, but I am looking forward to just knowing if there is something I can do to stop these headaches. My stress level is low, my sleep has been pretty plentiful ( I always run on 7 hours:) ) and I like to think I am eating relatively healthy (besides Halloween candy).
So wish me luck and pray I don't freak out in the MRI machine, it's an hour long. What a way to spend a Saturday:) At least Mr. Big Dog is going with me.....poor guy but such a trooper.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

I love how we can act like ten year olds on a Sunday night, ending our weekend carving pumpkins:)
I have to admit I stole the heart shape idea off Pinterest:) My latest addiction. Now our porch is lit with little personality on this crisp autumn night:)

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Well I don't really know the answer to that question. Life gets busy. Busy with important things, and busy with unimportant things. And then you realize it's been a month and you haven't gotten your toes done with your good girlfriend or posted on your blog:(
Life can do that. I can not believe it's October. I can not believe I have sold my house and moved in with my wonderful Mr. Big Dog. I can't even believe I have a fiance some days. But it is all so good and I get overwhelmed at how fast it is all speeding by.
I look back to how I have lived in the pacific northwest for 13 years, how I've only been back to Reno once in the past year, and just how grown up my sister, brother and I are.
My nephews and niece are already toddlers, in the blink of an eye they are talking and feeding themselves. Life just keeps speeding by. Everyday seems to slip through my hands faster lately and I just can't fit it all in.
And tonight, watching all my nephews and niece running around in their little pajamas I just took a mental picture. I just wanted to remember their little hands and feet, little voices and laughter.
I just want to hit the pause button right that John Mayer know, this one.
Everything is so great, I just feel like it's all happening too quick and I just want to enjoy every single second of it.......

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Well I am not going to lie. I have unrealistic expectations most of the time. There I said it!
This is a good and bad quality. For example, I always think I can do more than I can and end up disappointed that I didn't get it all done. But on a positive note, I am a little too optimistic with this as well (which is sometimes nice). I know everyone can not always be on their best behavior me included, and I give forgiveness quickly...don't hold a grudge really ever...and can kiss and make up quicker than anyone I personally know:)

But lately I wonder.......when is it that you are expecting too much from someone else, or setting too high of expectations vs letting someone walk all over you?

I feel like a quality I have, and also huge part of my character is this ability to forgive quickly and give second chances often. Sometimes third and forth chances even, okay maybe endless forgiveness and chances.

But when is enough ENOUGH? When are you able to be okay with yourself saying "no more." Why if I feel like enough is enough, do I have this pit in my stomach about it? Why does it bother me and keep me tossing and turning at night about it? Is it that I want to make others happy? Is it that I don't want to be the "bad guy"?
Then on the other end, how much more can I handle? How much more disappointment due to my expectations (whether realistic or not) can I endure? When am I just enabling and encouraging disappointment?

I know, I know.....a lot of questions without a lot of answers. I guess when I sit here tonight I am really thinking about this fork in the road.....and would love some up above guidance about it.
But I know there is not a single right answer, it's a mixture of mind and heart.
And in the end, I know whatever decision I decide to go with will be the right one for me......which is very realistic indeed.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Well, with the big move into Mr. Big Dog's house, we together have found a couple "need to fix" projects. Ever since my first time over, the oven has been on the fritz. Now for a single bachelor this might not be a big deal, but you know I like to bake and it has become kind of a sore spot in our eating habits. You don't realize how much you use an oven until you just don't have one.
Being Ms. Fix it, I did give a valiant effort to repairing the oven sensor via web searching, wiki answers, and a trip to an appliance repair store....however it still alarmed when it hit 350 degrees and then shuts itself off:( And even though I replaced a burner coil, it was still not working:( I started to fantasize about a gas stove, but they don't have gas in our neighborhood (and yes I called the gas company....) so I started to dream about a new oven......

This purchase was not something we wanted to take lightly. They just don't make things like they use to and we don't want to spend a lot of money without doing our research. We discussed options, ideas, craigslist, and in the end decide we are staying in this house for awhile and would like an appliance that is going to work well and look nice;)

Appliance shopping was actually our date night a couple Fridays ago. I know, I know, so romantic...but really I think I can officially have fun doing ANYTHING with MBD:) He just has that affect on me;)

Back to our search, we had done our research on consumer (I don't recommend that website at you have to $$$ for it) and then looked at websites.
We found a great deal at a local appliance chain, got our prices and fell in love with the entire set (stove, micro hood, dishwasher)....our jaws dropped at the grand total. Funny how as an adult you like spending money on these more useful lasting things, but no one wants to spend a lot of money on anything us included.
Well after picking up our jaws, we headed to dinner to discuss our pro/con list. And of course we had to shop around prices so we then headed to Sears.
MBD then promptly warned the Sears appliance salesman: "buddy watch out because she is going to work you over." I of course smiled:) and started in with my quotes from the competitor.
This lead to three days calling and talking between Sears and the other guys:) And in the end we feel we got the best deal, did our research and worked great as a team to get what we really wanted. Sears all the way, they definitely have the best warranty/protection plan for sure!!!

And look at the before and after pretty and I am really breaking them in tonight with a family dinner. I can't wait;)

Friday, September 9, 2011

I know being the older sister, I am suppose to be the more mature and really be that have your stuff more "together" one. However, in my family it has always been my sister who has been the more sensible, organized, planner, and realistic one. I'm the more scattered, take the hard road with all the red flags screaming stop, and speak before I think one of the family. She has been not only my sister but my best friend for years. She sees everything in a better light, and has really helped me through a lot in my life. So to say she was amazing already would be an understatement. I have envied her life over the past 4 years especially with my her awesome little family she has started. I really feel blessed to be part of her life and to have her as someone so close to me.

However, now she has earned sainthood. She has done something I honestly don't know if I ever could have done. She has loved a little man without even knowing him, she has opened her arms and life to someone who needed it most. She has fundraised for Ghana's orphaned children and big heartedly been change in this world we live in and made a huge difference in a person's life. She has shown patience and trust in God, even when really frustrated, through the entire past year waiting for everything to fall into place. The waiting has been the hardest part I think and she has used her frustration for things like silent auctions, presentations to organizations for donations, and blogging with other adoptive families out in cyberspace. She conquered her own adoptive marathon over the past year without any training, she just rocked though it.

So I am over joyed and happy to tell you all my new nephew has arrived! It has been a whorl wind four days since he arrived after a year of waiting...all the way from Ghana, Africa. I was able to get the day off of work to be at the airport for his arrival. He came toddling down the corrordor with my sister and her husband and it will be forever a beautiful memory burned in my mind. Just seeing my new nephew for the first time coming into Portland and really being here was breath taking. The life and possibilities that lie ahead of him, the excitement of having a new family member is just amazing.
Coen Kwasi Roberts is here, and my sister is the mother of the year in my book. My mom has talked a little bit about it here as well.
She is not naive, she is prepared for the struggles that can come with adoption but geeze she makes it look flawless and easy. She just amazes me and I am so proud of her and her husband Chris, they are role models on how to love without reserve and really do things to impact others in our world.
Did I tell you SHE IS MY SISTER???? I just love her to pieces:)

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Even though the weather is still in the nineties here in the beautiful pacific northwest, you can feel fall coming. It's just a different smell, a different kind of wind, a little colder air in the early morning:) I don't know what it really is but you can just feel it. I remember back to the past falls and I have to say I wasn't' really excited for them. I actually dreaded summer leaving and wished it would always stay a little longer. This season is different. I was remember last fall with our picnic to sparrow watch:) And all of our evenings sitting talking by the fire. So maybe that's why I am excited for this fall. Excited for the weather to turn and start baking and cooking soups. I am also starting to think of fall house projects to tackle and how to dress up our home's front porch.
Growing up my mom always decorated for the seasons throughout the house. This included the front porch being covered in pumpkins. I have found so many awesome ideas on Pinterest lately!!! It's actually my new more to come;)

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

So our Hood to coast was a success! Our team of 12 completed the 200 miles in just over 33 hours. It would have been about an hour faster but we had a slight mess up with a hand off on the last 6 legs. Oh well;) we survived and have spent the past 48 hours recovering, mainly from the sleep depravation.
This picture is right after my first run and Mr. Big Dog is about to start his first leg...... Around 5am!!! After getting up at 1:30 to be there for our 4:30 am start time:)
I just love that we can do things like this together. It either shows our compatibility or craziness but either way I love it.
I am now already thinking about my next challenge......but at the same time trying not to book anything in the too near future;)
Have a great day!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Well if you know me, you know I can be immature and I think I am hilarious sometimes. Yesterday just happen to be one of those days. I was at the dollar store and I found these little matchbox cars.
Now, Mr. Big Dog and I have been talking about the kind of car I dream about for awhile. One of my besties has one and his good friend has a car dealership that has them often. Yes, I like the BMW X3 and X5s. They are sporty but nice and I have never had a BMW which is kind of a little fantasy for me. So as I found this little X3 matchbox car I just had to buy it.

I was thinking "what can I do with this?" So here's how it played out via phone call.
Me: "I tried to call you earlier for some serious advice and you didn't answer. So I took matters into my own hands:) I have a surprise for you:)"
Mr. Big Dog aka MBD: "oh really;) is it smaller than a bread box?"
Me: "yes"
MBD: "hum....give me another clue"
Me: "I've wanted one for awhile, it has four doors and its parked in the driveway:)"
MBD: (now this is a little panic-y......."did you buy a car?"
Me: "I'm not giving you any more hints:) when are you coming home? You can see it then."
MBD: (being a smart smart man) "you said it was smaller than a bread box, it can't be a it a car?"- now he is really uncomfortable and probably thinking he is engaged to a nutcase who goes and buys and expensive car without any input from her future husband.
Me: ( trying not to laugh the entire time) "Just come home and it's in the driveway:) I can't wait for you to see it!" Meanwhile I took the little matchbox BMW and placed it next to my car outside.
MBD then called me back twice before pulling into the driveway begging for more clues. As he pulled in I could see his face was relieved to not see any form of a car. After walking back out on the driveway he found my little dream car;)
He came in laughing, and I was already rolling. I thought I was pretty funny:) And then proceeded to call my sister and mom just to brag at my hilariousness. So I now own a little silver, 4 door, BMW X3;) Sorry for the pic twice, not having a great computer morning:)

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

I am looking forward to September since we will be done with the last of our events. I am ready to really settle into our first home together and start thinking about when I will change my last name.
It's interesting and lovely to think about the past year. Mr. Big Dog and I met a year ago tomorrow...geeze how time flies. We were actually looking back over the past year of our relationship by our version of love letters, also known as text messages. Seriously we have had the same text record going from our first one. It was fun to read when we were first dating. We found our first kiss and even our first disagreement;) And I started to think, when you find someone who was meant for you (like a puzzle piece) time just melts by. I really can't believe it's been a year.
Mr. Big Dog and I have talk about everything and nothing, and I can say there is still not a single boring second. We are still learning about each other, but it feels like we've been together for years. It's hard to explain this feeling I have for him. I still get excited when I come home from work that I get to see him. I am over the top happy when I get to spend an entire day with him. And I am really myself with him and it feels good.
He just feels like home. He feels like forever just won't be enough, and he makes me feel whole......when I didn't realize I wasn't.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Family is not a choice. There really is no freedom in it what so ever. I mean, I know you can love people like family but really I am talking about immediate- born into-share a name-family.
I have been thinking about this a lot lately. And I think we are born into families for a lot of different reasons. One reason is to have a concrete attachment to people. An attachment that no matter how hard you try or how far to move, they will always be connected to you. Connected by blood and the same genes, they are part of you. And most of the time, even when you don't get along you are forced to because of this attachment. I can remember growing up having childish disagreements with my sister and brother but always knowing they would resolve because I have an unexplainable bond with them. They are my family and I unconditionally love them. There is nothing either of them could do to ever change that, nothing.
Another reason I think we are born into these family units is to have companionship. I mean, no one can relate to you like a sibling. You endured the same ups and downs life brought along growing up, you share parents and usually houses. So even though different you share so much. There is something especially unique about a relationship with a sister or a brother. Again, this is not a choice...but rather a commitment. You are in each other's life forever, where you want to be or not. You may not talk or see one another for stretches at a time...but each knows the other is there. And I would like to think (optimistically) that no matter what turmoil or would still be there for one another. That blood is thicker and stronger then the worst fights, the worst situations, and the toughest of times. That really when it is all said and done, God attaches you to these special people because you DO need one another. Everyone needs someone who is somehow a part of them, whether it's a sibling, parent, cousin.....someone who shares something deeper than just a friendship or neighborhood. Someone you are part of and they are part of you. And together over years you learn from one another, depend on one another and grow together.
I didn't have a choice in picking any part of my family, but I can say with complete honesty I would pick them for myself if I had the choice.
Life is too short to not get along with family, and I'm telling the end you will end up still connected with these people. You will end up needing them at some point and only they will do. So if you are not getting along with some part of your family, you might as well get over it and make up:) Because it will happen whether you like it or not, and holding anger and hate is just too exhausting. And they are your family for some deeper just might not know that reason yet:) Why else would they be YOUR family?

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Forgive me now for my scattered brain with this just wrote itself, which maybe an insight to my attention span lately;)

I think I have mentioned Hood to Coast a couple times this year. But did I forget to mention I am the "team captain" again this year too? And did I just say Hood to Coast is the last weekend of THIS month? Oh my where has the time gone? I have done little to no exercise since the big bike ride. Call it busy, lazy, or just plan tired but I have not been exercising consistently. So Mr. Big Dog and I started earlier last week. I think we both ended up running 3 times this past week, which is great but it might be a little pail of water on the fire.
You know a little too late to save ourselves. My anxiety stated to fester thoughts which I hope are not true.....thoughts like us running Hood to Coast horribly and it really being a struggle every step. And as "team captain" that would really be embarrassing:( But you know that ill preparedness you can bring onto yourself by severe procrastination? Yep that's how I am/was feeling. Like I have a huge test that I was supposed to start studying for in March, but I just cracked the book in August.
Mr. Big Dog on the other hand has that natural gift of just getting off the sofa and running 7 miles. Which I think is probably just a man thing....which is just disgusting;)
Anyways, back to the roar of the crowd.....I was thinking about how you can "feel" emotions.
With my job I feel emotions all the time. I feel when people are worried for their loved one before they say a word. And I also feel when they are just happy to see their loved one.
It's hard to explain but the non verbal is so underrated. I had an amazing professor in college who taught this so well in preparing us for nursing.
She came into the classroom one day silent. She rummaged through some things on her desk and just sat silent. She had a tension she was oozing from her pores. Everyone felt it. And within minutes the entire class was silent and scared as to why she was fuming. You know, what did we do wrong?
Then she smiled and you could feel the tension just melt away.
From that class I learned how much you can read a person by just feeling them. And how contagious emotions are. How you can help ease tension by just not letting yourself feed into it. When you stay calm and really try to relax other people will too. Its really an awesome thing to be able to do to help someone or to really support someone in a tense situation. But I must say it takes conscious effort at times and it's hard to not let the anxiety become contagious:)
But back to Hood to Coast......When I went to pick up the packet at the convention center the excitement was palpable. You could feel the people in the room full of excitement and overjoyed to be able to participate in this event. It's a lottery so if you get a team it's already a lucky feeling. It will be the 30th anniversary and there are even going to be fireworks at the beach. It will be my 3rd time participating and Mr. Big Dog's first.
I was overwhelmed by my own excitement and emotions, and then I could feel everyone else emotion too in the huge convention center. I even got even more emotional as they played a clip from the Hood to Coast movie. I started crying. I started crying because even though I am not in the shape I would like for this adventure, I am grateful to have the option to run this race. I have gratitude to God to let me have the strength to run at all. I thanked God right then and there for my body, soul and mind. And I could feel the crowd getting emotional too, I saw teary-eyed people around me. And I thought, we are all so lucky to have this opportunity some others may never get.
WE GET TO RUN HOOD TO COAST, 200 miles from Mt. Hood to the beach. Something I thought would be a one time thing, 3 years ago. Something that was on my bucket list has become my annual list.....and just like that all my anxiety washed away. My mind framed changed from how I am going to to this? to How do I get the privilege to do this?
Have a great day:)

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Well I am a woman of my word. I think that is the one sentence I could honestly use to describe myself. This is a gift and a curse. My words are as strong and dependable as steel.
If I say I am going to do something, if I verbalize I am going to do something, then it will 100% of the time happen.
For instance, the 100 mile bike ride. Well even when I was falling apart with stress and physical exhaustion.....when I had so many reasons to quit....I did it anyways because I SAID I would. Yes the cause was great and wanted to do it, but really since I SAID I was going to do was a contract with myself I would not break.
Some call it determination, some call it stubbornness, but I am just a slave to my word.
This is also a problem at times. A problem because I take on way more than I can handle by doing this. I push and push and push, which I think leads to me completing everything on my list but none of it 100% perfect or how I would like to have finished it.
I am full of hope, possibility, and excitement lately with all the changes in my life. I am thinking about everything I want to do, but I have to admit it is a little daunting.
Everything from what kind of wedding to which dishes to keep. I feel like there are so many decisions.
And what I love love love love love love about Mr. Big Dog is that he helps me make them. I am not the only one trying to plan and organize. And I also love that NONE of them have to be decided tonight, even though I feel like they have a time bomb ticking with each and every single one of them. Like they have expiration dates linked to them. I know they don't because Mr. Big Dog reminds me they don't and he talks me down off the crazy ledge when I need him to the most.
So for now, I am going to keep my mouth shut and not commit to much if anything. I'm just going to breathe and finish all of my current projects until they are all done.
The first of which is to finish emptying all the moving boxes:( Wish me luck;)

Sunday, July 17, 2011

I am getting ready to move and give my little cottage to a new owner. I kept thinking it's just a house, it's just a material thing. But the closer it has gotten the more emotional it has become. It is the ending of a chapter in my life. It is a very purposeful step away from my old life. I have spent the last five years in that house. I didn't want to live there in the beginning and actually not for the first couple years. I pushed and pulled and dragged myself and him to make it a home. And for awhile it did resemble the home I thought I wanted. It looked from the outside like a loving happy couple with a cute little cottage. We together did pour sweat and tears into her, but in the end it was just four walls with a lot of clutter. And from the outside the vision was nice, but inside you could see the truth. You would see two people set far apart in constant battle. You would see two people not treating each other nicely or with love at all.

When he left, I was left with our house. And the house felt like home to me for the first time in a long time. It felt like something I could hold onto and part of me that I knew was there in that house. The house was something that wouldn't let me down, something consistent and strong. I had made her that way. So I loved her more and barricaded myself inside here for awhile. As I started to clean up the rubble of myself and tried to figure out who I was.....where I had been for 5 years I still don't know, she helped me through it all.

But as time has gone on, I think I have needed her less. I have realized home is wherever I make it. And home is also defined by the people you live with. That little cottage did it's job, it's purpose and has been a gift when I needed it most.

But now...bitter sweetly, I will let her go and continue on my path.....

She was my home alone, but now I am ready to let her go.

It is pouring here. I mean tsunami wet with liquid sunshine. It is July. Has anyone told God it is July, was the first thing I thought this morning. It is usually warm and sunny by now and in some areas unbearably hot.
But then the sound started to wash over me. The sound of rain is beautiful. Refreshing and relaxing. It is like God is washing everything. Washing it clean and making it new. Nourishing the ground, plants and all life. It feels like its erasing the bad and making it all new again.
So I opened more windows and sat and listened. Listened with my whole body and realized everything still happens like it is suppose to and everything is right in the world. Especially my world at the moment.
And then I had a good laugh as each of my dogs took about three steps outside and quickly ran back in as if they were going to melt in the rain.
The second time out they became hyper with rain energy and started wet laps around the kitchen;) They seem to feel the same way about the rain this morning.
Have a great rainy Sunday.....

Thursday, July 14, 2011

I gotta tell you, depression and stress really helps with running. And so with this epiphany, I have found I am too happy and stress free to run at the moment. I have to get moving and pick up my mileage for Hood to Coast. This will be my third Hood to Coast, and I would like to think each year would get easier and faster. However, I have only run twice in the last week and it was pain-ful!!! I mean I am slow and it's more of a walk opposed to the last two years. The last two years were so stressful and my personal life was so overdone with emotional junk that I think running kept me sane. I think my stamina is still used up a little from all the biking (at least that's what I am telling myself). And don't get me wrong the biking was great but there was an element of stress to push me.. the weekly commitment....oh and of course CANCER (really it was my motivator), and knowing people donated to the cause and were supporting me.

So solutions......Well I am not going to add un-needed stress for sure. For obvious reasons I am not going to change the climate of my happy mood:) So I am open for any advice. What can I do to get in the running zone again without my past motivators? I am trying a new play list to start:) But really I am lacking in motivation:(

Any suggestions.....

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

He is so stinking cute!! And he is growing so fast!!
He told me his mom's name is Mommy Roberts and I am Auntie Roberts. I explained to him I did not have the same last name and actually it would be Auntie Rios soon. He tried to say Rios but somehow a T got added.....Auntie Ritos...which was close enough:) Mr. Big Dog met up with us soon after and he tried to call him a Roberts too. I'm sure he'll get is soon, but for now it is just so cute that he's talking up a storm:)

Saturday, July 9, 2011

I am looking for yard furniture for our new house and I like older stuff. I am sweet on vintage well loved things. I love chippy paint and mismatched stuff. So when I was on good old Craig's the other night and I saw these I fell in love. I figured if they didn't work out for me I can take them to the Barn House craft fair...since I will be working the booth with my mom (and I will have a little pile of my own stuff to sell from the big move). So off I went at 7:30 at night across town to pick up some chairs.
Now these chairs are metal and non-flexible. And of course I drove across town to get them (prob 30miles at least!!) So they will be fitting in my car was the only thing I was thinking. But what if they don't? (was really in the back of my mind).

After about 20+ minutes of puzzle like maneuvering to get 4 of the 5 in. I was a little distraught to say the least. I wanted that last chair and I was going to make it fit!
So where there's a will, there's a way. I'm happy to say they all fit!!! Only after taking them all back out twice:(
Now I just need to pick which ones I want to keep;) But they are cute.......and I am now sure that ANYTHING can fit in my car if I really want it to....

Friday, July 8, 2011

Well......I am going to be officially homeless at the end of July. It's bittersweet because I love love love my little cottage. But it was never to be my forever home. I renovated every single corner of it back to a newer version of it's 1940's charm. I put a lot of love into her over the past 7 years and it actually just started to be complete this past year. I even loved how I decorated this past Christmas, soooo cozy and homey:)

Putting it on the market for sale just felt right....Mr. Big Dog and I had done a lot of talking and I felt like it was time.
I feel like I have to listen to that little voice inside and it was saying "time to sell, it will sell now." So after planning and lots of reflection I did it. And now Mr. Big Dog and I are starting to plan and combine our soon to be new home together. His home.

It's a newer, made to look older, farmhouse. At least that's what I call it. I think it is breath taking when you first see it.

I think it is a great house for us to make our first home together.
With all of that being said.....(sorry honey aka Mr.Big Dog) you can tell a man has lived in this house alone for awhile. It just isn't homey yet....but honey it will be:)
As my mom said "it's just dying for a woman's touch."
So over the next few months I will be giving it my loving touch and starting to make it more our home with Mr. Big Dog's help. I am excited to get into house projects and decorating.....Mr. Big Dog is a little nervous I think:)
But I kind of have a list and be ready for posts on projects and lots of before and afters.......I can't wait:)

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Mr. Big Dog and I were talking....we actually talk a lot. We talk about nothing and we talk about everything. And I think talking is so underrated. People should make it bold, highlighted, and neon lit when making something a priority in a relationship. Just TALKING.

We talk about the past, present and the future. We share everything. And I know to some people that may seem normal, easy and just mundane but I think for us it is a breath of fresh air. I can say honestly and from experience that this is not always the case in relationships. I know communication can be so hard, one sided and misinterpreted.
But for us it seems easy and so enjoyable.....

Mr. Big Dog was highlighting this the other night. We were discussing how much of a priority communication should always be with us. He had this great analogy about how we are picking each other as "lab partners for life in the classroom of life." I couldn't make this up if I wanted to:) But really it is a good analogy. After I called him a Hallmark card and accused him of finding this analogy somewhere on the Internet (which for the record I did google and could not yes he gets an A+ for originality) ....we talked about how we are learning about life together everyday and we are going to experience it together. We talked about how it's such a partnership as we start down this new engagement/marriage path.
What I do directly affects him, and vice-versa. We are working on a project together (aka a long life together full of happiness;) ) and no matter what we are in it together. Like lab partners we depend on one another, and want the best outcome with our partnership. Both being high achievers I think we are shooting for that grade A marriage people can envy and we are both fully satisfied and happy. We will take the good, bad and ugly as it comes and work through it.

Both of our past lab partners did not really pull their weight. And this is not to be mean, they just weren't the RIGHT lab partners.
And now I can say it is so different and feels so good to have my partner be someone I know I can depend on. I know he is motivated, thoughtful, determined, excited, optimistic, loving and just plain and simple will support his side of this relationship. Not to mention easy on the eyes and funny;) He loves me for me and supports me in all my craziness and at times my over the top goals and dreams.
I am not naive, I am not unrealistic. I know we will have hard times, it won't always be easy and perfect. But I do know that even when it's hard, it will be something we will get through with each other and God. I know we will be there for one another no matter what. I have so much faith about it that it feels like it's oozing out of my skin.
So I now have a perfect lab partner for life....and I know God planned him just for me:)

Monday, July 4, 2011

Just click on the link to see what Mr. Big Dog has put together.....he's pretty handy with the camera and computer;)

then type in the password: 2ofus

Sorry I've been away for a awhile....I have been super busy, put my house on the market....oh and it sold in a week!!! All while balancing work and extra to say I've been busy is an understatement. But now I am distracted by Mr. Big Dog more than ever;) You'll see what I mean with the link.....he's pretty dreamy:)

Monday, June 27, 2011

Sometimes I have these fleeting thoughts and moments where I just don't want to be an adult with responsibilities anymore. I want to play, have someone else cook for me, and not pay a single bill. I want to run off on vacation and not worry about whose going to watch my dogs. I want to let go of everything and just take off.
Today for some reason I really had this urge...and for some reason I was missing Reno. Missing the hot summer at the lake (it's STILL raining here in the Pacific Northwest!!!). Missing the snow falling in the winter. Missing my family who still lives there....and I started to think about how every second I get older and more responsibility seems to seep into my life. How you only live once and I am feeling stagnant and bored.
I know those of you out there think I am always on the go, I am always busy and there is NO way I can be bored. But currently I feel like I just need something to look forward too. I need something new to focus on. I need a new challenge..... (not involving a bike thank you very much).
I need to revisit my bucket list. Do you have one? You know, a list of things you want to accomplish before you die? ....but as I sit here and think this and write this.....I am realizing everything currently on my bucket list involves much more responsibility. Much more commitment and a lot in the challenge department.
So really the question I ready?

Thursday, June 16, 2011

I love the sound the wind makes through the trees in the backyard, it's like this gentle wave of comfort. I love a big beautiful full moon, especially enjoying it at 2 am. I love how the moon lights up the whole earth and everything looks more romantic and calm washed in the bluish moonlight. I love mornings, early having coffee in my robe with my dogs dancing around my feet. I love how smart my herd of dogs are, and how they know exactly when dinner is (and they remind me:) ) I love days off. I love my never ending "TO DO" list. I love having too much "TO DO" but none of it has to be done right this second. I love making things pretty again with a fresh coat of paint. I love how much I can appreciate small things and very large things. And today, I am full to the brim with happiness. I am content and I just want to enjoy every single minute of my day:) Have a great day:)

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

So I have been noticing my dependence on the internet a lot lately. Of course for directions, then sometimes for movies on netflix, and recipes on the foodnetwork. But then I realized just how handy it is for those "how to" questions.
The other night I wanted to a kiwi, but I always butcher them and mess them up so bad they just don't look nice and it's a mess. And a pineapple was also a purchase I have been dreading cutting up but salivating just thinking about it. So this is where the internet magic began:)

Just check this out......

Seriously, I am amazed at how easy somethings are....that that I can look them up in two seconds on my trusty little mac;)

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Today is the day I am flipping to running. Gotta get ready for Hood to Coast. This year is the 30th anniversary and there is a documentary out about it. I highly recommend watching it. Really good, and not just about running. It's about WHY people run and what pushes them.
For me, running has been about as therapeutic as this blog. I have really gotten over a couple hills this past year and I thank god my legs work as well as they do to bike and run. I am telling you, when I am physically tired all my worries are less and I feel better about myself. I sleep better, I eat better, and I think I just take better care of myself.
Mr. Big Dog will be running Hood to Coast for his first year this year!! He'll be on my team of course, but he will be training with me...or I should really say I with him since he is a much better runner. He's even won a couple of our local 10ks for his division;)
I love that we can run together, bike together, you really name it we can do it together. And not just do something but really enjoy each others company doing it. It's so great to have someone who shares the same likes and is always up for a challenge;) He is pretty amazing that Mr. Big Dog....he even pushes me sometimes when I don't feel like going that next step. We kind of work that way, I push him and he pushes me. And I love it!

Monday, June 6, 2011

I came. I saw. And I conquered.
The ride was by far one of the hardest things I have ever done in my life. The weather made it more of a challenge but the route was one I knew very well from my childhood. As I road in 42 degree weather with rain and wind, I remembered my winters as a kid skiing at Tahoe. I rode past an old camp site where my family spent a rainy memorial weekend once upon a time. I rode past a cabin my family once owned and spend many weekends and fun times in the summer and winter. I cried a little as I pasted my favorite ski resort on the way to Truckee, California. I cried because the memories were good, and I cried because they are just memories and I know I can't really relive them. I cried because the memories were filled with people I don't even know anymore, and some that I am closer to now more than ever.
It was cold, hard and wet. It's hard to explain but I was exhilarated and exhausted all at once. Exhilarated by how proud of myself I am, but exhausted at how much work it has taken to stay on this path. Sometimes the path easier would be the more negative one, which I have tried tooth and nail to stay away from...even though sometimes I may trip a little on this one. The harder path filled with uncomfortable moments and tears here and there. But also I've had some great times this year with family and friends, trying new things and just letting go more. But either way this path I'm on has been mine and it's how I've come to be where I am.

Anyway, I trudged on for nine hours total but it seemed to fall by. I rode and rode and climbed and climbed. I reached my last climb around 2pm, the clouds cleared and the sun came out. It was like a reward for the past eight hours, God brought the sun out. The next hour was just me, my bike and a long downhill with the wind blowing in my face. I was relived, it was like a huge weight was off of my shoulders....I was at mile 88 per my little bike calculator:) I was did it, you're almost done!
The next 12 miles is a blur of shear exhaustion and muscle burning, mixed with a side of hunger pains. I just kept going. I couldn't have stopped if I wanted to, there was unexplainable drive pushing me.
And as I crossed the finish line I saw the faces of my sister and brother in law, nephews, brother and sister in law, niece and grandmother all there. They were there cheering and supporting me. The little ones were even cheering too:) They, like many other people in my life have supported me though this year.
It was such a wonderful feeling to have people there I love to see me cross the finish. To share it with me.

So that's it....100 miles down:) Now what you ask? Well lets just say that was just one thing off my plate......

Saturday, June 4, 2011

I am embarrassed to say I was having a huge pity party for myself this afternoon here at Lake Tahoe. The weather has been horrible. And I mean horrible. Portland horrible. I have trained the past 18 weeks to be completing this race in nice weather people. I have been fantasizing, especially on my extra wet hard rides of tsunami rain. Dreaming of me in shorts getting an awesome suntan while on the bike, how easy it will be with nice weather.

Not gonna happen this weekend.

And then there is the stinger of my team making a big deal about how this weekend is all about the team and that family and friends don't really come. Then we get here and everyone seems to have someone with them except me. So much so that I ended up spending the day alone. So the pity party started as I walked alone in the rain after our very wet 20 mile warm up this morning. I called Mr. Big Dog which helped but I was still pretty down.

That was until the inspirational dinner tonight (that I didn't even want to attend with my bad attitude).

I have nothing to be upset about. I feel self centered and immature for my morning attitude.

We go to hear and physically see in our presence the woman who started Team in Training back in 1986. Her name is Lucy Duffy and she is AMAZING. She is a true saint among us.

The concept of Team in Training was born in 1986 by Lucy Duffy. Lucy ran the New York City Marathon that year after soliciting donations for each mile she completed, in honor of her husband, who was battling leukemia. Her husband died two months later, but the $30,000 Lucy raised was the start of the program that is playing the major role in funding the research that will soon find the cure for most forms of leukemia.

She is now 78 years old. She will be riding rain or shine with us tomorrow.....did I say she is riding with us!!! 100 miles at 78 years old!!! All my self centered-ness melted off in seconds and I remembered why I am doing this. For leukemia, lymphoma and all the blood cancers. I raised 4,000 dollars with the help of family and friends.
Another amazing discovery at this dinner was the numbers of people who raised over 20,000 dollars by themselves. Two people raised 90,000 dollars!!! Can you imagine if everyone had that much drive, ambition, dedication to a cause.
There was not a dry eye in the house tonight and everyone is pumped to ride......rain or shine.

But I am still praying for sunshine. As a Portlander I know we call it liquid sunshine....but the real stuff is so awesome!!! And I now have the goal to be half as athletic as Lucy at 78:)
Wish me luck.....06:20 start time tomorrow!!!!

Friday, June 3, 2011

I have a big bad not so secret to share. My sister knows it, I know it, and if you ever travel with me you will discover it. I CAN NOT PACK to save my life. I procrastinate, am indecisive about what I will possibly want to wear on the trip, and I always forget something.
I started my packing last night. But as you can see, there is not rhythm or reason to my bag.....and as usual it is overflowing. I sometimes empty it out and start over, sometimes I try to make a list of what I am wearing each day. But overall, it just never works out and I end up not wearing half of what I take. And like I said I always forget something. And did I say I am ONLY going for the weekend. You would think I was going to be there a week by the sight of my bag.
Oh well, just one of my little quirks that I am known for:)
Back to packing I go....count down to ride 44 hours:) EKKKK!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

I don't know how it happened but it has been awhile since I last blogged. Life gets so busy sometimes. So I am still here for the record......
I am getting ready for my ride, yes my big 100 mile ride is THIS weekend. I have been training for this since January, thinking about it since last November and talking about it constantly. It is finally here.
I have trained in lots of rain, wind, ice and even hail all thinking about this ride at Lake Tahoe. The veterans on my team all have encouraged and talked about how the weather will be great in Tahoe and the cold weather will be a distant memory.
But this year things are not looking so warm or dry. This year it has been wet and colder everywhere and Tahoe is looking like it will not be anything like it usually is.
My team keeps checking the forecast and it says 53 and rain:(
So today I am packing all my rain gear as well as some warmer weather type of clothes.
I can't believe it is here and I am so ready for it. Even if it is in the rain.
I think it is weird how sometimes I see myself in situations after the fact that have an ironic twist to them. I was in Reno this time last year so see my newest nephew. I had a completely different life. I was miserable, unhappy, unhealthy, and just sad overall little did I realize at the time. And that will be exactly a year ago......and now I am riding 100 miles around Lake Tahoe and beyond. I am the happiest I have ever been, I am healthy, and excited about how much my life has yet to experience.
Ironic how the dates collide....ironic how I am doing something I would have never dreamed I could do. Just ironic......and fabulous all at the same time.

Weird how life does that.....exactly a year and I didn't even realize it until this week.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Babies are such a nice way to start people.

-- Don Herro

I love this quote, because it's so true. Babies are wonderful little butterballs of cuteness!
I have another good friend in labor this morning. She is my second friend to keep the gender a surprise for everyone, including herself and her hubs. I don't know if I could do it.....could you? I mean not know what you're having...... Kind of fun;)
Well for now I am sending thoughts love and hoping for as comfortable labor as possible.

By the end of today we should know what the little one is;) For now I am thinking cupcakes are in order!!!
Have a great day!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

"No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who have loved him"
-1 Corinthians 2:9

I read this a lot the first couple of months into my new life. I had faith that everything happens for a reason and there was something much much better waiting for me at the end of this journey...... but with that being said you also have heard me talk about the crystal ball and how I would die for one. Not anymore.

If someone had sat me down a exactly a year ago and said "your life is going to be 180 degrees different, much better and happier then you could have every dreamed, and you'll be riding 75 miles on a bike" I would have keeled over. Literally, I would have bocked at them, probably called them a liar, or laughed hysterically. And honestly, I would not have for a second been able to truly feel or understand the magnitude of how great it really would be. Words would not have been enough and actually words are still not enough.

Today I conquered an amazing feet and goal, I road 75 miles with my team. I can not lie that I did not want to go this morning. I wanted to stay in bed and wallow in my post migraine hangover. I did NOT feel good.
But Mr.Big Dog came to the rescue (another amazing blessing in my life:) ). He pushed Team Lindsey and motivated (I mean dragged) me from my bed. He lovingly force fed me a banana/oatmeal/protein drink and pushed me toward the car.
As I drove to the starting point I began to think.....who am I? Really who is this woman? So much of the original me has returned but I have added a renovation and addition to boot.
I have pushed myself so far physically with this bike ride I feel like anything is possible. I feel and now know that I can do anything. I don't care if it sounds cocky but I AM a force to be reckoned with. I am determined, empowered and fearless. And I know my faith in God having a plan for me is a huge part of why I have come so far in such a short amount of time. I am not saying this is an easy thing but any means, but how can you not see God working everyday? In the weather, in my mom getting a job, in me not getting into graduate school? You can see what you want to see, but I see nothing but positive higher power working. How else could I possibly ride 75 miles?

I am blessed to have people in my life that have supported me through this past year, and thankful for the new people who have been part of my transformation.
And the biggest part of this day, the biggest part of this moment is the realization that I should be proud of myself and I should share it.
My old self, my old pitiful self would down play what I have been through. She would have not even attempted half of it and then she would not have shared her accomplishments because she didn't want to make HIM feel badly about himself. I know this doesn't make any sense, but that is how I lived. Responding and acting out of how someone else would take it or feel.

So I am not shouting from the roof tops, thanking God, and smiling ear to ear because I KNOW everything happens just like it is suppose to....just like God wants it to.
And I am ready for my 100 mile bike ride in 3 weeks. I am ready and I am going to squash it! :)
PS: if you zoom in on the photo you just may see a little dot at the top of that's me:)

Friday, May 13, 2011

I am starting a long stretch off from my big girl job, thank goodness. So my first day off I want to start plowing though a much too long do list so I can really enjoy having nothing to do.
Cleaning my house, cleaning out my car (which lately is filled with so much junk it' s like my second home), run errands, bake an order of cupcakes for a baby shower, and Saturday ride 75 miles.
So with all great intention I began my morning early with tackling the car. And while out in my driveway I kept hearing this little chirping. I followed it into my garage. After about 20mins I captured a little hurt finch with a t-shirt out of my donation pile and put him in a shoe box. His wing was hurt and he couldn't fly.
Never a dull moment here, I now had a bird to deal with. How could I not? He was so little and helpless and he was trying to pitifully fly:(
So off to the vet, I mean where else could I take it? They then directed me to the Audubon Society, which is an awesome wildlife refuge/rehabilitation center.
Off we went, house a mess, car half clean and little birdy in a converse shoe box. Did I mention I hadn't showered yet? Isn't that how it always works?
Anyways, once I got there a very nice lady volunteer took the little guy to the back to check him in. They had birds everywhere who had become permanent tenants because they weren't able to return to the wild. Each had their own little bio/resume hanging next to them...along with how much it costs to take care of them so you would feel encouraged to donate to supporting them:) There was a huge hawk named SID eating mice in one cage, and his neighbors were some love birds Jack and Lillie. Their story involved unrepairable wings a couple years ago. The woman had me fill out a questionnaire for my little feathered friend and told me he was assigned number 507. If he was treatable I could call and check on him daily.
Another woman came in with a hummingbird that had crashed into her sliding glass door.....he was 508. As I waited for 507's prognosis I began to think about how great it is there are people out there who support things like this. There was a whole community at this center just there for the birds. Mostly woman from what I could tell, and they were all so passionate about the birds. I was thinking of a name for my little finch, for when I would be calling to see how he was doing over the next couple days. I had this fantasy already brewing in my mind of how he would be released back into the world after the Audubon society had nursed him back to health.
The bird specialist girl came back out. "I'm sorry but he has a virus we can't treat, but he won't suffer and we are glad you brought him in." I was a little shocked and upset, remember I was daydreaming that I would be able to call and check on him daily:( I was ready to put the number in my phone and name him:(
Disappointed I thanked them and decided to keep a little place in my heart for the Audubon Society. I mean, how can you not have a place in your heart for bird nurses? Everybody needs a nurse, everything needs a nurse, even little birds.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Can I just say I have always been fast. Fast to think, fast to talk, and at times a fast driver. I am one of those people who does not read directions before putting something together and I don't read things entirely but try to understand by skimming. I am busy and rush through a lot of things, this is my nature and it is not a good thing. I do not recommend this quality to anyone.

I have always been a little lead footed, speedy behind the wheel, and kind of a limit pusher with automobiles. In fact, I am embarrassed to say I received my first speeding ticket the same day I got my license:( I am not kidding, my mom kept the ticket in my photo album....which I then promptly was grounded from driving think a week.
And now my history I has continued to average about 1-2 speeding tickets every two years.

That is until this year. Which in my defense, I think the economy and the federal/state budgets are on the hunt for people like me to help fund projects and keep jobs.....I'm just saying.

I had a ticket in November and then in February. Then in my mailbox I found a nice little scary letter from the DMV stating my license is in jeopardy of suspension. This is what is said but not what I read. I just saw: SUSPENSION!!!??? I had skimmed the letter in my true Lindsey fashion. SUSPENSION?? Was all I read, oh no....this is god's way of making me ride my bike all the time. I saw the words suspension and May 5-June 15Th and all I could think was.....I guess it's good I have a bike. This is going to be a challenge but I have a bike. All in my neurotic Lindsey worst case scenario I was now mentally plotting my work routes and thinking how Mr. Big Dog could take me to the grocery store. How embarrassing!! I was also thinking how I need to slow down and this was my warning. All the while not realizing I was so panicked and hurried that I didn't even really read the letter.
So I took a deep breath and I read the letter again (if you call reading what I did the first time) without my adult ADD and read it twice slowly. I do not have a suspended license....yet. YIPPEE!! But if I get even one more ticket in the next couple months it will be. Instead I am just suspended from driving between the hours of 12am and 5am. Which I am never driving then so I should be okay.

So moral of the story, don't speed and read things slowly;) I think I will start riding my bike more though now that the weather is getting better. And lord knows I need to slow down:)

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Between Mr. Big Dog and I we have four dogs between us......yes I said four.
Anyways, Mr. Big Dog's dog Jay (now that's a tongue twister) is in my opinion the best behaved gentle giant our of the pack. He's just lovey and mellow:)
Whenever I am out in the yard with all of them, Jay just hangs and lays by the trees. So it was funny when Mr. Big asked me if I had ever seen the cartoon Ferdinand the Bull.
Nope, hadn't seen it. But after watching it....there is an erie resemblance to Jay:) And now that I think about it....he may just be close to the same size of a bull;)

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Well I am proud to say: Today I rode 66 miles for leukemia, lymphoma, myeloma, and Hodgkin's with my team. But I really can not believe how hard this is and has been.

I think this is the hardest physical thing I ever done. I mean ever. And mentally as know the saying "do something everyday that scares you." Well I think that goes hand in hand with this training.
I am not being dramatic, I am not exaggerating. I have been scared to the highest level so far in my 31 year old life several times with this training. Like going 38 mph on a bike down a very curvy road with no bike lane and cars wishing by you. This was a couple rides back. But I had a physical reaction to the point of shaking once I reached the bottom of the hill, but I never quit and never stopped. Since then I have been getting used to the speed and inclines with practice but I have still been scared. Scared that I can't finish this undertaking I have signed up for. Scared that I got in over my head. Scared I will let my team down but not pulling my weight physically or financially but making the minimum fundraising amount.
But I have not quit or stopped, I just keep plugging along. And I can tell you this has not been easy. I have been near tears or in tears several times. But I just keep trying.
And days like today, when I finish 66 miles against my mind saying NO and my body shaking and wanting to quit.....I did not and I did it.
And weeks like last week, when I was at 2,100 dollars towards my minimum of 3,600....I pulled in another 1,000 dollars with cupcakes and more supporters donating.
This just shows...where there's a will...there will always be a way.
So I am more confident tonight that I am getting stronger and this ride will not kill me. I will meet my fundraising goal by my ride. And will all this hard work and determination I will be a better Lindsey for sure.
But as for tonight: I am so tired I could cry, I can barely walk with soreness, and I do still have another 500 dollars minimum to push for:) But if offered leukemia or 100 miles on a bike, I know what the anyone would choose. So I will continue riding;)

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Mr. Big Dog and I had a late night visitor at his house the other night. First we heard two gun shots (he lives in a more rural area....kinda out in the country but in the city), which Mr. Big Dog (MBD) promptly in his manly fashion had to run outside to check out. I was peeking out the window, IPhone in hand ready to call 911 for any sort of foul play. I was thinking murder, he was thinking varmints I guess.
And what did he find but a large (probably 20lbs) possum dying in the front flower bed. Who knows what happened, our theory was the neighbor must have shot him for some reason. It was sad and gross.
I come from city life, real city life. Seeing a dog die is about as close to animal death as I have been. And that's more of a pet thing. I did have to call someone to come and deal with raccoons last summer, really I know they met an untimely death...but it wasn't at my was critter control. Thank god for critical control, because this areas is just not one of my strongest points.
Mr. Big Dog on the other hand, has been hunting and grew up in Alaska..which automatically makes him less city and more country just by the shear lack of people up there. Or I guess the ratio of land to people is greater so they are more spread out.....which in my mind means more wild animals.....this is just my theory;) Either way, he has had more experience with this sort of dead wild animal thing.

So MBD had to deal with the possum all alone, since there is no way I could have.

And it may sound weird but it got me to thinking deeper. About how I think we each have strengths and weaknesses. This goes for every single person. And when you are half of a couple, it nice to see that you can depend on your other half for your weaknesses.
Maybe your strength its that you do better with less sleep, can multi task four things at once, and know how to cook an amazing meatloaf.....while your other half can organize anything down to minutes or pennies, can fix anything, and can talk you off a stress ledge 7 stories high within minutes.
I guess the poor dead possum just made me realize yet again, how great Mr. Big Dog nice it is to have him as part of my life. For the good, bad and the grossly ugly;)

Saturday, April 23, 2011

This picture was after 12 hours at work, and 12 hours of already selling 20 dozen baby cakes for LLS that day. My mom pretty much single handedly did the batch the day before but since they were such a huge success. I came home and made more. I even look crazy in the picture. I actually sold out by 12:30!
The cupcakes were a huge hit and I am happy to say I am about 700 dollars closer to my fundraising goal:) All it took was mom's help, determination, sleep deprivation and lots of sugar;)
Mr. Big Dog helped out tremendously by picking up some baked ones from my mom and then by assembling them all in their cute little boxes once I was done with manic frosting. He hadn't seen me in crazy mode yet (you know how you can get with stress and only people really close get to see your evil twin...well lets just say this smile was forced by him needing to document my craziness). And Rachel (my evil twin) only made a brief appearance.
But overall, it was well worth it. It was a lot of work but it gave a quick jump start to my goal of 3,600 by the end of May.
So....for Easter I will definitely NOT be having any cupcakes, I'm a little sick of the cute little things:( But I'm sure that won't last too long:)

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