Thursday, December 31, 2009

A little hope, even hopeless hope, never hurt anybody.

I start this end of the year post with a John Steinbeck quote.  I'm on a heavy Steinbeck kick, having just finished East of Eden and adoring every amazing page...Sure, it's long, and yeah, it's heavy, but I adore this book and it quickly became my favorite, only one hundred pages in.  I've yet to finish The Winter of Our Discontent but am enjoying it quite a lot, too.  (Pride and Prejudice and Zombies has interrupted my Steinbeck flow.)

Well, enough of that.  I came across the quote and thought, you know, that is one mighty way to title this end of 2009, the end of the decade that held my twenties, post.  I was thinking admiringly that 2010 marks the start of the decade that will hold my thirties, and how lucky I am to have been born in 1979, to be so privileged.  I said goodbye to my twenties in style two months ago, this very day, and welcomed the maturity and growth that those dear to me have shown with grace the thirties bring.  And, to welcome this awesome decade of life with a new decade of time, feels super special. 

I'm working tonight and MTV2 is playing MJ: Man of the Year. Two solid hours of Michael Jackson Videos. DUDE. I'm lucky.  I'm soooo lucky.  I'm lucky to be paid to have a mellow NYE.  I'm thrilled to be so so so blessed to have the life I do.  I'm paid to take care of these little kiddos, and GOSH! How cool is that??? Just blows my mind every time I think of it:  I am living this life. 

So, I'm saying goodbye to 2009.  I had such an amazing year, too.

I traveled to Seattle to visit my lovey friend, Whitney, in January.  I started my second semester of nursing school, and rocked my classes with A's.  February brought some amazing snow and some great study time.  I began feeling really comfortable with my life as a student.  In March, I visited my parents in Hawai'i, and had a splendid time doing it up on Waikiki Beach.

April was huge for me--saying goodbye to a pretty major relationship with the help of M. Ward, and getting invited to work in Switzerland.  May started the Summer of the Dance.  And, a lot of hard work to save for my Switzerland trip, which was a blessing in itself. I also hit a huge milestone with my recovery mid-May, and I feel strongly this is when my life truly started to change.  June 2009 was chilly.  I remember being so excited when the warmth started coming and the heat heat heat couldn't get deep enough into my bones!  Lots of dancing--discovered the Right On 80's Dance Party at Sundance's with some sweet awesome Lady Friends.  Leta helped me discover I can move my body in a whole new way, and in so doing, I've discovered so much about my physical self.  Becky helped me define healthy relationships by being the ultimate Safe Buddy.

July was amazing.  I got to go camping with some right on women in Beaver Creek and play in the amazing Arizona Summer water.  I was also thrown a Surprise Party for being me. Yep.  I'm still in Shock and Awe that a party was thrown FOR ME because I'M ME.  WHOA!!!  Blown away.....I was gifted money and cards and flowers and a vegan buffet and so many hugs and loves.  A super special moment in my life.  August held the coolest thing I've done so far in my life--I traveled to Murren, Switzerland to work for three weeks with a super amazing very special family.  I traveled Phoenix to Newark, Newark to Geneva, got on a train and trained through Switzerland to Lauterbrunnen where I then got  on some mind-blowing cable cars.  I arrived in the Swiss Alps in a village called Murren, greeted by JJ, Sidney and Owen.  True to form, Sidney was covered in face paint.  A warm, colorful welcome.  I don't know if I will ever be able to articulate well enough the HUGENESS that was my Switzerland trip (dude---Thriller just started....)  I think it fitting I try explaining Switzerland with a Steinbeck quote from East of Eden:
"Sometimes a kind of glory lights up the mind of a man. It happens to nearly everyone. You can feel it growing or preparing like a fuse burning toward dynamite. It is a feeling in the stomach, a delight of the nerves, of the forearms. The skin tastes the air, and every deep-drawn breath is sweet. Its beginning has the pleasure of a great stretching yawn; it flashes in the brain and the whole world glows outside your eyes. A man may have lived all his life in the gray, and the land and trees of him dark and somber. The events, even the important ones, may have trooped by faceless and pale. And then—the glory—so that a cricket song sweetens the ears, the smell of the earth rises chanting to his nose, and dappling light under a tree blesses his eyes. Then a man pours outward, a torrent of him, and yet he is not diminished…"
 I started September fresh from the Swiss Air, and a feeling of calm was in my core.  I don't know how else to describe it but I began my third semester of nursing school a week behind every one else, and maybe it was all that Swiss chocolate I ate, or the fifteen pounds I loss in the process, but I didn't have stress.  I began stressing out due to my lack of stress.  School was amazing.  I got to see my first birth September 9, 2009 in the hospital and I got to meet someone I dreamed about in Switzerland in person September 26, 2009.  I started a relationship in September with this cute fella and feel so blessed by his presence in my life. 

Oh, October, I love you so.  Not only are you my birth month, but you mark the coming of fall in this amazing place I live.  October was great.  School was busy and fun.  I experienced my first home birth thanks to an amazing woman, Sarah, allowing me to be apart of her son Cade's entry to this world.   I turned 30 the last day of October, 2009.  November brought lots of school and still little stress, thank you, God!, and more wonder with this new relationship.  Thanksgiving was a super treat--I love being with my family and recovery has truly allowed me to strengthen the relationship I have with my mom.  And now, December.  I'm done with you, which is good.  That sweet relationship I spoke of ended on the 12th, and I'm just okay with that, now.  I'm done being sad over it, though there are still moments where I shake my fist at God and wonder WHY??!?!?!?.  I know, though, that I am taken care of so completely by my Higher Power, and I'm not in charge of the outcome of my life.  I'm just in charge of showing up to the best of my ability today and I have faith I can give God the big picture of my life, by so doing I'm able to trust God and practice my faith.

Gosh.  It's been a super duper year.  I am so blessed.

I have so much hope for the year ahead, too.  I'm hopeful for my education.  I'm hopeful for my relationships.  I'm hopeful to expand further in my conscious contact with my Higher Power.  I sit here, sleepy and with an ear to what could be little girl's needing my attention tonight, grateful.  I am just so blessed, and glad I have hope.

Come on, Twenty Ten! Let's do this thing!

Sunday, December 27, 2009


Oh what a great day I've had!

Woke up and churched. LOVED IT.

Went to the mall and exchanged a fun book for a school book, but am super excited about this new NCLEX review book.  At the end of last semester, my instructor for this coming semester said in order to pass the NCLEX first try I have to do at least 5 to 7 THOUSAND practice questions with rationale answers. FIVE TO SEVEN THOUSAND. 5,000 to 7,000.  THAT IS A LOT. A new book is going to be helpful to tackle this feat.

Bath & Body Works is having their semi-annual sale and thanks to my friend Whitney, I'm super addicted to the fragrance oils for tea light candle burners.  Got a few new scents since they're only $3 as opposed to the pricey $7.50 usual.

While at the mall, strolled on into Victoria Secret's to get sized for bras and found out I am down ONE WHOLE SIZE! This is very very very exciting.  My voluptuousness is holding firm cup size-wise, but my number went down, and that is super duper. Found out the semi-annual sale begins Jan 3 so I decided to wait to buy new bras until they're a little cheaper.

Got home, did some journaling and reading, and finished True Blood Season One: Disc Three ...Oh Bill and Sookie..........I like this show. I've read most of Charlaine Harris's Series so it's fun to see the characters played out on screen.  I <3 Anna Paquin and think the actors they chose to play Bill Compton, Sam Merlotte, and Jason Stackhouse are just delectable. mmmmmmm.

I had a great conversation with my friend Beth.  Oh, how I love my friends!

And, after that, had an amazing run at the gym.  I'm so excited about my fitness level....I ran for forty-five minutes.  I feel strong.  I feel alive!!! The music I had going in my ears was pushing me to just go go go go go and I had a smile on my face the whole time.  I had a great workout.

My friend Danielle often talks about eating Macro Platters and fixing them at home. I decided to treat myself after my workout to a macro platter at home.  OHMYGOSH.

I cannot believe this is a first time make for me.  DANIELLE...I sing your praises for putting this little bug in my mind and these healthy foods in my mouth. OHMYGOSH!  I went to the market and the baked tofu was on sale so I just purchased the Wildwood Brand baked tofu.  I sauteed some kale with carrots, garlic, pepper and salt. I made the brown rice pretty basic--no seasoning, just water.  The pinto beans I seasoned with chili powder, garlic powder, salt & pepper, and I steamed the broccoli and peas.  I layered it all with Siracha and a sprinkling of Italian parsley, and devoured it like the happiest little girl I am.  It was sooo filling; I couldn't finish my plate and I have so much leftover.  Excited about lunch tomorrow! Thank you thank you thank you, Danielle.  A great dinner tonight, for sure.

My night now is joyful.  I went podcasting the other day and found NPR's All Songs Considered podcasts.  (go here NOW).  I've listened to some of the best music these past few days....FREE. ON MY COMPUTER. How much do I love that??? Josh Ritter is playing live from my speakers right now.  Happy Joyful Girl.

This week is shaping up to be a bit different.  My work has been canceled for the next few days; I don't work until Thursday.  I feel a little nervous about this, but am okay financially, so that's good.  I'm just worried about all the free time.  As always, this is probably most likely a blessing, and a chance for me to get my ducks in a row for school starting in two short weeks! I'm excited about working out tomorrow and have a girlfriend hot tub date with some super special lovies tomorrow evening.  Excited about that......I think Tuesday I might take myself up to Flagstaff for an adventure.  Or, maybe just to Avatar.  

It's been a really great Joyday.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Turning Three......

Today is my Third Al-Anon Birthday.  It has been a pretty phenomenal Birthday/Anniversary/Day of Reflection so far.....

I started the day out with my favorite meeting, the Saturday morning book study.  It was intimately attended and I got to voice a lot of my 'stuff' as of late--feels so great to get it out in the open!  I then went to breakfast with Alison, not sure if I'll get to see her before she heads back to NYC Monday so it was nice to have one last hang out.  Then, headed home for a really great afternoon.  Spent a bit of time with my new mediation books, journaled a bit, and finished Paper Heart.  I'm going to do a movie post later because there have been some pretty awesome themes with the films I've seen this week and I can't wait to get it out there with relation to what I've been processing...

It would be really easy to reflect on the past three years in Recovery by writing about how much my life has changed.  Too easy, though, and a little too personal for blog world.  I will say, "MAN! has my life changed!"  I feel I'm a different person, the person I felt I could be all along, throughout my struggle before I made it to Al-Anon.  There is a lot to go into but where I want to go is yesterday's reading in Hope For Today.

I was looking for the Al-Anon promises, why oh why is the Big Book not Conference Approved Literature I do not know, and the Al-Anon promises are in a book I don't own, so I thought, well, what's in the daily reader for today, and WHOA.  Yesterday's reading was about Serenity, and it struck me pretty powerfully.  When I read it I thought, "These are promises! The promises that come true with working a twelve-step program!"

So, here goes.  I might write after a few of them, and I might not, but I want to get these definitions of what serenity is out there for the world (or me) to read because on this super eventful day I feel so blessed to be recipient to some of them...even in this moment!

Hope For Today
December 25

Serenity is....
...a way of life absorbed slowly and practiced one day at time
Oh man, isn't that the truth!! SLOWLY. The cool thing to think about?? I've been practicing the Al-Anon way of life for THREE YEARS. That is really cool.  I don't know if I've ever done something straight every day for three years.
...becoming aware of and accepting my many characteristics and not judging what's 'bad' or 'good but what's useful to keep and what to release
I love this definition.  Serenity is me being aware of my HUMANITY.  There is good to me and there is bad to me.  And, when I accept it, I stop judging it and wishing I were different, more perfect, therein allowing me to truly take action about parts of me I'd like my Higher Power to help me change.
...a spiritual journey without a destination
I know I said I was going to do a movie themed blog, but this one goes perfectly with the movie Up.  It's about the JOURNEY. Serenity is accepting the JOURNEY of this life and for me, serenity is not focusing on the outcome, the destination.
...the space between the impulse and the action
I find that to be the God space.  The 1-2-3-God space.  I couldn't STOP AND THINK without God, without this program.
...accepting what is
As the prayer says, 'God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change.'  Serenity is ACCEPTANCE.
...honoring my feelings without aiming them at someone else or letting them run my life
Oh, this one feels so huge for me this week!  My feelings are impermanent! They change every second!! If I don't allow myself to be victim of them, and stay aware they don't need to run my life I can remain calm and serene.  The best part of that??? It sometimes doesn't FEEL good, and there is some comfort that in this recovery business, my feelings are not the measurement of my progress. 
...a gift I choose to give to myself. 
Serenity is a gift.  I choose serenity.  When I focus on negative things: someone else's behavior, my own feelings and obsessive thinking, things that are troubling me, I'm choosing to let go of my serenityI'm not choosing serenity.
...knowing what works for someone else may not necessarily work for me
I get to let go of the outcome and allow people the dignity to live their own lives.  Huge blessing. 
...knowing that what works for me may change from moment to moment
Isn't that the truth?!?!?
...understanding I may be powerless, but I am not helpless.  
This one feels like my Higher Power giving me a High Five. Dude. I'm not HELPLESS.  I'm just powerless over alcohol, people, places, things...Eases that admission of powerlessness a little bit when I know there's help.  There IS step two.
...realizing my Higher Power does for me what I cannot do for myself
Love this one.  Happens nearly daily, and a true gift of reliance on a power greater than myself.
...minding my own business
WHAT?!?!? You mean I can stay serene when I mind my own business?!??!!? NO WAY. ;) I find this one SUPERBLY apropos as I take my facebook-cation. :) Serenity is flourishing this past week as I've been nearly facebook-free (I've only clocked fifteen minutes THIS ENTIRE WEEK. Such a feat!)
...the comfort of knowing I can hold my own hand
I read this one about seventy-five times and will probably write it on my mirror to remind myself.  Serenity is the comfort of knowing I can hold my own hand.  I am not alone. I can comfort myself. I can hold my own hand. God, you're good.
...balance and relief from black-and-white thinking
...understanding that reacting to life and responding to life are not the same thing
Love this one, too.  It's the PAUSE (Praying And Using my Spiritual Experience). It's the THINK. (Is it Thoughful? Is it Honest? Is it Intelligent? Is it Necessary? Is it Kind?)  When I stop and think, pray and seek guidance, I stop REACTING to life, and start responding to it.  I am more able to then live joyfully and serenely.
...deliberate realignment with my Higher Power
Love this one, too.  I like the visual I get when I seek serenity I'm consciously aligning my will to my Higher Power's will for me.
...feeling at peace with my past
Thank you, steps four and five.
...a matter of internal stability
...becoming a complete being with my body and mind in one place at the same time
I had this experience at church Christmas Eve. God is the ultimate amazing awesomeness.  And what a powerful experience.
...becoming one with my Higher Power

Thought for the day
   Serenity opens my mind to new ideas

"God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference."

I feel really blessed.  I'm emotional yet comforted and most of all, I feel joy.  Deep belly joy.

My intention as I enter my fourth year in recovery is to get through my ninth step: 'Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.'  To further expand on my conscious contact with my Higher Power.  To continue my meeting attendance.  To be of service to the best of my ability to others.  To reach out on a daily basis to my family in recovery. 

Keep Coming Back!
It works if you work it,

Happy Christmas!!!

I'm definitely super sleepy but wanted to post some fun pictures of tonight....The first few are me showing off my newest addition to the flower collection---a sweet black flower with feather accents.  With my dark hair and the black outfit, it's hard to see, but I love it so much and it was a sweet gift from my friend Becky.  
The light from the bathroom left me all aglow! I'm happy though. It really was a terrific Christmas!

Sleepy Smiley Girl.  And, loving the new flower.....I believe I have the entire collection of colors for my hair....I love it!

And, finally, the last shot of the evening....Alison and Me...hamming it up in the kitchen.  I've now spent three Christmases over at the Smith/Norris house, and love it.  They welcome me every year with open arms, even though we don't see each other during the year; I feel at  home in their lovely house, and enjoy my time there so much.  Tonight was a lot of fun.  I brought over Vegan Spinach Artichoke Pie, recipe here, (Thank you Susan V.!) and also some amazing Fig Bars.....recipe here; they turned out AMAZING....After dinner, we watched Julie & Julia and ohmygoodness! I loved it.  Meryl Streep is a gem--pure gold really...and Amy Adams is delightful.  What a great movie!!!

Dinner was delicious and hanging out with Alison and her family is always a treat.   She and I are friends through a very hilarious and most wonderfully odd story----involving an ex-boyfriend, whom we got to hang out with tonight, as well! It's a delight to have a strong female friend with whom to laugh and be silly....I enjoy her dearly.

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All in all a really terrific day! It started out with loads of gratitude...Showered with gifts from friends and family.  I was called over to Leta's house around 9.30 for hugs, kisses and gift giving...a wonderful treat! I led the noon meeting, and it was soooo amazing.  More on that tomorrow---tomorrow's my big 3rd Al-Anon Birthday which is so exciting and amazing.  I have a lot to share on the subject because today's meeting was just very, very special in that regard.

After the meeting I saw Up In The Air, and I really enjoyed it.  It was heavy in the 'what's the point of relationship' department, which I found fascinating given my past few weeks of thinking and processing....

I headed over to Alison's after the movie and got home around 12.30a.  What a long day! I feel so blessed for such a truly terrific Christmas.  There is a lot of stigma about spending the holiday 'alone.'  And, although I didn't have a partner this year I did not once feel alone.  I felt full, serene and at peace.  I was intentional in how I spent my time this year and I really enjoyed it.  I was of service, which was so rewarding.  I made great food, baked and ate well.  I gave gifts that were meaningful to me.  I showered myself in Gratitude, and was basked in the glow of gratitude as well.

I go to sleep this night with so much joy...And, really, I can honestly say, I don't know that in my adult years I've had a Christmas this meaningful, rewarding and special.

I can truly go to sleep tonight with a heart full of prayers to how great God is--God truly did for me this Season what I could never do for myself, and I am so blessed.

Good night!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

A Sane & Happy Usefulness

I'm grateful for this message as my sweet friend Becky is packing her bags for California, Hawai'i, Thailand, Beyond....
From Daily Reflections, December 23

We have come to believe He would like us to keep our heads in the clouds with Him, but that our feet ought to be firmly planted on earth. That is where our fellow travelers are, and that is where our work must be done. These are the realities for us. We have found nothing incompatible between a powerful spiritual experience and a life of sane and happy usefulness. ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 130
All the prayer and meditation in the world will not help me unless they are accompanied by action. Practicing the principles in all my affairs shows me the care that God takes in all parts of my life. God appears in my world when I move aside, and allow Him to step into it.

I'm reminded of how calm and restorative it is to have my head in the clouds and my feet planted firmly on the ground.  I woke up with that little girl excitement, 'It's Christmas Eve!!'  I hope that feeling never leaves, no matter what life brings...I hope my faith can be strong enough to see my good friend off with grace, and I'll be comforted in her absence.  I will miss my friend, and find it super bittersweet she's leaving during this Holiday Season, but she could leave anytime and I'd find the sadness in it; I love my friend Becky.

Sending her loads of strength, faith and courage as she departs this town. And, I hope God shows up in her world in ways she can't find words to describe.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

the story.

Had a great conversation tonight where I said this and believed it:
You know, sometimes I have to grieve the story I have in my head so I can wake up a bit and actually live the life I have in front of me.

It's amazing the attachment I can have to what I want to happen and how I want it to look.  And, I'm getting a little tired of the want talk in my life.  I'm looking forward to setting aside the stories I have in my mind of how I want my life to look so I can get busy living the life I'm privileged to live.

I did go ahead and have a great day, and that's just awesome.


Completely in awe Christmas is two days away.  When did it become Dec 23?

Today, I guess.

I"m sitting here with a snow draped view out my window, and my cuddly Sonja girl purring away.  I have a pretty mellow day of work ahead with a little guy coming to my house for a couple hours and then the Love girls this evening.  In between, I get to visit the esthetician and get to the gym.

I have yet to decide what I'm doing tomorrow or Friday.  I have some for sure things coming up: tomorrow,  breakfast with Becky before she leaves on her grand adventure.  I'd like to get to Unity Church's Christmas Gathering Thursday night, and Friday I'm leading the noon meeting.  A few of the families I work for have invited me to their homes for the holiday and I feel so honored and blessed for the invitation--yet not sure at all what I'm going to do yet.  It's a strange place to be.

I want to make Vegan Almond Biscotti today, found the recipe here. And, after that, just not sure.  I've been sitting on a lot of deep thought these past few weeks, and you know, I'm super tired of what my mind's got going on.  I want to take a break from thinking about everything, and analyzing everything.

I was journaling yesterday and hit this crazy thought:  that maybe the only reason I pursue step 3 was to get what I want...It was a humbling realization.  Step 3 says, 'Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God, as we understood Him.'  When I thought about it all, I just got slapped in the face with my selfishness, how I want the things I want, I want to feel good and I feel that's a deserved...that God will provide GOOD for my life.

Feeling different these past weeks has woken me up a bit:
First to anger at God for not giving me what I want.

Then, to realize that maybe it's not about what I want.  Maybe, there's a bigger picture here.  I know the stock program answer is to say my focus and goal with recovery and step 3 is to be of service.  I don't feel that in my core right now.  I'm not sure if being of service is my goal.  I'm ready to feel that, and am open to the miracle God will provide for me to get there.  But, for now, I'm still sitting with a dunce cap on in the God class---amazed with myself I figured out I was doing the third step so selfishly.

I read this yesterday, it helped immensely.
From Each Day A New Beginning
December 22

'When action grows unprofitable, gather information; when information grows unprofitable, sleep.' 
--Ursula K. LeGuin

Sometimes we need to turn away from what's troubling us.  Turn it over, says the Third Step.  Hanging onto a situation for which no solution is immediately apparent, only exaggerates the situation.  It is often said the solution to any problem lies within it.  However, turning the problem over and over in our minds keeps our attention on the outer appearance, not the inner solution.
Rest, meditation, quiet attention to other matters, other persons opens the way for God to reveal the solution. Every problem can be resolved.  And no answer is ever withheld for long.  We need to be open to it, though. We need to step away from our ego, outside of the problem and then listen fully to the words of friends, to the words that rise from our own hearts.  Too much thinking, incessant analyzing, will keep any problem a problem.

I will rest from my thoughts.  I will give my attention wholly to the present.  Therein will come the solution, and when least expected.

I am amazed how powerful the daily readers are, and how they absolutely give to me what I need to hear.  I was in such a space yesterday and to be reminded that Faith and Trust are key, and answers will come.  And, even the ANSWERS won't look how I want them to.  They just never do.  My wants feel so minuscule and ineffectual right now.

I'm off to have a great day, anyway.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

the now.

currently struggling a lot with god.
feeling frustrated outwardly that god's not giving me what i want and in the same breath being shown it's probably me i'm frustrated with---that i'm forcing MY will on god's intention for my life.

a weird place to be in.

a lot of my current 'stuff' is wrapped up in letting go of the outcome and truly accepting the situation right in front of me. 

i love my higher power.  i have complete faith and trust in my relationship with my higher power. 

i don't know that i trust myself to truly admit powerlessness.  it seems very very hard, and quite scary.  to truly be POWERLESS over all of it.  thank goodness for step two. 

Friday, December 18, 2009

wallow and marinate

some things i know in my brain:
gratitude and prayer combat self-pity.

some things i do not yet feel in my body:
gratitude and prayer combat self-pity.

i will have more time to write about the past 12 days events but for now, i will just say i want to curl up in a ball and say a big giant F! to the world.  will i do that? nah. i have a massage in 40 minutes. and then a meeting, and then a few hours play time with some Love girls.  and then, some baking to do.  and really? i'm not THAT tired. and Sex and the City is sorta lame now that i have some recovery under my belt.  was Carrie really that annoying this whole time???

basically, i feeeeeeeel all this stuff. totally sad. rejected. not good enough. and when i type all that, i know those things aren't true.  i know i can allow myself to be happy today.  i know i can respect cute new (now, not any more) fella's choice and know it's not about me; i'm totally not rejectable.  and i am good. i am good, period.  it's not about 'enough.' it's just about now, and being good, period. which i am.

i am a walking contraction.
i feel shortened in the middle.

i take comfort in knowing 'feelings aren't facts' but am feeling just the same and pray for the grace to walk through these friggin feelings with god by my side. 

Monday, December 07, 2009

Snow Day!

A gorgeous day of snowsnowsnow. All day today. Worked this morning at a beautiful farm house with an Eastern mixed with Western Vibe. Saw Buddha covered in snow, smiling with joy, and had to snap a shot. The college has canceled classes tonight and most likely will cancel classes tomorrow which will make for a very anticlimactic end of the third semester for me. We're to take our final any time in the testing center before Thursday at 5pm. So for now, I relax, get some last minute studying in, and appreciate the powerful force that is sweet awesome Mother Nature.
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Sunday, December 06, 2009


The alarm went off at 615 this morning. eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeewwwwwwwwwww.....I didn't fall to sleep til near 1215 and much I didn't want to get up this morning! So Tired! I lied (layed? laid? lay? oh English, you lovely trickster!) there for a while, listening to Liane Hansen on Weekend Edition.  I thought, gosh. Why am I up so earlllllyyyyy?!?!?! The plan was to head to a meetin' at 7a for some early goodness this Sunday. And I had a study sesh scheduled for 9 anyway, so I thought, well, I'll just freakin' get up for this meeting, I'll put my game face on, I'll put my butt in a chair.  FINE.

I washed my face and started waking up a bit...Then Will Shortz did the puzzle this morning and I got most of them right! (YAY GOD!) And, I piled on my layers--it's a cold one this day in Prescott, Arizona!--and met the fella for a meeting.

And how great is God, you ask? OH SO GREAT. The meeting was on staying in Prescott. And how much I've been struggling with the future lately...With the choice I'm making tomorrow about where to serve my preceptorship for my last semester of school; man, does it feel like a loaded choice!  It feels like this is THE choice to dictate how I feel about nursing and where I want to spend my first year (or more) nursing.  It feels WEIGHTED.  At the same time, my gut is calm, and I don't feel stressed internally about this choice.  I feel oddly serene and certain that my choice is to stay here.  That God will provide for me so powerfully as God always and continually has.

So to sit a room with people in recovery talking about the power that is this town, the blessing of a recovery community feels so GodGodGod. Exactly what I needed to hear.....

From Daily Reflections, December 6 : 

When we developed still more, we discovered the best possible source of emotional stability to be God Himself. We found that dependence upon His perfect justice, forgiveness, and love was healthy, and that it would work where nothing else would. If we really depended upon God, we couldn’t very well play God to our fellows nor would we feel the urge wholly to rely on human protection and care.TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 116 
It has been my experience that, when all human resources appear to have failed, there is always One who will never desert me. Moreover, He is always there to share my joy, to steer me down the right path, and to confide in when no one else will do. While my well-being and happiness can be added to, or diminished, by human efforts, only God can provide the loving nourishment upon which I depend for my daily spiritual health.
How amazing is God? It blows my mind with gratitude the lessons I learn daily.  The joy I feel to hear things, to be reminded how well I am taken care of, how much I am reminded I am soooo never ever alone, despite the trickster mind games I have teasing me that 'aloneness' is my punishment.  
With regard to my staying in Prescott, Hope For Today for December 6 offered quite a lot, too: 
I try to remember that as long as I make decisions in the context of seeking my Higher Power's will, whatever I do will be the right thing.  "Do" is the operative word here.  I once heard, "Without God, man cannot; without man, God will not."  If I don't take some sort of action, my Higher Power doesn't have anything to work with.  Because decision-making is a self-correcting process, I can use any mistakes I make along the way to eventually guide me in the right direction.  Even if I "decide" myself into a corner, I'm not alone.  My Higher Power is with me everywhere I go.  
I am so blessed.  It makes me shake my head and put my hand on my chest and sing praise! As long as I'm praying for God's will in the choices I have before me, being of service, being of use to my Higher Power, my choice is exactly RIGHT. There are no mistakes!  
I'm grateful I decided to wake up this morning and work on my spiritual fitness. I'm grateful to be apart of a community focused on a spiritual solution.  I'm grateful my Higher Power provided this avenue for my life.  I don't know where I'd be without it, and to think eh...I just won't go there.  Where I will go is intense gratitude my God knows the Steps, the meetings, the solution the program offers me is soooooo a good fit for me.  And it's so wonderful. 

Saturday, December 05, 2009

accomplishment and larb tofu.

Nothing says "mmmmmmmmmmmmmm" and "job well done!" like a few days of hard work and leftover larb.

It's been an interesting couple days----the weather has turned much colder and I'm experiencing a strong desire to pull the covers over my head and not be very social....With that said, I worked a bunch yesterday---with wonderful little Lovey Girls. (Have you heard lately how much I love my job?!?) And after fighting the hermits on Thursday, I got to go on a date with The Cute Fella last night.  The plan was to repeat our date last weekend: Tara Thai for dinner and Fantastic Mr. Fox for entertainment.

We got to dinner at about 740 and the show time was 840 and well, I should just say, Tara Thai is now my new favorite restaurant.  Ohmygoodness!!! The papaya salad is so amazingly flavorful and wonderful...and I branched out....I've been on a severe addicted to eggplant green curry kick lately and I thought, you know, I'm gonna try something different. So, I did.  Larb Tofu.  And when it came to the table, I frowned a little because it didn't look how I'd have liked it to (read: it didn't look like green curry eggplant with tofu) but oh wordy word! This deliciousness was a party in my mouth and a most amazing meal!! Dinner with The Cute Fella a beaming success:  Our conversation was amazing and I really love this man! Dinner took a bit longer than expected...We finished eating at 9ish.  Everybody's Fine was starting at 940 and I told the Cute Fella I just couldn't imagine having the energy to see a late night show...So, we headed back to town. We drove past In-N-Out Burger and dontcha know this little vegan got the strongest craving for a milkshake.  I asked Cute Fella, how do you make milkshakes?!?, and he knew.  I did not know it was so simple. I was insistent we needed to add ice and malt flavoring.  Malt flavoring is not vegan, if you're wondering.  And, we did not need to add ice.  We purchased these two amazing things for milkshakes: the milk and the shake.

And we got home and blended.  We blended and blended and then we turned on the fireplace and we drank and drank.  Deliciousness were these easy to make and perfect minty chocolaty milkshakes. A perfect end to a night that was perfect already.

Today's been great...I woke early with a still strong desire to put on the Lost Season One Netflix viewer, not brush my teeth, and be a hermit girl. What I did instead was make it to the market for a much needed food shop, and make an amazingly hearty breakfeast (Soyrizo with veggies galore and pinto beans...yay for breakfast leftovers!).  Then, I decided to click 'yes' to the upload for the most recent Mozilla Firefox version only to have it freak up my computer and then....despite the desire to panic and think I can't do anything computer related on my own, I google searched just what to do: I removed Mozilla from my computer and decided to be a Google fanatic and use the Chrome browser. So far, I'm loving it.  What I'm loving even more was I did this ALL ON MY OWN. (shout out to you God!) Yep. No fella came to my rescue to show me how to do this or that (mind you, I did make a phone call....God was in charge of that one, too, and he didn't call back until after my decision to become a Chrome user).  I felt very empowered this afternoon with all my god-inspired and god-guided decision making.  To top off that empowerment, I did a hefty review sesh with my roommate for the Big Final Exam, which will end semester three of this four semester blessing that is nursing school at Yavapai College.

I feel accomplished and well nourished.  I feel loved and joyous.

On the last note, I'd like to share today's reading in Each Day A New Beginning.  It's delightfully apropos for how I've been feeling these past few days:

It is a long baptism into the seas of humankind, my daughter. Better immersion than to live untouched.
  —Tillie Olsen

We have each had days when we preferred hiding under the covers, avoiding life at all costs. And in times gone by, we did just that, sometimes too frequently. What we didn't always know, and what we still forget on occasion, is that we have a ready and willing partner who will join us in every pursuit.

The more fully we commit ourselves to one another and to all our experience, the closer we will come to the very serenity we long for. Serenity accompanies our increasing understanding of life's many mysteries. It's easy to cheat ourselves out of the prizes any day offers us. Fear fosters inertia, leaving us separate, alone, even more afraid. But we have an appointment with life. And our appointment will bring us to the place of full understanding, the place where we'll be certain, forever after, that all is well. And that life is good.

Today's appointments are part of the bigger plan for my life. I will face them, enjoy them, and reap their rewards.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Battery by Aesop Rock

This song rocked my cardio today.
I'm again reminded how great Ian Matthias Bavitz is and how awesome music is for me to pushpushpush through intense cardio training.

Here goes:

(and pardon the swearing the first line...)

Yo, change the fucking channel.
I burn a coma candle.
When the flame fades, consider my flat line a soldier sample.
We them cats talking noise behind that New York trash heap where the stench of commuter briefcase replaces a bad sleep.
And it's the work of zig-zaggers versus piggy badge flashers training generation fallout.
Waterfall, bricklayer, pincushion crawl out.
There's smoke in my iris, but I painted a sunny day on the insides of my eyelids so I'm ready now.
(What you ready for?)
I'm ready for life in this city and my wings have grown almost enough to lift me.
I'm a dinosaur with Jones Beach in my hourglass passing the time with serial killer coloring books and bags of marbles.
Don't tell me you ain't the droid that held the match to the charcoals.
Don't tell me Lucifer and God don't carpool.
(This is our school)
I'm not trying to graduate to life with a personalized barstool,
head in a jar on the desk, feet dangling in a shark pool.
(Man please) Man please
My name stands for my being and my being stands for the woman who stood and braved the storm to raise the seedling.
(Brother sun, sister moon, mother beautiful)
Yeah, middle sibling suitable but far from son of excellence.
Beckoned a long time ago I was, to where the wishers wish but missers miss, I slept through my appointment.
Saw the liquid dreams of a thousand babies solidify and picked a rose.
It wilted the second I introduced myself as nervous.
Well, it appears the scars of learning have spoken.
Some are burning, some are frozen.
Some deserve tall tales, some wrote 'em.
Some are just a brutal repercussion of devotion.
Mine are all of the above cuz everything leads to erosion.
Now where I live there's a homeless man.
He sits upon a crate
Yeah, He makes a rusty trumpet sound like the music that angels make.
Now if you ever come and visit me, I suggest you watch the show
Tell him Aesop Rock sent ya just to hear his horn blow like this

And I ain't getting any younger.
My knuckles wear their bruises well.
I've yet to lose that hunger, but only time can tell.
Prodigal sun with a prodigal wish to sew that prodigal stitch and crucify bigot voodoo doll on two Popsicle sticks.
See, your name is ambiguity.
My name is something hands can't hold but hearts part ocean scapes just to watch the starlet unfold
It's like sketching a circle in the dirt with a pointed stick knowing the wind'll kill it some day, still it calms my burning wits for now.
And if I plow the fields, that don't guarantee plentiful harvest but starving artists die, so I set my alarm for five o'clock
Idols block survival crops, the cycle stops for nothing
The Bible squawks revival as winos flock by the hundreds to the opening.
Scarlet carpets greeting the duel, leading the stubborn mule to cruel rugburn but y'all numb from gut fuel.
I administer eclipse.
Ain't know motor like a martyr made motor cuz a martyr made motor don't quit.
I am an epiphany.
I am webbed foot mammal channel surfing my way to the top.
Tugboat in a bottle with no holes poked in the nozzle
I fed 'em bedlam diluted in limelight till that rookie boogie graduated hostile.
Now the vehicle is grandeur and it veered over the median the second my halo ran outta helium.
Demoted to thorn crown.
Damn, talk about numskull.
I was born bound to a stencil called symmetry but my energy's a rental.
So I take this now to say, thank you senorita  for holding a flame to a lost wick.
Thank you James Anthony for the band-aids on my ego, y'all are family for life, I'll take that bullet to preserve you.
I wanna be something spectacular on the day the sun runs outta batteries.
Attach my fashion to the casualties of anarchy.
Save my nickels up to buy that homeless man a brand new horn, then sit up on his crate as a witness to beauty born like this...
(I ain't gettin any younger)

workin' on my fitness....

i started a new work out program....
and initially, i was scared to death! FRIGHTENED TO PIECES!!!
i was terrified i was going to screw it up somehow, fail my work out partner, fail  my own highly set goals, show up wrong...all these fears swirling swirling swirling.

and on sunday i got to look at all my stuff around fitness and working out.......

and similar to yesterday's post what has come up for me is i'm just plum terrified of the outcome of being an every day fitness kind of girl.  not since high school have i been fit and into exercise.  it's been a goal of mine since i've gained a hefty amount of weight and it's a goal now as i'm, through god's grace, losing weight by the pound, effortlessly.  and now, i'm thirty.  i feel there are no more excuses.  i want a healthy heart and a healthy body for this life god's given me to live.  on nov 2, i joined the YMCA. AGAIN. i think i've been a Y member in this lovely town four times now, and it's a newly remodeled and fancier Y. it's gorgeous...there are a gajillion new cardio machines and it's cleaner, nicer, roomier...i'm enjoying it a lot! also, there are LOADS of classes, which i love....anyway...excited to be a gym member. but......since  joining, i couldn't get my butt there! i was having difficulty getting to the gym.....and mind you, it's like a mile away! isn't that hardest part of working out? getting there????

so, i reached out for help and made some work out buddy plans, which was super helpful. and yet, still terrified!! this new work out buddy suggested this great work out plan called Body For Life. there's a book about it and a food plan and all this other stuff, but essentially, it's the fitness aspect i'm after and it's a 12-week program focusing on interval training with weights and cardio.  and, really, it's not that much time in the gym.  the lifting component is only about 45 minutes and the cardio is only 20! how awesome is that!?!?

so we set a start date of nov 16th. and i panicked.  couldn't do it......let my new buddy know that i needed two more weeks to get situated with this new life change.  so we modified the start date to nov 30th.

well, whatdya know??? nov 29th came around and i was in full on panic mode! AGAIN! this time, though, i reached out.  i called my  new buddy and we talked about my fears.  i am so grateful i was able to tap into what i was afraid of!  what came out this fear was how attached i am to being perfect, how committed i am to the outcome of any situation and how really, what matters, and what i need to remind myself is being present in the moment of today. 

so....i'm on day four of this work out program. and you know, i don't do it perfectly. so far, though, it's going really well, and i'm super grateful for the lessons my higher power is providing me...

i read this today in Hope For Today, one of my daily readers:
"if i supply the willingness, my higher power will supply the way."

such a great reminder for me to pray for willingness, strength and grace in this new adventure...and also such gratitude that i'm healthy and ablebodied to work on my fitness. 

Wednesday, December 02, 2009


my friends blog. and their blogs are so great....i'm inspired! i get soo lovingly inspired when i read my friend's words, joys, day-to-day.....

i want to be a more frequent blogger. so i'll start now. right now. this moment.

isn't life all a bunch of moments anyway??

on that note, i've come across a mighty little breakthrough with regard to moments and outcomes.  i've realized i'm very attached to the outcome...of any situation.  with school, i'm attached to getting a's.  with exercise, i'm attached to being perfect, fitting into a size six and weighing 138.  with my relationship, i'm attached to knowing what will happen in the end...having a guarantee of sorts with this darling new man in my life.  this struggle has brought me to this great awesome realization.....

there are no guarantees.
it is a huge aspect of the human condition to want a guarantee in life.
and what keeps me aware is my relationship with god.
god is in charge of the outcome by allowing me to live in the moment to moment.
i get to have relationships with all these commitments...a relationship with  my education, to study and learn and do my best, regardless of the letter grade i'm assigned.  a relationship with the YMCA and working out, where i allow my body to be invigorated and strengthed with exercise, no matter what the outcome is, no matter what my weight, no matter what size i wear, no matter how imperfectly i show up.  and i lovingly get to be in a relationship with the commitment i have with my cute fella.  he is darling amazing dreamworthy. i dreamed of him and he showed up my life! so a true blessing to honor god in this relationship by honoring the commitment i have with this fabulous him and letting go of what the eventual outcome is....

if i were in charge of the outcomes of my life, i'd probably want them to change, anyway.  it is helpful to remember that.....

Sunday, May 10, 2009

anniversaries and migraines.

i moved to prescott eight years ago today. i had high hopes for how i would be spending this day---my last final is tomorrow and i wanted to get a lot of good studying done, then spend the evening with my al-anon family in meeting, and enjoy the night.

oh, my little plans and designs. the migraine started at about 7:20 this morning....i was truckin' through, and even managed to participate in a study sesh this morning til 11:00. many excedrin and ibuprofen later, i'm still fuzzy headed and feeling like i completely misused this day.

the shoulds have hit me hard. i am faulting myself for getting this migraine, and lamenting my anniversary, that i didn't spend it in a proper fashion....

mind you there are some positives: i had an amazing weekend work-wise. friday, i got to spend a couple hours on the square with Sidney, our story to follow soon, a night dancin' with Leta to Wordthieves spinning some amazing music at Raven, and an all dayer outside in the glorious prescott springtime sun yesterday. so, really, i did well in celebrating my eight years thus far in prescott. i didn't get the loads of studying in that i was hoping for, but during my review session realized i feel pretty okay about this final, and there is always tomorrow...

it is fitting that i got a migraine today. really because i was plagued by them soooo often and so tremendously before july 2007--and this is pretty amazing, but today's migraine is the first major one i've had in 2009. such a feat! and a testament that there are definitely some good things goin' right.

i am just really grateful to be here where i am, learning the lessons that have brought me this far and continuing to enjoy the journey. migraine and all.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

what it means to love a job.

I've been overwhelmingly appreciative of my job lately. In love with it, really. It's been amazing---either it's the spring weather or how great the kiddos I've been tending are, maybe a mixture of both. I don't know what's different, but I'm blown away by how fortunate I am lately. I am finishing up my first year of nursing school on Monday. I am feeling some trepidation about how to fill my week now that 25 hours of my time will be free without my school responsibility. Also, with one of my families leaving in just three short weeks, the panic could very easily start creeping.

But, I'm not panicky. I feel a tad curious how all this will work itself out, and again, completely in awe I'm able to have this job. It is unbelievable. Today, I went on a picnic with Kira Sky. We laid on a blanket and I read stories to her; she ate lunch, we watched the ducks and enjoyed the sun. She was sweet, cuddly and loving. It was an incredibly special day! Then, not an hour and a half later, I was covering the Love girls with sunscreen, putting their bathing suits on, and tromping out to their beautiful yard to slip-n-slide. (A note: this is the second time this week I've missed out on some slip-n-slide action because I didn't have my suit! I'm gonna start packing it in the car for these just in case moments!) I couldn't get enough of the sun! I neeeeeeed it to seep into my bones! The beautiful weather, on top of these little girls I get to spend my time with---my heart is so full of joy it is almost painful.

I guess the point I'm trying to make is I am so blessed! I get paid to do something I love. I get to have so much fun at work on a daily basis. I never in my wildest dreams would have thought my life could be so directed and so fortunate. It is absolutely a wonder. I don't know how my financial situation will work out this summer, but to have this much appreciation and joy for my job just completely instills my faith for that great big Higher Power to show me the next path in store--the next family to wow me, the next opportunity to direct me until school starts again in August. I am just so blessed!

"When we walk to the edge of all the light we have and take a step into the darkness of the unknown we must believe that one of two things will happen: there will be something solid to stand on or we will be taught how to fly."
--Patrick Overton

Friday, May 08, 2009

just about forever...

since i've last written. i've been motivated again by this gorgeous, inspiring woman i know who blogs daily. it's so awesome!! how does she have the diligence and discipline to do it?? i don't know why i want to be that diligent and disciplined?? i think it speaks to me in a lot of ways because i've longed to be the type of person who did something consistently every day. and, i've just never been that type of person. so, in my resolve to get through this next week, i'm going to give myself some worth, and see for myself the things i do on a daily basis, some things i can be proud blogging is not one of them...yet.

1. i pray daily. it never seems to look how i think it 'should,' but i do pray each and every day.
2.i brush my teeth daily. sometimes three or even four times.
3. i also do my best to look becomingly. i brush my hair and make sure last night's mascara isn't streaming down my face. i'm even known to shower and make sure i'm smellin' a-o-k.
4. i read every day. this also doesn't exactly look as it 'should' but again, the shoulds get me in trouble. i can honestly say i read something every day that inspires me, be it a nursing text, a novel or one of the many daily readers i have. i read and i like that.
5. i'm good to myself. i eat well. i'm conscious about my food choices and i strive to make healthy, organic meals for my body.
6. on that note, i am growing smoothly into my third decade as i look in the mirror and am happy with what i see. i might have to look at different parts on a funky day, and be grateful and happy for those parts, but really, on a daily basis, i'm loving me.
7. i love my job. i don't work every day, so maybe this doesn't fall in the 'right' category, but i'm very grateful on the days i do work. i am heading to work with joy in my heart; i get paid to do something i love and something at which i'm naturally talented.
8. every single day i pray the serenity prayer. i know i already mentioned prayer, but this prayer is special and specific to me in that when i'm praying it, it shows me i'm working my program. i'm consciously seeking contact with a great, big, huge force in my life, and i'm beyond words with gratitude for this.
9. i'm loving to my cat and my roommate. i share space with some really great energy and i'm so grateful for this--that my roommate is so awesome and my little girl, Sonja, is just as great.
10. and well, this is something i'm super proud of, i'm an optimist. on a daily basis, i can look at the positive in my life and be grateful for what i have going for me. a lot of times this takes a little bit of work--especially when the hormones kick in and i'm frustrated, irritated, angry about something--but at the core i can remember that in any moment i'm okay and i have loads to be grateful for.

wow. that feels good. and i'll remember these things too: One Day At A Time and Keep It Simple. just thinking and saying those phrases infuses calm into my essence.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Insights from a Three Year Old

While running an errand today, a brilliant little girl was with me. We went to Yavapai College's Library to see if a book was available that I had placed on hold. I explained this library is for college kids and adults and the library we just came from is for kids, that we still need to use our library voices and once we leave we can run around and be crazy and loud.

We walked in and she said, "It's strange in here."
I look at her and said, "Yeah, it is kind of, huh?"
"Yeah, but it smells like a swimming pool." She replied.

I laughed. It's very hard not to laugh when I'm around this girl. She's hilarious.

The book hadn't arrived at the library yet so we left.

She looked at me as we were leaving and said, "Can we be crazy and loud now?"

I love my job.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Guilt & Trust

Guilt just makes me unaware of the power of god by diminishing my own worth and ability. I don't want to feel guilty for my own human shortcomings, or ideals. I just want to be a child of God. I don't think there's room for guilt in appreciating who I am and how I show up.

I heard once, "Love Everyone. Trust God." And I think I'd rather love everyone and leave the Trusting to my higher power. Trust implies someone will never let me down. And, for a human being, that's a pretty tall order, to never let anyone down. So, if I can just love--and expand my idea of what love looks like--those around me and turn this crazy uncertain trust issue over to my higher power, I think I might get some good results.

Where I'm at today...

Thursday, January 01, 2009

el primero

i started out the year with a bang! the bang that is my uterus sloughing off whatever was in there for the past month...and let me tell ya, whatever it is painful getting out.
i've found myself totally irritated i'm not able to hang with my girlfriends tonight, or take myself out to a nice dinner, or get out of sweat pants. i'm in cramp hell. and it's discouraging to start the year this way.
i'm hoping there is some great lesson to be learned here...or at least a little acceptance can be derived from this misfortune.
what would i rather be doing??
seeing The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and eating popcorn.
what am i doing?
reading Loop Group by Larry McMurtry and craving mashed potatoes and chicken of some sort--probably in desperate need of protein given the horrendous amount of blood loss! oh the glorious details!!!
ha. cracking myself up at writing this because i feel resentful i'm stuck at home taking care of myself. i'd so much rather be out and about and feeling well.