Friday, June 29, 2012

Steppin' up my game

All rights reserved by Disney.
Today marks the second day of my health wake up call. Maybe you can say it's because I have a wedding dress to fit into in (gulp) 44 days! Maybe it's just because we all have that "Oh now you don't!" number on the scale, and mine was too close for comfort. Maybe I just got tired of being lazy and grumpy. The past two days I've been making good use of my YMCA membership and making time for ME. Even if it means leaving when My Sailor gets home from work. It's worth it. After all, we both benefit from a healthy me! Yesterday, I ran/walked a 5 K on the treadmill in almost 41 minutes. Not too speedy, and my foot was KILLING me afterwards, but it gave me hope that I might actually survive the Zombie 5K without being too sore to move the next day. A little over a month until that hits my schedule square in the pants.

Wedding planning is really kicking into high gear! I'm starting to figure out just what I need to get done, what I would like to get done, and what I can get some help with. I wish I didn't work full time while trying to do this. Planning a wedding in 3 months IS a full time job, but it's crunch time and I'm getting down to it and it's almost done... I think... Just have to finish writing the ceremony, making decorations
(or outsourcing them to friends), planning some songs with the dj, finding a processional song that's both Jazz and romantic and can be sung by a soloist, framing our "guest book" art for friends to sign, making sure my fan gets done, figuring out what my girls are carrying... okay, so I still have A LOT on my to-do list, but that's what weekends are for I guess! It'll all work itself out.

Just a short note before I go to bed tonight. I'm so glad I've always lived by the accountability that, yes, I'm accountable to bosses, friends, and family, but when it really comes down to it, I am the one who has to look in the mirror and be proud of the woman I see.

I'm not always good at that, admittedly, but I'm getting better and better every day.

And after a 5k run/walk, 2 k swim, and an hour of Zumba in 2 days (coupled by good eating choices), I'm pretty proud of myself today.

Monday, June 25, 2012

There and Back again - California in June

I've had a remarkably busy time this weekend with my family. Pictures to come as soon as I get home and find time to edit them, somewhere between the blinds being put up and all that.

But when I get home, one of the very first things I'm going to focus on is FITNESS. I've honestly felt like a bit of a slug, even though we've been walking around a lot. I know that a chunk of it has to do with the changes in my hormones lately, but I really have trouble with that excuse. So it's time to get off the scale and get in the gym. I'm seriously considering signing up for Chris Powell's Reshape the Nation for the month of July. It's either that, or Medifast. I know on Medifast, I won't be able to be as active as I want/need to be, but the weight WILL come off steadily, and in plenty of time for the wedding. I just can't bring myself to do that "quick fix" though. I want something that will last me and really help me get healthy. Who knows? It may even make my endo get better (ha! Yeah right).

Which reminds me, for those of you waiting to hear about the doctor's visit, you'll have to wait a little longer. I wanted to discuss things with My Sailor before I blast it out over the internet. But thanks for all the love and support!

It's really done my heart good to see my dad doing so well. I'm visiting during his chemo week. That usually means he's drained of energy and food all tastes like sucking on a penny. And a little (managable) gastric upset.

But my dad continues to impress me. Each day I've been visiting, we've been out doing something. Usually it's something in the summer sun which requires a lot of walking, and Dad isn't even lagging. Thankfully, he had some weight to lose before all of this started, so while he looks "skinny" to me, it's only because I'm used to seeing him as a jolly-bellied guy. Now he's getting much more into fighting form, and it's doing him good. I think it does everyone good for me to be home for a little bit.

We didn't get all the wedding stuff settled this week. I'll be taking one more weekend trip down in July to seal the dress alterations, decorations, and other minor details. But at least it's a huge step forward! Hard to believe it's all happening in 40 some days now!

It's getting early. Either way - time for bed!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

It does take a Village - and some amazing Disney friends

Me at my very first Friends of The Magic meet in 2009
The story of my life can't be told without including my love for Disney. Over the years, I've made so many memories with friends and family there. I guess you can say Disneyland especially is my 'laughin' place'. My parents first took me to Disneyland when I was 2 and (according to them) my eyes just popped out of my head.

30 years later, they still haven't gone back in. When I come back to my hometown for a visit, it doesn't feel like "home" unless I've had a visit, however brief, Disneyland Resort.

Touring Downtown Disney today was so much fun and a much needed relaxing break from the hectic world of wedding planning, traveling, deadlines, and work. It reminded me how much I miss my annual pass and living in the area. I loved being able to take a drive to the Parks when I was having a rough day, or just needed to get the heck out of dodge, or just because. Nothing kicks off the mundane world like a stroll around the grounds, or a fireworks show, or a ride on the Haunted Mansion....

It's hard to believe the above picture was taken so long ago. Going to my first Friends of the Magic Disney fan meet is a moment I remember very affectionately for many years to come. It was a big step for me to get out of my shell and go have lunch with about 50 complete strangers, only knowing some of them through their podcast reputations.

Being Disney fans, it didn't take long for us to strike up a conversation. Within moments, I no longer felt awkward.

It seems like a certain "type" of personality is part of the crowd that 'gets it'. We Disney fans seem to be mostly made up of the 'live in the moment' group. Most of the time, we're fairly grounded. We understand that Disney is a business. There's no getting around that fact. But we focus less on the crowds and financial investment, and more on the experience. After all, aren't the sweetest memories priceless?

Today was a great reminder of that.

Toward the end of my crazy wedding planning day (2 cake tastings, 1 meeting with the site coordinator, and a flat tire to start off the day), I stopped into Window To The Magic's regular weekly gathering at Trader Sam's. I wanted to check out this new bar that seemed to have shades of both the Tiki Room and the Adventure's Club, and WTTM's weekly Kungaloosh night seemed the perfect time to go. So with Mom in tow, we met some of my friends there, and I quickly remembered why my Disney pals are so near and dear to my heart. I immediately felt like family, as if we'd all been sitting around chatting for years (though, if you count online chatting time, that's probably true).  And, let's face it, if it weren't for my Disney pals, this wedding might not be materializing to be the amazing event it is now.
WTTM's Meet!

If it weren't for my Disney Wedding Blog (aka Wedding Atlas) Mentors, I wouldn't have thought about Ralph Brennan's Jazz Kitchen as a wedding/rehearsal venue, despite the fact that I spent many a solo birthday at the bar, enjoying a mixed drink and an appetizer while soaking in some jazz. They also turned me on to other vendors willing to work with our limited budget and short time frame. When I cried for help, they rose to the challenge and provided me much needed support when I was feeling really overwhelmed by everything.

(This isn't to say my other friends and family aren't as vital to me. This particular blog is just to praise a certain type of friend.)

Disney fans are known for their enthusiasm for life, their gregarious spirits, and their enduring commitment to enabling their dreams as well as the dreams of others. It's a truly amazing community I couldn't be more  grateful to be a part of.

Like I said in the opening of this blog, when it comes to 'the Disney thing' - some people get it. Some people don't. I'll never be able to explain it to people that don't.

But I'm eternally grateful for the people that do. It's so refreshing to be in a room of Disney fans. It makes being me a whole lot easier.

Thanks, WTTM for the great time. See you all in August!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Dinner, In a Hurry

I started my day at 4am w/ the sun, worked 12hrs, went to get Clydas some food, did laundry, and wrote out a packing list. Once I finish dinner, I'll pack my carry on, write a note for My Sailor (who I kissed good bye this morning since he won't be back until tomorrow night), and the dog sitter, and be off to California!

So with all that on my plate, tonight would have been the perfect time to order pizza and be lazy. Especially since "grocery shopping" didn't make my priority list today.

But I decided to use up what was in the fridge instead. It took some creativity, but here's what I came up with!

Thai shrimp cabbage wraps!

I diced a parsnip, some red cabbage, some yellow onion, and some Garlic flowers. I added some spices and a dash of Worchestershire, drizzled some peanut sauce over it and voila! I have myself a delicious, mostly Paleo friendly dinner! Filling and healthy. Not a bad way to start my evening!

Especially since it's the longest day of the year, and I'll be sleeping early in the only curtained room in the house - the living room. (Adds "hang blinds" to My Sailor's to-do list.)

Saturday, June 16, 2012

"You want the Truth?! You can't handle the (Destination) Truth!"

If you've followed this blog long enough, you probably realize that I enjoy sci-fi. Star Trek (the original series w/ Shanter as James T Kirk) will always have a warm fuzzy place in my life.

Destination Truth is another one of those shows that has a warm fuzzy place in my life too. It mixes two of my favorite things - Travel to little known exotic places, and mythology. Specifically, in the case of Josh Gates and most of the Destination Truth episodes, cryptozoology
Destination Truth is what happens when you send a team of 'ghost hunter-like' adventures out to find out if local legendary beasts around the world are based in any sort of truth. Add to the mix Josh Gates, a very funny guy that reminds me of what traveling with my family is like, and I'm on cloud nine.

The other night, My Sailor and I were capping off an evening by watching a past episode (available on Syfy Rewind on their website, and on Netflix), and I was commenting how I would LOVE to tag along to one of the missions of Josh Gates and the Destination Truth team.  Of course, admitting my admiration for Josh Gates led to us talking about our admiration for Ryder, one of the girls in the show.

So once he gets out of the Navy, we may have to give world travel more serious thought... ;)

Friday, June 15, 2012

Go baby go!

Yesterday, I kinda realized I might be coming down with a Shingles outbreak again. Found a blister on my forehead. Well, that explains my inability to lose weight, and probably some of the exhaustion I've had lately too - I could seriously sleep ALL DAY.

So what this means is I pump my body full of vitamin C, work out regularly, and drink TONS of water to help boost the immune system and kick out the stress. I've ridden this rodeo a few times before. (Yes, there is a shingles vaccine, but no, my insurance won't cover it and I'm not ready to throw down $200/year since I don't have a break out every year.)

That said, I've been doing pretty well lately. In 6 days I fly home to see my family for a weekend and to solidfy some wedding stuff. My Sailor will be holding down the fort here. It will probably be a good thing, since we've been locking horns a little bit of late on some big topics.

We've been talking about holiday plans- I plan on seeing my family (no matter how things go w/ my dad - I don't want to miss this one) but understand his need for a 'White Christmas' and to see his family - but that's a bit too far out to see right now. Let's get through the wedding first and then we'll tackle that one.

We're talking about honeymoon plans. Hawaii fell through, which is fine. I'm far from in bikini shape anyway. SoI'm voting for a road trip up the west coast currently. It's only an 8 hour drive from Anahiem to San Franscico and along the way we can stop for a few days here and there. I'm thinking Solvang, San Simeon, Malibu, Monterey... In 6 days, we wouldn't even be pushing ourselves w/ driving, but My Sailor isn't into that at all and wants to visit with his family more and then ?come home and get back to life as usual until he deploys? He hasn't come up with any other ideas for us yet. Now, don't get me wrong, our families are awesome and I love them all, but I'd kinda like some one-on-one time that didn't involve meeting up with family every day... So we're wrestling a bit with that.

And, of course, the topic of kids comes up pretty often. Usually because I bring it up (guilty as charged). I'm trying to figure out how he feels about everything, but he's reserving judgement/emotional investment for when I see my other MD in California next week. I think he's hoping for a solid, "Yes, you can have kids" or "No, you can't" answer. Unfortunately, things in medicine are rarely black and white. There is a way to do just about anything as long as you have the money to throw at it, and you don't mind being sick. In the meantime, I've been encouraging him to get tested as well (after all, it takes 2 and testing is free), but I've been using the time to educate myself on international adoption issues/laws. I found a great blog, Adoption Talk that's brought to light so many different issues I wasn't really aware of. It's been great and really helped open my eyes to some of the pitfalls of international adoption.  Overall, though, the prospect of actually filing the paperwork and starting the process gets me pretty excited. See, I was told at 19 (long before I really 'thought' about having kids or was even at risk of getting pregnant) that I probably wouldn't be able to concieve.  Between that, and my own personal experience being adopted into a family that wanted, loved, and cared for me, adoption has always been my 'Plan A', which I've never made a secret about. I do see where he is coming from though, as adoption is not most people's 'Plan A'. While it was always part of our plan, it's a 'Plan B' for him, so that's something we'll probably tackle after the wedding and honeymoon is over (and hopefully before he deploys again).

So that's the latest and greatest here. I'm so glad we're able to shelve our disagreements and go out and have a good time with each other. We've had the last 2 weekends together and it's been great! I've been taking some strides myself as well! I made my date with the gym yesterday and Zumba'd my butt off! I may not be a graceful dancer, but at least I have fun! :)

Thursday, June 14, 2012

"Thank you for your Service" Translated

Tuesday, I was in a store and someone passed a man in uniform picking up groceries. They paused and said, "Thank you for your service."

As that pit in my stomach came back, knowing my sailor will be deployed later this year (and it just so happened that he wouldn't he wouldn't be home that night), I had to wonder if people really understand what that means. I know when I said it, I didn't understand the full cycle of what that ment...

Thank you for agreeing to spend months away from loved one, often without contact.
Thank you for having faith that they will still be there, loving and supporting you, when they can't touch or see you.
Thank you for missing first steps, holidays, and last breaths.
Thank you for stepping in harms way for people you love, and for people you don't even know.

Thank you. Two simple words that mean so much - and remind me why we do what we do. Why we deal with the "I don't know when he's coming homes" and 24 notice of deployments. Why we deal with no contact other than something similiar between email and text messaging for months on end. Why we celebrate every day and often miss holidays. 

Monday, June 4, 2012

The Geek in Me

Lately, I've been flying my freak flag high and I don't care who sees it.

First of all - Our invitations are DONE and pretty much IN THE MAIL (aside from a few we're waiting on postage and/or addresses). That feels good.

Second of all - I'm REALLY excited to have made reservations at the Disneyland Hotel for our wedding weekend coming up. Yeah! I'm not sure which I'm more excited about - the actual wedding/reception, or just getting to go back to my 2nd home. The fact that I get to go w/ friends and family - HUGE bonus! :)

Third of all - I have 2 (count them TWO) new-to-me video games I'm enjoying in my downtime. LA Noir (a crime detective game) for the PS3 and Cursed Mountain (a mature - yes, you read that right - M rated) for the Wii. Yes, in other countries they have LOTS of M rated games for the Wii, but sadly, they'll probably never see the light of day in the US of A. Nintendo feels that PS3 and Xbox already have the corner on that market. And they probably aren't wrong, but I like the 2 handed controls of the Wii.

Fourth of all - My Sailor and I just started the Paleo style eating plan. Often referred to as the Caveman diet, it's an all natural way of eating. So ex-nay on the preservatives-ay. (I never was good at pig latin, but you get the point.) We bought a TON of fresh fruit (organic and local whenever we could find/afford it), meat (local and grass fed/free range wherever we could find/afford it), and veggies.  So far, we've come up with some delicious dishes! We're trying this way of eating for a month to see where it goes. We already did the movies - GUILT FREE! We saw Snow White and the Huntsmen this weekend and brought in our own dried fruit and almonds. Fun movie, great snacks, even better company. Who could ask for anything more? It felt great to leave a movie refreshed instead of bloated.

Fifth of all - Other wedding stuff seems to be falling into place. We are being gifted a trip to Hawaii, that just seems too good to pass up, but we're still hammering out the details. Long story short, it looks like my folks have expiring frequent flier miles and expiring time share points, so it wouldn't cost them anything to book under our name, and at least the points wouldn't expire, and they wouldn't feel pressured to use them. With Dad going in for Chemo every 2 weeks, that's unrealistic for them.

Which brings me to Sixth of all - Dad did great through his first round of chemo. Today he got round #2 and we're hoping side effects STAY managable for him. Chemotherapy has come a LONG way since the 1990's, where you weren't sure which would kill ya' first, the cancer or the chemo. I'm looking forward to him walking me down the aisle.

And Seventh of all - the writing bug is biting me more and more these days. I'm eager to be out of the coding world and into the writing world. I know what I do for a job is useful (not only in making me money, but in contributing to straightening out health care a little bit), but I don't really feel like I'm 'giving back'. Maybe I just haven't found right attitude about it, but I've been a coder for about 11 (shock!) years now. I'm probably just burnt out. Just gotta keep making time to write and putting myself out there. Someday something will stick.

And last but not least - I can't say it hasn't been a lonely last month or so up here. While I do NOT miss the thumping around of my old upstairs neighbors (the Rhino family), I do miss people. Yes, I was VERY grateful to have my first weekend with my sailor w/o his shipmates around in at least a month, but I know I can't rely on him to fill all my social needs. It's a broken record on this blog, but it's just not as easy to make friends when you're an adult - especially when you work from home. I don't even meet co-workers face to face. So I'm working on doing things to help me feel less isolated. I planned a party of Sunday night. It fell through. I'm just SO glad this wedding isn't going to fall through. I need to nourish my heart and feel a friendly hug! I can't wait for my short trip to California in June, and the wedding in August. I miss my friends deeply and can't wait to see them again. My holiday trips were so short, and everyone was too busy to meet up. This time, they are really rising to the occasion and making the time, which I appreciate. My Sailor is seeing some of his friends do the same, which is great! I'd rather him have friends there and pay for a few extra place settings than have him miss sharing the day with us.

But for now, I better get to sleep. I have to get up in 8 hrs and drive my roommate to the airport. Goodnight Moon!