Month: July 2014

An Anniversary to Remember

Many moons ago (sometime around April) I started brainstorming about my two year anniversary. I wanted to do something fun and different, something we would remember. For our first anniversary we were a little overwhelmed. We had just picked up and moved from Oregon to California and were just finally getting settled and finding jobs when our anniversary came around. We decided to go to Disneyland to celebrate. Don’t get me wrong, I love that place as much as the next person, but because we bought annual passes, our anniversary celebration is overshadowed by the countless other times we have gone since then. I know, my life is so hard. 

So this year I proclaimed we would do something different. After a short while of pondering (Coronado? No we just did that… Hawaii? No we can’t get enough time off… Eugene? No we already planned a separate trip there…) I thought of the perfect place to celebrate happiness, love, and a lifetime of commitment: Las Vegas. 

IMG_1205Stay with me here. True, Vegas may be a little nontraditional. It’s not a place where commitment is generally celebrated. However, Brock and I have never been (I went once before I was 21, but I decided that doesn’t count) and it would be a fun experience to have together. We decided to drive in on Saturday morning and stay until Monday. I was surprised by how quick the 4 hour drive went. We listened to music, laughed at podcasts, and ate our weight in RedVines. The landscape wasn’t hard on the eyes either. 
IMG_1194Once we checked into the Mirage, we spent most of the evening getting our bearings. It was a lot to take in at once. Vegas is a people-watcher’s dream so I was basically in heaven. We wandered around without any real plan or destination in mind. We ended up having dinner at a wonderful Italian restaurant next to the gondolas (see, Vegas can be romantic!). The next couple days were filled with pools, dressing up, room service, great food, and plenty of drinks. I have never been so entertained and confused at the same time. I suppose there is a reason why they say what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas (however writing a blog probably breaks those rules). We drove home on Monday afternoon already talking about what we plan to do on our next trip to Vegas.

IMG_1216 IMG_1223 The lighting in this hotel bathroom is the kind you have to take advantage of with copious amounts of pictures. I am already discussing how we can get this installed at home because it did wonders.
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IMG_1288The inside (yeah you read that right) of our hotel.IMG_1291IMG_1292The pool. Just look at it. In all of its gloriousness.

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IMG_1261IMG_1229IMG_1238It was the perfect weekend to celebrate two years of marriage. After all, one of the reasons I love Brock so much is his ability to push me out of my comfort zone. He was the one who told me there are other movies besides ones made in the 80s/ones starring Steven Seagal, such as Goodwill Hunting and the Departed. He showed me that tofu can actually taste good, and that I don’t have to be afraid of seasoning (I’m a recovering bland-aholic) He was also the one who pushed me to apply to graduate schools, and to aim high. He brings out the best version of me. So, it’s only fitting that we experience a new and crazy trip to celebrate two years of new and crazy things in our lives.
Happy anniversary Brock, I love you.

That’s When I Knew I Was Going to Hell

We have all done things we aren’t proud of in our lives. In the large scope of things, I know there are definitely people out there worse than me, but that doesn’t mean much. Whether or not you are banished to a fiery inferno doesn’t depend on how bad you are compared to others. It’s a sliding scale. You might not be as bad, but still bad enough. So, despite the fact that I’m an overall good person, there were a few instances that I believe solidified my place in Hell. 

1. The time I wrote on the wall and blamed it on my brother

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When I was in 2nd grade my brother was always mean to me (like brothers usually are). I knew I couldn’t fight him physically and win, so I had to use my smarts. In an attempt to get back at him for something, I took my sharpest Crayola crayon and wrote, “I hate Olivia -from Tom” on the wall in my room. The real sinister part is that I then continued on with my regular business (whatever business a 2nd grader has) and let my mother discover it on her own. She yelled at him for a good 10 minutes while he denied ever doing it (which only got him in more trouble). I think she even made him apologize to me. Pretty smart for a 2nd grader, right?

2. Every time I saw someone coming when I was in the elevator and let it close anyway

This is something I actively participate in. If you pretend to look at your phone you can act like you never saw them coming.

3.The time I barfed and didn’t tell anyone 

I wish I could say this only happened once. The first time I threw up and told no one was when I was at my aunt’s house. I was elementary age and I had gotten lice from other kids at school. My aunt decided to make me sleep with mayonnaise in my hair (which supposedly kills lice) with a shower cap over it. I woke up in the middle of the night and smelled old mayonnaise, which then caused me to promptly throw up in the middle of the bedroom. I then wiped my mouth, tucked myself back in bed, and went right to sleep. The next morning my aunt was asking who threw up and I just shrugged like I had never seen that mayonnaise-induced puke in my life.

The second time this happened was at my best friend’s house. I woke up in the middle of the night (this is a reoccurring theme) and suddenly felt sick. I threw up in the middle of her bedroom while she was sound asleep. The next morning she woke up and was complaining that her room smelled. It wasn’t until hours later that her mom realized there was a pile of puke underneath my blankets. A lovely child I was.

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Ironically, here is a picture of me and my barfing pumpkin in college.  A homage to my past I suppose.

4. The time I wore feathers in my hair

This is a fashion trend so egregious that it went on my permanent record. It might not seem Hell-worthy but it was a dark time in my life. I won’t even show you pictures. If you aren’t Steven Tyler, you have no business having feathers in your hair. I digress…

5. The time I Photoshopped my husband’s mustache

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My husband will testify that this belongs on the list. There have been many times he has donned facial hair that I wasn’t in agreement with. During a particularly terrible mustache phase, we took some pictures at a beautiful park on the beach. I loved these pictures but all I could see was the mustache. A few swift moves on Photoshop, and he was clean-shaven again. He still won’t forgive me. In fact, I think he has sported a mustache multiple times in protest. 

6. All the times I gave people decaf

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I worked at a coffee shop once. I don’t want to tell you what one, but it rhymes with Shmarbucks. Working in Orange County, many of my customers were wealthy and successful. While the majority of them were kind and gracious, somehow you always remember the terrible ones more. I often worked the morning shift (which starts at 4:30am) so I served people as they were on their way to work. When someone was particularly rude, I would “accidentally” make him or her a decaf coffee. Good luck waking up for your presentation today buddy.

7. The time I was plotting murder

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I spent 1st and 2nd grade digging a hole every recess with my best friend, Tiffany. It was a special spot under a tree, next to a fence. We took little sticks and dug to our heart’s content until it was time to go back in and play duck-duck-goose. Why were we digging a hole, you ask? So we could push in Taylor, the little girl in our class we didn’t like.

8. The times I got creative

As you are probably catching on, I was a disturbing little child. I wasn’t even good at hiding it. In fact, I often wrote about my dark thoughts. For example, in my 4th grade class we were supposed to write little books with illustrations to give to our parents. My friends wrote stories about princesses and magical lands. My story was called “Blood Steps to the Door” and it was a murder mystery. I sometimes wonder if my teacher called my parents to have a little discussion about that particular writing piece. However, it wouldn’t have shocked them because by then I had already been doing that stuff for years, as evident in my kindergarten weekend book where I said my favorite movie was “The Terminator.”

This behavior followed me into my adult life; I just express it differently now. My new outlet is SnapChat. If you aren’t familiar, it is an app where you can send pictures and draw on them. Some people use this for “sexting,” but for me it’s a creative outlet for my morbid sense of humor, as seen below:

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9. The time I ran over all the quails

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Via

This is the last one, but certainly not the least. This is when I really solidified my afterlife fate. I grew up living way out in the country. It took about 30 minutes to get to town from my house, and people who I considered my “neighbors” lived over a mile away. The roads around there are often unpaved, one-lane, and wind around the countryside. You might think that would cause someone to drive cautiously, but that was not the case. I would drive fast because 1) you rarely ever see another car 2) no one is ever in the street because no one lives near the street and 3) because I knew the road like the back of my hand. So I’m about 17 years old and I’m driving to school. I whip around a rather sharp curve and see a flock of birds ahead on the road. However, this was not uncommon. I was used to birds waiting until the last minute to fly away. What I didn’t know is that these birds would not fly away, because they were quails. Massacre. Not one quail made it out alive.

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The silver lining of it all is that my husband once told me I look like I have Down’s syndrome in all my baby pictures. Hell might suck, but at least I’ll have company.

Independence Day

The fourth of July is all about celebrating our country’s freedom, the people who fight for it, and how lucky we are to live in this land.
And celebrate we did.
Brock and I flew to Oregon for the festivities and spend a short but sweet weekend in our hometown. It was equal parts completely different than when we were there last (one year ago) and exactly the same. It wouldn’t be Independence Day without cold beers, flags rippling in the wind, the warm summer air and, of course, fireworks. All those things, plus our family members, made this weekend a magnificent celebration of our nation’s birthday.

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We had to visit a classic parking lot firework tent because no fourth of July is complete without it.

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Bentley is the most squishable lovable pug ever.

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See what I mean?

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This is my husband.

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I wonder where he gets it?

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We spent the majority of the fourth throwing fireworks off the second story balcony because, you know, fireworks bring out the child in everyone.

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Pretty soon the cops came because apparently it’s frowned upon to throw explosives off buildings. We put on our most innocent faces and solemnly swore that we would only light fireworks on ground level.

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“No fourth of July celebration is complete without the shotgunning of Pabst.” -Abraham Lincoln

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This picture occurred at the exactly moment my mother-in-law was being burned by firework sparks. It turns out there is a reason they say not to point them at anyone.

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The next day we all went to a Barre3 class taught by my mother-in-law. She just became an instructor and kicked our butts. My thighs are still reminding me how good that class was. Right after we ran over to Sabai, my favorite restaurant in the world, to get Thai food and a Phuket Coolie (pictured below).

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No trip to Oregon is complete without visiting Voodoo Doughnut. It has every combination of flavors imaginable, from maple bars with actual bacon on them to toppings like captain crunch. If you have never heard of it, the menu will tell you all you need to know.

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On our last day we decided to soak up the sun and explore. After living in California for the last year, Oregon was a breath of fresh, smogless, unpolluted, organic, green, beautiful air.

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At the end of the weekend we reluctantly drove to the airport, dragging our feet the entire way. We are so thankful we got to spend this weekend celebrating in Oregon. I love living in California, but Oregon sure has a special place in my heart. Until next time.

Happy Independence Day America!