2016 Recap

We started the year off with the in-laws in town. Went to Universal Studios. Got sucked into Making a Murderer on Netflix in a CRAZY way. Hit the LA Zoo. Apparently found a gray hair.

Christa turned 2. Started looking for a puppy. Went to Knott's Berry Farm.

Painted ceramics for the first time. Husband and I celebrated the ten year anniversary of him commenting on my blog and starting "us." Painted Christa's toes and got her in dress shoes and a poofy dress. Girly! Celebrated Easter.

Santa Barbara Zoo. Got my new walking shoes and started getting semi-serious about walking during lunch. My ten years at QPS came to an end bitterly. Casey and Husband shaved their heads for cancer. Got to see my friend Mandy for the first time in a decade or more. Welcomed Mabel into our home. Ronald Reagan Library with BFF & Co. Christa started potty training. Interviewed at my current job and was hired shortly thereafter. Went to Solvang and visited Jangles at the Ranch.

Enjoyed being unemployed for the three weeks between jobs. Built a new gate. Cut my attempt at long hair. Disneyland, overnight at the Grand Californian and California adventure plus we met up with BFF & Co. Lots of outdoors and pool time. Mother's Day. Started really walking since I had no job. Celebrated turning 39 at my birthday Dodgers game with the Besties. Celebrated my 7-year wedding anniversary. Overhauled my wee patch of garden to attract more butterflies. Painted Rancho Viernes. Started the new job. Hit the beach.

The Bun died. Casey finished Kindergarten. Celebrated five years in our house. Did Father's Day at the beach. Went to a Dodger game on one of the hottest days in recent history and got busted for drinking beers in the parking lot by some bicycle cops. Rediscovered Bob Ross (Oh thank you, Netflix). Saw BFF & Co a lot this month and celebrated Joz & Sasha's birthdays. Did the Painted Cabernet with Husband. Casey had his first bully at camp.

San Diego for a Padres game with BFF & MIKE. Visited with family and friends that moved away. Hit Balboa Park. Lots more outdoor time and gardening. Found Pliny, Visited with Christine & Co. Started reading chapter books to Casey. The in-laws came to visit.

Finished the world's longest book 1Q84. The Donald Trump Shit Show officially started affecting my mental health. Hub came to care for my mom after her hip replacement. VC Fair. Casey had an eye exam to prove he can see just can't focus. Casey started 1st grade. Did a mortgage re-fi and really started focusing on our finances. Got a fish. Celebrated Casey's 6th birthday with a poop cake. Saw and met Jo Koy. Had a cold. More beach and pool and outdoor time. SB Zoo to meet baby giraffes.

Got the fitbit and started checking in to track better eating habits and movement. Cheered Ang & BFF at the end of their boob walk. More beach time before Hub left. Checked off a bucket list item and saw the legendary Garth Brooks in concert and had our first overnight without the kids. Saw sea lions at the Channel Islands Harbor. Cut off more hair. Lots more outdoor time. Casey encountered his second bully of the year.

Underwood with BFF & Company.  Celebrated Husband's birthday at Disneyland for their Halloween nights with BFF & Co. Donald Trump grabbed them by the pussy. I voted for her. Dodgers in the playoffs. Vinnie bid us farewell. SB Zoo. Saw Nightmare Before Christmas at the Hollywood Bowl which was totally amazing. Did lots of Halloween activities and celebrations.

The election which to me signaled the death of America as I know it caused me so much anxiety that it prompted a brief Facebook deactivation. Celebrated Gaga's birthday. The boys went to Michigan. The women celebrated Thanksgiving in Solvang. My brother and his family moved to Murrieta. Christine & Co. came to town. Christa and I toured Dodger Stadium. Put up our Christmas tree. Saw weight loss progress. Tried to find things to be grateful for and to be optimistic about.

Basically all Christmas all the time. BFF & Co. hosted us to see Santa on their street. I took the kids to see the Santa Float. They saw Santa at the Zoo and at the Collection. We looked at so many lights. Ornament party at mom's. We lost Toni. Saw PJP and met the new baby. Did Painted Cabernet with Mom. Christine & Co. came to town and joined us for our annual cookie decorating. SB Zoo again. Got a new camera I'm anxious to get going. All of us were spoiled rotten and gluttonous. Got to see and meet Bert Kreischer and got accidentally drunk. Way to close out a year right?

In looking back on this year, there was a lot to celebrate. Sometimes it takes a list like this to realize that most of the "bad" comes from the media or from the world, but it's nice to see my little circle is nice and tight and full of happiness and memories. I saw lots of adventures, lots of date nights, lots of movies, lots of time with family and friends, lots of breweries, lots of outdoors time and most importantly: LOTS OF SMILES. The good did far outweigh the bad but Donald Trump and all the deaths of beloved celebrities that truly touched my childhood put a damper on some of that. Might be a good idea to start unplugging a bit in the new year.


Goodbye, 2016

Only one more day
Of this dreadful year is left
Good riddance, Sixteen
I'm sure it was good
More often than it was bad
Seemed pretty bleak though
I need to recap
And see how it all washed out
Happy new year, guys! 


Weigh In Wednesday

Weight: 217.8
Despite indulging like a madman, that's down two pounds since last week. Don't ask me how this happened, I simply don't know. But I will take it. I have been eating cookies and candy like a crazy person which is nuts since I just do not eat like that. Believe me, it took a toll on my tummy. Not sure it was worth it. I don't feel like I've been excessively drinking. I took a lot of naps this weekend and we did some outdoors time. Just busy I guess!

Lifetime steps: 1,030,086
65,128 steps since last week which averages to be 9,304 steps a day. Not too shabby. I only hit/exceeded my goal Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. The weather has either been windy or rainy plus it was Christmas. I think it was Wednesday when I actually did my lunch walk in the rain. Not gonna beat myself up. Shit is going to get REAL in January. This week I have too many stupid errands to run. Oh, holidays and work and being a mom and wife...

Frame of Mind
I am 100% over Christmas. Husband won't let me take down decorations but I'm slowly getting them down. Not trying to rip the band-aid off anyone. I feel so pumped about the weight loss and my jeans are baggy and that is neat. I still have a long road ahead but seeing progress is really the kick I need to keep on keeping on. (#fitby40) I went to the ER on Friday because I have a terrible pain in my side. It wakes me up from sleep and sometimes hurts so bad I can hardly stand up from a seated position. Because Christine recently had her appendix removed, and kidney stones and gallstones run in my family, and our friend Toni passed away due to intestinal issues, I really freaked out. It turns out, according to my blood and urine and ultrasound, everything looks great. Apparently it is muscular/skeletal and can be eased with stretching and movement. The desk job takes a toll I guess. Watching all these celebrities (and Toni) pass away at fairly young ages has me pretty anxious and feeling PTSD about losing my dad. It has motivated me to schedule a physical for January and get a real plan of action going so I can be the best and healthiest me I can be for the family.


Christmas Weekend Pics Haiku Catch Up

 Pagoda Downtown
 Somewhat impromptu pizza / cookie decorating party with Gaga, 
Christine & Company, my family and my niece and nephew.
 Incredibly Terrible
 Nativity Scene at the beach on Christmas Eve
 The Fridays
 Pooped Pooches
 Watching A Christmas Story while doing Santa assembly
 Kiddos in Crowns
Christmas Day Dinner

Twas a great Christmas
We are lucky to be spoiled
And to also spoil
Lots of QT with
A few of our friends, family
High spirits abound
So much food and drink
So many toys, so much trash
Just blissful excess


Weigh In Wednesday

Weight: 219.8
Down .2 since last week. I'm happy to see that considering I just started my period. I'm exerting the bare minimum of effort eating well but I did make salads for three days this week. That's gotta be good for something. Still need to work on the water. Drinking less has probably not happened like it should but I have been stopping at two. Baby steps.

Lifetime Steps: 964,958
That's 58,759 since last week which averages out to be 8,394 steps a day. Saturday and Tuesday were the only days this bracelet buzzed but on Sunday I was only 356 steps of 10K so that's good. Yesterday was the first day I managed to lace up at lunch and go walk in some time. I was hoping to go again today but it appears to be raining. We'll see if that clears up.

State of Mind
Much better than last week. Yesterday, my Christmas spirit finally showed up, right alongside my period, it would seem. Last night after work, the kids and I went shopping for the dogs' gifts, chased a sunset, played on the beach and found Santa. This morning I heard one of my secret favorite Christmas songs and I danced and sang loudly in the car and felt pure joy and tears welled up in my eyes and I knew it was on. I'm super excited for friends and family to start arriving. I get to bake soon. It's all good. One small note? A kind of insane pain in my side that I think if I keep ignoring, it will go away but I'm not so sure.


The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

It's been a while since I've pulled this one out so here we go!

The Good
1. Christmas shopping is done
2. Gifts are all wrapped
3. Made pizzelles last night
4. Casey's happy to be at camp
5. Work is very quiet

The Bad
1. My fitbit charger got lost and the battery is dying
2. My MIL sent me a message that she slipped on ice
3. Wind will never stop blowing

The Ugly
1. The electoral college failed us all
2. Started my period today


Weekend Pics

 Saturday morning cuddle puddle
 BFF & I at the brewery. Wee little elves in our red and green.
Gaga rockin' that tiara.

Apparently I had a nice, chill, little weekend because I don't have many pictures to show. We had a great time in LA on Saturday visiting with BFF&Co where we got to see Santa, eat, drink and be merry. A very close friend of the family passed away suddenly Sunday morning so that was a huge shock and quite sad. My mom came to watch the kids so Husband & I could shop for them and she could have a distraction from her grief. We lunched at Yolanda's, took naps and then had dinner together. It's eerily reminiscent of my dad passing away, both of them on the 18th, a week before a major holiday. It's a very strong reminder to not waste your very precious days of life. Live them fully. Laugh often. Love hard.


Haiku Friday

National Ugly
Christmas Sweater Day today
And I am on it
Christmas socks as well
Christmas light earrings to boot
This is how I do
Christa wouldn't let
Me borrow her jingle bell
Necklace. What a jerk.


Weigh In Wednesday

Weight: 220
No increase or decrease. I'm pleased about that considering I scarfed down In N Out and a few beers last night.

Lifetime Steps: 906,199
That is only a sad little 46,913 since last week which averages to about 6,702 steps a day. I did not hit my step goal of 10K once in the past week.

Frame of Mind
Well, to be honest, I'm a bit of a Grinch currently. I'm having a rough time feeling the Christmas spirit. I'm frustrated with a lot of stuff and then the frustration turns to irritation and the irritation turns to anger and then it's all bad. You know. It's PMS time and that's not a fun time. I can't seem to muster up the motivation to put those walking shoes on. I'm trying to eat well but even that is a struggle. Maybe next week will be better.


Weekend Pics

 An impromptu trip to the zoo gave us the unexpected gift of an 
up close encounter with this fella and his super long purple tongue.
He was so close! I was so happy. I love giraffes (like my Gran).
 This gorilla was so gross. Face down, ass up, eating his own vomit. You're welcome. 
 Know what else was unexpected? Zoo Santa! YAY!
Post Zoo Brew. As we approached the brewery, Christa started saying
 "Jozee, Sasha, Mike, Carewine?" It's good to see she's learning.
 My sister-in-law said we don't have enough pictures together and we ended up with this nonsense where my mother's kitchen light looks like a festive hat. #ornamentparty2016
 Santa to the Sea ran past our house so Husband gave the policeman pancakes.
 My kids got some QT with their cousins.
 Christa decided she loves Uncle Fuzzy Face now. Only took 3 years.
Meal prep! Yah man. No mason jars here! 


Haiku Friday

Two weeks and a day
Until Christmas Eve is here
Getting excited

Ornament Party
On Saturday. Kick it off.
Lights are up at home
Some presents are wrapped
 A little shopping to do
And baking, of course


Book Review

Casey and I got on a kick and have been reading a chapter or two a night of some books that are for older kids. His homework requires 10-15 minutes of reading a night so it's been a good habit to get into. I make him lay very still and tell him it's time to shut off his brain and by the time I'm done reading, he's yawned at least once. So far, we have been strictly Roald Dahl as far as chapter books go. We started Matilda months ago but one day we were home and I decided to rent the movie. Since he knew how the story ended, he told me he no longer needed to finish reading the book but I decided I would finish it solo.
I never read this one growing up but from what I'd heard about the movie - which I also hadn't seen until we recently watched it - it was about a girl with magic powers. Unfortunately, what was a charmingly delightful children's movie was actually significantly darker in book form. Matilda is being raised by a neglectful mother obsessed with bingo and her looks and a crooked car dealer of a father. The book starts out with Matilda playing pranks on her dad to teach him a lesson about being an unsavory person. She's also a very gifted child and is taken under the wing of a sweet teacher named Miss Honey. Miss Honey's terrible aunt is The Trunchbull who also happens to be the horrendous head mistress of Matilda's school who torments children for a living. Matilda realizes she has mental telepathy and can move objects with her mind. She uses these powers to seek revenge on The Trunchbull and then everyone lives happily ever after.
I do not recommend this book for children. Casey recoiled when I read about The Trunchbull being a big old bully to the kids at the school, doing things like spinning them around by their pig tails and throwing them out of windows. There is a lot of time spent on describing how terrible Matilda's parents are and it borders on being tedious. This book is also very British and there are quite a few words that were big even for me. I'm interested in reading Witches next but I'm starting to wonder if Roald Dahl's works are just a bit too mature for the kiddo. It was pretty clear he was not into Matilda pretty much from the jump but I thought it would get better and it never did. Lesson learned.


Weigh In Wednesday

Weight: 220
I am up .8 so that's not great. I just need to focus. Doing better about smaller portions at dinner. Bringing my salads and healthy snacks to work. I think I blame whoever brought chocolate chips in to this office because I feel like it was my calling to eat them all.

Lifetime Steps: 859,286
That's 71,797 since last week which averages out to about 10.257 steps a day. I hit or exceeded my 10K step goals 5 days out of 7 last week. The weather has been great for lunch walks. Decorating for Christmas also helped boost. Last night I put the Dance Revolution game on the Wii and did three songs before my daughter informed me she wanted to stop dancing. I can see how that may be traumatizing for her.

Frame of Mind
Not great. On Friday night I had an anxiety attack/meltdown. It was not pretty and it affected my whole tiny family. I know I made myself feel like a pile of garbage so I can only imagine how Husband and the kids must have felt. Things have been much better since then because I have been making a very concerted effort to fix what I broke - both figuratively and literally. When I take my walks, I try to sort of get my mind in order and came to the conclusion that maybe I'm not the biggest fan of holidays. Like, I love the Christmas songs and decorations and the tree and the lights  and Santa and seeing how much it thrills the kids SO MUCH. When it comes to shopping, however, I hate it. I always feel like my gifts will disappoint and this is not something new. I can remember feeling like this ever since I started buying gifts for other people and the pressure I put on myself to impress the receiver of my gifts is hardly worth it. I miss my dad horribly during the holidays so I feel like I try to overcompensate the holiday cheer to make up for that and I end up being a monster when my attempts at frivolity and festivity backfire like they did on Friday night which led to me breaking my freezer door in what can only be described as a temper tantrum. Sigh. Anyway, onward and upward.
One of the many walk-selfies I've sent Husband in my sweet-ass walking shirt.


Double Feature

After date night on Saturday, Husband decided we should watch lady Ghostbusters. And by "we" he clearly meant "you should watch while I sleep beside you on our sofa." Growing up, my brother and I watched the original relentlessly and it is quite sacred because of how heavily it was in rotation during our childhood. While it was in theaters, I was steadfast in my refusal to give it a chance. For $5 on Amazon in my living room, I lost some of my boycott spirit and gave it a go. I have to admit, I was pleasantly surprised at how entertained I was and how often I chuckled aloud. Instead of sullying the original, it was honestly a perfectly fine homage. Four of the surviving original cast made cameos that tickled me so. Thor was in it and was very funny while providing some eye candy. The very talented ladies made me laugh quite a bit. I guess it goes to show that having zero expectations really pays off sometimes.

And since I stayed up nice and late watching Ghostbusters, I was good and tired when on Sunday morning I decided to drag Gaga, Christa and Casey to the first showing of Moana. Husband and the boy had already seen in in Michigan and they both had excellent things to say about the story and the music (from the genius behind Hamilton). It pretty much goes without saying that I love all things Disney but I loved Moana. The music was goose-bump worthy. The visuals were superbly beautiful. The story of a girl saving the day with zero love interest was refreshing and motivational. I spent a lot of time with tears welling up in my eyes because of sentimental characters. I adored Moana's crazy island grandmother. Christa fell in love with The Rock's Maui. Heihei the chicken made everyone laugh. I just cannot say enough good things about the magic of Moana. Go. Then go again. And then probably buy the soundtrack.


Weekend Pics

 Having our Coffee Bean treats at the water.
 Someone is really outdoing themselves.
 Date night playing Sequence at Institution. Bomb food by the way.
 Sunday morning chill sesh with Mabel Baby.
 Christa's fake cry face.
Going to see Moana with Gaga


Haiku Friday

I try to make meals
With what we have in our house
When groceries are low
Found a recipe
EASY, too. Like me.
Made some revisions
But overall delicious
And no leftovers

3-4 chicken breasts (I used thighs)
15 white or flour tortillas, fajita size (I only had giant white ones)
30-oz. green enchilada sauce
3-4 cups of grated cheese (I used Colby Jack but you can use whatever you'd like)

Boil chicken until it falls apart which was about twenty minutes, then shred 
(BFF recommends boiling with salt and pepper but I forgot)
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees
Mix 5 oz. sauce, cheese and chicken together
Put 5 oz. sauce on the bottom of the pan (I used a 13x9 baking dish)
Microwave tortillas until soft
Roll chicken mixture in the tortillas
Put rolls in pan semi-tightly
Cover with remaining sauce then sprinkle with remaining cheese
Bake for 20-25 minutes until cheese is melted