Thursday, April 30, 2009
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Sunday, April 26, 2009
Eight years ago today, my big brother, Jeremy, left this earth. He left before I had a chance to say goodbye. He left before I really had the chance to get to know him as a person, as a friend. In some ways, I think he left before he really got a chance to know himself and all he could be. I mean, he was only 26. That’s just 2 years older than I am now. He had a difficult childhood really, with a lot of heartache and ended up choosing the wrong paths early in life. But he was just turning things around and finding success when his life was cut short.
It was a car accident. My brother was the passenger and his friend, John, was driving them home from a night out. It was very early in the morning and John fell asleep, leaving the truck to veer into a turnout and hit a tractor-trailer parked on the side of the freeway. John survived with a few cuts and bruises. My brother was killed instantly. It’s the type of thing that makes you question life. Why did this happen to him? To me? You ask a lot of “what ifs?” And then you realize you will never know the answer. Slowly, sadly, you move on. My friends marveled at my strength, but I didn’t feel strong. I felt broken.
I was only 16 years old when my brother died. I had never even had a boyfriend. I wish he could have been around for that. To be that overprotective brother that I know he would have been. To give my boyfriend a hard time. I would have hated it probably, but since I didn’t have it, I miss it. I think I was just getting to the age where we could have been friends and really talked. He was 11 years older than me, so it was hard to relate when I was younger. He moved out of the house when I was in elementary school. Sixth grade, maybe? I can’t remember. But I do remember him and his posse strolling across the elementary school playground, the yard duty approaching him to reprimand him and tell him to get off campus. And then me, running up to “save him” and tell the yard duty, hey, this is my cool older brother! I loved any chance I got to hang out with Jeremy.
When I think about my brother now, I have mixed emotions. Sadness, happiness. Not so much anger anymore. I’m sad about the facts of what happened, of course. The horribleness of this day, eight years ago. But I am more upset about what will never happen. My brother won’t be at my wedding. I won’t be at his. We won’t see each other grow old, have babies. Sometimes I dwell on these things and I cry, particularly on this day. Holidays are always tough, too, and not just for me, but my entire family—especially my mom. For the most part though, I think about my happy memories from the time we had together. The funny songs he would make up on his guitar, wrestling with me and my younger brother, Patrick, and giving us noogies, helping me with my homework, playing video games at his house, buying me a stack of chick flicks (on video!) for my birthday or the new Brandy CD, and picking me and my friends up afterschool in his brand new car. When I got older, he gave me my first driving lesson in that car—the same one I now drive. These are just some of the memories I cherish.I don’t usually talk about my brother much. There are people in my life who don’t even know I had an older brother. But time has eased the pain and I love talking about him now and sharing his life with others. It makes me feel like he isn’t totally gone, that his spirit still lives on in my heart. That somehow there is some purpose in him leaving so soon. I can honestly say now that, while I would give anything to have my brother back, I believe I am a better person for having endured such a loss. So I hold tight to my memories of Jeremy, the best big brother a girl could ask for. Though the years may fade the sharpness of my memories, I will never, ever forget.
Friday, April 24, 2009
The first blog award I ever received was from my very first commenter, the lovely Amber over at Amber Alert. She gave me the Cute’s Blog Award. She gave it to me awhile ago and I have been holding on to it for too long. Time to give it away!
I am uncute when…
1. I wake up in the morning. Think tangled hair, major cowlick, lines on my face from the pillow and sleepy eyes with remnants of mascara that wouldn’t budge.
2. I bite my nails. Such a bad habit that I just can’t seem to break!
3. I work out. My face gets all sweaty and red—as bright as a tomato, really—and my thighs jiggle. Nuff said.
4. I wear sweats all day. Working at home leads to many uncute moments.
5. I have greasy hair from not taking a shower. Again, working at home leads to uncute moments. My boyfriend can attest.
6. I pig out on Ben & Jerry’s Chunky Monkey. Soo good!
7. I am stressed out. Nothing like a high-pressure situation to bring out the bitch in me. My boyfriend gets the brunt of that though.
8. All my laundry is dirty and I have nothing to wear but pajamas, baggy shirts or dirty jeans. Ew.
9. I am sick. But isn’t everyone? I complain a lot though when I am sick. That’s not cute.
10. I am in pictures. I am not the biggest fan of pictures of myself, particularly candid shots. I hate those! My dad likes to do the sneak attack shots when I am not ready. Geez.
I would like to present the Cute’s Award to these five “cute” blogs written by some lovely ladies:
Next on my list of blog awards is one Shoshanah over at From L.A. to LA gave me on Monday. It is the Fabulous Blog Award and the rules are I list five of my guilty pleasures and then pass it on to five people.
1. Nutella. If you haven’t had this chocolatey, hazelnut spread you are missing out. On calories and yumminess, but mostly yumminess. I literally had to look away when I passed it in the store the other day.
2. The amazingly creamy Tuscan Tomato & Basil Bisque at Vons/Pavilions. It is to die for in a sourdough bread bowl, both literally and figuratively because it has like 30 grams of fat per serving, which is less than half the container! Oh why must I love it so? (same goes for fried zucchini...)
3. Reality shows like The Hills, The City, Dancing with the Stars and American Idol.
4. Cheesy romantic comedies, in particular, Lifetime movies. I am such a sucker for a chick flick.
5. Magazines, because I buy so many that my boyfriend said I am single-handedly keeping Conde Nast in business.
*I almost put Sex and the City on that list, but I don’t feel guilty about watching that one bit!
The five Fabulous blogs I want to send this award to are:
1. A Cup of Jo (One of the first blogs I read that inspired me to start my own)
2. Amber Alert
4. Miss Jane
5. Double Takes
The next two awards I have to hand out were actually given en masse to the blogger’s entire readership/blogroll. Even though they weren’t given to me individually, per se, I am going to pass ‘em out anyway, because I feel generous and I like giving out awards!
Without further ado, I’d like to send the Honest Scrap award (which I got from Shoshanah) to these seven blogs that always give it to you straight (I think I am supposed to send to 10, but rules be damned):
6. Working Girl
With this award, I'm supposed to tell you 10 honest things about me, but I already told you 10 uncute things (and they were pretty honest). So if you really want to know more about me, in numbered form, click here and here.
I have given a lot of awards out now, so I am going to do the somewhat-lazy thing and give the last award (which I got from Amber) out to all my readers. Kind of a thank you for reading and I think you and your blogs are wonderful!
So this is for you!
Have a great weekend!
Thursday, April 23, 2009
Tell me, what do you do to try to live in a more environmentally conscious way? I will add your tips to my “eco-do list.” And does Earth Day make you feel guilty, too? If so, watch out. National Arbor Day is tomorrow. Better go plant a tree! Or buy this cute, reusable tote and the dirty work is done for you (meaning, for each purchase, one native tree is planted in an ecosystem restoration project in the United States). Me likey.
For $12.95, this "pod" is in the bag.
(In honor of Earth Day, get 20% off until the end of the month. Just enter EarthMonth09 at checkout.)
Check back later for when I hand out some Blog Lovin.’
Captain Planet image from here.
Reusable purse from BeGreenNow.
Monday, April 20, 2009
Friday, April 17, 2009
I miss books. I can't say I miss reading because, well, I do that every day. In some form. I mean, I read press releases, staff reports and sometimes research for work. I read emails. I read magazines. Online news. Blogs. Text messages. I read everything but books.
Thursday, April 16, 2009
On Tuesday night, me and the boy decided at, oh, around 9 o'clock, to take Hazel for a walk. She had been cooped up all day watching me write articles and call sources, so once "daddy" got home she was game for a stroll.
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Happy Wednesday everyone!
Monday, April 13, 2009
Sunday, April 12, 2009
Can I tell you how much I love this necklace? It is so different than anything I have in my jewelry box-- or even anything I've seen in stores-- but I adore it. Handmade by Nicole Ho of the Singapore-based OpusMuse, this ruched, silk/chiffon wonder has the perfect name: Nectar. Sweet, romantic and reminiscent of flowers. I'm thinking roses. Still, the chunky brass chain keeps it a bit edgy, not to frou-frou. I think it would look fantastic as the standout piece in a simple outfit, like a white tank and jeans. You would definitely be the center of attention wearing this! The chain is adjustable, so it can be worn as a long or short necklace and, if the the mood strikes, it can even be wrapped around the wrist as a cuff. If I had $51 to spend, sweet Nectar would be mine right now.
Friday, April 10, 2009
- For Easter Sunday, I am going to be hanging with the boy and his family in Woodland Hills. I am anticipating watching a lot of sports on TV, eating some yummy food (they always have a nice spread and gourmet desserts) and drinking a lot of wine (it's the first thing his mom says to me when I come in the door: "What would you like to drink? A glass of wine?" I think she likes to get me tipsy).
- Getting sick on chocolate eggs, jelly beans, Robins Eggs malt balls and Peeps. Even though I am 24, my mom still makes me an Easter basket every year. She even made RR one last year! While I have chided her in the past for doing this-- saying "Gosh mom, I'm not a kid anymore"-- I secretly hope she doesn't stop! Though if the "Easter Bunny" leaves me one this year (yes, my mom still pretends), I will try to be more careful with it. Last year's melted in the car!
- Trying out this recipe for Magnolia's Vanilla Cupcakes, which also means going grocery shopping for things like muffin tins, cupcake liners and sprinkles! I think it would be a nice treat to bring when I visit the bf's fam and I'm gonna save some for my own fam to try, too. Emily's post today over at Cupcakes and Cashmere is what inspired me. I hope mine turn out as good as this picture:
- I might also try to make it to church this weekend, being that it is Easter after all. Almost forgot this holiday isn't just about chocolate and cupcakes.
Thursday, April 9, 2009
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
My father had no time for growing old. He was like a river. Always in motion, flowing forward with loose-limbed vigor. Sweeping past every obstacle with a smile, dancing and shimmering in the sun. Every door was there to be opened. Every window to be peered into.Just last week, on his 99th birthday, I asked him how old he thought he was.Grinning, he said: "22 and a half?"
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
Monday, April 6, 2009
Friday, April 3, 2009
I saw this adorable travel book on Made Sweet yesterday (I first spotted it on You are my fave) and it made me totally jealous! Partly because Made Sweet's Michelle must have the coolest/nicest friend in the world to have made her the book just for her trip to New York. The homemade scrapbook-style notebook contained suggestions for what to do in the Big Apple once she got there and even pockets full of cash to do it!