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Monday, January 31, 2011

Take the Pledge

Last night, while at work, my partner and I watched Extreme Makeover Home Edition. Talk about a cry fest! Every episode was touching but this one really hit home.

17 Year Old Alex Brown was killed in a car accident in November 2009. It was a single vehicle accident. She was texting while driving, lost control over her vehicle and hit a pole. She wasn't wearing a seat belt.

Her parents and younger sister are left with a void that cannot be filled. A huge chunk of their lives were taken in an instant. Could you imagine if you were that family? I can't.

I think most, if not all, of us are guilty of texting while driving. I know I am. I really try not to but I slip up. While watching the show I realized even more that taking the time to read, reply or forward a text message while driving just isn't worth ricking your life. If you're running late, you will just have to be late and the person you are meeting up with will have to learn how to understand. If you forgot something at home and need it, you may just have to deal without it for the day. Everyone gets the " it will never happen to me" mind set. Only way to ensure that is true is to stop texting and driving.

So last night at the end of the show, I went on the foundation's website and took the pledge. No more texting and driving. Here's the link... will you take the pledge with me?  If you take the pledge, leave a comment and let me know you're with me. Even if you read this and never comment, take the time to do it this time. It is accountability.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Uncle Fred

For as long as I can remember my Dad's Uncle Fred has been part of our lives. He lived with my Grandma Covey when she was alive and continued to live with Grandpa Ernie. For the last few months he's been living with my parents. I can sum him up in one word.


An avid animal lover, Uncle Fred has owned more animals than probably anyone else I know. He is a giver. He always had something to give us kids. Especially at Christmas. We always joked about the swiss army knives he gave the guys in the family. For a while it seemed as though he gave them one every year for Christmas. Truth be told, they always came in handy. They really ended up being a perfect gift for the guys.

Unle Fred had had a rough couple of years. My Grandma passed away in 2007 then Ernie in 2010, the house he lived in foreclosed and now he has been diagnosed with cancer. I know people don't live forever but it is still heartbreaking news. My parents have done an incredible job taking care of him. They have done absolutely everything they possibly could. Sometimes he would thank them by picking up a bag of Hershey's Miniatures or some other kind of chocolate for them.

Uncle Fred is a good and sweet man. I love him. He could use some prayer.

Day 27

Clearly my cats have a rough life. They sleep all day curled up on my bed. Soaking in the snuggly warmth of my fleece tie blanket. Poor things. I shouldn't mistreat them so much.

Day 26

My little monster, Hunny, can be a little Houdini and get her collar off. She got the last one off quite a bit so I think it was broken. At any rate, I got them both new collars (matching) the other day. Hunny was not exactly excited about it. She kept shaking her head, rubbing her neck on the corner and meowing at me. Basically yelling at me for putting a new one on. The big baby. She acts like she's never worn a collar before. I think she is over it now. Hopefully...

Day 25

Where do you think this beautiful tree resides? A park? A random hillside? Nope. This gorgeous unknown type tree is growing right outside of my apartment complex. I noticed the pretty little blooms the other day when I was taking the trash out. I must say, I find it breathtaking. It seems as though everything is so lush and green right now. Like spring is happening right now. The only thing in spring I am not looking forward to? Bees.

Day 24

This is Ezra. If you couldn't tell, he works at Starbucks. Not just any Starbucks. Our Starbucks. The one we go to atleast twice a week. Sometimes less depending on our work schedules. Ezra is usually there when we go in. Super nice guy. If he sees us sitting outside he is always quick to walk up and say hello. he's invited us to Taco Tuesday but I work on tuesday nights. He's funny and makes some killer drinks. One that happens to be his "signature" drink. It is called... you guessed it... "The Ezra". It is a Java Chip Frapp but made with white choclate mocha fixings (or something like that). It is amazing. He was even nice enough to pose for a  picture. Thanks Ezra!

Day 23

I have a small obssession love for crocheting.There's always a project in progress and a bag full of yarn in my car. I have various sizes of reusable bags but none of them are very deep and seem to get smaller as the crocheting project gets bigger. For my birthday I was given a Michaels gift card so I was forced to use it at the store I frequent about twice a year. OK .... stop yelling, I know that is a lie. So what if I go to Michaels atleast twice a month. Sometimes weekly. I'm just trying to save face. At any rate, I found this amazing crochet bag the other day. It is deep, has pockets on the front and a zippered pocket inside. Everything fits in there perfectly. I'm in love.

Friday, January 28, 2011

A Cool Giveaway

A friend of mine from High School has a great blog that I follow. Not too long ago she started up a Give Away Blog. Click on the link to read what the prize is and how to enter. Give it a whirl... you never know what could happen ;)

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Day 22

I am fairly certain that everytime I sit on my couch and turn on my computer, it sends some type of signal to a certain someone that lives in my house. She immediately jumps up on my lap and moves around until she is comfy. Occasionally that means she is laying across the keyboard. Sometimes she lays on my hands. Every once in a while she goes nose to nose with me as if to say "hi mom. I'm here!". This someone will remain nameless but I am sure you can figure it out for yourself. Good things she's cute and I love her.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Day 21

Today is Jared's 28th Birthday. He had to work so we didn't get to spend much time together.  Approx. 30 minutes. But I didn't want the day to pass without atleast giving him a hug and kiss... and a cupcake.

I headed down to where he works and hoped I would make it there before he left. I got stuck in traffic due to an accident and the line of cars to get on the 15 was atleast a mile long. Although I was risking ruining the surprise, I texted Jared and told him not to leave until I told him it was okay.

I pulled into the parking lot at 3:01pm. Thankfully they were in a meeting so he got out about 10 after 3 and didn't see the text until I was already there. Yay.

It was perfect. He was walking across the parking lot and I stepped out, cupcake in hand, to where he could see me. He got the biggest smile on his face and gave me a huge hug. I had a candle in the cupcake but the wind wouldn't stop long enough for me to light it and him to blow it out. Oh well. He was pretty tired after work but humored me and posed for a picture.

I am so glad I got to see him today!!

You are, without a doubt, the love of my life. You are funny, sweet, weird, strong, loving, kind, intelligent, hard working, and so much more. Thank you for blessing my life every single day. I love you. Happy Birthday!

Eggs in a Basket

This breakfast is beyond easy, fun to look at, fun for kids to help make/eat, good for you and tasty.

Slices of bread
Butter or Non-Stick Spray
Round Biscuit cutter or cookie cutter

Heat your skillet/griddle on medium-high heat. Spray with Non-Stick spray if you're not using butter.

Take however many pieces of bread you need and lay them out in front of you.
Then place the cutter in the middle of the bread and cut out a hole. As centered as possible.

If using the butter, butter one side of the bread now. I was trying to keep the calories down on mine so I didn't use the butter.

Place your bread on the warm skillet/griddle, butter side down.

 Now crack an egg and poor the contents right into that hole. Salt and pepper the egg to taste.

Let that cook until the egg portion on top is just about done. About 3-4 min.
Then gently slip a spatula under the bread/egg and flip it over. Be gentle. you don't want to break the yolk.

Let the the egg finish cooking. Approx 2 min. Then remove from the heat and eat up!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Day 20

For Christmas (2009) Jared got my cats these treat balls. You put a few cat treats inside and they are supposed to play with it. As they play with the ball, one treat will fall out when it rolls at a certain angle.
Sugar doesn't care much about playing with them. She just wants me to hand her treats. She's lazy.

Hunny on the other hand will play and play and play until every.single. treat. is gone. There are two of the toys and I usually put about 10-15 treats in each ball. No matter how long it takes her, she will succeed in getting all of the treats. She's pretty funny when she is playing. She looks like a little soccer player. I love my kitten.

Day 19

Jared's Birthday is coming up, soon. Unfortunately he has to work on his actual birthday. Between my mandatory nap I take Wednesday mornings after I get off work and Jared having to go to bed early on Thursday evening for work, time is limited. We have barely 24 hours off together. We make do with what we have and we make the most of the time. He isn't big on celebrating birthdays but he knows he probably won't get out of it. But I try to be sensitive to what he wants so I kept it simple.

We spent the afternoon at the San Diego Zoo.One of the best parts about having a Zoo pass is that you don't feel like you have to get there the moment it opens and stay until they have a police escort walk you to the exit gates because you won't leave for fear of not getting your monies worth. We got there in the early afternoon and got a prime parking spot up front (another perk of going later).

We had a great time walking around looking at the animals we have seen 95 other times. For whatever reason, it never gets old. God's creation is something, that's for sure!

We finished the evening by going to his favorite restaurant, Mandarin House. We ate. And ate. And ate. And stuffed our faces. Seriously, the best Chinese Food in San Diego County. Trust me. I am even getting better at using chopsticks (except when I flung rice all over my lap). I thought it would be fun to take him out to dessert afterwards so I started making suggestions. Cheesecake Factory, Sprinkles Cupcakes.. in the end we decided to go to Cheesecake Factory. Neither one of us had enough room for dessert so we walked around Fashion Valley mall for a bit. Did you know they have a Microsoft Store? It is way cool! Jared and I got our geek on in there. I playing with the X-Box Kinex (sp?). It is basically the XBox version of the Wii. I bowled for a few minutes while Jared played the new "Tron" game. I know he couldv'e spent the rest of the evening in there but felt like I would be bored. I had fun though. In the end we decided there was no roo
m in the tummies for Cheesecake Factory. Maybe next time. It was a fun day celebrating my man's birthday.

Here's my official photo of the day but I added just a couple for kicks.

 I had to add this because I cannot remember a time in my life when I have seen a Koala bear awake. We even saw him walk across the tree branches to another spot. Isn't he darling?

 I had to add this one too because I have never ever ever been this close to a Jaguar before. This is not zoomed in. At all. Nothing but thick glass between me and this wild cat. He's beautiful. Here kitty kitty..

Day 18

A couple friends of mine have birthdays coming up.  One February 12th and the other February 19th. I just happen to work with these two on night shift. We have a lot of fun together and we all enjoy some good eats. There's a restaurant in Redlands that Clay loves and Ali has been dying to try it out.

On a whim they decided to celebrate their birthdays together. The more they talked about it the more they got excited and a plan developed. For fun they decided they wanted a Masquerade Dinner. Everyone will wear semi-formal attire and a mask will adorn their faces.

They were talking about all sorts of things they needed to get done: invitations, ordering masks, making reservations etc. When I heard 'invitations" my little crafty light came one. An idea came to me and I ran with it. I have a slight crafty side to me. Okay... more than slight. It is down right obssessive, deep rooted craftiness. I threw together an example that night and they loved it. So, being the proactive person I try to be, I went to Michaels the next day and got all of the supplies.

I put everything together the other night while I was at work. I think they turned out pretty darn good and both Clay and Ali love them.

The invitation is a tri-fold but getting the whole thing in the picture just wasn't working out for me. It was 330am, I was tired and I was d-o-n-e.

Day 17

I know not everyone is a cat lover. I never knew I was one until I was a teenager. We "obtained" a couple cats during my high school years and they were fun to be around. So when I moved out on my own, I wanted a pet of my own. I adopted Hunny in 2003 and Sugar in 2004. They are buddies. Everyday they snuggle up to each other and nap. Their personalities crack me up. Sugar chases her tail at 6am on the edge of my bed. Although somewhat annoying, it is kind of funny. She has this long drawn out meow that just begs for attention. When Jared arrives, he greets me first but Sugar impatiently awaits her turn. She meows and holds out her paw as if we didn't know she was there.

The other day I was filling up their food container and I spilled some. I went to grab the broom and when I turned back around I found this..

Now THAT'S what I call a food dish.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Day 16

My moms cat, Terk, is a lover. Especially when they have company. He competes for attention from my mom if she is talking to someone.
"Hey mom. Lok at me! Mom, I'm right here! Pet me. You know you want to pet me!"
He has the best personality!

Day 15

Jared's Cousin, Casey, after her amazing performance in "The Secret Garden". We had a great time watching her and we are so proud!

The Secret Garden

Jared's younger cousin, Casey, is a theater lover after my own heart. For the last year she has embraced being on the stage and her love for it has blossomed and is in full bloom. She is an amazing actress. Especially for the young age of 12.

Last year we watched her in "The Wiz". Although she was nervous during her solo, she knocked it out of the park! I may not be a blood relative but I was beaming with pride. I was impressed with her talent and professionalism on stage. She carried herself with confidence and she was clearly enjoying being on stage.

Yesterday we watched her in "The Secret Garden".


I could finish the post with that. She was incredible. First of all, her costume and hair do made her look way older than her 12 year old self. She looked atleast 19. For her first few minutes on stage all I could do was stare. I did my best to not sit there with my jaw hanging on the ground during her entire performance. She walked across the stage like she owned it. Like she has been doing this since birth.

She was in a cast made up of a few professionals, a few college kids, some high school students and others around Casey's age. I was blown away by the cast. Every single person was spot on. Their voices were smooth as silk. The duet between the two male leads gave me chills, literally.

And Casey... I cannot believe how much she has improved in the last 9months or so. She was fantastic in The Wiz, don't get me wrong. But now? It is even more clear that this girl is going places. I am incredibly proud of her and so thankful Jared has an amazing and close knit family like I do.

Meet the family:
Jared (in case you have forgotten his handsome face), Nana, Lynn (Jared's mom), David (Jared's stepdad), Pete (Casey's dad),Alison (Casey's mom) and in front, Miss Casey

Casey's Favorite two cousins:
 Casey and Tyler (Jared's nephew):

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Day 14

My amazing and wonderful man made me dinner tonight. It was super duper tasty. And I LOVE me a man that can cook!

Day 13

A dinner this delicious cannot go undocumented.

Day 12

I ordered 3 things from Nike.com
I ordered 2 Workout Tank Tops and 1 Sports Bra.On the website they say items might be packaged separately based on availability. What I got was 3 boxes this size.
One item in each box. I found it ridiculous and funny.

Day 11

My friend and enemy for the next 8 weeks while I train for my first 5K run.

Day 10

is where I work. Call it a Dispatch Center, Monte Vista Emergency Command Center, Monte Vista Interagency Communications Center, etc. It is all one in the same.
This is where I have spent thousands of hours over the past 4 yrs 4 1/2 Months. I love it. I hate it. It is stressful and very rewarding.
I have SEVEN computer screens. Each do something a little different. I have 3 keyboards, 4 Mice, 2 Telephones and 2 Microphones. Welcome to my world of Dispatching. Too bad I don't have an audio clip to share with you all. Thereare some Interesting people out there!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Peyton Turns 3!

I can't believe my youngest niece, Peyton, turned 3 this past Saturday. She's growing up too fast. They all are!

Poor baby had rosey cheeks from a fever and wasn't 100% but she was a trooper. She still played games (and cheated.. this is supposed to be a ring toss)

Opened her gifts

And baby brother did his best to help

She even got a special birthday phone call from Uncle Jared (he had to work)

And helped Daddy put some Mentos in Diet Soda. I mean, what 3 yr old birthday party is complete without exploding soda?

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


If there's one thing that I am really not good at it is change. I don't adjust well at all. I try. I want to be ok with change but I almost always fall short. I don't even know if it is all types of change that I have a hard time with or a certain few.

One of the biggest difficulties for me is when friendships or relationships change. People come and go in our lives on a daily basis. I am usually ok with the short term coming and going but the ones that stick for a while, I tend to hold onto them. Tightly.

Lately God has been reminding me that He is the one in charge. That He is the one that determines who comes and goes in our lives. Usually  "change" is a bad word with a negative connotation but it doesn't have to be. If fact, many good things come from change.

So as I continue through the good, bad and ugly of life I am reminded once again that God has everything under control.

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8
   1 To everything there is a season,
A time for every purpose under heaven:
   2 A time to be born, And a time to die;
A time to plant, And a time to pluck what is planted;
   3 A time to kill, And a time to heal;
A time to break down, And a time to build up;
   4 A time to weep, And a time to laugh;
A time to mourn, And a time to dance;
   5 A time to cast away stones, And a time to gather stones;
A time to embrace, And a time to refrain from embracing;
   6 A time to gain, And a time to lose;
A time to keep, And a time to throw away;
   7 A time to tear, And a time to sew;
A time to keep silence, And a time to speak;
   8 A time to love, And a time to hate;
A time of war, And a time of peace.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Day 9

Just when I think I have caught up on the baby blanket making... I realize I am nowhere close to being finished. Good thing I love it.

Day 8

It is only fitting that Peyton is the subject of Day 8. It was her 3rd Birthday on the 8th. Here's her big cheesy, 'I have a fever and don't feel great but I am putting on a brave face" 3 year old Birthday Smile for "tee tee"

Day 7

I dropped these babies off at Jared's work the other day. Apparently his co-workers have zero complaints about the treats I have been sending with him. This recipe is straight out of my new Pioneer Woman Cookbook. Maybe I will post the recipe one of these days.

Baked Chicken and Artichokes

I got this recipe from a friend but I've changed it so it is a little lower fat. It is tasty. I suggest trying it.

1 (13.75-15 oz) Can Artichoke Hearts
1/4 C Romano Cheese
2/3 C Part Skim -Low Moisture Mozarella
3/4 C Non Fat Greek Yogurt
1 tsp Garlic Pepper (or a combination of garlic powder and black pepper)
4 Boneless/Skinless Chicken Breasts

* Preheat Oven to 375
* Chop Artichoke Hearts

* In a medium bowl combine artichoke hearts, cheeses, yogurt and garlic pepper

* Place Chicken in a baking dish 8x8, 9x9 both work well
* Mix well then pour over chicken

* Sprinkle with Bread Crumbs for an added little crunch
* Bake for 30 min or until chicken is no longer pink inside

Nutrition: Makes 4 servings. Numbers based on 4oz chicken breast.
Per Serving (approx)
Calories: 235
Cholesterol: 83.75mg
Sodium: 412.5mg
Carbohydrates: 4.75g
Fiber: 0.25g
Sugar: 1.75g
Protein: 35g

Pair this with a fresh vegetable or some brown rice and you've got a pretty healthy meal.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

What Have I Done?!?!

I officially registered for my very first (and potentially last) 5K run. I have this friend. Her name is Michelle. Michelle and I met through her hubby, Preston. Preston works for Cal Fire. Have the dots been connected for you? Good! Moving on...

So my friend Michelle had a baby about a year and a half ago. Since then she's been trying to get back to her pre-baby weight (eventhough she looks fabulous!). Her and I go back and forth of facebook. Encouragement, "attaboys" when we accomplish something, recipe ideas etc. I love it. She has been an inspiration to me. Last night I noticed she said her and preston were signing up for a 5K (3.1 miles) run. I commented. "Yay! Good job! I know you guys can do it" etc etc.. Then it happened.

She asked me if I wanted to join them. My pulse quickened, there were butterflies the size of gophers in my stomach and yet, I was excited. A 5K run? I've been toying with the idea for a while. I asked her which 5K run they were participating in. What she told me sealed the deal.

Chelsea's Light

None of us can forget the horrific and tragic story behind the death of Chelsea King. Her young life stripped away from her by a man that I can only describe as a monster. The county of San Diego searched and prayed for days for her to be found. I am pretty sure every single one of us cried when they confirmed she was dead.

The 5K is on March 5, 2011. It is the "Finish Chelsea's Run" 5K. I can't think of a better way to kick off my 5K running adventure.

I am nervous, excited, worried, happy, and so much more. Thankfully Michelle and Preston will be there running with me, Potentially two more of our Cal Fire family members will be running with us that day. Not only do I get to run for a great cause , I get to be surrounded by some great friends.

Today I will be starting the Couch to 5K program. Let the training begin...

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Back in the Saddle

I know, I know.. I've said it many time before. Well, I am saying it again. But I mean it this time. I'm back on the weight loss saddle. I am so close to my original goal. Yeah, I haven't been very consistent over the last year. I am ok with that though. Considering how little I have worked out and how poorly I've been eating, I haven't gained back all that much.

There's this workout regime called "Insanity". The title says it all. My co-worker and I are going to give it a try. t is a 2 month hard core workout program with a meal plan. I'm terrified excited to try it. I told him I will commit to one week at a time. I've learned to set small goals for myself. It is much easier to say "I am going to stick with this for one week" and achieve it rather than "I'm going to stick with this for 90 days" and give up halfway.

So here we go again... Back to the wonderful world of weight loss.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Day 6

I love me a pretty sunset. During Daulight Savings time I am driving to work during sunset so I usually get to see quite a bit of the Lord's beautiful creations.
I noticed an icredible sunset this evening when i was getting ready to leave Jared's house. I immediately grabbed my camera and moved towards the end of the driveway as fast as my very sore legs would let me.
I don't have a fancy fancy camera but I tried my best to capture the sunset. Trust me, the picture doesn't do it justice.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Day 5

Look at these little sweeties that are up for adoption at the Rancho San Diego Petco.
If I could adopt them, I would. Aren't they precious?!?!