My friend, Johnny, posted a blog entry today about life as a roller coaster. He feels like his life is not a rollercoaster-very flat and boring.
I'd like to propose a life roller coaster swap with Johnny Walker.
My day felt like a gigantic roller coaster of shifty demise. A big coaster with metal swirls of questionable integrity and sharp descents. I could name a big long list of crappy parts of my day, but the big one for me was frustration.
Two weeks ago I applied for a job that I really wanted and felt like was a perfect fit for me. The hours were perfect: 9-5 p.m., no weekends and holidays. I would work with one other girl, who didn't seem mean or conniving at all. It sounded lower stress and better pay. I did a phone interview with her and then I did a face to face interview. The interview was one that was so-so. I didn't know what the outcome was going to be, which usually means bad-but I had hope. I have been trying to practice hope over the past three months, you know fight those awful reminders.
In short email form I read that I didn't get the job. It was impersonal and plain. Emails of rejection can be such a blow for me. When my job qualifications are so job specific. My field of expertise is so direct that it's difficult to find a job that fits me. I've been looking for a new job for a while and I've only been on two interviews and zero offers.
That jab at the jugular was the first hard part of the day. It was such a big blow for a day that just continued to spiral like those super scary roller coasters.
In some ways I feel like my day ended hours ago, with me sitting on a concrete step outside my work and wanting my dad so badly. I wanted to run home to him. I could almost see him sitting there in his tan armchair, holding a puzzle book.  he would put down his book, hug me and tell me he loved me. That's it. He would give me some sage, church advice and everything would feel okay again. I miss him a lot.
I suppose this entry isn't all happy and awesome, but not every day is a funny story. Sometimes there are roller coaster days.



Holidays are going to be overly sentimental this year. I want to take pictures of everything, so when my memory fails I can pull them up on my computer or t.v. and really remember again. Or maybe just for posterity's sake, so Cameron can look and recognize images and things like I do.
X amount of years ago, my parents started giving us nativity sets for Christmas.  There's the wooden puzzle set that's put on the floor right now so Cameron can play with it-but she's not really interested in Christmas stuff. There's an ultra small one that opens up like a book. Right now this one is my favorite.
It may just look like folded paper to people and wasted time to others, but it's so much more. 
My dad was an origami enthusiast. As a child, he developed this talent as a time waster while he was waiting for his parents to get home. When I was growing up, there was always a folded animal in progress placed by his armchair.
When I was ten or so he made me a pegasus. As many girls my age, I was super into horses and such.  I feel like Hercules came out around then too. Anyway, he handed the folded creature to me and even I could tell it was complicated. There were so many folds that the design was solid and destruction-proof. When he put it in my hand he told me that I couldn't lose it. I didn't.
Putting it up was a highlight for me. It's my own way of remembering and keeping my dad around at this time. What an odd thing to say...that origami is my symbol for my dad this time of year. This set is on the bookshelf right next to the hall. Every time I go to my room or Cameron's room, I will walk past this nativity set. A daily reminder.  One day I'd like to get a shadowbox for this set. It's so priceless now.


Four Day Christmas Tree

For the first time in my life, I joined the thousands of people who put up their Christmas tree.  This was our first actual tree. Last year Dave, Cameron and I were crammed in a tiny one bedroom apartment. Cameron "slept" in the living room, shoved in the space between Dave's gigantic brown couch and television.  We created our tree as a space saver option. In case you forgot. Last year's tree looked like this:
It was made out of green scrubs and spare ribbon from Cameron's baby shower gifts. Honestly, it didn't stay up too long because we were in the process of prepping for yet another move. Even though it wasn't awesome, it was there as a symbol.

After last Christmas, my brother and sister-in-law were getting rid of their tree. They wanted to be all upper-classy with a pre-lit Christmas tree. So we got their old one. Setting up a fake tree takes so much longer to put up than I remember. As a kid, I never helped spread out the boughs. It took more than just an hour.  
It was so perfect though. Dave and I pushed out the branches, listening to Christmas music via Pandora playlist and Cameron checked in on us frequently (luckily she doesn't care for the bristles at all).
It was so picturesque.
That's what we had at day number one: an assembled, fake Christmas Tree.
Saturday we went shopping for lights, garland and ornaments. Like most Christmas first timers, we were short a strand of colored lights and two strings of garland. We haven't finished it yet. It's getting there.
I am super glad Cameron isn't pulling lights off or trying to chew on the plastic branches. She does go in the front room a lot, to play with Aunt Lara's quilt on the couch. The tree makes a pretty great backdrop for her cute face.


Post Facebook "Fast"

How poetic! My Facebook Fast technically ended on Thanksgiving. I'm thankful for the choices I make (sometimes). Facebook has many wonderful purposes. My mom and my sister use it to keep in touch and share pictures and stories of their daily lives. In 2008 or whenever I joined the cult of Facebook because I was living alone in Idaho, without a cell phone and felt really lonely. Those purposes are great. Things changed. I already wrote about how Facebook has changed for me in an old blog post. The decision to take a break from Facebook is one of the best decisions I've ever made. Two weeks without that "book of faces" and I'm okay. I'm more than okay. My fingers aren't itching to check my "friends'" statuses or who wrote on my wall. In fact I don't want to go back to Facebook. I don't think I will. After work last night, I did a mini reflection of the past two weeks. As I sat in my dark car, waiting for the light to change; I thought about everything the past two weeks entailed. I haven't changed my life dramatically. I still do the same things. Have the same frustrations and excitements. My list of actual friends hasn't been tripled, doubled or even increased by one. I never actually called anyone in my family or friend circle-although they did call me a few times and we had REAL conversations. I started writing again, building multiple stories into novel ideas. Although it's slow going, I've written over 10,000 words in my budding novel. Those words wouldn't happen if I was checking Facebook. You know what has changed the most? Me. I am different. I feel so much more at peace with who I am and what is around me. I wish I could explain in words how my feelings changed. It makes me sound like an addict. I wouldn't say I was addicted to Facebook, but I was letting it run my life. I used Facebook to bring me down. Even if I lied and said I just wanted to see what funny thing "so and so" will write. It was really to see where I was failing as a mother, wife and woman. I saw people's posts as challenges and I can't meet them because I'm different. After two weeks I don't see that as failure anymore. Cameron is still a challenge but she's my girl and I'm glad she's not like every other child on Facebook. If I don't have beautiful hair like my friend on Facebook, it's okay because I don't have perfectly straight shiny hair. I'm an individual and not them and I'm okay with me and what's in my life. Maybe that's rehashing what I've already said and perhaps I'm kicking the dead horse a little bit. Facebook is a waste of self esteem, fuels dissatisfaction and depression. Take a Facebook break, the longer the better. I don't think one week is enough to feel change, but any break will be good for you. Try it and share. I would love to hear how lives get changed when we all open our eyes to our REAL life profile.


The Voice

When I first saw The Voice, I scoffed. Who cares about Christina Aguilera anymore, I don't even know who Blake Shelton is, I thought Adam Levine was the gay member of Adam Levine and Cee Lo Green was a fresh artist.
I thought it would fail. It's the same music talent show; redone in different modes and different quirks to make them look more "original".
As much as I hated the show; it grew on me like a bad case of Chicken Pox. This season is especially good. I think that the world needs to see some of the performances from tonight. The top ten performed and I want to share the song from the bigger than life, Cody Belew. I promise that his rendition of "Crazy in Love" by Beyonce' will rock your socks off and make you giggle under your breath a little.


The Red Balloon Toy Store

After an eight day in a row working streak, I wanted my first day off to be different. My days off usually consist of Cameron following me around, sitting at my feet and throwing hysterical fits. Today I decided ahead of time we were going out.
It's my nephew's birthday part tomorrow and we needed to find a gift. I took Cameron to The Red Balloon Toy Store in Sandy. 
I was feeling emotional before we even got there. The store hold a lot of my childhood in those glass doors. I never went to the store without my dad. He was, after all, just a kid stuck in a grown-ups body.
On my first drive down that road in more than ten years, I missed it. It used to be a little tiny shop in a strip mall. I feel like it might have been next to a nail salon and chinese laundry place. It was probably about the size of my bedroom. 
I remember the toys layered on the shelves and when the shelves didn't have anymore room; they were stapled to the walls and hung from the cieling.  It was one of those magical places of childhood, where I picked up little plastic animals and danced with giant dolls.  That place was probably kept in business by my allowance alone.
My dad would cruise the aisles ahead of me and call out to me behind one in the corner, "Look at this! Isn't this neat?!" He pulled out a little marrionette with string and wooden parts. It was fantastic. He collected the more expensive versions of these marrionettes and I wanted to share in one of his plays. I bought three of them, but I didn't keep them. I wish I did now.
Anyway,  the toy store moved across the street in a bigger location and an updated logo. It's ginormous with more space and toys than i thought possible. Cameron and I examine the Lincoln Log knock offs and Playmobile sets of old. I felt like I was falling in love with the store all over.
I tried to get Cameron to play with some of the toys and the only one she held onto through the store was a plush microbe of mono, "the kissing disease".
In a lot of ways, it's almost become tradition. My dad took me there as a kid and I took Cameron there. I really hope that she can take her children later in life too. It's weird that I've been trying to think of creating our own traditions and memories.  This kind of place is perfect for creating memories with children and parents.  My stroll through memory lane at the toy store was the greatest way to start my weekend.


TSA Agents

In October we flew a lot. Layovers and airports are not awesome, but sometimes the TSA Agents can be funny.
We're filing through TSA Security and one of the agents has a sense of humor about his job.
He's singing to us and making jokes. His last one before we walked away was, "TSA: saving the country one waterbottle at a time."
Due to the four hour extended layover in Dallas, crappy "Chili's" in the airport, seating displacement and jetlag; it didn't take much to be a highlight for the day. That guy made his job and my traveling day awesome.


Abe Lincoln

Handsome Abe
 Confession: I love Abraham Lincoln, sometimes a little obsessively. So I'm pretty stoked about the upcoming Stephen Spielberg production Lincoln. Unfortunately, it won't be released in any city near me until December or something like that.
 With this upcoming movie there has been so much buzz about little-known facts about this amazing man. He is fantastic. He is made up of the magic that presidents should all have. Some of his best qualities is his humility and his strength during a time of unease on uncertainty.
I stumbled across a story on Yahoo, "The endearing reason why Lincoln grew his beard".  It was because some 11 year old girl thought he should. She suggested that with a beard, he was more marketable to the adult male audience (in my own verbage of course). Lincoln not only took her advice, he went out of his way to write this girl a letter back. Now think about presidents of the present. If I wrote a letter to Obama right now about how he should dress or look. I would just get a standard email or letter back from the White House or something saying, "Thanks for your letter, you may or may not get a response back." and I bet 99,999 out of 100,000 times there isn't a real response back. Population arguments are a moot point. This was an 11 year old girl and he listened to her. I think that is fabulous!
In that same article, Mike Krumboltz talks about Lincoln's very un-regal presentation. In crowds and speeches he dressed normal with pants too high for his long legs and suit coats too wide for his thin frame.  How awesome is it that he didn't dress in designer clothes or grade A clothing. There could be any reason for this from a look at the economy back then or maybe he acted like a man and just put on what was comfortable. Whatever the reason, he looked like a true American at the time-frame--he looked real. 
It's hard for me to just name one reason when his strength as President helped the American people. I see his life and it looks like that's all he ever was. He was always strong.
There's the pinnacle moments that other people always cite: the Gettysberg Address, where he spoke on the same battlefield that thousands of men died for their country; the Emancipation Proclamation, which was a beginning to finally ending slavery in the United States; or what about actually uniting the States together after the war. Bringing them into a Union of United States. He essentially created our country (once again) from the division of war and disagreements. How much stronger can one man be?!
I loved reading the interviews and facts on the new movie. Lincoln is going to be amazing. Daniel Day-Lewis is acting as handsome Abraham Lincoln and you can't go wrong with DDL right? He mentioned in one of the interviews that he grew to love Abe Lincoln through his role.
The best quote came from Stephen Spielberg, “...Everybody should claim Lincoln as their own, because he represents all of us, and what he did basically provided the opportunities that, that all of us are enjoying today."(blogs.indiewire.com)



Snow is really pretty.
It's a nice change from the super hot weather.
I am not opposed to snow.
It is beautiful, white and it is like a big blanket.
I am opposed to the cold weather.
I wish it could snow 70 degree snowflakes.
Everyone could love it so much more.
Snow is still really pretty.


Remember Fall?

Fall was yesterday, remember the sun and burnt colored leaves? I do.


I'm Dead to the World

I'm sticking strong to my no Facebook for two weeks, but it's extra hard today.
Work is slow. I spend so much time waiting for stuff to be downloaded.I could be looking at Facebook right now, judging people and feeling inadequate. Oh, wait no...
My phone is acting weird too, so no texts or phonecalls today. For the next five hours it's me, NBC and the seven infomercials I have to record. Lots of waiting, lots of time to think and lots of time to wish I could scroll through seven pages of Facebook. I have a lot of reasons for getting rid of Facebook. I'll make you a wonderful blog list.

1. Hypothyroidism-It seriously blows, guys, you don't even know. Let's just say it's an all around kind of problem. I'm so unbalanced right now, it's crazy, but not in the I'm going to run out screaming through the mall with a giant gingerbread kind of crazy. This awesome unbalance means physical and mental fluctuations. I'm not complaining because it's getting taken care of, just means I've got to stop looking at everyone else and take care of myself.
2.  Jealousy- I've been a part of Facebook since 2008, that's more than four years I've been scrolling that blue bordered page, stalking my friends and family.  Since 2008, it's changed a lot. It's become very much a show among everyone, including myself. This show is so irritating to me because I'm constantly comparing my life to that of the online variety, which I learn is typically not true. Despite knowing better, I really have a hard time with jealousy. Especially since no one really talks to me outside of Facebook, so I don't see problems people are having, the only thing I see is vacation pictures and your super perfect baby or lovely decorations. I'm eliminating that factor for a while so I can start recognizing what I have instead.
3. Productivity- I started writing again and although I've only written 15 pages. This time I mean to finish it and find a place for it on the bookshelf and not just in my computer. I easily waste more than three hours on Facebook. That's three hours of my creativity wasted online.
4. Break from the Online Grind-  I read a list somewhere of "Ten Ways to Be Happy Everyday" or something like that and one thing it listed was calling someone you care about every day. Not just text them or put something on their Facebook wall, really call someone you love. That's super hard to take. When's the last time I had an honest to God conversation with someone outside of the online world. I feel incapable of having them anymore and that's sad. It's time to reconnect with LIVE people and build REAL relationships instead of online ones.

Those four things seem so small but I could expand each point into many more sub-points. It really doesn't matter why or how I'm really going to accomplish this. I am looking at the end result. Hopefully in two weeks time I will feel more aware of my surroundings, happy with what I have, lots of novel progress and refreshed with reality and building friendships. Feel free to join me on this journey and make it your own. Two weeks are going to fly by, hopefully, because I'm dying to update my status.


Halloween Costumes

Halloween came and went pretty quick this year. October started rough, cruised into peace and shuffled through a wedding.
If my kid ever stopped moving, I would show Cameron as a super cute pink Batgirl, but she doesn't stop moving and ripped her ears off before I could pull out a camera. In lieu of something extremely photogenic, I'm opting for reality.

Sheloved the moving witch at my mom's house.
That's not the story I wanted to tell.
I LOVE Halloween so so much.This year was super exciting because it's our first Halloween in our new house and our neighborhood is heavily populated with children. We went through more than 6 bags of candy before we turned off our lights.
The most awkward story of the night wasn't from a kid at all.
This random parent hopped up on our porch ahead of all the children and started taking pictures of me (in costume) before any of the kids could get to the door.
Husband likes to make inappropriate jokes about this story, but I'd rather not put them on the blog. Suffice to say some stranger has a picture of me in Victorian era costume barefoot at the front door of my house. I hope he hasn't set up some in the windows. Creeper.