Oh. my. God.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Thank you, universe.

More about me than you
probably need to know.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Oh, man. At least for now, I no longer have internet access from my house. So, I'm a little unsure about how to proceed with le blog under these less than desirable circumstances. However, for the moment, I'll just make myself comfortable on this plush couch at The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, drink my caramel Ice Blended and write.

Gabby (you know her, you love her) from the hilarious gabby, she wrote awarded me the Honest Scrap Award a while back. Hooray! Thank you very much, lady.

There are rules for this one. Have at 'em.

*Link back to award giver
*Name 10 things about you that people may find interesting
*Nominate and link other blogs for this award
*Drink a big glass of sangria to celebrate (I may have to wait on this one since it's only 11am, but rest assured, I will follow this rule and then some a little later.)

1. I got my first job at the tender age of thirteen at The Tokeland Hotel. I was a dishwasher/busser/hostess/waitress. I'm not even sure it was legal, but I can tell you I made mad tips. Why? Occasionally, if I have to carry very heavy items for long periods of time, my foot gets stuck in an upright position and I have a slight limp. Never underestimate the money making power of a gawky thirteen year old with a limp.

2. Yes, I'm from a town called Tokeland. (You can laugh now or later. I'm used to it.)

3. I *love* to play dress-up.

*For more fun dress-up shots, check here.

4. This is my favorite poem.

The Summer Day - Mary Oliver

Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean -
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down -
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don't know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn't everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
With your one wild and precious life?

5. Do you remember, and yes - I'm showing my age with this question, the Mickey Mouse Club group "The Party?" Um, I freaking loved them when I was in the 7th grade and I had the biggest crush on Damon (pictured in the center).

6. My three all-time favorite songs are "Jolene" by Dolly Parton, "Crazy for You" by Madonna and "Don't Stop Believin' " by Journey.

7. I had the prettiest Betsey Johnson prom dress. (I'm that little skinny thing the girls are holding.)

8. I am no longer the quintessential bean pole in pictures. In fact, I may be the curviest (and by the looks of this picture, the tallest) gal in Las Vegas. This picture makes me laugh because I look so much taller and bigger than the other ladies in this shot that I almost look photoshopped in.

9. I am slowly learning to cook. Last night I made the yummiest avocado salsa chicken.

(This pic is really from about a month ago, but
it was just as good as when I made it last night. Also -
I'm newly obsessed with this particular spinach salad.)

10. My first boyfriend's name was Abee (pronounced A.B.). I met him on vacation and he was a scandalous seven years old and I was only four. Every morning for a week, he would knock on the door to our motel room at 6am and my mom would tell him to come back in a couple of hours. I love this picture (even though I got my hair caught in the scanner) because of the look on his face when he gets in the pool. Also, check out his sweet inflatable canoe my sister is holding and my ever-so-chic haircut.

11. My favorite, as well as lucky, number is 11. So, I'm going to add an 11th item to this list... My friend Kristin is coming into town today for six days and I'm sooo excited!

Only because my time here at The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf is dwindling, I tag any and all of you who would like to play along. I promise, it's a lot of fun!

Here's hoping you are all doing fantastically well. You mean the world to me... Xoxo!

An update... and a letter to Jon Gosselin.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Oops. I seemed to confuse at least a few of you yesterday when I said that I like my friend Autumn enough to ignore the fact that her hat belongs on Jon Gosselin's head. Sorry ladies for the confusion. Sofia, over at Smiling at every Sunrise, got it though. Thanks, girl!

Yes, Jon Gosselin has been insisting on wearing Ed Hardy shirts
all. the. time. It's
driving me crazy. Autumn's hat is Ed Hardy. Yada, yada, yada...

However, if anyone can pull off this look, it's Autumn Vegas and not, I'm afraid, Jon Gosselin.

Moving on...

{I feel this is necessary.}

Dear Jon Gosselin,

I saw your show a couple of times and I understand that having eight children and a wife who emasculates you every chance she gets must have been hard, but here's the thing... You have eight children. You're 32. Take off those damned shirts. Please.

Thanks for your time,

Oh, and PS...
I heard you just bought a two bedroom apartment in Manhattan. Um, do I need to point out again that you have eight children? You don't need a bachelor pad. Grow up. That ship has sailed.

One last thing... Your new girlfriend's eyebrows disturb me.
A lot. That's all.

Best of luck, Jon!

Come on over for some tea.
Let's catch up.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Oh, hello! I'm soo glad you stopped by. Come in, come in.

Can I get you anything? Some tea? Perhaps a cupcake?
Ok, just give me a second. Make yourself comfortable.

Here you go.
What was that? What's new with me? Hmmm...

Well, I'm absolutely thrilled about my new job. You see, I just got hired for my first bona fide counseling job. I interviewed for two mental health jobs and was offered both of them, but this organization just feels like a really good fit and a place I can really believe in. There are several things I'm excited about: a) I'll be counseling children - which is what I'm most passionate about, b) I can make my own hours and work as little or as much as I like, c) the pay is great and d) my future co-workers seem really, really cool.

Oh, I've also been working as a nanny a little part-time. I take care of two of the most adorable little guys you could ever meet. Jake is 19 months old and likes to talk about doggies and farts and eat noodles, otherwise known as noo-noos. (Needless to say, we have a lot in common.) His little brother's name is David and he's just a little over a week old. I immediately knew I would fit in with this family when in our interview the parents compared their toddler to Frank the Tank from Old School. (Um, hello... when do I start?) So, I'm really excited to have my first counseling job and still have time to hang out with Frank the Tank and family on the side.

Let me think... What else?

A family friend of mine, the one and only Rube, came into town last weekend. He grew up with my brother-in-law and has been in my life for about ten years now. Having him here felt a little like having family in town and that made me really happy. Jenner and I met up with Rube at Blush where we had a table and were ushered in like rock stars. Great club. Great music. Great time.

{image via Blush}

Rube is like having your very own Vince Vaughn.

Pretty. darn. fun.

Oh, I've been meaning to tell you... I am obsessed with the song and video for Cobra Starship's new song Good Girls Go Bad. I watch it over and over again. I adore Leighton Meester, who is featured on the song and in the video, and am always saying to Jenner, "I think I'm going to try and pull a Leighton look from the video." He's a sweet boy so he always confirms that, yes, I pulled it off. (Thanks, babe.) I am just in love with her hair and makeup. See for yourself.

Yesterday I went to the pool at the Hard Rock with my friend, Autumn Vegas.

Autumn is a lot of fun. {This is her "I'm on vacation" pose.} I'm so lucky to have met her, not only because I always have a great time in her presence, but because she's sort of my personal tour guide and Las Vegas welcome wagon. I like her so much that I'm almost willing to ignore the fact that the hat she's wearing belongs on Jon Gosselin. ;)

The pool was amazing and my drink was delicious. The drink, a Blue Ball, was invented a few years back by our bartender (who I later found out was from Seattle) and is said to be pretty famous. I can see why. It was to die for.

The best, and certainly most surreal, part of my trip to the Hard Rock was when I heard myself tell someone for the very first time,
"Oh, I live here."

Hey, I've been meaning to ask you something. What do you think about my hair? I've been trying out the whole headband look. I mostly like it, but can't seem to shake the feeling I look like a caricature of Jane Fonda circa her 80's aerobic videos.

I guess that's pretty much what's going on. Well, that and sometimes I'm so homesick I could cry myself to sleep..., but in these moments Jenner will get out of bed to go across the street and get me grape soda. Then, suddenly, I'm aware that even though I miss my family and my friends in a way that makes my heart ache, this is the happiest I've ever been.

Oh, no. You have to go? Well, I'm so glad you were able to stop by. It always makes me so happy to see you. Should we meet up tomorrow at your place? Great. I can't wait to hear all about what's been going on with you. Before you go, I wanted to send you home with a cupcake. I made it especially for you.

Thanks again. It was great having you. See you tomorrow!

I love her.
{Possibly Part One}

Saturday, July 18, 2009

I just love all the blogs out there... Simply love them. Granted, I haven't been as good at commenting as I once was, only because my life has gone a little batty since I made the big move to sweaty, sweaty, I-can't-believe-it's-so-freaking-hot Sin City, but that doesn't lessen my love for my favorite gals and their blogs.

Just to name a few of my daily must-reads...

{These are just a few. I subscribe to many, many more and love each of them. The blogs I've listed were, if you will, my first loves in the blogosphere.}

Moving on to the twins...

Gabby at gabby, she wrote was my first blog crush. She's just so, so fall-off-your-chair-laughing funny. Oh, and her unbeweavable sister Lizzy Marie? Um, I told her the other day on the phone, "You're pretty much my new best friend." (Don't worry, Carina.) Then I laughed hysterically, which probably and hopefully made it less stalker-ish, because we've never actually met. One of these days soon, I'm making a twin sandwich when they come visit me. We're going to paint each other's nails and float around the best pools in Vegas while slightly, or less than slightly, inebriated from too many frozen, fancy drinks. Can't. effing. wait. (Here's hoping they don't turn out to be totally crazy... Or here's hoping they do!)

Okay, okay... It is now time for our feature presentation: I love her.

Yep, you know her, you love her. It's the one and only Jasmine over at the incomparable An Experiment in Poverty. This post is really dedicated to my love for Jasmine. She's just, well, happiness. She simply exudes it and, honestly, I can't get enough. Her blog makes me smile every day and I'm just in love with her attitude, her easy ability to share love and her kindness. We email from time to time and I've turned to her when I needed love advice, her roasted broccoli recipe and help buying a swimsuit.

After seeing this f-ing fabulous photo, I immediately asked her where she got this suit and ordered one for myself. It arrived this week. Hooray! I can't promise that I look as adorable as she does, but I can promise that it's pretty darn cute.

More than anything, when you read Jasmine's words, you just feel like you know her. You get the sense that she's the long lost best friend you've never met. You also just know, can just tell immediately, that she's a really, really good person.

So, there you have it. I love her. I know you already do, but go and read An Experiment in Poverty anyway.

Oh, and she had me at "true love lives on lollipops and crepes." If that's not a fantastic sentence, I don't know what is.

Working Girl.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Good news! It turns out...

... I am the girl for the job! Today I was offered not one, but two jobs... Two! Plus, I have an interview tomorrow. Things are looking up. Way up.

Since I am still so new to Las Vegas, and have a fresh and shiny brand new degree to try out - my MA in Psychology - I have been really anxious to start working in my new field, in my new city. As much as I love free time, and I'm very, very good at it while on vacation, I need something to be accountable to every day, need to feel like I'm making some tiny, small difference in the world and not just hanging out at the pool. {Although the pool is fantastic. Really.} So... I was offered a counseling/mentoring job and I can't tell you how happy I am.

Working Girl, here I come.

I miss my girlfriends.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

“Maybe we could be each other’s soul mates.
And men could be these great, nice guys to have fun with.”
- Charlotte, Sex and the City

I don't just miss the girlfriends I already have, although I really, really do, I also miss those of you I've yet to meet. I never expected to find the kind of love I currently have in my life, never really thought it was in my cards, and I'm desperately happy, but...

... I miss the kind of laughter you only find when surrounded by your best gals.

Luckily, my great friend Kristin is coming to visit
at the end of the month for a whole six days (hooray!).
Plus, the unbeweavable Lizzy Marie and the hilarious
gabby, she wrote are coming next week.
{Ahem, watch out Vegas!}

So, until then, and until I make more friends in my new city, I'll keep myself company with four girls who never let me down. You know them, you love them: Carrie, Miranda, Charlotte & Samantha.

{images via HBO}

I have a secret...

Monday, July 13, 2009

... I have the world's dirtiest feet.

I don't know why, but it's true.

The. world's. dirtiest. feet.

I shower every day and I scrub the heck out of them, but they remain dirty.

Yesterday I noticed my footsies looked especially clean and I said to my boyfriend in wonder, "Oh my God, look at my feet. They look almost clean." We both just stared at them in shock. We almost took a picture.

{image via mischiefmanaged00 via flickr}

Flowers for Andy.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

I barely even knew him, but he changed my life... His name was Andy and I only knew him for two months, two months out of my 31+ years, but in those two months, everything changed.

Forgive me if this post is sad, but some stories need to be set free from our memories. Some stories long to be told.

One hundred million years ago, or maybe it was only twelve, I was a freshmen in college. I had a part-time job at the front desk of my campus gym... I'll never forget the first time I saw him walk through the doors. I didn't know his name, but I knew his smile. He always wore red and he always smiled at everyone. Even now, I don't know much more than that.

One night, with my best friend and my cousin, I left a note on his car. Like a stalker, perhaps, or maybe just someone drunk on youth. I don't even remember what it said now, but it told him where I worked. I knew so little, but somehow, thankfully, knew this was a person worth knowing. I could tell you the story of how we became friends right after that, but it's really just a story now, just words.

What I will say is that I have never known another person who loved their life more and I have never known another person who was any kinder. We talked almost every day. We were supposed to hang out one night in July, but he called me and said that he couldn't. He had gone climbing that day and had left something on the mountain. He was going back that night to retrieve it, but asked if he could call me the next day to plan something and I said yes. The next day and the next night came, but he never called. He never called again because he fell from the mountain that night and he died. We were only nineteen.

I think a person changes after they lose a peer for the first time. I know I did. It changed the very way I walked around in the world, the very way I breathed in and out. His death broke my heart and I was wounded by this loss in a way I thought was irreversible... However, what I began to realize in the months and years that followed was that the simple act of knowing this special, loving boy - even for the briefest of moments - changed the fabric of my person and the landscape of the way I love. I learned, younger than some and later than others, how temporary this all really is and how necessary it is to openly, and fiercely, love the people who matter to you.

It's funny the way time changes events that once meant so much to us. As this memory gets more and more distance in my rear view mirror, the intensity of it isn't as strong as it once was, doesn't define me like it did when I was younger, and time has made these words feel like a story that happened to someone else... When I look back now, I think of Andy as a kind of blurry angel. I came so close to never knowing him at all and in losing him, I began to see the world with different eyes, started to think that maybe there was a reason certain things happened to us. I am so very thankful that I knew him, that he taught me how to love this imperfect, perfect world. The hole he left in my heart has healed over now, but I've left flowers there... Flowers in my heart, flowers for Andy.

{image found at i can read}

Cupcakes, Sparklers & Love.

Monday, July 6, 2009

I hope you had a happy,
happy 4th of July!
(Mine was lovely.)

There were cupcakes...

There were sparklers...

There was love.

Happy night and happy day.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

On Tuesday night, Jenner took me to the one place in Vegas I've been dying to stay, the Golden Nugget. It's not that it's the nicest hotel here, no, certainly not. It's not even on the strip - it's downtown - but there's something so old-school Vegas about it. It makes me feel like I'm in the Las Vegas of yesteryear, of Elvis and Priscilla, and I'm all about that. {It's also only $49/night at the good ol' Golden Nugget. Crazy...} Oh, and the best part? The pool, but I'll get to that.

After we checked in, we hung out at the pool a little and then went back to our room for some relaxing in monogrammed GN robes before I started getting ready for the night. I decided to rock my new bumpit in my hair and was very pleased with the results, even if I lost some of my hair height later into the evening.

Then we were off to take photos before dinner.

Sharks are a little scary, but fish tanks in pools? Priceless.

After dinner, I bought the world's worst tequila shots and had the most fun.

Then we headed out to Fremont Street. I love it down there. It's so much fun and there are a few bars that can only be described as very hipster that remind me of Seattle. This is a favorite - be sure to check it out. I know you ladies will love it.

The next day, we headed out to the pool. I've talked about the Golden Nugget's pool before. It is beyond cool. There's a shark tank in the middle of it. Even more, there's a glass water slide that goes right through it. As a bona fide pool gal, please trust my heartfelt recommendation. If not, I think the photos speak for themselves.

I think I already want to go back...

Book and drink in hand in an in-the-pool lounger.
Life is good.

It was one happy night and one happy day.
{Thanks, Jenner. I had the best time!}