Pray For Japan.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Sometimes there are no words.

If you can, please help. This is a great list to help us navigate where to start.

Recuperating. {An update, a birthday
and a whole lotta hope.}

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

A year ago today, I sat at Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf sipping my nonfat, iced chai tea and wrote a post about my upcoming birthday party that night and my hopes for the new year that would start on my birthday, the following day. This year, I'm back at Coffee Bean, sipping the same drink and writing about my big day tomorrow. This year, however, I crutched in from my car and am still hopped up on pain pills. I don't have the energy for a big shindig on my birthday this year, but am looking forward to some time at Globe Salon pampering myself and a dinner with my love.

I'm not going to lie, things have been really hard as of late, friends. I'm a big believer in the pendulum theory. So, in order to feel the very high highs I am blessed to experience on a pretty regular basis, I have to endure the low lows I am faced with these days. Have no fear, however, I am enduring and, honestly, I feel stronger and more hopeful than I have in a very long time. I'm also a big believer in the fact that sometimes our lives need a shakeup and I definitely got mine in more than a couple ways recently.

My surgery went really well and I might as well tell you all now that I have an implant... in my ankle, thankyouverymuch. Remember in a previous post when I talked about just letting go and resting for a while? Yeah, um, I had no idea what I was in for. Unlike after my knee surgery, I am unable to put any pressure on my foot and have to rely solely on crutches for the next two weeks. Add the fact that the bathroom in my condo is on the second floor, you can probably understand why I have to constantly lift myself up the stairs on my rear. The good news? I'm getting stronger physically everyday to match my newly increased emotional strength. More good news? Okay, okay. My best friend and sister came last weekend and I can't say enough good things about their visit. It wasn't all easy, but it was all amazing. They helped me, supported me, confronted me on a few things, let me break down several times, lifted me back up, made me laugh and pushed me around in a wheel chair. I am more blessed than I can ever, ever say to have those two. (More on that trip in an upcoming post.) Oh, and just to prove my boyfriend's theory that I live a third of the year in hotels, one of my best gals, Katie, is coming next weekend for some much, much needed time together.

Looking back at this last year in my life, I really feel like I am right where I should be. That said, I know I didn't push myself this year the way I deserved in order to live the life of my dreams. 2009 was a huge year for me - finishing grad school, moving across multiple states for love, living apart from my loved ones, starting my career - and I'm afraid I stalled a little in 2010. Well, friends, I am confident this coming year will be my best yet, no matter where it takes me. I've enlisted the help of a badass friend of mine and plan on taking the world by storm this year. Before I get too ahead of myself, however, I'm going to give myself just a little more time to recuperate, to read, to nap, to talk to my friends, to laugh with my hilarious boyfriend, to watch movies that make me deliriously happy and to love the hell out of myself.

At the end of the day, with all the hurt and the tragedy and the broken bones and hearts, it really is a wonderful world.

A Small Town Girl's
Las Vegas Loves #1
{Globe Salon}

Friday, March 11, 2011

When a person thinks of Las Vegas, several things usually come to mind. Many of these same things are really the antithesis of this small town girl. For example... Gambling? Not my thing. Drinking? Eh, not big on it most days. Cheesy fellas sporting Ed Hardy shirts and too much cologne? Somebody please get me out the Hard Rock before I throw up. Seriously.

That said, I adore Las Vegas. I really do. Love brought me to this sparkly city and I can honestly say that love is what has kept me here. The love of Las Vegas. Since I first started blogging about my move from Seattle, I have gotten a lot of questions about the best places to stay, eat, etc. and, honestly, I get really excited sharing my Vegas loves. I especially love it because I tend to direct people to some of the smaller spots off the strip, places the typical visitor might miss out on.

So, I decided that from time to time, I want to share some of my Vegas insights on le blog. To start this off, I really want to tell you about my FAVORITE place in my new city, a place you would be foolish not to visit when you're here, Globe Salon.

If you're like me, you take your hair pretty darn seriously. (Yes, I realize there are far more pressing concerns going on in the world, but if my hair looks great, my day just tends to go a little better. It's just a fact.) Moving to a new city and looking for a stylist is no easy task, especially for me. I had what you might call hair stylist baggage. You see, the man who used to do my hair for years (a man my entire family loves and misses, for the record) had a passion for hair that was only matched by a (former) passion for drugs and drinking on the job. This combination made me, on more than one occasion, walk out of his salon looking and feeling like a fool. So, like anyone who has gone through a bad hair breakup, I was reticent to commit again... Until Globe.

From my first appointment at Globe, I knew this was not only the salon I had been looking for since I had moved to Las Vegas, but - and I really don't think I'm exaggerating here - my whole life. Why, you wonder? Well, let me tell you... Globe only hires the best. The stylists are hip, funny, kind and incredibly talented at what they do. Megan, who does my hair, has never, ever disappointed me. She is an artist who understands color and what looks good. End of story. More than that, when I have an appointment on the books, I know that day is going to be great. From the moment you walk in the door, you are treated like family. And from the moment you walk out, you are treated like a rock star because you look that damned good. Throw in their massaging shampoo chairs and the fact they made Elle Magazine's Top 100 Salons list and, well, I'm simply in love and I know you will be, too.

If you happen to live in Vegas or will be in town this Sunday, I urge you to join me at Globe Salon for their Cut-a-Thon fundraiser. 100% of the proceeds from this event will go to the American Foundation for Children with AIDS benefiting children with HIV/AIDS living in sub-Saharan Africa. This is a cause, and a salon, truly close to my heart. Hope to see you there.

In the meantime, thank you, Globe. Thank you for treating me like a friend during a time when I hadn't made any yet, thank you for making my hair look better than it ever has and thank you for giving your time and money to issues as important as this. Las Vegas is lucky to have you.

Happy hair, friends!

{photos via Globe Salon}

On Faith, Fathers and Rainbows.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

A few weeks ago, when I was in my hometown of Westport, WA (population 2,500), I had an experience that truly touched my heart. You see, several years ago, my family was surprised to learn that many people in the community had donated money for my father to have a bench - with memorial plaque - on a pathway to the beach. This was done without even my mother's knowledge and meant so much to all of us that my father had been beloved not only by us, but by all of our little town.

For some reason, I had never been. Every time my family visited the bench, I wasn't in town and although I had always planned on making the trip, for one reason or another, it didn't happen. So, during my week at home, I made it a priority to finally go and sit on my Dad's bench.

The day of the visit, Jenner and I spent a lovely morning with my mom, sharing great conversation over coffee and eggs. During our stay, and this day in particular, the weather was perfectly stormy, rainy, windy and wonderful. (If you know me, you know there is nothing I love more than a dramatic beach storm. At one point, the windows looked like they were bending in the crazy, strong wind and the rain was actually coming down sideways. It felt just like home and I loved every minute of it.) When we made our drive into Westport (my family's home is actually in a town called Tokeland adjacent to Westport - a town that is a whopping two mile peninsula), the rain was coming down in buckets and, let me tell you, it was COLD. Nothing, however, could stop us from making it to the bench.

And when we finally made it, when I finally sat down on my dad's bench, it was perfect.

It made me feel closer to my father sitting on that bench, remembering how loved he was. And it meant the world to me that Jenner was there sitting next to me.

We then decided to brace ourselves for the cold and walk a little further to the shore. When we arrived, it started pouring again. Jenner walked toward the water to marvel at how the surfers could stand the freezing water and I took a moment to walk by myself for a few minutes. In those moments, I started talking quietly to my father. I told him how much I loved and missed him and how truly lucky I am to have had him as my dad. Then Jenner and I headed back to the bench before we went home.

Just before we reached it, the rain stopped and the most beautiful rainbow appeared across the sky.

And in that moment, I felt my father there with me, his love wrapped around me, and I felt a faith I hadn't known before.

Thank you, Dad.

An Update From This Small Town.
{Heartache, surgery & much needed sleep.}

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Hello, friends.

I've stepped away from the blogosphere for a quick minute or two recently and only wanted to pop back in to assure my loved ones in other states that I am, indeed, alive. Like all of our lives sometimes get, mine has been a rollercoaster these last few weeks. However, through it all, I have learned that I am stronger than I knew and loved more than I could have dreamed. After a much needed trip to WA to visit with my mom, snuggle with my nephews, laugh with my best friend and sisters, nap with my dogs, walk on the beach and play tour guide to my boyfriend, I returned to Vegas only to be followed by a stomach flu that took down an entire family thanks to a very charming three year old. That stomach flu was then followed by a week long flu of the regular variety and news that I need yet another surgery.

So... I am having ankle surgery on, ... wait for it, this Friday. Turns out, my previous knee injury affected far more than just my knee and I have one more surgery before I am well on the road to recovery. And recovery, my friends, is just what I need. Honestly, when my doc informed me that he needed to operate again, I laughed. I laughed and then I cried because life, like shit, just happens and you can either buckle up and take the ride or feel sorry for yourself. I choose the former.

And, honestly, I have the sneaking suspicion the universe is asking me to just let go for a little while. A few weeks ago, when I was working the graveyard shift and absolutely exhausted every minute of my week, all I could do was dream of sleep. Luckily, I found out yesterday that everything is lined up for my license to practice therapy to FINALLY go through in six weeks. Knowing that, as of this Friday, I will literally have weeks to do nothing but sleep and read, breathe and heal. I think, perhaps, this is just the time I need.

Although I'm not nearly as afraid I will die as last time, I would still appreciate any good thoughts you can muster on Friday going into surgery. The boyfriend and I will be holing up for a good few days over at his family's house. I am looking forward to days of catching up on television and hanging with his mom and Russy. Then my amazing sister (the one who took me to the Hilton after my last surgery) is flying into town for a little post-surgery, pre-birthday fun at this hip boutique hotel I've been dying to stay at. Talk about a stylish recovery. I can't wait.

I hope this finds all of you exceptionally well. I can't wait to someday very soon catch up on all of your lovely blogs. Much, much love to you.

{* The photo above is from my trip home with Jenner. This was just one of so many amazing moments. I'll be sure to post more on that next week. Hope to see you back here soon!}