Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Movin' on Along

Good grief. The moving? It is A LOT of work!!

Just a quick note tonight to say that:

a) Christmas is 50 hours away...and by the skin of my teeth I am READY. Bring it!

b) I close on my house a week from today. This is the one detail in the whole shebang that I actually don't have to do anything for but show up. Holla!

c) I move in 10 days. That thought? TERRIFIES me! I have so many details to figure out. Like...someone to move me. And, tiny detail...WHERE are they going to move it?! I'm going to take the easiest way out on this one and hire someone to pack, move and store my stuff. Three companies are coming tomorrow and hopefully it will be clear which one is the best choice. Where I'm going to be on the other end, on the other hand...well, we're just considering that an adventure. I'll either ask a friend to go check out some options or I'll sign up for something sight unseen. Or I'll live in a hotel or out of my car for a while. I guess either way I'll figure it out.

I know there will be unexpected complications. I've already had my work email/calendar go completely wonky and they haven't even transferred it for real. The real deal will undoubtedly be a disaster. So I'm just trying to expect it--there will certainly be other details that go awry.

I wish I could say that I'm just rolling with all of this and am as cool as a cucumber. To say such a thing would be a bald face lie.

The truth is that I'm beyond stressed out. The combination of the job expectations (how can be this far behind in a job I started yesterday??), Christmas, closing and vacation next week, the move the following week, and meetings in San Francisco the week after are, well, overwhelming to me.

So...I'm trying to breathe a lot remind myself that I WANT this to all happen and that it will ultimately be a good thing. The way it's all unfolded makes me think that it's a God thing, and if that's true that the details have already been worked out.

That's the theory, of course. The practical, well, it's not so rose-colored and sunny.

For those of you in close proximity who are putting up with me right now, thank you for your patience and your encouragement and your amazing, amazing love and support. I know that I can get pretty tightly wound (yes, I just admitted it), but I hope you know how much I appreciate you!!

WooHoo! Bring on the packing tape and bubble wrap!!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Upside Out. Inside Down. And Beach Bound!

So…WOW. What a difference a week makes! Two pretty major things happened in the past seven days that have effectively turned my life upside down and inside out in the blink of an eye.

First—I sold my house! And had it inspected and started down path of the gagillion little details that go into selling I house. I’m a first time seller and my poor realtor is earning her commission—I’m guessing I could win an award for asking the most questions ever. I just like to know how everything works and why it works that way.

Pretty much like a two-year old with an escrow account.

My friends like to tease me that I don’t do anything partway. I don’t just get sick…I get H1N1 or obscure medical conditions. I don’t just hurt myself…I do something to require stitches or pins or some other surgical intervention. And apparently I don’t just do a little something to add chaos to my life…I go a few steps further push my sanity completely to the brink.

You might remember the job I mentioned that fell through at the 11th hour? The whole situation was seriously sucky and I was definitely disappointed about the whole shebang. That’s probably an understatement on both accounts. ANYWAY…in a completely surprising twist of fate, they came back and asked me to reconsider an “enhanced” offer. (Which isn’t as fancy as it sounds, but is what I needed to be able to actually pack up my life and go live in a bankrupt state that was already ridiculously expensive to begin with).

And I said YES!

So I’m moving to Orange County, CA and am completely thrilled with the whole reversal of fortune thing. And shocked. And reeling. And terrified. And already completely in over my head at a new job that I can’t wait to do. I think I just got a seat at the grown-ups table and, well, it should definitely be an interesting ride!

Not sure exactly when I’m headed West, but considering that my house closes in two weeks and I’m moving out 2 weeks after that, my guess is that it’s going to happen pretty fast. There is so much I will miss about Austin (and Texas!), but I'm really excited for this next adventure.

And if 'fate' is listening, while I’m delighted about the recent events, perhaps this week could be a little less eventful. And maybe I could get some Christmas shopping done.

(P.S.—In case you’re wondering, I knew all of this when I posted this. But I had to post it anyway…when I wrote it I didn’t have a clue what was about to unfold!)

(P.P.S--I think that's what 'fate' likes to call IRONY.)

Christmas Countdown

Christmastime when I was kid always began on December 7th—my brother’s birthday is the 6th and my mom strongly believed that he should get to have his day in the sun before we jumped into the Christmas chaos. And we couldn’t blame her—my mom’s birthday is Christmas day and she definitely got what it was like to have your birthday get overshadowed by bigger celebrations.

One of my favorite things we did to prepare was the countdown calendar. As I recall, there’s was a candy cane everyday when we opened the next little window…and I’ve always been a girl who likes my sweets! I love a good countdown when the anticipation builds and the journey to get there becomes as much fun as the eventual destination (this is my complete MO with vacations, too).

The countdown to Christmas is still my favorite part of the holiday—planning gifts, shopping, wrapping. (OK…not wrapping. I actually hate that part.)

I also try to prepare my heart for Christmas on a spiritual level. For several years now the main theme for me has been the reminder me that God keeps his promises…even when it seems that he’s gone away. After generations of Old Testament prophets, silence fell on the Earth and God didn’t “speak” for 400 years. It’s not hard to relate to the feeling they must have had that God just disappeared.

In my own life, it also seems like I’ve been living in silence. For a while now it’s been very difficult for me to hear God’s voice. I’m guessing that it has more to do with me not listening than him not talking— but either way, all I’m hearing are crickets.

And the silence? It’s deafening.

And then Christmas comes. And with it a powerful reminder to me that just because I can’t hear him, it doesn’t for the tiniest moment mean that he’s not here or that he doesn’t love me just as much as he did when I had the frequency dialed in.

I read something that pointed out that God showing up in a manger is a reminder that he can show up any time; any place. That he would choose to do it the way he did is mind boggling. I fully get why it sounds so foolish to someone who doesn’t know God. I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that sometimes I feel a little foolish telling the story because I KNOW how it sounds.

And yet…God decided to do something that, honestly, we couldn’t begin to make up. I really love that about him. Hello…a virgin? A manger? But in coming as one of us he rolled up his sleeves and jumped into life with all its messy, painful, JUNK. He became one of us (well…a fully loaded, upgraded version of us).

I can’t wrap my brain around God—and I’m so glad for that. I’m completely uninterested in a God that I could understand or who only works in ways that make sense to me. A god small enough to fit in any box I could make would be an awfully wimpy god.

And I don’t do wimpy. Unless you count the way I wrap gifts.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Life and Jell-O and Time Warps and Such

Hi y’all!

Well…I’ve been taking a bit of a bloggy break and several of you have been so nice to reach out and, well, suggest that it’s time to jump back in. Not only is that just super nice, it’s also shockingly nice.

Um, wow…you noticed I was gone. That’s, well, NICE!

As my last post explained this has been the season of the unkown. I wish I could give you an update with all the i’s dotted and t’s crossed, but I guess it just doesn’t work that way. The truth is that nothing is really different. Still waiting for my house to sell, still trying to figure out my job situation, and still exploring what’s next. And yes…I still hope it’s California!

One of the reasons that I’ve been quiet recently is that I got sick…hello H1N1. Whew! What that little bug lacks in intensity it makes up for in duration. So while it was actually fairly mild, four weeks later I’m still working to get my energy back.

But truth be told, that’s probably just an excuse.

Lately I’ve been feeling a bit like a piece of pineapple stuck in one of my late grandmother’s Jell-o molds. I can sort of see out, but I just feel stuck. (Hmm…after all that Thanksgiving eating I definitely feel “jiggly” too!!) There’s great stuff in my life right now—but I still just feel stuck waiting to see what’s next. I’m a girl who likes to take the bull by the horns and GO, but I just can’t seem to find them right now or figure out which way I’m supposed to be going.

How’s that for a bunch of mixed metaphors?

Anyway, I spent the holiday with my family and took a lot of time to reflect on how grateful I am for so much, despite recent disappointments. In fact, I think I’m even thankful for the disappointments because they allow me to remember and appreciate so many things that I take for granted.

And now (because apparently I’ve been living in a time warp where days fly by at an alarming speed) it’s December and Christmastime. I’d like to be disciplined this month in writing about this season of hope. About what hope means to me. And about faith…something that, honestly, I’ve been struggling with. So we’ll see how I do amongst all the hustle and bustle and merriment of the season, but I’m going to try.

Fa la la la la, la la la la!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Do They Make a GPS for That?

I'm the kind of gal that really likes maps. I like knowing the lay of the land--what's North or South and how places are connected together by a spiderweb of roads and highways. I absolutely love to travel but rarely go anywhere without studying a map first to get my bearings and understand the relationship of the location to its surroundings. It helps me to appreciate and more fully experience the destination.

Or maybe I just like control.

The thing about studying a map and "understanding" where I'm at, if I'm really honest, has a lot to do with feeling like I'm in control of where I'm at. That I have knowledge (hello, power!) and that I'm not purely at the mercy of my concierge or cabbie.

I've been thinking about this a lot lately. I alluded a few times in previous posts (yes, like a million years ago) that there was big news in the works. The truth is that I thought I was bound for Southern California. I've been working towards a really cool promotion for the past year and it looked like it was all going to come together and I was going to pack it all up and head West. I fully imagined life by the beach--surfing, running along the sand, and lots of time to soak up the sun, sights and sounds of ocean living. Truth be told, my heart was pretty much set on it. Oh...and the job would have been a killer career opportunity.

At the eleventh hour it all fell apart. I got the offer, but yada yada ya, we couldn't make the details work out when it all came down to it. I would be lying if I said that I was anything other than incredibly disappointed.

So the past few weeks have been weighty ones. I've had to reconcile that something I really wanted and looked forward to wasn't going to pan out. I was so sure that I had read the map correctly and was navigating to not only where I wanted to go, but also to the place I thought I was supposed to go next.

Yeah. Not so much. Feels a little bit like deja vu.

(And for the record, if you ever have such issues to wade through, I highly recommend retreating to Napa. Definitely worked for me.)

So here I am at the proverbial crossroads. And honestly? I have NO idea what's next. Those of you who know me well can imagine that this is, an, uh, less than comfortable place for me to be. But it's that good kind of uncomfortable. My house is still on the market and I still plan to sell it, but have no idea what I'm going to do if/when it actually sells. I still have a job (for which I am definitely grateful), but I know it's not one that really challenges or excites me. I think it's time for something new, but what that looks like I really don't know.

I think my heart is still in California and there are lots of reasons that I'd like to head West and explore the possibilities. And oh, yeah...we're still in a recession so it's not like there a jobs a plenty just waiting for me to come along.

There have been moments when all of the above have filled me with pause--not to mention some angst. But there have also been lots of moments that have filled me with pure excitement and anticipation of what the next adventure might be.

So here we go...there's a journey ahead. And there's no map for this one. I suspect that all of my control-loving-sensibilities are going to be challenged along the way. But I'm also pretty sure that it's going to be wild and wonderful ride.

Buckle up!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

This is Where the Cowboy Rides Away

You know those people in your life who can only be described as enigmatic? They have an uncommon level of spunk and charisma and, just, PRESENCE. Last week I said good-bye to a treasure of man who fits this description. He was family. And he was my grandfather's best friend for decades.

I'm pretty certain that heaven is a much livelier place today now that those two are back together. I like to think that my PaPa had worked out a gag with St. Peter and Sonny was met with a heaven-sized practical joke. And I'm certain that Sonny will return in kind.

These two old cowboys were from my favorite place in the middle of nowhere--Roby, Texas. This is literally a hole in the wall square of red dirt, but it is my absolute favorite place in then entire world because it is DRIPPING with so many of my favorite childhood memories. Robytown will have to be it's own entry at some point, but while I was sitting in this little country Baptist church at the funeral, I had a few observations:

1. REAL hat head comes from a cowboy hat. That hat, by the way, is waiting for you along with a dozen others in the foyer. You certainly wouldn't think about wearing it into the service.

2. Chewing gum in church is just TACKY. Chewing gum at a funeral is unconscionable.

3. The way that people in small towns not only pull over, but actually get out of their cars and stand attentively when a funeral procession passes by is simply priceless. That's the purest kind of class.

4. Living your life in such a way that you pack the church and leave the preacher struggling to sum up the kind of person you were and the positive mark you made is the way I want to live. The preacher quoted an old bumper sticker: Live your life in such a way that the preacher doesn't have to lie at your funeral. Yep. That's the way to do it.

These days I'm reminded more and more of how unpredictable life can be. One moment you may have everything planned out, but the next moment you may feel like the rug was pulled out from underneath you.

(Not that I would know anything about that personally. Ahem.)

Life is fragile. And fabulous. And sometimes frustrating. And either way it goes by really fast.

When my sweet PaPa died a year ago I had the opportunity to say a few words at his funeral. I talked about how this amazing man was a light in a world full of darkness. How he loved God and loved others and his life showcased both. Sonny did the same.

The legacy that men like Sonny Turnbow and Garland Moore leave for the rest of us is the opportunity to carry that flame and continue to shine light in a very dark and dirty and desperate world.

My own light might flicker from time to time. Or a lot. (There are certainly plenty of times that I feel dark and dirty and desperate). But I'm going to do my best. There are too many people who need the light. And too many who made a point of passing it on to me.

And I take a lof of comfort in know that the darkness? It will never overcome the light.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

More Than and Thousand Monkeys

I’m just going to say it: my niece and nephew are the two coolest kids on the planet. OK…yes. Perhaps I’m biased. And perhaps those are close to fighting words because you believe that YOU have the coolest kid(s) on the planet. Perhaps we’re both right.

I spent the weekend with Mr. T (4 ½) and Baby K (18mo). In general, Mr. T is all sugar and Baby K is all spice. I love getting in some good Aunt Moose time and just playing with these kiddos. We got down and dirty and managed to squeeze in a weekend jam packed with fun. These kids are sweet, smart, funny and crazy cute.

(Really—Jason, how did you manage to have such beautiful and amazing children??)

On Saturday we were outside playing and we had the sidewalk chalk out. I drew a picture and asked Mr. T if he knew what it was. He said, “Yes! It’s a MOOSE!” I said, ‘You’re right buddy! But do I REALLY look like that??” He looked at me with the most incredulous little face and said, “Uh, NO…You’re an AUNT Moose!”

Duh. Apparently that’s a whole other species. (And I’m not complaining).

At another time I was sitting with him and I asked him if he knows how much I love him. He stretched out his arms as wide as he could and said, “This much?” I stretched out my own arms, which of course were much wider, and said, “Even MORE than THIS much! 5 times more. 500 times more. 5 MILLION times more!” He looked at me with wide-eyed wonder and said, “I know—a THOUSAND times more!”

He jumped up and ran off to his room and came right back with a book. I should have noted the title, but it’s something that starts with a couple of monkeys and eventually builds to the crescendo—a thousand monkeys. He anxiously turned the last page, animated with monkeys everywhere, and proclaimed that he loves me “more than a thousand monkeys!”

Yep. That’s my kind of kid!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Pura Vida

Whew. OK...it's been ages since I last posted. Sorry about that! There's LOTS going on in Moosedom right now and I just haven't had a chance to write.

Part of the distraction was, in a word, PARADISE. I went on vacation last week to Costa Rica and it was the Best. Vacation. Ever. Seriously.

One of the challenges of being a 30-something single girl (who loves to travel) is finding others who have the same interests, availability and budget for a fun vacation. So I sent out a note to the many amazing single girls I know and started looking for the perfect place to go.

Hello luxurylink.com. If you aren't familiar with this website, now's the time to turn the light on and get to know one of my favorite places to hang out on this little thing we call the World Wide Web. LuxuryLink is a site that features high-end vacation rentals at discounted rates and auctions. The first time I went out to look for ideas I found the perfect place. A gift really. A little slice of paradise called Casa Oceano. And we got an amazing deal on an even more amazing house (and by house I mean villa-mansion-dwelling deluxe).

A few of us all started reaching out to our fabulous friends and ended up with the perfect group of six. Perfect not only because they were all accomplished, interesting, fun women, but also because the house had six bedrooms and, well, you can do the math. Perfection.

This trip was truly spectacular. But I have to say, that on top of all the fun and luxury and, hello, decadence, it was also a very spiritual trip. I have always felt closest to God in nature. Those moments when I look around me in awe of the natural beauty and know that God just breathed it and it came into being.

On this trip I was overwhelmed by the gift that God was giving me (and the whole group). It was impressed on me that when He was creating this beautiful coastline with its thundering surf and jagged volcanic rock, that he knew we would be there to enjoy His handiwork. That, if for nothing else, He created it for the moments that we were there to appreciate it. It all goes back to the post I wrote a few weeks ago: my life is so good and for too long I've taken for granted the beauty around me that was all a gift to enjoy.

In the last few days that I was there I was a little overwhelmed by some potentially big decisions and changes that I knew would be in front of me when I got back (sorry to be cryptic...more info as I am able to share). For a while now, the trip has been a barrier between present and future and I was acutely aware that as the trip ended that future would no longer be something "out there" but become the here and now.

In the midst of that I spent some time praying and God took me to Mark 5:18 where JC said, "Go home and tell your family what I've done for you and how good my mercies are." Yep. That fits.

This trip was such a gift and to say that God's mercies are good is simply inadequate. His love for us is perfect. He knows exactly what each one of us need in every moment and, if we're willing to open our eyes and notice, He'll show us how He's meeting those needs.

I'm really sorry that I didn't have the opportunity to blog each day of the trip to share all the fun stories with you. We had such an adventure and more fun than I can convey here. Here are a few pictures that I hope at least give you a taste of our experience.

Our fabulous group a the lookout point at the end of our beach:

The beach behind me was our playground. Our house was down by the rocks at the end of the beach.

Our amazing house:

From the dining room looking out over the sundeck (looking out over the ocean):

Our private beach:

A coconut I found on said beach:

We hiked to the waterfalls in Montezuma:Swimming in the falls:This is Sebastian (a.k.a. one of my favorite stories). This crab apparently sleeps in the house at the base of the stairs to my room. We tried to remove him and he just came back. We tried to scare him...no luck. And then we took this picture. And he never came back. Apparently Sebastian can read. And got the hint...

Ziplining in the canopy near Montezuma!The last day we were there about 20 howler monkeys stopped by to visit. AMAZING!! B.L.I.S.S Soaking up the sun. Sigh. (I want to go back!!)Las Gringas Locas!!

Costa Rica 2009 and Las Gringas Locas was an experience that I will always treasure for the fun and the friendship, but even more for the reminder of God's faithfulness.

The motto in the CR is Pura Vida--the good life.

Thanks, God for giving me one that is amazingly good.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Surf's UP!

OK. So, yes. I'm astronomically accident prone. We've clearly established that and have this as Exhibit A.

BUT...I also like to fancy myself as the adventurous sort and will offer up this as Exhibit B.

And (I hope) I've made it clear that I'm ALL IN along this journey of making the most of all that life has to offer in the here and now.

So despite the tendency to, uh, bruise like a peach, I just can't slow down when it comes to not only living my life, but fully experiencing our groovy little world. Along those lines I finally did something last weekend that I've been wanting to do for ages.

Several years ago I heard about a surf school in San Diego called Surf Diva. Hello...could there possibly be a better name for an establishment created to teach women how to conquor the ocean and surf?? Two sisters started Surf Diva about 20 years ago, and while they began as an surf school for women, they are now ranked as the number one surf school in San Diego (and they're even willing to help the surfer dudes out there get up and hang ten).

I knew as soon as I heard about them that THIS was a place I wanted to go to learn how to surf. So when I had a work trip to San Diego pop up, I immediately made plans to come in early and booked my first surfing lesson.

And the surfing? It is CRAZY FUN!

It's a sad thing that there are no action shots, because, y'all...I actually did WELL at this new venture! Carla and Shayna are clearly talented instructors, because I got up on my second wave and rode the third. But of course I started to overthink it and struggled a bit. (My instructor asked what I do for a living and then ascertained that I seem to always be plotting what my next step is going to be.)

That's not me at all. Except, you know, EXACTLY.

Apparently this is a sport that requires one to stop thinking about it and just "feel the waves" and once I did that I got back up and at 'em.

The pictures are certainly not my best...but I couldn't care less, beacause they were captured on a day that I smiled from ear to ear for HOURS. And so here they are completely untouched.

Just me and my board. SO SAD that my eyes are closed:

With bad ass Carla:
The newbies, Mel and Shayna (instructor in training):

I can feel it--I'm definitely hooked.

And I'm already plotting my next time out.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Ante Up

A year ago I thought I was the happiest I had ever been. I was madly in love with a guy I thought was “the one” and after a long time of waiting to find Prince Charming I thought everything was falling into place and it was all going to happen. Finally. All those things I wanted so much—passionate love, a great marriage, kiddos—would move from being things I dreamt about and become my daily life.

Well. It clearly didn’t pan out that way.

Literally overnight we went from talking about marriage and dreaming about our future together to him telling me that this was over. In a word? Blindsided. In another word, devastated.

I’ll spare you all the messy details and just say that those were some dark days that followed.

But now it’s been almost a year, and you know what? I can honestly say that I’m happier right now than I have ever been. WOW. I did NOT see that coming. (And this is the kind of blindsided that I can get on board with.)

The thing is, I finally figured something out. It’s a funny thing to be 36 and single. It’s a state of being that most of world can’t relate to, and—most of the time—doesn’t quite know what to do with. Those of us in this life stage are often “other.” And I’ve spent a lot of time waiting and wanting to escape this category and fall into some idea of life that qualifies as “ordinary.”

And I regret to say that in my case, that waiting equated to mostly going through the motions while wishing I’d been dealt a different hand. Um, what’s that all about? What a waste of perfectly wonderful life. An extraordinary one, even.

And so at some point—without even realizing it, really—I got in the game and started to play the cards I’ve been dealt. And you know what? It’s a pretty fabulous hand.

I see it all around me—people who are stuck thinking about how green that grass looks on the other side of the fence. And it’s not just the single set. It always throws me for a loop when I hear people who have all things I think I want complain about their husbands or constantly tell me how their kids frustrate and exhaust them and rarely choose to focus on the light and love and joy that they bring.

It seems to me that we each have dozens of choices to make every day. And among the biggest of those is choosing how we’re going to look at this crazy little thing called life. I still hope that someday I’ll have the chance to be a wife and mom--and if I get that hand I’ll do all I can to play it well. But those aren’t the cards I’m holding right now.

And there’s no way I’m going to fold and go home.

What choices are you making today?

Me? I’m ALL IN.

Saturday, June 27, 2009


So if you know me at all you know that I don't really cook. It's not that I don't enjoy it or that I'm completely devoid of culinary abilities, I just rarely make the time to do more than heat up a Lean Cuisine or something similarly (not) time consuming.

When I was in SoCal for work my friend
Guy the video guy and his sweet wife Margaret invited me over for dinner. And there was a moment of concern when I learned that menu primarily consisted of pizza. One of which I would be required to make.

But under the excellent tutelage of the experts I was shockingly pleased with the results. And--of course--needed to document my little moment of triumph.

Yes--that's me with, ahem, a rolling pin.

Clearly this was a task that required concentration.And some help from the expert.Ready for the fire.Getting it in the super groovy pizza stone grill contraption thingy.
The experts inspect the final product. Voila!
Guy with his finished pizza.

We made a crazy number of pizzas and mine was certainly not the best, but it was a delicious endeavor nonetheless. And pretty darn tastey in its own right.

(So much better than Lean Cuisine).

Thank you Ristorante Cirinelli for such a fun time--Buono!


Friday, June 26, 2009

All in a Day's Work

Well, not really a day...more like a month. And not really all work either.

I did some calculating today, and in the month of June I've visited 5 cities. In 4 time zones. Shuffled through 7 airports. Stayed in 5 hotels. Stayed in 3 homes of friends/family. And spent 18 nights somewhere other than my own home sweet home.

(That's a lot.)

Almost all of that was for work, but I did my best to fit some play in there, too. My last trip started in Boulder for the first leg and then on to Southern California for a stop in Santa Ana and then San Diego. There are, obviously, worse places they could ask me to go slave away for the job. I completely fell in love with Boulder--it makes my top five places in the US list. It rocks. (Sorry, couldn't resist.

I got home last night, and while I'm completely pooped today I can't help but reflect on what an amazing place our crazy little world is. Mountains. Oceans. Climate swings of 30-ish degrees. (Seriously--it was something like 71 degrees when I left San Diego 24 hours ago and is currently 102 in Austin. Hello heat!)

I'm so grateful that I get to see little pieces of the planet here and there. Even better when I get to see (and make) friends along the way. This time around I even got to make some pizza. That story is going to have to wait, but here are some shots of the nature-licious sites I got to enjoy last week.

Hiking (more like sprinting because I had so little time) in The Flatirons in Boulder early Saturday morning before rushing off to the airport. At the beginning of the trail:
Where I stopped--these are rocks at the base of one of the climbing areas. I would have LOVED to scramble around up here!

The view looking down from where I stopped:
All done.
Juana rockin' the super cool car we had (mind the sarcasm).
I flew from Boulder to Orange County and had to spend some time at my most favorite place: the beach!
The cliffs of Corona del Mar:
Blue sky and blue ocean make me one happy moose.
There is simply no better way to spend an afternoon than this:
When I left Santa Ana I drove down to San Diego for a meeting. Here's the sunset at Carlsbad.

Oh, SoCal. I have a S.E.R.I.O.U.S crush on you!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Life, Liberty and Fabulous Friends

So far my summer has been a blur of traveling from one time zone to the next. It's a happy blur, but, truth be told, most mornings I wake up wondering where I'm at. 'Cause I'm just a jet setter like that.

(And because everyone knows that standing in a trade show booth or sitting through yet another training for 8 or 12 hours is Oh. So. Glamorous).

But I have to admit that one of the upsides to this very mobile life I'm living is getting to see and do a few things I've never done before. To be clear, the opportunities to enjoy the sights in various places aren't exactly experienced the way one would on a proper vacation.

The scene is something like this. Me running through the streets of Philadelphia at a feverish pace, 30 lb laptop bag on my forever misaligned shoulder. Cell phone in one hand checking email just in case something comes up. Camera on the other wrist just in case I come across something photo-worthy. Suitcase left with the hotel bellman. Flight in two-ish hours. Blisters forming as the result of said racing in shoes that could only be described as very inappropriate for the jaunt.

Can you picture it? Yeah. SUPER attractive.

But at the end of it all I did get to see some pretty amazingly historic sites last week. Truth be told I'm not really a history girl. Those classes just seemed so dry to me. Until I get to actually see things for myself and imagine what they saw. And walk where they walked. And then it sinks in and I get downright nostalgic.

And take a million photographs, the vast majority of which I will not subject you to.

But here are a few:

At the Liberty Bell Center. The Bell.

Independence Hall where men gathered and amazing historical documents that changed the entire freakin' world were signed.Ben Franklin's grave site. OK...I wouldn't have visited this one except that my boss has a major, uh, thing, for the founding fathers.
The not-historic-but-culturally-fabulous statue in downtown Philly.

After my trek through the city I raced to airport only to have my first flight delayed. Followed by my second flight that was also delayed. I was home for a few hours before driving off to The Woodlands to see a few of my childhood girlfriends.

It was fantastic to see these girls...next time we'll try to get the whole old school gang. Here are (of course) a few photos of our time together.

Mel & Marsha.
Moose & Mandy.

Amy & Marsha

The (partial) Huntsvegas Crew.
Amy & Mel

Loved Philly. Loved seeing new (really old) sites. And LOVE these girls!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The Final Milestone

Guess what I wore Monday?

For, like, 13 hours, even.


They might not be a pair of my favorite pointy-toe stillettos, but I feel like we're on the cusp of those and I'm willing to claim this as victory recovery.

My closet and I are so pleased.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

That's Ms. Moose to You


I know.

I've been a little MIA lately. Emphasis on the A part. I feel like a character in a cartoon action movie where they just show a blur zooming across the screen with virtually no detail. The good news is that my blurry little world has been the source of much bliss lately as I have kicked off the summer by having more fun than I can remember in a long time. I actually feel like I did when I was kid and it was the last week of school.

In a word? GIDDY. And I'm a fan.

And of course, I've embarked on all this fun with camera in hand. Here are a few pics of the past couple of weeks.

With Lindsay at the lake Memorial Weekend:

At Abel's on the Lake...I feel certain this will be my summer hangout. I like to call this one "pretty in pink" (in a completely non-pejorative way, of course):
More fun out on the town with LG:
I spent the past week in Dallas and got to enjoy three of my all time favorite people, Wendy, Suzy Q and Darla:
More fun in Dallas with Brandy, KK and the other Mel:

One quick story to go with the photo gallery. I spent last weekend with Wendy, also known as the world's best hostess. Seriously...it doesn't get much better than the accommodations at Casa Bryan, complete with fruity drinks by the pool and chocolates on my pillow. Not to mention the hours of fantabulous girl talk.

When I was with her amazingly sweet family I kept laughing at how what my brother started so many years ago has stuck. I mean really, Jason, I've got to hand it to you.

Because these two beauties?
Yeah. They call me Ms. Moose.


And I'm not going to lie. It makes me smile every time.

Now...off to have more spectacular summer fun!