Thursday, November 25, 2010

Yea baby, that pie-laden butt is SEXY!

It's that day of the year where U.S. Americans around the world gather together to give thanks for all they have and all they will have in the future.  Since the first of November, I have been posting something I am thankful for nearly every day on Facebook, and then a new friend posted a comment that caught my attention. 

"Today is about being thankful for what you have the ability to offer others as well.  Not just what you've received.  Appreciate yourself and how you effect the lives of people around you..." 

Suddenly I realized something had been missing the last 25 days.  Now I try hard to remember that, despite popular belief, the world does NOT revolve around me.  *shocking gasp*  I know, I know.  It is hard to believe, but it is true.  So the last 3 1/2 weeks I have been giving thanks for all the great things in my life, which is very important, but I have forgotten about how we give back.  I have forgotten how thankful I am that I can support friends when shit hits the fan, that I can help classmates understand class material, that I get to teach a sweet little boy about the big, beautiful world, that I am able to volunteer for a wonderful organization through Goodwill and provide mentoring to troubled teens, and most of all, I am able to support my friends and family in all their endeavors. Kinda strange how that sounds like it is all about me still.  *snickers*

So as you sit at your desk, laptop, phone, iPad, or other electronic device digesting the poultry you have recently gobbled *snort*, remember, you make someone else's life better and special.  Now think about the mess in the kitchen that someone has to clean up and get up off your overstuffed, pie laden butt and offer a hand.  Because it will give someone one more reason to be thankful. 

Happy Thanksgiving to you,  my fantastic readers who make my life better and special.  ;)

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Nice To Meet You

In many ways, I consider myself truly blessed.  I have a wonderful family, a secure and comfortable life, reasonably good health despite some aches and pains, an incredibly flexible and fulfilling job, and friends who truly love me.  But now the holidays are approaching and while this is my absolutely favorite time of year and I simply cannot wait to celebrate, I. Am. Freaking Out. 

Holidays are a time for smiles and hugs, greetings and celebrations, fun and laughter, games and cheer.  Trust me, I will have all of those.  It is the part leading up to it that gets my undies in a bunch, especially this year. 

See, my mother-in-law is arriving tonight.  8:30pm.  And she will be here through Thanksgiving. 

Maybe I should rephrase that.  Don't get me wrong.  I love my mom-in-law.  We get along great and she is one of the sweetest ladies you will ever meet, but she has never been to my home before.  The first time I met her, was at her home in Canada.  Her turf.  The second time I saw her for an extended period was when we visited her in Hong Kong for two weeks.  Again, her turf.  On her turf, the only thing I have to worry about is me and my actions/appearance.  But now, this is going to be at my home...on my turf. 

This, in theory, should actually make things more comfortable for me, right?   Oh hell no.  If anything, it makes it more stressful because now it isn't just about me.  It is now my home, my food, my habits, my animals, etc.  Now it is my entire life, and though I know better...really I do...I feel like everything I am is now under scrutiny.  Did I scrub that toilet well enough?  Do I have the food she likes to eat?  Do I have enough entertainment things for her?  Will she think I corrupted her son somehow?  What if she doesn't like our pets?   Is our home too cluttered?  And because I can always find one more thing to stress about, the dishwasher is now broken.  Have I mentioned I hate washing dishes by hand?  

And that doesn't even touch on all the possible mishaps for Thanksgiving dinner that I have running through my head.

So yea, in all honesty, she will probably just be thrilled to see her son again for the first time in over a year (hard to visit when she lives on the other side of the world), but this is who I am.  I am Alicia and my middle name is Worry. Nice to meet you.


Friday, November 12, 2010

And Then He Makes Me Smile

While debating a particularly difficult choice, what kind of pizza to order, I look to my husband for help.  This is what I get. 

Me:  I'm stuck in indecision honey.

Derek:  And then, silently, amber liquid seeped slowly into the room. It slid under door cracks, through the air ducts - no crevice, however small, did not ooze the liquid. By the time the unsuspecting Alicia noticed and tried to decide how to escape, it was too late. She was paralyzed by the indecision honey - and despite the door just a few feet away, she could not use it. No, she COULD use it, if she could just decide to do so.

 My life is anything but boring with him around.  :)


Thursday, November 11, 2010

Cherish every day

Some people come quietly into our lives and leave just as quietly, leaving little memory of them behind.  There are no strong emotions and no teary goodbyes.  Some people enter and change you more dramatically.  They leave or heal a scar, and you know you will remember their presence forever, but there is only a slight sadness or relief when they move on.  Then there are those who not only enter our lives, but they enter our hearts.  Attachments are formed, traditions, and love.  They become family.  Shit hits the fan in your life or theirs, and the other comes running to help clean up the mess. 

And then the day comes where the shit can't be cleaned off the walls anymore.  The broken pieces can no longer be put back together.  But you will try.  Your family will run to their family and you will scrub and scrape like mad because life stinks sometimes and you hate the smell, but it remains.

A brother to my father.  A second father to my brother.  Family to us all.  We may not be blood, but our two families are forever entwined.  How do you stop scraping long enough to enjoy the short time you have left with them?  How do you ignore the stink long enough to smile, laugh, and be thankful for the time you had with them?  Now, how do you do this from 1200 miles away?

Stage 4. 

6 months.

May the Lord bless us all and give our families comfort and joy.


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

For my Oma

For my Oma, Ingeborg,

Two years ago today, I had to say good-bye to my grandmother, my Oma.  For those of you who have never heard me speak of her before, Oma is German for grandma.

When we were young, she took care of my brother and I when we were too sick to go to school.  She often took us to our baseball and softball events after school.  During the summer, we would spend a lot of time at her house.  I met wonderful friends through her and swam in the neighbor's pool.  My first time riding the "light rail" was with her, as well as my first time on a bus that broke down.  A boy in her neighborhood gave me my first kiss, and oh did that cause problems.  Hehe.  My brother and I would make forts out of blankets, chairs, and other furniture throughout her house.  This was all before we moved to Texas for high school.

When we returned to California after high school, older, and supposedly wiser, I lived with her for a short time.  I broke her heart for a bit when I moved out.  I didn't spend as much time with her as I should have.  It was inconvenient and visiting with her was so boring.  She always wanted to pry into my life and know all the little details and it drove me crazy.  I don't blame her.  It isn't like I made an effort to tell her much.  I didn't see or understand how much pleasure she got out of just having us stop by to say "hi."

Then I grew up a bit more and I moved an hour away.  Suddenly, it wasn't such an inconvenience to see her when I was in town.  I began to notice how she enjoyed just the little things my brother and I did.  We would go to her house and eat this horrible little microwave pizzas she would keep in the freezer because she thought we loved them.  We weren't particularly fond of them, but it made her happy.

In the last few years, we made it a point to take her out to eat because we couldn't be sure she was eating enough at home.  Leatherby's.  Crab sandwiches and chocolate shakes.  Macaroni grill.  Grilled salmon and asparagus.  Oh how that woman loved her salmon.  Strings.  Italian deliciousness.  And of course, champagne brunch...with wasabi...a story for another time.

But all things must come to an end.  She lost some weight...and then she lost some more weight.  Then she stopped traveling and we knew something was up.  She lost more weight, and ended up in the hospital.  She came out of the hospital just to go right back in a short time later.  Then we got the news she wouldn't be with us much longer.  We took shifts, my parents, my brother and I.   We all had work and my brother and I had school on top of it.  My job was so kind.  I took almost a week off work with no hassles.

She was unconscious.  Infection raged through her system.  I sat with her and watched football while doing homework, talking to her about school and my husband who sat with me most of the time too.  At first we switched off, taking turns to go home and sleep.  The last couple days, I refused to leave.  I didn't want to miss "it."  Sometimes I wish I had.

And `then she started to move.  My mom and husband were with me.  We thought she might be in pain, but the nurse just told us it was close.  We called in dad and my brother.  We tried not to cry.  We didn't want her to worry about us.  We held her hands as she took her last breath.  The nurse checked her heart and told us she was gone...and then the tears came.

We were sad to see her go, but we were glad she was happier now that she could be with Opa again.  I was sad she couldn't stay to see her future grandchildren, but I am glad she got to meet my wonderful husband.  We are sad she doesn't get to join us at the holidays anymore, but she left us with wonderful memories of fighting over the thermostat.  I am sad she isn't here to see what I am doing with my life, but I know she would be proud of who I am today.

Oma, I love you and I hope you are resting in peace with Opa at your side and I know I will see you again one day.

Love always, your granddaughter,


Thursday, November 4, 2010

You're an addict

We have all heard of drug addicts and alcohol addicts.  You can be addicted to caffeine, cigarettes, and even sugar.  More recently we have heard of addictions like tanning, plastic surgery, adrenaline rushes, and even running.

Well apparently there is one more thing we can be addicted to now:  Carbohydrates.

Now I know what you are thinking - Duh.  The shock is not in the fact you can be addicted to carbs because frankly, you can be addicted to ANYTHING.  The part that threw me off guard is it is now an official condition...
Meaning you can be diagnosed with it...
And treated for it...
They have a freaking medication for it...

Meaning, naturally, I was just diagnosed with it yesterday.

Screw medication or Carb-a-holics Anonymous.

I <3 my addiction.