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February 2012

What I've been up to.. sort of...

Oh look it's been over a week since I last posted.

What can I say, trying to find my way back.. took quite a bit out of me :) and required time away from the computer. There are times when I'm stuck in front of the computer (pinterest and facebook) and there are times when I just don't want to come downstairs to turn on the computer. Hence, my absence.. and yet there is so much to write, to say, to capture...Hard to go over everything in one post so I'm sure my upcoming posts will be random and sporadic.

So what I've been up to?

  • running & training. I've committed myself to two half marathons, first one is in May.. and although our outdoor situation sucks... I'm still doing it. Lately it's been warmer (anything past 10 degrees is warmer) and they've paved the sidewalks okay. I'm doing a new training program through Runners World, where I'm adding some Speed Training and Tempo Training.. and I've signed up with the Anchorage Running Club. All of this in hopes that I not only survive 13.1 miles, twice.. but try and beat last years time of 2:20, my goal is 2:10-2:15 cross my fingers..  I have to say week one of training.. sucks eggs. But week two left me on cloud 9. Baby steps is what I keep telling myself.
  • #febphotoaday.  I love this challenge. I bombed the month of January but I'm hoping I can redeem myself for February, considering I'm behind a few days.. Love these little challenges because it's convenient, on your iPhone thru instagram, both of which is always handy.
  • lacking photos for Project Life.  I knew there would come a day when I would only take one or two photos for the rest of the week.. that time came last week, Week 7 of Project life.. so I'm sitting here thinking what the heck am I gonna write about?
  • thinking and being a grown up and making grown up decisions. Our family will be going through some big changes in the next few weeks/months in an effort to be there for my mom. The military allows families to be closer to their immediate families in times of need. It's just so hard to pick up and leave, thinking about it, puts this heavy feeling in my heart, witnessing my children's reaction to such news, breaks my heart every single time I think about it.
  • becoming a dance mama. This past Sunday, Izzy had this dance competition and the process itself, completely blew my mind. Just the crazy day was enough to make me say "whatta-what?"  It's really that intense. But at the end of the night her dance Studio walked away with some prestigious awards!!! And I'm not saying this because I'm completely bias or anything, but Studio 49 kicked some serious butt out there!  (again, not bias at all).
  • listening. To my kids and overall trying to be there. Change is hard on everyone, every time I think about it, I cringe.. but I've been keeping my ears open and its amazing what they say when you do. I could write a post about my son's post (he started a blog) and it moved me to tears and laughter all at the same time. I am completely impressed at not only his writing but his understanding of this thing called life. I always said, when he was little, it was like he was a little kid with an old soul.. so much wisdom for such a young age.
  • spending time. Trying to make it outside of my house, to be with my girlfriends and husband, to just be... It's been nice.
  • reading. I'm currently reading Discovery of Witches. For me it was a slow start, one that I was like "when is it gonna get juicy.." and now (middle of the book) it's going pretty quick.
  • breaking ice. The weather has been on the warmer side, which makes way for melting rooftops, that turn into icicles, that melt to my driveway and front door, causing a slippery havoc on us.. so every day, twice I day, I'm salting, pounding the ice, and shoveling them off our driveway so that we don't break our necks walking out of our house.

Proud Dance Mama and her Lil' Diva.. shaking her boo-tay :)







Finding My Way + Project Life Week 4 & 5

Sometimes the only way to find my way back, is to go through the motions.
When I got back from Hawaii, I literally dug my own hole and stayed in it..
It was so hard for me to get out and enjoy the things I once loved, I could not find the motivation to excercise again, or even cook dinners!  But instead of trying to do it all in one day.. I took baby steps.

I got out and met up with friends, enjoyed lunches and long dog walks.. to just.. exhale.


Saturday we all just bummed around and watched movies..
I enjoyed watching Ryan Gosling, I mean the movie Drive.. quite honestly, the movie was not my fave, but Ryan kept me entertained.  I actually really enjoyed, Real Steel with the family. I thought I was just gonna head downstairs and scrap but found myself really enjoying the movie.


Sunday was my long run. 6 miles was on my training log. I really had to psych myself up for this one, considering I just started running a few days ago and could barely make 2 miles! A few days ago it was hard to believe I actually could run more than 3. But, I lietrally sat down and envisioned how far I wanted to go, telling myself that I've done this many times and that I can do this. Who knew a little pep talk could carry you a long way.


I did it.. and I had to stop and take a photo of my favorite path to remember this moment.

It really is mind over matter. Sure every muscle in my body hurt like hell, my lungs hurt, and my legs were on fire.. but it didn't compare to that feeling of finishing what you set out to do. And as I turned into our street, 6 miles didn't feel so out of reach.. I envision myself rockin' the next 2 half marathons.


 I used some down time (in between the kids, housework, cooking..etc) to catch up on Project Life. A lot of it is mostly photos, but I will insert more journaling.. once I sit and type out my notes from my visit back home.

Project Life Week 4 & 5









Sunbathing in 23 degrees?


I know.. doesn't sound right?
But this past week, we've had warmer (anything above 0 is warmer) temps here and that extra sunlight helps.. big time. So the other day, as we tread through nearly 2 feet of snow just to get up on our favorite hill, Kai and I just sat there (exhausted) and basked in the sun. He watched the birds dance around the trees and it was so quiet that you could hear every chirp and rustle of the slight breeze.

As I sat there, I notice a cop car parked right below us on the street.. he kept looking over at us. Then I'm thinking.. "come on, base cop, is it against the law to sit on top of the hill?" So watching him stare at us, it compelled me to get down from the hill I worked so hard to get on to see what the problem was. I finally get down, peek in his car, and he said.. "nice day isn't it?"  My response in my head "You think? No, I would sit out here even if it was -20 outside.. moron!" But like the nice person I am, I agreed.. Then he went on to say.."I just couldn't help but notice you and your dog up there, how deep is that snow? Your dog jumps around there just fine.."


He was staring at us for the past 20 minutes thinking.. "oh how cool is that, a dog trying to hop through the snow!"

Well there goes my sunbathing that day.. :)

But, it has been really nice here and it looks like it will be for the rest of the week. I will make it a point to enjoy it. Today I ended up going on 2 runs (sigh, it's been a while and although my heart was in it, my body said.. "are you kidding me?) As much as I wanted to do a good 5 miles (at once) I couldn't. I ran 2.6 miles twice, the second time waiting for my hubby to join me. I have to say.. he whoop my butt, big time!

Tomorrow I got a lunch date. It's been a while since I've actually left my house/base :)


My Boy...


My Boy....

  • is all dressed up for a high school dance.
  • loves to shop.
  • has got some serious swag.
  • held down the fort while I was away.
  • has his driver's license. (heart out of chest)
  • never fails to tell me good-bye every morning before he goes to school.
  • always says Thank You.
  • cries whenever I talk about nana.
  • is head strong, knows what he wants and always seems to get it.
  • reminds me.. of me.
  • has the messiest room.
  • has a closest full of shoes, yet he never has shoes to go with his outfit?
  • thinks wearing Cargo Shorts in the middle of winter is cool.
  • makes me proud.
  • plans to go to college in Hawaii.
  • cannot save money, it always burns a hole in his pocket.. always.
  • is full of wise cracks.
  • is growing to fast.
  • is no longer a boy.. but almost a man.


My boy got his license while I was gone. I admit, I doubted he would even get the car around the corner safely. But as usual, he seems to amaze us and passed his driver's test the first try.  So when I got back from my trip, he wanted to take his sister to McDonalds (granted it's right outside the gate) but I had the hardest time letting him go. But I did, and according to Izzy.. he did great!  Next he wanted a haircut... and as my heart beat out of my chest the entire time he was gone. Again, only 10 minutes away, but .. words can't even explain how much you worry when your kid is out there driving, by himself. I didn't want to call right away, cause I didn't want him to talk and drive, let alone text and drive... but I stared at that phone as if I was using telepathic powers to make it ring. When it finally rang, I jumped and yelled "He made it!" When he finally got home, I was able to breathe. I prefer all three of them under my roof within my peripheral vision, if only they could stay like that.. forever!

Standing back and watching your child grow and learning to let him go a little each day.. is so hard. I'm still trying to do it and I feel like I just can't. For example, tonight he wanted to hang out with his friends. He said he was going to the gym. A few hours later, my hubby was at the gym and said he didn't see him there.. So I called him (three times) no answer.. then texted him that I was taking the phone away.. and BAM he answers the phone right away (hmmm??)  It turns out he was eating right up the road.  But for that half hour he didn't respond I was wondering if APD would think it would be too early to file a missing persons report.. I tried to recollect what he was wearing, who he was with, their phone numbers, their parents' numbers.. I mean I went completely ballistic... And then when I heard his voice "I'm right out our front door, talking.."  (oops).. my heart stopped racing and all was right with the world. But man, that's what my mom had to deal with all the time. And I was a lot WORST, back then I didn't have a cell phone, she just waited by the phone. (Man I was a terrible teen). My boy is the kind of kid I wish I was to my parents...

Time flies, people... I'm sure you've heard that one a million times. :)


Okay... Okay...


Maybe I'm still daydreaming of being back in Hawaii.. It is quite the transition, I mean we had a freakin' blizzard the very next day I returned. Of course, I'm gonna be a bit dramatic and dwell in my own misery. BUT, it's warmer out, I dug the ice out of my driveway and broke a few icicles along the way.. AND there is more light out. So, I dug myself out of my hole today (sort of) and made the most out of my day (after 11am, that is). 

There's been a lot on my mind.. and I spent most of my weekend organizing my photos and thoughts on paper (to get ready to place in my Project Life Album)  and I thought I'd share one page of a notebook filled with my thoughts during my visit home.


I flew in on a late Sunday night.. it was a long flight and I was just glad to stretch my legs.. a lot of my thoughts didn't process till a few days into our visit back home. One thing I did find odd, was how I felt that Monday evening, in a place that I called home, nearly 17 years ago...



There’s something odd about being some place so familiar yet I feel so out of place. I feel almost disconnected from the very sidewalk that used to lead me home day after day, the place that I came to, to feel safe, a place where I dreamt what life would be like outside of these walls, a place I once called home.

 I enter the apartment complex, Bishop Gardens and my childhood surrounds me. I can still see my dad along with my grandparents sitting outside as I walked home from school. The staircase near my home is where I often took my new cordless phone to get some privacy. There’s the square concrete behind my apartment where the playground once stood. That odd scent of rubbing alcohol and Lysol because my mom was a bit of a germa-phobe.  The cabinet that held anything from an old clock that my mom got as award after several years working at the Sheraton, the untouched Encyclopedias, the glass jar that held everything from bobby pins, coins and whatever could fit in there.  And there, the photos some in frames, while some just propped up against the shelf, proof that I grew up here.  Yet, I felt like a stranger in this place.

 I feel disconnected. As if this was a place I visited from time to time, in my dreams.

 I get it now, I understand why I feel this way with every visit I make back home. I “disconnect” myself from the memories, from what my heart yearns for simply because it hurts so much. And for some odd reason, the only vivid memory I’ve had from home after I left nearly 17 years ago was the day I left to move to California. As the car drove off to the airport, I turned around to see my dad, with his knees on the parking lot, crying out for me. And since then, it was like I detached myself from this place, that I was so eager to leave.

 Today, nearly 17 years later, I return with a different outlook, one that I didn’t want to face. My mother is dying. Sure everyone is eventually going to die, but most people don’t know what will claim their life. For her, cancer will take her life, sooner than I want it too. As I said goodnight to my mother, after my first full day there, spending most of the day at the hospital, visiting doctors, overwhelmed with information I have never felt so lost and out of place.  I completely shutdown and disconnect myself, once again.. because it hurts that bad.


Day one was indeed one of the toughest, but as the days went on, it was almost like I stepped into my brother's shoes for the day, for the week.. it was then, that I understood how much he has given up so that my parents are well taken care of, and the heavy burden he carries every single day.


I spent the better part of my weekend placing my photos in order of how I wanted to print them.. I had every intention of working on them during the Superbowl.. but, that sofa (not the game, although it was a good game) sucked me in.. and I literally could not move.. LOL


Project Life | Week 03



The *above page is one of my favorites.. especialy that squared collage.. so simple, yet perfect. The page protector is from We R Memory Keepers:

And that large space is sized at 8x6.
And since there are days where I take more than one photo.. it's perfect! 


Latest Loves for this project: you can get HERE

I'm "dying" for these from my friend Tina..


So, even after a bittersweet trip to Hawaii and a slight break from planning my layout for the week.. I'm still loving this project. There are so many products out there that make this so simple.

However, I still plan most of my layouts..


*Hope everyone is enjoying putting their Project Life together :) 

See You Later..


Lord knows, I hate "good-byes"... I've learned to not say good-bye after being away from home for almost 17 years. We always say, "See You Later..."

I think with each "see you later" my heart breaks a little more and I seal it up with a thicker shield than the last time. Over time, this wall I've built to try and hide the pain I really feel.. makes me some what numb to the fact that the only place I wanna be is with my family back home. Living so far from my family is so hard.. not being able to share holidays, birthdays, or even a normal day with them is heartbreaking. I am so envious of people here who have family near by, where they can stop by their mom's house for a quick dinner or to say hi. Or when I hear of family gatherings for a Thanksgiving Dinner, always makes this hole in my heart bigger.

Funny how I tried to avoid going back home.. I call it denial and fear of witnessing the sheer reality of it all.. I figured, if I stayed away it won't hurt as much. But my hubby knows me best and sent me on my way. I flew in with the notion that "Things will be okay.. no matter how bad it is.. things will be okay."

Until I was faced with the doctors, the endless paperwork of lab tests, CT scans, xrays... you name it, my mother had it all done. in hopes that there will be an answer or even a cure for this growing disease.. but at the end of the day, there isn't.  I think that's when it hit me... This cancer will kill her and all we are doing is prolonging her life, but it will never go away, not at this poiint, anyway.


As I sit here drowning in my tears with that aching pain of missing her..
I know she will continue to fight.


As for me, I will continue to fight for her.. to be with her again, to take care of her.  Moving back home is in the works and I realize the kind of sacrifices my family will be making, especially my children and husband's career, but this is the least I could do for her. For the woman who has made many sacrifices for me to be the kind of woman/mother I am today. 

There is so much more to be said about my 10 days back home.. I have an entire notebook filled with my day to day thoughts.. for now, I'm just trying to adjust being back home...