Tuesday, February 17, 2015

My first love...

So I am a few days late in this post, but I have been thinking about it and what I would write for at least a week prior to Valentines Day. I had even considered writing it in advance and waiting to post Saturday, but didn't get a moment to do that either. I wanted to start it basically how my Facebook status was on Saturday. This is what my status said:

One year ago today i lost the first man I ever loved. The one who let out my "air" at the grocery stores. The one who taught me to ride a bike, and drive a car, he taught me how to fix the car too. He took me to the drag races, fishing, and camping. He took me father/daughter square dancing and didn't get upset when I found it boring and wanted to go home. He was proud of me and bragged about my accomplishments. He taught me how to repair things and defend myself. He defended our country and will always be my hero! I can't believe how time flies! Miss you like crazy Dad!

It was a day of mixed emotions. It's a day dedicated to love and we were honoring the love of someone we lost. We did a family and close friends get together at Denise and Neals house. We had home made salsa and guacamole. We had carne asada, tortillas and chips and snacks and dessert. We did puzzles and hung out. It was nice. In fact it wasn't as hard as I expected and we all got along without arguing. It was really nice. We had a great day. Later in the evening after some people left, those of us still there sat around the fire pit and chatted. That was when we really got to talking about dad a bit. Joking about things he said or did. We shared stories and enjoyed the time. Then we got into an hour long conversation about farts and fart stories! Not your traditional table conversations but it ended up being a lot of fun! My family rocks! (& stinks ironically...jk)

Another thing I thought about recently regarding my dad was how he would complain whenever we would cook tortillas straight on the burner at the house. Almost every time he would holler "who's burning what" a couple Sunday's ago I stopped by my moms house after church. Nobody was there but I needed to pick something up. WHile there I had a craving for a tortilla with some cheese. That's what triggered that memory.  It made me smile remembering Dad from that! Then when I was almost done Deann's boyfriend came in and said "oh that's what's burning" and I said "nothing is burning" to which he responded "smells like something is burning" ... it was almost like Dad was there again. (I had thought about dad saying it BEFORE Jason came in, but without telling him Dad used to say that, it made me smile)

I'm sure there are many more memories to share, and maybe over time I will continue to post about them. After all I don't want to forget them and then I can share them with my kids one day. I will share one more thing though, since not everyone will know what I meant in my status that my dad "let my air out at grocery stores"  when I was younger and I think still sitting within the shopping cart.  My dad decided it would be funny to put his hand on my stomach and remove it. When he would remove it he would make a "shhhhhhh
" type sound like the sound of air coming out of a tire, plastic bag etc.... you know the sound like when a beach ball has a leak? Something along those lines. Then he would put his hand back and stop making the sound. So I thought I was leaking! When he removed his hand completely I started covering my own hole because i was afraid, even to the point of crying! (yeah yeah we all know I am a big crybaby anyway so that's not really surprising) but it did freak me out back in the day. Now I can look back on it and smile and maybe one day I should try it on my nephews (although they may be too old and smart to fall for it, but I will have kids of my own one day still)

Another quick story we talked about was when my dad was teaching us to drive. He would roll down the window and have his hand outside. Then when you would stop, or turn a corner or park in a stall etc he would smack the car door, the roof etc, whatever part of the car was within reach, depending on how he had his hand positioned at the time and scream "what was that" or "what'd you hit" or something along those lines to make you think you had hit something! It wasn't funny and luckily over time we caught on, so when he continued to try and do it later on in our driving years we no longer fell for it!

Well that's my stories for tonight. I miss my dad terribly and my Uncle Kenneth too (it was the 6 month mark from losing him) it's been hard on us all, especially mom and Aunt Nancy. But I am thankful for my family and friends who are around me. I am thankful for love and support and especially for the gospel in my life. I know that it's what has gotten me through all my trials last year and even this year so far! Life goes on and one day I will get to see my Dad again!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Christmas & Starting 2015

Christmas... another tough holiday without Dad! We had another tear filled dinner thinking about how there's that empty chair. There was a lot of emotions in general anyway because when I was younger we lost my grandma on Christmas Eve, and now we were having the first Christmas without him.

Prior to Christmas day was my holiday party at work. This time instead of Angela coming with me, John came. It was super nice. Angela and I went shopping during the week and she helped me find a dress to wear. She even helped me get some discounts by introducing me to new apps on my phone and so I got a nearly $100 dress for just under $30. Denise and Kristie helped me that evening with my hair and makeup and when John saw me he said "I'm the lucky one tonight" It was super sweet. We went to the party and he ended up sharing that luck with me! I actually won big at the raffle. I won one of the door prizes which was a Starbucks cup and $5 gift card. Then I won an Angel City Cafe $50gc (restaurant in Woodland Hills, not too far from the office) and then I won a $50 Harbor Freight gc. Then at the very end of the raffle... I won the 42" Smart TV!!! It was awesome! At the time I was still watching/using my old school 19" TV with the huge picture tube back. Now TV watching isn't usually a priority for me. so I didn't even set up the new TV for like another 2 weeks. I waited until after Christmas. But it's been a nice change for me!

Christmas Eve John had invited me to go to his stepmoms house for dinner. So we went over that evening and when we got there only Heather was home. Apparently he misunderstood the message and she hadn't said Christmas Eve, she said Christmas eve-ning and so we went out for sushi instead. It was nice. We did that and then I can't remember if we saw a movie that night or not. We've gone to a lot of movies together. I've never gone to the movies too often, but with dating John I've seen a lot more.

Christmas day he came over and was with my family for opening gifts. It was nice and then I fell asleep on the couch in the afternoon. I told him he could stay for dinner with us, but he opted to go to his stepmoms for her dinner instead. Deann happened to be heading out towards Westlake, so she dropped him off for me (& I continued napping) I could've gone with him, but I really wanted to stay with my family being our first Christmas without Dad. It was hard, but once again we all showed our strength and got through, even with a few tears.

New Years we hung out again (and in between of course) John and I went over to Denise and Neals where we played games with them and with Kristie and Sean. The 6 of us had a good evening together. Snacks and cider (for John and I, the others had champagne) and later in the evening my Mom, Aunt Nancy and Uncle Charles came by for a bit as well. We broke in the new year and toasted 2015. I stayed for a bit longer than needed to head home for the Rose Parade in the morning.

My captain had got me 4 tickets for the grandstand seating for the Rose Parade. My mom, Aunt Nancy, Uncle Charles and I got to go. We had to be at the Altadena office at 0530 and they drove us over and dropped us off at the end of Colorado Blvd where we needed to be for our seats. It was incredible! We had such great seats at the beginning of the parade route and didn't have to camp out! I really enjoyed it! It was my first time going to the parade, and it was the first time for my Uncle Charles as well. Mom and aunt Nancy had camped out and watched the parade last year for their first time!

After the new year i finally got the chance to go to the Pompeii exhibit! I got tickets for John and I and we planned to take the metrolink down. We got over to the train station and were trying to get our tickets but it wasn't coming up as an option on the machine so we called the number listed on the machine. The lady I spoke to told me that there weren't going to be any Metrolink trains coming from Simi that day :-/ so we ended up driving instead. Because it was within the last week of the exhibit they were packed! That part was a little frustrating but we had a good time none the less. The exhibit was incredible and they had some amazing artifacts on display. I cried a bit looking at the replica's of the bodies. After the museum we came back to TO and saw a movie. It was a great day.

Well even though we had some good times through the holidays' and at the Pompeii exhibit, sometimes good things come to an end. A few weeks ago I had to tell John I wanted to just be friends. There were a few things that had happened that made me feel as if things weren't as nice as they seemed. We had a lot of really great times together. But there were times when I was starting to feel as if I was losing focus on who I am. I was really starting to fall back into old habits and wasn't taking care of myself anymore. I wasn't working out and was starting to gain back the weight i had lost before losing my dad. There are also some things from his past that he needs to work on moving forward from. I had felt for awhile that he wasn't going to be the guy I was meant to marrry and though things were nice I couldn't continue when my feelings had changed. We hadn't been hanging out as much and weren't even talking on the phone as often so i got to a point where I couldn't do it anymore and told him how I felt. It wasn't easy to do it, but I am glad I did. We were together for about 4 months. Which may be short in some people's perspective, or may be long in others. We had known each other though for like 7 months prior to dating though. At first after I told him that I wanted to just be friends, he didn't seem to want to talk much. So I wasn't sure how it was going to play out, but finally this past Fri night we went to the temple and had a nice evening and yesterday he, Heather and I went to Disneyland and had a blast. It was a little bit strange because the last few times we went together we were holding hands and such, but i had fun.

So this year has brought a few changes already, including a new windshield and tires on my car. I got a crack in my windshield when we went to Pompeii (darn train) and luckily hadn't changed it yet, because 2 weeks later I got hit again and ended up with a big spot again and a second crack! I also broke the window in the garage at my moms house, and then while boarding that window I knocked down and broke a jar! So keep me clear of glass!  I also got to go to Knotts Berry Farm with my friend Becky. I hadn't been in like 12+ years and she had never been, but i was able to get us in for free with my work ID. It was a fun day but I think I am going to stick with my Disneyland pass ;-)

I know my past couple posts have been kinda crazy, but I guess that's what happens when you wait to write and have too much to say! I also have pictures galore on my phone but right now it's getting late so I am not going to link them onto here!

3 Thanksgiving's

Well I must admit this post (and the next couple to come) are obvious late in the writing. But they've been on my mind for some time! In fact everytime I think about my blog or wanting to write or anything else I would think this exact blog post title "3 Thanksgivings" because it was what I wanted to write back in November.

     My family for the past few years have done 2 Thanksgiving dinners. We would go out to my grandma's house in the desert the Saturday before for her dinner. My grandma started doing that several years ago so that more family would be able to travel in and come. Then on Thanksgiving we would have our family one at home with a smaller crowd. So this year was no different really. There was still the dinner at grandmas which my mom was preparing this year, but then instead of the traditional dinner on Thurs (since mom was already cooking the Sat before) my cousin set up a pot-luck at Denise and Neals house. ....now of course you may be wondering where the third comes into play? Well then there's J. he came along for both of my thanksgiving dinners (even out to grandma's) and then I went with him to his.

Grandma's house was a traditional dinner. We had the turkey and all the fixins and there was a ham made as well. It was nice. My Uncle Danny came out from New Jersey. It was great to see him, but also brought on additional emotions because he was only able to come since my cousin Shawn had passed away in March :-( so it was already the first thanksgiving without dad, so it was additionally bittersweet with Uncle Danny, because we had lost Shawn. Overall I kept most of the emotions under control. J. got to meet a lot more of my family members and see how crazy some of them really are as well. It was fun though.

Thanksgiving day was a little bit harder. It was odd not doing a traditional meal but we had some great food and some good times! It was nice and Kristies boyfriend S. smoked a turkey, and tri-tip. Then we had potatoes and veges and all sorts of other side as well. Yummy! It was hard though because when we sat down to eat, my nephews pointed out the empty chair where "Papa" would normally sit. So of course several of us had a hard time with that and it brought on more tears. It's a really hard adjustment overall!

For the third T-giving I went with J. to his step-moms house for dinner. As it turns out his step-mom has always done her Thanksgiving on the Sat after Thanksgiving since she is an ER nurse and so for many years would always be working on the holiday. So Sat after thanksgiving J. and I went to our third large dinner of the week. She did a large ham and turkey and a bunch of sides. It was good. I offered, made and brought two pumpkin pies which were a hit. I had also brought some sparkling cider, which was nice for J. and I since many of the others there were there were having wine. It was nice since other than his mom, this was the first time I had met any of his family. I was super nervous but it went well. They always do a poker tournament after dinner (no money, just the satisfaction of winning, and holding the title until next year) I didn't participate but I watched and helped shuffle cards in between rounds. After that we helped his step mom get out Christmas decorations so that she could start her decorating. Things went well that night. I also got to meet his stepmom's roommate Heather. She's awesome and is also a Disneyland Annual Passholder. We planned to go together sometime, which ended up being yesterday! So much fun!  :)

So my first Thanksgiving without my dad, was hard. But at the same time there were many firsts and there were blessings. I met some wonderful people. Got to see some extended family that I hadn't seen in a few years and try some new foods. I cried some but also had so much to be thankful for. I am so glad I made it thru.