Monday, September 27

take me out to the FOOTBALL game

As you know by my last post, I have been crippled by a cold this last weekend. But I drank an obscene amount of OJ Saturday, and alternated my day's activities of sitting on the couch and napping in bed as needed. Job well done, apparently! Because when I woke up Sunday morning...signs of nasal congestion and the constant watery eyes were gone! Hooray!!! 

I am still not at 100%, but I felt well enough to go out to the Broncos game! My dear friend from work has parents with season tix to the Broncos. They were out of town, so, luckily for me, they gave the tix to her. Then she invited me to go with her! We lived it up! Went downtown early to enjoy some delish bloody marys {I am SO glad I have a newfound love for bloody marys and tomoato juice!}, then off to Invesco field to show our Broncos spirit! We had a blast, and I'll leave you with a few pictures from our day of cheering our boys on!

 Got our war paint & Broncos gear on! Ready to go!




 Boo COLTS!!!



Go Blue & Orange!

Although we lost to the stinkin' Colts, and we almost died of heat exhaustion {um, Alicia, can you please take me again in October when it's a lil' cooler???}...it was such a fun day!!!

Who are you rooting for this football season?
I hope you all had a fun weekend, too!

Cheers!

PS: My little Gryffin turns 1 on Wednesday! Stay tuned for my post about his birthday treats and the puppy cake I made him :)

Saturday, September 25

sick sick

It's happened. I have a cold. 

After working overtime and helping me to evade sickness for over a year, my immune system has finally decided to take a little vacation. I hope you're somewhere awesome, like Greece, Spain, or Fiji, immune system. You'd better be enjoying yourself a lot to justify abandoning me. I understand you need a little vacation, but please come back soon. xoxo, Me.

I need my immune system to come back because I am supposed to go to a Broncos game tomorrow! I've been a Colorado girl my whole life, and the Broncos have always been my team, but I have had yet to be present at an actual Broncos game! I admit that my interest in the team has been somewhat of a roller coaster ride, from my obsession with Elway, Elam, and Terrell Davis {apparently I wore my #30 jersey so often in junior high that some of my guy friends referred to me as the Terrell Davis girl! Keyan & Jason were these guy friends to those of you who know them!} to not even knowing the roster. 
 A friend from work called me after our shift on Thursday morning and said, "Hey! Do you want to go to a Broncos game Sunday?" OF COURSE I DO! I was prepared to pay 50+ bucks to go, when she told me her parents have season tickets and will be out of town this weekend so they just gave them to her, so I won't have to pay to go. Lucky lucky lucky! I'm super excited, and I need my voice back so that I can cheer them on! {Another plea to you, immune system, please help me out!!!}

Being sick sucks. I worked Weds night just fine. Woke up Thursday afternoon with a sore throat. Went to the gym and got my ass kicked by Mr. Trainer man. He had me do basketball court-length sprints. Sprints are the bane of my existence. I proceeded to toss my cookies {actually, my muscle milk drink} as soon as I got home. I think that's when my immune system peaced out, because Thursday night at work, I was getting progressively more head coldish by the hour. Friday morning at the end of my shift, I told them I wouldn't be back for my Friday night shift. Dammit. I was four days shy of making it through my first year at my hospital without calling in! Oh well. 

I just really hope I don't get to feeling way worse, because I have yet to find a doctor I know and trust in Denver. I love my Fort Collins doctor's office. I'm hopelessly attached to it, in fact. That's what happens when I've gone there for 20 years, I suppose. 

I guess being sick has allowed me to catch up on my first week of DVR shows! Last night I caught up on Cougar Town {Loved Courtney & Jen working together again!}, Jersey Shore {BEST episode of the season, I say! Snooki is a star}, America's Next Top Model {how in the HELL is Ann doing so well? Good for her! Go away Esther and Lexie. I'm rooting for Rhianna to take it all!}, and Project Runway {go, MONDO, go!}. 

I also got my books in the mail to help me prep for my PA school interview, so today I'll be spending some quality time with them. Looking forward to it, actually!

So here it is, 4:30 in the morning, and I can't sleep. Probably because my body knows I'm supposed to be at work right now. So I'll do some reading and hope that sends me off to sleep soon!
 
Hope you all have a sunshiny and fun Saturday!
Cheers ~

Wednesday, September 22

scoring your dog food

Hey friends. I posted this a while back on the ole' facebook, but I thought it deserved a spot on the blog, too. Many of us have dogs, and how we decide what to feed them can be based on a recommendation, price, or great advertising. But here is a way to "grade" your dog food. Penny & Gryffin eat Avoderm's Chicken and Brown Rice formula, and that scored a 97% {which is an upgrade from the Bil Jac - 68% - that they gave us when we adopted Penny}


Scroll down to see the list of dog food that have already been scored. Yours might already be on the list so you don't have to calculate all the points out.



How to grade your dog's food:

Start with a grade of 100:

1) For every listing of "by-product", subtract 10 points

2) For every non-specific animal source ("meat" or "poultry", meat, meal or fat) reference, subtract 10 points

3) If the food contains BHA, BHT, or ethoxyquin, subtract 10 points

4) For every grain "mill run" or non-specific grain source, subtract 5 points

5) If the same grain ingredient is used 2 or more times in the first five ingredients (i.e. "ground brown rice", "brewer's rice", "riceflour" are all the same grain), subtract 5 points

6) If the protein sources are not meat meal and there are less than 2 meats in the top 3 ingredients, subtract 3 points

7) If it contains any artificial colorants, subtract 3 points

8 ) If it contains ground corn or wholegrain corn, subtract 3 points

9) If corn is listed in the top 5 ingredients, subtract 2 more points

10) If the food contains any animal fat other than fish oil, subtract 2 points

11) If lamb is the only animal protein source (unless your dog is allergic to other protein sources), subtract 2 points

12) If it contains soy or soybeans, subtract2 points

13) If it contains wheat (unless you know that your dog isn't allergic to wheat), subtract 2 points

14) If it contains beef (unless you know that your dog isn't allergic to beef), subtract 1 point

15) If it contains salt, subtract 1 point

ExtraCredit:

1) If any of the meat sources are organic, add 5 points

2) If the food is endorsed by any major breed group or nutritionist, add points

3) If the food is baked not extruded, add 5 points

4) If the food contains probiotics, add 3 points

5) If the food contains fruit, add 3 points

6) If t he food contains vegetables (NOT corn or other grains), add 3 points

7) If the animal sources are hormone-free and antibiotic-free, add 2 points

8) If the food contains barley, add 2 points

9) If the food contains flax seed oil (not just the seeds), add 2 points

10) If the food contains oats or oatmeal, add 1 point

11) If the food contains sunflower oil, add 1 point

12) For every different specific animal protein source (other than the first one; count "chicken" and "chicken meal" as only one protein source, but "chicken" and "" as 2 different sources), add 1 point

13) If it contains glucosamine and chondroitin, add 1 point

14) If the vegetables have been tested for pesticides and are pesticide-free, add 1point

Here are some foods that have already been scored.



Dog Food scores:

94-100+ = A

86-93 = B

78-85 = C

70-77 = D

69 =F

Alpo / Score 17 F

Authority Harvest Baked / Score 116 A+

Bil-Jac Select /Score 68 F

Canidae / Score 112 A+

Chicken Soup Senior / Score 115A+

Diamond Maintenance / Score 64 F

Diamond Lamb Meal & Rice /Score 92 B

Diamond Large Breed 60+ Formula / Score 99 A

Dick VanPatten's Natural Balance Ultra Premium / Score 122 A+

Dick VanPatten's Duck and Potato / Score 106 A+

Foundations / Score 106A+

Hund-n-Flocken Adult Dog (lamb) by Solid Gold / Score 93B

Iams Lamb Meal & Rice Formula Premium / Score 73 D

InnovaDog / Score 114 A+

Innova Evo / Score 114 A+

Kibbles N Bits / Score 17 F

Nutrisource Lamb and Rice/ Score 87 B

Nutro Natural Choice Large Breed Puppy / Score 87B

Pedigree / Score 17F

Pet Gold Adult with Lamb & Rice / Score 23 F

ProPlan NaturalTurkey & Barley / Score 103 A+

Purina Beneful / Score 17F

Purina Dog / Score 62 F

Purina Come-n-Get It / Score 16F

Royal Canin Bulldog / Score 100 A+

Royal Canin Natural Blend Adult / Score 106 A+

Sensible Choice Chicken and Rice / Score 97A

Science Diet Advanced Protein Senior 7+ / Score 63 F

Science Diet for Large Breed Puppies / Score 69 F

Wellness Super5 Mix Chicken /Score 110 A+

Wolfking Adult Dog (bison) by Solid Gold / Score 97A



Hope you found this helpful!
Cheers to our doggies' health!

mama got a dvr

Well, let's face it. 

I love TV.

Yep. I always have. I went from Winnie The Pooh & The Little Town of Richard Scary to Power Rangers & Salute Your Shorts to Doug & Clarissa Explains it all --- over the years just loving watching the imaginary life of people. It's so much fun to imagine myself kicking Puddy ass as maybe the purple ranger alongside the other power rangers. 

And then in high school came a new genre of television that would change the world forever: Reality TV. Oh man. 

Yep, I love reality TV. Even the stupidest of shows. Sometimes when I watch TV, it's to learn something {Animal Planet} or follow a slightly intricate plot {Law & Order: SVU counts, right?}. But other times, I watch TV to unwind and zone out, frankly. That's when shows like Jersey Shore and Bachelor Pad come in. haha. 

Most of you know that I work nights {7pm - 7:30am} usually 3 x/week between Monday and Friday. Doesn't work out so well for my evening TV life. I actually made my schedule for the next couple of months so that I would have most Tuesdays off: That is how much I love Glee and The Biggest Loser! Haha. I have wanted a DVR for  REAL LONG time. Like for years. And with fall shows starting, I have been wanting it more than ever. 

So, today I took a little visit to the Comcast store. I was dreading how long the line was going to be, as it can take hours sometimes {it could battle the DMV for longest, crappiest lines ever}. But off I went, with a book and a magazine in tow. I had to sort out a bill and pay a bill, and I figured it wouldn't hurt to check out the cost of a DVR. Turns out they have a promo going on for FREE HD DVR for a year!!! I was trying to keep my excited quivering to a minimum as the lady behind the counter asked, "Should I go ahead and add this service to your account?" UM -  HELL YES, YOU SHOULD! But I managed a cool, "Yes, please, that would be great!" 

Not only do I get my coveted DVR, but we get free HD channels {we bought our bombass giant TV months ago, but hadn't wanted to shell out the monies for HD TV yet} for a year! $Free.99 is my favorite price, y'all.

And with our new DVR box, another problem got sorted out. Since we first got our cable box over a year ago, there has been a little issue with the Disney Channel and The Animal Planet. They simply wouldn't stream. Or they would be all jumpy, and it was REAL annoying to watch. Sounds stupid, right? Until Aladdin is on TV and you want to watch it. Or It's Me or the Dog is on. I was so annoyed and never wanted to pay the $50 service fee for Comcast to come mess with it and probably further screw things up. You might even be able to pin my Disney movie buying sprees on the fact that I was tormented by the inability to watch Disney on TV. Or maybe I would have  bought all those movies anyway. Guess we'll never know. The important thing is that I have my Disney and Animal Planet back! YES!

As I'm sitting here setting up recordings, I have my shows that I planned on watching anyway {although most of them I would have had to watch a week later when they were put online, and then with crappy internet commercials or interruptions when my internet decides to disconnect sporadically}, but I am also adding a few shows that I have been wanting to check out anyway. 

Here is my list of DVR shows.
Don't judge me.
And keep in mind that only working 3 nights/week and having a husband in med school gives me LOTS of extra time to myself. And you can only read, work out, play with puppies, and do house stuff for so many hours in a day. 

Jersey Shore
America's Next Top Model
Project Runway
Glee
Biggest Loser
Desperate Housewives
Scream Queens
Modern Family

Now, here are the experimental add-ons that the lil' DVR guy is allowing me to watch:
Drop Dead Diva
United States of Tara
Hellcats
Vampire Diaries
Gossip Girl {this is for you, Linds ;)}
The Middle
Cougar Town {which I have always LOVED, but it hasn't been a priority show}

I know, I know. I'm kind of pathetic. But at least I am honest and pathetic. Right? Sure. 

Happy fall TV week!
Are there any shows starting up this week that you would recommend I lose myself in??? What are your favorite shows? I certainly don't want to miss out on anything! Haha :)

Cheers, you lil' DVR Magic Man. 

Tuesday, September 21

you go, gaga

While no one can deny that the Ga has reset artistic and creative standards in the music and performing world {meat dress, anyone???}, I am sure some debate whether her influence is positive or just plain crazy. 

I was really pleased that she has decided to use her fame as a platform for an important issue: the 'don't ask, don't tell' policy that the military has adopted to prevent openly GLBs from serving in the armed forces. First, she showed up at the VMAs with some former military personnel who have been discharged for being openly homosexual. She furthered her public support for the repeal of 'DADT' by making an address in Maine last night. It's phenomenal. I really was impressed. Her main statement is that we shouldn't be sending gays home...we should be sending those with prejudice and hatred in their hearts home. If you haven't seen it, at least watch the first few minutes of it. 
 


Unfortunately, the senate vote to repeal of 'DADT' lost today, by a vote of 56-43. 
What. The. F***. 
I mean, seriously?!?!

I read a comment on facebook that really struck a chord with me. In response to the failed repeal, someone wrote, "I fail to understand how making gays' lives miserable will make theirs any better." There is so much freaking truth to this statement. Ugh. 

It's so frustrating. 
We all take our basic rights for granted. 
I know so many WONDERFUL people that happen to be gay or lesbian. The people I have in mind are kind, generous, open-minded, tolerant, intelligent, and genuine. Why oh why do these people deserve to get the short end of the stick?

It honestly sickens and boggles me that this prejudice is so alive and well. It's like racism. My kids' generation are going to be like, "I can't BELIEVE gays didn't have their full rights when you grew up." Just the same as we said to our parents and grandparents, "I can't BELIEVE black people didn't have their full rights when you grew up."

What can I do?
Continue to "like" Gaga's posts about equality for ALL on facebook?

I do know that I will:
Continue to be a proud ally, rockin' my rainbow bumper sticker on my car and my 'equality' tattoo on my wrist.
Continue to share knowledge with closed-minded and prejudiced people.
Continue to support my friends, and be loud about the injustice of all policies/behaviors/slurs that are derogatory to them. 

Just because there are some boys who love glitter and showstopping tunes doesn't mean they're bad people. 
Just because there are some girls who love to kick ass on the rugby field and outdrink grown men doesn't mean they're bad people.
They're some of the best people I know. 
And they deserve the best.
They deserve equality. 

You go, Gaga.
I love you more than ever. 
Thank you for using your fame to open the minds and ears of people worldwide. 
I only hope that one day, the government will listen, and this type of prejudice will be put behind us so we can all move forward together. 

Now that something I can cheers to.

these boots were made for dancin'

Hey hey y'all!

I hope you are enjoying your September :) Over half-way through! Wowza!

First of all, for all of you who have been wondering where I am in the process of my PA (physician's assistant) school application, I got an email on Friday that offered an interview for admittance into the CHA/PA program at CU Denver! 

I am SO happy to have this opportunity! I interview November 8th, and until then, I am going to do my best to prepare myself. I interviewed last year, and didn't get selected for the program, so this year I ordered some books specific to doing well in PA school interviews...hopefully they will help! Nerve-wracking!!!

Anyhoo - that note aside...

This weekend was SO much fun! I did a little pre-trip shopping, and scored BIG! 

At Ross, I found two pairs of the cutest boots ever! I always have a hard time finding boots that fit around my body-builder (haha, yeah right) calves, so I was beyond stoked to find 2 pairs! 

The first pair: my beloved red cowboy boots with wooden heels. I wore them out Friday night {I attempted to go see Pauly D DJ at a club in Denver...but people must have camped out or something, because the club was at capacity at 10:30pm!!! Conveniently, we went dancing at the Cowboy Lounge - my boots fit right in!}


The second pair: kick ass riding boots meet rocker boots. I wore them to the wedding in Seattle, and they sure are the best stompin'/dancin' shoes I have ever worn! I am in love with them. 


I paired my rockin' boots with a cute gray frock from Target, and I don't even have a picture in it! But here's my lovely lil' dress:

So, I got a little ahead of myself here, but let me tell you all about Seattle! We got in Saturday afternoon, and our fabulous lil' Dylan friend picked us up from the airport. We just spend some time hangin' and chattin' and strolin' around some of the Seattle parks with Dylan's doggie Layla. It was beautiful weather! Sunny with a breeze - my perfect combo! I could totally live in Seattle from June - September! We went to the Gas Works park for Kaitlin and Brodie's rehearsal dinner to enjoy a delish taco bar! It got real rainy, but we all just congregated under a covering and spent time catching up! 

Sunday, we slept in a bit, then got movin' and enjoyed a fantastic breakfast at a local joint called Pete's. The size of the meals were outrageous!!! Let me give you a little sample --- Exhibit A: my butterscotch french toast, three eggs, and two sausage links...
 What a tasty monstrosity!
And Tyler had the yummiest Greek omlette:

After stuffing ourselves into oblivion, we headed on the bus to Pike's Place Market! There was a little festival going on, so we enjoyed some accordian music while we strolled the stalls. So much wonderful looking fresh food {fish, fruits, and veggies}and the most gorgeous flowers! What I wouldn't give to do my weekly shopping here!

After crusing the market, we walked out on a pier. What a beautiful view!

We then strolled downtown in search of the public library. It was massive and architectural, and anyone who likes libraries would find heaven in this quiet and beautiful building!
10 stories tall...

We hopped on some great local transportation again {get with the program, Denver!!!}, and went to visit the Historic Pioneer Square. We stopped by the Waterfall Gardens...which is basically a tucked away little patio with some tables, chairs, and a roaring waterfall. It was really really lovely, and I wish it was my backyard!


After our quick jaunt around town, it was already time to get ready for the wedding!!! 

Just FYI: I am obsessed with weddings. I adore what they stand for, and I am so giddy with happiness when I attend them. They are happy and beautiful events, and I can't get enough of anything related to weddings! With that being said, here are some of my favorite pictures from the happy ceremony and reception to celebrate the union of Kaitlin & Brodie:
To honor the lovely couple, we did what we thought was most appropriate...and we danced. Hard. I'm talkin' hair-is-soaked-feet-are-stompin'-girls-are-twirlin'-everyone-is-jumpin'-spice-girls-are-blastin' - fists are pumpin' kind of dancing. We celebrated and drank and screamed and rallied in honor of the beauty of this marital union. And I had a freaking blast. 

And kind of lost my voice in the process :)
Monday's travels home were uneventful. Our flight home even landed 30 minutes ahead of schedule! Go United! I've certainly never had that happen before! The weekend passed by so fast! When we got home to our little furbabies, though, I was so happy to see them :) And they sure greeted me with all the love and energy they could muster up! Today, they are dubbed "gluebabies" because the will not, under any circumstance, leave my side. They're kinda fearful I might up and leave for another 58 hours or something. 

I wonder how I'm going to escape to the gym with two pairs of puppy brown eyes looking at me like they do...

Hope you all had a great weekend, too!
Til' later---
Cheers!


Thursday, September 16

family photo time!

So, over Labor Day weekend, my mother-in-law decided we should try to get a group photo of everyone. Welllll, we planned badly {by not planning at all} and there were three photographers...so there isn't one picture where everyone is looking in the same direction! Oopsies! I sense a re-do real soon. But we ended up with a few cute ones :)

The next day, I decided that my little family unit {hubsters, Penny, Gryffin, & myself} needed to get a family photo! So I recruited my lovely photographer sister, and we attempted to get a picture. Haha. Here are the results {NOTE: When you notice the dogs going from not paying attention to ears perked and staring at the camera...that is when my sister was holding a treat above the camera to entice them! haha}:
WINNER! Finally! After lots of fails. LOL. Unless we get a better one, this is goin on the Christmas card!

Then, of course I needed a pic of my family {minus my brother, Marine in Cali right now}:
Cheers to family!!!

water for elephants

OMG.

Okay, so I do realize that this is my 3rd post tonight. Haha. No worries. I kind of tend to do this. Go missing in blogland then once I do my "I have returned" post...I keep thinking of things I've been meaning to blog about.

Like the book I just finished Monday morning {while I was working in the ICU}.

Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen. I had no idea what it was even about before I read it. It was one of those books that I've vaguely heard about for the last three years. And I have had it in the back of my mind for that whole time.

When having a date with Pro in Colorado Springs last month, I saw her copy of this book sitting on her bookshelf in the living room. It reminded me that I have always wanted to read it, and she so kindly let me borrow it! I started it last week and finished it in about three reading sessions!


I found it completely enthralling, thought-provoking, and easy to read.

The story follows Jacob, an elderly man living in a nursing home. He finds himself slipping into dreams of when he was in his twenties and a vet student in an Ivy League school during the Depression. Just as he is about to take his final exams in vet school, both of his parents are killed in a car accident. In an emotional daze, he runs from town...and just keeps running, until he finds himself in the middle of nowhere next to some train tracks. Eventually, a train approaches and he hops into an open car.

Turns out, he hopped onto a traveling circus train! He learns the ropes of the traveling circus life and becomes the show's vet. He falls for his boss's girl, and has emotional ties with Rosie the elephant.


I love this book for lots of reasons.

1. The scenes of Jacob in his 90s - they portray exactly what I saw in working at the nursing home. I feel like the author described with accuracy the despair many patients feel when they can tell their mind is slipping a little more each day.
2. The author really did her historical research! I loved getting insight into what life on a traveling circus during the 1930s would be like! What a trip!
3. Rosie the elephant and her crazy antics are based on true stories. {SPOILER ALERT: Like the fact that there once was an elephant that would take her stake out of the ground, walk over to where the huge barrels of lemonade were, drink all the lemonade, walk back to her designated spot, and put her stake back in the ground. Only to let the working men get blamed for stealing the lemonade! Is that not a hilarious story?}
4. The ending is completely appropriate, happy, and hope-filled. I LOVE happy endings. I don't need a creative/pessimistic twist of an ending to make a book a good book to me. Make it right, so the good guys and {bad guys alike} end up getting what the deserve, and I'll be happy.

*sigh*
I loved this book.
And I loved the images used throughout. Images like these:

It made me want to work on a circus. And also work for PETA by advocating against cruel treatment of animals in the circus. I realize those two points are completely opposing...but still...that's how I felt at the end of the book.

In short: I recommend it!
Obvi.

Cheers to another good book!

seattle, here i come!

Now that you've read my little life update {work & rugby}, I wanted to mention that I am leaving on Saturday to head to Seattle! A good friend of mine is getting married, and I have made it a goal of mine to try to attend every single wedding I can possibly attend in my lifetime, so Tyler and I are headed out to celebrate with her! I realize I may change this viewpoint later on in life as I attend more weddings, but I think they are so much fun, and the purpose is so important! People want you to take part in one of the most special days of their lives, and I think that it is an honor :)

Anyhoo. Seattle.


I have been twice before: Once when I was 17 for U18 Girl's Nationals for rugby {suuuuuch a fun trip!}, and once when I was 18 for a mission trip with my youth group. Both times I experienced different things in Seattle, and each time I had so much fun there! This time, six years later, I am traveling with my husband (who has never been there), and I'm sure it will be different, yet again, but still lots of fun!

The point of this post is to ask you all what you would recommend I do while I'm there.

We will be there Saturday afternoon through Monday morning, with a rehearsal dinner Sat night and the wedding Sunday night. So we don't have all the time in the world, but enough to do some sightseeing. I have done the Space Needle, and Tyler doesn't really care whether we go up it or not. So we'll probably do a walk-by, but not go up in it.

I think we should probably hit the original Starbucks...just to say we have :) And because I love Starbucks.

We'll go to the Pike Place Market for sure and get some fresh food to munch on. There is always something fun going on there! Lots of street performers, vendors, shops, and stuff to look at!

We'll also for sure hit Pioneer Square. I've never been there before, but from what I've read, it's got really unique and quaint shops = I automatically adore!

Other than that, we're staying with our fabulous friend Dylan, and I'm sure he'll take us somewhere fun Saturday night! I want to be sure to hit the "must" spots while I'm there, so if you have any favorite Seattle activities, let me know about them!

Much obliged :)
Cheers to traveling! {I can't freaking wait}

PS Wish us luck...this weekend our puppies will be spending the night alone for the first time! Saturday night, thankfully, Clint & Erin will be staying at our house to give them some companionship. Then Sunday night, the fabulous Mandrew are coming over to hang at our house for a bit...but then the pups will actually spend the night alone! I'm hoping Penny doesn't freak out :( She's kind of anxious and I hope she doesn't lose it without us. I guess we'll see...I report back to you when we get home!

m.i.a...

Hello, blog world! Wow, it's been two weeks since I have posted anything...and I feel so disconnected from all that is blogland! I've missed you all! I guess after my last post (kinda deep, if I do say so myself), I didn't feel like posting anything trivial. And I didn't really have anything very funny or interesting happen to me. And nothing really got me angry enough to rant about.


Actually, I wanted to post on 9/11, but I was out of town in Fort Collins with my family, so I didn't. Every year when the anniversary of 9/11 rolls around, I get to thinking about how the citizens of the United States came together so closely after that tragedy. Why is it that tragedy must strike in order for people to decide to be kind and helpful to one another? I like to use 9/11 to remind myself of many things:


1. To be thankful for the men/women who risked/risk their lives to save the lives of others (ie: Firemen/women, you rule!)
2. To carry myself a little better than the day before, because life without the warmth of human interaction and random acts of kindness makes me sad.
3. To be proud of my country, even when I may be frustrated with a current political leader or some new legislation...because when it comes down to it, I believe very strongly in my personal {albeit idealistic} concept of America: A place where people of different histories are free to live in the happiness they create for themselves.

There.
Soapbox.
Over it :)

So what's been new with me? Just working a lot! The babies have been pouring in this week, so work goes by nice and quickly! On the other hand, my knees have been KILLING me... Which stinks at a job where you're on your feet for approximately 12 hours. And when you're trying to train for a half-marathon. Ugh.

Whatever, knees!!!

Last Sunday I put on my brave girl pants, and I played rugby for the first time in over three years! It was so much freaking fun! I know some girls who play on the women's team in Boulder, and they've been asking me to join in some games because they're short on players...and honestly I was too scared to play! I was nervous that I would be awful and embarrass myself. But then I sat myself down and had a little pep talk. What is there to be scared of, really? Why not just go for it and have some fun? So that's what I did! And fun I sure had! I got pummeled and pummeled some girls in return, and the bruises I got gave me a little bit of my ole' rugby swagger back!

{that's me in the middle with the yellow bandana...game for CSU freshman year!}

I was honestly on a high after playing, so happy! It made me realize that although my college coach ruined rugby for me for a while, I still love the sport deep down in my badass heart, and I need to play on a team! Not sure if my knees will cooperate with this new ambition...but I'd like to play more regularly if I can! And the game with the Boulder Babes was great practice for my alumni game in two weeks! I am REALLY looking forward to it! Smashing people and celebrating rugby style afterward!

I hope you are enjoying your September! We're halfway through, and man, I am LOVING this Colorado fall! My favorite time of year here! The sun still shines high in the sky, but with a bit less ferocity, and accompanied with a relaxing breeze = perfection!

Today = September 16th = my mom's birthday, my aunt's (my mom's twin), my father-in-law's birthday, and Mexican Independence Day! So happy birthday to those loves in my life, and let's celebrate with a margarita {any excuse to drink a marg works for me!}!


Cheers !!!

Thursday, September 2

the stories of our lives

Hello, friends!

Today in Colorado we are experiencing the first hint of fall: a cool morning! I was just sitting outside enjoying the slight breeze. It's so enjoyable! Usually by 10am it is roasting outside, so this is really a treat!

The purpose of this post is to tell you about an amazing life reminder I got last week at work.

It was slow on my floor (not many babies), so that meant I got sent to work elsewhere in the hospital. On these other floors, I wasn't too busy either, so I got to spend a lot more time than usual just talking with the patients. 

I had really lengthy conversations with about 5 of the patients, and they each made an impact on me. As we walk through life, day to day, how many strangers' faces do we glance at for a flicker of a second? Hundreds? It is so easy to get used to the mechanical way we go about our lives, with the least amount of interaction with others possible. But in speaking with these strangers, I found that they each had such a story to tell. Even in the 20 or 30 minutes we spoke, I was amazed to learn about all the different obstacles and struggles these people had gone through. Granted, I was working on a floor where people have serious medical issues, so it's not really a fair representation of the average population...but still.

It was beautiful to take the time to get to know these people. Whatever happened to strangers being kind to each other? I'm not saying everyone should be naive and live life chatting blissfully away with complete strangers, because I know that there are bad people in this world that have made humankind not trust each other anymore.

What I am saying is, what is the harm in being a little bit kinder as we move through life? Taking the time to smile more often or help someone in the parking lot who has dropped a bag of groceries. Is anyone else tired of the impersonal way everyone whispers "hi" while eyes are cast downward as you pass them in a hallway? I am making it a point to try to deliver a "hello" with a clear voice and a genuine smile when I walk past someone. I just think that in this technological age where people would prefer to email, text, or send a facebook message as opposed to call on the phone or meet up for coffee to chat face-to-face, our human relationships are getting more and more impersonal. 

I mean, in the neighborhood where I live...only one of my neighbors will talk to me. And that was after 8 months of living here. No one likes to go out of their way to get to know you anymore. When we moved in one year ago, I was excited to get to know my neighbors. And last week when I got locked out of my house, I really realized how much it sucks that I can't turn to any of them. Part of me wants to move somewhere more traditional just to see a glimmer of that old sense of neighborly friendliness and helpfulness.

This post may seem hippie-wishy-washy, but I truly yearn for people to just step it up and be just a little bit kinder. When I took the time to get to know these patients at work, I was greatly rewarded. Smiles are doubly beneficial: smiling makes you feel good inside, and it is also contagious --- so you'll make someone else smile and therefore help them feel better inside. 

If we all just smiled more often, even to strangers, the world (or at least the city of Denver) would have a completely different demeanor.

Cheers and a smile to you -

Wednesday, September 1

happy 100!

Happy Wednesday --- and happy September, y'all!

So...today I am posting my 100th post!!! Hooray! I know it's silly, but I've wanted to post a few times in the last week, but I have been waiting until I had something substantial to post because --- hello! --- it's my 100th post! So that's a happy little milestone for my blog :)

September has turned out to be a month of challenges for me. I have decided to do a September work-out challenge. Meaning I'll do something active and break a sweat EVERY DAY in September! I don't mean I have to run 9 miles every day...but at least do a good lift sesh or 20 minutes of abs or 40 minutes of good dog walking...something active every day of September!!! I'm excited for it :)

I have also decided to make September a no fast food month! I didn't come up with this, but a friend from work thought of this little challenge. And it really will be a challenge, because let me tell you, I LOVE me some Taco Bell! And some Spicy McChicken sandwiches from McDonalds...and some sundaes...and some fries...omg. I know fast food isn't good for me and when I really think about all the nasty crap in it...it makes me want to vomit...but sometimes all I want is a Big City Burrito. I'm just sayin'. Anyone who has had Big City has to know what I'm talking about. It's simply divine.

So it looks like September will be a health challenge month for me! I'm looking forward to it for multiple reasons:
1. I have a wedding in September to look good for!
2. October 2nd I am playing in the CSU Alumni Rugby game...so I got to amp up my muscular strength again so I don't get my ass whooped by a bunch of college kids!
3. Half-marathon October 17th - and I want to kick some serious bootayyyy!

With that being said --- happy September! Happy health to you and we'll see if my challenges show some results! Let me know if you'd like to be a challenge buddy and participate in one of these with me!

Cheers to scarves and hot apple cider and the green, yellow, orange, and red leaves twirling to the ground and jeans and pink cheeks from the crisp fall breeze... can't wait to see you, fall!!!