Wednesday, April 20

changing my heart

Hey there guys, this post is an update on the drama that is Naggie {my neighbor}. If you're not familiar with Part One of this story, you might want to read up real quick. In short - she is a 67-year-old woman who is absolutely certain we are trying to ruin her life by playing really loud bass music all day and night. She has written letters to the HOA, called the police on us, and talks badly of us to all our other neighbors. We don't even play music. If I do, it's on my laptop, and it's not possible for it to even produce a bass sound. She also makes allegations that our dogs bark too much and that we never clean up their poop. Except for the part where we clean up the backyard every 2 days...but whatever. That's what we've been dealing with, and last week, things got HEATED over in this hood!

On Monday, April 11th, I was packing for our vacation, when I hear a knock on the door. Two police officers were standing there. Immediately I felt my blood begin to boil. I said to the officers, "I assume Naggie called the police on us for supposed bass music and dogs barking?" They chuckled and asked to come in. They started praising my dogs, asking what kind they were, saying how well-behaved they were {I am so glad they got the memo to be on their best behavior on front of police officers!!!} Anyway, the officers noted that there was no music playing and that it was really quiet in our house. Yup, as usual. The officers then mentioned that she also called the cops on Sunday, April 10th. Really? We were at the zoo all day, not even home! I told them I was literally shaking because I was so frustrated with this woman's continuing to call the police over something that isn't even happening. They gave me information for a local mediation officer, told me they were going to write up a report for the call saying that the call was "unfounded" - unnecessary and bogus pretty much. Then they left.

As I'm sitting in my house seething with anger, I see Naggie standing outside my house. She does that sometimes. Just stands there to see if she can hear music playing. I'm starting to consider it an intimidating gesture. So I open my door and step outside. She immediately retreats inside her house. I go knock on her door and ask her if I can help her with something since she was standing in front of my house. And that's when she goes berserk! 

She has always been passive with me, never directly confrontational. But today she started screaming at me, "You can't say anything to me! I'm sick of all your lies! You people play music nonstop! You played it all night Saturday night so that I was too tired to go to church Sunday! And your dogs are horrible." I'm fuming. And although my voice is shaky, I am trying my best not to yell back. But I do counter with, "Naggie. We went to bed at 10 o'clock Saturday night! And if our dogs are so horrible, why does every officer love them and state that they're merely doing their job as dogs by barking when people approach our home? If you can't handle the normal noise of having neighbors, maybe you should move." To this, she throws her hands up in the air and tells me, "Well I was here first!." Okay, are we in 1st grade? I'm well aware that you have been here tormenting other neighbors for years. I march away from her door because I'm afraid I'm going to slap an old lady, when she shouts after me, "You trashy bitch!"

Just --- wow. 

 She claims to be this admirable Christian woman going to church all the time, when really, she's one of those judgmental and higher-than-thou religious people that makes non-religious people shy away from Christianity all together. And she has the nerve to call me a trashy bitch. I probably don't even need to tell you that for the next 24 hours, I said more curse words than I have said probably in the last 6 months. I was SO. MAD. I was crying because I didn't know how else to handle my anger. And I'm sure my blood pressure was through the roof. I left a message for the mediation officer stating is was imperative that we talked and sort things out ASAP, then I tried to take a deep breath and get ready for our vacation. 

Although we had a wonderful trip to San Diego, every few hours I would think about the frustration that my situation with Naggie had brought about. She certainly affected our trip in some ways. Then we checked the mail when got home this last Sunday. Surprise, surprise. We find a letter from our HOA stating that it has come to their attention that we are not in compliance with HOA standards. It had come to their attention {I wonder how...} that we were violating these standards by playing music loudly and not picking up our dog feces. Again --- cue blood boiling and steam coming out my ears. It's no question who reported these supposed violations to our HOA. They ask you to agree to correct the issue and go on with our day. Well, no thank you. I refuse to sign a document agreeing to correct the issue when we have done nothing wrong. The only other course of action is to request a hearing with the Board of our HOA where we and the complainant { = Naggie} get together to hash it out. Sounds lovely. 

I have had it with this woman. 
She is trying any venue she can to be as annoying as possible to us. 

I get it. She's old. She's lonely. She's angry, bitter, and frustrated. Frustrated because she probably does hear noises. Whether they're in her head or she really hears music, it's not coming from us. I feel badly for her. But I'm still done with her. 

Most of the support I have gotten from friends during this time are words encouraging me to "fight back" or to "play dirty too". I must admit at first that was my plan. Fight fire with fire, right?
But then I started thinking about how draining it is to carry around that anger all the time. It's absolutely exhausting. Not to mention it affects every other area of my life to where I see things through a more pessimistic and violent lens. Which is NOT what I want.

I decided to try handling this situation differently. While I will absolutely continue to protect ourselves, doing the hearing with our HOA and continuing conversation with our mediation officer, I no longer want to let her take away my happiness. I don't want to be bitter because of her. I'd rather wash my hands clean of her negativity. Instead of narrowing my eyes, thinking thoughts of hate, and sending bad vibes her way, I decided to pray for her. I pray for her mental health. I pray that her family comes into her life and softens her up a bit. I pray she finds things to do with her time so she isn't just idle with nothing better to do than call the cops on us. I have been reading scriptures on forgiveness. And you know what? I feel so much better. I am much more calmed down. I'm not at complete peace with the situation, but I am proud to say I'm handling it with much more grace than I ever thought possible. 

Is she crazy? Mean? Bossy? Manipulative, negative, rude? Yes. She is all of those things. But if I utilize my background in psychology, and really think about the underlying reasoning for all of her behaviors, then I feel sorry for her. She's elderly. Bored. Lonely. Bitter. Confused and frustrated about this bass music that she truly believes she hears. Immaturity has no age limit, and she showed her true colors last week. But I refuse to get down on her level. I will stay above it all. 

Do any of you have any Bible readings you might suggest to help me with my efforts to forgive, and Heaven forbid, LOVE my neighbor? 


Tuesday, April 19

sunny diego

Hello, friends!

So a LOT has happened in the last week for me! But let me just let this blog entry be a documentation of our fabulous trip to San Diego! I want to start by saying I LOVE traveling in April/May! Everywhere touristy is just so incredibly managable when it isn't during peak tourist season! Like Sea World and the Zoo --- we were able to do EVERYTHING we wanted because there weren't tourists packed in like sardines in either place! Plus, I'd way rather do the zoo during 65 degree weather instead of 80 degrees! But that's just me. 

Aaaanyyyhoooo. Here's our trip in a series of some of my favorite shots :)

On a stroll through Seaport Village, we found this beautiful rainbow splashed across the side of the building! So pretty! :)

Seaport Cafe on the Pier

Seaport Cafe has the biggest onion rings I've ever seen! Delicious! But made me sick after a while!

We happened to be there on April 12th - free Ben & Jerry's Scoop Day! Yum! I reeaalllyyy needed my lemonade sorbet at that moment!

Birds of Paradise grace every lawn in San Diego!

At Sea World! First stop --- feeding the dolphins! It was so fun!
Then off to the dolphin show! They're so awesome :)

Pretty stoked after the dolphin show. 

The Sea Lion Show --- doing the tango with a rose in his mouth! Haha. 

It's Jaws! Scary scary tunnel of sharks. 

I took a picture of our splash ride picture!

Time for Shamuuuuu!

Loved the Orca show!

These polar bears were super active! So cool!

Mr. Walrus showing us his food.

Awesome tree outside of our hotel!

Beer flights and tons of food during our anniversary dinner! Yum :) Love local microbrews!

Breakfast at The Mission: A conscientious eating place. 
I had a fabulous cheesy egg/tomato croissant with fruit salad! 
DIVINE! Oh and a bloody mary, duh.

Pacific Beach

Loving our beach day!
And notice my wrapped running injury from October really flared up on this trip. I had to wrap it every day!

Tyler being so cute and making a headrest out of sand. Like his new mirrored shades?

Loving our relaxing vacation time! Fun in the sun, water, and sand!

San Diego Zoo day!!! Pandas are my favorite animal of allllll time! They were active that day! Preparing to mate the male and female! This is the female. So beautiful!

The male waiting patiently next door for him to be able to spend time with his girl!

The female, antsy to see her man!

And then they closed the exhibit for the rest of the day to give the pandas privacy! We felt so lucky to have gotten the opportunity to see them!

Orangutans are so cool. 

Polar Bear all sprawled out eating carrots for a snack. Yes, carrots!

Elephant having a snack :)

Mama and baby giraffe! So cute. 

Visiting with the lemurs! Such funny little guys.

The koala exhibit was really cool! These guys were snoozing the day away.

Baby gorilla! So stinkin' cute!!!

Enjoying some soft-serve after our looooong day of walking! The San Diego Zoo is world class and huuuuge!

We loved our 4 day trip to San Diego! Saw so much, ate wonderful food, spent quality time together, and went to bed around 8pm every night! Much needed R&R after Tyler's hard work on his boards! 

Cheers to vacations!!!

Friday, April 8

out with the old --- in with the new {and sparkly!}

Howdy, y'all! {I like Texans, okay?}

Happy Friday to you! It was my Friday last night at work, too, and I don't have to go to work again to April 20th!!! Wahoooo! I have all of next week off {vacation days, babay!} so that Tyler and I can take a vacation and guess where we're headed?

Still don't know?

We are so excited :) I haven't been since I was 9 years old {and trying to be a movie star --- but that's a different story altogether} and Tyler has never been, so this should be rad! We have lots of plans! Zoo, Sea World, Pacific Beach {or P.B. as I have been instructed to call it}, Gas Lamp Quarter, Downtown, Balboa Park, Seaport Village, and Belmont Park! Phew. We are up in the air about Coronado Island and the Wild Animal Reserve. What do you think? What is a MUST see/do in San Diego?

Anyway, vacation details aside...I got new glasses! About a year and a half ago I got these {awww one of Gryffy baby's first puppy pictures!!!}:

And I adored them! Aaaaand I lost them. In Breck. Who knows where in Breck? Not me.
So, I replaced them with these!

Just picked them up yesterday and I love em! They are very me and I hope I don't lose them! {ummm just cleaned out my flex spending account getting them so I have NO money for another replacement!} Yay yay I'm excited :) I can finally see again! Plus I feel fancy because they're my first Coach product to own! Aaaand probably my last. So I'm gonna treasure 'em!

Lastly I wanted to share with you all the ingredient of the week at mi casa: ASPARAGUS! Yum!
We had it in a delicious Asparagus Frittata that the hubs so kindly made,

and then we had it again last night just baked with a little butter and balsamic vinegar! Mmmmm.

What have you been cooking with lately?
Happy weekend :)

Monday, April 4


Happy Monday to you!

Yes, it's 4:30am and I'm blogging :) But what's new? I'm sure you're used to my odd-hour postings by now. If you don't know why I am up at all hours --- it's because I work the night shift at a hospital on the mom/baby unit. 12 hour shifts. Yup. It's not so bad, just makes for a strange sleep schedule --- or a lack of one entirely :)

Anyhoo --- that is NOT the purpose of my post :) 

I am writing to share an *AWESOME* experience I had last night! It's not on the mega-Colorado list, but it's on my personal list of Denver experiences I need to have! I have been wanting to go to Jump Street for AGES, and we finally went! If you don't know about Jump Street, let me inform you! It's a big building. Filled with trampolines. And you pay per hour to jump. Jump jump jump. Yup, just like a kid :) It was so much fun! Here is the link if you're curious about locations or want more info about Jump Street: 

The awesome carpet. 

Tyler and I went with Mandrew and it was a blast! Not to mention a fabulous workout! We started with some races through the obstacle course! Which were hilarious. Grown ass adults racing through inflatable obstacle courses, tripping and falling over each other continuously! And laughing the whole time :) 

Here's me faceplanting at the bottome of the slide, haha. Good times!

Then we went through a maze, ran into a few walls along the way ;) and headed to the giant trampoline pit to get our JUMP on! We played crack-the-egg, did Sit-knee flips {or Sydnie flips}, had running and hopping contests, and did an ANTM photo shoot challenge. Haha. We were sweaty messes collapsing in fits of laughter and getting in trouble the whole time. Yes, out of all the kids and teenagers there, we were the ones getting hollered at. It was worth it :)

Funniest shot of the night!!!!!

Cutest shot of the night!

Love these ones with my honey!

And a few more trips through the obstacle course before our hour of jump is up!
This squeezer is really hard to get through when you're a grownup!

Tyler breaks all the rules. Not the safe way to go down the slide, mister!
 The end.
But not the end of Jump Street for us!
It was everything I hope it would be, and I'll be back for a good sweat/laugh sesh soon!
And did I mention there is a dodgeball trampoline court you can rent?
Guess where Tyler's birthday party will be next year...!!!

Cheers :)