Throwback Wednesday?

I have another post planned for Thursday so today I am doing a little throwback Wednesday post.

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I just happened to catch the video for Duran Duran’s “the Reflex” this morning through my Facebook feed. This was THE band for me during my adolescent years. That important time from 13-17 when your music interest in explored and you find your music taste (I think it happens for kids these days at a much younger age). Anyway, I watched the video this morning and it brought back some pretty fun memories for me.

When this video premiered on MTv back in 1984 it was a big event. MTv used to have “world premiere” videos that they would schedule and it used to be a pretty big deal for music fans. I actually had a “the Reflex” video premiere party…with friends I invited over. And we had strawberries and “champagne” (sparkling apple cider since we were all of 14 years old) which was the band’s favorite snack. Looking back on that now I think it was probably just what they said to seem interesting. It was the 80’s though so maybe they did snack on strawberries and champagne. I am freaking serious. I was an obsessed fan. Even back then I was trying to throw themed parties! And I remember us all screaming about the video and talking about it for so long after the premiere. “Did you see how cute John was at that one point” “My favorite part was ______”  and so on.

As a mom now,  the thing I think about when I remember this night is that my parents were really awesome for letting me do this. For letting 5 screaming girls takeover the house for the time period  (I can’t remember how long people came over for) and for buying strawberries and sparkling apple juice just so I could have something like that at the party. I don’t know if I ever told them how much I appreciate that they let me do this party. They must have thought I was crazy obsessed…but they still let me do it. I was kind of an asshole to my parents for years when they didn’t deserve it.

Also!  I use to write fan fiction about Duran Duran. Cringe worthy fan fiction that I am embarrassed to even admit to these days. And I let friends read it!

Good times.

As happy as I am that we didn’t have cell phones and Facebook back then I wish I had been better about documenting my memories. I love when a song or smell takes me back to a certain memory but for the times when I don’t have those triggers it would be fun to look back at my life then. I lost an important box filled with old notes and letters and tokens of my life and it still upsets me to this day when I remember that those items are gone. This is why I always tell Alex she can keep the important childhood/teenage memory stuff with me because I will always keep an eye on it for her. I want her to have her memories later on when she feels like re-visiting them:)

Jennifer

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Friday favorites

A few things from the interwebs that caught my attention this week:

I love this artist’s work

An interesting article about what happens when you die alone

Good information

I loved her list and enjoyed listening to a few that I haven’t heard before. I’ll get to the others soon.

These had me cracking up at my desk today. Some of them are so spot on.

 

Have a good weekend!

Jennifer

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Muckfest 2015

worst photo ever of me…

My friend Courtney was inspired by the list that I make each year and for her 40th birthday, she made her own list.  One of the items on her list was  *Do a mud run* and so a few months ago she tried to corral a bunch of us to do it with her. I said “count me in” and then promptly forgot about it…

Fast forward to the end of September and she contacts me to find out if I’ve signed up for the race…oh crap. I’m the only one that ended up being able to do this mud run with her it so I sucked it up and  I signed up, despite the knee injury I was dealing with, for a 5K obstacle course mud run. Yes, you are reading that correctly…I was going to run an obstacle course in the mud. I hadn’t run anything since the 5K I did in January so I expected this to be tough.IMG_6460

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So muddy. So gross.

I was definitely nervous that morning but after that initial nervousness I overcame some of my fear and had quite a good time. I didn’t push myself (afraid of my knee and hurting it worse) to do some of obstacles but Courtney did every single one. She was a rock star on this course. 17 obstacles and she did every single one. I was so proud of her. I would definitely do this obstacle course again but I’d probably try to train first this time. Going into this cold…with no training and a hurt knee was probably a bad idea (or so my body told me later when it could barely move…LOL) and I paid for it the next week when I went to Seattle with my sister. IMG_6463

This particular mud run was a fundraiser for MS. From their website:

About MuckFest® MS

MuckFest MS is the fun mud and obstacle 5K for everyone. If you can laugh, you can do it. No special training required. Have a blast on mountains of mud and 18+ outrageous obstacles that will spin, swing, and fling you and your teammates up, down, and sideways. The event is built for laughs, but we’re also on a serious mission: to support people living with multiple sclerosis and to bring us closer to a world free of MS. And you’ll feel great knowing that 100% of your team’s fundraising dollars support the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

You can read more about it here

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Exhilarated but exhausted!

We got to meet quite a few people with MS that were doing the course and they were such amazing role models. They were all kicking my ass at this obstacle course at least. And having so much fun doing it. They really were so amazing. I’m grateful that Courtney pushed me to do this event. Hopefully next year I will be in better shape for this event:)

Jennifer

 

 

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books to read: a list for the day I have free time again…

Since August I have been taking an American history class at the local community college. I never finished college and it’s been on my “to do” list for years but life just got in the way. Specifically, raising my daughter and needing to work full time kept me from moving forward with school. Now that Alex is a grown up (insert sad face) and has moved out and Nate is already taking classes, I figured this was a good time to re-visit the “finish college” part of my life. Unfortunately I could not have imagined how much reading and writing would be involved in a history class. Almost everything has fallen to the wayside so that I can concentrate on this class. I haven’t read for pleasure, except the book I had to struggle through for book club, in months now. I haven’t worked on my Project Life book in 2 months at this point. Just going out of town with my sister for a few days really put me behind schedule and it’s been a struggle to catch up. I really don’t know how some people do this…work full time +  go to school + raise their kids and still do the mundane tasks that make up each day (like cooking, laundry, cleaning the house, sleeping, etc.). I am only taking one class and it’s so much work. I can’t imagine taking on more than one class a semester.

Sigh.

Someday though, I predict that I will have a chance to read again, just for the fun of it and so I’ve been accumulating a large stack of books on my nightstand. Here is a list of my most recent purchases just waiting until December 14th when school is officially over with…for this semester.

1. Why Not Me by Mindy Kaling

2. The Nature of the Beast by Louise Penny

3. You are a Badass by Jen Sincero

4. You’re Never Weird on the Internet by Felicia Day

5. All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

6. The Lake House by Kate Morton

7. The Long and Faraway Gone by Lou Berney

8. The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy

 

What are you reading right now? Any recommendations? Maybe I will get to them by 2017…

Jennifer

 

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That first step…

IMG_2896I’m standing at the water’s edge and staring. I’m already anticipating how shockingly cold the ocean will be when it touches my skin for the first time and it makes me a feel a little lightheaded. I’m awkwardly trying to find my footing in the sand while also stiffly holding a body board. I’m aware of every stretch and movement the wet suit makes and I feel a bit claustrophobic in it. I’m feeling completely out of my element. This is all new for me. The body board. The wet suit. The plunging into the ocean for that matter. 20+ years of living by the water and I hadn’t once ventured into it. Not once.

This moment was a long time coming though. After years of telling myself I was too fat to wear a wet suit, to embarrassed to be seen in a wet suit for that matter. Too out of shape to attempt body boarding. Too afraid to swim in the ocean.  Always allowing that inner voice to tell me what I CAN’T do. That inner voice that feeds my self loathing and vulnerability. The one I always listened to until one day, pretty recently, a smaller voice in me suddenly said “Enough.” It said “You’re letting your life slip away from you. You aren’t getting any younger. Get off you fucking ass and live the life you want to live. Stop. making. excuses. You are the only one holding yourself back.”

So here I stand. Contemplating my next move. Watching as Nathan heads into the water without a moment of hesitation. In so many ways, he’s braver than me. He likes a little bit of danger with his adventure. It’s not something he would readily admit to, but I’ve seen it in his eyes. I prefer my adventure a bit more tame. We work well together because of these small differences. He gets me to step a little bit out of my comfort zone and I keep him alive. Less reckless. Which may be a surprise to those that know him because he comes across very reserved and quiet but that is far from the truth. He has a bit of a wild streak in himIMG_2904. Mostly because he just never worries that anything will go wrong. I admire that about him. I worry that everything will go wrong.

Anyway…I did finally follow him into the water and spent the afternoon body boarding Well, I attempted to at least. I was slammed quite a bit by the waves and swallowed, by accident, a nauseating amount of salt water. But it was one of the best days of 2015. And by the end of the afternoon I could reasonably ride a wave. I got showed up by quite a few younger (aka kids) people in the water but regardless of that I had a blast. Better yet I was proud of myself for tackling something new.

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I mean…look at my face. I couldn’t stop smiling. What an amazing day.

 

Jennifer

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List 44: Go whale watching (#36)

IMG_2225I’ve lived in California for almost 21 years. I know, I know…I’ve lived in California, on the coast, for HOW long and I’ve never been whale watching. Yep. That would be accurate. For the first few years as a California resident I was a single mom and I can tell you,  if I had $100 extra dollars, it wasn’t going to be spent on whale watching. It just wasn’t something that was feasible at that time since things like food and shelter seemed more important. I don’t really have an excuse for the other 15+ years though other than it just never happened. Nate and I have talked about going for years and then never followed through. This has been on my list for the past couple years and still, I hadn’t made it happen. I think my fear of seasickness might have influenced this decision. I couldn’t be sure that I wouldn’t get seasick and there is nothing I like less than throwing up. It’s just the worst. And after a rough time on a friend’s sailboat in February I really was worried about heading out for hours on a boat.

IMG_2270Then for my birthday this year a friend of mine, Courtney, surprised me with the gift of a whale watching trip. While I was excited that this was finally going to happen I was still thinking “oh crap. I’m going out on a boat…”

IMG_2295It was an amazing experience though. This is not to say that I wasn’t nauseous during the 4 hour trip out into the bay… I was nauseous for days after the trip, but I didn’t get sick which is all that mattered to me. Seeing whales like this, out in the ocean, is really an amazing experience. We saw about a dozen different humpback whales and hundreds of Risso’s dolphins and at the end of the trip we saw a gigantic sun fish (which was one of my favorite part of the whole trip!) The guide told us they had seen numerous pods of Orchas the day before so it was a bit disappointing not to have seen any on this trip. Unfortunately, on whale watching trips,  you are at the mercy of the whales and whether they decide to show up that day. Orcas just weren’t feeling it this day. Maybe they will be out there on my next whale watching adventure:)

IMG_2198 I am so thankful that Courtney gave me the push to finally do this!

Courtney and I used to be roommates back in the old days. When both our daughters were sweet & little (Alex was 5 and her daughter was 2 & now they are both just moody, cranky teenagers.) We recently re-connected through Facebook and it’s been awesome hanging out with her again. We both went through some really rough years and I really appreciate having a friend who knew me back in those days. I was kind of a mess back then and Courtney had her own issues and we’ve come so far from those days that it feels right hanging out now. We both probably could have been a big help to each other all those years ago but being the self centered younger women that we were we had to help ourselves before we could help others. It’s feels amazing to be in a completely different place now and to be spending time with her.

We finished the day off with lunch at The Whole Enchilada which, despite my nausea and rubbery sea legs, was the perfect ending to this adventure.

Felt good to check another thing off my list:)

 

 

 

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List 44

Dahlia from List 43Every year leading up to my birthday I make a list,  like a small bucket list, of things I want to accomplish that year. It usually includes personal goals, travel, places to eat and the such. The  list is made from items on my big life list and then other small goals from other lists I’ve made.  I like lists and I like having goals, this is how I operate best. Truthfully though I never even get half of the list done. For example, for List 43 I did 9.5 of my goals. 9.5!! And this was one of my better years. I have a couple of years where I didn’t do anything on the list. Often the goals were too big. Often times I would forget about the list until I only had 2 months to get everything done. I tend to put lots of travel goals on the list but for a couple of years we struggled financially and so they just weren’t possible. Two of the items on list 43 were goals I’ve included on every  list since List 38. I did them this year though and they were probably the most satisfying for the simple reason that I FINALLY did them!

Anyway.

I tried to be smarter about this year’s list. I started making the list in January so that I could give my goals a little more thought. ( Trying to plan 7 trips in a 12 month period when you only have 3 weeks vacation a year is one way of not getting anything on a list done). The one I’m about to post is actually the 5 or 6th version. Also, I was suppose to post this on my birthday as the first post on my new blog.  Only 10 days late!

P.S. I have also already done 2 of the goals on my list and it’s only 11 days in…woohoo…go me!

1. Treat myself to an afternoon at a spa
2. Do a beer tour Fort Bragg to Petaluma (the idea came from this article in Sunset magazine)
3. host an Ugly Sweater Xmas party
4. attend the 2015  Chinese New Year Parade in San Francisco
5. have a big 10 year anniversary party
6. go to a roller derby game
7. do a #100 mile challenge (100 miles walked in 6 months)
8. go to the Moss Landing Antique Fair in July
9. take a weekend trip to San Diego
10. bike the boardwalk in San Diego
11. throw an 80’s themed party
12. plan a bonfire on Carmel Beach
13. do my first 5K
14. participate in a Color Run
15. Visit Buellton
16. make a piece of art for our house
17. do the movie/dinner night that Montrio’s and the Osio holds each Tuesday
18. officially change name
19. visit the San Francisco MOMA ( I chose this right as they were closing for renovations but I still have a year so we’ll see if it gets done in time)
20. get to my goal weight
21. Hike Mount Sutro in SF (specifically the south ridge trail & historic trail)
22. Visit Point Reyes Lighthouse
23. Hike in Montana de Oro State Park in SLO
24. Breakfast at Deetjen’s
25. spend a weekend in Los Angeles (3 day)
26. see a drive-in movie at Sunset Drive-In (SLO)
27. read 50 books
28. have a breakfast pizza at the Big Sur Bakery in Big Sur
29. eat at The Hart and the Hunter in LA
30. do 12 things (1 each month) off my Pinterest account (recipe, art project, decorating idea, etc.)
31. Camp at Pinnacles National Park
32. go kayaking with Nate again
33. see Golden Gate Bridge at the Battery Spencer View in Marin Headlands
34. bike ride along the American River Parkway in Sacramento
35. have a drink on the Delta King in Sacramento
36. go whale watching
37. camp at Big Basin in Santa Cruz
38. learn to weave (wall weavings)
39. visit the rooftop bar at the new ACE hotel in LA
40. eat at Dona Thomas for brunch in Oakland
41. get a new dining room sideboard
42. do wine tour of Santa Cruz Mountains
43. make cinnamon rolls from scratch
44. make buffalo wings (a friend of mine’s recipe in particular)

Looking forward to tackling the list this year. Some of them are already in the works to happen so I have high hopes for this year:)

What are some of your goals for the next year?

-jen

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