Thursday, December 2, 2010

A Less Than Ideal -- But Still PERFECT Christmas

I must confess, I unfortunately have a habit every single year of wanting everything about Christmas to be PERFECT. I want the decorations up when I want them up. I want to watch all of my Christmas movies, I want to bake the cookies, make the candy, see the lights, buy the perfect gifts, do everything perfectly. That's just the neurotic perfectionist in me.

But there's one thing that I have finally learned recently: Things don't always work out perfectly. Things go wrong. Things go very, very wrong. Pay cuts happen. Furloughs happen. Cars break. Kitters gets sick. Sometimes you get snowed in trying to get from one parents house to the other at Christmas. Sometimes you burn the cookies or the rum balls come out so ridiculously alcoholic that you can't eat them. Thanks Food Network for that, by the way. But as my dad has always told me, it could ALWAYS be worse. So so so much worse. It's all relevant of your own problems and stresses always seem like they are the worst. But honestly, they aren't. And so I have learned this year to be thankful for the imperfect Christmas.

My decorations usually go up mid-November, and I do my own Christmas thing mid-November while everyone gives me the “you're crazy” looks. Minus my good friend Karen who is unfortunately not in the country this year for the holidays. But instead this year because of the multitude of out-of-town weekends in November, our decorations didn't go up until Thanksgiving weekend. (Like normal people) But what was nice about that is that my husband actually helped me decorate the tree. So that made doing the decorating even better!

I also confess that my love language is gifts – giving. getting, the whole lot. It's what makes me feel love and also how I show love. But mostly, I love giving them. I remember being a little kid and I would “make” little notepads out of torn up sheets of yellow paper stapled together and then wrap them up as gifts. I love finding that perfect gift. But this year, with furlough type situations at our jobs, my lack of income as I'm still finishing school, and us being I guess you'd say the “quintessential married couple just starting out” - I'm having to be a lot more creative this year than in previous years. And it's taking all self control to not go overboard on presents for family and friends like I normally do. But that's okay. I'm actually excited about the creative ideas I've come up with for some gifts. Gifts are not what Christmas is about. Love, Kindness and Family – thats what's important!!

And while I'm seriously overly caffeinated trying to get through these last weeks of school, there are so many things about this season to look forward to – as imperfect as it all may be!

  • One of my closest friends is moving back to Sacramento!!  <3 you Jess!
  • Chris and I will actually have pretty close to two weeks off together around the holidays.  Which hasn't happened since our wedding.  Though we will be broke, we will be together, and we will be able to visit with friends and family that we haven't been able to in a long time.
  • I still look forward to my multiple Zumba classes every single week because I know I am healthier and happier than I have ever been because of them, and I have the motivation now to stay that way.  Shout out to Zumba with Alex @ 24 Hour Fitness <3
  • We will be having a fun get together to go look at Christmas lights on Dec. 22!!

And so much more!!  Cookies, Candy making, Christmas movies, board games, cheap wine, eggnog and brandy, hot chocolate, ice skating (thanks to groupon) and lots of fun!

I am so thankful for the family, extended family and friends I have been given, the wonderful husband who I have found.  I don't know where I would be without him.  We keep each other strong.  I love the place where I live, my life and all of the great people I have come to know over all these years. I love you ALL and I hope you are able to look past the neuroses and stress of your Christmas plans and just enjoy the imperfection of it all. 

Now there are so many great Christmas quotes from movies and songs, but
my favorite one of all is:

“Remember, No Man Is A Failure Who Has Friends!”  - It's a Wonderful Life

Happy Holidays!!!


Thursday, October 21, 2010

What a Difference Some Zumba Makes

My name is Kellie, and I think I am a zumbaholic.... I kid.

No, but really... I have never found an exercize that makes me feel so good afterward. Usually I can barely make it through a class and then I end up so sore that I can't move for days afterward. Which inevitably leaves me not wanting to go back. But zumba, ZUMBA is different! Some people will laugh and say it's this generation's jazzercize, but so what if it is! I embrace this generation's jazzercize, then. What's so great about it is that anyone can do it - big, small and everything in between, it is completely fun, and you burn 400-800 calories depending on the class and instructor. There is nothing else I can say I do that burns that many calories where I have that much fun! And I just feel so good afterward. My body is happy. I was telling Chris tonight, that if an exercize can make me still want to go to it after a 10 hour day of work, school and teaching, then it must be something special. And that's exactly what I did, today. Now it's almost midnight and I still feel great! Plus tonight, Alex shared a motivating story about a girl in class who lost 16 pants sizes from doing zumba.  It's such a supportive and fun environment, I love it!

Thanks to the instructors at Sacramento 24 Hour Fitness for teaching awesome, motivating and FUN classes every week., Alex and Ingrid - I highly recommend both to anyone with a 24 hour fitness membership in our area! And I am making it a goal for my self to try to make it to 3 zumba classes each week. Even with how crazy my schedule is with work, school, internships, more work and more school - I always will find some room for Zumba....and a little softball.

Zumba Love. <3 What, What!! :-)

Monday, September 27, 2010

An Open Letter to Autumn

Dear Autumn,

Where did you go? We were all SO happy, ECSTATIC for your presence over these last few weeks. Scarves were taken out, pumpkin cupcakes were made. Last week I even dusted off my boots and looked forward to pictures in the pretty fall leaves that signal the reprieve from Sacramento's god-awfully hot summers. At Costco on Friday I even started looking at the electric blankets thinking Hmm, we might need one of those soon. I smiled at the fact that Christmas decorations already filled two aisles, and made mental notes for future purchases for making my christmas candy.  Chris and I had even been discussing what dishes we wanted to make for Thanksgiving!

Then as quickly as you arrived, you were gone. Today, at 100 degrees, I was back to sitting in my no A/C car, seriously sweating, willing the traffic lights to change just to feel the air from the windows. And I HATE sweating. Sweating is right up there just below feeling nauseous on the list of feelings that I seriously dislike.  They say tomorrow is more of the same...

Pumpkin Spice Lattes are back. The feeling that Fall brings and Fall smelling candles are the absolute best! I'm ready to build fires, carve pumpkins, bake pies and crunch in the leaves.

It's go time Autumn.

Please. Come. Back.

Eagerly awaiting your return,


Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Long day, but 3 things to Love

I am so tired of always being so on the go. All The Time. I have been gone for different things for the last 3 weekends in a row. Don't get me wrong, these were all very fun things. But I have to say I am really looking forward to just being in Sacramento this whole weekend. Not to mention the fact that I am WAY behind on reading now. It will definitely be catch-up time.

But, even though this morning started out quite rocky, and I almost didn't make it to my classes...
Here's what makes me happy today:

  • Thanks to inspiration from Ashlee's Blog, Turning an old skirt that I really like into a dress by belting it. --> Love.

  • Parachute's album that I bought on Itunes last night. Losing Sleep --> Double Love.
  • Pinkberry Frozen Yogurt and Glee --> Good way to end a LONNNG day.

Now, bed. Reading will have to wait till morning.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

TV Premiere Week

End of September...and what does that mean? 
Football - yes, Fall weather – yes 

But all the TV shows are coming back!

Now I know some people who read this are going to think I watch WAY too much TV. But you don't know my family. I am on the light side compared to most of them.

The TV shows that I am the most excited for are:

Boardwalk Empire
New series starting on HBO about the 1920's during prohibition. Gonna give it a shot.

Castle became quickly one of my favorite shows last season. The reparte between Castle and Beckett is priceless!


Maybe it's the band kid / drama kid part of me from back in the day or maybe it's just how outrageous glee can be sometimes, but it always makes me laugh.

Modern Family
I LOVE Modern Family. Maybe it's because I'm a perfectionist like the wife, or just how hilarious this show is. Best ½ hour comedy on TV today!

Sh*t My Dad Says
While most people will always see William Shatner as Captain Kirk, I'm always going to see him as Denny Crane. I still watch the Boston Legal re-runs on the weekend. But I am interested to see how Shatner is as the dad in this new series. Though, I don't think it can top Modern Family for best comedy.

Grey's Anatomy
No matter how much they change it or what people say, I will always be a Grey's Anatomy die-hard. I've watched it since the very first episode. What season are we on now? 7? With Grey's you always think that they just can't quite top the previous year's season finale...and then they do. And last season sure was a big one. The aftermath of it should be interesting.

Private Practice
Private Practice is like Grey's Anatomy's stepsister. Same writers, different characters. Last season's episodes were neck and neck with Grey's right until the end. Dell's death, though I predicted it, was really sad. And we all want to see what happens with Addison and Sam!

Last year's finale of Medium was kind of an odd one, but this is the only “crime solving” type show I watch anymore. Wondering how it's going to work with the oldest daughter in college now...

Ohhh Dexter! After last year's crazy ending with Rita in a bath of blood, these season is sure to be another great one. I mean he's a serial killer, but only kills bad guys! It's just awesome. Can't wait.

What TV shows are YOU looking forward to?

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Guest Blog Post

While this week has been great super crazy stressful, so I haven't gotten a chance to post in a while, please do check out my guest blog on,  Here.

Raclette-topped Broiled Tomatoes - yummmmy!

Friday, September 3, 2010

The Last First Week

This has got to be the first year that I think I have been completely unexcited for school to start. Maybe it's because it's my last year.

Or perhaps it's just because I'm completely burnt out.

Or it could be this massive amount of required books that I will be reading:

(and that's minus 2 that I haven't bought yet)

Mostly I think it's because now that I am married, I feel even more ready for a regular job and am just tired of all the perpetual running around.

I hate the maze of parking on campus, speeding in zig-zags up the parking structure followed by the 20 minute walk into campus. Then there's the darting between large groups of students and maneuvering past the overzealous sorority and fraternity booths arriving barely on time, sweating and annoyed, only to end up sitting on the floor thanks to overcrowding in all state school classes these days. Because I am actually enrolled in all of my classes and not attempting to crash, I should tell the wait-listed people to just get out of my seat. But I'm nice, so I sit on the floor. In a dress. Awesome.

Then after the rest of my chaotic day and responsibilities, I arrive home frazzled and tired with a mountain of reading to do. Including middle English and obscure Norse mythology, no less.

Luckily, my husband is understanding of all of this and will continue to be understanding as I claw my way through these last 9 months of school.

So goodbye last first week of school – You won't be missed.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Il Bel Far Niente

Il Bel Far Niente

In Italian: The Beauty of Doing Nothing

In My Life: Nearly Impossible

In Eat Pray Love, Elizabeth Gilbert talks about the Italian culture's ability to be able to truly enjoy the art of doing nothing. But in our culture...not so much. Email, Texting, Facebook, Twitter, Television. Oh wait, gotta do the laundry, dishes need to be done. We are so full of distractions that we aren't able to just turn off and do nothing.

I have to say, I am probably first in line when it comes to these distractions taking over every ounce of what is left of my time after work and school.

And school...oh man school. With my last fall semester about to start on Monday, I feel myself teetering between excitement and full blown panic attacks. I love school, and I love learning, but the fear of being able to keep up with school as well as everything else in my life is all consuming. I feel like I am about to take a huge breath, jump into a lake, and hold my breath under water for the next 10 months.

And that is scary. Really scary. I'm not a fan of being underwater in the first comparing it to that feeling...well you get the point.

Anyway, I am proposing to make a promise to myself that I WILL come up for air sometimes. Not that I will try, not that I will do my best, but that I WILL give myself some breaks this year. Considering that my weekends seem to somehow already be pretty much booked through November, this will prove somewhat difficult. But, I need to do it. I need to carve out a couple of hours each week to practice Il Bel Far Niente.

Wish me luck?

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Countdowns and Books


12 days until I start my last year of college

30 days until we leave for the Monterey Jazz Festival!

129 days until Christmas :) - yes, I'm counting

63 days until I have the following books read:
  • Harry Potter 4 re-reading and almost done
  • Harry Potter 5 to re-read
  • Harry Potter 6 to re-read
  • Harry Potter 7 to re-read
  • Eat Pray Love - already started
All of that on top of the at least 10 books I am going to be reading for my english senior seminar and british literature classes this semester...

Think I'm crazy I can do it?

It's a lofty goal, but I wanted to re-read all of the Harry Potter books before the 7th movie - 1st half - comes out November 19th, and I also wanted to see if Eat Pray Love lives up to all of the hype. :)

PLUS, I wanted to make sure that I am reading books for myself this school year. Because at the end of last year I realized right before the wedding that the only book I had read for myself in the previous 10 months was Dan Brown's "The Lost Symbol" - in October. Sad. Truly SAD.

To keep this goal, I must avoid all Barnes and Nobles, Bookstores, and the bookstore aisle in Costco. These tend to sidetrack me from what I am currently reading, and this is how I ended up with the un-read "bookshelf" which now spans SEVERAL shelves of our bookcases. See, I find a great book, and I really do intend to read it....but then inevitably I get busy and there the book goes to wait on the shelf.

So sorry Books. I will get to you someday... And I promise to TRY not to bring you home friends anytime soon...

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Farmer's Market and Yoga

While most days I am simply focusing a lot of my energy into looking forward to the big changes coming for Chris and I, as well as for my family in these upcoming 10 months...this blog is supposed to focus on the NOW.

So here's what I'm loving right now:

Sunday Farmers Market – 8th and W - the biggest and best one in Sacramento.  We never used to be able to go because Chris has been having to work so much...but now we've been going first thing in the morning when it opens and then I've been able to drive him to work. There's nothing like a sunday morning, grabbing some coffee and  spending $20 on a couple bags of super fresh, super yummy produce for the week's meals.

Vegetarian Times Magazine – Along the same vein, that produce has been put to good use with wonderfully good vegetarian recipes from this magazine. I'm going to have to give in and just subscribe. Even Chris, being the die-hard meat eater that he is, has liked everything I've made out of here.

Starting Fusion Yoga $25 - 2 week Trial This Week - Fusion yoga is a new studio over on Fair Oaks Blvd that I've been talking about going to for a long time. Like BEFORE my wedding – long time. And I am finally going to do it! I figure 2 weeks of yoga to relax before my stressful last year of college starts has to be a good idea right?

School Supply Shopping! - Yes, I am that much of a nerd. But 15 cent notebooks at Target?! As well as packs of pencils and pens for only $1! It's a perpetual organizer and writer's dream. Fall always tends to be a time for reorganizing, and what better way to organize my school, piano student and internship stuff than with super cheap school supplies! :) Insert your laughing at me here. If you know me well, then you know my excitement is warranted.

NOT Loving – My first ever Root Canal today... :-( Wish me Luck!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Things I Love Right Now

"Optimism is the foundation of courage" -- Nicholas Murray Butler

Things I Love Right Now
  •  Shopping With My Best Friend on Friday
  •  My Strep Throat is almost gone, which means I can get back to Zumba and Yoga SOON
  • Per Above, I get to go back to softball today!
  • Wedding Thank You cards were finally sent yesterday
  • Harry Potter 1,2 and 3 done in my efforts to re-read all of the books before the new movie in November. 

And my Number ONE:

Even though my husband found out he didn't get his top job choice last night, rather than being down about it, he started researching other options immediately.  It makes me prouder than I can say.  No matter what obstacles we get hurdled at us, all we can do is "Just keep swimming...just keep swimming..." and keep working and keep trying and we will come out stronger on the other side of it all.

"Maybe all the plans we made might not work out,
but I have no doubt, even though it's hard to see, I've got faith in us, I believe in You and Me.

-- "Hold On" By Michael Buble     <-- Our Song

Love you, Chris.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Enjoying the Journey

“Enjoy all you have, while pursuing all you want.” --Jim Rohn

Isn't perhaps the biggest cliché in the world that we rush from one thing to the next while not stopping to enjoy life as it's happening?

Well, funny thing about a cliché is that....often it's true.

In the last year leading up to our wedding, everything was so focused on just getting to that one goal, that we may not have stopped to enjoy the time as it was passing. If we could just get to that one goal, everything would be great. Granted, a lot of that pre-wedding time was extremely stressful and I can't say that I am sad to have missed parts of it. But in the end, the day was perfectly perfect and completely worth it.

See a slide show of our beautiful wedding here.

But now it seems we are just working towards more future plans – my graduation, his new job, my future new job after graduation, eventually moving out of Sacramento, getting out of debt – and even further down the line -- kids and buying a house.

And while all of those things are wonderful things to look forward to...I am making a promise to myself that I am still going to enjoy all of the things leading up to those goals. You only get one first year of marriage and one last year of college. And I don't plan on missing either of them.

I can't promise that some future goals, hopes, dreams and things I am looking forward to won't sneak in to this blog here and there. But here is my conscious and accountable effort to the enjoy day to day.