Later 2014

Posted By: randomandodd  //  Category: Random

I am SO happy to be letting 2014 go.  It wasn’t the best year, but it wasn’t 2009 either.

Things need to be rearranged in my life and I need to figure out the best way to do that.   More time reading and less time Candy Crushing.

Okay, it’s impossible to write anything because I just got a new bird. He’s freaking awesome. He’s a ‘Pocket Parrot’ (ie: Conure)  He’s beautiful and the biggest cuddle bug of an animal I have ever had. This guy is more cuddly than a cat or a dog!  He takes cuddles to a new level.  Unfortunately, when he’s not torpedoing in my neck and hair to lay on his side or back to sleep, he’s on my hands. Right now he’s trying to move my palm with his head so he can eat the space bar off my laptop.   His name is Sterling and he’s still very much a baby at 9 months old.  He dances, gives kisses and says “NO.” and “pretty bird” and some other random sounds that Aaron and I have been teaching him.
In the mornings I get him out of his cage and he darts for my neck as I make my coffee and climb back into bed.
After I check Facebook I will put on videos from YouTube on training this type of bird and as soon as he hears the other birds he comes out and watches the videos.  I swear he’s a freaking bird genius.

Christmas was amazing. This was the first year in my new place and even though it’s a very small 1 bedroom apartment with no cable…everyone wanted to be here.  Alyx and Aaron stayed Christmas eve and watched The Office for hours and hours. I went to bed early because Santa was coming and I wasn’t going to piss him off by being up late.
Alyx got the random stuff she likes. Shea got a new guitar because her old one was too small. We got Aaron the whole Baymax Pop series.  Dan got wallet, Pjs, warm flannel jacket, movies (I spoiled him this year).  We sent off Kara and Patrick’s stuff: games and a make up thingy she wanted.  I opened up a brand new MacPro laptop. Yeah…me…a Mac computer. I was in shock to say the least.   Now I am spending time redownloading all my photography stuff onto that computer.  I don’t want to use it for all the stuff (like this) so I will bounce back between PC and Mac until I am nearly certain I will “Go Mac and never go back”.  This laptop was purchased in 2009 and it has been used to death.
Aaron was so excited to surprise me with such an amazing gift. He did.   If I limped this laptop on for 6 years I am sure I can get at least 10 years out of the new Mac!   I have to take classes on how to use it, but I am sure I will catch on quickly.

Well, it’s time to go get my nails done! :)

So many times…

Posted By: randomandodd  //  Category: Random

 

 

 

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I have sat down early in the morning to write something for my blog and I just get distracted with everything else I need to do, or get sucked into a discussion on a photography group.  There are times when I am driving into work and I think, ‘Oh, yeah! I should write about that!” and then as soon as I get to work I forget everything and fall into my day to day at the shop.
Just in the time I wrote that last sentence I went and made more coffee and ended up cleaning my kitchen. It feels like I am always having to do something other than sit down and take a second to myself and just get all the stuff out of my head.  Maybe I am hoarding stories.

Catch up time: Since my last update Aaron and I have taken the girls to Disneyland again. This time we flew out both Kara and Patrick.  We had Aaron (Alyx’s boyfriend) come with us too. Shea just got a boyfriend and we all got to meet him last night and we all agree…he’s awesome and he fits in just fine with all of us.  He would have probably gone if they had been dating a bit longer.
The trip was the best trip so far.

Another fun trip we took was to LA to be total tourists. It was awesome. We did all the touristy things: Star walk, Hollywood sign…the whole shabang!

OH, how can I leave out the 2 concerts we have been to!!??  Jessie McCartney and Fleetwood Mac!  I got to hear Christine McVie sing Songbird…LIVE!  It was magical.

Thanksgiving was yesterday and my house…as always…was the home for the wayward.  I had friends, family and my fish.  It was awesome. Mara came over and we just laughed and made olive penguins and Aaron provided the movies.  Dan and the kids showed up and brought pie we didn’t end up eating because we had stuffed ourselves with Tri Tip and taters!
It wasn’t your traditional Thanksgiving at all.  Dan and I got up earlier and went out on a nice hike and took pictures.  Then later everyone showed up. I was asleep by 11pm.  Being back at work makes me really appreciate the time I get to myself and being able to do the things I love.

Photography. I’m not as busy as I was last year because I raised my prices and I am sticking to my guns.  My weddings will go up again after the first of the year to 3100 and I’ve already brought up my portrait prices to 225.  Even with the price increase I booked enough to pay for Kara and Patrick to come out to California. I’ve almost reached my 6 wedding max for next year so I think I will be fine.
It’s taken being on so many photography groups and seeing what people post some incredibly beautiful and some just horrible. I know now that I am in the upper caliber and I won’t charge less because I don’t think I am good enough.

Other work: OMG, I love my job. I know I say that all the time and anyone that knows me probably thinks I’m crazy because I tell anyone that will listen that I work for the greatest human alive.  Need I say more?

Arg:  So this damn root canal is taking forever and it’s my own fault.  I love my dentist so much!  He’s the bestest ever.

Nails:  I found the best nail artist !!  Nickie with Super Sweet Nails. THE BEST!

Okay, I know there is more I can update and actually have something more useful to write, but now that I am caught up it will make it easier to fall back into the flow of writing again.

What will be the death of me? An indecisive blonde!

Posted By: randomandodd  //  Category: Random

 

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I keep sitting down to write something and I end up finding something else that needs to be done.
Like this morning I sat down with my coffee with intentions of writing something I have had on my mind and I remembered this stupid dream I had about my daughter and I needed to tell her about it. Then I ended up editing some photos.
I thought, “I’ll write tonight when I get home from work.”  Then remembered that I need to wash some clothes and pack stuff up for my trip with Aaron.  Then I remembered that I have surprises that I need to work on before I can even pack!

Writing use to be the biggest part of who I was.  So many things I have set aside while I am in the process of saving my life.  People think that because I haven’t jumped from a building or ate a bottle of pills that I am okay and my life is 100% great.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s SO much better than it was before, but it’s not because I removed myself from a bad situation and VIOLA! it’s all better.  The process of dealing with the shit that happened and the mental shit I put myself through is something that I silently work through.  I know it is too soon to be in a relationship while I am trying to deal with all that happened. I keep it to myself now; the fears, the anger, the insecurities. I’m working through it all though.  It’s not something you just shrug your shoulders and say, “oh that sucked.” and move on.   I guess it’s easier for the guy.

The new place is fucking awesome.
I have it decorated just the way I want. Everything is where *I* want it to be.
Shit, i’m out of time. I have to go into work now…the best place I have ever worked because my boss is a bad ass at what he does and he’s great, honest, wonderful and I am the luckiest person alive to be able to help facilitate the success of his day.
I’ll write more about the awesomeness of the man I work for.  Right now, I have to go set up a few surprises for the man I love for our vacation in a few days!! :)

Oblivious…

Posted By: randomandodd  //  Category: Random

I am so blind.

Again, my world just spun out of my control.
I look at my life and how hard I have tried to just be that person that has it all together and everything looks like it is where it should be.
At what point to do I just say, “That isn’t the way your life is going to go…You’re going to have a life of color and varying experiences.”
I’m crazy, why I can’t I just embrace that? Why I can’t I embrace the fact that I always get what I want and it is NEVER the way I wanted it?
There is a night in my near future that I am going to just have to sit outside with a single bottle of wine and just ask myself the question, “Why not. Why do you care what anyone thinks anyway?”
Someday I will look back and will I just say, “I didn’t love because it didn’t look the way I thought it should be.”

…or I can not worry about it and just let go.

Posted By: randomandodd  //  Category: Random

I just spent the last 4 days with the girls and my person.
It was unbelievable! I’ve been to Disneyland many times in the past, but this was the first time I actually felt the magic of that place.

My person, Aaron is a hard core Disney fanatic. The stuff he knows blows me away.  He planned our whole trip and I swear there is a special place in heaven for him.
SIX hours in a car singing every single Disney song ever recorded.
Picking up Kara was so awesome! Her Facebook post: “Just hopped off the plane at LAX…” and that of course prompted us to crank up that song and dance in the parking lot to it.  After 2 hours of sleep in more than 24 hours and we are all dancing in Lot C of LAX.  We were parked under the path that the airplanes took to land and seeing the planes coming in so low was exhilarating.  So many times I would scratch my head and ask myself, “How did I get here? and what did I do right to deserve this kind of happiness?”

Day one was doing some crazy stuff that Aaron had planned out.  We went back to the house and got ready. He had planned for Shea to take a hip hop dance class at one of the best dance academys in Santa Monica. This was a surprise and she had no idea. Aaron and Alyx had planned to get her dance clothes and let her know once we got there.  She was blown away and scared to death.  I told her, “Just go in and make a friend. All you have to do is go  have fun.”   Can I just say, “DAMN!” That girl can DANCE!  She was picking up on all the moves so quickly and by the end of the class she had the whole routine down and the execution of it was flawless.  To say I was blown away is a complete understatement.  She has been telling me awhile that she wanted to take classes, but I didn’t realize that the importance of it to her.  I’m looking into it now.

After we left we went to this UN FREAKING BELIEVABLE book store. I just wish I had about 6 days to explore in there.  If I wasn’t completely exhausted at that point, I would have been giddy.
Dinner was so good that Kara shot me a warning look to stop looking like I was praying and chewing at the same time.

Disneyland. I can’t even describe it. TWICE I will have used this phrase because it fits, OH THE FEELS! So many feels.
As I waited in line for Peter Pan and I watched my oldest daughter teaching our family how to communicate in sign language, to the countless times while standing in lines and getting people to join in on singing with us to Disney songs, to watching Shea start shaking because she was about to get her picture taken with Sully, to Alyx nearly having her knees buckle because she got to meet Jessie, to the highlight of seeing Aaron totally bust out in Fantasmic dance, to getting stuck on the Pirates of the Caribbean ride for 45 minutes and not even caring because that was 45 minutes I wasn’t walking or waiting in line.
The whole first day was crammed with so much to do and see.
For the part of me that knows the best part was who I was with and the precious valuable time we had together, I am so grateful.  For the part just for me, I think it was feeling that life can be magical. You can wish upon a star and wishes to come true.  Good beats out Evil.  There is a such thing as Once Upon a Time and Happily Ever After.  That’s what I took away from this weekend.

I have so many stories from this weekend and I was writing them in my head as I went along, but there isn’t enough time.
I got home around 10pm on Monday.  It had started out a weird Monday because of a misunderstanding with an old friend and I. The great part was that it happened and then we talked and it was worked out in less than a few hours.  That was something I had forgotten could happen. People could misunderstand each other and then quickly talk it out.
This is important for me and It’s on the top of the green flag list.  Notice how I didn’t say, ‘red flag’? I’m trying to stay away from that form of negativity. Instead of focusing on things that will stop me in my tracks, I’m focusing on the things that are going to propel me forward in my path.  That was a “proceed forward” moment and one of those things when I do decide to tell the story, it will be one of the main reasons it worked out.

The weeks gearing up to Disneyland have been beautiful too.  I had my weekend get away and it was perfection.  We talked and laughed for hours. The time went too fast though so we decided to spend the next weekend together where we could just hang out and catch up on old times.  We played pool, danced to 80’s music and we watched the sun come up before we laughed ourselves to sleep.  Two hours later we got up and went on a hike that was so amazing with all the new life and green fields of flowers and butterflies.   The four hour nap afterward was the best.
That night we watched the sun go down, the moon come up slowly in the sky, move around the horizon and then watched the sun come.  We never ran out of things to tell each other and the stories we had to share were endless.  When the birds came out we finally got sleep and at noon on Easter morning we got up and made omelettes.
If I could tell a young Kristine anything it would be, “this person is going to be your friend…forever. be kind. don’t be afraid. it will all come back around someday”

Sometimes it’s ‘ Once upon a time…”.  Sometimes it’s “Happily Ever After”.  Sometimes you get lucky and you get both.

 

 

New word…

Posted By: randomandodd  //  Category: Random

I was lollygagging around the shop and heard one of the guys mutter, ‘cock-sucker’.  I starting laughing and swore that I was totally going to put that word back into my daily vocabulary.
He kept coming up to me during the day to ask if I had used my word yet and I said, ‘nope…I will though.’
At the end of the day all four guys had their head shoved in the hood of this old car trying to figure out what was wrong with it. I pushed my way in and looked at the engine and then around at the guys and said, “So what’s wrong with this cock sucker?”
They lost it! I totally got a high five for that one.

On Wednesday I learned what a serpentine belt is and what they look like right before they come off and destroy a bunch of stuff.  Thursday I learned what a freeze plug was.  Who knows what I will learn today.  I’m hoping that I will be taught how to change the oil in my car soon.  It just gets too busy and I get about 4 minutes into a lesson and then I am pulled away with something that is so important that my boss FINALLY remembers my name (he calls me, ‘what’s her name’ or ‘the girl’) and yells it across the shop.
Today I am bringing in tri-tip and potato salad.  It’s going to be a pain the arse trying to make it there, but it’s so good when it’s fresh.  Friday Pot Luck will start off with a bang! :)

Soooo, it’s Friday.  That means tomorrow is Saturday and I get to take my trip I planned last month. A WHOLE MONTH AGO! That is SO unlike me! When I am going through something, my ‘do it now!’ gene kicks in, but this time I planned it out and I am SO happy I did.  It gave me something to look forward to.   It’s only one day and night, but that’s perfect.  I’m so ready to get in the car and go for a road trip and laugh. and laugh. and laugh.

Next weekend is OkaCup and I said I was going to go, but as it nears I have added a bunch of other things I want to do.  Victoria and I are going on a trail run early in the morning.  It’s going to day 5 on my program and like week 7 on hers.  She cheated though. Maybe I will a little too. I hate the 2 on 4 off…I want to keep going!!!
THEN DISNEYLAND!  Kara is flying into LAX and we are going to pick her up there.  She’s convinced she will see a celebrity.

My life is right about to spin off and I am scared shitless about a few things, but hopeful about a few more.
I do know this…I am happy, hopeful and ready to begin again.

spoilers darling…spoilers.

Posted By: randomandodd  //  Category: Random

It’s 6am. I’ve been wide awake for the last hour catching up on some letter writing, chatting with my best friend before she heads off to work and thinking about my life.

I keep thinking that I should be mourning the loss of the relationship that just ended, but instead I am feeling really happy.   Maybe I was mourning that loss towards the end and that is why it is so easy for me to move forward.  I’ve already done my grieving.
Some days I give myself ten minutes to still be angry.  Not at the final moments, but the conversation that followed afterward.  As I was sitting there in shock, he gets a text from his ex-wife at 2 or 3 in the morning.  I’m all, “REALLY? you already told her? it’s been 5 minutes!” He said “I just said, ‘ I have become you.’  ”
Now this is where I have issues in the past.  If your world just come crashing in, by your own doing and you text your ex wife before you even say you’re sorry to the person you just crushed….doesn’t that right there speaks volumes? It kind of does. It kinda makes my argument pretty valid.
Now that the full picture is in front of me and I know that the  married woman he cheated on me with comes over to ‘hang out’ ….I have to say, he didn’t become his ex-wife…he became the guy she had an affair with.

It takes me a few times to get a life lesson, but this last one. I got it now. It’s a mistake I will not make again.

This last month has been refreshing.  I get up at 6am every morning and I get ready to go to work with the greatest people.  Seriously, my boss is one of the last men in the world that is honest and fair.  Yes, he has a few (and by few I mean A LOT) to say about how much he hates the prez and the political arena and he is so politically incorrect that it’s like spending the day with my dad.
The other week, he drove a customer’s car home and I watched him sit in the living room and talk to this 80 year old woman and ask her about her family (he remembers everything!) WHO DOES THAT?  What mechanic will drive your car home?
He’s the best boss I have ever had.  People come in and tell me great stories about how long they have been coming there.  THIS job has been my saving grace and has brought me more happiness than ANY other place I have ever worked.
We all have our place in the shop.  They laugh at how well I blended in with 4 very different people.  A customer was there when I was handing out their vitamins for the day and she giggled at the absurdity of it. Yes, I make sure they take their vitamins!

Being happy during the day has been the best medicine.  A lot of that is because of my friends too.  They are so supportive of the direction I am moving.
I don’t call him my ‘friend’…I call him my ‘person’.  Aaron.  I feel so sorry for the poor kid.  I kept it all in until I couldn’t anymore and I called him, bawling, trying to tell him I needed a coffee.
He’s young, he’s NEVER seen me lose it and I am certain he was absolutely clueless as to how to handle the situation…but he stepped up and brought me TWO coffees.  Since that day, that 5 minutes we haven’t said another word about it. He didn’t ask the details. He was just there to listen and watch me shake my head.  A month later and he still doesn’t know the details of what happened and doesn’t care, He just knows that I am happy now.   That’s a person. That’s MY person. The person I will call if I need a body buried in hurry.
My hockey friends…holy shit. So amazing.  The prayers, the calls, the texts, the lunches.  I’m going to be a better friend to everyone for this.  Collectively they have shown me so much love and acceptance.  I know that when I do move forward into a new relationship, they will be happy for me because they love me and want me to be loved.  Wow, they will get to see what I am like HAPPY!

I’m not letting this or the one before it stop me from being hopeful that there is something out there for me.   I’m absolutely CERTAIN of it.  I’m not closing off my heart. I’m not bitter. I’m not angry. I am not anything but hopeful and happy.  That is the good stuff right there.

 

Oh Happyyyy Dayyyy….

Posted By: randomandodd  //  Category: Random

I am so sore!  I shot a wedding yesterday with a 70-200 F/2.8 and my arms…are….sooooo…hurty. I was right, that is too much glass for me.  On a different note. I loved it.  It’s not my lens, it’s Dan’s, but it technically partially mine because I was the one who talked him into it.  SUCKER.  I had two camera’s going with the black rapid strap I got for Christmas and the other on the one that Lester had made for me.  His strap was so much better.

I’m so happy right now with the direction of my life.  When they say that God closes a door for a reason they weren’t kidding.
I knew that from the beginning that I was going to have to forgive to be able to move forward and able to see the good that was coming.  The only way I was going to get through it was to let go of all that I have been resisting and just find my faith again.  I prayed, “Dear God, take that image and replace it with something beautiful.”  Instantly I had an image of a path with a stack of rocks.  When running that is the path you want to be on and it means you are going the right direction.  So whenever I had that nasty image invade my brain and want to eat me alive, I INSTANTLY remembered, “i’m on a path, i’m on the right path, this is where I need to be.”  and I had faith in God that he would give me something else and he did.   I made it through that part.
Yesterday I had a great day surrounded by people in love.  People ready to pledge the rest of their life to someone else.  To become one with another person.
I should have been a little bit bitter, but I wasn’t.
At one point I checked my phone and I had a bunch of messages from friends telling me they loved me and asking me how my day was going.  My friend Victoria was giving me airport / plane / landed texts.

On the way home I had a friend call me and I swear I almost cried when he asked, “How was your day? Tell me about it…”
I have been waiting for someone to ask me that question for a long time.

My Day was awesome…thanks for asking.

Posted By: randomandodd  //  Category: Random

Yesterday was crazy.

I went to the house to pick up a few things.  It’s hard being there. I look around and see the life I will no longer have.  Then I see him and I miss him. I mean, I miss the us. The good times when he would want to be fun and would allow it.  I let my mood be dictated on how his day was going or how he treated me.   I do miss the times when we would laugh. I use to do that a lot more.

Work went quick because I had to leave at noon to pick up my niece from the airport and then I had a dentist appointment.
I got back an hour before we closed and did all the close out invoicing for the day.

Sez and I went to dinner and to the casino. It was so much fun. We both walked out winners.  I can’t remember the last time I was even in that casino!

I got a great text during dinner letting me know that things had gone well, but not as well as expected.  This is going to sound fucked up, but I am so glad it didn’t go TOO well.
This gives me an opportunity to put my foot and the door and show what I can do.

I got a phone call later that night from my old friend and I laughed for what felt like an hour straight. It’s been like that a lot with me.  People have been coming into my life and I can feel that part of me coming back. That very social, sweet, caring and FUNNY person.
We talked up until 11pm about stupid things and people we use to know.  For the most part, I thought my memory was pretty good, but it’s not until you’re talking to people you knew when you were a kid that you start remembering the small details.
He mentioned a friend that I forgot we even had and I was shocked that my memory could completely erase someone I had known for that long, completely out.   I was reminded of the long summers on the dock of Woodridge/Truetts lake.
We promised each other that we would go back to Shingletown and visit the old haunts.  How strange of a trip will that be?  He wants to see his father’s memorial bridge.  That one will be hard for both of us.  I can’t remember crying so hard for another person’s pain.  That funeral was the hardest one to go to.  A police officer.  I saw him there after years of radio silence and he hugged me with such intensity.  I wouldn’t have guessed I would see him almost a year later when his 23 year old sister died.   Things like that shouldn’t happen to a kid.
I’m glad we talk again though.

 

*sigh*

Posted By: randomandodd  //  Category: Random

So I am waiting on a phone call that might change the way things have been moving forward in my life.
I know that I have zero control of this next step I am taking, and I have to trust that if that door closes, I can’t let it derail me. I’ve been asking for doors to open and close to make sure I stay on the right path, but fuck this one…I want this one open.
One day I will understand, but for now I am baffled at the way things happen.

I just don’t want to wait another 22 years for an answer. *sigh*