Monthly Archives: October 2011

Happy, Happy Halloween!

This post was originally posted last Halloween. What’s really interesting to me is that a year ago today I was also living in a temporary place waiting to find my own apartment. Although, this year, I don’t have Tahn with me or as many trick or treaters. Like three. Happy Halloween.

________

I love trick or treaters. In my new (temporary) home, I live in a great neighborhood full of kids. I was so excited to buy candy today and I hoped I’d have at least a few.

The first trick or treater came a little before 7pm. By 7:30pm, I was out of candy.

I loved seeing all of the little ones all dressed up. It was the first time in my adult life that I actually had at least more than one trick or treaters and passing out candy brought me back to great memories from my childhood.

My dad would take us out every year and my neighbor best friend and her dad would join too. We carried pillowcases because having a basket or a Halloween-themed tote was really un-cool. My mom would stay at home and hand out candy and I was always a little sad I didn’t get to see all of the costumes. At the end of the night, we would dump out all of the candy on the floor, and my dad would inspect it to make sure it wasn’t tampered with. For some reason, the Reese’s and Snicker’s almost always were potentially poisonous, so my dad kept those.

This year, I had my dog Tahnee and my roommate’s dog at home with me. Every time the doorbell rang, Tahn would jump up, so excited to greet her guests. Every time I wouldn’t let her come to the door she would be very upset. She desperately wanted to greet the tricker or treaters.

Finally, Tahn got her wish. My friend brought her adorable little girl dressed as Jasmine by and they came in. Tahn was thrilled!

I hope everyone had a safe, and Happy Halloween!

Baby's Tahn's first Halloween. As a Bumblebee.

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Filed under Friends, Fun Things, Holidays, My Apartment, Tahnee

Things I like this week (vol. 6)

As I am settling into my new life in San Diego, I have a few things I really like this week:

I love how Elizabeth from Flourish in Progress is still writing a hilarious blog despite being super sick in the hospital and doctor’s can’t seem to figure out what’s wrong.

I am totally inspired by Stefanie’s weight loss. I am even more inspired by her sobriety and how freaking hilarious she is. I also loved her book.

I watched Emily’s pregnancy journey for the past few months and I was moved to tears when I saw this post about the birth of her son.

On my drive home today, I heard this NPR story written by Amy Dickinson about the late Elizabeth Winship, the advice columnist who wrote “Ask Beth” for the Boston Globe. I was sitting in my car in complete awe of the words Amy used to describe Elizabeth.

“She studied psychology and it showed — but her primary quality was her humanity.

She delivered her wisdom with warmth, intelligence and integrity, sparked by Boston flint.

She was the real deal. Authentic. Just how she advised millions of readers to be.”

I hope that one day people will use similar words to describe me.

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Letters from Tahn, part V

I know some of you come to my blog to solely read about Tahn. Sorry there has been so little about her!

But, since she’s not with me in San Diego I’ve gotten a few Letters from her.

Enjoy.

_______

(These letters were written on 10.20.11)

First, from my dad:

I couldn’t tell you this until now, because I didn’t want you to worry, but Tahn has been in Egypt looking for Gadhafi.
She found him and killed* him this morning, so she’ll be flying home this afternoon.
________
Then, from Tahn:
Dear Mum,
Well, I’m back from Egypt.  Everything went OK.  The news says Libya, but we know they always get it wrong. However, there are problems here.  G-pa put on his shoes and socks, which means we’re going for a walk.  Instead he went to have “coffee with Mick”. I’m going to kill him when he gets home, so you will be an orphan.  Sorry, but it has to be done.
Love, Tahn
_______
Although I miss Tahn like crazy, I know her Grandpa is taking great care of her.

She's a happy girl. She LOVES her Grandpa

*Tahn thinks she’s SUPER tough. She thinks she’s a fierce hunter. We always joke about her “hunting” and “killing” things. The reality is that Tahn is a lover and not a fighter and probably couldn’t ever fight to save her life. Well, maybe to save mine. 🙂

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Filed under Crazy Dog Lady, Family, Letters

Operation Love Handle

Because these freaking Love Handles won’t go away on their own

This is not a “weight loss” post. This isn’t a post about how I think I’m fat, or that I need to lose weight.

I’m not fat. Actually, I’m not even overweight. According to the last time I saw the doctor, I am perfectly within my “healthy” weight range.

And frankly, I really have no clue how much I weigh on a day to day basis. I have never used my weight as a measure of my self worth, happiness, or beauty.

I usually use the way my jeans fit as my “weight” measure.

And unfortunately, I recently had to buy two new pairs of jeans – because none of my other jeans currently fit. :/

The numbers

Let’s for a moment, talk numbers. Pounds, really. Like I really care, but since 2008 I’ve put on roughly 5lbs a year – so you guessed it – I’ve put on just over 15lbs in 3 years.

5lbs a year or 15lbs in three years isn’t anything to cry about. It’s not that big of a deal. It’s kinda of a big deal that my jeans won’t fit, but again, not tears-in-the-dressing-room worthy.

But here’s the thing

These 15lbs? These Love Handles? They don’t represent anything good. Sure, they are extra weight I don’t need on my body, blah, blah, blah. But honestly? That’s not why I want to get rid of them.

These Love Handles have nothing to do with Love. They should be call Sad Handles or Loneliness Handles – because that is what they really are. My Love Handles represent the hardship and the struggles I’ve worked through in the past three years. They represent my struggle to meet friends, my dissatisfaction with my job, my lack of courage to try new things and meet new people.

These 15lbs are pounds of unhealthy thoughts, lack of joy, bad self mantras. They represent me floating through my life waiting for something better; a better job, a better apartment, more friends. They represent all the things I did not like about my life.

It’s time to shed these pounds – these thoughts – from my life. It’s time to add productive, fun activities and people who radiate joy and want to live a full life. It’s time to spend less time in bars trying to “meet people” and more time on the beach trying to relax and revitalize myself. It’s time to go back to me, who I am, and discover to be the best person I can be.

And these 15lbs? These Love Handles? They don’t belong in my new life. I’ll leave them behind. I will release each pound, slowly, consciously, with intent. I will not lose them – because if I lose them they can easily come back. I will release them from my life forever. When each pound is gone, I will let go of a painful memory, a sad thought, or an obstacle in my life.

The changes

My changes are very simple:

  1. Exercise more and stop eating when I’m full.
  2. Incorporate daily mantras of positivity and peace.
  3. Try new fun (beach related!!!) activities and be open to all people.

That’s it.

I’ve already gone to the gym most days after work these past two weeks and it’s been a great change. I’ve worked on stop eating the second I’m full – something I use to be great at but overtime I started overeating and it’s become a habit. I’ve worked on having an intent of a good day, a good hour, and a good minute. I’ve put myself out there a few time to meet new people – and so far I’ve yet to be disappointed.

I know these pounds of sadness will leave me sooner than later – it may even take a year to be gone of them for good (I lose and gain weight really slowly) – but that’s okay.

Again, Operation Love Handle isn’t about losing weight – it’s about changing my life, mind and body.

Will you join me?

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Filed under Blogging, Exercise, Food!, Living Simply

An Impostor

As you may know, since my move to San Diego, I’ve been dealing with a few adjustments. I’m embracing the changes, and learning to deal.

I cannot, however, accept this…

______

Dear “VONS”,

The jig is up. I know who you are. I don’t even know why you’re pretending. Who do you think you’re trying to fool?

You’re Safeway.

Why are you trying to be something else? And, where in the hell did you come up with your dumb name, “VONS”? Why aren’t you happy to be you, a Safeway?

And, what kind of a name is “VONS”, anyway? I know Safeway isn’t much better, but c’mon, it’s who you are!

I go into your store, and guess what? Your store is exactly like the Safeway is used to go to all the time in Sacramento. The produce section, the aisles, the checkout stands and the Starbucks conveniently located at the entrance.

You look like a Safeway, you walk like a Safeway, you even quack like a Safeway. You’re a freakin’ Safeway.

Don’t worry, “VONS.” I’ll play along. I won’t blow you’re cover. Just know that I know.

Yours truly,

A Safeway Customer

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Adjusting to My New Life

I wish I was cheery and bright about my time so far in San Diego, but unfortunately, that’s now how I’ve been feeling lately.

Although, on my drive home from work yesterday, the smell of the ocean crept in my car (which was AMAZING), and even I did have another great day at work, I have been feeling a little low. As expected, moving has brought many adjustments and I am doing my best at wading through them. I’ve tried not to have expectations about my new adventure, but alas, I guess I did. Thus, I’m feeling not so exuberant.

Before I tell you why I’m feeling un-cheery, I do want to say how unbelievably grateful I am that I love my job so far, and really like my temporary living situation. Since these seem to be working out well, it has taken loads of stress off my back. So that is really great and I am super thankful. And I’m thankful for my family. Mysuperamazingneverceasingtostopsupporting family.

First, I miss Tahn. Although I am living with a fantastic dog at my temporary house, I deeply miss my sweet little girl.

Second, I’m not a fan of my commute. It’s not too bad, really. About 20-30 minutes each way. And, it’s the opposite of traffic, so I’m not in bumper to bumper traffic. But, it’s been a tough change from my previous 4-minute door-to-door commute. Plus, I’m not enjoying the raise in my gas budget…

Third, in the past two weeks since I left Sacramento, I have had limited communication with most of my friends. With my move I expected my friendships to change; but I didn’t expect them to change so quickly or as drastically. This may be the biggest adjustment of all.

I’ve had some pleasant surprises of support too. I have a handful of ‘blogger friends’ whom I’ve actually never met but I read their blogs and I think they occasionally read mine. The support from my one-step-away-from-being-strangers blogger friends have been incredible! I can’t even say how many tweets, messages and words of encouragement I’ve received. It’s great.

Another good thing? For the first time in um… months… I went to a spin class again. It was hard, it was intense, but it felt great. I’ll definitely be doing that a lot more often.

How do you deal with adjustments?

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Filed under Exercise, Family, Friends, Life, My Apartment, Tahnee

Onward to San Diego

Well, I did it guys.

I packed up all of my stuff and moved to San Diego.

This is the first time I saw a San Diego sign on the 5. (You can see the Budget truck my dad is driving in front of me). (Yes, I was using my cell phone and driving. Please don't tell Oprah. I'm ashamed).

Before I left for San Diego, I had a very special Farewell dinner with my good friend from high school and her family.

They had a "Farewell" for me specially put on the menu. It was really wonderful.

I spent Saturday night in San Francisco for a wedding.

I LOVE San Francisco.

And had a great last dinner with my mom, her boyfriend, my brother, S2 and Buddy. It was HARD leaving them. It was even harder going back to my dad’s house without Tahn.

You read that right – I left Tahn in the Bay Area. I am in San Diego sans Tahn. Without my sweet little girl. Why? Why would I do something so crazy? Because she really, really does poorly with transitions and I wanted to make this move as smooth as possible for her. So, she will be living with my dad (her grandpa) until I find a permanent place.

The toothpicks that Tahn destroyed recently at my dad's house. She's having difficulty adjusting.

I stayed at my dad’s from Thursday night until Monday morning, (or as my dad said, I was ‘living with him for the weekend’ :)) and on Monday, October 3 we hit the road super early to drive to San Diego. (Family friends of mine were taking care of Tahn from Sunday night until Tuesday so my dad could come with me on the trip).

A picture of me and my dad stopped at our favorite gas station - Love Gas Station ❤

We had a fantastic drive and arrived in San Diego in about 9 hours (that included 3 bathroom breaks and one half-hour lunch).

My dad had to leave on Tuesday, and that was the hardest goodbye of all. My dad bent over backwards (as he always does for his kids) to help me pack up my stuff in Sacramento, drive it to San Diego, and unload it in the storage unit. It was madness. I couldn’t have done it without him.

I’m living temporarily with my sister’s friends – and they have been awesome – as I’ve transitioned to San Diego.

After a beach day with my sister yesterday, and a fun day of watching football (I’m actually learning the rules!) I’m ready to start my new job tomorrow… 🙂 Wish me luck!

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Filed under Blogging, Crazy Dog Lady, Family, Fun Things, Travel

Ode to the City of Trees

(image source)

Dear City of Trees,

I moved away from you one week ago today. It’s weird to thing that I no longer live in your lovely city, and probably never will again.

Initially, I HATED you. When I moved to Davis (a smaller city nearby) for college, I used to talk about how lame I thought you were and how I would never live in your city, my state capital. In the three 2 ½ years I lived in Davis, I ventured in to your city a handful of times. Usually I would go downtown to meet for Tahnee’s service dog training classes on Saturday mornings. I couldn’t wait to get out; there was nothing in your city I liked.

Oddly enough, when I graduated college in December 2008, I had made a number of friends in your area and I wasn’t quite ready to leave. I decided to apply for jobs in your city and (ahh!! the horror!) live in the City of Trees.

So that’s what I did. Eventually, I found a job I liked and met more people who quickly became good friends. About a year ago I started looking for a better job and decided after getting offered a job in San Francisco that although most of my family lived in the Bay Area, I wasn’t ready to leave my friends and the life I built with you, in your city.

About two months ago, I changed my mind. Although I really loved my apartment and my friends, I decided your city just wasn’t for me anymore. I decided it was time for me to move on. But, in my time in your city, you definitely grew on me and I fell in love with a few things.

Here’s some things I just love about you:

1)    The size. It’s super easy to get around your city. The grid downtown, the small size, and the beautiful streets made walking through you so much fun. I’ll miss being able to walk to my favorite happy hours without worrying to drive home.

2)    My friends. I have some great friends in your city – they are always there for me when I need them. It’s weird to not be near them anymore…

3)    My apartment. Not only was it the first place I ever lived all by myself, but it was such a great space, great location, great EVERYTHING. It was my favorite home I’ve ever lived in and it was mine.

The keys to my apartment. Dang, I'm going to miss it.

I loved my claw foot tub in my apartment.

4)    The river. Well, I don’t love the river, but I grew to really like it. I had some fun days on the river, and obviously, so did Tahn.

5)    The Sacramento/Davis area is the only home Tahn has ever known. Although I moved four times in the 5 years I lived in the area, Tahn was with me in each place. Moving her out of that area is a little odd – but exciting.

6)    The capital – although to date I’ve only met one person who worked at the capital that I actually liked, the hum and buzz of the capital was always very exciting. Not to mention the building is gorgeous.

7)    You’re near most of my family. You’re close enough that I could go home on the weekend, but far enough that I could stay away when I wanted. GOD, I’M GOING TO MISS THEM.*

8)    My yoga studio. Michelle, the owner of the studio and my yoga teacher is the best yoga teacher I’ve ever had and her studio is the BEST studio I’ve ever been to. I didn’t go nearly as much as I would have liked; but when I did, I loved it.

We had a great few years. I enjoyed living in your city. I appreciated your hospitality. Now, it’s time for me to move on.

Thanks for the memories,

Brittany

*To be perfectly honest, the past 5 years have been pretty rough overall. I’ve definitely had good times, good days, good weeks, and good months, but I haven’t had a good year in … well … YEARS. My family has been overwhelmingly wonderful these past five years. My parents, my grandma, my brother and sister-in-law, and of course, my sister. For the past two years, (sans my sister) everyone was just a short drive away. I went home a lot. I went home many, many weekends when I didn’t have plans or have any friends (in college. And, to be honest, after college too). My sister has been a great support via phone – and it’s so weird I’m now just a short drive from her, and a short flight/ long drive from my other family. Bottom line: I do not know how I would have gotten through the past years without my family. Really. I am so thankful.

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Filed under My Apartment, Tahnee, Things I like, Things I've learned