Tag Archives: Family

Things I like this week (vol 17).

She kills me.

She kills me.

  1. A few weeks ago, Tahn and I met my friend and her two Labradors at the lagoon and let the dogs swim. Tahn found the only mud on the beach and decided to roll in it right before we left. She refused to go back into the lagoon afterwards, forcing me to take a very muddy dog home. I still have mud in my car. Let’s just say we haven’t been back to the lagoon since.
  2. I read The Glass Castle a few years ago and I can definitely say it’s one of the best books I’ve ever read. When I saw this New York Times article about the author, I was so interested to learn about her and her mother today.
  3. I’ve found myself sitting at my computer most nights watching YouTube Beauty Vlogs. I also watch them with a gigantic bowl of homemade popcorn and it makes me so excited. I’ve found many new beauty products I want to try, and learned of some to stay away from. Part of me wants to get my own video camera and make my own YouTube Vlog channel. You down?
  4. A few weekends ago, I went to Arizona to watch my cousin marry the love of her life. I originally couldn’t make it for a few reasons, so getting to go was really exciting. Highlights of the trip? Dancing with Buddy, the only child (only two-and-half-year old child) on the dance floor. That kid has moves. It was one of my favorite memories of my life.
  5. Also at the wedding? My cousin, aka the little brother my sister and I never had but always wanted. He lived in CA last year and my sister and I got in the habit of seeing him almost every month. When he moved back east last fall, it was a sad day. It had been almost a year since my sister and I saw him so it was thethreebuddies reunited once again. The weekend was way too short and I keep trying to get him to move back to CA. One more thing I love about my cousin? He loves Tahn and made a point to tell many family members about how wonderful she is. Brownie points to anyone who loves my dog and gushes about her.
    This guy!

    I may or may not have screamed when I saw THIS GUY.

    Me, my mom, and my sister.

    Me, my mom, and my sister.

    Yes, I'm very pale & she's very tan. Yes, we have the same parents. Nope, I don't tan.

    Yes, I’m very pale & she’s very tan. Yes, we have the same parents. Nope, I don’t tan.

  6. I saw this video on NPR, and I have to say, the innocence and logic of this toddler was powerful and profound.
  7. Thanks to theSkimm, I found this little nugget of a video. At first I thought it was a SNL skit, but soon learned this lady is serious. I spent Thursday morning of last week watching it with my roommate and we couldn’t stop laughing. But, the woman is skinny as a rail, so the joke is on us, I guess.
  8. From all my beauty blogs and Vlogs I read, I learned about Maybelline Color Tattoos. They go on smooth, and stay all day without creasing. The good news is that I AM IN LOVE. The bad news is that I will be buying every. single. color. Goodbye, money.

Happy Thursday!! xxxxoo

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Filed under Beauty, Blogging, Crazy Dog Lady, Things I like, Vegetarian Life

28 things I learned in my 28th year

Today I am 28 years old. 🙂 Here are 28 things I learned in this past year.

  1. I love going to plays. I saw two plays (Good People and The Brother’s Size) this year, and I was moved to tears by both. I can’t wait to see the next one!
  2. I enjoy TV shows that have one word titles; “Revenge”, “Deception”, “Nashville”, “Survivor”, “Scandal”, “Chicago Fire”… oh wait. Never mind.
  3. You can teach an old dog new tricks.

    Tahn at her first (second round) of Puppy Class

    Tahn, at her first (second  time around) Puppy Class

  4. I hate living in a messy bedroom and a messy house. (Also: I hate all the clutter and stuff I have. I am in the process of getting rid of many things. DVDs and old Coach purses, anyone?)
  5. I like driving with my windows down.
  6. I need to do yoga weekly. With or without a studio.
  7. I shouldn’t wait until I make more money to start saving money. I am learning to make better (small) financial choices daily.
  8. I did find an exercise that I love.
  9. Meditation only helps with stress if you practice it daily. Meditation doesn’t help when you’re remarkably stressed or upset.
  10. Being honest and telling the truth continues to be the best and most challenging decision I’ve ever made in my life.
  11. Eating well daily and consistently keeping active will help you lose (and keep off) weight.
  12. I like thriller novels. (Just like my grandma).
  13. Being single is really fantastic. I have embraced my singleness this year (after the dramatic failure of an attempted relationship) and I am much, much happier single.
  14. I was born a leader. And I become a better leader everyday.
  15. Making time for myself has a paramount affect on my happiness spectrum.
  16. I actually do like going out. As a self-proclaimed home-body, I have found friends whom like doing what I like to do – happy hours!  (and other things). I love it.photo(37)photo(36)photo(38)
  17. Acts of kindness from strangers are some of the best experiences you’ll ever have.
  18. While making friends can be challenging, once you find them, they bless your life in more ways then you could ever imagine.
  19. San Diego is one of the best places to live. (My sister was right).
  20. Doing the right thing and treating others with respect doesn’t guarantee that you won’t have conflict in your life. In fact, there is no protection at all. Sometimes, you do the right thing and get burned. Don’t be deferred. Do the right thing.
  21. Although I value the opinions of those who I care most about, their opinions are just that – opinions. I am the person who has to live with my daily choices and life. My opinion is the only one that matters.
  22. Having a nephew is great. Having a niece and a nephew is really fantastic.
  23. Tahn LOVES a routine.
  24. The difference a year makes. I am in such a better place then I was a year ago. And a year before that. Aging is awesome!
  25. I need to learn how to speak slower. For real.
  26. Non-judging is key to my happiness.
  27. Kitchen appliances, although they take up space, can be very useful for healthy cooking. (A food processor and blender are on the top of the list, not far down is a rice cooker). (Also: I am my father’s child).
  28. My mom and dad really, truly love me with all of their hearts. (It’s not that I didn’t know this, but this year I was overwhelmed by their love for me on many occasions. I went home a few weeks before Thanksgiving and the one thing I took away from that weekend was that my parents just love me. It is one of the best feelings in the world).
    photo(36)

    My mom and me.

    My dad and me. (Hey Dad, we need to take a more updated picture. This is from 2009).

    My dad and me. (Hey Dad, we need to take a more updated picture. This is from 2009).

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Filed under Blogging, Crazy Dog Lady, Exercise, Family, Fun Things, Life, Living Simply, Love, Tahnee, Things I love, Things I've learned

A few thoughts

The other night on my flight home from celebrating Buddy‘s first birthday, I thought about a few things:

  • Above all, my family is the core of me. Hands down, they have been and will always be the most important people in my life. I can’t quite articulate my feelings for them, but I will sum it up to this: I love my family more than anything else in the world. They are my comforters, my nurturers, my challengers, and the people whom I sacredly love.
  • I am continuously surprised how much I love Buddy. Saturday morning, I woke to my dad and Buddy walking down the hall, very sleepy. (And Tahn, OF COURSE). My brother and S2 had a holiday party on Friday night, so Buddy slept at my dad’s. He woke around 6am, and my dad brought him to me. Buddy was pretty confused why his Aunt Brittany was there and why he it was still dark, but he adjusted. I gave Buddy his bottle and then he was ready to go back to sleep. (Yes, you read that right. Buddy wakes up, eats, and goes back to sleep. He is my kind of child. Clearly, we are made of the same stuff). My dad thought it would nice if Buddy snuggled down with me and went back to sleep. After a short amount of time, Buddy finally settled in and fell fast asleep. (Details? Buddy was snuggled in as little spoon with his tiny baby feet squished in my legs. It was heaven on earth). In the past I’ve snuggled and slept next to other children; I was a nanny for 12 years – but snuggling with Buddy? The best sleep I’ve ever had. We awoke a little over two hours later, feeling great.
  • Tahn is officially the best dog I have ever met. Yep, I said it. After being away from her for so long, meeting a bunch of other dogs, I can say that Tahn is amazing. She is kind, loving, obedient and fun. And? Next to Buddy, she’s the BEST SNUGGLER IN THE WORLD.

Snuggle Bun. 12am Saturday morning.

  • Although I had some adjustments in my new life in San Diego, I really love it here. I can’t get over how beautiful it is here. Even today when it was raining and pouring, it was gorgeous. I love that I live 15 minutes from my sister and I get to see her at least once a week; I haven’t seen her this much for over 10 years. It’s really fantastic.
  • The most important quality I look for in others is kindness. It all started a little about fours years ago when I walked into a dear friend’s home and on her entry way table she had a small sign, “Approach everything with kindness.” It was then I knew the man I walked through that very door with was not kind. It started off when I first realized on our second date that he was not kind to strangers,  three months in I realized he was not always kind in stressful situations, a year and three months I realized he was  not kind to Tahnee and ultimately, two years and one month into the relationship I realized he was not kind to me. I have since realized there are only two type of people in the world; those who make an effort to respond to others and in kindness and those who do not. I believe that many, many people are unkind. I’ve seen it for years. At work, in relationships I’ve been in and been witness to, in interactions with others. But, I’ve also met many people who are groundbreakingly kind. These people may not always be the best version of themselves, but they are authentic, real and intentionally kind. I strive to be this person everyday.
  • I know one thing for sure: my instincts about a person, situation, or group of people have never been wrong. I can spot a bad apple from a mile away. Often I feel neutral about a person/situation/group of people. But when I have an incredibly bad feeling? I just know. After years of trying to ignore my intuition, I am finally embracing it and learning to appreciate it.

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Filed under Crazy Dog Lady, Family, Fun Things, Love, Tahnee, Things I've learned

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

Sarah and Brittany’s Week of Fun!

I’m super-crazy-busy on vacation this week, so I’ve had no time to blog and I barely have enough time to blog right now. I’m so super-de-duper-busy that I don’t even have time to call back the guy who is trying to date me (and that’s my story and I’m sticking to it…)

Anyways, my sister Sarah came home this past weekend to celebrate her birthday, S2’s completion of her oral exam, my dad’s retirement and his birthday. After our celebration, Sarah and I went back to San Diego for a few days (not a week, fine…) of fun.

Before we went to San Diego, Sarah stayed at my dad’s house and I stayed at my mom’s (there aren’t enough beds at either house for us both to stay together – unless I wanted to share a “double bed” sized air mattress with my sister and Tahn, whom both are guilty of totally hogging the bed and I wake up barely on the mattress). Sarah was missing her beloved dog Sami, so I let Tahn stay with her at my dad’s.

This picture was texted to me on Saturday morning.

Tahn LOVES snuggling with her Aunt Sarah

I call Tahn my ‘shadow’ not only because she’s black, but also because she follows me everywhereIgo, all the time.  My dad refuses to let her follow him around the house, so she was giddy to have my sister (a.k.a. another version of me) to follow.

I tried to get a picture of Tahn and Sarah… and it wasn’t very successful.

Annnnnd finally:

Aunt Sarah and Tahn.

After our photo shoot, we caught a flight back to San Diego.

Well, not until we visited the wine bar at Oakland Airport:

On the Fourth of July, we went to Palm Springs and hung out by the pool:

We out with Sarah’s friends:

Back in San Diego, we caught Sarah’s dog Sami, eating Sarah’s birthday cake:

Yep. That's cake on Sami's ear.

We also got to meet up with some of my good friends for dinner. It was so much fun!

I flew back Wednesday night and spent the day yesterday with Buddy.

So far, a great vacation!

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Filed under Family, Fun Things, Travel, Vacation

Being Aunt Brittany

Not Buddy. (But he sure is cute, isn't he?)

Just shy of six months ago, I became an Aunt. My brother and sister-in-law had a beautiful little boy, whom I’ll call Buddy.

When I learned of my sister-in-law’s pregnancy just over a year ago, I was elated with joy. I love children – I always have – ever since I was a little girl and was the mother of my dolls. I started helping my older sister baby-sit at the age of 11, and continued to baby-sit (and nanny) until I turned 21. At 21, I was making a good $40 an hour being a nanny, but it wasn’t fun for me anymore. I realized that taking care of stranger’s children was hard – I (usually) fell in love with the children, but (usually) not the parents. I decided the only children I would take care from then on would be of parents that I loved – and for no payment.

Anyway – back to a year ago – the news of my brother and sister-in-law’s baby. I think my brother and sister-in-law are such great people, and I was so happy that they were going to have a child. But even past that, I was so happy to be an Aunt.

I have dreamed about being an Aunt just as long as I have dreamed about being a mother. So, for me, this baby – my sweet Buddy – is a dream come true.

When Buddy was born, and I first got to hold him, I had an overwhelming sensation of love. Unconditional love. I unconditionally love my family and close friends (and of course, Tahn!) but this love was different. When I held Buddy, my brain was flooded with an indescribable amount of joy and happiness; almost like a drug – a high – from the baby. The only way I can explain this phenomenal experience is because I love my brother and sister-in-law so much. (And do you know what? Every time I hold Buddy I still feel sensation. Every time).  🙂

Anyway. I was visiting my family this weekend and I got to spend most of the day hanging out with Buddy. It was great as usual. Buddy is a very happy baby, and just loves hanging out and playing. Spending time with Buddy today put me in a great mood and it gave me that extra nudge to get out of my funk.

I thought it was interesting that tonight when I got home, (after spending the day with Buddy) I read a portion from Elizabeth’s Gilbert’s Committed about being an Aunt. I thought it summed up how I feel so well that I would share it here with you.

Jane Austen once wrote to a relative whose first nephew had just been born: “I have always maintained the importance of Aunts as much as possible. Now that you have become an Aunt, you are a person of some consequence.”

(photo credit)

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A great love

To my beautiful new nephew, you are one of my great loves.

All, everything that I understand, I understand only because I love.
Leo Tolstoy

For, you see, each day I love you more,
Today more than yesterday and less than tomorrow.
Rosemonde Gerard

If I know what love is, it is because of you.
Herman Hesse

If you live to be a hundred, I want to live to be a hundred minus one day, so I never have to live without you.
Winnie the Pooh

Love conquers all things.
Virgil

Love is the strongest force the world possesses, and yet it is the humblest imaginable.
Mahatma Gandhi

Love takes up where knowledge leaves off.
Saint Thomas Aquinas

We are all born for love…it is the principle of existence and its only end.
Benjamin Disraeli

Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same.
Emily Bronte


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A Thankful Heart

I am truly thankful.

This week was Thanksgiving, known for Turkey, friends and family. For many, Thanksgiving can be very stressful. Family can be tough. Although you love each other, spending time with family can be quite challenging.

I’ve a few stressful and challenging holidays in my life (especially since my parents got divorced). And holidays tend to be a nerve-racking event for me. “How will this one go?” I wonder. “Maybe this year will be really great” I hope. But, sometimes, the holiday seems to be less than desired. I’ve tried to lower my expectations for all family holidays, and just try to have a good attitude. Every year, the planning of which parent we see when can also be very stressful for my siblings and me.

To be honest, I really wasn’t looking forward to Thanksgiving. I have had a lot on my plate, and I just didn’t want to have a stressful holiday. Often, when I predict the holiday will be good, it tends to be bad, so I tried not to make any predictions.

Tahn and I saddled up and drove home to celebrate the weekend. I had two Thanksgiving dinners planned- one with my dad and one with my mom. And this year, both Thanksgiving dinners were fantastic. Not only was the food unbelievable at both, but, I really enjoyed myself.

Then, last night, I was invited to a third Thanksgiving dinner hosted by some of my wonderful friends – and it was also a blast and the food was delicious.

Here I am thinking, how many people get to go to three great, fun, and delicious Thanksgiving dinners? How many people have great (and sometimes flawed) loving families as well as amazing friends?

Although my immediate family is far from perfect, they are pretty fantastic. I had a moment this weekend of being extremely grateful for each of them:

-My dad: always my best friend and dedicated, devoted supporter. He bends over backwards to make my siblings and me happy. I had so much fun cooking with him and just “being”.

-My brother and sister-in-law: wonderfully supportive, loving and inspiring. Also, they are expecting their first child to arrive very soon, which bring so much joy and happiness to our family.

-My mom: always supports and loves me unconditionally.  This Thanksgiving, I really enjoyed talking with her about my life and hearing her thoughts.

-My sister: although she lives further away and did not make the trip this year, I feel so much closer to her than I have in a long while and it is so incredibly wonderful.

Often I think, “The main reason I have such a fantastic life is because of the parents and family I was born into”. And this year, I have to say that I am even more grateful than ever.
I am truly thankful.

I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving this year, too.

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Filed under Family, Food!, Friends, Holidays, Love