Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Really. Great. People.

"Really great people make you feel that you, too, can become great.” Mark Twain

I'll make this brief tonight, as I'm running on fumes....and 3 oz of flank steak with 6 asparagus spears. :)

Thanks to the really great people in my know who you are, and if you don't, I'm going to do a better job letting you know.

I love you all!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010


"The most I can do for my friend is simply be his friend."  ~Henry David Thoreau

When did friendship have conditions placed upon it?  It's silly to me that because of who one may or may not associate with, or one's social status or upbringing...a picture album on Facebook, or whether or not someone is no longer the "fun single one" in the group should put conditions on a friendship.  This seems a little....juvenile to me.  There are friendships I've given up on, and friendships I could have put more effort into....but the way I see it, true friends can pick up after years, right where they left off.

Given that the majority of my practical work experience is in sales, I'm all too familiar with the acronym WIIFM---What's In It For Me?  Unfortunately, there are people in our lives who seem to subscribe to this theory on a daily basis.  I know that I had a blog entry about this last week, but it seems like these "friends" are popping up a little more frequently.  I'm thinking that this book may be added to my "Must Read" list:

I know that there are friends with whom I need to do a better job, and I'm going to challenge myself to become a better friend and not a WIIFM type of friend, either!  I challenge you to do the same.

"A friend is one of the nicest things you can have, and one of the best things you can be." ~Douglas Pagels

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Little Miss Martha....

My new motto is: When you're through changing, you're through.   
 ---Martha Stewart

One of the things that I'm most passionate about is baking.  I'm not sure how or when or why this started, but one of my favorite ways to show someone I care is by baking.  Maybe it was the yearly Christmas tradition of baking cookies---Grandma's Sugar Cookies, and the chocolate crinkles---that took up the better part of two days during the holiday season.  Or right around Thanksgiving, when Aunt Penny, Mom, Stefani, and I would bake Grandma's Apple Pies.  One of the lessons I remember hearing from my mom while I was experimenting with baking as I grew up was, "A good cook always cleans up as they go."  Has this always been the case?  I wish!  But when you're busy dirtying every pot, pan, and measuring utensil in the drawer, it's nearly impossible!

I think the very first cookbook I remember having is the Mrs. Field's Cookie Book.  For my mom's 40th birthday, I baked a German Chocolate cake and a carrot cake....both from the cookbook.  I even remember that I didn't have parchment paper for the bottom of the pans, and turned the carrot cake upside down to get it out of the pan while it was still warm....amateur mistake!  I found myself having to perform a little cosmetic surgery on the cake with the homemade cream cheese frosting...luckily, no one knew the difference!

I've made silly baking mistakes, such as forgetting ingredients until the last minute, or using the wrong size pan.  The one thing that never changes, though, is that every time I bake something, I bake it because I care enough to find a recipe that I'm confident someone will love. Will it turn out the way I want it to all the time?  Probably not.  But that's the beauty of baking.  You try a different recipe.  Throw it away.  And start from scratch.  

In the last two years, I've become very fond of baking pies.  My favorite book from the library is Pie, Pie, Pie:

You'd think I'd own it by now, but alas....not the case.  I'll have to track down a copy sooner or later.  :)  During the summer of 2008, when the only thing I knew with certainty was that my life was in shambles, I baked my way through that cookbook.  Inspired by the movie, Waitress, I chose a recipe and just started baking.

I'd never, until this past Sunday, baked my Grandma's Apple Pie on my own.  Sure, I've baked apple pies before, but never this special, family recipe.  Here's a picture of my first effort:

I must say, I was pretty pleased!  I used one of my cookie cutters from my Christmas cookie cutter assortment, and VOILA!  I also tried a recipe for Peanutty Candy Bars that I found in an old Taste of Home magazine....

I suppose this probably isn't fair unless y'all have the recipe?

If I shared it, though, how would I surprise you?!

William sent out a text to a bunch of his guy friends, offering my baking in the next few weeks, I'll be baking banana nut bread, bran muffins, peanut butter cookies, cranberry nut bread, oatmeal raisin cookies....and probably a few pies here and there. It'll keep my mind off of the food I want (which is basically anything that's not currently on my diet) and the house smelling like something other than fish, steak, or chicken!

So...I'll leave you with this:

I can think all I want, but it's not going to bake me a cake, or make me the universe. All I can do is get up and live.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Contagious yours worth catching?

I came across this quote tonight:

Misery is a communicable disease.  ~Martha Graham

I remember when I was younger, my dad always used to tell me that my bad moods were contagious.  It wasn't just my day I'd be ruining, but everyone else's day.  Do I still have days where I'm crabby and downright unpleasant to be around?  Of course.  Will I try harder to not let it have an effect on others around me?  Absolutely...because I found this quote as well:

Happiness is an attitude.  We either make ourselves miserable, or happy and strong.  The amount of work is the same.  ~Francesca Reigler

I'd rather not look back at my life when I'm older and see that I made myself miserable, but rather happy and strong...and can only hope that I've left each person whose life I've touched better because I chose happiness instead of misery.


Monday, May 17, 2010


"True happiness consists not in the multitude of friends, but in their worth and choice."
- Samuel Johnston

I've always been the type of person who would rather have a few close friends than a lot of casual acquaintances, and at this point in my life, I realize this statement to be even truer.  The friends who know me best are the people with whom I can pick up where we left off, even if it's been months or years.  At our wedding in April, an old family friend flew to the west coast on Friday and left on Sunday....just to be at the wedding....and it was like no time had gone by.  We talked about old memories and created new ones.  Jennifer taught Brandi how to dance, and we had specifically requested an En Vogue song that Mom, Jacquie, and I rocked out to on Whitehouse Drive.  Why, then, does it seem convenient and easy for some friends (and friendships) to so quickly place blame and not take ownership for their part in a friendship deteriorating?  The last time I checked, both people have to be commited to the relationship to make it work.

I'm not quite sure how I want to respond to an email I received from someone with whom I used to be close.  Are there things I could have done differently? Of course.  But I also know that I'm not the only one who could have done things differently, and that's the part I find most bothersome.

Anyway...enough venting for now.

On to happier subjects....the most awesome library I've ever been to:  Bee Cave Public Library.  Seriously.  Their selection of new materials is the best I've seen, and it's a small library in an incredible shopping center!  I can't wait to spend more time there.  William and I both started cards there on Saturday afternoon and spent the better part of an hour or so just hanging out and I was finally able to find a few more books to enjoy!  Speaking of which, I just finished Chris Cleave's Little Bee and it was one of the better books I've read in a while, but the end....argh.  Seriously?  Here's the link to Amazon: 

Prior to that I read Colum McCann's Let The Great World Spin which was a decent read, if a little confusing at times when I was trying to figure out which narrator was narrating!  The link to McCann's book: 

I think I'm going to give this one a try next:

My Aunt Patsy got me started on a Scandinavian thriller kick last summer....I OD'ed a bit at the beginning, so I had to lay off for a bit.  When I walked into the Bee Cave library, though, on the end cap....THERE THEY WERE!  So...going to give it another shot!

And also this one:

My new rule, for myself and books, is that if it doesn't capture my attention in 40 minutes, it's going back.  Life's too short to read books that bore us, right?!

And...William's reading the first in "The Girl" trilogy...

Imagine how excited I was to find that Hollywood is going to be doing a remake of the movie that was originally done in Europe????  SO EXCITED!!!  Check out the latest issue of Entertainment Weekly and you can see a few of the actresses who are being considered.

And hairdresser on Wednesday!  Excited and nervous.  Kind of considering this hairstyle:

I'm so over long hair. :)


Friday, May 7, 2010

Training....kicking. My. BUTT.

One thing you need to know about me, I don't quit, until something tears or pops.
---Dwight Schrute

What a great episode of The Office last night! of it, at least...especially at the gym.  And the Morse Code between Jim and Pam was also brilliant. :)

What Dwight said, sort of how I've always felt about competition.  I seem to remember when i was younger hearing my dad say, "If it's not near your heart, you're fine" and also, "Rub some dirt on it."  I don't regret for one second being as fierce a competitor as I was raised to become.  This has translated to all parts of my life, and I feel it's served me well.  I think I've earned the respect of managers and teammates in being both fiercely loyal and a hard-core competitor.

A competitor will find a way to win. Competitors take bad breaks and use them to drive themselves just that much harder. Quitters take bad breaks and use them as reasons to give up. It's all a matter of pride. Nancy Lopez

And just as Nancy Lopez said, it's all a matter of pride.  I don't quit...whether it's a photo competition, training for a show, a relationship....I. DON'T. QUIT.  Sometimes, I probably should have, but I have to believe that I have always learned something about myself in the process.

I need to remember Nancy Lopez's words next week as I head out to Orlando to train with Jason and Catherine.  This experience will help me grow as a competitor, both physically and mentally.  I have literally trained my ass off this off-season.  There were times at the beginning after my surgery where I found myself asking William, "Is this worth it?"  I think that the time off helped my body, but set my mind back.  I'm now officially in the zone, and can't wait to make my teammates and coaches proud as I step on the stage this summer.  I can honestly say when I leave the gym that I have absolutely poured my heart and soul into every single workout. 

So...thanks, Dad, for teaching me that I can get out there and play even if I've gotten knocked back down...and to Mom, for making sure to not let me go to sleep if I've gotten a head injury.  "I just need to check your eyes again...."

I love you guys!  Thanks to everyone who's reading!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Do work, son....

Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment. Jim Rohn

So....this morning I FINALLY got all of my clothing unpacked.  I know.  I've been in Austin since Sunday and had my clothing still in suitcases!  No wonder I felt a little....out of sorts.  Kind of like I was on vacation, or working.  We made a much needed trip to Target last night and I picked up a few things to organize my closet.

What's standing in the way of my accomplishments?  Definitely figuring out what I need to do and sticking to the plan.  I do it with my training, so why would it be any different with anything else?  While they're not daunting tasks, I do have a bunch of little things that need to get done....

  • trip to the DMV for my Texas license
  • trip to the library for a library card (YES....this is VERY important!)
  • unpacking the garage
  • THANK YOU CARDS (yes...I haven't forgotten)
  • trip to the bridal store
  • laundry
  • cleaning the house
  • cooking food for the week
I know.  These are small insignificant tasks.  I live here now.  I have NOTHING that is urgent, with the exception of getting a driver's license (here).

Okay.  This was more of a venting than anything else.  And ....I'm signing off to actually accomplish these things I'm griping about. ;)

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Quotes, quotes and MORE quotes!

I love this quote that I came across this morning:

The question isn't who is going to let me; it's who is going to stop me.  
~Ayn Rand

What it means to me....I don't look at it in such a way as "Ohhh...look at me!", but rather to remind myself that sometimes, the only person standing in my way is ME!  I have historically had a tendency to sabotage my happiness with negative thinking, and just in the past year have I tried to change this!  

I started 2010 with a list of goals, and I am confident that I'm doing everything I can to achieve those goals.  Some of them aren't goals that are ....finite.  I know I'm a work in progress!  I can't be the BEST wife or the BEST figure competitor or the BEST student RIGHT THIS SECOND!  (Which....if you're reading this, you know I lack patience, but will never lack perseverance, dedication, or loyalty!)  I know that success at all of these will be determined over time.  Wedding vows aren't taken just for the day.  I can't finely tune my physique in one workout.  And each class I take toward a degree in nutrition is going to be just that....ONE class.  One hour at a time.

Instead of solely focusing on "The Long Run" (can't wait to see the ink, Dad!)...I'm going to figure out what it is that I can do, day by day, in order to achieve these goals that I set for myself in 2010...and for the rest of my life!

I'm confident that with the support of my family, friends, and God's guidance I'll be everything (and more) that I've set out to become.

Let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.
--Galatians 6:9

Have a blessed day!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Is this gonna be forever????

So...maybe I borrowed this line from what is, quite possibly, my favorite YouTube video of all time...David after the dentist.  Is it cruel?  Totally.  Would my parents have done it when I was his age?  Knowing my dad?  Probably.'s funny.  And I'm reminded of that when I look at a picture my mom took of me after having FOUR teeth pulled.  Love ya, Mom. ;)

Looking around me in our new (to me, anyway) home, I'm surrounded by boxes and chaos.  Little by little, I'm trying to unpack and find myself getting overwhelmed.  I'm a little on the ADD side of cleaning.  I'll get bursts of energy and start cleaning and putting something away, and then find myself getting distracted by something else...only to come back to the cleaning later, discovering that I only got half finished what I started!

I had great intentions to blog on the road, but two late nights (after 10pm Friday night and 2am Saturday night) left me little time to log on and collect my thoughts.

I find myself wondering when it's going to feel real!  I was speaking with William earlier this morning about where to put some of my craft supplies, and he said, "This is OUR home."  You know what?  IT TOTALLY IS!!!!  I'm so excited, I can barely stand it.  Was it difficult to say good-bye to my mom and dad on Friday morning?  Absolutely.  But you know what?  We now have Facebook, Skype, email, snail mail, texting, cell many ways to communicate that it seems like we'll be in better contact than we were before.  The only difference is that I'm not going to be able to just tell my mom to drop by to pick me up on her way out to the valley so we can shop at Target, or set up a puppy play-date with my dad and Frank and Mookie.  Does that part make me sad?  Completely.  I think, though, that some of my relationships will be stronger as a result of me being here.

So....I guess I'd better get back to what I was doing in the guest bathroom putting things away....or was I in the kitchen? :)