Welcome to the second day of our experience of looking at Dallas, TX as a viable living place.
We woke up around 9am to notice no change in the visibility. Yep, you got it–heavy heavy fog. But luckily as the day went by, the fog cleared up and changed to just general rain. We first met up with our real estate agent at a local place called the Old West Cafe. Boy was it tasty! I enjoy Tex Mex food and this had an egg included 🙂
Afterwards we went house looking. It was a lot of fun. The first home was huge inside but on a small lot. However, the view of the creak was adorable. The second house we tried was closed (with wasps so that was out) and the third house had spiders in the tube.
The final house we looked at was a brand new community. Grant it it was a good 35-45 minutes outside of town…it was so new that we would be able to pick our countertops, colors of paint and details from the ground up. Crazy, right? Ther’s NO WAY we’d be able to do that in CA.
I absolutely loved this community and was about to sign on the dotted line. But there’s still a lot to consider — especially because CA has a lot of friends and family close by where as in TX we’d be forming a new network. Value here is so important and it’s starting to increase because of all the businesses moving out this way for cheaper work costs.
On our way back–we finally stopped at a Texas BBQ place during the Dallas/Green Bay game. It’s called Hard Eight BBQ. It was amazing because you walk in, pick out your meat by the pound and then add your sides. We had brisket, sausage, ribs, corn and a potato. Shared cornbread and some crazy sides (the beans are free here!) It was tasty and WAY too much food. But when you’re in TX, go big or go home. 🙂
So since our arrival, the weather of TX has been crazy. There was fog, then there was rain, then it cleared up for a little bit before it decided to rain again. Eventually the wind and rain got so bad, tornado warnings were issued and we had to stay inside during our originally planned trip to see a movie at the Alamo Drafthouse ( a location where they kick you out for taking during a movie–huzzah!) It was kind of a wild moment because we were hanging in the lobby when a single mother and her two girls rushed in, soaking wet and the kids were screaming because it was just plain ol’ scary. So I pulled out my phone and froze it on the kiddo game I had originally downloaded for Austin and the little girl(Jopline was her name) managed to stay focused while mom was trying to pull herself together and find a room to stay in because it was practically raining sideways. Luckily someone game up their extra room for them because the hotel was full. Good people–it’s always good to see that.
Eventually we made it out for food once the winds died sown. Grab a bite to eat and came back to go to bed. Such a crazy day. But anything can happen while you’re in TX.
Over the past few years (despite moving in 2014 to Rancho Cucamonga) – Shawn and I have considered moving out of state. Since my job has a few locations–we decided to take a look at the most available spot-Dallas, Texas. So we hopped on a plane over the MLK holiday to check out not only the area but also some available houses and what it would be like to live in TX
Our journey started off at 7am from our house to LAX. We took an airline I had never flown but heard plenty of negative thoughts about: Spirit. To be honest — it wasn’t half bad. Since we were only coming out for two days we were able to bring a small backpack and not pay for any luggage. When we landed, we picked up our rental and began our journey.
First: the FOG! It’s so bad here that you can barely see 500 yards in front of you. So there’s little room for seeing things on the side of the freeway. We had plenty of time to check in– so we went in search of local interests. The main being food. Luckily, in Dallas there is a location for my favorite restaurant-Moe’s Southwest Grill. It’s very much like Qdoba or Chipotle–but has the white quest sauce and tastes amazing. Especially the steak. They have nice thick cuts instead of small little chunks with no flavor.Then we drove around (getting lost) downtown and while deciding to head out to the AAA Texas building (where I would possibly work), we accidentally ended up traveling onto the grass knoll taking the same path as Kennedy’s car. Oops and cool at the same time.
Our third stop was at a mall. Now-you may be thinking why a mall but there was a distinct purpose to this. There was a ThinkGeek store inside. We purchased some items (mostly t-shirts), but it was amazing to be actually able to pick up the things we had seen online and ponder purchase in our heads. We left the mall with only a few goodies but overal productive approach to our geekiness.
Finally we headed to the hotel, checked in and turned around to head out to dinner. (Yes-shopping took some time so by the time we checked in it was 9:30pm.) So we decided to try a local “treasure” and head to a Whataburger
I’d show you a picture but its really not all that exciting.
While I did not feel it was anything special-it was interesting to have a bbq chicken strip sandwich with Texas toast. Very much like Sonic or Wendy’s. Nothing like In&Out-sorry Texans. However, there was a Steak & Shake next door and because I was craving onion rings, we stopped and picked up a shake to share with some good ol’ fried rings to go.
The first day was quit an experience. Today (day 2) , we are heading out with a real estate agent to look around the different communities and. At houses about living here. There is one community I am excited about because it was be a brand new house. Brand new kitchen, brand new garage. Everything. There would be no worries about dated walls or furniture–just our own nostalgia that we would bring to living there. Well–off we go!
So while we were flying out to Dallas (blogs to follow-enter reference here), I decided I would get back into reading several of the books I had purchased over the last few 2-3 years. So I scanned my kindle app and noticed I had forgotten a book referral I had received when I first wanted to get pregnant.
The Period Repeair Manual is a book that address the one thing every woman fears and dreads: your monthly cycle. After the birth of my son, I made a conscious effort to work to understand what my body does naturally and help support that through my diet instead of letting doctors prescribe things to me without explanation or review. This quickly escalated after I spent time going to both my obgyn and an endocrinologist to try and get help for my PCOS only to be told “pill or metformin”–two answers I der were not only lazy medical work but lacked looking at the real problems I was having.
Beginning this book was difficult for me. I was scared to look at natural repair and approach to my pcos issues because I didn’t want to given into “guru” approaches to everything. There are plenty of examples of modern medicine helping our society (the birth of my son has definitely taught me this) and I do want to use all resources when apprised.
So I started with page one. As the book continued through explaining what we know about menstral cycles, what the true “norm” is and how to address the spectrum of problems that arise from poor period health–I realized this book was placed in my hands at the perfect moment. Coupled with my appointment in two weeks with a natural approaching doctor–it makes me excited about reforming my life.
I think the biggest change I will be making is saying goodbye to sugar. Stevia and the other natural sweetness I’m willing to look at very occasionally–but basically eating a sugarless diet would benefit me in mass quantity. And while I will cut down on processed carbs (sticking to no French fries), eating a baked potato with butter is not going to kill my diet if I decide I’m extremely hungry for this. So no soda, no ice cream, no fruit juice (bad bad sugar levels) and definitely no syrup on my pancakes.
Another modification I am considering to work in is no diary. I already drink very limited amounts of diary and only keep coconut at home for breakfast cereal. My immunologist highly recommended this already but after doing some reading (both my own and that she provided), I humbly agree to give up my other diary friends. Trust me-my gut will thank me later.
The last modification: I am working to make is clean eating. Luckily we live in a society that is gradually movi towards cleaner eating but we are definitely nowhere near something positive. This is going to be my Lenten project. Clean self. I mentioned I would be going on a Paleo- type diet. I want to do this even more.
Again–I ask that those of you who know and interact with me daily help support me in this. I don’t mean to change your life with me. But asking to go to McDonald’s when Panera is in the same parking lot is not helpful.
Look! I’m still here! 😀 Sorry to have disappeared …
The end of 2016 was a crazy tumble. Not only was I trying to adjust to being a mom, but also a working mom along with trying to have a life beyond the four walls of my living room and TV. I’m gradually catching up, but sometimes this kiddo is too cute and i’m too tired
So just the same as every year- new year, new diet. But having been through a pregnancy – so my body has several changes. Therefore I am working on trying something new, getting some REAL help and taking things slow. Just to put them down some where– here some things I am working on changing this year:
- New OBGYN– yes, while I enjoy the medical center for women in Fullerton… I want a doctor who can actually address my PCOS issues. And sorry modern medicine-but you suck in this realm. I received a referral from a friend at work going through similar problems and I am greatly appreciative but will be driving about an hour away to meet with a new doctor who I have high hopes for to actually help me address my real problems instead of masking them with meds.
- I am also starting a new type of diet. Its more transitional with some strict guidelines. Starting in January (now) I have started a diet that gradually takes one bad thing out and one good thing in. This month—its giving up soda (all of it, but at minimum the high sugary stuff) and adding in one veggie into my meals per day. Next month it will be giving up french fries (in addition to the soda) and adding one more veggie. March 1st (ash Wednesday) will be when I start my strict diet plan. I think I may go paleo or at least work out my Belly Fat Cure Diet. Who knows–i’m talking to my new doctor when i meet with her at the end of the month and hope to have a resolution by Lent.
- Looking into mass cleaning of the house. I want to start in one corner and cross the house gradually. This is VERY difficult–due to Austin 🙂
- Austin is just starting to explore foods. Nuff said 😉
- FInally I want to work in a workout schedule of some sort. It’s hard to figure this out since I am gone at work most of the day.
Over my life—I have experience with losing. I played on last place softball teams for years and was the daughter of a strict substitute teacher who taught my own classes. I also have already lost both my parents (before the age of 30) and have felt the agony of rejection of the popular crowd.
As I write this blog on November 9th—I want to reflect on things I Have learned in losing over the years. While this probably advertises my vote (which I am not ashamed of) …it’s still valuable for any side of the political fence.
1) Losing Sucks: yes—admit it. Cry about it, mourn, have a moment of silence. It is painful to be let down especially when you are from a higher place. But that’s okay. You need to feel it. Keeping it bundled inside only allows for it to boil inside you until you explode with anger or overreact with a lack of safety. For us today as a nation—many are scared for their lives because they lost. It’s okay to feel that … for ahead comes the unknown and the fact that you have to support someone or something you don’t agree with. Or you don’t support it and have to work on fighting it. But always remember to take the time for yourself to digest what is going on emotionally, physically, psychologically, spiritual, etc. but how you react is what you teach others.
2) Keeping doing what you feel is right: I know this sounds ridiculous when you have been defeated but it is good and justice and right that withstand the test of time. My mom used to say if I do the right thing eventually I would be rewarded. I had my bike stolen from my supposed “friend” in the neighborhood and I was let down by a coach in softball for not showing up to the All-Star voting and therefore losing my spot on a team I should have been on. But eventually I got my bike back and made the All Star Softball team my last year I played in rec league. The right will come out or the negative will at least be forgotten or made unimportant. I think this is very applicable with this election because while change is scary—we need hope that our country and its governing process will recover (and hopefully see positive reform for the people without all of us killing each other first.)
And if you need to look at a cute baby or puppy pictures for an hour to feel good again, that’s okay too
3) Try to support the winning side “goodies.”: Many times in softball, a game is lost simply because someone played better. Even with “dirty” methods. But nevertheless, they won. And it is your job even as a loser to cross that field, shake hands and say “good game.” It’s good sportsmanship. And many times the team did a lot of good things. This is also true for all losing. I was bullied as a kid—as in threatened with a knife while walking home from school because I was “fat” and because my mom was too strict. But this kid had a dying parent and struggled as we got older. I always made sure I checked in with his family. I also was contacted as an adult by that kid who stole my bike as a child on facebook. He apologized for all the “stupid” things he did and we remained cordial friends. I was also friends with some of my ex-boyfriends because we were able to be adult about our situations after properly mourning our loss and move on. It doesn’t work for everyone and I understand sometimes this is very hard and takes time to find positives from bad situations. It is not to be entered lightly either. I don’t expect to see people running out to support others who represented things they were opposed to. But it is still a good thing to do. Looking for good in others brings you to common ground.
UPDATE: As I read this post about a week later…I feel again glad something bigger is speaking through me. I have seen some horrible things this week from across the country in addition to trying to keep my eyes and ears open for what is really going to happen.
So how do we deal with God and bad stuff?
Well– I do not believe God is at fault for evil. Well, maybe in the fact that He created things and His creation is doing evil but I do not directly believe He is responsible. I do believe creation was almost “let loose” and as a result God took a risk and evil came about. At first. And as humans grew and continued evil just kept going.
So let’s look at an example…
My dad died when I was 14. I could have easily blamed God. Or I could look at the fact that my dad has medical problems and sometimes our human bodies give out. Is it God’s fault? no. Is it his fault that He didn’t save him? No. While God has saving power–I love thinking God let’s us experience life instead of saving our butts like a helicopter parent. We’re not babies…So instead of sulking around about my dad being gone I try to take my experience and share knowledge where I can. What about those killed innocently or abruptly? I still don’t blame God. Blame is not at the source of everything that is wrong. Sometimes things just happen. I have several friends who have miscarried or lost their children. In no good faith would I ever say that someone was to blame. And sadly–those babies died. It sucks. Honestly I would rather speak truth in a moment of sadness than point fingers. And help my friends move through their sadness with better life.
I also want to talk about prayers. A lot of people ask for prayers from God when those they love are sick or dying. And when those people die a lot of people say God didn’t listen to their prayers. It’s where blaming God stems from. Realistically speaking–if you’re going to a friend to speak to them about a problem you have-you’re not going to them to validate what you already think. That’s not real help…that’s just a stamp of approval. I would like to think God is more than that. You’re going to a friend so they can listen and help where they know best. That’s how I feel God listens to prayers. So sometimes He helps and sometimes He listens. And maybe he uses that moment as a teaching moment (cause he’s a Teacher) or maybe he uses its as a miraculous moment. Or maybe God just sits there and says “I know-its sucks-and I’m here.” My mom survived stage 4 cancer for 15 years. Was this an answer to my prayer?-I’m not sure. On some platform yes because she outlived my college graduation when she was worried about living past my jr high graduation. But I wouldn’t have wanted my mom to have to suffer the way she did. That was not easy and she ended up dying before I got married or had kids. Trust me–i can’t get through some music when i’m looking at my son and thinking of my parents. But than again I felt blessed for every day I had with her instead of being frustrated that her health suffered and I lost my dad.
I always tell people that if the image of God is not something you like–then change your image of God. I know for some that means he disappears complete or that he multiples–but for me it means God does not have to fit into one church’s specific image or concept of Him. As I said–my belief in God includes science, includes bad things happening to good people and includes generosity and love for others–logically as I can see it and with heart and feeling. It also allows for others to have their own beliefs and supports that humans have their own brains.
Now that I have a new kiddo in my life–I have begun to think seriously about my thoughts, beliefs and actions and how I want to introduce those to my child. Grant it I have always been interested in what people believe in–it just matters to me now what I’m going to do with that information. So almost as a conversion story (because I really don’t have one from growing up in the church), I thought I would lay down some of my thoughts about God.
First– I have a strong belief in a higher deity. It is next to impossible for me to conceptualize there being no God. I don’t say that to put down my atheist friends… but to emphasize where my thoughts come from. The structure and order of the universe makes it easier for me to see something or some one in charge. I admit others see it as scientific order but I personally accept that science can exist within the belief of God. It is also easy for me to conceptualize that someone or someThing has got it all together and I don’t because most of the time–I don’t have it together. Physically, emotionally, psychologically, you name it. So that not only covers a Supreme Being but also my belief covers original sin or the idea that we’re sinful beings. It doesn’t mean we’re not good-it just means we have the ability to be not good on a fairly regular basis. Personally I think humanity is bad to each other because we’re lazy. It’s harder to think of others. Anyways.. these beliefs put me into the monotheistic judeo-christian bubble without defining anything about Jesus.
Second– I have a strong sense of God being a Creator… I mean in the deepest sense of the word. He has authority over creation–ALL of it. Even the sun, the moon, the stars. I believe evolution can exist with God. Why not? God could create evolution, couldn’t he? I mean, humans found it and since humans don’t have their shit together half the time its not impossible for God to create it, right? God could create it and destroy it (just like humans do…) I also believe God is all powerful, all knowing, omnipotent… and that’s hard to grasp one’s mind around. In fact, its impossible because humanity’s minds only reach so far. 10% supposedly 🙂 So the whole idea of imagining us using more of our brain is not only scientifically fascinating but could also point to God. Believing in God as Creator also indicates that I believe God is over evil. God could create evil based on my thoughts. (My friend who was messianic explained this concept is not hard for the Jewish faith but for some reason is extremely hard for Christians.) However I do not believe He does. Just because He has the ability doesn’t mean he exercises that power. God has to limit Himself if He is Creator and over all creation. Since I try following the Bible–I also believe God can do harmful things (battles, killing people, etc.) But God is also Good and Loving. And my Christian beliefs hold strong to that.
So next thought–can God change? No, I do not believe God in his character has changed. But can He have a multitude of methods as his disposal?-Yep, sure, definitely. And can I not understand his full character?-yep right again. Again I point to if humans can do these and God created them, then He has to be able to do these things and have authority over it. But it still doesn’t mean we’ve seen all of God’s character. It just means he has the ability to. I believe that God is good–why? Well, again that’s where I get into my Christian faith. For the craziness I believe that God sent a man to die and rise again so all could be saved. Hallelujah! Heaven knows I’m screwed up and now you’re telling me God did something for me without me having to do anything so I can be closer to Him, my Creator? Awesome! Rock!–Let’s do it.
A lot of Christians have minimized their view of God. They make him out to be a big guy in the sky or someone who makes everyone but perfect people go to Hell. I do not claim either of these things. Unfortunately (despite my love for monty python), I do not believe God looks like an old dude running things from up above. In fact, I don’t believe Heaven is above or Hell is below. They are places and not here and that’s all I’ve got. Why do people assume their above or below. That’s a medieval concept by Dante by the way. Biblically speaking–heaven is where God is all the time and Hell is where He is not. Plain and simple. Location?–not as important.
Now here’s the hard part–God can be a Judge. He created everything so he has authority over it. So in my mind I believe he can say what’s right and wrong about it. Like the inventor of a machine or writer of a book. Let me heavily stress that because he is a Judge– that DOES NOT make me someone who knows that judgment or how to dispense it. According to the Bible (and basic common sense), I should be nice to people…I’m called to love them. (yeah, John 3:16… ugh I hate using cliche bible verses to explain things.) I know what’s right and wrong not solely because God told me but maybe because He created me in his image as good and I have an internal sense of good and and not good. Adam and Eve knew only good until they chose not good. So humanity can choose good naturally. Please do not think dualistic here. I can’t stand when we make either/or conversations out of both/and/all/in/around topics. Again the medieval/renaissance concept of the justice scales as the sole explanation of the world and how we live in it is not the original Jewish concept of God & the world, let alone addresses the entirety of the world. Balance, peace and equality are not always two sided.
So I hope I gave you some new thoughts on God. I find so much hope in my faith. I also do not let the negative people in my faith or the close-minded ones dictate my beliefs. I hope others can learn to be open-minded as I am trying to be 😀