New Life

Day 2 Texas Thoughts

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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 ­čÖé

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. ­čÖé

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. 

Texas Thoughts

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Over the past few years (despite moving in 2014 to Rancho Cucamonga) – Shawn and I have considered moving out of state. ┬áSince 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. ┬áLuckily, 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. ┬áEspecially 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.┬á

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. ┬áVery 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!

Book Review: Period Repair Manual

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As I noted in my last blog–2017 is a year of refreshment for me. It’s a perfect time to begin restructuring many parts of my life-little by little to incorporate good and healthy change. 

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. 

What children do to You

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So I am gradually welcoming myself back to the land of the living. Since the birth of Austin–it has been a whirlwind of learning his habits, his necessities and his milestones while trying to keep my head somewhere in the range of my body (because expecting it to be even slightly screwed on somewhere is a joke at this point.) is a miracle.

I will say that I have a learned a lot from having a child. So here I will leave you with little tidbits I have learned so far (remember first time mother who DOES NOT know what the hell she’s doing sometimes.)

  1. Make you Aware whether it be an oversensitivity to every sound and image in and around your home and community, i can definitely say that over the past few months my ears, eyes and thoughts have been tuning into everything Austin. The TV is always too loud, the lights too bright, the details too shocking. And while I would like to think some of these things don’t affect him– in reality all nurturing affects the nurtured in some way. I just know I want to give him the best environment to thrive in the best way. And yet-at the same time love him for every ounce that he is–or will be–or whatever. It’s a crazy thought when I go thru “how do I tell him about such and such” or “what do I say when he asks about that?” I know i’ll figure it out or at least admit I can’t and try to be the best mother to my son. That’s all one can ask for.
  2. Secret Code parenting and babies have secret codes. Smiley faces with tongues sticking out and goggly eyes are not always happy signals┬ábut sometimes presents down below. There is clearly a language between little baby mothers for when I was at Disneyland–the three week old baby mother and myself (7 week old austin) could look at each other without saying a word and knew where we each were–sleepless & exhausted with hungry but joyful kids. ┬áMaybe its because our┬áchildren are closer in age… but even the older children parents know what is going on and its a comfort to know you’re not alone. Actually–its a bigger comfort to know that you aren’t the only one who has gone thru sleepless nights, disgusting cleanups (either of food or something else) or even a stressed out/tantrum kiddo. ┬áMy biggest accomplishment as a mom: admitting I do not have my shit together–at all.
  3. Being Prepared is not just a Lion King song Luckily I haven’t run into this too often… but i will say when you’re without formula, without a diaper, without a blanket–even at this age can be daunting. You get creative and crafty — and I swear its only going to get worse in having a small human being.
  4. In the End–All of Life is worth it!┬áNo matter how many poopy diapers I change or spit up shirts i wash– it will all be worth it in the end. I keep telling myself this because there are moments I want to cry and just press pause for a few minutes so I can breathe or sleep or eat. Luckily my husband, friends and family are all really good about redirecting my focus to the right locations. That God does good things (insert all applicable bible verses here about surviving life’s challenges) and that in the end watching my child grow will be all worth it. It’s a crazy thought to realize I brought a tiny human into the world and that it will be my responsibility to take care of him. And to be a parent means you would do anything for your child–whether it be starve & suffer or celebrate and share.

Dear Austin–I can’t wait to see what life has in store for you! Remember I will always be your mommie (from 1-100) and will always seek for you the good in life.┬á

The Holidays Begin, part duex

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So as I mentioned in my previous post, it was a completely stranger noticing something small that started my outdoor decorating passion. I tried to remember every year that it wasn’t about what I put out or how much, but that the simple act of reminding everyone of a holiday that brought joy and fun into people’s lives.

So Christmas came up and for the first time I decided I was going to hang more than our icicle lights. We had a huge yard with several planters and decorating could not be THAT hard. So my mom helped purchase light nets for the bushes and I bought some small Big Lots decor that would sit on top of plants and not get in the way of the gardeners or the sprinklers. I even included a dog or two–because we’re dog people:

 Sadly, even though some strangers can be completely nice–others cannot.  I placed this dog in our front yard and on Christmas Eve (or day I cannot remember), someone came up into our yard and our neighbor’s yard and stole several decorations, including this little guy.  I WAS DEVASTATED! I had worked SOO hard to bring joy and happiness to everyone by adding a few more lights and some fun figures to my yard only to have my dreams smashed by irresponsible teenage boys. Yes, I know they were boys–they police caught them later that day and tried returning the decor but my one little dog was still missing.

But instead of getting all depressed about it, I just decided that no one was going to diminish my goal of bringing joy to the world with my decorations.

So the following years, I tried to buy 1-2 things for Halloween and 1-2 things for Christmas to add to the display. Trust me, shopping just after the holidays gets you the best bargains and its a great pleasure to open up the decoration bins to find something you totally forgot you purchased a year earlier. 
These little guys represent my love for penguins. Though I myself am I Christian-I wanted to try and not being the religious discussion from my holiday decor. It never represents the full picture and my only intent with decorations is to remind people of the happiness of the time. So you will find usually one Santa, one tree and several polar bears, snow men and penguins on my lawn. These two guys I found at Big Lots for $20, the lasted 4 years and were amazing little guys to set up. I’ve moved into inflatables lately because they have gone down in cost and are more visible from or new house.  


Stay puff has also become a fixture in our front yard from October 1st through Janauaty 17th at least. He helps set up lights, scares friendly goblins and is a pleasant addition to every display. He was amazing for setting up Christmas decorations. 


When we moved to Rancho Cucamonga, my decorations got more elaborate. We had a larger front yard and a little enclosed patio perfect for displays. Above is last year’s Halloween arrangement. Don’t worry–I haven’t finished everything this year….I have at least 4 bags of glow in the dark spider webs, a ton of lights we need to set up and a couple Skelton heads to line up along the edge. 

The coolest thing about our new place was a garage that was up Felton. In Anaheim, our garage was set in the back of the property so we were never able to deoxrate it or use the door for anything. Even though the only survivor of these pictures is the spider hanging down on a string–they were fun to look at and made the Halloween display interesting. 

This year began with buying clothing hanging spider webs that can hang from the same spot as the lights. I fact, I left the icicle lights up from last year as patio lights and now they actually make the displays glow a little more. Stay puff is still out there, along with our giant black pumpkins and caution tape everywhere. $1 section of target was a huge saver.