Friday, November 30, 2012

Leavin' on a jet plane....

Tomorrow, I fly to Seattle.  I'm somewhat packed--just trying to go through it and lighten my suitcase.  
I'm getting nervous and antsy.  But more nervous than antsy. 
My Meniere's has been kicking my trash lately, so I REALLY REALLY hope that Dramamine does its job tomorrow!
I'm trying to remind myself how much I love to fly, once I'm in the air.  I'm not the biggest fan of take-off, but once we're stable in the sky, I'm ok.  I didn't enjoy flying for such a long time, but I'm grateful that I was finally able to enjoy it, when I had to fly home from my mission, ALONE. 

I've got all that I need....
Red Vines.
2 magazines.
"Friday Night Knitting Club" book.
My journal.
My iPod.
and my fave....
Cranberry juice!

I like to only ever drink Cranberry juice, when I'm flying.  It's my favorite juice, so it's like a sweet treat I get to enjoy and calm my nerves, while I'm flying. 

AHHHHHH.... man, I'm nervous!  I'm sure that once I'm on the plane, I'll be ok.  Ugh... stupid take off.

Seattle, here I come....

Thursday, November 29, 2012

How you like them apples?

I'm going to...

I'm pretty dang excited!! I've been wanting to go to Seattle for a few years now, so I'm stoked that work will be taking me there for a week.  As in this next week.  

I leave a day before Levi gets home from his 3 week trip.  

Yeah, I'm bummed because I've missed him T-E-R-R-I-B-L-Y!  It's bittersweet, but I'm still stoked for this cool experience, of being in Seattle.  I'll be helping out some friends with their film archival conference.  Since it's a conference, it's full of people who LOVE this stuff. I remember meeting the lead film archivist from UCLA, who apparently is really big in this field.... yeah, I had to match his enthusiasm while he went on and on and on about archiving.  
Other than that,  it's a very sweet set up.... I get paid, a free plane ticket, my own room & board and get to do a lil sight seeing of Seattle.  I'm a lil bummed that my sister won't be going this year, as she did two years ago to Philadelphia. I'll also be missing my stake Christmas concert that I've been rehearsing with for the past 2 months.  I hope they do well!
I can't wait to see/do: Pike Place Market, The Great Wheel (I'm hoping to ride this, since it'll be my first time on a ferris wheel.), Chihuly Glass Museum, go to Starbucks [which I'm sure I'll be doing a lot of drink runs here] and eat an apple.  
However, I. CANNOT. WAIT. to fly home! My sweetheart will be picking me up from the airport and I couldn't be more pleased!! I've missed him so much and to be honest, I've always wanted someone special to pick me up at the airport.  There's just something more....special about it!  I can't wait to wrap my arms around him and just hold him tight.   I've never been this patient before in my life--3 weeks turned into 4 weeks.... and sadly, I'll be missing our 2 month anniversary.  I'm grateful that he's patient, because it kinda rubs off on me. 


Well, I gotta go finish packing.... Hello Seattle! Can't wait to taste your apples!


My cousin Kurt and his family was in town for the Thanksgiving holiday.
I was FINALLY able to meet their 9 month baby, who I've been drooling over on Facebook! 
Seriously, this baby boy is so deliciously cute! 
My cousin was amazed that Mase felt immediately comfortable with me and didn't fuss at all.  I seriously couldn't get enough of this baby! I just wanted to hold him and squeeze him and kiss him all over!! He was such a fun and happy baby!! Oh man, I just love cute, cuddly & chubby babies!!!

I can't wait for my own babies, someday! 
Have I mentioned how much I love this baby?!?!  I couldn't get enough of him!
Oh my poor kids....

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

His & Hers


Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Phone calls.

In my first [mission] area of Medford, New Jersey, I met a woman who just got married and moved to NJ with her husband.  It was my first Sunday {August 18, 2002} in the Medford ward when I met Sister A.  I'm pretty sure we were about the same age and it was so nice not being the only new face in the ward that day.  Over the next several weeks, I got to know her and her husband.  He was in the Air Force and they were waiting for a spot in military housing to open up.  It finally did, and they moved down to McGuire AFB in the North Hanover Ward.  After serving for 3 months in the Medford area, I was reassigned to Bordentown, NJ, which landed me in her ward.  I was overjoyed! I was stoked to see my friend again and pleased to know a familiar face in my new ward. Over the next several weeks, she announced that she was pregnant and that her husband would be going to off to war.  
I remember one Sunday morning, she walked into the chapel and looked terribly exhausted.  Her hair wasn't perfectly coiffed, as it always was and her eyes were puffy and swollen.  I greeted her and asked how she was feeling.  She tried her best to smile, and told us how she had been looking forward to her one and only phone call from her husband.  She had her phone readily available 24/7 and even slept with both the house phone & cell phone, just in case he should call.  As she was getting ready, that Sunday morning, she took the phone into the bathroom while she showered - still no call.  She continued to get ready for church.  It was while she was blow drying her hair, that he called and she had completely missed his phone call.  As she retold her experience, tears welled up in her eyes.  She didn't know when his next phone call would be....a few days, weeks or even months.  She was heartsick.  I remember feeling so sad for her.  I just wanted to give her a hug because here she was, pregnant, disheveled and alone....longing and missing her husband.  
As Levi's been out of town these last 2.5 weeks, I've felt a very tiny portion of what she was going through that Sunday.   Since I've started going out with Levi, there's only been two days that I haven't talked to him--both of which occurred this past week.  I've tried to be a very patient & understanding girlfriend, but sometimes my impatience gets the best of me.  I just miss him so much.  I just want to see him, touch him, feel him next to me and hear his voice in person.  This right here, is exactly why I could never date someone in the military.  I don't know how military spouses do it.  My heart goes out to them.  

T-minus 6 days. . . .

Monday, November 26, 2012

Right now....

I'm eating some damn hot Filipino noodles...
while my mouth is on fire...
sitting around the table with my three nephews...
joking around like ol' times...
listenin' to U2 & Hilary Duff...
hoping that a lot of ward members come to FHE tonight...
and looking forward to Christmas & Levi coming home.

Now that I've lost all feeling in my mouth, I think I'll have some homemade banana bread.

Friday, November 23, 2012

For the love of fluffy!

This makes me chuckle.
True story.

Thursday, November 22, 2012


I'm so thankful for....

*Abundant blessings from my Heavenly Father, ones that are so specific to my life that end up being beautiful tender mercies
*My wonderful family who loves me and puts up with my crazy antics. 
*My sweetheart Levi, who makes me feel like the luckiest girl in the entire universe.
*The sweet association of dear friends; where time nor distance haven't altered our friendship. 
*A home, a warm bed and food in my cupboard.
*The beautiful sound of music, the talent to sing and the wonder to appreciate it.
*My sister, Bec, who is like a mother and best friend combined.
*My nephews who let me tease them and dish it back, because they see me as a sister.
*My dear niece who has a sweet and kind heart towards everyone.
*My king size down comforter that's like a warm hug every time I use it. (thanks StephyPooh)
*The beauty of the beach.
*Mexican food and the ability to appreciate other cultures.
*The opportunity of mortality, the reassurance of Christ's gospel and latter-day revelation.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Facebook Photo: Found!

Came across these two photos on my friends' Facebooks....

I love this one of the Angel Moroni, atop the San Diego LDS Temple.  

This is a photo of the labor missionaries in Laie, Hawaii, circa 1960.
My Dad's in the bottom right corner, front row.  
I love hearing stories of my Dad's labor mission!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Photo Booth App!


I'd buy an iPhone just for that app! 

Monday, November 19, 2012

At Last!

Last week, while having Thanksgiving dinner at my aunt's senior living apartment,  the dj's were playing a lot of love songs from past decades.  The first song played was, At Last, by Etta James.  I always joked that when I got married that would be my wedding song, because I was finally getting married, at last.  However, when I heard it that evening, the song was no longer funny to me, it started to really touch me...

At last 
My love has come along
My lonely days are over
And life is like a song
Oh yeah yeah
At last
The skies above are blue
My heart was wrapped up in clover
The night I looked at you
I found a dream, that I could speak to
A dream that I can call my own
I found a thrill to press my cheek to
A thrill that I have never known
Oh yeah yeah
You smiled, you smiled
Oh and then the spell was cast
And here we are in heaven
for you are mine...
At Last

I couldn't stop the smile that stretched across my face.  My heart and mind immediately thought of Levi.  This man makes me the happiest that I've ever been.  I've never had a man love me as much as he does.   He's just so unbelievably generous with his time, attention and affection.  I love this man dearly and I'm so thankful that this song is no longer a joke to me, but a true statement of my feelings.  

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Workin' some wood!

When I first started talking to Levi, he mentioned that he made wood toys with his Dad on the weekends.  They were gettin' ready for an arts & crafts convention in New Mexico.  At first, I thought he was making little wood toys that are found in dollhouses.  I didn't think much about it til I visited his Dad's house and saw him at work.  Man, I was blown away!!!  It was NOTHING like I had thought! Nothing remotely close!

I was completely wrong and I was taken back by the beauty of the wood toys he & his Dad had created.  I wish I had taken pictures of all the wood toys I saw that first night.  Man, they were just so....beautiful!  I loved each piece and in my heart, I was hoping and wishing my future children could have toys as beautiful as the ones I saw.  There were wood bulldozers, tractors, helicopters, airplanes...a lot of other farming and construction equipments that I can't recall the names of....but he had the whole lot of them.  Not only were they beautiful, but they were fully functioning and worked together.  Seriously, I was in love!
I've always marveled at the craft of woodworking.  I think it's such a beautiful art--to take a piece of wood and shape it into something, even more so, something beautiful.  I love the fact that Levi knows about this artform and has this talent of creativity.
As soon as he mentioned woodworking, I immediately wanted a box.  I wasn't sure how to tactfully ask him, but I did.  I cannot wait to see the box that he'll create for me.  I don't know exactly why I'm so enamored with the idea of having a handcrafted wood box.  Maybe it stems from when my friend was dating her then boyfriend, and he knew he wanted to propose to her.  So he went home to his Grandfather and they created a jewelry box for her, and he proposed with the ring inside of it.  I was completely captivated with that gesture of love and hoped that someday a special man would make a box for me, as well.
I'm so fascinated by this beautiful talent.  I just wish I could watch them cut, shape and sand the wood into the pieces that they create.  Thankfully, Levi & his Dad are perfectly okay with that and luckily, I had the opportunity to watch them work last weekend.  Trust me when I say that I've been making a mental note of ALL the things I would LOVE for Levi to make for me.  Let's just say I've already got a "HoneyDo" list of wood things that I'd like him to [help me] create.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Eternal Gratitude for Mama McK.

I love this woman SO much! She is the mother heart that I've needed for so long.   We are so similar in many, many ways.  She's adopted me as one of her daughters and I'm truly grateful for the relationship we share.  She loves me to no end, sets me straight when necessary and counsels me in the best way possible.  Even though 867 miles divide us, physically, I carry her in my heart every day.  I think about her often.  I think about her whenever I'm cooking.  Earlier this year, during one of her visits to her son here in town, we went out for Pho and she gave me ceramic tile with a quote from Pres. Hinckley.  In her honor, I placed it in my kitchen.  I cherish all of our times we spent in the kitchen of the Institute building, during her mission.  Many teaching moments went on there, as well as tender moments of listening and counseling.  These days, I enjoy our phone calls and her handmade cards she sends me.  {To be honest with you, she has NOTHING on Hallmark! Her cards are the BEST!}  
I love her dearly and I'm truly grateful for a Heavenly Father who placed her in my life.  I couldn't be more blessed to know her and be loved by her.  My cup runneth o'er...  ♥

Friday, November 16, 2012

Dear Friday...

Dear Friday!
I'm thankful you're here.  It's been a rather long week....yet in a way, not really.  I'm happy that you bring the weekend with you.  I've got a rather special friend flying in this weekend.  I'll tell you more about this special friend, later.   I'm also glad you're finally here because that means that my sweetheart will be home in about 2 weeks.  I miss Levi so much.  He's easy on the eyes and makes me laugh A LOT--my two favorite things about him.  What else..... I can't believe that Thanksgiving will be here in less than a week and that Black Friday is in one week.  Man, I can't stand that day, so forgive me if I'm not a fan of you next week.  Well, I've gotta get going, I need to go buy a phone charger and use my gift card at Kohl's.  

P.S. Have I mentioned how much I've enjoyed spending time with my nephew, Kalanster?  Man, he's been so dang funny lately! Plus, I love talking to him about music and listening to all the new music that he's written.  He's such a funny and fun kid.  I love him so!


Thursday, November 15, 2012

Thursday, too soon.

I can't believe that Thanksgiving is in a week! ONE WEEK!!! 

Where has the time gone?!?!  I feel like October went by in a flash and now November is flying by too!!  In a way, I hope November flies by quickly so that Levi comes home sooner.  In the same breath, I'm ok with it going by slowly.  I'm not ready for Christmas to be here....not at all.  

However, back to Thanksgiving..... 

I sure do love Thanksgiving. I love the togetherness.  I love Cranberry sauce.  I love the fact that it's so American.  I love it all!!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Just a bit bummed....

Yesterday was kind of a bummer day....more like, a bummer ending.

I thought it was a great day, when it started out with news from a cousin who'll be in town, with her family.  I'm still so excited for it because I haven't seen them for about ten years.  Plus, she now has 3 boys that are too adorable for words.  Her baby boy is deliciously cute and I just want to hold and squeeze him, a thousand times over.

Last night, I caught word that a good friend was going to be in my neck of woods.   In fact, right here where I live...cause she was going to be hangin' out with my oldest nephew.  I was bummed that I didn't get an invite to hang with them.  Eh, let's just be brutally honest here.... I was sad, yet again, that my nephew didn't feel the need to invite me to hang with them.  They're old friends from my YSA ward and I've missed them a lot over the last year.  I guess I was even more sad that this friend, who says we need to hang out more, doesn't even call or text when she's in my neck of woods (or in my very complex).  I guess some friendships change....  Out of sight, out of mind.

I thought my evening would have picked up, by a certain phone call.  But that never came.

Oh well.....

Let's hope for a better today.

Before & After.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Imagine Dragons....

I love this song.
A lot.
I hope you will someday love it too.

Enjoy ♥

Coveting... bad!
Tonight I was guilty of it....but just a lil bit.
I was shooting some pics of tonight's FHE, with Ame's Canon camera and man, I was LOVIN' it!! Photography is SO different behind the lens of an SLR, especially a DSLR!  I forget how much I LOVE LOVE LOVE photography til I'm behind the lens of a real camera, not just a point and shoot.  Photography is my love and my passion and I haven't been doing it much lately, which makes me kinda sad.  Hopefully, if the weather's nice this weekend, I'll go out shooting with Tat's Canon.
I'm a Canon girl, always have been, since my first AE-1 that I "borrowed" from my Mom.  My first photo shoot was when I was 10, and took several photos of Barbie's wedding with Ken.  There's just something magical about being behind the camera. I LOVE IT.
When I got home from FHE, I couldn't stop thinking about Ame's camera.  I know there's a difference between "Needs" and "Wants"--somehow, when it comes to photography, it's more of a "need" to own this beauty:

I know, I's not a Canon.  I feel like a traitor! But I can't help it! It's RED!! How many RED DSLR's have you seen?? Oh it's just so pretty! And I really really like the features! Oh man, I think I definitely need this camera!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Outta sight, [but DEFINITELY NOT] outta mind.....

Levi will be out of town for the next 3 weeks.  
I'm going to miss him. A LOT.  
(like: A LOT x 1000.)
I can't wait til December.

Service & Stake Presidents.

(typed on Sunday, Nov. 11)
Today, I attended my home stake's conference, in Chula Vista.  It was going to be a memorable one since Pres. Clove and his counselors were going to be released.  Before the conference started, I walked out to the foyer trying to put the finishing touches on the ti-leaf lei I made for Pres. Clove as well as the new stake president.  As I approached the chapel doors, I asked the usher for a program.  Before Bro. Dixon gave me a program, he first asked if I prayed today.  After I answered, he cheerfully gave me a program.
I didn't know that a few minutes later, he would be called to the stand to as our new stake president for Chula Vista.  Oh man, I was humbled as he approached the stand still wearing his white "Usher" pin on his suit coat. I couldn't help but think of...
"But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant"
Matthew 23:11

Who knew that the brother standing at the door, passing out programs, would be called and sustained as  our next stake president?!  (I'm thankful I had an answer for his question, considering he'll be the one to sign off on my temple recommend.)  When I saw Pres. Dixon walk up to the stand (I was already sitting on the stand, with the choir), and then approach the pulpit with his "Usher" pin, I was sincerely humbled.  I couldn't help but think of how we can all serve, wherever we are needed, no matter who we are and what we are.  

And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
Matt. 25:40

I'm sad to see Pres. Clove released.  He has been such a wonderful stake president.  I love him dearly because he has always been so kind to me, and got to know me on a personal level.   He wasn't a distant stake president, but felt more like a friend.  After I shaved my head, he even asked to rub it.  How many stake presidents do that?!   He always had such a big, cheerful smile which radiated and warmed others.  I'm truly grateful that I've had the opportunity to receive his counsel and hear his heartfelt testimony of Christ and His gospel.  I looked forward to every opportunity to hear him speak.  His stories inspired a goodly change.  I will surely miss hearing him speak.  It's been a wonderful 9 years of service.  Thank you President Clove.  

Sunday, November 11, 2012

The Winders @ House of Blues!

My youngest nephew, Kalanster and his band played at the House of Blues last night!! 
(That's him, on the far right) 
I'm so very proud of him!!! I think he's such an amazing kid!  I love when he likes to show me new music that he's written.  He's picked up the guitar so well and his voice is really smooth and mellow to listen to.  I'm excited that he was able to play there, last night....and more so that he'll be playing there again in a month!!!  I definitely think this kid is going places!!  I couldn't be more grateful to have a front row seat to his life.  I'm so SO ecstatic for his musical accomplishments!!!

Friday, November 9, 2012

My life....starting Nov. 12:

My 3 week plan, pt. 1:

I've never watched Star Wars.  I saw the one that came out in 2005 and a roommate had a Star Wars marathon, but I didn't really watch them.  I'm kinda excited to see what the fuss is all about.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Emergency Preparedness.

Lately, I've been feeling like my family needs to be more emergency prepared.  Since Hurricane Sandy hit, the feeling has hit home even more!  I served my mission in New Jersey and Sandy has affected those that I know.  I've been thinking a lot about what if a disaster struck here in San Diego....would I be prepared?  More so, are things prepared for my parents, as well?  It scares me a bit, because I know that I'm not as prepared as I need to be.
Late in 2007, when wildfires were popping up all over in San Diego, we had to prepare ourselves in case an evacuation notice came.  I was scared, because I wasn't ready to lose my home and be in the middle of an emergency situation.  I remember how scary the sky looked, because at high noon, it was a creepy shade of deep orange and grey.  My family quickly packed bags of clothes and important/valuable items.   We also emptied out our cupboards of food, into several huge containers.  My Mom had important documents in her locked, fireproof case, already in the van.  In an hour, we were ready to go, in case we received a reverse 911 call.  Our area was on high alert til the next morning.  I was relieved when the alert went down and we were able to relax, a little bit.
The fact that I've been having the feeling to be more prepared worries me.  I'm grateful for the feeling, because it's like a voice of warning.  Over breakfast this morning, my Mom mentioned that my Dad has been feeling like we should start working more on our emergency preparedness.  It hit me, when she mentioned that.  I need to act more on these feelings and get things going.  Luckily, I already have been extra food when I go to the grocery store, however, I know there's more things I need to get.  Thank heavens for the Provident Living website on  I'm so thankful that my church makes an important emphasis on being prepared for an emergency.

"...if ye are prepared ye shall not fear."
Doctrine & Covenants 38:30

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Warm my heart!

Yesterday, I was going through serious Levi withdrawals.  I know I just saw him on Saturday, as well as on Monday when I took him well as yesterday, when I took him some Kalua Pig & Taro for lunch.  Nonetheless, I was missing him oh so badly.  Especially since his 3 week trip is coming up this next Monday.  I told Levi what was troubling me and I tried to be hopeful and patient for our date this Friday.  Fortunately/Unfortunately, his plans with his Dad changed and his evening was we were able to spend sometime together.  I didn't care what we did, as long as I could see him and spend time with him, I would be as happy as a bee! (Are bees really happy?)
I arrived at his house and saw the light on in the garage, so I went over to see if he was outside with his Dad working on (wood) toys.  As I walked up, his Dad greeted me with a big smile and a chuckle in his voice.  Before I could finish saying, 'hello', Mr. B started to tell me that I'm always welcome in their home.  He said that he's noticed how happy Levi has been and knows that I make Levi very happy, so he can't help but be grateful for the change that I've brought to his son's life.  
Oh man, I cannot tell you how hard I had to fight back tears!  My heart was warmed and I felt an overwhelming sense of appreciation.  Mr. B went on to say that I'm more than welcome to come over to their house anytime I wanted, even while they were working in the garage, or if I wanted to come over while Levi wasn't there, I was more than welcome to....even if I wanted to come over to cook dinner for him before he got home from work, I could do so.   Mr. B was so happy that I made his son happy, but I just wanted him to know that it was a definite two-way street.  I told him that Levi makes me just as happy, as well.   I was just so touched by what Mr. B had to say and just the warm welcome and invitation I had in their home...that meant a lot to me.  I know how happy I've made Levi, but just having it confirmed by his Dad meant so much more.  
I love this man so much.  No other man has ever treated me the way he does.  He goes above and beyond to make me happy, without any expectations.  I know how busy he is, during this last week before this trip, but he gave up a free night of relaxing to spend it with me.   That meant so much to me because I needed it more than he'll ever know.   He puts up with my VERY tearful episodes with sensitivity and tenderness.  He communicates with me when I'm upset and explains things so I understand and see where he's coming from.  He's the poster boy....golden boy of patience.  I can't help but think of how incredibly LUCKY I am to have found him, but more so, that he could like & love someone like me.   Since the first day I met him,  I've never felt judged or inferior in any way.  I can be open and honest with him about everything, and I trust him completely.  Heaven knows that I am far from perfect, and unfortunately Levi's seen some of that this past week...but lucky for me, he doesn't love me any less.  I just want to make him unbelievably happy because he already does that for me.  ♥

Monday, November 5, 2012


I think...

I need to start wearing more broaches.
I should start wearing more skirts & dresses.
I need a new hairstyle.  

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Dia de los Muertos

On Friday night, we cruised down to Old Town to check out the Dia de los Muertos festivities.  

I LOVE this holiday.  I love all the sugar skulls and just what this holiday represents.  My sister and I are fascinated by it and enjoy it all.  This year, it was fun to share it with Levi.

Levi and I checked out several of the alters and some of the DdlM festivities that were going on around Presidio Park.  It was so neat to see, as well as all those who dressed up for the occasion.  

Alters, to remember dear loved ones. 
As we waited for our table, at the Old Town Mexican Cafe, my niece had her face painted
She was pretty excited for it!  I'm not gonna lie, I kinda wanted my face painted too! :)

I'm stoked that my friend Tat was able to cruise down as well
Dia de los Muertos is just one of those holidays that it's better to experience with a group of people.  Besides, it's Old Town, there's just a lot of cool things to check out!  I love it.  Dinner was FANTASTIC and I LOVE LOVE LOVE mariachis!!  Seriously, I think my heart is half Mexican!  I'll have to explain in detail why I love mariachis so much...but for now, I leave you with this lil gem:

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Ana Martinez.

Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) has become one of my favorite holidays.  I love this opportunity to think about our loved ones who have passed away.  Last year, I celebrated my Kuku & Tutu.  This year, I thought about my dear friend Ana Martinez, who passed away on May 25, 1997.  She was 18 years old and a senior in high school.  Unbeknownst to me, she had Lupus and died due to complications from it.  During the 2nd semester of her junior year (she was a year older than me), she was transfered to another high school.  We sorta lost touch during that time, but she transfered back during the first semester of her senior year.  When she came back, she looked very different.  I never asked because I didn't want to offend her, besides, she was the same chill and crazy Ana....what did it matter?
After a while, her attendance became sporadic.  Walking home from school, I had a feeling I should stop by her house, but I ignored that feeling and continued home.  I'd try to call her, but she was never home, she was always up in LA.  I got a call, late in May, from Adriana, a mutual friend who said that Ana was in the hospital and things didn't look so good.  The next day, word came that Ana passed away.  I couldn't believe it.  She was gone and I didn't even get to say good bye.  I was terribly sad.  She was the first person to die, that I knew personally....she wasn't a friend of the family, or my parents' friend...she was a close, personal friend that I shared good times with.  I recounted memories of junior high p.e., where I first met Ana & Adriana.  I don't remember much, but I just remember that we hit it off instantly!  It didn't hurt that she lived a block away from me, so we soon found ourselves walking to & from school together and hanging out all the time.
Ana was carefree, crazy and just all around cool.  She didn't really care what others thought about her, which was something I admired greatly about her.  She was extroverted and helped pry me out of my shy and introverted shell.  We use to go on walks together in an effort to lose weight (which didn't make sense, since she was already so thin).  We'd end up kickin it on top of the Juarez Lincoln school sign, talking, laughing and acting oh so crazy!  I had never pierced my ears, til I found myself at JL school, with an ice to my ear and Ana piercing the top of my left ear.  Man, that hurt like hell, but I felt cooler than cool!  That lasted about 2 days, because my Dad would have killed me, and suddenly wearing my hair down at the dinner table would have been suspicious after a while.  Not the highlight of our friendship, but when we were 13/14, she taught me how to shoplift and it was a pretty "sweet" summer.  I stopped after doing it twice, and lucky for me that I did....she later got caught with a friend and ended up with a $1000 bill to foot.  Yikes! That's when I swore never to do it again, fest up to my Mom and decided that maybe I wouldn't do just about everything with Ana.
I still had fun with her and enjoyed hanging out during school.  She tried to teach me to say, "Hey Sexy, wanna wrestle?!" as a pick up line for the guys I crushed on.  We'd always pass notes between classes and hung out all the time during lunch.  She made high school so much better!
I remember her funeral, up in Los Angeles.  It was a Catholic mass held in Spanish.  I didn't understand any of it, because I don't speak Spanish nor am I Catholic.  I remember standing, sitting and kneeling a million times over. My head was throbbing from this long experience as well as crying so much, because I missed my friend.  During her viewing, I walked up to her casket and she didn't look like the Ana I knew.  Her face was swollen more than the time I saw her during her last semester at school.  Her hair was thin and her skin was an ashy color.  This couldn't have been my dear friend Ana, but sadly it as.  Her fingers were so thin and her bones spiked out from her thin skin.  I remember the lavender purple knitted top that she wore on top of a white short sleeve shirt.  I didn't realize that purple was her favorite color, because she always wore black.  The only thing that really resembled Ana, was the black ring she always wore.  That was the only piece of Ana that I recognized in the coffin, that day....everything else was foreign to me.
Every so often, I run into her Mom at the market and we talk a lil bit.  I don't know if I'm a good or a bad thing for her Mom to see.  I don't know if she's sad to see me because it makes her think of Ana.  A couple years ago, as I was on the elliptical machine at the gym, a good looking guy walked by so I glanced down at him.  He looked up at me, and he seemed strangely familiar.   He walked by again and I just stared at him, while he stared back.    He stopped, we was Ana's younger brother Paolo.  I hadn't seen him in 12 years.  He grew up and was a grown man!  It was good to talk with him and it felt like old times.
I miss Ana.  I often wonder what her life would have turned out like.  I'm sad she never got to see her nephew grow up, as well as her 3 younger brothers.  She was definitely a fiery spirit! She lived life to the fullest and was definitely full of life!  I look forward to the day when we get to be friends again.  I couldn't have been more grateful to have had a glimpse into the exciting and extraordinary life of Ana Martinez.  

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Bub @ LAX & Pandas at large!

As previously mentioned, my missionary had a 7 hour layover at LAX, so we drove up on Monday to hang out with him for a couple hours.  
It was so good to see him.  Man, I couldn't stop taking photos of him! I was just that excited to see him!

 He's changed, a bit, but for good.  He's a lil more mellow and quieter, which can come in handy as a missionary.  I missed hugging him so much!! Oh my Bub, I can't believe how fast time has surely flown by!! He's a grown man now!!!  22 more months til I get to see and hug him again.  I hope and pray that all will be well with him, in the Philippines!  Oh Bub ♥

This Halloween has been fantastically wonderful!! I couldn't have been more pleased to have spent it with Levi. He is so generous, kind and loving!!  Oh how I love this man dearly.  I ALWAYS have the best of times with him!


This has been the most celebrated Halloween, ever in my life.  I owe it all to this man.  Oh I sure do love him dearly!!! Thank you Levi for being the BEST boyfriend ever! 

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