Wednesday, August 15, 2012

It ain't a party bus until...

...someone dances on the pole.
Yep. That's how this story ends. But I guess I should really start at the beginning.

Every month (usually the second Sunday), my girlfriends and I get together and play bunco. When it's your turn to host, you come up with a theme and provide table snacks, dinner and a signature drink. There are 12 girls so you only host once per year. Last year, I hosted a pajama party and this year I hosted an Irish-themed bunco for St. Patty's Day.

For August, our group took a bunco field trip instead. Our hostess is in the process of selling her house so she didn't want a bunch of rowdy girls messing up her place. So, she rented a party bus and the "school girls" went out to learn about wine.

Our hostess was so cute. She had all the fixins' for sacked lunches - pb&j, turkey and cheese sandwiches. Bagged chips. Apples and bananas. Juice boxes. Our brown paper bags even had our names on them.

We all loaded onto the bus and away we to experience wine country in Amador County. Our first stop was Helwig. A few of the girls were wine club members so we got our own private tasting.

Even though our time was technically up, our driver offered to take us to one last winery, Cooper Vineyards.

It was a nice, fun, relaxing day. Until the bus ride back home, that is. Like I said, it ain't a party bus until....someone dances on the pole. After a lot of wine and a little bit of Def Leppard "Pour Some Sugar on Me", we got our dancing on.

But it was a whole lot of fun...these girls are the best!!!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Turn Me On Tuesday

This is my second week doing this feature. It's all about sharing what gets you fired you up at the moment. Do tell.

Here's what I got for ya...

summer meal - tomato and watermelon salad
It sounds random but it is actually quite good. It's light and refreshing and super easy to prepare.

5 cups (3/4-inch) seeded watermelon cubes
1 1/2 pounds ripe tomatoes, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
3 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 small red onion, quartered and thinly sliced
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Cracked black pepper to taste

Just combine watermelon and tomatoes in a large bowl; sprinkle with sugar and salt, tossing to coat. Let stand 15 minutes. Stir in onion, vinegar, and oil. Cover and chill 2 hours. Sprinkle with cracked black pepper to taste.

outting: My girls and I are going to see a local band on Friday called the Vagabond Brothers. We discovered them at this venue with an outdoor patio, picnic tables, beer and amazing scenery. Here are some pictures from last month. Can't wait to do it again!

something, shiny and new: This one is super easy. My new kicks. They are magic shoes that will make me run faster than I ever imagined. I just know it. ;)

Grab the button and link up. Tell us what's turning you on this Tuesday and make some new friends. You can use this category list or make up your own.

(And the winner of last week's giveaway is Shay...please email me with your address so I can send you your gift.)

Friday, August 10, 2012

Just Under the Surface

Most days, I do a good job of just living my life and not fixating on my infertility. I'm a determined and tenacious person. When I set my mind to something, I am usually able to accomplish it. This is probably why I hate that I can't always cover my pain, wish it away, be strong enough to bury it deep so that no one sees it.

Every once in a while, the pain, sadness, disappointment creeps up and I can't contain it. Usually when I'm least expecting it. Like tonight, when hubby and I got into an argument related to our infertility. It's times like these that I am forced to face what we 're going through, and I break wide open. All of my tender wounds become exposed. I had to go into the spare bedroom (which is supposed to be the nursery) so that I could cry for hours without keeping him awake.

And infertility even haunted me in my dreams. I dreamt that I was at a party and one of my friend's husbands asked when everyone was going to have kids so that his kids will have someone to play with. I walked out of the room and into the bathroom to hide my tears. I woke up crying.

I hate this. I don't want to be this sensitive. I just want to enjoy my life and be happy. Please God let this stage in my life end soon!

**The above post was written about a year ago but never posted. Reading these words transports me right back to those trying times and makes me realize how grateful I am to be in a better place now emotionally. However, it makes my heart hurt for so many of my infertility friends that fill my feed who are still living in this very lonely, sad place. 

Our situation has not changed. We are still childless. But by adjusting the way I think about my life and our unfortunate circumstances, I've released myself from these feelings of despair and hopelessness. No one except Him knows if we will ever be parents, but one thing is certain....this is the only life each of us will ever live.

My wish is that we can all find it in ourselves to choose joy daily. I say this knowing how incredibily difficult it can be at times. That we may find the strength to smile, laugh and dance despite the cloud of infertility that threatens to keep us in the dark.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Turn Me On Tuesday Link-Up + Giveaway

What's turning me on today? Not, like that. Get your mind out of the gutter! I mean, what fires you up? Gets you amped? Well, here are a few things that are makin' me want to twirl my skirt.

Tunes - Scream by Usher. When I hear this song, I must dance wherever I am. 

Sippy - Starbucks Cool Lime Refresher. Perfect summer afternoon "pick me up".

Laquer - Diggin the mint green nails. Very eye catching!

Ride - Fave SUV. Range Rover Evoque. Definitely in white.

Read - Jennifer Weiner's new book...The Next Best Thing. Such an easy, perfect beach read.

Bauble - Gold with faux crystal necklace. Now if I only I could find one for sale.

Grab the button and link up. Tell us what's turning you on this Tuesday and make some new friends. You can use my category list or make up your own. This is my first Turn Me On Tuesday please show some love!

*As a thank you for joining in the fun, I'll be giving away a Starbucks gift card to one of the lucky ladies that participates in the link-up. Winner will be posted on next Tuesday's post.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

be well

I'm still in the process of defining what wellness means for me. But I do know it comes down to the choices we make in life. Sit on the couch or go out for a run. Eat a cheeseburger and fries or a veggie burger and a salad. Skip breakfast or take 3 extra minutes to grab a slice of toast with almond butter and a piece of fruit before running out the door. Internalize stress or find a healthy outlet.

Health. Wellness. Whatever you want to call it, I call it crucial. It's hard when you're in it (unhealthy mode, that is) to realize how awful your body feels because it just seems normal. But when you start taking care of yourself and fall off the can really tell the difference.

There are so many ways to "be well" and make choices that will help you have a successful existence. I thought I'd share my top 5. These are choices that I've been making over the past few months that have made all the difference when it comes to my emotional and physical well being.

  1. Make shakes. I know, you weren't expecting that one, were you? No, I don't mean milkshakes. I mean protein shakes or veggie and fruit shakes. Hubby and I bought a Vitamix at Costco. I swear, it has changed my life. We make the most delicious shakes from the cookbook which allows us to eat way more fruits and veggies. With only 2 minutes of clean up! Plus, you won't waste produce anymore...literally just throw in whatever you have that's going bad and turn it into a yummy, healthy meal. If you don't want to invest in a Vitamix, just use your regular blender. 
  2. Release the toxins. Yep, I mean massage folks. If you splurge on anything this week, treat yourself to a massage even if it is only a 30 minute session. If you can do an hour and a half, even better. Look for deals. My masseuse Layna at Serenity Massage is phenomenal. I mean it, she's amazing AND she offers specials - 100 minutes for $49. Seriously, it's the best 50 bucks I spend each month. If you're in Sacramento, make an appointment... you'll thank me later.
  3. Get moving. Run. Walk. Chase your kids or your pets. Take the stairs. Whatever you can think of to get your blood flowing and get moving. Most of us live such sedentary lifestyles. Sleep. Sit in traffic. Sit at a desk. Sit in traffic. Sit at the table and eat dinner. Sit at the computer and blog. Sleep. Sound like you? Sure does sound like me. But I make a conscience effort to get some exercise every whatever form I can. Nowadays its a run first thing in the morning before I can start making excuses. But it started out with a 15 minute walk with my dog.
  4. Cut back. This was a tough one for me. My biggest stress relievers were wine and food. And cutting back on both of those wasn't easy. But I found that I slept better, felt better and looked better when I cut back on these bad habits. Believe me, I still indulge sometimes because I enjoy food and wine. But I'm no longer partaking as an escape from my stress. 
  5. Saw some logs. Sleep. Lots of sleep. At least 8 hours. I can usually pull this one problems. But sometimes I wake up about 4am with stress induced insomnia. When this happens, I just get up and start my day. Then the next day, I make up for my lost sleep.

We all have so much stress in our lives...infertility, children, work, family, finances and the list goes on. But all of our troubles are a lot easier to cope with when we feel good. What choices do you make that contribute to your wellness?
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