Monday, April 30, 2012

Two Weeks and Change

Freeway lights, driving up the 101

The last couple weeks are kind of a blur, as they've been non-stop go go go for me. As a result, this blog has been pushed to the wayside, much to my chagrin. But the sun is shining, it's Monday, and I'm feeling the urge to write again.

Every month since January, I've been traveling for work. It's been a lot of fun, actually; I love feeling productive and included in the happenings of my company, since I spend most of my time alone in my home office. But getting on and off planes several times a month is not my "normal," so it's been an adjustment. Two weeks ago I was in Seattle for 3 days, then LA and Santa Barbara for 7. Now less than a week back at home, I'm leaving tomorrow for Orem, Utah. I'll be there for 3 days. Hopefully I can get a few no-travel/uninterrupted work weeks after that. My mind and body need a break.

Killian at Delancey, dreaming of pizza / via
After my trip to Seattle (which included seeing my dearest NW girls, Kait and Killian, plus the usual trip to Delancey for the perfect pizza pie), I flew straight down to Northridge to see my twin sister, Kim, for our birthday on April 13.

We're 26 now. That's so old, you guys.

To celebrate how we're old ladies now, we went with a large group of friends to see Titanic 3D, which is an event in itself since the movie came out 15 years ago. 15 YEARS! I was a wee baby. Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet were wee babies. And now I'm older than they were when they filmed the movie. Craziness! A lot sure has changed since then.

Aside from working, Kim and I were able to spend some good time together, and it was a wonderful preview of life once Jon and I move down to Orange in the summer; being only one hour away from my sister will be such a blessing. It's been 8 years since we lived that close together.

Because I've been basically up for anything lately, despite concerns for my crappy knees and questionable lung capacity, I joined Kim and our dear friend, Shannon, for a Cardio Barre class. In Hollywood. With a lot of skinny, wannabe actresses. I felt embarrassingly out of place, but I committed and did well, despite the concerns expressed above. The best part was that immediately after sweating- and pliƩing-off 600 calories, we went and ate giant hamburgers at Blue Dog Beer Tavern in Sherman Oaks.

Jon's burger: Son of Batman!
Inside Kim's burger: The Fire Starter

It was the only rational thing to do. Our bodies needed protein, people. And it was delicious protein!

On top of eating our weight in unhealthy food, Kim's been slowly (very slowly, because I'm uncoordinated as all get-out) teaching me how to make my hair not look like a knotted mop.

Me and my hair! / via

Pretty, right? It's, like, smooth. And parted. With little curled tippies! I'm trying to look more like an adult and that I care about my appearance; apparently that starts with doing something with your hair, at least according to my wise, beautiful-haired sister. Who am I to argue?

(In case you're wondering, my hair currently looks like a knotted wet mop. What do you expect from me? I work from home, for Pete's sake.)

Jon joined us for our birthday weekend, and then spent most of the next week going back and forth to his new school in Orange. Luckily I got to go with him a few of those times as well, taking pictures as I went, naturally. 

The front lawn (look familiar?) / via
Kim and Jon in Orange / via

The most unexpected part about that week was that we actually found an apartment! I still can't really believe it; it feels too good to be true. But I've been looking at listings like a mad woman for months, so it was nice to look around the area and see what kinds of options we had.

Jon had been told by university housing that it would be really difficult to find something in our time frame, budget, and with two pets... not to mention that we were secretly holding out hopes for finding a place that allowed us to keep all three pets. (Don't worry, we would just have left Peekay with my parents, where he would certainly be happier getting all of the attention.) So we didn't have high hopes, but felt it was important to look around anyway.

Thank God we did.

The deets: 1000 sq. ft.; 2 bedrooms and 2 full baths; top floor; a huge balcony; faulted ceilings in the living room; BRAND NEW wood floors, cabinets, and appliances; on-site pool and jacuzzi; gas barbecues throughout the complex; and less than one mile to Old Towne Orange.

Allysum for the new balcony? / via
Move in date: August 10, just before school starts.

I know. It's perfect.

We're thrilled. It's also likely that we'll be able to keep Ennis, Fry, and Peekay without it being much of an issue, which takes such a weight off my shoulders; I can't imagine not having all my furry kids with me. I'm so looking forward to finally being down there and in our own space again. I've missed it! The best part is: I get to decorate! Isn't that always the best part of a new apartment though?

I'm eager to start life in Orange. I think it will be great for us, and having our own apartment and private space again will be... a blessing. Not that I haven't enjoyed this interim period with my parents. Lord knows my dogs have been grateful for the added space; I've more than loved having real outdoor space to practice my gardening skills; and getting the opportunity to re-decorate some rooms on my parents' time was fun (side-note: yes, I will be posting updates on this project, considering it is actually near done... I'm just horrible, so get off my case, OK?) but when you're ready to move on, you know it. And we're ready.

Just 3 more months.

Anyway, to round out my 2 weeks away from home, Jon and I celebrated his birthday in Santa Barbara with his friends and family. He's 26 now, too. We're both super old.

Even though I worked the whole week+ that we were in Southern California, it still felt a little bit like vacation; there was always something fun to do and people to see. Even though I missed my dogs and cat like a crazy person, it was really nice to get a taste of SoCal living and take a break from my parent's house.

It was necessary. It made returning home awfully nice.

I know this blog post is a total, aimless mess, but hopefully moving forward my posts will be a little more focused. There's a lot of stuff I want to update about, but I admit it's been tough; given how much time I spend on the computer for work (and how busy it's been), the moment work is over I walk away from my computer and don't usually return until the next morning. I'm trying to get better. Be patient with me.

Happy end-of-April, everyone. I don't know about you, but I had a marvelous weekend here in Livermore, and the weather was so beautiful and hot, it's actually making me scared for summer. For now, I'm enjoying this rather warm spring. That being said, here's a picture of a group of Santa Barbarian kids chasing a giant earth ball on Earth Day.


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