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Category: thoughts (Page 2 of 41)

A day in my life

I wasn’t sure if I was actually going to do this. When Jill wrote the challenge it seemed like a fun idea. Unfortunately I’m afraid my life is rather dull right now. At least compared to when I’m actually flying.

But when I thought about it I realized I may like to look back and see what a regular day was like too. So here it is, a day in my life as seen through my iPhone and Instagram:

7:00am– Joel’s alarm goes off. I nudge him to turn it off and doze back off while he gets ready for work.

7:45am– Joel kisses me goodbye for the day. I wake up long enough to kiss him and then again fall back asleep.

9:00am- I roll over and see this adorable face staring at me. Check Twitter, email, etc from my iPhone.

Good morning sunshine.

9:15am– I finally stop cuddling Phoebe and checking tweets and make the bed.

Phoebe seriously freaks out about bed making.

10:15am- Breakfast eaten, showered, dressed and out the door.

Bye Phoebe.

10:45am– Laser hair removal appointment. Ouch.

11:00am- Out to lunch with Joel.

We’ve been wanting to try out Labriola’s cafe for awhile. It does not disappoint. Yum!

12:00pm- Drop Joel back off at work. Long day for him. Bummer.

12:30pm- Home again. And somebody is ready for her walk.

It’s kind of rainy and gross though so it’s a short walk.

12:45- Phoebe naps while I catch up on blogs and twitter and stuff.

2:00pm– Phoebe’s batteries are recharged and she would like for me to play with her.

She starts polite but if I don’t oblige quickly she goes into attack mode.


2:05pm- I give in and we run around and play with her new favorite toy.

Kill it!

2:30pm- I decide to sort laundry so it’s all ready to do tomorrow.

2:33pm- I grumble about how somebody always forgets to empty their pockets so it’s lucky that somebody always double checks because otherwise somebody’s flashdrive would’ve gotten washed. ahem

2:35pm- I almost kill our hamper because it. always. falls. off. the. freaking. hooks.

Laundry makes me grumble a lot. ahem

2:40pm- Laundry is sorted. I could wash it today but… yeah... So I read a book instead. A book and Phoebe cuddles are so much better than carting laundry up and down three flights of stairs.

Happiness.

5:00pm- Time to eat something for dinner.

I get kind of lazy about dinner when Joel has to work late. What?

6:00pm- Jazz class

7:00pm- Water break

7:10pm- Hip hop

8:30pm- Classes over and finally time to pick up Joel from work. P.S. Longest work day ever, right?

9:00pm- Home at last. Time to get a little quality time with Joel, watch some Psych on Netflix and enjoy a little post dance treat.

I’d say I earned it.

Now I want to know about you. What does a day in your life look like?

The Clothing Assassin

Joel is a wonderful person and I wouldn’t trade him for anything. One thing about him that baffles me is how hard he is on clothes. I have clothes that I’ve owned since 1997… not that I should be especially proud of that. And also not that I actually wear those clothes (ahem) often. But I still own them and they’re still in decent shape.

As far as the clothes that I haven’t kept for their sentimental value, they generally last me a long time. They either go out of style or I grow tired of them. Some of them that I wear really often get that pilled up look after awhile. (Which makes otherwise perfectly good clothes look rather ratty by the way. If anyone has a solution to this me and my wardrobe would be eternally grateful.) I have one pair of jeans that I got from a friend who bought them at a thrift store. After wearing those jeans for seriously years they finally just got a hole in the knee. That is the only pair of jeans that has ever gotten a hole in them without already coming home from the store that way.

Joel is a completely different story. I swear the man goes through clothes like you wouldn’t believe. It’s been about a year and half since the last time we bought him jeans and he just informed me that of a dozen different pairs he has one pair left that doesn’t have holes in the knees.

What. the. heck. people?!

He isn’t a five year old rough and tumble boy who crawls around. In fact, I can’t think of the last time I saw him crawl. He doesn’t play sports. He has a desk job for heavens sake. How does sitting at a desk 40 hours a week wear holes in your knees?!

It’s the same with shoes. Today he was complaining that his feet hurt after walking around all day. After taking a look at what he was walking around in it wasn’t hard to see why.

These shoes are about a year old. One year old!

Holding them up to the light. You can see through them completely!

How does this happen? Just, how?!

I realize that I own easily twice as many clothes and shoes as he does so it makes sense that his clothes would wear out a bit faster. But this seems really excessive. Do other men destroy their clothes in record time like this? Or am I seriously married to the clothing assassin? Is there a way to prevent the massacre? I’m pretty sure I see pants and shoes alike shudder in terror as Joel walks by. Send help people. Future clothes depend on it.

Popcorn and Cake… wrecks

I grew up in the town where Orville Redenbocker developed his famous and delicious popcorn. Hence, the annual Popcorn Festival. With the exception of a few adult years where I was either living overseas or had to work I’ve been going to the Popcorn Festival since I was a little kid. It starts with short 100 meter dashes for kids 2-10. It’s so cute to see my nephews carrying on the tradition.

Winners. Yay!

After that there’s a parade in which a float = anything with popcorn thrown on it.

Or people dressed as popcorn. Whatever.

As a kid I remember the floats being these elaborate creations made entirely of popcorn. Not sure if I was just little and thought everything was cooler or if people got lazy because the floats aren’t all that impressive anymore. Oh well, it’s more about spending time with my family anyway.

See how my brother is leaning back in his chair? Despite warnings he continued doing it.

He learned his lesson though.

Once the parade was over we walked around a bit, ate some junk food and listened to the bands that were playing. Normally we’d look around at the booths as there are always some really cool crafts and things. This year it was so insanely crowded that we quickly decided it wasn’t worth it and headed home. I made cake!

If you follow me on twitter you may remember tweeting about my cake wreck. See, in my head I’m this fabulous baker. Unfortunately I have very little experience and so things don’t tend to turn out the way they look in my head. Remember the asshole cake? Yeah.

I do learn from my mistakes though and did not come close to losing a finger or throwing cake across the room. Win!

That’s kind of where the win ends though.

What I learned this time is whipped frosting, while delicious, does not hold layer cakes together well.

Whipped frosting kind of likes to be all airfull and slidey and before you know it your beautiful layer cake looks like this.

That hole in the frosting is from me trying to push the layers back into place.

Top tip: that doesn’t work. At. all.

We all got a good laugh out of it though and the really cool thing about the cake wasn’t revealed until I started serving it.

That was the reaction I was hoping for.

Ta da!

Hot mess on the outside. Awesome on the inside.

Kind of like me.

 

Insignificant Details

I remember the stupid details of that day.

Getting ready to go to school, hearing something on the radio about the twin towers being hit and thinking they meant the Petronas Towers. Even at 15 I was probably too globally minded for my own good. Plus, they couldn’t mean in New York. Things like that don’t happen in America.

Getting to school and sitting in huddled, quiet, tearful groups watching the the live broadcast of the horrible events of the day play out.

It was a Tuesday.

I’ll never forget that because we had youth group that night. It wasn’t canceled. Instead it was a long prayer meeting.

I remember a catholic friend of mine joined me at youth that night. She prayed not only for the living but the dead. My youth group was nondenominational and charismatic and I remember someone saying something to me about how it was wrong for my friend to pray for the dead because she couldn’t help them anymore.

I wanted to hit them.

Even on that day stupid, insignificant religious details couldn’t be put aside. At that moment I knew that the sudden surge of patriotism and camaraderie was only temporary.

That naive 15 year old me was right. Unfortunately. We are more divided than ever. Our worlds were turned upside down by truly evil people and instead of rising above it all and taking it as a wake up call people used it for profit. People, American people, profited off the horrific deaths of innocent Americans.

It makes me so sick and sad.

We let the terrorists win.

Their goal was not to kill people on that one day. Their goal was to divide us and change the way we live every. single. day.

They did.

We let them.

As a flight attendant I’m reminded daily just exactly how different our lives are. How much they continue to change.

I wasn’t going to write at all today. There are so many who have put this day into words so much better than I ever could.  I don’t pretend like I have anything unique or special to say. It was on my mind though and wanted to be written. I’m disappointed in our country right now. I know it could be so much better.

While this post reflects that disappointment I haven’t lost hope. I know that this country could be great if we could start focusing on what matters. People matter. So many details are just so insignificant.

Puzzled

This is the puzzle we put together Labor Day weekend. About halfway through we got the video framed better and it looks pretty cool I think.

When I put together a puzzle I have a system. First I find all the edge pieces. Then I assemble all the edge pieces so I have a nice frame to work around.

I also separate any pieces that were already together when I dumped the box out. Because it’s cheating. Obviously

Joel is totally different. He just starts putting pieces together willy nilly. Who needs a frame? And if pieces are already assembled? Bonus!

That kind of drove me crazy. After we had almost finished the frame there was one piece missing. Joel wanted to just start on the rest of the puzzle but I could not wrap my head around it. We I searched for several minutes, until I found that stupid last piece and then I felt okay about starting the center of the puzzle.

The funny part is, once we started on the center we totally reversed roles.

Joel likes to focus on one small section at a time, not stopping until that part is complete.

I, on the other hand, may try to focus on one section but pieces tend to jump out at me randomly as I scan them and I assemble about 12 sections at once.

That drove Joel a little crazy. Mostly because I kept reaching in front of him because I saw a piece on his half of the table.

Joel is quiet and thoughtful, concentrating on finishing whatever section he’s working on at the moment.

I’m chatty and vocal. I also had the world’s most random show tune medley going on basically the entire time. Come on though, don’t put me in front of puzzle of Times Square and not expect me to sing songs from whatever show is on the piece that I’m holding. That’s just mean.

We couldn’t be more different, Joel and I.

And I love it.

 

 

 

Feeding my soul

My mom put me in ballet when I was an awkward pre-adolecent. She thought it would give me grace and some control over my limbs that felt too long for my body.

It gave me oh so much more than that.

In dance I found a way to not just move my body but to move my soul as well. I had what I think are the world’s best dance teachers. They focused on pure technique. They didn’t believe in recitals because they felt it detracted from time in class that could be spent learning rather than perfecting one single routine.

They made sure our form was perfect, from the point of our toes to the tips of our fingers and the tilt of our head. I could have lived at that studio. The teachers were tough but kind. We had to memorize terminology and were frequently quizzed on it. Every once in awhile we had parent’s week when parents were allowed to come and watch a class and we could show off what we learned.

I learned so much in those classes. I truly wish I could have taken classes there forever. Unfortunately our family started falling apart for awhile and with it my stability in being able to commit to classes at any given time from week to week.

I didn’t stop dancing though.

At the time I was blessed to be at a church that had a very active dance team. We had classes and made up routines and performed them during services. Again, I was able to express my soul through dance. It was therapy in an extremely difficult time in my life.

When I turned 18 I moved to the Netherlands and started the next chapter in my life. I didn’t look into taking dance classes there because my life was so full of so many new adventures there didn’t seem like there would be room. I did make time to frequent clubs though and was able to again, dance my heart out.

Europe has the very best dance music. It’s a fact.

Then I fell in love, got married and moved back to the Midwest. While I was gone, the dance group I had been a part of was ripped apart at the seams in a very ugly church split, so it wasn’t there for me to return to. Being a brand new married couple we barely had enough to afford the essentials so paying for dance classes never really entered my mind. Then flying created such a random schedule that it again didn’t seem practical.

And suddenly it’s been years and the only time I’ve danced is the occasional wedding.

I don’t know why I didn’t dance in my living room. I have once or twice and it felt beyond amazing but I never made it a regular thing.

I missed it. I missed it like my lungs miss air in water. You know when you’re swimming and even with your head above water if your chest is covered you never can quite get a deep enough breath? Like that.

So when I saw a LivingSocial deal for unlimited dance classes for $19 dollars I bought it almost immediately.

Last night was my first class and I was beyond nervous. It had been so long since I’d danced at all, let alone in a formal class. Once the class started though it was like inhaling pure oxygen. I moved and stretched and couldn’t wipe the huge grin off my face for the entire two hours. It was a beginner level adult class so the steps were easy to do and remember. I was able to not concentrate on the physical motions and just dance.

I can’t believe how good it felt.

I was made to move. I’m not the most talented person in the world but nothing makes me happier than dancing.

I can’t believe I let myself forget for so long.

I haven’t been fully happy in a long time. I’m taking my happy back piece by piece and this was a giant piece that was missing.

It’s good to have it back.

Alarm drama

One of the oh so fun things I missed blogging about this summer was our freaking fire alarm. If you follow me on twitter you know that our fire alarm has been on the fritz most of the summer. It’s been incredibly frustrating. It started at the end of June.

The first time was around midnight. I was still up watching Netflix and Joel had dozed off on the couch. When the alarm went off I sprang into action, as any good flight attendant would. I quickly did a mental assessment of the most important things in our life and grabbed the laptop, DSLR camera and of course Phoebe and the bird. Joel must have really been tired because in the seven seconds it took me to scoop up the laptop and camera he still hadn’t stirred.

I kind of yelled, “Joel, the fire alarm is going off, get up and grab the dog.” I don’t think it was unreasonable for me to yell at this point since the fire alarm is loud and he hadn’t so much as twitched.

Joel (my hero) jumped off the couch and turned off the tv… because obviously that was what was making that awful noise and disturbing his sleep.

“Joel, it’s the fire alarm. We need to go outside, grab the dog.”

He groggily stumbled over towards the door and grabbed… not the keys, not the dog’s leash, not his wallet… nope, he grabbed….

His sunglasses.

And proceeded to put them on.

Remember, it’s about midnight. Not too many solar flares going on in this part of the world at that time.

I put down the laptop and grabbed the leash, put it on the dog and handed it to Joel. I reminded him that it was midnight and sunglasses were probably not needed. I doubted the fire was going to be that bright.

He finally snapped out of it and we made our way out of the building and waited outside until the fire department came and gave us the all clear.

Poor dude doesn’t wake up quickly, especially when he’s really tired.

The fire department sent three trucks and an ambulance. I think just about everyone in our building (and two adjoining buildings) came out for it. There was one lady who kept asking if anyone knew if it was a real fire because if it was she needed to go back in for her cat. Obviously none of us knew but I hope she got a travel case for it after that, just in case.

That was the first time.

It went off no less than fourteen times over the course of two months.

Just think about that.

By the end almost no one came outside. The fire department eventually only sent one lonely little fire truck and two firefighters. Even I told Joel to call me if it was a real fire. He went out every time and waited. He heard the firefighters voice how sick they were of our place. Greaaaaaat. Just what you want to hear from the people who will potentially have your life in their hands.

After about a million frustrated calls to management and more than three months they finally replaced the alarm board in our buildings today. A couple guys came into the apartment and replaced something about the smoke detector. I learned that the whole building alarm doesn’t just sound for smoke in one apartment. Smoke will only set off the individual smoke detector. It also has a heat detector that has to get hot enough before it sets off the whole building alarm. Kind of makes sense but it’s also a little scary to think how bad a fire would have to be to make it hot enough for our alarm to go off.

He also told me a story of an old apartment building that had no working alarm at all. Management changed and they had these guys in on a Thursday to fix the alarm. That following Sunday the whole place burned to the ground. Everyone got out except the guy whose cooking started the fire. The only call the fire department got was the building alarm, no 911 calls at all. If the building alarm hadn’t been functional everyone probably would have died because it was at 2am.

Scary.

It makes me so glad that the building alarm is fixed. The fire department got so frustrated with the false alarms that they turned it off completely. Our smoke detectors still worked but the fire department would only have been called if someone actually dialed 911.

I’m hoping this is the end of our alarm drama. You better believe that next time the alarm goes off I won’t be pulling my pillow over my head and waiting for Joel to call me if it’s real. Their stories were enough for me to realize the inconvenience of standing outside for 10 minutes for a false alarm far outweighs the consequences if I ignore it and it’s actually real.

But let’s hope we don’t have to deal with any fire alarms anymore, false or not because having to put on a bra and shoes at 3am is just plain annoying.

I did not move to California

Despite what my blog might lead you to believe, Joel and I did not drive down Route 66 and decide to move onto the beach where there is no internet. No, as much as we would have loved to go there and never come back to chilly Illinois the thought of not having internet or, you know, money was enough to draw us back to the good old land of Lincoln.*

But somehow after finishing that part of the trip it was hard to write anything else. Our next stop on our journey was my sister’s house to see her new (as in 3 days old) baby. They actually have internet too but I couldn’t stop myself from nomming on my brand new nephew’s cheeks long enough to bother posting.

And then I was behind.

And then we kept driving and seeing amazing stuff and having the most wonderful of Epic Road Trips.

And I didn’t want to write again until I posted about visiting with them.

And I didn’t want to skip posting about the other cool places we saw.

And then suddenly we were home and I was kind of exhausted and had to unpack.

And that’s how my blog fell into a giant black hole and never left Santa Monica.

I actually do love blogging and so I have so much guilt over letting it go for this long. There have been so many times where I just wanted to sit down and write but I felt like I couldn’t because then I would miss posting about the rest of my trip.

But suddenly it’s September and I haven’t updated anything since June. It’s just been too long.

So I’m just posting. Summer is over and it was a good one. It started Memorial day with our Epic Road Trip and it ended with Labor day and a whole three days of blissful nothingness.

We stayed home all weekend. We played board games. We watched movies. We put together a puzzle.

We just enjoyed each other and relaxed.

It’s unfortunate that I didn’t document all the fun that happened between those two holidays but it’s high time I started posting again because I miss it.

I am committed to writing more thoughts on my blog. It can be hard because I know it’s not only people who live in my computer that read my words here. People who I actually see. In real life. Will read this. ::gulp::

I think it will be worth it though. I just have to not allow myself to talk myself out of blogging. I have time. I have things to say. Blogging makes me happy and I need more happy in my life. I’m taking my happy back and this is the first step. I plan to eventually back date posts about the rest of the trip so if you subscribe to my RSS feed you won’t miss those.

So, ::dusts off bloggy type cobwebs:: Hi. I’m back.

*California does, in fact, have internet so I’m not sure why I’ve implied it does not. I’m actually pretty sure even their beaches have wifi. California is just that awesome.

 

Final stretch

Mountains and desert and ocean! Oh, and traffic. Lots and lots of traffic.

The Route 66 portion of Epic Road 2011 is finished and of course it was an epic day.

We started out bright and early on a winding mountain road. We weren’t quite early enough to catch the sunrise but the views were still incredible.

It was quite an adventure. Not something I’d attempt at night but during the day it was definitely worth braving.

The tiny little town of Oatman is home to a bunch of wild burros. They’re the offspring of burros left behind when the gold diggers moved on. They didn’t have any use for them anymore so they left them to fend for themselves. Apparently they’re doing pretty well. They came right up to the car to beg for food.

Once we got through the mountains and entered California we had a nice scenic drive through the Mojave desert. The views were beautiful and there we some fun quirky things along the route.

Graffiti! No we didn’t add our mark. Still never bought any spray paint.

Shoe tree! Apparently whenever a tree grows in the desert people like to throw shoes at it. I didn’t have any shoes I was willing to part with.

My favorite roadside attraction of the day was the bottle cactus ranch.

We had the pleasure of meeting the artist behind the ranch, Elmer Long. He was so friendly. He came out and when we complimented him on his work he said he was still working on it. He also nonchalantly mentioned how the “British TV” had just been out the previous week. Then he regaled us with stories of the cabin he just bought and how the insurance company was making him put a new roof on, among other various repairs.

We chatted for several minutes and I think he could have talked all day. He was just such a nice guy and seemed to love having visitors. The bottle cactus art was neat to see but his friendly chit-chat made it extra special.

It was a good thing we had that nice little break because the last stretch of our trip was spent sitting at red light after red light. Good old LA traffic. I know I’m not the first to bemoan the traffic in the greater LA area but seriously, it took us 4 1/2 hours to go the last 50 miles. Four and a half hours.

That meant that we finally got to the pier and the end of the route just after dark.

End of the trail! Yay!

Family photo on the pier.

A beautiful end to an incredible trip. I can’t believe it’s over. It was quite the adventure and I’m so glad we did it. I’ll write more of my final thoughts and some pointers in case you want to take your own trip down Route 66 in the future. Hint, I highly recommend it.

Oh so grand

Today was basically devoted to the Grand Canyon. How could it not be? One of the natural wonders of the world deserves at least a day. Of course we could have spent a week there and not seen and done everything. The day we spent there was definitely spectacular though.

The Grand Canyon was something I’ve wanted to see my whole life. I’ve been to Arizona and the vicinity more times than I can count and have never been. I’ve always thought that was beyond wrong. I have now officially corrected it. My life feels a bit more complete as a result.

I assume that if you grew up on planet earth you’ve seen a million pictures of this wonder. It doesn’t disappoint, it is every bit as breathtaking as it appears in pictures.

But I know what you really came here for is to see the pictures of us. Right?

Just say yes.

Well good because there are a bunch. And since this is my blog I’m posting my favorites. All of them. Be forewarned, there are a lot. But I saved the best for last.

Just after our first glimpse. Looking at this picture I can still feel the awe I felt as we came around the corner and the canyon came into view. My stomach dropped and all I could do was gasp. Absolutely stunning.

Just chilling on a rock. You know, at the Grand Canyon.

One thing I couldn’t get over was how close you’re allowed to get to the edge. No rails or bars prevent you from just walking off.

Or being an idiot and jumping off. I wonder how many tourists have plummeted to their death because they wanted to get a cool photo.

Not these idiots. At least not today.

Funny story about that picture. We clearly have not played with our camera enough because we could. not. get the timing down. What you don’t see are the 15 outtake photos of us in various stages of landing. Finally some dude came up and offered to take the picture for us. I think he was just tired of my sighs of exasperation.

Family photo.

Fact: Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are more delicious at the Grand Canyon. Look it up.

Gratuitous close up of me.

And finally, the hands down best picture ever taken at the Grand Canyon.

Our love? A world wonder all its own.

 

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