Wednesday, March 31, 2010

So What Is It That You Do, Exactly?

I get this question a lot. Most people in this vast world have no idea what I do for a living.

If you are one of these people, or perhaps need a refresher, this post is for you. It is sometimes hard to explain if you don't have more than five minutes to talk to me, but I am going to do my best to sum it up for you.

Sometimes people think I am a missionary.  I am not, nor do I work for a missions agency. However, they are a pretty stellar bunch.

Sometimes people think I work for the CIA. I do not, although I do aspire to be like Jack Bauer...only with a lot less torture.

Sometimes people think that I am a used-car salesman. I am totally offended because I dress way better than they do. Have you seen these shoes?

Sometimes people think that I am a marketing director and know everything there is to know about advertising and what-not. Although I do have some marketing duties with my job, I have never been trained in it nor do I make the big bucks that most marketing directors make. I just like pretty pictures.

Remember peeps, I work for a NON-PROFIT, which translates to "I hope I have enough money to pay rent AND buy groceries this month."

Oh, I kid. It is not that bad. And most of the time, it is totally worth it.

So, to answer your question (pretend you asked me), I serve as the Director of Development and Communications for a non-profit humanitarian and development organization called IDEAS. IDEAS sends Christian professionals overseas to work in communities that need their skills and expertise. This means we send teachers, doctors, business geniuses, social workers, administrators, nurses and agriculturists to far off places to partner with the local people, helping them improve their lives and communities. We serve holistically, meaning we seek to help transform people spiritually, physically, intellectually and socially.

I raise money, raise awareness, publish newsletters, build community, oversee public relations and rally people around our cause.

It's pretty rad.  You should check out our website, and not just because I am in charge of marketing and branding.

IDEAS is totally transparent. We are not undercover. We do not perform covert operations. And we don't speak in code. We send ordinary people, who are hard-working and love Jesus, to other parts of the world to share their skills and education with others. And in the meantime, some pretty cool relationships form.

Sometimes, when I have been really good or I can squeeze into someone's luggage, I get to visit these projects. This is the best part of my job because I get to see places like this:

Ephesus, Turkey

Rabat, Morocco

Petra, Jordan

And meet people like these:

Someone once asked me if I could do anything for a living (other than be a professional salsa dancer or a chocolate taster), what would it be? I responded that I would travel the world and help people become who they were created to be through sustainable, development projects.

And by gum, sometimes I get to do just that.

Ten years ago, I was a theater major, destined to be famous...or infamous, whichever. But through divine intervention, I get to work in international development, which I enjoy more than acting...unless I were to have my own variety show, like Carol Burnett.

I seriously love Carol Burnett. And I totally dig fake eyelashes and sequins. Why can't I be her?

I digress.

So peeps, now you know! I mobilize professionals to work overseas with sustainable, life-changing projects that bring transformation to people and communities around the world.

Say that five times real fast.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Help Wanted for the Musically Impaired

I have a confession: I am not super hip when it comes to following the latest trends in music.

Sure, I love John Mayer, Jason Mraz, Jack Johnson (wow, there are a lot of "J" names out there!), not to mention my all time favorite: Dave Matthews.

I can get jiggy with it to Lady Gaga, Pink and Beyonce.

I have been known to salsa and meringue to the world's finest Latin bands.

I can even mellow out to James Taylor, Carol King and Norah Jones.

And in sixth grade, I fell in love with Metallica. Go figure.

But as far as staying current and relevant, I struggle. Even my four-year old nephew is cooler than I am. He listens to stuff on YouTube and then recreates it on his drum set. And makes up words.  That kid is a genius! And he probably thinks his aunt is like 80 years old because half the time I have never even heard of those bands, songs or YouTube for that matter.

Just kidding...on the YouTube part anyway.

You see, it all stems from the constant delimma I have when I get in the car or hang out at my house: what do I listen to?

Do I listen to country? Pop? Blue Grass?

Do I listen to a CD? My iPod? Or the radio?

Do I listen to talk radio, just to stay current on all the dysfunctional goings-on on our planet?

Or should I sit in silence? Yeah right.

There are too many options. And since I like a wide variety of stuff, I can never choose. And because of that indecision, I am quickly falling behind the times, withering away into an outdated oblivion.

So, I am asking for your help.  Please, oh please, tell me about your favorite music.  Let me have it. Tell me the song title, the band name, the video I should watch or why it is your favorite.

Educate me! Modernize me! Make me cool, people. My reputation is on the line...or what's left of it.

Trust me, my nephew will thank you. And so do I, from the depths of my musically-impaired heart!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Recipe Round-Up: Oreo Balls

What I am about to share with you could very well rock your world.

I was first introduced to these little nuggets of culinary nirvana by my friend Karen. She brought them to our Bible study one evening and I proceeded to eat 37 of them. I don't think anyone noticed.

And now, now it is time to share them with the world (read: all four of you)!!

Here is what you need:

Almond bark, Oreos and cream cheese. Just that simple.
Side note: I buy store brands for everything because I work for a non-profit.

The Leaning Tower of All Things Good and Perfect.

Throw the entire package of cookies into a baggie. Or if you have a food processor, use it. You'll save a lot of time and perhaps a torn rotator cuff on your shoulder. I do not have one so therefore I will be wearing a sling tomorrow.

Whack them with a mallet, roll them with a rolling pin, or stomp on them with your cowboy boots. Take your pick. If they look like this, keep stomping.

Now we're getting there. If you still have lumps, no worries, the cream cheese will break them down. But overall, you want them to be ground pretty fine.

 Unwrap softened cream cheese and put it in a bowl.
There isn't a recipe around that cannot be enhanced with cream cheese.
Side note: I am making a double recipe, hence the two blocks of cream cheese.

Throw the crushed-up cookies on top of the cream cheese and go to town. I use my hands, people. It just works better for me.
Side note: But it is also because I do not have the 90th Anniversary Kitchen Aid Mixer in candy apple red. I am still waiting for it to magically appear on my counter one day, making all of my baking dreams come true.

Now, don't be scared. That is epicurean magic right there, folks. How can Oreo cookies and cream cheese get any better??  Oh, it can...and I will show you.

Line a baking sheet with wax paper and start rolling. Make them any size you want, I don't care. You are a free person. Now, pop them in the fridge for 20 minutes. And feel free to sample.

Next: Bust out the Almond Bark.
Side note: Notice the lighting change? The sun went down. Go figure.

Put about half the package in a pan over low heat and let it get melty.
Side note: Mmmmm...

That's what you are looking for: perfectly melted.

Now comes the dipping.
Using a spoon, whirl the little bugger around until it is perfectly coated. I do them one at a time so they don't fall apart in the chocolate.

Oh, such unbridled happiness going on right here.

Lots and lots of happiness.

This should hold me over for the evening.
Put them back in the fridge for 20 minutes so they set.

Now, eat them. Eat them with wild abandon.

I dare you to eat less than 10. I DARE YOU.

The beauty of this recipe is that are countless variations. For instance, I have tried:

  • Mint Oreos = spectacular

  • Nutter Butters = perfection

  • Double Stuffed Oreos = doubly delicious
You can go on and on and on...

So get out there, America! See how you can expand those waistlines and loosen those belts with just three simple ingredients!

Here are the details:
1 package of Oreo cookies
1 package of cream cheese, softened
1 package of Almond Bark

Crush (grind, stomp, roll) Oreos and combine with softened cream cheese. Roll dough into balls and place on wax paper-lined cookie sheet. Put in the refrigerator for 20 minutes to harden. Meanwhile, slowly melt 1/2 package of Almond Bark in a pan over low heat. Using a spoon, dip cooled Oreo balls into the Almond Bark one at a time, cover completely, and return to lined cookie sheet. Repeat until all oreo balls are covered. Add more Almond Bark if needed.  Return to the refrigerator for 20 minutes.

Inhale them.

And you're welcome.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

How I Was Almost Killed By A Wacko In France - Part 3

Hank stormed out of the room just as quickly as he entered, slamming the door behind him.

My first thought: WHAT THE HECK JUST HAPPENED?! 

My second thought: I want my mom.

Other than the sounds of my cousin and I crying, the room was silent. We were all in shock, completely unsure of what to do next.

Then, our professor spoke up, saying "Um, that was inappropriate."

Ya think?

At that, everyone started talking, rehashing all they had just witnessed. I apologized again for even saying anything in the first place. My cousin and I quickly came up with ideas of how to barricade our hotel room door and we were all trying to figure out how to interact with Hank the next time we saw him.

My cousin's future husband even jumped up and said, "I'm sleeping on the floor of their room," pointing at us. Yes, yes you are and I now owe you my life. I will name my first-born after you.

Our professor immediately started figuring out a plan of how to move forward.  We had only two more days in Paris and then we were on our way to Barcelona. The thought of spending 12 hours with Hank on an overnight train to Barcelona was not my idea a good time. In fact, I thought that would probably be a very good setting for him to run me through with his new sword.

My mind was racing: "Holy cow! How did I get here? Why did I come on this trip! Why don't my legs want to move? Why did I have to speak up? And just how many bodies have there been in the past?? Seriously, were there no background checks going on? I demand a refund. I need peanut butter."

However, none of us were prepared for what came next...

While we were all talking, one of the guys in the group stood up, cleared his throat and said, "I have an announcement to make. I have never said this to anyone before but since we are all here and this seems like a good time to do it, I want you all to know that I am gay."

Silence. Crickets chirping...

And with that, he walked over to the door and opened it. He turned around, scanned the room, and specifically addressing the men in the room, said "Don't worry boys, I am not attracted to blondes."

And he left.

More silence. More crickets.

Looking back on this scene, I could have sworn we were being Punked. But you just can't make that stuff up. Our freak flags were flying that day, my friends!

It just so happened that Mr. Out Of The Closet and Hank were roommates. Thankfully, Mr. OOTC was one of the nicest guys around and had the ability to calm Hank down. Later, we discovered that Hank was sulking (read: scheming, planning, finding burial plots) in his room and Mr. OOTC was able to smooth things over.

Meanwhile, the rest of the guys (who just all happened to be blonde) were rebounding from that shocker and our professor was trying to figure out why she had signed up for this trip.

Actually, she was on the phone with the airlines and Hank's parents because she had deemed his statement inappropriate enough to be sent his parent's expense. It looked like Hank was leaving us and I was completely comfortable with that decision.

However, the next flight available was not until after we had already traveled to Barcelona so that meant Hank had to travel with us and catch a flight home out of Spain.


To say that the next few days were awkward is an understatement. Somehow Hank and I co-existed without further interaction and I seemed to have a permanent body guard by my side at all times. Mr. OOTC was a wonderful middle man who had the ability to put the group at ease and keep Hank occupied. And Mr. OOTC was happier than ever.

When the time came to board our train to Barcelona, I made sure I squeezed into a room with lots of others. And Hank and his sword stayed far away the entire time.

In fact, the only mishap we had was when an Egyptian man met my cousin in the hallway and offered to buy her for a few camels. Since my cousin is tall, blonde and beautiful, this did not come as a surprise. But as her family representative on the trip, I politely declined his offer, saying that he didn't have enough camels in the world and she had no desire to be added to his harem.

Shortly after our arrival in Barcelona, Hank boarded a plane and that was the last time I ever saw him. I heard rumors that he was suspended from his college and later left the town. My cousin once thought he showed up on her doorstep as their UPS man, but I am going to pretend that it wasn't him. Denial is bliss, people. And thankfully she doesn't live at that residence any longer.

However, our time in Barcelona was stupendous! That is where I first learned to salsa dance and where a maverick seagull dive-bombed me and left a deposit on my shoulder. A pretty well-balanced trip, don't ya think?

So there you have it, folks. That was how I almost got axed by a wacko in France. Crazy, huh? That just goes to show you, it doesn't pay to get mad or speak sternly to guys with fake braids.

And if you ever find yourself with someone whose only desire is to buy a sword, run far, FAR away.

The End.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

How I Was Almost Killed By A Wacko in France - Part 2

Brace yourselves, people, this is a long one!

So, let's set the stage...

Once upon a time, during my sophomore year in college, my fabulous cousin (the one who doesn't like peanut butter) invited me to join her and a group of fellow students from her college on a two-week trip to France and Spain.

And of course I said, "Sign me up, cuz."

I mean, who wouldn't want to tour around two fabulous countries with cool new people AND get college credit for it? Exactly.

By this time, I was a seasoned traveler. And by that I mean I had been to England my junior year of high school and Italy my senior year of high school, each for ten days. I had seen the sights, I had experienced life, I had lived with wild abandon among the thrills of know, with a couple of teachers and 12 other high schoolers in tow.  So, needless to say, I had traveled a little and had seen a lot all under the guidance of many watchful adults.

Of course we did have a professor go with us on this trip, just to make it official and all. She was a super cool lady, who spoke fluent Spanish and was pregnant.  But don't let that fool you, she was a bucket of fun! A BUCKET OF FUN, people!

So, I packed up my bags (and peanut butter) and met my sweet cousin and her friends in Houston and we took off for Paris!

Side note: This was the first time my cousin had ever flown. EVER. She is now a very accomplished doctor, married to a cowboy accountant who actually came on this trip, and has two super adorable kids. However, that did not stop her from being terrified most of our flight over the Atlantic and at any hint of turbulence, she would reach her hand to my seat ahead of her and grab me for dear life. In return, I would bolt out of my stupor, try to relax her, while all the while maneuvering around two very cranky, very sleepy, Frenchmen who were on other side of me.  Fun times, people, fun times.

Anyway, we made it safely to Paris...and she even got a pair of wings from the captain.

Our first day in Paris was fabulous! I began to get to know the rest of the group and took in all the sights, sounds, smells (both good and bad) and food of Paris. I was the only one of the group who had been to Europe before so riding the subway and navigating through streets and shops while being familiar with foreign languages was something I had experienced (because it is so hard to understand people in England!).

All seemed to be going well until I noticed something a little bit off...and the others were very aware of it too.

There was one guy in the group who also seemed to know a lot about traveling and getting around foreign countries, even though this was his first trip abroad. He liked to run ahead of the group, pointing out landmarks, showing us where to go, and would often try to lose us in the crowd just to see if we could find our way.

Weird, I know.

So let's call this guy "Hank." And Hank had it in his head that without him, we would all be lost. We would all be wandering, blabbering idiots. Therefore, we owed him our respect and gratitude for not only keeping us on track but for basically keeping us alive.  To sum it up, we owed Hank our very lives.

Now before we get too far along, let me draw you a picture of Hank:

Hank wore plaid, flannel warm weather

Hank had a fake braid that he wore in his hair that ran down his back...and no one was allowed to touch it.

Hank's number one reason for going on the trip was to buy a medievil sword and take it home to show people at school. (This was pre-9/11, people)

Hank really liked Dungeons and Dragons.

Hank never made eye contact...never.

Now, you may like plaid shirts or play Dungeons and Dragons (why?), but combining all of those characteristics together is a recipe for, well...psycho-crazy behavior.  And believe me, that was coming...

In the meantime, amid Hank's crazy, obsessive need to make us all dependent, my cousin, her now husband and the rest of the group were having a blast, a BLAST I tell you! We went to the Louvre, to the Eiffel Tower, we rode on a ginormous ferris wheel and were able to squeeze in quite a bit of shopping...all in the name of college credit.

Ah, college. I miss you.

However, this quickly came to an abrupt halt.

One evening, the group of us decided that we should go see the Eiffel Tower all lit up. As we were coming up the stairs from the subway, Hank ran ahead of the group, dodging tourists and making rude comments all the way, saying things like "If it weren't for me, you guys would never be able to get out of Paris," and "it's a good thing I am here because you idiots don't know anything about navigating a city..."

And at that moment, the moment we emerged from the subway to see the glory and splendor of a gigantic piece of steel lit up like a spaceship, I realized that I could not stand Hank's attitude ONE MORE MINUTE.

I think some sort of chemical explosion must have happened in my head. And I am also pretty sure that the entire incident had to have been an out of body experience because what followed next was so surreal, so unlike me, that it is hard to believe it ever happened.

Right there, in front of the pride of Paris and the rest of the group, I stopped and walked over to Hank. And with a very clear, even tone and intense eye contact I said: "Listen, Hank. We are not idiots. We are adults. Very capable, intelligent adults who can very easily navigate through one of the world's largest cities, let alone a subway system. And I especially do not appreciate the way you are talking to all of us. You have been rude since we arrived. We do not need your comments and we do not need your help."

With that, I turned around only to see the startled faces of my cousin and the group. They were shocked. Everyone was a little bit of afraid of Hank...perhaps I should have been too.

I looked back at Hank only to see him storm off into the night, underneath the Eiffel Tower.

After he left, the rest of the group commented on my impressive speech. My cousin, who knows my oh-so mellow mindset, was fairly shocked at my confrontation skills. I, on the other hand, was trying to figure out who had just taken control over my body.

Let's remember that I don't get mad, people. But holy cow, I was mad that night. And it took all of my control to not drop-kick Hank into next week. I am surprised I was as calm as I was because I was so offended at his attitude towards me and the rest of the group that I could have yanked that stupid braid right out of his head.

Well, apparently Hank was pretty mad too. So mad, in fact, that he spent the next few hours walking by himself, calculating his next move. We didn't see him for quite a while and I was beginning to get worried.

Later that evening, we all convened in one room in the hotel to play games. I apologized to the professor for being so mouthy. She said not to worry but I knew I needed to apologize to Hank. Now, I knew I was in the right for what I said. And I knew I did it with civility. But perhaps I needed to apologize for embarrassing him in front of everyone else.

But just then, Hank stormed into the room! We all were shocked, startled by the noise and by the dark, serious expression on his face. He surveyed the room and locked eyes with me, where I happened to be sitting on a bed with my cousin.

I began to speak, uttering mumbled words of apology, but he stopped me.

In a very clear, cold voice, Hank said: "No one talks to me the way she did"  He pointed to me. "And when people do, you are not able to find their bodies the next morning."

And with that, my cousin and I began to cry...

(More to come)

Monday, March 22, 2010

How I Was Almost Killed By A Wacko In France - Part 1

Okay, don't  be alarmed. I am still alive. But I do have a humdinger of a story to tell you.

However, before I do this, let's get some context. Context is important with this tale.

For the last 30 years of my life, I have been plagued or blessed with what is known as "Lack of Temper." That's right. It isn't there. I just can't get mad. 

Sure, I have tried. As a kid, I would cry and then hold my breath and pass out. That went over well with my parents.  The first time I did it my mom thought I had died.  When I tried it again, she just rolled her eyes.

In high school, I once stormed off stage during a rehersal for a musical and demanded, DEMANDED, why my headpiece kept falling off during the middle of my song!  Seriously. Who were the costume people? Teenagers?

Actually yes, yes they were. And it included my sister.

But I felt impassioned to let them know that a wonky headpiece was NOT acceptable, especially for such a musical as "Pippin." (Side note: who in the world does "Pippin" in high school?)

And there have been other times that I have acted mad, enraged or angry, but in reality, I just can't muster it. I have no temper.

I know it is Biblical. I mean, Jesus got angry. He was full of righteous anger and drove out the money changers and what not. So I suppose I should take that as my cue and get mad. Down and dirty mad.

And I know, I KNOW, I should be mad when my Sooners, the pride and glory of all Oklahoma, can't throw a pass, make a sack, or walk and chew gum at the same time. Seriously. There is no excuse Bob Stoops, NO EXCUSE! (Capitalizing words makes me feel like I am conveying anger. Is it working?)

But it just doesn't happen. Sure, I am frustrated, but not mad.

I guess I am just too mellow...or too happy...or dead.

HOWEVER, there was one time, ONE TIME, that I actually did lose my cool. I didn't fly off the handle, I didn't yell and shout, but I did speak sternly. And I made some serious eye contact.

So, please keep all of this in mind as we head into the next few posts about how I almost got axed in France by dude who made me lose my cool. It's intense people, INTENSE.

Stay tuned...

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Heels to Kill

Listen up, chicas!

This post is just for girls...which really won't hurt my readership much because the only guy who reads this is my dad, and maybe a very bored guy friend of mine.

Regardless...ladies, this is for you because I have dedicated this post to SHOES!

I love shoes. I LOVE SHOES.

I base my day's outfit around shoes. Part of that is because I hobbled around on crutches for five months and am a bone shy in my right foot. But that's kinda weird and there is no need to rehash that very limiting time in my life. 

Mostly, I just love the variety they offer to any wardrobe. Truly, the options are endless. And, it doesn't matter if you gained the Freshman 15 or if your motto is "Hey, I'm 30 and I love carbs," because nine times out of ten, your shoes will always fit no matter what you ate the night before.

So recently I fell in love. I fell in love with the fiercest, most fabulous, gravity-defying shoes I have ever owned. Take a peek...

I love them.
Side note: pay no attention to the price tag that won't come off the bottom.

They make me smile.

They make jeans look good...

They make skirts look good...

They make your butt look good.

Run. Run as fast as you can and buy a pair of red heels. Trust me, you won't be sorry.

So ladies, what's your current favorite pair of shoes? Are they your fuzzy sleepers? Black slingbacks? Flip flops? Strappy gladiators? Let me hear it. 

And tell me where you bought them because I may need to take a little trip on my lunch break...

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

What I Have Learned While Feeling Like Death Warmed Over

So I have been sick for the last four days. Other than a trip to the grocery store and a two-hour meeting at work, I have been home trying to breathe.

Between lying on my bed, lying on the couch and walking back and forth between the two, I have learned a lot about myself and how to occupy one's time when you are slowly dying from coughing, sneezing, itchy nose, watery eyes and general lack of feeling chipper.

Here are my thoughts, in no particular order:

1.  Hulu is now my best friend. I love it. I have watched EVERY POSSIBLE SHOW known to man. I even re-watched some of my favorite episodes. I am now completely caught up on Jack Bauer, Michael Scott, Neal Caffrey and Liz Lemon. I am impressed with myself.

2. Tea is overrated.  Sure, it has its place in foreign countries, but it just doesn't cut the mustard here. I have had "Throat Coat," "Breathe Easy," "Gypsy Cold Cure" and plain old Earl Grey. But I still do not feel coated, nor can I breathe easy and there is definitely no cure happening.  I just feel grey...and blah.

3. When you feel good enough to be vertical for more than five minutes, run as fast as you can to the grocery store so you can stock up on everything you wished you had when you felt like death on a stick.

4. Write down all of the things you want to accomplish once you feel better because when you are well again you will need something to help you get organized. However, if your list is too long, you will not want to get well and you will try to figure out a way to stay in your drug-induced stupor. So be careful with your don't want to be overly ambitious.

5. There is nothing like your own bed. And that's all I have to say about that.

6. Remember to shower. It helps, not only with appearances and overall hygiene, but it shows that you respect your roommate. And for a split second, you may be able to breathe. And that is worth more than a new box of Kleenex.

7. I now have the intense urge to redecorate my entire house. I have been staring at the same pictures for far too long and I apologize for anyone who has ever come over and wondered why I apparently have zero decorating skills.

8. Hulu is still my best friend.

9. The world still goes on around you even if you are sick. That just goes to show that the world does not revolve around you...or me for that matter.

10.  I have eaten way too much frozen yogurt. Way. Too. Much. But it just feels so good on my scratchy, raw, oh-so very sore throat. I think I'll go get another bowl...

Okay, that's all I got. I am sure there are more words of wisdom up in that foggy brain of mine but I can't remember them. Now if you'll excuse me, my grey hooded sweatshirt, my totally useless cup of tea and I are going to go sit on a different couch cushion. You know, just to liven things up a bit.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Twisted Sisters Weekend - Part 2

Considering most of you will read this on March 17th:


Holy cow, I love St. Patrick's Day. I hope you are wearing green, people, because if you aren't, then you are just plum unpatriotic. PLUM.

I also love this day because I know that my dear Grandpa has his Irish flag o' flyin'! It's a ritual with him. It's pretty awesome. And he has the coolest outfit to go with it. Let's just say that pointy shoes have been known to be involved.

I have been thinking of wearing my "Kiss Me, I'm Irish" pin. But since the only places I need to go are work (everyone is taken) and the grocery store (everyone is creepy), I think I will just leave it at home.

But who knows? Some tall, dark and handsome fella could totally show up on my doorstep and I could run and put it on and we could get married.

So yes, yes I will leave the pin at home. I will be better prepared that way.

Okay, enough of that, let's get on to the second part of our Twisted Sisters Weekend! I call the subtitle of this posting "How Spinach Crab Dip Totally Changed My Life."

However, I do not have any pictures of the crab dip. We ate it really fast. But let's just say that it was life-changing and I could inhale that stuff EVERY SINGLE DAY. And I don't even like seafood.

Now this town, this town I could get used to. I love it.

There is something magnificent about this bridge.

And this place, this place I adore...

Don't you love this moment? It's that moment you first catch a glimpse of the ocean. Sublime.

Hello Pacific. I have missed you so.

The sea spray on my lens makes us look all hazy and glowy.
And it makes my hair look like a rock star.

Bathing Beauties.
Side note: Whose kid is that running down the beach and where are the parents? There are Great Whites out there.

Isn't she stunning?

Apparently I am perplexed. I am not sure why...
Side note: Holy Moses, I have a lot of freckles.

Claire's itty bitty feet.

Soaking it all up.

Looking for buried treasure. We came up short.

Very white Irish girls trying to get a tan...not very promising.

Nice perch.

So, as you can see, the Twisted Sisters Weekend trip was a roaring success. ROARING. I can't wait to do it again!

Happy St. Patty's Day to all of you out there! I hope it is everything you want it to be.

And according to Dwight Schrute: "St. Patrick's Day is the closest that the Irish will ever get to Christmas."

-Sarah O'Dellio

Monday, March 15, 2010

Twisted Sisters Weekend - Part 1

Let's just begin by saying a good time was had by all.

We ate. We laughed. We ate some more. We kept laughing. And we managed to squeeze in as much as possible into a two and half day trip.

My aunt's house is beautiful. It is an oasis, a palace, a hacienda created for family, friends, food and relaxing. I love it. And I especially love the beautiful California weather that accompanies it.

And don't get me started on these two. They're sisters, can you tell?

They are notorious for laughing. They laugh at each other, with each other, they laugh all the time. They laugh until they cry. They're famous for that.

So, in the midst of all this laughing, I was trying to bring my A-game at all times, you know, just in case I met Chuck.

Side note: What is my A-game? I am pretty sure I don't have one.


It was hard with this crowd because of all the laughing and what-not.

But at least I was closer geographically. And that counts for something.

I am not sure what, but it has to count for something.

Next up: San Fran