Monday, September 29, 2008

Friends are the Family we Choose

Throughout life there are a lot of people who make up our social networks. These people include teammates, classmates, co-workers, party friends, ect. Sometimes it's difficult to navigate which people in our social network (aquaintences) actually make the grade as true friends. True friends are the best gift anyone could ask for.

Recently, I've started to receive emails from my oldest friend. We met in kindergarten and were best friends all the way through elementary and middle school. Our birthdays were a week apart and we often had joint parties where we would invite the whole class. Our families spent Christmas Eve together with her dad dressed up as Santa Clause... So many of my childhood memories involve this fabulous person. It's been a while since we've seen each other. She's off exploring and traveling in Asia. I'm in Seattle trying to build a career. A lot has changed since we would quote Clueless and practice free throws; but in some sense not that much has really changed. There's an almost unbreakable bond that develops when you have known someone almost your whole life and have grown up with that person. It's crazy to think that we have shared a friendship for almost 20 years! Wow... that's so impressive to me!

Over the weekend I went to brunch with another fabulous friend. We have shared our early 20's together, navigating our first post college "real" jobs and reluctantly reaching those terrifying adult milestones. She's shown herself to be a caring, open, and honest person with a wicked sense of humor. I appreciate her friendship more than she knows...

Making friends in your 20's is a unique experience. It's less about sharing common externals i.e. the same major or similar social circle, and more about sharing this unique period in your lives. There's a comradare that exists among young women as they navigate huge milestone decisions. We know what it's like to work the entry level job, ponder grad school, consider moving in with a boy, and try to live a fabulous life on a less than fabulous budget.

Being a young woman in your 20's is exciting because life is full of oppurtunity and true independence. However, those same traits can make life feel overwhelming and lonley at times. Sometimes coffee with a good friend, or a weekly tradition is the key to regaining perspective. Reach out and strengthen those friendships. To have people support and encourage you for no reason other than they want to, is pretty cool! Don't take that for granted!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Funny Stuff

This was posted on Post Secret recently and made me chuckle:-)

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Watch This

So the other night I saw former Prez Bill Clinton on David Letterman talking about the economy. This is the best explanation I have heard regarding what's up with America. I was incredibly impressed! This first half of the segment is a little slow but stick with it and you'll feel like a smarty too!

Monday, September 22, 2008

A Fabulous Affair

This weekend boyfriend and I attended the wedding of a family friend in Spokane. It was such a beautiful event. They were married at St. Aloysius Chapel on the Gonzaga campus. It's an incredibly decedant and regal church. Father Hightower s.j. from Bellarmine Prep. presided over the wedding and he did an amazing job. (Later at the reception he played the air guitar with beer in hand to 80's rock music). I miss my Jesuits! The reception was held in the Marie Antoinette Ballroom at the Davenport Hotel. The whole event was gorgeous and well planned.

Upon arrival to the reception my dad handed boyfriend the keys to the car and promptly appointed him the designated driver. After a few festive rounds at the bar my padre turned into quite the dancing queen for the night. It made me really happy to see him have so much fun. He often made the comment that "this is how a wedding should be." This gave me hope for the future budget of my event.:-)

When the bride went up to the balcony to toss the bouquet I looked at boyfriend and said, "This is mine!" Sure enough with outstretched arms and an old school box out (basketball rebounding move) I secured the bouquet! My mom had a look of horror on her face and my dad put his arm around boyfriend and said, "You're in trouble now!" To say boyfriend looked awkward would be an understatment!

It was a fun night of dancing and drinking. Best of all, the bride looked so happy and seemed to soak up every moment of the night! Congratualtions Nicole and Grant!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Jessica Simpson is stinky!!

So I loved newlyweds... I cried when Nick and Jessica split up and I've rooted for her along the way. She's a girl with talent, and I'm happy she has found some commercial and critical success in the country market, however I wish she would stop talking about passing gas! I don't know if this is her ridiculous attempt at shedding her hot girl image and becoming more authentic... but it's stupid. Jessica, please stop. Please, please, please... just stop. It's cringe inducing and not at all enderaing.

"You can get into an elevator and actually pass gas, and people still won't smell it." – Jessica Simpson, on the wonders of her new perfume Fancy, on Rachael Ray

"I do pass gas a lot. But I guarantee you it smells like roses."

‘I do pass gas a lot,’ she said at her concert.

"If you want to date me, you have to be OK with camera flashes," she said. "You have to be OK with people telling you that you're dating a dumb butt. You have to allow me to pass gas under the sheets." People cheered, and she dedicated the song, "Man Enough," to "anyone who thinks they're man enough for me -- and I spend too much money, too!"

Thursday, September 18, 2008

My mom's "in the know" with bands that fight for good causes

I just received an email from my madre that I would like to pass along.

"The band Five for Fighting is donating $0.49 to Autism Speaks each time this video is viewed. The funding goes toward research studies to help find a cure. When you have a minute, please watch the video and then pass it along. They're aiming for 100,000 hits but hopefully we can help them surpass this goal."

The video is touching and made me tear up a bit. I encourage you to share it with others. It's an easy and fabulous way to make a difference.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Insipiring Celebrity Day

Wow, today must be celebrity do-gooder day. I was pleasantly surprised to read that the man candy that is Mr. Pitt has dontated $100,000 to an anti-proposition 8 campaign. For those that don't know, Proposition 8 attempts to ban gay marriage in California by labeling it unconstitutional. It's almost as if the United States Declaration of Independence should have read, "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.... unless they're gay! The fight for equality is a never ending battle, however it is always a battle worth fighting.

"Because no one has the right to deny another their life, even though they disagree with it, because everyone has the right to live the life they so desire if it doesn't harm another and because discrimination has no place in America, my vote will be for equality and against Proposition 8." Brad Pitt

Just another reason she's so lovely

Ok.... So I have pretty much been a Lauren Conrad fan since the beginning. During the Laguna Beach years most girls I know identified with little miss Queen Bee Kristin Cavallari. Nope not me, I've always been a fan of the nice girl.
Often nice girls play the side kick like my dear Donna Martin, but everyonce in a while they are cast as the heroin, i.e. Lauren Conrad.
Lovely Lauren has released a new necklace line that donates all profits to a charity that helps break the cycle of teen violence. The link to purchase her necklaces is: The necklace is called the Mark Have a Heart Necklace and it's supercute!
Also, a dear friend of mine recently wrote a fabulous piece on Breaking the Cycle of Abuse. Her amazing articulation can be found at

Read This

Hey All,

I read an interesting and slightly in your face article that I have very mixed feelings about. Here's the link. I'd love to hear other's thoughts on the subject.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

$$ Money Money Money Moneeeey $$

It's really interesting being a young woman in today's economic times. My generation was raised during a time of prosperity and excess. Those good ol' Clinton years blessed our parents with career oppurtunities and an ability to consume in excess while living within their means.

By all appearances most women in my generation have a difficult time living within their means. I don't know if it's our obsession with youth that propels us to spend, experience, and acquire. At times it seems like we view our 20's as a last hooray with youth. It's as though once we reach 30 we'll be knitting and nesting and all oppurtunites for fun will end. When you operate with that mentality it's only logical to maximize any oppurtunity for fun no matter what the cost is.

Budgets and phrases like "I can't afford this" are foreign concepts to many women in their 20's. I recently talked with a friend about this topic. She said she often felt pressure from her friends to adopt their spending habits. I know I've been there. There are countless times I've opted out of a round of drinks to save ten dollars only to have my friends push and insist or buy the drink for me with the expectation I'll purchase the next round. Now instead of saving $10 I'm spending $40 on the next round.

$200 jeans, fabulous trips, and overpriced handbags are the norms for most young women I know. A night on the town easily runs $100 between drinks, cabs, tips, and food. You do this once a week and $400 has just been spent in one month on having a good time. When you consider most young women are taking home $2,000 - $3,000 a month after taxes. that's a seriously high percentage of someones salary. You also figure in the amount of money 20 somethings spend on looking fabulous between waxing, cuts and color, mani and pedi's, and cosmetics and you're easily looking at $300+ a month. Clothes, gym memberships, car payments, insurance, premium cable, rent, and student loans and you've surpassed that $3,000 monthly take home.

I realize I may sound a bit like a negative nancy, and I really do believe in the imporance of celebrating and treating yourself. A promotion or birthday should be marked with an indulgent reward or celebration. It just seems like those "rewards" have become necessities. With the economy looking like it will continue to tank, 20 somethings are going to take a hit. There will be less oppurtunites for promotions and salary increases. We have graduated with more student loans than previous genersations. Rent is skyrocketing, home and car loans are more difficult to obtain and have higher interests rates. We're looking at a bleak future.

I encourage young women to be responsible. Plan for your future and position yourself for freedom and independence. 20somethings should support each other and find ways to have fun within their means. Skip dinner at the new swanky spot and catch up over a walk through the city. Challenge eachother to find fabulous clothes at outlet malls and discount shops. Have fun without the stress of debt!!!!

Monday, September 15, 2008

My Practical Bouquets

I spent last weekend with my fabulous girlfriends. We celebrated the birthday of one of the most impressive girls I know. She's this fabulously fun, down to earth, smarty pants who has a beautiful smile and one of the best dispositions I have ever encountered. My smarty pants friend is a second year law student who somehow manages to avoid all those stereotypical type A traits that law students posses and friends sort of "learn to live with." Nope, not my friend. She bakes cookies, gives hugs, sings songs without inhibitions, and elevates the mood of any group. She's pretty fabulous.

After a weekend of celebrating a fabulous person, I was looking forward to going home. As our car pulled out of our vacation destination I found myself texting Boyfriend: "Babe I'll be home in 2 hours. Can't wait 2 c u!!!" When we got to the main freeway I sent him another update. When we crossed the bridge leading to my part of town he received update number three. Finally, while walking into my building I gave him a call. (I've never claimed to be low maintenance:-) He said he was stuck in traffic and was on his way. Sitting in my super tiny studio, I realized that I wanted to feel like I was "home" and my feelings of home are tied to his precense. Whereever he is, I feel like I'm home. His old apartment felt like home to me and was a haven from roommate hell. His new in the midst of renovation home feels like home to me and I look forward to spending weekends with him. Even my one person, maybe 300 squarefoot studio feels like home when he's there. He says I need to upgrade to cable before it feel like his home, but that's another story. Anyways, Boyfriend walked in the door, gave me a big hug and I felt comfortable. The lingering itch of cheap hotel blankets, the sleep deprivation from nights on the town, and the complications of a roller coaster weekend seemed to melt away and I felt like I was home.

He pulled out an already opened padded manilla envelope and told me he had something for me. I opened it up and found a new charger for my camera. I was so excited. You see, my boyfriend is "not a flowers kind of dude." (he's explained that on many occassions) Yet, he always seems to find that fabulously practical, useful, and thoughtful gift that let me knows he cares. I had lost the charger for my camera when I moved a few months back. Boyfriend and I searched multiple malls and stores looking for a charger and no store seemed to carry my camera brand or an adaptable charger. We searched on-line and I became frustrated when I didn't understand if the universal chargers on ebay would actually fit my camera. After weeks of searching I had given up and was just planning to buy a new camera when the battery on mine officially ran out.
No need, Boyfriend swoops in and gifts me with something practical that shows me he's thinking about me.

Somehow Boyfriend always manages to surprise me with the comforts of home and the practicalities of an easy day to day life. I know I don't give him nearly the credit he deserves. He's the most thoughtful, reliable, and nice intentioned person in my life and I love him. I love the duality of how his practicalness bounces off my whimsicality. I love the way his plans ground my scattered spontaneous thoughts. His emotions are steady while mine fluctuate daily. He sticks by me and helps bring out the best version of me and I'm grateful for that.

Over the weekend I performed Earl Had to Die by the Dixie Chicks at this dive country karaoke bar. Boyfriend does not like country music; especially country music with a serious twang where three women sing about murdering a man. I was SO excited to perform for him! I woke up Boyfriend this morning with a performance of "Earl Had to Die." He danced with me and remixed his own version of the lyrics. I was on my knees laughing. It was a great way to start a Monday morning. Thanks for everything babe!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Any Artists Out There

Today I'm reving up for my first company kickball tournament and I am super stoked:-) If anyone out there is an artist or knows someone whose artistic my company is sponsoring an art contest with a $1000 first prize. Even if you're a "non traditional" artist this is a great oppurtunity to earn some serious cash. Please visit for more info.

"web design"

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Conflicted - My Heart Hurts

When I worked at RDCC I was assigned a fabulous primary. A fun, smart girl, with a wicked sense of style and humor. I definently felt like the I won the primary lottery. We worked together for about 8 months. She was patient with me while I tried to find my footing as a counselor and role model. As a young, eager, and inexperienced social worker I often found myself in over my head. Inspite of my inexperience and the numerous adults who had failed her in life, she showed true resiliance. She excelled in school and participated in extra curricular art activities. She was a hardworker who did more chores than any other kid -way more than I ever did as a teenager! Despite her small stature she could hold her own. Unlike me, she was brave. She faced problems head on and stood up for herself. She had a pension for drama, art, and design. Her art was edgy, innovative, and ahead of trends. I pictured her growing up and freelancing for Vogue as a photographer. I could see her being the creative director for edgy high fashion shoots.

My little primary and I met up for dinner last night. She's 16 now... so I guess she's not too little anymore. It had been about 18 months since I last saw her. I had heard she had experienced some tough times and I wanted to keep in touch and help where I could. I wasn't sure what that help would look like or what exactly it meant. I just knew I didn't want to be another adult in her life who told her they cared yet walked away.

We had a great dinner and I was relieved to see the same fun, smart girl with a wicked sense of style and humor was there. She's packed a lot of living in her 16 years and my heart broke with some of the stories she told me. My instincs (and subsequent failure as a social worker) are to fix all her problems for her. I want her to have the oppurtunity to experience happy and carefree teenage years. I want her to worry about zits and clothing labels not food and shelter. I want her to explore her artistic talents and develope a sense of confidence built through accomplishments.

I want to give her my childhood. I want to replace her panic attacks with Friday Night Nacho Nights. I want to swap her memories of endless bus rides to temporary dismal housing with flights that land in tropical destinations. I want to shift her point of refrence away from icky predatory men to caring, patient, and dorky coaches.

I so often took for granted the gifts my parents gave me. My childhood is full of fabulous memories, my mom selflessly and eagerly signed me up for any and all activities. She sacrificed so I never went without. I played on the best teams, was given a nice car, and had someone who was present daily and wanted to attend my games and support me. My taught me to laugh at myself and not take things too seriously. I have a dad who taught me to be fearless and practical. He listened and encouraged me.He walked me through problems and taught me the value of a strong work ethic. They saw the best version of myself and always encouraged me to keep striving to achieve that. All children you should be so lucky to experience that. I so badly want to give that to my little primary. I want to right all the wrongs she's been dealt and support her so she's able to reach the best version of herself.

Healthy boundaries and rational thinking bring me back to reality. I can't care for a teenager. The question that is left lingering is what will happen to my little primary?