No Carne Asada Tacos For You

Happy Friday everyone!!  It's time for some confessions.

I confess that after several years of blogging I finally did my first sponsored post.  I know that "sponsored post" is sometimes seen as a bad word in blog land but I'm feeling pretty good about the one I chose because it's a product that I truly love and had even already blogged about.  I was offered a chance to blog about a cellulite cream and a skin firming machine.  I thought about doing it for two seconds but turned it down because those are things I would never use and so even if readers might be interested it just didn't feel right getting paid to post about it.  Chances are they won't pop up too often but when and if they do just know that I'm only going to sponsor products that I really feel like I can stand behind.

I confess that I'm still watching 16 and pregnant.  I blame my DVR for recording it.  Yes, I set up that recording a long time ago but still.  While I'm on the subject are there no teen mom's in Arizona or Colorado with teen dads that don't wear camo?  In the last episode I swear I saw a camo pillow in the hospital where she had her baby and then when the baby was born he was immediately dressed in a camo onesie.  It seems like all the teens on the show are from the sticks of the Midwest or the South.  What's up with that?   

I confess that I'm really disappointed that I won't be eating Carne Asada Tacos tonight.  I've been stopping at Santana's on the way home almost every Friday since MJ has been gone but with four stitches in my mouth it would be too painful to eat something you sort of have to shove your face into.  Eating a taco with a fork makes no sense.

I confess that I drank wine out of a wine glass with a straw out of the side of my mouth in a restaurant last night.  Sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do.

I confess that I did not miss exercising during those 10 weeks post surgery.  It was really nice not to have to worry about trying to fit it into my schedule, feeling like I had to do it or feeling guilty if I didn't.  It's not that I hate exercise, it's just that I'm worn out after work and I still find it so difficult to find the time and energy to fit it in.

I confess that the Yoga video that used to be a piece of cake kicked my booty.  I was actually sore afterwards and yoga rarely makes me sore.  The upside is that I'm burning more calories then I used to because I'm working harder.  The downside is that it means I'm out of shape!! The 2nd time I did it I didn't get sore at all so I'm already doing better.  I'm going to go back to 30 Day Shred level 1 so I can get back to level 3.  I didn't really miss it but once I get started it is kind of addicting because I want to improve and get back to where I was.  I like being fit even if sometimes the work it takes to get there really sucks.

I confess that this is the first time I've blogged this many days in a week since I marathon posted about our Maui vacation in December.  Four times is nothing for some people but it's kind of a big deal for me!  Don't get used to it.

Linking up with Leslie @A Blonde Ambition

The Glass is Half Full (Even When You Have Stitches in Your Mouth)

So, about 2 months ago I got this bump on the inside of my bottom lip.  It wasn't too bothersome.  It got bigger then it got smaller.  Initially, you just kind of shrug these things off so it took me a while to figure out that it was the same one and that it didn't seem to be going away.  I did what I always do when I have strange symptoms.  I took it to Google and self diagnosed myself with a cyst that was probably not going to go away.  Ever.  At one point I though maybe the inter-webs were wrong because it got super flat and stayed away for about a week but then it came back bigger and badder then ever.  And maybe I could have lived with it if it were in a different location but my bottom teeth kept hitting it making it tender and uncomfortable.  I scheduled a doctor's appointment when I realized there was a good chance it wouldn't go away and was referred to a head and neck specialist appointment for the following week.

I wasn't sure what to expect at the appointment.  Would they tell me to wait and see?  Would they remove it that day?  Would they schedule a different appointment to remove it?  I sat down in the exam room and the doctor confirmed what I'd found out on the internet.  It's a mucocele cyst caused by a blocked salivary gland and sometimes they do but there is a very good chance it won't go away.  I asked if he could just pop it rather then actually dig it out and he said no.  My body is trying to make saliva and as long as that gland is blocked it would just build right up again.  Bummer.  He could perform oral surgery right then and there to remove the gland and the cyst.  There would be cutting and stitches involved but it would only take 15 minutes.  I wasn't mentally prepared to be cut that day, but when are you ever?  I realized that if I left I would just give me more time to worry.  I'd just have to come back and in the meantime I'd still be suffering with the cyst.  I told him I'd wait and think about it so the nurse went to get me a business card.  Just when the doctor was standing up to leave, I changed my mind.
Hope this pic isn't too gross for my blog.
There were two numbing shots which really hurt.  Then I didn't feel much.  Then there was this burning smell like a campfire.  Not entirely unpleasant unless it's coming from your mouth.  Then there was some tugging.  I knew that had to be the stitches.  As promised about 20 minutes later I was on my way home with 4 stitches and a swollen bottom lip.  When the numbing medication wore off I thought I was going to be really, really bad off and it was for a little while but I took an Ibuprofen and that helped.  The doctor had the nerve to say that most people really aren't in that much pain.  What?  It hurt!  I think it hurt more then my abdominal laparascopic surgery if that makes any sense at all.

It hurts if I talk too much but I'm getting used to the feel of prickly stitches in my mouth.  They are supposed to dissolve in a week.  It was throbbing in the morning but it's feeling better now.  My bottom lip is still swollen, I use straws out of the right side of my mouth and I have this odd sensation that people are looking at me funny trying to figure out what exactly is wrong with me.  

Things like this suck but it really makes me stop and appreciate the fact that I have really good health insurance.  I have no idea how much my laparascopic surgery cost.  I'm sure it was in the five figures but I didn't pay a dime for any of it and I walked in and out of oral surgery without paying anything.  I don't have a deductible to meet or even a co pay for doctor visits and I only pay $5 for Rx's.  As long as it's just me and my spouse I don't pay for these benefits at all.  It's totally free.  About 8 years ago I didn't have health insurance at all for almost two years.  I went to planned parenthood for necessities and luckily nothing happened but what if it had?  As much as I complain about the daily grind that is work I have to be grateful (and I really, really am) because it's what gets us such amazing benefits.

The glass is always half full.  Even when you have stitches in your mouth.  There was a time when I couldn't see it that way but I'm glad that I do now.

Why I Only Eat Greek Yogurt

What took me so long?  I tend to ask myself this question a lot.  I'm late to the party on so many things!  Maxi dresses, knee high boots and Scandal just to name a few.  One of my most recent late to the party discoveries is Greek Yogurt.  If you aren't eating it yet you should be and here's why.

Read More HERE >>>

How 'Bout Some Sephora?

The sponsors: Jenny (Dancin' With A Dolly) / Rebekah (Wearable) / Cece (Pink Sunshine)
Lauren (Sassy Sweetheart) / Elisa (Sammy's Fabulous Jewelry) / Stephanie (Shades Of Color Art)
Some beautiful ladies have teamed up to bring you the ultimate beauty lovers giveaway. How would you like to win the Michael Kors cosmetic bag shown above and a $40 giftcard to Sephora to help you fill it?  And if you win don't be a hoarder like me and "save it."  What am I saving it for? I won a Sephora giveaway months ago and I still haven't used it.  If anyone has any suggestions on what they like to buy there I'm all ears.
Good luck! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Open to US Residents only 

So Ready for Retirement

This has been some kind of week; a bad one. Last week flew by but this week I can't believe it's only Thursday. Time is moving incredibly slow. That's what happens when you spend your day in a fog.

There is no pattern that I can figure out but every now and then I get insomnia. MJ will usually tell me that I was asleep but it doesn't feel like it. I feel like I'm laying in bed all night waiting for the alarm to go off.  I can only guess that I'm just not getting into that deep REM sleep that makes you feel like you are sleeping and rested when you wake up. So that happened last Monday. I couldn't fall asleep and was exhausted all day. I took OTC sleeping pills for the rest of the week to make sure it wouldn't happen again and I was okay for the rest of the week but this week I had a new problem. I'm waking up hours before my alarm clock for no reason. The sleeping pill gets me to sleep but then I wake up too early so I'm still not getting enough.

My happily retired parents 

Speaking of being tired I am so ready to be retired. It makes total sense that the word tired is in the word retired because after working for so many years you have got to be straight up tired. I know I am and I am not even half way there. People in their 30's have no business even thinking about retirement.  I'm thinking about it because I'm having a really bad week and my mom is having a really good one because she just retired. After 28 years of working at the post office my mom is finally a free woman.  28 freaking years! That is a really long time to work at one place. My Dad retired last year but they still couldn't travel freely or be flexible with their plans because my mom was still tied down to a job. She might have worked a little longer but after seeing my Dad enjoy the retired lifestyle she was ready to be done with it. I'm glad it's happening while they can still enjoy it. I hate hearing about people who spend their life working only to retire so old and/or ill that they aren't healthy enough to really enjoy their life once they finally can.  Or worse; that they never even make it. My parents are gym rats and are in good health.  My Dad is doing really well since his Kidney transplant so now they'll get to enjoy life together.  It's a pretty exciting time for them. California isn't exactly a retirement friendly state so they have some big decisions to make about where they want to move and settle down. This is their time to live life on their terms. It makes me happy to know they will have comfortable retirement.  Things have fallen into place.  They've worked hard and they deserve it.  I'll have to do the same. 

If I can't retire I'll settle for independently wealthy but either one feels like an impossible far off dream.  I love thinking about getting there one day but I also hate thinking about it because who knows if I'll actually be able to.  I  have a long way to go before I am age eligible but realistically, I'll probably end up working for several years beyond that.  It's overwhelming (and depressing) to think about working well into my 60's. Sigh.  Pensions are a thing of the past.  How do regular folks do it? I contributed to a 401(k) with a company match for 6 years at my old job. I rolled that into a 403 (b) where I contribute what I can monthly since 2008.  I also contribute 7% of my pay to a state retirement account.  I always forget about that one because they make us do it.  I've been paying into social security since I was 16 and I have multiple savings accounts but I still have no idea if it will be enough. I don't think I'll ever feel like I'm doing enough. What do people who don't work rely on?  MJ has a 401(k) with a employer match and he plans to stay in the Army reserves long enough to collect retirement from that so his chances are better then mine. I hate thinking about going to work every day while he lives the retired life.  Call me selfish, but it would really suck.      

If only my actual life was one big vacation with days and days stretched out ahead of me with which to do whatever I want whenever I want.  Wouldn't it be awesome though if you could retire in your prime when you are still young, hot and full of energy?  Not that I can barely stay up past 10 or that my parents aren't hot or anything.  I won't wish these years away.  There is plenty of life to be lived and good times to be had but there will also be years and years of weekends that are never long enough, many Monday's I will dread and vacations that I wish would last forever. 

It's All About the Writing

My weekend was so boring.  Definitely boring in a good way but also nothing to write home about since I'm sure you don't want to hear about how I didn't leave the house once, ate chicken, watched movies, did laundry, got rid of some junk, finally exercised and sat at my dining room table in my pajamas writing.  The only person I "saw" was MJ and that was over FaceTime.  This can't be a weekend post because I basically just summed it up in 3 sentences and there are no pictures so I'm going to talk about something else now.  

How often do you go back and read your old blog posts?  I don't do it all the time but now and then I randomly skip around from post to post reading things I wrote two months or two years ago.  It's really fun to take a walk down memory lane.   It's super annoying if I find a typo after so much time has passed.  I guess reading it a million times isn't always enough.  My earlier blog posts are very long winded, overly wordy and way too uptight.  I changed my writing style when I realized that other people were actually reading it.   I had to work on loosening up to make it more conversational and not worrying so much about using proper English so that my personality would come through and it wouldn't read like a boring college essay.

When I write posts I have a tendency to obsess.  I cut and paste entire sections from one place to another, add words, delete words.  I read it over and over  looking for typos and making sure that everything is just the way I want it.  Some posts flow easier, but with others I have a harder time translating my thoughts and feelings into words.  The editing process never ends.  After I read it for the millionth time I can't look at it anymore because if I do I'll probably find yet another thing I want to change and I'm just over it by then. 

By the time I hit publish I don't even know what I'm looking at any more so reading it later allows me to look at it with a fresh eye so it's like reading it for the first time.   I finally get get to "see" what I wrote in a way that I couldn't when I originally wrote obsessed over it.  I don't know how people blog every day! I really don't have that much to say but I also have this problem where I hesitate because I'm not sure if something is "blog worthy" then the more I look at it the worse it seems to get.  I'll throw some words down one day and then finish it the next with a fresh brain or I just abandon the post all together.  I have the same issue with writing my novel.  One day it's the worst thing ever written, but if I don't look at it for a few days I start to like it again.  I'm a perfectionist when it comes to writing even though it's never going to be perfect.  I over think everything and it's really annoying!  I'm still trying to be more okay with blogging just for the sake of blogging without worrying too much if it will be one of the best things I've ever written. 

The sharing and the interaction with readers is a big bonus but it's really is all about the writing for me.  And the preservation of memories.  It's the whole reason I blog in the first place so even if I look back and think oh my gosh why did I even write that, I'll still be okay with how I wrote it and love that it's there to look back on.  That being said, I really do need to learn how to let go a little bit.  Write what I want to say and move on just like I would if no one was reading.  It's just a blog.    

Have you changed your writing style from when you first started blogging to now?
How long does it take you to write a post?
How important is it to you to blog every day?

He's Not Here But He Is

My actual Birthday turned out better than expected.  I decided to leave work an hour early just because.  I stopped and picked up a donut on the way home just because.  I drank wine while eating said donut just because.  Then later on that night my mom called to say that they were in the area so they stopped by for a few hours.

I was off Friday and I slept in until an alarming 10am.  I can't remember the last time I did that so I think I just really needed it.  I knew what I was planning to wear to dinner that night but as soon as I put it on the negative thoughts started in.  I texted MJ.  I look fat.  He has got to be way more tired of hearing this then I am of saying it since I've only said it about a million and one times but instead of just telling me to get over it he FaceTimed me which was perfect because not only was I hating the way I looked in my dress, I wasn't sure what boots to wear.  I showed him my outfit and we decided on the black boots.  He told me I looked great and that's just one way he wasn't actually there but somehow still was that night.
I chose the Chocolate Peanut Butter mousse.  Of course!
I chose Season's 52.  I was immediately intrigued by the concept that nothing on their menu is over 475 calories.  Not everyone cares about that kind of thing but I do, plus it looked like a really nice.

A lot of times we end up in really loud bars for happy hour but there was a piano player and it was really quiet so we were able to chat and catch up without yelling at each other.  We all ordered flat breads which were pretty thin and crispy.  Not a lot of cheese.   I wasn't surprised because what can you really expect for less then 475 calories?  But it was enough and it was really good.  After dinner our waitress brought out this giant tower of mousse and we each got to pick one for dessert.  She also took a group shot and gave me the hard copy for free.

When she came back to refill our waters she said the bill had already been taken care of.  My eyes got really big.  How?  I look at my friends in confusion and we were all looking around the restaurant.  Are we such a hot bunch that somebody decided to pay for our meal?  Or is this place just so awesome that they pick up the tab on your Birthday and if so how did I not know this?

She asked me if I have a boyfriend in Germany and I almost started to cry.  I don't have have a boyfriend in Germany but I have an awesome amazing sweet husband there who woke up at 4am to treat me and my friends to dinner.  One of them said she felt like she was in a Lifetime movie and I totally agreed.  Not the part where the woman tries to kill her best friend so she can steal her husband but the part when the friend doesn't die and makes her way back to her grieving husband where they live happily ever after.

And that's just how he is.  Romantic, thoughtful and so great that 6 years later I still can't believe that I'm lucky enough to be able to call him my husband.
Tri-Tip Sandwich // Mac and Cheese // Greens
Saturday I went to my parent's house.  It was the first time spending the night since they sold my childhood home.  It was weird at first but if my parents live there; it's home.  We went to dinner that night  at a Soul Food restaurant called Felix's.  I will go there for the Macaroni and Cheese alone.  It takes the #1 spot for best restaurant mac and cheese but everything else was really good too.  We spent the rest of our time together hanging out and watching movies.

MJ and I FaceTimed twice on Saturday and once on Sunday while I was still at my parent's house.  I  miss him more every day that he's gone but even when he's not here he is.  I'm always thinking about him.  He's still a big part of my life and we stay connected.  We text, we e mail, we FaceTime.  He fixes airline ticket disasters and treats me to dinner.  He's not here and yet he is. 

When he comes back I definitely want us to go to Season's 52 together.  He's  never been, I still want to try their happy hour and it will be my turn to pick up the tab.

Pink Moscato and Netflix

I dropped MJ off at the airport for his flight to Germany a little over a week ago.  You'd think it was going to be forever.  I got teary before we left, I cried on the way home then I cried when I got home to such a quite and empty house.  There has only been one year that I've known him that he has not traveled somewhere for an extended period of time so I keep thinking that I'm supposed to be really good at this and totally unaffected but I'm not.  I've grown very attached to him and it's just not the same when he's not around.

So what have I been doing since then?

Work doesn't quit.  It's been busy since the day I went back and it's still busy but we have made it through the worst and I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel.  

Dreaming of vacation.  It's been 5 months since our last one, I had 3 weeks off in February and yet still I'm ready for more.  We finally booked our airline tickets to Cancun the day MJ left.  Maybe I should have checked out ticket prices before we booked the vacation because it turns out they were a lot more pricey then I thought.  We will have two lay overs there and back to save money and the tickets are still costing us $600 each with tax and everything.   

Hours upon hours of Netflix.  My first conquest was Dance Academy.  It's kind of high school but it was so thoughtfully done that I was able to look past that and fell in love with the characters and the story.  I love a good girl with a dream story especially when that girl wants to be a Ballerina.  I love, loved, loved that show and was deeply and profoundly affected by the last three episodes of Season 2.  I cried through every one.  Thank goodness the running time is only about 24 minutes.  I've never cried that hard and long over TV.  Ever.  And I've done a lot of TV crying.  I'm not sure if anyone else my age has any interest in watching it but I won't spoil it for you just in case.  I went to bed missing MJ and exhausted from over an hour of TV crying then I dusted myself off and finished Season 3 in about 2 days.

Last weekend was Scandal.  We decided that we'd watch the rest of Season 2 on our own so that when he gets back we can start on Season 3 which is piling up in the DVR.  It took me about half a season to warm up to it but I'm really into it now.  I'm waiting for the day when I can say "can I have the room" with conviction and impact just like Fitz.

Drinking wine.  If you like sweet wines and haven't tried the Sutter Home Pink Moscato you should.  It's one of my favorites and very reasonably priced.  I had the whole bottle to myself over last weekend and bought another one while I was out at Target for this weekend.  Or better yet, I'll probably drink it tonight! I like the color and I even like it that it has a screw on lid.  It's way more practical than a cork.

Not exercising.  My doctor cleared me for exercise.  Last week was the 8 week mark and my first consistently pain free week.  I will be getting back to it soon but the truth of the matter is that I really haven't missed it all that much so I'm not rushing it. 

Eating Chicken.  Baked Chicken breast soaked in a bag of marinade mix is my specialty.  My first batch was a lot tastier then I expected so I made it again on Sunday.  It's fast, easy, healthy and it feeds me for 3-4 days. I kid you not, I will probably be making it every Sunday.

Some writing.  Not as much as I should be but I will fix that this month.  I'm so close to the end and I'm having a really hard time deciding if I want the main character to be victorious or crash and burn.  I personally get really bitter when books don't have a happy ending so I'm not sure I want to do that but at the same time; life is not necessarily a fairy tale and maybe it's okay if my book isn't either.  What do you think? 

I FaceTimed my older sister two weekends ago.  It was nice to "see" her again.  I can't believe it's been 8 months since they moved.  Last weekend I got to FaceTime MJ.  We made dinner together and even working with a hotel kitchenette his was still better then mine.  You already know what I made.  He made pork chops with couscous and will probably make something different next time.  I will still be baking chicken.

Virtual Assisting.  When he travels I turn into his virtual assistant/wife.  Last year I had to send him a box of clothing which cost $250 to ship.  A shopping spree would have been cheaper.  Who knew it was that expensive to ship internationally?  I was shocked.  This year it's documents.  I sent one last week and just yesterday I got an e mail request for more with instructions, attachments and everything.  I am happy to be his assistant but he better not ask me to mail anything.  I'm still recovering from the sticker shock of that one. 
I also send him selfies upon request // Happy Birthday to Me?   
Getting older.  Today is my Birthday but it doesn't feel like it.  What is a Birthday supposed to "feel" like at this age anyways?  If there's anything I hate more then rain it's rain on my Birthday.  MJ is gone, there was traffic, I have to work and I can already feel myself slipping into a grumpy mood.  Sweet Birthday messages help but Tuesday is such an unfortunate day for a Birthday.  The silver lining is that it's a short week for us which is why I worked today.  I'm off Friday and I will go out to celebrate with some friends.  Maybe then it will feel like my Birthday.