Monday, August 31, 2009

Roaching Drama

Apparently, the sight of one of these on my bed is deserving of instantly yelping/tossing our laptop off my lap and onto the floor & finding hideaway by scurrying to the floor, crouched down in fetal position ... (okay, not quite fetal position, but, well -- almost)

WHY IS IT ON MY BED??!! I promise we're at least clean enough to let cockroaches know they are not welcome.
And the truth is, I spotted him an hour earlier on a pillow on the floor (before he disappeared under my bathrobe) and sat on Paul's side of the bed just to avoid him ... but he of course plotted against me and tickled my arm ... that filthy roach.
(A roach with which I'm color coordinating)

(A cricket?.. I could handle - unfortunately those are practically living with us so much they should be paying rent! But a roach - somehow it's just psychologically disturbing)

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Good Morning!!

Bed.Head. I'n't She a Beauty?

Sunday, August 16, 2009


(Deep Thoughts, by Jack Handy, wait no - by- Breanne - except don't let me deceive you, I'm not as funny as I'd like to be, and well, these aren't even meant to be funny - but this post felt like it needed a Deep Thoughts type of picture - -- this was taken on a backpacking trip a few years back)

I wrote a partial post a couple of weeks ago about the exhaustion of unemployment - about us (especially Paul) just wanting full time employment so bad.  I never finished it & never posted it, and I want to be honest on my blog so as not to paint a fake picture, but there is of course just general privacy to consider.  July was a tough month, good because we were able to go visit family & friends in California (will post pictures soon), but just tough in its events - besides always wanting employment or Taya's juvenile arthritis (did I ever confirm here to you that she does indeed have it?  It really ramped up in California too), I/we also dealt with a miscarriage while in California (7 weeks along & a forwarning feeling that it was not going to continue eased this loss a little) and some other concerning health news of a loved one, and weeks and weeks of flu sickness combined with miscarriage recovery.  I'm hesitant to mention all of that because those events are not my point of this post (I've already discussed these things plenty with a few close ones), but I know I can learn so much from those who are open about their trials & I think it will link to my next thoughts more clearly if I mention these specifics.  

I've been thinking about many aspects of dealing with life challenges, big & small.  I believe in not denying my troubles; this doesn't mean saying 'Wo is me, why me?', but just acknowledging them while they're around & allowing myself to fully experience them rather than tell myself I shouldn't feel this or that way (which will only come back to bite me).  I believe in finding the balance of being 'in the present' with my trials for a short time, yet also finding a point to move foward & to become more aware of others' trials as well.  Sometimes it feels like other people don't have trials when I'm in the thick of it even though I ultimately know better (I got sick of feeling wrapped up in myself & my thoughts during July).  But it is so nice to be there for others & hear their concerns; although I wish I could eliminate their worries, it is just so nice to think more of others when it's otherwise easier to think of myself - hence the reason it is so helpful to serve others always, but especially when having a hard personal time.  Sometimes when I find out about other people's heavy & hard challenges, I can initially be inclined to think 'what's wrong with me?  why am I so concerned about my troubles when they're nothing compared to this person's?'  -- but that really doesn't help anyone out either to think that way.  So I am working to find the balance of still allowing the knowledge of other people's hard trials to instill gratitude for my blessings, yet not take it to a discouraging level of 'look at them, if they can get through that then why can't I get through this?' type of thoughts.  It's all relative and our struggles are ours - they are real - and they are opportunities to refine our character & souls by.  I don't think what we've been going through is the heaviest hand dealt to people I know - NOT AT ALL, but I also am aware that we definitely have a few struggles here chucked at us at once.  I hope and think I am growing through it all, because that is most valuable to me; especially growing together as a family.  I want to be there for others - for them & I will admit that at times, it is partly for myself as well.  I do so much better when I can serve others and feel purpose in my thoughts & actions of concern for others instead of thoughts that sometimes feel like they lead to nowhere if they are all for myself (and my family).  I'm sorry to those right around me that I've been a bit wrapped up; I know you all have your own concerns & I want to be there for you, so if I am the person you ever want or need to confide in, please don't hesitate.  What have been some of your thoughts as you've all gone through various life challenges?  What attitudes/mentalities help you?  

We watched The Soloist last night & it was another good chance to put my thoughts & energy into what others are going through (without getting down on myself for worrying about my own challenges).  I have never seen the life of homeless people more accurately depicted than in this movie.  I am not currently involved in serving those that are homeless, but during college & in my first full time job, I have been involved with those that are homeless, mentally challenged and/or low-income.  I miss those days sometimes where it's hard not to stay grounded when you hear someone's life story and how their homeless or challenged state came to be, and where you know you've been able to help them for at least a moment.  I know I am focusing on mothering & current life goals right now, but I do plan to actively involve myself once again in a similar service oriented group.  According to the movie, there are 90,000 homeless people living in LA alone - 90,000!  This movie really helps you think about them as individuals with families and background stories instead of just 'homeless people' with very little personalization.   I am grateful for reminders like these to step beyond my scope in my thoughts & ponder what I can do for another.  

I don't know how much sense this all made, but I've been feeling a need to write about some of these thoughts.  My dad just finished my Grandma Harris' life story; I have read part of it through tears and cannot wait to read its entirety.  It makes me glad that I blog & that I share these thoughts, because even though my 500 word rambling could very well be too much for some, it might mean a lot to my posterity one day.  

As a follow-up note, I want to tell you that after many months of anticipation for treatment (long insurance delays) for Taya's arthritis, we are happy to say that she received steroid shots in both knees (was put under anesthesia) a little over a week ago; she seems to be doing much, much better from it - virtually no limping, we can straighten her left leg a little better, and she is just running around and hyper like a 2 year old should be (and I thought she was pretty active before!)  It is so fun to watch her enjoy herself physically & helps me to have perspective instead of dread her high level of energy that I can't quite match.  The shots are supposed to take effect for 6-12 months.  If her symptoms come back after 2-3 months, it would be considered fairly ineffective.  So we will wait and see & enjoy her health NOW.  On another note, if you think of any networking connections related to Paul's or my abilities (Paul - architecture, 3D renderings, logo designs, woodworking; Me - custom closet/cabinetry designs/bids, interior design assistance, psychology major/music minor) let us know!  I feel funny putting that out there sometimes, but obviously this blog isn't about holding back when I feel funny so I figure I should mention that since it's been a while - but we could still use your help!

If you made it to the bottom of this, you're one loyal friend or big procrastinator or have a lot of free time on your hands!  ; )  And now you're dying for something light to brake up all this seriousness - you'll have to find a funny blog now:)

Monday, August 10, 2009

Fish Splash, she was taking a bath! (too cheesy? and btw, she wasn't taking a bath)

You can finally exhale now (you can thank me - your face was turning blue) because as promised, here are the photos of Taya's fishy birthday party splash!  It was fun to create, so fun to see friends that generously drove the distance to join us (thank you again!!), fun to see Taya have a ball, and most of all, fun (yes fun) to hear her say "I yiiiiike fishies" over and over again for days as she looked up at the fish decorations and enjoyed her new present (a Beta fish - am I daring or what?!). 
(I am  anxious to get back into blogging more;  once I have more computer availability again - scout's honor , I will blog more!)

Isn't this a pretty sea photo?  We found it online and threw in a little text.

The floor was filled with blue balloons below these fish and we even used Taya's napping noise machine for ocean waves as background noise, which was soon drowned out by happy laughter.

A few other main fishy details at the party were fish shaped ice cubes, goldfish crackers, Finding Nemo playing in the background, and the classic fishing for treats/party favors game for the kids.

These pictures make me smile.

This cake was actually pretty fun to make; I think I'd try a fun cake  again!  And look at those cute fish sugar cookies Bianca so kindly made for me - they were adorable and so good!  Thanks again Bianca!

Can you hear her?  ... "I yiiiiike fishies" (yiiiiike = like)

Mr. fishy is enjoying his Ikea rocks as surroundings pretty well I think!
And that's it!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Taya Two Taya Bo Baya ... Taya!

Taya turned 2 this week!!  Here is a recent pic for now; having a fun party today ... more to come later.
We love Taya so much; I've especially had that feeling lately where sometimes I think I'm going to burst I love her so much.
Happy Birthday Taya!!