Saturday, June 7, 2014

Thirty, (Not So) Flirty, and Thriving

In a few weeks, I will be thirty.  Dun dun duuunnnn.  The big 3-0.

Whenever I think of 30, I think of the movie 13 Going on 30, where young Jennifer Gardner wishes to be "thirty, flirty, and thriving" like the women in her magazines.  I don't know about you, but when I was 13 years old, I hardly thought of some day being 30.  When I was 13 years old, the thing that most preoccupied me was the fact that in the year 2000 (Y2K y'all!) I was going to be 16 years old: old enough to drive and old enough to see, experience, and remember the momentous turn of the century (it wasn't really that eventful).

For whatever reason, as a kid I wasn't really one to look too far into the future and anticipate what it held.  That's actually been decently true in my adulthood as well.  In college, I didn't start applying to jobs until a few weeks before graduation.  After a breakup post-college, I abandoned all plans for when I'd get married, have babies, etc. and figured it would all work out in God's timing (and it has).  And even though I've got goals in mind for my career, I haven't quite made plans for "in 2 years I will be this level, and in 5 I will be this level, and here are the things I will do to accomplish those goals."  Which tells me that for someone who has prides herself on looking ahead and being a planner, I'm actually probably not as good at it as I think I am.

But I digress.  [Every time I do digress, I hear the Agape council yelling "DIGRESSION" at me.  But that is another digression for another time...]

What I was saying is this: this year I will be thirty, flirty (if only with T), and thriving.  I thought I would dread 30 more when it came around, but I'm honestly kind of looking forward to it.  A few years ago when I got married I ask my mom if it she felt weird knowing that she was old enough to have a daughter getting married.  She responded with an incredulous look and said something along the lines of "No, there is a part of me that still worries that you're not going to get into the right preschool or make friends or graduate from high school/college."  She clearly did not feel her age and in this moment, I don't feel mine.

Don't get me wrong - I see clear distinctions between me and the early 20-something I hang out with and I know that I am no longer as young as I once was (most obvious sign: I keep a regular sleep schedule).  But I always though I'd feel more adult when I you know, became an adult.  I thought by the time I was 30 I'd have it (it being all of life) figured out, the way all the adults I've ever known have seemed to.  Maybe this is their secret - that they've never felt the "old"ness that others have presumed upon them and they're just trying to do their best to make the most of what they've got and where they are, the way I am now.  Interesting...

That's all to say that I'm looking forward to this whole 30-thing.  Looking forward to being another year older, enjoying another full year of life lives in big moments and small ones, and making the most of the time that's being given to me.

Here's to being thirty and thriving!

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Bizarro World

Someone asked me today how I was and the only response I could come up with was "I'm great, but I'm living in bizarro world."  That, of course, received a quizzical look because it's probably one of the stranger responses to a question normally answered with "I'm good, how are you?".  It is nonetheless true, that I have had a strange week.

First, I am going to be 30 in a few weeks.  30.  That seems so... 30.  I cannot comprehend what that means, not because I'm freaking out about turning 30, but because I don't feel old enough to be that old.  Does that make sense?

Second, apparently Metta World Peace stopped by the office this week.  Random, right?  I did not get to meet him, but I've seen plenty of photos floating around Facebook of those who did.  The person who he came to visit thought it might be an elaborate hoax, but turned out to be real-life.  Strange, right?  Not every day a NBA star shows up at your office (in Palo Alto, where we do nothing related to sports or sports games).

Third, I spoke with the actor who played Zack Addy (Eric Millegan) on the phone yesterday.  Turns out, we have a mutual friend who was so amused at my befuddlement at the idea that they knew each other that he called him, and we chatted.  It was surreal, but apparently very much real life.  Huh.  It's been a while since I've seen the early seasons of Bones, but he was one of my favorites and there has never been a Squintern after I enjoyed as much.

And that concludes the events of bizarro world week.  Okay, so maybe not so bizarre, but still not quite par for the course when it comes to my little life.  They say life is stranger than fiction.  I guess that week has proved that true.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Orange and Black, Got the City on my Hat

I've been a Giants fan for as long as I can remember.  I can even (vaguely) recall Candlestick days, braving the cold and wind with my dad and brother, wrapped in blankets and joyfully eating and spitting seeds.  Baseball was the only sport my dad really followed and enjoyed so it was the only sport we watched (on tv or in person) on a regular basis.  I liked going to games, I rooted for the hometown team, but I probably could not have named the players on the team or told you how they were doing that season.  I was a kid.

High school is where I found my full-fledged love for the San Francisco Giants.  They moved from not-the-safest-or-easiest-part-of-town-Candlestick to the new-on-the-water-easier-to-get-to PacBell Park when I was in high school.  Since my friends and I could easily hop on the N-Judah to get there, we would.  I went to more games my junior and senior year of high school than I probably have since then.  It was what we did.  At that point in my life I could have named all of the players for you - Rich Auriela, JT Snow, Barry Bonds, Woody, Jason Schmidt.  These were my boys in orange and black that I rooted for, game-to-game, victory and loss.  I listened to games while I did my homework, went to games with my friends on the weekends, and organized group outings with friends and family.  I watched Barry chase the single season home run record and then the all-time home run record.  I had enough Giants gear to wear a different shirt every day of the week.  When I moved to LA for college I subscribed to MLB radio and religiously followed the end of the 2002 season.  I jumped up and down and screamed in my room when the Giants won the pennant and I proudly wore my Giants gear on campus and around LA, even in the midst of ridicule and taunting from bandwagon-Angel's fans.  Every year I was in LA I went to the Giants-Dodgers game proudly wearing my Giants jersey.  The people at my church in LA (Dodger's fans) even called me "Giants fan" as a nickname.  I'm that kind of fan.  But being a Giants fan brings you high and then has it's (seemingly) inevitable lows.  It was heartbreaking to watch the Giants lose their 3-2 lead and go on to lose the 2002 World Series.  It was humiliating when the scandal broke about Barry juicing.  My love for them was never the same after that season.  It was there, but it had faded.  It was frustrating to see them come so close and then with a few foolish mistakes (pride, anyone?) lose it all.

So I've followed them here and there ever since.  The season after the World Series I flew up to SF for opening day and I continued to attend games during summer breaks and organize group outings.  But it was never the same.  I'll blame it on the distance or the hecticness of life, but as the team and leadership changed from season to season I just couldn't connect.  This past season in particular I was out of the loop of many aspects of life because of wedding planning.  But when wedding madness died down and there were no more registries to stalk and seating charts to be updated, I found myself reading articles about this new brand of San Francisco Giant.  I'd heard good things about Bochy over the past couple of years - how he chose to build an everyman team over a team built around a superstar or two - so when people started talking about how this team in particular was coming together as a "hit and run, make a play" and not a "swing for the fences and be a hero" kind of team, it struck a chord in me and sparked my interest.  So I asked my brother (a die-hard baseball fan) what was up.  I asked him why, after all these years of mire, muck, and disappointment, this team deserved my loyalty, interest, and cheers.  And he told me that for these boys it wasn't about chasing records and being big names, it was about playing the game: being scrappy, getting on base, and getting it done.  So I watched.  As the end of the season neared, I kept my mouth shut for a number of reasons.  One, I knew I hadn't followed this particular team well enough to know their names or their stats.  Two, I didn't want to be a bandwagoner.  Three, I didn't want to be disappointed again.  I mean, in true Giants fashion, they clinched the NL West on the last game of the season. 

By the post-season my interest had been more than piqued - it was burning like a wildfire.  I read articles, learned the players names and numbers, and followed the scores of every game.  In true Giants fashion, they were the underdog in every game they went in to.  People said if they made it past the Braves they would inevitably get crushed by the Phillies.  But that didn't happen.  When the Rangers beat NY people said that the NL team that had to come up against this team would inevitably lose it.  But the Giants defied them all and took it all.  Took it all with games left to play, which was probably the most shocking part of it all.  Nobody saw it coming.  If you had told me at the beginning of the 2010 season that the Giants would go on to be World Series Champs that season I probably would have laughed and said "yeah, right"... all the while, holding on to hope in my heart that it would be a "maybe someday" for them.  I'm glad that my lack of faith didn't hold them back and that their "maybe someday" and the "maybe somedays" of hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of Giants fans out there has been realized.

I'll admit it, I cried when the Giants won the World Series.  I was home alone and I screamed, jumped, yelled, danced, and then as they replayed the highlights, collapsed on the couch and cried a happy cry.  The San Francisco Giants are World Series Champions, by a team who showed through every play, sac bunt, and hustle that they deserved it more than the other guy, and that can't ever be taken from them.


Next up: treats baked while the Giants were on their road to World Series Victory.

Monday, November 15, 2010

The Prodigal Blogger

Blogging is one of those things I always mean to do.  I find myself musing about something random, inspired by something I see, or provoked by the thoughts of others and I think to myself "that would make a great blog post."  The problem is I rarely get around to committing the thoughts in my head to paper, much less internet.  It's probably because I know that writing is not a short or easy process.  It involves sitting down and really thinking through my thoughts so that they make actual sense, condensing them so that they're readable and not as rambly as I am when I talk, and then proofreading to make sure that all my subjects and verbs agree.  I start out thinking it will be a 15 minute process and it ends up taking an hour and I wonder what else I could have used that hour doing since there are always other things to be done.

Why do I feel this urge to blog, you ask?  Not really for readership (since I don't widely advertise my blog or often share it with others) and not really because I feel like I have amazing things to add to the greater world wide web conversation.  Mostly for my own posterity.  I am more likely to type up my thoughts online than sit down with my journal and write them out.  I am also more likely to pull up my own blog and read the things I've written and remember thoughts, feelings, desires, and expectations from those moments in time than I am otherwise.  The blog world really is no different from my real journal world (save a little censoring of truly personal details) because I write in my journal like it's going to some day be read.  I realized early on that if I wrote down every thought I ever had, I could only guard them for so long because some day I'd inevitably die and who knows what would happen to them then.  So I write in my journal like it's going to be read and published some day.  Of course there are things in there that I wish I hadn't said, written, or thought... but such is life.  It's not like the boy I liked at that time was so secret or my frustration with my situation so hidden anyway.

So.  That's all to say that my goal is to blog once a week.  As this blog is one named after my love for cake and has featured very little cake, maybe I'll get back on that subject.  Or maybe I should have named my blog "Christine Hearts Cake and Likes to Ramble" and that would have been a more accurate description.  In any case, I have been doing a whole lot of baking, even with my more than strenuous commute, and so there are a couple of blog ideas and a whole lot of pictures waiting in the wings.  I'm excited for my first set of holidays in my own kitchen.  I'm going to go holiday cookie crazy... I've already invited some friends over for a nice little cookie party.  Maybe there will eventually be a post on that :) 

In the mean time, hang tight.  I'll be riiiight back.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

A House is Not a Home

A couple of months ago we took the plunge.  Months before we actually bound together our lives (in the best possible way) in holy matrimony, we bound our lives financially by purchasing a house together. 

It's funny, how a house becomes a home.  When we first set foot in this house, we took mental notes as we walked around.  Wood floors, check.  Scratches on the wall, needs work.  Cabinetry looks pretty new, nice.  Our perspective was objective.  We were merely checking items off our mental lists as we tried to figure out if this house would suit our new life together.  It will be the first time either of us owns property or truly lives by themselves (and still then, not really since we'll be living together as husband and wife), so I think we're an odd combination of minimalistic and optimistic.  We would have been content with something simple and at the same time had grand visions of grandeur.  I hoped for a large kitchen where I could simultaneously mix, chop, and prep without having to constantly rearrange for more space.  I desired a walk-in closet because luxury of having one is one I've become accustomed to.  But I also desired a house where space would be used and lived in, not observed and kept pristine.  The home I grew up in had always been just that - a home - and I was eager to nest and create my own.

Not long after we took our initial walk through, we went ahead and purchased our house.  As months went by, we finally sealed the deal.  This house, full of potential and hope for the future, was ours.  Is ours.  We've spent the past couple of months transforming the empty house into our home.  We've painted, installed rolling cabinets, cleaned, moved in our stuff, and have slowly but surely claimed this little house as our own.  As we've poured our time, sweat, and energy into this house we've come to love it in a way we would not have had everything been done for us.  I see the places where the teal paint bled on to the white cabinets, and while it's a point of frustration for my perfectionist self, I know that I did that and I will eventually fix it.  I see the floor, once covered in dust and construction grime (we are having some work done professionally), shiny and new looking and I realize that I did that.  I watch our furniture arrive and I think to myself "wow, that is the sofa I'm going to throw myself on at the end of the day, and the dining room table we'll use when we host Thanksgivings and Christmases."  Everything is coming together and our house is becoming a home.  Our home.  The home of a Mr. & Mrs. so filled with joy and hope and anticipation of the rest of their lives together.

It is my house of dreams.  Not because it has amenities up the wazoo, but because it's where the seeds of the hopes for the future are planting themselves.  This will be the place where T and I start our marriage, where we raise our children (someday, hopefully), and where we will fight and make up, rest after work, and entertain friends and family.  I could not be more excited.  :D  Oh yes, and I'm getting married in 6 days.  That's certainly exciting too :)

Friday, April 23, 2010

The Calm Before the Storm

I get the feeling that's what T and I are experiencing right now.  The finishing touch on what I called the "planning" phase of wedding planning happened last week when I sent our florist her deposit check.  [Aside: I consider wedding planning in two stages - planning and preparation.  Planning entails research and making decisions and making deposits but everything still exists in theory.  Preparation is where the rubber meets the road and things start getting done for the wedding day, decisions for the day are made, people are asked to help, and the floating details are solidified.]  That was the last thing to be crossed off our list (well, the rehearsal dinner is still TBD, but that's because we're waiting to see if we can host it ourselves) and it was the only thing that we didn't research forever before we made a decision.  To be honest, the entire past month has been quiet and wedding-planning-free. 

It's been a nice little lull, although it has built up in me a desire to get this show on the road.  Kind of like "helloooo everything's planned and ready to go SO WHY ARE WE NOT GOING?!" except I realize that part of why everything is not going yet is because we planned and hoped for this quiet time in between when planning was happening and preparing started.  As much as I've got ants in my pants and am ready to start preparations, I realize that if I had gone straight from planning to prep I would be a nervous, emotional, and burnt out wreck.  Thus, I am thankful for this time, even if I am anxious for it to be over.  Nobody needs a bridezilla on their hands, least of all my wonderful and patient fiance.  As it is, the anticipation is good for me because it means that because I've been looking forward to the commencement of preparations, I'll probably enjoy them more.  Because while the planning is what it is at this point, there is still much to be done...

And the doing will start this weekend.  We're hoping to start and finish a project this weekend with "hope" being the operative word.  We have time before this project absolutely positively MUST be done, but it would be nice not to have to worry about it too much after this weekend.

I can't believe we're only four months away from our wedding day!  In the busyness of the lull (because let's face it, when one aspect of life quiets down some other busy finds it's way in) we missed our 18 monthiversary and I can hardly believe that we've been together that long already.  Five months of our engagement have flown by and I'm sure the next four will as well... so as much as I'm hoping the four months aren't as long in practice as they seem in theory, I'm also trying to make the most of every moment and savor this engagement period.  This will only happen once in my life... all of this... engagement, wedding, and newlywed-bliss... so I better make the most of it while I can!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Home Improvement

Believe it or not, the wedding planning is almost complete.  There are most certainly details that still need to be taken care of and arrangements to be made, but all of the things that I can do until the invitations go out and the wedding gets closer are pretty much taken care of.  My husband-to-be deserves two points for putting up with me through endless emails regarding photographers, videographers, florists, bakeries, and everything else wedding.  He is quite the trooper and most of my friends are impressed with his level of involvement in all things wedding.  But that's kind of how T is.  Wonderful.  Even though he is a high-level, big picture kinda guy he loves the details because he loves me.  Amazing.

Poor guy probably thought he was done with the incessant "what do you think about this?" and "do you like this one better, or this one?" emails when we checked the last vendor off our of list of wedding to-dos.  Little did he know that home planning would come with an even greater volume of ideas and sources of inspiration.

Right now I'm dreaming of my own little house of dreams (that's what I'm going to call it, one point for you if you know the reference)...

the idea of colored backsplashes in the kitchen...
(image from ApartmentTherapy)

and bamboo dry erase boards for the kitchen...

and lovely bookshelves with shelves that pop...
(image from Design*Sponge)

I'm finding everything I see incredibly inspiring and the lack of movement is mildly frustrating.  But when it comes time to let it all flow, believe me I will be a full sponge ready to release the ideas I've been storing in my mind...