Sunday, August 21, 2016

If these were Olympic sports I would have so many gold medals

The Olympics may be over, but that doesn't mean I have to stop writing posts related to them. I know I'm not the only one who watches the Olympics and thinks about all the gold medals I would win if certain things were Olympic sports, RIGHT? So, because of that I present to you my list of gold medals I would win if certain things were Olympic sports.
// Eating popcorn. Did you know popcorn is actually healthy for you? Not the way I make it, because I like to get the movie theater butter kind and then put some extra butter and salt on it ... but apparently plain popcorn isn't very bad for you. But I mean, if you're going to eat plain popcorn you may as well just eat a cardboard box. Anyway, I could probably set an Olympic record for "most popcorn eaten in an entire sitting." In case you're wondering, PopSecret makes the best popcorn.
// Holding babies. I can hold a baby for HOURS. DAYS. WEEKS. I mean, probably.
Kynlee, Maggie, Maggie
// Showering quickly. I do not understand people who like to take long showers and use that time to "think." I like to get in and get out, which is a good thing because my state is currently experiencing a 5 year long drought.

// Talking about working out without actually working out. Did you know if you just talk about running 5 miles you burn as many calories as you did if you actually ran 5 miles? Wait, that's not true. Oh. Crap. #mywholelifeisalie

// Reading peoples' TMI posts. Nothing excites me more than a good dose of TMI (unless it's a giant bowl of overly-buttered popcorn). I can't stand vague-posting but when people want to rant and rage about all of their problems on the internet? I LOVE IT. TELL ME MORE.

// Making Honey-Do lists. It is so much easier to make a list of all the things I need my husband to do than to make a list of things I need to do. It's really fun, too. For both of us, probably.

// Filtering the crap out of pictures. Don't get me wrong, I'm not on the level of Michael Phelps, but I love adding a good 30 filters on my pictures. I've toned it down a lot since 2013 when I first discovered editing apps and made my eyes look like they were about to pop out of my head, though. You're welcome.

// Taking pictures of my cat. This is pretty much what I do with 90% of my life. In fact, the biggest reason why we don't have kids is because I don't have enough memory on my phone.
Now it's your turn: in what "sports" would YOU win an Olympic gold medal?

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

When does home stop being your home?

When does "home" stop being your home? 

When I was 18 I moved out of my parents' house to go to college, and no matter where I've lived since then, their house is always home. The house looks totally different than it did when I was a kid, but it still smells the same and I still feel a peace and a comfort come over me whenever I can see my first glimpse of the foggy beach town during my visits. I have a lifetime of memories there. I have memories on nearly every street of that town. I feel like I could drive down the streets in my sleep and get to where I need to be with no problems. Almost every corner of that town is significant. It's where I grew up. It's where I became me. And I don't know if it will ever stop being "home."

I've lived on the mountain for nearly two years, and while it's become more familiar than it used to, it doesn't feel like home. I have a husband, a job, pets, and a whole life here, but whenever I talk about going back to Los Osos I say I'm going "home," and I don't even realize I've said it until I've said it. Lately I've been trying to make an effort to simply call it "my parents' house," or "where I grew up," but in my heart, it's home.

How many memories does it take to make a place a home?

Is it a change that just happens without you realizing it, or can you make a conscious effort to change what "home" is?

Is "home" even a place? Or is it just a feeling? A feeling that is familiar and has equal parts good memories and bad memories? Is "home" a feeling you get when you go back to a certain place, or is it a feeling you get when you're with all the people who make you feel that you're home?

When will home start to smell like the mountain air instead of the beach breeze? When will it start to look like the lake instead of the bay? When will it start to feel like 5,000 feet of elevation instead of sea level? How many memories will it take until I pull into my driveway and finally feel like I'm really home?


Tuesday, August 9, 2016

11 times I got too emotionally attached to fictional characters

I cry a lot, just in general. It's super fun for everybody involved and it doesn't make me seem crazy at all. Pretty much anything on tv will make me cry; from commercials (any Budweiser commercial) to sports (gymnastics) to the news to a documentary about how sea otters hold hands when they sleep so they don't float away from each other. Side note: that otter fact is not true, at least not according to a guide I met while on a kayak tour in Monterey Bay, California one time.

BUT ANYWAY. This post is dedicated to the 11 times I cried the most during a tv show/movie. Sometimes when I'm feeling particularly emotional and a good cry seems fun, I'll watch some of these. It's not weird at all.

Spoilers for The Office, Grey's, Parenthood, Army Wives, Inside Out, Breaking Bad, Parenthood, The Time Traveler's Wife, About Time, and Sweet November.

The Office: Jim and Pam's Wedding


But strictly the Niagra Falls boat part. I cry every single time I watch them run away from the church and laugh their way onto the boat and then all of a sudden you realize they're there to get married and they just want to be together and omg brb need to go grab all the tissues.

The Office: Michael Showing Up At Dwight's Wedding To Be the Bestest Mench


One simple inappropriate line can reduce me to a puddle of tears and laughter. It's great because it's so unexpected and takes you all the way back to the very first episode of the show. Plus, Michael sort of became a silver fox.

Inside Out: When Bing Bong Gets Forgotten Forever


I think everybody but me saw this coming. I really thought Bing Bong was going to be saved but then he didn't and he disappeared forever and then I felt so awful for all of my childhood toys and imaginary friends that I've probably forgotten and then at the end THEY GO TO THE MOON.

Army Wives: Jeremy's Death


Let's be honest: every episode of Army Wives is a tear jerker. I never even liked Jeremy all that much but his death was just so sudden and it tore his parents up. Plus, we went an entire episode not knowing which character died so it was just an hour of emotional distress and when you saw them hand Denise and Frank the flag and you realized Jeremy had died it was just like, sob city.

Breaking Bad: Hank's Death


"My name is ASAC Hank Schraeder, and you can go **** yourself." You could just tell that Walter White really thought he'd be able to keep Hank alive and when he had to watch his brother-in-law get shot right in front of his eyes it just tore me up. I watched this at my parents' house and my dad walked into the living room right after the shot and I was just blubbering, "Not Hank! NOT HANK!"

Grey's Anatomy: When McDreamy Died In The Worst Way


If we're being honest we know that there could be a list of 500 times when Grey's tore your heart out, ripped it to shreds, and set it on fire, but Derek getting hit by a semi just made no sense. I had no idea this was coming and then I just felt all the stages of grief at how The Devil Shonda Rhimes decided to kill him. I mean, what moron just sits IN THE MIDDLE OF THE FREAKING ROAD to look at his cell phone? And then he would have been saved if he had been taken to a hospital with competent doctors, and then Meredith threw himself on him in despair... I think I cried for 3 hours straight.

Grey's Anatomy: McSteamy Surging And Having The Plug Pulled


After Lexi died Mark really had no reason to go on living. Except, I mean, his daughter. But he and Lexi were soulmates and a world without her just wasn't a world he wanted to live in, so it just seemed like he totally gave up. And then at the end of the episode when they had a shot of him in a home movie just staring and laughing at the camera... Mark you had so much steamy life left to live and you had grown so much as a person YOU WERE GONE TOO SOON.

Parenthood: Every Episode But Mostly When Camille Found Zeek Dead In The Living Room


Parenhood might just by my very favorite show of all time. It was SO well done and just reminded me so much of real life, and when Zeek died I just kept thinking that life is so short and everybody dies and then I thought of my parents and just got really sad thinking about loss in general. Damn you, Parenthood.

About Time: The Last Memory Of Tim And His Dad


About Time is such a good movie and I think I've watched it about 17 times and sobbed every single time. When Tim's first child was about to be born and he realized he could only go back to be with his dad one more time and then they go running and playing on their family's beach one last time... nope, I can't handle it. I CANNOT HAND IT.

The Time Traveler's Wife: When Claire Sees Henry After He Dies


I saw this movie when it first came out in theaters with some friends and some people I didn't really know, and I literally cried off all of my makeup when Claire ran down to the meadow where she first met Henry and she had like, 2.6 seconds with him before he disappeared again, and then she was just left with her child and her dead husband's clothes and it was beautiful and heart wrenching and I'm not kidding when I tell you that nobody liked that movie nearly as much as I did.

Sweet November: When Sara Blindfolds Nelson And Then Just LEAVES

















DAMMIT SARA, NELSON JUST WANTED TO TAKE CARE OF YOU! I can't stand Keanu Reeves but I've watched this movie on November 1st since 2010 and I cry every time. I cry when Nelson gives Sara 12 gifts for the 12 days of Christmas (I would love to be given a dishwasher bc washing dishes is AWFUL) and then I cry when she blindfolds him and leaves and he takes off the blindfold and is just so shocked and sad that she's actually GONE.

So now that we've gotten all of this out of the way I'll just be in a corner shaking and sobbing from reliving these horrors again thank you and GOODBYE.


Sunday, August 7, 2016

Things I Don't Understand About the Olympics

// Why the female gymnasts have to cover their entire arms but leave half their bootys and entire legs bare, but the male gymnasts have bare shoulders and arms but have everything else covered all the way down to their toes.


//Also why this year all of a sudden it's ok for the male gymnasts to wear flowy shorts that make viewers really nervous every single time they do a handstand.

//How come in swimming you're not allowed to have a SINGLE BODY hair but it's totally ok to wear earrings?

//How synchronized diving is scored. I saw a team execute what looked like a horrible dive because they weren't in sync at all, but the announcers said it was executed "nearly perfectly!" And then another team was perfectly in sync but one of the divers didn't enter the water totally vertically and that was probably going to be "a devastating blow" to them.


//How exactly do you go about being a world famous trampolinist?

//When you're done with the Olympics do you have any future careers that don't have to do with being an announcer for future Olympics? (Looking at you, Tara Lipinski and Nastia Lukin.)

//How come some of the swimmers wear swimsuits practically down to their knees but some of them only wear the bikini kind?

//How are the female beach volleyball competitors comfortable competing in underwear? Aren't the worried about something slipping? Or like, sand getting places where you NEVER want sand?

//Does anybody actually watch all 6 hours of the cycling race?

//Why do the table tennis players stare so intently at the ball before the serve?

//Do the winter Olympic athletes and the summer Olympic athletes ever hang out?

That's all, if you need me I'll be feeling patriotic and un-athletic by sitting on my sofa drinking wine and wearing red, white, and blue.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Our Hot Air Balloon Ride Over Cappadocia, Turkey

Today I want to share with you my very favorite part of our honeymoon: our hot air balloon ride over Cappadocia/Goreme, Turkey! When Keith and I were planning out honeymoon I was terrified of the plane rides, but not the hot air balloon ride. It just never crossed my mind to be afraid of it! (After reading/seeing the news the past few weeks, I probably should have been a little nervous!) I didn't really know what to expect for the balloon ride; I just knew it was going to be pretty cool.

Some misconceptions I had about our ride:

-It would be cold
-We would be the only people in the basket
-The basket would be very unstable

I created a video to show you the highlights from our ride:


We woke up at about 4am, and a balloon shuttle picked us up at about 4:30am. We were on a shuttle with a whole bunch of people and we got dropped off at the Voyager Balloons headquarters in downtown Goreme. When we arrived we were greeted with coffee, juice, and breakfast pastries. It was early and I was too sleep deprived to take any pictures. We paid for our reserved ride (it cost about $150/each) and around 5:15am we were taken by shuttle to the takeoff location.

When we arrived we could see several balloons being filled with hot air! I don't know what I expected hot air balloons being filled to look like, but it wasn't this!


 

Once the balloons had been inflated to the point where they were ready for liftoff, the passengers climbed into the bakets (which were much larger and sturdier than anticipated) and balloon handlers held the baskets down until we were all ready for liftoff. Before the balloon could fly, all 16 passengers had to be squatting down do the weight of the passengers was at the bottom of the basket. It wasn't long before we were allowed to stand and start taking pictures.



I was really surprised at how safe I felt in the basket. I wasn't nervous about climbing almost 3,000 feet up into the air, and I wasn't worried about the balloons popping. It felt safer than flying in an airplane!



Most balloon rides take off before sunset so you're treated to the view of the sun rising over Turkey. I can't even explain how amazing it was and the pictures surely don't do it justice.



We were lucky in the fact that our balloon pilot was the co-founder of our company: Voyager Ballones. His name is Mehmet Halis Aydogan, and he was incredible! He had witty commentary, he offered to take a lot of pictures of us in the air, and he was so knowledgeable about everything and anything pertaining to hot air ballooning!



Mehmet told us that Cappadocia is the #1 desination in the world for hot air ballooning, and it's easy to see why! The views were amazing and my jaw was dropped pretty much the entire ride. He told us that over 100 ballons with 16+ people in each basket fly every single morning. That's waaaaay more than anywhere else in the world.




There were some times when the balloons went close to each other and Mehmet said when the balloons touched they called it "kissing." He kissed lots of balloons.



So naturally we had to kiss too.



Our ride lasted over an hour! I had been worried it would be cold so high up in the air but as soon as we arrived at the take off location Mehmet said, "Lots of people think hot air ballooning will be cold, but it's called 'hot' air ballooning for a reason!" and I felt kind of dumb for not realizing that. We were right next to a huge flame and a I sort of wished I hadn't work such a thick sweatshirt for the ride!

But, I was focused much more on the views than on the level of heat emanating from my body.





I had heard about bumpy landings, but ours was super smooth! I wasn't nervous at all. As soon as we landed our chase crew started decorating our 16 person basket and once we had all gotten safely out of the basket, we were treated to a champagne toast! You can see Mehmet uncorking the champagne bottle in the video I posted. Our flight/chase crew made sure to get a picture of everybody in front of our basket!


Everyone was given a hate (which I'm wearing) and a certificate. Our certificate had our names written on them in calligraphy! We had booked the flight before we were officially married so my certificate has my maiden name on it which kind of bums me out, but oh well!


I can't say enough about our balloon ride. It was the most amazing, incredible thing I've ever experienced it and I tell everybody I meet that they simply must do it! I would even go so far as to say you should go to Cappadocia solely for the balloon ride. Keith and I both say it was our favorite part of our honeymoon. DO IT. DO IT NOW.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Lately: family, vacations, politics, etc

Here's what we've been up to the past few weeks. It seems like life continues to just get busier and busier, right? I've heard that lessens once you have kids.

First things first: click here. And also here.

-My dad turned 70 on July 8th. Normally my family gets together to celebrate everything, but we weren't able to do that for my dad's birthday. My siblings and I felt bad about that so my oldest sister (Baby Kate and Baby Kynlee's mom) planned a surprise day trip for my dad. We sent him on a train trip to Santa Barbara with my mom, and then we all surprised him and had lunch, walked to the pier, rode surreys, and ate cake and awkwardly sang "Happy Birthday" on the side of the beach. I channeled my inner Steven Spielberg and made a video out of our trip, which I've embedded here. By far the sweetest moment of the day was when Baby Kate saw her Grandpa for the first time. She had been so excited to surprise him and practiced yelling out "Surprise!" and "Happy Birthday, Grandpa!"  but when she saw him she was overcome with emotion and it looked like she was going to start crying.





-A few weeks ago Keith and I went to the Midwest with his parents to visit his mom's parents. They live in Iowa and we spent time there, in Kansas City, and in Omaha. Aside from the fact that I got the world's worst sunburn, we had an amazing time! I'm so thankful that I love all of my in laws and that they've all welcomed me into the family so warmly and so quickly.

Grandma and Grandad's house. No this isn't a movie IT'S REAL LIFE.
While we were out there we saw baseball games, ate BBQ, saw thunderstorms, played cards, ate lots of delicious home cooked meals, and came home with tired bodies, full bellies, and warmed hearts. Keith's grandparents own lots of farmland (soybeans and corn) and are related to like, half of Iowa. I knew the Midwest was beautiful but it has been many years since I've been out there and I think it was approximately every 12 seconds that I'd exclaim, "Look at how pretty {the clouds, the fields, the animals, the sun, etc] is! We saw lots of wild animals: a turtle, a badger, deer, fireflies, a weasel, and like a billion different species of bird. I also went golfing for the first time and there are videos of that which will never see the light of day.




On this hole I basically made it onto the green on my first try. I think if you're being technical I made it onto the rough, but you know what? I don't care. Also if you look closely you can see my sunburn. And please ignore my hideous shirt. I bought it at Wal Mart at midnight right before our trip because I thought I needed a collard shirt for golf. #idiot

We have way too much fun with Snapchat's face swap (my name is notthatjuliet)
-I've been trying to pay way more attention to the news surrounding the impending presidential election, and to be honest, I'm kind of embarrassed for our country. I'm also curious: what criteria do you use when deciding whose name you're going to mark on your ballot? I don't like to discuss politics much but I find myself extremely curious about the reasons people have for choosing their candidate. I've heard excellent reasons and I've heard really stupid reasons, and I'm curious about yours.

-Lately Keith has been cracking me up slash flabbergasting me. He'll say really funny things sometimes (like, every time we watch The Bachelorette) and then he'll do something that makes me like... question everything (like when I found his clothes in the freezer for whatever reason). I'm trying to document everything so I can do an entire post about how funny men are. Because the world needs to know how little he cares about whether or not there's clutter everywhere but how seriously he feels about folding/hanging his clothes up right after they're finished in the dryer.

-I can't get enough of Netflix, lately. I was binge watching Pretty Little Liars and finally got to season 6 but then I started watching Orange is the New Black from season 1 and also bits and pieces of The Office (for the billionth time) and I can't gush enough about how awesome Netflix is. I don't even care that they raised their price. $10/month is pennies compared to the entertainment I get to have on a daily basis.

-Also maybe I should find better things to fill my time.

And that's it for now. Thank you for your time, good day.