Monday, October 3, 2011

If Things Weren’t Quiet Enough Around Here

It dawned on me that it's best to give everything you do in life an honest, wholehearted try; not to do things half-ass. One of my favorite self quotes is when I was explaining to a friend a recent breakup. I told her, "The relationship was dead. I just had to walk away from the carcass." Although my Jelly Logging hasn't flat lined to the point where it's dead, it certainly isn't receiving the tender loving care it needs, and it's time for me to do some thinking and decide what exactly I'm trying to accomplish with my little ol' blog.

I will certainly continue to write and be a freako (I know no other way), but I won't be publishing here for the next short while. I wanted to say this as a courtesy to those that actually read my crazy ramblings (I love you guys), so you're not wondering why I suck so much and have left you hanging. I'll be back, and hopefully things will be more consistent and substantial when I return.

XOXO Jelly

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The Motherload of All Wedding Posts

Several months ago I got married.

The end.

If only it was that simple. No, when I was asked that wonderful question "Will you marry me?" and surveyed the potentially treacherous, financially draining, but unique satisfying land known as planning a wedding, I decided I could take matters into my own hands, and make it the most spectacular, affordable affair, the likes of which had never been seen before! Oh how naïve I was, fueled by the daily churn of fabulous wedding photos pouring out from the countless wedding blogs to which I subscribed. But this story has a happy ending, because from my exhaustive do-it-yourself experience, I have gained an assortment of wedding planning knowledge which I will share with you today! Whether you like it or not!

First order of business (and one that can set you back several thousand dollars): a photographer. This probably isn't what comes to mind as the first thing one would need to decide upon when planning a wedding, but let me just say this:




And that thanks specifically goes to Nancy Neil, our wedding photographer. She was, is, and fovever shall be the most awesomist wedding photographer out there. I'll let the photos in this post speak for themselves, but keep in mind I'm only sharing an assortment of the photos she took, and only the ones which have to do with my profound wedding planning insight.

Next order of business: the location. This was a no brainer for us, because my husband's family has a very special, family property in Northern California which would provide a beautiful setting for an outdoor wedding. That is of course, if you think cattle ranches in May are beautiful.

There's lots of golden pasture.

And cattle.

Although I think we made it work.

Once we decided we were going to have the wedding at the ranch, I had to confront the reality that I was now planning a "destination" wedding (we are based in Los Angeles), in addition to the fact that the ranch is 30 minutes outside of the nearest town. Moral of the story: work with good vendors that know what they are doing (i.e. spend the money).

For the rentals (chairs, dance floor, market lights) we used Classic Party Rentals. A local sales representative drove out the ranch, walked the site with us, made suggestions, and took notes on our needs. They are a very large company, so their pricing is competitive and they have everything you could ever need to throw a dinner party (times 160).

The next vendor, our caterers, were also all stars. Parsley, Sage, Rosemary & Thyme (PSRT), based out of San Jose, helped us with all the table rentals, table set up, miscellaneous decorating, food (of course), buffet flow and bartending. Heather and her team showed up, set up, made sure everyone was fed, boozed, and aware of our timing (cake cutting, dessert), packed up our leftovers, and broke down all the tables and trucked off with them the same night. I'm doing a poor job describing how wonderful it was to have a caterer that also acted like an event manager, so that I didn't have to stress about it during the evening. Because let's face it. People want to eat and drink without delay when they attend a wedding, and PSRT made sure that happened. Wes and I even got to sit down and eat! We had to pay a premium since the whole staff traveled from San Jose, so it ended up costing around $100 per person, clearly our biggest expense, but I think it was well worth it.

And the paella was bomb-diggity.

Since Wes wanted pie as the main dessert, and I only wanted a small cake for ceremonial purposes, we went with a local baker to complete the order. We had a variety of fruit pies (strawberry, peach, apple) and a few chocolate mousse pies. I definitely didn’t hear any complaints.

After I had all the basics organized (location, photographer, food, rentals), I spent my time thinking about the DETAILS, and coming up with creative do-it-yourself projects which would add personal touches to the event.

The biggest detail I cared about was the flowers, and I really wanted to handle all the flower arrangements myself. I made several trips to the LA Flower Mart to take notes on flower varieties and pricing, and picked up several bunches to make sample arrangements. If you live near LA, the LA Flower Mart is amazing and I highly recommend a visit. I spent the time to figure out what exact flowers I would need to make our arrangements look spectacular, without breaking the bank.

If you're looking to do arrangements like ours, here's my advice:
-    Pick a focal flower, but use it sparingly. I really loved the elegant look of peonies and the standout presence of dahlias, but these are some of the most expensive flowers at $3-$5 a stem. To keep the costs down we only used 1-2 of these in our table arrangements. We splurged on my bridal bouquet and predominately used peonies and dahlias, but that was because I wanted my bouquet to be extra special (as it should be). I also considered using Pincushions because I loved their color, but they were a little too striking for the elegant, simple look we were going for.
-    Use roses (specifically the Vendela ivory colored varietal) to add elegant substance to your arrangements, but at a more affordable price. These are standard roses, available everywhere, and if you get lucky at the flower mart, you might be able to pick up 2 dozen for $8.00.
-    Fill out the rest of your arrangements with less expensive filler flowers. Stock is about $3-$4 a bunch (8 stems), Button Poms and most other daisies/poms are about $4-$5 a bunch, Green Mist is about $3 a bunch, and Dusty Miller (the fabulous grey/fuzzy white leaves we used as a base) is about $5 a bunch.
-    Finish off your arrangements with a unique flower that is in line with the "spirit" of your wedding. Since our event was outdoors on a ranch, and we wanted to incorporate that natural, rustic element, we chose to add Scabiosa Pods and Bunny Tails to every arrangement (a small bunch is about $5).

Now that you've read everything you NEVER wanted to know about flowers, I have to admit that all my research and planning went down the pooper. There was no possible way to buy flowers at the LA Flower Mart on Thursday, truck them up to Merced, and arrange them myself in time for our Saturday wedding (and trust me, I really wanted to make this happen. I even researched renting a refrigerated truck.)

Luckily, I found a fabulous floral designer in Merced and was able to pass along my specifics to her. Natalie at Natalie Galasso Designs did a wonderful job for a fair price, and the flowers turned out better than I could of imagined. Natalie even offered to rent me specific vases from her huge collection for the event, but in the spirit of a psycho bride-to-be, I purchased our own vases from Anthropologie (green, crackled pots for $12 apiece) and Blue Ball Mason Jars from Ebay. And if you want even more specifics, we spent approximately $1600 having 2 bouquets, 18 main table arrangements, and 20+ small miscellaneous arrangements made.

Is anybody still reading this? Damn, I've got a lot of crap to say about planning our wedding.

In an effort to save time and space, I'll only give brief descriptions for the following do-it-yourself projects we did to make our wedding special:
-    My sister and I constructed wedding programs fans, using the same font with which I designed our wedding invitations (Feel Script).

-    Our good friend Chris constructed "W" and "J" candle rafts and floating stars from a piece of housing insulation we bought from Lowes. Cylinder candle holders were purchased from Dollar Tree (for only a dollar each!)

-    Bark framed chalkboards constructed by yours truly. Bark is from, picture frames from Dollar Tree, 11x17 chalkboards purchased from chalkingitup on Etsy.

-    Empty shotgun shells filled with quick dry cement and used as placecards.

-    Burlap purchased from and cut into table runners.

-    Custom designed "I went to Jocelyn and Wes's wedding and all I got was this loozy koozie!" guest gift koozies ordered from

-    And lastly, the paper lantern chandelier.

Backstory: I had originally wanted to construct tumbleweed chandeliers for the event, because they would've been SO AWESOME, and my dutiful, loving husband even picked up some tumbleweeds on his way back from his bachelor party in Lake Mead. Unfortunately, my dutiful, loving husband did not believe said tumbleweeds should be stored in his sacred garage up until the wedding. They were weeds and should be kept outside. NOT in his sacred garage. Well wouldn't you know it, but our gardeners also thought said tumbleweeds were in fact weeds, and proceeded to destroy and trash them when they found them lying in the side yard. This is why you did NOT see any awesome tumbleweed chandeliers at our wedding. I am still recovering.

Instead, I came up with a new plan: let's construct a paper lantern chandelier! I bought the paper lanterns from Luna Bazaar and Wes handled the rest. There were lots of light sockets, and electrical tape, and rope, and possible electrocution, but I think it turned out marvelously.

To wrap this "Motherload of All Wedding Posts" up, I'll end by noting a few things I would change next time (aka never, because I'm never planning a wedding again; aka Wes you're stuck with me forever and ever, Amen.)

-    Hair and makeup: I did my own with the help of my best friend, and I think it turned out great. But I would make a point to schedule actual appointments next time, as a way to force myself to relax the morning of.
-    Table numbers/names: Wes wanted to include aviation in the table numbers/names (since flying is his "thing"), so we decided to gather up all the model airplanes we could find at home and at the ranch, and use the models as the table names (e.g. Citation II, Cessna 150, etc.) This worked fine, but the models themselves were inconsistent (different sizes), so it was a little confusing. I'm sure no one cared, but next time I'd try to be a little more organized about it.
-    Seating assignments: DO NOT WAIT TO DECIDE THIS THE DAY OF YOUR WEDDING. I don't know how I ended up writing 160+ names and table assignments the day of our wedding, but I did and I'm sorry for it.

And there we have it. Everything I have to say about my experience of planning a wedding. Hopefully you're not banging your head against your desk in boredom!

The End.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Flashback to All Things Wedding

I have a monstrous wedding post in the works, chock-full of details about our vendors, my insane do-it-yourself projects, and my advice for anyone whose future entails planning a wedding. But for now, I want to share my FAVORITE photo from the day:

I don't know why I love it so much. Maybe it's the love, hope and joy in our eyes after just saying our "I do's." Or maybe it's because Cocoa is looking at me so lovingly, not in his usual "Oh, you again. I was kinda hoping you wouldn't stick around FOREVER. Three's a crowd woman. Wes and I were cool when it was just the two of us."

Yes, Cocoa. I'm sticking around FOREVER. You can call me Mom.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Being Honest with Yourself

It's the weekend and I've had a revelation. It's called "Being Honest with Yourself."

Revolutionary, no?

I had this thought while I was sorting through old books, high school papers, award certificates, college acceptance letters, yearbooks, and unfortunately, my adolescent collection of Beanie Baby bears - you know, things that have no real value except the vague, often fabricated memories we assign them - and I picked up my copy of Tina Fey's Bossypants and read a selection. And I thought "Wow, Tina's writing is exceptional because she can take a situation and write so honestly about it", and it's that clear self assessment and acceptance that allows her to be hilarious. She admits that she has "triannual sobs" at work due to emotional fatigue, but asks if that's really so bad? Especially when she compares it to the time some gay m en spend finding a "doggie hotel" for that a two week vacation to Milan they've planned with their partner.

So I'm going to take this time to honestly admit some *mostly harmless*truths to myself. Please indulge me.

Jocelyn, you are not going to be "the best writer the world has ever seen" because get this: ALL YOU'VE WRITTEN SO FAR IS A SILLY LITTLE BLOG. And why do you even worry about it? There's no "best" because we're all so different. And all that fear of doing or saying something that might be taken the wrong way. You're even afraid to write the f word (see! I couldn't do it!). But guess what? Here's something you've actually said, out loud, to other people, who have remembered and reminded you about it, possibly making you the most obnoxious person on the planet:

"There'll be no dick in my butt unless there's blow in my cunt."

Dear God woman?!? What is wrong with you?! And why do you think that's funny?!?

Moving on.

Also, being honest with yourself: Why are you so insecure? Those skinny "banana legs" you had in elementary school, that fleshy, fan-like nose, and nonexistent butt, they've all transformed into an acceptable, moderately attractive (read: non-deformed) female person. It's about time your mental self got into shape as well. You are on this earth, extraordinarily blessed with family, friends and opportunities. You're only alone when you're floating around in that crazy mind of yours. Share yourself, whatever shade it might be (hopefully you can come up with witty things to say that don't evolve genitalia); see the acceptance and embrace the rejection. LIVE WOMAN, LIVE.

Don't you like how I've turned into my own psychologist? It's a bad habit I have. To prove it, I will leave you with some crazy shit I wrote in May of 2009:

"Recently I've been on a stimulation kick (no drugs involved thankfully; what type of girl do you think I am??). I feel a flooding desire to exercise or bake something or chew ice. Those aren't bad desires in themselves, but I feel like I have to do them right now and feverously. Then when I'm not on a stimulation kick, I feel like my brain is floating in my skull, a lifeless and worthless mass. Is this odd? I don't think I've experienced this odd type of self-assessment before. I feel discontent."

Eternally yours,


Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Summer of Shack

I wrote you a poem:

I just wanna be me, but I’m a little scared you see.
What if someone’s looking when I take a wee wee?
Will they call me names, or say I look so lame?
When did being me, become such a strain?

Clearly, it has absolutely nothing to do with the Sugar Shack, but I jotted it down this morning so I thought I’d share.

And in the land of all things Sugar and Shack, things have been a bustling! Summer’s been good to the Shack. Reeaaal good.

Here we have the family room, complete with computer desk cabinetry. You know, for all that important computering we do.

Here’s the living room, complete with bar cabinetry. You know, for all that important boozing we do.

Speaking of boozing, my husband, my mother and myself drank approximately $220 worth of red wine last night (3 bottles: Andrew Murray Terra Bella Vineyard Syrah 2007, Chateau Montelena Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2006, and L'Aventure Côte à Côte 2009). I didn’t even think that was possible, but I’m glad I lived to tell about it. Now excuse me for a moment while I do penance for my gluttony.

I’m back!

Whoops! How did that photo get in here? I wasn’t supposed to reveal how we dispose of all our dead bodies and use their blood for laundry room floor waterproofing! But don’t worry, once we get the nice tile in you won’t be able to see the red anymore.

Here’s the garage where my husband plans on electrocuting himself because he covered the top of the work bench with sheet metal. Men, I tell you. He thinks it’s more “industrial” or something like that.

And now we’re back in the important part of the house. The kitchen! If there’s anything I love more than boozing, it’s eating. Speaking of eating, last night I asked my daring husband if he had to choose between having sex or being able to eat wine and cheese for the rest his life (we were only on the first bottle of wine too), which one would he choose. Without hesitation he said sex (men, I tell you). When he asked me the same question, I said I’d really have to think about it. THAT’S how much I love my eating and drinking.

And to round up this riveting tour, we have the master bathroom, complete with vanity cabinetry. You know, because we’re so vain.

Come back next time to see if the pool’s graduated from being just another giant hole in the ground!

XOXO Jelly

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Running: A Series - Part 1

This is me before I went running yesterday:

Things you can tell by this picture:
1) I am generally optimistic before starting my run.
2) I am very, very in shape.
3) I also have a perfect hourglass figure.
4) Whatever body issues you have can be completely erased in Adobe Illustrator!

Things you can’t tell by this picture:
1) It was 100 degrees when I commenced my run yesterday.
2) My guts were still recovering from the 2 bottles of wine and 2 lbs. of cheese I ate around 11pm the night prior.
3) I have been battling an insidious case of ringworm (according to my dermatologist, it's actually eczema, not ringworm! Hooray!) on by chest and back for the last month, and I think my sport bras are playing a key role in my unsuccessful recovery. They provide such a warm, tight, sweaty place for plenty of bacteria to grow! (Note to self: Burn all current sports bras.)
4) There is a black hole where my abs are supposed to reside. Well… it’s not an actual black hole, but the lack of any stability and support coming from that region put it on par with one. I really think running would be easier if I had strong abs, but that’s not enough to actually make me do crunches.
5) I have a nice, golden, summertime tan, which is both an exciting and scary scenario for a white girl like me (ya! I look good! vs. ahhh! I might die of skin cancer!).

So now you know how things in the land of Jelly have been going lately. Later I'll share the conversation my body had with itself DURING the run (it wasn't pretty). And maybe I'll even show you my mental and physical state AFTER the run (it wasn't pretty).

Good news is, the run made me skip the emotional eating and drinking I had planned for myself that night (my dear, sweet, Lovies is out of town). Sometimes I can be a glutton for punishment, but last night, I couldn't take it to that level.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Baby Face

I’ve resorted to pimping out my sister and my nephew as content for this blog. But how could I possibly resist? He's got such a cute, squishy, baby face.

"I don't mind the Indiana humidity at all! I'll just work on my suntan."

"Oooo, and look! We're matching Mom!"


Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Happy New Identity Day!

Feel both the crisp air of new opportunity and the gentle mist of nostalgia envelop your body...

You are at a turning point in your life AND THERE'S NO GOING BACK. Isn't this exciting?!

It's official. Both federal and state agencies are heralding in the new me! It's time to shed my maiden identity and embrace my new one. And since this is such a momentous (if not incredibly confusing) occasion, it's time to celebrate!

In honor of New Identity Day, I will share a little story about how I became this "new" person…

It's an early evening in November. The setting sun reminds me how much I dislike daylight savings time. Tonight I am going on my first blind date; well, semi-blind date (at least Facebook's good for something). Although the guy I saw on Facebook seems like a handful; tall, blonde, oozing masculinity. Certainly not like anyone I've ever dated before. I try to stay away from guys whose egos are bigger than their IQs, and if I've learned anything from my brief stint on the frat party circuit in college, blonde dudes are the worst. But what the hell. My aunt thinks he's a fine gentleman, and really, what do I have to lose? I most certainly will be wearing flats though. No matter how tall I guy says he is, they always get shorter standing next to my 5'10" frame.

We're scheduled to have dinner at one of my favorite restaurants in Studio City, a tapas bar called Olé. I figure it's a good choice for a first date; they have drinks, small plates to share, plus it's dark in there. I try to put the hustle on my primping so I won't be late - first impressions are important after all - but it doesn't look like I'm going to make it. I'll be "fashionably" late as always.

Luckily, I find parking on the street in front of the restaurant, so my tardiness is minimal. As I walk to the entrance, last minute nervousness floods my thoughts: "Oh boy, here we go! If something awful happens or he turns out to be a complete weirdo at least I'll have a good story to tell! Let's try and enjoy this. Dates are supposed to be fun, aren't they?"

I open the door and spot my unmistakable date before the hostess can even greet me. "I'm meeting him" or something like that comes out of my mouth. He rises to reveal that yes, he is indeed tall, but no, he does not do laundry. Paint splatter decorates his jeans and boots, and I get the feeling he didn't pay some high-end designer to put it there. His shirt is pressed and he looks clean shaven, and I might have even let the thought "Ya, he's cute" cross my mind.

We exchange "Hello's", sit down at the bar and start talking about how he knows my aunt, what we do for work, where we're from, and what schools we went to; normal, boring first date stuff. When I hear he rides dirt bikes, I make sure to share my own experience of riding on weekend trips with my Dad and sister. Sure that was over 10 years ago, but I can still talk the talk. At least I think I can.

We don't order much for dinner, just some appetizers and drinks, and despite his outspoken conservatism, he seems tolerant of the predominantly liberal, election night crowd. What better way to get to know your date's political views than on election night? Not that political affiliation has any effect on my potential-boyfriend screening process.

Throughout the evening his whole demeanor exudes confidence, but I make sure to put on an unimpressed face. If there's anything the 23 year old Jocelyn prides herself on, it's not being a bubbly-headed, gullible, bimbo. This guy's going to have be more than just confident to impress me. But in a way he does. The casualness of the conversation combined with his in-your-face personality is intriguing. He is certainly not like anyone I have ever met before.

Soon it's nearing 10 o'clock, and he has to get up early for work in the morning. He walks me to my car, which is actually a truck, and he seems impressed by this fact. Although he makes a comment about the bed not being rhino lined, indicating that I don't transport anything heavy. I tell him it's a truck and the bed can handle whatever I put in it as is.

Since this is the end of the date, I start to wonder if there is going to be a kiss. I certainly don't think I gave off a warm, inviting impression so I doubt he will go for it, but before I can conjecture any longer he goes in for the hug. "It was really nice meeting you. We'll have to do this again soon." he says. "Ya. Sure." I reply as I get into the car. "We'll see about that" is what I'm thinking.

I can't put a finger on whether I liked him or not… "The whole night was so… interesting." I think. The more I try to figure out how I feel the more confused I get, so I try not to think about. "We'll just see if he actually calls me and that will decide it." I tell myself.

And guess what?

He did.

Thursday, July 21, 2011


Do you ever type a word and then Google it to make sure you're using it properly? I just did that with the title of this post: Limbo. Not because I don't know what it means (I do), but I'm curious what Google thinks it means.

First result was in reference to the game Limbo. The one where you try to walk with your back bent under a stick, with the stick getting progressively lower. I was never very good at this game. Probably has something to do with the fact that I’m 5’10” and my legs connect to my chin. When you walk on the tall side of life, playing games where the objective is “how low can you go” don’t end so well.

The second result was from Wikipedia and defines limbo as the following:
"In the theology of the Catholic Church, Limbo (Latin limbus, edge or boundary, referring to the 'edge' of Hell) is a speculative idea about the afterlife condition of those who die in original sin without being assigned to the Hell of the damned."
I don’t why, but this sounds kind of awesome to me. You’ve got to hand it to them. The Catholic Church is both creative and dramatic.

So technically I’m not in limbo. I’m neither playing a back bending game or floating in the afterlife (unless the afterlife includes wicked cramps like I have right now). But I do feel like I’m in an uncomfortable, uncertain place at the moment, both mentally and emotionally. Like I’m in the middle of a really boring movie and I’m thinking of all the other things I could be doing which would be much more productive, but I can’t leave or turn it off because I’m tied to the seat (if you want to have an experience like this rent Hereafter. It sucks.) And although I’m trying exceptionally hard to coax some creativity out of my soul, nothing seems to come out in a coherent fashion. Just like this post.

So while I languish in this creative drought, please say a prayer for me, so that I may use my dramatics to write something interesting for a change. Like a story about a camel with branches coming out of his ears whose name is Humdufalus. He sounds like an interesting character don't you think?

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Behind the Scenes at the Ranch

The Ranch, my husband’s family’s homestead in Northern California and the fabulous place where we were married, is an incredible place. I could spend all day staring off into the golden fields (if it’s summer) or lush pastures (if it’s winter), being completely absorbed by its serene vastness. And although I would generally opt to do nothing while we are up at the ranch except relax (with a cocktail of course), this is often never the case. Usually there are things to do, such as the following:

Trailer improvement. This time we planted a tree! Rolling Thunder wouldn’t be a proper home if it didn’t have landscaping. At the very least, it takes away from the fact that there are still tires sitting under the house from when we first moved it. 

Listen to country music. NON-STOP. Wes bought this portable, rugged boom box so we could have music no matter where we are on the ranch, which means we listen to music NO MATTER WHERE WE ARE ON THE RANCH. This is nice most of the time, but by the time the weekend’s over and we’re heading back to LA, I’m reeling from a country music overdose and have visions of killing anyone who has the name Garth, Toby, or Taylor, and says “yeehaw”.

Pest control. Cocoa does a good job getting rid of the most heinous pests such as lizards (insert sarcasm), but the rest of the suckers, like the locusts (as in Old Testament, Moses and the Ten Plagues of Egypt locusts), have to be chemically eradicated.

Natural selection got these ones (the little yellow dots floating in the puddle underneath the cattle guard). Turns out locusts can’t swim. Silly little locusts.

Tend to the animals. So this one's not really true because the cattle on the ranch are taken care of by the cowboys and Wilhelmina here… well she's a pig. She takes care of herself.

She might take care of you too by biting off your finger, but that's just a hunch I have. Feel free to stick your finger in her pen and prove me wrong. I was too chicken to try it.

And let's not forget: Stay cool. During the summer, the temperature at the ranch reaches the high 90's and low 100's, meaning you don't want to spend much time outside except if you're in the pool. I chose to stay inside and enjoy the air conditioning. A picture of me in a bikini might make you faint, so went with this one: the view from inside Rolling Thunder.

We'll be heading up to the ranch this weekend, as it's that time of year again: blackberry picking season. I'm sure your mouth's watering in anticipation of our delicious Blackberry Holiday Hooch. It might even get better this year if we pay attention to what we’re doing. Here’s to hoping!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Funny Honey

If there was only one thing that I could accomplish with each of my blog posts, it would be to make my husband laugh. It's kind of a strange thing to want, especially when I can talk to him in real life and not have to do it in this roundabout, blog post way. But I like spending my time and energy here, and I know he's one person (maybe the only person) that appreciates my quirky blog, so it's only natural I try and please my audience. And since I don't have some bizarre childhood story to tell, or some interesting current event to recap, I'm going to do this one completely off the cuff. So here goes…

First off, do you really think I look like a Tyrannosaurus Rex? I know you had good intentions when you said it… actually, I don't remember why you said it, but you clearly have me mixed up with some other person. Yes, I like to eat, but have you seen my wingspan? I'm the person that gets called over when someone can't reach the Tupperware that's hidden somewhere on the top shelf, not some miniature armed weirdo who can't even reach down and pick out the lint from their own bellybutton.

Did you know that when I was little, I used to pick my nose in bed and wipe the boogers on the wall beside me? There was quite a collection of dried boogers by the time my mother realized what was going on. I don't think you knew that, and now that you do, you probably don't think it's funny… I'm trying ok!

Do you know how I learned to be such an awesome dancer? I used to take dance lessons in high school.
Every day after school…
In front of the mirror…
In my parent's bedroom…
For five minute sessions…
Listening to hip hop and salsa music…
Being my own instructor.
Worked out well didn't it?

I'm thinking about getting a tattoo on my face. I'm deciding between "Don't Care" tattooed on my eye lid (Get it? Eye *blink* "Don't Care"... I don't care!), and "Your Ad Here" tattooed on my forehead, in case we get strapped for cash and I have to sell out my body for display advertising.

Oh, and guess what? Yesterday was Thursday, Thursday. Today i-is Friday, Friday. We-we-we so excited. We so excited. We gonna have a ball today!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

A Wee Bit Distracted

I can’t help it.

I can’t get his cubby cheeks, squishy little arms, tiny toes and adorable face out of my mind.

He’s such a sweet, whittle baby.

I’m so excited you’re here Baby Matthew! And I’m sorry I had to leave Michigan so soon. Thank you for letting me be your Auntie. I can't wait to see you again!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Running for Nachos

Sometime around March 11th 1986, a small, mischievous girl named Jocelyn coaxed her lazy legs to stand and willed them to move forward. After a few wobbly steps, she decided this slow, dull motion was unsatisfactory; she must figure out how to move faster. The fuzzy tail of family's feline caught her attention, and without much thought, she took off running after it. It was then that the world according to her father and mother changed forever.

Running has always been a part of my life. It started with that fated moment when I was just a baby, and hasn't stopped since. My parents, searching for an outlet in which we could channel our energy, placed my sister and I in track and field at a young age (I'm thinking 5, but I could've been 4).

I have so many memories from running: when I was 7 or 8, and my sister and I where on a 5 mile run with my Dad (child abuse anyone?). I was not in the mood nor enjoying this "family activity" when I slipped and fell (maybe on purpose), scrapping my entire palm so it was filled with dirt and gravel, and my Dad saying there was no way I was getting out of the run even if I was bleeding... and I should suck it up and stop crying. Oh the memories.

And there was the time I got kicked off the cross country team in high school because the coach overheard me yelling at my sister, telling her to slow down her pace so I could keep up with her. Apparently, my unsportsmanlike and self-serving attitude was like a disease that could spread and damage the entire team. I had to write a heartfelt apology to be let back on a team sport I hated (No, I did not choose to run cross country in high school; my parents forced me). My apology probably went something like this:

Dear Coach,
I'm so sorry for my actions the other day. They were uncalled for and disrespectful to you and my other teammates. If you give me the opportunity to prove myself and let me back on the team, I guarantee something like this will never happen again. This team means so much to me, and I appreciate all the training and guidance you've given me over the last two years. Sincerely, Jocelyn.

I've had to write a lot of apology letters for "my actions" in this lifetime. I can pump 'em out like Cocoa can fart (sorry, he's been really fart-active lately, so it's been on my mind. Also, why is the dog allowed to fart around my husband, but I am not? There's something wrong with that).

But the point of this story (and I assure you there is one!), is that you have to give people goals and make the rewards very apparent if you're going to ask (or demand) they participate in challenging activities like running. The reward that always made running worth the effort for me was nachos - sweet, delicious, neon orange, cheesy, crunchy, wonderfulness. I would dream about all the nachos I could eat during track meets. Would my mom only allow me to buy one serving, or could I convince her to let me get two? Would I share my nachos with anyone? Or would I sit under the bleachers where no one could see me so that I wouldn't have to share? I think it was the nachos that pulled me over the hump and made me realize running did a lot more good for my body than bad. Nachos were good, and every time I was at a track meet there were nachos for sale, so it must have meant that running was good too.

So the next time you're trying to get your child, brother, sister, mother to do something, coax 'em with a fresh plate of nachos. I think it'll do the trick.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Secret Garden

One of the things I love most about the house we live in is the backyard. What used to be a mix of dead lawn and dusty cactuses is now a secret (and practical) garden.

The yard is sectioned into three different areas: the lawn (where Cocoa does his thing), the gravel path and fountain (doesn’t it look like a giant cat litter box?), and the succulent garden (the actual “garden” part of the yard).

The other morning, before the Valley summer heat set in, I did a little frolicking in the succulent section of the yard.

The morning dew, combined with the fresh, bright colors, transported me to a different world...

Into a wondrous, secret garden.

Being out in the garden makes me wish I was one-twentieth of my normal size.

I could lie on this soft bed of groundcover.

And climb the lush, bushy shrubs.

I could forage for wild vegetables and berries.

And splash my face with the morning’s dew.

I love that a bunch of succulents and groundcover can awaken my adventurous spirit.

And I encourage you to do the same! Go out and enjoy the little things in life.

Or, alternatively, redo your backyard with a bunch of low water plants. That’s the real reason for this fabulous section of the yard: a lawn’s too expensive.