Friday was the first night of Karina’s 5 day birthday celebration. A group of us got together before hand at her place to get ready and and to have cake and champagne. I bought a super yummy chocolate Boston cake with strawberries…ummm…so good! I put a toy crown on the top, which (after being licked clean) ended up on Karinas head…then her leg. What can I say…they do things different in Russia.
Our next stop was to a club called Mynt where we had a VIP booth waiting for us (courtesy of sweet David).
The Worth of your Inner and Outer Beauty – Courtesy of Ariane
Ariane is my Sister from another Mister. We have been friends since we were 18 years old (10 years!!!). She has seen me through every phase of my adult life. She was even a beautiful supportive (pregnant) bridesmaid at my wedding.
Now the thing about Ariane is that she is a lover of life! She has this amazing ability to see the beauty in all things. Luckily, she saw a beauty in me and forced me to see it and accept it, even though it made me uncomfortable, embarrassed, and sqwemish. I do not know why she took it upon herself, almost as a personal mission, to beat me into submission until I realized my personal worth. I guess that’s what friends do. Over and over she would tell me (some times at great lengths) just how beautiful I am to her – inside and out.
I guess I grew up feeling slightly awkward, like a lot of young teens do. I was too tall, too skinny, bad skin and braces. Then when I finally grew out of that stage, I still didn’t realize that others would find me attractive, and when they did, I felt like if I recognized it I would be a horrible self-absorbed vain person. So I didn’t. Ariane taught me to hold my head up high, own up to who I am, respect myself, and be a strong woman who calls the shots. Sometimes I still struggle, but I am worlds ahead of where I was.
The timing of this post is difficult. I recently got upset with Ariane and we have not spoken for about a week. There is no need to write the details of our fight, especially when this post is intended to praise her and thank her. I found the above quote and thought it was perfect. I know that she and I will get through this. We always do.
Ariane I love you. Thank you for always being there for me. I have learned so much from you. You taught me “the dating rules” and tried to keep anyone from taking advantage of me – I was so clueless after my divorce. Thank you for being there and loving me – sometimes more than I loved myself. You are such a strong, beautiful, wonderful friend and an amazing mother to your children. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
I missed the hike last week because I was at my good friend JD’s open house for his new business, JD Smith Productions. He is an amazing audio producer so if you or anyone you know needs to have some work done, let me know and I will hook you up with his information.
We hiked Desolation Trail to the overlook in Millcreek Canyon. It was beautiful as always! It’s a bit tougher than some of the other hikes. Lots of switchbacks that feel like they will never end, but the view from the top makes it all worth while. Desolation Trail is actually right next to Millcreek Inn (where I got married in 01) and of course there was a wedding taking place. It’s ok, like I mentioned before, I only have happy memories of that day.
We had 16 hikers show up this week! By far the most have ever had on any of the hikes I’ve been on. Guess people don’t want to keep the group to themselves, but we always welcome the extra company. I was a little sad to report to some of the group that my Swedish love would not be coming and they would not be meeting him. Some of them actually met him 2 years ago. They were all understanding and supportive though. One of the hikers is going through a divorce so she and I have been talking a lot. I’m sure you’ve heard of retail therapy, well this is hiking therapy. We talked about lost loves and beginning the process of dating all over again. The thrill and excitement, the disappointment, lonely versus being alone, and giving too much of ourselves.
After the hike about 8 of us went to The Citrus Grill to have dinner and a few beers. The perfect reward after a making it up and down a mountain in one piece.
Maybe one of these days I will pack an actual camera, for now, you get camera phone shots.
So here are a few pictures from last Saturdays party…let me just say “Yay for the sexy black dress and its ability to make me feel like a million bucks!”
Last Saturday night was my friend Adrian’s birthday celebration. Now this is not your typical back yard BBQ with cake and candles…no no no. This is a dress to impress event with a huge tent, a DJ spinning, fire dancers, break dancers, and of course an open bar. The official invite went out (via myspace and word of mouth) a few weeks ago. So me and the girls had been planning on it for quite some time. I mailed my last car payment on Friday so to celebrate I bought myself a new dress to wear to the party. My lovely Karina went shopping with me. I wanted to look and feel like a million bucks so I went to Bebe and fell in love with their “Sexy Satin Slip Dress”. I tried it on and it is skin tight but was AMAZING! I look in the mirror and I am proud of myself for all of the time spent in the gym because now (after the reassurance of Karina, the sales person, and 2 other women in the dressing room) I feel like I can actually pull off wearing this dress!
So of course I can’t stop with just the dress, I now need shoes that are equally as hot and while I’m at it a clutch and simple elegant jewelry. But you know what? I NEVER spoil myself this much. And damn it, I deserve it!
Staci has the pictures on her camera so I will post them, as well as some fun pictures from the party, later.
One of the areas that I have really been focusing on with all of my free time is my personal health. I am probably in the best shape of my life. That is a huge statement to make! I go to the gym around 3 times per week and try to hike weekly. Lately Karina and I have been gym buddies. We keep trying new things to mix it up and keep it fun. Last week we took a kick boxing class. It nearly killed me but I felt so powerful when I finished! Yesterday we went to City Creek Canyon. It is up behind the capitol and absolutely beautiful. We probably made around a 5 mile round trip. We started out running, but the uphill running turned out to be a little much for us so we waited and ran down hill which let me tell you, is no easy feat. Talk about using new muscles! I was so proud of us. I kept thinking if I saw us, I would think we were pretty bad ass chicks! That’s exactly how I felt, like a bad ass who could take on the world. I am a little stiff today, but not bad. My knees are a messed up, always have been for some odd reason, and they hurt while running especially because running outside is much harder on them than running on a treadmill. But seriously, given the choice between running in nature and being inside a smelly gym, the choice is obvious. Guess I will just need to keep strengthening them.
Harder to do than you would think. I hate break ups. You would think that as many as I have gone through I would be good at them…but alas, I am not. I wrote Sven an email on Sunday night. I had been thinking a lot about us and where we were going for quite some time and ultimately I knew what I had to do. I told him I care a great deal for him but that I didn’t see anyway for us to work out. He took Monday to think about things. We spoke yesterday on my lunch break and he was very understanding. I think we both knew deep down that we were destined for failure. His life is there and my life is here. We agreed to stay friends. He is not coming out here now. It would only make things more difficult.
Karina told me she was watching TV and there was a story about a woman whose husband came home from work and told her that he got fired. Her response was “let’s celebrate” and he found another job where he made more money and is really happy. The point is in the perspective. If after every disappointment or bad day you have you decide to celebrate – celebrate that it’s over, celebrate that it happened, celebrate a new chapter, celebrate surviving – then your outlook on life will drastically improve. So that is what I am doing. I am celebrating having been loved, I am celebrating the lessons he taught me, and I am celebrating the start to the next chapter of my life.
My family spent the weekend in St. George to celebrate Fathers Day. Both sets of my Grandparents live down there. I was the “bad” daughter who didn’t go. So to make it up to my Dad I made him dinner last night. It was actually a lot of fun for me to cook because I never really have the opportunity to use my expensive pots and pans anymore. Cooking for just me is way too much work so I normally end up having cheese and crackers or some sort of cracker appetizer for dinner.
I made some balsamic-glazed salmon that was to die for! It was a new recipe that I found on the Super Target website (http://recipes.target.com/Recipe/Recipe.aspx?nprid=82817). I paired it with some mashed potatoes and fresh green beans sautéed with garlic, salt and pepper. For dessert we had vanilla bean ice cream and fresh fruit. Everything was super yummy and I ate way too much! We sat on the porch at my new patio table. It was just perfect!
I have always been close with my Dad and I thoroughly enjoy spending time with him. When I was little I used to say I was going to marry my Dad. Growing up I was a late bloomer. No guys really paid any attention to me until I got into High School. I remember the first time a guy tried to hold my hand and was romantically interested in me. I came home and sat on my Dads lap and told him all about it, not because I was excited, more because it freaked me out so bad. LOL! My Dad, being the saint that he is, just listened and tried not to laugh. I was 15.
We talked a lot on the patio. He told me about St. George and how my Grandparents are doing. I updated him on my crazy life. He is always very careful about stating his opinions…guess growing up with all daughters he has learned the valuable lesson that sometimes it is better to listen than to try and solve things. However, he was not upset to learn that “Sven” and I are not doing so well. He has made it pretty clear from the beginning that he does not want me to move…especially out of the country. Then again, what loving father would want his daughter to move? My Dad has the opinion that given enough time, any 2 committed adults can fall in love and make a relationship work. There is no such thing as a soul mate. I have grown up believing this to be true and all of my lifes experiences have done little to disprove this view of love. But the love that a daughter feels for her father is a different story completely. As many trust issues as I have with men, my dad is the exception. He is the best. I couldn’t ask for a more supporting loving man in my life!
Yay! It was raining Wednesday morning, but the sun came out and I am so happy to report that it was an amazing hiking day! Blue skies with hardly any clouds. We hiked up Millcreek Canyon along the Pipeline trail. This is a great hike for “beginners”. It is about 5 miles long and besides the start and end, it is just a small gradual incline. More of a mountain stroll than hike. We probably saw over 20 different variations of wildflowers. Pink ones, purple ones, yellow, blue, white and all the shades in between. But the one I got most excited about was Utah’s own state flower, the Sego Lily! I personally had never seen one, but it was beautiful!
Millcreek Canyon is stunning. I love this canyon, but every time I go up it I can’t help but reminisce. In 2001 I got married at the Millcreek Inn. It was a picture perfect wedding and a great memory I will always cherish, but still sad to think about. I don’t know if I will ever get married again, but if I did, I don’t know what type of wedding I would have. I’ve already had my dream wedding with the big dress, bridesmaids, flowers…the works! So I don’t think I want or need another. One is enough.
Here is another shot of the canyon and a truly horrible picture of me. But hey, this is me. I’m obviously not trying to hide much.
Let me start by saying that going through a divorce is never easy. I married my high school sweetheart at the age of 21. We divorced 4 years later. When we separated I moved in with my parents for a short time and then into an apartment on my own. Every step of the way Jenn was there. She has helped move me more times than I think she would care to remember. Through her example I learned that I was strong enough, capable, competent and independent. I never really knew I could be any of those things.
My father, bless his heart, raised 3 princesses and our ruler was and still is known as “the Queen”. I’m not kidding, my Dad will call me and in a sarcastic voice he will say “the Queen would like to know if you are coming over for dinner tonight”. The man I married, treated me like a princess as well. His main goals revolved around making me happy. I know this will sound horrible, but I kinda thought that was how normal standard relationships went. Anyway, things fell apart or my marriage anyway and I find myself as a single adult for the first time with all the ignorance you can imagine. Through every heart break and every hard lesson I learned, Jenn was there to listen to me cry, then she would ask me the hard questions that I didn’t want to hear. Then she would instill in me her confidence that I was actually able to do things I didn’t want to or didn’t think I was capable of doing. She encouraged me to stop being such a princess and take control of my life. I watched her 7 months pregnant climbing a ladder to the top of her garage to get chairs down. Why was she getting chairs down? I don’t remember, but I do know that at that point she was more capable of doing it than me in both her mind and mine, plus she is stubborn as can be and no one was going to tell her she couldn’t.
I am rambling a bit so let me close with one last story. You see for some odd reason I always thought I got both my work ambition and my independence from my mother. I said that to my Dad once while we were up skiing and he kind of chuckled at the thought of the Queen being independent. Then the other day I had to cave and ask my Dad for help to hang a large wall decoration. I asked Jenn first, because we always hang stuff together, but we could never get our schedules to match up. So he came with the Queen and my niece Brielle. He and I hung the decoration and put a patio table together while my mom entertained Brielle on the couch. When we were done I showed my mom the new shower head I bought and installed by myself. She was actually impressed and said that she never would have even tried! And it is so true because she would have just nagged my dad until it got done. But not me, the new empowered independent me takes control and handles as many situations on her own as she can…just like my best friend Jenn.
Thank you so much Jenn for being the kind of friend who doesn’t sugarcoat things. Thank you for helping me believe in me! We have been through so much together. We know each others deepest darkest secrets and I know it will always stay that way. Though our lives are drastically different, you with 2 kids and a husband and me living whatever my life is, I always know I can turn to you and I hope I can always be the type of friend that you can lean on when you decide to let your guard down.