Sunday, April 29, 2012

The Flower Fields

Last weekend Joe and I went for a drive down south of us to visit The Flower Fields in Carlsbad.

It has been a few years since we last went. They are a beautiful as ever.

If you've never heard of them, they are fields of ranunculus flowers in Carlsbad, CA

Every spring they produce thousands of beautiful flowers that bloom every spring.  The fields are so large they can be seen from the freeway driving by.

Ranunculus is one of my favorite flowers.  It is second only to Tulips.  Roses would be a close third.  I miss growing some of the flowers we were able to grow when we lived in a downstairs apartment.

The flowers are grown in rows of color.  Joe's favorite is the multi colored row, which is is standing in front of.

I decided to forego the collages and just post all of them. You all don't mind scrolling down a bit, do you?  :)

Every single row we walked by I would say "Oh, orange is my favorite", only to walk by the red ones and say "Actually the red are my favorite", and so on until we had gone through all of the colors.  It was cracking Joe up.  They are all just so beautiful!  So vibrant.

The fields are in such a beautiful area, with a view of the ocean atop the hill


Flowers are Love's truest language 

Flowers match my shirt!

Be like the flower, turn your faces to the sun
                                                    ~Kahlil Gibran

They had a greenhouse with orchids too.  We killed the orchid my Dad got us. I don't know how.  Usually Joe is very good at keeping things alive.

The Earth laughs in flowers
                             ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

They had a maze made out of sweet peas.  Sweet peas have the most beautiful scent.  You might even say it is aMAZEing.  LOL.

After much deliberation it was decided that the coral colored were, in fact, my favorite.

Where flowers, bloom, so does hope 
                               ~Lady Bird Johnson

They had beautiful roses too.  Love the color and the fluted edges on this one


I WILL be making on of these.  I just need to find an old chair.  It's so cute!

More stunning roses

Happiness is to hold flowers in both hands
                   ~Japanese Proverb

It was a fun day!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Ho Hum

Do you ever feel like the days go by so quickly, and they kind of just blend together until another week has gone by and you wonder where it went?

That's how I have been feeling lately.  Same old routine every day.  Lately for me that has been go to work, come home and workout(4 days per week), watch some t.v. for a couple of hours and then hit the sack. Lather, rinse, repeat.

The weekends I'm so tired we usually just hang around the house, with a bike ride on Sunday after my weight watchers meeting and grocery shopping.

Speaking of WW meeting, people keep asking for an after picture of me.  There are a few pictures of me that I will be posting tomorrow of us at the flower fields but I'm covered up by a coat in most of them.  I'm just not ready for that yet.  Maybe after I lose ten more pounds or so.  I have so much more to lose that I am still very self conscious about how I look.  I am proud of the weight I have lost(24 pounds and counting) but I want to look even better before I show a head to toe picture here on the blog.  If we are friends on FB I have a couple there but even those are cropped so you can't see my whole body.  I need to work on being happy with how far  I have come and loving my body but it's a slow process for me.


Work has been  crazy busy.  I love my job.  It's stressful, but I love it.  It's probably one of the best jobs I have had, well, ever.  Don't get me wrong.  I loved the 17 years I spent as a preschool teacher/daycare director, but I got burnt out and the transition to the medical field was a good one for me.

All the girls from work went out for happy hour on Friday night, to say goodbye to my co-worker, who is starting nursing school next week.  I will miss her dearly!  We had a blast.  I work with a really great group of women.

We have had a high turnover rate in the last six months.  Partly because it is pretty stressful, and partly because they expect a lot from their employees and they don't keep people past their probationary periods if they aren't a good fit.  I like that about them.  They don't put up with crap and they don't allow people's drama to interfere with their job duties.

I can see myself there for a long time.  The pay and benefits far outweigh the stressful times.

Last Sunday we went to see the Flower Fields in Carlsbad.  It has been awhile since we last were there.  It's so beautiful!  I will post pictures but I want to make some collages before I upload them.  I took about ten thousand pictures and they are all so beautiful I am having a hard time editing them down to a handful for the blog.  Ranunculus have always been one of my favorite flowers.

P.S. on Friday we were reminiscing about some of our old job experiences, specifically how we had been treated by former bosses.  After our discussion I came back to my desk to find that my co-worker had pulled up this picture on my computer:

It's an inside joke.  And it is freaking hilarious.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Do Over

O.K., this post is really old, but again, it was in my drafts box so I'm putting it out there.  Plus, we are getting ready to hike this trail again, so it's timely in that sense.

Does anyone who still reads here remember this post?  If not, the gist of it was that we went on a hike and I had to be taken down the trail in an ambulance.  Embarrassing!

That was almost four years ago.  We haven't hiked that trail since then.  I have been too afraid, and obviously that particular trail was beyond my physical capabilities.  I'm not saying we haven't hiked since then(because obviously we have), but we have not gone in the same geographical location.

Until a month ago.  Like I mentioned in my last post, we have been trying very hard(and succeeding at) becoming more physically fit.  We have been walking or riding our bikes 3 times a week, and I have been walking on my lunch break a couple of times a week. I have also been doing the 9 week program on my Wii Active 2 game(it's like having your own personal trainer-it's hard!).  I can really feel my body changing.  Now instead of just fat I can feel a little muscle developing underneath it!

I decided I wanted to try hiking that area again.  It's such a beautiful area to hike.

So we decided to try a trail across from the one I failed at, but a bit more difficult than the last. The whole trail was 4.5 miles and reached an elevation of 1,100 feet.

I kept telling myself that it was o.k. if I couldn't do the whole thing, and that I should stop if I felt like it was too much.

The weather was perfect(not too hot, which was part of the problem last time).

Armed with hats and plenty of sunscreen and water, we started up the trail.

This trail was MUCH harder than the one we tried 4 years ago.  So much steeper. We climbed pretty much straight up for an hour or so.  We stopped to rest a lot.

The reward when you get to the top is supposed to be a view of the ocean but it was too hazy/foggy to really see it.

There were quite a few flowers in bloom.  I think they are confused by the mild winter we have had.

Finally when we reached the bottom, two and a half hours later, there is this lovely meadow

And a beautiful oak tree

I am so proud of myself for making it up(and down) the whole trail!

Next Saturday we're going to do it again!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Meeting Good Friends

Last weekend I got to meet someone who has been with me through every up and down along this adoption road.  If anything has come from this journey, it has been some wonderful people who I never would have met otherwise.

After 6 long years I finally got to meet K and her daughter S!

K decided she would drive all the way out to meet me, since I was a little clueless on geography as to where to meet, plus my car is a little iffy right now and has no air conditioner.  And the driver side window does not roll down.  If it is hot out, it is simply miserable to drive in.  We are on borrowed time with that old clunker of a car.  I pray every day that it gets me to work and back every morning.

So I was so happy that K said she would drive to me!  Thanks K!

We met at Chick Fil-A to have lunch.  I couldn't wait to get my hands on S to give her a squeeze.  I have watched her grow up on her blog!  I can't believe I was actually meeting them in person!

Something that a lot of people don't get is the connection you can make with someone via their blog.  You watch their lives unfold over the years online, and some bloggers you talk on the phone and get to know even better, and if you get even luckier you get to meet them in person(the folks in my sidebar that are listed "in real life friends" are some of the most wonderful friends I have, and we met in cyberspace). I am so lucky to have that connection!

What I'm getting at though, is that when you meet someone online and corresponde for years, when you meet them in person it's like meeting up with an old friend.  There is no awkward, getting to know you period(I hate that period.  I suck at small talk).

That's how it was when I finally met K and S.  Like meeting old friends.  Pretty soon we were chatting up a storm like we had met a thousand times before.  Just as I knew it would be.

We ate and chatted some more, and let S play in their play structure for a bit.  We were all a little confused as to how this play area was wheelchair accessible.

Hmmmmm................good luck getting your wheelchair up that step!

S drew this awesome picture of Buzz Lightyear

Seriously, how awesome is that picture??

After eating we stopped over at CostCo so K could get her glasses fixed.  S really knows how to relax!

We sat outside and chatted some more

S took this picture of us.  She did a great job!

I love this kid

It was getting late and they had to drive home so we said goodbye for now.

It was so awesome meeting them.  We can't wait to meet P as well, and join them at their house for homemade carnitas.  It's Joe's favorite.  Yum!

P and K and S are going to join our dragon boat team and we are so freaking excited!! It's going to be so awesome to have friends join us in an activity that we love so much.  I can't wait!

P.S.  the kickoff picnic for Dragon Boat season is on Sunday, with the practices starting in two weeks.  I can't believe it's that time again.

I'm so excited I could die.  :)


Backtracking again, trying to catch up.  Story of my life.

Easter already seems like so far gone, but this has been  sitting as a draft for a few weeks now so I may as well work backwards and try to get caught up on the last month.

Easter this year was quiet.  Actually every Easter for the last few years has been quiet, so this year the tradition was upheld.

The weekend itself was beautiful weather-wise.  Sunny, highs in the mid seventies.  Lovely.  Too bad most of Saturday I spent in bed with a horrible migraine.  I am so over them.  I have been having one on and off for two and a half weeks now.  I already went and had some injections for them a week or so ago.  They usually just up and leave on their own.  I just with this one would do so, and now.

I decided to surprise Joe and take him out for Easter brunch.  It has been years since we went out for brunch on Easter.  *Years*.  In fact I couldn't even tell you when the last time we did.  At least five or six years.

Anyway, I wanted to take Joe out, and I wanted it to be special, so I made reservations at the El Torito Grill, in Irvine.  It used to be his favorite restaurant. Well, I suppose it still is, but we don't go out to eat anymore so we don't really have any favorite restaurants right now.

We had reservations kind of early, as I waited a little too long to make them and they were booked for later in the day.  No matter, we just got up a little earlier than planned and made our way to the restaurant.

I was extraordinarily excited about this breakfast.  First, because we rarely go out, and secondly, because I have been very stringent on the weight loss program I have been on(22 lbs. lost!) and I planned on splurging a little bit.  In other words, I wasn't planning on counting points for that meal  :)

We arrived there on time and waited a few minutes for our table.  As soon as they sat us, I knew things weren't going to go well.

They sat us outside on the patio(which was fine), but it was obvious they just stuck a table there to sit two warm bodies at, as it was kind of against a wall in a walkway.  The rest of the patio was large parties.  Our table was dirty.  There was bird poop on Joe's chair(he freaked). No tablecloth, and under a heater, which made it approximately nine thousand degrees outside.

Long story short, we asked to be moved to another table.

It took about 15 more minutes for them to find another table for us. During that time we were not offered anything to drink, not even water, and I was starving at this point.

They finally did move us to another table inside(25 minutes later) and once we moved the waitress was great.  The food was delicious and it ended up being a nice time.  I just hate that the beginning of the meal took some of the fun out of it, especially since we don't get to do it very often.

I suppose the part that bothers me the most is that I feel like they didn't treat us well(and sat us at an undesirable table) because there was only two of us, and not a whole big party.

Note to El Torito Grill:  Parties of two are just as important as parties of 12.  Please keep that in mind!

I didn't call and complain.  I probably should have, but I don't think it would have made a difference and we did end up staying and enjoying our brunch so not all was lost.  It was just a little disappointing.

The rest of the day was lazy. I tried to sleep off my migraine from the day before and we watched a couple of movies.  Overall it was a nice day.  I took a few pictures with my cell phone because I can't fine my cell phone charger(I KNOW!  I take disorganization to a whole new level.  I put it somewhere where I wouldn't lose it but I can't remember where that was.  LOL)

There's this neat sculpture garden across the way from the restaurant.

This little guy was the only duck in the pond.  When he saw us he made a beeline towards us hoping for some food.  He was a little disappointed that we weren't able to accomodate him.

Easter Egg coloring was a huge disaster this year.  I tried to do this cool method I saw on Pinterest but it didn't work out at all.  At least the deviled eggs that came from them tasted good!
Aren't they pretty?

 Yeah, it was a nice idea in theory.  I didn't have any containers so the eggs could stand upright, which seems like you would need in order to get the graduated colors.  Part of the problem was the website they came from was in German and when I used the translator feature on my browser, something got lost in the translation(ha!) and the instructions were terrible.

They didn't turn out pretty at all.

Joe got me this owl for Easter.  I love him.  I have named him Hooter.  Joe wanted a more dignified name but I like it!  :)

Overall it was a nice Easter.  I can't believe it has come and gone already. Before you know it, it will be summer!

Next up I'll post about FINALLY getting to meet a very special friend, that I have know for five years but never met in person!