Thursday, January 31, 2008

Day 31 Completed

Today I completed 31 scrapbook pages in 31 days. It is an unprecedented accomplishment for me, as I'm normally not this prolific. I'm pretty excited that I now can create a photobook with all the pages! Here is the page:
I also started a new challenge at Pixel Gypsy Designs. It is a small group over there and I really like it so far. The Layout A Day Challenge at Big Picture Scrapbooking was very impersonal as there were hundreds (maybe even thousands) of participants.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Getting close to February

It's hard to believe that the first month of 2008 is coming to a close already. February will be here this Friday! Ever since the end of the Christmas holidays, it's been really difficult for me to NOT think about what was happening a year ago. Every new day is a reminder to me of how ill my mom was at this time last year. For instance, this weekend last year was when my mom's older brother Joshua and aunt Bonnie and my cousin Bertha came to see my mom. I had called them and told them if they wanted to visit, to do it soon, because she was declining fast. I remember the whole weekend as if it was yesterday. I still have dreams where I'm full of anxiety because my mom's really sick and I couldn't do anything about it. God hasn't blessed me with any peace-filled dreams about my mom yet. I think after Valentine's Day (the day she went to be with the Lord) is when I will start to feel better about things. Not that I feel bad now, don't get me wrong. I can still appreciate everyday happenings and activities I like doing. It's just that several times daily, my mind will go back to a year ago and be reminded of the times right before my mom died. I think this is normal and it's part of the process of grieving, especially close to the one year anniversary of her passing. I had blogged last year about me being on medication for anxiety and panic attacks. I am still on the medication and will go back to my doctor in April to evaluate taking me off the medication. He basically wants me to be on the medication until past the one year anniversary of my mom's passing. I haven't had any panic attacks since last June, and I feel pretty good, but it's hard to know whether it's really the medication (I take the lowest dosage possible) or that I just started to feel better after a while. One side-effect of my medication is that I've gained about 4-5 lbs since taking it. The good thing about the medication is that I think at least in the beginning it helped me to not feel anxious. The bad thing is it has changed me so that I am less of a motivated self-starter than I was prior to the medication. It's a trade off. I can see the link of being a Type-A personality and panic disorders, can't you? My theory about my weight gain is that I have been a lot less motivated to workout consistently. It's just easier to sit around and read or scrapbook than to get up and run. As you also read in my previous blog post, I am trying to be more consistent with the activities that I want to do this year that are good for my physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being. I've been regularly working out so far in January, doing exercise classes at the gym at work, running, weights, DVD's at home, etc. I can feel a difference, even if the pounds haven't come off yet. Usually when I first start to get serious about my workouts again, I GAIN weight before I start to lose weight. I've read this is common because when you start to work out, your body retains more water (a good thing supposedly), and you get more muscles, which weigh more than fat. When the fat starts coming off is when you see the scales start to go down. This has been a consistent pattern with me, so this time was no different. I'm grateful to have a very encouraging husband, and some buddies to work out with from my work gym. I'm continuing with my one scrapbook page per day challenge at Big Picture Scrapbooking. I have uploaded one new page everyday in January so far, and it's almost over now! I'm proud for sticking with it, even though on certain days it was difficult to come up with inspiration for a page, or what to scrapbook about. It has challenged me to dig more deeply into why I scrapbook and work on my skills and journaling. I'm come out with pages that I'm really proud of. So, in the spirit of the Super Bowl this weekend, I made a page about Todd and AJ meeting their football "heroes".

Monday, January 28, 2008

but I'm a hacking genius

and I've solved my blog banner problem by hacking around with the html code. Blogger can't keep me down! There you go, a blog banner that {almost} spans across my whole blog. Now I know how. I'm quite proud of myself, hee hee.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Blogger sucks

As you can see, I changed my blog banner since the holidays are over now. However, Blogger has made a change since November. So now, they won't allow any blog banners wider than 750 px wide. So no matter that I made my blog banner 1200 px wide to go across the whole top of the page, they resize it upon upload to only 750 px wide. That's why it looks so funny. It's their new policy, no matter if your blog stretches wider or not. They suck. This is the stupidest thing I've ever heard of. Now I'm very tempted to migrate my blog over to Typepad.

Friday, January 25, 2008

21 Days to a New Habit

Some literature say that it takes 21 days to form a new habit. At the start of this year I wanted to do a few things more consistently (blog, journal, scrap, read my Bible and pray, exercise, be more social, and read books). So how does one DO these things on a consistent basis? Well, I figured I needed to track my daily activities based on whether I've done these things or not. If I do these things 3-4 times per week, then it is considered consistent. So I put together a weekly activity tracker and printed it out. It looks something like this:
Then I put my activities that I want to track on the left side, and the dates on top. Then I can keep track to my hearts content each week. So far so good! I think I've officially developed new healthier habits for my physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual needs. Then, I did this layout to remind myself of all the things I love right now. They're not exactly all THINGS, more like experiences, activities, etc.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Birthday Party for Barbara

Friday 1/18 was my friend Barbara's birthday. Our friends Denice and Shona put together a surprise party for Barbara. Last year Barbara was diagnosed with cancer on her birthday, so this year we had a party for her to more than "balance it out". Denice and Shona did a bang-up job decorating and pulling all the food together. Not only that, everyone was able to keep the surprise a SECRET! Barbara was truly surprised when she came into the room.
I made a card for Barbara. I wasn't sure how it would turn out since it's my first time making inked edges and putting glitter glue on, but I think it turned out alright!
Meera and I. You can't even tell Meera had a baby a couple months ago. She looks really great! Oh yea, the party was semi-formal, so we all got an opportunity to play dress-up.
I thought this punch fountain was absolutely beautifully lit-up.
These holiday trees were so beautiful, glowing like hope.
Denice MADE this cake! It was as delicious as it looked. I just loved the light blue color.
What can I say? I just really love taking pictures of the glowing decorations.
The woman of the hour, Barbara. She looked beautiful on the outside. But even more, she's so beautiful on the inside. So full of faith.
Meera & AJ strike a pose. They got their first night out since having baby Andon!
Me and Todd.
Jennifer and Steve.
Is it disco time? This little disco ball was so cute, as were the lights and snowflakes hanging from it.
Group picture. This was our church home fellowship from a few years ago. I'm so thankful for all the friendships that continued on from this group!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

There's always next year

The Chargers lost to the New England Patriots today! :( They were big underdogs and not many people gave them a chance to win, especially with all the injuries. But we were still disappointed. Hopefully they'll get even better next year. I never expected them to go this far this season, especially with the 1-3 start, so I am very satisfied with how far the Chargers went this season. It's just hard when they were so close to going to the Super Bowl. Yesterday we had a photo session with Melissa Koehler. She had asked for volunteers to do some creative shots and I volunteered myself and Todd. She was SO nice and so fun to work with! Here is the link to her blog that shows some of the photos she took. They're so colorful and the lighting is really cool. Here's a new page I did tonight. I'm still participating in the page a day challenge over at Big Picture Scrapbooking.
Photo above taken by Tara Whitney
Also yesterday, I ran 5 miles at Miramar Lake! I haven't run there for a few weeks, and I haven't run 5 miles in a long time. I was so happy and proud that I could still do it and it was actually pretty easy. I ran at a slower pace and was able to feel pretty easy-going the entire time.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Rockin' in Austin

three and a half years ago, that is! I've been competing in a challenge to scrapbook one page a day. As you can imagine, it's not easy to come up with topics, pictures, and inspiration EVERY single day. So today I had to dig deep and go back to August 2004, when Todd toured with The Northstar Session to Austin, TX. I'm pretty happy with the end result, even though it took me a long time to figure out what I wanted to scrapbook about, and to find the right pictures and all the elements on the page.
Tonight we went to eat some Indian food at New Delhi Kitchen. I had a plate with Chicken Tikka Masala and Vegetable Korma. Todd had curried veggies and also Chicken Tikka Masala, all served with naan bread. Then we went to Target to buy a bunch of stuff: laundry detergent, crock pot, lots of stuff from the $1 bin in the front, including a yoga mat, Curious George valentine's chocolates, and scrapbooking stuff! Overall, a very fruitful trip, especially since I got to use one of my Christmas gift cards! After Target we headed over to Costco, where we used our Costco coupon and got Turbo Tax Deluxe for around $22. Good deal! We also got a box of Asian pears, some frozen pasta, and sticks of butter (for everyday popcorn eater Todd).

Sunday, January 13, 2008

The Buckeye Party

We had a party at our house last Monday night to watch the BCS National Championship Game between the OSU Buckeyes and the LSU Tigers. Todd cooked BBQ chicken sandwiches, carrot salad, lemon vinaigrette green beans, caramel popcorn, and orange zest blueberry lemon cupcakes. Unfortunately, the Buckeyes lost! :( But to look on the bright side, it's better to lose the National Championship than to lose to USC in the Rose Bowl, which we probably would have done had we gone to the Rose Bowl.
On the upside, the Chargers beat the Indianapolis Colts today to go on to the AFC Championship game next week against New England! Although, I'm not holding out much hope to win against New England, who is undefeated this season. Especially since Philip Rivers, LaDanian Tomlinson, and Antonio Gates are hurt! But it's so great that they won two playoff games and have gone this far!

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Busy Bee

Wow, time flies when you're busy! I've been working more due to year-end stuff. Then every night I've scrapbooked because I'm doing the Layout-A-Day Challenge over at Big Picture Scrapbooking, and I've had to upload my page by 11 PM every night. I'll get a chance to write more (and recap the last few days) later. I said I'd show you the picture of us with Santa at Disneyland, and also one of his reindeers. So here is a page I made with those pictures.

Friday, January 04, 2008

Food, cooking, etc.

I made cream of mushroom soup from scratch on New Year's Eve. Cream of mushroom soup is one of my favorites, and Todd found a recipe at Cooking Light that makes it delicious and healthy. I follow the recipe, except that I half it because Todd doesn't eat mushrooms. Also, instead of pureeing the WHOLE pot, I take out a few ladles worth of the ingredients (mainly mushrooms as the other veggies are pulverized by heat by then), then puree the rest. Then I put the chunks back into the pureed soup, so that there's chunks of mushrooms in there. Yummy! The rest of the New Year's Eve food consisted of:
So that was our New Year's Eve. We enjoyed our own favorite home-cooked foods and watched football to our hearts content! We also watched this movie, which is one of our FAVORITES!
A while ago I purchased a custom handwriting font from Darcy Baldwin at The Digi Chick. So I scanned my handwriting and sent it to her, and yesterday she emailed me my very own customized handwriting font! Check it out!

Thursday, January 03, 2008

What I do with your holiday cards...

I actually keep every one of them. I really do. Every year I put them all into an acid free brown kraft envelope, and write the year on them. I put all the yearly envelopes in a box. I don't throw them away because I like to look at them, and see how much my friends children have grown, what everyone's been up to, etc. I especially liked the snowmen ones this year, so I picked out some favorites and scrapped a page about them. These are purely chosen based on the card asthetics, not on who sent them! Just so you know... :)

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

I'm Photo of the Day!

I went over to Pink Ink Studio's blog and what do I see??? I'm the Photo of the Day over there! What an honor! I'm so surprised! To celebrate the occasion, I made a page out of it. It is also for my Big Picture Scrapbooking's "Get a Load of This!" class, in which we create one page a day. That's going to be a challenge, but I think I'm up for it!
On today's list:
  • Work (bleh, back to work after 4 day weekend)
  • Workout
  • Clean up desk
  • Make chart of "Consistent" activity tracker
  • Maybe run to Target

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

One little word: CONSISTENCY

Today is New Year's Day and I've been running around the house, getting my to-do list done! And watching bowl games, of course. Instead of point by point new year's resolutions, I thought I would choose one word and stick to it.
My little challenge to myself. You can join me if you want. What is your one little word for 2008?


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