Thursday, December 31, 2009

365

Today was the last day of Project 365!  I did it!
It feels almost as good as finishing grad school, LOL.  Not quite, but almost.  P365 was a rather ambitious undertaking on my part.  Well, taking the photos weren't so bad.  The transferring of photos to the computer, processing of photos, and blogging was the time-consuming part.  However, I'm not one who can settle for a half-ass job, so I had to blog and journal about things.

Today I went to the office to work, because I actually had some deadlines.  Today was a holiday for Todd's work, so he was able to spend time with his parents.  They went for a walk at Miramar Lake.  It was a GORGEOUS day.  It was 70 degrees and sunny.

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After I came home from work, we opened our gifts to each other and had Christmas all over again! Todd got me and his mom both Ohio State Buckeye shirts. We match!
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And he got himself one, LOL.
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We gave Todd's mom a recipe book that we made ourselves. We took all the food photos this year (seen on this blog), and I designed the book.

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The title is "From Our Kitchen to Yours: Favorite Recipes from the Newman Clubhouse". We gave several as gifts and I got them printed 8x8 at Artscow. I will share pages and details in a few days. Overall I'm really happy with it, and so were the recipients!

We got Todd's dad a Hawaiian shirt from Kauai, but I forgot to take a photo of him opening it.

Todd's parents got me some glitter cardstock for my paper-crafting needs. I love it and I'm planning to use them for cards and in my Silhouette digital cutter.
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Todd got some cooking instruments from his parents, for our newly remodeled kitchen.
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Todd gave me a book about dumplings, which I love, and a book that teaches you how to draw cartoon animals, which I've been really wanting to learn.
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Lastly, Todd's parents gave both of us a Garmin GPS unit to put in the car! It's an awesome gift! Now we won't get lost anymore.
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Then we went to work on cooking our New Year's Eve dinner. I cooked my famous Cream of Mushroom Soup. This is my specialty and I've made it many times. Todd doesn't eat mushroom, so I've learned to make this myself.
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It's actually pretty easy and takes about an hour, including 25 minutes of simmer time. And it's pretty healthy because you only use a little bit of half and half.

Todd made his favorite BBQ Pulled Chicken Sandwiches.  I'm aghast that I forgot to take a photo.  See if you can see some on our plates.
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In the evening, Todd made caramel popcorn from scratch and we all ate a bunch. So good!

I have a couple of fun things to show you.
My "09 Year-In-Review" template was featured on The Daily Digi blog today! I didn't know it, so it was such a pleasant surprise!
And... Sweet Shoppe Designs has a brand-new challenge system in 2010, and guess who is the first featured scrapper of 2010 on their blog?  :)

Happy New Year everyone!  Talk to you in 2010!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

How Did a Decade Go By?

I was chatting with my boss today and he said that he was talking with his wife the other day, and they can't believe it's been a decade since everyone was going crazy about the "Y2K" stuff.  I can't believe it's been a decade either!  It seems like yesterday to me.  I remember the end of December 1999 very well, because we moved from Dayton, Ohio to San Diego right before Christmas that year.  I also can't believe that we've lived in San Diego for ten years!  Wow!  In retrospect, I see God's hand leading us here.  My parents had moved to Los Angeles County in November 1997.  That's when we visited them and decided to come down to San Diego, since I had never been.  We just fell in love with the city and made it our long-term goal to live here.  It helped that my company's major R&D facility happened to be in San Diego.  Fast forward to summer of 1999.  I found out the Financial Planning & Analysis Manager for the R&D division of my company left the job.  The job was vacant.  So I applied for it.  The miracle of it was, God had been prepping me for about 4 years for this job.  In 1996 God put the desire in my head to go back to school to get my MBA.  I did it at night while working full time, in order that my company would pay for it.  In 1997, I changed jobs within the company so that I would be in the division that contained the R&D arm in San Diego, even though at that time, I had no inkling to come.  Right after I finished my MBA in 1998, my company put a moratorium on paying tuition for school.  I just made it!  Anyways, I applied for the FP&A Manager job in 1999 to move to San Diego, and I got the job, mainly because I had already worked with the Controller who hired me due to me being in this division of the company already since 1997, and also because I had my MBA.  Even though I was already amazed at what God had led me to in 1999...  I wouldn't know the extent of His plans until February 2007, when my mom passed away from cancer.

Looking back, I realized that I was meant to move to Southern CA in 1999, so that I could visit my parents more often.  I saw my parents at least every couple of months, since we only lived two hours drive apart instead of thousands of miles apart.  I realized how much memories and time I had with my mom during those last few years of her life.  I wouldn't have had that if we had stayed in Ohio.  It really was God's plan and blessing for me.  I often think of the story of Joseph in the Bible when I think about myself.  Yes, I realize God's plan for my life isn't as grand as His plans were for Joseph.  BUT I feel so loved to know that God had an awesome plan for me that made my life events more than just a coincidence.  And that He continues to work in my life to lead me to the next thing.

Project 365 is coming to a close.  Tomorrow will be the last photo(s)!  It's hard to believe that I've made it.  So many times I felt burned out!  And I probably spent an average of 45 minutes a day processing photos  and blogging.  But this record of one year in my life is already precious to me.  It is astounding.  Looking back at the entries in my blog this year makes me so happy!  The ordinary in my life has become extraordinary.  The everyday IS special after all.

One thing ends and several others begin!  I'm excited to share with you some of my plans in early 2010.  I have several new things going on and I hope you'll continue to visit this ole blog of mine as we share our lives with each other.  I can't promise to blog every day after Project 365 ends, but I will definitely still be blogging regularly.  :)

I went into the office today and found a gift from my friend Sandra on my desk.
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The cute snowman takeout box was filled with chocolate and a Mickey Mouse foldable tote bag! I'm so blessed to have friends at work. Oh! I forgot to tell you. The other day, one of the managers of the group that I support at work handed me a holiday card. Inside was a gift card to Costco. He said it was from the whole leadership team to me. I was really touched. When departments give out year-end gifts, they usually overlook the finance person. Why? Because let's face it, we're feared and not that well-liked in general. I'm the one who does the annual budget. I'm the one who does the purchasing and approves spending. Some people think I'm the roadblock all the time, LOL. So I was extra touched that they thought of me during the holidays and gave me a group card and gift. :)

Todd's parents arrive from Ohio tonight. We will go to the airport to get them. Until tomorrow then, my friends!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

final odds and ends

Today is not 1/1/2010 and project 365 is not over. But today is the last Tuesday of the year and thus the last "Tuesdays with Todd." Of course it's possible I'll jump in as a guest at some point next year. Never count a spry blonde out!

But for now, we're going our separate ways...in the blogosphere at least. I've toyed with starting my own blog in the past and this guest stint on listgirl.com has pushed me over the edge. So in 2010, you can read my particular flavor of crazy at Finding Fun. Set your RSS readers to stun.

I was reading eweek the other day - I'm sure none of you miss an issue - and I almost choked when I read this bit in the "Stupid Tech Tricks" article.



...I wanted to post a Facebook status update while attending this year's Cal versus Stanford game...I punched in the note on my iPhone then waited several minutes to confirm what I suspected would happen - the connection failed.

I had the exact same experience. I had to wait until after the game to upload my post. (Must be my FB friend for that link to work.)

We'll finish out this post with a few odds and ends.

Do you ever wonder what happens when geeks in Japan decide to get creative with their food? Wonder no more.

If you hate cute things, don't click this link.

A set of satellite photos like you've never seen.

If you like wacky stuff like the above, that's the kind of things I'll have on my blog...along with some philosophy, religion, and the latest on my efforts in songwriting and Toastmaster-ing. Have a great 2010!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Five Alive!

Look who I found on the couch with my new eReader today...

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You know, with the Christmas gift that HE gave to ME? :p

I found two lists today that I really liked, each with five things in them.

First is 5 Ways to Fight Procrastination by Lain Ehmann.  She's the co-owner of Ella Publishing.  Being a procrastinator, I could use the tips!

Next is my friend Anne's 5 Considerations for 2010 Running Goals.  I loved reading it, but don't think I could implement it due to the fact that I AM one of those people who would run long-distance races and say "I only want to finish" and not set a time goal.  I'm just not that goal-oriented about running.  It's a win that I'm out there running at all, LOL!  I think I could do #1:  Pick a central theme, for your running and your life.  My theme in 2010 is, Goallessness.  I could also do #5:  Run as if there's nowhere to hide.  I did join West Coast Road Runners again for January - June, so I'll be accountable to run with people on Saturday mornings, and also to my running blog readers.  All five of them!  :D

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Good Enough

Another year has almost gone by.  Normally this time of the year, I'm making my list of resolutions for next year.  But I have some different thoughts about that this year.

I'm a perfectionist.  I used to get upset if things didn't go just as I had planned.  (Yes, as you can imagine, I got upset often.)  And I wouldn't do something unless I thought I could do it as close to perfect as I could, in my eyes.  This has caused procrastination and lack of action in doing some things, because of the fear of failure, or of being imperfect.  It is only in the last 2-3 years that I've eased up on myself.  I think my mom's death really put things in perspective for me.  Some things are worth doing, even if I can't do them perfectly.  "Good enough" on some things is just that, good enough!  The time spent trying to reach from 90% to 100% can be staggering incrementally.  Is it really worth hours of additional work to get a little bit more towards perfection?  And really, nobody is perfect.  Todd showed me an article on Lifehack.org the other day that really struck a cord with me.  The title was called "Getting to Good Enough".  It really helped me understand that not everything has to be perfect, or planned out perfectly.  It's okay to be good enough, and to plan it that way.  It would free up a lot of time and energy into other things that are enjoyable.  One thing that I can definitely apply this principle to is cleaning off my desk.  I often put it off because it seems too daunting to have to get EVERYTHING organized and off the desk.  But if my goal is to be good enough, then spending 15 minutes to get a lot of things off the desk and filed away doesn't seem so bad.

Our next door neighbor Fred gave us some freshly roasted coffee beans for Christmas.  I grinded them and made some coffee this morning.  The aroma was amazing and it was delicious.
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Todd and I prepared a crock pot dish this morning before church. I chopped all the vegetables and he seared the beef and made the sauce. We put it all into the crockpot and left for church. After church, we went to In-N-Out Burger. (Yum!) Then I spent a good part of the afternoon auditing and paying bills, but I'm so glad they're done for now.

It is the Provencal Beef Stew from Cooking Light.
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We added some noodles. It was really good!
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Saturday, December 26, 2009

Day After Christmas

Today we made some lemon ginger scones for breakfast, but I totally forgot to take any photos. After breakfast, my dad and Shelly left. But beforehand, we took some photos in front of the tree. I set the auto-timer to take 10 photos in a row.

Some photos turned out great.
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Others... well, there was mischief.
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After my dad and Shelly left, we went to run five miles at Lake Miramar. It had been a full TEN days since I had last run (in Hawaii). And it had been since December 5th that I ran five miles. My running and exercise has been very sporatic in December. That coupled with over-eating during vacation and the holidays, has made me gain a few pounds. I will be back to eating less and exercising more soon, so I can lose a few pounds again.

I forgot to bring my camera to Lake Miramar. It was slightly cloudy and overcast, even at 11:30am, so we ran pretty comfortably without getting too hot. The first three miles were pretty easy, but I felt tired in the last two miles. I compared notes with Todd after the run and he said he also got pooped out after three miles. We are out of shape! Need to run more, LOL.

Lake Miramar Run
Distance:  5.01 miles
Time:  55:35
Avg time/mile:  11:06
Calories:  496

After the run we had lunch at Chile Peppers.  Todd had two carnitas tacos, while I had three taquitos.  Yum!

Then we went home and promptly left with both cars, so we could drop Todd's car off to get some warranty service done.  They had replaced the intake manifold a few months ago, and subsequently the car has been leaking anti-freeze fluid.  Since they just did the work, they are fixing it for free.

In the afternoon we watched some bowl games and hung out.  We had leftovers for dinner.  Fred and Annie next door gave us some homemade Tres Leche Cake, so we ate some of that for dessert.
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It was delicious!  Mmm...  Then I spent hours processing photos and blogging the last three days.  It's worth it for the memories.  I find that I don't even remember three days ago that well!  Today is officially Day 360 of Project 365.  Only five more days to go!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas Day

We got up and had breakfast together.
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Then it was time for the opening of gifts! We gathered around the tree and took turns opening presents.

First up was Dad.
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Todd and I gave him the book "Outliers" by Malcolm Gladwell. Todd had read it on the Amazon Kindle while on a business trip earlier this year, and we thought that my dad would really like it. I don't wanna gripe on Christmas, but I had to purchase this last-minute from Borders due to unforeseen circumstances, and I paid almost 3x more than what Amazon sells it for.  I don't know how Borders can justify selling it for that kind of price!  (Alright, rant over.)

Then it was Todd's turn.
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Santa (or is it I?) gave Todd an Ohio State Buckeyes license plate holder.

Then it was Shelly's turn to open a gift.
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Todd and I got Shelly a sweater.

Todd got me a Julius the Monkey sweatshirt with ears on the hood!
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He claims that he had been eyeing it for years and finally bought it for me.

Todd and I got my dad a sweater.  He put it on right way.  :)
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Dad and Shelly got Todd a cast-iron skillet, which he had been wanting.
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Of course, we all had to hold the iron skillet, because it was incredibly heavy!
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Todd and I also got Shelly a Williams-Sonoma garlic slicer/crusher combo.
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We had noticed on our visits to my dad's house that they chopped and sliced garlic by hand. So I thought I would get them a garlic slicer/crusher, since they like to use garlic in cooking.

Then I opened Todd's gift to me.
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I couldn't believe it! He got me a Sony Pocket Reader. Now I can carry up to 350 books around in my purse and read whenever and wherever! I love it so much and I was SO excited! Turns out, my good friend Peppermint had weaseled the info out of Todd earlier in the week, so she gave me some books to read on it! I started reading the first Sookie Stackhouse book and I love it!

Todd and I gave my dad and Shelly a digital frame. Shelly wanted one to display their wedding photos and photos from their trips to other countries.
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I got Todd a new electric shaver. His started not working so well on our trip to Hawaii earlier this month...
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I also got Todd a Malcolm Gladwell book, "What the Dog Saw", which is his new one.
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Todd had liked "Outliers" so much, I thought this new book would be fun for him.

Shelly and my dad gave me some shower cream and body lotion from Bath & Body Works.  It smelled really good!
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I got Todd a cupcake baking pan in the shape of the Ohio State "Block O".
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Shelly got me a little purse, great for traveling.
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Then we went to lunch at China Max. They are always open on Christmas Day. We went there for lunch last year on Christmas as well. We had some dim sum selections, as well as ordered a green bean dish and a pan fried noodle dish.
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After lunch, we drove to La Jolla to enjoy our "10th Annual Christmas at the Beach". Ever since we moved to San Diego at the end of 1999, we have tried to spend every Christmas at the beach. The only year we missed was 2006, when my mom was really ill. Today was a gorgeous day! Sunny and 70 degrees, with blue skies.
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We parked on Girard. Todd managed to find a bakery open on Christmas Day. They had a whole nativity scene made with cookies.
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Todd bought the seal cookie and promptly ate his tail. :-|

We walked over to where the seals are.
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A closer view of them.
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It was really crowded there due to it being Christmas, and it being such a nice day out. We got some great photos.
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After we came home, Shelly and my dad took a nap. I was too excited to start loading books onto my Reader. :) We watched some football. Todd cooked a wonderful dish for dinner (Spicy Peanut Chicken Over Rice), plus we had some leftovers. I forgot to take photos during dinner.

After dinner, we helped dad and Shelly put their photos into the digital frame.  We also helped them set-up their new netbook.  Then we all headed to bed relatively early, around 10:30pm.  We were tired from all the excitement of the day!  Although, I'll freely admit that I brought my Reader to bed and read for a while.  :)

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