Tuesday, January 30, 2007

On our way......

just a quick post to let you all know that starting tomorrow morn, bright and early, Keith and I will be on our way home.......

Will post when we are in Chicago!


Thursday, January 25, 2007


I've always been a list maker - it helps me not get freaked out. But sometimes I won't make them when I know the lists are too big, which kind of defeats the purpose of helping me tackle projects, doesn't it?

Anyway, I've got a few lists - some for home, some for work. At work, its a list of things that HAVE to get done before I leave, HAVE to get done AFTER I leave, and then the list of things that just won't get done ever, and no one will die because of it. I already have a nice steady list of appointments and training already set up for after I start my new position as well.

At home its mostly a list of things to do - things to purge - things to organize - things to bring with me in the car - things that need to go to the house by air shipment - things that need to get to the house sometime, and stuff that will go into storage. Its been a barrage of lists that somehow aren't managing to stress me out too much or drown me yet. I'm determined to make this a relatively stress-free move. Lets see if it really is mind over matter, because I don't think I've ever done a move where I wasn't freaking out at some point. So far, so good.

Lets see, the things I am focusing on right now for this weekend: Tonight I will have to finish purging all the things I need to get rid of. Hopefully as we speak Keith is disassembling the desk so we can send it off with the rest of the donated goods tomorrow morning when Salvation Army comes to pick it all up. I successfully compiled at least another truckful. So, that will be FIVE truckfulls (think an extra long bed pick up piled high above the cab) of stuff that I have given away - not to mention the countless numbers of trashbags of shredded and torn documents. I'm so glad I bought a shredder a few years ago. Totally a great investment and I don't have to worry about people stealing my social security number. After the STUFF is purged, I'll still have quite a bit of files to go through and sort out - but that will really be secondary. As Pat O'Brien keeps on reminding me - Papers don't take up all that much space......

Then, after that is all done, Friday and Saturday I will need to make sure to separate and clearly mark what is going where as far as Air shipment (basically clothes & printer), house shipment, storage shipment. I'm going to try to separate it by room - but we'll see how that all works out. Then Sunday night I'll have to pack - for a week or so. Actually two bags - one I can leave in the car, and another I can take with me into the hotels when we get to where we're going. I have to make sure everything we are taking in the car is necessary - and that it will all fit!

Saturday was supposed to be a rugby game, but its cancelled so they are just training instead. I'm not sure if I can make it to say goodbye to everyone - I have to work Saturday as well because of a HUGE meeting they are having here at the CTC. Hopefully we can at least drive down there and say hello for a bit. Sunday we're making time to spend some QT with our friends and surrogate family Fernando, Martha, Alejandro and little Fer. It will be hardest, for me, to say goodbye to them - they've been so good to us. We're going to go see La Basilica de Guadalupe, since it was the most important thing on my list to see while I was living here.

In the (not too distant) future:
The movers will be here Monday morning, so I have to also make sure I have the tablet of papers filled out and the appropriate copies of documentation ready so they have everything needed to get my goods across the border.

Monday I also have to take my car in for service to make sure its road worthy - also need to put on the new windshield wipers too.

I already transfered most of my money to my US account - but I think Tuesday I'll withdraw the rest and close my bank account. Tuesday night hopefully I can have dinner again with Veronica and her sister......OH Crap - I forgot I have to turn off our SKY sattelite - I need to call them FIRST thing tomorrow morning. Then Wednesday I'll turn in the keys to our renter and such. I have to not forget to ask about our security deposit. I would like that back in Cash.

Wow - it was exhausting just reading over it all! I hope you can excuse me for not keeping the blog updated for the next week - it will be a whirlwind. I will definitely post when we are safe and sound in the US of A though.......

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Before I show scrappin stuff...

I have to bitch a little bit. I don't like feeling all Big Brother-y. Case in point - I came to work Monday morning, only to turn on my computer and see "they" have erased my screen saver and installed a Rah Rah Holcim Apasco one - Safety first and all that crap. As if I don't see enough paraphanalia when I walked down the halls or into people's offices. When my computer goes to sleep - I want to see MY pictures.

I guess that is asking too much seeing as how it is their computer.

Also, they started blocking my FAVORITE site in the universe - CUTE OVERLOAD AND my stinkin' blog lines! how the heck am I supposed to go a week without reading up on the trials and tribulations of my cyber friends?!?! I'll tell you how - I'M NOT SUPPOSE TO!!!! Ack. Whats next people - censored personal email too? Sheesh. This not having uncensored internet at home is driving me a bit batty.

OK - and now on to the scrapping show. Instead of typing out all the credits here - I'm just going to link the picture to a place where you can see it. How does that sound? Makes my life a bit easier, so I'll go with it.

Here we go: 1st, we'll start with some layouts featuring my trusty sidekick throughout this whole Mexico affair, Keith.
Good Ol' Boys

White Cloud

Now, one of my little (now grown up :( ) cousins Janelle & Nikki - I can't believe how STINKIN' beautiful they are. And no, they are not twins.

Dia de los Muertos

And, finally, a couple two page layouts from my Dad's Surprise Birthday/Retirement party - the second two are of his college friends, and the first two are of the rest of the guests. It all was pretty darn fun! I must say!

Before I go, I just wanted to update you all on my running training. I'm still doing it! HUZZAH! I'm offiically in week 6 , and should be running for a total of 25 minutes straight by time I make it home to Chicago in 10 days. Here's to productive training! Shamrock Shuffle - HERE I COME!!!

Monday, January 22, 2007

pretty chill weekend...

This weekend wasn’t all that exciting – but I did get a lot accomplished. Keith had a rugby game Saturday, but I couldn’t go because I was waiting for some people to stop by to look at the house (for the next tenants) and also for one of the cleaning ladies from work to stop by and take all my old things. She asked politely because, she was going to stop working (something about her husband not letting her work) and they didn’t have many things – so I said absolutely! I was just going to donate it all to Salvation Army anyway, and since it was such a huge pain the ass to get a receipt , it wouldn’t-t make a difference if I gave it to her, or the Salvation Army. She said they will probably use some things, and what they can’t use they will sell…..which is totally cool. So, 90% of the things I wanted to purge are gone. There is still a little bit left, but I will have that ready for the Salvation Army to come and pick up at the end of this week.

Fernando stopped by after my other visitors in the early afternoon, and we decided to head up to the rugby pitch to enjoy the weather and good company, even though we knew the Wallabies’ game would be over. Martha & the boys were in Colorines, so they didn’t join us. It was a beautiful day, and it was nice to spend it out in the sunshine. There was a party after the game that night in Mexico City, but when we got home after lunch we just crashed and took naps, and didn’t feel like doing much of anything – so we just watched movies and TV.

Funny side note – Keith got pulled over by some cops as he was driving to the Pitch – and the cop was making a big deal of our papers being expired for the car. Yes, technically they are expired – they expired with my visa….but it is supposed to renew with a valid visa, regardless of what the expired tag says. Anyway, because of the language barrier – it just ended up being easier to offer a mordida (bribe). I absolutely loathe that system, and I realize that we are being part of the problem by contributing, but it is hard to communicate to really do the right thing, you know? Anyway, I was very proud of myself because when Keith called to tell me so I could talk to the Cop, I didn’t freak out. I think living here in Mexico has made me a little bit laid back – as much as I can be anyway.

I just can’t wait to get back to the US where I can trust the police, and know they are doing their job for the wellbeing of everyone. If I’m ever pulled over I’m going to make sure to tell them that, even if I have to do it smiling while accepting a ticket.

I also got a shit ton of scrapping done – I’m so productive when I don’t have internet to keep me distracted! Maybe I’ll share those tomorrow.

Sunday was spend cooking and watching football. I’m trying to use all the food we have here, so we don’t waste a lot. The only thing we should have to buy is Milk. Can’t go without milk. I’m cooking because I find that I don’t want to cook at all at nights or for lunch, I’m too lazy. I want something I can just warm up. So I made some chicken slow cooker yumminess – cooked first with Italian dressing, then drained, shredded and mixed into a mushroom soup/spices/cream cheese sauce. It came out rather nice!

Then I prepared lasagna for Veronica who is coming over for a farewell dinner tomorrow night. I figured it would just be easier to prepare it now, stick it in the fridge, and then just have to throw it in the oven tomorrow night after work. Should be yummy. I wanted to pick up some wine, but I just got her favorite beer, since she’s more of a beer drinker anyway. Does beer go with Lasagna?

It is SOOO crazy to think this is my last week of work. Even worse, its sooooo crazy to think I’ve successfully procrastinated this long, to leave everything to cram into one stinkin week! No worries though – I will get it all done :)

This morning I had my first conference call with my new sales group. I’m definitely looking forward to that! Just part of the transition that will take me home!!!!

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Frogger, Crazy Men & Birthdays


Yesterday I had a true Mexican adventure – I crossed an 8 lane street without using a crosswalk. Now, don’t think I’m living on the edge here – I would have used a crosswalk if they existed here. The truth is, they don’t, and every time I see a family of four lugging 3 small children across a busy thorough fare, or worse, a highway, I cringe. But, alas, that’s how they roll here.

The reason why I did it, is because I had to get some keys copied, and there wasn’t any parking on the correct side of the street, nor was there an easy way to turn around to return to my house (I went during lunch time). So I just parked on the southbound side of the street, and ran across and got the copies made. I tried to do it semi close to a light so I was at least guaranteed some resemblance of a break in traffic. I made it there and back, with little trouble, although I did feel a bit like Frogger. Especially when crossing in front of buses – you never know if they see you or not.

:::::::::::::::::CRAZY MEN:::::::::::::::::

After I had finished with my Frogger adventure and was heading home to eat, I had another unusual experience. When I turned into our neighborhood area off of the main drag, there was a person behind me honking and flashing his lights and trying to pull on the side of me. I’m kind of freaking out – but just trying to ignore him…there is NO way I’m pulling over and letting some crazy man rob me in broad daylight! It was kind of scary. When he finally did pull up beside me – I realized it was our friend Sergio, whom we haven’t seen in quite a while!

He used to work at Wall Street with Keith, but quit when his boss made his life a living hell when he didn’t want to go out with her……anyway, Keith lost his phone, so Sergio didn’t have any way to get ahold of us, so it was very fatuitous that he saw my car (which is very unusual and distinct down here) and followed me, scaring the crap out of me until I realized it was him. I told him I thought he was crazy and trying to kill me :o) Now he has my cell phone number, and hopefully we can have a small get together before we leave.


Last night, at midnight, it was the birthday of one of our neighbors across the street. I really have no idea who it was, or how old they were, but I know it was their birthday because at midnight, on the dot, the streets of quiet Rancho Las Palomas erupted in the happy sounds of a 9 piece Mariachi band playing Las Mañanitas.

I retired early last night because I was pretty tired, so I was in bed and sleeping by 10:30 – and normally I would be upset by such a disruption in the middle of my sleep – but not last night. It was such a beautiful sound – I love the sounds of trumpets playing in three part harmony with perfect vibrato – and a chorus of men with deep, rich voices belting out songs of antiguity. And of course, there always has to be a couple slightly off tune violins and other booming, handcrafted string instruments. And to look out my window and see an actual birthday serenade – Men in black Charro Suits with silver accents, and one guy with a Serape that just can’t take the cold Toluca nights – well, it was one of those times where I just smiled and thought to myself “WOW! How lucky am I to have had the chance to live here and experience something like this!”
I called down to Keith to see if he heard it (as if it was possible to not hear it) and he said he was looking out the window too. They played a couple of songs, including “Sabes una cosa” which always makes me dance a little bit no matter where I am. So, as I was drifting off to sleep, smile of contentment upon my face, I was dancing a little bit – not just because of the music, but happy to experience that in person, and also happy that I’m almost done and ready to come home. I’m going to miss random experiences like that, but I’ve experienced so much already, and I’m ready to head back to the arms of people I love.

:::::::::::::::::AND WHILE WE’RE HERE:::::::::::::::::

Here are the two pages I worked on Tuesday night. Probably a couple of my new favorites!!!

Forever Fans
This is me & Pat O’Brien, and his niece, Larkin in September 2005. We were all geared up ready to watch the game. I'm pretty sure the Lion's Lost.

Journaling reads: It’s a curse. We love the Detroit Lions. Every year, we think, maybe, they won't suck as bad as last year. But, every year we are forced to endure a toturous season full of new mistakes and a team that invents new ways to lose. Oh well. At least we look good in Honolulu Blue!

You can see credits HERE

This is one of my favorite pictures from Christmas. Pat O’Brien & I were laying on the couch, and my nephew Austin just decided to climb up on me to cuddle and watch Cars with us :) He's too cute!
You can see credits HERE

Wednesday, January 17, 2007


Girl Cousins
My little sister Karli, and our cousins, Janelle & Nikki at Christmastime
Papers & Elements - Marcie Reckinger Lovealicious available exclusively at ACOT; Drop Shadows by Traci Murphy; Photo Action by Michelle Pearson; Font – Mistral

I am Proud
This is for a reJENerate Challenge at Jen Wilson's website. The objective was to do a LO based on what makes you truly happy.

Journaling Reads:
I have made many mistakes along the way, but
I am proud of where I have been
I have worked hard to accept my life and myself, but I am finally
happy where I am
For all the opportunities, both those by chance and those that I created, I am thankful and
excited where I am going
This is a true gift that makes me smile from the inside out. How lucky am I to feel this way!

Paper & Embelishments – ReJENerate Reflect; Fonts: Trashed, Susie’s hand, Reservoir Grunge, Bernard MT

2006 O’Brien Family Christmas Journaling reads: We spent the O’Brien family Christmas at Moe & Steve’s house on Dec. 28 -30. We ate a great meal, drank champagne, and even went bowling! The highlight though, was playing Wii - with the whole family involved!

Photo frame cluster with shadows - Nancy Comelab; Stamped Alpha - Comfy Jeans by Traci Reed; Papers & elements - Holiday Bliss by Shannon Lee; Drop Shadows by Traci Murphy

Joseph William Roebuck

My cousin Ronda & her husband Darren's bundle of joy!
Joseph William Roebuck - October 9, 2006 - 6:40PM - 7.5 lbs 21 inches

Papers, elements & alpha - Traci Reed Comfy Jeans Kit - Natural Woman Collection; Glitter flower - Gina Miller; Template Kelly Shults; Drop Shadows - Traci Murphy; Font - cry kitty, Mistral


::::::::::::::::I {heart} TelMex::::::::::::::::

So, based on a cyber friend's advice, I decided to call TelMex/Prodigy to cancel my internet service for the end of the month.......I'm not exactly sure what I ended up doing, but the internet service stopped working sometime yesterday after I called, so I'm assuming they already shut it off. Which is great, I guess - sometimes I just wish I could understand Spanish better so I knew what was going on when I'm on the phone. Some people are really nice about it, and make an effort to speak more clearly and slowly....some people - like operators at TelMex - don't. So, I'm not sure what I did - but I don't think it would be worth the hassel to turn it back on for two weeks. So,I guess we'll just go without - I'll still have access at work, and Keith will at his work, so we won't be completely cut off. And then, too, maybe I'll be able to get some things done instead of sitting in front of the computer all night. Of course, there is always TV to watch and digiscrapping to do :)

::::::::::::::::OH BROTHER::::::::::::::::

Poor Keithy Boy is sick. He was feeling kind of poopy after he got home from Christmas time, then got better, then just took a turn for the worse. All hackin' and horkin' snot all over the place. Its kind of gross. He said he was blowin electric green boogers all day yesterday. I personally think its the same sinus infection I had - and I'm hoping to high heaven he doesn't give it back to me. I'm still taking antibiotics though, so I'm sure that will help! I'm happy now that he's using up some of the Cold Medicine I have because the movers said they won't pack it, and I would hate for all that to go to waste.

::::::::::::::::POOR POOR PAT::::::::::::::::

Something went all screwy with Pat O'Brien's Jeep yesterday.....he said the odometer, spedometer and transmission weren't functioning - and he was stuck in 1st or 2nd gear. And, his dash board was lit up with warning lights more than the Griswold house at Christmastime. I guess that would officially mean something is wrong, eh? He managed to get home safely, but will be sportin' a rental until he can get the car into the shop on MONDAY. WTF?? That just seems like forever to me....I think I might have to talk to a Manager in that case. I can be very persuasive if I need to be.

::::::::::::::::MOVE UPDATE::::::::::::::::

There has been some plan finalization in the move front. The packers are officially coming January 29 - 31, so that leaves me to map out our plan of driving attack for Feb 1 - 4. Its all coming soon ladies and germs! I can hardly stand the anticipation!!!!!

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

What is a Sesame??

“What's a sesame seed grow into? I don't know we never give them a chance, what the fuck is a sesame?! It's a street... It's a way to open shit...”

"I think they could take sesame seeds off the market, and I wouldn't even care. I can't imagine five years from now saying, "Damn, remember sesame seeds? What happened? All the buns are blank!"

--Mitch Hedberg (see more Mitch Quotes here)

The great comedian Mitch Hedberg posed a very deep question when he wondered aloud about what exactly, is a sesame. We have lots of sesame seeds, but no one lets them grow up and be just a sesame. His sesame bit also delved into the wonderment of how the sesame seeds got to sick on the buns - maybe they had one adhesive side.....who knows.

Anyway, I was a'pondering this very subject today, and finally remembered to look it up.

Ladies and Gentlemen - I present to you, from Yahoo!Education, A sesame.

{PHOTO REMOVED FROM BLOG - view at Yahoo!}

You can also find out more about this wonderous plant HERE, at Wikipedia. If you can't find it at Wikipedia, then it must not exist.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Happy MLK Day!

Keith posted this on our Diaz family email group, but I thought I would post the link here. I would like to embed it – but YouTube is blocked from work so I can’t get the code. DAMMIT ALL ANYWAY! Its always a good thing to be learned in American History, and I think everyone -young and old - shoud make an effort to see the speech in its entirety - and just gives me goosebumps besides the point.


::::::::::::::DOH! ::::::::::::::

It was brought to my attention that my previous post of my 15 year old version of my “obituary” was, well, creepy. I guess it may be perceived as kind of strange, but the purpose of the assignment was to write a realistic version of your life, keeping in mind that life isn’t always good and perfect, and sometimes very bad things do happen. I do not, in any way, think I “jinxed” myself by writing that, nor was I hoping that it would happen, nor was I making light of leukemia – it was simply a story of fiction. I thought it was interesting, the perspective of myself half a life ago, so I shared. Nothing more.

:::::::::::::: WEEKEND FUN ::::::::::::::

I intended to do a ton of purging and cleaning this weekend, but instead, I did a lot of scrapping :) I did get the automatic litterbox cleaned out, disinfected, and ready for shipment though – so that was a pretty monumental task. Also did laundry. Maybe the last time before we leave? Who knows. I’m not sure if I can go 2 weeks without doing laundry.

:::::::::::::: RUG-O-RAMA::::::::::::::

Keith and I also headed to a Rugby 7’s tournament Saturday afternoon. It was a beautiful day, until the sun went down, then it got hella chilly and kind a cold. A nice view too – the tourney was in Lerma, which is right next to Toluca….and from the pitches you could see the Volcano really well.

One cool thing that was a bit different in this tournament was the presence of young ruggers. In the AM (which we missed because Keith was working) they had the youngsters play – primarily high school teams, and even some chicks that were playing (they don’t have separate women’s teams here, as far as I know). BUT – they also had a group of kids from the Ministries of Love, which is an orphanage in Mexico City. One of the teams in DF, Los Demonios, started this program to teach rugby to them. These kids were sooooo little! Like 6 – 12 I think, but they were out there with their teammates, learning the rules and running around like crazy. It looked funny because the ball was so big in comparison to their little bodies! But, you could tell they were really enjoying themselves and having a great time!

There was some discussion of the danger of having kids that young play rugby, but NAY to that I say – kids will be kids, brawlin’ and wrestling regardless if its an organized sport or not. And, if its taught correctly, there is no harm done. I’ll post some pics of them after I get home.

I really like being around Ruggers. They are so fun and so relaxed – maybe I like them so much because they balance out my OCD and neuroticness. It’s always a great international atmosphere too – even in the US. Its like, when people from around the world move from a new city, state, or country, the first thing they do is find a new Rugby Team to play with….probably because its like Instant Friends. Rugby Folk are good folk……good drinking folk, but good folk nonetheless!

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Hidden Treasures

Here is an example of how my mom would end EVERY letter she sent while she was in college.

....Be Good
....Study Hard
....Go to Church


Good advice, don't you think?

Then, there was a care package that the entire Mayer family chipped in to buy for my first Finals Week. It was a little index card, crammed with well wishes:

Be good - study hard - & go to church - love, Mom
I love you - Do your Best - Dad
GO KARIN - Karli
A little Prayer Helps
If you do good.....I'll be happy for you - Love Kyle Mayer
I hope I can come down soon - Keith
If you do good.....I'll send you more food - Uncle Paul, Aunt Kathy & Jeff
Good luck on exams! Next we'll send you a washing machine - love Aunt Joni & Uncle Jerry, Janelle & Nikki
Then of course, a trademark stick person by my Grandpa Mayer.

I don't remember what the care package consisted of - but I can be pretty darn sure that I was psyched to get it! And I'm keeping that card forever. Its awesome! Maybe I'll scan it as soon as I get the scanner hooked back up.

And now, for the whammy.

::::::::::::The Days of a Good Woman::::::::::::
Written on 24 September 1993, by a 15 year old Karin Mayer

Karin T. Mayer-Brutkiewicz was a kind, intelligent woman who was a devoted mother and spouse. She will always be remembered by her positive outlook, her love of life and the happiness she brought to others.

She was born in Saginaw, Michigan, on December 12, 1977, to two loving parents. She was brought up to love life, to speak as she felt and never hold any of her feelings back.

When Karin was four years old, her family and she moved to Colorado. She quickly made friends, and was enrolled in pre-school the following fall.

She loved all her friends dearly, and shared everything that she could with all of them; especially those that were less fortunate than she. Her best friend at the time, Miriam, never had a lot of material things, but Karin made sure that Miri was always happy and rich at heart!

Upon returning to Saginaw a year later, she was entered into kindergarten. She did exceptionally well, and was advanced to the first grade two weeks later. Although being a year younger than most of the students, she made friends that would last a lifetime. She continued to do well through out elementary and middle school, as she almost always had all A's.

In June of 1995, Karin Mayer graduated from Carrollton High School as Valedictorian and president of the National Honors Society. She was also a National Merit Scholarship recipient, and proceeded to further her education at the University of Colorado; majoring in biological physics, minoring in music.

Ms. Mayer was on the Dean's list and in the top five of her class. She was recommended to anyone by her professors, who say that "Karin was a hard working, dedicated individual who strives for success in everything she does."

When she received her bachelor's degree in bio-physics, she was offered a job to co-op at the DNR office in Denver. After graduating from U of C on year later with a masters in bio-physics, the DNR offered her a full time job at the office in Michigan, near Saginaw, which she gladly accepted.

On November 19, 2004, Karin married Sergeant Matthew Brutkiewicz of the U.S. Marines. Less than a year later, their first child, Katelyn Cecilia was born. In 2006, they moved to Colorado so Karin could accept a job as head bio-physicist at the DNR office in Denver. During the next four years, Matthew Jr. and Jacob Michael were born. After their last child, Kaleb Nathaniel, was born, Karin was in the hospital for three weeks due to complications during and after his birth.

In the year 2019, Karin was promoted to vice-president of the DNR in reward for her hard work and dedication to the program.

In 2023, their second youngest son was diagnosed with leukemia. Jacob died in 2026 at the age of 17. His parents were devistated, but they were determined to let his spirit live on. Jacob's college money was used to start a charity to help young people with cancer.

During the next eight years, Karin & Matt were graced with five grandchildren. The first born was named Jacob Michael, after his uncle.

In 2036, she retired to devote her time volunteering for the National Cancer Society and to visit friends and family. The Brutkiewicz's eventually bought a small house on Houghton Lake. They spent their summers on their small ranch in the Rockies.

Matt passed away at the age of 64. Lonely and homesick, Karin sold the house on the lake and moved to their summer home in the mountains. She continued to live there until 2052 when she died in a rock climbing accident.

Karin was loved by many, and her spirit will remain in the hearts of those she helped and loved.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Purge - purge - AND MORE PURGE!

I'm making my way through the mess peeps - its all coming together! Last night I sat down in the overfilled office area and purged a zillion old bills, documents, blah blah blah. Although I didn't get through a whole heck of a lot, I emptied a couple boxes and am making progress.

In the process of shredding things I came across an old file I had with things from high school and college in it. I did pare down some of it, but I did keep enough to fit in a small folder. Just old letters from friends, some from my parents, drawings a cute little 5 year old Karli made for me while I was away. It was pretty funny! The stuff from high school was mostly stories and writings I did for English class - those were rather hilarious! One was an obituary recounting my life story - it didn't have much right (I think I was some sort of Bio-Physicist or something) but it did have right that I would move to Colorado for a bit. Kinda amusing to read. Maybe I'll post it here later - so you can see the high hopes I had for myself as a 16 year old girl.

The best thing about all this is now I am in the mood to purge - so it makes the monumental task a lot easier. I'll finish the rest of the box tonight, and maybe hit my Tshirt area.

I'm starting to stress a lot, but apparently thats just how I do. Really I'd like to not be that way. In talking with an intern at lunch, I asked for advice on how to not stress. She told me that I take tasks that aren't that important, and worry about every detail. I would have been slightly offended, if she weren't exactly right!!! I really do need to chill - life's too short to spend it all wound up in a ball.....

On another note - at lunch time I was trying to figure out the spanish word for procrastinator, because I am SUCH a procrastinator it is ridiculous....so I explained to my friends the definition - a person who waits until the very last mintue to do things, even if they could do it right away with plenty of time to spare.

Their answer? and I quote: "A good Mexican".

Thursday, January 11, 2007


I just closed my credit card account. wanna know why? because it has a balance of ZERO! WOOO HOOOO!!! It feels pretty good to get it all paid. Now, I just have another little balance to pay off next month, and I'll be good as gold. SWEET!

I ran again this morning. I did NOT want to get out of bed (suprise suprise, I know) but I did anyway, albiet two snoozes later. I'm following the couch potato to 5K thing. The only bad part today was that I kind of have a little blister on the inside of my left arch. Kind of a bad spot, you know? I need new running shoes anyway, but these will have to serve me for the next 10 runs or so, til I get back to the USA.

Speaking of the USA, I'm not sure if I've shared our official plan......well, its not TOTALLY official, there still maybe some changes, but as it looks now....

I have two weeks of work left. Well, 11 days if you count tomorrow. I think I'll stop working on the 26th because the 29-31 the movers will be a packin up. Its a very strange feeling to know the end is near. Not like its motivating me to get any work done faster - I'm still procrastinating, but I am making progress.

Also on the 31st, my landlady will be stopping by so I can give her the keys and we can have a walk through. I'm planning on doing lots of cleaning and stuff as the movers are done in various rooms - so it should be ready for her. I'm not sure if we'll get all our security deposit back, since the cieling in the maid's quarters is all jacked up due to a little flooding incident during the rainy season, but I'll try to play it off like I didn't do anything wrong, and hopefully avoid any charges.

Which reminds me, I need to contact Prodigy to cancel my service on the 31st - I should probably wait until at least the 29th to cancel though, no? The phone, electricity and gas are all in the landlady's name, so I don't have to do anything there.

Then, we'll either stay in a hotel in Toluca the night of the 31st....or I was thinking maybe we could drive up to Querétaro and stay there for a night, just to make our drive on Feb 1st a bit shorter. Keith made it from the border to Toluca in just 9 hours, but he was also going about 100 mph in some spots, which I just don't feel is very safe.....So if we left from Querétaro it would make it a 7-8 hour drive to the border, and we could leave early and still get my car sticker taken off and make it across the border in daylight, and at our hotel in Laredo before its too late.

The days of Feb 2 - 4 aren't as planned yet. I'm pretty sure we can make it from Laredo to Chicago in two days, but we might take three just because the company is footing the bill and we can do that. I don't know.....I do know we need to be in Chitown before Kick off for the Super Bowl, and we should be able to do that no problem, which is cool.

Our iPod library has grown significantly since our trip down here......so that is cool. Also, I won't be paying out of pocket, which is also cool. I kind of wish I could make it a real Road trip, cris-crossing across the country, stopping and visitng people, but I don't really have the time for that. But, Keith is a good road trip partner (aside from the driving 1000 miles an hour) so really, I'm kind of looking forward to it!!

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Great sight...

I'm not at work because I'm waiting for the Mover's person to come survey my house and see how much crap I have, so they have sufficient materials to pack me up and move!!!!!

I took Keith to work this morning, then went to the gym for a bit. While I was cooling down and stretching, I saw one of the most beautiful sights in the world. It totally made me smile and put me in a great mood. I actually stretched a bit longer just so I could look out the window and watch it.

So what was this wonderful sight, you may ask? Nothing more than a woman and her dog. Seems pretty normal, right? Well, I suppose it was. They were in the dirt lot next door to the gym - just playing fetch, and running around. But, it was beautiful. It was just after sunrise, so the light was still a reddish purple coming over the mountains in the east. You could see both her and the puppy's breath exploding in the cool, crisp air. They were both completely enjoying each other's company, appearing to think nothing more than living in that exact moment; nothing more than having fun and playing.

She'd pick up a 2 foot stick, hurl it as far as she could, and the dog would run after it - but when the pup was running back toward her at full speed, she would take off as if saying "catch me if you can!" and then flash a big giant smile when the yellow lab finally caught up. Then, after a particularly long run, she would throw the stick and the dog would run a few feet, look back at her as if to ask "Aren't you coming to get this stick with me?" which would inevitably make the woman giggle and smile, and offer a small scratch behind the ears.

Really, it was just beautiful - its amazing to see two friends completely at peace and happy. Fun to see a person and a dog getting exercise, but truly enjoying life. Its great to see a well cared for, loved dog in these parts. There are too many times here that I see mistreated, hurt, sick and uncared for dogs - and sometimes it makes me so sad...but not today. That woman will probably never know that she and her friend made a great start to my day, but I'm very happy she did!

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

For your viewing pleasure.....

A recent thread at DigiShopTalk.com about brazilian waxing preempted a thread showing this video. Its a must see - especially if you have ever had or are considering a bikini wax. Its not graphic - but it is pretty hilarious!!!

My personal stance? I can't wait to get back to the US, where you can actually request a brazilian wax without anyone looking at you like you are some sick-psycho-American pervert. I think every woman should try it at least once in thier lives! (sorry Dad)


Just wanted to report that, yes, ladies and gents, I did actually get my bum out of bed today to go running. Keith went with me, just for added security, but slept in the car while I did my 20 minutes. There were plenty of other people around, so I don't think it will be an issue when I go by myself next time on Thursday.

And, I feel SOOOO good! My lungs are still burning a bit, but really, I have 10 to the infinity power more energy than previously. Soo worth it. Totally.

Also, I did get two paper pages scrapped yesterday of my 1993 Prom. It was by far my second favorite dress of all time. I can't scan in a picture, because the desktop computer I had took a dump and isn't working anymore.....but trust me, it was awesome. And my earrings were kick ass too.

Monday, January 08, 2007

The clock is ticking…..

I’ve been putting it off and putting it off – mostly because I am a World class champion procrastinator – so much so that I’ve convinced myself that I actually work better when there is a time crunch!

I have vowed today to make a list of EVERYTHING that I need to complete in the next three weeks – and then break it all down and make a plan of attack so I can make sure to get everything done. And I will do it. I promise you. After lunch.

::::::::::::::ACOT CROP::::::::::::::

First, lets talk about this weekend! It was the Scrappin’ In the New Year Crop weekend at A Cherry On Top – and it was my first Crop being on the planning side of things! It was very fun, but definitely stressful – being that it was my first one and I didn’t want to botch anything up!!! I hosted a bingo game, Disney trivia, and another game called song lyric hide and seek. It was very fun, and all in all I doled out about $50 in points and prizes!

Even with being on the Creative Team and not playing any of the games or anything, I still was encouraged to scrap a bit – I did about 10 pages in all! Here are a couple of my favorites:

Papers, elements, alpha - Jen Wilson Nostalgia 5 Kit; Kraft Notebook paper - Shannon Lee Designs Muddle of Pud kit; Tied ribbons (some recolored) - ajsmith, amy teets, Heather Ann, Anita Stergiou, Shannon Lee, brutcher; Sketch - Becky Fleck pagemaps; Tear - Steph Krush; Font - Weltron Urban, My own handrwiting created by september Myles; Drop Shadows by Traci Murphy

Papers - Jen Wilson; Drop Shadows - Traci Murphy; Stitches – CGGibson; Frame & Tag - Holly McCaig; Fonts - Batik Regular & Jefferson

::::::::::::::CHRISTMAS 2004::::::::::::::
Yeah, I know I put the wrong date in it – I’m gonna fix that today. I’m a huge dork.

Template - Traci Reed Double Trouble2; Papers - Elements - Jen Wilson Merry Days 9; Hand Stamped Alpha - Michelle Coleman; Font - Susie's Hand

Template - Traci Reed Double Trouble (pics added to achieve 4 pics per page); Stamp Alpha, Papers, Tags from New Beginnings kit, available exclusively at ACOT; Font - Gilder Girls

::::::::::::::OTHER WEEKEND FUN::::::::::::::

I also finally cleaned my bathroom, and took down all the Christmas Décor inside. It always makes me a bit sad, because after my house looks so naked. Keith was nice enough to do the outside lights. I also took the opportunity to bring downstairs a bunch of stuff that needs to be donated. I swear, I have another room full. It sure feels good to purge, though! I think I arrived in Mexico with about 300 boxes of stuff – my goal was to purge half……I think I’m well on my way.

::::::::::::::PERSONAL GOALS FOR THIS WEEK::::::::::::::

Now, this week I would also like to scrap a few paper pages, and also shred at least two more boxes of documents. Oh, and I’m also going to start training tomorrow for an 8K in March. I was just going to wait until I got back to the US, but it will be much MUCH better if I start it now. Besides, I need some motivation to get my ass up in the morning. This sleeping in until 8:30AM business is for the birds.

::::::::::::::REPATRIATION UPDATE::::::::::::::

I finally determined my last day of work here in Mexico – it will be January 31, 2007. That means Keith and I will be on the road starting February 1 – and hopefully rolling into Chicago before the Superbowl on Sunday February 4. I’ll take a couple days to rest and relax, and start work sometime later that week.

Right now I’m working with a million different people to get all my stuff set up for my new position. Ordering a new car (Jeep Grand Cherokee), telephone (hot pink Razr, I hope!), email, access to intranet stuffs, reports, customer lists, etc……

I’ve also had contact with the movers and relocation company, so that is all in the works now as well. I’m pretty excited about it all!!!!!

The best thing about this whole process is how easy its going to be compared with other relocations. I already have a place to live, the kitties are already happily relocated, and when I arrive I’ll have a personal guide in Pat O’Brien to help show me around town, help me get my drivers license and city sticker! Half of the stress of moving is not knowing where you’re going to live, having temporary arrangements and living in limbo for 3 months. I’ll already have that taken care of! WHOOO HOOO!

Of course, there are other issues – I will be getting a bonus from Apasco sometime in June, so I have to figure out how that is going to work…not sure if I’m just going to keep my account open and close it after that, or if I’m going to have them send me a check, or what…..but I’ll have to figure that all out later this week or early next. I’m trying not to stress too much about it.

OK – that’s all for now. Hope you all have a great day!!!

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

I'm alive!!!!!

I made it back this afternoon safe and sound. It was a rather uneventful trip - only about a 20 minute delay at O'Hare, but smooth sailing after that! And, I'm already way ahead of myself since I already went grocery shopping (since I had nothing in the fridge besides some beer and a moldy piece of cheese), unpacked all my luggage (a miracle, I know), set up my TV in my bedroom, AND I'm already blogging! It was rather lonely walking into an empty house though........no kitties, no brother. Nothing but freezing cold! The TV's been keeping me company, though. And now I have my flannel birthday PJ's on so I am warming up.

There was a shit ton of activity over the Holiday. Vaccines, Mayer Family Christmas, Dad's surprise retirement/birthday party, O'Brien Family Christmas......non stop action, really. The last couple days, from the 30th after we got back to Chicago until now, were pretty chill. Just me, Pat O'Brien and the kitties chillin' at our crib. We left New Year's Eve to go visit Millennium Park in Downtown Chicago to go ice skating and sip hot cocoa with whipped cream and marshmallows, then ran around a bit to go shopping and such, but aside from that it was lounging around. We cooked a few meals together, which is always enjoyable. I made this awesome cayenne tilapia, with green beans and almond rice pilaf......but it was more southwest tilapia since we didn't actually have any cayenne, but did have some Emeril's Southwest seasoning. I was rather please with how it came out....it was my first try at cooking fish (that's not salmon) and it was rather tasty.

Anyway, I have to spend some time downloading pics and such, so I'm sure I'll elaborate on the plethora of family events later.....but right now, I just want to finish watching the Orange bowl and get myself tired enough to fell asleep right away.......its always tough for me to fall alseep in an empty house - and I want to be bright eyed and bushy tailed tomorrow so I can get into work and divide and conquer. After all - I do only have a month left here.......and I want to get things done right.......