Friday, May 30, 2008

10 Things I've Always Wanted To Do

I was driving to the post office box yesterday, on my way to run some other errands, and I had a thought. I think alot in the car. I think about alot of things normally, but that idle time, when the music is playing and I feel relaxed is a time when I actually stop to think about a few things. Something in the song I was listening to made me cry, and probably had nothing to do with what I am going to talk about today, but something in that song inspired me to stop and take the time today to write about a few random things that I've always wanted in my life. Now, one of my favorite things in the world is to learn about other people. So I'm not just going to talk about me, but I want you to tell me about you as well. I'm here by myself all day long, so I really want to learn a little something extra about the people who read my blog. I have my regulars that post. Thank you to the two of you that post a comment all the time. You know who you are. Your comments brighten my day, and I always love to hear what you have to say. So, if you take the time to read my blog, but rarely, or never leave a comment, today is the day that you should comment. What I am going to ask you to do may take a little time, but you may learn a little something about yourself, and I will definitely learn things I don't know.

Like I said, I love to learn new things about people. I love to talk to friends, so I want you to tell me 10 things you've always wanted in life. It doesn't have to be something that you've wanted since you were a child, but really dig deep and think of some cool answers that you wouldn't normally say. Stay away from the, "I want a new cell phone because mine is broken" sort of thing. I steered clear of that, although I really want a new cell phone. I wrote ten this morning, it took me awhile to find things that I thought were different, but at least a little fun to read at the same time. They can be things, but remember to make them things that are really important to you. Alright, so I will go first, since I'm not going to make you do it without me doing it too.

Please take the time to do this. It's to keep my sanity! :) I hope you enjoy, and you are inspired to write something too!

1. I’ve always wanted one of those old red bikes. I want to ride it through the streets of Paris or ride really fast, go down a hill and put my arms up in the air, just to feel the wind in my face, and feel the simple feeling of freedom it can create. Although, I never could balance my bike without holding on.

2. I’ve always wanted to create stationary and cards. I have this love for paper, and design. I can’t get enough cards, or stationary. I don’t have that much… I’ve thought better and decided not to get it, but I swoon over them every time we happen to stop into a store where cards and other little treasures are available.

3. I’ve always wanted to learn how to dance. Ballroom dancing, any type of dancing. It gets me excited when I watch such talented people do what they love. I am amazed. Maybe this should be taught in school. That would be fun! Probably only for me, though.

4. I want to keep the friends that I hold the closest to me. It’s easy to be friends with the same people in high school. We see the same people every day at school, and then on the weekends we spend time together to. But with the rush and the changing of life, and personalities we lose those friends that we never thought we could live without. Somewhere along the way we find out we will be okay. But there are those few friends that have had such an impact on my life, I want them to be a part of my future life. Thinking of all the things that we could do, and the people we could be having each other in our lives makes me want to do anything in my power to keep us together.

5. I’ve always wanted a small bookstore: one like Meg Ryan had in that movie You’ve Got Mail. I think I’ve only seen parts of that movie, but I think it was a children’s book store. I want just a regular small bookstore. I want a quiet, and cozy place. A place where people could come to read and feel at peace. I love books, and I love the smell of old books. I wish that smell could be captured and put in a candle or something.

6. I’ve always wanted to live in an apartment in the middle of Seattle or somewhere like it. Crazy, I know, but I love the feeling of being able to see what’s going on. I want to go to museums, I love museums, and plays. I just love the thought of being able to take in so many different things. I really like peace and quiet too, so maybe just living in the middle of things for awhile would be enough for me.

7. I’ve always wanted to be a master painter. I don’t know how many times I’ve asked God for some inspiration, and a little more talent with the paint brush than I have. I like to paint, but my problem is, I never know what to paint. It’s hard that you can’t turn creativity on with a switch. I also wish I was a little more skilled. I can paint, but I don’t know tricks, or ways to make my art look really good. I guess it’s just practicing, and I’ve been doing a lot of that lately.

8. I want to be able to take pictures like Annie Leibovitz. Those kind of pictures that just draw you to stop and look at them. The kind of pictures that you take more than just a few seconds to scan. There is so much vision, and so much inspiration in them. I want that. Her pictures light a spark in me, and they want me to do everything I can to be better.

9. I want to live in Italy. I loved Paris, but I think the Romans were much friendlier. I don’t think I’d live in Rome, but maybe Tuscany, or Venice. I was so bummed when we didn’t get to see either of those places. Maybe I’ve watched Under the Tuscan Sun too many times. But that is what I want, an old beautiful hose that needs to be fixed up. I want to learn Italian, and take in the beauty that is Italia.

10. I want to be one of those people that does the things that I want to do. Life is so short and we miss out on so many things we want to do. Work, and the hustle and bustle of life, paying bills, worrying about paying bills all take first place. I want to be one of those people that truly loves life, and loves what they do.

This is the bike I'm talking about. This one is orange, but
you understand. This was off ebay I think.
Have a wonderful Friday!

Monday, May 26, 2008

Celebration of life

Today my dad would be 50, such a huge milestone that most people dread, but it was something that we as a family would have celebrated as such an accomplishment. Most everyone knows that today we won’t celebrate my dad’s birthday with him, but we will celebrate alone in our own separate ways with smiles and with tears at a life that has ended, but in celebration of a life well lived.
I’ve been missing my dad a lot lately. I’ve missed him since he left, and I’ve always thought about him everyday, but as of recently I miss him more than usual, it must be because I knew today was coming, and I know that father’s day is trailing not far behind. Some days my heart hurts so much with missing him that I think my heart will break into pieces. Some days it feels like I have something sitting on my chest, something impossible to remove. Some days no matter how hard I try that pain in my chest, that invisible golf ball rises to my throat, and I just have to cry. The harder I try stop the tears from falling, the more they do.
And then there are days where my heart is so happy and proud at the memory of my father, I feel it will burst with joy. I know that my grief is not shared by my father, he is so much better now where he is, and my restless soul is comforted and I can find some peace knowing that while I try to learn how to survive in a world where my dad doesn’t. He isn’t suffering anymore, and I thank God for that everyday. I talk to God and my dad a lot. I probably talk to my dad more now, than I did when he was alive. And as sad as that is, it’s true.
I hold my dad up so much higher now. And as I have gotten older the bitterness that I had against my father, and the anger at his illness, has turned into wonder and amazement at a man who had such a beautiful soul, and such a determination to live.
I was watching the news with Josh the other day, one of the news anchors for the morning show “Today” was being interviewed about her father’s death in April. The news anchor that announced the peace said that it would be a hard story to watch, and it was. This man was so vibrant, and although he surpassed my dad in years of life, my heart broke for not only his family at the loss of such a person, but for him as well. There were so many pictures of him shown, beautiful pictures that captured what kind of person he was, and I thought to myself, “I wish we had those kind of pictures of my dad.” I wish that back as a child, and even as a younger teenager I had, had the fire for photography, the passion and the love for it that I have for it now. To pull out that rough, but gentle person behind his illness. A laugh I loved, a voice I loved that was lost five years before he died. Some times when I miss my dad the most I play old home videos of when I was little and just listen to that scratchy, strong but gentle voice, that voice I searched for at night when I went to crawl into my dad’s side of the bed because my mom wouldn’t let me. There are times when I think I hear his voice, and I take a minute to remember him as I go about my day.
I miss him for the things that we used to do together, and I miss him for the things that we won’t get the chance to do. When he died birthday parties, vacations to Oregon, and laughter when with him. His time getting to know who I am as a person now, who Kyle is and who we will be went with him. He will not here the pitter patter of little grandchildren feet, their laughter or their tears. I will not get to experience the pride of having my dad hold my future children.
I learned so much in my 19 years of knowing him. I learned so much more after he got sick, and after I realized what an illness like Parkinson’s could do to a person. What I have learned in his illness and in his death are things I probably wouldn’t hold to my heart as strongly as I do now. I have learned more about life, about myself and about others in 21 years than some will learn in their life time. I am so thankful to my father for his wisdom, and love.
By the time my dad was 24 years old his life was half over. That is a fact that sticks out in my mind. He always told my mom that he felt he wouldn’t live to be old, and he was right. I sometimes wonder if somehow he knew something we didn’t. He wasn’t a reckless person, although sometimes I thought he was. He worked hard, had a temper, but enjoyed being with his family. Something I didn’t see until I was much older. Life is much to short, and I think we need to live our lives drinking in all that we can of the people we are the closest too and we love the most. I can’t get enough of my family. We were such a close family to begin with and while we all pushed away in our own ways when my dad got really sick, we still held tight to each other.
So today I will celebrate my dad’s birthday with smiles, happy thoughts, and silent tears. Praying that I survive this world without him. Taking one day at a time, one breath at a time and enjoy the fact that although I miss him with all my heart, life will go on and we can be happy. I remember my dad today for the strong man and father he was, but know that in his own way he was one of the most gentle people in the world.
So today, and on father’s day, actually everday for those of you who have fathers hold them tight, tell them how much you love them, and thank God he is in your life. Because chances are, he loves you too. For those of you who have dads that are gone, my heart knows your pain. Love them anyway, and rejoice in a life that was lived.

Happy 50th Birthday Dad. I miss you and I will love you always and forever.

Me and Dad before Junior Prom

Words of encouragement (This sits on my night stand)

Have a beautiful day. Don't forget to love your dad's!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Some days I want to pull my hair out!

So I know I haven't written in awhile, and I really don't have too much to talk about today. I got a call that made my day today, Idaho Camera called and told me that my camera had been cleaned and it was ready for me to come pick it up. So I went and paid the 155.30 that it cost to clean the sensor. I got back to the apartment, opened it up, and there was that smudge that I had brought my camera in to be cleaned for in the first place.

Now the first thing I could have thought was, "they messed up and didn't clean it." But I knew better. See, I'm still learning about all the parts inside my camera, I'm not a professional, I can't clean it myself, I thought I knew what was dirty, and what that thing was called, but OH NO! I was wrong. So all other cleaning on the camera is 70 dollars. I could have saved myself all that money and had the right thing cleaned. So I did a little research.... The part that I needed to be cleaned was totally different.... It's called the focusing screen. Makes sense. Duh Alyssa. This is the part where I get really hard on myself and tell myself how incompetent I am. I wanted to cry. So I did some more research and it just so happens, that this part shouldn't be cleaned because it is plastic and can do damage to the area if it is cleaned with a small brush or is touched with your hands. But there is a good side, I know, right? This dust isn't visible on the photos. It will be just fine. So I breath a sigh of relief but in checking out this smudge I now see more dust. Where is it coming from? I still can't figure it out. I'm about to cry.

I'm not one of those people that takes things calmly and rationally either. I just as soon toss my camera over the balcony, and I would if I had the money to buy another one. It's great that these dust particles can't be seen on a photo, but it's bugging me to no end looking at it. I'm hoping that maybe if I just tough it out for a few days the dust will decide to miraculously fall off?

I need a new camera. Does anyone want to buy one?

Thanks for reading my rant. I feel just the tiniest bit better.

Here's a picture I took today. I'm painting something. Here's a piece of it.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

You Need A New Mirror!

I don't use the word hate very often, because I don't hate alot of things, but one thing I hate most in the world is putting on a pair of jeans right out of the dryer. Now yes, I have had a long battle with baggy pants. Have you ever heard Jeff Foxworthy talk about old men having no butts? When they stand they look like a frog with slacks on? Have you heard that bit? Well, that's me in a nutshell. I have no but, I'm just legs, so by some, I am affectionately called "blegs" think about it. If my life was broken down into moments I spend time doing each thing during the day, like that study on how long people spend in their cars. Most of my time would be spend either hiking up my pants, or how many times a day they fall down.

My lovely sister-in-law has even commented before on the little hitch in my giddyup that I do when I walk and hike up my pants. "Why not get a belt?" You ask. Well, my pants are so big that wearing a belt would allow them to pucker and add a cute little overlap, plus belts hurt me. This is probably why I stuck to leggings and body suits when I was a child. That or my mother wanted me to pee my pants at school because I had thrown a fit about going to school that day. Have you ever tried to undo those little snaps while dancing around in the bathroom? It was a frequent for me. The bonus of wearing those body suits? No tucking your shirt in, you never had to worry about it. Seems great right? Except for the few times I forgot to button them again, and pull my pants back over them,. Sure I pulled my pants back up, but I always forgot those snaps... Therefore, leaving it unattached with a flap in the back and one in the front, displaying the nice silvery snaps around my belly button. Imagine the embarassment at 6. Oh the glory of being a child. I revelled in it, can you tell?

Anway, back to my original subject. I hate too tight pants. Well, this weekend when we left for our trip over to Coeur d' Alene to see Katie, I threw on a pair of newly washed and dried jeans. As usually I practically had to dive into them. I had a flash of Olivia Newton-John in her leather get up in Grease. I felt like I had to be sewn into my pants... This would take a long time to do everyday, and on Saturday morning, I really didn't have time for that. So like usual I did a few stretches with them on... Sad that to get comfortable in my pants I do a few lunges and squats... I can't be the only woman that does this. I was having trouble inhaling, and thought, "Well this is going to be uncomfortable for the plane ride." That little rise of panic came into me, that feeling that 99% of women get... "Oh crap, I've gained weight." There's nothing like it. The world stops spinning at that exact moment.

I couldn't weigh myself, we don't have a scale. And besides, I've banned myself from weighing myself because at one point I weighed myself three times a day to see if I'd gained anything after I'd eaten. A whole other subject we won't get into. I haven't weighed myself in months, I try not to worry anymore, it's unhealthy for me. So now that weighing myself to console myself was out, I worried about it all day... Don't you hate when something so small worries you for the rest of the day? We moved Katie into her apartment in CDA and I went into the bathroom to wash my hands. Of course I looked at myself in the mirror to see if I was presentable. My jaw dropped open. I looked like a cow! You know those terribly cheap mirrors that distort just enough to make you feel bad about yourself? I looked at myself one more time in the mirror and shook my head. I walked out of the bathroom and said, "Katie needs a new mirror!" If it were up to me, I would have been in there with a screwdriver dismantling it while everyone else was putting together the furniture in the living room. No one would have noticed me carry out a big piece, of "glass" (I don't think it was even really glass) out of the apartment, and dumping it into the big dumpster outside... What kind of person puts a carnival mirror in a bathroom? Or maybe it was just me;)

So what was the first thing I did when I got home Sunday morning? I ran into the bathroom to see if I was as huge as the day before. Imagine my relief when looked normal. I said a prayer of thanks to God, that saved me alot of stress. The only problem was, my pants were still tight. So, on tuesday afternoon, I went and bought myself some yoga dvd's, swearing that I would use them... Day one, ab yoga for begginers! Today, either upper or lower body yoga, for begginers. Just think of all the side effects of putting on a pair of jeans... The possibilities are endless!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

My Cooking and Baking Misadventures

So I haven't written in what seems like forever. To tell you the truth, I have absolutely nothing to talk about. My life, is pretty dull at the moment. I keep busy during the day, but I have nothing going on that is at all worth writing about. I have been diligent in learning how to cook, and everyday I get the thumbs up of approval from Josh, but today was just not my day for baking or cooking. I don't know what it was today, maybe God looked down on me this morning, and said, "No, you will burn everything you try to make today..." And that is exactly what happened. Why? WHY??! I've been feeling so triumphant these passed few weeks. I've been spending my time looking at food blogs, food websites, and writing down recipes. My problem? Well aside from not being able to cook, this kitchen is so small with so little counter space I'd prefer too cut and prep my food on the floor, if not for the unsanitary aspect.
I've seriously thought about tearing out a wall and fashioning some sort of makeshift counter even MacGyver would be proud of. Yes, it would be made of only chewed bubble gum, sewing thread and duct tape, and it would be the most pristine indestructable counter anyone has ever seen. Don't ask me how I will do it, MacGyver doesn't tell his secrets, and neither do I. I don't know how I come up with these masterpieces... They just happen. I guess I should start watching old episodes to get tips...
Anyway, I tried to bake first today. I ran my errands that I do everyday after I escaped this dungeon we so affectionately call an apartment, and made my way home to bake some super yummy looking peanut butter and chocolate bars that I saw on a website that I found via a blog that I love. I am a blog stalker. I admit this readily. I love, love, love blogs. I have a small handful that I visit everyday, numerous times a day, just to see if something has been updated. I really need to find another hobby. But, to my defense, if you checked out these blogs that I visit everyday, you would be hooked on the endless creativity of these people. I am amazed, seeing something new and creative makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Enough of that. I found this websited called, awesome, check it out.
I picked out a recipe that I thought Josh would like, and looked easy enough. Peanut Butter and Chocolate Bars, or something like that. There were five ingredients, and probably 3 steps to this recipe. Three steps that a four year old on a sugar high could have figured out. No cooking in the oven required. Simple! Yes, my kind of deal. So I decided to take a stab at it. You would have thought I blind folded myself or something...
Now, let me tell you, I am probably the slowest baker/chef ever created. It takes me a half an hour to do something that should take mere seconds. Leave it to Alyssa Lillegard to drag out something so easy into an hour ordeal. I am a master chef... No really, I am. After taking 15 minutes to get 3/4 of a cup of crushed graham crackers, I proceeded to make the chocolate topping. This "oh-so-challenging" topping was just semi-sweet chocolate chips that needed to be melted. Piece of cake! Everything was going perfectly fine until I turned around for a milisecond and burned (excuse my language) the hell out of the chocolate. I thought maybe I could salvage it, but when I looked at it, it was all grainy,and smelled like smoke. I won't have anymore than one piece, but I figured Josh wouldn't want his Peanut Butter bars to taste like charcoal with a tiny flavorful hint of chocolate. I wanted to taste the chocolate to see how bad it tasted, I thought it was cooled down, but no it was scalding, so I really burned my finger, and what do you do when your finger is burnt? Stick it in your mouth, and that's what I did. So I burned my tongue too, which is the worst. Of course, I didn't buy any more chocolate chips because I've never messed up while baking, only cooking. Messing up that is a frequent. I made my way to the grocery store. Finally, I finished the second batch of bars, and I am pretty happy how they turned out. They taste better chilled in the refrigerator, although it only calls for them to cool and sit.
Fiasco two for the day started early with my Cous Cous stuffed chicken with sun dried tomatoes, kalamata olives, and feta cheese. The other day I saw the recipe and thought perfect, I had all the indredients for this recipe except for three, so I was happy I wouldn't have to go spend a whole bunch of money. I quickly came to find out that again, I didn't have enough room in this kitchen that is the size of our walk-in closet. Again I had the vision of constructing that counter... But of course I had no gum, I'd have to go all the way back to the grocery store to get some. I wasn't up for that. I burned the garlic, and the sun dried tomatoes, so I gave up, called it a night and we had leftovers for dinner. Maybe I will try the chicken recipe tomorrow. I didn't have the energy, or the confidence to try again! Anyway, the second batch of bars was successful, here's a picture!

I added a little bit of chocolate drizzle for looks!

Have a blessed day!


Saturday, May 3, 2008

I'm 4 for 4!

Today was another lounging day, I'm still not feeling 100%. It was beautiful here today, nice and warm, so at least I was able to open all the windows and get some fresh air circulating in here! It was nice to go outside today too. Trees are in bloom and the warmth of the air made the smell of the flowered trees even sweeter. I spent some of the day painting, and then cleaning, and that's about it! Anyway, I've made four meals this week, and Josh has liked all four! This is seriously a record for me, I'm giving myself a pat on the back because I'm that excited! Tonight we had Cheesy Baked Tortellini, (totally calorie free...). It was really good! It calls for smoked mozzarella cheese, but we couldn't really justify spending that much money on cheese, at least for now, so we subsituted it with regular mozzarella. This meal was super easy (my mom said never tell anyone that), but I am so excited that it was so easy to do. So here are just a couple pictures of dinner. Hopefully, I will have something more interesting to tell you soon!

Have a wonderful day!

God Bless!


Friday, May 2, 2008


Today I'm feeling a little bit under the weather. My head hurts, I feel all icky, and as I sit here on my laptop, my eyes are killing me. But do I get off the laptop? No, of course not, and to top it off, my blog is doing this weird positioning thing, so I'm not writing on the whole thing... I don't know, I'm not going to worry about it. Today is just the remnants of a migrane that I thought was killing me. You know those huge ones... I always get it right in the same spot, left temple, and it shoots all the way down my neck. You know those kind of headaches that leave you writhing in pain with a blanket over your head because light is your enemy for the day, or however long it decides to last. Those headaches where you think, "Oh my God! Maybe I have a brain tumor..." Because you don't remember your head ever hurting like that and you can't figure out why you have a headache in the first place. That's the headache I had last night, and my sweet husband took care of me like a pro.

So, needless to say, today has been rather slow. I cleaned like usual just a bit later, and I walked around like death warmed over... I spent most of the day on this couch doing nothing but watching t.v and admiring the sunflowers Kim got Josh and me for May Day. But, Josh got home from school at 2, so that is a definite plus! Tonight we FINALLY made Greek Style Steak. It was super yummy. We had garlic mashed potatoes too. While Josh cooked the steak, I got everything else ready! So, here is a much awaited (I know your excited) picture of our dinner tonight!

The lovely Greek Topping

Garlic Potatoes

The Finished Product!

A picture of our sunflowers just for good measure.:)

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