• Life,  Traveling

    California Adventures

    “WEIRD AL” Yankovic concert at The Majestic Theater in Ventura, California, along with my best friend, Sara! I haven’t seen Sara since November 2011 (our last Weird Al concert). She is an amazing friend to have, not because what she does for me, but how much she cares for me. I appreciate her company and silliness we share. There aren’t many people that can relate to my loud nerdy side, only a small handful; it is a special bond and friendship. Our adventure was amazing! I wanted to make a whole post about from the moment I arrived, but I am afraid I’d become too verbose.

    Our hotel was literally 3 minutes from the venue, if that. We left our hotel room at 2:15PM, exactly the time Sara planned so we could get our seats (they were unassigned). As we got downstairs to her car, she used her car’s remote (clicker? You know, that little pesky two-buttoned thingy that tickles your car’s innards to go, “Honkboop!”?)—well, the doors did not open. Sara’s immediate response was obviously distressing. She opened the car manually with the key afterward, thinking the remote was broken. As she tried starting the car, nothing happened. Not even a spark! By then, we were wary of time. Thankfully, she is well prepared being a member of the AAA. I grinned and said, “This is just a way for both of us to spend more time together,” trying to enlighten the stresses. Fifteen minutes later after arrival, the AAA employee did a successful jump-start. We had to drive the car around for 30-45 minutes to keep the battery’s juices flowing. We went to the local market to buy water and gum, as I waited in the running car. We finally killed enough time to drive to the parking lot. Luckily, we got the closest handicapped space. She unloaded my beastly wheelchair from her Honda civic, getting us all situated—we were finally on our way! Keep in mind my dear friend, Sara, has a sprained ankle and a bad knee while doing all of this. Sacrificial friend, isn’t she? I love her.

    She walked a block down to the venue, passing two busses and a truck, where everyone was busy unloading and preparing for the concert. Approaching the line, we were greeted by Lou (coming all the way from the United Kingdom!); wonderful lady with a grand sense of humor that I met with the day before. I enjoyed her company before the concert! We made impeccable timing with our lovely adventures and made it fourth in line! Our only battle was the sun. The day before was absolutely beautiful with partial cloud cover and continuous sea breezes. That day we weren’t as lucky… It was as hot as Mordor out there. OK, maybe not, but we were roasting. Sara was becoming a lobster and I was becoming a lovely shade of pink. Unfortunately, the awnings were small, giving us little to no protection whatsoever. As more people approached waiting in line—a dear woman saw us suffering, who then offered to hold our spots in line. She had a friend waiting across the street at a small café because standing was difficult for her. We were very appreciative, gladly accepting the invitation to the shaded area. We spoke with the kind woman until the café’s closing which was at 6PM. One more hour until theater doors opened! Everyone was growing anxious with excitement. We returned to a cooler and more shaded line with many more people behind.

    The line slowly inched forward, finally opening the doors sharply at 7PM! The theater had stairs all the down to the stage, so one nice security guard had Sara take me around the side of the building. We were afraid we wouldn’t get the best seats, but as we made it around and inside to the front of the stage, Lou had saved us seats (thank you, again!). We were in the second row, but I couldn’t complain. I felt right up there on stage. Weird Al’s performance was phenomenal along with Jon “Bermuda” Schwartz, Jim “Kimo” West, Ruben Valtierra, and Steve Jay. My friend Sara received attention during “Wanna B Ur Lovr” and I received an intense stare down during the “Craigslist” song. It was grand! After the concert, we had passes to meet with Al. Since I had my wheelchair, I figured I would wait to be last. Besides, the side door to the backstage was up a 50% incline, rather dangerous for a wheelchair. The security told me Al said, “He’ll meet you down here.” I was like, “Aww, how nice!” After he was done with the last fans, he came down with a beaming face, greeting me with a gentle squeeze (he knows I am fragile, but didn’t act like I was not huggable), and he gave Sara and Lou bear hugs. We all had a short chit chat. I was happy to meet him again because last time I had only uttered one word, and for good reason: I was in horrendous pain. Naturally, I felt horrible. He knows now I appreciate his talent!

  • Life,  Traveling

    Surgeries & Trips

    I apologize for the late update to this very dead blog lately. This entry will be quite jumbled and quick, which isn’t what I had planned.

    May: I had a surgery in the operation room for the removal of Squamous Cell Carcinoma (cancer) for the 30th or so time? Usually, I have had MOHs procedures done in the office with many, many numbing shots. However, my doctor immediately knew my fear and concerns–I had a small spot on my hand for months causing me intense nerve pain. He agreed that my concerns were valid, knowing the hand has many nerve endings. While I was not looking forward to the recovery time, I am ever so thankful for a caring doctor that looks after my well-being. By God’s grace, they removed all the cancer. The area was about 2×3, on my left hand, on the very side and pinky. My husband took amazing care of me, as always. My hand is fully healed after two months.

    June: I was resting and healing after surgery. I was tired of resting! But, it was a good time to really learn from the bible. It is important to turn a trial into a joyful time especially with God..

    July: I prepared my trip as a counselor to Camp Knutson: Big Trout Camp 2012 in Crosslake, Minnesota. It was a fulfilling experience, although, I missed my husband and fur-loves terribly. I met so many wonderful and beautiful people that showed me and everyone else compassion and love. I learned a heap amount from each of my lovely campers. My campers were golden; they taught me a lot with their wisdom. I can see why people say it is like another world out there. You don’t have to deal with harsh criticisms or society’s view of what beauty means to them. What does beauty mean to me? Love for others, no matter what; artistic gifts; a gentle smile; kindness from the heart, etc. It isn’t about makeup nor having the best tan or having absolutely flawless skin. I could go on and on…

  • Life,  Marriage,  Traveling

    Belated Birthday Blog

    It has been while, hasn’t it? I took a bit of a hiatus. We had a lot going on the past few months. Honestly, it has been a blur. Big changes in our life, but all for the best.

    Ha! I had not gotten to blog about my birthday which was back in February on the 23rd. I can say I was super spoiled. My husband does not know how not to spoil me! From the day we were just friends, he would send me gift cards and small gifts here and there–even “just because”. Yeah, he is pretty special.

    Our best friend from Arizona came out the last week of February for my birthday. And guess what? We have had the wimpiest snow season for Utah until our friend arrived. Probably two hours or so after arriving, we started getting snow that actually stuck. We hopped outside like happy little children and enjoyed it for a bit. Later that night, we went to our local Wal-Mart to buy some snacks and fun items for our adventures. When we returned home we planned out a route of possible sight-seeing areas; however, the forecast did not look too promising. Snow, snow, and more snow. As much as I wanted the snow, I wanted to take in some beautiful parts of Utah I had yet to see.

    The next morning was somewhat gloomy but pretty cold. We decided on going to Antelope Island and the Bonneville Salt Flats. The salt flats have been always a place I wanted to sit and take in from I was a wee-one. We were extremely wary about the weather as the snow clouds started to hover around the city. By the time we reached about 9 miles or so miles from Antelope Island, snow started to float down increasingly so. Though extremely beautiful, I was convinced our trip would be cut short. As we approached the entrance to the park, the skies were about 90 percent clear and utterly still. Breath-taking I thought. We paid our entry-fee and received a pamphlet which I read through, learning a quick rundown and history of the island. About a minute into our drive, our friend took some photos. I no longer have a DSLR and it is painful because I love capturing quality photos to print, document, and remember those moments of feeling serenity and euphoria in nature. It was as if the potent salted air parted the clouds from over the island. Around the receded parts of the beaches lay still-glass waters, reflecting the beautiful skies, clouds, snowy hills and mountains. As we kept driving further into the island, we could see the Wasatch Front and snow storms from afar facing the east side. Looking over to the west side, clear beautiful skies with cool breezes but a sun that warmed us just right. We kept driving, as we spotted the grizzly powerful bison, grazing in the fields peacefully.

    We came to a dead end area with parking, but a secluded beach that was very much inviting. Little did my EB blistered feet know, the actual beach shore was further than it appeared. But my knight in shining armor, my beautiful husband, would not allow me not to experience the beauty of the Great Salt Lake. We had my wheelchair tucked away in our SUV which I insisted we used, not piggy-back (my hubby already has a bad back). My husband proceeded to drag my wheelchair through the grass and sand field first. We were reminded my husband is one of the coolest people on earth. My wheels sank deep and quick into the tender sands. My husband took short breaks, but I still felt helpless. He never complained nor made me feel helpless, he insisted to make me happy knowing it was a painful day for me. A walk that probably would only take five or so minutes, took about fifteen or more. We finally made it and it was ever so worth to him. There we were… best friends over looking one of the coolest lakes in the US. We were very blessed to have zero insects and low aroma. The sands held the tracks of wild bison that often run through. The thought sent chills through me, envisioning a power beast in a pack running alongside the beach. It must be an amazing sight. Not everyone is gravitated to nature, but I am. I feel I often take it for granted. In my personal belief, it is God’s way of saying I love you and taking my breath away with His art. We started a safe little camp-fire on the beach, just us and my puppy, Luna. The aroma of our roasting hotdogs and marshmallows alerted coyotes in the foothills to sing.

    [box] Photography by: www.aaronbruhn.com [/box]

  • Life,  Traveling

    New Year’s: fresh goals

    We were blessed with the opportunity to travel to Arizona. The trip was awe inspiring, thought provoking, and refilled with happy memories. We left Monday late afternoon, staying with two dear friends that resides 2 hours from us. We hadn’t seen them since the Summer time, so it was definitely a great time to catch up. They took wonderful care of us and we were pleasantly surprised by a lovely gift on the mattress. It was beautiful and touching—true Christ-like love in our friendship. I love that. Thank you both so much!


    Arizona/Nevada border.

    Driving into Arizona made many memories flood in. I was so happy to be where I made our life together after being wed; the person I fell in love with, grew up there, and I had plan to make that our place to grow old together. I thought about our future house we wanted to purchase after we saved a good amount; having our garden to grow raw goods; having a few dogs, and maybe a horse or two (I’m a cowgirl at heart), and I suppose my husband could have had his dream “mancave” and a garage full of tools. At times, God wants you to be somewhere you’d never picture yourself, which is what happened in God’s plans for us. The trials we faced had to break us so we can slowly build ourselves back up, only to be stronger for the next trials. To me it is the moments we may become too comfortable, leaning away from God, and we need to be worn thin to strengthen our spiritual walk. It only brings you closer to Christ, to seek Him much more than ever before, to be blanketed in His endless love. It does not mean God doesn’t fulfill those dreams you may have, but it is only best when we allow Him to stir.

    I am learning after so many experiences throughout our life, even after such painful moments. Recently we have had to face some more painful trails, but I am looking to God to teach me through handling it. I reacted in the way as a protective mother bird hovering over her nest. Instead of making New Year’s resolutions, I make goals to meet the every need of God’s and my husband’s, every day.

    Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing” (1 Peter 3:9).

    That verse remains very heavily upon my heart, that I may apply it to those moments I want to lash my tongue. God never changes, but He can change us… here is to the New Year!

  • Life,  Traveling

    California Joys

    California, November 11, 2006

    A photo I captured exactly five years ago, amazing. I was saying goodbye to California’s coast, a part of California very dear to my heart. But before I go on with sappy details… I am leaving for California later this evening and will be with my best friend, Saries, for four days! [insert cart-wheeling Monsie here] I cannot wait to see her. I was just in California in later July, but I literally had no time to see anyone.

    I am going to miss my husband, but he wishes for me to have this moment with my friend. He is so selfless. I love you, dear!