Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Finally told Mom!

I say finally like it's been forever, when really it hasn't even been a week.

Mom texted me last night to see how things were going, and I said something about how I might meet up with Sara in Italy for a few days this summer. She got super, SUPER confused (poor Mom!) so I explained to her that I would be going, meeting up with Sara, and then meeting up with Ryan when his summer class was over. She voiced concerns about the bird, about money, about summer plans (how I said I was going up to Alaska and needed to let some people know I wouldn't be), and a few other things, but not once did she express concern about who I was going with!! That really made me happy. Not that I think I have anything to worry about, because I know that I don't, but I was sorta expecting a rude comment about how I was going with a guy, and was surprised and relieved not to get that!

I told Emily and her man friend (Andrew, I think) about the trip tonight. I'm just so excited! I can't believe that I've been planning a variation of this for five years, and my dream is finally coming true.

Monday, May 30, 2011

31 day blogging challenge.

Starting yesterday, I'm going to try the whole blogging daily thing. I've tried it before and it didn't go very well, but I didn't make a serious effort either. We'll see how it goes!

I have a chat date with Ryan at 1 to finalize plans for the Europe trip - or at least iron them out in a way that will make me feel comfortable buying a plane ticket. I think the tickets are going to be purchased either today or tomorrow!!! I am so excited. I emailed him yesterday everything I had talked about with Roman, and he said something along the lines of "I guess that answers my questions of how serious you really are."


Chat date complete! We decided to skip Kiev because it will add at least two days to the trip in travel time, and Ryan said it will be pretty expensive. He's also thinking about doing a CrossFit training in SD July 23 - 24, so I might go out a little early and meet up with Sara for a few days. She's going to be in Italy for about a week before Ryan and I were supposed to fly in, and I would love to see Italy obviously. So I think that's going to be happening. A part of me has reservations - if we can't even spend six hours together without bickering, I'm not sure I could spend several days with her in a foreign country. But we'll see. I'm thinking that, worst case scenario, I can spend the days doing whatever I want and go back to whatever agreed upon hostel in the evenings.

Have I mentioned how amazingly excited I am for this trip? Italy. Prague. Auschwitz. Krakow. Zakopane. Budapest. Croatia (Ryan's in charge of that one). Sarajevo. Greece. Crete. Best trip ever!!

I talked to Natelie a little bit about this summer - her coming down here, potentially. I think she could use a break from the Aaron drama, from her family, etc. and it would be helpful for both of us because I need someone to watch the bird when I'm gone. I told her I'd pre-cook meals before I left for Europe, even though I think she's probably pretty awesome in the kitchen, too. It would be good to have someone in the house after the renovation/remodel to make sure everything goes smoothly, and all that. Plus, she could use a vacation. Or a staycation! I wouldn't mind Nat as a roommate. We'll see what happens.

I didn't get the chance to sit down with Josh tonight and go over our weekly fitness goals, but I'll share it here instead! I hopped on the scale this morning and was 129.4. Terrifying. Or maybe not, but definitely discouraging. My goal for next Monday is to be at 128.0. (And I say that while eating chocolates.) My ultimate goal is to be under 125 when I leave for Europe, and to be confident both in my appearance in shorts and my ability to keep up with Ryan while hiking.

I bought some Soloman trail runners tonight and took advantage of that REI 20% off coupon. Here's to hoping they'll fit. I bought them online since the store was closed when I stopped in today. They closed at 6 because of the holiday. Lame. But free shipping, which was awesome! That right there pays for over half the membership fee. Unfortunately I didn't earn a dividend on my new $110 shoes, since they were on sale. But I have no doubts in my mind that I will easily make up the membership fee before the trip begins.

Dinner tonight was delish! I'll post the recipe later. I will also post the recipe for the awesome beer chili I made Sunday night! But for now, I'm off!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Have I mentioned that I love my life?

I got my first check from ACN in the mail today!!!!! I thought about taking a picture to prove someone wrong, but I just don't care enough. I got into this business knowing that I am going to make it work for me. I am. I don't need anyone else's approval because I know the potential this has and I have a check in my hand.

Jacey joined me after wine tasting today and we gathered surveys in the complex. I got six, and they are all AWESOME. I have one guy who is moving out of state on June 8th, so looking for all new services, PLUS his phone contract is up and he's interested in upgrading. Amazing!! I also got surveys from two Indian families who have home phone service and are interested in digital phone. I know at least one of them has their entire family living in India, so I think we're going to bring up the video phone. Especially with the family plan option for $1.99/line/mo since they have a young daughter. They were SUPER nice, too. Invited us inside, offered drinks, wanted to chat. The woman is still waiting on her work visa so she stays home all day. I think she and I would get along really well. Perhaps I'll try kindling a friendship. I think she could probably use a friend here.

AND I got a business partner lead! Some guy named Brandon who, when he saw the ACN logo, started raving about the business! On and on about how excited he is about it, how awesome it is that Donald Trump is backing it, how he's seen us on Celebrity Apprentice, how proud he is of me for going out and making the business work for me. It was actually really motivational! He saw the business for the first time about two years ago, he said, and didn't like the comp plan then. I think Jacey and I are going to set up a time to meet with him and explain things all over again. Perhaps he'll be business partner #2!

Ryan is doing a Tough Mudder that started today. I hadn't ever heard of it before, and I assumed it was some dumb 4-wheeling thing. Um, wrong! The site describes it as a cross between ironman and burning man. It's a crazy athletic event of sorts that definitely makes my fitness level laughable. It just reminded me how hard I need to work on myself before we leave. I would feel awful if we went hiking and I held him up, or something. I think the primary focus is more on backpacking and much less on hiking, but I still could stand to work on myself. (Sidenote: LA is not NorCal, you goof.)

Anyway, I mentioned that partially because I need a kick in the pants to get (more) fit before the trip, but also because I stopped Roman today when I was at Total Wine to talk to him about our trip and get some feedback. He is from Gdansk, in northern Poland. He raved about Krakow, Prague, Budapest, Greece, and "the islands," talked about flights, transportation options, a resort that we apparently need to see/stay at, and some great hiking spots. Apparently his grandfather was at Treblinka before being transferred to a work camp in Austria where he later died. He lived in Warsaw for (I think he said) 18 years, and he recommended skipping Warsaw altogether. Just some interesting insights that made me so thankful that I have people to consult, amazed and so excited that everything is coming together so quickly (considering we started planning four days ago), and have me looking forward to this trip even more.

I was PMing back and forth a bit earlier with a wonderful woman who recently went through a break-up after more than four years. Talking with her made me realize how far I have come, and how much more I am able to love myself and others. How much more assertive I am. How much happier and content I am. It makes me hurt for other people when I see them hurting the way I did - especially when I know that nothing anyone can say will make it click for them. She will start her healing and grieving process whenever she is ready, and not before then. I feel bad for the people who had to listen to me through the bad times now, and I appreciate them so much more for not getting fed up and storming off on me.

All in all, a wonderful day.

I went out with Kyle H. on Friday night, and that went really well. He was nice and I had a great time. He took me to the Italian Grotto up in Old Town Scottsdale, and then we walked around for a bit after dinner. He asked me out on a second date and I agreed, but I'm starting to have second thoughts. I really enjoyed his company. I think he's a great guy. But I don't see anything romantic kindling. The opinion of my parents, as much as we have had our differences in the past, matters immensely to me. And that is not a relationship I think they would ever support.

And since we're talking about relationships, I've recently talked to a few friends about how to broach the topic of the friend zone, and how to figure out if I'm stuck there. I've been given some ideas that sound a little odd, but I think I might give 'em a shot. It can't hurt. I also don't think it would damage our friendship or make things terribly awkward if feelings weren't reciprocated. We're big kids. I also won't be ruined if feelings aren't reciprocated. Obviously that's what I'm interested in, but if that's not the case, he's still important to me.

So, that's that! And it's past my bedtime again. I've been really awful lately at getting a full night's sleep, so I need to head that way. Sleep sweet!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

My life is so amazing.

I never realized before how much I truly value waking up every morning with a smile on my face. How much I value happiness. When Mom has said so many times that I am a different person now than I was a year ago, or several years ago, I have brushed it off. When she's said that I don't smile as much, and I am much more negative, I have ignored her and didn't believe her. I recognize now that she was right! Some things, you don't recognize what you have until it's gone. Other things, you don't recognize what you were missing until you have it. The latter is me right now. I am truly happy, and I can't remember the last time I could say that. I am amazingly, blissfully happy. I love my life right now.

My Wednesday was wonderful. I woke up to a call from Tami inviting me out to lunch with Diana and Jamie, since they are in town. Skipped breakfast, showered, got ready, and got to the restaurant early. Ordered early, which was useless. By the time I left at 12:40, they still hadn't brought my food out. Anyway - met them both, chatted with Tania a bit since I sat next to her, ate some soup and a breadstick, and headed out for my dance lesson with Tony.

We had a lesson with Ryan at 1. Salsa, Rumba, Chacha, and some swing. So much fun! We laughed at each other and at ourselves. Ryan commented about an amateur dance competition coming up in September that he thinks we should enter. What a blast that would be! No way could we pay for lessons until then, though.

Dance lesson over, we headed to the mall. I tried on some bikinis at Frederick's since I was planning on ordering one or two online. I was fitted for a bra again since I've gotten a little smaller, and told I've lost just over a cup size. Not a problem! I might not have to get a reduction if my boobs will shrink on their own. Wandered around the mall some more. Bought two pairs of shoes, two candles from B&BW, and the most liberating purchase - two pairs of sunglasses. I didn't have to worry about being told they were hideous or ugly, told I look like Kyle's ex-wife, or threats of breaking them. And I love them! I got a pair of Betsey Johnsons and a pair of Jessica Simpsons. And then I bought a miniature cookie sandwich to celebrate. :)

Jacey and I went for a walk down to the park when I got home. We had a really great chat about motivation, working out, and the opinions of others. Then I went over to Ben's to pick up his Digital Talk lead form, and hung out there chatting for an hour or so. He invited me up to Sedona with him and his mom next week - Wednesday through Friday. (They're staying through Saturday, but I would have to come back early.) I would be responsible for my own accommodations, though, so we'll see if I can swing it. I would love to go along! They're heading up to Jerome first, possibly spending some time at the wineries, and then heading up to Sedona on Thursday.

Came home again and listened to a Jillian Michaels interview. How inspirational! She is an awesome woman. I learned quite a few things just from that hour-long interview segment.

I had missed a call from Kyle H. when I was gone, so I called him back. We finalized plans for Friday's date. He is so sweet! I am really looking forward to that. He's picking me up, and we're going to dinner somewhere in Old Town Scottsdale.

Then, Ryan (not the dance instructor, obviously) and I were chatting online, and he asked if I wanted to join him in Europe for a month in July this summer. Um - YES! Absolutely yes! He's wanting to do an Eastern European thing. Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, and end up in Greece, keeping it around $3500. Backpacking, staying in hostels, etc. Amazing. Truly. Not only have I been wanting to do something like that since I was in high school, but I can't think of anyone I would rather go with. He's a big, strong guy so I don't have to worry about safety. He's honorable so I don't have to worry about my safety with him being compromised. He is intelligent and resourceful so I don't have to worry about getting lost or finding ourselves with nothing to do. And he's entertaining so I don't have to worry about being bored for the 17-hour flight. Hellooooo, ACN money! Definitely hitting the phones hard in the next few days to start building that residual income that's going to pay for my trip.

And then I met some absolutely hilarious people. Jacey has a family friend that flew into town tonight staying here. A guy friend of hers dropped her off at the house earlier, and stayed to chat for a little bit. They are both so incredibly entertaining. Apparently they tried tricking each other at the airport so they wouldn't know who the other was. The guy wore a hat, aviators, a fake mustache, a fanny pack, and was cruising around in a wheelchair. The girl wore her brother's oversized polo, baggy pants, and her hair up under a ball cap. The guy works at Gammage, so he was also giving us the low-down on upcoming shows. I can't wait for Wicked next February!! Miranda and I are going together.

I just had forgotten how amazing it is to wake up smiling and go to bed happy. I had become such a super negative person, and now I find myself rejoicing in the smallest things. A new pair of sunglasses. A dance lesson. A wonderful homemade dinner. And I am sharing that joy. I know other people are picking up on how much happier I am. This is me. This is the Brianna I want to project to the world. I'm tired of being grumpy, negative Brianna. I am amazing. I am spontaneous. I love to laugh. I am fun. And everyone I know is being short-changed when I don't show them that side of me.


New e-mail just in from Frederick's of Hollywood. Free shipping with no minimum! That's exactly what I was waiting for to push this order through.

I did decide against that bikini today, after some feedback. I think I'm getting the bottoms in black (since they're hot. Not gonna lie), and find another top that's not quite so showy.

I'm glad we all agree.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

OMG I'm going to Europe!

This July. With the most amazing man I know. For a month. Backpacking - starting in Warsaw and ending in Greece.

I love my life!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

A new book, and some birdy news!

Lindsey recommended a week or so ago that I read Why Mars and Venus Collide, by Dr. John Gray. And so I am! I put in a hold at the library and I got it yesterday. I'm going to do the same note-taking thing here that I've done in the past.

  • Life is not about having everything our own way whenever we want it. 
  • No one is ever perfect, but your partner can be the perfect person for you. 
  • If we continue to correct and adjust ourselves, we can create a lifetime of love. When we can own our mistakes and adjust our actions, we can reduce the tension in our relationships. 
  • By examining how we behave differently in stressful situations, a woman's never-ending to-do list, for example, I hope to give you new insights into how our diverse responses to stress cause us to clash. [This one made me laugh, because just last night, I was transferring over the huge to-do list I wrote for myself at work this weekend into my planner.]
  • Respect is honoring who a person is and being open to appreciate everything he or she has to offer. [I'm not sure I totally agree with this definition, but I do like the first part. Honoring.]
  • Women today are so tired and stressed, they too want a happy wife to greet them at home. [Interesting! And I sort-of agree. I know I definitely appreciated it when Kyle picked me up from work and/or had made lunch/dinner, etc. and was both that smiling face and had helped out around the house.]
  • Returning home after work causes most women's stress levels to increase. 

And I think I'm done reading for the day now. At least that. I'm going to watch a bit of the Casey Anthony trial online, and try to get my birdy to snuggle with me. I discovered today after walking into the bedroom to find an egg at the bottom of the cage, that my Raj is not a boy bird! 

Hello, little egg. 

It was cracked from dropping. :(

My birdy is a big girl now! It's so weird to say that. Someone suggested I change her name to Jasmine, to stay in the same vein. I'm not sure I'm a huge fan of that, but I might call her Jazz. I'm so overwhelmed! My bird has a sex change just a few hours ago! I'm still not sure how to process all of this. 

I finished up my evening watching some amazing ACN training. This month's video was so inspirational! I am looking forward to making ACN work for me. I haven't tried hard enough to get this off the ground - especially since I've been dealing with everything surrounding the house, and breakup drama, etc. - and I am the reason I have not done well. I am taking responsibility for my business right now. I am dedicated to making this work for me, and I know it can happen. Starting now, I will not make any more excuses. ACN is my vehicle to my savings goal. $15K, here I come! 

With that, I'm getting pretty sleepy and I have a dance lesson with Tony tomorrow. I need to get my beauty sleep relatively soon! Goodnight, world. <3

Monday, May 23, 2011

Another 101 update!

I'm pretty bad at updating my blog entry, so I created a page at the top that has a link to my list. Still, I haven't been updating that as often as I should! So I went through today and updated a few things. 

First, I had to change a few goals. I realized that not everything was a concrete yes-I-can-check-this-off type of deal, so I changed some things. 

Starting with the ones I have completed: there are two! I bought myself flowers (more than once, actually!) and made an amazing new friend. Jacey, Miranda, and Sam are all wonderful women that I have gotten really close to over the last few months. 

Now updated goals! These are goals that have several parts and I have completed at least one. 

Go see five theater productions. When Dad was down here in April, we went to see Fiddler on the Roof. There is one of five!

Watch 10 new-to-me movies that were in theatres more than five years ago. Jace and Mike rented The Pelican Brief a few weeks back. Hadn't ever seen it before! There's one down. 

Take 3 roadtrips. On Monday 05/16, I left again for California with Sara. We stayed with Grandma and Grandpa, and I hung out with some friends in the evening. We were there through Wednesday. There's another one down!

Read 100 books. I have read four so far. The first one, I blogged about already. The Manny. I have also read  The Best Romantic Ideas: 365 Great Ways to Say "I Love You" by Mara Goodman-Davies, which was pretty good! There were some cute ideas in there that I might not have thought of otherwise. I finished up The Bride and Groom Happiness Test by Susan Adams, which was crap. It was a book of questions, but they were all common sense stuff. And then the last book I read was simply amazing. What Women Want Men to Know by Dr. Barbara deAngelis, I believe it's spelled. Seriously amazing. It gave me the words to say so many things I've wanted to say over the last year(s). It made me feel I was NORMAL, which was a relief. I am just so glad I read it. So that's four down. 

Visit 10 museums. When Dad was down here, we also went to see Body Worlds at the Arizona Science Center. Not only was it SUCH an amazing experience, but that's one museum to cross off the list!

And I think that's all I have to update with right now. I am reading another book right now that I'm pretty excited about, so I'll have more book updates soon, I'm sure. 

Off to read some more!! <3

Saturday, May 21, 2011

It's raining men!

I feel like the last 10 days have been just crazy!

Last Friday - dinner with Ben.
Last Saturday - Miranda's mom's graduation party. When I left, Kyle told me if I ever am interested in dating older men, to give him a call.
Last Sunday - Jonathan was flirting shamelessly.
Monday - pool and drinks with Mike. Stayed the night.
Tuesday - dinner and drinks with Ryan and Sam. Stayed out until 1:45. Ryan and I had a dark corner of the bar to ourselves and just chattered away. <3
Friday - dancing lesson with Tony. Then, at the party for work, had a resident offer to fix my heel (since I broke it) and ask what I would be doing after work.
Tonight - dinner with Ben again, and I got a message from Kyle earlier asking me to go out with him.

It's raining men!

Friday, May 20, 2011

It's been a few days! Just a quick note.

I'm super sleepy, so just a quick note before bed.

Sorry I have been MIA the last few days! I was in California spending time with my grandparents and some amazing friends Monday - Wednesday. I slept in today, had a counseling appointment, and then had to sort out some drama at the house. The condo situation is a complete nightmare.

Dinner was a joint effort with Jace tonight. Tried my hand at some yellow squash without the garlic & wine seasoning and it turned out pretty well!

Anyway, California was wonderful. Pictures and a more substantive update to come. :)

Sunday, May 15, 2011

A quick update. :)

I am home from Sue's graduation party, and felt the need to give a quick update.

When I was over at Sue's for Easter dinner, she had their friend Kyle over as well. He's 45. Wife left him a year ago on Memorial Weekend. Super sweet guy. Former law enforcement.

Anyway, he was also there tonight, and when I went to leave, he walked over, gave me a big hug, and told me if I'm ever interested in dating someone older, to give him a call.

I was flattered. And the really interesting thing about that, to me, is that I had just finished telling the table that I withheld sex in my relationship for nearly three years. After making the case that sex is paramount for guys, he asked me out, basically. Interesting. Curious. Flattering.

He's wonderful. That put a smile on my face tonight. And now I'm sleepy and off to bed. Goodnight, world!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

101 update - my new bff4l!

I'm crossing off the goal to make a new close friend. Jacey definitely fits the bill! After our road trip to Modesto this weekend and spending nearly 55 hours together nonstop, I feel like we just bonded so much more.

Maybe I should back up and say Jacey and her husband are the couple I met at La Bocca on the night Kyle picked up his things back in March. I decided to go out by myself rather than sit inside and mope, and I ended up standing behind them in line, chatting, and sitting at their table, eating dinner with them, and kindling an amazing friendship. Two weeks later, Jace and I went out to dinner at Centro Paninoteca. Two days after that, she called to invite me to sit down with Ron Riisager and hear about the business she is building with her husband.

So I did. Wednesday, April 13th, I sat down with the three of them and signed up. I sat through two hours of presentations before deciding I wanted to jump in, but I still did it. I was launched on Friday, and Saturday was the big house fiasco. They offered their home to me on Sunday, but I didn't move in until the next Saturday.

They have been wonderful. We eat dinner together most nights. We have made dinner as a collective effort before. I even made dinner for all of us tonight, and it was so wonderful getting compliments on my cooking! I went out to dinner with Jacey to La Cucina Italiana last Sunday night.

I just feel so blessed that she and her husband have been placed in my life. I absolutely adore both of them. They are both so incredibly giving. They are kind. They are just wonderful people. I have known them for less than a month and a half, but I would trust them with my lives. (And I have trusted them with $500 in cash, just laying around.)

I am so amazed at how quickly our friendship has grown over the last month, and I am looking forward to seeing where life will take our friendship. <3

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

More updates!

It's been another little while since I've updated, and life has certainly gone on!

Last Thursday, I had an appointment at Fuchsia for a facial. I completely spaced it, and got a phone call 15 minutes after my appointment time asking if I was going to make it in. Oops. They gave me the option of either a $30 charge, or them taking one of my services. I didn't like either of my choices, so I asked if I could reschedule for a different service that day without being charged the $30. Sure enough, they booked me for a massage later in the afternoon for no penalty. My therapist was Jessica. Amazing. I needed a massage so badly, and she did such an awesome job.

Ended up only going to Express Mie on Thursday night for Josefa's arms class. Killer, as usual. Friday afternoon, had lunch with Tony at MBFGE and then went wine tasting.

The weekend wasn't terribly exciting. I called Grandpa on Saturday for his birthday, and stopped by the house to grab some groceries. Sunday, I had invited Kyle's dad to church with me, but Kyle said something rude in response about wanting “his” shower curtain back, so I dropped it. I called Ron later and left a voicemail letting him know that I would like to take him out to dinner that evening. Got a text back from Kyle when I was out at dinner with Jacey saying they were at the Grand Canyon.

Monday, I worked like crazy on my paper for German. I ended up changing the premise of the paper around 3 o'clock, when the paper was due at 5:40. It ended up being 14 pages, and I made at least two people cry when I presented my paper in class. 100%, baby!! And it was worth 40% of our final grade. It was quite possibly the most amazing paper I've ever written. It wasn't my best work – I re-wrote 14 pages in the two hours before it was due, but it was so poignant and my imagery was spectacular. I am so pleased with the way it turned out.

And then today! The last day of class for the semester. The due date for my Race, Medicine, & the Body essay was pushed back from tomorrow to Friday morning, which I am incredibly thankful for – especially because my computer was being super dumb all day and wouldn't connect using the ethernet cord that was plugged right into it. I desperately need a new laptop. Maybe I'll ask for one for my birthday.

And with that, I'm outta here. It's past my bedtime.