One Lovely Blog Award – Alicia in Wonderland Blog

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Last week, the wonderfully sweet writer of Making it as a Mum nominated me for the “One Lovely Blog Award”. πŸ™‚ I am incredibly flattered to receive this honor! Be sure to check out her blog here…it is filled with tons of witty and wonderfully honest musings about motherhood.

The RulesΒ for accepting the Award(s):
  1. Thank and link back to the awesome person who nominated you.
  2. Share 7 things about yourself.
  3. Nominate 15 other bloggers and comment on their blogs to let them know.Β 

It has been difficult trying to think of seven things about me that you may not already know if you read this blog often! I decided to start with some funny facts about my husband and I. πŸ™‚

1. I met my husband in a dark alley and tried to hit on him.
Yup, and I parked in that alley and ran over to him to introduce myself. Definitely not something I had ever done prior to that day, but I just had to meet him! I was driving one of my friends from work home one evening, and I saw this mysterious man pull up on his motorcycle. My friend told me that was his buddy and his neighbor. I parked my car illegally in the alley and ran over to him. I tried to introduce myself and make conversation (he was wearing my favorite motorcycle jacket made by the company I worked for at the time). He blew me off completely. That night, I had a dream where I saw myself getting married to this man who had so rudely blown me off. It made me pretty angry. We became good friends over the course of the following year though.

2. He later was going to be my pretend boyfriend.
When my high school reunion was getting close, I started talking with some of my girl friends about the fact that I did not want to go alone. I was embarrassed that I been focusing too much on my job and had no good date options at the moment. My friends and I made a list of all of the guys we knew collectively, and pros and cons for each one as a date and faux-beau as we called it. We decided that hands-down, my now husband was the best option for a faux-beau. I asked him if he wanted to pretend to be my boyfriend at my reunion (and on Facebook too prior to the reunion). He happily agreed. The reunion ended up getting canceled, and he was surprisingly really disappointed about it. At that point, I started thinking hey…he’s the best guy I’ve ever met and maybe he is starting to be more interested in me than he was when we first met. I tried dropping hints for months with no luck.

3. Then we became roommates for a little bit and I kept referring to him as my husband when I was asleep.
On the nights when he got home really late for work, I would occasionally sleep walk and ask our other roommates when my husband was going to be home (we had not even gone on our first date at that point and were completely just friends/roommates at the time). I realized that my subconscious mind was seriously trying to tell me something, so I pretty much forced him into our first date. πŸ™‚ At that dinner, he said he did not want to get married any time soon, and he did not like organized religion (he knew me very well at this point lol). A little over a year later, we were married and shortly after that, he got baptized. πŸ™‚

4. My grandma convinced me to keep dating him.
I was getting frustrated by how much my then-boyfriend-now-husband was against organized religion. It left me in tears on quite a few occasions that I felt like I knew this was the man I wanted to marry but I just did not want to end up with someone that was anti-religion. I told my grandma that I thought I was done with him, and she convinced me to be more patient. She and her friends from church had apparently been saying the rosary for his conversion. I never would have guessed in a million years that prayer would suddenly be answered not long after. One weekend, he took me on a ski trip (most of our mutual friends thought he was going to propose). Instead of proposing, he told me that he wanted to start taking classes so he could eventually become baptized. Even better than a ring. πŸ™‚

And a few things just about me:
5. I may come across as an extrovert, but I am really a very introverted person.
Back when I was a little tyke in preschool, I was a chatterbox at home, but very quiet at preschool. So much so that the school thought I was mute for a while. As I got older, I started noticing that the more outgoing girls in dance class got all of the best solo parts. I started watching them and trying to force myself to be more outgoing. That became a habit that stuck with me for most of my life. I have come to realize since I met my husband that I am most happy when I allow myself to be comfortable with my introverted self. I need time to relax at home, and meeting new people makes me a bit uncomfortable at first. I often ramble nervously with people I do not know well or people I do not completely feel comfortable around. I have come to the realization that my nervous rambling has been interpreted as self-centeredness. In reality, my chattering is really just my way to deal with that awkward feeling that haunts most introverts. Maybe it is better to just be the quiet one. πŸ™‚ I think there are a lot of artistic people who are very introverted by nature. I know that having alone time (or time just with my husband and son) always recharges my creative energy. My husband and I are both introverts, but we have a very extroverted, social son…we make the effort to meet new people just for him. πŸ™‚

6. When I was growing up, my life goal was to be a writer.
I wanted to write a fiction novel so bad. I even went to a Young Writer’s Camp one summer. Unfortunately, fiction is not an area where I have ever been extraordinarily creatively gifted. I tried for years to come up with the “big idea” for the novel I wanted to write, sketching out plot lines, but none of them were ever any good. I finally gave up on the idea and started focusing on writing non-fiction. I had so much fun for many years writing for online fashion magazines, attending runway shows and writing trend reports. I eventually gave up on that though since the pay was awful. I knew that writing was still something that I really enjoyed and something that enriched my spirit. For me, blogging is the perfect solution. I get to share stories about our life, but do not have to worry about getting writer’s block and having a lack of creative ideas! With sharing our real-life stories, I get the fun of writing without the stress of trying to come up with the details of a fictional story.

7. I don’t mind if someone thinks I am an over-sharer.
I share a lot of personal details about some our struggles here on my blog. Some people are not comfortable with that. Personally, I look at my blog as a way to document our memories, and hopefully help a few others in the process. If it gives someone else the inspiration to get out and garden, or find a way to find peace with their own personal struggles, I feel like that is worth all of the over-sharing. I only share really personal events when I think it may help someone else in their own emotional and spiritual journey. There are plenty of things from my past that I have not shared (things that make the trials that I have shared seem easy in comparison), and they are things that I probably never will (although who knows, some day I may feel otherwise). Journeys I have faced and personal battles I have won. I don’t like to hash out all of the ugly details here because I like to think of myself as a survivor, not a victim.

Okay, so now on to the 15 blogs that I nominate! Be sure to check them out…they are some of my favorite blogs!

First up is the set of blogs that I have been scouring recently in planning our new tot school homeschooling curriculum, that I mentioned in this post. These are some seriously amazing mamas!
1. http://wildflowerramblings.com/
2. http://teachingmama.org/
3. http://www.andnextcomesl.com/
4. http://www.1plus1plus1equals1.com/

And some more of my favorites!
5. http://8kidsandabusiness.wordpress.com/
6. http://carrotsformichaelmas.com/
7. http://wellnessmama.com/
8. http://timewarpwife.com/
9. http://www.keeperofthehome.org/
10. http://biblicalhomemaking.blogspot.se/
11. http://leaciceraro.com/blog/
12. http://www.abowlfulloflemons.net/
13. http://catholicmom.com/
14. http://www.simplyjune.org/
15. http://www.heynataliejean.com/

 

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Weekly Dose of E

This little guy is growing up so fast…he so badly wanted to help his daddy work on something outside in the patio. He was just too cute standing there, watching Daddy through the window. πŸ™‚

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Weekly Dose of E

I decided to make myself a belated New Year’s resolution and start taking more photos of our baby E’s daily life. You can read more about my thoughts on the matter on my photography blog here. I am going to try to post some every Friday on the photography blog. Here’s a special preview for my readers here. πŸ™‚ I really love how these came out!

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What I Wore Sunday: Finally a Dress Again!

I was super excited about this simple outfit for a few reasons. The first and biggest reason (for me anyway) was that I am finally feeling stable enough again to start wearing some wedge heels! Heels are one of my favorite things, and having my pelvic bones so weak and painful for so long meant that I have had to only wear flats for quite some time now. I am still not pain free, and not stable enough to wear a pair of regular heels yet, but this was an exciting improvement for me. πŸ™‚

I also have been having a really hard time finding any dresses that look good on my figure and are breastfeeding friendly, without being really low cut. I have searched high and low and finally found a dress I liked for wearing to church once in a while. It was a hard process. Most button down shirt dresses are not flattering on me, I can’t do strapless comfortably, and some scoop neck dresses that may be breastfeeding friendly are too low cut for my taste. It is surprisingly difficult to find a good wrap dress lately!

We went by the pier after church on Sunday to look at getting some fish for dinner, and were hoping baby E would enjoy his first time seeing the ocean. Unfortunately, he was too sleepy to pay attention to his surroundings!

Sunglasses: Marc by Marc Jacobs
Purse: Marc by Marc Jacobs
Dress: TJ Maxx
Shoes: a store in “the alley” in downtown Los Angeles

E is wearing an outfit from F.A.O. Schwarz.

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What I Wore: Father’s Day Weekend Part 2

I decided to coordinate my outfit a little with what my two boys were wearing that day for fun. πŸ™‚ We all wore our black sneakers (although E’s are really just socks that look like shoes) and a vest. E thinks it is quite hilarious whenever I have a hat on or a scarf in my hair, and he thought this white with black polka dot scarf was particularly entertaining. I am happy my outfits are so amusing to him. πŸ™‚

Scarf: can’t remember…maybe Forever 21?
Shirt: JCP
Vest: Nordstrom
Pants: JCP
Shoes: Converse
Purse: Marc by Marc Jacobs

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Father’s Day Weekend Part 2

Since it was our first Father’s Day, I “helped” my two boys put together coordinating outfits on Sunday. πŸ™‚ I even wore a semi-coordinating outfit myself. We started off the day going to mass, and then headed out to the California Science Center. E was very interested in everything, but he was particularly fascinated by the room with three walls covered with movie screens and my dad’s students’ R.O.V. exhibit!

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Unfortunately, E fell asleep just before we went in to see the Endeavour. There will be plenty of time for him to see it in the future though. I am pretty sure it won’t be leaving the museum any time soon. πŸ˜‰ I can’t wait until he sees it for the first time. While I was pregnant with E, it flew right over our backyard on its final flight into the airport here in Los Angeles, and I have been excited for him to see it since then.

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Unfortunately, E’s grandpa wasn’t there to see his reaction to the R.O.V. exhibit for the first time, but we finished off the evening by meeting up with Grandma and Grandpa for dinner!

Father’s Day Weekend Part 1

This past weekend, we decided to skip our rule of one day of working on the house and one day of fun rule. For one thing, we were a little burnt out on working on the house after spending a couple of weekends getting the house ready for the baptism party. Also, since it was Father’s Day weekend, we decided to take the whole weekend to do fun things. Our Mother’s Day weekend was a little rough with all three of us feeling under the weather (each with different problems), so a fun and memorable first Father’s Day weekend was in order.

On Saturday, my husband and E wore their coordinating t-shirts that I got for them. Below is an Instagram picture showing their t-shirts. They were a big hit all day. πŸ™‚1010309_10151526025612535_20475506_n

We started out the day going to the Heritage Square Museum, near Pasadena, CA. My grandmother used to tell this story over and over about how when I was really little, she was driving me to her sister’s house in San Marino. As we were passing by Heritage Square on the freeway, I looked over and said, “what boootiful houses!”. I am still very fond of old Victorian and craftsman houses, as is my husband. We were crushed when we did not get the first house that we put an offer on, a big historic house built around 1919 (the house was somehow repurchased by the same owner). My husband had never been to Heritage Square, and I had not been since I was a little kid, so we were excited to go. In retrospect, I wish I would have brought some of my other camera lenses with me, but worrying about carting around all the baby gear is usually enough stuff to carry. πŸ™‚

I always thought that Heritage Square was a previously existing neighborhood that had been saved and restored. We were quite surprised to find out that they were individual buildings that were salvaged from around Los Angeles, relocated together and restored. It is so sad that there are so many more houses like this that were destroyed over the years around the city.

E was so cute when we were inside the houses. I really wished photography would have been allowed inside the houses. He had his eyes open so big, looking at all of the details of each house and the furniture. We jokingly told him to take it all in and start taking notes so he can work with us on our house soon. πŸ™‚

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We loved the little vegetable garden next to one of the houses. It was modeled after the WWII era victory gardens and gave us some ideas and inspiration for our own garden.BY0A9184 BY0A9185 BY0A9188 BY0A9189 BY0A9190

We met a cute cat in the garden. He followed me throughout the garden. He reminded us a lot of our cat Fluffy. πŸ™‚
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Originally, we were planning to go to another museum in the area after we finished at the Heritage Square Museum, but after we dealt with some long baby feeding sessions and diaper changes, it was a lot later than we had planned and too late to go to another museum. We were not ready to leave and go to dinner at the place we had planned, and wanted to do something else. We decided to go for a walk around the Cal Tech campus since it is so pretty and E absolutely loves looking at trees. πŸ™‚

When I was in high school, a good friend of mine was applying to Cal Tech. I thought that it sounded incredibly boring to go to a college without NCAA sports teams. I decided to go to USC, but spent a lot of time visiting her up at Cal Tech on the weekends and breaks. It turned out that Cal Tech was not as boring as I would have assumed, and I ended up falling in love with the school and the whole environment. I wished I had applied there myself. While at USC, I felt that the general environment was full of a lot of superficiality, backstabbing, snobbery, and everyone judging everyone else. I really do not have too many fond memories of those years, with the exception of a few good friends that I made (however, by now most of those friendships have faded away anyway after moves, etc.). A part of me always wonders if I really did not enjoy studying engineering, or if I just did not enjoy the environment where I was studying. Perhaps if I had gone somewhere else, I might have enjoyed it more. I had a lot of horrible experiences where people in my classes were spreading lies about how I was getting an A in a particular class, and even a professor who tried to sabotage me because he was angry that I got a 97% on his midterm without attending his (pointless) lectures when I had fractured my spine. My good grade brought attention to the fact that everyone who had been in the lectures had come close to failing the midterm, or had failed, and I ruined the curve. Oops!

When I would go visit at Cal Tech, people had themed parties that were more than just order a kegger and get wasted (like the parties at USC). They had open mic nights, spoken word and poetry nights, and other amazing themed parties and events. People sat around having amazing conversations, discussing philosophy, politics, and more (and sometimes science topics too). I definitely spent more of my free time at Cal Tech parties than events at my own school. It was the kind of environment that I had pictured when I thought about what college would be like. When I was busy fighting with the university because they were forcing me to live with roommates who never felt a need to study and stayed up all night partying, my friend at Cal Tech got to live in her own tiny dorm room, with no roommates, because the university understood that living alone in a smaller space was more conducive to efficient studying.

My husband does not like it when I say this, but I really hope E will consider going to Cal Tech if he is interested in science or engineering. I know it is silly to try to encourage him toward a particular college as soon as he is born, but I just loved it there so much and hope that one day I could live vicariously through one of my own kids going to school there. πŸ™‚

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After our little campus tour, we finished off the evening with dinner at my favorite restaurant in my old neighborhood of L.A. (Los Feliz), and a drive through downtown. We had a couple of things in mind that we wanted to do downtown, but a worn out and sleeping baby made us decide to head home instead. πŸ™‚