I believe…

  • I believe we should have our “once a week” latte Monday morning. Why not have something to look forward to Monday morning?

  • I believe in summer. The smell of sunscreen, the way my hair looks after an afternoon at the beach playing volleyball… a little bit untamed.

  • I believe in Love. I believe, specifically, that any bible verse that has the word God in it can have love substituted. I think Love never fails, Love is the way and the truth and the light. If we love each other, like REALLY love each other, then we’re doing it right.
  • I believe in service. Volunteering over the weekend was extremely eye opening and rewarding. Not only does it make me more grateful for what I have, but it empowers me because I know that I made a difference. I made her smile, I gave him clothes to wear to a job interview.
  • I believe in listening to your heart above all others.
  • I believe in karma (and that it’s only a bitch if you are)
  • I believe in fate… timing, luck, fate. All of those. The trinity of love maybe. You need all three, and then it just works right?

What do you believe in this fine Monday?

Spring is Near.


Now that I am adjusted to the time change (read: I went to be by 10:30 last night) I am FREAKING LOVING this whole Spring thing.

Growing up in Southern Cali… it’s always Spring weather. It’s 72 degrees on Christmas. So the fact that I got through my first “colder” winter and I am feeling the average temperature climb is amazing. By next month the average temperature will be in the low 70s, and I am going to appreciate the hell out of it.

Things I will be doing this spring/summer:

  • Partaking in the local farmers market. Preferably with large straw hat, and this bag I bought on Etsy.

  • I will wear sunscreen, but play out doors.
  • I will go camping
  • I will tube down a river

  • I will hike
  • I will go wine tasting

  • I will swim in a lake
  • I will picnic on a beach
  • I will plan bonfires
  • I will let me hair get highlighted by the sun
  • I will wear skirts and dresses, and take of my shoes and run in the grass

  • I will run outside (in hopes that i start losing weight in the chest area, 20lbs down and I am still in the same bra size!)

What are YOU all looking forward to this spring?!

Blessed.

I am a lucky girl.

Blessed beyond imagination.


This is what I am picking up this weekend.
Nice, huh?

This accident is proving to be a huge blessing. Proof that amazing things can come out of situations that seem so horrible. This is what has happened:
  • I have grandparents who saw I was getting in over my head. So, we had a financial meeting. No secrets. I came with the actual numbers I owe on my credit cards. They responded with love and patience that I don’t deserve. They always do, the love me 100% all the time. And that’s amazing.
  • I have a Dad who will do anything for me. He wants me to be safe. He loves me, even when sometimes it feels like we’re not as close as we should be; he loves me more than anyone on the planet.
  • Blessed blessed blessed blessed blessed.
  • Basically, I am taking the money from the settlement, paying off all my debt and using a really low interest rate loan to buy my car.
  • As of this weekend, I will have no credit card debt and will have a car payment instead.
  • By the end of the term (60 months), I will be debt free. With an amazing car that will last for another 5 years.

Also, my test came back. No cancer. Totally benign. Totally grateful.

If you don’t have anything nice to say…


Don’t say it.

Don’t twitter it.

Maybe don’t blog it either.

I’ve been struggling with annoyance lately. People don’t seem to update their status’ unless it is to complain about something.

Yes, we know Mondays suck.
I’m sorry that you’re stuck in traffic.
You had a shitty week, and that sucks.

I get it. I do. But I don’t want to write about it. I don’t want to put more negativity out into the world. I really don’t.

What would happen if instead of commenting on the negative things going on, we look for the good things to comment on?

Today’s NPR StoryCorps was inspiring!!
It’s a beautiful day.
It’s a beautiful day in which I get to try again to not mess up what I yesterday. That’s pretty rad. This world of new days.

Maybe we should take some time to be grateful instead of bitching. AND if you really need some kind words, some loving, just ask for it. It’s amazing what happens when you ask those who love you for what you need.

Let’s spread love. Shall we?

Cupid Hits the Slopes Recap

I had so much freaking fun this weekend.

I have the bestest friends in the world.
Some of us were REALLY excited to spend a weekend away.

I am a “natural” at skiing. It was a blast, but I can’t walk normally after a day of snowplowing my way down a mountain. (I only feel twice, once into a “Slow Down” sign)
Wait. Your guy friends don’t insist on being shirtless all the time too?

Valentines Day was especially awesome. There was a group of us who opted to not ski on Sunday. So we frolicked around and had one of the best Valentines Days ever.

We went and toured fancy condos with the FUNNIEST salesman ever. Who kept name dropping and telling us things about his clients that he probably shouldn’t. (Like, I know there is a dentist is a particular town with a germaphobic wife). Nick is surpisingly good at bull shitting. And when he mentioned what major company he works for and the sales man was all “Oh yeah! is one of my clients. He just bought a condo for 1.2 million.” Nick responded “Yeah, that’s what he told me”. Nick has never met the man, ever.


Guess who I am taking if I need to buy a new car. The Negotiator himself.
If I ever do internet dating, this will be my profile pic.
Hi, my name is Bri. I like reading, marshmallows, and long walks on the beach.


We went to Chinese for lunch, and picked this place because it had a Buddg

Bri: what’s the spiciest thing on the lunch menu?
Waiter: we can make anything spicy. Well, the chili chicken is spicy. It’ll make your ass burn! (I stare in disbelief that he just said ass burn) I mean, it’ll make your mouth burn!
Bri (to waiter): what’s your name?
Waiter: Wen, like who, why, when. Or like, when your ass on fire!
Bri: can we take a picture with you?
Wen: oh s**t!
Bri: please? You owe me!
Wen: I don’t owe you crap!

Bri’s fortune: A new relationship is about to blossom. You will be blessed.
Nick: Is Wen writing these?!
Hilarious.

Then it was home for cooking dinner. I made Pasta Carbonera and it was so much fun to have a big family dinner, complete with a rap session. Then it was beer pong time, which included every team wearing special “flair” for good luck.

I believe this is when i tore my stitches. Jess and my strategy was to dance in between rounds.

The Woman at the Well.

I wanted to share something that we saw at Women’s Retreat. It is pretty powerful stuff.

In the spirit of a talk show host, here is the set up. There is a story in the Bible about a women, a Samaritan, who is an outcast from society. No one talks to her because she has a not so perfect history. To avoid the judgment and condemnation of the townspeople she goes to retrieve water from the well at the hottest period of the day. And one day, she runs into an unexpected visitor….

Love Harder

(The contents of this post are brought to you by LiLu and a fabulous band of 30 bloggers; check out LiLu’s blog for the complete list of participants who made this possible!)

The quandry: We feel terrible. Just horrible. And oh so helpless… if only there was something we could DO for them.

The answer: Ummmm. Did you forget that WE ARE THE INTERNET?!?!!??! And also, Yes We Can!!!



The result: Brandy and your Hot Awesome Dude… this one’s for you. Love, The Internet.

Our Plea

Our friend Brandy is a brilliant writer, a wonderful teacher, and a generous friend. And she is in love with a man who has just been diagnosed with multiple myeloma.

We are raising money for the Multiple Myeloma Research Fund in his name. For the price of a cinnamon dolce latte, half-caf, hold the whip, you can be part of an effort to cure a disease that affects approximately 750,000 people worldwide.

http://www.loveharder.org

Every dollar brings us a dollar closer to a cure. And every donation brings a sliver of hope to a girl who needs all the hope she can get.

Love Harder,
Habbala

What You Can Do

Give. Be part of a worldwide effort to cure a disease that affects approximately 750,000 people worldwide. Every dollar helps.

Pass it on. Forward this story to five people. Share this blog post. Become our fan on Facebook.

Love harder. Life is short, love is unbending, and no one knows what could happen next. Tell someone you love them today.
Where Your Money Goes

The American Institute of Philanthropy recently named The Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation one of the best organizations to give to in terms of their accountability and use of resources.

By working closely with researchers, clinicians and partners in the biotech and pharmaceutical industry, the MMRF has helped bring multiple myeloma patients four new treatments that are extending lives around the globe.

The MMRF has advanced twenty Phase I and Phase II clinical trials. They need your support to advance these clinical research programs and accelerate the development of better, more effective treatments.

The MMRF’s Multiple Myeloma Genomics Initiative recently became the first to sequence the multiple myeloma whole genome in its entirety.

A whopping 98% of your donation to the MMRF will be used immediately to support high-priority multiple myeloma research.

With diminishing funding for early stage drug development and the next myeloma treatments not expected to be approved until 2011, the MMRF desperately needs your help.

Just a reminder of Brandy’s story:

Brandy’s Story

My name is Brandy. And I have a blog.

And a plea.

I use my blog to showcase the crazy I meet everyday, share the stories of the kids I teach, and document my love for tequila, dairy products and the abdominal muscles of Ryan Reynolds.

Rarely do I talk about personal issues on my blog– as personal as the dude that I adore. But I need your help. And it involves my dude.

He’s a guy who made math comics for my class, so they would love learning about addition. He’s the guy who sends my friends gift cards when they are having hard times, who remembers every story I ever told him, who was the first person I celebrated with when I got a teaching job.

He’s the guy who sent flowers to me at school– dozens of my favourite pink roses just because he loves me. He’s a guy who has spent a year patiently explaining (and re-explaining) everything there is to know about football during the important games when silence is preferred.

He’s made me word puzzles and comics and stayed up late playing Scrabble with me (even though I beat him almost every time). He’s listened to me cry about school and family and jobs. He is everything I never knew I needed and everything I always knew I wanted.

I realize this all sounds dramatic, a Lifetime movie in the making– but this is life. Right now. And I’m throwing away any hint of ego and am humbly asking for you to pray or think kind thoughts. If you are able to pass this on, thank you.

This isn’t a call for sympathy or a plea for pity. It’s just one girl hoping you can think positive thoughts for the person she adores. If my current heartache provides you with anything, let it be the reminder that life is short, love is unbending and no one knows what could happen next.

Thank you for reading this, and if you haven’t already? Please tell someone you love them today.

I did.
DONATE: http://www.loveharder.org
CONTACT: theloveharderfund@gmail.com
FACEBOOK: http://facebook.loveharder.org
MORE INFO: http://www.themmrf.org

Contemplations on love…

While at a friends house last night, a couple of us got into a conversation and I wanted to include you all in the debate. Are you ready?

In marriage, is love a feeling or a choice?
I say both. My friend Leah said choice.

Basically, Leah argued that the love feeling comes to an end and all you have left is the choice to make a marriage last.

If this is true. I will never ever ever get married.

I think it’s both. I think that the choice is real and crazy hard. There are days, weeks, months that can go on that you have to actively CHOOSE every day to love your partner. But if there is a point where the feeling of love actually permanently comes to an end…. that just sucks.

Here, let me illustrate how I conceive marriage. I present to you the Marriage Cup of Love.

First Level: The, hopeful, starting point is a really deep respect for a spouse. I find that it is much harder to stay mad at someone who I really respect and value. This is part of the picking a REALLY great spouse…. you should respect them, they should respect you. If everything else has gone wrong, I think having this foundation can get you back on track.

Second Level: The choice. This is the active part. The daily task of serving your partner and putting them before you. This is the part where the vows you take come in to play… when you aren’t IN LOVE with your partner… you promise to stay and work it out. Put the effort in to get it back.

Third Level: The feeling of being in love. I have seen my grandparents. They have been together for a really long time, and sometimes it is apparent that they’re working from the second level… but then sometimes it is INCREDIBLY apparent that they are truly IN LOVE with each other. I don’t think it’s realistic to expect this part to be there at all times, but damn it it should be there sometimes. A relationship should ebb and flow with this– and I think it would if the first two levels were sound.

Ok, now it’s your turn. What do you think? What is love’s role in marriage?

2009 in Review

In place of writing mojo, and in preparation for my New Year’s Resolution Post, I humbly submit before thee a “The Last 365 363 Days Meme”. I did it last year too, making this a tradition, and who am I to mess with traditions?

1. What did you do in 2009 that you’d never done before?

Lived alone! Had a grown up job complete with a real office (it even has a door!!!). Got a Masters degree.

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

I believe my new years resolution last year was to live without fear. I can’t say that I wasn’t afraid this year, but as Eleanor Roosevelt said “You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing which you think you cannot do.”

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

Kristen has a baby in January. I loved being able to fly up that day and meet Josiah.


4. Did anyone close to you die?

No, thank God.

5. What countries did you visit?

None! Sad. I haven’t even been out of CA this year. But boy did I travel around a lot. I was in LA, San Diego, Santa Cruz, Monterrey…. there has not been one month this year where I haven’t gone SOMEWHERE.

6. What would you like to have in 2010 that you lacked in 2009?

Consistency. The changes that have occurred in 2009 needed to happen, but I want to stay here for a while. Not “here” emotionally or in terms of personal growth… but I want to stay in this group of people, near my family and continue all the progress I have had in 2009.

7. What dates from 2008 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
June 12th. June 12th is the day I moved here!

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Leaping. Jumping into this life with abandon with complete faith that I will be GREAT once I land. (And finishing my masters while in the midst of chaos)

9. What was your biggest failure?
Hmmm, my biggest failure was definitely the amount of credit card usage and indulgence that occured post-break up… but we’re back on track now.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
I got a mild concussion after falling down a flight of stairs. That was fun.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
My bed! My couch!! My anthropologie quilt!

12. Who’s behavior merited celebration?
Geez, how much time do you have?

Let me perfectly clear. I would not have made it through this year without YOU. Without my friends, IRL and on the internetz… I wouldn’t have been able to do it. My friend carried me when I couldn’t walk myself. Every single one of my friends deserves a parade solely in your honor.

13. Who’s behavior made you appalled or depressed?
None really. I guess similar to last years answer, I have been kind of afraid of Fox News in general…

14. Where did most of your money go?
Rent and gas for my car it seems.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
I get really, really, really excited about most things. But this year I am especially really, really, excited about the amazing group of friends I have found here.

16. What song will always remind you of 2008?
“Hey, Soul Sister” Train. Duh.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder? happier
b) thinner or fatter? thinner
c) richer or poorer? richer (technically this is true even if rent makes me cry)

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
More pictures!

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Worrying.

20. How did you spend Christmas?
I spent it in my apartment with my mommy, followed by a movie, followed by Christmas with my entire family. It was perfection.

21. Did you fall in love in 2009?
Out of actually.

22. What was your favorite TV program?
Glee and Modern Family.

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
Nope.

24. What was the best book you read?
“The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society”

25. What was your greatest musical discovery?
Eric Hutchinson!

26. What did you want and get?
Beautiful jewelery and books!
The best one is this one,
Truth Universally Acknowledged: 34 Great Writers on Why We Read Jane Austen

Synopsis (from Amazon)

For so many of us a Jane Austen novel is much more than the epitome of a great read. It is a delight and a solace, a challenge and a reward, and perhaps even an obsession. For two centuries Austen has enthralled readers. Few other authors can claim as many fans or as much devotion. So why are we so fascinated with her novels? What is it about her prose that has made Jane Austen so universally beloved?

In essays culled from the last one hundred years of criticism juxtaposed with new pieces by some of today’s most popular novelists and essayists, Jane Austen’s writing is examined and discussed, from her witty dialogue to the arc and sweep of her story lines. Great authors and literary critics of the past offer insights into the timelessness of her moral truths while highlighting the unique confines of the society in which she composed her novels. Virginia Woolf examines Austen’s maturation as an artist and speculates on how her writing would have changed if she’d lived twenty more years, while C. S. Lewis celebrates Austen’s mirthful, ironic take on traditional values.

Modern voices celebrate Austen’s amazing legacy with an equal amount of eloquence and enthusiasm. Fay Weldon reads Mansfield Park as an interpretation of Austen’s own struggle to be as “good” as Fanny Price. Anna Quindlen examines the enduring issues of social pressure and gender politics that make Pride and Prejudice as vital today as ever. Alain de Botton praises Mansfield Park for the way it turns Austen’s societal hierarchy on its head. Amy Bloom finds parallels between the world of Persuasion and Austen’sown life. And Amy Heckerling reveals how she transformed the characters of Emma into denizens of 1990s Beverly Hills for her comedy Clueless. From Harold Bloom to Martin Amis, Somerset Maugham to Jay McInerney, Eudora Welty to Margot Livesey, each writer here reflects on Austen’s place in both the literary canon and our cultural imagination.

We read, and then reread, our favorite Austen novels to connect with both her world and our own. Because, as A Truth Universally Acknowledged so eloquently demonstrates, the only thing better than reading a Jane Austen novel is finding in our own lives her humor, emotion, and love.

27. What did you want and not get?
I got more this year than I ever thought possible. I guess if I asked me in January… I didn’t get a condo or an engagement… but it’s for the better. 😉

28. What was your favorite film of this year?
(500) Days of Summer

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 24. My resolutions were:

  • Find new passions… take a photography class, volunteer.
  • Make friends in my new home: friends who wish to make the world better and find beauty in everything.
  • Take advantage of being so close to my family.
  • Breathe.
  • Be spontaneous. Travel some. Alone and with friends. Or, alone to friends.
  • Work on being confident in the woman I am… the whole self-doubt, self-deprecation thing is dying with my 23rd year.

I had a bunch of friends come into town. We went to Medieval Times and Disneyland. It was magical.

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Nothing.

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2008?
I feel like I am most comfortable in my jeans, t-shirts, scarves, and long hair. Oh, and my glasses.

32. What kept you sane?
My friends and family. Cliche, yes. Truth, yes.

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Edward Cullen was my answer last year, and this year too.

34. What political issue stirred you the most?
Hmmmm….. still Marriage Equality.

35. Who did you miss?
Anyone in Southern CA, Erin, Melissa, Jimmie, Anthony, and all my grad school buddies.

36. Who was the best new person you met?
Pssh. EVERYONE.

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2009.
“The world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are strong at the broken places.” — Ernest Hemingway

38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
Smile
Smile though your heart is aching;
Smile even though it’s breaking.
When there are clouds in the sky, you’ll get by.
If you smile through your fear and sorrow,
Smile and maybe tomorrow,
You’ll see the sun come shining through for you.

Light up your face with gladness,
Hide every trace of sadness.
Although a tear may be ever so near,
That’s the time you must keep on trying,
Smile, what’s the use of crying?
You’ll find that life is still worthwhile,
If you just smile.

That’s the time you must keep on trying,
Smile, what’s the use of crying?
You’ll find that life is still worthwhile
If you just smile.

Best of 2009- Best Laugh

Oh boy. Biggest belly laugh? I laughed a lot this year. I was lucky enough to laugh a lot this year.

I laughed hysterically at Jimmie’s birthday party in Hollywood. I remember telling Anthony I couldn’t breath and he said “Bri, if you couldn’t breathe, you’d be dead”. Thanks Anthony. A lot.
I laughed in Sausalito during Olivia and my annual “Soul Weekend”.
But recently, I laughed when my best friend sent me the following to illustrate what she meant by having her bridesmaids in different styles of dress but the same color. Which one to chose now….
This year it has become ever more apparent that laughter is best shared with someone. Laughing alone… never becomes a belly laugh. You might chuckle. Feel amused, but not unless you’re with someone to share the laughter with does it ever elevate to a belly laugh.