Sunday, November 28, 2010

The 7 Year Itchy-ness.

I want to call it the "7 year itch."
Because seven years ago my bags were packed..I was ready to go-to start a new life in California. I was 24 years old, and the world was my oyster. I "created" my life, and everything seemed like a dream.

Seven years before that my bags were packed..I was graduating high school and moving out of the house to start a new life in Green Bay, Wisconsin. I was so sweet and passionate about my dreams. I couldn't wait to see what it was like to be a grown up!

Now here I am, seven years later. I am 31 years old, and it seems that time has hit the hold button.
But my very motivated self is desperate to find an open door and go for it.
I am impatient, and I want things to start happening now! I want my dreams to come alive.
The ones I had when I was six. Or thirteen. Or eighteen-when I graduated from high school.
I keep talking to God, asking him what he wants for me. Every night that is my main question to him.

I know a lot of friends that are going through some kind of mid-life crisis right now too.
The majority of these people are women!
They are either facing a divorce, questioning their current "status" in life, asking what their purpose is, trying their hardest not to make impulse decisions.

And they are all turning 30..or 31.

But wait a minute? Doesn't the mid life crisis visit much later? Like when we are 45 or 50?
And isn't it a little less serious--like buying a trendy new car, botox, or wearing a scarf under our chin to lift our loose neck skin?

I just read Eat Pray Love..and watched the movie.
I noticed that Elizabeth Gilbert was 31 when she escaped to "find" what she didn't expect in Italy, India, and Bali. 

What is it about being 31 that creates this mid-life crisis?
I don't recall my mom's generation ever saying that they experienced this desperation after exiting their twenties.  It's like a desperation to be independent, successful, unconventional, or just to find pure freedom & happiness.

I don't have any real solution for this. So I guess it is more of a question.
What is going on with my generation that we have a mid-life crisis at 31? ♥

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

I hope that life is like this for me when I am older.
Holding my love's hand at Golden Spoon, trying to
decide between Peanut Butter Cup or Cake Batter flavor.
Can't get much better than that!

(caught this photo on my cell phone. hooray for spontaneous picture taking).

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

My Inner Little Girl

..Brought alive by my niece twirling in her princess dress & sneakers last Thursday!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

A Romantic Picnic in The Park

Yesterday, (and I still can't believe it still isn't today) I was 31 years old, but still looked like I was in my twenties. It was a fall day in Wisconsin.  Unusually warm, in the seventies. I was at that in between place in my life having just moved out of California and trying to adjust to the small town life for a little while.  A bright vintage diamond ring on my finger, engaged to Dan.  Just bought "the" wedding dress earlier this week. 

Our romantic rendezvous in the park.
The name of the park doesn't matter.
It's just this time in our lives that matters.

The color of the leaves changing.  I can't stop staring at the leaves.  For the past few years I've been so concentrated on palm trees and the Pacific Ocean that I have forgotten the feeling of wanting to jump into a pile of leaves and play.
Laying on a picnic blanket under a willow tree, eating heart shaped peanut butter & jelly sandwiches.
Dan & I together.  Watching the bride across the pond take pictures with her groom.
Laying on top of Dan, Dan on top of the blanket. The sun was catching his eyes just right so they were sparkly blue.  The roses Dan brought for me resting up against the tree.

This was one of our "moments" that we'd remember forever.
The moment before we kiss after sweet vows proclaimed in front of our families.
Before Mr. & Mrs.
Before we launch our very much earned and hopeful careers.
Before the baby bump, I am predicting probably not as expected.
Before the dream house near the city.
Before raising a family.
Before the gray hairs or the crows feet..or the beer belly!

This was one of those dates we will talk about when we are lucky enough to grow old together.

Friday, October 15, 2010

The Butterfly Palace

This big and beautiful butterfly loved me. He was the mysterious blue one everyone was trying to touch but couldn't.

I was so blessed to have this one moment with the one butterfly I'd been eyeing all day long.

“Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.”-Robert Brault.

Things that I adore. And I hope you do too.

Naps on a Sunday afternoon. Curling up next to you and you feel warm. I can hear your heart beat.

Taking a bath before bedtime. The skin on my feet gets wrinkly from soaking in the water for too long.

The sound of the city or the television humming. They both put me to sleep.

Waking up to make pancakes in my kitchen. Especially if we use cookie cutters to make pancake shapes.

Breakfast in bed is even better.

Road Trips because we feel like it. I hug you in the driver's seat at the Shell Station, I feel like a teenager.

Celebrations for any reason.

Clean white t-shirts~especially when you wear them.

You, welcoming me home with a smile at the airport.

The ringlets my hair naturally forms when I don't brush it.

My bubble gum pink lipstick makes me feel alive and pretty.

A beautifully wrapped gift. Waiting for me at the front door.

De~ja~vu because it's fun to figure out where I have experienced this feeling before.

Most of the population still calls us "kids". I'd rather be young & wise.

Window shopping and daydreaming.

I Love Lucy.

My orange tabby cat Sprite~especially when she gets fat.

Jet lag. It's exciting because you only have it when you travel to a mysterious & far away place.

You, throwing your arms around me in the kitchen while I cook. Especially when it's a surprise.

Sprinkles. On almost anything sweet.

Indian Summers.

But I love fall. Nothing is better than to sit and watch the leaves whirl around indecisively.

A compliment from a complete stranger.

Comfortable Silence.

The mystery and romance of tomorrow.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Even though I am quite girly.....

I don't scream at tiny little things I am enthusiastic about (although I think that girls that do that are really cute). 

I keep all that inside in a pretty little ball. The ball is made up of sprinkles, crumbs from my favorite cupcake, hankies from my dear grandma, teardrops I have held in, bobby pins, an internal camera, breaths that I have saved for really momentous awe inspiring occasions, a mini Eiffel Tower replica from Paris, sequins and sparkles I have left behind in many places...

If I get close enough to you, the pretty little ball releases a sparkle once in awhile.
I might have to tell you that I see a sparkle on your face. Or maybe I'll just look at it in the light and smile because I know I've really graced your presence if a sparkle has landed on your skin.

Or you might tell me that you found a bobby pin on the floor.  When you found it you remembered me putting my hair up in the bathroom.  Then you proceed to tell me that I always leave bobby pins behind~and somehow they end up on the living room floor. It is a mystery. But it makes you happy because you knew I was there.

I guess I'm not verbally loud.
My voice is actually pretty quiet.

But I will use some of those breaths I save for an amazing time laughing quite exuberantly with you.
And yeah, you should feel special.

When we go on a trip somewhere I might just get you a cheesy souvenir like the mini Eiffel Tower.
Even though the souvenir may sit in the closet, collect dust.  The best thing is that you will find the souvenir one day and all the wonderful yummy memories will come flooding back to you. You will feel warm.

My nose can get sniffly once in awhile. But there is no one other than my late grandma Fran who can hand me a hanky. So when you hand me a generic Kleenex, I tell you the story about what a vivacious and glamorous woman my grandma was.  So vivacious and glamorous that she handed me beautiful embroidered hankies to wipe my snotty nose with. 

I might ask you to go to the bakery with me to stare at all the beauty of the cupcakes. It probably will be for longer than a minute.  I love how pretty they are. I think it is because cupcakes are beautiful and miniature treasures that taste so good.  You'll appreciate sitting outside the bakery, smelling the wonderful scent of the cupcakes with me. Especially if it is sunny.

You might even get bored with the fact that I take pictures of almost everything.  You'll laugh about my scratched up camera because I have taken it everywhere with me~even as far as Hong Kong.  You'll listen to my crazy but serious daydreams of living off of all my talents, and never having to work corporate again.  Then I'd romantically escape with you to travel the world.  We'd  learn about our own lives through meeting people who have real stories to tell.  We don't even have to become famous. Just plain happy knowing there is not one thing we would ever regret.

I am not quite sure where the tears fit in.  Tears are unexpected. Is it cheesy to say that I will cry on your shoulder? I'd rather say that if we are ever close enough, I hope you still think I am pretty with all my mascara running down my face after a fierce cry.  You will definitely put up with me sometimes breathlessly bawling in the darkness of a movie theater.   However, the tears would be amazing if it was something dramatic-like my tears camouflaging themselves during a rainstorm.  Or maybe I can wear my oversized sunglasses to hide the tears.  Just like a movie star! 

I'd rather we laugh so hard that tears stream down our face.
In a library. Sssshh. Be quiet.
That would be great.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

My mom knocked on the door of my bedroom and said she felt lonely..

She asked me, "You know, that lonely feeling? Don't you feel that way sometimes?" She continued, "I was sitting out on the back porch in the sun, and suddenly I felt a rush of loneliness which is why I came in here to see you." She laid down on my bed.

I asked her why she felt lonely. She didn't know. The sun was out, it was an unusually warm October day. She had been sitting on the back porch thinking, and the loneliness crept in.

I can tell my mom is happier here with me in the house.
But I had no idea that she was happier just to sit beside me.
I guess I realized that's what we need when we are lonely.

Something as simple as a lovely friend to sit beside--no matter what the weather forecast looks like.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Being 31

I turned 31 this last weekend.
It freaked me out a little bit because I still remember my 21st birthday pretty clearly.

My 21st birthday wasn't anything exciting. No trips to Vegas. No crazy forgotten drunken nights. I rollerbladed in a church parking lot at midnight after having my first and only cocktail (which I thought tasted sour and bad).

A decade later, I am 31.

I feel good being in my thirties.
I know who I am, what my goals are, and have started to establish my gifts in the world.

The world tries to make me feel paranoid about having babies, (is a biological clock a real thing? that is for a blog in and of itself), getting married, owning a house. Just in the last week I have known four friends that have walked down the aisle. And they were all about seven years younger than me.

At first this fact really freaked me out. Orange County men typically like women in their twenties. I am definitely past that place. Beautiful women with the perfect liposuctioned bodies run around Southern California. I have natural curves that do not need a silicone insert.

I started seeing wrinkles around my eyes this year..and the skin on my face is definitely not as tight as it used to be. The media tries to tell me I will end up alone if I don't end up settling down soon!

But you know what.... I feel like I am about 24 years old.
I was on the beach with a bunch of twenty somethings last week and they referred to me in a conversation as "People our age................"
I smiled inside.

The key to my youth is love. I feel love for my friends, family, and anyone who has ever entered my life. I don't hold on to bitterness or anger. I may hold a grudge for a short timeframe, but then I let it go. It's not worth it. I watch my three year old niece and try to pattern my mindset after hers. She is all about happiness, color, taking time for tea parties, and love. Maybe that's why she and I have such a great connection. I allow the little Amanda to survive forever. Take time to create a tea party even if I have to create the imaginary tea cups. Even when my skin gets wrinkly, my inner little girl will still dance playfully in her new skin.

I hope that every year I will collect a new sparkle to add to my eyes.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

My Paintings :)

I don't know why I have ignored painting for so long.
It's something I have always loved to do.
So I've made a promise to myself now to start painting again!
This was my first painting.
My art teacher at FIDM had told me my paintings
reminded him of Gustav Klimt's work..
So that is the artist I used as my inspiration for this one.
It is a mixed media collage.
The hair - pasta noodles.
The paint-metallics and acrylic.
The silver-believe it or not, it is silver plumber's tape from ACE Hardware.
I etched swirly fun shapes into the plumbers tape with a sharp object.
I also had a ball at the craft store finding all kinds of fun metallic accents to add to my painting.

This was fun. I am going to do it again :)

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Smart Home.

I was looking for a notebook so that I could tear out a sheet of paper for an errands list.
Instead I stumbled upon this old red notebook from my college English class.
The pages have started to turn yellow.
The notebook took me back to the raw fresh new days of California.
When I wrote the passages inside the notebook, I had just moved away from Wisconsin to attend the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising.
All of the entries inside were written while staring out the window at the downtown Los Angeles skyline.

Here's one of them.

I am going to inform the world today of the perfect smart home.
I am a mix of Martha Stewart, Cynthia Rowley, Yoga Instructor, Rock Star, and myself.
It is time for me to write my own "Living" magazine and let the world know what's up.

I recall watching the Jetsons and fantasizing of owning a bombshell robot like Rosie.
The cartoon made the 80s world imagine flying cars, computers taking over mankind so we would never have to leave home.

The new millennium has presented fast moving technology, forcing us to forget that twenty years ago we thought people might move to space by the year 2000.

In my opinion, the Jetsons had a smart home. One would think the human portrayal of the TV is what brought the "smart" in the home.
I see the Jetsons as a smart home because even in their day and age, they remained a strong family. I cannot see Elroy hiding pot from his broken parents.
Instead, he shares his fears and happiness with his parents.

The only problem with seeing actual technology as "smart" may be that all of this metal and glass makes me feel a little chilly.

The Jetson home could be warmed up by Mrs. Jetson in an apron..the house smelling like fresh
chocolate chip cookies. An actual real mom (instead of a robot) creates the memories of a lifetime.

Scribbles on construction paper from a child's imagination posted on the refrigerator (instead of a computer monitor) open up the home to remind everyone of their child's sweet and promising imagination.

Maybe the Jetsons could use a visit from a Feng Shui master.
Feng Shui teaches us to hide technology behind closed doors while we aren't using it.
This way we are surrounded by complete silence and a chance to breathe, escape from the noise. A chance to concentrate on our mind, heart, body, spirit.

I will not argue the impressive "wow" factor of a glamorously large flat screen television as it tells me my favorite stories in life size color.

I would not reject a friendly and gorgeous robot that could Feng Shui my home for me.

However.. I envision a smart home as so much more than the amazing electronic heroes of our day.

I see a smart home as this: A family sitting down together for dinner, or a mix of roommates learning from each others' cultures. Photos on the wall that tell a story. Playing fetch with the doggy in the back yard while dad grills hamburgers on the deck. Bright colors painted on the walls, not afraid to allow color or warmth into the home. Memories of spaghetti fights in the dining room. Allow authenticity. Then add a splash of technology.

Now that is a smart home.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Moving On.

Life has felt like it is on pause for a long time.
I keep waiting for God to tell me what he wants me to do next, but he keeps pressing the pause button.

I accidentally stumbled upon my blog from a few years back..when I was in college.

In this blog I quoted myself as Laid Back, Relaxed, Imaginative.
In the randomly placed photos of my life, my skin lacked the few lines that it has gained in the past few years. My eyes were wide open instead of sleepy. I smiled genuinely.
I had goals, and I was going to get them.

Where is that girl?
I want to find her again.

The girl that wants to travel the world..
give water to those who need it.
hold baby orphans because they can't live without love.
travel the world for its amazing shopping opportunities, food, trends and new friends.
make at least one person in the room smile.

I yearn to find my inner girl again.
The one who is wide awake and ready to conquer.
Who has faith she can do anything.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mothers Day

Dear Mom,
Even though we live very far away from one another you are still my best friend.
You know me better than anyone and will always love me unconditionally.
I feel safe sitting next to you.
You make the best mashed potatoes on the face of the planet.
You've always supported every decision I have made.
You and dad are the foundation of the artist within me.
If I were to see your heart, it would match the shiny gold at the end of a rainbow.
You are so smart, but you don't need to announce it to the world.
People love you so much but you've never realized what a difference you make in their lives..
just by being you.

I love you mom. I wish we were together on this eat breakfast together or sit down and eat a chocolate cake.

But I am just thankful knowing that no matter what I am always surrounded by your love!
I know everyone else in our family is too!

Gaia Loves You!
Griffin Loves You!
Courtney Loves You!
Cliff Loves You!
I Love You!
Dad Loves You!