Wednesday, December 27, 2006


Typically, the end of one year and the beginning of another is a time for self reflection. It is the time that we list our faults and resolve to repair those faults prior to the end of the following year. Gym memberships, nicorette gum, and AA meetings all benefit for the first months of the new year, then decline again until the following January.

For the last few weeks, I've been thinking about my resolutions. What about me do I want to change? What about me do I not like?

There are of course some easy things: I would like to gain weight, I would like to travel more. But in actuality, those are resolutions, they are goals. I have already resolved to gain weight with minimal sucess regardless of the thousands of calories I consume daily.

When it comes down to it, I like me. I used to be obsessed and worried about how the world saw me. I would change who I was, I would bite my tongue, and I would deal with a lot of unnecessary "crap" so that I could be liked. This past year, I learned something. I made a realization. Those that I am trying to make like me are ones that think they know me. They believe they have me all figured out and I'm a royal bitch. Do you know what I learned? Those that think they know me typically know the least about me. Instead, they are part of a group that decides what people are like ahead of time and them contort every situation to mold that person into their perception. I do not need people like that to like me, so I gave up. I figure, I fill my time with enough, why add to it. And, I've continued that philosophy with new people in my life as well as old throughout the entire year. Life is a lot less stressful this way.

There are so many things about myself that I learned this year. I may not be perfect, but I enjoy working my way to that point. I have an amazing husband who I love more and more every day. I have the great joy and honor of being the mommy to an incredible little girl who makes me giggle all throughout the day. I am surrounded by family and friends that are always there for me. I learned that I do nice things because I like too, it brings me joy. I like being busy. I enjoy a challenge. My favorite times invlove being surrounded my the people I lvoe. I don't have to go out everyday. I enjoy hot chocolate as much as a hard drink. And Barney just might not be the devil, he just doesn't have to be my friend too lol!

When it comes down to it, I don't have any regrets this year. I'm happy, healthy and so is my family. What more could I ask for? I know that if I were told I had a terminal disease and had 30 days to live, there isn't much I would do differently. I think I am living my life how it was meant to be lived and I am happy.

I will say this, without the love, support, and friendship of those in my lives, I don't know that I would be able to say the same. Thank you so much for all that you have done and said.

This New Years, I resolve to be me. I resolve to not change anything, however I do goal myself o gain 20 or so pounds ;)

Thursday, December 21, 2006


There are aspects of my job that I love. I love meeting new people, I love getting to know the people who live here, I love the opportunity to shape our own community and I love the flexibility of it all.

There are things I don't mind doing. I don't mind dealing with most tenant disputes. I think its good practice for real life to diffuse "ugly" situations. I don't mind doing the grounds. Kaitlyn rides along on her bike or in her wagon and I get a great deal of satisfaction out of it. Plus, we get to be outside. I don't mind doing move-out paperwork, I enjoy the satisfaction of either charging the hell out of someone who trashed an apartment or giving back an entire deposit to someone who worked hard to clean their unit. I don't mind the tediousness of move-in paperwork. It's so repetitive it's nearly relaxing.

There are things I don't like doing. I don't like wearing a pager all the time. I don't like explaining that "No, having 1 of your 8 bathroom light bulbs is not a major emergency, I don't care if you can't apply your make-up, it's after 11 PM." Or the "Well, you were told for 6 months to remove the trash from your balcony, you were specifically told a day and time it would be removed for you, you were told and watched while it was hauled away so No, I'm not responsible for replacing your 1991 Jane Fonda Work out tape."

Then there are things I HATE. I HATE cleaning the laundry room. A laundry room is a place where you take something dirty and make it CLEAN. So then, why do you insist on a DAILY basis to trash it? Why do people live like that? It's as though they are in the middle of doing laundry, have the door propped open with the garbage can (after complaining that the washers were stolen you continue to leave the door open all hours of the night) 2.4 feet away from them and think that is much to far to walk. I should toss my opened bottle of detergent with remnants in it and when it not only splatters everywhere, but the bottle doesn't even make it to the trash, let's shrug our shoulders and say "it isn't my job" and continue to be a slob. I also HATE realizing what kind of trash and demise people will live in. You learn this quick after your first lock out eviction. The last unit hadn't had power in MONTHS yet had dairy products in the fridge. Yummy that smelled good. And of course the eggs that were smashed into the carpet were a lovely touch. What I really enjoyed though was the hole they left in the wall in an attempt to splice into electricity outside. Ugh, what a disgusting society we must live in.

Don't get me wrong, it's a great job. I am incredibly lucky to be able to stay at home with my princess. There are enough lulls in the day where we can have a lot of mommy and me time and I have no problem putting up the "Closed" sign and locking the office up if we need more. We get to spend all of our time together playing, learning and creating memories. I just do not understand people!!!

So, in a nice venting list, here are the five worst things I've seen/dealt with:

5. Hypodermic needles hidden in a "Parenting" magazine after move-out. They were not diabetic.
4. A living room whose floor looked like a dumpster, wrappers and maggots included
3. The tenant who explained that it wasn't his fault he hadn't paid the rent, his church was supposed to pay since they knew he spent all his money on crack
2. The woman living in her VAN with her maybe 1 year old son, SHOOTING UP in the parking lot.
1. Our door on fire.

However, here are the 5 nicest things I've seen here:

5. A tenant collecting at least 2 trucks filled with toys for charity.
4. A collection taken for a young mother on hard times to pay her rent.
3. Lots and Lots of yummy treats, cards and thank you for the work I put in J
2. A tenant helping her elderly neighbor for HOURS a day for pure satisfaction and joy.
1. The sweetest couple who daily thank god and every American they see for the opportunity to be in such a great county. (These are actually one of my favorite tenants, they are incredibly sweet)

Wednesday, December 20, 2006


Yay for Christmas.

Well, I'm officially there. You know, the place where nothing can bother you because it's Christmas!! It's the best time of year. It's the time when people have warm hearts, merry spirits and children behave as soon as you mention Santa.

I am really excited about Christmas this year. More so than I can remember in all of my teen and adult years. Christmas is absolutely, positively about the kids. It truly is. I don't think I grasped that concept as clearly as I do know until I had children.

Kaitlyn's first Christmas she was a month old. Her Christmas Eve and Christmas morning mainly consisted of sleeping through EVERYTHING, all the food, all the hot chocolate, all the presents. She actually slept on my lap while I tediously opened all of her presents. She had so many that year. I mean, mounds of presents. Even Dusty and I bought her way too much. The funny part is that I wrapped all of her presents. Seriously, what was I thinking?? How in the world did I think a 6 week old baby was going to open presents? It took me a week to get them all unwrapped, unpackaged and put away.

Last year I was really excited about Christmas. The day before Christmas Eve, Kaitlyn started to get sick. We spent about 6 hours in the ER that night with a little girl who couldn't stop vomiting, had awful diarrhea and was incredibly lethargic. The ER was crowded and didn't have a single bed, chair or changing table to admit her into. So, we were sent home with the instructions to give her ¼ ounce of fluids every 10 minutes. She stayed sick on Christmas Eve. Christmas morning I thought for sure she would be better. We left her "Santa" gift out in front of the tree only wrapped with a bow. It was the Radio Flyer Ride on that made real astronaut noises. Oh she loved it. She was enamored with every aspect of it. She didn't really open many presents, but she seemed to be feeling better. I put a pretty dress on her and we decided to head to Denny's for some yummy breakfast. We waited an hour and a half for food to come. As food made it's way to our table, it happened. Kaitlyn threw up all over me, all over her, all over the table, all over the chairs, all over the floor, everywhere. It was disgusting, warm, and miserable. So, no food for us. We headed home, I changed and we went to my parent's. Kaitlyn enjoyed the festivities at first, but quickly became lethargic again. We ended up home far earlier than we ever had before. The day after Christmas she was in the hospital at Kaiser with the Rotavirus. She had about 12 hours of IV fluids, glucose and sodium. She was severely dehydrated but because she cried tears, no one listened to how wrong I said she was.

This year, she is in good health, knock on wood. This year she LOVES Santa. This year gets excited about Christmas lights, this year she points out reindeer. This year, she looks at the presents flowing from under the tree like they are mounds of pure pink frosting and chocolate sprinkles. This year, we have been blessed with the magic of Christmas.

I have reached the delirious point. Staying up past midnight most night wrapping presents, making presents, preparing presents for shipping, addressing cards and figuring out the best camera angles for Christmas morning. I can easily say that NOTHING can take this joy from me. I am so excited. I love that we have Kaitlyn and of course my gorgeous niece Camaryn this year at an age where Christmas means something. I love kids at Christmas; it makes the long hours, hard work and expense more than worth it. I know that I am going to have a hard time going to sleep Christmas eve knowing that Santa will have visited through the night and Kaitlyn can wake up to a HUGE surprise. I am so happy that Christmas is in a few days.

I have been working on spreading Christmas cheer. I want everyone to feel the excitement that we have been given. I've sent out quite a few cards, mailed out ornaments this morning, mailed presents this morning, wrapped presents, wished everyone I see a Merry Christmas and eaten more turkey, potatoes and cookies than I could ever imagine. As a matter of fact, I think that I need a cup of hot chocolate in this weather…

I hope everyone has a blessed, happy, miraculous, amazing, magical, fantastic, merry Christmas and the best of New Years. Be safe, be joyous and spread that good cheer.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006


Current mood: annoyed
The tenant whom I KNOW set fire to our door has received his 30 day notice to terminate his tenancy.

I overheard him outside my window talking about the fire with another tenant. Of course, there isn't anything the police or fire department can do with the information, but it sure does irk me. I have more than enough tenant complaints on him and after his last violation of the rental agreement I was eager to serve him notice.

I knew this would not be pretty. I knew this would be a hellish 30 days. I knew it would be worth it. I knew this would be a better community without him. I knew my job would be easier and better without his presense.

Today it started. He is disabled and wears diapers. Under our window he left a box of his used diapers, his trash, his cigarrette butts and his 30 day notice. While I am unsure if he knew he did this, he placed all of the "items" into a box with HIS NAME and HIS ADDRESS all over it. Silly man.

There was a similar box under a stair well, and of course all of his junk mail strewn in front of the mailboxes, again with HIS NAME all over it.

Then, to top it all of was the "DA DA DUM" feces he left in front of his door. That's right folks, he relieved himself in front of his door. Why didn't he make it to the bathroom? I don't know, maybe he spent too much time putting out boxes of trash or he used all his diapers making a point. Regardless, EWWW

Of course, I photographed it all. Sighed and figured only 1 more month of him and his ways.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006


Everywhere I turn!! I absolutely LOVE it!!

There is something so magical about ths time of year. Everything is so festive and beautiful and people are different. All of a sudden old and young believe Santa is watching over them and start craming as many good deeds and well wishes as possible into the month.

I have a tendancy to do too much this time of year. I buy way too much for the ones I love. I also have a tendancy to cram as many activities as possible into a single month and 3 weekends! This year, I'm trying to do better.

I have limited my shopping, or tried to at least. We cut back our gift and holiday card list to those that mean the most to us. We have had at least one night a week at home, resting and relaxing.

Christmas is such a special time and this year it is even more special because Kaitlyn enjoys and appreciates so many aspects of it. She LOVES "Santa! Santa" and oohhhes and awwwes at all the lights. I love being a part of such a magical time in her life. I also love that she has Camaryn to share it all with. Things are so much more special when someone in your generation is there to share it with.

My biggest fear the last couple of years is that Christmas will mean more about what's under the tree than the magic of the holiday for Kaitlyn. I want to preserve as many of these good feelings and good times that are unrelated to gifts for her.

My favorite part about Christmas is seeing everyone you love gathered in the same warm and cozy home, sipping hot chocolate, wearing their Sunday best and a little more eager for me to snap their photo. Christmas to me is such a magical time because everyone is together, everyone is filled with love and warm fuzzies.

What does Christmas mean to you? What are your favorite traditions?

Saturday, December 9, 2006


Where for the most part, everything goes splendidly?

I had one yesterday. It had a couple of hiccups in it, but for the most part it was amazing.

It all started with me being able to sleep in until 7:15, normally I'm up at 6, Dusty already having his clothes ironed and Kaitlyn still snoozing.

I took a shower and got ready for the day without a fuss from Kaitlyn or Archie, which can be a rare feat some days.

We started working with a slow morning. Kaitlyn and I played a lot, she was really giggly. She ate her breakfast like a good girl, drank her milk and juice from a cup, without a straw and was happy.

Before lunch we went on a nice long walk where Kaitlyn said Hello and Bye to every person, animal and inanimate object we passed.

We ate our yummy lunch and Kaitlyn settled in for Sesame Street, her favorite. She was so excited to see her "friends" that she sang with them, talked to them and blew them kisses when they were over.

Normally, that's Kaitlyn's nap time. She didn't show any signs of tiredness so we had coloring time. Kaitlyn used her markers to practice her circles and kept saying "Look Mommy" to point out what she'd drawn.

After coloring we had a snack. Then things got busy. Within 2 hours, Kaitlyn and I showed an apartment 9 times. Being as how I have 7 vacancies and haven't had ANY phone or foot traffic, this was good. Kaitlyn was so friendly to everyone! We were able to rent 2 apartments on the spot with another returning on Saturday! I know I couldn't have done it without her!

After all that work, we needed dinner. I cooked dinner while Kaitlyn cleaned up her toys. Before we knew it, Daddy was home! I don't know who was more excited, Kaitlyn or Archie.

Dusty had enough time to hug them both before it was time for dinner. Kaitlyn was such a good girl. She ate her food and was really good about not feeding Archie. Dusty and I ate, cleaned up and ran Kaitlyn's bath water.

Dusty started Kaitlyn's bath and I finished. When she was nice and clean she got to get out and wear her favorite monkey towel. She is so cute when she has it on. We got jammies on (and she said jammies!! YAY!!) and she sat on the bathroom counter while I blow-dried her hair. She is such a big girl.

It was playtime for a couple of hours before bed. Kaitlyn still has a cold so Dusty offered to cuddle with her in our bed to help her sleep. So, that meant I had mommy time! yay!!

I've been bad about Kaitlyn's website. I only change the background every month and I'd like to twice a month, at least. The problem is, I've added so much that it's 45 pages of html code that has to be changed to get it how I like it.

So, I worked on her Thanksgiving website so I can change it on the 19th! In an hour I was able to get the hardest 30 pages done and ready! I was so proud!

I also got directions printed and Kaitlyn's bag packed. Today we are going to SF. Kaitlyn's on hold for a Gymboree shoot and they want to do a pre-fit go-see tomorrow morning. She's also been scouted by a competing agency so I agreed to meet with them and see what they are all about.

Plus tonight I have a hair appointment. I have no idea what I want to do other than something "different, but not gaudy" haha. Kaitlyn's going too so she can get a trim and Auntie Christina has the appointment right before us, so she's going too!

On another subject that Dusty and I dealt with yesterday, parenting is not an easy adventure. It is incredibly enjoyable, but it's also a lot of work. It is filled with a lot of decision making and some decisions are easier than others. What works for and what is good for one family may not be good for another.

I am really proud of Dusty for making a tough decision recently. He chose to do what is best for the three of us rather than what would be easiest. It reminded me once again why I love him. I am incredibly proud that he held his ground in his decision and am thrilled with the amount of love and support he has given me. He truly puts Kaitlyn and I, our feelings, our needs and our well-being, first and I couldn't ask for anything more in life.

I would also like to thank everyone that has respected and supported our decision, regardless of their own personal opinion. We understand that what is right for us isn't right for everyone and appreciate others that feel the same about our decisions. Family is the greatest thing in the world. It's your greatest and strongest foundation. We are proud that our foundation is made from such a great level of quality, it makes it even more apparhent that quality far outranks quantity anyday.

Wednesday, December 6, 2006


Current mood: disappointed
It seems in our country these days society has come to believe that if something bad happens to you lots of money will make it better. People now look for lawsuits; they seek out reasons to sue someone else regardless of whether or not it is ethically or morally right. Those people seek out technicalities and loopholes in the law meant to help those with serious issues and use them for their own financial gain. These people make me sick.

Because of the sue happy society we currently live in people are scared to do what's right. Law enforcement is scared to do its job because god forbid you accuse someone of something that is of a different race than you, you will automatically be seen as a racist. Officers of our time now will not make an arrest without bona fide, 100% without a doubt evidence. If they dare to make an innocent mistake and the wrong man is accused there goes their job and their future.

On Sunday we had our door set aflame. Although someone attempted to burn down the home my family lives in I could not imagine using it as a "get rich quick" scheme. Am I upset and stressed about it? Yes I am. However, that doesn't mean I am going to expect my employer to cover the costs of me going out on stress for something that is not their fault. I also wouldn't dream of suing them for financial gain, they did not set the fire, why in the world should they be financially responsible for it? I hope to think it is because I have been raised with good ethics, morals and *gasp* a conscience. That isn't to say that if they offered something to compensate me for my time and belongings I wouldn't accept it, I would, but I do not feel entitled to anything.

We know who committed the crime. We have a witness who watched him shove an item into the mail slot around the time the fire was started. He admits to struggling to get something into the mail slot. The rest of his story doesn't add up, yet the police cannot charge him. They have to have a slam dunk case against him to arrest him since he is both black and handicapped and already screaming discrimination. So, he is free to do as he pleases while the investigation continues. I am having a hard time evicting him legally for the same reasons. He will sue. He will state that his eviction had nothing to do with the numerous violations of his rental agreement, his constant harassment of myself or other tenants, or the allegations that he lit a part of my home and my life on fire and everything to do with the fact that he is black and handicapped.

Don't get me wrong. I do believe there are many instances where lawsuits are necessary. I do believe that if someone is at fault for loss of personal property, life or medical bills the RESPONSIBLE party should pay for those fees. I am aware that there are many, many good people who seek legal representation in cases such as those that are legitimate. My irritation rests with those that go after the wrong people just because they have more money, the people who use scummy lawyers and think that if they say this or they say that they are entitled to financial gain. The law was never written so that people could gain from misfortune, rather it was written so that people would not end up with less than what they had when someone else takes it from them.

I do believe that there is prejudice in our judicial system as well as our society. Do I believe that every officer is a racist pig with the intent of putting away every non-Caucasian? HHell no I don't believe that! While I do believe there are incidents where people are wrongly accused and incarcerated because of the color of their skin, I do not believe that is the norm. I do not think it's right to throw around the race card at every chance in hopes that it'll get you off as it did OJ, nor do I think it's right to sue police departments and the government if you happen to be wrongly accused (or rightfully in that matter) and of a different nationality than the arresting officer(s).

And on the same subject, I know who is guilty of the crime of arson and attempted burglary. I am confident that he will be brought to justice. He is black, handicapped and thinks he's ghetto. Does that mean I will be scared of all blacks in the future? No it doesn't. I am a fully capable person, blessed with the ability to think on my own and reason in a sensible way. I am completely aware that there are ignorant, crazy, psychotic, cowardly jerks in every city, state and county in all shapes, sizes and colors. To think otherwise would make me no better than he. He is a complete nut job and I look forward to the day he is in prison serving a long sentence.

I do hope that those who are responsible for filing such frivolous lawsuits will grow a brain and a heart and realize how bad it is for our nation. Please take a step back and ask if you want to live in a nation where the law cannot be enforced by officers because they are too fearful of losing their jobs. If everyone makes an effort to come to the conclusion that bad things happen to everyone all over the world and it's a part of what makes life go round, perhaps we can put an end to this awful pattern we have fallen into. When bad things happen we can do one of two things: Learn, grow and become stronger from the experience OR be shameful and find the first possible person that *could* be held liable, regardless of whether or not they did it and sue the hell out of them like a shameless beast. The decision is yours.