Monday, December 31, 2012

Twenty Twelve

Every year I think to myself, next year cannot possibly be more packed than this year has been.  And once again I find myself thinking the same things.  Such as…HOW in the world did we possibly fit this much into a year…and…where in the world did this year go…and this year, this one was one for the books….and other silly clich├ęs like that.

And yet…

They are all true.  I’m astounded how fast 2012 disappeared and how amazing it was.  Generally I’m ready to barrel into a new year when it comes along, but this year I’m feeling surprisingly nostalgic about 2012.  It had a good ring to it with a 0 a 1 and two 2’s that 2012.  And it was full of some really delicious memories.  My heart…it grew at least 6 sizes this year, at least…

And so now in all its glory is my 2012 blog/life in recap:

In January we try juicing and ask for some prayers (they worked by the way my uncle is doing AMAZING).   I work at home a lot which is both amazing and terrible.  I dabble in the idea of being present.  We have Christmas on SP’s side and I start my induction into the big big family.  My other family gets the cutest puppy ever – he turns out to be a 100lb bear…

Hunter DIES (poor car) and we go car shopping and buy Rusty.  I love Rusty but car shopping is still the pitts mostly.  We host vegan super bowl at our house and pretty much lose our American card.  Valentine’s day is cheesy and SP melts my heart adorably.

Work starts to take over all my time again – as is the usual for me around this time of year.  I am now able to live outside the law as I have no fingerprints.  I remember that even though working is really hard sometimes I’m REALLY glad I’m not in school anymore.  I also write a letter to my body acknowledging that even though I don’t give it credit, this mortal body has done me well…

We have Easter and it is really low key and fabulous and we are lazy.  The BYU kids make an it get’s better video and it really moves me and gives me some perspective.  I start talking about my body and weight loss again…oy.

I try to grow plants.  Its exciting (they are pretty much dead now…I’m not going to lie to you).  I talk about gay babies and how being gay should no longer be an issue (and solidify my naivete).  I also go cooking crazy.

This month starts to get insane as we’re heading quickly towards my program start.  My plants are still alive at this point.  I have essentially no free time again.

I’m officially crazy but my program goes so so well.  KNOCK ON WOOD for next year!  We celebrate July 4th and we are happy (even if I’m crazy)

I make it through my fabulous program and have this weird Now What? feeling.  We go to the beach as is tradition!  We get crazy crazy about wedding planning and I learn a lot of things about myself and life.

SP and I get Married and it is a truly glorious day!  We go to Europe and September completely disappears. 

I get back from the whirlwind of the wedding and Europe and have my 5 millionth quarter life crisis and question everything…again.  On a lighter note, I get to play with some really adorable kitties and go waterskiing in OCTOBER.  I love California!  I finally start writing about our AMAZING honeymoon with installment one in LONDON!

SP TURNS 30!  Essentially the most exciting part of Novemeber.  Against all sanity we take another trip and go to LA for a weekend to celebrate and see The Book of Mormon the Musical.  I realize that I’m really terrible at taking care of my body and eating well.  We finally redecorate our spare room and it’s beautiful and full of my dreams and whispered hopes.  We have thanksgiving at our little house.  It’s nice and reminds me to be grateful all the time.

I get nostalgic and dream a little dream out into the interwebs.  I write about the 3rd love of my life, Paris.  Oh man I wish I was there now!  My heart breaks.  I can’t write anything else about it.  We face the world ending again – we’re still here ;)  We go to San Diego for Christmas and I realize I miss my parents ALL the time!  I think about the coming year.  And now we’re all the way around!


Dear 2013 – do me well and I promise to do the same for you.  I plan to be the best version of myself possible.  A little bit kinder, a little bit stronger, a little bit more loving, and a little bit better than I was this past year.  2013 I know you and I can be great together, I know we can make amazing memories and do great things.  I’m so grateful for every moment and I can’t wait for another year of joy and love and challenges and growth.  So bring it 2013 because I’m comin' for ya, fists a blazin!


Friday, December 28, 2012

On the Cusp of a New Year

 Self indulgent thinking self portraits

It's funny how we imbue new years with so many hopes and dreams isn't it?  We burden our new years with so so many thoughts and "resolutions"  Some of it seems fantastic.  Nothing like a clean slate to set you free right?  but some of it seems mournful as we say goodbye to wonderful memories and put so.many.little.dreams into this coming year -  are we setting ourselves up for failure?  Are we asking too much of our new year?

I'm sad to see 2012 go because it's really been an epic year for me (a full recap to come ...of course!) but I think that it's ok to dump my dreams into 2013.  To start out with a million resolutions and hope that I can distill them down to the ones that matter, to the ones that will make my life a little more perfect.  I have a lot of expectations for 2013.  2013 has some really big shoes to fill.  But how do I not set up 2013 to disappoint me?  Do I just make little goals and have little hopes and then my expectations will be exceeded by the nature of sand bagging? 


I can't help myself.  I'm joining the droves of people making a million resolutions (amongst which include losing weight along with every 2nd person on the planet) and pouring myself and my dreams and my family into the new year.  I knew 2012 was going to be great and I think part of the reason it was so fantastic (and it really was) is because I made it that way.  So I'm setting myself up - some may say for failure but I say -  for a self fulfilling prophesy of happiness.  I'm not going to break down every resolution I have for this coming year or every hope and dream because 1) it would take pages and you would be bored out of your mind and 2) because you can't say EVERYTHING on the interwebs...but lets just say there are some awesome things in the Dranderson's future.  But I will give you a couple.  5 in fact.  Because that's a nice round, yet odd number - just like me!

So here are a few things I'm resolving to try to do for 2013 in hopes that the new year will also do well for me:
1) Treat my body better.  Put better things into it and just move it around more.  Stop denying my antsy legs and my lungs that are gasping for fresh air.
2) No more meat.  Yes I know my meat eating friends and my bacon lovers are groaning out there.  Don't get me wrong meat tastes good - I don't deny that.  But I just can't ignore the facts any more.  The environmental impact our meat "growers" have on our struggling planet, the torturous practices of meat producers, the major health benefits of not eating meat.  Its time.  We toyed with the vegan thing but have decided to start with attainable goals...we'll see...There's a lot of thoughts about the meat and the not eating it, I'm sure there are more thoughts to come...
3) Save MONEY.  SP and I have been really pretty good savers but life is forcing us to really revamp the budget.  Or actually use one.  Planning ahead instead of just going with the flow.  Its good.  Its something I've always wanted to be better at.  But don't be surprised if we say no to a few things, it's all part of this whole revamping the money nonsense
4) Learn something new.  There are a million things but if I just learn one I think I'll be a happy camper.  Like how to use my camera on the manual setting.  Or brushing up on my Spanish which has now gone to sh*te.  Learn to crochet (and secure my grandma hippie status)
5) Find some way to give back that is meaningful to me and make some small difference for someone else.  Something I can do or contribute on a regular basis to make somebody's life just a little bit better.

So they may not be big dreams (but remember there are about 50 others I haven't listed here) but I know it's going to be a challenge to try to keep to all of my resolutions and/or dreams.  But I think I'm up to the challenge.  I've always been a good dreamer after all...

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

To One and All - Big and Small

Merry Christmas to all my loves.  And if you don't celebrate Christmas than Merry Everything :)  I hope everybody had a fabulous Holiday season surrounded by friends and family and the ones you love.  And if you are like me and my family then I hope you had a good pair of stretchy pants...let's all say it together...FOOD PALOOZA.

Christmas at the parentals house (in the gorgeous never snowy San Diego) was everything I needed and more.  Family. Sun. Relaxation.  And more food than any human should consume in a week.  It was nice to take some time with SP and the family to sit around and enjoy each others company and not feel ridiculously rushed.

I have a million pictures to share but here are a few of the highlights from my phone:

Coffee at 5am.  Just helping Santa out a bit...
Mama's tree in all her glory
Santa put these in all of our stockings
I need my eyebrows done REAL bad

"Watching" The Holiday aka nap time

Much Love.  Here's to a fabulously happy and fulfilling new year - filled with more kindness and less of all the ucky.


Thursday, December 20, 2012

It's the End of the World as We Know It

Well it is the eve of the end of the world (again) and while I'm about 99.9% sure I'll be sitting in exactly the same place again tomorrow night just in case the crazy person (mis) interpreting the mayan calendar was actually correct I thought I'd say my goodbyes ;)

Just kidding.  Sort of.

You know I'm a sucker for a good reflection moment.  Because this life is good and we lose that in the tragedy and details and hardship of the everyday.  But really.  It's pretty dang good.

On Monday night after working (probably not enough, but eh) we frantically prepared to head down south.  It was so anti-sarah super prep it was a little crazy.  Normally I'm packing and cleaning a week ahead of departure day but this year it just snuck up on me and all of it had to happen the night before.  And SP reminded me that it didn't matter.  That sometimes you pack at night and it's ok.  And you're not going to Nepal so anything you forget can be rite aid...right down the street.

We took off on Tuesday morning bright(ish) and early(ish) and spent a good 8 hrs on the 5 heading south.  It was a boring drive but I can't imagine a better person to spend it with.  SP makes me laugh, she feeds me on regular intervals and Kori provides the entertainment value.  Long drive but it was good.  

And we made it.

San Diego, my home(ish) town, is beautiful as ever.  The sunshine is so glorious I can't even describe how it changes my heart and my lightness.  This city is full of beauty.  A canyon or a beach around every corner. You really can't beat it. And the fact that my fantastic parents are here makes it full of love and happiness. It's the perfect place for the world to end really.

We've spent the last 2 days cooking and eating and spending time together.  We watched a couple of movies (Home Alone is still the best christmas movie ever I don't care what anybody says), we went out and saw the sunshine and the water, and a hilarious art installation at UCSD...It's been so fabulous.  And I can't believe that I have a few more days of this leisurely sunny family time ahead of me (assuming of course that the world does in fact continue on after tomorrow...)

So whether or not the world ends tomorrow enjoy the sunshine and hug your family tight.  We should pretend every tomorrow is the last one...maybe our days (ironically) would be a little bit lighter.

And now a few pictures from the (maybe) end of my days...

Oh the 5 in all your boring glory!
Oh the sunshine, the never ending sunshine
Some amazing parental units :) And they are re-doing their back yard for all the future grandbabies ;)
Fallen Star art installation @ UCSD
My loves.  Now & Forever...end of the world or not!

Friday, December 14, 2012

In the wake of another shooting


Friends.  My heart is breaking today.  Why can’t we stop doing this to each other?  Why can’t we be better than this?  I truly believe that we, as a collective group of humanity, are better than these acts of violence – random or pre-meditated.  It makes no difference.  I know we are kinder and smarter and more loving than these acts.

There is not much I can do for these children and their parents and their teachers from the other side of the country except send all of my love and prayers and just wish and hope and pray that we can be kinder to one another today. 

Combat this violence with love.  Do something good today.  Give someone a hug.  Give a big tip or buy a meal for a homeless person.  Say an extra prayer.  Teach a child about love.  It won’t change what happened today…but it might change what happens tomorrow!

I know we can do better.  We must.

All my love!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Paris - My Love

The Second Installment of the Honeymoon Chronicles...really really late...

Besides SP & Babies & sometimes Kori, Paris is my all time favorite topic to talk about and dream about.

Paris is pretty dang romantacized.  Everybody dreams of Paris right?

Well my love affair with Paris it didn't quite come to full bloom right away.  My love affair with Paris has been a long time growing - no love at first sight for this girl and Paris.

My first trip to Paris was when I was like 12 yrs old.  And at that age when you have been uprooted from your "normal life" Paris isn't much to see.  Especially because you can't walk on the grass, there isn't a free bathroom within a 100 mile radius, French people aren't really into American kids, or tourists, or noises etc.  I mean you have to pay to get into the playground.  Which is basically the biggest injustice in life when you are 12 and really really bored.  So needless to say the 1st trip was a little rough.

My second trip to Paris wasn't quite love at first sight either.  But it was definitely a better situation.  I was older, I had recently finished AP art history and was in love with all things art and Lourve.  And while the idea of spending 6 weeks with only my younger brother as a companion (sorry Bro, I love you!  And in retrospect I'm glad you were there) wasn't my favorite teenage dream summer, I wasn't totally against it.  This, angsty teenage trip however is where that little fire in my heart started to grow for Paris.  The people were still rude and you still couldn't walk on the grass, but at least McDonalds had a free, smokeless bathroom to remind me of home.  And in 6 weeks.  When you are living in Paris - not staying in a hotel, you become a Parisian.  Whether or not you dress as well or can speak the language.  Being an akward teenager allowed me to not be as well dressed.  And letting my brother and mother struggle through the communication portion of the trip meant I didn't need to be able to speak the language to enjoy - that and the fact that if you feign French, the Parisians will often forgive your Americanness and then switch over to English and speak to you with loving disdain instead of just ignoring you.  In those 6 weeks my mom and brother (while my dad was slaving away somewhere) we DID Paris.  Like everything you could possible do in Paris.  We hiked every spire and lit a candle in every single church.  I took some of my best photography there (with FILM) and my eyes were finally opened to the amazing people, culture, art, and experiences this world had to offer me.  My wanderlust was instilled young because of my Dad's propensity to foreign, lengthy sabaticals.  For that I am forever grateful.

So when we were planning the epic european honeymoon I knew SP had to see Paris.  Had to see the churches, and the people and the art and the history.  She had to see through my teenage eyes and fall in love the way I had with the smells and tastes of other possibilities.  She had to try every croissant and see every adorable cobbled street and love it the way my heart has grown to love every foreign corner.

Going back to Paris was like going back in time to find my teenage self and tell her that all of her dreams would come true.  It was like finding familiar streets and loving all of the strangeness and familiarity at the same time.  The Louvre was still ginormous and full of art and history and dreams and flashbacks to my AP Art History class.  The Eiffel Tower was still towering and majestic and the best (and coldest) views of the city.  The Churches were still full of mystery and awe and the lingering smell of incense and reminders of my history and my forever love of the Virgin Mary (the Catholic runs deep - as does the obsession with our Virgin Mother).  Every twist and turn and chruch was still gorgeous and still perfect.  The Parisan's were still rude (one instructed SP on the correct way to eat mussels - she wasn't thrilled about being corrected in public) and the bread and pastries were still the BEST.IN.THE.WORLD. Amen.  Versailles was still a 25acre dream full of palaces and blistering feet and gilded frames.

I have literally 400 pictures from paris (397 to be exact) so this is the INSANELY slimmed down version.

Dream with me…

Versailles is my REAL love

 Also if you can only go to one art museum other than the Louvre - go to the Musee d'Orsay!

Also I ADORE Gargoyles!

 The street art is also off the chain...

 I could spend DAYS in the Louvre 

 ...and in Notre Dame

Au revoir my loves!