Thursday, November 29, 2012

Hansel and Gretel Life Lessons

I've been thinking a lot lately about the concept of following the bread crumbs that are laid out for you throughout life. Call them intuition, call them God, call them your conscience, call them your inner voice, call them a hunch, call them the Stay Puffed Marshmallow man for all I care. I choose to call them bread crumbs. Whatever you call them or don't call them, they are there. Day in and day out. Sometimes it's hard for me to recognize what is a bread crumb and what is not. Or maybe I've known all along but I just sometimes choose to ignore them.
This is one of the things about myself I've decided to kick to the curb. Blatantly ignoring the bread crumbs and going the easier route.

I've decided to do a little self spring cleaning.

 (Mid-Autumn cleaning? Is that a thing?)

I need inner-change.

Bread crumb navigation can be a tricky thing. When I'm mentally and physically deflated and my crumbs lead me to a magical gingerbread house made of confections and candy, the buck usually stops there.

I'm in love with taking the easy way out.

"The Easy Way and Krista
sitting in a tree,
k~i~s~s~i~n~g..."

Usually this turns out to be a temporary fix and in the long run it takes me even more time to get where I needed to be in the first place. My problem (so I've come to learn throughout the years) is that I don't look around back of the gingerbread house to see if the path keeps going. Because stopping to snack just makes me even more mentally and physically exhausted than I was in the first place. Had I just looked around back and kept on walking, I would have found an even better house made from a healthier whole wheat pasta or something.

It may not taste as sweet at that exact moment in time, but in the long run, I'll feel a hell of a lot better about myself for doing what my heart says.

Thinking logically can sometimes lead you astray.

Maybe this makes sense to you, maybe I'm sounding like a total lunatic. To me, I've had this epiphany. To me, it's as clear as crystal. To me, I've permanently turned my nose up to gingerbread houses.

Maybe it will be temporarily harder. Maybe I will need to dig a little deeper for self constraint. Maybe I will be tempted along the way to do what is easier and not what I know is best for my own happiness. But in the end what makes it worth it is the self peace that I have knowing in my heart that my bread crumbs won't screw me over. They'll lead me to where I'm supposed to be.

Sometimes being selfish is the best thing for everybody.

In the meantime, the act of constructing a gingerbread house never hurt anyone, now did it?










Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Beaver Moon

And I thought last month's full moon was a weird one...

For me, this last week or so has been very introspective. I've had some things pointed out to me (by others as well as by my self) that need to change. While I appreciate a little constructive criticism every once and again, I draw the line when that criticism starts to hit below the belt and take personal jabs.

(And on a side note, kicking me while I'm down (AKA: The Disappearing Act) intentional or not, needs a line drawn on it as well.)

Regardless of how these things were brought up, here they are, all laid out pretty on a table for me to examine. It's time to decide which parts of myself go into a "keep" pile and which get kicked to the curb.

It's time to trim the fat, or so they say.

Not just with me either, but with the people I surround myself with. Friendship, as well as with any relationship I suppose, is like the moon. If it isn't increasing, it's decreasing.

Anyway.

Speaking of the moon, all my calendars say this Wednesday is the Full Moon.  Which technically it is at 9:30AM. But for the United States, Tuesday night is when it appears the biggest.

Remember last month when I was talking about the moon's power influencing people?

"If the moon can monopolize force in a body of water that grand (the ocean), then it should also have at least a little influence on human beings that are predominantly made up of water."

Remember that? Yes, well I was doing some research on the subject and I found out that it really is an actual theory made famous by Greek philosopher Aristotle. Aristotle considered the brain a "wet" organ therefore it is up for exposure to the effects of the moon.

Of course there are critics, just like with any other theory, that try to put this myth back in the box. But there is no concrete evidence why people still believe this lunar theory. At least once a month I hear the phrase "there must be a full moon or something..."  whenever something off-kilter happens. Also, throughout time so many strange superstitions have popped up revolving around the moon. This just shows that scientifically proven or not, something about the moon has an enchanting effect that people can't just shake off:

*Keep a moonstone in your mouth during a full moon night and you'll have the power to see your future.

*Having your wedding under a full moon increases your chances of a long and healthy marriage.

*Children born under a full moon grow up healthier and stronger than those who were not and the pain giving birth to them is considerably less excruciating.

*If you blow 9 times over a wart under a full moon, it will disappear like magic by morning.

*If you're in need of money, you can hold up a silver coin to a new moon and wish for financial help. As the moon increases throughout its cycle that month, your bank book will as well.

*It is a bad omen to see a month's new moon for the very first time through a window.

*It is considered better to plant vegetables which grow underground, i.e. potatoes and carrots, in the dark of the moon and plant vegetables which grow above ground, i.e. corn and beans, in the light of the moon.

*The full moon is believed to rejuvenate feelings of love and stimulate pent up passions.

*Charms and amulets in the shape of a crescent moon are used to protect you from witchcraft and the evil eye. The crescent should always point to the left, representing the moon's first quarter, when things prosper and grow.

*A full moon on Christmas day brings misfortune.

*Blood (a red ring) around the moon means war. Either with yourself, your family, your lover, your friends or between countries.

Native Americans in what we now consider the Northern and Eastern United States gave every month's full moon a name to keep track of their seasons. Algonquin tribes followed suit as did European settlers that came later. This month is the Beaver Moon. November is the busiest month for beavers since this is when they rebuild their lodges and damns before winter storms hit. Because beavers don't hibernate and there were so many of these nocturnal guys running around under the light of the moon, hunters started setting night traps for them. Their meat kept the hunters and their families plentifully fed and their plush fur kept them warm. Because of this, their pelt held great value for trade. An all around score.

So during tonight's full Beaver Moon, repair a broken bridge if you can or knock off the last few steps so you don't try crossing it again. Whatever you do, keep in mind: if it's not increasing, it's decreasing. Just like the Moon.





Friday, November 23, 2012

Giving Thanks

Well,

I haven't been on lately because I really haven't had anything interesting to say. But I guess that's the point of this thing; to come as I am, interesting or not.

Thanksgiving has come and gone, and as the day settled down and the evening found me wrapped in my electric blanket with a glass of wine, my mind wandered to the things I was really thankful for.  

Over the last 12 months, everything that could have changed, did in fact change. It has been a year of peaks and valleys to say the least. I've lost some of the most important and influential people in my life, and I've held onto a select few that I know will stand with me to the end of the world and vice versa.

But at the end of the day, I'm left positive and thankful.

Thankful we have a roof over our heads filled with warmth and clean water. Thankful I have the means to supply my baby girl with healthy food that will allow her to grow up strong and nourished. Thankful she will have the ability to receive a great education. Thankful I have a steady(ish) income. Thankful I have a partnership with Jason that above anything else focuses on loving our daughter and doing what is ultimately best for our family. Thankful I have the opportunity to tell my parents how much I love them whenever I want and they are here to say it back and truly mean it. Thankful for technology which keeps me in touch with loved ones that we are unable see day to day. Thankful for my own private spirituality and the ability to have that as my own. Thankful for my amazing sister and our new chapter together as state-mates and best friends. Thankful that I'm lucky enough to wake up in one of the most beautiful places in this country and cheers my coffee every morning to the foothills of the gorgeous Rocky Mountains.

I am thankful that I have the ability to give and receive love. Because in the end it's love and love alone that really matters.

But above all else, there is one little humbling creature that I can't be thankful enough for. The word "Thankful," is more of an understatement than I can even express. She's changed my life, lifted the standards, opened my eyes, and shown me the whole world.




Happy Thanksgiving

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

The Happiest Place On Earth

Oh...

Disneyland!

160 acres of dreamy perfection that has captured my heart since I was just a tiny little girl. A place of tradition to my Southern California based family. A place of peace, of memories, of laughs and of pure magic.

My mom's side of the family are all Southern Californians. Since 1949, it's been pretty much a constant of 75 degree weather and palm trees. The benefit of growing up in a family like this as a kid was having grandparents who lived directly up the street from the World's most famous theme park. We all had annual passes, even if we lived states away, mainly because we vacationed there so often, they paid for themselves with just a couple visits.  (Spoiled? yes. Appreciative? YES.)

This is a picture of my mom with my aunt and grandmother at the entrance of Frontierland in 1957 heading to the Rivers of America to ride on the Sailing Ship Columbia. My mom was 6 years old. The park had only been open a year.



Dumbo The Flying Elephant

 Being able to have photographic memories of my mom as a 6-year-old child riding the same Dumbo ride as now with her almost 3 year old granddaughter is mind blowing to me. What a trip to watch all of us enjoying the same place, time and time again for decades.

The Haunted Mansion


Mr. Toad's Wild Ride
 We have so many photos of Mr. Toad I couldn't even fit them in 2 collages.


I can't even begin to count the number of times we've seen Mickey.


What a sicko...


And then there is Geppetto!:


Happiest Faces On Earth

In 2004, Disneyland started to collect 200,000 of the best family photos in commemoration of their 50th anniversary for mosaics placed around the park.  My sister's photo with Mickey, taken 30 years prior, was chosen as a small piece of multiple collages. Still to this day, being a part of Hurcules' neck, is the pride and joy of that year.
(closer view)

For a brief time, Disneyland offered guests personalized commemorative paving stones that were placed in the walkway between the main entrances to Disneyland and Disney California Adventure parks. Although the stones are still there, Disney discontinued their "Walk of Magical Memories" back in early 2011. If you didn't get your stone then, your chance to be apart of Disneyland history is long gone, at least for now. My sister's stone was placed, complete with limited edition gold coin, just in time for the 50th anniversary of the Park.


My point to all of this is that we love Disneyland. It is a part of me that was embedded by my family from the minute I was born. I'm incredibly lucky to have the opportunity to pass our tradition onto my own daughter because we're going back for Kalynn's 3rd birthday! You can take the girl out of the overpriced-theme park, but you can't take the overpriced-theme-park out of the girl!

We have a room at Disney's Paradise Pier Hotel complete with heated roof top swimming pool, water slide and private firework viewing area with piped in soundtrack! There is no better place I can think of to spend a 3rd birthday than with her fellow princesses eating too many sweets, watching parades and riding rides.

See you soon So Cal!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Movember

Overview of Movember - (www.movember.com)

"During November each year, Movember is responsible for the sprouting of moustaches on thousands of men’s faces, in the US and around the world. With their Mo's, these men raise vital awareness and funds for men's health issues, specifically prostate and testicular cancer initiatives.


Once registered at www.movember.com, men start Movember 1st clean shaven. For the rest of the month, these selfless and generous men, known as 'Mo Bros', groom, trim and wax their way into the annals of fine moustachery. Supported by the women in their lives, Mo Sistas, Movember Mo Bros raise funds by seeking out sponsorship for their Mo-growing efforts.



Mo Bros effectively become walking, talking billboards for the 30 days of November. Through their actions and words they raise awareness by prompting private and public conversation around the often ignored issue of men’s health.



At the end of the month, Mo Bros and Mo Sistas celebrate their gallantry and valor by either throwing their own Movember party or attending one of the infamous Gala Part├ęs held around the world by Movember, for Movember.
 


The Movember Effect: Awareness & Education, Survivorship, Research
The funds raised in the US support prostate cancer and testicular cancer initiatives. The funds raised are directed to programs run directly by Movember and our men’s health partners, the Prostate Cancer Foundation and LIVESTRONG Foundation. Together, the three channels work together to ensure that Movember funds are supporting a broad range of innovative, world-class programs in line with our strategic goals in the areas of awareness and education, survivorship and research.



Movember - a global movement
Since its humble beginnings in Melbourne, Australia, Movember has grown to become a truly global movement inspiring more than 1.9 Million Mo Bros and Mo Sistas to participate with formal campaigns in Australia, New Zealand, the US, Canada, the UK, South Africa, Ireland, Finland, the Netherlands, Spain, Denmark, Norway, Belgium and the Czech Republic. In addition, Movember is aware of Mo Bros and Mo Sistas supporting the campaign and men’s health cause across the globe, from Russia to Dubai, Hong Kong to Antarctica, Rio de Janeiro to Mumbai, and everywhere in between.


No matter the country or city, Movember will continue to work to change established habits and attitudes men have about their health, to educate men about the health risks they face, and to act on that knowledge, thereby increasing the chances of early detection, diagnosis and effective treatment.


In 2011, over 854,000 Mo Bros and Mo Sistas around the world got on board, raising $126.3 million USD.


Big steps have been taken towards changing attitudes and habits relating to men’s health around the world, but there is still much to be done to catch up with the women’s health movement. Via the moustache, Movember aims to fulfill its vision of having an everlasting impact on the face of men’s health by continuing to spark conversation and spread awareness of men’s health issues each year."


My sister was recognized for her efforts with Movember last year through her work:


This year through The Brighter Writer, I hope to raise awareness as well.

(yes, my mustache and I are both brunette now) 

Kalynn says: "Tis the season! Let it grow, let it grow, let it grow!"


Friday, November 16, 2012

Left Over Halloween Candy



This was the pile of Halloween candy Kalynn had before noon from trick or treating downtown. By the end of the night it had multiplied and by morning I had a mound of chocolate that I didn't know how to contain. It was like I fed a mogwai after midnight and it had turned into something unnatural and out of control.

My brain immediately went into damage control mode and I tried to figure out what the hell I was going to do with it all.

Just eating it seemed so boring.

So I decided to pull out my fancy ice cream maker, whip up a batch of vanilla and at the very end of the churning process I dumped in 2 cups of chopped Kit-Kats, 3 Musketeers, M&M's, Reese's Peanut Butter Cups and Whatchamacallits.

One of the best things I've ever made.


I also decided to make a left over half Snickers / half Butterfinger cheesecake
What to do with left over halloween candy: candy bar cheesecake recipe www.thebrighterwriter.blogspot.com


(Whoever invented this pie pan is a genius by the way.)

So two cheesecakes and a tub of ice cream has taken out quite a dent in our dilemma.

That being said, we still have an assload to unload.

If you have suggestions, please let me know!

On a side note, it's been freezing cold here. We've been staying indoors, eating chili and crafting. So far we've made a hand print turkey:

Thanksgiving craft ideas for toddlers and kids: handprint turkey art www.thebrighterwriter.blogspot.com

The Pinta (or maybe the Nina or Santa Maria)

Thanksgiving craft ideas for toddlers and kids: handprint Christpoher Columbus  art www.thebrighterwriter.blogspot.com

We've also watched Pocahontas a million times and made our own costume:


Thanksgiving craft ideas for toddlers and kids: hand painted Pocahontas outfit with cut out hand headdress  art www.thebrighterwriter.blogspot.com

I hope everyone is staying warm!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Catching Up About Dressing Up

Hello!!

It's been a crazy week and a half and I've been slacking on the blogging so it seems.

Lets play some catch up:

In chronological order, Kalynn went as an adorable Snow White for Halloween this year (Marilyn Monroe last year HERE). As hard as I tried to convince her that Scarlet O'Hara from Gone With The Wind was the way to go, she had other ideas. But she looked beautiful, she had a blast (as well as a giant sugar rush for 3 days) and all in all the whole day went virtually flawless.

Jason and I took her downtown to the Old Town Fort Collins Tiny Tot Halloween Trick or Treat Festival. She, along with a bijillion other dressed up under-5ers, walked from business to business politely holding their baskets and saying "trick or treat" while graciously accepting their one piece of candy before saying a heartfelt "thank you" and moving onto the next business. (You can guess if that's correctly what happened)




She had a mound of sugar before the evening festivities even began.

After many months of deliberation, I ended up being Han Solo this year. I tried to convince Jason to be Princess Leia, but he clearly wasn't interested in that idea. So he opted out of dressing up. (Regardless, I looked awesomely badass.)

Between my double back-to-back shifts at JJ's Lounge, I had a couple hours to run home and take Kalynn trick-or-treating. My sister finished working in Denver just in time to meet up with us as well, so it turned out to be the perfect end to the day.

2 days later, my mom came for a visit which is always a blast for Kalynn. The two of them played for 48 hours straight while I worked and Jason watched movies.


And a few days after that:

The big election! This was a race I've been personally paying a ton of attention to and I was excited to take Kalynn with me for her first voting experience. However somehow when I told her "lets go vote for president!" her sweet little ears heard me say "lets go to a boat with presents!" and I had a minor meltdown on my hands at the polling place when she realized she had been mislead. But after it was over, she got a handful of stickers and a lollipop so all was well with the world again.



It was a productive week at the Fuller Farm. Things are settling down, glucose highs are ending, Halloween decor is back in the garage, political ads are finally off high rotation. Time to figure out what to do with all of this leftover candy!

Hope everyone had a safe and happy Halloween!!

.