Monday, December 31, 2007

1000 Amazing things I have seen and done

Here is my daughter Kayleigh with her heart strawberry. She finds hearts everywhere. I think it is because she looks for love wherever she goes.

I am making a list.... I thought of that movie The Bucket List. I want to see it. I started thinking of all the things I have done, ordinary and extraordinary, and thought I would make a list... 100 at a time... until I get to 1000. Then I will make another list of 1000 more things I need to do in my bucket list. I used to call it the 1000 things to do before I die list... now I call it my 1000 things to see and do while I am alive list. I don't want to even day the D word yet... I got too much stuff to do. When I start writing it all down, I have done a lot of things. I live a blessed life... I encourage you to make your own list. It doesn't have to be 1000 things... start with 100. you will be surprised at what you come up with.

1. Given birth to four beautiful healthy children
2. married my soul mate
3. attended a friends birth
4. made friends around the world
5. have 2 loving and wonderful parents
6. and now 2 stepparents as well who all get along
7. watched the sunrise on haleakala crater in Maui
8. got 5 feet away from a humpback whale
9. sat in a boat surrounded by a pod of spinner dolphins
10. slept overnight on a train
11. rode in a gondola in Venice Italy
12. Danced under the stars in San Marcos Square to an italian string quartet
13. Rode the fastest elevator in the states
14. saw the Statue of Liberty
15. Said a prayer at ground zero
16. Stayed at the Waldorf Astoria
17. Saw the Seattle Space Needle
18. Sang a love song to my husband at a black tie event on stage in front of everyone
19. had dinner at The Signature Room in Chicago's Hancock Tower
20. ate lunch at the Walnut Room in Marshall Field's in Chicago
21. Walked Chicago's Magnificent Mile
22. Sailed on Lake Michigan
23. stood under Michaelangelo's David statue
24. took forbidden photos of the sistene chapel and the Vatican guards in Vatican City
25. Saw a barefoot bride walking down the street in Assisi Italy behind two monks and a nun
26. Stood in Ceasar's Garden at the top of the island of Capri
27. waded in the mediterranean ocean
28. Visited the El Prado museum in Madrid
29. Locked a lock on the ponte vecchio and threw the key in the river for good luck in my marriage
30. Stood under Juliette's balcony where Romeo would have stood, if he were actally real.
31. Gave money to a gypsy woman who had purposley maimed herself
l31. learned to sew at the age of 5
l33. learned to cook at the age of 3
34. was my grandmothers favorite grandchild
35. watched my 7 year old daughter give a homeless man her only $5 for food,
36. watching her show compassion and thoughtfulness and awareness on her own at such a young age
37. Stood in the middle of the El Pilar cathedral in Zaragoza spain and thanked God for my husband, while he, his mother and I all cried. Love has it's own language.
38. Shopped in a Dolce and Gabbana store in Milan
39. Toured the Sagrada Familia cathedral in Barcelona
40. Celebrate New Years in the Pyranees at a little bar inside a cave, sitting on sawed off logs for seats
41. Learned to ride a bike, and then forgot when I was older
42. learned to skate, and forgot that when I was older too
43. Walked on the Golden Gate Bridge
44. Bought crab and sourdough at Fishermeans Wharf in San Francisco and ate it on the beach
45. rode a Cable Car
46. went to Disney Land and Disney World
47. walked for miles on the beach in Aruba
48. Took a Carribbean Cruise
49. Visited the Biltmore Estate
50. Drank Champagne on Donald Trump's private beach in Palm Beach
51. Partied with Sammy Hagar at the Cabo Wabo Cantina in Cabo San Lucas
52. Met David Lee Roth and Michael Anthony backstage at a Van Halen Concert
53. Did the hula on stage at a luau with 500 people in the audience
54. toured the Vatican Museum
55. Walked around the Pompeii ruins
56. climbed the ruins in Mexico City
57. Visited a mexican graveyard
58. got my heart broken at the ripe old age of 39
59. sat next to real gypsy men at a flamenco show in Madrid
60. Ate tapas in Barcelona at 4 in the morning
61. Got married on a beach
62. Got married in a garden
63. Got married in a church twice
64. Got married in a castle
65. Body surfed at Sunset Beach on Oahu where they have world class waves and almost drown
66. had an accupuncture treatment
67. Strained my rotator cuff and spent my honeymoon in a sling
68. Stood under a fern in Fern Grotto on Kauai that was as big as me
69. watched a traditional canoe being made at the festival of canoes on Maui
70. stood up and danced out the sunroof of a car while driving down the streets of San Francisco
71. saw the naked guys walking down Telegraph in Berkeley
72. rode an elephant
73. fed a giraffe and got slobbered on
74. pet a baby white tiger
75. stood in Rockafeller Center in New York
76. Stood in the middle of times square in New York at night with a bunch of lights flashing
77. wine tasted in the Napa Valley
78. Rode a hot air balloon over the vineyards in Napa
79. Took a bath in mud on purpose
80. wrote my name in coral on the lava banks on the big Island of Hawaii
81. feel asleep with the sounds of the ocean outside my bedroom window
82. toured Alcatraz 3 times
83. sailed under the golden gate bridge
84. waded in the freezing cold water of Lake Tahoe
85. Bought Cuban cigars in Puerta Vallarta
86. revieved a card from my daughter that says I am the best mommy in the world
87. recieved another letter from another daughter that said "Dear mom, I am running away from home, love Megan, PS, please feed my fish"
88. heard my son say every time you hear an ambulance, a baby is getting born
89. created a wonderful relationship with my mother who is also my best friend
90. listened to my daughter give her friend the same advice I gave her
91. had my work published
92. wore a pizza box hat on my head at a convention
93. wore boingers on my head in public on purpose
94. line danced at a bar called the Cadillac Ranch
95. flashed my boobs at a bartender for a free drink
96. danced on a table top
97. spent the night in a haunted hotel
98. rode in a stagecoach
99. panned for gold in the Sierra Nevada mountains
100. had puppies born under the christmas tree on christmas day

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Focus on the beauty of the dream

Don't get lost in the details. Wow... those are really great words. Channeled through Yaz... AKA my mom Judi Garcia. I am spending a lot of time focusing on the beauty of my dreams. It is very easy to get lost in the details. Take Christmas for example. Every year I spend about $1,000 on gifts for my family. Buying everyone more things they really don't need. This year, I decided to make gifts for my parents and siblings, and to buy meaningful but inexpensive gifts for the kids. I found some classic first edition books for Megan, along with an original Life Magazine add of the Peter Pan movie from the 1950's at a yard sale. Kayleigh got 6 slightly used Bratz dolls all boxed up with the accessories, and some cool repurposed ornaments I made for a boutique. Zack got a photo collage of classic sports cars from the 1930's, and some boy's model car collection that he had lost interest in. Austin got one of those hair tingler things made of copper wire, and a disco ball for his room. They were all thrilled with these gifts, and all total I spend $200 on everyone. Now the really cool part... We also celebrate Spanish Christmas, January 6th when the wise men brought gifts to Baby Jesus... So now we can shop the after Christmas sales for candy and much needed clothes and get another big haul of stuff for a lot less. I have tried to teach my kids that stuff doesn't make you happy. Luckily, they are all fine with repurposed and used gifts, and appreciate them just as much as a new electronic toy that costs 10 times as much. Using sound judgement to spend their money wisely on things they really want has become a habit with them now. I am proud of them. Next year we plan on adopting a family in need. I think it is important for them to learn the gift of giving... They also learn to value the more expensive things because they take longer to get and they have to save and earn the money for them. Those I pods are much more cherished when purchased with their own hard earned cash.

As I look back on this last year... I see a lot of loss. But I see growth too. The loss was necessary to bring us to where we are now. I am holding tight to my dreams... keeping my eyes focused on the prize... the details will work themselves out... I am trusting spirit to guide me down the right paths this year. I am excited, and full of hope again. Spending 3 days in bed with the flu has helped me relax and take care of myself. I am ready for what the New Year holds... I can hardly wait!