December 31, 2010

Resolutions In No Particular Order

  1. Attempt one new culinary feat each month that must be made from scratch
  2. Go through the entire 90 days of P90X at least once
  3. Go running for a mile or longer at least three times a week
  4. Travel outside of California on a vacation with Parker (the goal right now is New York City)
  5. Spend time playing the piano at least once a week
  6. Read one new book a month
  7. Become proficient in German so I can have another reason to go back and visit in 2012
I have a feeling it's going to be a great year! Welcome 2011!

~VP~

Two Thousand Ten in Numbers

1: Beautiful Wedding
2: Cuddly, fluffy, goofy pups
3: Jobs
4: Letters received and sent so far from Calvin (our World Vision child)
10+: trips to Disneyland with Mr. Parker
12: Pairs of new shoes (yes, I counted)
21: An amazing birthday
26: A special birthday for my honey
80: Miles of commuting a day (made completely enjoyable by beautiful California scenery)
1,000,000: Reasons I love my life

Now that homage has been paid to 2010, it's time to make some resolutions for 2011!

~VP~

December 30, 2010

Shocking Plot Twist of the Year

Well, it's certainly been a while since I've last written. I've been so busy at work that by the time I arrive back at Casa de Parker, all I want to do is snuggle with the pups and just relax. Right now my man and I have completely different schedules, so we don't usually see each other until he gets home, by which time I am usually asleep so I can look fresh and alert in San Luis Obispo at 6:30 the next morning!
We've been helping each other in the pursuit of fitness by going on a mile run every other day, and it's been nice. I don't feel as stressed and it's nice to get out in the crisp winter air together. You may be surprised that I'm running at all, and I completely agree with you as I myself am more than a little shocked at this development in the life of Veralynn. You see, I hate running. Hate. But recently my friend and co-worker Lacey asked me to go on a run with her, and unfortunately for her I agreed. We decided to go running at Pismo Beach, on the sand, for two miles. In my mind, I was freaking out- on the outside, I was like, "Yeah, no biggie..." As a person who never runs, I started out pretty nicely, keeping up with Lacey as we ran along the ocean. By about 0.8 miles I was blubbering like baby and started lagging behind. Lacey had her headphones in, and by the time she noticed I wasn't next to her anymore, I was actually quite a ways back, huffing and puffing. Lacey (who's in the Army and is all business when it comes to working out) shouted, "Come on! You're killing me- stop being a little baby [note: she didn't say baby] and just do it!" And even though I took longer than she did to finish the two miles, I did finish. I felt great afterwards, and decided that maybe this wasn't so bad after all. Plus, I've finally found a shoe that doesn't hurt my feet and allows them to feel natural and free just as nature intended.
In other news: Grandpa John, Grandma Joyce, and Uncle Rob came out from Nashville for Christmas and I loved having them here, even if I didn't get to see them as much as I would've liked. They indulged in many a California delicacy- Del Taco, Klondike's Pizza, Coffee & Company and Chef Rick's- and enjoyed visiting with their favorite oldest granddaughter/niece. Grandpa enjoyed making fun of my Vibrams, and everyone got to meet my dear pups!
I would have to say the highlight of the Christmas holiday was giving my little sisters their first pair of UGG boots. Since the beginning of fall, all they've talked about is boots and I decided that it would be the perfect gift since I work for a company who just happens to sell the boots they love! I could hardly wait to see their faces- and neither they nor I were disappointed. Every day since Christmas that I've seen them, they've had those boots on. They're just like their big sister- they love shoes.
Last but not least, I bought myself a Kindle. I have to say, it's pretty much the essence of me- literary, compact, and lightweight (ha). I splurged a little bit on a Kate Spade cover, which is just the icing on the cake.
I'll write more soon- gotta post those New Year's Resolutions!
~VP~

November 6, 2010

Dior and Great Danes


This photo makes me so happy. If I had my way, this is how I would love to look every day- polished, high heels, and hair done...with two giant dogs on either side! Of course that's not how it is, but at the very least I'm glad Vogue doesn't think that small breeds are the only pooches that go hand in hand with upscale living.
...Did I really just say "upscale living"? Yes, I did.

~VP~

September 29, 2010

Fritz


This blog is dedicated to Fritz, the Black Lab who we found running in the streets of Orcutt and who was welcomed by all in our home for a wonderful five days. Gus loved him, as did we all! I'm so happy he's reunited with his owner, though. I don't even want to think of how I'd feel if Gus were lost!


~VLP~

September 20, 2010

Diet? What Diet?


You know how nutritionists sometimes suggest self-evaluation of diet and general levels of fitness to hopefully encourage us to pursue a more healthful way of living? ...Me neither. But tonight while Mr. Parker and I were sitting on the couch watching episodes of 30 Rock (onto a great start already, right?), I realized what I've had to eat today: a pumpkin scone, a cheeseburger, an ice cream sandwich, two (little) chocolate chip cookies, two miniature soft pretzels, and a slice of Parker's pepperoni pizza. I know!

I'm only being brutally honest about this because I'm hoping that posting this will push me off the couch and into the gym! And maybe consider the fact that the closest thing to a fruit or vegetable I consumed today was the word "pumpkin" in my pumpkin scone. This is depressing.

~VLP~

September 18, 2010

Birkenstock Birth Control Myth Debunked


That's right- the job curse has been subdued again! I'm working for Roxanne's Birkenstock in San Luis Obispo- actually their website, ShoeSurfing.com- which has everything from Ugg Boots to Minnetonka Moccasins, from Simple Shoes to, you guessed it- Birkenstocks. Birks and I go way back, known from an early age as "those weird-looking hippie sandals Mom wears and therefore I will never set foot in". (My grandpa showed me a comic strip once with a patient asking a doctor for a non-invasive form of birth control- the doctor said, "Here- try these" and handed her a pair of Birkenstock sandals!) Upon starting this job, however, I've found that they have come a long way and maybe someday will consider buying a pair. I can't bring myself to do it just yet...



I did buy a pair of celebratory shoes with my first paycheck, though! (You know I couldn't resist.) They are made by Simple and not only are they organic, they're 100% vegan with no animal products or byproducts.
PETA would be proud. They are so comfortable!


Other news from the home front: Gus-Gus graduated from his first level of obedience training today. I was so proud of him- he is growing up so fast. Next thing you know it will be time for his 1st birthday party! Haha...you think I'm joking. I don't think you understand how much I love this dog!


Well, that's it for now. I made a batch of chocolate chip cookies for Mr. Parker and his co-workers. Plus I'll take just about any excuse to see my man. Thank goodness it's his Friday, because honestly I miss him so much! You'd think he'd be old hat nine months into this marriage business, but I can't get enough of him.

~VP~



August 9, 2010

Cherry Pie: A Success Story


I was so excited to make a cherry pie yesterday. First of all, I have never made one. Secondly, last time I made a pie (banana creme) I was very disappointed with the crust and I was ready to give it another go. Thirdly, it was Bill's (a wonderfully kvetchy old regular at Coffee & Company) birthday and cherry pie is his favorite, so I had a good excuse.
The pain-in-the-tush of rolling out the dough was well worth the end result: a flaky, buttery, lattice crust filled with a sweet cherry filling that was set just right. A scoop of vanilla ice cream and- voilĂ !- a perfect birthday treat for friends to share.

~VP~

July 6, 2010

Subject Matter

Lately I've been at a loss for good subjects to blog about. Topics to get my audience (how many of there are you, I wonder?) thinking, and inspire kindness through learning how to be a kind person. I am in no way close to being the person that I'd like to be, and I am always thankful to know that there are plenty of opportunities to be a joy in someone's life and "practice makes perfect"!

This can be quite challenging, especially since working at the SeaCrest Resort- not that the SeaCrest in and of itself is the problem, but rather the constant interaction with generally happy but also sad, grumpy, angry, argumentative, and sometimes flat-out rude people. I was commiserating with my co-worker Alyssa today about how you can walk into work with the best intentions, but after a few angry guests it's all you can to not to answer the phone droning, "Thanks for calling the SeaCrest, whatdya want..." It's definitely a constant discipline that I wasn't anticipating at this job and that I don't always enjoy...but those are often the disciplines we need to incorporate into our lives the most, true?

The whole reason I'm contemplating this is because of an email I received a couple days ago. It was from FlyLady, a website devoted to help people everywhere find a method and set a pattern for keeping their homes in order. This email didn't strike me because it had a magical formula for folding laundry; it caught my eye because it was titled "20 Good Karma Notes from the Dalai Lama." I don't believe in karma, but I do think that these notes are food for thought and starting tomorrow, I'll blog about each one individually and how they apply in my own life. I hope you're encouraged to take a fresh look at your own life and circulate kindness in your realm of friends and family.

1. Take into account that great love and great achievements involve great risk.
2. When you lose, don't lose the lesson.
3. Follow the three R's:
- Respect for self,
- Respect for others and
- Responsibility for all your actions.
4. Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck.
5. Learn the rules so you know how to break them properly.
6. Don't let a little dispute injure a great relationship.
7. When you realize you've made a mistake, take immediate steps to correct it.
8. Spend some time alone every day.
9. Open your arms to change, but don't let go of your values.
10. Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer.
11. Live a good, honorable life. Then when you get older and think back, you'll be able to enjoy it a second time.
12. A loving atmosphere in your home is the foundation for your life.
13. In disagreements with loved ones, deal only with the current situation. Don't bring up the past.
14. Share your knowledge.
15. Be gentle with the earth.
16. Once a year, go someplace you've never been before.
17. Remember that the best relationship is one in which your love for each other exceeds your need for each other.
18. Judge your success by what you had to give up in order to get it.
19. If you want others to be happy, practice compassion.
20. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.

~VLP~

June 18, 2010

June's Almost Over...?

Yes, this title is fairly self-explanatory. I'm not sure why or how this year is going by so quickly, but it definitely is. I have this little mental calendar that keeps track of every big event and it's amazing how many of the things on there have already passed! It included getting married, the addition of a puppy, and three new babies being born that are close to my heart (Alice, Zaiden, and Lacie- all born now!).
I think part of this has to do with me finding full-time work, which is awesome...and time-consuming. I find it really hard to relax with work looming over in the background. But the nice thing about hotel work is that while summer hours abound and are plentiful, as soon as fall and winter come around things will calm down a lot. Hopefully I'll still have work, but not so many hours and definitely not sold out all the time. It will be nice!
Well, off to snuggle with my husband and enjoy the night before work tomorrow- it's Car Show weekend and Pismo Beach is gonna be hoppin'!

~VLP~

June 16, 2010

Quote of the Day

Me, after watching The Real Housewives of New York City: "I want to be a big, loud, Jewish family."
Parker: "Want to be?...Babe. C'mon."

~VLP~

From Froggy to Fabulous

This morning Mr. Wonderful and I went to Jack's (for those of you who aren't familiar with Santa Maria, Jack's is a local fave that caught fire and was rebuilt, remodeled, and reopened recently). We went about a month ago as well and weren't too impressed, but thought we'd give it another try. Breakfast confirmed our initial reaction but we split ways for the afternoon- he went to Rangemasters, and I indulged in some much-needed Coffee & Company (I've been working so much it really is an indulgence nowadays instead of a daily fix- sad). Well, a friend from our Bible study, Ashley, came into the coffee shop and we talked about how everyone was getting together at their place tonight instead of the usual Shaw hangout. I was all ready to go but as I got home this afternoon, that Jack's wasn't feeling so good after all. I got bored watching The Real Housewives of NYC so I decided to have a spa night. Results: hair dyed, nails done, and skin prepped for summer (read: wax hurts). But it's worth it to feel nice for summer!

~VLP~

June 12, 2010

Gross

That is how I feel right now. Colds are disgusting! Hats off to a conscientious guest, though- he got upset that I had to work yesterday while sick, wanted to talk to a manager, and insisted that I not come back until better. That was nice of him.

~VLP~

June 10, 2010

One Year Ago Today

A special someone came into my life. Someone who, at first glance, seemed too cool for me. Little did I know how close we'd become! My spontaneous travel buddy, my fellow music lover, unbiased to all who wanted to hang out with us...and German-born.
That's right, I'm talking about my car. One year, over 22,000 miles and counting. I'm thankful for this car! (Of course, I realize this mostly when I have to drive Parker's car- it's just not the same...) I'm thankful that God would let me be able to give rides, visit new places, and get to work each day...stylishly at that!

~VLP~

My Baby!


Gus-Gus is almost six months old and I couldn't be more in love with his litte face. Each day he greets me at the door with a wagging tail and I love cuddling with him at the end of the day. He is getting to be very big now (at five months he is almost fourty pounds!) and he loves eating chicken, apples, bananas, or pretty much anything we set in front of him. He loves the dog park, and just had his first salon experience yesterday at Petsmart. We've taught him how to sit, stay, lie down, and come when called...although I got another phone call today from Petsmart saying the ladies in the grooming salon told her they thought I should be aware of the training classes they offer.
What're you trying to say, lady? My little pup is perfect. Well, as close as one adorable fuzzball can get.

~VLP~

June 9, 2010

V's Quote of the Day

It's better to do business with an experienced stranger than a person you know who has no idea what they're doing. I've learned this lesson the hard way.
~VLP~

June 5, 2010

The Musings of a Late-Night Hotel Employee

The check-ins have arrived. The phone isn't ringing. Everything is in its place. Can it really be this quiet in the lobby?
Now in the middle of my second month working at a happenin' Pismo Beach hotel, these are the thoughts that cross my mind towards the end of my shift. Mr. What's-Happening (as Chef Rick calls my husband) maintains that I took a reservation call in my sleep. And the thing is, I know he's right! Especially in my first month, I would have dreams almost every night practicing reservations or using the computer system. It really isn't fair that my job should poke its head into what should be the most peaceful and relaxing parts of my day...bah humbug.
-VP-

April 3, 2010

You Think You've Got a Plan...Then Life Happens

It's amazing to me how quickly this year has gone, and the amount of things that have happened. Jobs (or lack of them at some points...Morgan was right saying I have a job curse), surprise travel, and new Parker family additions have changed 2010 for the better. From the last time I wrote, I stopped working as a gymnastics coach and found a job at the front desk of the SeaCrest Resort in Pismo Beach. It's full-time and with nice pay and benefits after 90 days and I love working in Pismo!
In March, I got to go to Nashville and Chicago to spend time with my family there and surprise my great-grandma Cleo for her 90th birthday. That was really fun- plus, my mom and sisters got to go too, even though they arrived in Chicago separately and didn't stay as long (however, the girls and I spent lots of time taking pictures, swimming, and spending time together so even though we were in Illinois for a different reason it turned out to be a great sister get-together). It was hard leaving my husband for even a week (I honestly didn't think it would be so hard but I missed him like crazy) but I think surprising Grandma Cleo and seeing her made up for the time spent apart from Parker.
The day before I left for Nashville something small but very important entered the new branch of the Parker family. What has four legs, a tail, and the cutest little face ever? Augustus, or Gus-Gus, our new German Shepherd mix puppy. Parker and I had originally planned to get a puppy April 1st but when I saw him on Petfinder.com I knew he was supposed to be in our family and asked Parker if we could get him right away so that no one else could have him...and to my surprise, he said yes! I was so excited I could barely wait until the day came when I could go pick him up from the animal shelter in Shafter (near Bakersfield). Once Gus-Gus entered the picture, my car never smelled the same again-but that doesn't matter because I love Gus-Gus as much as humanly possible and then some. I know Parker loves him too, and I'm so glad to have this little guy as part of our family. He is three or four months old (the animal shelter didn't know his exact date of birth) and is just starting the teething process, so he's always trying to chomp on any exposed limbs, which is not fun but it's nice to know it's not out of aggression. He's so good on his walks and he's learned some basic training commands already. He's definitely a momma's boy and I spoil him but only because he deserves it. :) He loves Parker too and always is so excited to run and play with him when he gets home from work. I can't imagine any other puppy in our little family.
Ah, life is good.
~VLP~

February 16, 2010

Coach V

So yesterday was my first day as a coach at KT's Gymnastics. The time seemed to really fly and I enjoyed the kids and getting back into the gymnastics environment. I have a bit of catching up to do but I was surprised at how much I remembered. I think I'll do really well with the younger kids but I'm being trained in all ages. Another plus is that I get to take any adult classes I want for free! Soon I'll be tumbling all over the place again.

~VP~

February 14, 2010

Married, In Love, and At Home

A month later, and I still feel just as in love as ever. I can't wait to run and meet Parker at the door when he gets home from work, and I love reading together in bed before we fall asleep at night. It's so good!
In other news, I got a new job that I start tomorrow- a gymnastics coach! I'm so excited, since gymnastics was one of my favorite activities growing up and I put a lot of effort into it. I actually applied with this gym three years ago and was offered a job, but it interfered with my school schedule so I wasn't able to take it. When I saw the ad for an opening, I applied and was thrilled that the owner remembered me! More coming about the new job as soon as I have my first day.
Life is great. :)

~VP~

January 14, 2010

In Love, Married, and Honeymooning


That describes my life in a nutshell. I'm so happy! I love waking up next to him! And I love being Mrs. Parker.
~VP

January 1, 2010

2009, You've Been Auf'd

It's hard to believe that 2010 is already here. It seems like New Years 2009 was just a short while ago, celebrating with friends and my boyfriend of less than two months. Now, that boyfriend is my fiance, and in eight days will be my husband! 2009 seemed to drag on and on in the humdrum of everyday life, but in retrospect has flown by; it's been a good year, and a growing year, and let me tell you- I've already kissed it goodbye and sent it on its way. 2010 is going to be a year of new beginnings and new experiences. I can't wait.

~VL (almost VLP!)~