Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Day 1: 15 Minutes to Live

We are afraid of truth, afraid of fortune, afraid of death, and afraid of each other. Our age yields no great and perfect persons. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

You just discovered you have fifteen minutes to live.

1. Set a timer for fifteen minutes.
2. Write the story that has to be written.

To think I only have 15 minutes to write everything I would like to leave to the world and I am drawing blanks. Tears come to my eyes when I think about what I will be leaving behind. I have a great family and amazing friends. I love them with all my heart although I feel I sometimes did not let them know. I hope they do though. I hope my family knows that they were everything to me. That even though I lived on the other side of the country I loved them dearly, missed them always, and often yearned to be with them. I do not know why I moved so far away from them but it seemed to be the right answer for me. As for my friends they accepted me for who I really am. I know that a lot of the time they never understood the internal struggles I was having but they were there for me no matter what path I was on. For that I am grateful.

I guess I would tell you to love yourself no matter what. It seems to be the thing I struggle with a lot. One would never guess because I try to be strong and confident but most times inside I was scared. Love who you are (physically, spiritually, emotionally).

I wish I wasn't afraid of commitment, of uncertainty, and of fully loving someone else. I think I let those emotions dictate a lot of my actions and ultimately my (un)happiness.

Never regret anything. We all make good choices and we all make plenty of bad. For whatever reasons we made them and yes things could have been better but you chose to go down that path and it shaped and molded you into the person you are today. Take those experiences for what they are worth; learn and grow from them and make better decisions the next time around.

Find happiness in all things. The key is to look for it. You cannot just sit there waiting for things to happen for happiness and joy to find you. You have to be proactive. You have to be daring to put it all out there. You have to be willing to let people and things in so that you may fully experience life and all the joys it has to offer.

I have 5 minutes left...

I am Joan Preston Downing. I came from Bard, CA and moved east to gain an education and work. I died at the young age of 24. I did not get to enjoy marriage, children, growing old, or anything else that comes with living past my early adult life. I loved my family more than anything in the world. They taught me more than any school could have. I love them and I will miss them. I wish I would have stayed closer to them.


Self-Reliance by Ralph Waldo Emerson urges readers to trust their intuition rather than conforming to the will of the majority.

#Trust30 is an online initiative and 30-day writing challenge that encourages you to look within and trust yourself. Use this as an opportunity to reflect on your now, and to create direction for your future. 30 prompts from inspiring thought-leaders will guide you on your writing journey

My sister Katie is doing this and has inspired Sabra and I to do the same.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day Weekend

I of course went to Pittsburgh for the holiday weekend. I told Jubby I was not going to make it since I had major packing to do but she was insistent on me being there...so much she decided to have an emergency appendectomy. Friday after work I loaded up the boys and we drove through rain and lighting to make it to Pittsburgh.

Kirsten is doing well and was able to come home Saturday. She was slow moving and in a lot of pain but when we left this afternoon she had been to class and went to lunch with us, so she is recovering nicely!

We did what we do best in Pittsburgh...talk, cuddle, eat, dance, lay out, grill, tv/movies, shopping, puppies, and of course EAT EAT EAT!

I also had quite the rides on Monday. Kozar took me out on his motorcycle. I LOVED IT! I forgot how much I love riding on one. Then Heyward took me out in the Corvette (no pics) and let Lady Gaga blast from the stereo...MY FAV!

More Wedding Photos

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Tracey's Wedding Weekend

This weekend I was honored to be apart of Tracey's special day. I was lucky to have found someone as amazing as her when I took my job in Maryland. We instantly bonded and have been close ever since. Thank you Tracey for asking me to be a bridesmaid!

Thursday evening we went to the movie Bridesmaids (HILARIOUS), Mexican food for dinner, and then salsa dancing. We had a blast!

Friday night was the rehearsal and dinner at a delicious crab shack near the water.

Saturday was the wedding. It was beautiful and I cannot wait to see the professional pictures. I had so much fun with the entire wedding party and of course the bride and groom!!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Law School Graduation

Kirsten graduated from law school this month and we were fortunate enough to get up to Pittsburgh to celebrate for a few days. Steve, the boys, and I had a lot of fun seeing our family and friends.

We had a Mexican fiesta, barbeque, and Sunday Funday brunch. As you can tell our lives revolve around dogs, food, and each other.

Congratulations Kirsten!!!

Steve had two very helpful co-pilots

Chuy hated his sombrero.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Junior Achievement 2011

I became involved in Junior Achievement this year and LOVED it. I am so glad that a colleague asked me to volunteer. I look forward to participating every year.

What is it?!

Junior Achievement is a partnership between the business community, educators and volunteers — all working together to inspire young people to dream big and reach their potential. JA's hands-on, experiential programs teach the key concepts of work readiness, entrepreneurship and financial literacy to young people all over the world.

I taught kindergarteners financial literacy (money, saving, trade, earn, etc). I can't describe the great experience I had with the kids. It was so much fun and they really do listen and know so much. I was thoroughly impressed. I cannot wait to do it again next year!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Chuy Turns T-W-O

My little man turned 2 today! We had a small family party. I made cupcakes (oatmeal and carrot) and frosted them with peanut butter. They LOVED them.

Chuy loved his present...a flavored bone and a squeaky toy that is suppose to be indestructible. Surprisingly its been half a day and there isn't even a mark on it. Maybe I finally found a toy that they cannot destroy in less than 2.5 seconds.

Mother's Day

Since I cannot be with my mother today I went looking for pictures. I wish I had access to my baby photos but those are in Bard. I do however have many photos from over the years (since digital cameras were invented).

I love my mother more than I show her and more than she knows. It is because of her that I have many great qualities and talents. Thank you mom.

Still one of the funniest photos I have of mom (Maverick took it too)

Friday, May 6, 2011

Adventures in Baltimore

Yesterday was an INTERESTING day to say the least.

My day started at 5:45 am. I woke up to a hair dilemma. My newly died red hair now looked ORANGE. But there was nothing I could do about it. I had to be in DC by 9 AM. So I left at 7 to brave the traffic. I was able to start working at my new office for the job I was hired for (almost a year ago). After a 10 hour day I had a busy schedule of errands (dogs, run my 3 miles, Chipotle for cinco de mayo, deliver bed to Steve's grandma, return truck used to deliver bed, and pick up moving boxes from a freecycler).

Needless to say Steve and I were stressed since we were pressed for time and didn't want to be using his brother's friend's truck all night. After we had been driving his truck for 20 minutes I looked down at my feet and notice the cornucopia of manly necessities (pictured above). I couldn't help but take a picture.

We delivered the bed and quickly headed out of the city to get home before dark. **SIDE NOTE: Steve's grandma, mother, and 3 younger brothers live in the city in a not so good area where crime, prostitution, and drugs are somewhat of an issues. But we still go down there to see his grandma and two youngest brothers.** We were able to get a few block from the house before flashing lights were in our mirrors. A Baltimore police car and paddy wagon were behind us and three officers started to approach us.

Long story short they patted Steve down for a weapon, asked us both to step out of the car, then we were asked to sit on the side of the road while they search the truck for weapons and/or drugs. **ANOTHER SIDE NOTE: We could not find the registration or insurance and only knew the owner's first name. Making our story of delivering a bed to our grandma even more convincing.** They of course found nothing (except items such as the ones in the picture above). Let us get back in the truck where they told us that the area we just came from was well known for drugs and we should be careful.

MORAL OF THE STORY: If you do something nice for someone you will be stopped for drug possession.