Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Quotes to Live By

Ever since college I have enjoying collecting quotes and sayings that apply to my life and whatever situation I might be dealing with at the time. Recently I have come across some good ones and I wanted to share them so you can enjoy them as well. This first one I found painted on the wall at my hair salon and if you know anything about me, you will know how appropriate this one is for me.

- Always act as if you are wearing an invisible crown

Another favorite I actually have painted on a sign hanging in my bedroom

- Don't cry because it is over. Smile because it happened.
Dr. Suess

Here are some good ones I found in Fredericksburg this weekend.

- Life may not always be the party we hoped for but while we are here we might as well dance.

- Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.

- May the sun bring you energy by day. May the moon softly restore you by night. May the rain wash away your worries. May the breeze blow new strength into your being. May you walk gently through the world and know its beauty all the days of your life.
Apache Blessing

- Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.
Mark Twain

- Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities have crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day, begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Lastly one to really ponder on...

-What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail?

Think about it. What would you do? I am not sure I know specifically right now. But I do know that I have done a lot of things over the last year that I never thought I would do. I had to believe that I wouldn't fail or else I wouldn't be where I am today. So, be confident in yourself and go change the world.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

The Hidden Personality of Julie

I bought a key chain in Fredericksburg today that I just had to share with everyone. It has my hidden personality on it. Since we took personality tests at work last week, I am on a big kick about discovering more about who I am. The result at work basically determined that I am the most social person in our office (a shock to no one I am sure!) So here is what my key chain says about me:
Julie = a dedicated and encouraging individual
Emotional = Proud of her heritage and values her roots
Strengths = She has the ability to encourage others
Character = Dedicated
Physical = She always strives hard to achieve her goals

So, what do you think? Does that sound like me?

Back to the Basics of Love

For weeks now I have been wanting to head down to Fredericksburg for the crawfish festival they were having this weekend. And for weeks now I have been looking for someone to go with me. By last night, I still had no one lined up to go so I had resigned myself not to go since I don't like to go places by myself and I particularly don't like going long distances by myself. However I determined this morning that my lack of available friends (or lack of friends period) shouldn't stop me from getting out and doing something I want to do. So I hopped in the shower, looked up the directions on my iPhone, and jumped in the 4 runner for the trip. It was no surprise to me when I arrived on Main Street an hour and a half later that there was no parking to be found. So I turned off Main Street and found a church about two blocks away that was allowing parking. Score! I then headed up to the town square where the festival was being held to take in the sights and visit the vendors that had setup around the perimeter. Being that I had forgotten to bring a hat with me and, as is typical this time of year, it was a hot and sunny Texas day, I finally made a purchase that has been waiting nearly three years. I bought the cutest cowboy hat. After taking in the festival for a little while and determining that there was no way I could actually eat spicy crawfish in 90+ degree heat, I decided to take in some shopping. The shopping spree was successful with many great buys returning to Austin with me. However, I did say no to the fabulous shoes you will see pictured in the album below. As much as I loved them, I knew I would never wear them. I did take time for a wine tasting while I was there and brought home a lovely Rose wine with a hint of strawberry and papaya. D Vine Wines also makes an extra yummy frozen peach drink with their peach wine that was perfect for the hot almost summer day we were experiencing. My favorite moment of the day came while I was taking a break from shopping to finish my frozen peach drink. Two old men were sitting on a bench across from me outside of The Tasting Room sipping glasses of wine they had just purchased. (Yes, this is allowed in Fredericksburg. God bless the Germans!) One of the men looked at the other one and said, "You know we should just buy a big bottle and refill our cups since we are allowed to walk around with them." This just really amused me because I had a great visual of these two old men stumbling down the street with their 8 ounce plastic cups and a large bottle of wine. OK...guess you had to be there. Once I was done with my shopping, I decided to head back to Austin knowing that there were a few necessary stops I would need to make first. My first stop was at the Circle E Candle Company showroom. Circle E makes the best candles in the world. I highly recommend you check them out. My favorite is the Bird of Paradise candle but they have many other scents that are to die for. Next I stopped to pick up peaches from one of the road side stands and couldn't resist the offering of homemade peach ice cream. For those of you that don't know, this portion of the Texas Hill Country is known for peaches and wineries. So you can't go to Fredericksburg without getting both. My last stop was slightly off the beaten path...Luckenbach, TX (OK...sing with me...) There isn't much to see there but it is worth the stop to say you have been there. Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings used to play there frequently but last I heard, Willie hasn't played there in a while because the crowds are too much for the area to handle. Luckenbach was also made famous by the song that refers to going to Luckenbach, TX to get back to the basics of love. All in all it was a great day. Getting out of Austin did me a lot of good. Even though I got several "You're by yourself" comments when I would ask people to take pictures for me, I was happy to be able to do what I wanted to on my own schedule. I am forcing myself to step out of my comfort zone and not be afraid to do things I want to do even if I have to enjoy them alone. And now to make everyone who had the opportunity to go with me and those who didn't jealous, enjoy the pictures!

Fredericksburg

Sunday, May 18, 2008

New York in Bullets

Day One - Friday, May 2nd
  • Jenny& I woke up at 4 AM for our 6:15 flight to New York
  • Delayed in Dallas (big surprise!) but got to watch 27 Dresses on the plane (score!)
  • Arrived in NYC about 20 minutes before Mom & Shannon and the rest of the group
  • Hotel - Milford Plaza located on the corner of 45th and 8th
  • Dinner - Charley O's - Parmesan Crusted Tuscan Tilapia (yum!)
  • Show - The Little Mermaid - I was skeptical but it was well done and I thoroughly enjoyed it. A little disturbed by King Triton's nipple ring (which I could see from the balcony) but I now know a good use for wheelie shoes.
  • Post Show Dessert - Snickers Cheesecake at Roxy Delicatessen

*Random side note for the day: It is interesting having a TSA agent in the family, especially one who has worked in this capacity for 4 days. Apparently Clay thought that Jenny and I hadn't been on a plane or through an airport in the last 5 years since he proceeded to instruct us on how to handle our baggage through security. Did you know you can put your shoes right on the conveyor belt? Well, now you don't so don't reach for a bucket to put your shoes.

Day Two - Saturday, May 3rd
  • Shannon, Jenny & I toured the area around Times Square. We hit the Hershey's Store, M & M's World, and Toys R Us.
  • Surprised Jenny with a Personalized Birthday Cake at Tavern on the Green
  • Be very careful when you hire a car service and make sure the person driving the car knows where you are going before you leave so you don't have to tell them 4 times that Tavern on the Green is located inside Central Park! Just opt for the limo. They seem to know what they are doing.
  • Breakfast - Times Square Hot Bagels - Cinnamon Raisin Bagel with Walnut Raisin Cream Cheese (extra yummy, extra fattening!)
  • Lunch - John's Pizzeria - Margherita pizza with ground beef and sun dried tomatoes
  • Show - Young Frankenstein (matinee) - Very hilarious!
  • Dinner - Tavern on the Green (finally!) - Blue Crab Bisque (wonderful) and Herb Crusted Fillet of Beef with mashed potatoes and asparagus (even better)

* Funny moment from Young Frankenstein - There was a slight technically difficulty in the second act where a portion of the set didn't come on stage at the proper cue. Once the problem was corrected and the show proceeded, the actor made a joke of the moment by saying, "Sorry I am late. I missed the express train and had to take a local!" It was great. Gotta love live theatre.

Day Three - Sunday, May 4th
  • In addition to hidden store back rooms and fake offices located on side streets, the new method of selling knock offs in Chinatown is to load down a van and park it on the side of the street. Guess it makes for fast getaway.
  • Had the opportunity to see how New Yorkers really live by taking a Sunday afternoon stroll through SOHO.
  • The three of us took the subway over to Grand Central Station to explore and take in some sights there.
  • Almost became extras in a Julia Roberts' movie by walking out of Grand Central Station and straight into the set on the street without realizing what it was.
  • Got a backstage tour of the Mary Poppins set (absolutely incredible!) I also did a soft shoe on a Broadway stage so now I can say I danced on Broadway!
  • Lunch - Gray's Papaya - 2 Hot Dogs and a drink for $3.50!
  • Show - Mary Poppins- Too wonderful to even describe made even better by meeting the cast and going backstage
  • Dinner - Chevy's Tex Mex (yes, I know I live in Texas) - Fajitas (had to wait too long and it was way too late so I was just starving!)

* Note to Man doing Yoga on Rooftop - Next time you decide that you must get some sun while performing your yoga routine, make sure there isn't a high rise hotel near by where bored visitors can watch your every move. We have pictures. We laughed...a lot!

Day Four - Monday, May 5th
  • Our last day in New York :(
  • Went to Madame Tussaud's Wax Museum - If you have never been, I highly recommend it. The figures are amazingly realistic and you can take some fabulous pictures.
  • Delayed leaving O'Hare so didn't get back to Austin until 1 AM
  • Breakfast - Chock Full of Nuts in the hotel
  • Lunch - Smith's Restaurant & Bar
New York May 2008

Did ya miss me?

To the MavsMom faithfuls (yes, all 4 of you), my sincerest apologies for my recent absence. Being that I just moved two weeks ago, I am sure you know what I have been doing. Somehow I don't feel like I have made much progress. Honestly, it feels like all I have done is move the boxes from the garage to the house. So...here is an update on what has been going on in my world. First, I took the plunge and bought my first new car a week ago. I upgraded from my 2000 Toyota Solara (she will be greatly missed) to a 2008 Toyota 4 Runner. I love it! There is something so fun about being a little girl in a big truck!Next, I decided to go back to my natural hair color. While it is not exactly the same, it is pretty close at this point and will make it easier to grow out into my natural color. It was time for a change (and much easier on the pocket book).Lastly, Jenny (sister-in-law) and I head up to Killeen for the case lot sale at the commissary today. It was definitely weird being back on Fort Hood for the first time in more than 6 months. Jenny and I truly racked up some great deals. I would post a picture but my computer isn't letting me load them right now. So, I will have to save that for later. I realize I owe all of you a blog about New York. I promise it is coming very soon now that I have my pictures loaded on Picasa. So...stay tuned.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Back to Reality

The last couple of weeks have been unbelievably crazy. I closed on my house and went back to my apartment only to find the bathroom flooded for the second time in a week. I decided then to move my moving date up 9 days and had movers at my apartment on Thursday. That wouldn't seem crazy to most people but I was leaving for New York at 6 AM on Friday morning. I had a blast with the other Jackson women in Manhattan for the weekend (more to follow on that soon). However, stepping back off the plane in Austin late Monday night/early Tuesday morning, I realized I had to return to reality and face what was waiting for me at home. First was the death of a close friend from my old job in Killeen. So my first stop Tuesday was to visit his grave since I had missed the funeral while I was out of town. (I will write more about that later when I am able to do it without crying.) Then I knew I had a mountain of boxes to climb and a bunch of furniture to assemble once I headed home. There are times when I would love to have a man in my life just to help me handle theses types of things. But with the luck I have had recently, I think swearing off the dating scene for a while is the best thing for me. Which brings me to today. I was back at work today despite the fact I wanted to be home unpacking more boxes and getting my place organized. I had an appointment with Dena (my therapist) this afternoon so I didn't have to work a full day. After my appointment, I decided to take my car in for a much needed bath. I definitely paid too much money because the interior of my car doesn't look any cleaner than it did when I walked in there. However, they did have complementary chair massages while you wait. That was nice because I haven't been under any stress recently (ha...yeah right!) After that, I headed back north to do some shopping for the house and then home to continue climbing the mountain. I made a pretty big dent in the kitchen tonight and probably could have finished if I would stay off the Internet. I did get to meet one of my new neighbors tonight. She was coming over to complain because Maverick was barking outside their bedroom window. Who goes to sleep at 10 PM anyway? I think I am going to like living here.