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Resolution Reflections

Looking back on the resolutions I made in 2016, they’re… wishy-washy at best. I can’t really blame myself for wanting to be gentle, since 2015 was a year that I had spent recovering from 2014!

However, my 2016 was mostly good. I made tangible progress toward finishing my history degree. (If I keep up my momentum, the latest that I will be completely done would be after Fall ’18- FINALLY.) Beefy and I celebrated the marriage of two longtime friends, along with the nuptials of his nephew. We took the longest trip that we’ve ever embarked on together, which was also my first time on an airplane. California was wonderful; I achieved my childhood dream of visiting Disneyland and we got to experience BlizzCon, which was both mine and Jake’s first convention. While we may not attend the actual convention again, we plan on returning to Cali to visit with our Reciprocity guild mates, who have become an eclectic second family for us both.

So this year, I want to set some actual goals.

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Continue reading “Resolution Reflections”

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First trip to Disneyland

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Disneyland was everything I expected and more. I absolutely reveled in the atmosphere; it sounds cheesy, but “Disney Magic” is legitimate. Even Jake, who leans a bit stoic than I am, got swept up in the energy. Since we were at the park in early November aka off-season, a few of the rides were closed. I was a little sad I didn’t get to go on the Jungle Cruise but hey, we were already planning on going back. (Hello, Star Wars Land in 2017!) I know that holidays mean more crowds, but someday I must experience Disneyland’s Halloween and Christmas celebrations. The park was just beginning to add some of the Christmas decor during our stay and it was beautiful.

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“What’s this?”

Hands down, my favourite thing we did was watch the Frozen live show at California Adventure. The interactive stage was breathtaking and the actors, wow, they had some chops! Anna was adorable and Elsa’s singing gave me the chills in the best way. We also got to do a meet and greet with Arendelle’s Royalty and Elsa told me what an honour it that I chose to wear a shirt with her on it. It’s dorky to admit, but I was a little tongue tied when I met the actresses because Frozen means a lot to me, but they were both perfectly sweet. (I resonate with Elsa and her attempts to “conceal, don’t feel”. I may not have her ice powers but I know what it’s like to walk on eggshells and pretend that everything’s alright when it isn’t.)

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Lol @ the watermark. Don’t worry, we’re gonna buy the actual picture. 😉

We rode Buzz Lightyear’s Astro Blasters (I beat Jake!), Flik’s Flyers, the Haunted Mansion, Heimlich’s Chew Chew Train (LOL, whatever, the scented gingerbread was bomb), both King Arthur and King Triton’s Carousels, Luigi’s Rollickin’ Roaders, Monsters Inc: Mike and Sulley to the Rescue!, Pirates of the Caribbean, Silly Symphony Swings, and Star Tours. Doing the Haunted Mansion and Pirates of the Caribbean with our WoW guild mate, Baybdoll and her husband made those two rides extra special. We were also able to pick up lunch with them at the French Market Restaurant before they split off for more adventurous rides. (The French dip sandwich = fantastic, by the way.)

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Don’t forget your Dole Whip from the Enchanted Tiki Room as well! It’s ICONIC.

What was adorable was how the staff would take notice of my “First Visit” button and become more interactive with me. One of the attendants for Pirates teased me about the shirt I was wearing. (It had the Death Star with the quote “When you wish upon a star…”) Roz from the Monsters Inc ride singled me out, “Hey, girl in row two – NICE EARS.” (I wore glittery Minnie ears the entire trip.)

I got to meet Oswald, Pluto, Anna, Elsa, and BOBA FETT. When I saw Boba, I gasped SO loudly that his attendant quipped, “Wow, to suck all the oxygen out of the room!” (Boba, along with some other Star Wars characters are in a separate building called the Launch Bay, which is designed like it’s a shuttle bay straight out of the movie.) Little touches like that really made the experience all the better.

I’ve already told Jake that this experience made me want to eventually get an annual pass whenever I start teaching. Disney life, happy wife AM I RIGHT?!

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Oswald was the first character I met, right as we entered DCA. 🙂
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Pluto gives the best hugs.
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I met a notorious Bounty Hunter and lived!
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Life Lately

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Hi, yes, I suck with the blogging thing! Between full-time classes, a renewed interest in WoW, and being super lazy I have not updated since August. Here’s what’s been going on in my world since then.

In September, I turned 28. Umm guys, when did I get so close to 30? I do not fear ageing but last time I checked I was like, 22?! For my birthday, Jake planned a board game night with our good friends Ashlea and Sparkie and invited my high school bestie, Cynthia, to join us as a secret. That totally made my birthday! Our game night ended up being a fantastic time and I’m glad that everyone got along so well. I was the winner of one extremely hilarious game of Cards Against Humanity that ended with everyone else in a second-place tie. I was also surprised with a custom Commander Shepard cake that tasted heavenly (it was chocolate with chocolate ganache and a hidden sea-salt caramel layer) and a t-shirt quilt made out of some of my favourite sorority shirts.

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Commander Shepard cake with the Normandy SR2. Goes well with the Star Wars theme, yeah? 😛
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Delta Zeta quilt from my Mom. Such a touching present.

Later in the month, Jake and I visited Addison’s Oktoberfest with Ashlea and Sparkie. Beer remains disgusting in every form but hey, they were sponsored by Coca Cola so I got me a Diet Coke. Winky face. The fair foods were delicious (foot long bratwurst on a stick, anyone?) and we all purchased some artisan goods. Sparkie got this really intricate ink pen that looks like a dagger and we bought some soy candles for home.

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Best friends! (Some of the best scratch made sarsparilla I’ve tasted is in that Moscow mule cup.)

My Delta Zeta chapter, Iota Psi, was reinstated at UTA, so a bunch of alumnae got together to celebrate Bid Day with the new members. I finally got a cliche big-little picture with my adopted biggie!

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Me and Takara are much the same person, lol. I love her to death!
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Look at all those Dee Zees and friends! Do you see me? 0:)

Early October brought Jake’s 28th birthday. By his wishes, it was a low-key family day that started with breakfast doughnuts from his mom and ended with the biggest chocolate cake I’ve ever seen. I wasted a lot of time playing the Fallout 4 Nuka World expansion in anticipation of Disneyland. (HA!) While I hadn’t been keeping up with a solid gym routine, I managed to hit a non-scale victory of fitting back into 36″ band bras and American Eagle jeans. Happy dance! Also together, we celebrated the wedding of Jake’s nephew, John and his bride Karlei. The venue was gorgeous and it was really sweet seeing his dad and step-mom, Suzanne, dancing to every song. Who knew his dad had moves?!

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I love that they went with a cupcake table verses a more traditional tiered cake.
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Jake and his daddy. They look a lot alike.

Early November meant our trip to Anaheim for BlizzCon and Disneyland was finally a reality. I have a TON of say about both events so they will have their own blog entry. Expect that Soon(TM), along with a post of suggestions to make BlizzCon easier on people who suffer from extreme anxiety. Until then, I leave y’all with a non-descript Disney picture!

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Minnie ears and gigantic grins for the win!
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Life Lately

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My school semester is winding to a close and I admit, I am pretty darn happy about that. This semester back at community college ended up being beneficial to my mental health and restored my confidence in continuing to move onward toward finally earning my degree. Plus, I made Dean’s List. Ayyy. My outstanding debt to my four-year university has been paid off and I filed the FAFSA, so I will be starting on classes pertaining to my major in the fall. I am excited, a little nervous, but mostly I am ready to kick some major butt and cross that stage.

Soon after my final exams are over, Jake and I will be spending a week in North Padre. We have not been down to the coast since 2013, so to say I am ecstatic is an understatement! I have had the Cold From Hell™ pretty much the entire month, so some R&R is just what the doctor ordered. Uh, maybe not since I am on prednisone, but semantics! The beach in our backyard. Schlitterbahn. FRESH SEAFOOD. Can it be May already?!

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Selfie at ze wedding. (I am on SO MUCH COLD MEDICATION in this picture, LOL.) I wish FB didn’t ruin the quality of our group shot with the bride and groom! 😦

Our long-time friends Jeremy and Leslie tied the knot earlier in the month. Their love story is adorable; they were friends in the second grade who lost touch and reconnected via MySpace! Their wedding itself was absolutely beautiful with little touches of their personalities sprinkled throughout it. When I say that, I mean their guestbook was a Guardians of the Galaxy movie poster, Leslie walked down the aisle to the Imperial March, their wedding topper was a personalized Katamari, and each of their favourite gaming background songs set the mood during dinner. #GeekChic

The biggest travel news as of late though… we are going to BlizzCon in Anaheim, CA this November! While I was not able to secure tickets during the official sale, an incredibly kind friend resold a pair to me at face value. (They know who they are and they are getting the BIGGEST hug!) This leads me to put my Serious Face: if you did not get tickets and are still looking for some, please do not turn to eBay. In other circumstances I am a huge proponent of eBay, but ticket scalpers are the scum of the earth. Please do not support them fucking the system. LFBlizzCon or people in the WoW Twitter community are a much better option. Play it smart, sweetie pies, I do not want to see anyone get burned.

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The last time we *almost* went to BlizzCon was 2008! This trip has been a long time coming.

To those who are not hip to the gaming world, BlizzCon is the annual convention wholly dedicated to Activision Blizzard’s games. Jake and I have a storied past with Blizzard games; he grew up playing WarCraft II and roped me into World of Warcraft back in late 2005. We spent many a late night prior to living together on Vent chatting while playing WoW. The Burning Crusade is wrapped up in our Senior year of high school memories and the beginnings of college. Wrath of the Lich King soothed the pain of me dropping out of school to work full time and him dealing with the 24/7 care of his double amputee great-grandmother. (Heavy shit for a nineteen year old!) Cataclysm brought new challenges as we began to live together for the first time while pushing the envelop in raiding. Mists of Pandaria let us feel okay with raiding casually. I may no longer be an active Death Knight blogger, but I will always have mad love for the game and I cannot wait to meet the friends that I have made along the way! Plus, we are spending two days in Disneyland. That does not hurt in the least. 😉

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Resolution reflections

As 2015 is winding down to a close, I’ve reflected upon the past year. Thankfully, I can say with confidence that 2015 was nowhere near as hellish as 2014 was. It was a year of healing and growth. As a comparison, here are the resolutions I set last year.

Make it through the Spring semester
I, unfortunately, had to commit to a full course drop because returning to school directly after the events of 2014 was not the right decision for me.

Take the time to create art.
I doodled, drew a few digital portraits, but I mostly made video game edits in PhotoShop. (And make a great new friend, Kat, through my StarCraft edits!) I also returned to playing with more elaborate eyeshadow techniques. I’d like to continue with this goal in the new year, as art makes me happy.

Incorporate exercise and healthier food back into my life.
Yeeeah, this didn’t end up happening until December. But I’ve got momentum going toward the new year and am down 10lbs and feel better as I’ve been treating my body better. Now? To work on my self image, as my binge eating disorder has done a number on my psyche.

Obtain health insurance.
It starts 1/1/16! Finally.

Stop hating myself for what I perceive as a lack of life accomplishments.
This has been my biggest accomplishment thus far. I do have days where I’m down on myself, but I’m in my healthiest mental state since… man, I can’t even tell you. I plan on following up with a psychiatrist in the new year to make sure I remain in a good place and that I don’t end up regressing to the dark place I was at in September.

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Since I’m heading back to school, I need to practice balance. Work through coursework on good mental health days (since I’m taking online courses), rest on bad days. The biggest thing is to not freak out and completely shut down when exams and due dates approach, especially if my grades aren’t as perfect as I had hoped for. Anxiety and perfectionism is one hell of a combo, y’all.

Continue to nurture my physical health.
When my mood sours, everything goes south. I neglect my hygiene, I binge eat the junkiest foods, and I pretty much fuse with my bed. What I want to do is to continue with the exercise I find enjoyable and to keep logging my food intake on MyFitnessPal so I can catch myself before a relapse. And, of course, practice healthy hygienic practices, even if it means bribing myself with Lush or other nice products. This loops back to taking life one day at a time; if I slip into a depressive state, I will remember that each day is a new beginning.

Do more of what makes me happy.
I’ll be the first to admit, sometimes, I can be so lazy that I put off doing stuff I actually like to do!. I will mindlessly spend browsing the Internet instead of reading, making art, blogging, or even playing a video game. I need to do more of what makes my heart happy, rather than coasting along on autopilot until bed time.

This also means spending more time with loved ones. I’m an introvert; I do a lot of hiding out. I need to poke my head out more often than I do because the toughest lessons I have learned is that nothing, nor nobody, lasts forever. Cherish the time you have.

 

 

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Rollercoaster

Life, you are quite the rollercoaster!

I guess I’ll start with good news, because who doesn’t like good news? I’m heading back to school in January! I’m genuinely excited; since I have health insurance for the first time in two years, I’ll be able to manage my depression through medication and therapy so I can actually FOCUS on my courses. The last time I tried to do the school thing a year ago, I had to drop out because I couldn’t cope. This is a huge step toward getting my life back on track, after my mental illness derailed it. I’m officially switching to Communication Technology when I re-enroll at my university. (I’m taking the last of my prerequisites at community college to save some money.) Since social media’s kind of my thing, it’d be nice to work in a field that makes me happy!

A huge loop-de-loop was Jake’s sinus surgery. It’s fairly common for people with Cystic Fibrosis to need sinus surgery since their overactive supply of mucus kind of hangs out everywhere, especially up their sinus cavities. It causes chronic sinusitis, migraines, and it’s all-around unpleasant. Imagine if you had a head cold at all times! Jake’s “lucky” in the sense that his case of CF is mild; his last sinus surgery before this one was eight years ago. Some people with Cystic Fibrosis have the procedure done yearly.

I’m putting the rest of this entry under a cut because it’s… kind of gross. Trigger warnings for the mentioning of death and blood.

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27th birthday(s)!

My twenty-seventh birthday was filled with an outpouring of love and well wishes from friends. (Considering the last heavy post I wrote, seeing all of that love felt all the sweeter.) Even my semi-technologically impaired Dad sent me a happy birthday text while he was at work! It’s hard fighting a never ending battle against funky brain chemistry, but I am lucky to have people in my life who make the fight worthwhile.

Originally, the plan for the day was to go eat Korean BBQ with my BFF Ashlea. What I didn’t know is that she hid having bronchitis from me because she stubbornly did not want to ruin my birthday! Sigh, besties, right? Of course I told her to stay her butt in bed and to concentrate on getting better. Since the original plan was scrapped, I ended up at Outback Steakhouse with my Mom, younger brother, and Jake.  We don’t go out as a family often, so it was nice getting to sit down with everyone and chat. We all split a blooming onion and Mom surprised me with Cheesecake Factory’s tiramisu as my “birthday cake”, so it was a deliciously awful-for-my-intestines kind of night. #WorthIt #EvenIfIHurtForLikeAWeekAfter #ChronicPainProbs

Jake spoiled me with Heroes of the Storm merch, because I'm obsessed.
Jake spoiled me with Heroes of the Storm merch because I’m obsessed. Enjoy the derp face. 😛

Jake’s twenty-seventh birthday is today; I’m his elder by twelve whole days. (This was a mutual teasing point during high school, ha.) In typical Jake fashion, he refused to let Mom take him out to a restaurant because OMG EXPENSIVE, like we don’t think he’s worth it. Pffft. Whatever. Instead, we are going to order a metric crapton of Chinese takeout, since he loves it. He also is getting a surprise cake and presents, so take that! You are loved, mister! I had to feign innocence when he asked about the possibility of a cake’s existence – he was like, “all I want is a $2 cake from a box mix, I KNOW YOU GUYS AND YOUR EXPENSIVE PASTRIES.” Mwah ah ah, wait ’til he sees the theme. 😉