Friday, August 28, 2009

A Place I Love

Once upon a time I lived in Idaho. True story.

Idaho is a unique place. It is hard to describe in words what it is like, you kind of just have to go there. It is this place that is beyond austere, but magnanimous at the same time. It is full of conservatives farmers and liberal tree huggers, a combination that seems to work out just lovely. You can drive for miles and miles and only see quilted land which I'm sure would look much more like a quilt from the view of an airplane. When you arrive in a town, it immediately feels like home. Even in Boise (Idaho's largest city, and Capitol) you can ride your bike and jay-walk practically without looking, it just feels laid back, and well put together at the same time.

I moved to Idaho at the peak of my high school career :) to a city called Pocatello. The population of Pocatello about a year ago was 54,901. It was a big change for me, but probably the best thing that could have ever happened to me at that time. But I won't get into that now. I just want to emphasize that I really love Idaho. There is something so relaxing about living in Idaho that makes me want to go back again and again. Here is a picture of Pocatello, I use to run around this particular area a lot for cross-country practice:

Pocatello, Idaho (a picture I did not take, but looks so familiar)

Boise, Idaho (a picture that I obviously did not take)

When we were visiting Greg's sister, bro-in-law, and niece in Boise I tried to take note of the things I like. Here are some things I like about Boise:
--wide streets, easy-going traffic
--big street signs
--outdoor eating at restaurants
--great coffee shops
--from what I hear, a great night-life
--trails that go all over for biking, running, walking, and happiness
--it is dog friendly
--people do fun stuff like float the river, kayak, hike, and lots of outdoorsy stuff
--the temperature in the summer is hot, but not stifling sticky
--houses are so nice, and affordable (and they have big yards)!
--great university :) Greg's sister is a professor at Boise State
--even though it is a city, there is a lot of open area
--people are friendly

We went to eat at some great places: Mai Thai, and Big City Coffee If you get a chance to travel to Boise, or you live there, you should definitely go to Big City Coffee, their Quiche is to die for, and the name of their coffee makes me laugh... Big Titty Coffee. Proceeds go to breast cancer research, I believe.

When we were driving I took some pictures of the land that really remind me of living in Idaho. They are so open, flat, austere, and beautiful. These pictures make me homesick for a place that is no longer my home.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Ted Kennedy

"I am a part of all that I have met
To [Tho] much is taken, much abides
That which we are, we are --
One equal temper of heroic hearts
Strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield."

--Alfred Tennyson

I was touched today as I was watching on every channel about the life and legacy of Ted Kennedy. I remember my dad (a "conservative") always speaking highly of Senator Kennedy (a "liberal"). He was always impressed with how well Kennedy could work effectively with all sorts of people in the Senate--Republican, Democrat, and the sorts. I think what my dad and I like about him so much was his integrity. He wasn't the sort of politician to flip-flop on issues. He has always stood by his political and moral beliefs. He has done this in the midst of all his personal tragedies.

Today I kept hearing quotes of his speech from the Democratic Convention of 1980. So I looked it up and read it. You can find it here: Democratic Convention of 1980 speech.

I was struck by how much of the speech reflected the 1980's as well as RIGHT NOW! I'm so sad that he, being someone that has always stood up for the common man, will no longer be the "Lion of the Senate." I wonder who, if anyone, can replace him. I wonder how anything good will get done. I wonder who now will stick up for the common man with such grace, compassion, and bilateral maneuvering.

Following are a few paragraphs from his 1980 speech that I think reflect our current situation. I hope that we can continue to apply his wisdom to the status quo.

On Jobs, the common man, and the economy:

"The commitment I seek is not to outworn views but to old values that will never wear out. Programs may sometimes become obsolete, but the ideal of fairness always endures. Circumstances may change, but the work of compassion must continue. It is surely correct that we cannot solve problems by throwing money at them, but it is also correct that we dare not throw out our national problems onto a scrap heap of inattention and indifference. The poor may be out of political fashion, but they are not without human needs. The middle class may be angry, but they have not lost the dream that all Americans can advance together.

The demand of our people in 1980 is not for smaller government or bigger government but for better government. Some say that government is always bad and that spending for basic social programs is the root of our economic evils. But we reply: The present inflation and recession cost our economy 200 billion dollars a year. We reply: Inflation and unemployment are the biggest spenders of all."

On Health Care:

"Finally, we cannot have a fair prosperity in isolation from a fair society. So I will continue to stand for a national health insurance. We must -- We must not surrender -- We must not surrender to the relentless medical inflation that can bankrupt almost anyone and that may soon break the budgets of government at every level. Let us insist on real controls over what doctors and hospitals can charge, and let us resolve that the state of a family's health shall never depend on the size of a family's wealth.

The President, the Vice President, the members of Congress have a medical plan that meets their needs in full, and whenever senators and representatives catch a little cold, the Capitol physician will see them immediately, treat them promptly, fill a prescription on the spot. We do not get a bill even if we ask for it, and when do you think was the last time a member of Congress asked for a bill from the Federal Government? And I say again, as I have before, if health insurance is good enough for the President, the Vice President, the Congress of the United States, then it's good enough for you and every family in America."

I agree!

p.s. I recently wrote to each of my California Senators and Congresswoman saying that we need to pass a universal health care plan! No matter what side of the issue you are on, I encourage you to do the same.



Tuesday, August 25, 2009


We went to Boise over the weekend to meet our first-ever niece in Boise, Idaho! She is adorable, lovable, and so so sweet. She was so popular it was hard to get a chance to hold her. Here are some highlights:

Samantha's Oh-so-adorable face :)

Greg making her smile so BIG!

Whatcha looking for Sammy-C?

Proud Uncie-G and Auntie-KJ spending time with our number 1 B-A-B-Y!!!

Getting my own turn with Miss popular :)

Chilling with Auntie Vanessa

Garbanzo is so interested in his cousin (hehe)! He was so sweet around her. I think he knew she was a little person.

Thursday, August 20, 2009


I discovered ModCloth this morning! It is an online store with vintage-like clothes! I want EVERYTHING they have! I just want to wear ALL the dresses ALL the time! AHHHH, I'm going crazy inside---I LOVE these clothes! Check them out!!!

These are some of my favorites:

"Applause Is Welcome Dress"

"Picnic In Paris Dress"

"Samantha Dress"

"Zen Garden Two Piece" --I think this swim suit would really look good on my curves--ooh-la-la :)

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Doggy sleepover

Garbanzo had two of his bestest buddies sleep over for an entire week! He had too much fun, and is now waiting by the door hoping they'll be back at any minute.

Here are some photos of him having so much fun with Berger and Derby (mostly Berger):

Saturday, August 15, 2009

My Brother Nick

My older brother Nick came to visit this week. We had a fabulous time. I was so happy that he came to visit me. Here are some of the things we did:

Day 1: I had to work, so Nick took the train to San Francisco and saw some of the sights. That evening he and I made tomato soup from scratch, it turned out super yummy, here is the recipe:

After dinner Nick had the best idea ever, we went hot tubbing with ice cream! It was so much fun. I want to do it all the time. You can stay in a hot tub so much longer when you are eating ice cream because your body becomes the perfect combination of hot and cold. It feels so good :) Unfortunately, I have no pictures of the scrumptious event.

Day 2: Nick and I took a mini road trip on the Pacific Coast Highway. We took Garbanzo with us too. I think Nick was blown away by how absolutely beautiful the coast and California is. We started by going to Half Moon Bay, then stopped at random beaches along the way. Then made our way to the Pigeon Point lighthouse, then down and around to Santa Cruz where we had a picnic.

Half Moon Bay

Random beach along the way

The closest Garbanzo has ever willingly gotten to the water!

Camera Happy Nick looking out the window :)

Pigeon Point Lighthouse

Garbanzo hiding from the waves in Santa Cruz

Us having our picnic in Santa Cruz... I have food in my teeth! haha!

That evening we ate at Jack's Prime, which I've mentioned before. It seriously has the best burgers in the Bay Area, not even kidding! It was a lovely day.

Day 3: Nick went for his morning run, and then we headed to Shoreline Park in Mountain View where we rented a Pedal Boat. We had a good time being on the water. There was a summer camp there that day with tons of kids on sail boats. It was funny to watch all the kids. If I was a kid I'd like to go to that summer camp :) Unfortunately I forgot my camera that day :( So no pictures.

Later that afternoon I took Nick to the airport and was so sad to see him go. Come back Nick!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

McCombs Visit

My parents and my two youngest brothers came to visit me and Greg the first week of July. I've been meaning to blog about it for a while now.

I had such a great time with them. We went hiking, to the beach, to the Exploratorium, met up with my cousins at Pier 39, and just relaxed. I miss them.

My youngest brother Josh just turned 16 a couple days ago, I can't believe he is so grown up. I remember being so excited that he had brown hair when he was born because I was the only child in my family that wasn't a blonde.

Benjamin was texting on his cell phone, just about the whole trip, made me realize how different my teen years were from his. I didn't get my first cell phone until my second year of college!

My dad was more in love with Garbanzo than me or Greg (well, practically, probably not really). When he left Garbanzo tried to leave with him, that's how much Garbanzo loves him :)

My mom was the best, she kept me company on one of my long runs (11 miles). My mom is my favorite running partner in the whole world. Running with my mom always means girl-time! Sometimes I find myself calling my mom in the middle of the week just to hear her voice.

Next week my older brother Nick is coming to visit. I can't wait. He is one of the most inspiring people I know. I always look forward to spending time with him.

Now I just need to convince Jannifer and Cameron to make the trip out here :)