Thursday, March 25, 2010

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Job Description

I am studying to become a Marriage and Family Therapist. In fact I graduate this June from my Masters program :D Many people I know have no idea what a Marriage and Family Therapist does, and I often find it difficult to describe what I do. I recently came across these FAQ's on Marriage and Family Therapists, and am satisfied with how my job is described.

If you don't read the whole article then perhaps this portion will give you hint of what I've been training to do for the past 3 years of my life:

"Marriage and family therapists treat a wide range of serious clinical problems including: depression, marital problems, anxiety, individual psychological problems, and child-parent problems.

Research indicates that marriage and family therapy is as effective, and in some cases more effective than standard and/or individual treatments for many mental health problems such as: adult schizophrenia, affective (mood) disorders, adult alcoholism and drug abuse, children's conduct disorders, adolescent drug abuse, anorexia in young adult women, childhood autism, chronic physical illness in adults and children, and marital distress and conflict."--The American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Email Chain gone blogging

I just got sucked into filling out one of those pass along emails with lots of random info about me. I took the time to do it so I thought I'd copy it onto my blog to make it last longer :) Anyway, most, if not all of my readers probably received this info in an email, but if you didn't here it is, all about me:

1. High heels or boots? both

2 What time did you get up this morning? 9:00

3. What was the last film you saw at the cinema? Alice in Wonderland

4. What is your maiden name? McCombs

5. What is your favorite TV show? Big Love and Chuck

6. What do you usually have for breakfast? coffee, sometimes oatmeal

7. What is your middle name? I don't have one

8. What food do you dislike? hmmm, I like just about everything!

9. What is your favorite CD at the moment? Zee Avi

10. What characteristic do you despise? holier than thou attitudes

11. Favorite Clothing? Dresses

12. Anywhere in the world on vacation? Nice, France; Athens, Greece was pretty amazing I'd love to go back! Anywhere really, I love to travel.

13. Are you an organized person? In some ways yes, in other ways no.

14. Where would you retire to? The Oregon Coast

15. What was your last memorable birthday? 26

16. What are you going to do when you finish this? Go to bed

17. Furthest place you are sending this? Seattle

18. Person you expect to send it back first? Vanessa or Cynthia

19. When is your birthday? October 21st

20. Are you a morning person or a night person? Late morning

21. What is your shoe size? 6

22. Do you own any animals? Garbanzo my dog and Redji my tortoise! BEST PETS (children) EVER!

23. Any news you'd like to share? I'm going to graduate on June 11, 2010 with my MA degree in Counseling Psychology!

24. When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up? a hairstylist, a lawyer, a politician, a nurse, a vet, a French Person (I still want to be a French Person...although I'm very patriotic and like being American too)

25. What is your favorite flower? Cala Lily

26. What is a day on the calendar you are looking forward to? April 6, and June 11

28. If you were a crayon, what color would you be? Black

29. How is the weather right now? chilly but nice

30. Last person you spoke to on the phone? My mom and dad

31. Favorite soft drink? Root Beer

32. Favorite restaurant? B Street and Vine, Lahmacun, Chilis

33. Hair color? Coppery Auburn (for now)

34. What was your favorite toy as a child? I had a doll that really ate food and pooped!

35. Summer or winter. Summer!

36. Chocolate or vanilla? Chocolate

37. Coffee or tea? Coffee

38. Wish you were still young? I am still young

39. Do you want your friends to email you back? Yes

40. When was the last time you cried? Friday

41. What is under your bed? Wrapping paper and picture frames

42. What did you do last night? Watched Robin Hood Men in Tights for the first time ever! hahaha!

43 What are you afraid of? getting attacked while out running by myself

44. Salty or sweet? Sweet

45. Best quality you have? I have a real love for life, and am easily motivated to do stuff.

46. How many years at your current job? 0

47. Favorite Day of the Week? Wednesdays and Saturdays

Now it's your turn! Copy these questions onto your blog and answer them. Then leave me a comment and I'll learn all about you too :D

Cheers!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Je suis juste un peu en retard....Je vous présente ZEE AVI

I'm just a little late in posting about last week's Zee Avi concert I went to with the girls. The night was just perfect! It was one of those nights that I thought to myself, "why don't I live in the city!?!" I seriously want to consider moving there, no matter how unrealistic it would be for us to do that.

So here is what the night was like:

7pm~Suffer through horrendous traffic (thanks to Missy for driving)

8pm~Dinner, French style, at Gamine. I ordered the Onion Soup Gratinée and Warm Goat Cheese Arugula Salad. Both were A-Mazing!

9pm~Arrive at the concert venue! We danced on the second floor watching the pre-show, followed by us flooding to the front to get close to Zee! She was even better than I expected, and hilarious! This girl has so much personality, style, and talent! What a great show!

12am~Kara's cupcakes had a van parked right outside the venue for all the music goers, and it was the perfect ending to the perfect evening. What a good idea too, it makes me want to start a cupcake business (however, I think I'll leave that to Missy and Mabel)

Photos grâce à Missy:


yummy French food

Me-showing off- :/
Missy being lovely as always

The girls~Missy, Laura, Alaina, and Me (I love these girls!)
can you see the stage off in the distance? That was our first view

Our Final view~close up of Zee herself!

I want to start going to more concerts supporting artists like Zee Avi. One of my other favorite's is in town this weekend, but the tickets are SOLD OUT. Boo! If anyone has tickets to go see Tegan and Sara, and needs/wants to give them to someone, give them to me please!

Monday, February 22, 2010

If I was more irresponsible..

If I was more irresponsible with my (Greg's) money, if I never had buyer's remorse, or if I had a PAYING job I would wrecklessly spend all my money here: ModCloth
I would have a new dress for every occasion. I'd go see more foreign films wearing the french cinema dress, and go to work tomorrow in the Miss Issipi Dress in River. I would indulge in vintage looks, and have a new quirky necklace for every outfit (I actually have this necklace :D).

Oh, I wish people would give me money for free so I could be more irresponsible and stylish!


Sunday, February 21, 2010

Documented Growth

Garbanzo just turned 1 year old today! I can't believe how much he's grown! We brought him home weighing about 9 lbs, and now he weighs 51 lbs! (pictures are in order from oldest in age to youngest in age)








Happy birthday lovebug!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Follow Up W/ Meaning

Well, I realized just yesterday that My google analytics was showing that I had 0 readers because it had been removed, woops! My bad! Around Christmas time I changed the background of my blog and accidentally removed the html code, so who knows how many readers I've had. BUT I do know that I've had at least 3 readers! Thank you Kristen, Michelle, and Katie for reading my blog and responding!

I noticed the common thread in your responses to what makes your life meaningful is FRIENDS and FAMILY! And I agree! My friends and family make my life so meaningful. They (You) fill my time with laughter, with love, with sincere interactions. I feel like it is the personal connections I make with others that create any sense of spirituality I ever feel.

I always tell Greg that I live a 'charmed life', and I really believe I do. I've been so lucky to do just about EVERYTHING I've ever wanted to do. I've travelled to places I've always wanted to see, I married the man of my dreams, I'm pursuing a career (psychotherapy) based on my interests (and have the added benefit of being invited into people's most intimate parts of their lives even if just for a little while), I have the best dog and family in the world, and I feel like I "have it all"~I pursue my hobbies, I have my health, and I am mastering the arts of being a home maker and a career woman. I mention these because it is these things that I look back on, or forward to, that fill my heart with warmth and meaning.

In short, I think what gives my life meaning is my love for others and an optimistic outlook on life.

One quote I enjoyed from Victor Frankl's Man's Search for Meaning says, "Love goes very far beyond the physical person of the beloved. It finds its deepest meaning in his spiritual being, his inner self." I like that.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Calling All Bloggers

Dear fellow bloggers,

I have a question. I want to know what gives your life meaning?

I recently read Man's Search For Meaning by Victor Frankl, so this particular topic has been on my mind. As an Existentialist at heart I believe it's what people designate as being meaningful that makes life worthwhile.

Since Christmas my google reader went from showing I had 100 readers weekly to 0 readers weekly, so I hope I get at least a couple responses!


I look forward to learning something meaningful about YOU!

xoxo,
KjerstiMersti


Sunday, February 7, 2010

Life's a Dance, We All Have to Do

Just before Christmas in 2008 my good friend Heather died, doing what she loved most, skiing, she was caught in an avalanche. She was one of the most vivacious people I've ever known. Full of life. She'd travelled the world, dancing her way through. She spoke at least 3 or 4 languages, which is quite unusual for an American. She is the most enthusiastic person I've ever known. She had a genuine curiosity about everyone and all things she came into contact with.

After she died her family had facebook memorialize her facebook page, so it still exists. Friends and family still post on her wall. From time to time I look her up to see what people are saying. A full year has passed and people still post on her wall almost daily. It always makes me cry. It makes me so happy and devastatingly sad to see how many people's lives she's touched. I look at it and feel happy that she's remembered and so loved, then I realize how many people miss her and the pain they all must feel when they think of her.

Recently someone posted this youtube video on her wall saying that the song reminded her of Heather, it warmed my heart. Any of you that know her will probably agree that this song reminds you of her.





The song We're All in the Dance by Feist has reminded me of Heather for a very long time too.


I feel like life is so short and the only hope there is at all is to find love and happiness in the people around me and to give them my love in return.

Heather was the first of three to die last year of people I love. In September Greg's Grandfather Nelson died, and just before Christmas his Grandfather Locke died. Both of these men were amazing people, and accepted me into their families with so much love. I wish I had words to describe what kind of people they were, but I don't. Nothing I say could come close to describe the kindness and gentleness they personified. They were true family men that ALWAYS put their loved ones first, they were patriotic (both fought in WWII), incredibly organized and took pride in all they did. It's funny how genetic personality traits show themselves as families grow. As I got to know Greg's grandfathers I recognized so many traits in them also present in Greg.

I wish I could express what I'm feeling and thinking better, I want to say so much, I want to be accurate in describing the way these three have touched my life.


Saturday, February 6, 2010

A break from fantasy

Tonight I went babysitting.

The kids I was caring for had found some salamanders. The salamanders were sitting on the kitchen table in a bowl of dirt. The oldest girl asked, "What do salamanders eat? Can you look it up on the internet?" (she's 6).

"Sure" I said, as I proceeded to pull out my iphone and google 'what do salamanders eat'. Within minutes this six year old's world was about to fall apart.

I cheerfully report, "It says that they eat worms, snails, spiders, and centipedes."

The six year old starts running for the table crying, "There are worms in that bowl!!!! I love worms! I want the salamanders to eat food, not other animals!"

I stop her just in time to save dirt, salamanders, and worms from falling all over the kitchen floor. She's visibly devastated and mad at me for ironically saving these "animals" lives from the wrath of her little internal world that is quickly unraveling. Maybe I didn't do the right thing, maybe I should have let it all fall to the floor.

Next thing I know, she's running to her bedroom. She's on the top bunk bawling her heart out, repeating over and over again, "I want them to eat food not other animals!"

Her younger sister (a 4 year old) rushes to her side to ease her pain. "It's ok ____, animals have to eat other animals to live, that's how they live. it's ok!" I couldn't have said it better myself, but this does not calm the six year old's tears.

I babble on about how "all animals are born of the earth, live a life, and then return back to earth". I don't know if this was the right thing to say.

She continues to cry. After a few more minutes her tears subside, she lifts her head from the pillow and says, "it's ok, I learned that __?__ have to eat seals and that they always give thanks to the seals before they eat them."

Again, the 4 year old chimes in and says, "yeah, animals have to eat other animals to live."

The six year old says, "yeah, we eat fish."

Then all was well and playing with dolls and fairies resumed.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

The Day We Brought Garbanzo Home

Garbanzo's 1st birthday is coming up this month. I can't believe how much he has grown up! This morning I came across a video of him and his best pal Abbie from THE day we brought him home (he's 10 weeks in the video). It is so cute, and such a good memory, a must watch indeed :)

video


Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Zee Avi and ME!

I've been collecting some favorite singers/bands over the past couple years, I have a particular genre that sticks out to me, but I don't know what to call it. It consists of artists like Norah Jones, Belle and Sebastian, Nellie McKay, Cat Power, Carla Bruni, Kat Edmondson, Robinella, the Be Good Tanya's, Allison Kraus, Buddy Holly, Chairlift, Feist, and others. They all have something in common, but I'm not exactly sure what. All I know is that I LOVE whatever this genre is!

Well, my new Fave is ZEE AVI! If you haven't heard of her yet, you have got to give her a listen! She is an adorable 23 year old with an "old soul" check out her bio here.

She has quite a few youtube sensations, but just so you can get a little flavor of her style watch this clip:




So My lovely friend Missy and I were hanging out yesterday, sipping tea and listening to Ingrid Michaelson, and I was like "Missy, you have go to check out Zee Avi." So she looked her up online right then, we listened to a couple of Zee's songs, and then as we were reading about Zee we realized that she is coming to San Francisco on February 25th to perform! So on the spot we bought tickets!

Man, I'm feeling lucky, and can't wait for a girls trip to the city to see such a fabulous musician!

Monday, January 18, 2010

How cute are my parents?!

So you know how you can get "post-it" notes on your computer (paperless post-it notes)? Well, yesterday I found out that my dad leaves my mom love notes on their computer's "post-it notes." I think that's sweet. It got me in the mood for Valentine's Day :) Every time I talk to my mom (which is weekly), she always tells me that she is in love with my dad, and loves him more and more the older they get. That makes me happy. <3

This is not their post-it note, I just thought it added a nice touch to this blog post :D

Tell someone you love them!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun!

Greg was gone all day (and evening), so I had a girls day! It was much needed, and much fun! Let me tell you about it!

My darling friend Alaina came over for the afternoon and we had a yoga day. Started with a little meditation, did a couple yoga routines (hard work, but felt so good), followed by a tea party! I totally want to do this again, I feel so rejuvenated! Thanks for coming doll :D

healthy snacks and tea
Alaina in her yoga gear :)


Then I went to dinner with my 'Stanford girls'! followed by my favorite movie (Move Over Darling, made in 1963), a little wine, and GIRL TALK! WOOO! Totally fun.

Damn, I have a great life and great friends!

Surabhi, Melanie, Emily, Me

Playing catch-up STILL

I still have so much to blog about from our trip to Utah, and I'm getting so far behind! So I think I'll give you a little recap of a few more happenings. :)

So my lovely friend Maiko who lives out here in CA, near to me, was also in Utah at the same time Greg and I were! Her boyfriend (Nick) went to high school/College with me and Greg, so they were home visiting his family for the holidays. So we met up, and I had to get a picture of us proving that we are not only super good friends in Cali, but in Utah too!

Us in front of a really dirty Utah street sign.

So we met up with Maiko and Nick, and a few other friends like Nam and Danchi (more of Greg's college friends) and went to AHH Sushi where Greg and Nam like to consult the Oracle about major life decisions (you should ask Greg about that sometime).

Nick and Maiko at Ahh Sushi


John, Greg, and Nam at Ahh Sushi

Later that same evening Nick, Nam, and Greg threw the party of all parties! It was a) the most creative party I've ever been to, and b) a blast! The party was a forum for a bunch of friends to perform their guitar/piano/singing skills followed by games and fun! We had a really great venue, speakers, microphone, great food, and people! I wish I had some video of the event because it was A-mazing!

The Groupies :D





duo self portrait of the sexiest ladies at the party ;)

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Garbanzo, Snow, and Cabin

Heaven on Earth

Play time! The snow is taller than Garbanzo (up to my waist)!

Sexy Mountain Man!!

Out for a hike

Turning the snow yellow, hehe!

I had a feeling Garbanzo was going to love the snow when we got to Utah. At first, he just wanted to smell it, that led to licking it, then chomping it, then full on romping in the snow! Actually, I think he turned into a snowbunny. To get through all the deep snow he would place his front legs out in front of him and swing his back legs forward just like a bunny rabbit.

He had so much fun in the snow and got to spend most of his time off his leash while in Utah...it is for sure taking some adjustment getting use to needing a leash all the time back here in Cali.... for both of us!

I think Garbanzo loves the Nelson cabin more than Greg and me (that's pretty hard to accomplish, we LLLLOOOOOVVVVVEEEE the cabin). He spent his mornings in the snow and the rest of his time sleeping on the couch with the fire keeping him cozy-toasty. I'm starting to get jealous of Garbanzo, he has such a charmed life!



Check out how cute Garbanzo is in the snow.... by the way, it's official I'm obsessed with my pooch :D

A Nelson Christmas

Pretty Tree and presents for ME!

The Siblings: L ---> R Vanessa, Natalie, and Greg

Grammy (Cynthia) and Sammy C! My niece is getting so big and adorable!

My LoveBUG, Greggy!

I, unfortunately, did not get many pictures at our Nelson Christmas :( Missing from these pictures: Rourk, Josh, Garbanzo, Redji, and me.

We had a wonderful time with both our families and are so lucky to spend time with both over the holidays. We love you all soooooo much!

Friday, January 8, 2010

A McCombs' Christmas


Garbanzo's First Christmas :)


Presents!!!



All the Originals :)



Tout le Monde


The Sibs and Ins


The Sista's!



The Brothers


Friends

In Utah, over the holiday break, I got to visit with some of the very best friends I've EVER had :) If I could change anything about living in California it would be to have each of these girls become my neighbors.

Megan (with Madison), Mandy, Chelsea, who can find me?


Me, baby Brooke, and Corinne (my life-long friend and confidant).


Jaxson and Colton...cutest kids ever!