Wednesday, April 30, 2008


The first amazing thing is that I got my fat bootie to hike 23 miles on Saturday. The second amazing thing is that I didn't die doing it! It's crazy how the body and mind work hand in hand with one another. And the only thing that hurt the next day was my big toe. And the most amazing thing about this whole hike was the fact that I got to experience the beauty that surrounds me everyday. I really take things for granted and it was a moment that I could really appreciate my friends around me, nature, and my own determination. It was not about the destination, but about the journey. I once heard that life is not measured by how many breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away. As I stood on the crest of the mountain, friends standing side by side, looking out at the ocean, I couldn't help but feel blessed that I was there. It was hard work getting there, but in the end, so worth it.

Monday, April 28, 2008


Dear Granny,

I have missed you every minute since you left this earth, a year ago today. You were such a big part of my life and I will forever be blessed by your love. I will never forget our last moment we shared together. I crawled over to the couch where you were sitting and you bent down and kissed me on the forehead. I almost didn't kiss you goodbye that night, but there was a feeling inside me that told me otherwise. God gave me that one last gift from you and I will forever by grateful. I walked into your empty house awhile ago and I could still smell the faint traces of your minestrone soup. I guess after cooking for all those years, the smells have penetrated the walls. After I left your home, I missed you more - I missed cooking with you, talking, laughing, sharing stories, painting your nails on the porch and so many other things. You taught me how to love with a heart and arms wide open. Brandon and Gianna talk about you all the time and you will never be forgotten. You will forever be a part of our lives.

We love you.

Friday, April 25, 2008


I should have known to go with my gut. But against my better judgement, I let my common sense fly out the window. Brandon came up to me the other day, with the cutest eyes, and says, "Mom, it is time for me to move on with my life." Okay- I'm thinking-you're only eight, but we will see where this is going. "Let's release my frogs into their natural habitat." (here it comes, I just know it) "And put my snake that I just caught, in the aquarium that they use to live in." I sat and thought about it and decided - SURE! What the hell was I thinking as I shouted out the word that would forever change the way I live my daily life. Why would it change my daily life, you ask? Because the damn snake got out of the cage and has been missing for five days!!! I have been creeping around the house, just certain that it will rear its ugly, scaly body. There are moments that I forget that I have a reptile loose in the house and once I realize it, my hearts jumps back into my throat. I'm certain that it is nestled under my covers, or has made its domain in the overflowing laundry basket. So, what is missing beside the snake? My better judgement.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Hop on the Bus Gus

This weekend we got together with the Conrad family to celebrate all four of the kids birthdays. We decided to do it this way since we wanted them to spend quality time together. We went to the Exploratorium and then spent $100.00 at the Rain Forest Cafe. All this money spent and time planning... and guess what they most enjoyed? The turtles at the lake (free)! Running around Ghiradelli square (free). The men on the sidewalks, representing their many talents, such as hiding behind a make shift bush and then scaring people as they walked past, painting themselves with silver paint, and strumming on their guitars, singing..... My name is Marvin and I'm Starvin. Did I mention? Free! OH Yes! And the infamous $7.00 Muni bus ride. In which all four kids sat in the back seat..lets rephrase... sitting on their knees, facing the cars behind the bus, making faces at the passerbys. They were everyone's entertainment. All the kids belly laughed the entire bus ride, until Gianna flew off her seat backwards and hit her head..... kind of put a damper on the ride. So, when ever you see those Mastercard commercials, they are not true- you don't have to spend a lot of money to have priceless moments.... just hop on the bus, Gus.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Happy Birthday Mom!

Dear Mom,

We have had our good moments and our bad moments through life's journey together. And now that I am a mother myself, I have come to appreciate you even more. I have learned a lot from you. Like.. never make the cookie dough without eating more than half the dough......... rearrange your furniture at least once a month (it will make you feel refreshed)......... never count on a man to give you what you want ........... have your own job ................ and laugh through the joys and pains of life. I always know how proud you are of me because you never cease to tell me on a daily basis. You are a strong woman, but yet you wear your heart on your sleeve. Looking back, I realize how strong you really were and are. I can't imagine being a single mom - and that's what you were. Even though we didn't have the best of what life could offer - WE MADE IT! We never went without. It was you and me against the world! I love you and Happy Birthday.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

FEAR NOT - for I am with you

There have been many mornings (before the sun comes up), that my walking partner Tina and I , are trekking up a forest mountain. And I am so sure that there is a mountain lion lurking in the brush. It is a real fear to me. I have been known to carry a steak knife in my sweatshirt - just in case. Tina laughs at me because she wants to know how a paring knife will do damage to a creature with razor sharp teeth. I know the knife gives me a false sense of security. It wouldn't be so bad if I could just negotiate with the mountain lion before it attacks. "Here Kitty, Kitty. Just bite off from the inner thighs! Please don't go for my neck!" But here is the funny thing about it. Tina and I were walking yesterday, huffing and puffing up a hill. Tina says, "Look at that wild turkey." And I'm thinking... that's not a turkey. All of a sudden it starts flying, circling low above our heads... just waiting for one of us to drop dead on the hill so it could peck at our flesh. Before I know it she is behind my back, like I'm going to save her from a buzzard. I really think its her fear that the bird was going to mess up her perfect placed hair. What a team! So, when we hike Half Dome, I hope we don't experience any wildlife encounters. It just may put us over the edge!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Comfort in Numbers

This weekend my husband was planning on taking our son motorcycle riding. Alas, there was great heartache! The place they were going to go riding required a lot of classes and money before they actually could set foot there. So, we asked Brandon what he would want to do in place of that. Of course, he picked the skate park. So we packed up his helmet, knee and elbow pads, skateboard, making the 30 min trek to the cement hills. Now, if I was eight and got to do something like that, I would be overjoyed. But ... oh no! Brandon just sat there for an hour in the 85 degree sun. It took all of my energy not to jump out of my skin. He was embarrassed because there were too many kids he didn't know. So we sat and watched for the whole hour. I told him that next time we would have to bring a friend. There is always comfort in numbers. Although it is difficult for me to watch him be so passive, since that is not in my nature. For those of you who know me, I just do things, with or without people. I know not everyone is like that. I didn't want to push him into it either. So I sat there patiently with him, hoping he would get enough strength to do it on his own. Nope! Better luck next time.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Dad is Great! He Gives me Chocolate Cake!

It's my dad's 70th birthday today. I can't believe it. I hate that he lives 3 hours away and I only see him just once a year. But even though I don't see him often, we are strangely alike in so many ways. It really is a toss up between my mom and dad, in where I get my humor - but I must say, my dad is pretty darn funny. This past Easter he told me he was gonna have a Easter egg hunt, but then his Alzheimer's kicked in and he forgot where he hid the eggs. There is never a phone conversation where I don't end up laughing with him(or at him). He is very athletic and even on his birthday today, he was off to the gym - I wonder if they have a special "old people" treadmill for him. I totally get my athletic and competitive drive from him. We also like the same type of comfort food - good ol' macaroni and cheese. Which he has had a lot of practice making lately, since my step mom just had hand surgery. My dad definitely has been learning to appreciate her lately, since he can't even boil water without burning it. My dad is also my strength and he is easy to talk to when I need advice. He is level headed and tells you what you need to hear. Happy Birthday Dad! I wish I could be there with you today! I love you more than you know. I am blessed to have you in my life.

Thursday, April 10, 2008


How can you have a show like American Idol and then at the end have the contestants sing Shout to The Lord? That in itself is an Oxymoron. It totally bugged me. I hated the fact that they were trying to raise money, but used God to pull at America's heart strings. They had all the contestants dress in white (cheessssy) and sing a praise song. I think about how Americans are trying to take God's name out of the pledge of allegiance but at the same time will use Gods name when they want to make something happen. We simply can not put God in a box and take Him out when when we need help. Why don't people use Him when something good is going on in life? Do we take Him out of the box then? Anyways, just thought I would express and vent my irritation!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008


My name is Rochelle and I am an over eater (I totally can picture myself in a circle with the rest of the OA members). I have diagnosed myself with bipolar body image. Yes, I just made that up. But here is the deal. I look at my picture from 10 years ago and can say... look how far I have come. But in the same breath I can say... I have so far to go! I will go kickboxing for an hour and feel so great. And then I get home and give myself permission to eat 3 bagel pizzas and half a bag of Nestle semisweet chocolate chips. That is why I'm bipolar. I love me, I hate me. I have discussed with many women and I have come to find that we may all have this disorder. From the heaviest of women to the thinnest of women, there is always something that they do not like about themselves. So before we start thinking that the "other girls" have it better than us - there is something that they are not happy about. We are who we are. Love me fat, Love me skinny!
P.S Thanks to all my "good" friends who let me wear that ugly vest! Great! You let me be fat and ugly!

Monday, April 7, 2008

And I thought I had it bad!!

So for all of you who don't know it... my husband is a "little" anal. The carpet has its own lines from the vacuum, everything has its place, and you take off the shoes at the front door. I felt sorry for myself for the past 11 years (I hear the violins playing), but I must say... that's nothing! I went to Subway last Friday for lunch. The man in front of me (with the disgusting pubic hair beard) demanded that the Subway lady change her gloves, wash the knife in front of him, and then proceeded to choose the fifth cup from the bottom! Not the fourth, not the third..but the fifth. Did he care that there were eight people behind him in line! Nope! So when I got to the counter, I asked the lady (very loudly)..."Can you please change your entire outfit before you touch my sandwich? Change the receipt roll? And can you please provide me with a new pen?" The other eight people laughed! Why? Because they were thinking the same thing about this ridiculous man. So, I counted my blessings that day... the grass isn't always greener on the other side (although my grass has the perfect straight lines- thanks to my husband)

Thursday, April 3, 2008

I'll Say A Little Prayer for You.....

My friend Heather called me last night, just about to let go in the famous UGLY CRY. You all know the one! Admit it! It's the one where you wake up the next day and it looks like you have been run over by a Monster Truck.. over.. over... and over. I really wanted to grab her through the phone and hold her between my boosum. But you all know I would have suffocated her between my double d's. She has been going through a lot lately..where should I begin? New baby, trying to find a job, a four year old..... oh yeah, almost forgot... her mom had a tumor in her brain. Which thank God (which I mean whole heartedly) was benign.... but will take a long time to overcome. Heather is an amazing woman! Her compassion for people is her gift in life. I am filled with blessings everyday from her friendship. Anyone who has been lucky enough to be in the same room with her, knows just how wonderful she is. Say a little prayer for her today. Keep her in your thoughts, as she struggles to keep her head just above water. We love you Heather. Hang in there!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Build One Another UP!

Who in their right mind would wake up on a Saturday morning at 6:00 am to hike 13 miles? That would be me. But there would have been no way, I would have done it on my own. That is what friends are for. Tina, Sara, Scott, and I hiked up Saint Helena this past Saturday. First of all, never walk alone. Walk with a friend. That way, they will be the first to get bit by the rattlesnake. And you have a better chance that a mountain lion will eat your friend before you! But in all seriousness, I would have never wanted to experience something like that on my own. The beauty and sense of accomplishment would not have given it justice, if not shared with someone. As I think about it, that is why we have friends through life. To encourage one another on the uphill battles. To experience the joys when you look out and see the beauty of life. To walk side by side with someone, having the security of a friend. And last but not least, having someone rub the cramp out of your butt when you just can't go on!