Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Monday, August 30, 2010

Have no fear

I am not afraid of spiders or snakes.
(In fact, I like them.)
I do not fear death and have no fear of heights.
I am not afraid of the dark...and I love speaking in public.
I don't have a fear of the past and I am not afraid of the future.
I don't mind closed spaces...or crowds.
I don't have a fear of failure and I am certainly not afraid to fly.

But there is one thing that I am truly afraid of:
Running out of things.

Toilet Paper
And a HUGE fear...my camera battery dying.

Of course, I have never run out of any of these things.
I can stock up on most of these items. And I do.
I am too afraid of what might happen otherwise.

I guess there are a few other things I fear running out of:

Thankfully, I try to stock up and re-fuel myself with these things as often as possible too...

I really just hope I never run out of things to blog about.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Tale of Two Cities...

Flew to Denver on Friday morning...to go to the Dodgers/Rockies game at Coors Field...
and got a WHOLE lot more than I bargained for!! Man oh MANNY...what a night!
How about a little Eithier?!
Dinger isn't fond of Dodger fans!
Saturday morning I flew to San Francisco for my sister, Leesa's, 40th birthday celebration!
The WHOLE DiLallo family was able to be there!
...I mean the WHOLE family!
SUCH a great weekend!

Just finished...for the fourth time.

"I have a history of making decisions very quickly about men. I have always fallen in love fast and without measuring risks. I have a tendency not only to see the best in everyone, but to assume that everyone is emotionally capable of reaching his highest potential. I have fallen in love more times than I care to count with the highest potential of a man, rather than with the man himself, and I have hung on to the relationship for a long time (sometimes far too long) waiting for the man to ascend to his own greatness. Many times in romance I have been a victim of my own optimism."
~Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat Pray Love

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Anticipating Europe

Anticipation of a trip has always been good medicine for me. I love the planning and more planning and the dreaming and the thinking...the excitement starts months ahead of the trip. There are so many things I love about traveling Europe.

I love steamed milked served automatically with very strong coffee. I love the flowers and the history. I love the bakeries that are next door to bakeries. I love the art and the architecture. And the CHEESE! I love eating carbs and feeling OK because I know I'll walk them off. And drinking one more glass because I know I don't have to drive.
I love being so far from home that there is no chance of running into anyone I know.

It's constant marveling and wondering...
and wandering...and marveling!
It's croissants and wine and pizza and Nutella and crepes and pasta...and more wine.
It's sights and songs and sunsets...
It's sheer JOY and HAPPINESS and LAUGHTER and LOVE.

And when served up in Europe
it ALL tastes even better
it all feels better...

it makes ME better.
I love feeling so small in such a big world.

I feel like I am being called back to Europe.
I need to be revived!
I need to be resuscitated!
I haven't felt like this in a very long time.

I do believe it's just what the doctor ordered.
It brings tears to my eyes.
the good kind this time.
It's time for some good tears.

It's time to go back to Europe.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Take me out to the ballgame!

Tonight I will be at the Dodgers game...in Denver, Colorado.
My first time at Coors Field and my EIGHTH baseball stadium!
Oh yeah...we'll be sitting in Section C, Row 1.
Yep, behind home plate.
Life is damn good.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Not gonna happen...

Last week, while at my regular six month check up and cleaning, I mentioned to my dentist that I had been faithfully using a whitening toothpaste and rinse, but that my teeth were still not as white as I'd like them to be.
"It's really quite simple to have white teeth," she said through her sparkling pearly whites.
"You just have to give up coffee, diet coke and red wine."

Um, ok...thanks.

(White teeth are kinda over rated anyway, don't you think?)

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Why are you going all the way to Denver for a baseball game?

Because I can.
My eighth stadium.

If you want to be happy, be.

'Happiness is the consequence of personal effort. You fight for it, strive for it, insist upon it, and sometimes even travel around the world lo
oking for it. You have to participate relentlessly in the manifestations of your own blessings. And once you have achieved a state of happiness, you must never become lax about maintaining it. You must make a mighty effort to keep swimming upward into that happiness forever, to stay afloat on top of it.'
~Elizabeth Gilbert

Southern Baptist Sissies

Thanks to Facebook, I have connected with Ty, a genuinely magnificent man who worked with me at Saddleback Church for years and years. About ten years ago, Ty 'came out' (though I've told him, through laughter and tears, I was always sure that he was gay.) Ty's friends, Tom and Lindsay--also part of Saddleback and friends of Allison's for years--joined us last night too.
We met for dinner and then to see the play Southern Baptist Sissies at the Theatre Out in Santa Ana. Basically, it's the story of people struggling to find their identity and come to terms with their beliefs while growing up in the Southern Baptist Church. (Good Lord, could I relate.) Ty and I were in tears through most of the production--when we weren't laughing out loud.
It was an incredible evening...and so much fun to be with Ty again.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Crack...and the clean stalk

Dating must have been much simpler pre-internet days.
Well, maybe not dating, but the after math...the break up, the heartache...the healing. It HAD to have been much easier when you could not get on his Facebook (and his kids' Facebook) and see proof that he has gone on, doing well, enjoying life...it HAD to be better to NOT know...that he is doing just fine--without you.
Don't you think it had to have been easier and far less painful when you didn't know that he moved to another city and now has a new job? (And have access to the address, the phone number and his new email right there for the tempting?) I KNOW recovery time MUST have been speedier when you were not reading his blog, or Google-ing his company's webpage and viewing his latest achievements and interviews. Or logging in and reading his current Facebook status. Yeah, Facebook is the tough one. His updates come straight to your home page. As well as his vacation pictures. New home photos. Along with his lovely new girlfriend. (And, no problem finding his OLD girlfriends by the way!) Yeah, sure, you can de-friend him and/or block his updates...truth is, you want to know what he's doing. Right? Even if HE doesn't have a Facebook, his kids do. His friends do. Lots of photos for the stalking...I mean taking...I mean to look at.
It's absolutely addictive.
The truth is, we want them to know what we're doing too. Check out my new car! Here's MY vacation photos. Look at ALL the friends I have! Here's MY new love...well, my nephew and me at the fair. SEE? Look how happy I AM! Oh yeah! I'm fine without you too!
Well, I'm sure trying to be anyway.
Sounds kind of silly, huh? (Or is it just plain sick?)

Of the handful of men I have dated (especially the two or three that I've been very attached to) the majority are still a part of my life through these highly acceptable 'social networks'. (I know. Just a few years ago it was called Internet stalking.) And for some reason, I want to know. I want to know what they are doing. Where they are going. That they have been on vacation. That they are training for a race. That they got a new job...or a new girlfriend...or now have a wife...and a baby.

I see that they are happy, enjoying themselves and having fun.
I see that their lives have gone on...and well!
I can SEE that they have (quite successfully) moved on...
Have I?

Is it wrong for me to hope that they are ok? Is it ok for me to wonder how they are? I honestly want each of them to be happy. Well, for the most part. Do you think this is constant torture?
Or, is it more of a reminder for me to keep moving on? Is it confirmation for me that it's time for all of us to move forward...no matter how tempting (and EASY!) it is to look back? Or is it simply curiousity getting the better of me?

Certainly I am not the only one who does this.
Am I?

Just wondering...do you think they do the same to me...I mean to us?
Anymore, it's almost impossible not to.
And, honestly, I happen to know that they do.
Linked In actually lets you know who has been on your site.
And they've been there.
Through Google Analytics and Sitemeter, I know that they have been on my blog.
And often.
If you Google "Julie Hibbard", of 1,050,000 results, I am the first thing to come up.
(Actually, the first three...)

And, well, it makes me happy.
I know. Sounds kind of silly, huh?

Actually, I really am happy. Really! And I truly have moved on.
I just want to be sure they know.

Monday, August 16, 2010

School Daze

Bill(y) used to carpool with my family down to St. Catherine's School in Laguna Beach! There was a TOTAL renovation of the facilities over the last 18 months and Bill and I couldn't wait to go check it out!
It's just beautiful!
The original sign on Coast Highway!
The St. Catherine's Chapel on the school grounds.
Billy, me and St. Catherine...
Next month I will be visiting St. Catherine of Siena Church in Siena, Italy...
can't wait for that either!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Friday, August 13, 2010

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Sunny with a chance of peanuts and crackerjack!

From the Angels' website...me and my niece, Sunny.

"It's not good or bad. It's just different!"

While traveling across Europe in 2006 our tour guide, Joe, said those words to us MANY times. Concerning the hole in the ground called a "toilet" in Italy (and the woman collecting money for us to USE it!) And about the fish heads with cucumbers and pickled herring called "appetizers" in Germany. And when talking about the children drinking wine next to us at dinner in Paris...and especially concerning the "coffee house" where marijuana is the #1 item on the menu in Amsterdam...
"It's not good or bad...it's just different!"

And that is the absolute truth. All of those things were definitely different than what I was used to, but I was certainly not going to be a judge of any one's cultural beliefs or traditions or food preferences!
I was reminded of this as I spent the last several days scouring my Europe books in preparation for my visit to France and Italy next month. I know there will be sights and sounds and smells and tastes that are not exactly what I am used to. In fact, they will be totally different. Four years and three European vacations later, I actually think this is exactly why I love traveling so much.
I LOVE to see and experience the differences in each of the cultures all the while realizing that we are really all so very much the same. The woman who cleans that toilet hole in Italy loves her children. The man who brought out those fish heads on a platter has to pay his rent this month. The children drinking wine in Paris laugh with each other while playing their video game at the table. And the guy selling marijuana in Amsterdam is trying to save up enough money to take his family to Disney World next year. They all laugh and cry, they enjoy a good meal, they have bills to pay and all appreciate a good night's sleep.
On that first trip to Europe I realized how easy it was to get on a plane and be in another world in just a matter of hours. Honestly, though, in the amount of time it took for us to get out of the airport and on to the streets of London--seeing people drinking coffee at Starbucks and venturing into McDonald's for a McCrumpet--I knew that we had not really gone very far at all.
Of course there's a language barrier, the need to exchange dollars for euros or pounds, there's the pay toilets and half-cooked bacon...but then there's the ruins and museums and pasta and crepes and wine...and there are the people who despite all the differences are so much like you and me.
You really don't know what to expect at all.
You open your heart and mind and just take it all in.

I was thinking this morning that my life is exactly the same way right now...
Not at all what I thought it would be...and I really don't know what to expect at all anymore.
It's not good or bad. It's just different.