Habitat for Humanity

Good Morning,

As I brew my coffee I am sitting here with a little bit of a sore back, but for a good reason!  Yesterday Joe and I went to a park in SF with some of his coworkers and a few of their spouses to work with Habitat for Humanity.  We weren’t sure what we would be doing, possibly picking up trash and raking leaves?  When we arrived we were greeted by the park gardener, employed by the city of SF, and a Habitat representative who explained that we would be at the far end of the park, pulling weeds for 3 hours.  It sounded pretty lame but we were all good sports about it.

When we got to that side we quickly realized it was not a few weeds in grass.  It was a hillside that had a few large bushes and looked like it was covered in grass.  That grass turned out to be overgrowth and tons of huge weeds so we were all given various rakes, hoes, pitch forks, other tools, and burlap sacks to pile the weeds on.  We were stripping the ground to the dirt and it ended up being a hard days work.  In the end we filled up four truck loads of weeds and cleared the hill.  The gardener was so impressed and said that he never had a team so dedicated.  He explained that most people were more interested in taking pictures the whole time and that they never expected a group of engineers to be so labor intensive.

The hillside looked great by the time we left and I managed to take a couple pictures:

Joseph and I habitat 2013

Habitat 2013

I really enjoyed it and look forward to volunteering again soon.  There is something so rewarding about yard work that makes the rest of the day feel accomplished.  It is one of the downfalls to living in an apartment!  I hope the company decides to do this again because it was a great team building exercise and fun to chat with everyone in a relaxed environment.

Today we are making Sunday breakfast and heading to the fair to watch some horse races and probably eat some fried foods!  Enjoy your day Smile

xoxox

Amanda

A truly GREAT Grandma

***I think I might finally be catching up with my schedule!  For the last week I have been nothing less than exhausted by the time I get home from work and have had something going on every day. (What’s new?)

I had a rather peaceful Saturday given the circumstances.  It was my Great Grandma Hallberg’s funeral.  She passed away the previous weekend at the age of 97.  I have many fond memories of her and was surprisingly not “sad” when she passed.  I felt a sense of peace for her and was happy to know she was with my Great Grandpa in heaven.

Me and GG Kiss

My Grandma was the strongest woman I have ever known.  She taught me so many things, to never stop fighting for what I want, that “you-who” is always the appropriate greeting, to always stay close with your siblings, that a little sass goes a long way, to remember where you came from, and that you can never have too many tomatoes or salami in your fridge. 

When I was eighteen I moved into her house in SF with her for two years while going to school there.  She was in the beginning stages of dementia which made certain aspects difficult, but I wouldn’t have changed that time in my life for the world.  Before I moved in I knew her as the loud and sparkly Grandma that shared a birth month with me and my sparkly Aunt, she was loving and she always cut the turkey for the holidays.  When I lived with her, she shared memories with me, we laughed and played cards, we discussed current events, we visited family together, and we went on a scary car ride or two.  She said unforgettable things and even scared me a few times.

One evening my friend Christina and I were getting ready to go out- I think we were just going to walk around with no real plans.  As we were walking out my GG yelled “Have fun and don’t forget your bandana!” When we got to the muni we laughed so hard we cried.  What bandana was she referring to?  We figured she was referring to a head scarf from the 1960s or something like it.  I still have no clue, we sure didn’t have bandanas!

Before this next story, I should preface it by saying she went to the senior center every day and on the way home she ALWAYS stopped at the grocery store to buy something.  It was usually tomatoes and salami, sometimes pistachios or macaroons.  She had so much salami and tomatoes that it was a full time job to rotate them for her!  Especially because she never threw food out, I had to do it on the sly when she was sleeping or gone.  She lived through the depression and never lost those habits.

One day she wanted to go to the store and convinced me to go with her, and despite my many attempts to drive, she insisted she did.  I have never been more scared for my life.  She drove slowly but did not pay very good attention to her surroundings and it was a miracle she was never hurt or hurt anyone.  I held on for dear life while she chuckled at me and I said a few prayers when we got there safely.  We bought some tomatoes and salami and went home, on another scary ride.

That car of hers was part of the discussion on Saturday as her godson and nephew talked about it moving through family members.  It is a 1986 powder blue Buick, the typical granny car, that is still kicking.  It was at the funeral, another great nephew is driving it now.  That same car was the culprit in a curious blue streak on my then red Eagle Talon that GG denied ever happened.

Perhaps my favorite memories of living with her are those of us looking through old photo albums and talking about her childhood and telling me how my Grandma was growing up.  I loved hearing about my Great Grandpa too.

I hope in my life I can be half the woman she was.  She always had fun, always ate well, and always helped people out.  She is surely doing the same in heaven.  I know my life was greatly enhanced living with her and getting to know her.

I hope you all soak up your family memories and cherish the moments you get to spend with your grandparents.

xoxox

Amanda

Beautiful Mess

Hey there! Well, my life has been as hectic as I thought it would be.  I am pretty exhausted but so happy! 

I just love working at my company again.  I have been getting emails and phone calls from people in other offices that remember me to say Hi or congratulations, and it is so great to be back.  We are still getting the office set up but every day feels more normal.  I am getting back into the swing of it and adjusting to the new commute.  I have went to bed early every day this week, hence no blogging.

I will be gone this weekend as well, but I am grateful to have every second of my busy life.  Another added bonus has been having an hour at lunch to read, I started Harry Potter and I am about finished with the first book.  I would do a book review, but I don’t think I need to for that one!

Hope all is well!

xoxox

Amanda

Hello Goodbye

Good Morning!

I told you I would be busy!! I left on Thursday after work and got home last night after going with Crystal to get “the dress”.  WOO HOO!

First of all, I am saying goodbye to my undergraduate life and hello to law school.  That being said, I am also saying goodbye to Golden Gate and HELLO to  USF!!  I am so excited that I will be attending the school of my dreams, my first choice.  I would also like to say that GGU is a great school and anyone who attends will surely enjoy their time with the wonderful people who work and attend school there.

Friday was an amazing day and I am so thankful that I had my family there to support me as I graduated.

2013-05-31 10.40.28

Graduation Joseph and I

Graduation Family PictureGraduation Cake 2Graduation Cake

Jamie was taking a final during graduation and I know she felt sad about not being there, but I was so happy she rocked her final and I got to see her afterward.  She is the sweetest thing and I am so proud of her!Graduation me & JamieWe went out Friday night to celebrate with a few girlfriends and had a great time people watching and having a few cocktails.   Graduation Celebration

The next day we went to Garrett and Courtney’s wedding and had so much fun! This is a picture from the end of the night, my hair was so over by then!2013-06-01 20.58.45

Joe looked so handsome in the tux! We danced our behinds off and the next day I relaxed my behind on the boat with my Daddy and sisters while Joe went home. I left my phone because I knew I would probably drop it in the lake!

Yesterday morning my Mom and I went to a couple doctor’s appointments, went antique shopping, and enjoyed a little down time before I left to pick Crystal up.  Crystal and I got to the bridal shop right on time and chose several dresses for her to try on.  We saved the best for last (we knew it was her favorite), and she looked gorgeous in them all.  She bit the bullet and said YES to the dress.  It was the steal of the century and ended up costing HALF of the price shown on the tag, score!!! I am only posting this picture because her fiancé doesn’t know me and is NEVER on a computer, let alone online.  She lucked out as there are 3 of these dresses left in the U.S. and one in a nearby store was her size, I mean hello! What luck!

Crystal's Wedding Dress

Today I need to tackle some laundry and cleaning before our friends come over for a visit as they just moved to (or back to) California!  Tomorrow morning I will be driving to the airport before dawn so I need to get my beauty rest tonight!

I hope everyone had a great weekend and Congratulations to the graduates out there!

xoxox

Amanda

The Bachelorette is back!

Desiree

Source

It’s Bachelorette time again, and I was more than ready to watch Desiree do her thing!  As always Jen and I watched in awe as guy after guy made a fool of himself.  There were some weirdos and creeps this season, but I also saw a few good guys.  The promos show a lot of upcoming drama and after the Tiara disaster last season nothing will surprise me.

My early favorites are Ben, Drew, Bryden, Juan Pablo, and Michael G.  It looks like Ben is not who we think he is, but I would like to pretend the promos don’t show us the real story.  I couldn’t believe the nerve of they guy who kept pushing a fantasy suite reference to Des- she will cut you! She did too, LOL.  The poor ER doctor who tried to dip her really beat himself up too, it’s ok, he was probably not her type anyway. 

The good news is, there are many guys that I feel Des can let go within the first few weeks without us feeling attached.  Sometimes we need a few weeks of watching to find our favorites, and those weeks should be for guys that don’t really matter to go home.

I hope we get to see some fun first dates next week!

xoxox

Amanda