Mardis Gras, the Flu, an Engagement Engagement, and Snow...LOTS of SNOW!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Where to begin....

It's been nearly a month since I posted last.  How is it the end of February already?

My life has been a whirl-wind recently and having it slow down enough to focus on a blog has seemed almost impossible.  The strange thing is, it's not like I've been at a loss of things to write about.  This month has been crazy busy with so many exciting events and celebrations. The blogs should have been flying off the screen and it the cyber-space world. I am playing catch-up....

So here's a "highlight reel" of the last month.  I may revisit some of these topics later, but if I never get around to it, at least we're all updated for the present moment. 

Yes, I'm going gluten-free

Bye-bye baked goods
Sometime in the beginning of February, I swore of gluten.  Some of it was I was ready for a change.  Some of it was I felt sluggish.  Some if it was influenced by my dad who has been gluten-free (and feeling great) for over 10 years.  What ever motivated me, I've stuck to it (for the most part) for almost a month.  No bread, no pasta, no floor tortilla quesadillas. And you know what?  It hasn't been nearly as difficult as I would have imagined. Who knows how long I'll stick with this, but right now I'm happy and feeling good.

A new tattoo, a gluten-free birthday cake, and fantastic scavanger hunt!

Laissez les bon temps rouler -- Let the good times roll
My 28th Birthday was celebrated in the grandest of ways! I started my day off with new tattoos with one of my besties. Then my other best friends planned a Mardi Gras themed birthday party, that was...dare I say it...EPIC! I was surrounded by all of my closest friends. Dinner was Mexican (the margaritas flowed).  The cake was gluten-free (and was DE-LISH). The party bus and the mayhem that ensued was priceless (and the pictures don't even do the night justice). And I have to say this was absolutely the best birthday ever! I was in complete bliss that my yin and yang group of friends were able to come together for my birthday and have an outstanding time.

Of course there is so much I could write about: the scavenger hunt for bars, distribution of beads, the GRENADE whistle, my friends knowing me well enough to completely embarrass me (an almost impossible task), karaoke at the El Cortez, a plethora of drinks and shots, hotel check-in at 5:45am, endless laughs, and unforgettable memories. But...we'll just leave it at that ;-)

I was one sick Bear!

Then came the sickness...and the SNOW
I could feel it coming on. It was the pressure in my head. It was the sweats while sleeping.  It was the feeling of my throat being on fire. I knew I was getting sick! After struggling through a day of class and work (and hearing from everyone that I didn't look "good") I got in to see my doctor. He prescribed me a Z-Pack and said if it was a bacteria, I would be better within 24 hours.  If it was a virus, I was pretty much SOL until my body fought off the foreign invasion. On top of the Z-Pack, I self medicated: theraflu, echinacia, vitamin c, Airborne, Sudafed, and Mucinex.
The next few days were a blur. The snow began to fall HEAVILY in the middle of the week, and didn't let up for over 72 hours.  The Truckee Meadows became a winter wonderland.  I just became sicker. Since I had my tonsils removed almost three years ago, I have been sans-sickness. This year, it seemed the flu hit me hard. Sick-days and snow-days. That was the extent of my week.

Venice Beach, my nephew, the Engagement Party Suite

An Engagement Engagement
The weekend brought me to El Lay for my brother and his fiance's engagement party (read about the engagement HERE). I left the snow, and entered the rain.  The whole weekend was a blast: tapas and endless wine (with my Momma, brother, and his best friends), an excursion to Santa Monica's 3rd Street Promenade and farmers market (until we got rained out), bonding with my furry nephew Beckett, an engagement party to end all engagement parties in a private suite (in a super-cute renovated hotel in Venice, one block away from the beach), quality time and great conversation (along with sunshine, a good meal and a walk along the beach) with my dad and brother, and a blurry flight home back to the cold.

Although the whole weekend was 72 jam-packed hours, the highlight was by far the engagement party for my brother Dan and my soon-to-be SIL (sister-in-law) Lauren.  Lauren's best friend (and maid-of-honor) planned and organized the whole party, and what a party it was.  I felt so honored that she included me in some of the planning and I loved laughing and crying with her as we previewed the slide-show and came up with game questions.

The whole night ultimately was a love-fest. It was so cute to see how in love my brother and Lo are. Everyone ate (there was a plethora of cheese...the bride's #1 request), we drank (there was an open bar, with an entertaining bartender who had a heavy poor), we laughed (endlessly), and we cried. 

Actually, I sobbed....a few times. Lauren officially asked me to be one of her bride's maids and the way she asked, and what she said, was some of the most touching, heartfelt expressions that I've ever heard....cue tears here.  That touching moment filtered into a brother-sister pow-wow where Dan, Lo, Lo's brother Steven, and myself had a mushy-conversation which yes, brought on the water-works. I drank shots, laughed, and teased around with my "little-brothers" (my brother's friends who I have adopted as family).  I giggled and drank champagne with the girls (Lauren's friends who I'm just getting to know). I had good conversation with both of my parents, and was happy to have everyone together in one place. It was truly a magical night and if this little 30 person party is any portrayal of the wedding...oh baby, I can't wait!

Sunday-Funday and a BLUR of a week
Leaving "La-La-Land" and the Sunshine State was difficult, especially when it meant coming back to the cold in Reno. Knowing my friends were in the midst of a "Sunday-Funday" took the edge off the frigged temperatures. Between airport bars and Southwest drink coupons, I was buzzing good by the time I met up with my Bestie. It was good to catch-up with her about the weekend's events. My Sunday-Funday turned into a Manic Monday (which I was lucky to have off). I spent the day recouping, studying, and trying to get my ass in gear for the week ahead.

The rest of the week is a blur...simply because I was going a million miles a minute.  And it was actually a great week! Classes were great, I started feeling better, and work was fantastic and went so smooth. As my Friday ended, I found myself wishing for repeats of the week.  The work-week ended with another blizzard, my principal sending everyone home as soon as the kids left the building, drinks with the girls, and calling it a night before 9pm.

And here I am. It's Saturday morning. The sun is out, and the snow is beginning to melt. And although I'm not physically hung-over today, I find that emotionally I am.  Just a little. It happens to the single-girl sometimes. But feeding that hang-over is unproductive, so instead I'm staying busy: blogging, studying, doing catch-up work, and cleaning my room. Then it's a night out with the girls.

In conclusion
It feels good to back. And I mean "back" in many ways.  Good to be back writing.  Good to be back to feeling well.  Good to be back to reality and being productive.  Good to be back to myself.

You Give Me FEVER....

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

A few weeks ago one of my friends mentioned that she was attending a new dance class, and suggested that I join her.  I have always enjoyed dance, and love shaking my thing on the dance-floor. When I was a kid my mom used to joke that she didn't understand where I got all of my rhythm from.

As much as I love to dance, I've never had any formal training (unless you count Israeli dancing at Jewish Summer Camp).  So when my friend suggested I join her, I was a bit hesitant. That is, until I found out what kind of class it was. 

This wasn't just any class, this was a Burlesque/Cabaret dance class. 

NEW Burlesque dance classes in Reno: Hootchy Kootchy Girls.  CHECK IT OUT HERE! 

My friend reassured me by saying that you didn't need any dance experience, and that there were women of all ages and body-types in attendance.  Finding out that the first two introductory classes were FREE was also a selling point. 

So in my quest to get outside of my comfort zone and try new things, I attended my first burlesque class tonight!

And you know what?  I had a fantastic time!

I smiled the whole hour class. Our teacher was energetic and amazing, and all the women in the packed class were so nice.  We shook our booties. We used feather boas in a suggestive (yet classy) manor.  We wore long gloves.  We wiggled our hips back and forth.  We laughed.  We even had JAZZ HANDS!

By the end of the class, we had learned half the dance routine to "You Give Me Fever".

Life is a Cabaret my friend...come to the Cabaret.

Before I left the dance studio tonight, I signed up for the next 6-week class.  We will do a Burlesque Performance to show off the routines we've learned at the end of the session.  Participation in the show isn't mandatory, but I look forward to continuing this "trying new things" adventure.

As I chatted with my friends later, I realized I felt great. The class was so much fun, and I found it extremely empowering.  And really isn't that what traditional burlesque is all about?  It's not about getting naked or doing a strip tease.  It's about a confident woman being comfortable in her own skin.

Some days I like myself a lot more then others.  Sometimes I like the person looking back at me in the mirror, sometimes I don't.  Ultimately, I'm ready for a change.  I hope to become more comfortable in the skin I'm in.  And this Burlesque dance class is the perfect way to get started!

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