2013 - The Year of Hermit Crabbing

This year was really good to me. I made a few good friends and a lot of memories.

(Year in reverse)

  • I rang in grown-up NYE with Steven & Jess.
  • Another memorable NYC AGM
  • Had my first male stripper experience for Amanda's birthday.
  • Gave HOCO a taste of my pole skills.
  • I got older and had a short, but memorable celebration!
  • Went to tons of concerts: J.Timberlake, Beyonce, Drake, Rihanna, Maroon 5, Train & the Script, One Republic, Selena Gomez, Mumford & Sons.
  • I ran SF and had the most amazing weekend with Amanda.
  • And then there was Fburg.
  • Most of my friends had more babies for me to play with: Brittany - Logan, Kari - Makayla, Lindsey - Orion
  • Amanda kept us busy with a fully planned social calendar. Card of Humanity, dance parties, DIF, brunch, laser tag, and just kickin it on the regular.


Casual Christmas

  • Flu
  • Flight Home
  • "What are YOU doing?!?"
  • S'mores 
  • TVD marathon
  • Roasted more mallows
  • Family - I supervised decorating of the tree
  • Ruby's with Kayla
  • "I like the way your jeans fit"
  • Stuck in a snow drift/ditch
  • Christmas Eve with Dad - "No, this is not my baby."
  • "Growling's cool"
  • Casual Christmas
  •  Hallmark Christmas movies with Grandma - I swear the good ones only come on when I'm at her house.
  • Couch surfing
  • wild night of cutthroat Uno with Car & Brant
  • Donut Stop
  • Lunch with Lindsey & Orion
  • Justin Bieber's Believe
  • Baptized
  • Back to Houston


Fburg Round 3

After sitting out last years trip, I thought I'd give Fburg another go.

The highlights:
  • Road tripping with Ash, Rox, and Kate was the best thing to happen to me.
  • McCall taking the Helen Keller shot like a champ.
  • Getting to Buc's 2.5 hours before Karaoke starts = McCall and I singing with dead mics to pass the time. Where is our record deal?
  • Karaoke/DJ finally came on and was the worst even. He blocked my request to sing Justin Bieber. Really? At least he allowed my emotional rendition of O-towns "All or Nothing" including the microphone flip.
  • An empty dance floor except for me & Roxanne rapping out Drake's "No New Friends."
  • Froot Loops & 5 hour energy for breakfast so the girls and I could hit the road by 8am.
Even though I gave away more than half of my wine tastings, I still had a pretty good time, made some fun new memories & jokes, and even a few new friends.


No Roofies. No New Friends. We Run SF.

San Fran was more fun than I could have imagined. I'm so glad that Amanda went with me and that we had cameos from Rick all weekend.

The weather was a little cold, but soooo good!

Pre San Fran my keys and wallet were stolen, so this was a bit of a challenging trip. Sadly, I don't have a passport, or any photo ID other than the paper license I got at the DMV. (So please stop asking me if I have any other ID, I obvs would have started out with that!)

After minimal push back from security, and almost missing my flight, I managed to make it to San Fran! I shared a cab with a random fellow runner, checked into the hotel with some difficulty (because of the ID), then went straight to the expo to get my number!

Amanda arrived a while later and met me at the Nike Store. After grabbing lunch at the cutest burger place that shamed me for paying with cash we headed to the bike shop to bike the Golden Gate Bridge!
We had such a good time, especially with the wrong turn bonus hill I added. By the time we hit the Salsolido check point the sun had set, it was cold, and we decided that the Forest we had talked about biking to might have turned into the Forbidden Forest, so we grabbed the ferry back.

We were pretty tired (I had been up since 4:30a Texas time), but decided to throw off the PJs, popped out old lady hips back into place, and meet up with Rick and some of the San Fran office at HiFi.

Naturally the door man turned me away because of my ID, but Amanda used that sweet Louisiana accent to sweet talk him (or show him the business) until he agreed to let me in. We had a blast, saw a magic trick (and the wire used for the trick. Can't fool us!), got accused of being bottle rats (which we aren't. We actually did know the person the party was for, a lot of the guests, and are your co-workers from the Texas office, dick.), didn't get roofied, gave the stink eye to thirsty girls (#girlcode), didn't end up locked in a basement, and danced harder than anyone else on the floor. Basically, we made HiFi our bitch.

We stopped for food on our way home and talked about boys...and Amanda's disagreement with my choice. Then we managed to tell the taxi driver the wrong hotel (surprisingly not the first time that happened that day. Majestic and Mystic are just too close in name), but finally made it home after 24 hours of being awake.

Naturally I woke up a few hours later at 7am so we went to breakfast. I don't think the fellow guests appreciated our energy, songs, and dance. Surprisingly that is my life even when I am sober.

A few more hours of sleep and we were ready to hydrate and take a bus tour of San Fran. This was Amanda's first San Fran trip, and I feel terrible that we had a bad driver. He would give us half stories and facts, and we didn't always know what he was talking about.

We had a late dinner, due to the 2 hour wait at Cheesecake Factory, with Rick. I was surprised he didn't hangry rage at us or fall asleep waiting for our table. I did get to hear about how he used to rescue stuffed animals when he was little. That was a pretty cute story.

We were back at the hotel before 10p so I could prepare for race day. I was so afraid I was going to sleep through my alarms and miss the race (I had a few nightmares about that) so I barley slept and kept checking my phone like a crazy person. Hey Amanda, sorry I kept waking you up too!

Race day finally arrived! I was nervous because I wasn't hill prepared. But I kept reminding myself that this one was for fun. No need to speed through it since there were so many inclines I would need energy for. The weather was great. It's crazy how different my body feels running there compared to Houston. I could feel my muscles getting worked, but nothing started hurting until mile 10. The last 3 made me want to lay down and die. Ok, that's an exaggeration. They weren't that bad, but my hips were getting tighter with every step, my arches were starting to feel the pressure, and my phone decided to take a nap so I was mentally trying to stay calm about how I was going to find Rick and Amanda using only telepathy.

I was excited to finally see the finish....until I got a few feet past it to find it was backed up getting through the chute. Patience were not on my side at this point. Seriously, WTF were people doing? Must we stop for every finisher to take a picture with the tuxcedo clad fireman handing out the necklaces? I didn't think so. I just wanted my necklace, food, and room to strech. I was freezing and my body was starting to stiffen up. When I fiinnnnaaallllyyyyy got to the front, the lady behind me asked if I wanted her to take my picture. I told her I wasn't necessary because I didn't want a picture with a strange, although attractive, man. So I grabbed my necklace and carried on to find Rick and Amanda so we could head home.

After a shower I was ready to continue our vacation, so we headed to the Stinking Rose for lunch. That was the longest walk of my life, but I took it like a champ. We then walked to Fisherman's Wharf for some Ghiradelli ice cream, sea lion watching, and just hanging out. As the day went on the pain and stiffness started to set in. And I may have had a mini fit after we were asked to leave a bar because of my ID. I didn't even want to drink, I just wanted to sit!

I was exhausted and was in bed before 8p because I had an early flight and a surprise full body pat down waiting for me.


Dear Brother

This week marks two years and I still half expect you to be there when I visit home.

You've been showing up in my dreams more frequent which causes most days to be more of an emotional roller coaster. It's exhausting.

I've stopped trying to understand why you lived your life the way you did, because I never will. I just hope that Marsh will learn from it and do better.

I don't feel angry anymore, just sad. Some days unbearable sad.

I wonder what you would be like if you were still alive. Making the same bad choices and ending with the same result? or finally getting clean for good? It doesn't really matter because there aren't any options now.

Two years and I miss you every day.

I don't know exactly what heaven will be like, but I sure hope it's the kind of place where you will be waiting for me when I get there. Until then, I will spend the rest of my life missing you.

Revelation 21:4: And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorry, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things are passed away.


Rave Life

Amanda and I have a calling to be ravers.

We chickened out on our first EDM event and decided to ease our way into it by going to Praia Urbana with Sven and Tim.

It was so much fun! We didn't get roofied or mollied, so it was a success! We saw people doing fancy footwork, lots of house taps, a few Avatar people, and a girl working a giant hoola hoop.

The music was alright, but nothing to write home about.

Towards the end of the night we finally made our way under the tent and gave into the dance. I was most amused when Amanda and I were doing some sweet choreographed body jam moves.

Happy 18th, Marshall!

Today my baby brother, baby Marsh, turns 18.

I wish I could say that since you are 18 you will now be referred to as Marshall...BUT you'll always be my baby brother, so long live the name baby Marsh!


I feel in love with Native at first preview, so when tickets went on sale for their Houston stop I had to go!

I turned it into a date night and went to Blue Fish (I think) since it is right outside the venue. By the end of the meal I remembered why I had only been there once...and added a few reasons as to why I won't be hurrying back. 

Sara Brailles opened up the show. Her set was good, she sounded great, and she was pretty funny. I really like her songs but they are pretty calming....so I may have taken a nap. Mind you, it had also been a long rough week at work. 

I was so excited when One Republic took the stage. They started the first song behind a white curtain with a lot of lights and shadows singing "Light It Up." It was full of energy and def woke me up!

They sang just about every single, past hits, and even did a really cool cover of "Gold Digger."

My personal faves were:

  • Counting Starts
  • If I Lose Myself
  • What You Wanted
  • Feel Again
  • I Lived
  • Can't Stop
I had accompanying videos, but Blogger isn't cooperating.

If you don't have the record, then go out and buy it ASAP. AND see them in concert if given the chance.


What Happens In Padre Doesn't Stay In Padre

But alas, they are not my stories to share, so this will be more of a G rated post.

  • Had a fun flight with Ashley and Marina.
  • I actually got into the ocean and didn't get eaten by a shark! But almost lost my bottoms to the waves; Bennida got an eyeful.
  • Delish dinner followed by a classic Bob speech.
  • First night out we had a failed attempt to make friends with a bachelorette party. 
  • Ash and I had to climb the wall to get into the condo.
  • "It's just my allergies....I don't have allergies."
  • Finding Bob's shirt on the beach first thing Saturday morning.
  • Taking a picture of the itinerary because questions are not allowed.
  • Boats and Hoes = isolations.
  • Best part of my day? DQ blizzard.
  • A nice calm dinner with Holly and the boys.
  • "Stupid cute."
Me & Holly
  • Watching the show once everyone else showed up. It was a mix of Real World & MTV Spring Break.
  • Late night Denny's with Benid and Amanda is always a good way to end the day.
  • Getting tips from Derek's cooking school.
  • And repaying him by busting jokes on him all day.
Overall it was a good trip. My favorite moments were def starting each day by watching the sunrise on the beach and having a solo breakfast. It was so beautiful and calm before entering into the craziness that lied ahead.



Finally! The reschedule Mumford concert was here!

I've been waiting for this forever! And the weather was exceptionally awesome.
That's a lie. It was so humid that my blanket felt wet. Disgusting.

Holly ended up coming with us because B had an extra ticket. I even got to hang out with Jess like old times since she had bought a ticket with me months ago. Ah, the good ole days.

I got a little car sick on the drive to the woodlands and was ready to dive roll out of the car into traffic, but managed to hold on and not throw up. Wins for everyone.

Holls and I got in line before the gates opened and managed to get great seats on the lawn for the group.
Pre Mumford naps.
The opening acts were alright...even though I can't recall their name. And after hours (months, weeks, days) of waiting, Mumford finally took the stage! They sounded amazing!

My only disappointment is that they didn't play Babel.
I only expected it since it's the name of the album, tour, and a single.

And then they announced their break two weeks later. So this was kind of a surprise breakup tour.


Awesome & Awkward Friday

  • To say the last few weeks at work were overwhelming would be an understatement. So I was extra thrilled to not only have my boss back from vacation, but officially relocated to my office! (Seriously, Ang is the best.) I feel like my life is getting back to normal!
  • Holly came to bodyjam with me on Tuesday! 
  • Then she more willingly joined me for back, shoulders, and biceps on Wednesday. Unfortunately she gave herself food poisoning, so the workout was cut short.
  • Next week Vampire Diaries returns! Rewatched the last ep yesterday and forgot how lovely the Kloraline and Delena scenes were. Ohhhh love.
  • OMG. How has this not been mentioned in the first point? Dexter series finale? I die. Almost like Deb. I didn't not see that coming. I cried. Like ugly cried. It was too much. And then the show turned into Wolverine Origins. hmmmm. I felt very conflicted about it. BUT then I read some of the writers interviews about why/how they came up with the ending and now I feel at peace about it.
  • And finally...The Challenge: Rivals 2. Such a good season. I suppose that's actually code for a whole season of Wes and CT. And they won! It was a first for CT, and redemption for Wes because it's been a long while since he won. I was so thrilled to see that they overcame their animosity and are like friends now. It was beautiful!


Worst Blogger Ever

Alternately titled "Worst Computer Owner Ever."

So Mac is basically crapping out on me. Like the only things that works is the Internet. And barley. It's slow, and about 90% of websites freeze it up or don't load correctly (blogger being one of them.) It doesn't come back from this freezing and I end up having to force it off by holding down the off button.
Then? when he turns back on. It takes about an hour to boot up. We've had a very long relationship, so I'm not sure why he's betraying me now. (SMALL TEXT) might have something to do with all of the times I've dropped him. Maybe it's best that I don't have children.

In an attempt to revive him I figured I should probably update the operating system, because Steve had mentioned that a few months ago. I'll leave out the gory details of how I discovered this, but basically I'm two system behind.

I know.
I'm dumb.
Like, really, really, dumb.

But I did feel better when I texted B, and she didn't really know what I was talking about..but she's in the same boat with being behind.

I ordered Snow Leopard because I have to update to that before I can get Lion. And apparently it's best to back yo stuff up before doing the whole operating system upgrade thing...so now I need to get an external hard drive. Because yes, I am on the same page as Carrie Bradshaw with the whole backing up thing. Or just lazy and kept putting it off.

I've tried to do posts during my lunch break...but our internet switches between not loading it past the welcome page, to letting me type posts, but only in HTML and I don't really remember any of my basic coding knowledge.

In conclusion: my life is rough due to no fault of my own (obviously kidding)and I have been losing precious life memories since I haven't been able to record them.

(Today is one of the days that Mac is cooperating and letting me into blogger)

Yesterday I got an external hard drive...that mac freezes up on when I try to back up. After a few restarts and hours of giving him time to sort his stuff I said "eff it, let's just upgrade this biatch and hope nothing gets lost in the process." Yeah, Mac has been "finding disks" for the upgrade since yesterday.

I considered just buying a new macbook, but then realized that I actually want all of the stuff that's on my current one so I have to someone fix this one before moving on.

Technology. I hate you.

In (second) conclusion: I may have to take this old school and actually write (by hand) about my life. Do people even do that anymore? So don't worry about me. I'm not dead. I am socializing. I just am having relationship issues with Mac and his incompetencies.


Eye Gazing and Cinnamon Toast Cheesecake

Cole, Brittany, and Emma joined us for our monthly dinner at Kari's. It was so nice to have them there!

It was fun playing with the girls, watching their imaginations, and ability to make conversation. It's crazy getting to watch them grow these last 2 & 3 years. 

Britt & I snacked on some spinach dip while Kari prepped the kabobs. Ramiro also gave us some delish ceviche. I was hesitant to try it since I'm not big on seafood, but it was pretty good. I'm not saying I would ever request it, but I would eat it again. 

While the husbands grilled, Kari and I started discussing Mckayla's eye color...which lead to talking about our eyes. And then we shared a moment where we were about two inches away from each other inspecting the others eyes. It was romantic. 

Grandma had emailed me some new recipes, so I adapted one of them and brought Cinnamon Toast Cheesecake.

Cinnamon Toast Cheesecake
2 cans crescent rolls
2 (8oz) pkg cream cheese
1 c sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 stick of butter
Cinnamon sugar mix (1 tsp cinnamon + 1/2 c sugar)

  • Preheat oven to 350* and grease up an 8x8 pan.
  • Press 1 can crescent rolls in bottom and on sides.
  • Mix cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla until smooth, then spread on crescent rolls (I prefer less filing, so I had some left over).
  • Spread the second can of crescent rolls over the cheesecake filling.
  • Melt butter and pour on top, then cover with cinnamon sugar mix. 
  • bake for 30 min, then turn on the broiler for a sec to cook the top. (Keep an eye on it because it will burn quick!)



Awesome & Awkward Friday

  • Work, Freebirds, sleep. Yeah, that's basically been my week. 
  • One of my friends played golf with Draco this week. Unfortunately he's not a Harry Potter fan so he didn't get my references to Death Eaters. Who doesn't know about that stuff? 
  • Talked to Dad about dating and boys. He said that dating is like hunting: you set the bait and trap 'em. Similar to my theories.
  • USPS won't deliver my package. I always have things shipped to work, but this time they are saying there is something wrong with the address. I double checked what I put on the order, and it's our address. #annoyed
  • Yep, that's about it.


Sometimes I Surprise Myself

Friday was lunch club, but I didn't feel like meeting up with everyone because I was exhausted. Like I literally was having trouble talking. You know, mixing up words and stuttering more than usual.

After work I ran a few errands then planned to hit up Yogurtland and spend my night watching Twilight since it's been a while. I passed by the bar my co-workers were at, and before I knew it I was pulling into West End. We hung there for a bit, then decided to hit up KungFu.

I picked up Yogurtland, changed, picked up Rick, Holly, Fletch, Daniel, and Mike (the boys had a tight fit in the back of Matil), and headed to KungFu. Driving with a backseat full over overgrown boys that have been drinking for hours? was a nightmare. I wish I had constraints for all of them so it would have been a smoother driving experience. I really thought we were going to be pulled over because Daniel kept hitting my emergency lights. This is why Matil needs suicide doors.

The bar was unusually empty, so Holly and I played some arcade games. I beat her at Cruising The World twice, which really brought back memories from the days when Andrew and I would play that on our N64 for hours. AND we played the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle game. That game was one of my faves back from the og Nintendo days. After getting hit on by a group of guys my Dad's age, I took Rick and Holly home, then headed over the Pub Fiction for Kyle's bday.

Jes + Holly + Tara = BFF
I haven't seen Kyle since his last bday...I would like to add that he had also been living in Midland this past year. But since Croc gives me a hard time about not socializing enough, I figured I should make the effort since my other plans ended early. Kyle bowed out a little after 1 am, so Croc, Justin, and I stopped by the new bar next door, 3rd Floor. It was alright. I grabbed a table while they grabbed drinks and I guess you could say my milkshake brought all the boys to the yard that night because I managed to ended up with three randos at the table.

There's nothing like being hit on by Dad's and drunk boys in one night to make a girl feel like there are so many good options left out there. This is why I typically use the buddy system when out with Croc. He should have known better than to leave me alone. He knows I don't like strangers. Especially drunk strangers.

We shut the bar down and I grabbed dinner on the way home. You know, because eating at 3am is always a good idea. Probably should have had more than yogurtland for dinner so I wouldn't have been starving.


Wake Nation

After a few invites from Holls I finally sucked it up and went to Wake Nation with her & Rick.

To say I was terrified was an understatement. I don't like water. I'm not a strong swimmer since I haven't used those skills in years. I always get water up my nose despite blowing air out. I'm lacking coordination and balance.

I waited until the last min to RSVP yes, and I'm glad I did.

We get to Wake Nation, watch the video of how you will die, sign the waver, get our equipment, and hit the cables.

I'm impressed that I didn't cry since that's my typical go to fear response, and that I didn't break any bones.

I watched Holly rock the little bro like a pro as I mentally went over all of the tips the worker had been giving out.

I basically busted all the way down and back. At one point I wanted to request that I just be pulled in instead of put through the torture of trying to get up again.

My second run was better and I got up! Then I got scared, panicked, and busted.

My third run was alright, until I accidentally turned my board at the end, panicked and purposely fell becuase I was afraid I was going to turn it again and snap my leg in half. Holly thought I was trying to do a trick - I only wish I was that cool.

After that I was kind of over it. My back was already a little stiff, so I knew it was going to be a bit jacked up after the falls and opted to just watch the rest of the day.

I will def go back sometime and hopefully continue to not die.


And It's Not Even My Birthday

BUT It was.

The month leading up to my birthday I had my annual life crisis. You know the one: I'm not married, is this something that will happen, is this something that I even want to happen? And kids. Do I even want those? Am I running out of time? What am I doing with my life?

Don't worry, I pulled myself together by the time the big day rolled around and I am currently not experiencing too much anxiety about the above questions.

It was a wonderful day of celebrating me! Kara kicked it off with a midnight text. Dad called my on the way to work. Holly got me a balloon. Matthew got me a donut. Laura a card and macaroon towel that I considered trying to eat. I brought chocolate/chocolate cupcakes. Mom sent me texts, ecards, chocolate covered strawberries, cheesecake, and chocolate covered oreos. Bennida gave me a Christmas bag filled with Reese's and Asian candy. I also received cards from Ashley and Kate.

BUT the best gift award goes to B. She gave me a Husband Hunting kit that was loaded with inside jokes and encouragement. I'm glad she pointed out there was a card, otherwise I would have been a little lost.
Me & B

Jess, Amanda, and Mandy picked me up on the way to my bday dinner so I could catch them up on the last 7 days of my life and such.

After a two hour wait, and Rick working his magic, we were finally seated. It was so nice to have most of my favorite people there.

Our first bar stop was Shot Bar. Typical. Between Amanda, Taffan, and the randos, I managed to have about 7 shots in about 30 min and promptly cut myself off for the night.
Me & Holly (Thanks for the photo Amanda)

At Wonderbar I slammed 4 waters and thought I was going to throw up. Unfortunately I didn't...and ended up sending myself home before midnight.

Matthew was kind enough to get me home safely - which was needed because I remember having trouble recalling my address...and not being able to unlock the door. Def one of my prouder moments. I remember most of our conversation, questions, and answers on the ride home because I was trying so hard to focus...so I hope I'm not blocking out anything awkward that I may have done. Because, let's face it, I'm awkward and straight forward enough without drinking.

Once inside I promptly went to bed, laid across it, and passed out. I woke about an hour later when Mike randomly called me. I think I may have answered "Hello. This is Jessica. Jessica Aragon. Did you mean to call me?" We don't usually talk, so I needed to verify. It was a good convo, but I think I was a little snide with some of my comments. I didn't expect that because I don't have any animosity when it comes to him.

The next day I texted B and she picked me up for breakfast...because I was still drunk.

It was a great birthday...and a reminder of why I typically opt out of drinking.

26 was good, but I think this year will be even better!


Awesome & Awkward Friday

And the silence is broken!

  • I cook ever week, but it doesn't typically go beyond my weekly meal prep of baked chicken and veggies. But Sunday I was feeling extra crazy and made this. Delish! Make it asap.
  • And then I got extra extra cray and made this Monday night. Welcome back old Jes, I sure have missed you!
  • Anyone else watching Dexter? Who do you think the killer is? A lot of the new characters seem super sketch this season, but I'm still betting on Dr. Vogel. 
  • That awkward moment when you are watching the final scene from last weeks Teen Wolf and you start to get choked up because it's so beautiful done, and the music is really bringing the emotion...then you realize that you don't actually watch this show so you have no idea what's going on. Then the next ep start in an all white room that's reminiscent of Harry Potter because three of the main Teen Wolf characters just died to make a sacrifice and you are half expecting to see fetus Voldy, but instead it's a tree stump, and you are like whaaaa? Because once again, you don't actually watch this show.
  • Had a movie date with Holly Thursday night. Mortal Instraments...I just can't. The previews caught my attention, but I wasn't buying into the story.


Gavin DeGraw, The Script, Train

I love Gavin and have been dying to see him since I couldn't make his last tour stop in Houston two years ago.

The concert was in The Woodlands on a friday...so by the time I battled traffic and the parking sitch I missed Gavin. I was heartbroken! I got to hear him sing a few songs on the walk from the lost to the pavillion, but as soon as I got seated he gave the whole "Thanks for having me Houston" and I gave my Oedipus "Whyyyyyyyyyy" face.

I do like The Script and Train....but I don't think I own any of their whole albums.

I was plesantly surprised when I knew all but a few songs from both. They both put on a good show, great sound, and was a wonderful way to spend my Friday night.

My only complaint is that I don't love all of Train's new stuff, but had to sit through every last song before they rewarded me with Drop Of Jupiter during the encore.

It was well worth the wait!

And then I got a little lost on the way back to my car. This would be the only time that I get scared about going to concerts alone.