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Tuesday, January 30, 2018

blogging the bach 22.5

who's watching-we started with the regular Monday night crew and quickly lost Alicia and Megan. Shawn and Gene joined us for part of the time.

date 1-one on one with Chelsea-the predictable boat date. Does anyone wonder why all the girls are watching Chelsea and Arie makeout. They go to dinner and talk about Chelsea's past relationship. He gives her the rose, and they walk out to a private concert. 

date 2-Group date with everyone besides the one on ones. There's not a moment to spare. The date starts with Arie licking his bowling ball and we all gag. They start bowling and then the competition starts. Celsey tells us she has her own bowling ball and was on a bowling league at one time. One team wins. Arie invites the winners and losers to the evening party. They go back to get ready and Krystal comes out in a bathrobe, throws a fit, and gets what she wants-time with Arie except the time doesn't go how she wants. He basically gives her a timeout. She doesn't care and comes down anyway. Arie spends time with several girls. Kystal is back in her robe. Lauren gets the rose.

date 3-one on one with Tia. They get on a little boat and see an alligator. They get to a little cabin. They eat a bunch of fried food and Amanda and I gasp at the same time at the fried frog legs. They have dinner. Tia says she is falling in love with Arie. They makeout, and she gets the rose.

cocktail party/rose ceremony-I don't think Kendall will end up with Arie, but I do like what she says and how she says it. Krystal has a few one on one conversations with some of the girls. Arie is not having her shenanigans. 

who's left-Chelsea, Lauren, Tia, Bekah, Sienne, Kendall, Becca K, Jaqueline, Jenna, Krystal

word tally
tear tally-4

Krystal is still there The end!

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Friday, January 26, 2018

January Happs 

Christmas break literally feels like yesterday, yet here we are at the last few days of January. This might be one of my favorite January’s ever. The weather has been amazing. That will likely be a problem in the summer, but I’m enjoying it for now. 

I rarely watch movies-in the theater or at home, but there was so much hype about The Greatest Showman. I was excited when Becky’s friends decided to go see it. It was a fun night with good friends. The movie was good. The music and choreography are amazing! There was so much build up to the movie-probably too much build up. I liked it. I would see it again but probably not a few days later. 

January has been dance mom month. The Lancelles had 2 competitions and regionals. They are crazy talented and bring so much good energy. They are so fun to watch and a great team to support. 

I ordered this black charcoal peel off mask from Groupon. Mandi and I were hanging out one night and decided to try it. It’s a fun mask to do with a friend because it really is kind of funny. 

Brittany, Mandi, and I finally got together for dinner. It’s been a while since we’ve seen each other. We had so much fun catching up. 

Instead of a Christmas gift exchange Sage, Tiffany, and Michelle went to afternoon tea at the Grand America. We had the best time dressing up, drinking tea and the best hot chocolate of my life, eating yummy food, and making plans to do more fancy things. It was a cold winter day and the perfect day for afternoon tea. 

We got quite a bit of snow the same weekend as tea at the Grand. It seemed like winter blew in with full force and blew back out as fast as it came in. 

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Christmas 2017

I spent Christmas in California with Chelsea and her family again this year. It is much more fun to be where the kids are. Hopefully one of these years all the family will be able to be together, but it is hard with so many people and everyone being scattered everywhere.

I went the day before my birthday so I got to celebrate with them. I think the kids were more excited for my birthday than I was. We had a fun time going out to dinner and seeing Christmas lights.

We spent a lot of time on the trampoline. Kenzie is old enough to jump although the older kids still want to jump higher than she does.

I wish Christmas Eve was always on Sunday. We went to church, had a pretty low key afternoon, and had dinner with some of their friends.

After dinner we looked at lights. We came home and opened pajamas and acted out the Christmas story.

Karlee and Kenzie both wanted to be Mary.

We had a fun morning opening Christmas presents. The kids loved everything and made it really fun.

We got brave and made a turkey and homemade rolls. They turned out ok, but we could definitely use a little more practice.

Karlee was so excited for her chokers and JoJo bow.

We played some games.

and all took a turn with tiny hands and laughed and laughed

Kenzie really liked my diet coke-oops

I had a great visit. I'm lucky to have a job that gives me a Christmas break so I can spend a decent amount of time with family.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

an inspirational story

Once Recovering Alcoholic, Now Entrepreneur

Over the course of our lives, as the years progress many things can change but you remain essentially the same person. I, however, feel that at this point have lived more than one life. It took the death of the old me to be reborn into a life worth appreciating where I get to make a positive impact in my life and others as well.

My name is Andy and as of now I’ve been sober for almost 7 years, even just writing it feels almost otherworldly, an overwhelming sensation comes to me when I reflect on that fact but it definitely was not easy, far from it. As I said, it took the death of me to be born again into this great life.

The Encounter

I was born in Colombia, but my family and I moved to Southern California in the mid-80’s; growing up in SoCal was awesome. My folks were both incredibly super hard working and they did nothing but provide for me and my little brother and sister.

My faithful encounter was with alcohol and happened when I was only 12 years old. You see, as colombians when my family would throw a party they would do it big, invite tons of people, with even greater amounts of food and, of course, a tons of alcohol too. Colombians absolutely love an anise-based alcohol beverage that they call Aguardiente (it’s a portmanteau of the spanish words for Burning Water), somewhat similar to vodka with much flavor and acidity. I was absolutely mesmerized watching the seemingly positive effect having this drink was having on the adults, every single time they would do shots of it they would scream and shout in celebration, my curiosity was running wild and really wanted to find out what was so special about this funny smelling water. I sneaked around when everyone was dancing or too busy stuffing food in their mouth to pay attention to me and had a zip off a glass; the taste was strong but I became completely enchanted by the sensation it gave me. Many years would pass before I realized that was the night where my spiraling descent began.

How it Continued

My teen years where were filled with a lot of consumption and experimentation. I continued to sneak around having alcohol at parties or when hanging with school friends. At 14 I tried marihuana for the first time and the same thing happened as with alcohol, I loved the feeling and kept consuming on a constant basis throughout the years. Then at 19 years old I tried Meth, this would prove to ultimately be the beginning of my end. I ran absolutely wild with drugs and alcohol for about 4 years, and went as far as to start selling it just to get my hands on it easier while making a buck (ok, tons of bucks). Until life caught up with me and I was arrested at 23 years old with the charges of possession and intent of distribution, put on trial and sentenced for 2 years in prison because it was my first offense. At the time it felt like hitting rock bottom.

While in prison I was introduced to both the Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA) programs. At first going to these meeting was just a way of killing time, this is prison after all and there wasn’t much to do, but that was the extent of me in the meetings, going; I wouldn’t utter a single word and would hardly listen what others were sharing. To me it was nothing but nonsense and I had convinced myself I did not had a problem. As time went by I kept going to the meetings and some of the stories the inmates were sharing started to resonate with me.

There was one that really touched me, an older guy who used to be a physician stood up and share his story about how his angers and rage fueled by drugs and alcohol ultimately destroyed the life he had with his wife, the love of his life; he shared that no matter how hard she try to support him and be there for him and how she blamed herself thinking she was guilty for his behavior, ultimately she came to his senses and abandoned him. To hear of this person’s story made me realize how I absolutely didn’t want to lose the one woman I love and loves me, my mother.

One Last Fall

When I was finally released my outcome on life had changed but there were still several foundations that needed to be shattered and I would learn this the hard way, and even though I was still attending AA/NA meetings it wasn’t long before I relapsed several time. I decided the best course of action was to check into a rehab center in Boise, Idaho. By this point in time I was 26 drenched in shame and lacking a focal point, so I went the route of the prodigal son after exiting the rehab center and moved back with my parents in California, there I got a job as a salesman selling knock-off products, mostly colognes and perfumes. And I was good, very good at it.

Once again, you cannot learn of things while they’re undergoing it’s only through retrospective that we learn. I became a very proficient salesman, to the point that I even earned my very own office space and was training people to sell the knock-offs, I needed to be the best, sell the most and show the most impressive results. It became very apparent very quickly that I was obsessed about it, sometimes even skipping meals and neglecting my friends and family to focus on the work. This was my true rock bottom, the realization that I wasn’t cured of my disease, I wasn’t sober at all for I had simply exchanged drugs and alcohol for work.


Thanks to an AA sponsor, I enrolled in a community college course about HTML and Website Design, I’ve always had a liking for computers and internet. This was the beginning of my rebirth, my old self had been beaten bloody so hard, but that was necessary for me to experience a new age, go back to school if you will. As part of that new journey I decided to revisit my roots and travel to Colombia. I fell in love with my natal city and decided to settle and create a business here.

Fast forward 7 years and I’m now the proud owner of a profitable Online Marketing Agency where we provide great online services to many US companies. The staff in the agency doesn’t work for me, they work with me and have become my family, as a matter of fact my younger brother followed me to Colombia and works with me.

I now understand that everything that went down in all those years of my life, needed to to in order to give me the sight and vision to follow a path where I can positively impact other people’s lives and by extension my own. Having a clear focus and an incredible support group give me the confidence to say: Sobriety is Awesome!

Thanks you for taking the time to read my story.

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blogging the bach 22.4

who's watching: Monday night tradish is back tonight. Everyone has been so sick so we haven't been able to get together this season. We have Celsey, Shawn, Megan, Rem, Amanda, Alicia, and me.

My computer took forever-like half the show-to update. I stayed on top of the tally, but I didn't work on this post until near the end.

Date 1-one-on-one with Sienne. They had a good time. They had some good conversation. Race comes up for the first time that I remember this season. Sienne says she didn't grow up with love stories with girls like her. Arie gives her the rose and they dance to a concert of people we have never heard of. Half of us know the song and the other half of us do not.

Date 2-group date. The date starts with wilderness survival. Arie almost has the girls (mostly Jacqueline) convinced to drink their own urine. We all gasp. They eat bugs and have to find their way out of the wilderness. They eventually end up at giant hot tub. Most of the girls have a really good time except Krystal who really struggles with the date. She cries and tells Arie her feelings are hurt and thinks she will for sure get the rose. She has a talking to with Caroline and Tia. Tia opens up to Arie about her feelings and gets the rose.

Date 3-one-on-one with Bekah. They ride horses to a random hot tub. They talk about their chemistry while all the girls back home talk about her age. Arie knows she is young but doesn't realize how young. They have a conversation about being ready and age and for a quick second it seems like he isn't sure what he is going to do. He gives her the rose, and it seems like she is going to stick around for a while.

Cocktail Party/Rose Ceremony-Krystal has advice for everyone. She has a lot to say, and then Chris Harrison announces there is no cocktail party. The rose ceremony is about to start, but Krystal needs to talk to Arie first.

Who's left-Seinne, Tia, Bekah, Lauren, Kendall, Ashley, Becca K, Chelsea, Jenna, Jaqueline, Marikh, Krystal

Word Tally
tear tally-5

The show ends with previews for next week and some clips of conversations. Chelsea is pro glam and a former model.

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Friday, January 19, 2018

one little word-January 2018

We're more than 2 weeks into 2018, and I am finally sharing my one little word and goals for the year. Being a week behind is a perfect introduction to my word for the year. 2016 taught me to focus on the things that were important and stop making excuses for those things. 2017 helped me embrace the current season of my life and acknowledge that I had to make a time and place for my highest priorities and let some things fall to the back burner. As I thought about my word for 2018, it just came to me one day a few months ago.
In 2018 I want to fill my life with things and people I LOVE and let things go that I do not love. I want to show more LOVE to others and accept more LOVE. I want my life to be full of LOVE.

*attend temple 12 times
*send birthday and other cards monthly
*nightly gratitude journal
*love my body by continuing health and fitness goals
*monthly savings/budget goal to be more accountable for my spending and save more

*#nojunkjanuary-after eating any and everything I wanted during the holidays, it is time to clean things up
*2 workouts 3x/week-gym and pure barre
*read Loving What Is 5 minutes before bed
*off phone by 10:30
*fun money in cash each paycheck

Do you choose a word or theme for the year? Or set goals or resolutions?

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Wednesday, January 17, 2018

December Happs2

December is one of my favorite months of the year. I love the hustle and bustle and magic of Christmas. It's my birthday month. People in general are happy. Holiday parties provide an opportunity to catch up with friends. It's great. December 2017 was no exception.

The Generation Gap holiday party was early in the month since things tend to get really busy.

Sarah and I went to a really fun craft night at Close to My Heart. We learned all about their current and new products, enjoyed a hot chocolate bar, and made a cute craft. They sent us home with some really cool swag that I am loving.

Kids on the Move held their annual fundraising breakfast. Several former directors were in attendance and it was great to catch up with them. I also remembered that this sweater does not photograph well.

The tradition of a monthly Friday lunch with co-workers continued. Sometimes we have a few, and sometimes we have more. The December lunch was well attended and a lot of fun.

We had our annual Girl's Night Out party hosted by Kristi and Megan. This year's theme was FOMO millenials. We concluded we are all too old to be considered millenials. The white elephant gifts were as funny as ever. The sushi burrito menu was perfect. We had a fun night of laughs.

For our December bookclub meeting we brought books for next year as our gifts to each other. We talked more about instant pot recipes than books. We are reading young adult this year so there is a chance we might start talking about books again, but more than likely it will still be more club than book.

I celebrated my birthday with friends and again with family and it was perfect (except the getting older part).

The year ended with the most low key NYE celebration. Celsey and I thought about planning a party, but it never happened. Although it was just Celsey, and Shawn, her parents, and me, we had enough food to feed a small army. We ate snacks, relaxed in the hot tub, and rang in the new year a little early. It was a lot of fun.

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