I Left My Heart in Santa Barbara

16 May

This blog is going to make you happy.

Stop whatever you are doing right now and read it.

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I’m taking a long weekend to spend time with the love of my life in my favorite city, Santa Barbara.  The car is packed.  We are ready to start our journey up the 5.  Before I begin on our adventure though I feel like an official blog about Vogel’s Happiness Project is long overdue since my journal is bursting!

My journal has proven to single handedly pull me out of low spirits time and time again.  No matter how low I am feeling, I can always find a happy moment in my day.  There is always something to be appreciative of.  Here are my top ten…

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TEN

The Earth Day Fair at Balboa Park was a day full of non-stop smiles.  Smalls and I have an ongoing joke whenever we are taking full advantage of the amazing city we live that the activity we are enjoying warrants an “SDFYEAH”.  If there was a meter on our day, it would have been off the charts.  We started the day by biking to the Hillcrest Farmers Market.  We enjoyed a little Giant’s baseball in the afternoon.  We then joined in on Earth Day fun at Balboa Park.  We closed the evening off with a BBQ at The Tree House.  Totally SDFYEAH all the way!  There were many amazing pictures capturing the all fun but the one of us sitting on The Tree House kitchen counter is my fave without a doubt.

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NINE

My Birthday was fabulous.  My friends and family sure know how to make a gal feel special on the anniversary of the day she was born. We toasted my thirty-one-derful-ness with two nights of Giants games. My name even flashed upon the right field screen at Petco Park.  Having company season tickets really does have its perks.  Even though the Giants got swept by the Padres I still had a great time.  Also, as I have said before, they always lose on my Birthday.  I’m fine with it…as long as they win it all at the end of the year.  GIGANTES!  Thank you to Smalls, Pedro, Bets, Brigid, Aaric, Chow, and Jez (& Mike too) for making the birthday baseball fun muy fantastico!

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EIGHT

Mike and I have made a point recently to make how we spend our time together count.  We can get a bit lazy sometimes (we have been dating for a very long time now).  We both love to explore San Diego.  When we get out and try new things we find a special zest for life together.  My favorite date night recently involved a bike ride through Balboa Park during Sunset.  We ended the night chatting next to the fountain.  It was just a really nice night with my guy.

When we were moving to San Diego I was not familiar with any of the neighborhoods Mike was pushing us to call our home.  I even inquired about how parking would be living next to a popular tourist attraction.  I’m glad he took the bull by the horns and pushed me to live where we do.  It’s allowed us to make so many magical memories.

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SEVEN

The weekend following my birthday turned into a super fun time.  My girlfriend, Chow, came to SD from Orange County for some fun in the sun.  Even though it wasn’t sunny while she was here we still had a great visit.  I genuinely enjoyed catching up with her.  She moved out of the country for two years for work and it was so weird having her away.  Now that she is back, I feel as if she never left.  I took her to my favorite bar in University Heights, Small Bar.  Girl time is good for the soul.

My journal also highlighted back to back nights of fun with the Hickerson Brothers the same weekend.  I had the pleasure of Aaric’s company for Cinco de Mayo.  We dined on very American fajita’s to celebrate the very American holiday (GASP! Cinco de Mayo is not celebrated in Mexico).  The following evening, Aaron alerted me to the fact that tickets I had to the Aziz Ansari Buried Alive comedy show were in fact not on Wednesday as my brain thought for some reason.  I’m so grateful he texted me asking us to go to dinner on Monday night.  I would have felt really dumb come Wednesday all dressed up with nowhere to go.  Aziz Ansari is HILARIOIUS.  I laughed until I cried and almost fell out of my chair several times.  You know that laugh where you are laughing so hard there is no sound?  That was so me.

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SIX

It is known that I am an incredibly passionate individual.  It is a blessing and a curse at the same time.  I wear my heart on my sleeve.  It takes a lot to get me to a place of anger though.  I really have to be pushed.  When I snap it isn’t pretty.  A major issue happened at work that made me see red.  I was not happy and I made it known.  Thankfully, I work at a company that values culture above all.  The wrong has been more than corrected and all is right in the land of gap again.  I’m so grateful to work at a company that cares so much and values its employee’s opinions.  I’m back on the Kool-Aid and it’s just as delicious as ever.  Culture first and culture always.  Being accountable for a mistake is something to admire and applaud.  Snaps to gap for being gap-tastic!

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FIVE

A large part of the reason I love my job so much is because of the people I have the pleasure of working with each day.  I spend more time at work during any given week than anywhere else.  I feel blessed that I call my coworkers friends.  They are a remarkably fun group.  I made a point to support my coworker/friend/blogger inspiration, Betsylife, at her bake sale in support of No Kid Hungry.  We stocked up on all sorts of yummy treats including her famous Somoa Bundt Cake.

Last Friday evening, the ladies of gap decided it was time for a night out on the town at Arclight Cinemas in La Jolla for a movie.  We enjoyed Baz Luhrmann’s the Great Gatsby in 3D.  It was a so good.  I loved it!  If only my girlfriend did not wake up with pink eye from the 3D glasses the next day, it would have been a perfect night out (not to worry, she has fully recovered).

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FOUR

Despite my RDdetox concluding I’m proud to say that I have still been hitting the gym hard.  I have allowed myself to be a bit more relaxed on my diet.  However, I have not fallen back into the habit of more is more.  It makes me so happy to feel my jeans getting roomier.  I’m committed to making healthy choices.  I’m proud of myself for not dropping the ball.  It’s so easy to fall back into bad habits.  With the weather warming up in San Diego I’m excited to put on my bikini and soak up some sunshine.  I’ve already been getting vitamin D while enjoying the view at beautiful Bird Park.  I live for San Diego summers.  San Diego is paradise.

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THREE

This Mother’s Day I felt very appreciative of the amazing women that have shaped me and made me.  Not everyone is super close with their Mom.  I call my Mom my best friend.  Many friends of mine definitely do not have a good relationship with their Step Mom.  I have a great relationship with mine.  It was easy showering both my Mom and Cyn with praise and love on Mother’s Day because each of them fully deserve it.

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TWO

I wrote a blog last week to honor my best friend, Sarah Hurth.  This blog had four times as many views as I am used to.  This made me happy beyond belief.  Sarah always loved to be the center of attention; she lite up like a Christmas tree when the focus was on her.  It’s fitting on her “angel-versary” for her to be celebrated in the blogosphere and it touched me deeply that so many people took the time to read.  It brought me great happiness to hear that her family appreciated the blog so much.  It especially made me happy that Sarah’s Sister, Jenny, loved the blog.  Jenny misses her sister every moment of everyday because not only is she an only child now but her son and daughter will never get to have Sarah as an Auntie in their lives.  She would have loved them beyond words.  A moment of peace in a heart full of heartache is all we are granted sometimes.  My blog being able to give a bit of joy on a day so sad made my heart smile.

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ONE

Mike and I have two super duper fantastic trips planned over the next two weeks.  We are going to begin our fun in Santa Maria with my Grandparents.  Mike and my Grandpa are going to get into lots of trouble golfing.  I’m going to enjoy some long overdue quality time with my Grandma Q.

After a quick trip to Santa Maria we will be off to Santa Barbara to toast 60 years of awesomeness with Diamond Dee.  Mike’s best friend from college, Marco Polo, is a very rare breed because he is actually from Santa Barbara.  We became super close with Marco’s family after an exceptionally fun Easter Sunday dinner many moons ago.  Marco’s Mom, Diamond Dee, is turning 60 and she has planned a series of celebrations to toast this milestone.  I’m so excited to spend time with her.  When we met we instantly clicked.  I just adore her (Happy Birthday, Dee)!

Sidebar…I’m so excited to spend time with Mike in Santa Barbara.  Going back to where it all began is just so fun.  We have so many fun memories there.  I’m looking forward to sneaking in time at a few of our old haunts.  It’s a just a great city to fall in love.  We are so lucky that our romance started in such a beautiful place.

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Memorial Day weekend will be spent in San Jose with a very special guest of honor.  My Grandma V. made the four day journey by train from Missouri to San Jose to meet her Great Grandson, Master Peyton.  I figure if she can make the four day journey, Mike and I can make the hour and ten minute plane ride.  I’m looking forward to seeing her interact with Peyton.  It will be something to cherish.  Of course I am super duper over the top EXCITED to see Peyton.  I am obsessed with him so any time with his handsome lil’ face will be time well spent.  It will also be Mike’s first time meeting Peyton face to face.  I apologize in advanced for the pics.  Expect one or two or twenty.

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Top ten done!  BOOM!  I have one last thing to share with you.  It’s something simple but awesome.  Next time you see a rose, stop and literally smell it.  It sounds silly but it’s an instant mood booster.  My office roomie brought me roses from her garden and the intoxicating smell made me happy all week.  Now, every time I pass a rose bush I take a moment to breathe it in.  You should do it too.  I swear, it’s a game changer.

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Hope you all are finding happiness in your life.

Take a moment.  Pause.  Reflect.  Be Happy.

Thank you for reading.

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