Thursday, December 25, 2008

The Christmas letter that almost was

Due to some technical difficulties, my first Christmas letter didn't make its way into circulation this year. Perhaps I'll be more successful next year. For your enjoyment, here's what I would have sent you if my computer hadn't quit on me for a week and a half. Merry Christmas!

December 2008

Dear Friends and Family,

Merry Christmas! I appreciate the tradition of reconnecting with loved ones through cards and letters this time of year as we celebrate the birth of the Savior. Here’s a status update along with a wish for a very merry Christmas to all my friends and family. This has been quite the year for me as I’ve started a new chapter in my life: divorced Mormon triathlete. I’m still trying to figure it all out.

The highlight of my summer was my Sister Vacation. In June, I told my friends I was tired of the Riverside heat, so I was going to visit my sisters… in Phoenix and Las Vegas. I spent some time in Phoenix with Tamara reconnecting and reminiscing as we worked on getting things ready for her wedding. Then I headed to Las Vegas where I discovered my sister Andrea had grown into a beautiful, talented and accomplished young woman. After twenty-something years, I could finally get past the fact that she stole my mother’s lap. We had a great time running errands completing projects, and eating frozen custard.

With the support of my friend Taylor and her family, I started the addictive life style of a triathlete. They introduced me to power gel, Wright socks, and the art of squeezing into a wet suit. My first race was at Camp Pendleton in August where I swam 500 m in the ocean, biked 30 K and ran 5 K in 1 hour 59 minutes and 40 seconds, barely meeting my goal time by 20 seconds. I had an amazing cheering section!

I finally made the step into the blogosphere this year and began a few blogs, but only after reading a book about blogging. You can follow my triathlon training, my cooking adventures, and me all from the comfort of your computer. I’ve enjoyed reconnecting with friends and cousins through their blogs.

My bishop found out that I play the piano, and now I’m accompanying the children at church. I’m trying to whip my fingers into shape after a seven year hiatus from piano playing. Each week gets easier, but my fingers are quite stubborn and just don’t want to play the right notes. When I was sustained in front of the congregation, my friend whispered to me I didn’t know you could play the piano. I whispered back Shh, don’t tell anyone: it’s a secret. I think the cat’s out of the bag.

This year has brought me closer to my girl friends. Stephanie has served as a great sounding board. I cherish our weekly conversations at our favorite coffee shop. She has an art for giving perspective and encouraging me. Adriana is my social coordinator and can be counted on for a classy, entertaining evening filled with informed dialogue. Asia has helped smooth my transition back to church. I’m comforted to know that I have a seat on her pew and can count on her for a smile and hug at any time. Taylor is my inspiration for joining the triathlon scene. She has taught me how to run, swim, and bike with joy and enthusiasm.

The Carty family has been amazing as they’ve welcomed me into their home. I truly appreciate living in a home with a family. They’ve made sure I feel like a family member rather than just a renter. They even tolerate my piano practicing.

I hope that this letter finds you well as you celebrate this Christmas season.

Take care,

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Bike ride views

I have found my passion: I love cycling. Like a kid on Christmas morning, I can hardly wait for the sun to rise on Saturdays so I can go for my ride. One of my favorite rides takes me through the orange groves in Riverside and along the Gage canal. Here are some pictures from a recent ride.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

The quest for a new soundtrack

Since I purged my iTunes library of the more angsty music that has been filling my ears for the last few years, I need to invest some time (and money) in developing a new score for my life. Last night I took the time to explore Pandora. (Yes, I'm WAY behind the times). I've been so dependent on others for music recommendations over the years. Discovering my own style is a new adventure for me.

Here's a few highlights from my first foray with Pandora.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Some holiday festivities

Santa JocelynThis is what happens when I stay home from work with a cold in December: click here for some silliness. 


Send your own ElfYourself eCards

Monday, December 1, 2008

Raindrops keep falling on my head (or why I should stick to minding my own business)

Usually, I’m quite successful at minding my own business. I go to the gym. I work out. I shower and go about my day. Spending the week of Thanksgiving with my family tempted me to mind other people’s business. As you can imagine, it didn’t turn out as expected.

There Tamara was minding her own business, working hard at the gym, when along comes her younger sister (yep, that’s me). Seeing that Tamara was working hard on a weight machine all by herself and knowing that free weights are far superior, I generously offered to spot as she bench pressed. Why use a machine when you have a willing spotter? You must keep in mind that I had already finished my workout and was a bit sweaty. So as I stood over her and the bar, what do you think happens? A large drop of sweat rolls off my face, right into her mouth. After a look of dread and astonishment, we giggle, wipe my face, and start the next set only to have this repeated again with the sweat dripping right into her eye. Having your own sweat sting your eyes is bad enough, but your younger sister’s sweat?!?!

Fortunately Tamara was a good sport, but that was the end of my spotting career. I ought to stick to minding my own business.