Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Bliss

I promise I'm trying hard not to become one of those bloggers who starts dating someone and then loses the ability to talk about anything else.

But things with Chris are so great. So, so great.

The other night, I met his kids. Did I mention he has kids?

No?

He does.

He shares custody of his 11-year-old son and 7-year-old daughter and I officially met them this weekend. And I instantly adored them. They are cute and funny and smart and just absolutely delightful.

Although I was happy to spend some alone time with Chris, I was a little bit sad when bedtime came because it meant I couldn't goof off with the kids anymore for the evening.

I've always loved children and have generally been pretty good with them. But there's something extra special about these two. I'm sure their dad has something to do with it.

It's a funny thing. Timing.

One area of my life is all in turmoil and upheaval right now. I don't know where I'll be working six months from now, but hopefully somewhere that I am more appreciated, valued, and able to use my talents for more than unsnagging pesky technical issues.

(And I don't even work in Tech Support.)

Things on the job front could be better. Things on the job front WILL BE better because I'm actively seeking new opportunities and I trust that something is on the horizon. I don't know what it is, but I know it will be great.

But outside of work? I have no complaints. Life is wonderful. Just one beautiful ray of light after another. It's like my whole world has suddenly been illuminated and all the things that used to scare me in the dark suddenly take on the shapes of the familiar and friendly and good.

Does this post even make the slightest bit of sense?

I feel like I'm rambling nonsense and I don't even care.

I suppose love will do that to people.

Yes, I said it. I'm in love.



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Monday, September 29, 2014

"Come over here! I want you to meet some Great People!"

(A million bonus points if you know where that quote is from.)

Hello, friends!

You might have noticed that space is starting to fill up over there under "Sponsors."

It's pretty exciting for me, I must admit.

And I realized that I really need to do something for the lovely ladies that are sponsoring this here blog. Which means I'm introducing them to you today.

You are in for a treat because they are seriously awesome. Like, Angels-are-gonna-win-the-World-Series awesome.

So I asked them each to introduce themselves to you, and then I asked them what their favorite and most overrated things are about fall. I hope you enjoy getting to know them and following them to their various social media accounts. Because they are awesome.

Did I already say that?




Falling in love with fall is tough for me because I am a summer girl through and through. I do love my weekly crockpot comfort meals that come with cooler temps along with a less chaotic schedule. I think all of the pumpkin spice everythings are completely overrated. Sure, who doesn't love pumpkin...but does it have to be included in EVERYTHING?




Miss Angie//My So-Called Chaos

Instagram

Twitter

Pinterest

Facebook


Love - I LOVE going for a walk in the park when the leaves are changing. It's lovely!

Overrated - Hay rides. Who actually does that? And if people actually do that, aren't they all itchy after? I mean I grew up hauling hay, and that stuff isn't that nice when you get it in your bra.






Tayler//The Morrell Tale

Twitter

Facebook

Instagram

Pinterest


I love cooking pumpkin everything! Pumpkin pies, chocolate chip pumpkin cookies, pumpkin bread! 

But, I think pumpkin spice lattes and pumpkin spice shakes are overrated and actually gross.



Love: FESTIVALS! There are so many and they're all fun.
Overrated: Leaves. You have to rake them.


Aren't they fabulous?

So go visit them and say hello. Getting to know them will definitely be a good use of your time!

And one last order of business, I wanted to let you know that I'm offering a special for October. Use promo code TREAT to get a small sized ad (125X125) for just $1! Advertise your blog, your services, your Etsy shop, etc.

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Saturday, September 27, 2014

TV, Self-Love, Feminism, and Productive Blogging--The Weekly Roundup

Hello, friends!

It's time for another weekly round up of awesome posts I read this week. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did.

The Weekly Round-Up

The Anatomy of a TV Show--Lauren from Lot 48 broke down how a TV show gets from concept to your flat screen. It's a really interesting read, especially since she writes from her personal experience.

A Little Self-Reflection: I am Loved--Nina from The Grand Adventures of Me shared her thoughts about being loved even when she feels unlovable. It's infinitely relate-able. At least it was for me.

Does All of You Love All of You?--I must be in need of some self-induced TLC this week because Sarah of Venus Trapped in Mars wrote this post about loving yourself in spite of (because of?) your flaws and it also hit home.

These Things Really Make My Inner Feminist All Ranty--Miss Angie (co-host of this here blog hop) from My So-Called Chaos wrote a great rant about an article that basically degrades women for their wardrobe choices while also pretending to be about supporting women and body image. I found myself nodding right along.

Emma Watson, feminism, and thoughts from my college advisor--Lisa Jakub also wrote about feminism, but this was in responsive support of Emma Watson's UN speech this week. Anything that makes my inner feminist cheer is a good thing.

Manage a productive blog (and not waste time blogging)--Tiffany from The Dwelling Tree shared a list of ideas for how to make blogging time productive and how to get things done. For starters, take a break from social media! (Thanks, Tiffany, for writing this list just for me!)

So that's what I've got this week. What are some posts you are loving?

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Friday, September 26, 2014

It's the Playoffs, yo! Here's your guide to the Fall Classic.

My Angels are in the playoffs, baby!

It's an exciting year for my team. The team I've loved since the ripe old age of three when my dad took me to a game against the Kansas City Royals and I stole his co-worker's hat.

To say I'm dedicated is a bit of an understatement.

Put it this way. Last week Chris and I snuck off to Las Vegas for a couple of days. And did we play the slots? Check out the table action? Take in a show?

Nope.

We sat in the sports book and watched the Angels clinch a spot in the play offs. And then we watched them clinch their division.

(Clinch=win=happy Karen)

Anyway, that's just how we roll. We go to Vegas to watch local sports on the TV. We are awesome.

(And I 100% mean it!)

Anywho, this is the first year that I have ever in the history of my life gone to Spring Training. I went with Laura back in March and we had a blast. And I watched my boys out there in the Arizona sunshine and knew I was seeing something special. This was a team with the potential to go all the way.


And then April came and, as is usual with the boys from Orange County, they slumped and got injured and didn't play so well and a lot of people were calling for Manager Mike Scoscia's head.

It happens every year.

And then we got better.

Just as we do every year.

And no one is complaining now because we're going to the playoffs, baby!

And I'm probably going to be talking about the play offs a lot over the next couple of weeks. So I thought I would just give a quick little rundown of what this business is all about and how it works.


First up, there's the ALDS or the American League Division Series.

(There's also the NLDS for the National League, but we don't need to talk about them...)

Four teams make it into the series. There are three divisions, the West, East, and Central. To round out the fourth team, there is one wild card that makes it.

(The wildcard used to just be whatever team had the next best record but didn't win their division. Now there's a one game playoff between the top two next-best teams, which is kind of lame.)

The ALDS is a best of 5 series, which means that the first team to win 3 games out of 5 wins the Division Series and moves on to the next round.

The team with the best record plays the wildcard team. And then the 2nd best team plays the 3rd best team.

So far, the Angels have the best record in all of baseball and will be playing the wildcard team. Unless the Baltimore Orioles pull off an upset that no one is predicting except the three or four die hard Oriole fans in the world.

So there are two ALDS series going on. Four teams will play, two will move on.

This year, the division winners are the Angels, the Baltimore Orioles, and probably the Detroit Tigers. The wild card teams are probably going to be Kansas City Royals and the Oakland A's, unless some catastrophic collapse befalls one of the teams.


The ALCS is the American League Championship Series. You might have heard of the pennant race. Well, this is it. The team that wins the ALCS (or NLCS) wins the "pennant" which is a Big Deal. Because that means they're going to the World Series.

So the two teams that won the Division Series face each other in a best of 7 Championship Series. The first team to win 4 out of 7 games goes on to the World Series.

The favorites for the ALCS right now are the Angels and the Orioles.

And THEN....


The winner of the ALCS and the winner of the NLCS face each other in the World Series. Another best of 7 match up featuring, supposedly, the two best teams of the year.

I mean, you have to win A LOT of games to make it to the World Series. It's a huge deal.

And the fact that my boys are just 7 wins away from going to the World Series is very, very exciting.

Wish us luck!

So that's basically how the baseball playoffs work. Do you have any lingering questions? Was this post completely rambly and boring? Are you totally excited to watch the play offs with your husband/boyfriend/etc now that you know what those weird acronyms mean?

Honestly, there's only one thing you have to know to enjoy the play offs this year: Mike Trout.


Right?

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Thursday, September 25, 2014

A special day, and a few thoughts on inter-religious dating.


Every year when September 25 rolls around on the calendar, I think back to September 25, 1988. A day that has always been very special in my life.

It is the day that my mom and my brother and I were baptized and became members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Mormons, if you prefer.

This date has always held a special significance for me because it was the day I made one of the best decisions for my life. A decision that has benefited and blessed me in endless ways. A decision I hope I would make again if I had to do it all over. If I got to know what I know now, I would absolutely make that decision again.

I love being a Mormon.

I don't love the weird questions I'm sometimes asked, although occasionally they do make me giggle.

I only have one mom, for starters. That whole polygamy thing ended a LONG time ago.

(And by the way, it was practiced all over the Bible and is still allowed in some countries, so please stop acting like Mormons were weird for that.)

(Because we're weird for a lot of other things.)

(Like our love for Jell-O. Which TOTALLY counts as a salad.)

But yeah. I love being a Mormon. It kind of rocks. I like having church in one block for three hours on Sunday. Because I don't have to go back for an evening or a mid-week service. I get to use that time for other things that are just as productive.

Or not.

I do enjoy my TV time, after all.

I also like the programs of our church and the fact that everyone is a volunteer, so it's harder to stay mad at people for doing or not doing things when you remember that they're not getting paid to be there either.

And I don't mind the rules against drinking and smoking and the like either. Because those rules are keeping me relatively healthy.

(I'll probably quit the church if they ever ban chocolate, though. I have to draw the line somewhere.)

(Oh great. Now I'm going to Hell for that.)

(Except we don't believe in Hell. Another bonus!)

Chris isn't a Mormon and a few people have asked me how it is to date someone with a completely different religion.

I don't see us as having "completely different" religions, but whatever. We both believe in God and in Jesus Christ and that's good enough for me. Yeah, it would be nice to have him by my side at church on Sunday, and he probably feels the same way, but so far, religion hasn't been a problem.

Of course, we haven't really talked about it.

But still, I just don't see it becoming a problem at any point. If he wants me to go to church with him once in awhile, I will. Just as I hope he would attend with me if I asked him to.

I really think that's part of life in a grown up relationship. I used to think I couldn't be happy with anyone who didn't believe exactly the same things I do. But as I've gotten older, I've come to understand that no one, including the people in my church, believes exactly the same things I do. No matter how set the doctrines are or how clear cut the rules are, there are and will always be people with differing opinions and interpretations.

And that's okay.

And it's why I'm okay with dating someone who belongs to a different church and believes things a little differently than I do.

After all, I like him for who he is. And what he believes is part of that.
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Wednesday, September 24, 2014

The Sunshine Award

Hello, friends!

So it's been about a million years since I've been tagged in one of these posts and about two hundred million years since I've actually followed through on one. But I decided, why the heck not?

Desiree from GeekyGlamFit nominated me for the Sunshine Blogger Award. Isn't that awesome? 

Basically, this award is a getting-to-know-you type award where the nominator asks some questions and I get to answer them and then nominate a few more people and ask them some questions. Fun, fun! 

And without further ado...



What’s your favorite season?
Summer! Hands down summer is my very favorite season. I love the comfy casual clothes and flip flops, the lemonade, the long, lazy days and the warm weather. What's not to love about summer?

One thing you wish you knew when you started blogging?
I wish I'd known there was such a huge community out there. It took me a long time to start reading other blogs and following them, and an even longer time to find my tribe. If I'd known how awesome it was, I would have been seeking people out much sooner than I did.

Any movies, TV series you’re looking forward to?
I'm looking forward to SO MANY movies. Including Interstellar, Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1, This is Where I Leave You, and a lot more. 

As far as TV, I'm mostly excited about the return of The Walking Dead and American Horror Story, and am really looking forward to watching Gotham

What’s your favorite book?
My very favorite book is the Book of Mormon, but as far as literary stuff goes, my favorite books are Little Women, Pride and Prejudice, A Time to Kill, and Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.

If you could wake up tomorrow with one new learned skill what would it be?
This is such a hard question! 

I think I'd go with martial arts. Because how cool would it be to wake up one day and suddenly be a ninja?

You’re given a 100K to do what you like, what do you use it for?
First, I would pay off every bill I have. For much less than 100K, I could be completely debt free. Then I would put a big chunk of it away to take my mom and the family on a cruise for her major birthday and retirement next year. And then I'd go on a trip around the country, seeing places I haven't seen before, and meeting fellow bloggers that I've been dying to meet for YEARS.

What’s the meaning behind your blog name?
Basically, I'm Karen and this is my world. I couldn't come up with anything creative when I was thinking of names back in the day. But I'm kind of glad because A Peek at Karen's World really summarizes my life as a lifestyle blogger. It's not nichey and it isn't dated and it fits.

What are your favorite topics to blog about?
Travel posts are fun. And movie/book reviews. I like the random posts where I get to tell funny stories about some of the crazy things that have happened to me. And now I'm really going to enjoy blogging about Chris.

What’s your most treasured possession?
I don't place a lot of value in material possessions. I've lost most of the stuff I grew up treasuring. I don't have much in the way of keepsakes, mementos and the like from my childhood. It's a really long story as to why and what happened to it all. But I'd say my most treasured possession at this point is my dwarf bunny, Bruce Wayne. I adore him and would be devastated if something happened to him.

Are you happy with your blog, what would you want to change?
I'm pretty happy with my blog. One thing I'd like to change is the design. I'm ready for something new. Otherwise, I'm satisfied with my little corner of the internet.

Burritos or tacos?Street tacos. Carnitas. All the way.
**********

All right, now I'm apparently supposed to nominate some fellow bloggers to participate. And I thought about doing the cop out thing where I just say "everyone is nominated" and really, you are. If you feel like doing this, do it. But I decided to actually single out a few people, because that's part of the fun and the point of these awards anyway, right?

So, that being said, I'm tagging:

Allena from A Gurley Gurl
Christina from Easily Entertained
Tayler at The Morrell Tale

And the questions I have for you are....

What is the last movie you saw in the theater?
Who is your current celebrity crush?
"All About that Bass." Do you love it or hate it and why?
What advice would you give to someone who really, really needs to get back to the gym? (I'm asking for a friend...)
What is your favorite thing about fall?
Do you plan to dress up for Halloween, and if so, as what?
What TV show are you most excited about this fall?
If you could change one thing about the blogoverse, what would it be?
What keeps you blogging?
What is the one blog we should ALL be reading?
Baseball or Football?
**********

All right, friends! That's about all I've got for today. Be sure to visit everyone that was tagged and see their answers too! And if I didn't tag you, please don't be offended. I just picked 5 at random. No rhyme or reason.

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Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Once upon a time, I ran over a pedestrian on the sidewalk. With a car.

Many years ago when I was a young Mormon missionary in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, I had the privilege of driving a mission car.

Mission cars weren't given to just anybody.

You needed to serve in an area that justified having one. Either an area without decent public transportation, or an area so large that public transportation was cumbersome and not worth the effort.

In Montreal, I had been all about the buses and metros.

But then I went out to the country and hardly ever saw a bus. So we got a car.

And then I was transferred to Ottawa where the public transit was a joke and the area was so spread out that having a car was sort of a necessity. I don't know if it was really a necessity or not, but it sure was nice.

It was a beautiful Saturday afternoon in June. We were in the Chevy Cavalier, pulling out of our apartment building's parking garage onto a very major and busy street. A bus stopped right in front of our building and I couldn't see around him, so I glanced to my right and to my left and rolled forward to see around the bus. No one was coming, so I rolled into the street to make a right hand turn.

Only, somehow, in the two seconds between looking to my right and rolling forward to see around the bus, a couple had apparated in front of my car and I bumped into the girl, knocking her down.

I threw the car in park, panicking and shocked that I had just hit someone.

Unfortunately, my window was rolled down and the man was immediately beside me, shouting obscenities about how I had almost killed his fiancee. She moved from in front of my car to the grassy area beside the driveway. My companion was at her side asking if she was okay and jotting down information about where she was hurt, etc.

The man continued to yell at me.

"Can we please just go?!" she repeated several times before getting his attention. They finally decided to leave, but not before getting my name and telephone number, just in case.

I didn't know what to do. I was so upset I couldn't drive. I'm pretty sure I handed the keys over to my companion before we continued on with our duties for the day because I couldn't focus on driving. I was too much in shock over what had happened.

That night, he called.

He demanded my insurance information because his fiancee was still really sore and was terrified to walk in front of cars.

I resisted the urge to ask the obvious question: Why is she walking in front of cars?

I told him that I needed to talk to my mission office and find out from them what information I was required to hand over, and that I would call him back the next morning. He called me a menace to the road and declared that I should never be allowed to drive again.

I called the mission office and talked to the Car Elder. He was concerned for me and my well-being before he started asking about the woman I'd bumped into and her condition. It helped me calm down ever so slightly.

Then I had to call the Mission President.

You never want to HAVE TO call the Mission President.

But when I told him the situation, he was immediately on my side and suggested that I fight against them in whatever happened. His concern (because she really didn't seem hurt and walked away from us without so much as a limp) was that they were going to try to come after the church for money. Because people apparently do that sort of thing.

I called the guy back the next morning to give over my driver license number and the insurance information on the car. Then I asked what he was planning on doing.

"I'm going to call the police and report you. People like you shouldn't be allowed to drive."

Now I was mad.

And also kind of scared because now the police were going to get involved and I was an American living in Canada and I hadn't yet seen the movie Canadian Bacon so I wasn't completely aware of how nice Canadian police officers are.

Later that evening, we were on our way out the door again when the phone rang. Going against my instincts, I answered it. It was a Constable with the Ottawa PD and he had a few questions for me and asked if it was a good time.

"I'm so sorry, but it's really not," I answered honestly. "We're on our way to an appointment and we're running late."

"No problem!" he said, and I could tell that he was friendly. "I'll call you back tomorrow."

We missed each other several times over the next two weeks, but he finally reached me one night at about 10:00 when we had just gotten home from doing missionary things and were getting ready to go to bed. He asked if he could come and talk to me about the incident.

I told him he could, and he arrived a few minutes later. We stood in the lobby of our apartment building, me, Constable Campbell, and my companion. He looked at me and said, "Can you PLEASE explain to me what happened?"

So I told him my side of the story. Which didn't totally match up with the story they had given the officer. And the officer said, "Well that makes a lot more sense..." Which I thought was probably a good sign for me.

And then he said, "Unfortunately, I can't submit my report without issuing you a citation. So I'm going to cite you for failing to yield from a driveway."

He wrote out the ticket and then said, "I strongly encourage you to fight this, though. Don't just pay it. There's a number on the back that will help you fight it."

I called the Mission President again. He agreed that I should fight the ticket. So I filled out the form to request a court date and sent it in, waiting for Doomsday.

Soon, my companion was transferred across the mission to Quebec City, some 6 hours away. And then we got a new Mission President who didn't know about my situation.

And I very nervously kept waiting for that court date. A court date which was taking a very long time to be assigned.

One day, I received a letter in the mail.

Apparently, the ticket had never been filed, so a court date could not be issued.

I was off the hook.

The case was closed and I wasn't going to go to some weird Canadian traffic jail for bumping into a pedestrian who shouldn't have been standing there in the first place.

I learned to be much more careful about looking for pedestrians when pulling into a street or making a turn. So I definitely learned from the experience. But I will never understand the motivation behind the awful names that guy called me, or what he expected the police to do.

And I was certainly not a menace to society.

Not yet, anyway.

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