Sunday, May 30, 2010

Graduation Trip Memories

Two of my sister's friends graduated a few days ago and it reminded me of my graduation TEN YEARS AGO! I can't believe it's been that long. Anyway, all of the graduation talk reminded me of the trip that I took with my best friends after I graduated. We went to Rocky Point, which was probably not something I would want my kids to do, but we had such a great time.There were 6 of us that drove down together and we met about 10 more of our friends down there.

My parents booked us a room at this gorgeous hotel called the Plaza Las Glorias. I think it is called something different now though. All six of us crammed into one room, but we were really only there to sleep anyway. I think someone even ended up sleeping in a bathtub one night :) There were three pools and the hotel was right on the beach. I am not really a beach person, but I was happy to swim in the pool and frequent the bar.

The first night we ended up at this awesome little bar called the Sunset Cantina. It was still a weeknight, so we pretty much had it to ourselves. We danced and dances, which is so unlike me. I even ended up getting hit on by this guy who looked to be about 40. He said he was 27 and even showed me ID, but he still looked WAY too old for me. He asked me to go for a walk on the beach, yeah right. I may have had a little too much to drink, but I was not about to become a movie of the week.

The next few nights we hung out at Manny's, which I think is a pretty typical place for the younger crowd to hang out. Horrible story number two, I met this guy there who I thought was so cute. I ended up kissing him, which was also pretty out of character from me. I figured that was the end of the story. Unluckily for me it was not. When I got up to college I pledged a sorority. On one of our initiation nights we passed around pictures to get to know each other. I could not believe it when one of the pictures was of the guy from Mexico. He had been dating the girl for four years! I must have made a face because she asked me about him. I am incapable of lying even if I try, so I ended up telling her the truth. Of course she didn't believe me and thought I was just a major asshole. So awful.

Horrible story number three. We got arrested, seriously. There were like 8 of us riding in a Honda hatchback car and we got pulled over. We had a DD, but the man said there were too many of us in the car. We had to follow him to the police station and the driver was taken inside. I was totally freaking out, because that's what I do when I am nervous, and crying because I figured I wouldn't get into law school if I was sent to prison in Mexico. The driver came out a while later and said that the police wanted $30.00 to let us go. We had $33.00 between the eight of us. We gave it all to the police and walked back to the hotel. That story is amusing now, but I can't even imagine how badly it could have turned out.
Anyway, it is funny to think about stories like that and to remember myself at a younger time. I was more of a free spirit then, but I have never been super adventurous or much of a risk taker. My sister is pretty much like that too, but she is even more sheltered than I am. I know for sure that she isn't going to be taking any trips to Mexico after graduation. I had such a wonderful time there and it was special to go with my best friends, but I think we were lucky that we didn't get into more trouble.
Did any of you do anything fun for graduation? I would love to hear some fun stories.
Random post, I know :)
Happy Sunday

Saturday, May 29, 2010

A Happier Post...Finally :)

I really want to thank everyone for their supportive comments on my last post. It is nice to know that people understand and can relate. I think that is one of the things that I like best about the blogging community, there is always someone who can understand your situation. I would also like to say that I am feeling much better emotionally and physically, so I am ready to have a great weekend!

Here is a look at what I have been reading for the last few days.

I saw this one at the library and had to pick it up. The book is a memoir and tells the story of Howard Dully. At 12 he was given a transorbital lobotomy because his stepmother didn't want to deal with him. Dully ended up living in and out of institutions because his stepmother didn't want him at home and there was no other place for him. In the book, Howard shares his journey and talks about getting his life back after so much suffering. He also describes his quest to find out why this was done to him. Once I started this book it was so hard to put it down. It is an emotional story and I really found myself rooting for Howard.

Now I am reading one of my favorites, Abarat by Clive Barker. I can't even really describe this book. It is part fairy tale, part horror, part adventure. It is practically perfect. As a bonus, it is filled with beautiful art that Barker created while writing the story. Look at this stuff...

As usual for Clive Barker, it is dark and mysterious, but also gorgeous and intriguing. I could just look at the pictures if nothing else.
Next I am going to read Bright Shiny Morning by James Frey. I got it from Justine at Here We Go. We are doing a little book swap. I have to send out her copy of Fast Food Nation now that I got her new address.
On a totally different note, I have so many things scheduled for the next few days. I have so much to look forward to :)
Tonight: Josh's best friend is turning 30 and having a big party to celebrate
Sunday: We are having a pool party/BBQ at my mom's. My dad and my sister are even going to go hang out!
Monday: My first playdate with the new playgroup. We are going to be doing some kind of mystery craft. That is right up my alley!
Tuesday: We are going over to Rikki and Tim's for a BBQ! Yay, I am super excited!
Wednesday: I am taking John to his very first movie, Charlotte's Web. Harkins has a summer movie fest for $2.OO per movie. This is the only one I am going to try.
Thursday: Josh has some kind of surprise for me! I am betting it is a massage, but I really have no idea. He is going to go to a bug show with John. How cool is that?
Friday: Our usual playdate with my awesome friend Liz and her two kids.
Wow, it really does look like a lot when it is all written down. Especially for a lady who has been living a pretty solitary life for a while. I am excited about turning over a new leaf and being more social :)
Happy Saturday!
The pictures are from all over internet land

Thursday, May 27, 2010


I know that I said in my last post that my chest was hurting physically, but to be honest it has been hurting figuratively too. I have been trying to just smile through being blue, but some days that is harder than others.
I know that I should have done Wednesday Wishes yesterday, but I felt like it would have been forced and that isn't what I want this blog to be about. I want this blog to be about my truth.
So really today I am just going to offer a quick perspective on marriage. It is hard, so hard sometimes that it is easy to see why people jump ship. But marriage, my marriage anyway, is something worth fighting for. It is worth shedding a few tears for, because the good times outweigh the bad 10 to 1. It is worth talks late into the night about what needs to be fixed and hugs and promises and reminders of why we are in love. But boy, is it hard.
When we got married we took a marriage class ahead of time. It wasn't in depth and it wasn't one of those classes with a test and evaluation. It was just Josh and I talking with the man who married us. He gave us some really valuable advice that sticks with me every day. I am paraphrasing, but the main point to me was that marriage and love are a choice. There are going to be days when you wake up and you are angry and tired and maybe a little defeated, but you have to choose to work on it. Love isn't always going to feel the way it did in the beginning, it isn't always going to feel like butterflies, so you have to choose to love the person you are with. I am so thankful that I chose Joshua and that he chose me. I am thankful that we choose to spend our lives together and that there is no other option for us except to be together. But still, it is hard.
So I guess I just have to realize that it is ok to feel down and I know that tomorrow will be better. I am grateful that any issues we have are ones that can be easily remedied. I am most thankful that I love my husband and that I know he loves me, that makes everything else possible for me.
This really isn't a post for the blog, it is a post for me...I guess a lot of them have been like that lately. In fact, it is almost embarrassing to admit the things that I have written, but I am struggling to be true to myself in every way and that means opening myself up. So....I don't know why I posted this, but it feels good to get it out.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Inspired and Random

I don't know why I included the picture at the top of this post, I just like the quote. :)

I am feeling slightly yucky today. I have been having chest pains for a few days, so I finally went to the doctors today. I guess I have some inflamed cartilage or something like that. It is uncomfortable, but mostly it is just making me feel lazy. Since I am feeling pretty lazy, I think I need something to inspire me. Here is a little list of things that are inspiring me lately.

I adore H.R. Giger. I love that his art is dark and beautiful. I can look at things he has created for long periods of time and make up stories about what must be going on. I also just really love his use of greys and blacks.

I have been using a few Little Golden Books in my art journal. I love the way that they remind me of the books from my childhood and of the books that I read with John right now. I feel a little bad about tearing them up, but this way I can appreciate them in a whole new light.

I really dig anatomical drawings. They are so simple and still so intricate.

I am always inspired by people who speak their minds and don't really pay attention to what other people think. That is something that I have really been working on lately. I mean, what is the point of having someone like you but they don't like the REAL you?

Awesome music has really been inspiring me lately... M.E.N, Two Ton Boa, Evelyn Evelyn (thanks Courtney), and Rage Against the Machine have been on heavy rotation lately.

Also, Kellie just did a fun post with random facts equal to how old she is. She wants to see some other people's randomness and I am happy to oblige. So here are 29 random facts about me...
1. I used to say I wanted six legal names. I am pretty close because I have 5...Rachel Catlin Brown Nickeson Ventura. Yep, that is my full name, but I only go by Katie Ventura
2. I have a fear/distaste for moles. Not the kind that live in the ground, the kind on people's skin
3. My favorite movie as a kid was Rapunzel (the Faerie Tale Theatre version) but I was terrified of Gena Rowlands.
4. I have read The Stand at least 8 times
5. My mom used to tell me in high school that I would end up marrying Josh. I told her she was nuts, but she was clearly right
6. I feel like I may be the only person in the world who did not enjoy To Kill a Mockingbird
7. I used to have a poster of George Clooney as Batman in my room
8. Whenever we need to laugh, Josh and I retell funny stories about my poor stepfather
9. I have never seen Miracle on 34th Street, Citizen Kane or any of the Godfather movies
10. I had box seats to see New Kids on the Block as a kid
11. My refrigerator is in the same room as my bed
12. I want to name my daughter (when and if I have one) Frances, but Josh hates it. We mutually agreed upon Adia, but my mom hates it.
13. I pick my nailpolish
14. Clipping fingernails is my number one least favorite part of being a mother
15. I used to be addicted to Diet Coke, but when I got pregnant it made me want to puke. I still can't drink it.
16. I hate being hot, which makes AZ summers kind of a big bummer
17. I am the world greatest packer of moving boxes
18. We picked out our cat because she was the ugliest kitten at the pound. She ended up being super cute
19. Josh was my first serious boyfriend
20. I cried one year when Josh bought me tires for Christmas
21. I have never had a broken bone or a black eye
22. I hate to talk on the phone
23. I love raw sugar
24. I have a huge crush on Anderson Cooper
25. If I could watch America's Next Top Model all day, every day I would totally do it.
26. I used to want to be a lawyer
27. My dream car is an old Jeep Wagoneer with wood panelling
28. Tomatoes and bell peppers make me gag
29. I love the rain
Happy Tuesday!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Book Clubs and Playgroups and Gaga...oh my

I have started heading in the right direction after my post about finding some things to help define myself and make me happy.
I have been looking at taking a class online, although I have found that aid may be an issue since I already have a degree. If I can't get any aid I will probably just save up a little money and take a class at the community college. I am not trying to get a degree, just looking to learn something new and stimulate my brain a little.
I made a dream list, a real one with a few big dreams that I usually wouldn't even allow myself to think about. This is actually a huge step for me.
I joined a playgroup for John and I. This may not seem like something that would help me, but I am actually really looking forward to it. I don't really have many real life friends and it can be very isolating being a stay at home mom. Since I don't go to church or work, there aren't a ton of opportunities to meet other people who are also stay at home moms. I know that this is going to give me an opportunity to come out of my shell, and a chance for John to interact with other kids so he doesn't turn out like me :)

I also applied to join a book club. I haven't heard back yet, but this is something I have been wanting to do FOREVER. As everyone knows, I am a big reader, but I don't have many people to discuss my books with. I am so excited to meet some people and really have a chance to dig into some books that I might not otherwise read.

I promise that this blog isn't going to become all about my self-improvement, but right now I am just very excited to start this new chapter in my life. I am really hoping that it is going to make me happier and more content.

On another note, did anyone else see that Lilith Fair got cancelled in Phoenix. I am so glad I got my Lady Gaga tickets instead. If I had missed out on Gaga I would have been pissed. As it was, I was not thrilled at the line up...the Go Go's and Miranda Lambert, BLAH. I love Sarah so much, but I could care less about the other acts. Anyway, I read that the show was cancelled because the Go Go's, specifically Belinda Carlisle, didn't want to play in AZ after the new immigration law was passed.
I really have mixed feeling about this. I am against this new law completely, but I feel like I am being punished for something that I didn't have a say in and that I don't support. I just wish people would realize that not all Arizonians are into discrimination.

Pictures from

Anyway, I hope everyone had a good Monday.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Year of the Dog

Oh my goodness, I just watched Year of the Dog and I am in love. The movie follows Molly Shannon's journey from a dog lover to an animal rights loving, vegan, semi-crazy lady. There were so many scenes in the movie that I identified with...primarily one in which she makes vegan cupcakes and when people find out they are vegan the cupcakes are no longer desirable. That happened to me at John's first birthday party with a few people. Anyway, I just thought it was a sweet, heartfelt movie. I think it is one that I may have to buy eventually. Plus, Peter Sarsgaard is in it and I think he is the cat's meow.

How Does Your Garden Grow?

We have been doing a lot of swimming over at Grammy's house. John is doing so well and it is so much fun to play because he isn't scared of the water anymore :)

I am so beyond excited about my garden. We go out every day and water, weed and tinker. Josh is so good about turning the compost and keeping it wet. We are even going to order worms soon to help with the compost and soil. Everything is starting to grow fruit now, even eggplant!!! I can't believe I will soon have fresh veggies that we grew ourselves.

I am excited to start a new week and we have so much going on. I created a semi-structured schedule for this week and I am hoping it all works out. We have two playdates scheduled, which is awesome because John talks all the time about making new friends.
Speaking of John, here are some of the gems to come out of his mouth this week...
* He named his X-Files alien figure Ponky.
* He called his Pappy a ghetto least he isn't repeating all of the swears he hears from me :(
* He started saying Big, Brown Bahooky over and over again. (It's from some kids movie that Josh watched and then repeated to John)
I am going to watch a movie later tonight. I am thinking either Ponyo or The Year of the Dog. I have Precious being held at the library, but I don't think am in the appropriate frame of mind for that one. What are you all watching right now? Any good suggestions?
Happy Sunday!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

New Journal Pages

I have totally been neglecting to post any of my journaling pages, well I have been neglecting this blog in general for the last few days. Due to my lack of posting, I have a ton of new journal pics. I know that I am really going to be in the minority, but I am not loving the tell your story class. I really like the prompts, but I haven't been all that interested in trying the techniques that Elsie and Rachel show. There is nothing at all wrong with their techniques, most of them just don't represent my style. So, for the most part, I have just been doing my own thing. Here they are...
My Secret World...
I don't remember what the prompt for this one was. I think it was just A Change...
Ummm, I don't remember the prompt for this one either. I think I just went off on my own because I found that awesome picture.
Nostalgic Childhood Memories...
Things I Don't Regret
New Things I Want to Learn...
My Safe Place
My Dream House...
When My Mind Wanders...
(Shhh) Things I Haven't Said Out Loud... The little picture folds up to reveal my thoughts.
Things I Am Looking Forward To..

My 30 Before 30 List
Places I Want to Visit

Sorry for my total lack of blogging for the last few days. My mom watched John all day Thursday, and we got to have dinner with Rikki and Tim on Thursday night. We spent Friday at my moms and running errands. Then today was spent running all over too. So it has been busy and I just haven't had time to post. I promise I will get back on track :)
Happy Saturday!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Wednesday Wishes

It time for another round of Wednesday Wishes! I love this feature :) I wish my love didn't have to work so much. Actually, I wish that he could make money and still be with us. John misses his daddy and I miss random conversations with my guy.

I wish I could put my finger down on a map and just go wherever it landed. I am not a big believer in being "called" to do something, but lately I have been reading all of these articles about families who just dropped everything to travel and explore. What a magnificent thing that must be to just make that jump and have an adventure. I think Josh, John and I may have to do that before it becomes too late.

I wish I was camping right this minute. We haven't been camping much in the last few years, but I know it is going to be incredibly fun to go with John. Plus, there is nothing like sitting by a hot fire :)

I wish Josh and I were still in ballroom dancing classes. Josh surprised me with lessons a few years ago. We had the most wonderful time, but it was soooo expensive. I can't wait until we have money again "someday" and we can take the lessons again.

I wish I had a delicious set of bedding. We have a pretty awesome comforter that was Josh's parents, but nothing matches it. We pretty much have the cheapest bedding possible. At least it is comfortable.
Is it wrong to wish for a blanket as hideous as this one? Sometimes it is so wrong it is just right.

I wish I had my very own library. Of course, if I had one I might become a hermit because it would be so hard to leave the room.
Be sure to check out Courtney, Kellie, Liz and Tiffany's wishes too :)
In other news...I have a dinner date with Rikki from Seitanic Vegan Heathen tomorrow night. I am so so so excited! The only thing that could make it better would be for Courtney and Nick to be there too. Someday....
P.S. Thanks for all of the positive comments on my previous post. I made a list of goals today and really lived my day exactly as I had planned. I am going to sleep tonight feeling like I squeezed all the life out of this day. Aaaand, my mom is watching John all day tomorrow and tomorrow evening. I am going to spend the day doing things for myself and making plans, goals, schedules and dreams. It is a whole new me :)
Happy Wednesday!!!

All pictures from