30 January 2013

The parasitic process

I've never wanted to be pregnant. Sure, I wanted kids, but pregnant? Nah. Growing up, I had a friend who thought pregnancy was beautiful.

I thought she was batsh*t crazy.

I love kids -- Future teacher. Kind of have to -- and I especially love babies. But I did not see the appeal of pregnancy. I believe I used to refer to it as a parasitic process.

What's so beautiful about stretch marks, nausea, discomfort, peeing every ten minutes, people staring at you, touching you without permission, and giving you advice you really don't want...and then judging you on what you've decided? Not to mention actually pushing a baby out of your hoohah.

No thanks! I'll adopt/hire a surrogate.

But lately, with several of my friends pregnant and several trying to get pregnant (plus spending way too much time reading mommy blogs), I've really started to see the true beauty of pregnancy.

I may blow up to the size of a beachball and my lady parts may get wrecked for a while, but I'll be the only person who knows what it's like to know my baby's habits from the time they could move. I'll spend 9 intimate months (okay, 7, since the average pregnancy is discovered at 6-8 weeks) being the only person the baby has physically come to contact with. I'll feel every move, know what (s)he's craving, and even be able to "feel out" what gender the baby may be. 

There's nothing that can replace that. Furthermore, some women -- no matter how hard they wish, hope, pray, and try -- will never feel that magic.

It's an awesome realization to know that even though I don't plan on getting pregnant for quite a few years, it's an experience I can now look forward to, rather than dread.

Birth is a completely different story, though.

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26 January 2013

No place like home

I was born and raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico. I recently took a short trip back to care for my mom for a few days. I hadn't been home for over two years.

Nothing too serious to really worry about, but she did need my help and I didn't have time to visit anyone else, which is why I kept it quiet. I apologize to anyone that I wasn't able to visit. I miss you a lot and wish I could've visited.

On the way there, I had a same-plane stop in Phoenix and the pilot let me sit in his seat and he took a picture.

We also flew right over the Grand Canyon and past Flagstaff, of which I got aerial views, but crappy pictures. I lived in Flagstaff for four years, so seeing the terrain and landing in Phoenix was a lot of fun.

You can see the actual canyon near the top of the picture if you look hard enough. Sorry, iPhone cameras do not have great resolution.

While I was in Albuquerque, I was saddened to hear of yet another shooting, also involving children, this time in my neighborhood, with people I didn't personally know well, but knew of.

Thankfully the shooter didn't carry out his complete plans to shoot up the Walmart down the road from my house, but it's still a tragedy. My neighborhood is mourning both the deaths of the Griegos family and Nehemiah. The funeral for the victims was yesterday. Please keep the surviving Griegos family and the community in your thoughts and prayers.

To find out what you can do to stop gun violence in the United States, please visit http://www.demandaplan.org/ and follow Demand A Plan on Facebook and Twitter.

On a happier note, I helped with my mom's two Shar Pei puppies that are only 3 weeks old. They're completely adorable. They took their first (wiggly, wobbly) steps while I was there.

We walked around Old Town Albuquerque a little bit as well.

A few months back this girl was sick and we thought the worst. I was really happy to see her. She's shy when it comes to pictures.

It was really hard to leave. I wish I could've stayed a little longer and visited friends and other family members, including my sister. Hopefully I can scrape together some money and time off and realize those plans soon.

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Dreams & Goals

There's a little continent called Europe, and I'm determined to live on it. My heritage is there, the languages I speak are based there, and I'm in love with the very diverse cultures in such a small space.

I have to raise a few grand to make it happen. I have a little over a year to do so and while I've made progress, it's difficult to stay on track. It's hard not to visit family or friends, go on fun trips, or buy that super cute new purse I saw, even though it's on clearance.

But I have bigger goals in mind.

That purse won't get me in a cafe in Paris, drinking coffee with a view of the Eiffel tower. The money I save from opting out of a domestic trip can afford me a bicylce tour on the cobblestoned streets of Madrid. Budgeting my vice, Starbucks, to $25 a month gives me beer in the Biergartens of Germany (and a little bit of sanity in the process of saving).


It's scary, and I've thought of giving up. But that wouldn't be worth it. Time, discipline, and patience are what will make it happen. The only thing in my way is me.

What scares you?

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25 January 2013

Five Words Friday: Week Four

Growing up I always kept a journal. I had memory problems as a kid and it was the best way to remind myself of events that occurred.

Since I'd rather spend my time doing other things than devote and prioritize writing a daily record in a journal, I decided to summarize my day in only five words for 2013.

Every Friday, I'll post what I wrote down for Saturday through Friday.

This is Five Words Friday

Saturday, 19 January: Switched at Birth super marathon

Sunday, 20 January: Day I deleted my Facebook

Monday, 21 January: I "flew" a plane today 

Tuesday, 22 January: There's no place like home

Wednesday, 23 January: Exploring around the Old Town

Thursday, 24 January: Back to the familiar unfamiliar

Friday, 25 January: I really need to de-stress

How was your week?

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24 January 2013

Liebster Award No. 2

I was nominated for the Liebster Award...again! See my first nomination post here. Kylie of Kylies Krochet nominated me and I'm super excited that she did! She is a great blogger herself and she nominated some other great blogs, so be sure to go to her post and check them out!! 

Since every Liebster Award nomination comes with a different set of questions, here are the ones Kylie asked:

Are you in school? If so, what is your major?

I'm not currently in school. I'm hoping to finish my degree starting fall 2015. Right now, I'm planning studying Early Childhood Special Education with a minors in American Sign Language and Deaf Studies.

What is the main focus of your blog(s)?

I blog my thoughts and day to day life here on Life as told by Zoë. I have two other blogs that I (loosely)  maintain. Zoëtry is where I blog my poetry and 509 Spokes is my Tumblr about bicycles :o)

How long have you been blogging?

I started blogging in 2010 after a fire displaced me and my roommates. That blog is now gone and this blog has been live since June of 2012.

Facebook or Twitter?

Twitter. I just deleted my Facebook this past week.

Coke or Pepsi?

I don't really drink pop, but I prefer Coke when I do.

Favorite food?

I love ice cream haha. But that's not really food, now is it? I love New Mexican food and Italian.

What's your "day job"?

I'm a front desk agent at a hotel.

Do you have any children?

Nope. Can't wait to though.

Favorite type of music?

Indie rock. Some bands I listen to include The Smashing Pumpkins, Fleet Foxes, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, The Shins, and Regina Spektor.

Do you run an Etsy shop or another shop like it? If so, what do you sell?

I wish I was that patient and talented. My friend Caty does, though. She sells homemade and customized baby booties and dresses. You can see her shop here and her blogs here and here.

What are your hobbies?

Blogging (obviously), reading, writing, watching TV, attending performance art, and learning languages.
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19 January 2013

Behind the scenes of the highlight reel

Behind every "I have the best boyfriend ever!" post, there's been a fight to make him so.

Behind every organized planner, there's a messy closet, a pile of unpaid bills, and something forgotten.

Behind every perfect selfie, there's an insecurity of hairy lips, fat hips, and stretch marks.

Behind every accomplishment, there's a trail of hardships it took to get there.

Behind every engagement, there's been doubts of whether it'll work in the past and in the future.

Behind every saint, there's a past of sin.

Everyone has skeletons in their closet and dirty laundry hidden in a basket. Stop comparing your behind the scenes to everyone else's highlight reel. Life is hard for everyone in different ways.

For more self-esteem encouragement go to my Pinterest board

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18 January 2013

Five Words Friday: Week Three

Growing up I always kept a journal. I had memory problems as a kid and it was the best way to remind myself of events that occurred.

Since I'd rather spend my time doing other things than devote and prioritize writing a daily record in a journal, I decided to summarize my day in only five words for 2013.

Every Friday, I'll post what I wrote down for Saturday through Friday.

This is Five Words Friday

Saturday, 12 January: Already heartbroken for the year

Sunday, 13 January: Hustle, bustle, work and meetings

Monday, 14 January: Glad the university's starting again 

Tuesday, 15 January: Cancelled plans; bike on ice

Wednesday, 16 January: SIX hours studying at Starbucks

Thursday, 17 January: Migraine, cravings, 15 hour sleep

Friday, 18 January: My Fridays are my Mondays...

How was your week?

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14 January 2013

The Liebster Award

I was surprised when I got a comment from Jenn over at Hello. Guten Tag. (love that title) that she had nominated me for the Liebster Award!

A few things about the Liebster Award: 

It's an award for bloggers, by bloggers to recognize blogs with under 200 followers in efforts to get to know new members of the blogger community. 

I had no idea blogs could win awards to be honest...but this is pretty cool.  

Rules for those nominated:

1. You must post 11 things about yourself. This about getting to know each other!
2. Answer the questions that the nominator set for you. Answer honestly!
3. Create 11 questions for the people you nominate. Be creative!
4. Choose 11 new blogs to nominate & link them in your post. Sharing is caring!
5. Please leave me a comment on this post with the URL to your Liebster award so I can learn more about YOU! Blogging 101: Always link back

Random facts about me

I'm a sports nut
I can speak/understand 5 languages
I've lived in 3 states
My favorite color is pink
I'm slightly addicted to coffee
Heaven would consist of 50% books and 50% musicals
I love the cold; hate the heat
I really like smiling! (Like Buddy the Elf, smiling's my favorite)
I can quote Mean Girls all day, everyday
I'm a vegetarian
I drive a pink scooter

Jenn's questions for me:

Do you like to do your nails , if so what colours do you mainly use?
I don't have the patience to do my own nails. I'm pretty terrible at waiting. But when I do them, or get them done, I usually only do French tip since it goes with everything.

Are you studying anything at the moment?
Not formally, but I do try to maintain my languages, so I study those [[nerd alert]]

Do you play any sports?
I did. As a kid I played every sport under the sun, volleyball in high school, and rugby in college. I don't have the schedule to accomodate practices right now, unfortunately, but I'd love to get involved with another rugby league.

On a lazy day what is your favourite thing to do?

What is your favorite smell?
Books: old, new, used, and all those in between.

What kind of cell phone do you have, would you change it?
I have an iPhone 4. I had a piece of crap before and after it broke four times, I decided to bite the bullet and get the iPhone. I haven't had a problem since.

Night or day person?
I'm a total night person. But I'm trying to be a day person.

Coke or Pepsi?
On the rare occassion I drink pop, I prefer Coke.

If you could change one thing about yourself what would it be?
I'm working on this, but I'm trying to stop getting upset over things out of my control. And if they are within my control, do something about it.

Dogs or cats?
Both! I'm a petsitter :o)

Are you a hockey fan? If so, what are your thoughts on the NHL lock out?
I am (go Avs!). I think it was a little selfish of them to hold up the league and fans for so long over money.

My questions for the nominees (and any readers who feel like answering):

1) When and why did you start blogging?
2) Your house is on fire. Besides living creatures, what do you grab?
3) What is your favorite movie and why?
4) What are your purse/wallet essentials?
5) If you won a trip to the location of your choice all expenses paid, where would you go?
6) What is your essential kitchen gadget?
7) Do you have a weird quirk that defines you? If so, what is it?
8) Who is your celebrity crush?
9) What is your worst fear?
10) What do you do to calm yourself when you're upset?
11) What is your favorite holiday and why?

And now for the nominees...

Cate Gets Fit

Streetlights to Stars

Confessions of an Anne Boleyn Addict

Jessica Nan

XO Christine Marie

Not So Simply, Abby

wanderings of miss dane

Mom in Training

Race & Emma

Congratulations to all those nominated!
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13 January 2013

Review: Looper {no spoilers}

I was initially reluctant to see this film, despite my celebrity crush, Joseph Gordon-Levitt starring in it. The trailer didn't reveal much about the movie and it just didn't pique my interest.

And then I read the reviews:

Yes, it's a B movie sci-fi thriller, but not many prestige pictures have this much going on underneath the surface. Tom Charity

Writer-director Rian Johnson establishes himself as an original talent who clearly believes storytelling must prevail. Richard Roeper

Joseph Gordon-Levitt continues to prove to be one of the best actors at selecting scripts. Phil Villarreal

I have to agree with Mr. Villarreal. Joseph Gordon-Levitt is not only one of my favorite actors for his good looks and acting talent, but he -- much like Leonardo DiCaprio -- tends to choose his scripts wisely.

In Looper, Joe (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) plays a complicated and slightly superficial character that every man with an arrogant ego can hope to achieve. Bruce Willis plays the older character of Joe, who is worlds apart from his younger self.

The best part of this movie is the storyline, which can be complicated (think Butterfly Effect) but is exciting and easy to follow. Emily Blunt also has an American farmgirl accent and doesn't look too bad with a shotgun in her hand.


Final verdict: see the movie. It's a great one, and it's out on Redbox. post signature

11 January 2013

Five Words Friday: Week Two

Growing up I always kept a journal. I had memory problems as a kid and it was the best way to remind myself of events that occurred.

Since I'd rather spend my time doing other things than devote and prioritize writing a daily record in a journal, I decided to summarize my day in only five words for 2013.

Every Friday, I'll post what I wrote down for Saturday through Friday.

This is Five Words Friday

Saturday, 05 January: Bicycle, slush, work, payday, coffee :o)

Sunday, 06 January: Can't wait for some HOCKEY

Monday, 07 January: What's all this white stuff? 

Tuesday, 08 January: Day I forgot to eat...

Wednesday, 09 January: Is it nap time yet?

Thursday, 10 January: Lazy day, regret it tomorrow

Friday, 11 January: Laundry day, surprise date night

How was your week?

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10 January 2013

Unwrap your gift

Life is a gift meant to be unwrapped each day.

Each day, we are given a chance to change the course of our lives, or continue doing what we have been.

Our circumstances can be good or bad, but what really has an effect on our future is how we react to the present.

Regardless of what we think, only the individual has the power to change.

This resonates with me deeply.

I paid off over $8,500 worth of debt within 14 months on my own.

I've conquered depression and anxiety time and time again.

I lost 50 pounds in 5 months.

I let go of negativity and embraced the positive in my life, even on the worst of days.

We have a choice every hour of every day to either respond or react to difficult situations. Responding is handling something with tact and class; reacting creates more drama than necessary and does nothing to defuse the problem.

Which will you choose?

I, for one, got tired of wasting entire days whining instead of taking charge of my life and doing something about my problems.

Life isn't easy. No one ever said it was. But we have the power to push through hard times and climb those hills to the top of the mountain. The best thing I've ever said is "I did it."

Whatever it is, don't waste another day waiting for someone to hand it to you. Go out and get it yourself.

Wise words, Mr. Dawson
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07 January 2013

AOII Leadership Academy

For those of you part of the Greek community, I have some excellent news....


I'm going to Nashville for an AOII conference!! More to come on this later, but I'll visit our international headquarters and network with hundreds of collegians and advisers and attend workshops regarding membership recruitment.

I'm extremely excited, as this is a huge deal. It's the equivalent of visiting the White House of our organization.

I'll be there the first weekend of Februrary and will be going with two collegians of the chapter I advise. I can't wait!

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05 January 2013

Review: Safe Haven

I love Nicholas Sparks, but his novels typically follow a formula:

 Two unlikely people fall in love, despite some type of obstacle, unpredictable circumstance tears them apart, and then you end up in tears over some tragedy usually unrelated to the obstacle.

His writing is what makes these novels thrive, rather than the same cookie cutter, cut and paste plotline some authors tend to do.

Safe haven completely blew me away because Mr. Sparks diverted from his typical formula.

There's the tragedy, but there's some myseteriousness and also mysticality to it.

As always, the reader falls in love with the characters. Katie is someone the reader pities at first, but then grow to respect and admire for her courage and strength. The reader wants to learn more and more about Katie's past. Alex and his family are as adorable as can be, which adds stability to the very dark storyline.

I recommend this book to anyone, especially those who like to be surprised. Keep your tissues handy, though.

Also there's a movie coming out this year. I'm a tad disappointed in some things revealed in the trailer, which are pivotal to the tone of the novel. But my rule with movies based on books is to look at it as a separate entity, because nine times out of ten, the book will be better no matter how good the movie is.

Find me on Good Reads


What threw me about this novel is Katie is a victim of domestic abuse. Her true name -- Erin -- is revealed while the reader is placed in her abusive husbands point of view, which adds an element I hadn't expected from Nicholas Sparks.

Being inside her husband's mind kept the pages turning for me and thirsting for more about how she got away. The suspense of him tracking her down, finally finding her, and trying to kill her provided a perfect amount of action.

The surprise that Jo is the ghost of Alex's wife was a big curveball as well. I definitely liked that and it added a nice supernatural feel to the bittersweet ending.

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04 January 2013

Five Words Friday: Week One

Growing up I always kept a journal. I had memory problems as a kid and it was the best way to remind myself of events that occurred.

Since I'd rather spend my time doing other things than devote and prioritize writing a daily record in a journal, I decided to summarize my day in only five words for 2013.

Every Friday, I'll post what I wrote down for Saturday through Friday.

This is Five Words Friday

Saturday, Sunday, Monday: skipped since it was still 2012

Tuesday, 01 January: frustrating, productive, quiet, hopeful, empowering

Wednesday, 02 January: Don't go grocery shopping HUNGRY

Thursday, 03 January: Push yourself. It's worth it.

Friday, 04 January: Migraine induced morning of hell.

How was your week?

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