Sunday, August 11, 2013

New Blog

Find me over here. Email me at sundrops at gmail dot com to request an invite.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Creating a bonfire

I've been reading Sarah's emails for awhile. Even though the main focus of weight loss doesn't necessarily apply to me, her energy is infectious, and her random emails on life, business, and now marriage are nuggets of gold. Today's email caught my eye as I start to go on a downward spiral after finishing up a year long project yesterday. "Are you destined for divorce?" I had to read further, as poor Brando catches the brunt of my triggers every single time, and today he's getting the bottom of the barrel. A quote that stood out to me, that I have realized in other ways through different inspirations throughout the year, is, "When it comes to relationships, f**k the spark, how are you going to create a f**king bonfire?"

The comments for articles intrigue me almost as much as the article, as I love reading other people's perspectives and feedback to truly round out the article. A comment Sarah left in reply to a comment  asking how to make a bonfire when you're single in regards to Sarah's suggestion to do so caught my eye, "Great question. Have as much fun as possible! Concentrate on doing things that light you up, and get out of the house. If you’re having fun, and are totally in love with yourself, you’re gonna be a frickin magnet. To me, it’s really that simple." I have believed that from day one, even when you're in a relationship I believe a small part of this still applies, especially if you're a SAHM. I have not ever been able to put this into words as succinctly and beautifully as Sarah did, though.

Thank you, Sarah, for an amazing article at the perfect timing. Now let's just hope my log isn't too wet for me to chip away the wet bark today, because I really don't feel like blowing too hard today ;) .

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Dopamine and Video Games

A letter to my cousin, after her implication videos are bad because they raise dopamine levels:

[to my cousin] So since you mentioned the whole dopamine thing and video games I've been meaning to sit down and research the subject. Finally had a chance to. Turns out there's a LOT more behind the scenes.

One article, Dopey about Dopamine, states video games don't raise dopamine levels any more than eating food or sex, as well as sites studies showing data regarding same. The same article argues people need to distinguish between a substance and behavior.

"we have to stop treating behaviors as if they were controlled substances. Playing video games, watching television, eating, and having sex are behaviors that can all be problematic in certain times and certain contexts. But they are not the same as ingesting drugs, they don’t cause the same level of chemical change in the brain."
Another article, This is Your Brain on Video Games, talks about video games creates new learning comparable to learning in graduate school. He cites several organizations that support gaming to improve mental cognition. He also cited several studies including one where gamers outperform nongamers, including gamers who started a week prior for the sole purpose of addressing the weakness that gamers may be more visual learners in the first place. In addition, he cited a study where surgeons who played games more than three hours a week had 37% less errors than nongaming peers.

More than several TedTalks address video games and their benefits to the real world, such as in Jane McGonigal's TedTalk on how a video game recovered her from a head injury, and Tom Chatfield's TedTalk on how gaming can increase learning, along with many others.

Do you see my dilemna?!?!

Really, if this was based on facts, there would be no dilemma. Live a balanced life, and video games are a major benefit. Don't live a balanced life, and they aren't.

The thing is, I *personally* don't like video games. I'm also a lot dumber visually than the boys and Brando. And by a lot, I mean a LOT. Also, if I don't like something, I kind of don't want them to spend time on something I don't like. But, then, who am I to keep them from challenging themselves mentally just because I'd rather spend time challenging myself in other ways?

[to my cousin] Was thinking on this and finally had time to research. Thought I'd share my research and dilemmas with you since you mentioned the one thing that got me researching :) .

Wednesday, March 27, 2013



Thanks for the awesome image, honey.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Follow Me on Instagram

I finally started Instagramming regularly by giving the 365grateful project a go. Was finding it hard to be grateful for a few days and am loving the project so far! Follow me by finding sundropsonroses.

Friday, March 08, 2013

SXSW: The Local's Way

In other words, how to do SXSW events the free way. I'm FINALLY home for SXSW and can't WAIT to do some of these events. I've lined out as many free and fun events I could find for the weeks. There are a few in particular that I'm SO EXCITED to go to. Kicking off with Austin Film Studios Award Ceremony After Party last night,
and another kickoff tomorrow with SXSW Interactive at the Long Center, Palmer Event Center, and Austin Convention Center. Can't wait!

Saturday, March 9th
Noon-11pm - NASA's James Webb Telescope Exhibit, Long Center, Free, Four stories high, 12,000 pounds
Noon-8pm - SXSW Gaming Expo, Palmer Events Center, Free, Enough said for teenage boys
11am-6pm SXSW Create 2013, outdoors adjacent to Austin Convention Center, Free, Teaching how to solder, no focus camera technology presentation

Sunday, March 10th
Noon-11pm - NASA's James Webb Telescope Exhibit, Long Center, Free, Four stories high, 12,000 pounds
Noon-8pm - SXSW Gaming Expo, Palmer Events Center, Free, Enough said for teenage boys
11am-6pm SXSW Create 2013, outdoors adjacent to Austin Convention Center, Free, Teaching how to solder, no focus camera technology presentation

Monday, March 11th

Tuesday, March 12th
11am-6pm Vintage Clothing Arcade 2013, Valhalla, Free, Vintage clothing and music
Wednesday, March 13th
All am, W Austin, $5 donation, hosted by KGSR:
6:30am My Jerusalem 
7 Amy Cook
7:30 The Lumineers
8 M. Ward
8:30 Ben Kweller
9 Michael Kiwanuka
9:30am Bob Schneider w/ The Tosca String Quartet
11am - Mackelmore, Tegan, & Sara, Waterloo, Free, Arrive early
2pm-2am Band Lineup, Upper Decks, Free

Thursday, March 14th
All am, W Austin, $5 donation, hosted by KGSR:
6 Nakia
6:30 Elle King
7 Bahamas
7:30 Jimmy Cliff
8 Rhett Miller
8:30 Blitzen Trapper
9 Ingrid Michaelson
9:30 Delta Spirit
4-7pm Band line up, Patagonia, Free
Noon-5pm Twangfest, Broken Spoke, Free
12pm-6pm, SXSW Music Gear Expo, Austin Convention Center Hall 5, Free
1:30pm-4:30pm, Macklemore signing at SXSW Music Gear Expo, Austin Convention Center Hall 5, Free
2pm-2am Band Lineup, Upper Decks, Free
3:30pm-8pm Band Lineup, Auditorium Shores, Free

Friday, March 15th
All am, W Austin, $5 donation, hosted by KGSR:
6:30 ZZ Ward
7 Graffiti6
7:30 Fun.
8 Walk The Moon
8:30 Nada Surf
9 Tom Morello
9:30 Charlie Mars
10am: James Mercer of The Shins
12pm-5pm Band lineup, Doc's Motorworks, Free
12pm-6pm, SXSW Music Gear Expo, Austin Convention Center Hall 5, Free
4-7pm Band line up, Patagonia, Free
2pm-2am Band Lineup, Upper Decks, Free
3:30pm-8pm Band Lineup, Auditorium Shores, Free

Saturday, March 16th
All am, W Austin, $5 donation, hosted by KGSR:
8 Kat Edmonson
8:30 Yellow Ostrich
9 Ben Howard
9:30 Ed Sheeran
10 Givers
10:30 Citizen Cope
11 Keane
12pm-5pm Band lineup, Doc's Motorworks, Free
4-7pm Band line up, Patagonia, Free
Noon-5pm Twangfest, Broken Spoke, Free
Noon-7pm Ramble Creek Day Show, La Patisserie, Free
12pm-6pm, SXSW Music Gear Expo, Austin Convention Center Hall 5, Free
2pm-2am Band Lineup, Upper Decks, Free
3:30pm-8pm Band Lineup, Auditorium Shores, Free

Sunday, March 17th

Monday, March 18th

Don't forget the whole smorgasbord of free SXSW events including interactive, music, expos, and more. Some are listed above, but not all.

KGSR Parking Details: To enter the broadcast, take the stairs at the corner of 2nd and Lavaca that lead up to the ACL Live at Moody Theater. Then head left towards the W Austin. There are several paid parking options, including valet at the hotel, the City Hall garage at 2nd and Caesar Chavez, and the Amli located across the street from the W Austin. Entry is not guaranteed so make sure to arrive early.

Friday, March 01, 2013

Hawaii... Our Favorite Getaway


Saturday, January 12, 2013

Liebster Award

Thanks to super sweet, Ashley at Lovely Little Adventure, for awarding my blog the Liebster Award! Being the dork that I am, I had to look up liebster to see what it means. Liebster is a German word (how perfect, since Brando is German) used to indicate somebody who is dear, or a favorite, such as a friend. Certainly understood why Ashley is one of "mein libster mensch" after reading her answers :) . What a fun award!

1. Each blogger should post 11 random facts about themselves.
2. Answer the questions the tagger has set for you, and then create 11 new questions for the bloggers you pass the award to.
3. Choose 11 new bloggers (with less than 200 followers) to pass the award to and link them in your post. 
4. Go back to their page and tell them about the award.
5. No tag backs.

11 Random Facts About Me

1) I used to blog a LOT more than I do now. 90% of my closest friends I have met through my blog during the times I have been a more active blogger. Mai, Allison, Teagan, Alyssa, Jackie, Cecilia, Laura, Kristin, Courtney, Ashley, and more I am positive I am forgetting, I have met through my blog and our real life connection is just as strong or stronger. I count myself blessed and so fortunate to call them my closest friends.

2) I often feel like I don't know what I'm doing with parenting and everyone else around me does. There are moments I see that is ABSOLUTELY not true, but anytime I see another parent do something better or even just different, I'm like, "Why didn't I realize to do that?" Then, I get over it, and either get on doing whatever it was, or realize, oh, yeah, we don't do that because it doesn't fit our family.

3) Sex after twelve years of marriage is incomparable to sex while dating or during the first years of marriage. Brando and I actually waited until two weeks before we got married (long story about why the heck we didn't just wait two more weeks), but the other guys I had dated and "hooked up" with that I thought was an incredible experience? Ha. I had no clue. Pathetic in comparison. Sex after twelve years of marriage is mind-blowing. Would I have told you that five years in? Nope, I would have said it gotten better, but definitely not mind-blowing. Twelve years hit the jackpot.

4) My son has taken a bee-keeping class. Only thought of this because of Ashley's random fact that she is terrified of bees. He LOVEd it. He loves anything and everything to do with animals. Any time I see a cute animal on Pinterest I "like" it for him to go back and show him later. The latest adorable animal I discovered off Facebook for him from Cecilia is a quokka. He literally melted when he saw the photo.

5) I am starting to enjoy family time more and more and more. These years are so fleeting. I used to feel like I have to "get out" with my girlfriends and have a break. Now, I almost feel like time with my girlfriends I'm not extremely close to without my boys or husband around is wasted time and I can't wait to get back home. Usually, I won't even agree to it anymore. ESPECIALLY when I feel like that person has put me on the back burner for boys, when I have always made my friends priority, sadly over my family sometimes and whether or not I have other obligations that come up - if I 've made the commitment I stick to it. Might just be a maturity thing. Chip on shoulder moment. Sorry.

6) Yikes this is difficult! I love to blog, but lately I've been enjoying and savoring the moment more and more rather than rushing to write about it and document the photos. I still do take way too many photos, I just don't rush here to put them up. Usually, I rush to facebook these days to put them up so they're still organized :) . I also write my anecdotes there.

7) I met Young House Love! A blog post is owed this moment. But the photos we took? Um, yeah, I'm hiding behind John with my boobs putting on a show. That was awkward. Must photoshop photo.

8) I don't like to tell people I'm doing things until I've done them. Too many things in my life I've said I'm going to do, then never end up doing. The feeling of having to tell someone I'm a failure because, actually, no, I didn't do that, is almost worse than the feeling of not doing it. So now I give myself a little grace, if I tell people I tell them I'm "supposed" to do whatever the thing is but generally just don't say a thing, and just do it. This does provide awkward moments when people don't understand why I'm as busy as I am, but I figure they'll understand once I'm done.

9) Road trips used to scare me, but I have learned to love them. My first road trip I actually enjoyed was one with all of us and my sister, Windy, to Arizona to visit my Grandma. She had taken multiple road trips with her boys when they were younger and knew all the things to make road trips enjoyable with boys. I fully intended on using the opportunity to train us on how to take road trips. We stopped to visit my niece and nephew at their coffee shop and bed and breakfast at 5am for a full delicious breakfast, stopped at another local coffee shop and restaurant for lunch along the way, we stopped by a fireworks store for New Year's fireworks and spent an hour perusing the store and running around, we stopped immediately when anybody had to pee instead of waiting until the next stop, and she told us stories of how they would stop to climb rocks with her boys on the side of the road occasionally. Our second road trip was on the way back without her as she flew home after we left. We stopped by the same local coffee shop and restaurant, stopped in a small ghost town to play in the snow and have a snowball fight, stopped to climb a rocky mountain hill for an hour, stopped immediately whenever we had to go pee (WHAT a difference that makes instead of pushing yourself and being miserable til the next stop), stopped back by my niece and nephew's for breakfast and had a freakin' blast. I finally took a road trip up to Dallas alone with my boys. I was terrified, but we ended up having a blast. Stopped by In n Out too many times, stopped by Rudy's on the way for their nice restrooms, and on the way home they slept the whole way. Now I freakin' LOVE road trips.

10) I don't have a passport. I finally replaced our missing birth certificates and am working on getting passports, but I have never been out of the country except to cross the border to Canada for a 7 11 stop as a kid before they required passports to do so.

11) I haven't been drinking alcohol or caffeine since May when I thought I was pregnant (turns out it was a chemical pregnancy). I love, love, LOVE the even temper I have and no crazy highs or lows from caffeine or alcohol buzzes (the highs were okay, just not the feeling stupid sometimes when I looked back on them, but the depression and anxiety to follow I definitely don't miss) and then withdrawals or hangovers. Having a drink is SO tempting sometimes, especially when the breeze is blowing and I'm just sitting back and relaxing, but then I remember the hangover part or even just the barely noticeable tired, cranky part and I resist. Caffeine is a little easier because I can still do naturally decaffeinated (Swiss water process or C02), so I still get my occasional morning coffee or Cafe Au Lait in. The nice part is with the decaffeination I don't crave one every day, and only have them when I want the feeling of a warm cup in my hands and the soothing smell. If I'm at a place where the coffee isn't naturally decaffeinated, I order hot chocolate. Had one of the BEST hot chocolates I've ever had in Canton, Texas that way.

My questions from Ashley:

1.) What do you like to photograph most? My children. I love capturing memories and moments that won't ever happen again due to time and space.
2.) If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be? Politics. I can't stand politics. I understand the need for them, I just wish people focused on issues and didn't get so caught up in the politics of things.
3.) What's one of your most embarrassing moments? Haha, I have way too many! The one that sticks out in my mind, though, is when the kids and I went on a business trip with Brando. I had taken the kids to a laundromat to do laundry. On our way back to the hotel, Shawners fell asleep. When we got to the hotel, I put him in his stroller to stay asleep and carried him with my basket of laundry in the back of the stroller down the stairs. At that very moment, Brando's conference got out. My laundry started spilling out the back of the stroller - underwear, bras, and all - as people started pouring up the stairs. Only one guy stopped to help me while the other's walked past. Laughable now, definitely embarrassing then.
4.) What do you do in your spare time? Try to fill it with making sure I have as little spare time as possible!! Generally, I volunteer for the boys' schools, take on volunteer projects, and spend time exercising or discovering new eateries or other places with friends.
5.) What words would you use to describe your friends and family? Heart.
6.) What do you want most out of life? To have children who love the Lord with all their heart, soul, and mind, children who are full of character and do what God has put in their hearts.
7.) What's something off your bucket list? Don't have a bucket list. As soon as I think of something, I try to do it as soon as humanely possible.
8.) Where do you see yourself in 5 years? Oh, geez. With a high-schooler about to graduate, crossing fingers off to college to become a programmer, with another almost graduating, about to head off to college to follow whatever God has put in his heart as a desire - same with the other, too, he already realizes that desire is to be a programmer.
9.) If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be and why? Italy. Because of Under the Tuscan Sun.
10.) What makes your heart skip a beat? My husband. Hands down.
11.) What song reminds you of someone? You and Me - of my hubby and our ten year renewal.

My Questions for You:

1) Where do you see yourself in twenty years?
2) What is your absolute most favorite thing to do in the world?
3) What gives you energy?
4) What are your passions, and do they relate to what gives you energy?
5) How do you make sure to be healthy?
6) What are the top five places you've visited?
7) What is your favorite place you visited and why?
8) How do you connect with another friend - what makes a friendship close for you?
9) What is your love language?
10) Do you believe in God and, if so, why and what is your relationship like?
11) Are you on Pinterest and, if so, what do you like to pin, why, and what's your username :) ?

I'm Tagging:

Mrs. A @ Mrs. Architect (email me if you need an invite, and I'll forward your email on to her)
Jaymee @ JayAdores


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