About iamninjas

Words. https://iamninjas.wordpress.com

Couch Surfing and My Hip Dad

My dad got home from a fishing trip today and saw that there was a random car with an out of state license plate in the driveway.  After putting his gear down and giving me a hug he says, “Are those couch surfers or do you know those people?”  I love that this is my dad’s response, and he couldn’t have said it any more nonchalantly, like it didn’t matter that there could be two strangers sleeping in the extra bedroom in his house.

I introduced my dad to Couch Surfing after living a very active CS life in San Diego.  My apartment was always filled with strangers from other parts of the world.  These strangers, or instant friends, became more than just weekend guests.  They became a part of my world, some staying for extra days, weeks, months, and it was beautiful.  I made some very good friends at the time, by hosting and meeting other local hosts, friends that I still talk to and friends that I will stay connected with for the rest of my life.

This is the part of Couch Surfing that I wanted my dad to see.  I wanted him to see that CS is not a community full of freeloaders and people that want to steal your precious stuff.  It’s about being comfortable with yourself, your surroundings, and letting other people into your life.  It’s about opening yourself up to others which is something all of us should practice.

So, after hosting a frisbee world champion, a couple of dudes passing through trying to avoid the busy city, a couple of girls that just wanted to go on a bike ride in the forest, and many friends of friends of friends my dad has become part of the Couch Surfing community without even realizing it.  He is now used to and comfortable with meeting new people, and his generous hospitality has extended beyond the realm of family members.  He has grown to trust his daughter and her judgements (I hope!).  Above all, he has learned the importance of hydration and making new friends.  Much of my happiness and knowledge of the world comes from meeting new people, sharing lives, and sharing homes.

That is the type of thing a person carries with them forever, whether they are on the Couch Surfing website or not.  We learn to share from the moment we come into contact with other human beings.  Remember what they taught us in school, “sharing is caring”.  Thank you dad for being so open, accepting, caring, and way hip.

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Just Another Way To Show My Love For Rod Stewart

Sometimes the wrong turns out just right.

I walked into the yoga studio, and after saying hello, the instructor informs me that class might be cancelled today.  Instantly, I felt a little down.  I had picked out a new place, woke up early, and drove 30 minutes to do a hot power class, and now I was being told it probably wasn’t going to happen.  I knew I should have picked a different studio!  Since I was early I decided to wait around a bit.  I searched Google to see if there were any other studios in the area.  Nothing close by.  The instructor then informed me that she was just a substitute and wasn’t even prepared to teach a hot vinyasa class.  I sunk a little bit lower, but I was still going to wait until 9 am to see if anyone else would arrive.  Just then, three more people showed up and class was back on!  I ended up practicing for free and got to take a mat home with me.  The studio was going to take a bunch of left-behind mats to Salvation Army, and the instructor offered one to me.  What a morning!  And, to top things off, an organic grocery store/deli/juice bar appeared on a map just minutes up the road!

With juice in hand and Rod Stewart’s new album, “Time”, on the stereo I was ready for the rest of my day.  With a little patience what could have been a disastrous morning took a turn for the best and put a smile on my face.

It’s only wrong when you decide it’s wrong, when you give up on making it right.

Rod

Big Kids and Ball Pits

The big kids decided to have a day of fun in St. Louis.  They walked over to the City Museum, the perfect place to have oodles of fun!  It’s like more like a playground for people of all ages than it is a museum.  You can slide into the basement, crawl through underground tunnels, squeeze yourself through holes you never thought you could fit through, climb trees, zip down a ten story slide, chuck balls at your friends or random strangers in the ball pit, climb through wires that stretch out into the air, jump on top of airplanes, and discover secret tunnels and rooms throughout the stretch of the building.  There are signs that read “Please Touch” in the museum-like section on the second floor.  You can touch paintings, turtle shells, and old pinball machines.  Nothing is off limits, except for the gigantic rocking chair which you are left to look at and wish you had one of your own.

I have a ridiculously big smile across my face just thinking about this place.  If you want to go to a magical land where every single person is happy go to the City Museum.  There is nothing like it.  Adults become kids in an instant and kids remember how awesome being a kid really is :-)

Dinos!

Ten Stories!Tunnel!

Robbie!Mickey!Ball Pit!

Family, It Never Stops Growing

I tried to log into WordPress today and realized that I forgot my password.  This is a sign that I need to get back into the swing of things.  Believe me, I am still smiling on a daily basis, and you should be too!

I would like to share a little something that shows you can still smile no matter what is happening in your life.  Even in dark times, there is always a light.  You just need to open yourself to it.

Recently, a family member passed away.  She was my dad’s aunt, married to my Gram’s brother, mother to five of my aunts and uncles, grandmother to a bunch.  Much of my family is like this.  I call people my aunt, uncle, cousin even if that’s not what they technically are.  Sometimes I even forget how I am related to all of these people that I love!  There are just so many of them, and every time we get together it seems like the family grows and grows.  I am very lucky to have all of these wonderful people in my life which is something I am reminded of all the time.

I called my aunt to tell her how sorry I was that she lost her mom.  I wanted to be there for her, help her in any way I could.  Throughout the conversation she ended up consoling me.  She made me smile.  We both smiled remembering her mom, my great aunt, Lorraine.

Lorraine was a very petite, under 5 feet tall, yet powerful lady.  I was always happy to talk to her at family parties.  She told it like it is and was always up for a good laugh.  You could tell she was the head of her family, the family she left so many of her traits within.  Above all, Lorraine was a caregiver, a caregiver to everyone.  I see this in all of my family members.  We will always care for each other and all the people in our lives.  Our family doesn’t just stop at Nowicki, Sava, Banks, Goldsmith, or Kelly.   It extends beyond names as we show the love Lorraine showed us to those we meet along the way.

If you have love share it.  It’s not meant to be kept a secret.

Sharing Some Love :-)

http://mywifesfightwithbreastcancer.com

I came across this website/blog the other day.  Whether you have had an experience with cancer or not, these photographs and memories still affect a certain part of the brain and stir emotions you may or may not be aware of.  This family took a journey together, and I value their openness to share it.  I only wish that I was able to do for my mom the same things this man did for his wife.  Maybe I did in some capacity and don’t realize it.  I know that our family and friends were there for my mom.  Hopefully I was too.

Check out the blog and give this man your support.  Maybe you will see a new side, a living side, to something you’ve experienced or have only heard about.

Oh, I Wasn’t Expecting That. Good For You!

I sat down at the bar and ordered, “something with whiskey in it.”  The bartender asked to see my id.  I fumbled through my bag for my money clip.

ClipI handed my id to the bartender.  He checks it over and exclaims, “Oh, I wasn’t expecting that.  Good for you!”  He hands my id back to a slightly confused looking me.  What does that even mean?  Was he surprised that I was from Chicago?  Maybe I look like I’m from Texas or something.  Wait, I know, maybe he was talking about my change in hair color.  My hair is now bright red instead of the jet black I had in the photo.

BlackAfter a couple of stunned moments it finally hit me!  What do bartenders, doormen, and clerks all look at on ids?  The good old DOB or date of birth.  He was talking about the year I was born in.  After making this profound realization, I immediately asked, “Are you calling me old?”  To which he replied, “No, I just meant that you look good.”

AgeSo it’s official ladies and gentlemen!  I “look good for my age.”  You may be thinking, “That’s a compliment!  What the hell is this woman complaining about?”  I used to look good, plain and simple, but the addition of those three little words – for, my, and age – just make me cringe!  I’m not even 30, and I’m already considered old?  I don’t feel old.   Hell, I’ve been feeling more energized, healthier, and happier in these past couple months than I have been in a long time.  I have been enjoying being me!  And one comment from some random dude throws all that hard work out the window.  I guess that’s what the whiskey is for.  After a couple of pours I forgot how old I was and that I hated the guy who highlighted my age in the first place.  I stopped comparing myself to those around me and let myself enjoy the moment without feeling like it was time to drag my old ass to bed.

Whiskey

As I grow older situations like this are only going to happen more frequently.  Hopefully, they will all be tied up in backwards compliments and cocktails.

Writing a Blog Post

Video

Since I have been working a lot lately, doing things that most of you don’t and shouldn’t care about, I have decided to share an artist that I am currently obsessed with. I haven’t checked to see if he is on Instagram yet, but it’s getting there.

This is Father John Misty and his song, “Writing a Novel”. He is singing in the woods. The only thing better than that is signing naked in the woods.  Damn hippies!  Who said that?

If you dig this like I do also check out:

Father John Misty – Tee Pees 1-12

and

Father John Misty – Well, You Can Do It Without Me

Another Birthday, Another Reason to Celebrate

Today is March 5th. It’s just a normal day for most people. Ideally, the snow is melting and the Earth is starting to peek through. Today would have been my mom’s Birthday. My dad would have been siting on the couch, waiting, and watching some sort of fishing show on TV as my mom would have been upstairs in the bathroom for hours getting ready for dinner at the restaurant of her choice. My brother and I would probably be teasing each other or enticing the dog to bark at the fish on television. My mom’s phone would have been ringing nonstop, all of her friends and the family calling to wish her a happy birthday. She was a popular lady. Once she was finally ready to come downstairs the four of us, possibly joined by my grandparents, would have driven to the restaurant for a lovely meal and back to the house for wine, candles, and ice cream, maybe some pound cake.

We would have been doing the same thing we do every year for all of our birthdays, but it would have been special since we’d all be together. The rest of the family would come over on the weekend for a proper celebration and more cake, candles, and singing. My mom would have gone out with her girlfriends for a few more parties.

We tend to think of our birthdays as marking another year gone by; therefore, making us another year older. Once you reach a certain age, shall we say 25, every birthday is a year closer to 30, and then closer to 40, and then, in the blink of an eye you’re turing 60! Where did the time go? How am I getting this old? What are these wrinkles on my face? Do I really have to get any older? I’ll just turn 39 for a few more years. Some of us even fear our birthdays, and when the time comes to celebrate we convince ourselves that we want to sit at home crying over romantic comedies on television. Some of us may also convince ourselves that we are nothing to make a fuss over, that we are not worth our friends and family going out of the way to nice things for us. But, we are missing the point!

Birthdays are a celebration of the day we were born, the day we came into this world to start our beautiful journey. Every year that goes by is another year we are lucky enough to be among friends and family, lucky enough to do new things or enjoy the same old things, lucky enough to experience life! We gather with those we love to celebrate all that happens in a year, to celebrate growth, to celebrate the love we gave and received, and most importantly to celebrate the fact that YOU are here today! We celebrate the past year, your current breath of life, and hopes for the future and good things to come. After all, It is tradition to make a wish before blowing out the birthday candles.

So, this year on your birthday remember that you are important, your life is special, and if some one wants to throw you a party, take off your sweatpants, stop complaining, and live a little! You are here on this Earth. Remember to enjoy.

SuzieQHappy Birthday Suzie Q

Red Just Got Redder. Don’t Be Afraid to Spice it Up.

I got bored…

…so this happened!

RedIf you want a little change throw some highlights/lowlights/bright colors in your hair.  A small change can make a big look if executed the right way.  Your hair will look healthier and people will notice the new do.  Who doesn’t like a compliment every now and then?

If you are into switching up your hair style or looking for a little trim, next time try http://www.salonapprentice.com.  It is only available in seven cities at the moment, but if you are in a place like, Chicago, you will be able to search the ad page for majorly discounted and free services.  Licensed professionals offer services from free blow dries to free single processed colors.  Ladies and gentlemen, if you want  a change, but don’t want  to pay the big bucks for something you’re not completely sure about, check out the website!

The point of this blog post is, a little change goes a long way.  Just think about it.  How long have you been going to the same stylist for haircuts?  Years and years?  Loyalty also goes far, but just like you, some times stylists fall into a routine as well.  They keep cutting your hair the same way over and over again without suggesting new layers or maybe adding bangs to your style.  Try a new stylist for a few cuts.  If you have a good relationship with your current stylist and have brought him/her new clients over the years he/she will understand.  Who knows, you may even get a recommendation!  If you feel too uncomfortable to ask, try something like, salonapprentice, an Aveda Iinstutute, or talk to a friend.  Yelp! is also a great tool to use if you find yourself in a new city needing a haircut.  Don’t be afraid to switch things up and look fabulous because you deserve it!