together we'll bring in the new year

I'm very grateful that 2010 is over, because frankly, it was quite lame. it wasn't horrible - I didn't endure any intense hardships, but it wasn't fantastic either. in fact, I felt quite distant during 2010. I'm not even sure what all happened in 2010. I just feel like I was constantly hit by wave after wave and I spent most of the year struggling to keep afloat. 2010 definitely was a year of being smacked in the face by reality and nostalgic memories and yearnings for of my simple childhood.

even though 2010 wasn't the best year for me, the last week has been amazing. and it only brings me hope that it is an early start to a wonderful new year.

my family has finally gotten my tata's ashes back - after 2 years of him collecting dust at the evil step-nana. that lady has brought our family so much drama it's good to have him back and to be able to move on - even though we won't have all his artwork and possessions we were promised.

my dad got a job!!! it's been a long almost decade of him being unemployed and my mom trying to make ends meet, but he's finally done it! and not just any job, and amazing job at intel! I'm so excited for all the things my parents can do now with the extra (more than I make) income! I'm so proud of him and I know they will both have the best new year ever!

I've never been good at making resolutions. not only because I never follow through with them, but mainly because I forget what they are. but here's a list of my main goals for the year
  1. get some results on my iron-transfer project at work - I put it off for quite some time and then when I felt confident enough to get started I got slammed with spreadsheets and data analysis. so I'm hoping I can get something accomplished this new year.
  2. cook more. and not just the usuals (tuna casserole and edamame lo mien, although they are both delicious). I want to get so used to cooking that I can experiment with recipes and ingredients. I want to make scrumptious meals for guests and be able to make something new and exciting for chris & I.
  3. donate more to organizations and charities that do good, like the arizona humane society and such. and not just money, but also my time. I used to volunteer all the time in high school, so I would like to start that again.
  4. get healthy. I don't really need to lose weight, in fact, I should probably gain some weight - get some muscles at least. and then I just want to be healthy and active like I used to be. go hiking more. take the dogs for more walks. dance more often. eat more fruits and veggies.
  5. no more french fries. this goes along with #4 of course. I'm a HUGE french fry fanatic. I almost eat some every day - or at least 3-4 times a week. they're not healthy for me (but they're soooo goooood). but I won't be able to cut back on them (because I'll have the power to decide how much is cutting back) so I need to cut them out of my diet completely. I'm pretty sure this is impossible for me to do, but if I do happen to achieve it, I'll feel pretty awesome. 
  6. get back on track when it comes to my relationship with chris. whether it be stay together and be happy, or move on, I need to make a decision and stop putting myself through so much pain and heartache. 
  7. take more time for myself. I spend a lot of time trying to please everyone around me that I get overwhelmed with responsibilities and fall apart. I need to take more time to relax, do things I enjoy, and breathe.
  8. be more welcoming/friendly to strangers. I'm not a mean person, but I think if I do something simple like smile or say "hello" to a stranger, it would really make their day. and I would feel awesome for making someone's day.
  9. be more adventurous. I want to do some traveling and random road trips. I want to do things I normally wouldn't do, like go dancing or driving to the mountains. life is short and I spend waaay too much time of it being bored and sad.
  10. stop being so sad/depressed. it's seriously not fun.
hopefully by this time next year I'll have accomplished most of these. I'm gonna make 2011 my year.


Day 24: A letter to your parents

dear mom and dad,

I'm sure you already know how much you both mean to me, but in case you don't, it's more than the world. you make me laugh when all I wanna do is cry. you make me think and remember what's truly important in life. you've taught me how to love,how to enjoy the simple things in life, how to never stop learning - everything I know that makes me the person I am today. you are amazing people and the best parents any one could ask for. you raised intelligent, hard working, ambitious children. you would do anything for the ones you love. you are my inspiration in life. my idols. I love you.

love, alicia

go here for the rest of the challenge.


Day 23: Something you crave for a lot

love & attention. :)

and taco bell.


Day 22: What makes you different from everyone else

I believe I'm pretty standard to every one else my age. except I'm not pregnant with 2-3 kids and married. and I'd rather spend time playing board games and watching sports/movies with my family rather than go to a bar. and I guess I'm one of the few in my graduating class that was able to land a great job right out of college. personality-wise, I'm probably more simple than most people in that I find simple things entertaining and amusing.

fact is, I guess I'm still figuring out what makes me me. I could sit here and list random facts about me to show my originality, but there'll be people who would read it & be like "hey, me too" which would defeat the purpose of me trying to be original and different. but I'm young and still have plenty of time to "discover" my identity or whatever they say.

go here for the full list of 30 day questions.


Day 21: A picture of something that makes you happy

I couldn't just pick one thing that made me happy today so I decided to put up a few.
my puppies.
the beach.
when the suns win.
<3 go here for the full list.


Day 20: Someone you see yourself marrying/being with in the future

there's only a couple of things that need to happen in order for this to become reality. (1) he's gotta ditch boring whats-her-name that he's currently with. (2) we gotta meet. after that, I'm sure we'd fall in love & make beautiful babies. :)


Day 19: Nicknames you have; why do you have them

probably the number one name I get called the most is Leesh, or Leesha, just because it's a shorten form of Alicia (I guess). I've been called that by everyone for as long as I can remember.

number 2 on the list is Sparky, simply because my last name is sparks. this all started in 7th grade when my science teacher called me that & it just kinda stuck with everyone else from then on. it's starting to catch on at work too, but they're doing it more to mess with me. they just don't know that I'm pretty used to it & it doesn't really bother me. :)

see the full list here.

yesterday I spent 8 hours making tamales with the fam. we ended up making 70 dozen. I wish I had a picture to show you, but I had to leave half an hour early to go to the suns game.

tamale making is a tradition in our family. every year in decemeber, my aunt, my cousins, my mom, & my aunts 2 friends & their daughters get together and spend the day making tamales, listening to christmas music, bickering, laughing, and loving. it's a wonderful day. my tata was the "tamale man" and was always in charge when he was still alive. this is the second year we've made them without him and it's definitely bittersweet. I'm just glad we're continuing the tradition rather than letting it die with him.

unfortunately I haven't been able to shower yet (tmi?) and my hands still smell like masa. which in a way is good, because they smell delicious, but it also makes me want tamales. (fyi: woke up at 6:30, met at the house at 7, made tamales from 8-5:30, suns game from 6-9:00, got home around 10, went to bed around 10:30 (was exhausted & could barely make it up the stairs) & woke up at 4. hence the lack of shower.)


Day 18: Plans/dreams/goals you have

I swear I will get through this dang thing. I SWEAR!!

my plans/dreams/goals right now is to find my soulmate. I'm not completely convinced it's chris at the moment. (is that bad?) I want it to be, but I feel like there's more. I feel like I'm missing something. that connection. that emotional intimacy. And if it's Chris, awesome. I just want him to become soulmate material by being my partner in life.

other goals/dreams/plans I have:
  • have a great christmas holiday and show those I love that I care about them deeply
  • start my Fe transfer project at work (it'd probably help if I wasn't blogging instead)
  • prove to my boss and other coworkers that I'm not an idiot
  • go to San Diego again next year with more of my lovely girls
  • go on an awesome vacation and spend some quality time with chris
  • wash my car
  • be happy

I had dinner with my bestest friend in the world last night and it was so nice to have someone to talk to again. I've been bottling a lot of emotions inside lately, it's just not like me. and because of that, I haven't been my usual bubbly & fun self. I've just been so depressed & in a funk that it seems like nothing helps get me out of it. she suggested I take this supplement that is supposed to increase my mood so I'm gonna start on that tonight and see if my mood and attitude towards life improves.