Wednesday, September 30, 2009

You are all amazing!

I just wanted to write a quick post to thank all of you who have written and called. The flood of love and support has been overwhelmingly moving. To be honest, I did not expect it and I can't tell you how good it has made me feel to know how much we are truly loved and supported. You could have easily dismissed me from your lives, but instead you have shown what unconditional love really is, loving someone despite their faults. So here's one giant

that doesn't come close to expressing how much I appreciate having you all in my life but it will have to do for now!

Friday, September 25, 2009

My Reaction

I sat stunned into silence, only the steady increase of my heartbeat was audible above my ringing ears. The words "I've been lying to you" bounced like a crazed ping-pong ball against the floorboards, up to the ceiling, grazed the already cracked windshield and round and round the interior of our aging car. Normality and numbness was my reaction. I didn't feel anything, my skin and heart were like leather. A small voice whispered that I should be feeling some sensation at my husbands pivotal confession, but there was nothing, no anger, no shock, no sadness. It's like my body's defense to emotional trauma is to assemble a protective force field against pernicious emotional daggers, and any and all shards of malignant information is dammed out, keeping my heart safe from overload. The force field doesn't stand forever, its durability with time, usually a few hours, deteriorates, allowing fragments to penetrate slowly, rather than at the lethal speed in which it is thrown. I listened to my husband, a man I thought I knew through and through as one of the most honest people I had ever met, admit he had lied not about one thing, but about many many things, small things, important things, and trivial things. He had lied to me, not at the start of our marriage, but from the beginning of our relationship. And it wasn't one lie, but many. Lies that caused us to be on different continents for over half a year, separated and lonely for each others company. And trivial lies such as the time he didn't answer his phone for three days. When I finally spoke with him, he told me this elaborate, creative story of how he ran out of gas on the highway, and was robbed, and then had to return when the police found the stolen merchandise and then he had to go to the emergency room because he got dehydrated, when really he hadn't answered my call because he felt guilty about lying to me and couldn't face me, and then had to think of a reasonable excuse for not answering my phone calls.
"I'm not proud of it, but I will answer any questions you have. I will tell you the truth about every lie I have ever told because I am committed to having a truly open relationship with you. I want you to see the man I am being and not the man I was in the past." He said to me, holding my hands tightly, determinedly maintaining eye contact.

When the splinters finally broke my emotional force field, the pain seared my heart. I found myself unable to look at the man I promised to love and cherish till I die. Kyle broke his vows to me when he lied nearly every day of our relationship. How could a man whom I trusted so wholly with my heart have hidden this from me for so long? A man who lies to his wife surly doesn't love her, nor respect her. And what did that make me? A naive, gullible victim?

It took me a while, to wade through the torrent of emotions whirling like an unstoppable F5 tornado through my body, but I was able to grab at some of the more important ones. Who said that Kyle doesn't love me or respect me? The fact is, Kyle lied because he was afraid of the world and what they would think of him. What part of that fact implies that Kyle didn't love me? His lies had nothing to do with his respect or love of me, and solely to do with Kyle's feelings about himself and his self worth. He had lied to me because in his twisted logic, that was the only way he knew would keep me. He loved me, he showed me through his doting and affectionate actions every day. He had lied to keep himself protected from harm, but his love was true, and Kyle's being, the man I loved, was still there.

I asked questions, lots of questions. I'm still asking questions. And each day, I come to understand more and more that I'll never understand. Because he wasn't coming from a place of reason. When a druggie is looking for a fix, no matter what kind of person they might have been before the drugs, they do anything, even shameful, humiliating things to provide for their hungering addiction. And I think that in the same way drugs are poison and addicting, so is the fear that held Kyle. I am by no means defending his actions because every time I hear a new lie, I am appalled and newly jarred by this deceitful side. But I also realize that what Kyle has admitted to not only his wife but to ALL of his friends and family, the people he had lied to because he was afraid of losing their love and respect took astounding bravery. What Kyle did takes guts, more than just a little; his confession takes cajones. He is standing up and admitting to the world his faults, and taking what comes and I applaud him.

For a time, I was afraid that I wasn't going to be able to feel proud of Kyle because of his past, but I realize now that I am SO proud of who he is being and what he is doing now to make up for his wrong doings. I have now come to understand that Kyle's confession of his wrongdoings are evidence that he is a man who values the worth of his integrity. By his admission, he was risking losing me, but with the prospect of having an authentic relationship with his wife, rather than an empty one based in lies and deceit. His proclamation was proof of how much he valued and respected his relationships, especially our marriage.

Each day, I can see the real Kyle glimmer just a little brighter. The shame of lying imprisons, and now that he has unlocked his chains, his brightness is glowing more and more iridescent. His presence alludes an infectiously positive attitude and any fear of mine of being ashamed has been shoved aside. His lies were never out of malice, but a protective mechanism. I believe that his lying days are over because I see the freedom the truth has given him. Kyle Rogers is an amazing person, and although what he did in the past was hurtful, it is in the past. The past is the past is the past, and that is where it should stay. All we have is the present, and we shouldn't allow our past to interfere. My pride for my husband is inundating and amazingly, despite what I might have considered illogical in the past, I find myself falling more head over heals in love with him every day. Thank you to all of you who have shown your love and support through all of this. I can't tell you how much it means to both of us. Truly we are so very blessed.

(Some people may be surprised that we are broadcasting this very personal matter on such a public forum, and I want to explain a little why. Kyle valued re-gaining his integrity more so than losing a little pride, and I felt it necessary to throw my support behind my husband and assure any interested friends and family that we remain committed to our relationship and marriage. And that although this has been difficult, we felt that being open and honest with everyone in our lives was more important and felt less shameful than keeping this matter quiet.)

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Optimus Kyle (Transformers reference)

Over a year ago, our friends the Grojean’s started talking to us about this “life changing” thing they had all started doing called Landmark Education. My knee jerk reaction was immediate cynicism with a heaping tablespoon of skepticism and just a pinch of smugness. I will admit though that I was slightly taken aback at just how convinced (at the time I may have said brainwashed) they seemed to be. These were what I considered to be highly intelligent people and yet here they were trying to convince me that I of all people could benefit from a life coaching seminar. So maybe it was more like a cup of smugness than a pinch but regardless, I listened and kept blowing them off saying, “oh I know exactly what that’s all about, my Dad does that crap for a living. I grew up with that language! Nothing there for me that I don’t already know, I assure you.” Well as of Tuesday night, Vanessa and I are now Landmark Grads. Let me just give you a taste of what was there for me.

The Big Kahuna thing I got, the Mamajama thing, the real Crème de la crème (do you get how important this is?) the thing that will undoubtedly have the largest and most lasting impact on my life is the realization that for the past 20 years of my life, I have been a compulsive liar! Half of you are now going WHAT THE HELL!? And the other half of you are going, well that explains a TON! So now that it’s out in the open, let me explain to you all just what that means for me:

  1. Having made that about as public as I possibly could, I have now started living a life that is NOT founded on or surrounded by lies. Do you have any idea how liberating that is for a compulsive liar?
  2. I am now no longer restrained by my fears of being judged by everyone around me which is why I began lying in the first place! Do you have any idea how liberating THAT is!?
  3. I am now, for the first time in my adult life, experiencing what it’s like to have every single possibility that I can imagine available to me and most importantly, I can now take actions that will turn those possibilities into reality. In the past my lies protected me from my fear of failure, disappointment or judgment but in that "protection" it kept me from taking an active role in my life and the infinite possibilities available to me. I have unshackled myself from those irrational fears, and that my friends is true freedom.

Ok now pause, go back up to the part that says “The Big Kahuna” and read that section again real quick. I just want to make sure you are all getting this. I have lied to nearly every single person in my life for the past 20 years! I’m not saying it to be like “har har fooled you all, you suckers” I’m saying it because I want all of you to understand that if you are reading this now, chances are I told you a lie and for most of you, it was probably a big one. For example, I still haven’t graduated from college. Why would I lie about that, you might ask? Because in my mind twisted in illogical and irrational fear, you, my friends and family would think lesser of me. I lied to protect myself from being lowered in your esteem, but my lies didn't fix anything, rather they imprisoned me and helped to justify my inaction. I know it isn't logical.

Now here’s the thing. I imagine that somewhere, at sometime, someone has said the words I love you and didn’t mean them. That’s not the kind of liar I was so let me make this part perfectly clear. If I ever told you I love you, I meant it, and whatever lie I may have told you, it was because I love you that I said it. That’s a little unclear I think so let me try saying that in a different way. I am not by nature a proud person. I cry in the movie theatre, I tell childish jokes and laugh at them afterwards, in short, I rarely give two farts about what anyone I DON’T KNOW AND LOVE thinks about me. If you mean something to me though, if you have impacted my life even in the slightest way, I cannot help but want you to like/approve of/care about/love me as well.

I learned when I was five years old that it’s far easier to change how people think about you with WORDS than it is with ACTIONS. And so, I started telling lies, mostly about myself to make me look better but also to avoid responsibilities. As I grew older my skill set grew and I honed my deceptive ways into a fine art. I could go on all night about this but what I really want you all to know is that I thought all that “web weaving” would ever do is keep me protected from the judgment of others. Now I know that what it truly did was keep me from having any real relationships with everyone in my life. I want you all to know how sorry I am. I am truly so, so, SO sorry. Every single one of you has a very real place in my heart, and I was too blinded by my fear of losing your respect and acceptance that I couldn’t be who I really am with you. I have only been able to have real MOMENTS with all of you and that is NOT how I want to live my life. I am committed to starting new with all of you who are willing to let me. I take full responsibility for my actions and I willingly accept the consequences because they are worth far more to me than an empty life.

If any of you haven’t quite caught on to the full ramifications of this, let me just tell you how excited I am to be able to say that for the very first time, Vanessa and I are having a real relationship together. i.e. I have come COMPLETELY clean with her! I have admitted to my wife that I have lied to her about so many things for years and SHE’S STILL WITH ME!!! That should tell you something! She is truly an amazing and extraordinary person to be able to see me for who I am being and not for what I have done. I can’t express just how honored I feel to be married to her and I don’t care how many of you just threw up a little from reading it. Oh yea, and I told my parents as well and for the first time in over 10 years I am actually looking forward to talking with them! AMAZING!

Kinda makes me wonder how things would have gone had I just kept saying “nothing there for ME.” But anyways, these past few days have been a real rollercoaster. By the way, I’m not trying to imply that Landmark Education is that magic pill that makes all of your troubles in life go away. I assure you that it’s not and that if your still looking for that magic pill, let me know when you find it please. Living life is still a challenge and that ain’t changing but there’s a big difference between living your life thinking; “ya it’s a challenge and it SUCKS!” and thinking; “it sure is a challenge and I FREAKIN LOVE that!”

SO! If any of you are willing to let me start fresh with you, please, PLEASE let me know, and by the way, I know that you guys are all wondering what the lies were and let me say that I am more than happy to come clean but for one thing, it would take 5 more pages for me to confess all of them and none of you would read it all and for another thing, it ain’t easy for a compulsive liar to separate the facts from the fiction so lets just do it on a one to one basis. If you want to know more, give me a call. I’m actually answering my phone now! AMAZING RIGHT!?

I Love you all so much and can’t wait to start having real relationships with all of you!


Just in case any future employers may be looking at this and thinking, “good lord, I don’t want to hire a compulsive liar to work for me!” please just ask yourself this one question; How would it feel to know that you had an employee that was not only honest with you about everything they did and didn’t do, but held THEMSELVES accountable for all of their actions? That’s what I’m doing right now, and by the way, it’s infectious.

"Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." John 8:32

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Welcome to the first day of fall!

How very unlike Texas to celebrate the first day of fall with "cool" weather. The drumming of steady rain filled my eardrums this morning as I rose from my slumber. Our summer has been bone-shatteringly dry and fire-roasting hot. It was so blistering hot this summer that we were two days short of beating the all time record of the hottest summer on record made in 1925. And not only that Texas, typically does not feel fall weather, does not acknowledge a change in the season until around Halloween, and even then we only receive a drop of 10-15 degrees. Texas prefers it's weather to remain sizzling torrid as it feels the need to maintain it's reputation as the kid on the block no one dares to mess with.

When I walked outside this morning amidst the cool breeze, grey sky, the nearly smiling plants and the musky scent of fresh rain, my first thought was, "Am I in a different part of the country? Did I somehow teleport to the North West. Am I actually in Seattle at this moment? Isn't Texas brown and dead with no hope of rain for another decade?" It is 3:00 pm and 68 degrees. Sixty-eight degrees! I don't know that we have gotten below 70 degrees the entire summer, even at the dead of night and here in Texas September is still summer- no matter what the equinox says.

So to celebrate this unexpected yet welcome change in our weather, we decided to make chili. Chili is the perfect meal for any "cold" rainy evening. It is currently stewing on the stove and as we LOVE food, we are finding it increasingly difficult to pass by without tasting it each and every time.

P.s. On a follow up note to the previous posts, we are on the road to recovery. We have not fully humanized from our snotty zombie states, but we are much more recognizable as human beings at this point.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Snot Monster (reminicing)

(In the spirit of sickness and in sharing past memories of Italy, I thought I would share a post I wrote on our first blog that we started to keep our family and friends up to date with our lives in Italy. In the previous post, I shared about the time when Kyle was sick in Venice, but previous to that, I had been sick. I was just beggining to stretch my writing muscles and devlop my voice. I remember being really proud of this piece, but now as I read through it, I am tempted to edit and revamp it, but as it is a relic from another time, I am holding myself back and leaving it as is and accepting it as it is. Here is that moment:)

The Snot Monster
So it has come to that time in the season where everyone is getting sick, including me! Noses become red, everyone sneezes and coughs and tissues are a hot comodity. I have become a statistic in this common pattern. My body is no longer my own but now merely a shell for snot. I am afraid there will be an uprising soon and the snot will not only hold my body hostage but will become a snot monster and try and take over the world. It could happen and if it did, Italy would be doomed. The snot monster would be a force to be reckoned with and we would need the amazing powers of a superpower to fight this evil. Maybe spiderman, batman, superman or better yet superwoman. Even the incredibles might not be able to contain this gigantic mass of yellow goo.
I am very glad I am sick now though instead of in Venice and during fall break. I have been taking it easy, moving slowly and not changing out of p.js. So far I think that my home remedy is working. But yesterday we had to go do laundry in the cold. We do have a laudry service but we were advised in the begining not to wash anything in there that you are particularly attached to because they might ruin it, so we have to hand wash and hang dry the clothes we are attached to. The problem starts to occur when you feel that your clothes aren't very clean from swishing them around in a bucket full of soap. Also, winter here is cold and wet meaning clothes will start to freeze soon instead of dry. Everytime we hang things to dry it ineveitably rains. So the point I am coming to is that I had to wash clothes in the cold while sick yesterday and it didn't make me a happy camper. Don't you agree Kyle should have done it all himself. Most of the clothes were his anyways, but I am a good girlfriend and we split the labor.
Kyle is not sick and is showing no signs of being taken over by the snot monster but only time will tell.

(Ironic isn't it, that Kyle DID get sick in Venice!)

Here's Kyle's current snot trail. Enjoy!

P.S. If you are wondering if the strange, sickly looking plant in the back is growing from the pile of tisssues, no it's not. We are trying to grow a pineapple bush. So far it's not looking so good.

We are sickies

**Waaambulence alert***

After a long emotional weekend, spent in a conference room along with 100 plus others, all of us breathing the same recycled air, our immune systems puttered and sniffled their way to the snotty helldom. My throat feels as if some long-nailed critter has been living inside, and has been meticulously clawing his way out, piercing his long nails into my soft, sensitive flesh in his attempt to escape. Kyle on the other hand has a full-blown cough, and a waterfall of snot and the worst of the worst- loss of taste. Sick crazed tastebuds is something I rarely experience, but which happens to poor Kyle nearly every time he contracts a snotty illness and it is the bane of his existence. He LOVES food, he lives for each meal. When his tastebuds desert him, the look of despondency in his face is that of abandoned child, lost without his blankey even to warm him.

It reminds me of that time in Italy...

The last semester I was in college, we decided to study abroad in Italy. Through this program we visited many cities throughout the boot shaped country, including Venice, the self-proclaimed, "most romantic city" in the world. And it would have been, had it not been for Kyle's cold. Sitting in the outdoor patio, listening to the quartet play familiar romantic ballads, while the breeze twirled our hair and tickeled our neck, Kyle sat across from me, his nose Rudolf red from constant blowing with his tongue hanging out as he struggled to breath.
"Sweetheart what would you like to eat?" I asked trying to hide my disappointment at the lack of romanticism in his zombie eyes.
"It doesn'd matter, I can'd tasde anythingd." He said followed by a sneeze, and watering eyes, not from emotion, but from his illness.
"What about texture. You can still feel texture right?" I said trying to stay positive, but actually bemoaning our bad luck that this should have been one of our most amorous evenings of our relationship but instead of my sweet boyfriend, I was stuck with a snot-filled, bass-mouthed robot and he felt miserable.
"How aboud lasgnda?" He said dejectedly.

Later in the evening, he started to feel better and even regained some of his taste back, enough at least to share a gelato with me. As with everything unpleasant (most of the time), this too will pass.
Expect more exciting posts when the lava flow from our brains has dried.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The time for life is now!

Not tomorrow... We have been waiting around for life to begin, but we are in it, life is right now, at this moment in time. Tomorrow is that grand day when life will be better, but it never arrives because the present is all we have. We are learning to live for today and realizing that our possiblities are unlimited when they are uninhibited by the past.

More to come on the source of that, but enjoy the quotes for now :)

"There would have been a time for such a word. To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow, creeps in this petty pace from day to day, to the last syllable of recorded time; And all our yesterdays have lighted fools The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle! Life's but a walking shadow; a poor player, that struts and frets his hour upon the stage, and then is heard no more: it is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing."
~ (MacBeth) William Shakespear

“We worry about what a child will become tomorrow, yet we forget that he is someone today.”~ Stacia Tauscher

“Tomorrow is often the busiest day of the week” ~ Spanish proverb

Friday, September 11, 2009

Music in the Schools

San Antonio is trying to spruce up it's local spice. This is a great city, a huge city, but sometimes, there is a lack of activities especially in comparison with other cities of similar volume. Which is why there has been a lot of initiative taken recently by our city council and mayor to change that. One activity for instance was a summer long battle of the bands competition, culminating in one electrifying show downtown at Sunset Station. Well, it wasn't exactly electrifying, but it was good, and as it was only the first year, it will only get better. We learned about this event through my friend Elizabeth who was going to support a friend, Lynette Brehm, an amazing bilingual, guitar strumming, power-house voice musician who was in the competition. (Check out her website and her beautiful songs.

(a picture of one of her band members, her cellist)

While we were there, it was mentioned several times that Lynette had started a non-profit to help students and schools with their music programs. Along with budget cuts for everything else during a recession , fine arts programs are some of the most badly hit. Instruments are expensive and some students cannot afford them. Lynette realized that without help, many of these schools and students would suffer significant losses, so to aide these ailing programs, she started a community based non-profit to help called Music in the Schools. Sadly, I never took up an instrument, a mistake I hope to remedy one day, however, I was involved in fine arts as theater was my life through out middle school and high school. It was a crucial part of my enjoyment level in my childhood and adolescence and I think that schools lacking in fine arts programs are less enriching and less challenging. To learn more about Music in the Schools, and how you can contribute or get your school involved in the San Antonio wide competition, click on the website.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Is Love enough?

Napolean and Josephine divorce?

I just finished the Josephine Bonaparte trilogy, three thrilling historical fiction books based on one of the most acclaimed love stories of all time, and it ended in divorce and death?? Why must all of these LOVE stories end in tragedy.

When I finished "Gone with the Wind", the most fervent love story of all time, I threw the book across the room. I couldn't believe that I read over 1000 pages only to learn that in the end, their marriage doesn't blossom into the love that they both desired, but decayed and disenegrated painfully in heart ache and despair. However, the difference between these two stories, is that Scarlette and Rhett are fictional characters, the came from Margret Mitchell's active and twisted imagination.

Josephine and Napolean are characters in French history, they were genuine human beings, with actual feelings, and authentic heart-break. Why was love not enough? I wrote a ten page paper in college about how Scarlette and Rhett's lack of communication, and their inability to say "I'm sorry" was ultimately their demise. This story galvanized my perfervid passion of the importance of communication. But Josphine and Napolean talked, they communicated, they were spirit-friends, as she called it, but it wasn't enough. Napolean was convinced he needed an heir to uphold their empire which deteriorated quickly after their divorce. I lay in bed next to my sleep-thrashing husband (he sometimes convulses in an agitated way while sleeping, especially when he is stressed), reading devotedly as I rabidly clung to the hope that in the end, they would be reunited. Maybe they were reunited in death, but they were not by each other sides in the end. It frightens me to read these stories of passion and woe as I often relate so strongly with the characters having had a whirlwind romance all of my own. Is love enough? Will it get us through the hard times? Often, there are small fractures hidden within the foundation which spur rapid crackling and ultimate severing in the end. Communication, as I have said before is key, open, honest, and heart-felt communication. However both of these stories took place during tumultuous times, the civil war, and the French revolution, situations which were not serendipitous to a healthy relationship. Hopefully there will be no uprisings, wars nor revolutions in our future, but no how much we will it, we cannot control all situations. I pray that love will bind us and in the future when our love is acclaimed as the most romantic in history (obviously I have a vivid imagination as well, as I do not actually believe that we will also rule an empire and be remembered throughout history, but for the sake of argument) it will not end in tragedy as so many of them do, but will end with "they lived happily ever after."

Interesting facts I learned while reading these fascinating books.
1. Napolean came to power directly after the French revolution. (Maybe I didn't pay enough attention in history, but I have both of these parts of history categorized in completely different compartments in my mind.)
2. The French Revolution and the American Revolution basically occurred simultaneously.
3. Women, in order to be beautiful, slowly poisoned themselves unknowingly with lead makeup base.
4. Napoleon's family was a crazy bunch of power-hungry deviants.
5. Napoleon and his family were not French, but Corsican. Corsica is an island to the west of Italy.
6. Josephine went through menopause before she was thirty because of the deprivation she went through during The Terror while being held in a disease-infested prison.

I hope you are able to read the books. They are remarkable!

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Picture crazy!!

So, a few weeks ago, I got an email from an old high school buddy requesting photos from our theater days in high school. My first thought was, "yeah right, I have no photos on the computer from high school. The digital camera was WAY too pricey at the time, which would mean hours and hours of looking up photos, scanning them in, yata yata yata."
But then...
I opened the closet under the stairs.....
I found some photos
it was really exciting...
I might of peed in my pants.. just a little
I ate a banana..
And I went kooko like a crazed monkey on cat nip

seeing stars, from looking at the computer screen for so many hours of the day
uploading to facebook
pulling my hair out
The Internet is my best friend right now- storing my treasures for all eternity

I LOVE looking through old photos and reminiscing. I had a great childhood, and high school experience, basically I have had a great life. I like to complain about the muddy quicksand that we are currently wading through and have been stuck in for what feels like FOREVER, but we really have been very blessed through everything.

So I thought since I was reminiscing so much, and I couldn't think of much else to write about, (the truth comes out) I would share some of our good ole' times...

Not too many so that you start yawning and looking at the old watcheroo, but enough so that you can see us before... from when we were... young.. I mean.. younger. We are STILL young. We are NOT OLD yet! Hey, I know, maybe I will make a series of these posts. "A look back" hmmm... "Another time, a younger time" any suggestions on the name?

This picture, I believe was our practice in an Austin Park before the State UIL one act play competition of what should have been the #1 play of Anna Karinina. It was a real honor that we made it to state at all. High school theater in Texas is incredibly competitive and to this day, I still remember some of the amazing performances we saw while there. Honestly, some of them were as good as a Broadway performance.

We really liked posing in pictures. It is a pity however that I have those ugly curlers in all of those shots.
Here is a picture of Kyle, my new handsome boyfriend, posing to be drunk at a picnic table in the same park before our competition. Isn't he so cute!! We had only been dating a few months and I was smitten.
The new boyfriend again with PUPPIES. My mom bred Bichon Frises and Maltese to help put me through college, the result being that we always had puppies running around, the downside: heaping pools of poop and pee!
This is us at the Disney Ball when we worked at Disney. I love this picture of us.
And these were my Disney roomies at Christmas. Notice the snowflakes (which were not allowed as they were considered a fire hazard) and the beautiful Christmas tree. We worked every holiday, including Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years as Disney college slaves, I mean- interns. I have to say that that Thanksgiving is at the top of my favs. We worked till the wee hours of the morning, like 2 am, and then came home to a feast potluck, with tons of friends, and amazing food! Through our sleep deprivation, we followed with making the snowflakes that you see in this photo. Complete with glitter, as no snowflake is truly fulfilled without glitter. We had lots of fun as slaves and made many lasting friendships.

Kyle just informed me that the first picture is of us in San Antonio, not Austin. Also, he has told me this many times. I just don't listen to my husband as well as I should!

p.s. the writing in blue was Kyle writing, if you couldn't tell... I do listen! But all I hear is "wa wa wa!"

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Want a Ghillie Suit!? I'm Your Man!

For those of you that don't know; I, Kyle Rogers, am addicted to airsoft. What's that, you say? The most accurate description I can give you is to say that it's a bunch of guys playing army, shooting eachother with plastic bb's. Most people say, "like paintball?" Yes, It's like paintball in that you shoot people, but there are quite a few differences. For one thing, airsoft ammo looks like this:
and is made of plastic and is smaller than a pea.
Paintball ammo looks like this:

and is made of colored corn syrup and a plastic shell and is about the size of a grape.
Paintballs definitely bring on the hurt more than airsoft bb's

as you might have guessed, and it's a thousand times more messy. For those of you thinking, "but aren't little plastic bb's bad for the environment?" yes they are, but the demand for Biodegradable bb's is growing and as of yet, no birds seem interested in eating the plastic ones anyways. Even if they did, they're completely non toxic.
So why would guys want to play with guns that don't even hurt the people your shooting? Well, airsoft gameplay is more complex than paintball. Generally airsoft games consist of two teams that must accomplish objectives in an allotted amount of time. This could be anything from a "capture the flag" scenario to a "Search and Rescue" mission. Generally in paintball, it's mostly a "Team A, Kill Team B" set up. Both are fun, but Airsofters tend to be more strategic, team players where as paintballers seem to just like to shoot stuff. Airsofters do to, but we like to be more "proffessional" about it.
Another major distinction between the two is the equipment. Here are some pics, just to give you an idea of what an airsofter looks like and what a paintballer looks like.

See the difference?

Probably the biggest difference between the two is the guns themselves.


See what I mean? Now I guess someone like my wife would look at those to images and say something like, "What the hell Kyle!? There's no difference." Which is exactly what she just said to me. For those of you who are of like mind, airsoft guns are EXACT replicas of the real thing on the outside. Inside they are completely different but put a real one next to an airsoft one and the two guns will look identical. They are so realistic in fact that Military and Law Enforcement trainers use them!

So basically, paintball is all about having fun shooting, while airsoft is more about having fun playing GI Joe and shooting! Let me state for the record that I love both sports and don't mean to convey any disrespect for paintballers out there. I started off in paintball and a good part of my heart is still in it. The only problem is, I show up to a paintball game in my sniper gear and get laughed at, I show up to an airsoft game and get bowed down to. Ok I still get laughed at, but then no one can find me and I kill all ze infidels!

So here's where my addiction has taken it's new turn. Over the past few weeks, I have started doing some work for SAAirsoft at their new shop. I've pulled up tree stumps, done some work on airsoft guns and even spent Saturday at the gunshow trying to sell a few. Mark and Alma and their son Julian are fantastic people and I have had alot of fun getting to know them and learning more about this growing past time BUT, that's not really the "turn" I was talking about. So Mark and Julian mentioned to me that they have alot of kids come out wanting airsoft Sniper Rifles and this got me to thinking. When I was a kid I was obsessed with Snipers. I think it mostly came from having seen the old Tom Berringer and Billy Zane movie as a kid as well as Red Dawn, but also from a love of nature and being outdoors. One of my favorite things to do in Elementary and Jr. High was to play army with my buddies Dan and Chris. We would go out in the woods with our BDU's from the surplus store and spend hours hiding from each other or building forts. Honestly, we spent alot of time playing with GI Joes and blowing up Ken dolls. I should however make a point though that what we played with were a long shot from the cheesy neon crap the kids play with today. Our "GI Joes" were more flexible than a spider monkey and were decked out with accurately replicated gear. The Army Rangers may as well have modeled their gear off of our "toys"! As we grew older though, things evolved. We got bb guns and later paintball guns. We taught ourselves all about "stalking" and concealment and eventually became quite good at moving quietly and unnoticed through the dangerous fields of Suberbia. By 9th grade, we were playing paintball every other weekend and although I'm not sure Dan ever made one of his own, I had my very own, hand made Ghillie Suit. For those of you who don't know, that's the suit snipers wear to help them disappear. It looks like this:

and when a sniper wears one he looks like this:

That's me by the way. Can we say Where's Waldo? ;)

Anyways, after talking with Mark and Julian about the growing demand for sniper rifles, I thought it might be a good idea to make a few Airsoft Ghillie's to try to sell at their store. Now a real sniper spends alot of time crawling around on his stomach, but in airsoft, you generally have to be a bit more mobile and in Texas with our 100+ temps, a full ghillie can feel like a sauna. The perfect solution is the Stalker Poncho. It's a light version of the ghillie suit that helps break up the natural outline of the human body and allows the wearer to blend in but still be mobile.
So here's what I did:
1. Enlist the help of my "enthusiastic" wife.
2. Cut burlap till hands are nothing but blisters and play with lots of paint.
3. Watch paint dry. Super exciting....
4. Assemble ponchos so that Sniper can become one with nature. Be a tree, be a bush, be deer poop, WHATEVER!

4. Test in field. Here's me trying to be deer poop.

So anyways, I haven't made any sales yet BUT I have had quite a bit of interest and hope to get my little operation rolling as airsoft picks up more and fall starts coming back around. So that's what I've been up to lately! By the way, if you are like super jealous of my mad disappearing skills and want to be able to resemble deer poop at will, let me know! I will happily make you a good deal! And, if you want to know more about Airsoft or perhaps get your airsoft on, check out Julian's site at Let him know I sent ya and brotha will hook you up!

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Happy 3 year (wedding) Anniversary to us!

September 2, 2006 Kyle and I stood before a preacher (his uncle) to be joined together in holy matrimony in front of our friends, family and God. It was a beautiful Texas summer evening, still hot enough to cause sweat to streak our backs, but the mosquitoes were at bay and a gentle breeze glided through the ceremony to cool us off every once in a while, even our ring bearer (our Maltese) appreciated the breeze. The wedding was all that I had dreamed of and more. But the most important aspect, more than the cake, or the music or the even our friends and family who were there to witness it, was that Kyle and I were officially husband and wife, at the end of the day we were there to be married. And married we were, with or without the mysteriously missing marriage certificate which was never found... (Good thing it was his uncle marrying us or else the ceremony might not have occurred)

To celebrate our THREE years of marital bliss, because we are poor (very poor right now), we decided to have a romantic evening in a park overlooking the city, Comanche Park. We dressed in our best "dress up" clothing, picked up some fabulous Greek food with a bottle of wine and hiked up to the look out spot, missing the sunset by only five minutes. But the streaks of purple and pink illuminated the sky for quite some time after the sun had gone bedy bye, providing us with ample entertainment. The mosquitoes, because we have had so little rainfall this year, have been amazingly sparse this summer, and I only left with three bite wounds, one for each year married, an amazing record for sitting outside at sunset without any protection to ward them off. It was very romantic, and because we are sentimental saps, it was the absolutely perfect way to celebrate a landmark in our marriage.

Last sunday in church, the preacher recognized a couple who had just celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary. The old man, got out of the pew, stood in the aisle and placed arms in the air like Vanna White when presenting a letter, however he was showing off his beautiful bride. I nearly burst into tears right there. How wonderful that this couple had not only made 70 years of marriage, but that he still was so proud of his wife to stand in front of the large congregation and present her so proudly. It was, to say the least, inspirational. So before descending, we toasted to 67 more years of wedded bliss. Glasses up everyone!
The cakes my aunt madeWe bit Mickey's ears off. Sorry Mickey! (The Mickey was from the Tree of Life wedding cake made by my aunt, but Kyle actually made the Mickey. He was edible, but didn't taste good )

Maybe eating Mickey wasn't such a good idea!