Monday, May 28, 2012


Up until September 8, 2011 I was a single gal. Life had its ups and downs, dating was a pain in the ass and I was always out on the town with my girls. Hoping, wishing, and thinking... Maybe, just maybe, this will be the night. Life was a series of hits and misses. And then He showed up. A man that had been my friend for years, a man who used to drive me bananas and the man that ended up stealing my heart and being more than I could have ever imagined. He IS my wildest dream. This weekend started with me cooking a beautiful dinner while he built my nightstand. (he's pretty much built my whole house) We watched baseball, we went to our normal Friday night spot. Saturday was much the same, we went and saw my Mom, we went to the mall, and we came home and relaxed. We met some friends for dinner, we went to our normal Saturday night spot. Today we met with friends from out of town, we watched some baseball, we watched Game Of Thrones and came home. We had dinner and played cards... It dawned on me that I have turned into my mother and/or my grandmother, which is all kinds of awesome. I've been domesticated... And I love it. I cook dinners and breakfast and do laundry and straighten up and I have turned into Molly Homemaker and I love it. Being part of a whole, and fully belonging to another is more than I could have ever imagined it would be. I recently moved into my own apartment and started this journey of building a life with the man I love. We do well together. We laugh, we goof off, he holds me when I'm upset, he reassures me that everything is going to be okay, and I believe him. He makes me laugh like no other and he never makes me cry. He IS the love of my life. I've turned into someone that I used to roll my eyes at. I had resigned myself to being single, and thought about investing in cats. Then came this person who changed my perspective on all of that. He makes me want things that I never thought I wanted. I feel like I'm dating my best friend. They say when you know, you know, and I never believed that until I knew. I love you, Phillip Mueller. Yesterday, today, tomorrow and always. Love, Me

Sunday, May 13, 2012

"Mother is the name for God on the lips and hearts of all children" -William Makepeace Thackeray
Mama... Mommy... Mom... Or as my Mom always signs her cards, Moma :) It's cute, just like my mother. My Mom is a champion, a sweetheart, a "gorgina' and my inspiration. We have been through so much together and I am grateful for every second that we get to spend together. My Mom has always had my back, even when I was a brat and all through my angsty pain in the ass teenage years, she always stood by me, took up for me. My Mom has always believed in me no matter what. She holds my hand and she holds my heart in a way that no other person ever could. We have been through a lot over the years, but this last year has been a doozy. I'm not going to go in to all the things that have gone on since last August, but those of you that know us, know what's been going on. All I can say is this, never EVER take your mother for granted... EVER. She is my rock. She is the person that I can lean on. No matter what is going on in my life, there's nothing that a night on my Mom's couch, a bowl of her pasta and a marathon of Restaurant Impossible won't cure. I've been able to show up for my Mom in a way that I never thought possible and the trials and tribulations of the last year have only brought us closer together. We are like two volumes of the same book, and over the years, I realize just how much I wanna be like my Mom. She is kind, loving and gracious always. She is nice to everyone that crosses her path. She takes a genuine interest in everyone around her, and she does this all with unfailing grace. It's amazing to watch, really. I can't imagine going through what my Mom has gone through and handling it the way she does. There is no anger or negative emotion, only hope and the fight to never give up, no matter what. She is my inspiration. She is who I think of when I lay my head down at night and the first person that I think of when I wake up in the morning. Every house that we have ever lived in has been like a little doll house and to this day, my Mom's house is like a sanctuary. She has lots of plants and doves that nest in the plants and a throng of hummingbirds that raid her patio every day. She finds joy in the simple things in life. I get overwhelmed with sheer love of my Mom sometimes and I have to take a deep breath and just thank God for her. She's my Mother by God's choice, and she's my friend by my choice. There's nothing that I can't tell her, there's nothing that will ever make her love me less, although at times, I'm sure she didn't like me very much. It's weird, the things that I'm grateful for today... She is the truest friend I have. Thank you Mom, for always loving me, for never turning your back on me and for never giving up on me. Even when I was at my worst, you still believed in me. God chose the perfect parents for me. Of that, I have no doubt. Happy Mothers Day to the most amazing woman that I know. I am humbled by the woman you are. I can only hope to be half the mother that you have been to me. All the love in my heart and my world, Joanna Gail

Friday, April 20, 2012

My Friend Ivan

I have this wonderful friend, or should I say WE have this friend. His name is Ivan. I met Ivan when I moved back to Vegas from San Diego back in 2006. My memories of him include, but are not limited to, late nights dancing with a ton of friends and getting totally twacked on red bull... Fight parties at his house and him laughing at me because I despise Anderson Silva... Trips to Zion and his great laugh... Him hanging my Mom's Christmas lights one year and her repaying him in cookies. Cookies are legal tender in this crowd :)
Here is what I know about Ivan: he's friends with EVERYONE... He's constantly helping new guys, I don't think I've ever seen him with an empty car. EVER. His whip is always full of people, and he doesn't discriminate, he's an equal opportunity friend. The guy is an inspiration.
I usually write these pieces on baseball, or famous people who have died, or my once crazy love life, but today I want to honor my friend, our friend. Who, in a few short days is moving to Uganda. I haven't been able to look at him lately without crying. When I think of the space that he is going to leave behind. I don't question his reasons, no one has to tell me about wanting to be closer to family, hell, I moved from the beach to the desert in the middle of July because I missed my folks so damn much. 6 years later, I've never regretted that decision and I know that Ivan won't either.
He's been a staple in our community for almost 8 years and I'm sad to see him go. Tomorrow we celebrate his home-going and we get to enjoy his company just a little while longer, of course, if I don't want to wait, I'm sure that I can pop over to Bachi Burger, cause chances are, he'll be there :) Maybe there's a way that we can overnight him some Bachi Burger to the U G A... Hmmm
Godspeed, our dear friend. Thank you for who you are and all that you have done. You will be missed.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Get A Broom!!

So.... It's Jackie Robinson Day. The day where ever player on every team wears #42 with no name on their jersey. It's a special day. It's even more special for the Dodgers, since they were the team that broke the color barrier. It was extra beautiful today because Vin Scully was back and my lefty was on the bump.
Unfortunately, Clayton Kershaw did not dominate the way he usually does. Matt Kemp in full BeastMode hit his 6th home run of the season and before I could say boo, the boys were ahead 4 to 1 in the 5th. Kersh walked three straight and all of a sudden we're tied at 4. Fast forward and the boys get a triple play. It happens so rarely in baseball, so it's truly special when it does.
So here we are in the bottom of the ninth and the bases are loaded. Hairston is in to pinch hit and he fouled out, then Dee Gordon steps to the plate. Skinny Swag had a rough day, he missed some key plays that could have saved Kershaw's bacon... But Flash came through. He hits a walk off single and the Boys in Blue win their 9th game of the season.
They are off to a 9 and 1 start, now I realize they've played teams who are just bad. But I'm still excited about the best start since 1981... When I was a mere 3 years old :)
It's been a good weekend. The Dodgers won Friday, Saturday and today. We went to a beautiful wedding yesterday, and the weather is finally settling down. There's a lot to be excited about!!! Yeah, it's the Padres & the Pirates, but back to back sweeps is something to smile about!!!
It's an extra special day for baseball and I'm a happy and hopeful Dodger fan!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Hard Not To Be Excited...

It's hard not to be excited about this ball club. I mean, I'm excited and hopeful at the start of EVERY season... But this one, it just feels different somehow. I suppose I say that every year. I know that Dee Gordon is faaaaassst... Like rocket fast and he's so much fun to watch. I timed him on Tuesday, he was on first base for less than a minute before he stole second. He was safe at 2 before Barajas even knew that he was gone... He scored within 4 minutes of reaching first base. That's how quickly he manufactured a run. unbelievable.
I know that my Lefty, Clayton Kershaw, was battling the flu on Opening Day. He came out and dealt anyway, he pitched 3 innings, the infield backed him up... he hit a double and pitched himself out of a bases-loaded jam in the third before Donnie Baseball yanked him. He threw 77 pitches during Tuesdays game and struck out 7. This kid is special and so much fun to watch.
Andre Ethier has seemed to find his bat... Kinda, and it looks like he's actually having fun playing baseball again. Matt Kemp is Matt Kemp, he's also explosive and fun to watch. I'm excited about Justin Sellers, I'm NEVER excited about Juan Uribe, I'm curious as to what A.J Ellis may have up his sleeve.
But most of all, I'm hopeful. The Dodgers have a new ownership group on its way in... A group led by Magic Johnson (Magic loves LA and LA loves Magic) and baseball genius Stan Kasten. No one spends 2 billion on a team without intention of making it a dynasty. This gives me some hope, and peace that this storied franchise will no longer be dragged through the mud.
This is the time of year where everything is exciting, everyone has hope, I hear Vin Scully and I know that somehow, everything is right with the world... at least for those 9 innings....

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Lucky Number 7

Today marks the seventh anniversary of my sobriety... While I know many people with WAY more time ( My Dad, my best gal pal etc...) Seven years is a long time between cold beers and shots of grey goose for someone like me.
This has been the hardest and the most rewarding year yet... I've been going through one of the hardest things I've ever faced in my life and I thank God every day that I don't have to do it alone. I have a host of friends around me who are walking me through life... The fear of the unknown has gripped and sometimes crippled me, but I'm a blessed woman. I have some amazing angels that are carrying me right now...
In the midst of the gnarliest thing that I have ever experienced, God has given me the most special thing I have ever known. I have found the love of my life, the end all be all for me. There is no one else in my future...
I have no idea what God's plan is... And I can't always see where He is in my life, but I can usually see where He was.
Seven years ago, I was sitting on a plane headed to rehab in San Diego, I had no idea what the future held for me, I didn't know anything about what waited for me, I only knew that I had been given a way out. I don't know if anyone is familiar with the havoc that drugs and alcohol wreak on a life, but I was pretty shot out... The only thing that I felt when that day came was relief.... Fast forward a few years and I'm back in Vegas, working at this great job... Wanting to go back to the beach..
And bam, my Mom falls ill then Bam again with the perfect guy for me.... He has led me every step of the way, i just haven't always seen it
So, yeah, it's been a year full of ups and downs. I can honestly say that He never gives us more than we can handle... And when He does, He gives us people to handle it with.
I'm excited to see what year 8 has to offer....
You all know who you are. Thank you for trudging with me.