Thursday, December 20, 2012

Cookies.

My mother in law always, always, always makes cut outs for the family Christmas Eve party and I'm not talking about a couple dozen.... I'm talking like 12 dozen. Why? I couldn't tell you. Although her and her sister would split them between themselves, but still wayyy too many cookies. So this is how it has gone in years past.
"Emily, are you going to help frost cookies?"
"Of course! What time should I come by?"
"(Insert a time), I will see you then sweetie."

So,  I would show up excited to get all artsy on my cookies. I would frost about 10 really extravagant cookies and then want to be done. The only problem with this was that there would still be about 100 cookies left to frost. Now we had plenty of helpers, but they were young kids, so you couldn't really count on them... Ya know what I mean? So it kind of became a running joke about how I would start off strong picking out each individual sprinkle for my cookies and by the end I would just be slapping whatever color frosting was closest to me on the cookie and call it a day. Well, my MIL wasn't going to bake any cookies this year because it is just too much work and I of course said she just HAD to. Secretly I wanted to because I was planning to snap some photos of my little man baking his first cut outs with his grandma, so really I had an ulterior motive. Well, I got to the pictures, but by the end of the night all my cookies were yellow....






Tuesday, December 18, 2012

I just like to smile, smiling's my favorite! -ELF

Each day is filled with moments worth remembering, moments worth sharing. As a promise to myself, I wanted to start trying to reflect on my day every night and remember something that made me smile. The funny thing about that has been that it has made me pay more attention to the small things as they are happening throughout the day. I find myself smiling at my son constantly. He is a chatter box these days so you really never know what he is going to say next. Tonight we drove around as a family to look at Christmas lights and we happened to find a house that was just completely decked out; I mean the whole nine yards!!! They had blinking lights, flashing lights, twinkling lights... Everything. My son was so impressed and his little two year old mind was blown. He told me, "the lights are popping!" And it made me smile! It made me smile because he just saw fireworks at our town's Christmas parade and he learned that fireworks go pop pop and in his mind that was the closest thing he had seen to these Christmas lights, so naturally they must be popping too.

I smiled today while I was out doing a little Christmas shopping because I looked around and saw men sitting on benches everywhere or leaning against a rack while their women shopped until they dropped. I smiled because I saw a mom flustered because her kids weren't behaving well and she was concerned what everyone was thinking. I didn't smile because I was happy her kids weren't behaving, I smiled because I've been her. I smiled because I saw mothers trying to pick out just the right book for their child and it makes me happy to know that there are still parents who encourage their children to read. I smiled when I saw a woman trying to capture a beautiful candid shot of her children hanging out with what appeared to be their grandpa. I smiled because I happened to run into my step sister in a quite comical way. I just smiled.

I smile because I realize there is just so much worth smiling about. I smile because I am thankful. I smile because there really is no other way to live. Life is happening all around us and it happens so quickly. If you don't take the time to pause and enjoy things every once in a while, you'll realize when you look back you have no memories or stories to share because you were too busy moving on to what was next to enjoy the now. I invite you to remember to smile and remember at least one thing every day that made you smile. I think it's a wonderful way to end the day!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Tis the season!

I can't sleep, so I figured I might as well do something constructive. The holiday season is upon us and I couldn't be more happy about it. Last year I told myself that Walter was going to be so much fun come Christmas morning, well... he wasn't. BUT... this is going to be his year, I know it! He's finally going to be just the perfect age to be excited to unwrap presents, he will squeal in excitement with each special gift, he loves being a helper, he loves the lights, he loves the music, he is his mother's child! He turned 2 this past Thursday and that just seems completely unreal to me. I cannot believe I have a 2 year old!

This time of year is special to me for many reasons. There is just something about the sights, the atmosphere, and sounds of the holiday season that make me warm inside. I have so many special memories of getting my home ready for Christmas with my mother. We would spend the day putting the tree up, deciding where to place each decoration, and all the while listening to Bing Crosby's Christmas CD. Long after all my siblings out grew helping with the Christmas decorations, I could still be found helping my mom... It became OUR tradition. It became something very special to me that words can't describe. I know I will have those memories forever and I cherish them so very much. I hope I can make the same kind of memories for my son. He helped me with all the decorating this year. Although the word helping is being used very loosely. It's so important to make traditions and take the time to enjoy the small things with your child. I bet my parents didn't think half of the things that became a cherished memory for me would even make an impact on my life. I love that they did though. I love that I have special memories that are all mine or that no one else but my siblings understand. By having those cherished memories, it has enabled me to know how important it is to create them with Walter. All I can hope is that it happens as naturally in my family as in did for me as a child. I hope that in 25 or so years Walter will be sharing his Christmas memories and stories with a family of his own! Merry Christmas all!

-ejw

I.M.H.O.

There have been so many opinions flying around since the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary took place. Where should the focus be? I think the focus needs to be on all of it. Gun control needs reformed. Yes, the statement guns don't kill people, people kill people is very true. But still gun laws need reformed. Access to guns is too easy. The idea that it's our constitutional right to bear whatever guns we like is just ridiculous. No one needs to own multiple hand guns or a .223 rifle. If you want your guns to hunt that is fine, I'm not talking about you... So shut up already about us taking your guns away.
Mental illness needs to be more accepted in society as something that needs to be treated not just something tucked neatly away in a closet that we don't want to really deal with. Take a minute to read the blog I am Ryan Lanza's Mother and the follow up blog I am Ryan Lanza's Psychiatrist. Healthcare  needs reformed in the sense that it doesn't really allow people to get help. They want to simply medicate someone or get them out of treatment as quickly as possible so they can save a few dollars. Everything is about how cheap and quick we can do things now. It's never about quality of care or individual needs. Healthcare is big business now... Actually in my opinion is one of the biggest shams out there.
Finally, our world doesn't know God. Not sure where this fits in with it all, but it's something they're talking about in the aftermath. And by saying I'm not sure where it fits in, I simply mean if you think this was God's doing or he was controlling this somehow, you've clearly never cracked open the Bible.  People want to know where God was during all of this like he is some puppet master who is controlling our every move from his throne in the sky. People really do need to get a handle on who God really is. So yeah, I think it would do our society some good to bring God back into it. You can't take him out of everywhere and run our societies and lives like we have never heard his message and then expect to bring him back into it all when everything has gone to shit. I listened to someone talking about this and he said "we have excused him out of our lives but then we act surprised when a society without him actually reflects what it has become." Or something like that. Pretty powerful, right?
So really, it was just tragic... There is nothing more that can be said about it. But... There are clearly some lessons to be learned and some changes that need to be made and that's what the media should be focusing on. Unfortunately, this will never be the case. They will do whatever it takes to get viewers and plaster that kid's face all over the place. They will continue to put that picture of that poor emotionally distraught girl on her cell phone everywhere. They will exploit these children and in a week we won't be talking about it anymore, well that is, until it happens again.


http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/16/i-am-adam-lanzas-mother-mental-illness-conversation_n_2311009.html

http://www.xojane.com/issues/a-response-to-i-am-adam-lanzas-mother-from-a-doctor-in-the-trenches-i-am-adam-lanzas-psychiatrist

Over and Out -ejw

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Figuring it all out.

Walter is quickly coming up on his second birthday. People always say they grow up quick, but you don't really believe it until you're living it. The day to day doesn't necessarily go fast, but when you stop and take a moment to reflect you realize how quickly time has gone by unnoticed.  Sometimes a week seems to take forever to pass by, but then when I go to recall something that happened, " just the other day," it's really been 4 months! I'm definitely getting older... So with age and a not so little baby anymore, you start to wonder if it could be time for number 2.

I'm one of those freak of nature worry warts that worries about pretty much anything. I look at my beautiful baby boy and think to myself, of course, that he's perfect. Why would I want to press my luck? What if the second baby isn't as cute? What if I don't love them the same? What if Walter gets upset? Worst of all, what if the second baby turns out to be as horrible of a sleeper as little man? Haha! This mama really loves her sleep, so that's a real concern for me. I couldn't handle two babies not sleeping well. Then you have to wonder if you think you can really start all over from scratch again. Can I go back to those midnight feedings? Could I really balance TWO children?

So people tell me, just wait until Walter is a little bit older.  To be honest, no thank you! I don't want children much further in age than they already would be AND I don't want Walter to get all the way out of the baby phase because if he does and I don't have another one... I'm likely to say adios and never look back. With all that being said, my sister is my absolute best friend in the world and I want Walter to have a sibling so he can have that same kind of relationship. However, I have 2 sisters and 2 brothers and while I love them all very,very much, I only have that special relationship with my one sister. So, I am well aware that you can't guarantee your children will become close and remain that way forever. However, it's just such a special connection that I think, can I really take the chance of him missing out on that?

There is just so much to consider when thinking of the possibility of adding to your family. What things worry you guys or worried you when you were where I am at?

-ejw


Tuesday, October 2, 2012

It's pumpkin season!

The good news is, that the sun came back out awhile ago and I've just been really busy enjoying my day to day that I haven't been on here much to update. ( Let alone keep up with all my favorite bloggers... please forgive me) Fall seems to be in full swing in my neck of the woods and it is my favorite season, so I've been taking it all in. I love pumpkin flavored things so I must take advantage of them while they're here. So you can see why I haven't been able to blog... I've been to busy sipping on my pumpkin coffee, while smelling my pumpkin candles & hand soaps, and enjoying my pumpkin decorations! Haha.

Walter seems to have grown up over night. He is talking up a storm and learning words left and right!  He has taken to telling me, " no way momma!" when he really doesn't want to do something and even though it's a little sassy, I still let him say it. :) He has even started eating veggies every once in awhile... thank goodness!!! I told him carrots will make him hop like a bunny, so that is going over really well.

On the home front, I have finally hung up two of the prints that I bought six months ago... So that should keep the Betty homemaker in me happy for awhile. (It's the small things people...) I have a ladder I'm going to use a bookshelf on the wall and an old pallet to turn into shelving, so I making a move in the right direction.

On a much, much sadder note... my camera broke due to no fault of mine. It's about 7 or 8 years old and I went to turn it on the other day and the screen just read lens, error please restart camera. The only problem with that is... IT WON'T RESTART! Apparently, this is a common problem in Canons... go figure. So, for now I am back to my simple point and shoot until I can afford a new DSLR. I am trying not to get to down about it, but it is frustrating. It's the first hobby that I have
taken to in adulthood and I'm missing it like crazy!

Anyway, thank you to everyone who left me a wonderful comment on my last post. I appreciate all the support and knowing that I am not the only stay at home mom who has felt this way. It is so wonderful to have a space like this to share my frustrations and get support from people that I've never met, except through their words and their own trials and tribulations. It truly is a special thing and I thank you all for reading... really, it means the world to me!

-ejw

Sunday, August 19, 2012

The Sun'll Come Out Tomorrow...

Truthfully, I haven't been using this space lately because I just don't know what I want to say. I'm feeling very discontented (is that even grammatically correct?) lately. It seems like everything I try to do ends up being a "C" kind of job and I am an A+ kind of girl. It's rather frustrating when you're a perfectionist and nothing seems even remotely close to perfect. My days have just been slipping by me and I feel like I get nothing done. The dishes keep piling up, despite my best attempts to keep things clean. The laundry... well, I should hire someone to do that because I certainly haven't been doing so hot. I am constantly thinking of things I want to do in my home to "decorate" and give my space some character, but the walls remain blank. I'm trying to figure out my stinkin' camera and that seems to no avail. I just don't feel like I am where I want to be in life. I feel like I should be doing more and then I would be happy. 

However, I don't know what more I could really be doing. I stay home with my son because that's what I want to do. We made that decision as a family and I couldn't be more happy with it. I love that I stay home with him and have the privilege of spending so much quality time with my son. I love that I don't miss out on things because I'm stuck at work. However, I'm not a housewife... I am a stay at home mother. I feel that those two things are very different. Once Walter goes to school, I want to be back in the workforce. However, sometimes it feels like I am so disconnected from the world because I stay at home. I feel like I'm not doing anything worthwhile in my life to further myself professionally. I know it's a catch-22 and that I can't have my cake and eat it too. I wouldn't trade being home with Walter for anything, but at the same time I wish I had more to tell people when they ask what I've been doing with my life. I wish I had a list of accomplishments and a chunk of change in my 401k and a business card to say, "Hey, I'm a professional too!" I know it doesn't work that way though. I feel very proud of what I am doing at home and how smart and wonderful my son is. It's just that the world doesn't see that as an accomplishment and so I feel like I'm stuck in one place because my accomplishments can't be measured in job titles and salary. Which, truthfully, really doesn't even matter to me, but it matters to everyone else. It's easy to say that you shouldn't let others get you down, but it's often much easier said than done. 

I like finishing projects too and I haven't finished a project in a really long time. My sister and I started painting my kitchen well over a year ago, but the trim isn't finished. It's really starting to work my nerves too. My sister and I have been tossing around ideas for what seems like an eternity about what color to put on my living room walls... still white. UGH!  No pictures hanging on the walls, no shelves, no decoration. My mantle looks like Martha Stewart puked all over it. No organization... no theme. It's not that I am even bad at decorating, I am just too dang indecisive. ANNNNND I feel like with a toddler running around that it's about impossible to get the time to do any decorating. Plus, even if I got some decorating done, it would quickly be over taken by Lightening McQueen and Thomas the Train. House? Check. Oh wait, house... definitely not checked off my to-do list. 

Photography? BIG GIANT frustration! I know it's going to take some time, but I feel like I'm getting nowhere. Before I started trying to take pictures, I always had so many great ideas for photos and would get inspiration from everything. Now, it's all gone. I feel like I lost my creativity the minute I tried using it. I suppose that's how it works sometimes though. It can only get better. 

Over and Out. 
EJW


Friday, August 3, 2012

Vacation.

Vacation, all I ever wanted! Vacation, had (have) to get away.

Finally after many months of planning and anticipation our family vacation is right around the corner. It's so close I can already smell the ocean winds and taste the sea salt. I honestly haven't been this excited in a long time. It's not like my life is really so stressful that I actually mentally and physically need a vacation for my health. Although, if you ask me on the right day I might will be singing a different tune. We are spending an entire week in Myrtle Beach where we rented a house. I should say where my in laws rented a home. The idea was originally to go for my father-in-law's 50th birthday, which was back in April. However we realized that the weather we wanted wouldn't coincide with April. We wanted to be able to cavort on the beach, swim, and catch some serious rays. So we settled on waiting until August and after many months of waiting, it actually feels real.

I've decided that I am going to use this week to relax and not let a clock dictate my life, which I do more often than not. On a daily basis I find myself looking at the clock constantly and using it to gauge where I should be in my day. There are always more things to do than there are hours in a day, but for one week I am not going to let that be the case. In the past I have found myself saying I need a weeks vacation for the week of vacation I just had. I personally tend to try and fit more than is reasonable into vacation time. You want to make sure you do everything on your list of activities and see all the places you want to see and go to all the shops you want to check out etc, etc. Well, I have realized that this does not make for a very relaxing vacation because you are just racing against the clock to fit it all in. Fitting in all in has become a way of life for so many of use and it's sad because that's the exact lifestyle that leads to not savoring the small things in life that really matter. So, as a promise to myself, I am going to make sure I enjoy this very long awaited vacation and soak up all the little moments. I CANNOT wait.

-ejw

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Baseball! America's Past Time.



There are few places in this world that immediately make me happy the minute I arrive. A baseball stadium just so happens to be one of those places. From the minute I walk through the big gate and start heading to my seat, I get an overwhelming feeling of joy. I love looking around at all the smiling faces of people who feel the same as I do. I enjoy seeing the families with little children, whose smiling faces could light up even the darkest space.



When you go to a baseball game or really any sporting event, you also walk into a very special community. You could find yourself passing out hugs and high fives to strangers, when on any other day the thought of doing that would be extraordinarily odd. Everyone around you is usually in a good mood and it's a sort of buzz that travels through the crowd like electricity. Where else in the world would you try to get the wave started 47,000 times and not be the least bit frustrated that it didn't make it much further than a couple sections next to you? 
"Hang On Sloopy...Sloopy Hang On"... O-H-I-O




I was lucky enough to make it to my first baseball game of the season. We were celebrating my friends 21st birthday at the Indians vs. Orioles game. The Indians didn't win, but that's okay I'm a Reds fan anyway. After the game there were fireworks, which are always a good time... but tonight they were extra awesome because they went along with Beatles music. Which, as I have said before, is my favorite band of ALL time! What more could a girl ask for on a Saturday night? Nothing.


I love when they wear the Red hat and socks combo!







Feeling Blessed.
ejw



Sunday, July 15, 2012

The Learning Curve. (of photography)

So, this weekend I took the first step toward becoming an accomplished photographer and wandered away from the auto setting. I am completely intimidated and overwhelmed. To be honest it feels very similar to the first day of a class that you know isn't going to be a gimme. I have always wanted to "master" photography; well for as long as I can remember anyway, but just haven't had any idea how to do it. This past winter my step-sister blessed me with her old camera. Hey, it might be old to her, but it is certainly new to me.


I am working with a Canon PowerShot S3 iS. From everything that I have read about it, it seems like I have a pretty great beginners camera. I am really excited to take a few more outings with just myself and my camera. I know the learning curve for me is going to be a pretty steep one. I feel like my head is just full of words all jumbled around that mean nothing to me. Aperture, Shutter Speed, ISO, Field of Depth, AWB, AP Focus, Exposure, Flash Output. There are just so many new terms and values that it seems like I am trying to master string theory. Big aperture values means large field of depth and small aperture values mean small field of depth or then again maybe not. Who knows? NOT ME!  I know once I start taking pictures and keep messing with all the different settings it won't all seem like a foreign language, but right now it does. 


Anyway I thought I would put up some of the pictures I took this weekend. A lot of the bloggers I follow are also photographers, so if any of you have any advice... I surely welcome it. 






















I've included some that I think worked, as well as, ones that obviously didn't. Thanks for reading!!!
-Em

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

You say it's your Birthday...

Well Happy Birthday to you!
Gotta love me some good ole' Beatles' tunes. 


So today was my 25th birthday. Which might come as a surprise to some since I've been rounding my age up since about February. I'm just not one of those people who get all crazy about my age. In my mind growing old is a wonderful thing.... maybe just not too old. I am in no rush to be old, but I am also not afraid of it either. Although tonight on the golf course I promised my Dad that when he got to a pretty ripe old age, I wouldn't treat him like a child how most people do. I over heard some middle aged people talking to an older man like he was a toddler and I thought, "ugh!!!! I hope no one ever talks like that to me!" 


When I think about growing old, I think about all the awesome memories that come with it. I think about all the life lessons I will learn and all the wisdom that will hopefully come my way. I think about growing old with my husband and spending time with the family we created. I think about the strong friendships I will have built and the relationship lessons I will have learned. In my mind age doesn't necessarily mean wisdom, but if you play your cards right it most certainly can mean attaining some wisdom. Just like a good wine, I think people only get better with age. I read an article once that said 33 was the happiest age for most people. I may not be 33 yet, but here's to hoping I will have many good years before then and after! 

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Growing Up.

I still have these moments that strike me at the most unexpected times and my thoughts go a little something like this, "Oh my gosh, I'm a mother! I have a child and my own family!"

That might seem odd to some people because my son will be exactly a year and a half old tomorrow. I know it seems like I should be used to the idea that I am a mother, but sometimes I just still can't believe it. I live everyday of my life as Walter's mommy. I take care of him and love him the best way I know how, but it can still sneak up on and me and take me by surprise. I still often times catch myself thinking of myself as my parent's child. It just doesn't seem like I could be old enough already to have been married almost 4 years and have a son of my own. I know that I will always be my parent's kid, but in a way as you grow older you separate from that. You move on, you grow up. You move out of your parent's house. You start to take care of yourself financially. You begin to make decisions that you don't consult your parents on. You just keep putting one foot in front of the other and then before you know it, you're your own person... separate from them. Maybe it's because I still rely on my parents for so much. I still very much value their opinions and heed their advice. It's hard for me to think that someday Walter will look to me for the same kind of guidance and I just don't feel like I am ready for that. I don't think that anyone necessarily feels ready to lead someone else through life because we're all trying to figure it out for ourselves, but somehow it all works out.

Today these thoughts came to me when my little family took a walk to a nearby park. I was sitting there on the swing watching my husband push our son and watching my son laugh hysterically at his daddy being silly. The realization that we're our own family was overwhelming. We're making our own memories together and growing together, without anyone else. I feel so blessed to have them. I wanted to stay in that moment forever and know that I would always be able to be happy with them like I was in that moment. I wanted to know that I would always be able to remember the simple and happy times we've had together. I wanted to know that I would always be able to protect them. I had a sort of "mama bear" moment. I loved it. I love when gratefulness washes over you when you're not expecting it. I thank God for these moments.


Sunday, June 3, 2012

The Wonder Years

I have been watching The Wonder Years on Netflix recently. I remember catching an episode here or there when I was little and liking it, so I thought that I should maybe watch it again as an adult. There is something special to me about that time and I think the show captures it so well. It was set in a time when the world was changing an immense amount, but at the same time it captured the safety of community and  the American family life. I have this tendency to assume that other time periods would be so much better to live in than the one that I actually live in. There is just something so alluring to me about the past. I also really like the time period it is set in because Kevin Arnold was right around the age my Dad was in 1970. I like to view it as an opportunity to see life like my dad did when he was growing up.

As I have been watching the show I keep finding myself drawn to the character of Jack Arnold. He is a tough man who doesn't show his soft side often. He is the cliched idea of what the man of the family was like then. He works hard, hates his job, and comes home and pours himself a drink. They often have him sitting in the living room watching a baseball game and drinking a beer. When Jack is doing this, the kids and Norma know they shouldn't disturb him. Even though Kevin knows he should leave his dead alone, he doesn't. Kevin thinks that he always knows what his dad is thinking and that he'll walk into the living room and have a special bonding moment with him. More times than not, the situation always end up going exactly opposite of what Kevin was hoping for. However, every once in awhile Jack shows Kevin a kind side and it's always so heart warming.

The episode I watched last was when Kevin and Winnie had broken up after their first real relationship with one another. Kevin didn't want to discuss it with his mother or anyone because he was hoping Winnie would realize she had made a mistake and would take him back. Paul throws a party at his house and invites Winnie for Kevin, in hopes that he'll be able to win her back. He doesn't. Kevin leaves the party early and heads home and decides he is going to hide out in the garage for awhile, so he doesn't have to face anyone when he goes inside. When he walks to the garage he sees his dad in there doing the very same thing. Kevin walks in and his dad can tell something is wrong and knows it's about Winnie. He just simply looks at Kevin and says, "I wish I could say it's going to get easier, but it doesn't." Jack then takes Kevin in his arms and gives him a hug in the way only your father can and lets him know it's going to be okay. My Dad could always solve my problems with a hug like that, whether he knew that or not and maybe that's why I loved this scene so much.

Jack's character is a special one. His role in his family is to remain the strong one, the provider. He is proud of his family and his life, but doesn't show it often. He wants to be able to provide for them, but doesn't want to let anyone know that he worries about it. He does what he has to so that his family can be taken care of, including working somewhere he hates for a boss he can't stand. He swallows his pride and asks his boss for a raise because the family is hurting. He buts heads with his daughter constantly because he doesn't understand her, but will always see her as his little girl and tries so hard to connect with her. He forces his family to do things that no one wants to do because he is holding on the the memory of when the kids were little and innocent and loved spending time together. He wants it to always be like that, but knows that it has to change. He is always there for his kids when they really need him and shows them the soft side that Kevin is always in search of. Even though his family knows he can be tough, they really all secretly see him as a kind and gentle man.

I'm not sure what it is that makes me enjoy his character so much. Maybe it's the complexity of it all. Maybe it's because I see parts of my own father in him. Maybe it's because I think all men feel like he did. Whatever it is, I think they did a great job with his character. The times have changed, but I think men still feel all the pressures of life the same way he did then. I like that men have an overwhelming feeling that they have to provide for the family and that they can never look weak or like they don't know what they're supposed to do. As the show goes on, Jack is able to show his soft side more and learns how to be more comfortable with it. They did a great job showing Jack figuring out how to be a father, a husband, and a provider. It might just be me, but I think in the background of the show, Jack grows as much as Kevin does through the series.

So all in all, I'm just trying to say I really enjoy The Wonder Years.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Busy Busy Busy

So, I have been missing in action for about a month now. I have noticed that I have let life take control of me and have left no time for myself or reflection. The goal of my blog is to remind me to slow down and focus on the important things and also a place for me to kind of sort through my thoughts. With the sun shining and outdoor activities calling my name, I have had little time left at the end of the night to do something that requires thought.

With all the hussle and bussle of daily life with a one and a half year old, I have been worn out to say the least. Some days end with a final thought of, "what a great day!" And other days ended with the thought of, "I can't take another day like today..." There is always something that needs to be done. The dishes, the laundry, sorting of toys, cleaning up the clutter around the house, pulling weeds, planting flowers, watering said flowers, dusting, spring cleaning, cooking, exercising, etc. etc. Now I only work three days a week at a less than hard job... delivering pizzas. I am blessed to be able to stay home with my child and take care of him and only have to work 15 hours a week for a little extra cash for the family. This may seem like an insignificant amount of hours and yes I realize it's really basically nothing. However, some days it's enough to send me over the edge. Just knowing that I have to wake up early and keep going until way past the time the sun has gone down, just leaves me feeling overwhelmed.

Playing outside in the sun all day and chasing my child, follwed by a night of work has kept me from blogging. It disappoints me that I haven't kept up on my promise to blog at least once a week, which is very attainable. I need this time to reflect and pause from everything that's calling my name. I need a place where I can be honest about how exhausted I feel. A place where I can express my frustrations and reflect. A place where I can share my joys, even if for no other reason than to remind myself. The joy of watching my son play with the hose for hours and being 100% content. The frustration of watching the dishes pile up in the sink and knowing I am the only one who will do them, even after I spent the entire day doing laundry, folding it, and putting it away. The frustration of there being no one to help me out during the day, no matter how tired I am or how much I could use a small break. The joy of hearing my son try to say at least 5 new words a day, even if I am the only one who knows what he's saying :) Each day is filled with ups and downs and I am slowly but surely getting better at focusing on the ups. However, sometimes I still find myself focusing on the lows after a couple of bad days, even though I know it only makes it worse. My blog is my place to reflect and remind myself to look at the good and to focus on the good because it's all that really matters in the end. Knowing that I wear myself out so that Walter can have a fun day filled with great memories will most definitely be worth it in the end!

Over. And. Out.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Support.

As much of a wonderful thing as it is in life to know that people support you and are there for you, you need to make sure you remember to do the same for others. I am so lucky to know that I have so many people around me who truly care about me. However, I can I forget to let them know I feel the same way about them. I am not a mushy person at all so it can be hard for me to be openly express my feelings, but sometimes I know it's important for me to do that.

Right now there are a few people in my life that are dealing with difficult situations. I want to learn to better express to them how I feel about them, without feeling like I'm being too mushy. I have the tendency to approach people's situations and play the devil's advocate because I am more comfortable in that role for whatever reason. Sometimes it can be a good thing, but sometimes it's important to just lend a caring ear and heart. I like to vent so I need to realize other people sometimes want to vent without having to be told to look at the situation differently. A little venting can go a long way. I also feel like it's important when someone you love is going through something difficult to not only talk about that particular thing. Everyone needs a break from life sometimes and when you're dealing with something difficult it can be good to just take a step back and focus on other things.

It seems like we always look at ourselves and think about what we need to change and improve something in order to benefit only ourselves. Although there are things we can change about ourselves that will directly benefit our relationships with others and that's an important thing in life. I want to make sure I am giving 100% of myself to those I care about. I want to be a good friend, family member, sister, mother, wife, etc. and that requires being a good communicator even if it means being "mushy." So if there is someone in your life that could benefit from a kind word, try being that person for them today.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Z is for Zero.

Zero is for how many posts we have left in the challenge. We've made our way through all 26 letters and it was quite a ride for me for my first year. I have loved being a participant in the challenge. It forced me to stick to something, to make sure I met a deadline. It has been refreshing. It's been a few years since I have been in school and was accountable for any kind of "homework." I loved feeling back in the loop of thinking outside the box and having to use my brain. I realize I use my brain everyday, but using it in this sense is so very different. Even though I only wrote about random things with no real importance, it was good for me to do something.

I have loved finding other blogs and meeting people through the challenge. So thank you for reading and thank you for following me! I look forward to finding even more blogger friends in the future and doing the challenge again next year. I have enjoyed seeing all the different themes people used and all the different words everyone chose. I really want to keep blogging regularly even though the challenge in over. I hope that I don't start to slack since I won't have a specific reason to be blogging each day. I am going to try to keep my "theme" of random things that inspire me each day throughout the whole year. So thanks again for reading and following, it was great to meet all of you through the challenge!

WOO HOO!!!! We made it :)

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Y....

Y.... I can't come up with anything good for y. Why oh why can't I think of anything that starts with y, that I care enough about to share with you?

The only thing that keep coming to mind is, "yada yada yada." You know... that infamous Seinfeld episode. So please just insert some yada yada yada's here and you'll have yourself a significant post! :)

And one more thing. Does it just drive you absolutely nuts when people can't get your and you're right? P.S. I know I missed one awhile ago in one of my blogs, my father so kindly pointed it out to me. I can't remember if I went back and fixed or not. Oh well.

"I hate when people don't know how to correctly use your and you're, it just really drives me crazy and yada yada yada."

Friday, April 27, 2012

X-tra

X is for X-tra gum, which is the kind my mother always had when I was a kid. Before all this fancy gum existed, my mom always carried around a Plen-T-Pack of blue X-tra and my brothers, sisters, and I loved it! Well, one time my older sister Katie and I thought it would be a good idea to see how many pieces of gum we could chew and apparently swallow. Turns out, we had a few too many pieces. Later that day or night we both got really sick to our stomachs.  We were throwing up and could barely move. This might sound gross, but really it wasn't. All we had in our stomachs were tons of balls of gum so when we threw up that was all it was, nothing gross. We both have a very vivid memory of this day and we laugh about it often. She thinks we were laying on the floor of our parent's bedroom and I think we were on opposite couches in the living room. Not that it really matters, but it's funny we both remember different things. Our sickness probably lasted for around 24 hours and then we were all better. However, I bet we will never chew and swallow gum like that again. Lesson learned.


Just a quick trip down memory lane. :)

Thursday, April 26, 2012

W is for Walter, what else?

I thought of a couple didn't things I could have done my W post on, but there is nothing better than my son Walter! He is getting so big that I already feel like it's hard to remember when all he did was sleep and eat. He fills his days now with lots of playing. His favorite thing in the whole world is his matchbox cars! Just sitting there and watching him play fills me with disbelief. How can I be some one's mother? When did he learn to do that? How did he get this big already? Why is he eating that? I just can't believe how fast time has gone. I know everyone tells you that they grow up overnight, but you don't really get it until they're here and then they're just grown up one day.

When he smiles at me I can completely lose my train of thought. He is just so precious, even when the smile is that evil kind that let's you know they know they did something they shouldn't have. Even that smile melts my heart. Your whole perspective on life changes and it's crazy. He is my first thought ALL of the time. It's the first time that you really experience an all the time feeling that someone else is more important than you and your needs. You learn about the preciousness of life and the frailty of life at the same time. The up all nights, saying no too many times to count, changing of dirty diapers, being at your wit's end, are all worth it for a big hug and kiss from your baby.

Becoming a parent has been one of the most rewarding and challenging things I have ever done. I doubt there are many things that compare. I wouldn't trade it for anything in the world. I might take a couple weeks vacation though! :)  It's an up and down roller coaster on a daily basis, but somehow when it's all quiet at the end of the night I always smile to myself and thank God for my precious son! I thank him for blessing me with a healthy and happy child. I thank him for giving me the opportunity to experience this kind of unconditional love. I thank him that I have such a wonderful husband to share this with. I just thank him for everything.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

V is for Vulnerability

Being vulnerable is something that we all have in common. Just by living life everyday, we make ourselves vulnerable. So why are we so scared to show other people our vulnerability? Why do we think being vulnerable makes us weak, instead of strong? We're vulnerable to almost everything we encounter because we can't control all of our situations. We are vulnerable in our health, our family life, our faith, at work, and everywhere.

Our vulnerability is what allows us to grow and blossom into better, more loving people. If we had complete confidence in ourselves and our situations, would there be any need to change? I think our vulnerability is what makes us human. If we didn't have that we couldn't relate to other people's insecurities or be compassionate. Our own experiences in being vulnerable is what allows us to relate to other people's situations and understand how they might be feeling and gives us the insight in how to help and understand them. It helps us foster our relationships with other people.

Sometimes you have to get hurt or rejected in order to learn. We've all gone into a job interview feeling scared, nervous, and vulnerable and it's a terrifying feeling. However, we all made it out alive either with a new job or not. Either way we braved a scary situation and were made better for the wear. We've all experienced disappointment and made mistakes that we have had to admit to other people. It doesn't feel good to say "hey, I screwed up" but it makes it easier next time you have to admit it. We are going to make mistakes over and over again (hopefully not the same ones) and because we learn to move on, we grow. We have all been criticized, judged, hurt emotionally, been tempted, thus we have all been made vulnerable. So if everyone is vulnerable and we can't really help it, why should we be ashamed to admit it?

I am vulnerable and proud of it!

I understand now that the vulnerability I've always felt is the greatest strength a person can have. You can't experience life without feeling life. What I've learned is that being vulnerable to somebody you love is not a weakness, it's a strength.Elisabeth Shue

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

U is for Underrated.

Five months ago if you would have said to me that you Jazzercised as your form of exercise, I would have probably silently laughed at you. (mind you five months ago I wasn't exercising at all.) I would have pictured a Jane Fonda or Richard Simmons kind of thing. However against all my better judgements and the fact that my mother in law bought me a gift of some free classes, I gave it a try. I fell in love with it immediately. It's no joke. Trust me... just ask my legs. I danced when I was younger so I was naturally inclined to like it a little more than most. But I think I liked it so much because of the way it gives you a serious workout while entertaining you as well. If you don't like what you're doing to work out, you probably won't stick to it. Jazzercise is the perfect blend of cardio, strengthening, and toning. The first half of the class is the cardio portion followed by the weights (light weights) and abs. You get to dance to current music, classic music, fun music, really any kind of music you can imagine.

You get worked out from your head to your toes. They really don't miss a muscle in the body, I promise. I now know I have muscles that I previously had no clue they existed. YOU WILL SEE RESULTS. How cool is that? I am promising you that if you were to try it, you will see changes. I am so glad my MIL bought me those classes! I needed to do something to get back in shape after having my sweet little one and this is the perfect way. I smile while I'm there. I love my instructors and the people in class with me. It's a welcoming, safe community where there are no judgements. If you can dance... great. If you can't, show up anyway. They always say the hardest part is getting in the door and once you're there it's easy. You don't have to keep up, you just have to show up!

If you're looking for something new to try in your workout regime, look for a Jazzercise center near you. It's worth checking out and I am going to promise you something else, IT'S FUN! U is for underrated because that is exactly what Jazzercise is or at least was to me.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Teething Toddler. & TOMS

My beautiful son has been teething his bottom two molars for months now. The first one finally popped through a few days ago and now the other one is cutting the gums. He is a terrible teether and it makes me feel so bad for him. He becomes this cranky two foot tall monster for days on end, which makes his mother want to pull her hair out! So I am appealing to the masses and asking all of you mothers out there, what worked best for your teething toddlers?

The only thing that seems to work for my son is Motrin. Orajel doesn't work, Tylenol doesn't work, teething tablets didn't work, so what I am I missing here? Is there some miraculous trick out there that I don't know about?

Okay, so that was kind of a lame T post. So, T is also for TOMS. TOMS is a great organization. They are mostly a shoe retailer, but they are also selling eye wear now. I bought my first pair of TOMS a couple of months ago and I love them. They are a very simple shoe made from canvas with a low profile sole. They are styled after the kind of shoes the people in Argentina wear. Blake Mycoskie is the founder of Toms shoes and decided to start the company after visiting Argentina. Now, the cool thing about TOMS is they have a program called ONE for ONE. For every pair of shoes purchases, they give a pair of shoes to a child in need. How cool is that? I have to admit, I like the style of TOMS, but the main reason I wanted to buy a pair is because it is such a great charity. You can find out more about the whole story at www.TOMS.com. As of 2010, the company had already donated over 1,000,000 shoes! WOW! So please, if you have the extra money (about $50) and are looking for a cool, new casual shoe for the summer.. go buy a pair and GIVE a pair.

Courtesy of: Toms.com

Saturday, April 21, 2012

S is for Sorry for Slacking.

Sorry for slacking on the A-Z challenge. Getting into this whole thing I didn't realize that it would take as much dedication as it has. I am really enjoying myself and have learned a couple things for next year. I didn't realize how easily the days could get away from you. It is definitely a good idea to have your posts planned ahead of time or maybe even written a few days in advance. I can see how a theme works well for so many people, but I still probably won't use a theme because that's just how I am. However, I might think far enough in advance to at least have a post planned for every letter. You learn from your mistakes, isn't that what they're always saying? haha.

I hope you can all forgive me. I will be back to regular posting next week. And hopefully with some good topics. Tomorrow is Sunday, so I will have some time to catch up on everyone else's blogs and hopefully get to know a few more of the participants. Enjoy your Sunday and don't become a slacker like myself!

R

R is for my dad Roger. I could not have asked for a better father. I know not everyone is blessed with the kind of relationship that I have with my dad, so that makes me even that much more thankful for him. People sometimes say things like, "she really is her mother's daughter." Well, I REALLY am my father's daughter. We are very different people, but I have so many of the same personality traits at him, that at times it's almost ridiculous. As you grow older you start to see your parents as actual people and begin to know them more as a friend and confidant. The funny thing is I don't think parents realize that when their kids get older, they start to look back at events in the past and view them like an adult rather than as the kid they were when it happened.

My parents got divorced when I was about 5 or 6, I can't really remember. However, even though my parents weren't together, I never lost either of them. Sometimes with divorce the one parent kind of drifts away slowly. Not my dad. He was there every other weekend, every Tuesday, and at every school, sport, or other event. When my mother moved us four hours away, my dad rearranged his life so that he was still there to get us whenever he was supposed to. And I know he would have gotten us more if he could have. This might not seem like a lot to some people, but being an adult now makes me realize how much work it took. There are so many people my age who aren't with their child's father  or mother and the fathers or mothers just kind of live their lives like they don't have children. So I really do appreciate the dedication he had to spending time with us. It makes all the difference in the world to me now.

Secondly, I laugh now at all the times my dad told me something when I was a teenager that just seemed sooooo stupid to me. He always used to say, in reference to my curfew, "you don't need to be out any later than that because nothing good ever happens after midnight." (my curfew was 11) I would beg and plead with him that all the other kids got to stay out later and he was so unfair, but boy was he right. He just kind of had this way of saying things so matter of fact, like they weren't up for debate, but without that condescending tone that most parents have. He would just tell me why I wasn't allowed to do something and just know that someday I would understand. I understand now. I appreciate his honesty and way of teaching me things. I hope that one day I can be the same way with my own son.

As an adult we have become even closer. I like to think of him as a friend. I talk to him on a regular basis, which for me, sometimes means calling him 5 times a day about absolutely nothing. He isn't much of a phone person, but he puts up with it. I love that I can invite my dad over for a cup of coffee and conversation. I love that he will watch my son for me when I ruined my hair with a box of hair dye and need to make an emergency run to the salon. I love that I can share anything with him. I love that he loves me, no matter what. I love that I don't have to question if my dad is proud of me. I love that I know he will always be there. I love my dad.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Quiet

Quiet, oh how I relish the quiet. I never knew this until I had my son. I really never gave much thought to the quiet time I had. Well, that's not quite true. I suppose I did notice my quiet time, but not in the sense of enjoying it. I would notice my quiet time when I had had too much of it and needed to do something to fill my time. Instead of worrying about getting more quiet time, I worried about how I could have less quiet time, less me time. It's funny how that works I suppose. It's true that the grass is always greener on the other side. Now don't get me wrong, I wouldn't trade my son for the world. However, I really do miss those days of sleeping in and watching movie after movie on a dreary day. I know that someday I will get them back when he's too cool for me and is always wanting to be somewhere other than home. Sometimes though, it just doesn't seem like I'll ever have more than an hour of quiet time from life.

I usually save my blogging until late at night when everyone else is sleeping. It's quiet for me then. I trade a few winks of sleep for my coveted quiet time. My mom warned me that all my "me" time would come late at night when the rest of the world was snoozing. I'm not sure if I believed her then, but I sure do now. She would tell me stories of cleaning the house and folding laundry after we all went to sleep and I thought what a silly way to spend your time. I get it now, boy do I ever get it now. Folding laundry is a chore I've never liked much, but it's 10x times worse when your toddler unfolds everything directly after you just folded it. There is solace in quiet time for me now. I can relax and not think about anything. Or if I do feel like thinking, I can choose what I want to think about. I can put the rest of the world on the back burner for a short amount time. I think we all forget how much a little quiet can do for a tired soul. You can take time to kick your feet up, have a glass of wine, or maybe even enjoy a TV show that's been taking up room on the DVR list. You can catch up on blogs you've been meaning to read or even read a few pages of a book you haven't cracked open in weeks. So for now, I am going to enjoy the last little bit of quiet time I have tonight and I want to remind you to also take a little quiet time for yourself... and appreciate it!

Over & Out.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Pretending People are Perfect.

This is a real problem I have. I hate that as a society we pretend that celebrities are perfect. They are always photo ready. Their skin doesn't have any imperfections. They're not fat. They all exercise all the time and eat healthy. They can "do it all" and never get worn out. They definitely don't get stretch marks!!!! Blah, blah, blah, so on and so on.

Courtesy of: The Huffington Post
It's a wonder that any of us can get out of bed in the morning, knowing we'll never be what we all aspire to be. It's awful that even the least vein person in the world still wishes to be a little more "perfect." We're just kind of bred this way in America. And how can we not be? Everywhere we look there are picture perfect celebrities staring right back at us. All the magazine racks are filled with them. So called reality TV is everywhere, even though we all know in our most sane minds it's not reality at all. When we open Yahoo! in the morning, the top news story is usually something completely stupid and celebrity related. I will never forget when the top story was, "Only 6 months after having a baby, Victoria's Secret model is back on the runway." GAG!!!! I know that it shouldn't make me mad, but it does. And then there was the article about Ralph Lauren's model causing outrage because she was too skinny. Well, NEWS FLASH, she was! We can't wonder why so many young girls feel the way they do when we shove this crap down their throats. It's sick and it's not real. My personal favorite, because I am covered in stretch marks or as I like to call them my tiger stripes, is that there is NEVER a picture of a mother in a pregnancy magazine that has stretch marks. I know not everyone gets them and they're very lucky. However, some people do and we shouldn't be made to feel ugly or like we have to hide them from everyone because they're an eye sore. If people didn't get them, there wouldn't be so many products marketed for them. It's superficial and makes people feel bad. Women and girls of all ages strive to make themselves fit into this idea of beauty and perfection that is unattainable, but shhh! don't tell anyone it's not real. It's just insane to me. I wish we could embrace each other for who and what we are. Even celebrities have imperfections, but we just photo shop them away and make people think they're perfect. It really is just a dangerous game. The end.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

O is for... Obstacle Course

When I was younger, one of my favorite things to do was to see how fast I could complete an obstacle course. It could have been made from anything and it would have still sparked my interest. I am a very competitive person, so naturally obstacle courses were appealing to me. I think all kids enjoy this kind of thing, but maybe not quite as much as I did. Still to this day if I ran into a good obstacle course, it would take all I had to not give it a whirl. Chances are I would succumb to my need to compete.

There is a show my husband and I like to watch called Ninja Warrior. It is about the toughest obstacle course I have ever seen in my life. Actually, I know it to be fact that it's the hardest one I've ever laid eyes on. I am under no illusion that I could even come close to doing it. The competition takes place in Japan, but people from all over compete. They start out with 100 competitors in stage 1 and the most I've ever seen make it to stage 2 is around 10. Once they complete stage 2 they move on to stage 3, which is just pure insanity, hardly anyone makes it past stage 3. If someone does make stage three they then have to climb a pretty long rope in a short amount of time. I wish I could remember either of those specifics, but my memory is failing me and I can't find them anywhere. There have only been 3 people to complete all four stages in 27 competitions. I hope that gives you can idea of how crazy it is!

If you have a few minutes the video is entertaining and worth watching.

Lastly, life is kind of like one big obstacle course, so I'm glad I've been preparing my whole life! :)

Monday, April 16, 2012

N is for NEW

There is just something about newness that is both scary and exciting. A new outfit is exciting; a new job is scary. However, I love new! I love getting new things and trying new things. I love that everyday I wake up, it's a new day filled with new possibilities. Hence the name of my blog! I am like most everyone else and find comfort in things and people I know well, but that doesn't stop me from wanting more. The more you expose yourself to, the more you grow as a person. Every new person you meet, every new experience you try, every new food you try, every new hobby you give a chance, is one more chance to grow.

Blogging is something I have thought about for a few years and I just kept writing it off as something I could never really do. I am so glad I gave it a chance! I have found so many people that I can relate to and appreciate reading their words. I love that it has given me a place to ramble and organize my thoughts. It has given me something that is all mine, a place to reflect. I was nervous to start because I didn't think anyone would read my blogs; I thought of that as failure and no one wants to fail. However, I realized is didn't matter if anyone read it, but that it was more important that I jumped the hurdle and did it for myself. That was where the real victory was.

I look forward to all the new experiences my future holds. I hope I never lose the desire to try new things and that I also think of it as something that is essential to my personal growth.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

M... a day late.

I apologize that I am a day late on my M post. We had a surprise birthday party for my father in law's 50th birthday. It wasn't quite a success because someone of course told him about it. Oh well.

Manners.
I look around at people in society today and notice that manners are almost non-existent. People don't say Hi anymore. People can't even keep their eyes front facing because they're always walking and texting. Only a few people hold doors anymore and if you find yourself holding a door for someone you'd be hard pressed to get a thank you. I am not perfect in the manners department, trust me I know. Society, as a whole, used to be much more strict in this area. I am from the generation that has completely forgotten their manners. Everything is about me, me, me. Young adults seem to have no respect for their elders. People don't respect places that are family oriented. People just seem to walk around with the mind set, "I have every right to be here and do and say whatever I like and if you don't like, then screw you, you can leave."

It honestly just makes me sad. I want to live in a world that is pleasant and nice to be in. I want to know my neighbors and feel comfortable to say hello. I like to wave at people as I am taking my child on a walk. If I have to socially interact with someone when I run to the grocery store, I would like it to be a pleasant exchange instead of a nasty one. I live in a small town, so I am already luckier than most because many people still feel how I do. I could never cut it in a large city where people are too busy to even notice another person, let alone say hello and offer a smile. I guess you can call me old fashioned, but I think it would just make life a little nicer. Have a goodnight!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Life Lessons Learned

Life is all about learning a few lessons along the way. You get wiser as you get older. Well, not necessarily, but hopefully. Here a few lessons I have learned so far in my young life. (Hey, I'm only 24... so I have a few more lessons to learn.)

1. You really can't judge a book it's cover.
2. Life really was simple as a teenager, even though you thought everything was life or death.
3. Worrying doesn't change anything.
4. Your parents, as it just so happens, weren't stupid.
5. Don't spend money you don't have.
6. Think before you speak.
7. Laugh often & cry often, they are both vital to your well being.
8. Take time to enjoy the scenery.
9. Making mistakes is okay.
10. Admitting you're wrong, doesn't make you weak.
11. Apologize.
12. Words hurt worse than sticks and stones.
13. Acceptance doesn't come from other people, it comes from yourself.
14. You're not the most important thing in the world.
15. A beautiful outside, doesn't mean a beautiful inside.

What are some of your favorite life lessons?

Thursday, April 12, 2012

KARMA

K is for Karma. I absolutely believe in Karma. It stems from Buddhism, even though I am not a Buddhist I believe in it. I think most people are acquainted with karma, but in case you're not I'll give a quick summary of what I think it is. In my opinion it is the principle that people will be rewarded or punished based on their life decisions and actions. Now obviously even people with the best of intentions will make a few poor decisions in their life or do a couple not so nice things, but I don't think that is what karma is concerned with. I think the principle of karma speaks more to the state your heart is in. It's about what is on the inside. If you're a good person, you will likely show that with your life. You'll show people kindness and understanding. You'll want to help people and you'll want to do the right things that will lead to a rewarding life. The saying actions speak louder than words, speaks directly to karma if you ask me. There are so many people who can talk a big game, but never put it into action in their lives.

I don't think I am perfect, but I think I have a good heart. I try to do what's right and I try to be an all around good person. I make mistake like anyone else, but when I do I try to fix them or try not make them again. Everyone is going to be hit with a couple punches from life that are no one's fault but nature's. How you react to them is what's important and reacting to things has just a much of an impact on karma as anything else. I love that this whole process has a name because to me it seems as natural as breathing. I 100% believe in creation and regardless of what God you believe in, it just seems to make sense that there would be some kind of order to life. You do good and you'll be rewarded; you do bad and you'll be punished. It all just seems so simple.

I'm sure many, many people have said this, but I'm just giving credit to who I saw it quoted by.
"Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it." -Charles R. Swindoll

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

J is for Justice

No, I don't mean justice as in to be treated fairly. Although, I think it's a great principle. Justice, just so happens to be my husbands name. Actually his name is Walter just like my sons, but a few days after my husband was born his dad decided he no longer wanted to call him Walter; rather he wanted to call him Justice. Alas, his nickname was born even though it has nothing to do with his actually name.

This year my husband and I will be celebrating our fourth wedding anniversary. I couldn't have asked for a better partner in life. Sure we have our fights and hang ups, but at the end of the day I know there isn't anyone else I would be rather be taking this journey with. He gets me. I mean, really gets me. He knows I am a little crazy at times and he handles it quite well. I tend to freak out and he tends to almost not react at all. It's a good balance we have. He doesn't mind when I am dancing around the house busting out my new dance moves that my sister and I came up with, instead he just sort of chuckles, shakes his head, and goes on about his business. He doesn't mind that I like to clean with the golden oldies on full blast. He doesn't yell at me for reading too many books on how we're supposed to raise our child, instead he just tells me to take it with a grain of salt and each child is their own individual. He has to remind me almost weekly if something "bad" happened, that there isn't anything we can do about it so I might as well not stress out. He just sort of has this way of balancing me out. I would be a stressed out, anxious mess if it weren't for him. In the same way he balances me out, I am able to pull him out of his comfort zone and get him to open up. It hasn't been an easy task, but slowly we're getting there. Even if everyone else can't see the changes we're making in one another, I can.

I know that our relationship is one that is built to last. I get almost giddy thinking about what it'll be like 20 or 30 years down the road. I get to imagining the kind of people we'll be and the things we'll have accomplished. Where will be living? How many kids will we have had? What sorts of vacations have we taken? What plans will we have for our future? I love the thought of growing old with him! I am so very thankful for the man I chose to spend my life with and I am excited to keep on living it with him! Here's to Justice! (even though I don't let him read my blog.)

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Idealism

I am a realist. I see things for what they are and I am terrible at sugar coating. I certainly don't see the sunny side of everything and I have a habit of assuming the worst. It's just who I am. I don't hate it because I know there are benefits for seeing things just as they are, but part of me wishes I could be an Idealist. Seeing things as I wish they were or as they should be, just seems like it would be easier sometimes. I know that if I always lived like that, people might think I am crazy. I just wish I had a little more idealism in my life. Idealists value morals, which I do also, but I know that so many people aren't moral so it's hard to look at the world and think of it as a moral place. They think people are instinctively good. They just see things in a better light. It's just not in my nature to be like this. In theory, I would like to become a good mix of an idealist and a realist. I know it's going to take some real work to squash my habit of being negative, but I know if I can manage it... it will be so worth it! I don't want to go around living in a fantasy world, but I want to be able to enjoy life a little more without always waiting for the other shoe to drop.. I think that if I can learn to be a little more of an idealist, I will be to live life to the fullest better. I will be able to embrace my now more and I'll smile more. So IDEALLY, I would like to dial back my realism a little bit and reel in my idealism.

What are you? An Idealist or a Realist?

Monday, April 9, 2012

H is for How did it get so late so soon?

How did it get so late so soon?
It’s night before it’s afternoon.
December is here before it’s June.
My goodness how the time has flewn.
How did it get so late so soon?
~Dr. Seuss

Seriously, how did it get so late? My day just seemed to fly by in a blur! All day I kept thinking, you have to get home and do your H post, you have to go home and blog, you have to come up with something for H!!!! H? H? H? What begins with H? I couldn't think of a darn thing that started with H that I would want to write about. My mind was just a blizzard of thoughts today. However, Dr. Suess' How Did It Get So Late So Soon kept popping into my head, probably because that's exactly how I was feeling. So it's very fitting that the line I kept coming back to started with a word that began with H!!! Yay!! So enjoy by nonsense, last minute H post. It's night, but I don't feel like it was ever afternoon. Way to hit the nail on the head Dr! Isn't Dr. Seuss just awesome? I think so. I hope you do too. Goodnight.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

The Great Gatsby

The Great Gatsby is one my favorite books of all time. There is no way that I could even do it justice with my own words, but I'll try. To me, it's one of those books that you can read over and over again; and every time that you do, you'll see it in a different light. The roaring 1920's is my favorite decade, which is partly to do with the reason I love this book so much.

Nick Carraway is the narrative voice of this book and throughout the entire book, he is trying to remain moral but finds it's hard to do. He is surrounded by people who place wealth at the center of everything. Gatsby met a girl and loved her so fiercely, that he then became the person he thought he needed to be in order for her to love him. He chased this dream endlessly. He built Daisy up to be someone she could never live up to and the dream that he had for their future was so disconnected to reality it was borderline insane, but he couldn't see this. Nick represents morality, while many of the other characters (i.e. Tom, Daisy, Jordan) represent moral decay and obsession with material things. Gatsby represents the American Dream and the drive to do anything in order to achieve it.

This books examines wealth in so many senses. Old money verses new money. High class society, pseudo high class society, and the poor and desolate. Superficiality is a very prominent theme is this book, as well as, double standards. Societal expectations are also something that play a strong role in the plot. Daisy married Tom because he was a well off man from old money, not because she necessarily loved him. Gatsby might have done a million and one things wrong, but it was all done so that he could get Daisy in the end. He would do anything for his dream of love. Gatsby's death was wrought with irony. However, I grew to like Gatsby's character despite everything and choose to think he died in his pool still thinking he and Daisy would end up together. So at least he died happy, or in my opinion anyway. He died still clinging to his dream, which isn't a half bad thing.

To sum it all up, since they're supposed to be short posts. Even though this book was written many, many years ago, we still struggle with these same issues in society. Our basic human emotions can't really change too much over time. Love is a power strong enough to make some people do almost anything. The internal struggle to be a good moral person is something I believe we all deal with. The obsession with wealth is as superfluous as ever. The need to save face in a sticky situation is something everyone has experienced because it's never easy to say you were wrong. The desire to be loved by all is a timeless quest we all deal with.

This book just speaks volumes upon volumes about human behavior and societies direct influence upon our lives. It just worth reading, over and over again!

Friday, April 6, 2012

F is for Friday.

Today is Friday, but not just any Friday, it's Good Friday. So this Friday is also about forgiveness. I am a Christian so today is day to be thankful as well. Jesus died on the cross for me today and not just me, but for all of us so we could eternally be forgiven. I am thankful for this, truly I am. I need lots of forgiveness in my life, just as I believe we all do. Now I realize that not everyone shares the same beliefs as me and that's fine also. When I stop and think about what my Father did for me by allowing his son to be crucified on a cross, so that I could be forgiven, it's overwhelming to think about. That is really the ultimate sacrifice.
If he could do that for little ole' me, why do I have such a hard time forgiving those in my life who have hurt me? Lied to me? Didn't do what I wanted them to? Tricked me? I don't think this is just something that I, as a Christian, fall short on, but something that we all do regardless of religious affiliation. For some reason it's hard to let things go. I don't know why, but I guess it's just human nature to get angry and want to hold a grudge. However, it we all forgave a little more, wouldn't we be happier ourselves? Those around us would be happier too or so I imagine. Forgiveness is a tough thing to master. I tell myself and other people that I forgive you, but I know in my heart that it's not always the case. True forgiveness means really forgetting about something or at least forgetting about it enough to not let it hinder your future relationship. I imagine I will continue to work on this my whole life, but even if I never master it... I know God has already forgiven me for that.

Let's all Forgive on this wonderful Friday!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Today's post brought to you by ETSY

Facebook, in my opinion, is a giant waste of time; however, I can't seem to stay away. It has it's good points and one of them being that occasionally something will pop up on the ads on the side that actually interests me. A couple of years ago an ad for the website http://www.etsy.com/ popped up and I clicked on it. Etsy has become one of my favorite places to shop online. Now, I have to admit I do more window shopping than actually buying, but I still enjoy it an immense amount. I love knowing that when I purchase something, that I am buying it from an individual who made it themselves and not a giant corporation. Again, not that I don't buy things from places like Wal-Mart.

A couple of months ago I bought 10 prints from this seller... The Rekindled Page. http://www.etsy.com/shop/TheRekindledPage?ref=ss_profile

She takes old dictionaries that are going to be thrown away and uses the pages to put her own prints on. I love the idea recycling dictionary pages and was looking for some wall art for my house. As soon as I stumbled upon an old red telephone booth print I knew I was going to buy it and put it in my red kitchen. Lucky for me I was shopping when she was running a BOGO sale. I bought five and got five free... SCORE! Now all I have to do is frame them, which is taking me wayyyy too long. Please take a few minutes to look around Etsy, I promise you'll find something you like or something someone you know will like. And don't forget to stop by the The Rekindled Page.
Courtesy of: The Rekindled Page
www.etsy.com

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

D is for Driving

I could say so many things about driving. I am a delivery driver part-time, I think I am a better driver than most (who doesn't?), I think driving is extremely dangerous, etc. However, I would like to stick to how driving on a warm spring day, with the windows down and the music blaring is one of my favorite things in the whole world. There is just something about the fresh air blowing in your face that kind of wakes you up and makes you feel alive. To feel the sun beat down on my skin and warm me from head to toe is something I wish I could feel every day of the year. I also love picking out the soundtrack that I am going to listen to each year as more and more days allow me to partake in this activity.

This year, I put Pandora on and blared the Golden Oldies as loud as my car would let me! There is just something about that genre of music that makes me smile. I think it's the easy listening and general optimism found in this kind of music. Easy tones, nice beats, smooth voices, and friendly lyrics are an unbeatable combination. Even the slower more sad songs are still just so beautiful! I hope that other people feel the same as I do about driving in warm, sunny weather because I have a feeling that if they do, the roads could be a safer place for everyone!

Today my nieces and nephew came over to spend the day while they're on spring break. They pretended to drive today, even though they were safely parked in the driveway. They really enjoyed themselves, as did I!