Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Challenges Are Just Opportunities

I don't know how many times I have heard this in varying forms from all of those happy, smiley, life hands you lemons make lemonade people.  And I wanted to smack them.  A bad day is a bad day.  Someone yelling at you is just a mean person.  Obviously, despite a cheery exterior most of the time, I let negativity get a hold of me often.  I'm trying to change that.

Challenge 1: My last blog post.  I vowed to do something for myself to get active.  I put forth best and worst scenarios thinking in my mind that the "at worst" would be my best.  I proved myself wrong.  I've been running.  Go ahead, gasp!  I gasp at myself every time I lace up my hot pink shoelaces at 5 am.  I am now a runner and it's really awesome.  I'm proud of myself simply for doing it.  My dad ran with me for the entirety of the C25k program and I'm proud to tears of him too.  I have a drive now to keep going.  I actually enjoy it and I enjoy that it's "me" time to spend with myself (or my dad).  It's not a challenge anymore - it's an OPPORTUNITY to run faster, go farther, and get healthier.  It's also motivation when I have to do something I don't really want to do.  I just tell myself "Hey!  You ran 2 miles this morning before most people got out of bed and mostly uphill!  You can do this like it's nothing!"

Challenge 2: Money!  Isn't money always a challenge?  It shouldn't be.  This OPPORTUNITY is really a multi-parter.  We've been attending a new church for a couple of months now and really really like it.  Recently, God has been calling me to take a look at myself and my selfishness because we haven't been following His commandment and tithing.  As the family financial guru who writes the budgets and manages the bills I just kept telling myself that we couldn't afford it.  Oldest cop out in the book.  Really!  I'm pretty sure there's a scripture that talks about someone making some kind of lame excuse like that and then getting plagued by locusts.  Old Testament I think.  Anyway, yesterday I took a look at our bank account, saw some things that made me freak out, checked our credit card bill, freaked out again, and went on a mission to fix it.  And the whole time, God was back there saying "Hey, can you fit Me in there?"  I mean, how do you say no to God?  He's God for crying out loud.  So I took a look at it and fit it in.  Sure, it took "sacrifice" that wasn't really true sacrifice.  It was sacrifice of comfort and cushion - not real Abraham-take-your-son-to-the-hill kind of sacrifice.  I'll be honest.  When I figured it out I was pretty ashamed of myself and our family for ignoring a basic calling from God.  He isn't asking us to pick up and move to Zimbabwe on a mission and live in a tent.  He isn't asking us to sell everything we own and live like Him.  He simply calls us to further His word and His work by giving back a tenth of the income He blesses us with.  How can I know that and ignore it and then face Him when I get to Heaven?  All that said it makes me realize just how far from Him I truly live.  I mean, I pray (most) every day.  I have a strong faith in my salvation and what God and Jesus did and sacrificed for me to have that salvation.  We've gone back to church and feel like we've found the place where we want to stay.  That's about where it ended.  I don't spend time in His word.  I pray to Him for help and I thank Him for my family, my salvation, my home, my daughter, my job, my food.  But I feel like I only bring Him in where I feel like He fits instead of in EVERYTHING.
Psalms 24:1 — "The earth is the Lord's, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it."

So, if He is in EVERYTHING already, why am I leaving Him out?  So, I'm working on that.  All of that.  It's a journey and I've been praying A LOT!  Pray for me please, I need it!  I have an OPPORTUNITY to be closer to God - how can that be a bad thing???

Monday, July 15, 2013

Fresh Start

I've started and stopped this just a few too many times.  I will make no promises about the frequency of my posts moving forward.  Today, though, I feel as if it is imperative to my sanity that I pick this avenue of self expression up off of the shelf, blow off the dust, and embrace it.

You see, I had kind of an episode this morning.  I don't want to call it a break down.  It certainly wasn't an epiphany as it has offered me no answers to burning questions.  The best term I can use to describe it is a "brain explosion".  It sounds rather dangerous, doesn't it?  I suppose it could have been.  I did go into a tearful rage on the highway which could have ended catastrophically but it seems to have had many stages in a short amount of time and I'm not quite sure it is done.  I guess it could also just be Monday and I will wake up tomorrow feeling quite centered and normal since tomorrow will be Tuesday.  Let me explain (and hopefully organize my thoughts as they are still rather jumbled):

The fuse: I am going to go ahead and say this - this is going to sound silly.  Really silly.  But I've tried to trace where all of my thoughts, aggravations, and insecurities from today go back to and all I can come to is this.  Justin's alarm went off early.  He got up from his morning "nap" (the 15 or so minutes he takes to crawl back in the bed after we shower to snooze until we're both ready to go and get everything packed for the day and wake up our angel) earlier than I expected him to.  Typically he doesn't get up until I am finished with my hair and today he did not wait for me to finish with my hair.  He just got up and started getting dressed.  That's where it all began.

When he gets up before I am finished with my hair it makes me feel like I should be done.  Like a little kid ready to report to Mommy ready for school just before getting sent out the door to catch the school bus.  I know he doesn't care if I'm done or not.  I know he doesn't care if I walk into the kitchen at the same time as him.  I know he doesn't care if he has to start filling Callie's bottles or packing Callie's bag without me there.  But I care.  If I don't walk into the kitchen at the same time as him something is inevitably forgotten.  One day it was Callie's sippy.  Several days it has been my lunch.  Some days it is my earrings but it always seems to be SOMETHING.  So I really make it a point to be ready to move on to the next phase of our morning together and today I wasn't.  

The spark: I hate to be rushed and this situation led to me feeling rushed.  I would honestly rather wake up a half hour early or drive to work with no make-up than to feel rushed.  Unfortunately I had not forseen that Justin was going to get up early today and so I had no remedy in hand.  I just had to GO.  So off I went into the kitchen.  THE KITCHEN.  Our messy, dishes in the sink, flour on the cutting board, full trash can, dirty floor kitchen.  I hate walking into a mess like that.  I hate being rushed.  Walking into a mess + being rushed = flashes of red going off in my head.  Danger Will Robinson!  Danger!  Justin makes bottles while I go to fill up Callie's bag for school.  But her bag for school is full of toys that she shoved into it.  She was able to do this because the bag had previously been empty.  It had previously been empty because milk had leaked from a bottle and it smelled horrendous.  So, I had to again empty the bag, wipe it out, and then fill it.  From scratch.  I had to sneak into her room to get extra clothes for her to take to school.  I had to put the bottles that Justin filled and the fruit he had cut into it.  I had to make sure she had a sippy and sunscreen.  I later remembered that she had to have a sun hat.  While I am doing this Justin starts getting himself ready by making his coffee, folding his jacket, and putting everything together for him to leave.  I feel rushed again.  I need my lunch packed.  I need my lunchbox to then be put into my blue work bag.  I need to make sure I have what I need in my purse.  I need more coffee.  I need more hands!  I need a clean house!!

The Explosion:  The rest of the morning goes normally.  Callie gets up, I get her dressed, give her a bottle, put her hair up.  She played very independently while I loaded the dishwasher to at least try and make a small dent in the kitchen problem.  I changed her diaper and off we went.  All of these things went without issue but something just kept plaguing me.  The mess.  The time.  The rush to get Callie to school.  My job.  My upcoming review at work.  How am I going to pay for my speeding ticket?  Why did I even let myself get a speeding ticket?  What is my 5 year plan?  What are my goals in life?  What do I need to get done today?  It all just jumbled around in my head until ... BOOM!  The tears flowed and I hadn't even gotten Callie to school yet.  What a way to start a week.

I got Callie into school as normal.  I didn't unload my anger and aggravation and frustration onto her teachers.  When I got back into my car it surged again.  I wanted to get to work and crawl in a corner and cry.  I felt like I would never be able to be adequate.  My house would never be clean.  My child will never learn to talk.  I will never make enough money.  I will never excel at my job.  I was a horrible wife to my husband.  I am overweight and out of shape and will never again be attractive.  Everything felt like it was crumbling.  The longer I drove the worse I got.  

This was a full blown pity party for myself.  And it dawned on me how selfish I was being.  How could I think that (as Jennie would say) I was suffering from a terminal case of uniqueness?  I am so infinitely blessed.  I have a beautiful and healthy daughter who will learn to talk and probably sooner than I think.  I have a home no matter how messy it is.  I have a pretty good job even if I don't know what my goals are.  I have a loving and supportive and truly fantastic-in-every-way husband who I couldn't live without.  My life is awesome!  

The Congressional Hearing:  That solved the pity party quickly.  I had no need to have all of this anger and frustration.  It did not however mop my floors, fold my clothes, fill out my Individual Development Plan, fill my bank account, make me a size 5, give me 6 more hours in my day, or make my hair resistant to frizz.  I did give me a more objective platform from which to address my problems.  Now I have to figure out my plan of attack.  How do I decide what to work on first?  How do I know where my life is going to go?  How do I do anything??

I prayed.  It's what my mom has ALWAYS told me to do when I didn't know what to do.  It's what my heart tells me to do when I am still enough and quiet enough to listen.  I prayed for guidance.  I prayed for strength.  I praised God for that swift kick in the rear to remind me of what He has given me even though I don't deserve it.  His answer was clear: just let Me take care of it.  Let Him.  It's all I ever need to do in life.

That being said, I certainly don't expect to go home and have had God cleaned my whole house with a band of angels and a Swiffer.  I don't expect Him to suddenly make the Earth turn slower just so that I can get more done each day.  But I do know that He has a plan for my life.  He knows my goals even when I don't.  So that's two questions down.  I still don't know the answer but I know that all I have to do is wait and all will be revealed to me in His time and for His purpose.  In the meantime I will trust in Him.  I will also create an organizational chart for myself to get my house clean and try to keep it clean.  I will try and find some time - even if it's just 15 minutes before Justin gets out of bed - to put in some physical activity.  At best I might take up running.  At worst maybe just use the fitness app on my TV.  I have GOT to be better for my daughter.  I will simply have to answer honestly in my review and say that no, I don't have a 5 year plan right now.  I do not have aspirations to move up in the company right now.  I do, however, have a drive to do my job to the very best of my ability because that's the only way for me to get an increase in pay.  I do take great pride in my work and although I don't know exactly what I'm working towards I am committed to my own personal development, it just might have to be generic development for a little while.  The most important commitments I have right now are to getting myself in order, my relationship with God stronger, my marriage stronger, and to be the very best mommy I can possibly be to Callie.  Those are my priorities.

I may have to add blogging back in there somewhere too because this post in and of itself has helped me feel tremendously better.  It has been a great Monday.  And, in the words of the song on my cloud player (and the Zac Brown Band) 

I'm gonna make this day a little better than the last! It's amazing how slow a day like this can go.  Find a way to wash away any regrets you have.  Don't let this moment pass but live inside this day!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Prego... Not the Spaghetti Sauce.

I've known for some time now that Hubby and I are expecting a little bundle towards the end of May.  Right now I'm only telling people via word of mouth.  I haven't made it "Facebook Official".  But today I just feel like I need to get a few things off my chest.  I truly feel like this will be safe for a while because it's been so long since I've written a blog post that I don't think I have any followers left.

I would first like to preface this post with the following.  I am beyond all laws of excited to be pregnant.  I talk to my "Little Bean" every day.  I tell him or her what they are missing today in the outside world.  I pray over my slightly bloated belly that my sweet baby is growing and healthy and happy.  I tell Little Bean about all of the people in the world that are just chomping at the bit to meet him and how much he or she is loved.

I say all of that to say this.  Pregnancy is hard.  I never thought it would be easy, really, but it's really a lot harder than I think I was prepared for.  Now, I would go through symptoms so much worse than this if that's what I had to do to have my little miracle be healthy.  Don't get me wrong, I'm in this for the greater good of my child.  But that doesn't change the fact that sometimes, it just down right sucks.  And now, some random notes on that -

- The term "morning sickness" is an all encompassing vat of lies.  I've come to realize as you try to find sympathy with other mommies-to-be that everyone's experience is completely different.  Take me for example, I suffered from almost completely day long nausea from before I even took a test until late last week.  I never threw up (due to that anyway, we'll get to the puking later).  I just felt like absolute crap all day.

- Feeling like crap is a good segway to how absolutely freaking tired I am.  I try to get through this by telling myself that my Little Bean needs our energy more than I do in order to grow.  But Mommy also needs to stay awake at work so that Little Bean will still have a house to live in when he or she is born.  The only slight help I've found for this are chocolate milk breaks.  Or naps on the weekends.  Naps are better.  Chocolate milk is only a slight diversion.

- TMI ALERT - Again, while we're on the subject of "crap", I"ll never take that for granted again.  I feel like the nausea and exhaustion are secretly fueled by my inability to "take the Browns to the Super Bowl".  I'm not going to elaborate much beyond that but, really, after I had gas cramps so bad that I puked, I don't think I'll ever take a simple fart for granted again.

- OTHER PEOPLE!!!  Lord have mercy and give me patience but people say some of the stupidest stuff.  Like the unsolicited advice.  I understand and appreciate when people tell me to take ginger supplements to help the nausea, take warm baths to help things "flow", things like that.  But when you start telling me "Tired!  You haven't even seen tired yet!", I think I should be allowed to bitch slap you.  I'm aware that I haven't seen tired yet but that comment does not help keep me awake at 3:00 in the afternoon on a Wednesday.  Or "Oh, you're not far along enough to be showing, how much are you eating?"  Really, like I don't know that I shouldn't be sporting this awesome looking fanny pack of flesh?  Furthermore, who are you to tell me what I should or should not look like?  Are you my OB? No, so shut up.  ALSO - I can barely eat anything and when I can, I can't eat large portions!  I have in fact LOST four pounds.  There are things that can distend your abdomen other than cheeseburgers.  Get it straight.  Lastly - "You shouldn't be eating that."  Look, I'm following most of my recommendations.  I don't eat tuna every day.  I limit my caffeine to less than the allowed parameters.  I don't eat sushi or cockroaches or any other ridiculous thing I'm not supposed to eat for obvious reasons.  But if I've been so nauseous all day that I barely made it through church and all that sounds good to me is a great big sub sandwich, kiss my cold cuts.  When's the last time you heard of an outbreak of listeria on Oscar Meyer honey smoked ham?  Never.  Shut it.

- Adjusting my wardrobe has been less than fun.  Sure, shopping is great.  But it's not like I can just replace my whole wardrobe at one time.  My mom has been the sweetest and started out my maternity clothes collection for me.  I have also, in an effort to extend the life of my pre-pregnancy pants, purchased a belly band.  Now, this thing is great to keep me from feeling like I'm splitting in half at 3:00 sitting at my computer.  However, if I actually have to do any sort of lifting or bending over or slight physical exertion, forget it.  It rolls every which way.  It shifts every time you move.  Not to mention how I now am limited to shirts that are long enough to be tunics to cover the thing.  But it is better than the rubber band around the button trick.  I will say that.

- Most days I find a point where I realize what Linda Blair was going for when she played in The Exorcist.  I just literally feel like some unknown bitchy, weepy, crazy person has taken me over sometimes.  The worst part is, my normal consciousness is inside, observing the goings on, and I'm not happy about it.  So then, when "I" finally re-surface I cry some more because I feel horrible about how I've acted, about the things I've said and done, etc. 

Here are some random awesome things:
- Chocolate tastes better than it's ever tasted before
- I saw my Little Bean's heart beat.  It was the coolest sight and sound ever.
- I love holding my belly, even this early when it's barely even there and is mostly gas.
- You wouldn't believe all of the sodas that come in a caffeine free variety!
- I feel even more in love with my husband than I did the day I married him.  And he's given me the greatest gift he could ever give me.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Ragged... And Loving It

I know this apology is repetitive.  I've said it before and I've meant it as much every time as I do today.  I'm sorry for my lag in posts.  This time, however, I have a good reason!  I have secured gainful employment and have been working myself ragged for a month now.  I will not disclose where I work because this is a personal blog but I can tell you that I am a Private Dining Director in an upscale restaurant and I love it.  I love nothing more than making people happy and I have finally found a job where I am actually getting paid to do just that.  I also love each and every one of my co-workers and the company I work for.  They are all so supportive and that is part of the reason I've been at work so much.  The training process is very detailed and there is lots to learn so I've been at work more than I've been home for the last month.  This has caused a change in my home life, obviously, and it's one that I'm still having a hard time adjusting to.

You see, I had gotten quite used to being the quintessential housewife.  I did the laundry, kept the house clean, did the grocery shopping, and had full meals on the table every day.  But, now that I've been working these tasks have been taken over by my husband who is also working.  Some things have lagged, the house is not as clean as it was, dishes may or may not sit in the sink for more than a day but really, it's the best we can both do.  I feel guilty for this because I have done less than 5% of this work.  The earliest I have gotten home each day has been 7:00 and that was this past Monday.  Usually it's more like 8:30 or 9:00 and I know the last thing I feel like doing when I get home is housework.  Hubby has been doing a wonderful job taking care of the things I feel like should fall on me despite the fact that I know he doesn't want to do those things after he gets home from a full day of work either.  This all leads me to my question: How on earth do people do this??

I know that it is a normal part of life in this day and age for both spouses to work and there are plenty of people who work more than I do and still get all of these things done, but how?  When I get home all I want to do is rest and spend quality time with my husband.  We still try to get to bed at a decent hour so that we are well rested in the morning when we get up so staying up late isn't an option.  I guess I could be doing something around here instead of blogging but how do I keep myself from getting caught up in the cleaning and making myself late for work?

Don't get me wrong, I LOVE my job.  I feel fulfilled every time I put together an event or have a guest say "Thank you for making this easy".  I love knowing that if I don't hit my sales goals each month it is no one's fault but my own which gives me the drive to get up every day, get out there, and sell my tail off.  I enjoy my time at work and I haven't even counted the number of hours I work each day or week which is a first.  I know that things will slow down after December and I'll be able to get into a more normal routine but right now I'm just not sure how to achieve that home/life balance.  I don't bring work home.  I may be guilty of checking my work e-mail on my laptop before checking Facebook but I spend no more than 5 minutes doing so.  That's another perk of the job - when I'm home, I'M HOME.  So how, I ask, do I find that place where I feel like I'm giving 100% to my work and 100% to my home and my family?  If you have figured that out in your own life please let me know.  I think it's darn near impossible!!!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Paying Tribute



Recently Hubby and I attended an Atlanta Braves game. This game was monumental for us for many reasons, some which were apparent to us when we made plans for our trip and some which were cemented last night. This season was the final season that we would see the marvelous #6, Bobby Cox, manage the Bravos.

Bobby has been the Braves' manager since 1985.  Hubby and I were 2 years old then and so he is the only manager we have ever known for our favorite baseball team.  We're both huge fans.  We cheer with the crowd even when we're just watching the game on television.  I'm fairly sure that my neighbors think I'm insane because of that.  I have been known to yell at pitchers, scream for victory, and do the Tomahawk Chop all with the windows open for everyone to hear.  It's OK, I'm secure enough to not care.  So when the announcement was made that the Skipper was retiring this year we both knew that we had to see one last game.  We had hopes, especially earlier in the season, that the Braves would make it to the World Series but just to be safe we planned a trip to see the opening game of the last regular season series against the division champions, the Philadelphia Phillies.  We didn't want to miss our chance and it just so happened that it was also the weekend of Hubby's birthday.  


This is Herman.  He was our ever so sweet usher for the evening.  He welcomed us into our section of Turner Field with a warm hello and an introduction.  Over the course of the evening he endeared himself to our hearts as he cheered for the Braves, let us all know that they WOULD go to the playoffs, he kicked people who were 20 years his junior (though still senior citizens themselves) out of someone else's seats, and told every single woman in our section that we were cute.  Herman has worked for the Braves every year that Bobby Cox has been manager, a full 25 years.  I assume he took the job when he retired from whatever it was he did in his younger life.  He saw the Braves move from Fulton County Stadium to Turner Field.  He was there for every blockbuster year in the '90s.  He was there for the strike and the year they won the World Series.  Herman is THE ultimate fan and I love him!


I know that this blog is typically about food so I had to share with you my favorite culinary delight of the evening: the Jumbo Dog.  I'm normally a chili and slaw girl with my hot dogs but when you're at the ball park there's nothing better than grilled peppers and onions, relish, and a ton of mustard.  I would also like to report that I ate this whole hot dog while wearing an all white shirt and didn't spill a drop on myself.  Hip Hip Hooray!

We didn't win that night. Despite a late rally by our good old boys the Phillies prevailed that evening.  That did not, however, change this one simple fact:


And so Hubby and I left Turner Field that evening and tipped our hats to the Skipper.  We had hoped after the Braves went on to secure the Wild Card that Sunday that maybe we would still see them in the World Series and have one last chance to say goodbye to Bobby.  But those dreams were let go last night as the San Francisco Giants took away our chances of advancing to the NLCS.  So take a moment with me to become a Braves fan if you aren't one and thank one of the greatest managers in Major League Baseball.


Thanks Bobby.  All the best.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

I'll Get To It Sometime

So, I'll go ahead and warn you, this post doesn't have much of a purpose.

I have some ideas for upcoming blog posts.

I will detail our trip to the North Carolina Zoological Park.

I will give you a pictorial view of an average day as a housewife.

I will tell you all about my current project of making myself a new Christmas tree skirt.

I will give you weekly updates on my attempt to serve 18 people Thanksgiving dinner on a budget.

I will tell you all about our trip to Atlanta this weekend for a Braves game against the Phillies. Just so you know, the Phillies took the division lead away from the Braves and now we're trying to hang on to the Wild Card bid into the MLB playoffs. And by "we" I do mean myself and the Braves. I'm part of the team....

I will tell you about the town I grew up in.

I will tell you all about Hornworms and the love / hate relationship I have with them.

But for today I'm just telling you about the things I'm going to do. That way, maybe I'll actually do them. On that note, maybe I should tell you about all of the things I need to do today before we leave, so that I will actually get them done. But then again, I don't want to lose all 5 people who read this blog. If I were to list those things you would all die of boredom. And I'm not a murderer. Unless you count Stink bugs. In which case, I'm guilty as charged and proud of it.

Here's a thought - would you guys tell me if you even want to hear about any of these things? Please, comment, tell me if I should even spend my time writing about any of this stuff. And if I shouldn't please let me know what you would like for me to blog about. World peace, the life of a watermelon, whatever.

Also, once you've done that, check out Single Dad Laughing. He's heartwarming, thought provoking, and hilarious!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

I'm a Cheater



So, in reading one of the blogs I follow by Little Mrs. Married I found this other fun blog myleighashley and found a fun (could also be read lazy) way to provide a mid-week blog post.  So here you are, a wee bit of me.


{one} have you ever won a trophy? if yes, for what?
YES!  I won 3 "Glennys" while I was in high school.  It was my high school (Robert B. Glenn) drama department's answer to the Emmys.  One for Best Actress at the North Carolina Theater Conference that year in "A Friend of Mine", one for best actress in the spring show of 1999 which was "Help! I'm Trapped in a High School!", and one for ensemble acting in "A Piece of My Heart" again at NCTC my senior year.

{two} what was your favorite subject in school?
Given the above, Drama.  I was "that" girl...

{three} what time do you get up in the morning?
When Hubby has to work between 5:00 and 5:30, when he doesn't or he goes in later we sleep really late and get up around 8:00

{four} if you could open your own business, what would it be?
A pie shop.  I love making pie.  And I don't know one person who doesn't like to eat pie.  Wanna be an investor?  I'll "feed" you the business plan until you're convinced!

{five} if you could spend the evening with one rock star/band, who would it be?
Hmm, a band in the rock genre.  Aerosmith.  They must have fun stories.

{six} what sitcom character reminds you of you?
MaryJo Shively from Designing Women.  I can rant like Julia but I just don't have the guts to do it to whoever or whatever has made me that angry.

{seven} what are the 3 most important things to you?
most certainly my family, my faith in God, and my KitchenAid mixer

{eight} chips or popcorn?
Popcorn.  There is a popcorn hierarchy though.  1) Homemade, 2) Movie Theater, 3)Microwave, 4) from a holiday tin, and 5) bagged from the snack aisle

{nine} have you ever ordered anything from an infomercial?
Not from the infomercial itself but I have purchased infomercial items at the store. Many, including but not limited to a George Foreman grill, a PedEgg, and Perfect Straps

{ten} what is one thing that you are grateful for today?
Partylite