Archive for February, 2008

I got a comment!

Ok, so I know my life is so hopelessly sad it’s pathetic. Whatever. Let me indulge myself here and get excited that….I got a comment from an actual person!! WOOHOO!! Really. I’m so speshul!

I hope Craig knows he just sold a book. I HAVE to buy me a copy of TwentySomeone now that the author himself has left a comment on my blog! I mean I was *thinking* about it before, but now? Oh yeah. CHARGE!

It’s a record breaker!

I’ve stumbled upon a surprising purpose, as it were, for this blog. Keepin my children up at bedtime. (Yeah, that’s what I had in mind when I started blogging!)Matthew has now read the post titled Ewwwwwww! not less than 400 gazillion billion times. No kidding. So apparently, I do have one faithful reader…of one post anyway. =) Thanks, kiddo!

It tickles me no end how he giggles as he reads his favorite bits out loud over and over and over. It apparently only gets FUNNIER with each successive reading, not more forced as I would tend to look at it. Then again, I’m not the 9-year-old co-star of the post, either.

Tonight when he again tried to postpone the inevitable bedtime by re-reading his new favorite author (dare I dream? my own personal fan club!), and was eagerly trying to share with his only-occasionally-not-cootiefied sister (in his eyes- in mine she is delightfully cootie-free all the time!), it occurred to me that it might be time for some fresh material. Oh sure, I’ve put up newer posts, but I wasn’t exactly feeling …ummm… chipper? when I did so. Those posts have obviously NOT cut it for my fans fan.

So, in an effort to entertain my kids (though why I should bother when chances are they will only try to use it to fanaggle more UP time out of me at insanely late hours of the night when they should be sleeping and I, of course, should be blogging)…

I will share a mini-story about hair. My hair. No, not hair like the hairS that grow out of my scalp and cascade beautifully down my back, but my hair. A hair I noticed out of the corner of my eye yesterday and was so intrigued by it that I plucked it out, examined it, and put it in a ziploc bag which is now in my purse. Yes, I do weird things and have been known to keep even weirder things in my purse. My children know this and accept me for who I am…the weirdest mom on the planet. Or else the meanest mom if I’m making them finish their brussel sprouts. Ok, actually? We’ve never tried brussel sprouts, and I’m not sure we ever will. They just look funny. Like teensy tiny cabbage balls, which is probably what they are, but I wouldn’t know because I eat REAL food…like meat, potatoes, and ice cream.

So anyway. Back to my hair. I HAD to keep this hair safe, you see. I’ve got it secured in the baggie until I can figure out a way to preserve it in scrapbook form. It’s special. Oh so special. It’s a record-breaker! Or at least it’s broken my own personal record.

You see, it has a split end. Well, really it has a splitsplitsplitsplit end. To the tune of 19, yes NINETEEN splits. My previous record was 12. I’m so proud. =*)

It’s SO cool to look at. It’s like one of those old antique brooms that just feathers out all over everywhere. Or those pictures of trees we had to draw in art class where the branches had to keep getting smaller and smaller, branching off of itself again and again. If you make a circle with the hair you get a kind of spoked wheel. Almost looks like a water wheel made out of tire spike strips.

I recently heard about a toy that you plug into the TV and use to look at stuff under a microscope. Eyeclops. I wanted one so bad when I saw it. Now I know I need one. I have GOT to see my record breaker at 200x magnification on our 26″ TV. FAR OUT!

So now you know the truth. I am so desperately in need of a hair makeover it surpasses funny and moves into the realm of pathetic and sad. I am so desperately in need of entertainment and excitement I have resorted to going ga-ga over extraordinarily damaged hair.

In all seriousness if anyone has a solution to the whole mounting/displaying/photographing dilemma of a hair with 19 splits in it please let me know. I SO want to capture the full essence of my pitifulness in this. I’m thinking maybe a cute 5×7 hanging in my living room.

Laundry and Life at 2am

So today has been a looooong one. It started off blah-enough. Did a little time-wasting on the computer. (No really. I didn’t accomplish anything, so totally just wasting time!) Finally drove the whole time-wasting nail into my head far enough that it prompted me to get up and move…to sorting dirty laundry. Oh the joys!

So the kids and I were off to Wally to return a mattress protector (wrong kind) and get quarters so we could go do the requisite 15 (-ish) loads of laundry for the week. This was after 20min of fighting and locking each other out of the car while we fight over the front passenger seat…ugg!

We walked in carrying 1 not-right-kind mattress cover and walked out with cotton candy, drinks, cream cheese and chives snack crackers (my fave!), paring knives, 4 boxes of cereal on sale for $1 ea(!!), and 3 new timers….but no quarters.

So cool that I found those timers! $5 each. I had been contemplating forking out the $14 for one from FLYlady because my timer has been “dis-ka-peared” for a couple of months. Yes, I have one on the oven and one on my cell phone. Yes, they work. No, I don’t use them. Just last night I admitted to myself that while not having a handy timer is NOT a valid excuse for not doing my 15min chores, I truly would be more inclined to do them with a handy timer. That said perhaps I should just go ahead and pay the $14. After all, a tidy home is worth it, right? Too true, but I had so hoped to one day get the kids their own timer since they were just as “out of practice” as I am with the little quick-cleans. No way was I gonna fork out $14 x 3! And then I find one at Wally for $5! Cool! I could get all 3 of us a new one for the same price as the other. The neatest thing is that, and I kid you not, I have looked at Wally repeatedly over the last 2 months for a timer. The only two options they’ve ever had was $12 or $15. I just couldn’t do it, especially since there was that cuter one for the same price online…

Sorry. Got off track with the whole timer thing there. (Can ya tell I’m easily amused?!)

So we left Wally with a lot of stuff, just not the quarters we’d gone after. Go figure. Thankfully the machine at the laundromat was NOT out of change. So the laundry did get washed…by me…while my oh-so-helpful children played on and around…..A DUMPSTER!

I am so not kidding either!  Cool thing…a sweet man noticed the elusive duo and their generous hamper-toting help *cough, cough, sputter, sputter* and carried a hamper out to the van for me, then loaded them all in the back and closed the hatch. So sweet! And they say chivalry is dead…pshaw!

Back home again I drug out all the leftovers from our nummy homecooked meals (I cooked every night, I know Mike must’ve been shocked!) this week, and started the marathon drying session.

The kids did ok until about 6:30pm when I started getting them ready for bed. Early you say? Not a bit of it. For going on 2 months solid now it has been close to 11pm every night before they get in bed. I’ve been getting them started earlier in the hopes that if they are just absolutely insistent on taking THREE HOURS to do a 15min routine, maybe they can get to bed before 10pm.

Yeah right, Ma! Horrible bickering/fighting followed by tantrums ensued. Of course. Why not, right? So at 10 min to 10pm (WOOHOO!!! Score!! They made it by 10pm!!!!!!!) I came back out of the kids’ room with them both in bed. It was still another hour before they were asleep, but we’re making progress at least!

Then I had a horrible mini-pity-party. I totally tried not. I did. I just didn’t do a very good job, I’m afraid. =(  It was late, again. I was tired, still. Hubby was relaxin’ at the computer, and I was looking at a table covered in leftovers that needed to be put up, a sink full of dishes that needed to be washed (I cleaned out the fridge…now I can mark that off my project list!), a dishwasher to be unloaded, at least 4 more loads of laundry to dry/fold/put away, a huge pile of trash to sweep up and NO dustpan for miles around, full trash cans to empty, counters to scrub, etc.

I was feeling whiny and put-out. Totally. I tried not to, I really, truly did. But man! It’s hard not to sometimes, I tell ya! Anyhow. I stomped a little, I slammed stuff into trash cans a little, I wasn’t exactly gentle with the dishes going in the dishwasher, etc. I muttered under my breath some. I prayed. I asked Mike when I would get a day off. I prayed a little more. After about an hour I had the table cleared of leftovers, the dishwasher and dishes sorted out, several loads of laundry dried and put away, dustpan located and put to use, and the trash cans emptied. Also I was feeling much less whiny and put-out.

So I sat down to read some blogs while I waited on the next dryer load. I came across this: TwentySomeone I read the little blurb, if you will, about both this book and the one they are working on (?) next called ThirtySomewhere and went, “Mmmhmmm. That’s exactly what I’ve been trying to figure out. Where do I fit in?”

As I was folding the next dryer load it occurred to me what (one of!) my problem(s) is. I’ve been trying to figure out where I fit in! Why is that a problem if I’m 29, so definently headed into the “figure out where you fit in decade”? Simple. I haven’t figured out who I am yet! I should have been figuring that out these last few years and I haven’t been! I’m all mixed up and out of order. (This will come as no surprise to most of the people who have known me longer than 3min.)

I kinda suspected. I mean, there have been warning signs, sotospeak. This little conversation that keeps replaying over and over in my head for instance:

MyFriend: What’s your style?

Me: Ummm, sweatpants and a t-shirt? *chuckle* I don’t have a “style” really.

MyFriend: Yes you do. You just haven’t found it yet.

And the song called “Glad to Be Me” off of this album that has been bringing me alternately to tears and cheers, is another.

Also there’s the whole feeling-like-I-don’t-know-what-is-ME thing. Ya know…like some people are all about the western dress and singing and they just kinda exude down-home-on-the-ranch-ness, while others are so very suave and sophistacated it’s clear they totally know who they are and what they are about. Some people are totally organized and with it. Some are so comfortable in the skin they’re in it almost makes a gal want to scream! There’s the sewer, the baker, the committee-leader, the teacher, the nurse, the garage-saler, the picnic-taker, the cheerleader. Then there’s me…I don’t know what I am. I don’t know WHO I am. I don’t know my style. I’m not comfortable with the skin I’m in, cause I don’t know anything about it.

I’ve been hyper-freakin-out about not knowing where my place is… am I supposed to be doing xyz in the church? in the world? at home? Where are my boundaries? Am I in them? Or out of them? Should I have gone there (in a don’t-even-go-there-kind’ve-way) or not? I’ve been trying so hard to figure this all out and it has occurred to me in little nagging, wondering kind of moments that maybe I shouldn’t be trying to figure this out right now…that maybe the first thing is to figure ME out. What I’m about, what I’m good at, what I’m never going to be adept at, who I am to others, but even more-so…who I am to myself, and even more importantly than that…who I am to God.

Tonight it makes sense in a weird kind of way. I’m 29, sure, but only just beginning to truly step out and grow up. I’ve been hiding from the world and myself almost since I moved out of my parents house. I know there are people who would tend to disagree with me on this, but it’s true. I tried stretching my wings for awhile at first, but they got clipped, and so I quit. I’ve been kinda mindlessly plodding through since. I poured myself so much into the idea that I had to be completely self-sacrificing to my family that not only did I not allow myself to try and figure ME out, I’d feel horrificly guilty on those occasions that I did indulge or treat myself in any fashion.

I thought I was supposed to lay aside every bit of ME and devote myself completely and utterly to my family. I didn’t. I couldn’t. I didn’t even come close…and I’ve hated myself for it because I thought I was failing at a very basic level. I guess in a sense I’m paying for it now because now I’m 29 and while the one part of me is saying “Ok, it’s time to start looking at where are we supposed to be in life/in church/in the world/in our marriage/etc.” the other part of me is starting to pipe up from the backseat, “umm, excuse me….please…I mean…ummm…I hate to be a bother, but….well, I think maybe…I don’t mean to be a nuisance, really, but it seems as though, perhaps…well, I think we may have forgotten something….I don’t think we picked up the passport as we were leaving the ticket counter. I do hate to be a bother, but I think we might actually need that before we’ll actually be able to get where we’re actually supposed to be.”

Those pesky voices. I think now I see why I named one of my categories on here “the changing me”. Perhaps that was another warning sign that I blared right on by!

In which I moved my blog…

I started this whole blogging thing about 2 wks ago. I didn’t spend a penny. My how times change!

See, I couldn’t stand the icky look. So I went off in search of a good one. I didn’t find one.

Then I came up with a name I liked better. I wanted to make a pretty header for my blog using my new name. I couldn’t figure out how to get the header on my blog, though. I know how to do webpages, I thought. I’ll just host my blog on my own domain name. $6 later I had my own domain. GREAT!

Now to get things set up. Finally got the page lookin’ good, but still needed to figure out how to get the BLOG on there.

Yeah, this whole internet-bloggin’ stuff is WAY over my head, I’ve learned. MAN! Have things changed in the 10 years I’ve been ‘offline’. *boggle!*

More time and money than I care to think about later….I have this. This is not the header I designed, by the way. I will still have to mess around with stuff to figure out how to get my own graphics up here.

So really? I’m not much better off than I was. Although I *think* I will eventually be able to get the look I want this way. I hope.

I said "You’re Welcome!"

I’m not sure where, but a few weeks ago I was reading a devotional or a magazine article or something in which the author commented on the fact that the phrase “you’re welcome” was endangered. They pointed out that most people today do not say “you’re welcome” in response to someone thanking them. Instead, phrases like “no problem” or “it was no big deal” have become the norm.

The thing is, whether the act or gift or thought or whatever was problematic for the giver was not what the receiver was asking. In fact, they weren’t asking anything. They were saying “thank you for doing something nice”. Are they not welcome? Even if it WAS a problem for you, you still did it or you wouldn’t be getting thanked for it. If you say it wasn’t a problem or a big deal and it was then you’re just a liar. Maybe it wasn’t a big deal or a problem for you to do it. It might have been a big deal to the receiver, though. If that’s the case then if you say “it was no big deal” it could almost feel like a slap in the face for the other party. And maybe it really wasn’t a problem for you, but it might have solved a problem for the receiver.

Whatever the case, the gist of the author’s point on the phrase “you’re welcome” was this: It’s polite. It’s good manners. Our great-grandparents, our grandparents, our parents, and likely ourselves as well, were all taught from the time we were in knickers to say “please, thank you, and you’re welcome”. It wasn’t “please, thank you, and no problem“.

I don’t remember anything else about the article (and I don’t think it was all about “you’re welcome” either…), but this has stuck with me.

See, I saw the point the author was making. Americans, even Christian Americans (who purport to be striving after politeness and Christ-likeness!) have been slipping and getting downright lazy with our manners.

Yes, our. Me. That’s why it stuck with me. I realized that I was B-A-D! about saying “no problem” instead of “you’re welcome”. In fact, after reading that I distinctly recalled several instances in the very recent past where I had done just that. And then I recalled overhearing a woman just the night before saying “you’re welcome” to someone. It was just a little something. Something I definitely would have said “no problem” in response to. I thought, “ya know? That ‘you’re welcome’ sounded so much nicer, friendler, and personal. It sounded heartfelt even though it was a little seemingly insignificant something. That was good.”

I couldn’t even remember the last time I’d said that. Truly. I tried. Years, easily.

It was then that I decided I wanted to say “you’re welcome”. I didn’t want to say “no problem” anymore. I wanted to be more personal and friendly than that. I wanted to break a bad habit and start a good one. I wanted to go back to the old ways.

So I determined that the next time someone thanked me I would say “you’re welcome”.

I bet you’re expecting me to say….and I did. You’d be wrong.

I did determine to. I even steeled myself up for it several times…”Ok, when I hand so-and-so this, they’ll probably say thank you…I’ll say ‘you’re welcome’ this time instead of ‘no problem’ like normal.”

Ummm, no.

Something happened each time. Either I flat wouldn’t think of it at ALL until hours later, or I’d think about it on purpose right up to the very moment and then….poof….my brain would drop that thought and out would come “no problem” instead. I was really getting aggravated. Every time I’d kick myself a little harder and a little longer when I’d realized I’d just…once again!…blown it. Arrrgh!

Exasperated with myself, I finally quit actively trying. I quit stressin’ over it and just decided that I would try to remember, but if I didn’t, there’s always next time. I knew eventually it would come because it’s a good change and Jesus has been helping me make those good changes.

Tonight I handed someone something and they thanked me. I hadn’t thought about what I was going to say. I was just handing someone something and then turning back to my work…and it happened.

I didn’t plan it. I didn’t think it. It just fell out of my mouth like I was a seasoned “welcomer”! It didn’t even register what I’d done until I’d turned back away. For the first time in I don’t even know how long, my mouth used the old words.

“Thank you,” they said.

“You’re welcome,” I said with a smile.

The Stink Before the Rainbow

If the storm has been great, sometimes there is a big stink before the rainbow.

The biggest storm ever wiped out all the people, land vegetation, land and air animals, except for the handful (comparatively) on the ark with Noah. Think about this.

If it lived on land or in the air and wasn’t in the ark with Noah, it DIED.

They all died. Dead. In the water. Ever seen what something dead in the water looks like after a few days? Ever smelled it? It’s not pretty. Bloated and rotting. Decomposing, in the fishiest smelling way possible.

It stinks.

Now think again about how MUCH of this there was after the storm that Noah and his family rode through.

A LOT. A world’s worth of people, land animals, birds, insects, and vegetation. If it couldn’t breathe underwater it was now bloated and rotting in the water.

Imagine the stink.

But we know that things got better. After nearly a year, the waters receded (I can imagine that it would have taken that long for the stench to wear off!!) and land appeared. And then the dove came back with an olive branch. And then she didn’t come back because she’d found a new home. And then Noah and his family thanked God for seeing them through it all, and God made a promise to never again flood the whole earth. (I’m saying thanks now, too, cause I’m glad I don’t have to be a bloated body OR have to smell the stink for a year!)

God set a rainbow, the first ever, in the sky as a reminder of His promise.

And now, we can take comfort in knowing that even when the storms of life are very great, there will be a rainbow. We might have to put up with a bunch of stink first, the after effects of the storm, but there will be another rainbow.

The rainbows in life are made sweeter by comparing them to the storms. It’s the contrast. If we never saw any storms, or smelled any stink, we couldn’t appreciate the rainbows. They would be just more of the same. Nothing special. It is the storms and stinks of life that give us something to compare them to that make the rainbows sweet. The bigger the storm or stink, the sweeter the rainbow will be to us.

Now think about that greatest storm again. Just how sweet that first rainbow was to behold! No words could possibly do it justice.

If you’re in the middle of a big storm, or needing a clothespin to help you deal with the stink left behind after a storm, just smile…

and look forward to a sweet, sweet rainbow. =)

Through it all, God is there!

Just got this in an email from my grandpa…

Happiness keeps you Sweet,

Trials keep you Strong,

Sorrows keep you Human,

Failures keep you Humble,

Success keeps you Glowing,

But Only God Keeps You Going!

 

I thought I’d post it here because it mimics what I’ve been thinking today…that I’ve run the gamut of emotions in the last week or so, and only by the grace of God am I still here, still trusting that God is in control and will make sure I make it through.


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