Friday, December 31, 2010

We are pleased to announce the arrival of...

Fiona... the newest addition to our family.


 
We have been talking about adopting another cat for awhile. A couple weeks ago we went to a few shelters but didn't find the "one." We decided kind of on a whim to go look again today since we had a few spare hours and look who decided to come home with us! She is sweet and fuzzy and needs to fatten up quite a bit but she's super friendly already with us and the girls. We can't wait for her and Floyd to become bestest friends.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

30 Days of Truth: Day 14

A hero who has let you down.

I try not to idealize people- there are heroes in my life for sure- but each one of them is a person- and not even one of them deserves to be called out for making mistakes, being human and struggling like every other human on the planet. I'd rather tell you about the special qualities of the heroes in my life- each one of them amazing- and at a personal level.

My Dad is my hero because he has an amazingly childlike part to his personality that children can sense- they flock to him. He has fun and laughs and plays. I hope he never loses his goofiness and sense of fun.

My Sister is my hero for being so brave and for opening her heart up. I am so so proud of her.

My Brother is my hero because he followed a dream- it may have been kind of crazy- and didn't work out like he expected but I give him so much credit for giving it a shot.

Martin is my hero for loving all the girls in his life so much! (Me, Lily, and Kendra of course!) For surprising me with how incredibly thoughtful and giving he can be.

Lily is my hero because of her incredible capacity for forgiveness.

Kendra is my hero for her spirit and spunk and for so easily accepting me as a part of her life.

There are so many others...I can't begin to name them all. Every person in my life has hero-like qualities that are worth admiring- that I do admire. They've all made mistakes too and many of them have proved their heroic status in the face of those adverse conditions.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

I believe.

I helped Lily and Kendra put milk and cookies out for Santa last night just as they headed to bed. AFter they were tuked in tight, Martin and I wrapped and organized and planned well past midnight. Finally we finished and at the last minute remembered we needed to drink the milk and eat the cookies- but there was a part of me that didn't want to. The little girl in me just wanted to leave them and see what happened. Though I know that Santa himself isn't real... all of me still believes in the magic of Christmas.

Merry Christmas to my two beautiful and amazing girls!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

What we are reading...

Right now Lily and I are reading Nutcracker. I think next year I want to take her to the Pacific Northwest Ballet's Nutcracker- and this story is the perfect introduction. Their sets in the ballet are also done by Maurice Sendak so it will be kind of familiar to her. I love the story and am actually a little surprised how much Lily is into it as well. She keeps asking me to read it whenever we have a spare moment- at breakfast, during the commercials while we watch Survivor, at bed time...etc.
I just started The Museum of Innocence after kind of randomly picking it at the library. So far the characters are interesting and I can't wait to get further into the story. Though I feel like I will need some good uninterrupted reading time to get through it. The story interested me because it is the story of a "collection" and their relationship to a memory. This concept is something I think about a lot and struggle with to some extent when it comes to letting physical objects go that represent a moment in time. Also a trait I see very much in Lily. This story seems to be the extreme end of that scenario- where the main character shuts himself off from basically his whole life to focus on the memories. Should be interesting. I will let you know! 

What are you reading???

Sunday, December 12, 2010

I'm Freezed!

No children were harmed in the making of this video : )

        If you live in the Northwest you know that right now we are having a "Pineapple Express" weather system bringing in warmer temperatures and tons and tons of rain- serious flooding really-so we weren't sure exactly how successful the adventure we had planned would be. Martin had a breakfast place in mind that he had eaten at several times before at the Snoqualmie Pass summit, but when we got there the restaurant had changed. Unfortunately it wasn't the the greatest place- cold food and bad service- but we had afterward we had full bellies and continued with our adventure hoping for better luck. We drove further east and and down a back road to find a good place to get out and play- throwing snowballs, making a snowman and snow angels. The girls lasted about 30 minutes- about 20 minutes more than I expected! But... it was enough. We drove home drinking hot chocolate and singing Christmas Carols with the girls in the back seat making forts out of their blankets.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Chronicle Books Happy Haul-idays Contest


I heard about this contest from Scientific Nature of the Whammy- and how can I resist the possibility of free books...ones that I like too!!! Go here: Chronicle Books to check out their Happy Haul-idays contest. If you are blogger- you can make a list on your blog and enter to win too! What an awesome idea!
I've seen these books and have some kind of morbid curiosity about them...I've got to at least see why these are so popular:

Wow! This one looks interesting...something I have been thinking about lately...basically the "experience" of the modern American woman.

I'm always up for a good murder mystery


















I read this author's blog and have long thought about how I could make money making cards...maybe this book could help?

Dang it- I thought this was my idea...too late I guess!
This one just looks like fun...what a creative idea! Love it!

How cute are these kid's books?










And a couple more for me : )

Click on the link at the top of the page to read the contest details and enter to win. Post your own list on your blog and/or comment on other blogger's lists to get a chance at winning the books on their wish list! Leave a comment here to have a chance at winning the books I have selected. Go Literacy!
(Oh wait, was that kind of dorky??)

Why blog?

I feel caught between a rock and a hard place with this blog- I like writing it but often don't have time. I have ideas but my mind goes blank when I sit down to write. Sometimes I feel like I am talking to empty space. What is the point?

Martin, "You aren't writing to no one... you are writing to Lily."

Sarah *tears up* "You're right. I am writing to Lily."
**************

Dear Lily of the future,

I hope you love this account of our life together as much as I do. I hope that as you read this you know that you are the love of my life and you have allowed my heart to grow so big it holds more love than I thought possible. I hope it teaches you a little something about me and brings back fond memories of your childhood. I know I've got thousands of pictures and scrapbooks (hopefully!) done of you but I hope this blog shows something a little deeper...the everyday stuff that is usually forgotten.

Love Always,

Mommy
A spontaneous game of Hot and Cold

"Mommy, how was your day?"

A very thoughtful gift

A quiet evening at home

Joy : )

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Pose!

Kendra's "Fashion Girl" poses. Silly girl!


She just loves the camera : )

30 days of Truth: Day 13

A band or artist that has gotten you through some tough days

Several years ago I discovered a band by the name of Frou Frou. The singer's name is Imogen Heap. I know she has made some other music though only one album has been released by that particular "group." The music on this album has gotten me through some really tough days. The song "Let Go" has inspired me to keep on pushing through- to allow life to happen and not let it get me down even when it wasn't easy.

Once someone pointed out that even though the song has been my "theme song" for quite some time I really wasn't living the words of the song. And I guess that is true. I don't live the words of the song 100% but it is something I aspire to- something I keep in the back of my mind.

Let Go by Frou Frou

drink up, baby down

mmm, are you in or are you out
leave your things behind
'cause it's all going off without you
excuse me, too busy you're writing your tragedy
these mishaps
you bubble wrap
when you've no idea what you're like

so let go, jump in
oh well, whatcha waiting for
it's alright
'cause there's beauty in the breakdown

so let go, just get in
oh, it's so amazing here
it's alright
'cause there's beauty in the breakdown

it gains the more it gives
and then it rises with the fall
so hand me that remote
can't you see that all that stuff's a sideshow

such boundless pleasure
we've no time for later now
you can't await your own arrival
you've 20 seconds to comply

so let go, jump in
oh well, whatcha waiting for
it's alright
'cause there's beauty in the breakdown

so let go, just get in
oh, it's so amazing here
it's alright
'cause there's beauty in the breakdown

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Oh what fun it is to ride....





We drove down to Chehalis yesterday to Ride the Santa Steam train. It was a long drive- nearly 2 hours each way but well worth it. Do we even need to go get another santa picture taken? This one is great!

Today we are off to go get our tree and *hopefully* get to decorate it! Ooh...my other favorite part...well, I guess all of it is my favorite!

***************

Martin- Thank you for one whole amazing year! You are more than I would have ever known to ask for. I hope we have many more years as good as this one.

LOVE ALWAYS,
Sarah

Friday, December 3, 2010

30 Days of Truth: Day 12

Something you never get compliments on...

I've never in my life heard, "Wow! Sarah, you are sooo spontaneous...such a free spirit!" I know everyone here is dying of laughter. Thank you thank you....

But...sometimes I wish that were the compliment people were giving me. Sometimes I really wish I could just do whatever and not care and not plan every detail but, well, it never seems to work out that way. I can do things spontaneously- I am not completely incapable of it but you can pretty much guarantee that I won't be the initiator of the spontenaity...most likely just along for the ride.

But really, if that is my biggest worry in life... I have a pretty awesome life. No really I do have a really awesome life!

********************

I have all kinds of pictures of the things we've been up to lately but I just haven't felt like putting the effort in. It seems to be taking all my strength just to get through each work day lately and by the end of the day I have nothing left- no energy to put into a good blog post. I'll be back to my old self soon...most likely after the holidays.... after I get some good sleep... after I feel better... after.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Updates

Thanks everyone for your positive thoughts...although Deven "Peanut" was born at 4:37 last Thursday afternoon- he is doing really well for being such a tiny tiny little baby boy. He has a lot of growing to do before coming home from the hospital- so please keep him in your thoughts.

This weekend we got a little crafty (again!!)

Paper Christmas tree- I got this idea from here.




The new wreath on our front door- Lily picked all the pieces out.

This is what we did this morning on the way to school and work...

View out my office window around noon today...

Lily was so excited for the snow this morning...my hour plus commute (normally 15min) was not so exciting. Hopefully I am ok for the ride home. Wish me luck. I HATE driving in the snow- even just a little snow.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Happy Thoughts

Most of you know my big sister is pregnant (So exciting!). She's about 30 ish weeks I think...I won't go into too much detail but she really needs your thoughts and prayers for her and little Peanut right now.

Any woman who has been pregnant before knows the extreme emotions that can come with pregnancy- add some complications on top of it and would be easy to fall to pieces. But, I know my sister is so strong and whatever happens she'll do what she needs to do when it comes down to it. I'm right there with her in my heart.

Joeleen (and Dat and Peanut)- I love you! We all love you and we are thinking about you and sending strength and peace your way.

Love, Sarah

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

30 Days of Truth: Day 11

Something people seem to compliment you the most on.


I think anyone who knows me could guess this one... I get the most compliments on my crafty/creative stuff. Obviously that is where my heart is so it really makes sense. I get joy out of creating...seeing my ideas come to life and sharing with people I care about. Since I mostly make cards it makes every gift I give more meaningful and thoughtful and I really like that.
 
People compliment me on being organized- which I am in some ways but not in others. I lose my keys at least once a day. And my cell phone. But my brain is organized. Really. Don't laugh.
 
People compliment me on being helpful because that is what I do. It feels good to be recognized for it though-even if it is part of my job. I really try to go above and beyond for members because I know that is what I would want. Plus it makes me happy and it is good for business!!!
 
Someone wonderful in my life tells me how beautiful and amazing I am everyday : ) I'm so lucky.

Oooh...crafty!

Thanksgiving Turkey Centerpieces by Lily and Kendra

I totally realize it is too early to actually start decorating for Christmas...but is it wrong to go to Joanns, Michaels and Target and wander through the Christmas sections just to satisfy the urge? Is it wrong to have my radio station planted on the "Christmas Station" already? Is it too early for Christmas movies, because we already watched the Grinch the other day...

All I know is the day after Thanksgiving...crafty/decorating time is on...and no one will stop me...oooh I just have so many cute ideas but so little time!!!

Monday, November 15, 2010

30 days of Truth: Day 10

Some one you need to let go or wish you didn't know.

Well, I don't know if it is cheating to keep changing or skipping the question...but I think I posted before that after reading this list a little more thoroughly- some of the questions may be encouraging "truthfulness" but I feel aren't particularly productive in any sense of the word. This post is now titled:

Something you need to let go of...

Lately I have been struggling with the "Stay At Home Mom" issue. With Kindergarten on my mind...I've been thinking a lot about how we will navigate the "school" years with Lily. There is a huge part of me that wants to stay home- and only work part time during school hours- and be there for Lily after school for homework and after school activities. I always wanted to be a SAHM. When I had Lily I didn't have to work the whole first year of her life and I knew it was what I wanted to do. Of course the situation changed and I went to back to work part time- then more changes and I've been full time for the last three and a half years. But there is this lingering nagging regret, nagging doubt that just keeps bugging me. I constantly go over and over in my head all the options- weighing costs, pros and cons....all of it. How can I make it work next year so I get what I want but can still pay the bills?

Well, here's the deal. The other deal. Going back to part time is a step backward work wise. If we ever want to buy a house...save...go on vacation...get a new car...it just won't work. Money would be tight all the time. And then going back to work full time eventually I'd have to start over- bottom of the totem pole, right? I don't care about being rich or anything even close- but it would be nice to be comfortable- to not have to worry all the time. If I just keep working being comfortable is a real possibility- especially after Lily's daycare costs go down next year. I would be able to save...maybe get a van instead of my crappy ole car (OMG! Did I just say that?). Who knows...

At this point though it is all just thinking and worrying and doubting and more thinking and worrying. There isn't anything I can or need to do right now. There are at least nine more months before I really even need to make any kind of decision. I have to wait and see.

So for now I have to let it go, focus on today and see what happens.

And quit worrying.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Lessons in Forgiveness

We had a rough Monday morning. Lily and I both left the house in a huff, grumpy and frustrated after a struggle to FOR THE LOVE GET OUT OF THE HOUSE ON TIME!!!! 
In the car Lily said she was sorry about her bad attitude while getting ready but I was still feeling the frustration and couldn't immediately just let it go.
When we arrived at school our attitudes toward each other were still icy at best. I put her blanket in her cubby and turned to go. Though instead of leaving just then, I knelt down in front of her and squeezed her as tight as I could. I gave her the biggest bear hug and when I finally let go and looked at her- I could tell all was forgiven. She smiled. I smiled.

If only for me it was always that easy... though for her it is. The time we spent frustrated and angry melted away with something as simple as a hug. Inherently childlike yet also immensely wise. FORGIVE. BE HAPPY.

Now that is how to start a Monday.

30 Days of Truth: Day 9

I know, I know...what happened to day 8, right?.... Well, I decided anyone who has made my life hell in the past isn't worth my time. So, moving on...

Someone you didn’t want to let go, but just drifted.

I thought about this one after I went to my 10 year class reunion last month. As you will remember- I didn't have a whole lot of fun that evening. But I realized while I was there that there was one person I was actually hoping to see who didn't end up being there. Afterwards, I Facebook stalked her a little and saw that she seems to be doing all right and is still local...but I haven't had the courage to send a message yet.

We were good friends the last few years of high school- on the crew team together then ended up in the same "group" of friends. After I left for college, we just never connected again. I think about her sometimes wondering if we could still be friends. Wondering what would have been different if I had stayed in touch or if that one time I ran into her mom she had been there..or if I had just called sometime to say what's up.

Now it has been more than 10 years. Too late? Any suggestions? Words of encouragement?

Monday, November 8, 2010

Disney on Ice

My step mom won four tickets to Disney on Ice this weekend and gave them to Martin and I and the girls. They were so excited and had a lot of fun. So many other little girls dressed up in frilly dresses or princess costumes-I didn't even think of dressing them up aww : ( Lily was so sad it was over- so definitely two thumbs up from the girls.








Wednesday, November 3, 2010

30 Days of Truth- Day 6 and 7

Something you hope you never have to do (Day 6)

I can't even put this into words. I don't want to put it into words. All I can think of is this post by The Real Life of a Redhead.

Someone who makes your life worth living (Day 7)

Lily marched around the cafeteria in her bumblebee costume- stinger and all. I stayed on the sidelines and cheered her on. She waved as she passed by with a huge smile on her face. She felt like such a big kid lining up with the kindergartners to put on a special costume parade. Her face was lit up- her hair was a crazy mess from the static of the costume and her enthusiastic jumping for joy, for pure fun and her little feet couldn't stay still.

Earlier in the evening some of the children had discovered the stairway that led up to the stage. They ran up front and center dancing and showing off, playing games and chasing. Lily hung back not sure if she should or even wanted to participate, letting Kendra and her kindergarten friends run wild instead.

"Mom, what those kids are doing doesn't look very safe," she explained. Maybe explaining away her fear. Maybe saying what I might have said in a moment anyway.

"Hmmm," I said. "You're right Lily. It doesn't look very safe. You can stay here if you want to." Though I could sense that there was a piece of her that wasn't quite sure.

As the parade of children rounded the last corner of the cafeteria I assumed the parade would end there in front. Instead, the teacher leading the parade led them right up the stairway and onto the stage. I was sure Lily would have a meltdown. I was sure she wouldn't know what to do or the steep stairway with no railing would be too scary. I positioned myself accordingly as she approached. I was close in, ready to jump in and save the day as needed. Except then she looked at me with her bright blue eyes and marched up the steps with no hesitation. She turned around once she got to the top and waved a huge wave while her face was stuck in a permanent grin.

I waved back, just as enthusiastically. My heart swelled as I let her excitement and sense of adventure fill me too. My girl. My big girl growing up.

I read something recently about the process of letting our children go. Before birth they literally are one with a mother's body but from the moment they are born they are a forever separated part of our souls- and every moment after that is a process of letting it go. Lily has always been this kind of inseparable part of me. When she was little she relied on me for everything. Every part of her has been dependent on my care- of my being there. But then something changed- small things that seemed almost insignificant in some ways at the time. She learn to feed herself, go potty, dress herself...then on this particular day it hit home. She faced and mastered her own fear. Made an independent decision and took on a challenge. I realized from here on all I can do is cheer her on from the sidelines. All I can do is be excited at what ever she is excited about and hope for the best. Everything else is going to be up to her.

I am up for the challenge. That girl makes my life worth living everyday.

Monday, November 1, 2010

More Halloween Fun

This year we went back to Lake Forest Park Towne Center for trick or treating. Martin and I talked beforehand quite a bit about what exactly we wanted to do- neighborhood or mall? Since the weather was supposed to be bad we decided the mall would be best- plus we didn't really know which neighborhoods would feel safe- and we were comfortable with. In the end we decided that neither one of the girls knows any different than mall trick or treating- they don't remember the "good ol' days" of pillowcases full of candy- tons of kids up and down the streets.  Lake Forest Park, like last year, seemed like it would be more festive plus had more activities to keep the girls occupied for a little while.

We went to all the businesses marked with balloons- though I was surprised to see how many businesses have gone out since last year. But it seemed like most who were open participated. We got to see lots of other little kids costumes also. One little girl walked by Lily and said "Fairies must be really popular this year!" Very cute.
After the trick or treating, the commons area at Third Place Books had a group of Mexican musicians and dancers playing traditional Day of the Dead canciones. The music was wonderful and the dancers with their costumes were so fun to watch. They had a large space in front where the kids were also encouraged to dance. Kendra danced very nearly the entire time. Lily took a lot longer to warm up to the idea but got out there toward the end.
After dancing- Kendra and Kathe were getting tired so they headed home while Martin, Lily and I stayed around for some arts and crafts. Lily got face paint- a butterfly- then made a fall leaf wreath, a day of the dead skull mask and a ghostly bookmark. You know me- I had to stick around for the crafts! The camera died as she was getting her face painted so I have no crafty pictures : (
On the way home we saw quite a few decorated houses and some people out and about in a little cul-de-sac near our house. We decided to stop and try a few houses. Lily was surprisingly up for it (must have been the sugar high)- walking around in the dark going up to strange houses. Not our normal routine for sure. But she did a great job- I think the candy was the motivating factor. I'm so glad Martin was with us- I never would have stopped had it been just us girls! Now though she has a taste for it- so we may not get away with mall trick-or-treating next year. We'll have to see.

Friday I left work early so I could go to the Halloween party they had in her classroom. Everyone got to dress up, have treats then go trick or treating in each classroom in the daycare. Only one parent other than me came but since I didn't get to go to the pumpkin farm field trip the week before- so I was cool with this. The kids in her class were super excited I was there (or was it the camera they were loving?) They were all making silly faces at the table as they were eating treats- begging me to take pictures of them.



Hope everyone had as much fun as we did this year!

Halloween Festivities

We had TWO pumpkin carving adventures



 Can you guess whose pumpkin is whose??? Leave me a comment!
 Lily dressed as a fairy princess on Halloween
 Kendra was a pirate...but didn't want to wear her pirate hat...and we forgot her sword!!!
More pictures tonight.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

30 days of truth: Day 5

Something you hope to do in your life.


Wow! How do I narrow this down? There are so many things I hope to "do." I think many of the things on my lifetime "to do" list have to do with travel and places to see but there is more...

How about...something I hope to see in my life?

         The ruins of Machu Pichu.

...some place I hope to go?

        Italy. The art, the architecture, the history! So much history. Take me there!

...something I would like to see happen in my lifetime?

       Peace. Mostly peace. Between people, between countries. Less fighting, less greed. More sharing, more love.

...something I hope to create?

       I hope to create my own line of handmade cards.
   
       A garden with my own two hands.

...something I hope to own?

      I want to own a house...with a yard. But I don't want 2.5 kids. 2 is enough. ; )

...something I hope to read?

       I got a list of "classics" one time from Barnes and Noble and circled all the ones I have read and starred all the ones I want to read. I have it at home somewhere in my files...Wuthering Heights, Anna Karenina, Don Quixote, Room with a View, Metamorphosis, The Last of the Mohicans...oh the list goes on and on.

...something I hope to try?
     
     I want to try some more complex collage-type artwork like Paper Paintings, But I really need a separate art space to do much more with my artwork. Someday, right?

...something I hope to do more of?

     I want to do more hiking. This summer we were able to get a tiny glimpse of the trails around here. I would love to explore more of those- day hikes and try some overnights as well.

I think this is a pretty complete list...at least for today.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

30 Days of Truth: Day 4

Something you have to forgive someone for.

When Lily was born I had to grow up a lot- and quickly. My perspective on the world changed dramatically- including what is and isn't worth my time, what is and isn't important. One of the things on the "not worth my time" list was/is holding grudges. One: People make mistakes. We all do, we are human. Two: How can I hold being human against someone? Three: As a new mom especially, where on earth would I even find the time to do that?

I don't hang around much with people who don't share most of my same values- and those I do hang around with are mostly family so they are here to stay no matter what. I accept them for what they are. I don't try to change them or judge them and I hope they give me the same respect. I just don't have time to stay mad at anyone- and I think- when it comes to family- my daughter deserves those family relationships no matter how might I feel.

It wasn't easy at first. We have all been hurt by someone at one point- but as time has continued on it feels better. I don't carry around the burden of keeping all my grudges straight- who I am mad at that day for what reason. So not worth it. Why should I let someone else have that kind of control over me?

I have struggled with how to deal-forgiveness wise-with one particular person who I do have some anger and resentment towards. However, this person has never admitted any wrongdoing and thus feels no remorse for their actions. Until that point I don't feel like I can completely forgive, but I refuse to let it be a heavy burden on me. I have forgiven myself for the choices that led to me letting this person into my life though I can't say I completely regret those choices. I will never regret my beautiful amazing daughter.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Lily paints

This weekend- after a great day on Saturday scrapbooking (pictures from that later!) I kept myself super busy in the kitchen. I made pumpkin cookies, pumpkin bread, and baked pumpkin seeds. I also made a yummy chicken pot pie with home made pie crust. I was exhausted at the end of the day but it was worth it.

When I picked Lily up from school today I told her that I had some pumpkin bread for her in the car as a snack. Her response, "I hope the pumpkin bread doesn't taste like poop!" Nope not at all kid- but if you don't like it all the more for me!

Monday, October 25, 2010

30 Days of Truth: Day 3

Something you have to forgive yourself for.

This has been harder to post than I though it would be...I've been avoiding it for a few days now.

It isn't too hard for me to admit my past mistakes- because boy have I made some big ones, but there are certain ones that haunt me. Certain actions that I haven't been able let go of for whatever reason. Maybe because it is too late and I will never be able to be forgiven by the person I have wronged. Maybe it is because deep down I don't feel I deserve to be forgiven. Maybe it just feels like the cross I have to bear because of the mistakes I made.

Forgiveness is a tricky thing. Forgiving myself almost feels like I am giving myself a pass. Like what I did wasn't wrong. As long as I can say, "Oops, oh well, I was young and dumb!" then it will all be OK. If only it was that simple. Though it also seems wrong to suffer for years for mistakes that really were just young and dumb moments. Dang it..why did I do that? Why did I say that? Why did I let that happen? What on earth was I thinking? Cringing all the way through. God- was that really me? Was I that self centered and I didn't even know it?  How could I not have known?

How can I forgive myself for going through the self centered stage every young person goes through? I can't change it. I suppose at least I am wise enough now to realize that I was wrong. That I was selfish. That I hurt people and that I am sorry.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

30 Days of Truth- Day 2

Something you love about yourself.

I love my creativity.

I just wish I could use it more!!! I love to create things. I love starting with nothing and ending up with a beautiful finished product. I wouldn't say that I have any one particular stand out "creative" talent but I have tried all sorts of things. I get an idea in my head and whether I've done it before or not- I just go for it. I have my hands in all kinds of different creative processes. From handmade stamps (like literally carving out a stamp with basically woodworking tools) to candle making to sewing to card making. I've pretty much tried it at least once. Seriously-getting into my crafty stuff is like Mary Poppin's carpet bag. I have saved all kinds of random, hopefully one day useful stuff. I love it when I am dreaming up a project and I think of something I have saved for who knows how long that will work just perfectly in my design. Oooh that is the best.

I love that I can come up with crazy crafty stuff for the kids to do and I love making crafty stuff on birthdays and holidays and really whenever. I feel like my gifts mean so much more- though they may not be expensive. I love that I take the time to do that- even though it seems harder to find the time every year.

I love my empathy.

I really can relate to people- one on one- and I love to be a listener for what is going on with people. I love being able to make that connection with someone- even if it is just for a moment. Even at work I feel like a therapist sometimes- I hear way more about people's lives than absolutely necessary- but I'm a listening ear and that may be what they need at that moment. I am 100% OK with that. I feel connected and like I am doing some good in the world.

From my earlier post- you know that some of the blogs I've been reading have left me feeling quite emotional. Even though it has been somewhat painful- I am glad that just reading someones thoughts and words can affect me and inspire me to change. I am not always good at showing that emotion but it is there. I don't always have the right words to say but my heart is with those who are struggling. I am working right now on reaching out and letting them know that.

I love that I can hold Lily when she has had a tough time and rub her back and wish I could take her hurt away. I love that my love for my daughter reaches depths I didn't know were possible. She chokes me up with emotion- with happiness or sadness or joy or fear. I love that girl.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Priceless

This was the scene Sunday morning about 8:00 am. We all were sleeping in a bit, then I heard the girls talking and waking up. I expected them to come in and tell us they were hungry. Instead, Kendra climbed into Lily's bed with their matching new jammies and they played together. How lucky are these two to have each other? It makes me so happy.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

30 Days of Truth: Day 1

Something you hate about yourself.

When I think of "hate" I think of some kind of self loathing, can't look in the mirror, raging out loud kind of feeling- none of which do I feel about any particular personality trait or character flaw of mine. Are there other things in this world I hate? Absolutely. Myself? No. Definitely not. I don't think I'd be writing this post if I did. So I'm changing this a little because I can.

Let's forget physically- because not one person out there is 100% satisfied with the way they look- and I'm no different. Personality wise though there are a several traits I consider "works in progress" or "under construction". There isn't one trait I posses that I don't believe I have the full capacity to change. I know that. Actually making the effort to change? That is a little more iffy.

Anxiety- I have some serious anxiety in certain situations- crowds especially. I hate being singled out in a group and I hate too many strangers bumping into me. Costco sucks and fairs too. For this reason I avoid most situations where I might find myself in too much of a crowd. I grocery shop early in the morning and I plan outings to start exactly when something opens (say a farm) because I know it will be less crowded. I can deal some with these places and I do (i.e. a farm) but the anxiety is always high, my temper and patience runs short and I have a hard time having as much fun as I wish I could. Most of the time I just wish people would go away. If you haven't guessed already Biringer Farms was SUPER crowded on Saturday. The pictures don't tell the whole story I guess.

Social Awkwardness- I keep to myself for the vast majority of the time. As mentioned above I get super anxious in crowds of people and I am terrible for whatever reason at small talk. I hate introducing myself and "chit chatting" with people I don't know. I've never been good at participating in conversations in a group of people. My hearing loss might have something to do with that as well. Tying that in with my anxiety- these situations usually shoot my stress levels through the roof- which is never fun.

But the anxiety and social awkwardness really bother me. I mean really bother me. I want to make new friends and new contacts. I want to hear what other people have to say. I want to have a good time. I don't particularly care if I am liked by everyone but I want to give people the opportunity to decide. I think the key to this particular character "flaw" if you will, is exposure. The more often I put myself in these situations the better I will be at it and the less anxiety I will experience- its just the actual going out and doing it that is the problem because it makes me sooo sooo anxious. A vicious cycle if I ever saw one.

Last week was my 10 year High School Reunion. I would absolutely NOT have gone if Stephanie hadn't gone with us because I didn't want to walk in there by myself. When she called an hour beforehand saying she would just meet us there instead of carpooling I had a little meltdown and decided I wasn't going. Really. I cried like a little baby. Over having to be in a group of people I mostly don't even care about. NERVES! Martin convinced me to go anyway- and since he came with it was better but I didn't know what to say to pretty much any of them. "Um...how's it going? Haven't seen you in ten years and barely remember you...so what's new?" Ugh. Awkward!!!

A bunch of people posted on Facebook after the event that they had so much fun and it was so great to see everyone. After about an hour and a half there I was D-O-N-E done and wanted to leave. Approximately 120 people in a 30'x30' room? Yikes! I did not have fun at all. But I guess give me some credit for at least trying???

On a slightly less serious note- I play with my hair. Pretty much constantly, though most of the time unconsciously. I do this weird twirly thing- my mom says its a residual habit from when I was a baby. I had a yellow blankie that had a silky soft lining. I used to feel the silk parts to soothe myself to sleep(awww so cute!). Having been pointed out recently as a habit that must be broken because it makes me appear anxious, I am seriously struggling with the idea and implementation. Playing with my hair has been my anxiety/stress reliever for basically my entire life! As an adult though it appears unprofessional. It drives me crazy that I can't just stop. The pressure of others wanting me to stop only makes me more anxious...making it even more difficult. But I'll try- like I said- I am a work in progress.

I know there are tons more "under construction" traits I have but I think that is plenty for today.

Anyone else experience "crowd" anxiety? What are your strategies for dealing with it (other than being a recluse, 'cause that's no fun either!)? Any stress relief options/ideas that don't involve hair twirling?

Monday, October 18, 2010

Biringer Farm and Pumpkin Patch

Saturday we were lucky enough to have great weather for our trip to go get us some pumpkins. This was Lily and I's first trip to Biringer Farms. It was a bit crowded and unorganized the way it was run but overall we had a good time- though I think we'll find some place else next year. The pumpkins we got are huge though and were a pretty good price. The girls can't wait to carve them. Our halloween plans are still up in the air- we'll get it figured out as it gets closer.

A couple of my favorite pics: