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:





30 Days of truth

No way I'll get this done in 30 days...I'll have other posts in between and such but over the next few (2?) months I will use these questions as a starting point to reveal more about who I am and what I'm about. I'm sure I'll learn a lot- I hope you do too. Feel free to nick the idea too. I did.

Day 01 → Something you hate about yourself.
Day 02 → Something you love about yourself.
Day 03 → Something you have to forgive yourself for.
Day 04 → Something you have to forgive someone for.
Day 05 → Something you hope to do in your life.
Day 06 → Something you hope you never have to do.
Day 07 → Someone who has made your life worth living.
Day 08 → Someone who made your life hell.
Day 09 → Someone you didn’t want to let go, but just drifted.
Day 10 → Someone you need to let go, or wish you didn’t know.
Day 11 → Something people seem to compliment you the most on.
Day 12 → Something you never get compliments on.
Day 13 → A band or artist that has gotten you through some tough days.
Day 14 → A hero that has let you down.
Day 15 → Something or someone you couldn’t live without, because you’ve tried living without it.
Day 16 → Someone or something you definitely could live without.
Day 17 → A book you’ve read that changed your views on something.
Day 18 → Your views on gay marriage.
Day 19 → What do you think of religion? Or what do you think of politics?
Day 20 → Your views on drugs and alcohol.
Day 21 → Your best friend is in a car accident and you got into a fight an hour before. What do you do?
Day 22 → Something you wish you hadn’t done in your life.
Day 23 → Something you wish you had done in your life.
Day 24 → Make a playlist to someone, and explain why you chose all the songs.
Day 25 → The reason you believe you’re still alive today.
Day 26 → Have you ever thought about giving up on life? If so, when and why?
Day 27 → What’s the best thing going for you right now?
Day 28 → What if you were pregnant, what would you do?
Day 29 → Something you hope to change about yourself. And why.
Day 30 → A letter to yourself, tell yourself EVERYTHING you love about yourself


Come back tomorrow for Day 1. Wish me luck!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Change

I have been mulling this post over in my head for about a week now. For some reason it has been really tough for me spit it out...to decide what it is that I want to say...

For several weeks I have been feeling. That sounds so weird. I have been feeling a combination of both heart swelling yelling out loud pure joy and gut wrenching no words to describe pain- plus feelings all over the spectrum in between.

I lurk. There I admit it. I read tons of different blogs. I click through and read random blogs which I may or may not follow- but I rarely choose to interact with the author, feel the need to comment, or put myself out there in any way. For that I am ashamed. I have followed some of these people through their darkest moments and greatest joys- yet don't reach out and give them a great job, a you can do it or an I feel your pain?? I realized this week that I probably have missed out on a lot of opportunity that way- choosing to be anonymous.

I also realized my blog is suffering for it as well. I have chosen to share only bits and pieces of what is going on in my life- mostly a rosy picture of adventure and fun- some silly moments tossed in here and there. But I want more than that. I have read 5 (or more) blog entries in the last week that have truly affected me emotionally- as in sitting at my computer sobbing, my heart breaking or bursting out laughing out loud. I want to relate to people like this-make connections-and have them relate to me. These blog posts have inspired me to switch it up a little- put myself out there, be more real and reach out.

Susan. She has no idea, I'm sure, how many people she has touched. Over the last several years she has shared her story- joys and sorrows- of her battle with Inflammatory Breast Cancer. Her post "LET GO" touched me and I can't even think about it now without getting tears in my eyes. Since February of this year I have been worrying that the preventative measures I've been taking with my doctor will continue to be enough- that the "pre-cancer" I am currently willing away by brain power will just slink off into the night. That CANCER will not be a regular word in my vocabulary like it is for Susan. I guess maybe I just need to "let go." Looking back at my blog posts I noticed that in April when we went to the fair and were apartment hunting- I completely left out the fact that I ALSO HAD SURGERY!!!! Outpatient, true. But really. Was I ashamed? Did I not want people to think my life wasn't perfect? Did I not want anyone to worry? Why? What would have been the problem sharing that with the people who obviously care enough about me to read what we are up to on a regular basis? I have no idea. I really don't know. I'm hoping to change that now. I know for sure I am not the only one out there with cervical cancer on her mind.

Dan. A newbie to the blog scene- and to my following list-though he's obviously web savvy and super smart. His posts have me laughing and crying at the same time. The disease of Perfection truly inspired this entire post. People are hurting- even when we may not see it- even me. Why not let them know they are not the only one? Why not be a shoulder to cry on or a listening ear? Why not be real and quit hiding behind the mask of perfection? Also his kid is almost as cute and hilarious as mine : )

Jill. I am thankful everyday for every minute my daughter is in my life. I can't even begin to imagine her pain. Yet I know just by reading her raw and real posts that Jill is strong and amazing and will pull through. Her blog has made me take a second look at how I spend my time- and what I spend time doing. I am going to work really hard to give Lily the attention and affection she deserves everyday.

Single Mom Survives For sticking up for a blog friend. For having the guts to tell it like it is. For reaching out when you don't have to. We all need this kind of friend backing us up. I hope I can have her kind of courage when one of my fellow bloggers is in need.

Dad gone Mad- For telling his story and sharing one of the most powerful videos I've ever seen..

The recent "bullying crisis" has me heartbroken- yet in some way inspired. I hate that kids can be so mean. That there are so many kids out there who are hurting (the bullies and the bullied). I can't stand the fact that even one kid has died because of it- much less an epidemic! It has to stop!

It inspires me to see so many people addressing this theme in their blogs and in the news. It kills me to read about how deeply and how many people have been affected by bullying. I hope this message can stay at the forefront of our minds and hearts as we deal with young people in our own lives.

So here is my goal. Share more. Be real. Be present. Challenging? YES! I think I am finally up for it.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Floyd needed a bath.

Boy did he stink! I don't know why but probably a combination of being a boy and the terrible "non-clumping" kitty litter we finally got rid of. He also got his nails trimmed and NO ONE DIED or had any gashes large enough to require stitches. Yay for us but poor baby boy! Haha.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Crime and Punishment

At home we are really working on getting Lily to stop throwing her little tantrums- more discipline, set consequences and *GASP* actual follow through. Also the threat of the day...

"If you keep this up they'll kick you out of Kindergarten next year!"

Actually that is the real motivation- now that the official Kindergarten Countdown for Lily has begun...we need to smooth out a few uh, "quirks" in her personality-i.e. you can't sit at the breakfast table at school and scream and cry for an hour just because you don't feel like saying, "May I please be excused." Really.

So when the teacher informed me yeasterday of that latest incident we talked it over and decided for that night she would lose her bedtime stories as a consequence. She actually did ok without the stories at bedtime- which made me think that consequence wasn't quite enough to get the "no throwing fits" rule to sink in.

Then, yesterday after school she told me she had thrown *TWO* fits that day- but couldn't really tell me why or what happened. Needless to say I was upset because I was hoping the day before had been enough- though proud of her for telling me what happened. So last night she lost her bedtime stories and TV (which meant no staying up late to watch Survivor with me.)

Now- the kicker- this morning:

Me: So I heard Lily threw two fits yesterday.
Teacher: *BLANK STARE*
Me: Um..she...didn't?
Teacher: No...she wouldn't clean up some puzzles she took out- she lost puzzle privilege for the rest of the day but was fine. No fits though.
Me: Um...well she said she did...and she had consequences last night because of it...oh man. Really?

OK. So now I feel bad...but what the heck kind of kid lies about being bad instead good?  Maybe we just need some clarification as to what exactly consitutes "throwing a fit." Hard telling with that one.