Sunday, February 27, 2011

02-27-11 List


  • Cuddling on the couch with my husband, watching a romantic comedy.
  • The simplicity of a basic sugar cookie
  • Climbing into bed with freshly laundered bedding
  • Taking a nap with Mya curled up beside me
  • No house training issues with Mya for over a month now
  • Melting snow
  • Dipping animal crackers into a can of chocolate frosting
  • Pouring myself a glass of pop and not being able to finish it because it's just too sweet.
    • Realizing that our pop is going flat faster than we are drinking it :)
  • The Golden Girls
  • Looking at pretty pictures on Pinterest
  • Breakfast food for lunch
  • A weekend that hasn't flown by too fast for me to enjoy it.
Happy Sunday!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Share the knowledge

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I am not an expert on the computer and pretty much everything I know is self taught.  I am great (yeah, that's right I'm bragging) at playing around with things or searching the internet until I figure out how to accomplish what I want.  I will never get a job in IT, but I know enough to make myself valuable.  I also get a great amount of joy out of being able to teach others what I know. 

The other day someone asked for my assistance creating a document that would involve clip art and word art and she had limited experience using either one.  It would have been easy to do the job myself and be done with it in a short amount of time, but I chose to teach her how to do it instead.  I helped her get started, showed her how to do a few things and then let her work.  She asked for help several times and it took her half the day to finish the project, but she did it...SHE did it, not me.  Next time a project like this comes up she will know how to do it on her own (or will at the very least ask fewer questions). 

When I first learned about the project I was jealous.  So jealous that I threw a little hissy fit about how life was so unfair because I was (obviously) the best person to complete that project and why did I get stuck with the boring projects?  Yes, I turned into a green jealous monster and you could probably see a third eye trying to poke it's way through my forehead. 

It was not fair of me to complain about someone else's good fortune and so I told myself to grow up and act like an adult.  And so I taught her how to do the project and I did my best to simply teach and not take over. 

With children it's easier to remember that we are supposed to be teaching them.  It's easier to take a step back and guide them through the process because that is our job as adults.  Are we supposed to do this with other adults as well?  A good manager will do this for you, but what about a coworker?   Am I supposed to be a teacher, a guide, a role model for my peers?  Is this my responsibility?  My opinion is yes! 

Some would say that I should have fought for myself.  That I should have stood up and (politely) argued that I was the best person for the job.  I could have done that, and if given the chance I would have amazed them with my creativity, but what I did felt pretty darn amazing.  Getting that project reassigned to me would have made me happy for a little bit, but eventually it would have just been another project I did.  For me, I get more joy out of  knowing that I helped someone else shine.  Projects come and go; some I will get and some will go to others.  Helping someone else find even a small success fills my heart with joy and that is something I am thankful for. 

Sometimes helping others is the best thing we can do for ourselves. 

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Lucky in love


My lucky day

I hear people comment all the time about how lucky they are to have found their spouse.  We are lucky because they posses qualities that we find attractive.  They are good listeners, they make us laugh, or maybe they have a really great butt!  We have a list of things that led to us falling in love with them.  We are lucky.  Have you ever thought about how lucky you are because you had the choice to say "I do"?

Today I read one woman's story about her arranged marriage (keep reading for the link to her story).  I have been following the writer of this blog for a while but had yet to come across this part of her past.  I admit, when I first realized what the story was about I thought it was going to be a comparison...not the real thing.  Surely she did not really have an arranged marriage.  That is something from a movie, or a book, not real life.  I obviously need to expand my knowledge of the world, because I learned that this is much more common that I would have ever thought and I was anxious to learn more about her experience. 

How lucky am I that I got to marry the man I fell in love with?  I emailed him, then we talked on the phone.  Eventually a date was planned, which was followed with many more dates.  I fell in love with him and then we got engaged.  We both wanted to get married and the wedding would not have happened if either one of us had said no.  Our families and friends were happy for us and supported our decision.  If any of them had expressed doubts we may not have gotten married because their opinions are important to us.

Troy spent weeks planning his proposal and was so excited about it he couldn't narrow it down to just one idea.  He was so enthusiastic about asking me to marry him that he actually proposed twice that night.  I said yes (both times) because I wanted to, and not because I felt pressure from anyone else.  This was my fairy tale coming true!  We even rode on a Cinderella carriage and took a gondola ride under the stars. 

We planned the wedding.  We wrote our own wedding vows.  We decided who would be in our wedding, and who would (or would not) get an invitation.  We left our wedding reception with balloons trailing our car and drove down the highway waving at the cars that passed us.  We went to Walmart on our wedding night and made our first purchase with our "congratulations" money: junk food!  We pigged out on peanut butter filled chocolates and talked about our exciting day. 

I often say that I am a lucky girl, but today it means a little more.  I fell in love with the man my heart chose.  I got engaged because I wanted to marry the man I loved.  We had the wedding that we planned together.  Our wedding night was filled with more celebrating.

I consider myself lucky because I got to make the big decision to say "I do" with the person I chose.  To me, this is a blessing.  I am sure there are many women in the world who consider it a blessing to have an arranged marriage.  It's amazing how our beliefs, desires, and view of "luck" are so much based on the culture in which we are raised. 

As a hopeless romantic I definitely suggest you read Cinderita's story.  How does a woman on a quest for love deal with the marriage her parents arranged for her?  The story is divided into 6 parts so you can read a section a day if you don't have the time to read it all at once.  This is a love story, but not in the way you expect.  This is a story of a woman who loves her family so much she risks losing her own chance at love.  Read Cinderita's story here.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Face in the mirror

The face I make when I know I screwed something up for myself

"Something magical happens when we accept personal responsibility for our behavior and our results.  But, it's not easy, because it's human nature to 'pass the buck'.  I know there have been times in my life where I found myself blaming others, blaming the economy, blaming this, blaming that!  but as I've gotten older (and a little wiser) when things go wrong in my work, or my life, I can always find the culprit...in the mirror.  In every instance, it always comes back to choices I've made in my life that put me exactly where I am today.  I have to say that this one 'tweak' in my attitude may sound like a little thing, but it has made a big difference in my life."  - excerpt from "Who Are 'They' Anyway?" - by B.J. Gallagher and Steve Ventura

Take responsibility for your own actions.  Stop blaming your problems on someone else.  I need to work on this.

A couple days ago at work something happened that upset a coworker and she immediately placed the blame on someone else.  I had no doubts that this mistake was completely her own fault (and such a tiny, insignificant thing), but I understood the need to place the blame somewhere else. I ran that scenario through my head over and over that day trying to figure out how she could possibly rationalize that the blame should be placed on this other person.  No matter how many ways I twisted the story around in my head the blame still fell on her. 

She did what so many of do; instead of admitting we are not perfect we find someone or something we can blame our imperfections on.  She wasn't ready to own up to her reaction to the situation and so she found a way to blame her reaction on someone else.  I do this way too often.

On the way home from work Troy and I take time to talk about how our days went.  Since we have such a long commute we have lots of time to go in to detail which feeds right into this whole idea of shifting the blame to someone else. The more time I have to reflect on the day, the more time I have to figure out where the blame should be placed. If I had a bad day I am quick to find someone else to blame it on.  Somebody said or did something that put me in a bad mood.  When I had a great day I am quick to pat myself on the back for remembering to see the positive.  How come it's someone else's fault when I have a bad day, but I get the credit for all the good days?

I deserve credit for the good days!  Whether it was an easy day to find happiness or a day where I had to struggle to look for it in the small things, I deserve some credit.  I chose to find happiness and I'll pat myself on the back if I want to :)

I am also the same person who chose to react negatively on those bad days.  I need to take responsibility for my whole self, not just the good parts of myself.  On my good days I am the world's greatest wife (someone should buy me a t-shirt).  On my bad days it's Troy's fault for causing me to be a bad wife.  If he asked the questions I wanted him to, knew to do the things I never asked him to do, gave me the responses I wanted...then I would be a better wife.  It's not my fault I am being grouchy towards him.  If he had done the dishes then I would have been able to cook him an actual meal instead of just warming up a hot dog for myself and leaving him to figure out his own meal.  His fault, not mine.  If he told me I looked pretty after I tried on 5 different outfits then I wouldn't have been forced to give him the cold shoulder all evening.  His fault, not mine.  If he had read my mind and known what I wanted then I wouldn't have to be a grumpy wife.  His fault, not mine. 

Whose fault is it really?  I would find the answer if I just looked in the mirror.  I am so afraid to admit that I am the one putting myself into the bad mood, that I am the one who made the mistake, that I have faults and so I find ways to blame it on others.  I am sabotaging my own happiness.  It actually feels kind of great to realize that I'm making that decision.  If I am the one that chose to react negatively then I am the same person who can chose to turn that around.  No waiting on someone to apologize, or fix the mistake, because it's all me. 

I am responsible for Misty.  I am the one that chooses to stay at a job that doesn't really fulfill me, when I really want to blame it on "false advertising" during the application process.  I am the one that chose to have the cookies for breakfast that left me feel icky all day, when I really want to blame it on the flu (or a cold, or allergies, or anything other than myself).  I am the one that chooses to not stop by and see my nephew, when I really want to to blame it on time and distance. 

"When things go wrong in my life, I can always find the culprit...in the mirror. In every instance, it always comes back to choices I've made in my life that put me exactly where I am today.  I have to say that this one 'tweak' in my attitude may sound like a little thing, but it has made a big difference in my life." 

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Procrastination

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Blowing bubbles from weaheartit

I will often visit nablopomo.com for ideas on blogging topics.  I've only used a topic from there once, but I still check in regularly because you just never know which daily prompt will get my mind rolling.  The one that stuck out to me today was "tell us 7 things you do when you procrastinate". 

Ha!  I am the queen of procrastination.  Well I'm the queen of sarcasm, and maybe the princess of procrastination.  (A girl can never have too many crowns!)  This should be easy!

1. Facebook - I'm addicted, and no I don't want to go to a Facebookers anonymous meeting.
2. Read other peoples blogs - I love blogs and this one is my current favorite addiction
3. Browse pretty pictures on pinterest
4. Watch tv...even if it's something Troy chose that I have little interest in (lucky for me we tend to like the same shows)
5. Go through my phone and see who I can text
6. Imagine what I would do if I won the lottery.  This is a favorite conversation between us and we discuss it often....maybe too often. 
7. Daydream and possibly have a conversation with myself (about winning the lottery)

Notice I did not say clean or exercise, because those are two activities that I am usually procrastinating doing. 

I'm not sure when I became a procrastinator, maybe in college?  In high school I was the nerd that came straight home from school and did my homework before anything else.  While my siblings were running around doing whatever it is normal kids do after school I was doing my homework.  I did not procrastinate.  I don't remember when it happened, but at some point in college I turned into that girl that wrote her paper an hour before it was due. 

I do not like to do laundry, so I will procrastinate until I have to throw a load in the washer on my way to bed or else go to work au natural the next day.  I need my job too much to risk getting fired for showing up without pants.

I admire those people who do everything right away.  Those crazy people who write a daily check list and check it all off before allowing themselves to do any "extra" activities.  You should be proud of yourselves!  I am not one of those people, but I'm betting I am a much more entertaining facebook friend, because my status is updated often...while I am procrastinating.  See - procrastination isn't all bad :)

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Deflated tires and inflated faith

 A loveseat made for two

When I pray about something specific I always end by asking for assistance in finding comfort in whatever they outcome may be.  I try really hard not to pray for specific outcomes, but rather to remember that God has a plan that is bigger than me.  I just ask for assistance in seeing the positive even if I do not get the answer I had hoped for. 

Example: When one of us applies for a new job/raise/promotion I do not pray that we will get it.  Instead I pray that we will put our best foot forward and be happy with whatever answer we are given.   If we have done our best and it is meant to be, then I believe it will happen.  If the answer is no, then there is a reason for that and we need to face it with a positive attitude going forward.  I pray that I will remember to be thankful and to also remember that I believe all things happen for a reason.

The other night I went to bed and prayed about something that was weighing heavy on my heart.  I did not ask for a specific outcome, but I did ask that God would help me find comfort until I knew what the ultimate answer would be.  The next morning I was driving to work and felt myself getting worried about the situation.  God let the air out of my tires...literally.  We had to turn around and come back home that day.  I spent the day on the loveseat, sharing a blanket with Troy, filled with love.  When I started to feel overwhelmed God sent me back home where I was able to recharge.  I didn't realize I needed a day at home, but laying in bed that night I knew that this was exactly what I had needed. 

Having trouble with my car could have been stressful, but I never felt the stress.  All I felt was the love and warmth I needed to be comforted. 

Explaining adoption to the new kid

Yesterday we went to the Pine Wood Derby to watch Levi race his car.  There were a lot of little cub scouts running around, and one I didn't know came over and sat down at our table.  Levi puffed out his chest and said to the new kid "This is my sister....do you believe me?"  For those who don't know, Levi is adopted and I am 23 years older than him.  The new kid looked from Levi to me, back to Levi, then to me and quickly came to the decision that most kids his age would make in that situation....we were lying. 

 Levi got a huge smile on his face and said "I am adopted.  Do you know adopted is?"  Then a quick side glance to me and out of the corner of his mouth "I bet he doesn't know what adoption is!"

My first instinct was to jump in and help explain everything, but the huge smile on Levi's face stopped me.  He has explained this situation many more times than I have, and definitely to more kids than I have.  I couldn't tell you about anything else that was going on in the room at that point.  This conversation was all that mattered. 

Levi - Do you know what adopted means?
New Kid - ........yes
Levi - What is it?
New Kid - Adopted is when you are all alone and then you go live with someone new.
Levi - Kind of, but I was never alone. (this is said with the same excitement you would expect on Christmas morning, mixed with a great sense of authority)

To make the situation even more interesting Levi's cousin (who is his biological brother) was there making the conversation even more confusing for the new kid, although it was super cute to see the two of them explain their unique situation together.  They spoke with such confidence and pride as they explained adoption to the new kid. 

Levi spoke about his adoption with enthusiasm and a huge smile on his face.  For him, adoption is something to brag about.  The new kid started the conversation thinking that adoption was a sad situation, but I don't know how anyone could walk away from Levi's explanation thinking that adoption was anything but the greatest experience a kid could have. 

Today I am thankful for the huge dose of optimism Levi has about his life and his willingness to share his story with new people.  He sees the glass as half full!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Snowmageddon 2011


It was snowing sideways

"There is no need to say near blizzard, or blizzard like conditions - this IS a blizzard!" - Meteorologist Katie Horner, KCTV5

The blizzard of 2011 hit us yesterday, or as some call it, Snowmaggedon!  The forecast predicted 20" of snow, then right before it started they knocked it back to 10".  Half way through it they upped the prediction to 14" or more.  I have no idea how much we really got because there is no way to get an accurate measurement.  I have a (tiny) patch where you can see the ground and another patch close by that is 60" deep.  The driveway is the most consistent and it has around 23".  There was more, but some of it blew into the yard over night.   You can walk out into the yard, stand in one spot, and get 6 different measurements.  The yard is full of mountains and valleys made completely out of snow. 

28" knocking on our front door

I had the best time laughing yesterday.  We laughed the whole way home from work at the crazy amount of snow being blown in our faces by the big semi trucks.  We laughed as we pulled into our neighborhood and couldn't even tell where the road was supposed to be.  We laughed when we saw the mound of snow in our driveway and decided to step on the gas and hope for the best (we made it). 

We laughed when we opened the front door and saw the wall of snow just asking to come in.  We laughed when we opened the garage door and couldn't get it closed because too much snow had blown in during the 5 minutes it was open.  We laughed every time Mya asked to go out and then didn't know what to do when we opened the door and she saw the wall of snow.  I laughed until I cried when Troy got stuck in snow that was up to his booty.  I laughed until I was gasping for breath when I got stuck in the same pile of snow later on.  We laughed when found a snow drift that was up to our chests. 

We shoveled a single path, just wide enough to get a car out (just exactly wide enough) and just as we were finishing up the snow plow came by and buried the drive way again.  We smiled, waved, and started shoveling again.  I tried to go to the grocery store today and passed a semi, 4 cars, and a large truck that had all slid off the road (they were still in their cars, so it was recent).  Got to the entrance of the store and was sad to see they had not plowed the drive yet and there was no way my car was getting in there :(  Ten minutes and a 40 point turn later I headed back home...where I laughed telling Troy about my wasted trip. 

Everyone I know has stayed safe during this storm and for that I am very thankful!  Thank you to the snow plow drivers, emergency responders, gas station attendants, doctors and nurses, radio personalities, and news reporters that went in to work when the rest of us were heading home.  At the gas station today I overheard two employees talking about how they had spent the night (at the gas station) because they couldn't get home last night.  I know many people stayed in hotels close to work so that they would be able to get to work today. 

I complained about having to go in to work for a half day yesterday, but there are so many people that have to report to work in the middle of a blizzard.  Thank you to all of those people who did a part to keep me and my loved ones safe.  Because of each one of you I was able to feel safe enough that I found many things to laugh about. 

Today is a good day! 

Our exit off the highway at noon yesterday