Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Totally cliche, but I will do it anyway

(first apologies. my apostrophe is currently not working. it is as if my keyboard is falling apart. but anyway, just pretend there are apostrophes for this entire post. thanks.)

(spell check found my lack of apostrophes and corrected them! hooray for spell check!!!)

New Years. Always a time for renewing, reviewing, and changing things. Do you actually do it? Do you follow through with them? Usually, to make changes, I wait until we move. We seem to move fairly often, and at Christmas time, which allows me to be able to make those changes. This year, that not being the case, I am going to have to make more of an effort in this.

This last year has been a year full of major changes. And things that I had no control over forced me to find things in me that I did not think I was capable of doing. Capable of getting through and coming out OK.

Sadly, those sorts of things are not easily measured. But sometimes, you want to be able to SEE some progress, to visually tell that you are better than you were before. So, this January, I will be starting to work on these things:

~I know I posted a while back that I wanted to tackle bread making while he was gone. Well, this far into it, I have not made even one loaf. This goal has changed to at least attempting it. I do have loaf pans (finally!!) and yeast. Just a matter of getting other things in order so that I can give it the time it needs to be good! Because if my bread comes out terrible, well, I just do not know what I will do if it does. I do not get along with bad bread.

~I am going to exercise. A lot. And change my diet as best as I can. I would love for my husband to come home to a fit, toned wife. It is possible!! I just do not know if I can give up my treats.

~I am going to become more organized. In whatever small way I can. It is such a huge effort for me to get myself there and then to keep it up. I am also going to purge purge purge. I have so much crap (as does my husband) that we never use. That we have no need for. And my kids toys!!! I get so tired of all those toys! They do not even play with half of them. Just have to convince them. Or do it when both of them are gone.

~I started really reading my scriptures every day when we were in North Carolina. And amazingly, I have managed to keep it up and I still do it. I want to keep that up, and add a few more aspects to my whole prayer/reading routine. I also want to be consistent with family home evenings. I hated them as a kid for many reasons (mostly my brothers made it miserable for the rest of us) but I have realized that mine do not have to be like that. They are whatever we want them to be. So, mine are going to be short, sweet, and if I can manage, with a little bit of fun thrown in.

~Boundaries!!! Boy do I love these things. My life becomes so much easier when I can set boundaries and stick to them, no matter what the situation. My personal resources are spread pretty thin. So, my goal is that no matter what other people think or want me to do, I am always going to do what is best for my kids and I. I really don't get pushed too much from the church, but I have been pushed on the FRG side of things, of people wanting me to do this and that. And sometimes I just cant.

Well, I have covered the spiritual, physical, and mental aspects of my life. Anything else that I accomplish on top of these is just extra. Next step is to write them down in my journal, and then get them on something so that I can see them every day. Nothing like a daily reminder to keep you on track!!

I hope this year is better than the last, that you find happiness, and that when there are problems, you get through them. Happy New Year!

(I will be spending it with five kids. I got some noisemakers and fun snacks for them. Who will bet me $20 that they don't make it to even 11pm??????)

Friday, December 25, 2009


What a day. I stayed up late getting things wrapped and done. Then woken up way too early. Still wondering why said child is still awake. My husband called and it was a whirlwind of opening presents as quickly as possible just in case his connection went out again. Watched movies, played with toys, called grandma, grandpa and uncles with the web cam. Sat on chocolate coins on floor and had no idea. Washed my robe to get the chocolate off of it. Watched my kids play with their new things, eat candy, change clothes numerous times. Wishing Santa's magic would clean up my living room as easily as he puts things in it.

And, inevitably, at this time of year, at least for me, I become a bit reflective. I look back to where we were in previous years at this same time. (loading up a uhaul trailer and about to drive across the country and having no idea what lay ahead of me for the next four months of living at home again). The year before we were in a hotel. The year before that, we had been in So Cal, but living out of our car as we still had no place to live back in Texas. Right now, I am so happy to be in our own home. So happy that we're not moving any time soon. So happy that even though my husband is deployed, we are still a family, and we have great things in our near future.

While life is tough, life is good.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Things in my head

~I haven't plucked my eyebrows in at least a week. Sigh. I hate when I forget to do that.

~Grateful for friends. One friend that called me up Saturday morning that needed my expertise (ha!) in choosing fabric. Another friend that offered to watch my kids this week, for a good chunk of time. And other friends who give me an opportunity to share my talents.

~I miss the gym. I've been going for a while now. When I miss for a few days, it really sets me back. But I love it. I just might be able to keep up with my husband one of these days.:)

~Loved getting a chance to get to know my neighbors yesterday at a little neighborhood Christmas party a friend had.

~I think we're going to have pizza and root beer Christmas eve. Some friends who's dad is also deployed are coming over.

~I got 5 Christmas cards in the mail yesterday!!! I was feeling so sad that I had only gotten a few. But, it's understandable. We've moved so often, I'm sure it's hard to keep up with where we are. My Eiffel tower card holder is now full!!! Getting cards in the mail just makes me happy.

~I painted my toes red this morning while I was talking to my husband. I was wearing open toed shoes to church, and my toes had to be dressed too.

~Cannot wait for my treats my brother brought back from Paris! I had sent him lots of money to pick up some things that I need-well ok, wanted from France. Nothing like good dark French chocolate to make your day.

Anything floating around in your head this Sunday night??

I think I'm going to go and cross stitch and watch a movie.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Playing Telephone

I feel like the last month I've been playing telephone. And not in a good way.

I feel taken. I feel slightly betrayed, but mostly I feel stupid. Stupid for not being able to be smart enough to keep it all at a distance and believing what the person before me said in the telephone game. Because we all know that the correct message never makes it through exactly the same as it began. Sigh.

Chalk this one up to a good learning experience. Never playing the telephone game again. It's a terrible game.

My new favorite songs

Like many of you, I've been watching Glee for the entire season. I love it. A lot. As a kid that grew up watching musicals, this show has made my musical loving heart happy. I still have every episode saved on my DVR. I have bought both the CD's. I love them.

But, my favorite song of the whole thing, came at the very end. As did my next favorite song. The first is My Life Would Suck Without You. I feel like this song accurately describes my relationships with a few people in my life. And, since they are some of the closest ones I've got, this song I almost want to take up as my theme song for my life. That is how much I LOVE it. (remember to turn off the Christmas music before you watch)

You have to watch it to really appreciate it.

Here is the second one. Don't Rain On My Parade was done by Barbara Streisand. I've listened to both. Since I don't have a video of Barbara doing it, I think this one wins. The second song is alright. I can't seem to listen to it enough!!! Thank goodness I figured out how to rip songs from CD's and put them on my MP3 player. These ones are coming to the gym with me.

I love all of this. Mostly the first song.

It's going to be so hard to wait until it comes back in the spring.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Just to warn you

I love Christmas music!! And to share that love, I've put Christmas music on my blog. So, those of you who actually hit my blog, be prepared for some music. And for those of you who read me in a reader, hit me sometime. There might be something I've got that you've never heard.

Have to say, when it comes to Christmas music, I'm fairly close minded. Not a big fan of all of the current artists putting out new cd's at Christmas. I'm sure it had to do with the music we listened to growing up. We listened to Bing Crosby, Oak Ridge Boys, Mannheim Steamroller, Patty Page, Nat King Cole, Kenny Rogers......I have expanded my Christmas music to include Harry Connick Jr. But it just doesn't seem like Christmas without Bing singing Mele Kalikimaka and the chipmunks singing about their hula hoop. My cable company has music channels, and so during the day I have it to the Sounds of the Season. It is great!

Well, I hope you enjoy my music when you visit. I will probably keep it on until the end of the month, so just be prepared for it. :)

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Well, at least I tried

For the last week or so, it has been super freezing cold here. As in the pond down the road is frozen. And the grass is crunchy all day. And every morning you're scraping ice off your car windows. The night time lows are in the teens. So, yeah. It's cold.

Last Sunday was no exception. The problem I find is that skirts and dresses are not very good at keeping my legs warm. And the majority of my skirts and dresses are either knee length, or slightly longer. No floor length anything. Which leaves my poor legs exposed to the elements!!! Here is my problem. I absolutely cannot stand wearing nylons. I hate them. I truly do. (tights are different and I'll get to that in a sec.) Almost every woman that I see wearing them looks as if their legs are stuffed sausages. Especially women that could stand to lose a few pounds. Then add the wearing of nylons with open toed shoes. The seam is bad enough, but when there are runs in them........oh my. Anyway, I just hate them. The control tops are terrible too. Again, the stuffed sausage visual.

Last Sunday I did not wear anything on my legs at church. And while I was cold, I wasn't too bad. It didn't help that some genius had turned on the AC in the primary room, but we fixed that. And really, it was only the minute it took between the car and the building that it was really a problem.

Now we're to Sunday night. I have to drive to another building 20 minutes away to play the piano for our choir. And since it was going to be night, and colder than it was earlier, I thought I would see if I could find a pair of nylons that might be acceptable. Because I really hate being cold. I found a pair, put them on, and headed out the door. After we got there and had been sitting down for a bit, and waiting for our turn, I started to look at my legs. And feel my legs. And see how my dress was clinging to my nylon-clad legs. (I wasn't wearing a slip. I don't like those much either.) I couldn't take it. I got up, and found the closest bathroom and took those babies off. Gosh I felt better.

Now, tights are a whole different thing. They are an actual color (not nude or tan), thicker, and normally a dark color which makes legs look slimmer. And tights rarely have control tops on them. So, while I still rarely wear them, tights are acceptable.

I don't know what I'm going to do this winter. I just cannot abide those darn things. I guess I should find myself a slip so things don't cling and see if I can find a decent pair of nylons that don't make my legs feel like les saucissons.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

I'm tired

Today I just feel tired. This isn't the just-back-from-the-gym tired. Or I've-been-cleaning-all-day tired. Or even the I've-been-running-around-all-day tired. This tired is beyond all of that. This is the I've-been-doing-everything-for-four-months tired.

Yeah, we did sign up for this. We knew someday he would deploy. You'd be an idiot if you were in the military and didn't expect it. But really, that doesn't really take away the tired feeling. I still am the only one to take care of the cars, bills, car registration, homework, housework, meals, yard work and any other kind of work needed to be done. It also doesn't help that I'm not the most organized person AND I forget things more often than I did before. Add all this to cold weather outside and kids with a ton of energy..........the best time of my day is when I'm at the gym or bedtime.

Something I hear often at church is "endure to the end". Usually it's paired with "keep my commandments and endure to the end". Or, " endure to the end, and endure it well". I got a small taste of that on my mission as I endured a terrible companion, riding a bike up hill both ways (literally, it was up hill both ways), people being rude, and young immature elders that you wanted to hit over the head. But my goodness. As difficult as that was, it was a million times easier than enduring this. And not just deployment, but adult life in general. But I think the most difficult thing of enduring is enduring well. To always do your best, to be happy even if you're dealing with something difficult, to keep putting one foot in front of the other. Even if you're a lot slower than you used to be.

I'm still tired. I do my best to endure it well. It's just sometimes I don't. Tomorrow will be better, and I know I'll feel better. Maybe it's just enduring Sundays. Hardest day of the week sometimes. But, I will endure, and will do my darnedest to endure it well. Even if I don't feel like it.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

This was the coolest thing

Before we left Fort Bragg last year, some friends invited us over for Christmas Day dinner. And this was their Christmas tree.

Yes, you are seeing a Christmas tree made out of red and green plastic cups. They put lights through it, and had made perler bead decorations that they somehow attached on there. Here is a close up of it.

I don't think I have ever seen a more creative way to have a Christmas tree. I'm not sure how or with what they stuck the cups together. But it's a cheap way to decorate. And if I thought my kids would leave it alone and not destroy it in one week, I would do it. I remembered this tree after I read this post from one of the design blogs I read. My pictures aren't as nice, but I think it is just as creative. Even the star on top is a cup they cut. Anyone doing anything other than the traditional tree?

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

No more dumb stuff

I am so excited for this Christmas! For the first time in three years I will get to be in my own home for Christmas and not travel one place. I won't be in a hotel, I won't be in someone else's home, I won't be driving across the country the next day. I will get to enjoy my kids, I will get to enjoy our decorations and have Santa come to our own house, not a hotel room. I'm pretty darn excited. The only crappy part is that my husband won't be here to have it with us.

I've actually been thinking a lot about Christmas for a while. I start thinking about my cards in August. (because if I don't, I won't get them done!) And this year I sent out an email to all five of my siblings talking about Christmas and our gift giving. I wanted to change it up a little. Four out of the six of us are married, with a fifth happening next year. Giving gifts is getting more expensive as you add spouses and kids, not to mention the distance that they might need to be sent. And I had an idea. For our gifts this year, we are keeping it super small. And instead of trying to give some great gift, we're going to give service. My parents, and all my siblings that will be there, are going to get together and go to our church cannery. I am going to do what I can from where I am, and I'm hoping to get my kids involved. And hopefully they'll understand it. I have pretty high hopes that our family will keep this up every year. And with my husbands side, I've suggested this too.

I'm still not exactly sure what we're going to do. I've got a couple of ideas, but still waiting to see what ends up being the right thing for us. There are plenty of non-profits that I could donate to, and feel like I've done my part. But I'd like to do something a little more tangible.

My ultimate goal: less stuff, less money for pointless things. more time and money and effort towards things that actually matter. More time serving others, and actually doing what Christ would do, no matter what time of year it is. I'm excited for the opportunities that present themselves, cause I'm going to be looking for them.