Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Journal Schmournal

I tore out the pages of my journal a few days ago. I thought I would just keep paper and pen nearby  at all times, so I could write down the genius that flows from my mind. It turns out it's not genius. It's drivel. It's a record of my complaining sorry self. And I don't want to look back at that ever and be disgusted with myself. So I tore out the pages. The only thing I commit to writing down now are actual genius ideas that might make me a pile of cash. Highly unlikely to happen, so it'll be paper for the children soon I'm sure.

Joy Dare: Day 31
A gift found on paper, in a person, in a picture

on paper: A paycheck that covered the house payment and left some for us, thanks to back pay.

in a person: My husband. While grouting the tile with him, we had some laughs. That's my favorite part of marriage. The laughing.

in a picture: the 4yo brings home her drawings every tues/thurs from preschool. She's always so proud, but at the same time she wants to put them in the 'special folder' so i don't throw them away.  I will one day (after I photograph them for a photo memory book)

Monday, January 30, 2012

Joy Dare: Day 30

Three old things seen new.

1. The shower! The old master bathroom shower has been removed and replaced with a beautiful tile shower. We finished grouting last night and it looks fantastic. Cannot wait to finish the rest.

2. Toys. The girls don't realize that they rotate their toys, but they do. They "lose" them sometimes in their own rooms or in the basement and then they rediscover them later and it's like brand new toys. It's fun to watch, although I do still wish we could just clean out piles of them. Someday.

3. the computer. Recently the computer has had problems with flash player, so we rebuilt it and I didn't re-install. So the girls haven't been able to play on the computer for some months now. I recently reinstalled the player, figuring at least they could play awhile before it started crashing the machine again. They're thrilled.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Joy Dare: Day 29

a song heard, a soft word, where you saw light

song: Rolling in the Deep is probably going to be my favorite song for quite awhile. Her voice and range is so wonderful. And its alto-ish, so I can sing along.

word: lexi and sophie..both saying 'i love you mommy' after i tuck them in for bed.

light: in the new bathroom. A light in the shower, seemingly unnecessary but so very nice and effective when installed.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Joy Dare: Day 28

Three graces found in your friends

1. My friend Jen is lighthearted and sincere. A true interested friend. I really need to call her soon and see that baby that's not a baby anymore.

2. My friend Lisa is fun and honest (like me) and we get along very very well.

3. My friend Stacy is smart and insightful and honest. She's a teacher, molding young minds and a grad student, expanding her own mind.

My friends, although few, are awesome.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Joy Dare: Day 27

Three gifts that might never have been

1. My house - we could have stayed in the smaller house for awhile, but I love this place. we've been here ten years now.
2. My new/remodeled bathroom (starting to look really really good)
3. My new nephew or neice - my sister in law is pregnant and I honestly thought they would never have kids, So i'm super excited about this one.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Joy Dare: Day 26

For the record, I wrote this post Wednesday. I tried to use the iPad to publish it last night and instead it was empty. Thanks Apple. The one time I'm ahead of my game and Apple screws me.

A gift before 9am, a gift before noon, a gift after dark
1. Before 9 am on Tues/Thurs, I get the 4yo up and ready for preschool. Normal days she sleeps until 9, but on preschool days she gets up and gets dressed and we have breakfast together and then read a couple library books after she's brushed hair and teeth. She's getting so big, it's such a fun time.

2. Before noon...in the same token as above...when the 4yo is in preschool and the 9yo at school, I have two hours to myself. To work, uninterrupted, blissful quiet and concentration. It's heaven.

3. Gears of War 3. I love this game, some might even say I'm addicted. I cannot play enough horde mode. I take care of my kids first, then exercise, and put the kids to bed. So after dark, after the kids are in bed, I start up the xbox and shoot enemies to my hearts content. I do so love this game.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Joy Dare: Day 25

I'm really tempted to just do all the rest of these joy dares right now, so I won't miss any the rest of the month and so I can be done with it already.

One grace Borrowed, one grace Found, one grace Inherited

Borrowed: I borrow books from the library regularly. I LOVE the library. I am a reading fiend and my oldest is turning out to be quite a reader as well, which I am so very pleased about. The youngest also loves having books read to her and i'm guessing will be a reader as well in time.

Found: I don't really know on this one. I haven't found anything in a long time. Maybe I found my strengths in motherhood, or my strengths at work..and even finding my weaknesses could be considered a grace.

Inherited: Well, I guess I have inherited this pair of earrings from the husbands grandmother. She's still alive and very well, but she was cleaning out her jewelry and while it's sort of a morbid activity, I took a pair of earrings that I really like. And I'm glad to be able to wear them while she's still alive (and will be for awhile, in spite of her 'if i'm still around' regular comments) and will continue to wear them in her memory when she leaves us.

Joy Dare: Day 24

Honestly, I give up on trying to do these regularly. I'll just do it when I get to it..and I'll be grateful when Jan. is over and it ends.

Three Things Blue

1. The accent color I intend to use in my soon to be remodeled master bathroom. The husband has been working really hard on it, and started cutting tile last night. The shower is going to be awesome. Twice as wide as before, clean, two shower heads, niches for our shampoos. So awesome. We'll also have a new vanity and sink and I think blue will be the perfect accent color to the brown tones of the rest of everything. I'll post about it, with pictures, when it's all done.
2. The sky. Even if the sun isn't out, I enjoy seeing the blue sky occasionally during the winter. Yesterday, not today.
3. Hmm. The ink in my pen is blue. I'm online all the time, my job is online, my friends, everything is online. But I still take notes on paper sometimes. I blame my children for my inability to remember things better so I make notes and keep written reminders of things. My favorite pen has blue ink. So..there.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Joy Dare: Day 23

3 gifts found in Christ

1. Eternal Life. John 3:16. Such a gimme for this list, but such an important one. Something I'm hoping my girls will grow to see the importance of.
2. Forgiveness? That feels hypocritical, but I think I've forgiven people, I just can't forget.
3. The perfect mate. It's pretty clear the husband is my perfect match, no matter what we both do to irritate each other. We're in sync 99% of the time and it's peaceful and blissful.

The master bathroom is getting to a point where I'm going to actually have to choose a paint color. Eeek!

Joy Dare Catch up

Day 21: one thing in the sky, one thing from your memory, one thing that's ugly beautiful.

1. The sunshine. It's not here right now, but on the days it does show up in the winter, it's wonderful.
2. Sledding with my siblings, and roller skating, and ice skating outside, on a lake, not in a fancy schmancy rink.
3. ugly beautiful? I don't know...the 4yo tush when she asks me to wipe her poo :)

Day 22: one grace wrinkled, one grace smoothed, one grace unfolded
1. My mother in law, although she's really not that wrinkled and if she read blogs, she'd not appreciate this much probably. But I do so love her so very much. She's my stand in.
2. My chin..after this zip decided to leave? Seems superficial.
3. The new towels I'm planning to put in the almost remodeled master bathroom.

I don't know what I was doing to prevent these this weekend. I spent most of the weekend grateful that my girls were playing so well together, even though they were trapped inside all weekend. And I was able to read several books, which is always awesome. Plus a trip to the library where they both found books they also love to read, that's probably my very favorite thing right now. I want them both to grow up loving books and reading as often as they can.

Joy Dare: Day 20

Three gifts you saw only when you got close up.

1. The scar on the 4yo's forehead is healing really nicely.  Can't even see it very well, even up close.
2. Dog kisses. If you get close, they'll kiss ya.
3. I don't know. Some of these are strange.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Joy Dare: Day 19

a grace in the kitchen, a grace in the weather, a grace that might never have been

kitchen: The Keurig single serve coffee maker. I love that thing, and I hate coffee. But there is a Green Mountain Naturals Hot Apple Cider k-cup that I LOVE. I have a serious addiction to it. It's been great for the husband to just make a travel mug's worth of coffee to take with him to work also, very handy.

weather: well...I don't love this bitter cold, but i'm used to it, so I suppose the grace is that I'm not really complainy about it. I wish it wouldn't last as long or be as cold, of course, but I don't waste time or energy complaining about it. I just bundle up to take the puppies out, and make sure my girls are bundled for school and have what they need to stay warm. And then I come back inside, with that hot cider and a warm blanket and all is well.

Might never have been: Hmmm I don't know about this one. The puppies are pretty cute, and I wasn't sure we'd do that, but I don't know if that counts. My job maybe. I turned down this position at first, I was afraid to work at home and that it wouldn't be stable or work out. Then I found the courage...and it's been the best thing ever. I work from home, doing what I really do love doing and getting adult conversation (ok it's online mostly, but it's still converations), and I'm home for the girls when they are home from school or the 4yo since she's not in school. It is the best of both worlds.

Joy Dare: Day 18

3 gifts from God's Word

This Joy dare is starting to make me feel bad about myself.

I don't know how to do this one. I did enjoy last night, working with the 9yo on her Awana sections, helping her find and read some verses and answer questions. I feel like a hypocrite. It's so important to me that she (both of them really) become believers, and she loves Awanas, but I know I'm not doing enough. And we're not going to church..which would help...blargh. I do and don't want to find a solution.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Joy Dare: day 17

One gift that made you laugh, one gift that made you pray, one gift that made you quiet

1. my 4yo makes me laugh, regularly. she is a gift.
2. my 9yo, turning 10 in the fall, the double digits, the pre-teens, the THINGS it means. PRAY HARD.
3. My inability to regularly post these joy dares...makes me quiet.

Joy Dare: Day 16

Three ways you witnessed happiness today

1. The 9yo loving the puppies before she headed out to the bus and school.
2. The 4yo 'dressing up' by wrapping her blanket as a skirt around herself and using a chip clip to secure it.
3. Finishing 'The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo' book..and having book 2 and 3 already in hand :)

I am awful at regular posting. The end.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Joy Dare: Days 14 and 15

Wow. I told myself each weekend day that I couldn't forget to do the posts. Even if it was quick and simple...don't miss it. And yet. Huh.

Day 14: Three ways you glimpsed the startling Grace of God
1. I really don't know how to answer this one. I guess Saturday I was grumpy and my husband took a simple step to pull me out of it. I'm very grateful for him.
2. My kids didn't drive me completely insane this weekend, and the oldest was off thurs-sunday so she had every reason to go stir crazy.
3. I'm starting to consider solutions for our lack of church attendance. Is that the Grace of God?

Day 15: one thing you wore, one thing you gave away, one thing you shared
1. I wore a new tank and zip jacket that I bought on clearance for 4.95. The tank I got 20% off of. I do love a sale. And the shopping gave me some me time that I clearly needed.
2. I have a little pile going to give away actually. Pajamas that no longer fit the 4yo and jeans that I just hate myself in, that are perfectly decent so I can give them away.
3. I think I've shared my love of reading with my girls. The oldest loves chapter books..I seriously have to consider getting some sort of bookshelf in her room somehow, and the youngest loves our weekly trip to the library to swap out the week's books. We read one or two before she goes to preschool a couple times a week and I think she loves that.

I'm not even going to lie and pretend I'll try to do better at this. It'll be easier during the week, because I'm in front of my computer, but weekends...I just can't make any promises.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Joy Dare: Day 13

3 Sounds you hear

1 - the puppies, wrestling. Each with a little growl as they take turns trying to bit each others feet. It's a ridiculous game, and eventually the small one gets riled and tries to hump the other. Even though they're fixed..and both girls. Go figure.

2 - Earlier today I heard my girls dancing and singing upstairs to the kidz bop tunes on the 9yo's iPod. So cute and fun to hear.

3 - The silent 5pm alarm that says i can stop working for the day. for the weekend. Hooray for the weekend.

At some point in the near future I'll also have some posts of our new master bathroom. The husband has been working on it slowly but surely. Ripping out the old awful shower and extra waste of space cabinet and we've picked out tile, and a new cabinet and vanity and the shower pan came earlier this week.  The finished product is going to be spectacular.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Joy Dare: Day 12

Something above you, something below you, something beside you

Above me: The roof over my head. It's freezing outside today, and blowing snow everywhere. It's the first real snow this winter and while I'm not glad to see it I am glad it waited so long to show up. And I'm grateful for the roof over our heads. And for my husband's and my jobs that keep the roof in place.

Below me: Hmmm..how about my treadmill, which is in the basement. I love that thing. Now only if my knee would start to love it again and we could all be happy together again.

Something beside me: A few minutes ago, the 4yo and I were on the floor, under a blanket, hovering over the heater vent. I love to trap the heat in the blanket and really warm up for a bit. So toasty. And having a cute companion wasn't so bad either.

Today has been a pretty good day. I've accomplished some things at work and preschool still happened in spite of the ridiculous snow and wind. No school for the 9yo because of "professional learning" days, so these won't be snow days to make up later either. All around, not a bad day.

Joy Dare: Day 11

Wow. I missed a day. Again. I am really awful at this.  This one is also difficult, right now there are really only brown and white things outside. It finally snowed last night, and everything else is dead.

Three yellow things that strike you as fresh mercy:

1 - My big yellow chair in my living room. I've loved it since I set eyes on it over ten years ago. Still love it. Oversized, comfortable, positioned right in front of the fireplace. I think maybe I'll sit there and read tonight.

2 - Legal pads. I love to make notes about things, and I keep a bunch of legal pads to do so for work, and anything else I want to make a note of. I don't keep any of them, it's just in-the-moment notes.

3 - The sunshine, when it makes an appearance in the winter. It casts a warm line on the floor and the puppies love to lay in it. I love to stand in it and soak up the warm.

I will try to do this better.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Joy Dare Day 10

A gift that's sour, a gift that's sweet, a gift that's just right

Sour: my attitude, which is not good lately.

Sweet: the leftover chocolate kiss cookie that the 4yo didn't have room for

Just right: the sweet silent chime of the clock turning to bedtime o'clock

This is difficult.

Joy Dare: Day 1-9

Day 1: 3 things about myself I am grateful for
-my adaptability
-my smarts (whatever kind, I think I'm smart)
-my patience
that was harder than i thought.
Day 2: a gift outside, inside, on a plate
-outside: the weather this winter so far has been excellent, no snow or ice and 60 degrees in January is so rare
-inside: my cabinet, from my husband for Christmas, love it so much
-on a plate: hmm, a gift on a plate? teacups from my grandma-in-law
Day 3:3 lines you overheard that were graces
-i'm not sure i can do this one, I don't leave the house most days, so I don't overhear too many things outside my children's conversations.
-A few days ago, when we figured out how to get a friend to come to Awana with Sophia..I suggested her best friend from school if it could be worked out. She said 'that would be so cool, with a best friend!'. So sweet.
-Lexi, the 4yo, saying she loves both daddy and mommy (typically she chooses just one per day)
-the preschoolers running out of the school so excited and happy yelling 'mommy!' or 'grandma!' to their picker uppers, so sweet
Day 4:one gift old, new, & blue
-old: my diamond and ruby earrings, they never leave my ears, valentine's gifts (and some other holiday) from years ago
-new: pink VS robe, so comfy and warm after a workout and shower
-blue:my dishware, technically it has more than just blue in it..but it was a gift from the in-laws a few years ago and I love it
Day 5: something you're reading, you're making, you're seeing
-reading: So many, I love to read. 8th confession by James Patterson, Divergent is up next, then The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
-making:this list, my journals
-seeing: my own preschooler, going into school on her own, so happy to be there, and running out even happier
Day 6:one thing in your bag, your fridge, your heart
bag: local library card
fridge: Sunny Delight, the kids and I love it
heart: that's what this list is supposed to touch, right? open it, soften it perhaps? I'm grateful for the few good friends I have.
Day 7: 3 graces from people you love
-Judy: she shares my love of puzzles and books, and her son of course, and my children (her grandchildren)
-Lisa: we struggle with similar things, our children, exercise, work stresses, it bonds us
-Brian: we're in sync most of the time, with our goals and plans for ourselves and our children and futures, and we both LOVE video games
Day 8: light that caught you, a reflection that surprised you, a shadow that fell lovely
-light: The sun this morning, on the way to preschool. So bright, reminding me of how awesome this winter weather has been
-reflection: my own? Exercise and fitness and healthy eating is an obstacle for me, but I'm succeeding, and my own reflection shows me that
-shadow: I don't know. The shadow is still there, but there is also a beautiful baby boy there as well (I assume he's perfect, I haven't met him)
Day 9: a gift in your hand, a gift you walked by, a gift you sat with
-hand: my new car? our new remodeled bathroom (in progress), in my hand how? :)
-walked by: see above - my new cabinet. I walk by it all the time, throughout the day, and I run my fingers along it, because I love it. The style, coloring, functionality and because he drove 3 hours to pick it up for me.
-sat with: every day i sit at this desk and see the smiling faces of my children in pictures, and the rest of my family in pictures. I sit with them every day.

Ok..now I'm caught up. That was kinda hard, obviously I'm a better complainer. But I can do this.

Blogular Motivation

I am having some trouble blogging on my own. As much as I tell myself I want to write, and sometimes I do write, with a pen, when I'm grumpy and need to complain. Those complaints - are trivial, stupid even, and I just need to write them down to get them out. So I don't turn them into grudges or fights that are so very unnecessary. So..to blog...and to bolster NOT building grudges...I think I need motivation. Reading Oh Dawn... this morning, she's taken on this Joy Dare thing. I find myself copying her a lot lately.  I hope that's ok. It sounded interesting, and I think I might give this a try. Finding 1000 joys in 2012. Here is January's instructions. Next post: Joy Dare days 1-10 :) What? I gotta catch up!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

The New Year Recap: 2011

Apparently this is a thing bloggers do regularly. Like Sundry and a bunch of others. I do nothing regularly which is obvious given my last post and timeline of all my posts.  I am inconsistent. So whatever, here.

1. What did you do in 2011 that you’d never done before?
Well, I checked my toddler into the hospital for dehydration and witnessed her IV placement. Never before and never again.

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

I don't generally believe in resolutions. It's just something that I end up failing at every year, over and over, which is no way to live every year. I can fail at shit all by myself, I don't need a list. So...since I had none, I didn't fail at them, right? Yes! Truthfully early in the year 2011 I was tired of my fat self and decided to do something about it. I've been running since Jan 2011 and still going at it. So if you MUST insist on a real answer for this one...fine. I did that.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

Sort of. My sister had a baby boy. We should be close, but we're not because I don't approve of some of the choices she made and I don't know how to pretend that I do. So. Hello impasse.

4. Did anyone close to you die?
I don't think so.

5. What countries did you visit?
None. I did fantasize about all kinds of foreign vacations though. Does that count?

6. What would you like to have in 2012 that you lacked in 2011?
More cash? Who doesn't want more cash? Besides that baby in the Capital One commercials. Better control of my time, so I can properly support my children in their education and also still have lots of fun.

7. What dates from 2011 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
Monday, February 28. We put our dog to sleep that day. Worst day ever.
Friday, March 4. Same week as above, checked toddler into hospital for dehydration.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

I don't think there is one. Registering the toddler for preschool and then getting her there on time, that's big. Also figuring out that she's playing me when I drop her off and adjusting the routine so she's a much happier preschooler now.

9. What was your biggest failure?
Not realizing my toddler was dehydrated. After so many days of vomit and poop..I should have known better. You can cut me some slack because I put down the dog and bought a car that same week..but I don't deserve it. No parent should be that distracted. Huge parenting fail.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Not outside of the regular thanks-to-the-stupid-children illnesses. What is it about preschool that makes parents bring the snot covered kids anyway?

11. What was the best thing you bought?
Well. I LOVE this new cabinet the husband bought me for Christmas. Since its OUR money...it counts, right?
Also, most of the time, I'm glad we bought these guys too.
I also bought sort of a lot of clothes that I love this year too. A ruffly cardigan that I wear over a black tank OR a sequin tank. I bought Jeggings and Leggings if you can believe that and I love them all.  I think probably I am more in love with the fact that I look good in them. See above for former fat self reference.

12. Where did most of your money go?
Edward Jones apparently. And the mortgage. We have a 15 year, and we'll pay it off in about 5 years, so even though the payment is high, we'll be done really soon. If the economy would pick up..that'd be excellent. I'd worry less about making that.

13. What did you get really excited about?
The kid going to preschool. These two hours twice a week, by myself, to work and focus. Awesome.

14. What song will always remind you of 2011?
Adele's Rolling in the Deep. I heard it first when one of the contestants on The Voice sang it and had to look it up. Also really like Price Tag by Jessie J. At the same time, Kidz Bop ruins all these songs, so 2011 reminds me of that also.

15. Compared to this time last year, are you:

-happier or sadder?  probably the same. hard to pin down just one for a whole year
-thinner or fatter?  definitely thinner and I will keep it that way, hello salad for lunch.
-richer or poorer? I think probably the same, or richer depending on how you look at it.

16. What do you wish you’d done more of?

Playing games with the kids, or playing outside with the kids. We were outside a lot and both girls love riding their bikes now, so perhaps this spring we'll get to do more of that. Maybe more times out with the husband as well.

17. What do you wish you’d done less of?

Hollered at my kids. Lost my shit when I just couldn't take it anymore.

18. How did you spend Christmas?
With my in-laws, which was awesome. We each took vacation days which ended up in all of us having eleven - yes 11 - days off in a row. It was excellent.

19. What was your favorite TV program?
I think Grey's Anatomy...but Rizzoli & Isles, The Closer and Covert Affairs are very close seconds...

20. What were your favorite books of the year?
I loved the Hunger Games series and I signed up for GoodReads so I can get some good recommendations. We also rediscovered the local library this year, which has been awesome.

21. What was your favorite music from this year?

Toby Keith "Red Solo Cup"
Anything Lady Antebellum
Adele "Rolling in the Deep"
still love Kelly Clarkson
The Band Perry

22. What were your favorite films of the year?
Date Night.
Crazy, Stupid, Love (Spoiler: I did NOT figure out that Emma Stone was Steve Carrell's daughter in the movie until it hit me in the face)
Twilight: Breaking Dawn (shut up)

23. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 35 and I don't remember what I did. We didn't do anything super special.

24. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Winning the lottery? Being satisfied is up to each of us I think..so I don't think I like this question.

25. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2011?
Trendy. Although this is sort of a stupid question.

26. What kept you sane?
Books and my DVR. And during the summer, the in-laws when they came to take the children camping.

27. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2011.

Pay attention. Nothing is more important than the health of your children. Just pay attention.

Happy new year everyone.