Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Fate and Looking Back

I have so many drafts under my posts that I won't even bother to count.  But every once in a while I look back and read what I have written.  Look to see if anything has changed.  I wrote this post back in February.  I don't know why I never hit - publish post.  I don't know why I don't make decisions more often - set goals - move forward. 

Fate?

Do you believe in fate? I say that I do, but then something happens that makes me question it. If I had made this choice this would have happened, but if I made a different choice this would have happened. Now, some call the choice fate; but right here right now, I am thinking it was all in that one decision.


I think that there are many forks in the road and that most times we stop at the fork and decide what is best for us at the time. We weigh our choices and gather advise, but when it all comes down to it, we just make a decision. I chose my fate many times, and in hind sight would have chosen the other road. I would have gone with my gut feeling, my intuition. So many times I have gone against that. I knew in my heart that the other road was the right one, but still chose the one that my head said to take.


I think we can grow and change until the day we die. I don't believe in the old saying, "You can't teach a new dog new tricks." I think that we can make that decision that our intuition is telling us to make and change our fate.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Letter to Self - One Little Word

For the month of April the assignment for One Little Word is to write a letter to yourself.  The letter should comprise of where you are now and where you want to be this time next year.  Since April 1 there hasn't been a day that has gone by that I haven't thought about this letter.

What I would write would be scary.  What I would write would encompass a lot of change.  What I would write would make some people unhappy.  But I can't write what I really "would" do, because then it will make it real.  If I put it in writing, it will mean that I will have to make those changes.  I have to make those decision.  It would be real.

I know what I should do.  I know what I want to write.  I know that although the road I "would" chose wouldn't be an easy on, it would be better than where I am now.  Still, I am going to have to figure out where I want to be this time next year, because I know it won't be were I really want to be.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

My Life Could be a Sitcom - #2

I know that my life is pretty ordinary. I know that others struggle with the same things that I do. But there are days that I wonder what happened to my stars? Was there a asteroid that made my stars fall out of alignment? What pray tell happened?

Today started as a great day. As a matter of fact, I intended to post about my great morning. I was going to tell you that today my Girl Child got up, got dressed, ate breakfast, brushed her teeth without incident. I was going to tell you about my method of waking her up this morning, but that will have to be another post.

Oh, wait I almost forgot to mention the dead mice in my car and the smell that made me gag this morning. I asked my older Boy Child if he thought it was just musty (it has been raining for days) or if it was the smell of death. He quietly replied, "It's definitely death."  But again, that will be another post.

So today nothing was going to get me down. My plan was to "Stay Calm and Carry On." For the most part, my plan worked out.

Until bathtime.

I overheard my little Boy Child tell my Girl Child that he has a wiggly eye in his ear. Yes, you read that right. A wiggly eye in his ear!!! So, I went to inquire.

"What do you mean you have a wiggly eye in your ear?" I asked.

His response - "I told you I could hear a clock in my ear this morning."

WHAT??

Little Boy Child is prone to ear infections and just finished an antibiotic for one yesterday, so I just chalked it up to that.  I didn't ask him if he actually had a clock in his ear.  Who would think he had any foreign object in his ear!

My goodness! So, I took a look and low and behold there was a wiggly eye in his ear!! I called the pediatrician to see if it was something that could wait until the morning or if they suggested I go to the ER. They suggested the ER, so off we went.

I went to Urgent Care thinking that it was the same as an Emergency Room, but it wasn't. They were very ill equipped to handle a wiggly eye in an ear and actually pushed it further into his ear canal.

On top of being ill equipped, the doctor said to my Little Boy Child (who is 6) that he needed to stop "dancing around" so they could get it out! The poor child was crying, coughing, and shaking, because the pain was so bad. It didn't hurt when we got there, but obviously trying to get it out would cause discomfort. I decided to leave and wait to see the ENT in the morning when the doctor suggested putting superglue on the end of a paperclip!!

I am not kidding you.

Superglue on the end of a paperclip!!

Tell me that my life couldn't be a sitcom! Do you ever have days that you think your life could be the next Jerry Seinfeld sitcom?

Monday, April 4, 2011

Daily Happiness

I started writing my Daily Happiness on the sidebar on Friday, April 1.  I quickly found out that it would end up taking up too much room on the sidebar, so I will just post them as regular posts with the tag "Daily Happiness."  I hope that just noting "one little" event a day will help change my focus from looking for contentment to feeling the joy!

April 1 - My kids played jokes on each other. My 6 year old decided to offer my 11 year old some whipped cream (of course there were pickles under it!) LOL

April 2 - Went Spring shopping with my 9 year old girl child. We were having fun, until she ditched me for a play date. Just kidding! I got to go to the gym, which I love to squeeze in whenever I can!

April 3 - Watched several episodes of Cake Boss with my girl child (even the boys stopped to watch now and then) and then she made a cake creation with a little bit of help from me.

April 4 - One of my favorite things to do with my kids is read. I love cuddling up and bed and reading with/to them. Tonight I got to read with each one of them individually. We read It's Hard to be a Bunny; Diary of a Wimpy Kid; and the second Percy Jackson, The Sea of Monsters. It is such a great way to end the day! They read every night, but when I have the opportunity to spend time with each one of them it is wonderful.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Thank You

Thanks to all the ladies who stopped by and those who left comments.  It really makes me smile to know that the inspiring comments are left by woman that I have never met.  Truly kind and truly inspiring!

I am learning each and every day to think of life as a journey rather than a means to an end. 

The last few years have been difficult and I feel like I am ruining the most precious years of my children's lives.  Some of the things are out of my control, while others are ones that I just need to make a decision.  I contemplate too much.  I worry about the pros and cons of each and every decisions that I need to make.

I feel like I am missing what is supposed to be the best years of my life.  The happiest moments.  The days that are supposed to be filled with laughter, yet are filled with tears.

I am trying to change that.  I am trying to change the dynamic of  my family.  I am trying to be hopeful.

I am....simply.....just trying. 

So, my One Little Word project will hopefully keep me on track.  It will be a constant reminder of what I set out to do this year, even if I don't "finish" the assignments.  Even if my "shoulds" are too big.  Even if I do nothing other than try to make things better. 

At least I can't say I didn't do anything.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

OLW Blog Hop- What Happened to Action?


In my last post I said I was going to post daily.  My goal was to highlight something that happened each day that brought me joy.  What happened? Why didn't I do it?  I don't know.  I always have great intentions. 

But are my intentions too big?  Do they paralyze me?  Isn't something better than nothing?

I am the type of person who wants to get from point A to point Z without any detours.  I want the end result.  I want the outcome without the journey.  I know this about myself.  I know this is my stumbling block.  Yet, I don't know how to change it.

Actually.  I do.

I know that I should create small goals.

I know that I should do something, rather than nothing.

I know that only I can change this.

So, although I made my nice pretty pages for the month of March and wrote down my actions steps, I didn't follow through.  Yes, we celebrated birthdays, but that isn't anything out of the ordinary.  No,  we never had family night.  I can make excuses and remember why it didn't actually happen, but they are just excuses.

This blog started as a way to "notice" the small things that brought me joy.  Yet, I find myself writing about the things that bother me.  The things that don't bring me joy.  You should see the list of "drafts" under my posts.  They are often raw with emotion and thought, but I don't post them.  Posting them would make them even more real and I don't want them to be my reality anymore.

Hop along to
Jan athttp://mysimplelittlelife.typepad.com/ and read about her journey this month.


If you get lost along the hop, feel free to stop back here and find your way! 

Margiehttp://xnomads.typepad.com/blog
Amandahttp://scrappnbee.blogspot.com/
Donnahttp://donnabryantdurand.blogspot.com/
Joyhttp://www.undiscoveredjoy.blogspot.com/
Janhttp://mysimplelittlelife.typepad.com/
Jamiehttp://jmpgirl.blogspot.com/
Nikkihttp://www.inkyart.com.au/
Monica B2http://www.questtoperfectimperfection.blogspot.com/
Cindyhttp://seriousplay.typepad.com/
Staceyhttp://www.TheAcornGarden.com/blog
Katrinahttp://k84mansramblings.blogspot.com/
Rebekahhttp://istampscrapcraft.blogspot.com/
Monicahttp://scraplifters.blogspot.com/
Chrissyhttp://getcraftywithchrissy.blogspot.com/
Jillhttp://jillconyers.typepad.com/
Lisahttp://makeyourownescape.blogspot.com/
Kathrynhttp://www.katlodesigns.com/
Jenniferhttp://www.studiojenn.blogspot.com/
Jenhttp://www.byjen.com/
Samhttp://learncreatedo.wordpress.com/
Mirandahttp://mirandasscrapsite.blogspot.com/
Lynnhttp://www.crafty-creativity.blogspot.com/
Cynthiahttp://paperpapereverywhere.blogspot.com/
Cheri Ahttp://cheriandrews.blogspot.com/
Debhttp://blakleyhomeplace.blogspot.com/
Nickyhttp://www.seejanebake.blogspot.com/
Karen Dhttp://womenontractors.blogspot.com/
Tinahttp://ryzmomplus2.typepad.com/my_weblog/
Kimberlyhttp://foreverdaisies.blogspot.com/
Abbeyhttp://athomewiththerichardsfamily.blogspot.com/
Julie Ann http://julieannshahin2.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Work in Progress

How do they do it?

How do they feel so much happiness?  Contentment?  Grace?

What is their secret and why won't they share it?

I don't want to be a work in progress anymore.  I want to know the secret.

Is it all a facade?  Do some people just hide it better?  Or do they truly feel pure happiness?  Contentment?  Grace?

I am struggling with my One Little Word.  I am struggling to see all the joy when things just seem so difficult.  March is supposed to be the month of action, but I can't seem to get out of my way.  And this isn't the first time in the last few years that I have felt this way.  In my own way!  Stuck.  So what I am going to try to do for the remainder of the month is post daily.  I am going post something positive that happened that day.  The post may be very short or very long.  I need action.  I need to find the secret and feel pure happiness. Contentment.  Grace.  I am going to find my "undiscovered joy."

I will get out of my own way and make a change.

Do you ever feel stuck?  What do you do to get unstuck?

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Where Does Time Go?

089

My Girl Child turned 9 over the weekend.  Nine!  Nine years have past since her birth and I can remember it like it was yesterday.  I remember how tiny she was in comparison to her older brother.  I remember all the pink.  I remember seeing her beautiful face for the first time.

Now I see an independent girl who wants to pick out her clothes, do her own hair, and make her own decisions.  I see a girl who still loves her dolls and wonder how long that will last.  I see a girl who knows what she wants and knows what she likes.  No question.  I see a girl who is struggling with being a little girl child.  She wants to grow up and I want to stop it.  She wants to go to the American Girl store and then wander into the mall for the “grown up” things – makeup (only lip gloss is allowed), clothes, and other accessories.  Then a stop at Brookstones for a massage in the chairs.

I want it to stop.  I want to freeze time.  I want to go back in time.  I want her to always be my little girl.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Diversion

 

This morning I was looking at my One Little Word project and was reading the thesaurus for my word.  As you know, my word is Joy. 

Still, did you know that one of it’s synonyms is diversion? 

The more I thought about it, the more I realized that I am terrible at diversion.  I focus.  I focus to the extent that I get tunnel vision and can’t see clearly.  I hone in on things for far too long.

I always admired the parents that used diversion to get their kids to stop having a tantrum or to do what they wanted.  I never did it well.  I always point out what they are doing wrong and talk about it with the hope that it won’t happen again.

Wrong!

And 9 out of 10 times whatever I want them to stop doing isn’t a big deal until they won’t stop.  They have tunnel vision.  They are focused on what they are doing.

I just find it so interesting that diversion is an synonym for joy.  But the more I think about it, the more it makes sense.  If I used diversion for myself and for my kids, we would have a lot more joy.  I wouldn’t always be focusing on what needs to change, because focusing on it isn’t necessarily changing it.  In fact quit the opposite; it is probably happening more. 

An occasional diversion might be exactly what we need to bring more joy.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Spending Time with Big Boy Child

 
Today I asked my big boy child to go on a winter hike with me.  Just him and me.  He didn't really want to go, but said, "I'll go, if you want me to."  He is 11, so I k005now that this response is short lived.
We pulled into the parking lot and discovered lots of water and mud.  Of course big boy child couldn't resist and jumped in the first puddle and was more excited when I told him to do it again so that I could capture it!  MUD!
Even though we had fun and enjoyed each other's company, it was a quiet hike.  He has a lot on his mind and is contemplating things. He didn't tell me this, I can just see it in his eyes; in his expressions; in his mood. 
Big boy child is very sensitive.
He is a hockey player and all boy, but a lot of people think he is thick skinned and he is not.  He wears his emotion on his sleeve.  He takes everything personally.  He feels like I have never seen anyone feel. 
We stim thinkingtopped to take a rest and he was making snowballs and throwing them up in the air.  He was watching them fall.  He wasn’t smiling.  He wasn’t laughing.  He was just thinking.  Looking at this picture actually brings tears to my eyes, because with the enormous amount of contemplation comes stress.  Big boy child puts a lot of pressure on himself, which causes this “Little” boy child to sometimes get out of control.  When you feel to the extent that he feels, it goes both ways. 
So, we continued on and he talked when he wanted and was silent when he wanted.  He stopped when he wanted and contemplated and hiked along when he wanted.  I think big boy child needed this hike more than I did.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Complete Joy

There is nothing worse than things that are left undone.

Not finished.

Waiting.

It is like having something hanging over you all the time.

As I age, I realize that sometimes there just isn't enough time in the day.  I will eventually get to some of the things on my "To Do List."  They will get done.

About 2 months ago, I bought a wireless adapter for my desktop PC.  I don't like wires!  I wish I could make everything wireless (there I go again with my "To Do list"; actually that is a "Wish List.")  Well the adapter was not working, which isn't surprising because my desktop is ancient!

Well today was the day I decided to get this done - call Belkin and find out what the problem is.  As usual, their customer service was fabulous.  They solved my problem again.  YEAH for wireless.

As I was putting everything back in place, I realized that in addition to solving the wireless problem, I came up with a clever idea for my wires connected to the wireless.  I had my little boy child retrieve a antique suitcase that has been sitting in my bedroom for 2 years waiting for a purpose.  Yes 2 years!  I love the little brown suitcase.  So, I am going to make it a home for my wires.  I will post pictures when the project is finished. 

Oh , wait!  It might be a few months or years before I get to it!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

OLW Blog Hop

YEAH!  My first blog hop!!  I am SO EXCITED!


I joined One Little Word on a whim. I missed the Picture Winter workshop community so much that I needed more.  Little did I know what I was missing!  I came across Big Picture Classes a few years ago.  I would check out their site and check out their classes, but would never sign up.  I don't even know what brought me back again, but I am so glad I did.

For the month of February we were tasked with cultivating our word and bringing it into our life.  I will say that I struggled a little.  Not because I couldn't bring joy into my life, but because I know what brings me joy.  I know what makes me happy.  I do.  I really do.  I just don't celebrate it.  I don't feel it in the deepest part of my heart.  I know it.  I just don't feel it. 

I am looking forward to continuing this journey.  I look forward to changing the way I experience things.  I want to feel the joy and share it.  When I became a mother, my wish was for my children to smile easy and to be enthusiastic about life.  How will they do that if I don't model it for them?  Don't get me wrong, we have fun.  We do things as a family.  We enjoy each other.  I just don't get overly enthusiastic and I wish I did.  Not overly - just enthusiastic.

So, this year I will work on it.  I will try to smile easy so that my kids will.  I will try to be enthusiastic, because there are so many things to be enthusiastic about.  I can't wait for this life changing year.  I can't.

Now you should "hop" on over to Beth's blog at http://justbebeth.wordpress.com/ and check out her post for the blog hop.  Have fun!  If you get lost you can come back here and go right down the list below.

I hope you check back here again sometime and leave a comment, if you have a minute!

1.    Margie                          http://xnomads.typepad.com/
2.    Monica B                              http://scraplifters.blogspot.com/
3.    Jill                        http://jillconyers.typepad.com/
4.    Miranda                 http://mirandasscrapsite.blogspot.com/
5.    Donna                        http://www.donnabryantdurand.blogspot.com
6.    Lynn                                          www.crafty-creativity.blogspot.com           
7.    Stacey                        http://www.TheAcornGarden.com/blog
8.    Lisa                                    http://backtoallen.com/writers_blog
9.    Cassie                        http://craftycassiescorner.blogspot.com/
10. Abbey                                    http://athomewiththerichardsfamily.blogspot.com/
11. Nicky                                    http://seejanebake.blogspot.com
12. Holly                                    http://lovingrobots.blogspot.com/
13. Karen                                    http://breathenowsmile.blogspot.com/
14. Claudia                        http://creative-moms.com/
15. Rebekah                        http://istampscrapcraft.blogspot.com/
16. Kimberly                        http://foreverdaisies.blogspot.com/
17. Kat                                    http://www.katswonderings.blogspot.com/
18. Kristina                        http://ciqis.blogspot.com/
19. Jan                                    http://mysimplelittlelife.typepad.com/
20. Nikki                                    http://www.inkyart.com.au/
21. Amanda                        http://www.scrappnbee.blogspot.com/
22. Lisa                                    http://luluoz.typepad.com/
23. Sam                                    http://learncreatedo.wordpress.com/
24. Maureen                        http://cookingmylife.blogspot.com/
25. Kristi                                      http://theprojectofme.wordpress.com/
26. Tere                                    http://terecontodomicorazon.blogspot.com/
27. Karen                                    http://womenontractors.blogspot.com/
28. Katrina                          http://k84mansramblings.blogspot.com
29. Monica Bergler            http://questtoperfectimperfection.blogspot.com/
30. Mandy                        http://captureandcreate.wordpress.com/
31. Lisa                                    http://makeyourownescape.blogspot.com/
32. Chrissy                        http://getcraftywithchrissy.blogspot.com/
33. Lee                                     http://linarstudio.typepad.com/embracelife
34. Jen                                    http://www.byjen.com/
35. Sylvia                                    http://baxtersmom1.blogspot.com/
36. Christianne                        http://christiannemarra.blogspot.com/
37. Cheri                                    http://cheriandrews.blogspot.com/
38.  Joy                                    http://www.undiscoveredjoy.blogspot.com/
39.  Beth                                    http://justbebeth.wordpress.com/
40.  Jennifer L                        http://www.studiojenn.blogspot.com/
41.  Kathryn                        http://www.katlodesigns.com/
42.  Heather                        http://www.scrappyhare.blogspot.com/
43.  Cindy                                    http://seriousplay.typepad.com/    
44. Cynthiau                        http://paperpapereverywhere.blogspot.com/

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Self Portraits

Have you ever taken a self-portrait?  Turned the camera on yourself?

I am taking another workshop at http://www.bigpictureclasses.com/ and was tasked with taking a picture of myself.  I tried to do it a few weeks ago after admiring Georgia's portraits over at http://www.itsjusthowiseethings.blogpost.com/, but was not happy with the result.  So when I saw that I would have to try again, I was mixed with emotion.  I was happy to give it another go, but apprehensive that I wouldn't be satisfied yet again.

And I was right.

I took shot after shot.

I tried different spots in my bedroom.  (I had to hide in there, because I didn't want to explain myself to my husband or kids.)


I shot.

I deleted.

I processed in Photoshop.  and then...

I couldn't help but make fun of myself.


After posting my second shot, which is above, I went and spent sometime in the class gallery.  I saw how other people captured themselves and although I am truly not surprised, most had a hard time with it.  They took a lot of shots.  They deleted.  They used the healing tool in Photoshop.  And on the rare shot, they showed us themselves. 

Raw.

Natural.

Unaltered.

Beautiful.

I have to say that those are the shots I loved the most.  The ones that I felt really showed the woman.  Showed their strength.  Showed them, raw, natural, unaltered, and beautiful.  I find courage and strength from the woman that did.  I think it is beautiful and I thank you for sharing your raw natural beauty!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Blog Hop

I am so excited!  I am participating in my first ever Blog Hop!!!  Yahoo!!

Because I was mourning the end of the Picture Winter workshop that I took at http://www.bigpictureclasses.com/, I decided to sign up for another workshop. I mentioned it in another post. It is called One Little Word.  The premise is that you pick on word an make that your focus for the year.  Embrace your word, live your word, and change your life because of your word.

You know what "they" say about noticing the good around it?  "They" say that it becomes a habit.  You know what I mean.  When things aren't going quit the way you want it is easy to focus on those things, but it is a bit harder to stayed focus on exploring all the positive things around you. 

My word this year is Joy.  People have chosen words like Light, Faith, Focus, etc.  What would your word be?

Check in on Tuesday, March 1 and see what my fellow bloggers chose for their word and how they captured it in their photography in the month of February.

Friday, February 25, 2011

I Lost 3/4.

Yes, I lost 3/4.

3/4 of what you ask?

3/4 of a mile.

The other day I discovered something. It is something that I have discovered many time before, but slowly forgot. I discovered that I love the gym.

Yes, I said, it.

I love the gym and that is where I lost 3/4 of a mile.

I started running again in January 2010, but like I do every year, I stop excercising around mid-summer and don't start again until the following year. Yes, I gain weight. Yes, I feel out of shape. Yes, I have done it every year for YEARS!

Today I returned and had so much fun at the gym. Although I love the way excersing makes me feel and there are days that I am in my own little world at the gym, today wasn't one of those days. Today I did some people watching and there was a lot of it!

I started to run and looked to my right and saw a guy in his mid 20's on the elliptical banging his head. Yes, banging his head to his music. It was hysterical. Then I looked to his right and saw a woman dancing on the elliptical. Yes, dancing! I can't even explain it. You had to see it for yourself. I was holding back my smile, because I didn't want to look like some crazy lady smiling while running on the treadmill.

I didn't want to smile, because someone might think I was crazy; yet these people let it all out. They don't care. They aren't self conscience. They do their thing!

Although I don't consider myself self conscience, it is times like these when I discover that I really am. I would never enjoy my music and bang my head or dance like no one was watching in the middle of the gym. I just wouldn't. I wonder if that makes me sane or crazy.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Acting Like Children

Sometimes we do things we shouldn't.

Sometimes we say things we shouldn't.

Sometimes we act exactly the way we tell THEM not to.

We act like children.

Impulsive.

Mouthy.

Not nice.

But what is our excuse? We are adults. We are supposed to know better; at least that is what we tell THEM. Don't touch that. Don't talk to me like that. Be nice to your sister. Think it through before you make a bad choice. Use your manners and talk politely. Don't annoy your brother.

Still, even as an adult I forget these basic principles sometimes. I act impulsive and say things that I later regret. I don't always say please and thank you. And I am not always nice. Still, I hold my children to a high standard and think that they should always do these things. Always think before they act. Always use their manners and talk with respect. Always be nice.

If I can't ALWAYS do it, how can they?

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Who’s Cleaning the Kitchen?

I walk into the kitchen after my husband says after dinner, "Go sit, I will clean up."

All I see is a mess. Covers to pots still unwashed. Glasses of 1/2 drunk milk left on the table.

Generally I would say something negative like, "Who is cleaning up???" With a nice dose of sarcasm.

But in the past year, I have done a lot of soul searching and that journey has made me truly realize that he doesn't see what I see. He can't. He is not me. His idea of clean and mine are completely and utterly different. Our perspective is not the same.

After taking the Picture Winter workshop from http://www.bigpictureclasses.com/ I realized that this is true of most things. The daily prompt/inspirations conjured up different images from everyone. I would always get excited when someone took a similar shot as mine or had the same subject, because it meant someone was thinking like me. Still, most of the time I would stop and ponder saying, "Wow, I wouldn't' have interpreted it like that ." I absolutely loved the different perspective. It was very thought provoking.

My blogging friend over at Its Just How I See Things posted this photo for the prompt "Cracked Open."

My photo was this:

Day 6 - Cracked Open

Totally different. Neither right. Neither wrong. Simply different interpretations of the same prompt.

So when you think about it, it is just like the kitchen duty. The prompt “clean up” meant one thing to my husband and another to me. Totally different. Neither right. Neither wrong. Simply different interpretations of the same prompt.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Things Don't Always Turn Out Quit as Planned

My plan was for this post to be about my new love. My new

shiny
beautiful

KitchenAid!

I planned for it to be about our love of inanimate objects.

I was going to post a picture of it and the beautiful chocolate chip heart cookies that I made. But things didn't work out the way I planned. The chocolate chip cookies that I tried to make into cutout cookies didn't work out. They looked like flat over cooked chocolate chip cookies. They certainly didn't hold their heart shape.

Usually my response would be frustration.

Aggravation.
But this time I wasn't either. Instead of getting aggravated, I ate a few;

which were still yummy.

Then I moved on.

We make plans. We think we know what the future holds.

But then something happens, whether good or bad and our masterful plan is ca put! Ruined. Or simply just changed. The problem I have found is that when I was younger if a plan went ca put, I just made a new plan. But as an adult, I have stopped making plans. I am not talking about what to eat or plans for a vacation. I am talking about life plans, parenting plans, financial plans.
I planned to only live in this house for a few year. We have been here for 12 1/2 years.

I planned to stay home when I had kids, but have been working outside the home for 8 years.

I planned to not yell like my mother. I yell.
I planned to be financially secure. I have debt coming out of my eyeballs.

It all just happened and I didn't move on and make a new plan. I just muddled along.

But that is all going to change. I am going to start making plans. I am going to attempt to stick to it. But most of all, if the plan doesn't work out, I am going to make a new one. Because you generally don't get anywhere without a plan.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Time Cruncher


I don't like to be late. The thought of being late sends me into a tailspin. Rush. Rush. Rush.

I don't like to be early. It means that I could have done something else in the 15 minutes that I am wasting "sitting" around.

Does that make any sense? Really it doesn't, but it is exactly how I feel and how I create some of my own chaos.

Just the other day my daughter twisted her ankle. The next morning she woke up still complaining. I decided that it was better to be safe than sorry and have it checked. She has an unbelievable pain tolerance, so when she says something hurts - it HURTS.

Did I mention that our pediatrician is about 25 miles away. Sounds kind of crazy, right? I am sure there are very qualified and fantastic doctor's in this "neck of the woods", but when my kid's health and well being is on the line, I am going to the best (in Massachusetts)!

So back to my time crunching. Our appointment was at 10:00. We were early. I was thinking of all the things I could have done at home with those extra 15 minutes. We left with a prognosis of pulled tendon. Prescription - Rest. I drove the 25 miles back home - dropped her off at school at 11:00. My boy child had to be in school at 12:00.

Plenty of time!

I went home. Feed him lunch. Switched laundry. Played the game Trouble with him. Took some self-portraits (I should say tried to take some self-portraits) and then looked at the clock.

My time was up.

We were going to be late! The whole saga began again. Rush. Rush. Rush.

But as usual, we weren't late. We were right on time. So, maybe next time I will be 15 minutes early and just relish in the time to do nothing? Notice the question mark!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

My Life Could be a Sitcom

Do you ever feel like your life could be a sitcom? Not just any old sitcom, but a long lasting sitcom? My previous posts have been about noticing the joy - the beauty. After I wrote one of my last posts, I reread some of my older posts and felt that it was a little "heavy" and felt that if anyone is actually reading this blog then I have some explaining to do.

Because you see, I am usually not this serious. I joke. I laugh. I play.

But, I have been married for almost 15 years, which is pretty much for my whole adult life (well almost). I am the mother of 3 children who are 11, almost 9, and 6. So basically for the last 15 years they have been my priority. They have been my joy, my sorrow, but mostly my laughter. There have been days that I had to laugh, because I would have cried. There have been days that I have cried. But there have been more times that I thought, I could write a book. My day to day life is funny. I usually laugh at the situations in my life (usually). The past year has been a difficult one and in addition to losing my way, my sitcom has been on hiatus.

When my friend made the comment that I should write a blog, it was because of a sitcom moment. I was laughing. I was carrying on with my antics. She was laughing. So when I refer to noticing and finding my joy, I am also reminding myself that I miss laughing at my sitcom. Hopefully some of the episodes will be on repeat and I will be able to share them with you.

Share the laughter.

Share my sitcom!

I wonder if CBS or ABC are looking for a new one!

One Word Project


This concept intrigues me.

This idea makes me think it might be too much pressure.

This project can possibly change my life or so I have been told.

It is the One Word Project. I believe it started with Ali Edwards, the scrapbooker, photographer, crafter; but I think it has taken on a life of it's own. It is all over the web.

So when I heard about it, I chose a word instantly. Ironically (or should I say that I think it is kind of corny), my word is joy. Corny, because it is also my name. But my goal in chosing this word is to seek joy - celebrate joy - and manifest joy.

When I stop and think about it there are many things that bring me joy, but I don't give the joy enough attention. I don't manifest the joy I am feeling - I don't show it clearly. So, I am going to work on it. Because I feel joy from so many things.

My kids.

My husband.

My friends.

Photography.

Decorating Blogs (I am addicted).

Reading.

Color.

Baking.

Cooking.

And the list could go on and on. So, from this day forward I am going to manifest my joy. I am going to celebrate it.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Beautiful Mess

Beautiful Mess? Are you kidding me? A mess is supposed to be beautiful? Well, yes I guess it can be - if and only if....

You train yourself to think so.

My daughter is the Queen of the "beautiful mess." She is spunky, creative, and a beautiful almost 9 year old girl. She is also messy. She drops things all over the place - backpack on the stairs, boots under the breakfast bar, coat on the chair, etc. You get the picture. She is also the girl who plays with everything at the same time.

Generally I see her mess as just that - a mess. I see disorganization. I see disaster. But the other day on Picture Winter the prompt was Beautiful Mess. I knew exactly where to go to get my shot. I knew that once the door swung open the "set" would be ready for me to begin shooting. It was a given.

As I got down on the floor to take a picture of what was there, I saw something different. I saw her mare and foal standing side by side. Mother and Baby. I saw her "play" set that she spent the afternoon creating still taped to the wall. The memory of her having her father, brothers, and I sitting on the bed while she read her play sprang into my mind. I saw beauty. I saw creativity. I saw her.

I need order to function. She needs space to create. I need things to be put in their place. She needs to see it, touch it, and play it. This prompt made me see her for who she is. My beautiful mess and today I appreciate it!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Teaching Humility

My 11 year old son is a hockey star. This isn't my opinion; it is the opinion of others. I don't know the first things about judging hockey skill. The puck in the net skill is apparent, but my eyes are not skilled to see any of the other necessary skills.

In the past month he was selected to be on two All-Star teams. One is a local tournament team and the other is Team NH for 99's (their birth year). He will be representing our state for his division in a New England tournament. It is such an honor and he should be very proud of this accompishment. But there is a fine line. A line I am not sure how to teach and after reading the definitions of the word humble and proud, I am even more unclear about this very fine line.

hum·ble –adjective
1. not proud or arrogant; modest: to be humble although successful.
2. having a feeling of insignificance, inferiority, subservience, etc.: In the presence of so many world-famous writers I felt very humble.

proud  –adjective
1. feeling pleasure or satisfaction over something regarded as highly honorable or creditable to oneself (often fol. by of, an infinitive, or a clause).
2. having, proceeding from, or showing a high opinion of one's own dignity, importance, or superiority.
3. having or showing self-respect or self-esteem.

I want him to have a

feeling of pleasure or satistaction over something

It is a big deal to be selected for these prestigious teams; but more than proud, I want him to feel humble -

not proud or arrogant; modest.

How can you teach modesty without taking away from the moment? My husband and I don't make a "big" deal out of these accomplishments, because of the fear of arrogance. My son knows he is good and he should be proud, right?

I explained to him that being selected for these teams brought glory, but also gave him a lot of responsibility. The responsibility to act accordingly; to be respectful and to act like an All Star. Being an All Star means portraying humility. Still, I don't think he got it. I don't know how to teach this lesson.

As a child my accomplishments were not celebrated. Being the youngest of 10 and having older parents, there wasn't a lot of praise when it came to me. It was okay, but now I don't know how to teach this lesson; make my son proud and humble. Any suggestions?

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Balance

Everyday I wake up and can't wait to read the daily prompt. I jump out of bed and flip open the lap top. It is something to look forward to - a little present in the morning. Everyday I read the inspirational email and a photo pops into mind without a lot of contemplation. Most days I just go with that initial image.

Well on day 10 I was stumped. Absolutely blank.

Are you wondering what the prompt was?

Simple. It was "Seeking Balance."

It is a common term. I even think it is sometimes over used.

"I need to find balance."

"I need to balance work and family."

"I spend too much time running around. I need more balance."

So since Day 10 it has bothered me. Why can't I come up with a photo? Why isn't it just popping into my head like the others. I even started a post, but couldn't finish the entry. The more I thought about it, the more I thought about what balance means to me. And then it came to me. I think it is a choice. I think we chose how to spend our time and I think we chose to be unbalanced.

Let me explain.

If your child had a soccer game, would you say, "Sorry Johnny. We can't go to your game today. I have to go take photos for my class."

If your friend asked you to give them a ride to pick up their car that was in the shop, would you say, "Oh, I am sorry. I can't today. I am on my way to the gym."

Most of us just wouldn't respond this way. We would choose to take our child to their soccer game. We would choose to help our friend out. Still when it comes to doing something for ourselves we don't; therefore, becoming unbalanced.

Choosing to not take time to do things for myself causes me to be unbalanced. Doing too much of one thing causes me to be unbalanced. It is not about finding the time to do the things that keep me balanced, it is about taking the time - even if something else has to give. And if you are wondering. I still haven't taken a photo interpreting "Seeking Balance." When something strikes me as appropriate I will snap away!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

A Different Kind of Story

My routine is always the same.

Drop everyone off and call her for a 2 minute telephone call. My best friend.
We can cover a lot in 2 minutes. We can change each other’s mood in 2 minutes. We can brighten each other’s day. I know her. She knows me. We know each other.

This morning as she laughed at my antics she said, “You should write a blog.”
I quietly contemplated telling her. You see, no one knows about my blog. I haven’t told anyone. I posted it on Picture Winter, so the only people who know about it are those who click on my profile and discover it. I haven’t shared this new piece of me.

Yesterday’s prompt on Picture Winter was “A Different Kind of Story.” A sharing place. A tell us something about you prompt. I found it so intriguing. A little peek into someone else’s life. I loved reading everyone’s descriptions. I loved the interpretation. I loved the sharing.

So today I shared with my best friend. When she said, “You should write a blog.” Although delayed, my response was, "Well actually I started one. But I am not ready to share it."
But that is silly, isn’t it.
I talk to her every day. I share all my stories with her, I mean ALL my stories. She knows my story. I know her story. Why would I want to “hide” this from her? Why would I want to keep something from my best friend?

Would she think it is corny? I know her, she wouldn’t.
Would she think I had gone off the deep end and am losing it? I know her, she wouldn’t.

Maybe – just maybe, it has nothing to do with her. Maybe I feel like I am not writing anything interesting? Nothing worth reading. But do I think she would think that? I know her, she wouldn’t.

She wouldn’t, because this is part of my story and she knows me.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Through Someone Else's Eyes


It is a snow day. No school. A four day weekend for the kids.


Excitement!


For them...


For me? Not so much!


Although I am secretly happy to have them home for another day, I am not as excited about another storm. Storms mean concern for what there is to eat in the house; concern that we might lose electricity for several days, which has happened for the past 2 years; storms mean unsafe traveling and my husband who travels 35 miles each way to work.

But in their eyes, it is a day of play; a day of fun; a day to be home with Mom.

Excitement!


But something happened this morning. I made a conscience decision to look through their eyes for the day.

To Stop. Remember what it was like on a snow day. Remember how simple life was as a child and how simple it is supposed to be. Remember what adults sometimes forget.

Simplicity.

Ironically, the prompt for Picture Winter today was "Center of Attention." Funny how irony happens!

Although every day they are the center of my attention because of schedules, meals, homework, etc., today I made them the center of my attention by giving them unlimited attention. We played outside. We built a house with Lego's. We watched a movie with the curtains drawn and the lights out (it was dark at 3:30).
I tried to look through their eyes.

Whether it is just to see a different perspective or it is to solve a problem, do you try to make a conscience decision to try and look through someone else's eyes?

Friday, January 14, 2011

Noticing

Have you ever read the book Magic 1, 2, 3? Do you remember the part that talks about Sloppy PVF (Positive Verbal Feedback). Fluff. Appreciation. Noticing.

That is what we all want, right? Not just children - all of us.

We want others to notice when we are doing something good. We want others to appreciate what we do for them. We want others to NOTICE.

My almost 9 year old daughter has pointed out my lack of doing this on many occasions. Although I don't intend to do it, I point out what is wrong, what isn't positive, what isn't "perfect." She will often say to me, "Mom, it doesn't have to be perrffeecct." Although I like order and like things to get done "correctly", I really don't consider myself a perfectionist. My family, friends, and co-workers might disagree with that, but really I don't. I think the problem is my noticing. I notice what is wrong; not what is right. I am in need of an adjustment; a correction. I need to notice what is right. What do you notice?

Today's prompt was Beyond the Chill; looking for the magic beyond the icicles and snow. It was 18 degrees out and we are under a blanket of fresh snow, so I was not optimistic. There was no way I was going to find anything. But I did.

I noticed.

I found something I have never noticed before and it wasn't hard. I just looked and noticed. It was right in front of me; a tiny bouquet of golden flowers on a tree that was otherwise barren. What else am I missing by not noticing?

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Heart Warming

When something is heart warming, do you stop and completely revile in the moment? Do you notice and get the warm fuzzy for a minute and then move on or do you experience the moment? I generally feel the warm fuzzy and then move on, because who has time to stop? There are things that need to be done. Well, I am trying to stop being on the move. I am trying to be in the moment. I am trying to experience the warm fuzzy.


Today's prompt for Picture Winter is Warm Your Heart. I had my two youngest children and we were walking in a parking lot. I thought the large piece of "stuff" on the ground was hail. Low and behold, it was rock salt (I was tired and rushing, remember). Anyway, in an effort to examine "the hail" we found a heart shaped piece of rock salt. Of course the first thing I did was grab my phone to snap some pictures. So, I was partly experiencing the moment, but I wasn't paying attention. I was snapping the picture in my son's hand and my daughter wanted me to take a picture of it in her hand. We were getting in the car and I heard a little sigh. I looked and realized what I had done. I ruined the moment for her, by not being in the moment. I was focused on getting the picture taken and moving on to our next errand. I wasn't in the moment. Had I been, I would have noticed and given her the warm fuzzy.


Sunday, January 9, 2011

Where did the Weekend Go?

I am always surprised when the weekend is over and I think, "What did I do?" Yesterday we started at 8:00 for my little guys first basketball game. From there we were on the run and didn't get home until 4:30. Where did the day go? Christmas Tree Shop, Jordan's Furniture, and Trader Joe's (YUM YUM YUM Happiness).

Friday's prompt was Quiet Winter. I was sitting on the couch first thing in the morning making my "To Do" list. My little guy added one to my list: 1. Kiss your son. How cute is that?
So my quiet winter is the view from my window while sitting with him. I have always loved our long driveway, but even more I love the acres of woods.
I remember when I was a little girl and we would vacation in New Hampshire. I loved the smell of the woods. I loved looking out the back deck of where we stayed and seeing all the trees. Well, now I have that view everyday, but I don't always take time to appreciate it or remember how much I actually do still love it. I am always too consumed with our house not being big enough to accommodate 5 people; our grass not always being perfectly green; or that our backyard needs help! But I am trying; trying to appreciate the things that are sitting quietly right in front of me.


Thursday, January 6, 2011

Cracking Through

This is day 6 of Picture Winter and although I have put thought into my photos, they really have just happened. I didn't take pictures of different things and then chose. I didn't change my mind or think I should have shot something else. I was drawn to what I was taking a photo of without setting the stage.
I have always loved the way the sun comes through the clouds or through the trees. I was getting ready to take my puppy for a walk and trying to entice my 6 year old to go with me when I looked out and saw the sun setting, yet still shining through the trees.
It was such a beautiful scene; a scene that happens probably every day. Still, I don't take the time to enjoy it; to stop for one minute and look at the beauty.
I love how this class is forcing me to do what I have been saying I needed right along. I need to appreciate. I need to notice. I need to force myself to be in the moment instead of planning the next moment.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Appreciating a Dishwasher?

Have you ever heard about the studies that have been done in underprivileged countries? Most of these people have an incredible outlook, even with their terrible situations. Aside from hope, these people have a great appreciation for what they have. They are simply grateful.

Today's prompt for Picture Winter was "Intended for Everyday Use." Although I originally thought of taking a picture of my phone and/or laptop, I ended up taking some shots of my dishwasher. It symbolizes so much more than the beauty of not actually having to wash the dishes. It symbolizes having food on our table. It symbolizes saving time that can be spent doing other things. It symbolizes everyday life. And although I have never thought about it until today, I am grateful that I have a dishwasher.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

A Little Bit of Sunshine

Today was like all the other days. I thought about what my picture was going to be of. I saw a school bus and thought of the sun, because of the shiny yellow. I thought of taking a photo of all my daughters green clothes, which wouldn't seem that impressive - but trust me there are a lot of them! But the day passed and I didn't get a chance to snap my daily picture.

I returned home, hung up my coat, and saw the bouquet of sunflowers. The bouquet had been placed on top of a hutch to get them out of the way. I intended to put them away until next summer, but had not gotten to it. Still, today instead of being an eye sore they were the subject of my daily photo. Instead of seeing something unsighltly, today I saw beauty and the rememberance that summer will be here before we know it!

I am always trying to see things differently and although seemingly insignificant, seeing the beauty in the stashed sunflowers was a step in the right direction.

Monday, January 3, 2011

The Possibilities

So, today's prompt was about possibilities. I read the email this morning and was inspired. I was inspired to do what I have set out to do and look for the things that make my heart pitter patter; the things that bring me joy. But, I didn't find it. I got caught up in the day: getting back on a routine after vacation, getting to work, physical therapy, etc. By the time I reread the email it was after dinner and I wanted my day to be done. Done as in sit down, relax, and turn my brain off.
In hind sight there were several moments today that could have fallen into the endless possibility theme. My 6 year old chased his sister trying to get a kiss. My daughter dried her little brother's hair. I had a great massage, although painful at the time, at physical therapy.

Still the thing that ended up making me think about the possibilities was a cleaning spray. Yes, a cleaning spray. It was my last resort for possibility! Still, it isn't just any old cleaning spray. It is Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day counter spray. The scent is magnificent! I chose the lemon, but the basil and lavender must be just as delightful! You experience aromatherapy while cleaning. You accomplish two things at once - relaxing and tidying up! And if you know me, I like tidy; therefore, Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day counter spray gives me endless possibilities to have a clean home!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

A New Year


This year I am not making resolutions. I am not giving anything up. I am not going to lost 10 lbs. This year every day will be a new day. This year I will set daily attainable goals. This year will be different.

I am going to look for joy, look for laughter, and look for peace. I am also going to take care of myself, so that I am a better mother, better wife, better person.
One way I am going to do that is to do the things that I love.
One thing I love to do is take pictures. I got a beautiful Nikon D60 for Christmas the year before last and have snapped a lot of great shots. I took a Nikon class offered by Nikon last year and learned some of the ins and outs. Still, I don't always remember to grab my camera. By signing up for Picture Winter I will be using my camera every day this month; therefore doing something I love every day.

Today I took some shots of my daugher and her friends on a tree swing. They were such hams! It was wonderful. I got some great shots and posted these two for the class.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Picture Winter

I have been meaning to sign up for a class at Big Picture Classes for sometime, but had not done it until yesterday. I decided to sign up for Picture Winter - 30 days of Brilliant Beginnings. Check it out at http://www.bigpictureclasses.com/ or click on the link to the side. Each day I will be receiving a message in my inbox with inspiration to get my creativity going.


Today was A Day to Relax and although I wish I could say that I was just going to relax, I know myself and that doesn't happen often. Anyway, we got a new TV for Christmas and today was the day to take down the tree, put away all the remnants of Christmas, and start the New Year by putting up the new TV. It is an LG TV - Life's Good. And yes, life is good.