The One I Couldn’t Share Two Months Ago

Connect 2014

Most of my bloggy friends posted their “One Word” post for 2014 two months ago. In past years, I did the same. You know, in the “I’m not making resolutions! I’m going to live by this one word for the whole year instead!” proclamation sort of way. And then my body and mind would immediately start to rebel against the word I had chosen, and I would completely shut down and run the other direction, never looking back.

I hate failing, so this year I decided to give the word a go and see if it was going to stick before shouting  typing it out for all to hear see. So far, it has gone well. Now I think I am ready to share my word with all of you!

As you may have gathered, I am an introvert. Not the “Oh, I like to hang out with one or two people and do exciting things every day” sort of introvert. More like “I’m spending the day in my house with my doors locked and the curtains pulled and my hood on so no one can communicate with me” sort.  However, I have great friends, and I want them to know how much I appreciate them. That’s why I am spending this year on the word “CONNECT”. I want to make sure that my friends know that I’m thinking about them, and they are important to me, even though I stink at calling, or texting, or whatever it is that real people do.

Each month, I will be doing something special for a friend or two. It won’t be anything huge, but a little something to say, “Hey, you matter, and I love you”. I hope that I’ve done a good job so far. I will also be working on cultivating some new friendships. I’m much better at not changing anything, so I make no guarantees on the new friendships, but I will make an effort.

Also, someone (who doesn’t really know me) made a comment to me that it must be nice to get recognition for the “nice things” I do. Frankly, I won’t say how I responded to that, but if you DO know me, you can probably guess. I’m not looking for a pat on the back. I’m very interested in making people I love smile. I’m in it for the joy. I’m in it to keep the family I have made for myself, because my blood “family” has broken my heart for 35 years. If you think anything differently of me, you don’t know me at all.

 

*** Has someone made you feel special lately? Do you have ideas I might be able to use? What would make YOU feel special? How do you stay connected?

 

Don’t be a Hacker

This morning, I’ve gotten 29 emails telling me that people have been locked out of my blog when attempting to log in to hack it. That’s 29 emails, each detailing 2 attempts.

Seriously, people? Domains aren’t expensive. Get your own. Better yet, get off your butt and go do something outside. Or read a book. The real kind made of paper.

If people wanted whatever it is that you’re trying to spam us all with, they would ask you for it.

Don’t be a hacker!

Smoke and Mirrors

There are days that I just can not summon the courage to look at myself in the mirror long enough to pick out an outfit that I feel comfortable in. Have you seen me online talking about having a pajama day? Yeah, that. That is how you can tell it is one of those days.

Also, I make jokes when I’m uncomfortable. The more uncomfortable I am, the more jokes I make. When it comes to my weight, it’s like I don’t know when to stop. You’d think I would get tired of feeling bad about myself and do something about it. Instead, I just keep grinding myself into the ground while pretending it’s funny, and it doesn’t really bother me.

But it does. It always has. Since junior high when I wasn’t fat, but people called me fat anyway. Now here I am, almost 100 pounds heavier, and still unhappy with how I look. Go figure.

When I was talking to my friend, Chad, before my photo shoot with him, he asked me what it would take to be happy with myself. I’ve thought about it a lot since that day, and to be really honest, I still don’t know. I just know that things have to change.

I’ve already told you that I’m trying to figure out what my passions are.  I took all the frumpy clothes I hate out of my closet. I replaced those clothes with some new things that I love…on the models on the websites I ordered from. Or on pinterest where I saw the cute ideas. However, my brain has skewed vision when I look at myself in the mirror.

It turns out that I can look at an outfit on a woman on pinterest who is built just like me, and I think she looks adorable. When I assemble a similar outfit and put it on myself… It’s not the same. I can pick out every single shortcoming in my own mirror. It’s like my brain has a built in magnifying glass that only sees my flaws.

All the cute new clothes have been sitting in my closet for months now. Every once in a while, I pull something out and try it on, but it always goes right back into the closet. I can’t bring myself to wear most of it, because, what if…? I don’t know what I’m afraid of.

I’ve tried playing a little trick on my brain. I leaned a full length mirror up against the dresser at an angle that made it possible to only see my outfit, but not my face. I figured if I could train my brain to see my body the same as I see other women, maybe I could change how I feel about myself.

As silly as that might sound, it works. Well, it works until I can see my face in the mirror. I’m still trying to work out the kinks in my brain. I figure it could happen any day now…

**How do you change the way you see yourself? What helps to make your inner dialog more positive?

 

 

A Blank Page

I can’t tell you how many times in the last week I’ve seen posts talking about how today is a blank page, and we can make it the beginning of a great story.

Here’s the thing… I’m a little afraid of what that would look like.

I’ve gotten so good at worrying and stressing and avoiding that I’m just afraid of the effort it would actually take at this point to make the changes I want to make.

I haven’t picked a word for this year because I failed in such a colossal way with last year’s word.

I haven’t emptied a bookshelf to refill with the books I read this year. (Seriously, who can actually clear an entire shelf? My books are stacked at least 2 deep on every shelf already!)

I’ve made no resolutions. None. I don’t plan to.

You might be asking yourself what the point of this post is. My answer? I don’t know, but it’s a new year, so I feel like I should be doing something with it. I’ll let you know if I figure out what, exactly. In the meantime…

 

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

 

Bah, Humbug!

I’m not really feeling the Christmas spirit this year. I’m not sure why, but I just kind of want to get it over with and move on. However, I have this lovely (LOL) photo of my children to share with you. Happy Holidays to all of you!

Christmas Picture

Coming Out of the Closet

 

One of the first things I realized after I started thinking about who I really am is that most of the clothes in my closet are there simply because they were big enough, or inexpensive enough, or because they would work. Not because I loved them, or had chosen them for any special reason. A lot of them weren’t even colors I liked. It seemed like no matter what I was wearing, I felt frumpy and shapeless. I hated getting dressed, and spent an unhealthy amount of time in my closet with tears in my eyes.

I finally decided one morning that I was going to take out everything that I really didn’t like, that I hadn’t worn in a while (or in some cases, ever), that I kept around in the hopes that I would feel comfortable wearing it someday. I will admit that I did keep a couple of things, a dress I’ve never worn and a few shirts that are too small, but I love them. A woman needs some motivation, after all.

I grouped all the clothes by sizes, took pictures, and listed them for sale. I’ve managed to sell a few things, but a lot of it is still sitting out in my garage, taking up space. I can say those clothes never make their way back into my closet. With all of them out of the way, there is a lot of room for clothes that I love. No more crying in the closet for me!

Who Am I Anyway?

just me

Photo by Chad Estes @ Starry Night Media

 

After being a wife for 15 years (next month!) and a mom for over 13 years, I’ve kind of forgotten who I am. I’m sure I am more than the Mr.’s wife, or so-and-so’s mom, but I’ve begun to ask myself, “Who, exactly, am I?”.

What do I like to do?

What do I like to eat?

What is my favorite song…color…quote?

What are my goals?

What are my dreams?

In five years, my oldest kid will be an adult. Seriously? What will I do when the kids don’t need me around all the time anymore? Where will I go? How will I relax?

I’ve started down the road of self-discovery, and it isn’t all fun.

I hope you don’t mind following me down this path so we can solve this mystery together.

 

** Who are you?

Making Our Garage Useful

mudroom pin

We were so excited when we bought this house three years ago to finally have a garage that we could park in. That is, until we tried to park in it. In order to get my Suburban to fit, I had to park with the front bumper touching the back wall, and I had to take the ball hitch off the back. As far as my husband’s car, it wouldn’t fit in at all because of the stairs going into the house. That left us with a “two car garage” that was of no use to our cars. No worries though. Instead of parking in it, we packed it full of cr@p.

You might remember last summer when I had the bright idea to put in a bunch of shelves to try to bring order to the chaos, and I made a space for my husband with a poker table so he and the guys would have a place to do mannish things. If you don’t remember, you can read about it here. It didn’t really get much use, and so all the things piled up once again.

Off and on for the last year, we’ve been looking at open houses, trying to decide if we should buy something bigger. In looking, I realized that I really want our next house to have a mudroom. You know, someplace for the kids to take off shoes and coats before they head into the house, leaving most of the dirt, snow, etc. outside. Now that we’ve decided to just stay in this house, PJ agreed to build me a mudroom are in our garage. (This house isn’t big enough to have an actual mudroom.)

I didn’t get a shot of what the mudroom space looked like first thing this morning, so just imagine this space piled full of all the things.

           2013-08-18 23.47.37

We cleared off the shelves, took out all the random stuff, and swept up about a pound of dog food to make room for a bench, a cabinet, and some hooks.

2013-08-19 00.06.25

We put in the bench and a wall panels to match.

2013-08-19 00.35.56    2013-08-19 00.48.37    2013-08-19 01.13.18

Then we added a small cabinet with a shelf on the side by the door.

2013-08-19 01.13.31

Finally, the hooks went up, we put in a rug, and we had our (almost) finished project. We still have some trim work to do, but it can wait.

mudroom crop

I really like how it turned out.  And the best part? Our only cost was for the hooks to hang the coats on. Everything else was already in the garage!

If you like this, wait until you see what we did with the other side of the garage! I will show you, but not today.  ;)

Domestication: A Work in Progress

I’ve been thinking a lot about what it takes for a girl to become a woman. While I have all of the outward symptoms requirements (husband, kids, house, etc.), I still feel like a teenage girl. Not a fun, outgoing, self-assured seventeen year old girl, but an awkward, uncertain, anxious thirteen year old girl. It’s obvious to me that age and marital status alone don’t make a woman.

I think that I am hung up on my lacking homemaking skills. If I could just manage to keep the house clean and inviting, maybe I’d finally feel like a woman.

Some days I get so close. Yesterday, for example, I cleaned up the kitchen, hand-washed all the nasty dishes in the sink, made a batch of no-bake cookies, washed and dried all of the adult laundry. I was feeling pretty good about myself until I headed off to bed only to realize that the lightweight blanket for our bed was still in the washing machine, and all we had to replace it was our heavy comforter and warm, fuzzy blanket that we use in the winter.

I know it’s stupid, but in that moment, I just wanted to lie down and cry, to write the day off as a loss.

When will I learn whatever big lesson it is that I am obviously missing?

When will I let myself be happy with the small victories?

What, exactly, will be “enough”?

I don’t know for sure, but I’m working on it. The blanket is drying, and the clothes are put away. The kitchen is still clean. The kids are enjoying the cookies (even though they didn’t quite set up right). I’ve got a pot of coffee, and stubborn determination. I’m ready to take on this house and my phantom of perfection, and I plan to come out with a smile on my face.

 

***Do you ever feel like you don’t fit into the roles you already hold?

***What are your biggest challenges?

***How do you gauge what is “enough”?

Belong ~ Five Minute Friday

I’ve never done a Five Minute Friday post before, but I thought I’d give it a try… Here we go!

Five Minute Friday

 

 

Sometimes I just lie there, listening to him breathe in the depths of sleep.

My eyes are open, as if they are afraid to close.

He has no idea that I’m awake.

Would he notice if I wasn’t there?

Should I go read in the living room so I don’t disturb him?

I just want to be here next to him, to feel his chest rise and fall under my hand.

How did I end up here?

This wasn’t what I had planned at all.

I had no idea someone like him could fall for someone like me.

God obviously wasn’t paying attention that day.

He couldn’t have meant for this to happen.

I am so far past happy, but is he?

Does he need me here next to him?

“Come here” he whispers, and pulls me into his arms.

And now I know that this is right where I belong.

so in love

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