Wednesday, December 8, 2010

31 Days of Joy ~ Day 8

It is only 10 p.m., but I am typing this with one eye open due to extreme fatigue, so I hope it reads well, or at the very least, is understandable. 

As I was blog surfing last night, I came across this wonderful blog that I've never read. I was instantly hooked by Sarah's writing style and honesty, and was stoked to find that she's doing a similar project for December on her blog. She's going big though, looking for at least 100 things that God uses to bring her joy this month. (See her One Hundred Joys post for more info.)

Being the challenge-seeker that I am, I have decided to step up my game and increase my joy-finding for December from the 31 I had chosen to at least 100. I love the idea and, frankly, have been finding it difficult to nail down the ONE thing each day that has brought me the most joy. There are many highlights to my days, and this will be a great way to share each one and not cut God's joys down or prioritize them to fit my little human mind. 

So, here are my joys for today (in no particular order):

8. My husband is home from a three-day business trip. Yahoo! I don't love it that he has to travel, but I am so very grateful for his job and the fact that it allows me to stay home with my son, so I count it as a blessing. Whenever I feel bummed that he's not around, I just think of all the troops sitting in foreign lands, wishing they could see their families after MONTHS and YEARS of not seeing them face to face in the flesh. That is hard. My life is not. 

9. I love packing suitcases. I began packing today for a trip back home to KY next week, and I was already getting excited to see family and friends and make memories my son can cherish the rest of his life. I love to travel, but getting to visit my family is beyond travel for me. It's going home; it's a pass to be a daughter again and to know I'm being looked after just as I look after my son. It's warm and cozy, and full of love ... and the occasional weird relative. :p

10. Hearing my son say, "Hey, Mom." Answering, "What?" and hearing him say in the tenderest boy voice, "I love you." That alone could be the only joy I experience the rest of my life and be quite alright with me. There's just nothing like it. He could've just crashed a priceless heirloom and thrown a tantrum that would make King Kong blush, but if he followed with those three little words, I'd melt, as I do every time I hear them. It's like he's giving my heart a hug with each utterance of that phrase. It's not just that he says it; it's the way he says it. There's so much sincerity in it; it's like he recognizes, at the tender age of almost 3, that it's one of the most important phrases he will ever say to me. 

11. Forgiveness is a joy I often take for granted. It's hard for me to extend to others at times (which I know is not biblical and I'm truly working on), but I experience it daily. Not just from my Savior, but from my little family. I wish for the day where I won't have to say "I'm sorry" even once because I've been that on point that day. Alas, I think that day will remain elusive to me, and that's OK. Perhaps it's a gentle reminder from God of the ultimate forgiveness I've received, a chance to humble me and bring me to forgive someone or something else. In that case, I'm thrilled at the growth opportunity, no matter how painful.

I'm thankful that I've got some great role models to learn from: my husband and my son. My husband is the quickest person to forgive I've ever met and my son's not far behind. They just say, "It's OK," and move on. They get it. They love me unconditionally. Why? Sometimes I'm not sure, but they do and they're better for it. They don't carry a burden of what I did or said around with them, letting it weigh them down. They release it with those two words, and for that I'm eternally grateful.

12. The little man and I watched Charlie Brown's Christmas tonight. We sat by the glow of the Christmas tree lights, laughing together at Snoopy's dancing and snuggling. It was just the kind of peace I needed after a long day. I know I'm here to take care of the kid, but there are some times that I swear he's taking care of me. 

In reviewing this before I post it, I am realizing how great this project really is. I could look back at my day and remember the tantrums, timeouts, frustration and grief (which can be abundant with a toddler), or I could choose to see the beauty in it. By decompressing and analyzing my day, I've chosen the beauty. I've witnessed the thread of joy woven ever so carefully throughout my life. Thank you, Lord, for this thread of joy. Please let it be strong and continually growing. 

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

31 Days of Joy ~ Day 7

As Mary says on Jack's Big Music Show, "What a day!" Today was eventful and fun. It moved so quickly I almost forgot to stop this evening and post my joyful item. :)

Today, the thing that brought me joy was having a full house. Our moms' group had a playdate today at our home. We had four mommies and seven children hanging out in our modest house, so it was a bit noisy, but the kiddos were all pretty good. 

In my old age, I've come to realize that I love to entertain. I would've never thought this about myself. I thoroughly enjoy inviting people over, cooking and baking all kinds of goodies (because what's a party without food, right?), and hearing the sounds of life in my house. 

I think it's comfortable for me because it reminds me of my family. Growing up, we always had dinner together, around the table, as a family. Many of my fondest memories are from these mealtimes, where I was typically trying to gross my dad out by insinuating that I had touched his food (germaphobes don't like this apparently) and we were often laughing and carrying on like a bunch of jackals. It was loud, and oftentimes disorderly, and it was wonderful. 

You're likely to get this same type of scenario if you eat dinner at our house now. The old man and I are both pretty boisterous, and the little whippersnapper's got a set of lungs on him, too. We can't help it. I don't think we own "inside voices." We operate on "playground voices" much of the time, and if distance or TV volume necessitate, we turn the dial up to "ballgame voices." What? You don't know what "ballgame voices" are? Sure you do. It's the voice your dad/grandpa/son/husband uses when he yells at the TV during a ballgame. Hence, "ballgame voices." I have to be careful not to use my ballgame voice when the front door is open for fear of scaring the neighbors. We have scared visiting babies in our own home with our level of noise. Some find it unsettling; I find it endearing.

When there are more bodies and voices in my home, there is more noise. It's comforting, like a good old pair of sweats. Some of my best times have been huddled around the kitchen island sharing laughs and stories. Now that we're in the parent trap, the noise level has increased and morphed. It's so much better. We have big people laughs and little people laughs, and what's better than a little person's laugh? Honestly. It's like the gift that keeps on giving. 

So, as much as the Martha in me stresses about the house not being ready for company or the amount of food not being sufficient, I snap right out of it the first time that doorbell rings. When our door opens to the smiles of friends, it's a gentle reminder of what's important in life. 

Thank you, Lord, for blessing us with a home to entertain in, sufficient nourishment, and friends and family to share in our lives.

Monday, December 6, 2010

31 Days of Joy ~ Day 6

Today, the thing that brought me joy was decorating our Christmas trees. Yes, I said trees. We have a big one in our living room, a pint-size one in our kitchen, and a miniature tree (that's also in the kitchen). I realize it is a little excessive, but I can't help it. Go big or go home, right? 

If you come to our house during Christmastime, it looks like Christmas threw up everywhere. I hang garland any and everywhere I can, we have countless knick-knacks and figurines, and I even have Santa pillows for my couch. Christmas really is all around us.

We finally finished decorating the third of our trees today, the pint-size one in the kitchen. I cheated and decorated the miniature one myself while my son was asleep because I knew his little sausage fingers couldn't handle the miniature hooks and ornaments. 

I must say I probably like the kitchen tree the most because I've devoted it to my favorite Disney character: Winnie the Pooh. All of my Winnie-the-Pooh-themed ornaments get their special treatment on the kitchen tree and it makes the child in me absolute giddy. 

The little man and I had a wonderful breakfast of pancakes and sausage, and set out to "decking" (as he calls it) the tree. We had a wonderful, relaxing time working together. Only one Pooh bear and one snowman were beheaded in the process. Again, I was thanking the Lord for Super Glue, which fixed them up fine and dandy. 

As Christmas tunes danced around in the background, I enjoyed a special time with my guy that I will cherish for many Christmases to come. It truly is the most wonderful time of the year.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

31 Days of Joy ~ Day 5

Today, the thing that brought me joy was my son. More specifically, it's his burgeoning vocabulary and personality. When he's not busy teaching me patience, he's making me laugh. 

We spent the evening decorating our Christmas tree and had quite a nice time together. The control freak in me was reluctant to let him help decorate the tree because I knew it wouldn't turn out "perfect" and a few ornaments might get broken along the way. We have a family tradition of decorating our trees with Hallmark ornaments, so I have a small fortune hanging on my tree each year and I shudder to think of anything getting broken. 

However, I decided to let go and just enjoy the time working with my son. I'd like to thank God for the person who invented Super Glue (or, as little man calls it, "supy gwue"). With that said, I was in awe of the job he did. He took such care hanging each ornament and really handled them gently, which was a feat in itself for him. 

At one point, as I was schooling him on the finer points of ornament hanging, he turned to me and said, "Are you kidding me, Mom?" I couldn't help but laugh. He has quite a mouth on him, and it keeps us on our toes. 

Later on, he eagerly told my husband, "Dad, I have a present for you," to which my husband replies, "Oh, what is it?" He then turns around and shakes his little hiney at him, which was full of, well, I don't think I really need to spell it out. I almost had an accident myself in laughing at that one. 

When we were putting him to bed, I was holding him and about to turn him over to my husband. He looks at my husband, puts his hand up in the "Stop" position and tells him, "Swiper, no swiping. Swiper, no swiping." If you've ever seen Dora, you know what this means. All we could do was laugh.

My child never ceases to amaze or amuse me. Thank you, Lord, for my sweet little boy. 

Saturday, December 4, 2010

31 Days of Joy ~ Day 4

Day 4 of the 31 days of joy is quite a quandary for me. I have two equally fabulous things that are vying for the joyous item: one being a new haircut/color and the second being a new pair of shoes. I know, so shallow of me, right? Hello, I'm still a girl! :) 

I decided that the latter should win because they have three major attributes the hairdo does not: patent leather, leopard, and sparkles! Let me introduce you:

These shoes are off the charts on the fabulous meter! I love them. I want to sleep in them. I want to dance to "I Feel Pretty" in them. Yeah, I'm kind of obsessed! 

Being the Frugal McDugal I am, I don't impulse buy very often and I certainly don't pay full price for anything unless it's an extremely special circumstance. So, why did I impulse buy these shoes at their full price? Umm, did you look at them? How cute are they? 

I mostly bought them because it was the day after my birthday and I have birthday loot to spend. Yay for gifts! Also, they are special. Red is my favorite color. Leopard is my favorite print. Sparkles are just the oh-so-darling icing on the cake! Not to mention, I heart Mary Janes like nobody's business. I'm not sure why I felt the need to justify, but I just did. 

They're like an edgy version of the ruby slippers. I have a sudden urge to put them on and follow the yellow brick road to the glorious land of Oz! 

I'm off to see the wizard ...

31 Days of Joy ~ Day 3

It's almost midnight here, so today's thing that brings me joy is going to be quick and probably much shorter than usual. I assume that will make anyone reading this happy, since I am usually pretty verbose. 

The thing that brought me joy today was laughter. After a tough day riddled with tantrums and timeouts, the hubs and I ventured out with a couple of good friends for an adults-only night out. Yay for babysitters! (As an aside, I just typed "babysisters" instead of "babysitters" at first, obviously a Freudian slip because I want a little girl like yesterday.)

Tonight was a much-needed good time filled with silliness, a crazy bathroom incident during which my scarf might or might not have went into to the toilet (I'm still not sure about that one), and TONS of laughter. And I loved it. Every single minute. 

I love to laugh almost more than I like to breathe. It feels so good in my soul. It feels healthy, restorative, and just downright fun. After said bathroom incident, I went on a giggle spree that was obviously contagious because the whole car was laughing as we drove. When I get a case of the giggles, it's uncontrollable, violent, and wonderful to me. I question whether our tortillas might have actually been laced with tequila, but, alas, we'll never know. 

Thank you, Lord, for giving us the gift of laughter. In a world that's often so down-trodden and serious, it's refreshing just to be able to giggle like there's no tomorrow without a care in the world. 

In the words of one of my favorite artists, "If we couldn't laugh, we would all go insane." ("Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes" by Jimmy Buffett)

*Bonus: Whenever I laugh, I am reminded of the following scene/song from Mary Poppins. It's by far my favorite scene of the movie and one of the songs in the soundtrack of my life. 

Friday, December 3, 2010

It's beginning to look a lot like ... Christmas card decision time!

Christmas cards are fun. Getting them is one of the highlights of the Christmas season for me because I love to see all our friends and family, how children and families have grown and what choices people make for their Christmas cards. 

Being the perfectionist I am, I'm always looking for that "perfect" Christmas card. I used to send handwritten cards, but since we've had a child, I really like sending photo cards because I know everyone wants to see the kid. I mean, who wouldn't? He's precious. ;) 

I am glad there are so many options for photo cards now. It makes the decision a little harder though because so many of them are cute and memorable. 

I think I've settled on one from Shutterfly. I was browsing today and thought this was a very cute idea for a Christmas card. I'm a huge fan of photos, so it's really hard to narrow down one photo and this card eliminates the need for just one. I love the way they've done the sample, too. The idea of showing a picture of my son from every month of the last year is a great way to show how he's grown and his age progression. It's particularly fitting for us because we have so many family and friends in other states who don't get to see him very often. 

I've used Shutterfly before for photo prints and I'm always really happy with the service and quality of their products. There are some super cute designs for cards whether you're looking for vintage, contemporary, traditional, etc. Take a gander at You might find the "perfect" card for yourself. :) 

Thursday, December 2, 2010

31 Days of Joy ~ Day 2

It's day 2 of the challenge, which also happens to be my birthday, and I'm going strong. OK, so it's only been two days, but who's counting? 

Today, the thing that brings me joy is: family. Specifically, my family. All of it. The immediate, the extended, even that black sheep uncle of mine (listen to "The Pascagoula Run" by Jimmy Buffett for reference to said uncle). 

Family is like a warm, wonderful blanket the Lord lays over us where, no matter how much we kick or fuss, it covers us. It envelopes us, and it's always there for us. People may come and go, but family is here to stay. Isn't it wonderful that the Lord intertwines so many people in our lives to surround us and bring us joy? 

Though we choose some, most are chosen for us, a fact I find utterly fascinating. Everyone's family story is different, unique. We may have similar threads but our family quilts are knit together individually ever so delicately by the Father, who knows our every word, deed, and need. 

I truly felt the love of my family today on my birthday. While my own family is entirely across the country, I miss getting to spend my special day with them. However, they never fail to touch my day in the kindest way with their cards, letters, gifts, and packages. It's almost as good as them being here with me. Almost. 

I was blessed to spend the evening with my in-laws. I know, I said "blessed" and "in-laws" in the same sentence, but it's true. I have been given a wonderful set of in-laws who couldn't be cooler. Really. My sweet sister-in-law baked my grandmother-in-law (with whom I share a birthday, which I find totally rad) and I a heart-shaped birthday cake and brought it to dinner. We had a grand time sharing a meal and trying to keep two almost-three-year-olds from serenading the whole restaurant. It was a bit messy, loud and chaotic, but it was joyful.

Thank you, Lord, for the joy of family. 

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

31 Days of Joy

I don't know about you, but I often get bogged down at this time of year with my to-do list, Christmas gift list, party-planning list, etc. So many lists and so little time. 

With that said, I'm giving myself a challenge for the month of December. I'm going to focus on sharing one thing that brings me joy every day for the entire month. Why is this a challenge? Two reasons: the aforementioned boggeddownedness (yes, I made that word up) and the idea that I can commit to posting on my blog every single day for an entire month.

The Lord gave me an epiphany the other day about perspective. As I was becoming harried at the thought of the inevitable time crunch I am coming under with Christms, travel, parties, gifts, and all, I was reminded of a verse of one of my favorite Christmas songs that has touched me this year like it never has. The song is "Do They Know It's Christmas Time" from Band Aid in 1984. The verse is:

The greatest gift they'll get this year is life

If you're unfamiliar with the song, it's basically about how fortunate we are and how important it is to remember those who are in need at this time of year. I've always loved this song, but this year, it's really hit me hard that we are so very fortunate to live in America and to have a roof over our heads, warmth, clothing, and water, among a multitude of other things. There are so many in this world without these very basic needs, and we take them for granted so often. We have life, and life is a gift from God.

So, I'm going to cast off the old robe of busyness and hurriedness I usually don this time of year, and take it slow, day by day, recognizing all the joy that the Lord has given me in my life.

Feel free to join in and spread the joy around. We could always use more joy. It doesn't have to be anything big; it just needs to be something that touches your heart. Just let me know if you do join in, so I can be blessed by your joyfulness as well. :)

So, for December 1, the thing that brings me joy is: life. This is the eve of my 34th birthday, and I'm overjoyed with my life. It is everything I wanted it to be and never expected. It truly is a gift. 

I've thrown in the video for "Do They Know It's Christmas Time" in case you are unaware of the song or would just love to see some seriously 80s footage. ;)


Do They Know It's Christmas Time Lyrics


Thursday, November 25, 2010

Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good

Happy Thanksgiving! The below video says it all for me. 

"Yours, LORD, is the greatness and the power 
   and the glory and the majesty and the splendor, 

   for everything in heaven and earth is yours. 
Yours, LORD, is the kingdom; 
   you are exalted as head over all. 
Wealth and honor come from you; 
   you are the ruler of all things. 
In your hands are strength and power 
   to exalt and give strength to all. 
Now, our God, we give you thanks, 
   and praise your glorious name."
1 Chronicles 29:11-13

Monday, November 22, 2010

Sickos, party of 2

The boy and I have been sick for more than a week now. Ugh! Thus, I haven't blogged about some very comical things that happened and I haven't finished my participation in Thankful on Paper Week 3. 

Once the phlegm that is currently inhabiting my chest cavity evacuates, I'll feel more apt to be witty and grateful. 

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Move over bacon, there's something leaner ...

Dear Healthy Choice,

You may not know me, but I am an avid dieter (much to my disdain), so I have sampled several of your wares in my lifetime. I've enjoyed some and loathed some, but never had the experience I did today.

I tried your cheese tortellini soup for lunch today for the first time. It looks something like this:

It sounded delicious and it's only two Weight Watchers points. The taste was not bad.  A little bland, but OK for a "healthy" soup. So, what's my problem? 

There were FOUR little tortellini in it. Yes, FOUR. I ate less tortellini than I have fingers on one hand. Sad. 

What's the point of making this a healthy choice for a meal if it's not even enough to make a dent in someone's appetite? It kind of defeats the purpose if I have to go make a sandwich AFTER I eat my cheese tortellini soup just to be satiated. 

Don't you people know not to mess with dieters? We're already food-deprived; you never know what we'll do. 

Might I suggest you re-brand this as an appetizer? Or, better yet, put it in a can where you'll up the ante to *gasp* EIGHT tortellini? 

This is one Healthy Choice I won't be making in the future.

Good day, 

Miss K

Friday, November 12, 2010

Thankful on Paper, Week 2: My better half

*My grandfather sang this song at our wedding. As soon as I sat down to begin gushing about my one-and-only, I was reminded of this moment in our wedding. This song is so special. It says exactly how I felt then, how I feel now, how I'll feel always.

It's Week #2 of Thankful on Paper and it's a doozie for me. It's time to thank the most incredible man I've ever known and I'm overwhelmed with stress in thinking I cannot find enough words to do him the justice he truly deserves for the man he is. Along with his vast amount of admirable qualities, my hubby is humble, so I'll spare him a bit and just refer to him as "G." 

G and I met half of our lifetime ago, at the age of 17. We worked at an amusement park, where he was a sweeper and I was a balloon girl. He loves to tell people this story and then add the line "I swept her off her feet." Ba dum bum! ;) Did I mention he's a comedian?

To spare the long and winding details of our road to marriage, I'll keep it brief and say that we dated on and off for seven years before deciding we couldn't stop God and making it official in year eight. 

We've now been married nearly 10 years, and my heart can barely contain all the love I have for this man of mine. 

Enough exposition, let me tell you why he's a keeper!

G is my honest-to-God soulmate. He is it for me and I for him. We're like peas and carrots. Seriously. He's actually the only person I think who truly knows me in and out. When we're standing barefoot, I fit just perfectly underneath his arm. We fit. We work. We're a team.

Knowing me as G does is no easy feat, and he takes it in stride. He knows me angry. He knows me ugly. He knows me bratty. He knows ME. He's seen my kind of crazy and he accepts it. He not only accepts it, he bought a daily subscription to it when he signed the marriage license. It's legit. I'm pretty sure there are days where he thinks, "What the heck did I sign up for?" but he's never let me know it. Not once. 

He's my hero. He has rescued me from myself more times than I care to count. He's also other people's hero. I've never come across a better friend than him. He cares genuinely for people and their circumstances. He's found/gotten jobs for people, he's given money to people, he's given housing to people. There's not much he won't do if it can help someone else. I often wonder how he walks so swiftly carrying that huge heart around in his chest. 

He is ambitious and driven, but he doesn't let it consume him. He works SO very hard in a high-stress job, but his countenance is consistent every time he walks through our front door after work. He's smiling. It doesn't matter what happened that day. He's smiling. He's happy to see his family and get to spend some time with us. That's admirable. 

He's funny. Real funny. Not funny queer. Funny haha. He has a loud voice and an even more booming, boisterous laugh. I recall seeing Ace Ventura with him for the first time in high school and being riveted by his laugh. It's contagious. It brings joy. 

He's authentic. He's the real deal. What you see is what you get. I often compliment him because he can say anything to anyone and get away with it. Because they know it's from the heart. 

He takes care of us. GOOD care of us. We are blessed by a life that is beyond anything I could've imagined in my wildest dreams. He works hard so I can stay home, raising our boy (and hopefully more to come). 

He gave me my son. My pride and joy. My burst of energy topped with a mess of blonde curls and the kind of blue eyes that make girls melt. I pray he turns out more like his father than like me. 

G is a picture of Christ to me. He loves God with all his heart, soul, strength, and mind. And it shows. He's a wonderful example. He is a man of prayer and faith. I can't tell you how awesome that is. He's so encouraging. Just today, he told me, "Try to get in the word today, at least one chapter. God wants to speak to you." It's beautiful to have that kind of encouragement. 

I don't know if I'll ever figure out what I did to deserve such a prize. One thing's for sure though: I've got my prize, I'm greedy, and I'm not letting him go. Ever. 

I'll be loving him always. With a love that's true. Always. Not for just an hour. Not for just a day. Not for just a year. But always. 

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Free your mind ... and the rest will follow

Have you ever noticed how it's much easier to criticize than to commend? Well, just because it's easier doesn't make it right. 

Criticism has risen to power as a predominant character trait in our society today. It's cool to be critical of things, people, places; everybody does it. We live and breathe it. Society is spewing its criticism out on us all the time, and we are absorbing it, conforming to it, and, in turn, spewing it out on others. It's disgusting. 

Magazines criticize us for being too fat or too thin. Paparazzi stalk celebrities so we can criticize their look, their families, their diets. We live under an ever-expanding microscope where, pretty soon, we're all going to finally realize that *gasp* no one's perfect

With the advent of social networking, it's become even worse. We are now criticizing our own friends for what they choose to post as their Facebook status. "Can you believe so-and-so said ____? That's so lame!" People are criticizing other people they have never even met face to face, all in the name of what? 

When did we all become so critical? A better question is: when did we all become so perfect that we didn't have any self-analyzing and self-betterment to do so we decided to turn to others and "help" them? Everyone's a critic. 

Criticism is a nasty habit. By definition, it's "to find fault; judge unfavorably or harshly." Ouch. Why do we want to do this to other people? Does it make us feel better about ourselves? Do we honestly think we're doing someone a favor by criticizing them? In this warped day and age, do we even realize when we are being critical or do we think we're just stating facts?

What do you think the world would look like if we replaced every criticism with a commendation? Do me a favor. Don't just read that question and think to yourself, "Yeah, that would be great." Really think about it. Really. 

Start with yourself first. Think about how you would feel or who you would be if the critiques that are constantly being thrown at you were converted to praise? If you were never told you weren't good enough, but were actually told that you are valuable and one of a kind. If you could exchange the negative for the positive, your self-esteem would skyrocket. 

Now, broaden it to the world around you. I think the world would be a beautiful place if we practiced praise regularly instead of judgment. Call me a dreamer if you will. I bet there'd be less stress, strife, disease, crime, disillusionment, and contempt. If we weren't all being judged so harshly, we'd be free to be who we really are. We would live with the bumps on our noses, stretch marks on our bellies, and those not-so-perfect teeth. And guess what? We would actually live. Let me tell you: nobody's ever been denied entrance into heaven because they have cellulite. Likewise, no one will be granted entrance for having a flawless body. 

Criticism does nothing but tear people down. Praise builds people up. I don't think many people would cheer themselves on for demolishing another person's house, but I do think many people demolish other people's spirits without even blinking an eye. 

I'm reminded of this quote: "Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle." Plato got it, and he was from 400 BC, for goodness' sake. Why haven't we gotten with the program yet?

Why blog about this? What's the purpose? I mean, do I really think I'm going to rid the world of all its injustice with one little blog post that, say, maybe 10 people will read? No, I'm not that delusional. 

I'm blogging about this in hopes of helping myself and others realize when our criticism is in overdrive. We're all guilty of it, but that doesn't mean we can't change it. We can, starting right now, choose to keep the criticism at bay and let the praises ring. We can look past what society says is "right" and make up our own minds. We can extend a word of love, forgiveness, or sympathy in hopes of shining a light in this dark and dreary world. 

I could really use some of that. Couldn't you? 

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Boo! Yay! Boo!

A brief explanation.

Boo #1: Potty training commenced at 7:30 a.m. yesterday in my house. Potty training ceased at 9:30 a.m. today in my house. After many a battle of wills, my stubborn son has won. For now. I realized A) he's not interested in the least (no form of bribery worked, and believe me I tried) and B) I don't want to do potty training by forcing and punishing (this would've been the route we had to take if I really wanted to make it happen right now). So, I was feeling pretty deflated and like I just got a big, fat F on my motherly report card. FAIL.

Yay: "A thing of beauty is a joy forever." ~ John Keats
After running into a cheeseburger (translated "eating lunch" in our home, per Super Mario who runs into mushrooms to get power), I am regaining perspective and my Chicken Little world is not ending. Cut to the doorbell ringing. It's the UPS man. He's got a package. The timing couldn't be better, as I move quickly toward the door shoving down the chip I just doused with guacamole. Ta da! It's this beauty right here:

Ain't she somethin'? She's a round sterling silver platter with mother-of-pearl butterflies etched capriciously about her. I love her. I can't wait to have a party just to serve some wonderful food off her beauteous face. I love her most because her MSRP (I shudder even typing that horrid acronym) was $120 and I got her for just $25. Score! Nothing like a little retail therapy, right? 

Boo #2: I'm riding on Cloud 9 after my special guest arrives, and things are looking up. Then, a little Alanis Morrisette enters my life unwelcome. There's a black fly in my sweet tea. Yeah, I know Alanis said "in your chardonnay," but it's way too early for me to be drinking chardonnay and I'd pick muscato over chard anyway. To make matters worse, I think the fly has actually been fermenting in my tea pitcher since yesterday when I made the tea. Ugh! Soooo gross. Like gag me with a spoon for reals gross. 

Alas, the day is young, so I'm hoping for another Yay! moment to help even the score. 

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Procrastinating putting pen to paper for purposeful prose

Thankful on Paper officially began yesterday. I was supposed to write a letter to one person I love in my life telling them how grateful I am for them and why. Let me be honest with you. I have not written my letter. Yet. However, I am going to (either tonight or tomorrow morning). 

When I decided at the eleventh hour to participate in Thankful on Paper, I immediately began obsessing over how I was going to whittle it down to only four people in my life. Who would I choose? Would anyone be offended if they weren't included? In true Miss K fashion, I have over-analyzed this task and picked it apart to a point where I've almost sucked the joy out of even doing it. I tell you, sometimes it's downright painful to be in my head. 

Alas, I've since worked myself back out of my overly analytical tizzy and settled on starting at the beginning, with those who created me: my parents. I'll call them "Ma" and "Pa" to protect the innocent. ;) Yes, I chose two people because I couldn't thank one without thanking the other. They both raised me to be the woman I am today. And I like to color outside the lines just a little bit, so two instead of one satisfies my rebellious streak. 

Here's what I will say to my dear Ma and Pa:

Thank you for, at the ripe young age of 18, deciding you loved me enough to keep me. You could've taken many other avenues, but you didn't. You chose me. You chose to start a family, to be responsible, and to settle down. Without that choice, I surely wouldn't be here. 

My gratitude for you grows as I get older. It's been heightened since I became a mother and can now see through your eyes a little more clearly. A short, and not nearly complete, list of my gratitude follows:

~ Working tirelessly through the years to give us a home and everything we wanted
~ Establishing and maintaining a close family connection that never wavered as we toured the States (and then some) as a military family
~ ALWAYS supporting me in my endeavors, no matter how outlandish or short-lived
~ Teaching me manners and the difference between right and wrong
~ Nurturing and developing our relationship with extended family, no matter the distance between us all
~ Passing on a love of literature and poetry (Ma) :)
~ Passing on a love of classic rock and cars (Pa) :)
~ Giving me my twin brothers, who I first thought wrecked my world, but now realize sweeten my world
~ Loving my husband like he's your own son
~ Loving and spoiling my son like only wonderful grandparents can 
~ Loving me unconditionally despite all my thorns, which are many and sharp at times

Lastly, and most importantly, thank you for giving me the genes of really, really ridiculously good-looking people. ;) In all seriousness, thank you for giving me a strong sense of humor, without which I would've surely shriveled up and died at least a few times in my life. 

I love you both to the ends of the Earth, and thank the Lord for you. 

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Word of the Day Wednesday

It's that time again! Word of the Day Wednesday is here! 

Today's word is:


inclined to quarrel or fight readily; quarrelsome; belligerent; combative.
1635–45; pugnaci ty ) (< L pugnācitās  combativeness, equiv. topugnāci-,  s. of pugnāx  combative (akin to pugil; see pugilism) +-tās -ty2 ) + -ous

In light of the elections last night, I thought of this word and wanted to verify its meaning. Once I did that, I realized it is the perfect word for today, since elections tend to make many people pugnacious

*Speaking of words, Thankful on Paper starts today. Have you written your letter yet? Me either, but I will. I promise.