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. 

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Let's practice purposeful prose

It's November now, and Thanksgiving is upon us. I love Thanksgiving, but I often feel like it is just one day that fleets by before the hustle and bustle of the Christmas season begins. It breezes through our home in the aroma of stuffing and pumpkin pie and leaves only remnants of full tummies wishing they were housed in elastic-waist pants instead of jeans with buttons and zippers. It should mean more. It DOES mean more. 

What if we left Thanksgiving with more memories than grandma's mashed potatoes and grandpa's blessing before the meal? 

What if we were Thankful on Paper? This is a grand idea cooked up by my fellow blogger, Rachel, over at No. 17 Cherry Tree Lane. I think it's a splendid idea, and do wish you would join me in showing your gratitude to those you love this way for Thanksgiving 2010. Basically, every Wednesday in November, we're going to write a letter to one person we are grateful for telling them all the reasons why we are thankful for them. Then, every Thursday in November, we are going to blog about who we wrote to and why. We can use our discretion on the blog posting part if we choose to keep it private. :) 

Check out the link above for further details. Here's a button to get you excited.

I'm very excited to do this, as I am one who loves to write and loves to receive letters, even though I don't do it as often as I'd like. I know, we're talking real, handwritten letters here, folks. Who knew you could even do that anymore? You can, and you will touch the life of your loved one with your letter of gratitude. Won't you join us?

"Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart." ~ William Wordsworth

Rock the ...

VOTE! Get out there and do it! Please don't say you don't know what's going on or who to vote for. Do some quick research today if need be and make your voice heard, please. It is such a privilege to live in the democracy we do. :)

I'll leave you with some words from my one of my favorite writers, Mr. Henry David Thoreau, in his essay Civil Disobedience:

"The authority of government, even such as I am willing to submit to — for I will cheerfully obey those who know and can do better than I, and in many things even those who neither know nor can do so well — is still an impure one: to be strictly just, it must have the sanction and consent of the governed. It can have no pure right over my person and property but what I concede to it. The progress from an absolute to a limited monarchy, from a limited monarchy to a democracy, is a progress toward a true respect for the individual. Even the Chinese philosopher was wise enough to regard the individual as the basis of the empire. Is a democracy, such as we know it, the last improvement possible in government? Is it not possible to take a step further towards recognizing and organizing the rights of man? There will never be a really free and enlightened State until the State comes to recognize the individual as a higher and independent power, from which all its own power and authority are derived, and treats him accordingly. "

"That government is best which governs least."

Do your civic duty, be ye obedient or disobedient, and go VOTE!