Friday, October 23, 2009

Honesty, A good policy.

I'm feeling all sorts of loved on today since my girl Jenn gave me a new bloggy award and I also randomly won her contest for a Tassimo! HOLY HECK I'm so excited!!

Here are the rules for receiving this award:

Present this award to 7 others whose blogs you find brilliant in content and/or design, or those who have encouraged you
Tell those 7 people they’ve been awarded the HONEST SCRAP AWARD and inform them of these guidelines in receiving the award.
Share “10 Honest Things” about yourself.

Here are “10 Honest Things” about myself:

  1. I can eat an entire sleeve of Ritz crackers without noticing.
  2. I am allergic to Dark Chocolate, Red Wine and Sharp Cheese. Most people tell me they feel sorry for me.
  3. I throw like a girl.
  4. Somehow a snake got in our house earlier this year and found it's way to my closet. I literally cried sobbed and stood on the back of the sofa and would barely help hubs get it out. I still get jumpy when I walk in my closet.
  5. I can not stand when it's, its, their, they're and there are used incorrectly. I especially hate it when I catch myself later having used it incorrectly.
  6. I can break 5 boards (without spacers) with one kick.
  7. When I walk up stairs my pelvis cracks in two places on every step every time unless I walk up sideways like a moron. Old karate injuries still plague me.
  8. I used to wear rose colored glasses. Now my lens adjust for two astigmatisms and shoot lightning bolts from them when I'm cross eyed double crossed.
  9. I sometimes think "holy crap I am married with two children, am living in our second house and wow, when did I grow up?!" (it's pretty cool though)
  10. I feel terrible guilt over the fact that I want to find another home for my cats.

*Dishonorable mention: My favorite animal is the Liger.

And I tag:
  • Tatiana at A Very Good Year. Lady you and Maia make me smile every day.
  • Diane at Mrs. Dashoff. Um, brilliant, hilarious, adorable, a Gator and is there anything else I need to say?
  • Maria at Mommy Maria. She's a total sweetheart and her post this week on being a crazy mommy made me cry I laughed so hard. "Dora makes me violent." O.M.G!
  • Jackie at In Full Blum. My dear friend from high school who I adore! Blog more lady. Blog more! I miss reading you!
  • Aidan at Ivy League Insecurities. She is a breath of fresh air and I like the way she writes and thinks.
  • Colleen at Mommy Always Wins. I hesitate to tag her because she's like up to her ears in stress right now, moving, working. But I love her blog, love her stories. So lady, don't be hating on me too much now, ok??
  • Caitlin at Mommy Geekology. Because I also love me some technology. Cat is raw and an awesome Mommy and friend.

    p.s. I totally also wanted to tag Lu at Jaded Perspective but dang it Jenn beat me too it. So hugs anyways darling!

  • Sunday, October 18, 2009

    On Trust and Doubt

    Ok so I hate to write about this subject because everyone is and wow, let's jump on a beaten horse and flog it some more.

    Here's linky #1 from Nic - someone I have followed since April and have supported.
    Here's linky #2 from the TSA - proven necessary evil in today's society

    Now I officially am providing trackbacks for trolls and I hate that.

    This is my space in the world. My thoughts. My words. I own this space, my feelings, my words. Go away if you don't like it.

    When I got involved in this virtual world of blogging and twitter I had major doubts. And it took a few months for me to warm up to it (now I love it). It also took me a while to find a core group of people I love to talk to, I look forward to talking to, people I genuinely care about. I read their stories and I love them, truly love them.

    And I still love them after this theatrical performance. But there is this shadow of doubt now in our community. Now I wonder who out there is real, who isn't. Worse? I have doubts about my own instincts. Did I support her and it was a farce from the beginning? How did I miss that?

    Screw that.

    We are just words out here, pictures, compositions of ourselves in this virtual space. We're human with human faults and insecurities. And all we can do is hope that in our honesty, others are honest too. Yes some of us blog/tweet for fame and fortune. Some of us just want a place to decompress. Others still need support and friendship and seek only the comfort of acceptance. I believe everyone needs to feel like they belong somewhere. The list goes on as to why we put ourselves out here. And I think we accept each other at face value. Why else shouldn't we?

    Oh wait.

    This doubt now? It's vile.

    I wish Nic the best. I hope she finds the help, love and support she needs to get through this. Until then I worry for her, for her family, and for the rest of my friends out there who are far more affected by this than I am.

    Also? My trust has never been given lightly and I rarely give it back when it's cracked.

    I hate that I have to say that out loud.

    Friday, October 16, 2009


    I had sort of an epiphany the other day. I needed this clarity. I needed to stop beating myself up, questioning my integrity, challenging my stance, a hard line I didn't draw in the sand but refused to cross also. Instead my heart walked away.

    A very wise man once told his students that in order to be a good friend you had to follow 5 simple steps. They were be the first to communicate, be the first to smile, be the first to care, the first to share, the first to forgive. That last one he warned would be the hardest but the most important. By being the first to forgive you were being the better person, taking the high road, setting the example, being the friend you yourself wanted to have. I took this to heart, carried it there, reflected on it.

    Somewhere many years later I read a quote that said "To have friends you must first be a good one." I don't know who said it and I don't know if I truly care who said it, but it struck a cord with me as it encompassed everything in those five steps above. For people I love, for people I care to have a true friendship with, more than a casual acquaintance, I do my best to follow this thought, to be a good friend.

    I am so very thankful for my friends.

    A couple years ago I lost a lot of friends I considered to be family. They came to my wedding and weren't on the "God I *have* to invite these people" list. They lied about me, they used me. But one person told me to just suck it up and go apologize for the miscommunication, beg some forgiveness and in time the cloud would pass and things would be back to normal. I couldn't do that. And I struggled with my integrity. How could I believe this saying, embrace these steps as truth and not actually carry them out? I don't like to be someone who talks out of both sides of her mouth.

    And then it hit me. If you want to have friends you must first be a good one. HAVE. If you want to HAVE friends... and that was it. I don't want to have them for friends. I don't have to beat myself up inside over not being the first one to go back and talk to them again, to first forgive them for the childish character assassination in my own home and subsequent fallout afterwards. It was this simple all along and I never put it all together. I knew it on the surface but never felt like it followed my heart.

    For me this is liberating for my spirit, like shedding a molted layer of skin to reveal fresh growth and new life. I can honestly say I am a better person for having known them. But they can never take away the lessons I have learned and the foundation from which I will continue to learn. I am no longer stricken with doubt and I was wrong to question my own integrity.

    I like thinking simpler.

    Thursday, October 15, 2009

    Crafty Crafts

    Tuning in this week we have: "Getting crafty. Yes? No? HELL No?"

    Can I get a "HELL YES!" please?

    I love to craft. I love it, love it, love it. Sadly, I don't have much time for it. I love it so much that Bek, V and I started a blog a while ago to document The Things You Make.

    Last year for the holidays I made a TON of fleece scarves and blankets. I also blinged up an apron for my mother and made her some wine charms too. I've been known to collect pine cones in the woods, spray paint them silver or gold and hot glue flowers to them with a ribbon to make a really pretty Christmas ornament. I have BINS (ask V) of materials and do-hickeys for making stuff. BINS. I LOVE IT. V and I used to plan "craft time" when we got together which usually involved us hunched over some folding tables working on something independently and watching football. Why'd you have to move to Denver V?! WHY!? (just kidding, I know why!)

    My most recent craftiness was making my Bug's vest so he could be a ring bearer in our cousin's wedding this last August. I am not the world's best sewer but I can sew a straight line and a zig zag like nobody's business so that pretty much gets me through.

    (note the wine glass in the middle of the workspace? and the workspace being my foyer floor?)

    Currently I have fabric cut and pinned and prepped to make zipped pillow case covers for the boys in cute little flannel fabrics. I also made a pattern to make my Bug some waterproof but soft and comfy underwear for overnights. That is sort of on the back burner right now but I intend to resurrect it. There are also cloth diaper inserts from some old towels in my sewing future.

    A few months ago, stressed about what to get my Bug's preschool teachers for an end of year present, I came up with the idea of making bookmarks for them. (I also got them Starbucks giftcards so I'm not a total freak.) I figured I know they read books and this wasn't a mug with an apple on it. So bookmarks with a little note on the back thanking them for being my son's first teachers was what I came up with. I am choosing to believe that they only use these to mark the pages of their most current novels.

    Painting. I also love painting. But not really vases and fruit. But shapes... on wood. Wood I cut out with my handheld jigsaw and sanded myself. I am hardcore when I do projects. Here are the flowers I made for my dear friend Erica's daughter's bedroom walls.

    These flowers were, of course, inspired by my awesome artist of a mother who made the wall hangings for my children's rooms. Check out Bug and Bear's rooms.

    Do you all go to craft shows? I do. Every year at the holidays. Normally I don't buy anything though. I just get out my camera phone and take photos of everything for ideas on what *I* can make.

    I think crafting is good for my soul. It's in my blood. I can see how things go together. I know without doing it yet, how to construct something from the ground up. Putting projects together is therapeutic for me. It gives me a sense of accomplishment and I'm usually very proud of what I create.

    What about you? Do you craft?

    Wednesday, October 14, 2009

    The Movie in My Mind

    So you know what I love about TV shows and movies? I LOVE that the characters always know what to say, when to say it, what tone to say it in, what facial expressions to make, yadda yadda. It's like they thought about it forever before saying it. It's like they have a coach or something helping them with their actions.

    Wait a minute...

    Can I get a director for my life please? Kidding... if you know me you'd know I'd say "I have to do that job because I want it done right." That's my Type A showing just a little bit...

    But I do wish I always knew what to say or how to say it during a confrontation. I often freeze up, especially when it's important, and just stare away. But in my head I'm rehearsing. I'm thinking of what I would say, how the other person might react, how the back and forth, give-and-take of the argument would play out if I had *actually* opened my mouth.

    A lot of times I do say what I'm thinking, but not usually when I'm very angry or hurt. No, those times I shake or I cry. And I look like a doofus. And people assume I'm weak and unable to control myself. And later, much later, I always think of the perfect come-back or zinging response. LATER! You know, when I'm over being shocked. And I think "that wasn't so hard to think of, how come I couldn't when I needed it?"

    I think I freeze up now because before, when I was younger but still an adult, I reacted without thinking. It was raw. Now, now I work on it and I do better. I have to do better. I have kids now. I am human, they have to see that, but I want them to see me working on self-improvement. Not perfection, just improvement.

    Someday though I'd really love to have that perfectly rehearsed and edited scene-from-a-TV-show-or-movie-argument where I say everything perfectly, confidently, with no hesitation. Someday I don't want to have all that extra footage from the movie in my mind on the cut room floor.

    My mind would be so much less cluttered that way.

    Friday, October 9, 2009

    Over The Top

    My dear friend Princess Jenn tagged me this week in a meme called "Over the Top." And I love this stuff. Before I started this blog I'd do ALL of these types of things if they came my way via email. It's fun to play along!

    There are only 3 tiny little baby rules to this posting… Answer the questions below using only one word Thank the blogger who gave it to you Pass it on to 6 of your favorite bloggers.

    Now the questions:

  • Where is your cell phone? counter
  • Your hair? boring
  • Your mother? artist
  • Your father? engineer
  • Your favorite food? pizza
  • Your dream last night? unsure
  • Your favorite drink? chai
  • Your dream/goal? security
  • What room are you in? great
  • Your hobby? photoshop
  • Your fear? pain
  • Where do you want to be in 6 years? here
  • Where were you last night? gym
  • Something you aren’t? patient
  • Muffins? blueberry
  • Wish list item? money
  • Where did you grow up? Buffalo
  • Last thing you did? worked
  • What are you wearing? jeans
  • Your TV? big
  • Your pets? cats
  • Your friends? awesome
  • Your life? hectic
  • Your mood? mindful
  • Missing someone? V!
  • Vehicle? Honda
  • Something you’re not wearing? shoes
  • Your favorite store? Kohls
  • Your favorite color? blue
  • When was the last time you laughed? earlier
  • Last time you cried? September
  • Your best friend? Two
  • One place that I go over and over? bathroom
  • One person who emails me regularly? boss
  • Favorite place to eat? restaurants

    Now, will you all play along?

    Viv's Rambling
    In Full Blum
    A Very Good Year
    Take a Second Glantz
    Confessions of a First Time Mom

  • Thursday, October 8, 2009

    Crazy Roommates

    Ok so I thought about this a lot today, the roommates I've had over the years and if I had any really crazy stories. I don't, really. Mostly it was frustrations and head shaking at silly things. I've moved on. But I did learn very early that I didn't want roommates unless that roommate was my husband, or about to be my husband. So after my junior of college I lived alone until I met my now husband and started dating him. A year later we moved in together, six months later we got engaged, a year later we got married. Best roommate ever.

    So my freshman year of college I have two roommates. The first was very, very, very different from me. She never washed her hair but spent countless hours using a flat iron on it after putting loads of product in it and it STUNK up our room to the point where I gagged a lot. Plus she left hair everywhere. EVERYWHERE. She also snored and would go away for the weekend but forget to turn her alarm off before she left and it'd go off at o'stupid:30 on Saturday morning. I'd unplug it and she'd get mad she had to reset it Sunday night. Needless to say we made lots of arrangements with the dorm staff to split us up after first semester and I never saw her again.

    My second roommate was a friend from high school and we are still friends to this day. But we weren't very good roommates. I blame that mostly on the fact that I completely, 100% HATED her boyfriend back home and how he had her on a line and could pull her heartstrings at any moment, even sending her driving back home 1.5 hours in the middle of the night just to see him. And when he'd visit us he was a jerk to me. I get it now, I do. Hindsight tells me she was super in love with him and that trumps all other sort of reality. I wasn't very nice to either of them after a while so the blame for our short roommate stint also falls around my feet too. We laugh now about the fact that we'd be on our computers, backs to each other, emphatically NOT talking to each other verbally, all the while fighting over AIM.

    I learned how to type without looking at the keys that year. Thanks AIM.

    She and I are still friends to this day. I adore her. I talk to her several times a week. (Plus I got the supreme satisfaction of her telling me two years ago that I was right about that guy.)

    Sophomore year I lived with a friend I met in the dorms the year before. She was fun, outgoing and also dating two men. One knew about the other, that other didn't have a clue. And I had to cover for her all the effing time. And it got old. And she was selfish and we started fighting. So she started doing all these things to piss me off, including smoking pot in the house which led to her having a party one night while I was at work and I came home to find white dust on the coffee table and everyone completely high, on what specifically, I don't know. I moved out two weeks later and in with my very best BFFs (still to this day) and stayed there for 8 weeks.

    Those BFFs though? They had a snake. A BIG effing snake that I couldn't be around when they fed. I couldn't take the noise of the rat screeching. And those BFFs? They told me they had sex on my bed with my stuffed animals while I was out. They teased me mercilessly. Oh and she had an internship in another city and was gone during the weeks. And her mom called one weekend, forgetting that I lived with them. And I answered the phone early that morning. And I kinda got the third degree about who I was and why I was at the apartment that early and her daughter wasn't.

    I laugh about that all the time.

    Do you have crazy roommate stories?

    Wednesday, October 7, 2009

    Small, Small World

    Some people you are just supposed to meet and know. Call it fate, divine intervention, whatever. It's just supposed to happen.

    Two cases for my point.

    When I first joined twitter Ange found me through Maria. Later she found me on Facebook after a couple months of chatting. Turned out that we had a mutual friend in common. A friend of hers from high school in WISCONSIN helped teach Joby and I our wedding dance 7 years ago. I taught this guy and his wife some karate too. Ange lives in PA. Adore her I do! It was crazy to think I met someone, another awesome Mom on Twitter, who I actually had a real life connection too.

    I honestly didn't think it'd happen again.

    And last night it did. And I'm left just shaking my head at the awesomeness of it all.

    I was having a conversation with the fabulous Princess Jenn last night on Google Chat. She and I have talked a lot lately. Through a series of events the topic of Sharepoint came up and I told her that I had never used it but that I knew someone who wrote books about it. When she inquired and I told her Andrew, I could almost hear the gasp from her all the way from Alberta, Canada to Florida. Her husband knows Andrew, has worked with Andrew. She has met Andrew and Meredith. I went to high school and college with Andrew and I just love his wife Meredith. We've (Mer and I) exchanged Christmas cards for like 6 or 7 years but never actually met in person until recently when our families got together for a BBQ at their place. And even more funny? I met Mer at Starbucks this past Monday to work and chat (we both work at home and just sometimes need to get out) and I told her that she needed to make sure to follow Jenn on twitter because I was sure they'd get along great. We were JUST talking about Jenn. And two days later I find out that Jenn has already MET MEREDITH in Las Vegas at a business conference.

    Sometimes, sometimes, you are just supposed to know someone.

    I have to say that I especially am thankful for these more personal connections with these two awesome ladies. I know that putting yourself out there online can be scary and there are some fake-psychos and retards out there. Mostly everyone is awesome though and sometimes they are awesome with a super side of sizzle too.