Are You Smiling Yet? If not- You will be!

No one's looking, it's safe. Go ahead- Smile & have yourself a little giggle as you read about my life and the thoughts that come spilling out of my head. (Watch out for flooding though- my head's not as near as empty as my husband claims it to be!) If my ramblings don't make your day a little brighter nothing will! I promise I won't be offended if you laugh at my expense- I consider it an honor to spread happiness. Besides- if I can laugh at myself you certainly can too!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

PIF 12 Gifts of Christmas

While doing my morning browsing of Facebook I stumbled upon a link to the most wonderful thing:

A Pay It Forward Christmas Project called "The 12 Gifts of Christmas."

Put the focus on the true meaning of Christmas this season- Giving. Not the giving of expensive toys & electronics or what-not. But the Giving that really counts- the giving of your time, of your thoughts, of your love, of yourself. Here is an opportunity for you to give the greatest gift of all this holiday season- the gift of Kindness.

Starting today & for all the remaining days till Christmas join me & many others as we gift RAOK's. It won't take hardly any time or money for you to participate. Every day has a great suggestion- but if it doesn't work for you- then do something that does. It does not matter what you do as long as you GIVE.

If you're on Facebook and want to join the event there- here's the link. Facebook 12 Gifts of Christmas Event. But you don't need to be on FB to do this- comment here and share your gifts that way! If you blog it I'd love to read it there too!  I'll do my best to share my 12 Gifts of Christmas with you daily- but I might have to play catch-up on some days because life does tend to keep me busy.  :o)

PS- There's a printable of the 12 Gifts of Christmas I found on the FB event page to help you remember. If you would like the link I can send it to you- I didn't want to post the picture here b/c it's not my creation.  :o)

Friday, December 9, 2011

Just call me Happy

Happy. Smiling. Content.

That's what I am this morning. I feel peaceful inside and and a great amount of simple happiness radiating from within.

A Few Suspected Causes:
  1. Big, fluffy snowflakes.
  2. Sweet little boys who make their mommy breakfast toast
  3. News stories about Kindness 
  4. Christmas music.  
  5. Email from my husband simply b/c he wanted to tell me he loved me.  *love*
  6. Silly country songs on the radio 
  7. FB tags from friends (J- you're so sweet!)
Today is going to be a *Great* day.  :o)

Secret Santa Pays Off Layaways

This is the news I love to see & read- uplifting stories about people doing good. A woman in the Grand Rapids, Michigan area paid off 3 Christmas layaways at a Kmart store for people she didn't know. And her kindness has spurred others- there now has been at least one other "copycat" of goodness. Love it. Just imagine the amount of happiness that has been spread and the possibility that so much more can be paid forward!

Here's the article & one of the video clips:

Secret Santa pays off Christmas Lawaway bills for families

Monday, December 5, 2011

The 4 Gift Rule & My Own Expanded Version

I seen this posted on FB by one of my best friends:

I've always believed this gift-giving rule is great. It keeps things simple and prevents over-buying (and spending), curbs the "gimmes" and helps not fill up your house with a bunch of over-priced, poorly-made, going-to-be-broken-or-forgotten-about-within-a-week junk. It helps us re-focus on what this holiday season really is about. Whether that is religious or spiritual beliefs or simply a focus on kindness, giving and family & friends.  :o)

While I think this rule is great- I've never been able to go quite that simple. We do something along these lines- but I couldn't cut back to just 4 gifts. I guess have the expanded version of the 4 gift rule. LOL

  1. Something they Want (usually a toy or video game)
  2. Something they Need/can Wear (Eldest always needs clothes since he grows so fast & the Littles always get a new shirt b/c ALL of their clothes are second-hand and I think they deserve something new at least once a year. Usually socks & undies show up too.)
  3. Something to Read (a new book)
  4. Something to Play (a board or card game)
  5. Something to Do (usually a jigsaw puzzle or a word search/puzzle type book)
  6. Something to Create (like a coloring book, drawing pad, art supplies)
  7. Something to Watch (a movie)  This one isn't a must- but it usually is included b/c I find great deals on new or used DVD's and we love having family movie time.  :o)
 Then of course there's the gifts Santa brings. He brings 1 or 2 gifts for each boy off their wishlist, depending on what they are. Momma had a talk with Santa a few years ago and asked him to cut back on his gifts and he was nice enough to agree. Mommy also is in contact with Santa each year to let him know what items are ok to bring and what ones she requests be vetoed. ;o)

Santa also takes the time to help fill the stockings. He decided to make Mom's Christmas morning a little less hectic by putting an orange in the toe, along with a small juice bottle & mini donuts for us to munch on while opening gifts. He's usually pretty thoughtful and sticks a new toothbrush in there as well. And he never forgets some cool fun-flavored chapstick for the boys either. If the boys were extra good that year then he puts in a small candy treat & small toy (like matchbox car or new earbuds) as well. Mom sometimes will sneak a few things in the stocking before Santa comes too- especially in Daddy's stocking.

Now I'm curious as to what all other parent's gift giving ideas/rules at Christmas are. How do you control the craziness of this gift-giving season frenzy? Or do you not even try? Please share with me in the comments. No judgement here. :o)  Just curious. While I admit I'm not able to go as simple as this rule- our tree is nearly as over-loaded as it once used to be years ago.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Positive Affirmation Challenge

So- how did everyone do with last week's Positivity Challenge? Did it help clear your mind of negativity and replace it with a more peaceful & happier mindset? Did you spend less time leaking toxic comments and more time being thankful for the good things around you? I know I did and I hope the same for you. :o)

This week I want to build on last week's challenge. If simply refraining from saying negative things improves your life- what about taking it a step further? Turn your negative thoughts into positive affirmations.

Every time you find yourself thinking a negative thought about someone- I want you to stop yourself and reverse your thoughts. Find something positive about them instead- and then share it. Pay them a compliment. Tell them how much you appreciate them. Thank them for what they do for you. Go out of your way to put some positivity back in their day and out into the world.

And if at first you're uncomfortable with verbally expressing nice things towards others- then simply smile at them. That simple action alone is worth a million words. :o)

When you find yourself seething about how your co-worker left you a mound of work- stop and remember how he stayed over an hour off-clock to help you get caught up last week and leave him a note thanking him for it. After you get home from a long day at work and notice your husband left a pile of dirty dishes in the sink- instead of yelling about the mess he made, tell him how great dinner was and how much you appreciate not having to cook tonight. The next time you find yourself thinking how rude the one lady at the PTO meeting is- compliment her on how pretty her necklace is instead.

There is ALWAYS something positive you can say or do in any situation. You just have to retrain your brain to look for the good instead of the bad. If you practice it daily, soon you won't even have to try- it will become habit. You'll automatically notice that the grumpy cashier is simply overwhelmed by the sudden rush and is trying her best- and that when you get to the counter and smile at her and tell her she's doing a great job her whole demeanor changes and she suddenly is able to handle her job better. And it's all because you took a moment's time to make your interaction a positive experience instead of a negative one. :o)

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Turkey, stuffing, rolls, pumpkin pie & load of other sweet goodies and family- what a great day it is going to be! I am off to spend the day with my parents, brother & sisters and all the nieces & nephews. It's going to be an extra special Thanksgiving this year- my sister that lives Arkansas is up & I haven't seen her in years! :o)

I hope you all get to enjoy some great food and have a relaxing & wonderful day with your loved ones.

(Hopefully we all can make it through today without eating so much that we can't fit in our pants tomorrow!)  LOL   

Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Positivity Challenge

I'm starting this week off with a challenge for all of you- a Positivity Challenge if you will. HelpOthers has once again inspired me with one of their FB posts. When I was doing my morning wake-up peruse of FB I can across this post of theirs:
 Restrain from criticizing or saying anything negative to anyone this week.
I'm sure almost every one's initial response to that is a negative thought- that there's no way they could do that. Many people would claim that such a thing is impossible. And I believe that is due to the world we live in now- a place where freedom of speech is commonly mistaken for a license to say whatever bad comment you want to someone without restraint. But just because you can do or say something, doesn't mean you should. If more people simply stopped to filter what was coming out of their mouths we would see an immediate change in our world. If more people started focusing on the positive of those around them and less on the negative- our would would improve greatly.

So this is what I'm asking & challenging anyone who reads this to do:

 For one week keep all negative thoughts to yourself. Bite your tongue when you feel foul words or statements trying to creep out of your mouth. Don't criticize- empathize. If you find yourself thinking something negative about someone- shift your thoughts to something positive instead.

If going a whole week seems like a lofty goal for you- then make it a daily goal. See if you can go just one day and I'm sure you'll surprise yourself.  :o)

Oh- and this challenge does include spouses, significant others, children, in-laws & extended family as well. ;o)   So- if you find yourself stressing over the fact that you now have 5 pounds of stuffing because Aunt Idna changed her mind about she was bringing to Thanksgiving dinner without consulting you. Or you overheard your MIL remarking to your husband how much better her pumpkin pie tastes than yours. Or when your little angels and their cousins turn into Tasmanian Devils and demolish the play room in 2 seconds flat- don't blow your top and spew all that negativity out at them. Instead push it back and notice how every one's having second & third helpings of Aunt Idna's stuff and not complaining for once that there's not enough to go around. Hear that your husband didn't agree with his mother, but tactfully changed the subject and then remember how at dessert you had to slap his hand when he tried to make off with a whole pie you made. As you're calling in the bulldozer to clean up all the toys- think about how well all the kids played together and for once none of them were glued to an electronic device or screen and that great picture you took of all the cousins building the tallest lego tower ever created.  :o)

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Life Vest Inside - Kindness Boomerang - "One Day"

I discovered this great video on Pay It Forward Experience from showing how one simple kindness act spurs so many more.
When you're kind to someone that kindness gets passed on & on and reaches many others.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Rediscovering the "Giver's High"

I think my favorite thing about doing RAOK's is the look of absolute happy surprise on the recipient's face. When you RAOK a stranger at first they are always wary of you- they don't know you, why are you walking up to them, why are are trying to talk to them. You know in their mind what they're thinking is "What does she want? I don't have time for this- I'm not buying anything." It's always with reluctance that they give you their attention. And to watch the suspicion on their face be replaced with pure shock & joy when they realize that you are giving them something simply out of kindness- wanting nothing in return is one of the best moments to experience ever. I wish everyone could feel the inner joy you get from doing RAOK's. It's like being on a natural buzz- a "Giver's High" that just lights you up from inside and you can't help but smile and spend the rest of the day in a great mood.

I rediscovered this awesome feeling Thursday thanks to a simple kindness suggestions posted on Facebook from Help Others. When I was checking my FB in the morning I seen "Give a candy bar to a school crossing guard this morning, He stands at the corner everday with a smile. :) ---smileswithhope"   And I realized- I can do that. It was such a small, simple thing and would only take me a moment's time. I actually had the candy bars since my Tank is selling some to earn money for his State Bowling Tournament and where we live now there are 2 crossing guards I see every morning. We were running late & I had to work that morning- but I just felt that need to do it. So I grabbed 2 candy bars, a highlighter & some tape before I herded my Lil' Man to the van. I quickly scribbled a message with a smiley face on it made from the highlighter on 2 scrap papers and taped them to the candy bars. On my way to dropping my boy off at the bus stop (hoping we weren't going to miss it) I stopped at the first corner & rolled my window down motioning to the first crossing guard, He approached my van & I handed him the candy simply telling him to have a good day before continuing on. I did the same for the second guard- pulling up beside his vehicle. Seeing both their faces alight with smiles just made me feel so good inside. And I carried that feeling with me into work and for the rest of the day. It cost me only $2 and a few moments of my time to brighten someone elses day and my own as well. There's no pictures of it- no proof to share- because I did it for me & for the simple act of kindness- not for my blog.

I want that feeling- that inner happiness from giving- that knowledge that I made someone smile for no reason- more often. I let the excuses that life has gotten so crazy, that I've been so busy with kids & work & the new house, that we don't have any extra change to spare stop me from experiencing that feeling. And that's all they are-- excuses. They're not real valid reasons.- there's nothing physically stopping me. I just need to make the time, budget the change & make the effort to go out of my way to do extra kind things. And I'm going to start doing that more. When I read a simple RAOK idea- I'm going to DO it, not just save the idea for sometime when I have more time. And if I have time- I'll blog about it. I'd love to start posting a RAOK Idea to challenge everyone every day- whether it''s my own idea or one I discovered through one of my kindness blogs. But I'm not going to worry about it if I don't. Because it's passing on the kindness & making the world a better place that is most important, blogging about it is secondary.  :o)

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

KarmaTube: Sounds of Kindness

KarmaTube: Sounds of Kindness

How awesome is this?!?!?! Born from a tragedy comes a great kindness sharing opportunity. I would be oh so honored if I ever came across something like this.

Video from KarmaTube

Computer Problems

Sorry for the absence in blogging- it is due to a computer malfunction. :o/

Unfortunately my main desktop pc that houses all my life within it has decided it needs a break. Hopefully I'll have it fixed or get a replacement soon. Till then the blogging will only be done sporadically on my Mini Dell. (Boy do I miss my big pc & Windows Live Writer!)

BTW- I still have been daily thinking & doing my gratitude challenge even if I haven't been able to post them.  :o) 

Monday, November 7, 2011

Attitude of Gratitude- Weekend Edition

On the weekends whatever time I’m not working are devoted to spending with my family. I try not to spend much time on the computer- so no Facebook, no blogging & limited Pinterest.  ;o)   But that doesn’t mean I’m not committed to my Gratitude Challenges for this month, so here’s my belated blogged things I was grateful for this weekend. 

Day 4

Saturday I was thankful for my surroundings. I am blessed to live in this beautiful state of Michigan, in a wonderful community & now a great neighborhood. We got to enjoy a gorgeous Michigan fall day and see Mother Nature in her autumn glory. Hubs & I went for a walk in the neighborhood- letting Bell have a field day smelling the scents & playing in the leaf piles in the road. While my little salesman Tank, with his little brother as his helper, went door-to-door (within our sight) in our new neighborhood selling candy bars to earn money to go to the Michigan Youth State Bowling Tournament. Thanks to the gracious & wonderful new neighbors we have now he sold almost an entire box & was one very happy camper!

Day 5

Yesterday the thing I felt most grateful for was my awesome husband. I worked a long 10 hour shift on little sleep (my own fault) and there’s no way I could of made it through the day without his help. He brought me food to work (including a Frosty!), took care of the kids all day by himself- including taking them to do their make-up games for their bowling league, cleaned the house and cooked dinner. He even had my plate ready when I got home! I got to sit down right away and eat, then just relax & enjoy his company for what was left of the evening.            

Friday, November 4, 2011

Attitude of Gratitude Challenge- Day 3

Today I am feeling extremely grateful for having such awesome friends & family. I put out a last minute plea on Facebook asking for people to support my youngest Cub Scout & his pack by ordering popcorn. I was feeling bad for my little man- he only had 6 orders and we have to turn it in tomorrow morning- usually we fill his entire sheet & then some. I kind of felt bad asking like that on FB, especially when it seems like every time you turn around now-a-days there’s a kid asking you to buy this or that from a fundraiser. But this is truly one of the few fundraisers I’ve pushed every year since I know it’s the pack’s main source of funds that pay for the Cub Scout’s activities and if we’re lucky (which we have been the last few years) pays for the complete cost of all the boys to go to the Cub Scout Camp in the summer.


So- I swallowed my pride & the thought of how impersonal it seemed to ask in such a way and blatantly put it out there thinking maybe I’d get one or two more orders for my lil’ man and hoping that I wouldn’t annoy my FB friends too much by asking. And the response from my friends & family has humbled me. I’ve been able to add 4 more orders to his sheet- that’s helped us reach almost half a page! I know to many that might not seem to be much. But to me it means a lot. It’s not something they had to do- they could easily ignore a FB posting. But because they could help, they did out of the niceness in their hearts. That’s 4 more people willing to help me out, help Dante out, help out a wonderful group of men & women who are trying to help young boys become great men. That’s 4 people who are volunteering to spend their hard-earned money on popcorn, even in this tough economic times, because they care.

Dante & his Cub Scout LeaderDante & His Cub Scout Leader

I tell you- it’s little things like this that make my day. :o)   I’m so grateful to all of you- those that ordered & those that couldn’t. You all are great people & I’m glad to have you in my life!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Attitude of Gratitude Challenge- Day 2

I am thankful for this sweet little boy who every school morning by climbs in bed and cuddles  with me. It’s the absolute best way to wake up!


Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Attitude of Gratitude Challenge- Day 1

I am Thankful for a sweet & understanding husband that listens to me rant and supports me in whatever I want to do. :o)

My insanity: Attitude of Gratitude Challenge

Another kind of Gratitude Challenge- this time from Kendra at My Insanity. This doesn’t require but a moment of your time. Take a moment and reflect on something that you are thankful for- be it something that happened to you during your day, someone in your life, or something you are grateful to have (like a roof over your head, food on your table or a job.) Then share it with your family, friends, followers, the world via one (or more) of the social tools you frequent. If you’re not on Facebook or twitter and don’t own a blog- then email it to a friend. Help us create a wave of gratitude starting with one little ripple.

Here is the challenge: Once a day think about an publish one thing you are grateful for! You can tweet, FB, respond to her FB, blog it, whatever!  Read more about it here:  Attitude of Gratitude Challenge

I’ll be posting this challenge on my Facebook page as well to encourage one and all to stop thinking about what they don’t have and start cherishing what they do. I hope you decide to join me!

I’m on simmer this morning

I know this is a nice blog about good & happy & creative things. So feel free to skip this post where I’m going to rant & come back later when I’m feeling more my normal cheerful & crafty self.  :o)

Let me preface this by saying I love my job. I work part-time at a video store and while it can be chaotic & stressful at times- I really love it. I’m a people person and it suits me perfectly. I also love my co-workers for the most part. We occasionally irritate each other with some of our work-habits (like leaving things unfinished at the end of a shift or no notes explain what this or that pile of movies is)- but that’s just normal human interaction. It’s little things we work through & deal with.

However- it’s becoming increasingly too frequent that I’m expected to be at beck & call on my days off. We’re short-staffed, so I understand that there’s times when there’s more work than one person can handle and a little help is greatly appreciated. I’ve been there myself (more often than not I’ve just dealt with it though and then stayed later than my shift to finish things b/c I respect people’s days off.)  I don’t mind sometimes going in to help out. Heck- I’ve quite often covered people’s shifts when they were unable to work them due to schedule conflict or sickness. I’ve come in to work on short notice, I’ve worked a longer shift when asked, I’ve even voluntarily worked off-clock a little bit to finish projects I was in the middle of at work & didn’t want to throw our labor hours off by not clocking out when it was time for me to leave.

I give a lot to a part-time job. So much so that it’s started to irk me when I’m sent “SOS” texts on my day off. That when I (and others) write request days off on the calendar he repeatedly forgets to look at it when making the schedule and often we are supposed to work on those days and then have to scramble to find coverage for shifts or forgo whatever plans we had. Granted- when he scheduled me to work a short 5-9pm shift this past Monday on Halloween and I told him I couldn’t work it he said they’d manage without me. (But I was the second back-up person and technically it wasn’t him that was shorted- it was my co-worker that was working that night.)

My boss is not a bad guy- I generally like him a lot. But the little things are adding up. Stuff like him leaving stacks of damaged movies unfinished, not doing inventories when he opens, leaving huge lists we’re expected to do, calling/texting on days off requesting us to work and such. Last night was kind of like the final straw. He called and left a message saying I needed to call him or my co-worker T ASAP. I figured I knew what he wanted- me to come in & work till close. I know this b/c he didn’t look at the calendar/availability when making the schedule for this week and put my co-worker L working when she needed it off. I didn’t want to work it- figured it was his mess & he should cover it. And besides- I had my own stuff to do (like go to my son’s Cub Scout meeting to help out for the first time since I wasn’t working for once on a Tues night!)- it wasn’t like I was sitting at home twiddling my thumbs! Well about 8pm I guess he called again and left another message. Which pissed me off when I heard it:

“Hi J, this is R again. I need you to call me as soon as you get this- it doesn’t matter how late it is. If not, we’re going to have to have a meeting- like you and me. So- hope to hear from you soon.”

That bold part is what set me off. EXCUSE ME?!?!?!? If I don’t call you on my day off when I’m NOT scheduled to work then you’re implying I’m going to get in trouble? How in the HELL do you think that works? You dare threaten me with a “meeting” because I’m not sitting at home by the phone on my freaking day off because maybe, just maybe I might get a call from work and have to rush in to save the day again?!?!  I was hot to say the least. That was an instant tick me off- wrong thing to say to this girl who doesn’t get angry often. It was the match to the powder keg of things that had been building up for a few weeks now.

I’m a d*mn good employee who works her shifts, does my share of the work (and then some), doesn’t call off even when I’m sick, often comes in on my days off to help out & covers other’s shifts often when needed. When he went out of town 2 weekends in a row for weddings I worked those 2solid weekends with long hours (11 hour day one day!), closed one night & turned around and opened the next. I was running on fumes- having only maybe 5 hours sleep. I also have the highest sales in my store just about every week- Heck I had the highest in my district just last week!


Sorry- this is still bubbling inside me b/c I haven’t been able to release it on the person who deserves it yet. Because I refused to call him last night for 2 reasons- 1) You don’t threaten me with anything. EVER. NOT the way to get results with me. 2) I figured if I called him last night I’d say things I’d regret- like to F off.  I thought some sleep would help calm me down- but it didn’t work. I’m still pissed off. And when I called him this morning to wake his butt up (b/c unlike this mom who no matter if I work till close & don’t get to sleep till midnight at the earliest still has to get up first thing in the morning with kids he sleeps till who knows when)- I only got his voicemail. So I’m waiting for him to call back. And he probably won’t be any happier with me than I am with him b/c I didn’t leave a very welcoming pleasant toned message. He’s going to know I’m not happy before he even calls and he better have his pucker lips on when he does. :o)


Ok- Rant over. I feel a bit better for at least completely venting somewhere. Now to get busy and get stuff done that puts me back in a good mood.   :o)

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

88 Ways to Make a Stranger Smile

While catching up on my blogs through Google Reader I seen a great post by one of my favorite Nice Blogs- Operation Nice. She shared a link she found via a friend of hers and I just had to share it as well. It’s “88 Ways to Make a Stranger Smile.”  I know many people couldn’t care less if they made someone they didn’t know smile- but if you stop and think about it that’s one of the greatest & easiest thing you could do to make your day better. If you make that one little effort you’ll not only make someone else’s day brighter-  I can guarantee you’ll walk away 20 times happier as well. And that happiness will spread to those you love and those you don’t as well.

For anyone that thinks it takes money or a lot of time to spread smiles- check out these ideas off the list that don’t cost a dime:

1. Smile often.   It’s a reported fact- one smile can generate 100’s more throughout a day as it’s passed on from person to person!

2. Hold a door open for someone.   This is a simple old courtesy that isn’t seen much anymore and just about everyone is appreciative of.

6. Give a compliment about a waiter, waitress, sales clerk, etc. to his or her manager.   Think of how good it feels to hear from your boss that a customer or co-worker went out of their way to tell them what a good job you did-   don’t you want to share that feeling with someone else?

7. Compliment a stranger’s appearance.  Flatter them.  If you catch yourself thinking how pretty someone is, or that their outfit or jewelry is stunning- don’t keep it to yourself- tell them!

24. Tell your boss, teacher or professor that he or she is doing a great job and that you appreciate what they’ve taught you.   Yes- this isn’t considered butt-kissing if you’re sincere and don’t overdo it. The one’s that are teaching us love to hear that we appreciate it and we really are taking it in.

34. Let someone with only a few items cut you in line at the grocery store.   I know this has made my day better before and I was grateful to the one that was gracious enough to offer it.

37. Repeat something nice you heard about someone else.   Instead of spreading that mean foul gossip- start a niceness vocal chain! If you’re tempted to share a catty remark about someone- choose to tell about how nice someone else was instead. Not only will that give you better Karma- it will make you a better person in other’s eyes as well. Win-win!

82. If you see a couple taking a self-picture, offer to take the picture for them.   Oh how I wish someone would offer this to me & the hubs! We might actually have some more good couple pictures then! 

And to add to the above smile suggestion: Offer to take a family’s picture as well! Often the mom or dad is left out of most pictures b/c they’re the one’s always behind the camera.

My Creative Stirrings: Gratitude Challenge!

My Creative Stirrings: Gratitude Challenge!: Are you up for a challenge that will change your life ? Beginning November 1 st , say "thanks" to either the same person or a ...

Being a little more Grateful

I’m going to ignore the fact that it’s been 7 months since I last blogged and just continue on in the haphazard way that is me.  :o)  Ok? Ok!

What prompted this writing is a blog post from My Creative Stirrings- she posted a Gratitude Challenge and I think it’s just what I need to try and do in my already-crazy-busy life. ;o)  Actually- it really is. I’m really good at thanking everyone for the little day-to-day things they do for me. But I’m really bad about thanking the people I love for the larger things they do- like putting up with my non existent emails, phone calls & visits. I rarely remember to take the time to relax with my besties & family b/c I get so absorbed in my own life events. And it’s one of the biggest regrets I have, but I can’t seem to find a way around it. It’s on my “must work on to become a better person” list.  :o)

Anyways- I’m somehow going to try and fit a special thank you into each and every day of this month. If I can squeeze the time out to blog about it I will- but I’ve learned that I shouldn’t make promises about that b/c in my life there’s no guarantees.  :o)

I hope if anyone’s reading this that you make an effort to be a little more thankful for the people around you and good things you have- even if it’s only a couple times this month.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Reasons I’ve Smiled- April 1st

  1. I spent the weekend with my awesome friends M & K and their boys.
  2. All 3 of my boys bowled awesome at the YABA State Bowling Tournament.
  3. I didn’t have to deal with a Rooster at my hotel. Buwhahahaha
  4. Taking a loooooooooong hot shower with no worries of running out of hot water.
  5. I had 5 straight days off from work!
  6. While the temps have been chilly- there’s still been sunshine!
  7. Helped out at Lil’ Man’s school for their Cowboy RAD day.
  8. Got to rock out with our friends R & S at the Music as a Weapon Concert-Disturbed, Sevendust, Korn, Stillwell & In This Moment. Disturbed & Sevendust were AWESOME!!!
  9. Enjoyed time with the Hubs- just the two of us.
  10. I was complimented on how nice I looked by an acquaintance.
  11. Watched Tangled with the whole family and even though I’m the only female- we all enjoyed it.
  12. Talked to my step-mum
  13. Got to give a quick hug to my other friend M whom I haven’t seen in a while

Friday, March 18, 2011

Reasons I’ve Smiled- March 18th


  1. I got the highest upsell percentage at work beating everyone- including my manager & assistant manager- AND got a kudos from our district manager.
  2. Got to go for a walk in beautiful sunshiny weather without a jacket.
  3. Listening to Eldest play at the band concert and realizing how GOOD they sound.
  4. Homemade Shamrock Shakes
  5. Finished 2 books this week- this one was really good apache heartsong cover
  6. Lunch with the Hubs at his work
  7. Getting a “cat-call” while walking yesterday

These are just a few of the reasons of the top of my head real quick why I’ve smiled this week. How about you- what’s made your week happy?

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Rambling randomness about nothing really

It’s amazing that I get anything done some days. So many different thoughts pass through my mind in such a short period of time that I’m more often than not to spend all my time thinking instead of doing. If someone was able to record for a few minutes the thoughts floating through my head it would go something like this:

What’s for dinner tonight? I really need to start making a weekly menu again. Today’s Tuesday- I need an easy meal since it’s Scout night. What are we doing tonight at Scouts? Oh, yeah- making thank you cards. I should prefold cardstock. The cards will work towards an elective. What other elective can we do? We got a bunch of electives done, but we can’t get the beads till our Tiger Badge is done. All we need to get it is for each Tiger to see a sporting event. Oh, yeah- I told them at the last meeting I’d type up a reminder of that with the progress report for each scout tonight. Oh shoot- I got Port-a-pit chicken tickets to sell- that have sat in my bag since last meeting. I need to do that. Maybe we can set up a table at my work. I need to get my schedule for next week yet. I’m glad I don’t have to work today. Shoot- I gotta work tomorrow though and the auditor’s going to be there. Better make sure to wear something nicer than normal. Most of my work clothes are dirty. Actually- most everyone’s clothes are dirty. I gotta go to the laundry mat today. Should go to the bank too. But I better go grocery shopping first. I need to figure out what we’re eating this week & tonight first. The dog’s barking again. *looks out the window* Dang- it’s so gloomy outside. Where’s the sun? I need the sun! I want sunlight & brightness. Maybe I can make something colorful for inside to make it cheerful. Like a rainbow. with a pot of gold. Thursday’s St. Patty’s day after all. I should do something fun for the kids!  Gotta find the recipe for those shamrock shakes again. Green milk again for breakfast. And green food for dinner. Crap- dinner! What am I doing for dinner tonight? Maybe I’ll just see what’s at the store. I could stop at the consignment store while I’m up there. I need a new shirt. I’m bored with my wardrobe- I need a splash of something different. Maybe I can find something cute to wear State Weekend. Shoot-  I really need to find my wallet because that has my license in it and I’ll need it when we go in case I get carded. Hope I don’t have to get a new license. Because if I do I’ll find my wallet right after.  The dog’s howling- she hates sirens. *Looks towards the main road* There goes the fire truck. I need to get the dog food for her from the back of the van. *Sees someone leaving the gas station across the street carrying a gallon of milk*  We need milk. And OJ. Better make a grocery list.

Then I glace at the computer clock and notice almost an hour has passed and I have not done a single thing that I thought about. And then what do I do instead of starting to make a menu, a grocery list, getting laundry around, working on Scout stuff and the 3 million other things that need completed? I write a blog post about my inability to get things done. Totally, completely logical……..right?

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Crazy Hair

Yes- I sent my youngest to school with his hair looking like this. No- I didn’t loose my glasses this morning.  ;o) 

It was “Crazy Hair” day at Lil’ man’s school today. Since he’s managed to escape the clippers so far- we had a lot of hair to work with this year. And I didn’t need much inspiration for what to do with it when I seen him come down right after he woke up- it was naturally crazy itself already- I just improved upon it a little   :o)

.dante crazy hair collage

(Oh- and the last picture with the funny face was when I told him he looked like a mad scientist & he was trying to act the part.)

Monday, March 7, 2011

Wolf Cake

Eldest’s 14th birthday last month brought one of the hardest cake requests yet- a wolf. I asked for other ideas & options, but he really wanted a wolf cake this year. I warned him (repeatedly) that my cake decorating abilities might not be able to create it well. His response “You need a good challenge mom. It’ll make your decorating skills better.” Darn child- he’s getting way too old & good with words.

So I started by doing a sketch (because if I can’t draw it there’s no way I can carve it!) I had a hard time getting the muzzle right, but eventually I figured it out. wolf sketch for cake

Then came the research and just as I suspected- good wolf cake images are hard to find. And most of the one’s I found were made by decorators with much more skill than I possess. I pinned my favorites for inspiration- here’s the top ones that helped me the most:

  1. 3D Wolf Head by Muse_of_Dreams on Cake Central
  2. Howling White Wolf by Louise Hill at Love to Cake
  3. Howling Wolf Silhouette by Dragonsanddaffodils at Deviant Art
  4. Howling Wolf Head by sweetthang1 at Cake Central

And after a lot of thinking, researching, sketching and baking it was time to just go for it. I started with a stack of 6 8” rounds, some knives & a lot of frosting. I had a lot of doubt and trepidation about how I was going to manage it and I *may* of let a whole bunch few curse words slip, but I just kept at it and somehow managed to turn it into something resembling a wolf’s head. (It also reminded us slightly of a pig, a bear & finally a shark at some point of time during the process. You can kind of see how it could of been a good shark in the the bottom middle picture.)

Wolf Cake Collage Complete

But all that mattered was the last picture- Eldest was happy with the end result. And I’m glad this mom didn’t back down from the challenge despite all my misgivings. (But boy am I thankful I don’t ever make the same cake twice!) Oh- and the cake was delicious!!! One of the best tasting cakes I’ve made ever & it was very durable! I finally found the perfect recipe for carving cakes. :o)

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Finding me, my path & some blogging thoughts

I have a friend with a blog. A good, dear awesome friend. Her posts have been really making me think lately. Reflect on my life. What I want, who I want to be, where I want to go with this life. I know who I am- somewhat. But I need to cultivate my person more. I need to define who I am beyond a mother & a wife. I’ve fallen back into my “comfort zone.” I need to be more in charge of my life and the path I’m traveling, instead of just letting life carry me along. I’ve started that by finding a part time job. And while that’s been (and still is) quite an adjustment & struggle at times- I enjoy it greatly. But that’s just a tiny first step- I need more. I want to be more independent. Not in the “I don’t need you” kind of way. But in the “I’m confident in my abilities” way. I know I can be a better partner to my husband if I was more self-assured of myself. And I’ll be a much better mother as well. I am very happy, content and proud to be a mom & wife.. But while those are extremely important and vital parts of me- I can not center my life completely around those two aspects of my life. I want to have an accomplishment that I can be proud of that- I want to be able to say that I have DONE something with my life. I want to have more declarations that start with “I’ve DONE”, “I’ve TRIED" and “I AM” than “I want”, “I wish” and “Someday….” statements.

So I decided a few weeks ago to do something I always said I should & wished I would, but never did. I’m going back to school. I officially enrolled in the community college 2011 fall semester. Now- I haven’t a real clue as to what I’m going to do- but that’s ok. That’s part of the whole “finding myself” thing I’ve got to work on. I’m thinking of some sort of business or education degree. Or maybe both- who knows. The important thing is- I’m finally going to DO it instead of just talking about it.  :o)

Another part of this whole finding me thing is I need to rediscover what makes me me. I want to get back in touch with things I enjoy- such as creating. I love to create in any medium. Be it with a pen & paper, glue & paint, colored pencils & a sketch pad or cake & frosting. I’m an artsy-craftsy person. It’s an integral part of me. And I haven’t been fulfilling that within myself. So- I’m going to aim to try and do at least one crafty thing a week. Even if there’s dishes piled in the sink, the hamper’s overflowing and instead of cleaning my craft area I have to shove the 2 ft high pile of crap that’s there into a plastic tub just to find my craft desk. I will find the simple joy of creation again. Oh- and reading. I need to do that again. I honestly can’t remember the last book I read or when. Yeah- that’s gotta start happening again too.

No- as for the blogging thoughts. My friend I spoke of above? Yeah- she is what inspired this whole posting. And I love her. And I admire her blogging style- she just writes what she thinks & feels and posts whatever & whenever she wants. Her blog is kind of random & I love it. When I read one of her posts it’s like I’m actually talking to her- it’s a true reflection of herself. I love it. And I need to learn from it and her.

I think one of the reasons I haven’t blogged is because I feel pressure to make sure every post is perfect and interesting and just right. I type & retype & spend a couple hours on just one post. And since I’ve added a job to my crazy life- I simply haven’t had that much time to spend on blogging. So instead of settling for an imperfect impromptu post, I simply haven’t blogged. That’s one of my “flaws” I need to work on- perfection. Everything I create- be it blogging, writing, crafting, drawing, cake decorating or whatnot- does NOT have to be revised & redone over & over again. I need to embrace the fact that every thing I do doesn’t have to be done to the best of my ability. Now- that seems like a strange statement considering that I always tell my kids to “Do you best.” But for me I always want to do things better- everything can always be improved and I strive so hard for that “betterness” that I don’t have time to do more than one thing. That’s not strengthening my abilities- that’s limiting myself. Because I often will not start something because I know I won’t have time to finish it. I need to learn to accept less to get better. And maybe I can start to learn that lesson with this blog. Perhaps. It’s worth a shot anyways.  :o)

BTW- If I totally lost you in this post- that’s ok. :o)

Monday, January 10, 2011

Feeling Grateful

I’m sitting here reflecting on my life and all the wonderful people I have in it. In the last few months it’s become apparent that I have some really, really fantastic friends. I mean, I already knew that they were awesome friends to begin with, but then they went above & beyond what I expected in a friendship. They each individually surprised me with gift. They deeply touched me & made me feel so very special. I’m not used to someone taking the time to think of me & going out of their way to surprise me like that for no reason. And then to have not one, but FOUR of my friends do that for me- it totally blew me away. It humbled me to realize how blessed I was to have such caring & thoughtful people in my world. It makes me feel so very loved every time I think about it. I am so extremely grateful for my friends. I am beyond lucky to have such a great group of ladies that support me, that really *know* me, that think & care about me so much. I’m honored to have them in my life. I don’t think they know how much that one act each of them did meant to me, nor can they possibly realize how important they each are to me, and that’s something I mean to correct- starting today.  :o)

Thank  You Becca! Thank You Chrissy! Thank You Alicia! Thank You Missy!

(I even made it rhyme!  LOL)

Also, Thank You to everyone who reads this. I’m glad you are in my life- whether you are a close & awesome friend IRL or someone who just reads my blog and I’ve never met. You are all part of my universe in some way and that makes my life a better place.  :o)