life

The Oddity of Human Nature

Humans are a funny species, and sometimes not in the “ha-ha” way.  I am often surprised by the hurtful things that people can say and the terrible things that people are capable of doing. I just sit back in shock thinking, “how can someone be so disgusting?”. 

Call me naive, but I still find it hard to believe that some people can be so evil and thoughtless.

I am no saint. I make mistakes, I put my foot in my  mouth, but I never act with the intent to hurt.  I have always said that I want to live my life like my mother did: with grace and humor.  I may not always succeed, but I do my best.

Times like this, I try to focus on the good that people do. Good deeds with no agenda, no want for reward, and no need for recognition.

Without the negative we wouldn’t know the beauty that this world is capable of, and I try to do what I can to add to it.

I pray that you all get daily reminders of all the good in this world and that you are able to flush away negativity that comes your way.

Happy Thanksgiving, and love to all ❤

This photo always makes me smile 🙂

An arthritic 19-year-old dog named Schoep is cradled by his owner, John, in the waters of Lake Superior, where the buoyancy eases the dog's pain, allowing him to fall asleep comfortably in his owner's arms.

 

The sweet sound of bath water “tap-tapping” onto your dining room table…

Not the norm for a Wednesday morning? … It was at least an exciting way to start the day.

I was taking a shower, all innocent like, when I noticed that the water wasn’t draining. After attempting to clear a hair clump from the drain, and only realizing there was not one there, I decided that the stopper must be down. Low and behold, the stopper was broken. The water continued to collect in the tub, but it was a shaving day, I had to keep going!

Five inches of water and two bare legs later, I step out of the shower, take one quick glance at our new plumbing issue, and decide it is best to wake up the manlier half for him to deal with (sorry, hun).

Assuring me he can handle it, I head down stairs to make breakfast and continue my beautifying ritual to start the day. My english muffin preparation was interrupted by a slow “tap… tap… tap” sound coming from the dining room. I walked over just in time to see it turn into a solid stream of water coming from the ceiling.

“Paul!?” I yelled up the stairs.
“Yeah, I need you!”

I can’t explain the mechanics of it all, but in an attempt to check the stopper, another piece of the drain system revealed itself as broken, draining water out of the tub.

Paul, kneeling in an attempt to stop the bleed made an ever so calm request: “I need you to hand me towels and go get a bucket or something to get the water out of the tub and pour it into the toilet.”

I frantically dashed downstairs, knowing full well the only bucket we own is in the basement. Forget that! I don’t have shoes on, it is scary, and it smells. I opted for a crystal bowl (it was the first I could find). FYI, lead crystal is not the easiest thing to scoop water with, but my arms felt amazing later that day.

Once that situation was somewhat under control, I headed back to the hazard zone that was our dining room. Water was now coming out of two spots in the ceiling and dripping down the wall.

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Paul came down to join me in the containment process once he had the bathroom situation under control. After tag teaming towel placement and the strategerie of various bowls and chairs, we stepped back to admire our work.

Paul just put his arm around me, kissed my head, and said, “good morning, beautiful. I’ll call a plumber today.”

And we just moved on with business as usual. I’m lucky to have such a calm, capable, loving partner in crime 🙂

I hope you all had a less adventurous hump day. I will have more to come later 🙂

A hiatus of the mind and the body:

I will be the first to admit it: I have been pretty lazy the past month, and I am completely okay with that.  Sometimes, you just have to give yourself some time off.

Running wasn’t fun or motivating for a while, it had become just a chore.  Workouts weren’t getting me excited for my next bout at the gym.  I didn’t know what to write about.  I just kind of wanted a break.

So, I took one.

This isn’t saying I was unhappy in anyway, I think I just recognized that things had started to shift from passions to items on my to-do list.  After taking some time to reflect on the first two-thirds of the year, I realized that my body had been through quite a bit.  I deserved some time to just slip back into neutral and recharge the batteries.

After about a month off, I started the final third of the year yesterday, went out for a great, fall run; no pressure, no goals, just a run, and kicked off a refreshed mind-set.

Sometimes we need breaks from personal pressures. I, personally, have a very hard time staying in the moment, always thinking about the future and my next run or where my career is going to take me.  Where am I going to go to grad school or where will my next job be?  How will I reach my goals?  I don’t want to be so caught up in the next step that I miss the beauty of getting there.  This is why I sometimes need to give myself time to do a status update on life. 

What have you missed?

A Michigan Society of Association Executives Diamond Award that I took home for my association’s e-newsletter.  It was a big win and a huge honor for my whole team who help put it together.

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George Blaha was the MC that night.  If you are not a Michigan sports fan, you probably don’t know who that is, but to Spartans, he is the voice of Michigan State athletics.  When I bounced across the stage in shock and amazement at our win, I was so excited I didn’t even shake his hand!  When I realized I had passed him by I just turned around and cheered, “Touch Down, MSU!”

I felt like an idiot the whole way home for not shaking his hand. Any respectable Spartan does not pass up the chance to shake George Blaha’s hand!

They always say when God shuts a door…

The very next night, who would happen to be sitting at the next table at the bar, but Mr. Blaha himself.

God had opened a window!

Freaking out, I told Paul that God does not present you with George Blaha two nights in a row only for you to not make up for your social blunder from the previous night.

So I walked up to his table, introduced myself and explained that I was the girl who was too excited to shake his hand the night before, and I just wanted to take the opportunity to do so now.  He couldn’t have been nicer and more congratulatory on my award 🙂 

Other than that, I am down about seven inches of hair. I decided that I needed to refresh my look while I refreshing my mind. I now look more like my mother than ever (not a goal, and not a bad thing, just something I noticed after it was cut).  

With my body and soul restored, I am feeling pretty damn good.

I hope all of you are also doing well 🙂

Cheers!

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Baking Bread and Eating Ice Cream (and other weekend adventures)

My work wife turned me onto the most fabulous, cheap and easy cooking blog I have yet to encounter.  It is called Budget Bytes, http://www.budgetbytes.com/, and after using her recipes for over a week, I am hooked and have yet to be disappointed. 

This woman even got me baking bread.  ME!  I love to cook, but you ask me to bake, prepare to have a sugary let-down on your hands. She makes you believe you can do it though, because not only are her recipes cheap, they are easy!

Feeling sassy while reading through her blog, I decided that I was going to try her Olive Herb Bread (http://www.budgetbytes.com/2011/03/olive-herb-bread/). 

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I’m not going to lie, chopping the olives was the hardest part…

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Waiting was the second hardest part for me. Plus, having never seen active yeast in action before, I didn’t believe this would “rise”.

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But it did!!!!

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The pre-cooked loaf, all ready to go in the oven along with all of my baking hopes and dreams.

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Thirty minutes later 🙂 (this was the good side of the loaf… the far side looked a little deformed. I still loved it, none the less)

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The fruits of my labor! A sandwich made with the vegetables out of a friends garden.

Here is the link again if you would like to try the recipe: http://www.budgetbytes.com/2011/03/olive-herb-bread/

This was my start to the weekend on Saturday morning.  If I could bake bread, the weekend possibilities were endless!  Continuing down the road of awesomeness, Saturday night Paul and I had a double-date night with Aunt Janice and Uncle Tom.  You may remember them:

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so cute

How can you not have a great night with a couple like that?

Sunday, I was up early to ride my bike to the gym to swim a few laps.  I had the pool all to myself, and it was the perfect temperature!  I don’t care how old I get, I always want to play around and do somersaults and hand-stands after a few hard laps.

Next, my bike and I adventured into downtown Lansing to visit a friend who I haven’t seen in over a year.  Meeting with a good friend is always such a boost in life, especially ones like Annette.  I thrive off of people with great energy (as I am sure most of you do), and she is great for that.

It was also such a great day to be riding around Lansing.  There was very little traffic, few people out and about; the streets seemed to be mine.  There is something so freeing and mobile to me about riding a bike.  That may sound like a “duh” statement, but riding a bike is more freeing to me than having a car.  You can go so many more places around town!  All in all, I think I rode about 20 miles on Sunday.

The good times kept on rolling on Monday when I started my day with my follow-up appointment with my doctor.  His original thinking was correct with is prediction of my blood work being fine.  It was better than fine.  My numbers are awesome across the board! (Always good to hear).  So now, it is just a matter of weaning me off of my medication and seeing how I do with just emergency meds in the rare times of anxiety.  I should be able to start dropping weight and get back to feeling like myself shortly.  

I felt like I had made the Dean’s List!  I immediately called my Aunt Janice then Paul to tell them both how stellar I had done on my blood “test”, (I always brag to Paul about my blood pressure, too, but high blood pressure runs in my family, so it is a number I take seriously.  He just rolls his eyes as if to say, “yes, honey, you are extremely healthy, I know”, in a very supportive, albeit, eye rolling way.)

Max even had a vet appointment yesterday, also displaying a stellar check up.

What is a mom and her puppy to do when they both get A++ at the doctor? Take a nap then go for ice cream!!!! (A little counter-intuitive, and I don’t generally support the usage of food as a reward, but it was what we wanted… don’t judge).

So Paul drove his two newly declared healthy family members to the ice cream shop in Old Town, where I got a small swirl for us (Max and me) to split. yes… I share ice cream cones with my dog…

God punished me for my poor choice though, because ten minutes later, back on our couch at home, my cone had lost all structural integrity, melted ice cream was dripping out the top, bottom, AND sides, and I was covered in it.

No grown woman should have to shower after eating an ice cream cone.  

Once again, Paul just rolled his eyes, but was good enough to document the sticky mess, complete with nap hair, that I was.

What is it that they say?  Behind every crazy person is a sane person rolling their eyes and cleaning up the messes, making sure crazy makes it through the day alive…?

Wait, no, maybe that is just my life.

And I am only sharing this photo because I would never judge any of you, so save the same respect for me, please:

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Probably the second least attractive photo of me ever… hopefully the #1 least attractive will never surface…

Some days I just wonder…

What did I do right?

I know that a lot of crazy, not-so-good, sometimes awful things have happened in my life, but I have no idea what I did to deserve the people I have in my corner right now.

I have been blessed with some amazing, kick-ass, down to Earth, supportive female role models.  People who expect the most and bring the best out in me, encourage me, and love me all at the same time.  It is the most indescribable feeling to have women like that who you can trust and look up to.

Thank you, to all of the women out there, who provide support, love, encouragement, and an example of how to be amazing!

The Beauty of Getting Older

I just read a joke in Reader’s Digest at my allergist’s office, and I proceeded to sit there and giggle for a half hour.  I giggled while walking to my car, and giggled all the way back to work. Once at work, I laughed so hard, I could barely recite it to my co-worker.

What was the joke, you may be wondering?

-“What did one snowman say to the other?”

-“I smell carrots, too”

And that has had me laughing for almost an hour now.  I can guarantee that I will have the same outburst of laughter when i attempt to tell it to Paul tonight.

I love this about myself.  I find humor and joy in the simplest things (eg: this joke).  It is something that has only gotten worse throughout the years, and I believe it to be part of the beauty of getting older: being able to see the humor in things. 

Thus far, I have loved aging. I am not afraid of getting older, or going gray or wrinkled.  Growing old is a privileged, and I am eager to discover what each year of life will teach me. 

Just starting the last year of my twenties, I feel so much more confident in my own skin (though I am at my heaviest weight.  I am more focused on being healthy).  I am more aware of the value within myself, and know myself better than I ever have.

Scars, beauty marks, mistakes from our past, walls we have bumped into; flaws on the surface and below, they are just all part of the process.  I like to think of it as “earning my stripes”.  This past year, I gained three new scars from my surgery which have turned into red lines on both sides of my lower-abdomen as well as a big red dot on the upper-inside of my belly button.   A few years ago, these may have bothered me and made me self-conscious, but today, I don’t give them a single thought.  

They help tell my story, and will continue to do so for the rest of my life.  The beginning of laugh-lines and crows feet that are forming will only get deeper each day with every smile and every giggle, and I love that.

Don’t be afraid to get older, and don’t be afraid to earn your stripes.  Each year that passes is just another year to learn to love yourself more, and hopefully find the humor and beauty in everything.

I am excited to get to know myself more in this last trip around the sun in my twenties.  My thirties will just be a whole new chapter in earning my stripes, and I am sure, laughing at the most ridiculous things.

“The world does not deliver meaning to you.  You have to decide what you want and need and must do.”

-Zadie Smith