Wednesday, March 31, 2010

a lil' loopty loop

Random acts of kindness

"Those who bring sunshine to the lives of others cannot keep it from themselves." ~James Barrie

Life can be so ironic some days can't it.

Just when life is headed down a predictable path, you hit the loopty loop~and I love the loopty loop!

So let me start at the ironic part:

In February after a bad week a friend randomly dropped off a "happy" treat in my door.

Then for my bday I got some unexpected treasures and cards. I asked myself then: Why don't I do more, small, unexpected, random kind things for my friends? It really made my day each time. It just left me.... happy. I don't even send birthday cards in the mail?! I mean seriously?! Even a card in the mailbox makes me smile! It's not hard to brighten someone's day, so what seems to be the hold up self? Of course there is no acceptable answer!

So the irony is yesterday I was eager and excited to put together a little birthday unexpected treat for a friend. Nothing spectacular or earth shattering, just a little something to say "hey have good day!" As I was going to deliver it I was more than excited. It was at that moment that I thought to myself that I may be a bit selfish! As these "random" acts of kindness just may bring me more happiness than the recipient. (It really wasn't that exciting of a gift!)

It is almost addicting. Like a high! So does that defeat the "doing good for someone else" if I still get a "payoff!?" Just wondering!

I was pondering all of that yesterday but wasn't going to "blog" about it! I mean who does just a small nice gesture and then advertises it. It kind of defeats doing a nice thing if you go advertising "I did a good deed today."


Then comes today.

A few years ago my life crossed paths with someone under less than desirable circumstances, which is sometimes the case with my job. I once had a mom tell me "I really like you, but I wish I never had to know you existed. Can you understand that?" and I COULD! I can't help but think this mom probably would think the same thing! Anyways that was a sidebar.....

So today I was still trying to figure out if starting to do more random kind unexpected things for others, gives me that "high" every time, is that considered selfish, does it defeat the purpose? The payoff isn't suppose to be mine.........

When I get a call from up front

"Jen someone is here to see you." I thought to myself. "hmm that can't be good I am not expecting anyone."

And there she was. Bringing me, my very own treasure. It was completely unexpected.

Completely unnecessary.

Completely random and kind.

And it Completely made my day!
(it is "pendant" that will go on a chain to make a necklace. The picture is of Cohen and Kadence and it says the little things in life.)
Isn't it wonderful!? I Love it and can't wait to wear it! I am hoping & wishing sunshine is in her life today!
So now tonight as I think about it.....nope it can't be selfish to positively impact someone else's day. In fact I am thinking it is exactly what this world needs more of!
Today I challenge you to do something unexpected for someone else! I guarantee it will not only positively impact someone else's day but yours too! How great is that really?!
I already have my next random act in mind...and it is definitely the definition of random and anonymous! The anticipation is killing me, so exciting! *insert very big, kid like, smile*
"He who gives when he is asked has waited too long." ~Sunshine magazine.
and I can't help myself tonight ( I love quotes!)
"Being good is commendable, but only when it is combined with doing good is it useful." ~unknown
So go forth into the world and do good! Let's all ride the loopty loop!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

feels like home

Today was perfect.

Other's may define it differently,
* I did get puked on. I did snuggle on the couch for two hours in the middle of the night with a little one battling a fever. I have not showered. And I only crossed one thing off the never ending to do list.*
but I am sticking with perfection.

I piddled today. Is piddled a real word? Of that I am not so sure, but either way that is what I did. After a long, exhausting, two sets of jammies for both of us, grueling night, we awoke to the comforting sound of rain.
I love a soft rain. The love the rhythmic tapping on the window as you wake up to the dreary sun. It was a perfect way to greet the day this morning. The soft tapping of the rain on the window set a nice quiet tone to the morning. Everyone trickling into one bed, not quite ready to throw their feet on the floor and take off running yet (myself very much included).

I washed a lot of laundry(This was not the only night that involved puking.) I laid it in nice piles. *I did not put it away.
I swept the floor. *I did not mop it.
I wiped the counter down. *I didn't completely disseminate the pile of papers that linger there.

I downloaded all the video footage from the video camera for 2009. *I didn't burn it to a DVD.

I took all the outgrown, comfy winter things from kadence's closet. *I didn't get them in a tote.

I made some Brownies. We ate some. *I haven't found a lid to put on the pan.

Yes Perfect really.

As I caught myself apologizing for the piled laundry on the back of the couch....and for the blocks that were dispersed as far as the eye could see......and for the crumbs of brownies that lingered on the table....I just wanted to stop and scream.
Why do I apologize? This is who we are. This is LIFE. This is us. Our family. LIVING.
When I talk to my friends who have children I would say that 9 times out of 10 they will say, "man my house is trashed" and in all reality it probably is.
Who cares? It should be. If all our houses look "trashed" then lets redefine the standard. Let's make it okay to have kids and have a house that looks like kids live there.

Why do we hold ourselves to this unobtainable standard of perfection? Why is it that we feel the need to "pretend" that our houses don't "usually" look like this; WHEN THEY DO! If all of us moms unite and scream "nonsense" we could kick a chunk of that "mom guilt" right out the window!

If I could wish upon a star......I would wish for a day when I did what I could and if there were clothes on the couch, toys from one end of the house to the other, crumbs on the floor, but my kids were loved~played with~treasured, then it was a good day. AND if a friend would stop over, there would be no compelling need to "apologize" for living. They would settle themselves in among the chaos and it would feel ........Perfect.
Just like home.

*Yes this pictures is from the "past" but it warms my heart and soul.
"Congratulations! You're not perfect! It's ridiculous to want to be perfect anyway. But then, everyone's ridiculous sometimes, except perfect people....You can drink pickle juice and imitate gorillas and do silly dances and sing stupid songs and wear funny hats and be as imperfect as you please and still be a good person. Good people are hard to find nowadays. And they're a lot more fun than perfect people any day of the week." ~Stephen Manes Be a perfect person in just three days

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Don't take it personal

I woke up crabby today. No good reason why.

So this morning I can seem to find a reason why everything won't work today!
I hate ~crabby for no reason days~!

I am desperately trying to convince myself that I have NO reason to be crabby! Otherwise this will make for a long day!

So what do you do to change your attitude?
When you really have no legitimate reason to be crabby!

"Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference."~ winston churchill

This I know and understand, but need to figure out how to change mine today! *insert forced happy smile!*

Addendum: Hip Hip Horray! Yes I had a "crabby" patty for breakfast, but there are no "crabby" patties on the menu for lunch! (yes absolutely that is a sponge bob reference and yes completely I hate that show, but love and use the "crabby" patty reference at our house. ie. Cohen did you have a crabby patty for lunch or what?! Cohen will even say "mom I think Kadence had a "crabby" patty today." I even told Cohen I had a crabby patty this morning!*yes I believe sb spells it different but hey my kids can't spell yet!) I do believe that just facing my attitude head on here, this morning, that I needed to change my attitude helped! YAY! Life is good!* Insert a real, completely not forced, smile*

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Mystery of the mind

Today I was driving for work and had one of those moments when I wondered; Am I the only one that does this?!

Sometimes when I am doing something I will picture something happening that is usually bad or a bit disturbing to say the least.

So for instance:
Today I was driving along the highway and a semi was coming and for a brief moment I pictured in my mind what I would feel like if all of sudden my car swerved in front of the semi and had a head on collision. I know! Sick really! It is unexplainable and before I even consciously realized what I was doing, my mind went to all those places~ like for that split second what would I be thinking and feeling!?


I can be driving and start to drive over a bridge and my mind will drift to the "what would it look like or feel like if my car veered and went over the side?" The though usually creeps in before I can consciously shut it out!
Usually about then I have significantly creeped myself out and will turn the radio on and distract my mind from wandering to such tragic places!


I can remember carrying Cohen and then Kadence, as babies, down the stairs and picturing myself tripping and falling all the way down.

I am sure there are more, but these are the vivid ones that come to mind right now!

I have recognized in myself that I "like" to try to put myself in someone else's shoes (and I know that no one can really fully do that) but I can go alot of places in my mind to help me understand what it could be like to be in someone else's situation, what it would feel like, look like, sound like, etc....which probably explains a bit about why I love the "job" that I have. (I use "job" loosely cause it really is a passion).
I am not sure.
Does that explain why my mind also puts myself in these mental visual scenarios that are a bit disturbing!?
Any therapists out there that want to take a shot at this one??

Saw this quote today and thought it went well with the political "fire" that is out there right now, no matter which side you stand on:
"If you resist reading what you disagree with, how will you ever acquire deeper insights into what you believe? The things most worth reading are precisely those that challenge our convictions." ~unknown

Friday, March 19, 2010

New badge of honor

Highlights from today:

1. We made it out the door this morning and everyone was still Alive! (mornings are so not pretty here, This alone is a monumental task!)

2. I got a new mattress pad. I am very excited about it. In fact we ran home, ripped the sheets off the bed, and pulled the new mattress pad on right away and then the three of us (Mark's at work) laid on it to make sure it "worked." ~I am not sure what it says about me when getting a new mattress pad makes the highlight reel but whatever. It is what it is and I am excited.

3.We got Icee's from Burger King for Fun Friday instead of the usual fun friday ice cream. The Icee just bumped Fun Friday up to a whole new level. The kids are in LoVe!

4. Kadence wanted to wear underwear tonight and I said sure, why not?! Why not, because this ended with me catching a rather large turd with my hands. Let's not talk about it. Okay. Really. An entire thingy of hand soap and a bottle of hand sanitizer later......I am moving on. Just another badge of mom honor (that I'd rather forget) to put right next to the picking up chunks of vomit with your hands badge. yea mom-hood.

5. I indulged in the greatest ice cream from Schwanny (aka Schwans man) It is called Sweet and Salty. Let's just say it was worth schwanny's price for ice cream just this one time. (I mean really, see #4 I deserve a lil' somethin')

6. As of tonight Kadence has the freedom to get out of her bed (Yes please spare me the lecture that she is old enough for a big bed. This I know. This I have denied for as Long as possible. Have you met her?!) and as of now I only put her to bed.........ONE TIME! ~ To my knowledge she is still there! *insert smile here* but I haven't opened the door to check!

"A man's work is from sun to sun, but a mother's work is never done." ~unknown

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Breath it in.

"My Childhood may be over, but that doesn't mean play time is." ~Ron Olson
I love spring. I love the smell. I love when I walked out the door today the sun was shining. It is amazing how much just the sun shine and smell of spring can bring so many thoughts rushing in.
Every time I walked outside today I had to pause and just breath it in. I swear I had a new spring in my step (no pun intended) today. Even though I know that tomorrow is a whole different story and spring is not here to stay. I felt driven to capture all possible spring activities into this evening so today we drove with the sun roof open~ahh breath in the air. My lungs are free again!~
We grilled out. ~oh that savory grilled taste. My tastebuds missed you so. Makes me dream of summer~
We went for a short walk/bike ride. ~Just makes me feel ALIVE.~

For some unexplainable reason this fresh spring filled air made me wonder what would I do if I had lots and lots of money. (I know that it is not connected to spring really and have no idea why I started to wonder about this tonight. Again I think I warned you in my first post that sometimes my mind is consumed with thoughts! Didn't I?! I think so!) Maybe the dreaming comes from the promise of spring, of new life. ~grass greening, flowers blooming, new life, new thoughts, new inspiration, new dreams. ~

I, of course, would want the usual things. Nicer home. Dish washer (ohhh I dream big), cleaning lady everyday!, but really if I had unlimited money I would love to do something like....go through the drive thru once a week and pay for the meals of all the cars behind me. Just because I could.
Just for the possibly of impacting someone's life right when they needed it.
Seems that sometimes, when I am hitting the drive thru, it is because I have 9 million tasks crammed into not enough time, the kids are whining about something/anything, I am usually feeling guilty that we should be saving money and eating at home, but cooking seems to daunting of a task to add in, all while trying to convince the kids to be satisfied in their carseats while we wait, ...not always, but sometimes you are waiting in the drive thru and life just seems "crabby." Maybe just maybe I could be the car in front of that mom. Maybe I could change her attitude, which changes her day, which changes her interactions with her kids, which changes the world really.

I would love to drive to Children's Hospital, walk into the billing department and pay off all the bills that some mommy and daddy are sitting up at the table late at night after putting their recently discharged/very sick baby to bed, wondering how they will ever pay all the bills.

Maybe not as glamorous but I would definitely buy a nice new shiny, wonderful, enticing playground for the dilapidated park in Rising City! So that all kids, not just mine, can run, laugh, play, breath in the fresh~alive~spring air, so that some day when they are grown and they step out of their office to take in the new air of a coming spring their minds too, like mine, are flooded with memories,
where if they listen closely enough they can almost hear the laughter from their childhood.
Yeah I would do that
and so much more if I continue to let myself dream of such things!
If I could.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

things that go bump in the night

Mark is on nights this week.

I can go a month before it sets in. Then it seems out of nowhere it creeps up. That fear of darkness. I was making my way to my bedroom for some much anticipated and deeply desired sleep, when I made one last "lap" through the living room to clean up any little toys that would be in the path from Kadence's bed to the couch, to prevent those moments in the middle of the night when you make the dark/quiet journey to the couch and step on an unexpected little toy and your foot is sore for a week...*anyways that was sidebar. I was making the "lap." When I glanced up and noticed the front door cracked open. In that moment before I could consciously think about it. My heart rate shot up, my breathing quickened and my fear response of fight or flight was kicking in. I will have to admit I swallowed hard, walked quickly to the door, locked it and began the "self talk." I told myself the kids used the door (and they did) It just didn't get closed all the way. No big deal. The self talk wasn't adequate so I walked back thru the kitchen and past a window with no shade. That just creeps me out even more. The thought that someone could see in but I can't see out. Oh man the little hairs on my arm are still standing straight up. Right now I am "self talking" again. "It's Rising City. It's Rising City. If someone wanted to stalk someone they would surely pick a "target" that is skinnier and looks better than this mom of two! Right!? and who stalks some one in Rising City"

Just now it made me remember back to when we lived on the farm and I would park my car in the little shop/garage which was a good distance from the house. I can remember parking the car. Sitting there for a moment.....self talking myself that there is no reason to fear the darkness...take a deep breath, get out of the car and.......RUN! Run as fast as possible to the house. Every time. Where does that fear come from?

doors locked: check
windows locked: check
curtains drawn:check
kids sleeping peacefully: check
*cell phone by the bed (just tonight, everyone needs a security blanket): check

Oh little hairs on my arm lay down. Heart rate come back down from the ceiling. I so anticipated a quiet slumber tonight.

"Fear can keep us up all night long, but faith makes one fine pillow." ~unknown

Friday, March 12, 2010

My beautiful boy

Oh Cohen 5 years. Really?! Could it be possible? What a journey it has been watching you grow. Where to begin? At the beginning I suppose. We found out we were expecting and the due date was March 14th. (One day from my birthday!) March 12th about 4am I started to notice contractions. Boy we stuck it out at home for quite a while and checked into the hospital at 8pm that night. My contractions were just 2mins apart and I thought for sure you were coming any minute! (silly me) Aunt Linda was doing drive by's stalking the hospital to figure out if we were there or not! What a journey it was just bringing you into this world. Is it coincidental, I am not sure, that you were so hesitant to join this unpredictable world, because even now at almost 5 years old if I say you are growing up or getting bigger, you always tell me back "I just want to stay little." Oh how wise you are my little man. You were finally born at 4:57pm March 13th. 36 hours later. (mommy is not looking so hot here~where is that new mom glow~ I'm afraid it wore off about 24 hours earlier and was over taken by body shaking, vomiting, fever ridden, oxygen dependent, depleted glazed mom)

We are forever connected.

Our day.

Just us.

Sometimes I lay awake at night wondering what your journey in life will be. What paths will you walk. Will you know happiness? Will you know love? Will you feel success? Confidence?

Will you take on this world and make it a better place?

Will you always remember what really matters? Will you make the right choices when faced with a choice between what is right and what is popular?

Will you remember to love life!? Will you smile. Laugh. Enjoy. Treasure all that you can.

When you are grown will I look back and know I've done all I could to give you all those things.
Have I lived my life the way I want you to live yours? Have I given you the correct "shoes" to walk the paths that your life is going to take you on. I know all too well that the ground work is already laid for you. Oh Cohen have I done what I needed? Will I do what I need to as time goes on?

Will you recognize the value of your own wife and kids someday?

What secrets will you carry?

Will you remember to pursue the things you love? The things that make you happy?

There is such an enormous amount of responsibility when taking on the role of "mom" or "parent." When you blow out your candles tomorrow you will make wishes for semis and cars, trucks and bikes and I will be along side you blowing out mine and wishing more than anything that I have given you everything you need to take this journey in life and find happiness. My love for you is unmeasurable. Happy birthday lil' man. My Cohen.

Splinters, yes, but look no hands!

" Life is not always fair. Sometimes you can get a splinter even sliding down a rainbow." ~cherralea morgan

Oh I have so many things I want to say, but time has not been in my favor lately. I was just thinking today: You know life has been a bit "bumpy" the last few weeks, but even with all the bumps and bruises and craziness, I still love my life. I am going to keep sliding down this rainbow and every now and again someone may have to help get a splinter out of my ass, but hey that's what friends are for right! (come on~you know I would do it for you!) So what are we waiting for let's go. I got my wax paper square (remember when we used to get those out for the thrill of sliding faster!) and I am sliding down this damn rainbow and I demand it be a good time~splinters and all!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Soaking up the innocence (*part 2 added below)

"Children have neither past nor future; they enjoy the present, which very few of us do." ~Jean de la Bruyere

"Out with the cold and in with the woo." ~E. marshall

"It's spring fever. That is what the name of it is. And when you've got it, you want~oh you don't quite know what it is you do want, but it just fairly makes your heart ache, you want it so."~ mark twain

"Spring is when you feel like whistling even with a shoe full of slush." ~Doug Larsen

"The Innocent and the beautiful have no enemy but time." ~William Yeats

soaking in some more (part2)

" Sometimes it is important to work for that pot of gold. But other times it's essential to take time off and to make sure that your most important decision in the day simply consists of choosing which color to slide down on the rainbow." ~Douglas Pagel

Friday, March 5, 2010

Keep what is worth keeping

"But Oh! the blessing it is to have a friend to whom one can speak fearlessly on any subject; with whom one's deepest as well as one's most foolish thoughts come out simply and safely.

Oh the comfort-the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person-having neither to weigh thoughts nor measure words, but pouring them all right out, just as they are, certain that a faithful hand will take and sift them, keep what is worth keeping, and then with the breath of kindness blow the rest away." ~Dinah Craik

The last week or two I have really been reflecting on my friendships. I started this blog as a way to free my thoughts from my mind~therapy~ I guess you might say, only this is free.

The one thing I did not anticipate would be your support in everything and just how powerful that has been.

I started to ask myself, what is friendship? Really? The answer to that lead me in all kinds of unconnected, not related, how could they go together thoughts.....which I must say perplexed me just a lil bit!

Tonight I think I have figured out why the answer to "what is friendship?" is so complicated, in mind my at least. I think was I was inadvertently trying to capture all these impossible qualities into a single person when really each person serves a different need as a friend!

What kind of friends do I need? really?

1. I need that one friend that will be brutally honest (but kind too). The one that when I need someone to be candid, open, honest, frank, brutal, but oh so helpful, when I am not looking for fluff and roses, when I am not looking for reassurance, but true honest help, someone who will have an answer or least help me start to move toward an "answer." yes, yes I NEED that friend.

2. I need that one friend that no matter the situation, no matter the drama, no matter the circumstance, will always make me laugh. The one that will not let me stay very long wallowing in my self pity or drama. You know the type of friend I am talking about right. The one that no matter how down and out I am, even if she has to pick my ass up, throw me over her shoulder, and drag me out of the pit I am in and back into the lighter, softer, sunnier, air and before long I have laughter again! The one that when you spend a day/evening together your face hurts from laughing so hard! The one that makes you laugh until you pee...and then only laugh harder because you just did that! (oh come on, I can't be the only one it has happened bladder! What can I say! Sometimes it "rears it's ugly head!") Yes, yes I need that friend.

3. Then I need the friend that you call when you just need to spout off about something or to call and talk about nothing and something all at the same time~something that would be "minor" or "insignificant" in the grand scheme of things~but yet relevant to me that day. The one that when you don't really "need" anything in particular but you just wanna chat. The one that listens, doesn't really need to offer any "answers" or "opinions" but is just there, whenever I need them. The one who does random kind things......Yes, yes I need that friend.

4. I need that one friend that will so go in the slums with me. The one that will sit down with you and agree with how I think and feel. The one who would go to battle if I asked. The one who says "Hell Yeah." "No they didn't" (I seem to be lacking a description for this type of friendship.) I guess it would be the one who will sit down and "bitch" with you for awhile! The friend that I need when sunshine and roses seem like a bit too much right then and I want to hang out in the darkness and shadows for awhile.

5. Then I need that friend that just knows. The one that knows everything there is to know, no matter what words are spoken. The one that knows me better than I know myself. The one that could sit in silence with me and understand my every thought.

When I started to think about what I "needed" in a friend, I stumbled upon this....a single person could never fill all those needs. Profound? I suppose not. I just had never stopped to understand how much each of your friendships play such a vital role in my success~happiness~coping~survival. That one type of friendship isn't more important than the other...that each one is so crucial.

I would be so lost without each of you.

Thank you. Thank you for being my friend! Thank you for making me laugh, letting me cry, encouraging me to continue, and telling me to suck it up! *and thank you ever so much for the bottle of cherry vodka that was so thoughtfully left by my door this week!*

Yes each of you is needed~appreciated~treasured~ so thank you and I hope I offer a freindship to you that fits in a niche of your own!!!

**and yes you are still needed~appreciated~treasured~even if you weren't captured in a photograph** This just made me realize I need to get my camara out more and capture the beauty of our friendship!