Wednesday, February 29, 2012

More Pictures I Haven't Shown You

Consider this the Miss M Edition!  I didn't realize that I had so many goodies to share with you, but here we go.  Here we are when she was less than one day old!
 The Divine Miss M and two of her great aunties.  My sister and I have declared ourselves the Super Aunties, not to be outdone! 
 This was the same night, on her first visit to Nana and Grandpa's. 
 And here she is in her Hello Kitty outfit.  Isn't she too sweet?
 The next four pictures were taken by my friends, David Michael and Lauren Webb.  They are a wonderful team (and are expecting their own little girl later this year)!  I encourage you to go to their website and see more of their work!

And finally, these two that I took recently.  I love the funny face in the first one, but it's the second one that really gets me!  I love that sweet girl to pieces!

Wednesday Hodgepodge - Leap Day Edition

1. The Hodgepodge falls on the last day of February this year, a leap year. How will you spend that extra day?

I will spend that day the way I do most, teaching the kiddos.  I think Leap Day should be a holiday so that we have a chance to get a little something extra done!  After work, I'm planning to work in the makeshift music room at the school because, I haven't told you guys this yet, but next school year I will be teaching two music classes!!  I'm equal parts excited and scared out of my mind!

2. What has recently required a leap of faith on your part?

I would have to say agreeing to teach music.  I have no real clue what I am doing.  But I also think that just getting up and facing the day sometimes takes a leap of faith.  I guess it just depends on your view.

3. We're one week into the season of Lent...are you marking these 40 days in some way? Giving something up or adding something extra to normal life? How's it going so far?

I've decided that I'm not giving up or adding anything in particular.  I am working on forgiveness and compassion being a bigger part of my every day walk.  And so far, it's hard.  But, I didn't really expect it to be easy.

4. When was the last time you sat beside a fire?

Hmmm...probably this fall when my sister and her boyfriend made a fire pit this fall at my parents'.  We'd had chili and they had carved pumpkins and so we just sort of hung out.  It was nice.  (This is, of course, if you don't count sitting by the fire at a Cracker Barrel.)

5. Surf and Turf is on the menu. Do you order as is or do you ask for just the surf (lobster), just the turf (steak), or a menu so you can select another option?

Turf all the way!  I love a good steak!

6. If you could have any television program back, not in reruns but in new episodes, what program would you choose?

Gilmore Girls.  Hands down.  Didn't even have to think about it for a minute.  (Though it did have a pretty nice series finale.)

7. They say an elephant never forgets. These days would you say your memory is more like an elephant or a gnat?

Well, it's not really my memory that is the problem.  It's more my attention span.  And it is more gnat than elephant for sure!!

8. Insert your own random thought here.

The news stories you will be seeing in the next few hours about storms in the Midwest?  (already saw a link on MSN)  Yeah, those weren't that far from where I live.  My people are all safe and my only complaint was that I didn't have power this morning, but others weren't nearly as lucky.  If you could say a prayer for those people or send out some good thoughts or whatever it is you might do, it would be much appreciated.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Can't We All Be Right?

Tara (aka Macy Jane's mom) is back to blogging, and in her most recent post, she addresses a subject that's been bugging me too.  Why can't we, as women, respect the choices of other women?  And why do we feel that we have to justify ourselves so loudly to the world?  I know that some people would probably give that whole feminist thing about how because women have been, and continue to be, oppressed and limited by societal expectations, we feel that we have to fight to make our voices heard. And maybe there's some true in that, even if we do it subconsciously.  But that's not really what I'm getting at.

What I am talking about I see and hear every single day, and it's one of the least attractive characteristics of women.  (And I'm not going to lie, sometimes it is coming out of my own mouth.)  We judge others by what we would do in a given situation.  It's more than just working moms vs. stay-at-home moms, though that's certainly a polarizing topic.  For instance, if I come in early and stay late at work, my boss might think I'm doing a great job, but I've had others say I'm a workaholic.  As far as I'm concerned, I'm just doing what it takes to survive.  If I say that I'm happy being single (at least most of the time) or that I'm not sure that I want kids (no matter how much I like them), someone always comes along to say that I should try harder to meet someone or that surely I will change my mind about kids.  Would it be so wrong if I didn't? 

I am probably one of the most insecure people out there, and I love validation just as much as the next girl.  I'm a people pleaser to my very core.  But I will be the first one to tell you that just because I have made the choices I've made, doesn't mean your choices are wrong.  (Of course, it doesn't mean they are right, either.)  But I think we can all agree that there is nothing more annoying than someone trying to force ideas down your throat.  I think if we would stop trying to hard to prove that we are doing something right or something special, we'd all be a little easier to deal with. 

So, on top of my forgiveness thing I am working on (somewhat begrudgingly, because it's hard), I'm also trying to be less judge-y about the people around me.  Which is only slightly harder than forgiveness, because sarcasm and a sharp tongue are kind of my bread and butter.  But if my mom can give up Hershey's Kisses for 40 days, I can at least try to be a little nicer.  But I'm probably going to need more chocolate...

Monday, February 27, 2012

The Oscars

I've mentioned once or a thousand times about how I have always loved awards shows.  There's just something that has always enticed me about the glitz and the glamour, the shiny awards, the tearful speeches.  It's probably equal parts my attraction to shiny things and my childhood dream that I would one day be making one of those speeches.  Let's just say more than one mirror in my parents' house was an audience to drafts of my acceptance speeches. 

So, of course, I stayed up for the Oscars.  And honestly, I'm not sure how I felt about the show as a whole.  Billy Crystal was okay.  He was sometimes hard to understand (the sound wasn't great), but the recorded bits were pretty funny.  (Loved the one with Melissa McCarthy!)  And I was mostly pleased with the winners of the big awards.  There weren't a lot of surprises, so maybe that's what left me feeling a little blah.  One speech I did love was Octavia Spencer's.  You could see how honored she truly was...and that standing ovation!  The Oscars aren't the Grammys--they don't stand up for just anybody.  And while I love Meryl Streep, I wish there was some way that Viola Davis could have won too!  I just loved The Help, and their performances (and the rest of the cast, including Jessica Chastain who was also nominated) were just phenomenal.  But, there were a lot of great perfomances this year overall.

Let's talk fashion....I'm having a time picking my favorite dress of the night!  There were some really great ones.  Entertainment Weekly has a great spread, as does People.  But I think my very favorite was Jessica Chastain's Alexander McQueen gown.  It was the perfect choice for her skin tone, and it just looked very regal without being too revealing (looking at you, J. Lo!). 

And though it pains me to say this, because I think she is a bit overhyped, I also really liked Angelina Jolie's dress.  She really looked the part of a movie star in it.  

Did you watch the Oscars?  What was your favorite moment?  Dress?  I'd love to hear all about it in the comments!

Friday, February 24, 2012

I'd Come Up With Something Clever, But It's Friday

Anyone else come to the end of their energy but still have a lot of week left?  That's kind of how Friday is feeling for me.  I have so many things that I really need to take care of, but I seem to be lacking in motivation.  Hopefully, I feel a little more motivated come Saturday, because my house needs some serious help.  Too many weeks of dealing with school stuff or pretty much anything other than my house is showing, worse than it normally is.  (Shut up, Sheena! hee hee)

I've been thinking about Lent this week.  Growing up Catholic, Lent plays such an important role in your life, even if you don't really get the whole thing.  As a kid, I remember giving up something and then pigging out on Sundays because Sister Nancy always said that Sundays were "little Easters" and didn't count.  When I was old enough to understand, I chose not to observe the whole "giving up" or "adding" thing, and then I became Protestant and no one really even mentioned Lent at all.  Maybe it's because I am in this place of spiritual indecision about denominations and rules and what-have-you, but I find myself really wanting to pick up some kind of Lenten practice this year. 

I've been thinking about what I could focus on and a few things have come to mind.  I could spend more time reading the Bible or focusing on some form of study.  I could find ways to give charitably of my time and my money.  (When I was a kid, my mom made me iron the altar cloths.  It easily took me three hours to do it correctly, so it's safe to say ironing for Jesus is probably out.)  I could practice being kind like my friend, Jessie, has been.  This morning, during my short trip to work, something else came to mind---forgiveness.  I know that as Christians we are supposed to be all about forgiveness, and when it's easy, I am.  But there are some things that I am hanging onto that weren't little things that someone did to me.  They were the kind of big that you just don't get over.  These are the kind of things that grow hate and bitterness. 

I'm not saying that I won't read the Bible or give charitably during this time, or practice kindness.  These are things we are supposed to be doing all the time, but I will admit I don't.  I forget or get busy doing something else and lose my focus.  But I really feel like this forgiveness thing is what I am supposed to be working on for the next 40 days.  I don't know what that will look like.  I have a feeling that it will be more about what is in me than what happened to me.  Either way, prayers would be appreciated. 

I didn't really intend for this to become something serious, and yet here we are.  Hope you have a lovely weekend!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Wednesday Hodgepodge - 2/22

1. February 22nd is National Be Humble Day...what makes you proud? What keeps you humble?

     My students would be the answer to both of those this week.  They have been working on their family tree projects and some of them are just outstanding and I am so proud of them.  And as for humble, teaching junior high students is a guaranteed way to stay humble.  They don't miss a single error, be it typo or fashion.

2. Where is the catch-all (aka dumping ground) in your house?

HAHA!  My whole house?  The worst place in my dining room table, though.

3. Do you make it a point to visit State/National Parks when you travel or even in your own hometown? What's your favorite?

I'm not really a big outdoors person.  I would like to visit a few of the parks in the west, like Yellowstone.  My favorite I've been to is Smoky Mountain National Park.

4. How would you define honor?

Honor is standing up with your dignity and moral code intact, even when it would be much easier to go with the flow. 

5. Angel's food or Devil's food-which cake do you prefer?

Love them both, but I would always rather have the chocolate!

6. What's the most recent road trip you've taken? Where did you go and how many hours did you spend in the car? Do you like to zoom to your destination without stopping or leisurely wind your way there with stops along the way? What is your car snack of choice?

I've talked about it before but this marks the fifth year that my girls and I have gone on a road trip.  Sometimes it's just me and Amber, but this year, we are adding Casey and going to visit Tara!  I'm a big fan of not having too many stops, because I love to brag about what good time we made.  I want there to be some room to leisurely wind, but not too much.  And I want all of the snacks.  You have to balance sweet and salty.  Two essentials are Twizzlers and snack crackers (Cheez-Its or Ritz Chips).

7. Recent headlines told how a preschool child in NC had their packed lunch from home taken away and a school lunch substituted by a school inspector who deemed the homemade lunch unhealthy. Reportedly the parent was then billed for the school lunch (chicken nugget meal) although an update to the story says the parent was not billed. The inspector was conducting a routine inspection of the classroom-he/she was not there solely to peek in the lunchboxes. The packed lunch contained a turkey and cheese sandwich, an apple juice box, a bag of chips, and a banana. You can read the story here. Your thoughts?

Unleashing my thoughts on this subject is a little dangerous, but I will try to stay in control.  I don't think it's anyone's business what a parent packs in a child's lunch unless the child has something unsafe or doesn't have anything.  I think that to take a lunch and insist that the school lunch replace it is kind of a joke.  (Especially if you see the state of school lunches most of the time.)  I am all for kids eating healthy, but I think there's a very fine line between what we can legislate and what we can't.  And some of this is just out of line.

8. Insert your own random thought here.

I can't wait for this crud to pass so I can stop coughing and hold my niece!  Not being able to hold her on Sunday was pure torture!!  Plus it will just be nice to be back to normal.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Under Pressure

I just received the following email...

Hi Katie,
Lydia & Kate started following all of your pinboards. Follow Lydia & Kate back.
Happy Pinning!
- Ben and the Pinterest Team

It made me scream.  Then panic.  What if they think my pins are lame?  This is Lydia & Kate as in Rants From Mommyland, ya'll.  The people whom I deeply admire, even though I have no plans to actually become a mommy.  Even though they probably just followed everyone who followed them after their most recent post, I suddenly feel the need to be way funnier and more awesome than normal.  This is some serious Pinterest pressure, people!

2 on Tuesday: Celebrity Girl Crushes

2 on Tuesday

Today’s topic for 2 On Tuesday is celebrity girl crushes. What celebrity female do you think is absolutely beautiful? If you could steal anyone’s look, who would it be?

Oh my goodness!  I have loved celebrities and celebrity fashion my whole life.  As a kid, I used to look at all the magazines, particularly ones with pictures of the award show gowns, and study them like I was preparing for some kind of test.  This hasn't really changed much as I've gotten older, but my standards for what is beautiful has changed. 

Tina Fey remains my number one girl crush, and not just because of fashion.  She's intellegent, hilarious, and she has no problem ruling in the male dominated world of comedy.  She's also beautiful in a very accessible way.  It's hard to find an awards show picture or a magazine spread that doesn't make you see that.  I want to be the kind of awesome she is.

 Speaking of, Amy Poehler is pretty high on the list too.  Maybe it's because I think of Tina and Amy as a duo.  You can't really have one without the other.  Dynamic duos are kind of my favorite.  She's the best kind of smart too...and loves to laugh at her own stuff. 
 But lately, there have been two other women who are making the way as style icons.  Melissa McCarthy is like a superhero to those of us who will never fit in a sample size.  She's gorgeous and smart and funny and awesome, and I've loved her ever since she was Sookie.  (Probably because I am a little too much like Sookie...) She has been discussing how much she's into fashion (she designed some of her gowns) and I've heard she may even have a line coming out! 
 And then there's Adele.  She's not just bringing the music, but the class and style back.  She is proof that you don't have to show everything you have to be beautiful.  She keeps herself covered, but still manages to add a little sparkle or shine. 

And you can't talk about British women and fashioning without at least mentioning the queen of fashion, Kate, The Duchess of Cambridge.  She is the perfect model of modesty with great fashion sense.  I mean, the woman is singlehandedly bringing back pantyhose.  (Not that I find that to be a big plus, but it certainly says something about propriety!)

There's absolutely no segueway other than many their dress size, but my final mention goes to Emma Stone, who I think is one of the prettiest young actresses today.  She is both daring and classy, with a nice mix of fun thrown in.  This is my favorite of her gowns, from this year's Golden Globes.  I say all the time that I believe she is my generation's answer to Julia Roberts.  And she's a really pretty redhead!  (Which I hope one day inspires budding redhead fashion icon, Macy Jane!)

Who is your celebrity girl crush?  Share in the comments or write your own post and join us over at Andrea's blog!

Monday, February 20, 2012

My Weekend

I had big plans for this weekend.  Tara was home with her Macy Jane, the first time we had seen them since that sweet baby was born more than 8 months ago, and we were going to have so much fun.  And for the first part of the weekend we did.  Jessie's baby shower was on Saturday, so we gathered at Casey's (as has become our tradition) to celebrate.  So, you know I had to take a few pictures...

The woman of the hour, Jessie
A glimpse of the spread
A diaper carriage

The last time we saw Tara and Macy, this is what they looked like...
We were so excited to have them home!
Amber and Macy Jane became fast friends.

I didn't take any pictures the rest of the weekend, which shows just how lousy I was feeling.  I don't know that I've ever been in the presence of my niece without taking a picture, and yet on Sunday, I kept my distance.  By Sunday evening, I just needed to lie down and I even cancelled plans with the girls today because I was still feeling bad.  It's just what's left of this sinus infection, but it just won't go away.  I'm hoping that rest all day today will put an end to it.  (Well, that and the rest of the antibiotics!)

I'm hoping to feel better this week and get back to posting regularly!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

It's Okay Thursday

Its Ok Thursdays

This is the first time I've linked up with this particular blog, but I loved the idea too much to pass it up!

It's okay... sometimes pick what you are wearing by the least dirty thing you own.  ("I've only worn these jeans twice since the last washing.  Still good!!") dislike Valentine's Day but love discount chocolate. hit the snooze bar just one more time. know fast food is bad for you, but give in to the french fries anyway. take a deep breath, count to ten, and still be a mad about that thing somebody said about you. "geek out" over a special on the History Channel.  ("Cleopatra?!? YES!") reference TV shows in your daily life.  ("This is just like that episode of Gilmore Girls when...") think that any event merits a new outfit!  (One gift for me, and one for the baby...)

Join in the fun over at Brunch With Amber!!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Wednesday Hodgepodge - 2/15

1. George Washington-Abraham Lincoln-Thomas Jefferson...who would you most like to meet and why?

A very hard question to answer as a history teacher.  The Illinois girl in me immediately jumps to Abraham Lincoln.  But I could probably compile a list of questions for any of these three! 

2. What's your favorite chain restaurant?

I love any place with a really good steak, so Longhorn is pretty high on the list.  But I tend to prefer places that aren't chains, especially locally.  Those are the places that are really able to do something special.

3. I spied this question on the Bears at Home blog last week and she gave me permission to borrow it- When you look back on your life, do you imagine you'll think about the goals you failed to meet with regret? Or will you look at what you accomplished and say: it was good?

I don't believe that regret does us any good.  I also believe that in general terms, our path works out like it is supposed to.  So, in the end, I hope that I can look back on my life and see just how good it really was!

4. Grapefruit-take 'em or leave 'em? Given the choice between an orange and a grapefruit which would you choose? Would you prefer it served as is or squeezed into juice?

Oranges are my absolute favorite things, but I like a good grapefruit too!  I would rather have the actual fruit and not the juice, though!

5. When was the last time you cleaned out a closet? Is there a closet in your home that currently needs cleaning? What are you waiting for?

As I was putting up the Christmas decorations, I cleaned my closet under the stairwell.  It's mostly storage boxes any way.  The not just closet, but whole room that needs to be cleaned is my back bedroom/storage room.  It's a fright!  But it has a lot of junk in it that I don't know what else to do with, so who knows when I will tackle that?!

6. You get to have lunch with three famous people...who would you like to see round your table?

Oh, this is even harder for me than the history question!  This probably changes day-to-day with me, but today I would say Adele and Zooey Deschanel, because they would make for amazing dinner conversation and Jude Law because he's nice to look at.  Shallow, but true.

7. On a scale of 1-10 how would you rate your ability to parallel park?

I'd have to go with a -1.   I am terrible at parallel parking.  Thankfully, I don't have to do it all that often.

8. Insert your own random thought here.

I'm all for a mild winter.  But I need it to decide what temperature it wants to be for a bit and stay that way for a while for the sake of my sinuses!!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The One Where I Don't Write About Valentine's Day

I'm not on of those bitter girls who sits around thinking about how awful today is if you don't have a valentine.  Any holiday that encourages the giving of chocolate is okay by me.  But, in the same vein, this day isn't exactly different from any other Tuesday for me either.  For instance, these are my plans for today:  teach, grab quick supper, teach again, get grocercies, try to get to bed a decent hour.  Not exactly swimming in romantic notions over here.  However, I don't begrudge anyone else their due, so enjoy your hearts and flowers and whatnot. 

Meanwhile, I am thrilled to announce that vacuuming the carbon monoxide detector seems to have fixed the problems I was having with it over the weekend.  It also kept me from beating the crap out of it with a broom or having to purchase another one right now, so yay! 

The only other interesting (depending on your definition of that word) thing happening over here this week is that my students are working on their family tree projects.  I'm a little obsessed with the whole family tree research thing, and my students have really gotten in to this too.  Nothing makes me happier than kids coming in and telling me about all the things they didn't know before they started asking about their ancestors.  (I can't wait to see their final projects next week!)  Plus, we are watching Who Do You Think You Are, NBC's show where celebs research their pasts.  It's been on a couple of seasons, and this time they have expanded it to 12 episodes instead of just six.  I would be so cool to have a team of researchers and the funds to fly over to where my family came from!  Are any of you into genealogy?

Wishing you all a loverly day!  Back tomorrow with the Hodgepodge!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Monday, Monday...

I wasn't kidding last week when I said I would be pretty quiet in the blogosphere.  I barely had time to think, much less write (not that that much thinking goes into my writing, but whatever).  But, I should note that all of the festivities went as well as I could have possibly hoped, and though I am less some rest, it was well worth it!  But on to what's happening this week, which of course, is better in list form...
  • I'm having some issues with a malfunctioning carbon monoxide detector.  My furnace has been checked and everything is fine, but the stupid thing keeps going off with no rhyme or reason.  (Like at 5:00, 5:30, and 6:00 on Sunday morning, but not a single beep the rest of the day.)  One of my friends said to try vacuuming the vent area, as maybe the sensor is just dirty, so I will try that.  If that doesn't work, guess who is getting a new detector on Tuesday.
  • I am really excited about late this week and this weekend!  First of all, it's a much needed three-day weekend.  My friend, Tara, is going to be visiting with her daughter.  I haven't seen Macy since right after she was born so, I'm chomping at the bit to hang with her and her mommy!  Plus, we have a big baby shower this weekend for another Chick, and I'm hoping to get in a little snuggle time with my favorite newborn niece.  So, here's hoping this week flies by!
  • I'm officially down to two jobs.  And while I am thankful for the opportunity to make an extra buck or two, I couldn't be happier to have just a little more downtime in the afternoons.  Just being able to decompress for an hour after my regular school day is such a blessing. 
  • Despite my lack of sleep, I did stay up to watch the Grammys.  I am so excited for Adele!  Six Grammy wins and an absolutely victorious emergence from her vocal chord surgery?  What a night!  I couldn't help but get a little teary when she won the last award and kind of lost it on stage.  That must be the most incredible feeling!  Talent wins out over showmanship in the end (looking at you, Nicki Minaj)!  Also, I have to say that I was absolutely charmed by Taylor Swift's performance of "Mean."  She's come such a long way in her live performances! 
  • And Jennifer Hudson gets her own bullet point.  To sing what is essentially one of the most difficult songs of the pop songbook, on short notice, while mourning the loss of someone whose music you looked up to?  That must have been so difficult.  But she handled it beautifully.  I'm of the opinion that we lost the iconic voice of Whitney Houston years ago, but it's still such a tragic end to a life. 
  • Did anybody go see The Vow this weekend?  I will admit I really want to see it, but I can't seem to convince anyone to go with me.  So, chances are, I will have to wait until it comes out on video.  But I would love to hear your reviews. 
Anyone do something really fun or exciting this weekend?  I mean, beside chaperoning a dance or watching all of Season 4 of The Big Bang Theory (again) while battling a malfunctioning carbon monoxide detector.  Tell me all about it in the comments!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Wednesday Hodgepodge - 2/8

1. What is something you are loving right now?

I am loving Milk Duds, Smash, and that we are halfway through Homecoming Week!

2. Paris, Venice, New York, and Rome are considered four of the most romantic cities in the world. Which one would you most like to visit?

I would really love to visit any of them, but I would really like to see Rome the most!  All the history and the could a girl resist?!?

3. Are you a romantic?

I am in some ways.  I love the idea of the fairy tale and being pursued.  I would like to be swept off my feet.  The problem is when a guy has tried to pursue me, they usually just annoy me.  I fear that I may have grown a little too independent for my own good!!

4. What's your favorite love story made for the Big Screen?

I am a really big fan of The Holiday!  The couples in that movie are so perfectly suited!

5. Everyone loves Pooh bear and friends...which character are you most like and why? Click here for help in answering this question.

I remember watching the live action show on the Disney Channel when I was a kid.  It was one of my very favorites!  I am a fan of Kanga and Roo.  The only other one even close was Tigger.

6. What's the best chocolate something you've ever eaten?

When I was in Washington, DC, we had dinner at this restaurant that has the best chocolate cheesecake dessert I have ever had in my entire life.  I don't remember the name of the restaurant or much else, but I vividly remember how good that dessert was!

7. Share a favorite quote about love.

Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same.       
-Emily Bronte

Seriously good stuff, right?

8. Insert your own random thought here.

I don't know that I have a thought that isn't random right now.  I feel like I am running in a thousand different directions and my brain is just not doing a great job keeping up.  But the good news is that when this is all over, I will have one more major event done for the school year and I am that much closer to the glories of summer vacation!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Other People's Happiness

I'm going to say something that we've all thought at one point or another, but most of us (meaning people who are not me) are polite enough not to actually say:  Being happy for other people is sometimes really hard.  And I don't mean when you find out that slacker you went to college with, gave a free couch to and occasionally cleaned after is now a successful musician (to use a random example that is not at all related to my life).  It's perfectly okay to question the justice of the world on that one.  What I'm talking about being happy for people that you love and want good things to happen to, people who are an active part of your life.  Faking it just isn't enough for those people, but I will admit that I totally have.

I can be selfish and petty and mean, and I've found that social media tends to cultivate some of this in me.  Trust me, this is not one of those times when I blame Facebook and Twitter for my problems, either.  It's just that not too terribly long ago, when someone was getting married or having a baby, you found out the old fashioned way--through the gossip lines via your mother.  And then you didn't go on Pinterest and see 15,000 pins about it or get weekly (sometimes daily) updates on which piece of fruit is the size of the baby.  You weren't confronted with an all-out media assault of what someone else has that you don't.  (Did I mention jealous in my list?)  It's much easier to adopt an "out of sight, out of mind" philosophy when you only hear about it if you run into someone at the grocery store, rather than every time you turn on your computer.

Believe it or not, this used to be a much bigger problem for me than it is now.  Oh, I was a pro at loooking the part of happy at the announcement of the news.  But then, I would promptly go home and cry and wail and generally lash out at God for allowing someone else to have the things that I wanted so badly and couldn't have.  And it's not that I am completely cured now, trust me.  It's just that I finally came to terms with the hard cold truth that it wasn't all about me.  (How disappointing!)  God grabbed me by my face (not really, but He might as well have) and reminded me that He wasn't punishing me by giving someone else something wonderful, and it was high time that I put on my big girl pants and embraced the happy.  Also, when a friend has suffered an unimaginable hurt in their life, you find yourself wanting happiness for them more than you've ever wanted anything for yourself.  (Trust me on that one.)  The kind of joy you feel when that happiness finally comes eclipses any of the other less pleasant things.

I don't guess that this is just a single girl thing, but I would say that it's something single girls definitely have to deal with.  So, I'm do you deal (single or not)?  Are you one of those selfless wonders who can put other's happiness first?  (Because seriously, high five to you!)  What lessons have you learned about this?  I would really like to hear from some other people on this one, so comment away!

Friday, February 3, 2012

Oh, Friday! Where Have You Been?

First of all, thank you for all of the sweet comments on The Fear post.  I try to be as open and honest as I can be.  Also, yesterday I had to practice what I preach, hence no post.  But such is life. 

Today is Friday, though---the light at the end of the tunnel that was this week!  I have no real plans for the weekend, short of a little Super Bowl get together.  (Though I have no real interest in either team, well except for their cutie quarterbacks!)  I'm mostly going to snuggle my niece, hang with my family, and watch the commercials. 

However, I am pretty excited about the premiere of Smash on Monday night.  I have been wondering about this show since the set-up leaked last spring, and I'm really hoping it's as good as it seems.  I love the cast (Debra Messing and Anjelica Huston? I'm in!) and it's all about Broadway, which we all know is close to my heart.  I'm sure I will be talking about it next week.

Speaking of, it'll be a busy week around these parts, so I'm not sure how much I will be blogging.  But once Homecoming and all of its insanity is over, my year is pretty much downhill.  I can't believe it's already February.  It will be May before I know it!  (And we get out a little earlier than usual this year, so it will all come even faster!) 

Wishing you a great weekend and an even better week!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

The Fear

For as confident as I would like to pretend to be, I must confess that I am really not.  And every so often, through a million little cracks in my armor, the Fear comes in.  It says that I am not good enough, smart enough, pretty enough, funny enough.  It makes it way into my homelife (Will I be the kind of aunt I want to be for Maddie?), in my worklife (Does my boss think I am doing a good job?).  It permeates everything I am, and leaves its stench all over me. 

And I know better, I really do.  But the problem is I can remember every bad thing anyone has every said about me.  When the Fear takes hold, they all come back up like bad Mexican food.  It's not pretty.  Somehow I find myself believing that because someone once said I wasn't whatever, I'm not.  I carry those actions and words around with me all the time, and whoever tries to say that words don't have power has never been leveled by the weight of someone else's opinions.  I'm not sure why I give those people that kind of power, but I do.  The world doesn't really know what to do with me, so it tries to shame me into some other category.  My own insecurities try to tell me that it's for the best. 

But, I'm here to say that it's not.  I'm here to say that Truth is stronger than Fear.  That each and every insecurity I feel is meant to keep me tender and humble.  It's meant to remind me that we all have doubts, but that it's a common thread, not a singular peculiarity.  That those things that are the hardest to carry are some of the very things that students tell me gives them a measure of hope that they can make it through the maze of adolescence.  That there is something more.  That I am something more. 

I'm writing all this down because on the days that the Fear is winning, I want to be able to go back and remember that Fear has no more power over me than anything else.   And that in the times that it seems like too much, I just have to remember to choose to believe what I know to be true over anything else.